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PE EES TO RY.

OF THE

LONDON MISSIONARY SOCIETY 1795-1895

A. Des GRANGES

W. T. RINGELTAUBE (Wizdeepatee

(Travancore)

Joun Hanps (Bellary)

‘.

Mrs. Mautr (Travancore)

CHarLes Mautr (Travancore)

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OF THE

LONDON MISSIONARY SOCIETY

1795-1895

BY

RICHAL DELOV Ei. M.A: 1)

AUTHOR OF ‘JAMES GILMOUR OF MONGOLIA,’ ‘NORWEGIAN PICTURES,’ ETC.

WITH PORTRAITS AND MAPS

IN TWO VOLUMES VOL, I

London HENRY FROWDE OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS WAREHOUSE AMEN CORNER, E.C.

1899 Gi l=

PRINTED FOR THE LONDON MISSIONARY SOCIETY

BY HORACE HART, M.A. AT THE UNIVERSITY PRESS, OXFORD

CONTENTS

eee INDIA. CHAP. PAGE I. INDIA IN 1795 . 5 5 2 F 4 - - 3 II. NATHANIEL FoRSYTH AND ROBERT May. : 2 oe fue III. PronreER Work IN SouTH INDIA: 1804-1820. é ES IV. PIoNEER Work IN NorTH INDIA . 3 ; é 46 V. SourH INDIAN Missions: 1820-1895 5 : 5 es VI. Nortu InpIA: 1825-1895 . : : ; A : a EE VII. MeEpicAt MISSIONS . 3 5 A n A i 4 228 VIII. Work AMONG HinDU WOMEN . F : if a PB IX. THE NATIVE CHURCH IN INDIA A 4 F : Be eG! X. CHRISTIAN LITERATURE IN INDIA . ; 3 é 5 hey XI. Inpia IN 1895. 0 : . - 3 : : - 305 WEST INDIES. XII. THE Mission To ToBaGo AND TRINIDAD : ¢ 230s XIII. PIoneER Work IN DEMERARA AND BERBICE . : - 319 XIV. Wray’s WorRK IN BERBICE > 5 : : - 329 XV. THE DEMERARA MARTYR . 6 : - ; : 5 BES XVI. DEMERARA AND BERBICE: 1825-1866 é : : a Ae XVII. JAMAICA . é 6 5 , é : iO XVIII. Tue CHANGE OF Policy IN 1867 . 3 5 : 5 BEC CHINA. XIX. RopertT Morrison: 1807-1834. : : j - 399 XX. THE ULTRA-GANGES MISSION . ; : ¢ . - 429 XXI. CHINA OPENED TO THE GOSPEL : F ; - 440 XXII SourHern Cuina: Hone Kone, CANTON, AND AMOY: 1845-1895 . . < : : - 451

ine 8 pee ae : _ th s Withdrawn from Crerar Library

vi

CHAP.

XXII.

XXIV.

XXV.

XXVI.

XXVII.

XXVIII. XXIX.

II.

SOUS

INDEX

CONTENTS

CENTRAL CHINA: SHANGHAI, HANKOW, AND CHUNG-

KING . 2 A pi a 5 NoRTHERN CHINA: TIENTSIN AND PEKING THE MONGOLIAN MISSION ; 3 CHINA IN 1895 . ; : : : :

MISSIONS ABANDONED.

.

MISSIONS BEGUN AND [ABANDONED DURING THE CEN-

TURY ° . .

. ° °

HOME AFFAIRS: 1821-1895.

Home AFFAIRS: 1821-1870 HoME ADMINISTRATION: 1870-1895 .

APPENDICES.

A COMPLETE LIST OF THE MISSIONARIES OF THE LONDON MISSIONARY SOCIETY WHO HAVE LABOURED IN INDIA, THE WEST INDIES, ULTRA-GANGES, CHINA, NORTH

AND SOUTH AMERICA, AND OTHER COUNTRIES

.

