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LETTER FROM THE MISSIONARIES TO THE WARWICKSHIRE
Cuttack, East Indies, December 31st, 1857. MY DEAR BROTHER CHEETLE.—Having heard through our esteemed Secretary, the Rev. J. C. Pike, of the resolution passed at the “Warwickshire Conference,” held at Walsall on Monday, September 14th, 1857, relative to the present painful and alarming state of things in India, and also of the expression of your deep sympathy with, and earnest prayers for us. The “ Orissa Conference," held December the 18th, and following days, requested me to write you, as the senior minister of the Warwickshire Conference, and to express to you, and through you to the conference, our deep sense of obligation to you, and our heart-felt gratitude for your earnest solicitude on our behalf, while we sincerely pray that the “God of all grạce” may richly reward and abundantly bless you all.
I need not remind you, dear brother, that the crisis through which we have passed, was one of no ordinary character; and, certainly the preservation of our lives can only be attributed to the kind providence of “ Him, to whom belongeth the issues of death.” At the time of the outbreak we had but the merest handful of European troops, not more, I suppose than 10,000 in the whole empire, while the mutinous Bengal army alone numbered 70,000 trained men. It is true this treacherous army did not rise simultaneously, though it was evident the sepoys had intended so to do; and we cannot therefore but look
premature outbreak at Meerut as a gracious interposition of providence. For, having (as in many instances they had), the entire charge of our arsenals, and possessing a European knowledge, so to speak, of the military art, in addition to their overwhelming numbers, had they been permitted to mature their plans, and to have risen with one accord, it is all but certain that throughout Bengal, and the North West provinces, every European and native christian would have been utterly destroyed !!
But God has been specially gracious to your missionaries in Orissa, as you would see from brother Buckley's letter in the “Repository” for November. The 53rd Bengal native infantry was stationed at Cuttack in 1856, and was to have remained here another year, but on account of misconduct was removed to Cawnpore; and in the awful tragedy of this devoted city, this very regiment took a most active part.
Had that corps have been at Cuttack in 1857, in all probability our sanctuaries would now have been a heap of ruins, our little mission a desolation, and ourselves, and our native christians, in the eternal world. I am sure you will heartily unite in devout thanksgiving to our heavenly Father for so graciously preserving us through eight months of unprecedented calamities and trial. We are firmly persuaded that the “effectual fervent prayers” of beloved friends in England have " availed much" on our behalf; indeed, the assurance that incessant prayer, and intercession being made to God by tens of thousands, in our “father-land," has, amid darkness, and doubt and danger, often encouraged, and cheered, and sustained our souls. The calamity is not yet entirely overpassed, for the country is in a most unsettled state (though we hope the worst is over); still we would trust in the “ Lord Jehovah, in whom is everlasting strength,' while we feel convinced that you will never “ sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for us.”
May the “great Head of the Church” keep us all under the shadow of His protecting wing, until you and we have finished our appointed work, and then grant us an abundant entrance into the kingdom of his dear son, where strife, and cruelty, and sin, are altogether unknown. With the united kind regards of our “ little hand,” I am, dear brother, affectionately yours,
Foreign Letters Received. BERHAMPORE—W. Hill, Jan. 15th.
KENDAL-W. Brooks, January 16th. BIMLEPATAM–H. Wilkinson, Jan. 6th.
-I. Stubbins, January 16th. CUTTACK–J. Buckley, Jan. 4th.
RECEIVED ON ACCOUNT OF THE GENERAL BAPTIST MISSIONARY SOCIETY,
From February 18th, 1858, to March 18th, 1858.
... 20 8 0
£. . d.
£. $. d. £. S. d.
DOVER STREET. Cash, no particulars ... 7 5 21
Ripley and Crich. Fleckney.
Public Collections 5 18 2 Cash, no particulars 9 15 0
Sunday School box... ... 0 9 7
Rothley and Sileby. George Coltman 0 5 2
Mr Joseph Jarrom... ... 0
0 4 10
1 0 0
0 10 0
1 1 0 Mrs Kinsman
... 0 10 6
1 4 0 Cash on account
Mrs Garner ...
0 6 0
The Misses Draycott & ARCHDEACON LANE.
Miss Dexter ...
... 0 5 0
Kendricks' boxes 0 60 Public Collections... 10 15 6
Miss Brown ....
... 0 5 0
Mrs Richards for orphan 2 100 A Friend...
03 Sunday School children 4 94
SILEBY. J. Noble, Esq.
4 11 6
0 7 0 Mrs Wallis 0 10 0 By Mrs Hull.
By Miss Taylor... 0 12 2 Collected by Miss Cham
0 10 0 berlain ...
1 3 6
0 6 0 Juvenile Missionary So
Small sums ...
