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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city of chaplains on the establishment would admit,
and the civil and military who occupied the country
seemed to keep pace with those at the old stations
in their advancement in religious knowledge. The
Bombay troops not being adequate to the protec-
tion of the whole Mahratta territory, a regiment
from Bengal, H. M. 67th, was transferred to that
presidency, and it brought an accession to the reli-
gious portion of the army. It had been under the
instruction of the Rev. H. Martyn and the Rev. H.
Fisher, the fruits of whose labours still remained.
The officer whose duty it was to visit the picquets
in the evening, while riding on his way, had his
attention suddenly arrested by a sound of men



expressed a desire that orders might be issued relieving Euro-
peans from taking any part in the native festivals, when these
required them to violate the positive institutions of the Chris-
tian religion. The archdeacon, in forwarding this letter to
government, says he would not believe any arguments could be
wanting to induce government to give such directions, not only
as will relieve their servants from attending native ceremonies
upon the Sunday, but on all occasions, and that such directions
shall be given ' as will for the future relieve the British inhabi-
tants from the necessity of ever attending on any ceremonies of
pagan worship.' Upon this the government directed, that when
the native festivals should happen to occur on the Christian
Sabbath, the attendance of the public authorities will in future
be dispensed with." — Notes from Bp. Carr.



IN INDIA : BOOK XIII. 1 [3

singing. He immediately perceived that it was
not the common singing of conviviality, for he
could distinguish the tune to be. that of a psalm or
hymn. He followed the sound till he came to a
small tent, in which he found a number of men
sitting round a lamp. The singing concluded, one
of them read a chapter in the Bible, and another
offered prayer to God for his blessing. This was
a very unusual sight in a camp in the very heart
of India ; and, no doubt, during their unsettled
state in their long marches, without the regular
means of divine worship and religious instruction,
these social meetings would be of much comfort
and encouragement to the men.^

7. This year, April 1819, the newly built Scotch ifii>t
Church was opened. In 1815, the members of the chuli il
Kirk of Scotland in the Company's service had buHt.
received a chaplain. Rev. James Clow ; but hitherto



^ A singular and painful event befel one of those men. Two
or three companies of H. M. 67th Eegiment were ordered into
Khandish, and passed through Surat on their march ; amongst
them were three or four of the religious men, who made them-
selves known to the chaplain, and during their stay came to him
two or three times for religious instruction. On their departure
they were supplied with a few books, and amongst others, a
copy of Mason's Pilgrim's Progress was lent to them. The
man to whom this book was more especially lent, after their
arrival in Khandish, became unsteady, was drawn aside, and for
some weeks, or even more, lived in sin. It pleased God, how-
ever, to restore him, after which he kept much to himself, and
was in the practice of retiring into the surrounding jungle to
read, and, as was supposed, for devotion. On one occasion he
took with him the Pilgrim's Progress ; the evening came and
he was missing, nor could he anywhere be found. In a day or
two some of his clothes and the Pilgrim's Progress were found at
some little distance in the jungle, and there was no doubt that
the poor man had been killed by a tiger ; a few weeks after-
wards the book, having been rebound, was sent to the chaplain
who had lent it, with a letter from one of the man's comrades,
stating the painful circumstances of his loss,

VOL. v. H



114



HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY



CHAP.
II.



Churches
erected at
various
stations.



Visitation
of Bishop
Middleton.
Chaplains
increased.



divine service had been performed, first in a mess-
room, and afterwards in the supreme court-house.
Before long, however, measures were taken for the
erection of a church, which was now completed and
opened with the usual services, and elders of the
church were regularly appointed. In 1823, a se-
cond chaplain arrived, and the members of the
Church of Scotland seemed to keep pace in their
improvement with those of the Church of England.

8. Hitherto all religious services of the Estab-
lished Church, out of the island of Bombay, had
been conducted either in barracks, mess-rooms, or
in the open air. But proposals were submitted to
the Government for the erection of churches at the
principal stations, Surat, Poonah, and Kairah ; and
in 1820 the foundation-stone of a new church was
laid at Surat. Arrangements were also made to
secure the ordinances of religion to the smaller sta-
tions, by appointing chaplains at convenient dis-
tances to visit some of them monthly ; and their
ministrations were in general highly appreciated.

