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Ministering Spirit. Angels and faints rejoice! I bring you a trophy vt sovereign grace from that land of idols, Bengal. To your happy company I introduce the spirit of a converted Hindoo.
Heavenly Hon. Glory be to God in the highest! AH Heaven shall resound with the songs of his redeemed; and let the whole earth be filled with his praises.
SyamDass. Brethren, I greet you all. Behold one, who, in sin, having irrown old, was already sinking into endless perdition; yet my soul has been snatched as a brand from the burning: my former idols forsaking, of fin repenting, the true Saviour embracing, 1 have tasted the sweetness of his love.
Krunsdon. What, are you one of the first-fruits of India? Did you come hither from Serampore >
Syam Dass. Yes; there for many years I lived, following the vain customs of the Heathen, and the way of li'fe not knowing. There also I heard the word of truth, and found pardon through the blood of Jesus.
Brunsclon. How were you induced to obey the call of the gospel, and made willing to reject your cast, for the love of the Saviour >
SyamDass. I cannot say that I lost my cast for the love of Christ: I had long ago been drawn, by a far meaner passion, to make that sacrifice; for, without any sort of marriage, I had lived above thirty years with a Ftringhec woman.
Brunsdon. How then was you delivered from that ensnaring connexion, which, while it prevented the pride of cast from operating on your mind, would yet form a strong objection, though of a different kind, to your embracing a holy gospel 1 .' SyamDass. . As 1 confined myself entirely to this woman, I did not see, at uiy first conviction of sin, the evil of thus living with her; but as light increased, I was grieved at my having done all things during my state of heathenism, in an unholy manner. Then consulting the Missionary brethren. I determined, according to their advice, to be married before many witnesses. This was done at the Mission-house, not after the form of the Hindoos, but with prayer and exhortation, as becomerh saints, who perform all in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Brunsdon. O! Brother Fountain, here is a saved Hindoo! Though we were not permitted to gather in much of our Lord's harvest, yet the work of the Saviour is going on in Bengal.
Fountain. 1 know it already; for Brother Powell also is just arrived, *ho has been telling me news which rejoices all my soul. The knowledge of our Redeemer is beginning to spread up the country, in a more remarkable manner than ever we witnessed. Many scores have broken the chain of the east; and numbers are studying the Scriptures, and have resolved to avow themselves the disciples of Christ. 1 suppose this is the spirit of Syam Dass, the first martyr of India.
Syam Dass. Very unworthy was I of such an honour; yet I confess^ to the praise of our beloved Jesus, that 1 lost my life in endeavouring to subserve his cause.
Fountain. Has any revolution in that sinful world which you have left, given power to the Brahmans of persecuting the followers oi'Christ » Surely, neither the Danish nor the British government would sanction such a deed. •.
Syam Dass. No, brother; the state of outward things remains uxi, changed j and both governments are more and more convinced ef the i»vfegrity of the Missionary brethren. By a lawless mob was I murdered, returning from the country to Serampore.
PmvelC Brother Dass, I rejoice to see you; and to meet you also, dear Brunsdon, in this blessed world! I have been telling Brother Thomas how the Lord enabled our Hindoo brother to seal his testimony with his blood. He will communicate the news to Grant: indeed it will spread swifter than lightning through these realms of bliss. All Heaven rejoices in your salvation, and admires the grace which made you faithful unto death.
Thomas. Saved' Hindoo! We have brought brother Stephen, the first martyr in the days of the apostles, to congratulate thee on the honour which Christ has conferred upon thee.
Syam D^ss Venerable Stephen, for thy history I thank, my dear Saviour, uud holy brother Luke, who recorded k. Of thee I thought when I was dying, and endeavoured, like thee, to pray for my murderers.
Stephen. Our Lord is the same yesterday, to-day, and tor ever. He is conqueror over Death and Hell, who alone gave us the victory. I rejoice in thee as a monument of liis unchanging grace. Let us for ever celebrate his praise.
Syam Dais. Not unto us, not unto us, but unto his glorious.name is all the glory due! Once I hardly dared have thought ot calling thee, who us so early employed in the work of the Lord, my brother; but I now ■fStl that we are all one in Christ Jesus. All pride is removed from my heart, while I a:;-! also freed from all fear, and every .kind of painful sensation. I perceive in you, my honoured Brother, the mo*t perfect humility and benevolence; and I enjoy your lioly love with the warmest return of gratitude and complacency.
Grant. © beloved Hindoo! 1 rejoice greatly to behold thee in this state of bliss. In all the triumphs of grace do 1 exult; but to see one of the natives of that country, where I once hoped to have been employed for my blessed Saviour, affords me peculiar pleasure. My spiritual father Marshman, I find, is happily succeeded in the work of the Lord.
