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“What a blessing it is for me, that I have such a sister as you, my dear ***, who have been so instrumental in keeping me in the right way. When I consider
how little human assistance you have had, and the great knowledge to which 1: you have attained in the subject of religion, -especially observing the extreme
ignorance of the most wise and learned of this world, I think this is itself a mark of the wonderful influence of the Holy Ghost, in the mind of well-disposed per. sons. It is certainly by the spirit alone that we can have the will, or power, or
knowledge, or confidence to prays and by Him alone we come unto the Father a through Jesus Christ. Through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto
the Father: How I rejoiced to find that we disagreed only about words! I did not doubt, as you suppose, at all about that joy, which true believers feel. Can there be any one subject, any one source of cheerfulness and joy, at all to be
compared with the heavenly serenity and comfort, which such a person must i find, in holding coinmunion with his God and Savior in prayer-in addressing
God as his Father, and, more than all, in the transporting hope, of being preserved unto everlasting life, and of singing praises to his Redeemer when time shall be no more. 0 I do indeed feel this state of mind at times; but, at other times, I feel quite humbled at finding myself so cold and hard-hearted. That reluctance to prayer, that unwillingness to come unto God, who is the fountain of all good, when reason and experience tell us, that with him only true pleasure is to be found, seem to be owing to Satanic influence. Though I think my employment in life gives me peculiar advantages, in some respects, with regard to religious knowledge, yet with regard to having a practical sense of things on the mind, it is by far the worst of any. For the laborer, as he drives on his plough, and the weaver who works at his loom, may have their thoughts entirely disengaged from their work, and may think with advantage upon any religious subject. But the nature of our studies requires such a deep abstraction of the mind from all things, as completely to render it incapable of any thing else during many hours of the day.-With respect to the dealings of the Almighty with me, you have heard in general the chief of my account; as I am brought to a sense of things gradually, there is nothing peculiarly striking in it to particularize. After the death of our father you know I was extremely low spirited; and like most other people, began to consider seriously, without any particular determination, that invisible world to which he was gone, and to which I must one day go. Yet still I read the Bible unenlightened; and said a prayer or two, rather through terror of a superior power, than from any other cause. Soon however I began to attend more diligently to the words of our Savior in the New Testament, and to devour them with delight: when the offers of mercy and forgiveness were made so freely, I supplicated to be made partaker of the covenant of grace, with eagerness and hope; and thanks be to the ever blessed Trinity, for not leave ing me without comfort. Throughout the whole, however, even when the light of divine truth was beginning to dawn on my mind, I was not under that great terror of future punisbinent, which I now see plainly I had every reason to feel: I look back now upon that course of wickedness, which, like a gulph of destruc. tion, yawned to swallow me up, with a treinbling delight, mixed with shame at having lived so long in ignorance, and error, and blindness. I could say much more, my dear ***, but I have no more room. I have only to express my acquiescence in most of your opinions, and to join with you in gratitude to God, for his mercies to us. May he preserve you and me, and all of us to the day of the Lord!” pp. 25-28.
At the examination for degrees in Jan. 1801, just before the completion of his 20th year, the highest academical honor was adjudged to bim, on account of his decided superiority in mathematics. The effect of this decision upon his feelings, is worthy of being contemplated by all aspirants after worldly distinction.
"His description of his own feelings on this occasion is remarkable;-'I obtained my highest wishes, but was surprised to find I had grasped a shadow.' So impossible is it for distinctions, though awarded for successful exertions of the intellect, to fill and satisfy the mind, especially after it has "tasted the good wod of God, and the powers of the world to come.” So certain is it, that he vba drinks of the water of the well of this life must thirst again, and that it is the water which springs up to everlasting life, which alone affords never-failing refreshment.