PLAN AND CONSTITUTION OF THE LONDON MISSIONARY

SOCIETY, ESTABLISHED IN 1795

ANALYSIS OF THE INCOME AND EXPENDITURE OF THE

LONDON MISSIONARY SOCIETY FROM 1796 TO 1895

°

PAGE

508 543 585 616

627

642 712

PORTRAITS

W. T. RINGELTAUBE; A. DES GRANGES; JOHN HANDs;

CHARLES MAULT; AND Mrs. MAULT . - . Frontispiece Henry Towniey; Micatan Hitt; Mrs. MULLENS;

WILLIAM BUYERS; AND J. E. RAYNE . 4 To face p. 49 DEVADASEN; BENJAMIN RICE; JOHN Hay; J. B. COoLEs;

AND Mrs. PORTER . c : . : ' To face p. 113 James GitmMouR; J. K. MACKENZIE; JOHN WRAY; Joun

FOREMAN; AND JAMES SMITH : : 5 To face p. 337 Wittiam Swan; W. H. MepHURST; ROBERT MORRISON ;

Dr. LEGGE; AND WILLIAM LOCKHART . ; To face p. 449 WILLIAM ORME; JOHN ARUNDEL; THOMAS WILSON 3

ARTHUR TIDMAN; AND JOSEPH MULLENS . To face p. 647 R. WARDLAW THOMPSON; ALBERT SPICER; A. N. JOHNSON ;

AND GEORGE COUSINS . 5 ; A P To face p. 720

1, INDIA .

: rs ' , . te

oH . 2. CHINA . . . an 4 fe . . ° Se

Se OHING. ele AMON SDS RG mes sa neces

_ 4, NorgTHERN CHINA Mission SraTIONS . . 2. . 33 i ' . s A r * " * \ © . , A t ies 4 A . aa mx

ge

frsh a hee : ; ere oh,

a 7

‘This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts.

‘Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain,’—ZECH. iv. 6,7.

‘When in London Carey had asked John Newton, ‘‘ What if the Company should send us home on our arrival in Bengal?” ‘‘ Then conclude,” was the reply, ‘that your Lord has nothing there for you to accomplish. But if He have, no power on earth can hinder you.”’—SmiTH’s Life of Willtam Carey

(1887), p. 55

‘A Hindu may choose to have a faith and a creed, if he wants a creed, or to do without one. He may be an atheist, a deist, a monotheist, or a polytheist, a believer in the Vedas or Shastras, or a sceptic as regards their authority, and his position as a Hindu cannot be questioned by anybody because of his belief or unbelief, so long as he conforms to social rules. —GURU PROSAD SEN.

‘It is not unreasonable to suppose that the last conquests of Christianity may be achieved with incomparably greater rapidity than has marked its earlier progress and signalized its first success ; and that in the instance of India the ploughman may overtake the reaper, the treader of grapes him that soweth the seed,” and the type of the prophet realized, that ‘‘a nation shall be born in a day.” ’—Sir J. E. TENNANT’S Christianity in Ceylon, p. 327.

GT’, PolsE AR a1 INDIA IN 1795

IN the last decade of the eighteenth century the vast majority of the inhabitants of Great Britain knew less about India than those of to-day know about Patagonia, and their interest in the welfare of its myriad peoples was slighter far than their knowledge of the country. The shareholders in the East India Company, and that limited section of the mercantile community which was awakening to the importance of India as a field for commercial and military enterprise, valued it as a means of rapid fortune- making. The only people who were beginning to devote serious and earnest attention to the nation’s responsibilities in India were the despised evangelical section—voices crying in the wilderness—represented by such men as Carey and Bogue among the Nonconformists of England, and by men like Charles Grant of the East India Company. India then was more remote from the currents of common life and thought than Thibet is to-day. The fire of love to Christ, of faith in God, of quenchless desire to heal the sorrows of men, burning in humble yet consecrated hearts, supplied the motive power which has brought about the wonderful progress in India during the last century.

To reach India in 1795 was a serious undertaking, involving a voyage of long and uncertain duration. So little was known of the country that when, in 1804, Cran and Des Granges were sent to South India, their instructions indicated that they were expected to superintend churches in Tinnevelly, and also initiate a mission among the Northern Circars; that is, they were to carry on mission

B 2

4 INDIA IN 1795

work in two centres, differing in every possible respect, and separated by at least 5co miles! And this ignorance is not marvellous when it is borne in mind that with all the information which has been circulated among missionary circles during the century, not one in ten of even the intelligent supporters of missionary enterprise can name the chief languages spoken in India, or indicate with any completeness the most powerful hindrances, due to native custom and thought, to the spread of the Gospel in the different parts of that vast land.

India is really a continent, as large as Europe less half of European Russia, and more varied in its different portions than Europe itself. In 1795 the population was about 150,000,000, one-fifth of the whole human race. By these myriads at least thirteen distinct, historic, literary languages were spoken, and no less than 100 minor languages and dialects are found in different parts. India, moreover, was the home of an ancient if simple civilization, the people were dominated by hoary and powerful religions, they were self-contained, self-satisfied, and conscious of no need of enlightenment such as Christianity brings, and in the world’s history no enterprise has seemed so forlorn as Carey’s when he sailed up the Hugli to ‘attempt great things for God’ among the teeming millions of Bengal.

