James Hough.

The history of Christianity in India : from the commencement of the Christian era : second portion: comprising the history of protestant missions, 1706-1816 / by James Hough (Volume 5) online

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THE HISTORY



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THE HISTORY



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CHRISTIANITY IN INDIA

FROM THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE
CHRISTIAN ERA.



BY THE LATE

REV. JAMES HOUGH, M.A., F.C.P.S.

INCUMBENT OF HAM:
LATE CHAPLAIN TO THE HONOURABLE EAST INDIA COMPANY AT MADRAS.



EDITED BY HIS SON,

REV. T. G. P. HOUGH, M.A.



INCUMBENT OF HAM.



VOL. Y.



ji.i^ \-\-




LONDON:

CHURCH MISSIONARY HOUSE,

SALISBURY SQUARE ;

JAMES NISBET & CO., BERNERS STREET.
MDCCCLX.



EDINBURGH : PRrNTKD BT JOHN GREIG & SON.



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETC

PEIHGBTOIT



TKSOLOGlOiO



AUTHOR.



As many years have been suffered to elapse since the
death of my late revered father in 1847^ it is in some
measure necessary to explain the cause of the delay
which has occurred in the publication of this fifth and
concluding volume of his history, which was left by
him in MS. ready for the press. In the year 1843
he presented to the Church Missionary Society the
copyright of the entire Work, as well of those portions
of it which had already appeared, as of those which
were then in progress. Consequently, upon his death,
the MS. of this fifth volume, the only part unpubHshed,
was sent to the Society's house. It was judged advis-
able to publish it by subscription, but the Committee
very properly felt that they would not be justified in
incurring any risk, and that they could not proceed
in the matter until the number of subscribers should
be sufiicient to cover the expense. Many names were
received, but not enough to justify the Society in
going forward with the publication. Upon inquiry,
it was found that there were many who would have

a



ii BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

given in their names, had they been aware of the above
arrangement ; and that there were also several other
friends of missions, who were continually asking for
the Work, and expressing themselves anxious for its
ajDpearance. The author's family have therefore re-
solved to take the responsibility upon themselves,
feeling it to be a solemn trust devolved upon them.
But although the publication is thus undertaken by
them, I am anxious, speaking in their name, to repeat
that the Work is the sole property of the Church Mis-
sionary Society, and that the entire profits arising
from its sale, as well as those accruing from the former
four volumes^ will be added, according to the author's
expressed wish, to the Disabled Missionaries' Fund.

After so long an interval since the appearance of
the former four volumes, it may be well to give here
a very brief summary of their contents : —

Vols. I. and II. contain an account of the introduc-
tion of Christianity into India, from the commencement
of the Christian era ; together with the history of the
Syrian and Roman Churches there.

Vols. III. and IV. detail the history of all Pro-
testant churches in the East, from their commence-
ment : — viz., of the Dutch Mission in Ceylon, in the
seventeenth century ; of the first Protestant Mission
on the continent of India, by the Danes, 1706 ; of the
co-operation of England, and of its first Missions there,
by the ''Christian Knowledge Society," and by the
/'Church Missionary Society;" and of the Moravian
and other Protestant Missions, to the commencement
of the episcopate of the first Bishop of Calcutta, in
1816.

This Fifth Volume, in detailing later events, will be



or THE AUTHOR. iii

found, perhaiDS, more interesting to the general reader,
and is a valuable compendium of the histories of all
the various Missionary Societies, which began the
work of evangelisation in India during this century.
It describes the period during which India was in-
cluded in one diocese, giving the labours of its first
four bishops, and closing with the appointment of the
late lamented Bishop Wilson to Calcutta, when Madras
and Bombay were constituted separate sees. It con-
tains a minute and faithful account of the progress of
the several Missions of the Christian Knowledge,
Church Missionary, and Propagation Societies ; also
of those of the American, the Baptist, the London
Missionary, and the Wesleyan Societies, and of the
establishment of the Scottish Missions. Of all these
the Author wrote, '^^it will be seen that for piety,
enlightened zeal, and devotion to the work of impart-
ing the Gospel of the grace of God to the heathen,
they have never been surpassed since the Apostles'
days ; while their measure of success was greater than
could reasonably have been anticipated, considering
the paucity of their numbers, and the limited extent
of the means at their disposal."