0 8 0
Sutton St. James. ciety
1 2 6 Collected by Mrs Woodward.
1 4 0
Collected by Mrs John J. D, Harris, Esq. M.P. 0 10 0 Anne & George Wilford 0 5 0
Clifton ... ...
1 1 0 Mrs Woodward... 0 5 0 Small sums ...
0 11 0
Friends, per Mr E.
2 13 9 Mr Holmes Mr Stableford
0 10 0
Wheelock Heath. Mr Russell
0 10 0
Public Collections 4 16 0
1 14 2 Misses Haywood ... 0 10 0
Rev R. Pedley
1 0 0 Mr W. Chamberlain 0 5 0
Collected by ditto
... 1 0 0 Mr Wells... 0 5 0
0 10 0 Small sums ... 0 8 0 Cash on account
Miss M. Pedley's card ... 1 15 0
Mrs Cockbain's do. 0 10 0 2 18 0 Milford.
Master G. A.Pedley's box 1 0 0 By Mrs Leigh.
Francis Heathcote's do. O 4 6 R. Harris, Esq.
1 0 0 Public Collections ... 2 2 6 Rev T. Stevenson 1 0 0 Mr W. Parkinson 1 0 0
10 15 6 A Friend... 0 10 0 Mr R. Bell
1 0 0
Less expenses Mrs Staples 0 6 0 Rachel Needham
0 5 0 A Friend...
0 6 0 Collected by Mr S. G. Leigh
0 5 0 Miss M. Bainbridge 1 0 0 SPECIAL FUND. Mrs Truman 0 4 0 Miss M. Illsley
1 0 0 Mrs Baker 0 3 0 Miss M. Day
0 5 1
0 10 0
0 10 0 € 4 0 Total 29 8 10
7 15 3
1 0 0
Subscriptions and donations in aid of the General Baptist Missionary Society will be thankfully received by Robert Pegg, Esq., Derby, Treasurer; by the Rev. J. C. Pike, Quorndon, Leicestershire, Secretary; and by the Rev. W. Miller, engaged, during his sojourn in England, as Travelling Agent to the Society.
BRIEF MEMOIR OF MR. THOMAS BROWN, OF BROUGHTON
SULNEY, LEICESTERSHIRE. "God preaches to me through my flowers," said the beloved friend in whose memory wę write the following lines. And may it not be asked in what of his works does not the Great Supreme speak to his children?
The constitution and habitudes of the mind which can contemplate His wondrous skill without such a reflection we cannot comprehend. All things He has formed, animate and inanimate, abound in such evident marks of design and adaptation that the conviction is forced upon us. All speak forth his praise, and manifest his love. To us, it is an indication of a right state of heart, and betokens a refined piety, to hear God's voice in his works. To be able to read sermons in stones, argues a measure of advancement in godliness, we could wish were more generally attained. · These views may not strictly harmonize with the popular and commonly received notions of the present day; nor have they had prominence in the writings of our old orthodoxy, but the knowledge of revealed truth we hold to be progressive. Not that there needs a new revelation, No, the Great God has done His work, and done it perfectly. The truth, as set forth in the gospel, infinite and eternal as its author, admits of no improvement; but some professing to wish to be its followers, not unfrequently err, by acting as propounders, rather than as disciples. : Do we not find in any study that persevering application is the great revealer? By it, difficulties hitherto deemed insurmountable are overcome, new beauties are discovered, fresh attractions present themselves, calling forth increased effort, and thus progress is constantly made. If so, is it irrational to conclude that the same principle prevails in the highest pursuit which can engage the human intellect, viz: the knowledge and worship of God? Profiting by the acquisitions and experience of those who have gone before, and taking with us a prayerful and earnest spirit in approaching the study of these holy subjects, we have great pleasure in the thought that
there yet remains for us a large revenue of spiritual enjoyment as yet undiscovered.
Mr. Thomas Brown was born at Broughton in Leicestershire, June 1st, 1817. He enjoyed the advantages of a religious education. His parents were members of the Wesleyan connexion. They entertained the ministers, and for several years had public worship in their own dwelling. His maternal grandfather is described as a fine majestic old man, with long white hair flowing down upon his shoulders. He was a Methodist preacher, one of the old style, “and his praise was in all the churches." As they lived together in the same house, this boy was often the subject of his pious prayers, and to his example and instructions may be attributed the strong sense of the value and obligation of prayer evinced by him in after life. He went to school in his native village, and for a short time to Wimeswould. When about fifteen, he was sent to Nottingham to learn the business of a draper, but did not continue there long. At the end of March, 1835, he entered into an arrangement with Mr. W. Stevenson, of Loughborough, and in August removed with him to Leicester. It was under the ministry of Mr. T. Stevenson, of Archdeacon Lane chapel, Mr. Brown was brought into the full reception of the truth, and he often said, under God I owo my salvation to him.”
