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THE LAST DAYS OF BISHOP HEBER. an object of utility or rational cu
riosity escaped his rapid eye and For the Christian Observer. inquiring mind ; poetry and philo
sophy were ever equally ready to HI SIGHLY interesting and valu. Aow from his lip and to adorn his
able as is Bishop Heber's own pen : but, as exhibited in Mr. Ro. account of his episcopal travels in binson's narrative, he was far more India, something more was neces- than the scholar, the gentleman, or sary to give his readers a just idea of the man of constitutional benethe beloved and revered author. It volence: he was an ardent, devoted, was not the practice of Bishop and indefatigable servant of Jesus Heber to record his own religious Christ ; and, so far from sacrificing emotions, or his devout and holy his sacred duties to the elegant ameworks; and he could not exhibit to nities which never forsook him, he his readers, what his deep Christian appears in these graphic memorials humility would even be slow in dis- obeying the Apostle's direction recerning, the affection and reverence lative to the employments of the which his presence every where ex- ministerial office, “Give thyself cited. We rejoice, therefore, that wbolly to these things." what was wanting to finish this We feel much pleasure in drawlovely portrait has been admirably ing the attention of our readers to supplied in the account of his Lord- the Archdeacon's work, by extractship's last days by his chaplain, the ing a few pages of his memoranda, Rev. T. Robinson, now Archdeacon which exhibit the good Bishop in of Madras. If any reader has an aspect that must secure for his pictured to himself rather a man of memory the warm affection and exquisite taste and literature, and veneration of every good man. The eminently amiable and artless man- passages will be detached, but will ners, than a father in Christ, a all bear upon this particular object; Christian minister and bishop, de- and we doubt not that many of our voted heart and soul to the high readers, from the perusal of them, functions of his holy vocation, he will be anxious to peruse the whole has but to read Archdeacon Ro- volume. We congratulate the friends binson's account of his episcopal of Bishop Heber, that he was accomtours—suddenly, alas! cut short panied in his last days by so faithful to form a more just and elevated and affectionate a chronicler, who, estimate. True, Bishop Heber was in penning a journal of his active eminently gifted with all that can labours, his warm and cheerful render human intercourse delightful piety, and his amiable deportment, and fascinating ; nothing that was little thought that so soon and so CHRIST, OBSERV. No. 344.
suddenly the object of his admiring their reception. How indeed could friendship would be summoned to they fail to be impressed by the his reward, and that these private amiable and delightful manners of records, addressed to a part of the the Bishop; who, while he distinwriter's own family, would meet the guishes those of his own communion public eye.
by more marked attention, extends The following passages are ex- the same affability and kindness to tracted from an account of the all ! Bishop's proceedings during the This morning the visitation took voyage from Bombay to Calcutta, place at St. Peter's church in the from August 15 to October 21, 1825, Fort, when the Archdeacon preached including his visitation to Ceylon, a most excellent, plain, practical where they landed August 25. sermon, and the Bishop delivered
his charge to the clergy, both chapGalle: August 27th.-A letter lains and missionaries, twelve in from Mr. Mayor last night, de- number. We dined together in scribing the bad state of the roads the evening, and the whole services to Baddigam, has determined the of the day have been full of interest Bishop to spend Sunday here, and and delight. I have never seen so proceed on Monday at once to many together, so united in heart Columbo; and to visit Baddigam, and object, since I left England. and consecrate the church there, on The good Bishop told us some most his return to this place. There is interesting missionary anecdotes of à very good Dutch church here, his Hindoostan journey, and the which is used also by the English, party left us after evening prayers. and the Bishop will confirm, preach, It is impossible to tell you with and administer the Lord's Supper what feelings of affection and obethere on Sunday morning. This dience he is regarded by all : Mr. morning we have had an interesting Lambrick, the eldest of the Church meeting of the Bible Society for missionaries, and Mr. Ward, said to this district, at which the Bishop me as they went away, “ This is the presided, and which was very nume. golden age of the church restored; rously attended both by Europeans this is indeed the spirit of a priand native Christians. The Bishop mitive bishop." spoke at great length in opening September 3d. — There is only the meeting, telling them of the one thing more to mention before number of Protestant churches the week closes, and that a very which he himself had seen, and important one, the subject of geencouraging them to meet the call neral prayer meetings. It appears for Christian exertion so largely that a monthly meeting of this sort made on them in this island. His exists in the place, of all denomispeech was impressive and good. nations, and both clerical and lay. At the close of the meeting the The Archdeacon has been requested Bishop called to bim a Cingalese to join it, but has withheld his interpreter, and through him ad- name, and has been consulting the dressed the native's present on the Bishop about it to-night. My feel. nature and value of the institution, ings you know, and they were exon the excellence of the Bible, actly those of his Lordship: you and their duty in receiving it and will find them admirably expressed giving it to others. It has been a in a letter of Mr. Scott's. The very gratifying, and, I trust, not an good, however, of such meetings unprofitable morning.
