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My Dear Sister,
I should have written more to you, but I thought you would be pleased to have some of the other girls write.' I know you would be glad to hear from grandmother McDonald. ° how it would rejoice your heart to hear her talk. She told me that she telt lost when you went away, Sister Lydia and myself went to see her, and stayed with her all night. She wished us to sing and pray with her. She told sister Lydia, that she wished to join the church with her; she also toli her, that she felt happy when she prayed.
I hope we shall pray for each other while in this world, and at last meet in our Heavenly Father's kingdom, never more to part. Farewell, my dear sister.
LETTER FROM MESSRS. MEIGS AND POOR, TO THE CORRESPONDING
Jaffnapatam, Oct, 16, 1818. Rev. Samuel Worcester, D. D. Cor. Sec. &c.
REV. AND DEAR SIR,
Our last communication to you was dated May 29, sent by way of Calcutta; a duplicate of which was sent by way of Bombay, June 27th. Since the date of that letter, nothing essentially affecting the state of our mission has transpired. We have, genrally speaking, enjyed the smiles of Divine Providence, both in our families, and in our missionary pursuils. We have been subjected to no other trials than those which it is natural to expect would happen to families situated as ours are, and we have been enabled to make more progress in our missionary work, than we anticipated in our last letter.
In a postscript, contained in the duplicate of our last letter, we acknowledged the receipt of yours of Dec. 8, 1817, forwarded by the Cicero, Capt. Preston, by way of Bombay. That is the last letter we have had the pleasure of receiving
We are happy to learn from your letter, that our views, on the subject of establishing schools, are in accordance with yours. We have now under our superintendence 12 schools, containing upwards of 470 boys. We have one school, at least, in each of the eight parishes we have taken. The number of our schonis might easily be increased if we had suitable persons to assist in superin. tending them. We are highly gratified and encouraged by your views and reinarks, on the subject of taking children into our families, under our entire and immediate di: ection. We have, from the beginning, considered this as one of the most important and interesting branches of our mission; and the experience we have had on the subject strengthens our belief of its importance and utility. But in effecting our object, we find many obstacles to encounter. The whole curs rent of feeling and the prejudices of the people are very strong against children being united with us, especially against their eating on land belonging to Christians. But the experience which they have had at the station at Tillipally justifies the belief, that these prejudices may be chiefly overcome. At first, three boys, who had been boarded in the neighborhood, at the expense of that mission, with reference to their being taken into the boarding school which was to be established, chose to be deprived of a supp rt from the mission, rather than eat on the church land. But the number that has been accepted at that station, after having lived there for a tune on trial, has gradually increased to seventeen. !! is worthy of notice, that when a child is given up to us, both the child and his parents feel obliged to vindicate their conduct before others, who oppose, and thereby become advocates for our cause.
We observed in our last lecter, that so strong were the prejudices of the heathens at Batricotta against their children eating on the church land, that brother Meigs built a sinail house upon an adjoining piece of ground for the brys to eat in. This has had, in some degree, the desired effect. He has taken four boys to be supported by the mission, and has ten or twelve more on trial. In view of the present state of things, we hope to be able, ere long, to take as many boys as can profitably be supported by us.
Brother and sister Poor wish through you to tender their most cordial thanks to their sisters, the “Tabernacle Thanksgiving Society," that they were pleased to make it the first object of their society to support a youth in ihe missionary
family at Tillipally, to bear the name, &c. Please to assure the Society that their Thanksgiving offering will, with many prayers to God, be sacredly devoted to the object for which it was designed. From the journal kept at the station it will be seen, that the missionary family fully participate in those feelings of the Society, which intluenced them in the selection of a name for the youth to be supported by them, and had anticipated their wishes.
Brother Poor has much pleasure in acknowledging with gratitude his obligations to our Masonic Brethren, the members of the Jordan Lodge, of Danvers, for their liberality in voting to appropriate $30 annually for the support of a heathen child, to be placed under his care, to bear the name of Jordan Lodge.
