Lectures on the Tinnevelly Missions/Chapter I
The possessions which have fallen to the lot of the English nation in India are the most valuable and important that any people has ever acquired beyond its own natural boundaries. India comprises nearly a million and a half of square miles, an area which is equal to the half of Europe, leaving out Russia ; and, though nearly two-thirds of the soil are uncultivated, so thickly peopled are the cultivated districts, that the population of India amounted, in 1851, to 171,859,055 (more probably to 180,000,000 at least,) a population which is twice as great as that of the corresponding area in Europe, and which constitutes nearly a quarter of the whole population of the world.
The smallness of the number of the English in India is very extraordinary, and is a fact which is full of significance. The whole of the inhabitants of India are either directly under British rule, or they are inhabitants of " native protected states," in which all proceedings of importance are controlled by a British " Resi dent ;" yet the English in India, to whom the government of 180 millions of Hindiis has been committed, do not number 60,000 souls ! The proportion subsisting between the English and the native population, in some of the older provinces of British India, is especially extraordinary. For example, in Tinnevelly and Madura, the two most southern " collectorates," or provinces, in the Madras Presidency, amongst a population of more than, three millions, the number of Europeans, including civilians and mili tary men, Missionaries and merchants, men, women, and children, is under 300, and the Europeans who are directly engaged in the work of government, or in that of coercion, in those two provinces do not number a hundred altogether ! It might almost be regarded as a miracle that so many should submit to the government of so few ; but, what renders it more remarkable is, that they have hitherto submitted to it, not reluc tantly, but peaceably and contentedly. The people of those pro vinces, as of all the old settled provinces of Southern India, are more easily governed than the inhabitants of any county in England. There is only one regiment, and that a regiment of Sepoys, officered by Englishmen, in the two provinces referred to, amongst a population greater than that of Scotland ; and the services of that one regiment have not been required for anything more serious than routine duty since 1809!
It has often been said that our rule in India rests upon military force ; but recent events have proved that it depends far less upon force than upon opinion. It rests partly on the opinion of the in vincibility, in the long run, of the English arms and policy; but in a much greater degree it rests on the opinion which the Hindus, as distinguished from the Mahometans, every where entertain, that the English Government, whatever be its faults, is the best government India has seen for many generations ; not equal, indeed, to the paternal governments of the mythical golden age, but more than equal to any government that these prosaic times have heard of. It is a mistake to suppose that the Hindus feel towards the English the soreness of a conquered people. Those of them who know anything 'of the history of their nation prefer to represent matters thus : " The English never deprived us of any power or privilege of which they found us in the possession ; they rescued us from the tyranny of our Mahommedan conquerors ; and in all their early battles we fought with theia, sMe by side, not against them. "VVe arc convinced also, that if the English were driven from the country, it would be a loss, not a gain, to us Hindus ; for the Mahommedans would again get the upper hand, and they would give us a far smaller share in the government of our own country than we now enjoy, besides treating us and our religion with a harshness and bigotry of which the English have never shown any trace." Occasionally, it is true, the Hindus indulge in the popular English practice of grumbling, and not without reason, for the pressure of taxation is in some districts extreme, and the adminis tration of justice is still very defective ; but, in so far as the latter particular is concerned, it is not the English, but their own country men, that are blamed, for the fault lies with the subordinate officials, who are in variably natives; and the remedy which Hindus themselves would propose, and which I have heard many of them propose, is not the expulsion of the Europeans, but such an increase in their number as would enable them to make their influence felt in every corner of the country. Mainly and ultimately, however, I doubt not that the rule of the English in India rests neither on force nor on human opinion, but on the will of the Most High, the Supreme Ruler of the nations, who has raised up England, and confided race after race and region after region to her care, that she might " tell it out amongst the heathen that the Lord is King." It cannot be supposed that Divine Providence has placed England in so high a position, and brought about such extraordinary results, for no other purpose than our national aggrandizement : it was surely for the benefit of India that He permitted us to become the rulers of India, it was in order that we might impart to India the benefit of our just laws, our rational liberty, and our progressive civilization, and especially that we might impart to it the know ledge of the religion of Christ that religion which alone can make any nation good, happy, or permanently great.
Our duty, as a Christian Church and nation, to promote the religious welfare of India has generally been admitted ; but until our slumbers were rudely disturbed by the recent Mutiny and the dreadful proofs that were furnished by heathens and Mahome tans that bad religions are worse than none, that duty was not sufficiently recognised in this country, and certainly was not sufficiently felt, even by religious people. An encouraging amount of interest in the progress of Christianity in India has now at last been awakened, and a demand for information has been excited : it is now felt that a great door and effectual has been opened to us in India, and that the conversion of India to Christ is one of the greatest works, if not the great work, to which the Church and nation of England are called. I proceed, therefore, to give some idea of the present position of the Christian cause in India, espe cially in the Presidency of Madras.
Those who are acquainted Avith India, or who bear in mind the numerous and very peculiar difficulties with which Indian missions have to contend, will not expect me to paint a rose-coloured picture of missionary progress. Progress undoubtedly has been made, and year by year the prospects of Christianity become more encourag ing ; but the encouragements are of such a nature as will best be appreciated by those whose experience in some work similar to this has taught them not to " despise the day of small things."
