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

. (page 29 of 54)
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 29 of 54)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

supported by two rows of pillars, excellently suited for a


CHAP, up an advertisement^ detailing the plan and objects
^^' of the school^ which was translated into the lan-
guages current in those parts of India^ and put into

The school was opened July 17. 1818 ; and, in
November, one hundred and sixteen scholars had
been admitted, and the school became very popu-
lar among the natives. The particular course of
education, as w^ell as the appointment of the mas-
ters, was wholly under the control of the Society's
representatives, and was therefore conducted on
the principles and with the views which governed
them in all their proceedings. They appointed Mr
Adlington head-master ; the second master was a
young man, an East Indian, but educated in Eng-
land, who proved a valuable assistant, from his in-
timate acquaintance mth the colloquial language
and manners of the natives. These, however,
were only regarded as temporary arrangements.
To give full effect to the bounty of Jay Narain,
two well-educated English missionaries were re-
quired ; but these the Committee had not yet at
their command.

It soon became apparent that the monthly
allowance granted by Jay Narain was greatly ex-
ceeded by the expenses of the establishment, and
that an additional sum of two hundred and fifty
rupees ^ was necessary, in order to carry on the
school with effect. Jay Narain, therefore, for-
mally applied to Government for pecuniary assist-
ance, and his application was granted to the extent
required. By this grant, an important branch of

school room ; behind that, a large room intended for a library
and museum ; with other apartments in the Hindoostanee fa-
shion. Both the masters were able to reside on the premises.
* £400 per annum.


the missionary undertaking received the sanction
of the highest authorities.

In the following year (1820)^ the school was ex-
amined by a gentleman high in office at Benares,
when the improvement of the scholars was found
answerable to the time and means afforded for
their instruction. The number in attendance was
150. Besides elementary books, containing ideas
opposed to polytheism, the New Testament in
English was used by the first class ; and all the
Hindoo boys who learnt Persian read the New
Testament in that language as a class-book. This
was agreeable to the founder's will ; and the allow-
ance which he charitably made to poor boys for
subsistence, enabled such of them as were disposed
to cultivate the love of knowledge.

Besides this institution, Mr Corrie established
another school at Secrole, a military station close
to Benares, which was supported by the residents
in the neighbourhood. This was chiefly for the
benefit of children whose parents belonged or
were attached to the army, and it proved of essen-
tial benefit.

40. In January 1821, an English missionary, '^^n^^'
Rev. Thomas Morris, arrived at Benares, to take death.
charge of the establishment ; but in the autumn of
the same year, it was deprived of its founder. Jay
Narain, who died on the 9th of November. The
day before, he had been removed to what the
Hindoos called a ''holy place," whether by his
own desire or no could not be ascertained. Mr
Morris had visited him some time before, during
an attack of illness, when he appeared to have
some serious impressions on his mind, and re-
quested the missionary to pray with him. But
now he was almost too fjir gone to know him, and
his views and feelings on the near approach of
death could not be ascertained. He expired at





His son
fulfils his

the ^' holy place/' whither his people had carried
him. It is to be regretted that the closing days
of this benevolent man were not accompanied b}^
clearer evidence of the decisive influence of Chris-
tianity upon his mind. In his letter to the Bible
Society, in 1810, he said plainly — '' I am no
Christian, nor wish to be one." But in writing to
the Church Missionary Society, eight years after,
he gave a much more promising account of the
disposition of his mind towards Christianity ; and
his son, Kolly Shunker Ghossaul, in a letter to Mr
Corrie, a few days after his father's death, spoke
of him in a way that encouraged the hope that he
believed in Christ for salvation. ^' He suffered no
worldly pain in his mind," wrote his son ; ^' and
no doubt, I believe, by his Christian faith he will
enjoy eternal happiness in the next world."

41. Kolly Shunker himself trode in his father's
steps. In the same letter to Mr Corrie, after
urging, as Jay Narain had done, the establishment
of a printing press at Benares, he adds — '^ Now, I
wish to reside some time in this part, and to effect
the increase of Christian knowledge among the
people. I therefore beg you will pray for the
enlightening of the human minds which are natu-
rally in darkness. Oh, I am sure, without it no
good can be expected in this or in the next world!"