We have also to acknowledge a donation of $12, to be continued annually, from our friend and brother, John B. Lawrence, Salem, for the support of a heathen youth in the family at Tillipally. You, Dear Sir, and the other members of the Board, doubtless participate in our feelings of gratitude towards those who' are disposed to assist the cause, in a manner so suited to our wants, and so directly calculated to strengthen and encourage us in our work. It can hardly be conceived by persons in our country, how great is the difference between the boys, generally, in this country, and those whom we have taken, and upon whom we expend one dollar per month. Their manners, dress, mode of living, as well as the state of their minds, are essentially benefited. Verily the blessing of them who are ready to perish will come upon those, who, with a right spirit, give but a mere trifle for the support of heathen boys.
We have often expressed to you our conviction, that the most effectual means that ean be used for extending and perpetuating a knowledge of Christianity among the heathen, is, that of training up native preachers, who may go forth properly qualified to preach to their countrymen. It is wich reference to this that the object of taking children into our families appears to be of primary importance, and presents powerful motives to us, for using speoial exertions for the improvement of those whom we have taken.
We have before mentioned Franciscus Maleappa, * a native of the country, who for a year and a half served the brethren at Tillipally as an interpreter. Abont four months ago, he was stationed at Mallagum, an adjoining parisi, on the south of Tillipally. He there instructs a few boys in English, attends to the moral instruction of the Tamul school established in that parish, reads to the people on the Sabbath, and assists in superintending two other schools in that vicinity. We indulge a hope, that he will be of considerable service to our mission.
Your remarks on the medical department do but revive the recollection of seasons we once enjoyed. Instead of imparting medical assistance to others, we are suffering for the want of it in our own families. This subject is closely connected with the sickness and departure of our brethren. We are concerned to state, that we have heard nothing from them, since they left Columbo. It is reported, that the ship in which they sailed arrived at the Cape. No other particulars have reached us. Our hopes and fears are greatly excited in regard to them.
The boxes of books, and types, sent to us by the Saco, we have received. In consequence of an application by us, to His Excellency Governor Brownrigg, he was pleased to permit these articles to pass the custom-house free of duty. We have frequent occasion to acknowledge such acts of kindness from His Excei. lency
We are still in want of school books. Whether we have received all that were designed for us or not we cannot know, as there was no catalogue of the books received. It is desirable that we should use the same kind of books in all our schools.
On the subjects of a printing press and printer, and of sending out more missionaries, we have nothing to say in addition to what was contained in our last letter.
We trust, Dear Sir, we understand something of the nature of those feelings which dictated the closing injunction in your last letter to us. “Forget not that yoor great concern is to preach the Gospel.” Could we attend to this duty with
* See Vol. xiv, p. 38.
apostolic zeal, we should act agreeably to our convictions of duty. We wish to have more deeply impressed on our minds, the truth, that it hath pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
It is our practice to preach iwice on the Sabbath; once in the morning at our stations, and in the evening at some places in our parishes. We occasionally preach in other parishes, where our schools are established. Two evenings in the week we give religious instruction to such as are inclined to attend at our houses. During the week we converse more or less with the people, as our other avocations will permit.
A few weeks ago brother Meigs commenced preaching in Tamul. Though we often preach, and give religious instruction in 'I ainul, we more frequently do it by the assistance of our interpreters.
We have been, and still are, much occupied by worldly concerns, in repairing our houses, &c. which is a serious hindrance to us in our appropriate work.
We are oftentimes ready to faint, and be discouraged, in view of the many duties and important services that devolve upon us. In proportion to our interest for the mission in the places we have occupied, we tremble at the thought of either of us being laid aside, before others come to our assistance; as we have much reason to fear, that if either place should be deserted, but for a short time, the adversary would gain an advantage proportioned to the alarm which our res. idence here has occasioned him.
In view of the extent of the harvest here, while we will pray the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers, we will take the liberty to remind you, that you are the instrument in his hand, on whom it much depends, whether our prayers shall be speedily answered or not. With esteem and affection, yours, &c. BENJ. C. MEIGS,
DANIEL POOR. P. S. In our last letter we informed you, that the Bishop of Calcutta was about to visit this island. We now learn, that he will defer his visit till next year. We earnestly hope, that before that time we shall have more missionaries to welcome his Lordship's arrival.
LETTER FROM MR. RICHARDS TO MR. TH. WARREN.
