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 Report of the Calcutta Committee for 1827.

^^ He had laboured in the service of the Church
Missionary Society upward of fourteen years, dur-
ing the whole of which period he had uniformly
adorned the doctrine of God our Saviour, and
greatly endeared himself to many Christians of all
classes in society. By patience and meekness under
persecutions and reproaches for Christ's sake, and
by persevering endeavours to return good for evil,
even his enemies had become at peace with him ;
while, by his labours to make known the Gospel,
multitudes of his countrymen were brought to
acknowledge the superiority of the Christian reli-
gion, and about a hundred of them to embrace the
profession of it. Many of these departed this life
before him, some have returned to their old errors,
and some remain walking in the truth. While the

Missionary Kegister 1827, p. 453.


Committee justly regret the loss which the cause
of the Gospel has suffered in the removal of so
valuable a fellow-labourer, they would offer their
hearty thanks to the Father of Lights, from whom
every good and perfect gift doth come, for mani-
festing so signally the power of his grace in the
conversion, holy life, and triumphant death of this
true servant of Christ." ^

The native flock at Agra continued to assemble
for Divine worship under Fuez Messeeh. Encour-
aged by a friend to the mission, he established
three native girls' schools in the city, in which
there were thirty- one scholars, five of whom were
widows. But the station long felt the loss of the
faithful Abdool Messeeh.

22. Chunar. — Mr Bowley's removal to Chunar, cbunar.
the commencement of his labours there, and his
extensive plan for native schools, were mentioned
in the last chapter on this mission.^ He persevered
in his labours there with steadiness and zeal. Mr
Corrie visited the station in February and March
1818, and his communications * to the Correspond-
ing Committee were highly encouraging. One
extract from them will serve to shew the state of
the congregation at this period.

'' The usual number of Europeans who attend
Divine service regularly is about forty ; and that
of native Christians who attend worship in Hin-
doostanee about seventy or eighty. The number in
both congregations has been gradually and regu-

^ Missionary Eegister 1828, pp. 164, 165. An obituary of
Abdool Messeeh is given in the Miss. Register for October
1827 ; and a portrait of hira in that for June 1831.

' Book xi. c. iv.

* These communications may be seen in the Mise. Eegister
for 1819, pp. 31, 220-222, 272.


CHAP, larly increasing, and testifies of itself to the dili-
'_ gence and exemplary conduct of Mr Bowley.

^^ The state of the people impressed me deeply
with the value of his labours. I knew the degra-
dation of both European invalids and their native
wives and families, from three years' residence
among them ; and now to behold so many of them
adorning by their lives the doctrine of God our
Saviour, was to me most gratifying, and will be
considered as an ample recompence, for all their
contributions, by the supporters of our Society.

^^A remarkable tenderness of conscience seems
to distinguish most of them, and their altered and
exemplary conduct is the talk of all."
Amis- 23. In January 1819, Rev. William Greenwood,

joins^'the fi'o^ Calcutta, was added to this station. Mr
station. Bowlcy wclcomcd him with great joy, and he im-
mediately entered on his work. There were up-
wards of two hundred Europeans, invalids, at this
station, with the families of non-commissioned
officers who might be in the field. Of this new
sphere of labour, Mr Greenwood wrote —

^^ I am much gratified with the state of things
here, and delighted with my situation ; and have,
I think, a prospect of much usefulness.

^^ The native Christians appear very exemplary
in their lives, and very devout when attending
Divine service. It is really edifying to see them ;
and shews, very forcibly, what Divine grace can

Of his visits to the hospital, he says —

'^ It is very affecting to see with what anxiety
the sick soldiers daily send for me, when they
think that they shall not recover ; and how they
open to me the most secret workings of their hearts,
and acknowledge the folly of their former ways."

The reason of Mr Greenwood's removal was to
supplj^the church they were now erecting at Chunar.