Long years passed before the Church at home began to comprehend the mighty forces arrayed against the Gospel in India. Some of these sprung from the Hindus themselves, their manners, customs, laws, and beliefs; while others were due also in no small degree to the East India Company. To realize what the task attempted by the Christian Church in India from 1792 to 1825 really was, it is needful to glance at these in turn. The Rev. E. P. Rice, B.A., of the London Mission, Bangalore, has very ably set forth the chief of these! :—

‘1. First, there is the institution of caste, by which Hindu society is divided up into several thousands of

* Primer of Modern Missions, p. 34.

ANTI-CHRISTIAN FORCES IN INDIA 5

sections, between which all intermarriage and exchange

of hospitality is forbidden by the heaviest penalties. It has really no parallel in any other nation, and is generally recognized to be a more formidable barrier than any usage Christianity in the whole course of its history has had to contend against.

‘9. Connected with this is the absence of all religious and social liberty, which makes the adoption of any other than the traditional customs the reason for relentless persecution by the whole community, and (until recently) for the forfeiture, not only of property, but of all civil and social and family privileges.

‘9. The utterly perverted standard of conduct, which places Custom in the room of Conscience, and above all the laws of the Decalogue, demanding external conformity, and caring little for motive or character. There is no punishment in Hindu society for real wickedness, nor any encourage- ment for pure virtue. It lays supreme stress only upon such things as meats, and drinks, and sect-marks.

‘4. The overweening arrogance and oppressive supremacy

of the Brahman class, who by the gross abuse of their high

intellectual gifts have made themselves to be regarded as “gods upon earth,” moulded of superior clay to the rest of mankind, to whom all gifts are due by virtue of their mere birth, in whose interests all Hindu legislation has been made, and who have got into their hands all. the positions of influence, and the control of all the wealth in the land, and who treat the remaining 95 per cent. of the population as if called into being solely for their benefit.

‘5. The gigantic system of Polytheistic idolairy—strong chiefly on account of its enormous endowments, the ‘number of persons who make their living by it, and its power of deadening the conseience; a system which is served by a dissolute priesthood, popularized by festivals, processions, ritual, and legends; and stained by licensed prostitution and other forms of immorality.

‘6. The fear of malignant demons (called euphemistically

6 INDIA IN 1795

in Government returns Animism”), which forms the worship of wellnigh half the population, who present their bloody offerings to the spirits whom they suppose to be the authors of cholera, small-pox, and cattle disease.

‘7, The belief in religious merit to be obtained by acts of idol-ritual, pilgrimages to supposed sacred spots, and bathing in supposed sacred waters, by sclf-mortification, by almsgiving, and by the service of the Brahmans.

°8. The seductive Pantheistic teaching, which wipes out the distinction between right and wrong, denies the authority of conscience, the personality of God and the responsibility of man, and makes universal apathy the highest ideal of life, utterly paralyzing the will for any good, divorcing morality from religion and conduct from conviction.

‘9. The degradation of woman, who is decreed to be mistress of herself at no period from birth to death, and showing itself in infant marriages, the immolation or cruel treatment of widows, the seclusion of vast multitudes in the zenana, and the withholding from her of education.

‘10. The sad and immemorial degradation of the low castes (Panchamas), numbering some 50,000,000, who are treated as the lepers and offscouring of the earth, whose touch is pollution, denied the right to live in the villages, to draw water from the wells, to attend the schools, and sometimes even the use of the public roads.

‘11. “Add to these a whole jungle of superstitious beliefs and corrupt practices, which have been allowed to grow and multiply, rank and unchecked, for ages: astrology, belief in omens, obscene tantric rites, human sacrifices, Thuggism, infanticide, false- “swearing, forgery, cunning exalted to the place of a virtue, policy to that of righteous- ness, unscrupulous usury, the prohibition of foreign travel, and the spirit of compromise, which takes under its sanction every form of superstition, as well as of vice and lust and cruelty. All these have to be replaced by the light of knowledge, and by the sweet atmosphere of Chilean love, purity, justice, trust, and godliness,

ANTI-CHRISTIAN FORCES IN INDIA i

‘By these great evils had the natural charm and graces of the Indian character been overborne. A frugal, home- loving, docile, courteous, and religious people, with a simple civilization, with many gracious traits and beautiful customs, and with much power of subtle thought, had been misled by the ignorance or unscrupulousness of their leaders. No kinder act could be done for them than to deliver the Hindus from Hinduism, and the Brahmans from Brahmanism, and to bring them into the glorious liberty and joy of the sons of God, and into the high privilege of discipleship to Him who has shown Himself the world’s great Redeemer, the sinless Friend of sinners. Such was the task which the Church set before itself in the missionary enterprise.

