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MEMOIR OF THE REV. JOHN CHAMBERLAIN,
LATE MISSIONARY IN BENGAL.
MR. JOHN CHAMBERLAIN was affected, though no lasting impresde baby born at Welton, in Northampton. sion was produced. In the year deshire, on the 241h July, 1777. He 1794, he went to reside at Burby, ** received the best education the cire and heard Dr. Bridges, now of
cumstances of his parents would Bristol. The state of his mind at admit, at a village school, where he this time, he thus describes— Here
was the first of a considerable num. I heard the glorious news of salvaqui ber of children much older than tion. Here I began to think and
himself—a circumstance which his read and pray. Dr. Watts's Psalms biographer mentions, as the first in. and Hymns were my constant comdication of that principle which led panions. I committed the greatest him in all he undertook to labour part of them to memory, and was to excel. He was the subject of continually repeating them, whether
serious impressions, at a very early walking in the fields, or working in To liter period; he says in a pote, “Nor the barn. Morning, noon, and night
did I dare even then to do any thing I was glad. But, alas ? how vain I thought sinful. I used to attempt and weak was I; puffed up with
pray. When I went to meeting pride! I formed resolutions, but I was delighted with the singing, sin revived! My futile efforts failand united with all my might to ed, and I rolled down the tide of give vent to my rapture. Some vanity. My heart, treacherous heart, times then, glimmerings of Divine beguiled me. I soon forgot my vows, truth illumined my mind, which at sinned vilely, and strove to lull my least prepared me for after days. conscience fast asleep. But in vain, I thank my God for parents who, it stood faithful, and with severe rethough poor, taught me to read the proofs chastised me for my sin. My Bible, and took me to hear the word guilty soul. was overwhelmed with of God preached. Ah! how much deep remorse, shame, and bitter I owe to the care of my dear mo- pain." In 1795, be went to live at ther!"
Braunston. Here he was required to Mr. Chamberlain in his infancy promise not to go to meeting: to this was very weak and delicate, and by he agreed, only insisted upon going to a fever lost his hearing in one ear, hear Dr. Bridges at a neighbouring which he never recovered : he was church, where he attended every brought up to the farming business other Sabbath. Having been preas a likely means of strengthening vented from going to church for his constitution. This occasioned three Sabbaths, on the evening of his removal to Market Harborough, the third he said to his molber, “ I where he attended the ministry of have not been to church a long time, Mr. Gill, and was occasionally much I wish you would let me go to meet
uten sbe then rele
ing; it is not right to break the Sab. Mr. C. was recommended to the bath in this manner." His mother Committee of the Baptist Mission where he said, “Why, John, if you go ouce, ary Society. On September 20, you will want to go again, and that 1798, he was received as a probawill not do. You may go to-night.” tioner, and placed under the care
Bebes ma He went-Mr. Simmons (now at of Mr. Sutcliffe, of Olney. Here Wigan) preached --Divive power he continued about a year; during accompanied the word to his heart, which period bis diary furnishes are there Speaking of that night he says, "My ample proof that he paid the most up lau joys overflowed ! such wondrous scrupulous attention to the state of things I felt. O, it was a happy his heart, and rigidly examined the season!" The Sabbath after le motives by which he was influenced.
e time again solicited permission to go to On November 1, lie writes, “I feel
non be the house of God; it was granted, myself condemned, and fear notbing but with a strict charge, never to but selfish motives bave induced ask any more. Persecution follow- me to propose myself as a missioned, and, in 1796, he removed into ary-the thought of being a great a serious family. In the summer of man, such as John Chamberlain, that year he, with his master, one of Missionary in India ;—but, cursed his fellow-servants, the house-keep- be the motive, or, sucb motives as
mats of er, and eleven others, were baptized these, if such are in my beart. If by Mr. Simmons, at Guilsborough. such things move me to engage in
It was in October, the same year, this work, O Lord, overturn them, that bis niind was first impressed turn them to foolishpess!" He was
To the with the state of the heathen. He often dejected with a sense of unheard of Messrs, Thomas and Carey, worthiness, discouraged by thoughts to and continually wished to be with of unfitness, and overwhelmed with them ;--their very trials fanned the the responsibility of the undertaking flame, till it was like a fire in bis he was here exercised with deep bones. He read the sermons preach- searchings of heart. Before Mr. C. ed at the formation of the London had been a year at Olnes, it was Missionary Society, and says, “I concluded, that as the Baptist Misthen felt a burning zeal for the wel- sionary Society had no immediate fare of the heathen. Sometimes I need of his services, he should be thought I could die in the cause, advised to continue bis studies at and triumph in the tortures of a Bristol, with a view to the ministry; fire. My hopes were directed to leaving it to future circumstances to India, though I saw no way how determine his final destination. Al
