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East was left to Dissenters; so he set himself to studying the Oriental languages, and did this with such success that he was soon able to conduct the services amongst the natives in their vernacular language, and to establish schools for their instruction. He translated the whole of the New Testament into the Persian and Hindustanee languages; he translated the Psalms into German, the Gospels into Judæo-Persic, and the Prayer - Book into Hindustanee.
But his work among the heathen was a failure. In vain he proclaimed to the degraded souls before him the purity of the Divine love, the doctrine of the Creation, of the fall, and of Kedemption. "He was often interrupted with groans, hissings, cursings, blasphemies, and threatenings.” Sometimes indeed they were not unmoved by his appeals, when he preached on the destruction of the Cities of the Plain; but to the last he never saw any fruit of his preaching a
On October 1, 1810, he left Cawnpore, where he had resided since 1809, for Calcutta, having first seen on the previous day the crowning of his work by the opening of the church for which he had long prayed and laboured. At Calcutta he remained between two and three months, and then left for Bombay, which, after a sojourn there of six weeks,
• Church Quarterly, October, 1881.
he left, and arrived, after a terrible journey from the coast, at Shiraz.
Broken down in health, seized with ague and fever, he found it necessary to seek a change of climate, and determined to return to England. On September 12, 1812, he started for Constantinople, a distance of 1,300 miles, attended by two Armenian servants and his Mihmander, named Hassan Aga. Suffering from the ague and fever, of which his cruel guide took no notice, he was hurried on at a gallop under the rays of a burning sun, through parching heat and drenching rain, nearly the whole distance from Tabriz to Tokat (about 250 miles from Constantinople), where he was obliged by utter pros. tration to stop, although the plague was raging in the place. On October 6, 1812, in the thirty-second year of his age, he wrote those memorable words in his Diary : “No horses being to be had, I had an unexpected repose. I sat in the orchard and thought with sweet comfort and peace of my God in solitude my company, my Friend, my Comforter. Oh! when shall time give place to eternity? When
that new heaven and new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness? There—there shall in no wise enter in anything that defileth. None of that wickedness that has made men worse than wild beasts, none of those corruptions that add still more to the miseries of mortality, shall be seen or heard of any more.' That was his last entry. Ten
days afterwards—either from the plague or from the weakness under which he had been so cruelly hurried on–he died, and was laid in the grave by strangers at Tokat.
Before parting with the Evangelicals, a word must be said about the lay members of the party, conspicuous amongst whom were William Wilberforce and Hannah More (1744-1833). Hannah More, setting herself against the prevalent vices of the aristocracy, amongst whom her talents secured her a place, published with great courage, and, it must be added, without losing popularity, many of her popular writings against the card-parties and concerts which were prevalent on Sunday. Her " Thoughts on the Manners of the Great,” published in 1788, which ran through seven editions in a few months; the “Estimate of the Religion of the Fashionable World in 1790; her Series of “Cheap Repository Tracts,” the first of which appeared in 1796; her work amongst the poor, her schools for children and her instruction of adults, if they raised against her at the time some obloquy and the charge of Methodism, have gained for her an honourable record amongst the Evangelicals of the day,
The secular leader and the great ornament of the party was undoubtedly William Wilberforce (1759–1834), whose social position as a leading member of Parliament and a brilliant orator, his friendship with William Pitt, his fame as a philanthropist, threw a halo over the Evangelicals; whilst his “ Practical View," a work which, though laying claim to no deep theological learning, and taking for granted the side of religion which his own party advocated, exerted an influence second only to that of Law's "Serious Call b." He founded a Society, on the model of those of 1692, against the prevailing immorality of the day; the profanation of Sunday, swearing, drunkenness, licentious publications, and disorderly places of amusement were attacked ; and by this means a reformation of manners was certainly effected amongst the middle and upper classes. The inheritor from his uncle of a large fortune, he devoted a fourth, and not unfrequently a third part, to offices of charity and piety, and there seems to have been scarcely any important scheme of benevolence at that time in which he did not interest himself. But it is chiefly through his opposition to the Slave-trade that Mr. Wilberforce's name has descended to posterity. First entering Parliament soon after he had reached his twentyfirst year, he even at that early age expressed a hope that he should live to redress the wrongs of the Negro race. In 1789 he first brought forward a motion for its abolition', and he persisted through life in his noble enterprise: he retired from Parliament in 1825; in 1834, the same year in which he died, but after his death, the law was enacted that “slavery should be utterly and for ever abolished and unlawful throughout the British colonies, possessions, and plantations abroad."
b “Practical View of the prevailing religious System of professed Christians in the higher and middle classes of the Country contrasted with real Christianity.”
Besides these must be mentioned the names of John and Henry Thornton, men of great wealth and unbounded charity; Lord Dartmouth, Lord Teignmouth, who together with Wilberforce, the Thorntons and others, and under the auspices of John Venn, the Rector of the parish, formed the party which was known as the “Clapham Sect."
The Evangelical movement left some mark on the literature of that day. Cowper, the greatest English poet of the closing years of the eighteenth century, lent his talents to its service. It contributed the
Night Thoughts" of Young; it appeared in the writings of Hervey and Hannah More. The “Church History" of Milner; the “Biblical Commentary" of
” Scott; the “ Cardiphonia” of Newton ; the “Life of Faith" of Romaine; the “Force of Truth” of Scott; the “Village Dialogues” of Rowland Hill ; Venn's
• John Wesley wrote to him in 1791 :
Unless Divine grace has raised you up as Athanasius contra mundum, I see not how you could go through your glorious enterprise in opposing that execrable villainy, which is the scandal of religion, of England, and of human nature."