Imagens das páginas
PDF
[merged small][ocr errors]

"He retired to bed about ten, quite in as good health as usual: but about five in the morning of Thursday the 6th, he felt himself affected with a bowel complaint, a»d instead of taking his morning ride as usual, he returned to bed for an hour. At the weekly meeting for prayer, however, (which he And his colleagues established more than twenty-two years ago, and which, amidst every discouragement and affliction, has not, we believe, been omitted for three weeks in the course of these twenty-two years,) he united with his brethren and sisters as usual. Thus after more than twenty-three years' labour in promoting this object in the most assiduous and intense manner perhaps ever known, he closed his public life by uniting in prayer with his brethren for Jhe continuance of the Divine blessing on the work.

"After the prayer-meeting, which from the beginning has been held at seven in the morning, he breakfasted with his brethren and sisters at Dr. Marshman's, where it has been for many years the custom for all, with any friend occasionally at the Mission-house, to breakfast together afterwards, and converse on the things which relate to the advancement of the kingdom of God around them. He entered so much into discourse of this nature that morning, that no one suspected him to be at all ill, beyond his having a slight bowel complaint, with him not uncommon. He went into the Printing-office as usual about ten, and among various letters on business, he wrote to the brethren Peggs and Bampton at Cuttack, in the course of the forenoon; the following extract from which was sent to his afflicted family in an affectionate letter from Mrs. Peggs, dated the 14th March, the day after they had received from Dr. Marshman the melancholy tidings of his removal.—" In his last note to us, dated March the 6th, he says, 'How do you feel in your desires after the Holy Spirit? We can have no hope of success but as we are brought to a believing dependance upon his influences, and an earnest solicitude to obtain them. Oh how I should like to be among you, though only for one hour, to sing a hymn with my dear sisters and brethren Peggs and Bampton. What hymn should we chuse,' Jesus with all thy saints above?' or, 'Jesus I love thy charming name ?'" Mrs. Peggs properly adds, "We see by this note what a happy frame of mind he was in just before he was taken ill." He had indeed been really ill in the Cholera many hours before he wrote this note, although he was scarcely aware of it, and continued so assiduously pursuing that work of his dear Redeemer to which he had for so many years devoted every mo

ment of his life, not spent in sleep or refreshment. About eleven, Dr. Marshman going into the office and thinking he looked very ill, earnestly questioned him on the subject. Our beloved brother then told him, that he had been quite ill in the morning with a bowel complaint, and imputed it to his having taken a little cold during the night. Dr. M. then begged him not to neglect this complaint, but to have instant recourse to medicine. Dr. M. however had not the least idea of its being the Cholera, as he had not then heard of his having thrown up any thing, which is one of the symptoms usually accompanying this disease. The day after liis death, however, he learned with unspeakable pain, that he had thrown up much bile even before breakfast.

"Our lamented brother continued to go on doing business in the printing-office till past twelve, in which interval he wrote the letter to brethren Peggs and Bampton, from which the quotation is taken which so fully discovers the happy state of bis mind. After this he began a letter to the Rotterdam Bible Society, which was found unfinished on his desk after his death, from which it appeared that before he had finished the second line, he was constrained to desist, and retire to his own room. Respecting his state then, the following particulars have been kindly given us by his eldest daughter:—" When my dear father came from the office and reclined on the sopha, I was sitting in the same room writing a letter, and my mother was busily engaged in another room. I supposed he was fatigued, and said nothing about his lying down. When on the sopha, he in his usual affectionate way asked me, what I was doing? to which I replied, 'writing a letter.' He was cheerful and said something which occasioned us both to smile. Some time after, Mr. Solomon came in and informed him that his child was just dead of the Cholera: my beloved father assured him of his sympathy, and gave directions to another native brother to see that a coffin was made for the child, adding, 'I fear I have something of the Cholera myself.' This startled me; for this was the first intimation I had of his being ill. I asked him to let me send for the doctor. He replied, 'No child, 'tis nothing of consequence.' Happily, however, I did not wait for his leave; but wrote to the doctor, begging he would call immediately to see my father. He came, and my father again repeated his fears that he had a slight attack of the Cholera. The doctor told him there was no reason to think so, and said he would send him some medicine. Just before the doctor came, I went and told my mother, that I feared my dear father was seriously ill'. She was alarmed, and asked him how he felt; to which he replied, 'not well,' as not appearing to apprehend any danger. It being dinner time, and my father being asleep, we thought it best to leave him, as he seemed anxious to remain quiet. As soon as dinner was over, I came into the room where we had left him asleep; but not finding him there, I went into the next room. Some minutes after I heard him make a noise as if calling some one. I approached him, and asked what he wanted; to which he replied, 'Nothing child, only I feel very ill.' I immediately ran to my mother, begging her to come to my father. She came, and learning from him that he had the cramp, and feeling his hands cold, she burstinto tears, and kindly remonstrated with him for having concealed his state so long. He begged her to make herself easy, adding,' Call brother Carey and brother Marshman.' I ran instantly to do this, and in a few minutes 'the alarm spread through the premises, and brought the brethren and sisters from every side. Dr. Mundt had come again, and seeing the disorder gain ground, prescribed and applied what it seemed immediately to require."

