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NOTICES OF SOME OF THE FOUNDERS OF CHURCH-OFENGLAND MISSIONS IN INDIA.
REV. DAVID BROWN-REV. HENRY MARTYN-REV. DR. BUCHANANRIGHT REV. BISHOP MIDDLETON.
A QUARTERLY Circular, published at Calcutta by the Corresponding Committee of the Church Missionary Society, has the following passage in reference to the death of the late Bishop of Calcutta
The high tribute of respect paid to his memory by the Government, and the expression of public esteem exhibited in the crowded attendance at his funeral, are generally known; and various effusions in praise of the splendid erudition, the profound talents, and the benevolent character of our late Bishop have issued from the press. It belongs to our plan to call the attention of our friends to the influence which the Deceased exerted on the Cause of Missions in India, and which renders his character a subject of peculiar interest to the readers of Missionary Intelligence: with this view we gladly avail ourselves of the kind permission of the Rev. Mr. Parson, to copy the following extract of a Sermon preached by him in the Cathedral on the evening of Sunday the 14th of July, when a just and impressive tribute of respect was paid to the memory of our late Diocesan; as in the morning had been done by the Venerable the Archdeacon of Calcutta.
We subjoin the greater part of the extract referred to. It contains, as the Reader will see, some striking Notices of other distinguished men, who opened the way for the Bishop's important measures in India.
Let us pass to a concluding view of our late Bishop's Life and Ministry: and that is, to a view of him as a Bishop AMONG GENTILES, a MISSIONARY; or, in more dignified terms, an APOSTOLICAL Bishop. He has lived long enough to afford his unequivocal testimony to this inherent spirit of Christianity; having given to the Cause of Missions in India, that iden→ tical stamp and sanction which it wanted. It was not his lot, indeed, to commence the work among us; nor tan it well often be, under our economy of the Church, the lot of Bishops: they must, usually, rather COMPLETE and ORGANIZE, than, like Apostles, be the first to go forth on the great errand. Great indeed it is, and destined here to be the errand of successive men, each contributing as God shall enable him; and only, all together successively, and in the collective event, completing their work,
over which they shall rejoice in the end together in a better state of existence.
The services of men who have been removed from this progressive work in India, with a rapid succession, it may be allowed me, in a few words, to distinguish.
The Parent of Missions, in the Established and English Church of India, was the REV. DAVID BROWN; than whom, a more unambitious, though at the same time simply majestic and evangelical parent, the Cause needs not to claim. His it was, to cherish the infant enterprise with his prayers; and formally to engage others in stated prayer for the same end. Men followed him-men of less artifice of more accomplishment may have cannot; nor have any men better acquainted with Christianity in its great principles. Such a man lived long misunderstood in Calcutta. At length, after a ministry the longest
which has been allowed to us, he died a sort of self-sacrifice, in the cause which he thought worthy of his devotion-a cause connected closely with that of Missions-the cause of the Bible Society.
The same joint cause appears more certainly to have cut short, or, as it were, burnt out, the life of MARTYN; than whom there has never been a more thorough scholar for his years, nor has any man of a more simple and ingenuous spirit set foot in India. With the vivacity of youth, he combined the wisdom of age. He had science, without its slowness and incumbrances. It was, in itself, much; but he made little of it, unimpeded and uninflated by vanity. His religion, though reared in the Establishment, was of a liberality quite Catholic: he saw the comparative insignificance of modes: he loved the lover of Christ, under whatever mode such a man might worship. All mankind were interesting to him; and he went forth among them-fearless, as having God with him-free, by a conscious inoffensiveness of heart-quick, by the most practised familiarity with his subjects-cheerful,by the peace of the Blessed Spirit in him. Diligent in labours which were his delights also, devoted under the foreseen fact that he would not live long, this unsurpassed servant of Jesus Christ has ended his course with joy.