Cape Town, (Cape of Good Hope,) Oct. 1, 1813, MR. THADDEUS WARREN,
My Dear Friend, The Lord has seen fit in his holy providence, to visit you and your surviving family with deep affliction. It falls to my lot to tell you, that death has made another breach in the number of your children.
Your dear son Edward is gone with his :•sters to the world of spirits. Yes, my own dear missionary brother, who for a number of years was my bosom friend, has left me to return no more. We must go to him, but he will not return to us. He departed this life, after a long and tedious sickness, on the 11th of August, 1818, about 7 o'clock in the morning.
There was no striking alteration in his disease, till about the first of August; though before this time it was evident that the medicines which he took did not produce their usual effect, and that his breathing had become more difficult. His respiration was never entirely free after his last attack of bleeding at Columbo; and he could not sleep in any other position than on his right side. About this time, it was observed that his feet began to swell, and I believe he never expressed any hope of recovery afterwards.
[After describing more definitely some of the circumstances respecting Mr. W.'s last, dass of sickness, and peaceful exit, for ihe satisfaction of bis friends, Mr. Richards continues.]
Thus ended, the mortal existence of my dear friend, and the next day I followed his corpse to the English and Dutch burying ground, where it was decently interred.
Having thus finished the story of his bodily sufferings, I with picasure giro you some account of the exercises of his mind. After his last bleeding, he was not able for a number of weeks to confine his mind, long at once, to readings
contemplation, or Prayer. If he attempted to do so, it immediately aggravated the symptoms of his disease. This he often spoke of, as a great trial. But after some weeks he was able to hear reading a considerable part of the day; thougla he could not read himself. I was of little service to him in that respect, on account of the weakness of my eyes; he therefore embraced every opportunity of having others read to him. And the Bible was his principal book. Soon after we left Ceylon, he gained so much strength as to be able to read a little, as well as to hear reading almost all the day; and some of our fellow passengers were so kind as to read to us considerable, especially on the Sabbath; but it was a peculiar grief to him, that we had no opportunity of praying together during the whole voyage.
His disease did not abate his zeal for the glory of God, or for the salvation of men. He often exceeded his strength in conversing with the passengers upon religious subjects, exhorting them to make sure of the one thing needful; and he was very desirous to have more strength, that he might do more for God, Notwithstanding his great weakness I enjoyed much of his company; for he was always cheerful, and always ready, when able to converse upon heavenly things.
I might here bear decided testimony to liis patience and submission, for I cannot recollect that he ever expresses the least dissatisfaction with the dealings of Divine Providence, either by words or actions. On the contrary, he spoke more of the sufferings of others than of himself, and it appeared to be his ardent desire, that the will of the Lord might be done. Some were astonished to see him so calm and so cheerful; but it was evident to his more intimate friends, that while his body was aflicted, his soul was rejoicing in the light of God's countenance.
After we landed at Simon's Town, his Christian privileges were increased; as we had a room to ourselves, we could unite together in prayer, as well as in reading the Scriptures and religious conversation. And after we came to this place, a number of Christian friends were in the habit of calling to see hing with whom he joined in prayer as often as circumstances would allow. Indeed, it was abundantly evident chat prayer, the reading of the Word of God, religious conversation, and communion with God, were his meat and his drink; and that he was ripening fast for the kingdom of glory.
He sometimes expressed a desire to have clearer views of divine things, and a stronger evidence of his union to Christ; but his consolations always appeared to be greater than his fears; and his seasons of spiri: ual darkness were short and few. As his end drew near, his views became brighter, and his hope in Christ stronger, till every doubt and every fear, respecting his good estate, were entirely banished. He conversed upon the circumstances of his own death with as much cheerfulness as upo i any other subject: and I consider it a peculiar blessing, that I was allowed to be with him in his last moments.