‘To all this must be added the conversion to Christ of the great Muhammadan population, numbering 58,000,000, more numerous in India than in any other country, inheriting many true conceptions respecting God and man, together with a chastely simple form of worship, and yet unable to reap the advantages of this inheritance, because of the pure externality in which they have made the essentials of religion to consist, their bigoted resistance to all new truth, and the finality they attribute to the traditional teaching and practices of Muhammad.’

To those who ponder this colossal system of religious beliefs and practices, and who remember the vast popula- tions concerned, it will be obvious that victory over it can be won by no brief, spasmodic attacks, but only by a careful, many-sided propaganda, patiently and steadily maintained for a prolonged period. In previous centuries the Christian Church has never realized these facts, and has attempted the conversion of India by puny and inadequate efforts foredoomed to failure. During the nineteenth century it selected the most appropriate methods, and on a larger scale, which in due time will accomplish its purpose, and replace Hinduism by a fairer Christianity.

In addition to these tremendous obstacles, the early missionaries had to face bitter opposition where they might have reasonably expected, if not active co-operation, at

8 INDIA IN 1795

least sympathy and toleration—at the hands of the East India Company. By the close of the eighteenth century the Company had become practically, though not yet absolutely, masters of India. Actually the Company held sway over only the Bengal, Behar, and Benares districts of the Ganges Valley, together with some stations on the Madras and Malabar coasts and Seringapatam. But the condition of the rest of India was such as to render the subsequent progress of conquest inevitable. In the earlier stages of its history the Company was not unmindful of its duties towards its employés, and endeavoured to secure for the main stations suitable chaplains. But at no period of its history does it ever seem to have considered the instruction of the natives in Christianity to be any part of its duty. From time to time among the officials and chaplains there were individuals who felt and who tried to discharge this responsibility ; but it was done always in spite of, not with, official sanction. The ablest man of this class, and one to whom India owes an incalculable and yet largely unacknowledged debt, was Charles Grant. After thirty years’ service he went home, became Chairman of the Directors, and in 1797 presented to the Board his Observations on the State of Society among the Asiatic Subjects of Great Britain. This treatise, so full of informa- tion and suggestions of the highest value, was kept back by his colleagues, and was not generally circulated until the year 1813. Public opinion at home, especially in those circles influenced by the Clapham Sect,’ was becoming strongly aroused to the necessity of ending the complacent paganism of the East India Company’s policy. In 1793, when the renewal of the charter came before Parliament, Wilber- force succeeded in passing a resolution ‘that it is the peculiar and bounden duty of the British Legislature to promote, by all just and prudent means, the interest and happiness of the inhabitants of the British dominions in India; and that for these ends such measures ought to be adopted as may gradually tend to their advancement

THE CHARTER OF 1813 9

in useful knowledge, and to their religious and moral improvement. But this resolution, tame and commonplace as it reads to-day, aroused such an angry storm that the Government threw over both it and its author, and for another twenty years the misdirected bigotry and short- sightedness of the East India House had their way. Not until 1813 was the victory won for religious freedom. ‘The charter of 1813 was the foundation not only of the ecclesiastical establishment, but, what is of far more importance for the civilization and the Christianization of its people, of the educational system of India?’

The result was immediate, and was also progressively satisfactory. Prior to 1813 missionaries had to be smuggled into the country, and could be expelled by the arbitrary dictum of the local governor. Not only was nothing done to teach the Hindus the folly and error of their religious systems, but in many ways British influence was used to protect and maintain them. As late as 1819 a Sepoy was expelled from the army for the crime of becoming a Christian, and Sir Peregrine Maitland, Commander-in-Chief of the Madras army, resigned rather than submit to the degrada- tion of saluting idols. Even after 1813, Christian officials were not allowed in their private capacity the privilege of attempting to show Hindus ‘the more excellent way’ they followed themselves. But from the moment the charter passed, India entered upon a new path of political, social, and religious progress.