"Having thus attained that station of remarkable merit and eminence, upan which his eye from the first had been fixed, and for which he had toiled with such astonishing diligence, as to be designated in his college as "the man who had not lost an hour," and having received likewise the first of two prizes gira annually to the best proficients in mathematics, amongst those bachelors who have just taken their degree,-in the month of March, Henry again visited Cornwall, where, amidst the joyful greetings of all his friends, on account of his honorary rewards, his youngest sister was alone dejected, not witnessing in hin that progress in Christian knowledge which she had been fondly led to anticipate.” pp. 30, 31.
On returning to Cambridge, he became more engaged in religion, obtained juster views than he had before entertained, and was much profited by the public ministry, and private counsel of the Rev. Mr. Simeon. His attention to the claims of the heathen was first excited by a remark of this gentleman, on the benefit which had resulted from the labors of Dr. Carey, in India. The following paragraph will remain an honorable memorial to Brainerd, as long as the life and services of Martyn shall attract the notice of the Christian church, or be studied by the future missionary. The biographer, bar. ing mentioned the conversation of Mr. Simeon, proceeds to say:
«Soon after which, perusing the life of David Brainerd, who preached with apostolical zeal and success to the North American Indians, and who finished a course of self-denying labors for his Redeemer, with unspeakable joy, at the early age of thirty-two, his soul was filled with a holy emulation of that extraordinary man; and, after deep consideration and fervent prayer, he was at length fixed in a resolution to imitate his example. Nor let it be conceived that he could adopt this resolution without the severest conflict in his mind: for tie was endued with the truest sensibility of heart, and was susceptible of the warmest and tenderest attachments. No one could exceed him in love for his country, or in affection for his friends; and few could surpass him in an exquisite relish for the various and refined enjoyments of a social and literary life. How then could it fail of being a moment of extreme anguish, when he came to the deliberate resolution of leaving for ever all he held dear upon earth. But he was fully satisfied that the glory of that Savior, who loved him, and gave himself for hin, would be promoted by his going forth to preach to the Heatheu: he considered their pitiable and perilous condition: be thought on the value of their immortal souls: he remembered the last solemn injunction of his Lord, Go and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost'-an injunction never revoked, and commensurate with that most encouraging promise, 'Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Actuated by these motives, he offered himself in the capacity of a missionary to the Society for Missions to Africa and the East; and from that time stood prepared, with a child-like simplicity of spirit, and an unshaken constance of soul, to go to any part of the world, whither it might be deeined expedient to send him." pp. 42, 43.
Having come to this self-denying determination, he was much employed in self-examination, prayer and fasting, and in reading the most evangelical writings. It is recorded, that the great Edwards rgtood singularly high in his estimation." In Oct. 1803, he was or.
Febe dained, according to the rites of the Episcopal church; and soon after 15.1.2 was employed by Mr. Simeon as his curate to preach at Trinity ** Church, Cambridge, and at a parish church, in a small village near
the university. On the second Sabbath of his preaching at this vilesme lage, an incident occurred, which is thus described in his Journal: jmu "An old man, who had been one of his auditors, walked by the side of his horse try for a considerable time, warning him to reflect, that if any souls perished through in his neglect, their blood would be required at his hand. He exhorted him to
shew his hearers, that they were perishing sinners; to be much engaged in secret El prayer; and to labor after an entire departure from himself to Christ. From
e what he said on the last head, (observes Mr. Martyn,) it was clear that I had je but little experience; but I lifted up my heart afterwards to the Lord, that I
might be fully instructed in righteousness.'-So meekly and thankfully did this young minister listen to the affectionate counsel of an old disciple.” p. 68.
do The effect of infidelity in hardening the heart, and destroying the this affections, is exemplified by a circumstance, which took place, on Em: Mr. Martyn's leaving Cornwall.