Only one generation has elapsed since our Christian Govern ment systematically refused permission to Missionaries to labour in India, and openly patronised heathenism. It administered the affairs of all the more important pagodas, and compelled its ser vants to do honour to heathen festivals. I have myself seen idols that had been erected by its European servants, and wholly at its expense. As might naturally be expected in so unprincipled an age, the immoral lives of most of the English then resident in India was a scandal to the Christian name, insomuch that it became a proverbial expression that they had left their consciences at the Cape of Good Hope. We have reason to be thankful that a very different state of things now prevails. The character of the English in India has wonderfully improved, especially within the last thirty years, and the Indian Government itself has parti cipated in the improvement. Some improvements (especially that very important one, the severance of the connexion between the Government and the idolatries of the country,) were effected by a pr< i ;-sure from without; but the greater number of improvements, including all that have taken place within the last fifteen years, have originated with the Government itself, which now comprises a considerable number of right-minded Christian men. The Indian Government has always professed to observe a strict neu trality between Christianity and heathenism, and to allow every religion professed by its subjects "a fair field and no favour;" but whatever may have been its professions, for a long period the only neutrality it observed was a one-sided neutrality, which showed itself in the encouragement of heathenism, and in oppo sition to the propagation of Christianity. This unfair, unright eous course has been almost entirely abandoned ; the Government no longer actively befriends heathenism, it no longer guards against the progress of Christianity as a source of danger. It still, indeed, professes to stand in a neutral position, but this neutrality has for some time been verging (perhaps as rapidly as is compatible with the circumstances of India) into an enlightened, prudent solicitude for the peaceful diffusion of the blessings of Christian education and morals. The burning of widows and female infanticide have been put down, slavery has been abolished, in connexion with all Government business and public works, Sunday has been made a day of rest, converts to Christianity have been protected, by a special enactment, in the possession of their property and rights, the re-marriage of widows has been legalized, female education has been encouraged, a comprehensive scheme of national edu cation has been set on foot, in connexion with which the Grant- in-Aid system has been introduced, and Missionary schools are no longer excluded from the benefit of Government Grants.
The Indian Government moves forward slowly, but it keeps constantly moving it takes no step backwards and hence, notwithstanding its characteristic caution, perhaps there is no government in the world which has made greater progress, within the time specified, in moral and social reforms. Undoubtedly much remains for the Government to do before it can be admitted that it is doing its duty to God and to India ; but I hope and believe that the unparalleled trials through which it has been called upon to pass will end, not in deterring it from its duty, but in urging it forward in the course of pimrovement.
Whilst we are thankful that the Indian Government, as such, has improved so considerably, we have also much reason to be thankful for the improvement which has taken place in the lives of so many members of the Anglo-Indian community. It is true that many members of that community are far, very far, from being what they ought to be, but at the same time it will be difficult to discover anywhere more Christian piety, in proportion to the numbers of the community, than amongst the English in India. In every district, in every station, with which I am acquainted, there has been a succession of men who have distin guished themselves, not only by their gentlemanly honour and by the purity of their lives, but by their Christian benevolence and zeal ; and such persons render most important aid to the cause of Missions, not only by their sympathy and contributions, but still more by the influence of their example. Whilst the Missionary is preaching Christianity to the Hindus, many an English layman is exemplifying to the Hindus what Christianity means : without abandoning " the calling wherein he was called," or violating any principle of official propriety, he is proving to a regiment or to an entire province that the teaching of the Missionaries is true, that Christianity is only another name for a holy and useful life, that it must have come from God, because it makes men godly, and that is an argument which every man can understand and appre ciate, and which no man can gainsay. Now that teachers of Christianity have free access to every part of India, the old assertion that the conversion of the Hindus is impossible has been proved to be a fable. In many instances the impossibility has been accomplished. It is quite true that in many extensive districts the work has not yet been begun, and that in no district have all the results that have been aimed at been accom plished ; but enough has been accomplished to prove to us that the work is of God, and to encourage us to go forward in it with vigour.
We cannot expect in India or anywhere, to " reap where we have not sown, or to gather where we have not strawed :" desultory efforts in too wide a sphere cannot be expected to produce the same results as systematic persevering labours within manageable limits j but when we find, wherever we look in India, a propor tion existing between labour and the results of labour, when it is evident that there is most success where there is most labour, and least success where there is least labour, 1 think we have every reason to thank God and take courage.
A comparison of the spiritual condition of the three Indian Presidencies will illustrate the proportion existing between efforts and results. In the Presidency of Bombay least has been done : the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel has not a single missionary labourer there, and other missionary Societies have but a small handful of men; and in that Presidency I am sorry to say that there are not a thousand native Protestant Christians from Goa to the Indus. In the Presidency of Bengal the number of Missionaries is more considerable ; and there, not only are the Christian converts seventeen or eighteen times more numerous than in Bombay, but in many parts of that vast Presidency the Hindu mind has been stirred to its inmost depths by the progress of Christian education and Christian civilization.
