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Title: Pioneers and Founders

Author: Charlotte M. Yonge

Release date: September 17, 2006 [eBook #19308]

Language: English


Transcribed from the 184 Macmillan & Co. edition by David Price, email

Recent Workers in the Mission field.


Author ofThe Heir of Radclyffe.”

Portrait of Reginald Heber



It has been my endeavour in the ensuing narratives to bring together such of the more distinguished Missionaries of the English and American nations as might best illustrate the character and growth of Mission work in the last two centuries.  It is impossible to make it a real history of the Missions of modern times.  If I could, I would have followed in the track of Mr. Maclear’s admirable volume, but the field is too wide, the material at once too numerous and too scattered, and the account of the spread of the Gospel in the distant parts of the earth has yet to be written in volumes far exceeding the bulk of those allotted to the “Sunday Library.”

Two large classes of admirable Missions have been purposely avoided,—namely, those of the Jesuits in Japan, China, and North and South America, and those of the Moravians in Greenland, the United States, and Africa.  These are noble works, but they are subjects apart, and our narratives deal with men exclusively of British blood, with the exception of Schwartz, whose toils were so entirely accepted and adopted by the Church of England, that he cannot but be reckoned among her ambassadors.  The object, then, has been to throw together such biographies as are most complete, most illustrative, and have been found most inciting to stir up others—representative lives, as far as possible—from the time when p. vithe destitution of the Red Indians first stirred the heart of John Eliot, till the misery of the hunted negro brought Charles Mackenzie to the banks of the fever-haunted Zambesi.

We think it will be found that, so far from being the talking, exaggerating, unpractical men that the critical and popular mind is apt to suppose, these labourers were in general eminently practical and hard-working.  They seem to us to range themselves into three classes: one, stirred up by the sight of the destitution before their eyes, and quietly trying to supply those needs; one, inspired by fervid zeal to devote themselves; and one, selected by others, taking that selection as a call, and toiling as a duty, as they would have toiled at any other duty set before them.  Each and all have their place, and fulfil the work.  The hindrances and drawbacks are generally not in the men themselves, nor in the objects of their labour, but first and foremost in the almost uniform hostility of the colonists around, who are used to consider the dark races as subjects for servitude, and either despise or resent any attempt at raising them in the scale; and next, in the extreme difficulty of obtaining means.  This it is that has more than anything tended to bring Mission work into disrepute.  Many people have no regular system nor principle of giving—the much-needed supplies can only be charmed out of their pockets by sensational accounts, such as the most really hard-working and devoted men cannot prevail on themselves to pour forth; and the work of collection is left to any of the rank and file who have the power of speech, backed by articles where immediate results may be dwelt upon to satisfy those who will not sow in faith and wait patiently.

And the Societies that do their best to regulate and collect the funds raised by those who give, whether on impulse or principle, are necessarily managed by home committees, who ought to unite the qualities of men of business with an intimate p. viiknowledge of the needs and governments of numerous young churches, among varied peoples, nations, and languages, each in an entirely abnormal state; and, moreover, to deal with those great men who now and then rise to fulfil great tasks, and cannot be judged by common rules.  Thus it is that home Societies are often to be reckoned among the trials of Missionaries.

But we will not dwell on such shortcomings, and will rather pass on to what we had designed as the purpose of our present introduction; namely, to supplement the information which the biographical form of our work has necessitated us to leave imperfect, respecting the Missions as well as the men.

Of the Red Indians who first stirred the compassion of John Eliot, there is little that is good to tell, or rather there is little good to tell of the White man’s treatment of them.  Self-government by the stronger people always falls hard on the weaker, and Mission after Mission has been extinguished by the enmity of the surrounding Whites and the corruption and decay of the Indians.  A Moravian Mission has been actually persecuted.  Every here and there some good man has arisen and done a good work on those immediately around him, and at the present time there are some Indians living upon the reserves in the western part of the continent, fairly civilized, settled, and Christianized, and only diminishing from that law of their physical nature that forbids them to flourish without a wilderness in which to roam.

But between the long-settled States of America and those upon the shores of the Pacific, lies a territory where the Indian is still a wild and savage man, and where hatred and slaughter prevail.  The Government at Washington would fain act a humane part, and set apart reserves of land and supplies, but the agents through which the transactions are carried on have too often proved unfaithful, and palmed off inferior goods p. viiion the Indians, or brought up old debts against them; and in the meantime mutual injuries work up the settlers and the Red men to such a pitch of exasperation, that horrid cruelties are perpetrated on the one side, and on the other the wild men are shot down as pitilessly as beasts of prey, while the travellers and soldiers who live in daily watch and ward against the “wily savage” learn to stigmatize all pity for him as a sort of sentimentalism sprung from Cooper’s novels.

Still, where there is peace, good men make their way, and with blessed effect.  We wish we had room for the records of the Bishopric of Minnesota, and the details of the work among the Indians; more especially how, when a rising was contemplated to massacre the White settlers all along the border, a Christian Indian travelled all night to give warning; and how, on another occasion, no less than four hundred White women and children were saved by the interposition of four Christian Indian chiefs.  Perhaps the Church has never made so systematic an effort upon the Indians as in Minnesota, and it is to be hoped that there may be some success.

For the need of system seems to me one of the great morals to be deduced from the lives I have here collected.  I confess that I began them with the unwilling belief that greater works had been effected by persons outside the pale of the Church than by those within; but as I have gone on, the conviction has grown on me that even though the individuals were often great men, their works lacked that permanency and grasp that Church work, as such, has had.

The equality of rank in the ministry of other bodies has prevented the original great founders from being invested with the power that is really needed in training and disciplining inferior and more inexperienced assistants, and produces a want of compactness and authority which has disastrous effects in movements of emergency.  Moreover, the lack of forms causes p. ixa deficiency of framework for religion to attach itself to, and this is almost fatal to dealing with unintellectual minds.

On the whole, the East Indian Missions have prospered best.  Schwartz was the very type of a founder, with his quiet, plodding earnestness, and power of being generally valuable; and the impression he made had not had time to die away before the Episcopate brought authority to deal with the difficulties he had left.  Martyn was, like Brainerd before him, one of the beacons of the cause, and did more by his example than by actual teaching; and the foundation of the See of Calcutta gave stability to the former efforts.  Except Heber, the Bishops of the Indian See were not remarkable men, but their history has been put together as a whole for the sake of the completion of the subject, as a sample of the difficulties of the position, and likewise because of the steady progress of the labours there recorded.

The Serampore brethren are too notable to be passed over, if only for the memorable fact that Carey the cobbler lighted the missionary fire throughout England and America at a time when the embers had become so extinct that our Society for the Propagation of the Gospel had to borrow workers from Denmark and Germany.  Indeed, Martyn’s zeal was partly lighted by Carey, though the early termination of his labours has forced me to place his biography before that of the longer-lived Baptist friends—both men of curious and wonderful powers, but whose history shows the disadvantages of the Society government, and whose achievements were the less permanent in consequence.  The Burmese branch of their work is chiefly noticeable for the characters and adventures of Dr. Judson and his three wives, and for the interesting display of Buddhism in contact with Christianity.  According to the statistics in an American Missionary Dictionary, the work they founded has not fallen to the ground either at Moulmein or Rangoon; while there has also sprung p. xup a hopeful English Church Mission in the same quarter.  The last thing I saw about it was a mention of the neatness and dexterity of Burmese girls as needlewomen.

Samuel Marsden may be called the patriarch of Australasian Christianity.  There is something grand in the bravery of the bullet-headed Yorkshireman, now contending with the brutality of the convicts and their masters, now sleeping among the cannibals of New Zealand.  His foundations, too, have received a superstructure on which we cannot dwell; because, happily, the first Bishop of New Zealand is not yet a subject for biography, and the Melanesian Mission, which has sprung out of it, has not yet seen its first generation.

The Polynesian work, of which John Williams was the martyr and the representative man, has chiefly been carried on by the London Mission.  It has always been a principle with the Missionaries of the Anglican Church, whose centre has been first New Zealand, then Norfolk Island, never to enter upon any islands pre-occupied by Christian teachers of any denomination, since there is no lack of wholly unoccupied ground, without perplexing the spirit of the natives with the spectacle of “our unhappy divisions;” and thus while Melanesia is for the most part left to the Church, Polynesia is in the hands of the London Mission.  Much good has been effected.  The difficulty is that, for want of supervision, individual Missionaries are too much left to themselves, and are in danger of becoming too despotic in their islands.  At least such is the impression they sometimes give to officers of the navy.  French aggression has much disturbed them both in Tahiti and in the Loyalty Islands, and the introduction of Roman Catholic priests into their territory is bitterly resented.  On the whole, observers tolerably impartial think that the civilization which these married teachers bring with them has a happier effect as an example and stimulus to the natives than the solitary ascetic priest,—a true, self-devoted saint indeed but unable to p. xiwin the attention of the people in their present condition.  In India, where asceticism is the test of sanctity even among the heathen, the most self-denying preacher has the best chance of being respected; but in those luxurious islets, poverty and plainness of living, without the power of showing the arts of life, get despised.  If the priests could bring their pomp of worship, and large bands of brethren or sisters to reclaim the waste, they might tell upon the minds of the people, but at present they go forth few and poor, and are little heeded in their isolation.  Unfortunately, too, the antagonism between them and the London Mission is desperate.  The latter hold the tenets perhaps the most widely removed from Catholicism of any Protestant sect, and are mostly not educated enough to understand the opposite point of view, so that each party would almost as soon see the natives unconverted as joining the hostile camp: and precious time is wasted in warrings the one against the other.

The most real enemies to Christianity in these seas are, however, the lawless traders, the English and American whalers and sandal-wood dealers, who bring uncontrolled vice and violence where they put in for water; while they, on the one hand, corrupt the natives, on the other they provoke them into reprisals on the next White men who fall in their way.  That the Polynesians are good sailors and not bad workmen, has proved another misfortune, for they are often kidnapped by unscrupulous captains to supply the deficiency of labour in some of the Australasian settlements.  Everywhere it seems to be the unhappy fact that Christian men are the most fatal hinderers of God’s word among the heathen.

Yet most of the more accessible of the isles have a resident missionary, and keep up schools and chapels.  Their chiefs have accepted a Christian code, and the horrid atrocities of cannibalism have been entirely given up, though there is still much evil prevalent, especially in those which have convenient p. xiiharbours, and are in the pathway of ships.  The Samoan islanders have a college, managed by an English minister and his wife, where teachers are educated not only to much good discipline, but to much real refinement, and go forth as admirable and self-devoted heralds of the Gospel into other isles.  They have furnished willing martyrs, and many have been far beyond praise.  One lack, however, seems to be of that definite formularies, a deficiency which leaves the teaching to depend over much on the individual impressions of the teacher.

The chief remnants of cannibalism are to be found in the New Hebrides.  The leader of the attack on John Williams is still alive at Erromango, and the savage defiant nature of this people has never been subdued.  They belong more to the Melanesian than the Polynesian races.  The first are more like the Negro, the second more like the Malay.  The Melanesian Missions are in the charge of the Missionary Bishop, John Coleridge Patteson, who went out as a priest with the Bishop of New Zealand in 1855.

The New Zealand story, as I have said, cannot be told in the lifetime of the chief actor in it.  It is a story of startling success, and then of disappointment through colonial impracticability.  In some points it has been John Eliot’s experience upon a larger scale; but in this case the political quarrel led to the rise of a savage and murderous sect among the Maories, a sort of endeavour to combine some features of Christianity and even Judaism with the old forgotten Paganism, and yet promoting even cannibalism.  It is memorable, however, that not one Maori who had received Holy Orders has ever swerved from the faith, though the “Hau-Haus” have led away many hundreds of Christians.  Still, a good number remain loyal and faithful, and hold to the English in the miserable war which is still raging, provoked by disputes over the sale of land.

The Melanesian Mission was begun from New Zealand; but whereas the isles are too hot for English constitutions, they p. xiiican only be visited from the sea, and lads are brought away to be educated for teachers.  New Zealand proved too cold for these natives of a tropical climate, and the college has been transplanted to Norfolk Island, where Bishop Patteson has fixed his head-quarters.  One of his converts from Banks’s Island has received Holy Orders, and this latter group seems in good train to afford a supply of native ministers to islands where few Englishmen could take up a permanent abode.

The African Missions would afford much detail, but want of space has prevented me from mentioning the Rev. George Leacock, the West Indian clergyman, who gave up everything when already an old man to pave the way of the Gospel in the Pongas.  And the Cape still retains its first Bishop, so that it is only on the side of Natal and Zululand, where the workers have passed away, that the narrative can be complete.  But the African Church is extending its stakes in Graham’s Town, Orange River, Zululand, and Zanzibar; and while the cry from East, West, and South is still “Come over and help us,” we cannot but feel that, in spite of many a failure, many a disappointment, many a fatal error, still the Gospel trumpet is being blown, and not blown in vain, even in the few spots whose history, for the sake of their representative men, I have here tried to record.  Of the Canadian and Columbian Indian Missions, of the Sandwich Isles, and of many more, I have here been able to say nothing; but I hope that the pictures of these labourers in the cause may tend to some understanding, not only of their toils, but of their joys, and may show that they were men not easily deceived, and thoroughly to be trusted in their own reports of their progress.

Charlotte M. Yonge.

March 16th, 1871.


Since the great efforts that Britain had made between the years 500 and 1000 to bring the knowledge of the truth into the still heathen portions of the Continent,—since the days of Columban and Gal, of Boniface and Willibrord,—there had been a cessation of missionary enterprise.  The known portions of the world were either Christian, or were in the hands of the Mahommedans; and no doubt much of the adventurous spirit which, united with religious enthusiasm, forms the missionary, found vent in the Crusades, and training in the military orders.  The temper of the age, and the hopelessness of converting a Mahommedan, made the good men of the third 500 years use their swords rather than their tongues against the infidel; and it was only in the case of men possessing such rare natures as those of Francis of Assisi, or Raymond Lull, that the possibility of trying to bring over a single Saracen to the faith was imagined.

It was in the revival from the Paganism with which classical tastes had infected the Church, that the spirit of missions again awoke, stimulated, of course, by the wide discoveries of fresh lands that were dawning upon the earth.  If from 1000 to 1500 the progress of the Gospel was confined to the borders p. 2of the Slavonic nation, the space of time from 1500 onwards has been one of constant and unwearied effort to raise the standard of the Cross in the new worlds beyond the Atlantic.

Spain, Portugal, France, as nations, and the great company of the Jesuits as one mighty brotherhood, were the foremost in the great undertaking; but their doings form a history of their own, and our business is with the efforts of our own Church and country in the same great cause.

Our work was not taken up so soon as theirs, partly because the spirit of colonization did not begin amongst us so early as in Spain and Portugal, and partly because the foundations of most of our colonies were laid by private enterprise, rather than by public adventure, and moreover some of the earlier ones in unsettled times.

It may be reckoned as one peculiarity of Englishmen, that their greatest works are usually not the outcome of enthusiastic design, but rather grow upon them by degrees, as they are led in paths that they have not known, and merely undertake the duty that stands immediately before them, step by step.

The young schoolmaster at Little Baddow, near Chelmsford, who decided on following in the track of the Pilgrim Fathers to New England, went simply to enjoy liberty of conscience, and to be free to minister according to his own views, and never intended to become the Apostle of the Red Indians.

Nothing is more remarkable than the recoil from neglected truths.  When, even in the earliest ages of the Church, the Second Commandment was supposed to be a mere enhancing of the first, and therefore curtailed and omitted, there was little perception that this would lead to popular, though not theoretical, idolatry, still less that this law, when again brought forward, would be pushed by scrupulous minds to the most strange and unexpected consequences, to the over-powering of all authority of ancient custom, and to the repudiation of everything symbolical.

This resolution against acknowledging any obligation to use either symbol or ceremony, together with the opposition of the hierarchy, led to the rejection of the traditional usages of the Church and the previously universal interpretation of Scripture in favour of three orders in the ministry.  The elders, or presbytery, were deemed sufficient; and when, after having for many years been carried along, acquiescing, in the stream of the p. 3Reformation, the English Episcopacy tried to make a stand, the coercion was regarded as a return to bondage, and the more ardent spirits sought a new soil on which to enjoy the immunities that they regarded as Christian freedom.

The Mayflower led the way in 1620, and the news of the success of the first Pilgrim Fathers impelled many others to follow in their track.  Among these was John Eliot.  He had been born in 1604 at Nasing in Essex, and had been bred up by careful parents, full of that strong craving for theological studies that characterized the middle classes in the reign of James I.

Nothing more is known of his youth except that he received a university education, and, like others who have been foremost in missionary labours, had a gift for the comparison of languages and study of grammar.  He studied the Holy Scriptures in the original tongues with the zeal that was infused into all scholars by the knowledge that the Authorized Version was in hand, and by the stimulus that was afforded by the promise of a copy of the first edition to him who should detect and correct an error in the type.

The usual fate of a scholar was to be either schoolmaster or clergyman, if not both, and young Eliot commenced his career as an assistant to Mr. John Hooker, at the Grammar School at Little Baddow.  He considered this period to have been that in which the strongest religious impressions were made upon him.  John Hooker was a thorough-going Puritan of great piety and rigid scruples, and instructed his household diligently in godliness, both theoretical and practical.  Eliot became anxious to enter the ministry, but the reaction of Church principles, which had set in with James I., was an obstacle in his way; and imagining all ceremonial not observed by the foreign Protestants to be oppressions on Christian liberty, it became the strongest resolution of the whole party to accept nothing of all these rites, and thus ordination became impossible to them, while the laws were stringent against any preaching or praying publicly by any unordained person.  The instruction of youth was likewise only permitted to those who were licensed by the bishop of the diocese; and Mr. Hooker, failing to fulfil the required tests, was silenced, and, although forty-seven clergy petitioned on his behalf, was obliged to flee to Holland.

This decided Eliot, then twenty-seven years of age, on p. 4leaving England, and seeking a freer sphere of action in the newly-founded colonies of New England, which held a charter from Government.  He took leave of his betrothed, of whom we only know that her Christian name was Anne (gracious), and that her nature answered to her name, and sailed on the 3rd of November, 1631, in the ship Lyon, with a company of sixty persons, among whom were the family of Governor Winthrop.

They landed at Boston, then newly rising into a city over its harbour, and there he found his services immediately required to conduct the worship in the congregation during the absence of the pastor, who had gone to England finally to arrange his affairs.

On his return, Mr. Eliot was found to be in such favour, that the Bostonites strove to retain him as an assistant minister; but this he refused, knowing that many friends in England wished to found a separate settlement of their own; and in less than a year this arrangement was actually carried out, a steep hill in the forest-land was selected, and a staunch band of East Saxons, bringing with them the gracious Anne, came forth.  John Eliot was married, elected pastor, ordained, after Presbyterian custom, by the laying on of the hands of the ministers in solemn assembly, and then took possession of the abode prepared for him and of the building on the top of the hill, where his ministrations were to be conducted.

These old fathers of the United States had found a soil, fair and well watered; and though less rich than the wondrous alluvial lands to the west, yet with capacities to yield them plentiful provision, when cleared from the vast forest that covered it.  Nor had they come for the sake of wealth or luxury; the earnestness of newly-awakened, and in some degree persecuted, religion was upon them, and they regarded a sufficiency of food and clothing as all that they had a right to seek.  Indeed, the spirit of ascetiscism was one of their foremost characteristics.  Eliot was a man who lived in constant self-restraint as to both sleep and diet, and, on all occasions of special prayer, prefaced them by a rigorous fast—and he seems to have been in a continual atmosphere of devotion.

One of his friends objected (oddly enough as it seems to us) to his stooping to pick up a weed in his garden.  “Sir, you tell us we must be heavenly-minded.”

p. 5“It is true,” he said, “and this is no impediment unto that; for, were I sure to go to heaven to-morrow, I would do what I do to-day.”

And, like many a good Christian, his outward life was to him full of allegory.  Going up the steep hill to his church, he said, “This is very like the way to heaven.  ’Tis up hill!  The Lord in His grace fetch us up;” and spying a bush near him, he added, “And truly there are thorns and briars in the way, too.”

He had great command of his flock at Roxbury, and was a most diligent preacher and catechiser, declaring, in reference to the charge to St. Peter, that “the care of the lambs is one-third part of the charge to the Church of God.”  An excellent free school was founded at Roxbury, which was held in great repute in the time of Cotton Mather, to whom we owe most of our knowledge of this good man.  The biography is put together in the peculiar fashion of that day, not chronologically, but under heads illustrating his various virtues, so that it is not easy to pick out the course of his undertakings.  Before passing on to that which especially distinguished him, we must give an anecdote or two from the “article” denominated “His exquisite charity.”  His wife had become exceedingly skilful in medicine and in dealing with wounds, no small benefit in a recent colony scant of doctors, and she gave her aid freely to all who stood in need of help.  A person who had taken offence at something in one of his sermons, and had abused him passionately, both in speech and in writing, chanced to wound himself severely, whereupon he at once sent his wife to act as surgeon; and when the man, having recovered, came to return thanks and presents, he would accept nothing, but detained him to a friendly meal, “and,” says Mather, “by this carriage he mollified and conquered the stomach of his reviler.”

“He was also a great enemy to all contention, and would ring a loud Courfew Bell wherever he saw the fires of animosity.”  When he heard any ministers complain that such and such in their flocks were too difficult for them, the strain of his answer was still: “Brother, compass them;” and, “Brother, learn the meaning of those three little words, ‘bear, forbear, forgive.’”

Once, when at an assembly of ministers a bundle of papers containing matters of difference and contention between two parties—who, he thought, should rather unite—was laid on the table, Eliot rose up and put the whole upon the fire, saying, p. 6“Brethren, wonder not at that which I have done: I did it on my knees this morning before I came among you.”

But that “exquisite charity” seems a little one-sided in another anecdote recorded of him, when “a godly gentleman of Charlestown, one Mr. Foster, with his son, was taken captive by his Turkish enemies.” [6]  Public prayers were offered for his release: but when tidings were received that the “Bloody Prince” who had enslaved him had resolved that no captive should be liberated in his own lifetime, and the distressed friends concluded, “Our hope is lost;” Mr. Eliot, “in some of his prayers before a very solemn congregation, very broadly begged, ‘Heavenly Father, work for the redemption of Thy poor servant Foster, and if the prince which detains him will not, as they say, release him so long as himself lives, Lord, we pray Thee kill that cruel prince, kill him, and glorify Thyself upon him.’  And now behold the answer.  The poor captiv’d gentleman quickly returns to us that had been mourning for him as a lost man, and brings us news that the prince, which had hitherto held him, was come to an untimely death, by which means he was now set at liberty.”

“And to turn their hearts” was a form that did not occur to the earnest suppliant for his friend.  But the “cruel prince” was far away out of sight, and there was no lack of charity in John Eliot’s heart for the heathen who came into immediate contact with him.  Indeed, he was the first to make any real effort for their conversion.

The colonists were as yet only a scanty sprinkling in easy reach of the coast, and had done little at present to destroy the hunting-grounds of the Red man who had hitherto held possession of the woods and plains.

The country was inhabited by the Pequot Indians, a tall, well-proportioned, and active tribe, belonging to the great Iroquois nation.  They set up their wigwams of bark, around which their squaws cultivated the rapidly growing crop of p. 7maize while the men hunted the buffalo and deer, and returning with their spoil, required every imaginable service from their heavily-oppressed women, while they themselves deemed the slightest exertion, except in war and hunting, beneath their dignity.  Their nature had much that was high and noble; and in those days had not yet been ruined either by the White man’s vices or his cruelty.  They were neither the outcast savages nor the abject inferiors that two hundred years have rendered their descendants, but far better realized the description in Longfellow’s “Hiawatha,” of the magnificently grave, imperturbably patient savage, the slave of his word, and hospitable to the most scrupulous extent.  It was in mercy and tenderness that the character was the most deficient.  The whole European instinct of forbearance and respect to woman was utterly wanting,—the squaws were the most degraded of slaves; and to the captive the most barbarous cruelty was shown.  Experience has shown that there is something in the nature of the Red Indian which makes him very slow of being able to endure civilization, renders wandering almost a necessity to his constitution, and generally makes him, when under restraint, even under the most favourable conditions, dwindle away, lose all his fine natural endowments, and become an abject and often a vicious being.  The misfortune has been that, with a few honourable exceptions, it has not been within the power of the better and more thoughtful portion of man to change the Red Indian’s vague belief in his “Great Spirit” to a more systematic and stringent acceptance of other eternal verities and their consequent obligations, and at the same time leave him free to lead the roving life of the patriarchs of old; since, as Scripture itself shows us, it takes many generations to train the wandering hunter to a tiller of the soil, or a dweller in cities; and the shock to the wild man of a sudden change is almost always fatal both to mental and bodily health.  This conclusion, however, has been a matter of slow and sad experience, often confused by the wretched effects of the vice, barbarity, and avarice of the settler and seaman, which in many cases have counteracted the effects of the missionary, and accelerated the extinction of the native.

In John Eliot’s time, there was all to hope; and the community of Englishmen with whom he lived, though stern, fierce, intolerant, and at times cruel in their intolerance, did not p. 8embarrass his work nor corrupt the Indians by the grosser and coarser vices, when, in his biographer’s words, “our Eliot was on such ill terms with the devil as to alarm him with sounding the silver trumpets of Heaven in his territories, and make some noble and zealous endeavours towards ousting him of his ancient possessions.”  The Pilgrim Fathers had obtained their land by fair purchase, i.e. if purchase could be fair where there was no real mutual understanding; and a good deal of interest had been felt in England in the religious state of the Red men.  The charter to the colony had enforced their conversion on the settlers, and Dr. Lake, Bishop of Bath and Wells, declared that but for his old age and infirmities he would have headed a mission to America for the purpose.  Had he done so, perhaps something systematic might have been attempted.  As it was the new colonists had too severe a struggle with their own difficulties to attend to their heathen surroundings, even though the seal of their colony of Massachusetts represented an Indian with the label in his mouth, “Come over and help us.”  A few conversions had taken place, but rather owing to the interest in the White men’s worship taken by individual Indians, than to any efforts on the part of the settlers.

Sixteen years, however, passed without overt aggression, though already was beginning the sad story that is repeated wherever civilized man extends his frontiers.  The savage finds his hunting-ground broken up, the White man’s farm is ruined by the game or the chase, the luxuries of civilization excite the natives’ desires, mistrust leads to injury, retaliation follows, and then war.

In 1634, only two years after Eliot’s arrival, two gentlemen, with their boat’s crew, were killed on the Connecticut river, and some of the barbarities took place that we shall too often have to notice—attacks by the natives on solitary dwellings or lonely travellers, and increasing anger on the part of the colonists, until they ceased to regard their enemies as fellow-creatures.

However, the Pequots were likewise at war with the Dutch and with the Narragansets, or river Indians, and they sent a deputation to endeavour to make peace with the English, and secure their assistance against these enemies.  They were appointed to return for their answer in a month’s time; and p. 9after consultation with the clergy, Mr. Dudley and Mr. Ludlow, the Governor and Deputy-Governor, decided on making a treaty with them, on condition of their delivering up the murderers of the Englishmen, and paying down forty beaver and thirty otter skins, besides 400 fathoms of wampum, i.e. strings of the small whelks and Venus-shells that served as current coin, a fathom being worth about five shillings.

It surprises us that Eliot’s name first appears in connection with the Indians as an objector to this treaty, and in a sermon too, at Roxbury; not on any grounds of injustice to the Indians, but because it had been conducted by the magistrates without reference to the people, which was an offence to his views of the republican rights to be exercised in the colony.  So serious was his objection deemed, that a deputation was appointed to explain the principles on which Government had acted, and thus convince Mr. Eliot, which they did so effectually that he retracted his censure in his next sermon.

Probably this was what first awakened John Eliot’s interest in the Red-skins; but for the next few years, in spite of the treaty, there was a good deal of disturbance on the frontier, and some commission of cruelties, until the colonists became gradually roused into fury.  Some tribes were friendly with them; and, uniting with these the Mohicans and river Indians, under the conduct of Uncas, the Mohican chief, seventy-seven Englishmen made a raid into the Pequot country and drove them from it.  Then, in 1637, a battle, called “the Great Swamp Fight,” took place between the English, Dutch, and friendly Indians on the one hand, and the Pequots on the other.  It ended in the slaughter of seven hundred of the Pequots and thirteen of their Sachems.  The wife of one of the Sachems was taken, and as she had protected two captive English girls she was treated with great consideration, and was much admired for her good sense and modesty; but the other prisoners were dispersed among the settlers to serve as slaves, and a great number of the poor creatures were shipped off to the West India Islands to work on the sugar plantations.

Those who had escaped the battle were hunted down by the Mohicans and Narragansets, who continually brought their scalps in to the English towns, and at last they were reduced to sue for peace when only 200 braves were still living.  These, with their families, were amalgamated with the Mohicans and p. 10Narragansets, and expelled from their former territory, on which the English settled.  An annual tribute of a length of wampum, for every male in the tribe, varying according to age and rank, was paid to the English, and their supremacy was so entirely established that nearly forty years of peace succeeded.

Eliot’s missionary enterprise, Mather allows, was first inspired by the “remarkable zeal of the Romish missionaries,” by whom he probably means the French Jesuits, who were working with much effect in the settlements in Louisiana, first occupied in the time of Henri IV.  Another stimulus came from the expressions in the Royal Charter which had granted licence for the establishment of the colony, namely, “To win and incite the natives of that country to the knowledge and obedience of the only true God and Saviour of mankind and the Christian faith, in our Royal intention and the Adventurers’ free profession, is the principal end of the Plantation.”

That the devil himself was the Red men’s master, and came to their assistance when summoned by the incantations of their medicine men, was the universal belief of the colonists, in corroboration of which the following story is given:—“The Indians in their wars with us, finding a sore inconvenience by our dogs, which would make a sad yelling if in the night they scented the approaches of them, they sacrificed a dog to the devil, after which no English dog would bark at an Indian for divers months ensuing.”

In the intended contest Mr. Eliot began by preaching and making collections from the English settlers, and likewise “he hires a native to teach him this exotick language, and, with a laborious care and skill, reduces it into a grammar, which afterwards he published.  There is a letter or two of our alphabet which the Indians never had in theirs; though there were enough of the dog in their temper, there can scarce be found an R in their language, . . . but, if their alphabet be short, I am sure the words composed of it are long enough to tire the patience of any scholar in the world; they are Sesquipedalia verba, of which their linguo is composed.  For instance, if I were to translate our Loves, it must be nothing shorter than Noowomantamoonkanunonush.  Or to give my reader a longer word, Kremmogkodonattootummootiteaonganunnnash is, in English, our question.”

p. 11The worthy Mr. Mather adds, with a sort of apology, that, having once found that the demons in a possessed young woman understood Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, he himself tried them with this Indian tongue, and “the demons did seem as if they understood it.”  Indeed, he thinks the words must have been growing ever since the confusion of Babel!  The fact appears to be, that these are what are now called agglutinate languages, and, like those of all savage tribes, in a continual course of alteration—also often using a long periphrastic description to convey an idea or form a name.  A few familiar instances will occur, such as Niagara, “thunder of water.”

This formidable language Mr. Eliot—the anagram of whose name, Mather appropriately observes, was Toils—mastered with the assistance of a “pregnant-witted Indian,” who had been a servant in an English family.  By the help of his natural turn for philology, he was able to subdue this instrument to his great and holy end,—with what difficulty may be estimated from the sentence with which he concluded his grammar: “Prayer and pains through faith in Christ Jesus will do anything.”

It was in the year 1646, while Cromwell was gradually obtaining a preponderating influence in England, and King Charles had gone to seek protection in the Scottish army, that John Eliot, then in his forty-second year, having thus prepared himself, commenced his campaign.

He had had a good deal of conversation with individual Indians who came about the settlement at Roxbury, and who perceived the advantages of some of the English customs.  They said they believed that in forty years the Red and White men would be all one, and were really anxious for this consummation.  When Eliot declared that the superiority of the White race came from their better knowledge of God, and offered to come and instruct them, they were full of joy and gratitude; and on the 28th of October, 1646, among the glowing autumn woods, a meeting of Indians was convoked, to which Mr. Eliot came with three companions.  They were met by a chief named Waban, or the Wind, who had a son at an English school, and was already well disposed towards them, and who led them to his wigwam, where the principal men of the tribe awaited them.

p. 12“All the old men of the village,
All the warriors of the nation,
All the Jossakeeds, the prophets,
The magicians, the Wabenos,
And the medicine men, the medas,
Came to bid the strangers welcome.
‘It is well,’ they said, ‘O brothers,
That you came so far to see us.’
In a circle round the doorway,
With their pipes they sat in silence,
Waiting to behold the strangers,
Waiting to receive their message,
Till the Black Robe chief, the pale face,
From the wigwam came to greet them,
Stammering in his speech a little,
Speaking words yet unfamiliar.”

Mr. Eliot prayed in English, and then preached on the 9th and 10th verses of the 37th chapter of Ezekiel, where the prophet is bid to call the Breath of God from the four winds of heaven to give life to the dry bones around.  It so happened that the Indian word for breath or wind was Waban, and this made a great impression, and was afterwards viewed as an omen.

The preacher worked up from the natural religion, of which this fine race already had an idea, to the leading Christian truths.

Then the Black Robe chief, the prophet,
Told his message to the people,
Told the purport of his mission,
Told them of the Virgin Mary,
And her blessed Son, the Saviour:
How in distant lands and ages
He had lived on earth as we do;
How He fasted, prayed, and laboured;
How the Jews, the tribe accursed,
Mocked Him, scourged Him, crucified Him;
How He rose from where they laid Him,
Walked again with His disciples,
And ascended into heaven.”

The sermon lasted an hour and a quarter, but the Indians are a dignified and patient people, prone to long discourses themselves, and apt to listen to them from others.  When he finally asked if they had understood, many voices replied that they had; and, on his encouraging them to ask questions, many intelligent inquiries were made.  The whole conference lasted p. 13three hours, and Mr. Eliot was invited to come again, which he did at intervals of about a fortnight, and again with good promise.

In one of these meetings they asked, very reasonably, why the English called them Indians, a question it could not have been easy to answer.  The Powaws, or priests, began to make some opposition, but Waban was continually going about among the people, repeating portions of the instructions he had received, and teaching his friends to pray—for some had at first supposed that the English God might not be addressed in the native tongue, but only in English.

After some little time, he thought the Indians ripe for being taught to live a settled life, and obtained for his congregation—“the praying Indians,” as they were commonly called—a grant of the site of his first instructions.  The place was named “Rejoicing,”—in Indian, a word that soon got corrupted into Nonantum; and, under Mr. Eliot’s directions, they divided their grounds with trenches and stone walls, for which he gave them tools to the best of his ability.  They built wigwams of a superior construction, and the women learnt to spin; there was a continual manufacture of brushes, eel-pots, and baskets, which were sold in the English towns, together with turkeys, fish, venison, and fruits, according to the season.  At hay and harvest times they would hire themselves out to work for their English neighbours, but were thought unable or unwilling to do what sturdy Englishmen regarded as a fair day’s work.

A second settlement of praying Indians followed at Neponset, around the wigwam of a Sachem named Cutshamakin, a man of rank much superior to Waban.  He had already been in treaty with the English, and had promised to observe the Ten Commandments, but had unhappily learnt also from the English that love of drink which was the bane of the Indian; and while Mr. Eliot was formally instructing the family, one of the sons, a boy of fifteen, when learning the fifth commandment, persisted in saying only “honour thy mother,” and, when admonished, declared that his father had given him fire-water, which had intoxicated him, and had besides been passionate and violent with him.  The boy had always been a rude, contumacious fellow, and at the next lecture day Mr. Eliot turned to the Sachem, and lamented over these faults, but added that the first step to reforming p. 14him would be for his father to set the example by a confession of his own sins, which were neither few nor light.

The Sachem’s pride was subdued.  He stood up and openly declared his offences, lamenting over them with deep sincerity.  The boy was so touched that he made humble confession in his turn, and entreated forgiveness.  His parents were so much moved that they wept aloud, and the board on which Cutshamakin stood was wet with his tears.  He was softened then, but, poor man, he said: “My heart is but very little better than it was, and I am afraid it will be as bad again as it was before.  I sometimes wish I might die before I be so bad again!”

Poor Cutshamakin! he estimated himself truly.  The Puritan discipline, which aimed at acting on the conduct rather through the conscience and feelings than by means of grace, never entirely subdued him, and he remained a fitfully fierce, and yet repentant, savage to the end of his life.  His squaw must have been a clever woman; for, being publicly reprimanded by the Indian preacher Nabanton, for fetching water on a Sunday, she told him after the meeting that he had done more harm by raising the discussion than she had done by fetching the water.

Sunday was impressed upon the natives with all the strictness peculiar to the British Calvinists in their reaction from the ale-feasts, juggleries, and merry-makings of the almost pagan fifteenth century.  It is never hard to make savage converts observe a day of rest; they are generally used to keep certain seasons already, and, as Mr. Eliot’s Indians honestly said, they do so little work at any time that a weekly abstinence from it comes very easily.  At Nonantum, indeed, they seem to have emulated the Pharisees themselves in their strictness.  Waban got into trouble for having a racoon killed to entertain two unexpected guests; and a case was brought up at public lecture of a man who, finding his fire nearly gone out, had violated the Sabbath by splitting one piece of dry wood with his axe.

But the “weightier matters of the law” were not by any means forgotten, and there was a continual struggle to cure the converts of their new vice of drunkenness, and their old habit of despising and maltreating their squaws, who in the Christian villages were raised to a state far less degraded; for any cruelty p. 15or tyranny towards them was made matter of public censure and confession in the assembly.

Several more distant journeys were taken by Mr. Eliot, some of them to the Merrimac River to see a powerful old Sachem of a great age, named Passaconaway, who his people believed to be able to make green leaves grow in winter, trees dance, and water burn.

He was so much afraid of the Missionary that he fled away the first time he heard he was coming, probably thinking him a great sorcerer; but the next time he remained, listened eagerly, expressed his intention of praying, and tried to induce Mr. Eliot to settle in his district.  He lived to a great age, and left a charge with his children never to contend with the English, having convinced himself that the struggle was hopeless.  Several other Sachems gave a sort of attention: and it appeared that the way had been in some degree prepared by a French priest, who had been wrecked on Cape Cod, had been passed from one tribe to another, and had died among them, but not without having left a tradition of teaching which was by some identified with Eliot’s.

Of one Sachem, Mather tells a story: “While Mr. Eliot was preaching of Christ unto the other Indians, a demon appeared unto a Prince of the Eastern Indians in a shape that had some resemblance of Mr. Eliot or of an English minister, pretending to be the Englishman’s God.  The spectre commanded him ‘to forbear the drinking of rum and to observe the Sabbath-day, and to deal justly with his neighbours;’ all which things had been inculcated in Mr. Eliot’s ministry, promising therewithal unto him that, if he did so, at his death his soul should ascend into a happy place, otherwise descend unto miseries; but the apparition all the while never said one word about Christ, which was the main subject of Mr. Eliot’s ministry.  The Sachem received such an impression from the apparition that he dealt justly with all men except in the bloody tragedies and cruelties he afterwards committed on the English in our wars.  He kept the Sabbath-day like a fast, frequently attending in our congregations; he would not meddle with any rum, though usually his countrymen had rather die than undergo such a piece of self-denial.  That liquor has merely enchanted them.  At last, and not long since, this demon appeared again unto this pagan, requiring him to kill himself, and assuring him p. 16that he should revive in a day or two, never to die any more.  He thereupon divers times attempted it, but his friends very carefully prevented it; however, at length he found a fair opportunity for this foul business, and hanged himself,—you may be sure without his expected resurrection.”

This story, grotesque as it sounds in the solemn simplicity of the worthy Puritan, is really only an instance of what takes place wherever the light of the Gospel is held up to men capable of appreciating its standard of morality, but too proud to bend the spirit to accept the doctrine of the Cross.  The Sachem was but a red-skinned “seeker after God,” an “ape of Christianity,” like Marcus Aurelius, and like the many others we shall meet with who loved darkness rather than light, not so much because their deeds were evil as because their hearts were proud.

Like all practical men, Eliot found it absolutely necessary to do what he called “carrying on civility with religion,” i.e. instructing the converts in such of the arts of life as would afford them wholesome industry; but want of means was his great difficulty, and in the middle of a civil war England was not very likely to supply him.

Still he made his Indians at Nonantum hedge and ditch, plant trees, sow cornfields, and saw planks; and some good man in England, whose name he never knew, sent him in 1648 ten pounds for schools among the natives, half of which he gave to a mistress at Cambridge, and half to a master at Dorchester, under whom the Indian children made good progress, and he catechized them himself most diligently by way of teaching both them and the parents who looked on.

He had by this time translated the Bible, but it remained in manuscript for want of the means of printing it; and his favourite scheme of creating an Indian city, with a scriptural government, well out of the way of temptation from and interference by the English, was also at a standstill, from his poverty.

He likewise sustained a great loss in his friend Mr. Shepard, who had worked with him with equal devotion and enthusiasm, but this loss really led to the fulfilment of his wishes, for Mr. Shepard’s papers were sent home, and aroused such an interest in Calamy and others of the devout ministers in London, that the needs of the Indians of New England were brought before Parliament, and an ordinance was passed on p. 17the 27th of July, 1649, for the advancement of civilization and Christianity among them.  Then a corporation was instituted, entitled the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England, of which Judge Street was the first president, and Mr. Henry Ashurst the first treasurer, with powers to receive the collections that the ministers in every parish were exhorted to make by authority of Parliament, backed up by letters from the two Universities.

There was a good deal of opposition; people fancied it a new plan of getting money for Government, and were not at all interested about the Indians, but money enough was collected to purchase lands worth about 500l. or 600l. a year, by way of foundation, at a time when the property of Cavaliers was going cheap, and the Society was able to undertake the cost of printing Eliot’s Bible, as well as of building him an Indian college, of paying his teachers, and of supplying the greatly needed tools and other necessaries for his much-desired station.

Still there was a great deal of difficulty and opposition, from the English dislike and contempt for the Indians, who were judged en masse by the degraded ones who loitered about the settlements, begging and drinking; as well as from the Powaws or medicine men who found their dupes escaping, and tried to terrify them by every means by which it was possible to work upon their superstition.  The Sachems, likewise, were finding out that Christians were less under their tyranny since they had had a higher standard, and many opposed Eliot violently, trying to drive him from their villages with threats and menacing gestures, but he calmly answered, “I am engaged in the work of God, and God is with me.  I fear not all the Sachems in the country.  I shall go on with my work.  Touch me if you dare;” nor did he ever fail to keep the most angry in check while he was present, though they hated him greatly.  Uncas, the chief of the Mohicans, made a regular complaint to Government that Eliot and his colleagues prayed by name for the conversion of the Mohicans and Narragansets.  Even Cutshamakin, when he heard of the project of an Indian town, broke out against it with such fury, that all the men in favour of it cowered and slunk away from his furious howls and gesticulations.  Mr. Eliot was left alone to confront him, and looking steadily at him told him that, as this was God’s work, no fear of him should hinder it.  The savage quailed p. 18before him, but afterwards came to him and stated that his objection was that the praying Indians did not pay him their tribute.  Eliot kindly answered that this had been complained of before, and that he had preached a sermon enforcing this duty upon the tribe.

The words were good, said Cutshamakin, but the Indians would not obey them.  So Mr. Eliot, after consultation with the ministers and elders in Boston, invited the Indians who understood English to hear a sermon there, and in it the duty of rendering to all their due was fully enforced.  Afterwards, however, the Indians came forward declaring themselves much surprised and mortified at being accused of not paying their just duty to their chief; and they specified the service and gifts: each had rendered twenty bushels of corn, six bushels of rye, fifteen deer, days spent in hunting, the building of a wigwam, reclaiming two acres of land; and the amount when added up amazed Mr. Eliot.  At his next lecture, then, he took for his text the rejection by the Saviour of all the kingdoms of the world, and personally applied it to Cutshamakin, reproaching him with lust of power and worldly ambition, and warning him that Satan was tempting him to give up the faith for the sake of recovering his arbitrary power.  The discourse and the conversation that followed again melted the Sachem, and he repented and retracted, although he continued an unsafe and unstable man.

At length, in 1651, Mr. Eliot was able to convene his praying Indians and with them lay the foundation of a town on the banks of Charles River, about eighteen miles to the south-west of Boston.  The spot, as he believed, had been indicated to him in answer to prayer, and they named it Natick, or the place of hills.  The inhabitants of Nonantum removed thither, and the work was put in hand.  A bridge, eighty feet long and nine feet wide, had already been laid across the river, entirely by Indian workmen, under Mr. Eliot’s superintendence; and the town was laid out in three streets, two on one side of the river and one on the other; the grounds were measured and divided, apple-trees planted, and sowing begun.  The cellars of some of the houses, it is said, remain to the present day.  In the midst was a circular fort, palisaded with trees, and a large house built in the English style, though with only a day or two of help from an English carpenter, the lower part of which was p. 19to serve as a place of worship on Sunday, and for a school on other days, the upper part as a wardrobe and storehouse for valuables, and with a room partitioned off, and known as “the prophet’s chamber,” for the use of Mr. Eliot on his visits to the settlement.  Outside were canopies, formed by mats stretched on poles, one for Mr. Eliot and his attendants, another for the men, and a third for the women.  These were apparently to shelter a sort of forum, and likewise to supplement the school-chapel in warm weather.  A few English-built houses were raised; but the Indians found them expensive and troublesome, and preferred the bark wigwams on improved principles.

The spot was secured to the Indians by the Council of Government, acting under the Commonwealth at home; but the right of local self-government was vested in each township; and Eliot, as the guide of his new settlers, could lead them to what he believed to be a truly scriptural code, such as he longed to see prevail in his native land.  “Oh!” he exclaimed, “the blessed day in England, when the Word of God shall be their Magna Carta and chief law book, and all lawyers must be divines to study the Scripture.”

His commencement in carrying out this system was to preach Jethro’s advice to Moses, and thence deduce that the Indians should divide themselves into hundreds and into tens, and elect rulers for each division, each tithing man being responsible for the ten under him, each chief of a hundred for the ten tithings.  This was done on the 6th of August, 1651; and Eliot declared that it seemed to him as if he beheld the scattered bones he had spoken of in his first sermon to the Indians, come bone to bone, and a civil political life begin.  His hundreds and tithings were as much suggested by the traditional arrangements of King Alfred as by those of Moses in the wilderness; and his next step was, in like manner, partly founded on Scripture, partly on English history,—namely, the binding his Indians by a solemn covenant to serve the Lord, and ratifying it on a fast-day.  His converts had often asked him why he held none of the great fast-days with them that they saw the English hold, and he had always replied that there was not a sufficient occasion, but he regarded this as truly important enough.  Moreover, a ship containing some supplies, sent by the Society in England, had been wrecked, and the goods, though saved, were damaged.  This he regarded as a frown of Providence and a p. 20fruit of sin.  Poor Cutshamakin also was in trouble again, having been drawn into a great revel, where much spirits had been drunk; and his warm though unstable temper always made him ready to serve as a public example of confession and humiliation.  So when, on the 24th of September, 1651, Mr. Eliot had conducted the fast-day service, it began with Cutshamakin’s confession; then three Indians preached and prayed in turn, and Mr. Eliot finally preached on Ezra’s great fast.  There was a pause for rest; then the assembly came together again, and before them Mr. Eliot solemnly recited the terms of the Covenant, by which all were to bind themselves to the service of the Lord, and which included all their principal laws.  He asked them whether they stood to the Covenant.  All the chiefs first bound themselves, then the remainder of the people; a collection was made for the poor; and so ended that “blessed day,” as the happy apostle of the Indians called it.

When Governor Endicot shortly after visited the place, he was greatly struck with the orderliness and civilization he found there.  “I account this one of the best journeys I have made for many years,” he says.  Many little manufactures were carried on, in particular one of drums, which were used for lack of bells in some of the American settlements, as a summons to come to church.

There was a native schoolmaster, named Monequassum, who could write, read, and spell English correctly, and under whom the children were making good progress.  Promising lads were trained by Mr. Eliot himself, in hopes of making them act as missionaries among their brethren.  All this time his praying Indians were not baptized, nor what he called “gathered into a Church estate.”  He seems to have been determined to have full proof of their stability before he so accepted them; for it was from no inclination to Baptist views that he so long delayed receiving them.  However, on the 13th of October, 1652, he convened his brother-ministers to hear his Indians make public confession of their faith.  What the converts said was perfectly satisfactory; but they were a long-winded race, accustomed to flowing periods; and as each man spoke for himself, and his confession had to be copied down in writing, Mr. Eliot himself owns that their “enlargement of spirit” did make “the work longsome.”  So longsome it was, that while the schoolmaster was speaking every one got restless, p. 21and there was a confusion; and the ministers, who had a long dark ride through the woods before them, went away, and were hard to bring back again, so that he had to finish hearing the declarations of faith alone.

Still, he cut off the baptism and organization of a church till he had sent all these confessions to be considered by the Society in England, printed and published under the title of “Tears of Repentance,” with a dedication to Oliver Cromwell.  Then came other delays; some from the jealousy and distrust of the English, who feared that the Indians were going to ally themselves to the Dutch; some from the difficulty of getting pastors to join in the tedious task of listening to the wordy confessions; and some from the distressing scandal of drunkenness breaking out among the Indians, in spite of the strict discipline that always punished it.  It was not till 1660 that Mr. Eliot baptized any Indians, and the next day admitted them to the Lord’s Supper, nine years after he had begun to preach.  The numbers we do not know, but there is no doubt that he received no adults except well proved and tried persons coming up to the Puritan standard of sincerity and devotion.

At this time the Society at home was in great danger; for, on the Restoration, the charter had become void, and, moreover, the principal estate that formed the endowment had been the property of a Roman Catholic,—Colonel Bedingfield,—who resumed possession, and refused to refund the purchase money, as considering the Society at an end.  It would probably have been entirely lost, but for the excellent Robert Boyle, so notable at once for his science, piety, and beneficence.  He placed the matter in its true light before Lord Clarendon, and obtained by his means a fresh charter from Charles II.  The judgment in the Court of Chancery was given in favour of the Society, and Boyle himself likewise endowed it with a third part of a grant of the forfeited impropriations in Ireland which he had received from the king.  But all the time there was a great disbelief in the efficacy of the work among the Indians both at home and in New England.  It was the fashion to call all the stories of Indian conversions mere devices for getting money, and the unhappy, proud hostility that almost always actuated the ordinary English colonist in dealing with natives, was setting in in full force.  However, at Massachusetts, the general court appointed an p. 22English magistrate to hold a court of judicature in conjunction with the chiefs of the Christian Indians, and to be in fact a sort of special member of government on their behalf.  The first so appointed was Daniel Gookin, a man of great piety, wisdom, and excellence, and a warm friend of Mr. Eliot, with whom he worked most heartily, not only in dealing with the Indians of Natick, but with all those who came under English jurisdiction, providing schools, and procuring the observance of the Sunday among them.  It was also provided that the Christian Indians should set apart a tenth of all their produce for the support of their teachers—a practice that Mr. Gookin defended from the charge of Judaism.  It seems as if these good men, who went direct to the Old Testament for their politics, must have been hard set between their desire of scriptural authority and their dread of Judaizing.

It was well for Eliot that he had friends, for in the first flush of the tidings of the successes of the Puritans in England, he had written a set of papers upon Government, entitled the “Christian Commonwealth,” which had been sent to England, and there lay dormant for nine or ten years, until in the midst of all the excitement on the Restoration, this speculative work, the theory of a scholar upon Christian democracy, was actually printed and launched upon the world at home, whether by an enemy or by an ill-advised friend does not appear, and without the author’s consent.  Complaints of this as a seditious book came out to New England, and John Eliot was forced to appear before the court, when he owned the authorship, but disowned the publication, and retracted whatever might have declared the Government of England, by King, Lords, and Commons, to be anti-Christian, avowing it to be “not only a lawful but eminent form of government, and professing himself ready to conform to any polity that could be deduced from Scripture as being of Divine authority.”  The court was satisfied, and suppressed the book, while publishing Mr. Eliot’s retractation.  Some have sneered at his conduct on this occasion as an act of moral cowardice; but it would be very hard if every man were bound to stand to all the political views expressed in an essay never meant for the general eye, ten years old, and written in the enthusiasm of the commencement of an experiment, which to the Presbyterian mind had proved a grievous disappointment.

p. 23He had a much more important work in hand than the defence of old dreams of the reign of the saints—for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England had just finished printing his translation of the New Testament, Wusku Wuttestermentum as it was called, and in two years more the Old Testament was finished.  A copy was presented to Charles II., to the Chancellor Clarendon, and to the two Universities in England, as well as to Harvard College.  It was in the Mohican dialect, which was sufficiently like that of the neighbouring tribes to serve for them, and had all the correctness that the scholarship and philology of the time could furnish.  There is a story that Eliot wrote the whole with a single pen.  It went through a good many editions, but is now very rare, and with Eliot’s Catechism, and translations of Baxter’s chief works, and a metrical version of the Psalms, remains the only vestige of the language of the Mohicans.

There were now several Indian congregations, one in especial at the island called Martha’s Vineyard, under the charge of an Indian pastor, John Hiacoomes, who is said to have been the first red-skinned convert, and who had made proof of much true Christian courage.  Once in the act of prayer he received a severe blow from a Sachem, and would have been killed if some English had not been present; but all his answer was, “I have two hands.  I had one hand for injuries, and the other for God.  While I did receive wrong with the one, the other laid the greater hold on God.”

When some of the Powaws, or medicine men, were boasting that they could, if they would, destroy all the praying Indians at once, Hiacoomes made reply: “Let all the Powaws in the island come together, I’ll venture myself in the midst among them all.  Let them use all their witchcrafts.  With the help of God, I’ll tread upon them all!”

By which defiance he wonderfully “heartened” his flock, who, Christians as they were, had still been beset by the dread of the magic arts, in which, as we have seen, even their White teachers did not wholly disbelieve.

Such a man as this was well worthy of promotion, and Mr. Eliot hoped to educate his more promising scholars, so as to supply a succession of learned and trained native pastors.  Two young men, named Joel and Caleb, were sent to Harvard College, Cambridge, where they both were gaining distinguished p. 24success, and were about to take their degree, when Joel, who had gone home on a visit, was wrecked on the Island of Nantucket, and, with the rest of the ship’s company, was either drowned or murdered by the Indians.  The name of Caleb, Chee-shah-teau-muck, Indus, is still to be seen in the registers of those who took their degree, and there are two Latin and Greek elegies remaining, which he composed on the death of an eminent minister, bearing his signature, with the addition, Senior Sophister.  How curiously do the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin proclaim themselves the universal languages, thus blending with the uncouth Mohican word!  Caleb’s constitution proved unable to endure College discipline and learning, and he died of decline soon after taking his degree.  Consumption was very frequent among the Indians, as it so often is among savages suddenly brought to habits of civilization, and it seems to have mown down especially the more intellectual of the Indians; Monequassum, the first schoolmaster at Natick, among them.  An Indian College, which had been established at Cambridge, failed from the deaths of some scholars and the discouragement of others, and had to be turned into a printing house, and the energetic and indefatigable Eliot did the best he could by giving courses of lectures in logic and theology to candidates for the ministry at Natick, and even printed an “Indian logick primer.”  It was a wonderful feat, considering the loose unwieldy words of the language.

From 1660 to 1675 were Eliot’s years of chief success.  His own vigour was unabated, and he had Major Gookin’s hearty co-operation.  There had been time for a race of his own pupils to grow up; and there had not been time for the first love of his converts to wax cool.  There had been a long interval of average peace and goodwill between English and natives, and there seemed good reason to suppose that Christianity and civilization would keep them friends, if not fuse them together.  There were eleven hundred Christian Indians, according to Eliot and Gookin’s computation, with six regularly constituted “churches” after the fashion of Natick, and fourteen towns, of which seven were called old and seven new, where praying Indians lived, for the most part, in a well-conducted, peaceable manner, though now and then disorderly conduct would take place, chiefly from drunkenness.  Several Sachems had likewise been converted, in especial Wanalanset, the eldest son p. 25of the famous old chief Passaconnaway.  After four years of hesitation whether he should, as he said, quit his old canoe and embark in a new one, he came to the conclusion that the old canoe was floating down the stream of destruction, and manfully embraced the faith, although at the cost of losing many of his tribe, who deserted him on his profession of Christianity.

But there is always a period of check and disappointment in every great and holy work.  The tide of evil may be driven into ebb for a time, but it always rallies and flows back upon the servant of God, and usually when the prime of his strength is past, and he is less able to withstand.  Most good and great men have closed their eyes upon apparent failure and disappointment in what is especially their own task, and, like the first great Leader and Lawgiver, have had to cry, “Show Thy servants Thy work, and their children Thy glory.”  Often the next generation does see the success, and gather the fruits; but the strong, wise, scholarly, statesman-like Apostle of the Indians was destined to see his work swept away like snow before the rage and fury of man, and to leave behind him little save a great witness and example.  At least he had the comfort of knowing that the evil did not arise among his own children in the faith, but came from causes entirely external, and as much to be preferred as persecution is better than corruption.

The Sachem nearest to Plymouth had been at the first arrival of the Pilgrim Fathers, Massasoiet, chief of the Wampanongs, who had kept the peace out of fear.  His son Alexander had followed his example, but it was current among the English that he had died of “choler,” on being detected in a plot against them, and his successor, Philip, was a man of more than common pride, fierceness, cunning, and ability.  These were only names given them by the English; none of them were Christians.  Mr. Eliot had made some attempts upon Philip, but had been treated with scorn.  The Sachem, twisting a button upon the minister’s coat, told him he cared not that for his Gospel; but Major Gookin had some hopes of having touched his heart.

However, there were indications that he was endeavouring to unite all the surrounding tribes in an alliance against the colony.  A murder of an Englishman had taken place, and the Government at Plymouth required all natives to surrender the fire-arms they had obtained from the English.  Even Philip p. 26consented to deliver them up until the English should see no further cause for detaining them.  Upon this, in June 1671, Eliot wrote a remarkable letter to Mr. Prince, the Governor of Plymouth, requiring him not to detain the arms, especially of Philip.  “My reasons are,” he says, “first, lest we render ourselves more afraid of them and their guns than indeed we are or have cause to be.  Alas! it is not the gun, but the man; nor, indeed, is it the man, but our sin that we have cause to be afraid of.  Secondly, your so doing will open an effectual door to the entertainment of the Gospel.”  Probably Mr. Eliot was right, and the keeping the arms only irritated the high-spirited chief, who said to the messenger of the Governor of Massachusetts, “Your governor is but a subject.  I will not treat but with my brother, King Charles of England.”

For four years enmity smouldered on.  The rights of the dispute will never be known.  The settlers laid all upon Philip’s machinations, except those who lived near his wigwams and knew him best; and they said that so far from entering into a conspiracy, he always deplored the war, but was forced on by the rage and fury of the young braves, over whom the Sachems had no real power, and who wanted to signalize their valour, and could not fail to have their pride insulted by the demeanour of the ordinary English.  One instance of brutality on the river Saco is said to have been the immediate cause of the war in that district.  Some English sailors, seeing a canoe with an Indian woman and her infant, and having heard that a papoose could swim like a duck, actually upset the canoe to make the experiment.  The poor baby sank, and the mother dived and brought it up alive, but it died so soon after, that the loss was laid to the charge of the cruel men by the father, who was a Sachem named Squando, of considerable dignity and influence, a great medicine man.

On Philip’s border to the southward, a plantation called Swawny was attacked and burnt by the Indians in the June of 1675.  He is said to have shed tears (impassible Indian as he was) at the tidings, foreseeing the utter ruin of his people; and, twenty days after, Squando’s influence led to another attack 200 miles off, and this was viewed as a sign of complicity with Philip.

There was deadly terror among the English.  The Indians swarmed down at night on lonely villages and farmhouses, p. 27slew, scalped, burnt, and now and then carried off prisoners to be tortured to death, and children to tell by and by strange tales of life in the wigwams.  The militia were called out, but left their houses unprotected.  At Newich-wannock, the farmhouse of a man named Tozer was attacked by the Indians when only tenanted by fifteen women and children.  A girl of eighteen, who was the first to see the approach, bravely shut the door and set her back against it; thus giving time for the others to escape by another door to a better secured building.  The Indians chopped the door to pieces with their hatchets, knocked the girl down, left her for dead, and hurried on in pursuit of the others, but only came up with two poor little children, who had not been able to get over the fence.  The rest were saved, and the brave girl recovered from her wounds; but other attacks ended far more fatally for the sufferers, and the rage and alarm of the New Englanders were great.  A few of the recently taught and unbaptized Indians from what were called the “new praying towns” had joined their countrymen; and though the great body of the converts were true and faithful, the English confounded them all in one common hatred to the Red-skin.  The magistrates and Government were not infected by this blind passion, and did all they could to restrain it, showing trust in the Christian natives by employing them in the war, when they rendered good and faithful service; but the commonalty, who were in the habit of viewing the whole people as Hivites and Jebusites, treated these allies with such distrust and contumely as was quite enough to alienate them.

In July 1675, three Christian Indians were sent as guides and interpreters to an expedition to treat with the Indians in the Nipmuck country.  One was made prisoner, but the two officers in command gave the fullest testimony to the good conduct of the other two; nevertheless they were so misused on their return that Mr. Gookin declared that they had been, by ill-treatment, “in a manner constrained to fall off to the enemy.”  One was killed by a scouting party of praying Indians; the other was taken, sold as a slave, and sent to Jamaica; and though Mr. Eliot prevailed to have him brought back, and redeemed his wife and children, he was still kept in captivity.

The next month, August, a number of the Christian Indians were arrested and sent up to Boston to be tried for some p. 28murders that had been committed at Lancaster.  Eliot and Gookin succeeded in proving their perfect innocence, but the magistrates had great difficulty in saving their lives from the fury of the mob, who thirsted for Indian blood, and both minister and major were insulted and reviled, so that Gookin said on the bench that it was not safe for him to walk in the streets; and when Eliot met with a dangerous boat accident, wishes were expressed that he had been drowned.

Natick was looked upon with so much distrust and aversion that Government, fearing occasions of bloodshed, decided that the inhabitants must be removed to Deer Island.  On the 7th of October a great fast-day, with prayer and preaching, had been held, and fierce and bitter entreaties had been uttered against the Indian Sachems, especially Philip.  One wonders whether Eliot—now seventy-one years old—felt it come home to him that he knew not what spirit he had been of when he had prayed for the death of the Moorish prince.  It must have been a heart-breaking time for the aged man, to see the spot founded in so much hope and prayer, the fruit of so much care and meditation, thus broken up and ruined, and when he was too old to do the like work over again.  At the end of that month of October, Captain Thomas Prentiss, with a party of horse and five or six carts, arrived at Natick, and made known the commands of the Government.  Sadly but patiently the Indians submitted.  Two hundred men, women, and children were made to get together all they could carry, and marched from their homes to the banks of the Charles River.  Here, at a spot called the Pines, Mr. Eliot met them, and they gathered round him to hear his words of comfort, as he exhorted them to meek patience, resignation, and steadiness to the faith.  The scene was exceedingly affecting, as the white-haired pastor stood by the river-side beneath the tall pines, with his dark-skinned, newly reclaimed children about him, clinging to him for consolation, but neither murmuring nor struggling, only praying and encouraging one another.  Captain Prentiss and his soldiers were deeply touched; but at midnight, when the tide was high enough, three large boats bore the Indians over to Deer Island.  Here they were, transplanted from their comfortable homes in the beginning of a long and very severe winter; but, well divided by the river from all suspicion of doing violence, they fared better than the praying Indians of the p. 29new town of Wamesit.  A barn full of hay and corn had been burnt, and fourteen men of Chelmsford, the next settlement, concluding it had been done by the Wamesit Red-skins, went thither, called them out of their wigwams, and then fired at them, killing a lad and five women and children.  After all, the fire had been caused by some skulking heathen Indians; but though the Government obtained the arrest of the murderers, the jury would not find them guilty.  The Wamesit Indians fled into the forest, and sent a piteous letter:—“We are not sorry for what we leave behind, but we are sorry that the English have driven us from our praying to God and from our teacher.  We did begin to understand praying to God a little.”  They were invited back, but were afraid to come till cold and hunger drove them to their old abode, and then the indefatigable Eliot and Gookin visited them, and did all in their power to bring about a better feeling towards them in Chelmsford.

This whole autumn and winter—a terribly severe one—seems to have been spent by these good men in trying to heal the strifes between the English and the Indians.  Wanalanset had fled, true to his father’s policy of never resisting, and they were sent to invite him back again; but when he returned, he found that the maize grounds of his settlement had been ploughed up by the English and sown with rye, so that his tribe had most scanty subsistence.

Several settlements of Christians were deported to Deer Island.  One large party had been made prisoners by their heathen countrymen and had managed to escape, but when met with wandering in the woods by a party of English soldiers, were plundered of the little the heathens had left them, in especial of a pewter cup, their communion plate, which Mr. Eliot had given them, and which was much treasured by their native pastor.  The General interfered in their behalf, but could not protect them from much ill-usage.  The teacher was sent with his old father and young children to Boston, where Mr. Eliot saw and cheered him before he was conveyed to Deer Island.  There, in December, Eliot, with Gookin and other friends, frequently visited the Indians, now five hundred in number, and found them undergoing many privations, but patient, resigned, and unmurmuring.  The snow was four feet deep in the woods by the 10th of December that year, and the exertion and exposure of travelling, either on snow-shoes or p. 30sledges, must have been tremendous to a man of Mr. Eliot’s age; but he never seems to have intermitted his labours in carrying spiritual and temporal succour to his people, and in endeavouring to keep the peace between them and the English.

The hard winter had had a great effect in breaking the strength of the enemy, and they were much more feeble on the renewal of the war in the spring.  The good conduct of the praying Indians had overcome the popular prejudice so much that it was decided to employ them to assist the scanty forces of the English in hunting down the hostile tribes, and Gookin boasts of their having taken and slain more than 400 foes in the course of the summer of 1676, which one would scarcely think was very good for their recent Christianity.  In the mean time, the absence of all the able-bodied men and hunters reduced their families to such distress that serious illness broke out among them, and Major Gookin caused them to be brought to the neighbourhood of Cambridge, where there was good fishing, and where he could attend to them, and provide them with food, clothing, and medicine.

In August Philip was killed, the English believing themselves to “have prayed the bullet straight into his heart;” and his head was carried about on a pole, in a manner we should have called worthy of the Indians themselves, did we not recollect that there were a good many city gates at home with much the same kind of trophy, while his wife and children—miserable fate!—were, like many others of the captives, sold into slavery to the sugar planters in Jamaica.

After this the war did not entirely cease, but the Christian Indians were allowed to creep back to their old settlements at Nonantum, and even at Natick, where Mr. Eliot continued periodically to visit and instruct them; but after this unhappy war there were only four instead of fourteen towns of Christian Indians in Massachusetts, and a blow had been given to his mission that it never recovered.

Still there was a splendid energy and resolution about this undaunted old man, now writing a narrative of the Gospel History in his seventy-fourth year, now sending Robert Boyle new physical facts, now protesting hard against the cruel policy of selling captive Indians into slavery.  What must not the slavery of the West Indian isles, which had already killed off their native Caribbeans, have been to these free hunters of the p. 31North American forest, too proud to work for themselves, and bred in a climate of cold, dry, bracing air?  And even in the West Indies, a shipload of these miserable creatures was refused in the over-stocked market, and the horrors of the slave-ship were prolonged across the Atlantic, till at last Mr. Eliot traced the unhappy freight to Tangier.  He at once wrote to conjure the excellent Mr. Boyle to endeavour to have them redeemed and sent home,—with what success, or if any were left alive, does not appear.

He had the pleasure of seeing a son of good Major Gookin become the minister of a district including Natick, and likewise of the ordination at Natick of an Indian named Daniel Takawombgrait.  Of his own six children only one son and one daughter survived him.  Benjamin, the youngest son, was his coadjutor at Roxbury, and was left in charge there while he circulated amongst his Indians, and would have succeeded him.  The loss of this son must have fallen very heavily on him; but “the good old man would sometimes comfortably say, ‘I have had six children, and I bless God for His free grace; they are all either with Christ or in Christ, and my mind is now at rest concerning them.’”

When asked how he could bear the death of such excellent children, his answer was, “My desire was that they should have served God on earth, but if God will choose to have them rather serve Him in heaven, I have nothing to object against it, but His will be done.”

His last letter to Mr. Boyle was written in his eighty-fourth year, and was a farewell but a cheerful one, and he had good hopes then of a renewal of the spirit of missions among his people.  But though his Christians did not bely their name in his own generation, alcohol did its work on some, consumption on others; and, in 1836, when Jabez Sparks wrote his biography, there was one wigwam at Natick inhabited by a few persons of mingled Indian and Negro blood, the sole living remnants of the foundation he had loved so well.  Nevertheless, Eliot’s work was not wasted.  The spark he lit has never gone out wholly in men’s minds.

His wife died in 1684, at a great age, and her elegy over her coffin were these words from himself: “Here lies my dear faithful, pious, prudent, prayerful wife.  I shall go to her, but she shall not return to me.”

p. 32He had become very feeble, and was wont to say, when asked how he did, “Alas!  I have lost everything: my understanding leaves me, my memory fails me, my utterance fails me, but, I thank God, my charity holds out still; I find that rather grows than fails.”

He was forced to give up the duties of his office to a new pastor, and though often entreated to preach again, he would hardly ever do so, by reason, he said, that it would be wronging the souls of his people, when they had an able minister; and when he preached for the last time on a fast day, on the 63rd Psalm, it was with an apology for what he called the poorness, and meanness, and brokenness of his meditations.

“I wonder,” he used to say, “for what the Lord lets me live.  He knows that now I can do nothing for Him.”

Yet he was working for Him to the utmost of his power.  A little boy in the neighbourhood had fallen into the fire, and lost his eyesight in consequence.  The old minister took him into his house to instruct, and first taught him to repeat many chapters in the Bible, and to know it so thoroughly that when listening to readers he could correct them if they missed a word; after which he taught him Latin, so that an “ordinary piece” had become easy to him.

The importation of negro slaves had already begun, and Mr. Eliot “lamented with a bleeding and a burning passion that the English used their negroes but as their horses or oxen, and that so little care was taken about their immortal souls.  He look’d upon it as a prodigy, that any bearing the name of Christians should so much have the heart of devils in them, as to prevent and hinder the instruction of the poor Blackamores, and confine the souls of their miserable slaves to a destroying ignorance, merely through fear of using the benefit of their vassalage.”  So, old as he was, he induced the settlers around to send him their negroes on certain days of the week for instruction; but he had not made much progress in the work before he became too feeble to carry it on.  He fell into languishments attended with fever, and this he viewed as his summons.  His successor, Mr. Nehemiah Walters, came to live with him, and held a good deal of conversation with him.

“There is a cloud,” he said, “a dark cloud upon the work of the Gospel among the poor Indians.  The Lord renew and prosper that work, and grant it may live when I am dead.  It p. 33is a work which I have been doing much and long about.  But what was the word I spoke last?  I recall that word.  My doings.  Alas! they have been poor and small, and lean doings, and I’ll be the man that shall throw the first stone at them all.”

Mather relates that he spake other words “little short of oracles,” and laments that they were not correctly recorded; but it appears that he gradually sank, and died in his eighty-seventh year of age, at Roxbury, in the year 1690.  His last words were, “Welcome joy.”


The Indian pastor of Natick, who had been trained by Mr. Eliot, died in 1716, and two years later was born one of the men who did all in his power, through his brief life, to hold up the light of truth to the unfortunate natives of America, as they were driven further and further to the west before the advancing tide from Europe.

The fourth son among nine children, who lost both parents at a very early age, David Brainerd, though born above the reach of want, had many disadvantages to contend with.  Both his parents had, however, been religious people, the children of ministers who had come out to America in the days of the Pilgrim Fathers, and settling at Haddam in Connecticut, trained up their families in the stern, earnest, and rigid rules and doctrines of Calvinism, which certainly, where they are accepted by an earnest and thoughtful mind, have a great tendency to stimulate the intellect, and force forward, as it were, the religious perceptions in early youth.  David was, moreover, a delicate child, with the seeds of (probably) hereditary decline incipient, and at seven or eight years old he drew apart from play, thinking much of death, and trying to prepare by prayer and meditation.  His parents’ death increased these feelings, and while living at East Haddam, under the charge of his brothers, and employed p. 34in farm work, the boy was continually struggling with himself in silence, disliking all youthful mirth and amusement, fasting, watching and praying, and groaning over the state of his soul.  At nineteen, the wish to become a minister came upon him, and he began to study hard at all spare moments; and in another year, at twenty, he went to reside with Mr. Fiske, the minister of Haddam, and in him found, for the first time, a friend to whom he could open his heart, who could understand the anxieties and longings within him, and who gave him advice to withdraw himself from the young companions whose gay spirits were uncongenial to him, and spend more time with the graver and more religious.

Whether this were good advice we do not know, but a period of terrible agony had to be struggled through.  It seems plain, from comparison of different lives, that in the forms of religion which make everything depend upon the individual person’s own consciousness of the state of his heart and feelings, instead of supporting this by any outward tokens for faith to rest upon, the more humble and scrupulous spirits often undergo fearful misery before they can attain to such security of their own faith as they believe essential.  Indeed, this state of wretchedness is almost deemed a necessary stage in the Christian life, like the Slough of Despond in the Pilgrim’s Progress; and with such a temperament as David Brainerd’s, the horrors of the struggle for hope were dreadful and lasted for months, before an almost physical perception of light, glory, and grace shone out upon him, although, even to the end of his life, hope and fear, spiritual joy and depression alternated, no doubt, greatly in consequence of his constant ill-health.

In 1739, in his twenty-first year, he became a student at Yale, and, between hard work and his mental self-reproach for the worldly ambition of distinction, his health broke down, hæmorrhage from the lungs set in, and he was sent home, it was supposed, only to die.  He was then in a very happy frame of mind, and was almost sorry to find himself well enough to return to what he felt to be a scene of temptation.  That same year, his head was entirely turned by the excitement of George Whitfield’s preaching; he was carried away by religious enthusiasm, and was in a state of indiscreet zeal, of which his better judgment afterwards repented, so that he p. 35destroyed all the portion of his journal that related to that year.  Indeed, his vehemence cost him dear, for, in the heat of a discussion, he had the misfortune to say, “Mr. Whittlesey, he has no more grace than this chair I am leaning upon.”  Mr. Whittlesey was one of the college tutors, and a gossiping freshman who overheard the words thought proper to report this to a meddling woman, who immediately walked off to the Rector of the college with the awful intelligence that young Brainerd said that Mr. Whittlesey had no more grace than a chair!