The sincerity of these expressions were soon
put to the test. It appeared that the legal trans-
fer of the property, mentioned above to have been
assigned by Jaj^ Narain to the support of these
schools, was not finally effected ; but Kolly Shun-
ker, very honourably, secured to the Society
perpetuity the monthly pa^onent assigned by hi^


^ This act was so honourable to tliis wealthy native, that we
must preserve the paragraph of his letter to tlie Calcutta Com-


42. The school contmued to flourish under Mr P'f>f?iess
Morris's superintendence^ assisted by a very effi- school,
cient master^ a Mr Stewart. In addition to the
instructions mentioned above, the Church Cate-
chism was now used in all the classes ; so that,
besides the knowledge of divine truth, acquired
from reading their usual lessons, the principles of
Christianity were distinctly taught them ; nor
was there at any time the least objection made to
this religious instruction by either the boys or
their parents. The school was publicly examined
from time to time ; and in 1824, the Bishop of
Calcutta, in company with Archdeacon Corrie,
was present at the examination, when the classes
exhibited good proficiency in Christian knowledge,
in translating the History of England into Hin-
doostanee, in English grammar, arithmetic, and
geography. At tlie close of 1826, the number of
scholars was 150.^

mittee, in which he first declared his intention : — " For the
school which my father established in this city, to support ex-
penses, he was bound to pay monthly 200 sicca rupees. He
made no will for it ; but I am bound to pay it for his sake,
regularly, as long as I live. But I do not wish any hesitation
to take place for the payment in future, either by my decaying
in wealth, or by the neglect of my children, heirs, and repre-
sentatives. I therefore wish to secure the fund by landed pro-
perty. I have two houses, of English fashion, situated in this
city; will you, therefore, be pleased to get them both, and
empower the Rev. Thomas Morris to take the necessary con-
veyances of me ?" Accordingly, he conveyed the property to the
Society as soon as the documents were prepared. — Church Mis-
sionary Society's Reports, 22d and 23d.

^ The following extract from Mr Adlington's report at this
time will give some idea of the religious influences of this
school : —

" The instruction given has, I trust, not been without its
blessing. The Holy Scriptures are read with pleasure in all
the departments of the school, and impressions of a serious
nature excited. A Bengalee youth, who had been in the




Schools in
the neigh-

43. By the appointment of Mr Morris, Mr
Adlington was relieved of the superintendence of
this establishment, and turned his attention to
native education generally. Besides the school at
Secrole, just mentioned, another was soon opened
near the mission premises. This was followed by
others, until, in December 1826, there were eight
native schools in and around Benares, containing
250 boys. A small girls' school also was opened
by Mrs Morris on the mission premises ; but her
attempts further to extend female education in the
place were unsuccessful.

school for four or five years, was so much impressed with the
daily portion of the word of God, read in the hooks of the
first class in English, that he came several times previous to
his leaving Benares for Calcutta, to ask for baptism. Some
time before he asked for baptism, he appeared to labour under
much uneasiness of mind, and evidently endeavoured to stifle
his convictions. He left Benares through compulsion, as his
relations sent him away to prevent him receiving any further
instruction. I could not at that time administer baptism.'"
Another Bengalee youth, who, though never seriously im-
pressed with religious truth, so far saw the absurdity of idolatry
as to refuse compliance with the usual idolatrous customs,
until compelled by the authority of his father, a Brahmin, to
bow to an idol ; an authority, which I was given to understand,
was daily exercised. Besides two young men sent as monitors
to the Cawnpore Free School, three boys from the Persian
class were admitted as students into the Medical College in
Calcutta, and gave so much satisfaction as to induce the
managers of the College to write to Benares for more boys of
their description. A Christian youth, who was brought up a
Eoman Catholic, and is now receiving instruction in Serampore
College, preparatory to future usefulness, ascribes his first
inclination to things of a spiritual nature to the exhortations
addressed to him in the Free School of Benares. The attach-
ment of the generality of the scholars to their masters and
superintendents is great. This, and the hope of being made
instrumental to their salvation, have often compensated both
myself and others for the trouble which we have had with
them." — Missionary Register 1827, pp. 78, 79.