It is in the Presidency of Madras, however, that there has been the largest amount of missionary effort. Missionaries have been labouring in several parts of that Presidency for a considerable period ; their number bears some proportion to the work which they are endeavouring to accomplish, and is such as to render it possible for them to work in combination. What progress, then, has been made in that Presidency ? Not all the progress, indeed, which we wish for and hope to see, but still an amount of progress which is very encouraging. In the Presidency of Madras there are at least 80,000 native converts from heathenism, in connexion with the different Protestant Missionary Societies at work in various parts of the field, and of that number about 58,000 are connected with the Missions of the Church of England. Doubt less, many of the native Christian converts are not what we should wish them to be ; and much, very much, remains to be done before Christianity is diffused throughout the Presidency ; but it would be most ungrateful, as well as unreasonable, to ignore the fact that much has been done already, and that we have received encouragement to attempt, and to expect to accomplish much more.
Indian Missions may be divided into two classes : viz. the educational, or those which endeavour to reach the higher classes by means of superior English schools ; and the popular, if I may use the expression, or those which endeavour to reach the com munity at large (though practically, in most instances, they reach the lower classes alone) by means of vernacular preaching and vernacular education. The great English schools, or colleges, established in Madras, Calcutta, and Bombay, by the Scotch Presbyterians, stand at the head of the former class ; at the head of the latter, which includes almost all other missionary efforts, we may safely place the Missions of the Church of England in Tinnevelly.
It cannot be doubted that the endeavour to diffuse Christianity amongst the higher classes of the Hindus is one of very great importance, for the institution of caste gives the higher classes greater influence in India than in any other country ; but from Swartz's time till very recently, nothing was done for them by any missionary Society. They could not be reached, at all events they were not reached, by any of the agencies formerly at work ; and up to the present time it is only by means of an English educa tion of so high an order as to be an attraction to them, that those classes have, in any degree, been brought within the range of Christian influences. This plan originated with Dr. Duff and the Scotch Presbyterians ; and in the great schools which have been established by them, and more recently by some other Missionary Societies in some of the principal Indian cities, not only the science and literature of the western nations, but also the truths of the Christian religion, are daily taught by men of the highest ability to thousands of the most intelligent of the Hindu youth. This educational system had only just been introduced into Madras when I arrived, in 1838, and had not yet borne fruit ; but about a hundred persons belonging to the higher ranks of Hindu society have now been brought by it into the Christian fold. It is true that this number is very small, compared with that of the converts connected with the other system of Missions ; but it is to be borne in mind that they belong to a very influential class, a class in which no other system of means has borne any fruit whatever ; and that, as the converts of this class have had to fight their way to Christ through many persecutions, many of them have risen to a peculiarly high standard of Christian excellence and devoted- ness. It is a very interesting circumstance, that through the influence and example of this class of converts, Christianity has begun to spread amongst persons belonging to the same social rank who have never been at any missionary school at all, or who have been educated at Government schools from which Christian teaching is carefully excluded ; and it would appear that in Calcutta this new cfass of converts is now more numerous than the former. It is also chiefly owing to the influence of English education that so many social reforms are now making progress amongst the higher classes of the Hindus. This educational department of missionary effort is far from being the only one which claims our sympathy, as some of its advocates appeared at one period to suppose ; but it is certainly one of very great importance ; and I may be permitted to say that it does not seem very creditable, either to the English people or to the Church of England, that the Scotch Presbyterians have been allowed almost to monopolize the Christian education of the higher classes of the Hindus. The Church of England is, un doubtedly, doing a great work in the rural districts ; and in Benares, Masulipatam, Palamcottah, and a few other places, the Church Missionary Society has established English schools for the higher classes ; but it is much to be wished that the English Church put forth more of her strength in the cities the seats of government and commerce, and contribute, what she has not yet done, her full share of effort towards the Christianization of the high-caste Hindus. The inequality at present existing is to be rectified, not by other bodies of Christians doing less, but by the Church of England doing more.
The Socidi/for the Propagation of the Gospel was a" few years ago, led by such considerations to establish a Mission for the higher classes in Delhi a Mission which has for the present been quenched in blood, but which, I trust, will ere long be revived. More re cently still the Society resolved, at the representation of the pre sent excellent Principal of Bishop's College, Calcutta, to make that institution useful, not only for the training up for the ministry of those who are already Christians, but for the still more necessary work of converting educated heathens to Christianity. In the Presidency of Madras it has not yet done anything in this direction, though it has three institutions for the training up of catechists, schoolmasters, and native ministers ; but T trust it will not be much longer the only great Missionary Society in that Pre sidency which leaves to their fate the higher classes of the heathen youth. The Vepery Mission Grammar Scfrool, an institution established by this Society for the education of the Indo-British youth, did much for the improvement of that class, at a time when no other Society did anything. That school has fulfilled its mission, and has now ceased to exist ; but I hope that something will be established in its room, more directly tending to the diffu sion of Christianity amongst the heathen. A few years ago I would have pleaded for the establishment in the same buildings of a thoroughly good English school, for the benefit of the Hindu youth, to be taught, not by ordinary schoolmasters, but by thoroughly qualified, devoted English Missionaries ; but at present what appears to be more urgently required, what appears, indeed, to be the great want of all the Presidential cities at present, is an organized system of means for bringing Christian influences to bear upon the minds of those Hindus who have received a superior English education already, either in Missionary or in Government schools, but who still continue heathens. This class of persons may be numbered by thousands ; and every mem- fcer of the class can be reached through the medium of the English tongue. Here is a promising door of usefulness standing open, an extensive and rich field of labour lying vacant : which Society will have the honour of first entering in 1
The other class of Missions, the popular or parochial, as distin- guished from the purely educational, expend much money and effort on education, especially on the education of the children of the poorer classes in the vernacular languages ; but they may properly be regarded as acting on a different system, inasmuch as they labour for the benefit, not of the young only, but of the people at large ; and the schools which they establish are con nected with, and subordinated to, Christian congregations. With the exception of a few hundred at most, the entire body of native Christians may be claimed as the fruit of this system, which has been much more productive than the other of present, visible results.
