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or any extracts from it, it may, by the blessing of God, prove useful to some ; it will at least serve as another evidence, that the conversion and holy life of a soldier are not impossible, notwithstanding the prevailing iniquity of almost all around him, and the innumerable temptations and snares by which his way is beset.
STEPHEN ROBERTS, son of Richard and dissipated associates, while they played Elizabeth Roberts, was born in the year the dead march. Iu this abandoned state 1793, at Wickbury, near Fordinbridge, he lived until his twenty-ninth year, withHampshire, where he followed the labour. out a desire of reforming, but sometimes ing line, until his twenty-fourth year. His under great convictions : for he often said parents gave him po education, for he did that in his sober moments, awful reflections not know the alphabet before his conver- would agitate and terrify his soul; and that sion. Being brought up in perfect ignor. when any person died, he would pass sen. ance of the ways of God, he veglected tence on him in his own mind, saying, “If his own soul, and openly walked accord. that person had lived a pious life, his spirit ing to the course of this world, walking in would now have been happy in heaven." the paths of vice with impunity, loving the These convictions, though often drowned creature, and neglecting the Creator, God by sin, ended in his conversion, for wben blessed for evermore.
the appointed time of the Lord was come, He enlisted, into the 38th Regiment, on he convinced him of his danger, " to the the 5th June, 1817, at Gloucester ; and in praise of the glory of his grace.” the year 1818, he arrived at the Cape of To appearance, he was one of the last Good Hope : where he gave himself up persons, whose heart we could have exto all kinds of wickedness, and became a pected would be changed ; but that which complete votary of the world, the flesh, is impossible with man, is possible with and the devil ; being truly without Christ, God. Such is his divine will and mercy, that and without God in the world.
he often passes by those who are apparThe prominent features of his character ently not far from the kingdom of heaven, at this time were swearing and drunken- and chooses some of the lowest and most pess; these were bis besetting sids. debased, and makes then signal monu.
The oaths which issued from his pro- ments of his free, unmerited grace, and of fane lips were dreadful and shocking to the sanctifying power of his Spirit. Such those not accustomed to such expressions. was the display of his spontaneous love To every assertion he uttered, whether it towards the subject of this narrative, for were truth or falsehood, he generally affix. there was nothing in him, which could ed the sacred name of God, to confirm it. possibly merit the divine favour, but the His mind being darkened, his heart har- reverse. It must solely be ascribed “ to dened, and his soul alienated; instead of the praise of the glory of His grace, whereserving and obeying God, and paying the ịp he hath made him accepted in the Behighest reverence to his sacred dame, it loved.” was his constant practice and pleasure, to He arrived in Bengal in 1822, and problaspheme it, and use it with levity. This ceeded to Berhampore, where a religious evil result of his dissipated life, was ne- society was formed; and by the frequent ver more visible than when irritated, for solicitations of a pious soldier pamed Enocb he was very passionate ; then a whole Coleman*, of the same company, who train of the most obscene, diabolical im- afterwards became bis comrade,) prevailed precations, would flow from his mouth, on him to attend the chapel: and it was pot which originally was intended to be an in vain. Then for the first time in bis life, instrument to praise God. The violation he bent the knee at the footstool of mercy, of the third coinmandment was nothing to where the sunshine of grace beamed on him.
his soul, and the rays of divine love softenDrunkenness was the other characteris. ed his impenitent heart, dispelled the dark. tic mark of his wicked life. It is said ness of his mind,a od removed the enmity of that he has been three and four days suc- bis soul. The Spirit of God operated effectcessively, and that trequently, in this hor- ually to the regeneration of his heart, and fillrid state. I have heard himself say, that ed him with most bitter sorrow for his comonce when in this state of inebriety, he plicated guilt, the remembrance of which committed a most heinolis sin, a sin which was grievous and a burden intolerable for he never after his conversion spoke of, bat with shame :-be permitted himself to
• Enoch Coleman, was a most pious humble
and exemplary Christian; he was drowned in be laid out as a corpse, stretched on a cot,
1826, when the regiment was proceeding to and carried round the barracks, by his Cawn pore.