‘At no period in the history of the Christian Church, not even in the brilliant century of legislation from Con- stantine’s edict of toleration to the Theodosian code, has Christianity been the means of abolishing so many inhuman customs and crimes as were suppressed in India by the Company’s Regulations and Acts in the first half of the nineteenth century. The Christ-like work kept rapid step with the progress of Christian opinion and beneficent reforms in Great Britain, but it was due in the first instance to the missionaries in India. In the teeth of the supporters

1 The Conversion of India, by Dr. George Smith, p. 109.

s INDIA IN 1795

of Hinduism, European as well as Brahmanical, and con- trary to the custom of centuries, it ceased to be lawful, it became penal, even in the name of religion: (1) to murder parents by suttee, by exposure on the banks of rivers, or by burial alive ; (2) to murder children by dedication to the Ganges, to be devoured by crocodiles, or daughters by the Rajpoot modes of infanticide; (3) to offer up human sacrifices in a temple, or to propitiate the earth-goddess ; (4) to encourage suicide under the wheels of idol-cars, or wells, or otherwise ; (5) to promote voluntary torment by hook-swinging, thigh-piercing, tongue-extraction, &c.; or (6) involuntary torment by mutilation, trampling to death, ordeals, and barbarous executions. Slavery and the slave- trade were made illegal. Caste was no longer supported by law, nor recognized in appointments to office. The long compromise with idolatry during the previous two cen- turies ceased, so that the Government no more called its Christian soldiers to salute idols, or its civil officers to recognize gods in official documents, or manage the affairs of idol-temples, and extort a revenue from idol-pilgrimages. A long step was taken by legislative Acts to protect the civil rights of converts to Christianity as to any other religion, and to leave Hindu widows free to marry 1.

As Dr. George Smith points out in his Short flistory of Missions, ‘the real missionary influence of the East India Company, exercised by Providence through it in spite of its frequent intolerance and continued professions of neutrality till it was swept away in the blood of the Mutiny, was like that of the Roman Empire: (1) the Company rescued all Southern Asia from anarchy and made possible the growth of law, order, property, and peace as a sort of moral police; (2) the Company introduced roads, commerce, wealth, and the physical Preparation for the Gospel during a time of transition ; (3) the Company quickened the conscience of Great Britain and its churches as they awoke to their duty after the close of the eighteenth century, partly by its extreme

1 The Conversion of India, p. 110, * p. 145.

THE EAST INDIA COMPANY 11

opposition to missions, partly by the earnest civilians and officers, and in a very few cases merchants and chaplains, whom it sent home with knowledge and experience. The East India Company has hardly any higher praise than that of the pagan Roman Empire, but it is entitled to that—it did for the southern nations of Asia what Rome had done for the northern nations of Europe.’

To the India thus prepared for the Gospel went the missionaries of the London Missionary Society, the first to follow where Carey, with quenchless faith, indomitable energy, and sound common sense, had so bravely led the way.

[AuTHoRITIES.—Letters and Official Reports; Dr. George Smith’s Con- version of India, and Short History of Missions; A Primer of Modern Missions,

edited by R. Lovett, M.A.; A History of Protestant Missions in India, 1700- 1882, by M. A. Sherring, revised by E. Storrow, 1884]

CHARTER. Et

NATHANIEL FORSYTH AND ROBERT MAY

THE Report for 1798 contains the earliest reference in the Society’s annals to definite work in India. There we read: ‘A pleasing expectation is entertained of the Rev. Nathaniel Forsyth, who is a well-informed man, and appears to be animated by a truly missionary spirit: He has been set apart for his work, and has lately embarked for the Cape of Good Hope.’ To this man belongs the abiding honour of having been the first, and for some years the sole, missionary sent out by the Society to the vast field of India. The Reports for the years 1800 to 1803 continue his story :— ..

‘Since the last General Meeting, the Directors have received several letters from Mr. Forsyth, the Society's missionary in the East Indies. It is expected that before this time he has fixed on a favourable spot (in the vicinity of Calcutta) for the commencement of his missionary labours, as it does not appear that he has met with any material impediment in his design of prosecuting this im- portant service. He complains of, and feelingly laments, the extreme depravity and deeply rooted superstitions of the Hindoos, which render them very inimical to the simplicity and purity of the Gospel. He requests that additional missionaries may be sent to his assistance, and points out such means for their introduction and patronage as the Directors trust will prove a providential opening, for the increase of missionary labour and success in that populous but dreadfully depraved country. This mission

FIRST MISSIONARY SENT TO INDIA 13

must therefore be considered as in its infancy: very little as yet can have been done, but much useful information has been acquired,.and the Directors will, no doubt, avail themselves of every assistance that has been, or may be, given to send out more labourers into this eastern part of our Lord’s vineyard 1’

“A letter, dated August 5, 1800, has lately been received from Mr. Forsyth, the Society’s missionary in India. At that time he was well in health, had made considerable proficiency in the language of the country, and was about to begin a school for the instruction of the children of the natives. Mr. Forsyth appears to possess a true missionary spirit, and he exhibits fidelity and disinterestedness of . character and conduct. The Directors have long since been authorized to increase the mission to that part of the world, but circumstances have occurred to frustrate their desires and intentions”.