* Mr A. was not then ordained.


44. In 1822, about a year after his arrival, Mr Congrega-
Morris gathered together the native Christians in n^tw^es.
the mission-house, for pubUc worship in Hindoo-
stanee. Between twenty and thirty usually at-
tended, twice on Sunday and once on Wednesday.

In 1823 a chapel was erected at Secrole for their
accommodation, and opened in May, when the
chaplain of the station. Rev. Mr Fraser, baptized
two adults. The congregation was increased to
fifty native Christians, and occasionally a few Hin-
doos and Mahomedans attended the service. At
a confirmation held by the Bishop of Calcutta at
Benares in 1 824, fourteen of the congregation were
confirmed, and afterwards admitted to the Lord's
table ; the Bishop officiated, as respected them, in
Hindoostanee. In the next year nine more adult
converts were baptized, and the attendance at the
chapel was much improved.

45. Mr Morris, accompanied by Mr Adlington, Exertions
attended the fairs within reach of Benares, for the "^J^^.
purpose of distributing the Gospels and tracts houj^-
among the people who were there assembled ; and
opportunity was thus affi^rded them of entering

into conversation with the natives on the subject
of Christipnity. On the state of the people gene-
rally, Mr Adlington remarked — " They are ready
to listen to the missionary's message ; and it is a
pleasing fact, that though they are well known to
be disposed to violence when an opportunity offers,
and fail not among themselves to express their
dislike of some measures of Government, yet the
missionaries who are daily among them seldom
receive the least interruption from them."

In 1826, Mr Morris was attacked with fever,
and visited Calcutta for the benefit of his health.
After his recovery he was removed to Cawnpore,
his place at Benares being occupied by Mr Adling-
ton, who in 1825 was ordained by the Bishop of







Calcutta. Mr Stewart^ who had conducted the
schools for some time under Mr Morris^ now under-
took their general superintendence.

46. GoRRUCKPORE. — This station is about one
hundred miles north of Benares. In 1823, at the
request of some gentlemen residing there, who
were interested in the education of the natives,
Mr and Mrs Morris paid them a visit, and suc-
ceeded in establishing both a boys' and a girls'
school. The population amounted to seventy thou-
sand souls, and a wide field was opened for useful
exertion. Next year a missionary was appointed
to this station, Kev. Michael Wilkinson, with an
assistant, Mr Thomas W. Smith, an East Indian,
educated in England. The friends of the Society
in the district erected a commodious house for the
missionary, and a chapel, at their own expense.
The boys' school soon increased to seventy scholars,
and two other smaller schools were added not long
after. Besides the usual school-books, the Scrip-
tures, in Persian, Oordoo, and Hindee, were read
by the upper classes ; and Christian instruction
was given to the whole of the scholars. At a public
examination, in 1826, they acquitted themselves,
especially the upper classes, in a satisfactory man-
ner, and, indeed, to the surprise of the friends
present, when it was considered how lately they
had come under this kind of instruction. They
shewed an energy in answering questions, and in
referring to texts in confirmation of their answers,
which was quite unusual in natives. The little
girls also passed a creditable examination, though
their shyness and tender years rendered it more
difficult to estimate their progress.

The want of native assistants in the schools in-
duced Mr Wilkinson to open a seminary for train-
ing youths as catechists and readers of the word of
God ainouix their countrNinen. He soon had twelve


pupils^ whose improvement, and especially their
attention in reading the Scriptures, gave him great
pleasure. ^^This school is, in fact," he remarked,
^^ a little church."

The result of his ministrations, also, in this short
time was encouraging. Few besides Romanists
entered the church at first ; and for these he had
regular service twice every Sunday, and a meeting
every morning at his own house, for Scriptural
instruction and prayer, which several constantly
attended. In 1826, he administered the Lord's
Supper to three converts, a Brahmin and his wife,
and a Romanist. A small party of Romanists,
twenty-six in number, from two villages, removed
to Gorruckpore for the benefit of Mr Wilkinson's
ministry, and thus he had the satisfaction of seeing
a little flock gathering around him.