The Rector had not the sense to silence the silly slander; he sent for the freshman, took his evidence, and that of the young men with whom Brainerd had been conversing, and then required him to make public confession and amends to Mr. Whittlesey before the whole assembled college,—a humiliation never previously required, except in cases of gross moral misconduct.  The fact was, that the old-fashioned hereditary Presbyterianism, which had had time to slacken in the hundred years since the foundation of the colony, was dismayed at the new and vivid life imported by Whitfield from the Wesleyan revival in the English Church.  It was what always happens.  A mixture of genuine sober-minded dread of extravagance, or new doctrine, and a sluggish distaste to the more searching religion, combine to lead to a spirit of persecution.  This was the true reason that the lad’s youthful rashness of speech was treated as so grave an offence.  Brainerd’s spirit was up.  Probably he saw no cause to alter his opinion as to Mr. Whittlesey’s amount of grace, and he stoutly refused to retract his words, whereupon he was found guilty of insubordination, and actually expelled from Yale.  A council of ministers who assembled at Hartford petitioned for his restoration, but were refused, the authorities deeming themselves well rid of a dangerous fanatic.

Still, as a youth of blameless life and ardent piety, he was encouraged by his friends to continue his preparation for the ministry, and he persisted in reading hard, and going out between whiles to meditate in the depths of the glorious woods.  It is curious that while his homely and rigid system precluded any conscious admiration of the beauties of nature, it is always evident from his journal that the lightenings of hope and joy which relieved his too frequent depression and melancholy, p. 36were connected with the scenery and the glories of day and night.  Sunrise and the aurora borealis seem to have filled him with spiritual bliss, and he never was so happy as when deep in the woods, out of the sight of men; but his morbid, sensitive, excitable nature never seems to have been understood by himself or by others.

Just as John Eliot’s missionary zeal was the outcome of the earnestness that carried the Puritans to New England, so the fresh infusion of religious life, brought by Whitfield, produced an ardent desire on the part of David Brainerd to devote himself to the remainder of the Indians; and in the year 1742, at twenty-five years old, he was examined by an assembly of ministers at Danbury, and licensed to preach the Gospel, when he began at once with a little settlement of Indians at Kent, with such a sinking of heart at his own unworthiness that he says he seemed to himself worse than any devil, and almost expected to have been stoned rather than listened to.  Indeed, something of this diffidence and sadness seems always to have weighed him down when he began to preach, though the fervour of his subject and the responding faces of his audience always exhilarated him and bore him up through his sermon.  To learn the Indian language had not occurred to him as part of his preparation, but probably these Kent Red men had been enough among the English to understand him, for they seem to have been much impressed.

A Scottish Society for propagating Christian Knowledge had arisen, and the delegates hearing of the zeal of David Brainerd, desired to engage him at a salary.  The sense of his own unworthiness, and fear of keeping out a better man, brought his spirits down to the lowest ebb; nevertheless, he went to meet the representatives of the Society at New York, and there, though between the hubbub of the town and his own perpetual self-condemnation he was continually wretched, they were so well satisfied with him as to give him the appointment, on condition that he studied the language, intending to send him to the Red men between the Susquehanna and the Delaware; but there was a dispute between these and the Government, and it was decided to send him to a settlement called Kanaumeek, between Stockbridge and Albany.

Before going, David Brainerd, having no thought beyond devotion to the Indians, and thinking his allowance enough p. 37for his wants, gave up the whole of his inheritance to support a scholar at the University, and set forth, undaunted by such weakness of health as in ordinary eyes would have fitted him for nothing but to be carefully nursed; for even then he was continually suffering from pain and dizziness, and weakness so great that he could often hardly stand.

In this state he arrived at Kanaumeek, with a young Indian to act as his interpreter, and there spent the first night sleeping on a heap of straw.  It was a lonely, melancholy spot, where the Indians were herded together, watched with jealous eyes by adventurers who were always endeavouring to seize their lands, and sadly degenerated from the free, grave, high-spirited men to whom Eliot had preached.  His first lodging was in the log house of a poor Scotchman who lived among the Indians—a single chamber, without so much as a floor, and where he shared the family meals upon porridge, boiled corn, and girdle-cakes.  The family spoke Gaelic, only the master of the house knowing any English, and that not so good as the Indian interpreter’s; and, moreover, the spot was a mile and a half from the Indian wigwams, no small consideration to so weakly a man, thus poorly fed.  However, the Indians were pleased with his addresses, and seemed touched by them; but the evil habits of the White men were the terrible stumbling-block.  Parties of them would come into the town, and vex the missionary’s ears with their foul tongues, making a scandalous contrast to the grave, calm manners of the Indians.  More than ever did he love solitude, and when with his own hands he had built himself a log hut, where he could be alone when he pleased, his relief was great.

He was not the highly educated scholar and practical theorist that his predecessor had been: he seems to have had no plans or systems, and merely to have tried to fulfil immediate needs; but he soon found that he could not hope to benefit his Red flock without a school, so he made a journey to New Jersey to entreat for means to set one up, and this was done, with his interpreter as master.  His journey was made on horseback, and was no small undertaking, for even between Stockbridge and Kanaumeek he had once lost his way, and had to sleep a night in the woods.

He had by this time thoroughly repented of the uncharitableness and hastiness of his speech about Mr. Whittlesey, and p. 38he took a journey to New Haven to send in a thoroughly humble and Christian-like apology, requesting to be permitted to take his degree.  Twice he was refused, and the third time was told that the only condition on which the degree would be granted would be the making up his term of residence at Yale, which was, of course, not possible to a licensed minister in full employment, and in fact was an insulting proposal to a man of his standing and character.

His journey cost him dear, for as he was riding home he was attacked with violent pain in the face and shiverings, which forced him to halt at the first shelter he could find, happily with kind friends, who nursed him for a fortnight before he could return home.  He believed that had his illness seized him in his log house at home, he must certainly have died for want of care and attendance, although he was much beloved by his poor Indians.

His life was indeed a frightfully hard one, and would have been so for a healthy man; for he had to work with his own hands to store provisions for his horse in the winter, and that when weak and suffering the more for want of proper food.  He could get no bread but by riding ten or fifteen miles to procure it, and if he brought home too much it became mouldy and sour, while, if he brought home a small quantity, he could not go for more if he failed to catch his horse, which was turned out to graze in the woods; so that he was reduced to making little cakes of Indian meal, which he fried in the ashes.  “And then,” he says, “I blessed God as if I had been a king.”  “I have a house and many of the comforts of life to support me,” he says with great satisfaction; and the solitude of that house was so precious to him that, however weary he was, he would ride back twenty miles to it at night rather than spend an evening among ungodly men.  By this terrible stinting of what we should deem the necessaries of life, he was actually able, in fifteen months, to devote a hundred pounds to charitable purposes, besides keeping the young man at the University.

So much, however, did he love his solitude, that he counted it as no relief, but an affliction, to have to ride to Stockbridge from time to time to learn the Indian language from Mr. Sergeant, the missionary there stationed.  Something of this must have been morbid feeling, something from the want of energy consequent on the condition of his frame.  For a man p. 39in confirmed decline such an entry in a journal as this is no trifle:—“December 20.—Rode to Stockbridge.  Was very much fatigued with my journey, wherein I underwent great hardship; was much exposed, and very wet by falling into a river.”  Mr. Sergeant could hardly have been profane company, but Brainerd never enjoyed these visits, thinking that intercourse with the world made him less familiar with heaven.

Another inconvenience was the proximity of Kanaumeek to the frontier, and these were the days of that horrid war between England and France in America, when the native allies of each nation made savage descents on the outlying settlements, inflicting all the flagrant outrages of their wild warfare.  A message came one evening to Kanaumeek from Colonel Stoddart, warning all in exposed situations to secure themselves as well as possible, since an attack might come at any moment; and this Brainerd quietly records as a salutary warning not to attach himself too much to the comforts of life he enjoyed.

The attack was never made, but he came to the conclusion that his small congregation of Indians would be much better with their fellows at Stockbridge under the care of Mr. Sergeant, and that this would leave him free to go to more wild and untaught tribes.  It was carried out, and the Indians removed.  There was much mutual love between them and their pastor, and the parting was very affectionate, though even after two years he was still unable to speak the language, and never seems to have troubled himself about this trifling obstacle.  Several English congregations entreated him to become their minister, but he refused them all, and went to meet the Commissioners of the Scottish Society at New Jersey.  They arranged with him for a mission to the Delaware Indians, in spite of his being laid up for some days at the time; and when he went back to Kanaumeek to dispose of his books and other “comforts,” the effects of being drenched with rain showed themselves in continued bleeding from the lungs.  He knew that he was often in an almost dying state, and only wished to continue in his Master’s service to the end he longed for.  He owns that his heart did sometimes sink at the thought of going alone into the wilderness; but he thought of Abraham, and took courage, riding alone through the depths of the forest, so desolate and lonely day after day, that it struck terror even into his soul.  There were scanty settlements of Dutch and Irish, where he sometimes p. 40spent a night, but the Sunday he passed among some Irish was so entirely unmarked by them, that he felt like a “creature banished from the sight of God.”

At last he reached his destination on the fork of the river Delaware, and being within moderate distance of Newark, there received ordination as a minister on the 11th of June, 1744.  Severe illness followed the exertion of preaching and praying before the convened ministers; but as soon as he could walk, he set forth on his return, though he was so weak that he could hardly open his numbed hand, but his heart and hopes had begun to revive, and the little settlement of Whites with whom he lived were willing to listen to him.

The Indians were in the midst of preparing for an idolatrous feast and dance.  Brainerd spent a day in the woods in an anguish of prayer, and then went to the place of meeting, where, stranger as he was, he prevailed on them to cease their revels and attend to him.

His biographer, President Jonathan Edwards, provokingly leaves out his method of teaching, “for the sake of brevity,” and from his own diary little is to be gathered but accounts of his state of feeling through endless journeyings and terrible prostrations of strength.  He was always travelling about—now to the Susquehanna, now back to New England—apparently at times with the restlessness of disease, for this roving about must have prevented him from ever deepening the impression made by his preaching, which after all was only through an interpreter, for he never gave himself time to learn the language.

Yet after some months he did find a settlement of Indians, about eighty miles from the fork of Delaware, at a place called Crossweeksung, who were far more disposed to attend to him.  They listened so eagerly, that day after day they would travel after him from village to village, hardly taking any heed to secure provisions for themselves.  The description of their conduct is like that of those touched by Wesleyan preaching.  They threw themselves on the ground, wept bitterly, and prayed aloud, with the general enthusiasm of excitement, though, he expressly says, without fainting or convulsions, and even the White men around, who came to scoff, were deeply impressed.

David Brainerd had at last his hour of bliss!  He was delivered from his melancholy by the joy of such results, and in trembling p. 41happiness baptized his converts in the river beside their wigwams before leaving them to proceed to a village on the Susquehanna, where he hoped for an interview with the chief Sachem of the Delawares.

The place, however, was in the wildest confusion and uproar, it being the period of a great festival, when every one was too tipsy to attend to him.  At an island called Juneauta, he met a very remarkable personage, a Powaw, who bore the reputation of a reformer, anxious to restore the ancient religion of the Red man, which had become corrupted by intercourse with the White and his vices.

His aspect was the most dreadful thing Brainerd had ever seen.  He wore a shaggy bearskin coat, hood, and stockings, and a hideous, painted mask, so that no part of his person was visible, not even the hand in which he held an instrument made of the shell of a tortoise, with dry corn within, and he came up rattling this, and dancing with all his might, and with such gesticulations that, though assured that he intended no injury, it was impossible not to shrink back as this savage creature came close.

Yet he was a thoughtful man, such as would have been a philosopher in ancient Greece or Rome.  He took the missionary into his hut, and conversed long and earnestly with him.  He had revolted in spirit from the degradation of his countrymen, and had gone to live apart in the woods, where he had worked out a system of natural religion for himself, which he believed the Great Spirit had taught him, and which had at last led him to return to his people and endeavour to restore them to that purity which of course he believed to have once existed.  He believed there were good men somewhere, and he meant to wander till he found them; meantime, he was kindly to all who came near him, and constantly uplifted his testimony against their vices, especially when the love of strong drink was brought among them.  When all was in vain, he would go weeping away into the woods, and hide himself there till the hateful fire-water was all consumed and the madness over.  Brainerd was greatly touched by this red-skinned Epictetus, who, he said, had more honesty, sincerity, and conscientiousness than he had ever met with in an Indian, and more of the temper of true religion; and he expounded to him the Christian doctrine with great carefulness and double earnestness.  The p. 42self-taught philosopher broke in now and then with “Now that I like,”—“So the Great Spirit has taught me;” but when the missionary came to the regions where faith surpasses the power of the intellect and the moral sense, the Indian would not follow him, and rejected his teaching.  It was curious that he particularly denied the idea of a devil, declaring that there was no such being, according to the ancient Indians.  Now, the incantations of the Powaws were generally supposed to be addressed to evil spirits, and probably the perception of the falsehood of these pretended rites led to his disclaiming the Christian doctrine.

Whether time and further teaching would have overpowered his belief in his own inspiration does not appear, for Brainerd found the Indians too vicious and hardened to pay the least heed either to him or to their own reformer; and he went back to Crossweeksung, where his flock was still increasing, and in a most satisfactory condition, renouncing their heathen customs and their acquired vice of drunkenness, and practising some amount of industry.  A school was set up, old and young learnt English, the children in three or four months could read the Bible in English, and Brainerd’s sermons and prayers were understood without an interpreter.

This improved condition of the Indians destroyed the shameful profits of the nearest settlement of Whites, whose practice it had hitherto been to entice them to drink, and then run up a heavy score against them for liquor.  Finding that all endeavours to seduce them into drunkenness were now vain, these wretches first tried to raise the country against Brainerd, by reporting that he was a Roman Catholic in disguise; and when this failed, they laid claim to the lands of Crossweeksung, in discharge of debts that they declared to have been previously contracted.  Fortunately, Brainerd had it in his power to advance 82l. from his private means, so as to save his people from this extortion; but he afterwards thought it best to remove them from these dangerous neighbours to a new settlement, fifteen miles off, called Cranberry.  He remained himself in his little hut at Crossweeksung, after they had proceeded to raise wigwams and prepare the ground for maize; but, whenever he rode over to visit them, his approach was notified by the sound of a conch shell, and they all gathered round for his prayers and instruction.

p. 43His success with them seems to have greatly cured his depression of spirits, but his mind was balancing between the expedience of remaining among them as their permanent pastor, protector, and guide, and that of striving to extend the kingdom of faith.  Sometimes he liked the prospect of a settled home and repose, study and meditation; but, at the thought of gaining souls to Christ, all these considerations melted before him, and he believed that he was marked out for the life of a pilgrim and hermit by his carelessness about hardships.

He had not, however, taken leave of his flock when he set forth on another expedition to the obdurate Indians of the Susquehanna, in the September of 1746.  It was without result; he could obtain no attention, and the hardships of the journey, the night exposure, and the frequent drenchings completed the wreck of his health.  He came back with night perspirations, bleeding from the lungs, and suffering greatly, feverish and coughing, and often in pain; yet, whenever he could mount his horse, riding the fifteen miles to attend to the Indians at Cranberry, or sitting in a chair before his hut, when they assembled round him.

On Sunday he persisted in preaching, till generally at the end of half an hour he fainted, and was carried to his bed; and at the administration of the Lord’s Supper he was carried to the place where he had forty Indian communicants, and likewise some Whites, who had learnt to reverence him, and who supported him back to his bed.  He was quite happy now, for he felt he had done all he could to the utmost of his strength; but, soon becoming totally unable to speak at all, he felt that he must do what he called “consuming some time in diversions,” and try to spend the winter in a civilized place.

After riding his first short stage, however, his illness increased so much, that he was quite incapable of proceeding or returning, and remained in a friend’s house at Elizabethtown, suffering from cough, asthma, and fever the whole winter.  In March 1747 he had rallied enough to ride to Cranberry, where he went from hut to hut, giving advice to and praying with each family, and parting with them with great tenderness.  Tears were shed everywhere; for, though he still hoped to return, all felt that they should see his face no more!  But, to his great comfort and joy, his poor people were not to be abandoned to p. 44themselves and their tempters.  His younger brother—John—relieved his mind by offering to assume the care of them, and under his pastorship he could thankfully leave them.

In April he set out again on his journey, at the rate of about ten miles a day, riding all the way, and on the 28th of May arrived at Northampton, where Jonathan Edwards, afterwards President of the College of New Jersey, was then minister.  They were like-minded men, both disciples of Whitfield, and the self-devoted piety of the young missionary was already so well known to Mr. Edwards by report, that it was most gladly that he received him into his house and family.  There the impression Brainerd made was of a singularly social, entertaining person, meek and unpretending, but manly and independent.  Probably rest and brightness had come when the terrible struggle of his early years had ceased, and morbid despondency had given way to Christian hope, for he became at once a bright and pleasant member of any society where he formed a part, and to the Edwards family he was like a son or brother.  When he was able, Mr. Edwards wished him to lead the family devotions, and was always greatly impressed by the manner and matter of his prayers, but one petition never failed, i.e. “that we might not outlive our usefulness.”  Even in saying grace there was always something about him that struck the attention.

His purpose in coming to Northampton had been to consult Dr. Mather, whose verdict was that he was far gone in decline, and who gave him no advice but to ride as much as possible.  So little difference did this sentence make to him that he never noted it in his diary, though he spoke of it cheerily in the Edwards family—a large household of young people—where he was so much beloved, that when he decided to go to Boston, Jerusha, the second daughter, entreated to be allowed to accompany him, to nurse him as his sister would have done.

The pure, severe simplicity of those early American manners was such, that no one seems to have been surprised at a girl of eighteen becoming the attendant of a man of twenty-nine.  Jerusha had the full consent and approbation of her parents, and she was a great comfort and delight to him.  He told her father that she was more spiritual, self denying, and earnest to do good, than any young person he had ever known; and on p. 45doubt their communings were far above earth, hovering, as he was well known to be, upon the very borders of the grave.

They took four days to reach Boston, and there he was received with the greatest respect by all the ministers; but, a week after his arrival, so severe an attack of his illness came on that he became delirious, and was thought to be at the point of death.  Again, however, he came back enough to life to sit up in bed and write ardent letters of counsel to the brother who had succeeded him among his Indians, and likewise to give his friends the assurance of his perfect peace and joy.  He said that he had carefully examined himself, and though he had found much pride, selfishness, and corruption, he was still certain that he had felt it his greatest happiness to glorify and praise God; and this certainty, together with his faith in the Redeemer, had calmed all the anguish he had suffered for years.

Whenever he was able to converse he had numerous visitors, especially from the deputies of the Society in London which had assisted Eliot.  A legacy for the support of two missionaries had newly been received, and his counsel on the mode of employing it was asked.  He was able to strive to imbue others with the same zeal as himself, and to do much on behalf of his own mission, although he often lay so utterly exhausted that he said of himself that he could not understand how life could be retained.  One of his brothers, a student at Yale, came to see him, and to tell him of the death of his favourite sister, of whose illness he had not even heard, but it was no shock to him, for he felt far more sure of meeting her again than if she had been left on earth.

The summer weather, to the surprise of all, brought back a slight revival of strength, and some of his friends began to hope he might yet recover, but he knew his own state too well, and told them he was as assuredly a dead man as if he had been shot through the heart; still he was resolved to profit by this partial restoration to return to Northampton, chiefly because the rumour had reached him that the Bostonians had intended to give him such a funeral as should testify their great esteem; and being disappointed in this, they intended to assemble and escort him publicly, while still alive, out of their city, but the bare idea naturally made him so unhappy that they were forced to give it up.

p. 46Five days were spent in the journey, and again the Edwardses reverentially opened their doors to a guest so near heaven.  For some time he rode out two or three miles daily, and sat with the family, writing or conversing cheerfully when not engaged in prayer.  His brother John came from Crossweeksung and cheered him with a good account of his Indians; and hearing of the great need of another school, he wrote to the friends who had shown themselves so warmly interested in him at Boston, and was gratified by their reply, with a subscription of 200l. for the purpose, and of 75l. for the mission to the Six Nations.  His answers were written with his own hand; but he had become so much weaker that he felt this his last task.  He had been one who, in his short life, had sown in tears to reap in joy.

He was sinking fast as the autumn cold came on, often talking tenderly to the little ones of the house, but suffering terribly at times, and sighing, “Why is His chariot so long coming?” then blaming himself for over-haste to be released.

He had a smile for Jerusha as she came into his room on Sunday morning.  “Are you willing to part with me?  I am willing to part with you, though if I thought I could not see you and be happy with you in another world, I could not bear to part.  I am willing to leave all my friends.  I am willing to leave my brother, though I love him better than any creature living.  I have committed him and all my friends to God, and can leave them with God!”

Presently, looking at the Bible in her hands, he said, “Oh that dear Book! the mysteries in it and in God’s providence will soon be unfolded.”

He lingered in great agony at times till the 9th of October, 1747, when came a cessation of pain, and during this lull he breathed his last, then wanting six months of his thirtieth birthday.  He had told Jerusha that they should soon meet above, and, in effect, she only lived until the next February.  She told her father on her death-bed, that for years past she had not seen the time when she had any wish to live a moment longer, save for the sake of doing good and filling up the measure of her duty.

David Brainerd’s career ended at an age when John Eliot’s had not begun.  It was a very wonderful struggle between the frail suffering body and the devoted, resolute spirit, both p. 47weighed down by the natural morbid temper, further depressed by the peculiar tenets of the form of doctrine in which he had been bred.  The prudent, well-weighed measures of the ripe scholar, studious theologian, and conscientious politician, formed by forty-two years’ experience of an old and a new country, could not be looked for in the sickly, self-educated, enthusiastic youth who had been debarred from the due amount of study, and started with little system but that of “proclaiming the Gospel”—even though ignorant of the language of those to whom he preached.  And yet that heart-whole piety and patience was blessed with a full measure of present success, and David Brainerd’s story, though that of a short life, over-clouded by mental distress, hardship, and sickness, fills us with the joyful sense that there is One that giveth the victory.


We must turn from America to the warmer regions of the East, from the patriarchal savage to complicated forms of society, and from the Red-skin to the Hindoo—a man of far nearer affinity to ourselves, being, like us, of the great Indo-European race, speaking a language like our own, an altered, corrupted, and intermingled dialect of the same original tongue, and his ancestors originally professing a religion in which the same primary ideas may be traced as those which were held by our ancient northern forefathers, and which are familiar to us in the graceful dress imposed on them by the Greeks.  The sacred writings of the Hindoos form the earliest storehouse of the words of our common language, and the thoughts therein found, though recorded after the branches had parted from the common stock, are nearer the universal germ than those to be found anywhere else, and more nearly represent the primary notion of religion held by the race of Japheth, after that of Shem, to which God revealed Himself more distinctly, had parted from it.  These oldest writings p. 48are quaint, pure, and simple, but on them the fancies of a race enervated by climate engrafted much that was hideous, monstrous, and loathsome, leading to gross idolatry, and much vice perpetrated in the name of religion.  Mythology always degenerates with the popular character, and then, so far as the character is formed by the religious faith, the mythology helps to debase it further, until the undying moral sense of conscience awakens again in some man, or band of men, and a new morality arises; sometimes grafted upon philosophic reasoning, sometimes upon a newly-invented or freshly introduced religion.

Thus, when Hindooism had become corrupt, the deeply meditative system of Buddha was introduced into many parts of India, and certainly brought a much higher theory and purer code than that founded on the garbled nature-worship of ancient India; but both religions co-existed, and, indeed, Buddhism was in one aspect an offshoot of the Hindoo faith.

Christianity—planted, as is believed, by St. Thomas, on the Malabar coast—never became wholly extinct, although tinged with Nestorianism, but it was never adopted by the natives at large, and the learning and philosophy of the Brahmins would have required the utmost powers of the most learned fathers of the Church to cope with them, before they could have been convinced.

The rigid distinctions of caste have made it more difficult for the Church which “preaches the Gospel to the poor,” to be accepted in India than anywhere else.  Accounting himself sprung from the head of Brahma, the Brahmin deems himself, and is deemed by others, as lifted to an elevation which has no connection either with moral goodness, with wealth, or with power; and which is as much the due of the most poverty-stricken and wicked member of the caste as of the most magnificent priest.  The Sudras, the governing and warlike class, are next in order, having sprung from the god’s breast, and beneath these come infinite grades of caste, their subdivisions each including every man of each trade or calling which he pursues hereditarily and cannot desert or change, save under the horrible penalty of losing caste, and becoming forsaken and despised of every creature, even the nearest kindred.  The mere eating from a vessel used to contain food for a person of a different caste is enough to produce contamination; p. 49the separation is complete, and the whole constitution of body and mind have become so inured to the distinction, that the cost of becoming a convert is infinitely severer in India than ever it could have been even in Greece or Rome, where, though the Christian might be persecuted even to the death, he was not thrust out of the pale of humanity like a Hindoo convert who transgresses caste.

The Christians of Malabar are a people living to themselves, and the great Bengalee nations never appear to have had the Gospel carried to them.  The Mahometan conquest filled India with professors of the faith of the Koran; but these were a dominant race, proud and separate from the mass of people, whom they did not win to their faith, and thus the Hindoo idolatry had prevailed untouched for almost the whole duration of the world, when the wealth of India in the early days of naval enterprise first began to tempt small mercantile companies of Europeans to form factories on the coast merely for purposes of traffic, without at first any idea that these would lead to possession or conquest, and, in general, without any sense of the responsibility of coming as Christians into a heathen world.

The Portuguese did indeed strive earnestly to Christianize their territory at Goa; and they promoted by all means in their power the labours of Francisco Xavier and his Jesuit companions, so effectually that the fruits of their teaching have remained to the present day.

Neither were the Dutch, who then held Ceylon, entirely careless of the duty of instructing their subjects; and the Danes, who had obtained the town of Tranquebar on the Coromandel coast, in 1746, sent out a mission which was vigorously conducted, and met with good success.  Hitherto, however, the English at Madras and Calcutta had been almost wholly indifferent, and it must be remembered that theirs was not a Government undertaking.  The East India Company was still only a struggling corporation of merchants and traders, who only wanted to secure the warehouses and dwellings of those who conducted their traffic, and had as yet no thought of anything but the security of their trade; often, indeed, considering themselves pledged to no interference with the religion of the people around, and too often forgetting their own.  However, the Danish mission received grants of p. 50money and books from the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge; and the first Indian missionary of any note, a German by birth, was equally connected with both England and Denmark.

Sonnenburg in Brandenburg, still an electorate at the time, was the native home of Christian Friedrich Schwartz, of whose parents it is only known that they appear to have been in easy circumstances, and that his mother, who died before he could remember, told her husband and her pastor on her death-bed, that she had dedicated her infant to the service of God, imploring them to cherish and forward any inclination towards the ministerial office that might be visible in him.  It was, of course, the Lutheran form in which the child of this pious woman was bred up, and in 1734 he was sent to the grammar school of Sonnenburg, where his piety was first excited by a religious master, then cooled by an indifferent one; and he was then taken by his father, walking on foot the whole way, to pursue his studies at Custrin.  There he became beset by the temptations that surrounded young students, and after giving way to them for a time, was saved from further evil by the influence of the daughter of one of the Syndics.  It does not appear to have been a matter of sentiment, but of honest friendship and good counsel, aiding the young man to follow his better instead of his worse impulses; and thus giving a labourer to the vineyard.

Before residing at Custrin, this lady had lived for a time at Halle, and what she told the young Schwartz of the professors at that university, inspired him with the desire of completing his course under them, especially August Hermann Francke, who had established an admirable orphan house, with an excellent grammar school.

In his twentieth year, Schwartz entered at Halle, but lodged at the orphan house, where he became teacher to the Latin classes, and was put in charge of the evening devotions of the household.  At Halle, he met a retired Danish missionary, named Schultz, who had come thither to superintend the printing of a version of the Bible in Tamul, the language of Ceylon and of the Coromandel coast; and this it was that first turned his mind to the thought of offering himself as a worker in the great field of India.

He was the eldest of the family, and his friends all declared p. 51that it was impossible that his father should consent to part with him; but when he went home, and earnestly stated his desire, the elder Schwartz, instead of at once refusing as all expected, desired to take three days to consider; and when they were passed, he came gravely down from his chamber, called his son Christian, gave him his blessing, and told him to depart in God’s name, charging him to forget his own country and his father’s house, and to win many souls to Christ.

And certainly that good old German’s blessing went forth with his son.  Christian Schwartz next resigned his share in the family property to his brothers and sisters; and after completing his studies at Halle, went to Copenhagen, since it was by the Danish government that he was to be authorized.  Two other young Germans, named Poltzenheigen and Hutteman, went with him.  The Danes, though Lutherans in profession, have an Episcopal hierarchy, and the three students were ordained by the Danish Bishop Horreboa on the 6th of September, 1749; Christian Schwartz being then within a month of twenty-three.

Their first stage was to England, where they had to learn the language, and were entertained at the cost of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.  Mr. Ziegenhagen, German chaplain to George II., was very kind to his countrymen, helped them in all their difficulties, and gave them directions for which they were very grateful.  He made them preach in the Chapel Royal on Christmas Day.  No doubt the language was German, which must have been acceptable to the Hanoverian ears.

Their English studies were not greatly prolonged, for they arrived on the 8th of December, 1749, and sailed on the 29th of January, 1750, in an East India Company’s ship, where they were allowed a free passage, and were treated with respect and friendliness.  The voyage lasted long enough to improve them in English, for they did not cast anchor at Tranquebar till the 8th of October.

At this considerable Danish factory, they were received into the mission-house of the Danes, and there remained while studying the language, in which Schwartz made so much progress that he preached his first Tamul sermon only four months after his arrival, and by the spring was able to catechize the children who attended the school.  This station at Tranquebar p. 52formed the home of seven or eight missionaries, who lived together, attended to the services and schools, prepared candidates for baptism, and made excursions by ones and twos into the villages that stood thickly on the coast, where they talked and argued with the natives, hoping to incite them to inquire further.  The two greatest obstacles they met with here were the evil example of Europeans and the difficulty of maintenance for a convert.  One poor dancing girl said, on hearing that no unholy person could enter into the kingdom of heaven, “Ah! sir, then no European will;” but, on the whole, they must have met with good success, for in 1752 there were three large classes of catechumens prepared and baptized at the station.  In the district around there were several villages, where congregations of Christians existed, and, of all those south of the river Caveri, Schwartz was after two more years made the superintendent.

The simple habits of these German and Danish clergy eminently fitted them for such journeys; they set out in pairs on foot, after a farewell of united prayer from their brethren, carrying with them their Hebrew Bibles, and attended by a few Christian servants and coolies; they proceeded from village to village, sometimes sleeping in the house of a Hindoo merchant, sometimes at that of one the brother ministers they had come to see, and at every halt conversing and arguing with Hindoo or Mahometan, or sometimes with the remnants of the Christians converted by the Portuguese, who had been so long neglected that they had little knowledge of any faith.

The character of Christian Schwartz was one to influence all around him.  He seems to have had all the quiet German patience and endurance of hardship, without much excitability, and with a steadiness of judgment and intense honesty and integrity, that disposed every one to lean on him and rely on him for their temporal as well as their spiritual matters—great charity and warmth of heart, and a shrewdness of perception that made him excellent in argument.  He had also that true missionary gift, a great facility of languages, both in grammar and pronunciation, and his utter absence of all regard for his own comfort or selfish dignity, yet his due respect to times and places made him able to penetrate everywhere, from the hut to the palace.

The Carnatic war was at this time an impediment, by keeping p. 53the minds of all the natives in a state of excitement and anxiety, from dread of Mahratta incursions; but Schwartz never intermitted his rounds, and was well supported by the Danish Governor, a good man, who often showed himself his friend.  Some of the missionaries were actually made prisoners when the French took Cuddalore, but Count Lally Tollendal was very kind to them, and sent them with all their property and converts safely away to Tranquebar.

The Dutch missionaries in Ceylon had been in correspondence with those of Tranquebar, and had obtained from them copies of their Tamul Bible, and in 1760 Schwartz was sent on a visit to them.  He was very well received by both clergy and laity; and though he was laid up by a severe illness at Colombo, yet he was exceedingly well contented with his journey and his conferences with his brethren.

Christian Schwartz had been more than sixteen years in India, and was forty years of age, before his really distinctive and independent work began, after his long training in the central station at Tranquebar.

The neighbouring district of Tanjore had at different times been visited, and the ministers of the Rajah had shown themselves willing to bestow some reflection on what they heard from the missionaries.  Visits to this place and to Trichinopoly became frequent with him, and in 1766 the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge having decided on planting a mission station in the latter place, he was appointed to take the charge of it.

About this time he seems to have accommodated his name to English pronunciation, and to have always written it Swartz.  It was now that he became acquainted with William Chambers, Esq., brother to the Chief Justice of Bengal,—not a Company’s servant, but a merchant, and an excellent man, who took great interest in missionary labours, and himself translated a great part of St. Matthew’s Gospel into Persian, the court language of India.  From a letter of this gentleman, we obtain the only description we possess of Swartz’s appearance and manners.  He says that, from the descriptions he had heard, he had expected to see a very austere and strict person, but “the first sight of him made a complete revolution on this point.  His garb, indeed, which was pretty well worn, seemed foreign and old-fashioned, but in every other respect his appearance p. 54was the reverse of all that could be called forbidding or morose.  Figure to yourself a stout well-made man, somewhat above the middle size, erect in his carriage and address, with a complexion rather dark though healthy, black curled hair, and a manly engaging countenance, expressive of unaffected candour, ingenuousness, and benevolence, and you will have an idea of what Mr. Swartz appeared to be at first sight.”  Mr. Chambers adds that Swartz’s whole allowance at Trichinopoly was ten pagodas a year, that is, about 48l. (as Mr. Chambers estimates it).  The commanding officer of the English garrison was ordered to supply him with quarters, and gave him a room in an old native building, where “there was just room for his bed and himself, and in which few men could stand upright.”  With this lodging he was content.  His food was rice and vegetables dressed native fashion, and his clothes were made of black dimity.  The little brass lamp which he had used for his studies at the University went with him to India, and served him all his life, often late at night, for he never preached even to the natives without much study.

He found the English without church or chaplain, and had very little knowledge of their language, having lived almost entirely among Germans, Danes, and natives; but he quickly picked it up among the soldiers, to whom his kindly simple manners commended him; and, as soon as he could speak it to any degree, he began to read the Church Service every Sunday to the garrison, with a printed sermon from an English divine, until he had obtained sufficient fluency to preach extempore.  At first, the place of meeting was a large room in an old building, but he afterwards persuaded them to build themselves a church capable of holding from 1,500 to 2,000.  His facility in learning languages must have been great, for the English of his letters is excellent, unless his biographer, Dean Pearson, has altered it.  It is not at all like that of a German.  His influence with the soldiers was considered as something wonderful, in those times of neglect and immorality, and the commandant and his wife—Colonel and Mrs. Wood—were his warmest friends; and when the Government at Madras heard of his voluntary services as chaplain, they granted him, unsolicited, a salary of 100l. a year, of which he devoted half to the service of his congregation.  He was thus able to build a mission-house, and an English and a Tamul school, labour and materials being alike p. 55cheap.  But, in spite of all his care of the English soldiery, the natives were his chief thought; and he was continually among them, reading and arguing home with the most thorough knowledge and experience of their difficulties.  He made expeditions from Trichinopoly to Tanjore, then under the government of a Rajah, under the protection of the British Government.  The principal worship of the place was directed to an enormous black bull, said to be hewn out of a single block of granite, and so large that the temple had been built round it.

The Brahmins conversed with him a good deal, and often were all but converted.  One plainly said that love of money and pleasure alone kept them from accepting Christianity.  In 1769 he had a personal interview with the Rajah Tuljajee, a man of the dignity, grace, and courtesy usual in Hindoo princes, but very indolent, not even rising in the morning if he was told that it was not an auspicious day, though he was more cultivated than most men of his rank and period.

Swartz found him seated on a couch suspended from pillars, and was placed opposite to him, on a seat.  The interpreter addressed him in Persian, and Swartz replied in the same; but, perceiving that the man omitted part of his speech, he asked leave to speak Tamul.

The Rajah asked questions, which led to an exposition of the Christian doctrine, and he listened with interest; and he likewise was struck when Swartz uttered a thanksgiving before partaking of the sweets that were carried round on trays.  He showed himself so much disappointed when he learnt that the Padre had left Tanjore, that it was resolved that Swartz should return thither again; and for some days there were out-of-door preachings on the glacis of the fort, where, in spite of clouds of dust brought by the land wind, the people collected in crowds to hear him, and expressed ardent wishes that the Rajah would become a Christian, when they all could do the same.  The Prince himself was much drawn towards the missionary; but it was the old story,—he was surrounded with ministers and courtiers who feared any change, above all any plain-speaking truth, and therefore did their best to keep the new light at a distance.  However, Tuljajee called Swartz “his padre,” and gave him free entrance to his fort at Tanjore, where his arguments made a wide impression, and still more his example.  p. 56“Padre,” said a young Nabob, “we always regarded you Europeans as ungodly men, who knew not the use of prayers, till you came among us.”

He continued to go backwards and forwards between Trichinopoly and Tanjore, in both which places he began to gather catechumens round him.  Unfortunately his Protestant principles brought him into collision with the Roman Catholics at the former place.  A young Hindoo, of good birth, seems to have had one of those remarkable natures that cannot rest without truth.  He had for seven years wandered to all the most famous pagodas and most sacred rivers, seeking rest for his soul, but in vain.  Some Roman Catholics had given him a little brass crucifix, which he used to set up before him as he prayed; but he had learnt little more of them, and he was mournfully gazing at “the pagodas of Sirengam” (in his own words), and thinking, “What is all this? what can it avail?” when some of Swartz’s catechists began to speak.  “Will this be better than what I have found?” he said to himself.  He listened, was asked to remain a fortnight at the station, and soon had given his whole soul to the faith.  He was baptized by the name of Nyána Prácasam, or Spiritual Light, and became a catechist.  His father and mother were likewise led to Christianity by him, but the Roman Catholics, having begun his conversion, considered that they had a right to him, and on one occasion, when he was found reading to a sick relative, probably a member of their Church, he was severely beaten, and was rescued by the heathen neighbours when nearly killed.

Swartz seems to have regarded the Roman Catholics as in almost as much need of reconversion as the Hindoos and Mahometans; and as in those days their Church shared in that universal religious torpor that had crept over the world, it is most likely that he found them in a very debased condition.

With the Mahometans he had some success, though he found, like all other missionaries, that their faith, being rather a heresy than a paganism, had truth enough in it to be much harder to deal with than the Hindoo polytheism.  Besides, they accepted the Persian proverb, “Every time a man argues, he loses a drop of blood from his liver.”  He was impeded also by the want of a Persian translation of the p. 57entire Bible, having no more than the Gospels to give the inquirers, and these badly translated; and with Mahometans the want of the real history of the Patriarchs was very serious.  Some, however, were convinced and baptized, though by far the greater number of his converts were Hindoos.

In 1776, a coadjutor, either German or Danish-trained, named Christian Pohlé, joined him at Trichinopoly, and thus he became free to reside more constantly at Tanjore, where the Rajah always protected him, though continually fluctuating in feeling towards Christianity, according to the influences of his ministers and the Brahmins who surrounded him, and the too frequent offences given by the godless officers of the European garrison which was stationed in the fort.

Mr. Swartz was anxiously soliciting for means to build a church for the use of this garrison, when he was summoned to Madras, to the governor, Sir Thomas Rumbold, who promised him a grant for his church; but, at the same time, informed him that he was to be sent on a mission to visit the formidable Hyder Ali in Mysore, in order to judge how far his intentions towards the English were pacific.  He was selected for the purpose on account of his perfect knowledge of Hindostanee, the simplicity of his manner of travelling, and his perfect immunity from any of the ordinary influences of interest or ambition; and he undertook it, as he tells the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, because he regarded it as conducing to peace, as opening fresh doors to the Gospel, and as a token of gratitude to the Honourable Company for kindness he had received; “but at the same time,” he says, “I resolved to keep my hands undefiled from any presents, by which determination the Lord enabled me to abide, so that I have not accepted a single farthing save my travelling expenses.”

On the 1st of July, 1779, he set out from Trichinopoly on this journey, taking one of his catechists, named Sattianadem, with him.  He travelled in a palanquin, and took six days to reach Caroor, on the Mysore frontier, forty miles off, where he stayed a month with a young Ceylonese Dutchman in Hyder Ali’s service, while sending to ask the Nabob’s permission to proceed.  All this time he and his catechist preached and gave instruction in the streets.  It is curious to find him, on his journey, contrasting the excellent state of Hyder Ali’s roads p. 58and bridges with the careless disorganization of the public works under the Company.  An epidemic fever was raging in Seringapatam, and Swartz pitched his tent outside, where he could conveniently visit the many-pillared palace of the sovereign.  He was much struck with the close personal supervision that Hyder Ali kept up over his officers, and with the terrible severity of the punishments.  Two hundred men were kept armed with whips, and not a day passed without many being scourged, no rank being exempt, the Nabob’s two sons and sons-in-law being liable to be whipped like the meanest groom.  Swartz was the unwilling spectator of the punishment of the collector of a district who was flogged with whips armed with nails.

A few hundreds of Europeans, English, German, and French, were in Hyder’s pay, encamped about the town, and a German captain lent his tent for public worship.  No molestation was offered to any instructions that Swartz attempted to give, and he was very courteously entreated by the Prince himself.  The conferences with him were generally held in a hall of marble columns, open to a garden adorned with fruit trees, rows of cypresses, and fountains.  Hyder Ali sat on rich carpets, covering the floor, and the Padre was placed next to him.  He spoke in general terms of his desire to keep the peace, though the British had violated their engagements, referring to an attempt that had newly been made to march troops through his territory without his permission.  To Swartz he was gracious in speech, but the letter he entrusted to him was full of threatening for this and other acts which he considered aggressive; and the general impression brought back by the missionary was that a war was to be expected.

Hyder Ali had presented him with a bag of three hundred rupees for travelling expenses, which it would have been a great affront to return.  He, however, made it over to the Government at Madras, and when they would not take it, asked leave to use it as the foundation for a collection for an English orphan school at Tanjore.  This was granted, and proved a success.  Finding that there was an intention of voting a present to him, he begged instead that a salary might be given to Mr. Pohlé at Trichinopoly; and, in consequence, both were enabled to maintain catechists and schoolmasters; for of making a home for themselves, these devoted men never thought.  p. 59Moreover, Swartz obtained bricks and lime for the building of his English church within the fort; and he bought and enlarged a house half a mile from it, for his Malabar Christians to worship in.  His own observations of Hyder Ali’s warlike intentions led also to his purchasing 12,000 bags of rice as a provision against the scarcity that too surely attends upon Indian warfare.

In the summer of 1780, these apprehensions were realized.  Hyder crossed the Ghauts, and passed down into the Carnatic with 100,000 men, directed by a staff of French officers, and plundered up to the very gates of Madras.  Everything was in the greatest confusion; the English troops were dispersed in garrisons, and could not easily be brought together; and one small detachment under Colonel Baillie, who were made prisoners at Conjiveram, suffered a frightful captivity.  Sir Eyre Coote did, indeed, keep the enemy in check, and defeat him in several battles, but had not at first sufficient numbers or stores effectually to drive him back; and the whole province of Tanjore was horribly wasted.  The irrigation of the district had been broken up by the invaders; there was for three years neither seed-time nor harvest, and the miserable peasants crawled into the towns to perish there, often with their sons carried off to form a regiment of youths whom Hyder Ali was bringing up as a sort of Janissaries.

The unhappy creatures lay dying along the sides of the road, and among them moved from one to another that homely figure in the black dimity dress, and his catechists with him, feeding those who could still swallow, and speaking words of comfort to those who could hear.  Some of the English sent a monthly subscription, which enabled Swartz to keep up the supply, so that a hundred and twenty a day were fed; but often in the morning he found the dead lying in heaps, and in one of his letters he mentions that his catechists are alive, as though he regarded it as a wonder and a mercy.  Indeed he seems to have been a very Joseph to the Rajah, and even to the English garrison.  There was absolutely no magazine for provisions, either for the Sepoys or the Rajah’s own troops, and twice he was implored, both by Tuljajee and the Company, to purchase supplies and get them brought in, since they were unable to do so, “for a want of good understanding with the natives who still possessed either rice or p. 60oxen to transport it.”  He was enabled to procure the supply, and then there was no place to store it in but his own new English church, so that he was obliged to hold three services on a Sunday in the other: from eight till ten in English, from ten till twelve in Tamul, and from four till five in Portuguese!  About a hundred converts were gained during the famine; but he was forced to teach them very slowly, their mental faculties were so weakened by their state of exhaustion.  The whole of the towns of Tanjore and Trichinopoly were, he says, filled with living skeletons, there was hardly an able or vigorous man to be found, and in this distress it was necessary to relax the ordinarily wise rule of never giving any assistance to a person under preparation for baptism, since to withhold succour would have been barbarous cruelty.

When the whole country was overrun by the troops of Mysore, the respect paid to the good Padre was such that he travelled from end to end of it without hindrance, even through the midst of the enemy’s camp, and on the only occasion when he was detained, the sentinel politely put it that “he was waiting for orders to let him proceed.”  It was on one of these journeys that a little lad, named Christian David, the son of one of the converts, was attending him one evening, when, halting at a native village, the supper was brought, of rice and curry.  The Padre made so long a grace out of the fulness of his heart, that at last the boy broke in with a murmur that the curry would be cold!  He never forgot the reproof: “What! shall our gracious God watch over us through the heat and burden of the day, and shall we devour the food which He provides for us at night, with hands which we have never raised in prayer, and lips which have never praised Him?”  The missionaries were always safe throughout the war, and, when Cuddalore capitulated to the French and Mysoreans, Mr. Gerické, who was then at the head of the station, concealed some English officers in his house, and likewise, by his representations to the French general, saved the town from being delivered up to be plundered by Hyder’s native troops.

In the end of 1782, Hyder Ali died; his son, Tippoo Sahib, assuming the title of Sultan, continued the war, with the same fierceness, but without the assistance of the French, who were withdrawn, in consequence of the peace that had been concluded at home.

p. 61This, together with the numerous victories that had been obtained by the English forces, led to hopes that Tippoo would consent to terms of peace, and two Commissioners were appointed, whom Swartz was requested to join as interpreter.  He had no taste for political missions, but he thought it a duty to do all in his power for peace, and set off for the purpose, but the Mysoreans complained that the English promises had not been kept, and he was turned back again by the enemy’s troops.  Colonel Fullarton, who was in command of the army about to invade Mysore, writes, “The knowledge and the integrity of this irreproachable missionary have retrieved the character of Europeans from imputations of general depravity!”  He went back to Tanjore, and there, for the first time, experienced some failure in health.  He was requested again to join the Commissioners, but would not again attempt it, partly from the state of his health, and partly because Tippoo was far more averse to Christianity than Hyder had been.  All the 12,000 Tanjoreen captive boys—originally Hindoos—were bred up Mahometans, and he tolerated nothing else but Hindooism, persecuting the Roman Catholics in his dominions till no one dared make an open profession.

A treaty was, however, concluded in 1784, and there was for a time a little rest, greatly needed by Swartz, who had been suffering from much weakness and exhaustion; but a journey into Tinnevelly, with his friend Mr. Sullivan, seems to have restored him.

There were already some dawnings of Christianity in this district.  As long before as 1771, one of the Trichinopoly converts, named Schavrimutta, who was living at Palamcotta, began to instruct his neighbours from the Bible, and a young Hindoo accountant, becoming interested, went to an English sergeant and his wife, who had likewise been under Swartz’s influence, and asked for further teaching.  The sergeant taught him the Catechism and then baptized him, rather to the displeasure of Swartz, who always was strongly averse to hasty baptisms.  Afterwards, a Brahmin’s widow begged for baptism.  She, it appeared, was living with an English officer, and Swartz was obliged to refuse her while this state of things continued, but he found that the Englishman had promised to marry her, and had begun to teach her his language and his faith.  He died without performing his promise, but Christianity had p. 62become so dear to her, that she again entreated for baptism, and was then admitted into the Church by the name of Clarinda.  She afterwards was the chief means of building a church at Palamcotta, to which Sattianadem became the catechist; and thus was first sown a seed which has never ceased growing, for this district of Tinnevelly has always been the stronghold of Christianity in India.

Meantime Swartz’s poor friend, the Rajah Tuljajee at Tanjore, was in a deplorable state.  He had suffered great losses during Hyder Ali’s invasion of his country, and, moreover, was afflicted with an incurable disease, and had lately lost, by death, his only son, daughter, and grandson: He shut himself up in the depths of his palace, and became harsh and moody, heaping all the treasure together that he could collect, and employing a dean or minister, named Baba, whose exactions on the famished population were so intolerable that the people fled the country, and settled in the neighbouring districts, so that no less than 65,000 were said to have deserted the province.

Sir Archibald Campbell, Governor of Madras, remonstrated, but the Rajah was affronted, and would not dismiss his minister, and as the peasants refused to sow their land without some security that the crops should not be reaped by Baba’s emissaries before their very eyes, the Madras authorities decided on taking the management of Tanjoreen affairs into their hands and appointing a committee to watch over the government.  Sir Archibald wished to place Mr. Swartz on this committee as the person best able to deal both with Rajah and people, and he accepted a seat, only stipulating that he was not to share in any violent or coercive measures.

When the “good Padre” assured the fugitives in the Rajah’s name and his own that oppression was at an end, 7,000 at once returned; and when he reminded them that the season for planting their corps was nearly past, they replied that in return for his kindness they intended to work night and day.

In 1787, the childless Rajah decided on—after the fashion of many Hindoo princes—adopting an heir, who might perform the last duties which were incumbent on a son.  His choice fell upon the son of a near kinsman, a child ten years of age, whom he named Serfojee.  A day or two after he sent for Mr. Swartz, and said, “This is not my son, but yours.  Into your hand I deliver him.”  “May the child become a child of p. 63God,” was the answer of Swartz.  The Rajah was too ill to continue the interview, but he sent for Swartz the next day, and said, “I appoint you guardian to this child; I put his hands into yours.”

Swartz, however, did not think it right to undertake the state guardianship of the lad, and the administration of the province.  Indeed, he knew that to do so would be absolutely to put the child’s life in danger, from the cabals and jealousies which would be excited, and he induced Tuljajee to confide the charge to his brother, Rama Swamey, afterwards called Ameer Singh.

This was done, and the Rajah soon after died, in the year 1787, leaving the boy and Ameer Singh under the protection of the Company.  He had always listened to Swartz willingly, and treated him affectionately, and the result of the influence of the missionary extended so far that no Suttee took place at his funeral, but he had never actually embraced Christianity, though protecting it to the utmost of his power.

The brother, Ameer Singh, was not contented merely to act as regent, but complained that injustice was done to him, and that Tuljajee was too much enfeebled in mind to judge of his own measures when he adopted the boy Serfojee.  Sir Archibald Campbell, acting for the Company, came to Tanjore, and, after an examination into the circumstances, decided in favour of Ameer Singh, and confirmed him in the Rajahship, binding him over to be the faithful protector of poor little Serfojee, who, putting the adoption apart, was still his near relation.

Ameer was not a better manager of his province than his brother had been, and he was far from kind to Serfojee, whom Swartz had not been allowed to see for months, when the widows of the late Rajah made complaints that the boy was closely shut up and cruelly treated.  On this Swartz applied to Government, and obtained an order to go with another gentleman to inquire into his condition.  The Rajah was much offended; but as he reigned only by the protection of the English, he could not refuse, and the Padre was conducted to a large but dark room, where he found the poor child sitting by lamp-light.  This had been his condition for almost two years, ever since his adopted father’s death, and on seeing the Padre, he asked piteously if it were the way in Europe to prevent children from seeing the sun and moon.  Mr. Swartz comforted him, p. 64and asked him if he had any one to teach him.  The Rajah’s minister replied that he had a master, but was too idle to learn; but Serfojee looked up and said, “I have none to teach me, therefore I do not know a single letter.”  The Rajah was only offended at remonstrance, and at last Government sent orders that could not be resisted, and a Sepoy guard to take charge of the lad.  Then, as a great favour, the Rajah entreated that the guard would not enter his palace, but that for the night before Serfojee could be removed, the Padre would remain with him to satisfy them that he was safe.  To this Swartz consented, and the guard disappeared, whereupon the Rajah told him “he might go home.”

“What! and be guilty of a breach of faith?” was his resolute answer.  “Even my father should not be permitted to make me such a proposal!”

They were ashamed, and left him to remain that night with Serfojee, whom he probably thus saved from foul play, since the jealous and vindictive passions of Ameer Singh had been thoroughly excited.  The captivity must have been very wretched, for he observed that the poor boy walked lame, and found that the cause was this:—“I have not been able to sleep,” said poor Serfojee, “from the number of insects in my room, but have had to sit clasping my knees about with my arms.  My sinews are a little contracted, but I hope I shall soon recover.”

When taken out, the poor little fellow was delighted once more to see the sun, and to ride out again.  A Brahmin master selected by Mr. Swartz was given to him, and he very rapidly learnt both to read his own language and English.  Swartz also interfered on behalf of the late Rajah’s minister, Baba, who had indeed been extortionate and severe, but scarcely deserved such a punishment as being put into a hole six feet long and four feet broad and high.

For two years Serfojee was unmolested; but, in 1792, the husband of Ameer Singh’s only child died without children, and this misfortune was attributed by the Rajah to witchcraft on the part of the widows of Tuljajee.  He imagined that they were contriving against his own life, and included Serfojee in his hatred.  By way of revenge, he caused a pile of chilis and other noxious plants to be burnt under Serfojee’s windows, and thus nearly stifled him and his attendants.  He prevented the p. 65Prince’s teachers from having access to him, shut up his servants, and denied permission to merchants to bring their wares to him.  Mr. Swartz was absent at the time, and Serfojee wrote a letter to him, begging that the English Government would again interfere.  It was found that any remonstrance put the Rajah into such a state of fury that the lives of the youth and the ladies we’re really unsafe while they remained within his reach, and it was therefore decided that they should be transplanted to Madras.  It was a wonderful step for Hindoo princesses to take, and was only accomplished by the influence of Mr. Swartz, backed by a guard of soldiers, under whose escort all safely arrived at Madras, where Serfojee’s education could at length be properly carried on.

The youth was so entirely the child of Swartz and of the Government, that it is disappointing to find that he did not become a Christian.  No stipulation to the contrary seems to have been made by Tuljajee; but, probably, the missionary refrained from a sense of honour towards the late Rajah, and because to bring the boy up in the Church would have destroyed all chance of his obtaining the provinces, and probably have deprived him of the protection of the Company, who dreaded the suspicion of proselytizing.  Still it is very disappointing, and requires all our trust in Swartz’s judgment and excellence to be satisfied that he was right in leaving this child, who had been confided to him, all his life a heathen.  Serfojee learnt the theory of Christianity, was deeply attached to Mr. Swartz, and lived a life very superior to that of most Hindoo princes of his time.  His faith in his hereditary paganism was probably only political, but he never made the desperate, and no doubt perilous, plunge of giving up all the world to save his own soul.  Was it his fault, or was it any shortcoming in the teaching that was laid before him, and was that human honour a want of faith?  It puzzles us!  Here was Swartz, from early youth to hoary hairs unwavering in the work of the Gospel, gathering in multitudes to the Church, often at great peril to himself, yet holding back from bringing into the fold the child who had been committed to him, and, as far as we can see, without any stipulation to the contrary.  Probably he thought it right to leave Serfojee’s decision uninfluenced until his education should be complete, and was disappointed that the force of old custom and the danger p. 66of change were then too strong for him; and thus it was that Serfojee was only one of the many half-reclaimed Indian princes who have lived out their dreary, useless lives under English protection, without accepting the one pearl of great price which could alone have made them gainers.

It is just possible that there may have been too much of a certain sort of acquiescence in Swartz’s mind, missionary as he was.  He did not attack the system of caste, with its multitudinous separations and distinctions.  Of course he wished it to be abolished, but he accepted converts without requiring its renunciation, allowed high-caste persons to sit apart in the churches, and to communicate before Pariahs, and did not interfere with their habits of touching no food that the very finger of a person of a different caste had defiled.  He no doubt thought these things would wither away of themselves, but his having permitted them, left a world of difficulty to his successors.

He lived, however, the life of a saint, nearly that of an ascetic.  His almost unfurnished house was shared with some younger missionary.  Kohloff, who was one of these, related in after years how plain their diet was.  Some tea in a jug, with boiling water poured over it and dry bread broken into it, formed the breakfast, which lasted five minutes; dinner, at one, was of broth or curry; and at eight at night they had some meal or gruel.  If wine were sent them, it was reserved for the communions or for the sick.  Swartz only began, very late in life, to take a single glass in the middle of his Sunday services.

Every morning he assembled his native catechists at early prayer, and appointed them their day’s work.  “You go there.”  “You do this.”  “You call on such and such families.”  “You visit such a village.”  About four o’clock they returned and made their report, when their master took them all with him to the churchyard or some public place, or to the front of the Mission-house, according to the season of the year, and there sat either expounding the Scriptures to those who would come and listen, or conversing with inquirers and objectors among the heathen.  His manner was mild, sometimes humorous, but very authoritative, and he would brook neither idleness nor disobedience.

Over his Christian flock his authority was as complete as p. 67ever that of Samuel could have been as a judge.  If any of them did wrong, the alternative was—

“Will you go to the Rajah’s court, or be punished by me?”

“O Padre, you punish me!” was always the reply.

“Give him twenty strokes,” said the Padre, and it was done.

The universal confidence in the Padre, felt alike by Englishmen and Hindoos, was inestimable in procuring and carrying out regulations for the temporal prosperity of the peasantry at Tanjore, under the Board which had pretty well taken the authority out of the hands of the inefficient and violent Ameer Singh.  Districts that, partly from misery, had become full of thieves, were brought into order, and the thieves themselves often became hopeful converts, and endured a good deal of persecution from their heathen neighbours.  His good judgment in dealing with all classes, high and low, English or native, does indeed seem to have been wonderful, and almost always to have prevailed, probably through his perfect honesty, simplicity, and disinterestedness.

The converts in Tinnevelly became more and more numerous, and Sattianadem had been ordained to the ministry, Lutheran fashion, by the assembly of the presbytery at Tranquebar, there being as yet no Bishop in India; and thus many, the very best of his catechists, served for many years, at Palamcotta, the first Christian minister produced by modern India.  On the whole, Swartz could look back on the half-century of his mission with great joy and thankfulness; he counted his spiritual children by hundreds; and the influence he had exerted upon the whole Government had saved multitudes of peasants from oppression and starvation, and had raised the whole tone of the administration.  He was once or twice unkindly attacked by Englishmen who hated or mistrusted the propagation of Christianity.  One gentleman even wrote a letter in a newspaper calling a missionary a disgrace to any nation, and raking up stories of the malpractices of heathens who had been preached to without being converted, which were laid to the charge of the actual Christians; but imputations like these did not meet with faith from any one whose good opinion was of any real consequence to Swartz.

His strong health and the suitability of his constitution to the climate brought him to a good old age in full activity.  He had become the patriarch of the community of missionaries, p. 68and had survived all those with whom he had at first laboured; but he was still able to circulate among the churches he had founded, teaching, praying, preaching and counselling, or laying any difficulty before the Government, whose attention he had so well earned.  His last care was establishing the validity of the adoption of Serfojee, who had grown up a thoughtful, gentle, and upright man, satisfactory on all points except on the one which rendered him eligible to the throne of Tanjore, his continued heathenism.  The question was referred to the Company at home, and before the answer could arrive, by the slow communication of those days, when the long voyage, and that by a sailing vessel, was the only mode of conveyance, the venerable guardian of the young Rajah had sunk into his last illness.

This was connected with a mortification in his left foot, which had been more or less painful for several years, but had probably been neglected.  His Danish colleague, Mr. Gerické, was with him most of the time, and it was one of his subjects of thankfulness that he was permitted to depart out of the world in the society of faithful brethren.  He suffered severely for about three months, but it was not till the last week that his departure was thought to be near.  He liked to have the English children brought in to read to him chapters of the Bible and sing Dr. Watts’s hymns to him; and the beautiful old German hymns sung by Mr. Gerické and Mr. Kohloff were his great delight.  Indeed, when at the very last, as he lay almost lifeless, with closed eyes, Mr. Gerické began to sing the hymn,

“Only to Thee, Lord Jesus Christ,”

he joined in with a clear melodious voice, and accompanied him to the end.  Two hours later, about four o’clock in the afternoon of the 13th of February, 1798, Christian Friedrich Swartz breathed his last, in the seventy-second year of his age, and the forty-eighth of his mission service in India.

The cries and wailings of the poor resounded all night around the house, and Serfojee Rajah came from a distance to be present at his burial.  It had been intended to sing a funeral hymn, but the cries and lamentations of the poor so overcame the clergy, that they could scarcely raise their voices.  Serfojee wept bitterly, laid a gold cloth over the bier, and remained present while Mr. Gerické read the Funeral Service,—a most p. 69unusual departure from Hindoo custom, and a great testimony of affection and respect.

A few months later arrived the decision of the East India Company, that the weak and rapacious Ameer Singh should be deposed, and Serfojee placed on the throne.  He conducted himself excellently as a ruler, and greatly favoured Christians in his territory, always assisting the various schools, and giving liberal aid whenever the frequently-recurring famines of India brought them into distress.

Three years later, in 1801, Serfojee wrote to the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, to beg them to order a “monument of marble” at his expense, to the memory of the late Rev. Father Swartz, to be affixed to the pillar nearest the pulpit.  Accordingly, a bas-relief in white marble was executed by Flaxman, representing the death of Swartz, Gerické behind him, two native Christians and three children standing by, and Serfojee clasping his hand and receiving his blessing.  It was not exactly fact, but it was the monumental taste of the day; and it so much delighted the Rajah, that he kept it in his palace, among the portraits of his ancestors, for two years before he could resolve on parting with it to the church.  The Prince likewise composed the epitaph which was carved on the stone which covers the grave of Swartz, the first instance of English verse by a Hindoo:—

“Firm wast thou, humble and wise,
Honest, pure, free from disguise;
Father of orphans, the widow’s support,
Comfort in sorrow of every sort:
To the benighted dispenser of light,
Doing and pointing to that which is right.
Blessing to princes, to people, to me,
May I, my father, be worthy of thee,
Wisheth and prayeth thy Sarabojee.”

Swartz had always been striving to be poor, and never succeeding.  Living and eating in the humblest manner, and giving away all that came to him, still recognitions of services from English and natives had flowed in on him; and, after all the hosts of poor he had fed, and of churches and schools he had founded, he was an instance of “there is that scattereth and yet increaseth;” for the property he bequeathed to the Mission was enough to assist materially in carrying it on after p. 70his death.  Moreover, Serfojee maintained the blind, lame, and decrepit members of his church, and founded an asylum for the orphan children; so that the good men, Gerické, Kohloff, Pohlé, and the rest, were not absolutely dependent on Europe for assistance; and this was well, since the Orphan-house at Halle and the Society at Copenhagen had in this long course of years ceased to send out funds.

But Swartz’s work under their hands continued to prosper.  He had a sort of apotheosis among the heathen, such as he would have been the last to covet; for statues were raised to him, lights burnt before him, and crowns offered up.  But about Palamcotta and throughout Tinnevelly there was one of those sudden movements towards Christianity that sometimes takes place.  The natives were asking instruction from their friends, and going eagerly in search of the catechists and of Sattianadem, and even burning their idols and building chapels in preparation for the coming of more fully qualified teachers.  Mr. Gerické made a tour among them in 1803, and found their hearts so moved towards the Gospel, that he baptized 1,300 in the course of his journey, and the work of Sattianadem and the catechists raised the number of converts to 4,000.  This was, however, this good man’s last journey.  On his return, he found that his only son, an officer in the Company’s service, was dying, and, under the weight of this and other troubles, his health gave way, and he died in the thirty-eighth year of his mission.  Others of the original Danish and German missionaries likewise died, and scarcely any came out in their stead.  Their places were, therefore, supplied by ordinations, by the assembly of ministers, of four native catechists, of whom was Nyanapracasem, a favourite pupil of Swartz.  No Church can take root without a native ministry.  But the absence of any central Church government was grievously felt, both as concerned the English and the Hindoos.  There were more than twenty English regiments in India, and not a single chaplain among them all.


Again do we find the steady, plodding labourer of a lifetime contrasted with the warm enthusiast, whose lot seems rather to awaken others than to achieve victories in his own person.  St. Stephen falls beneath the stones, but his glowing discourse is traced through many a deep argument of St. Paul.  St. James drains the cup in early manhood, but his brother holds aloft his witness to extreme old age.

The ardent zeal of the Keltic character; the religious atmosphere that John Wesley had spread over Cornwall, even among those who did not enrol themselves among his followers; the ability and sensitiveness hereditary in the Martyn family, together with the strong influence of a university tutor,—all combined to make such a bright and brief trail of light of the career of Henry Martyn, the son of the head clerk in a merchant’s office at Truro, born on the 18th of February, 1781.  This station sounds lowly enough, but when we find that it was attained by a self-educated man, who had begun life as a common miner, and taught himself in the intervals of rest, it is plain that the elder Martyn must have possessed no ordinary power.  Out of a numerous family only four survived their infancy, and only one reached middle age, and in Henry at least great talent was united to an extreme susceptibility and delicacy of frame, which made him as a child unusually tender and gentle in manner when at his ease, but fretful and passionate when annoyed.

Of course he fared as ill with his fellow-scholars at Truro Grammar School as he did well with the masters; but an elder boy took him under his protection, and not only lessened his grievances at the time, but founded a lasting friendship.

In 1795, when only fourteen, Henry Martyn was sufficiently advanced to be sent up as a candidate for a scholarship at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and passed a very creditable examination, though he failed in obtaining the election.  Eight years later, we find him congratulating himself in his journal on thus having p. 72escaped the “scenes of debauchery” to which his “profligate acquaintances” might have introduced him.  Was Corpus very much changed, when, only eleven years after, John Keble entered it at the same age?  Was it that Martyn’s Cornish schoolfellows were a bad set, or does this thanksgiving proceed from the sort of pious complacency which religious journalizing is apt to produce in the best of men?

The failure sent Henry back to work for two years longer at the Truro Grammar School, and when at sixteen he was entered at St. John’s, Cambridge (most peculiarly the college of future missionaries), he immediately made proof of his remarkable talent.  Strange to say, although his father’s rise in life had begun in his mathematical ability, Henry’s training in this branch had been so deficient, and the study appeared so repugnant to him, that his first endeavour at Cambridge was to learn the proportions of Euclid by heart, without trying to follow their reasoning.  This story is told of many persons, but perhaps of no one else who in four years’ time, while still a month under twenty, was declared Senior Wrangler.

This was in 1801, and the intervening time had been spent in hard study and regular habits, but neither his sister at home, nor a seriously-minded college friend, were satisfied with his religious feelings during the first part of the time, and he himself regarded it afterwards as a period of darkness.  Indeed, his temper was under so little control that in a passion he threw a knife at a companion, but happily missed his aim, so that it only pierced the wall.  The shock of horror no doubt was good for him.  But the next step he recorded in his life was his surprise at hearing it maintained that the glory of God, not the praise of man, should be the chief motive of study.  After thinking it over his mind assented, and he resolved to maintain this as a noble saying, but did not perceive that it would affect his conduct.

However, the dearest, almost the only hallowed form of the praise of man, was taken from him by the death of his father in 1799, immediately after the delight of hearing of his standing first in the Christmas examination.  The expense of a return home was beyond his means, but he took to reading the Bible, as a proper form to be complied with in the days of mourning; and beginning with the Acts, as being the most entertaining part, he felt the full weight of the doctrine of the Apostles borne p. 73in on him, and was roused to renew his long-neglected prayers.  When next he went to chapel, with his soul thus awakened, he was struck by perceiving for the first time how joy for the coming of our Lord rings through the Magnificat.

The great religious influence of the day at Cambridge emanated from the pulpit and the rooms of the Reverend Charles Simeon, who did a truly remarkable work in stirring up young men to a sense of the responsibilities of the ministry.  Henry Martyn regularly attended his sermons, and the newly lighted sparks were also fanned by anxious letters from the good sister at home; but until the strain, pressure, and excitement of preparing for the final examination were over, he had little time or attention for any other form of mental exertion.

When, however, he found himself in possession of the highest honours his University could award, he was amazed to discover how little they satisfied him, and that he felt as if he had grasped a shadow instead of a substance.

This instinctive longing, the sure token of a mind of the higher pitch, was finding rest as he became more and more imbued with the spirit of religion, and ventured upon manifesting it more openly.  He had hitherto intended to apply himself to the law, but the example and conversation of Charles Simeon brought him to such a perception of the greatness of the office of the ministry that he resolved to dedicate himself thereto.  During the term after this decision was made, while he was acting as a tutor at his college, he heard Mr. Simeon speak of William Carey and his self-devotion in India; he read the Life of that kindred spirit, David Brainerd, and the spark of missionary zeal was kindled in his ardent nature.  The commission “Go ye and teach all nations” was borne in on his mind, and, with the promptness that was a part of his nature, he at once offered himself to the “Society for Missions to Africa and the East,” which had been established, in the year 1800, by members of the English Church who wished to act independently of the elder Society for the Propagation of the Gospel.  The name has since been altered to the “Church Missionary Society.”

However, Martyn was only just twenty-one, and not of an age to take Holy Orders, and he had therefore to wait, while studying divinity, and acting as a tutor at Cambridge.  All through his life he kept copious journals of his sensations p. 74and resolutions, full of the deepest piety, always replete with sternness towards himself and others, and tinged with that melancholy which usually pervades the more earnest of that school which requires conscious feeling as the test of spiritual life.

In October 1803, he went to Ely for ordination as a deacon, though still wanting five months of twenty-three.  Those were lax days, there was little examination, and a very low standard of fitness was required.  Henry Martyn was so much scandalized by the lightness of demeanour of one of his fellow candidates that he spoke to him in strong reproof—with what effect we do not know, but he records that he never ventured to speak in rebuke, “unless he at the same time experienced a peculiar contrition of spirit.”

He became Mr. Simeon’s curate, and at the same time took charge of the neighbouring parish of Lolworth.  People then had small expectations of clerical care, if a parish could be entrusted to a young deacon, non-resident, acting as tutor and examiner, and with an assistant curacy besides!  His whole mind was, however, intensely full of his duties, and so unworthy did he consider all other occupations that he prayed and struggled conscientiously against the pleasure he could not but feel, in getting up Thucydides and Xenophon for the examinations.  Everything not actually devotional seemed to him at these times under a ban, and it is painful to see how a mind of great scope and power was cramped and contracted, and the spirits lowered by incessant self-contemplation and distrust of almost all enjoyment.  When, at another time, he had to examine on “Locke on the Human Understanding,” the metaphysical study acting on his already introspective mind produced a sense of misery and anguish that he could hardly endure.  It is pleasant, however, to find him in another mood, writing, “Since I have known God in a saving manner, painting, poetry, and music have had charms unknown to me before; I have received what I suppose is a taste for them, for religion has refined my mind, and made it susceptible of impressions from the sublime and beautiful.”

This, no doubt, was true, but another influence had awakened his heart, earthly perhaps in itself, but so noble and so holy that it bears a heavenly light.  He had become attached to a young lady in Cornwall, named Lydia Grenfell, like-minded p. 75enough to return his affection.  His intention of volunteering for the Church Missionary Society was overthrown by a disaster in Cornwall which deprived himself and his unmarried sister of all the provision that their father had made for them, thus throwing her upon him for maintenance, and making it necessary that he should obtain a salary that would support her.  It was suggested by some of his friends that one of the chaplaincies founded by the old East India Company, before the jealousy of religious teaching had set in, would both give him opportunities for missionary work and enable him to provide for his sister at home.  Application was accordingly made, and a man of his talent and character could not fail of being accepted; he was promised the next vacant post, and went down to spend the long vacation in Cornwall, and bid farewell to all whom he loved there, for the journey was long and expensive, and he had resolved not to trust himself among them again.

He writes in his journal, “Parted with Lydia for ever in this life with a sort of uncertain pain, which I knew would increase to violence.”  And so it was, he suffered most acutely for many days, and, though calmness and comfort came after a time, never were hopes and affections more thoroughly sacrificed, or with more anguish, than by this most truly devoted disciple of his Master.

He worked on at Cambridge till he received his appointment in the January of 1805, and he then only waited to receive Priests’ Orders before going to London to prepare for his embarkation.

In those times of war, a voyage to India was a perilous and lengthy undertaking.  A whole fleet was collected, containing merchant, convict, and transport vessels, all under the convoy of the ships of war belonging to the Company; and, as no straggler might be left behind, the progress of the whole was dependent on the rate of sailing of the slowest, and all were impeded by the disaster of one.  The Union, in which a passage was given to the chaplain, contained, besides the crew, passengers, the 59th Regiment, some other soldiers, and young cadets, all thrown closely together for many months.  She sailed from Portsmouth on the 17th of July; but in two days’ time one of the many casualties attendant on at least sixty vessels made the fleet put into Falmouth, where it remained for three weeks.  This opportunity of intercourse with his p. 76family might well seem an especial boon of Providence to the young missionary, who had denied himself a last visit to them, and he carried away much comfort from this meeting.  His sister was engaged to be suitably married, so that he was relieved from care on her account, and some hope was entertained that Lydia would be able to come out to him in India.  A correspondence likewise began, which has been in great part preserved.  Two days after weighing anchor, the Union still lingered on the coast, and the well-known outline, with Mount’s Bay, the spire of St. Hilary’s church, and all the landmarks so dear and familiar to the young Cornishman’s eye and heart, were watched from morning to night with keen pain and grief, but with steadfast resolve and constant inward prayer.

Then he addressed himself to the duties of the voyage.  Private study of Hebrew and of Hindostanee was of course a part; but he hoped to be useful to his companions as a friend and as a minister.  He could only obtain permission to hold one service every Sunday, but he hoped to do much by private conversations and prayers, and he tried to gain over the cadets by offering to assist them in their studies, especially mathematics.  Some of them had the sense to see that the teaching of a senior wrangler was no small advantage, and these read with him throughout the voyage; but in general they were but raw lads, and followed the example of their superiors, who for the most part were strongly set against Mr. Martyn.  Those were the times when sailors were utterly uncared for, and when mauvais sujets at home were sent out to India to the corruptions of a luxurious climate and a heathen atmosphere.  Men of this stamp would think it bad enough to have a parson on board at all, and when they found that he was a faithful priest, who held himself bound not to leave them unchecked in their evil courses, they thought themselves aggrieved.  Nor was his manner likely to gain them.  Grave and earnest, he had never in his life known sportiveness, and his distress and horror at the profanity and blasphemy that rang in his ears made him doubly sad and stern.  From the first his Sunday service was by most treated as an infliction, and the officers, both of the ship and of the military, had so little sense of decency as to sit drinking, smoking, and talking within earshot.  The persons who professed to attend showed no reverence of attitude; and when he endeavoured to make an impression on the soldiers p. 77and their wives between-decks, he was met with the same rude and careless inattention.