9. In March of this year, Bishop Middleton made
his second visitation, which he did not extend be-
yond Bombay. He approved of the churches pro-
posed to be erected, and the first stone of that at
Poonah was laid on Trinity Sunday, June 17th,
with Masonic ceremonies, with prayer for the Divine
blessing on the work, offered up by the chaplain.
Rev. T. Robinson. In 1822, a church was opened
at Mattoongah, the head-quarters of the Honour-
able East India Company's Artillery in Bombay.
The church at Surat was also opened, the Christian
inhabitants having purchased a suitable organ by
subscription ; the foundation-stone of a new church
was likewise laid at Kairah. In 1823, the new
church at Poonah was opened, and in consequence
of the large and increasing body of Europeans at
the station, a second chaplain was appointed, the



IN INDIA : BOOK XIII. 115

number of chaplains having been augmented to
thirteen, and was shortly after increased to fifteen.
This year, the European crews of the Honourable
Company and merchant vessels in the harbour were
provided with Christian instruction, and means of
grace, by one of the chaplains of St Thomas's
Church conducting public worship on one of the
cruisers on the afternoon of Sunday.

10. In 1825, Bishop Heber held his visitation of Visitatio..
Bombay. His official proceedings will be recorded Hebi?°^'
in the account of his episcopate. Upon Whitsun- Gospei
day, in his sermon at St Thomas's Church, he J^on and'
brought the subject of missions, and the duty of Church
supporting them, before the congregation. Such arv Sodc-
was the impression his arguments and eloquence tjescstab-
produced, that, on the following day, the Governor,
the judges of the Supreme Court, members of the
Council, and other influential persons, attended a
meeting he had convened, and joined him in the
formation of a Committee of the Society for Propa-
gating the Gospel in Foreign Parts. This was the
first occasion on which members of the Government
had come prominently forward as private indivi-
duals in favour of direct missionary efforts. This
measure was a manifest proof of the great change
in public feeling on the subject of missions, and it
was generally acknowledged to be the duty of
Christians, in their private capacity, to seek the
conversion of India. On leaving Bombaj^, Bishop
Heber left a favourable impression behind. His
ability and amiable conduct, and instructive con-
versation, had the effect of removing prejudices
against missionary efforts, and his sermons were
listened to with attention and profit. This was
followed by the formation of an auxiliary Church
Missionary Society, under the patronage of the Hon.
Sir C. H. Chambers, puisne judge of the Supreme
Court. He presided over the first meeting, and



116



HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY



CHAP.
II.



New

schools of
the Educa-
tion So-
ciety built
at liycul-
lah.



continued to take a lively interest in the concerns
of the Society during the three years that he sur-
vived the formation of the auxiliary. The influ-
ence of this excellent man was always exerted in
favour of religion, and his quiet and exemplary
conduct in private life recommended it to those
with whom he associated.

11. By this time the schools of the Education
Society had so much increased, and a legacy left
by a Mrs Boyd several years before, for the educa-
tion of Protestant children, which, by the removal
of legal difficulties, was now available, having accu-
mulated to a large amount, the Committee deemed
it necessary that the Society should possess build-
ings of their own, sufficiently spacious and suitable,
in order to be able to comply with the increasing
applications made to them in behalf of Christians
of both sexes ; and especially for such as would
now have a claim for admission in consequence of
the additional establishment of the Military Asy-
lum.^ A grant was obtained from Government of
a suitable piece of ground at Bycullah, about three
miles from the Fort. While Bishop Heber was at
Bombay, the foundation-stone of the new Boys'
School was laid by the Governor, assisted by the
Archdeacon ; and that of the Girls' School, by Lady
West and Lady Chambers, in presence of a large
portion of the European residents. The Bishop
implored the Divine blessing upon the work, and
warmly congratulated the European community on
the existence and beneficial labours of the Society.
At the close of 1826, the buildings were completed,
and the two schools were removed into them. The
beneficial influence of these schools was, and still
continues to be, felt in diflerent circles, sending forth



' Society's Report for 1825.



