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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and contemplate it as the forerunner of better and
happier days than this part of the world has yet
seen. Many are dissatisfied with their present
abominable system, and begin to say, ^ That is not
a good god,' alluding to their gods of stocks and
stones. While such sensations have been created
in Bangalore, the villages around have manifested
no less concern to hear and receive the Gospel.
Many of them have been visited ; a great number
have listened, with deep anxiety, to the good news
of salvation ; and not a few have received it with
pleasure, and have treated its messengers with
marked esteem and kindness."

They speak also of a considerable sensation pro-
duced by a public discussion betw^een one of these
teachers, Samuel Flavel, and a Romanist — '^ It was
agreed that they should meet in the most conve-
nient place which could be procured in the bazaar.
The meetings were attended, in general, by sixty
or seventy persons, many of whom were heathens ;
and w^ere continued for upwards of a fortnight.
They were conducted with decorum and good tem-
per on both sides ; and were finished, both in point
of argument and conviction, much to the advantage
of the cause of truth." Much inquiry was excited
by this discussion among both Romanists and hea-
then ; particularly the former, who were greatly
disquieted by the exposure of the errors of their


Church, and many of them began to read the Scrip-
tures with attention.

In their endeavours to educate the native chil-
dren the missionaries were not successful^ owing to
the determined opposition of the parents and friends.
They opened a Tamul and a Canarese school, which,
in 1826, contained together no more than thirty-
two boys. They had a Tamul school for girls also,
in which there were twelve scholars. Their semi-
nary for native teachers was more promising. At
this period they had fifteen youths, of whose gene-
ral deportment and progress in religious knowledge
they gave a favourable report. Some whom they
had educated for the work were already employed
in the bazaar, and the adjacent villages with good

Of the native teachers the missionaries reported
— ^^ They continue to itinerate within a circuit of
between thirty and forty miles ; the natives, in
general, listen with attention. During one of these
tours, in October 1826, they visited thirty- six vil-
lages and conversed with nearly twelve hundred
people ; some asked many questions ; others en-
tered into disputations ; while others appeared
affected With what they heard." But some ex-
tended their journeyings much further ; while Se-
ringapatam, about seventy-four miles south-west
of Bangalore, and Mysore, nine miles further, were
supplied by two of these teachers. They were en-
couraged in their work by the British resident of
Mysore, the Hon. Arthur Cole, and a small congre-
gation of baptized natives was soon estal)lislR'(l at
each station.

1 5. Belgaum. — This is another mission estab- The mis-
lished from Belhary. Belgauui is a ])0])ulous town cmpWcd
about two hundred miles from Belhary, on the "''/"'l^'f"
road to Bombay, and, in September 1820, Mr Jose]ih Golem-
Taylor, accompanied by a native assistant. ])ro- "'^'"^-


CHAP, ceeded thither with a view to estabHsh a new mis-

L sion. It had recently been made a military station^

and the commanding officer^ General Pritzler, fa-
voured the missionary's undertaking. ^^ From
Belhary to Belgaum^ the Canara is spoken ; from
Belgaum to Bombay^ the Mahratta. The Canara
is spoken by nearly all the inhabitants of Belgaum
and Shawpore ; but their books are written in
Mahratta^ and their business is transacted chiefly
in that tongue. Mr Taylor attended, therefore^ to
the study of both languages."

As there was no chaplain at the station, Mr
Taylor performed Divine service both in the camp
and at head-quarters, for which the Madras Go-
vernment made him a hberal allowance. Although
this was not missionary work, yet he was thankful
to be so employed for the edification of his country-
men until able to preach to the natives, and the
remuneration he received was a material relief to
the Society's funds. There were several commu-
nicants among the troops, and he had reason to be
thankful for the result of these ministrations.
Baptism of 16. Two native congregations were formed at
Belgaum and Shawpore, but those who attended
were exposed to much persecution from their hea-
then connections ; and the fear of similar treatment
prevented others from uniting with them. It w^as
in consequence of this opposition, probably, that,
in 1825, three converts, two Brahmins and a Raj-
poot, the first fruits of the mission, were sent to
Bombay, where, after a satisfactory avowal of their
faith in Christianity, in the presence of about three
hundred natives, they were baptized.

