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India and Malaysia 







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IN May, 1888, the writer of the following pages was elected 
to the superintendency of the missions of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church in India and Malaysia. He had spent 
most of his life in India, and had enjoyed better opportuni- 
ties for seeing all parts of the empire than fall to the lot of 
most missionaries, and yet a very brief experience in his 
new sphere of duty impressed him with a sense of the mag- 
nitude of the field and of its splendid opportunities for suc- 
cessful missionary work, which seemed to come upon him 
with all the force of an unexpected discovery. In making 
frequent tours he found but few workers who seemed to 
take broad views of the situation, or were alive to the 
emergency of the hour. With rare exceptions, Christians 
throughout India seemed to be unaware of the value of their 
magnificent heritage. They were not indifferent, but very 
many of them seemed despondent, and only here and there 
did the hope seem to be cherished that God was preparing 
the way in India for the greatest triumphs which had ever 
crowned the efforts of his Son to save the human race. 
Missionaries, and Christian workers generally, did not seem 
to understand the situation. They did not, in short, seem to 
know India. They saw missionary work only in glimpses, 
and seldom saw or heard of any marked token of victory. 
Eeturning to America for a few months in 1890, the writer 
was at once struck with the inability of even intelligent 

persons to understand him when he spoke of the vast extent 




of his field. " We do not get a correct view," said one 
friend, " when you speak of India and Malaysia. We see it 
all in one perspective, and only in barest outlines at that.^' 
India was universally spoken of as an Asiatic country, like 
Corea or Japan, but without any appreciation of the fact 
that it was a vast group of countries, and contained within 
its borders almost one-fifth of the human race. 

This surprising want of information would matter less if 
the Christians of America stood in no particular relation to 
the people of India; but inasmuch as all the great Protestant 
Churches have planted missions in India, it is of the highest 
importance that the character of the empire and its people 
be intelligently understood. Not a little valuable labor, as 
well as money, has already been lost by working blindly ; but 
this need not be repeated. If missionary work is worth do- 
ing at all, it is worth doing well. Every Christian who 
supports the work should do so intelligently. Every pastor 
should be able to tell his people about the great mission- 
fields of the Church ; while it goes without saying that every 
one on whom official responsibility rests should acquaint 
himself with his duties. Mr. Froude related some years ago 
an authentic story of Lord Palmerston, who was trying to 
form a new ministry. All had been arranged except the 
Secretaryship for the Colonies, for which post no suitable 
man could be found. At last Lord Palmerston said, half in 
earnest and half in jest : " I think I shall have to take that 
myself;^' and, turning to a secretary, added : '^ Come over 
in a day or two, and bring with you a good map of the 
world, and show me where the Colonies are." It is to be 
feared that not a few who strive for responsible posts in 
Boards, General Committees, and Secretariats, have never 


taken one lesson on a missionary map. " The times of this 
ignorance '' the Church has too long winked at, and it is to 
be hoped that a better day is at hand. 

During the visit to America mentioned above, the idea 
was first suggested of writing a book on India and Malaysia 
large enough to give the most needful information on so vast 
a region, and yet concise enough to satisfy the wants of the 
great mass of readers who have not time to study all manner 
of details. Accepting the advice of many trusted friends, the 
task has been undertaken in the hope of bringing India 
nearer to the mind and heart of American Christians. No 
attempt has been made to treat any one subject exhaustively, 
but rather to give a series of sketches of the country, people, 
resources, religions, and other institutions, and especially of 
the more practical aspects of the great missionary enterprise 
as illustrated in India and Malaysia at the present day. It 
is hardly necessary to remark that the book has been written 
by a missionary from a missionary stand-point, and for those 
interested in missions. It is also written in the interest of 
the Society which the writer represents, though not by any 
means confined to the missions of that Society. The great 
work of India's redemption is one that transcends all de- 
nominational interests and all ecclesiastical boundary-lines. 
The Church which the writer represents has in this field en- 
tered upon the most gigantic enterprise which has ever been 
attempted in Methodist history, and this book is sent forth in 
the hope of aiding to set before that Church the true character 
of the stupendous enterprise to which she stands committed 
before the world. 

Many works on India have been published during the 
past quarter-century, including not a few of a missionary 


character. One of these, Dr. W. Butler's '^ Land of the 
Vedas," is an able and elaborate work, and treats of the same 
denominational interests as the present book; but the field 
has expanded to such vast proportions since Dr. Butler's book 
was published that, although it still maintains its position 
as a recognized authority, it no longer fully represents the 
work of the Methodist Episcopal Church in India, and of 
course fails to take in Malaysia. The recent work of Bishop 
Hurst is exhaustive, and written in full sympathy with the 
great missionary enterprise, but in the main is a work of more 
general character, and only treats of missionary interests as 
one of a long list of subjects which demand attention. The 
object and scope of the present work are wholly different, 
and do not bring it into either rivalry or contrast with the 
works of these two distinguished writers. 

The present is a critical period in the history of Chris- 
tian missions throughout the world. The Church of Christ 
stands upon the threshold of the second century of this great 
enterprise, and practical Christians in both Europe and 
America are beginning to ask, in a tone which brooks neither 
evasion nor denial. What are the results of the past, and 
what the outlook for the future? questions which demand the 
most full and frank answers. The following pages have been 
written with the honest and earnest desire of putting the 
situation as it now exists in India and Malaysia before the 
Christian public of America, and thereby contributing, in 
some small measure at least, to an increase of the faith, zeal, 
and devotion of the supporters of the missionary enterprise 
an enterprise which, a century hence, will have been recog- 
nized as the absorbing movement of the age, the mightiest 

movement on the globe. 

J. M. T. 




India, 13 


The People of India, ./T 27 

The Empire of India, 42 

India and England, 57 

The Religions of India, 71 

Hinduism, 83 

Buddhism, 97 

Mohammedanism, 112 

Indian Devotees, 124 

New Religious Movements, 141 


Early Christianity in India, 153 





Roman Catholic Missions in India, 161 

Protestant Missions in India, 175 

Francis Xavier, 190 

William Carey, 206 

The First Methodist Episcopal Mission in India, 219 

The Task in its Simplest Form, 235 

The Task in its Larger Proportions, 249 

The First Stage of the Work, 263 

The Second Stage of Progress, 279 

Crossing the Indian Rubicon, 291 

Hidden Resources, 303 

English Work, 316 

Mission-schools, 329 



Sunday-schools in India, 341 

The Women of India, 355 

Education Among Women, 369 

Medical Woek for Women, 380 

Woman in the Church, 389 

The Depressed Classes, 398 

Open Doors, 412 

The Panjab and Western Asia, 425 

Bengal, 434 

Burma, 443 

Central and South India, 455 

Life in India, 463 

Indian Music, 473 

Malaysia, 483 




The Straits Settlements, 505 

The Malaysian Mission, 520 

The Latest Report, 537 

Pending Questions, 553 

List of Illustrations. 


First Methodist Episcopal Church in India, Frontispiece. 

A Hindu Mela, or Fair, 82 

A Hindu Devotee, 127 

Francis Xavier, 190 

William Carey, 207 

William Butler, D. D., .224 

Our Early Missionaries in India, 234 

Three Indian Presiding Elders, 262 

Bishop William Taylor, 296 

Lucknow Christian College, 328 

Miss Lilavati Singh, B. A., , 337 

Mohammedan Young Women, * . 354 

Miss Isabella Thoburn, 356 

Miss Ellen D'Abreu, B. M., 374 

Mrs. Sophia D'Abreu Thompson, B. A., 375 

Miss Chandra Mukhi Bose, M. A., 377 

Miss C. A. Swain, M. D., 380 

Lucknow Christian School-girls, 388 

A Gujarati Group, 424 

A Maratha Group, 431 

A Burmese Woman, 446 

A Telugu Family, 458 

A Tamil Group, 460 

A Malay Family, 491 

The Sultan of Johore, 509 

Group of Dyaks, 531 

Dyak Women, 533 


Cl)apber I. 


IF a line were drawn from the city of Atlanta to the middle 
of the southern boundary of Oregon, and if along this line 
a range of lofty mountains were reared up, covered with ever- 
lasting snow and buttressed with gigantic peaks rising from 
twenty to twenty-nine thousand feet into the sky, this mount- 
ain range would represent the vast boundary-wall of North- 
ern India. If another line were drawn from Atlanta to Lake 
Erie, and thence a third line to a point in British Columbia, 
and this again connected with the point first named in South- 
ern Oregon, and the space thus inclosed, amounting to a 
million square miles, elevated fifteen thousand feet above the 
sea-level, it would represent that extraordinary elevation in 
Central Asia sometimes called the " roof of the world," which 
has through uncounted centuries helped to shut in both India 
and China from the rest of the world, and which has contrib- 
uted in a marked degree to give India, especially, some of 
those peculiarities of season and climate for which it is noted. 
If, now, an irregular mass of lower but still lofty mountains 
be thrown in between Atlanta and the Gulf at one extremity 
of this line, and the Oregon terminus and the Pacific Ocean 
at the other extremity, the northeastern, northern, and north- 
western boundaries will be complete, and it only remains to 
fill in to the southward a vast peninsula extending to a point 
nineteen hundred miles south of Oregon, making a large, pear- 


shaped region nearly as large as all the United States lying 
east of the Rocky Mountains, and containing a million and a 
half square miles, to present a territory corresponding to his- 
toric India. This comparison will strikingly exhibit the 
small area of North America as compared with that of Asia. 
On the map of Asia, India looks like one of a dozen countries, 
and does not extend half-way across the continent. On the 
map of North America, not only would its northern boundary 
need to be pushed northward, but its outlying mountain spurs 
would touch two oceans, and a vast region have to be filled 
in to the south to complete its area. 

The name India has been applied to this region since a 
very early day. It would seem that the early Aryans, who 
entered India through the northwest passes, applied the 
Sanskrit word Sindhus (ocean) to the great river Indus, 
which they found probably flowing in the rainy season in a 
volume which would remind them of the sea. This name, 
in the lapse of time, was also applied to the people who 
lived on the upper banks of the river, and still lingers in 
India in the province of Sindh, at the mouth of the river, 
and in the Sindhi people, who are its chief inhabitants. The 
Zoroastrian branch of the ancient Aryans, who, at an early 
period, lived side by side with those who migrated into In- 
dia, softened the initial sibilant of the word Sindhus into A, 
and have been followed in this change by both the ancient 
and modern Persians. The Greeks, in turn, further soft- 
ened the word by dismissing the Persian aspirate altogether, 
and thus in time the name India has come into use through- 
out all the Western world. In more recent times the Per- 
sians have applied the word Hindustan to that part of India 
lying north of the Vindhya Mountains, meaning the place 
or country of the Hindu. Strictly speaking, neither the 
word Hindustan nor India applies to that part of the em- 
pire south of the Yindhya Mountains, but in all past ages 
this distinction has been lost sight of by those at a distance ; 
and since the various nations and tribes of this region have 


been welded into one vast empire by the British power, the 
term India has been applied to the whole region without 
any attempt to limit its application. 

Writers on India frequently divide the country into three 
sections, the first including the mountains of the Himalaya 
range ; the second, the plains of Northern India ; and the 
third, the table-land of Central and Southern India. This 
division, however, is somewhat arbitrary, and does not con- 
vey a very clear idea of the actual configuration of the 
country. Immediately south of the snow-line of the Him- 
alayas is a belt of lower mountains, with an average width 
of perhaps one hundred miles, inhabited by various tribes of 
mountaineers, and furnishing valuable supplies of mountain 
products to the plains below. The great rivers of Northern 
India, which are fed by the snows of the Himalayas proper, 
and the plateau lying to the northward, have brought down 
an immense alluvial deposit, which is spread over the whole 
of Northern India and down the valley of the Ganges, 
making one of the richest and best cultivated plains of the 

At a distance of several hundred miles from the mountains 
the country begins to rise, and long before it reaches the 
Vindhya Mountains, a range which crosses India from east 
to west about the middle of the country, the land has be- 
come an elevated plateau. Immediately south of this mount- 
ain range is a rich valley through which the Nerbudda River 
flows westward, dividing the greater part of the country into 
two somewhat distinct sections. South of this valley is an- 
other range of mountains called the Satpuras, which forms 
the northern boundary of a triangular plateau known as the 
Deccan, or South Country. This plateau has an average ele- 
vation of nearly two thousand feet, and is hemmed in on the 
west by a line of mountains running parallel with the ocean 
from the northwest to the southeast. A similar but somewhat 
lower range shuts in the plateau on the eastern side. These 
two ranges are called respectively the Eastern and Western 


Ghats, the former having an average height of about fifteen 
hundred feet, and the latter of three thousand. 

The great rivers of India are chiefly those which have 
their sources in the Himalayas. It is a singular fact that all 
these streams except the Ganges take their rise, not in India 
proper, but on the northern side of the Himalayas, in Thibet. 
The Brahmaputra not only takes its rise to the northward of 
the mountains, but flows for the greater part of its course at 
a great elevation along a valley between the Himalayas 
proper and another snowy range which lies in Thibet to the 
north. Of all these rivers, the Indus, Ganges, and Brahma- 
putra take the precedence. The Indus is a very large stream ; 
but throughout nearly all its lower course, like the Nile, it 
flows through a desert, and hence it is only on its upper 
course, near the mountains, or indeed among the mountains, 
that the tremendous volume of water which it discharges into 
the sea can be appreciated by a spectator. The Ganges has 
many tributaries, one of them, indeed the Gogra being 
larger than the Ganges itself at the point of union, and hence 
it carries down to the sea an amazing volume of water. The 
Mississippi, when its banks are full, discharges 1,200,000 
cubic feet of water every second; the Nile, 362,000; the 
Ganges, 1,800,000. The Brahmaputra is unknown to India 
until it suddenly sweeps around the southeastern base of the 
Himalaya range, and bursts forth into the Assam Valley in 
all its strength. It was formerly considered larger than the 
Ganges, but it has been ascertained that in the rainy season 
its discharge per second is only a little more than 500,000 
cubic feet. This, however, still gives it a prominent place 
among the great rivers of the world. Only two rivers of any 
size flow westward into the ocean the Nerbudda, spoken of 
above, and the Tapti, which flows parallel with it, and at but 
a short distance from it. Three rivers of considerable size 
discharge their waters into the Bay of Bengal on the eastern 
side of India the Godavery, the Kistna, and the Kaveri. 
The rivers of India are not well adapted to steamer traffic. 


The force of their currents, and the treacherous nature of the 
sands which they all bring down from the mountains, make it 
difficult for steamers to ply for traffic, as is so common on 
American rivers. An immense traffic, however, is carried on 
by native boats, some of them of considerable size, but most 
of them very small. On the Ganges, boats may be constantly 
seen, sometimes carried upward by the force of clumsy and 
often ragged sails, but very often slowly drawn by the boat- 
men walking on shore and tugging with ropes. The down- 
ward passage, of course, is made more easily. The immense 
delta of the Ganges and Brahmaputra for the two rivers 
unite before reaching the sea and have a common delta is 
intercepted by numberless natural canals and estuaries, on 
which a constant traffic is carried on. Some little idea of the 
vast extent and activity of this river-traffic can be formed 
from the statement that at the city of Patna, on the Ganges, 
61,000 boats have been registered as passing up or down in 
the course of a single year. At Hugli, a town about twenty- 
five miles above Calcutta, 124,000 boats of all sizes and kinds 
passed in a single year. The river-borne trade of the city of 
Calcutta amounts to no less than $100,000,000 a year, and 
when it is remembered that nearly all of this is carried on 
clumsy native boats, some idea can be formed, not only of the 
number of these river craft, but of the vast number of boat- 
men employed in the service. 

The rivers of India are noted perhaps beyond those of any 
other part of the world, unless it be Africa, for the amount of 
silt which they carry down to the sea. If it be true that the 
Nile has made Egypt, it is equally true that the Ganges has 
made Bengal, while every river flowing into the sea has in 
like manner built up its own delta. The Ganges and Brah- 
maputra carry down more silt than the Indus, the Brahma- 
putra taking the lead in this respect. It has been estimated 
that it would require 240,000 steamers, each of 1,400 tons 
burden, to carry the amount of deposit which is brought down 
by the Ganges alone during the four months of the rainy sea- 


son. The mind fails to realize how vast this yearly accumu- 
lation must be, and yet it is not perceptibly noticed at the 
mouth of the river. It is true that thousands of acres are 
thrown up each year, not only in the delta but at many points 
in the upper course of the stream; but while new land is thus 
constantly forming, large slices of cultivated land are swept 
away from time to time, so that the poor native does not 
notice that the river makes much amends for the loss which 
it so often inflicts upon him. Nevertheless, the land is stead- 
ily gaining on the ocean ; and as the silt which is brought 
down is of the richest possible quality, those who cultivate 
near the river not only often have their lands fertilized by 
the deposits left by the floods, but also at times secure ncAV 
fields thrown up in the course of a few weeks, which furnish 
fruitful farms for years to come. I have myself seen wheat 
growing, rich and green, in the month of December, on fields 
where I had seen the water flowing fifty feet deep six months 

In speaking of the rivers of India, the canals must not be 
overlooked. The Indian Government has conferred a very 
great benefit upon a country liable to a precarious rain-fall by 
constructing a large number of canals, chiefly for irrigating 
purposes. Those in connection with the Ganges and Jumna 
Rivers include no less than 1,564 miles of main line, with 
6,000 miles of smaller distributing channels. Throughout the 
whole of India, nearly 30,000,000 acres of land are irrigated by 
these Government canals. The value of these to the country 
can be estimated when it is stated that this includes 14.8 per 
cent of all the cultivated land in India. It may not be gen- 
erally known that the Californians and other residents of the 
Pacific Coast have given special attention to the system of 
irrigation adopted in India, and are rapidly pushing forward 
similar works in those parts of the country west of the Rocky 
Mountains where the rain-fall is insufficient. 

It is not generally known to the outside world, especially 
in America, that India has an excellent system of railway 


communication, which is even more deserving of notice than 
her canals. A few years before the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, a 
plan had been formally adopted for building a few great trunk- 
lines connecting the chief cities of the empire, but the work 
was necessarily interrupted for a number of years by the 
Mutiny and the financial stringency which followed it. That 
great crisis in the history of the empire, however, had the 
eiFect of showing how absolutely necessary it was, for mili- 
tary purposes if for no other reason, to have India thor- 
oughly provided with an efficient railway system. The work 
was taken in hand with great vigor about thirty years ago, 
and has been carried forward with as much speed as could 
have been expected in view of the peculiar difficulty of such 
an undertaking in a country like India. The whole num- 
ber of miles in operation is about 16,000. Other lines have 
been projected in various directions, and no doubt a vast 
extension of what are called ^^ feeder lines " will be carried 
out before many years. 

These railways have been constructed in three different 
ways. The first plan adopted was that of offering a Govern- 
ment guaranty of five per cent on all the capital invested 
by any company which would undertake the building of a 
line approved by the Government. Thirty years ago even 
this liberal offer barely sufficed to bring to India the capital 
necessary for building the main lines which now connect the 
great cities of Bombay, Madras, Calcutta, and Delhi. The 
success, however, of the first attempts at railway building 
was such as to encourage capitalists in England to make fur- 
ther ventures, and a number of important lines have since 
been constructed by private companies without any guaranty 
whatever. Other lines, again, have been built by the Gov- 
ernment without any assistance from private parties, and 
are known as State railways. In like manner, a number of 
the rulers of native States have constructed similar railways 
within their own territories. It is worthy of note that the 
Government, with a far-seeing wisdom which might be imi- 


tated in more favored lands, when giving a guaranty of five 
per cent interest on all investments in Indian railways, re- 
served the right of taking over the entire railway after a 
certain term of years if it should be found convenient to do 
so. This right has already been exercised in the case of 
several leading lines, and thus the Indian Government is 
now possessed of valuable properties which must, as the 
years go by, yield a constantly increasiug revenue. Amer- 
ican statesmen might profitably take a leaf out of this chap- 
ter of Indian history. The American people have been 
strangely reckless in throwing away valuable franchises of 
this kind, especially in the great cities. The American rail- 
way system, if properly controlled, might easily be made to 
pay all the expenses of the various State Governments, and 
thus relieve the people of the heavy burden of direct taxa- 
tion under which they are becoming somewhat restive. 

In a region so large as India it could not be expected 
that the climate would be uniform, and yet it presents cer- 
tain features which may be spoken of as peculiarly Indian. 
Throughout the whole empire, with the exception of the 
southern end of the peninsula, the year may be divided into 
three seasons cold, hot, and dry. The cold season begins 
in Northern India about the first of October. At Calcutta 
and Bombay it is hardly recognized as having begun before 
November. With the exception of about a week near the 
close of December, it seldom rains during this season. In 
all Northern India, from October to March, the weather is 
delightful, and the sky, for the most part, cloudless. People 
can make their arrangements months beforehand, without any 
fear of having their plans broken up by bad weather. At 
points as far south as Lucknow or Benares, a white frost 
sometimes forms in late December or early January, and a 
very thin coating of ice may sometimes be seen on the water 
if it is exposed in a shallow vessel and in a damp place. In 
Calcutta and Bombay frost is never seen. Houses are never 
built with chimneys, and fire is rarely introduced into any 


dwelling. In North India, on the other hand, during the 
three or four months of the cold season, a fire in the evening 
is found very comfortable, although many persons do not 
avail themselves of the luxury. As the cold season advances, 
a steady, and sometimes strong west wind begins to blow, 
and the signs of the approaching hot season become unmis- 
takable. The evenings and nights still continue cool, even as 
late as March. In Calcutta and Bombay, however, it is usually 
quite warm before the middle of March. By the month of 
April the west wind has become a hot wind ; with the excep- 
tion of fruit and forest trees, vegetation has wholly disap- 
peared; not a blade of grass is to be seen ; every day the hot 
west wind blows with increasing intensity, and people take 
refuge from it as they do from cold in more northern climes. 
The month of May is a trying month, on account of the ex- 
treme heat especially in North India. It is a common mis- 
take for persons in America to suppose that the farther north 
they go in India, the cooler they will find it ; and young mis- 
sionaries very frequently make the mistake of asking for a 
station in North India, on the ground that they can not very 
well endure heat, and do not wish to risk their health by ex- 
posure to the hot winds of Southern India. The rule works in 
exactly the opposite way. The nearer one is to the equator, 
the cooler it seems. At Rangoon it is found to be much 
hotter than at Singapore, which is only ninety miles from the 
equator; in Calcutta, again, it is much warmer than in Ran- 
goon, while as we pass northward the thermometer rises in 
the hot months until it actually stands, at Delhi and Lahore, 
in the far north, at a figure that is never reached in Calcutta 
and Bombay. 

By the month of June the heat has become intense. 
About this time, to use the phrase commonly adopted in 
India, the ^^ monsoon bursts.^' All over the empire there is 
intense anxiety to hear of the approach of the rains. About 
the first of June sometimes a little earlier the telegraph 
annqunces that the monsoon has burst on the western coast 


of Ceylon and along the extreme southwestern coast of 
India. Each day the rains creep northward. In a week or 
so they have reached Bombay, and by the 20th of June they 
have usually extended throughout all India. A marked 
change of temperature follows the advent of the rains. The 
thermometer will perhaps fall fifteen to twenty degrees at the 
first down-pour. The whole landscape, which has been utterly 
desolate for three months, and which at last looks as if it had 
been sprinkled over with ashes, is clothed in richest green in 
the course of three or four days. Vegetation of every kind 
springs into wonderful activity; the birds seem as if filled 
with new life'; multitudes of frogs come from no one knows 
where, and revel in every pond and puddle to be seen over 
the level fields. The people come out of their hamlets with 
light and happy step, and all nature seems revived. During 
the next three or four months India is a beautiful country, 
clothed everywhere in richest green, and filled with every 
form of active and joyous life. It does not rain constantly, 
but one or more showers may be expected every day. The 
evenings and mornings are delightful, and in no land do the 
clouds present a grander spectacle than when banked up 
along the western sky at sunset, with great billowy edges 
upturned toward the setting sun, and glowing in the rich 
light with which the evening sun bathes a tropical landscape. 
Not every one, however, enjoys this season. The air, if 
cooler, is more sultry, and the houses become damp, and to 
some people uncomfortable. Sickness is apt to be more prev- 
alent than when the heat is greatest. As in northern climes 
the cold is little felt and inflicts little injury on invalids when 
the atmosphere is perfectly dry, so in India the excessive 
heat is not felt as an affliction so long as the air is per- 
fectly dry. 

The average rain-fall varies greatly in different parts of 
India. In the stations on the outer ranges of the Himalaya 
Mountains it reaches a point which in America would be con- 
sidered very excessive. At Naini Tal it is a little more than 


91 inches ; at Mussoorie, farther west, it is 94 inches ; at 
Simla, 71 inches; while at Darjeeling, far to the eastward, it 
reaches 120 inches. On the plains the fall is, of course, lighter, 
and in the western part of the Punjab it does not exceed 
7 or 8 inches in the year. Throughout the plains of North 
India, including the eastern half of the Punjab, the rain-fall 
averages from 25 to 45 inches, while in Bengal the average 
rises to 67 inches. Throughout the Madras Presidency the 
average is 44, and in Bombay 67 inches. On the eastern 
side of the Bay of Bengal the rain- fall is very heavy, ranging 
from 212, the highest average recorded, to 174. The 'lowest 
average rain-fall in what was recently British Burma, is 47 
inches. Throughout Assam, the name of the great valley of 
the Brahmaputra, the rain-fall is the heaviest known in the 
world. At Cherra Poonjee, a station in Assam, the average 
annual rain-fall is no less than 481 inches, and in the year )^ 
1861 it actually rose to 805 inches ! During that year, in 
the month of July alone, there was a rain-fall of 366 inches. 
The reader can hardly realize what such a record means. In 
that one month of July, 1861, more than thirty feet of water 
fell in that one region, while throughout the year the rain- 
fall was sufficient to have covered the entire province 67 feet 
deep with water. Even in an average year enough rain falls 
to flood the whole country to a depth of more than 40 feet. 
This, however, is exceptional. In various other parts of 
India, especially among the mountains and higher hills, ex- 
ceptional rain-falls have been registered ; but taking the 
country throughout, the average fall is less than a stranger 
would be led to suppose from an occasional view of a tropical 

The rains begin to abate usually early in September, al- 
though the season differs somewhat in different -parts of the 
country. The most sickly season of the year is then close at 
hand. The air is still and steamy, and decaying vegetation 
is almost sure to produce more or less malaria. The heat 
also becomes for a short time very oppressive, and it is not 


until the west wind begins to blow again which, throughout 
Northern India, it usually does in October that much com- 
fort is found by those who live in India like exotics in a 
sheltered garden. The three seasons, however, have now run 
their course. The cold season is close at hand, and all 
strangers in India are more than ready to give it an eager 

India has long been famous throughout the world for its 
supposed wealth, especially of the precious metals and gems. 
This reputation, however, has not been at all deserved. On 
the other hand, India, as compared with other great regions 
on the globe, is comparatively poor. It has a productive 
soil in the northern plains; but throughout all the great 
plateaus the soil, though rich on the surface, is very shallow 
and not capable of producing very heavy crops. As for sil- 
ver and gold, it is probable that in very remote ages gold 
was found in considerable quantities; but diligent search 
during the English period has only brought to light a few 
mining regions, in which it barely pays to mine for gold, 
with all the appliances which modern science is able to bring 
to the miner's assistance. Traces of silver are still more rare. 
Diamonds and other precious stones are found at a few 
points; but it is a great mistake to suppose that India, or any 
province of it, is a rich Golconda, where one has only to turn 
up the earth to find gems of every kind in abundance. Iron 
abounds, and the ore is said to be of excellent quality in 
many places; but owing to the absence of coal, very little use 
has been made of it. It is much cheaper to import iron from 
Europe than to get it from the Indian mines and either bring 
it to a place where fuel can be found, or take the fuel to 
where the iron is located. Copper-mines have been worked 
in the Himalayas to some little extent; but such as are now 
known can not compete with the richer mines of other coun- 
tries. Various deposits of coal have been found in recent 
years, and these have proved of more value than all the gold 
and other metals that have been sought for so diligently for 


ages past. The coal is good, though not of superior quality, 
and is not only of great value to the railways, but no doubt 
will prove a most important factor in the manufacturing era 
which must come to this country at no distant day. Lead has 
also been found in small quantities, and a few other minerals, 
but none of them in quantities which would give any promise 
of profitable returns to the miner. Very valuable deposits of 
salt are found in some parts of the country; but these are rig- 
idly preserved as Government monopolies, and hence prove 
of but little value to the people at large. Saltpeter has long 
been a valuable article of export from India. 

The forests of India have always been valuable, and are 
now becoming increasingly so, under the enlightened system 
of forest-preservation which has been introduced by the 
Indian Government. During the past twenty-five or thirty ^ 
years various large tracts of land have been set apart for the 
growth of forests, the whole amounting to an area larger than 
that of the State of New York. Officers who have been thor- 
oughly trained in forestry are placed in charge of these 
tracts, and the trees are cut under a system which provides 
for the steady replenishing of the forest from year to year, so 
that not only is the value of each tract preserved, but it is 
constantly enhanced. Here again the Americans might learn 
a lesson from the Indian Government. It has been remarked 
a thousand times, in vain, that the next generation in America 
will bitterly lament the want of foresight of those who are 
now suffering the magnificent forests of the United States to 
be destroyed. 

With regard to the field, orchard, and garden products, 
little need be said beyond the remark that nearly all the pro- 
ductions of the tropical world may be found in India. In 
the northern half of the empire, wheat, barley, Indian-corn, 
and in some places oats and rye, grow in the cold season. 
Throughout the whole extent of the empire, rice of more than 
fifty kinds is cultivated, while varieties of the millet family 
are found in great abundance in every part of the country. 


The pulse family also is well represented in India, and cot- 
ton, indigo, jute, hemp, flax, and other field products too 
numerous to mention, abound in regions suited to their 
growth. In short, India, though not a rich country, is capa- 
ble of supporting a vast population and providing liberally 
for its wants, and, as a matter of fact, at the present time af- 
fords a home to one-fifth of the human race. 

Ct)apber II. 


IF it is difficult to make persons of average intelligence in 
Europe and America form correct notions of the vast ter- 
ritorial extent of India, it is still more difficult to get them 
to understand that it is not a country inhabited by a single 
race. '^ What kind of people are the natives of India ?" is a 
question constantly asked of the Indian missionary who re- 
turns for a season to his native land. As well might an Indian 
ask what kind of people the natives of Europe are. India is, 
in fact, an Asiatic Europe, about equal in area to all Europe 
west of Russia, and containing more distinct and separate na- 
tions than Europe does. These nations differ even more widely 
than those of Europe not only in language, but in physique, 
temperament, and general character. It is very true that some 
able writers have protested against the application of the word 
" nation '^ to any of the distinct peoples found in India, on the 
ground that the people of India themselves do not grasp the 
national idea in the sense in which it is received in Europe. 
But this distinction is more ideal than real. Garibaldi's 
phrase, " nationality," would perhaps more properly apply to 
the various peoples of India, who, unfortunately, in their past 
history have seldom had opportunities for developing those 
national feelings which are common to all races and tribes of the 
human family. Large groups of people are found in India as 
in Europe, separated by all those marks which distinguish 
nations, unless it be separate political existence ; but this has 
not uniformly been maintained by all the nations of Europe. 
From time immemorial successive invasions of India, 
sometimes by the passes of the northeast, but more frequently 



through those of the mountains on the northwest, have fol- 
lowed one another, each one pushing the inhabitants found in 
the country up into the mountain regions, or farther and 
farther to the south. The common term "aborigines'^ is 
applied to large numbers of tribes and castes in different 
parts of the country, but often with more or less uncer- 
tainty as to whether the term belongs to the people in ques- 
tion or not. In some remote parts of the empire a few 
wretched wild tribes are found, living in a state of very low 
civilization, who may possibly be the descendants of the ear- 
liest inhabitants of the country. This, however, is only con- 
jectural. Other tribes, however, more civilized and in every 
way superior to these wild men, are found in many parts of 
the country, and are more popularly known as aboriginal 
tribes. Some of them are sufficiently numerous to rank as 
small nations, numbering one or two millions of inhabitants 
each. Other tribes are smaller, and widely scattered. It is 
now generally conceded that the first great invasions of the 
country were composed of Turanian immigrants, some of 
them from Central Asia, and some from the region north of 
Burma. The terms Kolarian and Dravidian have been ap- 
plied respectively to the immigrants from the northeastern 
and northwestern passes, but the latter seem to have invaded 
the country in larger numbers, and to have held together 
much more successfully than those from the northeast. As 
more powerful tribes followed, these Dravidian settlers were 
from time to time forced farther southward, until at last they 
succeeded in establishing themselves in four different regions, 
and no doubt for many centuries in earlier times constituted 
independent and somewhat powerful kingdoms. The Aryan 
invaders, who have become well known since the discovery 
of the ancient Sanskrit literature as members of the great 
Indo-European family, entered India at least ten centuries 
before Christ, but for many generations they worked their 
way very slowly towards the east and south. It is evident 
from their most ancient literature that they found everywhere 


a thickly settled country and encountered hostile enemies. 
In time they learned to live on more friendly terms with 
these unknown inhabitants of the country, who gradually be- 
came incorporated into their body politic, and now form the 
great mass of the people of the country. Who these peo2)le 
were who thus encountered the Aryan invaders can not now 
be known with certainty. They may or may not have been 
remnants of the great Dravidian invasion. In very remote 
ages there seem to have been frequent intermarriages be- 
tween them and the Aryan settlers; but they are still, for 
the most part, quite a distinct people from their conquerors. 
The pure-blooded descendants of the Aryan invaders are com- 
paratively a mere handful of the people of India. The Brah- 
mans and Rajputs together, who constitute almost the whole 
of these pure-blooded Aryans, do not number much more than K 
20,000,000 persons out of the 284,000,000 found in India. 
The great mass of the people of India living north of the 
Dravidian nations are those of uncertain origin. It is a sin- 
gular fact, however, and one worthy of notice, that after a 
struggle of perhaps thirty centuries, the pure Aryans and the 
pure aborigines are found in about equal numerical force 
throughout the empire at the present time. 

Of the distinct nations to be found in India it will not 
be necessary to mention more than eleven, the smallest of 
which has a population of about 2,225,000. Beginning at 
the extreme southern end of the peninsula, we find the Mal- 
ayalam people, numbering about 5,000,000, and speaking one 
of the Dravidian tongues. North and northeast of them, in- 
cluding the city of Madras, live the Tamil people, numbering 
14,500,000. The Tamil language is said to be the most dif- 
ficult one in India for a European to learn. Its literature is 
more copious and more valuable than that found in any of 
the other languages of Southern India. West and northwest 
of the Tamil people, including the well-known province of 
Mysore, are found the Kanarese people, numbering 9,500,000, 
while north and northeast from the Kanarese region live 


the Telugus, 19,000,000 strong. These four Dravidian 
nations do not have very many points of resemblance, and 
are easily distinguished by any one who has seen much of 
Southern India. The languages are kindred tongues, and 
yet differ as widely among themselves as French and En- 
glish. > Coming up the west coast to the city of Bombay, 
we find the Marathi people, who inhabit the coast and 
mountains, and part of the plateau beyond to a point about 
midway across the peninsula. They are about equal to the 
Telugus in number. Going on northward about two hun- 
dred miles from Bombay we reach the Gujarati people, where 
10,000,000 of a new and entirely distinct race are found. 
Passing on to the northwest, at the mouth of the Indus we 
find the Sindhi people, numbering about 2,500,000. Then 
proceeding up the Indus to the country of the ^^Five Rivers,'^ 
called the Punjab that part of India known to Alexander we 
find 16,000,000 people speaking the Punjabi language. East 
of this region, and far down the valley of the Ganges and 
its tributaries, we find 95,000,000 Hindustani-speaking peo- 
ple, while on the plains and delta of the lower Ganges we 
find 45,000,000 Bengalis. Southwest of these, and occupy- 
ing the coast region between the Bengalis and the Telugus, 
are the Uriyas, numbering about 8,000,000 souls. 

It is proper to remark that these numbers can only be 
given approximately. The successive census reports differ 
more or less, according to the rules laid down by those in 
charge of the census operations. Besides, it is always diffi- 
cult to attain anything like accuracy in a region where three 
or four different languages are spoken side by side, and are 
constantly intermingling at some points, and overflowing at 
others, in such a way as to make it extremely difficult to 
decide what language the people of a given village speak. 

In addition to these eleven nations, there are many other 
tribes and clans, some of them of no little importance to the 
country, but most of them living in remote regions and exert- 
ing no appreciable influence on the empire at large. Among 


the most important of these are the Parsees of Bombay and 
Surat. These enterprising people are descendants of a small 
colony of ancient Persians who settled at Surat some centu- 
ries ago, when driven out of Persia by Mohammedan perse- 
cution. They are an extremely enterprising and aggressive 
race, but are numerically too weak to exert much influence 
on India. 

The people of the eleven nationalities enumerated above 
speak eleven distinct and separate tongues. Of these, seven 
are of Aryan and four of Dravidian extraction. The most re- 
cent of these languages is probably the Bengali, while the 
Punjabi and Marathi would probably come next in order. 
The well-known Sikhs of the Punjab, and the Bengalis, are 
probably the most recent people who have appeared in In- 
dian history. The Hindus of Northern India, as well as the 
Dravidians of the South, are undoubtedly a very ancient peo- 
ple, many of them, in all probability, living in the same vil- 
lages in which their ancestors dwelt twenty-five centuries ago. 

While distinct lines of demarkation can be drawn between 
the various nationalities of India, yet, on the other hand, 
there are not a few points of resemblance which seldom fail 
to attract the attention of tourists, and naturally lead to the 
mistaken notion that the people of India constitute a common 
nationality. In complexion they must be numbered with the 
dark races, although many of them are very fair. In North- 
ern India descendants of Mohammedan invaders of a com- 
paratively recent period may sometimes be seen with blue 
eyes and auburn hair, and it is said that a large number of 
comparatively fair women have always been found among the 
harems of India. Many of the most exclusive castes of the 
Brahmans are also comparatively very fair, while, on the other 
hand, large numbers of not only the aborigines, but of per- 
sons occupying respectable positions in society, are quite as 
dark as recently imported Africans in our Southern States. 
It is certain from references found in the most ancient hymns 
of the Yedas that the Aryans, when they first invaded India, 


were as white as modern Europeans; and if any evidence 
were needed to show the effect of climate on complexion, at 
least in India, it can be found in the fact that the descendants 
of early Jewish settlers are now nearly, if not quite, as dark 
as the average Indians among whom they live. 

The constitution of society throughout India has many 
features which are alike peculiar to all the different nations 
and tribes. Some of these are owing to peculiar religious 
usages, while others have been handed down from remote 
ages, apparently unchanged amid all the great revolutions 
through which the people of India have passed. The family 
system is the same in all parts of the country, and retains 
many of the patriarchal features which we find in the history 
of Abraham and his immediate descendants. The joint sys- 
tem prevails almost universally, the sons remaining under the 
ancestral roof, or at least in a building immediately adjoining, 
through the life-time of the father, who retains authority over 
the entire household, while all the family is supported out of 
a common purse. Child-marriage has prevailed since very 
early times, although it does not seem to have been a feature 
of Aryan society at the time the more ancient Vedic hymns 
were composed. Widowhood is also everywhere not only re- 
garded as a misfortune, but the hapless widow is obliged to 
suffer many forms of penance which, in a stranger's eyes, 
seem very much like cruel persecution. Among all the 
orthodox castes, with the exception of some of the lower 
classes, the rule of perpetual widowhood is rigidly enforced ; 
and when it is remembered that children are often legally 
married when but a few years old, the hardship of this rule 
becomes more apparent. A little girl may be left a widow 
before she is six years of age; but if so, the law makes no ex- 
ception in her behalf. She is treated as a semi-outcast all the 
rest of her days, and is never permitted to contract a legal 
marriage. As might be expected, such a custom is equally 
blighting to the happiness and the morals of its victims. 
Cremation is the usual method of disposing of the bodies of 


the dead, although to this also there are some exceptions, as 
in the cases of some classes of devotees, and persons of very- 
low standing, or outcasts. 

The people of India, like the Chinese, are extremely con- 
servative, and in some respects do not seem to have changed 
in the slightest degree during the past three thousand years. 
All manner of innovations are at first sight rejected, although 
the immense progress which has been made in the country 
during the last thirty years in the way of introducing tele- 
graphs, railways, machinery of all kinds, new medicines, and 
new methods of medical treatment, with the rapid spread 
of education, are beginning to produce a marked change in 
this respect, at least among the more intelligent classes. It 
must not be supposed for a moment, as it too often is sup- 
posed in America, that India is not a civilized country. On 
the other hand, it has a civilization which is at least as an- 
cient as the time of Solomon, and which probably at that 
early period placed the Eastern Aryans in advance of any 
other section of the great Indo-Germanic family. Never- 
theless, this civilization seems to have become petrified at a 
very early period, and has changed very little through all 
the centuries since. No new inventions of any kind are ever 
made, and one searches in vain for any trace of progress in 
agriculture or science, or in the methods of labor adopted by 
the various classes of artisans. The Patent Office at Wash- 
ington contains no less than six thousand models of improved 
plows, which have been deposited there by American invent- 
ors. In India, on the other hand, the peasant's plow is 
practically the same implement which was in use two or even 
three thousand years ago. The same remark would hold 
true, no doubt, with regard to the people of China ; and in- 
asmuch as we do not find men's inventive genius alive and 
awake anywhere except in Christian lands, it may be as- 
sumed that when India becomes a Christian country her 
people will no longer be found apparently destitute of this 
valuable gift. For the present, however, the tenacity with 


which they cling to old methods of labor and to old cus- 
toms of every kind, stands very much in the way of their 
improvement and progress, and forms one of the most pow- 
erful barriers which meet the missionary when he attempts 
that most difficult of all tasks, to induce people to change 
their religion. 

As a people the Indians are very poor. Taking the 
whole empire together, they might be divided into three 
classes. In the first place, we find a few who are very rich, 
and who live in a style corresponding more or less with the 
popular notions entertained in Western lands of the " In- 
dian nabob.'' Next after these we find a larger number of 
persons who live in moderate comfort, but who in England 
or America would never be called rich. In the large cities 
and larger country towns, many of the tradesmen w^ould be- 
long to this class, and also owners of city property, or per- 
sons more or less directly engaged in trade. Scattered all 
over the country, also, we find a class of land-holders who 
are much better oif than the ordinary peasants, and consti- 
tute, at least in their own immediate neighborhood and in 
their own humble way, an inferior class of country gentry ; 
but putting all these classes together, the number is very 
small when compared with the multitudes of those who are 
poor. The cultivators have very small holdings, not only in 
those districts where they directly own the land which they 
cultivate, but also in those provinces where they rent the land 
from landlords. The average size of an Indian farm has been 
estimated at five acres. I have known, however, hard-work- 
ing men to cultivate less than one acre, and when it is re- 
membered that these toiling peasants must pay a high rent, 
either to the Government or to their landlords, it can easily 
be seen that the ordinary farmer must at best be classed among 
the poor. A man who owns five acres probably has a yoke 
of oxen and a few cows, while a man with fifteen or twenty 
acres occupies a very good position in his ancestral village, 
and is regarded by his neighbors as a very prosperous man. 


Those, however, who cultivate but an acre or a half-acre 
usually do it without any assistance from oxen or plow. I 
have known such a man to cultivate his little holding with 
his own hands, and without any kind of implement excepting 
a small tool resembling a common curved pick. 

But when we leave these comparatively independent cul- 
tivators, and turn to the great mass of laborers, including not 
only those who work in the fields, but the weavers, shoe- 
makers, leather-dressers, and others engaged in various 
forms of unskilled labor, we find a condition of things to 
which only one term can be applied, and that is poverty. 
Millions belonging to these lowest classes live in a. state of 
wretchedness and poverty which it is almost impossible for 
a person who has never been out of America to realize. 
Even the ordinary farmer is too poor to eat bread made 
from the wheat which grows in his own little fields. He 
sells his wheat because it commands a higher price, and buys 
millet, or some other cheaper kind of food, for himself and 
family. The people generally eat but two meals a day, but 
the very poor are not always able to indulge in so much 
luxury. When in America, I have always noticed that the 
people seem to listen in "utter bewilderment when I attempt 
to tell them about the extreme poverty of India. It is 
something which can not be understood until it is seen, and 
very often those who have lived in the country for many 
years fail to comprehend it. In most parts of the country, 
at least outside the large cities and towns, a man will work 
faithfully for wages not exceeding five or six cents a day, 
and on this pitiful sum he probably has to support a wife 
and from two to six children. To his credit, let it be said, 
he always does it without grumbling. The people of India, 
indeed, are among the most patient creatures to be found in 
the world. Dr. Hunter, who has only recently left India, 
and who is recognized as one of the best informed authori- 
ties on Indian subjects, affirms that there are more than forty 
millions of people in India who habitually live on insuffi- 


cient food. I should be inclined to put the number much 
higher ; but leaving it at forty millions, it is a startling and 
indeed awful statement to make, and one which makes us 
think seriously about the present condition of our race. So 
far as my own observation has extended in India, I have 
been led to believe that not more than half of the people 
ever eat to repletion, but that, on the other hand, they pro- 
vide two meals each day as well as they are able, and con- 
tent themselves with such food as they can procure, whether 
it be absolutely sufficient or not. They spend very little in 
clothing, and literally live from hand to mouth the whole 
year round, so that their life is one long struggle against 
absolute want. 

The moral condition of the people of India is a subject 
which would call for a longer discussion than the plan of 
this book will admit of. It is a subject full of anomalies 
and contradictions, and one which can only be understood 
by persons who have learned how to recognize all the vari- 
ous elements which enter into the character of a community 
or a nation. Among the best nations of the world hideous 
developments of evil can be found by those who know where 
to look for them ; and, on the other hand, among the least 
favored nations features of social and religious life may be 
found by those who have the moral discrimination to dis- 
cern them, which relieve, to some extent, the blackness of 
the dark picture which is usually drawn when an attempt is 
made to describe the moral condition of a non-Christian 
nation. The people of India are by no means wholly bad, 
and the terms '^ pagan '' and " heathen," at least in the sense 

\in which they are popularly used in Western lands, can 
hardly be applied to them with any justice. Intelligent mis- 
sionaries never use these terms in India, and it is one of 
the signs of the times that the more advanced Indians them- 
selves strenuously object to being called heathen. As a peo- 
ple, they are possessed of many virtues domestic, social, 

' and, I will add, religious. They are very true to their 


obligations to relatives ; and, in this respect, could teach 
Christian nations some valuable lessons. They are a relig-,/ 
ious people ; and, when converted, make excellent Chris- 
tians. They are also strong in their personal attachments, 
naturally affectionate, and well able to appreciate kindness. 
Nevertheless, it must be admitted, even by those who wish 
to speak as kindly of them as possible, that they bear many 
of th^ marks which always accompany a religion which de- 
nies the immediate authority of God, or at least severs the 
individual from a personal allegiance to God as the Supreme 
Ruler. After conceding all that can possibly be granted, 
some very ugly facts remain, which can not be hidden out of 
sight. In a country where polygamy is not only tolerated, 
but where it has been unchallenged for many centuries; 
where child-marriage is not only the rule, but where nearly 
all classes unite in w^armly defending it ; where widow re- 
marriage is forbidden ; where a mythology full of unclean 
traditions, and an idolatry with many images of unclean dei- 
ties meet one everywhere, it ought not to surprise any one 
to find indications of a low moral tone, such as it is difficult 
to realize in a Christian land. It is not very long since the 
horrible custom of burning widows with their husbands' 
corpses was abolished ; and we have only to remember that 
when that great reform was enacted it met with fierce oppo- 
sition from the leaders of the society of that day, to realize 
to what an extent the conscience of the country had become 
debased by the false religious system in which the people 
had been educated. Even less than twenty years ago, when 
one of the most prominent of Hindu statesmen. Sir Jung 
Bahadur, the prime minister of Nepal, a statesman who had 
been knighted by the Queen, when this well-known man 
died, inasmuch as his death occurred within territory over 
which the Indian Government had no jurisdiction, four of 
his widows were burned with his corpse on his funeral pyre. 
This one event shows what the spirit of Hinduism still is, if 
it only were at liberty to assert itself. Then, too, it is only a 


few years since the horrible custom of hook-swinging was 
abolished in Calcutta itself On a certain festival-day 
wretched men, sometimes stupefied with drugs, and some- 
times with the free use of their faculties, would submit to 
have steel hooks inserted in the muscles of their backs, by 
which they were suspended from beams which were made to 
swing round and round in such a way as to exhibit the suffer- 
ing creatures to the enthusiastic multitude below. It is not 
pleasant to dwell on such scenes, and I should be very sorry 
to remind any Hindu here in India of such an event, or to 
suggest that it was the natural fruit of his religious system ; but 
it ought to be mentioned as an indication of the actual nature 
of idol-worship in the best form in which our world has seen it 
during the past two thousand years. 

One other mark of a low moral standard has very recently 
been brought before the Indian public in a way which has at- 
tracted attention as few public events have recently done. I 
have spoken of the universal custom of child-marriage. The 
legal marriage takes place oftentimes at a very early age, but 
the little bride remains with her parents till she is older before 
going to live with her husband. Sometimes the husband is also 
a child at the time of the marriage; but very frequently a man 
of years, sometimes even an old man, will marry one of these 
little child-brides and take her to his own house at a very 
early age, say from ten to twelve or thirteen years. This 
outrageous custom had long been known ; but with the 
strange indifference which all people so often manifest to 
abuses which have been long established, little attention was 
called to it until last year, when a horrible death of a little 
child-wife in Calcutta, and the trial and conviction of her 
husband, produced a storm of indignation, not only among 
Europeans, but among the more intelligent classes of the In- 
dians themselves. A bill was introduced into the Governor- 
General's Council to fix the age of consent on the part of 
wives at twelve years, and, incredible as it may appear, a 
violent opposition was raised throughout all India to this 


very slight advance in the direction of reform. If the Gov- 
ernment had fixed the age at fourteen years it would have 
made little difference, and could not have excited greater 
opposition. The reader in America will say at once that 
it ought to have been sixteen years, and perhaps denounce 
the Indian Government for its timidity ; but unfortunately 
the Americans can not take up the first stone in this case, 
owing to the defective laws in some of their States. A great 
indignation meeting was called to protest against this law in 
Calcutta, and no less than fifty thousand persons turned out in 
the park to take part in the proceedings. The mere men- 
tion of this fact is sufficient to show that a non-Christian 
country has a conscience that is neither quick nor tender. 

In no part of India can it be said that the people are noted 
for truthfulness; and I fear it must be admitted that, taking 
them generally, they rank in morals about with the Chinese 
and other non-Christian nations. When it is remembered that 
the most of them are very poor, it is hardly necessary to 
add that they have the vices which very poor people in all 
parts of the world are always found to possess. They are 
not cruel, and are seldom violent. The brutality so often 
exhibited by the vicious classes in England and America, 
especially in connection with intemperate habits, is some- 
thing which the Indian finds very difficult to understand; 
and the too frequent spectacle of a drunken, brutal Euro- 
pean knocking down and kicking every poor creature who 
stirs up his wrath, has had the effect of creating a wide- 
spread impression in India that the people of Europe are 
naturally much more wicked than those of India. Crimes 
of violence are very much less frequent in India than might 
be supposed ; and yet, as remarked above, it must be always 
remembered that strange contradictions can be found to 
nearly every one of these statements. I myself once lived 
in a village a few weeks, during which time I incidentally 
discovered a recent murder, and became almost an eye-wit- 
ness of a gross crime of violence in that one little commu- 


nity. It would have been very easy to assume that every 
village in India was of the same kind, which would have 
been doing great injustice to the people. On the other hand, 
a recent home paper announces more than a dozen murders in 
the city of New York and vicinity in a single Sunday, and 
if we are to take this as an illustrative text, it would be easy 
^ to show a state of morals in America compared with which 
nothing in the heatli^n world would be so startling. Mak- 
ing allowance for all extreme statements and exceptional 
events, it will, perhaps, suffice to say that the moral condi- 
tion of the people of India is very unsatisfactory, while 
some of its features are particularly deplorable. 

