Pioneers and Founders - or, Recent Workers in the Mission field
by Charlotte Mary Yonge
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Then he addressed himself to the duties of the voyage. Private study of Hebrew and of Hindostanee was of course a part; but he hoped to be useful to his companions as a friend and as a minister. He could only obtain permission to hold one service every Sunday, but he hoped to do much by private conversations and prayers, and he tried to gain over the cadets by offering to assist them in their studies, especially mathematics. Some of them had the sense to see that the teaching of a senior wrangler was no small advantage, and these read with him throughout the voyage; but in general they were but raw lads, and followed the example of their superiors, who for the most part were strongly set against Mr. Martyn. Those were the times when sailors were utterly uncared for, and when mauvais sujets at home were sent out to India to the corruptions of a luxurious climate and a heathen atmosphere. Men of this stamp would think it bad enough to have a parson on board at all, and when they found that he was a faithful priest, who held himself bound not to leave them unchecked in their evil courses, they thought themselves aggrieved. Nor was his manner likely to gain them. Grave and earnest, he had never in his life known sportiveness, and his distress and horror at the profanity and blasphemy that rang in his ears made him doubly sad and stern. From the first his Sunday service was by most treated as an infliction, and the officers, both of the ship and of the military, had so little sense of decency as to sit drinking, smoking, and talking within earshot. The persons who professed to attend showed no reverence of attitude; and when he endeavoured to make an impression on the soldiers and their wives between-decks, he was met with the same rude and careless inattention.

With very little experience of mankind, he imagined that these hardened beings could be brought to repent by terror, and his discourses were full of denunciations of the wrath of God. He was told that, if he threatened them thus, they would not come to hear him, and his reply was an uncompromising sermon on the text, "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the people that forget God." The bravery of the thing, and the spirit of truth and love that pervaded all he said on this solemn verse, was not lost upon all: some of the cadets were moved to tears, and an impression was made upon several persons. Indeed, there was much that should have induced serious thought, for, after having touched at Madeira and the Azores, it was made known that the 59th was to be disembarked at the Cape, to assist in the struggle then going on between the English and Dutch. Moreover, there was much sickness on board, and the captain himself, who had been always bitterly opposed to Mr. Martyn, anxiously called for him to attend upon his death-bed.

The 59th were landed in Table Bay just in time to take part in Sir David Baird's victory. Martyn went on shore the next day to do his best for the wounded; but they were mostly in hospital, and, being Dutch, he could do little for them. He found congenial spirits among the Dutch clergy in Cape Town, and spent a happy month there, but the latter part of his voyage was not more satisfactory than the first. The educated portion of the passengers continued to set their faces against him, treating him with increased contempt, and even turning into ridicule the farewell sermon, in which he took an affectionate leave of all who had sailed with him.

It may be that his manner was ill-judged, but it is a fearful thing to find that it was possible for so many Christian people to have been in daily contact with as true a saint as ever lived, and yet make him their mock! Perhaps some of his words, and far more his example, may have borne fruit in after years, such as he never knew of.

The whole voyage had lasted nearly ten months before entering the Hooghly. While ascending the stream, the lassitude produced by the climate was so great that Martyn's spirits sank under it: he thought he should "lead an idle, worthless life to no purpose. Exertion seemed like death; indeed, absolutely impossible." Yet at the least he could write, "Even if I should never see a native converted, God may design, by my patience and continuance, to encourage future missionaries."

This feeling of exhaustion was the prelude to a severe attack of fever, which assailed him almost immediately after his arrival; but happily not till he was safely lodged at Aldeen, in the kindly house of the Rev. David Brown, where he was nursed till his recovery. His friends wanted to keep him among the English at Calcutta, but his heart was set on ministering to the heathen, and the sights and sounds of idolatry that constantly met him increased his eagerness. He once rushed out at the sight of the flames of a Suttee, hoping to rescue the victim, but she had perished before he reached the spot.

His arrival was when the alarm about the meeting at Vellore was at its height, and when the colony at Serampore had been forbidden to preach or distribute tracts in Calcutta. He by no means agreed with all the Baptist doctrines, but he held in great esteem and reverence such men as Carey and Marshman, was glad to profit by their experience and instructions, and heartily sympathised in all their difficulties. Mr. Carey might well write, "A young clergyman, Mr. Martyn, is lately arrived, who is possessed with a truly missionary spirit." Together the Serampore missionaries, with Mr. Martyn, Mr. Corrie, and Mr. Brown, united in dedicating to the worship of God a heathen pagoda, which the last-mentioned had succeeded in purchasing from the natives. Altogether he was much cheered and refreshed. During the time that he waited at Aldeen he improved himself in Hindostanee, and began to study Sanscrit, and learnt the most approved method of dealing with the natives. Moreover, he found that his allowance as a chaplain was so liberal as amply to justify him in writing to urge Miss Grenfell to come out and join him; and, during the long period of sixteen or eighteen months before her refusal to do so reached him, he was full of the hope of receiving her.

His appointed station was Dinapore, where his primary duty was to minister to the English troops there posted, and to the families of the civilians; but he also hoped to establish native schools, to preach in their own language to the Hindoos, and to scatter translations of portions of Scripture, such as the Parables, among them.

He had to read prayers to the soldiers from the drum-head by way of desk; there were no seats, and he was desired to omit the sermon: but afterwards a room was provided, and then the families of the officers and residents began to attend, though at first they were much scandalized by his preaching extempore. In fact there was a good deal in his whole tone that startled old orthodoxy; and in the opposition with which he met at times, there was some lawful and just distrust of the onesidedness of his tenets, together with the ordinary hatred and dislike of darkness to light. So scrupulous was he in the Jewish force given by his party to the Fourth Commandment, that, having one Sunday conceived the plan of translating the Prayer-book into Hindostanee, he worked at it till he had reached the end of the Te Deum; and there, doubting whether it were a proper employment for the day, desisted until the Monday, to give himself up to prayer, singing hymns, Scripture-reading, and meditation. The immediate value of this work was for the poor native wives of the English soldiers, whom he found professing Christianity, but utterly ignorant; and to them every Sunday, after the official English service, he repeated the Liturgy in the vulgar tongue. In this holy work he was the pioneer, since Swartz's service was in Tamul. While working at his translations with his moonshee, or interpreter, a Mussulman, he had much opportunity for conversation and for study of the Mahometan arguments, so as to be very useful to himself; though he could not succeed in convincing the impracticable moonshee, who had all that self-satisfaction belonging to Mahometanism. "I told him that he ought to pray that God would teach him what the truth really is. He said he had no occasion to pray on this subject, as the word of God is express." With the Hindoos at Dinapore, he found, to his surprise, that there was apparently little disinclination to "become Feringees," as they called it, outwardly; but the difficulty lay in his insistance on Christian faith and obedience, instead of a mere external profession.

It was while he was at Dinapore that we first acquire anything like a distinct idea of Henry Martyn; for there a short halt of the 53rd Regiment brought him in contact with one who had an eye to observe, a heart to honour, and a pen to describe him; namely, Mrs. Sherwood, the wife of the paymaster, a woman of deeply religious sentiments and considerable powers as an author. Mutual friends had already prepared Mr. Martyn to expect to find like-minded companions in the Sherwoods, invited to stay with him for the few days of their sojourn at Dinapore. "Mr. Martyn's quarters," says that lady, "were in the smaller square—a church-like abode, with little furniture, the rooms wide and high, with many vast doorways, having their green jalousied doors, and long verandahs encompassing two sides of the quarters." So scanty, indeed, was the furniture, that, though he gave up his own bedroom, Mrs. Sherwood could not find a pillow, not only there, but in the whole house; and, with a severe pain in her face, could get nothing to lay her head on "but a bolster stuffed as hard as a pin-cushion."

She thus describes the first sight of her host:—"He was dressed in white, and looked very pale, which, however, was nothing singular in India; his hair, a light brown, was raised from his forehead, which was a remarkably fine one. His features were not regular, but the expression was so luminous, so intellectual, so affectionate, so beaming with Divine charity, that no one could have looked at his features and thought of their shape or form; the outbeaming of his soul would absorb the attention of every observer. There was a very decided air, too, of the gentleman about Mr. Martyn, and a perfection of manners which, from his extreme attention to all minute civilities, might seem almost inconsistent with the general bent of his thoughts to the most serious subjects. He was as remarkable for ease as for cheerfulness. He did not appear like one who felt the necessity of contending with the world and denying himself its delights, but, rather, as one who was unconscious of the existence of any attractions in the world, or of any delights which were worthy of his notice. When he relaxed from his labours in the presence of his friends, it was to play and laugh like an innocent child, more especially if children were present to play and laugh with him."

His labours were the incessant charge of the English, travelling often great distances to baptize, marry, or bury, together with constant teaching in the schools he had established both for the English and natives, attendance on the sick in the hospitals, and likewise private arguments with Mahometans and Hindoos. Public preachings in the streets and bazaars, like those of Swartz, Carey, and Ward, he does not seem to have attempted at this time; but his translations were his great and serious employment, and one that gave him much delight. His thorough classical education and scholarship fitted him for this in an unusual degree, and besides the Hindostanee version of the Prayer-book, the Persian—so much wanted in the Bombay Presidency—was committed to him; and an assistant was sent to him, whose history, disappointing as it is, cannot be omitted from the account of Indian missions.