With very little experience of mankind, he imagined that these hardened beings could be brought to repent by terror, and his discourses were full of denunciations of the wrath of God.  He was told that, if he threatened them thus, they would not come to hear him, and his reply was an uncompromising sermon on the text, “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the people that forget God.”  The bravery of the thing, and the spirit of truth and love that pervaded all he said on this solemn verse, was not lost upon all: some of the cadets were moved to tears, and an impression was made upon several persons.  Indeed, there was much that should have induced serious thought, for, after having touched at Madeira and the Azores, it was made known that the 59th was to be disembarked at the Cape, to assist in the struggle then going on between the English and Dutch.  Moreover, there was much sickness on board, and the captain himself, who had been always bitterly opposed to Mr. Martyn, anxiously called for him to attend upon his death-bed.

The 59th were landed in Table Bay just in time to take part in Sir David Baird’s victory.  Martyn went on shore the next day to do his best for the wounded; but they were mostly in hospital, and, being Dutch, he could do little for them.  He found congenial spirits among the Dutch clergy in Cape Town, and spent a happy month there, but the latter part of his voyage was not more satisfactory than the first.  The educated portion of the passengers continued to set their faces against him, treating him with increased contempt, and even turning into ridicule the farewell sermon, in which he took an affectionate leave of all who had sailed with him.

It may be that his manner was ill-judged, but it is a fearful thing to find that it was possible for so many Christian people to have been in daily contact with as true a saint as ever lived, and yet make him their mock!  Perhaps some of his words, and far more his example, may have borne fruit in after years, such as he never knew of.

The whole voyage had lasted nearly ten months before entering the Hooghly.  While ascending the stream, the lassitude produced by the climate was so great that Martyn’s spirits sank under it: he thought he should “lead an idle, p. 78worthless life to no purpose.  Exertion seemed like death; indeed, absolutely impossible.”  Yet at the least he could write, “Even if I should never see a native converted, God may design, by my patience and continuance, to encourage future missionaries.”

This feeling of exhaustion was the prelude to a severe attack of fever, which assailed him almost immediately after his arrival; but happily not till he was safely lodged at Aldeen, in the kindly house of the Rev. David Brown, where he was nursed till his recovery.  His friends wanted to keep him among the English at Calcutta, but his heart was set on ministering to the heathen, and the sights and sounds of idolatry that constantly met him increased his eagerness.  He once rushed out at the sight of the flames of a Suttee, hoping to rescue the victim, but she had perished before he reached the spot.

His arrival was when the alarm about the meeting at Vellore was at its height, and when the colony at Serampore had been forbidden to preach or distribute tracts in Calcutta.  He by no means agreed with all the Baptist doctrines, but he held in great esteem and reverence such men as Carey and Marshman, was glad to profit by their experience and instructions, and heartily sympathised in all their difficulties.  Mr. Carey might well write, “A young clergyman, Mr. Martyn, is lately arrived, who is possessed with a truly missionary spirit.”  Together the Serampore missionaries, with Mr. Martyn, Mr. Corrie, and Mr. Brown, united in dedicating to the worship of God a heathen pagoda, which the last-mentioned had succeeded in purchasing from the natives.  Altogether he was much cheered and refreshed.  During the time that he waited at Aldeen he improved himself in Hindostanee, and began to study Sanscrit, and learnt the most approved method of dealing with the natives.  Moreover, he found that his allowance as a chaplain was so liberal as amply to justify him in writing to urge Miss Grenfell to come out and join him; and, during the long period of sixteen or eighteen months before her refusal to do so reached him, he was full of the hope of receiving her.

His appointed station was Dinapore, where his primary duty was to minister to the English troops there posted, and to the families of the civilians; but he also hoped to establish native p. 79schools, to preach in their own language to the Hindoos, and to scatter translations of portions of Scripture, such as the Parables, among them.

He had to read prayers to the soldiers from the drum-head by way of desk; there were no seats, and he was desired to omit the sermon: but afterwards a room was provided, and then the families of the officers and residents began to attend, though at first they were much scandalized by his preaching extempore.  In fact there was a good deal in his whole tone that startled old orthodoxy; and in the opposition with which he met at times, there was some lawful and just distrust of the onesidedness of his tenets, together with the ordinary hatred and dislike of darkness to light.  So scrupulous was he in the Jewish force given by his party to the Fourth Commandment, that, having one Sunday conceived the plan of translating the Prayer-book into Hindostanee, he worked at it till he had reached the end of the Te Deum; and there, doubting whether it were a proper employment for the day, desisted until the Monday, to give himself up to prayer, singing hymns, Scripture-reading, and meditation.  The immediate value of this work was for the poor native wives of the English soldiers, whom he found professing Christianity, but utterly ignorant; and to them every Sunday, after the official English service, he repeated the Liturgy in the vulgar tongue.  In this holy work he was the pioneer, since Swartz’s service was in Tamul.  While working at his translations with his moonshee, or interpreter, a Mussulman, he had much opportunity for conversation and for study of the Mahometan arguments, so as to be very useful to himself; though he could not succeed in convincing the impracticable moonshee, who had all that self-satisfaction belonging to Mahometanism.  “I told him that he ought to pray that God would teach him what the truth really is.  He said he had no occasion to pray on this subject, as the word of God is express.”  With the Hindoos at Dinapore, he found, to his surprise, that there was apparently little disinclination to “become Feringees,” as they called it, outwardly; but the difficulty lay in his insistance on Christian faith and obedience, instead of a mere external profession.

It was while he was at Dinapore that we first acquire anything like a distinct idea of Henry Martyn; for there a short halt of the 53rd Regiment brought him in contact with one p. 80who had an eye to observe, a heart to honour, and a pen to describe him; namely, Mrs. Sherwood, the wife of the paymaster, a woman of deeply religious sentiments and considerable powers as an author.  Mutual friends had already prepared Mr. Martyn to expect to find like-minded companions in the Sherwoods, invited to stay with him for the few days of their sojourn at Dinapore.  “Mr. Martyn’s quarters,” says that lady, “were in the smaller square—a church-like abode, with little furniture, the rooms wide and high, with many vast doorways, having their green jalousied doors, and long verandahs encompassing two sides of the quarters.”  So scanty, indeed, was the furniture, that, though he gave up his own bedroom, Mrs. Sherwood could not find a pillow, not only there, but in the whole house; and, with a severe pain in her face, could get nothing to lay her head on “but a bolster stuffed as hard as a pin-cushion.”

She thus describes the first sight of her host:—“He was dressed in white, and looked very pale, which, however, was nothing singular in India; his hair, a light brown, was raised from his forehead, which was a remarkably fine one.  His features were not regular, but the expression was so luminous, so intellectual, so affectionate, so beaming with Divine charity, that no one could have looked at his features and thought of their shape or form; the outbeaming of his soul would absorb the attention of every observer.  There was a very decided air, too, of the gentleman about Mr. Martyn, and a perfection of manners which, from his extreme attention to all minute civilities, might seem almost inconsistent with the general bent of his thoughts to the most serious subjects.  He was as remarkable for ease as for cheerfulness.  He did not appear like one who felt the necessity of contending with the world and denying himself its delights, but, rather, as one who was unconscious of the existence of any attractions in the world, or of any delights which were worthy of his notice.  When he relaxed from his labours in the presence of his friends, it was to play and laugh like an innocent child, more especially if children were present to play and laugh with him.”

His labours were the incessant charge of the English, travelling often great distances to baptize, marry, or bury, together with constant teaching in the schools he had established both for the English and natives, attendance on the p. 81sick in the hospitals, and likewise private arguments with Mahometans and Hindoos.  Public preachings in the streets and bazaars, like those of Swartz, Carey, and Ward, he does not seem to have attempted at this time; but his translations were his great and serious employment, and one that gave him much delight.  His thorough classical education and scholarship fitted him for this in an unusual degree, and besides the Hindostanee version of the Prayer-book, the Persian—so much wanted in the Bombay Presidency—was committed to him; and an assistant was sent to him, whose history, disappointing as it is, cannot be omitted from the account of Indian missions.

Sabat was an Arab of the tribe of Koreish, the same which gave birth to Mahomet himself.  He was born on the banks of the Euphrates, and educated in such learning as still lingered about the city of the Khalifs; but he left home early, and served in the Turkish army against the French at Acre.  Afterwards he became a soldier in the Persian army, where he was several times wounded, and in consequence retired, and, wandering into Cabul, there rose to be a royal secretary.

He formed a close friendship with his colleague, Abdallah, likewise a Koreishite Arab, and very able and poetical.  When the Wahabees, the straitest sect of the Mussulmans, seized Mecca, their chief wrote a letter to the King of Cabul, which was committed to Abdallah to translate into Persian.  By way of a graceful compliment, he put his translation into Persian verse, and the reward he received was equally strange; namely, the gift of as many pearls as could be stuffed into his mouth at once.  He was, however, observed to be unusually grave and thoughtful, and to frequent the house of an Armenian—of course a Christian: but as this person had a beautiful daughter, she was supposed to be the attraction, and no suspicion was excited by his request to retire into his own country.

Soon after Sabat was made prisoner by the Tartars of Bokhara, and, by appealing to the king, as a descendant of the prophet, obtained his release and promotion to high honour.  While visiting the city of Bokhara, he recognized his old friend, Abdallah, and, perceiving that his beard was shaved off, examined him on the cause so closely that he was driven to confess that the Armenian had converted him to the Christian faith, and that he did not wish to be known.  Hereditary Christians are tolerated by the Moslem, but converts are p. 82bitterly persecuted; and Sabat flew into a great rage, argued, threatened, and at last denounced his old friend to the Moollahs as a recreant from Islam.

Abdallah was arrested, and showed himself a true and faithful confessor and martyr.  The Moollahs strove hard to make him recant.  They demanded of him: “In the Gospel of Christ, is anything said of our Prophet?”—intending to extort that promise of the Comforter which Mahomet blasphemously applied to himself.

Abdallah’s answer was: “Yea—Beware of false prophets which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves.”

This brave reply was requited by blows on the mouth till the blood flowed, and Sabat thought of the day he had seen that same mouth filled with pearls.  Abdallah was sent back to prison, and four days were allowed him in which to recant; after which he was brought out and set before an assembled multitude.  Pardon was offered him if he would deny his Lord, and, on his refusal, his left hand was cut off.  The look of deep sorrow and pity he gave the former friend who had betrayed him sunk deep into Sabat’s heart.  Again his life was offered, again he confessed himself a Christian, and finally his martyrdom was completed by cutting off his head.

This history Sabat told with feeling and earnestness, that convinced his hearers of its truth; and from this he did not vary, though his account of his own subsequent adventures varied so much that it was not possible at last to attach credence to anything he said of himself before he became expounder of Mohammedan Law in the Civil Court at Vizagapatam.  At any rate Abdallah’s look dwelt with him; he detected discrepancies in the Koran, and became anxious to study the Christian Scriptures.  He obtained from Bombay a copy, first of the New Testament, then of the Old, and, having become convinced, he came to Madras, and demanded baptism from Dr. Ker, the British chaplain.  After some probation, which made Sabat so impatient that he threatened that he should accuse the minister before God if he delayed, he was baptized by the name of Nathanael, and sent to Serampore as a person likely to be useful in the translations always in hand there.

He was delighted with the habits there prevailing, dismissed his attendants, dined at the common table, and altogether conformed p. 83himself to the spirit of the place.  When it was decided to send him to Dinapore to assist Mr. Martyn in rendering the Bible into Persian, he took leave of Serampore with tears in his eyes.  He was gladly welcomed by Mr. Martyn, and they worked together at the Gospel of St. Matthew, Sabat showing a scholar-like anxiety both for correctness and rhythm; but there was so much of the wild Arab about him that he was a continual anxiety.  The Serampore missionaries thought him a grand, dignified figure.  Mrs. Sherwood paints him much less pleasantly, and says he was exactly like the sign of the Saracen’s head, with intensely flashing eyes, high nose, white teeth, and jet black eyebrows, moustache, and beard.  His voice was like rolling thunder, his dress of gorgeous material and thoroughly Oriental, silk skull-cap, jacket, jewelled girdle, loose trousers, and embroidered shoes, and he had a free and haughty manner, according with his signature, when writing to a gentleman who had offended him—“Nathanael Sabat, an Arab, who never was in bondage.”

In April 1809, Mr. Martyn was removed to the station at Cawnpore, where the Sherwoods were then residing.  The time was one of the worst in the whole year for travelling across the sandy plains, with a wind blowing that made the air like “the mouth of an oven.”  For two days and two nights, between Allahabad and Cawnpore, Mr. Martyn travelled in his palanquin without intermission, and, having expected to arrive sooner, he had brought no provision for the last day.  “I lay in my palanquin, faint, with a headache, neither awake nor asleep, between dead and alive, the wind blowing flames.”  When he arrived, Mr. Sherwood had only just time to lead him into the bungalow before he fainted away, and the hall being the least heated place, a couch was made ready for him there, where for some days he lay very ill; and the thermometer was never below 96°, though the punkah never ceased.

As soon as he mended a little, he enjoyed talking over his Hebrew and Greek studies and his ethnological researches with his clever and eager hostess, who must have greatly refreshed his spirit.  He delighted in music: his voice and ear were both excellent, and he taught her many hymns and their tunes.  He also took much pleasure in a little orphan girl whom she was bringing up.  At this time she herself was almost a childless mother, all her Indian-born infants having been victims to the p. 84climate; but a few months later Mr. Martyn christened her little daughter Lucy, a child of such gentle, gracious temper that he was wont to call her Serena.  Mrs. Sherwood gives a pretty picture of this little creature, when about eighteen months old, creeping up to Mr. Martyn as he lay on a sofa with all his books about him, and perching herself on his Hebrew Lexicon, which he needed every moment, but would not touch so as to disturb her.  The pale, white-clad pastor, and the child with silky hair, bare white feet and arms, and little muslin frock, looked equally innocent and pure.

Mr. Martyn’s house at Cawnpore was at the end of an avenue of palms and aloes: there were two bungalows connected by a long passage, in one of which he himself lived, the other was given up to Sabat and his wife.  The garden was prettily laid out with shrubs and tall trees, with a raised platform in the centre; and on one side was a whole colony, consisting not only of the usual number of servants allowed to a military chaplain, but of a host of pundits, moonshees, schoolmasters, and poor nominal Christians, who hung about him because there was no one else to give them a handful of rice for their daily maintenance.

Here Mrs. Sherwood describes a motley entertainment, at which she was the only lady.  Her husband, in his scarlet and gold uniform, and Mr. Martyn, in his clerical black silk coat, were the only other English.  The other European present was Padre Giulio Cesare, an Italian Franciscan, whom Mr. Martyn was obliged to receive when he came to minister to the numerous Irish Roman Catholics in the regiment.  He wore a purple satin cassock, a cord of twisted silk, a rosary of costly stones, and a little skull-cap, and his languages were French with the Sherwoods, and Italian and Latin with Mr. Martyn.  Sabat was there in his Arab dress; there was a thin, copper-coloured, half-caste gentleman in white nankeen, speaking only Bengalee; and a Hindoo in full costume, speaking only his native tongue: so that no two of the party were in similar costume, seven languages were employed, and moreover the three Orientals viewed it as good breeding to shout at the very top of their voices.

Unluckily, too, Mr. Martyn in his politeness suddenly recollected that Mrs. Sherwood had expressed a liking for certain mutton patties, and ordered them to be brought, in a bachelor’s p. 85entire oblivion whether any mutton was procurable otherwise than by killing a sheep: and the delay forced the guests to continue to sit on the platform in the dark, with the voices and languages making too great a Babel for the night-enjoyment sometimes so valued, when Mr. Martyn would show Mrs. Sherwood our own Pole Star just above the horizon, or watch the new moon “looking like a ball of ebony in a silver cup.”  At last the patties were ready, and Mr. Martyn handed Mrs. Sherwood to a seat by him at the top of the table, while Sabat perched himself cross-legged upon a chair at the bottom.

The good chaplain’s simplicity seems to have been a great amusement to the Sherwoods.  Late one evening he quietly observed, “The coolie does not come with my money: I was thinking this morning how rich I should be, and now I should not wonder in the least if he has run off and taken my treasure with him.”  Thereupon it turned out that, not having drawn his pay for some time, he had sent a note to the collector at Cawnpore, asking that the amount should be forwarded by the bearer, a common coolie.  It was all paid in silver, tied up in cotton bags, and no one expected that he would ever see it; however, the coolie arrived safely with it a little later.  Another time, when each household had ordered a pineapple cheese, it was observed that the fissures in the two were marvellously similar; and at last it was discovered that the servants, though paid for two cheeses, made one do duty for both, appearing in turn at the two tables, which was the easier as Mr. Martyn supped on limes and other fruits, and only produced his cheese when the Sherwoods came to supper.  He heeded little but his immediate thoughts, and, when he drove out in his gig, went on with his disquisitions on language and pronunciation, utterly unheeding what his horse was about.

The hope of having Lydia with him to brighten his life and aid his labours had by this time passed away.  She had some entanglement which prevented her from coming out to India, and his disappointment was most acute.  His letters urging her to come out to him are so strong, and full of such anguish, that it is hard to understand that the person who could withstand them could have been the admirable woman Miss Grenfell is described to have been in after-life—unless, indeed, Martyn did not appreciate the claims at home to which she yielded.  “Why do things go so well with them and so hardly with me?” p. 86was a thought that would come into his mind at the weddings where he officiated as priest.  Meantime he had established native schools, choosing a master, usually a Mussulman, and giving him an anna a head for each boy whom he obtained as a scholar in reading and writing.  Mr. Martyn supplied books, and these were translations of Scripture history, of the Parables, and the like, through which he hoped to lay a foundation for distinctive teaching.  Here is Mrs. Sherwood’s description of the Cawnpore school, then in a long shed by the side of the cavalry lines:—

“The master sat at one end like a tailor on the dusty floor, and along under the shed sat the scholars, a pack of little urchins with no other clothes on than a skull-cap and a piece of cloth round their loins.  These little ones squatted, like their master, in the sand: they had wooden imitations of slates in their hands, on which, having first written their lessons with chalk, they recited them à pleine gorge, as the French would say, being sure to raise their voices on the approach of any European or native of note.  Now Cawnpore is one of the most dusty places in the world; the Sepoy lines are the most dusty part of Cawnpore; and as the little urchins are always well greased either with cocoa-nut oil, or, in failure thereof, with rancid mustard oil, whenever there was the slightest breath of air they always looked as if they had been powdered all over with brown powder.  Who that has ever heard it, can forget the sounds of the various notes with which these little people intonated their ‘Aleph, Zubbin ah, Zair a, Paiche oh,’ as they moved backwards and forwards in their recitations?  Who can forget the self-importance of the schoolmaster, who was generally a grey-bearded, dry, old man, who had no other means of proving his superiority to the scholars than by making more noise than even they could?”

Henry Martyn’s first endeavour at native  preaching

In the winter of 1809, Mr. Martyn made his first endeavour at native preaching.  The Yogis and Fakers, devotees and vagrants, haunted the station, and every Sunday evening he opened the gates of his garden, admitted all who were collected by the assurance of the distribution of a pice a head; and standing on his platform, read to them some simple verse of Scripture, and then endeavoured to make them believe there is a pure Almighty Universal Father.  A frightful crowd: they were often five hundred in number.  “No dreams,” says Mrs. p. 87Sherwood, “in the delirium of a raging fever, could surpass the realities” of their appearance; “clothed with abominable rags, or nearly without clothes, or plastered with mud and cow-dung, or with long matted locks streaming down to their heels; every countenance foul and frightful with evil passions; the lips black with tobacco, or crimson with henna.  One man, who came in a cart drawn by a bullock, was so bloated as to look like an enormous frog; another had kept an arm above his head with his hand clenched till the nail had come out at the back of his hand; and one very tall man had all his bones marked on his dark skin with white chalk, like the figure of grim Death himself.”  The assemblage, in contrast with the pure, innocent, pale face and white dress of the preacher who addressed them, must have been like some of Gustave Doré’s illustrations.

These addresses were jealously watched by the British authorities, and were often interrupted by the howls and threatenings of his loathsome congregation; while, moreover, pulmonary complaint, the enemy of his family, began to manifest itself, so that the physicians insisted on his trying the effect of cessation from work, a sea-voyage, and a visit to England.  On this plan he had at first fixed.  He enters in his journal a happy dream of a walk with Lydia, and, waking, the recollection of the 16,000 miles between them; but in the meantime he heard from the critics at Calcutta, that his translation of the Gospels into Persian, done with the assistance of Sabat, was too full of Arabic idioms, and in language not simple enough for its purpose; and he therefore made up his mind to spend his leave of absence in making his way through Persia and part of Arabia, so as to improve himself in the languages, and submit his translation to more trustworthy scholars.  Mr. Brown, on hearing of his plan, consented in these remarkable terms: “Can I then bring myself to cut the string and let you go?  I confess I could not if your bodily frame were strong, and promised to last for half a century.  But as you burn with the intenseness and rapid blaze of phosphorus, why should we not make the most of you?  Your flame may last as long, and perhaps longer, in Arabia than in India.  Where should the phœnix build her odoriferous nest but in the land prophetically called the ‘blessed’?  And where shall we ever expect but from that country the true Comforter to come to the nations of the East?”

p. 88In September, therefore, Henry Martyn made ready to set forth, and to take leave of his congregation of beggars.  He had baptized one poor old Hindoo woman, and she seemed to him to be the only fruit of his toils; but though the exhortation, at the end of all his labours of the Sunday, cost him severe pain and exhaustion, he had constantly persisted, often beginning in a low feeble tone, but gradually rising in fervour to the full power of his musical voice; then himself going among the disgusting throng to distribute their petty bribe for attendance, and often falling afterwards, faint and speechless, on a sofa.

He knew not that one seed, cast on these turbid waters, had found good soil, and was springing up.  Sheik Salah was the son of a pundit at Delhi, and was well-learned in Persian and Arabic.  When a youth he had become moonshee to two English gentlemen then living at Lucknow, and while in their service converted a Hindoo fellow-servant from his idolatry to Islam.  Elated with his success, he gave himself such airs that his English masters reproved him; and he left them in displeasure, vowing never to serve a Feringhee again.  However, being in the pay of a Mahratta chief, he was sent in company with a Mahometan envoy who had undertaken to murder a rival of his master, and having lulled his victim into security by an oath on the Koran that no treachery was intended, decoyed him into his tent, and there stabbed him.

Sheik Salah was a deeply conscientious man, and not only did he leave the Mahratta service, lest some such horrible act should be required of him, but he conceived a certain distrust of his own faith, which, though it condemns such deeds, had not hindered them.  While in search of employment, he came to Cawnpore, and there, one fine evening, he sat with some other young Mussulmans, in a summer-house on the garden wall that bounded Mr. Martyn’s garden, enjoying their hookahs and sherbet, and amusing themselves with what they called the “foolishness” of the Feringhee Padre, who was discoursing to the throng of hateful looking beggars below.  By and by, anxious to hear more, they came down, entered the garden, and stood in a row before the front of the bungalow; their arms folded, their turbans placed jauntily on one side, and their countenances expressive of the utmost contempt.

But the words that Sheik Salah caught were sinking deep.  They were of the intense purity and holiness of God and of p. 89His laws, and of the need of His power to attain to the keeping of them, as well as of His Sacrifice to atone for man’s sinfulness.  Sheik Salah could not rest without hearing more, and becoming determined to obtain employment at Cawnpore, he undertook to copy Persian manuscripts for Sabat, and was lodged by him in one of the numerous huts in Mr. Martyn’s compound.  He was a well-educated, graceful man, exceedingly handsome, looking like a hero of the Old Testament; and probably Sabat was afraid of a rival, for he never mentioned to Mr. Martyn the stranger who, Sunday after Sunday, listened to his preaching, and no doubt would have as thankfully profited by his individual teaching as he would have joyfully given it.

Sabat was at this time a great trial to Mr. Martyn, who in the flush of enthusiasm had let him be put too forward at first, and found the wild man of the desert far too strong for him.  Sometimes, when they differed about a word in the translation, Sabat would contend so violently for a whole morning that poor Mr. Martyn, when unable to bear it any longer, would order his palanquin and be carried over to the Sherwoods to escape from the intolerable brawling shout.  What Sabat could be was plain from the story of his wife Amina; his seventh, as he told his friends.  When he was trying to convert her, she asked his views upon the future lot of those who remained Mahometans, and, when he consigned them to the state of condemnation, she quietly replied that she greatly preferred hell without Sabat’s company to heaven with him.  The poor man was no doubt in great measure sincere, but his probation had been insufficient, and his wild Ishmaelitish nature, so far from being overcome, gained in pride and violence through the enthusiasm that was felt for him as a convert.  Once, in a fit of indignation, he wrote a Persian letter, full of abuse of Mr. Martyn, to a friend in the service of the English resident at Lucknow.  By him it was carried to his master, who, wishing to show Mr. Martyn the real character of his favourite convert, sent him the letter.  Instead of looking into it, Mr. Martyn summoned Sabat, and bade him read it aloud to him.  For once the Arab was overpowered; he cowered before his calm master and entreated his pardon, and when Mr. Martyn put the letter into his hands, assuring him that he had not read it, he was really touched, and showed sorrow for his violence.

On the last Sunday of September 1810, Mr. Martyn took p. 90leave of Cawnpore.  It was also the Sunday of the installation as chaplain of his dearest friend, the Reverend Daniel Corrie, and of the opening of a church which his exertions had prevailed to raise, whereas all former services had been in his own long verandah.  The first sound of the bell most deeply affected those who had scarcely heard one since they had left their native country.  That church has given place to the beautiful building which commemorates the horrors of 1857; but the name of Henry Martyn ought never to be forgotten at Cawnpore, if only as the priest to whom it was granted first to give thanks that, in his own words, “a temple of God was erected and a door opened for the service of the Almighty in a place where, from the foundation of the world, the tabernacle of the true God had never stood.”

After returning from church he sank, nearly fainting, on a sofa in the hall; but, as soon as he revived, begged his friends to sing to him.  The hymn was—

“O God, our help in ages past,
   Our hope in years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
   And our eternal home.”

After the early dinner and afternoon rest, on a sickly, hazy, burning evening, he preached for the last time to his beggars; came away fainting, and as he lay on his sofa told his friends that he did not believe that he had ever made the slightest impression on one of his audience there.

He knew not that Sheik Salah’s heart had been touched, and so deeply that he sought further instruction.  As to Sabat, his later career was piteous.  He fell back into Mahometanism, and, after some years of a wandering life, took service with the Mussulman chief of Acheen in Sumatra, where, having given some offence, he was barbarously hacked to pieces and thrown into the sea.  Such bitter disappointments occur in missionary life; and how should we wonder, since the like befel even St. Paul and St. John?

On the 1st of October, 1810, Mr. Martyn embarked on the Ganges, and on the last day of the month arrived at Mr. Brown’s house at Aldeen.  He was then much the stronger for the long rest to his voice and chest, but his friends thought him greatly changed and enfeebled, and he could not even hold a conversation p. 91without bringing on painful symptoms.  Nevertheless, he preached every Sunday but one at Calcutta until the 7th of January, 1811, when he took his last leave of his Anglo-Indian friends, and set forth on his journey to lands almost entirely strange even to his countrymen, in the hope of rendering the Scriptures available for the study of the numerous Hindoos and Mahometans who understood Persian better than any other literary language.  He went forth, in broken health, and not only without a companion, but without even an attendant, and for his further history we have only his own journals and letters to depend upon.  He went by sea to Bombay with a captain who had been a pupil of Swartz, and whose narratives delighted him much, and afterwards obtained a passage in an English ship which was to cruise in the Persian Gulf against Arab pirates.  Here he was allowed to have public prayers every evening, and on the 22nd of May was landed at Bushire, where he was lodged in the house of an English merchant with an Armenian wife.

The time for a journey to Persia was so far favourable that the Shah, Fath’ Ali, who had succeeded to the throne in 1794, owed England much gratitude for having interfered to check the progress of Russian conquest upon his northern frontier.  After Persia had long been closed from foreign intercourse by the jealous and cruel Shah, Aga Mohammed, Fath’ Ali, a comparatively enlightened prince in the prime of life, willingly entertained envoys and travellers from European courts, and Sir Gore Ouseley was resident at Shiraz as British Ambassador.  Yet it was not considered safe for a Frank to travel through Persia without an Oriental dress, and, accordingly, Martyn had to provide himself with the tall conical cap of black Tartar lambskin, baggy blue trousers, red boots, and a chintz coat, allowing his beard and moustache to grow, and eating rice by handfuls from the general dish.  Meantime he was hospitably entertained, the Armenian ladies came in a body to kiss his hand, and the priest placed him beside the altar in church, and incensed him four times over, for which he was not grateful on being told “it was for the honour of our order.”

An English officer joined company with him, and a muleteer undertook their transport to Shiraz.  It was a terrible journey up the parching mountain paths of Persia, where Alexander’s army had suffered so much, with the sun glaring down upon p. 92them, never, in that rainless belt around the Persian Gulf, tempered by a cloud.  They travelled only by night, and encamped by day, sometimes without a tree to spread their tents under.  The only mode of existing was to wrap the head in a wet cloth, and the body in all the heavy clothing to be had, to prevent the waste of moisture; but even thus Martyn says his state was “a fire within my head, my skin like a cinder, the pulse violent.”  The thermometer rose to 126° in the middle of the day, and came down to about 100° in the evening.  When exhausted with fever and sleeplessness, but unable to touch food, it was needful to mount, and, in a half-dead state of sleepiness, be carried by the sure-footed mountain pony up steep ascents, and along the verge of giddy precipices, with a general dreamy sense that it was magnificent scenery for any one who was in a bodily condition to admire it.

Swift clear streams and emerald valleys began to refresh the travellers as they rose into the higher land above the arid region; and, after one twenty-four hours’ halt in a sort of summer-house, where Henry Martyn was too ill to move till he had had a few hours of sleep, they safely arrived at the mountain-city of Shiraz, where he was kindly received by Jaffier Ali Khan, a Persian gentleman to whom he had brought letters of introduction.

Persia, as is well known, has a peculiar intellectual character of its own.  Descended from the Indo-European stock, and preserved from total enervation by their mountain air, the inhabitants have, even under Islam, retained much of the vivacity, fire, and poetry inherent in the Aryan nature.  Their taste for beauty, especially in form and colour, has always been exquisite; their delight in gardens, in music, and poetry has had a certain refinement, and with many terrible faults—in especial falsehood and cruelty, the absence of the Turkish stolidity, the Arab wildness, and the Hindoo pride and indolence—has always made them an attractive people.  Their Mahommedanism, too, is of a different form from that of the Arab and Turk.  Theirs is the schismatical sect of Ali, which is less rigid, and affords more scope for the intellect and fancy, and it has thrown off a curious body called the Soofees, a sort of philosophers in relation to Islam.  The name may be either really taken from the Greek Sophos, wise, or else comes from the Persian Soof, purity.  The Soofees profess to be continually p. 93in search of truth, and seem, for the most part, to rest upon a general belief in an all-pervading Creator, with a spirit diffused through all His works.  Like their (apparent) namesakes of old, they revel in argument, and delight to tell or to hear some new thing.

Thus, Jaffier Ali Khan, who belonged to this sect, made the English padre welcome; and his brother, Seid Ali, whose title of Mirza shows him to have been a Scribe, undertook to assist in the translation, while Moollahs and students delighted to come and hold discussions with him; and very vain and unprofitable logomachies he found them, whether with Soofee, Mahometan, or Jew.  But the life, on the whole, was interesting, since he was fulfilling his most important object of providing a trustworthy and classical version of the Scriptures, such as might adequately express their meaning, and convey a sense of their beauty of language and force of expression to the scholarly and fastidious Oriental.

He made friends in the suite of the Ambassador, Sir Gore Ouseley, whose house he ministered on Sunday, and he was presented by him to the heir to the throne, Prince Abbas Mirza.  He had, by way of Court dress, to wear a pair of red cloth stockings and high-heeled shoes, and was marched up through the great court of the palace, where a hundred fountains began to play the moment the Ambassador entered.  The Prince sat on the ground in his hall of audience, and all his visitors sat in a line with their hats on, but he conversed with no one but the Ambassador, looking so gentle and amiable that Mr. Martyn could hardly believe that the tyrannical acts reported of him could be true.

In the summer heat, Jaffier Ali pitched a tent for him in a garden outside the walls of Shiraz, where he worked with much enjoyment, “living among clusters of grapes, by the side of a clear stream,” and sitting under the shade of an orange-tree.  From thence he made an expedition to see the ruins of Persepolis, greatly to the perplexity of his escort, who, after repeatedly telling him that the place was uninhabited, concluded that he had come thither to drink brandy in secret!

On the New Year’s Day of 1812 Martyn wrote in his journal: “The present year will probably be a perilous one, but my life is of little consequence, whether I live to finish the Persian New Testament, or do not.  I look back with pity and shame on p. 94my former self, and on the importance I then attached to my life and labours.  The more I see of my own works, the more I am ashamed of them.  Coarseness and clumsiness mar all the works of men.  I am sick when I look at man, and his wisdom, and his doings, and am relieved only by reflecting that we have a city whose builder and maker is God.  The least of His works is refreshing to look at.  A dried leaf or a straw makes me feel myself in good company.  Complacency and admiration take the place of disgust.”

On the 24th of February he finished his Persian New Testament, and in six weeks more his translation of the Psalms.  His residence in Persia had lasted just a year, and, though direct missionary work had not been possible to him there, he had certainly inspired his coadjutor, Mirza Seid Ali, with a much higher morality and with something very like faith.  On one of the last days before his leaving Shiraz, Seid Ali said seriously, “Though a man had no other religious society, I suppose he might, with the aid of the Bible, live alone with God.”  It was to this solitude that Martyn left him, not attempting apparently to induce him to give up anything for the sake of embracing Christianity.  Death would probably have been the consequence of joining the Armenian Church in Persia, but why did Martyn’s teaching stop at inward faith instead of insisting on outward confession, the test fixed by the Saviour Himself?

On the 24th of May, Mr. Martyn and another English clergyman set out to lay his translation before the Shah, who was in his camp at Tebriz.  There they were admitted to the presence of the Vizier, before whom two Moollahs, the most ignorant and discourteous whom he had met in Persia, were set to argue with the English priest.  The Vizier mingled in the discussion, which ended thus: “You had better say God is God, and Mahomet is His prophet.”  “God is God,” repeated Henry Martyn, “and Jesus is the Son of God.”

“He is neither born nor begets,” cried the Moollahs; and one said, “What will you say when your tongue is burnt out for blasphemy?”

He had offended against the Mohammedan doctrine most strictly held; and, knowing this well, he had kept back the confession of the core of the true faith till to withhold it longer would have been a denial of his Lord.  After all, he was not p. 95allowed to see the Shah without the Ambassador to present him, and descended again to Sultania—a painful journey, from which he brought a severe ague and fever, through which he was nursed by Sir Gore and Lady Ouseley.

As soon as he had recovered, he decided on making his way to Constantinople, and thence to England, where he hoped to recruit his health and, it might be, induce Lydia to accompany him back to India.  His last letter to her was written from Tebriz on the 28th of August, dreading illness on the journey, but still full of hope.  In that letter, too, he alludes to Sabat as the greatest tormentor he had known, but warns her against mentioning to others that this “star of the East,” as Claudius Buchanan had called him, had been a disappointment.  His diary is carried on as far as Tocat.  The last entry is on the 6th of October.  It closes thus: “Oh! when shall time give place to eternity?  When shall appear that new heaven and earth wherein dwelleth righteousness?  There, there shall in nowise enter in anything that defileth; none of that wickedness which has made men worse than wild beasts, none of those corruptions which add still more to the miseries of mortality, shall be seen or heard of any more.”

No more is known of Henry Martyn save that he died at Tocat on the 16th of that same October of 1812, without a European near.  It is not even known whether his death were caused by fever, or by the plague, which was raging at the place.  He died a pilgrim’s solitary death, and lies in an unknown grave in a heathen land.

What fruit has his mission zeal left?  It has left one of the soul-stirring examples that have raised up other labourers.  It has left the Persian Bible for the blessing of all to whom that language is familiar.  It left, for the time, a strong interest in Christianity in Shiraz.  It left in India many English quickened to a sense of religion; and it assuredly left Sheik Salah a true convert.  Baptized afterwards by the name of Abdul Messeh, or Servant of the Messiah, he became the teacher of no less than thirty-nine Hindoos whom he brought to Holy Baptism.  Such were the reapings in Paradise that Henry Martyn has won from his thirty-one years’ life and his seeming failure.


The English subjects and allies in India had hitherto owed their scanty lessons in Christianity to Germans or Danes, and the first of our own countrymen who attempted the work among them was, to the shame of our Government be it spoken, a volunteer from among the humblest classes, of no more education than falls to the lot of the child of a village schoolmaster and parish clerk.

In 1761, when Schwartz was just beginning to make his way in Tanjore, William Carey was born in the village of Paulerspury, in Northamptonshire.  He showed himself a diligent scholar in his father’s little school, and had even picked up some Latin before, at fourteen years old, he was apprenticed to a shoemaker at the neighbouring village of Hackleton.  Still he had an earnest taste for study; and, falling in with a commentary on the New Testament full of Greek words, he copied them all out, and carried them for explanation to a man living in his native village, who had thrown away a classical education by his dissipated habits.

The young shoemaker, thus struggling on to instruct himself, fell under the notice of Thomas Scott, the author of the Commentary on the Bible, and it was from him that Carey first received any strong religious impressions.  Scott was a Baptist; and young Carey, who had grown up in the days of the deadness of the Church, was naturally led to his teacher’s sect, and began to preach at eighteen years of age.  He always looked back with humiliation to the inexperienced performances of his untried zeal at that time of life; but he was doing his best to study, working hard at grammar, and every morning reading his portion of the Scripture for the day in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, as well as English.  Well might Mr. Scott say, as he looked at the little cobbler’s shop, “That was Mr. Carey’s college;” for all this time he was working at his trade, and, on p. 97his master’s death, took the business, and married the daughter of the house before he was twenty.

It was an unlucky marriage, for she was a dull, ignorant woman, with no feeling for her husband’s high aims or superior powers, and the business was not a flourishing one; but he never manifested anything but warm affection and tenderness towards this very uncompanionable person, and perhaps, like most men of low station and unusual intellect, had no idea that more could be expected of a wife.

Perhaps, in spite of his kindness, Mrs. Carey had to endure the disasters common to the wives of struggling great men: for William Carey’s shoes were not equal to his sermons, and his congregation were too poor even to raise means to clothe him decently.  His time was spent in long tramps to sell shoes he had made and to obtain the mending of others, and, meantime, he was constantly suffering from fever and ague.

In 1786, when in his twenty-fifth year, he obtained a little Baptist chapel and the goodwill of a school at Moulton; but as a minister he only received 16l. per annum, and at the same time proved, as many have done before him, that aptness to learn does not imply aptness to teach.  He could not keep order, and his boys first played tricks with him and then deserted, till he came nearly to starvation, and had to return to his last and his leather.

Yet it was the geography lessons of this poor little school that first found the way to the true chord of Carey’s soul.  Those broad tracts of heathenism that struck his eye in the map, and the summary of nations and numbers professing false religions, were to a mind like his no mere items of information to be driven into dull brains, but were terrible realities representing souls perishing for lack of knowledge.  Cook’s Voyages fell into his hands and fed the growing impulse.  He hung up in his shop a large map, composed of several sheets pasted together, and gazed at it when at his work, writing against each country whatever information he had been able to collect as to the number of the inhabitants, their religion, government, or habits, also as to the climate and natural history.

After he had for some time thus dwelt on the great longing of his heart, he ventured on speaking it forth at a meeting of ministers at Northampton, when there was a request that some topic might be named for discussion.  Carey then modestly p. 98rose and proposed “the duty of Christians to attempt the spread of the Gospel among the heathen.”  The words were like a shock.  The senior, who acted as president, sprang up in displeasure, and shouted out, “Young man, sit down!  When God pleases to convert the heathen, He will do it without your aid or mine.”  And another, namely Mr. Fuller, who afterwards became the sheet anchor of the Missions, describes himself as having thought of the words of the noble at Jezreel, “If the Lord should make windows in heaven, might such a thing be?”

Silenced by his brethren, Carey persevered, and proceeded to write what he had not been allowed to speak.  A Birmingham tradesman of the name of Pott, an opulent man, was induced by his earnestness to begin a subscription for the publication of Carey’s pamphlet, which showed wonderful acquaintance with the state of the countries it mentioned, and manifested talent of a remarkable order.  In truth, Carey had been endowed with that peculiar missionary gift, facility for languages.  A friend gave him a large folio in Dutch, and was amazed by his returning shortly after with a translation into English of one of the sermons which the book contained.

He was becoming more known, and an invitation from a congregation at Leicester, in 1789, placed him in somewhat more comfortable circumstances, and brought him into contact with persons better able to enter into his views; but it was three years more before he could either publish his pamphlet or take the very first steps towards the establishment of a Society for Promoting the Conversion of the Heathen.

The first endeavour to collect a subscription resulted in 13l. 2s. 6d.  This was at Kettering, and at the same time Carey offered to embark for any country the Society might appoint.  The committee, however, waited to collect more means, but they found it almost impossible to awaken people’s minds.  At Birmingham, indeed, 70l. was collected, but in London the dissenting pastors would have nothing to do with the cause; and the only minister of any denomination who showed any sympathy was the Rev. John Newton, that giant of his day, who had in his youth been captain of a slaver, and well knew what were the dark places of the earth.  The objections made at that time were perfectly astounding.  In the General Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland, several Presbyterian p. 99ministers pronounced it to be “highly preposterous” to attempt to spread the Gospel among barbarous nations, extolled the “simple virtues” of the untutored savage, and even declared that the funds of Missionary Societies might be turned against Government.

In India itself, the endeavours of the Danish settlement at Tranquebar had little affected Bengal, but a few of the more religious men at Calcutta had begun to be shocked at the utter oblivion of all Christian faith and morality by their own countrymen, and the absolute favour shown to the grossest idolatry of the heathen.  Charles Grant, a member of the Board of Trade at Calcutta, was the foremost of these, and on his return to England brought the subject under the notice of that great champion of Christ, William Wilberforce.  The charter of the East India Company was renewed from time to time; and when it was brought before Parliament, Wilberforce proposed the insertion of clauses enforcing the maintenance of chaplains, churches, and schools, so that a branch of the Church might take root in Hindostan.

This scheme, however, excited violent and selfish alarm in the directors, chiefly men who had made their fortunes in India, and after living there for years under no restraint were come home to enjoy their riches.  They believed that the natives would take umbrage at the least interference with their religion, and that their own wealth and power, so highly prized, would be lost if idolatry were not merely tolerated, but flattered and supported.  The souls of men and the honour of God were nothing to them; they were furious with indignation, and procured from the House of Commons the omission of the clauses.  There was another hope in the Lords; but though Archbishop Moore and the Bishop of London spoke in favour of the articles, the Bishop of St. David’s said one nation had no right to impose its faith on another.  None of the other Bishops stirred, and the charter passed without one line towards keeping Englishmen Christians, or making Hindoos such!  The lethargy of the Church of the eighteenth century was so heavy that not only had such a son as Carey been allowed to turn from her pale in search of earnest religion, but while she was forced to employ foreigners, bred up in the Lutheran communion, as the chaplains and missionaries of her Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, he was going forth unaccredited p. 100as a volunteer in the cause which her paralysed efforts could not support!

For it was to India that the minds of the little Baptist Society were turned by the return of one John Thomas, who seems to have been the Gaultier Sans Avoir of this crusade.  He was Baptist by education, and having gone out as a surgeon to Calcutta, had been so shocked at the state of things as to begin to preach on his own account, but he was a hot tempered, imprudent man, and quarrelled with everybody, so as to make the cause still more unpopular with the East Indians.  Yet this strange, wild character had a wonderful power of awakening enthusiasm.  He had come home in the same ship with one Wilson, whose history was a marvel in itself.  He had been made prisoner by the French during the Carnatic war, and finding that the captives were to be delivered up to Hyder Ali, he resolved to escape, leapt forty feet from his prison window, and swam the river Coleroon, in happy ignorance that it was infested with alligators; but then going up an eminence to judge of his bearings, he was seen, secured, and stripped naked, and, with his hands tied behind him, was driven before Hyder Ali.  His account of having crossed the Coleroon was treated as a lie.  “No mortal man,” said the natives, “had ever swum the river; did he but dip a finger in, he would be seized by the alligators,” but when evidence proved the fact, the Nabob held up his hands and cried, “This is the man of God.”  Nevertheless Wilson was chained to a soldier, and, like the well-known David Baird, John Lindsay, and many others, was driven naked, barefoot, and wounded, 500 miles to Seringapatam; where, loaded with irons of thirty-two pounds weight, and chained in couples, they were thrust into a “black hole,” and fed so scantily that Wilson declared that at sight of food his jaws snapped together of themselves.  Many a time in the morning corpses were unchained, and the survivors coupled up together again.  Wilson was one of the thirty-one who lived to be released after twenty-two months, in a frightful state of exhaustion and disease.  Afterwards, when commanding a ship at Bencoolen, every European under his command died, and he alone escaped, yet all this time he was an absolute infidel; and, when having made a fortune, he was returning home, he appeared so utterly hardened against all the arguments that the zealous Thomas could bring in favour p. 101of Christianity, as to make him in despair remark to the chief officer that he should have more hope of converting the Lascar sailors than of Captain Wilson.

However, the words were penetrating the hitherto ignorant or obdurate heart, and preparing it to attend to further instruction.  After some years of comfort at home, on hearing of plans for a mission to the South Sea Islands, Wilson resolved to offer himself as a free and spontaneous fellow-worker, ready to sacrifice his whole self in the great cause!

Meantime Thomas’s fervid account of the needs of India had made the infant Society propose to send him out with one colleague; and William Carey, now thirty-three years of age, offered himself as a fellow-worker.

The notion was terrible to Mrs. Carey, who flatly refused to go; but her husband decided on leaving her at home, and only taking his eldest boy, then about ten or eleven years old.  An application was made to the Board of Directors for a licence to the two missionaries to preach, and for a passage in one of the Company’s vessels; but when Mr. Grant learnt that Thomas was one of them, he refused to assist in promoting their request, though he undertook to do what he could for Carey alone.  However, the Board were certain to refuse them a passage; not because they were unordained or dissenters, but simply because they wished to be Christian teachers.  A captain with whom Thomas had sailed as surgeon, offered to smuggle them over without permission; but while his ship was preparing, they had to wait in the Isle of Wight, and Thomas was continually in danger of being arrested by his creditors, and was constantly obliged to hide himself, till Carey became ashamed of such an associate.  At last, just as they were on board, with 250l. paid for their passage, and the goods in which the money for their support had been invested, the captain received a letter warning him that an information was about to be laid against him at the India House for taking out people without permission.  Not only missionaries, but Europeans of any kind, not in the public service, were forbidden to set foot on the Company’s territories without special licence, and the danger was so great that the captain set them ashore at once; and poor Carey beheld with tears the Indian fleet sailing from Portsmouth without him.

However, by vigorous exertion, Thomas found that a Danish ship would be lying in the Downs, on her way to the East p. 102Indies, and that a passage in her would cost 100l. for a full-grown person and 50l. for a child.  Posting down to Northamptonshire, Carey made a desperate effort to persuade his wife to come with him, and succeeded at last, on condition that her sister, Miss Old, should come too.  There were now five children, and the passage-money for the whole party amounted to 600l., of which their utmost efforts, including the sale of all the little property the Careys possessed, could only raise half.

Thomas, who really had a generous spirit, then arranged that the whole party should be squeezed into two cabins, and that Mr. and Mrs. Carey alone should be treated as first-class passengers.  They were taken on these terms; but the captain, an Englishman, naturalized in Denmark, gave Mr. Thomas and Miss Old each a cabin, made them dine at his own table, and treated them all most kindly.

Thus they safely arrived at Calcutta; but this was only the beginning of troubles.  The goods, the sale of which was intended to maintain the mission, were entrusted to Thomas, and realized next to nothing; and Carey was indebted to the goodwill of a rich Hindoo for a miserable house in an unhealthy suburb of Calcutta, where he lodged his unfortunate family.  They had a great deal of illness, and he was able to do little but study the language and endeavour to translate the Bible into Bengalee.  Several moves made their state rather worse than better, until, in 1795, a gentleman in the Civil Service, Mr. George Udney, offered Carey the superintendence of an indigo factory of his own at Mudnabutty, where he hoped both to obtain a maintenance, and to have great opportunities of teaching the natives in his employment.

Disaster as usual followed him: the spot was unhealthy, the family had fevers, one of the children died, and the mother lost her reason from grief, so that she had to be kept under restraint for the rest of her life.  Nor was Carey a better indigo-planter than a shoe-maker; the profits of the factory dwindled, and the buildings fell into ruin; the seasons were bad, and in three years Mr. Udney found himself obliged to give up the speculation; but in the meantime, though Carey had not been able to produce much effect on the natives, he had completed the preparation of the implement to which he most trusted for his work, a translation of the New Testament; and, moreover, had been presented by good Mr. Udney with a wooden printing-press p. 103with Bengalee type.  The wonderful-looking thing was set up in one of the side rooms at the factory, and was supposed by the natives to be the idol of the Europeans!

In the meantime he opened a school, and preached to the natives in all the villages round, but without making much, if any, impression; indeed he was so disheartened, that he did not even teach his own children.  The chief benefit of his residence in India was at present the example he set, and the letters he sent home, which bore in on the minds of others the necessities of their brethren in the East, and brought aid in subscriptions and, what was still more needed, men.

In 1799, four members of the Baptist communion offered themselves to go out as missionaries to India, and two of these were men who left most important traces behind them: William Ward, who had been a printer and editor of a newspaper at Derby, and had seen Mr. Carey before his going out to India, and Joshua Marshman.  This latter was the person who, above all others, gave the struggling mission the strength, consistency, and prudence which it wanted.  The descendant of an old Puritan officer on the one side, and of Huguenot refugees on the other, he was brought up in strict Baptist principles by his father, who was one of the cloth weavers then inhabiting Wiltshire in great numbers.  As a child, he was passionately fond of reading, and his huge appetite for books and great memory made him a wonder in his village.  A London bookseller, who was visiting the place, heard of this clever lad, and took him into his shop as an errand boy; but Joshua found that his concern was more with the outside of books than the inside, and came home, at the end of five months, to his father’s loom.

He was a steady lad, with no passions save for reading and quiet heartfelt religion; but though he had never been guilty of any serious fault, the Baptist body to which his family belonged considered he had too much “head-knowledge” of Christianity to have much “heart-knowledge” of its truths; and for that reason only, and their distrust and contempt of human learning, refused to admit him to baptism.

However, this was no obstacle either to his marrying the daughter of a minister of his own persuasion, or taking the mastership of a school at Bristol, where he found less narrow-minded co-religionists, and was baptized by them in 1734, when twenty-six years of age.  He was a successful schoolmaster, p. 104and was likewise able to join the classes at Bristol Academy, where he studied thoroughly Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and Syriac.  His circumstances were prosperous and rapidly improving when, after five years of great comfort at Bristol, his mind became so imbued with the sense of the need that some one should assist Carey, that he offered himself, together with Ward and two other young men, one of whom he had recently brought back to Christianity from Tom Paine’s infidel doctrines.  Again his “human learning” stood in his way.  The honest, ignorant men who were working so earnestly, fancied it connected with Pharisaism, and had little idea that the Brahmin philosophy was as hard to deal with as the Greek.  They accepted him, but with hesitation, and a passage for the whole party, including wives and children, was taken in an American vessel.

Mr. Charles Grant advised them not to attempt to land at Calcutta, where they would probably be at once arrested and sent home again, but to land at the Danish colony of Serampore, and there wait for an opportunity of joining Carey at Mudnabutty.

Serampore is on the Hooghly, sixteen miles above Calcutta, and here they found themselves on the 13th of October, 1799, in a town pleasantly situated, beautiful to look at, and full of a mixed population of Danes, Dutch, English, and natives of all hues.  They were preparing to set forth for Mudnabutty when, on the fifth day after their arrival, they were informed that the British Government demanded that they should be immediately re-embarked and sent home again, whilst a local English paper, having never heard of Baptists, concluded that the word was a mistake for Papists, and announced the arrival of four Popish priests, emissaries of Buonaparte.  The Danish governor, Colonel Bie, was resolved to stand his ground and not deliver them up; but they were prevented from setting foot upon the Company’s territory, and the unwholesome, damp, little house that they were obliged to take while waiting at Serampore proved fatal to one of their number, the young man whom Marshman had rescued from infidelity, who died of chill and fever before his inexperienced associates were aware of his danger.

Another difficulty in the way of joining Carey and assisting in the printing of his translations, was that papers which were p. 105thought dangerous to the British power had lately been issued, and the Marquis Wellesley, who was then in the midst of his great war with Tippoo Sahib, was resolved not to allow any printing to be carried on except in Calcutta, where it could be under the eye of his officials.  However, he had no objection to the establishment of mission, school, or press on the Danish ground, and Colonel Bie was only desirous to keep them there; so it was decided to send Ward alone, with a Danish passport, to visit Carey at Mudnabutty, and confer with him upon his removal to Serampore, and the establishment of a mission settlement there.

All doubt was removed, while this consultation was in progress, by finding that the jealous Anglo-Indians were prepared to arrest any missionary whom they caught upon their ground; and Carey’s five years’ covenant as an indigo planter being now run out, his supposed idol was taken down and packed up, and his four boys and poor insane wife removed to Serampore, where all their present capital was laid out in the purchase of a piece of ground and the construction of the habitations of the little colony.  The expenses were to be defrayed from a common stock, each missionary in turn superintending the domestic arrangements for a month, all the household dining together at one table, and only a small allowance being made to each head of a family for pocket money.

Six families were here united, and only 200l. was left to support them for the six months until remittances could be obtained from England; but all were used to cottage fare, and were not so dependent on servants as most Europeans in India.  A piece of land attached to the house became, under Mr. Carey’s care, a beautiful botanic garden.  The press was set up under the care of Ward, and on the 18th of March, 1800, the first sheets of the Gospels in Bengalee were struck off.  Mr. and Mrs. Marshman opened two boarding schools for European children for the maintenance of the mission, and their great ability in tuition rendered these so profitable as to become its main support.  This was soon followed by another school for the natives, to which they eagerly thronged.

Meanwhile the missionaries went out, singly or in pairs, into the streets or the neighbourhood of the heathen temples, and attracted a crowd by singing hymns in Bengalee, and then p. 106preached to them, offering to receive any inquiries at the mission-house.  Carey’s time was almost entirely taken up in hearing and answering these questions; but, as usual, the ties of family, society, and custom almost always proved too strong to be broken through even by the conviction of the truth of Christianity.  Ram-bosoo, Mr. Carey’s first Hindoo friend, was like Serfojee, ready to do anything on behalf of Christianity except to embrace it openly himself.

Mr. Thomas had meantime engaged himself as superintendent of a sugar factory at Beerbhoom, whence he came to visit his brethren at Serampore, bringing with him one of his workmen named Fukier, whom he believed that he had converted.  The man gave so good an account of his faith that the missionaries deemed him fit for baptism, and rejoiced in him as the first-fruits of seven years’ labour; but he went home to take leave of his friends, and either they prevailed on him to give up his intention, or privately murdered him, for he never was heard of again.

However, a carpenter of Serampore named Krishnu, who had been brought into the mission-house with a dislocated arm for Mr. Thomas to set, was so struck by what he heard there that he, with his wife and daughter and his brother Goluk, were all willing to give up their caste and be baptized.

There was much, however, to render the joy of this day far from being unmixed.  Poor John Thomas, after his seventeen years of effort, fitful, indeed, but sincere, was so overjoyed at this confession of faith that he became frantic, and in three days was raving violently.  Meanwhile, the native mob, infuriated by hearing that Krishnu and Goluk had renounced their caste, rose to the number of two thousand, and dragged them to the magistrate, but found nothing to accuse them of.  The magistrate released them, but they were brought back immediately after, on the plea that the person to whom Krishnu’s daughter had been betrothed had a claim upon her.  This, however, the authorities disallowed, and they even gave the missionaries a guard to secure them from any interruption during the rite of Baptism, which, by the customs of their sect, was necessarily in public, and by immersion; but there was serious consultation whether it were fit to use the Ganges, so superstitiously adored by the natives, for the purpose.  Some argued that the Hindoos might think that the sacredness of Gunga was thus recognized, p. 107others that they would consider that the Christians had defiled it, and it was finally resolved to use it like any other stream.  In the meantime, Goluk and the two women had been so much terrified that they would not come forward; and on the day of the baptism, Sunday, the 26th of December, 1800, the only two candidates were Krishnu and Felix Carey, the missionary’s own eldest son.  William Carey walked from the chapel to the ghat, or steps leading to the river, with his son on one side and the Hindoo on the other; but the court they had to pass resounded with the frightful imprecations of poor Mr. Thomas in one room, echoed by screams from Mrs. Carey in the other.

At the ghât the Danish governor himself, together with several of his countrymen, some Englishmen, a large body of Portuguese, and a throng of natives, Hindoo and Mahometan, were waiting, and before all these the baptism was performed by Mr. Carey.  All were silent as if overawed, and Colonel Bie even shed tears.

The next day there was not a scholar in the native school, but the love of learning soon filled it again.  Even down till quite recently, when the bands of attachment to the old heathenism have become much loosened, every open conversion continued to empty the schools, though never for long at a time.

The women soon recovered from their alarm and were baptized, and the mission also gained over an influential Portuguese gentleman named Fernandez, whom their tenets led them to view as in as much need of conversion as the heathen.  He proved an active assistant, and for full thirty years laboured in their cause.

In the meantime Lord Wellesley had been engaged in founding the college at Fort William, Calcutta, for the training of young Europeans for the civil service in the knowledge of the numerous native tongues, laws, and customs with which they had to deal—and which are as various as they are important—not only practically, but philosophically.  The only person at that time in Bengal qualified to teach the Bengalese language was the Northamptonshire cobbler, who had acquired it for the love of God and the spread of Gospel light!

His dissent was a disqualification for any of the higher offices of the college, but the teachership was offered to him, with a salary of 500 rupees a month—absolute affluence compared with his original condition.  Yet he would not accept the post p. 108unless he were allowed still to be regarded as a missionary.  No objection was made, and thus by his talent and usefulness had Carey forced from the Government which had forbidden him to set foot on their territories his recognition in the character he had always claimed.  Even his private secular earnings he never regarded as his own: this income, and that arising from Marshman’s school, these good men viewed as rendering their mission from henceforth independent, and setting free the Society at home to support fresh ones.  Already the accounts they sent home were stirring up many more subscribers, and the commendations bestowed on them in the periodical accounts pained their humility.  Ward wrote that it was like a public show: “Very fine missionaries to be seen here!  Walk in, brethren and sisters, walk in!”

It was happy for the missionaries that their ground had thus been won, for the war with Denmark occasioned Serampore to be occupied by British troops early in 1801, and this would, earlier in their career, infallibly have led to their expulsion: but, as it was, they were allowed to proceed exactly as they had done before.

Their most serious difficulties were at an end before poor Thomas, though he had recovered from his brain fever, died of an attack of fever and ague, after having done almost an equal amount of good and harm to his cause by his excitable nature and entire want of balance.  Converts continued from time to time to be gathered in: Goluk took courage after waiting about two years, and a Brahmin named Krishnu-prisad trampled on his brahminical cord or poita, and was baptized.  He was allowed to wear it as a mark of distinction, but he gave it up voluntarily after three years.  Moreover he broke through Indian prejudice by marrying the daughter of Krishnu, the first convert, though of a caste far inferior to his own.  This was the occasion of a happy little wedding feast, given under a tree in front of the house of the bride’s father, when a hymn composed by Krishnu was sung, and native dishes served up in Eastern style, after which the entertainment concluded with prayer.  Only the next week, in contrast to the devotion that blessed these family ties, three Hindoo widows were burnt on a pile not far from the mission-house!

In still greater contrast was the first funeral among the converts of the mission-house—that of a man named Gokool.  p. 109The native custom is that the dead are always carried to burial by persons of their own caste, and it is intense defilement for one of another caste to touch the body.  Christians were always carried by the lowest class of the Portuguese, who had fallen into so degraded a state that they were usually known by their own word for poor, “pobre,” and were despised by the whole population.  They were generally drunk and disorderly, and their rudeness, irreverence, and quarrels were a scandal to the solemn occasion.  Mr. Marshman, who was in charge of the mission at the time in Mr. Carey’s absence, had some difficulty in persuading the Hindoo converts that it was no shame, but a charitable work, to bear a brother’s body to its last resting-place, even though they were seen doing the work of the despised pobres.  Accordingly he resolved to set the example, and the corpse of the convert, within a coffin covered with white muslin, was carried to the burial-ground by Marshman, Felix Carey, a baptized Brahmin, and a baptized Hindoo, all the procession singing a Bengalee Christian hymn.

The most remarkable events that befell the Serampore Mission from this time were either domestic, or related to their connection with the College at Fort William, and the sanction they received from Government.  Lord Wellesley went home in 1805, Colonel Bie died the same year, and these were most serious losses to the cause of the Serampore mission.  Lord Wellesley had followed his own judgment, and carried things with a high hand, often against the will of the East India Company, and there was a strong desire to reverse his policy.  His successor, Lord Cornwallis, died two months after landing, and Sir George Barlow, who carried on the government in the interregnum, though a good man, had not force enough to withstand the dislike of the Anglo-Indians to the mission.  Mr. Ward made an attempt at Calcutta to preach in Hindoo in a chapel, the ground of which had been purchased by the missionaries, but as he walked through the streets the people shouted, “That’s the Hindoo padre; why dost thou destroy the caste of the people?”  And when, two Sundays later, a preacher of Brahmin birth appeared, there were loud cries of indignation.  “O vagabond,” cried one man, “why didst thou not come to my house?  I would have given thee a handful of rice rather than that thou shouldst have become a Feringhee!”  In spite of these cries, however, the chapel was thronged, until, p. 110after the third Sunday, when an order came forth from the magistrates, forbidding the missionaries either to preach, allow their converts to preach, distribute tracts, or even argue with the natives—or in anyway “interfere with their prejudices”—in Calcutta; and two new missionaries, named Chater and Robinson, who had come out without a licence, were prohibited from proceeding to Serampore.

Considering that these orders emanated only from a Provisional Government during an interregnum, and that there was every hope that they might be reversed by the next Governor-General, the missionaries resolved to submit to them for the time, and to abstain from working in Calcutta.  Early in the year 1806, however, the animosity of the English East Indians was increased by a mutiny that broke out among the Sepoys at Vellore, in the Madras Presidency, in consequence of some regulations as to their dress, which they resented as being supposed to assimilate them to Europeans.  The English colonel and all his garrison were massacred, and, though the mutineers were surrounded and destroyed, great alarm prevailed.  The discontent of the Sepoys was attributed to their displeasure at the spread of Christianity, and it was even averred that the lives of the English in India could only be preserved by the recall of all the missionaries!

At Calcutta, Sir George Barlow sent to forbid Mr. Carey and his colleagues from making any further attempts at conversion, and for a short time they were entirely restricted to the Danish territory, while Chater and Robinson were ordered to embark for England, and were only kept by their appeal to the flag of Denmark.

Upon this Mr. Chater proceeded to Rangoon, an independent province, but on the whole the current of opposition was diminishing.  Lord Wellesley and Mr. Pitt had prevailed upon Government not to permit the College at Fort William to be broken up, though it was reduced and remodelled.  Mr. Carey was a gainer by the change, for he was promoted to a professorship, with an increase of salary, which he said was “very good for the mission.”  He soon after received the diploma of a Doctor of Divinity from an American University.

The head-quarters of the establishment continued to be at Serampore, where the missionaries and their families still lived in common, supported upon the proceeds of Mr. Carey’s professorship, p. 111Mr. Marshman’s school, and likewise the subscriptions received from England.  Here were their chapel, their schools, and their printing-press, from whence emanated such books and tracts in Bengalee as could be useful for their purpose, and likewise their great work, the translation of the Scriptures, which Marshman and Carey were continually revising and improving as their knowledge of the language became more critical.  Thence Mr. Carey went to give instruction at Fort William, and thence the preachers, as the opposition relaxed, went forth on expeditions into the country to teach, argue, and persuade, without any very wide-spread success, but still every year gaining a few converts—sometimes as many as twenty—who, when they had given sufficient evidence of faith, were always publicly baptized by immersion, according to the custom of the sect, which indeed acknowledged no other form as valid, and re-baptized such members of other communions as joined them.  Every missionary to the East Indies, whether belonging to their own society or not, was certain to visit and hold council with them, as the veterans of the Christian army in India, and the men most experienced in the character and language of the natives; they were the prime leaders and authorities in all that concerned the various vernacular translations of the Scriptures, and their example was as a trumpet-call to others to follow them in their labours; while all the time the simplicity, humility, self-denial, and activity of the men themselves remained unspoiled.

Wonderful, too, had been the effect produced by the stirring of the sluggish waters of indifference.  The Society that had been with such difficulty established at home, was numbering multitudes of subscribers both in England and America; it had awakened a like spirit in other sects, and whereas no dissenting minister in London had at first taken up Carey’s cause, it had become a scandal for a minister not to subscribe to or promote missions to the heathen.  Missionary reports were everywhere distributed, young men aspired to the work, and American Universities did honour to the ability and scholarship of the pioneers of Serampore.

Mrs. Carey died on the 7th of December, 1807, having spent twelve years in a state of constant melancholy and often raving insanity.  Poor woman! she was from the first a victim to her husband’s aspirations, which she never understood.  There is p. 112something piteous in the cobbler’s daughter marrying the apprentice to keep on the business, and finding him a genius and a hero on her hands, starving, being laughed at, and at last carried off to a strange land and fatal climate, all without the least comprehension or sympathy for the cause, and her mind failing before the material prosperity came, which she might have regarded as compensation.

In 1807, when some progress had been made, the grant for the translation of the Scriptures was withdrawn; but the superintendents resolved to persevere on their own account, and at the same time to collect all the information in their power respecting the Christians in India, so as to be able to rouse the cold hearts at home to the perception that a real work was in progress.  For this purpose, Dr. Claudius Buchanan, the Provost of the College at Fort William, made an expedition of inquiry among the various Christians, and his little book, “Christian Researches,” brought much before the public at home, of which they had hitherto been ignorant.

Before his time the enormities of the worship of Jaghernauth, and the horrors of the car, beneath which human victims threw themselves, had hardly been realized; and his very effective style of writing brought into full prominence the atrocities of the Suttee, or burning of widows on the funeral pile, a custom with which it was supposed to be impossible to interfere, but which has been proved to be entirely a corrupt practice, unsanctioned by any ancient law, only encouraged by the Brahmins out of avarice.  Happily the present generation only knows of these atrocities as almost proverbial expressions, but when the century came in they were in full force.

It was Buchanan, too, who first revealed to the English the existence of those Nestorian Christians of St. Thomas, on the coast of Malabar, who had probably had no ecclesiastical intercourse with this country since the embassy of King Alfred, nine hundred years before.  He also brought into public notice the effect of Swartz’s labours, by describing a visit that he made to Tanjore, where he had a most kind reception from Serfojee, and greatly admired the numerous charitable foundations of that beneficent Rajah.  He also heard the services held in three languages in Swartz’s church, and was greatly struck, when the Tamul sermon began, by hearing a universal scratching and grating all round him.  This was caused, he p. 113found, by the iron pens upon the palmyra leaves upon which most of the native congregation were taking notes, writing nearly as fast as the minister spoke.  He also heard Sattianadem—now a white-haired old man—preach on the “Marvellous Light,” and he felt that a great man had verily left his impress on these districts.

Carey’s second marriage was curiously different from his first.  It was to a lady named Charlotte Rumohr, of noble extraction, belonging to a family of high rank, in the duchy of Schleswig.  She was small and slightly deformed, but of good abilities; she had been highly educated, and being generally a prisoner on a couch, she had read deeply in many languages.  She had come out to India in search of a warm climate, and residing at Serampore, had fallen under the influence of the missionaries, and had some years previously been admitted to their congregation by immersion.  For the first time, Dr. Carey now enjoyed a really happy home, with a lady equal to conversing with him after the labours of the day.

But this mission, though subsisting for some years longer, hardly affords many more events.  It was not without troubles.  At times came friendly support; at others, opposition from the authorities—the committee at home were sometimes ignorantly meddlesome, sometimes sordid in their fits of economy; insufficiently tested fellow-labourers came out and failed; promising converts fell away; the climate was one steady unrelaxing foe, which took victims out of every family: but all these things were as the dust of the highway, trials common to man, and only incident to the very position that had been so wondrously achieved, since the day when the poor Baptist cobbler was so peremptorily silenced for but venturing to hint at the duty of converting the heathen.

Lord Hastings’ government was far more friendly than any previous one, and the few notable events that befell the community are quickly numbered.  In 1821, they were visited by Swartz’s pupil, Serfojee, who was staying with the Governor-General, Lord Hastings, on his way to Benares, whither, strange and sad to say, he was on pilgrimage, though all the time showing full intellectual understanding of, and warm external affection for, the Christian faith.  He talked English easily, and showed much interest in all that was going on, but a heathen he still remained.

p. 114This visit only preceded by a few weeks the death of Mrs. Carey, after thirteen years’ marriage, the happiest of Dr. Carey’s life; but in another year he married a widow of forty-five, who was ready to nurse his now declining years.  That year 1822 was a year of much sorrow; the cholera, said to have first appeared in 1817, became very virulent.  The Hindoos viewed it as a visitation from the goddess of destruction, and held services to propitiate it, and when that had passed away, a more than usually fatal form of fever set in.  Krishnu-pal, the first convert, who had for twenty years been a consistent Christian, was one of the first to be taken away.  Dr. Carey himself, though exceedingly ill, recovered his former state of health, and continued his arduous labours, he being by this time the ablest philologist in India; but the little band had come to the time of life when “the clouds return after the rain,” and in 1823 Mr. Ward died of cholera.  For twenty-three years had the threefold cord between Carey, Marshman, and Ward, been unbroken.  They had lived together like brothers, alike in aim and purposes, each supplying what the other lacked; and the distress of the parting was terrible, especially to Dr. Marshman, who at the time of his friend’s illness was suffering from an attack of deafness, temporary indeed, but for some days total, so that he could only watch the final struggle without hearing a single word.

He wrote as if he longed to be with those whose toils and sorrows were at an end, but he still had much more to do.  In 1826, he visited England, partly for the sake of pleading with the Society at home, first begun on so small a scale by Carey, but which now numbered many members and disposed of large sums.  The committee, however, were often hard to deal with.  There were among them many men of good intentions, but without breadth of views, and used to small economies.  They listened to false reports, censured without sufficient information, pinched their missions, and dictated the management, so that to deal with them was but a vexation of spirit.  Indeed, such annoyances are inseparable from the very fact of the supplies and the government being in the hands of a body at a distance from the scene of action, and destitute of personal experience of the needs.

After much argument, the matter ended in the Serampore mission being separated from the General Society, as indeed it p. 115had become nearly self-supporting through the numerous schools which the talents of the members of it had been able to establish.  It was an unfortunate time, however, when the two men whose abilities had earned their present position were so far past the prime of life; and, in 1830, the failure of a great banking company both deprived them of a large part of their investments, and, by ruining numerous families, lessened the attendance at Dr. Marshman’s school.  Moreover, the American subscribers sent a most vexatious and absurd remonstrance against any part of their contributions for training young men to the ministry, being employed in teaching science.  “As if,” said Dr. Marshman, “youths in America could be educated for ministers without learning science.”

Another disaster was that, on Lord William Bentinck’s arrival in India in 1830, the finances of the Government were found to be in so unsatisfactory a state, that salaries were everywhere reduced, and that which Dr. Carey had derived from the college at Fort William was thus cut down from 1,000 rupees per month to 500.  At this time, the missions and preachers dependent on Serampore required 1,500l. a year for their support, and only 900l. was to be had, and this when both Marshman and Carey were seventy years of age, and still were toiling as hard as ever.

There were other troubles, too, as to who was the owner of the buildings, whether the Baptist Society, or the missionaries as trustees, and as having paid a large portion of the price.  A great inundation of the Hooghly had nearly settled the question by washing the whole away.  As it was, it did much damage, and destroyed the beautiful botanical garden that had for twenty years been Dr. Carey’s delight.  Finally the whole of the right of Marshman and Carey to the buildings was sold to the Society, for a much less amount than they had paid from their own pockets; but they were to occupy them rent free for the rest of their lives.

The trouble and anxiety consequent on this question, which had been of many years’ standing, had greatly impaired Dr. Marshman’s strength both of body and mind.  Morbid attacks of depression came on, during which he wandered about, unable to apply himself so much as even to write a letter, though in the intervals he was both cheerful and full of activity.  Dr. Carey’s health was likewise failing, and, with no formed illness, p. 116he gradually sank, and died on the 9th of June, 1834, in his seventy-third year.

To him belongs the honour of the awakening of the missionary spirit in England.  Yet, as an individual preacher and teacher, he does not seem to have had much power.  His talent was for language and philology; his perfections were faith and perseverance.  In these he was a giant; in everything else, whether as a cobbler, schoolmaster, indigo-planter, nay, even as father of a family, he was a failure: but his steady, faithful purpose enabled him so to use that one talent as to make him the pioneer and the support as well as the example of numbers better qualified for the actual work than himself.

His loss left Dr. Marshman alone, and suffering from melancholy more and more, as well as much harassed by difficulties as to the resources, and by captious complaints from home.  In 1836, a great shock was given to his nerves by the danger of his daughter.  She was the wife of Lieutenant Henry Havelock, a young officer, who, deeply impressed by Dr. Marshman’s piety, had joined his congregation, and who was destined to become in after years one of the most heroic and able of the defenders of the British cause in India.  During his absence, she and her three children had been left at Landour, when their bungalow caught fire in the middle of the night, and blazed up with a rapidity due to its light, dry materials.  She rushed out with her baby in her arms, but in crossing the verandah tripped and fell, losing her hold of the child.  She was dragged away by a faithful native servant, who likewise snatched out her two eldest boys, but the poor baby was lost in the flames, and she herself was so much injured and overwhelmed by the alarm and grief, that, when her husband arrived, her state was almost hopeless, and he wrote a letter preparing her father to hear of her death.  From some untoward accident, no more tidings reached Serampore for three days, and to spirits that had already lost their balance the suspense was fatal.  The aged father wandered about the house in a purposeless manner, sometimes standing gazing along the road through the Venetian blinds, sometimes talking incoherently; and when at last the intelligence arrived that Mrs. Havelock was out of danger, though his joy and thankfulness were ecstatic, the effects of these three days were irremediable; he was hardly ever seen to smile again, could take no part in the renewed discussions p. 117with the Baptist Society, although his mind and memory were still clear.  He died on the 5th of December, 1837, just as the Serampore mission had been re-united to the General Baptist mission.