IN INDIA : BOOK XIII. 117

many pupils for the department of surveyor, medi-
cal establishment, and the various trades. It has
also raised up an intelUgent and well-principled
class of females, capable of becoming companions
to their European husbands, who were settled at
different stations of the presidency. It appeared
that, during eleven years of its existence, six hun-
dred children of both sexes had been admitted into
schools, of whom two hundred and seventy- one
were now in the establishment ; and so liberally
had the Institution been supported by the commu-
nity, that 80,000 rupees had been saved out of the
contributions ; which sum was expended on new
buildings.

NATIVE EDUCATION.

12. The native department of education was The
separated, in 1820, from the Education Society, Id
and a new Society formed, first with the view of Society
providing native school-books ; and, secondly, for
improving the native schools already existing, and
opening others, to be entirely under the manage-
ment of a Society of respectable natives joined to
this Society, and a Committee was elected, consist-
ing both of European and native members. Such
was the origin of what afterwards became '^ The
Native Education Society." ^ It was greatly to be
regretted that these schools were not provided with
religious instruction ; but all works relating to their
own religion were superseded by books on general
history, and different branches of science, which,
it was hoped, would tend to elevate, if not to purify
the mind. The experience of Bengal native schools,
however, has proved this to be a hazardous expe-
riment.



^ It is called the El[)liinstorie Institution.



Native
ucation

cicty
formed.



118 HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY

CHAP. 13. We will conclude the subject of education
^^' with the notice^ that considerable assistance was
Govern- afforded by Government to the support of regi-
m^nVf"^' ii^ental schools — there was scarcely a regiment
regimental witliout its school. A military asylum was also
Mimt'* established in 1820, to which soldiers and non-
Asyium commissioucd officers subscribed, according to a
f^mi graduated scale. This establishment was to pro-
vide for the education of their children, who were
left orphans, by admission into the schools raised
at Bycullah.
Retire- 14. At the close of this year, the church of

Arch.°* Bombay lost the principal agent in these proceed-
Barnes. ings^ by the retirement of Archdeacon Barnes. At
the visitation of Bishop Heber he preached the
sermon, when he took occasion to give the first
public intimation of his intention to return to
Europe. And now, after having held the arch-
deaconry for eleven years, he left Bombay, carry-
ing with him the esteem of the Government, of the
clergy over whom he presided, and of the Christian
community of the presidency. To his care and
judgment were ascribed, under the Divine blessing,
the various improvements made in the ecclesiastical
establishment, and the number of new churches
erected, and '^the provision made in nearly every
station for the regular conducting of public worship.
To his judicious and persevering efforts were justly
attributed the formation and maintenance of the
Bombay Education Society, and from it, the first
efforts for introducing improvement into the edu-
cation of natives. No wonder, therefore, that the
loss of such a director was deeply regretted ; but his
works remained, and have continued to promote the
moral and religious improvement of the presidency.^



^ Dr Carr, formerly chaplain, afterwards Bishop of Bombay,



IN INDIA : BOOK XIII. 119



CONCLUSION.



To what is this extensive change to be attri-
buted within the space of ten years ? It was not
the result of any individual's exertion made in-
strumental in awakening attention to religion. The
work went on in a quiet^ unobtrusive way, under
a diligent use of the appointed means of grace.
The diffusion of Bibles and religious books, the
frequent arrival from Europe of young men reli-



furnished the author with extensive notes, containing valuable
information on the past history of Bombay, which were accom-
panied with the following interesting letter : —

" My Dear Sir — I now forward to you the remainder of the
notes respecting Bombay. I feel they are very meagre ; but
although I have carefully gone over the correspondence, and
newspapers of the period over which the notes extend, nothing
of any moment has been omitted; indeed, much that is put
down is of little consequence beyond the stations to which it
relates. It is difficult to give a history of a period in which so
very few facts are to be found ; such as they are, they have
been noted down. It is, however, very certain, that between
the years 1815 and 1826, a very great change had taken place
in the Christian community of the Bombay presidency. In
the former year there were not more than about six persons in
the whole period who were paying serious attention to religion ;
whereas, about the year 1826, although the number of stations
had greatly increased, and the European population also (for
during this interval the Mahratta war had placed the whole of
the Deckhan, with parts of Groozerat, in our possession), yet
there was scarcely a station in which there was not one or more
individuals really in earnest upon the subject of religion ; and,
in one or two of the largest stations, there were several such
persons. Indeed, considerable interest was felt upon the sub-
ject, and for the extension of the gospel amongst the heathen.
A question has often arisen in my mind. By what means was
this change brought about ? There was no popular minister in
the presidency, nor any particular season of distress, which had
roused the attention to eternal things. The cholera was flying
about, but we had become in a measure used to it. The causes



I.