The ground was given by the proprietor, a Mr
TurnbuU, and the subscription list was headed by
the Marquis of Hastings, with a thousand rupees.
The object was Hberally supported by all classes,
even to the poorest among the European and native
residents. It was finished in 1821, and opened for
the double purpose of English and Hindoostanee
worship. A mission-house, also, with necessary
offices, was erected contiguous to the church ; and
the Government, at the suggestion of the Calcutta
Committee, built twelve alms-houses for the poor
Christian widows of European invalids residing at
this station. This was the first asylum for the
widowed native woman that modern India had

24. Mr Greenwood's residence here left Mr M'-Bow-
Bowley at liberty to pursue his favourite occupa- ccmrse" ^^'
tion with the natives in the places of public resort, ^^'^h the
His journals, as heretofore, give a full and interest-
ing account of his conversations with them. His
manner of delineating the state and mind of the
people among whom he laboured conveys a lively
impression both of the difficulties and encourage-
ments which they present to a missionary.^ He
sometimes found it hard to obtain anything like a
stated hearing in the market-places, or anywhere
else, as the practice of listening to the missionaries,
or associating with them, was branded with oppro-
brious epithets. Those inclined to listen were often
deterred by fear of losing caste, and suffering the
taunts and reproaches of their friends. But, under
all circumstances, he encouraged himself with the
thoughts of Christ in His work and offices.

^ These journals are published in full, both in the Miss.
Register and in the Appendices to the Society's Reports for
this decade.




His ordi-
nation ;
of his

^^These/' he says, '^have kept up my head out
of deep waters."

He frequently attended annual fairs at different
places, and many festivals at Benares, on which
occasions considerable numbers of single Gospels,
tracts, and catechisms were circulated, and conver-
sations and discussions held with the people. Many
came by these means to acknowledge openly that,
without Christ, there is no salvation.

25. In 1820, MrBowley received Lutheran orders
at the hands of the Society's German missionaries ;
and, in 1825, he was ordained a minister of the
Church of England by Bishop Heber, when he
served the Church at Chunar, in the room of Mr
Greenwood, who in the same year was removed to
Allahabad, in consequence of a petition addressed
to Bishop Heber by the British residents at this
place. ^

The native congregation steadily increased at
this period. In January 1820, Mr Bowley, in a
review of the course and effect of his labours at
Chunar, remarked, that when he first assembled
the native Christians, from twelve to fifteen at-
tended ; but in ^ve years this grain of mustard-
seed had been growing, till it had become a tree
of from ninety to a hundred branches, of whom
fifty were regular communicants. In 1826, when
Archdeacon Corrie visited this station, he found
the converts nearly doubled, and thus described
them : — ^^The responses of the native congregation,
in Hindoostanee, remind me of the hearty Amen
with which the first Christians are said to have
responded to the public prayers. On the Sunday

^ Allahabad was now added to the stations occupied by the
Society, but the proceedings there were not yet sufficiently
advanced to require notice in this chapter.


which I passed at Chunar^ about two hundred
attended Divine service^ of whom about forty were
unbaptized native inhabitants of the place, most
of whom attend every Sabbath day." ^ Fifty-seven
of the flock were confirmed on this occasion by
Bishop Heber.

Besides his usual ministrations in the church,
Mr Bowley, after his ordination, opened a chapel
in the midst of the native toAvn, where he was
attended by a considerable number of respectable
natives, who would not, for fear of incurring re-
proach, enter the church. Here he was heard with
much attention, and in a short time two persons,
an old man and a youth, offered themselves as
candidates for baptism, and were admitted.

26. There were six schools in Chunar and the Schools—
vicinity, containing one hundred and eighty boys, ^^0^3' ^'
and one female school, with about fifty scholars,
women and girls. In the boys' schools were taught
English, Persian, Hindoostanee, and Hindeewee.

^ Satisfactory accounts are given from time to time, in Mr
Bowley's journals, of the members of his congregation who died
in the faith of Christ. We will select one for insertion here.

'' Jan. 10. 1824. — To-night, at ten o'clock, I found Sumrut
Doss (a native Christian, baptized here in November 1820)
apparently in perfect health ; and, in two hours after, saw him
a corpse. His wife said that he had complained a little. Since
his baptism his life has been exemplary, to the admiration even
of heathens around us. He never for a moment seemed to feel
the least inclination to return to Hindooism.

