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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IN INDIA : BOOK XIII. 49

and principles which he had displayed^ could never
be without influence in any region of the civilized
world. They would possess an efficiency not^ in-
deed^ properly their own, but rather to be regarded
as the operation of the Holy Spirit, acting in and
through them.

He then concluded this admirable address in
these impressive words : — '' Commending j'ou,
therefore, to his guidance in all things, I pray that
we may be able to render true and fliithful service
to the great Head of the Church ; and that, having
contributed in our stations to promote His glory
on earth, we may, in life's last retrospect, give
praise unto Him, and, with no reliance but on His
merits, hope to be received to mercy."

42. A few days after this visitation, on the 12th Second
of February, the Bishop embarked with his family Madr.'Js.
on his second visitation to Madras,^ which he
reached on the 27th. He arrived at a time of
mournful interest, Mrs Elliott, the Governor's lady,
dying on the evening of the day on which he
landed. The Bishop buried her the following
evening ; and, on the next Sunday, after preaching
and administering the Lord's Supper at St George's
in the morning, he preached a funeral sermon for
her in the evening, at the church in the Fort,
where she was interred. While at Madras, he
preached to a numerous congregation every Sunday,
and sometimes twice. On the 23d of March, he
confirmed three hundred and seventeen persons.



^ It will be remembered that, on his primary visitation, the
Governor-Greneral had directed the governments of Madras and
Bombay to defray his expenses. But orders had since arrived
from the Court of Directors, fixing the sum to be allowed him
at 10,000 rupees, about £1000 sterling, on his visiting those
presidencies. A vessel also was to be provided, at the public
expense, for his conveyance, and a suitable house at each pre-
sidency furnished for his reception.

VOL. V. D



50 HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY

CHAP, being about forty-five more than on the former
^' occasion. After describing the solemnity of the
service, and the manifest improvement in the de-
meanour of the congregation, the Bisliop remarked
— '' Scenes hke these, especially in this countiy,
have a benign effect even upon those who are not
immediately concerned in them ; and certainly the
increasing attention among our own people to the
ordinances and duties of religion, has a tendency to
recommend Christianity, and is not unobserved by
the natives."

Two days after he held his visitation of the
clergy, to whom he delivered the same charge as at
Calcutta, of which an abstract has just been given.
He also consecrated a church and burial-grounds ;
and inspected the Male asylum, and its mode of
instruction, but found that Dr Bell's system, which
originated here, was nearly lost. He, therefore,
recommended that an English master should be
sent for, to restore it to its former state of efficiency.
The Chris- 43^ Siuco liis former visitation, the Bishop had
Know- maintained a constant and unreserved communica-
l!iff,f'c^?rc ^ion with the Madras District Committee on the
sions. aiiairs of the southern missions, and had given a
sanction to their measures which his authority
alone could impart. This gave life and spirit to
their exertions, and enabled them to suggest mea-
sures for the improvement and welfare of the mis-
sions, which, when' approved by the Bishop, came
recommended to the Society at home by the weight
of his deliberate judgment. During his present
visit, he directed and invigorated the Committee's
operations ; he exerted himself, with good hope of
success, to bring the Vepery press to more than its
former activity. He likemse visited the Vepery
mission, where he held a conference mth the native
Christians of considerable length, upon some im-
proprieties of conduct which vet remained to be



IN INDIA : BOOK XIII. 51

corrected ; and not long after^ through the exer-
tions of the missionary^ Dr Rottler^ the objection-
able practices were abandoned^ and harmony was
restored to the congregation.

While memorializing the Madras government
on the subject of an augmentation in the number
of chaplains, he also urged the necessity of a church
at Vepery/ He likewise despatched the Christian
Knowledge Society an account of the present state
of this mission, accompanied with an urgent repre-
sentation of the necessity for an increase of mis-
sionaries. In 1818 the Society had sent out a
Lutheran clergyman, the Eev. John George Philip
Sperschneider, to supply the place of the lamented
Jacobi at Tanjore ; and this year two more mis-
sionaries of the same church arrived, the Rev.
Daniel Rosen, to occupy the station at Trichino-
poly, recently vacated by the death of Mr Pohle,
and the Rev. L. P. Haubroe,^ to assist the vener-
able Dr Rottler at Vepery. But the Society had
still only ^ye missionaries for all their stations,
two of whom, Rottler and KohlhofP, were feeling the
infirmities of age ; whereas, the Bishop stated, that
not fewer than seven effective European mission-
aries were required in order to the due discharge
of the duties of the several stations ; and that the
Society should therefore have not less than eight
missionaries in its service, that the supernumerary
might be ready to render occasional assistance
whenever wanted. He adverted also to the inade-
quacy of the missionaries' salaries ; and, on his



