Baptist History Homepage

Extract of a Letter from Mr. John Chamberlain to Dr. Ryland,
dated Monghyr, [India] March 26, 1817
The Baptist Magazine, 1818
      I have lately been out on a journey as far as Mirzapore, and was absent almost two months; in which, to the praise of my merciful Master be it spoken, I was much employed both among Europeans and natives. To the former I preached at Dijah, Dinapore, Buxar, and Ghazeepore; in all thirteen times: and among the latter I was variously engaged. Sabbaths were field days. One I spent at Ghazeepore, and one at Benares, and two in the villages, with great delight. Every tract and gospel I took with me was given away. At Ghazeepore, Mirzapore, and Benares, great was the attention of the people; whole days I was in full employ among them. Both Mussulmans and Hindoos heard with much apparent approbation, but especially the latter. Upwards of 200 gospels and 2000 tracts were left among the people, to bear testimony of salvation to them for time to come. It is wonderful to observe, how evidently an invisible hand is at work amongst the people, and preparing them for the Lord. Some evident change is effecting in the spirit of the people, and in their prospects, which augur well. It can but be the most encouraging to a missionary. At Monghyr, however, this change is not so conspicuous; hitherto the people appear hardened, and but little excited to attend to these things. The enemy has been busy in his endeavours to frighten them; and to rouse up their prejudices; and, for the present, is but too successful. Ingham Misser, a Porson who has for months afforded hope by his steady attachment to the gospel, remains firm, and is, I believe, sincere. He is not yet baptized. He is employed as a reader of the word, in which his usefulness will, I doubt not, be apparent. He is a man of respectability, has very respectable connections, but is low in poverty, and has a family. Many people are daily calling upon him, to hear what he has to say for himself. He is gone out to day with Brindabund, to Seeta Koond, a hot well, to which there is a great resort at this season. He is very humble, and very determined. Blessed be the Spirit of all grace for this eminent instance of his power and benignity!

      As it respects myself, I have not been altogether so well in body as in former years. At this time I have a nervous complaint, which unfits me for almost every thing during the morning. It assumes an alarming position in my constitution in my fortieth year, and ought to be regarded by me as a serious monitor. I find that I can bear active, much better than sedentary, business. My wife, blessed be the Father of mercies, is in tolerable health. My little daughter also is well.

      At Dijah, the brethren are in full employ. They preach at Dinapore to a large congregation of the King's 24th, and others belonging to the Company’s forces; and things appear to be in a very reviving condition. Brother Rowe writes me that they have about 20 candidates for baptism. When I was there several natives appeared very hopeful, and those baptized last year remain steadfast, and two of them are apparently useful in communicating the word to others. I was greatly encouraged, from observing the progress of the word of God on the minds of the enquirers. It is spirit, and it is life.

      It is certain now, that religion is on the advance among our own countrymen all over this country. It is now becoming common to hear of such and such an one's having “taken a turn.” Verily Jehovah Jesus is on his way, and his work is before him. A few of the civil servants, and many of the military, are looking to Jesus.

      In the Translations, the Psalms and Genesis have been completed, and the works of Solomon and the Exodus, with part of Leviticus, and part of Isaiah have been gone through. The gospels of Matthew and Mark, in a refined dialect of the Henduwee, are almost ready for the press, and Luke is in hand. Hitherto the Lord hath helped me.


From The Baptist Magazine, 1818, London, Volume 10, p. 31. A Google On-line document; the original from the NYC Public Library. Transcribed and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

More India / Burma Missions
Baptist History Homepage