Perhaps, however, under God, no man contributed so immediately to the result which we have witnessed, that is, to the accession of an accomplished PRELATE to our numbers, and to the COLLEGIATE character which has since accrued to our Missions, as DR. BUCHANAN. Whilst others were otherwise engaged in the same thing, and each according to the assignment of particular Providence, Buchanan employed in the matter a sort of worldly vigour and cleverness as of This has not the world at times; and, perhaps, for the reason that it was successful. But if success denote the pleasure of God,
To advance under God the good work of Brown, Martyn, and Buchanan, the BISHOP has appositely given to the Cause of Missions the identical sort of sanction which it wanted. It wanted political countenance, and the reputation of sound learning. Judged dangerous in its apparent disregard of political cares, it was judged of disputable orthodoxy in point of doctrine. In the Church, it had been supposed to characterize a party. Stability and ballast appeared to be wanting to this ark upon the waters. Old Institutions for the purpose did comparatively nothing toward it: the Government of England had not expressed itself favourably on the subject, beyond an ancient indication or two, grown obsolete : the Universities, as such, sent forth no men in the cause it was prosecuted but collaterally, and by individual efforts: no provision existed, humanly speaking, for the continuance of Missionary Exertions in the Church. Our departed Bishop has conferred upon the Missionary Cause, according to his predilections as to the mode of it, every attestation, aid, and honour, which it could expect to receive from him. Instead of a dangerous project, he has, with reason, said, that it, or nothing, must prove our safety in these possessions—that it were preposterous to suppose ourselves established here for any purpose except to make known the Son of God to a people ignorant of him. He gave the Missionary Cause his heart. During life, he employed on the Mission College all his elaborateness and accuracy of attention : in death, he has bequeathed to it the choice of his Books: he has also bequeathed a part of what expresses the heart of man, his Money: lastly, he had bequeathed to it, if it should please God, his very hones: he had looked to it, as Jacob to the Holy Land, saying, There they shall bury me!
The Archdeacon (who has himself, we regret to say, been since carried off by the fatal epidemic of the East, in the flower of his age) had observed, in reference to the College, in the Sermon which he had preached in the morning
It was to the New Mission College that the Bishop eagerly looked, as a
sure means of extending knowledge to the people of this country. This
his anxious mind was daily gratified with the expectation of seeing it in full operation.
Institution was the nursling of his
and for ever: and, however mysterious His dispensations may appear, we know that He is mindful of His Church, and will not fail to accomplish the number of His elect, and to hasten His kingdom."
OBITUARY OF WILLIAM BLAIR, ESQ.
LATE SURGEON TO THE LOCK HOSPITAL AND OTHER INSTITUTIONS, WHO DIED ON FRIDAY, dec. 6, 1822, AGED 56 YEARS.
MR. BLAIR had, for many years, taken an active share in the proceedings of various Benevolent and Religious Institutions. Besides those mentioned in the following account of his last hours, which has been circulated by his friends, he was a Subscriber to the Church Missionary Society from its first formation; and became a Member of its Committee in its Fifth Year he died in the thirteenth year of his service on that Committee, having willingly rendered the Society all the assistance which his professional and other engagements would allow. In his last moments, there was not only peace, but that true sublimity, which nothing but the grace of the Gospel can impart to dying man.
For many months past, Mr. Blair's health had evidently declined. During the last illuess of his excellent Wife, he was at times so exceedingly reduced, that she greatly feared he would die before her; and earnestly prayed that her Heavenly Father would take her first, if consistent with His holy will, and not allow her to be left an infirm and helpless Widow. It pleased God to grant her request: and, after a long and pain ful but sanctified affliction of many years, she departed peacefully, in the last Spring; bearing a clear and unequivocal testimony to the truth and faithfulness of God, who supported and comforted her in every trial, especially when passing through the valley of the shadow of death.
After his Wife's decease, Mr. Blair began most decidedly to set his house in order, as he knew he must shortly follow his beloved companion. He resolved to give up his professional practice; and to retire into the country, where he thought he should enjoy more uninterrupted opportunities for reading, meditation, and prayer. He, therefore, took a house in the neighbourhood of Colchester; resigned his situation as Surgeon to the Bloomsbury Dispensary; and pre
pared to dispose of the greater part of his library, together with such articles of household furniture as he would have no occasion for in the country. He had formed a large collection of rare and curious editions of the Bible, and many scarce Commentaries in different languages; for the Word of God had been his study and delight, during the greater part of his life: a few months ago, anticipating his approaching dissolution, he presented this valuable collection,, worth several hundred pounds, to the British and Foreign Bible Society, who have gratefully acknowledged the same in their last Annual Report. He had been an active and very useful member of the General Committee of that Society for the last sixteen years: he was also President of the Bloomsbury Bible Association, and Vice-President of the Auxiliary Society: his unwearied labours in the cause of the Bible Society, and in active benevolence to the poor, are well known to his intimate friends. As Surgeon to the Blooms bury Dispensary, he was indefatigable in his attentions to the cases of distress which came under his notice: he cared, not only for the bodies and temporal concerns, but for the souls
and eternal interests of his patients; frequently exhausting his income in relieving the wants of the indigent, and, when his own charity-purse was empty, recommending the cases, which he could not himself relieve, to the bounty of his friends.