120 HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY

CHAP, giously educated^ whose example and conversation
had a salutary influence on their companions.
Officers who received the truth were diligent in
endeavours to prevail upon their brother officers
and other companions to follow their example,
and, through God's assistance, often prevailed.
The profession of religion soon ceased to be a sub-
ject of reproach.



which have occurred to me were — there arrived an increased
number of young persons who had received a truly Christian
education ; some who, from their arrival, attended to religion ;
the quiet intercourse of such persons with their brother-officers
to whom they spoke of religion as opportunities presented them-
selves. The same quiet intercourse of chaplains, missionaries,
and the provision of Christian books, seem to have been the
different means blessed of God for bringing about the change ;
the means by which piety was cherished in the hearts of indi-
viduals, whose attention had been awakened, were the means
of public worship at nearly all the stations, which the increased
number of chaplains afforded. The different serious persons
had no ordinances of religion (except in Bombay, Surat, and
the Deckhan, for the last two years) beyond what our Church
afforded ; and her services were diligently attended, and were
valued, by such persons. The orderly and Christian piety of
that day was much nourished by our Church services, and
many Avere greatly indebted to them who had not duly con-
sidered their great value for edification. The value of these
regular ordinances in this respect was very great ; and much
thankfulness is due to God, who had at this time disposed the
Honourable Court to increase the number of chaplains and
churches. Trusting that your work may receive the Divine
blessing,

" Believe me, my Dear Sir, very sincerely yours,

'' T. Bombay."



IN INDIA : BOOK XIII. 121



mission.



CHAPTER III.

SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE — SOUTH
INDIA MISSIONS, 1817-1826.

VEPERY.

1. In the first chapter was mentioned the re- Revival
vival of the Vepery mission, after the death of M. veVery
Poezold, under the care of Dr Rottler, also the dis-
tribution of the Society's English books found laid
up in store.^ The Madras District Committee were
soon actively engaged in the English department
of the Society's operations. Depots for the sale
and circulation of Bibles, Prayer-Books, and reli-
gious works, were established at the chaplain's
principal stations ; and in several cantonments,
which were without chaplains, the officers took
charge of the books, and manifested an interest in
disposing of them among the troops which they
had never evinced before.

But our immediate province is, to describe the
state of the Society's missions for the heathen.
On the death of Poezold, the Madras District Com-
mittee, at the request of the two surviving mis-
sionaries, Kohlhoff* and Pohle, took charge of the
Yepery mission. They immediately requested Dr

^ Chap. i. sect. 14.



122 HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY

CHAP. Rottler to resume the spiritual superintendence of
^^^' the establishment, and then directed their atten-
tion to its temporal affairs^ which they found in
great disorder. Besides the English Bibles and
other religious works^ ^^ lyii^g in storeroom^ un-
packed^ or heaped up^ and in danger of destruction
by white ants/' there was a considerable num-
ber of dictionaries, grammars, and other works in
Tamul and English, printed at the Society's mis-
sion press. A portion of these were immediately
bound, and prepared for sale ; which was the more
readily effected, and at a trifling expense, as the
mission stores contained a large suj)ply of binding
materials of every description, as well as a binding
press, which only required to be set up. By these
means the Committee were soon enabled to furnish
the native schools and congregations with the
books which they had for a long time much re-
quired. So shamefully had the mission been
neglected !

