Imagens das páginas

the blow. At the same moment I found myself lifted from the ground, and transported with astonishing rapidity through the regions of the air. The earth was contracted to an atom between; and the stars glowed round me with a lustre that obscured the sun. The gate of Paradise was now in sight; and I was intercepted by a sudden brightness, which no human eye could behold : T'he irrecoverable sentence was now to be pronounced: my day of proba. tion was past, and from the evil of my life nothing could be taken away, nor could any thing be added to the good. When I reflected that my lot for eternity was cast, which not all the powers of nature could reverse, my confidence totally forsook me ; and while I stood trembling and silent, covered with confusion and chilled with horror, I was thus addressed by the radiance that flamed before me :

" Carazan, thy worship has not been accepted, because it was not prompted by the love of God! neither can thy righteousness be rewarded, because it was not produced by the love of man; For thy own sake only, hast thou rendered to every man his due ; and thou hast approached the Almighty only for thyself. Thou hast not looked up with gratitude, nor round thee with kindness. Around thee thou hast indeed beheld vice and folly ; but if vice and folly could justify thy parsi,nony, would they not condemn the bounty of Heaven? If not upon the foolish and the vicious where shall the sun diffuse his light, or the clouds distil their dew? where shall the lips of the Spring breathe fragrance, or the hand of Autumn diffuse plenty ? Remember Carazan, that thou hast shut compassion from thy heart, and grasped thy treasures with a hand of iron : Thou hast lived for thyself ; and, therefore, henceforth forever shalt thou subsist alone. From the light of heaven, and from the society of all beings, shalt thou be driven ; solitude shall protract the lingering hours of eternity, and darkness aggravate the horrors of despair.”

At this moment I was driven, by some secret and

irresistible power, through the glowing system of creation, and passed innumerable worlds in a moment. As I approached the verge of nature, I perceived the shadows of total and boundless vacuity deepen before me, a dreadful region of eternal silence, solitude, and darkness ! Unutterable horror seized me at the prospect, and this exclamation burst from me with all the vehemence of despair-Oh! that I had been doomed forever to the common receptacle of impenitence and guilt! There society would have alleviated the torments of despair, and the rage of fire could not have excluded the comfort of light. Or, if I had been condemned to reside on a comet, that would return but once in a thousand years to the regions of light and life; the hope of these periods, however distant, would cheer me in the dreary intervals of cold and darkness, and the vicissitude would divide eternity into time.

“While this thought passed over my mind, I lost sight of the remotest star, and the last glimmering of light was quenched into utter darkness. The age onies of despair increased every moment, as every moment augmented my distance from the last habitable world. I reflected with intolerable anguish, that when ten thousand thousand years had carried me beyond the reach of all but that Power who fills infinitude, I should still look forward into an immense abyss of darkness, through which I should still drive without succour and without society, tarther and farther, for ever and ever. I then stretched out my hands towards the regions of existence, with an emotion that awakened me. Thus have I been taught to estimate society, like every other blessing, by its loss. My heart is warmed to liberality; and I am zealous to communicate the happiness which I feel, to those from whom it is derived ; for the society of one wretch, whom in the pride of prosperity I would have spurned from my door, would, in the dreadful solitude to which I was condemned, have been more highly prized than the gold of Africa, or

rems of Golconda.'

At this reflection upon his dream Carazan became suddenly silent, and looked upwards in an extacy of gratitude and devotion. The multitude was struck at once with the precept and the example ; and the caliph, to whom the event was related, that he might be liberal beyond the power of gold, commanded it to be recorded for the benefit of posterity.

Section 11.


Two Mahometans of Arabia, persons of consideration in their own country, have been lately converted to the Christian faith. One of them has already suffered martyrdom, and the other is now engaged in translating the scriptures, and in concerting plans for the conversion of his countrymen. The name of the martyr was Abdallah, and the name of the other who is now translating the Scriptures, is Sabat; or, as he is called since his Christian baptisın, Nathaniel Sabat.-Sabat resided in my house sometime before I left India, and I had from his own mouth the chief part of the account which I shall now give you.Some particulars I had from others. His conversion took place after the martyrdom of Abdallah, “to whose death he was consenting;" and he related the circumstances to me with many tears.