^^ Jan 11, Sunday. — The remains of Sumrut Doss were con-
veyed by Europeans to the place of interment. All the native
Christian congregation accompanied, mostly in black; many
Europeans also followed, and not less than 100 heathens, who
were all well acquainted with the character of the deceased. The
service was in Hindoostanee. Several Hindoos remarked that
they never heard of a more hopeful death ; meaning, that the
transition was so sudden and without previous pain. The
whole seemed to make a deep impression on the people."




Church at

In 1823 the Government of Bengal relieved the
Society of the expense of the English school^ it be-
ing found beneficial to the jDublic service^ several of
the scholars having been prepared for various kinds
of employment. In these schools the New Testa-
ment and other religious books were taught. The
female scholars learned English and Hindoostanee,
besides sewing and knitting.

In addition to his ministerial labours, Mr Bowley
occupied himself in the important work of transla-
tion. He first revised Mr Martyn's Hindoostanee
Testament for the use of the people among whom
he laboured, by substituting common Hindoostanee
words for the Arabic and Persian words, which the
idiom of the Oordoo required, but which were un-
intelligible to the Hindoos in his neighbourhood.
This work was completed in 1824, when he began
with the Old Testament, in which he had made
some progress at the close of 1826.

27. Buxar, about seventy miles below Benares,
is a station of invalid soldiers. In 1818, some
native Christians residing here having expressed an
earnest desire for religious instruction, Mr Bowley
spent a week among them, and was received with
much attention. This appeared to him a more
eligible situation, in respect of the heathen, than
even Chunar, one or two fairs being held here
annually, which were resorted to by multitudes of
natives from all quarters. There was also a place
about half a mile off, where devotees, from different
parts of India, took up their abode, generally for
life. Mr Bowley visited some of the native huts,
and his report of the prospect for missionary exer-
tion was so satisfactory, that in the following year,
the Calcutta Committee placed a catechist here,
Kurrum Messeeh, who laboured diligently in his
humble sphere. He taught the native Christians
to read the New Testament, and to repeat the


Catechism ; and also conducted their worship ac-
cording to the Hindoostanee Prayer-book. The
congregation was composed of about forty, of differ-
ent ages. In 1826, when Archdeacon Corrie visited
this station, he found that the people were greatly
in want of a place of worship, and a circumstance
occurred which induced him at once to begin one.
A native Christian, the widow of a Sergeant Car-
rol, having obtained some arrears of pension due to
her husband, brought to the Archdeacon one hun-
dred rupees, begging him to receive it '''as an offer-
ing to the church." She had long been an at-
tentive and consistent Christian : her religious
impressions were first received at Chunar, and this
offering she made of her own accord, in token of
her gratitude for the blessing of Christian instruc-
tion. Another friend having presented a donation
for the same object, the Archdeacon commenced
the erection of a small church, upon a piece of
ground near the parade, which the commanding
officer permitted him to inclose.

28. TiTALYA is in the northern part of Rungpore, Ov^mg
whence access might be opened into Bootan, Thibet,
and even China. The commanding officer at this
station. Captain (afterwards Major) Latter, was
anxious to obtain the services of a missionary at a
post of such importance. There he might become
acquainted with the Thibet and other languages
hitherto unknown, but current among extensive
nations, who had presses of their own for printing,
which afforded a great facility for circulating the
Scriptures. Upon this representation, the Calcutta
Committee appointed Mr Schroeter to Titalya,
where they could not but anticipate great benefit
to the cause of Christianity by this opening to the
vast regions which border on India and China.

Under some discouragements, however, in the
early part of his residence, Mr Schroeter was called

at Tita-


CHAP, down to Burdwan, to superintend the Society's

^^^- schools at that station. He took with him the books

which he had collected in the language of Thibet^

intending to employ his leisure at Burdwan in the

prosecution of those studies.

