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DIALOGUE AMONG THE BLESSED.
237 tégrity of the Missionary brethren. By a lawless mob was 1 murdered, returning from the country to Serampore.
Powell. Brother Dass, 'I rejoice to see you; and to meet you also, dear Brunsven, in this blessed world! I have been telling Brother Thomas how the Lord enabled our Hindoo brother to seal his testiinony with his blood. He will communicate the news to Grant : indeed it will spread swifter than lightning through these realms of bliss. All Heaven rejoices in your salvation, and admires the grace which made you faithful unto death.
Thomas. Saved Hindoo !. We have brought brother Stephen, the first martyr in the days of the apostles, to congratulate thee on the honour which Christ has conferred upon thee.
Syam Dass Venerable Stephen, for thy history I thank my dear Saviour, and holy brother Luke, who recorded it. Of thee I thought when I was dying, and endeavoured, like thee, to pray for my murderers.
Stephen. Var Lord is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. He is conqueror over Death and Hell, who alone gave us the victory. I rejoice in thee as a monument of his unchanging grace. Let us for ever celebrate his praise.
Syam Dasso Not unto us, not unto us, but unto his glorious name is all the glory due! Once I hardly dared have thought of calling thee, who was so early employed in the work of the Lorá, my brother ; but I now feel that we are all one in Christ Jesus. Allspride is removed from my heart, while I am also freed from all fear, and every kind of painful sensation. I perceive in you, my honoured Brother, the most perfect humi. lity and benevolence; and I enjoy your holy love with the warmest return of gratitude and complacency.
Grant. O beloved Hindvo! I rejoice greatly to behold thee in this state of bliss. In all the triumphs of grace do I exult; but to see one of the natives of that country, where I once hoped to have been employed for my blessed Saviour, affords me peculiar pleasure. My spiritual father Marshman, I find, is happily succeeded in the work of the Lord.
Syam Dass. Yes; he has lately been up the country with Peetumber, Mitter, and Bharat, to visit a number of Hindoos, who had for some time been convinced of the fallacy of the old religions of the country; among whom God seemed to have been preparing his way, almost as he prepared the friends of Cornelius for the visit of Peter. Many now appear to be earnestly seeking the true way of life, and are determined to own the name of Christ.
Grant. Welcome, dear Brother, welcome to the skies ! But tell us how you finished your course, and experienced the power of our Lord to support you, when suffering death by the hands of violence.
Syam Dass. Brother Bharat had been sent up the country, to the new enquirers after the gospel, with letters from the Missionaries, and returned in safety. I also was willing to carry a written message, to inforin my countrymen of the Friend of sinners. There were many Hindoos, at another place, nearer to Serampore, who despising the Debtahs, and not be. Jieving Mahomet to be divinely commissioned, owned that there was one God; but know not how he would be served, nor how sinners could be saved. To them I carried a loving invitation, to call them to that Saviour who came to save the lost and unworthy. They, seeming more inclined to cast off all religion than to embrace the holy gospel, did not pay great attention to the representation of our brethren. Yet they received me civilly; and many of them took our papers, and monie copies of God's word, which they promised to read. Thus they dismissed me, with a letter to the Missionaries. But as I was returning, many Hindoos were mad upon their idols, being also stirred up by the Brahmans, who feucd the progress of the gospel, and, besetting me round, murdered ne.
Themas. How was your mind affected when you perceived their mura derous intentions ? Svam Dass.
Fear for a moment prevailing, I strove to make my escape; but finding that impossible, and thinking of the love of Christ, who laid down his life for me, I felt willing, if such should be his pleasure, to lay iny life down for him. If the great and glorious Saviour died for poor unworthy sinners, why slould not a saved sinner die for his gracious Saviour ? A transient thought of my wife, and her son Neeloo, occurred to my mind, – tearing lest my death should make them more avere to embracing the gospel; and I knew it would greatly grieve iny brethren and teachers; but I gave them all up to our wise and loving Lord. Calling on hinn to receive my spirit, it soon left the body. Then at once my powers seemed lost in a calm raptirre, -- love, contidence, and joy filling all my inind; while I perceived an holy angel joining me in songs of praise, who speedily conducted me to these blest abodes.
Pearce. Hindoo brother! Though I never saw the plains of Bengal, yet have I in der world poured out incessant prayers for the success of the mission. I think it the greatest honour our Lord put upon me on earth, that he stirred me up to be one of the first who promoted the plan: and, had lie seen fit so to have employed me, I would most gladly have become myself a Missionary. My dear countrymen, who were so soon called away from their work in India, when the fields first seemed ripe for harvest, have given nie great joy, by the information they brought, that several of your countrymen had become obedient to the faith; but your arrival here affords me still higher pleasure.
