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OBITUARY.

OBITUARY

.

On Monday, May 17th, died, in about the inth year of his age, Joseple Hodges, the Otaheican, who has been in England nearly two years. This youth waited on one of the Missionaries at Otaheite; and whea they left that island, he accompanied therp to Port Jackson, and was bap. tized by the name of Joseph Hodges. Few boys equalled him in natural abilities; a proof of which will appear from his having learned.che Eng. lish, the Moorish, and Dutch languages with such facility, as to be able to con verse in them in less than a twelvemonth.

On bis arrival in England with Mr. Hodges, who had paid great atten. tion to his learning while, with him, the Missionary Society placed him under the care of the Rev. W. F. Platt, from whom we have received the following account: My Dear Brother,

May 18th, 1802. Ac your request, I send the particulars respecting my dear Joseph. Nothing remarkable appeared, until within a short time previous to his taking to his bed, from which any thing could be gathered, so as to make me conclude that his mind was inpressed with a sense of divine things. His attachment to the House of God making a conscience of private prayer and his anxiety to learn the Assembly's Catechism, which he gor through four times, with the proofs ; the advantage of which appeared conspicuous in his last illness, from the pleasure he felt in repeating a number of texts out of it suitable to his situation :-these circumstances often raised a hope that, sooner or later, the seed sown would spring up to the glory of God, and the good of his countrymer. In the last respect, He that hath a right to do what he will with his own, hath seen fit to disappoint that hope: but in the former, I conceive the following particulars will sufficiently prove that it was not in vain.

One circumstance I must mention, in order to shew the power which the word of God had upon his conscience, before I state what dropped from his lips on his death-lcd. He was naturally of a very irritable temper, and rather implacable. A few months since, he had some words wick one of the family i and carried his resentment so far, that he would not speak to the party for three or four days, notwithstanding all the reasoning employed upon the impropriety of his conduct, and the displeasure that was shewn him in consequence thereof. One morning, the chapter read in family-worship referred particularly to forgiveness of injuries; after which an opportunity was taken to explain to him the nature and awful tendency of his disposition and temper; which so affected him, that he fell upon the neck of his reprover, entreating him, with many tears, to forgive him.

From the first of his illness, he spoke much about Jesus Christ. About a week before he took to his bed, he was asked by a friend if he thought he should die, and if he were afraid to die. He said, he was not afraid : he believed he should go to Heaven; but he would rather live, to go to tell his countrymen about Jesus Christ, and make ihem love him. He was asked what he would say to them. He replied, he would tell them Jesus Christ was God, and came into the world to save sinners; that the Bible cold him so; that it was God's book, and that he felt the Bible was true.

On Saturday morning, May 8th, when asked how he did, he answered, “ God has given me little more strength, but it is but little; but God's will be done. If I die, I hope I shall go to Heaven'; if I live, I hope I chell love Jesus. O God, give me strength to praise thee ! O God, give

me faith in Jesus Christ's salvation! God has been very good to me, to bring me to England to let me know Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. Thy mercy, O God, endureth forever."

Being exhorted to pray to hiin, he replied with great earnestness, “I do pray to him to forgive me my sins--- O Jesus, Jesus, take me to Heaven ! O how I love Jesus long to be in Heaven with Jesus Christ-O give me more strength to go to Heaven-I want to pray to Jesus again, but I want more strength-I will praise God for ever and ever, for his loving. kindness to me. Greatly to be praised art thou, O God Jesus Christ, forgive, forgive my sios—Heaven is the best place-O how I long to be there, evith Jesus Christno place like Heaven.”

He was very desirous of prayer- 0, I wish father would come; I wish school was done, then father would pray with me," was his cry for some sime. As soon as possible, I went up stairs; and having asked him what I should pray to God to do for him he replied, “ that he would forgive him, and take him to Heaven." His soul was much affected during the whole time of prayer-he seemed much refreshed. After prayer, I asked him whether he would not rather live, and go to his own country? (as his countrymco were much upon his mind) or die and go to Heaven? He said, with his hands and eyes lifted up to God, “If God kill me, let him kill me; if he let me live, let him let me live; I no care, God do as he pleasesi I am willing which he pleases. If I live, I should like go to my country, and teach them Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners ;' on which the tears trickled down his cheeks in abundance. His language, and para ticularly his inaoner, made such an impression, that it will never be forgosten by chose present.