On the application of Captain Latter, who was
disappointed at Mr Schroeter's removal. Govern-
ment undertook to support him at Titalya, whither,
mth the Corresponding Committee's sanction, he
returned in 1819. Shortly after his arrival, on the
20th of March, he wrote to the Society : — '^ Here
I am now again in full pursuit of the first rudi-
ments of a language with which Europeans have
been hitherto very little acquainted ; and I trust
that, with the blessing of God, I may be enabled
to furnish some materials, to facilitate to others the
acquisition of this language ; so that finally we
shall see the Word of Life go forth in this tongue

In March 1820, he writes: — '^My vocabulary
has received a considerable increase ; so much so,
that if I could work this whole year, day and night,
I should not be able to write all out on clean paper.

'' There are yet two other languages spoken in
the mountains of Nepaul, with which Europeans
are quite unacquainted. These are the Lapchap
and Limbooan ; called, in the language of Bootan,
Monpa and Tsong. These languages are quite dis-
tinct, in the character and words, from the Thibet,
or Bootan ; and will, consequently, require two
missionaries to obtain a knowledge of them, when-
ever it shall please God to open a way to them."

But while thus diligently pursuing the great
object of his appointment to this station, he did
not neglect his appropriate duties as a minister of
religion. Besides officiating in English for the
officers and soldiers, he reports : — '' On the Lord's
day, I have twice Divine worship, in the Hindoo-


stanee language^, in which Mr Marty n's translation
of the Prayer-book and New Testament are used :
the number in attendance is, at present, but very
small, the greater part of it being Christian drum-
mers ; now and then a new comer steps in, and
stays away again. Last Easter day, I baptized a
native drummer ; and three more candidates for
baptism are frequenting my house, for further
instruction in the Christian doctrines."

29. The labours of this young missionary were station
soon to terminate. He was attacked with fever, pended.
which put an end to his life, July 14. 1820, in the
midst of his days and usefulness. He died per-
fectly tranquil, without a sign or groan.

This dispensation was a heavy disappointment to
Major Latter and the Calcutta Committee. Anxious
to prosecute labours so auspiciously begun, they
immediately appointed a missionary to Titalya,
Rev. Benedict La Roche, who arrived from England
about the time that intelligence of Mr Schroeter s
death reached Calcutta. Government readily ac-
cepted the offer of Mr La Roche's services, but his
sudden sickness frustrated this design. He was
obliged to return to England, where he died in
August 1821.

In October 1822 two missionaries arrived at Cal-
cutta, Revs. Maisch and Reichardt, for Titalya ;
but the death of Major Latter in that month pre-
vented their proceeding to that station, which was
therefore suspended. The exertions of Major Latter
and Mr Schroeter were not, however, lost, being
afterwards made available in the translations of the
Scriptures and other works into the language of

^ After the death of Mr Schroeter, Major Latter transmitted
to the Supreme Government a list of the manuscripts, seven in
number, which he had left on the subject of the Tliibetian Ian-




ment at

30. Burdwan. — Mention has been made of two
schools opened at this station, in 1816, by Lieu-

guage, with a statement of the progress made in each (Mission-
ary Register 1824, p. 335). Two of these MSS., a Thibetian
and English Dictionary, and a Supplement to the same, were
afterwards put into the hand of Rev. Dr Carey of Serampore,
who undertook to correct and publish them, and also to prepare
a Grammar of the Thibet language from Mr Shroeter's mate-
rials. When this transfer of the MSS. for such a purpose was
published, the Jesuits, supposing Schroeter to be one of their
fraternity, unwittingly bore testimony to his diligence and
ability. The reader will be much amused with the following
notice of him and his labours in the "Noveau Journal Asiatique."
The jealousy of the editors for his reputation would probably
have been unknown, if they had been aware, as they ought to
have been, that he was a thorough Protestant, and not one of
the Jesuit " Fathers."

" Father Schroeter, a G-erman missionary, who long resided
in Thibet, has left a complete dictionary as well as a grammar
of that language of the country, commonl}^ called ' Bhot-yid,' or
the language of Bhote. He composed these two works from the
compilations of preceding missionaries in that country, and from
his own observations : hence they are partly in Latin, partly in
Italian, and partly in German. The MS. of F. Schroeter has
been purchased by the English of Calcutta ; and it was placed
in the hands of Dr W. Carey, in 1823, in order to be translated
and prepared for the press. The work is about to appear, in
one quarto volume, well printed. We hope to find that M.
Carey has happily overcome the difficulties attending the publi-
cation of a dialect of which he is ignorant (qu'on ne connait pas
soi-meme). We have also reason to hope that the name of the
real author will not be omitted in the title page of the work, as
has happened to several other productions of the same kind in
India." — Missionary Register 1828, p. 414.