“There had been but few men at Serampore, but they were all giants,” was said of them by one of the dignitaries of the Church and assuredly it was a wonderful triumph, that a shoe-maker, a schoolmaster, and a printer should in thirty-eight years not only have aroused the missionary spirit in England, but have, by their resolution and talent, established thirty-three stations for the preaching of Christianity in India; while at the time of the death of the last survivor, forty-nine ministers were in union with them, half of whom were natives of Hindostan, and around each of the elder stations was a fair proportion of converts.  Still more amazingly, these self-educated men had, by their accurate knowledge and deep study, become most eminent authorities in matters of language and philology; and by their usefulness had actually compelled a prejudiced Government to depend on them for assistance, and thus to support the work for which alone they cared.  Never were the words more completely fulfilled than in them, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”

The reverses that chequered their wonderful success were not the more interesting difficulties of wild country, or persecuting heathen, but troubles with an obstructive Government, and with the Society at home, which endeavoured to rule them without understanding them.  These vexations are inseparable from the conditions of Societies trying to govern from home instead of letting the management be carried on by a head upon the spot.


We must turn to an important offshoot from the Serampore mission, which assumed extensive proportions and a character of its own, chiefly in consequence of American zeal.  Here, be p. 118it observed, was the first ground attempted by modern missions (not Roman Catholic) which belonged to an independent sovereign.

The great Burmese Empire, roughly speaking, occupies the Eastern India peninsula, being separated from that of Hindostan by the Brahmapootra river.  The mountainous formation of the country, its indented coast, and numerous rivers render it fertile, and the hills contain many valuable metals and beautiful precious stones.

The inhabitants are of the Mongolian race, short, stout, active, and brown, with a good deal of ingenuity in arts and manufactures, but not equal to the Chinese, their neighbours.  Their language is monosyllabic, their religion Buddhist, their government a despotic empire, and at the time the mission was entered upon they had had little intercourse with strangers, but their women were not secluded, were not wholly uneducated, and were treated with consideration.

Buddha is regarded as a manifestation of Vishnu—the Hindoos say, to delude his enemies; the Buddhists, to bring a new revelation.  Gautama was the almost deified being who spread the knowledge of Buddhism, about 500 b.c.  In different countries the religion has assumed different forms, but it is nearly co-extensive with the Mongolian race, and the general features are the rejection of the Vedas and of most of the Hindoo myths, faith in the divinity of Buddha, and hope that the individual personality will be entirely absorbed in his essence, the human being lost in the Deity.  Five laws of virtue must be observed, ten kinds of sin avoided; and the Buddhist expects that transgressions will be punished by the transmigration of his soul into some inferior creature, whence he will rise by successive stages into another trial as a man, and gradually improving by the help of contemplation, and of a sublime state of annihilation of all self-consciousness, may become fit for his final absorption into the Godhead.  There is an extensive priesthood, called Lamas, who live in a state of celibacy in dwellings not at all unlike monasteries; and, in effect, so much in their practices seems to parody the ceremonies of Christianity that the Portuguese thought them invented by the devil for the very purpose.  However, there is no doubt that Buddhism inculcates a much purer morality than the religion of Brahma, and far higher aims.  In Burmah, however, the idea of the p. 119eternity of the Deity had evidently been lost, and Gautama had practically usurped the place that the higher Buddhists gave to Brahma.  Indeed, though the true Buddhist system looks to the absorption in the Deity,—Nirvana, as it is called,—the popular notion, as received in Burmah and corrupted by less refined minds, made it into what was either absolute nonentity or could not be distinguished from it, so that the ordinary Burman’s best hope for the future was of nothing but annihilation.

There was originally a Burman Empire, but it had become broken up, and the territories of Ava, Pegu, and Siam were separated, though Ava claimed them all, and owned a semi-barbarous magnificent court, with many gradations of dignitaries, sending out Viceroys to the different provinces and towns.

When in 1807 strong opposition was made by Sir George Barlow’s government to the landing of the two Baptist missionaries, Robinson and Chater, the former obtained forbearance on account of his wife’s health, but the latter was obliged to embark; and, rather than return to England, he chose a vessel bound for Rangoon, a city at the mouth of the river Irrawaddy, the nearest Burmese harbour.  His was to be a reconnoitring expedition to discover the condition of the Burmese Empire, the progress that Roman Catholic missions were making there, and the possibility of undertaking anything from the centre of Serampore.  Another missionary, named Mardon, went with him.  They were well received by the European merchants resident at Rangoon, and returned with an encouraging report.  It was decided that the attempt should be made; and as Mr. Mardon did not feel equal to the undertaking, fifteen days were set apart as a time of private prayer for direction who should be chosen in his stead.

It was Felix Carey, then nearly twenty-two, who volunteered to go with Mr. Chater, of whom he was very fond.  His father was unwilling to send him, not only on account of his youth, but because he was very valuable in the printers’ work, and had an unusual amount of acquaintance with Sanskrit and Bengalee, so that he could hardly be spared from the translations; but the majority of the council at Serampore were in favour of his going, and after a long delay, in consequence of the danger British trading vessels were incurring from French privateers p. 120from the Isle of France, they set sail and arrived at Rangoon early in the year 1808.

There they built themselves a house, and obtained a good deal of favour from the gentleness and amiability of Mr. Chater, and from young Carey’s usefulness.  He had regularly studied medicine for some years in the hospital at Calcutta, and his skill was soon in great request, especially for vaccination, which he was the first to introduce.  His real turn was, however, for philology, and he was delighted to discover that the Pali, the sacred and learned language of Burmah, was really a variety of the Sanskrit, cut down into agreement with the Mongolian monosyllabic speech.  He began, with the assistance of a pundit, to compile a grammar, and to make a rough beginning of a translation of the Scripture, a work indeed in which the Serampore people were apt to be almost too precipitate, not waiting for those refinements of knowledge which are needful in dealing with the shades of meaning of words of such intense importance and delicate significancy.  But on their principles, they could do nothing without vernacular Bibles, and they had not that intense reverence and trained scholarly appreciation which made Martyn spend his life on the correctness of a single version, rather than send it forth with a flaw to give wrong impressions.

Neither does Felix Carey seem to have been a missionary in anything but that bent which is given by training and family impulse.  He delighted in languages, but rather as an end than a means; and though he did what the guiding fathers at Serampore required of him, it was as a matter of course, not with his whole heart.  In the meantime, the fact of Mr. Chater being a married man occasioned difficulties.  Like their kinsmen the Chinese, the Burmese much objected to the residence of foreign females within their bounds; and when Mr. Chater obtained leave to bring his wife, she was so forlorn that he was obliged to seek for another station, and, receiving an invitation to Ceylon, left Felix alone, except for his marriage with a young woman of European extraction, but born in Burmah.

Soon after a dispute arose between the British and Burmese governments, and two English ships of war appeared off Rangoon.  The native authorities wished the young missionary to act as interpreter, and on his refusal he was accused of being a spy, and was forced to take refuge on board one of the British p. 121ships where he remained for two months before the differences were adjusted, and he was allowed to return on condition that he should not refuse his services as interpreter another time.  In the October of 1812 he came home to Serampore to print his Burmese grammar and Gospel of St. Matthew, and not only did this, but carried a press back with him to Rangoon.  A youth who was sent from the congregation at Calcutta to co-operate with him proved unfit for the work, and was advised to return to secular business; but in the meantime, the person who was, above all others, to be identified with the Burmese mission, had heard the call and was on his way.

This was Adoniram Judson, a native of New England, the eldest son of the minister of Malden, in Massachusetts, born in 1788, and bred up first at a school near home, and afterwards at Brown University.  His acuteness and cleverness from infancy were great, especially in arithmetic and mathematics.  During his studies, he met with a clever and brilliant friend who had imbibed the deistical teaching of the French Revolution, and infected him with it, and he came home at seventeen the winner of all the honours and prizes that the College afforded, but announcing himself to his parents as a decided infidel!  The pastor treated him with stern displeasure, and argued hotly with him, but young Adoniram was the cleverer man, and felt his advantage.  His mother’s tears and entreaties were less easy to answer, and the thought of them dwelt with him, do what he would, when he set out on a sort of tour through the surrounding States.  On his journey, he stopped at a country inn, and was told, with much apology, that there was no choice but to give him a room next to that of a young man who was so ill that he could scarcely live till morning.  In fact, Adoniram’s rest was broken by the groans of the dying man and the footsteps of the nurses, and there—close to the shadow of death—his infidelity, which had been but pride of intellect and fashion, began to quail, as the thought of the future haunted him.  Morning came; all was still.  He asked after his fellow-lodger, and heard that he was dead.  He asked his name.  It was no other than the very youth who had staggered his faith.

The shock changed his whole tone.  He could not bear to continue his journey, but turned back to Plymouth, determined to prove to himself what was indeed truth; and, while deeply p. 122studying the evidences of Christianity, he supported himself by keeping a school and writing educational books on grammar and arithmetic.  His mind was soon thoroughly made up, as, indeed, his aberrations had been only on the surface, and he became very anxious to enter the Theological College at Andover, Massachusetts.  This belonged to the most earnest of the Congregationalists, and evidence of personal conversion and piety was required from the candidates; but, in his case, the professors were satisfied, and he entered on his course of study, which included Hebrew.  In the last year of his studies there he fell in with Claudius Buchanan’s “Star in the East,” and the perusal directed his whole soul to the desire of missionary labour.  His mind was harassed night and day with the thought of longing to do something for the enlightenment of the millions in Asia; and, meeting with Symes’ “Burmese Empire,” his thoughts turned especially in that direction.  It was a quiet steady purpose, though he was slow of communicating it; until, one evening at home, his father began throwing out hopes and hints of some great preferment, and his mother and sister smiled complacently, as if they were in the secret.  Adoniram begged for an explanation, since it was possible their plans might not coincide, to which his father replied there was no fear, and told him that the minister of the biggest church in Boston wished for him as a colleague.  “So near home,” said the delighted mother.  He could not bear to answer her, but, when his sister chimed in, he turned to her, saying, “No, sister, I shall never live in Boston; I have much farther to go;” and then, steadily and calmly, but fervidly, he set forth the call that he felt to be upon him.  How different a communication from that which he had made two years before!  No doubt his family so felt it, for, though his mother and sister shed many tears, neither they nor his father offered a word of opposition.

Thenceforth his fate was determined, and he began to prepare himself.  He was, in person, slightly made and delicate-looking, with an aquiline face, dark eyes, and chesnut hair; and though his constitution must have been immensely strong to have borne what he underwent, at this time he was thought delicate; and therefore, with his one purpose before him, he carefully studied physiology, and made himself a code of rules which he obeyed to the end of his life, in especial inhaling large p. 123quantities of air, sponging the whole body with cold water, and taking daily exercise by walking.  He was a man of great vivacity and acuteness, with the poetical spirit that accompanies strong enthusiasm, and with a fastidious delicacy and refinement in all personal matters, such as seemed rather to mark him as destined to be an accomplished scholar than to lead the rude life of a missionary; and Ann Hasseltine, the young lady on whom he had fixed his affections, was a very beautiful girl, of great cultivation and accomplishments, but they were alike in one other great respect,—namely, in dauntless self-devotion.  He began to talk of his purpose to the like-minded among his college mates, and gradually gathered a few into a very small missionary association, into which none were admitted who had any duties that could forbid their going out to minister among the heathen.

At the same time, and partly through their means, a wider association was formed, which had its centre at Bradford, and which finally decided on sending Judson to England to endeavour to effect a union with the London Missionary Society, which had been formed in 1795, in imitation of Carey’s Baptist Society, to work in other directions by Nonconformists of other denominations.

The voyage in 1811, in the height of the continental war, was a very perilous one.  On the way the vessel was taken by the French and carried into Bayonne, while the young American passenger was summarily thrown into the hold with the common sailors.  He became very ill, but, when the French doctor visited him, he could hold no communication for want of a common language.  Then it was that there came thoughts of home, and of the “biggest church in Boston,” and a misgiving swept over him, which he treated at once as a suggestion of the enemy, and betook himself to prayer.  Then, in the grey twilight of the hold, he felt about for his Hebrew Bible; and to keep his mind fully absorbed, began mentally rendering the Hebrew into Latin.  When the doctor came in, he took up the Bible, perceived that he had a scholar to deal with, began to talk Latin to him, and arranged his release from the hold.

But on landing at Bayonne, he was marched through the streets as a prisoner with the English crew.  He began declaiming in his native language on the injustice of detaining an American, and obtained his purpose by attracting the attention p. 124of an American gentleman in the street, who promised to do what he could for him, but advised him in the meantime to proceed quietly.  The whole party were thrown into a dismal underground vault, and the stones covered with straw, which seemed to Judson so foul that he could not bear to sit down on it, and he walked up and down, though sick and giddy with the chill, close, noisome atmosphere.  Before his walking powers were exhausted, his American friend was at the door, and saying, “Let me see whether I know any of these poor fellows,” took up the lamp, looked at them, said “No friend of mine,” and as he put down the lamp threw his own large cloak round Mr. Judson, and grasping his arm, led him out under it in the dark; while a fee, put into the hand, first of the turnkey and then of the porter, may have secured that the four legs under the cloak should pass unobserved.  “Now run,” said the American, as soon as they were outside, and he rushed off to the wharf, closely followed by his young countryman, whom he placed on board a vessel from their own country for the night.  Afterwards, Judson’s papers were laid before the authorities, and he was not only released, but allowed to travel through France to the northern coast, and, making friends with some of the Emperor’s suite on the way home from Spain, travelled to Paris in an Imperial carriage.  Afterwards, he made his way to England, where he received a warm welcome from the London Missionary Society, by which he and the three friends he had left in America—Samuel Newell, Samuel Nott, and Gordon Hall—were accepted as missionaries; but on Judson’s return to America, he found that the Congregationalist Mission Board there was able to undertake their expenses, and accordingly they went out, salaried by their own country.  All four were dedicated to the ministry at Salem on the 6th of February, 1812, and immediately prepared to sail for the East Indies.

Judson, with his wife, the beautiful dark-eyed Ann Hasseltine, and his friends Mr. and Mrs. Newell, also newly married, embarked in the Caravan; Hall, Nott, and another college mate, named Luther Rice, were in the Harmony.  They were at once received at Serampore, on their landing, in the June of 1812, but Dr. Carey’s expectations of them were not high.  Adoniram and Ann Judson were both delicate, slender, refined-looking people.  “I have little hope from the Americans,” he wrote; “if they should stay in the East, American habits p. 125are too luxurious for a preparation to live among savages.”  He little knew what were the capabilities of Ann Judson, the first woman who worked effectively in the cause, the first who rose above the level of being the comfort of her husband in his domestic moments, and was an absolute and valuable influence.

The opposition to the arrival of missionaries was at its height, and this large batch so dismayed the Calcutta authorities that, declaring them British subjects come round by America, they required their instant re-embarkation.  It was decided to go to the Isle of France, whence it was hoped to find a French ship to take them to the aid of Felix Carey, but the first vessel could only take the Newells, and the detention at Serampore drew the Judsons and Rice into the full influence of Marshman’s powerful and earnest mind.  Aware that they would have to work with the Baptist mission, they had studied the tenets on the voyage, but found when they arrived, that the points of difference were subjects that the trio at Serampore did not choose to discuss, lest their work among the heathen should suffer by attention to personal controversy.  However, their own thoughts and the influences of the place led them to desire baptism by immersion; and this being done, they considered it due to the Congregationalists, who had sent them out, to resign their claim on them for support, though this left them destitute.  It was decided that Rice should go home and appeal for their support to the American Baptists, and in this he thoroughly succeeded, while the Judsons, after sailing for Mauritius, where they found poor Mrs. Newell recently dead, made their way back to Madras, and there found a vessel bound for Rangoon.  It was a crazy old craft, with a Malay crew, no one but the captain able to speak a word of English.  The voyage was full of disaster.  A good European nurse, who had been engaged to go with Mrs. Judson, fell on the floor and died suddenly, even while the ship was getting under weigh, too late to supply her place.  Mrs. Judson became dangerously ill, and the vessel was driven into a perilous strait between the Great and Little Andaman Islands, where the captain was not only out of his bearings, but believed that, if he were driven ashore, the whole ship’s company would be eaten by the cannibal islanders.  The alarm, however, acted as a tonic, and Mrs. Judson began to recover.

p. 126They reached Rangoon in safety, but Judson writes: “We had never before seen a place where European influence had not contributed to smooth and soften the rough features of uncultivated nature.  The prospect of Rangoon, as we approached, was quite disheartening.  I went on shore, just at night, to take a view of the place and the mission-house, but so dark and cheerless and unpromising did all things appear, that the evening of that day, after my return to the ship, we have marked as the most gloomy and distressing that we ever passed.”  The mission-house was not quite empty, though Felix Carey, who they had hoped would welcome them, was at Ava.  When Mrs. Judson, still too weak to walk, was carried ashore, she was received by his wife, who could speak Burmese, and managed the household, providing daily dinners of fowls stewed with rice or with cucumber.

It was, however, a dismal place, near the spot where public executions took place, and where the dead were burnt outside the walls.  And all around, among the beautiful vegetation and lovely forests on the banks of the broad Irrawaddy, rose the pagodas, graceful with the peculiar beauty of the far East, with gilded lacquer-work, umbrella-shaped roofs spiring upwards; huge idols with solemn contemplative faces within, and all around swarms of yellow-robed, fat, lazy lamas.

The new comers meantime applied themselves to the study of the language, after overcoming the disdain of their pundit at having to instruct a woman.  He could not speak English, and had neither grammar nor dictionary, so that the difficulties were great; but the eager spirit of the students overcame all, and they ventured to remove into town and keep house themselves.

Mrs. Judson was taken to visit the wives of the Myowoon, or Viceroy of Rangoon, by a French lady who had been admitted before.  On their first arrival the principal wife was not up, and the ladies waited, while the inferior wives examined all they wore, and tried on their gloves and bonnets; but when the great lady appeared, they all crouched together at a distance.  She came in richly attired, and smoking a silver pipe, and sat down on a mat by Mrs. Judson, whom she viewed with much curiosity, asking if she were her husband’s first wife.  The Myowoon came in looking wild and savage, and carrying a p. 127huge spear in his hand; but he was very polite to Mrs. Judson, though he took very little notice of her husband.

In fact the government was violent and barbarous.  There were perpetual murders and robberies, and these were punished by horrid executions, accompanied by torture; yet the Burmese regarded themselves as superior to all other nations, and were far from understanding how greatly they fell short even of the requirements of Buddhism.

Felix Carey, meantime, had been requested by the king to vaccinate the royal children; but he had to return to Calcutta to procure matter for the purpose.  He then visited Rangoon on his way back, and prepared to carry up his family, property, and printing-press to Ava, with the hope of forming a fresh station there, under royal patronage; but after ten days’ voyage, the vessel was capsized by a sudden storm, and all who could not swim were drowned.  Felix tried to rescue his little son of three years old, but, finding himself sinking, he let the child go, and saved himself alone.

Everything in the vessel was lost; but the king gave him compensation for the property, and took him into high favour, sending him shortly after, to conduct some negotiations with the British Government.  He appeared at Calcutta with the title and gorgeous dress of a Burmese noble, and showed himself in the streets with a train of fifty followers.  Old Dr. Carey was seriously grieved at his thus “sinking from a missionary to an ambassador;” and he was by no means successful in this new line; in fact his negotiations turned out so ill, that on his return to Rangoon he was obliged to fly the country.  The excitement of his life had made missionary labour distasteful to him, and, after strange wanderings in the wild lands eastward of Bengal, he became prime minister and generalissimo to a barbarous prince; and in that capacity led an army against his old friends, the Burmese, sustained a defeat, and was forced to wander in the jungle.  After three years of this strange life, he fell in by chance at Chittagong with Mr. Ward, and was by him persuaded to return to the printing and philology, for which alone, like his father, he really was well qualified.  He lived at Serampore till 1822, and then was carried off by the same sickly season that had proved fatal to Krishnu-pal, who had been baptized with him, and to Bishop Middleton.

Meantime, Mr. and Mrs. Judson were working steadily on, p. 128and were greatly cheered by the arrival of a much less barbarous viceroy, named Mya-day-men.  They were invited, with all the Europeans, to a banquet at the new official’s house, and Mrs. Judson was entertained by the wife, who questioned her eagerly, and asked if she knew how to dance in the English way; but was satisfied on hearing that the wives of priests did not dance.  As Buddhist priests are celibate, Mrs. Judson must have been rather a puzzle to the good lady; and all this time the real work of the mission had not commenced, for the preliminary operation of acquiring the language had not been completed, and Judson was warned not to attempt preaching till he was familiar with it, by Dr. Carey having told him that after some years in Bengal, when he imagined himself to be freely able to use the language, he had found from the remark of a young man, that he was really not in the least understood.  Private arguments with the teachers was all that could be attempted, and in these there seems to have been some forgetfulness of St. Paul’s words, “Who art thou that judgest another?  To his own master he standeth or falleth;” since there was a very free threatening that the souls of the pagans must be lost; to which the pundits replied with true Eastern calmness, “Our religion is good for us, yours for you.”  During this time of perseverance and preparation, Mrs. Judson’s health became so much affected that she was forced to go to Madras.  Heroine as she was, she would not consent to let her husband break up his work to accompany her; but the solitude of her absence fell on him most severely.  She says, “He had no individual Christian with whom he could converse or unite in prayer during the six months of her absence;” but he worked on heartily, and she returned in perfect health.

In the spring of 1816, the death of their first-born child was a great shock to the father’s health, which was already disordered; and he continued in a declining state all through the summer.  The Myowoon’s wife, whom Mrs. Judson conveniently calls the vice-reine, was very kind to them, and took them on elephant-back to visit her country-house.  The way lay through the woods, between trees sometimes so thick that the elephants broke them down, at the mahout’s word, to make way.  Thirty men in red caps, with spears and guns, formed the guard; then came the vice-reine’s elephant, with a gilded howdah, where the lady sat dressed in red p. 129and white silk; then the Judsons’ animal, three or four more behind with grandees, and 300 or 400 attendants followed.  At a beautiful garden, full of fruit trees, a feast was spread under a noble banyan, the vice-reine causing the cloth next to her to be allotted to her guests, whom she tended affectionately, gathering and paring fruit, cutting flowers and weaving them for them, and, unlike the Hindoos, freely eating what they handed her.  This hospitable and amiable lady had just begun to ask Mrs. Judson the difference between the Christians’ God and Gautama, when she was obliged to return to Ava.

For several months Mr. Judson’s illness increased; but exercise on horseback did much to relieve him, and the comfort and encouragement of the arrival of a brother missionary, Mr. Hough, with his family, did more.  He weathered the attack without leaving his post, and in 1817 made his first real step.  A press had come out with Mr. Hough, and with it two little tracts, summarizing the chief truths of Christianity, were printed and distributed at Rangoon.

Shortly after, a respectable-looking Burmese, attended by a servant, walked into Mr. Judson’s house, and sat down.  Presently he inquired, “How long a time will it take me to learn the religion of Jesus?”

Mr. Judson answered, that where God gave light and wisdom, it was soon learnt; but without, a whole lifetime would not teach a man.  “But how,” he asked, “came the wish for this knowledge?”

“I have seen two little books.”

“And who is Jesus?” said the missionary.

“He is the Son of God, who, pitying human creatures, came into this world and suffered death in their stead.”

“Who is God?” continued Mr. Judson.

“He is a Being without beginning or end, who is not subject to old age or death, but always is.”

Mr. Judson showed him the two little books, which he recognized, but begged for more.  He did not attend much to what Judson tried to teach him by word of mouth, but begged for book.  The Gospel of St. Matthew was in hand, but could not be finished for three months; and when he was told this “Have you not a little of that book done, which you will graciously give me now?” he asked.  “And I,” writes Judson, “beginning to think that God’s time was better than man’s, p. 130folded and gave him the two first half-sheets, which contain the first five chapters of St. Matthew, on which he instantly rose, as if his business was done, and took leave.”

It was long before they saw him again; though many other persons began calling at the mission-house to inquire about what they called the new religion; but all were so much afraid of one another, that no one would ask any questions if a fellow-citizen were present.  Mrs. Judson was also getting together from fifteen to twenty women every Sunday, whom she tried to instruct.  One of them, like the Norseman of old, preferred casting in her lot with her forefathers to a heaven separated from them; and when Mrs. Judson told her they would reproach her with the rejection of the truth they had never known, and that she would regret her folly when it was too late, she answered, “If I do, I will cry out to you to be my intercessor.”  Another combined prayers to our Lord and Gautama.

The vice-reine came back from Ava, and continued to be very kind to Mrs. Judson, made her explain her doctrine, caused the little catechism to be taught to her daughter, and accepted a copy of the Gospel of St. Matthew, which was at length completed.  This being finished, Mr. Judson, after four years’ study of the language, believed himself able to undertake more public ministrations; but first went on a voyage to Chittagong, where he hoped to find, among the Christian converts of Burmese speech, one to assist him in communicating with the people.

Mrs. Judson remained with the Houghs, and had the pleasure of receiving the Burmese inquirer, whose long absence had been occasioned by his being appointed governor of some villages in Pegu.  He said he was thinking and reading in order to become a believer.  “But I cannot yet destroy my old mind, for, when I see a handsome patso, or a handsome gounboun, [130] I still desire it.  Tell the great teacher, when he returns, that I wish to see him, though I am not a disciple of Christ.”  She gave him the rest of St. Matthew, and a tract to each of his attendants, and he promised that, if the great teacher would come and see him, he would collect his villagers to hear the new doctrine preached.  There was something very attractive, meek, and unassuming about the man’s whole appearance, and of him there was much hope; but, just about this p. 131time great anxiety fell on the mission party.  The kindly Myowoon and his wife were removed, and immediately after a summons was sent to Mr. Hough to appear at the court-house of the city, with the intimation, “that, if he did not tell the whole truth they would write it in his blood.”  He was kept all Friday and Saturday answering, through an interpreter, foolish questions: who were his father and mother, how many suits of clothes he had, and the like; all which was formally written down.  On the third day, Sunday, Mrs. Judson, resolving to ascertain whether this were really done by the command of the Myowoon, drew up a petition, which she carried herself.  She was graciously received, and it presently appeared that an order had really been sent for the banishment of some Portuguese priests, and that the petty officials of the Court had taken advantage of it to harass Mr. Hough, in the hope of extracting a reward for his liberation.

At this time there was a terrible visitation of cholera, which the Burmese attributed to evil spirits, and accordingly attempted to drive away by force of noise.  It was supposed that the evil spirits would take refuge in any house that was silent, and for three whole nights cannon were fired from the court-house, and every human creature used the utmost powers nature or art afforded for producing a din.  The mission party were uninfected by the contagion, but it was a time of terrible anxiety, for nothing had been heard of Mr. Judson or his ship for months; there were reports of ill-feeling between the Burmese and British Governments, no arrivals of English at Rangoon, and no intelligence.  Mrs. Judson’s female classes had fallen off ever since Mr. Hough’s summons, and the state of things was such, that the Houghs decided on removing to Bengal.  Mrs. Judson, with her little girl, most reluctantly decided to accompany them, but, just as the vessel in which they sailed had gone down the river, she was ascertained not to be seaworthy; and, during this delay, Mrs. Judson’s fears of her husband’s finding her gone, if he ever returned to Rangoon, so increased, that she went back with her child to the house, and, brave woman as she was, took up her abode there with the native servants, trusting herself wholly to the protection of her God.  She was rewarded by her husband’s arrival, after an absence of nine months, caused by the captain of his ship having broken his engagement, and carried him on p. 132to Madras, where he had been detained all this time for want of a vessel to return in.  The Houghs also came back, and two young men from America soon after came out, full of zeal and activity, but both fell ill very shortly afterwards, and the younger died, but his fellow, Mr. Colman, became a valuable assistant.

This era, the spring of 1819, was the first great step in the Burmese mission.  Funds had been raised by the Baptist Society in America, which were applied to the erection of a zayat or public room, with walls of bamboo and a thatched roof.  It had two rooms, one for a school for the women, another for the men, who gladly learnt to read and write from Mrs. Judson and a Burmese teacher.  Here, too, Mr. Judson openly held prayers and preaching on Sunday, and these attracted many, some of whom would come in the week for private discussion.

The first real convert was a man of thirty-five, named Moung Nau, poor, but of excellent character, and so intelligent, that he became a useful assistant after his baptism, on the 27th of June, 1819.  Others were inquiring, among whom the most interesting was Moung Shwaygnong, a schoolmaster or tutor by profession, at a village a little way from Rangoon, and already a philosopher, “half deist, half sceptic, the first of the sort I have seen among the Burmans” (our quotations are from Mr. Judson’s journal), who, however, worshipped at the pagodas, and conformed to national observances.  The second time he came the conversation seemed to have made “no impression on his proud sceptical heart, yet he promised to pray to the eternal God, through the Saviour.”  It appeared that, about eight years previously, it had come before him that there is indeed One Eternal God, and that this thought had been working in him ever since.  A copy of Mr. Judson’s tract which fell in his way chimed in with this primary belief, and next came the question of the Scripture revelation, which he argued over with much metaphysical power and acuteness, being a very powerful reasoner, and well trained in the literature of his own country.  Meantime three simpler minds—Moung Thaahlah, Moung Byaay, and Moung Ing—had been thoroughly convinced, and, though aware that they would expose themselves to considerable danger, resolved to become Christians.

The Viceroy had remarked the zayat, and notice was taken p. 133that men were there led “to forsake the religion of the country.”  The alarm cleared the zayat of all the audience, and emptied Mrs. Judson’s class of women, but Thaahlah [133] and Byaay sent in a letter, entreating to be admitted to baptism, and Ing would have followed their example, but that his trade as a fisherman carried him off to sea.  They begged not to be baptized openly, as Nau had been, in a piece of water near the town and presided over by an image of Gautama; and Mr. Judson yielded so far, that he conducted the preliminary devotions in the zayat, and baptized them in the same pool two hours after dark.  Shwaygnong had in the meantime taken alarm at being interrogated by the Government, had apologized, and apparently fallen away; but he could not keep aloof, and soon came back again.  After a good deal of fencing and putting forth metaphysical cavils, he allowed that it was all for the sake of experiment, and declared that he really believed both in God and in the Atonement.

“Said I,” writes Mr. Judson, “knowing his deistical weakness, do you believe all that is contained in the book of St. Matthew which I gave you?  In particular, do you believe that the Son of God died on a cross?”

“Ah!” he replied, “you have caught me now.  I believe that He suffered death, but I cannot admit that He suffered the shameful death of the cross.”

“Therefore,” said I, “you are not a disciple of Christ.  A true disciple inquires not whether a fact is agreeable to his own reason, but whether it is in the Book.  His pride has yielded to Divine testimony.  Teacher, your pride is unbroken.  Break down your pride, and yield to the Word of God.”

He stopped and thought.  “As you utter these words,” said he, “I see my error.  I have been trusting in my own reason, not in the Word of God.”

Some interruption now occurred.  When we were again alone, he said, “This day is different from all the days on which I have visited you.  I see my error in trusting to my own reason, and I now believe the Crucifixion of Christ, because it is contained in the Scripture.”

The profession of Christianity had become more perilous since the Judsons’ arrival in Burmah.  The old Emperor had p. 134died in 1819, and had been succeeded by his grandson, who was far more zealous for Buddhism than he had been, and who had appointed a viceroy at Rangoon, very minute in exacting observances—so much so, as to put forth an edict forbidding any person with hat, shoes, umbrella, or horse, to pass through the grounds belonging to the great pagoda, Shwaay Dagon, which extended half a mile from the building, and were crossed by all the chief roads.  At the same time, he was new gilding the pagoda, a specially sacred one, as containing some bits of hair of Gautama.

It was plain that the mission had little chance of succeeding, unless some sanction could be obtained from royalty; and Mr. Judson therefore determined to go to Ava and petition the Emperor to grant him permission to teach at Rangoon.  So he obtained a pass from the Viceroy “to go up to the golden feet, and lift up our eyes to the golden face,” and hired a boat to take him and Mr. Colman, with ten oarsmen, a headman, a steersman, a washerman, and two cooks, of whom Moung Nau was one.  They had invited Shwaygnong to accompany them, but he refused, though he appeared waving his hand to them on the bank as they pushed off from the land.  They took with them, as the most appropriate present, a Bible, bound in six volumes, in gold leaf, intending to ask permission to translate it.

They arrived at Ava on the 28th of January, 1820, and beheld the gilded roofs of the pagodas and palace.  Two English residents welcomed them, and Mya-day-men, the Viceroy who had been their friend at Rangoon, undertook to present them to the Emperor.

They were taken to the palace, and were explaining their wishes to the Prime Minister, Moung Zah, when it was announced that “the golden foot was about to advance,” and he had to hasten to attend the Emperor.  The dome whither the missionaries followed him was dazzling with splendour, very lofty, and supported on pillars entirely covered with gold, and forming long avenues, through one of which the Emperor advanced alone, with the proud gait and majesty of an Eastern monarch, with a gold-sheathed sword in his hand.  Every one prostrated his forehead in the dust except the two Americans, who merely knelt with folded hands.  He paused before them, and demanded who they were.

“The teachers, great king,” replied Mr. Judson.

p. 135“What?  You speak Burmese—the priests that I heard of last night?  When did you arrive?  Are you like the Portuguese priests?  Are you married?” and so on, he asked; then placing himself on a high seat, with his hand on the hilt of his sword, he listened to the petition read aloud by Moung Zah.  He then held out his hand for it; Moung Zah crawled forward and gave it; the Emperor read it through to himself, and held out his hand for the little tract which was handed to him in like manner.  The hearts of the missionaries throbbed with hope and prayer; but, after reading the two first sentences, the Emperor threw it from him, and when the gift was presented would not notice it.  The answer communicated through Moung Zah was: “In regard to the objects of your petition, his Majesty gives no order.  In regard to your sacred books, his Majesty has no use for them; take them away.”  Something was said of Colman’s skill in medicine; upon which the Emperor desired that both should be taken to the Portuguese priest, who acted as his physician, to ascertain whether they could be useful in that line, and then lay down on his cushions to listen to music.

They were taken two miles to the residence of the Portuguese, who of course perceived that they brought no wonderful secret of medicine, and then returned to their boat.  They afterwards saw Moung Zah in private, and heard that the Burmese laws tolerated foreign religions, but that there was no security for natives who embraced them, and that it was an unpardonable offence even to propose it.  The English collector went to the Emperor, but could obtain nothing from him but permission for them to return to Rangoon, where they might find some of their countrymen to teach.  There was no actual prohibition against teaching Burmese subjects, but there was no security that the converts would not be persecuted; and the collector told them that fifteen years previously a Burmese teacher who had been converted by the Portuguese, and had even visited Rome, was denounced on his return by his nephew and commanded to recant.  On his refusal, he was tortured with the iron mall—hammered, namely, from his feet upwards till he was all one livid wound as far as his breast, pronouncing the name of Christ at every blow.  Some persons at last told the Emperor that he was a mere madman, on which he was spared, and the Portuguese contrived to send him away to p. 136Bengal, where he died.  The nephew was high in the favour of the present Sovereign, who was besides far more attached than his grandfather had ever been to the Buddhist doctrine.  Only four Portuguese clergy were in the country, and they confined themselves to ministrations to the descendants of the converts of the old Jesuit mission, instead of attempting to extend their Church.  Nothing was to be done but to return to Rangoon, and for this a passport was necessary, the obtaining of which cost thirty dollars in presents.  Mr. Judson was advised also to procure a royal order for personal protection, otherwise, when it became known that the royal patronage had been refused, he might be molested by ill-disposed persons; but finding that this would be exceedingly costly, he preferred “trusting in the Lord to keep us and our poor disciples.”

It was encouraging that at Pyece, a place on the banks of the Irrawaddy, the missionaries met Shwaygnong, who had come thither to visit a sick friend, and came on board eagerly to know the result of their journey.  They told him all, even of the good confession beneath the iron mall, and he seemed less affected and intimidated than they expected, though he had nearly made up his mind to cast in his lot with them.  “If I die, I shall die in a good cause,” he said.  “I know it is the cause of truth.”  And then he repeated his actual faith: “I believe in the Eternal God, in His Son Jesus Christ, in the Atonement which Christ has made, and in the writings of the Apostles as the true and one Word of God.”  He also said he had never, since their last conversation, lifted up his folded hands before a pagoda, though on the day of worship, to avoid persecution, he would walk up one side of the building and down the other.  To this Mr. Judson replied, “You may be a disciple of Christ in heart, but you are not a full disciple.  You have not faith and resolution enough to keep all the commands of Christ, particularly that which commands you to be baptized though in the face of persecution and death.  Consider the words of Jesus—‘He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.’”

He listened in profound silence, and with the manner with which he always received what he considered deeply; but there was still a long struggle to come, and many fluctuations, and the simpler minds were the stay and comfort of the missionaries, when on their return to Rangoon they considered p. 137what steps to take.  Their first proposal was to move to a district between Bengal and Arracan, where were several Christian natives now destitute of a pastor, and where the language was very like Burmese, though the place was beyond the power of the Emperor, and to take their three baptized converts with them.  Nau and Thaahlah were ready to follow them everywhere, but Byaay was married, and no Burmese woman was allowed to leave the country.  He, with several others who were on the point of conversion, entreated the missionaries not to leave them, and Thaahlah made a remarkable speech.  “Be it remembered,” he said, “that this work is not yours or ours, but the work of God.  If He give light, the religion will spread.”

It was decided, according to the earnest wish of these poor people, that they should not be deserted till there were enough of them to form a congregation and have a teacher from among themselves set over them, and this—as the sect to which the Judsons belonged has no form of setting apart for the ministry—was all that they regarded as requisite.  The Arracan converts were not, however, to be neglected, and Mr. Colman therefore was to go to Chittagong, and there establish a station, which might receive those from Rangoon in case it should become needful to leave the place.  He was doing well there, when he died from an attack of fever.

The Judsons remained, and held their worship in the zayat on Sunday with the doors closed and only the initiated present; but it seemed as if the fear of losing their teachers quickened the zeal of the Christian converts in bringing their friends to inquire.  Shwaygnong had long been unconsciously preparing the way by his philosophical instructions, going so much deeper than the popular Buddhism, and he brought several of his pupils, both male and female, telling them that “he had found the true wisdom;” but he still hung back. [137]  Mr. Judson suspected him of wanting a companion of his own rank to keep him in countenance, and doubted whether it were fear of the world or pride of heart that kept him back; but he seems to have had a genuine battle with his own sceptical spirit, and the acceptance of such ordinances as the Baptists required was a difficulty to him.  Four or five later converts were baptized before him, and at last he kept away from the mission for so p. 138long that Mr. Judson thought they had lost him; but when he reappeared it turned out that he had been ill with fever, and had had much sickness in his family, and had meantime fought out his mental conflict, and made up his mind to the full acceptance of Christianity at all risks.

He came again with five disciples, one of them a woman of fifty-one years old, named Mah-menlay, with her husband, all formally requesting baptism; but Mr. Judson was not sufficiently satisfied of the earnestness of any to receive them at once, excepting Shwaygnong himself, whom Mr. Judson kept till evening; and then, after reading the history of St. Philip’s baptism of the Ethiopian, and praying, led him down to the water in the woods and baptized him, like others, in the pool, by the light of the stars in the tropical night.  That same night Mah-menlay came back, entreating so earnestly for baptism, that she, too, was led down to the water and baptized.  “Now,” she said, “I have taken the oath of allegiance to Jesus Christ, and I have nothing to do but to commit myself, soul and body, to the hands of my Lord, assured that He will never suffer me to fall away.”

This was the last thing before the Judsons embarked for Serampore, a journey necessitated by a severe attack of liver complaint, from which Mrs. Judson had long been suffering and their little girl had also died.

To these devoted people a visit to Calcutta was a change for the sake of health!  On their return, after half a year’s absence, the first thing they heard was that their kind friend Mya-day-men had come as Myowoon to Rangoon, and they were met on the wharf by all their disciples, led by Shwaygnong, in a state of rapture.  They found that such as had lived in the yard of the mission had been subjected to a petty official persecution, which had made them fly to the woods; but that the good Mya-day-men had refused to hear an accusation brought against Moung Shwaygnong by the lamas and officials of the village, who had him before the tribunal, accusing him of trying “to turn the priest’s rice-pot bottom upwards.”

“What matters it,” said the Myowoon; “let the priests turn it back again.”

This was enough to ensure the safety of the Christians during his viceroyalty, though at first he paid little attention to Mr. Judson, being absorbed in grief for the death of his favourite p. 139daughter, one of the wives of the Emperor.  She does not seem to have been the child of the amiable Vice-reine, or, as her title had now become, Woon-gyee-gaadaw, who had been promoted to the right of riding in a wau, a vehicle carried by forty or fifty men, but who had not forgotten Mrs. Judson, and received her affectionately.

There were now twenty-five disciples.  Ing likewise joined them having returned from his voyage, and was shortly after baptized.  Mah-menlay opened a school for little girls, and Shwaygnong was regularly engaged by Mr. Judson to revise his translation of the Epistle to the Ephesians and the first part of the Book of Acts, before they were printed.  Another remarkable man came to study the subject, Moung Long, a philosopher of the most metaphysical kind, whose domestic conversations with his wife were reported to be of this description.—The wife would tell him, “The rice is ready.”

“Rice! what is rice?  Is it matter or spirit?  Is it an idea or a nonentity?”

If she answered, “It is matter,” he would reply, “And what is matter?  Are you sure there is such a thing in existence, or are you merely subject to a delusion of the senses?”

Mr. Judson was struck with the expression of this man’s one eye, which had “as great a quantity of being as half-a-dozen common eyes.”  After the first exposition of the Christian doctrine, the philosopher began with extreme suavity and politeness: “Your lordship says that in the beginning God created one man and one woman.  I do not understand (I beg your lordship’s pardon) what a man is, and why he is called a man.”

Mr. Judson does not record his own line of argument, only that the Buddhist sceptic was foiled, and Shwaygnong, who had often argued with him, was delighted to see his old adversary posed.  He came again and again, and so did his wife, the ablest woman whom Mrs. Judson had met, asking questions on the possibility of sin finding entrance to a pure mind, and they were soon promising catechumens; but in the midst of all this hopefulness, a season of cholera and fever set in, both the Judsons were taken ill at the same time, and could not even help one another, and the effect on Ann’s health was such that, as the only means of saving her life, she was sent off at once to England, while her husband remained at his post quite alone, for Colman had died a martyr to the climate.

p. 140She was warmly welcomed by the Missionary Societies in London and Edinburgh, and thence returned to America, where her mother and sisters were still living to hail her return.  Her narratives, backed by her natural sweetness, eloquence and beauty, had a great effect in stirring up the mission spirit among both her countrymen and countrywomen, and there was no lack of recruits willing to return with her and share her toil.

The account of Colman’s devotion and death had had an especial effect upon a young girl named Sarah Hall, of Salem, Massachusetts, one of those natures that seem peculiarly gifted with poetic enthusiasm, yet able to stand the brunt of the severest test of practice.  She was the daughter of one of those old-fashioned New England families, where a considerable amount of prosperity and a good deal of mental culture is compatible with much personal homely exertion.  As the eldest of thirteen, Sarah had to work hard, but all the time she kept a prim little journal, recording, at an age when one is surprised to see her able to write at all, that her mother is too busy to let her go to school, and she must improve herself at home; and this she really did, for her notes, as she grew older, speak of studying Butler’s Analogy, Paley’s Evidences, logic, geometry, and Latin.  Her library of poetry is said to have consisted only of Thomson’s Castle of Indolence, and Macpherson’s Ossian; but hymns must have filled her ear with the ring of rhyme, for she was continually versifying, sometimes passages of Scripture, sometimes Ossian, long before she was halfway through her teens.  Very foolish, sing-song, emotional specimens they are, but notable as showing the bent of nature that forms itself into heroism.  Her family were Baptists, and she was sixteen when the sense of religion came on her so strongly as to lead her to seek baptism.  Remarkably enough, the thought of the ignorance of the heathen, and the desire to teach them, began to haunt her from that time, and is recorded in the last page of her childish journal, dated a month later than her baptism.

In fact, her zeal seems to have been pretty strong towards the persons around her.  While staying at a friend’s house, she found a pack of cards left by a young man on the table, and wrote on it the text beginning, “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth,” &c.  Hearing that the owner was p. 141very curious to know the perpetrator, she wrote down this verse for him:

“And wouldst thou know what friend sincere
   Reminds thee of thy day of doom?
Repress the wish, yet thou mayst hear
She shed for thee a pitying tear,
   For thine are paths of gloom.”

She also says that she had been for six weeks engaged, with the assistance of a gentleman, in working out proofs of the immortality of the soul, apart from those in Scripture.  She had prayer-meetings for her young friends in her own room, and distributed tracts in the town, while still acting at home, as her mother’s right hand, among her little brothers and sisters.

But her vocation she felt to be for missionary life.  At one time she thought of joining a mission to the Red Indians, and her verses were full of the subject.  Her ode on Colman’s death expressed the feeling of her soul in the verse:

“The spirit of love from on high
   The hearts of the righteous hath fired;
Lo! they come, and with transport they cry,
   ‘We will go where our brother expired,
         And labour and die.’”

The words fall sadly short of the feeling,—a very real one, but the ode not only satisfied Sarah’s critics and obtained circulation, but it fired the heart of George Dana Boardman, a young student at Waterville College, intended for the Baptist ministry; and he never rested till he had found out the authoress, met her, and asked her to be his partner in “labouring and dying,” as Colman had done before them.

There was no illusion in her mind; she knew her task would be full of toil and suffering; but her feeling was the desire to devote her whole self to the work of the Redeemer, who had done so much for her.  Mr. and Mrs. Hall were at first reluctant, but after a time heartily consented, and she was introduced to Mrs. Judson as a future companion in her toils.  With very questionable taste, some of her friends insisted on her reading her own elegy on Colman, aloud, before a whole circle of friends that they might see Mrs. Judson listen to it.  Blushes and refusals were of no avail; she was dragged out, and the paper thrust into her hand; she began, faltering, but as she proceeded p. 142the strong purpose of her soul inspired her, and she ended with firmness and enthusiasm—but was so overpowered that, without daring to look up and see that Mrs. Judson’s eyes were overflowing, she crept away to hide in a corner the burning tears on her own cheeks.  Twenty years after she spoke of it as one of the most painful moments of her life.

At first it had been proposed that Mr. Boardman and Sarah should accompany Mrs. Judson on her return, but it was thought better that he should spend a little more time on his studies, and Ann Judson therefore sailed in 1823, with Mr. and Mrs. Wade as her companions.

In the meantime Judson himself had been going on with his work at Rangoon, among many troubles.

Another accusation was drawn up by the lamas against Shwaygnong, and the Viceroy, on reading it, pronounced him worthy of death; but before he could be arrested, he took boat, came down to the mission-house with his family, obtained a supply of tracts and portions of Scripture, and then secretly fled up the river to a town named Shway-doung, where he began to argue and distribute the tracts.  So little regular communication was there between different places in Burmah, that this could be done with comparative safety; but the accusation and his flight created so much alarm at Rangoon, that Mr. Judson had to shut up the zayat, and only assemble his converts in the mission-house.  They suffered another loss in Moung Thaahlah, their second convert, who died of cholera, after nineteen hours’ illness.  He had seven months before married a young Christian woman, this being the first Burmese Christian wedding; and as he was a youth of much promise and good education, he was a serious loss to the mission.  All this time Mr. Judson was alone, until the arrival of Jonathan Price, who had wisely qualified himself to act as a physician, and no sooner did a report of his skill reach Ava, than the King sent for him; and as he had no time to learn the language, Judson went with him as interpreter.  Dr. Price says, “The King is a man of small stature, very straight, steps with a natural air of superiority, but has not the least appearance of it in conversation.  He wears a red, finely-striped silk cloth from his waist to his knees, and a blue-and-white handkerchief on his head.  He has apparently the good of his people as well as the glory of his kingdom at heart, and is encouraging foreign merchants, and especially p. 143artisans to settle in his capital.  A watchmaker at this moment could obtain any favour he should please to ask.”

As soon as the missionaries arrived, he sent for them and received them in an open court, where they were seated on a bamboo floor about ten feet from his chair.  He took no notice of Judson, except as an interpreter, but interrogated Price as to his skill in surgery, sent for his medicines, looked at them and at his instrument, and was greatly amused with his galvanic battery; he then dismissed them with orders to choose a spot on which a house should be built for them, and to look up the diseased to try Price’s skill upon.

Moung Zah, the former minister, recognized Judson kindly, and after a time the King took notice of him: “You in black, what are you, a medical man too?”

“Not a medical man, but a teacher of religion, your Majesty.”

After a few questions about his religion the King proceeded to ask whether any Burmese had embraced it.

“Not here,” diplomatically said Judson.

“Are there any in Rangoon?”

“There are a few.”

“Are they foreigners?”

Mr. Judson says he trembled for the consequences of an answer, but the truth must be spoken at all risks, and he replied, “Some foreigners and some Burmese.”

The King showed no displeasure, but asked questions on religion, geography, and astronomy, as though his temper was quite changed.  His brother, a fine young man of twenty-eight, who suffered from paralysis, became a patient of Dr. Price, and had much conversation with Judson, showing great eagerness for instruction.  He assured the missionaries that under the present reign there was no danger to the native Christians, and after a successful operation for cataract, performed by Dr. Price, the missionaries were so much in favour that while Price remained at Ava and there married a native lady, Judson was desired only to go back to Rangoon to meet his wife on her return, and bring her to reside at Ava.

Their good and tolerant friend, the Viceroy, was dead, and his successor was a severe and unjust man, so that the people had fled in numbers from the place, and few Christians remained except at Moung Shwaygnong’s village.  There was thus the less p. 144to leave, when in December 1823 Mrs. Judson safely arrived, and two fresh missionaries with her, to whom the flock at Rangoon could be left.  There is a most happy letter written on the voyage up the Irrawaddy to Ava, when it seemed as though all the troubles and difficulties of four years had been smoothed away.  The mission had been kindly welcomed at Ava, and established in the promised house, when the first of the English wars with Burmah broke out, on grounds on which it is needless to enter.  It is enough to say that after many mutual offences, Sir Archibald Campbell, with a fleet and army, entered Rangoon, and occupied it without resistance, the Viceroy being absent at the time.

The Court of Ava were exceedingly amazed at the insolence of the foreigners.  An army supposed to be irresistible was sent off, dancing and singing, in boats down the river, and all the fear was lest the alarm should drive away the white strangers with the “cock-feather chief” before there was time to catch any for slaves.  A lady sent a commission for four to manage the affairs of her household, as she heard they were trustworthy; a courtier, for six to row his boat.

The capture of Rangoon was supposed by national pride to be wholly owing to the treachery of spies, and three English merchants were fixed upon as those spies and put under arrest.  The King was advised likewise to secure the persons of the missionaries, but he answered, “They are quiet men; let them alone.”  Unfortunately, however, a receipt for some money paid to Adoniram Judson was found among the papers of one of the merchants, and this to the Burmese mind was proof of his complicity in the plot.  Suddenly, an official, accompanied by a dozen men, one of whom had his face marked with spots, to denote his being an executioner, made his appearance demanding Mr. Judson.  “You are called by the King,” said the official, and at the same moment the executioner produced a cord, threw Mr. Judson on the floor, and tied his arms behind his back.  His wife vainly offered money to have his arms unbound, and he was led away, the faithful Ing following at a distance to see what was done with him, while Mrs. Judson retired to her room and poured out her soul “to Him who for our sakes was bound and led away to execution,” and great was her comfort even in that moment.  She was immediately after summoned to be examined by a magistrate in the verandah, and p. 145after hastily destroying all journals and papers, went out to meet him.  He took down her name and age, those of four little Burmese girls she had charge of, and of two Bengal servants; pronounced them all slaves to the King, and set a guard over them.  Mrs. Judson fastened herself and her children into the inner room, while the guards threatened her savagely if she would not show herself, and even put her servants’ feet in the stocks till she had obtained their release by promises of money.

Moung Ing had ascertained that his master was in prison; and when, after the most dreadful night she had ever spent, she sent him again in the morning, with a piece of silver to obtain admittance, he brought word that both Judson and Price, with the three English merchants, were in the death-prison, each wearing three pairs of iron fetters and fastened to a long pole.  Mrs. Judson immediately sent to the governor of the city with an entreaty to be allowed to visit him with a present.  This procured her a favourable reception, and he promised to make the condition of the prisoners more comfortable, but told her that she must consult his head writer as to the means.  This man, a brutal-looking fellow, extorted from her a huge bribe, and then promised to release the two teachers from the pole, and to put them into another building where she might send them food daily, and pillows and mats to sleep on.  She obtained an order for an interview with her husband, whose looks were so wretched and ghastly that she lost no time in fulfilling these exorbitant demands.

Her hope was in a petition to the Queen, but being under arrest herself, she could not go to the Queen in person, and had to approach her through her sister-in-law—a proud, haughty dame, who received her in the most cold, discouraging manner, but who undertook to present the petition.  She then went to the prison again, but the head writer would not allow her to enter; and on her return home she found that all the property in the mission-house was to undergo a scrutiny; but this was humanely done, and was only inventoried, not seized—i.e. the King did not seize it, but the officials helped themselves to whatever took their fancy.  The next day the Queen’s answer was obtained—“He is not to be executed; let him remain where he is.”

The poor lady’s heart fainted within her, but she thought of p. 146the widow and the unjust judge, and persevered day after day in applying to every member of the royal family or of Government to entreat for her husband’s liberation.  The King’s mother, sisters, and brother were all interested in his favour, but none of them ventured to apply direct to the King lest they should offend the favourite Queen.  All failed, but the hopes that from time to time were excited, kept up the spirits of the sufferers.  During the long weary months while the missionaries continued in fetters, i.e. chained by the feet to a bar of bamboo, Mrs. Judson was often not allowed to visit them for ten days at a time, and then only by walking to the prison after dark, two miles, unattended.  She could, however, communicate with her husband by means of the provisions she sent him daily.  At first she used to write on the dough of a flat cake, which she afterwards baked and concealed in a bowl of rice, while he answered by writing on a tile, where the inscription disappeared when dry but was visible when wet; but latterly they found it most convenient to write on a roll of paper hidden in the long nose of a coffee-pot, in which tea was sent to the prisoners.

Mrs. Judson delighted to send him little surprises, once a mince-pie, which Moung Ing carried with the utmost pride to his imprisoned master.  Mrs. Judson found herself obliged to wear the native dress, though she was so much taller than the Burmese women that she could be hardly taken for one of them.  It was a becoming dress; her hair was drawn into a knot on the forehead, with a cocoa-blossom, like a white plume, drooping from it; a saffron vest open in front to show a crimson tunic below; and a tight skirt of rich silk, sloping down behind, made her look to advantage, so that her husband liked to remember her as she stood at his prison door.  She never was allowed to come further.

For twenty days she was absent, and then she came with a tiny, pale, wailing, blue-eyed baby on her breast.  Poor Judson, clanking up to the door in his chains to welcome his little daughter, commemorated his feelings in some touching verses ending:—

“And when in future years
Thou know’st thy father’s tongue,
These lines will show thee how he felt,
How o’er his babe he sung.”

Every defeat by the European forces added to the perils of p. 147captives.  A favourite old general named Bundoolah had promised, when sent to command the army against Rangoon, that he would release all the white prisoners on his return as a conqueror; and when he was totally defeated, the wrath of the Burmese was so great that at this time the King himself seems to have scarcely acted at all.  He was gentle, indolent and indifferent, more intelligent than those around him, scarcely a Buddhist in belief, and very kind-hearted: indeed Judson believed that it was his interposition alone that prevented the lives of the captives from being taken at once; but he was demoralized by self-indulgence, and allowed himself to be governed by his queen, the daughter of a superintendent of gaols; and through her, by her brother, who was cruel, rapacious and violent, and the chief author of all the sufferings inflicted on the prisoners.  Among these were seven or eight British officers, and the King had commanded that a daily allowance of rice should be served to these, but scarcely half of it ever reached them; Mrs. Judson did her best to supply them as well as her husband, but their health gave way under their sufferings, and all died but one.

At the end of seven months, it was reported that the English army was advancing into the interior; and in the passionate alarm thus excited, the English captives were all loaded with five pairs of fetters and thrown into the common prison among Burman thieves and robbers,—a hundred in a room without a window, and that in the hottest season of the year.  Mrs. Judson again besought the governor to relieve them from this horrible condition, by at least allowing them to sit outside the door, and he actually shed tears at her distress, but he told her that he had been commanded to put them all to death privately, and that he was doing his best for them by massing them with the rest.  The Queen’s brother had really given this order, but the governor delayed the execution in case they should be required of him by the King, and they continued in this frightful state for a whole month, until Mr. Judson sickened with violent fever, and the governor permitted him to be removed into a little bamboo room, six feet long and four wide, where his wife was allowed to visit him and bring him food and medicine, she meantime living in a bamboo house in the governor’s compound, where the thermometer rose daily to 106°, but where she thought herself happy as she saw her husband begin to recover.

p. 148One day, however, when the governor had sent for her and was kindly conversing with her, a servant came in and whispered to him that the white strangers had suddenly been taken away, no one knew whither.  The governor pretended to be taken by surprise, but there could be no doubt that he had occupied Mrs. Judson to hinder her from witnessing the removal; and it was not till the evening that she learnt that the prisoners had been taken to Umerapoonah, whither she proceeded with her three months old baby and one servant.  There she found that the prisoners had been sent on two hours before to a sort of penal settlement called Oung-pen-lay, whither she followed, to find her husband in a lamentable state.  He had been dragged out of his little room, allowed no clothing but his shirt and trowsers, a rope had been tied round his waist, and he had been literally driven ten miles in the hottest part of the day.  His feet were so lacerated that he was absolutely falling, when a servant of one of the merchants tore a piece from his turban, and this wrapped round his feet enabled him to proceed, but he could not stand for six weeks after; indeed the scars remained for life.  In this state he lay chained to Dr. Price.  The intention was to sacrifice them both, in order to obtain success for an intended expedition; but before this could be done, a different woongye, or prime minister, came in, and their condition was somewhat improved, for they only wore one bamboo, through two slits in which their feet were forced, and they were allowed to crawl into the enclosure.  Meantime, a poor lion, once a great favourite, which was thought to be connected with the lions on the English colours, was placed in a bamboo cage in sight of the prisoners, and there starved to death, in hopes of thus abating the force of the enemy.  When its carcase was removed, Mr. Judson, at his own earnest entreaty, was allowed the reversion of its cage, and there, to his great joy, Moung Ing brought him his MS. translation of part of the Burmese Bible, which he had kept in his pillow at Ava till it was torn away by the jailors on his removal.  The faithful Ing, thinking only to secure a relic of his master, had picked up the pillow and secured the treasure.

Solitude was the greatest boon to Judson, whose fastidious delicacy suffered greatly in the thronged prison, but his faithful Ann was suffering terribly.  One of the little Burmese girls who lived with her had caught the small-pox, and was very ill: Mrs. Judson inoculated the other child and her own little p. 149Maria, but Maria’s inoculation did not take effect, and she caught the disease, and had it very severely.  Then Mrs. Judson herself fell ill of a fever, and remained for two months unable to visit her husband, both of them owing all their food to the exertions of their good Bengalee cook.  Poor little Maria was nearly starved, no milk was to be had, and the only food she obtained was when the jailers were bribed to let her father carry her round the village to beg a little nourishment from the nursing mothers.  Her moans at night rent the heart of her sick mother, and it is scarcely possible to imagine how either survived.  By this time, the English troops were so far advancing that the King was reduced to negotiate, and, being in need of an interpreter, he sent an order for Mr. Judson’s release; but as his wife was not named in it, she had great difficulty in effecting her departure, and half-way through the journey a guard came down and carried him off to Ava without her.  Arriving next day, she found him in prison, but under orders to embark in a little boat and go at once to the camp at Maloun.  She hastened to prepare all that was needful for his comfort, but all was stolen except a mattress, pillow, and one blanket.  The boat had no awning, and was so crowded that there was no room to lie down for the three days and three nights of alternate scorching heat and heavy dew; there was no food but a bag of refuse-rice, and the banks on either side of the Irrawaddy were bordered with glittering white sand, which in sunlight emitted a metallic glare intolerable to the eyes, and heat like a burning furnace.  The fever returned upon Judson, and, when he reached Maloun, he was almost helpless; but he found himself lodged in a small bamboo hut in the middle of the white sand, where he could not admit air by rolling up the matting without letting in the distressing glare, and where the heat reflected from the sand was like a furnace.  He could not stir when the officers came to summon him to the presence of the Burmese general, and they thought it stubbornness, and threatened him; then they brought him papers and commanded him to translate them, while he writhed in torture and only longed that the fever in his brain would deprive him of his senses.  This it must have done, for he had only a confused impression of feet around him, and of fancying that he was going to be burnt alive, until he found himself on a bed in a somewhat cooler room.  As he lay there, papers were p. 150continually brought him to explain and translate, and he found that the greatest difficulty was in making the Burmese understand that a State paper could mean what it said, or that truth and honesty were possible.  Sometimes, as he tried to explain the commonest principle: of good faith and fair dealing among Christian nations, his auditors would exclaim, “That is noble,” “That is as it should be;” but then they would shake their heads and say, “The teacher dreams; he has a heavenly spirit, and so he thinks himself in the land of the dwellers in heaven.”

He remained here six weeks, suffering much at night from cold, for his only covering was a small rug and his well-worn blanket.  Then, on the advance of the English, he was sent back to Ava, but was marched straight to the court-house without being suffered to halt for a moment at his own abode, to discover whether his wife was there.  He was placed in a shed, guarded all day, and left without food, till Moung Ing found him out in the evening, and replied to his questions, that the Mamma Judson and the child were well; yet there was something about his manner that was unsatisfactory, and Judson, thinking it over, became terribly uneasy, and in the morning, being sent for by the governor of the jail, obtained permission to go to his own house.

At the door he saw a fat, half-naked Burmese woman with a child in her arms, so dark with dirt that it never occurred to him that it could be his own; and entering, he found, lying across the foot of the bed, his wife, ghastly white and emaciated, her hair all cut away, and her whole appearance that of a corpse.  She woke as he knelt down by her in despair!  She had been ill all this time with a horrible spotted fever.  The day she had fallen ill, the Burmese woman had offered to take charge of little Maria, and the Bengalee cook had attended on her.  Dr. Price was released from prison and had cut off her hair, bled, and blistered her, but she could hardly move when the tidings came of her husband being in the town, and she had sent Moung Ing to him.  The husband and wife were at last together again, and Dr. Price was sent to conduct the treaty at the English camp.

As soon as Sir Archibald Campbell heard of the sufferings of the Judsons, he demanded them as well as the English subjects; but the King was aware that they were not English, p. 151and would not let them go.  This attempt at a treaty failed; but its failure, and the alarm consequent upon a report of the advance of the English, led to Mr. Judson’s being sent off, almost by force, with two officials, to promise a ransom if Ava were spared.  Sir Archibald Campbell undertook that the city should not be attacked, provided his terms were complied with before he reached it; and among these was the stipulation that not only English subjects, but all foreigners should have free choice whether to go or to stay.  Some of the officials tried to persuade Mr. Judson to stay, declaring that he would become a great man, but he could not refuse the freedom offered him after such cruel sufferings, and he was wont to declare that the joy of finding himself floating down the Irrawaddy in a boat with his wife and baby, made up for their twenty-one months of peril and misery.

They were received with courtesy, and indeed with gratitude, respect, and veneration at the English camp.  The Englishmen who had been in captivity bore witness to the kindness with which Mrs. Judson had relieved their wants, as well as those of her husband: how she had brought them food, mended their clothes, obtained new ones, and, as they believed, by her arguments and appeals to the ignorant and barbarous Government, had not only saved their lives, but convinced the authorities of the necessity of accepting the British terms of peace.

These terms included the cession of a large portion of the Burmese territory; and this it was that decided the missionaries to leave Ava; for the state of exasperation and intolerance into which this brought the Court, made it vain to think of continuing to give instruction where they would be regarded with enmity and suspicion.  Meantime, the officers in the English camp, who had not seen a lady for nearly two years, could not make enough of the graceful, gentle woman, so pale and fragile, yet such a dauntless heroine, and always ready to exert herself beyond her strength for every sufferer who came in her way.

There was a curious scene at a dinner given to the Burmese commissioners, in a magnificent tent, with all the military pomp the camp could furnish.  When Sir Archibald appeared with Mrs. Judson on his arm, and seated her by his side, there was such a look of discomfiture on the faces of the guests, that he asked her if they were not old acquaintance who had treated her ill.  “That fellow with the pointed beard,” he said, p. 152“seems taken with an ague fit.”  Then Mrs. Judson told how, when her husband lay in a burning fever with the five pairs of fetters, she had walked several miles with a petition to this man, had been kept waiting till the noontide sun was at its height, and not only was she refused, but as she departed her silk umbrella was torn out of her hand by his greediness; and when she begged at least to let her have a paper one to go home with, the officer only laughed at her, and told her that she was too thin to be in danger of a sunstroke!  The English gentlemen could not restrain their countenances at least from expressing their indignation; and the Burmese, who thought she was asking for their heads, or to have them laid out in the sun with weights upon their chests, were yellow with fright, and trembled visibly.  Mrs. Judson kindly turned to them with a smile, assuring them that they had nothing to fear, and, on repeating her words to Sir Archibald Campbell, he confirmed them to the frightened barbarians.

That visit to the English camp was one of the few spaces of comfort or repose in those busy lives.  It concluded by the husband and wife being forwarded to their old home at Rangoon.

It was in the height of the war, when anxieties for the fate of Mr. and Mrs. Judson were at the utmost, that, on the 4th of July, 1825, George Boardman and Sarah Hall were married, and sailed for Calcutta, thinking it possible that they might find their predecessors martyred, and that they were coming “to step where their comrades stood.”

At Calcutta they found Mr. and Mrs. Wade, who had with great difficulty escaped, and soon after they heard of the rescue of the Judsons, and welcomed Dr. Price.  Rangoon, in the meantime, had been occupied by the English, and then besieged by the Peguans; the mission-house was ruined, and the people dispersed, and Moung Shwaygnong had died of cholera, faithful to the last.  The city was to be restored to the Burmese, and the King, though willing to employ Judson politically, refused toleration to his subjects; so that, as the provinces on the Martaban river were to be ceded to the English, it seemed wise to take advantage of the reputation which the Judsons had established to found a mission-station under their protection in the new town of Amherst, which Sir Archibald Campbell proposed to build on the banks of the Martaban river.

p. 153Hither was transported the old zayat of Rangoon; and Mount Ing, Moung Shwaba, and a few other of the flock accompanied their teachers, to form the nucleus of the mission.  Sir Archibald Campbell had made a great point of Mr. Judson’s accompanying the English embassy that was to conclude the treaty at Ava; and he, hoping to obtain something for the Christian cause, complied, leaving that most brave and patient woman, his wife, with her little delicate girl, in a temporary house in Amherst, which, as yet, consisted only of barracks, officers’ houses, and fifty native huts by the riverside in the space of freshly-cleared jungle.  There she set to work with energy that enfeebled health could not daunt, to prepare the way for the Wades and the Boardmans, to superintend a little school, of which Moung Ing was master, and to have a house built for her husband.

She had just moved into it, when she was attacked with remittent fever, and, though attended by an English army surgeon and nursed by a soldier’s wife, she sank under it, and died on the 24th of October, 1826.  She was buried under a hopia, or, as her friends loved to call it, a hope tree; and the Wades, coming shortly after, took charge of poor little Maria, who lived to be embraced by her father, on his arrival after three months’ absence; but she continued to pine away, and only survived her mother six months.

Judson endured patiently, thought of his wife’s sufferings as gems in her crown, wrote cheerful letters, and toiled indefatigably, without breaking down, but he was never the same man again.  Amherst was probably unhealthy, for several of the Rangoon converts died there, among them one of the little Burmese girls who had been with Mrs. Judson throughout her troubles.  Those who died almost always spoke with joy of their hope of seeing Mamma Judson in heaven.  “But first,” said one woman, “I shall fall down before the Saviour’s feet, and thank Him for sending us our teachers.”

It was shortly before little Maria’s death that Mr. and Mrs. Boardman arrived, bringing with them a daughter born at Calcutta.  Moulmein, the town near at hand, was decided on as their station, and they removed to a mission-house on the border of the jungle, about a mile from the cantonments, with a beautiful range of hills behind them, and the river in front.  Opposite lay the Burman province of Martaban, which had p. 154been desolated during the war, and was now the haunt of terrible Malay pirates, who came and robbed in the town, and then fled securely to the opposite bank, where they could not be pursued.  The English officers had entreated the Boardmans to reside within the cantonments, but they wished to be among the people, so as to learn the language more readily and become acquainted with them.

One night, Mrs. Boardman awoke and found the lamp gone out.  She rose and re-lighted it.  Every box and drawer lay overthrown and rifled, nothing left but what the thieves deemed not worth taking.  She turned round to the mosquito curtain which concealed her husband; it was cut by two long gashes, the one close to his head, the other to his feet.  There the robber-sentry must have kept watch, ready to destroy the sleepers if they had wakened for a moment!  Nearly every valuable had been carried away, and not a trace of any was ever found.  After this, Sir Archibald Campbell gave them a Sepoy guard; and, as population increased, the danger diminished.  Indeed, Amherst proved an unsuccessful attempt, and was gradually abandoned in favour of Moulmein, which became the head-quarters both of Government and of the Mission.

The Boardmans were specially devoted to that, because of the work which regarded the Karens.  These were a wandering race who occupied a strip of jungle, a hilly country to the south of Burmah, living chiefly by hunting and fishing, making canoes, and clothed in cotton cloth.  They had very scanty ideas either of religion or civilization, but were not idolaters, and had a good many of what Judson calls the gentler virtues of savages, though their habits were lazy and dirty.  They had been a good deal misused by the Burmese, but occasionally wandered into the cities; and there Judson had asked questions about them which had roused the interest of his Burman converts.  During the war, one of these Burmese found a poor Karen, named Ko-Thah-byoo, in bondage for debt, paid the amount, made him his own servant, and, on the removal to Moulmein, brought him thither.  He proved susceptible of instruction, and full of energy and zeal; and not only embraced Christianity heartily himself, but introduced it to his tribe, and assisted the missionaries in acquiring the language.

To be nearer to these people, the Boardmans removed to p. 155Tavoy, where they had a Burmese congregation; and Mr. Boardman made an expedition among the Karens, who were, for the most part, by no means unwilling to listen, and with little tradition to pre-occupy their minds, as well as intelligence enough to receive new ideas.  At one place, the people were found devoted to an object that was thought to have magic power, and which they kept with great veneration, wrapt up in many coverings.  It proved to be an English Common Prayer Book, printed at Oxford, which had been left behind by a Mahometan traveller.  On the whole, this has been a flourishing mission; the Karens were delighted to have their language reduced to writing, and the influence of their teachers began to raise them in the scale; but all was done under the terrible drawback of climate.  Mrs. Boardman never was well from the time she landed at Moulmein, and her beautiful flower-covered house at Tavoy was the constant haunt of sickness, under which her elder child, Sarah, died, after showing all that precocity that white children often do in these fatal regions.  A little boy named George had by this time been born, and shared with his mother the dangers of the Tavoy rebellion, an insurrection stirred up by a prince of the Burmese royal blood, in hopes of wresting the province from the English.

One night, a Burmese lad belonging to the school close to the Boardmans’ house, was awakened by steps; and, peeping through the braided bamboo walls of his hut, saw parties of men talking in an undertone about lost buffaloes.  Some went into the town, others gathered about the gate, and, when their numbers began to thicken, a cloud of smoke was seen in the morning dawn, and yells from a thousand voices proclaimed, “Tavoy has risen!”

Boardman awoke and rushed out to the door, but a friendly voice told him that no harm was intended him.  The revolt was against the English, and never was a movement more perilous.  The commandant, Colonel Burney, was absent at Moulmein, the English officer next in command was ill of a fatal disease, the gunner was ill, and the whole defence of a long, straggling city was in the hands of a hundred Sepoys, commanded by a very young surgeon, assisted by Mrs. Burney, who had a babe of three weeks old.  The chief of the fight was at the powder magazine, not very far from the Boardmans’ abode.  It was attacked by two hundred men with clubs, knives, spears, p. 156but happily with very few muskets, and defended by only six Sepoys, who showed great readiness and faithfulness.  Just as their bullets seemed to be likely to endanger the frightened little family, a savage-looking troop of natives were seen consulting, with threatening gestures aimed at the mission-house, and Mr. Boardman, fully expecting to be massacred, made his wife and her baby hide in a little shed, crouching to escape the bullets; but this alarm passed off, and, at the end of an hour, the whole of the gates had been regained by the Sepoys, and the attack on the magazine repulsed.  Mr. Boardman took this opportunity of carrying his family to the Government house, where they were warmly welcomed by Mrs. Burney; but it was impossible to continue the defence of so large an extent as the town occupied, and therefore the tiny garrison decided on retiring to a large wooden building on the wharf, whither the Sepoys conveyed three cannon and as much powder as they expected to want, throwing the rest down wells.  This was not done without constant skirmishing, and was not completed till three o’clock, when the refugees were collected,—namely, a hundred Sepoys, with their wives and children, stripped of all their ornaments, which they had buried; some Hindoo and Burmese servants; a few Portuguese traders; a wily old Mussulman; Mrs. Boardman and Mrs. Burney, each with her baby; and seven Englishmen besides Mr. Boardman.  Among them rode the ghastly figure of the sick officer, who had been taken from his bed, but who hoped to encourage his men by appearing on horseback; but his almost orange skin, wasted form, sunken eyes, and perfect helplessness, were to Mrs. Boardman even more terrible than the yells of the insurgents around and the shots of their scanty escort.

Three hundred persons were crowded together in the wooden shed, roofed over, and supported on posts above the water, with no partitions.  The situation was miserable enough, but they trusted that the enemy, being only armed with spears, could not reach them.  By and by, however, the report of a cannon dismayed them.  The jingals, or small field-pieces, were brought up, but not till evening; and the inexperienced rebels took such bad aim that all the balls passed over the wharf into the sea, and the dense darkness put a stop to the attempt; but all night the trembling inmates were awakened by savage yells; and a Sepoy, detecting a spark of light through the chinks of the p. 157floor, fired, and killed an enemy who had come beneath in a boat to set fire to the frail shelter!