Syam Dass. Yes; he has lately been up the country with Pectumber, Muter, and Bharat, to visit a number of Hindoos, who had for some time been convinced of the fallacy of the old religions of the country; among whom God seemed to have been preparing his way, almost as he prepared the friends of Cornelius for the visit of Peter. Many now appear to be earnestly seeking the true way of life, and are determined toown the name of Christ.
Grant. Welcome, dear Brother, welcome to the skies! But tell ns how you finished your course, and experienced the power of our Lord to support you, when suffering death by the hands of violence.
Syam Dass. Brother Bharat had been sent up the country, to the newenquirers after the gospel, with letters from the Missionaries, and returned in safety. I also was willing to carry a written message, to inform my countrymen of the Friend ot sinners. There were many Hindoos, at another place, nearer to Serampore, who despising the Dettahs,anA not believing Mahomet to be divinely commissioned", owned that there was one God; but knew not how he would be served, nor how sinners could be saved. To them I carried a loving invitation, to call them to that Saviour -who came to save the lost and unworthy. They, seeming more inclined to cast off all religion than to embrace the holy gospel, did not pay great attention to the representation of our brethren. Yet they received me civilly; and many ot them took our papers, and some copies of God's -word, which they promised to read. Thus they dismissed me, with a letter to the Missionaries. But as I was returning, many Hindoos were mad upon their idols, being also stirred up by the Brahmans, who feared the progress of the gospel", and, besetting me round, murdered «tc
Iktma's. How was your mind affected when you perceived tlieir rani* derous intentions r
Syam Dass. Fear for a moment prevailing, I strove to make my escape; but finding that impossible, and thinking of the lore of Christ, Who laid down his life lor me, 1 felt willing, if such should be his pleasure, to lay my life down for him. If the great and glorious bas'iour died for poor unworthy sinners, why should not a saved sinner die for his gracious Saviour? A transient thought of my wife, and her son Neeloo, occurred to my mind, — fearing lest nvy death should make them more averse to embracing the gospel; and I knew it would greatly grieve my brethren and teachers; but I gave them all up to our wise and loving Lord. Calling on him to receive my spirit, it soon left the body. Then. at once my powers seemed lost in a calm rapture, — love, confidence, and joy filling alt my mind; while I perceived an holy angel joining me in songs of praise, who speedily conducted me to thesMilest abodes.
Vearce. Hindoo brother » '1 hough 1 never saw the plains of Bengal,yet iiave I in yonder world poured out incessant prayers tor the success of live mission. I think it the greatest honour our Lord put upon me on earth, that he stirred me up to be one of the first who promoted the plan: and, had lie seen fit so to have employed me, I would most gladly have become myself a Missionary. My dear countrymen, who were so-soon called away from their work in India, when the fields first seemed rilp for harvest, have given me great joy, by the information they brought, th i t several ot your countrymen had become obedient to the faith j but your arrival here affords me still higher pleasure.
Syam Dass. Are you thar charming I'earce whose memoirs were sent to our brethren >. Felix once translated to rac some of your letters, and the sweet account of vour death. How will our nation for ever bless your gracious Lord, for filling your heart, aud the hearts of your brethren iu England, with such tender concern for our salvation!
Veatce. I am that saved sinner. O what a debtor to grace am II So indeed are we all. Heaven is full of insolvent debtors, who never, never can repay our exalted Immannel for the love which passes knowledge I How could we taste it on earth, and not be constrained to greater activity! "SfamTinss. O happy English, who have enriched Bengal with the knowledge of such a Saviour I
Pcarcf. Here is the blessed Erskine, from Scotland, which is the northern part of Britain, who helped our little Society with his prayers* from its very commencement. He was, on earth, a generous lover of all good men, of whatever denomination. If they did but love Jesus Christ ia sincerity, he loved them with a pure heart fervently.
Syam Bass. Why, could any one, whose heart was purified by faith in> Christ, da otherwise?
Krskinf. Ah, Syam? you never knew how the Christians of Europeare divided into a variety of sects; and though the things in which they agree are far more numerous and more important than those on whicht they differ, yet they find many impediments to their union, arising from the evils, of their hearts, and the craft of Satan, who makes use ot thesedifferences to check their love. I bless God that ! habitually felt » strong affection for all the friends of free grace and .true holiness; and low that which was lackiug in my love below, is perfectly supplied. . T rejoice exceedingly that the labours of my Baptist brethren have beirk drowned with success; and 1 am persuaded. Brother Dass, that youxllood will he, as it were, the-seed of tlie church.
Sjrajn liass. i feel perfectly assured that our Lord will over-rule all fee the good of his own cause. He will care for my brethren, and comfort -their hearts ; and, perhaps, tny widow and. her scut may Vic brought alsc» to knov; his name.
Sfsi'u*. My Brother Edwards, who was lately "President of Schcnect*3y College, in America, to whose correspondence I introduced some of your English friends, lias brought his dear father with him, to congratu•lateyou on your arrival.
