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Kalli The Esquimaux Christian by Andrew Murray

Kalli's Illness and Death

With respect to the fatal attack under which he soon sunk, it has to be mentioned, that he had gone out to bathe with one of his fellow-students at St. John's, on Saturday, the 7th June. From continuing too long in the water, which was very cold, he caught a chill, and showed many symptoms of inflammation for some days. On Wednesday, good medical assistance was called in, but his constitution had received too violent a shock. The Surgeon had fears from the first that his patient would not recover. It has been observed by medical men, that Esquimaux have but little stamina, and generally fail under the first attack of serious illness. Kalli was kindly watched and assisted by the Rev. J. G. Mountain, and Mrs. Mountain, and his fellow-students. He got rapidly worse. On the Thursday he seemed utterly powerless, and could not lift up his arms, nor put them out of his bed. He was very restless during the greater part of Friday night.

|Soon after ten o'clock on Saturday morning, June 14th,| said the Bishop of Newfoundland, |his gentle soul departed. I saw him frequently during his illness (three times the last day), and he always assented most readily, when I reminded him of God's gracious goodness in visiting him; and that it would be better for him to depart, and be with Christ. It was remarkable that his English was more clear and distinct in his illness than I had ever known it; and though he said but very little, he seemed to understand better than ever before. The last seizure was so sudden and violent, that he did not articulate at all. He expired, whilst I was commending his soul to his faithful Creator and most merciful Saviour.|

He is stated to have died of |melanosis of the lungs,| a disease in which the whole substance of the lungs turns completely black. It is very slow in its first advances, but fearfully rapid in its latter stages. The Bishop had the chest examined after death, and sent a copy of the Surgeon's report to the Warden of St. Augustine's.

In a full communication, made to the Warden, the Bishop said, |The almost suddenness of our good gentle Kalli's removal makes it difficult to realize the fact that 'he is gone.' I still look for his familiar strange face among the students, wondering at his unwonted absence. He seemed quite identified with our little company. We all miss him greatly, but he has now entered on that perfect rest which he seemed made for, and is delivered from a troublesome, naughty world for which he was certainly not made.|

The Bishop also spoke of Kalli's submission to those set over him; his kindness to all around him, and his attention to all his religious duties.

Many young persons, born and bred in our own country, and brought up from the cradle in the very midst of Christian instruction, may glean a valuable lesson from the character of this lamented Esquimaux Christian. They may ask themselves, with some feeling of self-reproof, whether they should have merited such praise from one so revered, and so well qualified to judge. |Perhaps,| added Bishop Feild, |I was a little proud at being able to exhibit a far-off Esquimaux brought near, and among my own scholars.|

During Kalli's last illness, which, though short, was not without considerable suffering, the same spirit of resignation and thankfulness, which he had always shown, was evinced. |Mr. D -- -- very kind,| |K -- -- very kind,| |Mrs. -- -- very kind,| |Sorry to give so much trouble,| were expressions continually on his lips, as he was visited and assisted by his fellow-students, and other friends in succession. His gentle spirit departed in the presence of the Rev. Thomas Wood, the Rev. Principal of the College, and all his fellow-students.

The Rev. J. F. Phelps, Vice-Principal of St. John's College, Newfoundland, who had been a fellow-student of Kalli's, at St. Augustine's, wrote thus, June 25, 1856, respecting him.

|I have every reason to believe and hope that he has been translated to a better state, and that he now rests in his Saviour: for though he had not much knowledge, yet few indeed act up to their knowledge so well and consistently as he did to his. It must be a comfort to you, Sir, to be assured that in his last moments he was cared for, and attended by all members of the College here, the students constantly being with him, as well as Mr. and Mrs. Mountain and myself. He showed himself very grateful for all that was being done for him, and expressed great sorrow at giving so much trouble. He always spoke of his friends in England with great affection, and was delighted whenever he received letters from them, which he was always eager to answer. Altogether, his was a very amiable character, and we all felt his loss very much.|

In another letter from Mr. Phelps is the following passage: --

|During his last illness, in his conversation with me, it was evident that he quite understood the principle on which we Christians ought to bear our sufferings, patiently, and even thankfully, because of the still greater sufferings which we deserve, and which our Divine Saviour bore for us. I was, I confess, surprised at the readiness with which he realized the truth and the force of this reasoning.|

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