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THE AFRICAN STRANGER.
A Society exists in London, known by the name of · The Society for the
Benefit of Poor Natives of Africa and Asia, and their Descendants resident in London. A few months ago, a Sermon was preached before them, entitled • The African Stranger;' in the Appendix lo which the following pathetic Tale is related :-
A WOMAN (Mrs. R.) had been married to a man nearly of her own colour. A daughter was the fruit of their marriage : and, the busband going to sea, that child was the solace and idol of the mother. The poor woman could read the Bible, but was a total stranger to the way of salvation, carekess about the state of her soul, never attended any place of worship, and never bowed the knee to God. He was pleased to afilict and to remove the desire of her eyes ; and her heart was overwhelmed with sore row. Her husband afar off on the sea !-the object of her fondest delight a breathless corpse! Unacquainted with the Fountain of living waters, now that the cistern was broken, she sat down in despair, and refused to be comforted !--Mrs. R. then lodged at the west end of the town ; and, some of her countrywomen informing her that many Africans were interred in a buryingground near the New Road, Whitechapel, she deposited the remains of her child there. The burying-ground is connecled with a place of worship; and as the door of the former is generally open on the Sabbath-ury, the bereaved and agonized mother travelled, many a Sabbath, from her distant lodging to that ground, sat on the gray, and walered it with her tears. This periodical course of hopeless mourning continued for several months. When her husband came home, he sensibiy felt their common bereavement; but, being equally a stranger to the only source of consolation, he' merely endeavoured to dissuacie his wife from visiting the spot which harrowed up her soul His endeavours were inefficinal. --- A few weeks afterwards, he again went to sea, and perished. · This event made her cling to the grave of the infant with more poignant sorrow. For three Iong years, week by week, she went, and she wailed. But the days of her desperate grief were ended, through occasion of a circumstance, apparently accidental, and in itself trivial, yet important in its issue, and wisely ordered by the Supreme Disposce of events,
One Sabbath, the door of the burying-grond was shut, and Mrs. R. ashamed to go through the chapel, took her station on the opposite terrace, which commanded a view of the grave; there she stood, pensive and silent; there she looked, and there she also wept. On the folloving Sabbath the door was agaia
shut; and Mrs. R. asked leave of the vestry-woman to pass through the Chapel : -- a request which was instantly granted. Having sat on ihe grave and wept, as usual, she returned through the Chapel, towards the end of the ser 180and, stopping a few minutes in the passage, her attention was rouzed and arrested by some sentences from the paipii, addressed io sinners. Her conscience was awakened ; and wrief for the loss of her child gave place to the cry, " What shall I do io be saved ?"Mrs. K. being sober, honest, and industrials, had hiterto recka ened herself a good moralist, and free from heinous guili and deep depravity ; but now she obtained a sight and sense of both. She went home, extremely agitated, and filled with the terrors of the Lord. On reading the Bible, the arrow of conviction struck deeper, and her agony of soul was increased. She read, and pondered, and prayed; but found no relief. Without a guide, without a spiritual friend and comforter, she continued for wecks nearly in a state of distraction. -Here Mrs. R. overcome with this remembrance of painful sorrows, and more painful convictions, maxle a pause, while she related the story to the writer, and the tears trickled down her cheeks. -Reco. • vering fortitude, “it was the shadow of death,” said she, with a smile; “but the shadow of death was turned into the morn. ing."-The dawn appeared in the following manner :--Mrs. R. opened her case to one of her own countrywomen, who was i somewhat serious, but ignorant; and who advised her to consult a pious lady of considerable rank. Mrs. R. took the advice, waited on the lady, communicated the state of her mind, and was heard with the most patient and condescending attention. The lady counselled her to read the Bible, to persevere in prayer, and to attend the dispensation of the gospel ; and, thinking that she saw the commencement of a good work, took this African Stranger by the hand, and said, when they parted, 66 Farewell, Sister.” These words pierced her inmost soul ; excited a variety of emotions; stopt utterance, except by a flood of tears ; and produced the reflection, -- " If such be the kindness of this good lady to me, what must be the power of divine grace on the heart! and what the love of Christ to singers ! Mrs. R. returned to her lodging, fell on her knees, implored mercy through Jesus Christ, and was enabled to be lieve and apply the soul-reviving words, « 1, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions, for mine own sake."' " Healing oil,” to use her own emphatic expression, “ was poured all uver her wounded and torn soul.". Going, next Lord's Day, to the Chapel where she had been first convinced, the Minister was directed to preach on a similar subject, if not on the same como fortable passage ; and the spiritual cure was greatly promoted, Mrs. R. added, while her dusky features beamed screnity, and her eyes were suffused with tears of joy, “ I went to weep over a dead child, and I found a living Saviour !