The Bible Society, of all benevolent Institutions, lay nearest his heart. The last effort which he made to leave his house, was to attend the Meeting of the Committee, on the Monday before his death. He asked a friend to lend him a carriage for the purpose, having parted with his own; and proceeded as far as Bridge Street Blackfriars, toward the Bible Society House, but was too ill to go on, and was obliged to return home without accomplishing his object. He went immediately to his bed-room. After taking a little refreshment, he remarked that he felt as if he should not be able to go down stairs again; and, being in great pain, said"Well, I will bear it patiently, for the Lord loveth whom He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth." In the evening of the same day, he requested his servant to read to him the xith and Lxvth chapters of Isaiah, the xth chapter of Hebrews beginning at the 19th verse, the whole of the xith chapter, and the first thirteen verses of the x11th chapter of that Epistle. After they had been read, he desired his servant particularly to notice those chapters, in order that he might find them the more readily, when he wished to hear them again.
On the next day, Tuesday, Dec. 3d, he appeared to suffer great pain. Several friends called, and were admitted to see him. He then desired his servant, if any others came to make inquiries, to say that he was too ill to see them, but that he was firmly fixed upon the Rock Christ. His servant, in the course of the day, read several chapters from the New Testament, and also the 1st, xvith, first eight verses of the xvirth, the xxvIIth, cd, and first ten verses of the cvith Psalms. While reading, Mr. Blair said, "There! you see what faith does. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you also shall be saved." With his hands clasped, and uplifted eyes, he added, "I believe in Him, and have no
He passed Wednesday nearly in the same manner. Nothing gave him so much comfort as to hear the Word of God. He would often say, while listening to it, "What comfort!-what consolation!-what encouragement there is, in seeking the Lord!" and he exclaimed, "Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly! My only desire is to be with Thee! I am now waiting for Thee!"
On Thursday, a medical friend, who called, proposed writing a prescription for him: he replied "You" know that it could be of no service: I am aware of my own situation, and that I am a dying man;" proceeding to admonish his friend to seek the Lord, and adding that he himself had sought him during thirty-five years, and now experienced the comfort of having God for his salvation. Toward evening, feeling some appre hension lest his understanding should be affected, and having considerable pain in his head, he prayed earnestly that God would be merciful to him, and spare him the use of his intellects. The pain in his head was removed, and he was afterward composed and tranquil.
An intimate friend called upon him during the week, to whom he expressed his entire confidence in the Word and Truth of God. Ho said, "My reliance is alone on the Lord Jesus Christ: as to looking back at my past life, to place any dependence upon that, I cannot bear the thought. My hopes are alone upon the mercy of God, and my trust is in the Rock of Ages: I am fixed on that Rock." The Bible lay open on his table; and, looking at it, he said, "That is my only Book-my great comfort. I used to be fond of my library: but I now want no other book than my Bible." Several times, during the latter days of his illness, he expressed himself in a similar
The same friend called upon Mr. Blair, for the last time, on Friday Night, Dec. 6th. His eyes then appeared to be fixed-his mouth seemed to be falling and he was breathing with great difficulty, while supported
in bed by his servant: it was doubt ful, from his appearance, whether he had the use of his mental faculties. The servant told him who had entered the room, and he seemed to recognise the name. His friend whispered in his ear, "The Lord Jesus Christ is your Saviour:" he immediately replied, catching his breath at every syllable, "Altogether precious!" His friend then said, "When flesh and heart fail, God is the strength of the heart, and He will be your portion for ever:" to which he replied, "Always"-repeating the word with great emphasis. This visit had the effect of rousing him; for after his friend had taken his leave, and another attendant had entered the room, on the latter saying, "I doubt not, Sir, you can say with Job, I know that my Redeemer liveth," he immediately took up the passage, and repeated the two following verses, being the 25th, 26th, and 27th verses of the xixth chapter of Job, which had formed the text of the last Sermon that he had heard preached at St. John's Chapel, where he usually attended Divine Service. Shortly afterward,
he said, "Though my flesh and my heart fail, God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever." He next endeavoured to repeat the Hymn, page 232 of Mr. Cecil's Collection,
Rock of Ages rent for me, &c." He then desired his servant to read those chapters which he had noticed at the beginning of the week, particularly the x1th of the Hebrews, to the 14th verse of the x11th chapter, and the c11d Psalm. One of his attendants said to the other, "What a blessing is it to see him so happy!” which Mr. Blair overheard, and interrupted him by saying, "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death"-then, hesitating as if endeavouring to recollect the passage, he at length added, "Comfort me." He now became very weak, and was unable to attend to the reading. About five minutes before he died, he said, "Reach me that Blessed Book, that I may lay my hand on it once more." The Bible was brought to the bed, and his hand placed on it. Then, reclining his head, he distinctly said, "I rest in Christ;" and thus peacefully expired.
Proceedings and Entelligence.
In the "Survey," prefixed to our
Reprints of Received Versions.
15 Greek Modern
Syriac and Carshun
Not printed before.
26 Hullom (West Afri