In the morning the firing from the walls was renewed, but at long intervals, for there was a great scarcity of powder, though the unhappy besieged apprehended every moment that the right direction would be hit upon, and then that the balls would be among them.  They could send nowhere for help, though there was a Chinese junk within their reach, for it could not put to sea under the fire of the rebels; and two more days, and two still more terrible nights, passed in what must have been almost a black hole.  The fifth night was the worst of all, for the town was set on fire around, and by the light of the flames the enemy made a furious attack; but just in time to prevent the fire from attaining the frail wooden structure, a providential storm quenched it, and the muskets of the Sepoys again repulsed the enemy.  By this time the provisions were all but exhausted, and there were few among even the defenders who were not seriously ill from the alternate burning sun and drenching rain.  Death seemed hovering over the devoted wharf from every quarter; when at last, soon after sunrise on the fifth day, the young doctor quietly beckoned the Colonel’s wife to the door that opened upon the sea, and pointed to the horizon, where a little cloudy thread of smoke was rising.

It was the steamer bringing Colonel Burney back, in perfect ignorance of the peril of Tavoy and of his wife!  But he understood all at a glance.  The women and children were instantly transferred to the steamer, and she was sent back to Moulmein, but Colonel Burney and the few men who came with him landed, and restored courage and spirit to the besieged.  Not only was a breastwork thrown up to protect the wharf, but the Colonel led a trusty little band of Sepoys to the wall where the cannon stood, recaptured them, and had absolutely regained Tavoy before the tidings of the insurrection had reached Moulmein.  Mrs. Burney’s babe died soon after the steamer had brought the two mothers and their infants to their refuge; but little George Boardman did not suffer any ill effects from these dreadful days and nights, and was, in fact, the only child of his patents who outlived infancy.  Another son, born a few months afterwards, soon ended a feeble existence, and Mrs. Boardman was ill for many months.  Her husband, delicate from the first, never entirely recovered the sufferings at the wharf; yet in spite p. 158of an affection of the lungs, he would often walk twenty miles a day through the Karen villages, teaching and preaching, and at night have no food but rice, and sleep on a mat on the floor of an open zayat.

The Moulmein station was a comparative rest, and the husband and wife removed thither to supply the place of Judson and of the Wades, who were making another attempt upon Burmah Proper; the Wades taking up their residence at Rangoon, and Judson going on to Prome, the ancient capital, where he preached in the zayats, distributed tracts, and argued with the teachers in his old fashion; but the Ava Government had become far more suspicious, and interfered as soon as he began to make anything like progress, requesting the English officer now in residence at the Court to remonstrate with him, and desire him not to proceed further than Rangoon.  He was obliged to yield, and again to float down the river in his little boat, baffled, but patient and hopeful.

A great change had come upon the bright, enthusiastic, lively young man who had set out, with his beautiful Ann, to explore the unknown Eastern world.  Suffering of body had not altered him so much as bereavement, and bereavement without rest in which to face and recover the shock.  A strong ascetic spirit was growing on him.  Already on his first return to Moulmein, after joining in the embassy, he had thought it right to cut short the ordinary intercourse of society, to which his residence in the camp had given rise, and had announced his intention in a letter to Sir Archibald Campbell.  He was much regretted, for he was a particularly agreeable man; and it is evident, both from all testimony and from the lively tone of his letters, that he was full of good-natured sympathy, and, however sad at heart, was a cheerful and even merry companion.

But through these years, throughout constant care and unrelaxed activity of mind and body, his heart was aching for the wife he had no time to mourn; and the agony thus suppressed led to an utter loathing for all that he thought held him back from perfect likeness to the glorified Saint whom he loved.  He took delight in the most spiritual mystical writings he could find,—à Kempis, Madame Guyon, Fénélon, and the like,—and endeavoured to fulfil the Gospel measure of holiness.  He gave up his whole patrimony to the American Baptist Mission Board (now separate from England and Serampore), mortified to the very p. 159utmost his fastidious delicacy by ministering to the most loathsome diseases; and to crush his love of honour, he burnt a letter of thanks for his services from the Governor-General of India, and other documents of the same kind.  He fasted severely, and having by nature a peculiar horror of the decay and mouldering of death, he deemed it pride and self-love, and dug a grave beside which he would sit meditating on the appearance of the body after death.  He had a bamboo hermitage on the borders of the jungle, where he would live on rice for weeks together—only holding converse with those who came to him for religious instruction; and once, when worn out with his work of translation, he went far into the depths of the wildest jungle, near a deserted pagoda, and there sat down to read, pray, and meditate.  The next day, on returning to the spot, he found a seat of bamboo, and the branches woven together for a shelter.  Judson never learnt whose work this was, but it was done by a loving disciple, who had overcome the fear of tigers to provide by night for his comfort, though the place was thought so dangerous that his safety, during the forty days that he haunted it, was viewed by the natives as a miracle.  He spent several months in retirement.  It was indeed four years after his bereavement, but it is plain that he was taking the needful rest and calm that his whole nature required after the shock that he had undergone, but which he had in a manner deferred until the numbers of workers were so increased that his constant labour could be dispensed with.  He came forth from his retirement renovated in spirit, for the second period of his toils.

Meantime, the Boardmans had returned to Tavoy, where they were eagerly welcomed by their Karen flock, and found many candidates for baptism.  Weak as he was, Mr. Boardman examined them.  He was sometimes able to sit up in his chair and speak for himself, but oftener so weak that his wife sat on his couch and interpreted his feeble whispers; but he was so happy that tears of joy often filled his eyes.  The actual baptism, performed by going down into the water like Philip with the Ethiopian, could hardly have been carried out by a man in his state; but Moung Ing, who had been admitted to the pastorate, touched at Moulmein, on a mission to Mergui, and undertook the baptisms.  The Karens carried Mr. Boardman to the water in his cot, along a street filled with lamaseries, whence the yellow-clothed priests looked down in scorn, and the common p. 160people hooted and reviled: “See! see your teacher, a living man borne as if he were already dead!” with still worse unfeeling taunts.  The Christians, about fifty in number, reached the spot, a beautiful lake, nearly a mile in circumference, and bordered by green grass overshadowed by trees.  There they all knelt down and prayed, and then Moung Ing baptized the nineteen new disciples, while the pastor lay pale and happy, and his wife watched him with her heart full of the last baptism, when it had been he who poured the water and spoke the words.

Mr. Boardman lived on into the year 1831, and welcomed a new arrival from America, Francis Mason and his wife, on the 23rd of January, and a week later set out to introduce the former to the Karens, a band of whom had come down to convey the party.  Mr. Boardman was carried on his bed, his wife in a chair, and on the third day they reached a spot where the Karens, of their own accord, had erected a bamboo chapel beside a beautiful stream beneath a range of mountains.  Nearly a hundred had assembled there, of whom half were candidates for baptism.  They cooked, ate, and slept in the open air, but they had made a small shed for Mr. Mason, and another for the Boardmans, too small to stand upright in, and so ill-enclosed as to be exposed to sun by day and cold air by night.

The sufferer rapidly became worse, but he had an ardent desire to see this last baptism, and all the thirty-four women, who were sufficiently prepared, were baptized in his sight, though he was so spent as scarcely to be able to breathe without the fan and smelling-bottle.  In the evening he contrived to speak a few words of exhortation to the disciples, and to give them each a tract or a portion of Scripture.  The next morning the party set out on their return, but in the afternoon were overtaken by a great storm of thunder and lightning, with rain that drenched his mattress and pillows; and when they reached a house, they found it belonged to heathens, who would scarcely let the strange teacher lie in the verandah.

His cot was so wet that he was forced to lie on the bamboo floor, and the rain continued all night.  A boat was expected at twelve the next day, and it was resolved to wait for this, while the Tavoyans looked grimly on, and refused even to sell a chicken to make broth for the sick man.  By nine o’clock he was evidently dying, and the Karens rubbed his hands and feet as they grew cold.  Almost immediately after being conveyed p. 161to the boat, the last struggles came on, and in a few minutes he had passed away.  He was buried at Tavoy, beside his little Sarah; all the Europeans in the town attending, as well as a grateful multitude of Burmese and Karens.

“The tree to which the frail creeper clung
   Still lifts its stately head,
But he, on whom my spirit hung,
   Is sleeping with the dead,”

wrote Sarah Boardman; and her first thought was of course to go home with her child, but the Masons had not learnt the languages, and had no experience, and, without her, there would be no schools, no possibility of instruction for the converts of either people until they could speak freely, and she therefore resolved not to desert her work.  She was keeping school, attending to all comers, and interpreting from sunrise till ten o’clock at night, besides having the care of her little boy, and her schools were so good that, when the British Government established some, orders were given for conducting them on the same system.

She tried to learn Karen, but never had time, and it was the less needful that a little Burmese was known to some Karens, and thus she could always have an interpreter.  She sometimes made mission tours to keep up the spirit of the Karens till Mr. Mason should be qualified to come among them.  Her little George was carried by her attendants, and there is a note to Mrs. Mason, sent back from one of the stages of her journey, which shows what her travels must have been: “Perhaps you had better send the chair, as it is convenient to be carried over the streams when they are deep.  You will laugh when I tell you that I have forded all the smaller ones.”  But there is scarcely any record of these journeys of hers, she was too modest and shy to dwell on what only related to herself; and though she several times, with the help of her Burmese interpreter, led the devotions of two or three hundred Karens, it was always with a sense of reluctance, and only under necessity.

She had been a widow four years, when Adoniram Judson, who had returned from Rangoon, and was about to take charge of the station at Moulmein, made her his second wife, on the 10th of April, 1834.  At the same time, an opportunity offered of sending little George back to America for education; but year after year filled the house at Moulmein with other little p. 162ones,—careful comforts, in that fatal climate, which had begun to tell on the health of both the parents.  Pain and sorrow went for little with this devoted pair.  To be as holy as the Apostles though without their power, was the endeavour which Judson set before himself, and the work of such a man was one of spirit that drew all to hear and follow him.  The Burmese converts were numbered by hundreds, and one of the missionaries in the Karen country could write: “I no longer date from a heathen land.  Heathenism has fled from these banks; I eat the rice and fruits cultivated by Christian hands, look on the fields of Christians, see no dwellings but those of Christian families.  I am seated in the midst of a Christian village, surrounded by a people that live as Christians, converse as Christians, act as Christians, and, to my eyes, look like Christians.”

All this, like every other popular conversion, involved many individual disappointments from persons not keeping up to the Christian standard, and from coolness setting in when the excitement of the change was over; and great attention had to be paid to rules, discipline, &c., as well as to providing books and schools.  Judson himself had to work hard at the completion and correction of the Burmese Bible, to which he devoted himself, the more entirely because an affection of the throat and cough came on, and for some time prevented him from preaching.  In 1839, he tried to alleviate it by a voyage to Calcutta, where he was received by both Bishop Wilson and by the Marshman family at Serampore; but, as he observes, “the glory of Serampore had departed,” and his stay there must have been full of sad associations.  His work upon the Scriptures was finished in 1840, and he then began a complete Burmese dictionary, while his wife was translating the Pilgrim’s Progress; but both were completely shattered in health, and their children, four in number, had all been brought low by the hooping cough, and then by other complaints.  A voyage to Calcutta was imperatively enjoined on all; but it was stormy and full of suffering, and soon after they arrived at Serampore their youngest child, little Henry, died.  A still further voyage was thought advisable, and the whole family went as far as the Isle of France, where they recovered some measure of health, and their toil at Moulmein was resumed.  Four more years passed, three more children were born, and then the strength p. 163that had been for nineteen years so severely tried, gave way, and the doctors pronounced that Sarah Judson’s life could only be saved by a voyage to America.  The three elder children were to go with her, but the three little ones were to remain, since their father only intended to go as far as the Isle of France, and then return to his labour.  The last words she ever wrote were pencilled on a slip of paper, intended to be given to him to comfort him at their farewell:—

“We part on this green islet, love:
   Thou for the Eastern main,
I for the setting sun, love;
   Oh! when to meet again?

My heart is sad for thee, love,
   For lone thy way will be;
And oft thy tears will fall, love,
   For thy children and for me.

The music of thy daughter’s voice
   Thou’lt miss for many a year,
And the merry shout of thine elder boys
   Thou’lt list in vain to hear.

* * * * *

Yet my spirit clings to thine, love,
   Thy soul remains with me,
And oft we’ll hold communion sweet
   O’er the dark and distant sea.

And who can paint our mutual joy
   When, all our wanderings o’er,
We both shall clasp our infants three
   At home on Burmah’s shore?

But higher shall our raptures glow
   On yon celestial plain,
When the loved and parted here below
   Meet, ne’er to part again.

Then gird thine armour on, love,
   Nor faint thou by the way
Till Boodh shall fall, and Burmah’s sons
   Shall own Messiah’s sway.”

What a trumpet-note for a soldier to leave after nineteen years service “through peril, toil, and pain,” undaunted to the last!  For by the time the ship left the Isle of France, she was fading so rapidly that her husband could not quit her, and sailed on with her to St. Helena.  She was fast dying, but so composed about her children, that some one observed that she seemed to p. 164have forgotten the three babes.  “Can a mother forget?” was all her answer.  She died on board the ship, at anchor in the bay of St. Helena, and was carried to the burial-ground, where all the colonial clergy in the island attended, and she was laid beside Mrs. Chater, the wife of that Serampore missionary whose expulsion had led to the first pioneering at Rangoon, and who had since worked in Ceylon.  She was just forty-two, and died September 1st, 1845.

Her husband found her beautiful farewell; and, as he copied it out, he wrote after the last verse, “Gird thine armour on,” “And so, God willing, I will yet endeavour to do; and while her prostrate form finds repose on the rock of the ocean, and her sanctified spirit enjoys sweeter repose on the bosom of Jesus, let me continue to toil on all my appointed time, until my change too shall come.”

On the evening of the day of her burial, he sailed with the three children, and arrived at Boston on the 15th of October, 1845.  He remained in his native country only nine months, and, if a universal welcome could have delighted him, he received it to the utmost.  So little did he know of his own fame, that, returning after thirty years, he had been in pain to know where to procure a night’s lodging at Boston, whereas he found half the city ready to compete for the honour of receiving him, and every one wanted to meet him.  Places of worship where he was to preach were thronged, and every public meeting where he was expected to speak was fully attended; but all this fervour of welcome was a distress to him, his affection of the throat made oratory painful and often impossible, and the mere going silently to an evening assembly so excited his nerves that he could not sleep for the whole night after.  Any sort of display was misery to him; he could not bear to sit still and hear the usual laudation of his achievements; and, when distinguished and excellent men were introduced to him, he received them with chilling shyness and coldness, too humble to believe that it was for his goodness and greatness that they sought to know him, but fancying it was out of mere curiosity.

His whole desire was to get back to his work and escape from American notoriety, and, disregarding all representations that longer residence in the north might confirm his health, he intended to seize the first opportunity of returning to Moulmein.  But a wife was almost a necessity both to himself and his p. 165mission, and even now, at his mature age and broken health, he was able to win a woman of qualities almost if not quite equal to those of the Ann and Sarah who had gone before her.

Emily Chubbuck, born in 1817, was the daughter of parents of the Baptist persuasion, living in the State of New York.  She was the fifth child of a large family in such poor circumstances that, when she was only eleven years old, she was sent to work at a woollen factory, where her recollections were only of “noise and filth, bleeding hands and aching feet, and a very sad heart;” but happily for her, the frost stopped the works during the winter months, and she was able to go to school; and, after two years, the family removed to a country farm.  They were all very delicate, and her elder sisters were one after the other slowly dying of decline.  This, with their “conversions” and baptisms, deepened Emily’s longing to give the tokens required by her sect for Christian membership, but they came slowly and tardily with her, and she quaintly told how one day she was addressed by one of the congregation whose prayers had been asked for her, “What! this little girl not converted yet?  How do you suppose we can waste any more time in praying for you?”  Her intelligence was very great, and in 1832, when her mother wanted her to become a milliner, she entreated to be allowed to engage herself as a school teacher.  “I stood as tall as I could,” she says, when she went to offer herself, and she was accepted, although only fifteen.  The system was that of “boarding round”—i.e. the young mistress had to live a week alternately at each house, and went from thence to her school, but she found this so uncomfortable that she ended by sleeping at home every night.  She struggled on, teaching in various schools, doing needlework in after-hours, trying to improve herself, and always contending with great delicacy of health, which must have made it most trying to cope with what she calls in one of her letters “a little regiment of wild cats” for about seven years, when some of the friends she had made obtained of two sisters who kept a boarding school at Utica that she should be admitted there to pursue the higher branches of study for a year or two, and then to repay them by her services as a teacher.

The two ladies, Miss Urania and Miss Cynthia Sheldon, and their widowed sister, Mrs. Anable, proved Emily’s kindest friends, and made a thoroughly happy home for her.  She was p. 166very frail and nervous, but of great power of influence, and even while still only a pupil had this gift.  Here she spent the rest of her maiden days, and here she supplied the failure of her labours in needlework by contributions to magazines, generally under the nom de plume of Fanny Forester.  They were chiefly poems and short tales, and were popular enough to bring in a sum that was very important to the Chubbuck family.  The day’s employment was very full, and she stole the time required from her rest.  Late one night, Miss Sheldon seeing a light in the room looked in, and found her trembling in nervous agitation, holding her head with her hands and her manuscript before her; and when gently rebuked, and entreated to lie down at once, she exclaimed with a burst of tears, “Oh!  Miss Urania, I must write; I must help my poor parents.”

Her brave and dutiful endeavours prospered so much that she was actually able to buy a house for them.  It was during her stay at Utica that she was baptized, and several of her writings were expressly for the Baptist Sunday School Union; and though others were of a more secular cast, all were such as could only be composed by a religious woman.  A little book of hers fell into the hands of Dr. Judson, and struck him so much that he said, “I should be glad to know her.  A lady who writes so well ought to write better.”  She was then at Philadelphia, and at the moment of his introduction to her was undergoing the process of vaccination.  As soon as it was over he entered into conversation with her with some abruptness, demanding of her how she could employ her talents in writings so trifling and so little spiritual as those he had read.

Emily met the rebuke without offence, but defended herself by describing the necessity of her case, with her indigent parents depending upon her; so that her work must almost of necessity be popular and profitable, though, as a duty, she avoided all that could be of doubtful tendency.

The missionary was thoroughly softened, and not only acquitted her, but begged her to undertake the biography of his wife Sarah: and this threw them much together.  He was fifty-seven, she twenty-eight, when he offered himself to her in the following letter, sent with a watch:—

“I hand you, dearest, a charmed watch.  It always comes back to me, and brings its wearer with it.  I gave it to Ann when a hemisphere divided us, and it brought her safely and p. 167surely to my arms.  I gave it to Sarah during her husband’s lifetime (not then aware of the secret), and the charm, though slow in its operation, was true at last.”

The charm worked.  Emily Chubbuck was ready to follow Dr. Judson to the deadly climate of Burmah, to share his labours, and become a mother to the babies he had left there.

They were married on the 2nd of June, 1846, and five weeks later sailed for Burmah, leaving the three children at school.

Emily seems to have differed from Ann and Sarah, in that she had less actual missionary zeal than they.  Sarah at least was a missionary in heart, and, as such, became a wife; but Emily was more the wife, working as her husband worked.  She had much more literary power than either; her letters to her friends were full of vivid description, playful accounts of their adventures, and lively colouring even of misfortunes, pain, and sickness.  She arrived at Moulmein in November.  One little boy had died during Dr. Judson’s absence, but the other two were tenderly cared for by the new Mrs. Judson, who threw herself into all the work and interests of the mission with great animation.  It proved, however, that both the Burman and Karen missions were well supplied with teachers; and Dr. Judson thought he should be more useful at Rangoon, where there had, since one attempt on the part of the Wades, been no resident missionary.  He heard accounts of the Court which made him hope to recover a footing at Ava, and decided on again living at Rangoon; but he soon heard that there was less hope than ever at Ava.  The king whom he had known was dead, and had been succeeded by a devoted Buddhist, whose brother and heir, “having been prevented from being a lama,” writes Dr. Judson, “poor man! does all that he can.  He descends from his prince-regal seat, pounds and winnows the rice with his own hands, washes and boils it in his own cook-house, and then, on bended knees, presents it to the priests.  This strong pulsation at the heart has thrown fresh blood through the once shrivelled system of the national superstition, and now every one vies with his neighbour in building pagodas and making offerings to the priests.  What can one poor missionary effect, accompanied by his yet speechless wife, and followed by three men and one woman from Moulmein, and summoning to his aid the aged pastor of Rangoon and eight or ten surviving members of the church?”

p. 168The Vice-governor, or Raywoon, was a violent and cruel savage, whose house and court-yard rang with shrieks from the tortured, and the old remnant of Christians were sadly scattered.  When they were collected to worship on Sunday, they durst not either come in or go out in company, and used to arrive with their garments tucked up to look like Coolies, or carrying fruit or parcels, while the Karens crept down from the hills in small parties.  The Governor was friendly, but a weak man, whose authority the Raywoon openly set at defiance; and all sorts of petty annoyances were set in action against the teachers, while the probability that the converts would suffer actual persecution daily increased.  Dr. Judson used to call the present difficulties the Splugen Pass, and illness, of course, added to their troubles.

The great Buddhist fast of the year had never before been imposed on strangers, but now the markets contained nothing but boiled rice, fruit, or decaying fish, and terrible illness was the consequence both with themselves and the children, until some boxes of biscuit arrived from Moulmein, and a Mahometan was bribed to supply fowls.

But the finances of the Society at home were at a low ebb, and it was thought needful to diminish the number of stations.  The intolerance of the Burmese Government led to the decision that there was less benefit in maintaining that at Rangoon than those in the British provinces; and, as Dr. Judson had no private means, he was obliged to obey and return to Moulmein.  Here he had a curious correspondence with the Prince of Siam, whose letter began in his own English: “Venerable sir, having received very often your far-famed qualities, honesty, faithfulness, righteousness, gracefulness, and very kindness to poor nation, &c., from reading the book of your ancient wife’s memoir and journal.” . . . The object of this letter was to ask for some of his Burmese translations, and, in return for them, his Royal Highness sent “a few artificial flowers, two passion flowers, one mognayet or surnamed flower, and three roses manufactured by most celebrated princess the daughter of the late second king or sub-king.”

The Dictionary continued to be Judson’s chief occupation, for his affection of the voice rendered him unable to take charge of a congregation.  He continued to work at it till the November of 1849, when he caught a severe cold, which p. 169brought on an attack of fever, and from that time he never entirely rallied.

One of the last pleasures of his life deserves to be mentioned.  He had always had a strong feeling for the Jews, and had longed to work for their conversion, praying that he might at least do something towards it.  After his last illness had begun, a letter was read to him by his wife, giving an account of a German Jew who had been led, by reading the history of his toils in Burmah in the Gospel cause, to study Christianity and believe.  “Love,” he said presently, his eyes full of tears, “this frightens me.  I do not know what to make of it.”  “What?”  “What you have just been reading.  I never was deeply interested in any object; I never prayed sincerely and fervently for anything, but it came at some time—no matter how distant a day—somehow, in some shape, probably the last I should have devised, it came.  And yet I have always had so little faith.”

After spending a month at Amherst in the vain hope of improvement, a sea-voyage was recommended; but his reluctance was great, for his wife was expecting a second child, and could not go with him.  There are some lines of hers describing her night-watches, so exquisite and descriptive, that we must transcribe them:—

“Sleep, love, sleep!
The dusty day is done.
Lo! from afar the freshening breezes sweep
Wide over groves of balm,
Down from the towering palm,
In at the open casement cooling run;
And round thy lowly bed,
Thy bed of pain,
Bathing thy patient head,
Like grateful showers of rain
They come;
While the white curtains, waving to and fro,
Fan the sick air;
And pityingly the shadows come and go,
With gentle human care,
Compassionate and dumb.
The dusty day is done,
The night begun;
While prayerful watch I keep,
Sleep, love, sleep!
Is there no magic in the touch
Of fingers thou dost love so much?
Fain would they scatter poppies o’er thee now;
p. 170Or, with its mute caress,
The tremulous lip some soft nepenthe press
Upon thy weary lid and aching brow;
While prayerful watch I keep,
Sleep, love, sleep!

On the pagoda spire
The bells are swinging,
Their little golden circlet in a flutter
With tales the wooing winds have dared to utter,
Till all are ringing,
As if a choir
Of golden-nested birds in heaven were singing;
And with a lulling sound
The music floats around,
And drops like balm into the drowsy ear;
Commingling with the hum
Of the Sepoy’s distant drum,
And lazy beetle ever droning near.
Sounds these of deepest silence born,
Like night made visible by morn;
So silent that I sometimes start
To hear the throbbings of my heart,
And watch, with shivering sense of pain,
To see thy pale lids lift again.

The lizard, with his mouse-like eyes,
Peeps from the mortise in surprise
At such strange quiet after day’s hard din;
Then boldly ventures out,
And looks around,
And with his hollow feet
Treads his small evening beat,
Darting upon his prey
In such a tricksy, winsome sort of way,
His delicate marauding seems no sin.
And still the curtains swing,
But noiselessly;
The bells a melancholy murmur ring,
As tears were in the sky:
More heavily the shadows fall,
Like the black foldings of a pall,
Where juts the rough beam from the wall;
The candles flare
With fresher gusts of air;
The beetle’s drone
Turns to a dirge-like, solitary moan;
Night deepens, and I sit, in cheerless doubt, alone.”

In spite of all this tender care, Dr. Judson became so much worse that, as a last resource, a passage was taken for him and p. 171another missionary, named Ramney, on board a French vessel bound for the Isle of Bourbon.  The outset of the voyage was very rough, and this produced such an increase of illness, that his life closed on the 12th of April, 1850, only a fortnight after parting from his wife, though it was not for four months that she could be informed of his loss.  During this time she had given birth to a dead babe, and had suffered fearfully from sorrow and suspense.

She had become valuable enough to the mission for there to be much anxiety to retain her, and at first she thought of remaining; but her health was too much broken, and in a few months she carried home her little girl and her two step-sons.  She collected the family together, and spent her time in the care of them, and in contributing materials for the Life of her husband; but the hereditary disease of her family had already laid its grasp on her, and she died on the 1st of June, 1854, the last of a truly devoted group of workers, as remarkable for their cheerfulness as for their heroism.


Perhaps dying in a cause is the surest way of leading to its success.  Henry Martyn was sinking on his homeward journey, while in England the renewal of the Charter of the East India Company was leading to the renewal of those discussions on the promotion of religion in Hindostan which had been so entirely quashed twenty years before, in 1793.  Claudius Buchanan had published his “Christian Researches,” the Life of Schwartz had become known, the labours of Marshman and Carey were reported, and the Legislature at length attended to the representations, made through Archbishop Manners Sutton, by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, and consented to sanction the establishment of a branch of the Church, with a Bishop to govern it at Calcutta, and an Archdeacon there p. 172and also at Madras and Bombay; the Bishop to have 5,000l. a year but no house, and each Archdeacon 2,000l.  Such was all that the efforts of Wilberforce could wring from the East India Company for a diocese, in length twenty degrees, in breadth ten, and where the inconvenience of distances was infinitely increased by the difficulties and dangers of travelling.

One excuse for the insufficiency of this provision had more weight with the supporters of the Church than we can understand.  England had for more than a thousand years been accustomed to connect temporal grandeur with the Episcopacy; a Bishop not in the House of Lords seemed an anomaly, and it was imagined that to create chief pastors without a considerable endowment would serve to bring them into contempt; whereas to many minds, that very wealth and station was an absolute stumbling-block.  However, a beginning was made, and a year after Henry Martyn’s death, in 1814, the first of the Colonial Bishops of England was appointed, namely, Thomas Fanshaw Middleton, the son of a Derbyshire clergyman, who had been educated at Christ’s Hospital, and Pembroke College, Cambridge, and had since been known as an excellent Greek scholar, and an active clergyman in the diocese of Lincoln.  Thence he removed to the rectory of St. Pancras, London, where he strove hard to accomplish the building of a new church, but could not succeed, such was the dead indifference of the period.  He was also Archdeacon of Huntingdon, and one of a firmly compacted body of friends who were doing much in a resolute though quiet way for the awakening of the nation from its apathy towards religion.  Joshua Watson, a merchant, might be regarded as the lay-manager and leader, as having more leisure, and more habit of business than the clergy, with and for whom he worked.  This is no place for detailing their home labours, but it may be well to mention that to their exertions we owe the National Society for the education of the poor, and likewise that edition of the Holy Scriptures, with notes, which is commonly known as Mant’s Bible.  They were the chief managers at that time of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge; and when, in 1813, a Danish missionary was sent out by that Society to take charge of the congregations left by Schwartz and his colleagues, it was Archdeacon Middleton who was selected to deliver a charge to him.  It was a very powerful and impressive speech, and perhaps p. 173occasioned Dr. Tomline, Bishop of Lincoln, to recommend the speaker to the Earl of Buckinghamshire for the bishopric created the next year.

The office would be, humanly speaking, most trying, laborious and perplexing, and neither Archdeacon Middleton’s age (forty-five) nor his habits inclined to enthusiasm.  He shrank from it at first, then “suspected,” as he says, “that I had yielded to some unmanly considerations,” and decided that it was his duty to accept the charge as a call from his Master.  He was consecrated in the chapel at Lambeth, by Archbishop Manners Sutton, with the Bishops of London, Lincoln, and Salisbury assisting.  The sermon was preached by Dr. Rennell, Dean of Winchester, but was withheld from publication for the strange reason that there was so strong an aversion to the establishment of episcopacy in India, that it was thought better not to attract attention to the fact that had just been accomplished.

Bishop Middleton, his wife, and two of his Archdeacons (the third was already in India) sailed on the 8th of June, 1814, and they landed at Calcutta on the 28th of November.  There was no public reception, for fear of alarming the natives, though, on the other hand, they were found to entertain a better opinion of the English on finding they respected their own religion.  The difficulties of the Bishop’s arrival were increased by the absence of Lord Moira, the Governor-General, who was engaged in the Nepaulese war; and as no house had been provided for the Bishop, he had to be the guest of Mr. Seton, a member of the Council, till a house could be procured, at a high rent.

One of the first visitors was a Hindoo gentleman, who told him, “Sir William Jones was a great man and understood our books, but he attended only to our law.  Your lordship will study our religion; your people mistake our religion; it is not in our books.  The Brahminee religion and your lordship’s are the same; we mean the same thing.”

The man seems to have been one of those of whom there are now only too many in India, who have thrown off their old superstitions only to believe in nothing, save the existence of a Supreme Being, and who fancy that all other religions can be simplified into the like.  This is the class that has, for the seventy years during which Christianity has been preached in earnest, been the alternate hope and anxiety of the missionary; intellectually renouncing their own paganism, but withheld by p. 174the prejudices of their families from giving up the heathenish customs of caste; admiring divine morality, but not perceiving the inability of man to attain the standard; and refusing to accept the mysteries in the supernatural portion of Revelation.  Such was probably Serfojee; such was the celebrated Brahmin Ram Mohun Roy, with whom Bishop Middleton had much discussion, and of whom he had at one time many hopes, a man of very remarkable powers of mind and clear practical intelligence.  Roy’s endeavour at first was to purify the native forms of religion, and, recurring to the Vedas, to find a high philosophy in them; but he and the friends he gathered round him soon became convinced that these contained no system of reasonable theology, still less of morality, and they then constructed for themselves a theory culled from Christianity, but rejecting whatever did not approve itself to their intellect, in especial the holy mysteries regarding the nature of the Godhead and the Incarnation of our Lord.  This teaching, called Brahmoism, from Brahma, the purest and highest of Hindoo divinities, is, under another form, the Neo-Platonism of the Greeks, or the Soofeeism of the Persians.  There was even the germ of it in the grotesque medicine-man encountered by David Brainerd.  It is the form of opposition which the spirit of evil always stirs up, wherever the natural character is elevated enough to appreciate the beauty of Christian morality.  It only prevails where there are refined and cultivated men, afraid of all belief in the supernatural, as a humbling of their intellect to superstition; and just at present a form of it is very prevalent in India, owing to the amount of education which the natives receive, which uproots the old belief, but does not always implant the new.  Whether it will become a stepping-stone to Christianity, or whether it has substance to become a separate sect, remains to be proved.

To return to Bishop Middleton.  He knew when he left home that his work would be heavy, and that to set in order the things that were wanting must be his first undertaking; but no words could have conveyed the dead weight of care and toil that lay on him.  The huge diocese was shamefully deficient in all that was needful for the keeping up of religious ordinances; the Company’s chaplains, few in number, were stationed at immense distances apart, and for the most part had no attempt at a proper church for their congregations.  Verandahs or p. 175dining-rooms were used on Sundays; and at Meerut, an edifice was actually built for the purpose of a riding-school in the week, and a place of worship on Sunday.  Moreover, these chaplains were accustomed to look to the Governor-General as their only superior, and, living so far apart, each followed his own independent line of action, as if entirely unaccountable.  Some, such as Mr. Corrie at Cawnpore, were admirable and earnest men; but Henry Martyn’s successor at Dinapore had let the place sink into a lamentable state, and there were several chaplains who greatly resented the being brought under authority.  The brunt of the battle fell of course upon the first Bishop, and being a man as sensitive as he was firm, it tried him severely.  His entreaty was constantly for more men; and in order to obtain a ministry beyond that which the East India Company would provide for, he occupied himself in procuring the foundation of Bishop’s College, close to Calcutta, a seminary where young men, both European and native, could receive a good theological and classical education, and be prepared for Holy Orders.  The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge granted 5,000l. for the purpose, and private subscriptions came in, until on the 15th of December, 1820, the Bishop was enabled to lay the foundation-stone of an institution that has, now for half a century, admirably answered its purpose.

It has long been found that Christianity cannot take root without a native ministry, and Bishop Middleton was most anxious to ordain such catechists of Schwartz’s training as were ready; but he found great technical difficulties in the way, since the ordination form in the Prayer Book left no opening for persons who, not being British subjects, could not be expected to take the oaths of allegiance and supremacy; and, moreover, it was not certain what language ought to be used with men not speaking English.  The arrangement of these difficulties hindered him from ordaining Christian David, the godson and pupil of Schwartz, and a subject of Tanjore, on his visitation to the Presidency.  This good man met him, together with the minister of Palamcotta, bringing a deputation about thirty in number.  The minister was an exceedingly dark man, with a very interesting countenance.  Addresses, interpreted by Christian, were made on either side, and the thirty sang a psalm of thanksgiving in Tamul.  They were only a small deputation, for there were several Christian villages in Tinnevelly, p. 176with churches built of unburnt brick, and roofed with palmyra leaves, where the English Liturgy was used, having been translated into Tamul by David.

At Tanjore, the Bishop was received in the most friendly manner by Serfojee, who came down from his throne to welcome him, and caused Mrs. Middleton to be conducted to visit the ladies of his zenana.  He conducted the Bishop into his library, which contained books in various European languages; also on medicine and anatomy, this being his favourite study, to assist him in which he had an ivory skeleton.  He returned the visit in great state, with six elephants, two of enormous size, going before him, and accompanied by his troops, with a wild, horrid dissonance of cannon and native music.  Two thousand persons escorted the Rajah to the Bishop’s tent, where he conversed very sensibly on various subjects, especially English history, or as he called it, “the Generations of English Kings.”  He was keeping up the good works he had established, under the encouragement of the British resident, Colonel Blackburne, and in this district the native Christians numbered about 500, who were under the direction of Schwartz’s companion, Pohlé.

On the Malabar coast Bishop Middleton had much intercourse with the Christians of St. Thomas, visited their churches, and held much conversation with their Bishop, convincing himself that the distinctive tenets of Nestorianism had died out among them, and arranging for their receiving assistance in books and teachers.

His visit to Ceylon followed, and was always regarded by him as a time of much gratification; the good Governor, Sir Robert Brownrigg, had done so much for the improvement of the people, and the missions were flourishing so well.  Here Christian David became a catechist, and on the Bishop’s second visitation, in 1821, he ordained as deacon a man named Armour, whose history one longs to know more fully.  He had come out to Ceylon originally as a private soldier, and finding a number of natives, probably the remnant of the Dutch Mission, whose profession of Christianity was only nominal, he had taken upon himself “almost the work of an evangelist,” never varying from the teaching and services of the English Church.  He had taught himself to speak and preach fluently in Cingalese, and could use the Dutch and Portuguese languages freely.  He had p. 177even some knowledge of Latin and Greek, and was so staunch Churchman that he had resisted all invitations from the Baptists to join them.  He had gone through frightful difficulties and dangers in the swamp and the jungle, and travelled thousands of miles; and when he came to the Bishop it was with deep humility, and the hope that he had not been presumptuous in taking on himself the charge of souls without sanction.  It was his great desire to obtain this commission, and the Bishop, finding how sound in faith, pious, and excellent he was, admitted him to deacon’s orders before leaving Colombo.

Ceylon was erected into an archdeaconry and attached to the Bishopric of Calcutta, and shortly after the same arrangement was made respecting Australia—an archdeaconry a great deal larger than the continent of Europe!  Thence Bishop Middleton received and attended to the petition of the Rev. Samuel Marsden, a devoted worker in the vineyard, of whom our next chapter will speak.

Distinct missionary labour was scarcely possible to a man overtasked like Bishop Middleton.  The district that kept St. Paul in continual “journeyings often” would have been but a quarter of that which depended on him for “the care of all the churches,” and the long journeys by sea and land were by far the least harassing part of his life; for he had to fight the battles, sometimes of his Church, sometimes of the whole Christian cause, with unfair and prejudiced officials, and a malignant newspaper press, by which the bitterest attacks were circulated against him and his doings.  And, “besides those things that were without,” there were the troubles of dealing with men used to do “that which was right in their own eyes,” and determined to oppose or neglect one whose powers could only thoroughly be defined by actual practice.  To go into these conflicts would be wearisome and vain.  They have lost their interest now; but it must be remembered that it is by manfully and firmly enduring vexations such as these, that systems are established which form the framework and foundation of more visible labours, which gain more praise for those who are allowed to carry them out.

The constant wearing effort, the daily vexation, the inability to gain support, the binding of his hands from free action by the machinery of State regulations only applicable to home p. 178ecclesiastics, the continual making beginnings that never were allowed to progress—or, as he himself called it, the continual rolling of the stone of Sisyphus—could not but exhaust his powers, above all in such a climate; and that same sickly summer of 1822 which proved fatal to Felix Carey was his last.  In July, one of his clergy, on whom he had been obliged to pass censure, instituted proceedings against him in the Supreme Court—a most improper and disloyal act, which much grieved and agitated him.  He had to spend eight hours in writing in preparation for this painful matter, and afterwards went out in the carriage with his wife, but too early in the evening, for the slanting rays of the sun, not yet down, fell full on him, and their force is always especially dreaded at that damp and sickly season.  He immediately said that the sun had struck him, and returned home; a most distressing fever, chiefly on the nerves, and accompanied by grievous restlessness and afterwards delirium, set in, and he died on the 8th of July, 1822, in his fifty-fourth year, absolutely worn out by toil and worry.  But his career had established both the needfulness and the position of a Bishop, and his successor was appointed without the same opposition, still to a path perhaps only less thorny because briefer.

Of a Yorkshire family, where the eldest son was always bred up as the country gentleman, the younger ones usually prepared to hold the family livings, Reginald Heber was born on the 21st of April, 1783, at Malpas, in Cheshire, a rectory held by his father, who was the clerical second son, but soon after became head of the house by the death of his squire-brother.  He was twice married, and had a son by his first wife, so that Reginald was born, as it were, to the prospect of taking Holy Orders; and this fact seems to have in a certain degree coloured his whole boyhood, and acted as a consecration, not saddening, but brightening his life.

A happy, eager, docile childhood seems to have been his; so obedient, that when an attack on the lungs necessitated the use of very painful remedies, the physician said that the chances of his recovery turned upon his being the most tractable of children; and with such a love and knowledge of the Bible that, when only five years old, his father could consult him like a little Concordance, and withal full of boyish mirth and daring.  When sent to school at Neasdon, he was so excited by the story p. 179of an African traveller overawing a wild bull by the calm defiance of the eye, as to attempt the like process upon one that he found grazing in a field, but without the like success; for he provoked so furious a charge that he was forced to escape ignominiously over a high paling, whence he descended into a muddy pond.

Neasdon was the place of education of his whole boyhood, among twelve other pupils.  Mr. John Thornton, the schoolfellow friend and correspondent of his life, describes him as having been much beloved there.  He had no scruple as to fighting rather than submitting to tyranny from a bigger boy, but his unfailing good nature and unselfishness generally prevented such collisions; he was full of fun, and excellent at games of all sorts; and though at one time evil talk was prevalent among the boys, his perfect purity of mind and power of creating innocent amusement destroyed the habit, without estranging the other lads from him.  He took many of his stories from books not read by them, for he was an omnivorous reader, taking special delight in poetry, loving nothing better than a solitary walk with Spenser’s “Faërie Queen” in his hand, and often himself composing verses above the average for so young a boy.

He was always thoughtful, and there is a letter of his to his friend Thornton, written when only seventeen, which shows that he had begun to think over Church questions, was deeply sensible of the sacredness of the apostolical commission to the ministry, and of the evils of State interference.  That same year, 1800, began his University education, at Brasenose College, Oxford.  His course there was alike blameless in life and brilliant in scholarship; his talents and industry could not fail to secure him honours in the schools.

Another young man was at the very same time at Oxford, whose course had been steered thither with more difficulties than Reginald Heber’s.  Daniel Wilson’s father was a wealthy silk manufacturer, at Spitalfields, where he was born in the year 1778.  He was educated at a private school at Hackney, kept by a clergyman named Eyre, who must have had a good deal of discernment of character, for he said, “There is no milk and water in that boy.  He will be either something very bad or very good.”  One day, when he was in an obstinate and impracticable state of idleness, Mr. Eyre said, “Daniel, you are p. 180not worth flogging, or I would flog you,” which so stung him that he never fell into similar disgrace again; nay, one morning when he had failed in his appointed task, he refused food saying, “No!  If my head will not work, my body shall not eat.”  He had considerable powers, and when his own theme on a given subject was finished, would find “sense” for all the dull boys—varying the matter but keeping to the point in all: but his education ceased at fourteen, when he was bound apprentice to his uncle, who followed the same trade as his father, and lived in Cheapside.  He was a widower with seven children, one of whom in after years became Daniel’s wife.  It was a strictly religious household, and whereas Daniel’s parents had been wont to attend church or meeting as suited them best, his uncle was a regular churchman, and took his whole family constantly with him, as decidedly as he kept up discipline in his warehouse, where the young men had so little liberty, that for weeks together they never had occasion to put on their hats except on Sunday.

Daniel was a thoughtless, irreverent lad, full of schoolboy restlessness when first he came; but though he was at first remarkable for his ill-behaviour in church, his attendance insensibly took effect upon him, as it brought his mind under the influence of the two chief powers for good then in London, John Newton and Richard Cecil.  The vehement struggle for conversion and sense of individual salvation that their teaching deemed the beginning of grace took place, and he turned for aid to them and to his old schoolmaster, Mr. Eyre.  It was from his hands in 1797, at the age of nineteen, that he received his first Communion, with so much emotion and such trembling, that he writes to his mother, “I have no doubt I appeared very foolish to those about me,” but he adds in another letter to a friend that it had been the happiest day of his life.  “And to you I confess it,” he says, “(though it ought perhaps to be a cause for shame,) that I have felt great desire to go or do anything for the love of Jesus, and that I have even wished, if it were the Lord’s will, to go as a missionary to foreign lands.”

It is very remarkable that this thought should have occurred at such a moment to one who only became a missionary thirty-five years later, at a summons from without, not from within.  The distinct mission impulse passed away, but a strong desire p. 181remained to devote himself to the ministry of the Church.  He tried to stifle it at first, lest it should be a form of conceit or pride; but it only grew upon him, and at last he spoke to Mr. Eyre, who promised to broach the subject to his parents.

His father was strongly averse to it, as an overthrow to all his plans, and Mr. Eyre, after hearing both sides, said that he should give no opinion for a year; it would not hurt Daniel to remain another year in the warehouse, to fulfil the term of his apprenticeship, and it would then be proper time to decide whether to press his father to change his mind.  It was a very sore trial to the young man, who had many reasons for deeming this sheer waste of time, though he owned he had not lost much of his school learning, having always loved it so much as to read as much Latin as he could in his leisure hours.  He submitted at first, but was uneasy under his submission, and asked counsel from all the clergymen he revered, who seem all to have advised him to be patient, but to have urged his father to yield, which he finally did before the year was out; so that Daniel Wilson was entered at St. Edmund’s Hall, Oxford, on the 1st of May, 1798.  He struggled with the eagerness of one whose desire had grown by meeting with obstacles.  In order to acquire a good Latin style, he translated all Cicero’s letters into English, and then back into Latin; and when he went up for his degree, he took, besides his Latin and Greek books, the whole Hebrew Bible, but was only examined in the Psalms.  He gained a triumphant first-class, and the next year, 1803, he carried off the English prose essay prize.  The theme was “Common Sense.”  He had not in the least expected to gain the prize, and had not even mentioned the competition to his friends, so that their delight and surprise were equal.  That same year, Reginald Heber was happy in the subject for Sir Roger Newdegate’s prize for English verse, namely, “Palestine,” which in this case had fallen to a poet too real to be crushed by the greatness of his subject.

Reginald Heber was used to society of high talent and cultivation.  His elder brother, Richard, was an elegant scholar and antiquary, and was intimate with Mr. Marriott, of Rokeby; with Mr. Surtees, the beauty of whose forged ballads almost makes us forgive him for having palmed them off as genuine; and with Walter Scott, then chiefly known as “the compiler of the ‘Border Minstrelsy,’” but who a few years later immortalized his p. 182friendship for Richard Heber by the sixth of his introductions to “Marmion,”—the best known, as it contains the description of the Christmas of the olden time.  It concludes with the wish—

“Adieu, dear Heber, life and health!
And store of literary wealth.”

Just as Reginald was finishing his prize poem, Scott was on a tour through England, and breakfasted at Richard Heber’s rooms at Oxford, when on the way to lionize Blenheim.  The young brother’s poem was brought forward and read aloud, and Scott’s opinion was anxiously looked for.  It was thoroughly favourable, “but,” said Scott, “you have missed one striking circumstance in your account of the building of the Temple, that no tools were used in its erection.”

Before the party broke up the lines had been added:

“No workman’s steel, no ponderous axes rung;
Like some tall palm the noiseless fabric sprung;
Majestic silence—”

The prose essay on “Common Sense” was first recited from the rostrum in the Sheldonian theatre, and Wilson always remembered the hearty applause of the young man who sat waiting his turn.  But the effect of the recitation of “Palestine” was entirely unrivalled on that as on any other occasion.  Reginald Heber,—a graceful, fine-looking, rather pale young man of twenty,—with his younger brother Thomas beside him as prompter, stood in the rostrum, and commenced in a clear, beautiful, melancholy voice, with perfect declamation, which overcame all the stir and tumultuous restlessness of the audience by the power and sweetness of words and action:

“Reft of thy sons, amid thy foes forlorn,
Mourn, widow’d queen; forgotten Zion, mourn.
Is this thy place, sad city, this thy throne,
Where the wild desert rears its craggy stone;
While suns unblest their angry lustre fling,
And wayworn pilgrims seek the scanty spring?”

On flowed the harmonious lines, looking back to the call of the Chosen, the victory of Joshua, the glory of Solomon, the hidden glory of the Greater than Solomon, the crime of crimes, the destruction, the renewal by the Empress Helena, the Crusades, and after a tribute (excusable at the time of excitement) to Sir p. 183Sidney Smith’s defence of Acre, gradually rising to a magnificent description of the heavenly Jerusalem.

“Ten thousand harps attune the mystic throng,
Ten thousand thousand saints the strain prolong.
‘Worthy the Lamb, omnipotent to save!
Who died, Who lives triumphant o’er the grave.”

The enthusiasm, the hush, the feeling, the acclamations have ever since been remembered at Oxford as unequalled.  Heber’s parents were both present, and his mother, repairing at once in her joy to his rooms, found him kneeling by his bedside, laying the burthen of honour and success upon his God.  His father, recently recovered from illness, was so overcome and shaken by the pressure of the throng and the thunder of applause as never entirely to recover the fatigue, and he died eight months later, early in 1804.

The two youths who were in juxtaposition at the rostrum were not to meet again.  Daniel Wilson was ordained to the curacy of Chobham, under Mr. Cecil, an excellent master for impressing hard study on his curates.  He writes: “What should a young minister do?  His office says, ‘Go to your books, go to retirement, go to prayer.’  ‘No,’ says the enthusiast, ‘go to preach, go and be a witness.’”

“‘A witness of what?’

“‘He don’t know!’”

While Wilson worked under Cecil, Heber, who was still too young for the family living of Hodnet, in Shropshire, after taking his bachelor’s degree, obtaining a fellowship at All Souls College, and gaining the prize for the prose essay, accompanied John Thornton on a tour through northern and eastern Europe, the only portions then accessible to the traveller; and, returning in 1806, was welcomed at home by his brother’s tenants with a banquet, for which three sheep were slaughtered, and at which he appeared in the red coat of the volunteer regiment in which he had taken an eager share during former years.

It was his last appearance in a military character, for in 1807 he was ordained, and entered on his duties as Rector of Hodnet.  Two years later he married Amelia Shipley, the daughter of the Dean of St. Asaph.  Floating thus easily into preferment, without a shoal or rock in his course, fairly wealthy, and belonging to a well-esteemed county family, connected through his brother with the very élite of literary society, it seemed as p. 184though, in the laxity of the early part of the century, Reginald Heber could hardly have helped falling into the indolence of learned ease, the peril of the well-beneficed clergy of his day, especially among those who had not accepted the peculiarities of the awakening school of the period.

But such was not the case.  He was at once an earnest parish priest, working hard to win his people, not only to attend at church, but to become regular communicants, and to give up their prevalent evil courses.  We find him in one letter mentioning the writing of an article on Pindar in the Quarterly Review, planning for a village-school on the Lancastrian principle, and endeavouring to improve the psalmody.  “At least,” he says, “I have a better reason to plead for silence than the Cambridge man who, on being asked in what pursuit he was then engaged, replied that he was diligently employed in suffering his hair to grow.”

These “endeavours to improve the psalmody” were a forestalling of the victory over the version of Tate and Brady.  The Olney Hymns, produced by Cowper, under the guidance of John Newton, had been introduced by Heber on his first arrival in the parish, but he felt the lack of something more thoroughly in accordance with the course of the Christian year, less personal and meditative, and more congregational.  Therefore he produced by degrees a series of hymns, which he described as designed to be sung between the Nicene Creed and the Sermon, and to be connected in some degree with the Collects and Gospels for the day.  Thus he was the real originator in England of the great system of appropriate hymnology, which has become almost universal, and many of his own are among the most beautiful voices of praise our Church possesses.  We would instance Nos. 135 and 263 in “Hymns Ancient and Modern,”—that for the 21st Sunday after Trinity, a magnificent Christian battle-song; and that for Innocents’ Day, an imitation of the old Latin hymn “Salvete flores Martyrum.”  They were put together, with others by Dean Milman and a few more, into a little volume, which Heber requested Dr. Howley, then Bishop of London, to lay before the Archbishop, that it might be recommended for use in churches, but the timidity of the time prevented this from being carried into effect.

A deep student of church history, his letters show him trying every practical question by the tests of ancient authority as well as instructive piety, and, on these principles, already deploring p. 185the undue elevation of the pulpit and debasement of the Altar to which exclusive preference of preaching had led.  Missions had, since the days of Carey’s first opening of the subject become so predominant a thought with the Nonconformist bodies, and were often conducted so irregularly, that there was certain dread and distrust of them among the sober-minded and orthodox; but Heber was one of the first English churchmen who perceived that to enlarge her borders and strengthen her stakes was the bounden duty of the living Church.  He was a fervent admirer of Henry Martyn, whose biography was published soon after the news of his death reached England, and his feeling found vent in that hymn so familiar to us all—“From Greenland’s icy mountains.”

He was meantime rising in influence and station,—Canon of St. Asaph, Preacher at Lincoln’s Inn, Select Preacher before the University.  He was beloved by all ranks: by the poor for his boundless charity and sympathy; and by his equals, not only for these qualities, but for his sunny temper, bright wit, and playfulness, which showed in his conversation, his letters, and in many a droll, elegant, and scholarly jeu d’esprit, thrown off by a mind that could do nothing without gracefulness.  All this prosperity was alloyed only by such domestic sorrow as might be fitly termed gentle chastening.  The death of his next brother, Thomas, who had acted as his curate, was a severe loss to him; and in the desire to make every affliction a stepping-stone in Christian progress, he began, from that date, a custom of composing a short collect-like prayer, veiled in Latin, on every marked occurrence in his life.  The next occasion was, after several years of marriage, the birth of a little daughter, whom (in his own words) “he had the pleasure of seeing and caressing for six months,” ere she faded away, and died just before the Christmas of 1817.  He never could speak of her without tears, and (his wife tells us) ever after added to his private prayers a petition to be worthy to rejoin his “sinless child.”  His grief and his faith further found voice in the hymn, each verse of which begins with “Thou art gone to the grave, but we will not deplore thee,” and which finishes—

“Thou art gone to the grave, but we will not deplore thee,
   Whose God was thy ransom, thy Guardian and Guide.
He gave thee, He took thee, and He will restore thee,
   And death has no sting, for the Saviour has died.”

p. 186Such had been the training of Reginald Heber, through the pleasant paths of successful scholarship and literature, and of well-beneficed country pastorship; a life perilous to spirituality and earnestness, but which he kept full of the salt of piety, charity and unwearied activity as parish priest, and as one of the voices of the Church.  Such had been his life up to 1822, when, on the tidings of the death of Dr. Middleton, Bishop of Calcutta, his friend Charles Williams Wynn, President of the Board of Commissioners for the affairs of India, offered him the appointment.

To a man of his present position, talents, and prospects at home, the preferment was not advantageous: the income, with the heavy attendant expenses, would very little increase his means; the promotion threw him out of the chances of the like at home; and the labour and toil of the half-constituted and enormous diocese, the needful struggles with English irreligion and native heathenism, and the perils of climate, offered a trying exchange for all that had made life delightful at Hodnet Rectory.  A second little daughter too, whom he could not of course look to educating in India, rendered the decision more trying.  But in his own peculiarly calm and simple way, he wrote: “I really should not think myself justified in declining a situation of so great usefulness, and for which, without vanity, I think myself not ill adapted, either from a love for the society and friendship of England, or from a hope, which may never be realized, of being some time or other in a situation of more importance at home.”  At first, however, the fear for the child’s health induced him to decline, but only if anyone else equally suitable could be found; and finally he accepted it, with apparent coolness, veiling the deep spirit of zeal and enthusiasm that glowed within.  It was not the ardent vehemence that enables some to follow their inward call, overcoming all obstacles, but it was calm obedience to a call from without.  “After all,” he wrote, “I hope I am not enthusiastic in thinking that a clergyman is, like a soldier or a sailor, bound to go on any service, however remote or undesirable, where the course of his duty leads him, and my destiny (though there are some circumstances attending it which make my heart ache) has many, very many, advantages in an extended sphere of professional activity, in the indulgence of literary curiosity, and, what to me has many charms, the opportunity of seeing nature in some of its wildest and most majestic features.”

p. 187In the spring of 1823, he took leave of Hodnet, amid the tears of his parishioners; and on the 18th of May preached his last sermon in Lincoln’s Inn chapel, on the Atonement.  On coming out, one of the most leading men among the Wesleyan Methodists could only express his feelings by exclaiming, “Thank God for that man!  Thank God for that man!”

It is striking to find him in the full pressure of business, while preparing in London for his consecration and his voyage, making time for a letter to one of the Hodnet farmers, to warn him against habits of drunkenness, hoping that it would dwell with him “as a voice from the dead.”  On the 1st of June, 1823, Reginald Heber was consecrated at Lambeth, and on the 10th sailed for India!  He made several sketches along the southern coast, under one of which he wrote:—

“And we must have danger, and fever, and pain,
Ere we look on the white rocks of Albion again.”

A few days later, when passing the western coast of France on a Sunday, the sound of the bells suggested the following meditative verses:—

“Bounding along the obedient surges,
   Cheerly on her onward way,
Her course the gallant vessel urges
   Across thy stormy gulf, Biscay.
In the sun the bright waves glisten;
   Rising slow with solemn swell,
Hark, hark, what sound unwonted?  Listen—
   Listen—’tis the Sabbath bell.

It tells of ties which duties sever,
   Of hearts so fondly knit to thee,
Kind hands, kind looks, which, wanderer, never
   Thy hand shall grasp, thine eye shall see.
It tells of home and all its pleasures,
   Of scenes where memory loves to dwell,
And bids thee count thy heart’s best treasures
   Far, far away, that Sabbath bell.

Listen again!  Thy wounded spirit
   Shall soar from earth and seek above
That kingdom which the blest inherit,
   The mansions of eternal love.
Earth and her lowly cares forsaking,
   Bemoaned too keenly, loved too well,
To faith and hope thy soul awaking,
   Thou hear’st with joy that Sabbath bell.”

p. 188By the 28th of September, the vessel was in sight of the Temple of Jaghernauth, and on the 3rd of October was anchored close to the island of Saugor.

All through his voyage and residence in India, the Bishop kept a journal of the doings and scenes of each day, full of interesting sketches, both in pen and pencil.  The beauty of the villages on the Hooghly, “the greenhouse-like smell and temperature of the atmosphere,” and the gentle countenances and manners of the natives, struck him greatly, as he says, “with a very solemn and earnest wish that I might in some degree, however small, be enabled to conduce to the spiritual advantage of creatures so goodly, so gentle, and now so misled and blinded.  ‘Angili forent si essent Christiani.’”

On the 10th of October the Heber family entered their temporary abode in the Fort at Calcutta, and were received by two Sepoy sentries and a long train of servants in cotton dresses and turbans, one of them with a long silver stick, another with a mace.  There, too, were assembled the neighbouring clergy—alas! far too few—and the next day the Bishop was installed in his cathedral.

Then began a life of very severe labour, for not only had the arrears of episcopal business after the interregnum to be made up, but the deficiency of clergy rendered the Sunday duties very heavy; and the Bishop took as full a share of them as any working parish priest; and even though he authorized the Church Missionary Society’s teachers to read prayers and to preach, the lack of sufficient ministrations was great.  Bishop’s College had, however, been completed, and what Middleton had founded was opened by Heber, with the happiest effect, which has lasted to the present time.

The difficulties as to the form of ordination of such as were not British subjects had also been overcome, and Christian David was to be sent up from Ceylon in company with Mr. Armour, who was to receive Priest’s orders.  The latter excellent man died just before he was to set off, and this delayed David until the next spring, when he came to Calcutta, was lodged in Bishop’s College, passed an excellent examination, and was ordained deacon on Holy Thursday, 1824, and priest on the ensuing Trinity Sunday.  He is memorable as the first man of the dark-skinned races admitted by the Church of England to her ministry.  An excellent and well-expressed letter p. 189from him, on the difficulties respecting the distinctions of caste, is given in Bishop Heber’s Life.  This, indeed, was one of the greatest troubles in dealing with converts.  The Serampore missionaries had striven to destroy it, but Ziegenbalg, Schwartz, and their elder companions, regarded it as a distinction of society—not religious—and, though discouraging it, had not so opposed it as to insist on high and low castes mingling indiscriminately in church or at meals.  The younger men who had since come out had been scandalized, and tried to make a change, which had led to much heartburning.

Next to his hymns, Bishop Heber is best known by the journal he kept of his visitation tour, not intended for publication but containing so much of vivid description of scenery and manners, that it forms a valuable picture of the condition of Hindostan as it then was.

His first stage, in barges along the Ganges, brought him to Dacca, where he was delayed by the illness and death of his much esteemed and beloved chaplain.  He then went on to Bhaugulpore, where he was much interested in a wild tribe called the Puharries, who inhabit the Rajmahal hills, remnants of the aborigines of India.  They carried bows and arrows, lived by the chase, and were viewed as great marauders; but they had a primitive faith, free from idolatry, hated falsehood, and, having no observance of caste and a great respect for Europeans, seemed promising objects for a mission; but unfortunately the climate of their mountains was so injurious to European life, that the clergyman, Mr. Thomas Christian, a scholar of Bishop’s College, whom the Bishop appointed to this mission, was only able to spend three months in the hills in the course of the year, while for the other nine he took the children under his instruction back with him to Bhaugulpore.

At Bankipore, the Bishop met Padre Giulio Cesare, still a remarkably handsome and intelligent-looking little man, and speaking warmly of Henry Martyn.  Dinapore, that first station of Martyn’s, had since his time fallen into a very unsatisfactory state, owing to the carelessness of his successor, though it was newly come into better hands.

On the contrary, at Buxar, the Fort-adjutant, Captain Field, had so influenced all around, though without a chaplain, that, though the Bishop could not give the place a Sunday, his Saturday evening service in the verandah was thronged, the English p. 190soldiers coming with Prayer-books and making the responses, besides numerous Hindoos, many of them the Christian wives and children of the soldiers.  There was a boys’ school kept by a converted Mahometan, and one for girls by “Mrs. Simpson,” a native of Agra, converted by Mr. Corrie, and the widow of a sergeant.  She, however, got no scholars but the half-caste daughters of the soldiers.  A little boy of four years old, son to an English sergeant with a native wife, was baptized, and the Bishop was delighted with the reverent devotion of the spectators.  Cureem Musseh, once a Sepoy havildar, had his sword and sash hung over the desk, where, in a clean white cotton dress and turban, he presided over his scholars, whom he had taught to read Hindostanee, and to say the Creed, Lord’s Prayer, and Commandments, with a short exposition of each.  The school served them likewise to hold prayer-meetings in, and, on rare occasions, a clergyman visited them.

The Bishop’s entrance into the sacred city of Benares he describes to his wife thus: “I will endeavour to give you an account of the concert, vocal and instrumental, which saluted us as we entered the town:—

First beggar.—Agha Sahib!  Judge Sahib, Burra Sahib, give me some pice; I am a fakir; I am a priest; I am dying of hunger!

Bearers trotting under the tonjon.—Ugh! ugh!—Ugh! ugh!

Musicians.—Tingle, tangle; tingle, tangle; bray, bray, bray.

Chuprassee, clearing the way with his sheathed sabre.—Silence!  Room for the Lord Judge, the Lord Priest.  Get out of the way!  Quick!  (Then gently patting and stroking the broad back of a Brahmin bull.)  Oh, good man, move.

Bull, scarcely moving.—Bu-u-uh.

Second beggar, counting his beads, rolling his eyes, and moving his body backwards and forwards.—Ram, ram; ram, ram!”

Benares, said to be founded on the point of Siva’s trident, as the most sacred city of all Hindostan, swarmed with beggars, fakirs, sacred animals, and idols of every description; but close beside it was a church for consecration and thirty candidates for confirmation, of whom fourteen were natives.  The next day the Bishop was taken to see a school founded by a rich Bengalee baboo, whom Mr. Corrie had almost persuaded to be p. 191a Christian, but who had settled down into a sort of general admiration for the beauty of the Gospel, and a wish to improve his countrymen.  He had made over the house where the school was kept to the Church Missionary Society, and the staff consisted of an English schoolmaster, a Persian moonshee, and two Hindostanee writing masters, the whole presided over by an English catechist, a candidate for Holy Orders.  There were several class rooms, and a large, lofty hall, supported by pillars, where the Bishop examined the 140, who read Persian and English, answered questions in Hindostanee and English, and showed great proficiency in writing, arithmetic, and geography.  No objection was made to their reading the New Testament.

Afterwards, when the Bishop looked into a little pagoda, richly carved, and containing an image of Siva, crowned with scarlet flowers, with lamps burning before him, and a painted bull in front, a little boy, one of the brightest scholars in the school, came forward, and showing his Brahminical string, told, in tolerable English, the histories of the deities with which the walls were painted.  “This,” says the Bishop, “opened my eyes more fully to a danger which had before struck me as possible, that some of the boys brought up in our schools might grow up accomplished hypocrites, playing the part of Christian with us, and with their own people of zealous followers of Brahma, or else that they would settle down in a sort of compromise between the two creeds, allowing that Christianity was the best for us, but that idolatry was necessary and commendable in persons of their own nation.”  This in fact seems to have been ever since the state of a large proportion of the educated Hindoos.  May it be only a transition state!

The street preaching employed by the Serampore community had not been resorted to by the Church Missionary Society, and Bishop Heber decided that in the fanatic population, amid the crowds of bulls, beggars, and sacred apes, it was far wiser not to attempt it; but the missionaries were often sent for to private houses to converse with natives of rank, on their doctrine.  One notable Hindoo, Amrut Row, who had at one time been Peishwa of the Mahrattas, who had retired to Benares, used on the feast of his patron god to give a portion of rice and a rupee to every Brahmin and blind or lame person who applied between sunrise and sunset.  He had a large garden with four gates, three of which were set open for the three classes of p. 192applicants; the fourth served himself and his servants.  As each person received his dole, he was shown into the garden, and detained there to prevent his applying twice, but there he enjoyed plenty of shade, water, company, and idols!  This day’s distribution often amounted to above 50,000 rupees, and his charities altogether were three times as great in the course of every year.  He was a good kind man, religious to the best of his knowledge; and just before the Bishop’s visit, he had sent a message to Mr. Morris, the clergyman at Sealcote, to call on him in the middle of the next week as he wished to inquire further into Christianity.  Alas! before the appointed day Amrut Row was dead, and his ashes were still smoking when the Bishop quitted Benares.

What had become of Henry Martyn’s church does not appear, for at Cawnpore he found none, but service was alternately performed in a bungalow and in the riding-school.  He went as far north as Oude, and found at Chinear a much larger native congregation than he expected, though the women still retained so much of Eastern customs that they would not even raise their veils when receiving the Holy Communion.  Almost all were the converts of the excellent Mr. Corrie, Henry Martyn’s friend.

Arriving at Surat, after a journey of ten months, he there embarked for Bombay, where his wife and eldest child came from Calcutta, by sea, to meet him, and thence, after a stay in Ceylon for some weeks, returned to Calcutta, where, in December, he ordained Abdul Messeh, the man who had been won by Henry Martyn’s garden preachings.  It was a very remarkable ordination, for Father Abraham, the Armenian Suffragan from the Patriarch of Jerusalem, was present, in the black robes of his convent, and laid his hand on the heads of the candidates, and the service was in Hindostanee, whenever Abdul Messeh was individually concerned.  Abdul Messeh was a most valuable worker among his countrymen, but he only survived about eighteen months.

In his last letter to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, the Bishop records the reception into Bishop’s College of Mesrop David, the kinsman of the Armenian Bishop and already a deacon; also of two native youths from Ceylon, one Tamul and one Cingalese.  This college, though a work which had none of the romance of adventure about it, afforded the p. 193surest and most important means of thoroughly implanting the Gospel, and forming a native priesthood fit for the varying needs of the various people.  Nor could such a task be committed to any but superior men.  Only such as have abilities that would win them distinction in England, are fit to cope with the difficulties of dealing with intellects quite as argumentative as, and even more subtle than, those of the ordinary level of Englishmen.

Soon after writing this letter, Bishop Heber set forth on what was to prove his last visitation.  On the voyage to Madras, he spent much time upon some invalid soldiers who were being sent home, and confirmed one of them on board.  Also he devoted himself to comforting a poor lady whose baby died on the voyage, not only when with her in her cabin, but Archdeacon Robinson, his chaplain, could hear him weeping and praying for her when alone in his own.

At Madras, he was lodged in the house of Sir Thomas Munro, the governor, who had done much by the help of his excellent wife to promote all that was good.  At Vepery, close at hand, the Bishop found, nearly finished, the first church built in the Gothic style in India.  He was greatly delighted with it, and especially that the desk and pulpit had not been allowed to obstruct the view of the altar, which had more dignity than was usual in the churches of 1826.  A monstrous pulpit in another little church at Poonamalee, a depôt for recruits, and an asylum for pensioners and soldiers’ children, he caused to be removed.  He had a confirmation at this place, or rather two, for some unexpected candidates presented themselves, and he desired Archdeacon Robinson to examine them, so that they might be confirmed later in the day.  Among them was an old pensioner, and a sickly-looking young woman with a little boy, whom the Archdeacon thought too young, and recommended her to keep back for another opportunity.  She wept much, and the Bishop said, “Bring them both to me; who knows whether they may live to wish for it again?”  The native Christians, poor people employed on the beach, remnants of the old Portuguese Missions, had built a church at their own expense, and, being unable to obtain regular ministrations from their own clergy, begged the Bishop to consecrate their building, and give them a clergyman, and this he hoped to do on his return.

Meantime, he went in his robes to present Lady Munro with p. 194a vote of thanks from the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, for the good works in the schools of her husband’s government.  “I have seldom witnessed a more interesting or affecting picture,” writes Archdeacon Robinson: “the beauty and gracefulness of Lady Munro, the grave and commanding figure of the Governor, the youthful appearance and simple dignity of the dear Bishop, the beloved of all beholders, presented a scene such as few can ever hope to witness.”  “My lord,” said Sir Thomas, with the tears rolling down his cheeks, “it will be vain for me after this to preach humility to Lady Munro; she will be proud of this day to the latest hour she lives.”

“God bless you, Sir Thomas!” was all the Bishop could utter.

“And God bless you, my lord!” was the fervent answer.

Before eighteen months had passed the two good men who exchanged this blessing, had met in Paradise!

The Bishop went on from Madras, travelling by dâk, and encamping during the heat of the day.  He soon came into the field of labour of the Danish Missions, and was disappointed to find how poor and forlorn the Christian converts about Cuddalore were, and the great want of employment for them.  Things were better in the Tanjore territory, where the Bishop was much interested by a visit from the native pastor of one of the villages, a fine, venerable old man.  When about to take leave, he lingered, and the Bishop was told that the Tamul Christians never quitted a minister without receiving his blessing.  He was greatly touched.  “I will bless them all, the good people,” he said, after blessing the pastor.

Arriving at Tanjore, the Bishop thus describes Serfojee:—“I have been passing the last four days in the society of a Hindoo Prince, the Rajah of Tanjore, who quotes Fourcroy, Lavoilier, Linnæus, and Buffon fluently; has formed a more accurate judgment of the poetical merits of Shakespeare than that so felicitously expressed by Lord Byron; and has actually emitted English poetry, very superior indeed to Rousseau’s epitaph on Shenstone; at the same time that he is much respected by the English officers in his neighbourhood, as a real good judge of a horse, and a cool, bold, and deadly shot at a tiger.  The truth is, that he is an extraordinary man, who, having in early youth received such an education as old Schwartz, the celebrated p. 195missionary, could give him, has ever since continued, in the midst of many disadvantages, to preserve his taste for, and extend his knowledge of, European literature: while he has never neglected the active exercises and frank, soldierly bearing which become the descendant of the old Mahratta conquerors; and by which only, in the present state of things, he has it in his power to gratify the prejudices of his people, and prolong his popularity among them.  Had he lived in the days of Hyder, he would have been a formidable ally or enemy; for he is, by the testimony of all in his neighbourhood, frugal, bold, popular, and insinuating.  At present, with less power than an English nobleman, he holds his head high, and appears contented; and the print of Buonaparte, which hangs in his library, is so neutralized by that of Lord Hastings in full costume, that it can do no harm to anybody. . . . To finish the portrait of Maha Raja Sarbojee, I should tell you that he is a strong-built and very handsome middle-aged man, with eyes and nose like a fine hawk, and very bushy grey mustachios, generally splendidly dressed, but with no effeminacy of ornament, and looking and talking more like a favourable specimen of a French general officer than any other object of comparison which occurs to me.  His son, Raja Seroojee (so named after their great ancestor), is a pale, sickly-looking lad of seventeen, who also speaks English, but imperfectly, and on whose account his father lamented, with much apparent concern, the impossibility which he found of obtaining any tolerable instruction in Tanjore.  I was moved at this, and offered to take him on my tour, and afterwards to Calcutta, where he might have apartments in my house, and be introduced into good English society; at the same time that I would superintend his studies, and procure for him the best masters which India affords.  The father and son, in different ways,—the one catching at the idea with great eagerness, the other as if he were afraid to say all he wished,—seemed both well pleased with the proposal.  Both, however, on consulting together, expressed a doubt of the mother’s concurrence; and, accordingly, next day I had a very civil message, through the Resident, that the Rannee had already lost two sons; that this survivor was a sickly boy; that she was sure he would not come back alive, and it would kill her to part with him; but that all the family joined in gratitude, &c.  So poor Seroojee must chew betel and sit in the zenana, and pursue the other p. 196amusements of the common race of Hindoo princes, till he is gathered to those heroic forms who, girded with long swords with hawks on their wrists, and garments like those of the king of spades (whose portrait-painter, as I guess, has been retained by this family), adorn the principal room in the palace.”

To the Bishop’s great indignation, he found that whereas while the Rajah had retained his dominions, Christians had been eligible to all the different offices of State, there was now an order from the Company’s Government against their admission to any employment.  “Surely,” he says, “we are, in matters of religion, the most lukewarm and cowardly people on the face of the earth.  I mean to make this and some other things I have seen a matter of formal representation to all the three Governments of India, and to the Board of Control.”

It is highly probable that this systematic dread of encouraging God’s service on the part of the Company assisted in keeping Serfojee a heathen, in spite of the many prayers offered up for him.  Almost the last in Heber’s book of private devotions was for the Rajah; and he drew up one, to be translated into Tamul, for use in all the churches in his territory; this last not directly for his conversion, but for his temporal and spiritual welfare.

It is pleasant to know that the last Easter of Heber’s life was made joyful by ministering to Schwartz’s spiritual children.  He preached in that church which Schwartz had raised, and where his monument stood.  His text was, “I am He that liveth and was dead, and behold I am alive for evermore.”  Many English-speaking natives went there, and others besides; and at the Holy Eucharist that followed there were thirty English and fifty-seven native communicants.  The delight and admiration of the Bishop were speedily apparent.  In the evening he attended a Tamul service, where the prayers were said by a Hindoo, the sermon preached by a Dane, and the blessing delivered by the Bishop in Tamul, to the surprise and pleasure of the congregation, which numbered no less than 1,300, all reverent, all making the responses, joining in the Easter hymn, and in the 100th Psalm.  Never had the Bishop been happier!  As he was taking off his robes, he exclaimed, “Gladly would I exchange years of common life for one such day as this!”  Even at night he could not help coming back to Archdeacon Robinson’s room to rejoice, discuss, and finally pray over this blessed fruit of the toils of a holy man, who had been at rest p. 197thirty-eight years, yet whose work still increased.  The next day he confirmed a large number; and Kohloff, a contemporary missionary of Schwartz, preached in Tamul.

