« PrécédentContinuer »
ing, and the religious devotion he manifested under them was equally pure, if not equally intense. Of this the reader will presently have proof. I have simply desired to record so much of his experience as appeared relevant to his mission; so much of his pleasures or his pains, his hopes or his fears, his successes or his disappointments, as met him while pursuing the grand purpose of his life: for the missionary spirit was so much incorporated with all he thought, and felt, and did, that to commemorate the missionary is to describe the christian.
‘Nov. 9th, 1793. To-day was the first time of an interview with the Hindus. Two boats came to sell us fish; and Mr. T. asked the men in one of them, whether they had any
shastras ? Their answer was, We are poor men; those who have many cowries (or are rich) read the shastras, but we do not know them.' I like their appearance very much; they appear to be intelligent persons, though of the lowest caste; rather beneath the middle stature, and apparently attentive to whatever was said to them. We have not yet been ashore; but on Monday we intend, God willing, to go. 0
may my heart be prepared for our work, and the kingdom of Christ be set up among
Hindus! *1794, Jan. 13. For these two months past, I have seen nothing but a continual moving to and fro. For three weeks we were at Calcutta selling our venture; but the great expense into which Mr. T. had inadvertently given, of servants, &c., filled my mind with anxiety and wretchedness; and the continual hurry
of business took up all my time, and preyed upon my soul: so that the prospect of worldly poverty, and the want of a sense of divine things, filled me with constant discontent and restlessness of mind. We therefore went an excursion into the country, when we had the offer of either buying or renting a house at Bandell. We thought at first of purchasing; but, the time approaching when we must pay, and money not being at hand, we changed our minds; and from that moment, my mind was fully determined to go up into the country, and build me a hut, and live like the natives. Mr. T. had entertained thoughts of settling in his profession at Calcutta, on account of his creditors; but, upon my determination to go up the country, he resolved not to leave me.
One day, however, he went to Calcutta, and while he was there, he was informed by captain Christmas, that the company had been looking out for a person of botanical ability, to superintend the company's garden. Being advertised of this, I went to Calcutta, but found the station disposed of already. Mr. T. having determined to reside there, I inquired of a Banian whether land could be procured near Calcutta, who informed me that it might. I went, therefore, and we brought our families down to Calcutta again; he in expectation of settling there, and I in expectation of having land to settle upon. Upon our arrival, I found that I had only been trifled with about land, and that no free land could be got now.
The Banian offered me to live in his garden-house, till some could be got; at which house I now am, at Manicktulla, and have sent
a trusty old native to procure jungle land, at Deharta, about sixteen coss, or thirty-two miles, from Calcutta, to the eastward, where, if I succeed, I intend to build a bungalow, or straw-house, and cultivate about fifty or one hundred biggahs of land. The uncle of Ram Ram Boshoo being zemindar in that place, I have hope of succeeding; but have had much trial for both faith and patience. I shall be thirty-two miles from Mr. T. My wife, and sister too, who do not see the importance of the mission as I do, are continually exclaiming against me; and as for Mr. T., they think it very hard indeed that he should live in a city, in an affluent manner, and they be forced to go into a wilderness, and live without many of what they call the necessaries of life, bread in particular. But I not only am convinced of the impossibility of living in Calcutta, but also of the importance of a missionary being like, and living amongst, his people. The success of future missions, also, lies near my heart; and I am fearful lest the great expense of sending out my family should be a check upon the zeal of the society: how much more if I should now live upon a European plan, and incur greater charge. Now I see the value of faith, in some measure, and think I feel more than ordinary sweetness in the word of God. O may I again taste the sweets of social religion, which I have given up, and see, in this land of darkness, a people formed for God!'
Mr. Carey describes some of the painful circumstances of his predicament at this time, in a letter to his friend, Mr. Sutcliff.
Manicktullo, Jan. 3, 1794. MY DEAR BROTHER,
· I shall not be able to communicate more to you by this, than what you will hear through the medium of other letters sent to England; yet, I think I should be wanting in friendship if I neglected to write to you, especially considering the ties of christian affection by which I am bound to you.
Our voyage was very long, as you will find from my letter to the society, but it was also very agreeable; though the company on board a ship is the most injurious to the soul that can be conceived. All is carnal gentility, and religion is the furthest from their thoughts of any thing in the world.
“We arrived at Calcutta on the 11th of November, and have been in an unsettled state ever since. We found Mrs. T. in a house there; but the expense of living there being very great, we removed to Bandell. This was, however, a place where we could not enter into that state which missionaries should live in, namely, a state of similarity to that of the people among whom they labour: we, therefore, intended going further up the country, and mixing with the natives; but one of Mr. Thomas's creditors had sent his bond to India, and he is not sure that others have not done the same, so that he is in perpetual danger of being put under an arrest.
In this state of perplexity, we knew not what to do. We went to Nuddea, and he, myself, and Mounshi sought the Lord by prayer for direction. Several of the most learned Pundits and Brahmuns much wished us to settle
there; and, as that is the great place for eastern learning, we seemed inclined, especially as it is the bulwark of heathenism, which, if once carried, all the rest of the country must be laid open to us. Our captain had promised to apply to some of the company's officers for waste lands for us to settle upon; we therefore agreed to wait till we heard of his success. In the mean time, several of Mr. Thomas's friends entreated him to settle at Calcutta, and follow his profession; and some of the most opulent natives offered him their business, and at the same time expressed a desire that we would settle there, and instruct them, especially as there are 200,000 natives or more in this town, besides the suburbs, which are as populous as the environs of London. He was afraid of his creditors, who, if he did no business, would be quite out of patience; yet, determined to go with me if I went up the country. While we were hesitating, he went down to Calcutta, where he was informed that waste land could not be obtained of the company; but the captain had often spoken of me as a person of botanical taste, and had lent a botanical work of mine to one who is high in the service. He desired that I might call upon him, which I did; when I found that a person of botanical taste had been sought for some time, to superintend a part of the company's botanical garden, but that a person had lately been put into it. He invited me to dine with him, and offered me considerable kindness; and there is reason to suppose, that I may be presented with a place there. This, concurring with other cir