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spirit of bigotry and falsehood! Sometimes I cry out with the Psalmist, oh, that I had the wings of a dove, then I would fly afar off and be at rest! Some persons think I like simply to fight; that is not true: I indeed like to fight for ihe truth as it is in Jesus; but even this is often embittered by strange circumstances, as for instance, in the present case; then I would rather stop, or run away. But I dare not, lest it happens to me as to Jeremiah ; it burns within me. Pray for me, that I may never use any other weapons but those of truth, faith, and patience,
“ In all these affairs, I trust I have counted the cost; that is, I have been enabled to make the Almighty Lord God our Saviour my all in all, both for body and soul, for myself, and for the people now under my and brethren's care. The Lord will provide. I don't know whether it is his will that we shall be united with your Society. It is on this account that I particularly write to you before your departure. I would ask you, in the name of the Lord, to do for us in England what you can; you know all the affair from first to last. Show my publications to the Directors, and give them every other explanation the case may require. I can truly say, whatever human imperfections have mixed with it, that the quarrel has arisen solely on account of the plain truth of the gospel, assailed by human systems and inventions. Now, will your Directors keep at a distance from us, chiefly in order not to offend the Church Missionary Society? Have not the latter acted in a most unholy spirit ? Will the Directors allow this spirit to triumph ? Let them, then, in meekness and upon principle, come to our help, even here, in Tinnevelly, even for the Lord's sake. More than 60 catechist stations, with 154 villages, including 1561 families, containing 5581 souls, have actually separated from the Church Missionary Society, and have remained sted fast hitherto, notwithstanding various severe trials and afflictions 10 bring them back to the Society. They will rather abide with us, his poor servants, under the Lord Jesus Christ, and enjoy the instructions from the gospel, unmixed with human inventions, than remain with the Church Missionary Society, with many secular advantages, but subject to human inventions. I think we have done all we could to bring about an amicable agreement with the Society, but the latter refuse. You know the proposal my three brethren made. This was rejected, with not a little haughtiness. When Bishop Corrie came, we had hopes that something would be done, but that also has failed. We are now, therefore, altogether rid of the Society, and form a separate body. What reason is there now for your Directors to stand aloof from us? Let them, then, at least, send us help in money, till we can arrange matters; or if they shall feel it a delicate matter, then exert yourself among your friends, that they may do privately what the Directors cannot do as a Society. Mind, also, my dear brother, that the king's business requires haste. I'must mention, also, that besides the congregations separated from the Society, we have had lately an addition of four or five new congregations from among the Heathens and Roman Catholics. Now I leave this matter to the Lord's direction.
“ May grace and peace accompany you and yours on the wide ocean. He is your son and shield, and may he bring you safely back again.
“Ever yours affectionately, C. R." This subject was, therefore, brought before the Directors of the London Missionary Society, and it was first met by cruel accusations against the moral worth of Mr. Rhenius, which were fearlessly answered by his friends and admirers, who challenged his revilers to the proof. A committee of inquiry was appointed, who became fully satisfied of the integrity of this devoted sufferer for conscience' sake. But then arose the question of the expediency of receiving the German brethren as Missionaries while they were in such a position with the Church Society. Long and anxious discussions took place, and at length the Directors agreed that they could not
employ Mr. Rhenius and his associates while they continued in the immediate neighbourhood of Palamcottah, but that if they would remove to the adjacent province of Travancore they would receive their services.*
Although disappointed in these expectations, yet, as Mr. Rhenius said, “ their Lord and Master Jesus Christ supplied all their wants," and his work prospered in their hands. The appeals to the courts of law respecting the mission property were either withdrawn or decided in favour of the German brethren; and their fourth half-yearly report contained much cheering intelligence. Considering that he had not completed his forty-eighth year, and was of a hale constitution, it might have been expected that many years of honourable service yet awaited him. But his days were numbered, and he was about to realize a wish often expressed, and easily understood in so active and energetic a person, that he might be removed without protracted sickness; and if it should please God, unexpectedly. On the 12th of last May he began the last letter he ever wrote to our honoured brother the Rev. G. D. Cullen, of Leith, of which fragment the following is a copy.