Although the present volume is strictly a continua-
tion of the former history, it is sufficiently independent
of the foregoing portions of the Work, to enable the
general reader to peruse it without any diminution of
interest, or sense of incompleteness.

The Author's original intention was, that his history
should close with the death of Bishop Heber ; but,
owing to the urgent request of the late lamented
Bishop of Calcutta, he extended the period so as to
include the episcopates of Bishops James and Turner.



ii BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

given in their names, had they been aware of the above
arrangement ; and that there were also several other
friends of missions, who were continually asking for
the Work, and exjDressing themselves anxious for its
appearance. The author's family have therefore re-
solved to take the responsibility upon themselves,
feeling it to be a solemn trust devolved upon them.
But although the publication is thus undertaken by
them, I am anxious, speaking in their name, to repeat
that the Work is the sole property of the Church Mis-
sionary Society, and that the entire profits arising
from its sale, as well as those accruing from the former
four volumes^ will be added, according to the author's
expressed wish, to the Disabled Missionaries' Fund.

After so long an interval since the appearance of
the former four volumes, it may be well to give here
a very brief summary of their contents : —

Vols. I. and II. contain an account of the introduc-
tion of Christianity into India, from the commencement
of the Christian era ; together with the history of the
Syrian and Roman Churches there.

Vols. III. and IV. detail the history of all Pro-
testant churches in the East, from their commence-
ment : — viz., of the Dutch Mission in Ceylon, in the
seventeenth century ; of the first Protestant Mission
on the continent of India, by the Danes, 1706 ; of the
co-operation of England, and of its first Missions there,
by the '^ Christian Knowledge Society," and by the
''Church Missionary Society ;" and of the Moravian
and other Protestant Missions, to the commencement
of the episcopate of the first Bishop of Calcutta, in
1816.

This Fifth Volume, in detailing later events, will be



OF THE AUTHOR. Ill

founds perhaps, more interesting to the general reader,
and is a valuable compendium of the histories of all
the various Missionary Societies, which began the
work of evangelisation in India during this century.
It describes the period during which India was in-
cluded in one diocese, giving the labours of its first
four bishops, and closing with the appointment of the
late lamented Bishop Wilson to Calcutta, when Madras
and Bombay were constituted separate sees. It con-
tains a minute and faithful account of the progress of
the several Missions of the Christian Knowledge,
Church Missionary, and Propagation Societies ; also
of those of the American, the Baptist, the London
Missionary, and the Wesleyan Societies, and of the
establishment of the Scottish Missions. Of all these
the Author wrote, ^^it will be seen that for piety,
enlightened zeal, and devotion to the work of impart-
ing the Gospel of the grace of God to the heathen,
they have never been surpassed since the Apostles'
days ; while their measure of success was greater than
could reasonably have been anticipated, considering
the paucity of their numbers, and the limited extent
of the means at their disposal."

Although the present volume is strictly a continua-
tion of the former history, it is sufficiently independent
of the foregoing portions of the Work, to enable the
general reader to peruse it without any diminution of
interest, or sense of incompleteness.

The Author's original intention was, that his history
should close with the death of Bishop Heber ; but,
o^ving to the urgent request of the late lamented
Bishop of Calcutta, he extended the period so as to
include the episcopates of Bishops James and Turner.



iv BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Of the last esteemed Prelate, who died at Calcutta in
July 1831, no memoir has been published ; so that
additional interest will be felt to attach to the present
sketch, though necessarily brief, of his laborious epis-
copate. The account of the first four Bishops of India,
is confined to the discharge of their public episcopal
duties ; but it is impossible to read the record mthout
deep thankfulness to the great Head of the Church,
for having raised up such men, at so critical a period,
to preside over the church in India. Nor can any
fail to admire the genuine missionary spirit which
animated these Christian Prelates. The narrative of
their labours is suggestive of that given by the in-
spired penman, of the work of the first Apostolic
Missionaries of the Christian Church, — journeying
'^from city to city," preaching Christ ^^ among the
heathen," ^^ confirming the souls of the disciples,"
'' exhorting them to continue in the Faith," and ^^ or-
daining them elders in every church."