Mentally, if not physically, the people compare very favor- 
ably w^ith those of Europe. The average physique of a laboring 
man is very much below that of an English laborer, but in 
many cases would compare favorably with the lower class of 
Italians. Mentally, however, the Indian can hold his own with 
people of any other part of the world. He has a very re- 
tentive memory, and hence, Avhen put in competition with 
English children, a native boy in an Indian school will very 
often come out ahead. They can memorize most success- 
fully. In fact, this one faculty has been developed through 
so many long generations that it may be said to constitute 
the sum and substance of an Indian education, at least ac- 
cording to the traditional view. They do not succeed so well, 
however, in generalization, and hence are not always able to 
make so much use of an education when they have received it 
as those who have received a more practical drill in other 
lands. As a curious illustration of this power of memory, I 
may mention an incident which occurred in the Calcutta 
Medical College not many years ago. The examination papers 
of a Bengali student were found to contain more than a page 
taken word for word from one of the text-books of the med- 
ical course which had been studied. It was assumed at once 
that the student had been guilty of dishonestly copying from 
a book which in some way had come within his reach. When 


brought before the authorities for trial he proposed to write 
an answer to any other question that might be given him, in 
the language of the same text-book, and when the book was 
turned over at random and a question suggested, he at once 
wrote a correct reply to it, written wholly from memory, but 
literally following the copy without the omission of a single 
word. The principal of the college, when telling me this as 
an illustration of the wonderful power of memory which some 
of the young men possess, added the remark: "He can an- 
swer any question I ask him about any of the books which I 
have put into his hands, and yet I should be very sorry to 
trust my life to him if I w^ere dangerously ill. He can col- 
lect and retain knowledge, but can not apply it." This re- 
mark, however, will not apply to the people generally. The 
colleges of India are producing some men of very great abil- 
ity, and it may be safely assumed that in the years to come 
they will be able to seize and hold a worthy place in the 
great arena of nations in which they must be ultimately called 
to contend. 

Cl)apt!er III. 


INDIA is not a conquered country held in subjection by a 
distant European power, as Mexico was once held by 
Spain, or as Cochin China is held by France at the present 
day, but, on the other hand, is a great empire with a pow- 
erful Government of its own. With a population greater 
than that of the five *^ great powers '' of Europe put together, 
with a revenue exceeding $350,000,000, with a foreign com- 
merce worth $768,000,000 annually, with a standing army 
230,000 strong, more than two-thirds of which is composed 
of native soldiers, with a drilled police force of more than 
150,000 men, with a code of law^s in many res])ects superior 
to those found on the statute-books of European countries, 
and with courts of justice as impartial and as faithfully ad- 
ministered as any to be found in the world, India may well 
claim a place among the great empires of the present era. 

In his work on the " Expansion of England,'' Professor 
Seeley, of the University of Cambridge, called attention in a 
very striking paragraph to the common mistake made by 
persons in Europe in assuming that India had ever been con- 
quered by the English, or that it was held in subjection by 
the British Government in any proper sense of the word. In 
all history no more extraordinary movement has ever been 
witnessed than the organization and development of the great 
power now known as the Empire of India. Not only were 
the directors of the old East India Company utterly hostile 
to the idea of establishing any semblance of political power 
in India, but the first agents of the Company, if not equally 
opposed to such a project, would have regarded it as utterly 


impracticable had it been suggested to them. When the En- 
glish leaders in India first began to make their conquests they 
had no thought of subjugating any Asiatic power, but were 
really animated by hostile feelings towards the representa- 
tives of other European nations who had settled near them 
and were commercially their rivals. It was this jealousy 
among Europeans, and not any designs upon the natives of 
India, which first provoked the wars during which the first 
foundation of English power was laid. Clive, Warren Hast- 
ings, and the other great leaders of the last century, were men 
who built more wisely than they knew. They were abso- 
lutely incapable of foreseeing to what gigantic proportions 
the political fabric which they hastily began to build would 
afterwards attain. The people of India were successively 
subjugated, not by foreigners, but for the most part by their 
own countrymen, or at least by Indians of neighboring na- 
tionalities. The Indian Empire, as we see it to-day, is not 
the creation of the English nation, or of the Imperial Gov- 
ernment which sits in London, but is rather an empire built 
up by a few Englishmen in India. Their great work was 
begun without design, and from first to last carried on as if 
by the power of an invisible destiny, rather than by the de- 
liberate purpose of the empire-builders. Again and again 
attempts were made to stay the march of events, and put 
limits to the expansion of the empire, but all in vain.- Even 
in very recent years the policy has been solemnly proclaimed 
of making no more annexations, only to be followed by new 
accessions of territory. 

How are we to explain this extraordinary phenomenon 
in history? If the founders and builders of the Indian Em- 
pire have not been crafty, ambitious, and unscrupulous men, 
if their work has not been a work of deliberate design, how 
are we to explain their extraordinary success? The believer 
in Providence will say that God had, and still has, great 
and gracious designs in connection with this and all other 
great political changes, and that time will reveal His pur- 


poses ; but meanwhile, if we look carefully at the factors in- 
volved, we may see that the great result was only what 
might have been anticipated. The traditions and political 
institutions of England, the ideas which prevailed, the very 
character of the people, made it inevitable that a body of 
determined Englishmen, set down alone on a distant shore, 
and suddenly confronted with the most formidable responsi- 
bilities, should have acted precisely as the founders of the 
Indian Empire did act. The English as a race have a gen- 
ius for organization, and they could not have remained in 
India and acted otherwise than as they have acted. The 
times were ripe for their coming, and they built with the 
materials which they found ready to their hands. They 
never tried to conquer India, but they found warring nations 
and tribes, discordant elements of every kind, all India toss- 
ing like a troubled and stormy sea, and they proceeded to 
lay the hand of authority on one hostile power after another, 
until now at last all India rests in peace, and many mill- 
ions of her middle-aged people have never seen a regiment 
of troops or perhaps even a single soldier. 

It may be said that frequent acts of injustice have marked 
the growth of the Indian Empire, that very often the inno- 
cent have suifered cruelly, and that in many cases a foreign 
domination has been set up over very unwilling subjects. 
This and much more must be granted; but that is but another 
way of saying that the empire has been built up in the midst 
of wars and Oriental rivalries. The English leaders in India 
have not all been saintly men, but, on the other band, they 
have not been worse than men of their class in other parts of 
the world. Taking them as a whole, and viewing them as 
they have appeared during the past century, they do not suffer 
by comparison with any other body of Englishmen in official 
life. England herself has been built up into her present great- 
ness, not without bloodshed, and amid scenes of cruelty and 
injustice such as no historian finds pleasure in portraying. 
The history of India has many a page which affords painful 


reading to every Christian ; but when we take into consider- 
ation all the circumstances which surrounded the actors, 
whether foreigners or Indians, the marvel is that so little in- 
justice has marked the growth and progress of this great 
Eastern empire. 

The Government of the Indian Emj)ire is administered 
by a Governor-General, or, as he is now more commonly 
called, a Viceroy, who is assisted by a Council of six mem- 
bers. The Viceroy is appointed by the Queen, and is usually 
chosen from the ranks of the nobility. Sir John Lawrence, 
afterwards Lord Lawrence, is the only instance during the 
present century in which an Indian civilian has been chosen 
for this high office. The members of the Council are in 
reality members of the Viceroy's Cabinet, and each one is a 
minister in charge of a department of the Government. Un- 
like the American Cabinet, these members of Council are not 
secretaries, but a secretary is connected with the department 
of each, without, however, having any voice in the adminis- 
tration of the Government. The six departments over each 
of which a member of Council is placed, are Finance and 
Commerce, Home, Military, Public Works, Legislative, and 
Kevenue and Agriculture. The Secretary attached to each 
one of these departments holds a position somewhat anal- 
ogous to that of an Under-Secretary of the Government in 
England. He prepares all the business of his department, 
and puts it before the Governor-General or the member of 
Council in charge of his department, and is permitted to 
write an opinion ; but beyond this he has no authority 
whatever. The members of the Viceroy's Council are ap- 
pointed by the Crown, and usually hold their offices for five 
years. The Viceroy holds his office for the same term, but 
frequently, in recent years, Indian Viceroys have resigned 
before serving their full term. Of the six members of 
Council, three must have served in India at least ten years, 
and one of these must be a military officer. The acts of 
the Viceroy are officially termed Orders of the Governor-Gen- 


eral in Council ; but in addition to his Executive Council 
there is what is commonly called the Legislative Council 
of India. This is composed of the Executive Council, with 
not less than six or more than twelve additional members, 
nominated by the Viceroy. Of these, one-half must be per- 
sons not holding offices under Government; and of these 
again, some are always natives of India. Strictly speaking, 
there is but one Council, which sometimes meets for exec- 
utive and sometimes for legislative purposes; and in the 
latter capacity it has a larger membership than in the former. 
It will be noticed that the official element in the Council 
has such a prepouderance that there is no possibility of the 
Government ever being left in the minority ; and even if 
such a contingency were to occur, the Viceroy has an ab- 
solute veto upon all that is done. As a matter of fact, the 
Council, whether executive or legislative, is an advisory 
body rather than one invested with independent powers. 
The meetings of the Legislative Council are always open to 
the public, but do not usually attract much interest. 

The Supreme Government has its seat nominally at Cal- 
cutta, but, as a matter of fact, spends only two or three 
months in that capital. Early in April the Viceroy, with all 
the members of his Council, secretaries of departments, goes 
up to Simla, a station in Northern India, on the spurs of the 
Himalayas, and remains there till the middle or last of October. 
Simla thus becomes not only the summer capital of India, but in 
reality is much more the real capital than Calcutta. When the 
Viceroy sets out on his return to Calcutta, he nearly always 
turns out of his way to pay visits to important places in India; 
and in this way it frequently happens that much of the cold 
season is occupied, so that Calcutta sees very little of the 
Queen's representative. 

The whole Empire of India is unequally subdivided into 
provinces and districts, some of them almost of imperial ex- 
tent, while others are very small. At first, under the old 
East India Company, there were three Governors one at 


Calcutta, one at Madras, and a third at Bombay. One of 
these at an early day was made Governor-General, and as the 
empire extended its area from time to time, additional prov- 
inces have been set apart under Lieutenant-Governors in 
Bengal, the Northwest Provinces, and the Punjab. The orig- 
inal title of Governor has not been taken away from the 
temporary rulers of Madras and Bombay, and a Legislative 
Council, similar to the one attached to the Supreme Govern- 
ment, is allowed to each of these officials. These two Gov- 
ernors are also appointed by the Crown, and consequently 
take a little higher rank than the Lieutenant-Governors, al- 
though the latter are, as a matter of fact, intrusted with 
greater responsibilities, and, perhaps it might be added, are 
usually abler men, owing to the fact that they are chosen 
directly from the Indian Civil Service, and are not untried 
men sent out from England. The Governor of Madras rules 
over 35,500,000 subjects, the Governor of Bombay over 18,- 
800,000, while the Lieutenant-Governor of the Northwest 
Provinces has nearly 47,000,000 under his jurisdiction, the 
Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab 20,800,000, and the Lieu- 
tenant-Governor of Bengal very nearly 71,000,000 within the 
limits of his province. It will thus be seen that while the 
Governor of Bombay outranks the Lieutenant-Governor of 
Bengal in his official standing, his responsibility is trifling 
when compared with that of the latter. Next to these Gov- 
ernorships and Lieutenant-Governorships, another class of 
subordinate rulers, called Chief Commissioners, is found. 
There are at present three of these in India, one in charge of 
a large district in Central India, known politically as the 
Central Provinces, with a population of 10,761,000 ; another 
in charge of Assam, with 5,400,000 people under him ; and 
another in the more important post of Chief Commissioner 
of Burma, with a population of about 7,500,000 under him. 
In addition to these, there are three Commissioners in charge 
of small and unimportant districts, which, for special reasons, 
hiivc never been merged into the larger provinces. A Chief 


Commissioner does not differ much from a Lieutenant-Gov- 
ernor, excepting in official rank and the amount of salary. 

Going on down the scale, the next subdivision which we 
find is the district. The whole of India is divided into 235 
districts. A number of these are usually grouped together, 
with a Commissioner appointed as a kind of general super- 
visor over them; but in each district an official, known 
in different parts of the country by the titles of Collector, 
Senior Magistrate, or Deputy Commissioner, is placed in 
charge, and for all practical purposes is the immediate 
ruler of the district. This official, as has been often pointed 
out, is the real administrator of the Government. He is, as a 
matter of fact, within his own little realm, very much what 
the ancient Raja was to the people; and although the District 
Judge nominally holds a higher rank and draws a higher sal- 
ary, he is always a person of much less official importance to 
the people than the district officer. The 235 officials who 
have charge of these districts are hard-working and, as a 
body, able men ; and upon them, perhaps more than upon 
any others, depend the welfare of the people and the peace 
and prosperity of the empire. Their jurisdiction varies in 
different parts of the country. In one or two cases a dis- 
trict officer rules over a territory 14,000 square miles in 
extent, while others have less than 1,000 within their juris- 
diction.* Some of these districts contain a population of not 
more than 250,000, while others rise as high as 3,000,000. 
The general average of the population of each district 
throughout the whole of the empire is about 800,000. It will 
thus be seen that the district officer is an official upon whom 
more responsibility rests than upon the average American 
Governor. The Governor of an ordinary American State 
has, as a matter of fact, but little real responsibility, whereas 
the administrator of an Indian district holds nearly all the 
interests of the people in the- hollow of his hand, and, in the 
nature of the case, must be a power for good or evU through- 
out the whole of his administration. 


AmoDg the many mistakes which Europeans and Amer- 
icans make in thinking of ludia is to assume that it is an 
uncivilized country, without the benefits of a well-recog- 
nized code of laws. Both the Hindus and Mohammedans 
have always given much attention to their laws, and when 
the English took over the provinces, one after another, they 
followed the invariable custom of leaving the people in the 
undisturbed exercise of all their religious, domestic, and >* 
social customs, including obedience to their respective legal 
codes. This wise tolerance, however, can only be allowed 
within certain limits. The Hindu and Mohammedan are 
alike undisturbed in the laws of inheritance, religion, mar- 
riage and divorce, and social regulations generally. But 
wherever any question arises which affects the followers of 
all religions alike, it is necessary to have a common code 
to which there can be an equal appeal from all parties. 
Hence the Indian Government, at an early period, began to 
give attention to the subject of providing a good code of 
laws for the empire; and in 1834 no less a man than Lord 
Macaulay was sent out to India as legal member of the Gov- 
ernor-General's Council, for the express purpose of framing 
a penal code for the use of the Government of India. He 
did his work well, although many years passed before the 
code which was prepared by him was formally sanctioned 
and made applicable to all India. For twenty-two years it 
was neglected or postponed from time to time; but at last, 
in 1860, after successive revisions by able men, it became 
law, and in 1861 it was followed by a code of criminal pro- 
cedure. Sir James Stephen, well known as one of the ablest 
writers on legal subjects in England, has pronounced thisA^ 
code to be " by far the best system of criminal law in the 
world.'' The same writer adds that ^^ it is practically impos- 
sible to misunderstand the penal code ; no obscurity or am- 
biguity worth speaking of has been discovered in it.'' It 
has been said that a few generations hence, of all his remark- 
able writings, this code of laws will be accepted as the most 


enduring monument to tlie fame of Lord Macaulay. Since 
1860 the Legislative Council of India has, from time to time, 
enacted many wise laws, as necessity has seemed to call for 
them; and recently it has been said by Sir Henry Maine 
that " British India Is in possession of a set of codes which 
approach the highest standard of excellence which this species 
of legislation has reached. In form, intelligibility, and com- 
prehensiveness, the Indian code stands against all compe- 

The laws of India are administered by courts of justice, 
perhaps as Impartial, if not as able, as any to be found in 
England or America. At Bombay, Madras, Calcutta, and 
Allahabad, High Courts have been established, to which ap- 
peals can be made from subordinate judges, magistrates, or 
other judicial officers. These courts have also the power of 
ordering the proceedings of any subordinate court to be sent 
up for revision a rule which Is not Infrequently acted upon, 
and which exerts a most healthful influence upon all the 
magistrates of the country. It w^ould be too much to say 
that all the petty magistrates of India are above suspicion ; 
but charges of bribery against judges and all magistrates in high 
position are very seldom heard or even thought of. This re- 
mark applies to Indian judges and magistrates quite as much 
as to Europeans. A few years ago, when a fierce feeling of 
race antagonism had been stirred up, owing to an issue being 
unfortunately put before the public as to whether Europeans 
should be tried by native magistrates, many writers, heated 
by the controversy of the hour, made grave charges against 
the probity of native magistrates ; but I think, in a cooler 
moment, every candid European in India will be ready to 
admit that the average Indian magistrate is a man of integ- 
rity, who tries to render impartial justice to those who come 
before him. 

This very brief sketch of the Indian Government would 
be incomplete without explaining the relation of the Viceroy 
and his Council to the British Parliament and Crown. That 


relation, at every point, is theoretically one of absolute sub- 
ordination, although, as a matter of fact, not only the Vice- 
roy, but all his subordinates down to the district officers, 
enjoy a measure of freedom which allows them to administer 
their affairs with all proper vigor. In the days of the East 
India Company the Governor-General was subordinate to 
the Directors of the Company in London ; and when the gov- 
ernment of India was transferred to the Crown, an arrange- 
ment somewhat similar to this was made, by which a Secretary 
of State for India was provided for, with a Council of fifteen 
members, a majority of whom must have served in India for 
ten years. This Secretary with his Council in Londan cor- 
responds in many respects to the Viceroy and his Council in 
India. The Secretary, like the Viceroy, is not absolutely 
bound by the action of his Council, but he wields his great 
power very moderately. He can veto any measure enacted 
by the Government of India, and can also take the initiative 
in any measure which the Imperial Government might wish 
the Viceroy to carry out. It may seem, at first glance, that 
such an arrangement would seriously hamper and weaken the 
administration in India; but such is not the case. In recent 
years it has happened once or twice that the Viceroy found 
the instructions of the home Government such as he did not 
wish to execute; but diiferences of this kind only arise under 
peculiar circumstances, and have not been at all frequent. 
To all practical intents and purposes the Viceroy is the actual 
ruler of India. 

In speaking of India, a distinction must always be drawn 
between what is strictly British India and those native States 
which still retain a greater or less degree of independence, 
and are ruled by their own hereditary princes. These are 
usually called Feudatory States, and number "several hun- 
dreds.^' It would seem from the loose way in which all writers 
speak of these States that more or less doubt exists in the 
case of some of them as to whether they should be classed 
under British rule, or regarded as in some vague sense iude- 


pendent. Many of them are insignificant, both In territorial 
extent and in financial and political importance. Only twelve 
contain over a million inhabitants. The largest of these is 
Hyderabad, with a population of about ten millions ; and the 
next Mysore, with a population of four millions. The name 
Feudatory, has come into common use in recent years, and de- 
fines pretty accurately their relation to the Supreme Govern- 
ment of India. The only native State within the territorial 
limits of India proper, which is in any real sense independent, 
is Nepal, a large kingdom occupying a part of the Himalayas, 
with some of the adjacent lowlands, east of Oudh and North- 
ern Bengal. For some reason the Indian Government has 
made a special concession to this native power, which, how- 
ever, has always maintained a semi-Chinese exclusiveness ; 
and although it is certain that no ruler of Nepal would be al- 
lowed to disturb the general peace of the empire, yet so long 
as no trouble is given to outside parties the Nepalese are left 
to themselves. 

The Feudatory States are scattered over North, Central, 
and Southern India, and differ very much both in the char- 
acter of the people and of their rulers. Some of the Indian 
princes are intelligent, cultivated men, and make good rulers; 
but this remark by no means applies to the majority of 
them. The traditional policy of the Indian Government has 
been for the Viceroy to appoint a British "Resident," an 
officer of high rank, who resides at the capital of the Indian 
prince, and not only discharges the duties of a minister at 
court, but acts also as an adviser in behalf of the Indian Gov- 
ernment of the prince to whose court he is accredited. This 
Resident has the whole power of the Indian Government at 
his back, and consequently the temptation is always a very 
strong one for him to give his advice in a tone which is more 
or less authoritative, and which, it is easy to believe, often be- 
comes irritating. When the native prince is a man of dissolute 
character as happened in the case of the last king of Oudh, 
and more recently in that of the ruler of the State of Baroda 


be may wholly disregard the advice of the Resident, in which 
case the relations between them become so strained as sooner 
or later to call for interference on the part of the Viceroy. 
If the prince gives way, and actually corrects the abuses 
which were pointed out to him, all is well ; if not, the Vice- 
roy may hesitate for a season, but, when the emergency be- 
comes urgent, does not shrink from deposing the prince and 
putting a successor on the throne. Before the Mutiny the 
usual policy was to annex such a State to British territory; 
but that policy has been abandoned, and probably will not 
be resumed. It is true, Burma has been recently annexed, 
but the circumstances were very exceptional. Not only had 
the prince proved himself utterly incapable, but grave fears 
were entertained that another European power might gain 
access to the country if it were not annexed. 

The total population of the Feudatory States, by the last 
census, is 64,123,230. Opinions differ very widely as to the 
soundness of the policy of maintaining these semi-inde])endent 
States scattered about in diiferent parts of the great Indian 
Empire. Some able men have maintained that it would 
have been better if they had all been swept away long years 
ago, and the whole empire placed under a single administra- 
tion, with the same laws and usages in operation from one 
extremity of the country to the other. Others, again, regard 
these States as invaluable, not only to the Indian Govern- 
ment, but to the best possible development of the empire and 
improvement of the people. Beyond all doubt, they have 
proved a bulwark in time of danger to the British power in 
India. When the great Mutiny brought on a crisis such as 
had never before confronted the Indian Government, the 
rulers of these States, with scarcely an exception, stood 
loyally by the imperiled English power, 'wisely foreseeing 
that the overthrow of the English in India meant that many 
of them must share the fate of the falling empire. This fact 
alone would probably suffice to make the policy of retaining 
these States in their present condition permanent ; but, aside 


from this, there are other reasons why they should be main- 
tained, if not exactly in their present form, at least under a 
purely Indian administration. They serve as training-schools 
for Indian statesmen such as can not, under existing circum- 
stances, be found in British India. Young men who are na- 
tives of India may sometimes rise to very prominent positions 
in Bombay or Calcutta, both social and official ; but they 
can never find such a career in either of those cities as is 
.open to them in some of the native capitals. A Bengali has 
for years occupied a seat upon the Supreme Bench of the Cal- 
cutta High Court; but this is a poor prize to be won in com- 
parison with that of being Prime Minister at one of the native 
courts. When it is remembered that all India is, or ought to 
be, a great training-school for the people of the land, the 
value of these Feudatory States to the rising youth of the 
country can hardly be overestimated. On the other hand, it 
must be frankly admitted that their government is, in many 
instances, very unsatisfactory. Roads and public works of every 
kind are neglected, oppression often becomes very grievous, 
and the intolerable abuses with which all Asiatic countries 
have long been familiar are tolerated in open day. This must 
be conceded; but to all this the apologist of the Feudatory 
States will reply that the people seem to love to have it so. 
Any one who thoroughly understands human nature can be- 
lieve this to be possible. Men love good government, no 
doubt, in all parts of the world, and the poor are fond of pro- 
tection and justice; but nevertheless it must be conceded by 
every one who understands, not merely the people of India, 
but the great human family of which he himself is a member, 
that ordinary human beings would rather be governed un- 
justly by their own rulers than have their affairs administered 
with justice by strangers. 

With few exceptions, writers on India have taken the po- 
sition that the India of to-day can never become a homo- 
geneous empire, and permanently take its place as such among 
the great powers of the world. In one of his great speeches on 


India, John Bright is reported to have said that no man, 
with even a "glimmering of common sense," could look upon 
such a result as a possible contingency of the future ; and 
this remark has been quoted with approval by Sir John 
Strachey, who has a thorough knowledge of India, both past 
and present. Nevertheless, I venture to take a place in the 
ranks of the small minority who look upon the Empire of 
India as a permanent factor in the final adjustment which is 
to be made among the great powers of the earth. 

Geographically, India was made in the first place to be 
the home of one great nation ; and He who marks out the 
boundaries of all human habitations certainly seems to be 
conducting the people to the very destiny which leading 
statesmen of the present day pronounce a permanent impossi- 
bility. It is true that India is divided into many diverse 
nationalities, that her people speak many different languages, 
and that race antipathies and religious differences are as 
sharply defined within the bounds of the empire as anywhere 
else in the world. Added to this, all the traditions of the 
people seem to point in the direction opposite to final im- 
perial union under a single government, while the caste di- 
visions of the people, which have so long paralyzed all tend- 
encies toward union, are not only powerfully felt at the 
present day, but are believed by many to be inseparable from 
the very instincts of the people. But, on the other hand, new 
influences are at work which have never been felt before. 
The bonds of caste are certainly growing weaker, while the 
people are being drawn together, not only by the influence of 
the English education common alike to all, but by common 
political interests, which are appreciated in precisely the same 
way by all the educated classes of the empire. Added to 
this is a consideration which hardly any writer on the subject 
seems to have thought it worth while even to mention : India 
is destined to become a Christian empire, and before many 
generations will have only one religion. When that great 
change takes place, an active, vigorous Christianity will do 


more in a century to weld all the diverse peoples of tlie 
peninsula into one great nation than all other influences 
combined have done in the past thousand years. During a 
residence of more than thirty years in the country, I have 
distinctly noticed among the more intelligent classes a slowly 
evolving hut steadily growing feeling of Indian nationality; 
and looking at the question purely as one of probabilities, I 
do not hesitate for a moment to express my opinion strongly 
in favor of the permanency of the empire. This remark is 
made without any reference whatever to the permanency of 
English rule. This phase of the subject will be discussed at 
greater length in another chapter. For the present, suffice it 
to say that the only thing which can prevent India from taking 
her place among the great empires of the world before the 
lapse of many centuries possibly before the lapse of many 
generations would be the premature withdrawal of the En- 
glish power from the country. 

Cl)apber IV. 

IN the last chapter it was pointed out that England did not 
seek for permanent possessions in India, and that the En- 
glish people, at nearly every period of the past, have been 
opposed to further extension of territory in the East. To all 
remarks of this kind, however, the reader, especially in 
America, is at once tempted to reply : '^ Why, then, does Eng- 
land continue to hold India? If she has not conquered the 
people, in the strict sense of the word, if India is not a subju- 
gated country, nevertheless she is, beyond doubt, a country 
forcibly retained under the authority of another and a distant 
power. Why do not the English people at once release their 
distant dependency, and allow the people of India to manage 
their own destinies according to their best wisdom and best 
ability f^ 

Questions like these very naturally suggest themselves, 
especially when prompted by incorrect statements made by 
hurried tourists, or by writers who have never taken the 
pains to ascertain what the exact relation of India to England 
really is. In the first place, if any one lightly asks the ques- 
tion, ^^ Why does England continue to hold India ?'^ it might 
almost suffice to answer, " How can she let go her hold ?" It 
was not very difficult for Clive, by the aid of his genius and 
with the gallant body of soldiers at his back, utterly to shatter, 
at a single blow, the power of the Mogul Viceroy in Bengal; 
but from the hour that Bengal was won, it became a very 
difficult task indeed for Clive, or any one else, to give up the 
conquest which had been made. There never has been an 
hour since the day that the first foundation of British power 



in India was laid, when the English people could have left 
India without incurring a fearful responsibility for which 
history would never have forgiven them. If this was diffi- 
cult at the outset, or if it were more difficult a half century 
ago, it becomes simply an impossibility at the present day. 
JS^o living statesman, knowing the circumstances, would take 
it upon himself to withdraw the authority which now holds 
the vast Indian Empire in the embrace of peace, and let loose 
from the four winds all the elements of discord and rivalry, 
of ambition and avarice, of war and rapine, which must in- 
evitably follow the departure of the last English ruler from 
the shores of India. Nor could any living statesman for a 
moment think of arresting the progress which is now im- 
printing its traces upon every part of the vast empire, and, 
turning back the hands upon the dial of time, bid the sev- 
enteenth century resume its reign over one-fifth of the 
human race. 

I do not for a moment pretend to say that England gains 
nothing by her present connection with India. She gains 
very much in many ways, but not in the way that the first 
English adventurers in India hoped or expected. She gains 
chiefly in her commerce, not for the enriching of a few 
monopolists, but of the great English nation; and this, of 
course, adds to her power. She gains also in her political 
prestige and power throughout the whole earth. Whether 
the Indian soldier, marching side by side with European 
comrades, is ever destined to take an honored place on the 
battle-fields of Europe may possibly be doubtful ; but it can 
not be questioned that the simple fact that the great Empire 
of India, with its standing army of 230,000 men, is a de- 
pendency of England, with its vast army moving in obedi- 
ence to the commands of the Crown, must give to the Brit- 
ish Empire an importance in the eyes of all nations far be- 
yond what it would otherwise enjoy. Another advantage 
which is sometimes referred to in an unfriendly spirit, is the 
opportunities for employment which India offers to young 


Englishmen. It is but natural that the Indian should look 
upon every English youth who comes out to take up work 
in India as something more than a rival ; as, indeed, an un- 
just supplanter of the children of the soil; but in these days 
of freedom, when Germans are pressing to India in large num- 
bers and competing with Englishmen on equal terms, this 
objection loses much of its force. In official position the 
Englishman has undoubtedly the preference, and in all the 
higher positions this preference practically amounts almost 
to a monopoly ; but these posts, after all, are somewhat lim- 
ited in number, and although the Indian gains very slowly 
upon his European rival, yet as the years go by he will con- 
tinue to gain, and it is only a question of time when he shall 
have won many positions which are now beyond his reach. 
But perhaps the greatest benefit which India confers upon 
England is in the outlet which it furnishes for English cap- 
ital. This is a feature of the case which Clive and Warren 
Hastings never could have foreseen. But for this resource 
the great material progress which has been witnessed in 
India during recent years could never have been accom- 
plished. The railways have been built almost exclusively 
with English capital, and while it is very true that England 
will ultimately gain a large return for the capital invested, it 
is none the less true that India gains, not only the use of the 
capital itself, but the material progress which these invest- 
ments make possible. It is probable, too, that we have only 
seen the beginning of this outflow of capital from England to 
the East. Indeed, it is one of the great marvels of the age 
how money accumulated at the great centers of modern civili- 
zation is beginning to flow to the utmost ends of the earth, 
and seek investment in all manner of material enterprises. 
This, indeed, bids fair to serve as a relief to what would 
otherwise be a state of financial congestion in a few of the 
great cities of the world ; and it is a pleasing thought that, at 
a time when ordinary figures no longer suffice for reckoning 
up the accumulated wealth of the great Christian nations, 


God in his providence seems about to direct the use of this 
wealth in such a way that it shall serve a great purpose in 
hastening the civilization of the human race. 

If, now, we ask what India gains by her connection with 
England, the answer is not so difficult to give. Her first 
great gain can be stated in a single word peace. That 
which she had hardly known in a thousand years, a state of 
peace throughout all her widely extended borders, has now 
come to be the normal condition of the empire. Here and 
there, it is true, on the distant frontiers, a little war is heard 
of now and then, but not of more importance than the Indian 
wars with which the American people have always been 
familiar, while throughout the country at large peace holds 
her uninterrupted sway. In the next place, India gains the 
advantage of a wisely administered and, on the whole, just 
Government. This, also, is something new to every part of 
the empire. Among the great Mogul rulers there was one, 
and only one, who was not only a great ruler but a good 
one Akbar the Great. Among the many Hindu rulers of 
different parts of the country, here and there we may read 
of one who was relatively a good and just man ; but the ex- 
ceptions have been very few, and none of them have been 
such as could have influenced the empire at large. At pres- 
ent the people of India have a Government adapted to their 
present condition, and perhaps, all things considered, as 
good a Government as any other country in the world en- 
joys. Lastly, India now has a chance in the race of prog- 
ress. Beyond all doubt, the country, taken as a whole, lias 
entered upon a new career. The vitality and elasticity which 
one sees everywhere in a new country like the United States, 
as might be expected, seems almost absent in a lethargic 
country like India; but none the less it may be said of India 
as Galileo said of the world it moves. Her progress may 
be slow, but it is a great thing for such a country to make 
progress at all, and it is certainly not too much to say that 
every step of this progress would have been utterly impos- 


sible but for the presence and protection which the Govern- 
ment of India has been able to extend to the people. 

It may be proper here to correct some wrong impres- 
sions, or rather to answer some unjust accusations, which 
from time to time have been beeu brought against the Indian 
Government in American periodicals. A missionary return- 
ing to America, and moving about freely among the people, 
very often meets with persons who seem to be laboring 
under the impression that the British Government of India 
is simply an organized tyranny ; that the poor millions of the / 
empire are ground down to the very dust; that the country 
is held by the English solely for purposes of gain ; and that 
the empire is constantly drained of its wealth" for the benefit 
of the people of a distant nation. Even in India itself it not 
unfrequently happens that persons are found laboring under 
the impression that the people are cruelly taxed, and that 
especially the poor cultivators are robbed of nearly all their 
earnings in order to meet the exactions which the Govern- 
ment makes upon them for their lands. All overdrawn 
pictures of this kind do injustice, and nothing but injus- 
tice, not only to the English people, but to the Indian Gov- 
ernment. As a simple matter of fact, the people are not 
taxed half so heavily as they were in the days of the best 
of the Mogul rulers. In those olden times harassing taxes 
of many kinds were imposed such as for weddings, trees, 
religious assemblies, horses, and cattle while it is recorded 
among the archives of one of the Mogul emperors that a poll- 
tax of five dollars was imposed upon every adult male person 
who did not profess the Mohammedan religion. It seems in- 
credible that such a tax could ever have been collected, espe- 
cially when it is remembered that this would consume the 
earnings of an ordinary laborer for two months. It must also 
be remembered that money in the days of Akbar and his suc- 
cessors had more than double its present value. It need 
hardly be said that no such taxes are imposed at the present 
time. The great mass of the people are practically exempt 


from taxation altogether, and it has been pointed out that if 
an ordinary laborer abstains from alcoholic drinks, the only 
tax that will really reach him will be in the shape of the high 
duty which is imposed on salt. 

It will have to be conceded, however, that a large revenue 
is collected by the Indian Government from the land, and 
this is not explained so easily to an American reader as to an 
Englishman. Every person brought up in Great Britain is 
familiar with the idea of a farmer paying a large part of his 
income to a landlord ; and to the ordinary English mind it is 
quite sufficient to say that the Government takes the place 
of the landlord, and as such deals very generously with the 
cultivator, in order to satisfy him that there is no injustice 
in the case. Even radical writers, such as the late Professor 
Fawcett and John Stuart Mill, have pointed out that there 
is really no land-tax in India at all; that the money taken 
by the Government is simply so much money that would go 
into the pocket of the landlord if not given to the Govern- 
ment, and hence that the cultivator has nothing to complain 
of. This logic, however, often seems misty to the American 
reader. Nevertheless, it will surprise most persons who 
carefully investigate the subject, to find how very generously 
the Indian Government, in its character as landlord, deals 
with the people. While carefully drawing a distinction be- 
tween a tax and what is called land-revenue, the Govern- 
ment nevertheless deals with the people in collecting the 
land-rent in a most liberal spirit. The people of India 
have always been familiar with this method of collecting rev- 
enue, and when the English power was first established in 
India, the old-time policy was continued ; but the rates have 
been reduced from time to time, so that the average land-rent 
is now hardly more than half what it was fifty years ago. In 
theory, the State is supposed to receive one-third of the 
produce of the land, but in practice this is never carried out. 
Of the gross produce of the land, the amount received by 
Government averages from three to eight per cent, that is, 


upon the total crop. The highest amount in North India is 
sixteen per cent, while in some cases it amounts to no more 
than three per cent. This is owing to the large reductions 
which are made on account of bad land, uncertain rain-fall, 
destruction by insects, and other possible injuries, which are 
all thrown together and a general average drawn, so as to 
make the reduction quoted. In the Northwest Provinces of 
India the land-rent amounts, if we put it in the shape of a 
tax, to about eighty cents per acre, while in the Punjab it is 
not more than fifty. In Madras it is about eighty-two cents 
per acre, and in Western India perhaps a little higher. 

In connection with what has been said above, it ought 
also to be borne in mind that all the money which is exacted 
from the people of India is in reality used for India. The 
British Government, as such, gains no direct revenue from 
India. All these taxes, and all the public revenues, go 
directly into the treasury of the Indian Government, and 
consequently the people of India are maintaining their own 
Government, not an English Government, and spend their 
own money in providing for their own welfare. The Amer- 
ican missionaries in India, to a man, will bear witness that 
the Government is administered in the interests of the people, 
and it can not be sufficiently regretted that grave charges 
against the character of the Government should sometimes be 
made by persons who lightly assume that the grinding pov- 
erty of the people is wholly owing to the cruel taxation under 
which they groan. 

If any charge can be justly brought by the people of India 
against their rulers, in connection with taxation, it might, 
perhaps, be found in the peremptory way in which the policy 
of free trade has been introduced into the country. When 
cotton-mills first began to be established in India, alarm was 
quickly manifested in Manchester circles lest, with the cheap- 
ness of labor in her favor, India might wrest from Man- 
chester the supremacy which she enjoyed in cotton manufac- 
tures. For some years the Indian mills, although very 


prosperous, did not attempt to produce any of the finer qual- 
ities of cotton goods; but as time passed, it began to be more 
and more apparent that ultimately India would learn how 
to compete with all the rest of the world on most advan- 
tageous terms, and put into the market goods equal in every 
respect to those sent out from Europe. This prospect pro- 
duced such a clamor in England that pressure was, it is 
believed, brought to bear upon the Viceroy of the day, and 
after one or two attempts at reduction, the broad policy was 
finally announced, in 1882, of practically making India a 
free-trade country, and abolishing, not only the duty on 
cotton goods, but on nearly everything else. The only im- 
portant reservations were fire-arms, alcoholic drinks, tobacco, 
and salt. The last-named exception was a most unfortunate 
one. Salt is a necessity to the poorest people, and from per- 
sonal observation I long since became convinced that mill- 
ions of the people in India are not able to buy as much salt 
as they need. It seemed like a harsh measure, and one not 
dictated by the most enlightened statesmanship, to throw 
away a large source of income such as the cotton goods 
aiforded, and cling to the duty on salt, which ultimately 
must be collected from the most wretchedly poor of all the 
millions of the land. At this point it must be admitted the 
Indian has some ground for complaint; but the Indian Gov- 
ernment would no doubt reply that the error, if committed, 
was one which aimed at a more liberal policy. 

A question which is constantly asked, not only in Eng- 
land and America, but very often in India itself, is one that 
pertains to the feelings of the people toward their English 
rulers. "Are the people of India loyal to the British 
power ?'' '^ As you go among the people, especially in re- 
mote districts, how do you find them affected towards the 
English Government?" "Do you think that at heart the 
people like us ?" The first of these questions is frequently 
asked in America; the last two are very often heard in India. 

If we use the word loyal in a strict sense, it can hardly 


be said that the people of India are loyal to the British 
Government ; but, on the other hand, it would be still more 
incorrect to say that they are disloyal. The ' feeling of the 
great mass of the population a feeling which may be said 
to have been almost inherited is one of quiet acquiescence, 
rather than of active support. The great mass of the people 
of India live in rural villages, and with them the question 
which always takes precedence of every other is that of quiet 
and protection from violence and oppression. In olden times 
they were constantly harassed by raids from robbers, attacks 
from neighboring chiefs or other hostile villages, and the 
uncertainty which attends the progress of interminable wars. 
Thirty years. ago, all over North India could be seen flimsy 
mud walls erected around small towns and villages as a de- 
fense against unexpected attacks from robbers or other hos- 
tile bands. But these marks of chronic disorder are rapidly 
being effaced from the country. Whatever else the people 
may be deprived of, they certainly enjoy the blessings of 
peace and quiet. Robberies still take place; but, as a general 
rule, they are attended with no more violence than when sim- 
ilar crimes are committed in European countries. The peo- 
ple who live in villages appreciate the peace and quiet which 
they now enjoy, and, without an exception, they attribute it 
to the power of the Government whose protection they enjoy. 
I have lived among these village people a great deal, and 
talked with many of them who knew that I was not an 
Englishman, and also who had sufficient confidence in me to 
speak with freedom, and I believe I am correct in saying 
that the general feeling is one of cheerful acquiescence in the 
present state of affairs. They are satisfied with the British 
Government, and if the question were put to a vote would, 
no doubt, choose it permanently rather than run the risk of 
finding other masters who might not deal so gently with 
them. To understand this feeling the reader must remember 
that the great mass of the people in India have always been 
familiar with the rule of strangers, and it does not occur to 



them that it is within the range of possibilities that they 
should ever govern themselves. The question inevitably 
presents itself to their minds somewhat in this shape: " Our 
rulers must be aliens in any case. Shall we be satisfied with 
the English, or can we hope to find better masters if we ac- 
cept a change ?'^ When put to them in this way, nine out of 
every ten of the country people will reply that they prefer 
their present rulers. 

It must be remembered, however, that over fifty millions 
of the people of India are Mohammedans. A great many of 
these, certainly more than half, are purely Indian by birth and 
association, and are probably about as well satisfied with En- 
glish rule as their Hindu neighbors. It is very different, 
however, with the more prominent Mohammedans, many of 
whom can remember the kings of Oudh and the palmy days 
of Lucknow, and all of whom have heard from their fathers of 
the good old times when the Mussalmans were the ruling race 
throughout all Northern India. The special privileges which 
they enjoyed in former times have all been taken away, and 
now they must meet the Hindu on equal terms, not only in 
the courts of justice and in public service, but in the great 
arena where all the people of the land must contend alike for 
whatever success they may win. Many of the better edu- 
cated Mohammedans are enlightened and liberal-minded men, 
and are as well disposed toward the British Government as 
their Hindu neighbors ; but all who know the followers of 
Islam as a people will agree that an undertone of hostility 
to their Christian rulers, not always carefully suppressed, 
prevails among them. Of such men it may be truly said 
that at heart they are disloyal, and probably only await their 
opportunity for manifesting their feelings in hostile acts. 

Among the younger class of educated Hindus, also, a 
feeling of more or less pronounced hostility to English rule 
is indicated with a freedom which would surprise an outside 
observer. The press of India is as free as that of England, 
and the newspapers discuss the policy of the Government of 


the day very much after the example set them by the news- 
papers of England. Indeed, it is unfortunate that by copy- 
ing too faithfully the spirit and style of their English con- 
temporaries, the Indian papers have fallen into a habit of 
indiscriminate praise or censure, and of unrestrained expres- 
sions of feeling which often does them great injustice. The 
private thought of the writers is probably to the effect that 
as in England statesmen and editors say all manner of harsh 
and violent things about their opponents without meaning 
more than half of it, so in India they must denounce where 
they are expected to criticise, and condemn where they 
ought to inquire. If a stranger from India or China were 
to take up an ordinary daily newspaper, either in New York 
or London, and read the fierce attacks made in its columns 
upon the Government of the day, he might be led to suppose 
that the writer was bitterly hostile to the Government under 
whose protection he lived, and even ready to take up arms 
to assist in its overthrow. If we judge a large and increas- 
ing class of young men in India who talk and write after 
this style, it will undoubtedly appear as if they were disloyal 
to the British Government, and cherished bitter and hostile 
feelings against it. To some extent it must be admitted 
that such an accusation would be just, but in the strict sense 
of the word it would be going very much too far to assume 
that these men are really disloyal. 

One cause of the discontent of the educated classes is 
found in their disappointment at not finding employment 
under Government when they complete their education. For 
some reason, all pupils in Indian schools persist in cherishing 
the notion that they place the Government under an obliga- 
tion to themselves when they consent to accept an education, 
and when ready to enter upon active life they feel bitterly 
disappointed if no door of employment is open to them. In 
the nature of the case, Government service can not be given 
to more than a very small minority of all who secure even 
a good English education, and as the schools and colleges of 


the country are pouring forth a constantly increasing multi- 
tude of fairly well educated young men, many of whom earn 
a precarious living by working for nominal wages, while 
many more can not find any employment at all, the blame 
is at once, however unjustly, laid at the door of Govern- 
ment, and a spirit of discontent is thus fomented, which may 
at a future day become more serious than it is at present. 

There is also a certain amount of discontent and ill-feel- 
ing among a somewhat limited class of respectable natives, 
especially in rural districts, who do not enjoy the local pres- 
tige which was freely accorded them or their fathers in olden 
times. The higher classes in India, especially if they be- 
long, not only to a higher class, but to a higher caste, are 
the last people in the world to look with complacency upon 
the leveling process which English rule, even with all its 
limitations and reservations, is constantly carrying out. I 
have often met with singular, and sometimes amusing, illus- 
trations of the ill-feeling which lurks in the minds of some 
of the people who feel that their former prestige has been 
ruthlessly destroyed. One example will suffice to show how 
strangely our modern ideas of equality before the law are 
viewed by Hindus of this class. I was once spending a day 
in a remote travelers' bungalow among the mountains, when 
an elderly native, who belonged to a family of much local 
distinction, called on me, and, in the course of a long conver- 
sation, begged j)ermission to speak w^ith all freedom about 
public affairs. He told me that he understood fully that I 
was not an Englishman, and wished me to give him my views 
as to the relative merits of the Russian and English Govern- 
ments. He then proceeded to speak with some bitterness of 
the wrongs which men of his class had to endure under the 
Indian Government, and when I called his attention to the 
fact that there was much better public order and much more 
progress and prosperity in the province in which we were 
both then living than in the little native State west of us, he 
at once took issue with me. I could not convince him that 

INDIA AND England: 69 

the people under British rule were in any respect better off 
than than those in the native State. I then appealed to his 
knowledge of the country previous to the advent of the Brit- 
ish. It happened that the little province in which we were 
had been overrun by the Nepalese, and the people suffered so 
cruelly from their conquerors that a new adjective has been 
incorporated into their language gurkhoM the word being 
simply the tribal name of their conquerors, but now in com- 
mon use made to mean cruel or tyrannical. My visitor did 
not for a moment hesitate to say that he would prefer even 
the Nepalese to the peaceful rule of the English. I pressed 
my point by referring him to the courts, and said : " The 
poorest man in the province can go down to Srinagar and 
make his appeal to the magistrate against any one who tries 
to oppress him or do him wrong. All are equal before the 
law, and the magistrate will render as impartial justice as you 
can possibly ask or expect.'' So far from pacifying my old 
visitor, this remark simply added fuel to the flame, and he 
replied with great energy : " That is just what I complain of. 
In the days of our native Rajas, if any man without a 
well-established character ventured to go into court and lodge 
a complaint against a respectable person like myself, if he 
did not make good his accusation he knew very well that he 
would probably have both his ears cut off and be turned out 
of court. Hence, in those days no such men ever ventured 
to make a complaint or show their faces in any place near a 
court ; but now see how it is ! Any low-caste man in this 
province can not only go down to the English court at Sri- 
nagar and lodge a complaint against me, but he can compel 
me to meet him in open court face to face, and answer his 
questions, and defend myself as if I were a common man of 
no standing whatever ! It is this that we complain of. 
There is no honor, no sense of right, no justice left. That 
which you call justice and impartiality is really wrong and 
oppression." I could not convince my indignant visitor 
that he was taking the wrong view of the case, and he 


went away apparently confirmed, rather than shaken, in his 

It is easy to see that it will be a long time before the peo- 
ple of India, taken as a people, will be able to appreciate all 
the benefits of the Government under which they seem des- 
tined to live. As said in a previous chapter, it is altogether 
probable that they would prefer a bad Government of their 
own to a good Government administered by strangers, if 
they believed that the possibility of a choice was within their 
reach. They are simply human beings with the common 
instincts of other men, and would undoubtedly prefer to 
have rulers of their own; but a long ^nd painful history has 
made them familiar with the idea of being ruled by strangers, 
and hence they not only accept the inevitable, but I think 
are persuaded that, all things considered, their present Gov- 
ernment is the best they can hope to have, and one with 
which they have reason to be satisfied. 

Cl)aptl^r Y. 


IN the imperial census of India for 1881, fourteen religions 
are recognized as belonging to the empire ; namely, the 
Hindu, Mohammedan, Aboriginal, Buddhist, Christian, Sikh, 
Jain, Satnami, Kabirpanthi, Nat-worship, Parsee, Jewish, 
Brahmo, and Kumbhipathia. These names are ranged in the 
order of the numerical strength of the several religions, 
from which it will be seen that Christianity stands fifth in 
the list, and if Burma is left out and only India proper con- 
sidered, Christianity takes the fourth place. The above di- 
vision, however, is not very accurate. Contrary to the gen- 
eral impression in Christian lands, there are not only gods 
many but also sects many in India; and hence several of the 
so-called religions enumerated in the about list are, strictly 
speaking, nothing more than parts of the great composite 
structure known as Hinduism. It is verv often made a sub- 
ject of lament in England and America that missionaries 
should retain their denominational names after going to In- 
dia, as they must thereby bewilder the simple people, and 
make it impossible for them to understand how the strangers 
can be messengers of the one God, and followers of one and 
the same Saviour. As a practical matter of fact, however, this 
difficulty exists only in the minds of those who are fond of 
making such lamentations. During a missionary experience 
now nearing a third of a century, I have never in a single 
instance experienced any difficulty from this source. The 
people of India are perfectly familiar with divisions and sub- 
divisions in every religious system with which they have 
been acquainted. An intelligent Mohammedan once told me 



that there were at least a thousand diiferent minor sects 
among the Mohammedans of India. Be that as it may, they 
certainly are divided into two great camps. As for the 
Hindus, the whole system is but a conglomeration of divis- 
ions and subdivisions. It is only when the missionary comes 
in contact with the intelligent natives who have learned the 
objection from European friends, that he hears any one pro- 
fessing to be bewildered by the sectarian or denominational 
differences of missionaries. Keeping these facts in mind, 
we may at once eliminate from the above list at least three of 
the so-called religions; namely, the Satnami, Kabirpanthi, 
and Kumbhipathia. Even the Brahmos, a modern theistic 
sect of reformed Hindus, are popularly regarded by the peo- 
ple as a Hindu body. 

The mass of the people of India may be separated into 
two great divisions, Hindus and Mohammedans, in the pro- 
portion of four-fifths of the former to one-fifth of the latter. 
The term Aboriginal, used above, is merely a word to indi- 
cate the inability of the census officers to find any special term 
which could be applied to the religion of the aboriginal tribes. 
About seven millions of them are so distinct and separate in 
all that pertains to religious ideas and worship that they can 
not properly be included under the term Hindu. Perhaps 
the utmost that the word can be taken to mean is that these 
people can not properly be classed among either the Hindus 
or Mohammedans. A better division could be made by strik- 
ing oif from the list of both Hindus and Mohammedans a 
large number of ignorant and superstitious people who in 
point of intelligence and civilization do not rise very high 
above the aborigines, and including the whole of them under 
the term demon-worshipers. The missionary constantly en- 
counters this peculiar cult wherever he goes among the peo- 
ple, and so far as my own observation has extended, I incline 
to the opinion that it assumes a more decided and repulsive 
character among a certain class of Mohammedans than among 
the Hindus. If I were asked to give an account in a few 


words of the prevailing religions of India, I should say that 
the Hindus take the lead, followed at a great distance by the 
Mohammedans, while the third class of religionists are demon- 
worshipers, numbering, probably, not less than forty or fifty 
millions of the people. The Nat- worship, which is spoken of 
in the census report as peculiar to Burma, is but another form 
of this same demon-worship. Sometimes the worshipers of a 
demon are Hindus in the observance of caste, and of many of 
the forms of Hindu-worship; but, to their minds, the idol be- 
fore which they present their offerings is the representation, 
not of a god, but of a demon. Multitudes of the more igno- 
rant people believe in a kind of possession very much, in 
some of its forms, like that spoken of in the New Testament, 
but more frequently assuming phases peculiar to spiritist me- 
diums. The Mohammedans have received through their Ko- 
ran a more definite idea of Satan, as the prince of devils and 
the ruler of the powers of darkness, than the Hindus have 
ever acquired, and hence devil-worship proper is found in a 
more openly avowed form among them than among the Hin- 
dus or aborigines. In some form or other, however, this 
kind of faith, or misfaith, is exceedingly prevalent in India, 
and is strangely interwoven, not only with the ordinary re- 
ligious ideas of the people, but with many mischievous prac- 
tices which, in other nations and in various past times, have 
been known as witchcraft, necromancy, and various forms of 
the black art, and last, although never to be called least, 
modern spiritualism, or, more correctly speaking, spiritism. 

In subsequent chapters a brief account will be given of 
the leading religious systems of India ; but before attempt- 
ing that task it may be proper to speak of a few points of 
very general agreement among the people in their religious 
notions. The first remark which I shall make is one which 
will, no doubt, surprise many readers, especially if they have 
never been beyond the pale of Christian lands. A common 
impression prevails in England and America that all persons 
brought up in what are called heathen countries are abso- 


lutely ignorant of God. I am frank to confess that when, 
in early youth, I came to India as a missionary, I was under 
the impression that after learning the language my first work 
would be to convince the jieople that there was a God, the 
Creator of heaven and earth; and hence it was a surprise to 
me to find, when able to talk to the people, that when I 
spoke of the great Being who' had made all things, nobody 
was ever disposed to dispute my statement. Through all the 
years which have passed since, I believe I have never once 
found a human being who denied the existence of a Supreme 
Deity, the Creator of all things unless it was a person edu- 
V cated in Englaftd or Germany or the United States ; and in 
every such case I believe it will be found, on examination, 
that the man who accepts atheism is one who has been edu- 
cated into this view. The people of India, it is very true, act 
and talk and seem to think, as if they did not accept the ex- 
istence of God as a matter settled beyond all question. Nev- 
ertheless, whatever the experience of others may be, I can 
say that, while I have often penetrated to villages and hamlets 
where no other Christian had ever been seen or heard, and 
while I have talked to men and women who never could 
have had an opportunity of hearing from any one about even 
the simplest of the doctrines of Christianity, yet everywhere, 
when I have spoken of Him who made the heavens and the 
earth, who reared up the mountains and put the stars in their 
places, and made the earth to bloom and blossom and bear 
fruit for man, all my hearers at once have fully agreed with 
me, without any hesitation or reservation. 

