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“I know you; you would sooner make a god of your bellies (you beasts') than have me; you would sooner give yourselves to any idol, to any sordid lust, than be my people: but I will, and you shall !” His saying, “I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts,” &c. is as if he had said, “I know that such is their abominable depravity, I might write it any where else in vain and even then, so bent are they to backsliding, that were I not to exert my almighty power, they would go off and apostatize after all.” So then, if we look forward, the promises of continued sanctification and persevering grace should still farther excite selfabasement. For after God has brought us into his ways, we should never hold on if he had not engaged for us, “they shall not depart from me.” So then, if ever we get to heaven, it will be because God willed it, and owing to nothing else, for we never do any thing of ourselves but turn away from God. Oh, what humiliating truths are these ! What glory is due to God, and what shame to us! Well might he say, “Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord Jehovah, be it known unto you; be ashamed and confounded for your own ways.” As all the doctrines of God's word are calculated to humble us, so it may be expected all the dealings of his providence will be wisely adapted to answer the same happy end. The most common occurrences of every day may well remind us of our incessant dependence on God, and the more remarkable interpositions of his hand in our favour, should inculcate the same truth with additional weight. Our special trials are designed to abase us in a variety of ways, by trying the weakness of our graces,
the strength of our sinful passions, and giving God an opportunity to display his transcendent wisdom and glory. Pride is the most stubborn enemy to God in the human heart, and therefore God will persist, all through life, in contriving and executing ways and means to mortify it. All the way he leads us through the wilderness is a right way to humble us, and bring us down to our own place, that we may readily give him his own place, and rejoice in his highness. Study humiliation, therefore, for God is determined to humble you if ever he saves you. Indeed, if you have any true spiritual wisdom, you will be thankful for every means that promotes this happy end, and endeavour to improve all your trials for the increase of your humility. Study the law and gospel, and your own hearts and lives, with this very point in view. Look back on the mischievous madness of your former course. Compare your present attainments with your advantages and your obligations. Notwithstanding all the sweet and awful methods God has taken with you, the obligations he has laid you under, the infinite pains he has taken to bring you to a right spirit, how much unmortified pride and rebellion remains to this day ! Was ever wretch so vile ! How far, how infinitely far are you from being what you ought to be What shame and confusion of face belongs to, you ! Could you once have thought you would have proved such a froward, ungrateful creature, as you have been since your conversion ? How must holy angels or saints in heaven abhor your frame of mind! How must God himself abhor you, did he view you otherwise than as clothed with the righteousness of his Son 1 Watch, then, and pray against pride; and make the growth of
humility a main test of all growth in grace. Examine—do you get poorer in spirit than ever, more inwardly and deeply, sensible of your wants and weakness, your vile and sinful defects, your entire dependence on God, your infinite obligations to free grace? And does this humility appear genuine, by its influencing your whole conduct, making you more watchful, patient, meek, forgiving, modest, thankful, more willing to be the servant of all, &c. 7 You cannot well thrive in any other grace, unless you grow in this; and if you increase in real, genuine humility, you cannot be in an ill condition. Without it, all gifts, privileges, honours, and external alo. are likely to become ruinous temptations to pride, and means of falling into the condemnation of the devil. So far as it is possible for a person to have the exercise of any other grace, while he is greatly deficient in humility, there is danger that Satan will take occasion from thence to lift him up to the pinnacle of spiritual pride, that he may afterwards cast him down into an horrible pit of sin and sorrow. In fact, all supposed experiences that are not accompanied with deep humility, are suspicious and dangerous, if not wholly delusive.
Burning of Widows IN INDIA.
For some years past the hideous practice of Suttees, or of widows being burnt with the bodies of their deceased husbands, has not been done without the permission of the British Resident of the district having been first obtained. It appears that the Court of Directors had sent a letter of instructions to the Bengal Government (which they refused to adopt), previously to the condemnatory resolutions of the horrid practice lately adopt
ed by the Court of Proprietors, at the recommendation of John Poynder, Esq. of Bridewell Hospital. It is gratifying to find, from some papers recently printed by the House of Commons, that “the resident and local officers of the Oriental Government are in favour of the practicability of abolishing that sanguinary rite, without the slightest danger to the British empire in India.” The Report of the Committee thus concludes : —“If the result should be a determination to prohibit the practice, we would recommend that the prohibition be accompanied or preceded by , a conciliatory address to the inhabitants of the districts in which the practice prevails, expressive of the benevolent motives, and regard to their happiness in which it originated, and pointing out the extreme wickedness and cruelty of the practice, and the abhorrence in which it must be held by the Supreme Being, whose protecting arm the British Government is the instrument of extending to them
for every good purpose, and for
shielding them from every injustice and oppression.”