47. At Cawnpore, to which station, we have Cawnpoi-e
seen, Mr Morris was removed, a congregation of stations^
thirty native Christians was already formed. At
LuCKNOW and Bareilly schools were carried on for

some time, to the great advantage of their respec-
tive vicinities, by benevolent individuals at those
stations ; but on their removal, the schools were
suspended for want of missionary superintendence.
At one or two other stations in Bengal, promising
openings were presented in 1826 ; but it were pre-
mature to describe them in this place.

48. In 1826, the Calcutta Committee gave the Sunmuin
following summary of the Bengal mission : — ''^ Since
the last public meeting of the Society took place,
there have been baptized at the different stations,
according to reports received, twenty-six adult
natives, besides children ; the number of habitual
Christian worshippers at the different stations is
about 480, besides the assemblies of heathen ; the
native children I'cceiving ini^trnction in the Societv's
various schools is about o()8()."

of tho'j


CHAP And Archdeacon Corrie bore this testimony to

^^' the progress and prospects of the Church Mission-
ary Society in North India : —

^^ Instruction is^ without reserve, imparted, and
by the natives received without reserve ; that is,
thej read and they learn by heart, both boys and
girls, whatever is brought before them by the
teachers. The retaining of caste, as it is avowedly
a religious distinction, is held, by all the mission-
aries and friends of missions on this side of India,
as utterly incompatible with an upright profession
of Christianity. Measures are in progress on the
coast for the extinction of caste among the pro-
fessing Christians who were allowed to retain it.

'*^It is our desire and delight to fulfil all the
wishes of the Society, and to be fellow-helpers in
the Lord. If we have erred, it has been perhaps
in attempting too much ; yet nothing has failed of
our plans as yet. All our missionaries are crying
out for more books and more help for schools — not
one of them seems to seek anything for himself ;
but all their cry is ' Schools, books, and more help,
to enable us to meet the demands on our time and
strength.' Doubtless the Society will reap in due
time, if we faint not.

^^ I deeply feel the need of keeping up spirituality
in our work ; and soon would the spirit of missions
depart, if any departure from the principles on
which we have set out be admitted. As it is,
our machine seems fitly framed and f\iir for opera-
tion ; but, as yet, our main- spring has not been
brought into powerful action. May the Spirit be
poured out upon us from on high ! " ^

^ Missionary Register 1827, p. 67. C. M. S. Report, 27.
The Calcutta Committee's Keport of their progress, which for
some years the}'' circulated quarterly, was from this time pub-
lished eveiy month.





1. We left Mr Rhenius diligently occupied in organis- Arrival of
ing this mission, and calling earnestly for assistance. ^j.ies°at
Mention was also made of the small congregation Madras,
which he had succeeded in forming, and of the en-
couraging prospect opening before him.^ In 1817,
two missionaries arrived at Madras, the Revs. Deocar
and Bernard Schmid. The former was transferred
to Bengal, as noticed in the last chapter.^ His
brother, Mr Bernard Schmid, was retained at

2. Hitherto Mr Rhenius had confined his exer- ^r Rhe-
tions to the Presidency ; but his attention was now aToiH^— ^^
directed to the adjacent parts of the country, prin- visits the
cipally by the correspondence of the native Chris-
tian, Appavoo, mentioned in the last volume.^ In
a letter dated May 2. 1817, he mentions the vari-
ous places he had visited, and his exertions in dif-
fusing the knowledge of Christianity, with his varied
success.^ In consequence of the information re-
ceived from this pious and intelligent man, Mr

2 Book X. chap. vi. ; also App. A. ' Sec. 4. " P. 300.

' C. M. S. 18th Eeport, p. 281, App. xii.