Sabat was an Arab of the tribe of Koreish, the same which gave birth to Mahomet himself. He was born on the banks of the Euphrates, and educated in such learning as still lingered about the city of the Khalifs; but he left home early, and served in the Turkish army against the French at Acre. Afterwards he became a soldier in the Persian army, where he was several times wounded, and in consequence retired, and, wandering into Cabul, there rose to be a royal secretary.

He formed a close friendship with his colleague, Abdallah, likewise a Koreishite Arab, and very able and poetical. When the Wahabees, the straitest sect of the Mussulmans, seized Mecca, their chief wrote a letter to the King of Cabul, which was committed to Abdallah to translate into Persian. By way of a graceful compliment, he put his translation into Persian verse, and the reward he received was equally strange; namely, the gift of as many pearls as could be stuffed into his mouth at once. He was, however, observed to be unusually grave and thoughtful, and to frequent the house of an Armenian—of course a Christian: but as this person had a beautiful daughter, she was supposed to be the attraction, and no suspicion was excited by his request to retire into his own country.

Soon after Sabat was made prisoner by the Tartars of Bokhara, and, by appealing to the king, as a descendant of the prophet, obtained his release and promotion to high honour. While visiting the city of Bokhara, he recognized his old friend, Abdallah, and, perceiving that his beard was shaved off, examined him on the cause so closely that he was driven to confess that the Armenian had converted him to the Christian faith, and that he did not wish to be known. Hereditary Christians are tolerated by the Moslem, but converts are bitterly persecuted; and Sabat flew into a great rage, argued, threatened, and at last denounced his old friend to the Moollahs as a recreant from Islam.

Abdallah was arrested, and showed himself a true and faithful confessor and martyr. The Moollahs strove hard to make him recant. They demanded of him: "In the Gospel of Christ, is anything said of our Prophet?"—intending to extort that promise of the Comforter which Mahomet blasphemously applied to himself.

Abdallah's answer was: "Yea—Beware of false prophets which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves."

This brave reply was requited by blows on the mouth till the blood flowed, and Sabat thought of the day he had seen that same mouth filled with pearls. Abdallah was sent back to prison, and four days were allowed him in which to recant; after which he was brought out and set before an assembled multitude. Pardon was offered him if he would deny his Lord, and, on his refusal, his left hand was cut off. The look of deep sorrow and pity he gave the former friend who had betrayed him sunk deep into Sabat's heart. Again his life was offered, again he confessed himself a Christian, and finally his martyrdom was completed by cutting off his head.

This history Sabat told with feeling and earnestness, that convinced his hearers of its truth; and from this he did not vary, though his account of his own subsequent adventures varied so much that it was not possible at last to attach credence to anything he said of himself before he became expounder of Mohammedan Law in the Civil Court at Vizagapatam. At any rate Abdallah's look dwelt with him; he detected discrepancies in the Koran, and became anxious to study the Christian Scriptures. He obtained from Bombay a copy, first of the New Testament, then of the Old, and, having become convinced, he came to Madras, and demanded baptism from Dr. Ker, the British chaplain. After some probation, which made Sabat so impatient that he threatened that he should accuse the minister before God if he delayed, he was baptized by the name of Nathanael, and sent to Serampore as a person likely to be useful in the translations always in hand there.

He was delighted with the habits there prevailing, dismissed his attendants, dined at the common table, and altogether conformed himself to the spirit of the place. When it was decided to send him to Dinapore to assist Mr. Martyn in rendering the Bible into Persian, he took leave of Serampore with tears in his eyes. He was gladly welcomed by Mr. Martyn, and they worked together at the Gospel of St. Matthew, Sabat showing a scholar-like anxiety both for correctness and rhythm; but there was so much of the wild Arab about him that he was a continual anxiety. The Serampore missionaries thought him a grand, dignified figure. Mrs. Sherwood paints him much less pleasantly, and says he was exactly like the sign of the Saracen's head, with intensely flashing eyes, high nose, white teeth, and jet black eyebrows, moustache, and beard. His voice was like rolling thunder, his dress of gorgeous material and thoroughly Oriental, silk skull-cap, jacket, jewelled girdle, loose trousers, and embroidered shoes, and he had a free and haughty manner, according with his signature, when writing to a gentleman who had offended him—"Nathanael Sabat, an Arab, who never was in bondage."

In April 1809, Mr. Martyn was removed to the station at Cawnpore, where the Sherwoods were then residing. The time was one of the worst in the whole year for travelling across the sandy plains, with a wind blowing that made the air like "the mouth of an oven." For two days and two nights, between Allahabad and Cawnpore, Mr. Martyn travelled in his palanquin without intermission, and, having expected to arrive sooner, he had brought no provision for the last day. "I lay in my palanquin, faint, with a headache, neither awake nor asleep, between dead and alive, the wind blowing flames." When he arrived, Mr. Sherwood had only just time to lead him into the bungalow before he fainted away, and the hall being the least heated place, a couch was made ready for him there, where for some days he lay very ill; and the thermometer was never below 96 degrees, though the punkah never ceased.

As soon as he mended a little, he enjoyed talking over his Hebrew and Greek studies and his ethnological researches with his clever and eager hostess, who must have greatly refreshed his spirit. He delighted in music: his voice and ear were both excellent, and he taught her many hymns and their tunes. He also took much pleasure in a little orphan girl whom she was bringing up. At this time she herself was almost a childless mother, all her Indian-born infants having been victims to the climate; but a few months later Mr. Martyn christened her little daughter Lucy, a child of such gentle, gracious temper that he was wont to call her Serena. Mrs. Sherwood gives a pretty picture of this little creature, when about eighteen months old, creeping up to Mr. Martyn as he lay on a sofa with all his books about him, and perching herself on his Hebrew Lexicon, which he needed every moment, but would not touch so as to disturb her. The pale, white-clad pastor, and the child with silky hair, bare white feet and arms, and little muslin frock, looked equally innocent and pure.

Mr. Martyn's house at Cawnpore was at the end of an avenue of palms and aloes: there were two bungalows connected by a long passage, in one of which he himself lived, the other was given up to Sabat and his wife. The garden was prettily laid out with shrubs and tall trees, with a raised platform in the centre; and on one side was a whole colony, consisting not only of the usual number of servants allowed to a military chaplain, but of a host of pundits, moonshees, schoolmasters, and poor nominal Christians, who hung about him because there was no one else to give them a handful of rice for their daily maintenance.

Here Mrs. Sherwood describes a motley entertainment, at which she was the only lady. Her husband, in his scarlet and gold uniform, and Mr. Martyn, in his clerical black silk coat, were the only other English. The other European present was Padre Giulio Cesare, an Italian Franciscan, whom Mr. Martyn was obliged to receive when he came to minister to the numerous Irish Roman Catholics in the regiment. He wore a purple satin cassock, a cord of twisted silk, a rosary of costly stones, and a little skull-cap, and his languages were French with the Sherwoods, and Italian and Latin with Mr. Martyn. Sabat was there in his Arab dress; there was a thin, copper-coloured, half-caste gentleman in white nankeen, speaking only Bengalee; and a Hindoo in full costume, speaking only his native tongue: so that no two of the party were in similar costume, seven languages were employed, and moreover the three Orientals viewed it as good breeding to shout at the very top of their voices.

Unluckily, too, Mr. Martyn in his politeness suddenly recollected that Mrs. Sherwood had expressed a liking for certain mutton patties, and ordered them to be brought, in a bachelor's entire oblivion whether any mutton was procurable otherwise than by killing a sheep: and the delay forced the guests to continue to sit on the platform in the dark, with the voices and languages making too great a Babel for the night-enjoyment sometimes so valued, when Mr. Martyn would show Mrs. Sherwood our own Pole Star just above the horizon, or watch the new moon "looking like a ball of ebony in a silver cup." At last the patties were ready, and Mr. Martyn handed Mrs. Sherwood to a seat by him at the top of the table, while Sabat perched himself cross-legged upon a chair at the bottom.

The good chaplain's simplicity seems to have been a great amusement to the Sherwoods. Late one evening he quietly observed, "The coolie does not come with my money: I was thinking this morning how rich I should be, and now I should not wonder in the least if he has run off and taken my treasure with him." Thereupon it turned out that, not having drawn his pay for some time, he had sent a note to the collector at Cawnpore, asking that the amount should be forwarded by the bearer, a common coolie. It was all paid in silver, tied up in cotton bags, and no one expected that he would ever see it; however, the coolie arrived safely with it a little later. Another time, when each household had ordered a pineapple cheese, it was observed that the fissures in the two were marvellously similar; and at last it was discovered that the servants, though paid for two cheeses, made one do duty for both, appearing in turn at the two tables, which was the easier as Mr. Martyn supped on limes and other fruits, and only produced his cheese when the Sherwoods came to supper. He heeded little but his immediate thoughts, and, when he drove out in his gig, went on with his disquisitions on language and pronunciation, utterly unheeding what his horse was about.

