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templated settlement. The public are already apprized of the disastrous circumstances attending this first experiment. In this station he exhibited the true dignity of his character and illustrated the strength of his Christian faith, amidst events which were calculated to appal the heart. Breathing the contagion of a poisoned atmosphere; his colleagues in the agency dying around him ; sustaining almost alone the responsibilities of an important mission, he shrunk not for a moment from fatigue and danger, but with a magnanimity and fortitude altogether surprising, continued to give his personal attendance whereever it was needed, until a mysterious providence terminated his labours with his life.
The reader will be pleased with a few extracts from this volume, illustrative of Mr. B.'s Christian character.
The following anecdote may serve to exemplify the peculiarity of his zeal.
“In a letter dated October 15th, he writes to a confidential Christian friend, • My cup is full to overflowing Help me to praise my merciful Saviour. A brother of mine lately visited me. He was a confirmed Deist. Being older than myself, I neglected, for some time, to invite him to our stated prayer meetings, fearing the ridicule of sacred things which might be expected from his satirical tongue. But a sense of duty compelled me at length to take him along. We went into meeting : in prayer, he was the only one present who stood. He kept his position as erect as a post; until, as I was kneeling near him, I pulled him by the coat, and he came upon his knees.—God not only gave me utterance, but enabled me to wrestle in faith for his salvation. The next morning he came very early into my room, begging me to pray for him. I did so; and kept him with me about twelve days. In the mean time he was born, both of the water and of the Spirit, He partook of the holy sacrament of the Lord's supper, and has left me, and all his sins behind.'
“The brother referred to in this extract, has since exhibited a life of consist. ent piety, and been usefully employed in a public capacity, on the coast of Africa."
His feelings during a storm on his voyage to Africa, show the faith of an established Christian.
“6 February 11th. A little before sunset, the wind began to rise; and it soon blew a gale, more severe, if possible, than in the preceding night. We shipped nearly a hundred seas, --some of which were very heavy. The binnacle was washed off, and compasses broken. Sometimes the ship was before the wind; --sometimes she was rolling in the trough of the sea; sometimes they lost all command of her. During the latter part of the night, they hove to, and we rolled about till day-light, when the wind abated. These three last nights were awful ones indeed; but in the midst of the dangers,—when every sea seemed to be about to swallow us up, and every fresh blsat of wind stronger than the last; in the midst of all, I rejoiced in God and in the help of his countenance.' I could ask myself, whether there was another place in the universe, I would prefer to be in, at that moment ?-and I desire to give glory to God, that I could say, there was none. "Duty had called me here; God was with me; and I was happy. A covenant God; a triumphant Saviour; a holy Bible; and a peaceful conscience,--all how precious!""
When the sickness among the colonists commenced Mr. B.'s cares and fatigues were multiplied.
«« Who can describe the burden under which I am obliged to struggle, in feeding this people,-enduring their complaints,-listening to their tales of trouble, -inquiring into their sufferings,-administering medicine,-labouring with my own hands in building houses for them, and toiling at the oar, and handling casks, in unloading the vessel and landing the goods !—In addition to all this, I have the spiritual concerns of the whole company to look after. I go without stockings, entirely,—often without shoes;—scarcely wear a hat, and am generally without a coat;-I am up early, and not in bed until ten, or ele. ven o'clock. I eat little, and seldom use any other refreshments except hard ship-bread, salt meat and water.' 'I labour more,-am more exposed to heat, and wet, and damp, and hunger, and thirst, than any one; and yet, blessed be God, I continue in health. In addition to all this, I have the weight of the whole interest on my mind :-all the care,—all the responsibility,--all the anxiety. But God be praised, I have peace within.' "There are eight entire families sick; amongst whom there is not one able to dress his own food, or wait upon a child. Oh God, who can help but thou?""
We conclude with an account of his last illness.
“ It was now noon. Mr. Bacon bad been exposed to the direct rays of the sun, for six hours, with no better covering than a silk umbrella; nor was it possible to regain a better shelter, before night. He ordered the men to direct their course towards the Plantain Islands; where the boat arrived in the evening of the same day. After resting through the night, Mr. Bacon was carried aboard the boat, early in the morning of the 30th, and passed the whole of another day in the same exposed condition as he had done the preceding. His fever had now attained a degree of violence which almost deprived him of the power of speech; and rendered him apparently insensible to passing occurrences. On the evening of this day he was landed at the recent English settlement on Cape Shilling; and very hospitably received by Captain William Ran. dle, the superintendant of the station. Every requisite attention was bestowed upon him by that gentleman, and his family, and his mind appeared soothed by the kindness which was evinced. But remedies came too late to do him good.
“ During the next day, he was able to recline for short intervals on a sofa; and to take a small part in the conversation. But his disorder was hastening rapidly, to a fatal termination. He perceived it, and expressed in the intervals of his sensibility, bis acquiescence in the sovereign pleasure of God. The cause in which he had embarked retained a strong interest in his affections, to the last. In his last conversation, he feebly asked, “Dear Brother Randle, do you not think we have happiness reserved that will .? As the interrogatory was unfinished, the gentleman to whom it was addressed, did not immediately reply: when, Mr. Bacon continued, “What do you say to my question?' A hope was then expressed, that the Saviour would reserve for both, a happiness which should abundantly compensate their present sufferings. He replied, and they were some of his last words, 'Ah! that is all I want.'
