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A Memoir of the Rev. LEGH RICHMOND, A. M. Author of the
Dairyman's Daughter, Young Cottager, foc. 12mo. pp. 364. Boston: Crocker & Brewster. 1829.
We are not among those who can see nothing good or great out of our own denomination. Neither do we consider it a liberal or a discreet policy, to keep our readers ignorant of the bright examples of piety which have been exhibited by individuals of other sects. We would have them remain steadfast in the truth and order of the Gospel, but we would also have them know and imitate, whatever is lovely and of good report among Christians from whom in some things they conscientiously differ.
With these views, we would most cordially recommend for their perusal the Memoir of Legh Richmond. It is written with ability and candor, and exhibits, in an interesting light, the conversion and labors of a truly eminent servant of Christ. Mr Richmond was a clergyman of the established church in England. But notwithstanding the unfavorable influences to which he was exposed as a member of a national church, he abounded in the work of faith, and labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father.' His name will long be held in delightful remembrance as the author of the Dairyman's
Daughter, the Young Cottager, and several other interesting tracts.
As a preacher he was instant in season and out of season. He was not satisfied with performing the regular duties of the Sabbath. Although village preaching was peculiarly odious to his clerical brethren, yet he established lectures in destitute places, regardless of all their opposition. As a pastor he was much devoted to the religious interests of his people. He taught them from house to house, ' and 'ceased not warn every one night and day with tears.'
If we would judge accurately of a minister's piety we must follow him from his pulpit to his family, and witness the spirit and conduct which he manifests there. It is in the unreserved familiarity of domestic intercourse, where a minister throws off, in a degree, the restraints of official decorum, that you may best learn his true character, Here Mr Richmond gave constant evidence, that his was not the Sabbath religion of a parish priest, but the daily religion of a man of God. The regulations of his family devotion, the affectionate and pious instruction which occasionally he gave in private to his children, and the letters which he addressed to them, all show that he was a Christian of no ordinary grade.
There is another view which the Biographer of Mr Richmond gives of his character that deserves particular notice, especially, as it constitutes a large and most interesting portion of the work. He is described as a man of enlarged public spirit; and when we read the utterance of his heart in his correspondence, and follow him in his journeyings, we are overwhelmed with the conviction
that the description is a just one, We see that he was not only a good minister and a devoted pastor, but he looked abroad, and felt most intensely for all who were perishing for lack of knowledge, whether in his own country or among the Heathen. pathies were not expended in useless regrets: He saw that much was to be done, and gave his heart and hands to the work.
To meet the wants of the poor and illiterate at home, he wrote for gratuitous distribution some of the most interesting Tracts that have been published in any language ; and his feelings of commiseration for the heathen, led him to become a most zealous and intrepid advocate for the religious charities which had been established for their benefit. He did not wait till these Institutions were popular, but volunteered his services in their support, when he knew that it would subject him to reproach. For a long period he annually made excursions from four to eight weeks at a time, for the purpose of pleading the cause of the unbelieving Jews and the idolatrous Gentiles.
His success surpassed his own most sanguine expectations. In one journey he collected over three thousand, and in another, over five thousand dollars for these objects. In this way he probably raised more than thirty thousand dollars for the societies of which he was so efficient a member. What is still more gratifying to know, he performed all these services without the least pecuniary reward. But his usefulness is not to be measured by the amount of funds which he procured. He excited a deep Missionary feeling which still exists; and wherever he went, he greatly promoted, by his conversation and preaching, the interests of vital religion.
If we are not mistaken, we have closed this book with feelings of deep abasement. We have experienced emotions of self-reproach, while we recollected how little we had done, when compared with him, for that cause which is professedly so dear to us; and have determined, with divine aid, to follow more closely in his steps. Hoping, that the same effects may be produced on the minds of others, we are exceedingly desirous that this volume should be possessed by all classes, but especially by the ministers of the gospel.
