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Extracis from the Letters of Mr. and Mrs. Judson. Mr. Judson to Mr. Rice,
“Rangoon, 25th August, 1813. “ Most Dear BROTHER, “ I shall send this to Calcutta, requesting that it may be forwarded to America, if any opportunity shall offer, by which it may reach you, before you will probably have left. But as I have scarcely any ex. pectation of this, I shall write very briefly.
“We arrived here on the 13th of July, by the way of Madras. We have not yet seen brother Carey. He had been ordered up to Ava, to vaccinate some of the royal family. We expect his return within one or two months. We are much pleased with Mrs. Carey.
" When we arrived at Madras, we found no vessel bound to any of the Malay islands. We heard also, that our brethren at Bombay had been ordered to England by the Governor General. We expected to share their fate as soon as it should be known in Calcutta that we were in Madras. Our only safety appeared to consist in taking passage in a small Portuguese vessel which was to sail for Rangoon in a fortnight. This indeed was the only vessel which would sail for any port before we should receive an order from Calcutta. We had there. fore no alternative. We determined to make the experiment, whether we could live in Burmah, and if we found it impracticable, to go thence to Penang, which would not be difficult. But since our arrival, we have felt no desire to leave the country. You know, we always regarded this station as preferable to any other, if it were possible to live here. Not only do we find it possible to live here, but we are contented, and I may add, far happier than we once thought we could be in such a country.
« A. JUDSON." Mrs. Judson 10 her Parents and Sisters, begun at Mauritius, or the
Isle of France, 6th May, 1813, continued at sea, and at Madras, and completed at Rangoon, 25th August.
“ Port Louis, May 6, 1813. MY DEAR PARENTS AND SISTERS,
“ I BEGIN this letter as I have most of my others, without knowing of any opportunity of sending it. But the hope of imparting consolation at some future period, when you may read these lines from your absent daughter and sister, induces me to begin a letter which I shall continue at intervals until some opportunity is presented for conveyance. I frequently think of my dear friends in my native country, with a mixture of sensations. Sometimes imagination pictures you all in want and distress, occasioned by the war. At other times I see you aroused from spiritual stupidity, and earnestly besieging the throne of grace for the commencement of peace, and the prosperity of the church in the midst of calamity. Our united, feebie prayers ascend with yours for this richest of blessings on our dear native country. God grant that the latter may be your real sie tuation; and while you are deeply affected with the condition of our country, and earnestly pray that this heavy affliction may be sancti. fied for her spiritual good, we trust you do not forget us in a land of
strangers, or the melancholy situation of the heathen, with whose miseries we are daily acquainted.
“ Since Brother Rice left us, we have been much more pleasantly situated than we expected. At his departure we thought it probable that we should not meet with a christian friend till his return. But it was only two or three days after, when a pious soldier cane to see us. You can never know how refreshing it is to meet with a christian in such a vile land as this.
“ I think a little account of this soldier would be interesting to you. When he came to us, we had all his character to learn by acquaintance, for we had never heard of him before. His first appearance was solemn, humble, and unassuming; and such we have ever found him. He told us he was a member of a church that had been formed in one of the regiments by the missionaries at Serampore, and that that regiment was now on Bourbon, a neighbouring island, but he had been sent to this island on business. Though he is an illiterate man, and has had but few advantages, yet he converses on the distinguishing doctrines of the gospel with a sense and propriety which will too rarely be found among christians in higher life.
“ Mr. Judson made inquiries of him respecting the religious state of the soldiers in this place, and whether an opportunity could be bad of preaching to them. He informed him that he knew of but one pious soldier in either of the regiments on this island, and that there could be no possibility of preaching to them, unless a private room could be procured for the purpose. He immediately made every exertion to hire a room, and at last succeeded; but was obliged to give eight dollars a month, which he has paid out of his own private property, that his fellow soldiers might have an opportunity to hear the gospel. This soldier has visited us almost every day for two months past, and we have seldom found him inclined to converse on any other subject besides experimental religion. Though his income is very small, and he has a family to support, yet he has given us, since we have been here, the value of twenty dollars! We have frequently observed that we have seldom enjoyed religion in so high a degree in the society of any other, as we have in the conversation and prayers of this man; and we doubt not, though his situation in life is low, but he will shine in heaven as a star of the first magnitude.
