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not for the dead, neither bemoan rather, aid him; for he says he will still him; but weep sore for him that preach now and then. Should I discover
that Calcutta does not suit me, or that I goeth away : for he shall return no
do not suit the people, I shall then feel at more, nor see his native country.” liberty to take myself off whatever be the It has been verified in the case of consequences. I hope you will write others on board, as well as in his
just two lines by the next mail to tell me
what you and the Committee think. If own. On December 27th, 1842, Mr.
you disapprove of my remaining here, I
shall, without the smallest reluctance, Leslie landed in Calcutta, and was, bend my steps up into the interior. In as before, hospitably entertained by the meantime, I do not intend to give Matthew Johnston, Esq., and his myself wholly to the English Church.
There are thousands and tens of thouexcellent wife and daughters. The
sands here who can speak the Hindustani occurrences of the next few days language, and to whom I will preach as will be best told in his own words. often as my strength will allow. On the 18th of January, 1843, he Since my arrival here, a series of meetthus wrote to the Secretary of the ings has been held at Serampore of the
most delightful kind I ever attended, for Baptist Missionary Society :
the formation of an Association of Baptist
Churches in Bengal. There were dele"The good folks in Calcutta having heard
gates from many Churches present, both that I was on my way out, had a meeting European and native ; and it was cera month before I arrived, and came to tainly a most interesting and novel sight the unanimous resolution of inviting me to see natives and Europeans mingling to supply the pulpit in Circular Road for
together, all on a perfect equality, and six months, with a view to becoming taking a share in the proceedings of their settled pastor. In this resolution the meetings. There were Bengali prayers Brethren Yates and Wenger, who had and English prayers, Bengali sermons and been preaching for them since Mr. Gib
English sermons, and Bengali letters and son's death, united. Consequently, I had English letters. I conceive that nothing hardly set my foot on shore, when a more interesting has as yet taken place letter containing this resolution was put in the history of our mission in the East ; into my hand. Though three weeks have and I conceive, too, that the first grand elapsed since I received the invitation, I step has been taken for the completo inhave as yet given no reply to it. I am at dependence of the Churches. By the a loss to know what to do. I have no yearly sending of native delegates to the liking for Calcutta as a place. I fear I Association, the natives will learn to act may not suit the people. My preposses- for themselves and by themselves, while at sions are in favour of a residence in the the same time they will feel that they interior, where I can rove about on foot are not acting alone, but with a con. among the natives, as I have often done ; siderable body of the people of God. A and where I can labour without the re- most delightful spirit pervaded the meetstraints which are imposed upon a mis- ings, which lasted four days; and what is sionary in such a place as the City of unusual at other Associations, there was a Palaces. I hardly designed to return to great deal more praying than preaching, Monghyr, that place being amply supplied The Serampore friends entered into the by Brethren Moore, Lawrence, and Par- affair with their whole hearts, and I think sons, all of whom are attached to the the band of union formed between them station ; but I had it in my heart to go and all the other brethren, was of the and settle in some place as near to the most complete and holy kind. The most hill-tribes as possible. Though I suffered of the meetings were held in the spacious from having been among them formerly, hall of the collego ; yet not all of them. yet I long for their salvation. On the Three of them were held in the humble other hand, it is plain that some one is native chapel situated in the Christian required for Circular Road. Dr. Yates village about two miles from the College. says he cannot go on preaching and trans- The believers were certainly of one heart lating too ; and that if he has to continue and ot one soul. It seemed to me the both, he will ere long have to give up all. nearest approach to heaven of anything Now, it is of the very highest importance I had ever yet seen.
There was to the cause of God that his life should be parade, nor show. All seemed to be at continued. I have, therefore, determined work with one end in view, the glory of for the present to remain and relieve, or, God and the good of men.”
For twenty-two years Mr. Leslie attack of illness which threatened filled the place of the pastor of the his life. Mr. Leslie, however, reCircular Road Church. The Church covered in a few days, and had he under his care prospered and grew,
listened to the advice of the "beand the memory of his many years loved physician ” who attended him, of labour is fresh in the hearts of his he would probably have been compeople. Few now remain alive of pletely restored to health.
He was those who invited him to be their urged, entreated, implored to give pastor. He saw most of them die. himself some rest, if he wished to He stood by them in the dark valley, retain his mental faculties unimand cheered them with his prayers paired, but he would not believe what and his words of sympathy; he was told him, and accordingly reburied them in the joyful hope of a fused. He recommenced work again in glorious resurrection. But it was a fortnight. In two months a second also given to him to welcome many warning was sent. He attended to of their children, and others besides, this so far, that he rested for three into the Church of God on earth, months, and then began again. burying them with Christ in the Longing to die in the midst of his waters of baptism, and watching work, and believing the end to be over the new life they strove to lead very near, he devoted himself enas the disciples of the Lord. They, tirely to it, working as hard as ever too, are passing away one by one. he had done in the days of his They were his “joy” here, and are strength. His mind being weakened, now forming his **
in the the strain of preparation for three presence of God.