After this happy Easter, the Bishop continued his route to Trichinopoly, where he preached and confirmed on the Sunday, but complained of a slight headache, and allowed himself to be persuaded not to go to the native service in the evening, though he spent a good deal of time conversing with Mr. Robinson, who was unwell enough to be lying in bed.

On Monday, the 3rd of April, he went at daybreak to hold a Tamul confirmation at the poor little neglected native church; then looked at the schools, but found that the want of ventilation rendered them too oppressive for him to remain; and afterwards received and graciously answered an address from the poor Christians, praying him to send them a pastor, for they had been without one for two years.  He came back, still in his robes, to Mr. Robinson’s bedroom, and, with great eagerness, talked over what he had seen and heard; speaking of the destitution of this poor church, and of the needfulness that a Bishop should receive regular reports of every station; also mentioning a Danish missionary whom he intended to appoint.  He then went to his own room, and, according to Indian habit after exertion, went out in order to bathe.  The bath was in a separate building.  It was fifteen feet long, eight broad, and with stone steps descending into it to a depth of seven feet, and it was perfectly full of water.  The servant sitting outside wondered at the length of time and unbroken silence, and at last looked in; but Reginald Heber had, by that time, long been lifeless in the cold bath!

He was only in his forty-fourth year; but medical opinion declared that there had been, unsuspected, the seeds of fatal disease, accelerated by climate, exertion, and excitement, and such as would probably have caused long helplessness and inaction, unless thus suddenly developed.

He was buried the next day at Trichinopoly church, where the mural tablet, with most touching and appropriate simplicity, bears no inscription in laudation, but merely the holy words, “Be ye also ready.”

Thus ended a life of inward and outward brightness, which comes like a stream of sunshine among the shadows through which most of the labourers had to struggle, either for want of p. 198means of education, or from poverty or melancholy, and yet as true and as exhilarating a course as was ever one of theirs.  May we not read his description in the verse:—

“And there are souls that seem to dwell
Above this earth—so rich a spell
Floats round their steps where’er they move,
Of hopes fulfilled, and mutual love:
Such, if on high their hopes are set,
Nor in the stream the source forget;
If, prompt to quit the bliss they know,
Following the Lamb where’er He go,
By purest pleasures unbeguiled
To idolize or wife or child,
Such wedded souls our God shall own
For faultless virgins round His throne.”

Mrs. Heber published soon after her return her husband’s journals, and these, bearing the impress of his graceful, scholarly hand, attracted many readers who care merely for information and amusement; and thus, by their mere mundane qualities, his writings did much to spread knowledge of, and therefore interest in, the field of labour in which he died.  Large subscriptions came into the societies, and in a few years a church and three schools for the natives, with the pastor he had indicated, served as the best monument of that Low Sunday at Trichinopoly.

His successor was John Thomas James: the most memorable event in whose life was a halt at the Cape of Good Hope.  This was the first time that colony had ever been visited by a Bishop, and there was no church, though a piece of land had been newly granted for one, which he consecrated before proceeding on his voyage.  He arrived in 1828, but the climate of Calcutta struck him for death almost immediately.  He was only able to perform one ordination, one confirmation, and one charge to the Calcutta clergy, then was forced to embark, and died at sea within a few months of his arrival.

During this time Daniel Wilson had been working under Mr. Cecil at Chobham, where he remained for three years, when a tutorship at St. Edmund’s Hall was offered to him, which enabled him to marry his cousin Ann, combining the small living of Warton with his tutorship.  On the death of the Rev. Richard Cecil he took, by his especial wish, his proprietary chapel in Bloomsbury, and there continued till 1824 as one of p. 199the most marked London clergy, keeping up the earnestness that Newton and Cecil had been noted for, with quite as much energy; and though without the same originality, there was a telling force about his sermons which made a young man exclaim the first time he heard him, “I will never hear Daniel Wilson again,” but something led him happily to infringe the resolution, and then it became, “I will always, if possible, hear Daniel Wilson.”  Sentences of his were very memorable; for instance, “Nineteen-twentieths of sanctification consist in holy tempers,” and, besides exhibiting a pithy force of language, his sermons were prepared with infinite care and labour.  When at St. John’s, where he had no parochial charge, he selected his text on Monday and carried it about with him, so to speak, all the week, chewing the cud of it as it were, looking it up in every authority, ancient or modern, within his reach, and conversing on the subject with any one whom he thought likely to give him a hint.  The sermons were written in a large legible shorthand, only on one side of the paper, and on the opposite page were copied out extracts of translations from illustrative authors, often as many as eight to a single sermon, so that he had in fact a huge secretion of stores, which he could adapt according to the needs of his congregation, and he made notes of what he found fall flat and incomprehensible, or what he felt was stirring the souls of his audience; and this time was most profitably spent, not only for his immediate congregation, but in laying up a provision for the busier days of after-life, when the same amount of study was out of his power.  And the benefit of such painstaking may be estimated by the words of a gentleman when introduced to a relative of his in after-years, “I am only one of very many who do not know and never spoke to Mr. Wilson, but to whom he has been a father in Christ.  He never will know, and he never ought to know, the good that he has been the means of doing, for no man could bear it.”

Proprietary chapels have now nearly become extinct.  They were an effect of the neglect of the heathenish eighteenth century, and one of the means of providing church room by private speculation; and thus they almost necessarily were liable to the abuses of popularity-hunting and of lack of care for individuals, especially the poor: but a man in thorough earnestness is sure to draw good even out of a defective system; and Daniel Wilson, sitting in his study which was connected with the chapel, p. 200became the counsellor of hundreds who sought spiritual advice and assistance, chiefly of the upper and well-to-do classes, but he took care to avoid wasting time over these conferences, and when it came to mere talk would put people’s hats and umbrellas into their hands.  There were also large Sunday-schools connected with his chapel, and taught by the members of his congregation, and these led to the first organization of a district visitors’ society, one of the earliest attempts of the slowly reviving English Church to show her laity how to minister to the poor under pastoral direction.

His father-in-law, Mr. William Wilson, had purchased the advowson of the living of Islington, and, when it became vacant in 1824, presented it to him, when he carried thither all his vigour and thoroughness.  Church building was his first necessity, and he absolutely prevailed on his parish to rate themselves for the purpose, so that three churches were begun almost at once, and by the time his Life was written in 1860 the great suburb had multiplied its single church in thirty-six years into fifteen.  At Islington the chief sorrows of his life befel him.  He had had six children, of whom one died an infant and two more in early childhood.  The second son, John, after a boyhood of great promise, fell into temptation at the University and led a wild and degrading course; ending by his retirement to the Continent, where he died in 1833, after a very painful illness, in which he had evinced great agony of mind, which softened at length into repentance and hope.  The eldest son, Daniel, who attended him on his death-bed, had taken holy orders and succeeded to his father’s former living of Warton; and one daughter, Eliza, born in 1814, survived to cheer his home when his wife, after some years of invalidism, died in 1827.  Zealous, resolute, and hardworking, he never allowed sorrow to interfere with his work, and was soon in the midst of his confirmation classes, and of a scheme for educating young tradespeople on a more thorough and religious system.

In the meantime he had always loved and urged the missionary cause, and had consulted with Bishop Turner before he went out.  When the news of his decease was received (the fourth Bishop to die at his post within nine years), the appointment began to be looked on as a sentence of death, and it was declined in succession by several eminent clergymen.  Daniel Wilson had anxiously watched for the answer in each case, and p. 201was suggesting several persons to Mr. Charles Grant, when the thought struck him, “Here I am, send me.”  A widower of fifty-four years old, of much strength, and with no young children, seemed to him the fit person to volunteer to fill the breach; and he wrote stating, that if no one else could be found for the post, he was willing to offer himself.  The appointment was accordingly given to him, after an interval of nine months since the see had become vacant, and an infinity of toil and arrangements crowded on him.  Islington was resigned to his son Daniel, and he was consecrated by Archbishop Howley on the 29th of April, 1832, “the day of my espousals to Christ my Saviour,” as he wrote in his journal; and on the ensuing 18th of June he sailed with his daughter for Calcutta.  The ship touched at the Cape, which under the government of Sir Lowry Cole was by no means in the same hopeless state of neglect as when Martyn had visited it.  Bishop Wilson there held an ordination and a confirmation, the first for himself as well as for South Africa, whose Episcopate was not founded till twenty-three years later.

He landed at Calcutta on the 5th of November, 1832, and took possession of the large unfurnished house that had at last been wrung out of Government.  He found only just enough chairs and tables, placed there by the Archdeacon, to suffice for immediate use; and was answered, when he asked why his orders that the place should be completely fitted up had not been attended to, “I thought this would be enough to last for six months,”—this being the term for which a Bishop of Calcutta was thought likely to need earthly furniture.  But Bishop Wilson was resolved to take reasonable precaution, and not to be daunted, or to act as if he were afraid.  He furnished the place, and rented a pleasant country-house, called the Hive, at Tittaghur, where he spent a few days of every week; and, having been told that much danger was incurred by the exertion of visitation tours before the constitution had become accustomed to the climate, he resolved to wait for two years before making any long journey; and, in the meantime, he was able to collect a great amount of information, as well as attending to the regulation of matters at head-quarters.  He kept up more formality and state than Bishop Heber had done; and, of course, as the one had been censured for his simplicity, so the other was found fault with for pomp and stiffness.  But these p. 202were minor points, chiefly belonging to the character of the two men, whose whole natures were in curious accordance with their prize performances at Oxford,—the one with all the warmth, fire, and animation of the poet of Palestine, sensitive to every impression, and making all serve to light his altar-flame; the other all common-sense, sincere, deep, and laborious, but with a narrower range of sympathies, and afraid of all that might distract attention from the one great subject.  General literature had no charms for Wilson.  He is believed never to have read one of Scott’s poems or novels; and the playful mirth that enlivened all Heber’s paths was not with him, though he had the equable cheerfulness of a faithful servant doing his Lord’s work.  His daughter, soon after his arrival, married her cousin, Josiah Bateman, his chaplain (and biographer), and thus continued to be the mistress of her father’s house.

On the Whitsunday of 1833 the Bishop baptized one of those Hindoo gentlemen who are among the most satisfactory of Christian converts; they are free from the suspicion of interested motives which has always attached to the pariahs and low-caste people who hung about Serampore and its dependent stations, and, justly or unjustly, were accused of turning Christians when they had exhausted other resources of idleness and knavery.  A curious instance of a thorough conversion happened the same year.  A lad, educated like most other well-to-do Hindoos in the schools of the Church Missionary at Mirzampore, when about fifteen, became persuaded of the saving grace of Christianity, and determined to be baptized and openly forsake his idols.  His parents persecuted him, and he fled to a friend, a Hindoo convert; but he was seized by his relations, and the case was referred to the Supreme Court, who decided that the father’s power over the son must not be interfered with; and the poor boy was dragged away, clinging to the barrister’s table, amid the shouts of the heathen and the tears of the Christians.  The boy remained staunch, and three years later came again and received baptism; but his sufferings had injured his health, both of mind and body, and his promise of superior intelligence was blighted.

In 1834, the Bishop set off on his first long journey, which included Penang and Moulmein, where the Judsons had taken refuge after the Burmese war, and where he found, in the midst of half-cleared jungle and Buddhist temples full of p. 203enormous idols, a school kept by an American master, so full of notions of equality, that, at the examination, he expected the Bishop to go to each class, not the class to the Bishop.

The Commissioner had built a church, the walls of teak slabs, and the pillars each a single teak-tree, and it was ready for consecration.  After this and a confirmation, the Bishop went on his way to Ceylon, and then to the Madras Presidency, where he had already had a long correspondence with the pastors of the Christian congregations on the question of caste.  Things had not prospered of late; and, to the dismay of the Bishop, he found that, in the course of the last year, 168 Christians had fallen back to heathenism, where, not having broken their caste, they could still be received and find a place.  The truth was that, though caste might appear only a distinction of mere social rank, it was derived from a pagan superstition, and was a stronghold of heathenism.  Schwartz was all his life trying to make it wear and die out, lest the violent renunciation should be too much for his converts’ faith.  But his successors had allowed the feeling to retrograde; and Bishop Wilson found separate services, sides of the church allotted to the high and low castes, and the most unchristian distinctions made between them.  He decided that toleration of the prejudice was only doing harm, and issued orders that henceforth catechumens preparing for baptism, confirmation, or communion, should be called on to renounce caste as a condition of admittance; and that, though the adult communicants should be gently dealt with, there should be no recognition of the distinction in the places in church, in the order of administering the Holy Communion, in marriages or processions, and that differences of food or dress, or marks on the forehead, should be discontinued.  The clergy were in consternation, and made an appeal before they published the Bishop’s letter to their flocks; but they found his mind made up, and yielded.  The lesser stations complied without much difficulty; but at Trichinopoly, Vepery, and Tanjore, there were many Soodras, the soldier-caste, professing to have come from Brahma’s shoulders, and second only to the Brahmins.  They were desperately offended.  At Trichinopoly, only seven Soodra families continued to attend the services, although the seceders behaved quietly, and offered no insults either to the clergy or the pariahs.  At Vepery, on the p. 204reading of the Bishop’s letter, the whole Soodra population walked out en masse, except one catechist, who joined them afterwards.  They then drew up a paper, declaring that they would not yield, and would neither come to church nor send their children to school, unless they continued to be distinguished; and they set up a service of their own in a chapel lent them by a missionary belonging to the London Society.  He was, however, reprimanded for this by the committee which employed him at Madras, and the chapel was withdrawn; upon which the Soodras remained without any public worship whatever for five months, when the catechists and schoolmasters came forward and acknowledged their pride and contumacy, the children dropped into the schools, and the grown-up people, one by one, returned to church, but in their own way.

At Tanjore, the contest was a much harder one.  Serfojee had died in 1834, and the son whom Bishop Heber had vainly tried to obtain for education was one of the ordinary specimens of indolent, useless rajahs, enjoying ease and display under British protection; but the Mission had gone on thriving as to numbers, though scarcely as to earnestness or energy; and the Christians numbered 7,000, with 107 catechists and four native clergy, under the management of Mr. Kohloff, almost the last of Schwartz’s fellow-workers.  The Bishop’s letter was read aloud by him, after the sermon, on the 10th of November, 1833.  There was an immediate clamour of all the Soodras, who would not be hushed by being reminded that they were in church, and, while Mr. Kohloff was being assisted from the pulpit, gathered round his wife and insulted her.

Letters passed between the Soodras and the missionaries.  There was no denial that the Bishop’s command was right in itself; but an immense variety of excuses were offered for not complying with it, and only one of the four priests consented,—Nyanapracasem, an old man of eighty, who may be remembered as one of Schwartz’s earliest converts, and of the four priests ordained by the Lutherans,—with three catechists, and ten of the general body; all the others remained in a state of secession.  When the first death took place among them, Nyanapracasem, the one conforming priest, was appointed to read the funeral service; but he fell sick, and the only substitute available on the spot was a low-caste catechist, a very respectable man, but p. 205whom the Soodras silenced with threats, employing one of their own people in his stead.  Next time, they borrowed the Roman Catholic burial-ground, and services were carried on, on Sunday, by one of the dissentient priests, but marriages were celebrated in the heathen fashion, and there was evidently a strong disposition to form a schism, which the reckless, easy, self-willed conduct of the Soodras showed would be Christianity only in name.  There had even been an appeal to the Governor-General, and the Bishop felt the whole tone of Christianity in India to be at stake.

It was in the height of this crisis that his journey to Madras was made in the track of Bishop Heber.  Twice he preached at Vepery, and the Soodras attended; but he asked no questions, and let them place themselves as they chose, and take precedence, intending to fight out the question at Tanjore.

There, at seven o’clock in the morning of January 10, 1835, on the bank of the Cavery River, he was received by all the faithful Christians and school-children, headed by Kohloff and Nyanapracasem, These were the two remaining fellow-workers of Schwartz.  Kohloff, now becoming aged, had his hair long and loose round his florid German face; he was still a true German, full of simple kindness, and his English had a good deal of accent.  His Hindoo companion was a beautiful old man, with long snowy hair flowing over his long white robes, who took the Bishop’s hand between both of his, and blessed God for his coming, hoping that as Elijah brought back the stiff-necked Israelites, so the Bishop might turn the hearts of the Soodras.

Late that afternoon, a great party of these assembled to lay their complaints before the Bishop, bringing their two dissentient priests.  One was of doubtful character, and was unnoticed; but to the other, John Pillay, the Bishop addressed himself, telling him to assure the other Christians that his heart was full of love, and that he would hear their grievances, and answer them another time, when less weary with his journey.

Several spoke, and the Bishop listened to their individual cases.  They were anxious to come and hear his sermon, but would only do so if allowed to sit apart; and to this, as one great object was to obtain their attention, the Bishop consented, with a reservation that it was only for that once.  The church was thronged, and after a Tamul service, the p. 206Bishop preached, pausing after every sentence that a catechist might render his words into Tamul.  The text was, “Walk in love, as Christ also loved us,” and the latter part of his discourse was on the lesson from the Good Samaritan, as to “who is my neighbour.”  There was at the end a long pause of breathless silence, and then he called on everyone present to offer up the following prayer: “Lord, give me a broken heart to receive the love of Christ, and obey His commands.”  The whole congregation repeated the words aloud in Tamul, and then he gave the blessing and dismissed them.

After this there were a great number of private conferences.  People came and owned that they had been very unhappy; religion had died in their hearts, and they had had no peace; but their wives were the great objectors—they feared whether they should marry their daughters, &c. &c.  The two priests especially saw the badness of their standing-ground, but they should lose respect, they said.  No Pariah seems to have been in holy orders, but if a Pariah catechist visited a sick person, he was not allowed to come under the roof, and the patient was carried out into the verandah.  And then came a rather stormy conference with about 150 Soodras, which occupied two days, since every sentence had to pass through an interpreter.  The objections were various, but as a body the resistance continued, and it was only individuals that came over; some of these, however, did, and it was so clear from all that had passed that to permit the distinctions was but a truckling to heathenism, that the Bishop was more than ever resolved on firmness.  Two of the priests had conformed, and the Christianity of those who would not do so was plainly not worth having.

There was some polite intercourse with Serfojee’s son, whose taste was visible in the alteration of a fine statue of his father by Flaxman, from which the white marble turban had been removed to substitute a coloured one, with black feathers and tassels.  In him the family has become extinct, since he only left a daughter, and the adoption of a son, after the old Hindoo fashion, has not been permitted by Government.

Thence, Bishop Wilson proceeded towards Trichinopoly.  He encamped, by the way, at a place called Muttooputty, a large station on the Coleroon river, where the way had been so prepared for him that there was a grand throng of native Christians, untroubled about caste, and he was obliged literally to lengthen p. 207the cords and strengthen the stakes of the large tent used as a chapel.  It was one of the memorable days of joy that come now and then to support the laborious spirit of the faithful servant.  “One such day as we have just passed is worth years of common service.”

At Trichinopoly, with the deepest sense of reverence, he visited the scene of Heber’s death, ministered at the same altar, and preached from the same pulpit, after an interval of nine years.

Here, his mode of dealing with the caste-question was thus: When he came robed into the church, he saw groups of natives standing about, instead of placing themselves like the others of the congregation.  He went up to two, led them to seats, and his chaplain following, did the same; the rest were seated in like manner without resistance.

When the Celebration took place, the Bishop had given directions as to the order of things.  First, a Soodra catechist communicated, then two Pariah catechists, then an English gentleman, next a Pariah, then two Eurasians; and thus without distinction, 147 communicated.  The barrier was broken down, and the nucleus of a church without caste was formed.

This presidency of Madras was immediately after formed into a separate see, and given to Daniel Corrie, the friend of Martyn, while Dr. Thomas Carr became Bishop of Bombay.

On Wilson’s return to Tanjore he found an increasing though still small number had conformed, and before he left the place there were hopes of larger numbers.  On his way back to Calcutta, he visited the horrible pagoda of Juggernaut (properly Jaghanatha, Lord of the World), which was still the centre of worship and pilgrimage; and though the self-immolation of the pilgrims beneath the car had been prohibited, yet the Company’s Government still fancied themselves justified in receiving a toll from the visitors to this shrine of cruelty and all uncleanness, up to 1839, when the disgrace was done away by Lord Auckland.

In the year 1836 another journey was made, first to Bombay and then further into the interior, to many places, never visited by a bishop before, and with no chaplain or anything to keep up the sense of religion.  At Aurungabad, the utter ignorance of the English officers was appalling.  The old Colonel-commandant had not heard a sermon for twenty years, p. 208and thought every sentence on the text, “Walk in love,” was a personal attack on himself.  He refused to attend another service, or to bid the Bishop farewell!  And when the Holy Communion was celebrated, nobody knew what the offertory meant, and scarcely any one was prepared to respond.

Yet in contrast to these English, a small band of Hindoos, four men, six women, and five children, presented themselves, asking permission to join in the service, and to have their children baptized.  They had been once Roman Catholics, but an old Dutchwoman from Ceylon had taught them most of what they knew; and they had a Hindostanee prayer-book, whence they held a service every Sunday, but leaving out the Absolution and Benediction, which they rightly perceived to be priestly functions.  Two of them were servants to an English officer, and they were all nearly related.  They were perfectly respectable and trustworthy, and looked well dressed and intelligent.  The Bishop tried to bring about an application from the Company to the Nizam, to defray the expenses of an occasional visit from a chaplain to the Christian officers and residents in his employ, but he was answered that “it would form a dangerous precedent.”

The next step was into the Bengal presidency, always with the same kind of adventures; quaint civilities of the presentation of flowery garlands bedecking the neck and arms, given by the native princes, with a sprinkling of rose-water, and sometimes an anointing with oil; and then an endeavour to stir into Christian life the neglected English military and civil officers stationed in their dominions.

One of these, a gentleman of good birth and repute, actually went on smoking and gurgling his hookah when the Bishop was beginning family prayers, apparently with no more perception that it was anything that concerned him than if he had seen a Mahometan turning to Mecca, or a Parsee saluting the rising sun.  Indeed many of these Company’s servants had been sent out when fourteen or fifteen years old; and, if in a remote station, had been left without anything external whatever to remind them of Christianity.

This journey extended to the Himalayas, where the Bishop had four months’ repose at Simlah, then in its infancy as a resort for wearied East Indians; and on his descent from thence, his first halting-place was Kurnaul, where he found the p. 209church in a state of efficiency, owing, in great part, to an officer whose conversion to a religious life had been very remarkable.  Once, when in a large party, where gambling was going on to a reckless extent, he saw one of the players take out a hideous little black figure, supposed to represent the devil, to which he addressed himself with a mixture of entreaties and threats, involving such blasphemy that this officer, utterly horrified, withdrew from the company, spent the night in tears and prayers, and from that time became a religious man.  There was also an active chaplain, a large church, and a bungalow, built by the soldiers of an English regiment, the centre part arranged for service, and the surrounding verandah partitioned into little cells, where the soldiers could retire for private prayer or reading.  It was called St. John’s Chapel, and was in the hands of the chaplain.  Here the Bishop remained for two Sundays, and ordained Anund Musseeh, who had been fifteen years a Christian, and had been known to Bishop Heber.  The difficulty in his case was the rule not to ordain a person who had a heathen family, since he had not been able to convert his wife.  His excellence outweighed the objection, and he was the first Brahmin who received holy orders from an English bishop; but in after-times the heathen influence at home told upon him; and this failure perhaps rendered Bishop Daniel Wilson somewhat over-cautious and backward in ordaining a native ministry.

The next stage was Delhi, where a very interesting interview awaited him.  An officer of Anglo-Indian birth, James Skinner by name, who had raised and commanded a capital body of light horse, had twenty years before entered Delhi with a conquering army, and, gazing on the countless domes and minarets, vowed that if ever he should be able, he would build an English church to raise its cross among them.  He had persevered, though the cost far exceeded the estimate, and though the failure of houses of business had greatly lessened his means; and now he came, a tall, stout, dark man of fifty-six, in a uniform of blue, silver, and steel, a helmet on his head and a red ribbon on his breast, to beg for consecration for his church.  His sons were Christians, but his wife was a Mahometan, though, he said with tears, that “for thirty years a better wife no man ever had.”

The church was of Greek architecture, shaped as a Greek p. 210cross, with porticoes with flights of steps at each extremity except the east, which formed the chancel, and at the intersection was a dome and cupola.  It was paved with marble, and the whole effect was beautiful.  After the consecration a confirmation followed, and the first to receive the apostolic rite were the noble old Colonel himself and his three sons.  Twenty years later this fine building was filled with dying men, and shared in the horrors of the siege of Delhi; but it has now returned to its rightful use, and as a church of martyrs.

Indeed, all the places that the Bishop visited in this excursion have since been associated with the Mutiny.  Cawnpore was not much more satisfactory than when Heber had visited it; an irreligious commandant and a dissipated regiment had done much harm; and an imprudent letter of one of the chaplains had led to a quarrel, in which the clergyman unfortunately put himself in the wrong.  Happily, a new commanding officer and better conducted regiment had replaced the first, and the ill-feeling was so entirely removed that the Bishop wrote, “Never did I enter a station with such despondency, nor leave one with so much joy.”  And thus he prepared Cawnpore for that which was in store for it!

His visit to Allahabad was chiefly memorable for his horror at the large resort of pilgrims to bathe in the Ganges, and at the tax by which a Christian government profited by their pagan superstition, with all its grossness and cruelty.  He brought home a little ticket, with the number 76902 stamped on it, such as was issued to the pilgrims, and made a strong appeal to the Governor-General, as well as to persons in England.  The next year both this tax and that on the pilgrims to Jaghernauth were suppressed.  Here he heard of the death of Bishop Corrie, after having held the see of Madras only a year and a quarter, but having spent many years in India, and worked there for a whole lifetime, in which he had seen the very dawn of missionary efforts, and had watched the English Church spread from a few scattered chaplains to three bishoprics.

Lord Auckland and his sisters were more sincere friends of Christian efforts than any Governor-General had yet been, but these were trying times.  Mr. Bateman, his daughter’s husband, fell ill, and his wife was obliged to return to England with him; the Bishop’s other chaplain died, and also some of his best friends.  On going, a few years later, to consecrate p. 211a church at Singapore, he visited Moulmein, and was introduced to Dr. Judson, with whom he was very much struck.

The great work connected with Daniel Wilson’s name, as that of Bishop’s College is with Middleton’s, is the building of the Cathedral of Calcutta.  “What do you say, my four children,” he writes, “to your father’s attempting to build a cathedral to the name of the Lord his God in this heathen land?”  It had been the desire of Bishop Middleton, but there had been too much to do during his nine years, and it was only now that at last the times were ripe.  Subscriptions were opened, and the Bishop devoted a large amount of his income to the fund; plans were drawn up, land granted freely, and on the 9th of October, 1839, the first stone of St. Paul’s Cathedral was laid by the Bishop.

Just at this time there was a most remarkable move made towards Christianity.  Krishnaghur, 130 miles from Calcutta, was the great centre of the worship of Krishna, one of the manifestations of Vishnu.  Here two missionaries of the Church Missionary Society had been at work; and when the Bishop was there in 1837, he described them as having made “a little beginning,” by keeping schools and holding conferences with the people, but they had then no adult convert.  A year after a message was brought by a native, entreating for further help.  There were 1,200 seriously inquiring into the doctrine, with many candidates for baptism, and at many places around it was the same.  In the year 1840, the Bishop set forth to visit the spot and the adjacent districts, where almost all the villages seemed to be actuated by the same impulse.  The missionaries did their utmost to distinguish between mere fashion and hope of gain and a true faith; but after all their siftings, large numbers were ready for baptism, and the hope was so great that the Bishop was full of thankful ecstasy, and could hardly sleep from agitation, joy, and anxiety.  One hundred and fifty converts were baptized at once, at a place called Anunda Bass.  The examination was thus, the Bishop standing in the midst:—

“Are you sinners?”

“Yes, we are.”

“How do you hope to obtain forgiveness?”

“By the sacrifice of Christ.”

“What was that sacrifice?”

p. 212“We were sinners, and Christ died in our stead.”

“How is your heart to be changed?”

“By the Holy Ghost.”

“Will you renounce all idolatry, feasts, poojahs, and caste?”

“Yes, we renounce them all.”

“Will you renounce the world, the flesh, and the devil?”


“Will you suffer for Christ’s sake?”


“Will you forgive injuries?”


These converts had been under preparation for more than a year, and seemed thoroughly convinced and fairly instructed.  Therefore the baptismal service was read by Mr. Deerr; and when the vows were reached, the Bishop turned to the Christians around and asked if they would be witnesses and godparents to these candidates; and, with one voice, they shouted that they would.  Each candidate was singly baptized, and then came up to the Bishop, by whom the words receiving him into the Ark of Christ’s Church were spoken.  At Ranobunda there was another baptism of 250, and, in the whole district, full a thousand were admitted.  It was not in over-confident joy.  “Time will show,” said the Bishop, “who are wheat and who are tares.”  It was impossible among so many that all should be perfect Christians, but it was a real foundation; the flame then lighted burns on steadily, and the Christian faith has a firm and strong hold in the district of Krishnaghur.

Anxieties of course crossed his work.  The Church Missionary Society, after being used to control its clergy, was not properly ready to allow their canonical obedience to a Bishop; and the troubles that thus arose made him once speak of Heber as happy in being shielded by his early death from the class of vexations connected with societies.  To his great grief, too, a lady who had worked for years at the education of girls and orphans at Calcutta seceded to the Plymouth Brethren, and was necessarily obliged to give up the charge.  It was to him “as if a standard-bearer fainteth.”  The Oxford controversy also vexed him a good deal.  The school of Newton and Cecil, in which he had been brought up, was at the most distant point that the Church permitted from the p. 213doctrines of the Tracts for the Times; and few men are able or willing candidly to judge or appreciate opinions that have grown up since their own budget was completed, especially after they have been for some time in the exercise of authority.  Thus he set his mind very strongly against all the clergy holding those views who came to work in the diocese; and thereby impeded a good deal that might have worked heartily with him if he had only been able to believe it, and to understand that the maintenance of the voice of the Church is truly the maintenance of the voice of Christ.

In November 1844, when on a visitation at Umballah, he had his first serious illness, a fever, he being then in his sixty-sixth year and in the thirteenth of his residence in India.  For about a week he was in great danger, but rallied, and was able to be removed by slow stages, though not without an attack of inflammation on the lungs before reaching Calcutta; and his constitution was altogether so much shaken that he was ordered home, without loss of time, to recruit his health.

He returned to England by the Overland route, and after a short respite recovered much of his strength, so as to be able to preach in many churches and appear at numerous meetings; and in a year’s time the vigorous old man was on his way back to his diocese, where he arrived in time to keep the Christmas of 1846, just two years after he had been stricken down by fever.  In the October of the next year he consecrated his cathedral, towards which 20,000l. had been his own donation, half towards the building, half towards the endowment.  His strength was not quite what it had been before, but he still had abundant energy, and new branches of the Church were springing up around him; not only the three dioceses that had branched from his own in India, but Ceylon had a Bishop of its own, Australia had five, and the Cape and New Zealand and the Isle of Hong Kong had each received a Bishop.  The principle had come to be recognized that to send out isolated workers without a head to organize was a plan that could hardly be reasonably expected to succeed; and in the long run prosperity has certainly attended the contrary arrangement.  Not to speak of the Divine authority, the action of a body under a recognized head and superior on the spot must be far readier of adaptation to circumstances than that of a number of equals, accountable only to some necessarily half-informed Society at home.

p. 214In his 73rd year, just after a visitation tour, it somewhat dismayed Bishop Wilson to find a letter from the Bishop of London sending him to consecrate the new church erected by Sir James Brooke, at Sarawak.  Few careers have been more remarkable than that of the truly great man who subdued Malay piracy, and gained the confidence of the natives of Borneo; and when the effort of the fourteen weeks’ voyage had been made, the Bishop returned full of joy and hope, and not long after, together with the Bishops of Madras and Victoria, joined in consecrating the missionary Bishop of Labuan to the new field of work there opening.  On the last journey of his life he also visited Rangoon, and there consecrated the church, finding the clergy hard at work and numerous converts.

During the year 1856 he had many attacks of illness, more or less severe; and in December, in going across the room in haste, he struck himself against a wooden screen, and was thrown down.  His thigh was broken, and his age was such that great fears for his life were entertained, but he recovered, and was able to pray with, cheer, and comfort the many anxious hearts at Calcutta during the dreadful days of the Indian mutiny of 1857, when the churches he had consecrated were stained with the blood of the worshippers.

But there was no cause for despondency in the attitude of the converts.  The districts where Christianity had been so widely diffused remained tranquil, and the Christians in the cities where the mutineers were raging did not apostatize; but, unless they could conceal themselves, suffered with the whites.  There was a great day of fasting and humiliation appointed by him for the 24th of July, 1857.

That day Bishop Wilson preached his last sermon.  The text was from Habakkuk i. 12.  “Art Thou not from everlasting, O Lord my God, mine Holy One? we shall not die.  O Lord, Thou hast ordained them for judgment; and, O mighty God, Thou hast established them for correction.”  Calcutta was then trembling under the tidings of the horrors of Cawnpore, the death of Sir Henry Lawrence, and the siege of Lucknow; and no one knew what peril might be the next.  Slaughter seemed at the very gates, when the old man stood forth to console and encourage, but yet to give warning strong and clear that these frightful catastrophes were in great measure the effect of our sins, our fostering of heathenism, our recognition of caste, and p. 215were especially a judgment on the viciousness and irreligion that had been the curse of English life in India.  It was in open Christianity alone that he beheld hope.

The day was observed by all the clergy, but the Governor-General for some reason declined to make it official, and, only when the worst of the danger was over, appointed the 4th of October as a fast-day.  The Bishop arranged the services, but was too unwell to attend them.  This was the beginning of his last illness; and though he held an ordination some weeks later, these latter weeks were all sinking, and increasing feebleness.  A sea-voyage was twice attempted, but without success; and on the 1st of January, 1858, his trembling hand wrote, “All going on well, but I am dead almost.—D. C.  Firm in hope.”

Daniel Calcutta, whom these initials indicated, wrote these words at half-past seven at night.  By the same hour in the morning he had peacefully passed to his rest.

One more Bishop of Calcutta we have since mourned; though the shortness of his career was owing to accident, not disease or climate.  But with Daniel Wilson the see of Calcutta became established as a metropolitan bishopric, and ceased to possess that character of gradual extension which rendered its first holders necessarily missionaries.  True, it needs many subdivisions.  Four Bishops are a scanty allowance for our vast Indian Empire, and the see of Calcutta has a boundary scarce limited to the north; but these are better days than when it included the Cape, Australia, and New Zealand.  The Bishop has now more to do with the development of old missions than with the working of new ones; and there can be no doubt that though there has been much of disappointment, and the progress is very slow, yet progress there is.  The older converts form more and more of a nucleus, and although there is a large class who hang about missions from interested motives, there are also multitudes of quiet and contented villagers whose simplicity and remoteness shield them from the notice of the travellers who sneer at Christianity and call mission reports couleur de rose, because they have been taken in by some cunning scamp against whom any missionary would have warned them.

The towns and the neighbourhood of troops are not favourable places for observing the effects of Christianity.  The work of the schools in the great cities tells but very slowly.  At present, p. 216out of a hundred boys who go thither and receive the facts of Christianity intellectually, only the minority are practically affected by it; and of these, some lose all faith in their own system, but retain it outwardly in deference to their families, while others try to take Christian morality without Christian doctrine; and only one or two perhaps may be sincere and open believers.  But even if only one is gained, is not that an exceeding gain?  It took three hundred years of apostolic teaching to make the Roman Empire Christian.  Why should we “faint, and say ’tis vain,” after one hundred in India?


It has been mentioned that the island of Australia was considered as an archdeaconry of the see of Calcutta.  This enormous island, first discovered in 1607 by Luis de Torres, and inhabited only by the very lowest race of savages, appeared to the Government of George III. a convenient spot for forming a penal settlement; and in 1787 the first convict ships carried out an instalment from the English jails to New South Wales, where the city of Sydney was founded by Governor Phillip.

As usual in those days, the provision made for the moral or religious training of this felon population was lamentably and even absurdly deficient; for it seemed to be considered, that so long as the criminals were safe out of England, it did not greatly matter to her what became of them.  But the power of grace is sure to work sooner or later wherever the Christian name has been carried, and a holy man rose up, not only to fight hard with the mass of corruption in Australia, but to carry on the light to the more distant shores of the Southern Ocean.

This good man, Samuel Marsden, was the son of a small farmer at Farsley, near Calverley, in Yorkshire, and was educated at the free Grammar School at Hull by Dr. Joseph Milner, whose Church History used to be a standard book in the early part of this century.  He began his career as a p. 217tradesman at Leeds, but his school influences had given him higher aspirations; and a body termed the Elland Society, whose object was to educate young men of small means and suitable character for the ministry, and whose chief supporters were Wilberforce, Simeon, and Thornton, selected him as one of their scholars, and placed him at St. John’s College, Cambridge.  He had not even taken his degree when, to his surprise, he was offered a chaplaincy in New South Wales!  The post was no doubt a difficult one to fill,—for who would willingly undertake to be one of two clergymen sent to labour among an untamed multitude of criminals?—and Mr. Wilberforce was, no doubt, glad to suggest a young man so blameless and full of zeal, and of whom, from personal observation at Cambridge, Mr. Simeon had so high an opinion.

Samuel Marsden wished to decline it at first; but finding that no one else would come forward to undertake the charge, he accepted it; and in the spring of 1793 he was ordained, and married, being then nearly twenty-nine years of age.  His wife, Elizabeth Tristan, was thoroughly worthy of him, and ruled his house admirably, never calling him back from any duty, but so managing that his open-handed charity never brought him into difficulties.  They were obliged to take their passage in a convict ship, which was to sail from Hull.  Marsden was engaged to preach in a church near the harbour, and was just about to enter the pulpit when the signal-gun was fired to summon the passengers on board.  He took off his gown, gave his arm to his bride at her pew door, and walked to the beach, the whole congregation streaming out after them down to the boat, where the young clergyman stood for a few moments ere pushing off, to give his parting benedictions.

The ship went round to Portsmouth to receive her load of convicts; and while she was lying there, Marsden visited the Isle of Wight, and one Sunday preached in Brading Church.  The effect of his sermon in touching the heart of one young woman was long remembered, in consequence of a memoir of her, entitled “The Dairyman’s Daughter,” which was drawn up after her death by the clergyman of her parish, the Rev. Legh Richmond.

It was as trying a voyage as Henry Martyn’s, except that even less was to be expected from his shipmates.  The captain was unwilling to allow prayers to be read even on Sunday, saying he p. 218had never known a religious sailor; and though, after a time, Mr. Marsden prevailed, he never felt himself making much impression for good.  One of his books on the voyage was the Life of David Brainerd, that torch of missionaries, and who proved the example which served to stir Mr. Marsden to look beyond his own immediate field of labour, severe though that was, and unflinching as was his toil.

His arrival at Paramatta, his new home, was in the March of 1794, when the convict system had prevailed about seven years, and had been sufficient to form a population disgraceful to human nature.  None of those endeavours to reclaim the prisoner which now prevail had then been attempted, and jails were schools and hotbeds of crime, whence the transported were sent forth to corrupt each other more and more on board ship; and then, though employed on Government works or assigned to free settlers as servants, so soon as they had worked out their time of servitude they were let loose to live after their own will.

Such as had any capacity for steady industry soon made their fortunes on the parcels of land allotted to them by Government, to which they added by purchase; and these persons, by the influence of wealth and property, rose into colonial rank and authority, though without any such real training in the sense of uprightness or morality as could fit them for the posts they occupied.  The least tainted by crime were the Irish, who had been deported by wholesale after the rebellion, some without even a form of trial, but these were idle and prone to violence; while of the regular convicts there was a large proportion addicted to every brutality that vice could conceive, and their numbers were continually being recruited by fresh shiploads after the assizes at home.  The only attempt at securing order and tolerable safety was by visiting every offence, even the slightest, of which a convict was accused in a court of justice, with the most unrelenting severity; and this, of course, had the effect of further brutalizing these felon people, making them reckless of the deeds they committed, and often driving them to become bush-rangers—outlawed wild men of the woods—a terror to the colony.  A powerful military force was kept up to repress these wretched beings by physical force, but of moral training there was only what was afforded by the openings for industry in a new country, and religious teaching p. 219was represented by—two chaplains, for convicts, soldiers, settlers, and all!  No wonder that the senior soon broke down under the hopeless toil of such a position, and left the junior to struggle with it alone.  And nobly he did struggle!  Wilberforce had made a wise choice of a man in the prime of youth, whose bullet-headed portrait speaks of the most dogged determination, with nerves, health, and weight enough to contend for a whole lifetime with the horrible depravity around him—the only clergyman, and with three settlements far apart dependent on his ministry.  And in the outset he was severely tried by domestic sorrows; for his eldest son, at two years old, was thrown out of his mother’s arms by a jolt to the carriage over the rough road, and killed on the spot; and a younger child, who was shortly after left at home from dread of a similar accident, was allowed by its attendant to stray into the kitchen, where it fell backwards into a pan of boiling water and was fatally scalded.

The father bore these calamities as one who had steadfast faith and resignation—“one who felt much and said little.”  The demands on his time, indeed, left him no leisure for giving way to grief.  Spiritual matters were not all that came upon him.  In the utter lack of conscientious men to perform the functions of the magistracy, he was at once appointed to the bench; nor, indeed, was there the same feeling in England then as now against the combination of the clergyman and justice of the peace.  The most exemplary parish priests viewed it as a duty to administer justice in their villages; and the first, and till quite recently the sole manual of prayers to be used with prisoners, was the production of one of these clerical magistrates.  A Yorkshire farmer’s son could not be expected to know much about law, but good sense, uprightness, perception of justice, and intense determination, he had, as well as Christian humanity; and in these he was superior to any of his colleagues on the Paramatta bench, whom he was continually striving to raise to some comprehension of the commonest rules of justice, mercy, and decency; and in this, after a long course of years, he in some measure succeeded; but not till after his strong hand, impartial justice, and hatred of vice, had made him enemies among all parties; and it is only too probable that his secular authority, though always nobly wielded, impeded rather than otherwise his pastoral influence.

p. 220His farming education served him well when he received a grant of land, and of thirteen convicts to bring it into order.  It was part of his payment, almost indispensable for procuring to his family the necessaries of life, and it gave him, besides, the means of imparting instruction in honest labour.  His property became the model farm of New South Wales, and the profits afforded him the means of establishing the schools, benevolent institutions, and missions, for which there were few, if any purses to draw upon.  He won himself respect on all sides, especially from the Governor of the colony, Captain King, a hasty, violent, but good-hearted man, with whom more than once he had misunderstandings, but such as were made up again.  On one of these occasions, the chaplain’s advice was asked by the Governor, and promised on condition that he might speak as to a private individual.  So, when they met, Mr. Marsden locked the door, and, in plain and forcible terms, gave Captain King a thoroughgoing remonstrance on the faults of Governor King, which was taken in perfect good part.

Nevertheless, the whole construction of Society was so atrocious, that nothing could effect any improvement but interference from higher authority.  The Court of Judicature in New South Wales was the most shamelessly corrupt and abandoned in existence, and a rebellious spirit broke out which imperilled the military authority of the Governor.  Mr. Marsden saw no hope, except in laying a full statement in person before the home Government; and therefore, at the end of fourteen years, when Governor King was about to return home, he resolved to go himself, and make a strong personal representation to Government.  The two families sailed in the same ship, the Buffalo, which proved to be leaky; and, when a heavy gale was expected, it was proposed that the passengers should quit her, and take refuge in a stronger vessel; but Mrs. King was too unwell to be moved, and Mrs. Marsden would not leave her, so that the proposal was abandoned, and most providentially, for the ship that had been thought secure was lost in the night and never seen more!

The voyage was a slow one; and the first thing Mr. Marsden heard on arriving was, that the insurrection he had expected had actually broken out.  This rendered Lord Castlereagh, then Colonial Secretary, the more anxious to obtain the advice of a sensible, clear-headed man like Samuel Marsden, and he was p. 221encouraged to explain his views.  First, he was anxious for whatever would tend to reform the convicts; and having observed that the most respectable of these were such as had married, or whose wives had come out to them, he begged that, for the future, the families of the married men might be sent out with them.  This was refused; but his representation that the convicts ought to be instructed in trades was attended to, when he showed that, by this means, the whole expense of their clothing might be saved.  He had discerned the wonderful capacities of Australia for sheep farming, and having brought home some wool, and found it much approved by the manufacturers, he thereupon ventured to petition the King for a couple of merino [221] sheep from the royal farm at Windsor, to improve the breed.  The request was after “Farmer George’s” own heart; he gave five, and thus Mr. Marsden did the work of agricultural improvement of the Benedictines of old.  He also obtained that three more clergymen and three schoolmasters should be sent out; and he strove hard for other institutions, chiefly for the reformation of the female convicts, which he could not at the time get carried out.  He likewise conducted an immense correspondence on behalf of persons who had not found any other means of communicating with their homes; and, at the same time, he became personally acquainted with Wilberforce, and many others of the supporters of the cause of religion.

Above all, it was in this visit to England that Mr. Marsden laid the foundations of the missions to New Zealand, and prepared to become the apostle of the Maori race.  These great islands of New Zealand had been discovered and named by Tasman in 1642, and first visited by Captain Cook in 1769.  He found them inhabited by a brave, high-spirited, and quick-witted set of natives, with as large a proportion of the fine qualities sometimes found in a wild race as ever savages possessed, but their tribes continually at war, and the custom of cannibalism prevailing: he had been on friendly terms with them, and presented them with pigs, fowls, and potatoes—no small boon in a land where there was no quadruped bigger than a rat, and very few esculent vegetables.  From this time, whalers p. 222occasionally stopped to take in water, &c., and kept up a sort of intercourse with the Maori, sometimes amiable, and resulting in the natives taking voyages on board the vessels, but sometimes quarrelsome, and characterized by mutual outrages, when, if a white man were made prisoner, he was sure to be killed and eaten, to serve as a sort of triumphal and sacrificial banquet.

Nevertheless, it was plain that these Maories were of a much higher type of humanity than the Australian natives, whom Mr. Marsden had found so far entirely unteachable and untameable, but for whom he was trying to establish some plan of training and protection.  Such a spirit of curiosity and enterprise possessed some of the New Zealand chieftains, that they would come on visits to Australia, and on these occasions Mr. Marsden always gave them a welcome at his parsonage at Paramatta.  At one time there were thirty staying there, over whom he had great influence.  Once, when he was absent from home, the nephew of one of the chiefs died, and his uncle immediately prepared to sacrifice a slave; nor could Mrs. Marsden prevent it, otherwise than by hiding the intended victim till her husband came home, who made the chief understand that it was not to be done, though the man continued to lament that his nephew was deprived of his proper attendant in the other world, and seemed afraid to return home, lest the father of the youth should reproach him with the omission.

Mr. Marsden made known all that he had been able to gather of the promising nature of the field of labour in New Zealand, and sought aid from the Church Missionary Society, since the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel was then unable to reach beyond the colonies.  The almost universal indifference of the upper classes to missionary labour was terribly crippling in the matter of means; and perhaps the fact was that the underbred class of agents of the Societies stirred up by the example of Marshman and Carey, together with the vulgarly-sensational appeals against which Ward’s good taste so strongly protested, greatly tended to make them incredulous.  It was not till the statements of scholars and gentlemen, like Henry Martyn and Bishop Heber, became generally known, that the work was looked on without sarcasm, provoked by vulgarity, even where there was great devotion.

No clergyman could be found to undertake the mission to New Zealand; but William Hall and John King, two laymen, p. 223undertook to act as pioneers, with instructions to establish family worship, converse on religion with the natives, and instruct their children; trying, at the same time, to show the benefits of civilization, but to take care it was not confounded with Christianity.

These two good men, who were presently followed by Thomas Kendall, sailed in the same ship with Mr. Marsden, when, in August 1809, he paid his last farewell to his native land, and sailed in the Ann for New South Wales.  Strange to say, this very ship contained a Maori, on his return home!  He was a young chief named Duaterra, who had, in a spirit of adventure, embarked on board a whaler named the Argo, and worked as a sailor for six months, till the captain, having no further occasion for his services, put him ashore at Port Jackson, without payment or friends.  However, he embarked in another whaler, and worked his way home, but soon was on board of a third English ship, the Santa Anna, in search of seal-skins, and having conceived a great desire to see the country whence these vessels came forth, and to know its chief, he engaged to come to England in it, the captain and sailors not scrupling to promise him an introduction to King George.  When the Santa Anna reached England, the crew had grown tired of him, used him roughly and harshly, and tried to put him off his pertinacious recollection of the promise of seeing the king, by telling him that King George’s house could not be found; while he was worked beyond his strength, and scarcely ever suffered to go on shore.  When, in fifteen days, the cargo was all discharged, the captain put him on board the Ann, to be taken back to Australia, and when he asked for his wages, to provide some clothing, told him that the owner of the ship would give him two muskets when he should reach Port Jackson.

The poor fellow was little likely to reach it, for lung disease, the great foe of the Maori, had set in; and he was in a pitiable condition when Mr. Marsden, by chance, remarked his brown face on the forecastle, and inquired into his history, which was confirmed by the master of the Ann, and was really only a specimen of a sailor’s vague promises, and incapacity to understand that a dark skin ought to be treated with the same justice as a white one.  Duaterra was a man of much intelligence, and even under these most unfavourable circumstances had been greatly impressed with the civilization of England, and was so desirous of improvement that, on arriving at Port Jackson, Mr. p. 224Marsden took him to his farm, where he applied eagerly to the learning of husbandry.

Duaterra was not the only Maori ill-treated by British sailors.  Another chief having been used in like manner, or worse, on board the Boyd, bided his time till the ship was in the Bay of Islands, and then brought his tribe, armed with clubs and hatchets, to revenge his sufferings.  They overpowered the crew, slaughtered and feasted upon them, burning the ship, and only retaining as captives two women and a boy.  Nevertheless, Hall and King were ready to take the missionaries to this dangerous spot, but Mr. Marsden thought it best to give time for the passions thus excited to cool down.

Meantime Governor Macquarie had come out to take charge of New South Wales.  He was a man of great determination and despotic will, and carried out many regulations that were of exceeding benefit to the colony, but he did not know the limits of his authority, dealt with the chaplains as with subordinate officials, and sometimes met with staunch opposition from the sturdy Yorkshireman, his senior chaplain, so that they were in a state of almost constant feud throughout his government, although at the end of his career he bore the strongest testimony to the merits of the only man who durst resist him.  The old game of Ambrose and Theodosius, Hildebrand and Henry, Becket and Plantagenet, has to be played over and over again, wherever the State refuses to understand that spiritual matters lie beyond its grasp; and when Governor Macquarie prescribed the doctrines to be preached and the hymns to be used in the churches, and commanded the most unsuitable secular notices to be promulgated by the clergy, if Mr. Marsden had not resisted the Church would have been absolutely degraded.  When convicts of wealth and station, but still leading most vicious lives, were raised to the magistrates’ bench, Mr. Marsden could not but refuse to associate or act with them, and even tendered his resignation of the magistracy, but Macquarie would not accept it.  How uncompromising these sermons were is evidenced by an anecdote of a man, who, being stung to the quick, fancied that the words had been individually aimed at him, and determined to be revenged.  Accordingly, as soon as he saw the chaplain riding near a piece of water he jumped in, and when Mr. Marsden at once sprung after him, did his utmost to drown his intended deliverer; but after a violent struggle the Yorkshire p. 225muscles prevailed, and the man was dragged out, so startled by the shock that he confessed his intention, and, under the counsel he had so fiercely spurned at first, became truly penitent, and warmly attached to Mr. Marsden, whose service he ultimately entered.

The square short face and sturdy form of Samuel Marsden show the force, vigour, and determination of his nature, which told on beast as well as man.  On the road between Sydney and Paramatta, he used to let the reins lie loose on the splash-board of his gig and read, saying that “the horse that could not keep itself up was not worth driving,” and though one of the pair he usually drove was unmanageable in other hands, nothing ever went amiss with it when it went out with its master.  Such a spirit of determination produced an impress even on those who opposed him most, and many works were carried out in the teeth of the difficulties thrown in their way; such as the erection of schools, of a factory for the reception of the female convicts, and of a sort of model farm, where it was intended to collect, tame, and civilize the aborigines.  This was at first planned between the governor and chaplain, but when it was ready Marsden was under Colonel Macquarie’s displeasure, and was therefore excluded from all share in the management, though the site was actually in his own parish of Paramatta.  The experiment was a failure, probably not on this account, but from the restless character of the blacks, whose intellect was too small, and their wants too few, to feel any comfort a compensation for their freedom and wandering life.  Mr. Marsden and the other chaplains repeatedly tried bringing up children,—some too young to retain any memory of their native habits, but they always relapsed into savage life on the first opportunity, and though here and there individuals may have better come up to the hopes of their devoted friends, yet as a race they seem too little above the animal to be susceptible of being raised.

Governor Macquarie was an iron-handed man, who could not brook opposition, or endure any scheme that did not originate with himself.  So when Mr. Marsden laid before him a project for diminishing the appalling misery and vice in which the utter neglect of Government left the female convicts, he acknowledged the letter, but did not act upon it.  After waiting eighteen months for him to take some measure, the chaplain sent a statement of the condition of these poor creatures to p. 226the Colonial Office; it was laid before Parliament, and Lord Bathurst, the Colonial Secretary, sent a letter of inquiry to the Governor.  Macquarie’s fury was intense on finding that the chaplain had dared to look above and beyond him; and he gave a willing encouragement to whatever resisted the attempts of Marsden at establishing some sense of religion and morality.  After refusing to accept his resignation of his post as a magistrate, he dismissed him ignominiously, and all the underlings of Government knew that any attack from them would be regarded with favour.  A vile and slanderous letter, full of infamous libels, not only against Samuel Marsden, as a man and a Christian priest, but against the missionaries, and signed “Philo-free,” appeared in the Sydney Herald, the Government paper, and was traced to Macquarie’s own secretary!  The libel was such that Mr. Marsden felt it due to his cause to bring an action against the publisher, and in spite of the prejudice against him, after a trial of three days, he gained a complete victory and damages of £200; but the newspaper published such a false and scandalous report of the trial that he was obliged a second time to prosecute, and again obtained a verdict in his favour.

The officers of the 46th Regiment, on leaving the colony, presented him with a testimonial, and an address most gratifying, amid the general obloquy, and showing a feeling most honourable to themselves.  Every one who cared for the cause of virtue at home, especially Wilberforce, Simeon, and Mrs. Fry, wrote encouraging letters to him; and Lord Bathurst, on receiving a despatch from Macquarie, full of charges against the chaplain as man, magistrate, and minister, sent out a commission of inquiry, which, coming with fresh eyes from England, was horrified at the abuses to which the Australian world was accustomed, found every word of Mr. Marsden’s perfectly justified, and at last extracted the following confession from Colonel Macquarie: “The Governor admits that Mr. Marsden’s manner to him has been constantly civil and accommodating, and that nothing in his manner could provoke the Governor’s warmth.  The Governor admits his qualifications, his activity, and his unremitting vigilance as a magistrate, and in society his cheerful disposition and readiness to please.”  The report of this commission resulted, among other more important consequences, in the unsolicited grant of £400 a year additional stipend to Mr. p. 227Marsden, “in consideration of his long, laborious, and praiseworthy exertions in behalf of religion and morality.”  This was only fitting compensation on the part of Government, for the accusation of avarice had brought to light how many schools and asylums, the proper work of the Government, had been built, and were being maintained, out of the proceeds of the farm which had prospered so excellently.

As long as Macquarie continued in office, Mr. Marsden was out of favour, but Sir Thomas Brisbane, who came out in 1821, was friendly with him, and knew his value, insisting on his returning to the bench of magistrates.  He did all he could to avoid it, till the judges and almost every one in the colony so urged him to accept that he yielded; but in 1824 a case occurred in which a rich and insolent culprit was severely punished by the Paramatta bench, and contrived to raise such an outrageous storm that Sir Thomas Brisbane, who, if better disposed, was more timid than his predecessor, dismissed the whole five magistrates.  The offender’s wish had been merely to overthrow Mr. Marsden, but this was found impossible.  The whole fury of the colony again rose against this fearless man, and accusations absolutely absurd were trumped up.  One was that he allowed his windmill to work on Sunday!  The fact turned out to be, when investigated, that somebody had once seen the sails turning on a Sunday, some time before Mr. Marsden had purchased the land on which the mill stood.  A real act of persecution affected him more seriously, as it was the ruin of another person in whom he was interested.  There was an old regulation forbidding the hiring out of convicts who were assigned to residents as domestic servants, but this had been virtually repealed by another under Macquarie, permitting such hiring out on the owners complying with certain rules.  These had been duly attended to by Mr. Marsden in the case of one James Ring, a plumber and glazier, who, as a reward for good conduct, was allowed to go out to work in Paramatta for his own profit.  Being ill-used and beaten by another servant, he summoned the man before the bench of magistrates, but these, who had been put in when Mr. Marsden and his colleagues were dismissed, immediately committed Ring to jail for being at large.  His master went to demand his release, showing that the rules had been observed, but the magistrates replied by levying a fine of two-and-sixpence for every day that Ring had been at work, p. 228and as Marsden did not offer to pay, they sent a convict constable to his house to seize property to that amount, while poor Ring himself was sent to work in irons with the penal gang; though at that very moment one of the magistrates had a servant, a tailor, at work in Mr. Marsden’s house; and another person had two hired convicts of another of these justices employed at his home.  In fact, it was the only sentence of the kind ever inflicted, yet Sir Thomas Brisbane was afraid to interfere; whereupon Mr. Marsden caused his case to be tried before the Supreme Court, and so completely proved it, that restitution of the illegal fine was commanded, though the spirit of persecution was still shown in the absurdly small sum of damages allotted to him.  What was worse was that he could not procure the release of Ring, for while he was sending an appeal to England the unhappy man lost patience, ran away from the gang where he was working in irons on the roads, and escaped to New Zealand, but was never heard of more.  Had he but borne with his misery a little longer he would have been restored to his kind master, for a commission came out which a second time resulted in the complete triumph of Mr. Marsden, and the entire discomfiture of his persecutors.

We have gone through the history of his home troubles before entering on the part that concerned his missionary labours.  It is a painful picture, but the staunch firmness that never failed to “boldly rebuke vice,” is too essential a part of the picture to be passed over.  The Apostle of New Zealand was the Baptist of the Herods of Australia.  We return to the year 1816, when, after some months’ training in agriculture at Mr. Marsden’s farm, Duaterra had sailed for his home, but only again to suffer from the perfidy of the master of the ship.  The ordinary English mind seemed incapable of perceiving that any faith need be kept with a dark-coloured man, and Duaterra was defrauded of his share of the oil procured from the whales he had helped to catch, carried past his own shores, only two miles from the pah where the master had engaged to land him, and turned adrift in the then uninhabited Norfolk Island, where a whaler picked him up almost starved, and brought him back to Australia.  However, Mr. Marsden found another ship, which did fulfil its engagements, and Duaterra was at last set ashore in the Bay of Islands, close to the northern point of New Zealand, with a supply of wheat which Mr. Marsden had given him.

p. 229Two years had passed, and Mr. Marsden had been trying to procure from the Society at home a mission ship to carry teachers to the islands, visit them, and supply their wants there, but he had not as yet succeeded, and he therefore decided on purchasing a small one from Australia at his own expense.  This was the Active, the first of the mission vessels that now bear the Cross in several quarters of the globe.  In her Hall and King sailed, and Mr. Marsden would have accompanied them but for the express prohibition of Governor Macquarie, who, little as he loved his senior chaplain, did not choose to lose him on what he regarded as a scheme of almost fanatic folly.  The two teachers were not to settle on shore, nor even to sleep there, but they were to visit Duaterra, reconnoitre the ground, and see whether it would be possible to settle there as they had at first proposed.

To their delight, Duaterra came eagerly to meet them, very anxious for their assistance with his corn.  He had shown it to his tribe, telling them that hence came the bread and biscuit they had eaten in English ships, and great had been their disappointment when neither the ear nor the root of the wheat proved at all like these articles.  However, he had been successful in his farmer operations, but was entirely puzzled by those of the miller, only knowing that the grain ought to be ground, and unable to contrive it, though he had borrowed a coffee-mill from a trading vessel.  When the new comers produced a hand-mill he was delighted.  His kindred, to whom he had been a laughing-stock for averring that biscuit had any connection with his new grass, crowded round incredulously to watch the mill, showed unbounded amazement as the white flour streamed forth, and when a cake was hastily made and baked in a frying-pan they leapt about shouting and dancing for joy.  Duaterra, his uncle Hunghi, a very powerful chief, and five more, accepted an invitation to come and confer with Mr. Marsden, and the Active brought them back to New South Wales.  They were very anxious for the benefits which they hoped to derive from intercourse with the whites, and readily undertook to secure Hall and King from all danger.  Even Governor Macquarie was so far satisfied that he consented to let Mr. Marsden go out and arrange the new settlement, to which he presented two cows and a bull.  These, with three horses, and some sheep and poultry, were embarked on board the Active, with a motley p. 230collection of passengers, the eight Maories, the three missionaries with their wives and children, a sawyer, a smith, Mr. Marsden, and another gentleman named John Lydiard Nicholas, the master of the vessel, his wife, son, and crew, which included two Tahitians, and lastly a runaway convict who had secreted himself on board.  Their arrival might have been rendered dangerous by the conduct of a whaling crew at Wangaroa, in the northern island of New Zealand, who, by way of retaliation for the massacre of the Boyd’s ship-company, had murdered a chief named Tippahee with all his family, without waiting to find out whether he had been concerned in the slaughter.  Nevertheless, these brave men were ready to dare to the utmost, and the fame of Mr. Marsden, “the friend of the Maori,” had preceded him, and the Active was welcomed with presents of fish and visits from the natives.

They found that Tippahee’s people at Wangaroa had accused the tribe of the Bay of Islands of leading the English to murder their chief, that there was in consequence a deadly feud, and that several desperate battles had been fought.  Marsden knew that if he came as the friend of Duaterra and his tribe alone, party spirit would entirely alienate the rest of the islanders, and he therefore determined at once to prove that he came not as the ally of one party, but as the friend of both.  He therefore determined to prove to the Wangaroans his confidence in them by not only landing among them unarmed, but actually spending the night among them.  His friend Mr. Nicholas accompanied him in this, one of the most intrepid actions ever performed, when it is remembered that this tribe consisted of the cannibals who had eaten his own countrymen, and had of late been freshly provoked.  The two gentlemen supped in Hunghi’s hut on potatoes and fish, and then quietly walked over to the hostile camp, where they met with a friendly welcome.  One of the natives who had sailed in an English vessel was able to interpret, and with his assistance Mr. Marsden explained the purpose of the missionaries, and the desirableness of peace.  Maories appreciate being spoken to at length and with due respect, and they listened politely, making speeches in their own fashion in return, until towards eleven, when most had gone to rest.  The two Englishmen wrapped themselves in their great coats and lay down, the interpreter bidding them lie near him.  It was a clear night, countless stars shining above, the sea in front smooth, all around a forest of spears stuck upright in the p. 231earth, and on the ground the multitude of human beings in their scanty loose garb of tapa cloth lying fast asleep, while the man who had come as an apostle to them spent the night in thought and prayer.  Such a scene can never be forgotten!

In the morning the ship’s boat came to fetch him off, and he took the chiefs back with him to the ship to receive presents and be introduced to those who were to live among them.  There was also a formal reconciliation with Duaterra and his tribe, and the wondering Maories took their travelled brother into high estimation when they really beheld the animals they had imagined to be mere creations of his fancy, and were specially amazed at the sight of Mr. Marsden mounted on horseback.

Duaterra, meantime, of his own accord, was making preparations for the first Sunday service held in New Zealand.  It was likewise the Christmas Day of 1815, and Mr. Marsden felt it a most appropriate moment for his first proclamation of the good tidings of great joy among this most distant of the nations.  Duaterra’s ideas of a church consisted in enclosing about half an acre of land with a fence, and erecting in the midst a reading-desk three feet, and a pulpit six feet high, both made out of canoes, covered with either black native cloth or some canvas he had brought from Port Jackson, and ranging near them some bottoms of old canoes, as seats for the English part of the congregation, and on the hill above he hoisted, of his own accord, the British flag.

On the Sunday morning Duaterra, his uncle, and Koro Koro, another chief who had been in Australia, all appeared in regimentals given them by Governor Macquarie, swords by their sides, and switches in their hands, and all their men drawn up behind them.  When the English had entered, the chiefs arranged their tribes, and Mr. Marsden began by singing the Old Hundredth Psalm, the first note of praise to the Creator that ever rung from the bays and rocks of New Zealand.  Then he went through the Christmas Day service, his twenty-two English joining in it, and Koro Koro making signs with his switch to the natives when to stand and when to sit.  Mr. Marsden ended with a sermon on the Angelic greeting, and when the natives complained that they could not understand, Duaterra promised to explain afterwards, and this he performed—it may be feared, after a fashion of his own, for as yet he was very ignorant, although very acute.

p. 232Mr. Marsden’s principle was not that of Eliot, to begin with the faith, then come to civilization.  He thought that the benefits of civilization would lead to the acceptance of the faith; and, besides, he had only laymen to act as teachers; and, as his system was that of the Church, he could only employ them in laying foundations, in preparing instead of admitting converts, while his own duties only permitted of his making flying visits.  So he established his settlers to show the benefits of peace, industry, and morality, and thus bring the natives to look higher.  Seed, tools, clothing, he assisted them in procuring and using, but his smith was expressly forbidden ever to make or repair any warlike weapon, or the settlers ever to barter muskets or powder for any possession of whatever value with the natives.  He likewise strove, in his conversations with the chiefs, to show the evils of their vices in such a manner as their shrewd minds could enter into, trying to make them see the disgrace and horror of cannibalism, and the inconveniences of polygamy, thus hoping to raise their standard.

In order that the mission settlement might have some security, he purchased a plot of land in the name of the Church Missionary Society, drawing up a regular deed of sale, to which his signature was affixed, together with a likeness of the tattooed pattern of the Maori chieftain’s face.  Duaterra walked about with him in delight, talking of the time when the church should be built, and planning the spot; but the poor fellow had probably never recovered the injury his constitution had suffered, for he fell ill, and his state was soon hopeless.  It was a great grief to Mr. Marsden, who had reckoned much on his assistance, and found it hard to acquiesce in the will of Providence, more especially as the poor young man was not yet so entirely a Christian as to warrant baptizing him.  He begged Mr. Marsden to pray with him, but he kept his heathen priest at hand, and his mind was tossed to and fro between the new truth and the old superstition.  In this state Mr. Marsden was forced to leave him, four days before his death, when Kendall, who visited him to the last, was shocked at the savage manner in which his relatives gashed themselves, to show their grief, and far more when his favourite wife stole out and hung herself, according to a frequent custom, regarded as rather honourable than otherwise!

Soon after his death fresh wars broke out, and a hostile p. 233tribe encamped near the mission settlement, loudly threatening to kill and devour the inhabitants, who, for months together, had to keep watch day and night, put their children to bed in their clothes ready for instant flight, and had their boat always afloat with oars and sails; but they remained steadfast, and the danger passed over.

The Active plied backwards and forwards, supplying them with the necessaries of life, and bringing guests to the farm at Paramatta, where Mr. Marsden provided instruction for them.  Two, named Tooi and Teterree, were sent in charge of Mr. Nicholas to visit England in a King’s ship, where they had learnt to speak English tolerably, and to follow the customs of civilized society.  They were gentle and intelligent, and eager to learn, but no one could reckon on what would interest or excite them.  They were taken to see St. Paul’s Cathedral, which did not seem to strike them at all; but, as they were walking along Fleet Street, they came to a sudden stand before a hairdresser’s shop, screaming out, “Women, women,” as they beheld the display of waxen busts, which they thought did credit to the Pakeha, or English, style of preserving dried human heads!  Like Duaterra, their great anxiety was to see King George; but, in 1817, the apology recorded in Teterree’s English letter was only too true,—“I never see the King of England, he very poorly; and Queen Charlotte very poorly too.”

On their return to Paramatta, Mr. Marsden made a second visit to New Zealand, taking them back, and also going to instal some fresh missionaries and mechanics on a new settlement.  There was great competition among the chiefs; for the possession of a Pakeha, or Englishman, was greatly coveted as a means of bringing the material good things of life, and Mr. Marsden was eagerly assured that there was no danger of the English being killed and eaten, since the Maori flesh was much sweeter, because the whites ate so much salt.  There was as yet no convert, but Mr. Marsden’s resolution by no means failed him; he believed—and he was right—that kindness, truth, and uprightness, in those who could confer temporal benefits, would, in time, lead these intelligent men to appreciate the spiritual blessings that were offered to them.

Presents of hoes, with which to plant the sweet potato, were greatly appreciated.  Hunghi’s head wife was working away with a wooden spade, though perfectly blind, and was delighted p. 234with the new instrument.  Indeed, Hunghi was one of the most eager friends of the mission, though the splendidly tattooed heads of his enemies decorated his abode, and he defended cannibalism, on the ground that animals preyed upon one another, and that the gods devoured each other.  His manners had all the high-bred courtesy that marked the chief, and he was a noble-looking creature, full of native majesty and gentleness.  Every hope was entertained of him, and he was sent, in 1820, to visit England, where he had an interview with George IV., and received presents of weapons from him.  But the moral Hunghi brought home was, “There is but one king in England.  There shall be but one in New Zealand.”  And this consummation he endeavoured to bring about by challenging a hostile chief whom he met on his way back from Sydney to New Zealand.  He gained the battle, by arranging his men in the form of a wedge, and likewise by the number of muskets with which he was able to arm them.  When the chief himself fell by his hand, he drank his fresh blood, and devoured his eye, in the belief that it thus became a star in the firmament, and conferred glory on himself; and the whole battle-field was covered with the ovens in which his followers cooked the flesh of the prisoners whom they did not keep as slaves!

This horrible scene took place while Mr. Marsden was in Australia, but he could hardly have prevented it.  Probably the chief’s ferocity, so long repressed, was in a state of reaction; for, though the missionaries were not molested, their efforts seemed lost.  Hunghi declared that he wished his children to learn to fight, not to read; and the Maoris insisted on being paid for any service to the missionaries in fire-arms and powder.  When this was refused they became insolent and mischievous, intruding into the houses, demanding food, breaking down the fences, and stealing whatever they could seize; and there was reason to fear that any excitement might lead to absolute danger.  In this crisis some of the missionaries failed, sold ammunition, and otherwise were wanting in the testimony they were intended to maintain.  The tidings determined Mr. Marsden on making a fourth visit to New Zealand: and this time he was able to take with him a clergyman, the Rev. Henry Williams, who lived to become Bishop of a Maori district.  It was nine years since the first landing there, and, in spite of all p. 235disappointments, he found many of the natives much improved, and the friendly chiefs quite able to understand his prohibition against the sale of powder, although they were at first inclined to be angry at his having sent home a missionary on that account.  The other missionaries expressed repentance for their errors, but he was not thoroughly satisfied with them, though allowing much for their isolation from Christian society and ordinances.

A Wesleyan mission had been established at Wangaroa, which he visited and assisted, and finding Mr. Leigh, the chief minister, very ill, offered him a passage to Sydney for advice, but this ship had scarcely weighed anchor before a great storm came on; the ship was lost, and the crew and passengers had to land in boats, and return for two months longer before a ship could be found to bring them home, and in this time he did all in his power to bring the Maories to agree to some settled form of government under a single chief; but though any chief, especially Hunghi, was quite willing to be that one, nobody would be anything secondary, and thus the project failed.  He also set the missionaries the task of endeavouring to collect a fixed vocabulary and grammar, which might be available in future translations.  The great kindness shown him at his shipwreck had greatly touched his heart, especially in contrast with the usage he was meeting with in Australia, for this was in the height of the persecution about Ring, which detained him at home for more than two years.  During this time Mr. Williams was joined by his brother William, also a priest of the English Church, but the wars of the Maories had become so desperate that the peril of the missionaries had been much increased; indeed, the Wesleyans had had the whole of their premises ravaged, so that the minister came as a fugitive to find a refuge at Paramatta, as a guest of Mr. Marsden.

That brave soldier of his Lord decided on going at once to the scene of peril.  Though sixty-three years old, he sailed as soon as possible in H.M.S. Rainbow, but found peace restored and the danger to his missions over.  He therefore came back, after remaining only five days at his labours in New South Wales, to the superintendence of the translation of several chapters of Holy Scripture, and to the instruction of the young Maories at the sort of college he had tried from the first to keep up at Paramatta, but which he was forced to abandon, since the p. 236delicate lungs of the Maories could not endure the parching dryness of the Australian climate.

By the time he went again to New Zealand, in 1830, Hunghi had been killed in battle, and the nation was fast dwindling between war and a disease resembling the influenza.  It was estimated that in twenty years the numbers had diminished by one-half, and in the meantime English settlers were entering on the lands so numerously that it was evident that before long the islands would be annexed to the British crown.  Mr. Marsden had hoped at first that this brave and intelligent people might have been Christianized and civilized, so as to stand alone, but finding that their deadly feuds and internecine savagery rendered this impossible, he thought it best to prepare them to come willingly under a curb that he trusted would be no more than beneficial.

He found the missionaries much alarmed, for a horrible battle had just been fought, caused by the misconduct and insulting behaviour of the crew of an English ship.  One tribe had taken their part, another had risen to revenge the affront, and a great mutual slaughter had taken place; victory had remained with the avengers, and though the offending crew had sailed away, it was apprehended that all the English might suffer in their stead.  There was not an hour to be lost.  Mr. Marsden and Mr. Williams crossed the bay and entered the camp of the English allies, where they were affectionately greeted, and allowed to carry proposals of peace to the victorious party, but there they met with a less friendly reception, being told that they were answerable for the lives of those who had fallen in the battle, since it had been occasioned by the misconduct of their countrymen.  When Mr. Marsden promised to write to England to prevent the return of the offenders, the savages desired he would do no such thing, since they only desired vengeance.  However, they agreed to hold a meeting with the hostile tribe, and endeavour to come to terms.  Early the next morning thirty-six canoes arrived opposite to the mission station, some containing forty men; and notice was given that if the commissioners appointed on either side did not come to terms, the white men would be the sacrifice.