“ Palamcottah, May 12, 1838. “My dear Brother,- A little while ago the Lord rejoiced me with your kind letter of November 22, 1837, and as I am just a little indisposed, so that I must put by my regular work to-day, I sit down to write to you a few words in reply. We give thanks unto the Lord our God for the help you and your brethren have again found it in your hearts to send unto us, viz. £70, which I trust will have been received by Mr. Van Tornerin, in Madras, by this tiine. this supply is you will know, when I tell you that our treasury just now has hardly enough to carry us through June. Of course our good Lord knows it, and he thus sends supplies so as they are needed. We have gone on in this way already nearthe last twelve months, and the Lord is greatly strengthening our faith, so that we do not fear. It reminds me, however, of the discourse of Dr. Chalmers, which I read many years ago, and which was deeply impressive; I mean that on the words, Paul said unto the centurion and to the soldiers, except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved ;' Acts xxvii. 31. And this he said after he had been assured in a vision that they all should be saved. Now I am pretty well assured that the Lord will carry on this work in our hands; yet if his dear people do not continually and regularly bestir themselves to send us help, it cannot be carried on. You, dear brethren, have not been slack. May the Lord Jesus give you in return much peace and joy in believing. You will be glad to hear that our German brethren in America also have come forward to our help, and have formed themselves into a German Foreign Mission Society. That Society sent us lately 300 dollars, and Dr. Schmucker, with other friends, added 340 dollars ; total, 640 dollars; so you see the Lord provides. Trust in him at all times. I hope you have received before this our third and fourth reports, and that you will have found much cause for praise to our gracious Lord,
* When it is remembered, that nine-tenths of the supporters of the London Missionary Society are decided Nonconformists, and that amongst its present Directors are to be found some of the most active dissenting gentlemen in the metropolis, who are regularly stigmatized in certain journals as “political Dissenters," it will be admitted, after these unequivocal proofs of moderation, that they exercised much forbearance, and manifested a sincere desire to preserve peace with their Episcopalian brethren, when they came to the above decision. Yet the Rev. Francis Close, in his speech at Cheltenham in November last, threatened the Society with the withdrawal of his own presence and support, and that of his brother clergymen, unless they disclaimed the proceedings of The Religious Equality Socicly!
for what he is pleased to do for us and by us. We are all but poor and weak instruments, and the work often appears to me to go on but miserably and lamely, which is apt to discourage. The fights with the corruption of the human heart are so many, and the triumphant operations of the Holy Spirit apparently so few, that we often walk in darkness and see no light
He now was compelled, by his increased sickness, to suspend his regular occupation, and although he sat up every day, even till that of his death, he contented himself with occasionally giving some unimportant directions in the Mission. During his illness, he frequently had the 14th chapter of St. John read to him, and portions of the epistles to Timothy and the Colossians. Four or five days before his death, he admitted into his room all the Seminary boys, desired them to pray that if it were the will of God he might be restored to health, and reminded them of the words, “ Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever.” There was, during the three weeks preceding his death, a constant dry heat about the head and neck. The whole time of his illness he suffered no pain : he complained only of a drowsy feeling, and a kind of heaviness in the head. For some time, the remedies employed appeared to be useful; but on Sunday, the 3d of June, the symptoms of determination of blood became worse. On that day and the following, bleeding by leeches was resorted to as before, and all was done to induce moisture and coolness about the head and neck, but in vain. On Tuesday morning, the 5th, he appeared indeed to feel better, and employed bimself in signing some notes, addressed to the residents of the station, soliciting subscriptions to the Madras Auxiliary Bible Society. So that he prosecuted works of usefulness to his last hours. For, about half-past two in the afternoon, the symptoms suddenly became very urgent. He was quite restless, and it was evident that his last moments were come. It was a mercy that during this trying scene, and for a week preceding, there was a medical friend in the house-a surgeon attached to the Travancore Mission, and it was a consolation to his brethren to know that all appropriate means were employed. The medical aid of the station was also obtained, but all in vain.
The nature of the attack did not admit of his speaking much, during the last hours, to any around him. On the Monday evening he derived great comfort from the 23d Psalm, which he desired to be read to him; and, on the afternoon of Tuesday, before he became insensible, when asked whether he felt the presence of God, he faintly said “yes," and already joy indescribable brightened his countenance. Several words and sentences escaped his lips, while he was in the delirious state. He was heard to say, in the German tongue, “my beloved Lord,” and to speak of “the remainder of life.” While in a state of restlessness, he sat upon the bed for a few minutes, when the fear was expressed to him that he was going to leave us, he replied, "we must have patience-patience.” A little after five the apoplectic fit came on in all its violence, which suddenly deprived him of sensibility, and it was solemn to witness the gradual sinking of his eartbly frame. About half-past seven o'clock he ceased to breathe, and quietly fell asleep in Jesus. He expired
amid the sobs and tears not only of his family and friends, but of many natives, christian and heathen, who collected at the doors as soon as they heard of his dangerous condition.
Most affecting was the sight, when, one after another, the Catechists who were out in the district, and the people, came breathless to the house, to try if by any means they might once more behold the face of their long-loved teacher. Many were too late, even to be present at the funeral; and for a whole fortnight after, Catechists and people were coming in to the station, in order to mourn the loss of their spiritual father with his surviving brethren.
Thus died Charles Theophilus Elwad Rhenius, aged only 47 years and seven months, 24 years of which, all but one month, were spent in extending the kingdom of Christ in British India.