“ This last effort of reason and speech, took place about eleven o'clock, on the night of the 1st of May. The languid current of life ebbed gradually away, until half past four, on the following morning; when he expired. His remains were interred on the same day, in the burial ground attached to the church in the settlement: and though deposited by the hands of strangers, on a foreign and pagan shore, they rest under the sure protection of the Christian's Saviour, and in the certain hope of a glorious resurrection.”
From the narrative we learn that Mr. B. was but a very few years in the Christian life; but that brief term was filled with works of faith and charity. He entered the course late, but as one sensible that time had been lost in making a commencement, he ran the race vigorously; his career was unchecked, until he had reached the goal. As if anticipating his early fate, he appeared to live every moment to the best purpose; and now hav
ing finished the work entrusted to him, he is, as we confidently trust, translated to his reward.
We have no desire that this brief sketch should satisfy curiosity, but rather awaken it to a perusal of the volume under review. We cordially recommend it to the patronage of the Christian public. Its gratifying details will amply compensate the expense of purchase ; and, as a more powerful appeal to benevolent feeling, it may be mentioned, that the profits of the publication are to be devoted to the education of Mr. B.'s orphan boy.
W. M. E.
HINDOO SUPERSTITION. Ertract from a Discourse, the substance of which was delivered at the Annual Meeting of the Baptist Missionary Society, in Bristol, (England,) September, 1818. By John Foster: the Author of " Essays on Decision of Character," “ Evils of Popular Ignorance." &c.
An edition of this excellent DISCOURSE has been recently published, “ FOR THE BENEFIT OF MISSIONS,” by a Student in the Theological Seminary, Princeton, (N. J.) and with a view of introducing it to the notice of our readers, we give the following extract.
. There is much in the Hindoo system that is strikingly peculiar; but as it is the substantial greatness of the evil, rather than its specific discriminations, that requires to be presented to the view of Christian zeal, our brief notices will mainly place the emphasis on qualities common to this with the other principal modes of paganism. Our object is rather to exhibit the system in its strength of pernicious operation than in any explanatory statement of its form and materials. There needs no great length of description, since the commu. nications of missionaries, and various works in common circulation, have made all who take the least interest in the subject, familiarly acquainted with the prominent features of the heathenism of central Asia. For the attainment of any thing like a complete knowledge it may defy all human faculty, which faculty besides, if it might search the universe for choice of subjects, could find nothing less worth its efforts for knowledge. The system, if it is to be so called, is an utter chaos, without top, or bottom, or centre, or any dimension or proportion belonging either to matter or mind, and consisting of what deserves no better order. It gives one the idea of immensity filled with what is not of the value of an atom. It is the most remarkable exemplification of the possibility of making the grandest ideas contemptible, for that of infinity is here combined with the very abstract of worthlessness.
“But, deserving of all contempt as it is, regarded merely as a farrago of notions and fantasies, it becomes a thing for detestation and earnest hostility when viewed in its practical light, as the governing scheme of principles and rites to a large portion of our race. Consider that there is thus acting upon them, as religion, a system which is in nearly all its properties, that which the true religion is not, and in many of them the exact reverse. Look at your religion, presented in its bright attributes before you, reflecting those of its Author; and then realize to your minds as far as you can, the condition of so many millions of human spirits receiving, without intermission, from infancy to the hour of death, the full influence of the direct opposites to these divine principles, a contrast of condition but faintly typified by that between the Israelites and the Egyptians in beholding, on the different sides, the pillar in its appearance over the Red Sea. Consider in comparison the intellectual and moral systems
under which we and they are passing forward to another world. While ours has, as its solar light and glory, the doctrine of One Being in whom all perfections are united and infinite, theirs scatters that which is the most precious and vital sentiment of the human soul, and indeed of any created intelligence, to an indefinite multitude and diversity of adored objects; the one system carrying the spirit downward to utter debasement through that very element of feeling in which it should be exalted, while the other, when in full influence, bears it upward in spite of a thousand things combining to degrade it. The relation subsisting between man and the Divinity, as unfolded to view in the true religion, is of a simple and solemn character; whereas the Brahminical theory exhibits this relation in an infinitely confounded, fantastic, vexatious, and ludicrous complexity of form. While in the Christian system the future state of man is declared with the same dignified simplicity, the opposed paganism between some insane dream of an aspiring mysticism on the one hand, and the paltriest conceits of a reptile invention on the other, presents, we might say sports, this sublime doctrine and fact in the shapes of whimsey and riddle. Ours is an economy according to which religion, considered as in its human subjects, consists in a state of the mind instead of exterior formalities; the institutes of the Hindoos make it chiefly consist in a miraculously multiplied and ramified set of ritual fooleries. It is almost superfluous to notice in the comparison, that while the one enjoins and promotes a perfect morality, the other essentially favours, and even formally sanctions, the worst vices. It may suffice to add, that while the true religion knows nothing of any precedence in the Divine estimate and regard, of one class of human creatures before another, in vir. tue of nativity or any mere natural distinction, the superstition we are describing has rested very much of its power upon a classification according to which one considerable proportion of the people are, by the very circumstance of their birth, morally distinguished as holy and venerable, and another more numerous proportion, as base and contemptible, sprung from the feet of the creating god, that they might be slaves to the tribe which had the luck and honour to spring from his head.
