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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Meerut. On Sunday, January 2. 1825, he con-
firmed about twenty candidates, preached, and ad-
ministered the Lord's Supper to about forty com-
municants. Mr Fisher read the pra^^ers, and the
congregations, morning and evening, were very
numerous and attentive.

While at Delhi, the Bishop was introduced to
the King, whom he describes as, ^^ the poor old de-
scendant of Tamerlane," and was moved to sym-
pathy at the sight of fallen greatness. He also
visited the splendidtombof the Emperor Humaioon.
On Monday the 3d, he resumed his journey, ac-
companied by his friend Mr Lushington, and also
by a medical gentleman, Dr Smith, who was ap-
pointed in future to travel with him, and afford
him, or any of the caravan, what assistance they
might require. They reached Muttra on Sunday
the 9th, in time for divine service, when the Bishop
read prayers, and preached in a Bungalow to a
small congregation, and administered the Lord's
Supper to a few communicants.

Agra. On the 10th, he started again, and reached Agra

on the 12th. A severe cold which he had taken.


accompanied with much fever and lassitude, com-
pelled him to remain here through the week. On
Friday^ though so hoarse as to be scarcely able to
speak, he confirmed about forty candidates ; and
on Sunday, much against Dr Smith's advice, he
preached and administered the Lord's Supper.
Here he was highly gratified at meeting Abdool
Messeeh, of whom he had heard so much, and whose
conversion under Henry Martyn, and subsequent
labours in the gospel under Mr Corrie, we have
already mentioned. Abdool was stationed here by
the Church Missionary Society, to preside over a
small congregation of native Christians, collected
by Mr Corrie, when chaplain at Agra. He expressed
an earnest desire to be a clergyman of the Church
of England ; '^ and if God spare his life and mine,"
wrote the Bishop, '^ I hope, during the ember weeks
in the next autumn, to confer orders on him. He
is every way fit for them, and is a most sincere
Christian, quite free, as far as I could observe, from
all conceit or enthusiasm. His long eastern dress,
his long grey beard, and his calm resigned counte-
nance, give him almost the air of an apostle."

18. From this point his future route lay through Con ti-
the independent states of Central India ; and the ^"^^'^
necessary arrangements being completed, the Bishop
left Agra on the 17th, and reached Jyepoor on
Saturday the 30th, without the occurrence of any-
thing by the way worthy of special remark. He
was welcomed at Jyepoor by the British resident,
Colonel Koper, in whose house he read prayers and
preached on the Lord's day, and baptized the re-
sident's child. Here he was detained one day in
consequence of the sudden death of his soubahdar,
the native commander of his escort. Next day,
February 2d, he left Jyepoor, and reach Nussera-
bad on the 8th, a British station, where he con-
firmed thirty candidates, preached to a



CHAP, tion of about one hundred, and administered the
^^I^' Lord's Supper. On the 15th he started again, and
reached Neemuch, the next cantonment of the Ben-
gal army, on the 25th. Here he remained three
days, and on Sunday performed divine service, when
he preached to a congregation of nearly one hun-
dred. Next day, the 28th, he pursued his journey ;
and after traversing a wide extent of country,
through dense forests and wild jungles, which were
sometimes noxious, and abounding in tigers, he
arrived at Jeridda in health and safety, on the 18th
of March. Here he had the happiness to find
Archdeacon Barnes of Bombay, who had come thus
far to meet him. They were old college friends,
and had not seen each other for seventeen years ;
the pleasure of the meeting, therefore, in such a
place, after so long and perilous a journey, may
well be supposed to have been great indeed.

Baroda. 19. The Bishop's present plan for his visitation

of the Archdeaconry of Bombay, differed materially
from his original arrangements, as, owing to his
unexpected detention on the way, he found himself
unable to devote to it the time he had intended.
He proceeded, therefore, with all possible expedi-
tion, and arrived at Baroda on the 19th, escorted
by a large and splendid military cavalcade, sent by
the British resident to meet him. Here he found
a chaplain, and a neat Gothic English church, which
he consecrated on the 20th, and afterwards admi-
nistered the Lord's Supper.

