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yet there are a few who can gaze upon it in the distance, and reflect some of its glory as it streams upon them from the inaccessible heights.
If we cannot place the author of the work before us in the first class of writers-if we are of opinion that with greater labor he could have produced a far more valuable book, more homogeneous as to the arrangement and cohesion of the parts, and therefore more symmetrical as a whole-we cheerfully concede to him the merit of proposing and aiming at the noblest end that the intellectual powers of man can be employed to accomplish, and of executing the task in a manner creditable to his talents, and not unworthy of the good name previously acquired by his numerous productions. His design throughout is to exhibit the moral dignity of the missionary enterprise as displayed in the character of the first Protestant missionaries to China ; and as that vast and multitudinous empire opens the widest and most important field for its perfect development, operation, and expansion. In carrying forward this grand object in the narratives, the inquiries, and discussions of which the work consists, Mr. Philip now and then flashes upon us with an original thought; sometimes, indeed, he is too flippant and oracular to please either our literary or moral taste, and occasionally the egotism that does not sneak into notice, but boldly challenges admiration, is truly amusing. Still his earnestness, his devout sincerity, win upon the heart; whatever are the faults of the writer, warmed by his missionary ardor for the moment we forget them all.
Dr. Milne and his devoted wife--devoted in every sense which can confer honor upon the woman and the Christianare the principal subjects of the volume. Milne was taken from the sheep-cote; not the genius of his native land, but the divine spirit of Christianity, cast her mantle over him, and the humble shepherd-boy by a series of providential events, was at length admitted as a student into the missionary seminary at Gosport, under the care of the Rev. Dr. Bogue; a name the letters of which we cannot trace without shedding the tear of affection and gratitude over his memory. He was an apostolic man. He was the preceptor and the father of his pupils; and then he was no changeling-if once your friend, it was your own fault if he was not your friend for life. Dr. Bogue was not long in discovering the rare combination of talents and virtues in his pupil from the far north, and he at once marked him out as the coadjutor of Morrison in conducting the Chinese mission. Of Morrison we need not speak in this place; he was a man of iron nerves—of indomitable perseverance. He delighted in labor, and the rich monuments of his unrivalled
industry which he has left in his works, will immortalize him as soon as the millennium begins to dawn upon
the nations. Of his associate Dr. Morrison remarks, His decision of character rendered him an eminently devoted missionary. Considering the disadvantages he labored under from the 'want of an early literary education, what he effected was • astonishing.'
At the missionary college Milne was indefatigable in his application to the studies more particularly adapted to his future destination; and at the same time he kept alive in his heart the ardor of missionary zeal. His piety was felt by all who conversed with him ; thus he addressed a few lines to a German lady who went out to Mr. Albrecht's station in Africa in the year
1810: Seek thy happiness in God, and the burning sands will smile around thee, keep thine eye fixed on the glory set before thee, and thy mind will be lively in thy work, and increase in self-denial, and thus rise superior to difficulties. • Think often on the incarnation, atonement, intercession, and reign of Christ; this will make thy faith strong, thy holiness abound, and the heathen very dear to thee.'
On the 4th of September, 1812, Mr. and Mrs. Milne sailed from Portsmouth to the Cape of Good Hope; on the 4th of June, 1813, they arrived safely at Macao, and were most cordially welcomed by Mr. and Mrs. Morrison. The study of the Chinese character, as he had opportunities of viewing it, as well as the study of the language, occupied his time during the voyage, and thus prepared him for pursuing the same objects with greater facility on his arrival; and Dr. Morrison said of him to the Bible Society, when he sent home an account of his death, Few have made such rapid progress in a comprehension of the opinions of the Chinese, which he studied assiduously, for the purpose of conveying the truths of "the gospel to their understandings and hearts.'
His Questions relative to the Religion and Manners of the Chinese,' show the inquisitive and discriminating power of his mind even at that early period; his "Estimates of Chinese
Character,' after several years close observation of the people, is an invaluable document, and deserves the serious perusal of all who contemplate the advancement of the religion of Christ in that singular country. While acquiring the Chinese language, which he mastered in a good degree so as to enable him to think in it and to translate several books of the Scriptures into it, he says somewhat quaintly, but it reveals a trait of his character, and shows the man, “To acquire the Chinese is a work 'for men with bodies of brass, lungs of steel, heads of oak, hands of spring-steel, eyes of eagles, hearts of apostles, memories of
angels, and lives of Methuselah! Still I make a little progress. I hope if not to be master, yet to gain as much as will 'suit the purposes of a missionary. Every sentence gained I ' value at the rate of a dollar ; so that should I gain 10,000, I shall not consider myself poor.' MS. 1814.
The Portuguese Romish priests could not endure the near residence of a Protestant missionary at Macao. Dr. Morrison it was not in their power to remove, he was not only a missionary, but he was also a functionary of the East India Company. But Mr. Milne was compelled to depart almost as soon as he arrived. The governor deeming it prudent to listen to the * voice of the church. Of this interruption of his studies poor Milne naturally enough complains, but in the spirit of Christian meekness. 'I accordingly left Macao on the 29th of July • (Mrs. Milne being allowed to remain with our friends), and went in a small boat to Canton, where I remained the ensuing season; enjoying that hospitality among the heathen which ' had been denied in a Christian colony! Not having been * long from my native country, and having generally met with • kindness in the colonies which we passed on our way out, I
no doubt felt more at being driven from Macao, than a person 'who had seen more of strange countries, and passed through
more of the varieties of life would have done.' We must refer to the narrative itself for an account of Mr. Milne's visit to Java. His principal object in this was, “as the New Testament and several tracts were finished, to find some convenient place where they might be printed, and that he might go through • the chief Chinese settlements in the Malay Archipelago, and • circulate them as widely as possible.'