Whence have they received this idea? According to the 
popular theory of the day, it will be said, no doubt, that it 
was brought into India by the Aryan ancestors of the present 
Brahmans, or if not brought with them, developed by them ; 
but this assumption is not only a mere guess, but, in view of 
all the facts of the case, is positively incredible. For instance, 
the Nat- worshipers of Burma are a people who never could 
have received the slightest impression of any kind from the 


Aryan invaders of India ; nor is there reason to believe that 
they owe anything to any people more advanced than them- 
selves in any part of the world. Mr. Bourdillon, one of the 
census officers in India, a gentleman of ability, writes of 
these people that " their worship is the first form of religion 
that primitive society has developed. They possess neither 
creed nor dogma, neither churches nor teachers, and there 
runs through them all the idea of a great Spirit who is to be 
worshiped in his various forms or manifestations in the 
world of nature, and of inferior deities, harmful or beneficent, 
whose wrath must be averted or favor secured.^' Here we 
find a primitive people, with the process of evolution in its 
first stages, and yet they have underlying their crudest 
notions a belief in a Supreme Spirit ; and as often as we go 
back to the earliest stage of society and to the most primitive 
standard of human thought so far as India, at least, is con- 
cerned we everywhere meet this idea of one great Supreme 
Being. Whatever the explanation of this may be, it can not 
be accounted for by saying that the Aryans brought the idea 
with them. They found it in India when they came, and to 
this day it lingers everywhere in the land; and I believe 
that careful examination will show that it is found every- 
where in the world. But while all agree in recognizing the 
existence of a Supreme Being, this idea is everywhere over- 
laid by the common error that, for all practical purposes, this 
Supreme Being is beyond their reach ; and hence inter- 
mediary beings of all kinds and classes are provided by the 
imagination, or by crafty priests, and the simple people made 
to believe that they must depend upon all manner of visible 
and invisible lords and masters, rather than upon Him who 
claims the supreme allegiance of all hearts. 

Another word needs to be added to complete what has 
just been said about the general belief in a Supreme Being. 
When I first became a missionary, I fully expected that, after 
learning the language of the people, it would be necessary 
for me first to teach them the existence of a God, and next 


to unfold the idea of a revelation of his will. In my sim- 
plicity and ignorance, I fully expected that, after persuading 
the people to accept God's revealed word, it would be neces- 
sary for me, from that word, to teach them the difference be- 
tween right and wrong; but after learning the language, I found 
that the great essential lines of demarkation between good and 
evil, between right and wrong, between justice and injustice, 
were recognized by them not as clearly, perhaps, as among 
Christians, and yet distinctly recognized. I have never found it 
necessary to use a single word of argument to convince any 
native of India that lying, stealing, adultery, cruelty, murder, 
drunkenness, covetousness, dishonoring parents, false witness, 
and other such sins, were sinful. In some way that distinc- 
tion has been written upon the heart and conscience of the great 
mass of the people. Here and there the lines may be a little 
obscured, and the missionary everywhere quickly perceives 
that the moral standard recognized by the people is one 
which conforms much more closely to the patriarchal than 
to the Christian code, even when emasculated by the later in- 
fluences which, to so great an extent, have crept into the 
Christian Church. Nevertheless, these two great facts are 
not only striking in themselves, but worthy of the most 
careful thought and inquiry on the part of all Christian 
students, while at the same time they afford a basis of opera- 
tion for the missionary w^hen he begins his great work, the 
value of which he appreciates more and more as the years go 
by. God has not left any of the people whom he has created 
and placed in this world in such absolute spiritual darkness 
as has too generally been supposed. 

The people of India, without regard to creed, are almost 
universally believers in fatalism in some form or other. It 
forms an important dogma in the creed of the Mohammedan, 
and is accepted universally by every Hindu. Pious Hindus 
believe that each child, on the sixth night after its birth, has its 
Y destiny for good or for evil imprinted upon its forehead; and 
they believe that the convolutions of the brain, if examined, 


would show exactly what the fate of the little one is to be. 
It need hardly be said that a belief in fatalism, so universal 
and unquestionably received by all classes of the people, has 
a benumbing effect upon their character, and not only makes 
them ready to yield to discouragement, under the impression 
that fate is against them, but prevents them from attempting 
any great achievement, especially of a moral character. It no 
doubt has contributed much to give them the patience and 
quiet endurance for which they are somewhat distinguished; 
but this does not for a moment counterbalance the evil in- 
fluences of this wrong notion. It is worth something to a 
man for him to be able to die in apparently stolid indifference, 
simply because he believes that the manner and time of his 
death have been written on his forehead in his infancy ; but 
this is a poor compensation for the paralyzing of his energy 
and the spiritual lethargy which settles permanently upi^l^ 
him, when he is taught to believe that his destiny is in no 
sense whatever within his own control. 

Another popular form of error, which has rested like a 
blight upon the Indian mind for untold ages, is their well- 
known belief in pantheism. In some form or other, not only 
the orthodox Hindus, but nearly all classes of the Indian 
people seem to be under the spell of this illogical but 
strangely fascinating doctrine. It may be stated by different 
schools of religious thought in different language, or even de- 
nied altogether by some ; but practically it is the same thing 
rising to the surface wherever one goes, and asserting itself 
in all manner of direct and indirect ways. The most ignorant 
idolater, who bows down before a rude image made out of 
baked mud, will excuse himself by saying that it is not the 
mud which he worships, but the god which is in the mud, or, 
possibly, the god of which this mud is a manifestation. 
Others, more philosophical, or at least more mystical, have 
been taught to state the case somewhat differently, and say 
there is nothing in the universe but God, and that the idol, 
and the trees, and the stars, and all external things, are but 


illusions of the senses. But a little inquiry will show that 
it is essentially the same delusive notion that is in the mind 
of both parties a confounding of the Creator with the creat- 
ure, and the practical denial of a Supreme Being, under pre- 
tense of making every object not simply an evidence of God's 
handiwork, but a visible manifestation of God himself. This 
very ancient belief may not seem so very harmful at first 
sight to ignorant people, like the mass of the natives of India ; 
but, as a matter of fact, it leads to endless mazes of error, 
and inevitably lowers their moral standard. The average 
mind can not draw distinctions which may be clear enough to 
the philosopher, and with the multitude it is but a single step 
from the deification of nature to the sanctification of sin. No 
notion is more persistent in the Hrndu mind than that sin 
can not be attributed to power; and when a whole people 
can be persuaded that wrong is not wrong when God is the 
actor, religion at once sinks into utter moral debasement, and 
all moral standards become obscured. The mind is dark- 
ened, and the fine edge of the conscience dulled by this per- 
nicious system ; and when its extraordinary hold on the 
Indian mind becomes fully known, wonder need no longer 
be expressed that people gifted with such good intellects have 
made so little progress during the past two thousand years. 

The first three chapters of Genesis, brief and fragmentary 
as they are, can only be fairly appreciated when their influence 
upon human thought and moral conduct is fully considered. 
One has to live in India a third of a century to be able to 
appreciate the simple story of creation and man's first ex- 
perience in Eden. More vital religious truth, and more of 
those truths which primitive people need, are crowded into 
those three chapters than can be found in all the sacred books 
of all the ancient and modern nations of the earth. The ex- 
istence of God, his spirituality, personality, supreme author- 
ity; the absolute subordination of matter; the nature of sin, of 
temptation, of guilt, of alienation from God, of man's free 
moral agency, including the direct personal responsibility of 


each individual, all these vital truths are taught by word 
and illustration so simply and so clearly that peasant and 
philosopher alike comprehend them. Whether Moses wrote 
the story or not, whether it was all written at once or col- 
lected from different countries and different ages, the extraor- 
dinary fact remains that those three chapters have cut out 
the channels in which the best thought and purest convic- 
tions of the race have flowed for ages upon ages past. But 
for them, modern civilization, modern thought, and modern 
progress must have been forever impossible. But for them, 
the I Anglo-Saxon intellect would to this day be struggling 
vaiijily to free itself from the interminable cobwebs of error 
which have, through all the long years of its history, obscured 
the vision of the Indian branch of the Aryan race. 

While no attempt is made in this chapter to give, even in 
outline, an account of the popular religious systems of India, 
it may not be amiss to insert here the latest religious statis- 
tics of the empire, as furnished by the census taken in Feb- 
ruary, 1891. The aggregate population indicated in this table 
is larger than that furnished by the general table in which 
population alone is given; but for practical purposes these 
figures may be accepted as sufficiently accurate to indicate 
the relative strength of the religious divisions of the people. 
The small but influential body known as Parsees, not given 
in this table, numbers only 90,000. 



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C|)apber VI. 


IT would require a volume much larger than this to contain 
even an abridged account of the rise, progress, and present 
condition of the gigantic religious system popularly known 
by the name of Hinduism. It would require, for instance, a 
history dating back at least three thousand years, a sketch of 
a series of philosophical systems which touch at many points 
the speculations of many of the ablest thinkers of ancient and 
modern times, of a ritualism more elaborate than that of the 
Levites, of a social system the most complex and cumbersome 
ever known, and of a polytheism which touches at one or 
more points every other form of polytheism known among 
men. Sir Monier Williams very truthfully remarks that "no 
description of Hinduism can be exhaustive which does not 
touch on almost every religious and philosophical idea that 
the world has ever known.'' No elaborate description of 
such a religion can be attempted in the present volume, writ- 
ten as it is for the special purpose of putting the India of to- 
day before the American Christian public ; hence I shall only 
speak briefly of that religious system called Hinduism, which 
the missionary encounters when he begins his work in India. 
In the first place, the missionary, on his arrival, is puzzled 
and disappointed. He does not find the Hinduism of which 
he has read ; and perhaps for years he struggles in vain to get a 
clear idea of the religion of the people among whom he lives. 
Very few of them, even of the more intelligent, can give him 
much light. They are accustomed to accept life, with all its 
incidents, as they find it, and never pause to ask the reason 
why, unless when some new course of action is presented to 



them. They are found worshiping one idol to-day, and 
another to-morrow; attending one festival this week, and 
another of a very different character a month or two hence, 
without clearly understanding why they go to one or the 
other, or what the original character or ultimate purpose 
of either festival is. The idea of systematic religious truth 
is as foreign to their minds as it is to the outward faith 
which they profess by word and worship. As often as the 
missionary tries to reduce what he sees before him to some 
kind of order, he loses himself in interminable mazes of 
sacred writings, popular tradition, and outward forms of wor- 
ship, which baffle all his attempts to reduce them to intelli- 
gible order. I can not do better than to quote again from 
Sir Monier Williams : 

"Starting from the Veda, Hinduism has ended in embracing 
something from all religions, and in presenting phases suited to all 
minds. It is all-tolerant, all-compliant, all-comprehensive, all-absorbing. 
It has its spiritual and its material aspect, its esoteric and exoteric, its 
subjective and objective, its rational and irrational, its pure and its 
impure. It may be compared to a huge polygon, or irregular multi- 
lateral figure. It has one side for the practical, another for the se- 
verely moral, another for the devotional and imaginative, another for 
the sensuous and sensual, and another for the philosophical and spec- 
ulative. Those who rest in ceremonial observances find it all-suffi- 
cient; those who deny the efficacy of works, and make faith the one 
requisite, need not wander from its pale ; those who are addicted to 
sensual objects may have their tastes gratified; those who delight in 
meditating on the nature of God and man, the relation of matter 
and spirit, the mystery of separate existence, and the origin of evil, 
may here indulge their love of speculation. And this capacity for 
almost endless expansion causes almost endless sectarian divisions, 
even among the followers of any particular line of doctrine." 

It is usual to explain the present extraordinary compre- 
hensiveness of Hinduism by beginning with the ancient 
Yedas, and tracing up to the present day the gradual devel- 
opment of the system which now admits without challenge 
all truths and all errors, all virtues and all vices, and only 


insists that all shall wear its brand. But it is not strictly 
correct to speak of the Vedas as in any proper sense belong- 
ing to Hinduism. Of the Vedic religion it can only be said 
that it was once professed by the ancestors of the present 
Hindus, and that reformers in the present time try in vain 
to draw the popular mind back again to what they believe a 
purer collection of sacred books than those of more recent 
date. For many years no one knows how many the an- 
cient Aryans, with a more or less distinct recognition of one 
Supreme Deity, worshiped the chief powers of nature, and 
maintained and lived a simple, patriarchal kind of life. 
At a later period, a class of priests make their appearance 
among them, to whom, in due time, the name of Brahman 
is assigned. It is not clearly known, and probably never will 
be known, how these priests originated. We only know that 
at an early period the Brahman is found in a prominent 
place, and persistently pushing his way, not only to a recog- 
nized position as a religious teacher, but to other posts ot 
authority wherever an opportunity was offered him. In the 
course of long years the well-known system of caste grew 
up, and the Brahman was found at the head of the social 
scale. The soldier naturally took the second place, and at 
certain periods it would seem, from references in the sacred 
books, that he even compelled the Brahman to recognize his 
superiority. The third caste, which used to be stated in all 
books on India as that of the . merchants, was really the 
farmer class, which, in time, was made to include the simple 
traders of early times ; while a large class called Sudras, or 
servants, who were held in utter subjection, were probably 
the descendants of conquered tribes, who were incorporated 
among the Aryan settlers, and permitted to live very much 
as the Gibeonites of old were granted a precarious existence 
among the ancient Hebrews. The evil principle of caste was 
incorporated into this first division ; but in the nature of 
the case it would have been impossible to have preserved 
this fourfold division unbroken through many generations. 


-A lliances whether irregular or with the sanction of marriage, 
we can not tell were undoubtedly formed, from time to time, 
between higher castes and lower; and these, each in its turn, 
gave rise to new castes, until, instead of the original four, it 
would now be impossible to state even approximately how 
many castes there are in India. While the ancient chief di- 
visions remain, each in its turn has been divided and subdi- 
vided, while others, again, from the great masses of outlying 
people, have been incorporated into the Hindu system, so 
that now it would be no exaggeration to say that there are 
many thousands of Hindu castes. 

The rise of caste among the Hindus marks a most im- 
portant point in the development of the system. It is the 
one vital issue which the Hindus never lose sight of, and 
meets the missionary everywhere. The admission of a new 
caste into the general community does not in any way affect 
those already in existence. It merely means that a certain 
number of persons, for reasons satisfactory to themselves, 
have united in a new brotherhood, or social guild, and sub- 
jected themselves to the restraints which the general caste 
system imposes. So long as they do this of their own accord, 
no one cares, and the general body of Hindus is in no wise 
afiected by their action. But if they attempt to form such an 
organization, and at the same time ignore caste altogether, it 
becomes a very different case, and by that one act they put 
themselves utterly without the pale of the general Hindu 
community. In like manner, Brahmanism has survived all 
the changes which, in the course of hundreds and even thou- 
sands of years, have passed over the people, and maintains its 
position as rigidly as ever. These two points are cardinal to 
the system a recognition of caste, and a recognition of Brah- 
manism. No man can be orthodox, in the popular sense of 
the word, and retain an unchallenged position in the Hindu 
community, who refuses to respect the Brahman, or to regard 
the sanctions of caste. 

Some centuries before the Christian era. Buddhism took 


its rise In India, at first in the guise of a great relig- 
ious reform. It has beeii well pointed out that it was, in 
reality, a great Hindu heresy. It affected most profoundly 
the development of Hinduism for a long period, and in some 
parts of the country seemed to have well-nigh overthrown it. 
When, however, after many centuries of varied fortunes, Hin- 
duism permanently gained the ascendency, it won, and finally 
retained the lead, by forming what would seem to have been 
almost an avowed alliance with every form of gross idolatry 
with which India was at that time filled. The popular tra- 
ditions and superstitions of the people were incorporated 
without hesitation into the Hindu system, and in this way 
many of the most popular deities in the modern Hindu pan- 
theon were really borrowed from the ignorant and gross idol- 
aters of the country, who had been utterly despised by the 
Brahmans in their more palmy days. It will thus be seen 
that the Hinduism of to-day is comparatively a modern re- 
ligion. It is but remotely connected with the ancient Vedic 
religion, and in many of its forms could not be traced back 
even to the Brahman ic period. 

In one of the quotations given above, Hinduism Is spoken 
of as a tolerant religion. This statement, however, needs to 
be qualified. The missionary, when he begins his work in 
India, does not find Hinduism by any means a tolerant re- 
ligion, and is bewildered for a time w4ien he is told that it is 
more tolerant than Christianity. Many superficial wTiters in 
Christian lands play with the Avords " tolerant '' and "toler- 
ation '^ in such a manner as to make it appear that Christian- 
ity is the most intolerant system in the world; but, as a mat- 
ter of fact, it is the only religion that really understands the 
principle of true toleration. The Hindu, when he speaks of 
toleration, means that if you let him alone he will let you 
alone; that if you will let him maintain his religion in peace, 
and not attempt to teach his boys any other religious truths 
than those which were known to his ancestors, he will let 
your boys alone, and not attempt to proselyte them. He 


assumes, as an axiom never to be questioned, that all people are 
to remain in the religious household in which they are born; 
and very graciously consents to let all other people live in 
the same peace which he enjoys, so long as there is a truce to 
religious proselytism. Mohammedans, in like manner, will 
often concede as mucB. If it is distinctly understood that no 
Mohammedan is to be allowed to change his faith, they are 
often willing to allow Christians all manner of privileges, and 
have often been applauded in public magazines for their ex- 
traordinary toleration. But the true test to apply to a Mo- 
hammedan or to a Hindu is for one of his sons to venture to 
take the Jiberty of changing his religious views. In a second 
the toleration of the father is at an end. He understands 
nothing whatever about the freedom of the conscience or the 
religious rights of the individual. Hence the Hindu has ad- 
mitted one horrible and revolting form of idolatry after 
another into his system, but always with the understanding 
that there is to be no proselytism, and that the people thus 
incorporated into the Hindu body politic will never fail to 
maintain rigidly the standard rules of caste, by which they 
bind themselves not to eat, or drink, or smoke, or intermarry 
with people of other castes, and also to retain and manifest a 
proper respect for the omnipresent Brahman. This is not tol- 
eration in any proper sense of the word, as the reader can 
easily see. 

Modern Hinduism, then, is simply a religious name which 
is applied to all the forms of idolatry which were found in 
India during the two or three centuries following the fall of 
Buddhism, all incorporated together under a common name, 
and subjected to the rules of caste, and to an outward respect 
for the authority of the Brahmans as the religious leaders of 
the community. It is a system which necessarily includes 
some very evil doctrines and practices, accepting, as it unhes- 
itatingly does, men who believe all possible forms of truth or 
error, as the case may be. The atheist and the fetich wor- 
shiper are equally at home in a system which makes every- 


thing of outward conformity to artificial tests, and cares 
nothing for individual beliefs or practice. Even reformed 
sects, which originally started in direct opposition to caste 
and Brahman domination, have not been able to separate 
themselves wholly from the Hindu community, because they 
have not been brave enough to take a position of absolute in- 

The reader can see at a glance how these facts must aifect 
the position of the Christian missionary. He comes to India 
to teach certain absolute truths, and he has learned to 
reverence truth to such a degree that he can not for a mo- 
ment compromise with error; nor can he tolerate error, in the 
proper sense of the word. He is willing to tolerate the vic- 
tim of error, and lo allow him to teach his error with all 
freedom; but he can not condone it, or accept it as prac- 
tically equal to that which he regards as truth, but must op- 
pose it, and expose it, by turning in the light of God's word 
upon it, so that its hideous outlines may be distinctly seen, and 
the people persuaded to forsake it. In like manner he sees 
at a glance that no man can be, in the best sense of the 
word, a man, in the free use of his mind and in free obedi- 
ence to his conscience, unless he can be induced to trample 
on the system of caste. He also sees that Brahman suj)rem- 
ac)^ is a stifling, crushing burden, which rests upon the people, 
and must be thrown off before there can be any real progress 
toward a better religious and social existence in the laud. 
The result is, that the Hindu almost instinctively recognizes 
the missionary at first as a foe, and always as a religious op- 
ponent; and for a long time it is impossible for him to com- 
prehend how a man can be opposed to caste and to Brahman 
domination, and yet be tolerant of the existence of both. In 
other words, the Hindu assumes that the missionary must use 
unfair means of some kind in the prosecution of his mission; 
and as he has never in his life' acted on the principle of per- 
fect religious freedom, he is incapable of understanding what 
the missionary means when he says he will leave the whole 


matter to the free choice of the old and young whom he 
teaches. To propose to a Hindu that men are to be allowed 
to choose for themselves, and that no man is to interfere 
with them when they make their choice, is to introduce a 
rule which seems to him a thousand years ahead of the age. 
He can not understand it, and for many years the missionary 
has patiently to bide his time, until one illusion after 
another passes away, as the people begin to turn to Chris- 
tianity and exercise the freedom which God, in his provi- 
dence, has placed within their reach. 

While the utmost diversity of opinion prevails among the 
Hindus, there is a very general agreement among them in 
relation to a few most important doctrines, all of which are 
founded upon radical error. With very few exceptions, they 
all believe in the transmigration of the soul after death. 
The men of to-day have lived before, either in a higher or 
low^er state, and they will live again after death. The bad 
man will be born again in a degraded form, and thus pun- 
ished for his sins, while the good man will be born with a 
nobler nature, and thus rewarded. The serpent or the jackal 
of to-day may have been a human being ages ago, and is now 
undergoing punishment for past sins. The Christian idea of 
heaven and hell is hardly perceived by the Hindu. He, too, 
believes in a heaven and a hell, but each is a mere episode 
in the long and dreary progress of the soul towards its ulti- 
mate destiny. Keither is final, and not every soul is des- 
tined to enjoy or suffer the one or the other. The missionary 
needs to understand this well, else much of his gospel will be 
misunderstood. The Rev. S. Knowles, of Oudh, said, some 
years ago, that after many years of preaching to the Hindus 
he was finally surprised to discover that he was not under- 
stood by them at this point, and that a new interest was at 
once evoked when he began to proclaim that Jesus Christ, at 
a single stroke, could deliver the soul from all its wander- 
ings, and give it rest and peace in God. To hold out to a 
Hindu the hope of escape from future transmigration, is very 


much the same as to offer the hope of deliverance from a 
future hell, and eternal felicity in heaven, to one accustomed 
to Western modes of thought. 

Another pernicious error found everywhere among the 
Hindus is, that the union of the soul with the body is neces- 
sarily evil, and the source of constant evil to every one. 
This is true of every such union that is, of every birth in 
the present and coming ages. It is a striking fact that while 
such an opinion would be instantly denied by every intelli- 
gent person in England or America who bears the Christian 
name, yet, practically, very many people seem to assume that 
this doctrine is true. Practically, very many persons, if not 
indeed a large majority, assume that the evil of life in the 
present world can be traced to our union with a material 
body. The thought is not thus expressed, but this is the 
practical outcome. Every one hopes to be all right when he 
gets out of this world, assuming that the body which con- 
nects him with this world is the connecting link between him 
and all his miseries, and forgetting that good or evil is found 
in ourselves, and not in the house of clay in which, for a 
time, we chance to dwell. In India, however, the universal 
acceptance of this religious tenet leads to all manner of mis- 
taken notions and practices. The body is regarded as an 
enemy, and treated accordingly. If enfeebled by fasting, 
punished by painful austerities, and its dissolution hastened 
by neglect, it is all, in the eyes of the pious Hindu, working 
out the best interest of the individual. This also tends 
powerfully to support the fatalism spoken of in a previous 
chapter, naturally leading the individual to assume that while 
in the body he can not help himself, and must accept the evil 
that comes to him as a part of his inevitable fate. 

Hinduism is well known in Western lands for its doctrine 
of incarnations a doctrine which very naturally has created 
no little interest in the minds of Christians, who recognize the 
absolute importance of a divine incarnation to their own sys- 
tem. Thus far, however, students of Indian mythology have 


not found very much in the Hindu doctrine of special value 
to Christian theologians. The incarnations of Vishnu are 
ten in number, nine of which have already taken place, 
while the tenth is believed to be still future. These incar- 
nations are now admitted by nearly all Indian students to 
have been comparatively modern, and little trace of the doc- 
trine is found in the more ancient Hindu w^ritings. Various 
theories have been proposed to account for the origin of such 
a belief, and for the free use that has been made of it in the 
domain of mythology; but thus far conjecture is the only aid 
which the student finds when searching for the rise and 
progress of this now prominent and very popular belief. We 
only know that in other countries than India and Judsea, 
a similar belief has often beeii entertained, and may very 
easily assume that a felt want of the soul found expression 
in some past age of Hinduism, probably by the aid of one of 
the many devotional thinkers, or speculators, who from time 
to time, in past ages, appeared in Hindu society, and gave 
new turns to religious thought and worship. The coming 
incarnation, which is to be the last of the series, is popularly 
known in North India as the "sinless incarnation.^' He is 
announced to appear in the city of Sambhal, in Rohilkhand, 
although in other parts of India this tradition does not seem 
to be known, or at least not generally accepted. All agree, 
however, that when he comes he is to put an end to the 
present age, destroy the wicked, and establish righteousness 
upon the earth. All creation is to be renewed, and the world 
of the future is to be one of beauty and purity and joy. 
Some missionaries and many native preachers make much use 
of this tradition by proclaiming that the sinless incarnation 
has already come; and in some cases they succeed in not only 
attracting hearers, but stirring up a very lively spirit of in- 
quiry concerning the character and history of the great in- 
carnation of the Christians. 

The well-known belief of the Hindus in a sacred Triad, 
known as Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver, and 


Shiva the Destroyer, has led many to suppose that the Chris- 
tian doctrine of a Divine Trinity is faintly reflected in this 
feature of Hinduism; but a close examination of the Hindu 
system quickly dispels this idea. There is no real unity in the 
Hindu trinity. It is a triad, but not a trinity. Vishnu and 
Shiva are often represented as antagonistic, and bitter, long- 
standing feuds have often occurred between the votaries of the 
two deities. It is very true that in popular phrase, and ac- 
cording to philosophic tradition, the three deities are spoken 
of as Trimurti that is, three-formed, or triply manifested 
but in the strife of rival sects this idea is utterly lost. No one 
thinks of Vishnu and Shiva as standing in any more special 
relation to one another than Neptune and Pluto occupied in 
classic mythology. The idea of a supreme Triad was evidently 
evolved somewhat slowly, and certainly seems to illustrate the 
necessity for such a manifestation of the invisible God as we 
find in the Father, Son, and Spirit, revealed in the Bible ; but 
all analogy ceases at the point of origin of the Hindu deities. 
Brahma, the so-called Creator, stands wholly in the back- 
ground in the popular mind, and is said to have only one 
temple in all India. He is seldom worshiped, and has but 
few avowed followers. Vishnu, the Preserver, is brought 
into great prominence by his numerous incarnations, and is 
probably the most popular member of the Triad. Shiva, 
however, is the most universally revered, probably owing to 
the fact that in some of his forms he becomes an object of 
terror to his votaries, and fear, added to superstition, is a 
great motive power in the Hindu mind. In India the " De- 
stroyer ^^ is not known by the name Shiva. His earlier name 
was Rudra, who w^as a veritable destroyer; but in time he 
became known in another form and with another name 
Shiva, the Beproducer thus taking up, in part at least, the 
work which originally had been assigned to Brahma. As 
Shiva, he restored what he, as Rudra, had destroyed. Next 
he assumed the form of a great ascetic, with a naked body 
smeared with ashes, Avearing matted hair, and forming a 


repulsive object, which is faithfully imitated by multitudes of 
devotees to the present day. A fourth form, supposed to be 
of modern origin, is that of a malignant destroyer in fact, a 
demon rather than a god. In this character he bears the 
name of Bhairava, and wears garlands of serpents and a 
string of skulls for a necklace, and in every respect forms as 
repulsive and malignant a character as the active Oriental 
imagination can depict. He appears in still another charac- 
ter, somewhat the reverse of the last, as a mountain god, 
fond of pleasure, devoted to dancing and drinking, and sur- 
rounded by troups of dwarfs. In this last character his wor- 
ship is the most degrading and immoral known in India. 
The wife of Shiva in his various characters is known by dif- 
ferent names, the most popular of which is Kali. In this 
character she excels her husband in her love of wanton de- 
struction, and her image is perhaps as revolting an object of 
worship as can be found anywhere in the world. It so hap- 
pens that the great Hindu temple in the suburbs of Calcutta, 
to which all travelers are conducted, is devoted to the wor- 
ship of this goddess, and hence most persons who are permit- 
ted to catch a glimpse of the disgusting image go away with 
a much more unfavorable idea of Hinduism than a wider 
acquaintance with the system would give them. At her best, 
however, the consort of Shiva is a wretched deity, and no 
one who comprehends even faintly the blighting eifect upon 
the heart and mind which the adoration of such an object 
must cause, can think with indifference of the manner in 
which millions prostrate themselves before this revolting 

The successive changes of character given to the third 
member of the Triad illustrates in a striking way the rapid 
declension of modern Hinduism. The latest manifestation of 
Shiva is the lowest and most degrading. The same remark is 
true, in a general way, of popular Hinduism everywhere. Its 
latest phases are its worst. If any process of evolution has at- 
tended its progress, it has been an evolution of evil, and not of 


good. The ancient Aryans, in their original home in Central 
Asia, no doubt held in common with their brethren who sub- 
sequently became the Persians of history, a belief in one Su- 
preme Being, the Creator and Lord of all men. It seems 
very probable that the disruption which originally occurred 
between these two branches of the great Aryan family was 
over a religious question. The Indian Aryans made their 
first downward step by adopting certain of the great powers 
of nature as objects of veneration. From that point on, their 
religious progress has been steadily downward, until now the 
cow is more venerated than the ancient god of storms, and the 
serpent especially the cobra held more sacred than any un- 
seen being whatever. The monkey is almost equally an ob- 
ject of veneration, while the elephant and the peacock, and a 
hundred other creatures which might be named, are every- 
where recognized as objects worthy of the adoration of the 
human heart. The cow is more sacred to the ordinary 
Hindu than most men of his own race, and always much 
more sacred than persons of the lower castes. To kill an 
out-caste is a venial oifense in comparison with killing a cow; 
and to such an extreme do they carry the notion of the guilt 
of cow-killing that I once knew a poor peasant to be fined 
tw^enty dollars because one of his cows chanced to fall over a 
precipice, and died from the effects of the fall. His fellow- 
castemen assembled, gravely tried the case, and inflicted what 
was to the poor man a very heavy fine, which they proceeded 
to collect on the spot. 

Hinduism, as a religion, can not make progress in any 
good direction, and contains in itself many elements of decay 
and death. But it is by no means near its end. New temples 
are built every year, and many signs of activity, if not of vi- 
tality, appear from time to time among its votaries ; but none 
the less, Hinduism is in a state of hopeless decline. It will 
linger long in remote districts, and cling desperately to its 
historic shrines; its traditions will be fondly cherished by the 
multitude ; and long after it has ceased to be the acknowledged 


faith of the people of India, its spirit will appear and reap- 
pear in a thousand forms among the contending forces which 
a new era and a new civilization will bring upon the stage 
of popular life. No religion was ever rooted so deeply in the 
history, traditions, social life, and prejudices of any people as 
Hinduism is among the people of India ; and it will be strange 
indeed if it does not affect in many ways and for many gen- 
erations the Christianity which is soon to supplant it. 

Cl)apber VIL 


BUDDHISM is an Indian religion, although it is no 
longer a religion in India. A few Buddhists are found 
in some of the districts bordering on Thibet, and a few Bur- 
mese and Chinese Buddhists have settled in Calcutta; but 
aside from these, scarcely any one bearing the name of Bud- 
dhist can be found in India proper. I might therefore well 
pass over the subject of Buddhism in writing of the India of 
the present day; but such an extraordinary interest in every- 
thing pertaining to Buddhism and its founder has been ex- 
cited in Western lands, especially since the publication of Sir 
Edwin Arnold's ^^ Light of Asia," that probably no book on 
India would be considered complete which wholly omitted 
the subject. It has been well said that the interest created 
in certain circles in America by Sir Edwin Arnold^s remark- 
able book amounted almost to a craze. Many intelligent 
persons were led to form exaggerated notions of the charac- 
ter of Gautama, of the reforms inaugurated by him, and of 
his influence upon the Asiatic mind. It suited the temper of 
the times to believe that Christianity was only one of several 
Asiatic forms of faith, and less effective on its own soil than 
the system of truth founded by the great Indian reformer. 
A similar craze took possession of many minds above a gen- 
eration earlier, when the popular translations of the Sanskrit 
sacred books began to appear. It was then supposed, if not 
hoped, by many, that a rich mine of sacred truths was about 
to be uncovered, and that the Bible would no longer retain its 
prominence, even in Christian lands. That dream has long 
since vanished, and the present illusion will disappear in like 

7 97 


manner. The founder of Buddhism was a great man, and 
the religion which grew out of his teachings forms an in- 
teresting subject of study; but he shed little light upon 
the Asiatic world, and his religious system has jiroved a 
gigantic failure. 

Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, was born about 500 
years before Christ. His father was a prince of a tribe of people 
called Sakyas; and hence the name Sakya Muni, by which he 
is sometimes popularly known, means nothing more than the 
Sakya sage. The young prince must have been a very gifted 
youth, and no doubt received the best culture which that re- 
mote age afforded. He grew up as a Hindu, and as he was 
a man of a marked religious temperament, no doubt made 
himself well acquainted with the prevailing Hindu doctrines 
and ceremonies of the period. Indeed, he never renounced 
Hinduism ; although he at times defied many of its more im- 
portant tenets, and he probably died unconscious of the fact 
that he was to figure in history as the founder of a religion 
in many respects diametrically opposed to that which he 
professed. He must have been a man of very marked ability. 
All such founders of great movements may be accepted without 
question as natural leaders of their race. Gautama grew up 
to manhood a popular, happy, and hopeful young prince. He 
had married according to Hindu custom, and had been for- 
tunate in the character of the wife selected for him, and was 
also the happy father of a promising son. His career, how- 
ever, as a prince was destined to come to an abrupt and 
somewhat rude termination. Tradition says that his atten- 
tion was called to the sights of suffering and death around 
him; and when all his questionings concerning the origin or 
possible termination of the evils of the present life failed to 
find any satisfactory answer, he determined to forsake a life 
which was sure, sooner or later, to bring him many troubles, 
and which offered in return very little which he could prize. 
Trained as a Hindu, he naturally thought that the first and 
only proper step for him to take was to forsake the life 


which he was then leading, and separate himself from his 
own kind. 

A touching story is told of the manner in which he left 
his sleeping wife and babe in the still hours of the night, and 
stole away from his palace and from all the gilded glory of 
his royal life, to seek for light and peace for his troubled 
mind. He rode for some distance upon his own favorite 
horse, then dismounted and sent him back, and was left en- 
tirely alone. Seeing a mendicant passing along the road, he 
exchanged clothes with him, and thenceforth began a long 
and painful course of life as a religious devotee. He first 
placed himself under the tuition of two Brahmans, who at- 
tempted to teach him, according to their own dreamy notions, 
certain pantheistic tenets which they thought ought to satisfy 
his wants. They failed, however, utterly and somewhat 
quickly; and the troubled youth next attempted to find peace 
by practicing well-known austerities, as taught by the Brah- 
mans even of that early period. Joining himself to five or 
six other devotees, he spent some time according to most 
authors, as much as six years in practicing severe austerities, 
among which fasting occupied a prominent place. ''Sitting 
down, with his legs folded under him, on a raised seat, in a 
place unsheltered from rain, wind, dew, and cold, he grad- 
ually reduced his daily allowance of food to a single grain of 
rice ; then, shutting his teeth and holding his breath, he har- 
assed and macerated his body; but all in vain.^^* Such is the 
description given of the long-continued course of self-torture 
pursued by this earnest man; and although the description 
must be accepted as a little exaggerated at least in regard 
to the amount of his food yet it is a very accurate descrip- 
tion of what may be seen in India at the present day, in the 
case of thousands of earnest but misguided men. 

After six years, however, of continuous effort, the un- 
happy man became convinced that he was suffering in vain. 

*-SirM. Williams. 


and wisely abandoned a course of life which yielded him no 
rest for his troubled soul. He broke away from his compan- 
ions, and, removing to another district, sat down under a sa- 
cred tree, called the Pipal, and still regarded as sacred all over 
India to the present day. Here he entered upon a course of 
deep meditation, by which he hoped to attain mystic union 
with the Deity. This was not an original experiment of his 
own, but, like his previous efforts, was borrowed from the 
popular Hinduism of the day. This custom also has sur- 
vived down to the present time. It is considered a work of 
greatest possible merit to abstract the mind from all sur- 
rounding objects, and think only of God, or of some divine 
being, and continue in this state of mental abstraction as long 
as possible. Minute directions are given as to the manner 
in which this duty should be performed. The devotee sits 
perfectly still on a seat made from a certain kind of sacred 
grass, and as far as possible keeps his eyes fixed upon the tip 
of his nose. No thought of any external thing is to be al- 
lowed to enter his mind. If he can continue in this state 
long enough he will attain to union, or communion, with the 
divine spirit which he seeks. As a matter of fact, by pursu- 
ing such a course as this, certain devotees at the present day 
have the power of throwing themselves into a kind of trance; 
and it is no wonder that those who witness their procedure 
have the utmost confidence, not only in the sincerity of the 
devotees, but in the reality of the communion of which they 
speak. Those who have given much attention to the study 
of religious catalepsy in its various forms will not be sur- 
prised at the statement. In times of intense religious excite- 
ment in Christian lands, instances are frequently seen of per- 
sons, with or without any special conviction from the Holy 
Spirit, going off into a more or less ecstatic state of seeming 
unconsciousness ; and I have known persons in America who 
had so cultivated this power as to be able to throw them- 
selves into a trance state, almost in a moment, by the mere 
exercise of the will. 


For some time Gautama pursued his meditations with 
intense earnestness, but with no success. Traditions tell of 
the fierce temptations he endured while undergoing this pro- 
cess, but he held out firmly against all feelings of discour- 
agement and all temptations to give up the struggle, until 
one bright morning he professed to find sudden and complete 
deliverance. He spoke of the change as if light had dawned 
upon him, and thenceforth was called the Buddha, or the En- 
lightened. It is very difficult, however, to understand from 
all the traditions handed down by his followers what the 
character of the change which passed over him really was. 
His own explanations are exceedingly obscure; and while 
from this time forward he pursued a fixed course, and taught 
settled doctrines, and was undoubtedly delivered from some 
of the mistaken notions which had oppressed him before, yet 
it does not appear that he received anything like a revela- 
tion, or anything corresponding to a marked change of char- 
acter. It is not at all improbable that what really happened 
to him was one of those singular forms of catalepsy men- 
tioned above. The same remark might be applied to Mo- 
hammed, who undoubtedly was familiar from time to time 
with an ecstatic state of the mind, which he unquestioningly 
accepted as a revelation from God. To a man in Gautama's 
condition, worn out and almost in despair, struggling for 
some manifestation in the soul, such a condition of trance 
would come as a wonderful deliverance out of all his dark- 
ness and all his trouble. 

The truth which he announced as having been discovered 
by him was not by any means all new. It was, in the first 
place, a simple restatement of the Hindu doctrine of trans- 
migrations, to which he added that existence necessarily in- 
volved suffering, and that suffering can only be prevented by 
self-restraint and the extinction of desires and lusts. Of all 
desires, he held that none was more inseparably connected 
with our sufferings and troubles in this life, than that of con- 
tinued separate existence. Sir Monier Williams gives the 


following summary of the cardinal doctrines taught by him 
at the beginning of his public ministry. He laid down four 
great truths and what he called an eightfold path, and these 
constituted the key to his whole doctrine : 

"First: All existence that is, existence in any form, whether in 
earth or heavenly spheres necessarily involves pain and suffering. 
Second: All suflfering is caused by lust, or craving of desire, of three 
kinds for sensual pleasure, for wealth, and for existence. Third: 
Cessation of suffering is simultaneous with cessation of lust, craving, 
and desire. Fourth: Extinction of lust, craving, and desire, and ces- 
sation of suffering, are accomplished by perseverance in the noble 
eightfold path; namely, right belief or views, right resolve, right 
speech, right work, right livelihood, right exercise or training, right- 
mindfulness, right mental concentration." 

These doctrines seem simple enough in statement, but 
their real meaning does not lie on the surface. The word 
"right" is to be understood as meaning practically in accord- 
ance with Gautama's directions. " Right belief/' for instance, 
refers solely to belief in Gautama and his teachings; "right 
resolve" means the resolve to abandon one's family; "right 
livelihood" is living by alms, as a mendicant does; and so 
on. Instead of a lofty ideal of doctrine, or a noble standard 
of living, the four great truths and the "eightfold path" 
hardly rise above the level. of puerility. The reformer had 
struggled hard and bravely to reach the light; but his 
mind was still befogged by the errors in which he had been 
trained, and he had by no means found a pathway by which 
to lead his countrymen out of the deep darkness in which 
they had so long been groping. 

Very soon after attaining what he called his enlighten- 
ment, Gautama, or, as from this time he was called, the 
Buddha, began to preach, and very speedily won converts 
from among his hearers. We need not wonder at his suc- 
cess when we remember that up to that time the religious 
teachers of India spoke in an unknown tongue, so far as the 
masses were concerned. Guatama, on the other hand, used 


the language of the common people, and by the aid of fa- 
miliar illustrations succeeded in making himself thoroughly 
understood. He also appealed to all classes, without distinc- 
tion of caste; and, understanding perfectly as he did the 
prevailing religious ideas of the people, he had no difficulty 
whatever in finding hearers or in winning converts. All his 
converts, however, at first became monks. This was in ac- 
cordance, not only with the popular Hindu ideal, but with the 
example with Avhich all Avere familiar. A man in that early 
day, as well as in all the ages since, who gave himself up to 
a life of religious service, was expected to separate himself 
from the world, and even from family and friends, and be- 
come, in some form or other, a religious recluse. It is prob- 
able that Gautama had no more ambitious thought at first 
than that of gathering out earnest men from the careless 
world in which he lived and moved, and teaching them how 
to live the life which he himself had adopted. His first dis- 
ciples were all men of high rank, and necessarily must have 
commanded a wide influence wherever they went. Soon after 
beginning his long public ministry, he sent out bands of 
monks to preach the doctrines which they had learned from 
him. This was something entirely new in India. Preaching 
seems to have been little practiced, and possibly up to that 
time had not been known. It is no wonder that a form of 
teaching so new, and in many respects so attractive, every- 
where arrested attention, and that converts increased and 
multiplied. The Buddha at first made no attempt to organ- 
ize his followers. His converts became monks, but not 
priests. They assumed no priestly functions, and exercised 
no authority save that of a teacher. Gautama was, in fact, a 
kind of Indian Tolstoi, who acted at once and in a most 
literal sense upon his convictions, but who had neither 
inclination nor ability to build up a new organization, or follow 
what might seem to be a pathway of personal aggran- 

For forty-five years the gifted monk pursued his calling, 


living in the most simple style, but practicing no austerities, 
and disregarding the elaborate ceremonial duties of the Brah- 
mans around him. He wrote nothing; but his teaching, 
no doubt repeated over and over at different places, was 
either taken down at the time or remembered by his disci- 
ples. In this respect he reminds us of the method pursued 
at a later day by our Saviour. It was, in fact, the common 
Asiatic method, and is illustrated by many religious teachers 
in India at the present day. It may be accepted as not only 
probable, but certain, that our Saviour repeated his discourses, 
either in whole or in part, scores of times, as the record itself 
plainly shows, and thus his disciples became familiar with his 

Some little time after Gautama's death, about five hundred 
of his monks assembled together for the purpose of collecting 
his sayings in written form. This took j^lace about four 
hundred years before Christ. Twenty years later a second 
council of seven hundred monks met at a place near Patna, 
and continued in session eight months, engaged in making a 
fuller and better arranged collection of his teachings. A 
third council was called about 250 B. C, during the reign of 
a powerful king named Asoka, who has been called the Con- 
stantine of Buddhism. This monarch extended his kingdom 
over all North India, and sent out large numbers of mission- 
aries, who met with great success in winning converts. 

At these councils the canon of Buddhist scriptures grad- 
ually took shape, and various changes were introduced into 
the system. Ancient Buddhism, however, was very different 
from that of later years, or of the present day. As popularly 
known, it was in many respects a protest against Brahman- 
ism. It did not reject caste, but it ignored it by appealing 
to all on equal terms. It made light of religious austerities, 
and rejected the elaborate ceremonies of the Brahmans. It 
spoke in the language of the common people, and by contrast 
with Brahmauism it must have seemed liberal indeed. It 
made much of the ills of the present life, which all keenly 


feel, and held out hope of final escape from earthly woes by 
entering the state of Nirwan, beyond which there can be no 
further birth, if, indeed, any further existence. But Bud- 
dhism at its best was a cheerless system. It knew no God in 
any real sense, and was practically atheistic. It believed per- 
sonal existence in itself to be a source of evil, and hence 
could have no real hope of conscious immortality. It took 
a wholly pessimistic view of life, and, by breaking up the 
family, made war on the holiest instincts of the race. It 
taught men to trust in their own efforts wholly, and to 
look for no help from without. It exacted works of merit, 
and burdened its votaries with useless duties. It ignored 
prayer, and knew nothing of faith, hope, or love. In fact, it 
offered a dismal escape from a dismal but mistaken view of 
human life. 

Before the death of Buddha, an important change was 
made by the admission of what Avere called lay brethren not 
to the full rights of discipleship, but to a position which re- 
minds one somewhat of the "proselytes of the gate " among 
the ancient Hebrews. These lay brethren were simply re- 
quired to pronounce a certain formula, and assume the duty 
of performing good works, chief of which was that of serv- 
ing the monks. If any one refused to do this, the penalty 
was simply to forbid him performing any works of merit, 
which, by the great mass of Buddhists, is valued above any 
other privilege. They were also required to observe the 
usual rules of morality which had been laid down by the 
Buddha. It ought to be said, to the credit both of Gautama 
and of the religious system which grew up out of his teach- 
ings, that it had a code of morality which was in some respects 
in advance of any code which had previously been recognized 
in India. It has been summarized as including five prohibi- 
tions: First, killing any living thing; second, stealing; third, 
adultery; fourth, lying; fifth, drinking strong drink. The 
prohibition against killing was made to include the killing of 
animals for sacrificial purposes, a thing which the Brahmans 


have always tolerated. Such a code as this is of great value 
in any non-Christian land, although its first and most prom- 
inent prohibition in practical life has a tendency to exalt the 
value of insect life, and diminish that of human beings. It is 
a strange peculiarity of Hindu thought to the present day, 
that it seems utterly incapable of distinguishing between the 
value of human life and that of animals and insects. 

At a very early day, Buddhism was torn by dissensions, 
and no less than eighteen diiferent sects have been enumerated 
as existing previous to the time of King Asoka. In the course 
of time it was divided into two great sections, known as the 
Southern and Northern, respectively. The head-quarters of 
the former were in Ceylon, and of the latter in Thibet. Each 
Buddhist country, however, has modified the Buddhism which 
it adopted, so that national peculiarities are easily distin- 
guished, not only in its forms of service, but in its doctrinal 
teachings. Strangely enough, the Buddhism of Thibet bears 
a curious resemblance to many of the peculiarities of the 
Roman Catholics. Attention was first called to this fact by 
the celebrated Roman Catholic traveler, M. Hue, and his ob- 
servations have been confirmed by other travelers since. 
Not only does the Grand Lama bear a singular resemblance 
to the Pope, both in the pretensions which he assumes and in 
the estimation in which he is held; but many other peculiar- 
ities, such as the celibacy of the priesthood, fasting, confession, 
saint-worship, holy water, bells, processions, rosaries, miters, 
crosiers, sacred images, the worship of relics, lamps and illu- 
minations, the practice of austerities, etc., are almost identical 
as witnessed in Rome and in Lhassa. Sir Monier Williams 
quotes M. Hue as follows: 

"The cross, the miter, the dalmatica; the cope which Grand 
Lamas wear on their journeys, or when they are performing some cer- 
emony out of the temple ; the service Avith double choirs, the psalm- 
ody, the exorcisms ; the censer for incense, suspended from five chains, 
and opened or closed at pleasure; the benedictions pronounced by 
Lamas by extending the right hand over the heads of the faithful ; 


the chaplet, ecclesiastical celibacy, spiritual retirement, the worship 
of the saints, the fasts, the processions, the litanies, the holy water, 
all these are analogies between the Buddhists and ourselves." 

Who is debtor and who creditor in this remarkable com- 
parison of accounts? Christians and Buddhists in China are 
said to dispute the point very warmly ; but it must be ad- 
mitted that the Buddhists were in the field long before 
Romanism had an existence. It is an established fact that 
one of the Popes actually canonized the founder of Buddhism, 
under the name of Josaphat. Professor Max Miiller, in the 
Contem'porary Bevieiv of July, 1870, has given the evidence 
on this subject at length, and Sir William Hunter accepts it 
as practically proven that one of the Popes did actually can- 
onize the celebrated Buddha on the authority of Saint John 
of Damascus. Sir William Hunter says: ''The name of 
Josaphat is itself identified by philologers with that of Bod- 
dhisattwa, the complete appellation of Buddha.'' This whole 
subject of the similitude existing between the Papacy of Rome 
and the Lamaism of Thibet is worthy of careful study, and 
no doubt in the fullness of time the points of resemblance 
will be traced to their correct origin. For the present, how- 
ever, it unquestionably places the Roman Catholics in a very 
compromising position, as upon the testimony of their own 
writers their public worship is found to correspond strikingly 
with practices which almost certainly existed before any Pope 
reigned in Rome. 

As indicated above, it must always be remembered that 
later Buddhism in all countries not only differs widely from 
the system taught by Gautama, but in most respects has be- 
come diametrically opposed to it. Sir Monier Williams, in- 
deed, says very truthfully that the Buddhism of later times is 
in reality a recoil rather than a development of earlier doc- 
trine. The Buddhism taught by Gautama was, in many re- 
spects, in necessary hostility to the instincts of the race; and 
the result has been that in the lapse of centuries the pro- 
fessed followers of Gautama have, in many important 


respects, wholly departed from his teaching, and are now found 
acting and teaching in singular contradiction to their own 
supposed principles. I can not do better than quote again 
from Sir Monier Williams: 

"Buddhism, we know, started with the doctrine that all idea of 
marriage or a happy home-life was to be abandoned by wise men. . . . 
Of course, an immediate result was that, although according to 
Buddha's ordinance any one who aimed at perfect sanctity was bound 
to lead a celibate life, the rule was admitted to be inapplicable to the 
mass of human beings. The mass of the people were, in short, offenders 
against the primary law of Buddhism. There is even evidence that 
among monkish communities in northern countries the law against 
marriage was relaxed. It is well known that at the present day the 
lamaseries in Sikkim and Thibet swarm with children of monks, 
though called their nephews and nieces. It was the same in regard 
to the unnatural vow of poverty. Monasteries and lamaseries now 
possess immense revenues, and monks are often wealthy men." 

If Gautama did not deny the existence of a God, he cer- 
tainly ignored it. His early disciples were taught to depend 
on no being higher than themselves. The recoil from this 
position has been that the Buddha himself has been converted 
in popular esteem into a deity, and now bears the title of 
''the chief god of all the gods.'' He also taught his disci- 
ples not to believe in any supernatural revelation, as no such 
thing was needed. All enlightenment was to come from 
within, and every man was to find this for himself. So far 
from adhering to this transcendental notion, the great body 
of Buddhists at the present day attribute infallibility to 
Buddha's own teaching, and not only accept his law as di- 
vine, but as a visible embodiment of himself, and insist as 
earnestly upon believing in a revelation as any other relig- 
ionists in the world. Gautama left no place in his system for 
prayer, and denied that any good could come from such an 
exercise ; but now, of all living men, the Buddhists have the 
most superstitious regard for prayer, and not only have faith 
in the prayer-forms, but have a superstitious reverence for 


the very letters and syllables with which the prayer is written. 
I am writing this in Darjeeling, a Himalayan station on the 
borders of Thibet, and every time I go out I see men by the 
wayside, patiently turning hollow cylinders containing writ- 
ten forms of prayer, under the impression that each time the 
cylinder revolves the prayer has been once said, and so much 
merit accumulated. Gautama rejected a priesthood, and made 
no provision in his system even for religious teachers, save 
as all monks assumed that character; but now we find his 
followers, at least throughout all Central Asia, in more ab- 
ject bondage to a heartless priesthood than perhaps can be 
found among any other people living. Gautama rejected idols 
and idol-worship; but now it may be truthfully said that in 
Buddhist countries idols are more numerous than among any 
other idol-worshiping people in the world. The same re- 
mark is true of the worship of relics of all kinds, the most 
ignorant and superstitious of the Roman Catholics themselves 
not equaling the devout Buddhists in their eager desire to 
possess themselves of any sacred relic, even though it be but 
a hair of a deceased saint. 