Kairah. On the 25th, he left Baroda, accompanied by

the resident, and reached Kairah in the night of
the 26th. On Sunday, he consecrated a large
church, recently built at this station, and on Wed-
nesday, confirmed about seventy persons. On
Friday, being Good Friday, and also on Easter
Sunday, he preached to good congregations ; and
during the intervening day he visited the schools.


and attended to other matters connected with the
station. ''The station Ubrary here/' he writes,
''is a very good room, with a small adjoining-
apartment for the non-commissioned officer who has
the care of the volumes, all of wdiich bore evident
marks of having been read, especially those of the
Christian Knowledge Society, which are circulated
in the manner usually practised in the lending
libraries of that institution. Altogether, I have
seen no Indian station, Meerut excepted, from
which I have derived so much pleasure and comfort."

He left Kairah April 4th ; was rejoined next Broach.
day by Arclideacon Barnes, who had been obliged
to leave him ; and arrived at Broach on Sunday
morning, the 10th. Here he preached and ad-
ministered the Lord's Supper, in the room which
for some time had been fitted up and used for the
purpose. Next day, he set out again, and reached
Surat on the 13th. He was much pleased to find Surat.
a neat and convenient church in this city, which
he consecrated on Sunday the 17th, and afterwards
preached and administered the Lord's Supper.
Here, too, was a considerable school, where Per-
sian, Mussulman, and Hindoo boys were histructed
in reading, writing, arithmetic, and English. The
Scriptures were used as a text-book, without any
objection being made, and their progress seemed
highly creditable. -,^ , . • ,

20. On the 18tli, he embarked for Bombay, Arnrai^
where he arrived on the following night, and ticnsat
landed early next morning, the 20th, when he was i^-"^^'^^)-
received by the authorities with the honours due to
his rank. Government having provided a con-
venient residence for him near the sea, he greatly
enjoyed the repose and the refreshing breezes ;
and being shortly after joined by his fainily, his
strength was soon recruited, and his spirits re-
freshed, after the fatigues of his long and perilous


CHAP, journey. It was more than ten months since he
^^^^^- left Calcutta. He had travelled nearly three
thousand miles^ during which he had visited almost
every important station in the provinces of Bengal.
Though many of his Sundays were unavoidably
passed in wildernesses remote from the society of
Europeans^ yet he had found opportunities to
preach more than fifty times^ besides administer-
ing the Lord's Supper, holding confirmations, and
consecrating new churches. He seldom slept
under any other cover than that of his cabin or
his tent. Much harassed and worn by this fatigue
and long exposure to the burning climate, he stood
greatly in need of the relaxation which he now
found in the bosom of his family and the society
of his friends.

After a few days' rest, he resumed his work,
and, on the 25th of April, confirmed about one
hundred and fifty candidates, to whom he delivered,
as was his custom, an appropriate charge. On the
28th, he held his visitation of the clergy. He
was indefatigable in regulating whatever required
his attention, and examining into the state of
religion and education in Bombay and the neigh-
boiirhood ; and he expressed himself highly grati-
fied with the general state of ecclesiastical matters
in this archdeaconry.

Among the various places which he visited, one
was the island of Salsette, the extreme poverty
and ignorance of a great part of whose inhabitants
affected him grievously. ^^ I have felt much
anxiety," he wrote, ^^ to learn more of the un-
fortunate tribe who inhabit this island, under an
idea that the establishment of a school and a mis-
sionary among them would at least meet with no
opposition ; but have had at present but little
encouragement to expect that such a measure
would be followed bv success."


Wherever he went^ he neglected no oppor-
tunity to obtam subscriptions in aid of Bishop's
College at Calcutta ; and in Bombay his exertions
were specially successful. At the suggestion of
the archdeacon, who had well prepared the British
public for the proposal, the Bishop succeeded in
establishing district committees throughout the
archdeaconry in aid of this object. We have
already mentioned^ the Bishop's sermon on Whit-
Sunday, from Acts ii. 38, 39, on the conversion of
the heathen, and the favourable impression it
made, the governor and highest authorities con-
curring in the Bishop's proposal to encourage the
conversion of the heathen in their private capacity.
Never, it has been remarked, were the arguments
of the opponents of missions more triumphantly
refuted, nor the inducements to engage in the
work more powerfully stated.