This history is also of special value as indicating the
honour which God has always put upon the preaching
of the pure gospel of Jesus Christ, as His divinely
appointed instrument for the conversion of sinners of
every latitude, to Himself Romanists, and chiefly
Jesuists, taking advantage of a general want of infor-
mation on the subject, have described Protestant
Missions in contemptuous terms. English readers
will now have an opportunity, by means of the present
Work, compiled chiefly from the original reports and
correspondence of the Dutch, Danish, German, and
English missionaries, to judge for themselves, of the
comparative merits of the Romish and Protestant
Missions in India. And while ihe former Volumes will



OF THE AUTHOR. V

serve to disabuse the public mind^ which has too long
been imposed upon by these misrepresentations^ this
last Volume will present^ for future Missionaries, an ex-
ample of faith and patience, zeal and discretion, in their
various labours and difl&culties, worthy of all imitation ;
whether we regard the spirit that sustained them, or
the blessing that rested on their work, it will be seen
that '^ the Lord was with them of a truth."

The present Volume includes the period spent in
India by its revered author, who was one of that
holy and honoured band, who, constrained by the love
of Christ, united to the official duties of a chaplain,
the loving labours of a Missionary. The principal
portion of his Indian life was passed in the Province
of Tinnevelly, in South India, where, during his
residence at Palamcottah, he was enabled, by '^the
good hand of his God upon him," both to revive the
work of ^*^the Christian Knowledge Society," and to
introduce the '' Church Missionary Society," by laying
the foundations of that Mission, which has since be-
come the brightest spot in the whole Mission- field,
so that it now presents the most perfect picture, in all
its parts, of a native Church, and has, at length, most
convincingly solved the problem of the expediency and
possibiHty of a native j)astorate. In publishing this
posthumous Volume, a brief sketch of his personal
labours, during his residence in India, may be here
appropriately introduced, — for in the following pages,
the tale has been told with such singular humility, and
in the form of quotations from Keports made by him-
self, to the two Societies, in those years during which
their Missions were placed under his sole charge, that
it is scarcely possible to form a just estimate of the diffi-



vi BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

culties with which he had to contend, and the pro-
minent position he was called to occupy.

On the 14th of August 1814, the Rev. James Hough
was ordained by the Bishop of Carlisle to the curacy
of Grinsdale in Cumberland. His attention appears to
have been first directed to the cause of missions by
hearing, a long time before his ordination, one of the
anniversary sermons of the Church Missionary Society,
and so ardent was the desire then kindled in his heart
to devote himself to the work of the evangelization of
the heathen, that, as he said, his ^' heart panted to pro-
claim the Gospel of redeeming love to the inhabitants
of India." Soon after his entrance into the ministry,
the way was unexpectedly opened for the accomplish-
ment of his desire. In 1815, he met at Scaleby Castle
the late Rev. Charles Simeon, of Cambridge, through
whom he received the offer of a chaplaincy to India.
This event is recorded in two letters,^ written at the
time by that devoted man to the Rev. J. Thomason.

In July 1815, he wrote : — '^ Four pious ministers
are just sent out to you in India, as I before told you ;
and I am in expectation of sending you immediately
three more, besides a teacher for schoolmasters. The
three I have all ready, and the last I hope to secure."
In these three Mr Hough is included.

Again, in March 1816 : — ''Within this year and a
half I shall have sent you about a dozen : to Bengal,
poor Mr Crosthwaite ; to Bombay, Mr Carr, and, I hope,
Mr Robinson ; to Madras, Messrs Harper, Jackson,
Malkin, Hough, Church, Traill ; to Bencoolen, Mr
Winter ; to St Helena, Mr Yernon." Most of these

' Meraoirs of the Rev. Charles Simeon, 1st Ed., pp. 415, 427.



OF THE AUTHOR- Vll

names will be recognised in the following pages of this
history.

