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Doctor of Divinity. By his translations, by writing several useful books, in Chinese, by his “ Chinese Gleaner,” a quarterly periodical, and by several Missionary journeys among the Chinese, he rendered great service to the cause of Christ among the Heathen. Mrs. Milne died May 4, 1816; and Dr. Milne finished his earthly labours, June 2, 1822, leaving a name highly honoured, as a faithful servant of the Divine Redeemer ; and, though young, an able translator of the Holy Scriptures.
MEMOIR OF THE REV. DR. MARSHMAN. Joshua MARSHMAN acquired distinguished honour as the colleague of Dr. Carey, and translator of the Holy Scriptures into the Chinese language. He was born in April 1768, in the vicinity of Westbury Leigh, where he received the Gospel of Christ; and being a person of some education, he was chosen master of the Charity School, in the Broadmead, Bristol. He was received a member of the Baptist Church, by baptism, in June 1794; and attended for an hour daily, the Baptist College, where he obtained an acquaintance with Latin, Greek, and Hebrew.
In 1799, Mr. Marshman engaged to proceed with Mr. William Ward, Mr. Dan Brunsdon, and Mr. William Grant, to aid Dr. Carey, as missionaries to India. They set sail May 24th, and in October they reached Calcutta. Mr. Marshman made great progress in the Oriental languages; and in March, 1806, he procured a teacher who enabled him to
begin the Chinese. Into this difficult language he was preserved to translate the whole Bible.
From the earliest period of the mission to India, one of the greatest objects of interest to Dr. Carey, was the translation of the Scriptures. “In this great enterprise," as Dr. Cox remarks, “he was ably assisted by Dr. Marshman, while Mr. Ward's skill in printing facilitated every operation."
At the public disputation of the students of the College of Fort William, before the Right Hon. Lord Minto, Governor-General of Bengal, and Visitor of the College, held on the 20th of September, 1813, his Lordship, after stating the recent literary labours of the Serampore Missionaries, thus concludes :
“I profess a very sincere pleasure in bringing the literary merits of Mr. Marshman and the other reverend members of the Serampore mission, to the notice of the public, and in bearing my testimony to the great and extraordinary labours which constancy and energy in their numerous and various occupations, have enabled this modest and respectable community to accomplish. I am not less gratified by the opportunity which their literary achievements afford, of expressing my regard for the exemplary worth of their lives, and the beneficent principle which distinguishes and presides in the various useful establishments which they have formed, and which are conducted by themselves.”
Dr. Marshman's death having been published in England, the Committee of the Bible Society record in their report, for 1838 :-“ Your Committee cannot conclude their notice of this part of India, without adverting to the death of the venerable Dr. MARSHMAN, for many years a faithful friend and valued Secretary of the Calcutta Auxiliary Bible Society. His name, however, will be chiefly known in connexion with Serampore, where, with his honoured colleagues, Carey and Ward, he long toiled in the work of Biblical translation. He was the last survivor of these three devoted servants of Christ, whose labours entitle them to be regarded as the benefactors of India and the world. They have now all ceased from their labours, and their works do follow them.”
MEMOIR OF THE REV. WILLIAM WARD. MR. WARD was a worthy colleague of Dr. Carey and Dr. Marshman ; while his singular qualifications and devoted industry were essential to complete the mighty works of the Biblical translators at Serampore. He was a man of extraordinary talents, as a preacher, printer, scholar, translator, and author. A man of his genius, endowments, and spirit, was required for the work; and he was raised up by Providence for his appointed service, as the chief printer of the Holy Scriptures in India.
Mr. Ward was born October 20, 1766, at Derby. His love to the Bible was the fruit of his mother's piety, as she had received abiding religious convictions from hearing the preaching of a Quaker lady, in the Town-hall, Derby. His proficiency at school was remarkable, and he was apprenticed to a printer, whose esteem he gained, so that for two years after his servitude, he was entrusted with the editorship of the Derby Mercury. In 1792, he went to Stafford, to establish another newspaper, but in 1794 he removed to Hull, where he carried on business with success, editing the Hull Advertiser. In that town he joined the Baptist church, September 4, 1796, and became a Sunday-school teacher, frequently preaching in the villages around: but in July, 1797, he relinquished business for the work of the ministry, giving himself up to study under Dr. Fawcett, at Ewood Hall, near Halifax.
Mr. Ward devoted himself to the Missionary work in India, in consequence of his acquaintance with Dr. Carey ; who had said to him at Derby, “ If the Lord blesses us, we shall want a person of your business, to enable us to print the Scriptures. I hope you will come after us.” This hint so impressed Mr. Ward's mind, that he declined to settle in England ; and his services were evidently required in the East.
Mr. Ward's sentiments regarding India being known, his services were sought by the Committee of the Baptist Missionary Society; and hence he stated, at his ordination, May 9, 1799, “ While I was at Ewood Hall, I received an invitation to carry the Gospel and the printing-press to India, where brother Carey and others have carried the standard of the cross. I prayed to God and advised with my friends. In complying with this invitation, I gave up all other prospects, and devoted myself to attempting to bless a nation of heathens.”
Mr.Ward embarked, May 24,1799, with three other missionaries; Rev.J.(afterwards Dr.) Marshman, Rev. W. Grant, and Rev. D. Brunsdon, on board the American ship, Criterion, Capt. Wickes, a religious man. This excellent mariner co-operated with the Missionaries in Divine worship on ship-board, frequently leading their devotions at their prayermeetings. Mr. Ward wrote, therefore, “I thank our Saviour for Capt. W. The Divine image, drawn in lively characters on his soul, would silence a thousand Deists, if their eyes were not holden.”
These Missionaries arrived at Calcutta, Oct. 11, 1799, and in two days after at Serampore. Mr. Grant died on the 31st of the month, living only twenty days in India ; and Mr. Brunsdon died July 3, 1801. Ward and Marshman prosecuted their studies and labours, each in his appropriate department. Mr. Ward at once commenced the printing establishment at Serampore, which soon became famous in India, and which, before his death, had printed, besides various other books in different languages, the Holy Scriptures in nearly forty languages and dialects of the East. So early as the year 1800, he had the honour of printing the New Testament in Bengalee, translated by Dr. Carey.
Mr. Ward had the honour also, with his brethren, of commencing the first Sunday-school in Asia. Mr. Marshman had directed his energies to education generally; but July 10, 1803, as Mr. Ward writes in his journal of the 15th,—“ Last Lord's day, a kind of Sunday-school was opened, which will be superintended by our young friends, Felix and William