Desirous to know the state of religion in the
Deccan, the Bishop, accompanied by the archdea-
con, proceeded as far as Poonah, the principal
British settlement in those parts. Omng to the
heavy rains which had fallen, and the fatigue of
the journey, which they performed with all pos-
sible speed, he arrived too ill immediately to attend
to business. In two or three days, however, he
felt well enough to take his usual part in the ser-
vices of the Lord's day, when he consecrated the
church, preached, and held a confirmation. Here
he succeeded in persuading the commanding oilicer
to rescind an order which he had issued, prohibit-
ing the soldiers in the different cantonments from
using the books in the station librar}\

We have mentioned the death of the Bishop's
chaplain, Mr Stowe ; and at Poonah he met with

' ClKip


CHAP, a clergyman, the Rev. Thomas Robinson, chaplain

' of this station, whom he appointed to the vacant

post. From this period, Mr Robinson became his
constant companion in travel, and proved of essen-
tial service to him in the prosecution of his work.

The Bishop was detained at Bombay nearly four
months, his time being constantly occupied with
his various and important engagements. Here, as
throughout his long journey, he lost no oppor-
tunity to proclaim from the pulpit the glad tidings
of the Gospel. Besides discharging publicly his
Episcopal functions, he preached every Sunday in
the place where he happened to be, and on most
occasions twice. Of his great exertions hitherto,
the Bomhay Courier of the 16th of July thus
speaks : —

'^ \i is now more than twelve months since the
Bishop left Calcutta ; and though he has since been
constantly engaged in personally visiting the prin-
cipal stations under that presidency and Bombay,
he can scarcely be said to have as yet visited half
of his immense diocese ; for, in addition to the
Company's territories, w^e learn that the Archdeacon
of New South Wales and twenty-five chaplains in
that increasing colony have lately been placed under
his superintendence as Bishop."

On the 15th of August he left Bombay, with his
family and chaplain, much regretted by the princi-
pal inhabitants of the settlement, of whose kind
attentions he wrote in the warmest terms. On the
occasion of his departure, the Bombay Courier re-
marked — ^^ The high talents of Bishoi3 Heber,
united with his very kind and amiable feelings, en-
gage the regard and friendliness of all who know
him ; and his frequent discourses from the pulpit,
exhibiting with unusual force the leading features
of the Christian faith and character, leave an im-
pression on his hearers, which will long remain to


their delight and improvement. He carries with
him^ we are sure_, the prayers of every good man for
his health and for his success in the arduous and
awfully-important duties in which he is engaged."
As mere expressions of personal regard, it would,
perhaps, be out of place here to record these friendly
attentions paid to Bishop Ileber, and the manner in
which he and his labours were spoken of ; but as
indications of the public respect for his office, they
are of more importance, and serve to shew, that the
British residents in India were prepared to welcome
the establishment of their Church among them in
all her efficiency and strength.

21. On the 25th of August the Bishop reached J^'^^f^^
Point-de-Galle, the southern extremity of Ceylon, "" ""^ "°'
wdiere he was received with the accustomed honours.
He remained over Sunday, when he held a confir-
mation and preached. Early next morning, the
29th, he set out for Columbo, where he arrived the
following day, and was kindly welcomed by the
Governor, Sir Edward Barnes and his lady. On
Thursday, September 1, he held a visitation of his
clergy, which was attended by all the colonial cliap-
lains'and church missionaries, except Mr Mayor,
who was detained at home by indisposition. This
visitation is described as one of peculiar interest,
and the clergy especially seem to have been en-
couraged and refreshed by the Bishop's affectionate
charge. He next examined into the state of the
schools, of which Government had one hundred
under their control in the island. Examining the
proponents for catechists, he did not hud them so
well instructed as he could have wished ; which,
perhaps, led to the desire he now expressed to
devise a plan^ for training a body of native clergy

^ He thus cxplciincdtliis [.Ian. aitioii- oilier HU-ors(i..ns Ini


CHAP, for the whole island ; an object of great import-

' ance, and justifying any expenditure of money and

exertions needful for its accomplishments : but the
time was not yet come for the prosecution of so
extensive a design.

