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Gotch, Rev. F. W., M.A.
MORGAN, Rev. THOMAS.
May these and other advocates of the principles they maintain continue long to work together in the Redeemer's service; and may the Baptist Magazine, by whomsoever conducted, be increasingly effective in subserving the purposes for which it was originally established !
24, Acion Place, Kingsland Road,
November 25, 1847.
REMINISCENCES OF THE LATE DR. WILLIAM YATES.
BY THE REV. A. LESLIE OF CALCUTTA.
I regret to say that I know little or Very shortly after his ordination he nothing of his very early days; for so sailed for India, in the ship Moira, comreserved and modest was he with regard manded by Captain Kemp, who geneto himself, that he rarely ever mentioned rously afforded him a free passage; and anything of his past history or ex- he landed in Calcutta, April the 16th, perience. All that I know of him, in 1815. In a letter dated Serampore, relation to this period, was told me, / March, 1816, and addressed to his tutor, previous to my coming to this country, Dr. Ryland, he gives him the following by an intelligent lady in England, who account of his first year's doings; and described him to me as a singular youth certainly they are the most extraordinary whom she and her parents were accus- of anything of which I have ever read. tomed to observe in the gallery of the Amongst other things, he says, “The baptist chapel at Loughborough or way I spend my time is this. In a Derby (I forget which), taking notes of morning before breakfast I study Hebrew all the sermons which were delivered by about an hour and a half. After worship the preacher.
This attracting their I attend to Bengali and Sanskrit. I have attention, they invited him frequently to read about five volumes in Bengali, and their house for the purpose of conversing all the Bengali proofs with Dr. Carey, with him, when she said, that she and having before compared them with the the other members of her family were Greek. I have got through the Sanskrit greatly amused with his perpetual talk roots once; have not yet got through about grammar,-a subject with which the grammar, but am reading the his own mind seemed to be so full, that Ramayan with my pandit. My afterhe, in his simplicity, appeared to imagine nocns are chiefly taken up with reading that they too must be equally interested or hearing Latin and Greek. I have in nouns and verbs with himself.
read ten volumes of Greek since I left
VOL. X.-FOURTH SIZRIES.
England, but not more than three of two or three years of his life. At that Latin. In the evening, after worship, I time he was doing little in the way of outgenerally read English, or look over door work, but he was not idle within. English proofs. I take my turn in all Besides preaching once a sabbath in the services here; preach at Barrack- English, he had the care of the native pore, two miles over the river, once and church, the members of which were sometimes twice a week, to about twenty. occasionally accustomed to meet with five, a small but attentive congregation. him in his own house for worship; and We go to Calcutta in turn: it comes to in addition to this, he was labouring, and me about once a month. There are six had been labouring almost to excess, in services every Lord's day, so that it is other ways. Previous to this period necessary for some one to go from (1824), he had published his well-known Serampore.” Now, when it is recol- grammar of the Sanskrit (such had been lected that the Greek books to which he his progress in that language); a work here refers (for so I learn from letters on the Divinity of Christ, in reply to addressed to Dr. Hoby) were Longinus, Rammohan Ray; his Memoirs of ChamDemosthenes, Pindar, Sophocles, Aris- berlain; and had rendered excellent sertotle's Ethics, Dionysius Halicarnassus, vice in the preparation and supervision Herodotus, and Thucydides; and that of works belonging to the School Book the Latin volumes were the works of Society. He had, also, before this Tacitus and Cicero de Officiis, the year, acquired, in addition to the Sanscholar will be able to understand some skrit and Bengali, a very extensive acwhat of the extent of Dr. Yates's attain- quaintance with the Arabic, the Persian, ments as a classic.
the Urdu, and the Hindui languages, In the end of 1816, or in the begin- the acquisition of which is quite enough ning of 1817, Dr. Yates removed from for the whole life of a more than Serampore to Calcutta, where he, in ordinary man. company with his fellow-labourers in
On the death of Mr. Lawson, which the work of God, besides teaching in a took place in 1825, Dr. Yates was school for a considerable time for his called to preside over the church in own support and for that of his wife Circular Road; but requiring a change and child (his salary being at that time of climate to recruit his exhausted exceedingly small), laboured
most strength, he, in 1827, suspended his abundantly both in English and Bengali labours by proceeding, for a season, to preaching. I find from letters written his native land by way of America. The during this period that he was accustomed impression produced by him at this regularly to visit certain parts of the time on others, was thus recently detown, and to declare on the public scribed in a public meeting in London, streets the word of life to his perishing by the Rev. Dr. Sliarpe of Boston, fellowmen; and he was not without America, at whose house he lived when his reward, for those were times of the in that city:-“I had the honour," says manifestation of the power of God in the Dr. Sharpe, "of receiving Dr. Yates conversion of the people of this vast city, into my house, when he was on his way -times the like of which have never to his native land, some years ago. I been seen since then.
know, from the simplicity of his characWhen I arrived in this country, in the ter, and the purity of his purposes, and early part of the year 1824, I found him his true and solid learning, that the nearly as much reduced in health and greatest reliance may be placed on any strength as he appeared during the last version he may send out to the world.”