him to bear. Now the breath of prayer in- ed, on account of its having frequently cessantly ascended from his weary and proved a snare into others. The love heavy-laden sool, for his convictions were of his Lord and Master constrained him to great and many : and often has he been maintain an aversion to liquors. Often amazed at the infinite mercy, and long- have his comrades endeavoured to make forbearing patience of God, exercised him break his word, by urging him to drink, towards him, in not plunging him into the but in vain ; he would say, “ I have said horrors of the nethermost pit of perdition, no, and I cannot violate my word.” He began to see the evil of sin, and to feel His hurnility was great; he endeavoured a true sense of the depravity of his fallen to copy the example of his Savionr, who nature ; and daily without intermission, he said, "Learn of me, for I am meek and low. would with fervency invoke the God of ly in heart." At all times he possessed a mercy, to pity and forgive a rebel sinner, deep sense of his guilt, and low thoughts through the invaluable atonement of the of himself; he was abased in his own eyes, Saviour. His language was that of a man and always called himself an unprofitable who saw himself condemned, and he conti. servant, and the chief of sinners. His nued for a length of time, under awful ap- prayers at all times were marked by a strain prehensions of the wrath of heaven being of the deepest humility, and reliance on the ready to be poured out upon him. Thus merits of Christ for acceptance. he continued burdened, until through the His persevering spirit of piety, was great preaching of the word, he was drawn by a and genuine. He continually pressed for living faith to lay hold of Jesus, the sin- ward. He never fell into open sin, and ner's hope, and received consolation in be- dreaded the least deviation from the path lieving ; for being justified by faith, be of duty. During the expedition against Borfound peace with God, throngh our Lord nah in 1824 and 25, where many and great Jesus Christ. He applied to that fountain were the trials and sufferings he was called which is open for sin and uncleapness, and to endure, he like a good soldier of the to that precions blood which satisfies jus- cross, conquered them all. While many tice, reconciles man to God, expiates buman around him drew back, he continued firm guilt, and cleansetb from all sin. He felt and loyal, in season and out of season. He the love of God, and his goodness in giv; always reverenced the ordinances of God, ing Christ to die for him ; he experienced and punctually attended them : bis delight that love where with Christ loved him, and in prayer was very great ; he every day saw the willingness of God, to save return- enjoyed the means of grace, and in the ing sinners. Now he could say of a truth, hottest season of the year he would go to “ It is a faithful saying, that Jesus Christ chapel, two and three times a day, for secame into the world to save sinners,” of crei devotion, notwithstanding its great whom he felt himself, the chief. The lan- distance from the barracks*. Prayer was guage of his heart was,
bis delight : every means of grace was a " I the chief of sinners am,
Bethel to his soul, and he experienced with But Jesus died for me."
the poet that He in a short time became a member of “Prayer ardent opens Heaven, lets down a stream the society, and continued an exemplary Of glory on the consecrated hour ornament to the same ; adorning the Gos
of man in audience with the Deity." pel and religion of Christ, by walking wor- Reading the Scriptures was his constant thy of the vocation wherewith he was call- employ and delight. Like Job, he valued
for the power of divine grace was evi. them more than his necessary food : and like dently manifested, and illustriously display. David, he appreciated them above fine gold, ed in the whole of his walk and conversa- and they were sweeter than honey or the tion.
honey-comb to his believing soul. It was his Sincerity from the commencement of his constant aim to pay an unfeigned and uniChristian career, unto the end, shone with form obedience to all the commands of a resplendent lustre; it might have been God, his heavenly Father, knowing that truly said of him, “Behold an Israelite in- Christ left an example, that he should deed, in whom there is no guile !" All his follow his steps. actions were sincere and disinterested,
His other books were few; and next to springing from the pure fountain of a Sa- the Bible, Dr. Doddridge's " Rise and Proviour's love. For the period of eleven years, gress of Religion," was his favourite. Fre. in the sincerity of his heart, he served God, quently he would read it with great deand apparently never deviated from the light, and endeavour to experience its constandard of rectitude and virtue. As soon tents.
he began to serve God, he stood in the His repentance was also great and genu. midst of the public barrack, and solemnly ine : all the essential ingredients of Gospel told his former associates, that he would have no more to do with them ; this vow,
• He had an impediment in his speech : in by grace he kept. Often was he solicited
conversation and reading it was very percepuble; to accept promotion, but he always declin. be observed.
but singular to say, that in Prayer, it could not
repentance, were seen in him. Daily he be- nesday, the 3rd July, 1833, he felt a little wailed his infirmities, the wanderings of his unwell, but could not account for it. He heart, and the evil propensities of his na- still attended his usnal doties, and that tore. In his approaches to the throne of evening he read the 11th and 12th chapters grace, ardent were the breathings of his soul of the Gospel of St. Mark, and went to prayafter an onion with Christ. His constant er with a member of the Society. It was a wish was to serve God better, and love Je. solemn and consoling occasion. After praysus more, and that he might receive more er, he spoke freely and long upon the love grace to praise the Lord, more love to of Jesus, and the bright prospect of the commune with God.