One of the Company's chaplains at Bombay thus
speaks of this baptism : — '' The chapel was crowded
in every part with natives of all castes ; and I
think I never witnessed any thing more affecting,
more encouraging, more solemn, or more calculated


to call forth praise to Him, who, we hope, has
redeemed these once-benighted and spiritually de-
solate heathen by His precious blood, and made
them kings and priests unto God. The natives
present were exceedingly attentive. The different
services were in Mahratta : in this language they
were most impressively and affectionately addressed
by Messrs Graves and Hall."

But on their return to Belgaum, the persecution
directed against them and their connections, ^' in-
duced one of the Brahmins and the Rajpoot to
surrender themselves to the will of their respective
families ; the Brahmin, however, rejoined the mission.
The other Brahmin, who remained firm under perse-
cution, removed to Bombay ; to labour in connection
with the American mission at that presidency."

Under these circumstances, the converts could
not be expected rapidly to increase. Nevertheless
the usual attendance on public worship continued,
and at the close of 1826, there were several candi-
dates for baptism.

The native schools, in which Mahratta and Tamul
were taught, had increased, in 1825, to six, con-
taining two hundred and thirty boys. But in the
following year the number of scholars was reduced,
and one of the schools suspended, in consequence
of the baptism of the three converts, just men-
tioned. There was also an English school, to
which natives were admitted.

17. In the distribution of religious tracts and Benefits
portions of Scripture, Mr Taylor and his assist- s/on'uy's''
ants found little difficulty. In the early part of tours and
182G, '^ Mr Taylor made a missionary tour to the
western coast of the peninsula : during his journey,
he distributed many portions of the Scriptures and
tracts, in Mahratta and Portuguese ; and, in gene-
ral, found the people desirous to obtain them.
Some of the inliabitants of Goa persist in reading


CHAP, the copies of the Scriptures^ which he distributed
^' in that city^ notwithstanding the prohibition of the
CathoHc Archbishop."

Several of the priests received copies for their
owai use. On this point the Committee of the Bel-
gaum Association remarked : — " The disposition
thus manifested to receive and read the Scriptures
appears to the Committee a most encouraging token,
that the time is not very remote, when a revolu-
tion will be effected in the spiritual state of these
poor people ; who have now, for a long period,
been kept under priestly domination, and bound
with the cruel chains of ignorance and superstition."
The candid acknowledgment of error, or avowal of
what they conceived to be so, and an ingenuous
confession of inability to answer objections, with-
out attempting to justify practices, merely because
such have been enjoined and prevail in their
church, are marks of increasing light, and loudly
testify that bigotry no longer bears sovereign sway
in their minds.

In 1826, the following account was given of a
new and beneficial institution : — '^ A building has
been erected near one of the mission schools for
the reception of poor and diseased natives ; where,
together with medical and other aid, rehgious in-
struction is imparted : this institution, which is
under the care of Mr and Mrs Taylor, is liberally
supported by the contributions of charitable indi-
viduals at Belgaum. Beside the direct good done
to the bodies and souls of the inmates, who, in
December last, amounted to twenty-five, this insti-
tution has nearly put a stop to mendicity in the
place : many, who formerly subsisted by begging, are
now led to maintain themselves by useful labour."

18. CuDDAPAH. — Cuddapah, about one hundred
and fifty-three miles north-east from Madras, was
the third station occupied by the missionaries at


Belhary. Mr W. Howell removed thither in No- Mission
vember 1822^ and was received with much kindness coni°^
by several gentlemen, who continued to patronize mcnccd.
and assist him. The principal language spoken in trais-"
this district is Telooooo, with which Mr Howell l^^tions

into Tc-

was well acquainted, and therefore able to enter at loogoo.
once on the religious instruction of the natives.
He opened one service after another in such places
as he could procure ; and in little more than two
years after his arrival he spoke thus of his success :
— ^^ The Lord has so disposed the hearts of the
people as to cause households to forsake their lying
vanities. The number baptized by me is seventy-
four men, twenty-five women, forty boys, and
twenty-one girls ; and, with twenty-six baptized
previously to my coming, make a total of one hun-
dred and nineteen adults and sixty- seven children.
Although all be not savingly converted to God, yet
I have been induced to baptize them, as having
nominally embraced Christianity ; and, I trust,
under the stated preaching of the Gospel and the
power of the Holy Spirit, they will be savingly
impressed. A regular church has been formed,
consisting of ten communicants, — six men and four

