« PreviousContinue »
The History of Little Henry and his BEARER.
p.p. 139.-G. & S. Robinson.
WE remember the time when books for children (serious ones in particular) were as searce as good ones are now.
When we were young, after we had read Janeway's Token, Familiar Dialogues, and a very few more, all our religious stock was expended. At present we are going into an opposite extreme. The juvenile library is immensely enlarged, and the religions part of it (owing to the attention Sunday Schools have drawn towards youth, and the generation of readers they have raised up) is increased in equal ratio. We cannot, however, say, that the quality is in any proportion to the quantity; and even now we think it the most difficult task we know, to find suitable serious books for children, We stated in a former review the various qualifications they ought to unite, and after having read through hundreds, we can confidently pronounce this, among the few, to be one that holds a disa tinguished rank in the list of books which come up to our idea of a proper present for children. Easy in its language, evangelical in its doctrines, and entertaining in its story, it combines every requisite to make it interesting and beneficial to children. As we have no doubt but that our readers either have seen it, or will procure it, we shall content ourselves with a short outline of the story, and two or three extracts, which will more powerfully recommend it than all that we could say in its praise.
llenry L- was born at Dinapore in the East-Indies. His papa was a officer in the Company's service, and was killed in attacking a mud fort belooging to a patty Rajah, a few months after the birth of bis son. His mamma also died before he was a year old. T'hus litle Henry was left an orphan when he was a very little baby; but his dying mother, when taking her last farewell of him, lified up her eys to Heaven and said " O God, I leave my fatherless child with thee, claiming thy promise in all humility, yet in full confidence that my baby will never bo left destitute; for ia thee the fatherless find mercy.” The promise to which she alluded, is to be found in Jeremiah xlix. 11. " Leare thy fatherless children, I will preserve them alive; and let thy widows trust in me."
When his mamma was dead, he was taken into the house of a fue lady, who, occupied with dress, visiting, and other concerns of equal moment, contented herself with ordering that he should want nothing, and left him to the care of her servants. He was intrusted to a native “bearer" named Boosy, who was affectionately attached to him, having lived with his father. He took care of bim day and night. Boosy, however, could not teach him more than he himself knew, and therefore till he was five
years old, he could not speak English, and knew of no God, except the wood and stone idols the natives worshipped. At this time a young lady came to live with his mamina, (as he called the lady he was brought up with,) who feared God, and was pained to see a child of christian parents educated as a heathen. She, therefore, instructed him, not only in English, but in the principles of religion, an:1, before she left the house, had the unspeakable satisfaction of seeing him able to read the Bible, and receiving the truth in the love of it. All the conversation between this lady and the child is most happily conceived and expressed, and a perfect model for talking with children. After the departure of the young lady, Henry endeavours to make Boosy a christian, and talks to him continually, but without effect; assuring him that all his idols are vanities, and that there is one only the living and true God. He afterwards, at the recommendation and by the assistance of a Mr. Smith, learns the Persian character, that he may teach Boosy to read the Bible, and Mr. S. procures a part of the Scriptures in the Hindoostanee language in the Persian character, that his bearer may read in it. Henry soon after falls sick, and long as the account of his last illness is, we can neither resist the temptation of giving it to our readers, nor omit any part where every thing is so inimitably affecting
When Henry first came to Berhamphore, he was able to take the air in an Prening in a palanquin, and could walk about the house ; and two or three times he read a chapter in the Hindoostadee Bible to Boosy : But he was soon too weak to read, and his airings became shorter and shorter : he was at last obIlged to give them quite up, and to take entirely to his couch and bed, where be remained until his death.
When Boosy saw that his little sahib's end was drawing on, he was very sorrowful, and could hardly be persuaded to leave him night or day, even to get bis khauna. He did every thing he could think of to please him, (and more, as be afterwards said, to please bis dying master than his God :) he began to read his chapters with some diligence, and little Henry would lie on his couch. listening to Boosy as he read (imperfectly indeed ) the word of God in HindoostanDee. Often he would stop him, to explain to him what he was reading; and very beautiful, sometimes, were the remarks which he made, and better suited to the understanding of his Bearer, than those of an older or more learned person would have been.
The last time that bis Bearer read to him, * Mrs. Barop sitting by him, he suddenly stopped him, saying, “ Ah, Boosy, if I had never read the Bible, and did not believe in it, what an unhappy creature should I now be! for in a very short time I shall “ go down to the grave to come up no more ;" Job vii. 9. that is, until my body is raised at the last day. When I was out last, I saw a very pretty burying ground with many trees about it. I knew that I should soon lie there ; I mean that my body would; but I was not afraid, because I love my Lord Jesus Christ, and I know that he will go down with me unto the grave; ! shall sleep with him, and I “shall be satisfied, when I awake with his likeness.” Psal. xvii. 15. He then turned to Mrs. Baron, and said " I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the eartb: and thongb, after my skin, worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh I shall see God.'' Job xix. 25, 26. “O kind Mrs. Baron! who, when I was a poor sinful child, brought me to the knowledge of my dear Redeemer: anointing me with Sweet ointment (even his precious blood) for my burial, which was so soon to follow,"
* The lady who taught Henry to read his Bible, and to love its contents.