"While Dr. Carey and the sisters were occupied about our brother, Dr. Marshman took the boat, and crossed the river to Barrackpore, to bring more medical aid. Meeting with Dr. Grierson at home, who has succeeded Dr. Chalmers there, and who kindly attended Dr. Carey about three months before, he brought him over with him. Dr. Grierson coincided with Dr. Mundt respecting its being the Cholera, and among other things they prescribed a hot bath. This he took about six in the evening, and seemed greatly refreshed, but felt exceedingly inclined to sleep, or at least to doze. The medical gentlemen then intreated that he might be left to himself, in the hope of his getting a little sleep; adding, that this would do more for him than any medicine they could give. In consequence of this, Mrs. Ward and all his brethren and sisters refrained from conversation with him on the state of his mind, and remained waiting the issue in a state of suspense which words cannot easily describe.

"About nine in the evening, he told Mrs. Ward that he felt himself sensibly better, and was not in any kind of pain. This excited great hope that he would be able to obtain sleep during the night. Four or five, therefore, remaining with him; among whom was our young brother, Mr. Brunsdon, who watched with him during the whole of his illness as a son over a father, and Mr. Williamson, who, being acquainted with medicine himself,

assisted with the two medical gentlemen in consultations respecting him, and remained with him continually to see their prescriptions administered; the rest retired. Our deceased brother remained quiet, and free from pain, apparently sleeping, till about ten at night, when he complained of a pain in the right side, particularly when he turned himself. Mr. Williamson immediately Went to Dr. Mundt to consult with him. He advised a fomentation of the side if the pain -should continue. This was tried, and gave immediate relief. With this exception, he was free from pain and perfectly quiet during the night, appearing in a dozing state, and saying nothing; Mrs. Ward and his brethren, from the fear of preventing his obtaining sleep, still forbearing to converse with him.

"As in the morning there appeared very considerable hope of his recovery, Dr. Carey went to Calcutta in the course of his college duty as usual; and Dr. Marshman again went over the river for Dr. Grierson, that he might assist in consulting relative to his case. Dr. Grierson thought there was no cause for alarm respecting his case; and to Mrs. Ward's enquiry, our dear brother himself said that he felt better. An application was prescribed; but by the time it was ready, he appeared so weak that hisSnedical attendants forbore to administer it. He was still perfectly free from pain; and as late as ten in the morning we had hopes of his recovery. But about eleven, Mrs. Ward offering him something directed to be given, he gently put it away with his hand, and with a sigh said, " Oh dear;''— which were the last words he was heard to utter. Though he continued perfectly quiet, and apparently free from pain, about twelve his pulse declined so much as to take away all hope; and about five in the afternoon he ceased to breathe; in so imperceptible a manner, however, that we for some moments were scarcely aware that his happy spirit had left its tenement of clay. Dr. Carey had returned about an hour previously. His step-son, Mr. John Fountain, to whom he had ever been the father, and Mr. B. W. Marshman had arrived from Calcutta to see him, six or seven hours before his departure; but he was too far gone fully to recognize them.