The hope of having Lydia with him to brighten his life and aid his labours had by this time passed away. She had some entanglement which prevented her from coming out to India, and his disappointment was most acute. His letters urging her to come out to him are so strong, and full of such anguish, that it is hard to understand that the person who could withstand them could have been the admirable woman Miss Grenfell is described to have been in after-life—unless, indeed, Martyn did not appreciate the claims at home to which she yielded. "Why do things go so well with them and so hardly with me?" was a thought that would come into his mind at the weddings where he officiated as priest. Meantime he had established native schools, choosing a master, usually a Mussulman, and giving him an anna a head for each boy whom he obtained as a scholar in reading and writing. Mr. Martyn supplied books, and these were translations of Scripture history, of the Parables, and the like, through which he hoped to lay a foundation for distinctive teaching. Here is Mrs. Sherwood's description of the Cawnpore school, then in a long shed by the side of the cavalry lines:—

"The master sat at one end like a tailor on the dusty floor, and along under the shed sat the scholars, a pack of little urchins with no other clothes on than a skull-cap and a piece of cloth round their loins. These little ones squatted, like their master, in the sand: they had wooden imitations of slates in their hands, on which, having first written their lessons with chalk, they recited them a pleine gorge, as the French would say, being sure to raise their voices on the approach of any European or native of note. Now Cawnpore is one of the most dusty places in the world; the Sepoy lines are the most dusty part of Cawnpore; and as the little urchins are always well greased either with cocoa-nut oil, or, in failure thereof, with rancid mustard oil, whenever there was the slightest breath of air they always looked as if they had been powdered all over with brown powder. Who that has ever heard it, can forget the sounds of the various notes with which these little people intonated their 'Aleph, Zubbin ah, Zair a, Paiche oh,' as they moved backwards and forwards in their recitations? Who can forget the self-importance of the schoolmaster, who was generally a grey-bearded, dry, old man, who had no other means of proving his superiority to the scholars than by making more noise than even they could?"

{i:Henry Martyn's first endeavour at native preaching: p1.jpg}

In the winter of 1809, Mr. Martyn made his first endeavour at native preaching. The Yogis and Fakers, devotees and vagrants, haunted the station, and every Sunday evening he opened the gates of his garden, admitted all who were collected by the assurance of the distribution of a pice a head; and standing on his platform, read to them some simple verse of Scripture, and then endeavoured to make them believe there is a pure Almighty Universal Father. A frightful crowd: they were often five hundred in number. "No dreams," says Mrs. Sherwood, "in the delirium of a raging fever, could surpass the realities" of their appearance; "clothed with abominable rags, or nearly without clothes, or plastered with mud and cow-dung, or with long matted locks streaming down to their heels; every countenance foul and frightful with evil passions; the lips black with tobacco, or crimson with henna. One man, who came in a cart drawn by a bullock, was so bloated as to look like an enormous frog; another had kept an arm above his head with his hand clenched till the nail had come out at the back of his hand; and one very tall man had all his bones marked on his dark skin with white chalk, like the figure of grim Death himself." The assemblage, in contrast with the pure, innocent, pale face and white dress of the preacher who addressed them, must have been like some of Gustave Dore's illustrations.

These addresses were jealously watched by the British authorities, and were often interrupted by the howls and threatenings of his loathsome congregation; while, moreover, pulmonary complaint, the enemy of his family, began to manifest itself, so that the physicians insisted on his trying the effect of cessation from work, a sea-voyage, and a visit to England. On this plan he had at first fixed. He enters in his journal a happy dream of a walk with Lydia, and, waking, the recollection of the 16,000 miles between them; but in the meantime he heard from the critics at Calcutta, that his translation of the Gospels into Persian, done with the assistance of Sabat, was too full of Arabic idioms, and in language not simple enough for its purpose; and he therefore made up his mind to spend his leave of absence in making his way through Persia and part of Arabia, so as to improve himself in the languages, and submit his translation to more trustworthy scholars. Mr. Brown, on hearing of his plan, consented in these remarkable terms: "Can I then bring myself to cut the string and let you go? I confess I could not if your bodily frame were strong, and promised to last for half a century. But as you burn with the intenseness and rapid blaze of phosphorus, why should we not make the most of you? Your flame may last as long, and perhaps longer, in Arabia than in India. Where should the phoenix build her odoriferous nest but in the land prophetically called the 'blessed'? And where shall we ever expect but from that country the true Comforter to come to the nations of the East?"

In September, therefore, Henry Martyn made ready to set forth, and to take leave of his congregation of beggars. He had baptized one poor old Hindoo woman, and she seemed to him to be the only fruit of his toils; but though the exhortation, at the end of all his labours of the Sunday, cost him severe pain and exhaustion, he had constantly persisted, often beginning in a low feeble tone, but gradually rising in fervour to the full power of his musical voice; then himself going among the disgusting throng to distribute their petty bribe for attendance, and often falling afterwards, faint and speechless, on a sofa.

He knew not that one seed, cast on these turbid waters, had found good soil, and was springing up. Sheik Salah was the son of a pundit at Delhi, and was well-learned in Persian and Arabic. When a youth he had become moonshee to two English gentlemen then living at Lucknow, and while in their service converted a Hindoo fellow-servant from his idolatry to Islam. Elated with his success, he gave himself such airs that his English masters reproved him; and he left them in displeasure, vowing never to serve a Feringhee again. However, being in the pay of a Mahratta chief, he was sent in company with a Mahometan envoy who had undertaken to murder a rival of his master, and having lulled his victim into security by an oath on the Koran that no treachery was intended, decoyed him into his tent, and there stabbed him.

Sheik Salah was a deeply conscientious man, and not only did he leave the Mahratta service, lest some such horrible act should be required of him, but he conceived a certain distrust of his own faith, which, though it condemns such deeds, had not hindered them. While in search of employment, he came to Cawnpore, and there, one fine evening, he sat with some other young Mussulmans, in a summer-house on the garden wall that bounded Mr. Martyn's garden, enjoying their hookahs and sherbet, and amusing themselves with what they called the "foolishness" of the Feringhee Padre, who was discoursing to the throng of hateful looking beggars below. By and by, anxious to hear more, they came down, entered the garden, and stood in a row before the front of the bungalow; their arms folded, their turbans placed jauntily on one side, and their countenances expressive of the utmost contempt.

But the words that Sheik Salah caught were sinking deep. They were of the intense purity and holiness of God and of His laws, and of the need of His power to attain to the keeping of them, as well as of His Sacrifice to atone for man's sinfulness. Sheik Salah could not rest without hearing more, and becoming determined to obtain employment at Cawnpore, he undertook to copy Persian manuscripts for Sabat, and was lodged by him in one of the numerous huts in Mr. Martyn's compound. He was a well-educated, graceful man, exceedingly handsome, looking like a hero of the Old Testament; and probably Sabat was afraid of a rival, for he never mentioned to Mr. Martyn the stranger who, Sunday after Sunday, listened to his preaching, and no doubt would have as thankfully profited by his individual teaching as he would have joyfully given it.

Sabat was at this time a great trial to Mr. Martyn, who in the flush of enthusiasm had let him be put too forward at first, and found the wild man of the desert far too strong for him. Sometimes, when they differed about a word in the translation, Sabat would contend so violently for a whole morning that poor Mr. Martyn, when unable to bear it any longer, would order his palanquin and be carried over to the Sherwoods to escape from the intolerable brawling shout. What Sabat could be was plain from the story of his wife Amina; his seventh, as he told his friends. When he was trying to convert her, she asked his views upon the future lot of those who remained Mahometans, and, when he consigned them to the state of condemnation, she quietly replied that she greatly preferred hell without Sabat's company to heaven with him. The poor man was no doubt in great measure sincere, but his probation had been insufficient, and his wild Ishmaelitish nature, so far from being overcome, gained in pride and violence through the enthusiasm that was felt for him as a convert. Once, in a fit of indignation, he wrote a Persian letter, full of abuse of Mr. Martyn, to a friend in the service of the English resident at Lucknow. By him it was carried to his master, who, wishing to show Mr. Martyn the real character of his favourite convert, sent him the letter. Instead of looking into it, Mr. Martyn summoned Sabat, and bade him read it aloud to him. For once the Arab was overpowered; he cowered before his calm master and entreated his pardon, and when Mr. Martyn put the letter into his hands, assuring him that he had not read it, he was really touched, and showed sorrow for his violence.

On the last Sunday of September 1810, Mr. Martyn took leave of Cawnpore. It was also the Sunday of the installation as chaplain of his dearest friend, the Reverend Daniel Corrie, and of the opening of a church which his exertions had prevailed to raise, whereas all former services had been in his own long verandah. The first sound of the bell most deeply affected those who had scarcely heard one since they had left their native country. That church has given place to the beautiful building which commemorates the horrors of 1857; but the name of Henry Martyn ought never to be forgotten at Cawnpore, if only as the priest to whom it was granted first to give thanks that, in his own words, "a temple of God was erected and a door opened for the service of the Almighty in a place where, from the foundation of the world, the tabernacle of the true God had never stood."

