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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that the Protestants will not convert the Hindoos
without these appendages, as the Jesuits could not
succeed even with them. But we are aiming to
propagate the Gospel ; by preaching its truths ;
employing natives to read the Scriptures to the
heatiien and Christian population ; establishing and
superintending free schools ; training up the most
promising of the Christian youth to become auxi-
liaries in the work of evangelising their country-
men ; printing and circulating portions of the
Scriptures, and small treatises exphmatory of the
doctrines and precepts of the Christian rehgion.


CHAP. As these means are sanctioned by the Scriptures,
1 L we doubt not of success, through the Divine bless-
ing accompanying them."

Of the native readers they say : — '^^ They are
instrumental in conveying a knowledge of the Gos-
pel to many who otherwise would perhaps never
have had an opportunity of hearing it : several
small congregations have been raised by their efforts.
They are instant in season and out of season^ seeking
opportunities of doing good, — not confining their
labours to people professing Christianity, but going
from house to house and from village to village,
calling all to repentance. To secure a general hear-
ing in the places which they visit, various methods
are adopted : some, on reaching a village, take
their stand in the most public situation, where
many soon collect around them, and Hsten atten-
tively to the truths of the Gospel, and receive with
readiness the tracts with which the readers are
furnished to distribute on such occasions : others,
when they arrive at a new village, go to the house
of some one with whom they are acquainted, or to
whom they have been recommended, and tell him
that they have an important message to deliver,
and request him to collect his neighbours that they
also may hear it. The plan promises to be attended
with the most pleasing results."
CombT- ""* ^' ^^ '^^'^^y Mr Mead removed, on account of his
conum. health, to Combaconum, where he established a
mission ; and after his departure, Mr Mault thus
wrote of the encouraging asj)ect of affairs around
him : — ^^ In many of the congregations the work of
the Lord is really begun : many of the people are
now so attentive to the things spoken, that it is
really delightful to make known the Gospel to
them. Their outward condition, also, is greatly
improved, especially that of many of the women,
whose cleanly appearance and devotion in the house


of God are a great contrast to what they were five
or six years ago. The work began with the readers,
many of whom are really devoted to their office ;
and with their zeal is mixed a great deal of pru-

^^ The holiness of God's law^ the evil of sin, the
infinite love of Christ manifested in the death of
the Cross, and what he effects on the hearts of men
by his Spirit, are the subjects on which we princi-
pally dwell. When speaking lately of the evil of
sin, and the infinite love of Christ in being made
sin for us that toe might he made the righteousness of
God in him, the whole of the readers present were
deeply affected : I believe there was not a dry eye
among them. How different is the aspect of things
from what it was ! What has God wrought ! Suf-
ficient to check unbelief, and to prompt to vigorous

They do not appear to have sent home a state-
ment of the number of converts, who, in seven
years, increased from two thousand to between ^\q
and six thousand. Many others also placed them-
selves under Christian instruction with a view to
baptism. '' In some of the congregations a know-
ledge of the doctrines and precepts of Christianity
was advanced ; a considerable improvement took
place in the external appearance and social con-
dition of the people. A few, who had recently
departed this life, the brethren had reason to hope,
died in the Lord." ^

^ Though we have little room for an account of individuals
who died in the faith of Christ, we must find space here for Mr
Mault's description of the peaceful end of an aged Christian : —

" Vesuvasum, whose name signifies Faith, was haptized, with
his family, by Mr. Eingletaube. His attendance on the means
of grace, ever since I have known him, has been regular. In
conversation he said very little, but that was generally to the
ipurpose, and shewed that he thouglit about the truths which he





