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merits of his predecessor, or those of the distinguished person before whom he was preferred; valuable, moreover, as placing somewhat more in oculis civium' a man intended by nature for a less obscure station than that which he had for years been filling, though assuredly that was one which he, had it been so ordained, would have continued to fill to his dying day, without any querulous suspicion that he had fallen on evil times when merit is overlooked, and talent suffered to spend itself on an unworthy field.

Thus usefully and happily was he engaged;-in town, occupying an honourable and important situation, and with easy access to men of letters, of whom the capital must ever be the resort;— in the country, inhabiting a parsonage, built by himself in a situation which he had selected, in the neighbourhood of most of his kindred, amidst friends who loved and reverenced him, and in a parish where none would have desired a greater satisfaction than to have done him a service,-when he was summoned from scenes where, to use a beautiful expression of Warburton's, he had hung a thought upon every thorn,' to take upon himself the government of the church in India. What his struggles at that moment were, those who were near him at the time know well. How could such a man contemplate such a charge without some self-distrust? How could he give up his country without a pang? How could he look forward to an Indian climate without apprehension-not, indeed, for himself, (for of himself he was ever prodigal,) but for his wife and child? Still a splendid opportunity of usefulness was offered him; and accustomed as he was, in a degree quite characteristic, to recognise the superintending hand of Providence in all the lesser events of life, it was not to be expected that in one of the nature and magnitude of this, he would see it no longer. After much deliberation, he refused the appointment, not however without some misgiving of heart he shortly after withdrew his refusal, and was then satisfied that he had acted right. Secular minds may look, and have looked, for the secular motives which might have actuated him; but, in truth,


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He heard a voice they could not hear,
Which said, no longer stay;

He saw a hand they could not see,
Which beckoned him away.

I can say with confidence,' writes he about this time, that I have acted for the best; and even now that the die is cast, I feel no regret for the resolution I have taken, nor any distrust of the mercies and goodness of Providence, who may protect both me and mine, and, if He sees best for us, bring us back again, and


For England, and

preserve our excellent friends to welcome us. the scenes of my earliest and dearest recollections, I know no better farewell than that of Philoctetes :

Χαῖρ ̓, ὦ πέδον ἀμφίαλον,

κἄμ ̓ εὐπλοίᾳ πέμψον ἀμέμπτως,

”ενθ ̓ ἡ μεγάλη μοῖρα κομίζει,
γνώμη τε φίλων, χὠ πανδαμάτωρ
Δαίμων, ὃς ταῦτ' επέκρανεν.

Yet a far better farewell than this was his own; for having returned to Hodnet for a few weeks to settle his affairs before his final departure, on Sunday 20th April, 1823, he preached his last sermon there, the effect of which those who read it may partly conjecture-those who heard it (we are told) will never forget. It was printed at the earnest request of the congregation, and as the copies were few, and the circulation local, it may not probably have fallen into the hands of many of our readers: we take advantage, therefore, of a second edition which has just been published, to introduce a passage or two from it to their notice. Having spoken in general of the vanity of fixing the affections on a world where everything is fleeting, to the neglect of that Being who alone is for ever the same, he proceeds

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'My ministerial labours among you must have an end; I must give over into other hands, the task of watching over your spiritual welfare ; and many, very many, of those with whom I have grown up from childhood, in whose society I have passed my happiest days, and to whom it has been, during more than fifteen years, my duty and my delight (with such ability as God has given me) to preach the gospel of Christ, must, in all probability, see my face in the flesh no more. Under such circumstances, and connected with many who now hear me by the dearest ties of blood, of friendship, and of gratitude, some mixture of regret is excusable, some degree of sorrow is holy. I cannot, without some anxiety for the future, forsake, for an untried and arduous field of duty, the quiet scenes where, during so much of my past life, I have enjoyed a more than usual share of earthly comfort and prosperity; I cannot bid adieu to those, with whose idea almost every recollection of past happiness is connected, without many earnest wishes for their welfare, and (I will confess it) without some severe self-reproach that, while it was in my power, I have done so much less than I ought to have done, to render that welfare eternal. There are, indeed, those here who know, and there is One, above all, who knows better than any of you, how earnestly I have desired the peace and the holiness of His church; how truly I have loved the people of this place; and how warmly I have hoped to be the means, in His hand, of bringing many among you to glory. But I am at this moment but too painfully sensible that in many things, yea in all, my performance has fallen short of my principles; that neither privately nor publicly have I taught you with so much diligence as now seems necessary in my eyes: nor has my example set forth the doctrines in which I