After returning from church he sank, nearly fainting, on a sofa in the hall; but, as soon as he revived, begged his friends to sing to him. The hymn was—

"O God, our help in ages past, Our hope in years to come, Our shelter from the stormy blast, And our eternal home."

After the early dinner and afternoon rest, on a sickly, hazy, burning evening, he preached for the last time to his beggars; came away fainting, and as he lay on his sofa told his friends that he did not believe that he had ever made the slightest impression on one of his audience there.

He knew not that Sheik Salah's heart had been touched, and so deeply that he sought further instruction. As to Sabat, his later career was piteous. He fell back into Mahometanism, and, after some years of a wandering life, took service with the Mussulman chief of Acheen in Sumatra, where, having given some offence, he was barbarously hacked to pieces and thrown into the sea. Such bitter disappointments occur in missionary life; and how should we wonder, since the like befel even St. Paul and St. John?

On the 1st of October, 1810, Mr. Martyn embarked on the Ganges, and on the last day of the month arrived at Mr. Brown's house at Aldeen. He was then much the stronger for the long rest to his voice and chest, but his friends thought him greatly changed and enfeebled, and he could not even hold a conversation without bringing on painful symptoms. Nevertheless, he preached every Sunday but one at Calcutta until the 7th of January, 1811, when he took his last leave of his Anglo-Indian friends, and set forth on his journey to lands almost entirely strange even to his countrymen, in the hope of rendering the Scriptures available for the study of the numerous Hindoos and Mahometans who understood Persian better than any other literary language. He went forth, in broken health, and not only without a companion, but without even an attendant, and for his further history we have only his own journals and letters to depend upon. He went by sea to Bombay with a captain who had been a pupil of Swartz, and whose narratives delighted him much, and afterwards obtained a passage in an English ship which was to cruise in the Persian Gulf against Arab pirates. Here he was allowed to have public prayers every evening, and on the 22nd of May was landed at Bushire, where he was lodged in the house of an English merchant with an Armenian wife.

The time for a journey to Persia was so far favourable that the Shah, Fath' Ali, who had succeeded to the throne in 1794, owed England much gratitude for having interfered to check the progress of Russian conquest upon his northern frontier. After Persia had long been closed from foreign intercourse by the jealous and cruel Shah, Aga Mohammed, Fath' Ali, a comparatively enlightened prince in the prime of life, willingly entertained envoys and travellers from European courts, and Sir Gore Ouseley was resident at Shiraz as British Ambassador. Yet it was not considered safe for a Frank to travel through Persia without an Oriental dress, and, accordingly, Martyn had to provide himself with the tall conical cap of black Tartar lambskin, baggy blue trousers, red boots, and a chintz coat, allowing his beard and moustache to grow, and eating rice by handfuls from the general dish. Meantime he was hospitably entertained, the Armenian ladies came in a body to kiss his hand, and the priest placed him beside the altar in church, and incensed him four times over, for which he was not grateful on being told "it was for the honour of our order."

An English officer joined company with him, and a muleteer undertook their transport to Shiraz. It was a terrible journey up the parching mountain paths of Persia, where Alexander's army had suffered so much, with the sun glaring down upon them, never, in that rainless belt around the Persian Gulf, tempered by a cloud. They travelled only by night, and encamped by day, sometimes without a tree to spread their tents under. The only mode of existing was to wrap the head in a wet cloth, and the body in all the heavy clothing to be had, to prevent the waste of moisture; but even thus Martyn says his state was "a fire within my head, my skin like a cinder, the pulse violent." The thermometer rose to 126 degrees in the middle of the day, and came down to about 100 degrees in the evening. When exhausted with fever and sleeplessness, but unable to touch food, it was needful to mount, and, in a half-dead state of sleepiness, be carried by the sure-footed mountain pony up steep ascents, and along the verge of giddy precipices, with a general dreamy sense that it was magnificent scenery for any one who was in a bodily condition to admire it.

Swift clear streams and emerald valleys began to refresh the travellers as they rose into the higher land above the arid region; and, after one twenty-four hours' halt in a sort of summer-house, where Henry Martyn was too ill to move till he had had a few hours of sleep, they safely arrived at the mountain-city of Shiraz, where he was kindly received by Jaffier Ali Khan, a Persian gentleman to whom he had brought letters of introduction.

Persia, as is well known, has a peculiar intellectual character of its own. Descended from the Indo-European stock, and preserved from total enervation by their mountain air, the inhabitants have, even under Islam, retained much of the vivacity, fire, and poetry inherent in the Aryan nature. Their taste for beauty, especially in form and colour, has always been exquisite; their delight in gardens, in music, and poetry has had a certain refinement, and with many terrible faults—in especial falsehood and cruelty, the absence of the Turkish stolidity, the Arab wildness, and the Hindoo pride and indolence—has always made them an attractive people. Their Mahommedanism, too, is of a different form from that of the Arab and Turk. Theirs is the schismatical sect of Ali, which is less rigid, and affords more scope for the intellect and fancy, and it has thrown off a curious body called the Soofees, a sort of philosophers in relation to Islam. The name may be either really taken from the Greek Sophos, wise, or else comes from the Persian Soof, purity. The Soofees profess to be continually in search of truth, and seem, for the most part, to rest upon a general belief in an all-pervading Creator, with a spirit diffused through all His works. Like their (apparent) namesakes of old, they revel in argument, and delight to tell or to hear some new thing.

Thus, Jaffier Ali Khan, who belonged to this sect, made the English padre welcome; and his brother, Seid Ali, whose title of Mirza shows him to have been a Scribe, undertook to assist in the translation, while Moollahs and students delighted to come and hold discussions with him; and very vain and unprofitable logomachies he found them, whether with Soofee, Mahometan, or Jew. But the life, on the whole, was interesting, since he was fulfilling his most important object of providing a trustworthy and classical version of the Scriptures, such as might adequately express their meaning, and convey a sense of their beauty of language and force of expression to the scholarly and fastidious Oriental.

He made friends in the suite of the Ambassador, Sir Gore Ouseley, whose house he ministered on Sunday, and he was presented by him to the heir to the throne, Prince Abbas Mirza. He had, by way of Court dress, to wear a pair of red cloth stockings and high-heeled shoes, and was marched up through the great court of the palace, where a hundred fountains began to play the moment the Ambassador entered. The Prince sat on the ground in his hall of audience, and all his visitors sat in a line with their hats on, but he conversed with no one but the Ambassador, looking so gentle and amiable that Mr. Martyn could hardly believe that the tyrannical acts reported of him could be true.

In the summer heat, Jaffier Ali pitched a tent for him in a garden outside the walls of Shiraz, where he worked with much enjoyment, "living among clusters of grapes, by the side of a clear stream," and sitting under the shade of an orange-tree. From thence he made an expedition to see the ruins of Persepolis, greatly to the perplexity of his escort, who, after repeatedly telling him that the place was uninhabited, concluded that he had come thither to drink brandy in secret!

On the New Year's Day of 1812 Martyn wrote in his journal: "The present year will probably be a perilous one, but my life is of little consequence, whether I live to finish the Persian New Testament, or do not. I look back with pity and shame on my former self, and on the importance I then attached to my life and labours. The more I see of my own works, the more I am ashamed of them. Coarseness and clumsiness mar all the works of men. I am sick when I look at man, and his wisdom, and his doings, and am relieved only by reflecting that we have a city whose builder and maker is God. The least of His works is refreshing to look at. A dried leaf or a straw makes me feel myself in good company. Complacency and admiration take the place of disgust."

On the 24th of February he finished his Persian New Testament, and in six weeks more his translation of the Psalms. His residence in Persia had lasted just a year, and, though direct missionary work had not been possible to him there, he had certainly inspired his coadjutor, Mirza Seid Ali, with a much higher morality and with something very like faith. On one of the last days before his leaving Shiraz, Seid Ali said seriously, "Though a man had no other religious society, I suppose he might, with the aid of the Bible, live alone with God." It was to this solitude that Martyn left him, not attempting apparently to induce him to give up anything for the sake of embracing Christianity. Death would probably have been the consequence of joining the Armenian Church in Persia, but why did Martyn's teaching stop at inward faith instead of insisting on outward confession, the test fixed by the Saviour Himself?

On the 24th of May, Mr. Martyn and another English clergyman set out to lay his translation before the Shah, who was in his camp at Tebriz. There they were admitted to the presence of the Vizier, before whom two Moollahs, the most ignorant and discourteous whom he had met in Persia, were set to argue with the English priest. The Vizier mingled in the discussion, which ended thus: "You had better say God is God, and Mahomet is His prophet." "God is God," repeated Henry Martyn, "and JESUS is the Son of God."

"He is neither born nor begets," cried the Moollahs; and one said, "What will you say when your tongue is burnt out for blasphemy?"