“The following is a mournful record of a final interview overclouded by the gloom of an almost hopeless sorrow. •* * * rode with me part of the way, but
kept the conversation on general subjects. If I brought him by force to religion, Rell he spoke with the most astonishing apathy on the subject. His cold deliberate
superiority to every thing but argument, convinced me not merely that he was og not fully convinced as he said, but was rooted in infidelity. Nothing remained
for me but to pray for him. Though he parted from me, to see me probably no more, he said nothing that could betray the existence of any passions in him. O cursed infidelity, that freezes the heart blood here as well as destroys the soul hereafter. I could only adore the sovereign grace of God, who distinguished me from him, though every thing was alike in us. We have been intimate from our infancy, and have had the same plans and pursuits, and nearly the same condition; but one is taken, and the other is left. I, through mercy, find my only joy
and delight in the knowledge of Christ; and he is denying the truth of religion o altogether.” p. 89.
During the residence of Mr. Martyn, as a preacher at Cambridge, *** he seems to have been greatly esteemed and beloved by the pious.
His feelings, just before his departure from that place of his education, where his spiritual life had commenced, do him great honor as a Christian and a Missionary.
"At the thoughts of his departure, he confesses that the Aesh betrayed its 52weakness, but he did not regret having resigned the world; life he knew was but
as a short journey-a little day, and then, if faithful unto death, his gracious reby ward would begin. Happily for him, such was the divine goodness and mercy, - he was, at this moment, more than ever persuaded of his being truly called of 75% God to preach the Gospel to the Heathen. 'I rejoice to say, she wrote to his cies youngest sister) that I never had so clear a conviction of my call as at presente as far as respects the inward impression. Never did I see so much the exceed
ing excellency and glory and sweetness of the work, nor had so much the favorable testimony of my own conscience, nor perceived so plainly the smile of God. lam constrained to say_what am I, or what is my father's house, that I should
he made willing-what am I that I should be so happy, so honored?' In his 1 Journal likewise, he expresses himself to the same effect: 'I felt more persuaded
of my call than ever; there was scarcely the shadow of a doubt left-rejoice, O sito my soul'--thou shalt be the servant of God in this life, and in the next for all the
boundless ages of eternity.
. "A remarkable spirit of supplication likewise was in this hour of need pour! out upon him, and the sure word of prophecy predicting the glory of the late times, was as the dawning of the day and the rising of the day star in his heart 'I could not,' he remarks, 'help reflecting on the almost supernatural fervor an. deep devotion which came upon me, whilst I declared I had rightfully no other business each day but to do God's work as a servant, constantly regarding his pleasure.' 'My thoughts were full of what God would do for his own glory, in the conversion of multitudes to himself in the latter day. I did not wish to think about myself in any respect, but found it a precious privilege to stand by a silent admirer of God's doings.'” pp. 104, 105.
Our limits will not permit us to give a particular account of this eminent man's life. For this purpose our readers must have recourse to the volume before us; and they will find it by no means too long. The biographer has generally been far from trespassing on the patience of his readers, by remarks and discussions of his own. Mr. Martyn is every where l.ft to speak for himself; and we rejoice, that the materials from his own pen were so precious and so abundant. The voyage to Calcutta was long, in consequence of the ship being obliged to keep company with a fleet, which had a hostile errand, and which made several stops by the way. On the 17th of July 1805, the ficet sailed from Portsmouth; stopped at Falmouth two days after, and weighed anchor again Aug. 10th; anchored in the harbor of Cork on the 14th; sailed again, the last day of that month; stopped at Funchal, Madeira, in four weeks; sailed soon after, and touched at St. Salvador a fortnight, in the middle of November; and came in sight of the Cape of Good Hope, Jan. 2, 1806. The place was taken, after a battle, the next day. Early in February the ship proceeded on her voyage, passed along the coast of Ceylon, and anchored at Madras, April eed. Staying here a few days, they arrived at Calcutta about the middle of May. In all the various circumstances of this interesting voyage, Mr. Martyn was supremely intent on his high calling as a minister, and constantly desirous of doing good to the souls of men. lle preached regularly and solemnly on the Sabbath; read to the sol. diers and sailors between decks; prayed with them; testified the great truths of the Gospel to Roman Catholics, both lay and clerical, in South America; enjoyed the society of Dr. Vanderkemp, Mr. Kicherer, and other missionaries at the Cape; conferred with Dr. Kerr at Madras; and solemnly warned the passengers, and others, in a farewell ser: mon, before leaving the floating habitation.