In the course of the evening he said to the servant (wlto hath lately been made acquainted with divine things) « What are all the fine things of this life to Jesus! O what a good thing to know Jesus Christ! I will not part with him, not for all the fine clothes in the world (dress was his great foible before.) o Jesus, Ict thy Holy Spirit come down, and resc upon me! O what a good thing I did not die when I was at Olaheite, for zhen I did not know Jesus Christ.” Some of his young friends coming into the room to wish him a good night, he asked them if they knew Jesus Christ; for, said he, * if you do not know hiin, you will not have happiness. O pray to Jesus Christ for me, and I will pray for you. Opray Jesus, sprinkle thy pardon blood on them and me. One of thein said, Father has been praying for you again down stairs. He replied, “ It is a good thing I have such a Father.” He again earnestly intreated thein 10 love Jesus, and to pray to him.

He had a very restless night; was in great agony with pain; and in the morning he cried out for praver; after which, he inost affectionately said, “ God bless you." Enquiring when the Missionary Meeting would be, and being told it would be on Wednesday, he said, “ I wish I was well, then I would go and praise God too-Nothing so sweet as to praise Jesus in his house!" Seeing him very faiat, he was desired to take sonic refreshment; which he refused, saying, “I want better refreshment than you can give me I want Jesus Christ." To one of the family he said, “I think you love Jesus Christ a little ; but you do not know him-I know him now.” In the afternoon, an Otaheitan who came in the last ship that arrived, called to see him, with a Mr. Audrews, the person with whom the two lived who died within six weeks of each other, who has shewn a most tender regard to them all, particularly to Joseph; and having been at Otahcite, he understands a little of their language. The Otaheitan expressed great concern at seeing him su ill, and said he was afraid he would die; to which he replied, "I am not afraid I shall go to Heaven.” Oreo, tis countryman, brought hiin some red feathers, and the skins of several birds, to offer to the Etoa, and said if he would do so, he would be better; at which he shook his head, and said, Etoa was no God; he did not want such things as these now he had got Jesus Christ-he had saved him, and he should go to Heaven ; which made the other very angry. After he was gone, he seemed very uneasy, as if anxious for life, which was noticed ; and being told he did not want to go to Heaven now, " Yes, yes,” said he, “ I do; but I should wish to live, to convince that stupid fellow there is a Jesus." At bed-time, he was very earnest with his school-fellow's to love Jesus, to pray to him to bless them; “ Sprinkle thy pardot-blond," said he, on them, on me, and on all in the room." Being asked what would become of him, if he should die that night, he replied with a sweet smile, “ If I die, I shall goto Heaven; and if I live, I shall go to my country, and tell all them about Jesus Christ; tell them what Jesus hath done for me." On coming out of a very strong convuls sion fit, and seeing a person look very pale, and standing rather at a distance, he said, “ You afraid of me; what need you afraid of for me? I am going to Heaven-no fear this." His pain was so great all day on Mon. day, that he spoke but little, except repeating some verses of a hymn : his moans were very distressing to hear. On Tuesday he seemed a little bera ter. A kind friend of his, and one he was very much attached to, said, * You may yet get better, and go to your own country.' He replied, " I no care for myself; if I die I go to Heaven; but my poor father! (meaning his patural father) I go to Heaven, father go to Hell ! O how shocking!* and the tears ran down his face-ambut I go tell father about Jesus Christ; I go Heaven, father go Heaven." . O how happy!' his friend said; "but there are Missionaries there, and God may make them useful to your father :' he said, 6 I afraid not; my countrymen will not believe them that the worse. I tell father I know Jesus Christ, he the only true God, Otaheitan Eroa no God-Itell him great many things, make him know. O my poor dear father.” He was asked if a person, who had been to see him several times, had ever prayed with him: he said, “O no.they say I go to Heaven (meaning themselves) fear not-all day no prayer-10 talk about Jesus Christ-no praise him-but I do not koow, they may pray at night-I fear they not go to Heaven. If I should ever go to God's house again, the people will think I mad, I shall cry so, I know I love his house, praise Godshall love it more now-I want to see facher to pray for me ; nobody pray for me but father t.” 'Yes,' said his friend,

I pray for you.' " O thank you, thank you." In the evening his pain ina creased, and he grew worse, and continued very ill, excepting at short intervals, when he always was engaged in prayer, and prayed much for his country, and particularly for his own father. On Sunday last his cough left him in the evening, his breathing became difficult, and he never spoke more, but continued till half-past twelve o'clock on Monday morná ing, when his soul, without a struggle, cook its Aight to that place where he longed to be, and about which he often spoke so sweetly.