he they could be fulfilled. Involved together uncertain respecting his in labyrinths, I walked in darkness.” path, he prepared to quit Oldes, Considering it impossible to realize with a heart overflowing with gratihis desires, he went to live with Mr. tude to his beloved tior, and the Haddon, at Newry, in 1797; but, family and society in which he had a true missionary spirit is the same lived, bowing to the will of God. in all places, and Mr. C. here evinc- “I am satisfied to resigg and reed the same devotedness of heart sume my former station (he writes) for which he was subsequently so and to take hold of the scythe or distinguished. Intending to change plough with cheerful submission." his occupation, that he might be He was, however, immediately inmore at liberty to serve God, the vited to ministerial labours, in difsubject was mentioned by his mas- ferent parts of the country, till be ter to some ministers, and by them entered the Academy at Bristel,
where he proved himself to be a dia that was near and dear to him, and ligent scholar, a pious christian, and to spend and be spent in the cause a true philanthropist. His diary of Christ. Does this agree with my during his residence at Bristol, fur experience? Could I leave all for nishes many interesting particulars; Him? Not of myself; but if I our limits forbid our transcribing should be then called, will he not more than the following: On seeing assist me ?" a ship launch, he writes, "it brought Dec. 29, 1799, Lord's-day, “Have to my mind this reflection ;-~90 we been reading the life of that dear must launch into eternity. When man of God, John Elliot, the apostle our time is come, our heart-strings to the Indians. O that I were of his will begin to break, and we shall spirit! what love to God and man, soon be gone.
At first our souls what iodefatigable zeal did he mawill begin to Autter, as the ship nifest! Was much affected to-day when she just began to move; but in hearing my tutor mention what when released, they will move with Mr. Carey bad said, viz. 'that it is a force which nothing can impede, the bovnden duty of christians, to Not dear relations and beloved chil. expect great things from God, and dren, nor any, nor all the enjoy. to attempt great things for him; and ments of this world, can cause our that we, as christians, ought to be souls to stop one moment: no; ashamed and confounded before swift, like an arrow, they will dash God, because we have attempted into the boundless main, whence no greater.' On hearing tbis, I they will not return till the heavens wept much. Blessed be God that are no more, &c."
any impression was made on my On reading the life of Edwards, hard unaffected heart." he says, “What holy resolution ! When the news of Mr.'Grant's what a fervour of mind ! O may I death arrived, he writes, “My mind imitate bis example, especially his was impressed as though I must gói guard over his words; bis grave de. to India, to fill up the place of my portment on the Lord's-day; his dear brother, removed to the world moderation in eating and sleeping: above." his early rising; and his habitual The motto on a pioneer's' cap, close thinking! I am persuaded this “Aspera non terrent,” which on one is the only way to improvement.” occasion powerfully arrested Mr. On hearing of the death of Mr. Chamberlain's attention, and is so Pearce, and of his experience rela: truly descriptive of his missionary tive to his going among the heathen, character, is not less applicable to he writes, “My soul, let these things his lahours while a student at Brisdeeply affect thee; let them be tol :-he commenced preaching in powerfully impressed upon tbee. the streets of the city; and both Remember the importance of being out of doors, and in such rooms as united to Christ; this union is an could be obtained, he made known everlasting one; death will but com. “the unsearchable riches of Christ." plete it. O my Saviour! be ihou His diary, describing these engagemine, and I ask no more. Mr. ments, is as truly missionary, as Pearce's feelings brought my past any of his communications from experience to my mind. What pie. Hindostan; nor did he labour in ty is manifested in what he wrote! vain, or spend his strength for what love to souls! what disinte- nought. He says, “ My public rested regard for the glory of God! work I see to be good and glorious ; He was willing to leave every thing but when I survey the manner in
I a this a
Sand be which it has been performed by me, prayer. To these purposes he im Thur I have cause for great self-abase- proved it. He endeavoured 10 sament before God. O what a work, tisfy himself that he was called of the deat and what a worm to do it! I be- God to the work, made a properanted it lieve Jehovah thrust me out into the estimate' of every sacrifice required
, us dear city, to preach the gospel to my and every privation and suffering to a bear fellow sinners, and this has encou- be endured:- having counted the imbe in 1 raged me almost beyond any thing cost, he renewed the surrender of iteralis before." Thus, well trained for his himself to God, and imploring his doge
. I arduous career, Mr. C. received in- blessing, resolved to go forth in his miel, tho telligence that more missionaries strength. In these exercises be ex