In short. Buddhism, much vaunted as it has been in re- 
cent years by men who regard themselves as persons of ad- 
vanced thought, is one of the most heartless and helpless 
systems of religious belief the world has ever seen. Its ten- 
der regard for life in all its forms, and the worthy teachings 
of its founder in regard to gentle dealing towards all men 
and other living creatures, have not tended, as is often pop- 
ularly asserted, to make its votaries either kind or humane. 
Burma is, and throughout its whole historical era has been, a 
Buddhist country, and yet its people are less humane and 
much more cruel than the Hindus of India. It is only 
four or five years since crucifixion was abolished in Upper 
Burma. Our Saviour, by his tragical death upon the cross, 
did more to create feelings of genuine humanity in the 
hearts and minds of those who accepted his teaching, than has 
been accomplished by all other influences combined in all 


the history of the world. The Barman Buddhists to-day can 
see no special objection to patting an ordinary thief to death, 
either by impalement, or by a crael cracifixion upon a bam- 
boo cross. Their religion utterly fails to show them the bar- 
barity of the spectacle. In like manner, all their punish- 
ments are barbarous, and all their tender mercies are cruel ; 
and yet the Burman is by no means a worse man than his 

Buddhism is no longer a religion in India. For many 
years it was supposed that the Buddhists had been expelled 
from the country, or else forcibly converted to Hinduism in 
the course of a long series of desolating wars. This view, 
however, is now abandoned. It is abundantly evident that 
Buddhism slowly gave way before the unremitting assaults of a 
revived Hinduism. For many centuries Hinduism had 
lapsed into a condition of apathy and weakness which greatly 
facilitated the rapid advance of its rival; but at a remote 
period, probably about the eighth century before Christ, a 
great revival of Hinduism took place, and step by step the 
Brahman gained the ascendency over the Buddhist, until at 
last the Buddhist faith ceased to be professed throughout 
India. The Brahman was aided in winning this great victory 
by his . skill in borrowing from Buddhism whatever would 
help him in the contest. What he could not uproot, he 
quietly accepted as his own, and finally went to the extent of 
accepting Gautama himself as an incarnation of Vishnu, 
whereby, no doubt, large numbers of eager but ignorant fol- 
lowers of the Buddha were induced to accept Brahmanism, 
under the impression that they were not really giving up 
their religion. Buddhism still retains a foot-hold in Ceylon 
and Thibet, Burma, Siam, and other Indo-Chinese countries, 
and throughout China and Japan. Its numerical strength, 
however, has been greatly exaggerated. So far from being 
the leading religion of Asia or of the world, it probably 
stands third or fourth in the list. Its supposed preponder- 
ance has been made to appear by assuming that all the people 


of China are Buddhists, which is by no means the case. 
Christianity undoubtedly is the leading religion now of the 
world. Hinduism, in its varied forms, probably stands 
second, while Mohammedanism and Buddhism must dispute 
between them for the third place. 

Cl)apter VIII. 

THE faith of Islam was introduced into India, as, indeed, 
into all other countries in which it has ever gained a 
foot-hold, by following in the wake of a conquering army. 
Mohammedanism is constantly spoken of as one of the mis- 
sionary religions of the world; but, as a matter of fact, it 
would be difficult to point to a single nation in the world 
which has been converted to Islam ism by a purely mission- 
ary process. It is essentially a warlike system, and can not 
possibly preserve an aggressive attitude throughout a long 
period of peace. As soon as the soldiers are sent away to 
their homes, the Mohammedan missionary feels that his op- 
portunity, for the time at least, is lost, and his zeal begins to 
abate. In all probability no effort would ever have been 
made to establish Islam ism in India had it not been for the 
ambition of the successive Mohammedan leaders who invaded 
India from the Northwest. No impression was made upon 
the religion of the people during the earlier invasions, for 
the simple reason that they were not permanent ; but as soon 
as these invaders determined to hold permanently the regions 
which had submitted to their arms, Mohammedanism struck 
its roots into the soil, and from that time forth became one 
of the established Indian religions. The earliest date at 
which it can be said to have thus gained a permanent foot- 
hold in India, was about the close of the eleventh century. 

From the first the two chief means employed in winning 

the people of India to the faith of Islam were, force on the 

one hand, and rewards on the other. It is as natural for 

Mohammedans, when invading a foreign country, to call upon 




the people to accept the religion of their prophet, as it is for a 
Christian missionary to preach the gospel of Christ. Hence, 
in ancient times it often happened that when a vast army was 
approaching a given district, devastating the country with fire 
and sword, and spreading terror far and wide, the despairing 
people made haste to avow themselves ready to accept the re- 
ligion of the invaders, on condition that their lives and prop- 
erty should be spared. In no part of the Eastern world, 
however, did the Mohammedans find any people so unwilling 
to accept their religion, as a condition of being spared, as in 
India. The Hindus have always been adepts in the art of 
passive resistance, and when unable to longer oppose the 
Mohammedan invaders, they quietly submitted to whatever 
fate awaited them; and although in many -instances they 
were savagely put to death, yet after a time their conquerors 
learned that they could not be proselyted by force, while, on 
the other hand, to put them all to death would simply ruin 
the country which they wished to hold as a valuable posses- 
sion. At the same time they began to employ, with great 
skill, the policy of richly rewarding those who accepted their 
religion. A confiscated village, for instance, would be given 
to a poor man, who would thereby acquire the right to settle 
as many of his friends in it as he could induce to become 
apostates like himself Offices of all possible grades under 
the Government are always eagerly sought in India ; and 
these, again, were bestowed upon apostates from the Hindu 
faith with such skill that constant, if not large, accessions 
were made in this w^ay to the ranks of Mohammedanism. 

The mass of these converts were, as might have been ex- 
pected, received from the ranks of the poor. Hinduism had 
not only neglected, but in many cases grievously oppressed, 
large numbers of the lower classes, who saw at once a chance 
for bettering their condition ; and as might have been ex- 
pected, having but slight bonds to hold them in allegiance to 
the popular religion of the country, and the strongest pos- 
sible incentives to men as poor as they were to adopt that of 



the invaders, they easily passed over from a nominal allegiance 
to Hinduism to a devoted attachment to Islamism. Probably 
the most valuable converts made by the Mohammedans during 
their earlier history in India came from these lower classes. 
As the successive waves of invasion swept on to the south 
and southeast, they seemed to lose their force in a measure, 
so that when they reached Bengal, while the number of con- 
verts won from Hinduism seemed to increase, the quality rap- 
idly deteriorated. The Mohammedans, indeed, throughout 
all the country districts of Bengal, are only semi-converts to 
the present day. During the great Hindu festivals they may 
be seen mingling freely with their idolatrous neighbors in 
celebrating the honors of heathen gods, while at best they pay 
but slight regard to the tenets of the Koran. The total num- 
ber of Mohammedans in India, according to the last census, 
is 57,325,432 ; but of these it may safely be assumed that at 
least one-third are only Mohammedan in name. 

The reader, however, must not suppose for a moment that 
the Mohammedans of India, taking them as a class, and esti- 
mating their character as would be done in the case of any 
other great community by that of their leaders, are wanting in 
attachment to their own religion. On the other hand, the 
universal testimony of intelligent Europeans who have spent 
any considerable time in India, will be to the effect that they 
are remarkably devoted to their religious faith, and manifest 
a zeal for it which, if not always according to knowledge, at 
least reflects credit on their sincerity. History affords many 
illustrations of the curious fact that persons who have been 
forcibly compelled to exchange one religion for another, not 
only become reconciled to their new faith, but often become 
its most devoted adherents. A striking instance of this is 
found in the case of the famous Mamelukes. From the first, 
the leading apostates from Hinduism became Mohammedans 
not only in name, but in the fierce zeal for which the followers 
of that religion have always been noted; and to the pres- 
ent day no more earnest and determined followers of the 


faith of Islam can be found in any part of the world than 
in India. 

In addition to the conversions from Hinduism noted 
above, it must be remembered also that a very large number 
of zealous Mohammedans who entered India, either as sol- 
diers or among the irregular followers of the great invading 
armies of former centuries, became permanent settlers upon 
Indian soil, and thus added an important element to the Mo- 
hammedan population of the empire. It has been denied by 
some recent writers that these settlers were sufficient in num- 
ber to make any perceptible impression upon the general 
community; but any one who has paid close attention to the 
distinctions which are noticeable among the people of North- 
ern India, can not have failed to observe a very marked ad- 
mixture of foreign blood among the Mohammedans. Blue 
eyes and auburn beard, and sometimes a veritable red shock 
of hair, unmistakably mark a man in India as a descendant 
of some of the invading hordes which came down from the 
Northwest in former centuries. The physiognomy marks 
vast numbers of the people no less unmistakably, and the 
general character of the Mohammedans of the country has 
undoubtedly been largely influenced by this foreign element. 
Another important foreign element, which has reached Western 
India especially, has come from Arabia. Indeed, two streams 
of Arab emigration are constantly flowing in upon Western 
India, one from the mouth of the Red Sea, and the other 
from the Persian Gulf. 

An important question presents itself at this point as to 
what the general influence of Mohammedanism upon the 
people of India has been. It has had abundant time to work 
out whatever results it is capable of producing; and upon the 
whole, in no part of the world has it had a better oppor- 
tunity of developing its own inherent strength or weakness 
than in this populous corner of the globe, where for centuries 
it has been shut in by itself to work out its own destiny as 
best it could. 


It is possible that, as a Christian missionary, I write under 
the influence of a certain measure of more or less unconscious 
prejudice; but I certainly can not give a very favorable re- 
ply to the above question. Mohammedanism has had a rare 
opportunity in India, but has improved it very badly. If I 
answer the question at all, I must be permitted to say that 
such benefits as have been conferred upon India in the Mo- 
hammedan name have been bestowed by Mohammedans, 
rather than by their religion. In other words, the people 
have been better than their religion in many respects, and 
have not lived all these centuries in the country without im- 
proving it, in some respects at least. It may be said, for 
instance, that they conferred a great benefit upon India by 
giving the people, for the first time, what might be called the 
imperial idea. The great Emperor Akbar who, by the way, 
w^as by no means a typical Mohammedan during his long 
reign was perhaps the most powerful monarch on the globe. 
He, for the first time, showed the people of India what their 
country was capable of becoming when molded into one great 
empire. He did not succeed, it is true, in extending his sway 
over the whole of the peninsula, but nevertheless he first 
clearly presented the ideal before the people, and some of his 
successors ' struggled desperately, though unsuccessfully, to 
realize his ideal. The reader may possibly fail to appreciate 
the value of a mere scheme for creating a vast empire; but if 
a native of India, he would perhaps look at the subject from 
a different point of view. India has yet to take her place 
among the great empires of the world, and every son and 
daughter of the soil ought to grasp and fully master this idea. 
The caste system made it impossible for the earlier Hindu 
rulers to assume anything like an imperial policy. The Mo- 
hammedans were able to aspire to it, but failed to realize it. 
It remained for the English to put it fully into practice, and 
it now remains for coming generations to w^ork out the grand 
possibilities which the presence of a central imperial Govern- 
ment places within their reach. 


The Mohammedans did not introduce many improvements 
into India. Their greatest boast, perhaps, will be that they 
brought with them the Saracenic style of architecture, and 
have left behind them some of the finest structures in the 
world. They also, in some parts of the country, introduced a 
slightly higher grade of civilization than that which the 
Hindus had enjoyed. This is notably the case in Rohilkhand, 
where the Eohillas, when expelled by the King of Oudh, 
with the co-operation of Warren Hastings, left behind them 
more towns with paved streets, and more and better artisans, 
than can be found in any other part of the country. The 
same remark applies, to some extent, to nearly all of North- 
ern India; but when we consider the centuries during which 
the Moguls held absolute sway, and the unlimited resources at 
their disposal, it must be conceded that they did very little in 
advancing the civilization of India. 

One great benefit conferred upon India by the Moham- 
medans has been the infusion of a more vigorous element into 
the national character. The general character of the Hindu 
people is one which, in many respects, does them credit ; but 
they lack, to some extent, that measure of vigor which is nec- 
essary to constitute any people a great people. The Moham- 
medans have supplied this deficiency, at least to a very nota- 
ble extent. The original invaders were not only men of 
great vigor, but their subsequent career in India undoubt- 
edly influenced the great multitudes who rallied round their 
standard, in such a way as to create and foster an enterpris- 
ing spirit, which is but another name for personal vigor. It 
is probable, also, that they introduced among the people of 
India a governing ability which had previously been some- 
what wanting in the national character, and which has since 
been illustrated in the successful career of many great leaders 
in all parts of the empire. I am aware that many intelligent 
Hindus would question this statement; but the general im- 
pression prevails among those well acquainted with India, 
that the Mohammedans of the present day have more ability 


of this kind that is, more ability as leaders and governors 
than the Hindus. A few generations of training under dif- 
ferent circumstances might possibly make this difference 
much less apparent than it is at the present day ; but there 
is little in Hinduism which will develop such a trait in na- 
tional character, *and I think it will have to be conceded as 
one of the not very numerous merits of Mohammedanism, 
that it has wrought a measure of improvement in this direc- 
tion among the people of India. 

On the other hand, has Mohammedanism taught the 
people of India any bad lessons, or produced any effects 
which, upon the whole, must be regarded as unfortunate and 
hurtful? I fear this question will have to be answered in the 
affirmative. In the first place, the reader in America will be 
surprised to hear me say that they lowered the moral tone 
which they found among the people of India on their first 
arrival. It is constantly said by persons who have not 
studied this question in the light of personal observation, 
that a pure theism, such as that held by the Mohammedans, 
must have produced a powerful effect upon the polytheistic 
people of India. The facts, however, point in the opposite 
direction. It is doubtful, indeed, whether the theism held by 
the Mohammedans is worthy to be called a pure theism. St. 
Paul never used a more striking expression than when he 
spoke of holding the truth in unrighteousness, as one of the 
deplorable sins of bad men. It is much better for a nation to 
have no knowledge of God whatever, than to believe in his 
existence and in his supreme government of the world, and 
yet to hold this truth in unrighteousness. Mohammed taught 
the Arabs that there was only one God, which w^as a great 
truth ; but he added to his popular formula the words, *^ and 
Mohammed is his prophet,'' which was a great falsehood. He 
also taught them, and illustrated the teaching by his own sin- 
ful life, that in one or two cases God sanctified outrageous sin 
for the sake of his beloved prophet. The theism taught by 
him was thus coated over with falsehood, to say nothing of 


flagrant sin, and as such never ought to be quoted as a pure 
theism. The people of India, it is true, were accustomed to 
think of their gods as indulging in all manner of immoral- 
ities ; but this was like child's play when compared with the 
unspeakable enormity of bringing down Jehovah himself al- 
most to a level of one of the gods of Hindu mythology. 

Be the cause what it may, as a matter of fact the Mo- , 
hammedans brought with them into India one or two name-/ 
less sins, which the Hindus to this day affirm had never beeii 
known in their country before. As a general rule, their 
moral standard is a little lower than that of the Hindus, and 
the same remark will have to be made with regard to their 
general reputation for morality. Many good and sincere men, 
no doubt, are found in the Mohammedan ranks ; but when we 
speak about the people as a great community, and compare 
them with their Hindu neighbors, the advantage certainly 
seems to rest with the latter. In fairness I ought to say that 
some of my missionary friends in India take issue with me 
on this point. Some of them believe and maintain that the 
Mohammedans are quite as good as, if not better than, the 
Hindus ; but I believe I express the opinion of the majority 
and a very large majority when I say that the Hindus stand 
higher in point of moral character than the Mohammedans, 
and that they have suffered rather than benefited, from a 
moral point of view, by the introduction of Mohammedanism 
into the country. 

Intelligent Hindus, without exception, affirm that the 
custom of secluding their women was never known before the 
Mohammedan invasions. They say that it became necessary 
as a means of protecting their wives and daughters when they 
went abroad. If comely in looks, they were in danger when- 
ever they appeared in public ; and hence the custom was bor- 
rowed from the Mohammedans themselves, of either shutting 
their wives and daughters up at home, or keeping them 
closely veiled when going abroad. The latter custom in time 
fell into disuse, while to the present day all who can possibly 


afford to do so, keep the female members of their families 
closely secluded in narrow quarters at home. 

The Hindus also affirm that their custom of child-mar- 
riage grew up in consequence of the danger to which they 
were exposed from their Mohammedan neighbors. They say 
that so many cases of outrage had occurred, in which a beau- 
tiful daughter would be forcibly taken from her parents and 
married to a Mohammedan, that they adopted the custom of 
child-marriage, so that the girl would have a legal hus- 
band almost from infancy, and in this way be protected 
from Mohammedan violence. I am not prepared to say that 
this charge can be satisfactorily proved, but that it has some 
foundation in fact admits of very little doubt. In any case, 
it can hardly be maintained that the Mohammedans have in 
any manner improved the condition of w^oman in India; nor 
is there anything in the Mohammedan system to which a 
woman can appeal with any interest or hope. Hinduism, it 
is true, is bad enough, so far as the position of w^oman is con- 
cerned ; and yet, when an appeal is made to its earlier history, 
the Hindu woman of to-day can point to a golden age, when 
women were allowed a measure of liberty almost equal to 
that enjoyed by the men. 

The points of identity between Mohammedanism and 
Christianity are many; but it should always be borne in mind 
that it was from Judaism, rather than from Christianity, that 
Mohammed drew most of the teachings w^hich are usually 
supposed to be common to his system and our own. His 
knowledge of pure Christianity seems to have been exceed- ^ 
ingly meager, while on the other hand he had, no doubt, been 
frequently associated with Jews, and felt naturally drawn 
towards them by reason of his common descent with them 
from Abraham. He accepted most of the Old Testament 
without question ; and the Mohammedans to the present day 
readily admit that the law, prophets, psalms, and four gospels 
are inspired productions. They usually deny, however, that 
the integrity of these books has been preserved, and often, in 


disputing with missionaries, affirm that the Christians, many- 
centuries ago, so corrupted and changed their Scriptures as to 
render them no longer of any value. The Mohammedans, 
however, strenuously deny nearly all the grand foundation 
truths of the Christian system. The divinity of Christ is not 
only repudiated by them, but the very mention of it is usually 
enough to provoke their hostility. They deny not only the 
atonement of Christ, but the possibility of any atonement ; 
deny the necessity of any mediator between God and man ; and 
even deny the very fact of the crucifixion, affirming that in 
the supreme crisis an invisible angel snatched the Lord Jesus 
from the cross, and substituted a stranger in his place, who 
actually died and was laid in the tomb without the spectators 
noticing the substitution which had been effiicted. They, of 
course, deny the resurrection of Christ, and, so far as the 
Holy Spirit is concerned, they are, for the most part, unable 
to understand even the statement of his divinity as made by 
Christians. The greatest defect in their religious system is 
in its want of spirituality. While they speak, with more or 
less freedom, of the Spirit of God, they never attach the 
meaning to the phrase which Christians do. In most of these 
respects they diifer from the Hindus, and, surprising as it may 
seem to the Christian reader in America, I incline to the 
opinion that Hinduism has more in common with Christian- 
ity than popular Mohammedanism. The Hindus are familiar 
with the idea of a divine incarnation, however defective their 
Conception of it may be. They are also familiar with the 
idea of an atonement ; and their religious ideas prepare them 
to receive the spiritual teaching of the New Testament much 
more readily than the Mohammedans. They are a more spir- 
itual people, and, while hopelessly bound hand and foot by 
the ceremonial system which they have inherited, yet are per- 
haps less formal than the followers of Islam. 

The Mohammedans have been much less affected by the 
rapid advance of the modern world than the Hindus. Their 
system is hopelessly antagonistic to everything new and 


everything progressive. The Hindu system, on the other 
hand, is flexible at many points ; and the result has been that 
since the advent of the English the Hindus have outstripped 
their Mohammedan rivals in the educational race. This is 
not wholly owing to the obstructive character of the Moham- 
medan religion, but in part, no doubt, to a certain uncon- 
scious pride both of religion and of race. For several centuries 
they had been the rulers of India. The Hindus had been 
held in utter subjection by them, and their own promotion 
had never depended upon their proficiency in learning the 
language of an alien people, a literature which they despised, 
and modern sciences which, in their eyes, probably seemed 
more or less profane. 

This pride, however, if it should be called by this name, 
is rapidly giving way; and of late years many leading Mo- 
hammedans have bestirred themselves in the most praise- 
worthy manner in trying to rouse their fellow-religionists to 
an appreciation of the danger in which they stand of wholly 
losing their prestige as a people. If they remain stolid and 
indifferent for another generation, the Hindus will have left 
them hopelessly in the rear. It is not likely, however, that 
they will remain inactive much longer. As a people, they 
are capable of great things if freed from their trammels and 
rightly directed. No men in India, if indeed any men in the 
world, can excel an educated Mohammedan gentleman of the 
liberal class in courtesy and liberal dealing. They are gen- 
tlemen in the best sense of the word, refined in manner, pro- 
gressive in their ideas, and capable of playing a worthy part 
in any sphere of life to which they may be called. Relig- 
iously, however, but few of them retain a conscientious ad- 
herence to the faith of their fathers. It would be impossible 
for them to do so. Islam admits of no compromise; and 
when a young man begins to acquire knowledge, he must 
choose between the faith of his fathers and the general agree- 
ment of the modern world in the great principles of progress 
which are more and more received by all nations. 


Christianity has much to hope from the Mohammedans in 
India. Hitherto they have been our most unrelenting op- 
ponents, and most missionaries would probably hesitate to 
express much confidence in them as a people, even if they 
should become Christians. I could not, however, join in 
such a verdict. I believe, on the other hand, that when 
truly converted, the Mohammedan makes not only a devoted 
Christian, but in some respects will make a superior leader. 
Leadership is a great want in every mission-field, and the 
Mohammedans of India have the material, if it can only be 
won for Christ and sanctified to his service, out of which 
splendid workers can be made in the Master's vineyard. 

Cl)apber IX. 


AMONG all the nations of the earth, India may truly be 
called the home-land of the religious devotee. Both 
Mohammedanism and Hinduism are represented in all parts 
of the country by men of this class ; but the followers of 
Islam properly called fakirs, as distinguished from the 
Hindu devotee who adopt this mode of life are compar- 
tively few. The idea of such a life is essentially Hindu, and 
devotees of various classes seem to have abounded in the 
country since the earliest period. The land was full of them 
at the time that the founder of Buddhism began his search 
for mental and spiritual rest; and no doubt, if we could 
catch a glimpse of India as it was a thousand years before 
his day, the devotee would be seen occupying a familiar if not 
prominent place. 

The idea of such a life is based upon two mistaken no- 
tions. In the first place, the ascetic flatters himself that he 
can, by his penances of various kinds, accumulate merit. 
The word penance, in his mind, conveys no idea of repent- 
ance whatever, but solely that of a means of acquiring per- 
sonal merit. In the next place, he is possessed with the idea 
that matter is inherently evil, and that, since his union with 
a material body is the source of most of his misfortunes, he 
must make war oh the body in order to liberate the soul. 
In these two mistaken notions may be found rooted all the 
errors which cluster around the practice of asceticism in 
India or elsewhere. 

The various expedients to which men of this class resort 
in order to realize their ideal are countless in number, 


and as diverse in character as possible. With the vast ma- 
jority, however, the discipline selected is by no means 
a severe one. It is only in exceptional cases that we find 
men enduring positive pain and privation, or subjecting 
themselves to practices which must be utterly revolting to the 
most ordinary human instincts. Beyond a doubt large num- 
bers of both sexes choose a life of asceticism because they find 
it the simplest and easiest way of securing their daily bread. 
I have personally known parties who, after trying various 
plans to secure a livelihood, deliberately adopted the garb 
and wandering life of the devotee. In one case a native 
Christian, whose moral character was not particularly objec- 
tionable, was persistently averse to manual labor ; and when 
one kind of work after another had been given him to no 
purpose, he was told that he must work or starve. He 
declined to do either,' and deliberately made a profession of 
faith in Hinduism, threw a saffron -colored sheet loosely 
around his shoulders, and, taking his wife and child and de- 
parting three or four miles from the village where he was 
known, began the wandering life of a devotee. While thus 
engaged, he chanced to meet a recruiting officer collecting 
coolies to send to Demarara. He listened to the advantages 
of the proposed emigration to a land v/here wages were high, 
and without much hesitation threw away his yellow robe, and, 
taking wife and child, embarked for Demarara. This man 
was undoubtedly a fair sample of multitudes who are sup- 
posed to be holy men and women, who have separated them- 
selves from the world and are pursuing a life of religious 
contemplation and personal devotion. Not all the devotees 
of India, however, are of this harmless and worthless class. 
Many of them show abundant evidence that they are sincere 
in their purpose, and persist, through long lives of severe 
suffering and privation, in faithfully following the course 
which they have chosen. At nearly every great fair a 
number of men will be seen going through the self-inflicted 
torture of what is called the " five fires." Four fires are kept 


burning constantly around the devotee, while the sun, which 
makes the fifth, pours down his burning rays upon the head 
of the sufferer. Others, for months at a time/never allow 
themselves to lie down to rest, but permit themselves to be 
supported in a half-reclining position, or sometimes sus- 
pended upon a cushion, with their feet dangling down at a dis- 
tance from the ground. Some sleep on beds made of broken 
stone, others on spikes; while others, again, seek torture for 
the body by abstaining from sleep altogether or at least re- 
duce their sleeping hours to the narrowest possible limits. 
The well-known custom of holding the hand erect until it 
becomes shriveled and helpless, and retains its position 
during the rest of the sufferer's life, is not so common as is 
generally supposed in England and America; and yet such 
men are to be found in most parts of the country. I myself 
have only seen a very few, and have conversed with only two 
in more than thirty years. There can be no doubt whatever 
about the reality of the suffering of such men. One poor 
creature sat down beside me, and described at some length 
the manner in which he had kept his arm in this position 
until it became rigid. He told me he had suffered excru- 
ciatingly for six months, after which the arm ceased to give 
him pain. His arm, which was held perfectly upright, had 
been kept in this position for a number of years if I re- 
member correctly, eight or nine and had shriveled to about 
half its natural size. The nails had grown to such a length 
that they had twined themselves all around the hand, giving 
it a hideous appearance. Recently I had occasion to publish 
a notice .in the Indian Witness asking parties who knew of 
such men to report them to me ; and it is a singular fact that 
only four responses were received. This indicates that the 
number of such persons in the country is comparatively small.* 

* The accompanying picture shows a man with both hands held per- 
fectly upright till they are as rigid as two pieces of wood. It is copied 
from a photograph taken at Ajmere, about six months ago. He is 
faithfully served by the attendants who may be seen beside him. 




A very common mode of practicing asceticism is. that of 
eating revolting food. The complete course of training 
adopted by a Hindu devotee, if carried to its full extent, 
involves one period of discipleship during which the devotee 
is obliged to eat everything which is offered to him. I might 
say here that, according to strict rule, an ordinary Hindu who 
wishes to take a full course is obliged to pursue six different 
kinds of asceticism, each for a term of twelve years, making 
seventy-two years in all. As he proceeds in his course, pass- 
ing from one degree to another, somewhat after the manner 
of a Hindu Masonic system, the usual rule of the sinner^s 
reward follows him. The more faithfully and unreservedly 
he devotes himself to the discipline prescribed, the more re- 
volting does his life become, and the more terrible his re- 
ward. During one period of this course he is not only 
allowed to eat everything which is offered him, but is com- 
pelled to do so. If he refuses anything, no matter how re- 
volting, he thereby. forfeits the respect and confidence of the 
credulous people around him, and with it all the merit 
which he has accumulated by his previous asceticism. If I 
had not been in India, I could not believe that much which I 
know these men to do could possibly be practiced by human 
beings. The poor creatures can reject nothing; and when a 
devout Hindu perhaps a wealthy princess, who has sent 
a thousand miles for a famous devotee wishes to obtain 
a special favor through his works of merit, she will almost 
certainly assure herself of his sanctity by requiring a horrible 
test of some kind from him, from which he dare not shrink. 

Many years ago an old devotee lived in the city of 
Najibabad, in Rohilkhand, who had acquired a great reputa- 
tion for sanctity. His house, which was on the outskirts of 
the city, was decorated with human skulls. His companions 
were dogs; and his life, although a quiet one, was destitute 
of everything attractive to human life in a world like this. 
He affirmed that he had gone through the entire list of 
austerities prescribed in the seventy-two years' course. His 



eye was uiidimmed and his hair unsilvered, and I always 
doubted whether he was really as old as he supposed himself 
to be. It is very common for elderly Hindus to add ten, 
twenty, or even more years to their age, without intending 
to deceive. They pay very little attention to accuracy in 
such matters ; and yet this old man affirmed over and over 
that he had taken the whole course of the six degrees, em- 
bracing seventy-two years of asceticism, and the oldest peo- 
ple of the city affirmed that he had been known to them all 
their days, and that he had been reckoned an old man when 
they first knew him. He was a man among a thousand, 
who would have arrested attention in any company or 
among any people. He was early impressed by the preach- 
ing which he heard in the city, and was actually baptized as 
a believer in Christ. He did not, however, leave his home, 
nor put away his dogs, although, if I remember correctly, 
he removed the skulls, and gave up the revolting part of his 
life. This old man told me, with the utmost particularity, 
that he had eaten pieces of flesh cut from dead bodies which 
he at times would find floating down the river, and this one 
disgusting act did more to raise him in the estimation of the 
credulous people of the city than anything else he had ever 
done. This, however, was only half the story. I can not 
put in print other things which he told me, which I find it 
impossible to doubt. I have known missionaries who, in 
similar cases, were eye-witnesses of the same disgusting rites 
which he professed to have performed. The reverence of 
the common Hindus for all classes of devotees is very great. 
A man with a shriveled arm held erect is an object of con- 
stant adoration as he walks along the road. Large numbers 
prostrate themselves at his feet, and that man would be dar- 
ing indeed who hesitated a moment in obeying any com- 
mand he might receive from such a saint. This power over 
the multitude would be a dangerous weapon in the hands of 
better men than the devotees; but when it is stated that large 
numbers of these fellows are the veriest scoundrels that walk 


the earth, the reader can well understand how much oppres- 
sion they can practice without endangering themselves in 
any way. In former years they were undisguised tyrants ; 
but for many years past the Indian Government has ceased 
to pay them any deference whatever. If one of the most 
sacred of these men violates the law of the land, he is pun- 
ished precisely as another man ; and this has done much, not 
only to protect the people, but to break the spell which enabled 
the devotee through long ages to oppress them with impunity. 
The Hindu devotee and the Mohammedan fakir are both 
much given to practicing various juggling arts, as well as to 
fortune-telling and the selling of charms to ward off all 
manner of evils and secure all manner of blessings. Men 
of this class are generally without moral principle, and 
Europeans sometimes act most unwisely in allowing them to 
amuse their children. A poor Christian woman, daughter of 
European parents, who had lost her character, and been 
overtaken by grievous misfortune, once told me that the 
original source of all her misery had been the plausible 
teaching of one of these wandering fortune-tellers. He 
practiced his little arts upon her when a child only five or 
six years of age, and made his misfaith seem to her so much 
more real, direct, and positive than the true faith of her 
parents, that she was practically led to abandon Christianity 
in her early childhood. The blighting effects of the teach- 
ing of the tens and hundreds of thousands of these devotees 
who are wandering over India the whole year round, must 
be a source of untold evil to this hapless empire. The num- 
ber of such devotees is very great. Mr. Ward, in his work on 
the Hindus, estimated the number in his day at one-eighth 
of the entire population. Such an estimate would be much 
too high for the present ; but as no census will ever correctly 
report all the various shades and grades of the people known 
as devotees, it is impossible to arrive at anything like cer- 
tainty in such a matter. The whole body of these men is 
divided into two classes, the one embracing the followers of 


Yishnu, and the other of Shiva. The latter has much the 
more numerous following. These Shivaites, again, are divided 
into a large number of diverse orders. The Rev. T. Phil- 
lips, in his ^' Missionary Manual/^ gives a list of seventeen 
different classes of ascetics belonging to the Shivaite school. 
Among these classes are found men of a certain order who 
profess to have so far subdued the body as to be insensible to 
physical pain. These men are generally among the most 
tyrannical to be found in the country. In one somewhat remote 
district, the first Commissioner who was placed in authority 
when the English took over that part of the country from the 
Hindu prince who had formerly ruled it, continued to main- 
tain the former regime in every particular. The customs of 
the people were not interfered with in any respect. This was 
all well enough so far as the customs were in themselves in- 
offensive; but from the first the English in India have found 
it impossible to maintain the entire Hindu system in all its 
integrity. Some of its features are so outrageous in their 
operation, that the most conservative magistrate who ever sat 
upon an Indian bench could not uphold them without at 
least some reservation. In the district under notice, how- 
ever, the first Commissioner thought it best not to interfere 
in any way with the wandering devotees, who chanced in 
that particular district to be among the very worst of their 
class. The precedent thus established w^as continued for 
some years; but finally a Commissioner assumed charge who 
determined to put a stop to the extortion and oppression of 
the whole devotee tribe, who were popularly known in that 
district as Jogis. This word, by the way, w^hich is sometimes 
applied to a better class of men, and which in its rigid sig- 
nification is distinctive of only one class of devotees, is 
popularly used in many parts of the country to describe all 
the half-naked wretches who wander over the country, 
whether belonging to one class or another. The Com- 
missioner issued a notice, and had it distributed widely 
throughout the district, to the effect that hereafter all the 


Jogis would be punished for their crimes in precisely the 
same way as other criminals. Shortly afterward, while a 
villager was driving in his cows from the pasture, one of these 
men went up to a cow, seized her by the tail, and, with a 
stroke of the short sword which he carried, cut off the tail and 
took it home to prepare it for his supper. The outrage was 
a grievous one ; for every Hindu regards the cow as a sacred 
animal, while the owner of the cow is often made to suffer for 
any mishap which occurs to the animal. The Jogi wished 
to show that he was able to eat anything, no matter how re- 
volting or how sacred it might be. The owner of the cow, 
notwithstanding his reverence for the holy man, entered a 
complaint against him for the outrage. He was brought into 
court, and sentenced to twelve lashes. The bystanders were 
startled and shocked at the idea of so holy a man being 
punished. "You may beat me,^' he said to the magistrate, 
" but it will make no difference to me. I never feel pain. 
My body has long since ceased to feel any pain whatever.^' 
" That makes no difference," said the magistrate, " you will 
receive twelve lashes all the same." They were given on the 
spot. When the flogging was over, the devotee said, in a de- 
fiant way : " You have flogged me, I suppose ; but I know 
nothing about it. I have not felt a stroke of the lash." 
" Very well," said the magistrate, " since you have not felt 
any pain, you will not object to taking twelve more," which 
were ordered to be inflicted at once. The devotee remained 
as defiant as before. " You may have flogged me, but if so 
I did not feel it. I never feel pain. I have overcome that 
altogether." " Very well," said the magistrate, " it will 
make no difference to you; so you shall have a third dozen," 
which were at once ordered to be given. The devotee per- 
sisted that he felt no pain ; but when the order for the fourth 
dozen was given, he gave in, and begged to be released. The 
spell was broken. The poor fellow had not suffered in vain, 
when it became known that the supposed holy men were, 
after all, men of flesh and blood like others. 


The severe and public example made of this poor man 
did not suffice, however, to impress the rest of the brother- 
hood with a sense of the terrors of the law. A little later 
another member of the fraternity, with matted hair and with 
his almost naked body smeared all over with ashes, entered 
the leading street of the town, and began to assess a tax or 
fine of two rupees upon each shop. He had fixed upon a 
certain sum of money with which he wished to buy a horse, 
and having always been accustomed to the exercise of un- 
questioned tyranny, he determined to raise the money by 
levying a forced tax upon the shop-keepers of the town. 
His process was exceedingly simple. Taking some filth in 
his hand, he threatened to pollute the doorway of each shop, 
and thereby destroy the value of everything in it to the 
caste-observing people, unless the money demanded were in- 
stantly paid by the owner. When the story of his extortion 
reached this same magistrate, he at once ordered the man's 
arrest. The devotee, nothing daunted, appeared in the 
magistrate's court, and at once admitted the truth of the 
charge laid against him. As he was defiant in manner, and 
his offense had been a very grave one, he was sentenced to a 
year's imprisonment. " Very well," said the defiant devotee, 
"you may send me to prison if you choose, but I warn you 
beforehand that I shall never eat or drink after entering the 
prison. I shall die of starvation, and with my dying breath 
I shall curse you, your wife, children, grandchildren, and 
great-grandchildren, all of whom Avill bear the curse of a dev- 
otee while they live." Nothing could have been more ter- 
rible, in the estimation of the common people of the town, 
than a threat uttered by such a man, and couched in such 
language as this. " You may curse away," calmly replied 
the magistrate, " as long as you please. That is a matter of 
indifference to me. But whether you curse or not, you shall 
go to prison for one year." He was sent off accordingly and 
locked up; but day after day the jailer brought word that he 
was adhering to his purpose, and rigidly abstaining from food 


and drink. The magistrate paid no attention whatever to 
the daily reports brought him, until at last, on the eighth 
morning, the jailer came to say that the old devotee seemed 
near his end. " He has tasted neither food nor drink," he 
said, " since the moment he entered the prison, and he adheres 
to his purpose. He told me only this morning that he will curse 
you with his dying breath, according to his threat." The mag- 
istrate calmly called for pen and paper and wrote an order in 
the dialect of the place, which the jailer could read, in which 
he directed the proper officer of the prison to take the body 
of the devotee as soon as he died, have it wrapped in a cow's 
hide, carried out by low-caste men, and buried outside the 
city walls. This was an order hardly less terrible than the 
threats of the devotee. In the first place, the Hindus, with 
few exceptions, burn instead of bury their dead. In the next 
place, the touch of a cow's hide would be contaminating; 
while, lastly, the indignity of being carried to his grave by 
low-caste men carried with it indelible disgrace. The jailer 
returned to the famished and almost dying devotee, and not 
only reported the result of the interview, but showed him 
the order. He glanced at it a moment, and then said : " Get me 
something to eat quickly, before I die." His spell also was 
broken, and no more was heard of his threats or his curses. 

One or two more examples put an end to the outrageous 
conduct of this class of men, and now they are as amenable 
to the laws of the land as any other people of the province. 

Every year or two a story goes the rounds of the Ameri- 
can papers to the effect that some of these wonderful dev- 
otees of India are able to make themselves unconscious, or 
rather inanimate, and in this state be buried alive and left 
in the grave for days, and even months, after which they are 
restored to life again. I quote the following from the New 
York Mail and Express: 

"Much has been written of late about the capacity of frogs to 
live for years in rocks. Of much greater interest, however, is the 
fact that human beings can also lie for months buried under ground 


and then be brought to life again. Such phenomenal beings are 
not, of course, found on this continent or in Europe, but in India, 
that veritable realm of Vonder-working. A German writer has 
recently written a very interesting essay on the capacity, often 
proved, of Indian fakirs to let themselves be buried for longer or 
shorter periods, and to come to life again, smiling, after the ordeal.'* 

I have repeatedly met with statements of this char- 
acter; and some years ago Dr. Buckley, who takes a special 
interest in researches of this kind, wrote to me to know how 
far my own observation had corroborated stories of the kind. 
I had in a general way heard such stories, but never have 
met with a single case, well attested or otherwise. I began 
at once to make inquiries, and was repeatedly told that such 
cases did actually occur; but after trying in vain to run down 
even one of the floating stories which reached my ears, I 
gave up the task as hopeless. The man who is able to do it 
always lives a good many hundred miles distant. The name 
of his town or village can never be given. The exact place 
and time at which he performed the semi-miracle are never 
known. In short, there is never anything but the most 
vague of shadowy rumors on w4iich to build such a story. 
So far as the stories which reach Europe and America are con- 
cerned, they may one and all be traced to the history of a 
man named Hari Das, who belonged to Cashmere, or possi- 
bly the Panjab, and submitted himself to be buried alive in 
the presence of Ranjit Singh, in the year 1837. The author- 
ity almost invariably quoted for this statement is Dr. John 
Martin Honiberger, formerly physician at the court of Ranjit 
Singh, then ruler of the Sikhs. I was personally acquainted 
with Dr. Honiberger about thirty years ago, and had every 
reason to esteem him as a man of veracity and integrity. 
He was at that time very old, but with a retentive memory 
and clear judgment. So far as his testimony to an occur- 
rence which he had seen is concerned, I should not hesitate 
for a moment to receive it without question ; but when I ex- 
amine the story itself, I find it far from satisfactory. Dr. 


Honiberger never witnessed anything of the kind. He says 
that he returned from a furlough in Europe in 1839, and on 
the voyage out he had as a traveling companion General Ven- 
tura, who was at that time in the service of Ranjit Singh. 
In the course of the voyage General Ventura told him that 
during his absence some wonderful things had taken place 
at Lahore; that, among other things, a fakir from the 
mountains had been able to place himself in a state re- 
sembling death, and while in this condition was buried, and 
when disinterred returned to life again. Dr. Honiberger 
says, after speaking of Hari Das as having thrown himself 
into a hypnotic or unconscious state: ^'He was wrapped in 
the linen on which he was sitting; the seal of Ranjit Singh 
was stamped thereon, and it was placed in a chest, on which 
the Maharaja put a strong lock. The chest was buried in a 
garden outside the city, belonging to the minister; barley 
was sown on the ground, and the space inclosed with a wall 
and surrounded by sentinels. On the fortieth day, which 
was the time fixed for his exhumation, a great number of 
the authorities of the durbar, with General Ventura and 
several Englishmen from the vicinity, one of them a 
medical man, went to the inclosure. The chest was brought 
up and opened, and the fakir was found in the same posi- 
tion as they had left him, cold and stiff. A friend of mine 
told me that had I been present when they endeavored to 
bring him to life, by applying warmth to the head, injecting 
air into his ears and mouth, and rubbing the whole of his 
body to promote circulation, etc., I should certainly not have 
had the slightest doubt as to the reality of the performance. 
The minister. Raja Dhyam Singh, assured me that he him- 
self kept this fakir four months under the ground when he 
was at Jummoo in the mountains. On the day of his burial 
he ordered his beard to be shaved, and at his exhumation 
his chin was as smooth as on the day of his interment, thus 
furnishing a complete proof of the powers of vitality having 
been suspended during that period.'^ 


The same story is related by one or two other writers ; 
but it is worthy of note that we have it only as hearsay. 
Dr. Honiberger himself did not witness this wonderful 
scene. It is also stated that the man Hari Das had a bad 
reputation, and that his moral character was of the worst de- 
scription. There is nothing incredible in the statement that 
he threw himself into a state which resembled death. That 
can be done by many men, both in India and elsewhere. Npr 
is it incredible that he was buried in the presence of Ranjit 
Singh. There, however, the admissions must cease. It is 
perfectly credible that the body was removed from the grave 
almost immediately after the guard had been set. Large 
numbers of these devotees are accomplished jugglers; but we 
need not assume that any real deception was used in this case. 
A very moderate bribe would accomplish all that was neces- 
sary. The story of the barley being sown over the ground 
was probably a later addition to the original statement. So 
also with regard to the interment lasting four months. The 
statement was made to Dr. Honiberger by an officer of Ranjit 
Singh ; and even if we assume that this gentleman intended 
to tell the truth, he was no doubt' credulous to the last de- 
gree, and perhaps noticed that he had a sympathetic hearer 
in the person of Dr. Honiberger. 

The weak point in the whole story, however, is found in 
the fact that a little later an English officer proposed to Hari 
Das that he try an experiment by allowing himself to be 
locked lip in a strong box, suspended from the ceiling of a 
room, so that the white ants could not possibly reach the box 
and endanger his safety, and remain for a specified time in 
the box, while the officer in question held the key. To this 
Hari Das would not for one moment consent. The key, no 
matter what happened, must be in the hands of his chosen 
friends. Dr. Honiberger states that many Englishmen lost 
confidence in his pretensions, because of his unwillingness to 
have the experiment tried with reasonable safeguards to test 
its reality. When we remember that the whole occurrence 


took place more than fifty years ago, that all India has been 
searched over and over in vain for another man who can ac- 
complish the same wonderful feat, and that only one case 
has yet been located so that even the most cursory examina- 
tion of the alleged feat could be made, the reader will no 
doubt hesitate to believe so extraordinary a story. From 
the first the Indian jugglers and the Indian devotees have 
been practically one and the same, and it is from this ex- 
tremely doubtful source that Theosophy has drawn most of 
its wonders and all its traditions. Our friends in America 
need not trouble their minds about people in India having 
learned how to bury themselves alive, and remain in the 
grave four months, forty days, or any lesser period. Thus 
far the assertion that such a wonder has actually occurred 
rests upon an exceedingly slender foundation. 

As intimated above, the moral tone of the Indian dev- 
otees, taking them as a class, is very low. It could not be 
otherwise when so many of those who adopt this kind of life 
as a profession are insincere in their lives, and giv^en to vari- 
ous modes of deception. Many of them, under the im- 
pression that they must separate their minds and hearts as 
far as possible from all worldly things, adopt a listless manner, 
which makes them seem simple almost to the point of idiocy. 
In conversation they try to appear as artless as little children, 
and carefully avoid showing any of the wisdom of this world, 
even with regard to the most ordinary affairs. Some men 
of this class are very harmless, while others are much 
less artless than they seem to be. Many, again, are given 
to the use of opium and other drugs peculiar to India. It 
is probable that most of these are driven to the use of in- 
toxicating or stupefying drugs for the sake of lessening phys- 
ical pain or weariness. The poor creatures are often almost 
naked, even in the coldest weather of North India. At 
other seasons they are exposed to the burning rays of the 
sun all day long; and at all seasons, when upon their long 
pilgrimages, or when enduring any of the many forms of 


physical discomfort to which they subject themselves, they 
must be sorely tempted to seek relief in the opium which 
dulls their senses or puts them to sleep, or in various drugs 
which produce the effects of ordinary intoxication. And 
yet, while the general character of the devotees as a class 
by no means stands high, I have long since become convinced 
that many of them are not only sincere, but, according to 
their light, blameless and harmless in ordinary life. From 
among these we occasionally succeed in winning Christian 
converts, some of whom have become valuable preachers of 
the Word. When I lived in North India, about twenty years 
ago, I had for some time two most valuable preachers who 
had formerly been wandering devotees. Both of them had 
been led in the first place, in their approaches to Christianity, 
by a sincere desire for the truth ; and one of them affirmed 
that he had been directed by a remarkable dream, in which 
a stranger clad in white appeared to him, and bade him go 
to the missionaries in Moradabad, and seek the truth as they 
would point it out to him. He had six disciples, all of 
whom accompanied him; but when they began to learn what 
a Christian life meant, and what w^ould be required of them 
if they became Christians, the whole six took summary leave 
of their master. The leader, however, remained steadfast, 
and after many years of faithful labor, died at his post as a 
preacher of the gospel. 

Cl)apter X. 


THE combined influence of missionary teaching and 
English education, together with constant contact with 
Western ideas, at an early day began to shake the confi- 
dence of educated men in India, especially young men, in 
their old religious systems, and create a spirit of more or less 
earnest inquiry among them. These causes are still in opera- 
tion, and every day the number of those who have cut loose 
from their ancient moorings, and w^ho avow themselves " ad- 
vanced," " progressive," " educated," or " liberal " Hindus 
increases. This constant tendency, of course, prepares the 
way for a better defined and wider movement in the future, 
but thus far has only crystallized in two well-defined and 
organized efforts to construct a religious system better than 
Hinduism, and yet distinct from Christianity. The Brahmo 
Somaj of Bengal, and the Arya Somaj of North India, have 
both secured public attention, and are trying to provide 
India with an Indian religion better suited to its peculiar 
wants than Christianity, and even better than Christianity 
itself. The Hindu Tract Society of South India might pos- 
sibly be mentioned as a third organization of the same kind ; 
but both in its aims and animating spirit it falls so far be- 
low the North India movements as to be unworthy of men- 
tion in the same connection. 

The Brahmo Somaj of Bengal has become well known, 
not only in India, but in Europe and America, chiefly through 
the writings and published addresses of the late Keshub 
Ch under Sen. It owes its original foundation chiefly to the 
well-known Ram Mohun Roy, a cultured and able Bengali 



gentleman of the last generation, who was one of the first 
Indians to visit England and secure a large degree of atten- 
tion in that country. He began his career early in the 
present century, and for the most part kept nearer to the 
Christian standard than most of his followers have done. 
When in England he identified himself so closely with the 
Unitarians that he has often been claimed by them as one of 
their own number. A few extracts from his letters or writings 
have been produced from time to time w^hich indicate that 
at heart he was, at times at least, practically a Christian both 
in his belief and feelings. As a matter of fact, however, he 
never made a formal profession of Christianity, and died as 
he had lived, a professed Hindu. He believed that a great 
deal of trutb was found in the Vedas, the most ancient of 
the Hindu writings, and before his death gathered round him 
a few follow^ers in Calcutta, who discarded the later accre- 
tions of the Hindu system, and tried to establish their re- 
ligious faith upon the foundation of the more ancient and 
purer teachings of the Vedas. 

The chief man among these early followers of Ram 
Mohun Roy was a devout and able Bengali gentleman named 
Debendro Natli Tagore, who became the leader of the little 
flock, and for a long time remained its most active and in- 
fluential member. Under his direction an attempt was made 
to form a national creed, and the movement assumed a more 
definite form as distinct from Hinduism, instead of still re- 
taining a formal connection with it. The earnest but too 
sanguine men who joined in this undertaking hoped to lead 
a great reform movement, which in time would supplant 
Hinduism altogether, and give back to India the simple faith 
of the earliest Aryan settlers. In order to succeed in this 
attempt, they adopted a kind of religious eclecticism, pro- 
fessing to draw from all religions freely whatever was needed 
to complete their own creed. About the time that Theodore 
Parker was at the zenith of his fame and influence in Boston, 
his teachings through . some source reached these ardent 


reformers in Calcutta, and for a period of perhaps ten years 
influenced them very profoundly. The writings of F. W. 
Newman, of England, a man of kindred spirit with Parker, 
also fell into their hands, and indeed Mr. Newman himself 
was at one time in personal communication with them. I 
once read a letter which he had addressed to them as a body, 
in which he warned them solemnly and earnestly against the 
missionaries, who would mislead them if listened to, and 
urged them to look for the light and inspiration which they 
needed in their own hearts and minds. From these teachers 
the reformers in Calcutta learned some good, and also some 
very dangerous lessons. Among the latter, the error which 
led them ultimately into the most serious mistakes grew out 
of the transcendental idea of inner illumination, by which 
they understood much more than Mr. Parker would have 
deliberately taught them. They were made to believe that 
all men were alike illuminated by the Spirit of God ; but the 
word illumination was never defined to them with sufficient 
clearness, and in the minds of many soon became a mere 
synonym for fancy. 

The word ^^Somaj^^in Bengali literally means an as- 
sembly, and is equivalent to the Greek term which we trans- 
late by the English word " church. '' The term "Brahmo" 
may be taken as meaning " divine. '^ Joseph Cook has trans- 
lated the two words as meaning ^'God Society," but in se- 
lecting the word "Somaj,'' the early founders of the system 
np doubt sought for an exact equivalent of the English word 
church, thereby affording a curious illustration of the manner 
in which they unconsciously borrowed from Christianity 
nearly everything that pertained to their organization as a 
church. In their own writings, especially in more recent 
years, they constantly use the word church, giving it almost 
the same signification which Christians do, save that they 
apply it to an organization which is not Christian. While 
for the most part denying that they are indebted, to any ma- 
terial extent, to the Christian missionaries for any of their 


doctrines, or for any part of their organization, yet, as a 
matter of fact, they have unconsciously been walking in the 
reflected light of Christianity since the very first. 