In the city of Madras itself, there are about 2,600 converts of this class in connexion with the various Protestant Missions ; but when we leave the Presidency and travel southwards, we shall find a much greater number in almost every province.
In the rich and populous province of Tanjore, in connexion with the Missions of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel which were founded by the venerable Swartz, there is a native Christian community, comprising about 5,000 souls ; and about half that number are connected with the revived Lutheran (Leipsic) Mission of Tranquebar. In those old Missions, Christian life and missionary zeal had sunk to a low point, in consequence of the retention of caste distinctions ; but within the last fifteen years the Gospel Propagation Society's Mission in Tanjore has been greatly purified and invigorated. The parochial system has been introduced, and the native congregations brought under efficient superintendence ; education has made rapid progress ; one of the best training seminaries in the country has been brought into operation : caste, the source of so many mischiefs, has been repressed ; and though, in consequence of these refor mations, especially in consequence of the systematic discourage ment of caste, the numbers of the Christian community have been diminished, the gain to the Christian cause has been more than equivalent.
Further south, in the adjacent province of Madura, a province peculiarly rich in historical associations, the American Board of Missions, a Presbyterian and Congregationalist Society, has occu pied the field in great force. I remember the commencement of that Mission, and happened some years after to travel through the province. At that time not a single convert had been made. On returning to this country three years ago, on my way from Tinnevelly to Madras, I again passed through the district occupied by the American Mission, and found that the number of native converts had increased in the intervening period from nil to between 4,000 and .5,000. The interesting and hopeful move ment which is going forward in that province appears to have originated in the influence of Tinnevelly Christianity. This was admitted by the American Missionaries themselves, and two of their number were deputed a few years ago to visit Tinnevelly, and go from station to station, for the purpose of making them selves acquainted with the details of our Missionary system. In the same province there are several old congregations connected with the Gospel Propagation Society, and an interesting offshoot from that Mission has recently been established amongst the Poliars of the Pulney Hills, a poor, long- oppressed, simple- minded race, to whom the reception of the Gospel has been as life from the dead.
On the western side of the Ghauts, the great mountain-range of Southern India, Christianity is also making progress. The Missionaries of the Basle Missionary Society have been labouring for the last twenty years in the provinces of Malabar and Canara, on the Malabar coast, and when I last heard of their progress, their converts from heathenism amounted to 2,000. Further south, on the same coast, there are the interesting Missions of the Church Missionary Society in the native states of Travancore and Cochin. I have not been long enough in India to remember the commencement of those Missions, but I have twice visited their principal stations, and on the occasion of my second visit, after an interval of nine years, I found both the number of Missionaries and the number of the native Christians under their care nearly doubled. It was particularly gratifying to find that the new converts who had been gathered in were not like the first converts, proselytes from the Syrian Church an old and interesting, though corrupted, Christian communion, but were direct acces sions from heathenism, especially from classes of heathens that had never before been reached. Amongst those newly-reached classes are the "Hill-kings," a race of rude, aboriginal moun taineers, living mostly in trees, and rarely before seen by any European eye. The Church Missionary Society's Missions in those districts comprise nearly 6,000 converts, who have to con tend with greater difficulties than any other native Christians in southern India, in consequence of the heathenism of the Malayala people being the most intense and fanatical with which I am acquainted, and the government of the country being heathen.
Further south still, in the Tamil portion of the Travancore country, are the Missions of the London Missionary Society, the most important and successful Missions of that Society in India, and which in the list of Indian rural Missions rank next to those of the Church of England in Tinnevelly. In connexion with those Missions there are upwards of 18.000 converts to Christianity, nearly all of whom speak the same language as our own converts in Tinnevelly, belong to the same castes and classes, and may be regarded as the same people ; and though in point of numbers they are considerably behind our Tinnevelly Christians, yet in education, public spirit, missionary zeal, and liberality in contributions to charitable objects, they have made, in proportion to their numbers, at least equal progress.
