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To his SISTERS.
• Bandell, Dec. 4th, 1793. DEAR SISTERS,
“You are, undoubtedly, very desirous to hear of me and my family; and though I have nothing of any consequence to communicate, yet I take the first
opportunity of writing to you. The wonderful leadings of Providence, in so ordering it that my whole family should come with me, you are acquainted with.
We sailed from Dover, June 13th, and arrived all safe and well at Calcutta, the capital city of Bengal, on the 11th of November, after a voyage of five months all but two days; all which time we never were out of the ship, though we were in Europe, America, Africa, and Asia.
‘Our captain was an Englishman, and half-brother to Lady Langham. His original name was Smith; but now he is a naturalized Dane, and his name is changed to Christmas. We found him a remarkably kind, attentive man; and, excepting one or two days, in which we lost our top-masts through the violence of the sea, and several long and tedious calms, our voyage was very pleasant and agreeable. The children were complete sailors; and the women were much better than I ever expected.
“We had opportunities of family worship every day, and preaching on Lord’s-days; and though our congregation was but small, yet I trust we were not without enjoyment of God and his blessing. No one was converted, nor any good done that I know of, yet the work was to us a reward.
'I am more and more convinced of the real piety of Mr. Thomas, though he is a man of like passions with others. And now that we are upon land, we preach in our own families, and are at present much occupied in settling ourselves in this situation. The place where we live is about thirty miles from Calcutta, and is a Portuguese settlement. Here we intend to reside. All the people are catholics and mahomedans ; but many Hindus are at the distance of a mile or two; so that there is work enough for us here; and ten thousand ministers would find full employment to publish the gospel.
The country is amazingly populous, and the inhabitants are very attentive. It is astonishing to see the different kinds of business carried on, and the diligence of the people. They are remarkably talkative and curious; but, go where you will, you are sure to see something of an idolatrous kind; flowers, trees, or little temples by the way-side, consecrated to religious uses; and I have seen two or three who have swung by flesh-hooks, with the mark in their backs : yet they are very willing to hear, and you are sure of a congregation, go where
will. In short, every thing combines to encourage us; and to se such kind people so ignorant and brutish, is enough to stir up any one who has any love for Christ in his heart.
“The country is very fruitful, but more than half uncultivated. We have now many sorts of fruits unknown in England. Pine-apples grow under the hedges. It is now the height of harvest with us.
The days are as hot as June in England; but the nights are as cold as September. All Bengal is a flat country, with not a hill in it, and scarcely a stone. Wild beasts are plentiful. Jackalls are every where. Mrs. Thomas had a favourite little dog, for which she had been offered 200 rupees, carried off from the door by one, while we were at prayer one evening, and the door open. Yet they never attack man. Serpents abound. To-day I found the skin of one, about six feet long, which was just cast off in my garden. We have no tigers nearer than eight or ten miles, and indeed have no more fear of them than you have in England. Upon the whole, it is a charming country.
I have no doubt but I shall soon learn the language. Ram Bashoo, my mounshi or interpreter, is a very sensible man, and, I hope, a very pious man. I have not yet seen Parbotee, but expect soon to have him down here. I have great hope of success; but their superstitions are very numerous, and their attachment to their caste so strong, that they would rather die than lose it upon any account. This is one of the strongest bonds that ever the devil used to bind the souls of men; and dreadfully effectual it is indeed. May God put on his great power, and attend his word with great success!
'I hope your souls are prospering, and pray you not to be too much attached to this present world. It will soon perish, and then they who sow to the flesh will find that to be carnally-minded is death. Embrace Christ, with all the consequences of christianity, and commit all your ways to the Lord. Choose affliction
always rather than sin; and let it be your daily business to walk near to God, and to endure as seeing him who is invisible.
*For my own part, I must confess my wretched carnality, indolence, and worldliness; yet, if I find satisfaction in any thing, it is in the things of God, and in the exercises of religion.
'I am at present incapable of preaching to the Hindus. I am unacquainted with their language; and
my whole congregation is our two families; so that the work of the ministry is to me yet a very dull work; yet I find some sweet pleasures in it, notwithstanding; and I promise myself much, when I am able to go and publish among the gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ. 'I am your most affectionate brother,
THE UNUSUALLY TRYING CIRCUMSTANCES OF MR. CAREY WHILE IN THE NEIGH
BOURHOOD OF CALCUTTA-LETTER TO MR. SUTCLIFF-HIS REMOVAL INTO THE SUNDERBUNDS—THE TIMELY HOSPITALITIES HE RECEIVES-SUBSEQUENT DEJECTION AND PERPLEXITIES-HE IS RELIEVED AND COMFORTED BY AN INVI
TATION TO MALDA.
The compiler cannot open to the reader the ensuing chapter without bespeaking his candour, by intimating the serious difficulty he experienced in the selection of its contents. There were some delicate points, which, upon first consideration, it seemed desirable to escape from noticing. Facts are called into review, which a feeling heart would rather wish to conceal, and even to obliterate; a mere advertence to which may convey such reflection upon individuals, that christian charity may not very easily tolerate. Yet, silently to pass over every incident and every characteristic remark, how important soever it might be to the design of such a volume, because of their seemingly unfriendly aspect upon particular persons, would have thrown this part of the narrative into so very general a style, and have required the substitution of so much vague and editorial, for vivid autobiographical composition, as to have marred its interest, if it