^ It is gratifying to know tliat this application for a church
was not in vain : one was built at Vepery not long after, partly
by a donation of £2000 from the Society for Promoting Chris-
tian Knowledge, and partly by a grant from the East India
Company.

2 S. P.C. K. Eeports, 1818, 1819, 1820.



52 HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY

CHAP, recommendation, the Society increased to one hun-
^- dred and eighty pounds per annum, and to two
hundred pound's for Mr KohlhofF and the Vepery
missionaries.
Bishop's 44, xhe Bishop had several invitations up the
Teming. couutry, but denied himself the pleasure of accept-
ing them, as he wished to visit Penang, Prince of
Wales's Island, in the Straits of Malacca. He em-
barked at Madras about the middle of April, and
after a somewhat perilous passage across the Bay
of Bengal, reached Penang in safety. Here he was
heartily welcomed by the Governor, Colonel Ban-
nerman, and other members of the East India Com-
pany's establishment, which was small, and the
whole European population consisted of no more
than seventeen or eighteen families. They had
recently built a church, which he consecrated. He
preached, also, and confirmed twenty-six persons,
a considerable proportion of so small a society.
He had likewise the satisfaction of establishing a
District Committee of the Society for Promoting
Christian Knowledge, for though he expected that
the field of action at this post would for the present
be very limited, yet he considered that it might
eventually be a matter of some importance to have
gained a footing for the Society so far to the
eastward. There were many Romanists scattered
among the neighbouring islands, which might fa-
vour the Committee's operations in that direction.^
At Penang, the Bishop met with Sir Thomas Stam-
ford Raffles, Lieutenant-Governor of Bencoolen, a
man of great activity and influence in those parts ;
and as he promised his cordial co-operation with the



During the Bishop's visit to Penang, the Eoman Bishop of
Siam came on visitation to the isLand, wliere he had a niimeroiis
flock : but it does not appear that the two prelates ever met.



IN INDIA : BOOK XIII. 63

Coininittee^ it was formed to unite Bencoolen with
Peiiang.

On the last Sunday of his visit, which he pro-
longed to eighteen days, he preached an impressive
sermon/ encouraging his audience to persevere in
the good work which they had so well begun.
Then after expressing the great improbability of
his ever again being able to visit them, and so be
an eye-witness of their progress, he concluded with
an affectionate admonition to continue stedfast in
faith and love, and a special invitation to the table
of the Lord.

Nearly the whole congregation, thirty persons,
then received the communion at his hands — an
appropriate pastoral farewell to a Christian flock in
the midst of these remote isles of the ocean, whom
he could never expect to see again. After thus
endeavouring to build up this little church in right-
eousness and peace, he bade them farewell, and
they saw his face no more.

45. He had originally intended to proceed hence Relief of
on his visitation to Bombay and Ceylon, l^ut the qieimr'''^"
season favourable for such a voyage was now pass- Mission.
ing away ; he was anxious also, for various rea-
sons, to return home. After another passage
attended with fatigue and imminent danger, he
arrived at Calcutta towards the end of May, and
found, as he expected, a great accumulation of
business requiring immediate attention.

One of the first objects to which he attended was
a design of great usefulness and importance. We



^ His text was, Philippiaiis i. 27, " Only let your conversa-
tion be as becometh the gospel of Christ : that whether I come
and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that
ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for
the faith of the gospel/'

This sermon the Bishop printed, at the Governoi's request,
for distribution among the residents at Penang.



54



HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY



CHAP.
I.



Founda-
tion of St
James'
Church
and

Schools,
Calcutta.



luave seen the relief that he afforded to the Tran-
quebar missionaries out of the sum placed at his
disposal by the Society for Promoting Christian
Knowledge. He also circulated in Calcutta an
account of the distressed state of their mission, and
subscriptions were soon raised for its relief to the
amount of four thousand and fifty sicca rupees.
Out of this sum he continued to make remittances
to Tranquebar, as occasion required, for about
thirteen months ; after which, upon the mission-
aries reporting an amendment in their circum-
stances, he suspended his remittances until they
should again be applied for. In the mean time, at
his suggestion, the Society for Promoting Christian
Knowledge obtained information from the Bishop
of Zealand, that the Government of Denmark had
at length resolved to re-estabhsh the ancient re-
sources of the mission, and to place it in future
beyond the need of casual support in India.

46. When the Bishop received this intelligence,
he had in hand a balance of the contributions
which he received for the mission, amounting to
nearly three hundred pounds, which he proposed
to refund to the contributors ; but they declined
receiving it, and left it at the Bishop's disposal for
charitable purposes. Not long before, an officer, a
Captain Henry Oake, had left a legacy of five hun-
dred pounds, for the use and benefit of the Chris-
tian poor of Calcutta, in any way the Bishop might
deem most eligible and proper. With these sums
he proposed to build a school in the midst of the
poorest Christian population of Calcutta, consisting
chiefly of East Indians, a class of inhabitants who
were rapidly increasing in numbers and importance.
A friend, hearing of the Bishop's intention, pro-
mised him one or two hundred pounds more, if
wanted for his l)uilding. Encouraged by this libe-
rality, the prelate extended his design to the erection



IN INDIA : BOOK XIII. 65

of a church also for the same class of iiihabitaiits,
who, by their distance from the existing churches,
and by the appropriation of the sittings there,
were unhappily shut out from the exercise of pub-
lic worship ; while the want of regular schools for
their instruction, either left them in total ignor-
ance, or else exposed them to the danger of imbib-
ing principles of hostility to the Government, and
of alienation from the Church of their fathers.
The Bishop was strongly impressed with the con-
viction, that the progress of Christianity in India,
especially among this class of persons, in connec-
tion with order and submission to lawful authority,
as taught in the Church of England, would be
among the firmest safeguards of the British power.
He, consequently, felt it incumbent upon him to
make a forcible appeal to the Marquis of Hastings
in behalf of these people ; aad he suggested to his
lordship a plan for erecting, in the suburbs, a free
church expressly for their accommodation, the
sittings of which should be entirely free, and also
a charity school for their education, upon the prin-
ciples of the National Society in England. To
both these proposals the Governor- General imme-
diately gave his cordial and effective support. By
an order of Government, a sufficient portion of land
was granted for the site of a church and churchyard
in the eastern suburbs of Calcutta ; and another
spot adjoining was conveyed to the Bishop and his
successors for ever, by a formal deed of gift, for
the purpose of erecting thereon a charity school,
for the benefit of the same class of persons. The
building of the school was soon commenced, and in
the following year, the Bishop had the satisfliction i^(.ath of
of laying the foundation-stone of the church. Such t^ie Arch-
was the origin of St James' Church and School. Madras

47. While interesting himself in these important ^"'^^.^1.^°^^.
works, two melancholy events occurred which gave ofrcnan-.



56 HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY

CHAP, a severe shock to his spirits, strugghng as they
^- were against the oppression of accumulating respon-
sibiUties. Three months had scarcely elapsed since
he returned from his visitation to Madras and
Penang, when tidings reached him of the death of
the tw^o persons with whom he had most inter-
course at those places. Archdeacon Mousley of
Madras, and Governor Bannerman of Penang. He
felt these blows severely, having a great regard for
both those gentlemen, and looking chiefly to them
to carry out his plans for the promoting of Chris-
tianity at their respective stations. In a country
where good and useful undertakings had not yet
acquired the permanency of system, but were
wholly dependent on the activity and influence of
individuals, such losses are calculated to discourage
the survivors ; and it requires strong faith in the
promises and power of God to counteract their ten-
dency to produce a feeling of despondency. In
India such interruptions to religious and benevolent
works are perpetually occurring, in consequence of
the fluctuating state of society, as well from fre-
quent and sudden deaths, as from various other
causes ; and there the divine admonition specially
applies with accumulated force, '' Whatsoever thy
hand findeth to do, do it with thy might ; for
there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor
wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest ?"^
Bishop's 48. The Bishop's standard of missionary qualifi-

of'misTion- cations and character was high, and may serve to
ary cha- guide tliosc who havc the appointment of mission-
aries to the heathen. '' We must have able in-
struments," he remarked, ''with heads full of sense,
and hearts full of zeal. Weak men will be abso-
lutely good for nothing : of course, I mean not
merely those whose weakness is verv obvious, but



Ec'<-lctjiasles ix. 10.



IX INDIA: BOOK XIIT. 57

men who cannot deliberate, and observe, and adapt
measnres to circumstances. They should also have
some literary talent : they will be required to learn
languages, to compose elementary treatises, and to
translate the Scriptures. But still all the good
sense in the world, and talents the most powerful,
will do nothing without an inextinguishable ardour
in this holy cause. They must account it gairij though
at any cost, to he the means of hringing over men to
Christ, All their talents, and all their understand-
ing, must converge, as it were, to that one point ;
it must be the focus of all their deliberations, and
endeavours, and desires ; and I would venture to
suggest, that a little excess on the side of zeal
should be no disqualification. We must all of us,
more or less, he animated hy a missionary spirit ^ ^
Such were the men that he especially desired to
have for the masters and professors of his projected
college ; and though an equal measure of abilities
and acquirements might not be required in less
commanding stations, yet the same zeal and de-
votedness to the cause of Christ is indispensable in
every department of missionary work.

49. The Bishop's view of the insufficiency, and Evils of a
dangerous tendency indeed, of mere secular know- knowfjiige
ledge for the natives, is drawn with equal wisdom, among the
He remarks — '' A great deal, in truth, is going on "^^^^^^'
here in the minds of the people ; but knowledge, or
at least a smattering of every thing, is, I suspect,
making a much more rapid progress than religion. I
expect that, in a few years, we shall be overrun vdih.
small philosophers and politicians ; and then, if
the country is in danger of being lost, the blame
will be laid upon Christianity, which will be wholly
unconcerned in the mischief, and is the only thing

^ Tlie ilaJics in this paragraph are the Bishop's cnvji^ vol. ii.
pp. 97, 98.



58



HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY



CHAP
1.



English
Liturgy in
Cingalese
and
Tamul.



which could have averted it. People here argue
as if mere secular knowledge w^ill lead to Christi-
anity^ as a matter of course. I do not collect any
such result either from Scripture or experience, —
it leads much more naturally to something else.
A Hindoo deist was asked the other day, if he did
not wdsh the English out of the country ? His
answer was, *^ I wished you out of it twenty years
ago — you did nothing for us ; but as you are going
on now, I wish you to stay twenty years longer,
and then the sooner you are gone the better.'
However, I hope that Christianity will yet be dif-
fused in time to prevent the evils which superficial
knowledge must ever produce unaccompanied mth
religious restraint." ^

50. When the Bishop left Ceylon, in 1816, he
carried aw\ay a Tamul translation of the Liturgy
in manuscript, made by Christian David, to be
printed at Calcutta. It was now finished, and soon
ready for distribution, at the expense of the Go-
vernor, Sir R. Brownrigg, as a parting boon on
leaving Ceylon.^ The Bishop also engaged W.
Tolfrey, Esq., to translate the Liturgy into Cin-
galese. Upon the lamented death of that gentleman,
the work Avas continued by Mr Armour, and it was
now in the press. To these was afterwards added
the Indo-Portuguese translation ; and then the
Book of Common Prayer was intelligible to all the
inhaljitants of Ceylon,^ with the exception of a few



' Life of Bisliop Middleton, vol. ii. pp. 108, 109.

^ This work was noticed in tlie Christian Knowledge So-
ciety's Report for 1816. It was neatly bound, and cost Sir R.
Brownrigg £300.

^ The following testimony to the value of these three ver-
sions, and also to the use of the Liturgy in Ceylon, was given
by a Wesleyan missionary. Rev. R. Newstead, at the anniver-
sary of the Prayer-Rook and Homily Society in 1825:—

" The Book of Common Prayer in the Indo-Portugnese,



IN INDIA : BOOK XIII. 59

of the wild tribes in the interior, who were in a
state of barbarism.



which this Society has engaged to print, will be the third edi-
tion of the entire volume, which has been given to the people,
in the different languages of Ceylon, through the efforts of
Christian beneficence.

" For the first of these, which is in Tamul, we are indebted
to the munificence of Sir Kobert Brownrigg, who patronised a
translation made by the Eev, Christian David (formerly a pupil
of the venerable Swartz, and now a minister of the Established
Church), printed it at his own expense, and presented it to the
various congregations of native Christians to whom that lan-
guage is vernacular.

" The second, which is in Cingalese, and done by the Rev.
Andrew Armour, also a minister of the Established Church, we
owe to the bounty of the Society for Promoting Christian
Knowledge. But long before the execution of this work, we
[the Wesleyan missionaries in Ceylon] had been obliged to
print, for the use of our own native congregations, a selection
from the Liturgy, translated into Cingalese by one of our
missionaries ; containing the Morning and Evening Services,
and the leading Offices of the Church: without this selec-
tion I know not how we should have succeeded in our public
worship.

" This selection, it is right to say, has been of most efficient
service in producing, under the blessing of God, order, regu-
larity, and decorum in our formerly heathen, and consequently
undisciplined, assemblies. The use of this selection is still
essential ; as the entire volume, being in the quarto size, is
unfit for general circulation. Four large editions of the selec-
tion have been called for, and have been printed at the expense
of the Wesleyan Society, for the use of our native schools and
congregations. In these schools, our admirable Liturgy takes
a very prominent part; everyone of our scliool-rooms being, in
fact, a place of worship, where, every Sabbath-day, our Liturgy
is read, and where every child is taught to repeat the various
responses. Our schoolmasters are never suffered to open or to
close a school, without first invoking the blessing of God, in a
form of prayer, with which we furnish tliem, if they be inca-
pable of it without one: they then uniformly read a portion of
God's holy word, and recite with the children in regular re-
sponse that sublime hymn the Te Deum. In this way thou-
sands of Cingalese children are every day taught at once to
revere the institutions of Christianity, and to trample on the
follies of idolatry." — Missionary Register, 1825, p. 257.



60



HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY



CHAP.
I.



Converted
soldier at
Meerut.



The Tamul of Ceylon is so much degenerated
from that of the i3enmsula, as to constitute ahnost
another language. The numerous Christian con-
gregations in South India required therefore a ver-
sion of the Liturgy in their own purer dialect, and
a translation for their use had recently been
finished by Dr Bottler, and published at Madras.
This important work derived great benefit from
the frequent corrections of the Tamul translator to
Government, Richard Clark, Esq., the able and in-
defatigable secretary to the district committee, to
whose learning and liberality throughout its pro-
gress the translator acknowledged his great obliga-
tions. The Government of Madras contributed
two hundred pounds towards its publication ; the
Bishop forty ; and the Christian Knowledge So-
ciety provided the paper, and defrayed nearly all
the remaining expense. The book was a handsome
quarto volume, neatly printed and bound.

51. A circumstance occurred in the autumn of
this year, Avhich may serve to shew the prejudices
which the clergy had to encounter in their endea-
vours to convert the natives, and the protection
they enjoyed under Episcopal jurisdiction against
military interference in the discharge of their
sacred functions. The Rev. Henry Fisher, chap-
lain at Meerut, a large military cantonment, near
Delhi, besides the zealous discharge of his imme-
diate duties, attended to the religious instruction
of the native inhabitants. Among his converts
there was a Naik, or corporal, in a native regi-
ment, whose conversion seems to have excited the
jealousy of the commanding officer of his corps,
who complained of it to the commander-in-chief at
Calcutta. The affair was represented in such
exaggerated terms, that it seemed to be calculated
to ])roduce a]^prohension for the consequences
among the native troops. The Governor- General,



IN INDIA : BOOK XIII. 61

therefore^ instead of submitting the matter to the
miUtary authorities, as heretofore, referred it offi-
cially to the Bishop, who called upon Mr Fisher
for an explanation of the case. This gentleman,
after adverting to his exertions for the religious
instruction of the natives around him, and to the
spirit of inquiry awakened among them, and the
conversion of several, proceeded to describe the
case in question. The man had for some time,
and under various circumstances, shewn a decided
predilection for Christianity, availed himself of
every opportunity to improve his knowledge of
the gospel, and at last earnestly requested Mr
Fisher to baptize him. As soon as his intention
became known, the Brahmins of the corps took the



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 8 of 54)