In August 1816, Mr and Mrs Hough landed at
Madras, where they were welcomed by the Rev. Mar-
maduke Thompson, and other tried friends of mission-
ary work. Among these, Mr and Mrs Strachan, who
hospitably entertained them till the following October,
when Mr Hough received his appointment as the first
military chaplain to Palamcottah, in the Tinnevelly
district, to which station he at once set out, and reached
Nov. 2. ^'^ Upon our arrival," he wrote, '^ we met with
a hearty reception from the commandant, Lieutenant-
Colonel Trotter, who is a man of God, a Cornelius
indeed, and gives every encouragement and support in
his power to the native Christians in Tinnevelly." Mr
Hough's official duties resembled those of all other
military cantonments. But these were not sufficient
to occupy his whole time ; nor could the activity of
his energetic spirit rest satisfied with the performance
of only such routine work as his present position re-
quired. Whilst assiduously devoted to the spiritual
oversight of those who were placed under his minis-
terial charge, he was unceasing in his efforts to do
good to all others who happened to be brought within
the sphere of his influence. He frequently applied
for and received grants of books from the Correspond-
ing Committees, in Madras, of the Society for Promot-
ing Christian Knowledge, the Church Missionary
Society, and the British and Foreign Bible Society,
by which means he was enabled to distribute many
Bibles, Testaments, Prayer-Books, and religious pub-
lications. But even these were insufficient for his
purpose. For his letters to England at this period



Vm BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

abound in most earnest entreaties to his friends to
send supplies of such books. In one he writes : —

^^ My own congregation are soon supplied^ but par-
ties of soldiers are frequently passing here^ and I
endeavour to lead the poor fellows to ^ drink of the
brook by the way.' There are two detachments here
at present^ of near fifty men. They have taken eighteen
books of me — Testaments^ Prayer-Books, Catechisms,
&c., &c., and are quite clamorous for more, but my
stock is nearly exhausted. I had not a Bible to give
them, and was really tempted to take one I had put
in the church in order to comply with the earnest
solicitations of a hungry serjeant. This is eloquence
enough for all that know the value of an immortal soul,
and of the precious blood shed to redeem it. Since 1
have been here, I have distributed the word of God in
English, Portuguese, Persic, Arabic, Hindostanee,
Gentoo, and Tamul, and many, many encouraging
and interesting circumstances have occurred." The
benefit of these distributions among the natives is re-
corded on p. 362 of this vol. ; but in his journal there
are several similar instances among English soldiers.
He writes again : — ^^ A party of Europeans is halting
here to-day. Poor fellows ! some expressed themselves
very thankful for what was said to them, and begged
hard for Testaments and Prayer-Books, which all who
desired have received. When we drove out this even-
ing we saw them scattered about with the books in
their hands." And again : — '^ A soldier and his wife
came to beg a Prayer-Book. He is a Roman Catholic,
and unable to read ; but his wife, he said, was a Pro-
testant, and would read it to him. He added, there
was so much confusion in the camp as to who should



OF THE AUTHOR. ix

have the books I sent the night before, that he thought
he would come quietly and ask for one. My dear wife
wrote his name in a Prayer-Book, and gave it to him.
It is quite delightful to witness these poor men's
anxiety to possess a Testament, or any religious book,
for the European soldiers in India are generally a dis-
grace to the Christian religion." Mr Hough was also
constantly visited by Roman Catholics, who had been
reading the Scriptures or books he had given them.
The following entry occurs : — ^^ I have heard to-day
that a young Roman Catholic of Tinnevelly, who has
often been to me with, a string of questions, went to
his priest and said, ^ These Protestants say many
things, and they prove all they say from Scripture.
How do you answer them ?' ^ That is a dangerous
way,' said the priest, ^ take care how you walk therein.'
The young man was abashed by this reply, and left
his spiritual guide. may he never rest until he meet
with one more able and willing to lead him in the way
to heaven marked down in the word of God !"

A flourishing branch of the British and Foreign
Bible Society was at this time founded by him at
Palamcottah, which was liberally supported by the
English residents, so that in one year 609 rupees
were paid in as their contribution to the Rev. C.
Church, the Secretary of the Society in Madras.