The Joint Labors of Dr. Morrison and Mr. Milne in China merit a distinct notice much longer than it is convenient for us to afford them. These consisted chiefly of translations, though Dr. Morrison, during his colleague's absence, published a small tract containing a general outline of the Old Testament history. A duodecimo edition of the New Testament was projected and proceeded with, and the Chinese Dictionary was considerably advanced. During the time Mr. Milne remained at Canton, he composed a treatise on the life of Christ in Chinese, which was printed there in February, 1815. It was now that he entered upon the Malacca mission, and as Dr. Morrison's engagements with his Chinese Dictionary did not admit of his undivided attention to translation, it was 'resolved that Mr. Milne should engage in translating some parts of the Old Testament, thus
uniting the labors of both till the whole version be completed.' The reader is surprised with the variety of Mr. Milne's engagements while residing at Malacca, and wonders how he contrived under so many discouragements to achieve so much.
Two new tracts,' Mr. Milne modestly states, without any reference to himself as their author,' were written and printed
in Chinese this year; one called “The Strait Gate,' the other ""The Sin of Lying.'
A translation of the Book of Deuteronomy, undertaken at Mr. Morrison's suggestion, was completed at Malacca in July. Year after year we find this good man indefatigable in his work, as if he knew that his labors were soon to close. In the spring of 1817, we read of his adding to his pursuits the superintendence of a quarterly periodical published at Malacca under the title of The Indo-Chinese Cleaner,
containing various intelligence from China and the neighbor'ing countries; miscellaneous notices relative to the history, philosophy, and literature of the Indo-Chinese nations; accounts of the progress of christian missions in India ; and of the state of christianity in general.'
In the same year Mr. Milne departed for a season to China, partly to recruit his own health, and to rejoin his afflicted wife, who had gone there a little before, but chiefly to carry on the laborious task of translation. Previous to his visit to China he had published a translation of the Book of Joshua, and while there he translated the Book of Judges. An exposition of the Lord's Prayer, begun by weekly lectures at a small temple at Macao, was filled
and finished there; and a tract on the Folly of ldolatry' written, both of which have been since printed. Various opportunities offered for the distribution of tracts
, and of the holy Scriptures, on the borders of that country, for whose numerous inhabitants they are chiefly intended; but in doing anything there the utmost caution and reserve were necessary. When we remember that all this occupied little more than the space of four months, who does not regard with admiration the man who in his simplicity adds to the account, 'Very 'little else of a missionary nature was done, the object of the visit being health, and not labor ?
Mr. and Mrs. Milne returned to Malacca with invigorated strength, in the February of the next year; the former having imposed upon himself a new task, that of uniting with his other employments (enough to fill an angel's hands ') the translation of the historical books from Ruth forward to the Book of Psalms ; intending with his colleague, on the completion of the whole Scriptures, to meet again at the close of the year to revise and publish them in what should then appear to be the most convenient form. In the March of the following year, 1819, Mr. Milne was called to sustain the heaviest affliction of his life,--this was the death of Mrs. Milne, under peculiarly affecting circumstances. In both the Christian triumphed. She died as she had lived, in humble hope of eternal salvation through the merit of Him to whom she had consecrated herself
in early youth; he bowed to the stroke without murmuring ; though his heart bled, he acknowledged and adored the hand that smote him. His own memoir of this excellent woman is deeply interesting, and to it we refer our readers; but the following short letters we cannot withhold. They are both addressed to Dr. Morrison.
Malacca, June 25, 1819. • Dear Robert, • I feel myself exceedingly solitary at times. O that I could live more in the enjoyment of divine consolations. Last night I was at Rachel's grave, over which the grass begins to grow. I will send you a lock of her hair, and some token of remembrance both for yourself and Mary. Grace and peace be with you.
Yours faithfully, R. Morrison, D.D.
Macao, September 19, 1819. • Dear Robert, • I am at a great loss how to do about my dear Amelia. I doubt not but she will be sent for next year either to Bengal, London, or Aberdeen. She is so affectionate a child that I hardly think I should be able to part with her. She often says, looking at my head, Papa is now old—I must stop and take care of papa. I papa now, I no mamma- I love papa— William, and Robert, and Farquhar too-no Mamma-stop, I grow large, and I then their mamma.' You will excuse a fond father, Robert, for thus relating sayings of a beloved child. • R. Morrison, D.D.
• W. M.' As a trait of character, and as a proof of the noble missionary spirit by which Mrs. Milne was actuated, the following is not uninteresting. She used to say to her husband, and a more affectionate couple never lived," However dearly I love your
company, I should be sorry to keep you from your duty. I 6
cannot render you much assistance; but I will try not to « hinder you. I should be grieved to think that you spent an • hour with me, while I am in health, which should be spent in your studies and labors.' 'In her private papers she particularly took notice of two very important eras in the Chinese ' mission : first, the completion of the New Testament in Chi
nese; second, the baptism of the first Chinese convert. To ' have seen these two things she thought an ample reward for 'having left her relations and country, and come all the way to
China. She viewed them as pledges of great future good, and ' as affording the strongest encouragement to continued diligence and perseverance in the work of the gospel.'
The death of Mrs. Milne preyed severely on the health of her husband, who had already undermined his constitution by execssive labors. We see his spirit in the short epistle which
· Ever yours,