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for promoting the education of the rising generation; but also the avidity with which the native population embrace the opportunities which such efforts open up to them for procuring the elements of useful knowledge. Our best wishes are with the effort which has been made at Balasore, and we hope the time is not far distant when similar attempts will be made at every European station where schools have not already been established.
12.-A MARTYR SPIRIT".
—“They never fail who die In a great cause : the flock may soak their gore, Their heads be sodden in the sun ; their limbs Be strung to city gates and castle walls But still their spirit walks abroad.” Byron. To the Editors of the Calcutta Christian Observer. Messrs. Editors, Could Protestants drop a tear sometimes on the record of the persecutions, which have been suffered by Roman Catholics, they might perhaps occasionally discover that they have other brethren in that communion besides Fenelon and Thomas a Kempis. A gentleman lately sent the writer a French pamphlet entitled “A Notice of the Life and Death of J. C. Cornay, priest of the Diocese of Poictiers, beheaded for the Faith at Tonquin, September 20, 1837.” It contains so much of the Martyr Spirit of the primitive ages, that a few extracts, though hastily translated, may not be uninteresting to your readers. John Charles Cornay was born in the Diocese of Poictiers, February 27, 1809, and while studying for the priesthood, his attention was di. rected to Foreign Missions by the preaching of a Missionary, who visited the scene of his studies. Expressing his feelings to the Editor of the Memoir, he said, “Since the sermons that I have heard these last days, I can hold no longer. God calls me to the conversion of the infidels. He bids me depart. Give me, I beseech you, the means to quit France.” To the remark that he went to martyrdom, he replied, “I know it well. I have thought much of it; but that is the very thing that awakens in me a strong desire to depart. It is so grand to pour out one's blood for the glory of God, and the salvation of one's brethren.” In due time he departed for China and entered upon his labours in the midst of furious persecutions in the year 1833. One of his letters that he wrote to France, gives a graphic picture of the circumstances in which those labours were prosecuted. “Last year,” he writes, “I gave you an account of all the troubles that had come upon me. I have subsequently languished in the most painful uncertainty of my fate. Since the persecution has broken out in a manner so lamentable, and procured the martyrdom of many of my brethren, I am obliged to hide myself all the day in an excavation six feet square, exposed to the humidity of the earth, and encompassed with weeds. I come forth every night to afford the consolations of my ministry to the poor Christians, who devote themselves to my preservation, and return every morning to my kind of den. I have had thus far for my consolation, my breviary, the imitation, and a crucifix. There are some pains in this mode of life; but it has its
* We have much pleasure in giving insertion to the accompanying ; the subject of it is indeed one of deep interest to every Christian heart. Such are the Lord's people in whatever communion they are found: constrained by Christ's love, and strengthened by Christ's grace; they willingly go forth to suffer for his name's sake, wherever they live, wherever they die we hail them brethren and shall meet them in the skies. What a noble spirit would this devoted man have been had he been free from the errors of the Romish system.
charms. The view of a crucifix is fraught with go much good, and tbe word of God renders so much of sweetness! But providence is about to take from me this last consolation. My eyes refuse more and more every day to perform their service; and while I am writing to you now, perhaps for the last time, 1 am obliged to rest after two or three lines. I think the dampness of my habitation is the cause of this infirmity. J udjtfe of the kind of life I lead in the midst of an idleness, so wearisome, and among a people whose language I understand with difficulty. Still, if it please God, 1 shall remain here and suffer with resignation till he delivers me from the evils of this life; for to return to my native country is the last of evils with which I pray him to threaten me."
His associate, M. Marette, learning the state of his health, contrived to remove him to a more healthy region, where the people were in a great measure exempt from persecution. " The village of Ban-No," continues the narrative, "which M. Cornay went to inhabit, contained about five hundred Catholics and two hundred Pagans. It was for a long time the chief place of a Christian region containing three thousand five hundred souls, scattered in some thirty villages ; and was regarded as the metropolitan churcli of this little Christian community." "Here were also a parsonage house, and a convent containing fifteen inmates. After M. Cornay had resided in this place some two or three months, a rebel, who had fallen into the hands of the government officers, devised a plan with the aid of his wife to escape the punishment due to his crimes, by accusing tbe Christians as plotting rebellions under the direction of their European teacher. The accusation was readily received, and on tbe morning of June 20, 1837, the villnge was surrounded by fifteen hundred soldiers. The head-man of the village was immediately summoned to give up the ringleaders of the revolt, and was tortured to discover the retreat of the missionary, who, at the commencement of the tumult, had been hidden in a thick hedge. For a while their efforts were unavailing, but finally the man's fortitude did not prove equal to the tortures to which he was subjected, and he revealed his pastor's hidingplace.''