On Sunday^ September 4^ the Bishop preached
to a crowded congregation, in St Thomas's Church,
which was so close and badly constructed, that he
sufiered more than usual from the heat. Arch-
deacon Twistleton, the active and liberal patron of
every good work, whose exertions we have so fre-
quently mentioned, was now dead ; and the Rev. J.
M. S. Glennie was acting archdeacon, with whom
the Bishop was occupied on Monday in arranging
for the visitation of the island. Next day he visited
Cotta, the principal station of the Church Missionary
Society, accompanied by his chaplain, Mr Robinson,
who thus describes the Bishop's inter\dew with the
missionaries — '' Mr Lambrick, in behalf of his
brethren, read an address to his lordship, most
touchingiy and admirably worded, expressing their
joy at ranging themselves under his paternal autho-
rity, their gratitude for his kindness, their thank-

the improvement of Ceylon, in a letter to the Society for Pro-
moting Cliristian Knowledge — " The native proponents or cate-
cbists — whom I am most anxious to raise in character and ac-
quirements, and by degrees to admit into holy orders, and make
the groundwork of a regular parochial clergy — though good men,
and willing to do their best for the instruction and improve-
ment of their flocks, are, themselves, very many of them, ex-
tremely ill-informed, and destitute of the means of acquiring
information. Above all, they greatly need some plain ser-
mons to read to their people ; and I have already, in conse-
quence, encouraged some of the colonial clergy to undertake
translations into Tamul and Cingalese, of the Book of Homilies,
which I purpose to follow up with similar translations of Berens'
Village Sermons, Bishop Wilson's Sermons, and some other of
the more popular works in the Society's Supplementary Cata-


fulness for his present visit^ and at seeing a friend^
a protector, and a father in their lawful superior.
The address was neither read nor heard without
tears. The Bishop, though he had no previous in-
timation of their purpose, returned a most kind
and affectionate answer, attaching to himself more
strongly the hearts which were already his ovm.
His utterance was ready, and only checked by the
strong emotions he felt at the time. The scene was
to me most beautiful. We were embowered in the
sequestered woods of Ceylon ; and yet here was a
transaction worthy of the apostolic age — a Christiiin
Bishop, with his heart full of love and zeal for his
Divine master, received in his proper church by a
body of missionaries of his ow^n church, who with
full confidence and affection ranged themselves
under his authority, as his servants and fellow-
labourers. It realized my ideas of true missionary
effort. After breakfast, the schools were collected,
in a large, open, but roofed place, used occasionally
for preaching. His lordship examined them all
— about two hundred ; spoke to them, and cate-
chised them. At twelve, we returned home — the
Bishop rejoicing at what he had seen, and I, in
having the privilege to share in his joy. Would to
God every missionary station could exhibit the
same beautiful sight of zeal and church order !"

On the following day, the 7th, the Bishoj) pre-
sided at a meeting of the Christian Knowledge
Society's District Committee ; and afterwards exa-
mined about one hundred and sixty boys under Mr
Armour's care. The next day he conih-med aJjout
two hundred candidates, half Europeans and halt
natives. At seven on Sunday morning, the 11th,
he attended the Tamul church, and took some part
in the service. At eleven, he preached at tlie
English church in the fort, in aid of Bishop's Col-
lege, and afterwards administered the [word's Su])iH-r.


CHAP. At four^ he attended the Cingalese service^ and pro-
^^^^' nounced the benediction ; and in the evening he
was again present in the Enghsh church. ^^ At
the close of the day/' says Mr Robinson^ ^^ on my
remarkmg, ^ I fear^ my lord^ you are exhausted;' he
said^ ^I am tired indeed, but I would give some
years of my life for such a day as this.' " The next
day he attended a meeting for the formation of a
Society to Promote the Propagation of the Gospel,
with special reference to Bishop's College. Here
he set a noble example of liberality, presenting a
donation of £300. On the 13th, he held another

Early next morning he set out for Kandy, accom-
panied by Mrs Heber, his chaplain, the governor,
and a small party of gentlemen. They arrived on
the following day about noon, much gratified with
the luxuriant beauty of the scenery through which
they had passed. When refreshed, after the fatigue
of the journey, the Bishop examined the mission
school, under Mr Browning, and was highly pleased
with the progress of the children, and with the
neatness, order, and good management that seemed
to prevail. At seven on Sunday, the ISth, he held
a confirmation in the audience hall of the late king,
there being no church at the station. At eleven,
he preached in the same place ; and Divine service
was again celebrated there in the evening. At his
request, an evening service was in future regularly
performed. Afterwards, in adverting to the place
where they had been worshipping, Mr Robinson
remarks — '^ I was mentioning to the Bishop how
forcibly it struck me, during the service, that in
that hall, where, a few years ago, the most savage
tyrant received his miserable subjects, a Christian
prelate was now administering the solemn ordi-
nances of our religion. He leaned his head on his
liand, and burst into tears. ' How wonderful,' said