"Thus, in the flfty-fourth year of his age, and the twenty fourth of his Missionary labonrs at Serampore, departed one of the most faithful, disinterested, and arduous labourers in the vineyard of his Glorious Redeemer, that India has ever seen. To enlarge on his character here would be quite superfluous; it is too well known to those who enjoyed the happiness of his acquaintance, for words to add any tiling to the impression it has left on the mind. The next day, the news of his departure having been sent early to Calcutta, the Rev. Messrs. E. Ca{ey, James Hill, Adam, Schmid, and Jetter arrived from thence, to pay the last testimony of respect to his memory, together with Messrs. Penney, Lindeman, Pearce, Kerr, Ricketts, and various other friends. At five the corpse was conveyed to the Mission burying ground in a hearse; the body together with the coffin being so heavy, that it was feared our native brethren and the friends around would not have been able to convey it, as the distance was nearly a mile. All of them attended the funeral, however, with the servants of the printing-office, the paper mill, &c, to all of whom our deceased brother was like a father. The various gentlemen from Serampore and its neighbourhood were also present, and a number from Barrackpore, on the opposite side of the river. Previously to moving the corpse from the house, the Rev. E. Carey engaged in prayer; at the grave the Rev. James Hill gave out the S4th hymn in the Selection,—" Jesus, thy blood and righteousness;" after which Dr. Carey addressed the congregation on this afflicting and awful providence, both in English end Bengalee; and Dr. Marshman concluded in prayer.

MEMOIR OF MR. WILLIAM WARD.

"The next Lord's-day week, the 16th March, Dr. Carey preached a funeral sermon for our deceased brother at the LallBazaar Chapel in Calcutta, from Prov. x. 7, "The memory of the just is blessed," to the largest congregation ever seen at the chapel; many friends of religion, and multitudes drawn by personal esteem, taking this opportunity of testifying their respect for his memory. On Wednesday evening, the 19th, Dr. Marshman preached a funeral sermon for our beloved brother in the Mission Chapel, Serampore; at which were present the Governor, his Excellency Col. Krefting, and nearly every European inhabitant of Serampore, both Danish and English, with a dumber from Ishera and Barrackpore. As he had fixed on no passage of Scripture himself, Dr. M. took this declaration of the apostle's, as expressing the language of our deceased brother's inmost soul,—" By the grace of God I am what I am." At the request of the Rev. James Hill, Dr. Marshman, on the next Lord's-day, March 23rd, preached a funeral sermon for him from the same text, to a congregation of perhaps six hundred, at the Union Chapel; the pulpit and desk of which were hung with black as a testimony of esteem. In this discourse a few particulars were given respecting our deceased brother; with whom and Mrs. Ward, the preacher and Mrs. Marshman had come from England in the summer of

1799, and whom he had, therefore, known in the most intimate manner for nearly twenty-fcur jears. As the Rev. Mr. Hill and others have strongly requested it, should the pressure of business admit of its being prepared for the press, the sermon, with these particulars, may possibly appear in the course of two or three months.

"In reviewing this sudden and afflictive providence, various reeflctions crowd on the mind. The first are, those of almost indescribable distress at the loss sustained, not only by the denomination to which our brother belonged, but by the church and the cause of God at large, particularly as far as relates to India. For although his family and his immediate colleagues in the work of God feel the sense of their loss increased by all that recollection of his worth as a man, a Christian, a husband, a father, a colleague, and brother, which the space of nearly twenty-four years, spent in perhaps the greatest degree of social happiness capable of being enjoyed on earth, must continually furnish; our brother was not a man who confined his regard for the cause of God to one'denomination. He loved all who loved the Redeemer, and sought to promote his cause.. Hence his death is a public loss to Religion; and those particularly whose spiritual good he laboured to promote, and whose hands he laboured to strengthen by his preaching, his prayers, and his extensive correspondence, whether they be in India, Europe, or America, cannot but feel this bereavement.