Of his history in England I know whatever was the will of God, all might nothing excepting the following very be prepared to inherit his glory. The characteristic anecdote of him, which answer was immediate in the abatewas communicated to me by a fellow. ment of the raging storm; and Mr. Hunt student of my own, the Rev. Mr. Mursell landed here the subject of the workings of Leicester, who happened to be then of God's grace.” occasionally with him. Mr. Mursell, On his return to India, Dr. Yates knowing in some way or another (cer- resumed his labours, and among them tainly not from Dr. Yates himself) the the pastoral oversight of the Circular extraordinary quantity of work he was Road church ; and I think that it was accustomed to get through, once said to then too he entered upon his work of him, “ Well, Mr. Yates, what plan do the translation of the scriptures, deteryou adopt for the accomplishing of any- mined to make this the one great busithing you take in hand?” In reply to ness of his life. How he carried out his this, he, in his own quiet and unassuming purpose, let the results declare. Within manner, simply said, “I have no par- the course of the last fourteen years he ticular plan, Mr. Mursell : when I have translated the whole of the scriptures anything to do, I go and do it,—thatis all.” into the Bengali language, the whole of
On his return to this country, in the the New Testament into Urdu, the same year 1830, he encountered a violent into Hindui, the same into Sanskrit, and storm by the way. This I mention for the half of the Old Testament into the the purpose of introducing the follow- same difficult tongue. And besides ing extracts from a letter which was these, he published a large Urdu gramforwarded to me a few days ago :
mar, translations of
difficult “You may have heard of the name of Sanskrit books, a number of other Mr. Hunt, a devout member of the works in different languages, and has Union Chapel, whose praise is in all left, partly through the press, a complete the churches. He was the organist of Sanskrit Dictionary, which, when fully the chapel, and died seven years ago. printed off, will make a volume of at This good man received his first least 900 pages. How he, with his conreligious impressions from Dr. Yates.stant labours in English preaching, acHe was coming out to this country in a complished all this, it is impossible for musical profession in the same ship in me to explain ; and what adds to our which Dr. Yates returned to India, astonishment is the fact, that he was somewhere in the year 1830. Mr. Hunt, always very weakly in body, and not as he himself told me, was then a unfrequently laid aside, by severe inthoughtless young man. The vessel met disposition, for weeks together. And be with severe weather ; and there was a it remembered, too, that he never entime when hope seemed to be lost. All croached upon the hours required for was consternation on board, and the rest in the night, never omitted any crew and passengers assembled for family duty, was never absent either on prayer, Mr. Hunt among the number, the sabbath or the week days from when he beheld Dr. Yates, who had just the house of God, occasionally visited in left his cabin and appeared among them, the evenings his friends, and read very with an air so calm and serene as to considerably for the improvement of his shine in striking contrast with every own mind. As an instance of the extent thing around. The prayer he then of his reading, I know from himself offered was for an immediate answer that he perused the whole of the four whether of life or death ; adding, that large volumes of the Alif Leila in the
Arabic language shortly after they were I beloved Catharine, there to lie till the published, -a task which it may be sea shall give up the dead which are in doubted whether any one has yet per- it. These painful tidings I received the formed but himself.
night before last ; and they are the close In the midst of all these labours, not of a moral and invisible struggle through only was he often afflicted in his own which my soul has passed during the person, but he was not without his last two months. The danger has been heavy trials in the persons of his family. great; but the storm is now over, and I saw him myself, in 1824, hang over all is tranquil and serene. All is right. the coffin of an interesting babe, and I received letters from our dear Catharine weep most bitterly. During his visit to both from Bombay and Cochin, the England he lost another lovely boy,-a general tenor of which had led me to child to whom he was so much attached, , expect that she would return better in that the whole of the night previous to health; but I learn that she began to his going on board he sat up with him sink before they arrived at Penang, and on his knees. For a long period, too, continued afterwards to get worse till he was severely tried in the illness of his the 22nd of May, when she expired. first wife,-a most prudent and godly The children are not yet come from the
Several times she had to leave ship; but I expect them to-day, or, at him in quest of health, and that for farthest, to-morrow. months together. On one of these occa Amidst sorrow and perplexity I can sions she stayed for no less a period review, with great satisfaction, the many than six months under my own roof at happy years God has permitted us to Monghyr, when I had an opportunity of enjoy each other's society: and I shall discovering her superlative worth. And, never forget that one in which I paid last of all, his was the sorrowful lot of you a visit at Monghyr. Your dear hidding her farewell on board of ship to mother was then alive; and now, I have see her to return to him no more. no doubt, while we are separated by the The way in which he felt her death, you boundaries of time, they have met towill best learn from himself from a letter 'gether in the paradise above, where written almost immediately on being parting, painful parting, is known no informed that she was gone :
more. And what more remains for us,
but, seeing we are encompassed with so “ Calcutta, June 21, 1838, great a cloud of witnesses, to lay aside “MY DEAR MRS. LESLIE,-At the every weight, and the sin which doth so close of last year I received by the easily beset us, and run with patience Edwards a basket of toys for the chil- the race that is set before us ? Our dren and a note for Mrs. Yates. As treasures in heaven are rapidly increasthey were gone to sea when these arrived, ing. May our hearts be there, and daily I put them aside to wait their return. preparing for their enjoyment!” There was nothing in your note which required an immediate answer. For the Dr. Yates was born at Loughborough, last three weeks I have been anxiously in England, December 15th, 1792 ; and, waiting for their return; and after a after being thirty years a missionary, long and
voyage the vessel died on the Red Sea, July 3rd, 1845, has arrived, and has brought me back aged fifty-two years and seven months. all my treasures ? Ah! no. They have His body was, eight hours after he thrown into the great deep, in the same expired, committed to the deep, in bay where your dear father lies, my latitude 19 north, and longitude 39 east.