The day was spent in conferences, but at night the chief of the hostile tribe clove a stick in two, in token that his anger was broken, and the two parties joined in a hideous war-dance, p. 237frequently firing their muskets; but peace was ratified, and Mr. Marsden found that real progress had been made among the natives around the stations.  Many had become true and sincere Christians, among them the widow and daughters of Hunghi.  A Maori Christian woman was married by Mr. Marsden to an Englishman.  She made all the responses in good English, and appeared in decent English clothes of her own sewing.  He also married a young man, free, and of good family, to a girl who had been a slave taken in war, who was redeemed from her master for five blankets, an axe, and an iron pot.  A number of natives lived round the missions, attending the services, and working with a good deal of industry and intelligence, and an increasingly large proportion of these were openly baptized Christians.

A seventh visit was paid by Mr. Marsden in 1837, when seventy-two years of age.  On his return an officer in the ship observed: “I think, sir, you may look on this as your last visit to New Zealand.”  “No,” he answered, “I intend to be off again in about six weeks; the people in the colony are becoming too fine for me now.  I am too old to preach before them, but I can talk to the New Zealanders.”  He adhered to his purpose, and his daughter, Martha, who had been with him on his last voyage, accompanied him again in this.  There had been some quarrels with the crews of ships, but the natives always separated Mr. Marsden from the misdeeds of his people, and the old chiefs were delighted to see him.  “Stay with us and learn our language,” one of them said: “become our father and our friend, and we will build you a house.”  “No,” replied another, “we cannot build a house good enough, but we will hire Europeans to do it for us.”

Wherever he went, he was hailed as the friend of the Maori, and he made a progress through all the mission stations, which were growing up numerously, and whence Christianity was fast spreading by the agency of the Maories themselves.  A chief named Koromona, made captive in Hunghi’s great war, who had become blind, had been converted by Mr. William Williams, and soon learnt the whole Liturgy, with many chapters of the Bible, and hymns, by heart, and was fit to be sent as a teacher among the other tribes.  Sunday was generally observed, cannibalism and polygamy were retreating into the more remote and heathenish regions, and there was every token that the noble p. 238Apostle of New Zealand had verily conquered a country and people for the Church of God.  Terrible wars among the tribes, provoking all the old ferocities, still were liable to arise, and the whaling crews, among whom might be found some of the most unscrupulous, licentious, and violent of mankind, continued to take advantage of there being no regular jurisdiction to commit outrages, which spread corruption or provoked retaliation, and for this there was no remedy but annexation to the British crown, which the influence of the mission was leading the natives themselves to desire, though this was not carried out till after Mr. Marsden’s death.

This last visit took place in 1837.  By that time the persecutions and troubles of Mr. Marsden’s colonial life had been outlived,—though even as late as 1828, he writes about a pamphlet which actually charged him with inflicting torture to extract confession!  But his character outweighed all such absurd charges, and as a more respectable class of settlers flowed into the colony he was better appreciated.  What the tone must have been may be guessed from the fact that when, in 1825, Governor Darling began regularly to attend church with his wife and family, it was regarded as an unexampled act in the supreme magistrate!

Mr. Marsden lost his wife in 1835, but his daughter did her best to minister to his happiness, and was his companion and assistant in all he undertook.  Once, when she was driving with him, two of the most terrible of the bushrangers, who were feared by the whole country, broke forth upon them, seized the horse, and holding a loaded pistol to Mr. Marsden’s breast, bade her empty his pockets into their hands, threatening to shoot them both if either said a word.  Nevertheless, the fearless old man continued to remonstrate with them on their wicked life, telling them that he should see them again upon the gallows, and though they charged him with savage threats not to follow them with his eyes, he turned round and continued to warn them of the consequences of a life like theirs.  In a few months’ time they were captured, and it did actually fall to his lot to attend them to the scaffold.

Yet, though of this fearless mould, he was one of the most loveable of men; everyone on his farm, as well as all little children, and the savages he conversed with, all loved him passionately.  Some young Maories, whom he brought back on p. 239his last voyage, used to race after his gig to catch his eye, and when they took hold of any book, used to point upwards, as if whatever was associated with Matua, as they called him, must lead to heaven.  He was fond of playing with children, and never was so happy as when he yearly collected the schoolchildren of Paramatta on his lawn, for a feast and games after it.

In 1834, the Rev. William Grant Broughton, one of the clergy of Australia, took home an account of the spiritual destitution of New South Wales, and the effect was that in 1836 a bishopric was there created, and the first presentation given to him.  Some thought that this was a passing over of the chaplain who had laboured so hard for so many years, but Mr. Marsden himself only observed that it was better thus: he was too old a man, and it was with sincere goodwill that he handed over the charge he had held for more than forty years, so that only the parish of Paramatta remained to him, and there he continued his ministry in church, to the sick, and among the poor to the end.

On the last Sunday of his life he seemed in his usual health; but for the first time he did not take part in the service, and at the celebration he seemed to be so overcome by his feelings as not to move from his place to communicate, when, after a pause, his son-in-law went to him with the sacred elements.  There were many tears shed by those who foreboded that his hand would never administer to them again.  On the Tuesday he set out for a short journey, but apparently he took a chill on the way to the house of his friend, Mr. Styles, at Windsor, and arrived unwell; erysipelas in the head came on, with a stupor of the faculties, and he died on Saturday, the 12th of May, 1838,—a man much tried, but resolute, staunch, and gallant, and, in the end, blessedly successful.

Two years later, New Zealand, by the wish of the Maories themselves, was added to the British dominions, a bishopric was erected there, and, did not our bounds forbid us to speak of those who are still among us, we could tell much of the development, under Bishop Selwyn, of Samuel Marsden’s work: though, alas! there is a tale to tell that disgraces, not our Government, but our people,—a story of lust of land and of gain, and of pertinacious unfairness towards the Maori, which has alienated a large number of that promising and noble people, led to their p. 240relapse into the horrors from which they had been freed, overthrown their flourishing Church in favour of a horrid, bloodthirsty superstition, and will probably finish its work by the destruction of the gallant race that once asked our protection.


Of Welsh extraction, and respectable though humble parentage, the pioneer and martyr of Polynesia, John Williams, was born at Tottenham High Court, London, in the year 1796.  His parents were Nonconformists, and he was educated at a “commercial” school at Edmonton, where the teaching did not aim at much beyond writing and accounts, all that was supposed, at that time, to be needful for a young tradesman.  The chief point remembered of his childhood was an aptitude and handiness which caused all little breakages to be kept for John to repair,—a small quality, but one of no small importance in the life of a missionary, who often finds ready resource essential to safety and to influence.

His mother was a good and religious woman, whose one great purpose in choosing a situation was to place him in a family where he might be influenced for good; and she was fortunate in finding a furnishing ironmonger whose care of his apprentices exactly met her views.  While serving his time, John Williams was observed to delight in the hard practical work of the forge far more than in the easier and more popular employments of the shop, and he was always eager to be sent out to execute repairs, a task that was rather despised by his companions.  He was not regarded as a religious youth till he was about eighteen; he considered that a serious direction had been given to his mind one Sunday evening, when his master’s wife, finding him just about to enter a tea-garden with some idle companions, persuaded him to come with her to chapel, where he heard an impressive sermon that gave a colour to his life.

p. 241After this, distinct habits of piety were formed, Williams was admitted to full membership at the chapel called the Tabernacle, and, together with others of the more earnest young men of the congregation, formed a society called “The Youths’ Class,” one of those associations which, under whatever form, have, in all ages of Christianity, been found a most powerful and salutary means of quickening, uniting, and strengthening the young by the sense of fellowship.  The lads met every Monday evening for discussion, and every eighteenth Monday was devoted to special prayer.  The minister of the chapel did not naturally preside, but would often look in, say a few words on the subject in hand, and thus keep watch that the debates were properly conducted.

It was through this pastor, Mr. Wilks, that John Williams first imbibed his interest in the missionary cause,—an interest that gradually grew upon him so much, that in his twentieth year he decided upon devoting himself to the task.  Good Mr. Wilks freely gave the young ironmonger assistance in supplying the deficiencies of his education, and in July 1816 he was presented to the directors of the London Missionary Society, and passed an examination, after which he was accepted, before he was out of his apprenticeship.  According to rule, so young and so insufficiently instructed a man would ordinarily have had some years of training before actually undertaking to labour among the heathen, but there was at the moment an urgent call for aid from various branches, and it was decided, by a special vote of the committee, to send him out as soon as possible to the South Sea Islands.  His master willingly released him from the seven months that remained of his term; nor had his time of apprenticeship been by any means wasted, for the mechanical skill he had acquired was of great importance to his success as a civilizer.  Marriage was always recommended to the missionaries of the Baptist Societies, and Williams’s fate was no sooner decided than he chose Mary Channer, a constant attendant at the Tabernacle, and a woman helpful, kind, and brave, as befitted a missionary’s wife.

A great meeting was soon after held, as a sort of dedication of the new labourers, nine in number, who were thence to go forth,—five to South Africa, four to Polynesia.  Among the Africans was Robert Moffat, a name memorable, both on his own account and as the father-in-law of Livingstone.  An elderly p. 242minister stood forth and questioned the young men in the face of the congregation on their faith, their opinions, their motives, and their intentions; and then a Bible was solemnly presented to each by an elder minister, John Angell James, of Birmingham, one of the most able and highly reputed Nonconformists then living; and another minister, Dr. Waugh, addressing himself to Williams, who was much the youngest of the nine, said, “Go, my dear young brother, and if your tongue cleave to the roof of your mouth, let it be with telling poor sinners the love of Jesus Christ; and if your arms drop from their shoulders, let it be with knocking at men’s hearts to gain admittance for Him there.”

The impression never left John Williams, and the injunction was fulfilled to the utmost of his power.  He was a man of strong and vigorous frame, well fitted to encounter the perils of climate; and with much enterprise, hardihood, and ingenuity.  That his mind was in some degree narrowed by want of education, perhaps mattered less in the peculiar field of his labours, where he was seldom brought in contact with wide questions.  He had the excellent quality of ready sympathy and adaptability to the persons around him, whether civilized or savage, and was so good-natured and yielding in unimportant matters, that the strength and firmness with which he would stand up for whatever he viewed as a matter of conscience, always took his opponents by surprise; but it was always long before this point was reached, and he was perhaps too ready to give up when it was judgment rather than right and wrong that came into play.  Williams’s face, as given in the portrait attached to his “History of Missionary Enterprise in the South Sea,” curiously agrees with his history.  There is much power about the brow, much enterprise in the strong, somewhat aquiline nose, great softness and sweetness in the eyes, but the thickness of the lips and chin betray the want of cultivation; indeed, the curious manner in which the mouth is pursed up, would seem to indicate that an eager temper naturally kept it unclosed, and that the restraint of sitting for a picture rendered the expression uncomfortably prim.

The Polynesian Mission on which John Williams was sent, had been commenced in 1796 by the London Missionary Society, partly in consequence of the death-bed entreaties of Selina, Countess of Huntingdon, who had been exceedingly interested by the accounts of the South Sea Islands in Captain p. 243Cook’s Voyages.  The subscriptions amounted to 10,000l., and were sufficient to purchase a ship called the Duff, which was commanded by that Captain Wilson whose wonderful history has been noticed in the lives of the Serampore body.  Twenty-five missionaries were taken out, and received at Tahiti with grotesque dances and caperings.  The dwelling, which had been erected when Captain Bligh was collecting bread-fruit, was given to them, and several were placed there, while the Duff carried others to the Friendly and Marquesan Islands, and, after visiting them all a second time, returned home for reinforcements.

On the next voyage, however, with a different captain, the Duff was captured by a French privateer, the captain of which, when he understood the purpose of the voyage, greatly regretted what he had done, and declared that he would rather have given 500l. than have interfered with it.  He landed the missionaries at Monte Video, and assisted them in obtaining a passage home, in the course of which they were again captured by a Portuguese, whose treatment of them was a wretched contrast to that of the friendly Frenchman.

Meantime, many disasters had befallen the unassisted missionaries, who suffered from the hostility of a section of the natives, though the king, Pomare, always protected them.  One of their number insisted on marrying a native woman still unconverted, separated from his brethren, and was soon after murdered by the natives.  Another was lost in a still sadder way.  He reasoned himself into doubts of the Divine power and of the immortality of the soul, and finally left the island, nor was he heard of again for many years, though prayer was constantly made for him, and at length it became known that he had wandered to Serampore, where the influence of Marshman and Carey had prevailed to bring back his faith, but he had since been lost at sea.  What wonderful glimpses we get of strange wild lives!

But the Tahitian Mission had not included any one leading character, so that it may be enough to state that, after years of patient effort and often of danger, the missionaries beheld King Pomare II., the successor of him whom they had found on the throne, solemnly burn his idols, and profess himself a Christian.

From that time the island has been Christian.  The standard p. 244of morality has been by no means as high as it ought to be, and there is much disappointment in dealing with any nation, with none more so than with an indolent and voluptuous people, in a climate disposing them to inertness, and in a part subject to the visits of lawless seamen of all nations.  However, the mission kept its hold of Tahiti, until the French, in 1844, began a series of aggressions, which ended in their establishing a protectorate over the islands, introducing their Church, and doing all in their power to discourage the London Mission, to which, however, many of the natives still adhere.

This, however, is anticipating.  When the five young men sailed in 1817, and after a kindly welcome on their way from Mr. Marsden at Sydney, things were in the full blush of promise.  Eight hundred people worshipped at the chapel of Erineo, near the landing-place.  It was a circular building, a good deal like a haystack, with walls of stakes, a thatch of large leaves, and a desk in the centre of the floor for the preacher.  This was his first station, and whilst there he gave his assistance in building a ship, to enable King Pomare to open a trade with New South Wales.  He stayed in this place till he had become familiar with the language, and his first child was born there.

Not long after some allies of Pomare, from Huahime, struck with the benefits produced among the Tahitians by the missionaries, entreated that some might be sent to them likewise; and Williams, his wife and child, with two other married pairs, and an interpreter, were told off for the mission.

They were welcomed eagerly, had oval huts assigned to them, and no lack of pork and yams, but Mr. Williams did not long remain there, being called away by an invitation from Raiatea.  This is one of the loveliest of tropical islands, the largest of the Society Islands.  Huge mountain masses rise from the centre of an isle, about fifty miles in circumference, and give it the grandeur of the rock, the precipice, and the waterfall; but all around and below, the sides are clothed with the exquisite verdure of the southern clime, the palm, the bread-fruit, the yam, and all that can delight the eye; and both this and a little satellite islet are fenced in by an encircling coral reef, within which is clear still deep water, fit for navies to ride in, and approachable through numerous inlets in its natural breakwater.  It was a spot of much distinction, containing the temple of the god Oro, who was revered by all the p. 245surrounding groups, as the god of war, to whom children were dedicated to make them courageous.  There dreadful human sacrifices were offered, concluded by cannibal feasts.  Whenever such a sacrifice was required, the priest and king despatched messengers to the chiefs of the districts around to inquire whether they had a broken calabash, or a rotten cocoa-nut.  These terms indicated a man whom they would be willing to give up.  The victim was then either knocked down with a blow of a small stone at the back of his head, or else speared in his own house; and when one man of a family had thus been sacrificed, all the rest had the same horrid preference.

The last human victim of Tahiti was verily a martyr.  He was designated because he had begun to pray.  The emissaries came to his house and asked his wife where he was.  Then, borrowing from her the ironwood stick used for breaking open cocoa-nuts, they went after him, and knocked him down with it, binding him hand and foot, and placing him in a long basket made of cocoa-nut leaves.  His wife rushed forward, but was kept away, as the touch or breath of a woman is considered to pollute a sacrifice.  The man, however, recovered the blow, and spoke out boldly: “Friends, I know what you intend to do with me.  You are about to kill me, and offer me up as a tabæ to your savage gods.  I know it is vain for me to beg for mercy, for you will not spare my life.  You may kill my body, but you cannot hurt my soul, for I have begun to pray to Jesus.”

On hearing this, his bearers set him on the ground, put one stone under his head, and beat out his brains with another, and thus died the last Tahitian sacrifice, truly baptized in his own blood.  The other gods besides Oro were numerous, and there were also many animals supposed to be possessed with familiar spirits.  A chief was once in the cabin of a ship where there was a talking cockatoo: the moment the bird spoke he rushed away in the utmost terror, leapt overboard, and swam for his life, convinced that he had heard the captain’s demon.

The chief of Raiatea was named Tamatoa, and was a man of considerable power.  Two years previously the Tahitian king, Pomare, nineteen of his subjects, and a missionary named Wilson had been driven thither in a canoe by stress of weather; and what Tamatoa had heard from them had so impressed him that he had persuaded his people to build a place of worship, p. 246observe the Sunday, and meet to repeat together the scant lessons they had been able to receive during the visit of the Tahitians.  This led to a resolve to entreat for the presence of a missionary among them; and the chieftain himself came to Huahime to make the request.  Williams longed to go, but, as the youngest minister, waited till all the rest had decided to the contrary, and then gladly accepted his lot to go with Tamatoa.  There was a joyous welcome, and a feast was brought, consisting of five pigs for Mr. Williams, five for his wife, and five for their baby-boy; besides crates of yams, bananas, and cocoa-nuts, which, however, they were not required to eat themselves, only to see eaten in their house.

The islanders were ready to give up their idols and call themselves Christians, to hear Mr. Williams preach, and to observe the Sabbath; being, in fact, like the Red Indians of Eliot’s experience, so idle that a day of no work made no difference to them.  Their indolence, the effect of their enervating climate, was well-nigh invincible; they preferred hunger to trouble, and withal their customs were abhorrent to Christian morality.  Most islets of the South Seas have much the same experience.  The people, taken on their best side, show themselves gentle and intelligent, and their chiefs are dignified gentlemen; but there is a horrible background of ferocity and barbarism—often cannibalism.  It generally proves comparatively easy to obtain a recognition of Christianity, and the cruelty and violence are usually laid aside; but to bring purity and morality to bear upon these races is a much more difficult thing, and the apparent failures have been at once the grief and reproach of missionaries, while those who assail them with scoffs forget the difficulty of dealing with the inveterate customs of a whole people, in a luxurious climate, and with little or no inducement to such industrial occupations or refinements of mind, as are the best auxiliaries of religion in raising the tone.

Lands where cold is unknown, and where fruit grows as freely as in Paradise, offer no inducement to labour; and the missionaries, striving in vain to lead the people to think occupation a duty, were deserted as being troublesome when they bade them to work.  A school which the Williams’s set up was more popular; the Polynesians had no lack of brains, and reading and writing were pleasanter than digging and building, or carrying logs.

p. 247Thinking that examples of the civilization that the islanders had never seen would do more for their advance than anything else, Mr. Williams, with such assistance as he could obtain from the natives, built himself a house with eight rooms, sash windows with Venetian blinds, a verandah, and a most beautiful garden, and filled it with polished furniture, made by his own clever mechanical hands.  With the assistance of one or two other missionaries who joined him, he succeeded in thus exciting a certain emulation among the natives.  The king had a house built for him like that of the white men, others followed, and thus a very important step was made out of the degraded customs encouraged by the old oval huts.  The coral, made into lime, afforded excellent material for plaster, and trades began to be fostered among the natives; they became carpenters, blacksmiths, plasterers, boat-builders, and acquired some ideas of agriculture.  By the end of the second year, the chapel and school stood in the midst of white cottages; the population still wore clothing made of their own bark cloth, but in imitation of that of their teachers, and the open savagery of the island was gone.  The congregation assembled three times on Sunday, and there was family prayer in almost every house.  Cannibalism was ended, and so was infanticide, one of the most terrible customs of the island, for there was scarcely a woman above thirty who had not put to death several of her infants.  Much had been done, although the good man to whom so much was owing did not feel satisfied that the profession in many cases was thoroughly deep, and he still knew of many an inveterate evil, that only time, discipline, and above all heartfelt religion, could uproot.

A large chapel, built with all the taste and ornament that he could achieve, was erected, the sides wattled, the roof supported by pillars of tree-trunks, and the floors and pews, the pulpit and desk, which were all to which the young ironmonger at the Tabernacle attached the notion of a worthy place of worship, were solid and well finished.  He even fashioned some chandeliers for evening service, and these so astonished the Raiateans, that on first entering the chapel, they broke out into a cry of amaze, “Oh, Britannia!  Britannia!” and gave the name to England of “the land whose customs were without end.”

The opening of this chapel was one great step in Mr. Williams’s p. 248work; the next was the inducing Tamatoa and the other chiefs to bind themselves to govern by a code of Christian laws, not complex, but based on the Ten Commandments, and agreeing with those newly established by Pomare in Tahiti, but with this difference, that Williams ventured to introduce trial by jury, in the hope that it would tend to qualify the despotic power of the chiefs.  Tamatoa’s brother, Pahi, was appointed judge, and the community was arranged on a Christian basis.  The congregation was likewise put under regular discipline after the example of the Independents in England, with ruling pastors and elders appointed from among the people; and an auxiliary Missionary Society was formed for assisting in the conversion of the other isles.

Just as this was thoroughly arranged, in about the fourth year of his mission, Williams suffered from a malady which seemed to him and his companion, Mr. Threlkeld, to necessitate his return home.  The information was received by the islanders with something like despair.  Old King Tamatoa came to him and said, “Viriamu, I have been thinking you are a strange man.  Jesus did not take care of His body.  He did not even shrink from death, and now you are afflicted you are going to leave us.”

Prayer was offered all over the island, and in the midst of all the preparations for departure the disease began to ameliorate, and Mr. Williams recovered for a time, though the next year a recurrence of the attack made him resolve upon a visit to Sydney, not only for the sake of advice, but in the hope of establishing a market for the produce of the Society Isles, which might give a motive to the industry he was so anxious to promote, and likewise to obtain a vessel to be used for the missions.

Two Raiatean teachers instructed by him were landed at the island of Aitutake on the way, after the chiefs had pledged themselves to support and protect them, and the voyage was continued to Australia, where there was as usual a warm reception from Mr. Marsden.  It was a very important visit.  Parts of the Holy Scriptures, catechisms, and spelling-books, were printed; the ship, with the assistance of the Society of which Marsden was agent, was purchased, a schooner of ninety tons, and named Te Matama, the Beginner; a person named Scott secured, at 150l. per annum, to instruct the natives in the cultivation of sugar p. 249and tobacco, and stores laid in of presents for the natives, clothes for the women, shoes, stockings, tea-kettles, tea-cups, saucers, and tea.  The natives had a great liking for tea, and as they could not cherish cups and saucers without shelves to put them on, all this was an indirect mode of introducing European comforts and decencies.  As to shoes, there can be no spade husbandry with an unshod foot, and thus the system of hoeing-women doing all the labour was attacked.

On the way back to Raiatea, Mr. Williams visited New Zealand, but not at a favourable moment, for the chiefs were at war, and he had to hurry away.  The cargo was gladly welcomed at Raiatea, and the desire to purchase European dress was found a great incentive to industry.

In 1823, Mr. Williams began a series of missionary voyages.  The events of these have almost too much sameness for description, though full of interest in detail.  The people, when taken on their right side, were almost always ready to admit teachers, and adopt certain externals, though the true essentials of Christianity were of much slower growth.  Our limits prevent us from giving much of detail of his intercourse with these isles.  Raiatea was his first home, Rarotonga his second.  There he placed his family, which long consisted of his one boy, John, born in Tahiti, all Mrs. Williams’s subsequent babes scarcely living to see the light, until, in the sixteenth year of her Polynesian life, another son rejoiced her.  She became a centre and pattern of domestic life, and instructed the women in feminine habits, and she patiently encountered the anxieties and perils, chiefly from storm and hurricane, that beset her life.  The chief troubles that Mr. Williams encountered at Raiatea, were the vices that civilization brought.  After old Tamatoa’s death, his son allowed a distillery to be established, and drunkenness threatened to overthrow the habits so diligently taught.  May be, the Puritanical form of religion and the acquired tastes of the London tradesman did not allow brightness and beauty enough to these children of the South, and tempted them by proscribing things innocent, but there is no telling: nothing but strictness seemed a sufficient protection from the foul rites of idolatry, and all that his judgment or devotion could devise for these people Williams and his fellows did.

The Samoan group of islands was one of those where the people showed the most intelligence.  They were already great p. 250cultivators of the toilette.  A Samoan beau glistened from the head to the hips with sweet-scented oil, and was tastefully tattooed from the hips to the knees; he wore a bandage of red leaves oiled and shining, a head-dress formed of a pearly disk of nautilus-shell, and a string of small white shells round each arm.  His lady was not tattooed, but spotted all over, and when in full attire, wore a beautiful white silky mat at her waist, a wreath of sweet flowers round her head, rows of large blue beads round her neck, and the upper part of her person was tinged with turmeric rouge.

These Samoans, though they deified many animals, had no temples, idols, priests, nor sacrifices, and thus were more than usually amenable to Christian ideas; and on Mr. Williams’s second visit to the island, he had a numerous congregation, but so arranged that he could hardly keep his countenance.  Some had their long hair greased and stiffened into separate locks, standing erect like quills upon the fretful porcupine; while others wore it cultivated into one huge bush, stiffened with coral line, diversified with turmeric.  Indeed, there is no rest for such heads as these—none of their wearers dares to sleep without a little stool to support his neck, so as not to crush his chevelure against the ground.

These fine gentlemen had a readiness and intelligence about them that warmed to the first rays of light.  They listened eagerly, and their attachment to the missionary was expressed in a song sung in what they called a “heavenly dance” of the ladies in his honour, when he had remained with them long enough to plant the good seed of a growing church.

   “Let us talk of Viriamu,
   Let cocoa-nuts glow in peace for months;
When strong the east winds blow, our hearts forget him not.
Let us greatly love the Christian land of the great white chief.
All victors are we now, for we all have one God.
No food is sacred now.  All kinds of fish we catch and eat,
      Even the sting-ray.

   The birds are crying for Viriamu,
      His ship has sailed another way.
   The birds are crying for Viriamu,
      Long time is he in coming.
         Will he ever come again?
         Will he ever come again?”

It was some time before he could come again; for, after p. 251eighteen years of unremitting labour in the isles of Raiatea and Rarotonga, and of voyages touching on many other isles, he had made up his mind to visit England.

He came home in 1834, and remained about four years, doing much for his cause by his personal narratives and vivid accounts of the people to whom he had devoted his life.  Curiously enough, his son, now a youth of twenty, was introduced to Earl Fitzwilliam’s gardener, who proved to have been one of the mission party who had been captured in the Duff on the second voyage, and who was delighted to hear of the wonderful progress of the cause from which he himself had been turned back.

A subscription was raised for the purchase of a mission ship, exceeding in size and suitability such craft as could be purchased or hired in Australia; and the Camden, a vessel admirably fitted for the purpose, was obtained and equipped at a cost of 2,600l., the command of her given to Captain Morgan, who was well experienced in the navigation of the Polynesian seas, and had, moreover, such a reputation for piety, that the natives termed his vessel “the praying ship.”

In this vessel a large reinforcement of missionaries was taken out, including a married pair for Samoa, and likewise young John Williams, who had found himself an English wife; but his little brother was left at home for education.  The intention of Williams was to station the missionaries upon the friendly isles, and himself circulate among them in the Camden, breaking fresh ground in yet unvisited isles, and stationing first native and then English teachers, as they were prepared for them.

Among the Samoans he remained a good while.  He estimated the population at 60,000, of whom nearly 50,000 were under instruction.  Several places of worship were opened with feasts, at which huge hecatombs of swine were consumed—1,370 at one festival.  One young chief under instruction became so good a preacher, that Williams called him the Whitfield of Samoa; and these islands have, under the training then set on foot, furnished many a missionary and even martyr to the isles around, and are, to the present day, one of the happiest specimens of the effects of missionary labour.

The want of extended views in good Mr. Williams was shown in his manner of regarding the expected arrival of some Roman Catholic priests in the Polynesian seas.  He set to p. 252work to translate Foxe’s “Book of Martyrs,” and begged that a present offered him for his people might be expended in slides illustrating it for a beautiful magic lantern which he already possessed, and whose Scripture scenes drew tears from the natives.  He had not Church knowledge enough to rise above the ordinary popular view of “Popery,” and did not understand its Christianity enough to see the evils of sowing the bitterest seeds of the Protestant controversy among scarcely reclaimed heathens.

On their side, the Roman Catholics would have done better to enter on untrodden ground, of which there was such an infinity, than to force themselves where, if they did not find their Church, at least they found faith in the Saviour.  But the Society Isles were coveted, for political reasons, by the existing French Government, and the struggle was there beginning, of which Mr. Williams was not destined to see the unfortunate conclusion.

Raiatea he found much improving; and at Rarotonga civilization had made such progress, that the chiefs house was two storeys high, with ten bedrooms, and good furniture made in imitation of English, and any linen Mr. Williams left in his room was immediately washed, ironed, and laid ready for use.  Much of the lurking heathenism was giving way, and fair progress being made in religious feeling, when, after a stay in Samoa, where Mrs. Williams now chiefly resided, John Williams set out on an exploring voyage in the Camden.

Strangely enough, his last text in preaching to the Samoans was, “Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more;” and the people, who always grieved whenever he left them, wept as bitterly at the words as if they had known them to be an omen.  He was bent on an attempt on the heathen isle of Erromango, which his wife viewed with a foreboding terror, that made her in vain try to extract a promise from him not to land there.

But he viewed the New Hebrides as an important link, leading perhaps to reaching the Papuan race in New Guinea.  He hoped to gain a footing there, and make the spot such a centre as Tahiti, Raiatea, Rarotonga, and Samoa had successively been; and, as the Camden glided along the shores of the island, he talked of his schemes, and of a certain sense of fear that they gave him, lest they were too vast to be accomplished p. 253by his means and in his lifetime, but with the sanguine buoyancy of a man still in full vigour, and who had met with almost unmixed success.

On the 20th of November, 1839, the vessel entered Dillon’s Bay, and a canoe with three men paddled up to her.  A boat was lowered, in which Mr. Williams, two other missionaries named Harris and Cunningham, Captain Morgan, and four sailors seated themselves.  They tried to converse with the natives, but the language proved to be unlike any in use in Polynesia (it is, in fact, one of the Melanesian dialects), and not a word could be made out.

Pulling into a creek, some beads and a small looking-glass were thrown to the natives, and water asked for by signs.  It was brought, and this gave more confidence.  Harris then waded ashore.  At first the people ran away, but Mr. Williams called to him to sit down, and, on his doing so, they came nearer, and offered him some cocoa-nut milk.  Mr. Williams observed little boys at play, and thought it a good sign.  Captain Morgan wished they had been women, because the natives always send their wives out of the way when they mean violence.  However, Williams landed, and divided some cloth among those who stood nearest.  Then Harris began to walk forward into the bush, Williams following, and, with a crowd of natives round him, was counting in Samoan, trying whether the boys around would recognize the names of the figures.  Cunningham did not like the countenances of the natives, and remarked it to him, but was not heard.  Stooping to pick up a shell, Cunningham was startled by a yell, and Harris came rushing along, pursued by a native.  Williams turned and looked, a blast on a shell was heard, and he too fled.  Cunningham reached the boat in safety, but Harris fell in crossing a small brook, and the natives were at once upon him with their clubs.  Williams had made for the sea, apparently intending to swim off and let the boat pick him up, but the beach was stony; he fell as he reached the water, and the natives with their clubs and arrows had fallen upon him before Morgan could turn his boat’s head to the spot, under a shower of arrows, which forced him to put off.

He saw the body lying on the beach, and fired a gun, loaded with powder, in hopes of driving away the natives and rescuing it; but they dragged it away into the bush, and all that was left p. 254for him to do was to sail for Sydney, whence a Queen’s ship, the Favourite, was despatched to endeavour to recover the remains, and to convey the tidings to Samoa.

By the 26th of February the vessel arrived.  The war-conch was heard, and the savages were seen flying in all directions; but, as there was no intention of exacting a revenge, means of communication were at last arranged, and it was discovered that these two good men had furnished a cannibal feast, but that their skulls and many of their bones had been preserved, and these were recovered and carried on board ship.  The Erromangans have always been an exceptionally treacherous and savage race, and, even to the present day, are more hostile to white men, and more addicted to cannibalism, than any of the other islanders.

The Favourite then proceeded to Samoa, where the weeping and wailing of the tender-hearted race was overwhelming.  Mrs. Williams, in her silent English sorrow, was made the centre of a multitude of frantic mourners.  “Aue kriamu, aue Viriamu, our father, our father!  He has turned his face from us!  We shall never see him more!  He that brought us the good word of salvation is gone!  Oh, cruel heathen, they knew not what they did.  How great a man they have destroyed!”

Such laments went on round the widow in the wild poetic language of the poor Samoans, till the other teachers, by their prayers and sermons, had produced a somewhat calmer tone; and the funeral took place beside the chapel, attended by the officers and crew of the Favourite, and a great concourse of natives.

“Alas, Viriamu!” was the cry in every Christian Polynesian island for many a day; and well it might be, for, in spite of the shortcomings of a poorly-educated ministry and a tropical and feeble race, there are few who ever turned more men from darkness to light, from cannibal fury to Christian love, than the Martyr of Erromango,—John Williams,—one of the happiest of missionaries, in that to him was given the martyr’s crown, in the full tide of his success and hope.


The biography we next have to turn to is not that of a founder, scarcely that of a pioneer, but rather of a brave guerilla, whose efforts were little availing because wanting in combination, and undirected, but who, nevertheless, has left behind him a heart-thrilling name won by unflinching self-devotion even unto death.

Allen Francis Gardiner, the fifth son of a Berkshire squire, was born in 1794.  He was a born sailor, and became a midshipman before the end of the great war of the French revolution; but the only naval action in which he was engaged was against the American vessel Essex, which was captured by his ship, the Phœbe, off Valparaiso.  Allen Gardiner had been carefully brought up by a good mother, but her death in his early youth cast him loose and left him without any influence to keep up serious impressions.  He drifted into carelessness and godlessness, though at times some old remembrance, roused by danger or by a comrade’s death, would sting him sharply.  Once, feeling ashamed of having forgotten the very words of Scripture, he made up his mind to buy a Bible, and then was so full of false shame that he waited about in the street till the shop should be empty, and then only thought how odd his demand must seem to the bookseller.

Most likely this was at Portsmouth, for he had there met a lady who had been with his mother at her death, and had given him a narrative of her last days, which his father had written, but from some sense of want of sympathy had withheld from the son.  The friend judged him better.  The copy in his own handwriting bears the date, “Portsmouth, November 18, 1818,” and therewith was a little Bible with the same date written in it.  For two years, however, this produced no effect; but in 1820, when at Penang, as a lieutenant in the Dauntless, Allen received a letter of grave reproof from his father, and one of warm kindness and expostulation from the same lady, his mother’s friend, together with some books.  Nothing would have seemed p. 256more hopeless than the chance that a letter from a religious old lady would make an impression on a dashing young naval officer, and yet Allen Gardiner always considered this as the turning-point of his life, and connected it with his mother’s prayers.

It was when his thoughts were directed to religious subjects, and his intelligence freshly excited, that he visited the coasts of South America, the region above all others where the Roman Catholic Church is seen to the most disadvantage.  Two things most especially struck him, the remnants of the Inquisition at Lima, and the discovery that the poor were buried without prayer or mass.  Such scenes as these gave him an extreme horror of Romanism and all that he supposed to be connected therewith, and his next station at Tahiti, in all the freshness of the newly established mission, full of devout people, filled him with strong enthusiasm for the good men who were carrying out the work.  Shortly after he was invalided home, and as soon as he was fit for employment he offered himself to the London Missionary Society, begging them to send him to the neglected Indians of South America; but this did not suit their plans, and his ardour was slackened by the more common affairs of life.  He fell in love and married a young lady named Julia Reade, and his only voyage was in his naval, not his missionary capacity.  But his wife’s health was exceedingly frail, and after eleven years of marriage she died, leaving four children, a fifth having preceded her to the grave.  Beside her death-bed Allen Gardiner made a solemn dedication of himself to act as a pioneer in one or other of the most neglected parts of the earth, not so much to establish missions himself as to reconnoitre the ground and prepare the way for their establishment.

Africa was the country to which his attention was first called.  His wife died in May 1834, and the 24th of August was the last Sunday he spent in England, at Calbourne, the native parish of Charles Simeon.  He sailed at once for Cape Colony, where the English, who had in the course of the Revolutionary war obtained possession of the ground from the original settlers, the Dutch, were making progress in every direction, and coming into collision, not with the spiritless Hottentots of the Cape of Good Hope itself, but with that far more spirited and intellectual race, the Kaffirs—unbelievers, as the name meant—they being in fact of Arab descent, though Africanized by p. 257their transition through tropical latitudes, and not Mahometans.  Such traditional religion as they possessed seemed to be vanishing, since only a few of the elders retained a curious legend of a supreme Deity who sent another Divine being to “publish the news,” and divide the sexes.  A message was sent to him from the Power in heaven to announce that man should not die, but this was committed to that tardy reptile the chameleon; then another message that man should die was given to the lizard, who outran the chameleon, and thus brought death into the world.

Sir Benjamin D’Urban had just been appointed Governor, and it was apprehended that a war must take place, since the settlers were continually liable to sudden attacks by these wild Kaffirs, who burnt, slew, and robbed any homestead they fell upon.  Captain Gardiner thought, and justly, that it would be better to begin by proclaiming the glad tidings of peace to these wild and ignorant people rather than to meet them with the strong hand of war.  The colony was lamentably deficient in clergy, and the missions that existed were chiefly to the Hottentots and Bushmen.  The Moravians, whose work we have not mentioned because it is a history in itself, had some excellent establishments, but no one had yet attempted to penetrate into the home of the Kaffirs themselves, the Zulu country, to endeavour to deal with their chieftains.  This was Allen Gardiner’s intention, and on his outward voyage he met with a Polish refugee named Berken, who had intended to settle in Australia, but was induced to become his companion in his explorations in South Africa.

They rode together from Capetown to Grahamstown, where they obtained an interpreter named George Cyrus, and began to travel in the regular South African fashion, namely, with waggons fitted for sleeping in, and drawn by huge teams of oxen, and taking seven horses with them.  Their first adventure during a halt at the Buffalo river was the loss of all their oxen, who were driven off by some natives.  They applied to the chief of the tribe, named Tzatzoe, who recovered the cattle for them, but showed himself an insatiable beggar, even asking why, as Mr. Berken had two shoes, he could not spare him one of them.  However, he was honest enough, when Mr. Berken chanced to leave his umbrella behind him, to send after him to ask whether he knew that he had left his house.

p. 258The next anxiety was at a spot called the Yellow-wood River, where the mid-day halt was disturbed by an assembly of natives with a hostile appearance.  Captain Gardiner sent orders to collect the oxen, and in-span (i.e. harness) them as soon as possible, but without appearance of alarm, and in the meantime he tried to keep the natives occupied.  To one he lent his penknife, and after the man had vainly tried to cut off his own beard with it, he offered to shave him, lathered him well, and performed the operation like a true barber, then showed him his face in a glass.  His only disappointment was that the moustache had not been removed, and as by this time the razor was past work, Captain Gardiner had to pacify him by assuring him that such was the appearance of many English warriors (for these were the days when moustaches were confined to the cavalry).  The amusement this excited occupied them nearly long enough, but hostile murmurs then began to be heard—“One of our chiefs has been killed by the white men, no more shall enter our country!”  Fearing that an angry word would be fatal, Captain Gardiner asked for a war-song, promising some tobacco at the conclusion.  Accordingly they danced madly, and shouted at the top of their voices,

“No white man shall drink our milk,
No white man shall eat our children’s bread.
Ho-how! ho-how! ho-how!”

But this couplet often repeated seemed to work off their rage; they accepted the tobacco, and sullenly said the travellers might pass, but they were the last who should.  This was in the Amakosa country, lying between the Grahamstown settlement and Port Natal, and to the present day unannexed, though even then there were traders’ stations at intervals, so filthy and wretched as to be little above the huts of the natives.  These Amakosa tribes were such thieves that great vigilance was needed to prevent property being stolen; but the next tribes, the Amapondas, were scrupulously honest and friendly to the English.  Their chief was found by Gardiner and Berken dressed in a leopard’s skin, sitting in state under a canopy of shields, trying a rain-maker, who had failed to bring showers in consequence of not having his dues of cattle delivered to him!  The chief advised them not to proceed, as he said the Zulus were angry people who would kill them; but they pushed on, p. 259though finding that the journey occupied much longer than they expected, so that provisions became a difficulty.

A full month had passed since leaving Grahamstown, and Gardiner decided on pressing on upon horseback, leaving Mr. Berken to bring up the waggons, and taking with him the interpreter and two natives.  The distance was 180 miles, and a terrible journey it was.  A few waggon tracks had made a sort of road, but this was not always to be distinguished from hippopotamus paths, which led into horrible morasses, where the horses almost entirely disappeared, and had to be scooped out as it were by the hands; moreover, scarcely any food was to be had.  In crossing one river one of the horses was so irretrievably stuck in a quicksand that humanity required it to be shot, and at the next, the Umkamas, the stream was so swollen that the Captain had to devise a canoe by sewing two cowskins together with sinews and stretching it upon branches, in which, as no one save himself had any notion of boating, he shoved off alone.  The stream was too strong for him, and he had to return and obtain the help of the only good swimmer among his party.  With him he crossed, but with no food save a canister of sugar!  However, the native swam back and fetched a loaf of bread, while Captain Gardiner waited among the reeds, hearing the snorting and grunting of hippopotami all round.  The transit of the natives was secured by the holding a sort of float made of a bundle of reeds, and in the morning, as the river was too high for the rest of the party to cross, he brought over a few necessaries, and a horse, with which the Captain was able to proceed to Port Natal, where he found English traders, and sent back supplies to those in the rear.

The Zulus, on whom his attention was fixed, inhabit a fine country to the north of the Tugela, which is considered as the boundary of the British territory.  The nation is full of intelligence and spirit, and by no means incapable of improvement, and their princes have been for generations past men of considerable natural ability, and of iron will, but often savagely cruel.  The first known to Englishmen was named Charka, a great warrior, who kept his armies in a rude but thorough discipline, and had made considerable conquests.  About the year 1829, Charka had been murdered by his brother Dingarn, who had reigned ever since, and was the terror of the English settlers, who were beginning to immigrate into the fertile terraced p. 260country of Natal.  His forays might at any time sweep away farms and homesteads; and his subjects were continually fleeing from his violence across the Tugela, and thus might bring him down as a pursuer.

Allen Gardiner’s plan was to go to the fountain head and endeavour to deal with the chief himself, so as to make him a Christian instead of an enemy.  With this end he set out absolutely unaccompanied, except by Cyrus the interpreter, and a Zulu servant whom he had hired named Umpondombeni, and this with the knowledge that an English officer had shortly before been treacherously murdered, and that Dingarn was a blood-stained savage.

The king had been informed of his coming, and had pronounced that he was his white man, and should make haste to Umkingoglove, his present abode.  The first view of this place, with a double circular fence around it, resembled a race-course, the huts being ranged along the ring of the enclosure so as to leave the centre free for the reviews and war dances of the Kaffirs.  Gardiner was very near entering by the wrong gate, in which case all his escort would have been put to death.  A hut was assigned to him, a sort of beehive of grass and mud, with a hole to enter by.  His own lines, strung together in his many unoccupied moments for his children’s benefit, are so good a description of the Kaffir huts that form a kraal or village, as to be worth inserting:—

“I see them now, those four low props
   That held the haystack o’er my head,
The dusky framework from their tops
   Like a large mouse-trap round me spread.

To stand erect I never tried,
   For reasons you may guess:
Full fourteen feet my hut was wide,
   Its height was nine feet less.

My furniture, a scanty store,
   On saddle-bags beside me laid,
A hurdle, used to close the door,
   Raised upon stones, my table made.”

There he received a bundle of the native sugar-cane, a bowl of maize beer from Dingarn, and was invited to his palace.

This was surrounded by a fence, outside which the Captain was desired to sit down.  Presently a black head and very p. 261stout pair of shoulders appeared above it, and a keen sable visage eyed the visitor fixedly for some time, in silence, which was only broken by these words, while indicating an ox, “There is the beast I give you to slaughter.”  His black majesty then vanished, but presently to reappear from beneath the gateway dressed in a long blue cloak, with a white collar, and devices at the back.  After directing the distribution of some heaps of freshly slain oxen that lay around, he stood like a statue till a seat was brought him, and then entered into conversation.  Captain Gardiner made him understand that trade was not the object of the visit; but the real purpose was quite beyond him; he seemed to regard what was proposed to him as an impossibility, and began to inquire after the presents, which, unfortunately, were still on the road.

The delay exposed the Captain to some inconvenience and danger, and two indunas, or chiefs, a sort of prime ministers, who were offended with him for not having applied to the king through them, treated him with increasing insolence.  At last he persuaded them that he had better send a note to hasten the coming of the presents, and he also managed to write a letter for England, on his last half-sheet of paper, by the light of a lamp made of a rag wick floating in native butter in a calabash.  From time to time he was called upon to witness the wonderful evolutions, manœuvres, and mock fights in the camp.  The men were solely soldiers; the women did all the work, planting maize, weeding corn, and herding cattle, and thus the more wives a man had the more slaves he could employ.  Every wife had a value, and could only be obtained from her father for a certain price in cattle, varying according to his rank.  If the full rate were not paid, she remained, as well as her children, the property of her father or the head of her family.  The king, having the power to help himself, had an establishment of ninety women, who on gala-days, or when his army was going to take the field, were drawn up in a regiment, all wearing two long feathers on the top of their heads, a veil of strings of coloured beads over their faces, bead skirts, and brass rings over their throats and arms; these beads being the current coin of the traders.  They approached and retreated in files, flourishing their arms like bell-ringers, while they sang:—

      “Arise, vulture,
Thou art the bird that eateth other birds.”

p. 262These were, however, not wives, only female slaves.  Either from jealousy of possible sons growing up, or from the desire not to be considered as in the ranks of the umpagati—elders or married men—neither Charka nor Dingarn would marry, and no man could take a wife without the king’s permission.  Dingarn wore his head closely shaven, whereas the married trained their woolly hair to fasten over a circle of reed, so as to look much as if they had an inverted saucepan on their heads.  Besides this they wore nothing but a sort of apron of skin before and behind, except when gaily arrayed in beads, or ornaments of leopard’s fur and teeth, for dancing or for battle.  Their wealth was their cattle, and their mealie or maize grounds; their food, beef, mealies, and curdled milk; their drink, beer, made of maize; their great luxury, snuff, made of dried dacca and burnt aloes, and taken from an ivory spoon.  Though sometimes acting with great cruelty, and wholly ignorant, they were by no means a dull or indolent people; they were full of courage and spirit, excellent walkers and runners, capable of learning and of thinking, and with much readiness to receive new ideas.

The presents arrived, and the red cloak, made of the long scarlet nap often used in linings, was presented, and gave infinite satisfaction; the king tried it on first himself, then judged of the effect upon the back of one of his servants, caused it to be carried flowing through the air, and finally hung it up outside his palace for the admiration of his subjects, then laid it by for the great national festival at the feast of first-fruits.

Captain Gardiner’s object was to obtain a house and piece of land and protection for a Christian missionary, and with this object he remained at the kraal, trying to make some impression on Dingarn, and the two indunas, who assured him that they were the king’s eyes and ears.  Thus he became witness to much horrible barbarity.  One of the least shocking of Dingarn’s acts was the exhibiting the powers of a burning-glass that had been given him, by burning a hole in the wrist of one of his servants; and his indifference to the pain and death of others was frightful.  His own brother, the next in succession, was, with his two servants, put to death through some jealousy; and, more horrible still, every living creature in thirty villages belonging to him was massacred as a matter of course.

Captain Gardiner, though often horrified and sickened by the sights he was obliged to witness, remained for a month, and then, p. 263after accompanying the king on his march, and seeing some astonishing reviews and dances of his wild warriors, made another effort; but the king referred him to the two indunas, and the indunas were positive that they did not wish to learn, either they or their people.  They would never hear nor understand his book, but if he would instruct them in the use of the musket he was welcome to stay.  Dingarn pronounced, “I will not overrule the decision of my indunas;” but, probably looking on the white man as a mine of presents, he politely invited Gardiner to return.

So ended his first attempt, and with no possessions remaining except his clothes, his saddle, a spoon, and a Testament, he proceeded to the Tugela, where he met his friend Berken, who had made up his mind to settle in Natal, and he set out to return to England for the purchase of stock and implements; but the vessel in which he sailed was never heard of more.

Captain Gardiner remained at Port Natal, which in 1835 consisted of a cluster of huts, all of them built Kaffir-fashion, like so many hollow haycocks, except Mr. Collis’s, which was regarded as English because it had upright sides, with a good garden surrounded by reeds.  About thirty English and a few Hottentots clustered around, and some three thousand Zulus, refugees from Dingarn’s cruelty, who showed themselves ready and willing to work for hire, but who exposed their masters to the danger of the king coming after them with fire and assagai.  Hitherto on such an alarm the whole settlement had been wont to take to the woods, but their numbers were so increasing that they were beginning to erect a stockade and think of defence.

To this little germ of a colony, Allen Gardiner brought the first recollection of Christian faith and duty.  On Sunday mornings he stood under a tree, as he had been wont to do on the deck of his ship, and read the Church Service in English to such as would come round him and be reminded of their homes; in the afternoon, by the help of his interpreter, he prayed with and for the Kaffirs, and expounded the truths of the Gospel; and in the week, he kept school for such Kaffir children as he could collect, dressing them decently in printed calico.  He began with very few, partly because many parents fancied he would steal and make slaves of them, and partly because he wished to train a few to be in advance and act as p. 264monitors to the rest.  The English were on very good terms with him, and allotted a piece of land for a missionary settlement, which he called Berea, and began to build upon it in the fashion of the country.

Fresh threats from Dingarn led the settlers to try to come to a treaty with him, by which he was to leave them unmolested with all their Kaffirs, on their undertaking to harbour no more of his deserters.  There was something hard in this, considering the horrid barbarities from which the deserters fled, and the impossibility of carrying out the agreement, as no one could undertake to watch the Tugela; but Captain Gardiner, always eager and hasty, thinking that he should thus secure safety for the colony and opportunities for the mission, undertook the embassy, and set forth in a waggon with two Zulus and Cyrus, falling in on the way with one of the grotesque parties of European hunters, who were wont to go on expeditions after the elephant, hippopotamus, and buffalo, with a hunting train of Hottentots and Kaffirs in their company.  On whose aspect he remarks truly:—

“I’ve seen the savage in his wildest mood,
And marked him reeked with human blood,
   But never so repulsive made.
Something incongruous strikes the mind
Whene’er a barbarous race we find
   With shreds of civil life displayed.

There’s more of symmetry, however bare,
In what a savage deigns to wear,
   In keeping with the scene.
These, each deformed by what he wears,
Like apes that dance at country fairs,
   Seemed but a link between.”

Dingarn proved to be at Congella, another circular town or kraal, on the top of a hill.  He gave a ready welcome to the Captain, and his presents—some looking-glasses, a pair of epaulettes, and some coloured prints, especially full-lengths of George IV. and William IV.  The collection in a place such as Natal then was must have been very hard to make, but it was very successful, and still more so was the Captain’s presenting himself in his uniform when he went to propose the treaty.  Dingarn said he must look at it before he could do anything else, and fully appreciated the compliment when the sailor said it was his war dress, in which he appeared before King William.  He agreed to p. 265the treaty, but declared that the English would be the first to break it.  The Captain answered that a true Englishman never broke a treaty, and that any white man who deceived was not the right sort of Englishman; and the king responded that “now a great chief was come, to whom he could speak his heart.”  Captain Gardiner tried to impress on him that it was the fear of God that made himself an honourable man, and to persuade him that the knowledge of the “Book” would make him and his people still greater; and the next time of meeting set forth an outline of the morality and promises of Revelation.  Dingarn was attentive, and said they were good words, and that he would hear more of them, but in the meantime Gardiner must go back to Natal and see that his people kept the treaty.  It was a good deal more than he could do.  A Kaffir inkosikase, or female chieftain, who, with two servants and three children, was fleeing into Natal at the time of his return, was sent back, with all her companions.  The poor creatures pleaded hard that the Captain would accompany them and save them, and he returned with them, and interceded for them with all his might, but soon found they were being starved to death.  “Their bonds must kill them,” said Dingarn.  A second great effort resulted in a little food being sent, and a kind of promise that their lives should be spared; but this was only made to get rid of him, and they all perished after his departure.

Deserters, as Gardiner called the fugitives to reconcile the surrender to his loyal English conscience, were hardly such as these: they were the only ones ever sent back, and the loose wild traders, who he ought to have known would never be bound by treaties, were at that very time enticing Kaffirs, who could be useful as herdsmen and labourers, across the frontier.  This led to great indignation from Dingarn, and he declared that no Englishman save his favourite great chief should come near him.

Meantime Gardiner was assisting an assembly of traders and hunters who had decided on building a town—all shaggy, unkempt, bearded men of the woods, who decided the spot, the name, the arrangements, the spot for church and magistrate’s house, by vote, on the 25th of June, 1835, the birthday of the town of Durban, so called after Sir Benjamin D’Urban, Governor of the Cape, while the Portuguese name of Natal passed to the entire territory.

p. 266The dispute with Dingarn continuing, the Captain was again sent to negotiate.  This time he was received in the royal mansion, a magnified beehive, where the king was lying on a mat with his head on one of the little stools made to act as pillows, with about fifty women ranged round.  As to the matter in question, Gardiner was able to declare that, in the white settlement itself, no deserters had found a home since the treaty, and that none should do so; Dingarn said he considered him the chief of the whites there, and should look to him to keep them in order.  Gardiner explained that he had no authority.  “You must have power,” said Dingarn.  “I give you all the country of the white people’s ford.”  This was a piece of land extending from the Tugela to the Nouzincoolu, from the Snowy Mountains to the sea—in fact, the present whole colony of Natal.  A smaller portion, including the district about Natal, was to be his own immediate property.  Dingarn was perfectly in earnest, and thus intended to make him responsible for the conduct of every individual of the motley population of Natal, declaring that he should receive no trader who did not bring credentials from him.  It was as curious a situation as ever commander in the navy was placed in.  All he could do was to return to Durban, explain matters to Mr. Collis and the other traders, and then set out for the Cape to consult Sir Benjamin Durban.

His journey across the mountains was very perilous and difficult, and took much longer than his sanguine nature had reckoned; but he reached Grahamstown at last, and explained matters to the Governor, who instantly sent off a British officer to assume authority over the settlement at Natal, and try to keep the peace with Dingarn, while Captain Gardiner embarked for England to lay the state of things before Government and the Church Missionary Society, at whose disposal he placed all his own personal grant from Dingarn.  When the prospects of the mission were proclaimed, the Rev. Francis Owen volunteered for it, and Captain Gardiner collected all that he thought needful for the great work he hoped to carry out.  He married Miss Marsh, of Hampstead, and, with her and his three children, Mr. Owen and his wife and sister, sailed on the 24th of December, 1836; but the arrival was a sorrowful one, for his eldest child, a girl, of twelve years old, was slowly declining.  She died just as they p. 267entered Durban Bay, and was buried at Berea immediately on their arrival.  As soon as the Kaffirs heard of Captain Gardiner’s landing, they flocked in to express their willingness to live under his authority.  He chose a pleasant spot for his home, and having settled his family there, went up to see Dingarn.  The presents this time were indeed ecstatically received, and especially a watch and seals, and a huge pair of gay worsted slippers.  “He took my measure before he went,” cried Dingarn, who had tried a pair of boots before, but could not get them on.  The king was made to understand that his gift of land must be not to the Captain, but to the King of England, and with this he complied.  He was also persuaded to modify his demands; as to the fugitives, Gardiner undertook not to encourage or employ them, but would not search them out or return them.  Mr. Owen was also favourably received, as the umfundisi or teacher; a hut was allotted to him, and he was allowed to preach.  He took up his abode at Umkingoglove, the first town where Captain Gardiner had seen the king, held services and opened a school, often holding conversations with the king.  “Has God commanded kings and indunas to learn His word?” demanded Dingarn; and he actually did learn to read the words printed upon a card for the children.

Meantime Captain Gardiner was forming his settlement at a place which he had named in the Kaffir tongue, Hambanati, “Go with us,” in allusion to Moses’ invitation to Hobab: “Go with us, and we will do thee good.”  It was half-way between Durban Bay and the Tugela, on a hill-side in the midst of the beautiful undulating ground and rich wood characteristic of the country, and with a river in front.  There he had raised a thatched house for himself, and around it Zulu huts were continually multiplying.  The English carpenter and labourers whom he had brought out instructed the Kaffirs in various kinds of labour, for which they were quite willing; and as they wore decent garments, they were called the clothed tribe.  School was kept for the children in the week; for the grown-up people on Sunday; and on every alternate morning some Scripture fact was read and explained to them, the Captain still being obliged to act as chaplain, until the arrival of Mr. Hewetson, whom the Church Missionary Society were sending out.

Never had the generous toil of a devoted man seemed likely to meet with better success, when a storm came from a most p. 268unexpected quarter.  The original colonists of the Cape of Good Hope were Dutch, and the whole district was peopled with boers or farmers of that nation, stolid, prosperous, and entirely uncontrolled by public opinion.  They had treated the unfortunate Hottentots as slaves, with all the cruelty of stupidity, and imported Malays and Negroes to work in the same manner; and they had shown, even when under their native state, a sort of grim turbulence that made them very hard to deal with.  When in 1834 the British Government emancipated their slaves, and made cruelty penal and labour necessarily remunerative, their discontent was immense, and a great number sold their farms, and moved off into the interior to form an independent settlement on the Orange River.  A large number of them, however, hearing of Dingarn’s liberality to Captain Gardiner, were determined to extort a similar grant to themselves by a display of power.  First came a letter, which Mr. Owen had to read and interpret to the chief, and not long after a large deputation arrived, armed and mounted on strong horses.  Dingarn showed them a war-dance, and they in return said they would show how the boers danced on horseback, and exhibited a sham-fight, which did indeed alarm the savage, but, so far from daunting him, only excited his treachery and fierceness.  He gave a sort of general answer, and the messengers retired.  But from that time his interest in Mr. Owen’s teaching flagged; he wanted fire-arms instead of religion, and preachings led to cavillings.  Indications of evil intentions likewise reached Captain Gardiner, who sent to warn Mr. Owen, and to offer him a refuge at Hambanati in case of need.  Still Mr. Owen could gather nothing; he was called from time to time to read the Dutchmen’s letters, but was never told how they were to be dealt with.  In fact, Dingarn had replied by an offer of the very district he had given Captain Gardiner, on condition that the new-comers would recover some cattle which had been carried off by a hostile tribe.  This was done, and the detachment which had been employed on the service arrived at Umkingoglove, where they were welcomed with war-dances, and exhibited their own sham-fights; but in the midst of the ensuing meal they were suddenly surrounded by a huge circle of the Zulus, as if for another war-dance.  The black ring came nearer and nearer still, and finally rushed in upon the unhappy boers, and slaughtered every man of them.

Mr. Owen had suspected nothing of what was passing, till p. 269he received a message from Dingarn that he need not fear; the boers had been killed for plotting, but the umfundisi should not be hurt.  A time of terrible anxiety followed, during which the Owen family saw large bodies of the Kaffir army marching towards the Tugela, and in effect they fell upon the Dutch camp, and upwards of a hundred and fifty white men, women, and children were massacred.  This horrible act, showing that no reliance could be placed on Dingarn’s promise, made the Owens decide on leaving Umkingoglove, and they arrived at Hambanati, whence they proceeded to Durban.  The Gardiner family waited for another week; but, finding the whole of the settlers infuriated, and bent on joining the Dutch in a war of extermination against Dingarn, they were obliged to retreat to the coast.  First, however, Captain Gardiner assembled his Kaffirs, and promised to do his utmost to find another tract, where they might settle in peace, if they would abstain from all share in the coming war.  They promised; but in his absence the promise was not easy to keep; they joined in the fight, many were killed, and the settlement entirely broken up.  The cause seemed to Gardiner hopeless; and, after waiting for a short time in Algoa Bay, he decided on leaving the scene of action, where peaceful teaching could not prevail for some time to come.  Whether it would not have been better to have tarried a little while, and then to have availed himself of the confidence and affection he had inspired, so as to gather the remnants of his mission again, we cannot say.  At any rate, he consoled himself for the disastrous failure at Natal by setting forth on a fresh scheme of Christian knight-errantry on behalf of the Indians of South America.

Long ago, in Brazil, the Jesuits had done their best to Christianize and protect the Indians; but the Portuguese settlers had, as usual, savagely resented any interference with their cruel oppressions, broken up the Jesuit settlement, and sold their unfortunate converts as slaves.  After this, the Jesuit Fathers had formed excellent establishments in the more independent country of Paraguay, lying to the south, where they had many churches, and peaceful, prosperous, happy communities of Christian Indians around them.  South American Indians are essentially childish beings; and the Jesuits, when providing labour enough to occupy them wholesomely, found themselves obliged to undertake the disposal of the produce, thus not merely rendering p. 270their mission self-supporting, but so increasing the wealth of the already powerful Order as to render it a still greater object of jealousy to the European potentates; and when, in the eighteenth century, the tide of opposition set strongly against it, the unecclesiastical traffic of the settlements in Paraguay was one of the accusations.  The result was, that the Jesuit Fathers were banished from South America in 1767; and whether it was that they had neglected to train the Indians in self-reliance, or whether it was impossible to do so, their departure led to an immediate collapse into barbarism; nor had anything since been done on behalf of the neglected race.  Indeed, the break-up of all Spanish authority had been doubly fatal to the natives, by removing all protection, and leaving them to the self-interested violence of the petty republics, unrestrained by any loftier consideration.

In the Republic of Buenos Ayres, under the dictatorship of General Rosas, the lot of these poor creatures was specially cruel.  A war of extermination was carried on against them, and eighty had at one time been shot together in the market-place of the capital.  Nothing could be done towards reclaiming them while so savage a warfare lasted; but Gardiner hoped to push on to the more northerly tribes, on the borders of Chili, and he took a journey to reconnoitre across the Pampas, with many strange hardships and adventures; but he found always the same story,—the Indians regarded as wild beasts, and, acting only too much as such, falling by night on solitary ranchos, or on lonely travellers, and murdering them, and, on the other hand, being shot down wherever they were found.

With great difficulty and perseverance he made his way to the Biobio river, leaving his family at Concepçion, the nearest comparatively civilized place.  Here he meant to make his way to a village of independent Indians, with whose chief, Corbalan, he had hopes of entering into relations.

To cross the rapid stream of the Biobio, he had to use a primitive raft, formed of four trunks of trees, about eighteen feet long, lashed together by hide-thongs to two poles, one at each end.  A horse was fastened to it, by knotting his tail to the tow-rope, and on his back was a boy, holding on by the single lock of the mane that is allowed to remain on Chilian horses, who guided him across with much entreating, urging, and coaxing.  On the other side appeared Corbalan, the Indian p. 271chief on horseback, and in a dark poncho, a sort of round cloak, with a hole to admit the head, much worn all over South America.  He took Captain Gardiner to his house, an oval, with wattled side-walls, about five feet high and thirty-five long, neatly thatched with grass, with a fireplace in the centre, where a sheep was cooked for supper.  Corbalan could speak Spanish, and seemed to be pleased with the visit, making an agreement that he should teach Gardiner his Indian tongue, and, in return, be instructed in the way of God and heaven.  He had convened forty-five of his people, among whom were five chiefs, each of whom made the visitor the offering of a boiled chicken, while he gave them some coloured cotton handkerchiefs and some brass buttons.  It was a beautiful country, and reminded the guest so much of some parts of England, that it needed a glance at the brown skin, flowing hair, and long poncho of Corbalan to dispel the illusion that he was near home.  Things looked so favourable, that he had even selected a site for the mission-house, when some change of sentiment came over Corbalan, probably from the remonstrances of his fellow-chiefs: he declared that a warlike tribe near at hand would not suffer him to harbour a stranger, and that he must therefore withdraw his invitation.

So ended this attempt; and the indefatigable Captain turned his attention to the Indians to the southward, but he found that these were on good terms with the Chilian Government, and that no one could come among them without a pass from thence; and, as there was a cautious attempt at Christianizing then going on, by persuading the cacique to be baptized and to admit priests to their villages, there was both the less need and the less opening for him.

So, picking up his wife and children again at Concepçion, he sailed with them for Valdivia, where, as wandering Europeans were always supposed to be in search of objects for museums, and perhaps from some confusion about his name, he was called “El Botanico.”  Again he plunged among the Indians; but, wherever he came to a peaceable tribe, they were under the influence of Spanish clergy, who were, of course, determined to exclude him, while the warlike and independent Indians could not understand the difference between him and their Spanish enemies; and thus, after two years of effort, he found that no opening existed for reaching these wild people.  A proposal was made to him to remain and act as an agent for the p. 272Bible and Tract Societies among the South American Roman Catholics, but this he rejected.  “No,” he said; “I have devoted myself to God, to seek for openings among the heathen, and I cannot go back or modify my vow.”

The Malay Archipelago was his next goal.  He sailed with his wife and children from Valparaiso for Sydney on the 29th of May, 1839, but the vessel got out of her course, and was forced to put in at Tahiti, where he found things sadly changed by the aggression of Louis Philippe’s Government, which had claimed the protectorate.  The troubles of Queen Pomare’s reign were at their height, and the conflict between French and English, Roman Catholic and Protestant, prevented any efficient struggle against the corruption introduced by the crews of all nations.

The great savage island of New Guinea seemed to Captain Gardiner a field calling for labour, and, on his arrival in Australia, he found that the Roman Catholic Bishop of Sydney was trying to organize a mission.  He left Australia, hoping to obtain permission from the Dutch authorities at Timor to proceed to Papua, to take steps for being beforehand with the Australian expedition.  He reached the place with great difficulty, and he himself, and all his family, began to suffer severely from fever.  The Dutch governor told him that he might as well try to teach the monkeys as the Papuans, and the Dutch clergy gave him very little encouragement.  He remained in these strange and beautiful islands for several months, trying one Dutch governor after another, and always finding them civil but impenetrable; for, in fact, they could not believe that an officer in her Britannic Majesty’s Navy could be purely actuated by missionary zeal, but thought that it concealed some political object.  They were not more gracious even to clergy of other nations.  He found an American missionary at Macassar, whom they had detained, and some Germans, who were vainly entreating to be allowed to proceed to Borneo; and his efforts met only with the most baffling, passive, but systematic denial.  It was reserved for the enterprise and prudence of Sir James Brooke to open a way in this quarter.

The health of the Gardiner family had been much injured by their residence in those lovely but unwholesome countries, but the voyage to Capetown restored it; and immediately after they sailed again for South America, where the Captain had p. 273heard of an Indian tribe in the passes of the Cordilleras, who seemed more possible of access.  Here again he was baffled in his dealings with the local government by the suspicions of the priests, and never could obtain the means of penetrating beyond the city of San Carlos, so that he decided at last to repair to the Falkland Islands, and make an endeavour thence to reach the people of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, where no hostile Church should put stumbling-blocks in his way.

A doleful region he found those Falkland Isles, covered only with their peculiar grass and short heather, and without a tree.  A little wooden cottage, brought from Valparaiso, sheltered the much-enduring Mrs. Gardiner and the two children, while the Captain looked out for a vessel to take him to Patagonia; but he found that no one ever went there, and the whalers who made these dismal islands their station did not wish to go out of their course.  Captain Gardiner offered 200l., the probable value of a whole whale, as the price of his passage; but the skippers told him that, though they would willingly take him anywhere for nothing, they could not go out of their course.

To seek the most hopeless and uncultivated was always this good man’s object.  The Falkland Isles were dreary enough, but they were a paradise compared to the desolate fag-end of the American world,—a cluster of barren rocks, intersected by arms of the sea, which divide them into numerous islets, the larger ones bearing stunted forests of beech and birch, on the skirts of hills covered with perpetual snow, and sending down blue glaciers to the water’s edge.  The narrower channels are very shallow; the wider, rough and storm-tossed; and scarcely anything edible grows on the islands.  The Fuegians are as degraded a people as any on the face of the earth, with just intelligence enough to maintain themselves by hunting and fishing, by the help of dogs, which, it is said, they prize so much that they would rather, in time of scarcity, eat up an old mother than a dog; and they are churlishly inhospitable to strangers, although with an unusual facility for imitating their language, nor had any one ever attempted their conversion.

However, the master of the Montgomery, who had brought the Gardiners out to the Falkland Islands, hearing of the offer, undertook such a profitable expedition; but his schooner was utterly frail, had to be caulked and to borrow a sail, and, as he was losing no whales, Captain Gardiner refused to give more p. 274than 100l., a sufficiently exorbitant sum, for the passage of himself and a servant named Johnstone.  While the crazy vessel was refitting a Sunday intervened, during which he offered to hold a service, but only two men attended it, the rest were all absent or intoxicated.

The poor little ship put to sea, and struggled into the Straits of Magelhaen, drifting near the Fuegian coast.  Landing, the Captain lighted a fire to attract the attention of the natives, and some came down and shouted.  The English did not, however, think it safe to go further from the boat, and presently the Fuegians likewise kindled their fire, whereupon Gardiner heaped more fuel on his own, and continued his signals, when two men advanced, descending to the beach.  They were clad in cloaks of the skin of the guanaco, a small kind of llama, and were about five feet ten in height, with broad shoulders and chests, but lean, disproportionate legs.  Each carried a bow and quiver of arrows; and they spoke loudly, making evident signs that the strangers were unwelcome.  Presents were offered them; brass buttons, a clasp knife, and worsted comforter; and they sat down, but apparently with a sullen resolution not to relax their faces, nor utter another word.  A small looking-glass was handed to one of them, and he was grimly putting it under his cloak when Captain Gardiner held it up to him, and he laughed at the reflection of his own face; and his friend then looked at the knife, as if expecting it to produce the same effect, but, though they seemed to appreciate it, they made no friendly sign, and appeared unmoved when spoken to either in Spanish or in the few Patagonian phrases that Captain Gardiner had managed to pick up; nor did anything seem to afford them any satisfaction except demonstrations of departure.

Nothing seemed practicable with these uncouth, distrustful beings, and the Captain therefore went on in search of a tribe of Patagonians, among which, he was told, was a Creole Spaniard named San Leon, who had acquired great influence by his reckless courage and daring, and through whom it might be possible to have some communication with them.  The camp of these people on the main continent, near Cape Gregory, was discovered newly deserted, with hollow places in the ground where fires had been made, and many marks of footsteps.  This extreme point of the continent was by no means so dreary as the Land of Fire; it bore thorny bushes ten feet p. 275high, wild celery and clover, and cranberry-bushes covered with red berries.  Indeed, the Patagonians—so called because their big splay boots made Magelhaen conclude they walked on patas (paws), like bears—are a superior race to the Fuegians, larger in stature than most Europeans, great riders, and clever in catching guanacos by means of bolas, i.e. two round stones attached to a string.  If the Fuegians are Antarctic Esquimaux, the Patagonians are Antarctic Tartars, leading a wandering life under tents made of skins of horses and guanacos, and hating all settled habits, but not so utterly inhospitable and impracticable as their neighbours beyond the Strait.  In truth, the division is not clearly marked, for there are Fuegians on the continent and Patagonians in the islands.  Ascending a height, the Captain took a survey of the country, and, seeing two wreaths of smoke near Oazy Harbour, sailed in, cast anchor, and in the morning was visited by the natives of their own accord, after which he returned with them to their camp, consisting of horse-hide tents, semicircular in form, and entirely open.  They were full of men, women, and children, and among them San Leon, to whom it was possible to talk in Spanish, and indeed several natives, from intercourse with ships, knew a few words of English.  San Leon had been with the tribe for twelve years, and said that American missionaries had visited them, but that they had gone away because the Fuegians who crossed the Strait were such thieves that they ate up their provisions and cut up their books.  However, no objection was made to Gardiner’s remaining, so he set up a tarred canvas tent, closed at each end with bullock-hides, and slept on shore, a good deal disturbed by the dogs, who gnawed at the bullock-hides, till a coat of tar laid over them prevented them.  Not so, however, with another visitor, a huge Patagonian, who walked in with the words, “I go sleep,” and leisurely coiled himself up for the purpose, unheeding Johnstone’s discourse; but the Captain, pointing with his finger, and emphatically saying “Go,” produced the desired effect.  Then followed the erection of seventeen skin tents, all in a row, set up by the women.  These Patagonians behaved well and quietly; but, in the meantime, the master of the schooner had asked San Leon to obtain some guanaco meat for the crew, and the natives who went in search of the animals insisted on being paid, though they had caught nothing.  These however were Fuegians, and p. 276the Patagonians were very angry with them.  Captain Gardiner even ventured to remain alone with Johnstone among this people, while San Leon went on to Port Famine in the Montgomery, which was in search of wood; but, in the meantime, he could do nothing but hold a little monosyllabic communication; and once, when he and his servant both went out at the same time, they lost their dinner, which, left to simmer over the fire, proved irresistible to the Patagonians.  They, however, differed from the Fuegians in not ordinarily being thieves.

A chief named Wissale arrived with a body of his tribe with whom he had been purchasing horses on the Rio Negro, and bringing with him an American negro named Isaac, who had three years since run away from a whaler, and who spoke enough English to be a useful interpreter.

Wissale, with Isaac’s help, was made to perceive Captain Gardiner’s intentions sufficiently to promise to make him welcome if he should return, and to declare that he should be glad to learn good things.  There seemed so favourable an opening that the Captain made up his mind to take up his abode there with his family to prepare the way for a missionary in Holy Orders, for whom he never deemed himself more than a pioneer.

After distributing presents to the friendly Patagonians, he embarked, and making a weary passage, reached the Falkland Islands, where he found the two ships Erebus and Terror anchored, in the course of their voyage of Antarctic discovery.  The presence of the two captains and their officers was a great pleasure and enlivenment to the Gardiners, who received from them many comforts very needful in that inclement climate to people lately come from some of the hottest regions of the southern hemisphere.

Whalers continually put in, but not one, even though Captain Gardiner’s offers rose to 300l., would undertake to go out of his course to Patagonia to convey him and his family, and he would not trust his wife and children on board that wretched craft the Montgomery, so he waited on at the Falkland Islands, doing what good he could there, and expecting the answer of a letter he had despatched to the Church Missionary Society, begging for the appointment of a clergyman to this field of labour.  After six months’ delay, the letter came, and proved to be unfavourable; there was a falling off in the funds of the Society, and a new and doubtful mission was thought undesirable.  p. 277The Captain believed that nothing but personal representations could prevail, and therefore decided on going home to plead the cause of his Patagonians.  He sailed with his family for Rio in a small vessel, and the voyage could not have been one of the least of the dangers, for the skipper was a Guacho who had been a shoemaker, and knew nothing about seafaring, and there was not a spare rope in the ship.  From Rio Gardiner took a passage home, and safely arrived, after six years of brave pioneering in three different quarters of the globe.