The Committee's next object was to set up the
printing-press, which had not been worked for a
long time ; though there was a very large stock of
type, ink, and paper on hand. The types had to
be recast, and after some delay in consequence of
this, and other preparations required, two presses
were set up in the beginning of the year 1820, and
the stores were made available for printing various
useful works on subjects of religion and education.
In the first year of its re- establishment, the press
issued about four thousand books and tracts. In
1824 an edition of the Tamul Bible was reprinted
at the mission press, under the superintendence of
the Society's missionaries, and the work was exe-
cuted in a very handsome manner.^



' S. P. C. K. Report 1825, p. 5H.



IN INDIA : BOOK XIII.



123



2. Before the presses were set to work, the
stores, on the appHcation of Dr Rottler, were ap-
propriated to the printing of his Tamul translation
of the Book of Common Prayer. This work he
commenced at the instance and for the use of the
Church Missionary Society, before he took charge
of the Vepery mission, and completed it after his
services were engaged by the Society for Promot-
ing Christian Knowledge. He acknowledges, that
throughout the progress of the work, his thanks
were eminently due to the learning and liberality
of Richard Clarke, Esq., Tamul Translator to
Government, and Secretary to the Madras District
Committee, by whose frequent corrections it was
much improved. The book is described as ^^ a very
handsome volume in quarto, neatly printed and
Ijound "^ Dr Bottler repaid the Society for the
assistance afforded him with two hundred and
thirty-seven copies of the work, which, with one
hundred and twenty-five copies, placed at their dis-
posal by the Government of Fort St George, were
appropriated first to supply the wants of the So-
ciety's missions, and then to individuals or esta-
blishments not dependent on the Societ}^

3. An account has been given in a former volume
of a considerable legacy bequeathed to this and the
Negapatam mission by M. Gericke f and on inves-
tigation of the receipts and disbursements, the Com-
mittee found that the annual expenditure of the
two missions was nearly met by the permanent



Printing
the Tamul
Liturgy.



Account
of the
mission
proi)crty.



2 S. P. C. K. Eeport 1819, p. 130. First Report of the Ma-
dras District Committee. The profits of this work Dr Rottler
appropriated to the Vepery mission and the Church Missionary-
Society.

•^ \o\. iii. p. 468. " A fund which Avas sufficient to keep it
up as it stood at his death."



124



HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY



CHAP.
III.



An'ival
of three
mission-
aries.



income of their funded property.^ Thus^ mth due
care and management^ it appeared that the income
arising from the property bequeathed by M. Gericke
would be sufficient for the support of the institu-
tion. The principal buildings and land ostensibly
the property of the mission^ were the churchy the
mission-house^ the burial-ground and garden ad-
joining, the houses occupied by the schoolmasters,
several houses that were rented, and a piece of
ground with a plantation of cocoa-nut trees, which
was expected to yield an annual income of one
hundred pagodas.^ There were also about nine hun-
dred volumes in the library, many of which,
however, were worm-eaten and otherwise much
damaged. Add to these the communion plate and
church furniture, and we have a full account of the
mission property at this period In the year 1821,
the funds were reported to be much improved,
under Dr Eottler's administration, notwithstanding
the great expense of repairs and alterations. The
result of this investigation was very promising, and
the committee were encouraged to hope that they
should soon be able to restore the mission to full
vigour and efficiency.

4. The premises which required it were imme-
diately repaired ; and the Committee applied for
two missionaries to be sent without delay, to
enable them to carry their plans into effect. Ac-
cordingly, on the 18th of June 1819, two arrived.
Revs. Laurence Peter Haubroe and David Rosen,
who were strongly recommended to the Society by
the Bishop of Zealand, by whom they were ordained



^ Annual expenses, Pagodas 1197
Annual interest of property, 1140 13 70



' XIO sterling.



Deficiency,



JG 31 10~al)outc£22, ISs,



IN INDIA: BOOK XIII. 125

for this mission. But only one, M. Haubroe, could
be spared for Vepery/ and he proved a vahialjle
colleague to Dr Kottler, who was now far advanced
in years. Another missionary, the Rev. E. A. G.
Falcke, arrived not long after, but he did not sur-
vive long enough to enter upon his labours.* His
death is thus spoken of by the Board of Missions : —
^^ He was a man of Christian simplicity of cha-
racter ; and his humane disposition, sober piety,
and laborious habits peculiarly fitted him for the
service of the mission, in that branch of its hxbours



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 13 of 54)