‘The Directors, on referring to the solitary labours of Mr. Forsyth in the East Indies, cannot help lamenting that a region so extensive, with a population propor- tionably great, and also deplorably superstitious and idolatrous, should not have shared more largely in the benevolent exertions of this Society. The resolutions of general meetings have so frequently authorized and re- commended missions to several parts of the East Indies, that these objects could not possibly be forgotten, and they have not been, nor will they be neglected, whenever missionary zeal and ability shall combine and present means to accomplish them; but the Directors have not yet been favoured with offers from persons whose quali- fications are suited, in their opinion, to strengthen, enlarge, and establish efficient missionary exertions in the East Indies. By letters which have been received from Mr. Forsyth, it appears that he continues to labour with dili- gence and zeal: and, it is hoped, not without attestation of divine approbation and influence. It is both right and necessary to add that Mr. Forsyth has acted in a very

1 Report, 1800. 2 Tbid, 1801.

14 NATHANIEL FORSYTH AND ROBERT MAY

disinterested manner towards this Society, having subjected it to no expense on his account since his arrival in India’’

‘They trust that their solitary missionary in India (Forsyth), who has long expressed his ardent desire for assistance in that extensive field of action, will have this desire gratified ; and that the many millions of heathens in those idolatrous regions will be continually receiving fresh accessions of Christian missionaries from this Society and others, who, like friendly allies, will afford their mutual aid in the cause of their common Lord 2.’

Thus in the first eight years of its existence the Society was able to send and to‘maintain in India only one solitary missionary. But the reasons for this were many, and readily account for seeming slackness on the part of the Directors. | The India of 1800 was further away from London than the heart of Darkest Africa is to-day. The East India Com- pany was so bitterly hostile to all efforts for carrying to the Hindus a knowledge of the Gospel that missionaries were expressly forbidden to land, and even if they succeeded in landing were deported by force. Carey, who had pre- ceded Forsyth by only five years, owed his gaining a foothold to the providential fact that Denmark held a small patch of Indian territory around Serampore, and threw over him and his colleagues the mantle of her protection. It is one of the ironies of history that while Great Britain, one of the most powerful of European nations, from whom Carey sprang, exerted her power to frustrate his benevo- lent aims, Denmark, one of the least influential of European peoples, was able to hold open the door of blessing through which Carey and his colleagues, and also Nathaniel F orsyth, entered to begin their beneficent labours for the millions of India.

All the original records of Forsyth’s work in India seem unhappily to have disappeared, and he is a man of whom we would have gladly known more. In 1812 he was joined at Chinsurah by Mr. and Mrs. May. The former Was an ardent and skilful educationalist, and carried on

* Report, 1802, ? Ibid. 1803.

FIRST MISSIONARY SENT TO INDIA 15

a most successful system of school-work. About the same time Forsyth ceased to be directly connected with the Society, and he died at Chandernagore on Feb. 14, 1816. G. Gogerly, one of his immediate successors in the Bengal Mission, gives the following sketch’ of him :—

‘Mr. Forsyth is described as being a man of most singular self-denial and large-heartedness, and as generous to an extreme. His whole time, talents, and property he devoted most conscientiously to his missionary work, and to the relief of suffering humanity. From the funds of the London Missionary Society he never received anything, with the exception of a few dollars when he embarked for India. His private resources were exceedingly limited, and, in consequence, his mode of living was most simple and in- expensive. “For a time,” said his friend Mr. Edmond, whom everybody in Calcutta knew and loved, “he had no stated dwelling-place, but lived in a small boat, in which he went up and down to preach at the different towns on the banks of the river.” |

‘By the Dutch Local Government Mr. Forsyth was appointed minister of the Church at Chinsurah ; and, after frequently refusing any remuneration for his services, con- sented at last to accept fifty rupees a month The Hon. Mr. Harrington, a firm friend of missions, placed at his disposal a small bungalow at Bandel, about three miles above Chinsurah, from which spot he regularly walked every Sunday morning to discharge his duties ; afterwards, not unfrequently, he would proceed to Calcutta to preach at the General Hospital, by permission of the Rev. David Brown, then senior presidency and garrison chaplain.