CHAP. Khenius, in the year 1818^ made an extensive tour
through the country ; and his journal contains
abundant evidence of that activity, and in his inter-
course with the natives, his labours for their bene-
fit, which he had hitherto shewn.^ He proceeded
as far as Chittamboore, a few miles from Conj eve-
ram, for the purpose of visiting the colony of Jains
in that neighbourhood, of whom Appavoo had sent
him an encouraging account, and whose high priest
had expressed a desire to see him. We have al-
ready described the Jains, or Jainas, as the rem-
nant of the Buddhists who were left behind when
that sect was expelled from the continent of India.^
Mr Rhenius met with great attention from this
people, who occujDied many villages around Chittam-
boore. He found that the Testaments and tracts
distributed among them the year before by Appavoo
had not been given in vain. One of the Testaments
had been perused by the high priest himself, who
received Mr Rhenius with the most distino'uishino;

c5 O

marks of regard, notwithstanding much pains had
been taken, by the Brahmins about his person, to
infuse into his mind prejudices against him, and
suspicions of evil designs connected with his visit.
He joined his people in their application for schools,
but the Madras Committee were not yet able to
comply with their request. Considering, also, the
levity with which many applications of this kind
were made, and the transient nature of the senti-
ment or feeling which produced them, the Commit-
tee deemed it prudent, as a general principle, to
wait a lon.oer observation of the actual result of the

' C. M. S. 19th Report, pp. 285-302.

^ Vol. iii. p. 69. A more particular account of them in their
present state may be seen in C. M. S. 19th Report, pp. 168,
292, et seq. ; Missionary Register 1818, April. Memoirs of h'ev.
C. T. E. Rhenius, diaps. v. vi.


schools already subsisting, before they sanctioned
the establishment of new ones. The case of the
Jains shewed the wisdom of this caution ; for their
state appeared for some time to be promising, and
good hopes were entertained of some individuals
among them. Yet in general they by no means
answered the expectations that they had raised.
Appavoo, who had been the means of calling their
attention to Christianity, was removed in Septem-
ber 1819, being carried off in a very short time by
the cholera morbus ; and there was no one left ade-
quately to supply his place among them.

3. The missionaries had reason to be satisfied, on ^^''^g^^^^g
the whole, with the progress of education in and
around Madras, though their schools were attended
with the usual fluctuations arising from the natives'
suspicions and prejudices. In reference to^ the en-
couragement derived from them, Mr Rheniiis drew
the following interesting picture : — '' The schools
give me a certain authority in every place ; and
the desired opportunity of having the people assem-
bled, and preaching the Gospel to them : besides
that they are preparing the minds of the rising
generation to understand the Gospel.

'' A Christian friend, in England, would witness,
with tears, a sight like this. A minister of the
Gospel comes into a village. He is carried to the
shade of a fine large tree, near the place, or near to
their temple. The people of the village, small and
great, young and old, assemble round him, sitting
on their cross legs. He addresses them on the sal-
vation of their souls by Christ Jesus, and on the
education of their children. The people at times
listen with great attention, looking down to the
ground, as if engaged by important thoughts ; then,
turning to one another, they will say, 'What do
vou sav to this or that ?' 'What will become of


CHAP, this ?' doubting, fearing, or rejoicing about what

_Z^ they hear."

'' Let the Christian friend in England represent to
himself such a scene in each village ; and consider
it, though he do not see the desired effects of conver-
sion on the spot, as a way-mark pointing to the end.
It will rejoice his heart, and redouble his liberality,
to aid the establishment of missions and their
schools ; until, by the grace of God, the heathen
will be enlightened to see, and enabled to walk in
the beauty of holiness, and to take pleasure in pro-
viding for their own ministers and for their own

For the more efficient management of the schools,
the missionaries assembled all the masters from time
to time, when they instructed them in their duties,
encouraged them to be diligent and faithful, and
elicited from them minute and confidential commu-
nications of their own proceedings at their stations,
of the state of the surrounding country with respect
to religion, and of the sentiments entertained con-
cerning the Christian books introduced among them.
On the information thus obtained they founded
much advice and exhortation, how to avoid and
overcome their difficulties, to answer objections,
dispel apprehensions, and encourage a more fami-
liar resort to their schools and readings. They
were also examined as to their own progress in
acquaintance with the Scriptures, and particular
portions were pointed out, of which they would be
expected to give an account at the next assembly.
A solemn address concluded the meetings. Much
harmony and friendly feeling attended them ; and
much increase of unity and diligence was the happy

In the paucity of Christian schoolmasters, the
Committee consented to the employment of hea-
thens in that capacity ; and, out of thirteen now

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 29 of 54)