I now come, last of all, to Tinnevelly, the province in which it was my own privilege to labour during the greater part of my Indian life. Tinnevelly is the most southern province on the Coromandel coast) lying immediately to the south of Madura, and though a peculiarly hot, sandy, and unattractive region, it claims to be regarded by the Christian with pecxiliar interest ; for there the eye and heart wearied elsewhere with proofs of the power and prevalence of heathenism are gladdened by the sight of the largest, the most thriving, and the most progressive Christian community in India. The only Missions anywhere in the East which are said to be equally or more progressive, are those of the American Baptists amongst the Karens in Burmah ; but as I am not personally acquainted with those Missions, I am unable to say whether this representation is correct. In the subsequent Lectures I hope to describe more fully the Missions in Tinnevelly; it will suffice at present to say, that in that province alone, through the united instrumentality of the Church Missionary Society and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, 20 missionary dis tricts have been formed, and 43,000 persons men, women, and children rescued from heathenism and brought under Christian instruction ; and that now, amongst other signs of approaching maturity, considerable progress is being made by the native Church towards the support of its own institutions without foreign aid. It is true that much remains to be done before our Christian community in Tinnevelly is in all respects worthy of the Christian name, and that there, as elsewhere, Christian pro fession and public spirit are not always accompanied by personal piety ; but it is necessary, and very consolatory, to bear in mind that in what has already been accomplished there is much reason for thankfulness, and that the degree in which old things have already passed away is an encouragement to us to hope that in due time all things will become new.
In one of my subsequent lectures I will endeavour to give a fair estimate of Hindu Christianity, and to prove that, whatever be its defects, it includes a large amount of real sincerity; but I may here remark, that the liberality with which the religious members of the Anglo-Indian community contribute to missionary purposes is a pleasing testimony to the reality of the work which is going forward. Though the English in India do not number more than 60,000 souls, the great majority of whom are private soldiers, the average amount contributed in India for the promotion of missionary objects has been estimated at about 40,OOOZ. per annum. The list of contributors will be found to include the names of many judges and magistrates, heads of departments and governors, men of high official standing and of long Indian experience, who testify, not only by their contri butions, but oftentimes by their counsel and co-operation, their estimate of the importance of the work. There is something in structive also in the proportionate amount of their subscriptions. If the eye runs down a list of Anglo-Indian contributors to any missionary or charitable object, more donations of 100 rupees (10Z.) will be discovered than of sovereigns in this country.
It is an interesting feature of real missionary work everywhere, and certainly not less so in India than in other parts of the world, that it is carried on with so small an admixture of party- spirit. In Tinnevelly, for example, we may confidently say, " Behold how good and joyful it is for brethren to dwell together in unity." Generally, the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel and the Church Missionary Society have chosen different and distant spheres of labour, the former labouring chiefly in the Colonies, the latter exclusively amongst the heathen; but in India the spiritual care of our own countrymen being provided for by the East India Company's Ecclesiastical Establishment, aided by the efforts of Additional Clergy Societies, the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel is set free to labour, like the younger Society, amongst the heathen alone; and in Tinnevelly, the Mis sionaries of both Societies labour not only in adjacent districts of the same province, but in one and the same department of work. Under these circumstances some antagonism or jealousy might possibly have been apprehended ; but so far from anything of the kind having appeared, I only wish that all Christ's ministers in this country were labouring in their Master's cause with anything like equal harmony and brotherly cordiality. Two Bishops of Madras, the Bishop of Calcutta, and the Bishop of Victoria, observed, and recorded their gratification in observing, the good feeling which existed, and the last public expression of that feeling which took place before I left Tinnevelly was one which was peculiarly interesting to myself. The Missionaries and a few European catechists of both Societies met in my house for prayer and conference, and for the transaction of business connected with various societies which are supported in common; and on that occasion I had the pleasure of receiving twenty-eight guests, of whom nineteen belonged to the Church Missionary Society, and nine to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. Seven of the guests were native clergymen. Whatever differences exist, or are supposed to exist, between the two Societies, they relate, not to actual missionary work, but to preliminaries ; and when once those preliminaries are settled, when Missionaries of either society have actually been appointed to a station, and their work is commenced, no appreciable difference remains. All labour alike under epis copal superintendence, with the same purpose in view, in the same spirit, and in substantial conformity to the same principles of action. The only strife which I ever observed between the two Societies was of a friendly, Christian sort, which conduced greatly to the advantage of both. C. M. S., with her larger body of Missionaries, and her boundless finances, would always endeavour to outstrip S. P. G. ; and poor S. P. G., though sadly crippled by poverty and even by debt, would always endeavour not to be outstripped.
It is not only, however, with respect to the mutual relations of the two great Societies of the Church of England that party- spirit has been successfully repressed in India ; it has been re pressed within much wider limits.
In this old Christian country, the church of Christ, the com munity of baptized believers, which ought to be in all things an example to new Christian communities in distant lands, is rent into hostile sects and parties, each of which is accustomed to look only on " its own things," and too often thinks it serves God by ignoring God's gifts to its neighbours. The missionary spirit, which is the spirit of Christ and of love, has done much to mitigate both the spirit of divisiveness and the spirit of exclu- siveness; but, partly from the resistance which relentless theories offer to charity, and partly from ignorance, few even of the friends of Missions in England seem to have much relish for looking upon " the things of others." In India, and throughout the Mission- field, the missionary spirit has freer scope, and has generally brought about a more satisfactory state of things. The religious divisions which originated in England, and which are fed from England, have not, it is true, been healed in India; but the feelings out of which those divisions arose have been repressed, and care has been taken that they should have as few opportu nities as possible of breaking out into action. The various Missionary Societies, on sending out Missionaries to India, have generally selected, as the sphere of their labours, some extensive district some province or kingdom in which the name of Christ was entirely, or almost entirely, unknown; and in such unoccupied regions they have located their Missionaries, in the hope that they would not be tempted to interfere with tba Mis sionaries of any other Society, and that they would be exemps from the danger of being themselves interfered with. This is the rule which has generally been acted upon in Southern India ; and hence, in most Provinces, Christianity exhibits but one phase. In Malabar and Canara, the only Mission is that of the Lutherans ; in the Cochin and Malayalam-speaking portion of Travancore, that of the Church Missionary Society; in the Tamil portion of Travancore, that of the London Missionary Society ; in Tinne- velly, those of the two Church of England Societies; in the greater part of Madura, that of the American Board of Missions. This is undoubtedly the general rule, and although there are exceptions, the only exception of any importance is that of the Leipsic Society. That Society has intruded into almost every part of the field of labour occupied by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in the province of Tanjore, and received with open arms all who have seceded from our congregations on the ground of our discouragement of caste. Were it not for this lamentable exception, it might have been said that the antagonism of rival sects and parties is unknown in the Indian Mission-field, and that though the religious divisions of Europe exist, they have been deprived of their sting. After all, this is an exceptional case, and the general rule is that which I have mentioned.