have, however imperfectly, instructed you; yet, if my zeal has failed in steadiness, it never has been wanting in sincerity. I have expressed no conviction which I have not deeply felt; have preached no doctrine which I have not stedfastly believed: however inconsistent my life, its leading object has been your welfare-and I have hoped, and sorrowed, and studied, and prayed for your instruction, and that you might be saved. For my labours, such as they were, I have been indeed most richly rewarded, in the uniform affection and respect which I have received from my parishioners; in their regular and increasing attendance in this holy place, and at the table of the Lord; in the welcome which I have never failed to meet in the houses both of rich and poor; in the regret (beyond my deserts, and beyond my fullest expectations) with which my announced departure has been received by you; in your expressed and repeated wishes for my welfare and my return; in the munificent token of your regard, with which I have been this morning honoured;* in your numerous attendance on the present occasion, and in those marks of emotion which I witness around me, and in which I am myself well nigh constrained to join. For all these, accept such thanks as I can payaccept my best wishes-accept my affectionate regrets-accept the continuance of the prayers which I have hitherto offered up for you daily, and in which, whatever and wherever my sphere of duty may hereafter be, my congregation of Hodnet shall (believe it!) never be forgotten.'

He then exhorts them, by various considerations, to mutual charity and good will; and continues in words which (long as our extract has already been) we know not how to withhold

'Would to God, indeed, I could hope to leave you all as truly at peace with each other, as I trust and believe there is peace between me and you! Yet if there be any here whom I have at any time offended, let me entreat his forgiveness, and express the hope that he has already forgiven me. If any who thinks he has done me wrong, (I know of none,) let him be assured that the fault, if it were one, is not only forgiven but forgotten; and let me earnestly entreat you all, as it may be the last request which I shall ever make, the last advice which I shall ever offer to you--little children, love one another and forgive one another, even as God, for Christ's sake, hath loved and forgiven you.'

Having thus taken leave of a parish, where he still signified a hope that he might lay his bones, he hastened again to town to receive imposition of hands, and then depart

My consecration (he writes to a friend in the country) is fixed for next Sunday; and as the time draws near, I feel its awfulness very strongly-far more, I think, than the parting which is to follow a fortnight after. I could wish (he adds) to have the prayers of my old congregation, but know not well how to express the wish in conformity with custom, or without seeming to court notoriety.'

A special general meeting of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge was now called, and a valedictory address to him,

* A piece of plate had been given to Mr. Heber by his parishioners.


pronounced, in the name of that venerable body, by the Bishop of Bristol; an address only yielding in beauty (if it does yield) to the reply which it produced-the one dignified, impressive, affectionate the other glowing with all the natural eloquence of excited feelings.