Memoir of the Rev. Pliny Fisk, A. M. late Missionary to Pales
tine. By ALVAN BOND, Pastor of the Congregational Church in Sturbridge, Mass. 8vo. pp. 437. Boston: Crocker & Brewster : 1828.
[Continued from p. 98.] [Our readers will recollect, that, in our last Number, we left Mr Fisk distributing tracts in Smyrna.]
In March he proceeded up the Nile to Cairo, where he remained a few days, and visited the pyramids, " those wonderful monuments of antiquity.” Thence, having heard of the arrival at Malta of a fellow missionary, the Rev. Daniel Temple, he proceeded to
that island, to welcome him to the field of labor and peril. While there, however, he was not inactive, but was constantly engaged
“ labor of love,”—either“ getting or doing good." Early in January, 1823, in company with the Rev. Mr King, from America, and the Rev. Joseph Wolff, from London, he sailed for Alexandria in Egypt, where they labored together, endeavoring to enlighten the minds, and save the souls of Jews and Catholics, Greeks and Mahometans. In conversation with four Jewish Rabbies from Constantinople, Mr Wolff attempted to prove that Jesus of Nazareth was the true Messiah. When closely pressed in reference to the interpretation of Zech. xii. 9, 10, they made the following evasive reply, which we quote as a specimen of the Hebrew idiom :
“My lord, we are come from a distant land, and by sea were sick with a great sickness; and therefore our mind is a little confused with confusion, and we cannot therefore speak to day words of wisdom, and understanding, and skill ; for you must know, my lord, that we are wise with wisdom, and we are comely men, and honored with great honor, and sit in the first seat at the table of the rich. We will return unto you, and open our mouth with wisdom, and speak about the Holy One, blessed be he, and blessed be his name; and then you will be astonished with great astonishment.”
After ten laborious, and not improfitable days in Alexandria, Mr Fisk and his associates went up to Cairo, where they were employed, as usual, endeavoring to do good by every judicious and practicable method. They next made an excursion into upper Egypt, and visited the stupendous ruins of the renowned Thebes,
one of the most ancient, and one of the most magnificent cities of the world, which is said to have had one hundred gates, and to have been able to send out ten thousand soldiers from each gate.” After an absence of forty-six days, they returned to Cairo, continually prosecuting the good work of preaching the gospel in various languages, and distributing in that land of darkness, the light of eternal life.
April 7, 1823, Mr Fisk, in company with Messrs King and Wolff, commenced his journey from Cairo to Jerusalem. He passed through the same desert in which the children of Israel wandered, and where God exhibited to them so many wonders of mercy and justice. Their caravan, at first small, was soon enlarged, and on the third day consisted of seventy-four, a large proportion of whoin were far from being agreeable.
The weather was exceedingly warm, and their mode of travelling inconvenient, and they suffered not a little from the want of good water, as well as the pestilent annoyance of strolling Arabs and Bedouins. The journal of this pilgrimage, written by. Mr Fisk, contains much that is interesting. Under different dates he says:
“ April 8. In looking off upon the desert, we have observed at a distance the appearance of water. The illusion is perfect, and did we not know that it is a mere illusion, we should confidently say that APRIL 1829.
we saw water. It sometimes appears like a lake, and sometimes like a river. As you approach, it recedes or vanishes. Thus are the hopes of this world, and the objects which men ardently pursue, false and delusive as the streams of the desert.” p. 266.
“ 14. The thermometer in our tent stood at 99 degrees. The country we passed was full of sand hills. The wind sometimes blew the sand over the hills like snow in a storm. This has been a dreadful day.
“17. We are still in the desert, and have to travel one day more before reaching the cultivated country. I can form a better idea now, than I ever could before, of the strength of those temptations which led the Israelites to murmur in the desert. Alas! I fear many who call themselves Christians, murmur in circumstances a thousand fold less trying than theirs.” p. 273.