In the year 1859 a young man began to assume a promi- 
nent place in the Somaj at Calcutta, who was destined to af- 
fect its fortunes more directly than any one else who had ap- 
peared in its history. This young man of twenty-one was 
the well-known Keshub Chunder Sen. He was a man sin- 
gularly gifted in many respects, having a fine personal pres- 
ence, a most amiable and winning disposition, a clear and 
cultured mind, a warm and affectionate heart, and gifted 
with a power of popular eloquence which placed him in the 
very front rank of all modern Indians. He was at once 
surrounded by a band of devoted followers, and became the 
leader of a reform party within the Somaj itself. Heretofore, 
while in words condemning caste, child-marriage, enforced 
widowhood, and other wrongs of the Hindu system, no de- 
termined effort had been made to free the members of the 
Somaj themselves from personal connection with these abuses. 
The young reformers began to demand immediate action, 
and themselves set the example by breaking caste, and openly 
protesting against all the ancient abuses of the Hindu sys- 
tem. They were possibly a little more zealous than wise in 
their efforts; but be that as it may, a rupture soon occurred; 
and in 1860 Mr. Sen, with a large majority of the whole 
Somaj, withdrew and organized what was called the Brahmo 
Somaj of India. With the organization of this new body, 
Mr. Sen at once became a prominent leader, and from that 
time till his death in 1884 no man in India was more promi- 
nently before the public, especially the religious public, and 
none exerted a wider influence among the better educated 

Mr. Sen and his followers were extremely sanguine of 
success when they organized the Brahmo Somaj of India, 
and sincerely believed that by the aid of their free eclecticism 
they had laid down a basis upon which all earnest servants 


of God could unite. They denounced dogmas and creeds, 
and seemed honestly unconscious of the fact that in doing so 
they were laying down a definite creed, and teaching dogmas 
which their followers would tenaciously hold for generations 
to come. They denounced sectarianism constantly, and made 
this one of the most prominent points in their public ad- 
dresses, unconscious all the time that they were introducing 
one new sect into Brahmoism, and one new sectarian body 
into the religious world. In this respect they were neither 
better nor worse than many honest Christians, who, while 
constantly preaching against sectarianism, and withdrawing 
from all other religious associations in order to protest 
against it, succeed merely in forming one additional sect, and 
often a very insignificant and useless one at that. It is a 
curious comment upon the mistake into which these earnest 
men fell at that period, that Brahmoism has already divided 
into no less than four different bodies, each of which, unfor- 
tunately, must bear a sectarian name before the public. 

In the course of time, Mr. Sen made rapid changes in his 
own views, and began to introduce so many new features 
into the Brahmo Church that no little ferment was occa- 
sioned among his followers. He wholly rejected Parkerism 
after a very few years, and seemed to perceive very clearly 
what was deficient in Mr. Parker^s teaching. He became 
more spiritual and more earnest in denouncing the great 
wrongs of the Hindu system. His influence with the Indian 
Government enabled him to secure the enactment of a mar- 
riage act, which was essentially Christian in its features, for 
the Brahmo people. It was the enactment of a practical 
protest against child-marriage and enforced widowhood. 
This reform, however, was not secured without determined 
opposition, and soon indications appeared that another rup- 
ture in the community might occur at any time. Mr. Sen 
had unfortunately accepted, without any qualification, the 
doctrine of immediate inspiration ; and drawing no distinc- 
tion whatever between this and the ordinary illumination of 



the Spirit which is given to all, he regarded himself as an in- 
spired man, not only in respect to points of doctrine, but in 
regard to all ordinary conduct. It is easy to see that only 
one step remained between the acceptance of this dangerous 
belief and the assumption of practical infallibility. Now 
and then Christian men of very considerable culture fall into 
the same mistake, and hence we should not judge Mr. Sen 
too harshly. All our charity, however, can not explain away 
the fact that at a critical moment, when called upon to de- 
cide a question of the utmost importance both to himself and 
to the Indian public, he had recourse to prayer, and, believ- 
ing that he had received a direct order from God, he made a 
decision which most of his followers regarded as wrong, both 
on moral and legal grounds. This led to an immediate se- 
cession of a very large body, including some of the best 
Brahmos in the community. Strangely enough, another 
rupture followed on the death of Mr. Sen himself. Mr. 
Mozumdar, who visited America some years ago, and who is 
still remembered favorably by many in the United States, 
had just returned from a trip around the world; and, as the 
most prominent of Mr. Sen's followers, he expected to suc- 
ceed to the leadership. In this he was opposed, and when 
he attempted to occupy the pulpit which Mr. Sen had for 
some years held, he was ejected from it ; and having follow- 
ers of his own, the consequence which might have been ex- 
pected quickly followed. The Somaj again divided. 

Since the death of Keshub Ch under Sen the Brahmo 
movement has been in a quiescent state. Its chief strength is 
now in the hands of what is called the Sadharan Somaj ; that 
is, the conservative body which withdrew from Mr. Sen at 
the time he fell into the error noted above, assuming that he 
was guided directly by the Spirit of God. The original 
body has dwindled down almost to nothing. The future of 
the movement is very uncertain. If another leader arises, 
with sufficient ability and skill to manage the somewhat dis- 
cordant elements of which the body is composed, Brahmoisra 


may get a new lease of life, and possibly attain to the dimen- 
sions of a great movement. Numerically it is by no means 
a strong body. It has not nearly so many adherents now as 
it had fifteen or twenty years ago. The many sharp col- 
lisions which have occurred among its members has had the 
effect of alienating many youn^ men who, without identify- 
ing themselves directly with the Somaj, had accepted its doc- 
trines, and even avowed themselves as its followers. For 
several years past comparatively few accessions have been 
made to its ranks. 

It is very difficult to speak accurately of Mr. Sen. I 
knew him well, and might almost say intimately, and yet 
have always regarded his career as an enigma difficult to 
solve. That he was sincere I never doubted, but at the same 
time I always felt painfully that he had mistaken his mission, 
and was led constantly by false lights which he mistook for 
the clear illumination of the Spirit of God. He unhesitat- 
ingly believed that God, from time to time, in all the past, 
had raised up special leaders to reform the nations, and that 
these leaders had been the subjects of peculiar and excep- 
tional inspiration. He drew but slight distinctions in the 
character of these men, or of the inspiration which they en- 
joyed, putting Confucius and Socrates, Zoroaster and Buddha, 
Christ and Mohammed, Choitonya and himself, together in 
one category as men called of God and inspired for a great 
purpose. In his later years he would have hesitated to as- 
sign to our Saviour a common place among these inspired 
men. His own language, indeed, concerning Christ was so 
very equivocal that it is impossible to decide in what light 
he held him. One thing which alienated him from the con- 
fidence of Christian missionaries, and which, indeed, irritated 
some of them exceedingly at times, was his constant habit of 
using Christian wor.ds and phrases in a sense peculiar to him- 
self; that is, he used these terms and phrases with a reserved 
right to apply any meaning to them which he chose. The same 
criticism applies, to some extent, to all the Brahmos. They 


borrow Christian phrases as well as Christian usages very 
freely, and in the employment of them constantly mislead 
Western readers. Mr. Sen, however, was undoubtedly honest 
in his belief, and claimed the right of using words in what- 
ever sense suited his purpose. He believed beyond a doubt 
that he had been raised up as a man chosen of God to give 
the people of India a new and purer faith than they had 
ever known. During the last year of his life his implicit 
faith in his own inspiration led him to adopt some extreme 
vagaries, and both in his writings and public teachings he 
often reminded me of some phases . of religious fanaticism 
which appear from time to time in Christian circles. Had 
he died a year or two earlier, it would probably have been 
better for his fame. 

The Arya Somaj of North India is a body corresponding 
in some respects to the Brahmo Somaj of Bengal. The latter, 
after its more perfect organization by Keshub Chunder Sen, 
sent out missionaries and established branches in all parts of 
North India; but these subordinate bodies were nearly all 
confined to the small colonies of Bengalis found in the lead- 
ing cities. The movement seldom gained any foothold among 
the North India people ; and hence a clear way was left for 
a distinct movement, for which, indeed, the soil was somewhat 
well prepared. The movement known as the Arya Somaj is 
the outcome of the teachings and organizing ability of 
Dyanand Saraswati, the son of a Gujarati Brahman, born in 
Dwarha, a sacred city of Gujarat, in the year 1825. He was 
thus thirteen years older than Keshub Chender Sen, but did 
not enjoy the advantages which the latter received. Being a 
youth of a strongly marked religious temperament, he de- 
voted himself at an early age to the study of the Vedas ; but 
his earnest and inquiring mind soon led him to doubt many 
things which a follower of the popular religion was expected 
to accept without question. When sixteen years of age he 
was deeply impressed by the death of an uncle and an only 


sister; and as often happens among the people of India, when 
dissatisfied or disappointed with the world as it presents itself 
to persons with strong religious desires, he determined to 
adopt the life of a devotee. When hindered by his father, he 
quickly resolved to escape from home, which he did in the 
year 1847. He was at that time twenty -two years of age, and 
for more than a dozen years he wandered from place to place 
in the society of devotees, changing once or twice his outward 
garb as he advanced from one stage to another. By the year 
1854 he had become a Saniyasi, the fourth degree of the dev- 
oteeship which he had chosen. This was a high proficiency for 
one so young as he was at that time. In the process of time, 
however, he found that he was making little headway in fol- 
lowing such a life; and when about thirty-five years of age 
he became profoundly impressed that he had a mission to his 
own people, and resolved to devote himself to the task of re- 
storing them to the state of former happiness which he be- 
lieved they had enjoyed. All the great religions of the world, 
except the Christian, point to the past as their golden age. A 
few Christians, unfortunately, have fallen into the same mis- 
take; but it is the glory of the Christian system that its 
golden age is in the future. It has undertaken to lead the 
world to a better destiny than it has ever known. The ardent 
and hopeful Dyanand thought he might bring back again 
the golden age of his people, and resorted to various expe- 
dients with that end in view, without, however, achieving 
any marked success. At last, about the year 1875, he re- 
solved to follow the precedent set him by the Bengali Brah- 
mos, and establish Somajes, or religious societies, throughout 
North India, each of which was to be the center of an earnest 
work of religious reform. As soon as he began to carry out 
this plan, his work assumed a definite shape, and his influence 
became felt far and wide through Western and Northern 

The name, Arya Somaj, was given to this new organiza- 
tion, and has been significant of the character and progress of 


the whole movement. The followers of Dyanand differ 
from their brethren of Bengal in several respects, not alto- 
gether to their own advantage. They are less liberal, and 
have made less progress in the direction of reform than the 
Brahmos have done. They are more partisan in their feel- 
ing, and adhere more closely to the ancient Vedic system. 
In other words, they have only advanced to about the point 
which the Brahmos had reached twenty-five years ago. They 
are more hostile, also, to Christianity, and especially to Chris- 
tian missionary effort in India. Owing to this, most of the 
missionaries in North India regard them as, upon the whole, 
hostile rather than friendly, and decline to co-operate with 
them in even those ordinary reform movements in which all 
should join. Many of them undoubtedly have good reason 
for so regarding them; and it is to be regretted that the 
Aryas, as they are popularly called, or the Dyanandis, do 
manifest a spirit of hostility, not only to Christian mission- 
aries, but to Christian truth, which is far from creditable to 
any men who wish to bear the name of reformers. At the 
same time, they are everywhere recognized as the opponents 
of popular idolatry, and many of them are warmly enlisted in 
favor of the abolition of child-marriage, enforced widowhood^ 
and other deeply rooted abuses. As has happened among the 
Brahmos, so we may anticipate that, in the course of time, dis- 
sensions and divisions will occur among the Aryas also. 
Some will advance, while others will stand still or recede; 
and the missionaries will be wise if, instead of wasting time 
in fighting them, they co-operate with them as often as oppor- 
tunity is afforded them, and conciliate them wherever such a 
policy is possible. Some, however, are too bitter in their 
feelings, and too hostile to the Christian faith, to be of much 
use to any Christian missionaries in connection with reform 

It would hardly interest the reader to give an outline of 
the leading religious tenets held by the members of the Arya 
Somaj. Suffice it to say that they still hold mmny of the 


popular errors of the Hindu system, while, however, formally 
denouncing the later sacred writings of the Hindus. They 
are trying to adhere to the original Vedas, and have yet to 
give up some of their most fatal errors. They believe, or at 
least many of them do, in transmigration. Like the Brah- 
mos of Bengal, they have adopted the exceedingly fatal no- 
tion that God can not forgive sin. Forgiveness has no 
place in their creed. They believe that sin entails suffering, 
and that, either in this life or the next, it must be atoned for 
by the actual suffering of the transgressor. They also ad- 
here to the ancient Hindu notion of merit, and, as a conse- 
quence, their prayers are for the most part merely formal. 
In this respect they are far behind the Brahmos, being much 
less devotional, and using much less direct prayer in their 
worship. Like the Brahmos, they borrow freely and largely 
from the Christians in their public services. Their meetings 
are for the most part held- on Sunday ; not because they 
have any peculiar reverence for the day, but because it 
chances to be a Government holiday, and they have more 
leisure for worship than on any other day of the week. The 
ordinary service consists of prayer, usually, however, read, 
chanting of a hymn, sometimes in Sanskrit and sometimes in 
a modern tongue, and one or more public addresses. The 
Arya Somaj has a much larger following than the Brahmo 
Somaj. This is probably owing to their greater laxity both 
of faith and practice. If they continue to make progress, in 
time, no doubt, a secession of the more earnest and progress- 
ive members will occur, in which case there may be a thin- 
ning of the ranks, as has happened among the Brahmos in 
Calcutta. I am not able to state what the present strength 
of the body is, but well-informed persons in North India es- 
timate it at from twenty to twenty-five thousand. 

I have spoken of the Hindu Tract Society of Madras. 
This is a body of a very different kind, whose animating 
spirit seems to be simply hostility to Christianity, and 


especially to Christian missionaries. The Hindus of South 
India have become alarmed of late by the rapid progress 
which missionaries are making in winning over the lower 
castes of the community. Through all the ages past Hin- 
duism has never lifted a finger to aid the despised out- 
castes; but now that Christianity is coming to the front and 
befriending them, not a few intelligent Hindus perceive that, 
before very long, not only will these despised people become 
Christians, but they will be rapidly elevated in the social 
scale, and work a veritable revolution inthe social condition 
of the whole community. These men are far-seeing, but not 
wise. In order to counteract the efforts of the missionaries, 
a society has been organized, called the Hindu Tract So- 
ciety, and some of its operations are really ludicrous when 
it is considered that what they wish to do is not to elevate 
the poor, but to keep the Christians from doing it. In the 
neighborhood of Bangalore, where our missionaries had gath- 
ered large numbers of the children of the poor in Sunday- 
schools, this society put its agents to work in opposition, 
and actually paid small bribes to the children to keep them 
away from Sunday-school. They have also made a few feeble 
efforts to found schools for the Pariahs, as the out-castes are 
popularly called, and in their papers and public meetings have 
discussed the most practical ways and means of counteracting 
missionary influences. They have also published and circu- 
lated tracts in opposition to Christianity, and from this feature 
of their work the society takes its name. The whole move- 
ment, however, is hardly worthy of serious notice, and I only 
mention it as an illustration of the influence which Christian 
missions are exerting upon the people. 

A few other movements, somewhat akin to the two 
Somajes mentioned above, have taken place^n different parts 
of India, but not on a wide enough scale, or with sufficient 
success, to call for further notice. 

Cl)apber XL 


INDIA is so well known as the greatest mission-field of 
the modern Church, that it will be a surprise to many 
readers in America who have not given special attention to 
the subject, to learn that Christianity has had a foot-hold in 
one part of the empire since a very early period, probably as 
early as the beginning of the second century. It is probable, 
although not certain, that Christian merchants and other 
adventurers, if not also Christian missionaries, penetrated 
through Central Asia as far as the Indian passes during the 
first and second centuries; but no authentic records remain 
to show to what extent churches were organized in India 
proper. It does not appear, however, that any considerable 
Christian population was ever recognized in North India. In 
South India, on the other hand, probably through the efforts 
of Christian merchants and other travelers following a well- 
known route of commerce down the Red Sea and around the 
Persian Gulf, Christianity gained a permanent foot-hold, which 
it has retained ever since. An endless number of mythical 
stories have been put in circulation in more recent times with 
regard to the planting of these ancient churches in Southern 
India ; but very little is known on the subject with historical 
certainty. When the Portuguese made their first settlements on 
the Malabar Coast, and found a large Christian population oc- 
cupying a portion of the main-land, it became of the utmost 
importance to them to prove that all the Christian churches 
of India had been founded by the Apostle Thomas, and hence 
originally belonged to their own communion. It is true that 
they found the name of Thomas held in the highest venera- 



tion among all the Indian Christians, and the opinion every- 
where accepted that the Thomas who had become famous 
among them was none other than Thomas Didymus, of the 
original twelve apostles. It seems a well established fact that 
two distinguished leaders were known among these Chris- 
tians, one in the third century and one in the eighth, both 
bearing the name of. Thomas. Both these men performed 
distinguished services for their fellow-disciples, and it would 
be the most natural thing in the world for their grateful fol- 
lowers especially after the lapse of a generation or two to 
confound them with the older traditions of the Apostle 
Thomas himself. It has also been suggested that the Apostle 
Thomas who figures in the universal tradition of the prim- 
itive Church as a most enterprising and laborious missionary 
evangelist, pushed his way into the far East, preaching in 
the countries lying east of Persia, which at one time formed 
the ancient Bactrian kingdom of the Greeks. The name 
India in those days was very commonly applied to all that 
region, neither the Persians, Greeks, nor Romans having any 
clear idea of the geographical boundaries of India, or being 
very particular in their use of geographical terms. In this 
way the Apostle Thomas would come to be regarded through- 
out Europe as an apostle to the people of India; and when 
the name of Thomas was subsequently discovered in South- 
ern India, it needs afford us no surprise that in those old 
times, when accuracy of date was little thought of. Christian 
writers generally should fall into the mistake of confounding 
three different men who chanced to bear the same name. 

The first authentic mention which we have of this com- 
munity of Indian Christians is given by Eusebius in an ac- 
count of a zealous Christian named Pantsenus, of Alexan- 
dria, who had previously been well known as the head of a 
celebrated school of Stoic philosophy in that city. About 
the year A. D. 190, Pantsenus heard from merchants who 
had returned from India of the existence of a Christian com- 
munity in that distant land. In those days a Roman fleet 


went regularly once a year from a port on the Red Sea to 
India, and it is well known that Jews going out from time 
to time by this route finally effected a settlement on the 
western coast of India, and descendants of these Jews are 
well known in Bombay to the present day as Bani Israel. 
It is extremely probable that Christians also would find their 
way to India in the same way as the Jews did, and probably 
they, too, founded a colony, or perhaps preached the gospel to 
the natives of the country, and organized them into Churches. 
It is evident that the Romans carried on a very extensive 
trade at that period with India. About fifty years ago a col- 
lection of silver coins was discovered at Coimbatore, in 
South India, 522 in number, of which no less than 135 were 
coins of Augustus, and 378 of Tiberius. A few years later 
another discovery was made, near Calicut, of several hun- 
dred coins dating from Augustus to Nero, but none later 
than Nero have been discovered. The presence of so many 
of these coins clearly indicates that a very active and extensive 
trade must have been carried on between the people of the Mal- 
abar coast, and Roman merchants from some point westward. 
Pantsenus set out from Alexandria with a resolute pur- 
pose to visit his Christian brethren in India an enterprise, 
in that age, of no little difficulty ; and although his reports 
have been doubted to some extent, it seems reasonably cer- 
tain that he succeeded in reaching India. So far, however, 
from finding any evidence that the Apostle Thomas had been 
there before him, he was surprised to discover that some of 
the Christians were acquainted with the Gospel of Matthew, 
and reported that Bartholomew, one of the apostles, after 
preaching to them, had left them this Gospel in the Hebrew 
language. It is worthy of note that Hippolytus, Bishop of 
Portus, early in the third century, also assigns the conversion 
of India to the Apostle Bartholomew, while to Thomas he 
gives the credit of evangelizing Persia and the Bactrian re- 
gions of Central Asia. He also adds that Thomas suffered 
martyrdom in India, at a place called Calamina. 


It is abundantly evident that the early Christians were 
men of very great activity in their efforts to spread the gos- 
pel over the world. While the New Testament is wholly 
silent concernrng the later labors of most of the apostles, it 
is reasonable to suppose that those unnamed in the Book of 
Acts were quite as zealous in propagating the faith as Peter 
or John, or even Paul; and it is quite credible that both 
Bartholomew and Thomas actually preached the gospel in 
India. It is quite as probable, however, that other Chris- 
tians, living a generation or two later, and bearing the same 
names, were confounded with the original apostles. In any 
case, incidental evidences like those mentioned above are of 
extreme interest to students of primitive Christian history. 
It would seem that not only were there zealous and able 
Christian leaders during the first and second centuries, who 
pushed the work of evangelization far and wide, but that the 
rank and file of believers went forward, preaching the word, 
and thus set an example to the Church of modern times 
which has, up to the present date, not been fully imitated. 

When the Portuguese Catholics gained a foot-hold in 
Southwestern India, they at once entered vigorously upon 
the task of bringing the Christians whom they found there 
under the authority of the Pope, and consequently became 
zealous advocates of the tradition that the original founder 
of the Indian Church was none other than the Apostle 
Thomas, An expedition was accordingly sent to Madras, 
where tradition said the apostle had been put to death as a 
martyr, together with a local prince who had been converted 
through his efforts. Those in charge of the expedition, 
trusting to the easy credulity of those times, brought back 
with them two skeletons, which they affirmed were those of 
the apostle and the prince, and these were deposited with all 
due solemnity in the cathedral at Goa, where they still re- 
main. In facty the Roman Catholic Church is now so fully 
committed to the tradition of the Apostle Thomas, that it is 
difficult for its historians to treat the subject candidly. 


It seems quite certain, however, that these ancient Chris- 
tians were Nestorians, in common with nearly all the other 
Asiatic Christians of the nine or ten centuries succeeding the 
age of Nestorius himself. They have been universally known 
as Syrian Christians, and, century after century, received their 
bishops from the Nestorian Churches of Antioch. Their con- 
dition varied from time to time, according as they chanced 
to encounter the friendship or enmity of surrounding 
princes. Sometimes they were reduced to great straits, and 
driven into the mountains, where, it seemed, they must soon 
either lapse into the polytheism of surrounding tribes, or in 
some other way abandon their ancient faith. It was at such 
a time of great depression that the Armenian Thomas found 
them near the close of the eighth century, and through his 
eiforts they were relieved of their disabilities, and not only 
restored to their former privileges, but placed in a position 
of great favor under the rule of several powerful princes. 
When the Portuguese found them, they were existing as a 
separate oaste, a position which every separate community in 
India quickly assumes ; and hence we may conclude that they 
had, to a serious extent, lapsed from the higher plane of 
Christian life which the early Christians throughout the 
Roman Empire so resolutely adopted and maintained. In 
India the extraordinary influence of the caste system tends 
powerfully to drive'every new sect, or organized body of any 
kind, into the position of a mere caste or social guild, with 
the inevitable result of preventing the growth of the com- 
munity except by the natural increase of population. This 
Christian caste had gained a position of unquestioned re- 
spectability, and strangely enough was known as a military 
caste. Its soldiers occupied the position of honor in the 
armies of the reigning princes, and were known as skillful 
soldiers and brave men. The community was in a prosper- 
ous condition, and seemed to have gained a vantage-ground 
which it would not again lose. 

It is abundantly evident, however, that, as a Christian 


community, India bad little to hope from these people. Their 
religious services were conducted in the Syrian tongue, and, 
while they rejected many of the errors of Rome, they do not 
seem to have possessed any spiritual vitality, or to have 
taken any pains to give a knowledge of the word of God to 
their own people, much less to extend it among the Buddhists 
and Hindus of India. They occupied a remote corner of the 
empire, and their influence "was but little felt beyond their 
own immediate neighborhood. They were very imperfect 
exemplars of the Christianity of the New Testament, and 
were utterly unfitted for any work as evangelizing agents in 
extending a knowledge of vital Christianity among the peo- 
ple of India. 

When the Portuguese discovered these people, they at once 
attempted to induce them to recognize the Pope, and place 
themselves in line with what they regarded as the Catholic 
Church. The Syrian Christians, however, at once per- 
emptorily refused to take any step of the kind, and, in con- 
sequence, were annoyed and persecuted with as much rigor 
as the unfortunate Hindus who lived under Portuguese 
authority. Roman Catholic missionaries co-operated with 
the vigorous arm of the secular power in incessant eflPorts to 
induce them to accept the authority of the Pope or, as it 
would be euphemistically expressed in modern phrase, to be 
'^ reconciled to the Church ^' until at length, in the year 1599, 
a synod, called the Synod of Diamper, was held held under the 
presidency of the Archbishop of Goa, and the liturgy of the 
Syrian Church was purged of what was called its Nestorian 
heresies, and in this amended form the Syrian Christians 
were permitted to continue its use. For about half a cen- 
tury the Syrian Christians continued to yield an unwilling 
submission to their Catholic rulers; but in 1653 they for a 
time revolted and rejected the authority of their Jesuit 
bishop. They were brought back again, however, by what were 
called "vigorous measures," in 1666; but very soon after 
the Dutch, then at war with the Portuguese in India, changed 


the face of affairs by the capture of Cochin, and the practical 
overthrow of the Portuguese power in India. Large numbers 
of the Syrian Christians at once reaffirmed their spiritual inde- 
pendence; but as nearly two generations had now grown up 
under the influence of the Jesuits, the majority of the people 
continued to adhere to the Roman Catholic communion. The 
Dutch took no part in the conflict between the two parties, 
save to see that fair play was accorded to both. The inter- 
ference by the temporal power with the Church from this 
time ceased. Both parties maintain their position to the 
present day. 

The singular device which the Portuguese had adopted to 
compel the Syrian Christians to place themselves under their 
jurisdiction, was that of prohibiting the import of bishops 
from Antioch. The Syrian Christians in India had, from the 
first, been accustomed to have their bishops sent out to them 
from Persia or Syria an arrangement which, in the end, proved 
a source of great weakness, as the sequel will show. The 
Portuguese had absolute control of the sea, and shrewdly con- 
cluded that the best way to destroy the independence of the 
Indian Church would be to deprive them of their bishops, 
and accordingly they issued orders that no ecclesiastic com- 
ing out from the Nestorian Church should be permitted to 
land in India. The poor Syrian Christians were now re- 
duced to great straits, and, as might be expected, questions 
affecting the validity of ordinations and other like matters 
soon began to trouble them. When, however, the Dutch re- 
stored religious liberty to them, they lost no time in sending 
for a bishop; but, unfortunately, the Patriarch of Antioch 
sent them a Jacobite bishop, instead of a Nestorian of the old 
school, to which they had been accustomed. The bishop was 
not rejected on his arrival, but he would have received a 
more cordial welcome from the community at large had he 
not belonged to the sect known as Jacobites. As it was, 
about one-third of the community adhered to him, the re- 
mainder retaining their allegiance to the Church of Rome, 


qualified, however, by the concessions which had been made to 
them. The division between the two parties has been rigidly 
maintained ever since the arrival of this Jacobite bishop. 
A good deal of vigor is manifested by both parties ; but their 
relative strength has not materially changed. Efforts have 
been made by Protestant missionaries to revive the Jacobite 
party, by introducing among them a more evangelical type of 
Christianity; but thus far the success achieved has not been 
very marked. It is a difficult task at best to inspire a Church 
half dead, especially one that has learned to trust in the tradi- 
tions of ages, with new spiritual life, and the Syrian Church 
of South India has thus far formed no exception to the gen- 
eral rule. 

Cl)apber XII. 


THE introduction and progress of the first Roman Catholic 
missions in India are so closely identified with the ad- 
vent of the Portuguese, that the same date may be fixed for 
the planting of the political power of the Portuguese, and 
the ecclesiastical rule of the Roman Catholic Church in In- 
dia. The passage around the Cape of Good Hope was first 
discovered in 1498, and the year 1500 has been fixed upon 
as the date of the founding of Roman Catholic missions in 
India. The kings of Portugal in that era avowed in the 
most open manner their purpose not only to subdue king- 
doms, and extend their political power in all quarters of the 
globe, but also to subdue all forms of religious error, and plant 
the flag of the Papacy, if not the banner of truth, wherever 
the standard of Portugal should wave. The first missionaries 
who arrived from Portugal belonged to the Franciscan order. 
They were zealous men, and probably more worthy than 
history has given them credit for; but they were so identi- 
fied with the brutal policy adopted by the Portuguese to- 
ward the natives of the country, that it was impossible for 
them to exert much good influence in any direction, and they 
encountered what must be admitted to have been a very nat- 
ural hostility, and no little danger, whenever they ventured 
beyond the protection of the Portuguese authorities. For 
some time their missionary work was confined almost ex- 
clusively to the Portuguese settlements. In 1514 the Do- 
minicans appeared on the ground, and the first bishop of India 
belonged to that order. A Franciscan was the first bishop of 
Goa, the capital of Portuguese India. 

11 161 


It is needless to say that great progress was made in the 
work of nominal conversion within the bounds of the Por- 
tuguese settlements, but not much had been effected beyond 
the limits of the Portuguese power before the arrival of 
Francis Xavier, the first of the Jesuits, in the year 1542. A 
sketch of his life and labors will be found in another chapter. 
Seven year later a number of martyrdoms were reported in 
Tinnevelli and other parts of South India, and marvelous 
details of signs and wonders accomplished in connection with 
the work, are found in letters written by some of the fathers 
of that period to friends in Europe. The conversions, how- 
ever, were mostly on the wholesale order, and superficial in 
the extreme. Large numbers of the converts were infants, 
who were baptized either by stealth or on the near approach 
of death, while adults were not required to change either their 
moral code, or many of their outward observances, so that it 
is impossible to judge accurately of the value of the work 

The Jesuits began to plant missions on the eastern coast 
of South India in the year 1606. They occupied stations in 
the districts of Madura, Trichinopoli, Tanjore, Tinnevelli, 
Salem, and adjacent regions. Among the most distinguished 
names of the Jesuits working in those missions are those of 
Robert de Nobili, the fi)under of the work ; John de Britto, 
a martyr; Arnauld, Calmette, and Beschi, an illustrious 
scholar who achieved distinction as a linguist. These mis- 
sionaries have left a better reputation behind them than their 
Portuguese brethren on the western coast; but their success 
in. purely missionary work was not so great as has been 
usually affirmed. They deserve credit, however, for a liter- 
ary activity which was unusual in the history of Jesuit mis- 
sions in that age. They also fostered the cause of education 
to an extent which was unusual among Roman Catholic mis- 
sionaries, and printed books of more or less value in various 

It was by a few of these missionaries that the celebrated 


attempt was made of thoroughly mastering the language and 
religious cermoniale of the Brahmans at a distant point, and 
then presenting themselves suddenly among the people, where 
no word of their previous knowledge of Hinduism could 
have reached, as Brahmans of a new and higher rank than 
any others known in the country. It has been affirmed a 
hundred times over that this audacious fraud was not only 
courageously attempted, but successfully executed; and, in- 
deed, it is very common in England and America to hear 
intelligent persons speak of this experiment as the fixed 
policy of Roman Catholics in heathen lands. As a matter 
of history, such an attempt was actually made ; but it ought 
to be stated, in the interest of truth, that it proved a failure, 
as it ought to have done, and as any one acquainted with the 
people might have known it would do. This attempted 
fraud, perhaps more than anything else, has given currency 
to the statement, which is constantly made in Protestant 
lands, that the Roman Catholics excel Protestant missiona- 
ries, by adapting themselves more carefully to the customs, 
habits, and even prejudices, of the people among whom they 
labor. Dr. W. W. Hunter, for instance, in his " History of 
Early Jesuit Missions in India,'' says: *^ Their priests and 
monks became perfect Indians in all secular matters,* dress, 
food, etc., and had equal success among all castes, high and 
low.'' This statement is true only in a very qualified sense. 
Neither in those ancient times nor at the present day, do 
Roman Catholic missionaries become " perfect Indians," in 
any practical sense. That the attempt was made, as above 
stated, is true enough, but the great mass of the missionaries 
wore their own distinctive garb, and retained their own 
habits; nor can it be said that they "had equal success 
among all castes." Their success depended upon the vigor 
with which they were supported by the secular power; and 
in no instance have they ever succeeded in India in winning 
converts of all castes with equal facility, unless when they 
have conceded everything to caste prejudices and customs. 


It is but just to the Roman Catholic missionaries of 
India to point out that their early history is quite distinct 
from their more recent movements. Taking their mission- 
ary history, from its inception in 1500, down to the overthrow 
of the Portuguese power, their work can not but be regarded 
as a gigantic failure. Dr. Hunter states the case very 
forcibly, as well as accurately, in the following paragraph : 

" The Lusitanian conquest of India had a deeper fascination, and 
appeared at the time to have a deeper moral significance to Christendom, 
than afterward attached to our matter-of-fact operations. Their prog- 
ress formed a brilliant triumph of military ardor and religious zeal. 
They resolved not only to conquer India, but also to convert her. 
Only by slow degrees were they compelled in secret to realize that 
they had entered upon a task, the magnitude of wdiich they had not 
acknowledged, and the execution of which proved to be altogether 
beyond their strength. All that chivalry and enthusiastic piety could 
effect, they accomplished; but they failed to fulfill either their own 
hopes or the expectations "which they had raised in the minds of 
their countrymen at home. Their Viceroys had to show to Europe 
results which they were not atle to produce, and so they were fain 
to accept the shadow for the substance, and in their official dis- 
patches to represent appearances as realities. In their military nar- 
ratives every petty raja, or village chief, who sent them a few pump- 
kins or mangoes, became a tributary rex, conquered by their arms, or 
constrained to submission by the terror of their name. In their 
ecclesiastical epistles the whole country is a land flowing wdth milk 
and honey, and teeming with a population eager for sacramental 

Portugal retained an unchallenged supremacy in the 
Eastern seas throughout the whole of the sixteenth century. 
It is a remarkable fact, little known, or at least certainly 
little appreciated at the present day, that the insignificant 
kingdom of Portugal should have been the great maritime 
power of the world throughout the whole of that century, 
as Holland was during the succeeding century. The Portu- 
guese also held an entire monopoly of the European trade 
with India, and were the only Europeans personally known 


to the Indians of that day. Throughout this long period of 
political supremacy the Catholic missions were actively aided 
by the secular power in every possible way. 

The Inquisition was introduced into Goa, the capital of 
Portuguese India, in 1560, and for more than two hundred 
years it was made to do its horrible work in suppressing 
heresy, and probably in helping forward the w^ork of nomi- 
nal conversion by the terror which it inspired. Very 
scanty records of the Inquisition have been preserved, and 
it is impossible to tell to what extent it was employed 
throughout the greater part of this long period. It is 
known, however, that the building at Goa had two hundred 
cells for the prisoners confined within its walls. Authentic 
records have been preserved of seventy-one autos-da-fe be- 
tween the years 1600 and 1773. It is impossible to tell 
how many victims suifered on these occasions, but Dr. 
Hunter, who uses mild language in speaking of the Inquisi- 
sition at Goa, and deprecates what he calls the " vividly 
colored^' letters of Dr. Claudius Buchanan, somewhat naively 
remarks that, at " a few of the autoSj 4,046 persons were sen- 
tenced to various modes of punishment, of whom 3,034 were 
males, and 1,012 females. These punishments included 105 
men and 16 women condemned to the flames, of whom 57 
were burned alive, and 64 in effigy.'' It is to be feared that 
English and American Christians, in our tolerant days, when 
they speak in terms of horror of the cruelty of burning 
Hindu widows with the dead bodies of their husbands, too 
willingly forget that persons bearing the Christian name, 
and professing to be, in a sense. Christian missionaries, had 
been engaged in the terrible work of burning deserving per- 
sons at the stake, long years before Europe had heard of the 
terrible sati performed by Hindu widows. The inquisition 
at Goa was suspended by the Portuguese Government in 
1774, but renewed again four years later. It was finally 
abolished in 1812, and in 1820 the building occupied by it 
was pulled down, and no trace of it now remains. 


In the meantime dark days bad come to the Jesuits in 
India. Their power, meddlesome and inquisitorial to the 
last degree, had become intolerable, and, in 1759, the Portu- 
guese Government not only suppressed the order throughout 
all its territories, but confiscated the property of the Jesuits. 
France did the same in 1764, and in 1773 Pope Clement 
XIV suppressed the society altogether, thus aifording an- 
other of the many instances in which one Pope curses what 
another has blessed, or blesses what another has cursed. In 
the meanwhile the Portuguese had been overthrown by the 
Dutch, who appeared upon the scene early in the seventeenth 
century, and, after a number of victories, wrested the city of 
Malacca from the Portuguese, thereby giving the latter 
power a blow from which it never recovered in the East. 
All the Portuguese settlements on the Malabar Coast that 
is, the southwestern coast of India, where the Catholic mis- 
sions had become most firmly rooted were captured by the 
Dutch between 1661 and 1664. Practically, the Portuguese 
supremacy in Southern India continued for about a century 
and a half, since which time they have held only a few un- 
important possessions, such as Goa, Daman, and Diu. Dr. 
Hunter says of their career since their overthrow by the 
Dutch : " The further history of the Portuguese in India is 
a miserable chronicle of pride, poverty, and sounding titles.'' 

Soon after the suppression of the Jesuits, the French 
Revolution broke upon Europe like the sudden burst of a 
cyclone upon a sluggish Eastern sea, and still darker days 
began to brood over the Roman Catholic missions of India. 
Throughout the era of Napoleon they were either neglected 
altogether, or paralyzed by the misfortunes which fell, not only 
upon the Roman Catholic Church in Europe, but upon the 
Pope himself. Native princes were not slow to take advan- 
tage of their opportunity, and bloody persecutions broke out 
in several places. The famous Tipu Sultan, of Mysore, com- 
pelled twenty thousand Kanarese Christians to submit to the 
rite of circumcision at the peril of their lives ; and vast mul- 


titudes of weak creatures, who had only accepted Christianity 
nominally, did as might have been expected under such cir- 
cumstances, quietly returned to the faith of their fathers. 
In 1814, after the first fall of Napoleon, measures were taken 
to re-establish missionary work in India ; and since that time 
the Roman Catholic missions have been conducted with a 
good measure of energy, and in some places with success. In 
more recent years the Jesuits have become increasingly 
prominent; and, although the various orders are all at 
work in various parts of the empire, it seems probable that 
the Jesuits will maintain the lead which they have secured. 
Up to the present day, however, the main strength of the 
Roman Catholics is in the far South. In Bengal, twenty 
thousand or more Roman Catholic Christians live in a dis- 
trict east of Calcutta, and also in the neighborhood of Chit- 
tagong, about three hundred and eighty miles east of the 
Hoogly. These people have a singular history. They have 
all along been under the jurisdiction of the Portuguese 
priests, and have been supervised by a Vicar Apostolic sent 
from Goa. They are the descendants, however, of pirates, who 
were none the less Roman Catholics in the days when their 
very name Avas a terror all along the coasts of Burma, and 
around the mouths of the Ganges. Their allegiance to the 
Church is held very lightly, and never at any time have they 
differed very much from the Hindus among whom they live, 
excepting in the name which they bear. They have, of 
course, given up their piratical habits since they fell under 
the jurisdiction of the English Government, and the great 
mass of them are not aware that their ancestors were ever 
addicted to such a life. 

I may mention, as an evidence of the slight hold which 
the Roman Catholic Church has upon them, that a large 
number of their leading men waited upon me some years 
ago, stating that they represented a community of four thou- 
sand persons, all of whom had authorized them to say that 
they would unite with the Methodist Episcopal Church if I 



would receive them. Suspecting some ulterior motive, I 
made diligent inquiries, and became satisfied that if I received 
them they would expect me to aid them in an important suit 
which was soon to come on before the Calcutta High Court; 
and not being able to discover that they felt any interest 
whatever in spiritual matters, I declined their overtures. 

Throughout the whole of North India that is, north of a 
line drawn east and west through the city of Calcutta the 
Roman Catholics are doing comparatively little missionary 
work. They give a great deal of attention to the European 
and Eurasian communities, providing costly and well-equipped 
schools for their children, and neglecting no possible means 
of gaining a permanent influence over them. In this respect 
they are wiser in their generation than many Protestants. 
Both in England and America it is common to hear loud 
protestations against missionaries doing anything for Euro- 
peans or Eurasians in India, simply because they chance to 
bear the Christian name already. This is a very short-sighted 
view, as I shall try to show in another chapter. In some 
parts of Southern India the Roman Catholics continue to 
make converts from the heathen ; but, for the most part, 
their efforts are now confined to attempts to make proselytes 
from the various bodies of Christians that have been gathered 
out of heathenism by Protestant missionaries. This, indeed, 
I regret to say, is somewhat characteristic of all sacerdotal 
missionaries. The Christian world is practically dividing into 
two great camps, one of which is sacerdotal, and the other 
evangelical. The terra Roman Catholic no longer suffices to 
define that large body of persons bearing the Christian name 
who hold what are popularly known as Roman Catholic views. 
A large number of missionaries are now found in India, as in 
other parts of the world, who eschew the name Protestant, 
and yet decline to be called Roman Catholics. They are sac- 
erdotalists, and hold a theory which logically leads them, 
whenever an opportunity is afforded, to gain possession of 
any body of Christians not belonging to the Church with 


which they chance to hokl fellowship. Very recently a small 
body of unworthy and schismatic Christians connected with 
a German mission in Western India, were induced by some 
of these men belonging to one of the sacerdotal orders which 
are becoming so common in England, to unite with the 
Church of England ; whereupon their new leaders published 
to the world that these converts had become "reconciled to 
the Church/^ In Burma, in Eastern Bengal, in Chota 
Nagpore, and in the Maratha country above Bombay, mis- 
sionaries of this class in each case, I am sorry to say, with 
the approval of an Anglican bishop have taken advantage 
of quarrels among the converts of Protestant missionaries to 
draw off large bodies of the people, and induce them to unite 
with their own Church. Their theory is, that the Church is 
the " body of Christ ;'' and nearly all men of this class sincerely 
believe that every Christian who is outside the pale of what 
they call the true Church, is thus separated from Christ him- 
self; and hence they think they are doing the best possible 
work when they are making divisions among Christ's dis- 
ciples, by enticing believers to separate from their brethren. 
I need hardly say that the missionaries belonging to the 
Church Missionary Society, the leading Protestant Missionary 
Society of the world, have no sympathy whatever with this 
doctrine, or with this deplorable practice. 

The Roman Catholics, as is well known, are more numer- I 
ous in India than the Protestants; but it should always be ' 
remembered that they had been at work very nearly three 
centuries before the great Protestant movement of the pres- 
ent day commenced. Thus far the Protestant missions in 
India have made steady progress, and have never been ad- 
vancing so rapidly as at the present day. The Roman Cath- 
olics, on the other hand, have suffered very great losses, not 
only in India, but in other parts of the world. During the 
Portuguese era their missionaries reported 100,000 converts in 
Burma alone. Of this vast number no trace remained at the 
time that Dr. Judson began his work on the Burmese coast; 


and when, some years later, the miserable remnant of these 
converts was found in Northern Burma, the whole commu- 
nity numbered but a few thousand souls. In Ceylon there are 
only about half as many Roman Catholics as there were a 
century ago. The well-known Abbe Dubois, writing in 1815, 
says : " There is not in the country [South India] more than 
a third of the Christians who were found in it eighty years 
ago, and the number diminishes every day.'' From every 
point of view the early Roman Catholic missions in India, 
and in the entire East, must be regarded as a failure. 

It is unhappily but too true that vast numbers of the 
Catholic converts in India, especially such as are descendants 
from the nominal converts of the earlier missions, show no 
signs of moral or religious progress whatever, and are, in 
fact, little more than semi-pagans. They retain many of the 
superstitious customs of their ancestors, and their public pro- 
cessions, as well as many of their peculiar religious ceremo- 
nies, are in reality little more than Christian imitations of 
pagan rites. Caste is not only tolerated, but carefully pro- 
tected. Priests from the lower castes are educated and 
trained for service among their own castemeu, while an en- 
tirely different order of priests are trained for service among 
the higher castes. Christianity has nothing to hope for from 
so-called converts like these. The only possible use that 
they can serve is to furnish figures for the census tables, 
which show a progress which is in a large measure fictitious. 

Education is grievously neglected in all those sections 
where the mass of the people have become Roman Catholics, 
as indeed is the case all over the world. It is a striking 
fact that while in non-Catholic countries the Roman Catho- 
lics are very active in all manner of educational work, they 
almost wholly neglect it, so far as the education of the 
jnasses is concerned, in those countries where they have 
everything to themselves. At a time when the people ot 
Rome itself were deprived of the blessings of a liberal edu- 
cation, Roman Catholic colleges were built and sustained all 


over the Protestant world, as well as in non-Christian lands. 
'It needs hardly be added that Bible knowledge is scarcely im- 
parted to these converts at all, and that, in consequence, they 
are deplorably ignorant of even the elements of Christian 
truth. Their priests have always taught the people with 
cominendable diligence such traditions and formularies as 
they deemed necessary for faithful members of the true 
Church; but nothing like an attempt to give a correct and 
full knowledge of the teachings of the Bible to all the peo- 
ple is ever made in any Roman Catholic mission-field. 

One result of this neglect to give a liberal education to 
their converts has been, that the Roman Catholic missiona- 
ries have been unable to raise up any converts of command- 
ing influence in India. Even when we go back to the be- 
ginning, and look over the history of their missions during 
almost four centuries, we fail to find any native Indians who 
have risen to distinction, or who have exerted any marked 
influence upon their own countrymen. It is very difler- 
ent, however, with the converts of Protestant missions. 
They are found here and there in prominent positions, and 
are cheerfully recognized by the Hindus as representative 
men. If it be said that the number of these prominent 
converts is but few, the explanation is that the total number 
of converts is at least comparatively small, and that it is 
only within very recent years that the children of the first 
converts have grown up with the advantages of a good edu- 
cation, and have thus found an opportunity to show their 
ability in public places. Not many years ago, during a time 
of great excitement in Calcutta, growing out of the imprison- 
ment of a Bengali editor for an alleged contempt of court, 
an immense mass-meeting of the Bengali people was called 
in the northern part of the city. Three speakers and a 
chairman were selected for the occasion, and it was a very 
noteworthy fact, which attracted no little attention at the 
time, that of the four persons thus honored, the chairman 
and one of the speakers were Protestant Christians. Other 


instances have occurred from time to time, clearly showing 
that the India of the future has much to hope for from the 
Protestant converts scattered through the empire, and that 
she will not hesitate to make them her leaders whenever 
occasion calls for their help. This prominence, which has 
been achieved so easily and so naturally by Protestant con- 
verts, becomes the more striking when we remember, not 
only that the Roman Catholics are vastly more numerous, 
but also that they have had the whole field to themselves 
through nearly four centuries, a fact which makes their com- 
parative failure much more conspicuous, and the success of 
the Protestants much more creditable. 

We very often hear it said in England and America, that 
Roman Catholicism must be much more attractive to the 
people of India, as well as of other non-Christian lands, 
from the fact that its public services are so imposing, and 
that its ceremonies are such as must almost inevitably at- 
tract a people who pay much attention to the outward forms 
of religion, and understand little about spiritual things. 
This impression, however, so far as India is concerned, is 
founded upon a very great mistake. As a matter of fact, 
the people of India are not attracted in any special manner 
by the impressive ceremonies which they witness in Roman 
Catholic churches, or in any properly conducted Roman 
Catholic procession. On the other hand, the Catholic mis- 
sionaries have, from the first, found it necessary to adapt 
their service to the tastes of the heathen, having utterly 
failed to win them by their service and ceremonies, as wit- 
nessed in strictly Roman Catholic countries. As remarked 
above, the observer in India is much more struck with the 
heathen element in the Catholic exhibitions which he wit- 
nesses in India, than with their strict conformity to Roman 
Catholic doctrine and usage. The people of India are fond 
of show of a certain kind, but not of elaborate ceremonies. 
These have a charm for Brahmans and those fond of myste- 
rious rites, but with the mass of the people the case is quite 


different. If they have a public exhibition of any kind, it 
must be very simple in plan and execution. It may be at- 
tended with noisy demonstrations, with a great display of 
gaudy color, and with a general manifestation of enthusiasm 
among the people ; but a carefully arranged and slowly exe- 
cuted ceremony of any kind will in every case fail to attract. 
Hence, as a matter of fact, in Roman Catholic missions the 
ignorant heathen are not won by the form of service which 
they see. They are much more easily reached by simple, 
direct teaching than by any ceremony whatever. Their 
hearts are open aud their minds sufficiently inquisitive to 
give them an interest in the message which is brought to 
them, if it is presented with even moderate skill and fidelity. 
Simple teaching in their own tongue, with simple Christian 
hymns, sung to simple native airs, will be found vastly more 
effective in winning and holding the attention of the people, 
than the elaborate and imposing ceremonies which are popu- 
larly believed to be a chief source of the success of Catholic 
missionaries. It is strange, indeed, how many mistakes have 
gained currency in England and America concerning the 
relative value of the methods adopted by the Catholic and 
Protestant missionaries. As a simple matter of fact, so far 
as India is concerned, in nine cases out of ten the Protestant 
has the advantage. His message is more intelligible, his 
method is more direct, and the open Bible in his hand is an 
unfailing source of power, which sooner or later makes itself 
felt among the people. 

With regard to Catholic and Protestant missions through- 
out the whole world, mistakes like those mentioned above 
are very prevalent. It is supposed, for instance, that the 
Roman Catholics are far in advance of the Protestants in 
almost all countries where they have planted missions; but 
such is by no means the case. The Catholics were in the 
field first, and indeed had been engaged in their work for 
nearly three centuries before the great Protestant movement 
of modern times began. But so far from the Roman Catholic 


missions being in advance of the Protestant, there are 
more Protestant missionaries at work in the world than 
Roman Catholic, the former numbering about 3,500, while 
the latter, according to the authority of the " Missiones 
Catholicce/' published in 1886, numbered only 2,800 Euro- 
pean missionaries, with 700 natives ordained in their various 
i'oreign mission-fields. The whole number of adherents in 
all the Roman Catholic missions of the world, according to 
the above authority, was 2,800,000, with 7,500 churches and 
chapels, 4,500 schools, and 110,000 pupils. Of the above 
adherents, no less than 1,180,000 were credited to India. 
The total number of adherents to Protestant missions at the 
present time is about equal to that of the Roman Catholics, 
while they have more than three times as many schools, 
with a correspondingly greater number of pupils. They are 
carrying the word of God with them to all the kingdoms 
and peoples and tribes and nations to which they go, having 
during the present century translated the Bible into nearly 
three hundred different tongues. From whatever point of 
view this subject is examined, it will be seen that the Prot- 
estant missions of the world are more successful, and 
infinitely more deserving of support, than the Roman Catho- 
lics, whether they be considered as a whole or taken for the 
purpose of comparison from their very best fields. 

Cl)apber XIII. 


THE Danish Goverument deserves to be held in lasting 
honor for its generous and liberal, as well as wise and 
sensible, policy in dealing with the missionary question 
in its Eastern possessions. While England was openly hos- 
tile to everything bearing the name of missionary; while 
France manifested the narrow bigotry which has always 
marked its treatment of Protestant missions; while Portugal 
disgraced the Christian name by its cruelty and intolerance, 
and Holland was either hostile or ready to subordinate the 
missionary work to its own policy, Denmark alone pursued a 
liberal policy, a century in advance of the age. As early as 
even the beginning of the eighteenth century the King of 
Denmark openly supported the missionary enterprise, and di- 
rected the governors of his settlements in India to assist the 
missionaries in all lawful ways. It ought to be said, to the 
credit of George I, of England, that personally he was in full 
sympathy with the King of Denmark in this matter, so much 
so that he sent an autograph letter to the Danish mission- 
aries who went out to Tranquebar in 1705 ; but, unlike the 
King of Denmark, he did not make his own views the policy 
of his Government; and in succeeding years the English 
Government, as we shall see, was led to assume an open and 
avowedly hostile attitude toward the missionary enterprise 
in India. 

The first Danish missionaries sent out to Tranquebar in 
1705 were Messrs. Ziegenbalg and Plutschau. These pioneers, 
as well as their successors, were good men, and some of them 
attained distinction as translators and promoters of education 



and literature. Their work also, as missionaries, was pros- 
perous, and was extended to the neighboring kingdom of 
Tanjore, and subsequently to Tinnevelli. Many towns and 
villages were occupied, and finally their work extended up 
the coast as far as Madras. So far as can be gathered from 
the records, they seem to have gathered around them about 
fifteen thousand Christians; but for various reasons, some of 
which we can readily understand, and others which can only 
be conjectured, their work did not prove permanently suc- 
cessful. In the first place, they tolerated caste, and this of 
itself was sufficient to hinder anything like permanent suc- 
cess. Missionaries of the present day are sometimes cen- 
sured for the persistency with which they oppose the introduc- 
tion of Hindu caste into the Christian Church; but those who 
find fault with them do not seem to be aware that many ex- 
periments have been made in the direction of caste toleration, 
but always with lamentable results. While the caste system 
is perfectly adapted to such a religion as Hinduism, it is in- 
herently and hopelessly at variance with the very spirit of 
Christianity, and every attempt to tolerate it ends in trouble 
and disaster. 