In 1826, he baptized others, amounting in the
whole to one hundred and sixty-five, besides several
candidates waiting to be received. '' A native cate-
cliist, in the service of the mission, who received
the name of Paul Burdor, itinerates among the
villages round Cuddapah, publicly reads the Scrip-
tures, and, according to his abihty, explains them
to the people. And, in 1825, Mr Howell ])erf()nned
a missionary tour of about one hundred miles in
circuit. At every place which he visited the na-
tives came in crowds to hear him preach. He
distributed, in the course of his journey, about five
hundred tracts and several copies of the New Testa-


CHAP, ment, which were received with great eagerness.
^^' Beside these, he distributed numerous copies of
portions of the Scriptures and tracts to prisoners
in Cuddapah jail and others, and to those natives
from the country who occasionally called upon hira
at his own house. The native families that attend
Christian worship meet from time to time at Mr
Howell's house for religious conversation.''

A Christian village was erected in the \dcinity,
in order to aftbrd the native Christians an oppor-
tunity to live near one another for the more con-
venient participation in religious ordinances and
instruction. Upwards of thirty families availed
themselves of this advantage. A Teloogoo school
was opened in the village, ^'^ designed exclusively
for the children belonging to it. It was placed
under the superintendence of a converted Brahmin,
who bore the name of Martin Luther. The num-
ber of scholars was thirty : their improvement was
very encouraging. A workshop also was estab-
lished, by the aid of European residents, for such
native Christians as had not the means of support-
ing themselves, and six looms were at work : two
families were provided with cattle and implements
of husbandry, and the women in each flimily with
a spinning-wheel." And, in October 1826, a new
chapel was opened, erected chiefly by subscriptions
from the residents of the station.

There were live Teloogoo schools and one Tamul,
containing together about two hundred boys. Thei'e
were likewise two Hindoostanee schools, separately
supported by two gentlemen at the station ; and
the other schools were entirely maintained by the
European residents. There were twenty-eight na-
tive girls also receiving instruction.

Besides these varied occupations, Mr Howell
found time to translate several tracts, portions of
the sacred Scripture, and a selection of Psalms
and Hymns, into the Teloogoo language.





1 . The commencement of the London Missionary The mis-
Society's mission at Surat, in the presidency of ^'^^^^^jj^^.^^
Bombay, was recorded in the last volume.^ Messrs English a
Skinner and Fyvie continued the labours and '^^H^H
studies there described. They preached in English
to large congregations, chiefly of soldiers, among
whom they distributed numerous tracts. They
were also well attended at the house of a native,
in a populous part of the city, where they had fre-
quent opportunities to address the people in their
ovm language. In 1818, Mr J. H. Donaldson
joined the mission, but it pleased God to remove
him, after a residence of about six months in the
country. In the same year Mr Skinner also died.
He was a devoted and laborious missionary, and
his loss was severely felt. He was succeeded by
his colleague's brother, Mr Alexander Fyvie, and
the two brothers were preserved to work together
through the remainder of this decade.

Besides the English services held at their own
house every Sunday morning and Wednesday even-

^ Book xii. diap. ii. Appendix K of tliis vol.

