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from saying that the number was daily increasing, so far from considering it as a place to which to look for the progress of Protestantism, be acknowledges afterwards at the close of his Mission, for on the very day that he held the last confirmation that I mentioned, he was seized with apoplexy and died; he
says, “ The Missions, however, are in a state which requires much help and restoration. The funds, which were considerable, have been sadly delapidated since the time of Schwartz by the pious men (but quite ignorant of the world) who have succeeded him, and though I find great piety and good will, yet I could wish a little more energy in their proceedings at present."
" But we have another very important document upon this head, which is the report of the visitation that was sent to examine into the state of the Mission. A report was given of the state of the Mission by Kobloff and Sperschneider, the persons then at the head of the Mission, that is, from the year 1820 to 1823. Now that report states, that there are twelve distinct congregations, and that these congregations consist of from five to twelve villages a-piece, consequently, that we may fairly rate the villages occupied by these twelve congregations at ill. Now what is the number of Christians in these 111 villages ?—1,388! So that what was given first as 40,000, and then as 15,000, is by the report of the Missionaries themselves reduced to 1,388 ! But it appears from their report, that between 1820 and 1823, there was an addition of eighty-three to the congrega
there is that difference between the numbers given for the two extreme years: it would appear, therefore, that there was an increase. Now, by comparing the returns they give us of the baptisms and of the deaths in that period, we find that there is an excess of seventy-four births over the deaths, consequently, that the number of persons who joined the congregation for four years was nine; and, in fact, in another report, they speak of nine as being the number of adults baptized in that period. Here, then, is a mission acknowledged by the bishop to be the strongest point of Protestantism, the force, as he calls it, of religion in India, established upwards of one-hundred years, standing upwards of sixty from the time of a man who was supposed to have worked wonders worthy of the period of the Apostles, said to be in a flourishing con
and we have as the result at the end of this period 1,300 Christians in 1ll villages, and an increase of nine in four years—that is to say, at the rate of two in one year. I will ask, if this is a flattering picture of the prospects, or rather of the progress of the gospel preached as it has been there?
But I must not however conclude this Mission without observing, that the visitors at the same time express their regret that the Mission should be in such a dreadful state of decay; that there is great immorality ; that a great many have adopted the heathen customs; that many of them have fallen into the practice of polygamy; and that, in short, they repre
sent this mission as any thing but in a promising, prosperous, or flourish. ing condition.
But even here I must modify the returns still further, because I find, in an authority of great weight, great reasons to think, that both these conversions of Schwartz and his followers have not been among native Indians, but among what are called half-cast men, descendants of Europeans. The authority I allude to is the celebrated Missionary, Henry Martyn; a man, whose works it is impossible to read without feeling great personal esteem for his character, and one who speaks with much liberality of others, and at the same time so simply and unaffectedly relates his own failures, that one must necessarily consider him an authority above suspicion. This is the way be speaks, quite incidentally, and in his private Journal, of Schwartz. “Schwartz, with Kolhoff and Joenecke"—that is, one left when the last report was made, and consequently must have been the companion of Schwartz—“kept a school for half-caste children about a mile and a half from Tanjore, but went every night to the Tanjore church to meet about sixty or seventy of the King's regiment, who assembled for devotional purposes. Afterwards he officiated to their wives and children in Portuguese." These then, according to him, are the descendants of Portuguese, those who spoke the language of the sixty or seventy of the King's regiment, who assembled for devotional purposes. What a different picture this is from the accounts which have been sometimes held out, particularly from that which was first sent over- not surely with the intention to deceive-by Bishop Heber ; but in consequence of the exaggerated reports which in some way or other were circulated regarding the success of the Missionaries both in India and elsewhere.
But Bishop Heber has some striking passages also regarding the prospect of success, and what is to be expected from the present condition of India, wbich even those who will not allow it to be well grounded, must at least acknowledge to be based on what he had already seen, and consequently upon what had taken place in India up to the time of his death. He speaks of conversion in India as being next to impossible ; and we must at least allow that he had the experience of the past to warrant him in such a conclusion, otherwise we cannot suppose he would possibly bave made it. He speaks of an interview which he had with a Mahometan priest, at least one very zealous in travelling about the country, but “how long a time must elapse,” he says, “ before any Christian teacher in India can hope to be thus loved and honoured. Yet surely there is some encouragement to patient labour which a Christian minister may derive from the success of such a man as this in India, inasmuch as wbere others can succeed in obtaining veneration and attachment, the time may surely be expected, through God's blessing, when our endeavours also may receive fruit, and our bitherto almost barren
church may keep house and be a joyful mother of children.” Again, in another passage, “ With regard to the conversion of the Natives, a beginning has been made, and though it is a beginning only, I think it a very promising one.” This surely shews us sufficiently what his feelings were regarding the barrenness or fertility of the church which he represented.
But regarding the Missions of the church of England in India, we have also several striking documents in the reports of the different years. For instance, in the year 1827, there is an extract from a letter of Professor Craven, in which he says, “ that, with regard to conversions, we have as yet done nothing which can satisfy an unbounded zeal, which intent upon the object does not calculate the obstacles opposed to it. That there is not one convert, will not surprise the society which I have the honour to serve ; but all that is possible to do, with the divine blessing, is attempted at present by one of the Society's Missionaries--Mr. Christian.” In the following year we have the report printed, and in page 49, speaking of the same gentleman and of his labours, it says, “ that he had indeed attempted a Mission, as is before mentioned, among the inhabitants of the mountains, and that it seemed a peculiarly promising one from the circumstance of the natives not being under the prejudices of caste, not being divided in the way which has been considered the most important obstacle to conversion in India, which caste,” he says and this is a point I wish to mark, “ which caste is a prejudice that has been found insuperable by all the efforts of the most zealous and most exemplary Missionaries.” So that we have here an acknowledgment that hitherto there has been an obstacle to conversion in India, which has been considered insuperable-which has been found insuperable by the most zealous and the most exemplary Missionaries of the church. Bishop Heber remarks that, except in Cal. cutta and its neighbourhood, there is no sect worth naming except the church of England. Of course he is speaking of Protestants ; because, as I shall shew you at our next meeting, there are very considerable congregations of native Catholics in some districts; and I hope you will see that in some towns there are acknowledged to be more, than of Protestants in the whole presidency itself, by the Missionaries who are necessarily interested not at least in diminishing the numbers which they give.