It is probable, however, that the chief cause of the decay 
of the Danish mission in the extreme South was political, 
rather than social or religious. The Danish Government did 
not succeed in making its settlements permanent, and the 
missionaries somewhat naturally left one point after another, 
when the protection of their Government was withdrawn. 
They were supported to some extent by English Christians, 
and more largely by the Germans, and might have main- 
tained their ground permanently had they never learned to 
depend upon the active support of their Government. In 
the mission-field, as in Christian lands, the support of Csesar is 
very apt to prove a snare to the Church of Christ, however 
fairly the support may seem to be offered, and however plau- 
sibly the policy may be defended. Be the cause what it may, 
this early mission of the Danes did not prove permanent, and 


it must be added that the large number of Christians collected 
by them seem to have been scattered abroad, or at least 
failed to become the founders of a great Christian organiza- 
tion. Nevertheless, the mission was by no means a failure. 
It was the forerunner of the great movement of the nine- 
teenth century. It proved o; o^reat value to Carey and his 
associates in England, when about to begin their work, by 
drawing the attention of the Christian public to the possi- 
bilities of missionary work in India. It was a John the 
Baptist to the great missionary movement which is spread- 
ing its network of evangelizing agencies over the Indian 
Empire to-day ; and the missionary who would speak lightly 
of the good men who labored in the Danish mission in the 
last century, understands very little of the general situation, 
and much less of the good men who began the work in 

First and forever foremost among the Danish mission- 
aries was the renowned Schwartz. This great and good man 
was undoubtedly a model missionary in the spirit in which 
he worked, and, for the most part, in the wise policy which he 
pursued. If he erred in tolerating caste, he simply fell into 
the error of his age ; and many who might lightly condemn 
him now, would doubtless have pursued the same course if 
they had landed in India a century earlier, and found the 
work as it existed when Schwartz took it up. He was 
everybody's friend and helper, and, while beloved by the 
poor, was also the trusted counselor of the native princes 
within whose territories he labored. The story which used 
to be related in the school-books of a Raja's request, when a 
certain demand was made upon him by the English Govern- 
ment, that the missionary Schwartz might be sent to him, 
because he could trust him and could rely upon both his 
wisdom and his generosity, is perfectly authentic. It is also 
true that when a certain prince was near his death;, he sent 
for this good missionary, to request his advice with regard to 
the policy to be pursued by his son. And when Schwartz 



himself died, the Raja of Tanjore wept like a child by his 
bedside, and himself carefully and tenderly covered the 
corpse with a golden cloth. The name of Schwartz will al- 
ways occupy a conspicuous place in the annals of the mis- 
sionary enterprise ; and if the early Danish mission of the 
last century had accomplished nothing more than to give 
to India and to the Christian world the illustrious example 
of this great and good man, it could not be said to have been 
planted in vain. 

As intimated elsewhere, however, the actual beginning of 
the present great Protestant missionary movement in India 
takes its date from the arrival of Dr. Carey in Calcutta, in 
1793. Schwartz was still living, and his death did not occur 
till five years later. The remnants of the Danish mission 
were gathered up and cared for by English societies chiefly 
those of the Anglican Church early in the present century ; 
but so slight was the impression made upon the public mind 
in India and England by that work, that the beginning of the 
work in Bengal by Dr. Carey was universally looked upon 
as the initiation of the new movement. The Danish missions 
were scarcely noticed; and as the Churches, one by one, took 
up the work, and sent out their missionaries, for the most 
part, to the field which had been opened by Dr. Carey, the 
great missionary enterprise of the present century took its 
shape, and assumed its important position in the eyes of the 
Christians of Europe and America. 

It is extremely difficult to account for the early hostility 
of the British East India Company to missionary work in 
India. This company, as is well known, was really the 
governing power of the infant Indian Empire, but it re- 
flected faithfully the feelings and policy of the actual En- 
glish rulers of the day, including some of the greatest names 
in English history. The younger Pitt faithfully supported 
the representatives of the Company in Bengal; but while its 
defenders were for years in a hopeless minority, it ought to 
be said in honor of Clive that he never shared the fears and 


misgivings of the great Indian leaders of that day. He saw 
no impropriety in boldly trying to plant Christianity among 
the Hindus, and certainly felt no danger in view of the pres- 
ence of a dozen obscure missionaries in different parts of 
Bengal. He knew India better than perhaps any one else 
who enjoyed the confidence of the Government, and it must 
have seemed to his sturdy English nature an absurd and al- 
together discreditable thing to make so much ado about the 
proceedings of men like Dr. Carey and his humble fellow- 
workers. Be the cause what it may, the humiliating fact re- 
mains that for many years missionaries were treated with 
unconcealed hostility by the English authorities in India^ 
and Dr. Carey himself, one of the grandest representatives 
England has ever had in the East, was obliged to seek an 
asylum at Serampore from his own hostile countrymen, 
under the never-failing protection of the King of Denmark. 
It needs hardly be added that while the East India Company 
ultimately failed in its attempt to keep Christian missionaries 
and Christianity itself out of India, at least so far as the na- 
tives of the country were concerned, yet, for the time being, 
the work was hindered and hampered in many ways, and 
perhaps years of successful labor were thus lost to the gen- 
eral enterprise. This should always be taken into account 
when studying the missionary question as it has practically 
been before the public during the present century. It was 
not until 1833 that the last restrictions were removed, and 
every Christian missionary in the empire clothed with the 
freedom which is now enjoyed by all persons bearing the 
Christian name. 

A careful examination of the process by which a mission 
is established in a heathen land will show that, as a general 
rule, it requires about one generation to get the laborers 
fairly settled and at work. So much time has to be oc- 
cupied in learning the language and becoming acquainted 
with the peculiarities of the people, and so much time is 
often wasted if the term wasted can properly be applied 


in such a case in what might be called experimenting; 
that is, in trying one plan after another, most of them prov- 
ing failures, until at last the workers get settled down to 
their task, and are prepared to go forward with ito Ifc is 
not enough that the workers themselves must learn how to 
perform their duty, but a mission is never planted and fairly 
at work until it has secured a corps of converts, and has 
taught some of them to take up the work which must ulti- 
mately pass into their hands. Keeping these facts in mind, 
it will be seen that the present century must have been well 
advanced before the Protestant Churches of England and 
America had really grappled with their gigantic task in 

The English Baptists entered the field in 1793. The 
Congregationalists, or Independents of England, represented 
by the London Missionary Society, followed in 1798. The 
Church Missionary Society, which represents the evangelical 
wing of the Church of England, and which is at present the 
strongest Protestant missionary society in the world, took 
up the work in 1807. The American Board, which repre- 
sents the Congregationalists of the United States, followed 
in 1812, and the American Baptists, by adopting Dr. Judson 
as their missionary, came upon the scene in 1814. The Scotch 
Presbyterians did not unfold their banner in India till 1830; 
while the American Presbyterians did not send out their first 
missionary till 1834. The English Methodists sent out Dr. 
Coke with a band of six young men in 1814; but the Amer- 
ican Methodists were not represented in India until 1856. 
Other smaller societies have sent out missionaries at various 
dates, but the majority of them not until after the middle of 
the century. Taking the work as a whole, it has hardly 
been on trial more than half a century, or, at most, two 
generations. Some of the most vigorous and successful mis- 
sions in India to-day have been planted since the middle of 
the century. 

What are the results thus far attained 't It needs hardly 


be said that the whole work has again and again been 
branded as a practical failure. Tourists, in their hasty flight 
around the world, are constantly reporting in the home lands 
that the missionaries are either deceiving themselves, or de- 
ceiving the Christian public at home, by reporting a success 
which has no existence ; and plenty of intelligent men and 
women can be found in India who look upon the whole 
movement with the utmost contempt. It is perfectly natural 
and reasonable, in view of reports and accusations of this 
kind, that many Christians in England and America, with 
the best and kindest feelings towards the missionaries, and 
with not only a willingness but an intense desire to believe 
in their work, should doubt whether it is really prospering 
in any practical sense, and whether it holds out any prospect 
of ever attaining so magnificent a result as the conversion of 
one-fifth of the human race to Christianity. Before speaking 
of the facts as they exist in India, it might be well enough 
to remind all persons who have such misgivings, that both 
England and America abound with critics and opponents 
who talk in precisely the same way about Christian labor at 
home in its best form in both town and country. In fact, 
we never cease hearing it said that Christianity has lost all 
its vigor ; that churches in the home cities are little more 
than social clubs; that the Christianity of those lands is un- 
able to grapple with the great forms of vice which prevail 
there; and that, in short, failure is branded upon everything 
which bears the distinctive mark of Christian work. It 
ought to be always remembered that only Christians can ap- 
preciate Christian work. That which a good man calls suc- 
cess, an unbeliever may regard as failure. Very little that 
a good man does can be appreciated by a thorough man of 
the world. PauFs life was regarded, no doubt, as a lament- 
able failure, not only by the Jews of his age, but by every 
polished Greek with whom he came in contact. Our Saviour 
himseli, as he hung upon the cross, was no doubt regarded as 
a man who had lived and died in vain. The critics of 


Indian missions are neither better nor worse than other men of 
the same kind. Most of them are persons who could not ap- 
preciate Christian work in its best form if they saw it; but, 
as a matter of fact, very few of them have such tastes as lead 
them into those associations where they could see Christian 
work if they wished to examine it. Even good men may 
rashly fall into mistakes in reporting on such matters. A 
prominent Christian of England, in a published book, at- 
tempted to compare, or contrast, the work of Protestant 
and Roman Catholic missionaries in the city of Singapore; 
and, in doing so, told how he had visited a Presbyterian 
Church, spoke of its missionaries and their work, and failed 
to discover that one of the most vigorous and remarkable 
missions of the Methodist Episcopal Church had its head- 
quarters within rifle-shot of the very church which he criticised. 
The largest mission-school for Chinese in any part of the 
world was almost within hearing of this good man ; and yet 
he left Singapore without discovering that it had any exist- 
ence, and went on his way to report in England that the 
Koman Catholics had seven thousand converts in the Straits 
Settlements, of which Singapore is the capital, while the 
Protestants had but a mere handful. The good man not only 
failed to discover the existence of our own mission, but 
omitted to mention that the Roman Catholics had reported 
tens of thousands of converts in that region more than two 
centuries before, and that, instead of prospering, as he repre- 
sented them, they were really decaying, their tens of thou- 
sands having dwindled down to the comparative handful of 
seven thousand. 

As a matter of fact, a large body of native Christians 
have grown up in the empire during the present century. 
It must be admitted that at first the conversions were few, 
and that for more than half a century the rate of progress 
was slow. Nevertheless, from the very beginning the 
growth has been constant, never for a single year meeting 
with an interruption. It should also be noted that the ratio 


of increase has thus far been a rising one. This Is contrary 
to the usual rule, and while we can not anticipate that it 
will continue, yet it undoubtedly indicates that the general 
condition of missionary work in India is healthy and pros- 

Every possible effort has been made to secure the 
latest statistics of Protestant missions in time for insertion 
in this chapter, but up to the hour of going to press the ex- 
pected material has not been received. A census is taken by 
the missionaries themselves every ten years, and presented at 
the meeting of the Decennial Conference, which takes place 
at the close of the second year of each decade. This report 
is now almost due, and possibly some of its data may be re- 
ceived in time for insertion near the end of the volume. 
The same difficulty stands in the way of more copious ex- 
tracts from the Government census of February, 1891. 

The earliest trustworthy enumeration of Protestant Chris- 
tians in India (native) was made in 1851. Beginning at 
that date and counting by decades, we have the following evi- 
dence of steady and rapid growth. 

1851. 1861. 1871. 1881. 

102,951 213,370 318,363 " 528,590 

The above figures represent the whole population of con- 
verts. The following will show the number of communi- 
cants at the same dates. In both tables Burma is not in- 
cluded in the enumeration for 1851. 

1851. 1861. 1871. 1881. 

17,306 47,274 78,494 145,097 

It will be said, of course, that the mass of these converts 
are wretchedly poor, having been gathered for the most part 
from the very lowest castes, and that they do not now, and 
never can be expected in the future to, exercise any percep- 
tible influence upon the mass of the people. It is readily 
admitted that the great majority of these Christians are poor, 
and also that they are gathered from the lowest classes, but 


it is by no means true that the Indian Christians, as a body, 
do not wield an important influence in the country. The 
Hindu, an able paper published in Madras, an avowed organ 
of the Hindus, in a recent issue, speaks as follows of the 
native Christians: 

" The progress of education among the girls of the native Christian 
community, and the absence of caste restrictions, Avill eventually give 
them an advantage which no amount of intellectual precocity can 
compensate the Brahmans for. We recently approved the statement 
of a Bombay paper that the social eminence that the Parsees so de- 
servedly enjoy at the present moment, was due to these two causes, 
namely : their women are well educated, and they are bound by no 
restrictions of caste. These two advantages slowly make themselves 
felt among our native Christian brethren, and it is probable that they 
will soon be the Parsees of Southern India. They will furnish the 
most distinguished public servants, barristers, merchants, and citizens 
among the various classes of the native community." 

The paper from which this extract is taken advocates an 
enlightened policy, and, as will be seen from the extract, is 
able to appreciate the advantages which Christians enjoy. 
But after reading this one extract, it is idle to say that the 
native Christians of India are exercising no influence upon 
the public mind. As a community they are rising rapidly, 
and what the above writer says is perfectly true; they will 
become the leading men and women of the country at an 
early day, unless the Hindus and Mohammedans themselves 
take the warning which events are giving them, and trample 
upon or throw away forever the restrictions by which they 
are now hampered. 

In every university examination, and in every other pub- 
lic examination of any kind held in India in which all 
classes compete on equal terms, the Christians, in proportion 
to their numbers, take the lead. This has been true for a 
number of years, and will become more strikingly true as 
time passes. When it is acknowledged that many, even of 
those who attain comparative distinction, have risen from 


very humble circumstances, it does them the more credit, 
and at the same time affords substantial ground for hoping 
for still better success in the future. . For some years I have 
noticed that leading members of the Indian Christian com- 
munity discuss public affairs, not only with an ability equal 
to that of any of their countrymen, but with a certain free- 
dom which is almost impossible on the part of Hindus and 
Mohammedans. The time is near, also, when these Indian 
Christians will be able to gain the ear of the Christian pub- 
lic in England more successfully than is now possible, and 
in nearly all matters pertaining to political progress or re- 
form in India, the people have learned to look to England 
as the ultimate source from which all their effectual help 
must come. Beyond all doubt the Christians will speedily 
assume an importance which no equal number of Hindus or 
Mohammedans can ever hope to attain; and it seems certain 
that when the Christian community in India numbers ten 
millions, it will wield a greater influence on the destinies of 
the empire than all the great mass of Hindus and Moham- 
medans combined. This remark, however, may seem to some 
like looking forward to a period indefinitely distant, and 
hence of no practical value. That day, however, is not far 
distant. Ten years hence the Protestant Christians of India 
will number a million, if not more; and when this mile- 
stone is reached, the rest of the journey will prove very 
much shorter than its earlier stages. Probably more than 
half of those who read these pages will live to see the day 
when ten million Indian Christians will lift their voices in 
grateful praise to God, and take their stand on the side of 
Christian liberty and progress among their countrymen. 

It is usual for most persons to estimate the success or 
failure of missions according to the number of converts re- 
ported at a given time ; but this would be a most inadequate 
test to apply in the case of missionary work in India. The 
indirect results of the presence of missionaries in the empire 
are more striking, in some respects, than even the goodly 


array of converts described above. In the first place, the 
Protestant missionaries in India have from the first been the 
advocates of reform in the broadest sense of the word. The 
abolition of widow-burning and of infanticide, asit existed a 
century ago in Lower Bengal, was perhaps more largely 
Ovving to the efforts of the missionaries than of all other par- 
ties combined. These good men were able to influence pub- 
lic opinion in England, and in this way they have often in 
the past secured the favorable action of the Indian Govern- 
ment. It will be said, of course, that it was the Indian 
Government alone which effected the abolition of the horrible 
practice of widow-burning, and that the credit should be 
given to it. This is true ; but it is forgotten, at this late day, 
that a long and most animated battle had to be fought in In- 
dia, and to some extent in England, before the Indian Gov- 
ernment was moved to action. The missionaries did not ac- 
complish all that was done in all these cases, but it may 
truthfully be said that but for their advocacy not one of these 
reforms would probably have been carried out to this day. 
They are the men who faithfully blew the trumpet, by 
pointing out the danger and the shame of a Christian Govern- 
ment tolerating such unspeakable enormities ; and when any 
great evil is persistently held up in the clear sunlight of pub- 
lic opinion, it becomes only a question of time as to how long 
it will be permitted to endure. The prohibition of child- 
marriage has not yet been accomplished, but it is an inevitable 
reform of the not distant future ; and while the missionaries 
already have the co-operation of many enlightened Hindus, 
yet when the great consummation is reached, they will justly 
be entitled to a large, if not the largest, share of the credit 
due for so great an achievement. 

To the Protestant missionaries of India is also due the 
steady and healthy improvement in public morality and pub- 
lic opinion which has taken place during the past half cen- 
tury. The earlier English residents in India, with but few 
exceptions, adopted the standard of morality which they 


found in the country. The harem was an ordinary appendage 
to the foreigner's residence, and the presence of its inmates 
was not esteemed any more disgraceful in the eyes of the pub- 
lic than if the owner had been a Mohammedan or a Hindu. 
Such conduct was hardly supposed to be classified under the 
ordinary term immorality. The reader of the life of Henry 
Martyn will remember how fiercely his rebukes of sin, or 
indeed his very presence, was resented at an ordinary dinner- 
table, and will perhaps be led to suspect that he was too irri- 
tating in the tone of his conversation, or in his methods of 
reproof. To understand the hostility which such a man en- 
countered, the reader must remember that the society in 
which he moved was one which had practically adopted a 
heathen standard of morality. Other causes have no doubt 
contributed to bring in a better state of things in India gen- 
erally; but every one who knows anything about the early 
history of the Europeans in India, will admit that the Chris- 
tian missionaries of the empire have contributed a large share 
toward the reformation of public manners in the European 
community. Their quiet example, their persistent protests, 
and at times their courageous rebukes, have from the first ex- 
erted a profound influence upon the Europeans generally, and 
done much to command the respect of the Hindus and Mo- 

The Christian missionaries of India have from the first 
arrayed themselves on the side of all progressive measures. 
They have been known for years by their almost instinctive 
willingness to come forward as protectors of the poor. In 
India the masses of the people are very poor, and very fre- 
quently the hand of the rich is made to rest very heavily 
upon them. In Bengal, more than a quarter of a century 
ago, a great agitation was occasioned by what was affirmed to 
be oppression on the part of European indigo-planters settled 
in various parts of the province, and using the labor of the 
peasants around them. The missionaries as a body arrayed 
themselves on the side of the peasants, and one of their num- 


ber, the Eev. J. Long, of the Church Missionary Society, 
was harshly sentenced by a Judge of the High Court to three 
months' imprisonment for an alleged slander of the European 
community. It needs hardly be said that the Bengali people 
to a man applauded his course, and to this day gratefully re- 
member what he did in their behalf. For the time being the 
missionaries were the losing party, and were placed under the 
ban of what was called public opinion ; but the peasants vir- 
tually won the case. Laws were^ enacted protecting them ; 
and now that the bitterness of partisan feeling has been for- 
gotten, the missionaries as a body may look back with grate- 
ful pride upon the action of their brethren of that day. It is 
still true, and will be true to the end, that the Protestant 
missionaries of India are the friends of the poor. Other 
struggles, more severe perhaps than any witnessed in the 
past, are probably in store for them ; but no one who knows 
them as a body will for a moment feel any misgiving as to 
their course when the emergencies arise. This fact, perhaps 
more than any other, has helped to convince the more intelli- 
gent people of the country, not only that Christian mission- 
aries are their friends, but that the people of India have muck 
to hope from Christianity itself. 

A remarkable change in public opinion has been witnessed 
during the past quarter of a century. When the Mutiny 
closed, the people of India generally were disposed to hold 
aloof from missionaries not because they personally disliked 
them, but because they were representatives of the Christian 
religion. Recently, however, on two or three very prominent 
occasions, the mass of the Hindus have thrown the whole 
weight of their influence in favor of missionaries and their 
cause. A few years ago, when the Commissioner of Police in 
Calcutta issued an order forbidding public preaching in the 
streets and squares of the city, on the ground that it was cal- 
culated to cause breaehes of the peace, the natives, to a man, 
arrayed themselves on the side of the missionaries. Three of 
the latter refused to obey the Commissioner's order, and were 


arrested. for preaching in a public square. The case was tried 
by a bench of four magistrates, of whom one was a Moham- 
medan barrister, another a Hindu barrister, and the remain- 
ing two Europeans. After hearing all the evidence for the 
prosecution, the four magistrates told the lawyers conducting 
the case for the defense that they need not say anything, as 
they were convinced that there was no case, the Commissioner 
having exceeded his powers in attempting to prohibit the 
preaching. This decision, which was of the utmost value to 
the missionaries in a country where nine-tenths of the preach- 
ing must be done in the open air, was hailed with great satis- 
faction by the entire Hindu community of Calcutta. 

Space will not permit me to speak of other direct and in- 
direct results of missionary labor in India. Of popular ed- 
ucation it might be said that the missionaries laid its first 
foundations; and although the movement has now largely 
passed out of their hands, their achievement is none the less 
notable and praiseworthy. It could not be expected that 
they would retain so vast a work as this in their own hands ; 
but their influence is still actively exerted in connection with 
the general interests of education, and for many years to come 
the Government will, no doubt, continue to look to them for 
assistance in the field in which they can do so much. So far as 
the education of women is concerned, the Protestant mission- 
aries of the country may justly claim the entire credit for what 
has been done. They have been not only the pioneers in this 
grand field, but in many places they struggled long and hard 
to make such a work possible. They have led the way thus 
far; but this, too, is proving too vast a work to be controlled 
by any one agency. Every Christian should feel devoutly 
grateful for such a result. The missionaries, as a body, can 
not control the education of a whole people, and should be 
only too thankful that a movement which was so difficult 
to start should so rapidly pass beyond their possible control. 



FRANCIS XAVIER is at once the typical saint and the 
typical missionary of the Roman Catholic world. The 
annexed portrait, although defective enough as a work of art, 
gives, nevertheless, a striking representation, of the ideal which 

everywhere in 
the East is sug- 
gested to the 
devout Roman 
Catholic mind 
by the mention 
of his name. 
His fame as a 
saint has gone 
out into all the 
earth, and the 
purity of his mo- 
tives, as well as 
the exalted sanc- 
tity of his char- 
acter, have been 
freely acknowl- 
edged by Protes- 
tants in all parts 
of the world. 
His success as a 
missionary has 
also been conceded very generally; and it has been by far 
too common to hear Protestant missionaries chided because 



they do not cultivate his spirit, imitate his methods, or 
achieve a success at all commensurate with his. It is an un- 
grateful task at any time to correct impressions which have 
been almost unchallenged for centuries; and especially so 
when the subject of criticism has taken rank among the great 
and good men of the earth. Justice to the cause of truth, 
however, and especially justice to the great cause of modern 
missions, call for a frank statement of the character of the 
work accomplished by St. Xavier, and a candid inquiry into 
its results. Was he, in any proper sense of the word, a suc- 
cessful missionary ? Does his fruit abide, in any good sense, 
to the present day ? A brief review of his life will perhaps 
shed some light upon these questions. 

Francis Xavier was born at the Castle of Navarre, April 
7, 1506. He was related on his mother^s side to the royal 
family of Navarre, and to the house of Bourbon. In his 
early youth he was for a time brought to some extent under 
the influence of Protestant teaching, but in one of his letters 
he gratefully acknowledges the influence of Ignatius Loyola 
in extricating him from what he considered the dangerous 
toils of a great heresy. He became wholly devoted to Loyola, 
and was one of the little company who laid the foundations of 
the Order of Jesuits. It is not generally known that this 
famous order took its first beginning from a compact formed 
by seven young men to devote themselves to the work of con- 
verting the heathen world to Christianity. Had they been 
able to follow out their first intention of going immediately 
into foreign lands, it is quite possible that the world would 
have heard less of Jesuits, and Europe have escaped from 
their malign influence. It so happened, however, that only 
a few of the seven were sent abroad, and those who remained 
in Europe began at once to devote themselves ostensibly to 
the great work of withstanding the rising power of the Ref- 
ormation, but in reality of building up their own order, and 
extending its influence until it became almost superior to the 
power of the Papacy itself. It fell to the lot of Xavier to go 


abroad. Portugal was at that time the leading power east of 
the Cape of Good Hope. It was the golden age of Portu- 
guese history. The discovery of the passage around the Cape 
of Good Hope had almost equaled the achievement oF Colum- 
bus in discovering America, and had in reality opened a way 
to a region vastly richer than anything that was discovered 
in the Western world. John III, the King of Portugal, be- 
came warmly interested in the scheme of the young men, and 
in a short time fell so completely under their influence that 
he was prepared to do anything in his power to further their 
purposes. The Pope had given him a title to all the world 
east of the Cape of Good Hope ; but his knowledge of ge- 
ography was so imperfect that he included in his grant 
Ethiopia, Arabia, Persia and China, together with India and 
the islands of the archipelago. 

After numerous delays, such as were almost inevitable in 
those days of imperfect navigation, Xavier was at last per- 
mitted to set sail. The Viceroy of Goa, who accompanied 
the fleet in which he had arranged to sail, not only gave him 
quarters on his own ship, but insisted that while on board he 
should be his guest. Certainly no young missionary ever set 
out for his distant field under circumstances so propitious as 
those which surrounded Xavier. He was going out to India 
as guest of the Viceroy of the most powerful king at that 
time known in the Eastern world. He had also been ap- 
pointed Papal Nuncio, with "all the powers which the Church 
of Rome could give for the propagation of the faith." He 
carried a letter from the King of Portugal to David, King 
of Ethiopia, the hazy ideas of geography of the former king 
having apparently led him to suppose that the missionary 
could stop on his way to India, and see the Ethiopian mon- 
arch. In addition to this, he was provided with another 
general letter to all princes and governors between the Cape 
of Good Hope and the Piver Ganges. King John also gave 
a general order to all his officers in the East to supply the 
wants, not only of Xavier himself, but of the missionary 


party which accompanied him. To crown all, the king gave 
him his own royal authority to be used at his discretion in 
his work. In short, nothing seemed to be wanting which, 
from a worldly point of view, could have contributed to his 
success. Authority, money, distinguished birth, personal 
sanctity, fame, both ecclesiastical and worldly, and the active 
support of every civil and military officer of the King of 
Portugal, all were his in full measure. What more any 
human being could ask when about to enter upon an arduous 
undertaking, it would be difficult to imagine. 

Xavier arrived at Goa, in Western India, May 6, 1543. 
He was then thirty-six years of age, a man of finished cul- 
ture, of intense ardor in the pursuit of every object whic^h 
he set before him, of great force of character, and unflinch- 
ing courage in the face of all manner of danger and perse- 
cution. At this point we turn to the pages of his biogra- 
phers for information concerning the character of his work, 
and the measure of success achieved, but are soon baffled by 
seeming contradictions and at times manifest exaggerations. 
It does not often happen that a perfectly impartial history of 
any man is written ; but if we desire to ascertain the exact 
truth, we can not be very far amiss if we let the subject of 
the biography tell his own story. This has been done by 
Eev. Henry Venn, in his " Life of Francis Xavier.'' With 
great care he collected the letters written by the great mis- 
sionary from different points in the East, and thus was able 
in 1862 to give the world a connected story, not always com- 
plete, it is true, but at the same time faithful to the actual 
facts, especially in all their main features. 

On his way to India the fleet in which Xavier sailed 
touched at the island of Socotra, in the Arabian Sea. The 
people of the island were partly Christian and partly 
Mohammedan. Soon after his arrival, Xavier was walking 
on a public road when he chanced to see two children, whom 
he at onCe laid hands on and was about to baptize ; but the 
little ones fled for protection to their mother, who was near 



by, and she complained to the governor that her children 
were about to be baptized by force. Strangely enough, the 
nominal Christians of the island objected on the ground that 
they did not wish such despised people as their Mohammedan 
neighbors to become Christians. Here a peculiarity of the 
Catholic faith of that day, and in most mission-fields of the 
present day also, became apparent. Xavier was anxious 
throughout his whole life to baptize as many children as 
possible; and when we read of his success in making converts, 
we must always remember that the infants baptized by him 
were included in the general list of converts reported from 
time to time. With regard to these infants he was accus- 
tomed to remark, that a very large proportion of them died 
almost immediately after baptism, from which it may be in- 
ferred that the parents consented to the rite at the last 
moment, in the hope that the lives of their children might be 
thereby prolonged. The Catholic saints of those days, how- 
ever, put another interpretation upon the event. According 
to their view, God miraculously preserved the little ones 
from death until the rite of baptism could be administered, 
and then, when their eternal salvation had been secured, they 
were permitted to die. 

Xavier's first duty on his arrival at Goa was to take up 
vigorously the work of reform among the Portuguese Chris- 
tians. At every point where he found the Portuguese settled 
throughout the East, his eyes were greeted by a spectacle of 
appalling vice and profligacy. While a great ado was made 
about religion, 'imposing churches and cathedrals erected, 
and the outward forms of Eoman Catholic worship duly ob- 
served, the mass of the people had abandoned themselves to 
every form of riotous living, and the very name of Christ 
had been profaned among the heathen far and near by the 
ungodly lives of those called Christians. To the honor of 
the young missionary it may be said that he never shrank 
from rebuking sin in high places or in low when it dared to 
confront him. He at once adopted a custom,, which he main- 


tained in other places throughout the rest of his life, of 
either in person taking a bell, or hiring a bellman for the 
purpose, and going through the streets, often attended by a 
large crowd, he called upon the people to come out to his 
meetings, attend the confessional, pray for souls in purgatory, 
and, in short, take up their religious duties in earuest. It can 
not be doubted that he effected much good by his peremptory 
style of preaching, enforced as he was able to do it by the 
arm of secular authority. After a year or more spent in 
this kind of work, he went, by the advice of the Viceroy, to 
the pearl-fisheries at the extreme southern point of India, 
where he found a large number of native Christians. It 
should be remembered that Xavier was not by any means the 
pioneer missionary of the Roman Catholics in India. He 
found large numbers of Christians at nearly every place 
which he visited. The various orders of priests, chiefly 
Franciscans and Augustinians, had been at work for some 
years, and through their efforts many thousands had already 
made a nominal profession of Christianity. The Portuguese 
rulers did not scruple for a moment in using both rewards 
and punishments to influence the natives in favor of accepting 
the gospel, in the imperfect form in which it was presented 
by these priests. Shortly after the people engaged in the 
pearl-fisheries off the coast of Ceylon, and along the shore of 
the main-land, had embraced Christianity, they were attacked 
by a fleet of Mohammedans, the descendants of whom are 
known as Moormen in Ceylon to the present day. The 
Christians were quickly subdued, and reduced to a state of 
virtual slavery. The Viceroy of Goa, however, interfered 
in their behalf, sent a fleet which completely destroyed the 
Mohammedans, and not only were the Christians restored to 
their former rights, but many of the captured boats were 
presented to them, and a monopoly of the pearl-fishery was 
formally granted them. Xavier was sent among these peo- 
ple, and although he was better adapted to another style ot 
work, yet he at once entered upon his labors with all his 


energy. The manner of working which he adopted here he 
seems to have maintained wherever he went during the re- 
mainder of his life. He did not master any Eastern tongue, 
not even sufficiently to preach imperfectly in it; but after 
some lessons in pronunciation and a slight acquaintance with 
the construction of the language, with the aid of native 
scholars, he prepared a few lessons, including the Creed, the 
Lord's Prayer, the Ten Commandments, the Ave Maria, and, 
collecting the people, he read these over, and had them re- 
peat them after him word for word. Large numbers of boys 
would quickly memorize the lessons, and through these he 
succeeded in teaching this very rudimentary body of doc- 
trine to the majority of his adherents. Beyond this he does 
not seem to have gone ; and when we remember that his 
knowledge of the various languages in which he labored was 
extremely imperfect, we can well believe that his followers 
understood but little of what he taught. He had success 
among the fishermen, but not so great as has been repre- 
sented by most of his biographers. So nearly as can be 
gathered from his letters, the people of thirty villages became 
Christians and were baptized. An oft-quoted paragraph in 
one of his letters has given the impression that he baptized 
great multitudes, until at last his arm grew weary with the 
work; but this seems inconsistent with other statements 
found in letters written subsequent to this time, and it seems 
probable that the paragraph was inserted in the body of a 
letter by a copyist, and was never written by the saint himself. 
At the end of a year Xavier had become discouraged, and 
began to think of forsaking India and trying Ethiopia. The 
character of the work and its extent were alike unsatisfactory 
to him. He seems to have had but vague ideas concerning 
Ethiopia, and throughout his life was frequently subject to 
fancies in favor of distant fields, such as Ethiopia must have 
presented to his vision at that time. Not finding his way 
open in that direction, he next became possessed Avith the 
idea of converting native '^ kings,'' and the w^ord^^king" 


seems to have had a charm for him throughout the rest of 
his life. His theory was that if he could bring one of the 
native princes over to Christianity, the prince would use not 
only his influence, but his authority, to induce his people to 
follow him, and Xavier never seems to have doubted the 
rightfulness of kings using their regal authority for such a 
purpose. While pondering this new line of policy, he found 
a very tempting opening in an island off the coast of Ceylon, 
called Jaffnapatam, and also on the opposite coast. Two 
brothers were rival claimants for the same throne, and were 
engaged in war, as frequently happens in the Oriental world. 
One had been worsted, and driven out of the little kingdom. 
Xavier made advances to this prince, and proposed to se- 
cure the assistance of the Viceroy to expel the brother and 
put the fugitive upon the throne, in return for which the 
prince promised to become a Christian, and easily persuaded 
Xavier that he could induce his subjects to do likewise. The 
Portuguese Viceroy, however, while not opposing the 
scheme, was apathetic, and Xavier did not hesitate to secure 
his removal by making complaint directly to the King of 
Portugal. This illustrates the extraordinary power which 
he possessed a power which made him wholly unlike any 
missionary of the present day in any part of the world. Ar- 
rangements were made at last for a military expedition to put 
the exile upon the throne of the kingdom ; but unexpected 
difficulties arose, and the expedition was abandoned. Xavier 
was not only disappointed, but utterly disgusted, and at once 
resolved to leave India. 

In 1545 he sailed for the Spice Islands. He had heard 
glowing reports of the willingness of the people in those dis- 
tant islands to become Christians. He knew very little 
about the islands or the people; but in those days there 
seems to hav^e been a peculiar fascination in the public mind 
in connection with that far-off region. The islands were 
supposed to be gems of beauty and filled with treasure. The 
imagination of Xavier took fire at the prospect, and he 


thougbt he saw before him new and wider doors than he 
could find elsewhere. On his way he stopped at Malacca, 
and, wishing to proceed at once to Macassar, he calmly asked 
the Viceroy of Malacca to fit out a ship for him, and place 
it at his disposal for the voyage. Here again we see how 
little like a modern missionary this great man of authority 
was. The missionary of to-day may be seen flitting about 
among shipping offices trying to obtain a passage at a re- 
duced rate, or perhaps taking a second-class passage, or even 
putting himself among the poor emigrants in the steerage ; 
but never, since the beginning of the present century at least, 
has any missionary been known to ask an earthly ruler to 
fit out a special ship for his convenience. The Viceroy did 
not refuse, but skillfully found an excuse which justified 
postponement. Other missionaries had already been in the 
islands, and one man of note had but a short time before 
been sent to Macassar, and the Viceroy politely suggested 
that it would be in better taste to wait until this brother 
should be heard from before proceeding to take up work to 
which he had already gone. Xavier consented to wait, and 
in the meantime began among the people at Malacca the same 
kind of work which he had so faithfully performed at Goa. 
Malacca was at that time a brilliant capital, and here flagrant 
vice was as unblushing and defiant as in the other Portuguese 
settlements. The good man had recourse to his bell and to 
a troop of boys, who accompanied him in the street, and at 
once began to summon the people to repair to the churches 
and engage in prayer for the souls of their friends in purga- 
tory, and in reporting the proceeding he quaintly remarked 
that this proclamation produced an immense impression on 
the city. It does not seem, however, that anything like a 
spiritual reformation was accomplished here or elsewhere. 

Finding an opportunity to proceed to some of the other 
islands, Xavier determined to omit Macassar from his plan 
for the present, and proceeded to Amboyna, where he spent 
three months. He afterward visited the Moluccas and other 


islands, including Macassar. Wherever he went he found 
convertSj and he does not seem to have had much success 
except in the work of baptizing infants. He did much good, 
however, among the Portuguese, and especially among the 
sailors oi a fleet which visited one of the islands during his 
stajc In one of the Moluccas a princess was baptized by 
him, and he does not omit to mention, in speaking of the fact, 
that he recommended her at once to the King of Portugal for 
a pension. He secured a similar provision for a nobleman 
in one of the islands, and tried hard to win a Mohammedan 
prince, who gave him much encouragement for a time, but 
finally refused to become a Christian. He remained about a 
year among the islands, and then returned to India, where he 
remained fifteen months, reorganizing the work which he had 
commenced during his previous visit. This work seems to 
have been in large part that of perfecting the organization of 
the Jesuit order. Wherever he went he seems to have had 
no scruple whatever in trying to get possession of the various 
institutions founded by the Franciscans, Augustinians, and 
other orders, and, as might naturally be supposed, he en- 
countered no little opposition from time to time in carrying 
out such purposes. He succeeded, however, wherever he 
went. As royal commissioner, he held all civilians in the 
hollow of his hands. It was a dangerous power for any ec- 
clesiastic to possess, and in his hands it was often badly 

It was impossible for such a man to remain very long 
amid the scenes oi his former labors in India, and hence we 
are not surprised to find him, on the 25th of April, 1549, sail- 
ing for Japan. He had heard of certain islands to the east- 
ward of Asia while in the Spice Islands, and at once became 
wholly absorbed in a scheme for winning the people of these 
unknown islands to the Christian faith. He received abundant 
encouragement, and after leaving India proceeded to Malacca 
to complete his arrangements. Here again we find him, 
while busy in the work of preparation, assuming a character 


which reminds us least of all of a missionary of Christ. He 
was supported by the Viceroy of Malacca to the utmost of 
his power. He was provided with costly presents for the 
Emperor of Japan, and his expedition was more like that of 
a great ambassador of an earthly king than a simple mes- 
senger of Jesus Christ. He had found among the islands a 
native Japanese, a man of influence in his native city, who 
had already become a Christian. This man he further in- 
structed, and took with him to Japan. He arrived in the 
city of Cangoxima on the 15th of August. This city seems 
to have been the port of the city of Kewsew, and belonged 
to the southern island of the Japanese group. He soon 
found it would be impracticable to see the Emperor, but de- 
termined to attempt the next best thing, and obtained inter- 
views with local " kings.'' These so-called kings were 
probably rajas, or native princes, some of them perhaps pos- 
sessing considerable power, but all of them ruling over petty 
states. The Japanese convert who accompanied him had ob- 
tained a beautiful picture of Mary and the Babe, which he 
showed to the governor of the province to which he belonged. 
It is said that the governor was so impressed with the beauty 
of the picture that, falling upon his knees, he immediately 
began to worship it, and commanded all present to do the 
same. The mother of the governor was equally impressed, 
and at once requested that she might be instructed in the chief 
articles of the Christian religion. This seems to have been the 
singular means of first opening their way among the people, 
and after a short time they began to receive converts. In 
one kingdom one hundred persons were baptized, and from 
this time forward we read of frequent converts in connection 
with the labors of Xavier and his associates. His work in 
Japan was undoubtedly, the most interesting and most worthy 
of such a man, of any part of his Eastern labors. He devoted 
some time to getting acquainted with the people, seems to 
have been impressed by their character, and to have been 
compelled to yield them, a certain measure of respect, which 


seems to have been absent in his dealings with all the other 
Oriental people with whom he was associated. 

Space will not permit anything like a full history of his 
stay in Japan. He at times encountered opposition, and here, 
as everywhere he went, was familiar with privation and suffer- 
ing ; for he was an ascetic in the strictest sense of the word, 
and courted rather than shrank from bodily discomfort and 
pain; but the same restlessness which had characterized him 
everywhere else soon began to appear again in the midst of his 
success in Japan. He naturally heard much of China from 
the Japanese, and his vivid imagination quickly began to pic- 
ture greater victories among the uncounted millions of that 
great empire than any that the world had ever before seen. 
He could not immediately proceed, but determined to return 
to India, and make preparations for his visit to China, which 
should transcend all he had attempted, or even dreamed of, in 
reference to his mission to Japan. He had spent a little 
more than three years in Japan, during which his success 
had, in some respects, been marked ; and he left many Chris- 
tians behind him when he sailed. The tragical fate of these 
Christians is but too well known to the Christian world. 
Xavier, from the first, courted the friendship and support of 
the rulers of this world. He pursued this policy everywhere. 
He taught his associates to avail themselves of the support of 
the secular power wherever they could, and, by example if 
not precept, instilled in their minds the policy of meddling 
in political affairs wherever they could in any way profit by 
doing so. He thus sowed to the wind; and when; ninety 
years later, the Japanese rulers became exasperated with the 
meddlesome leaders of the Roman Catholic party, and exter- 
minated the whole body of Christians by a cruel massacre, 
the harvest of whirlwind was reaped of which Xavier had 
unwittingly scattered the seed. 

After his return from Japan, Xavier lost no time in pre- 
paring for what he hoped would prove the crowning enter- 
prise of his life. He affirmed that God had distinctly and 


clearly called him to undertake a mission to China, and re- 
paired to Malacca for the purpose of making suitable prepa- 
rations for so great an undertaking. Here, however, he 
encountered an unexpected obstacle in the hostility of the 
Portuguese Viceroy, who absolutely refused to give him any as- 
sistance, or even to permit him to proceed in the semi-official 
character which he had assumed. Xavier was greatly exas- 
perated by this unexpected opposition, and did not hesitate 
to threaten the Viceroy with excommunication. He pro- 
duced his authority from the Pope as apostolic legate, and 
carefully took measures to see that the excommunication 
should be publicly announced. This, however, does not seem 
to have produced any effect, and he was obliged to sail in a 
private vessel, with but slender resources, and with no assur- 
ance that he would gain admission to China on his arrival in 
that empire. His temper seems to have utterly given way at 
this crisis ; and no part of his life in the East reflects so little 
credit upon his Christian character as the bitter resentment in 
which he allowed himself to indulge against the hostile Vice- 
roy. He was in too great haste, however, to await the issue 
of an appeal to the King of Portugal, but determined to go 
forward at once, and in due time arrived at the small island 
of Sanchian, near the city of Canton. Here he was pros- 
trated by a severe fever, from which, however, he partially 
recovered in a short time, and resumed his work. He built 
a small hut uj)on the shore, and daily celebrated divine serv- 
ice as long as he was able to do so. A number of Portuguese 
merchants, with their attendants, were temporarily stopping 
at the island, and he found abundant work in ministering to 
their wants. He sought for an interpreter to accompany him 
into China, and was busy night and day until overtaken 
again by the fever in a more severe form. He died Decem- 
ber 2, 1552, alone, among strangers. Mr. Venn says: ^^No 
companion was near, to whom he could breathe out his dying 
thoughts ; no priest gave him the last offices of the Church, 
or committed his body to a Christian grave.'' 


Some Portuguese merchants found him just a short time 
before he breathed his last; and from these strangers he re- 
ceived a burial, with such attendant honors as they were able 
to confer. His body was placed in a box partly filled with 
unslaked lime, and when disinterred by a Jesuit brother 
some months later, it was found not to have become decom- 
posed. It was carried first to Malacca, and interred in the 
cemetery there ; but a year or two later was removed to Goa, 
where it has been regarded as a sacred relic ever since. It 
has been taken out for public exposition from time to time, 
on which occasions vast multitudes of Roman Catholics flock 
to the ancient Portuguese capital, and not only gaze rever- 
entially upon the shriveled corpse, but devoutly kiss the feet, 
exposed for the purpose, and indulge in such idolatrous prac- 
tices as are common among Roman Catholics of the more 
superstitious class. One of these expositions took place only 
a few months ago. A friend who was present writes as fol- 
lows: *^The whole church compound was laid out with 
booths arranged in rows intersecting each other at right 
angles. These included gambling-booths, a Hindu theater, 
eating-houses, beer, wine, and liquor shops. Everything was 
in full blast, although it was Christmas-day. In the center 
of the church was a raised platform about three feet high, on 
which was a glass case containing the body, which looked 
about the size of a child of ten. Many, as they passed the 
feet, which were not covered, kissed them." * The body is 
shriveled and dried, and is probably very much like one of 
the blackened, shrunken bodies which tourists so often see in 
the crypts of the churches of Southern Europe. One arm of 
the corpse was cut ofl" many years ago, by order of one of the 
Popes, and parts of it distributed in various parts of the 
world. The public exposition of the body is shocking, if not 
really disgraceful ; and the Times of India expressed a com- 
mon feeling when it said, in a recent issue, " It is time for 
that ghastly performance to cease.'' 

*Rev. A. W. Prautch. 


More than three centuries have passed since Xavier died, 
and the world has had ample time to study his work and ex- 
amine its results. With all his devotion, his missionary 
policy was of the earth earthy, and as he identified it every- 
where with the Portuguese civil power, his work decayed and 
disappeared precisely as the Portuguese power with which it was 
interwoven disappeared from most parts of the Eastern world. 
We may search to-day carefully in every place where the great 
pioneer Jesuit labored, without finding one vital spark of spirit- 
ual life to testify to the abiding character of his ministry. 
Indeed, before his death Xavier himself regarded his work as 
a practical failure. Writing to a brother missionary he says: 
" If you will, in imagination, search through India, you will 
find that few will reach heaven, either of whites or blacks, 
except those who depart this life under fourteen years of age, 
with their baptismal innocence still upon them.'' In another 
letter he says that the natives abhor the Christian religion, and 
to "ask them to become Christians is like asking them to 
submit to death ; hence all our labor is at present to guard 
those who are now Christians. . . . Hence, since there 
is not the least need of my labors in these parts, I have 
determined to start for Japan as soon as possible." He also 
wrote to the King of Portugal proposing, in elaborate terms, 
to change the policy of the work, and to have it wholly 
committed to the civil power. He proposed to the King that 
all his servants, from the Viceroy down, should be made re- 
sponsible for the conversion of the heathen, and that those 
who failed to show good returns in the shape of numerous 
converts, should not only be reprimanded, but actually pun- 
ished for neglect of duty. He thus writes to the King: '^I 
very earnestly desire that you should take an oath, invoking 
most solemnly the name of God, that in case any governor 
thus neglects to spread the faith, he shall, on his return to 
Portugal, be punished by close imprisonment for many years, 
and all his goods and possessions shall be sold and devoted to 
works of charity In order that none may flatter themselves 


that this is but an idle threat, you must declare as plainly 
as possible that you will accept no excuses that may be 
offered; but that the only way of escaping your wrath 
and obtaining your favor, is to make as many Christians as 
possible in the countries over which they rule. ... So 
long as the Viceroys and governors are not urged by the 
fear of disgrace and fine to make many Christians, your 
Majesty must not hope that the preaching of the gospel will 
meet with great success in India." It was not his purpose 
to release the ecclesiastics from all responsibility, but he dis- 
tinctly stated that their part of the work was to be sub- 
ordinate, and the main responsibility was to rest upon the 
civil rulers, without whose aid he believed the task of con- 
verting India must prove a complete failure. 

The fame of Francis Xavier rests not upon his success as 
a missionary for this was really very equivocal but upon 
his reputation as a saint, and especially as an ascetic. The 
Roman Catholic biographers dwell more upon his asceticism, 
than upon any other part of his character or of his work. 
His high social rank, his great talents, his imperious will, 
his tireless labors, and his unquestioned devotion, all crowned 
as they were by the pathetic circumstances under which he 
died, have from the first given him a rank among the Roman 
Catholics generally, and especially in the powerful order of 
Jesuits, which has not been correctly interpreted by the 
Prostestant world. Xavier was a great man, and, according 
to his light, a good man, but by no means a model saint, a 
meek Christian, or a successful missionary. 

Cf)apter XY. 


THE most illustrious name in the annals of Protestant 
missions is beyond doubt that of William Carey. Other 
men may have been more prominent during their day, or more 
brilliant in some particular line of work or study, but William 
Carey has throughout the whole of the present century been 
recognized everywhere as, above and beyond all others, the 
most representative man to be found in the great missionary 
body of the Protestant Churches. His early life, his entrance 
npon the Christian ministry, his adoption of the missionary 
calling, and his career in the foreign field, were all as unlike 
as possible to the corresponding stages in the life of Francis 
Xavier. He was the son of a weaver, born in an obscure 
English village named Paulersbury, on the 17th of August, 
1761. His father was unable to do anything for him, and at 
an early age he was sent into the fields to work, and in all 
human probability would have spent his days as a common 
field laborer, had it not been for a peculiar weakness in his 
constitution which made him unable to endure exposure in 
the open air of the raw English climate. At the age of six- 
teen his father apprenticed him to a shoemaker, and, like 
Bunyan before him, he lived to make his humble calling il- 
lustrious, rather than to bear the plebeian taint which, in the 
eyes of weak persons, is supposed to attach to a lowly occupa- 
tion. He worked quietly at this trade for twelve years. At 
the age of eighteen he was awakened, and in due time ob- 
tained a clear religious experience, upon which foundation he 
built the magnificent Christian character which, throughout 
the rest of his life-time, made him a prince among men. Very 


soon after his conversion he began to speak in quiet meet- 
ings, and at once attracted attention, not only by his earnest- 
ness, but by the evidences of elevated thought which were 
conspicuous in his simple discourses. If a man is really a 
preacher called of God, the common people are those who 
will be the first to make the discovery, and hence it was not 
long before William Carey had received this recognition of 
his heavenly calling. The common people heard him gladly. 


When twenty years of age he was led into two steps 
which were to bring him trouble in subsequent years. On 
the death of his master he attempted to take up and carry on 
the business, which involved an amount of responsibility to 
which he was not equal. He also married a young woman 
who was singularly unfitted for the position which she was to 
occupy. She seems to have been a simple peasant girl, prob- 


ably fitted well enough for life in a quiet little village in 
England, but with a tendency to melancholy, which in later 
life developed into unmistakable insanity. Mr. Carey was 
thus involved in serious domestic and business troubles at 
the very threshold of his public life, and, although the dis- 
cipline may have produced its salutary lessons, yet it is im- 
possible to read of his struggles without a feeling of pity that 
one so gifted should have been so heavily weighted at the 
beginning of his race. He, however, seems to have main- 
tained a heart under all circumstances throughout his 
entire life. He set manfully to work, and toiled early and 
late to meet his obligations, while at the same time not neg- 
lecting such opportunities as were oifered him for direct 
Christian work. Over his humble door in the little village 
of Hackleton he put up the sign which was destined to 
become historical : 


At the age of twenty-five he received an offer from a 
small congregation in the town of Moulton to serve them 
as preacher, on a salary of fifteen pounds per annum. He 
gladly accepted the offer, and for a time was able to increase 
his income to the amount of thirty-six pounds by teapbing. 
The class, however, which he taught^ belongedHo' another, 
who returned again to his place, and Mr. Carey v^as obliged 
to betake himself again to the shoemaker's bench in order to 
provide for himself and family. During the early part of his 
ministry in Moulton he became very singularly impressed 
with the missionary idea. It came to him like a new dis- 
covery that the Christians of the world were living in utter 
neglect of the direct and very plain command of the Saviour 
to preach the gospel to all nations. He saw constantly 
before his mind the vast nations of the world living in 
absolute spiritual darkness, while scarcely an effort was made 
anywhere to give them the gospel. No one seemed to think 


of such a thiDg. No one seemed to be aware that the Lord 
Jesus Christ had given his people, as his solemn farewell 
commandment, a commission to go into all the world and to 
tell every creature of the Saviour who had come into this 
world to save the human race. Thinking and praying upon 
this subject, the young minister became more and more im- 
pressed with the conviction that the mighty task of giving 
the gospel to the heathen must be immediately taken in hand ; 
and it needs not surprise us to learn that before long he felt a 
distinct conviction that he himself must bear ^n important 
part in the work. He was too consistent then and ever after, 
to advocate a work of this kind in w^hich he was not willing 
himself to bear a share of the responsibility. But in those 
early days, and especially in the circle in which he was 
moving, there were very few prepared to sympathize with 
him in such a conviction. England, it is true, had been 
slowly awaking through the century from the extraordinary 
spiritual torpor into which she had sunk, and, as the event 
proved, when once the project was clearly put before the 
public mind, there were many prepared to receive it favorably. 
Mr. Carey, however, at the beginning, was an obscure man, 
living in an obscure part of the country, and was not in a 
position to appeal to the better class of the Christian public 
of England, and hence it fell to his lot to suffer many rebuffs 
and discouragements before friends began to rally round him 
and offer him their support. It was in the year 1786 that 
he received the rebuke which has become historic, at a meet- 
ing of Baptist ministers in the town of Northampton. 
When he ventured to rise in his place and propose that the 
meeting take up the subject of the evangelization of the 
heathen, the good man who occupied the chair peremptorily 
requested him to take his seat, telling him that the project 
was not one which called for their interference. He still, 
however, persevered, year after year, and slowly added to 
the number of those who learned to believe in "him and in 
his missionary project. 