He always spoke of the Messrs. Stevenson with great affection and respect, and frequently referred to his connection with this family with pleasure and thankfulness.
In December 1837, Mr. Brown was baptized and received into the church at Archdeacon Lane. He continued at Leicester about three years, but, his health failing, he returned to his native village. For several years he seemed to be in danger of a decline ; but having the best medical attention, and enjoying the advantages of country air, the progress of the disease was checked, and he became much better.
When he left Leicester, he joined the church at Broughton, and was a most consistent and valuable member until his death. In 1852 he was called to the office of Deacon, and afterwards became Treasurer and Secre. tary, and most efficiently discharged these various duties.
Iu 1846 he married his cousin, Mrs. Wright, the widow of T. Wright, Esq., of Broughton Sulney, whither he removed. It is almost needless to say that he fulfilled the domestic relations of life in a most exemplary man. ner. Family worship was regularly observed in his house ; nor did his affectionate solicitude for his dependants stop here, but, as opportunity served, he instructed them in reading, writing, and arithmetic. During several winters he conducted a bible class for the young people of the village, and in every plan calculated to promote their benefit, he was ready and anxious to co-operate.
The affliction which terminated the earthly career of our beloved friend was very sudden and distressing. He retired to rest as well as usual the night previously. Early in the following morning, Thursday, April 23rd, 1857, he ruptured a blood vessel, and although, at the first, appearances did not seem alarming, he felt convinced he should not recover.
In two or three hours after, he had a fit of coughing, and the bleeding came on with such violence, that it was feared he must die before medical assistance could be obtained. After the bleeding had ceased he was desired to be as quiet as possible, that only affording the slightest hope of recovery. On this, for the first time in his life, perhaps, he disregarded the wishes of his relatives,
and said "he should not live long, but while he did live he must preach Jesus." Faithfully did he carry out this conviction, most affectionately urging upon all admitted to his presence to make religion the great business of life, and argued most forcibly from his own peculiar circumstances the folly and danger of delay. Never, we think, can those tender and importunate entreaties addressed to some for whom he felt almost a father's love be forgotten; nor will the earnestness with which he sought a promise for immediate decision, we trust, be in vain.
Early in the morning of the third day, Saturday, the bleeding returned with increased violence, and after half an hour's intense suffering, our beloved friend calmly and composedly“ yielded up his spirit into the hands. of Him who gave it.” Owing to the distressing nature of his affliction, the last moments of our friend might have left a painful reminiscence on the minds of his mourning relatives, and those in attendance, but this was more than counterbalanced by his sweet spirit of submission to his Father's will, and his unwavering confidence in the love and presence of his Saviour. Amid scenes the most trying, his hope and faith never failed.
Thus died our beloved friend in the fortieth year of his age, leaving to his bereaved widow signal evidence of the value of that truth, whose influence rendered his companionship so desirable, and his life so truly happy and useful. The Rev. T. Hoe, his beloved pastor, improved his death to a crowded and sorrowing audience from Heb. xi. 4.
Had we regard to his immediate wishes, such were his native modesty and retiring disposition, that, about him, little would have been said or written. But to pass over in entire silence a life whose leading purpose was to learn and practise the fear of the Lord, would not be just to his memory, nor respectful to his family. Neither would it be grateful to the Giver of all good, for next to the gift of himself in the gospel of his Son we view the lives of holy and good men, as the richest bestowments of the Divine hand; truly not our own possession, lent only for a season, the influence they diffuse is most salutary; while passing among us we feel their kindly words of caution and encouragement as messages direct from the Eternal ; securing our affection they win us to Himself, and fit us for his
presence. Nil nisi bonum de mortuis," was a favourite maxim of the old Romans, and if we speak truthfully, such must be our language in reference to our friend. Kind, gentle, benevolent, prudent, refined in his habits and pursuits, a lover of peace, and pre-eminently a peace-maker, by our Lord's own rule he must be numbered among " the children of God." The christian community to which he belonged view his removal as an irreparable loss. Wise in counsel, firm in purpose, though mild in spirit, ever ready with heart and purse to lend his generous help,--he was well fitted for office, and while expressing distrust in his own ability, the cheerful and gracious smile with which he undertook any work of duty and service for the church will be long remembered. Of him it may be said, “He being dead, yet speaketh."
As a friend we knew him, and knew only to love him and revere his mmory. Our regret is, that we did not know him better, that we might have loved him more.
In the more tender relationships of life, it is not ours to speak of him. This is hallowed ground, into whose sacred precincts no stranger e ters. It forbids all rude approach. Those bereft can best appreciate their loss, and we would not renew the bitterness of that grief which time in mercy so