He had offended against the Mohammedan doctrine most strictly held; and, knowing this well, he had kept back the confession of the core of the true faith till to withhold it longer would have been a denial of his Lord. After all, he was not allowed to see the Shah without the Ambassador to present him, and descended again to Sultania—a painful journey, from which he brought a severe ague and fever, through which he was nursed by Sir Gore and Lady Ouseley.

As soon as he had recovered, he decided on making his way to Constantinople, and thence to England, where he hoped to recruit his health and, it might be, induce Lydia to accompany him back to India. His last letter to her was written from Tebriz on the 28th of August, dreading illness on the journey, but still full of hope. In that letter, too, he alludes to Sabat as the greatest tormentor he had known, but warns her against mentioning to others that this "star of the East," as Claudius Buchanan had called him, had been a disappointment. His diary is carried on as far as Tocat. The last entry is on the 6th of October. It closes thus: "Oh! when shall time give place to eternity? When shall appear that new heaven and earth wherein dwelleth righteousness? There, there shall in nowise enter in anything that defileth; none of that wickedness which has made men worse than wild beasts, none of those corruptions which add still more to the miseries of mortality, shall be seen or heard of any more."

No more is known of Henry Martyn save that he died at Tocat on the 16th of that same October of 1812, without a European near. It is not even known whether his death were caused by fever, or by the plague, which was raging at the place. He died a pilgrim's solitary death, and lies in an unknown grave in a heathen land.

What fruit has his mission zeal left? It has left one of the soul-stirring examples that have raised up other labourers. It has left the Persian Bible for the blessing of all to whom that language is familiar. It left, for the time, a strong interest in Christianity in Shiraz. It left in India many English quickened to a sense of religion; and it assuredly left Sheik Salah a true convert. Baptized afterwards by the name of Abdul Messeh, or Servant of the Messiah, he became the teacher of no less than thirty-nine Hindoos whom he brought to Holy Baptism. Such were the reapings in Paradise that Henry Martyn has won from his thirty-one years' life and his seeming failure.


The English subjects and allies in India had hitherto owed their scanty lessons in Christianity to Germans or Danes, and the first of our own countrymen who attempted the work among them was, to the shame of our Government be it spoken, a volunteer from among the humblest classes, of no more education than falls to the lot of the child of a village schoolmaster and parish clerk.

In 1761, when Schwartz was just beginning to make his way in Tanjore, William Carey was born in the village of Paulerspury, in Northamptonshire. He showed himself a diligent scholar in his father's little school, and had even picked up some Latin before, at fourteen years old, he was apprenticed to a shoemaker at the neighbouring village of Hackleton. Still he had an earnest taste for study; and, falling in with a commentary on the New Testament full of Greek words, he copied them all out, and carried them for explanation to a man living in his native village, who had thrown away a classical education by his dissipated habits.

The young shoemaker, thus struggling on to instruct himself, fell under the notice of Thomas Scott, the author of the Commentary on the Bible, and it was from him that Carey first received any strong religious impressions. Scott was a Baptist; and young Carey, who had grown up in the days of the deadness of the Church, was naturally led to his teacher's sect, and began to preach at eighteen years of age. He always looked back with humiliation to the inexperienced performances of his untried zeal at that time of life; but he was doing his best to study, working hard at grammar, and every morning reading his portion of the Scripture for the day in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, as well as English. Well might Mr. Scott say, as he looked at the little cobbler's shop, "That was Mr. Carey's college;" for all this time he was working at his trade, and, on his master's death, took the business, and married the daughter of the house before he was twenty.

It was an unlucky marriage, for she was a dull, ignorant woman, with no feeling for her husband's high aims or superior powers, and the business was not a flourishing one; but he never manifested anything but warm affection and tenderness towards this very uncompanionable person, and perhaps, like most men of low station and unusual intellect, had no idea that more could be expected of a wife.

Perhaps, in spite of his kindness, Mrs. Carey had to endure the disasters common to the wives of struggling great men: for William Carey's shoes were not equal to his sermons, and his congregation were too poor even to raise means to clothe him decently. His time was spent in long tramps to sell shoes he had made and to obtain the mending of others, and, meantime, he was constantly suffering from fever and ague.

In 1786, when in his twenty-fifth year, he obtained a little Baptist chapel and the goodwill of a school at Moulton; but as a minister he only received 16l. per annum, and at the same time proved, as many have done before him, that aptness to learn does not imply aptness to teach. He could not keep order, and his boys first played tricks with him and then deserted, till he came nearly to starvation, and had to return to his last and his leather.

Yet it was the geography lessons of this poor little school that first found the way to the true chord of Carey's soul. Those broad tracts of heathenism that struck his eye in the map, and the summary of nations and numbers professing false religions, were to a mind like his no mere items of information to be driven into dull brains, but were terrible realities representing souls perishing for lack of knowledge. Cook's Voyages fell into his hands and fed the growing impulse. He hung up in his shop a large map, composed of several sheets pasted together, and gazed at it when at his work, writing against each country whatever information he had been able to collect as to the number of the inhabitants, their religion, government, or habits, also as to the climate and natural history.

After he had for some time thus dwelt on the great longing of his heart, he ventured on speaking it forth at a meeting of ministers at Northampton, when there was a request that some topic might be named for discussion. Carey then modestly rose and proposed "the duty of Christians to attempt the spread of the Gospel among the heathen." The words were like a shock. The senior, who acted as president, sprang up in displeasure, and shouted out, "Young man, sit down! When God pleases to convert the heathen, He will do it without your aid or mine." And another, namely Mr. Fuller, who afterwards became the sheet anchor of the Missions, describes himself as having thought of the words of the noble at Jezreel, "If the Lord should make windows in heaven, might such a thing be?"

Silenced by his brethren, Carey persevered, and proceeded to write what he had not been allowed to speak. A Birmingham tradesman of the name of Pott, an opulent man, was induced by his earnestness to begin a subscription for the publication of Carey's pamphlet, which showed wonderful acquaintance with the state of the countries it mentioned, and manifested talent of a remarkable order. In truth, Carey had been endowed with that peculiar missionary gift, facility for languages. A friend gave him a large folio in Dutch, and was amazed by his returning shortly after with a translation into English of one of the sermons which the book contained.

He was becoming more known, and an invitation from a congregation at Leicester, in 1789, placed him in somewhat more comfortable circumstances, and brought him into contact with persons better able to enter into his views; but it was three years more before he could either publish his pamphlet or take the very first steps towards the establishment of a Society for Promoting the Conversion of the Heathen.

The first endeavour to collect a subscription resulted in 13l. 2s. 6d. This was at Kettering, and at the same time Carey offered to embark for any country the Society might appoint. The committee, however, waited to collect more means, but they found it almost impossible to awaken people's minds. At Birmingham, indeed, 70l. was collected, but in London the dissenting pastors would have nothing to do with the cause; and the only minister of any denomination who showed any sympathy was the Rev. John Newton, that giant of his day, who had in his youth been captain of a slaver, and well knew what were the dark places of the earth. The objections made at that time were perfectly astounding. In the General Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland, several Presbyterian ministers pronounced it to be "highly preposterous" to attempt to spread the Gospel among barbarous nations, extolled the "simple virtues" of the untutored savage, and even declared that the funds of Missionary Societies might be turned against Government.

In India itself, the endeavours of the Danish settlement at Tranquebar had little affected Bengal, but a few of the more religious men at Calcutta had begun to be shocked at the utter oblivion of all Christian faith and morality by their own countrymen, and the absolute favour shown to the grossest idolatry of the heathen. Charles Grant, a member of the Board of Trade at Calcutta, was the foremost of these, and on his return to England brought the subject under the notice of that great champion of Christ, William Wilberforce. The charter of the East India Company was renewed from time to time; and when it was brought before Parliament, Wilberforce proposed the insertion of clauses enforcing the maintenance of chaplains, churches, and schools, so that a branch of the Church might take root in Hindostan.

This scheme, however, excited violent and selfish alarm in the directors, chiefly men who had made their fortunes in India, and after living there for years under no restraint were come home to enjoy their riches. They believed that the natives would take umbrage at the least interference with their religion, and that their own wealth and power, so highly prized, would be lost if idolatry were not merely tolerated, but flattered and supported. The souls of men and the honour of God were nothing to them; they were furious with indignation, and procured from the House of Commons the omission of the clauses. There was another hope in the Lords; but though Archbishop Moore and the Bishop of London spoke in favour of the articles, the Bishop of St. David's said one nation had no right to impose its faith on another. None of the other Bishops stirred, and the charter passed without one line towards keeping Englishmen Christians, or making Hindoos such! The lethargy of the Church of the eighteenth century was so heavy that not only had such a son as Carey been allowed to turn from her pale in search of earnest religion, but while she was forced to employ foreigners, bred up in the Lutheran communion, as the chaplains and missionaries of her Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, he was going forth unaccredited as a volunteer in the cause which her paralysed efforts could not support!

