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THE REV. C. F. SCHWARTZ,
LATE MISSIONARY IN INDIA.
The Rev. Christian Frederic Schwartz was born the 26th of October 1726, at Sonnenburgh, in the New Mark. Ilis father's name was, George Schwartz; and his mother's maiden name Gruner. The latter, who died during his early childhood, declared on her death-bed, both to his father and to the clergyman who attended her, that she had dedicated lier son to the Lord, and exacted a promise from both, that they would at least lay no obstacle in his way, in case he should express a desire to be educated for the church.
At the age of eight years, Schwartz was sent to the Town. School, wliere" he received many good impressions under the then rector, Mr. Helm; who, in his instructions in religion, affectionately recommended prayer to his scholars, and shewed how they might, in their own words, lay their concerns before God.' Schwartz relates, in an account written by himself, that he often, at that time, went into a solitary place, where he poured out his lieart before God; in doing which he felt himself very happy. When he had done any thing amiss ‘at home, he could not be easy till he had earnestly implored pardon of God.
When the above-mentioned rector was advance to the situation of minister, and his successors paid little attention to the culture of the hearts of the youth under their
care; Schwartz became again light-mindel. He received confirmation from a clergyman, who was contented if his catechumens could answer his questions ; but was not anxious to perceive in them a real change of heart. Althongh at partaking, for the first time, of the holy commumion, Schwartz experienced some serious ima pressions, they were soon obliterated
He was afierwards removed to the school ai Custrin, where God raised him many bencfactors. But as he lodged with light-minded scholars, luis heart became more and more estranged
from God, although he was not inattentive to external decorum in his conduct. However, even here, God did not leave himself without witness to hin; for the discourses of the Rev. Mr. Stegmann, of Custrin, made strong impressions upon his mind; only he imagined it was not possible there to lead a religious life. He was also still destitute of a right notion of what true religion is; besides which, lie did not perceive the necessity of trusting in the Divine Strength, to enable him to persevere.
He was afterwards entrusted with the tuition of the daughter of a magistrate, who had studied at Ilalle, and who expresse:l a great love and veneration for the teachers of that place. Не lent him also some books, especially the “Blessed Footsteps of the everliving God," by A. H. Franke; which he read not without emotion, and which first excited in bim a wish to go to Halle.
He further observes, in the above-inentioned account, that he had been diligent, - but merely for the sake of vainglory; that, in a dangerous disorder, with which he was twice attacked, he had formed a resolution to devote himself wholly to the Lord; which, however, he soon forgot to carry inío execution.
In the year 1746, he went to Halle, with a view to attend the Latin School of the Orphan House; but his countryman, the Rev. Benjamin Schultze, who had been an English Missionary at Madras till the year 1743, and now resided at Halle, advised him to enter immediately at the College, as he was already 20 years of age, and sufliciently grounded in elementary knowledge. He took his advice; and diligently attended the lectures of the Professors at the University, Baumgarten, Mi. chaelis, Knapp, Freylinghausen, &c. while he lodged and boarded at the Orphan-house. He was soon employed in the instruction of youth, and was likewise appointed to hold the evening prayer-meeting with 'the servants belonging to the farm of the Orphan-house. Both the instruction of the children and his prayer-meeting were beneficial to himself. Also, by his intercourse with a pious countryman of his, and by faithfully digesting what he heard in the meetings for edification, which were held at that time, he was more and more confirmed in Christian sentiments. They had both been first awakened in the prayer-meetings held by the Rev. G. F. Weisse, then Inspector of the German Schools of the Orphan-louse.
It was at that time in contemplation to print the Bible in the Talmul Language at Halle, under the superintendence of the above-mentioned Missionary Schulize. Schwartz, together with another student of this place, was commissioned to learn the Talmul language, in order to be employed in correcting the press. Although the printing of the Bible here was not carried into execution, yet the pains which Schwartz had bestowed for a year and a half upon the acquisition of the Talmul language",
were not thrown away, since this became the occasion (the late Mr. Franke being also acquainted with his upright intentions) of his being appointed to go in the capacity of a Missionary to the East Indies. The accepted this appointinent; and ali hongh, some days after, an advantageous situation, as preacher, not far from Halle, was offered him, he declined it, in the firm persuasion that it was the will of God he should go to the East Indies. His father also, whom he visited before he set out upon his Mission, gave his consent to it; and the event has shewn that God had chosen him to preach the gospel to the lleathen.
On the 8th of August 1719, Schwartz set ont, with two other Missionary candidates, Polzenhagen and Huettemann (the latter being destined for the English Mission) for Copenhagen. After they had there received ordination, they returned to Halle; from hence they proceeded on their way to London. On the 21st of January, 1750, they left London, embarked the 29ihi, and arrived on the 16th of July at Cadelar, and on the 30th at Tranquebar, in good health. As carly as the 5th of November following, Schwartz delivered his first discourse in the Talmul language.
In the year 1767, he was transferred to the English Society, as Missionary in Tirutchinapalli
, atter having several times already preached the gospel there, and met with gicat attention : in the year 1779 he went to Tanschaur, where he had already founded a congregation during his abode at Tirutchinapalli, and where he remained till his decease.
At both places he received from the government at Madras an annual salary of 1001. as garrison-preacher. At Tirutchinapalli he expended the whole of this sum in the service of the Mission, particularly in the building of the church and school, and also in augmenting the allowances of the national helpers. At Tanschaur he gave one half of his salary to Mr. Kohlhoff, whom he had educated and instructed until he was ordained at Tranquebar to be Missionary at Tanschaur. The other half he likewise expended upon the Mission.