Major Latter procured from Europe, at a heavy expense,
copies of every work that had any reference to Thibet, or to the
language of that country ; and he spared no exertions to procure
Thibet manuscripts, from whatever quarter they could be ob-
tained. These he placed in Mr Schroeter's hand. On the death
of Major Latter, his valuable collection was purchased by the
Rev. Mr Mill, the Principal of Bishop's College, on account of
the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. The dispersion
of many of the continental libraries, under the influence of the
French Revolution, at the time when the purchases for Major


tenant (afterwards Captain) Stuart/ who pro-
posed to the Calcutta Committee an extensive
plan of native schools at Burdwan^ and in the
neighbourhood. The Committee assured him of
such assistance as they might be able to render,
and the present decade opened with three schools,
containing three hundred and fifty children. Burd-
wan is about forty miles above Calcutta ; it is one
of the most populous districts in India, and the
people were described as thirsting for knowledge.
It was, therefore, a favourable spot for the pro-
posed plan of education, and during the year 1818
the schools were increased to twelve, containing
about eleven hundred children, who were taught
the Bengalee language. Shortly after Captain Stu-
art opened a central school for instruction in Eng-
lish, which was a measure of great promise, both
parents and children being pleased with the ar-
rangement. The most promising scholars Avere
selected from the other schools, and admission into
the central school they esteemed a great privilege.
The Bible was not introduced at once into these
schools, it being deemed advisable to prepare the

Latter were made at Paris, placed many valuable books within
his reach, which could not otherwise have been obtained.

The library of the College has been further enriched by the
liberality of Mrs Latter, in presenting to it a collection of manu-
scripts and printed books, in the language of Thibet, formed by
Major Latter in that country. These literary treasures are now
first opened for the use of Europeans. Major Latter directed,
by his will, that they should be presented to some society under
whose care they might be best employed for the promotion of
literature and religion. These works relate to the language,
history, mythology, manners, and social and civil state of the
people. There are also specimens of the block-printing of the
natives of great antiquity.

^ B. xi c. iv.



children's minds for scriptural lessons by a course
of instruction in several branches of useful know-
ledge. The plan of education was that adopted
by Mr May at Chinsurah, with some modifications
by Captain Stuart, which were considered im-

The establishment of the central school involved
a considerable addition to the expenses of this sta-
tion ; for, as the majority of the children lived
at a distance from Burdwan, it was found impos-
sible, while they resided at home with their pa-
rents, that they should attend daily at the school ;
and, consequently, the full advantages of the insti-
tution could only be enjoyed by providing them
with board and lodging in the school premises.
Captain Stuart, with this object, erected a com-
modious building contiguous to the school, where
they Avere boarded and lodged during the week,
being permitted to visit their several homes on
Saturday, provided they returned in time for busi-
ness on Monday morning.

Captain Stuart was urgent for a missionary to
take charge of this station ; and, in anticipation of
his request being granted, he purchased for the
Society a space of ground, with some building upon
it,^ and laid the foundation of a house for the ac-
commodation of a missionary family. The central
school was built on the same ground, and here he
was laying the foundation of the future mission-
ary's work, as well as that of his habitation.
Though he had hitherto withheld the Scriptures
as a reading-book, yet he gave all the pupils to
understand that the missionary would introduce it

^ The cost of this building, with 20 acres of hind, was 4400
rupees, or £550.


into the central school. The English schoolmaster
was a Mr D'Anselme, an East Indian.

31. Mr Schroeter's temporary abode at Burd wan Arrival
was mentioned above. In November 1819, two ^^issio^n-
missionaries arrived here from England, the Revs, aries.
J. A. Jetter and W. J. Deer. Mr Jetter took
charge of the central school, and Mr Deer entered

on the superintendence of the Bengalee schools.
Mr D'Anselme, who had hitherto been exclusively
employed in the English school, was now set at

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 27 of 54)