Thus departed this dear youth, whose talents were as conspicuous as his temper was amiable and engaging. In writing, he made considerable progress; in arithmetic, he got as far as the Rule of Three :- he also went through Ash's Grammar. The progress he made in religious knowledge, and in christian experience, has been already noticed, and affords great encouragement to Parents, Tutors, and even Missionaries, to persevere in the use of the means of instruction. “In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thy hand, for thou knowese not which stall prosper; whether this or that."'

Joseph was buried in Bunhill Fields. Mr. M. Wilks spoke over the grave; and several other friends and ministers attended his funeral. Meaning Mr. Platt.

dcrcrone

RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE,
THE EIGHTH GENERAL MEETING OF THE

MISSIONARY SOCIETY,

May 12th, 13th, and 14th, 1802. It has long been the reproach of Protestant Churches, that they have discovered but little zeal for the propagation of the Christian Faith among the Heathen. The Roman Catholic Church has boasted much of her su. periority in this respect ; and has affected to derive from hence a popular argument in favour of her supposed infallibility. Muratori, the writer of a History of the Missions of the Jesuits in Paraguay, thus expresses himself: “ Among all the marks that serve to distinguish the Catholic Church from Sects delivered over to error, the ardent zeal she has ever shewn for the propagation of the Gospel is one that strikes us most. Guided at all times by the same spirit of charity, it has never ceased sending into divers parts of the earth fervent labourers to plant the true faith. There has al. ways been within her communion a number of persons courageous enough to undertake, without reserve, all the fatigues of so painful an employ, and to expose themselves to all the dangers that are inseparable from so arduous a task. Let the modern Sectaries be considered; this heroic charity will not be found among them. They are wholly bent on extending their dominions, and leave the bringing over of idolaters and infidels to the belief of the Gospel to the Missionaries of the Catholic Church; and freely resign to them the inestimable advantage of being consumed with Evangelical labours, and exposing their lives to enlarge the kingdom of Jesus Christ.”

[Muratori's Mission to Paraguay, p. 2.] What satisfaction must it afford to all true Protestant Churches, that this reproach is completely wiped away! Beside the exertions made by the Society (in the establishment) for propagating the Gospel in foreign parts, and a similar Society in Scotland, the labours of the Moravians have been remarkably exemplary and extensive; and have at length excited to the most active endeavours, the Society whose Eighth General Meeting we have now the pleasure to record. I

This Society, togetheç with a very large assembly of christian friends, met at Surry Chapel on Wednesday morning, May 12. The Rev. Row, Hill read the prayers of the church, with appropriate psalms and lessons, After which, Mr. Frey, a converted Jew, from Germany (now under the care of Mr. Bogue, in the Missionary Seminary) prayed in the pulpit It was affecting, to an extreme degree, to behold one of Abraham's race brought to the faith of Christ crucified, acknowledging, and praying in his name, in the midst of so great an assembly of Christians; and, with simplicity of spirit, pleading with God in behalf of his unconverted brethren. Mr, Lowell, of Bristol, then preached on Isaiah xl. 4, 5. “ Every valley shall be exalted,” &c. After which, Mr. Frost, of Dunmow, concluded the service with prayer. · The hymns were given out by Mr. Padden, Mr. Banfield, and Mr. Wilson of Drayton.

In the eveniog, the Tabernacle was crowded at an early hour. Mr. Evans (of Foleshill) prayed. Mr. George Townsend of Ramsgate, preached. His discourse was founded on Isaiah lxvi. 19. “And I will set a sign," &c. After which, Mr. Collyer of Peckham, prayed. The hymns were read by Mr. Surman, Mr. Jones of Leicestershire, and Mr. Campbell of Edinburgh.

On Thursday evening, Tottenham Court Chapel was early filled ;

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