« Mr. Judson has preached every Sabbath in the hospital since Brother Rice left us, to about sixty soldiers, besides a number of English people, who have occasionally attended. The soldiers appear remarkably solemn and attentive, and their officers say they read their bibles much more than formerly. Two or three of ihe wives of the soldiers appear to be under conviction), and are anxiously inquir. ing what they shall do to be saved. Some of them have visited me frequently to get religious instruction, and appear to receive every word, as if their eternal all depended on it.
« Besides attending worship every Sabbath at the hospital, we have attended a prayer meeting Sabbath morning, a meeting for the , religious instruction of the soldiers Sabbath evening, and a prayer meeting every Tuesday and Thursday morning, all at the house that was procured by the pious soldier already mentioned. I hope much good has been done by these little meetings, and the distribution of
religious tracts. We have taken much pleasure in attending them, and it has made the Sabbath appear much more like the Sabbath than before. But Oh, our hearts have frequently sunk within us, when we have been passing the streets on this sacred day, to behold the busy multitude thoughtlessly sporting away the holy Sabbath, as if it had been made only for a day of sinful gratification! If an individual wishes to purchase any thing at a reasonable rate, he waits for the Sabbath, when the markets are crowded, and those articles of furniture which can be purchased at no other time, are to be found.
« Those slaves, who have more indulgent masters than others, are allowed part of the Sabbath, as a holiday, when they get together in crowds, sing, dance, and make themselves intoxicated with a kind of spirit distilled from rice, much like our New-England rum. The more refined and polite Frenchmen attend the Roman Catholic church in the morning, and spend the remainder of the day in feasting, walking, dancing and singing. I presume there is no spot on earth, where cruelty and licentiousness more abound. We have often endeavoured to mitigate the sufferings of the slaves, by giving them a morsel to eat, or a few markees* when they have appeared weary, and almost ready to sink with hard labour. How often have we wished that our little house was filled with gold, that we might purchase all the slaves and give them their freedom! But alas! we are obliged to see them suffer, without having it in our power to relieve them.
“ As this island has recently been taken by the English, we have strong hopes that the slaves will see better days, and that slavery will gradually cease to exist.
" May 10,-At Sea. “ We have at length obtained a passage for Madras, hoping to go thence to Penang, the place of final destination. A few days before we left Port Louis, the regiment in which a church had been formed, which I before mentioned, arrived, and we had the happiness of meeting with the brethren several times for religious exercises. The church at present consists of but ten members. Formerly there were between thirty and forty; but many have apostatized, and some have died. Those who remain are sensible, intelligent, active, and uncommonly pious men. One of them was set apart by the mission. aries at Serampore, as a pastor and teacher, to administer the ordi. nances of the gospel when they are stationed in places destitute of preachers. We were really astonished at their knowledge of divinity, and their orthodoxy of sentiment, considering they have seldom en. joyed religious privileges except among themselves. They have a small library consisting of the most spiritual and useful books; this, together with the bible, and teachings of the Holy Spirit, has made them eminent christians. They each take their turns in leading in prayer, and the propriety and fervency of their prayers, evince their frequency in this duty. But our last meeting with them was a solemn affecting scene, which will not be easily forgotten. They were desirous to have Mr. Judson administer the sacrament of the Lord's
* Sixty-seven are equal to one dollar.
Supper before we left them; and we were equally desirous of once more partaking of this solemn ordinance. We accordingly met to. gether the morning we embarked, before light, and Ir. Judson, for the first ume, administered the sacrament to a churcb consisting etirely of soldiers. We were obliged to meet at so early an hour, as that was the only uime when they were free from duty. We then took an affectionate leave of them, expecting never to see them again ull we meet in heaven. They all wept at our departure, and prayed the blessing of God to attend us. But the soidier, whom I have particularly described, and who has been the longest time with us, was so greatly depressed, that it affected us much. It was some time before he could so far command his feelings as to take leave of us. But we were obliged to part with this faithful friend, bo would be willing to sacrifice his life for the disciples of Christ. We felt happier in leaving the Isle of France, attended with the prayers and good wishes of these poor but pious soldiers, than if we had received the attentions of the governor, and all his officers.
