Page images

testimony of eye witnesses. At Serampore, Calcutta, Cutwa, and many other places, there are Christian societies, consisting of more than one hundred members each, of converts from the Mahommedan and Brahminacal faith; and though prejudice would say, that they are taken from the refuse of the people; yet we know that some of them have been from the higher ranks of life. Krishnoo-Prisad was the first Brahmin who was baptized in Bengal; he lived only a few years after he embraced the Christian faith, when he died full of hope of a blessed immortality. Ramnshun, a Brahmin of the highest cast, has renounced the superstition of his country, and embraced Christianity. When a Pagan, he set fire to the pile in which his living mother was consumed to ashes; but now he has devoted himself to a nobler cause, and is a most able and persuasive preacher of the Gospel. Allow me to take the following fact from a recent publication:*- A Bramhun recently baptized had, while a heathen, taken a vow of perpetual silence, and had kept this vow for four years, residing during this time, at the celebrated temple of Kalee, near Calcutta. He was held in such reverence, that when he passed through the streets of Calcutta, the rich Hindoos hurried down from their houses, and threw themselves at his feet, to worship him as a deity. He wore several necklaces made of the bones of serpents, and his whole appearance was that of a being who had changed the human state and form. Let us look at this man for a moment: he possesses all the pride arising from his descent from the highest order in his country, and from the homage he receives from the adoring crowd. How sunk in all the brutality of the jogee! How intoxicated with the fumes of an imagination, which sees deity in every thing, and every thing in deity, and with the idea by which he identifies himself with God! How shall the Christian Missionary obtain access to this man, who has retired to this celebrated sanctuary, and who has in fact, renounced all human intercourse? And how shall one ray of light enter such a mind,—a mind stript of all the attributes connected with choice, or even with thought? Must not we pronounce this man's case absolutely desolate; and that he is, in the very worst sense

* See Mr. Ward's Farewell Letters.

[ocr errors]

of the apostolic declaration, without hope? And yet my venerable colleague, Dr. Carey, writes me, that this man, through a Christian tract, in the Bengalee language, which some how or other was introduced into his solitude, has given up his rank, the worship of his countrymen, and all his nostrums, and is become a humble Christian, receiving Christian baptism. After such conquests, who shall despair of India, or of Africa, or of the North American wanderer? It was not without design then, that, connected with the command to preach the Gospel to every creature, our Lord used these memorable words, ‹ All power is given unto me in heaven and upon earth.'



"Now, Sir, these instances of conversion are published in India, where they have occurred, so that if they are not true, the enemies of Missions have a fair opportunity to injure the reputation of the Missionaries, by exposing them. But do they deny these facts?-No. What do they prove?-that Christianity, when attended by the power of God, triumphs with as much ease over the idolatry of Hindostan, as over that of Otaheite; and is in every part of the world extending its influence, and increasing the number of its friends. In fact,' to quote the language of Mr. Ward, a moral revolution more grand and important has taken place in British India, within the last twenty years, than is, perhaps, to be found in all the annals of the church, the apostolic times excepted. And still it spreads: the translations are daily advancing; education is extending its operations in the most rapid manner, and converts from these heathens are almost daily added to the Christian church; and these converts bring their books and their gods, and cast them to the moles and to the bats, and renounce their covenant with death. Christian villages composed wholly of native converts have been contemplated; and every thing indicates the approach of a vast change in the appearance of this spiritual desert; a change full of promise to all the teeming millions of Asia.'”

See Mr. Ward's Farewell Letters.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][subsumed]

"The first few days were spent in fruitless efforts to obtain some situation,-his few shillings were expended,-the shadows of another gloomy night were stretching themselves over him, when he sat down on some stone steps, in front of a gentleman's house, to rest himself. While he sat there ruminating over the past scenes of his juvenile life, pleasing himself with the hope of seeing brighter and better days, a gentleman in a gig drove up to the door, and, as he was getting out, Henry rose and held the reins of the horse's bridle.' Page 3.




"I have remarked to you in conversation, the effect of what has been called a RULING PASSION. When its object is noble, and an enlightened understanding directs its movements, it appears to me a great felicity; but whether its object be noble or not, it infallibly creates, where it exists in great force, that active and ardent constancy, which I describe as a capital feature of the decisive character. The subject of such a commanding passion, wonders, if indeed he were at leisure to wonder, at the persons who pretend to attach importance to an object which they make none but the most languid efforts to secure. The utmost powers of the man are constrained into the service of the favourite CAUSE by his passion, which sweeps away, as it advances, all the trivial objections and little opposing motives, and seems almost to open a way through impossibilities. This spirit comes on him in the morning as soon as he recovers his consciousness, and commands and impels him through the day with a power from which he could not emancipate himself if he would. When the force of habit is added, the determination becomes invincible, and seems to assume rank with the great laws of nature, making it nearly as certain that such a man will persist in his course, as that in the morning the sun will rise."

Foster. 3

in the

MR. HOLMES was the second son of a very respectable farmer, who rented a small estate at Ycounty of WWhen a little boy he was very inquisitive, fond of mixing with his seniors and superiors, from whom he gained much information; and though there was no good school in the neighbourhood, yet by the assistance of the kind and amiable Clergyman, who was the Vicar of the parish, he acquired the rudiments of a useful education. That leisure time which other children usually devote to play, he gave to reading; and before he was fourteen, he was a very good accountant. He happened, when about nine years old, to read the popular story of Whittington and his Cat, and such was the deep and powerful impression it made on his mind, that it became the perpetual subject of his conversation; and he would often amuse the other members of his family with some visionary tales of his future eminence. He would often say to his brothers, "I will leave you to feed cows, and pigs, and horses, and turn up the clods of the field, but when I am a man, I will go to London, and see if I cannot become as great a man as Whittington." So completely had this

passion gained an ascendancy over him, that he would often walk the distance of a mile and a half to see the mail coach pass along the road towards the far-famed city; and after listening to the sound of the horn, with an extacy of delight, which no other notes could equal, he would return home to talk and to dream of his future adventures.

When about the age of fifteen his father died, lea ving a large family unprovided for, and as Henry could not consent to remain any longer at home, his mother gave him a guinea and a few shillings, and he set off to seek his fortune. His youthful ardour kindled into rapture when he first saw the dome of St. Paul's towering at a distance; and though he would occasionally shed the tributary tear of affection at the remembrance of the living, and of the dead of his own native village, yet he was so absorbed in the visions of his own creative fancy, that he was rarely depressed. The first few days were spent in fruitless efforts to obtain some situation-his few shillings were expended-the shadows of another gloomy night were stretching themselves over him, when he sat down on some stone steps, in front of a gentleman's house to rest himself. While he sat there ruminating over the past scenes of his juvenile lifepleasing himself with the hope of seeing brighter and better days, a gentleman in a gig drove up to the door, and as he was getting out Henry rose and held the reins of the horse's bridle. The quickness of his movements, and his fine ruddy countenance, which usually wore a most fascinating smile, attracted the notice of Mr. Lucas, who asked him his name and the place of his residence. "My name, Sir, is Henry Holmes," he replied, "I was born at Y- in the county of Wmy father was a farmer, and he is just dead, and as I did not like to stay at home to be a burden to my mother, who has a large family to bring up, I left home last Monday, to see if I could get a place in London, and if you will hire me, Sir, I will try to please you." This simple tale, told in the most artless style, made its way to the heart of Mr. Lucas, who said, "How long have you been in London ?" "Three days, Sir, but I have not been able to get any work." "Have you any money?" "Yes, Sir, I have a guinca which Mother


« PreviousContinue »