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But you are a soldier called forth to the field of battle, to storm the enemy's camp, to fare hard, at a distance from friends and outward comfort. I often pity you; and sometimes, when self has the ascendancy, and I would fain be a somebody, I am almost disposed to envy you; for I hope, yea, I in a degree believe, that the Lord has not sent you twenty thousand miles to pinch straws, as we say, just to see a distant land, and then to come back again, having done nothing: I am not yet without hopes that you will by and by find yourself in a situation which you would be very unwilling to leave to be made archbishop of Canterbury.
London, May 5, 1789.
THE FIELD OF THE WORLD. [An old tract distributor recommends the annexed lines as peculiarly
suitable to encourage his fellow-labourers.]
At eve hold not thy hand;
Broad cast it round the land.
The highway-furrows stock,
Scatter it on the rock.
Expect not here nor there;
Go forth, then, every where.
The late or early sown;
When and wherever strown.
In verdure, beauty, strength,
And the full corn at length.
Cold, heat, and moist, and dry,
For garners in the sky.
The day of God, is come,
Ertracts of Correspondence.
FOREIGN. From the Rev. Mr. Lacey, of Cuttack, Orissa. “I SEND you a statement which contains one of the most encouraging instances of conversion, by means of religious tracts, that I have ever met with. The tracts which, under the Divine blessing, proved the means of the conversion of Chowdry Pooroosutom, were distributed by the missionaries of the London Missionary Society, on the coast of the Bay of Bengal, but he was sent to me for baptism. He is a young man of undoubted abilities for preaching the gospel, and will be employed in exercising them on his return to his own country. It is impossible to calculate the good that may result to the Saviour's cause, should he continue faithful to his profession. He was baptized in Cuttack, on the 6th of October, in the presence of 1000 natives.”
The interesting man referred to by Mr. Lacey, states, that about seven years ago he received a printed book from a Colinga boy, entitled, “ A Precept to the Inhabitants of this part of the World, by the Missionaries.” He read the book, and then put it away into a box. A long time afterwards he read the tract again, when he discovered that all his former ways were deception ; and that the book pointed out a better way; and he became convinced by it of many sins that he had committed. He showed the book to several persons of his own religion, who said that doubtless it pointed out a certain way of saving the soul, but that a reception of it was quite contrary to the orders of his own religion. He anxiously longed to obtain the knowledge of salvation, and read the book with constant application. He perceived that the forms of his own religion, and his own books, were useless inventions, and conceived that the principles of the little book were sound, and well calculated to deliver the soul of man, and purge him from his iniquities. He afterwards received two other tracts, “ A Description of Creation,” and “The Condition of Mankind :” these greatly strengthened his mind, and led him to rejoice in Jesus Christ.
The narrative proceeds to show the gradual increase of his mind in spiritual knowledge, till 1833, when he received the tract, “ The Preaching of Virtuous Maxims, showing the True Way of Salvation.” The reading of this little book dispersed more of his doubts than the three former had done. He was at length led to abandon all his false gods, and to give up caste itself, and to become one of the followers of the Divine Redeemer.
From the Report of the Madras Tract Society. THE Rev. C. Winkler, of Mayaveram, states :-"There have not been wanting instances which have come to our knowledge, that tracts given away several years ago, by Mr. Barenbruck, and some of our people, have wrought a deep conviction of the truth of the gospel, though they have been received rather with indifference in the beginning. An instance of this kind came to my knowledge at Tirovalore, where I went to visit our school in July last. A man who had received some tracts from the Rev. Mr. Barenbruck some years ago, gave a most scriptural view of the way of redemption, and confirmed what I said to other heathens. He told me that he has left off serving the idols, and prays to the only true God, in faith of the Saviour. Another man accosted Devaprasadam, our catechist, and said that three years since he had given him such and such tracts, (which he named ;) he had read them frequently to himself, and to his friends and others in the village, and they were much pleased. He begged now for more tracts, and a gospel, that he might learn more of this way, &c. Of course his wish was joyfully complied with.”
DOMESTIC. From a Correspondent at Portsmouth. A PARCEL of tracts was sent to me about twelve months since, which have been carefully distributed ; namely, at the guard-houses, of which this town abounds, to soldiers, in their solitary confinements, and in places of the very worst description. These places are regularly visited, with tracts, by old pious sailors, men of sterling worth; and the result has been, that the sailor's chapel at this port is become too small to hold the congregation now assembled. The tracts have also been distributed to crews of fishing-smacks, his majesty's ships in ordinary, of gentlemen's yachts, and the guard-ships, of whom numbers have attended the sailor's chapel, who never attended a place of worship before. Many instances have come to my knowledge, of the good resulting from the tracts. One transpired in February last. I was accosted by a young man, although I had no knowledge of him; he said he was thankful for the tract that I had given him when working on board his majesty's ship, at this port. I found he had been a very dissipated young man, by frequenting the beer-houses, before this tract was put into his hand, but he was now become a truly sober man, and regularly attends a place of worship on the sabbath. The prisoners in the hulks here, previous to leaving their native land, banished for their crimes, have received kindly, and with much concern, the tracts given them : may they be the means of great benefit, by the blessing of God !
From a Clergyman in Yorkshire. ON paying a visit to a poor old man, who had been ill for some time, I asked him how he liked the tracts which the distributor left him. “O,” said he, “they are very nice books ; but there was a prayer on one of the covers, which I liked so much, and it seems so suitable to my case, that I tried to get it by heart, intending to use it when the tract was gone; but,” he added, "I have forgot part of it, and should very much like to obtain possession of it, that I might always have it by me, for my memory fails me.” I asked him how it began: he said, “Lord, teach me to pray: send thy Holy Spirit to take away my heart of stone,” &c. He said he felt himself a sinner, that he wanted a new heart, and that there was no other to trust to but Christ. Before I left him I assured him that his request should be granted.
A distributor was invited in by a man who spoke of the usefulness of the tracts to his soul, and has since been, to all appearance, a changed man. He said he never met with such books before, and was particularly pleased with them, because they contained so many references to the scriptures. Into another house the distributor has of late frequently been invited to talk about the contents of the tracts. On the last sabbath the wife met him at the door, with tears of joy in her eyes, and said how happy she was to see him, since the reading of a tract had led her husband that morning to go to prayer with his family. She thought the tracts had had a great effect on her whole family : one of her daughters appears quite resolved to serve the Lord; and her two sons, through her expostulation, aided by the tracts, seemed to be much altered for the better; and, as a proof, she stated they now went regularly to teach the children at the Sunday-school.
Another distributor states that Mary Wliving in his district, declared she had been out one Sunday to work for a neighbour, and when she came home she found he had left the tract, On Sabbath Occupation," which reading, she became deeply convinced of the sini she had committed in breaking the sabbath-day; and as she had been thus prevented from attending any place of worship on that day, her conscience was again smitten with the accompanying tract, “A Word for God," &c.
THE WALK ON THE WATERS. THE evening was come. The disciples looked long for their Master, and they were loth to stir without him ; but he commanded, and they are now gone.
He is on the mount; they on the sea : yet, while he is in the mount praying and lifting up his eyes to his father, he fails not to cast them on his disciples tossed on the waves. Those all-seeing eyes admit of no limits. At once he sees the highest heavens and the midst of the sea ; the glory of his Father and the misery of his disciples. Whatever prospects present themselves to his view, the distress of his followers is ever most noted. How much more dost thou now, O Saviour, from the height of thy glorious advancement, behold us thy wretched servants, tossed on the unquiet sea of this world, and beaten with the troublesome and threatening billows of affliction !