The Missionaries of the various Societies cannot, it is true, amalgamate ; even cooperation, in the proper sense of the term, is impracticable. But if there is no amalgamation and no coope ration, at any rate, with the solitary exception referred to, there is no antagonism, because there is no proselytism. The rule by which all consent to be bound is that of friendly non-interference; and hence when Missionaries of different communions or of different Societies meet, they meet, not as opponents, but as friends and brethren. Even if it should so happen that they are not endowed with any extra largeness of heart, where Christians of any sort are so few and far between, and where Christianity is wrestling for its very existence with a dominant and hateful heathenism, they feel that they cannot afford to "ignore" one another. In the presence of Nan a Sahib, the difference between an English churchman and an English dissenter shrinks into a microscopic point. So anxious are most Missionaries to avoid the possibility of collision, that where the Missionaries of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel and those of the American Board of Missions found themselves working in the same neigh bourhood, in the confines of Madura and Tinnevelly, where it was impossible to fix a boundary-line, tho Missionaries of the former Society proposed, and the Missionaries of both Societies agreed, that neither Society should be at liberty to establish a school or congregation within a mile of any place where the other Society already had either. Such rules and such feelings have their counterpart in every other portion of the Mission-field. I need not remind the readers of the publications of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, how entirely they are in agreement with the sentiments and practice of the South-African Bishops, and the Bishop of New Zealand.
Even in the greater cities of India, where the excellent rule referred to cannot be acted upon, and where the Missionaries of various Societies carry on their work in somewhat of a promis cuous manner, it would be an error to suppose that the conversion of the Hindus to Christ is hindered by the spectacle of a divided, quarrelsome Christianity. Divisions do, it is true, exist, and it is a pity that they do ; but at any rate it is a consolation that they are not apparent to the Hindu".
In everything which, according to Hindu notions, constitutes a religion, in everything in which Christianity differs from Brahmanism, all Protestant Missionaries appear to the Hindus to be at one. When they see that all Missionaries expound and circulate the same sacred volume, translated into the vernacular; that they all preach salvation through the death of the same Divine Saviour; that they all represent faith as the means of obtaining release from sin, and as the seed of virtue; that they are all free from the suspicion of idolatry ; that they all offer to the same God, through the same Mediator, the " reasonable service" of prayers and praises in the vernacular language; when they find also that they are all alike, or as nearly alike as indi vidual peculiarities will permit, in purity and elevation of cha racter ; that they live on terms of friendly intercourse with one another, repudiate mutual proselytism, and evidently rejoice in one another's successes, they cannot but regard them as teachers of one and the same religion, bearing the united testimony of many independent witnesses to the truths which they teach in common. It is also to be borne in mind that Brahmanism is peculiarly tolerant of diversities. The Hindus are accustomed to regard truth, not as one-sided, but as many-sided, and their most popular philosophy represents this as a necessary result of Divine knowledge coming in con tact with the multiplied varieties of human ignorance. It will be considered by some persons a more legiti mate ground of consolation that heathens cannot become acquainted with any matter on which a really serious difference exists amongst Christians until after they have made up their minds to become Christians themselves. The only doctrines which are, or can be, preached to heathens are those on which all Protestant Christians are agreed, and questions respecting the nature and authority of the ministry and the government of the Church necessarily lie over till heathens have been converted and admitted into the Church. I cannot admit that there is any dereliction of principle in volved in the system of mutual forbearance which I have now described. We exemplify our own principles in our own sphere, and teach our own converts our own views: \re merely refrain from unwarranted intermeddling with the labours of others. There is no disposition on the part of the Missionaries of the Church of England to give up or to undervalue the order and the coherence, the strength and the beauty of the organization which has descended to us from primitive times ; and in this race of systems, v/herever ours should rank, it certainly does not rank hindmost. Everywhere, it is true, more depends upon the man than upon his system. A good, devoted man with a defective system will do more good than a feeble-minded, unearnest man with the best system in the world : but I will say, and I say it without any disparagement of the results which Christians of other commu nions have effected, that where the system of the Church of England is administered by men who are worthy of it, where it is enabled to free itself from the complications and trammels which, like parasitic plants, have twined themselves round it in the course of ages, but which are no part of itself, where it freely' adapts itself to the circumstances of the place, and incor porates into itself all the good it finds there, it is one which cannot easily be matched; and every one who has visited our Missions in Tinnevelly, where this course has generally been followed, will admit, I think, that the condition of those Missions goes far to prove this point.