“Dear child !” said Mrs. Baron, hardly able to preserve her com posure, 'dear child ! give the glory to God."
“Yes, I will glorify him for ever and ever," cried the poor little boy ; and he raised himself up in his couch, joiniog his small and taper fingers together: "" yes, I will praise him, I will love him. I was a grievogs sinner: every imagination of the thought of my heart was evil continually; I hated all good Things ; I hated even my Maker ; but he sought me out; he washed me from my sins in his own blood ; he gave me a new heart; he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, and put on me the robe of righteousness; be " hath abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light." 2 Timothy i. 10, Then turning to his Bearer, he said, ( my poor Bearer! what will become of you, if you neglect so great salvation?" Heh. ii. 3. “O Lord Jesus Christ", he added, " turn the heart of my poor Bearer!" This short prayer which little Henry made in Hindoostanee, his Bearer repeated, scarcely know. ing what he was doing. And this as he afterwards told Mr. Smith, was the first prayer he made to the true God-the first time he had ever called upon his holy
Having done speaking, little Henry laid his head down on his pillow, and closed his eyes. His spirit was full of joy, indeed, but his flesh was weak; and he lay some hours in a kind of slumber. When he awoke he called Mrs. Baron, and begged her to sing the verse of the hymn he loved so much, " Jesus sought me, &c." which she had taught him at Dinapore. He smiled while she was sing: ing but did not speak.
That same evening Boosy being left alone with his little master, and speing that he was wakeful and inclined to talk, said, “ Sahib, I have been thinking all day that I am a sinner, and always have been one ; and I begin to believe that my sins are such as Gunga cannot wash away. I wish I could believe in the Lord Jesus Christ !"
When llenry heard this, he strove to raise himself up, but was unable, on ac. count of his extreme weakness; yet his eyes sparkled with joy: he endea. voured to speak, but could not : and at last he burst into tears. He soon, however, became more composed, and pointing to his Bearer to sit down on the foor by bis couch, he said, “ Boosy, what you have now said makes me very happy: I am very happy to hear you call yourself a sinner, and such a one as Gunga cannot make clean. It is Jesus Christ which has made this known to you, he has called you to come unto him. Faithful is he that calleth you. I shall yet see you, my poor Bearer, in “ the general assembly and chareh of the first born." Heb. xii. 23. “You were kind to me when my own father and mother were dead. The first thing I can remember, is being carried by you to the Mongoe tope near my mamma's house at Patna. Nobody loved me then but you:
and could I go to Heaven, and leave you behind me in the way to hell? I could not hear to think of it! Thank God! Thank God! I knew he would hear my prayer; but I thought that, perhaps, you would not begin to become a Christian till I was gone, When I am dead Boosy", added the little boy,“ do you go to Mr. Smith at Calcutta. I cannot write to him, or else I would ; but you shall take him one lock of my hair, (I will get Mrs. Baron to cut it off, and put it in a paper,) and tell him that I sent it. You must say, that Henry L- -, that died at Berhamphore, sent it, with this request, that he would take care of his poor Bearer, when he has lost cast for becoming a Christian.” Boosy would have told Henry that he was not quite determined to be a Christian, and that he could not think of iosing east <but Henry guessing what he was going to say, put his hand upon his mouth. “Stop! stop ! he said, “do not say words which would make God angry, and which you will be sorry for by and by: for I know you will die a Christian, God has begun a good work in you, and I am certain that he will finish it."
While Henry was talking to his Bearer, Mrs Baron had come into the room; but not wishing to interrupt bim, she had stood behind his coucb : bat now she came forward. As soon as he saw her, he begged her to take off his cap, and cut off some of his hair, as several of his friends wished for some, She thought that she would endeavour to comply with his request ; but when she took off bis cap, and his beautiful hair fell about his pale sweet face; when she considered
how soon the time would be when the eye ihat isath scea him will see him no more; she could not restrain her feeli: ss, but throwing, so the scissars, and putting her arm rond him, “ O my ch'ld! my dear, dear child! she said I cannot bear it! I cannot part with you yet!”
The pour little boy was affected; but be gertiy reproved her, saying, “ JE you love me, you will rejoice, because I go to my father,” John xiv. za.