He found, however, that the Church Missionary Society could not undertake the Patagonian Mission, and neither could the London nor Wesleyan Societies.  He declared that every one grew cold when they heard of South America, and viewed it as the natural inheritance of Giants Pope and Pagan; and for this very reason he was the more bent upon doing his utmost.  Failing in his attack on Pagan he made an assault on Pope, obtaining a grant of Bibles, Testaments, and tracts from the Bible Society, and in 1843 sailed for Rio to distribute them; this time, however, going alone, as his children were of an age to require an English education and an English home.

He undertook this mission, in fact, chiefly for the purpose of continuing his attempts to reach the Indian tribes.  His journey was, as usual, wild and adventurous, and its principal result was an acquaintance with the English chaplains and congregations at several of the chief South American ports, from whom he received a promise of 100l., per annum for the support of a mission to Patagonia.

With this beginning he returned home, and while residing at Brighton, his earnestness so stirred people’s minds that a Society was formed with an income of 500l., and Mr. Robert Hunt, giving up the mastership of an endowed school, offered himself to the Church Missionary Society.  A clergyman could not immediately be found, and it was determined that these two should go first and prepare the way.  In 1844, then, they landed in Oazy Harbour in Magelhaen’s Straits, and set up three tents, one for stores, one for cooking, and one for sleeping.  One Fuegian hut was near, where the people were inoffensive, and presently there arrived a Chilian deserter named Mariano, who said that he had run away from the fort at Port Famine with another man named Cruz, who had remained among the Patagonians.  He reported that Wissale had lost much of his authority, and p. 278that San Leon was now chief of the tribe; also that there was a Padre Domingo at Port Famine, who was teaching the Patagonians to become “Catolicos.”

To learn the truth as soon as possible, the Captain and Mr. Hunt locked up two of their huts, leaving the other for Mariano, and set off in search of the Patagonians; and a severe journey it was, as they had to carry the heavy clothing required to keep up warmth at night, besides their food, gun, powder, and shot.  The fatigue was too much for Hunt, who was at one time obliged to lie down exhausted while the Captain went in search of water; and after four days they were obliged to return to their huts, where shortly after Wissale arrived, but with a very scanty following, only ten or twelve horses, and himself and family very hungry; but though ready to eat whatever Captain Gardiner would give him, his whole manner was changed by his disasters.  He was surly and quarrelsome, and evidently under the influence of the deserter Cruz, who was resolved to set him against the new-comers, and so worked upon him that he once threatened the Captain with his dirk.  Moreover, a Chilian vessel arrived, bringing Padre Mariano himself, a Spanish South American, with a real zeal for conversion, though he was very courteous to the Englishmen.  An English vessel arrived about the same time, and Gardiner, thinking the cause for the present hopeless, accepted a homeward passage, writing in his journal, “We can never do wrong in casting the Gospel net on any side or in any place.  During many a dark and wearisome night we may appear to have toiled in vain, but it will not be always so.  If we will but wait the appointed time, the promise, though long delayed, will assuredly come to pass.”

But if he was not daunted his supporters were, and nothing but his intense earnestness, and assurance that he should never abandon South America, prevented the whole cause from being dropped.  His next attempt was to reach the Indians beyond Bolivia, in the company of Federigo Gonzales, a Spaniard, who had become a Protestant, and was to have gone on the Patagonian Mission.  Here fever became their enemy, but after much suffering and opposition Gonzales was settled at Potosi, studying the Quichuan language, and hoping to work upon the Indians, while the unwearied Gardiner again returned to England to strain every nerve for the Fuegian Mission, which lay nearest of all to his heart.

p. 279He travelled all over England and Scotland, lecturing and making collections, speaking with the same energy whether he had few or many auditors.  At one town, when asked what sort of a meeting he had had, he answered, “Not very good, but better than sometimes.”

“How many were present?”

“Not one; but no meeting is better than a bad one.”

He could not obtain means enough for a well-appointed expedition such as he wished for; but he urged that a small experimental one might be sent out, consisting of himself, four sailors, one carpenter, with three boats, two huts, and provisions for half a year.  He hoped to establish a station on Staten Island, whence the Fuegians could be visited, and the stores kept out of their reach.

Having found the men, he embarked on board the barque Clymene, which was bound for Payta, in Peru, and was landed on Picton Island; but before the vessel had departed the Fuegians had beset the little party, and shown themselves so obstinately and mischievously thievish, that it was plainly impossible for so small a party to hold their ground among them.  Before there could be a possibility of convincing them of even the temporal benefit of the white man’s residence among them, they would have stripped and carried off everything from persons who would refrain from hurting them.  So, once more, the Captain drew up the net which had taken nothing, decided that the only mission which would suit the Fuegians must be afloat, and went on to Payta in the Clymene.

While in Peru, he met with a Spanish lady, who asked if he knew a friend of hers who came from Genoa, and then proceeded to inquire which was the largest city, Genoa or Italy, and if Europe was not a little on this side of Spain, while a priest asked if London was a part of France.  After spending a little time in distributing Bibles in Peru, he made his way home by the way of Panama, and on his arrival made an attempt to interest the Moravians in the cause so near his heart, thinking that what they had done in Greenland proved their power of dealing with that savage apathy that springs from inclemency of climate, but the mission was by them pronounced impracticable.

In the meantime, his former ground, Port Natal, was in a more hopeful state.  Tremendous battles had been fought p. 280between Dingarn and the boers; but, in 1839, Panda, Dingarn’s brother, finding his life threatened, went over to the enemy, carrying 4,000 men with him, and thus turned the scale.  Dingarn was routed, fled, and was murdered by the tribe with whom he had taken refuge, and Panda became Zulu king, while the boers occupied Natal, and founded the city of Pieter Maritzburg as the capital of a Republic; but the disputes between them and the Zulus led to the interference of the Governor of the Cape, and finally Natal was made a British colony, with the Tugela for a boundary; and, as Panda’s government was exceedingly violent and bloody, his subjects were continually flocking across the river to put themselves under British protection, and were received on condition of paying a small yearly rate for every hut in each kraal, and conforming themselves to English law, so far as regarded the suppression of violence and theft.  One of the survivors of Gardiner’s old pupils, meeting a gentleman who was going to England, sent him the following message: “Tell Cappan Garna he promise to come again if his hair was as white as his shirt, and we are waiting for him;” and he added a little calabash snuff-box as a token.  But the Captain had made his promise to return contingent upon the Kaffirs of his settlement taking no part in the war, and they, poor things, had, with the single exception of his own personal attendant, Umpondombeni, broken this condition; so that he did not deem himself bound by it.  Moreover, means were being taken for providing a mission for Natal, and Christian teachers were already there, while he regarded his own personal exertions as the only hope for the desolate natives of Cape Horn.  So he only sent a letter and a present to the man, urging him to attach himself to a mission-station, and then turned again to his unwearied labour in the Patagonian and Fuegian cause.  His little Society found it impossible to raise means for the purchase of a brigantine, and he therefore limited his plans to the equipment of two launches and two smaller boats.  He would store in these provisions for six months, and take a crew of Cornish fishermen, used to the stormy Irish Sea.  As to the funds, a lady at Cheltenham gave 700l., he himself 300l.  The boats were purchased, three Cornishmen, named Pearce, Badcock, and Bryant, all of good character, volunteered from the same village; Joseph Erwin, the carpenter, who had been with him before, begged to go with him again, because, he said, “being p. 281with Captain Gardiner was like a heaven upon earth; he was such a man of prayer.”  One catechist was Richard Williams, a surgeon; the other John Maidment, who was pointed out by the secretary of the Young Men’s Association in London; and these seven persons, with their two launches, the Pioneer and the Speedwell, were embarked on board the Ocean Queen, and sailed from Liverpool on the 7th of September, 1850.  They carried with them six months’ provisions, and the committee were to send the same quantity out in due time, but they failed to find a ship that would undertake to go out of its course to Picton Island, and therefore could only send the stores to the Falklands, to be thence despatched by a ship that was reported to go monthly to Tierra del Fuego for wood.

Meantime, the seven, with their boats and their provisions, were landed on Picton Island, and the Ocean Queen pursued her way.  Time passed on, and no more was heard of them.  The Governor of the Falklands had twice made arrangements for ships to touch at Picton Island, but the first master was wrecked, the second disobeyed him; and in great anxiety, on the discovery of this second failure, he sent, in October 1851, a vessel on purpose to search for them.  At the same time, the Dido, Captain William Morshead, had been commanded by the Admiralty to touch at the isles of Cape Horn and carry relief to the missionaries.

On the 21st of October, in a lonely little bay called Spaniards’ Harbour, in Picton Island, the Falkland Island vessel found the Speedwell on the beach, and near it an open grave.  In the boat lay one body, near the grave another.  They returned with these tidings, and in the meantime the Dido having come out, her boats explored the coast, and a mile and a half beyond the first found the other boat, beside which lay a skeleton, the dress of which showed it to be the remains of Allen Gardiner.  Near at hand was a cavern, outside which were these words painted, beneath a hand:—

“My soul, wait thou still upon God, for my hope is in Him.

“He truly is my strength and my salvation; He is my defence, so that I shall not fall.

“In God is my strength and my glory; the rock of my might, and in God is my trust.”

Within the cave lay another body, that of Maidment.  Reverent hands collected the remains and dug a grave; the p. 282funeral service was read by one of the officers, the ship’s colours were hung half-mast high, and three volleys of musketry fired over the grave—“the only tribute of respect,” says Captain Morshead, “I could pay to this lofty-minded man and his devoted companions who have perished in the cause of the Gospel.”  There was no doubt of the cause and manner of their death, for Captain Gardiner’s diary was found written up to probably the last day of his life.

It appeared that in their first voyage, on the 20th of December, they had fallen in with a heavy sea, and a great drift of seaweed, in which the anchor of the Speedwell and the two lesser boats had been hopelessly entangled and lost.  It was found impossible for such small numbers to manage the launches in the stormy channels while loaded, and it was therefore resolved to lighten them by burying the stores at Banner Cove, and, while this was being done, it was discovered that all the ammunition, except one flask and a half of powder, had been left behind in the Ocean Queen; so that there was no means of obtaining either guanacos or birds.  Attempts were made at establishing friendly barter with the natives, but no sooner did these perceive the smallness of the number of the strangers, than they beset them with obstinate hostility.  Meantime, Gardiner’s object was to reach a certain Button Island, where was a man called Jemmy Button, who had had much intercourse with English sailors, and who, he hoped, might pave the way for a better understanding with the natives.

But the Pioneer had been damaged from the first, and could not go so far.  At Banner Cove the natives were hostile and troublesome, and Spaniards’ Harbour was the only refuge, and even there a furious wind, on the 1st of February, drove the Pioneer ashore against the jagged root of a tree, so as to damage her past all her crew’s power of mending, though they hauled her higher up on the beach, and, by the help of a tent, made a lodging for the night of the wreck close to the cave, which they called after her name.

The question then was, whether to place all the seven in the Speedwell with some of the provisions and make for Button Island, and this might probably have saved their lives; but they had already experienced the exceeding difficulty of navigating the launch in the heavy seas.  Both their landing boats were lost, and they therefore decided to remain where they were p. 283until the arrival of the vessel with supplies, which they confidently expected either from home or from the Falklands.  Indeed, their power of moving away was soon lost, for Williams, the surgeon, and Badcock, one of the Cornishmen, both fell ill of the scurvy.  The cold was severe, and neither fresh meat nor green food was to be had, and this in February—the southern August.  However, the patients improved enough to enable the party to make a last expedition to Banner Cove to recover more of the provisions buried there, and to paint notices upon the rocks to guide the hoped-for relief to Spaniards’ Harbour; but this was not effected without much molestation from the Fuegians.  Then passed six weary months of patient expectation and hope deferred.  There was no murmuring, no insubordination, while these seven men waited—waited—waited in vain, through the dismal Antarctic winter for the relief that came too late.  The journals of Williams and Gardiner breathe nothing but hopeful, resigned trust, and comfort in the heavenly-minded resolution of each of the devoted band, who may almost be said to have been the Theban legion of the nineteenth century.

For a month they were able to procure fish, and were not put on short allowance till April, when Williams and Badcock both became worse, and Bryant began to fail, though he never took to his bed.  They, with Erwin, were lodged in the Speedwell at Blomfield Harbour, a sheltered inlet, about a mile and a half from the wreck of the Pioneer, where, to leave the sick more room, Captain Gardiner lodged with Maidment and Pearce.

With the months whose names spoke of English summer, storms and terrible cold began to set in.  The verses that Gardiner wrote in his diary during this frightful period are inexpressibly touching in the wondrous strength of their faith and cheerfulness.

“Let that sweet word our spirits cheer
Which quelled the tossed disciples’ fear:
   ‘Be not afraid!’
He who could bid the tempest cease
Can keep our souls in perfect peace,
   If on Him stayed.
And we shall own ’twas good to wait:
No blessing ever came too late.”

This was written on the 4th of June; on the 8th their fishing-net was torn to pieces by blocks of drifting ice.  On the 28th Badcock died, begging his comrades to sing a hymn to him in p. 284his last moments.  In August, Gardiner, hitherto the healthiest, was obliged to take to his bed in the Pioneer, and there heard of the death of Erwin on the 23rd of August, and of Bryant on the 27th.  Maidment buried them both, and came back to Captain Gardiner, who, as he lay in bed, had continued his journal, and written his farewell letters to his wife and children.  Hitherto, the stores of food had been eked out by mussels and wild celery, but there was now no one to search for them.  Gardiner, wishing to save Maidment the journeys to and fro, determined to try to reach the Speedwell, and Maidment cut two forked sticks to serve as crutches, but the Captain found himself too weak for the walk, and had to return.  This was on the 30th of August.  On Sunday, the 31st, there is no record in the diary, but the markers stand in his Prayer-book at the Psalms for the day and the Collect for the Sunday.  On the 3rd of September, Maidment was so much exhausted that he could not leave his bed till noon, and Gardiner never saw him again.  He must have died in the Pioneer cavern, being unable to return.  The diary continues five days longer.  A little peppermint-water had been left by the solitary sufferer’s bed, and a little fresh water he also managed to scoop up from the sides of the boat in an india-rubber shoe.  This was all the sustenance he had.  On the 6th of September he wrote—“Yet a little while, and through grace we may join that blessed throng to sing the praises of Christ throughout eternity.  I neither hunger nor thirst, though five days without food!  Marvellous loving-kindness to me, a sinner.  Your affectionate brother in Christ,—Allen F. Gardiner.”

These last words were in a letter to Williams.  He must afterwards have left the boat, perhaps to catch more water, and have been too weak to climb back into it, for his remains were on the beach.  Williams lost the power of writing sooner, and no more is known of his end, though probably he died first, and Pearce must have been trying to prepare his grave when he, too, sank.

What words can befit this piteous history better than “This is the patience of the saints”?

The memorial to Allen Gardiner has been a mission-ship bearing his name, with her head-quarters at the Falkland Isles.  We believe that these isles are to become a Bishop’s See.  Assuredly a branch of the Church should spring up where the seed of so patient and devoted a martyrdom has been sown.


That Zulu country where poor Allen Gardiner had made his first attempt became doubly interesting to the English when the adjoining district of Natal became a British colony.  It fell under the superintendence of Bishop Robert Gray, of Capetown, who still lives and labours, and therefore cannot be here spoken of; and mainly by his exertions it was formed into a separate Episcopal See in the year 1853.  Most of the actors in the founding of the Church of Natal are still living, but there are some of whom it can truly be said that—

“Death hath moulded into calm completeness
The statue of their life.”

Charles Frederick Mackenzie was born in 1825 of an old Scottish Tory family, members from the first of the Scottish Church in the days of her persecution.  His father, Colin Mackenzie, was one of Walter Scott’s fellow-Clerks of Session, and is commemorated by one of the Introductions to “Marmion,” as—

“He whose absence we deplore,
Who breathes the gales of Devon’s shore;
The longer missed, bewailed the more.”

His mother was Elizabeth Forbes, and he was the youngest of so unusually large a family that the elders had been launched into the world before the younger ones were born, so that they never were all together under one roof.  The father’s delicacy of health kept the mother much engrossed; the elder girls were therefore appointed as little mothers to the younger children, and it was to his eldest sister, Elizabeth (afterwards Mrs. Dundas), that the young Charles always looked with the tender reverence that is felt towards the earliest strong influence for good.

From the first he had one of those pure and stainless natures that seem to be good without effort, but his talents were only considered remarkable for arithmetic.  His elder brothers used p. 286to set him up on a table and try to puzzle him with questions, which he could often answer mentally before they had worked them out on their slates.  His father died in 1830, after so much invalidism and separation that his five-year-old boy had no personal recollection of him.  The eldest son, Mr. Forbes Mackenzie, succeeded to the estate of Portmore, and the rest of the family resided in Edinburgh for education.  Charles attended the Academy till he was fifteen, when he was sent to the Grange School at Bishop’s Wearmouth, all along showing a predominant taste for mathematics, which he would study for his own amusement and assist his elder brothers in.  His perfect modesty prevented them from ever feeling hurt by his superiority in this branch, and he held his place well in classics, though they were not the same delight to him, and were studied rather as a duty and as a step to the ministry of the Church, the desire of his heart from the first.  At school, his companions respected him heartily, and loved him for his unselfish kindness and sweetness, while a few of the more graceless were inclined to brand him as soft or slow, because he never consented to join in anything blameable, and was not devoted to boyish sports, though at times he would join in them with great vigour, and was always perfectly fearless.

From the Grange he passed to Cambridge, and was entered at St. John’s, but finding that his Scottish birth was a disadvantage according to restrictions now removed, he transferred himself to Caius College.  He kept up a constant correspondence with his eldest sister, Mrs. Dundas, and from it may be gathered much of his inner life, while outwardly he was working steadily on, as a very able and studious undergraduate.  With hopes of the ministry before his eyes, he begged one of the parochial clergy to give him work that would serve as training, and accordingly he was requested to read and pray with a set of old people living in an asylum.  The effort cost his bashfulness much, but he persevered, with the sense that if he did not go “no one else would,” and that his attempts were “better than nothing.”  This was the key to all his life.  At the same time he felt, what biography shows many another to have done, the influence of the more constant and complete worship then enjoined by college rules.  Daily service was new to him, and was accepted of course as college discipline, but after a time it gathered force and power over his mind, and as the Magnificat p. 287had been a revelation to Henry Martyn, so Charles Mackenzie’s affection first fixed upon the General Thanksgiving, and on the commemoration of the departed in the prayer for the Church Militant.

His fellow-collegians thought of him as a steady, religious-minded man, but not peculiarly devout, and indeed the just balance of his mind made him perceive that the prime duty of an undergraduate was industry rather than attempts to exercise his yet unformed and uncultivated powers.  In 1848 he was second wrangler.  There were two prizes, called Dr. Smith’s, for the two most distinguished mathematicians of the year.  The senior wrangler’s papers had the first of these; for the second, Mackenzie was neck and neck with a Trinity College man, and the question was only decided by the fact that Dr. Smith had desired that his own college (Trinity) should have the preference.

After this he became tutor and fellow of his college, taking private pupils, and at the same time preparing for Holy Orders, not only by study of books, but by work among the poor, with whom his exceeding kindness and intense reality gave him especial influence at all times.

He was ordained on the Trinity Sunday of 1851, and took an assistant curacy at a short distance from Cambridge, his vigorous powers of walking enabling him to give it full attention as well as to his pupils and to the University offices he filled.  His great characteristic seems always to have been the tenderest kindness and consideration; and in the year when he was public examiner, this was especially felt by the young men undergoing an ordeal so terrible to strained and excited intellect and nerves, when a little hastiness or harshness often destroys the hopes of a man’s youth.

With this combination of pastoral work and college life Mackenzie was perfectly satisfied and happy, but in another year the turning-point of his life was reached.  A mission at Delhi to the natives was in prospect, and the Rev. J. S. Jackson, who belonged to the same college with him, came to Cambridge in search of a fellow-labourer therein.  During the conversations and consultations as to who could be asked, the thought came upon Mackenzie, why should he strive to send forth others without going himself.  He could not put it from his mind.  He read Henry Martyn’s life, and resolved on praying for p. 288guidance as to his own duty.  In the words of his letter to Mrs. Dundas, “I thought chiefly of the command, ‘Go ye and baptize all nations,’ and how some one ought to go; and I thought how in another world one would look back and rejoice at having seized this opportunity of taking the good news of the Gospel to those who had never heard of it; but for whom, as well as for us, Christ died.  I thought of the Saviour sitting in heaven, and looking down upon this world, and seeing us, who have heard the news, selfishly keeping it to ourselves, and only one or two, or eight or ten, going out in the year to preach to His other sheep, who must be brought, that there may be one fold and one Shepherd; and I thought that if other men would go abroad, then I might stay at home, but as no one, or so few, would go out, then it was the duty of every one that could go to go. . . . And I thought, what right have I to say to young men here, ‘You had better go out to India,’ when I am hugging myself in my comfortable place at home.”  And afterwards, “Now, dear Lizzie, I have always looked to you as my mother and early teacher.  To you I owe more than I can ever repay, more than I can well tell.  I do hope you will pray for me and give me your advice.”

Mrs. Dundas’s reply to this letter was a most wise and full expression of sympathy with the aspiration, given with the deep consideration of a peculiarly calm and devotional spirit, which perceived that it is far better for a man to work up to his fullest perception of right, and highest aims, than to linger in a sphere which does not occupy his fullest soul and highest self; and she also recognized the influence that the fact of one of a family being engaged in such work exercises on those connected with them.

Others of the family, however, were startled, and some of his Cambridge friends did not think him adapted to the Delhi Mission, and this therefore was given up, but without altering the bent that his mind had received; and indeed Mrs. Dundas, in one of her beautiful letters, advised him to keep the aim once set before him in view, and thus his interest became more and more turned towards the support of missionary work at home.

In 1854, the first Primate of New Zealand, George Augustus Selwyn, visited England, after twelve years of labour spent in building up the Colonial and Maori Church, and of pioneering for missions in the Melanesian Isles, over which his vast see p. 289then extended.  He preached a course of four sermons at Cambridge; Mackenzie was an eager listener, and those forcible, heart-stirring discourses clenched his long growing resolution to obey the first call to missionary labour that should come to him, though, on the other hand, he desired so far to follow the leadings of Providence that he would not choose nor volunteer, but wait for the summons—whither he knew not.

Ere long the invitation came.  The erection of the colony of Natal into a Bishop’s See had been decided upon a year before, and it had been offered to John William Colenso, a clergyman known as active in the support of the missionary cause, and a member of the University of Cambridge.  On his appointment he had gone out in company with the Bishop of Capetown to inspect his diocese and study its needs, as well as to lay the foundations of future work.  In the party who then sailed for Natal was a lady who had recently been left a widow, Henrietta Woodrow by name, ardent in zeal for the conversion of the heathen, and hoping that the warm climate of Africa would enable her to devote herself to good works more entirely than her delicate health permitted at home.

Pieter Maritzburg had by this time risen into a capital, with a strange mixture of Dutch and English buildings; but the English population strongly predominated.  Panda was king of the Kaffirs, and fearfully bloody massacres had taken place in his dominions, causing an immense number of refugees to take shelter in the English territory.  Young people who thus came were bound apprentices to persons who would take charge of them for the sake of their services, and thus the missions and those connected with them gained considerable influence for a time.  A Kaffir, who must have been Captain Gardiner’s faithful Umpondobeni, though he was now called by another name, inquired for his former good master, and fell into an agony of distress on hearing of his fate.

Mrs. Woodrow at once opened an orphanage for the destitute English children that are sure to be found in a new colony, where the parents, if unsuccessful, are soon tempted to drink, and then fall victims to climate and accident.  The Kaffir servant whom she engaged had already been converted, and was baptized by the name of Abraham, soon after he entered her service; but “Boy,”—the name at first given to him,—became a sort of surname to him and to his family.  While p. 290watching over the little band of children, Mrs. Woodrow was already—even though as yet only learning the language—preparing the way for the coming Church.  She wrote of the Kaffirs: “They come to me of all ages, men and women, some old men from the country, with their rings upon their heads, and wrapped in their house blankets.  Then they sit down on the kitchen floor, our ‘Boy’ telling them, in his earnest way, about Jesus Christ.  These I cannot speak to, but I manage to let them know that I care for them, and ‘Boy’ says they go away with ‘tears in their hearts.’”

About two years previously, a Scottish colonist at the Cape, named Robert Robertson, had been touched by the need of ministers; had been ordained by the Bishop of Capetown, and sent to Natal as missionary clergyman to the Zulus.  Early in 1855 these two devoted workers were married, and, taking up their abode at Durban, continued together their care of the English orphans, and of the Kaffir children whom they could collect.

In the meantime, Bishop Colenso, having taken his survey of the colony, had returned to England to collect his staff of fellow-workers; and one of his first requests was that Charles Mackenzie would accompany him as Archdeacon of Pieter Maritzburg.  There was not such entire willingness in Mrs. Dundas’s mind to part with him on this mission as on the former proposal; not that she wished to hold him back from the task to which he had in a manner dedicated himself, but she preferred his going out without the title of a dignitary, and, from the tone of the new Bishop’s letters, she foresaw that doctrinal difficulties and differences might arise.

Her brother had, however, made up his mind that no great work would ever be done, if those who co-operated were too minute in seeking for perfect accordance of opinions; and that boundless charity which was his great characteristic made him perhaps underrate the importance of the fissure which his sister even then perceived between the ways of thinking of himself and his Bishop.  His next sister, Anne, whose health was too delicate for a northern climate, was to accompany him; and the entire party who went out with Bishop Colenso numbered thirty or forty persons, including several ladies, who were to devote themselves to education, both of the white and black inhabitants.  They sailed in the barque Jane Morice early in p. 291the March of 1855, and, after a pleasant and prosperous voyage, entered Durban Bay in the ensuing May.

The first home of the brother and sister was at Durban, among the English colonists.  It somewhat disappointed the Archdeacon, as those who come out for purely missionary aims always are disappointed, when called to the equally needful but less interesting field of labour among their own countrymen; put as he says, he satisfied his mind by recollecting, “I came out here simply because there was a scarcity of people that could and would come.  I did not come because I thought the work more important than that I was leaving.”  So he set himself heartily to gather and confirm the congregation that had had its first commencement when Allen Gardiner used to read prayers to the first few settlers; and, at the same time, Kaffir services were held for the some thousand persons in the town in the employment of the whites.

The Archdeacon read prayers in Kaffir, and Mr. Robertson preached on the Sunday evenings.  The numbers of attendants were not large, and the most work was done by the school that the Robertsons collected round them.  The indifference and slackness of the English at Durban made it all the harder to work upon the Kaffirs; and, in truth, Archdeacon Mackenzie’s residence there was a troublous time.  The endeavour, by the wish of the Bishop, to establish a weekly offertory, was angrily received by the colonists, who were furious at the sight of the surplice in the pulpit, and, no doubt, disguised much real enmity, both to holiness of life and to true discipline, under their censure of what they called a badge of party.  Their treatment of the Archdeacon, when they found him resolute, amounted to persecution; the most malignant rumours were set afloat, and nothing but his strength and calmness, perfect forgiveness, and yet unswerving determination, carried him through what was probably the most trying period of his life.

Intercourse with the Robertsons was the great refreshment in those anxious days.  A grant from Government had been made for a Church Mission station upon the coast, and upon the river Umlazi, not many miles from Durban; and here Mr. and Mrs. Robertson stationed themselves with their little company of orphans, refugees, and Kaffirs; also a Hottentot family, whose children they were bringing up.

Their own house had straight walls, coffee-coloured, a brown p. 292thatched roof, and a boarded floor, in consideration of Mrs. Robertson’s exceeding delicacy of health; but such boards! loose, and so springy that the furniture leapt and danced when the floor was crossed.  It was all on the ground-floor, partitioned by screens; and the thatched roof continued a good way out, supported on posts, so as to form a wide verandah; and scattered all around were the beehive dwellings of the Kaffir following, and huts raised for the nonce for European guests.

At six o’clock in the morning a large bell was rung.  At eight, Kaffir prayers were read by Mr. Robertson, for his own servants, in the verandah, and for some who would come in from the neighbouring kraals; then followed breakfast; then English matins; and, by that time, Kaffir children were creeping up to the verandah to be taught.  They were first washed, and then taught their letters, with some hymns translated into their language, and a little religious instruction.  The children were generally particularly pleasant to deal with, bright and intelligent, and with a natural amiability of disposition that rendered quarrels and jealousies rare.  Good temper seems, indeed, to be quite a Zulu characteristic; the large mixed families of the numerous wives live together harmoniously, and the gift of a kraal to one member is acknowledged by all the rest.  Revenge, violence, and passion are to be found among them, but not fretfulness and quarrelsomeness.

After the work of instruction, there was generally a ride into the neighbouring kraals, to converse with the people, and invite the children to school.  They had to be propitiated with packets of sugar, and shown the happy faces of the home flock.  There was, at first, a good deal of inclination to distrust; and the endeavour to bring the women and girls to wear clothes had to be most cautiously managed, as a little over-haste would make them take fright and desert altogether.

The Kaffir customs of marriage proved one of the most serious impediments in the way of the missionaries.  The female sex had its value as furnishing servants and cultivators of the ground, and every man wished to own as many wives as possible.  Not only did the question what was to be done in the case of many-wived converts come under consideration, but the fathers objected to their daughters acquiring the rudiments of civilization, lest it should lessen their capabilities to act as beasts of burden, and thus spoil their price in cattle, p. 293(the true pecunia of the Zulu).  Practically, it was found, that no polygamist ever became more than an inquirer; the way of life seemed to harden the heart or blind the eyes against conviction; but the difficulty as regarded the younger people was great, since as long as a girl remained the lawful property of the head of her kraal, she was liable to be sold to any polygamist of any age who might pay her value; and thus it became a question whether it were safe to baptize her.  Even Christian Zulus marrying Christian women according to the English rite could not be secure of them unless the cows were duly paid over; and as these Kaffirs are a really fine race, with more of the elements of true love in them than is usual in savages, adventures fit for a novel would sometimes occur, when maidens came flying to the mission station to avoid some old husband who had made large offers to their father; and the real lover would arrive entreating protection for the lady of his heart until he could earn the requisite amount of cows to satisfy her father.

Mr. Robertson was always called the umfundisi, or teacher.  He held his Sunday Kaffir service in a clearing in the bush, and gained many hearts to himself, and some souls for the Church, while toiling with his hands as well as setting forth the truth with his lips.  Mrs. Robertson at the same time worked upon the women by her tenderness to their little ones, offering them little frocks if they would wash them, caressing them with all a woman’s true love for babies, and then training their elder children and girls, teaching them needlework, and whatever could lead to aspirations towards modesty and the other graces of Christian womanhood.  Often extremely ill, always fragile, her energy never failed; and there was a grace and dignity about her whole deportment and manner which caused “the Lady” to be the emphatic title always given to her by her husband and his friends.  Of these the Mackenzie family were among the warmest, and the Archdeacon gladly gave valuable assistance to Mr. Robertson by supplementing an education which had not been definitely clerical, but rather of that order which seems to render an able Scotsman fit to apply himself to almost anything.

In February 1857 another sister, named Alice, joined the Mackenzie family, when they were on a visit to the Umlazi station.  Her quick powers and enthusiastic spirit fitted her in a wonderful manner for missionary labour, and she was at once p. 294in such sympathy with the Kaffirs that it was a playful arrangement among the home party that Anne should be the white and Alice the black sister.

Just after her arrival, it was determined that the Archdeacon should leave Durban, where, indeed, he had been only filling the post of an absent clergyman, and take a district on the Umhlali river, forty miles from Durban, containing a number of English settlements, a camp, and a large amount of Kaffir kraals.  Every Sunday he had five services at different places, one of them eighteen miles from the nearest, a space that had to be ridden at speed in the mid-day sun.  There was no house, but a couple of rooms with perpendicular sides and a verandah, one for chapel, the other for sitting-room, while Kaffir beehive huts were the bedrooms of all.  For a long time blankets and plaids did the part of doors and shutters; and just as the accommodations were improving, the whole grass and wattle structure was burnt down, and it was many months before the tardy labour of colonial workmen enabled the family to take possession of the new house, in a better situation, which they named Seaforth, after the title of the former head of the Mackenzie clan.

All this time the whole party had been working.  A school was collected every morning of both boys and girls; not many in number, but from a large area: children of white settlers, varying in rank, gentlemen or farmers, but all alike running wild for want of time and means to instruct them.  They came riding on horses or oxen, attended by their Kaffirs, and were generally found exceedingly ignorant of all English learning, but precocious and independent in practical matters: young boys able to shoot, ride, and often entrusted with difficult commissions by their fathers at an age when their cousins at home would scarcely be at a public school, and little girls accustomed to superintend the Kaffirs in all household business; both far excelling their parents in familiarity with the language, but accustomed to tyrannize over the black servants, and in danger of imbibing unsuspected evil from their heathen converse.  It was a task of no small importance to endeavour to raise the tone, improve the manners, and instruct the minds of these young colonists, and it could only be attempted by teaching them as friends upon an equality.

With the Kaffirs, at the same time, the treatment was p. 295moulded on that of Mr. and Mrs. Robertson, who at one time paid the Umhlali a visit, bringing with them their whole train of converts, servants, orphans, and adopted children, who could be easily accommodated by putting up fresh grass huts, to which even the Europeans of the party had become so accustomed, that they viewed a chameleon tumbling down on the dinner-table with rather more indifference than we do the intrusion of an earwig, quite acquiesced in periodically remaking the clay floor when the white ants were coming up through it, scorpions being found in the Archdeacon’s whiskers, and green snakes, instead of mice, being killed by the cat.

The sight of Christian Kaffirs was very beneficial to the learners, to whom it was a great stumbling block to have no fellows within their ken, but to be totally separated from all of their own race and colour.  At Seaforth, the wedding was celebrated of two of Mr. Robertson’s converts, named Benjamin and Louisa, the marriage Psalms being chanted in Kaffir, and the Holy Communion celebrated, when there were seven Kaffir communicants.  The bride wore a white checked muslin and a wreath of white natural flowers on her head.  This was the first Christian Zulu wedding, and it has been followed by many more, and we believe that in no case has there been a relapse into heathenism or polygamy.

The Mackenzies continued at Seaforth until the early part of the year 1859.  The work was peaceful and cheerful.  There were no such remarkable successes in conversion as the Robertsons met with, probably because in the further and wilder district the work was more pioneering, and the Robertsons had never been without a nucleus of Christians, besides which the gifts of both appear to have been surpassing in their power of dealing with natives, and producing thorough conversions.  Moreover, they had no cure but of the Kaffirs, whereas Archdeacon Mackenzie was the pastor of a widely scattered population, and his time and strength on Sundays employed to their very uttermost.  Church affairs weighed heavily upon him; and another heavy sorrow fell on him in the death of the guardian elder sister, Mrs. Dundas.  Her illness, typhus fever, left time for the preparation of knowing of her danger, and a letter written to her by her brother during the suspense breathes his resigned hope:—“Dear Lizzie, you may now be among the members of the Church in heaven, who p. 296have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.  If so, we shall never meet again on earth.  But what a meeting in heaven!  Any two of us to meet so would be, more than we can conceive, to be made perfect, and never more to part.”  And when writing to the bereaved husband after the blow had fallen, he says: “Surely we ought not to think it strange if the brightest gems are sometimes removed from the workshop to the immediate presence of the Great King.”

But the grief, though borne in such a spirit, probably made him susceptible to the only illness he experienced while in Natal.  The immediate cause was riding in the burning sun of a southern February, and the drinking cold water, the result of which was a fever, that kept him at home for about a month.

There was at this time a strong desire to send a mission into independent Zululand, with a Bishop at its head.  Bishop Colenso was at first inclined to undertake the lead himself, resigning Natal; and next a plan arose that Archdeacon Mackenzie should become the missionary Bishop.  The plan was to be submitted to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, and for this purpose the Archdeacon was despatched to England, taking Miss Mackenzie with him; but the younger sister, Alice, having so recently arrived, and being so valuable as a worker among the natives, remained to assist in the school of young chiefs who had been gathered together by Bishop Colenso.

The time of the return of the brother and sister was just when Dr. Livingstone’s account of the interior of Africa, and of the character of the chiefs on the Zambesi, had excited an immense enthusiasm throughout England.  He had appealed to the Universities to found a mission, and found it they would, on a truly grand scale, commensurate with their wealth and numbers.  It was to have a Bishop at the head, and a strong staff of clergy, vessels built on purpose to navigate the rivers, and every requisite amply provided.  Crowded meetings were held at each University, and the enthusiasm produced by the appeal of Dr. Livingstone, a Scottish Presbyterian, to the English Universities, as the only bodies capable of such an effort, produced unspeakable excitement.  At a huge meeting at Cambridge, attended by the most distinguished of English Churchmen, Archdeacon Mackenzie was present.  His quiet remark to the friend beside him, was, “I am afraid of this.  Most great p. 297works have been carried on by one or two men in a quieter way, and have had a more humble beginning.”  In fact, Bishop Gray, of Capetown, had long been thinking of a Central African Mission; but his plan, and that which Mackenzie would have preferred, was to work gradually northwards from the places already Christian, or partially so, instead of commencing an isolated station at so great a distance, not only from all aid to the workers, but from all example or mode of bringing civilized life to the pupils.  But Livingstone had so thoroughly won the sympathies of the country that only the exact plan which he advocated could obtain favour, and it was therefore felt that it was better to accept and co-operate with his spirit than to give any check, or divide the flow by contrary suggestions.

Thus Livingstone became almost as much the guide and referee of the Zambesi expedition as ever a Cardinal Legate was of a crusade.  Nor could this be wondered at, for the ordinary Englishman is generally almost ignorant of missions and their history, and in this case an able and interesting book of travels had stirred the mind of the nation; nor had experience then shown how much more there was of the explorer than of the missionary in the writer.

From the first, Archdeacon Mackenzie was designated as the chief of the mission.  He felt the appointment a call not to be rejected.  His sister Anne viewed it in the same spirit, and was ready to cast in her lot with him, and letters were written to the other sister in Natal proposing to her to accompany them.  Then came a year of constant travelling and oratory in churches and on platforms, collecting means and rousing interest in the mission—a year that would have been a mere whirl to any one not possessed of the wonderful calmness and simplicity that characterized Mackenzie, and made him just do the work that came to hand in the best manner in his power, without question or choice as to what that work might be.

By the October of 1860 all was ready, and the brother and sister had taken leave of the remaining members of their family, and embarked at Southampton, together with two clergymen, a lay superintendent, a carpenter and a labourer, and likewise Miss Fanny Woodrow, Mrs. Robertson’s niece, who was to join in her work.  Their first stage was Capetown, where it had been arranged that the consecration should take place, since it is best that a Missionary Bishop governing persons not p. 298under English government should not be fettered by regulations that concern her Prelates, not as belonging to the Church, but to the Establishment.  There was some delay in collecting the bishops of South Africa, so that the Pioneer, placed at Dr. Livingstone’s disposal, could not wait; and the two clergy, Mr. Waller and Mr. Scudamore, proceeded without their chief.

On the 1st of January, 1861, the rite took place, memorable as the first English consecration of a Missionary Bishop, and an example was set that has happily been since duly followed, as the Church has more and more been roused to the fulfilment of the parting command, “Go ye, and teach all nations.”

And, on the 7th, the new Bishop sailed in H.M.S. Lyra, Captain Oldfield, which had been appointed, in the course of its East African cruise, to take him to the scene of his labours, on the way setting down the Bishop of Natal at his diocese.  The first exploration and formation of a settlement had been decided to be too arduous and perilous for women, especially for such an invalid as Miss Mackenzie, and she was therefore left at Capetown, to follow as soon as things should be made ready for her.  The so-called black sister, who then fully intended also to be a member of the Central African Mission, came down to meet her brother at Durban, and a few days of exceeding peace and joy were here spent.  The victory over his opponents at Durban had been won by the recollection of his unfailing meekness and love; they hailed him with ardent affection and joy, expressed their regret for all that had been unfriendly, and eagerly sought for all pastoral offices at his hand.  He consecrated a church, and held a confirmation at the Umlazi; but the Robertsons were not there to welcome him.  The long-contemplated mission into independent Zululand had devolved upon Mr. Robertson, and he and his wife, and the choicest and most trustworthy of their converts, had removed across the Tugela into the territories of old King Panda, the last of the terrible brotherhood, and now himself greatly ruled by the ablest and most successful of his sons, Ketchewayo by name.  The work was very near Bishop Mackenzie’s heart, and, both with substantial aid, prayers, blessings, and encouragements, he endeavoured to forward it.

His last day in Natal was spent in a service with a confirmation at Claremont, and an evening service at Durban.  “As we were returning,” wrote his sister Alice, “we saw a rocket p. 299from the sea; a gun fired, the mail was in; and the captain, who was with us, said he would let us know the first thing in the morning the hour he would sail.  Well, after this, there was little peace or quiet.  We were too tired to sit up that night, and next morning there was much to arrange, and everybody was coming and going, and we heard we were to go by the half-past two train.  A great many friends were with us, but on the shore we slipped away, and, leaning together on a heap of bricks, had a few sweet, quiet collects together, till we were warned we must go to the boat.  We went on board the tug, and stood together high up on the captain’s place; we were washed again and again by the great waves.  When he went, and I had his last kiss and blessing, his own bright, beautiful spirit infected mine, and I could return his parting words without flinching; I saw him go without even a tear dimming my eye: so that I could watch him to the last, looking after our little boat again crossing the bar, till we could distinguish each other no more.

“In speaking one day of happiness, he said, ‘I have given up looking for that altogether.  Now, till death, my post is one of unrest and care.  To be the sharer of everyone’s sorrow, the comforter of everyone’s grief, the strengthener of everyone’s weakness: to do this as much as in me lies is now my aim and object; for, you know, when the members suffer, the pain must always fly to the head.’  He said this with a smile, and oh! the peace in his face; it seemed as if nothing could shake it.”

The last photograph, taken during this visit to Durban, with the high calm brow, and the quiet contemplative eye, bears out this beautiful, sisterly description of that last look.

The Lyra next proceeded to the Kongone mouth of the Zambesi, where the two parties who had gone forward, including Dr. Livingstone himself, were met, and a consultation took place.  The Bishop was anxious to go forward, arrange his settlement, and commence his work at once; but Dr. Livingstone thought the season a bad one, and was anxious to explore the River Rovuma, to see whether its banks afforded a better opening; and it ended in the Bishop feeling obliged to give way to his experience, although against his own judgment.

He therefore, with Mr. Rowley, who had joined him at Durban, accompanied Livingstone in the Pioneer, leaving the others at Johanna, a little island used as a depôt for coal.

p. 300The expedition was not successful; there was only water enough in the channel to enable the Pioneer to go thirty miles up in five days, and it failed more and more in the descent.  The steamer, too, though built for the purpose of navigating the shallows of rivers, drew more water than had been expected; the current when among shoals made the descent worse than the ascent; there was a continual necessity for landing to cut wood to feed the engine; and, in five days, the Pioneer had not made ten miles.  The Bishop worked as hard as any of the crew, once narrowly escaped the jaws of a crocodile, and had a slight touch of fever, so trifling that it perhaps disposed him to think lightly of the danger; but he was still weak when he came back to Johanna, and, by way of remedy, set out before breakfast for a mountain walk, and came back exhausted, and obliged to lie still, thoroughly depressed in mind as well as body for two days.  The expedition proved the more unfortunate, that it delayed the start for the Zambesi from February, when the stream was full, till May, when the water was so low that a great quantity of the stores had to be left behind, in order that the Pioneer might not draw too much water.  The chief assistants were the Malokolo, a portion of a tribe who had attached themselves to Dr. Livingstone, and had been awaiting his return on the banks of the river.  The Bishop would fain have gone without weapons of any sort, but Dr. Livingstone decided that this was impracticable.  He said, by all means take guns, and use them, if needed, and they would prove the best pacificators; and Mackenzie, as usual, yielded his own judgment, and heartily accepted what was decided on for him.

All those left at Johanna had suffered from fever, and were relieved that the time of inaction was over when they embarked in the Pioneer on the 1st of May, and in due time ascended the Zambesi, and again the Shire, but very slowly, for much time was consumed in cutting wood for the engines, every stick in the mud costing three days’ labour, and in three weeks going only six or seven miles, seeing numerous crocodiles and hippopotami by the way.

It was not till the middle of July that they reached the landing-place.  As soon as the goods had been landed the whole party set out on an exploration, intending to seek for a place, high enough on the hills to be healthy, on which to form their settlement.

p. 301Their goods were carried by negroes, and a good many by themselves, the Bishop’s share being in one hand a loaded gun, in the other a crozier, in front a can of oil, behind, a bag of seeds.  “I thought,” he writes, “of the contrast between my weapon and my staff, the one like Jacob, the other like Abraham, who armed all his trained servants to rescue Lot.  I thought also of the seed which we must sow in the hearts of the people, and of the oil of the Spirit that must strengthen us in all we do.”

The example of Abraham going forth to rescue Lot was brought suddenly before the mission party.  While halting at a negro village, a sound was heard like the blowing of penny trumpets, and six men, with muskets, came into the village, driving with them eighty-four slaves, men, women, and children, whom they had collected for Portuguese slave-dealers at Tette.

The Bishop and Mr. Scudamore had gone out of the village to bathe just before they arrived; but Dr. Livingstone, recognizing one of the drivers, whom he had seen at Tette, took him by the wrist, saying, “What are you doing here, killing people?  I shall kill you to-day.”

The man answered: “I do not kill; I am not making war.  I bought these people.”

Then Livingstone turned to the slaves.  Two men said, “We were bought.”  Six said, “We were captured.”  And several of the women, “Our husbands and relatives were killed, and here we are.”

Whereupon Livingstone began to cut the bonds of cord that fastened them together, while the slave-catchers ran away.  All this was over before the Bishop returned; and Livingstone was explaining to the rescued negroes that they might either return to their homes, go to Tette, or remain under English protection, while they expressed their joy and gratitude by a slow clapping of the hands.  They told a terrible story, of women shot for trying to escape, and of a babe whose brains were dashed out, because its mother could not carry it and her brothers together.

If asked by what authority he did these things, Livingstone would have answered, by the right of a Christian man to protect the weak from devilish cruelty.  There was no doubt in his mind that these slaves, even though purchased, were deprived of their liberty so unjustly, that their deliverance was only a sacred duty, and that their owners had no right of property in them.  If a British cruiser descended on a slave-ship, and p. 302released her freight, should he not also deliver the captive wherever he met him?

And, with this, another question was raised, namely, that of the use of weapons.  The party were in the country of the Man-gnaja, a tribe of negroes who were continually harried by the fiercer and more powerful neighbour-tribe of Ajawa, great slave-catchers, who supplied the slave-hunters who came out from Tette to collect their human droves.  These were mostly Arabs, with some Portuguese admixture; and the blacks, after being disposed of in the market at Tette, were usually shipped off to supply the demand in Arabia and Egypt, where, to tell the truth, their lot was a far easier one than befell the slaves of the West, the toilers among sugar and cotton.

A crusade against slave-catching could not be carried on without, at least, a show of force; and, this granted, a further difficulty presented itself, in the fact that, out of the scanty number of white men, one was a bishop and two were priests of the English Church, and one a Presbyterian minister.  In all former cases, the missionaries had freely ventured themselves, using no means of self-defence, and marking the difference between themselves and others by the absence of all weapons.  But, in those places, it was self-defence that was given up; here the point was, whether to deliver the captive, or, by silence, to acquiesce in the wrong done to him; and if his rescue were attempted, it was in vain, unless the clergy assisted; and thus it was that the mission party did not march so much as men of peace as deliverers of the captive and breakers of the yoke.  The captives had no power of returning home, and chose to remain with their deliverers; and the next day the party reached a negro village, called Chibisa’s, after the chief who had ruled it at the time of Dr. Livingstone’s first visit.  He was now dead, but his successor, Chigunda, begged the white men to remain, to protect him from the Ajawa, who were only five or ten miles off, and from whom an attack was expected.

It was decided to forestall it by marching towards them.  On the way another great convoy of slaves was encountered, and with the merest show of force, no bloodshed at all, more than forty were liberated—the men from forked clogs to their necks, consisting of a pole as thick as a man’s thigh, branched at the top like the letter Y, so that the neck of the prisoner could be inserted, and fastened with an iron pin.

p. 303The large number of these liberated captives made it necessary to choose a home, but Chibisa’s was not the place selected, but a spot some sixty miles further on, called Magomero.  It was on a plain 3,000 feet above the level of the sea, or rather in a hole on the plain; for it was chosen because the bend of a river encircled it on three sides, so that a stockade on the fourth would serve for defence, in case of an attack from the Ajawa; and this consideration made Livingstone enforce the choice upon the Bishop, who again yielded to his opinion.  The higher ground around was not unhealthy; the air was pure, the heat never excessive; but the river was too near, and brought fever to a spot soon overcrowded.  It was occupied, however, with high hope and cheerfulness; huts, formed of poles and roofed with piles of grass, were erected, a larger one set apart for a church, and a system established of regular training for the numerous troop of clients, now amounting to above a hundred.  To give them regular religious instruction, without being secure of the language, was thought by the Bishop inexpedient, and he therefore desired, at first, to prepare the way by the effects of physical training and discipline.  This was a Magomero day:—English matins at early morning; breakfast on fowls or goats’-flesh, yam, beans, and porridge; then a visit to the sick; for, alas! already the whole thirteen of the mission staff were never well at the same time.  After this, the negroes were collected, answered to their names, and had breakfast served out to them; two women being found to receive and apportion the shares of the lesser children, and this they did carefully and kindly.

The tender sweetness of Mackenzie told greatly in dealing with these poor creatures.  He did not think it waste of time to spend an hour a day trying to teach the little ones their letters; and Mr. Rowley draws a beautiful picture of him feeding, with a bottle, a black babe, whose mother had not nutriment enough to sustain it,—the little naked thing nestling up to his big beard, and going to sleep against his broad chest.

Work followed.  One whith man drilled the boys, one command being for them all to leap into the river at the same moment to bathe; one bargained with the vendors of mealies, beer, goats, fowls, yams, &c., who came in numbers from the villages round, and received payment in beads, and a blue cotton manufacture, called selampore, which is the current coin of Central Africa.  Others worked, and showed how to work, p. 304at the buildings till one o’clock, when the dinner was served, only differing from breakfast in the drink being native beer instead of coffee.  Rest followed till five, when there were two hours’ more work, nearly till sunset, which, even on the longest day, was before half-past six; then tea, evensong, and bed.

The great need was of some female element, to train and deal with the women and girls; and there was an earnest desire for the arrival of the sisters.  But, in the meantime, the occupation of Magomero proved far from peaceful.  The Ajawa were always coming down upon the Man-gnaja to burn their villages and steal slaves, and the Man-gnaja called upon the whites as invincible allies.

The Bishop and his clergy (Livingstone had now left them, and gone on to Lake Nyassa) thought that to present a resolute front to the Ajawa would drive them back for good and all; and that the Man-gnaja could be bound over henceforth to give up slave-dealing, and, on this condition, they did not refuse their assistance.  Subsequent events have led to the belief that this warfare of the Ajawa was really the advance of one of those great tides of nations that take place from time to time, and that they were a much finer people than the cowardly and false Man-gnaja; but, of course, a small company of strangers, almost ignorant of the language, and communicating with the natives through a released and educated negro, could not enter into the state of things, and could only struggle against the immediate acts of oppression that came before them.

There were thus about three expeditions to drive back the Ajawa and deliver the rescued slaves—bloodless expeditions, for the sight of the white men and their guns was quite enough to produce a general flight, and a large colony of the rescued had gathered at Magomero in the course of a few months.  Meantime another clergyman, the Rev. H. De Wint Burrup, with his newly-married wife and three lay members of the mission, had arrived at Capetown, and, leaving Mrs. Burrup there with Miss Mackenzie, had come on to join the others.  Mr. Burrup and Mr. Dickinson (a surgeon) actually made their way in canoes and river boats from Quillinane up to Chibisa’s, where the Pioneer was lying, Dr. Livingstone having just returned from his three months’ expedition.

It was an absolute exploit in travelling, but a very perilous one, since these open boats, in the rain and on the low level of p. 305the river, exposed them to the greatest danger of fever; and there can be no doubt that their constitutions were injured, although, no serious symptoms appearing, the mission party were still further induced to underrate the necessity of precaution.

The Bishop coming down to visit Livingstone (seventy miles in thirty hours on foot), gladly hailed the new-comers, and returned rapidly with Mr. Burrup, both a good deal over-fatigued; and, indeed, the Bishop never thoroughly recovered this reckless expenditure of strength.  He considered that things were now forward enough for a summons to the ladies at Capetown.  Communication was very difficult, and the arrangements had therefore to be made somewhat blindly; but his plan was, that his sisters and Mrs. Burrup should try to obtain a passage to Kongone, where the Pioneer should meet them, and bring them up the rivers to the landing-place at Chibisa’s.  He did not know of his sister Alice’s marriage at Natal, though he would have rejoiced at it if he had known.  He himself intended to come down to the spot where the rivers Shire and Ruo meet, and there greet the sister and the wife on board the Pioneer, and return with them to Magomero.

The way by the river and by Chibisa’s was a great circuit, and it was thought that a more direct way might be found by exploration.  Mr. Procter and Mr. Scudamore, with the black interpreter, Charles Thomas, and some of the negroes, started to pioneer a way.  After five days Charles appeared at Magomero, exhausted, foot-sore, ragged, and famished, having had no food for forty-eight hours, and just able to say “the Man-gnaja attacked us; I am the only one who has escaped.”

When he had had some soup, he told that the party had come to a village where they had been taken for slave-dealers, and the natives, on finding they were not, put on a hostile appearance, and as they pushed on came out in great numbers with bows and arrows, insisting on their return.  After consulting they thought it would be better to turn back and conciliate the chief, rather than leave a nest of enemies in their rear, and they therefore turned.  Unfortunately the negroes had caught sight of the 140 yards of selampore that they were taking with them as cash for the journey, and though the chief, who had been at Senna and Quillinane, was civil, there was much discontent at their not expending more in purchases of provisions; and Charles told them that their bearers had overheard plans p. 306for burning their huts in the night, killing them and taking their goods.  They decided to escape; and occupying the chief’s attention by a present of a bright scarf, they bade their men get under weigh.  A cry arose, “They are running away.”  There was a rush upon them, and Charles managed to break through.  He heard two shots fired, and was pursued for some distance, but, as darkness came on, effected his escape.

It seems to have been just one of the cases when a little hesitation and uncertainty on the part of the civilized men did all the mischief by emboldening the savages.  Of course it was necessary to rescue them, but as the Ajawa were but twenty miles off, and Magomero must be guarded, there was no choice but to have recourse to the Makololo, and thus let loose one set of savages against another.  Just, however, as a message was being despatched to bring them, the two clergymen were seen returning.  They too had walked eighty-five miles in forty-eight hours, and had had but one fowl between them.  They had in fact got out of the village almost immediately after Charles, but closely beset with natives armed with bows and poisoned arrows.  Some tried to wrest Mr. Procter’s gun from him, and even got him down, when he defended himself with his heels, until Mr. Scudamore, who was a little in advance, fired on his assailants, when they gave back; but an arrow aimed at him penetrated the stock of his gun so deeply that the head remained embedded in it.  Firing both barrels, he produced a panic, under cover of which they made their way into the bush, and contrived with much difficulty to reach home.

Six of their eight bearers gradually straggled in, and the last brought the following message from a chief in the next village: “I am not in blame for this war; Manasomba has tried to kill the English, has stolen their baggage and their boy, and has kept two of your men.  He says if the English want the men, let them come and buy them out, or else fight for them.”

It appeared that Manasomba was not a Man-gnaja, and that his suspicions were excited by anything so inexplicable to the negro mind as white men going about with so much cloth without buying slaves nor much of anything else.

There were still two men to be rescued, and the question was, whether to wait for Livingstone, who was armed with authority to give a lesson to the negroes, or for the mission party to undertake it themselves, especially in the haste which was p. 307needful in order to be in time for the meeting with the Pioneer.  They decided on the march, so as to release the men, and thus were forced to break up the calm of the Christmas feast.  “If it is right to do it at all, it is right to do it on a holy day,” was the Bishop’s argument, and so the Christmas Day was spent, partly in walking, partly at Chipoka’s village, where was held the Holy Communion feast.  “How wondrous,” wrote the Bishop, “the feeling of actual instantaneous communion with all you dear ones, though the distance and means of earthly communication are so great and so difficult!”  The negroes of the neighbouring villages joined them, and they proceeded.  Near Manasomba’s village they met a large body of men, with whom the Bishop attempted to hold a parley, but they ran away, and only discharged a few arrows.  The village was deserted except by a few sheep, goats, and Muscovy ducks, and these were driven out and the huts set on fire.

This punishment was as a “vindication of the English name,” and as an act of self-defence, since any faltering in resolution among such savages would have been fatal; but, after all, the men were not recovered, and the expedition had been so exhausting that none of the party were really fit to push on for the place of meeting with the Pioneer, nor would Chipoka give them guides or bearers in that direction, saying it was all occupied by Manasomba’s friends.

They came back to Magomero grievously exhausted; Scudamore fell down on a bed only just alive, and even the Bishop, though he tried to act and speak with vigour, was evidently suffering from illness and over-fatigue.

But there was the appointment to be kept with Livingstone and the ladies at the Ruo, and, unfit as he was, he persevered, setting off with Burrup, sadly enough, for Scudamore was lying in a dangerous state; but no one guessed that they would never meet again upon earth.

It was on the 4th of January, 1862, that they started with a few Malokolo and the interpreter Charles, and it was six weeks before the colony at Magomero heard any tidings.  There the stores were all but exhausted, and having hardly any goods left for barter, there was little food to be obtained but green corn and pumpkin, most unsuited to the Englishmen’s present state of health.

Meanwhile, in constant rain and through swollen streams, p. 308Mackenzie and Burrup had made their way down to the river, and there with much difficulty obtained a canoe.  On the first night of the voyage all the party, except the Bishop, wished to go on, because the mosquitoes rendered rest impossible.  He thought moving on in the dark imprudent, but gave up his own will, and even wrote jestingly afterwards on the convenience of making the mosquitoes act as a spur.  The consequence was that they came suddenly upon a projecting bend; the boat upset, and everything they had was in the water.  They spent more than an hour in recovering what could be brought up; but their powder and their provisions were spoilt, and, what was still worse, their medicines: including the quinine, almost essential to life, and that when they were thoroughly drenched in the middle of an African night.

Making sure, however, of speedily meeting Dr. Livingstone, they pushed on; but when they came to Malo, the isle at the confluence of the Ruo and Shire, they learnt from the natives that the Pioneer had gone down the stream.  The negroes could give no clear account of how long ago it had been.  If they had known that it had been only five days, they would probably have put forth their speed and have overtaken her, but they thought that a much longer time was intended, and that waiting for the return would be not only more prudent, but might enable them to make friends with the chief, and prepare for a station to be established on the island.  A hut was given them, and there was plenty of wholesome food on the island.

Inaction, is, however the most fatal curse in that land of fever.  There is a cheerful letter written by the Bishop to his home friends, on the 14th and 15th of January; but his vigour was flagging.  He spoke with disappointment of the inability of Dr. Livingstone to bring up stores to Chibisa’s, and longed much for his sisters’ arrival, telling his companion it would break his heart if they did not now come.  He also wrote a strong letter to the Secretary of the Universities’ Mission, begging for a steam launch to keep up the supplies, where the Pioneer had failed.  Soon after this, both became grievously ill; the Bishop’s fever grew violent, he perceived his danger, and told the Malokolo that Jesus would come to take him, but he presently became delirious and insensible, in which condition he lay for five days, the Malokolo waiting on him as well as they could under Burrup’s superintendence.

p. 309The negro tribes have an exceeding dread of death, and a hut which has had a corpse in it is shut up for three years.  Probably for this reason the chief begged that the dying man might be carried to another hut less needful to himself, and as he had been kind and friendly throughout Mr. Burrup thought it right to comply.  Shortly after, on the afternoon of the 31st of January, the pure, gentle, and noble spirit passed away.  The chief, from superstitious fear, insisted that the body should be immediately interred, and not on the island, and Mr. Burrup and the Malokolo therefore laid it in their canoe, and paddled to the mainland, where a spot was cleared in the bush, the grave dug, and as it was by this time too dark to see to read, Mr. Burrup said all that he could remember of the burial service, the four blacks standing wondering and mournful by.

He saw that for himself the only hope was in a return to Magomero.  The canoe was tried, but the current was so strong that such small numbers could not make head against it.  He therefore proceeded on foot, but fell down repeatedly from weakness, and was only dragged on by his strong will and the aid of the Malokolo.  They behaved admirably, and when he reached Chibisa’s, and could walk no longer, they and the villagers contrived a palanquin of wood, and carried him on in it.  The chief, finding that his store of cloth (i.e. coin) was expended, actually offered him a present of some to carry him on.

On the 14th of February, one of the Malokolo appeared before the anxious colonists at Magomero.  His face was that of a bearer of evil tidings, and when they asked for the Bishop, he hid his face in his hands.  When they pressed further, he said, “wafa, wafa” (he is dead, he is dead).  And while they stood round stunned, he made them understand that Burrup was at hand, so ill as to be carried on men’s shoulders.

There was nothing to be done but to hurry out to meet him, taking the last drop of wine remaining.  He had become the very shadow of himself, but even then he slightly rallied, and could he have had nourishing food, wine or brandy, the strength of his constitution would probably have carried him through; but the stores were exhausted, there was nothing to recruit his powers, and on the 23rd of February he likewise died.

Meantime, his young wife, with Miss Mackenzie and Mrs. Livingstone, had sailed in December in a wretchedly uncomfortable little craft, called the Hetty Ellen.  On reaching the p. 310Kongone they saw no token of the Pioneer, but after waiting in great discomfort, tossing at the mouth of the river, the vessel made for Mozambique.  There they fell in with H.M.S. Gorgon.  Captain Wilson, resolved to render them every service in his power, took the ladies on board, the vessel in tow, and carried them to Quillinane, where they presently fell in with Dr. Livingstone and the Pioneer.

His little lake steamer, the Lady Nyassa, had been packed on board the Hetty Ellen, and had formed the only shelter Miss Mackenzie had from the sun, and the transference of this occupied some time.  Then the unhappy Pioneer began to proceed at her snail’s pace, one day on a sand-bank, another with the machinery out of order, continually halting for supplies of wood, and thinking a couple of miles a good day’s work.  Captain Wilson, shocked at the notion of women spending weeks in labouring up that pestiferous stream, beset with mosquitoes by night and tsetse flies by day, offered to man his gig and take them up himself.  So desperate a journey was it for a frail invalid like Miss Mackenzie, that one of the sailors took a spade to dig her grave with; and in fact she was soon prostrated with fever.  None of the party knew who lay sleeping in his grave under the trees.  The natives on the island entirely denied having seen or heard anything of the Bishop, and never gave Mr. Burrup’s letter, fearing perhaps that some revenge might fall on them.  Baffled by not meeting him, Captain Wilson still would not leave the ladies till he should have seen them safe among their friends, and pushed on his boat with speed very unlike that of the tardy Pioneer, and thus, in a day and a half, arrived at Chibisa’s, where the Malokolo came down to the boat, with tidings that, though their language was but imperfectly understood, were only too certain.  The brave and tender-hearted leader of the mission was dead!  Still there was hope of Mr. Burrup; but Captain Wilson would not allow the young wife to take the difficult journey only to find desolation, but went on by land himself, leaving her with Miss Mackenzie, under charge of his ship’s surgeon, Dr. Ramsay.  He came back after a few days, having become too ill by the way to get further than Soche, where he had been met by three of the mission party, who now returned with him to Chibisa’s, with the tidings in all their sad fulness; and the mournful party set forth upon their return.  On coming to the island, he demanded Mr. Burrup’s p. 311letter, and the negroes looked at one another, saying, “It is all known.”  They gave him the letter, but it was with very great difficulty that they could be persuaded to show him the grave, over which he set up a cross of reeds, and then continuing this sad voyage, placed the ladies on board his ship, and carried them back to Capetown.

Bishop Mackenzie had executed a will not six weeks before his death, bequeathing to the Additional Bishoprics Fund his property, and to the mission his books, except those specially connected with his personal devotions, which were to go to his family, and which Captain Wilson brought down with him, the Bible, Prayer-book, and “Christian Year,” bearing tokens of that immersion in the water which, by the destruction of the medicines, may be believed to have been the chief cause of his death.  Until the arrival of a new Bishop, or of instructions from the Metropolitan of Capetown, the headship of the mission was to remain with the senior clergyman, or failing him, of the senior layman.  Thus the little colony had their instructions to wait and carry on the work: but further difficulties soon arose.  Stores were still wanting, fever prevailed even among the negroes.  All the class of little children whom the Bishop used to teach had died under it, each being baptized before its death, and the Ajawa began to threaten again.  The lessened force, without a head, decided that, though their advance might drive the enemy back, it was better to avoid further warfare, and relinquish the post at Magomero.  With the long train of helpless natives, then, the few white men set forth, and after several days’ tedious and weary march came to Chibisa’s, where they founded a new station on a hill-side, above the native village, and tried to continue their old system; but by Christmas Mr. Scudamore had become fatally ill, and he died on the morning of New Year’s Day, 1863, greatly lamented, not only by the remnant of his own party, but by all the negroes; and on the 17th of March he was followed by Dr. Dickinson.

We do not deal with those still living, therefore we will only further mention that on the 26th of June following Bishop Tozer arrived at Chibisa’s.  He decided on removing to a place called Morumbala, a station nearer Quillinane, which he hoped might prove healthier, and out of the reach of the Ajawa.  The remaining clergy of the mission were greatly concerned at this, p. 312for they had hopes of influencing the Ajawa, and besides, the negroes whom they had rescued, who had been now more than a year under their care, could not for the most part be taken to Morumbala; for, though grieving much at losing their “English fathers,” they would be placed at a distance from their own tribe, among strangers and possible enemies.

The families who could provide for themselves were left at Chibisa’s, Mr. Waller making the best terms in his power for them.  It was sad to leave them without having more thoroughly Christianized them, but the frequent sicknesses of the clergy, the loss of the chief pastor, and the want of some one to take the lead, had prevented their instruction from being all that could have been hoped.  They had become warmly attached to the English, and had in many respects much improved, and it is hoped that they may keep alive the memory of the training they have received, and prepare the way for better things.

There were about twenty orphan boys, for whom Bishop Tozer undertook to provide; but there were also ten or twelve women and girls, the former old and infirm, the latter orphans, and these Mr. Waller could not bear to abandon, so he carried them with him to Morumbala, and supported them at his own expense, until at the end of five months it was decided to give up Morumbala, and fix the head-quarters of the Central African Mission at Zanzibar.  Then, as it was not easy to convey the boys, or provide for them there, Mr. Waller took the charge of them likewise, and, with Dr. Livingstone’s assistance, conveyed both them and the women and children to Capetown, where he succeeded in procuring homes for them in different families and mission schools or stations.  All are now Christians, and show themselves gentle, and susceptible of training and education; nor have they much of that disposition so familiar to us in the transplanted negroes of Western Africa.  Four boys were brought to England, but the climate would soon have been fatal to them, and it is evident that Capetown or Natal and its dependencies must be the meeting ground of the English and African races, since there alone can both retain their vigour in the same climate.

Thus ended the first venture of the University mission, in the sacrifice of four lives, which may be well esteemed as freely laid down in the cause of the Gospel.  Such lives and such p. 313deaths are the seed of the Church.  It is they that speak the loudest in calling for the fresh labourers; and though the Zanzibar Mission has drifted far away from the field of Mackenzie’s labours, and has adopted a different system, and though his toils in Natal never were allowed to continue long enough in a single spot for him personally to reap their fruits upon earth, not only has his name become a trumpet call, but out of his grave has sprung, as it were, a mission in the very quarter where, had he been permitted, he would have spent his best efforts, namely, the free Zulu country, Panda’s kingdom, to the north of the Tugela.

It has been already mentioned that Mr. and Mrs. Robertson had removed thither, from their station upon the Umlazi, taking with them a selection of their Christian Kaffirs, and settling, with the king’s permission, at a place called Kwamagwaza.  At first they lived in a waggon and tents, for, delicate and often ill as was Mrs. Robertson, she shrank from no hardship or exertion.  She writes, “My own health has been wonderful, in spite of much real suffering from the closeness of the waggon, and exposure to rain or hot sun, which is even more trying.  I often have to sleep with the waggon open, and a damp foggy air flowing through to keep me from fainting, and I have often told myself, ‘You might be worse off in the cabin of a steamer,’ that I might not pity myself too much.”

A hut was soon raised, and Mrs. Robertson here ruled in her own peculiarly dignified and tender way as the mother of the whole station, keeping guard there while her husband went on expeditions to visit the king and his son Ketchewayo, the chief executive authority.  Another hut was raised to serve as a church, and the days were arranged much as those on the Umlazi had been.  Children were born to the Christian couples, and Mrs. Robertson spent much time and care in teaching the mothers how to deal with them after a civilized and Christian fashion.  Other children were sometimes brought to her to be adopted, and when entirely made over by their parents were baptized and bred up as Christians.  The general trust in Mr. Robertson’s skill as a doctor brought many people under his influence, and likewise gave some, though very slight assistance, in combating the belief in witchcraft, the worst enemy with which Christianity has to contend.

p. 314Whenever a person falls sick or meets with an accident, a conjurer is sent for, who attributes the disaster to some other person, on whom revenge must be taken.  In the British territory, no more can be done than to treat the supposed wizard with contumely, such as to render his life a burthen to him, and he can generally escape this by entering some white man’s service, or attaching himself to a mission-station; but in independent Zululand, any disaster to prince or great chief was sure to be followed by a horrible massacre of the whole family of the supposed offender, unless he had time to escape across the border.  Many a time did wounded women and children fly from the slaughter to Kwamagwaza, and Mr. and Mrs. Robertson protect them from the first fury of the pursuers, and then almost force consent from Ketchewayo to their living under the protection of the umfundisi.

Visits to Ketchewayo formed a very important part of the work, since they gradually established his confidence in Mr. Robertson, and obtained concessions that facilitated the Christianizing of his people.  One of his great objections was the fear of losing their services as warriors.  The regiments still assemble at his camp as in the days of Dingarn, go through their exercises and sing their war-songs, into some of which are introduced lines in contempt of the Kaffirs who have passed the Tugela to live under British law:—

“The Natal people have no king,
   They eat salt;
To every tag-rag white man they say,
      ‘Your Excellency!’”

Mrs. Robertson’s niece, Miss Fanny Woodrow, who had come out to join her, arrived at Durban, and was there met by Mrs. Robertson herself, in her waggon, after the long and perilous journey undertaken alone with the Kaffirs.  Her residence at Kwamagwaza was a time of much interest and prosperity; she threw herself into the work, and much assisted in the training of the women and children, and one or two visits she made to Ketchewayo greatly delighted the prince.  She came in June 1861, but she had become engaged on her way out to the Rev. Lovell Procter, and when the mission at Chibisa’s was given up, he was in such a state of health as not to be able to continue with the University Mission.  Therefore p. 315he set out on his return, and, coming to Natal by the way, arrived at Kwamagwaza early in 1864.  He was the first brother clergyman Mr. Robertson had seen since coming into Zululand, and the mingling of joy at the meeting, and of sorrow for Bishop Mackenzie, were almost overwhelming.  At Easter Mr. Procter and Miss Woodrow were married, in the little mission church, built of bricks made by Mr. Robertson’s own hands and those of his pupils; and soon after Mr. and Mrs. Robertson set out in their waggon to escort the newly-married pair to Durban, taking with them several of their converts, and all their flock of adopted children.

The stay in Durban, and Pieter Maritzburg, among old friends, was full of comfort and pleasure; but the indefatigable missionary and his wife were soon on their way home, their waggon heavily loaded with boxes sent by friends in England, containing much that they had longed for—among other things, iron-work for fitting their church.  On the 18th of June, when they were three days’ journey across the Tugela, while Mr. Robertson was walking in front of the waggon to secure a safe track for it, the wheels, in coming down a descent, slid along on some slippery grass, and there was a complete overturn, the waggon falling on its side with the wheels in the air, and Mrs. Robertson, and a little Kaffir boy of three years old, under the whole of the front portion of the load.

Her husband and the Kaffirs cut away the side of the waggon with axes, and tried to draw her out, but she was too fast wedged in.  She said in a calm voice, “Oh, remove the boxes,” but before this could be done she had breathed her last, apparently from suffocation, for her limbs were not crushed, and her exceeding delicacy of frame and shortness of breath probably made the weight and suffocation fatal to her.  The little boy suffered no injury.

The spot was near a Norwegian mission station, where the kindest help was immediately offered to the husband.  A coffin was made of plank that had been bought at Durban to be made into church doors, and when her husband had kept lonely vigil all night over her remains, Henrietta Robertson was laid in her grave, where the Norwegians hope to build their church, Mr. Robertson himself reading the service over her.

But her work has not died with her.  Mr. Robertson returned to his lonely task, helped and tended by the converted man p. 316and his wife, Usajabula and Christina, whom she had trained, and whose child had been with her in the fatal overturn.  A clergyman returning from the Zanzibar Mission came to him and aided him for a while; other helpers have come out from time to time, and meantime, Miss Mackenzie exerted herself to the utmost, straining every nerve to obtain funds for the establishment of a Missionary Bishopric in Zululand, as the most fitting memorial to her brother, since it was here that, had he chosen for himself, his work would have lain.  After several years of endeavour she has succeeded, and, even as these last pages are written, we hold in our hands the account of the arrival of the new Bishop at Kwamagwaza.

So it is that the work never perishes, but the very extinction of one light seems to cause the lighting of many more; and thus it is that the word is being gradually fulfilled that the Gospel shall be preached to all nations, and that “the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”


[6]  At first sight this seems one of the last misfortunes likely to have befallen a godly gentleman of Charlestown; but throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the Algerine pirates swept the seas up to the very coasts of England, as Sir John Eliot’s biography testifies.  Dr. James Yonge, of Plymouth, an ancestor only four removes from the writer, was at one time in captivity to them; and there was still probability enough of such a catastrophe for Priscilla Wakefield to introduce it in her “Juvenile Travellers,” written about 1780.

[130]  Articles of dress.

[133]  The Judsons always use the universal prefix Moung, which we omit, as evidently is a general title.

[137]  All along in these letters, written journal fashion, it is to be observed how careful and even distrustful Mr. Judson is.

[221]  Merino sheep, so called in Spain because the breed came from beyond the sea (Mer), having been introduced from England by Constance, daughter of John of Gaunt, and wife of Juan II.

london: r. clay, sons, and taylor, printers, bread street hill.