Though I have represented the progress of Missions in India as, on the whole, encouraging, I trust it will be remembered that what has been done is literally as nothing compared with what remains to be done. If we would fulfil the purposes which Divine Providence appears to have had in view in giving us our Indian empire, we must put forth efforts of a very different order from what we have hitherto done, and especially so now, that we have been roused from our apathy by one of the most terrible visitations with which any nation was ever chastised and warned. I cannot forbear adding, that whilst some other communions are doing more than could reasonably have been expected, and whilst the Missionary Societies of the Church of England have shown their capacity for doing well whatever they are enabled to do, there are multitudes of persons, calling themselves members of the Church of England, who either render those Societies no help whatever in their great work, or mock them with help of the most niggardly kind. If higher and more worthy motives should fail to kindle in the minds of such persons some missionary zeal, I would bring before them, if I could reach their ear, a few facts which might perhaps " provoke them to jealousy."
In 1852, when an analysis of the missionary statistics of India was made, it appeared that the two Societies of the Church of England employed in India and Ceylon 138 Missionaries, or, if we add European Catechists, as was done in the enumeration of the Missionaries of the non-Episcopal Societies, the number may be raised to 160. Now, one of the facts which I should wish " easy-going" churchmen to become acquainted with is, that at the same period the Missionaries of the non-Episcopal societies numbered 30G. Surely the proportion between those numbers is not what it ought to be. In so far as results are concerned, the scale undoubtedly turns more in our favour; for whilst our Missionaries were but 34 per cent, of the entire number, the native converts connected with our Missions amounted to 57 per cent. But though we may hope that God's blessing will continue to rest upon our labours, it is unsatisfactory to find that our labours fall so far short of those of others ; and it may be added, that in the end Providence is generally found to favour most those who labour most. There is an important truth at the bottom of Bonaparte's irreverent saying, " Providence sides with heavy battalions." Another fact, which some persons will be still less prepared to hear, is, that the Americans and the Germans are doing far more for India, proportionately to their interest in it, than is being done by English churchmen. India has been expressly com mitted, by Divine Providence, to the care of England, and England derives from India immense temporal advantages. America has received no special call to evangelize India ; yet the two non-Episcopal Missionary Societies of the United States main tain in India and Ceylon no less than 67 Missionaries. When we compare this number with the 100 Missionaries maintained by the Church Missionary Society, and the 60 maintained by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, I think it must be admitted that the comparison, in so far as it is an indication of zeal and enterprise, is not very much in our favour. Is it not well fitted to " provoke us to jealousy," that the Presbyterians and Congregationalists of the United States should feel themselves obliged to send Missionaries to the British possessions in India, to teach Christianity to the subjects of the British crown ?
The zeal of the Germans for the evangelization of India puts us to still greater shame. It is considered as a matter of course that the Germans should know more about the antiquities of India, as of every other country, than we do ; but if so " prac tical " a people as we are should be left behind by the Germans in so practical a work as the propagation of the Gospel in our own territories, it would justly be considered, not as a matter of course, but as a national disgrace.
What, then, are the facts 1 The small and poor Basle Mis sionary Society employs 27 Missionaries in India ; the smaller and poorer Leipsic and Berlin-Gossner Societies, 34 ; and 38 Germans are employed by English Societies, most of them by the Church Missionary Society. Thus, in all 99 Germans are labour ing as Missionaries in India ; and though nearly half of that number are supported by English funds, yet surely to give men, for such a cause, especially such men as many of them are, is a greater proof of interest in it than to give money. Leaving out of account whence their support is derived, leaving also out of account their present ecclesiastical connexion, and looking only at the country where they were born and bred, and where they received their first missionary impulse, I find that there is a larger number of Germans labouring as Missionaries in the British possessions in India than of English-born members of the Church of England. Can any member of the Church of England can any Englishman feel satisfied with this state of things?
It is a token for good that the funds of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, as those of her sister, the Church Mis sionary Society, are steadily increasing. Our income for the last year (1856) exceeded that of the previous year by 3,000?., and the previous year's income exceeded that of the one before by 15,0001. It is now possible, therefore, for the Society to do :nore for India. I arn aware that our ever-increasing colonies have the first claim upon its assistance ; but, notwithstanding that admis sion, I greatly regret that the number of its Missionaries and the amount of its expenditure in India have hitherto borne so very small a proportion to the work which is to be accomplished. Few of our friends are aware how far we have been left behind in the race by other Societies. In 1856, leaving out of account sums raised and expended in India, the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel expended on Indian Missions 19,000?., of which 2,800?. were absorbed by Bishop's College, Calcutta. This is no doubt, a considerable sum, and it betokens the existence of a considerable degree of interest in the welfare of India ; but it shrinks into less imposing dimensions when compared with the amounts expended by other Societies. Leaving out, as before, sums raised in India, the Church Missionary Society expended during the same period on Indian Missions 44,000?., the London Missionary Society 20,500?., and even the American Board of Missions one of the two American Societies labouring in India 17,000?. May I not reasonably wish that the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel the oldest of all our Societies stood higher in the scale ? The Society would be delighted to have it in its power to expend more ; but it can expend only what it receives. If its friends would open their hearts and hands, and promote its cause with a more affectionate zeal, and if the number of its friends should be increased, we should undoubtedly be enabled to move forward ; but if otherwise, in answer to the cry of India, " Come over, and help us," the Society will be obliged to send out, not Missionaries, but regrets.