7. Besides this primary object of a mission to the
heathen^ other means of instruction were dihgently
used. Schools were projected on an extensive
scale^ and^ in 182G^ they had increased to forty-
nine^ containing fourteen hundred scholars. Of the
state of these schools^ and of the hopes they lighted
up in the missionaries' minds^ they thus speak —
^'^ In most parts^ the schools are well attended.
While a very small proportion of the children edu-
cated in the heathen schools are capable of reading
a book so as to understand it^ the proficiency made
by many of these scholars in readings and the taste
for it which has been inspired^ warrant a hope that
the surrounding moral and intellectual darkness
will be gradually dispelled : the scholars attend
public worship ; and are catechized weekly, either

heard. Indeed, he seemed to take great pleasure in the ordi-
nances of religion, and was very attentive under the preaching
of the Word. This I particularly noticed the Sabbath previous
to his death, while I was explaining the nature of a sinner's
conversion to God. He was deeply interested in the subject ;
and appeared to hear as one would who was sensible that there
was but a step between him and death : which proved to be
really the case ; for, in the following week, he was seized by that
painful disease the cholera morbus, which in a few hours put a
period to his life.

" At intervals he took the New Testament and read it. He
prayed frequently that the Lord would give him true repentance
for all his sins, and faith in Jesus Christ. These seasons were
often interrupted by fits that attend this disease, which occa-
sioned delirium.

'' At one time, on recovering from one of these fits, a heathen
priest, accompanied by some of his heathen friends, who were
sent for by the neighbours for the purpoj-e of curing his com-
plaint and to induce him to renounce the Gospel, came in. He
began to persuade the poor man to forsake the God whom he
had been serving, and to give offerings to the gods which he
had so long forsaken, and to put the mark on his forehead as a
pledge of his return to heathenism ; telling him, by doing these
things, he would restore him to health. To which he answered.
Are you come hither to destroy my soul ? To the God who

IN" IXDIA : BOOK Xlll. 513

by Mr Mault, or by the readers, who are carefully
instructed by him with reference to this important
work. The progress made, in the knowledge of the
Scriptures, by the boys in the schools which are
under good management, demonstrates the vast im-
portance of education in the prosecution of mis-
sionary undertakings, and indicates that it is likely
to become a powerful instrument, in the hand of
Providence, in Christianizing India : instances now
and then occur of boys who have been present at
the catechizings returning home so strongly im-
pressed with the folly of idolatry, as to entreat their
parents to renounce it and become Christians."

Theyhad besides a female school, which, in 1826,
contained forty girls, who were fed and clothed, the
only condition on which their parents would consent

gave my soul I will commit it. Moreover, you say if I worship
your gods I shall not die. Is this true ? Do not some of those
persons die by this disease who worship them ? And is there
not a period coming when you yourselves will die ? And if you
die in your unconverted state, you will go to hell. If I now
die, it is with the lively expectation of dwelling in the presence
of God my Saviour for ever ! He then desired them to leave
his house.

" After this, he said to his wife, children, and friends who
were present, ' Be not deceived with the words of this man.'
Then, after speaking with composure of his approaching end,
he turned to his nephew, who is the schoolmaster of the place,
and said, ' I shall die : I therefore entreat you to be very kind
to my wife and children.' He was now very much exhausted.
Soon after, he was heard to say, ' Lord, receive me into thy
kingdom !' and so departed in peace.

"I was forcibly struck with the contrast between the last
moments of this man and those of a heathen. Having felt the
influence of the Gospel, he dies, not only in peace, but with
feelings of the tenderest concern for his wife and children,
whom he leaves behind; while a heathen, after he perceives
that there is no hope of life, sinks generally into a state of
insensibility and apathy toward his nearest relatives, and into
a total indifference in reference to a future state."

VOL. V. K k




A semi-

Avith the
ries in
forming a
tract asso-

to send them for instruction. About half of them
were supported by friends in England, and the re-
mainder by the proceeds of a school of industry,
which the missionaries had established for both
sexes. Here the elder girls worked half the day,
principally in making lace ; and so great was the
improvement in their general habits and appear-
ance, that the natives themselves soon began to
notice their superiority to children who had en-
joyed no such advantages. The youths in this
school were taught several useful arts, and the es-
tablishment was supported by its own profits.