It was not, however, till he was thirty-one years bf age 
that he succeeded in securing the definite organization of a 
missionary society. This great event the organization of 
the Baptist Missionary Society of England took place on 
the second of October, 1792, at Kettering. The meeting at 
which the organization was effected was humble enough in 
its way, and no one present, probably, anticipated how vast 
and far-reaching its results were destined to be. It was to 
be the pioneer of other similar meetings, and this first so- 
ciety was to be one of many which were soon to take up the 
magnificent idea of the humble shoemaker, and send forth 
messengers of God to all the ends of the earth to carry out 
the Saviour's great commission. 

Many were the difficulties and delays experienced by Mr. 
Carey before he was at last permitted to sail. For a time 
his wife refused to accompany him. His father discouraged 
him to the utmost of his power, as did many others of his 
dearest friends. It was not to be expected that he would 
meet with public favor from any quarter, Avhile, to add to 
bis difficulties, the East India Company, which then, under 
the crown, ruled India, was unwilling to admit missionaries 
to any part of India under its control without a special 
license, which at that time could not be obtained. At one 
time a passage had been secured; but when the time for sail- 
ing arrived, the captain of the vessel refused to receive the 
missionaries as passengers. At last, however, at sunrise on 
the thirteenth of June, 1793, Mr. Carey, with his family, went 
on board the Danish Indiaman " Kron Princessa Maria,'^ and, 
after a quiet and uneventful passage, reached Calcutta on the 
eleventh of November. 

He was now in his thirty-third year. He was accom- 
panied by John Thomas, a surgeon, who had previously 
been in India, and who, it was hoped, would not only prove 
of service to Mr. Carey, but himself make a successful mis- 
sionary. Unfortunately, however, this hope was not realized. 
While at heart a good man, and zealous in his Master's 


work, he lacked certain qualifications, without which no mis* 
sionary can be permanently successful, and Mr. Carey was 
hindered much more than helped by his unwise colleague. 
His position on arrival in Calcutta was a very trying one. 
He was a pioneer in every sense of the word. He was the 
first ordained English missionary who had appeared in India, 
and in all Bengal and North India he was the first mission- 
ary of any kind who had actually been sent out in that char- 
acter. The Government of the day would not have welcomed 
him ; but, as his biographer remarks, he seemed so much like 
an '* obscure vagrant ^^ that no one cared to disturb him. He 
was almost penniless, and soon found himself embarrassed by 
the debts of his colleague. In this emergency he determined 
to retire to a quiet place among the jungles of the great forest 
called the Sunderbuns, about fifty miles east of Calcutta, and 
take up his abode in the simplest possible style among the 
village people. Here, with his family, he remained some 
little time, and, as the presence of an Englishman afforded a 
measure of protection, a large number of simple natives 
flocked to the spot, and erected huts around the mission-house. 
The next year, however, he received an offer to take charge 
of an indigo factory in the province of Malda, north of Cal- 
cutta ; and as it was a cardinal point in the policy which he 
had adopted to make his work self-supporting, he accepted 
this offer as providential, and at once proceeded to the place. 
When the news of his arrival in India reached England, 
it produced a profound impression, not only in the Baptist 
community, but throughout the country at large. A mis- 
sionary party had actually been sent to India to inaugurate 
the great work of the conversion of the millions of that then 
far-off empire. A report of their arrival and the commence- 
ment of their work seemed to fall upon the English ear like 
a summons from afar to send forth more laborers into the 
field. The organization of the London Missionary Society 
soon followed, and in many places, both in England and 
Scotland, an intense interest was manifested in the new 


enterprise. The missionary era had been fairly ushered in, 
and among the great achievements of this " consecrated 
cobbler," perhaps none were more important than that of 
thus arousing the Christians of England to a sense of their 
duty toward the heathen world. 

For several years Mr. Carey remained in Malda, quietly pur- 
suing his work, and applying himself diligently to the study, not 
only of the Bengali, but of other Oriental languages. While 
he continued in the employ of an Englishman who was con- 
nected with the Government he was undisturbed; but as he 
wished to enlarge his operations, and as other missionaries 
were coming to join him, a collision with the Government 
seemed unavoidable. It is difficult for persons at the present 
day to comprehend the extraordinary feeling of opposition 
which was cherished by the first generation of Anglo-Indians 
toward the missionaries. The Government in England, even 
under so enlightened a statesman as the younger Pitt, reso- 
lutely persisted in opposing the admission of missionaries to 
India. The leading politicians of the day were all of one 
mind on the subject. The rulers sent out to India, and the 
fashionable society, such as it was, which then held sway in 
Calcutta, were bitterly hostile to all forms of missionary en- 
terprise. This long-cherished hostility was alike discred- 
itable to the courage and intelligence of those who manifested 
it. One has to live in India a long while before such a 
phenomenon becomes intelligible. In those days, and even 
down to the present time, intelligent men may be found who 
are, in popular phrase, said to be '* Brahmanized;" that is, 
they fall under the influence of the prevailing tone of 
thought among the high-caste people, and so yield to an 
invincible conservatism as to be opposed to almost every- 
thing that is new. Such men really know very little about 
the natives, and have always been foremost among those who 
have misinterpreted the drift of native opinion. How- 
ever, for a long generation men of this class controlled pub- 
lic opinion, both in India and in England, to such an 


extent that missionaries were only tolerated on suiferance, and 
at times were promptly deported from the country when 
they attempted to land. In order to avoid this annoyance, 
when Mr. Carey was joined, in 1800, by his two famous col- 
leagues, Marsh man and Ward, he resolved to abandon En- 
glish territory, and take refuge in the little Danish settle- 
ment of Serampore. In those days, when travel was by boat, 
Serampore was eighteen miles distant from Calcutta; and 
here the missionaries not only enjoyed the hospitable protec- 
tion of the enlightened Danish king, who instructed his gov- 
ernor to welcome them and to afford them every assistance 
in their work, but were also near enough to Calcutta to carry 
on- various forms of Christian work in that rising city. From 
this time forward Serampore became the great center of mis- 
sionary operations in India. Here the first converts were 
gathered. Before the close of the year 1800, ten adults had 
been baptized and were organized into a Christian Church. 
The first one to confess Christ was a humble carpenter, and 
it seemed a fitting thing that the great work which was being 
inaugurated should win its first convert from among the 
lowly. From this time onward the work made uniform 
progress. It had passed its experimental stage, and its suc- 
cess was now an accomplished fact. 

By the year 1810 the work of this mission had become 
greatly extended. Mr. Carey had early formed a plan for 
planting mission-stations all over the country. His first 
policy was to make these stations as nearly as possible self- 
supporting. He had missionaries sent out from England, 
and also picked up and educated such men as he could find 
in the country. It was in the year 1810 that he obtained 
consent from the Governor-General to send a man to Agra 
the first movement of the kind in all North India. He had 
then five missions in operation ; namely, in Bengal, Bhutan, 
Burma, Orissa, and the new mission in Agra. By the year 
1817 he had thirty missionaries at work, and stations had 
been opened, not only in other parts of India, but far down 


in Malaysia, his own son having been sent to Amboyna in 
the year 1817. He had also, by this time, seven converted 
Hindu preachers on his staff of regular workers. From the 
first he had given attention to education, and founded schools 
both for boys and girls. These at the outset were unpreten- 
tious enough ; but it was an era in the history of India when 
the first attempt was made to teach girls, however infor- 
mally. The schools established were of different grades, but 
the educational work finally culminated in a vigorous college 
at Serampore. This institution received a royal charter from 
the King of Denmark ; and by special treaty with England, 
when Serampore was transferred to the latter power, the 
charter was left unimpaired in the hands of the college 
authorities. Although at a later day Dr. Duff acquired, in 
an important sense, the reputation of the founder of English 
education, yet in this, as in nearly every other department of 
missionary work, Carey was the real pioneer. 

But the great work of William Carey was that of trans- 
lation. As soon as he had mastered Bengali, he began the 
translation of the Bible into that vernacular; and by the year 
1796 we find mention of his work as being already somewhat 
advanced. It was not finished, however, till 1809. It was a 
difficult work to translate such a book as the Bible into such 
a language as the Bengali then was. Dr. Carey has been 
called the Wickliffe of the East, and the future will probably 
show that he has done for Bengali what the early English 
translator did for the English language. Until he estab- 
lished his press at Serampore, the Bengali language had no 
printed literature, and but little literature of any kind. Such 
as existed was in manuscript, and, of course, inaccessible to 
the people. Not only was the Bible published in the lan- 
guage of the common people at Serampore, but also other 
publications of various kinds, including the first newspaper 
ever issued in the vernacular ; and thus was laid the founda- 
tion, not only of the Bengali literature of the present day, but, 
to an important extent, of the Bengali language itself. 

tV/LL/AM CAREY, 215 

At an early period in his missionary life, Dr. Carey* 
formed a plan for translating the Bible into as many of the 
great Asiatic languages as possible. With his own hand he 
made a complete translation of the Bible into Bengali, San- 
skrit, Hindi, and Marathi. He also, in connection with his 
missionary brethren, supervised the translation into other 
tongues, until twenty- eight versions of the Scriptures were 
sent out from the Serampore press before his death. It has 
been objected that much of this work was very immature. 
This need surprise no one. It could not have been other- 
wise. Dr. Carey himself always maintained that his work 
was that of a pioneer; and while it is very true that not many 
of his versions are now in common use, yet every man who 
has labored in this great field of Bible translating would, no 
doubt, cheerfully testify that he owed much to the work of 
those who went before him. 

Space will not permit further mention of many interesting 
particulars in the life of this extraordinary man. To write 
his life is to write the history of the missionary enterprise 
during its first stage in India. He encountered much obloquy 
and no little hostility in the course of his career; but he 
lived to become not only respected, but honored by the Gov- 
erment which at first refused to receive him, and for a time 
was his avowed enemy. He was appointed by the Gov- 
ernor-General of India Professor of Sanskrit in the College 
of Fort William, at a time when he was one of the only 
two Englishmen in India w^ho could speak Sanskrit with the 
ease of an Indian pundit. He was even invited into counsel 
by the Governor-General, and for a long period was a trusted 
adviser of successive Governors-General. He was bitterly 
denounced both in India and in London, misrepresented and 
unjustly treated in many ways; but, as he always lived supe- 
rior to such annoyances, they never permanently affected his 
reputation. His unaffected modesty, not to say humility, 

" * He received the degree of Doctor of Divinity from Brown Univer- 
sity, in 1806. 


not only adorned his life, but served as a protection to him in 
the midst of the scorn and contempt with which he was 
sometimes treated. At a dinner-table a gentleman said to 
him : " Is it possible, Mr. Carey, that in early life you were 
a shoemaker?" ^^ No," w^as the modest reply, "not a shoe- 
maker; only a cobbler." 

On the ninth of June, 1834, this great and good man 
entered into rest. He had never quitted his post, but for 
forty-one long years had worked patiently and cheerfully in 
the field to which God had called him. He had not only 
been the founder of modern missions, but had proved himself 
a great benefactor of India in many ways. He had been 
among the very first to demand the abolition of widow-burn- 
ing and infanticide, and he was a pioneer in every reform 
movement. His fame as a botanist was only second to his 
reputation as a linguist, and he devoted himself as cheerfully 
to improving the horticulture of Bengal as he did to creat- 
ing its literature or advancing its education. In short, he 
was wholly devoted to India and its people; and had he 
been a less extraordinary man, it would have been impossi- 
ble for any one so devoted to live and die in vain. 

More than half a century has passed since Carey's death, 
and now it may be truly said that his works do indeed fol- 
low him. The mission-station founded by him at Serampore 
has declined in importance, chiefly owing to local changes, 
but his work has spread far and wide, and shows no signs of 
decay. His work had all the elements of permanency. It 
is, in brief, the work of Christian missions in India and the 
East. It put no trust in any arm of flesh, and hence has 
never been forsaken. It built upon no artificial foundations, 
and hence abides in strength. It sought out the hearts of 
the people, and hence has never witnessed the great ebb- 
tides which followed the movements of Xavier and others of 
his class. The work of Bible translation, of creating a Chris- 
tian literature, of education, of heart-conversion, of Church 


organization, of planting new missions, of educating mission- 
aries, all these have gone forward steadily, and seem to 
gain in vigor and strength with each advancing year, 

I may close this very imperfect sketch of the great mis- 
sionary by a brief extract from an address which I delivered 
in America a few years ago: 

Long before his death his Master had vindicated his 
servant, even in the eyes of the world. He lived to bo an 
honored guest and a trusted adviser in the vice-regal palace 
from which the edict of banishment had once been issued 
against him. He won the confidence of the people for whom 
he lived and labored, and gained the esteem of his countrymen, 
among whom he moved as a venerated saint of the Most 
High. As old age drew near, honors began to cluster thickly 
around him, but he was still a simple missionary of Jesus 
Christ. On his tombstone he directed that this couplet should 
be engraved : 

"A guilty, weak, and helpless worm, 
On Thy kind arms I fall." 

And the words expressed the spirit of the man. Long years 
have passed since the death of William Carey, but each 
year has only added luster to his fame. The very names of 
his former persecutors, once leaders in Calcutta society, would 
have long since perished but for their connection with this 
great man. The epithet coined by Sydney Smith will prob- 
ably survive every other word and phrase written by that 
popular satirist, who in future centuries will only be remem- 
bered as the man who ridiculed William Carey. During a 
residence of a dozen years in Calcutta, I met many tourists 
from England and America. Among them all I recall but 
one who wished to see the house in which Macaulay had 
lived; one asked to seethe house in which Thackeray had 
been born; and two or three inquired for the residence of 
Warren Hastings. But literally scores upon scores have 


asked to be led to the grave of William Carey, and the little 
burying-ground in the old Danish settlement of Serampore 
has become like a pilgrim\s shrine, to which Christian men 
and women come from all parts of the world. No man ever 
entered a more despised service, and no man was ever more 
signally honored and rewardied by the service to which he 
gave himself. 

Cl)apber XYI 


IT was for many years felt by intelligent members of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, that the long delay of the 
American Methodists in entering the foreign mission-field, 
presented a just cause of reproach when contrasted with the 
active efforts of the other leading Churches of the country. 
Although for many years numerically the strongest Church in 
the United States, and well known from the first as among 
the most vigorous and prosperous, yet she was the last of 
the leading religious bodies of the country to enter the 
foreign field. The Congregationalists, Baptists, Presbyte- 
rians, Lutherans, Dutch Reformed, and other smaller bodies, 
were all represented in foreign lands before the first mission- 
ary of the Methodist Episcopal Church had been sent to the 
heathen proper in any foreign country. The usual explana- 
tion which has been offered for this delay has been that the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, more than any other, threw all 
her energies into the work of home evangelization, especially 
in the new fields of the great West. That she has done a 
notable work in that field, all the Avorld can testify ; but this 
is not the real explanation of her seeming delay in entering 
the foreign field. In order to account for her absence from 
the great mission-fields of the world during the first half of 
the present century, it needs only be stated that the Church 
herself had only been fairly organized at the opening of the 
nineteenth century, and was in no wise prepared to take up 
so great a work as that which even a single foreign mission 
involves. At : the time Dr. Carey was busy in helping to 



organize the first modern missionary society in England, 
Bishop Asbury was engaged in organizing the Methodist 
Episcopal Church in America. The English Baptists were 
thus ready to begin their foreign work at about the same 
time that the American Methodists began to be a people. 
All the other leading religious bodies of the country had been 
organized and at work for periods ranging from a century to 
a century and a half before the Methodist Episcopal Church 
was formally organized in 1784. After that organization 
had been effected, a whole generation elapsed before this 
newly created body was prepared for anything like aggressive 
work in foreign lands. This one fact affords explanation 
sufficient for what seems to an outside observer like an un- 
reasonable delay. 

During the first generation of American Methodism the 
leaders of the Church were so absorbed in completing its or- 
ganization, and in pushing the work of evangelization in the 
West and South, that it does not seem that it ever occurred 
to any of them that God might have a great work for 
the Church beyond the seas. This oversight, strangely 
enough, seems to have been common to all the leading 
Churches of both England and America. The first call to 
work among the heathen seems to have come iil nearly 
every case from unexpected quarters, and by the lips of com- 
paratively obscure persons. The first trumpet-call which the 
American Methodists received was from an illiterate and ob- 
scure colored man living in Marietta, Ohio, named John 
Stewart. Soon after his conversion, in 1816, he began to speak 
of strange voices which seemed to beckon him away toward 
the Northwest, and he felt impelled to follow on, persuaded 
that some people, living he knew not where, were calling for 
his help. It is not strange that such a man, with so brief a 
Christian life to recommend him, failed to impress those 
around him by such a story; but not taking further counsel 
with flesh and blood, he set out alone through the wilder- 
ness, and traveled on, day after day, until he reached a tribe 


of Indians in Northern Ohio. He at once began to preach 
to them through an interpreter, and extraordinary success at- 
tended his worli. Many were converted, and a work began 
among these wild children of the forest which arrested the 
attention of the Church, and profoundly moved many leading 
Methodists of Ohio to organize a movement for the support 
of the work. This extraordinary call from the wilderness 
was the means used by the Holy Spirit to initiate the move- 
ment which led to the organization of the Missionary Society 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Unfortunately, the 
formal organization was effected in New York, far from the 
scene of this good man's activity, and by men who, though 
able in other respects, knew very little about the kind of 
work to be done. The whole Church was familiar with 
home evangelization ; but when the new Missionary Society 
had been organized, people generally were at a loss to know 
what to do with it. For a time its funds were employed in 
Bible distribution and other work in America; and, although 
the Society was organized in 1819, it w^as not till 1832 that 
the first missionary was sent to a foreign field. Perhaps no 
other Church in America would have delayed so long; but 
we can account for this easily enough by considering that the 
Church was steadily moving West and South with increasing 
momentum, and that its leaders really did not comprehend 
the character of the new movement which had been inau- 
gurated. The real inspiration of the movement was the suc- 
cessful preaching of the gospel to the heathen that is, to men 
who had no knowledge of the gospel whatever by John 
Stewart; and if the leaders had at once proceeded to send 
men to other heathen tribes, or to heathen nations abroad, no 
doubt the work would have proceeded with grand success 
from the first. 

The mission to Liberia was not properly a mission to the 
heathen at all. A colony of Negroes, most of whom had 
been slaves in America, was planted on the western coast of 
Africa, and while it was hoped that this colony might be 


used as a base from which to reach the heathen tribes of the 
interior, yet, as a matter of fact, the missionaries sent to Li- 
beria confined their labors, for the most part, to the colonists, 
and for many years the mission was limited almost exclu- 
sively to men who had been Christians before leaving Amer- 
ica. The next mission-field occupied was in South America; 
but here, too, the same strange reluctance to grapple with 
the real problem which God was setting before the Church 
was for a long time manifested. At Buenos Ayres a Church 
was maintained for many years; but it was practically a 
Church supported by English-speaking Protestants, and for 
a long period many of its supporters were positively hostile 
to any effort being made among the Spanish-speaking Roman 
Catholics of the city. In the meanwhile, after what now 
seems to us extraordinary delay, the thought finally began to 
impress itself upon our people that God's first great call to 
them was to do their part in fulfilling Christ's great com- 
mission to give the gospel to all the nations of the earth ; 
and at last, in 1847 that is, sixty-three years after the Church 
had been first organized, and twenty-eight years after the 
Missionary Society had been organized the first missionaries 
were sent to found a mission in China. This was really the 
beginning of our work in heathen lands; and from this time 
forward the conviction began to be more generally realized 
that the Church must take up this great work, and perform 
a part worthy of her position and numerical strength in the 
years to come. 

A few years after the first mission had been planted in 
China, at Foochow, Dr. Durbin, who had recently become 
Secretary of the Missionary Society, became impressed that 
the Church should plant a strong mission in India. He saw 
clearly that India was not only at that time, but for a long 
period in the future must continue to be, the leading mission- 
field of the world ; the great battle between Christianity on 
the one hand, and Islamism and heathenism on the other, 
must be fought out in that empire. Although the field had 


been occupied by so many societies, and so many worker.*^ 
bad been sent out to it from Great Britain, Germany, and 
America, yet vast regions in different parts of the empire re- 
mained unoccupied; and Dr. Durbin lost no time in formally 
proposing to the General Committee ot the Missionary So- 
ciety to select one of these unoccupied fields, and establish a 
mission in it worthy of the work to be done and of the 
Church which proposed to undertake it. His proposal met 
with much favor, and in 1852 the first appropriation was 
made for money to send out a missionary, and the Bishops 
were requested to select a proper man for superintendent. Four 
years, however, elapsed, during which this appropriation of 
$7,500 was kept standing, before any one with proper qualifica- 
tions could be found willing to assume the responsible task 
of founding a great mission in India. It would surprise our 
people at the present day if the whole truth were told about 
the search for a superintendent of the proposed mission in 
India between 1852 and 1856. The whole story will prob- 
ably never be told, for it is not likely that any record of the 
search has been preserved ; but incidentally I have heard of 
so many men who were asked, and who for various reasons 
were unable to accept the post, that I incline to the opinion 
that no other prominent post in all the history of our Church 
was ever declined by so many nominees. 

At last, ill 1856, William Butler, of the New England 
Conference, was asked to accept the post, and, after a brief 
but earnest consideration of the proposal, he consented.. He 
had rnany qualifications for the work of founding such a 
mission, especially in India. An Irishman by birth and 
early association, educated in England, and with an experi- 
ence of some years in ministerial work in America, he pos- 
sessed a knowledge at once of American Methodism and 
English governmental ways which fitted him peculiarly for 
founding an American mission in a country under English 
administration. He was still in his early prime, with robust 
health, indomitable energy, and unquenchable enthusiasm. 



He sailed prom|itly with his family for his field, and on the 
25th of September landed at Calcutta. After spending a few 
months in consultation with leading missionaries, he chose 
for the mission-field of the Church which he represented the 
little province of Rohilkhand, included between the Upper 
Ganges and the Himalaya Mountains, and the western half 

WII^MAM BUriyiCK. D. D, 

of the better known province of Oudh, making a compact 
little territory, in which he proposed to organize a mission 
with a working force of twenty-five American missionaries. 
This had been designated by Dr. Durbin as one of the fields 
which he should examine, and, for many reasons, it seemed 
the best which was open to him. No other missionary was 
then at work in any part of Oudh or Rohilkhand, and it was 
considered peculiarly fortunate that the new mission could 


thus have a field wholly to itself. In those days a great deal 
of importance was attached to this consideration. The no- 
tion which is still popular with many was then universally 
accepted that missionaries should avoid contact with one an- 
other as much as possible. It was taken for granted that 
jealousy and rivalry would produce the same unhappy fruits 
in mission-fields as in other departments of human labor, and 
hence missionaries shunned on3 another's presence, rather 
than sought it. 

Having chosen his field, Dr. Butler fixed his residence in 
the city of Bareilly, the head-quarters of the political district 
known as Rohilkhand, and wrote home for re-enforcements. 
Two missionaries were at once dispatched to his assistance, 
and intimation given that a larger re-enforcement would fol- 
low the succeeding year ; but the earnest pioneer of the mis- 
sion had hardly become comfortably settled in his new home 
when the Sepoy Mutiny broke out, and, on the 31st of May, 
1857, the English residents of Bareilly were all either killed 
or dispersed abroad by the mutiny of the Sepoys at that sta- 
tion. Dr. Butler escaped with his family to Naini Tal, a 
station in the Himalayas, about seventy-five miles distant, 
and for some time disappeared wholly from the outer world. 
The new mission seemed to be broken up, and the field, 
which had a few months before seemed so peculiarly favor- 
able for mission-work, was now one vast scene of anarchy 
and bloodshed. The Church at home knew nothing of the 
fate of its missionary. Dr. Duff, whose weekly letters from 
Calcutta were published in Scotland, and widely republished 
in America, reported that he had fled from Bareilly, and it 
was hoped that he was safe in the mountains, although his 
friends could not help fearing the worst for him. 

The story of Dr. Butler's peril and of his flight with his 
family to the mountains, produced a profound eflect on the 
Church in America, and was overruled in the providence of 
God to enlist the sympathy of our people in the new mis- 
sion to an extent which could not have been anticipated. lu 



like manner God has repeatedly used singular providences 
of this kind to arrest the attention of great Christian com- 
munities, and commit them to the work of sending the gos- 
pel to heathen nations. The career of Henry Martyn, and 
his lonely death, at once romantic and tragic, produced a 
powerful effect upon the minds of the evangelical wing of 
the Church of England, and became a powerful factor in the 
i'ull organization of the Church Missionary Society, which is 
at present the leading Protestant Society of the world. The 
death of Dr. Coke at sea, when, in his old age, he was leading 
the first band of English Methodist missionaries to India, pro- 
duced a similar impression upon the minds of the English 
Methodists, and more fully committed them to the work of 
India's conversion than all the eloquence and zeal of that 
great leader had been able to accomplish. The extraor- 
dinary manner in which Dr. Judson was led to change his 
views on baptism, and while in a strange land, without 
friends and without support, to identify himself with the 
American Baptists, was singularly overruled in committing 
that great body of Christians to the support of the work in 
India which has so greatly prospered in their hands. The 
struggles of Dr. Duff in trying to reach India, having been 
shipwrecked no less than three times on the voyage, produced 
also a profound impression upon the Presbyterians of Scot- 
land, and, instead of hindering the work to which he had 
committed himself, was overruled in such a way as to put 
him more prominently before the Church, and make him an 
object of love and sympathy to an extent which he otherwise 
would not have been able to secure in the course of long 
years. Thus, too, when the story of Dr. Butler's peril and 
escape was told in America, it had the effect of rousing the 
Church and concentrating its attention upon the new mission- 
field in India, and also not only stimulating many to give for 
its support, but suggesting the thought to many young men 
of going to the rescue. 

On the very day that the mutiny broke out at Bareilly, 


two missionaries, Ralph Pierce and J. L. Humplirey, with 
their families, sailed from Boston, and in due time landed at 
Calcutta, to learn that the first mission-house had been de- 
stroyed, and that their field was for the present closed against 
them. As soon as the country was sufficiently pacified, they 
proceeded to the Northwest, and Dr. Butler, having in the 
meantime left his family in safety at Naini Tal, joined them at 
Meerut, and accompanied them, by a circuitous journey through 
the mountains, to Naini Tal, where they arrived on the 16th 
of April, 1858. The whole missionary body remained in this 
mountain retreat throughout the summer of that year; but 
when, near its close, the country below had become suffi- 
ciently pacified, Bareilly was reoccupied, and the station of 
Moradabad taken up by the Rev. J. Parsons, an English 
missionary who had joined Dr. Butler in Naini Tal, while a 
little later Mr. Pierce proceeded with Dr. Butler to Luck- 
now. The real work of the mission may be said to have 
begun in 1859. During 1858 the missionaries had practically 
done little more than reach their stations. There were now 
five men in the field another Englishman, the Rev. S. 
Knowles, having in the meantime joined the mission and 
the four stations of Naini Tal, Bareilly, Moradabad, and 
Lucknow were formally occupied. 

While the way was thus cleared in India for entering 
upon the work of the projected mission at the beginning of 
1859, an effort which at that not very remote day was con- 
sidered extraordinary, was made to send out a re-enforcement 
of six men. Up to that time no such missionary party had 
ever been sent abroad by the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
and seldom had such a party been sent out by any of the 
great missionary societies. It was still comparatively the 
day of small things in missionary enterprise, and a profound 
impression was made throughout the Church when, early in 
the year, it was announced that six men had actually been 
secured and were ready to sail. The first appointed and oldest 
member of.this re-enforcement was the Rev. James Baume, of 


Evanston, who, with his family, at once sailed for England, 
wishing to visit friends there on his way to his distant field. 
The other members of the party were C. W. Judd and Mrs. 
Judd, of the Wyoming Conference; J. W. Waugh and Mrs. 
Waugh, of the Southern Illinois Conference; E. W. Parker 
and Mrs. Parker, of Vermont ; J. R. Downey and Mrs. 
Downey, of Indiana ; and J. M. Thoburn, of Ohio. Ar- 
rangements were speedily made for the departure of these 
missionaries, and on the 12th of April they sailed from Bos- 
ton, and arrived in Calcutta on the 21st of August. Their 
going forth deepened the impression which had been made 
upon the Church, and it began to be felt among our people 
generally that they were at last fully committed to perform a 
worthy share in the great work of winning the heathen world 
for Christ. It may seem strange at the present day that the 
departure of six missionaries for a distant mission-field should 
have received more than an ordinary notice in the news- 
papers, but it is difficult to realize in these better days how 
backward the Church had been in everything pertaining to 
her missionary duty. 

It is worthy of note that five members of this missionary 
party still survive, and are found at their posts of duty in 
India. Mr. Baume holds a prominent position as pastor in 
the great city of Bombay, which is becoming more and more 
the gateway to the whole empire. Dr. Waugh is general 
treasurer of the Missionary Society for all India. Dr. and 
Mrs. Parker, after thirty-three years of exceptionally vigorous 
work, are still rendering as effective service as ever, the 
former as presiding elder of the Oudh District, and the latter 
abundant in labors among the women, and active in the in- 
spection of schools in her husband's district. The writer of 
these pages was the sixth member of the party, and, like the 
other survivors, feels that his work is still unfinished, and 
hopes for other years of usefulness in the great empire of India. 
It is seldom that any missionary party has been so graciously 
preserved through so many long years of toil in the Indian 


climate, which does not always deal kindly with foreign 

In anticipation of the arrival of the new missionaries, Dr. 
Butler had announced the first formal annual meeting of the 
mission to take place at Lucknow, where the meeting was 
convened on the morning of the 4th of September, 1859. 
The missionary party from Calcutta had arrived late in the 
evening of the 3d, and, after a Sabbath\s rest, at once entered 
upon their life-work by formally taking their places as mem- 
bers of the annual meeting. Thirteen names were entered 
upon the roll, although only nine of these were ordained 
missionaries from the United States. Messrs. Parsons and 
Knowles, of whom mention has already been made, were 
present, and also a young man named Cawdell, an English 
Scripture reader, from Calcutta. One native of India was 
present in the person of Joel T. Janvier, a faithful Christian 
preacher, who, although for some years past stricken with 
blindness, is still a member of the North India Conference, 
a faithful Christian, and a valuable worker. Mr. Parsons, 
before the close of 1859, severed his connection with the 
mission, and Mr. Cawdell's connection with the mission also 
did not prove a permanent one. The brethren remained to- 
gether for a full week in earnest discussion, and then 
separated, to go to the different posts to which they had been 
assigned. One of them, J. R. Downey, never reached his 
station. He was taken ill the day after the meeting ad- 
journed, and after five days suiFering entered into his eternal 
rest. The India mission was now fairly equipped with 
workers, although most of them were as yet unfamiliar with 
the language of the people, and may be said to have entered 
fairly upon its career. 

The missionaries in the field, as well as the Church in 
America, looked upon this work as a mission in India rather 
than as a mission to India. The term " India " was to the 
American people in those days a mere geographical expres- 
sion. No one ever thought of its imperial interests, or of 


its possible destiny among the great empires of the world, or 
of the character and interests of the various peoples of which 
the empire was made up. The idea was that a certain task 
in India had been assigned to a great Church in America, 
and, however small relatively the field chosen may have 
seemed, it certainly appeared large enough both to the young 
missionaries and to their supporters in the United States. 
No one dreamed of any extension of the field for years and 
generations to come. No one was sanguine enough or wild 
enough to suppose that a time would come when the infant 
mission would rise up in the possession of unsuspected 
energy, and strengthen its stakes and lengthen its cords until 
its operations were extended, not only to the most remote 
parts of the Indian Empire, but into vast regions beyond its 
boundaries regions which at that time were but little known. 
The missionary idea a generation ago was, as compared with 
the present, a very contracted one. The popular thought 
was not wide enough to take in the many far-reaching in- 
terests which must always be associated with a successful 
mission among a great people. In fact, even at the present 
time comparatively few people in Europe or America can 
comprehend the idea of a non-Christian people being other 
than half-civilized, half-clad idolaters, without much social 
coherence, without any great national bonds to hold them 
together, and without those great interests which in Christian 
lands are always recognized as being held in common by 
the high and low of every country and every nationality. 

It does certainly seem as if the missionaries assembled 
in Lucknow in September, 1859, might have been wiser in 
their generation than to have contented themselves with the 
contracted view which they then entertained. But those of 
the number who still survive are able fully to realize what 
it is to be wise after an event. They were as far-seeing, 
probably, as the average of their fellow-men, but they were 
in a field in which everything was new to them. They had no 
past experience to guide them ; and among all the missionaries 


then In India, It would have been difficult, if not impossible, 
to find one who had learned how to familiarize himself with 
imperial missionary views. The common idea then was that 
so many heathen were to be converted, and that as many 
missionaries as could be found should be sent to them to 
teach them the truths of Christianity. Some time in the 
future probably in the very distant future great movements 
might be expected to take place ; but the men of the present 
were not to trouble themselves with thoughts of this kind. 
They were to do their portion of the work. It is true that 
the field, small as it was, which had first been selected by 
Dr. Butler, with the approval of the authorities in America, 
had already been enlarged by the addition of the mountain 
province of Kumaon. This itself seemed providential 
enough. The missionaries had not designed to have it so, 
but having been led to Naini Tal as a place of refuge, they 
began to work among the people whom they found there, and 
for various reasons, which seemed eminently satisfactory, de- 
termined to extend the area of their field so as to embrace 
this mountain district. It was, of course, wise and proper 
that they should follow providential leadings; but it did not 
occur to them that the same or similar providential leadings 
would again change the borders of their field. Such, how- 
ever, proved to be the case. At the close of 1864, when 
Bishop Thomson visited the new mission, and organized the 
first Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church 
in India, the borders of the mission-field were again ex- 
tended so as to take in Southern and Eastern Oudh, and also 
the mountain district of Garhwal, lying between the head- 
Avaters of the Ganges and Kumaon. In connection with 
this iucrease of territory, the three new stations of Gonda and 
Roy Bareilly in Oudh, and Paori in Garhwal, were added 
to the list of appointments of the Conference, and a mission- 
ary sent to each. The mission had now a compact territory 
embracing the two hill districts of Kumaon and Garhwal, 
and the ancient provinces of Rohilkhand and Oudh, the whole 


included in a triangle, bounded on the west by tlie Ganges, 
on the east and southeast by a line drawn from the city of 
Allahabad eastward to the Himalayas, and by the great 
snowy range on the north and northeast. These additions 
to the territory occupied by the mission were made ^r what 
seemed to be clearly providential reasons; but again the men 
on the field, like their friends in America, failed to perceive 
that in coming days other providential reasons might be ex- 
pected to arise, and that, great as the task which was then set 
before them seemed to be, the time would come when it would 
seem as nothing compared with the greater and grander op- 
portunities which God would give them for doing their full 
share of the great work of bringing back a rebel world to 
its allegiance to the King of kings. 

The field selected and now occupied at important points 
was a magnificent one for missionary purposes. It contained 
a population of about 17,000,000, all speaking the same lan- 
guage, and easily accessible to the missionary and his agents. 
We need not wonder that the first pioneers among these mill- 
ions did not think of enlarging the borders of their allotted 
field, or adding to the task which God and the Church had 
set before them. The magnitude of that task they were be- 
ginning to realize, and instead of seeing more work they 
were ready to cry out, " Who is sufficient for these things?^' 







chapter XYII. 


IT is very generally supposed in Christian lands, even by 
intelligent people, that a missionary's work among the 
heathen, however trying and distasteful it may be in some 
respects, is by no means difficult. Nothing is more common 
than to hear it said that gifted and cultured men and women 
are thrown away when sent to such countries as India, 
China, and Africa. Ordinary teachers of moderate ability 
are supposed to be quite well enough qualified for work 
among people who are almost wholly illiterate, and in many 
cases not lifted far above the plane of savage life. The 
popular ideal of missionary life is that of a good but simple 
man, with a faithful and devoted wife, settling himself near 
a village of ignorant idolaters, and teaching them patiently 
day after day the first elements of reading and writing, and 
the first principles which are supposed to underlie Chris- 
tianity. Nothing" could be easier or more simple than to 
teach ignorant boys and girls to read and write, and cer- 
tainly nothing could be more delightful than to gather the 
parents and children together under the wide-spreading 
branches of some tropical tree, and tell them of the God who 
rules on high, who created the world, and who watches over 
all his creatures by day and by night, and thus step by step 
to lead them on from one truth to another, until they at 
last are enabled to grasp the story of Christ and his salva- 
tion, and become humble and faithful disciples of the Lord 
and Master of the world. All this is simple enough and 
beautiful enough; but it is purely a picture of the imagina- 
tion, and finds but small place in the missionary's actual life. 



His work is a difficult work at every stage so difficult, 
indeed, that men and women of brains and culture and of 
the highest devotion are needed in the mission-field, if they 
are needed anywhere in the wide world. 

The missionary, when he reaches his field, is confronted, 
in the first place, by the formidable task of having to master a 
strange language, and not infrequently more than one strange 
language. With very few exceptions, this proves a difficult 
task to the young missionary. Now and then a man or 
woman may be found with a special gift for learning lan- 
guages ; but where one such genius is found, ten others will 
appear who, so far from having a peculiar aptitude for learn- 
ing languages, are peculiarly lacking in that gift, and to 
whom the learning of a new language is the most severe in- 
tellectual task that could possibly be imposed upon them. I 
think, too, it will have to be admitted that Americans have 
perhaps less aptitude for learning strange languages than 
Europeans. In their own country they hear little but En- 
glish. Around them, it is true, are representatives from 
nearly every European land; but no American makes any 
effi)rt whatever to master the European languages for the 
purpose of ordinary conversation in his own country. In 
Europe, however, it is very different. Nothing is more com- 
mon than to meet men who can speak in half a dozen differ- 
ent tongues; and when a young man has learned even one 
new tongue, the study of language becomes to him a compar- 
atively easy task. Those who have gone far enough to learn 
to speak in three or four languages may be expected to pick 
up half a dozen more, if the opportunity is afforded them, in 
any part of the world. The average missionary in India is 
able to speak with comparative freedom, at the end of two 
years, in any Indian tongue to which he may have applied 
himself; but it takes long years of patient study and constant 
practice, to enable him to speak with half the freedom which 
the average preacher feels in the use of his own language in 
an American pulpit. A man may speak in a foreign tongue 


with apparently great fluency, so long as lie keeps within a 
certain range of thought ; but not one missionary in twenty 
ever acquires so complete a knowledge of the language of the 
people among whom he spends his life as to take up any 
topic of conversation in any department of science, for in- 
stance that may chance to be presented, and carry on a con- 
versation with the same readiness which he would show in 
the use of English. 

The missionary who arrived in India thirty years ago ex- 
perienced much greater difficulty in gaining access to the 
people than those who come out to that field at the present 
day. At the close of the Sepoy Mutiny, one of the most 
bloody and tragical wars of modern times, the people 
throughout all North India were left in a state of absolute 
submission to the military power of England, with a pro- 
found respect also for the justice of the English Government, 
but at the same time with a certain prejudice against every- 
thing foreign, and a peculiar fear of everything pertaining to 
the Christian religion. The mutiny had been stirred up in 
the first place by designing men, who created a panic among 
the Sepoys by spreading abroad a rumor that their caste was 
to be destroyed by the use of cartridges greased with tallow 
or lard. When peace was restored, this, or some other 
cause, seemed to have left among the people everywhere a 
grave apprehension that they were to be entrapped into a 
profession of Christianity by some means, fair or foul. For 
several years after my first arrival in India, I found the 
people of all castes and classes under the influence of this 
fear. Along with this was a deep-seated, unreasoning, and 
ignorant prejudice against everything which bore the name 
of Christian. Not one in a thousand could tell of anything 
bad in the nature of Christianity, or give an intelligent 
reason for opposing it; and yet the prejudice against every- 
thing bearing the Christian name was universal, and stood in 
the way of the missionary to an extent which, in these more 
enlightened days, can hardly be realized. The question of 


caste was, of course, mixed up with this prejudice and fear; 
but it by no means constituted the sole root of the trouble. 
The very lowest castes, and even the out-castes, dreaded the 
name of Christian. The missionary was made to feel, as he 
moved about among the people, that, while he was respected 
because of his race and position, and perhaps also because of 
his personal character, yet that he was constantly shunned 
like a leper. After I had been in the country several years, 
I once visited a village in company with a Hindustani 
preacher. A number of the more respectable villagers came 
out to meet us; but when they saw that we were turning 
aside to a group of huts in which some low-caste people 
lived, they at once abruptly left us. When we reached the 
huts of the low-caste people, these also began to shun us, and 
we were obliged to pursue our way. The Hindustani preacher 
said to me, with what seemed a sad smile : ^' The high-caste 
people utterly hold aloof from these low-caste folks, and yet 
these lowest of all hold aloof from us. We are less than the 
least among the people here.'' 

Another formidable barrier which has from the first stood 
in the way of the missionary in India a barrier, too, which 
is seldom expected by the stranger is that which is found in 
the compact, massive force of the millions upon millions who 
are arrayed against the truth. India, it is true, is divided 
up by the caste system into hundreds and thousands of dis- 
tinct communities, separate in many respects in their interests 
and tastes, and yet, when the question of Christianity is 
brought before them, they stand like a living wall in opposi- 
tion to the truth. The popular idea of missionary work is, 
that the missionary deals with units, and that he has nothing 
to do but to sit down at the foot of a palm-tree which, by 
the way, affords the least shade of any Indian tree and call 
some poor heathen to him, and quietly teach him until he 
persuades him to forsake his idols and accept Christ. Unfor- 
tunately, however, the missionary is confronted everywhere 
and all the while by a solid mass of humanity, pervaded every- 


where by an intense attachment to the many forms of error 
recognized in India, and an unfailing dislike and dread of 
Christianity in all its forms and phases. To segregate from 
this mass one or two persons, and make them disciples of 
Jesus Christ, is perhaps the greatest task which is anywhere 
in the world set before any Christian worker. At the outset, 
missionary labor takes this form. The missionary can only 
win converts as single individuals, or, at most, as families; 
and while we have now reached a point when the solidarity 
of heathenism is giving way here and there, yet it is only 
after long years of patient and unremitting labor that this 
result has been reached. 

Another obstacle which is recognized readily enough, and 
often exaggerated in Christian lands, but the full force of 
which is not understood, is the low moral tone of the people. 
For many years I have avoided everything which might 
seem to partake of a denunciation of the morals of a whole 
people. Long residence among the people of India has given 
me a feeling of friendship, and even affection, for them, which 
makes it a most uncongenial task for me to depreciate their 
character. I have found many traits in that character to ad- 
mire and imitate ; but at the same time, fidelity to the truth 
requires me to say that the average Christian worker in any 
part of India is confronted at this point by an obstacle 
which, in the same form at least, seldom meets the worker in 
Christian lands. The moral sense of the whole community in 
non-Christian countries is dull. The conscience, though by 
no means slumbering, does not respond to ordinary appeals in 
behalf of the right or in opposition to the wrong. The aspi- 
rations of the people are earthward, and the sinfulness of sin 
is nowhere recognized in the sense in which evangelical 
Christians understand the term. The idea of purity is re- 
ceived with limitations; but the word holiness, as used in the 
New Testament, is removed to a plane above the ordinary 
conception of the people. The religious teacher does not find 
his task a weary one when he has to instruct impressible 


minds; but the case is widely different when those w^ho re- 
ceive the lessons seem to listen for days and months and 
years without the slightest change being made upon the heart, 
or the slightest conviction affecting the conscience. 

Missionaries in India, as elsewhere, while adopting every 
form of useful labor within their reach, generally give the 
greatest prominence to preaching and education as the most 
efficient agencies for accomplishing good among the people. 
With very few exceptions, every missionary is supposed to 
be a preacher. Lay workers are comparatively rare, and 
while here and there a professor in a college, or a teacher in 
a high-school, may be found who seldom occupies a pulpit 
or lifts up his voice anyw^here as a preacher, yet, in the main, 
all missionaries do their part, to a greater or less extent, as 
preachers. Not a few confine themselves to this one branch 
of the common work. Theirs is by no means an easy work. 
Every successful public speaker understands that his task is 
a light or difficult one in proportion to the sympathetic re- 
sponse which he is able to elici't from his audience. Many 
men who have acquired a reputation for eloquence can only 
speak successfully when they can keep their hearers en rap- 
port with themselves as they proceed with the discussion of 
their subject. It is often supposed that the orator stirs up 
the enthusiasm of his hearers and makes them share his feel- 
ing ; but, as a 'matter of fact, it is quite as often true that the 
audience puts the enthusiasm into the speaker, and inspires 
him, rather than is inspired by him. The missionary preach- 
ing to an audience in India, however, knows nothing of this 
kind of inspiration. He is supported and strengthened by 
no responsive sympathy from his audience, except, perhaps, 
on rare occasions. He feels, not indeed that he is preach- 
ing against a dead wall, but that he is constantly holding up 
against an invisible but persistently opposing force; and 
hence his work as a preacher almost inevitably wears out 
both mind and body much more rapidly than the same 
amount of physical or mental labor would wear out a 


preacher in a Christian land. If he permits the interruption, 
he will be called upon to answer dozens of questions in the 
course of an hour's discourse, and his attempted sermon will 
degenerate into a wrangling debate, or possibly have a more 
disagreeable ending. If he understands his business, how- 
ever, he will avoid all manner of public discussions. The 
average native of India intends no disrespect when he chal- 
lenges an assertion made by a missionary in a sermon. If he 
is in a public bazaar, or in any other public place, he assumes 
that he has perfect liberty to speak at any time. The mis- 
sionary, however, can parry his attacks, if he so chooses, and 
all experienced workers in India learn to do this. Paul rea- 
soned in the market-place ; and while it is true that the mar- 
ket-place spoken of was not exactly the Indian bazaar, 
yet it is probable that his reasoning partook somewhat of 
the same character as may often be heard in Indian bazaars. 
For many years I have felt that too many missionaries 
fail by insisting too- literally upon preaching in the conven- 
tional sense in which that word is used in England and 
America. Indeed, the young missionary who comes to In- 
dia should dismiss nearly all his ideals of religious work and 
worship, and prepare to adapt himself to the new exigencies 
which he may meet. The word preach suggests to an Occi- 
dental mind the idea of a man standing up before an audi- 
ence, declaiming with more or less vigor, reasoning, exhort- 
ing, entreating, and displaying in turn the various phases 
which are popularly supposed to belong to religious oratory. 
The New Testament ideal, however, is very diiFerent from 
this. The greatest sermon ever preached in this world was 
delivered by a Preacher who sat on the grass, and talked 
with the people who were grouped on the grass of the slope 
below him. The second greatest sermon that was ever 
preached was delivered by the same Preacher, as he sat on a 
shaded well-curb, with an audience consisting of one woman, 
and she by no means the most reputable of those living in 
the adjacent village. The discourse was completed after other 

16 ^ 


hearers had gathered around the place, just as happens in scores 
of instances in India, where a dozen or a score of new hearers 
may come up after the first talk has been concluded. Another 
great sermon of infinite interest to missionaries was preached 
by that magnificent evangelist, Philip, as he was seated in an 
Ethiopian chariot, with an audience composed of a single 
hearer. Paul preached a great sermon which, however, is 
not reported at length to a dozen men in Ephesus. And 
thus it would seem that the modern ideal of a man standing 
erect in the presence of an audience seated in the most or- 
derly and formal manner, and listening with perhaps more 
good manners than attention, was almost unknown in the 
early days of Christianity. On special occasions, such as the 
day of Pentecost, or in the presence of the Jewish Council, 
when the first martyr was on trial for his life, great orators 
delivered great sermons; but the rule was the other way. In 
India our more recent experience leads us to the .conclusion 
that the formal sermon will have less to do, and the more 
private discourse or conversation, as it may be, will become 
more and more prominent. Thirty years ago we all preached, 
for the most part, in the bazaars and at the great melas, or 
fairs. At that time it was difficult to work in any other 
way. The people did not receive us privately with the same 
cordiality which they now show; and we were objects of 
suspicion and scorn to an extent which is now unknown. 
Now, however, the most successful workers are comparatively 
obscure Hindustani preachers, who go and sit down at the 
doorstep of a native hut, or perhaps in a court-yard into 
which a number of humble little dwellings open, and talk 
with the people, sing, if permitted to do so, and possibly en- 
gage in prayer with them. The converts are often won after 
long personal intercourse, one by one, by these workers. In 
other words, our preaching in India seems to be drifting 
back more and more toward the New Testament standard; 
and yet there are occasions when large audienctjs are ad- 
dressed by eloquent men, with a religious earnestness and 


power which remind us vividly of the notable efforts we have 
witnessed on the part of great orators in America. 

The popular idea of a mission-school is that of a half- 
dozen children of both sexes collected under a thatched roof, 
and patiently taught the meaning and use of letters, until 
they are able to read and write. So far as savage people are 
concerned, this idea may be correct enough; but when the 
young missionary arrives in India he discovers that, instead 
of teaching an alphabet to the children of the soil, he must 
first master two or three alphabets with which they are 
already familiar. He is the chief pupil in the school instead 
of the teacher. The Hindus of Northern India use an ex- 
cellent alphabet, which is constructed for the most part on 
phonetic principles, and which is better adapted to its pur- 
pose, and more perfect in its arrangement, than the English 
alphabet. The Mohammedans employ an alphabet which is 
sometimes called the Persi-Arabic, but which varies in its 
form, and, as it nearly always omits the short vowels, is diffi- 
cult to master. Then, when the missionary has acquired a 
moderate use of the language, and mastered one or both of 
the alphabets in use, he finds that the Oriental idea of a school 
is wholly different from that with which he has been familiar 
in his own country, and he will probably spend a year in 
bungling efforts to get his school in order before he is really 
prepared to conduct, or even superintend, a school. His 
difficulty does not end here. Instead of finding little savages 
who can not comprehend the use of letters, he is constantly 
meeting young men of his own age who speak English with- 
out hesitation, and many of whom are equal to himself in 
scholarship. He learns, to his surprise, and perhaps to his 
dismay, that if he enters the educational field he must pro- 
vide schools all the way up, from those of the most element- 
ary grade to the full-fledged college. The term *^an educa- 
tional missionary '' means a great deal indeed in a country 
like India, and tlie young men and women in the United 
States who lightly dream of going to India to spend their 


lives in teaching the heathen, would do well to pause and 
examine themselves to see if they are prepared for a kind of 
labor which only well-educated people at home would think 
of attempting. 

But the real work of the young missionary begins when 
he makes his first convert. In a moment a score of questions 
confront him to which he has perhaps not given a thought, 
but which involve him in a labyrinth of difficulties froui 
which he at times sees no way of escape. Christians in 
America have little or no idea of the difference between the 
fundamental and the accidental peculiarities of American 
Christianity. Much which they accept as a part of Chris- 
tianity itself is in reality only the outgrowth of its American 
phases. Christianity differs from all other religions in that 
it is able to adapt itself to all the nations and kingdoms and 
tribes of earth. But in so doing, it changes its outward form 
to a greater or less extent, and adopts or rejects peculiarities 
of the various people who become subject to it, as may suit 
their special character or wants. The Christian in America, 
however, expects that the first convert of the young mission- 
ary will at once become in outward life, if not in inward 
taste, the counterpart of an American Christian. IJe ex- 
pects him to accept the American Sabbath in an hour, without 
having accustomed himself to its obligations, and without re- 
gard to the overwhelming disregard of the day which every 
one encounters in a heathen land. He expects him to join 
in public worship precisely in the way in which it is con- 
ducted at home, and with a full and hearty appreciation of 
everything connected with the service. He expects him to 
change a hundred customs, some of them very trifling, and 
some of them of the utmost importance in the convert's eyes, 
without hesitation and -without misgiving. He expects him 
to adapt his appetite to new articles of food and to new modes 
of living, and, in short, to become a respectable Christian 
like those usually seen in American churches. The convert, 
on the other hand, can not possibly comprehend such a 


standard of Christianity. He has never eaten beef or pork, 
and his appetite loathes such food. He looks upon various 
articles as unclean, but does not dream that in doing so he 
is reflecting upon other Christians who use them freely. He 
shaves his head in whole or in part as fancy or necessity 
may dictate to him, and is utterly unconscious that in doing 
so he is giving himself an uncouth appearance, which would 
excite laughter in any Christian congregation in England or 
America. He takes off his shoes when he wishes to show 
reverence to a place of worship, and kneels down before God 
having his head covered with a turban, which is perhaps 
skillfully arranged by wrapping thirty yards of linen around 
his head. He has much to learn, and much to unlearn 
but the things of importance to him are not things such as 
those just mentioned. If the missionary is wise, he will 
from the very outset dismiss all thought of training his con- 
vert according to the American ideal. But he is not always 
wise. Most young missionaries going to a new field, without 
the experience of older workers to guide them, are apt to 
cherish the American ideal until repeated failures teach them 
that it can not be realized in an Oriental country. 