ReGISTER of BIRTHs.
It will be gratifying to our readers to be informed, that from a decision of the Vice Chancellor, Nov. 1827, the validity of the register of births at Dr. Williams's Library has been established. It having become necessary in a Chancery suit, that a person named John Wood, of Croydon, whose parents and himself were of the Baptist denomination, should be proved to be of age, a copy of the register of his birth from the above mentioned Library was obtained, and his father and another person, who were present at his birth, proved on oath that he was the individual named in the affidavit: “upon the reading of which,” says an eminent Counsel, “his Honour was pleased to order a sum of money, amounting to nearly 400l., to be paid to that individual; so that his Honour must have considered the affidavit as sufficient evidence of the time of his birth.” We hope the above instance will satisfy persons of the Baptist denomination, that if their children's births are registered, either in a book belonging to the congregation to which they respectively belong, or in their family Bible, as well as at Dr. Williams's Library, an affidavit to the identity of the person, by two competent, witnesses, will be sufficient evidence of the birth in a court of law. We have been informed that some Baptist parents, from the
fear that Dissenting registers were invalid, have endeavoured to divest their minds of their religious objections, and for the sake of a good register of their children's births, have taken them to the parish churches and had them sprinkled! It is hoped, after reading the above statement, such inconsistent conduct will never be repeated, which is certainly “doing evil that good may come;” and for which there can no longer be any plausible excuse. We strongly advise parents to enter the names of their children, and the days of their birth, in their family Bible, as the book most likely to be taken care of; and also to have the signatures of the doctor and others who were present affixed; that in the event of their being dead at the time such evidence is required, their hand-writing might be attested. J. I.
(Continued from p. 516.)
We attempted to shew, in our last Number, that the terms “Serampore Miissionaries,” as applied to designate a separate body from the Society at whose expense they had been sent out to India, was a complete misnomer; and also, that until after the death of Mr. Fuller, nothing had been said by the brethren at Serampore, from which it could have been imagined that they were not the bond fide missionaries of the Society in England. In proof of these remarks, we adduced an extract from their ever memorable form of agreement, entered into in 1805, by the missionaries at Serampore, in common with all the other missionaries at that time in India, and also an extract from a letter of the late Rev. Wm. Ward, written October, 1813, which stated that all the property which had been realized by himself and Drs. Carey and Marshman, whether of houses or printing stock, &c. was “the property of the Society.” The attentive reader of Dr. Marshman’s “Brief Memoir” will perceive, that the whole force of his argument for the purpose of attempting a justification of his conduct in breaking off from the Parent Society, rests upon the statement, that immediately after his arrival in India, so early as the year 1800, the missionaries at Serampore had considered themselves unconnected with the Society at home, except by “cooperation,” in common with all “who desired to promote the same common cause !” Let the following paragraph be carefully and cautiously read:—
“The ideas which Dr. Carey entertained from the beginning, respecting the manner in which missions can be effectually supported, were simply these, that whatever aid individuals might require at first, they should as soon as possible support them
selves, meet, if possible, their missionary expences, and manage their own affairs,
co-operating at the same time with their
brethren at home who desire to promote the common cause. It so happened that the views of his brethren who had lately arrived, fully coincided with his own, and as they had been informed by their esteemed brother Fuller, that the sum which they could engage to send out for the support of six brethren, their wives and children, was about 360l. aunually, it became necessary for them to look around and see whether they could by unexceptionable means reduce their principles to practice. With this view, in February 1800, (one of their brethren having died,) the five survivors entered into a voluntary agreement, by which they resolved to form out of the product of their individual callings, one common stock, devoting it under their own direction to the support of their families and the cause of missions, and interdicting all private trade. Their eldest brother having lived some time in India, had brought with him from Mudnabatty various articles of value; for these, the brethren recently arrived, therefore paid him, with a view to their individually proceeding in the course intended. In August 1800, their brother Fountain died, and in July 1801, brother Brunsdon, so that the three survivors, Carey, Marshman, and Ward, were left to pursue what had been originally contemplated.” p. 32.