I am happy to say that this fear has been dispelled, and that the aid I hoped for has been granted. Within a month after I gave expression in the Colonial Church Chronicle to these regrets and hopes, the Financial Committee of the /Society for the Pro pagation of the Gospel reported upon a plan for the expenditure of the Society's increased income, and an additional grant of 3,000?. a year, for three years, was voted for the extension of Indian Missions. Thus whilst Providence is so loudly calling upon us to go forward, whilst new openings for usefulness are daily pre senting themselves to us, we shall no longer be under the necessity of abandoning our outposts and narrowing the circle of our use fulness, as we had latterly been obliged to do in India, but will be enabled, I trust, to follow whither Providence leads.
I am truly thankful to record this improvement in the Society's position, and I trust that it is not only in itself a considerable step in advance, but a sign and pledge of progressive improve ment. All that has been accomplished as yet may be described as only a promising beginning. More has been done in Tinne- velly than in any other province in India, and yet very much remains to be done before all Tinnevelly is Christianized. 43,000 souls have been brought under Christian instruction in that one province, but more than 1,200,000 souls remain in darkness still ! It is frequently our duty still, in the ordinary course of our labours in Tinnevelly, within the limits even of our Missionary parishes, to pass through village after village, teeming with a busy population, in which all classes of society " old men and maidens, young men and children," vie with each other, not in praising and serving God, but in praising and serving devils. Much remains to be done atao before every Indian province, or even every province in the Madras Presidency, becomes a Tiune- velly ; for, with the exception of the three or four most southern provinces, Southern India has witnessed no greater Missionary progress than the Presidencies of Bengal and Bombay. Even in Southern India I could mention twelve or thirteen Zillahs or provinces, each with an average population of nearly a million of souls, in all which there is not a single Missionary of the Church of England. In most of those provinces there are one or two Missionaries of other societies ; but in the Hyderabad country, which is connected with Madras in ecclesiastical matters, though politically connected with Bengal, and in which there is a popu lation of ten millions, the great majority of them Telugu people and heathens, there is not a single European Missionary connected with any Protestant communion. There is an excellent native Missionary labouring there, a Missionary of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel ; but lie can scarcely be regarded as a Missionary to the people of the country. Being himself a Tamil man, he was sent on a special mission to the Tamil people who have settled as domestic servants to the Europeans, and as camp followers in the principal military cantonment; yet the appoint ment of that solitary native Missionary is all that has been done for the propagation of Christianity in the territories of the Nizam. To hope to dispel the darkness of ten millions of heathens and Mahometans by an isolated effort like that, is surely little better than if we should hope to illuminate London by means of a single candle stuck upon the top of St. Paul's !
I trust, however, that more will soon be done for India in general, and more also for Tinnevelly, to which my own mind naturally reverts when I think of the future. Supposing the congregations already gathered in in Tinnevelly, able to stand alone without foreign aid, which I hope they will, ere long, be able to do, it will then become only more clearly our duty and a delightful duty it will be to lengthen our cords, and strengthen our stakes, and endeavour to gather in more and more of the surrounding heathenism. Hinduism, which wears a calm and tolerant face when it fears no danger, has recently shown, by its combination with Mahometan fanaticism, and its ebullitions of persecuting rage, that it feels the grasp, and fears the power and progress of its Divine foe. A crisis now appears in the history of our Missions in India, and surely the appearance of such a crisis should stimulate the friends of Missions, and all who are desirous of the enlightenment and improvement of India, to help us with all their might. The Church Missionary Society has every year of late been devoting more and more of its funds and energies to India ; and now that I am about to return to the scene of my own labours, I am truly thankful to carry with me the hope and belief that the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel has also commenced to move forward. The additional grant which the Society has recently been enabled to make for the extension of Indian Missions, provides us with funds sufficient for a considerable advance in each of the Presidencies ; and now all that we want is an adequate supply of men of the proper sort. " The harvest truly is great, and the labourers are few ; " and without the help of additional labourers, men of piety, de- votedness, and energy, the harvest cannot be gathered in. " Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest. Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields ; for they are white already unto harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal." The real work of Missions, the work of winning souls to Christ, is a spiritual work, and can only be done by spiritual men. Living men alone are competent to place " living stones " in the wall of the spiritual temple. But such men are not to be purchased by money ; no organization, however perfect no ordination, however valid, can confer life. If we wish Christian men, animated by the living, loving Spirit of Christ, to be raised up and sent forth to do Christ's work in India, such men must be sought for in Christ's Spirit, and in accordance with Christ's commands, by earnest prayers to Himself; for surely He is more deeply interested than we can be in the extension and prosperity of his own work.
" Pray ye, therefore, the Lord of the harvest, that He would thrust forth labourers into his harvest."