Soon after the time when he began to fail rapidly, I spoke to him respecting the near approach of death, and he replied, “No matter how soon--no matter how soon. No ecstasies, a calm, humble dependance, it is all I want.” At this time, in consequence of the difficulty of his breathing, it was almost impossible for him to speak, except in broken sentences. Two days after, he expressed the state of his mind in the following terms: “I do feel a calinness in calling on my Jesus. No ecstasy--but I feel that I have committed myself into his hands." Three days before his death, when I asked him if he was ready to have his earthly tabernacle dissolved, he said, "Yes, I think I am. Yes, I sometimes long to depart.” The next day, which was the day but one before he died, he said to me, "When I can contemplate, it is very pleasing." What do you contemplate. I replied. “It is Jesus," said he, “and the way of salvation. I have a remarkable calmness. I feel that Jesus will not leave me, I cannot doubt, I try to doubt, but I cannot."
Ahout an hour before his soul took its flight, he began to talk in the following manner, repeating the words many times, and making long pauses, “Is this death! Yes, this is death. Come Lord Jesus, come quickly.” He then spoke to me, and called me by name, but when I askod him what he wanted, he only said, "Death." And when he had repeated the former expressions many tiincs, he spoke to me again. I answered as before, and received the same reply. Shortly after he said, "Give my love to them, tell them to be faithiah unto denih
Farewell—Farewell Come Lord Jesus. O thou kind angel conduct 'me,-C0Cduct me, Come Lord Jesus, come quickly.”
These were his last words. In about five minutes he ceased to breathe; and who can doubt that the "kind angel" conducted his departing spirit to the paradise above, where he could see his blessed Savior face to face.
Thus, my dear Sir, I have endeavored to give you a faithful account of your beloved son, from the time we left Columbo till the day of his death. How happy are they who live as he lived, and die as he died. Blessed are the dead, who die in the Lord, for they rest from their labors, and their works do follow them. I remain your affectionate, though distant and unworthy friend,
JAMES RICHARDS. Postscript, Nov.9th. I am very sorry, my dear Sir, that I have delayed so long to send this letter. My principal excuse is, want of strength to finish it sooner. For days together I have not been able to write a single line, without injury. Add to this, there has been no opportunity to send direct to America; so that I am obliged to get a friend here to enclose this in a letter to a friend in London, who will forward it to America.
I had almost forgot to tell you that your son Edward made his will before he left Ceylon, and gave all his property to the brethren and sisters of the Ceylon mission, except his books and his library, which he gave to our treasury and library. It is possible, however, that, in consequence of his coming here, all his money has been expended.
I am now trying to find a passage to Ceylon. But unless I go there soon, it is not likely I shall go at all; for my disease has been gradually growing worse for some weeks, if not for months. In some respects I am more comfortable now, than when I left Ceylon, but in others not so much so. Then I had an unpleasant fever in the day, and cold sweats at night; but now I have not; yet my cough is worse now than it was then, and I am so hoarse, that I cannot speak, except in a whisper. This hoarseness seems to have been produced in part by spitting blood, which I have frequently done, in very small quantities, ever since brother Warren died. Indeed I raised blood once or twice before he died, and I told him, that I expected soon to follow himn. However, I attended public worship yesterday, and have done it a number of times before. I am able to walk half a mile at once, sleep well, and have a good appetite.
The time and circumstances of my death will be ordered by infinite Wisdom, and in this consideration I rejoice. I desire to recover, that I may do something for the heathen, and take care of my family; and yet I would rather depart and be with Christ.
I suppose that you may wish to know the reasons why brother Warren left Ceylon, and why be came to this place. He left Ceylon because his physicians told him that the climate there was so warm, as to prevent him from gaining strength and health. He came to this ce in particular, because this was considered a better climate for bim, than any other to which he could go.
Please to give my affectionate regards to all your family, and to any other of my friends whom you may see. I must request you to send a copy of this letter, or the letter itself, as soon as convenient, to Jereiniah Evarts, Esq. Boston, or to the Rev. S. Worcester, D. D. Salem. I am obliged to make this request, because I do not feel able to write another letter to the Prudential Committee, giving an account of brother Warren's death. Yours truly,
JOURNAL OF THE MISSION AT BRAINERD.
(Continued from p. 46.) Dec. 1, 1818. Received information by the Agent, that a Cherokee, in the lower part of the nation, has an Osage boy in his possession, 9 or 10 years old, who was brought over a captive by him, on the return of the Cherokees from their expedition against the Osages, a little more than a year ago: that he was now about to return to the Arkansaw, and would leave this boy with us, if any one would go after him.