T. 1




CHAP, ing, they held native services in the forenoon of
^^^' the Sabbath and on Thursday evenings. They
subsequently erected a spacious bungalow^ capable
of seating two hundred and fifty natives, which
was used for the twofold purpose of school-room
and chapel. Hither they transferred their Sunday
and Thursday evening services, and in each of the
other school-rooms, which were hired, they had
public service once a week. The intervals between
these duties at Surat they employed in visiting
different parts of the province of Guzerat. Some
of the villages were populous, and the people were
attentive to hear them. Mr W. Fyvie wrote on
this subject — ^^1 experience much kindness from
the people, and can truly say, that I find great
pleasure in the service ; but the mighty power of
God is necessary to effect the great work on which
all our hearts are set." The school-rooms were
regularly used as places for preaching. The num-
ber of attendants varied ; their attention to the
message of mercy was great, and many of them
seemed to discover the folly of their own system.
Their conviction of its sinfulness did not stop short
of their conversion to a belief in Christ for pardon
and salvation.
At length 2. The uatives objected so strongly to send their
succeed in children to the missionaries for education, that they
were not able to open a school for them before the
year 1822. The impediments once removed, and
the work well begun, it soon became popular ; and,
in 1826, there were six native schools, containing
three hundred and fifty boys, the greater part of
whom were assembled in one of the school-rooms
on the mornings of the Lord's day for religious
worship and instruction. They repeated their
catechisms, sung Christian hymns, and joined in
prayer. Many of their parents, as well as others,
attended, and seemed to enter with pleasure into


IN" INDIA : BOOK Xlll. 531

these religious exercises. It was a great triumph
for the missionaries^ after so long a struggle with
the people's prejudices, to be able to collect so many
heathen children together for the express purpose
of worshipping the only true God. They derived
encouragement also from their English school, to
which both Romanists and heathen sent their

3. The missionaries were very diligent in trans- Transia-
lating the Scriptures into Guzerattee. In the course ^^^1 '^^^^^^^^
of about six years, Messrs Skinner and Fy vie ac- and other
quired a knowledge of the language with scarcely ^ ^^^^rat-^''
any assistance, for the Grammar and Dictionary, tec.
in MSS., which they found, were too imperfect to
be of much use to them. They had, therefore, in
a great measure, to make out their own grammar,
and to collect words and to ^k their signification
for the dictionary they undertook to compose. Yet,
under these disadvantages, before Mr Skinner's
death in 1821, they had acquired a competent
knowledge of the language, had translated the New
Testament, and, having learnt the art of printing,
pubUshed an edition of the Testament. In five
years more, the missionaries translated the Old
Testament also, and sent out from their own press,
a complete edition of the whole Bible, and a second
edition of the four Gospels. Difierent books of
Scripture were printed as finished, and circulated
through the country. Besides these, they printed
tracts, school-books, and cards, amountiug together,
in five years, to thirty thousand. They also com-
pleted their English and Guzerattee Dictionary,
and translated several volumes of sermons into
Guzerattee. In printing the Scriptures, the Bil)le
Society assisted them largely with grants of paper
and other materials. They estal)lishe(l at Surat an
Auxiliary Missionary Society, from which they re-
ceived considerable pecuniary support. In 182G,


CHAP, for instance, the local contributions amounted to

1 L about one hundred and fifty pounds.

In their intercourse with Mahomedans^ they
found opportunity to distribute the Persian Testa-
ment of Mr Martyn, of which many expressed great

The fruit of all these exertions, in the conver-
sion of idolaters from the error, and sinners from
the wickedness of their ways, was manifestly grow-
ing around them ; but for its ingathering they had
yet to wait with patience and faith. We have seen
above the favourable report of the Society's missions
in Bengal, made by the gentlemen deputed in 1821,
to visit their missions in the East ; and we will
conclude this chapter with the general view of their
Indian missions given in the Society's report for

'' In reference to that important scene of the
Society's labours, the East Indies, never had we
before the satisfaction to report so many appa-
rently decided instances of the power of Divine
grace among the native population ; nor, perhaps,
has there ever before existed, in the general state
and prospects of our operations, in that part of the
world, so much solid ground for pleasing anticipa-
tions, as there does at present."