sermons a week was very great, and And now we come to the closing bodily strength and mental vigour years, the evening time. It is well both began to fail, and in 1865 it for us that we do not know the was thought advisable for him to manner of our death, that there is give up the pastoral charge of the nothing to tell us beforehand of the church he loved so well. He did it: way in which we shall be called home but how reluctantly, and with what to rest, for oftentimes the messenger. cost of suffering to himself, those comes in a form we would not choose who were constantly with him, alone for ourselves.
know. On the 1st of June, 1865, the Mr. Leslie always had a great tie which had lasted so long, was shrinking from death. Naturally severed. His last act as pastor was of a melancholy disposition, he to receive six young persons into thought of all the sad accompani- Church fellowship, an act which gave ments of death, and feared the act him peculiar pleasure. His last serof dying, though not death itself. His mon was preached from the words, great wish was to die suddenly, even “Christ died for us" (Romans v. 8), a in the very pulpit, that so his life fitting close to his forty-one years and his work might close together. of labour on Indian soil. But this wish of his heart was denied After this, his life was one of him. His way home was long and patient waiting for the coming of wearisome ; yot now that the end the Lord. Heart and flesh failed has been reached, the length and more and more, but God was the weariness have been all forgotten in strength of his life, and his portion the joy of being safe in the Father's
Five weary years of everhouse.
growing helplessness had to be passed In November, 1863, the first through before the heavy burden of warning came, in the shape of an flesh was laid down ; but he never
murmured, and on one occasion, when found you out; but oh, how grieved a friend was remarking on the mys- I am to see you thus !” After ineffecteriousness of God's Providence in tual efforts to get Mr. Leslie to conthus dealing with him, he exclaimed, verse, Mr. Rodgers, with much feelwith much earnestness, “It is all ing, asked him if his hope in Christ right, all right!” He remained in was still firm. “O yes," was the Calcutta; for his children and his immediate answer. “Oh, then, keep friends were there, and he had no fast hold of Him, dear Sir, and never, wish to go elsewhere. For some never let Him go.” And, rising, with time he was able to attend the chapel moistened eyes and a full heart, he he loved so much, but gradually he bade him farewell with these words, had to give up one service after “ When next we meet, it will be in another, until at length he was un- heaven." able to go out at all. During the During the last two or three last eight months of his life he never years, Mr. Leslie was unable to keep left his house.
up family worship in the evenings. There is little left to record. One His weakness obliged him to retire interesting incident must, however, to bed very early, oftentimes before be mentioned. About the beginning sunset. In the mornings, however, of January, 1870, the year of his he always had it, following with his release, he was visited by a Mr. eyes the chapter read, and leading in Rodgers, who expressed a strong prayer. Sometimes he was able to desire to see him. On being told pray at some length and connectedly; that Mr. Leslie was not well and at other times he could only repeat a unable to converse, he said, “O do few sentences over and over. The let me see him; perhaps he will re- last time he had family worship was member me when I call some things on the morning of July 19th. Luke to bis mind." Admitted to his room, xxi. was read. When the reading he asked him if he remembered him ? was over, he looked intently on his "No," was the answer. He re. open Bible for a few minutes, and minded him of the regiment at then deliberately turned down the Dinapore, of his frequently going to page, a thing he was not in the habit preach to the soldiers after Mr. Bur- of doing, as if to mark the place ton's death, of Sir Henry Havelock where his ministrations had ceased. and Captain Ward. All these he He assumed the attitude of prayer, remembered well. He then said, “I but “Gracious Father" were the was baptized by you at Dinapore only words he could utter. We forty years ago, and I well remember waited for some time in silence; but the last sermon I heard from your he said no Doubtless his lips, from Isaiah xxxii. 2: “A man “ Abba, Father
heard in shall be as an hiding-place from the heaven, and God understood all His wind, and a covert from the tempest; servant wished to say, but could not. as rivers of waters in a dry place, as The day passed as usual ; we noticed the shadow of a great rock in a weary nothing strange. The next morning land.” He continued, “I left the paralysis came on; and after this, army many years ago, and have lived there was no more speech, scarcely any ever since in the Kangra valley, and recognition. On Saturday morning, am now on my way back to Eng. there was a change, and we saw that land. It has always been my deter- the hand of death was on him. All mination whenever I came to Cal. that day, and the next night, and cutta to visit you. This is the the following Sabbath, he was first time I have come, and I have dying, but he knew nothing of
it. At last, at half-past seven crown of life” (Rev. ii. 10). Fi. in the evening of July 24th, he delity was evidently the characterispassed away to the Sabbath rest in tic which struck both minds. heaven. We thanked God through In the chapel where he preached our tears, rejoicing that the heavily- so long, his people have put up a burdened spirit was at length re- very handsome Marble Memorial leased, and again able to rejoice in Tablet, with an inscription drawn up doing the service of his God. He by the Rev. C. B. Lewis. had passed through the river of Nothing now remains to be done death, but he had not seen it, and but to sketch Mr. Leslie's character the anguish of parting words and in its different aspects. looks had been spared him. Most I. The Missionary. lovingly and tenderly had his Master
We have seen how Mr. Leslie condealt with him; and who
of imagine the rapture and surprise of preaching the Gospel to the heathen ; the glorified spirit, when, after a period of unconsciousness, he woke and how reluctantly he gave it up.
