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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" These, however, were but faint glimmerings of religious light, and the
nineteenth century opened with very little improvement in the European
society of Bombay." Few attended public worship, and the state of
Christianity was very low. A lady who visited Bombay in 1809 wrote :
— " The only English church is in the fort ; it is large, but neither well
served nor attended." When the Rev. H. Martyn visited it in 1811, he
found the society in the lowest state with regard to morality and religion.
His spirit was oppressed with its ungodliness. " The Lord's day was
openly and notoriously disregarded," being often spent in hunting and
public amusements. But his preaching and remonstrances, as well as the
influence of his character, were favourable. " His visit was also a season
of refreshment and encouragement to some juniors in the service, of a
more Christian character, who had not been long in the country. Several
of these young men had enjoj^ed the privilege of a religious education at
home, but found themselves in Bombay cast upon a society altogether
worldly and licentious. The number of those who made even an out-
ward profession of religion was very small. They hailed the ministra-
tions and discourse of Henry Martyn, who appeared to them as an angel
of light in the midst of the moral darkness around." " Short as was his
visit of only five weeks, he left an impression behind which no doubt
prepared the way for the improvement which was soon to follow."

In 1812 Sir Evan Nepean arrived as Governor. His consistent reli-
gious example was invaluable. He scrupulously attended church twice
on the Lord's day, and promoted every object of a moral and religious
tendency. The number of chaplains was doubled. An Auxiliary Bible
Society was established in 1813^ under the auspices of the Governor, W.
T. Money, Esq., in the chair. A girls' school was established, and
carried on by a native Christian lady; and, in 1814, Archdeacon Barnes
arrived, when " a brighter day dawned on Western India."




FromBook IX. Chap. II., and Book XI. Chap. II.

Messrs Thomas and Carey went to India, in 1793, as the first mission-
aries of this Society. Messrs Ward, Brimsdon, Grant, and Marshman
arrived in 1799, and took up their abode at the Danish settlement of
Serampore, where they were soon joined by Mr Carey from Kidderpore,
and thus was laid the foundation of the Serampore Mission. In 1796
Mr Fountain arrived from England. He reported that " the education
of the young was well begun, the translation of the New Testament was
nearly completed," and the mission work among the natives was pro-
gressing. In 1800, a large house was purchased, with extensive grounds.
Its proximity to Calcutta was of importance to their school and printing-
press, from which, as will be seen, the Holy Scriptures in so many
lang-uages of the East, as well as many religious works, have issued in
vast numbers. " From this time they maybe considered fairly launched
on the wide sea before them, and a noble course they have steered." In
Calcutta their mission had been successful. In 1807, they obtained per-
mission from Government to build a chapel. In 1810, they established
the Benevolent Institution for poor East Indian Children. Several
missions were formed in different parts of Bengal. Among others
Dinagepoor, Cutwa, formed by Mr Chamberlain after many difficulties ;
Malda, Balasore in Orissa, Chittagong, and many others related in the
present volume.



From Book XI. Chap. IV.

-'At the period of Martyn's death, in 1812, the long glimmering light
seemed to be spreading high and wide on the Indian horizon ; the grain
sown with so much care had sprung up, and even here and there a spot
was found white already to harvest ; and among the names of those who
prepared this vast field for future labourers, not the least honoured are
Brown, Buchanan, and Martyn, who were called to their rest so nearly
together." In 1807, the Church Missionary Society sent a grant to
Calcutta to promote the translation of the Scriptures into the Eastern
languages, then carrying on in Fort- William. In 1809, it was increased,
a portion applied to the publication of the Scriptures, and another towards
the support of Scripture readers in markets, and other places of public
resort. Abdool Messeehwas the first reader. He accompanied Rev. D.Corrie
VOL. V. T t


to Agra, where the word preached brought many inquirers after the
truth, and several converts were baptized. On Mr Corrie's departure,
Mr Bowley, from Meerut, undertook the mission with Abdool Messeeh.
Talib Messeeh remained reader at Meerut. In 1815, Rev. T. T. Thoma-
son visited Agra, and thence removed Mr Bowley to Chunar, where he
was spared to labour many years with success. His ordination is men-
tioned in this volume. Anund Messeeh became a reader and schoolmaster
at Meerut, under Rev. H. Fisher. Two schools were established at
Burdwan, and the land at Benares given to the Society for schools by
Jay Narain. In 1815, the school at Kidderpoor was completed, and, in
1816, the two missionaries arrived, Revs. D. G-reenwood and C. T. S.
Shroeter. An estate at Garden Reach was purchased for mission


From Book XI. Chaps. I. and IV.