We pass over the circumstances of his apprehension and subsequent treatment and sufferings, to the period when the mandarins were about to depart with him, chained in a cage, for the capital of the province. "The moment of his departure," says his biographer, "was prolonged in an indefinite manner, and a sentiment of hesitation seemed to prevail throughout the military cohort. At this time the chiefs and soldiers pressed around the cage of M. Cornay, and regarding him stedfastly with lively curiosity testified by their attention, that they considered him as some extraordinary object. The courageous Missionary saw it, and as he possessed a great serenity of soul, and a perfect calmness of spirit, he determimed to continue his apostolic preaching before those whom natural curiosity appeared to bind within his power. Singular destiny of human things! that from this cage which had been made to stifle the truth, she should make her oracles to be beard with a noble independance, and a majestic eloquence, and those charms of interest which awakened to so high a degree, their persecution and violence. He seized at that moment the book of the Evangelists, and translated with a loud voice into their language the passage of the passion, where Jesus Christ speaks before Pilate. He recounted to them the life, the sufferings, and the sacrifice of the Son of God. He explained to them how he died for all men, and that men ought to be sensible of these things and of his love. In continuation, he took up the imitation, and fell by hazard on the passage, 'If you take refuge in the stripes, and wounds of Jesus Christ, you will obtain great power in tribulation.' He endeavoured to make them comprehend why he was so calm in his sufferings."
After he was carried to the city of Doai, the capital of the province, M. Marette came and established himself at some distance from the city, and sent a catechist in disguise to contrive with him some means for secret correspondence. Two nuns also devoted themselves to his service. The one prepared him food; and the other travelled a distance of six leagues twice a day to carry letters to and from M. Marette, who rolled up his notes on a crayon, which the cook hid in the food. Half the paper was written upon and the other half left blank, that it might serve for the answer.
We pass on to one of his examinations before the chief Mandarin, in which they demanded seventy-five thousand francs to ransom him and his people. He refused to make any efforts to obtain money for himself, but promised to endeavour to obtain the ransom required for the Native Christians. Paper and ink was brought and he immediately dictated in the Aoamitish language the following letter: "Father Tan sends salutation to his brethren, the Christians o( Ban-No, praying to God that he would give them power to suffer all the tribulations that he may send them. From the day that 1 was taken I have had much joy in being able to suffer for the Lord Jesus Christ, who was willing to suffer first as our example; when I have seen all the Christians tried, and beaten I have not been able to keep from tears; above all, seeing the head-man that assisted me beaten beyond measure. I am now chained in a cage. If I only had to suffer, I should make but little of it because 1 hope that the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ will give me power to suffer willingly all the (afflictions of this life, to be admitted into heaven after my death, and enjoy eternal happiness with God. But I cannot forget my brethren bound with me, and who suffer more than 1 do in another prison. I cannot forget all the Christians of Ban-No, who, having lost every thing, suffer hunger and thirst and have to apprehend the burning of the whole village. It is desiring that you be re-established, 1 pray God to deliver you from the evils which press you down. The great mandarin causes me to announce, that if I can give one hundred bars of silver he will pardon the village of Ban-No, the eleven Christians arrested with me, and will engage to send me to Europe with all my effects. My dear brethren, were 1 taken only, 1 would refuse this offer, preferring to die for the faith and go to heaven; but in consequence of my love to you, I am obliged to listen to these propositions. So then, if you can gather together one hundred bars of silver, all will be done; but 1 know that having lost all, though you sold your rice, your clothes, and your fields this sum is too large for you to be able to furnish. This then be your task, to procure twenty or thirty bars of silver; then the mandarin will pardon the village and the imprisoned Christians. As for me, not having enough for my ransom, from the moment I shall know that you are in peace, and that I am only to suffer, I shall rejoice. All that I shall have to bear will give me but little inquietude. I commit myself into the hands of God who will provide for and recompence me."
"You fear not to die then," said one of the mandarins to him : " No, without doubt ;*' exclaimed M. Cornay; "and should I be fastened to the stake to take my life, I would sing a hymn of thanks, if it were required of me." "Do it then this moment," replied the mandarin. "Then," said this generous confessor, " it came into my mind to sing before these poor pagans the fine song of France:
'We're ready at religion's call: Conquer we know, we know to fall. For her a Christian ought to live. For her his life he ought to give.'" He was subsequently subjected to a succession of torments to make him confess sedition, and apostatize from his religion by treading on the crucifix; but all proving in vain, they passed a hnsty sentence of death upon him provoked at his pertinacity. He bid farewell to his parents in the following terms:
"My dear Father, and my dear Mother,
"My blood has already been poured out in torments, and must be poured out again two or three times, before I am quartered and beheaded. The thought of the pain you will feel when you read these details, has already made me weep; but the thought again that 1 shall be in heaven to intercede for you, when you read this letter, consoles me. Do not be afflicted on the day of my death, it will be the happiest of my life: it will put an end to my sufferings, and be the commencement of my happiness. My torments are not absolutely insupportable: they do not beat me on my reins until the former wounds are cicatrized.
"1 shall not be pulled and torn to pieces likeM. Marchand; and supposing that they quarter me, four men will do it at one time, and a fifth will strike off my head. I shall then have no more to suffer: so he consoled. In a little time my sufferings will terminate, and 1 shall wait on you in heaven.
Your respectful and affectionate son,
In cage, Aug. 18, 1837. Ch. Cormtat."