how unweariedly he carried it on; up in the likeness and in the presence The self-denial exercised by him in of Christ! He was then, and for devoting himself to the work was the first time, satisfied. The next evening a very large and it was no easy thing for him to
very great. Study was his delight, concourse of friends of all denominations assembled to bear him to his give up his favourite tastes and pur
suits for the laborious life of a Misrest. Six soldiers from the regiment sionary. But constrained by the at Dum Dum, out of respect to his love of Christ he did it, and never son, then residing there, came in and carried his remains to the grave.
repented. His " frugality in the There seemed an appropriateness in
use of Missionary funds” has been
written about, and in reference to this, as he had ministered so much to
this subject perhaps it would be as soldiers at the beginning of his Indian career. He was buried in the his letters to the Secretary of the
well to make an extract from one of Dissenters
' Burial Ground, a place Baptist Missionary Society. which in the days of his health he had been in the habit of almost
Many hundreds of miles have I daily frequenting, for the purpose of walked in missionary journeys, and that walking and meditating, and in
without any cost to you either for myself which he had buried very many
or native associates, for I invariably paid
all expenses, and I saved besides not a few his congregation. There, amongst hundred pounds to the Society by never his own people, and beside his little drawing for more than nine months salary grandson, who nine years before had in the year all the time that I was on your entered the celestial city, his body funds. In addition to this, I never drew
one fraction for my children. I do not lies waiting for the resurrection of
say this by way of boasting. I did no the just.
more than my duty to the cause of Christ, Funeral sermons
were preached and no more than others did who were on for him on the following Sabbath, in
your missionary list at the time of my Calcutta, by his successor, the Rev.
being enrolled on it. It is true that Albert Williams, and, at Monghyr, fever, I have once been home, but though
after five years' suffering from jungle by his beloved associate, the Rev. the Society paid for my passage home and John Lawrence. It is remarkable back, I drew nothing of salary from the that the same text was chosen by
date of my leaving India to my return to both preachers : "Be thou faithful
it. And as to the journeying expenses
of my wife and children when they were unto death, and I will give thee a in England, a private friend paid the
whole and more than the whole ; and he
be present, considering that without did this on my saying in reply to him that I could never think of expending
prayer no blessing could be expected. Society's money in taking them to see
Even as late as 1867 he was present different places in England and Scotland. at some of these meetings. At Monghyr, I required nothing of you for house repairs, nor any sum to make up
II. The Minister. deficiencies in the local subscriptions for the support of native preachers, schools,
What Mr. Leslie was as a minister &c., deficiencies which often happened and to the English Church at Monghyr to no small extent. Perhaps you are may be gathered from the extracts ready to ask how could I do all this? I will tell you how. First, I was a widower
from letters already made. In Calfor seven years, and had only myself to
cutta he was the same. supply ; and next I lived with Mrs. Cham. preacher he was much liked: the berlain who bore one half of the expenses attendance at the chapel proved that, of the table; and these from the way in In one of his letters he makes the which we lived were not very great."
following remark :-"Fine preaching When it appeared to Mr. Leslie to rather than good preaching is sought be the will of God to take charge of for; and I have determined to try to the Circular Road Church, he did so be as good as I can, and to shun with the intention of keeping up his everything like tinery.” And this missionary work. For some years,
he did. He laboured at plainness of in company with Mr. Wenger and speech ; delighted in Saxon English; others, he regularly preached in the and aimed at being understood by streets to the heathen. But after a all classes. The excellence of his time he felt that he had not strength preaching consisted in its exceeding sufficient for this, and that if he simplicity of style, originality of would continue in charge of the thought and fervour of spirit. He Church, he must give up the street never preached a sermon that he had preaching. His interest, however, in not thoroughly studied; and written missionary operations never abated. out in a great measure: Jessor he visited the churches in When Mr. Leslie took charge of Islande ; twice he went to Saugor the Church, he told his people Once to preach at the yearly frankly that he had no talent for festival; twice he went and saw the religious conversation, and that he churches in the South villages. In would not promise to visit them for: addition to all this he spent con- mally; but if any one were ill, and siderable labour on a revised edition would let him know, he would be of the Hindi New Testament. sure to call; and if he were invited Being on the Committee of the to tea--for he positively refused all Calcutta Baptist Missionary Society; invitations to dinner-he would be he was always present at their meet- certain to accept the invitation. ings, giving his advice and counsel. And he kept his word. To the poor Until the last three years of his life, he was especially kind. When they he was never absent from the annual were ill, and the poorer and more meetings of this society, and until neglected they were, the more atten1866, himself opened them with tive he was, he would go day prayer. On the Sundays he preached after day to see them, generally one of the annual sermons, and few walking. If any were in trouble, he things delighted him more than to was distressed. Many a night he get a good collection for the mission. never slept, in consequence of the The monthly missionary prayer
troubles of his people. If any prosmeeting he considered very impor- pered in their business, he was overtant, and always made it a duty to joyed. He seemed to identify him