The Seminary for training native teachers con-
tained, in 1826, forty 3' ouths, several of w^hom were
appointed in the same year to congregations recently
formed. Of these pupils, Mr Mault thus reports —
^'^ Many of them are lads of ability ; and would soon
make proficiency in any branch of knowledge, were
they under proper tuition. When I consider the
many congregations in the neighbourhood that are
to be supplied with teachers, the many openings in
Providence for the diffusion of knowledge, and the
adaptation of pious and well-instructed natives for
the work of pastors and evangelists, I feel deeply
anxious that a suitable person should be appointed
to take charge of this institution."

8. They had a press which was actively employed
in printing tracts . The work of the printing-office
was chiefly done by the youths in the school of
industry. The missionaries united Avith those of
the Church Missionary Society in Tinnevelly in
forming a Keligious Tract Association, and the
Eeligious Tract Society in England made them con-
siderable contributions in paper and English tracts.
In 1826, Mr Mault gave the report of the operations
of their press : — ^^ During the past year, the press
has been fully employed : 33,500 tracts have been
printed by the Tract Society, most of which are in

IN INDIA : BOOK Xlll. 515

circulation ; in addition to these, several thousands
have been published by the mission and private
individuals. We have had every encouragement to*
pursue this branch of our labour Avith vigour, for
the tracts have been the means of diffusing much
light among the Christian congregations, and of
arousing some adults to learn to read, who had not
enjoyed the advantages of education in their youth.
They have also been the means of bringing a few
heathens to see their state as sinners, and to in-
quire after the way of salvation."

One instance, among many, may be given of the
good effect produced by the wide circulation of
these winged messengers of sacred truth. Mr
Rhenius, missionary in Tinnevelly, mentions, that
in a village of that province he met with a woman
who had resolved to renounce idolatry in conse-
quence of the instruction which she had received
from a tract sent to her by her son from Nagracoil.^

9. On the arrival of another missionary, Mr Quiion.
Smith, it was determined that an attempt should
be made to establish a mission at Quiion (Coulan),
about eighty miles from Nagracoil. For this pur-
pose Mr Smith proceeded thither in March 1821,
and from the encouragement he received from the
British resident. Colonel Newall, and other gentle-
men, he began immediately to project an establish-
ment of schools. The resident supported two schools
in Quiion at his own expense. A third was opened ,
at Trevanderam, about halfway to Nagracoil. This
was soon followed by others in different places,
until, in 1825, there were eight schools, containing
three hundred and thirty-eight bo}'s and fifteen
girls. In October 1823, Mr Smith was joined by a
colleague, Mr Crow ; but, soon afterwards, they

^Missionary Register 182G, p. 496.



CHAP, "both suffered so much from illness, that, in 1825,
Mr Smith returned home ; while Mr Crow, who,-
*during a short interval of health, was enabled to
prosecute his labours with activity, was again taken
ill, and obliged, in 1826, to follow his colleague to

The station, however, was not relinquished. A
small congregation was collected by an assistant
missionary, Mr H. Ashton, consisting of about
twenty persons, who met at the mission-house for
worship on the Sabbath, and some of them on other
occasions. There were also three native readers,
who, besides visiting the bazaars and public places
in Quilon, itinerated to the neighbouring villages.
A superintendent of schools was appointed ; while
Mr Mault visited the station as often as his engage-
ments at Nagracoil would permit, and in January
1827, he gave the following report of its state : —
"^ The schools are nine in number. Many of the
children have committed to memory large portions
of the Scriptures, besides two or three catechisms ;
but, after all this is done, they may know but very
little of the religion of Christ. A vigorous superin-
tendence is necessary. To accomplish this, our
schoolmasters must be better instructed, and must
be taught to feel more interest in their work : this
I am endeavouring to do in the south, and it is at-
tended with indications of the Divine blessing.