* We are very comfortably situated on beard this ship. We have a large cabin to ourselves with several windows in it, so high from the water, that we can keep them open even in a heavy gale of wind Attached to this room is a little closet with one window, where we can spend as much time in religious duties as we please.
“ The captain, supercargo, officers, and all the passengers, treat us with much politeness and respect, and seldom use any prosade language before us. Yesterday being the Sabbath, the supercargo very politely requested Mr. Judson to give them a sermon. He readily consented, and preached from these words,_Who went about doing good.' They were very attentive. Mr. Judson then requested the Captain that ihose of the Lascars* who could understand English might be collected, and he would preach to them. There were immediately collected between twenty and thirty; part of them Portuguesc-Roman-Catholics, and part Hindoo-mussulmen. They seated themselves on the floor below. Mr. Judson began by saying he had something to tell them. This caught their attention, and they listened with eagerness to hear what it was. He then told them of their lost state by nature, their exposedness to eternal wrath, and the way to escape by Jesus Christ. Among this class of hearers there is even more hope of doing good than among the former. But it is easy for Gud to impress his truth on either of their minds, both equally be. nighted. In him is all our hope of ever being useful to any of our fellow creatures.
“Madras, June, 21. " MY DEAR PARENTS AND SISTERS,
“ I will now continue this letter which I began a long time ago. We arrived at Madras a fortnight since, after a pleasant passage from the Isle of France, of one month. We were very kindly received by Mr. and Mrs. Loveless, with whom we have resided since our arrival. Mr. Loveless is a missionary from the Society in London, and Mrs. Loveless is an American lady from New York. They are very pious people, and have been instrumental in doing much
good in this plaee. Mr. Loveless has a convenient chapel, in which he preaches every Sabbath to a respectable congregation, mostly Europeans. We have found many warm-hearted Christian friends here amongst the highest class of people. There are three young gentlemen of family, education and high office, who are decided in the cause of Christ, and are not ashamed to separate themselves from the world and live devoted to God. We have seldom met with christians, whose society was more interesting, and whose conduct more agreeable to the rules of the gospel than theirs. Two of them have supplied us with a horse and chaise to ride every day since we have been here; and have made us a very handsome present of wines, and other necessaries for the voyage which we expect soon to make. A Mrs. Stevens, and her two daughters, have lately retired from the world, and become very serious. They called on us soon after our arrival, and begged of us to visit them. We accordingly did, and found them living in a retired, simple way, though every thing around bespoke their former grandeur. A few days after our visit, we received a handsome billet from them, saying, we should oblige them much by accepting a few things they had taken the liberty to send. Accompanying the billet were two large trunks, filled with the following articles: A large handsome mattress with pillows, several pair of sheets, and pillow cases, one counterpane, four pieces of very nice cambrick, containing twelve yards each, a few yards of linen cambrick, a nice straw bonnet, ten pair of superfine English stockings, several neck and pocket handkerchiefs, a bundle of thread, tape, pins, buttons, &c.-a bundle of spices, a large bundle of biscuit, a jar of pickles, and one of preserved beef, for our voyage; besides a number of other articles of wearing apparel. We were perfectly astonished at such a valuable present from persons with whom we had so recently become acquainted. But it rejoices our hearts to find that God has a few children scattered about in almost every part of the world, who manifest their love to him, by contributing to the wants and necessities of those, whose professed object is to spread the gospel.
« Immediately after our arrival here, we made enquiries respecting a passage to Penang, but found there was no ship to sail for that place for some time; but there was one to sail for Rangoon in a few days. We thought it not safe to continue here long, lest the government at Calcutta should hear of our arrival, and send an order for us to go to England. Consequently we have engaged a passage in the ship which sails for Rangoon, in a day or two. If we find it possible to live there we shall continue, if not we can easily take passage thence to Penang. But I think it probable we shall stay there, though deprived of many of the comforts of life; as that is one of most important missionary fields in this part of the world, and but one solitary missionary* in the whole empire. My heart often sinks within me, when I think of living among a people, whose tender mercies are cruel. But when I think of their miserable state in being destitute of the gospel, and that it is easy for our heavenly Father to protect us in the midst of danger, I feel willing to go, and live,
Mr. Felix Carey, son of Dr. Carey of Serampore.