Sheik Salih, the future Abdool Messeeh, was born at Delhi. He was a
zealous Mahomedan, and having considerable knowledge of Persian and
Arabic, he became at twenty-one a Moonshee. Leaving his situation
with an English officer because he was reproved for converting a Hindoo
servant to the faith of Islam, he wandered about, engaging in various
pursuits, and at length visited his father at Cawnpore, where one evening
he heard Mr Martyn preach to a crowd of fakeers, and was so struck
with his arguments in proof of Christianity, that he determined to
remain at Cawnpore, where he gained employment by copying Persian
writings for Sabat. When Mr Martyn had finished his translation of
the New Testament into Hindoostanee, it was given to the Sheik to bind.
He seized the opportunity to study it, but concealed his religious impres-
sions till Mr Martyn was on the eve of leaving Cawnpore when he opened
his mind to him, and accompanied him to Calcutta. There he was left
with Mr Brown, and after five months' further delay, was baptized
Abdool Messeeh, servant of Christ, on Whitsunday 1811. In 1812, he
accompanied Mr Corrie to Agra, and there assisted him as Scripture
reader for two years. He felt Mr Corrie's departure severely, and met
with much opposition and many trials from Mahomedan s. But he con-
tinued his course diligently. He began the practice of phj^sic, distribut-
ing medicine to the poor gratuitously, which, he said, made some of the
enemies become friends. At this point the present volume finds us,
and continues his career.




From Book X. Chap. VI.

The Danish Mission at Tranquebar, begun in 1706 by Ziegenbalg and
Piiitschow, carried the gospel into Southern India. From this the Mis-
sion of Tanjore in 1726, and of Trichinopoly in 1762, originated, and
the labours of Swartz in both these are well known. The Christian
Knowledge Society gave the first grant from England in 1709, and con-
tinued to support the mission. But when Tranquebar was ceded to the
British, the mission resources from Denmark being cut off, Dr John
found it impossible to meet the increasing demands of the schools. He
was assisted by the Madras Government, and many individuals. In 1812,
he applied to the Church Missionary Society, and immediately obtained
a grant. He died soon after. In 1814, the Church Missionary Society
sent out two missionaries, Schnarre and Ehenius. They were, however,
recalled to Madras the following year, but Mr Schnarr6 being much
wanted at Tranquebar, he returned there, and Mr Rhenius was retained
by the Corresponding Committee in Madras, where a mission was formed,
and mission-house premises and gTound for a church were obtained, and
schools were opened. The 7th chapter continues the mission from this



From Book VHI. Chap. V., and Book X. Chap. IV.

Native priests and catechists from the Tranquebar mission visited
Tinnevelly from time to time, and a small congregation was gradually
formed under their instructions, but no native teacher resided there till
Schavrimootoo went in 1771. In 1785, Swartz visited Palamcottah,
where he found a congregation of 160 persons assembling in a church
built by the widow of a Brahmin recently baptized. After a visit of
three weeks, he left them with two catechists and a schoolmaster. One
of these, Sattianaden, had many years sustained the character of an able
teacher and pious Christian. A portion of the English liturgy, translated
into Tamul, was regularly used in the church. In 1790, Sattianaden
received Lutheran orders in one of the Christian Knowledge Society's
mission churches. In 1791, the Rev. J. D. Jj^nicke arrived at Palam-
cottah, and laboured there with Sattianaden, preaching in the villages,
and building some churches at the expense of Swartz. Writing to the


