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voured for a time to conceal his conversion ; but finding it no longer possible, he determined to flee to some of the Christian Churches near the Caspian Sea. He accordingly left Cabul in disguise, and had gained the great city of Bochara in Tartary, when he was met in the streets of that city by his friend Sabat, who immediately recognized him. Sabat had heard of his conversion and flight, and was filled with indignation at his conduct. Abdallah knew his danger, and threw bimself at the feet of Sabat. He confessed that he was a Christian, and implored him by the sacred tie of their former friendship, to let him escape with his life. - But, Sir,' said Sabat when relating the story himself, • I had no pity.' I caused my servants to seize him, I delivered him up to Morad Shah, King of Bochara. He was sentenced to die, and a herald went through the city of Bochara, announcing the time of his execution. An immense multitude attended, and the chief men of the city. I also went and stood near to Abdallah. He was offered his life, if he would abjure Christ, the executioner standing by him with his sword in his hand. “No,' said he (as if the proposition were impossible to be complied with) I cannot abjure Christ.' Then one of his hands was cut off at the wrist. He stood firm, his arm hanging by his side, but with little motion. A physician, by desire of the King, offered to heal the wound, if he would recant. He made no answer, but looked up steadfastly towards Heaven, like Stephen, the first martyr, his eyes streaming with tears. He did not look with anger towards me;—but it was benignly, and with the countenance of forgiveness. His other hand was then cut off. But, Sir,' said Sabat, in his imperfect English, he never changed, he never changed. And when he bowed his head to receive the blow of death, all Bochara seemed to say · What new thing is this ?'
“ Sabat had indulged the hope, that Abdallah would have recanted, when he was offered his life ; but when he saw that his friend was dead, he resigned himself to grief and remorse. He travelled from place to place, seeking rest and finding none. At last he thought that he would visit India. He accordingly came to Madras, about five years ago. Soon after his arrival, he was appointed by the English Government a Mufti, or expounder of Mohammedan law ; his great learning and respectable station in his own country, rendering him well qualified for that office. And now the period of his own conversion drew near.
While he was at Visagapatam, in the Northern Circars, exercising his professional duties, Providence brought in his way a New Testament in the Arabic language.* He read it with deep thought, the Koran lying before him. He compared them together with patience and solicitude, and at length the truth of the word fell on his mind, as he expressed it, like a food of light. Soon afterwards he proceeded to Madras, a journey of three hundred miles, to seek Christian baptism; and having made a public confession of his faith, he was baptized by the Rev. Dr. Kerr, in the English Church of that place, by the name of Nathanael, in the twenty seventh year of his age.
“ Being now desirous to devote his future life to the glory of God, he resigned his secular employ, and came by invitation to Bengal, where he is now engaged in translating, the Scriptures into the Persian language. This work has not hitherto been executed, for want of a translator
One of those copies, sent to India by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.
of sufficient ability. The Persian is an important language in the east, being the general language of Western Asia, particularly among the higher classes, and is understood from Calcutta to Damascus. But the great work which occupies the attention of this noble Arabian is the promulgation of the Gospel among his own countrymen; and from the present fluctuations of religious opinion in Arabia, he is sanguine in his hopes of success. His first work is entitled (Neama Besharatin lil Arabi) · Happy News for Arabia,' written in the Nabutte, or common dialect of the country. It contains an eloquent and argumentative elucidation of the truth of the Gospel, with copious authorities, admitted by the Mohammedans themselves, and particularly by the Wahabians. And prefixed to it is an account of the conversion of the author, and an appeal to his well known family in Arabia for the truth of the facts.
“ The following circumstance in the history of Sabat ought not to be omitted. “When his family, in Arabia, had heard that he had followed the example of Abdallah, and become a Christian, they despatched his brother to India, (a voyage of two months) to assassinate him. While Sabat was sitting in his house, at Visagapatam, his brother presented himself in the disguise of a faqueer, or beggar, having a dagger concealed under his mantle. He rushed on Sabat and wounded him. But Sabat seized his arm, and his servants came to his assistance. He then recognized his brother! The assassin would have become the victim of public justice, but Sabat interceded for him, and sent him home in peace, with letters and presents to his mother's house in Arabia.''
• Star in the East. Dr. Buchanan's Sermons, p.p. 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, and 106. VOL. I.
The followers of Mohammed, besides their differences in matters of smaller moment, are divided into two great factions ; and between these the most implacable hatred still continues to exist. Each considers the other as dangerous heretics, and further from the truth, than either the Christians or the Jews, and consequently stood at the utmost distance from one another. These are distinguished by the names of Sonnites and Schiites. The Schiites differ from the Sonnites,-1. With respect to the three first Califs, Abubeker, Omar, and Othman, the former reject them as usurpers and intruders; the latter acknowledge and respect them as rightful Califs, or Imams. 2. The Schiites prefer Ali to Mohammed, or at least esteem them to be equal; but the Sonnites do not admit that any of the prophets are equal to Mohammed. 3. They mutually charge one another with corrupting the Koran, and neglecting its precepts. . 4. The Sonnites receive the Sonna, or the book of the traditions of their prophet, as canonical; the Schiites reject it, as unworthy of credit. 'The Turks, Tartars, Arabians, and Africans, are Sonnites. The Persians, and the subjects of the Grand Mogul, are considered as Schiites. To these disputes is principally to be ascribed the antipathy which has long subsisted between the Turks and the Persians. The Persians have generally been considered as less bigoted to their religion than the Turks. A translation of the New Testament has lately been made by the late venerable Mr. Martyn, Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge, with the assistance of Mirza Seyed Ali. A copy of this translation, according to the wishes of the Rev. Henry Martyn, had been presented in the name of the Bible Society, to the King of Persia, by Sir Gore Ouseley, the British ambassador at that court. Lord Teignmouth has received from Sir Gore, the trans
lation of a letter he received from his Persian majesty, highly approving of that translation. Sir Gore Ouseley's letter is dated from St. Petersburgh, Sept. 20, 1814. Of this translation the following is a copy
“ In the name of the Almighty God, whose glory is most excellent.
“ It is our august command, that the dignified and ex. cellent, our trusty, faithful, and loyal well-wisher, Sir Gore Ouseley, Baronet, his Britannic Majesty's Ambassador Extraordinary (after being honoured and exalted with the expressions of our highest regard and consideration,) should know, that the copy of the Gospel, which was translated into Persian, by the learned exertions of the late Rev. Henry Martyn, and which has been presented to us, by your Excellency, on the part of the high, dignis" fied, learned, and enlightened Society of Christians, united for the purpose of spreading abroad the Holy Books of the religion of Jesus, (upon whom and upon all prophets be peace and blessings,) has reached us, and has proved highly acceptable to our august mind.
“In truth, through the learned and unremitted exertions of the Rev. Henry Martyn, it has been translated in a style most befitting sacred books, that is, in an easy and simple diction. Formerly the Four Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, were known in Persia ; but now the whole of the New Testament is completed in a most excellent manner, and this circumstance has been an additional source of pleasure to our enlightened and august mind. Even the Four Evangelists, which were known in this country, had never been before explained in so clear and luminous a manner. We, therefore, have been particular