Abdallah and Sabat were intimate friends, and being young men of family in Arabia, they agreed to travel together, and visit foreign countries. They were both zealous Mahometans. Sabat is son of l. braham Sabat, a noble family of the line of Beni-Sabat, who trace their pedigree to Mahomet. The two friends left Arabia, after paying their adorations at the tomb of their prophet at Mecca, and travelled through Persia, and thence to Cabul. Abdallah was appointed to an office of state under Zemaun Shah,

king of Cabul ; and Sabat left him there, and proceeded on a tour through Tartary.

While Abdallah remained at Cabul, he was converted to the Christian faith by the perusal of a Bible (as is supposed) belonging to a Christian from Armenia, then residing at Cabul. In the Mahometan states, it is death for a man of rank to become a Christian.--Abdallah endeavoured for a time to conceal his conversion, but finding it no longer possible, he determined to flee to some of the Christian churches near the Caspian sea. He accordingly left Cabul in disguise, and had gained the great city of Bochara, in Tartary, when he was met in the streets of that city by his friend Sabat, who immediately recognised him. Sabat had heard of his conversion and flight, and was filled with indignation at his conduct. Abdallah knew his danger, and threw himself at the feet of Sabat. He confessed that he was a Christian, and implored him, by the sacred tie of their former friendship, to let him escape with his life. "But, sir,” said Sabat, when relating the story himself, “ I had no pity.I caused my servants to seize him, and I delivered him up to Morad Shah, king of Bochara. He was sentenced to die, and a herald went through the city of Bochara, announcing the time of his execution. An immense multitude. attended, and the chief men of the city. I also went and stood near to Abdallah. He was offered his life if he would abjure Christ, the executioner standing by him with his sword in his hand. "No," said he, (as if the proposition were impossible to be complied with) “ I cannot abjure Christ.” Then one of his hands was cut off at the wrist. He stood firm, his arm hanging by his side with but little motion. A physician, by desire of the king, offered to heal the wound, if he would recant. He made no answer, but looked up stedfastly towards heaven, like Stephen the first martyr, his eyes streaming with tears. He did not look with anger towards me. He looked at me, but it was benignly, and with the countenance of

forgiveness. His other hand was then cut off. “ But sir,” said Sabat in his imperfect English, " he never changed, he never changed." And when he bowed his head to receive the blow of death, all Bochara seemed to say,

“ what new thing is this ?” Sabat had indulged the hope that Abdallah would have recanted when he was offered his life ; but when he saw that his friend was dead, he resigned himself to grief and remorse.

He travelled from place to place, seeking rest, and finding nore. At last he thought he would visit India. He acordingly came to Madras about five years ago. Soolafter his arrival he was appointed by the English overnment a Mufti, or expounder of Mahometan lar; his great learning, and respectable station in his own country, rendered him eminently qualified for that ffice. And now the period of his own conversion wew near. While he was at Visagapatem, in the northe Cicars, exercising his professional duties, Providencrought in his way a New Testament in Arabic. Heread it with deep thought, the Koran lying before hin

He compared them together, and at length the trth of the word of God fell on his mind, as he expresst it, like a flood of light. Soon afterwards he proceled to Madras, a journey of 300 miles, to seek Chrisın baptism ; and having made a public confession of s faith he was baptised by the Rev. Dr. Kerr, in to English church at that place, by the name of Nathai iel, in the twenty-seventh year of his age.

Being now desirous of devoting his future life to the glory of God, he resigned his secular employ, and came by invitation to Bengal, where he is now engaged in translating the scriptures into the Persian language. This work hath not hitherto been executed, for want of a translator of sufficient ability. The Persian is an important language in the East, being the general language of western Asia, particularly among the higher classes, and is understood from Calcutta to Damascus. But the great work which occupies the attention of this noble Arabian, is the

« AnteriorContinuar »