Society, Jaenick^ says, " I believe we shall have a great harvest in the
West;" in which anticipation Swartz also participated. In 1800, the
faithful Jgenicke died, after many years of sickness. In 1799, one year
after Swartz's death, the mission was visited by Gericke, from Madras,
and again in 1802, when he found the Christians had been much perse-
cuted ; but the preaching of Sattianaden and the catechists had been
blessed of G-od. Several inquirers wished to be further instructed in
Christianity, and the inhabitants of four villages had broken up and
buried their idols, converting their temples into Christian churches. In
1803, Mr Kohlhoff found Sattianaden so advancing in age, and declining
in health, that he obtained permission from the Society, and ordained
four catechists. One of these, Wedanagayam, was sent to Palamcottah
in 1811, and another, Abraham, in 1816. The Christians in Tinnevelly
had received protection and pecuniary aid from Mr Sawyer, a resident
there, who died in 1816. Lieutenant- Colonel Trotter had also given
them every encouragement in his power ; but no mention is made of any
missionary visiting the spot since 1803 ; so that when the Eev. J.
Hough was appointed chaplain to that station, in 1816, he found the
schools and mission generally greatly in need of improvements, as de-
scribed in the foregoing pages, and besides reviving them, established
there also the Church Missionary Society.



From Book XII. Chap. VII.

" This Mission seems to have been undertaken on the recommendation
of Sir A. Johnstone, during his visit to England." " Dr Coke, a leading
member of the Wesleyan body, was, like J. Wesley, educated at Oxford,
and ordained in the Church of England. He had long wished to send or
carry the gospel to India, and when this mission was projected, being
possessed of considerable property, he proposed to establish it, and to
advance whatever money was required for the outfit of the missionaries.
It was finally agreed that six should accompany him — Messrs Ault,
Lynch, Erskine, Harvard, Squance, and Clough — and they sailed Decem-
ber 31. 1813. But Dr Coke was not preserved to lay the foundation of
the mission, having died at sea, May 1815." The hearts of the mission-
aries sank at this loss, but " they learnt, under the Holy Spirit's influence,
to depend more entirely on the providence of .Grod ; and it did not fail
them." They were kindly received at Bombay by the Governor, Sir E.
Nepean, and assisted by W. T. Money, Esq., the well-known friend of
missions. They sailed thence for Ceylon, where they were cordially
welcomed by the Governor, Sir R. Brownrigg, the chaplain, and other
residents, and by them assisted in establishing the several mission
stations, whose progress is now detailed.




From Book XI. Chap. III.

Mr Forsyth went to India in 1798, under the patronage of the London
Missionary Society, and, in 1811, began mission work at Chinsurah, where
he was joined by the Rev. R. May in 1812. In 1814, Mr May opened a
school for the natives, which increased so rapidly, that, with the assist-
ance of the Commissioner, Cordon Forbes, Esq., several more were estab-
lished, and a Covernment grant was obtained. In 1816, the grant was
increased, the schools amounted to thirty, containing 2,600 children, and
a colleague, the Rev. J. D. Pearson, was sent out by the London Society.
It should be stated that, in the school supported by Covernment, religi-
ous instruction was disclaimed, the object being to improve the education
given in the native schools, which was described as " extremely deplor-
able." They were appreciated by the higher classes of natives, and
imitated by some — among others, by the Rajah of Burdwan, — Mr May
also establishing a seminary for training teachers.



From Book X. Chap. V.

The missionaries of this Society arrived at Vizagapatam in 1795, and
established a mission here, and at other stations on that coast, Canjam,
South Travancore, and Belhary, where they laboured with success,
translating the Scriptures, Liturgy, and tracts into Teloogoo. In 1804
Dr Taylor and Mr Loveless arrived at Madras ; the latter commenced
his mission in that city, with encouragement from the chaplains, and
other friends of missions there. In 1816, he hailed the arrival of a
colleague in Mr Knill.


From Book XII. Chap. IL

Dr Taylor proceeded to Bombay in 1807, and was engaged in studying
the languages, with a view to the translation of the Scriptures, but upon


his acceptance of a medical appointment under Government, the mission
work was suspended till 1815, when Messrs Skinner and Fyvie arrived,
and proceeded to Surat, where they began the study of Guzerattee,
opened schools, &c. ; and the following year the work so increased that
they became anxious for assistance, which, as the present chapter records,
was soon sent to them from England.








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The history of Christianity in India


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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 54 of 54)