This excellent woman has been, for fifteen years, in full com munion with the Church of Christ ; and has given clear and satisfying evidence, by "purity of life, that she is washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb.
ABDALLAH AND SABAT,
a Sermon lately published by Dr. Buchanan. ABDALLAH and Salat were intimate friends ; and being young men of family in Arabia, they agreed to travel together, and to visit foreign coun. tries. They were both zealous Mahometans. Sabat is son of Ibrahin Sabit, a poble fainily of the line of Beni-Sabat, who trace their pedigree to Mahonet. The two friends left Arabia, after paying their adorations at the tomb of their prophet at Mecca, and travelled through Persia, and thence to Cabul. Abdallah was appointed to an office of state under Zemaua Shah, King of Cabul; and Sabat left him there, and grucceded on a tour through i'artary.
While Abdallah remained at Cabul, he was converted to the Christian faith by the perusal of a Bible, belonging (as is supposedl) lo a Christian from Armenia, then residing at Cabul *. la lhe Mahoinetan states, it is death or a man of rank to become a Christian. Abdallah endeavoured for a tiine to conceal his conversion ; but finding it no longer possible, he determined to flee to some of the Christian churches near the Caspian Sea. He, accrdingly, left Cabul in disguise ; and had gained the great city of Bochara in Tartary, when he was met in the streets of that city by his friend Sabat, who immediately recognized him.
Sabat had heard or nis conversion and fight, and was filled with indigna. tion at uis conduct. Abdallan knew his danger, and threw himself at the feet of Sabat. He confessed that he was a Christian ; and implored him. by the sacred lief their former friendship, to let him escape with his life. • But, Sir,' sai. Sahat, 'when relating the story himself, I had no pity. I caused my servants to seize him; and i del vered him up to Morad Shaw, Koy of Bochara. He was sentenced to dis; and a herald weat through the city of Buchara, announcing the time of his execution. An immense multitude attended, and the chief men of the city. I also went, and stood near to Abdullah, He was offered his life if he would abjure Christ, the executioner standing by bim with his sword in his hand. No !' said he, as if the proposition was impossible t be complied with, I cannot abjure Christ? Then one of his hands was cat off at the wrist : he stood firm, his arın hanging by bis side with but little motion. A physician, by the desire of the Kius, offered to heal the round if he would recant. He inade Du answer, but looked up stedfastly towards Heaven (like Stephen, the first martyr) his eyes streaming with tears. He did not look with anger to. wards me: he looked at me, but it was benignly, and with the countenance of forgiveness. His other hand was then cut off. But, Sir,' said
* The Armenian Christians in Persia, bave among them a few copies of the Arabic Bible.
Sabat, in his imperfect English *, he never changed, he never changed. And when he bowed his head to receive the blow of death, all Bochara seemed to say, “ What new thing is this?”
Sabat had iniulged the hope that Abdallah would have recanted when he was offered his life; but when he saw that his friend was dead, he resigned himself to grief and remorse. He traveiled from place to place, seeking rest and finding uone. At last he thought that be would visit India. He, accordingly, came to Madras about five years ago. Soon after bis arrival, he was appointed by the English Government a Mufti, or expoundcr of Mahometan law; his great learning, and respectable station in his own country, rendered him eminently qualified for ibal office ; - and now the period of his own conversion drew near...
While ne vas at Vizigapatam t, in the northern Circars, exercising his professional duties, Providence brought in his way a New Testament in Arabic. He read it with deep thought, the Koran lying before bim. He compared them together; and, at length, the truth of the word of God fell on his mind, as he expressed it, like a food of light. Soon afterwards, he proceeded to Madras, a jouvey of 300 miles, to geek Christian baptism; and bavioy made a public confession of his faith, he was baptized by the Rev. Dr. Kerr, in the English church in that place, by the pame of Nalbapiel, in the twenty-seventh year of his age.
Sabat now found by experience the truth of that declaration, that they who 'will live godiy in Christ Jesus, shall suffer persecution,' and (as it often happens in such cases) • a man's focs shall be they of his own houseHold;" for wbea his family in Arabia had heard that he had fullowed the example of Abdallab, and become a Chrisian, they dispatched his brother to India (a voyage of two months) to assassinate him. While Sabat was sitting in his house at Vizigapatam, his brother presented himself in the disguise of a faqueer, or beygar, having a dagger concealed under his maotle. Be rushed on Sabat, and wounded him; but Sabal seized his arın, and his servants came to his assistaoce. He then recognized his bro. ther. The assassin would have become the victim of public justice; but Sabat interceded for his brother, and sent his home in peace, with letters and presents to his mother's house in Arabia.