The following extracts are from the last letter he ever wrote: it was addressed to his friend M. Marette, who being acquainted with all that was passing, wrote him that the day of his mnrtyrdom approached. The ilny of the exultation of the Holy cross.
"Laetatus in his quae dicta sunt inihi, in (Ionium Domini ibimus." I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord.
"1 get my good friend, and companion brother, your notes which tells me that peace is not of this world. If the thought that all was terminated in my being set at liberty, fills me with joy; it is the joy of the Lord, regarding his greatest glory. You will know how I have desired to be delivered from this body of death. I believe 1 have not been an instant without offering my life to the Lord. "Consummatum est:" iniquity has done her work. Your charity is perfect in advertising me of the time, that I might not be surprised by the announcement of death, which will doubtless follow at once lest I give it to myself.
"So then let your note be the lust; to speak of nothing else, you would have nothing more for me to read. Though there is no more apparent vigilance in watching me, yet there is under the masque. They watch me so closely, that I shall be no mare able to write you by night, as I am obliged to do now. Seeing the danger, let this then be the last note for you and for me.
"Adieu then, Adieu, my good friend ; my brethren all, Adieu.—As to confession, 1 much desire<absolution, but if it be impossible, '() my God,' I often say, 'contrition for confession—blood in the place of extreme unction.' (Contritionem pro confessione, sanguinem pro unctione.)
"Adieu, Adieu, pray and offer the sacrifice for my happy death. Adieu, this is the last time that I write you. Let this also be the last time for you, I conjure you. Kvery thing to you. both in this life and the other.
"Ch-Cornay, an unworthy soldier of Jesus Christ."
Would to God, that to a church which produces such soldiers for Jesus Christ we could say, "Esto perpetua." M.
13.—Special Phizes Awarded To Pupils Op Thp. General Assembly's
In February last year, J. Muir, Esq. of Saharunpore, a well known en
courager of Native improvement, offered to the Siiperintendant of the
General Assembly's Institution to give a premium, in value fifty rupees,
for the best English Essay on " The principles of Historical evidence, and their application to an examination of the Scriptures of the Old Testament, and the Hindu shëstras, and the conclusions which we are thus led to form, in regard, 1st, to the Genuineness and 2nd, to the Authenticity of the Hebrew and Hindu books, respectively.” Notwithstanding the difficulty of the theme, arising chiefly from the limited acquaintance which native young men have with the literature of their country, the superintendents proposed it to the senior pupils of the Institution. Three essays were, after some months received, and the premium has been awarded to MA HESH CHANDRA BANERJYA, at present employed as English teacher in the Persian department of the Hughly College. The preference was given to Mahesh's Essay, both on account of the superiority of his English composition over that of the other competitors, and because his essay was the only one received within the stipulated time for giving them in. We embrace the present opportunity of mentioning other special prizes awarded at the last annual examination of the General Assembly's Institution, as they were not noticed in the account of the examination in our Februry No. BANAMA'LI DE, as the best scholar in the highest class, gained the gold medal given annually to the best scholar in the Institution, from a fund set apart, for that purpose, by David MacFarlan, Esq. Chief Magistrate of Calcutta. MAHENDRA Lal BAsak, received two silver medals, the one given by the Rev. Dr. Charles, for the best English Essay on “Christianity and Hinduism contrasted in their doctrines and practical effects,” and the other given by Mr. Ewart for the best English Essay on “The principles of the evidence to be derived from prophecy for the Divine Inspiration of the Old and New Testaments.” TA'RA’ CHARAN Sikna'rt and JAGANNATH SEN, received each a prize given by Mr. Macdonald, for the best Bengali Essays on the character and attributes of God. Kshetra MoHAN CHATTER.jYA, received the prize given by Mr. Ewart for the best English Essay on “the best method of promoting the Education of Native Females in the present state of Hindu Society.”
14.—Recent BAPTISM-FAITH FULNEss of God To The CHILDREN of BELIEvens.
It is our delightful privilege to have to record a very interesting addition recently made to the church itsually meeting in the Circular Road Chapel, but now temporarily, in that recently erected in Intally. On Lord's-day morning, the 3rd Ult., four young persons, publicly professed their faith in and love to the Lord Jesus Christ by baptism. All of them are the children of pious parents : two are grandchildren of the late venerable Dr. Carey, and the other two daughters of the late Rev. J. Lawson*. In their conversion we see the faithfulness of God to his promise: the seed of the righteous is still blessed, and the children rise up instead of the parents to shew that the Lord is gracious. How delightful are these instances of youthful conversion, and how encouraging to pious parents to go on labouring and praying for the conversion of their offspring. They may not in all cases live to witness the change in which their endeavours may terminate, or by which the prayers they now offer will be answered, but the connection of the one and the other with that all-important event, will not be the less real and certain on that account. In training up children for God and heaven, parents as well as ministers must labour in hope and pray in faith, expecting the blessing from Him who has said “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Our desire on behalf of our young friends is, that as they have put on the Lord Jesus, so they may walk in him.—Calcutta Missionary Herald.
* Formerly pastor of the Circular Road Chapel.