On the 19th they reached Gaza, in the land of the Philistines,
one of the oldest cities in the world.” Thence their journey conducted them through Esdood, the ancient Ashdod ; Jaffa, the ancient Joppa ; Ramla, the Arimathea of the Scriptures. On the 25th their road was exceedingly rough, and their progress slow and troublesome, tili they were within half an hour of Jerusalem, when suddenly Mount Olivet and the Holy City opened to their view.
“With feelings not easily described, about four o'clock, we entered JERUSALEM. The scenes and events of four thousand years rushed upon our minds; events, in which heaven, and earth, and hell, have felt the deepest interest. This was the place selected by the Almighty for his dwelling, and here his glory was rendered visible. This was the 'perfection of beauty,' and the 'glory of all lands.' Here David sat and tuned his harp, and sang the praises of Jehovah. Hither the tribes came up to worship. Here enraptured prophets saw bright visions of the world above, and received messages from on high for guilty man. Here our Lord and Saviour came in the form of a servant, and groaned, and wept, and poured out his soul unto death, to redeem us from sin, and save us from hell. Here, too, the wrath of an incensed God has been poured out upon his chosen people, and has laid waste his heritage.” pp. 280, 281.
(To be continued.)
Memoir of Mrs Ann H. Judson, late Missionary to Burmah; in
cluding a History of the American Baptist Mission in the Burman Empire. By James D. KNOWLES, Pastor of the Second Baptist Church in Boston. 12mo. pp. 324. Lincoln & Edmands, 1829.
In calling the attention of our readers to this account of Mrs Judson and the Burman Mission, we perform a task 'pleasing and mournsul to the soul.' Most of the facts, indeed, were already famil
But they are here brought together and exhibited in their due connexion; and, instead of having lost, along with the attraction of their novelty, the power of interesting us, they have, in the perusal of this volume, impressed our minds more deeply than
iar to us.
at any former period. Such a character and such events as are here exhibited, must be permanently interesting, like those sublime sentiments and those great and eternal truths which have been contemplated, from age to age, with undiminished admiration; or like those elevating and beautiful objects in the natural world, that never cease to be beautiful and elevating.
The mission in Burmah is emphatically what the Russian counsellor Papoff pronounced it, the labor of love, and the triumph of faith. But associated, as it is in the book before us, with the biography of Mrs Judson, it possesses the spirit-stirring qualities of romance and of tragedy, with all the advantage, and a mighty one it is, of being a simple narration, of what has really occurred. It has occurred in our own day; and it is likely to be followed by the most important consequences to millions of the human family, not only in this life, but also in that which is to come.
The religious influence of the book cannot fail of being salutary in a high degree. Whoever wishes to promote the spiritual welfare of his family and friends, or to feel anew, in bis own bosom, his first love for the Saviour, will do well to read and encourage others to read this Memoir of Mrs Judson. But aside from its religious interest and tendency, it is well worth the attention of the reading community. We are confident that few will rise from the perusal of it, without an impression that, after all the ingenious speculations to the contrary, real biography and history are better than fictitious; that they may be quite as interesting, and ten thousand times more instructive, and more worthy, in every respect, of being read and remembered.
We had expected a volume of no ordinary valuc; and our expectations have been fully answered. The work ought to be in every family, and in the hand of every lover of piety and benevolence. No adequate idea of its contents, nor of the life of Mrs Jud
can be given by any extracts that our limits permit us to make. We must refer our readers to the book-to the whole book itselffor their own satisfaction.
We present our sincere thanks to Mr Knowles, for the manner in which he has accomplished the task assigned him. May God give him an abundant reward in the consciousness of having performed an important duty, and in the pleasure of knowing that this Memoir has been the instrument of great and lasting benefit to the churches, and, at least indirectly, to many an immortal soul that is now far from the holiness and the hope of heaven.
The concluding remarks are so appropriate, that we will make no apology for inserting them in this place. The reading of them here will render them none the less useful in their original connexion.
' Having finished our narrative, it is proper, before we close the book, to make a few observations respecting the mission. It has been a favorite hope, which has cheered the labor of the Compiler, that this work would assist to invite the attention of our churches to the Burman mission, and to arouse the slumbering energies of the