« AnteriorContinuar »
him by sorcery. All who had been my friends soon left my company and became my enemies. I was shunned as if I had some dangerous power. Shortly after this, a man who had my book in his possession, left the place and carried it away with him. The knowledge of this gave me very great pain. I was so grieved at the loss of my book, that with tears in my eyes I said in my prayer to God, “ Now all the people are become my enemies, and thou, O Lord, art become my enemy, for I have lost thy book,-What shall I do? This is my fault, for I did not read thy book but neglected it: now thou hast taken it away and given it to those who will read it.” From this time I was very unhappy. A few weeks had elapsed, when I was going in company with some people to see a heathen feast and dance; as we were passing a small dwelling, I observed a light burning in a corner, and an old man reading. I stood and listened to hear what the old man read, and I soon found that the language was the same with that which was in my own book. I immediately left those who were going to the feast, and I took my seat beside the old man, and heard, with great attention, what he was reading. The language was the same, but the copy and the print were different. I spoke very humbly and kindly to the old man; he put the book into my hand, some parts of which I began to read. When I asked him to explain it to me, he answered that he could not for he was a heathen. I invited him to come and take breakfast with me Text morning, and to bring his book with him. He came accordingly. During our conversation the man told me that he was going away very soon to a different part of the country. I was grieved to think that I should again be deprived of reading the book of God. I said to the old man: “Oh! will you give me this book ?” He answered, “If I give you this book, what will you give me in its place ?” I immediately offered him eight rupees, which he readily took. For some time I was afraid that he would return for his book, and therefore I hid it. Now I began to rejoice, greatly, because I had got another book for that which I had lost. I began to read it: constantly did I read it; and some places I understood better than I had before done. I would not now part with the book to any person. When I was requested to lend it, I told the persons to come to my house, and I would either read it to them, or they would read it to me. In reply to questions asked me, I endeavoured to explain so far as I was able; and when asked to explain what I did not understand, I told the people that I was yet a stranger to the book, as I had only got it a short time ago. I now began to feel very great dislike to all idols, both in the heathen and Roman Catholic temples. I began to have a great fear of God, and was afraid of sin. I was particularly afraid lest God should again take bis book from me. · When I was journeying to another part of India, I found a few people in the way, at a place where my employer stopped for a short time, and I was informed that they belonged to the congregation of the gospel. I was very happy to see them: I did run to them, and salute them as if they had been my old and very dear friends. I said to them,“ I have long wished to know something about the gospel. This day the Lord has brought me to see you, to know more clearly his holy word.” The people were a little astonished, and began to ask me many questions about my journey, and what I had seen. The inquiries they made occupied the whole of the time I could spare, and I was forced to leave them without their being able to tell me any thing about those things which I so much desired to know; I asked them as I was about to leave them, if they would give me any books. They told me that they could, and sent the five books of Moses, the books of Joshua, Judges, and Psalms, a hymn book, and a small catechism. These I received with very great pleasure ; but whilst I greatly rejoiced in receiving so much of the word of God, I still felt sorrow because I had no person to explain them to me, and no person to tell me how a Christian ought to live. When I arrived at Mysore, I was still unable to find any person to teach me, but I continued reading the Scriptures with prayer. I felt a great thirsting after the truth, but I remained very ignorant how I should serve and please God. I talked with the people about what I read in the book, and endeavoured to explain to them what I thought I understood, and I found great benefit to my own mind by talking with the people. I was much more lively and comfortable in my mind, yet I now feel doubts when I look back, that what I told the people was in many things not correct.
About this time my thoughts were directed to my aged parents. I had not seen them for several years. I
therefore intended to go home, and left the gentleman with whom I lived, in order that I might go and see them. When I and my family were setting out on our journey, the coolies were loaded with our things which were necessary for us by the way. I went with my book under my arın to call on some friends and bid them farewell. We began to converse about religion, and continued talking in a very interesting way till it was too late for us to go away that night. Next morning, when about to proceed, one of the persons with whom I had been speaking the day before, came to me and wished very much for a copy of the catechism before I left the place. I consented to write him a copy. Before this was done a person, who owed me a considerable sum of money, arrived at Mysore on business. We met quite unexpectedly, but he very willingly settled my account. My mind was made very easy on money affairs. Whilst I was writing the catechism, two natives, who had heard of my reading and conversing with the people, came and asked me many questions about the book which I had. They soon felt much interested in what they read with me, and the answers I was able to give to their questions. Our conversation was very pleasing and profitable to me. . .: .! . ; ..?:?
My journey to see my parents was given up for the present. We gave ourselves up entirely to reading the Scriptures and conversing about what we read." The curiosity of the people began to be awakened; and many came to hear us read and converse. One
day my two friends came and told me that they had seen and conversed with a man who called himself an Unitarian, and that he spoke very clearly about the religion. This made us the more anxious to inquire. Our desires were so strong, that we began to neglect our reading, and form plans how we could get some information. We met in the house where we kept our books, and where we read and conversed, and resolved to write to the teacher, who, we were informed, lived at Madras. We met together, and after prayer, we began and wrote a very long letter to the teacher. We informed him that we were much pleased to hear of his teaching, that we were ready to come to Madras to see him and join the congregation, and requested bim to write to us and inform us how we should conduct ourselves as the servants of Christ till we arrived at Madras. We did not know his name, but we intended to direct it to the Unitarian Teacher, Madras. The copy of the letter was written, but before we had read it over to sign it and send it to the post, the Roman Catholics, who were alarmed because many of their people assembled to hear the Scriptures read, met together in a great crowd, and said among themselves, “Why are these Lutherans come here to read their books ? A great many of our people go and hear them read. Let us drive them away from this place.” They came up in a great fury, entered the place where we met, and they tore our books, and carried away some of our papers and the Unitarian letter. When we made inquiries who had broken our door and