Syam Dars. Are you that charming Pearce whose memoirs were sent to our brethren ? Felix once translated to me some of your letters, and the sweet account of your death. How will our nation for ever bless your gracious Lord, for filling your heart, and the hearts or your brethren in England, with such tender concern for our salvation!
Pearce. I am that saved sinner. O what a debtor to grace am I! So indeed are we all. Heaven is full of insolvent debtors, who never, never can repay our exalted Immanuel for the love which passes knowledge! How could we taste it on earth, and not be constrained to greater activity!
Syam Dass. O happy English, who have enriched Bengal with the knowledge of sucha Saviour !
Pearce. Here is the blessed Erskine, from Scotland, which is the northern part of Britain, who helped our little Suciety with his prayers, from its very commencement. He was, on earth, a generous lover of all good inen, of whatever denomination. If they did but love Jesus Christ ia sincerity, he loved them with a pure heart fervently.
Syam Dass. Why, cuuld any one, whose heart was purified by faith in Christ, do otherwise ?
Erskine. Ah, Syam! you never knew how the Christians of Europe are divided into a variety of sects; and though the things in which they agree are far more numerous and more important than those on which tliey differ, yet they find many impediments to their union, arising from the evils of their hearts, and ihe craft of Satan, who makes use of these differences to check their love. I bless God that I habitually felt a strong affection for all the friends of free grace and true holiness; and now that which was lacking in my love below, is perfectly supplied. I rejoice exceedingly that the labours of my Baptist brerhren have been crowned with success; and I am persuaded, Brother Dass, that your blood will be, as it were, the seed of the church,
Syam Durs. I teel perfectly assured that our Lord will over.rule all for the good of his own cause. Le will care for my brethren, and comfort their hearts; and, perhaps, iny widow and her son may be brought aisa to know his name.
Destive. My brother Edwards, who was lately President of Sciences
DIALOGUE AMONG TIIE BLISSID
290 tady College, in America, to whose correspondence I introduced some of your English friends, his brought his dear father with him, to congratulate you on your arrival.
Edwards, junior. The saved of all countries and all ages meet here, with the most cordial attection, and exult in each other's happiness; but it affords a peculiar gratification to see the first-fruits of a country so long over-run with false religion and idolatry. Syum Dass.
Surely, no country on earth can be sunk lower in ignoance, vice, and cruel superstition than mine! Yet there, our Lord having begun to triumph, will doubtless prevail over all o position. I remember how Brother Peetumber once exulted in the thought : “ There is,” said he, “an irrevocable decree, that Christ Jesus shall be mani. fested to Bengal.”
Eidwards, senior. Who can doubt it, that has any acquaintance with the most sure words of prophecy, contained in the Scriptures of truth? The zeal of the Lord of Hosts is pledged for their accomplishment. I re. meinber that when I lived upon earth, “ My heart was much set on the advancement or Christ's kingdom in the world. When I read the history of past ages, the pleasantest thing in all my reading was, the promotion of the cause of Christ. Whenever I expected, in a course of reading, to come to any accounts of this sort, I reckoned upon it all the way I read; and my mind was then delighted with the prophecies of the future triumphs of the Redeemer." The accounts which my dear son and others, who have lately come to this upper world, have given me, respecting the Societies formed in Britain and America, for the Propagation of the Gospel, hare afforded ine unutterable pleasure.
Grant. in my last illness I felt somewhat dejected at the prospect of being removed before I could do any thing for God, or had seen the brethren who went before us to India. But, as soon as Death tore the veil froin my eyes, I saw cause for nothing but satisfaction and gratitude. God made Brother Marshman the chief instrument of saving me from infidelity and error; and then employed me as the means of turning his mind to Missionary work. I am received into this heavenly state ; while · he continues with dear Brother Ward, and with the excellent Carey, whom I never saw on earth, to labour with diligence and increasing suca cess. My widow also is serviceable in the concerns of the family; and my children are training up, I trust, for future usefulness. All is weil: all has been ordered by intallible wisdom.
Edwards, junior. Your brethren must have been greatly tried by the successive removals of their fellow-labourers. But what they know not now they shall fully understand in futurity. Brother Dass's death, no doubt, afilicts then exceedingly; but still it is commterbalanced by their success up the country. Greater opposition must be expected, as Satan feels his kingdom shaken. All others that are engaged in Missiunary attempts must expect like trials, though they muy ditier in varje ous circumstances. But this Hindoo brother is like the sheaf of the trste fruits which was ordered to be waved before the Lord. The harvest shall follow in Bengal and in all nations. They that go forth weeping, bearing precious seed, shall in due time reap', not fainting,
Stephen. Let us attend our brother to the throne of the slaughtered Lamb; in whose book of life, it now appeari, his name was written betore the world began.