But, however, there is another class of Protestants exceedingly active and zealous, and these are the Anabaptists, of whose establishment I before spoke, who certainly have most particularly distinguished themselves in the dissemination of translations of the Holy Scriptures.
Now a few years back, Abbé Dubois, who had been thirty years in India, publicly stated that not a single convert had been made by Protestant Missionaries. He was answered by several Missionaries, and
particularly by one who had been himself there, and who has been, I believe, much distinguished as a zealous upholder of Missionary establishments-Mr. Townley: There was an opportunity naturally of bringing forward any example in confutation of this strong and bold assertion ;
and this is in the first place the way in which he meets it“ But while I thus explain the means which Protestants missionaries employ for the conversion of the natives of Hindostan, and maintain in opposition to Abbé Dubois' assertion to the contrary, that they are more likely to accomplish this end than any which the Jesuits have used; I nevertheless beg to state, that without God's blessing they do not depend upon any means for success,” and fully do I concur in the opinion as he states his position. “ Under existing circumstances there is no human possibility of converting the Hindoos." Here is the experience then of a missionary who had been among them—“ Under existing circumstances there is no human possibility of converting them.” Had conversions taken place, he could not and would not have asserted that on such an
ccasion as this, when he was professedly replying to the assertion that they had made no converts. Now, however he may be said to modify this position to a certain extent, and he thus speaks of the conversions that had taken place,—and this is an interesting extract, because it is the authority of a person who had been on the spot,—to what has been done also by other missionary societies. My object is not so much to count the number of converts, upon whose sincerity we may rely, as to shew from my own experience that the work of conversion is actually begun in India" actually begun!” This was written, I suppose, in the year 1823 or 1824, or rather 1825, and consequently about forty years after the society had begun its labours. He proposés—he does not pretend to maintain that there were actual converts—to shew that the work has begun. “ I have given three cases at least of native converts who have come under my personal observation, of whose real conversion I can speak with some confidence. When I left Bengal in the month of November 1822, there was one Hindoo, concerning whom the Missionaries in Calcutta had hopes that he was really, from upright motives, seeking admission into the Christian church. These hopes have been subsequently strengthened, and he has been actually baptized. Herein there has been a similarity between the first-fruits of missionary exertions reaped by the London Society, and that gathered by the Baptist Missionaries. The first Hindoo convert, effected by the instrumentality of the Missionaries of the Baptist denomination, was won to the cross of Christ after the society had commenced its operation in India about seven years; the London Society in Calcutta had obtained their first convert after about the same lapse of time. It may be added, that the Church Society reaped their first-fruits at Burdwan, after having had the faith and patience of the Missionaries put to the test during a period of about the same duration."
Here, then, we have an admission that three societies were seven years labouring before they obtained one single convert; and he does not pretend to go on to say that from the beginning any great increase has subsequently followed ; because, on the contrary, the
which I read you is completely at variance with that supposition.
Now a Journal, a periodical particularly attached to the established church, and one that is considered essentially a religious Journal, takes notice of this observation, and expresses its astonishment that such a thing should be said, when the very individual who says it had been making a tour from town to town, and describing the success of the Missionaries as most extraordinary and satisfactory, and thereby leading his hearers to suppose that the Indians were becoming Christians by hundreds. This is the way in which it expresses itself—“ Townley, in bis reply to Abbé Dubois says, that to the best of his belief ten or twelve real conversions had taken place. Is this the language of Henry Townley in the sermons which he delights to preach in all the markettowns in the kingdom ? Isthis the language of Mr. Parson, who harangued so many Church Missionary Meetings in the course of the last year? We can only say, we never met with one of his hearers who viewed the business in this light." And I think that many of you who hear the statements popularly put forth, will find that this is not the impression that has been attempted to be made on your minds--that the work of conversion succeeded so very ill as this ; and that by the acknowledgment of Missionaries themselves, they have been so disappointed in their hopes, that, in short, after years—the society had been established for, at least, seven years-of labour, it should have only produced one convert after such immense expense, after such immense trouble, cost, and personal labour.
In 1823, a letter was addressed by a person at Cambridge to that celebrated Brahmin, who became better known in this country after that period, and as he died here also, Ram-Mahoun Roy, who has been constantly spoken of as a convert to Christianity, though, I believe, that there are strong reasons for supposing that he never was completely weaned from his affection to the religion of his own country. One question, among others, that were put to him was, What is the true success of the great efforts which have been made for the conversion of the Natives in India to Christianity? His answer is dated the 2d of February, 1824, and was published at Calcutta by the Rev. Mr. Adams the same year. He says, “ The answer to this question is a very delicate matter, because "-mind, I am not giving my own words, I am quoting from another person, and as his has been published by Missionaries, or ministers of the established or, at least, of the Protestant church, I therefore consider that I am quoting such authorities (and I shall make that point) as those who might be inclined not to take my assertions