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the various English officials, that in a great measure the Anti-Christian prejudices were yielding to the efforts of those missionaries already appointed among them.
Many of the children educated at the native schools of Benares had voluntarily asked for baptism; and even those among them who had not been baptized, used the Lord's Prayer. All this was, as far as it went, cheering; but Heber's active mind was not satisfied with only leaving the work to go on as it had begun.
He wrote to the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge; and, through the adoption of his able suggestions, conversions have greatly increased in Benares.
From Benares to Allahabad, onwards towards Cawnpore, the Bishop continued his journey, two hundred miles farther on by means of the same mighty river, till he arrived at the latter town.
He frequently landed at the villages they passed on their route, not only to answer the calls of his episcopal duties, but to indulge some fallen Rajah with a visit from the Lord Sahib Bishop.'
His kindness of heart led him never to omit paying due respect to these fallen princes, many of whom were in a state of extreme poverty.
He was startled one day by a request from a Brahmin of high rank, and a very learned man, for an interview, which, of course, was granted. The aged Brahmin respectfully entreated to be instructed by the "Sahib Bishop' in the Christian religion; and Heber had the satisfaction of afterwards baptizing so eminent a convert before he left Cawnpore.
Heber's visitation satisfied him that the places he went to were good fields for Christian teachers. The parents of native children, even when not favourably inclined to their offspring becoming Christians, seemed indifferent to any form of prayer, as long as they never sat with pariahs or Christians; they allowed them to pray with Christians, but if they were baptized they lost caste.
At Benares, Chunur, Merut, and Agra, the liturgy of the Church of England was performed, translated into Hindostanee; and the Bishop preached to those . congregations, encouraging the members of them to persevere in all their exertions.
He established missions wherever he went; and the first place, after Benares, to have that privilege bestowed on it was Boglipore.
Though the Bishop considered this journey in the light of a visitation, and that of a strictly religious nature, he studied the native character, and seemed to have formed a favourable idea of it. He did not consider that the Hindus deserved the imbecile character often assigned them, at the same time that his quick perception of character taught him, how varied were the native attributes among each different tribe and race, and how much a better and more intimate knowledge of them was required than was possessed by their rulers at that time.
The most important thing, he thought, was to give them a better religion.
Writing home to a friend, he says :
Of all idolatries which I have ever read or heard of, the religion of the Hindus, in which I have taken some pains to inform myself, really seems to me the worst !!
How little did he dream when writing these words, in the heart of Oude in 1825, that, thirty years later, sickening and horrible atrocities would be committed in that very province under pretext of the idolatrous faith he was condemning!
From Bombay, which he reached by slow degrees, he paid a visit to the Island of Ceylon. The beauty of its deep rapid clear rivers, well-dressed lawns, cocoa palms, and plants of all hues, struck Heber with amazement and delight. To quote from a writer, describing Heber's visit to Ceylon :
The picture, though, has its deep shadows. Along the borders of those romantic streams there lurks an air that no man can breathe long and live; a fact the more remarkable, as the tanks or standing pools of the same country are said to exhale an atmosphere of health, and to one of these Kandy has been supposed to owe its comparative salubrity.'
Heber was pleased to find, that the prejudice of caste was less marked in Ceylon than on the continent of India; and he established and confirmed the , efforts of those English missionaries already in the island.
On the15th of October, 1825, he once more rejoined his family, after a fifteen months' separation, sorely felt by his affectionate spirit. After a year spent in works of conversion and usefulness, in Calcutta, he set off once more, this time to Madras.
His progress between Madras and Trichinopoly was, as had been his visitation to Oude, distinguished by the earnest and indefatigable manner in which he endeavoured to perform the duties entrusted to him, so as best to aid the cause of conversion among the Hindus.
He never spared his own time or trouble. Under a burning sun he would visit every school or congregation he met with in the various towns the travellers came to; and during the week which preceded his arrival at Tanjore, his labours were so incessant as to provoke remonstrances from his chaplain and suite.
One of the most energetic missionaries India ever had was Schwarz. That zealous self-denying man is said to have baptized six thousand natives into the Christian religion. He was buried at Tanjore.
Heber, wishing to choose an appropriate spot to preach to the Tanjore missionaries, summoned them to meet him one evening at Schwarz's tomb, in that city. · The appointed evening was fine, and with a gorgeous sunset reddening the east.
The Bishop preached a long time to about fifty or sixty missionaries; and, after speaking of all Schwarz's nevertiring efforts, expressed a hope that they would emulate his example.
This was his last address to the body of missionaries in India; and they must have recalled it vividly to mind, when, a week later, the grey-headed group who had heard him that evening, received the news of his sudden death.
He left Tanjore, and travelled on to Trichinopoly, at which latter place he confirmed a large number of native Christians on the 2nd of April, which was Easter Sunday.
The following day, he rose early, and again held a confirmation; while coming out of the church he
seems to have complained much of the heat. When he returned bome, he desired that breakfast might wait till he had had his cold bath, which he said he thought would refresh him.
His attendant, finding he did not return at the expiration of the half hour, became alarmed.
He knocked at the door; and, receiving no reply, went in. The bishop's body was found lying in the bottom of the bath; and it was supposed, from the examination made by the doctors, who were in stantly summoned, that death had ensued from the bursting of a vessel in the brain. Every remedy to restore animation was employed to no purpose. The pure and excellent Bishop Heber was dead.
He was buried at Trichinopoly, in St. John's church. The news of his death caused general lamentation and grief.
He had been but a short time in India, but long enough to endear himself to all, and his loss was felt in Calcutta as a public calamity. His virtues were all unobtrusive, but his energy, zeal, and prudence did much for India. By an early and extraordinary culture of memory, he had stored his mind with rich treasures of learning, and could illustrate, with apt quotations from Scripture, almost every argument that was ever advanced in his company. This gift, united to an earnest and striving spirit, was a powerful aid in the cause of conversion. All he attempted, he did well; and, in the words of the beautiful poem we began with, let us say of Ileber, in ending this sketch