here is greater than in England, August 31st. Several Church because they are very useful to the missionaries, and three of the Wes- different missionaries for conference leyan connexion, called this morn- on the subject of their labours. ing, and all seemed delighted with The Bishop is anxious to propose
to them something that may get rid paternal authority, their gratitude of the evils very frequently result- for his kindness, their thankfulness ing from the system ; such as a for his present visit, and at seeing a conference at each other's houses, friend, a protector, and a father in where, in the absence of a clergy- their lawful superior, and then man, the master of the house, as laying before him the account of the priest of the family, may lead their state and prospects. I assure the devotions. For our own church you it was 'neither read nor heard he is disposed to establish monthly without tears. The Bishop (who or quarterly meetings on my father's had had no previous intimation of plan, which I gave him. The clergy their purpose) returned a most kind are to dine here after the Confir- and affectionate answer, attaching mation next Thursday, and he then to himself still more strongly the means to propose it, and commence hearts which were already his own. it himself in the chair.
His utterance was ready, and only September 4th, Sunday. --The checked by the strong emotion of Bishop preached this morning to'a the time. The scene was, to me crowded church, and every sermon (an honoured spectator of the whole) I hear from him seems better than most beautiful. We were emthe last. It may be because I bowered in the sequestered woods know him better and love him more. of Ceylon, in the midst of a heathen
September 6th. - Every day population, and yet here was a teems with interest in this highly transaction worthy of the Apostolic favoured island. At day-break this age; a Christian bishop, his heart morning I attended his Lordship to full of love, and full of zeal for the Cotta, six miles off, the principal cause of his Divine Master, received Church missionary station, where in his proper character by a body they are intending to establish a 'of missionaries of his own church, Christian institution for the island. who, with full confidence and affecThe resident missionary there now tion ranged themselves under his is Mr. Lambrick, an excellent, authority as his servants and fellowactive, vigorous man, of advanced labourers; men of devoted piety, age, formerly a tutor at Eton, and of sober wisdom, whose labours now more honourably employed. were at that moment before us, and It happens that one missionary from whose reward is in heaven. It each of the other stations, Jaffna, realized my ideas of true missionary Baddigam, and Candy, are now labour. Immediately after the adthere for their annual consultation dress we went into the house to on the affairs of their mission. It family prayers. Mr. Lambrick read is a beautiful sequestered spot, very a chapter of Isaiah (the: Ixiiid), much resembling Cotyam, in Tra- and the Bishop prayed, repeating, vancore. The house stands on a àccording to his custom, a selection gentle eminence on the borders of of the Church prayers, and introà lake, the banks of which on all ducing before the thanksgiving a sides are covered with trees and prayer for that Institution, and all verdure. We crossed the water in that were engaged in its service. a boat beautifully ornamented with We then breakfasted, and after palm, in which we were received by breakfast the schools were collected iwo clergymen, who conducted us in the large open covered space to the house. On the entrance his before the house, which is used as a Lordship was received by the five place for preaching. The Bishop missionaries present; and Mr. Lam- examined them all, and spoke to brick read an address, in the name them and catechized them. There of all, most touchingly and admir- were, I think, about two hundred ably worded, expressive of their present. At twelve o'clock we joy at ranging themselves under his returned home, the Bishop rejoicing
in what he had seen, and I rejoicing position of hands. He repeated in the privilege of sharing his joy. the form of blessing once for each Would to God every missionary circle at the rails, but over each station could exhibit the same beau- child he breathed a silent prayer tiful sight of zeal and church order while he laid his hand on its head. strengthening and adorning each It is impossible to tell you how he other!
is beloved and honoured here; but September 7th. This has been I begin seriously to tremble for his a very busy and fatiguing day: I life. It seems hardly possible for tremble 'for dear Bishop's his frame (which is but slight) to strength. We had a long meeting bear long such labour. Into every of the District Committee of the detail of business, as well as into Society for promoting Christian these solemn and public services, Knowledge, in the morning ; after he throws the whole power of his which the Bishop went to visit Mr. active mind, anxiously investigating Armour's seminary, a Government all that is brought before him, and central school placed under that devising plans of more extended gentleman's superintendance, where usefulness. Europeans and Natives are excel. This evening the clergy (all the lently taught English, Portuguese, missionaries of the Church included) Tamil, and Cingalese. His Lord. dined with him ; and after dinner ship examined one hundred and he proposed the formation of a fifty-nine boys, and it was four clerical meeting, on a plan for many hours before we got home.