"But while we thus mourn the loss of our beloved brother and cherish the most tender affection for his memory, it becomes us to beware of sinning against God under this dispensation. It becomes us to recollect that every thing which rendered him so dear to us, and such a blessing to the cause of God, arose wholly from the grace of God so richly manifested in him. This grace still remains an in. exhaustible fountain. While we mourn his loss in the deepest manner, therefore, to suller our hearts to sink in despondency as though the Great Redeemer did not still live to carry on his own work, who is the Sovereign Head of his Church, and from whom come not only every gift intended for the use of his cause, and all that diligence and love which may enable a man possessing such, to labour even more abundantly than others, but the blessing which must render these gifts and this labour effectual, and without which even a Paul might plant, and an Apollos water wholly in vain,—would be to sin against God, and to act contrary to the examples left us on Divine record. When Saul, and above all Jonathan, was removed, by whom the Lord had done such great things for Israel, David in the midst of grief perhaps never exceeded, " bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow," to prepare them for future action, and exhorted the men of Jabesh <5ilead, who had already distinguished themselves by their activity and energy, to strengthen their hands, and bo valiant, because of the affliction which had then overwhelmed Israel.—When Hur, and Aaron, and even Moses were called to rest from their labours, the command of God himself to Israel was, to go forward in their way, to be " strong and very courageous" amidst the overwhelming grief which must have filled their minds at being thus deprived of all those who had gone in and out before them for so many years ;—and his promise was that in thus doing he would be with them, cause them to overcome their enemies, and possess the promised land.

"In the beginning of the Gospel,*aIso, ■when Stephen was prematurely removed in the midst of his high career of usefulness; a man " full of faith and of the Holy Ghost," who so preached the Gospel that his fiercest adversaries were not able to resist " the wisdom and the Spirit by ■which he spake;" how deeply must the loss of such a man have been felt by all who loved the cause of God, then so much in its infancy. We do not find, however, that while they so feelingly "made great lamentation over him," the disciples and brethren had the least idea of lying down in despondency. On the contrary, they took courage, and "went every where preaching the Gospel;" and respecting some of them it is expressly recorded, no doubt for our encouragement, that "the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord."» And when a year or two after this, James, one of the three disciples so eminently distinguished by our Lord during his life, and so justly esteemed one of the "pillars" of the infant apostolic church, was prematurely cut off by the sword, Peter also being seized and put in prison, we do not find that this had any other effect on the minds of the other brethren, than that of causing them to make prayer to God without ceasing for Peter, and no doubt for the cause of God in general, that it might not suffer by these afflictions. And by far the greatest extension of the Gospel was granted after this period. Unworthy as we are, we are still engaged in the same cause, and every degree of blessing must flow from the same source; and seeing we serve him who is "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and for ever," we ought to renew our

trust in his mercy and his almighty power, and to abound more and more in prayer and in the work of the Lord, knowing that he will never fail nor forsake those who trust in him.

"The brethren at Serampore, indeed, have been thus called to renew their trust in God while wading through the depths of affliction, even from the beginning of their course. We do not here allude merely to the fire at Serampore, eleven years ago, in which our dear brother now deceased was himself almost miraculously preserved, and which threatened to overwhelm us, but which, through the Divine mercy, was succeeded by the Divine blessing to a greater extent than had ever been experienced at Serampore before. We rather allude to the repeated afflictions we were called to sustain twenty-two years ago, when so many of our Missionary brethren were in succession carried to the grave in the very infancy of the cause here. Within eighteen days after our landing at Serampore, Mr. Grant was carried off in a fever; the four brethren and sisters having arrived on the 13th of October, 1799, and he being removed on the 31st. The succeeding July Mr. Fountain was removed by a bowel complaint, within four years after his arrival in the country, and just as he had become ready in the language. The next July beheld Mr. Brunsdon carried off in a liver complaint; scarcely twenty-six years of age, and the most forward in the language, as well as the ablest English preacher among all the four brethren who came out together.—And to complete the measure of affliction, the next October Mr. Thomas himself who had laid the foundation of the Mission in Bengal, and had come out with brother Carey seven years before was taken away, at an age two years below that of our now deceased brother. At that critical period, that four of the only seven Missionaries then in this part of India should be removed, and among them both the youngest and the oldest, the ablest and the most active, was indeed overwhelming, had we looked merely to human aid. Yet nearly all that has been done in this part of India has been the fruit of the Divine blessing since, experienced on humble and persevering effort, accompanied with constant prayer. Surely, then, in every affliction and bereavement we ought to look directly and wholly to Him with whom is the residue of the Spirit—who cannot be unmindful of his cause or of his promise—and who has declared that all nations shall be blessed in the Redeemer—and that He, Jehovah, will accomplish this glorious work in his own time.