Saints. Salvation to our God, who sitteth upon the throne; and unto the Lamb, who hath redeemed our souls with his blood !
Angels. Amen! Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever! Amen.
SOME' ACCOUNT OF
their Origin and Manners.
Mr. Narrow-soul, the father of the family, was the immediate descendant of Mr. Loveself and Mrs. Saveall. Thouglı an only son, he had not the advantage of a liberal education, as his inother had a particular aversion to public seminaries. She often used to say, That it would cost more to maintain one child at a boarding-school than to bring up three at homé : whatever they might learn at those places, they were never taught the value of money; which, in her estimation, was of more importance than all the learning in the world : besides this, she insisted upon it, that their heads were filled with notions which made them unfit for business, and that they acquired habits of extravagance under the idea of liberality; which were extremely prejudicial to their interests. Thus circumstanced, poor Narrow-sonl had no opportunity of obtaining any useful knowledge, beyond what he could pick up at a little day-school in the neighbourhood; add to this, that he had naturally a very great aversion to reading, in which disposition he was unhappily encouraged by both parents; for it was grown into a proverb with them, Ï'hat people would never get forward in the world who were always poring over books, excepting only tliose hooks which were necessary in keeping accounts;- and these, they admitted, could not be inspected too often, or examined too closely.
When Narrow-soul arrived at years of maturity, it so happened, that he fell in love with Party-zeal. She was the eldest daughter of Superstition, a descendant of the ancient family of the Bigots, who, for many years, lrad their principal residence at Rome. His parents made no objection to the match ; only bis mother was rather fearful, lest the object of his attachment, who was of a quick and lively turn, should lead him into expences, which were not quite compatible with her views of economy. She did not, however, oppose the union; which accordingly took place, and proved the source of a numerous progeny.
Their descendants have also multiplied to that degree, that there are few families which may not be traced to one or other of them, though they are seldom willing to own the extraction. They are indeed of various denominations, and called by different names; yet a family-likeness may be observed in them all. They particularly resemble old Love-self; and those who possesse : an intimate acquaintance with that gentleman, would And no dilliculty in discovering the lineaments of his face ia
ACCOUNT OF THE NARROW-SOULS.
241 his numerous posterity. Though descended froin the same original stock, they are often at variance with one another, as they are divided into distinct classes or tribes, who regard each other with the greatest antipathy; so that the world has frequently been disturbed, and whole nations desolated, through the attempts that have been made by one or other of the tribes to exterminate the rest.
Some, perhaps, may be ready to enquire what religious sentiments they profess. It would be very difficult to give a satisfactory answer to this question, since it might easily be proved, that there is no sentiment in religion, either true or False, which has not been fiercely contended for by some of their tribes. It may be remarked, however, that let the particular denomina- . tion be what it may, the distinguishing characteristics of that denomination, have always been considered by them as fitter objects of religious zeal than the fundamental truths of the gospel, or the common interests of Christianity; and they would sejoice more at the success of their efforts in making a proselyte from one tribe to another, than in converting a sinner from the error of his ways: nor would the news of a whole nation of heathen embracing the gospel, give them so much pleasure as to hear of the spread of their own peculiar sentiments, and the increase of their party. This being the case, we need not be surprized that Missionary efforts have never met with their cordial approbation. As the principal promoters of such benevolent atiempts utterly disclaim all party-views, they present nothing that can appear sufficiently interesting to Narrow-souls ; some of whom go so far as to say, that the gospel ought not to be preached to sinners at all; in direct opposition to the commission of our Lord, and the example of his apostles.
“ As well, they will say," may you preach to the dead in the church-yard as to those who are dead in trespasses and sins.” as if carnal season should be attended to rather than the command of Christ, who has positively said, “ Preach the gospel to every creature.” Thus do they eri', not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God, who can and will, when it is his pleasure, give efficacy to his own word, and cause the dead in sin to hear the voice of the Son of God and live.
In commercial concerns, there are none who have met with greater success than the Narrow-souls.
Among those who have acquired large fortunes from small beginnings, there are wany who belong to this family; nor is it to be wondered at, for the powers of the mind, like streams of water confined within a narrow compass, and directed to a particular object, exert themselves in pursuit of that object with a force and impetus which is not to be expected in those whose views are more enlarged, and the objects of their attention inore di tersified.