Simultaneously with these exertions, no sooner had
he entered upon his duties as chaplain, than he began
to devise plans for the temporal and spiritual benefit of
the surrounding heathen, as well as those connected in
any way with the Company's service, as those who were
at a distance from the station. The district in which
he was now located, had formerly been visited by the



X BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

venerable Swartz^, and he found there the remains of
what had been commenced by that devoted servant of
God. His attention was, in the first place, directed to
the reorganisation of such schools as had been estab-
lished in former years, but which, from want of proper
oversight, had fallen into an inefficient state, and to
the estabhshment of such others as the necessities of
the case seemed to require. Feeling that it would
be impossible to secure permanence for the work which
he w^as now commencing, unless he could secure some
land upon which suitable premises might be erected,
and the whole vested in the hands of some missionary
body, he set himself to obtain, and after very great
difficulties, raised by the prejudices of the natives, suc-
ceeded in purchasing a piece of land adjoining his own
house and compound, upon which he at once built two
school-houses,— one Enghsh, and one Tamul. The
house, land, and schools, afterwards became the pro-
perty of the Church Missionary Society, and have to
the present day continued to be the principal station
of that Society's Tinnevelly Mission. Early in 1817,
at the request of the Madras Committee of the Society
for Promoting Christian Knowledge, under wdiose
auspices the Mission work of Swartz had been prose-
cuted, he visited all the neighbouring villages of native
Christians throughout Tinnevelly, the particulars of
which visit are detailed in a former volume. Upon
the condition of the schools in general, his Ee-
port states, '' They are in a very indiffierent state, as
there are no schoolmasters on the establishment.
They are entrusted to the care of catechists, who, from
some cause or other, are seldom found attentive to
their charge. The system of education adopted, does



OF THE AUTHOR. XI

not appear to differ from the common country mode
of teaching. Very few of the schools possess a single
book. They are consequently obliged to use such
cadjan writings and stories as they can get^ and I need
not remark to the Committee of what sad materials^
in a moral point of view, these are mainly composed."
Mr Hough's first care was to train and place over each
school a suitable master, and to keep each supplied
with Christian books, which he received in answer to
his application from the Christian Knowledge Society.
His journal makes mention of later visits made by
him to all these schools, together with the examina-
tion of them, which he then conducted ; it gives also
the quarterly record of the state of each school, the
names of the masters, the number of the scholars, with
the caste of each boy, as children of different castes
were all mixed together, the names of the books,
all Christian, which were used with the Bible, and
many valuable directions for the management of all.
In this volume will be found the commencement of
the important work of female education, although the
establishment by him of the first Girls' School in
Tinnevelly, provoked considerable opposition.

In testimony to the good effected by the English
school established by him, expressly for the education
of the Company's native servants, the following ex-
tract is of great value, taken from his examination
before a Select Committee of the House of Commons,
in 1832, appointed to inquire into the state of Chris-
tianity in India, preparatory to the renewal of the
Hon. East India Company's Charter, which is pub-
lished and added as an appendix to his ^' Vindication
of Protestant Mis.sions :" —



Xll BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

'^ Several of the officers in the courts at Tmnevelly
were educated m our English school ; and the officers^
so educated^ were found to be much more efficient than
those who had been left to pick up their education at
such native schools as they could find. I made a
point of introducing the Scriptures^ and Christian cate-
chism^ and formularies into these schools ; and re-
quired all the pupils^ whether Brahmins or Mussul-
mans^ or whatever were their caste^ to write me daily
an exercise on some part of the Scriptures ; which
they did^ and made great progress in this way. Now^
from the favourable result of my o^vn experiment^ I
take on myself to recommend to the Government the
establishment of a similar school at all their stations ;
and I should particularly urge the importance of
placing these schools under the care of the resident
chaplain^ or of a missionary, who has more time to
devote to the education of youth than any other of
the Company's servants can be supposed to have. I
should beg to suggest that the Christians who are
found competent to fill the offices of government,
should be placed on a level with the Mahomedans and
the Hindoos, and admitted to all offices for which
they may be qualified."

Mr Hough found the native churches and congrega-
tions sympathising with the schools, and giving simi-
lar indications of a want of adequate supervision. No
missionary had resided in the district since the death
of Joenicke in 1800, and no missionary had been there
for ten years, the last visit having been that of Gerike
in 1806. Mr Hough describes a chapel in the Fort
of Palamcottah, built by the widow of a Brahmin,
and a substantial church at Mothelloor ; the other



OF THE AUTHOE. XUl

places of worship were composed of mud walls^ thatched



Online LibraryJames HoughThe history of Christianity in India : from the commencement of the Christian era : second portion: comprising the history of protestant missions, 1706-1816 / by James Hough (Volume 5) → online text (page 1 of 54)