is lekova were to be sent out. On Decem- perienced great delight, and laid the tobim ri ber 14, 1801, he says, " Since there foundation for future contentment tend to has appeared any probability of my and tranquillity. going to Bengal, to engage in the On April 29, 1802, he married work, I can truly say my heart has the daughter of Mr. T. Smith, a tus bere been much revived. When the im- deacon of the Baptist Church at portant question was put to me, Walgrave; and with this pious com- Blend
Are you willing to go? though I panion of his labours, sailed for la. expected my mind would be stag- dia, by way of America, the follow bagh gered at'it, yet I was composed and ing month. They reached New unmoved by fear, and with pleasure York in July, and sailed again from answered, 'I am willing. Since Newcastle on August 16th. His operard then I have never repented of my portunities for usefulness on board answer, but have found it afford ship were few; he laments that the increasing satisfaction to my soul. captain was averse to religion. The I now view the prospect of going state of his own mind may be as. with solid joy and steadfast plea- certained, from his observing, sure, O that I were more devoted “Prayer keeps all the powers of to God, more absorbed in the will · body and soul in order, and adjusts
and the of my heavenly Master.” Shortly all things in due proportion. By this afterwards he left Bristol. The in- the rising passions are quelled and tenseness of his application, and the restrained, the sinking spirits are fervour of his piety, may be con- supported and elevated : ibis pre
Doc ceived of, from the fact that he was vents our fears, encourages our often engaged nineteen hours every hopes, silences our muraurings
, day; and while literary objects were produces resignation, and leads the pursued with avidity, he was ac- soul from the valley of sorrows 10 be customed to read (besides other de. the mount of rejoicing.” With little volional books) fifteen chapters of opportunity for the exercise of zeal the Bible each day-five in the on the passage to India, Mr. and morning, five at noon, and five at Mrs. c. were called 10 endure a night, and he was particularly fond most severe trial of their faith: an of reading it in the original lau. event not anticipated was realized
On the 6th of December Mrs. C. Mr. C. anticipated the period gave birth to a daughter. Through which would intervene between his the kindness of the captain and genleaving Bristol and his embarkation, tlemen on board, every thing was as likely to afford an opportunity done which could conduce to her for contemplating the great object comfort; but the babe was born, with becoming seriousness, and for only to weep and die." He gase observing days of fasting and me my dear child,” says Mr. C.
Bent; E tip-bo
" and he hath taken it away: it died brother Chamberlain joined us in
on Thursday, 14th of December. Doyd Koro. Our native friends deste About noon I took my last look at made inquiries whether our new *** the dear creature, and they com- brother and sister had left father,
mitted it to the deep. This affected mother, brothers, or sisters. I never
my dear wife very much; she could saw them manifest such attachment its2 pot bear the thought of leaving her as on this occasion. Joimoony said, ung babe in the sea, but (bere was no They cannot talk our language, ko alternative in such a case, it must be but we see that all our hearts are de done. I was overwhelmed with one: we are united by the death of
grief, though I wished to say, 'It Christ.' Brother and sister Cham.. is Jehovah, let bim do what seemeth berlain were deeply affected.” In
to him right.' At times I found it a letter to Mr. Sutcliffe, Mr. C. says, 13:30 hard to keep in such a spirit, but “ We are now settled in the apart
the Lord afforded aid. My dear ments formerly occupied by dear by and partner was greatly supported in brother Brunsdon, and are very I. Is this bereavement, and was ihe means comfortable. • Bless Jehovah, O 15 of administering comfort to me, my soul; and all that is within me Blessed be our heavenly Father! he bless his holy name!"
Here we are hath reserved to us many mercies, surrounded with innumerable merthough he hath tried us, by taking cies, among the pious servants of away our first born." lo reference the Lord, with whoin we hold de
to this afflictive event, Mrs. C. af- lightful converse, and all the pains risik terwards wrote: “The most blessed and fears of our voyage are now
season I have experienced, since I forgotten!"
exert his poetical genius, in comThey entered the Bay of Bengal, posing Bengalee Hymns, many of January 3, 1803, but did not arrive which are sung with pleasure by at Calcutta till the 26th. On its native Christians.
In this departe approach, the vessel was met by ment he is considered to be yet unMr. Ward, who rejoiced at receive equalled by any European. While ing this accession of Missionary he remained at Serampore, he took strength. On the 27th they reached a regular part in all the duties of Serampore. Mr. Ward observes, the station, and used frequently to " It was an hour of great joy. In make short excursions. He went the evening we went to Chrisno's: from village to village, carrying the I catechised the children, and we bread of life, and wherever he went, sung three hymns in Bengalee; it seemed to be in the fulness of