EJtsmils, junior. The ssved of all countries and all ages meet here, ■with the most cordial affection, and exult in each other's happiness; but it affords a peculiar gratification to see the first-fruits of a country so long over-run with false religion and idolatry. ,
. Sytwt Dais. Surely, no country" on earth can be sunk lower in ignoance, vice, and cruel superstition than mine! Yet there, our Lord having begun to triumph, will doubtless prevail over-all orposition. I remember how Brother Peetumber once exulted in the thought: "There is," said he, *' an irrevocable decree, that Christ Jesus shall be manifested to Bengal."
Etfaar.tf, senior. Who can doubt it, that has any acquaintance with the most sure words>of prophecy, contained in the Scriptures of truth i The Teal of the Lord or^fcsts is pledged for their accomplishment.- I re. member that when I lived upon earth, " My heart was much set on the advancement of .Christ's, kingdom in the-world. When I read the history of past ages, die pleasantest thing in all my reading was, the promotion of the cause of Christ. Whenever I expected, in a course of reading, to come to any accounts of this sort, I reckoned upon it all the way 1 read; and*my mind was then -delighted with the prophecies cf the future triumphs of the Redeemer." The accounts which my dear son and others, wno have lately come to this upper world, have given me, respecting the Societies formed in Britain and America, for the Propagation ol the Gospel, have afforded me unutterable pleasure.
Graizt. In my last illness 1 felt somewhat dejected at the prospect cf being removed -before I could do any thing for God, or had seen the brethren Wih) went before us to India. But, as soon as Death 'tore the veil from my eyes, I saw cause for nothing but satisfaction and gratitude. God made Brother Marshman the chief instrument of saving me from infidelity and error; and then employed me as,trte means of turning his mind to Missionary wotk. I am received into'this heavenly state ; while he continues with dear Brother Ward,- and witli the excellent Carey, whom I never saw on earths ,0 labour with diligence and increasing success. My widow also is serviceable in the concerns of the family; and my. children are training up, I trust, for future usefulness. All is well: all has been ordered by infallible wisdom.
Edwards, junior. Your brethren must have been greatly tried by the successive removals of their fellow-labourers. But what they know not now they shall fully understand in futurity. Brother Dass's death, no •doubt, afflicts them exceedingly; but still it is counterbalanced fcy their success up the country. Greater opposition must be expected, as Satan feels his kingdom shaken. All others that are engaged in Missionary attempts must expect like trials, though they may differ in various circumstances. But this Hindoo brother is like the sheaf of the firs,tfruits which was ordered to be waved before the Lord. The harvest shall follow in Bengal and in all nations. They that go forth weeping, bearing precious seed, shall in due time reap, not fainting.
Step/an. Let us attend our brother to the throne of the slaughtered Lamb; in whose book of life, it now appears, his name was written before the world began. ,
Saints. Salvation to our God, who sittcth upon the throne; and unt« the Lamb, who hath redeemed our souls with his blood I
Angels. Amen! Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God fop ever and ever! Amen.- S. C.
SOME- ACCOUNT OF
THE FAMILY OF THE NARROW-SOULS;
their Origin and Manners,
Mr. Narrow-soul, the father of the family, wars the immediate descendant of Mr. Loveself and Mrs. Saveall. Though an only son, he had not the advantage of a liberal education, as his mother had a particular aversion to public seminaries. She often used to say, That it would cost more to maintain one child at a boarding-school than to hring up three at home:whatever they might learn at those places, they were never taught the value ot money; which, in her estimation,, was of mpre importance than all the learning in the world: besides tiiis, she insisted upon it, that their heads were filled with /lotions which made them unfit for business, and that they acquired habits of extravagance under the idea of liberally \ which were extremely prejudicial to their interests. Thus circumstanced, poor Narrow-soul had no opportunity of obtaining any useful knowledge, beyond what he could pick up at a little day-school in the neighbourhood; add to this, that he had naturally a very great aversion to reading, in which disposition he was unhappily encouraged by both parents; for it was grown into a proverb with them, That people would never get forward in the world who were always poring over hooks, excepting only those hooks which were necessary in keeping accounts ; — and these, the}' admitted, could not be inspected too often, or examined too closely.
When Narrow-soul arrived at years of maturity, .it so happened, that he fell in love with Party-zeal. She was the eldest daughter of Superstition, a descendant of the ancient family of \he Bigots, who, for many years, had their principal residence nt ltoiue. His parents made, no objection to the match; only his mother was rather fearful, lest the object of his attachment, who was of a quick-and lively turn, should lead him into expences, which were not quite compatible with her views of economy. She did not, however, oppose the union; which accordingly took place, and proved the- source of a numerous progeny"
Their descendants have also multiplied to that degree, that there are few families which may not be traced to one or other of them, though they are seldom willing to own the extraction. They are indeed of various denominations, and called by different names; yet a familv-hkenrss may be observed in them all. They particularly resemble old Love-self; and those who possessed an intimate acquaintance with that gentleman, would hud uo dirhcuity in discovering the lineaments of his lace in.