The best account of the events immediately connected with his departure is contained in the following letter, written by his son to Mr. Cullen, on the same sheet with the fragment of his unfinished letter, which we have already inserted.
“ Palamcottah, June 13, 1838. “My dear Sir,—The above was written by my dear father immediately on the receipt of your last letter; a week before he had been unwell. It is now my melancholy duty to announce to you his decease. None of us thought he would so soon be taken from amongst us. For three weeks before his departure there was a constant dry heat about his head and neck, and the remedies at first appeared to relieve him. But on Monday, the 4th instant, he became worse. On the afternoon of the following day, the 5th, he was seized with a fit of apoplexy, and before eight o'clock in the evening he ceased to breathe. “Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord.' This is our consolation amidst our grief. He died in peace. It is our regret that he had communicated nothing to us, as to his last wishes, before he died. For three or four hours before he expired he was for the most part insensible. In one of the intervals of sensibility, when asked by one of his colleagues, Mr. Schaffter, whether he felt the presence of God, his faint answer was, “ Yes,' and a ray of joy for a moment illumined his countenance. In delirium, also, he was heard to say the German for the words,
My beloved Lord,' and to speak of the remainder of life.' It is mysterious to our eyes, that he should so soon have been removed from his useful labours among this people. His departure has produced an extraordinaay change in the behaviour of the church missionaries here. They attended the fr: eral. We have received notes from them which would form a strange contrast with their language and letters respecting my father not many months ago; those of them, who were not exactly opposed to him formerly, called upon us. received a note from the man who had written most violently against him, asking whether he might come and see me, that he had caused his bell to be rolled, &c. &c. I declined his visit for the following reason :- It is to me a distressing thought that my dear father's illness has been occasioned by the anxieties of his peculiar circumstances, and not least by the unjust representations which have been made of his motives and character. I wish, indeed, I could persuade myself that this has not been the case; but some words and sentences which escaped him during the delirious moments of his last hours do not allow me to do so. There surely is a point at which the bow, by too great tension, will snap asunder. We cannot expect that strong as was his mind, he should yet be able to bear all that has been heaped upon him without danger of his sinking at length under the burden. But the Lord be praised. We know that he is happier now than he ever could be here, it is only his family who have suffered. We know that he has led an exemplary life-that by his death he is removed
from many sorrows and trials—but now he is praising God in the realms of bliss, and thus our sorrow is moderated.
“ It remains to be seen how my father's departure will affect the Church Missionary Comsnittee. As my father often used to say, “May the Lord have mercy upon them. At present, the great loss we have sustained drowns all our cares respecting the future. But we feel that the Lord will provide. He is our help and our refuge. My late father's colleagues subjoin a circular respecting the mission, which you will kindly communicate to Dr. Brown, and other friends. * Believe me to be, dear Sir, yours very truly,
(Signed) « JOSIAH RHENIUS." We must now close this long article by presenting our readers with a sketch of his character, which has been published by his beloved associates.
We now willingly pause, to consider for a few moments the striking features of his character. None was ever more diligent than Mr. Rhenius was in those duties which devolved upon him. Indeed they were not duties to bim. It was his meat and his drink to do the will of his Maker. In season and out of season was he to be found sedulously engaged in something directly useful. His diligence was not occasionally exhibited, nor did it strike by any peculiar zeal existing only for a season and then waxing cold, but it was steady and uniform. Indeed, but for this quality, and the great blessing of general physical health, he could never have produced so many monuments of his zeal and
Of tiine he took especial note; and in the regular routine of mission work, every department had its particular hour. Except during a few years before his death, he regularly sat up till twelve or one o'clock at night. In the middle of the day he rested for about an hour. In the household arrangements he studied simplicity; and by regulated temperance he escaped from many ailments too common in this country.
Never did he omit an opportunity of doing good. Whether it was a native or European, rich or poor, high or low, to any, if there occurred a fit opportunity, he would endeavour to do some good. A few years after his arrival in India, he wrote to the King of Prussia a letter containing an account of Indian Missions and of his own labours, and sent with it copies of the Tamil and Teloogoo New Testament. His Majesty returned a gracious answer, and from that time ordered an annual sum to be paid from the Royal treasury to the Missionary Institution in Berlin. But, it will be sufficient to have mentioned this one instance : for many in India and elsewhere have, we know, been personal witnesses to that zeal for his Heavenly Master which was so prominent in every period of his career.
His patience and submission to the Divine will were truly admirable. He was never known to fall into any fit of impatience or sollen discontent. Whatever happened he recognized as the ordinance of God; and through grace he cheerfully submitted to it, allowing nothing to interrupt that peace of mind which was so richly bestowed upon him. In any afflictive dispensation he was the pillar
* “ This circular intimates, that the colleagues of the deceased Mr. Rhenius intend to go on with the mission, trusting in the same divine help and guidance which have bitherto been afforded."
X. S. VOL. III.