This injudicious mode of living in a country like Bengal, denying himself almost the common necessaries of life, refusing to travel either by carriage or palankeen, but always walking where he could not be conveyed by boat, produced, as might be expected, the prostration of a natur- ally strong constitution ; and after eighteen years of labour Mr. Forsyth died in 1816, aged forty-seven years. Thus

1 Pioneers of the Bengal Mission, p. 60.

16 NATHANIEL FORSYTH AND ROBERT MAY

fell the first pioneer connected with the London Missionary Society in Bengal; not, however, until he had given an impetus to that glorious work which will go on until the whole of India is brought into subjection to the Lord Jesus Christ.’

Robert May was an educationalist of no mean power. He was spared to labour for only five years, but during that time he accomplished some remarkable results.

‘How eminently successful he was in this branch of labour may be gathered from the fact, that at the end of 1815 he had twenty schools under his charge, in which instruction was imparted to 1651 children, of whom as many as 258 were the sons of Brahmans, a remarkable circumstance in those times. The scheme of education was highly approved by Mr. Gordon Forbes, the Commis- sioner of Chinsurah, and was by him recommended to the Supreme Government. The Marquis of Hastings readily complied with the request of Mr. Forbes, that the scheme should be aided from the imperial funds, and with great liberality appropriated a monthly grant of 600 rupees (about £60) for the purpose. By the aid of the grant, in the course of the next year, the schools and scholars were still, further multiplied, so that at its close Mr. May had under his superintendence as many as thirty schools, in which 2,600 children received instruction. The Govern- ment, on hearing these rapid results, forthwith increased its grant to 800 rupees monthly. Mr. May found himself unable to attend to this great work alone, and was soon joined by the Rev. J. D. Pearson, sent out from England, and by Mr. Hasle, a European who had resided for several years in India!’ |

The mission continued in the hands of the London Society for a long period. It was prosecuted with much zeal, and conveyed much useful knowledge to tens of thousands of the people. One of the most diligent mis- sionaries of the Society was the Rev. G. Mundy, who took up the work in Chinsurah in 1820. He suffered much

* Protestant Missions in India (1884), M. A, Sherring, p. 80,

CHINSURAH RELINQUISHED IN 1849 17

in his family and in himself from ill health, and ceased to have any direct connection with Chinsurah in 1844. He was succeeded by James Bradbury, who had joined the mission in 1842, and who laboured there until the station was, in 1849, transferred to the Free Church of Scotland. The last reference to Chinsurah in the Reports occurs in 1849. ‘The Directors are gratified to state that, having been led to relinquish this station in consequence of the inadequate resources of the Society, arrangements have been made for its transfer to the Free Church of Scotland. Mr. Bradbury in 184g removed to Berhampur, and the Society's direct association with the scene of the labours of Nathaniel Forsyth thus came to a close.

[AUTHORITIES.— Official Reports; Zransactions of the Soctety, vols i-iv; History of Protestant Missions in India, Sherring; The Pioneers: A Narra- tive of Facts connected with Early Christian Missions in Bengal, chiefly relating to the operations of the London Missionary Society, George Gogerly, London, 1871.]

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CHAPTER III

PIONEER WORK IN SOUTH INDIA: 1804-1820

FROM 1798 to 1803 the needs of India were before the minds of the Directors; and occupied a large‘share of their attention; but it was not until 1804 that they were able to send out the first company of missionaries. The con- ditions under which they were sent and the quality of the workers are quaintly set forth in the Report for 1804 :—

‘The Rev. Mr. Vos superintends the mission designed for Ceylon. His long standing in the Christian ministry, his faithful and successful labours therein, both at Holland and the Cape of Good Hope, added to the experience which he has acquired by his previous intercourse with the igno- rant and uncivilized part of mankind, point him out as a person remarkably qualified to fill this station. He is accompanied by the Brethren Ehrhardt and Palm, natives of Germany, who received their education for missionary services at the seminary at Berlin, which was instituted chiefly, if not solely, for this object, and is under the care, as before mentioned, of that valuable instructor, the Rev. Mr. Jaenicke. They have also passed a considerable time in Holland, with a view of acquiring a more perfect acquaintance with the Dutch language, which is used in Ceylon. Mrs. Vos and Mrs. Palm have also an important service to occupy their zeal, in the instruction of the female natives, and in assisting in the education of children.

‘Those who are designed to labour on the continent of India are the Rev. Messrs. Ringeltaube, Des Granges, and Cran. The first is a native of Prussia, who has already passed a short time ia India, and has since held his principal

THE MISSION IN CEYLON 19

intercourse with the Society of the United Brethren. The other missionaries have been about two years in the seminary at Gosport ; and the whole have been ordained to the office of the Christian ministry, and recommended to the grace of God in the discharge of the arduous and important service to which they are called.