“Such is the aggregate of perversions of all thought, and feeling, and practice. And yet, the system, being religion, acts on its subjects with that kind of power which is appropriate and peculiar to religion. The sense which man, by the very constitution of his nature, has of the existence of some super-human power, is one of the strongest principles of that nature ; whatever, therefore, takes effectual hold of this sense will go far toward acquiring the regency of his moral being. This conjunction of so many delusions does take possession of this sense in the minds of the Hindoos, with a mightier force than probably we see in any other exhibition of the occupancy of religion, on a wide scale, in the world. But to the power which the superstition has in thus taking hold of the religious sense, is to be added that which it acquires by another and a dreadful adaptation; for it takes hold also, as with more numerous hands than those given to some of the deities, of all the corrupt principles of the heart. What an awful phenomenon, that among a race of rational creatures a religion should be mighty almost to omnipotence by means, in a great measure, of its favourableness to evil! What a melancholy display of man, that the two contrasted visitants to the world, the one from heaven, the other deserving by its qualities to have its origin referred to hell,—that these two coming to make trial of their respective adaptations and affinities upon human spirits, the infernal one should find free admission, through congeniality, to the possession of the whole souls of immense multitudes, while the one from heaven should but obtain in individuals, here and there, a possession which is partial at the best, and to be maintained by a conflict to the end of life against implacably repugnant principles in the mind. Well may a Christian be affected with the most humiliating emotion, both for his race and himself, while he reflects,–1 have a nature which might have yielded itself entire to a false religion, but so reluctantly and partially surrenders itself to the true one as to retain me in the condition of having it for the chief concern of my life and prayers that the still opposing dispositions may be subdued.”
A NEW SOCIETY, FOR THE BENEFIT OF INDIANS. “ The American Society for promoting the civilization and general improve. ment of the Indian Tribes within the United States.” Organized in the City of Washington, February, 1822.
The design of the society is stated in the 2d article of its constitution, viz.:
“II. The special objects of this society shall be, to secure for these tribes in. struction in all branches of knowledge, suited to their capacities and condition; and for this purpose, to ascertain the character and strength of their moral and intellectual powers, and their dispositions to receive instruction: to examine into their origin, history, memorials, antiquities, traditions, governments, customs, manners, laws, languages, and religions; into their diseases, remedies, and manner of applying them;--also, into the efforts which have been already made for meliorating their condition, and the results of those efforts, and where they have failed--the causes of failure: to ascertain the number and names of the tribes, their places of residence, the extent, soil, and climate, of their respective territories, the stations where education families may be most advantage. ously located, and to suggest whatever means may be employed for their improvement.
“Other objects of the Society shall be, to obtain a knowledge of the geography, mineralogy, geology, natural history, &c. of the Indian country-to collect specimens in all these branches of science, for the purpose of forming a Cabi. net for the use of the government of the United States :-Also, to select suitable spots in the Indian country, for making experimental farms in the iminediate view of Indians, on which to cultivate the different kinds of grains, grasses, trees, plants, roots, and other garden vegetables, adapted to the various soils and climates of the aforesaid country; to introduce the best breeds of domestic animals, and feathered fowls: And generally, to do all other things, which such a society can do, to accomplish its grand object, the civilization of the Indians."
“ Officers of the Society.- President, The Vice-President of the United States, ex officio; Corresponding Secretary, Rev. Jedediah Morse, D. D., New Haven, (Con.); Recording Secretary, Elias B. Caldwell, esq., Washington; Treasurer, Joseph Nourse, esq., Washington."
Thoughts on the encouragenient to implore and to expect a more
copious effusion of the influences of the Holy Spirit. This encouragement arises from the explicit promises of such an effusion. Next to the grand promise originally made on the expulsion from Eden, the promise of a Saviour, there is not one so interwoven with the whole texture of divine revelation, and renewed with so much frequency and so much emphasis of reiteration, as the promise of the Holy Spirit. He is expressly called the “Spirit of promise,”-“the promise of the Father;" and the pre-eminent glory of the Christian economy, when compared with that by which it was preceded, consists greatly in this-that it is “the ininistration of the Spirit.” Blessed, beyond all who lived before them, were they whose eyes beheld the Son of God manifested in the flesh; but more blessed still were his disciples, after his departure than even during his personal presence. “Nevertheless I tell you the truth," said Jesus, “it is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the comforter will not come unto you ; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.—I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now; howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth.” How glorious was his descent, in fulfilment of the Saviour's promise on the day of Pentecost, when his ordinary and extraordinary influences were poured out in rich and copious effusion. Standing up before the astonished multitude, the apostle Peter thus addressed them: “This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel ;--And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon