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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alarm, and tried every means they could devise to
turn him from his purpose. Some of the slan-
derous reports raised against him caused the officers
to institute a court of inquiry into his conduct,
when he w^as not only acquitted of blame, but
proved to have conducted himself as a good sol-
dier, and to have behaved in all other respects in
an exemplary manner. All seem to have been
satisfied but the commanding officer, whose report
of the case to government had led to this reference
to the chaplain. His ingenuous explanation the
Bishop highly approved ; and from this time both
Mr Fisher and the man ceased to be molested :
while here again it was seen that the clergy and
the native Christians had now an official protec-
tor ; and the Bishop gained another step in ad-
vance against the resistance still offered to his
jurisdiction by some of the military authorities.^

52. We have seen the neglected state in which improve-
the Bishop found the Free school at Calcutta, and "he"Frce
the measures he introduced for its amelioration ; school.

' Life, vol. ii. pp. 118-118.



62 HISTORY OF CHRISTIAXITY

CHAP, and noAV, in September 1819, he began to reap the
' fruit of his labours. The improvement in its funds
enabled the Committee to increase the number of
children from three to four hundred, who were
wholly maintained, and the Bishop now pronounced
it ^^ one of the finest institutions out of England."
He looked forward with hope, that some of the
boys, several of whom were wholly European,
would prove excellent schoolmasters, to be educated
in his college. Then, after describing the education
they would receive, he adds, that they Avould be
such schoolmasters as India did not then possess.
Grant of 53. In tliis prospoct he was encouraged- by a
the^coT-^ communication from the Gospel Propagation So-
lege. ciety in 1820, stating their approval of his plan for

the college ; informing him that they had applied
to the Vice- Chancellors of Oxford and Cambridge
for persons properly qualified for the professorships ;
requesting him to lose no time in laying the founda-
tion ; assuring him of their entire confidence in his
judgment ; and encouraging him with the promise
of funds to any reasonable amount which might be
required. On the receipt of this despatch, he pro-
ceeded with the execution of his design. Govern-
ment made him a grant of ^ twenty acres of land
for the site on the western bank of the river, within
three miles of the capital, and adjoining the Botanic
Garden. It was described as resembling an Eng-
lish park, and directly opposite the magnificent
villas of Garden Reach. The ground was firm and
dry, the spot well chosen, and the deed of grant
was ^^ executed to the Society for Propagating the
Gospel in Foreign Parts, and their successors for
ever." '^ If it please God to preserve me," the
Bishop wrote, ^' amidst so many dangers, till the

^ Society for the Pronai^ation of the Gospel Report 1820,
pp. 04, 95.



IN INDIA : BOOK XIII. (]3

college is well established, I hardly know what
more I shall have to desire on this side the grave.
The other morning I w\alked over the ground with-
out any companion^ and while I heard at a distance
the woodman's axe at the root of the trees, I could
not help musing on what, if God bless the design,
mil be the future studies and glories of the place,
when the founder, perhaps within its walls, is
mingling with the dust."

54. The Bishop was now deeply engaged in de- i"^-!" -'^"d
signs and estimates, and in all the endless variety tTJ buiw-
of details unadvoidably incident to such an under- ^"s-
taking. The whole plan and arrangement of the
intended edifice were designed by himself, his chap-
lain, Mr Hawtayne, assisting in the selection of the
ornaments. The style of architecture which he
adopted was the collegiate Gothic. The building,
when completed, occupied three sides of a qua-
drangle, each one hundred and fifty feet in length,
but not joined at the angles. The southern side
was open towards the river, thus exhibiting the
entire building as the most conspicuous object from
the opposite bank. The northern side was com-
posed of a central tower sixty-five feet high, thirty
feet deep, from east to west, and twenty-four feet
deep from north to south. The western side of
this tower was occupied by a building of equal
depth, but whose height was only forty feet, and
its length sixty feet. The ground floor of this
building was the hall, and the upper floor the
library of the college. The eastern side of the
central tower was occupied by the chapel, of the
same dimensions with the preceding, but in every
other respect altogether dissimilar ; being, of
course, a single compartment with an arched roof.
The ground floor of the central tower formed an
entrance both to the chapel and the hall ; the first
floor was the vestibule of the librarv, which com-



64



HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY



CHAP



Bishop's
prepara-
tory dis-
course.



Lays the
founda-
tion-stone.



municated also with the organ-loft of the chapel ;
the second floor was the council-room^ or visitor s
chamber, and it opened upon the terraced roof of
the library. The eastern and western sides of the
quadrangle, extending from north to south, were
allotted to the residence of professors, pupils, and
domiciliaries.^ The building was estimated at ten
thousand pounds, but it was not completed for less
than thirteen thousand.

55. When the preparatory arrangements for the
college were completed, on the 3d of December
1820, being Advent Sunday, the Bishop preached
an appropriate discourse, from Ephesians iii. 10 :
^^ To the intent that now, unto principalities and
powers in heavenly places, might be (made) known
by the church the manifold wisdom of God." After
shewing that the divine wisdom herein contem-
plated, is that which is displayed in the scheme of
man's redemption ; explaining why it should be
proclaimed to the heathen ; and stating that the
church is the channel for the diffusion of this wis-
dom through the world ; he concluded with an
energetic appeal, calling the attention of the public
to the nature of the proposed institution.

56. On the 15th of the same month, at an early
hour in the morning, the Bishop proceeded to the
college ground for the purpose of lajdng the founda-
tion-stone. He was accompanied by three members
of council, the Archdeacon and clergy, and a nu-
merous assemblage of ladies and gentlemen, civil-
ians and military. The Bishop opened the service
with a prayer, for a blessing on the Avork, and for
divine guidance and support to all connected A\dth
the institution. He then offered up a thanksgiving



' Gospel Propagation Society's Report 1821, pp. 140-151.
C. Liishington's History of Calcutta Institutions, pp. 111,112.
Bp. Middleton's Life, vol. ii. pp. 162, 1G3.



IN INDIA : BOOK XIII. 65

for the work thus begun^ and closed with a prayer
for all in authority ; for the Church of England, its
members and ministers^ and ^^ for all who might be
called and sent to preach to the heathen ;" con-
cluding with the Lord's Prayer.

A Latin inscription/ engraved upon a brass

^ The following is a copy of the inscription : —

" INDIVIDU.E . ET . BENEDICT.^ . TRINITATI . GLORIA

COLLEGII . MISSIONARII

SOCIETATIS . DE . PROPAGANDO . APUD , EXTEROS

EVANGELIO

EPISCOPAOS . AUTEM . NUNCUPANDI . I'RliMUM . LAPIDEM

POSUIT

THOMAS . FANSHAW . EPISCOPUS . CAI.CUTTENSTS

PRECIBUS . ADJUVANTS . ARCHIDIACONO

C^TEROQUE . CLERO

RESPONDENTS . ET . FAVENTE . CORONA . DIE . XV . DEC^M.

ANNO . SALUTIS . MDCCCXX

KRITANNIARUM . REGIS . GEORGII . IV . PRIMO

PRINCEPS . ILLE , AUGUSTISSTMUS

QUUM . REGENTIS . MUNERE . FUNGERETUR . LITERAS

SOCIETATI . BENIGNE . CONCESSIT

QUIBUS . PIORUM . ELEEMOSYNAS

PER . ANGLIAM . UNIVERSAM . PETERE . LICERET

HOS . IN . USUS . EROGANDAS

IN . EOSDEM . VIR . NOBILISSIMUS

' FRANCISCUS . MARC'HIO . DE . HASTINGS

REBUS . INDICIS . FELICITER PRiEPOSITUS

AGRI . SEXAGINTA . BIGAS . BENGALENSES

AD . RIPAM . GANGETIS . PROPE . CALCUTTAIM

NOMINE . C(EETAS . HONORABILIS . MERCATORUM

ANGLICORUM

CHARTULIS . ASSIGNAVIT

SOCIETAS . VERO . DE . PROMOVENDA

DOCTRINA . CHRISTIANA . PARTICEPS . CONSILII . FACTA

GRANDEM . EST . LARGITA . PECUNIAM

ILLA . ITIDEM . MISSION ARIA

CUI . NOMEN . AB . ECCLESIA . DUCTUM

NE . TALI . TANTOQUE . DEESSET . INCEPTO

PAR . MUNUS . ULTRO . DETULIT

CHRISTI . NON . SINE . NUMINE

L.ETA . HiEC . NUISSE . PRIMORDIA

CREDANT . AGNOSCANT . POSTERI . AMEN."

Life of Bp. Middleton, vol. ii., Appendix, pp. 400, et seq.
VOL. V. E



66 HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY



I.



CHAP, plate, was then read by the Bishop's chaplain ;
after which the plate was deposited, and the stone
laid by the Bishop, assisted by the architect, Mr
Jones, the Bishop pronouncing — '' In the name of
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, one God,
blessed for ever, I lay this, the foundation-stone of
the Episcopal Mission College of the Incorporated
Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign
Parts, to be commonly called and known as Bishop's
College near Calcutta."

The Bishop then proceeded — ' ' Father Almighty,
through whose aid we have now commenced this
work of charity, we bless Thee that we have lived
to this day. O prosper the work to its conclusion ;
and grant, that so many of us, as Thy providence
may preserve to witness its solemn dedication, may
join together in heart and in spirit in praising Thy
name, and in adoring Thy mercy, and in supplicat-
ing Thy favour to this house evermore, through
Jesus Christ our Lord ! Amen !"

He then dismissed the assembly with his blessing.
Thus concluded this imposing service. Every
one present seemed to be animated by the scene ;
but the prelate's feelings, as may be easily ima-
gined, surpassed them all. It has been remarked,
that, to persons not present on the occasion, lan-
guage can convey but a faint conception of the
delight pourtrayed in his features when he had
completed this impressive ceremony — ^Avlien he had
accomplished the object in which his heart had so
long been interested. As he received the congratu-
lations of his surrounding friends, his eye beamed
with joy and grateful exultation, while in his whole
countenance shone forth the natural benignity of
his disposition.^

^ History of Calcutta Institutions, pp. 109, 110. Mr Lush-
ington. the author, was Secretary to Government at the time.



IN INDIA : BOOK XIII. 67

57. The Bishop now began to prepare for his Second
second visitation to Bombay : and on the 15th of at'Bom''."
January 1821 embarked for that presidency, where bay.
he arrived February 27th, and was received with
the usual honours, and with kind attentions from
the pubhc authorities and most distinguished in-
dividuals at the place.

Here the Bishop remained six weeks ; four of
which occurring in Lent, he preached a course of
lectures on Fridays appropriate to the season ; and
on Sundays he preached on the Lord's Prayer. He
was generally in the pulpit on Sunday evening also.
He held likewise a visitation and confirmation,
delivering, as usual, a charge on the former, and
an address on the latter occasion. The district
committee he found in a prosperous and efficient
state. An order had recently been received from
the local government for an annual supply of reli-
gious books, to the amount of one hundred pounds,
for the use of the army and marine. It was pro-
posed to translate some of the Society's tracts into
the native languages, both for general circulation
and the use of the schools.

The Bishop was greatly pleased with the Bom-
bay Education Society, to which he was a liberal
benefactor. The central schools had been placed
under an able master and mistress from the National
Society in London ; and at this time there were
maintained nearly one hundred boys and fifty girls,
besides receiving a great number in the daily schools.
Such was the general interest excited in favour of
the establishment, that the annual contributions
from individuals exceeded eighteen thousand rupees.'^

^ About £2000 sterling. The variation in the value of the
rupee at different periods will appear, in several parts of this
work, from the difference in the amount in English money.
During the last twenty-eight years the value of the rupee has
fluctuated from Is. 9d. to 2s. Gd.



suffers
from liis
exertions



08 HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY

The Bi^^liop publicly examined the children, in
presence of the commander- m- chief, the members
of council, and a numerous assemblage of the prin-
cipal persons at the presidency ; and after express -
mg himself highly gratified at the manner in which
they had acquitted themselves, he distributed with
his own hand the usual books and medals awarded
to those who had made the greatest proficiency.
On the Sunday following he preached for the Society
at St Thomas's Church, when the collection amounted
to thirteen hundred rupees.
Bi^iop 5}^, But these incessant occupations seriously

told upon his physical powders. Of his frequent
preaching here, he remarked — ^^ The exertion is
considerable in such a climate, especially in the
evening, Avlien the heat is increased by the blaze
of two or three hundred candles." His own account
of his last few days at Bombay will serve as a speci-
men of his labours. On the 3 1st of March, he
w^rote — ^' I am now within two or three days of
my departure, and am fairly tired out. Yesterday
I consecrated a burying-ground at some distance,
and amidst intense heat. Immediately on my
return, I was engaged for some hours on business
with the archdeacons and the registrar ; and in the
evening, Friday, I preached. I have more business
this morning ; and in the afternoon, must go to
consecrate another burying-ground. To-morrow is
Sunday ; on Monday another burying-ground, with
preparations for departure."

He now began to feel the pressure of business,
together with the influence of the climate, making
inroads upon his physical powers ; for though he
shewed no inclination to spare himself, 3^et he
found that he could not go through fatigue as here-
tofore. Indeed, his correspondence about this time
w^as tinged with a melancholy arising from the
anxious solicitude of his office, which became deeper



^It to

Cochin.



IN INDIA : BOOK XIII. 69

as the weight of years and difficulties increased
upon him. Rarely, indeed, were such extensive
responsibilities and onerous duties ever before laid
upon one man.

• 59. On the 10th of April he put to sea again, y
the commander-in-chief, with his staff and numer-
ous friends, accompanying him to the pier.^ On
the 19th he landed at Cochin. Shortly after his
last visit to this place, in consequence of a petition
which he forwarded to the Madras government
from the principal Dutch inhabitants, accompanied
by his own recommendation of its prayer to their
flxvourable consideration, a chaplain, the Rev. Walter
Williams, was appointed to the station. He was
welcomed by all the Protestant inhabitants, who
fitted up the large Dutch church, that had long
been neglected^ for divine worship, and encouraged
his proposal to establish a free school. The Rajah
of Cochin liberally subscribed towards this institu-
tion, and even placed under the chaplain's super-
intendence a native poor-house which his highness
had established, assigning him for such a service a
salary of one hundred rupees a month. But Mr
Williams was much interrupted in his work by
severe sickness. The government soon transferred
him to a station where the demand for his services
was more urgent ; and he died not long after his
removal. No one had since been appointed to supply
his place ;^ but the Church Missionary Society had



^ While at Bombay, the Bishop took great interest in the
history, character, and customs of the Parsees, disciples of
Zoroaster, and worshippcjrs of fire. They amounted to about
thirteen thousand, and were much respected in the place. A
particular account of their sacred books and religion may be
seen in the second volume of the " Transactions of the Literary
Society of Bombay," written by "William Erskine, Esq.

^ No chaplain has since been appointed to Cochin.



Apostolic.



70 HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY

CHAP, stationed a missionary there, the Rev. Thomas
^- Dawson, who also, in 1818, was compelled by sick-
ness to leave India and return to Europe. After
his departure, missionaries at Allepie and Cotym,
of the same Society, paid such attention to the
wants, of the place as their own immediate duties
would permit, visiting it weekly in succession. In
a short time they succeeded in opening a school at
Jew Town for the children of that little community,
and a Malayalim school in the Fort for the heathen
children ; they had also taken measures to increase
the number of such schools. Such was the state
in which Bishop Middleton now found this station.
Conver- gQ, When last here he visited the Eomish Vicar

Romfsh^ Apostolic of Ycrapoli, in the neighbourhood, who
Bishop j^Q^ iQjjpr after abjured the errors of his Church, and
studied the principles of the Church of England. ^
This man's conversion and subsequent marriage
made a great stir, and it was expected that others
would follow his example. Verapoli is a station of
great importance to the Roman Church, being the
residence of a Bishop and Vicar Apostolic, and
having a college for the education of priests for the
Roman and Roma- Syrian Churches in Malabar. No
wonder then that the conversion of this dignitary
created some consternation at Rome ; and the
activity of Protestant missionaries in the country,
from Allepie to Nagracoil, at the southern extremity
of the mountains, where the London Missionary
Society had a flourishing station, could not but
increase the Pope's alarm. Accordingly, a new
Bishop, with a reinforcement of priests, was sent
out, and, in 1819, the Bishop thus notices the cir-
cumstance : — ''I see in the Christian Observer ,
that the Pope is sending out an Irishman, the Rev.



' Life of Bisho[. Middleton, vol. i. p. 122.



iin
mm.



IN INDIA : BOOK XIII. 71

Miles Prendergast^ to be Bishop of Malabar^ witlt
tiDenty missionary priests ! This is a master stroke
of poHcy. An Irishman and an Enghshman are^
in this point of view^ the same thing. We are the
dominant power ; and an Enghsh Popish Bishop
will do more for the Church of Rome than a dozen
Portuguese."

61. Bishop Middleton's principal object in call- ^'shop's
ing at Cochin at this time was to learn what truth witirthr
there might be in a report which had reached him Sv'ij
of an attempt, on the part of some English clergy-
men, to interfere with the Syrian Church. Since
his last visit, three ordained missionaries of the
Church Missionary Society, Rev. Benjamin Bailey,
Rev. Joseph Fenn, and Rev. Henry Baker, had
been stationed at Cotym, in order to carry out the
comprehensive and benevolent designs of Colonel
Munro, Resident of Travancore^ for the benefit of
the Syrian community ; but these gentlemen, it
was asserted, purposed to introduce the English
Liturgy, and sought an approximation of the
Syrian Church to the doctrine and discipline of
the Church of England.^ In order to ascertain
whether there were any grounds for this allega-
tion^ the Bishop desired an interview with Mar



^ This report was, perhaps, raised in consequence of the Eev.
B. 13ailey having transLated the English Liturgy into Malay-
alim, and using it in the performance of divine service in that
language. This was the best method he could have used of
enabling them to understand the character of the Church of
England, and of putting in their liands the means of correcting
what the most scrupulous Protestant must allow needed correc-
tion in their own public services. {Vide Translation of Syriac
Liturgy, Appendix, vol. iv.) The author attended on one of
these' occasions^ in December 1820, when about 10 Cattanars
and 150 Syrians were present. The head Malpan of the col-
lege officiated as clerk, expressed his admiration of the prayers,
and would allow no one else to read the responses. All this
was done with the Metran's entire concurrence.



72 HISTOKY OF CHRISTIANITY

CHAP. Dionysius, one of the Syrian Metrans^ who resided
^' in the college at Cotym^ which was under the
missionaries' superintendence. Accordingly, he
sent a special messenger to the Metran^ with a
boat to convey him, requesting that he would meet
him at Cochin. The Metran^ however, expressed
great reluctance to go, being unwilling to leave his
diocese, and having no place in the immediate
vicinity of Cochin where he and his retinue could
take up their abode. There had been, indeed, a
Syrian church there, but it was now in ruins ; and
for the Metran to have occupied any part of it,
would not have accorded with the views enter-
tained by the church of the dignity of his office.
It must be confessed, also, that he thought it be-
neath his dignity for him, a prelate of ^' an elder
church," as he remarked, to wait upon ^^ the Eng-
lish Bishop." These feelings he expressed to the
missionaries, who had great difficulty in overcom-
ing his objections. At last, upon their urgently
entreating it, he consented to go, provided one of
them would accompany him as interpreter. It
was accordingly agreed that Mr Fenn should go
with him. On their reaching Cochin, Mr Fenn
waited upon Bishop Middleton, to inform him of
the Metran's arrival. The Bishop appointed the
next day to see the Metran, but said that he must
request Mr Fenn not to attend, as he had an in-
terpreter of his own, and that he wished for a pri-
vate interview. Dionysius assented, not without
hesitation, and he afterwards gratuitously commu-
nicated what had passed. The Bishop's questions
bore chiefly on the missionaries' policy towards the
Syrian Church — whether they interfered with its
mternal affairs — whether they introduced any
changes— -whether they made proselytes — whether
they baptized any lieathen, and received them into
their own ehui'ch. To all this the Metran rephed



IN INDIA : BOOK XIII. 73



in the neoative. The conference lasted two hour;



and the Bishop expressed himself perfectly satisfied
with the explanations which he had received.

Dionysius then told the Bishop that he had some
matters which he wished to communicate to him,
but that he could not consent to do this through
any other medium than the English clergyman who
had accompanied him. Accordingly, Mr Fenn was
called in, and the Bishop shewed that his appre-
hensions were removed, by receiving him more cor-
dially than before. The Metran then laid open
the difficult position of his church at that juncture,
in consequence of the collision which had occurred
between himself and the Romish authorities, and
the hostility of the local government. The Bishop
listened to him with much interest and kindness,
but, of course, he could not interfere to redress
these grievances ; and when the Metran had done,
the two prelates parted with expressions of friend-
ship. After the Metran was gone, the Bishop
frankly acknowledged to Mr Fenn that he had
heard many injurious reports of the missionaries'
proceedings — of their interference and proselytism,
and endeavours to plant their own church in Tra-
vancore ; but that, after the most careful in-
vestigation, he was rejoiced to find them wholly
unfounded. He then took him warmly by the
hand, clasping it between both his own, and say-
ing, '' I commend this interesting church to your



ca?e." ^



The Bishop, in his own report of his interview
with the Metran, stated, ^'^ He told me that they,"
the missionaries, " had not begun to print at the
Syrian college. I told him that we would have a



^ This account is given on the authorit}^ of Mr Feiiii ; and
the result of the interview, as here stated, is confirmed by the
brief report of it in the Bishop's Life, voh ii. })p. 205, 20G.



74 HISTORY OF CHRISTIAXITY

CHAP. Syrian press at the college at Calcutta, if he would
^' send me one of his clergy to assist me. He smiled,
and said he did not think any of them could be
prevailed upon to go to such a distance : they were
very unwilling to quit their parishes for more than
a day at a time. However, I think I shall get one
of them over." ^

We cannot pass on without bidding the reader
mark the difference between the conduct of Menezes,
Archbishop of Goa, in 1598 and 1599, and that of
Bishop Middleton, towards this ancient church.
The former came to it with the wiles of a deceiver
and the rod of an oppressor ; the latter came with



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 9 of 54)