The fidelity with which he laboured, the self-denial which he exercisecl, the blessing which attended his preaching of the gos: pel, the esteem in which he was held both by the Europeans and Talmuls *, the veneration which all his brethren paid to him, as
The excellent conduct of Mr. Swartz was such as to secure the confidence of all ranks of people. In the time of war, when the fort of Tanjore was in a distressed situation, a powerful enemy at hand, and not provision enough even for the garrison, and when, to add to this misfortune, the neighbouring inhabitants, who, by ill.treatment had lost all confidence in the Europeans, and the Rajah had in vain intreated the help of tire people, the only hope left was in Mr. Swartz. 6. We have all lost our credit,” said the Rajah to an English gentleman; “ let 11s try whether the inhabitants will trust Mr. Swartz.” Accordingly he was desired to make an agreement with them. There was no time the to their father, counsellor, and pattern, appears sufficiently from the Missionary accounts.
Much has he laboured ; - great will be his reward.
Ile enjoyed an almost uninterrupted good state of health, and could always perform his functions with case: only in the last years he wrote, that lie was no longer able to go about among the Heathen as formerly. But, in the beginning of Nóvember 1797, a cold which he had taken, became the occasion of a severe fit of illness. At that time, great apprehensions were entertained for his life. God, however, was pleased so far
lost. The Seapoys fell down as dead people, being emaciated with:
At another time, the inhabitants of the Tanjore country were so miserably cppressed by the Madras Dubashes and others, that they quilted the country; in consequence of which all cultivation ceased, and every one dreaded a famine. The Rajah endeavoured to recall the peo. ple, proinising that their oppressions should be removed, and justice should be done them: but they would not believe him. Mr. Swartz was then desired by the Rajah to write letters to thein, assuring them that, at his intercession, kindness should be shewn them. He was credited. Seven thousand cane back in one day, and the rest of the inhabitants followed. He then exhorted them to exert themselves to the utmost at the time, for cultivation was nearly lost. They replied, “ As you have shewed kindness to 115, you shall not have reason to repent of it: we intend to work day and night, to shew our regard to you."
These facts, and other similar ones, were related by Mr. Swartz, in a letter to the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (Feb. 1794) in vindication of liimselt and the Mission, from the unjust charges of a gentleman in a newspaper. He closes his letter thus :
“I might have enlarged my account; but fearing that some characters. might have suffered by it, I stop here. One thing, however, I affirm before God and man : - That if Christianity, in its plain and undisguised form, was properly pronoted, the country would not suffer, but be benefitted by it. The knowledge of God, of his divine perfections, and of his mercy to mankind may be abused; but there is no other method of reclaiming mankind than by instructing them welt. To hope that the Heaihens will live a good life, without the knowledge of God, is a chimera.
“ The praise bestowed on the Heathen of this country by many of our Historians, is refuted by a close (I might almost say, superficial) inspection of their lives. Many historical works are more like a romance than history. Many gentlemen here are astonished how some historians have prostituted their talents by writing fables.
“ I am now at the brink of eternity; but, to this moment, I declare that I do not repent of having spent forty-three years in the service of my divine Master. Who knows but God may remove some of the great obstacles to the propagation of the gospel. Should a reformation take place a'nong the Europeans, it would, no doubt, be the greatest blessing to this country."
to bless the use of the medicines that were employed, that he was enabled once more to resume several of his occupations, although some diminution of the energy of his mind was observable. But, in die beginning of February 1798, just when Afr. Gerické had arrived witli Mr. Hoizberg, the Missionary destined for Tanschaur, he was attacked with a dangerous complaint in his foot. The mortification, which threatened to supervene, was indeed prevented; but he sunk into such a state of debility, that he was obliged to be lifted and carried about like an infant.
Concerning the last days of his life, and his conversation on his death-bed, Mr. Gerické writes thus:
“ I returned on the 7th of February, 1798, from a short visit which I had niade at Tirutchinapally, to Tanschaur, where I found that Mr. Schwartz's leg was become very bad, and full of black spots, which were continually spreading. The physician had begun to apply the Peruvian bark in embrocations. As we had every hour to expect the dissolution of our beloved brother, the rest of the brethren requested that I would stay with them, and help them to bear the burden. But it was at the same time a great blessing to me to behold, in this expiring Christian, an edifying example of faith, hope, and resignation. When spiritual and heavenly things were the subjects of conversation, when he prayed, admonished, or spoke of the tranquillity and peace which his soul enjoyed, through the mercy of God in Christ, it could never be perceived that his powers of recollection were impaired. Frequently lie quoted texts of Scripture, or verses out of hymns, which were very apposite, and always in the language of those to whom he addressed himself. Till last Friday evening, he frequently said, that he did not yet think his end to be very near at hand, but that it would be attended with much pain. But since then, he said several times, “ Now, I think, I shall soon go to the heavenly Father.” Being once asked, whether he had the hope that, after his death, the kingdom of God would be further extended in this country? He answered, “ Yes; but it will pass through trials and tribulation.” Another time, when he was asked, whether he had any thing yet to say with regard to the congregation, he answered, “ Do you help, that they may all come to Heaven.” He once said, * There is with many, a good beginning of Christianity; but, if any one should object that there is nothing perfect to be seen yet, let him first examine himself.” When we expressed ourselves rejoiced to see him so patient and resigned, he replied, “ Human misery is universal; and I really suffer very little;' and frequently repeated the words, “Our faithful God helps in distress, and chastens with moderation. But how would it be if he should deal with us according to our sins ? But yonder, pain will be no more; and for that we have to thank the Lord Jesus.” To his Malabar attendants, who faithfully assisted