Being desirous to devote lis fuiore life to the glory of God, he resigned his secular employ, and came, hy invitation, to Bengal, where he is now engaged in translating the Scriptures into the Persian language. This work has not bitherto been executed, for want of a trauslaior of suficient ability, The Persian is ap important language in the East, being the general language of Western Asia, particularly among the higher classes, and is undera stood from Calcutta to Damascus. But the great work which occupies the attention of this noole Arabian, is the promulgation of the gospel among his own countrymen; and from the present fluctuations of religious opinion in Arabia, he is sanguine in his hopes of success.
His first work is entitled “ Neama Besharatin Ml Arabi,' -'Happy News for Arabia;' written in the Nabuitee, or common dialect of the counity. It contains an eloquent and argumentative elucidation of the truth of the gospel, with copious authorities admitled by the Mahometans themselves, and particularly by the Wahabians. Prefixed to it is an account of the conversion of the author, and an appeal to the members of his well-known family in Arabia, for the truth of the facts,
* Sabat resided for some time in the house of Dr. Buchanan, to whom he re, lated the chief part of the account here given.
† Messrs. Cran and Desgranges, Missionaries at Viziga patam, have frequently mentioned Mr. Sabat. He often visited them; and, we have reason to believe, derived much advantage from their conversation. He was mentioned in this Ma. gazine in January, 1807; and more than once in the Missionary Transactions.
# One of those copies sent from England by the • Society for promoting Chris- -* tian Knowledge.'
Expressions of an Indian Girl, Seven Years old *. "I AAVE sometimes heard of Christ, and now I have experienced him to be just such a Saviour as I wanted! I have often heard people undertake to tell of the excellency that was in Christ; but their tongues are too short to express half the beauty and love that is contained in tbat lovely Jesus! I can't tell my poor relations how lovely Christ is ! I wonder my poor play-mates will choose that dreadful place which is called Hell, when here stands that beautiful person Jesus, calling upon sinners, saying, Come away, sinners, to Heaven! Come, do come, to my Saviour! Shut him out no longer, for there is room enough in Heaven for all of you to be happy for evermore! It causes much joy at times, that I delight to serve him? By the help of God, i mean to hold out to the end of my days!'
* Related by Mr. Jacob Fowler, Teacher in America.
An Account of Miss Ann Kerr. .
[From a Scotch Publication.] Tris young lady was the eldest daughter of Lord Charles Kerr. She was seized by a fever, which issued in death, after ten days illness. Being asked how her thoughts were occupied, - she answered, Often on eteröity?' Being asked what were her thoughts of eternity, - she said, with tears, 0 ! what if she, a poor sinful thing, were cut short in her vigour and youth, what would become of her ? For a considerable time, she was overheard weeping and very serious, though all along she en: deavoured to conceal it. She desired that we might pray with her ; "and, O!' said she, be inore. anxious for mercy to my soul than for my re. covery!' Being asked what her heart was most set upon, - she answered,
The favour of God.' " What if this sickness shall end in death ?" "In that case I hope to find mercy with God.' “Upon what are your hopes built?' Only upon the merits of Jesus Christ.
On one occasion, she was overheard praying very fervently, in these words : « Thou hast allowed little children to come unto thee, and hast said, Of such is the kingdom of Heaveu. I come unto tbee, O take me into thine arms, and bless me! for thou hast said it! thou hast said it! and this is all my encouragement !' These last 'words she repeated frequently. Being asked whether she wished to live or die, she answered,
As to that, I desire to have no wish. I desire to be entirely at the Lord's disposal.'.
On the day of her death, she said, 'I am admiring the love of the Lord Jesus Christ, that he should have died for poor wretches, plunged in sin and misery.' "* Does the death of the Lord then unsting yours? are you afraid to look death in the face?”. I am not at all afraid; for he that died is risen again.' The 23d psalm was sung at her earnest desire; and, although ihe symptoms of death were upon her, she joined in singing the whole of it, raising her voice at these lines : " Yea, tho’ I walk through death's dark vale, yet will I fear no ill. Turning herself to me, she said,
0, mother! do not mourn for me, for you know children are but a loan. A little before her death, she cried, " I'm ready! I'm ready! I'm ready!' - Such was the happy death of this amiable poung lady, aged 11. * XVII.
Ss . . . .