[ocr errors]

MEMOIR OF MR. WILLIAM WARD.

** The human mind, however, which is Continually prone to run to the extremes either of presumption or despondency, is ever apt to misinterpret the dealings of God with his church. Thus when any of the servants of God are taken away peculiarly fitted for some particular work in their day and generation, we are ready to sink in despondency,, and to exclaim, "Such and such an eminent servant of God is taken away, and how can the loss be repaired ?—how can the cause of God now go forward?" We forget that these servants of God, thus peculiarly gifted, were raised up to do a certain work; and that if they are now called to rest, the precise work no more remains to be done for which Divine Wisdom thus raised them up, and endued them with peculiar talents. Thus Divine Wisdom has suffered no disappointment; for these have fulfilled the work they were intended to accomplish, arid have now entered into the joy of their Lord, leaving to others, whom Divine grace may raise up, that work which is suited to their capacity, and intended for them to fulfil. Therefore, while we so heavily mourn those removed, who are necessarily dear to us for their work's sake, we should consider that Divine Wisdom has removed them, only because their peculiar work in the church militant below was fully accomplished; for had it not, their Saviour, who has the keys of death and of the unseen world, and who "shutteth and no man openeth," would surely have detained them longer below.

"Thus, respecting our beloved brother, while he was so endeared to us in every capacity, that, had our feelings been consulted, we should never have suffered him to enter into rest but with ourselves; the work for which God pre-eminently raised him up", was evidently that of printing the Scriptures in India; and we believe that to him was shewn herein grace and favour granted before to very few men in that particular line. To the language of the apostle, which the brother who came out with him well recollects seeing in his diary in the course of his voyage, thus applied with reference to his own circumstances, "unto me who am less than the least of all saints is this grace given, that I should print among the heathen, the unsearchable riches of Christ,"—could he have foreseen the Divine goodness to him, he might have added—"in Twenty of their Languages;" for the Twentieth version of the New Testament in the languages of India printed under his eye, had advanced to the book of Revelation at the time of our beloved brother's removal; and we believe it has been granted to few men in the chnrch of God, ever to print the New Testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus

VOL. X.

I Christ in twenty languages spoken among the heathen. But for the preparation of all those founts of types which they required, and most of which had never before been seen in India, was his thorough knowledge of the art, his nice discernment, his assiduity, his indefatigable diligence, his love for the cause of his Redeemer, and the souls of the heathen, peculiarly suited. Yet all these founts prepared, and the difficulties attending these first editions of the Scriptures overcome, the way is now made easy;— second and succeeding editions with the same types involve so little difficulty, that the various native Christian brethren and others, trained up by our beloved brother for so many years, can go on with the work under common European superintendence.

"Seeing, then, that infinite wisdom and love thus guide all things, however mysterious, and that these are ever the same, —what remains, but that we all, who have seen so many of the servants of God around us removed in the past year, adore in humble silence what we are unable to comprehend—take new courage, and go forward in the work of him who will cause his church to increase, till, like the stone cut out without hands, it shall have filled the whole earth. And to animate us thus to abound in the work of the Lord, and to do our own peculiar work in our day and generation, what can tend more than the example and the end of our beloved brother; whose life at least for the last twenty-four years, amidst all the difficulties and trials he had to share with his brethren, was one uniform course of high usefulness and happiness of mind; and who, after so long a course of bodily and mental labour, and spirituality of soul, was in heaven adoring before the: throne of the Lamb, within forty-eight hours after he had delivered his last message for the glorious Redeemer below! Let us then lift up the hands which hang down, and confirm the feeble knees, and looking to Jesus, be stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord; forasmuch as we know that, prematurely as to an eye of sense we may seem to be called away, our labour, worthless as it may be, shall not be in vain in the Lord."

OF MAN. "God made man upright; but they hate sought out many inventions."—Eccles. vii. 29.

Man is a creature made up of a union of those two substances, which include in tlieir wide embrace the whole ernc

« AnteriorContinuar »