For it was to India that the minds of the little Baptist Society were turned by the return of one John Thomas, who seems to have been the Gaultier Sans Avoir of this crusade. He was Baptist by education, and having gone out as a surgeon to Calcutta, had been so shocked at the state of things as to begin to preach on his own account, but he was a hot tempered, imprudent man, and quarrelled with everybody, so as to make the cause still more unpopular with the East Indians. Yet this strange, wild character had a wonderful power of awakening enthusiasm. He had come home in the same ship with one Wilson, whose history was a marvel in itself. He had been made prisoner by the French during the Carnatic war, and finding that the captives were to be delivered up to Hyder Ali, he resolved to escape, leapt forty feet from his prison window, and swam the river Coleroon, in happy ignorance that it was infested with alligators; but then going up an eminence to judge of his bearings, he was seen, secured, and stripped naked, and, with his hands tied behind him, was driven before Hyder Ali. His account of having crossed the Coleroon was treated as a lie. "No mortal man," said the natives, "had ever swum the river; did he but dip a finger in, he would be seized by the alligators," but when evidence proved the fact, the Nabob held up his hands and cried, "This is the man of God." Nevertheless Wilson was chained to a soldier, and, like the well-known David Baird, John Lindsay, and many others, was driven naked, barefoot, and wounded, 500 miles to Seringapatam; where, loaded with irons of thirty-two pounds weight, and chained in couples, they were thrust into a "black hole," and fed so scantily that Wilson declared that at sight of food his jaws snapped together of themselves. Many a time in the morning corpses were unchained, and the survivors coupled up together again. Wilson was one of the thirty-one who lived to be released after twenty-two months, in a frightful state of exhaustion and disease. Afterwards, when commanding a ship at Bencoolen, every European under his command died, and he alone escaped, yet all this time he was an absolute infidel; and, when having made a fortune, he was returning home, he appeared so utterly hardened against all the arguments that the zealous Thomas could bring in favour of Christianity, as to make him in despair remark to the chief officer that he should have more hope of converting the Lascar sailors than of Captain Wilson.

However, the words were penetrating the hitherto ignorant or obdurate heart, and preparing it to attend to further instruction. After some years of comfort at home, on hearing of plans for a mission to the South Sea Islands, Wilson resolved to offer himself as a free and spontaneous fellow-worker, ready to sacrifice his whole self in the great cause!

Meantime Thomas's fervid account of the needs of India had made the infant Society propose to send him out with one colleague; and William Carey, now thirty-three years of age, offered himself as a fellow-worker.

The notion was terrible to Mrs. Carey, who flatly refused to go; but her husband decided on leaving her at home, and only taking his eldest boy, then about ten or eleven years old. An application was made to the Board of Directors for a licence to the two missionaries to preach, and for a passage in one of the Company's vessels; but when Mr. Grant learnt that Thomas was one of them, he refused to assist in promoting their request, though he undertook to do what he could for Carey alone. However, the Board were certain to refuse them a passage; not because they were unordained or dissenters, but simply because they wished to be Christian teachers. A captain with whom Thomas had sailed as surgeon, offered to smuggle them over without permission; but while his ship was preparing, they had to wait in the Isle of Wight, and Thomas was continually in danger of being arrested by his creditors, and was constantly obliged to hide himself, till Carey became ashamed of such an associate. At last, just as they were on board, with 250l. paid for their passage, and the goods in which the money for their support had been invested, the captain received a letter warning him that an information was about to be laid against him at the India House for taking out people without permission. Not only missionaries, but Europeans of any kind, not in the public service, were forbidden to set foot on the Company's territories without special licence, and the danger was so great that the captain set them ashore at once; and poor Carey beheld with tears the Indian fleet sailing from Portsmouth without him.

However, by vigorous exertion, Thomas found that a Danish ship would be lying in the Downs, on her way to the East Indies, and that a passage in her would cost 100l. for a full-grown person and 50l. for a child. Posting down to Northamptonshire, Carey made a desperate effort to persuade his wife to come with him, and succeeded at last, on condition that her sister, Miss Old, should come too. There were now five children, and the passage-money for the whole party amounted to 600l., of which their utmost efforts, including the sale of all the little property the Careys possessed, could only raise half.

Thomas, who really had a generous spirit, then arranged that the whole party should be squeezed into two cabins, and that Mr. and Mrs. Carey alone should be treated as first-class passengers. They were taken on these terms; but the captain, an Englishman, naturalized in Denmark, gave Mr. Thomas and Miss Old each a cabin, made them dine at his own table, and treated them all most kindly.

Thus they safely arrived at Calcutta; but this was only the beginning of troubles. The goods, the sale of which was intended to maintain the mission, were entrusted to Thomas, and realized next to nothing; and Carey was indebted to the goodwill of a rich Hindoo for a miserable house in an unhealthy suburb of Calcutta, where he lodged his unfortunate family. They had a great deal of illness, and he was able to do little but study the language and endeavour to translate the Bible into Bengalee. Several moves made their state rather worse than better, until, in 1795, a gentleman in the Civil Service, Mr. George Udney, offered Carey the superintendence of an indigo factory of his own at Mudnabutty, where he hoped both to obtain a maintenance, and to have great opportunities of teaching the natives in his employment.

Disaster as usual followed him: the spot was unhealthy, the family had fevers, one of the children died, and the mother lost her reason from grief, so that she had to be kept under restraint for the rest of her life. Nor was Carey a better indigo-planter than a shoe-maker; the profits of the factory dwindled, and the buildings fell into ruin; the seasons were bad, and in three years Mr. Udney found himself obliged to give up the speculation; but in the meantime, though Carey had not been able to produce much effect on the natives, he had completed the preparation of the implement to which he most trusted for his work, a translation of the New Testament; and, moreover, had been presented by good Mr. Udney with a wooden printing-press with Bengalee type. The wonderful-looking thing was set up in one of the side rooms at the factory, and was supposed by the natives to be the idol of the Europeans!

In the meantime he opened a school, and preached to the natives in all the villages round, but without making much, if any, impression; indeed he was so disheartened, that he did not even teach his own children. The chief benefit of his residence in India was at present the example he set, and the letters he sent home, which bore in on the minds of others the necessities of their brethren in the East, and brought aid in subscriptions and, what was still more needed, men.

In 1799, four members of the Baptist communion offered themselves to go out as missionaries to India, and two of these were men who left most important traces behind them: William Ward, who had been a printer and editor of a newspaper at Derby, and had seen Mr. Carey before his going out to India, and Joshua Marshman. This latter was the person who, above all others, gave the struggling mission the strength, consistency, and prudence which it wanted. The descendant of an old Puritan officer on the one side, and of Huguenot refugees on the other, he was brought up in strict Baptist principles by his father, who was one of the cloth weavers then inhabiting Wiltshire in great numbers. As a child, he was passionately fond of reading, and his huge appetite for books and great memory made him a wonder in his village. A London bookseller, who was visiting the place, heard of this clever lad, and took him into his shop as an errand boy; but Joshua found that his concern was more with the outside of books than the inside, and came home, at the end of five months, to his father's loom.

He was a steady lad, with no passions save for reading and quiet heartfelt religion; but though he had never been guilty of any serious fault, the Baptist body to which his family belonged considered he had too much "head-knowledge" of Christianity to have much "heart-knowledge" of its truths; and for that reason only, and their distrust and contempt of human learning, refused to admit him to baptism.

However, this was no obstacle either to his marrying the daughter of a minister of his own persuasion, or taking the mastership of a school at Bristol, where he found less narrow-minded co-religionists, and was baptized by them in 1734, when twenty-six years of age. He was a successful schoolmaster, and was likewise able to join the classes at Bristol Academy, where he studied thoroughly Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and Syriac. His circumstances were prosperous and rapidly improving when, after five years of great comfort at Bristol, his mind became so imbued with the sense of the need that some one should assist Carey, that he offered himself, together with Ward and two other young men, one of whom he had recently brought back to Christianity from Tom Paine's infidel doctrines. Again his "human learning" stood in his way. The honest, ignorant men who were working so earnestly, fancied it connected with Pharisaism, and had little idea that the Brahmin philosophy was as hard to deal with as the Greek. They accepted him, but with hesitation, and a passage for the whole party, including wives and children, was taken in an American vessel.

Mr. Charles Grant advised them not to attempt to land at Calcutta, where they would probably be at once arrested and sent home again, but to land at the Danish colony of Serampore, and there wait for an opportunity of joining Carey at Mudnabutty.

Serampore is on the Hooghly, sixteen miles above Calcutta, and here they found themselves on the 13th of October, 1799, in a town pleasantly situated, beautiful to look at, and full of a mixed population of Danes, Dutch, English, and natives of all hues. They were preparing to set forth for Mudnabutty when, on the fifth day after their arrival, they were informed that the British Government demanded that they should be immediately re-embarked and sent home again, whilst a local English paper, having never heard of Baptists, concluded that the word was a mistake for Papists, and announced the arrival of four Popish priests, emissaries of Buonaparte. The Danish governor, Colonel Bie, was resolved to stand his ground and not deliver them up; but they were prevented from setting foot upon the Company's territory, and the unwholesome, damp, little house that they were obliged to take while waiting at Serampore proved fatal to one of their number, the young man whom Marshman had rescued from infidelity, who died of chill and fever before his inexperienced associates were aware of his danger.