1. In the year 1822, the dh^ectors of this Society com-
sent out the Rev. Donald Mitchell to Bombay, with ^'^''^^f
a view to establish a mission on the w^estern coast ^litchdi.
of India. Mr Mitchell had formerly served as an Success of

^ -ITT 1 i 1 ' j^oj. schools in

officer m the Indian army ; but returning to fecot- neigh-
land in 1820, he entered the Church, and offered ^^^'S^
his services to the Society. He arrived at Bombay
in January 1823, when a Corresponding Committee
was formed for conducting the Society's affairs, and
it was resolved that Mr Mitchell should proceed to
Bancoot, called by the English Fort Victoria, on
the sea coast, sixty miles south of Bombay. Here
he was very successful in the establishment of
schools, having in a fcAV months opened ten, and
collected between four and five lunidred children.
The directors state on this subject — " Most, if not
all, of these schools were established at the parti-
cular request of some of the inhabitants ; and Mr
Mitchell was under the necessity of declining seve-
ral other applications, on account of the distance
of the villages, and the difficulty of visiting them
at least dunng the rainy season. Having received
some Mahratta Gospels from Bombay, he introduced
them into the schools without any objection being




Arrival of
four more

made to tliem ; and he^ at the same time^ required
the children to commit to memory the Lord's Prayer^
the Ten Commandments^ and the Summary of them
by our blessed Kedeemer^ and also a small Cate-
chism by the American missionaries at Bombay."

But this prospect was soon clouded. In Sep-
tember^ Mr Mitchell was attacked with fever^ and
he died in November 1823, on his way to the
Deccan, whither he was proceeding for the benefit
of a cooler climate.

2. The work, however, which he had so success-
fully begun did not languish on his removal. In
the same year, three other missionaries had arrived.
The Revs. John Cooper, James Mitchell, and Alex-
ander Crawford ; and, in 1824, they were followed
by another, the Eev. John Stevenson. With this
reinforcement, it was arranged for Messrs Crawford
and Mitchell to occupy Fort Victoria, and Messrs
Cooper and Stevenson to proceed to Hurnee, near Se-
verndroog, about thirteen miles further south. While
studying the Mahratta language, they proceeded
with the work of education ; and at the close of the
decade, their schools, together, amounted to forty-
two, with eighteen hundred and twenty-six scholars.
The report of the Society for 1826, remarks on this
branch of their labours — '' The missionaries have
begun to meet with some of the same difficulties as
missionaries in other parts of India experience.
While the children at first make pleasing progress
in their education, no sooner do they acquire some
knowledge of reading and writing, than they appear
to have reached the height of their ambition ; and
either abandon the school altogether, or become so
careless and unsteady as to make little further im-
provement. Still it is gratifying to reflect, that
each of the young persons who thus leave school
carries along with him some portion of the word of
God in a lauounoe which lie understands, and has


treasured up in his memory some of its most im-
portant passages. The missionaries at Hurnee
have endeavoured to estabhsh Mahratta schools
among the Mussuhiians, Portuguese, and Purwarees,
respectively; but, from the want of proper teachers,
the smallness of the number of children, and
other causes, they have hitherto failed in the

On girls' schools, the directors add — '' The mis-
sionaries have not yet succeeded in establishing
separate schools for girls, either at Bankote or at
Hurnee, although they have made exertions at both
places for accomplishing this important object. The
number of girls in the schools amounts, however,
to thirty-five ; and it is hoped that a foundation is
thus laying for the establishment of female schools
in the southern Concan."

The same report states, that the missionaries had
all become sufficiently masters of Mahratta to be
able to exercise their ministry in that tongue.
'' Messrs Crawford and Mitchell preach five times
at least weekly, at or near Bankote ; and Messrs
Cooper and Stevenson twice weekly at Hurnee, and
once a week in four villages. Besides these stated
meetings, they have frequent opportunities of mak-
ing known the Gospel in their neighbourhood, and
in their visits to the more distant schools."

The Bombay report states — '^ The preaching of
the Gospel to the adult population, which the mis-
sionaries regard as the principal design of the mis-
sion, has now become, from their acquisition of the
native language, much more a part of their work
than it formerly was : besides occasionally visiting
towns and villages at a considerable distance, they
have stated meetings with the people in the villages
contiguous to Hurnee and Bankote. They imagine
not, they say, that this part of the work can be
accomplished without, in many histances, coming


^HAP. into direct contact with the prejudices of the natives,
^ 1 and the depravity of the human heart ; at the same

time, they must confess that, hitherto, they have

by no means met with so much opposition as might

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 44 of 54)