he, ^ is the providence of God in the economy of His
Church ! Never was any people entrusted with
such a power of doing good as England now is !
What a fearful responsibility rests on the Govern-
ment and its ministers ; on the nation and all its
children ; and, above all, on our Church and its
rulers ! ' Such were the remarks made in the palace
of the deposed Emperor of Kandy on this memo-
rable morning."

Early next morning, they left Kandy, and reached
Columbo on the evening of the following day, the
20th. On the 21st, he held another confirmation,
and afterwards aduiitted Mr Armour to priest's
orders, who, as already mentioned, was ordained
deacon by Bishop Middleton.^ The next morning
he presided at the first meeting of the clergy,
chaplains, and missionaries, convened at his sug-
gestion, for the purpose of strengthening one an-
other's hands, and encouraging each other in the
arduous work in which they were engaged. '' Se-
veral important points were discussed," says Mr
Robinson ; '' and the Bishop entered with great
life and energy into the business. His address to
the clergy, and fatherly benediction at the end,
were full of feeling, and made a strong impression
upon all. At the close of the meeting, the Arch-
deacon delivered an address to his lordship, in his
own name and that of the clergy, expressive of
their thankfulness, reverence, and affection. No-
thing could be more unexpected ; but the Bishop's
answer was very noble, and all parted with many

A written address was afterwards presented to
the Bishop, signed by all the clergy ; to which he
made a most suitable reply. And, besides joining

Book xiii. cliap. i. sec. G.'


CHAP, in this^ the missionaries presented a separate ad-

.* dress, in which they detailed the circumstances of

each station, with their various difficulties and
encouragements. In reply, the Bishop entered at
considerable length on the subjects which they had
submitted to his notice ; and manifested such a
spirit of kindness toward them as much heightened
their esteem and increased their affection for their
revered Diocesan.

On the morning of the 23d, the Bishop and his
party left Columbo for Baddagame. Their parting
interview with Sir Edward and Lady Barnes, and
other friends, from whom they had received so
much attention and hospitality, was one of mutual
regret. They reached Baddagame on Saturday,
and next morning the Bishop consecrated the
church and burial-ground, and preached to a nume-
rous congregation. Almost all the European resi-
dents from Galle, and a great number of natives,
were assembled to witness the ceremony ; and the
peculiar circumstances under which it was per-
formed rendered it highly interesting to the greater
part of the congregation. In the afternoon, the
Bishop confirmed thirteen persons, all of whom,
save three, were Cingalese ; making, together with
five who had been previously confirmed at Galle,
fifteen recently converted natives in this mission,
four of whom received the sacrament. In the
evening, the Bishop examined some of the scholars,
and heard them read and construe a chapter in the
New Testament from English into Cingalese.

The season being too far advanced to visit Jaffna,
the Bishop postponed his visitation of that province,
and proceeded on the 2Gth to Galle for Calcutta.
While waiting for a favourable wind, he wrote an
account of his visit to the island in several letters
to his friends. One of the missionaries at Badda-
game was a son of the Rev. John Mayor, vicar .of


Sliawbury, an old friend of the Bishop's, to whom
he sent an interesting description of his son's pro-
ceedings. To Archdeacon Barnes he Avrote : — '^ I
have spent a very interesting month in Ceylon ;
but never in my life, to the best of my recollection,
passed so laborious a one ;" and then he relates
what he had seen and done. But a letter to his
mother contains so full an account of the present
state of Christianity in the island, and his hopes
of its improvement, that we are induced to give it
in his o^vn words : —

^' Christianity has made, perhaps, a greater
progress in this island than in all India besides.
The Dutch, while they governed the country,
took great pains to spread it ; and the black
preachers whom they left behind, and who are
still paid by the English Government, shew a
very great reverence for our Common Prayer, which
is translated into their language, and a strong
desire to be admitted members of the Church of
England. One excellent man, named Christian

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 47 of 54)