'' During the period I was at Quilon, I had
morning and evening service in Tamul, which was
very well attended by the Indo- Britons and several
natives out of the Carnatic ; on the Sabbath, about
fifty attended. The readers improve in their work."
Much, therefore, as the operations here had been
interrupted, there was quite sufficient success to
show that the mission had not been established in

Baptism yaiu
of the first

10. Belhary. — The arrival of the Rev. W,


Keeve at this station in 1810, and the successful
prosecution of the Canarese version of the Scrip-
ture, were mentioned in our hist volume.^ In the
following year, a third missionary arrived, Rev.
Joseph Taylor, and through the next ten years
the operations steadily advanced, but with little
variety, except in the change of missionaries and
their assistants, Mr Hands, the founder of the
mission, alone being able to remain at his post.
The English services in the fort were performed
by the missionaries until the appointment of a
chaplain, when they were relieved of part of this
duty. To the natives they preached on Sunday
and several times in the week, both in Canarese
and Tamul, but their progress among them was
slow. Those who seemed to take an interest in
what they heard still held back, being deterred from
making an open profession of the Christian faith.
Two adult converts, a father and daughter, were
baptized November 14. 1821. They appear to
have been the first fruits of the mission, and they
were soon followed by others ; but the numbers
that joined the church do not seem to have been
regularly reported. We read, not long after, of
six communicants, and it is added : — ^^ There is
reason to believe that sevei\al others who have not
made an open profession of the Christian faith are
convinced of the sin and folly of idolatry, and
abstain from its rites and ceremonies as far as they
are able to do so without incurring persecution.

In October 1 824, a new chapel was opened. Its
cost was about seven hundred pounds, which was
nearly defrayed by the liberality of friends in
India ; and the missionaries, though not so success-
ful among the natives as their zeal prompted them

r. -95.




tion of the

ary, and
tract as-

to wish^ had^ nevertheless^ made progress enough
to encourage them to persevere.

11. In the translation of the Scriptures into
Canarese, Mr Hands found in Mr Keeve an inde-
fatigable colleague, as stated in our last volume.^
In January 1824, Mr Reeve was induced, by do-
mestic circumstances, to quit India, but not before
he had completed the translation of the Pentateuch,
which, after very careful revision by the Transla-
tion Committee of the Bible Society at Madras,
was printed by the Society. The translation of
the remainder of the Old Testament was continued
by Mr Hands.

Mr Reeve also composed a Canarese and English
dictionary, and, before he embarked, succeeded in
making arrangements for its being printed at the
college press of Fort St George. Greatly, there-
fore, as the loss of so diligent a labourer was to be
regretted, yet was there cause for thankfulness
that he had been enabled to accomplish so much
during his seven years' residence in the country.

The missionaries translated numerous religious
tracts, which were chiefly printed at their own
press. Besides their own Canarese tracts, they
printed several in Teloogoo ; and, in 1826, they
circulated nearly 15,000 in those languages, be-
sides numerous Tamul tracts, and upwards of 6000
in English, among the British troops and East
Indians. Portions of Scripture, likewise in the
native languages, were circulated through the

12. These operations were greatly facilitated by
a Bible, Missionary, and Tract Association at
Belhary. The united income of these associations
exceeded two hundred pounds, and several of the

P. 205— Note.


members promoted by their personal exertions the
objects for which they were severally estabhshed.

The schools for natives gradually increased from Schools.
eleven to twenty, which contained, in 1826, 8G4
scholars, with an average attendance of 750. Many
of the boys are described as promising, and they
acquired a considerable portion of Scripture know-
ledge ; and as they usually '' made known to their
parents what they learnt, much Scripture know-
ledge was thus indirectly communicated among the
adult heathen. At most of the schools established
at the villages in the surrounding country, the
villagers, when at leisure, attended to improve
themselves in knowledge, sat dow^i among the
scholars, and read in the religious books taught in
the schools ; and when the superintendent, on his
inspecting tours, visited them, they asked for ex-
planations of such passages as they had not been
able fully to understand."