Another difficulty in the way of joining Carey and assisting in the printing of his translations, was that papers which were thought dangerous to the British power had lately been issued, and the Marquis Wellesley, who was then in the midst of his great war with Tippoo Sahib, was resolved not to allow any printing to be carried on except in Calcutta, where it could be under the eye of his officials. However, he had no objection to the establishment of mission, school, or press on the Danish ground, and Colonel Bie was only desirous to keep them there; so it was decided to send Ward alone, with a Danish passport, to visit Carey at Mudnabutty, and confer with him upon his removal to Serampore, and the establishment of a mission settlement there.

All doubt was removed, while this consultation was in progress, by finding that the jealous Anglo-Indians were prepared to arrest any missionary whom they caught upon their ground; and Carey's five years' covenant as an indigo planter being now run out, his supposed idol was taken down and packed up, and his four boys and poor insane wife removed to Serampore, where all their present capital was laid out in the purchase of a piece of ground and the construction of the habitations of the little colony. The expenses were to be defrayed from a common stock, each missionary in turn superintending the domestic arrangements for a month, all the household dining together at one table, and only a small allowance being made to each head of a family for pocket money.

Six families were here united, and only 200l. was left to support them for the six months until remittances could be obtained from England; but all were used to cottage fare, and were not so dependent on servants as most Europeans in India. A piece of land attached to the house became, under Mr. Carey's care, a beautiful botanic garden. The press was set up under the care of Ward, and on the 18th of March, 1800, the first sheets of the Gospels in Bengalee were struck off. Mr. and Mrs. Marshman opened two boarding schools for European children for the maintenance of the mission, and their great ability in tuition rendered these so profitable as to become its main support. This was soon followed by another school for the natives, to which they eagerly thronged.

Meanwhile the missionaries went out, singly or in pairs, into the streets or the neighbourhood of the heathen temples, and attracted a crowd by singing hymns in Bengalee, and then preached to them, offering to receive any inquiries at the mission-house. Carey's time was almost entirely taken up in hearing and answering these questions; but, as usual, the ties of family, society, and custom almost always proved too strong to be broken through even by the conviction of the truth of Christianity. Ram- bosoo, Mr. Carey's first Hindoo friend, was like Serfojee, ready to do anything on behalf of Christianity except to embrace it openly himself.

Mr. Thomas had meantime engaged himself as superintendent of a sugar factory at Beerbhoom, whence he came to visit his brethren at Serampore, bringing with him one of his workmen named Fukier, whom he believed that he had converted. The man gave so good an account of his faith that the missionaries deemed him fit for baptism, and rejoiced in him as the first- fruits of seven years' labour; but he went home to take leave of his friends, and either they prevailed on him to give up his intention, or privately murdered him, for he never was heard of again.

However, a carpenter of Serampore named Krishnu, who had been brought into the mission-house with a dislocated arm for Mr. Thomas to set, was so struck by what he heard there that he, with his wife and daughter and his brother Goluk, were all willing to give up their caste and be baptized.

There was much, however, to render the joy of this day far from being unmixed. Poor John Thomas, after his seventeen years of effort, fitful, indeed, but sincere, was so overjoyed at this confession of faith that he became frantic, and in three days was raving violently. Meanwhile, the native mob, infuriated by hearing that Krishnu and Goluk had renounced their caste, rose to the number of two thousand, and dragged them to the magistrate, but found nothing to accuse them of. The magistrate released them, but they were brought back immediately after, on the plea that the person to whom Krishnu's daughter had been betrothed had a claim upon her. This, however, the authorities disallowed, and they even gave the missionaries a guard to secure them from any interruption during the rite of Baptism, which, by the customs of their sect, was necessarily in public, and by immersion; but there was serious consultation whether it were fit to use the Ganges, so superstitiously adored by the natives, for the purpose. Some argued that the Hindoos might think that the sacredness of Gunga was thus recognized, others that they would consider that the Christians had defiled it, and it was finally resolved to use it like any other stream. In the meantime, Goluk and the two women had been so much terrified that they would not come forward; and on the day of the baptism, Sunday, the 26th of December, 1800, the only two candidates were Krishnu and Felix Carey, the missionary's own eldest son. William Carey walked from the chapel to the ghat, or steps leading to the river, with his son on one side and the Hindoo on the other; but the court they had to pass resounded with the frightful imprecations of poor Mr. Thomas in one room, echoed by screams from Mrs. Carey in the other.

At the ghat the Danish governor himself, together with several of his countrymen, some Englishmen, a large body of Portuguese, and a throng of natives, Hindoo and Mahometan, were waiting, and before all these the baptism was performed by Mr. Carey. All were silent as if overawed, and Colonel Bie even shed tears.

The next day there was not a scholar in the native school, but the love of learning soon filled it again. Even down till quite recently, when the bands of attachment to the old heathenism have become much loosened, every open conversion continued to empty the schools, though never for long at a time.

The women soon recovered from their alarm and were baptized, and the mission also gained over an influential Portuguese gentleman named Fernandez, whom their tenets led them to view as in as much need of conversion as the heathen. He proved an active assistant, and for full thirty years laboured in their cause.

In the meantime Lord Wellesley had been engaged in founding the college at Fort William, Calcutta, for the training of young Europeans for the civil service in the knowledge of the numerous native tongues, laws, and customs with which they had to deal—and which are as various as they are important—not only practically, but philosophically. The only person at that time in Bengal qualified to teach the Bengalese language was the Northamptonshire cobbler, who had acquired it for the love of God and the spread of Gospel light!

His dissent was a disqualification for any of the higher offices of the college, but the teachership was offered to him, with a salary of 500 rupees a month—absolute affluence compared with his original condition. Yet he would not accept the post unless he were allowed still to be regarded as a missionary. No objection was made, and thus by his talent and usefulness had Carey forced from the Government which had forbidden him to set foot on their territories his recognition in the character he had always claimed. Even his private secular earnings he never regarded as his own: this income, and that arising from Marshman's school, these good men viewed as rendering their mission from henceforth independent, and setting free the Society at home to support fresh ones. Already the accounts they sent home were stirring up many more subscribers, and the commendations bestowed on them in the periodical accounts pained their humility. Ward wrote that it was like a public show: "Very fine missionaries to be seen here! Walk in, brethren and sisters, walk in!"

It was happy for the missionaries that their ground had thus been won, for the war with Denmark occasioned Serampore to be occupied by British troops early in 1801, and this would, earlier in their career, infallibly have led to their expulsion: but, as it was, they were allowed to proceed exactly as they had done before.

Their most serious difficulties were at an end before poor Thomas, though he had recovered from his brain fever, died of an attack of fever and ague, after having done almost an equal amount of good and harm to his cause by his excitable nature and entire want of balance. Converts continued from time to time to be gathered in: Goluk took courage after waiting about two years, and a Brahmin named Krishnu-prisad trampled on his brahminical cord or poita, and was baptized. He was allowed to wear it as a mark of distinction, but he gave it up voluntarily after three years. Moreover he broke through Indian prejudice by marrying the daughter of Krishnu, the first convert, though of a caste far inferior to his own. This was the occasion of a happy little wedding feast, given under a tree in front of the house of the bride's father, when a hymn composed by Krishnu was sung, and native dishes served up in Eastern style, after which the entertainment concluded with prayer. Only the next week, in contrast to the devotion that blessed these family ties, three Hindoo widows were burnt on a pile not far from the mission-house!

In still greater contrast was the first funeral among the converts of the mission-house—that of a man named Gokool. The native custom is that the dead are always carried to burial by persons of their own caste, and it is intense defilement for one of another caste to touch the body. Christians were always carried by the lowest class of the Portuguese, who had fallen into so degraded a state that they were usually known by their own word for poor, "pobre," and were despised by the whole population. They were generally drunk and disorderly, and their rudeness, irreverence, and quarrels were a scandal to the solemn occasion. Mr. Marshman, who was in charge of the mission at the time in Mr. Carey's absence, had some difficulty in persuading the Hindoo converts that it was no shame, but a charitable work, to bear a brother's body to its last resting-place, even though they were seen doing the work of the despised pobres. Accordingly he resolved to set the example, and the corpse of the convert, within a coffin covered with white muslin, was carried to the burial-ground by Marshman, Felix Carey, a baptized Brahmin, and a baptized Hindoo, all the procession singing a Bengalee Christian hymn.