years adopted by my father, and September 8th.-A most happy which, at his Lordship's request, I day, and happily concluded. In had previously detailed to him. It the morning the Bishop held a Con- was joyfully acceded to, and I acted firmation; there were iwo hundred as secretary, in writing down the and ten candidates ; about equal rules as he proposed them. In the numbers of English, Portuguese, prayers which followed he offered Cingalese, and Tamil
. It was a up a fervent petition for its continoble and affecting sight, to see so nuance and success, justly calling it many
of different nations and lan- a primitive, and almost apostolic, guages joined as one family, and usage. It was delightful to me to owning allegiance to one common hear the public testimony to my father. The Bishop went through beloved father's wisdom and piety the whole service, both in English from one so capable of appreciating and Portuguese, himself. The ef- his character. I had been unwell fect on all, of his officiating in the in the morning, and was lying on latter, was electric: every heart felt my bed when the Bishop came into it. In the other languages the re- my room to discuss the subject. It spective native ministersinterpreted, led us naturally to converse on his reading in Tamil and Cingalese the many excellencies ; and, on my reprayers he offered in English. He marking that I had often felt delivered his address from the pul- ashamed when I contrasted my own pit, so that the whole congregation, ample income with the scanty prowhich was very large, might hear vision which such a man had rehim. When we came home, he ceived from the church, he said, told me he had never witnessed so while his eyes filled with tears, delightful a service, and never felt “what then ought I to feel!" his heart so much interested for September 11th, Sunday. When the candidates on any occasion. It I tell you that at seven this mornwas evident, indeed, from his whole ing the Bishop attended the Malaappearance at the altar.
bar church, and pronounced the struck with his fatherly manner, benediction in Tamil--that he and his deep seriousness in the im- preached a sermon for the Society
for the Propagation of the Gospel home, “ I fear you are exhausted." in Foreign Parts, at the English He said, “I am tired indeed, but I church in the fort, at eleven, and would give some years of my life administered the Sacrament to up- for such days as this." wards of two hundred communi. cants-that at four he attended the We might notice many other Cingalese church, and delivered the days, also busily and usefully spent. Blessing in that language--and, at At the close of one of them, we half past six, the English service in find the Bishop expressing, what, the fort-you will not wonder that alas ! has hitherto been a frustrated we are exhausted. I have had in- expectation, that “the diocese (the deed but little to do, having only labour of which, he felt, was fast read prayers, but the excitement exhausting his strength) would soon and interest in the services of such be divided into smaller bishoprics. a day are in themselves fatiguing. The slight detail which I have given," The Malabar church was to me adds Archdeacon Robinson, “ will most interesting. It was the first enable you to judge how numerous time I had ever seen a regular and complicated are the subjects of church of native Christians, or interest that press on his mind even heard our venerable liturgy in any in this small and remote corner of language but our own. Here was his immense charge." a most orderly and respectable con- September 18th, Sunday --The gregation of eighty or ninety per. Bishop held a Confirmation this sons, with several females of good morning at seven. The church is family, covered with rich jewels, at present held in the audienceand all joining with great attention hall of the late king. About thirty and apparent devotion in the re- persons were confirmed. His Lordsponses of the service. His Lord- ship delivered an address, much ship was particularly pleased with altered from the one I had heard the singing of the Psalms in Tamil from him before, and excellently to the old German tunes. Christian adapted to local circumstances. The David well deserves the character I power of seizing on such topics of had heard of him, and is indeed an interest is one among the many admirable preacher : his manner is beauties of his rich and powerful eloquent; and his influence over mind. After we returned home, his own countrymen appears con- before breakfast, I was mentioning siderable.
The effect, upon the to him how forcibly it had struck people, of our Bishop presiding in me, during the service, that in that the church and pronouncing the hall where a few years ago the most blessing in their own tongue, was savage tyrant * received his mise. excellent. The Cingalese service rable subjects and even the Enwas also interesting. It is performed glish embassy was compelled to be in a Dutch church, called Wolfen- almost prostrate before him-a dorf, a noble simple building, in the Christian Bishop was now adminisform of a Greek cross, with a cen- tering the solemn ordinances of our tral dome. Mr. De Saram officiated, religion. He leaned his head on and his father, one of the chief his hand and burst into tears. How Moodeliars, was present. After the wonderful is the providence of God service, the Bishop went up and in the economy of his church ! shook hands with the old man, who Never was any people entrusted was quite delighted with this mark of kindness and consideration. His • Sri Wikreme Raja, the last king of Lordship was almost overcome with Candy, was solemnly deposed by a con
vention of the British authorities and his feelings at the altar this morn
Candian chiefs in the year 1815. He is ing, especially in the prayers after still living, a state prisoner, in the fort of the Communion. I said, as we drove Vellore.