There was a considerable change in the child during the night; i all the next day, till evening he lay in a kind of slumber; and when be was roused to take his medicine or nourishment, he scemed not to kuow where he was or who was with him. In the evening he suddenly revived, and asked for his mamma. He had seldom asked for her before. She was in the house: for she was not so bard-hearted (thoughtless as she was) as to go into gay "onpany at this time, when the child's death might be hourly expected. She trembled much vihen she heard that he asked for her. She was conscious perbajs tirat she had not fulfilled her duty hy him. He received her affectionately, when she went ap to his bedl-side, and begged that every body would go out of the rooia, saying that he had something very particular to speak about. He talked to her for some time, but nobody knows the particulars of their conversation : though, it is believed, that the care of her immortal soul was the subject of te last discourse which this dear little boy held with ber. She came ont of his room with her eyes swelled with crying, and his little well-worn Bible, in her hand, (which he had probably given her, as it always lay on his bed by hiin ;) and shotting herself in her room, she remained without seeing any one, till the news was brought that all was over. From that time, she never gave her mind so entirely to the world, as she had forinerly done: but became a more serious character, and daily read little Henry's Bible.
But now to return to litile flenry. As there are but fex persons who love to meditate upon scenes of death, and too many are only able to view the gloomy side of them, instead of following, by the eye of faith, the glorious progress of the departing saint; I will hasten to the end of my story The next day at iwcise o'clock, being Sunday, be was delivered from this evil world, and received into glory. His passage was calm although not without some mortal pinos.
May we die the death of the righteous, and may our list end be like his!" Numbers xxiii. 10.
Mr. and Mrs. Baron and his Bearer attcoded him to the last moment, and Hir. Baron followed him to the grave.
Sometiine after his death, bis mainma caused a monument to he built over his grave, on which was inscribed his name, Jenry L----, and his age, which, at the time of his death, was eight years and seven months. Underneath has a part of his favourite verse, from 1st Thessalonians v. altering only one word, Faithful is he that called me,' And afterwards was added, by desire of Mr Smith, this verse, from James v. 20. “ He which converteth the sinner from the error of his way, shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins."
When I first visited Berhampore, I went to see little Henry's monument. It was then white and fair, and the inscription very plain : but I am told that the damp of that climate has so defaced the inscription, and blackened the whole monument, that it cannot be distinguished froin the tombs that surround it. But this is of little consequence, as all who remeinber Henry Lhave long ago left Berhampore; and we are assured, that this dear child has himself received "an inberitance that fadeth not away." 1 Peter i. 4. The world passeth away, and the lust thereof; but he that doeth the will of God, abideth for ever." 1 John ii. 17.
Every person who reads this stor, will be anxions to know what became of Boosy. Immediately after the funeral of his little sahib, having received his wages, with a handsome present, he carried the lock of hair, which Diri. Baron sealed up carefully, with a letter from her to Mr. Sunith. He was received into Mr. Smith's family, and removed with him to a distant part of India, where shortly after he renounced cast, and declared himself a Christian. After dne examination, he was baptized, and continued till his death (which happened hol very long after) a sincere Christina, It was on the occasion of the baptism of Boosy, to whom the Christian name of John was given, that the last verse was added to the monument of little Henry.
From Mrs. Baron and Mr. Smith, I gathered most of the anecdotes relative to the history of Henry
Little children in India, remember Henry L and “ go and do likewise.” Luke x. 37. For “ they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firinament; and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars for ever and ever.” Daniel xiii 3.-P. 113.-139.
The author of this beautiful little bistory has not gratified us with his name, and we have heard no guess who he is, but we bope the public will scion know him better. He possesses talents which fall to the lot of a very few, and these are sanctified by a knowledge of the gospel, and a desire to communicate it to others. And we hope that his signal success in the difficult task of alluring young minds to religion, will induce him to employ his distinguished endowments where they are likely to be so eminently useful.
We hope to see this book in every Sunday School library; we wish we could add as a reward book in every Sunday School, but this brings us to the only fault in the book, viz, its price. It is very well printed and embellished with a neat plate; but if it was printed in a smaller type, on common paper, it might be reduced to a price which would ensure it a very extensive sale. And we cannot forbear recommending to the benevolent author to make an alteration, which would, we are persuaded, make the book a favorite in every Sunday School in the empire.
We would also suggest, that in the next edition an explanation of the Hindoostanee words, at the commencement of the book,
ould he found very useful for reference.
DAVID DREADNOUGHT, the Reformed Sailor; or Nautical Tales, in Verse. A new edition for Sunday Schools
. By Samuel Whitchurch. Kent, High Holborn. pp. 126.
A TASTE for reading and a love of books are exceedingly useful, and should always be encouraged. It is the tendency of human nature, especially among the lower orders, to debase the intellectual and immortal powers, by rendering them subservient 10 sensual indulgences; books are happily adapted to counteract this evil bias, and to elevate the mind above corporeal gratifications. Pious books are eminently calculated to engage both the intellect and the spirit in the service of God, and preparation for eternity--while they enlighten the mind, they warm the heart -and while they charm the imagination, they transform the character. Every individual bas some moments unemployed — how important that tbey should be spent in an innocent and useful manner! How dangerous if there be, in the season of relaxation, no source of enjoyment but sensual gratifications! The man who loves reading, has always an amusement, a profitable amusement, at home; he has no occasion to seek, the company of the depravede or the haunts of vice for his pleasures.