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* MAN cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down, he fleeth also as a shadow and continueth not.” Painfully as well as peculiarly have these words of the afflicted Job been verified, as it respects the Author of the following Lectures. His mind, engaged in maturing extensive plans for promoting the glory of his Maker, and the welfare of his fellow creatures; his hands, occupied in the practical duties of piety and benevolence; anticipating many years to be added to his life, and to have extended opportunities of sowing the seed of the kingdom of God; the Rev. ROBERT MAY, at the noon-day of his life, was discharged from his labours and called to his reward. “. Watch therefore," advises whose counsel is powerfully enforced by this afflictive event, “ for at such an hour as you think not the Son of man cometh.”
It is not within the bounds of a Preface to give a detailed history of the Author's life. At the same time it is trusted that the mention of a few particulars of Mr. MAY's short, but active and useful, career, may not be deemed unsuitable.
The Author of these Lectures was born at Woodbridge, in the County of Suffolk, England, in the year 1788.
In 1806 he was taken under the patronage of the London Missionary Society, and placed
at the Missionary Academy in Gosport, um der the tuition of the Reva Mr, BOGUE
Among Mr. MAY's manuscripts a paper has been found, contaming his answer to one , of those Questions, publicly put to him by the officiating Minister, (according to the prace tice of the denomination with which be
was more immediately, counected,) at the time of his ordination.
The Question and Answer seem both of sufficient interest to be noticed, and are as fol"lows. Question; « What reason have you to conclude that you ar: a Cliristian?" Answer, “ R:verend Sir, this question demands <a serious answer, and while I tremble at its importance, I rejoice in the Lord, and trust that by his assistance I shall endeavour to give. a reason of the hope that is in me, with meek. ness and fear. I feel a hạmble confidence in the
mercy of God, 'through his well beloved Son; ou his merits alone I build my hopes of eternal life, depending on his promises. I have given myself to him, to bę his for ever; trusting to the fulness of Iris grace, who fill.eth all in all, I go to proclaim his gospel, to. preach forgiveness of iniquity, through that blood which was shed on Calvary, for the remission of every sin. When I was very young I trust I'felt the need of that Saviour, in whose wame F now glory:-the need of that Salvac tion in whicli I now rejoice: the want of that grace, which I intend to preach; and I trust I then felt the powerful efficacy of that blood which cleanseth from all siu. I remember
that when I was about 7 or 8 years
I was deeply impressed with my lost state as a sinner, by reading Janeway's Token for Chile dren. The address at the beginning of the book, and the example in the first part, made a deep impression on my mind. I felt myself to be in the same deplorable state and exposed to eternal wrath,”
Soon after his ordination Mr. MAY embarked for India, having previously (on Christmas day of the year 1810) preached a farewell sermon to the children at Gosport. A memorandum on the occasion, made by the Author bimself, will shew his peculiar turn of mind; how eminently he was qualified for promoting the best interests of the rising geperation; and how reciprocally children were the object of his warmest atf-ction, and he of theirs. The memorandum is as follows. “ But few either of parents or children were not in tears; after the sermon they flocked around me to take their last farewell, while the tears ran down their cheeks; it was au affecting scene indeed. I. mingled my tears and my advice together, as I parled with the dear children, whom I had so long instructed.”
In his way to India, wliere he was allotted his station by the Directors of the Missionary Society, he stopped in America, and circum stances occasioned him to stay there about a twelve month. In that period his cxertious amongst the young were very extensive and Jemarkably successful; tbe following extracts from letters subsequently received by him
in India, will at once point out and prote
Extract of a letter dated Philadelphia, 18th October, 1816. " Ever since the Sunday School commenced, the whole aspect of our city is changed. I really had no idea we were sa indolent as we were wlien you 'were her ; no woneter you were so anxious about the poor children; they were in a deplorable sifuation, but your prayers are answered and I look. back and think of you as the forerunner of all this good."
Extracts from anotiver letter, dated Pliiladelphia, 24th Nov. 1817. " Your two letters from Chiusurah, were received in due season, and were often read in the school, and when omitted a short time, would be called for again by the children.” " The result of the
. whole has been that upwards of 1800 children have been instructed upon your plan in this school, and nearly forty have made a public profession of religion principally in the Presa byterian Churches ; and the greater part received their first impression under your particular instruction when here. They are a delightful company of young Christians, and seem to be growing in grace as they grow in years. One of them, James Weatherby, in now educating for the Ministry, and may possibly go to India as a missionary. How wonderful are the ways of God! Some of them are bow teachers in the Sunday Schools."-"Indeed it may be said, that all the Sunday Schools in