‘It has been observed that some of our brethren are intended for the island of Ceylon, this being the station on which the attention of the Society, and of the Directors, is more especially fixed, and where, we trust, they will actually labour : yet, in the first instance, they are to accompany their brethren to Tranquebar, where they will obtain such accurate and comprehensive information as will greatly assist them in forming their future plans ; and where they will find some Christian friends, who will promote their introduction, were not this rendered almost unnecessary by the kindness of one of his Majesty’s principal secretaries of state, who has furnished them with a letter to his excellency Frederick North, the governor of the colony. The Directors have also fixed in their own minds a particular station for the labours of the brethren who are to remain on the Con- tinent, and in which a very extensive field appears ripe for the harvest ; this they have more particularly pointed out in their instructions, leaving, however, the ultimate decision to themselves, under the intimations of Divine providence, and the advice of those pious and well-informed friends ~ with whom they will communicate on their arrival.’

No vessel of the East India Company was permitted to grant this company of missionaries a passage, as they went out in face of the open hostility of the Government, so the little band went to Copenhagen. Five of them sailed for India in a Danish vessel, bound for Tranquebar, on April 20, 1804, and were followed by Palm, who left Copenhagen on October 18. The five reached Tranquebar on December 5, and Palm arrived there June 4, 1805.

The Directors had further decided to establish a mission at Surat, and had appointed W. C. Loveless and John Taylor, M.D., to labour there. They sailed from London

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20 PIONEER WORK IN SOUTH INDIA: 1804-1520

December 15, 1804, and reached Madras June 24, 1805. By this handful of workers the foundations were laid of the great work in Southern India which has been so success- fully carried on throughout the century. From Tranquebar as a base these men, soon supplemented and strengthened by others, originated missionary work in the important fields of Ceylon, Travancore, Madras, Vizagapatam, Surat, and Bellary.

-y. CEYLON. From 1805 to 1819 the work of the Society in Ceylon was carried on by four men. Unfortunately all the original records of this‘work also seem to have disappeared from the Society's archives, and all we know about it has to be gleaned from the somewhat scanty printed reports of the period. The four missionaries were M. C. Vos, J. P. Ehr- hardt, J. D. Palm, and W. Read. The last had been for a short time at Tahiti, and was met by Mr. Vos at the Cape, and by him engaged for service in Ceylon. Vos settled in 1805 at Point de Galle, but was soon called to Colombo to take charge of a Dutch church there. Ehrhardt settled at Matura; Palm at Jaffnapatam, and Read at Point de Galle. Obstacles and difficulties similar to those which obtained in other parts of India were soon experienced. The missionaries were at first cordially welcomed by the governor, Mr. North, by whose influence the stations they occupied were assigned to them. The description of their work reads curiously in the light of to-day. The liberality of the government provides in part for the support of each of these missionaries, by which the funds of the Society will be relieved. They are actively engaged in acquiring the Cingalese language, in preaching to those who under- stand Dutch, and in instructing their children.’ In Ceylon at this period there were large numbers of nominal Christians, but their condition may be gauged from one of Mr. Vos’s letters: ‘One hundred thousand of those who are called Christians, because they are baptized, need not go back to heathenism, for they never have been anything but worshippers of Buddha.’

THE MISSION IN CEYLON

Troubles soon arose. Mr. Vos’s ministrations offen the Dutch consistory, and they demanded his expulsi from the island. He left in 1807, and soon after returned to the Cape of Good Hope. In 1812 Ehrhardt became minister of a Dutch church at Matura, and Palm of a Dutch church at Colombo. They both then ceased to depend upon the Society, and to be subject to its control. For two or three years they seem to have been active in educational work under government direction, and the last mention of Ceylon as a sphere of service occurs in the Report for 1817 and 1818. In the former we read: ‘Mr. Ehrhardt and Mr. Read continue in Ceylon; the former has been removed by the government to Cultura, where he preaches alternately in Dutch and Cingalese. He has also estab- lished a school in which children are instructed in English, Dutch, and Cingalese, and on the Lord’s day in the meaning of the chapter which they read. Mr. Read preaches twice a week in Dutch and keeps a day school.’

A few lines in the 1818 Report are the last reference in the Society’s official records to this mission. After 1818 Ceylon disappears from the list of stations. That the men did good work is certain ; but it is equally certain that as the agents were supported by Government, other considerations than missionary necessities became dominant. The mission became an early example of the unsatisfactory result, during the first twenty-five years of the Society’s history, of attempt- ing too soon to make missions locally self-supporting.

9. TRAVANCORE. The most remarkable man among the first group of South Indian missionaries