This statement, in regard to what Mr. Fuller told Messrs. Marshman, Ward, Grant, and Brunsdon, prior to their leaving England, viz. that all the support which they and “their wives and children” were authorized to expect from the Society, was “but about 360l. annually,” ought to have been supported by incontestible evidence. Nothing like it appears in the “Periodical Accounts” of that period, nor will any who knew Mr. Fuller, and were acquainted with the solicitude which he constantly expressed for the comfort of the missionaries, soon give credit to a representation so injurious to his character. What! when there was a large balance in hand, after all the expences had been defrayed of sending these missionaries, and their wives and chil
dren to India, is it conceivable that the noble minded Secretary should have told them, that they must not depend upon the Society for more than half the sum necessary for their support? We are confident, as regards all the missionary objects which Dr. Marshman attributes, in pages 33 and 34 of his “Memoir,” to the union of the missionaries at Serampore, that they were all assisted by the annual grants sent from the Society at home! We are certain also, that these remittances were made under the supposition that the missionaries at Serampore were the missionaries of the Society; and if this were not the fact, we repeat, there was great disingenuousness in those missionaries, that their friends at home were suffered to labour under such an erroneous impression, and to propagate such a delusion. But if at that early period of their residence at Serampore, they became a separate body, why did they settle in trust for the Society, the three first houses purchased by funds from the product of the missionaries' labours, and the money sent from England. Dr. Marshman says, that until the year 1810 they united their funds with those sent out by the Society, but afterwards kept them distinct ' Why, then, we again ask, had they not made it known Our firm conviction is, that had Mr. Fuller lired till now, the Christian public, whether in India or in England, would never have heard either of “ distinct funds” or of “Serampore Missionaries.” Dr. Marshman quotes, p. 50, a sentiment of Mr. Fuller, from a letter written to Mr. Ward, March, 1813. “We do not consider ourselves,” said he, “as legislators for our brethren ; but merely as co-workers with them. If ever the Committee begin to legislate for India, I should expect they would issue a declaration of independence, and I should not be sorry if they did.” We feel obliged to Dr. M. for this quotation, because it fully proves what we have asserted, that Mr. Fuller never dreamed the Serampore brethren had become an “independent body.” We can easily conceive how disappointed he would
have felt, and how indignantly he would have expressed himself, had any one acquainted with the fact since disclosed, said to him, “Notwithstanding the Serampore brethren have not “issued a declaration of independence,” they yet consider themselves only as co-operating with those brethren at home who desire to promote the common cause; but as regards any kind of dependence on the Society, be assured every thing they have purchased, and all they have accomplished, has been without receiving either funds or directions from their brethren in England " p. 59. It is not, however, difficult to perceive the intention of Dr. Marshman in giving this quotation; it is what lawyers would call an inuendo, the proving of which nullifies an indictment. We deny the implied accusation, that the Committee of the Society, since the death of Mr. Fuller, has attempted to legislate for the brethren at Serampore: on the contrary, their conduct towards them has been uniformly that of deference, respect, and affection. They have invariably united coneiliation with firmmess in refusing to compromise the rights or to surrender the property of the Society: instead of their fill. ing the station of legislators, or attempting to do so, it has been their hard fate for ten years, like that of Sysiphus in the fable, to roll a stone up the mountain, and after thinking they had accomplished their object, to find it rolling back again with accumulated weight, and increasing their difficulties. The only attempt at proof, made by Dr. Marshman, of these legislative attempts in the Committee, is given in p. 61. He states that a letter, sent from Oxford, December, 1816, contained “various resolutions, tending to invest the Serampore brethren with the direction of the Society's affairs in India.” Surely, this was not in the tone of legislation And this, it appears, is the only ground on which the “Serampore missionaries” have thought it indispensable to their comfort and usefulness, to “issue a declaration of independence!” For the history of the measures which produced the open rupture be