A few native girls were instructed at most of
the school stations. On the opportunities for ex-
tending native education, and the difficulty of em-
bracing them, Mr Hands writes : —

'^^We have had the most earnest and pressing-
applications to establish schools in upwards of
forty towns and villages within thirty or forty
miles of Bellary ; but the want of sufficient funds
and persons to superintend has obliged us to refuse.
We have made some attempts to improve the mode
of conducting the schools, but here we have not
succeeded as yet so far as we could wish. We
greatly need an improved class of schoolmasters.
A few years ago, we formed a school in the mission
garden, for the purpose of teaching English, and
affording a superior education to a number of the
most promising native youth, that we might form
them for future schoolmasters and assistants in the
mission ; a])Out twent}' were selected for this pur-




of Major

pose. Much personal labour was bestowed on
them by the missionaries, and the progress which
many of them made afforded us much satisfaction ;
but as soon as they had acquired sufficient knowledge
to qualify them for a public office, as writers or
copyists, they every one left us, though some were
offered a small salary to continue in the school.
This seminary was maintained for three or four
years ; but as it disappointed our expectations,
and was attended with much expense and loss of
time, it has been discontinued."

Mr Hands adds the following account of a charity
school at the station : —

^^We have also, besides the native schools, an
English charity school, which was at first formed
for European and country-born children. During
the last two years, a few natives have been ad-
mitted into it. This institution is managed by an
European master and mistress, under the superin-
tendence of the missionaries and a committee of
the gentlemen of the station. It is supported by
a quarterly subscription, and its annual expenses
are about <£130. There are at present in the
school twenty-eight boys and twenty-one girls.
Since its establishment, at the commencement of
the mission, it has educated 340 children, of whom
twenty-eight have been supported in the school.
Most of the children who have gone out from this
school are now scattered over the country ; a few
are usefully employed as schoolmasters. Some are
in public offices ; one is now an assistant mission-
ary, and a few, we have reason to hope, have
safely reached the haven of eternal rest ! Many
who were snatched from ruin by this institution
are now useful and respectable members of society."

13. Bangalore. — This is a large military can-
tonment in Mysore, two hundred and fifteen miles
west of Madras. In 1820, two missionaries, Messrs


Laidler and Forbes, were sent to establish a mis-
sion at this place. While studying the native lan-
guage, Canarese, they exercised their ministry in
English, and were well attended by the British
soldiers. A small chapel, capable of accommodat-
ing two hundred and fifty persons, was erected in
1821, chiefly through the zeal and liberality of a
British officer. Major Mackworth, by whom the
missionaries were greatly assisted and encouraged
in their work. They performed service on Sunday
and Wednesday evenings. There were several
converts from the errors and superstitions of Ro-
manism among those who attended. As the con-
gregation consisted chiefly of the military, it was
subject to great fluctuations. The communicants
amounted, from time to time, to about fifty,
several of whom had formerly profited under
the ministry of the Rev. Henry Martyn, in Ben-
gal. But these services not being strictly of a
missionary character, we must not enter into further

14. A native contyreofation also assembled in the Converts

. . • • • frnm

chapel, and in this service the missionaries were among
assisted b}^ a native teacher. A second service was Homani.^is
held in the Fort, and a third in one of the mission- nalives.
aries' houses. Of the effect of these ministrations
it was reported, in 1826 — '^ Pleasing evidence of
success appears from time to time, both among the
Tamul and Canarese people ; a spirit of religious
inquiry seems to have gone forth among them ; and
many hesitate not to express disapprobation of
idolatrous worship, whether pagan or papal. ^Miilst
some renounce Hindooism and embrace Christianity,
others reject Popery and profess themselves Pro-
testants. The number of each of these classes who
have been baptized is considerable. Persecution
has naturally ensued ; but, in general, the native
converts endure it witli Christian fortitude and


CHAP, patience." In less than four j^ears there were one

J L hundred and thirty converts from pagan and papal

error, and in that time seventy- one of these were
admitted to the Lord's table.

There were four native teachers, who itinerated
through the surrounding country ; and of the influ-
ence of the Gospel, which they everywhere pro-
claimed, the missionaries thus speak — ^'^ Among
the people, we cannot but rejoice to see a spirit of
inquiry prevailing to a very considerable extent,

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 43 of 54)