The most remarkable events that befell the Serampore Mission from this time were either domestic, or related to their connection with the College at Fort William, and the sanction they received from Government. Lord Wellesley went home in 1805, Colonel Bie died the same year, and these were most serious losses to the cause of the Serampore mission. Lord Wellesley had followed his own judgment, and carried things with a high hand, often against the will of the East India Company, and there was a strong desire to reverse his policy. His successor, Lord Cornwallis, died two months after landing, and Sir George Barlow, who carried on the government in the interregnum, though a good man, had not force enough to withstand the dislike of the Anglo-Indians to the mission. Mr. Ward made an attempt at Calcutta to preach in Hindoo in a chapel, the ground of which had been purchased by the missionaries, but as he walked through the streets the people shouted, "That's the Hindoo padre; why dost thou destroy the caste of the people?" And when, two Sundays later, a preacher of Brahmin birth appeared, there were loud cries of indignation. "O vagabond," cried one man, "why didst thou not come to my house? I would have given thee a handful of rice rather than that thou shouldst have become a Feringhee!" In spite of these cries, however, the chapel was thronged, until, after the third Sunday, when an order came forth from the magistrates, forbidding the missionaries either to preach, allow their converts to preach, distribute tracts, or even argue with the natives—or in anyway "interfere with their prejudices"—in Calcutta; and two new missionaries, named Chater and Robinson, who had come out without a licence, were prohibited from proceeding to Serampore.

Considering that these orders emanated only from a Provisional Government during an interregnum, and that there was every hope that they might be reversed by the next Governor-General, the missionaries resolved to submit to them for the time, and to abstain from working in Calcutta. Early in the year 1806, however, the animosity of the English East Indians was increased by a mutiny that broke out among the Sepoys at Vellore, in the Madras Presidency, in consequence of some regulations as to their dress, which they resented as being supposed to assimilate them to Europeans. The English colonel and all his garrison were massacred, and, though the mutineers were surrounded and destroyed, great alarm prevailed. The discontent of the Sepoys was attributed to their displeasure at the spread of Christianity, and it was even averred that the lives of the English in India could only be preserved by the recall of all the missionaries!

At Calcutta, Sir George Barlow sent to forbid Mr. Carey and his colleagues from making any further attempts at conversion, and for a short time they were entirely restricted to the Danish territory, while Chater and Robinson were ordered to embark for England, and were only kept by their appeal to the flag of Denmark.

Upon this Mr. Chater proceeded to Rangoon, an independent province, but on the whole the current of opposition was diminishing. Lord Wellesley and Mr. Pitt had prevailed upon Government not to permit the College at Fort William to be broken up, though it was reduced and remodelled. Mr. Carey was a gainer by the change, for he was promoted to a professorship, with an increase of salary, which he said was "very good for the mission." He soon after received the diploma of a Doctor of Divinity from an American University.

The head-quarters of the establishment continued to be at Serampore, where the missionaries and their families still lived in common, supported upon the proceeds of Mr. Carey's professorship, Mr. Marshman's school, and likewise the subscriptions received from England. Here were their chapel, their schools, and their printing-press, from whence emanated such books and tracts in Bengalee as could be useful for their purpose, and likewise their great work, the translation of the Scriptures, which Marshman and Carey were continually revising and improving as their knowledge of the language became more critical. Thence Mr. Carey went to give instruction at Fort William, and thence the preachers, as the opposition relaxed, went forth on expeditions into the country to teach, argue, and persuade, without any very wide-spread success, but still every year gaining a few converts—sometimes as many as twenty—who, when they had given sufficient evidence of faith, were always publicly baptized by immersion, according to the custom of the sect, which indeed acknowledged no other form as valid, and re-baptized such members of other communions as joined them. Every missionary to the East Indies, whether belonging to their own society or not, was certain to visit and hold council with them, as the veterans of the Christian army in India, and the men most experienced in the character and language of the natives; they were the prime leaders and authorities in all that concerned the various vernacular translations of the Scriptures, and their example was as a trumpet-call to others to follow them in their labours; while all the time the simplicity, humility, self-denial, and activity of the men themselves remained unspoiled.

Wonderful, too, had been the effect produced by the stirring of the sluggish waters of indifference. The Society that had been with such difficulty established at home, was numbering multitudes of subscribers both in England and America; it had awakened a like spirit in other sects, and whereas no dissenting minister in London had at first taken up Carey's cause, it had become a scandal for a minister not to subscribe to or promote missions to the heathen. Missionary reports were everywhere distributed, young men aspired to the work, and American Universities did honour to the ability and scholarship of the pioneers of Serampore.

Mrs. Carey died on the 7th of December, 1807, having spent twelve years in a state of constant melancholy and often raving insanity. Poor woman! she was from the first a victim to her husband's aspirations, which she never understood. There is something piteous in the cobbler's daughter marrying the apprentice to keep on the business, and finding him a genius and a hero on her hands, starving, being laughed at, and at last carried off to a strange land and fatal climate, all without the least comprehension or sympathy for the cause, and her mind failing before the material prosperity came, which she might have regarded as compensation.

In 1807, when some progress had been made, the grant for the translation of the Scriptures was withdrawn; but the superintendents resolved to persevere on their own account, and at the same time to collect all the information in their power respecting the Christians in India, so as to be able to rouse the cold hearts at home to the perception that a real work was in progress. For this purpose, Dr. Claudius Buchanan, the Provost of the College at Fort William, made an expedition of inquiry among the various Christians, and his little book, "Christian Researches," brought much before the public at home, of which they had hitherto been ignorant.

Before his time the enormities of the worship of Jaghernauth, and the horrors of the car, beneath which human victims threw themselves, had hardly been realized; and his very effective style of writing brought into full prominence the atrocities of the Suttee, or burning of widows on the funeral pile, a custom with which it was supposed to be impossible to interfere, but which has been proved to be entirely a corrupt practice, unsanctioned by any ancient law, only encouraged by the Brahmins out of avarice. Happily the present generation only knows of these atrocities as almost proverbial expressions, but when the century came in they were in full force.

It was Buchanan, too, who first revealed to the English the existence of those Nestorian Christians of St. Thomas, on the coast of Malabar, who had probably had no ecclesiastical intercourse with this country since the embassy of King Alfred, nine hundred years before. He also brought into public notice the effect of Swartz's labours, by describing a visit that he made to Tanjore, where he had a most kind reception from Serfojee, and greatly admired the numerous charitable foundations of that beneficent Rajah. He also heard the services held in three languages in Swartz's church, and was greatly struck, when the Tamul sermon began, by hearing a universal scratching and grating all round him. This was caused, he found, by the iron pens upon the palmyra leaves upon which most of the native congregation were taking notes, writing nearly as fast as the minister spoke. He also heard Sattianadem—now a white-haired old man—preach on the "Marvellous Light," and he felt that a great man had verily left his impress on these districts.

Carey's second marriage was curiously different from his first. It was to a lady named Charlotte Rumohr, of noble extraction, belonging to a family of high rank, in the duchy of Schleswig. She was small and slightly deformed, but of good abilities; she had been highly educated, and being generally a prisoner on a couch, she had read deeply in many languages. She had come out to India in search of a warm climate, and residing at Serampore, had fallen under the influence of the missionaries, and had some years previously been admitted to their congregation by immersion. For the first time, Dr. Carey now enjoyed a really happy home, with a lady equal to conversing with him after the labours of the day.

But this mission, though subsisting for some years longer, hardly affords many more events. It was not without troubles. At times came friendly support; at others, opposition from the authorities—the committee at home were sometimes ignorantly meddlesome, sometimes sordid in their fits of economy; insufficiently tested fellow-labourers came out and failed; promising converts fell away; the climate was one steady unrelaxing foe, which took victims out of every family: but all these things were as the dust of the highway, trials common to man, and only incident to the very position that had been so wondrously achieved, since the day when the poor Baptist cobbler was so peremptorily silenced for but venturing to hint at the duty of converting the heathen.

Lord Hastings' government was far more friendly than any previous one, and the few notable events that befell the community are quickly numbered. In 1821, they were visited by Swartz's pupil, Serfojee, who was staying with the Governor-General, Lord Hastings, on his way to Benares, whither, strange and sad to say, he was on pilgrimage, though all the time showing full intellectual understanding of, and warm external affection for, the Christian faith. He talked English easily, and showed much interest in all that was going on, but a heathen he still remained.

This visit only preceded by a few weeks the death of Mrs. Carey, after thirteen years' marriage, the happiest of Dr. Carey's life; but in another year he married a widow of forty-five, who was ready to nurse his now declining years. That year 1822 was a year of much sorrow; the cholera, said to have first appeared in 1817, became very virulent. The Hindoos viewed it as a visitation from the goddess of destruction, and held services to propitiate it, and when that had passed away, a more than usually fatal form of fever set in. Krishnu-pal, the first convert, who had for twenty years been a consistent Christian, was one of the first to be taken away. Dr. Carey himself, though exceedingly ill, recovered his former state of health, and continued his arduous labours, he being by this time the ablest philologist in India; but the little band had come to the time of life when "the clouds return after the rain," and in 1823 Mr. Ward died of cholera. For twenty-three years had the threefold cord between Carey, Marshman, and Ward, been unbroken. They had lived together like brothers, alike in aim and purposes, each supplying what the other lacked; and the distress of the parting was terrible, especially to Dr. Marshman, who at the time of his friend's illness was suffering from an attack of deafness, temporary indeed, but for some days total, so that he could only watch the final struggle without hearing a single word.

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