On Monday, 16th June, 1823, Dr. Heber embarked with his family a little below Gravesend, and, accompanied to the ship by many sorrowing friends, bade adieu to England for ever. Well it is, that every great event in life, which does violence to the feelings, usually brings with it immediate demands upon our exer15 diverted, and the grief subdued. tions, whereby the found abundant occupation in prosecuting the Qty of Hindostanee and Persian, which, independently of their prospective usefulness, he, as many others had done before him, found to be possessed of high interest and curiosity,


as establishing beyond all doubt the original connection of the languages of India, Persia, and Northern Europe, and the complete diversity of these from the Hebrew and other Semitic languages. Those (he observes) who fancy the Persians and Indians to have been derived from Elam, the son of Shem, or from any body but Japheth, the first-born of Noah, and father of Gomer, Meshech, and Tubal, have, I am persuaded, paid no attention to the languages either of Persia, Russia, or Scandinavia. I have long had this suspicion, and am not sorry to find it confirmed by even the grammar of my new studies. If, in a year or two, (he exultingly adds,) I do not know them both (Hindostanee and Persian) at least as well as I do French and German, the fault, I trust, will be in my capacity, not in my diligence.'

In the October following, he landed in India with a field before him that might challenge the labours of an apostle, and we will venture to say, with as much of the spirit of an apostle in him as has rested on any man in these latter days. It was now his anxious wish to compose, as far as in him lay, those unhappy religious dissensions of which we have already spoken; and without making any concession unbecoming a loyal and true lover of his own church, to set forth the necessity of humility and charity, Christian graces to which schism is so commonly fatal-and without which even the purest speculative opinions can, after all, be worth nothing. For such a task as this, none who knew Dr. Heber at all, could deny that he was singularly well fitted. In a personal regard for himself, he was sure to bow the hearts of the people as the heart of one man. Is it not according to our experience to believe, that the affections might have influenced the conclusions of the understanding, and that by his means many angry disputants might have been brought to think alike, and to think as our church directs them? With a further view to more general conformity, he, after a while, suggested to the Society for Promoting Christian


Knowledge, the propriety of sending out (if possible) missionaries episcopally ordained, in order so far to obviate an unfavourable impression produced on the natives, who were at a loss what character to assign to ministers of the gospel, whom those who supported and dispersed them, were unwilling to admit to their own churches. Nor did he think such a measure unlikely to promote the influence of the Church of England (already very considerable) with the different stocks of oriental Christians-Greeks, Armenians, and Syrians-who hold, like her, episcopacy to be of apostolic institution. In accordance with these sentiments, Dr. Heber thought fit to e-ordain several tant ministers who made an application to that effect, and though he u versal adoption of such a plan, yet he did not conceal hf the unithat it was much to be desired. To the native schools he gave his utmost protection and support; interested in their behalf those whose patronage was most valuable; and took effectual steps for rendering the bounty of his countrymen at home tributary to the same good end. He preached very often it never had been his practice to spare himself when in England, and in the east he felt further calls in the more pressing wants of the people, and the extreme paucity of the clergy.


Short as his time in India was, his visitations had embraced almost the whole of his vast diocese. To the northern portion of it, which Bishop Middleton (who found ample occupation at Calcutta and in southern India) had never been able to reach, he first turned his steps; and having journeyed as far as Merut, ‘leaving behind him,' says Mr. Fisher, the chaplain of the station, 'an impression which I think will not soon or easily pass away,' he bent his course southwards, and traversed the country to Bombay.


Of the way of performing these long journeys in India, I was myself (says the Bishop, in one of the private letters now before us) very imperfectly informed before I came here; and, even then, it was long before I could believe how vast and cumbersome an pparatus of attendance and supplies of every kind was necessary, to travel in any degree of comfort or security. On the river, indeed, so long as that lasted, our progress is easy and pleasant, (bating a little heat and a few storms,) carried on by a strong south-eastern breeze, in a very roomy and comfortable boat, against the stream of a majestic body of water, with a breadth, during the rainy season, so high up as Patra, of from six to nine miles, and even above Patra, as far as Cawnpore, in no place narrower than the Mersey opposite Liverpool. But it is after leaving the Ganges for the land journey, that, if not the tug, yet no small part of the apparatus, proventus, et commeatus of war, commences. It has been my wish, on many accounts, to travel without unnecessary display. My tents, equipments, and number of servants, are all on the smallest


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