His daily prayer eternal world. At night be opened the was,
public services with a solemn prayer, in a «for a heart to praise my God,
low and mournful manner. On being asked, A heart from guilt set free,
what ailed him, he did not complain ; but A heart that's sprinkled with that blood said he should be better in the morning. So freely shed for me."
That night however, about 12 o'clock, he His faith, hope, and charity, were of
was seized with the Cbolera, and was ta. a purely Christian kind. His faith at times ken to the hospital, where every possible was exceedingly great, though often bis attention was paid him. I visited him bope was weak : still he retained that about 9 o'clock next morning, and when hope wbich maketh not ashamed, and that he saw me, with his usual smile, he said, faith which purified his beart from the love My poor tabernacle is going.” I replied, of sin. His cbarity was unlimited : he loved “ Fear not, soon your race will be finished ; and respected all, especially the house and a crown of glory awaits you." He hold of faith. He was likewise very liberal; pressed my hand, as a token of the truth of he contributed to the Bible Society, and what I asserted, for he could not speak always gave his mite to every Christian pur. at that moment, through the excessive pose. He often remitted a few pounds to pain of the disease. He lingered for a few his aged parents in England.
hours, calling on his Saviour, at intervals, His warnings to others against sin, were and saying, “ I feel very easy ; soon all my impressive and solemn, for he had tasted of trials will be over.” About 12 o'clock, A.M. the bitterness of the cup of guilt. At all on Thursday, in the fortieth year of his age, times he was anxious to inform others, of his happy spirit, in the steadfast assurwhat the Lord had done for his soul, and ance of faith in Christ, and with a hope what he was waiting to do for them, if they full of immortality, took its flight to that would but seek him. He always reproved rest which remains for the people of God. sin with boldness ; and when any of his
Thus lived and died Stephen Roberts, Christian brethren neglected their duty, one of the brightest ornaments of religion with humility he would tell them the sad in the regiment to which he helonged. His consequences of it, always exhorting them remains were committed to the dust in sure to persevere, and to beware of falling away, and certain hope of the resurrection to knowing that
eternal life. Few were allowed to attend,
on account of the disease being contagi“Life is the hour that God has given
ous, and the intense heat of summer. A To 'scape from hell, and fly to heaven.”
toinb has been erected over him, in Gha. His conversation also was very spiritu- zeepore burying place, by the Christian al and consoling. He was in many respects society, as a mark of their esteem and a burning and a shining light in religion. respect. Thus lived this humble servant of the
The many virtues, which adorned his Lord in the army, where there are so ma. character, and which to every one's eyes ny trials, temptations, and difficulties to but his own shone like so many sparkling encounter ; but be found the truth of the
gems, were of a purely Christian kind. His Saviour's promise verified to his soul, religion was that of the New Testament.
my grace is sufficient for you, my strength Being justified by faith, he had peace is made perfect in weakness.'
with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ," Soldiers often say that they cannot serve whereby he received the spirit of adoption, God, because they are surrounded with and was enabled to cry, Abba Father: so many trials and temptations ; but he pot and all his acceptance with God, was only served God in spirit and in truth, but through the meritorious passion of Christ, endeavonred and was enabled in sinceri. his only Hope, Saviour, and Redeemer. ty to fulfil that Scripture, “ Let your light 80 shine before men, that they may see
« 'Tis finished. 'tis done ; the sprit is fled,
Our brother is gone, the Christian is dead ; your good works and glorify your Fa.
The Christian is living in Jesus's love, ther who is in heaven."
And gladly receiving a kingdom above.
Supported by grace, he fought his way thro';
Triumphantly glorious thro' Jesus's zeal,
And more than victorious o'er sin, death and hell." usual spirit of thankfulness. On Wed
The Life of the Rev. T. T. Thomason, M. A., late Chaplain
to the Hon'ble East India Company. By the Rev. J. SARGENT, M. A. Rector of Lavington. Sold by Thacker and Co. Calcutta, Price 9 Rupees.
