Images de page

any thing which shall divide us from the common families of missionaries.

*Hitherto the Lord has helped me. I have lived to see the bible translated into Bengali, and the whole New Testament printed. The first volume of the Old Testament will also soon appear. I have lived to see two of my sons converted, and one of them join the church of Christ. I have lived to baptize five native Hindus, and to see a sixth baptized ; and to see them walk worthy of the vocation for twelve months since they first made a profession of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. I have lived to see the temporal concerns of the mission in a state far beyond my expectation, so that we have now two good houses contiguous to each other, with two thousand pounds; a flourishing school; the favour of both the Danish and English governments; and, in short, the mission almost in a state of ability to maintain itself. Having seen all this, I sometimes am almost ready to say, “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word ; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation.'

• Moreover, I have outlived four of my brethren, Mr. Grant, Mr. Fountain, Mr. Brunsdon, and last of all, Mr. Thomas, who died October 13th last. I know not why so fruitless a tree is preserved; but the Lord is too wise to err.

• We live in the most desirable love with one another, and, I think, are of one heart and one soul in the work. I must leave off. Mr. Short, I fear, cannot live long. Mrs. Carey is obliged to be constantly

[ocr errors]

confined ; she has long gotten worse and worse, but fear both of my own life and hers, and the desire of the police of the place, obliged me to agree to her confinement. • Your affectionate brother,


Calcutta, Dec. 2, 1802. MY DEAR SISTERS,

'I have an opportunity to write by the Walthamstow, which I must not let slip; especially as a very pious and intimate friend is returning to Europe by her, who will take charge of the letters. He, however, will go to Glasgow, so that you will not see him. I am exceedingly sorry for his removal, though I have no doubt that the leadings of Providence are clear for it, and I also trust that he will be very useful at home. He has not left his like, in every respect, in India; though we have a goodly number of them who fear God, and I trust that that number is gradually increasing. There are few places in foreign settlements blessed like Calcutta, where we have two evangelical clergymen, Mr. Brown and Mr. Buchanan. I have the pleasure of being intimately acquainted with them both, and I believe you will not find many in England who have less bigotry and more friendship.

'I shall give you a little account of Calcutta ; perhaps it may be gratifying to you or to some one else. It is a large city, between three and four miles in length, and about one mile in breadth, at a medium. The south part, for about one-fourth of the length, is

inhabited by Europeans, Portuguese, and Armenians, with a few Chinese. The remaining part of the town is inhabited by the different castes of Hindus, and by Mussulmans. The river Hoogly, in the western branch of the Delta of the Ganges, runs close to the west side of the town. It is about half a mile wide, and ships come up to the town in great numbers, and from all parts of the world. On the south end of the town is a large plain called the Esplanade, a mile wide, and a mile and a half or more long, lying by the river side, where is a beautiful walk, with trees planted on each side down to Fort William. I cannot describe the Fort; suffice to say that it is accounted one of the most complete in the world: it is at least half a mile through it, and I suppose no ship could pass it without certain destruction from the guns.

"The trade of Calcutta is very great: goods from every part of Bengal, Oude, and the more remote western provinces, are brought down the numerous rivers in great abundance; and the export trade to all countries is very large. The government house is scarcely finished. It is a very elegant and large building, which I cannot describe, my taste not being in that line. There are two protestant churches, where the gospel is preached in its purity; one the presidency church, the other the mission church, built some years ago by Mr. Kiernander, a German missionary; it is now private property, I believe : also a Portuguese and an Armenian church. The college is the next institution of public utility. There is no building erected for it, but a number of houses are rented by government for the purpose. It contains a common hall, lecture rooms, where the Arabic, Persian, Sunscrit, Bengali, Hindusthani, Tamul, and the modern languages of Europe are taught; and lectures on philosophy, chemistry, and the arts are delivered. There are chambers for the different officers, and a good library, which will, no doubt, much increase, if the institution be continued. This bids fair to be of the most essential benefit to the country, by furnishing the company's servants with a knowledge of the languages and manners of India. Their characters and abilities are also known to government, before they are appointed to any office.

• The characters of the people in this place are various, and their dress, manners, &c., form the most motley picture that can be imagined. You see at once Europeans in elegant carriages drawn by fine horses, and attended by numerous servants; children in carriages drawn by bullocks; Mussulmans in old tattered coaches or indescribable carts, made with bamboos, covered with red curtains, and drawn by horses which can scarcely stand upright; all sorts of palankins, a sort of sedan, carried on four or six men's shoulders, but of many varieties ; carts, of a wonderful construction, made with a stage of bamboos, mounted on two most singular wheels, without the sides being raised up, and drawn by two oxen. On foot, Europeans of different nations, Armenians, Portuguese, Chinese, Mussulmans, and Hindus, all in the dresses of their respective nations, some of the

poor with scarcely any dress at all, and all speaking the languages of their own countries, though most of them speak also Bengali or Hindusthani. There are

a few real christians. Some, who profess a love to God, are too conformable to the world; and, among them, some, who, for many years, stood firm in the ways of God. Deism is the fashionable profession of Europeans. The Armenians are fond of imitating the English in show and inattention to all religion, though they are of the Greek church, and have the bible in their language. The Portuguese are catholics, a few excepted. They are the most debased and despised of any people in Calcutta, though I hope the Lord will carry on a work among them. I preach at the house of one of them, a pious young man, every Thursday evening, to a few per

The utmost profligacy of manners prevails both among natives and others. Europeans have their work carried on, their assemblies and routs, on the Lord's day the same as on another day ; and a man, when he arrives in India, shows what he would have been in England if there had been no restraint.

' I should say something about the mission, but my paper is spent, and it is nearly twelve o'clock at night. We are all well. One of our Hindu friends was murdered a little time ago, one excluded, and one suspended. I have some hope of him who is excluded. One we have sent to instruct his countrymen at a distance, though he is not in the ministry


« PrécédentContinuer »