In the neighborhood of Calcutta, he became most intimately &c. quainted with tlie Rev. David Brown, a kindred spirit, who was sum. inoned from the world about the same time with himself. On the 15th of Oct. he left Calcutta, and proceeded up the Hoogly and the Ganges to his station at Dinapore, where he arrived Nov. 26th. At this place lie labored as chaplain, stated preacher, missionary, and translator, for two years and a half, when he was removed to Cawnpore, several hundred miles further up the river. This was in April 1809. TOward the close of that year, he begun to preach in Hindoostanee, hav. ing previously translated nearly the whole of the New Testament, and the book of common prayer into that language. He had also been much cinployed in translating the Gospel into Persian, with the aid of Sabat. At each of the stations, Dinapore and Cawnpore, he bad beca
the instrument of causing a large house of public worship to be erected, at the expense of government. His labors, at both these places, were very great. In the summer of 1810, his health began to suffer severely; and it was judged best, that he should leave Cawnpore, visit Calcutta, and take a voyage to Arabia and Persia, that he might revise bis Persian translation of the New Testament. The following letter from Mr. Brown, written about this time, is equally honorable to the writer, and the person to whom it was addressed.
“You will know, from our inestimable brother Corrie, my solicitude aboạt your health. If it could make you live lunger, I would give up any child I have, and myself into the bargain.-May it please the adorable unsearchable Being with whom we have to do, to lengthen your span!-Amidst the dead and the dying, nothing can be more apparently prosperous for the Church of God, than the overwhelmings now taking place in the earth. Christ will find his way to the hearts of men, and there will be a great company to praise Him. I know not why we should wish to be saved, but for this purpose; or why, but for this purpose, we should desire the conversion of Heatheus, Turks, and Infidels. To find them at the feet of Jesus will be a lovely sight. Our feeble voices cannot praise him much. We shall be glad to see them clapping their hands and casting their crowns before him: for all in heaven and earih cannot sufficiently praise him. I see no cause to wish for any thing but the advancement of that kingdom, by which there is some accession of praise to his holy and blessed name. We grasp and would wish to gather all to Christ, but without him we can do nothing he will gather to himself those that are his.” pp. 324, 325.
In a subsequent letter, written by the same enlightened and devoted Christian and minister, are the following expressions:
“But can I then (said he) bring myself to cut the string and let you go? I confess I could not, if your bodily frame was strong, and promised to last for half a century. But as you burn with the intenseness and rapid blaze of heated phosphorus, why should we not make the most of you? Your flame may last as long, and perhaps longer, in Arabia, than in India. 'Where should the phenix build her odoriferous nest, but in the land prophetically called 'the blessed;' and where shall we ever expect, but from that country, the true comforter to come to the nations of the East. I contemplate your New Testament springing up, as it were, from dust and ashes, but beautiful as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers like yellow gold." pp. 327, 328.
On the first of October, Mr. Martyn left Cawnpore, and reached Mr. Brown's residence near Calcutta, the last day of the month, The state of his health may be gathered from the following extract of a letter from Mr. Thomason to Mr. Simeon:
“This bright and lovely jewel first gratified our eyes on Saturday last. He is on his way to Arabia, where he is going in pursuit of health and knowledge. You know bis genius; and what gigantic strides he takes in every thing. He has some great plan in his mind-of which I am no competent judge, but as far as I do understand it, the object is far too grand for one short life, and much beyond bis feeble, exhausted frame. Feeble it is indeed! how fallen and changed! His complaint lies in his lungs: and appears to be a beginning consumption. But let us hope the sea air may revive him, and that change of place and pursuit may do him essential service, and continue his life many years. In all other respects he is exactly the same as he was; he shines in all the dignity of love, and seems to carry about him, such a heavenly majesty, as impresses the mind beyond description. But if he talks much, though in a low voice, he sinks, and you are reminded of his being dust and ashes." pp. 331, 332.