We have perused this volume with feelings of no common interest, or pleasure ; and are free to acknowledge that it has excited in us emotions which we would wish long to cherish; emotions of deep humility, sincere gratitude to the author, and veneration for the man whose life exhibits a pattern of such unfeigned piety, and unostentatious goodness. To say that it is an interesting book, highly so, would be commendation far beneath its merits. To us it appears, both for matter and manner, by no means unworthy of the author of the Life of Martyn ; which by general consent is placed in the very first class of Christian Biography.
It would not be difficult to mention volumes of the memoirs of good men from which some scores, if not some hundreds of pages, might be expunged ; not only without detriment, but greatly to the advantage of the works from which they were erased. We have always viewed the Life of Mr. Scott, in this light. It is a valuable piece of biography, but possesses that most intolerable of all evils, either in writing or speaking, dulness. In the charming little work, which may be considered an autobiography, Mr. Scott's Force of Truth, there is an energy and a nervous brevity which makes its way at once to the heart; but in his Memoirs by his son, you seem to have the same wine so much diluted that it has lost all its spirit and flavour, it is become vapid and stale. What a contrast it forms to the admirable lives written by good old Isaac Walton ! Quaint as they are, who has ever read them without feeling their captivation : and we may add, what a contrast to the volume now under review ; in which it would be difficult to point out a page that might have been omitted without injury to the work. The character of the man is drawn to the life, and is at full length, but the picture is not after the manner of the Dutch school, where all possible, and all imaginable things, are crowded into one scene: but it is simple and beautiful, commanding the admiration of the heart by the justness of its proportions and the unity of its design. The spirit in which the work is written is upon the whole truly catholic; and in an age when writing books is unhappily degenerated so much into a mere trade, we feel grateful to the author for this second volume, calculated so admirably to promote the interests of piety and enlarged Christian benevolence. We think it next to impossible for any person to rise from the perusal of this volume without, under the blessing of Almighty God, being made a better man by it :-more humble, benevolent and diligent in the ways of holiness
So much for the manner in which the work is written; we shall now venture a few remarks on the matter of which it is composed.
Even amongst men of real worth there are some who can be viewed to advantage only at a distance ; others, who to be duly appreciated must be seen near at hand. The former have qualities of a commanding character, and seem to be made to move in a wide sphere : but these qualities are often attended by imperfections which are glaringly offensive in proportion as the men become well known ; they are objects much more of admiration, than esteem or regard. The latter are little known, so as to be appreciated, beyond their neighbourhood, or the circle of their friends and associates. They shun notoriety, and sometimes in their love of retirement shrink even from duty : but to those with whom they are familiar, they are the objects of veneration and love; their course may be traced, like the poet's noiseless brook, by the verdure on its banks and the living green which almost conceals whilst it betrays its waters. To this class belonged the excellent subject of this Memoir ; the qualities of his mind and character were less commanding than amiable and attractive. He had not the enterprise of Martyn; he had not the calm collected energy, the native grandeur of mind of David Brown ; he had not the poetical fancy of Heber : but he had, what gave him uncommon control over the hearts of all who knew him, a child-like simplicity, both of mind and manner ; a frankness and an uncompromising integrity; a fervour of enlightened piety, combined with attainments of the highest class, and talents of the most useful, most practical, and most benevolent order.
Mr. Newton once said, (we quote from memory,) “I measure ministers by square measure. If a man tell me the length of a table, I have but an imperfect conception of it; I must know its other dimensions : it is in this manner I judge of ministers. It is not enough to tell me a man is a good preacher; I want to know what he is out of the pulpit, as well as in.” Few men would have borne this kind of measurement better than the subject of these Memoirs : his public mi strations were of the most respectable character ; less distinguished by imagination than by judgment, less marked by ingenuity than propriety and truth; more calculated to secure and repay fixed attention, than to excite applause. They were lucid, forcible statements of divine truth, owing little to embellishment either of style or manner; and yet there was about them what will never fail to find its way to, and meet with, a response from the human heart ;nature improved, not spoiled, by cultivation; so that the most fastidious had nothing to condemn, whilst the candid and the pious were always instructed and improved. Into the higher order of eloquence he never rose ; perhaps because he conceived it a style not suited to the pulpit, more ornamental than useful, more pleasing than profitable : or more probably, because it was not in character with the