I am writing these lines at a station among the North- 
ern Himalayas. A few days ago I was passing along a 
shaded road, when my attention was arrested by the once 
familiar sight of a green chestnut-burr lying on the road 
before me. It recalled old associations of my youth and 
boyhood in a very peculiar manner, and I instinctively 
looked up to see from what tree this unexpected object could 
have fallen. Above me I saw chestnut-leaves, which I rec- 
ognized in a moment; but, instead of a stately tree, I saw at 
the side of the road a group of stems, eight or ten in num- 
ber, growing from a common root, and looking altogether 
like a huge chestnut-bush, instead of a chestnut-tree. The 
sight was disappointing to me. It would have pleased me 
much if I could have seen a large chestnut-tree overhang- 
ing the road ; but I was obliged to accept what this Hima- 


layan climate and soil presented to me. An English chest- 
nut had been planted here ; but when it sprang into life and 
lifted its head above the soil, it refused to assume the form of 
an English chestnut-tree. I find the same change in the ap- 
ple, pear, apricot, and plum trees, which I see in the gardens 
around me. Each tree preserves its own special character, 
and yet puts on Indian peculiarities instead of retaining 
those of Europe. So it is with Christianity; we may plant 
it in India and it will assume its own peculiar Indian phase, 
and refuse obstinately to adopt the outward appearance of the 
Christianity which is found in England, America, or Ger- 
many. So will it be in China, in Japan, and in each foreign 
country. We could not expect it to be otherwise ; and we 
ought not, and certainly need not, desire it to be otherwise. 
The new convert has everything to learn, and, however 
sincere and earnest he may be, it will require, in most cases, 
no little time to give him the drill which he needs. The 
people of India have no conception whatever of public wor- 
ship in the sense in which it is understood by Christians. 
They never meet together for prayer, and rarely meet in re- 
ligious assemblies of any kind. The Mohammedans may 
sometimes be seen in large numbers performing their devo- 
tions at stated hours ; but these consist merely in the repeti- 
tion of forms of prayer, often in an unknown tongue, and 
never heeded by any considerable number of those who utter 
them. Now and then a Mohammedan preacher may be found 
who addresses public audiences; but never after the manner 
of a preacher in a Christian church. Neither Mohamme- 
dans nor Hindus ever sing in connection with any form of 
public worship. The voice of song is the peculiar heritage 
and glory of the Church of Jesus Christ. Infidelity in all 
its forms, Mohammedanism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and every 
form of paganism, seem alike pervaded by a strange influ- 
ence of some kind which drowns the voice of song. Prayer 
in the Christian sense is practically unknown, except among 
Christian people. Hence the new converts have to learn 


everything, so far as worship is concerned. They learn 
readily enough, it is true ; but in a country where all have to 
be learners, where the teachers are few, where the model 
which is found everywhere in America is not only more 
rare, but also apt to change more or less, it is no little part 
of the missionary's task to introduce, direct, and control 
public worship among the people who first become Chris- 

In a few large cities congregations of Indian Christians 
can be found seated upon comfortable benches, well-dressed 
and quite as orderly, in every respect, as similar congrega- 
tions in English and American cities. This, however, is by 
no means a correct picture of the ordinary Indian congrega- 
tion. Nearly all missionaries at first try to provide churches. 
Many of them build in such close imitation of similar build- 
ings at home, that their structures seem almost grotesque in 
the midst of their Oriental surroundings. They at first also 
try to provide comfortable seats, the old-time pulpit, with 
perhaps an American organ, with everything arranged accord- 
ing to the pattern shown to them in their native land. Very 
soon, however, every practical missionary is only too willing 
to give up this vain attempt to reproduce American churches 
upon Indian soil. In the towns and villages, in which the 
chapels or other simple places of worship are found, the peo- 
ple, for the most part, sit upon the floor, which consists sim- 
ply of the beaten earth, covered with very cheap matting. 
There may be a raised platform at one end, upon which the 
preacher stands, with a small table beside him ; but it is more 
probable that the place will be wholly destitute of furniture. 
The people enter, for the most part, in their bare feet. The 
custom of uncovering the head is becoming more common, 
and is much insisted on by some missionaries. For my own 
part, I have never attached the slightest importance to this 
custom. The directions of Paul, which have been so fre- 
quently misapplied in American churches, would create 
much greater inconvenience if literally carried out in Ori- 


ental lands, and should be accepted here, as elsewhere, in 
their practical spirit, rather than in the misleading letter. 

The present chapter would have to be greatly extended 
if all the difficulties which confront missionaries in a new 
field were to be stated. The mere mention of woman placed 
in her new position a position higher and more ennobling 
than anything she has ever known opens a new field of dif- 
ficulties, which would require much more space than can be 
affi3rded in the present chapter. The whole subject will be 
fully treated elsewhere. Suffice it to say that the most per- 
plexing and difficult part of the missionary's work in organ- 
izing a Christian church in a heathen land, and wisely ad- 
justing it to its hostile environment, is found in con- 
nection with the female members. To them everything 
is new, and, as might be expected, many of them are found 
too timid for the new duties and privileges which are set 
before them, while others are tempted to take undue ad- 
vantage of their new position, and to fall into the same er- 
rors which are so sharply rebuked by Paul in his epistles to 
some of the early churches. Woman is at her worst in non- 
Christian lands, and hence it needs surprise no one that, 
among the first converts, it often happens that she is much 
less prepared for her new duties than her husband and 
brothers. It thus happens that the most bitter and persist- 
ent opposition to the giving up of bad or doubtful customs, 
and the adoption of new modes of life in the family and in 
the outer life, comes from the women. All converts are more 
willing to give up idols than certain forms of superstition, 
some of which are interwoven with the spirit of idolatry 
itself in such a way as to be utterly contrary to the Christian 
idea. To sift carefully the habits and customs of the people, 
casting away everything which is harmless, and peculiar to 
the customs and taste of the people, is a task which calls for 
the highest wisdom and ripest experience which can be found 
in the mission-field. 

Cl)apber XVIII. 


WHEN Dr. Butler, with his band of missionaries, began 
work in his chosen district, it was impossible to antici- 
pate the proportions which the work might ullimately as- 
sume. Among all departments of human effort, there is 
absolutely no kind of work which has such far-reaching 
results as that of direct Christian labor, not only in found- 
ing churches in heathen lands, but in planting all manner of 
institutions for the men now living, and for generations yet 
unborn. The little mission church in India, Africa, or 
China may prove the nucleus of a great Christian empire, 
and the mission-school may grow up to be a bulwark of an 
enlightened civilization for long centuries in the future. The 
work before these missionaries in North India, even in its 
day of small things, was laid out upon a larger scale than 
was at that time customary in mission-fields. It was in- 
tended that no less than eight missionaries should be located 
in the city of Lucknow, and four in each of the cities of 
Bareilly and Moradabad. Two other cities w^ere to have 
three missionaries each, while the remaining stations chosen 
were each to have two missionaries. This distribution of the 
workers, however, was never actually accomplished. From 
the very first the pressure for help in new fields w^as felt so 
acutely, that it was found impossible to strengthen the work- 
ing force in the principal stations according to the original 
plan. As time passed, it began to be apparent that this 
original plan never could be executed, and that perhaps it 
would not be best to attempt it. All missionaries, at the 
outset, naturally look upon the labor to be accomplished as 



in a peculiar sense their own, and do not make sufficient 
allowance for the indigenous help which, under God's bless- 
ing, is to be raised up on the field. Instead of three, four, 
or eight missionaries in a single station, experience led these 
devoted men, in time, to appoint but one man to most of 
the stations, and only on rare occasions has the spectacle 
been witnessed of four missionaries living in the same city. 
It seemed to the Church in America, as well as to most 
missionaries in India, that the plan of locating twenty-five 
men in .one comparatively small section of the great Empire 
of India was an exceptionally wise one, and that such a mis- 
sion would, in proportion to its extent, be among the most 
strongly manned in all the country. Relatively, this view 
may have seemed correct enough; but when we compare, or 
contrast, this force with that which was sent into the South 
Sea Islands at the beginning of the great work in that 
region, the Indian Mission will seem weak enough. In 
certain groups of those islands, containing a population of 
about 250,000, fifty-two missionaries were stationed, and not 
deemed too many for the work. Those missionaries were 
good men, and their labors were abundantly rewarded. In 
nearly every case they were successful in turnipg the people 
from the worship of idols, and giving them the knowledge 
of the living God. They ought to have succeeded; for, on an 
average, each man had only about 5,000 persons of all ages 
to whom to devote himself. In this new mission in India, 
however, the missionaries were distributed in the proportion 
of one for every 680,000 ; that is, each missionary had a task 
assigned him more than two and a half times as large as 
that of the whole of the fifty-two men in the southern seas. 
Instead of looking upon the missionary force of twenty-five 
men as an exceptionally large one, it ought to be understood 
that a thousand workers would not have been sufficient to 
engage in the task with the same chances of success which 
existed in many of the best-known mission-fields of the last 
generation. A force of no less than 3,400 missionaries 


would have been required in order to enter the field on 
the same scale, and to carry on the work with the same 
thoroughness which was witnessed in the islands of the 
South Pacific. When we look at those twenty-five mission- 
aries and it must be remembered that the Missionary So- 
ciety did not actually succeed in its attempt to put so many 
men on the ground and then glance at the mighty multi- 
tude numbering more than seventeen millions of Hindus and 
Mohammedans, we may readily exclaim, " What were these 
among so many?'' 

One part of the task which, perhaps, gave these early 
missionaries at first little concern, soon began to loom up 
before them in most formidable proportions. Like mission- 
aries generally, they at first had little idea of what was im- 
plied by the term, '' founding a new church.'' Their first 
thought was that of bringing the people to Christ, and 
properly training their converts; but in every age and in 
every land a body of converts means the organization of a 
church. This fact is but dimly realized in Christian lands, 
and even by those most familiar with missionary operations. 
It is too commonly supposed that converts from heathenism 
are simple creatures who require the careful supervision of 
superiors, but who can not be intrusted with responsibility in 
the church, and who need not be consulted in respect to 
such a step. People who indulge in a fancy of this kind 
might as well assume that ignorant men and women in non- 
Christian lands are uprepared to assume the responsibilities 
of parents, or domestic duties of any kind. They forget that 
there is such a thing as society in every community, and that 
there are great laws of social organization which will shape 
themselves inevitably according to the influence surrounding 
the people. They forget that it is as natural for Christian 
converts in China or India to assume their proper places in 
the church, and to take up, not only the ordinary duties of 
membership, but in proper cases the responsible duties of 
official position, as it is for converts in Christian countries to 


do the same. It is a part of God^s law, written upon the 
hearts of all Christians, that they should associate themselves 
together in churches, and talie up the responsible duties 
which come to them in such a relationship ; and no greater 
mistake can be made than to neglect wholly, or even treat 
lightly, a subject of such vital importance to missionary work. 
But just here some kind and well-meaning Christian 
brother is sure to rise and protest that the missionaries who 
go to heathen lands have nothing to do with the organiza- 
tion of'churches, that it is their duty to evangelize, and not to 
organize, and that, above all things, missionaries should leave 
all their preconceived notions, prejudices, and, to a great ex- 
tent, doctrinal beliefs, behind them when they sail from their 
native land. Such talk reflects more honor, perhaps, upon 
the goodness of the protester's heart than upon the clearness 
of his intellect. Whatever the missionary is, he is not ex- 
pected to be a fool. Like other Christians, he has a clearly 
defined belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ, and he can no 
more lay these aside and substitute what is called a naked be- 
lief in Christ, leaving his mind like a blank sheet of paper, 
than he can put himself back to his condition in infancy. 
Nor can he persuade himself, when converts begin to gather 
around him, that he has nothing to do with their organiza- 
tion. He sees at a glance, and feels the conviction deep 
within him, that it is as much his duty to care for these con- 
verts and to direct their organization into a Christian church 
or Christian churches, as it is for him to care for his own 
children, and direct them how to use their responsibilities as 
they increase in stature and wisdom. Some one has said that 
charity is the highest of all" virtues, but that this does not 
mean that she must needs be a fool. It would be a supreme 
act of folly for any sensible missionary to throw aside his 
own experience, smother, or at least conceal, his own religious 
views of Bible truth, and leave his converts to flounder as 
best they can through the difficulties which will beset them 
in Bible study, and to blunder to any extent that circum- 


stances may permit, when they attem'pt the difficult task of 
organizing a Christian church. 

In these days a great deal of very plausible, and yet very 
cheap and unwise, talk is heard about the narrow bigotry of 
missionaries who carry the peculiar theological notions of 
Western Christianity, and the still narrower ecclesiastical 
polity of their respective sects or denominations, into heathen 
lands. Every now and then a protest appears, sometimes in 
hostile journals, and sometimes in the columns of earnest but 
often narrow Christian periodicals, against the folly of trying 
to reproduce the sects of Europe and America in India and 
China. The writers seem sincerely to believe that the Pres- 
byterians, Methodists, Baptists, Anglicans, Lutherans, and 
others, are striving with might and main to introduce and 
perpetuate, not only their respective systems of theology and 
of church government, but even their very names, in India. 
It needs hardly be said that all such criticisms are as unjust as 
they are mistaken. What such critics ask of the missionary 
is, that he should ignore his own training, his own experience, 
and his own adaptation to Christian work. A man who has 
been brought up in a Christian land to work in a certain way, 
who is familiar with a certain form of church organization, 
and who has accustomed himself to a certain kind of armor in 
which he can best fight in spiritual warfare, will not lightly 
throw away all these advantages when he is suddenly placed 
face to face with hostile forces of the most formidable charac- 
ter. A Methodist may not be a better or a wiser man than a 
Presbyterian or an Anglican, or a better worker; and yet if 
he has been trained to work according to the usual methods 
pursued by Methodists, and in the spirit most cherished by 
them, he will prove most successful in his new sphere of 
labor by continuing to work as a Methodist. He is precisely 
like David, when he declined the stronger and heavier, but 
to him more cumbersome, armor of Saul. Each man fights 
best when wearing his own armor and pursuing the methods 
with which he is most familiar. 


Apply this to the problem of church organization, and it 
will be seen at once that the missionary only follows what 
ought to be regarded as the natural course, for him, when he 
proceeds to organize his converts according to the plan which 
commends itself to his judgment, and is most in accordance 
with the standards with which he has been most familiar. It 
is true, however, he will seldom be able to use the machinery 
with which he has been familiar in his home-land in all its 
entirety. He is compelled, as remarked in a previous chap- 
ter, to adapt it to the circumstances in which he is placed ; 
and if he is a wise man, he will have already learned to use 
only those methods and those forms of organization which are 
sufficiently flexible to be adapted to unexpected circum- 
stances, such as meet him in his new field. He remains a 
Presbyterian, a Methodist, or an Anglican, as the case may 
be, but remembers that he is in a strange land ; and while he 
preserves the main features of his own familiar system, he 
does not put it in an iron mold which admits of no modifica- 
tion whatever. 

Adopting these views in the main, Dr. Butler and his as- 
sociates were in a few years brought face to face with some 
weighty responsibilities. Almost immediately they felt the 
necessity of a church organization, so fully fledged as to be 
able to meet every exigency as it might arise. The author- 
ities in America at first felt somewhat impatient when the 
missionaries began to put forth their demands for an Annual 
Conference, forgetting that under the Methodist system it 
would be impossible to maintain for many years a vigorous, 
growing mission in a distant corner of India, without provid- 
ing for the various emergencies which, in any country and 
under the best possible conditions, might be expected to arise. 
For instance, a minister could not be put upon his trial with- 
out transferring the case to America, which is tantamount to 
saying that he could not be fairly tried at all. Candidates 
for the ministry had to be admitted on trial into Annual Con- 
ferences in America; and their reception or rejection, as well 


as the subsequent step of receiving them into full member- 
ship, would depend upon influences which might be brought 
to bear on the other side of the globe in such a way as to de- 
feat the purposes and wishes of those on the field. The or- 
ganization of an Annual Conference, however, marked but 
one stage of a long road. As time passed it began to be felt 
more and more that the existence of a great church in one of 
the great empires of the world implied, in the very nature of 
the case, something very nearly equivalent to autonomy, and 
this, in turn, implied the construction of an ecclesiastical 
frame-work which called for the ripest wisdom, the clearest 
foresight, and the most profound devotion which could be 
found in any church. 

At this point another question of the utmost gravity be- 
gan to present itself. As remarked in another chapter, the 
idea of the authorities in New York, when they determined 
to establish a mission in India, was that of simply planting a 
mission in India, rather than for India as a whole. Instead 
of thinking of the great Indian Empire, they thought of a 
vast Eastern region occupied by various tribes and national- 
ities, somewhat after the manner of America when peopled by 
the various tribes of aborigines. To plant a mission in an 
Indian tribe never meant at any time more than trying to 
evangelize that particular body of people. The Indian tribes 
of America had no coherency among themselves, and at no 
period in their history did they ever look upon themselves as 
a single people. In India the situation is wholly different. The 
people are firmly welded together, at least politically, by the 
power of the Indian Government, backed as it is by that of 
the British Empire. Thirty years ago there was much less of 
coherency among the people of the various sections of India 
than exists at the present day ; but even then the great trunk 
railways which have since been built had been marked out, 
and as these were constructed the people began to move about 
by thousands, and literally by millions. The empire, for a 
generation past, has been steadily becoming more and more 


consolidated. The people are feeling more and more that 
they hold many interests in common, and the missionary who 
has lived among them the greater part of his life, in many 
cases discovers, to his surprise, that he has become Indian- 
ized himself. He feels more interest in the public concerns 
of India than in those of his native land. He expects, in 
many cases at least, to spend all his days in India ; and more 
and more he interests himself in all that concerns the wel- 
fare of the people, not only in one particular section, where 
he may chance to reside, but in every nook and corner of the 

These influences led our missionaries at an early day to 
look beyond the boundaries of the comparatively small field 
in which they had been located, and to anticipate a larger 
share in the work of making India a Christian empire, than 
the founders of the mission had foreseen. In earlier days 
many attempts were made by the leading missionary socie- 
ties in India, to parcel out the country in such a way as to 
give to each mission a special field of its own. All workers 
were expected to observe what are called the rules of mis- 
sionary courtesy, and not to trespass into a province which 
had been taken up by another society. This policy had some 
good features, but was only defensible on the ground of pro- 
viding such a division of labor as would most speedily bring 
all the vast fields under cultivation. Unfortunately, how- 
ever, this was seldom the reason put forward for adopting 
the policy. The real object of its promoters was, in most 
cases, that of preventing collisions among the missionaries. 
The policy can hardly be said to have proved successful. 
Many have been led to think that it created more suspicion, 
and fomented more painful divisions, than it ever prevented. 
In any case, the missionaries, with their advancing work, 
have outgrown it, and every year it seems to be felt more 
and more that the unwritten, rules of comity which prevail in 
Christian lands must, in the main, be relied upon to work out 
the same results in India which they do elsewhere. 


"While most Protestant missionaries, by their own consent 
and with the hearty approval of their own judgment, thus 
fenced themselves off from large sections of the empire, mis- 
sionaries of two great organizations succeeded in planting 
themselves in almost all the leading cities and provinces of 
the empire. The Roman Catholic priest, on the one hand, 
knew of no restricting boundary-lines. He is found almost 
everywhere in India to-day, if not as an active missionary, 
at least as an officiating priest, looking carefully after the in- 
terests of the great organization to which he belongs. The 
chaplains and missionaries of the Anglican Church, on the 
other hand, are also found almost everywhere, as might be 
expected in an organization which is recognized as the Estab- 
lished Church of the country. In the first place, the chap- 
lains occupy nearly all the large cities and stations. Then, 
the Church Missionary Society, a very powerful organization, 
has its missionaries in many parts of the country, while the 
Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, which usually 
represents the sacerdotal wing of the Anglican Church, oc- 
cupies other fields. Where these three classes of. workers 
are not found, it often happens that a missionary of the Ad- 
ditional Clergy Aid Society is stationed, thus bringing four 
classes of workers, but all belonging to the same Church, 
into the field. 

When our own work began in India, Methodism was 
hardly known in the empire. The English Methodists had 
confined their labors to the extreme southern part of the pen- 
insula, and not a Methodist minister or missionary of any 
kind was to be found north of Madras. The great cities of 
Bombay and Calcutta had no Methodist preaching; nor had 
any missionary penetrated to any part of the great region 
north of those cities. It may be said, and it may truly seem 
to many, that the mere absence of Methodist missionaries 
from nearly the whole of this great empire ought not to have 
occasioned either surprise or alarm ; but, on the other hand, 
when we consider the important part which the Methodists, 



as a people, are playing in all parts of the English-speaking 
world, and when we remember that God has raised up each 
one of the great Christian organizations of the present day, 
in some sense at least, for a special part of the common work 
to be done, it becomes certainly worth while to inquire if 
the Methodists themselves had not been somewhat to blame 
for neglecting their share of the great work to be accom- 
plished in India. Certainly no others can be blamed, and 
no other view of the case has ever been put forward. When, 
therefore, our missionaries in North India began, twenty 
years ago or more, to feel a wider interest in Indian Chris- 
tianity, and to ask themselves if it might not be that God 
wished them to assume a larger share of the work to be done, 
they had no other thought than that of meeting their own 
responsibilities more fully, and helpiiTg all other brethren, of 
whatever name, to hasten forward to the goal which all were 
alike anxious to reach. 

It will be said at once, no doubt, and probably with a 
measure of warmth : *^ But why rush into distant regions be- 
fore you have finished the task undertaken in Oudh and 
Rohilkhand ? Finish the task in hand before you attempt 
another. While millions and millions around you remain 
unevangelized, why seek distant fields, where the prospects 
are no more inviting than in the districts within your imme- 
diate reach ?^^ 

Many of us in India have been obliged to answer ques- 
tions of this kind over and over again during the past twenty 
years. It ought to suffice to say that at no time in the his- 
tory of Christianity have successful Christian workers, espe- 
cially evangelists, acted upon the policy here indicated. Bar- 
nabas and Saul set out from Antioch to go to regions beyond, 
although only a handful of the people of that great city had 
been converted. They pressed on from city to city, sowing 
precious seed, but never in a single instance waiting until 
the task which they had seemed to take up was finished. It 
will be impossible to point to a single instance in all Chris- 


tian history where successful laborers, especially evangelists, 
have tarried in one place until all the people were converted. 
Such a thing has never been done, and I trust never will be 
done, until first the gospel has been carried where its sound 
may fall upon all human ears. In fact, this cry of finishing 
all the work to be done in a given field before going else- 
where, is identical in spirit with that other cry which has so 
often been raised in Christian lands about seeking the 
heathen at home before carrying the gospel to those who live 
abroad. The very genius of Christianity is entirely foreign 
to any such idea.. Its inspiration is that of the angel flying 
in mid-heaven, with the everlasting gospel to preach to every 
nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people. The mission- 
aries of India will never be fitted for the gigantic task which 
God has given them until they rise superior to some of the 
scruples which have hampered their action in the past, and 
bring themselves more fully into harmony with the spirit of 
the gospel which they are called to proclaim. 

In another chapter the story will be told of the remark- 
able manner in which God led us forth beyond the bound- 
aries of the comparatively small field at first selected, and 
by successive steps planted our workers in nearly all the 
great cities of India. Suffice it to say that, as the years have 
gone by, one point after another has been occupied in the 
regions beyond, until now, instead of having a field carefully 
hedged in near the source of the Ganges in North India, our 
workers are found at many points from Lahore in the north 
to Madras in the south, and from the Indus, and even be- 
yond the Indus, on the northwest, to Singapore and Borneo 
in the distant southeast. Instead of seventeen millions of 
people to be evangelized, God has called upon us to do our 
share in the evangelization of the 284,000^000 of India, and 
the 40,000,000 or 50,000,000 of Malaysia. The task which 
at the first seemed large enough to absorb the energies of 
the whole Christian world, calling for a missionary force of 
more than three thousand men, has thus been so changed as 


to give us, not by any means the whole of these three hun- 
dred and odd millions to be evangelized by ourselves, but 
our share of this common work, which God has committed to 
all his people of whatever name or nationality throughout 
the world. Instead of a province, we are thrust out into 
the midst of one of the world^s great empires, and, passing 
beyond its limits, we have entered the gateway of what is 
destined to be the great island empire of the Eastern seas. 




Cl)apt!er XIX. 


THE missionaries descended from their retreat in Naini 
Tal in the closing months of 1858; but, as has been re- 
marked in a preceding chapter, their actual worli may be said 
to have commenced with 1869. The first Annual Confer- 
ence in India was organized at the close of 1864, six years 
from the beginning of active work a period which may be 
regarded as the first stage in the history of the new mission. 
During these six years the workers had many lessons to 
learn, some trying perplexities and sharp trials to encounter, 
their first victories to win, and, as seemed to them, an endless 
series of difftculties to meet and overcome. 

Each missionary at once began the work of preaching in 
his station, either personally or through the Hindustani 
helper sent to him. At the close of the Mutiny, when peace 
and general security began to prevail throughout Oudh and 
Rohilkhand, a number of native Christians drifted up from 
the South, whither most of them had fled for safety, and 
from among these a few suitable men were found to take the 
place of assistants in the new work. They were so few in 
number, however, that it was not found possible to supply 
even one to each missionary. As compared with the Hin- 
dustani preachers of the present day most of them would be 
regarded as men of inferior worth, but in those early times 
they proved valuable helpers indeed. In fact, any man who 
was able to speak the language of the people, and who knew 
enough of Christianity clearly to comprehend the object of the 
missionaries, was invaluable to the strangers beginning their 
work in a strange land. The preaching and religious services 



of those days, however, were exceedingly unpretentious, al- 
though such as only could have been expected in a day of 
small things. For the most part, the missionary looked to 
the bazaar; that is, the business street of the cities and 
towns, with its open shops of every variety ranged along 
either side. In India the buying and selling is nearly al- 
ways conducted at the door of the shop, the purchaser stand- 
ing in the street, and the whole street thus becomes a market- 
place in the most practical sense of the word. The mis- 
sionary, if not able to preach himself, would have his Hin- 
dustani brother by his side, and perhaps his own part would 
consist simply in reading a few verses from the Bible, and 
by his presence drawing curious people together to stare at 
him, or to see what the strange procedure was going to be, 
while the burden of the preaching was left to the native 
brother. With few exceptions, however, the missionaries of 
those days were able to bear a more .or less important part 
in the work of preaching by the close of their first year in 
the country. In addition to preaching in the open street, it 
was also held to be a sacred duty to maintain the customary 
Sabbath services. At an appointed hour a room would be 
prepared, which, in the absence of chapels and school-rooms, 
was apt to be one of the apartments in the mission-house. 
The audience almost invariably consisted of the family of 
one or two native preachers, or rather assistants, and the 
servants of the household. Nothing could have seemed 
more unpromising to an ordinary observer than such a con- 
gregation, consisting perhaps of not more than ten or twelve 
persons in all, one-half of whom were present only because 
it was the pleasure of their employer that they should come. 
Nevertheless, every such service had its value. It was a 
constant witness to the people that the Christian religion 
had come among them, that one day in seven had been set 
apart for God's service, and that Christianity hereafter 
was to hold a permanent place among the religions of the 


Schools were also opened; but, for the most part, these 
were of the most elementary character. In the course of a 
very short time, however, two or three of these schools, in 
which English was taught, began to make rapid progress, the 
boys everywhere being anxious to acquire a knowledge of the 
language, and their parents willing to assume all risks of 
their conversion in their great hope to have them acquire 
the language of their rulers. It was everywhere seen clearly 
that the only hope of promotion for ambitious boys must 
rest upon their knowledge of the English tongue. All over 
India, missionaries since the time of Dr. Duif have taken ad- 
vantage of this desire to acquire English, and have thus suc- 
ceeded in bringing tens of thousands of promising boys and 
young men under their influence through the medium of 
mission-schools conducted in the English language. The 
greater number of the schools in those days, however, as at 
the present time, were of a very different character. In 
some stations it was thought desirable, if for no other pur- 
pose, to maintain a little school on the same principle that 
the Sunday service was kept up ; that is, as a testimony to the 
people. The missionaries were there to teach, and they 
wished to impress it upon the minds of all the people that 
children should learn to read and write. The little school 
virtually^proclaimed to those who saw it that the days of 
India's darkness were forever past, and that a brighter era 
had dawned upon the land. At times the care of one of 
these little schools, with perhaps five or six little boys in it, 
was a little trying to the patience of the missionary. He 
himself, as a general rule, did not do the teaching; but the 
whole work seemed so utterly unpromising that at times the 
thought could not but present itself that it might as well be 
given up. No one, however, ever yielded to such a sugges- 
tion. The work w^ent on, each little school slowly gaining 
in numbers and efficiency, each little Sunday congregation 
very slowly but steadily increasing in attendance, and the 
prospects very slowly indeed, and yet certainly brightening. 


Here and there a convert was picked up from time to time, 
one of the earliest of whom was a very intelligent Mohamme- 
dan in the city of Bareilly, named Zahur-ul-Haqq, who heard 
Dr. Humphrey and his Hindustani associate preaching in the 
bazaar, was impressed by the word, and followed them home 
to make further inquiries. In due time he was converted 
and baptized, and after a long term of faithful service became 
the first Hindustani presiding elder in India. 

Every earnest missionary feels oppressed in the earlier 
stages of his work by the difficulty of reaching the people as 
a people. They come to him as individuals, and now and 
then he wins a convert, but they always seem like so many 
stragglers. The missionary is made to feel that he is in the 
position of an attacking party, trying to make a break in the 
ranks of the opposing force, but never succeeding in doing 
more than picking up an occasional straggler. He can not 
capture even an isolated detachment. In our own case this 
difficulty was experienced everywhere, excepting in the 
Moradabad District, in Western Rohilkhand. In that re- 
gion a class of people called Mazhabi Sikhs, numbering four 
or five thousand, were found in small groups scattered 
through the villages. They had come from the Panjab 
originally, and were of low origin as to caste, but had em- 
braced enough of the tenets of the Sikh religion to entitle 
them to the Sikh name, but only as- to religion. The Sikhs 
of the Panjab have a double title to the name which they 
bear, first as to race, and second as to their religious belief. 
A large number of low-caste people have embraced enough of 
their peculiar religious tenets to give them a more or less valid 
claim to the honorable title of the great Sikh peoj)le. The 
word mazhab means religion, and the term mazhabi is simply 
an adjective form, the whole meaning that these people are 
Sikhs by religion, if not by race. They themselves began to 
come to the missionaries at Moradabad, and a few of them 
were baptized early in 1859, or possibly even before the 
close of 1858. The importance of such an opening was not 


at first realized by the missionaries, although a very practi- 
cal interest was taken in them from the first. They occu- 
pied a very low social position, and large numbers of them 
had been professional thieves, and were known as such at the 
time that our work commenced among them. Had we been 
wiser in our generation, and known at that time how val- 
uable such an opening is to a missionary that is, the open- 
ing of a door not to an individual or two, but to a whole 
class, or caste, or tribe we would no doubt have seized the 
opportunity much more eagerly and effectually than we did. 
As it was, some years went by before we gained a really 
firm and permanent hold upon them; but in the meantime 
some of their boys and young men had been educated, and, 
having been received as teachers and preachers into the mis- 
sion, began to prove themselves very efficient workers. By 
and by the work among them spread still farther, until, when 
the census of 1881 was taken, the official in charge reported 
that the Mazhabi Sikhs had virtually disappeared from 
Rohilkhand. The gentleman in question was not able to ac- 
count for their disappearance ; but in the same report called 
attention to the increase of Native Christians, which chanced 
to be about the same in number as the decrease in the number 
of Mazhabi Sikhs. 

As remarked above, not a few of these people had been 
professional thieves. In India, where the original idea of 
caste includes that of hereditary employment, the position of 
a thief, whose profession is hereditary, is not looked upon 
with such utter scorn as in Christian lands. Only the other 
day a writer in a Calcutta paper called attention to the fact 
that some of our missionaries in Northern India were, even 
now, bringing a reproach upon the Christian name by bap- 
tizing professional thieves and receiving them into the 
Christian Church. This, however, is no reproach. For 
years after our first converts had been baptized in the Mora- 
dabad District, they were annoyed by Mohammedan officials 
arresting them in the. most wholesale manner after any theft 


Lad occurred, on mere suspicion, and sometimes holding them 
for days while the case was investigated. Our people, how- 
ever, have outgrown that humiliation, and for quite a num- 
ber of years past no attempt has been made to arrest them in 
this arbitrary manner. It seems to be forgotten that they 
ever were known as thieves, and so far from seeing anything 
WTong in admitting other members of such a fraternity into 
our churches, our missionaries would gladly welcome a thou- 
sand such men any day if they stood knocking at our doors. 
In the midst of such a community the workers of to-day can 
appreciate the admonition of Paul, writiiig to the early Chris- 
tians : " Let him that stole, steal no more." 

As converts began to rally round the missionaries, it was 
felt that several advanced steps must be taken. One of the 
first of these was to establish orphanages one for boys and 
one for girls. The care of the orphan is made the impera- 
tive duty of God's people, in every age and in every land 
a duty, by the way, which has been gravely overlooked in 
some Christian lands, and perhaps more so in America than 
in any other country. The prosperity of the American peo- 
ple in the past has led them to assume far too readily that in 
such a country every one is able to take care of himself; and 
hence the ears of even good people have not been sufficiently 
open to the cry of the orphan and the wndow. In a country 
like India, however, where the majority of the people are not 
only poor, but very poor, and where Christian converts are 
for the most part drawn from the ranks of the poor, the care 
of the orphan becomes at once an imperative duty which can 
not be set aside. In addition to this duty, however, it was 
wisely thought that the education of several hundred boys 
and girls would in the end develop a class of valuable work- 
ers of both sexes, and the result of the experiment has proved 
that this expectation was by no means a vain one. A great 
famine occurred in 1860, and large numbers of children were 
left to perish by the roadside, their parents either having 
died, or having been compelled to forsake them because 


unable to give them food. Several hundred of these were 
gathered into the two orphanages, and many of them lived 
to become useful men and women, some of whom are able 
preachers of the gospel at the present day. 

At an early period in those days it was felt that a mission 
press would be needed, and was even then needed, to meet the 
literary and educational wants of the growing work. A dozen 
of the missionaries pledged the sum of one hundred rupees 
each, with which to purchase the first press ; and Dr. Waugh, 
then a young missionary stationed at Shahjahanpore, and 
having a practical knowledge of printing, was transferred to 
Bareilly, and put in charge of the new enterprise. This 
press has since been removed to Lucknow, and has been 
greatly enlarged, until it is at present one of the largest, if 
not indeed the largest. Christian publishing agency in the 

The question of finding employment for our converts con- 
fronted us at the outset, and became a problem more difficult 
of solution with each year of our progress. Most of the con- 
verts were extremely poor, and in those early days there was 
no Christian community into which they could be merged, 
and among whom employment of some kind could be found, 
as would happen in a Christian land under like circum- 
stances. The highest and the lowest alike were excluded 
from their respective castes, and subjected to a rigid process 
of boycotting, which made it impossible for them to continue 
in their former employments, or, in most cases, even to con- 
tinue in their former homes. The mass of the people in In- 
dia being very poor, seem naturally to look up to any leaders, 
religious or otherwise, who may chance to stand in any rela- 
tion to them whatever, for support and guidance. One of 
the most familiar titles by which they address Europeans is 
that of " Ma-bap,'' which literally means " mother and 
father.'' For a short time the missionaries were able to find 
employment for the converts, either as domestic servants or 
assistants in some humble capacity, or perhaps laborers upon 


new buildings; but in a short time it became apparent that 
something must be done on a larger scale to provide for such 
necessitous cases as they arose. 

One plan,, which suggested itself in the beginning, was that 
of securing a large tract of land and founding a Christian vil- 
lage on which converts might be settled. Quite a number of 
attempts were made to plant colonies on a small scale, but 
without success. In 1862, Dr. Butler having secured a grant 
of 5,000 acres of waste land in Northeastern Oudh, an at- 
tempt was made to plant a Christian colony and found a 
Christian village upon the land. The soil was extremely 
fertile ; but we did not understand in those days, as we have 
since been taught by dear experience, that a tract of fertile 
waste-land in India means a locality in which wasting fever, 
or some other sickness, marks the presence of bad water or 
pestilential air. The Rev. E. W. Parker, then in the full 
vigor of his early manhood, was appointed to the charge of 
the village, and, with his energetic wife, made a heroic at- 
tempt to plant colonists upon the land and carry forward the 
enterprise to ultimate success. A village was laid out, and a 
goodly number of families settled upon the land; but with 
the advent of the rainy season ii was soon discovered that 
the whole region was most unhealthy, and at the end of the 
year the missionary and his wife came away in sadly shattered 
health, leaving behind many of their converts sleeping in un- 
marked graves. Some years later a more successful effort 
was made upon a tract of land which was purchased near the 
city of Shahjahanpore. The place proved sufficiently healthy, 
but the ground was much less productive than the plot which 
had been abandoned in 1862. The enterprise, however, did 
not meet the expectations of the missionaries. It does not 
seem to be God's plan to gather out the converts from among 
their countrymen, but rather to encourage each man to re- 
main in the place where the providence of God has placed 
him, and thus scatter the good seed of Christianity among the 
people, rather than plant it all in one remote garden-plot. 


Failing in the attempt to gather the Christians together in 
one or more Christian villages, other attempts were made to 
provide work for them ; but these, in most cases, proved un- 
successful. For several years a large industrial school was 
maintained in the city of Bareilly, where excellent furniture 
was manufactured, and other mechanical trades taught; but 
the Christians of mature years learned new kinds of work 
very slowly, and, as a consequence, their labor did not prove 
very profitable. It was not much better in the case of boys; 
although, perhaps, with the added experience of all the years 
which have since passed, an attempt of this kind might now 
result more successfully. I can not do better, in trying to 
explain the case, and the difficulties which we encountered 
in these various attempts to help the people, than by insert- 
ing an extract from a book written by myself some years ago : * 

" It is among these extremely poor people that most of the vil- 
lage converts are found. A few are better off, and own oxen and 
plows; but at the outset the vast majority are very poor, and, as 
might be expected, one of the first cares of the missionary is to im- 
prove their condition. This, however, is by no means a simple or an 
easy task. A very little money would make an immediate difference 
in their daily bill of fare; but money alone will not elevate a peo- 
ple, and its unconditional gift paralyzes thrift, instead of fostering it. 
Our first efforts, therefore, were directed to plans for securing better 
employment for our converts, and while their number was few this 
was easily done ; but when they began to multiply by scores and hun- 
dreds, it became very quickly impossible to make special provision 
for each case, and we were thus led to attempt various expedients in 
the midst of the people in their village homes. The people of India 
rarely live in detached houses, but maintain the primitive village 
system of the earliest times. The whole country is dotted over with 
small .villages or hamlets, as numerous in many sections as the farm- 
houses in Ohio and Illinois, and the land around is divided up into 
small farms, which are cultivated by the more prosperous of the 
people. The cultivators are the well-to-do-class ; but a large number 
of laborers, weavers, shoemakers, and other artisans, with a few scaven- 

* " My Missionary Apprenticeship," pp. 220-226. 


gers, may be found in every village. Our problem was that of tak- 
ing people belonging to this poorest class, and elevating them to a 
position of comparative comfort, in which their improvement would 
be brought within the range of possibility. The first and most ob- 
vious plan was that of securing land for them to cultivate ; and some 
fifteen years ago we were constantly busying our heads with plans for 
getting possession of a village in which a settlement of Christians 
could be formed. One such attempt in the mission has proved suc- 
cessful, but other efforts signally failed. A year or two before my 
arrival in Moradabad the missionaries had rented a village, and, at 
their own risk, had gathered together some Christians as cultivators ; 
but the experiment ended in serious loss to the missionaries, without 
any tangible gain to the Christians. 

" It was next determined to try some plan which would make it 
possible for the people to help themselves, without, however, spoiling 
them by taking all financial responsibility off* their ghoulders. Ac- 
cordingly, an Industrial Association was formed, with a capital of 
seven hundred and fifty rupees, held in shares of ten rupees each. 
A large number of the better class of native Christians were induced 
to take shares, and the experiment was inaugurated with great en- 
thusiasm. The plan was to give a small advance of money, on ap- 
proved security, to enable a weaver to buy his yarn in advance, on 
better terms than when he purchased on the security of the cloth; 
to enable the cultivator to purchase seed, or oxen, or a plow, so as to 
get in his crops on terms which would not be ruinous to him; and 
to help the common laborer to buy a cart, or some tools, or to make 
some other petty investment which would give him remunerative em- 
ployment. The presiding elder was made business manager of the 
association not because this seemed a fitting arrangement, but be- 
cause it was found necessary in order to give the people confidence 
in the undertaking. Unfortunately for me, this organization had 
been made just before the care of the district fell upon my shoulders, 
and one of the most perplexing of my duties was that of looking after 
the many little investments which had been made, and trying at once 
to save the money from waste and the labor of the people from 

"The experiment was not successful. With very few exceptions 
the people were found too weak in character, too much like impa- 
tient children, to bear any sudden improvement in fortune. Those 
who took advances for the purchase of seed could not resist the 
temptation to turn the grain into bread before the time of sowing 


came around. The weavers did well for a time; but the temptation 
to buy dainty kinds of food instead of cotton yarn overcame them, 
and in due time I found that their prosperity was leading them into 
debt. A huckster did well for a month or two; but in spite of all 
warnings and injunctions, he would sell on credit, and soon he had 
empty baskets, with nothing to show for them but worthless bills. 
Two men bought carts and oxen, and were able to earn about twenty 
cents a day above expenses by hauling goods between Moradabad and 
the Ganges. This was regarded as a splendid opening, and the for- 
tune of the two enterprising men was regarded as made for life ; but 
their brilliant prospects quite turned their shallow heads, and the old 
snare of making haste to be rich proved fatal to them both. They 
would not give their oxen enough to eat ; they drove them too fast 
and too far in a day; they cut their feet by making them draw the 
carts over the rugged lumps of limestone with which the middle of 
the road was macadamized, and they injured the wooden wheels of 
their carts in the same way. The result was, that in less than a 
month the cart and oxen had been sold, and the two enterprising men 
were bankrupt. But I need not go on with the story of each case 
of experiment and failure. The end came soon. The affairs of the 
association were wound up without any loss to the native members, 
and with the profit of a most valuable lessOn to the missionary 

" ' But had the people no principle of honesty ?' asks some as- 
tonished reader. Yes; they were honest after their manner; but to 
put money in their hands under such conditions, and expect them to 
deal with it as men of the business world are expected to do, was 
like giving a plate of cherries to a dozen children five or six years 
of age, and expecting them to play with them all day long without 
putting a single cherry in their mouths. The vast majority of these 
simple villagers are the merest children on some sides of their char- 
acter, although old enough in many other respects. They can not 
be elevated in a day, or a month, or a year, and my further experi- 
ments convinced me fully that the efforts of the missionary toward 
the material improvement of the people must be of the most indirect 
kind. After winding up the association, I next attempted to gather 
together a half-dozen lads and teach them a trade. An English 
engineer kindly gave me his assistance, and offered to provide a place 
among his men for them to learn the trade of bricklaying. In six 
months they could be taught enough to enable them to earn good 
wages ; but they had not the patience to wait, and after a few weeks 



of discontented labor they threw down their tools and left. Mean- 
while a serious famine was impending, and many of our Christians 
were upon the very verge of absolute starvation. Determined to ex- 
haust my utmost efforts in trying to better their condition, I secured 
a contract for forty men to work in a brick-yard. The work was not 
hard, the wages were the best any one among them had ever earned, 
and to protect them from any annoyance or unfair treatment, a reso- 
lute Christian overseer was placed over them. All went well for two 
or three days ; but as soon as their stomachs were well filled, and they 
had a little surplus money in hand, they became insubordinate, made 
unreasonable demands, and finally left in a body and went back to 
their village homes. 

"At last, however, I was able to do a little among the Bashta 
converts, of whom mention is made in the last chapter. Zahur-ul- 
Haqq, who had warmly seconded all the efforts which ended in fail- 
ure, was the first to perceive the weak spot in the whole policy. One 
day he said to me: *If we wish to do these people any good, your 
hand must not be seen in what is done. They think your money 
can never be exhausted, and that there can be no failure while you 
stand behind, and hence they are reckless. Whatever is done must 
be done through their own brethren. Let me put a little money in 
the hands of the two head men at Bashta, and I will take security 
in our way by taking brass utensils belonging to them, and keeping 
them till the money is repaid. They will look after it as we can not, 
and no one will ever know that you have anything to do in the 
matter.' A small beginning was made in this way, and it proved 
entirely successful. Some families were put in the way of helping 
themselves, and they have gone on and prospered ever since, and the 
condition of the whole community is said to be steadily improving. 

" Miss Ellice Hopkins has well said, in her admirable little book, 
* Work Among Working-men,' that it is not poverty that keeps the 
lowest classes from rising, but sin. We may help these very poor 
village Christians in many ways, and ought to do so in every pos- 
sible way; but, after all, the only way of lifting them up into a new 
social life is to put the elements of such a life into them. When 
they begin to live the Christ-life in the low depths of their present 
poverty, they will rise as if by the power of a natural law. No 
artificial method will materially affect their condition. They must 
be lifted up by the natural laws of growth, and our first care must 
be to implant the elements of life and growth within them." 


Year by year the new mission strengthened its position, 
while its converts increased in numbers and advanced in 
grace and knowledge. The progress made, if not rapid, was 
at least steady and healthy. The following statistics will in- 
dicate the rate of increase during the first six years : 

Members, Probationers. Total. 

December, 1859, 11 32 43 

" 1860, 33 34 67 

" 1861, 96 82 178 

" 1862, . 89 97 186 

1863, 121 66 187 

1864, 117 92 209 

These figures do not tell the whole story of these six 
years of hard work and oppressive anxiety. The baptism 
of six converts in those days stirred the hearts of the workers 
more than the baptism of six hundred does now, and when 
they began to number their Hindustani brethren and sisters 
by the hundred, it seemed indeed as if the seed sown by 
them was springing up, and giving promise of a mighty 
harvest in the years to come. 

When the General Conference of 1864 met in Philadel- 
phia, an earnest memorial was presented from the India Mis- 
sion, asking for the organization of an Annual Conference 
in their field. The matter had been discussed with much 
freedom in the papers, and, although the leaders of that day 
hesitated to grant what seemed to them a premature request, 
yet it was felt that something must be done. Up to that 
time no Annual Conference with full powers had been or- 
ganized in any foreign country, and the creation of such an 
ecclesiastical body was looked upon as a future and some- 
what distant contingency. When brought face to face with 
the proposal, there seemed a general disposition to shrink 
from committing so great a responsibility to a small body of 
missionaries on the other side of the globe, especially in 
view of the fact that recent converts from heathenism would 
probably be admitted into the body, and in due time form a 


majority of its membership. After a brief discussion, the 
petition of the missionaries was granted, but with the im- 
portant reservation that the Conference should only exercise 
its functions with the consent of the Bishop presiding. This 
action created no little stir in the mission-field, and was re- 
sented by the missionaries with a warmth which astonished 
their friends at home, and which even at this late day may, in 
the eyes of many candid persons, seem to have been unreason- 
able; but those missionaries were building more wisely than 
they knew. Subsequent events have clearly shown that the 
policy which they advocated was the right one. It was 
God's plan, and in fact the only plan which was at all feasible 
if the foreign missions of the Church were to prove successful. 
In each country the Churches should be placed upon such a 
basis that they can administer their own interests freely, not 
by a kind of irregular sufferance, but under their own direct 
authority, and with the same freedom which every Church 
accords to its members in every part of the world. 

The creation of this Annual Conference in India, by 
which each missionary and each native member of the Con- 
ference was clothed with the same rights and privileges 
which appertain to every minister of the Church in the 
United States, was the establishment of a great principle 
which has proved invaluable to the missionaries in other 
parts of the world. The misgivings with which the measure 
was at first viewed, have entirely disappeared. For a few 
years, it is true, it was felt by most of those in authority that 
the operations of the Missionary Board in New York were 
somewhat hampered by the creation of ecclesiastical bodies, 
empowered with all the functions of Annual Conferences, in 
the various mission-fields. This was true enough ; but the 
objection weighed as nothing when put in the balance against 
the necessity for a healthy and normal development of Chris- 
tnan Churches among the converts gathered in distant lands. 
In due time other Annual Conferences were created, while 
the two Mission Conferences which had previously existed 


were clothed with the full powers accorded to the organiza- 
tion in India. The surviving missionaries who bore a part 
in the controversy of that period do not, perhaps, look back 
with un mingled satisfaction upon all they said and did ; for 
in the heat of controversy, missionaries, especially in their 
more youthful days, will sometimes write unadvisedly with 
their pen, as well as speak unadvisedly with their lips. Hap- 
pily, however, the disagreeable features of all such contro- 
versies are speedily forgotten, and the good results achieved 
stand out as permanent monuments of whatever measure oi 
wisdom, piety, and good sense those interested may have 
possessed. The little Conference organized in India with 
seventeen members was the first of the great sisterhood of 
Conferences scattered over the world, all of which are doing 
a good work, and helping the toilers in their several fields 
to conserve the invaluable interests which God commits into 
their hands. Had the appeal for the organization of this 
Conference failed, and the old policy been perpetuated, be- 
yond a doubt the work in India would have been seriously 
retarded, and never would have attained anything like the 
colossal proportions whicK it seems destined to assume be- 
fore many years shall have passed. 

Bishop Thomson, soon after his election to the episcopal 
office, visited India and China; and on his way eastward or- 
ganized at Lucknow, on December 6, 1864, the India Annual 
Conference. He was admirably adapted for the difficult and 
delicate work assigned him, and perhaps more than any other 
Bishop who has ever since visited India, laid the foundation 
of the ecclesiastical structure which has since been steadily 
rising in larger and better defined proportions. By the 
earnest advice of Bishop Thomson, the missionaries voted to 
enlarge their field, as mentioned in another chapter, by plant- 
ing a mission in the province of Garhwal, another at Gonda 
in Eastern Oudh, and a third at Roy Bareilly in Southern 
Oudh. By this action, the field first chosen by Dr. Butler 
was extended so as to include the whole of Oudh, and also 


the additional district of Garhvval. At this point the open- 
ing era of the Methodist Episcopal mission in India reaches 
a fitting close. 

Upon the organization of the new mission into an An- 
nual Conference, Dr. Butler felt that the special work for 
which he had been called to India was accomplished, and ac- 
cordingly resigned his position and returned to America. 
Both labors and honors awaited him there. He filled im- 
portant positions for several years, and was then sent to 
Mexico to repeat the work which he had done in India; and 
after seeing a mission planted, and an Annual Conference or- 
ganized in that country, he again returned to his New Eng- 
land home, where he still lives in quiet retirement, enjoying 
the love and esteem of the Church in full and rich measure. 
He has won a prominent place among the most illustrious 
Methodist leaders of his generation ; and long after he shall 
have rested from his labors, his works will follow him in 
abundant measure on both sides of the globe. 

Cl)apb^r XX. 


AT the beginning of 1865 the missionaries found them- 
selves more fully equipped for their great task than they 
had previously been, and entered upon their work with new 
hope, and with all the ardor and enthusiasm of youthful mis- 
sionaries. They were all still comparatively young. They 
had spent just long enough time on the field to make them 
appreciate their responsibilities, as well as their opportunities, 
and had achieved sufficient success to inspire them with new 
confidence for the future. The organization of their An- 
nual Conference as an ecclesiastical body had very naturally 
made them realize somewhat vividly the momentous charac- 
ter of the work which they were undertaking. The enlarge- 
ment of the field, also, by the addition of three new stations, 
each representing a large tract of country and a very large 
mass of humanity, inspired them anew with that constantly 
expanding feeling of Christian love for a perishing world 
which is borrowed by personal contact with Him who died 
for mankind, and which should always prove the great mo- 
tive power in the missionary enterprise. Every Christian, 
if at all alive to his responsibilities, and in sympathy with 
his Master, will feel constrained by the love of Christ ; but 
the missionary, above all men, should feel that this love is 
wide enough and deep enough to embrace whole tribes and 
kindreds and nations, and, if need be, worlds. 

Among the three new stations occupied at that time, 
one namely, Paori was situated among the lower Hima- 
layas, eight days^ journey from Naini Tal, and four days' 
journey from the point where the nearest road from the 



plains reached the foot of the mountains. The station itself 
was about a mile from the residence and court of the En- 
glish magistrate in charge of the province of Garhwal ; but 
this official, being obliged to travel from place to place, was 
not often found in his own home. Garhwal was formerly a 
large mountain district, situated on both sides of the Upper 
Ganges ; but early in the present century, when it was taken 
from the Nepalese, the part lying east of the Ganges was ap- 
propriated by the Indian Government, while the remainder 
was set apart as an independent native State, and a Hindu 
Raja placed upon the throne. In this way the province of 
Kumaon, with that part of Garhwal retained by the British, 
was made a compact mountain district, lying between the 
Ganges and the head-waters of the great River Gogra. In 
area, Kumaon contains about 7,000 square miles, and 
Garhwal 5,500. The population of the former is about 600,- 
000, and of the latter 400,000. As explained in a previous 
chapter, this mountain region is immediately south of the great 
snowy range of the Himalayas, and is composed throughout 
of high and, in many places, rugged mountains, with occa- 
sionally a fertile valley of moderate width between them; 
but more frequently with very narrow valleys, and often 
with none at all. The first range of the snowy mountains is 
included within British territory, the water-shed of this region 
lying for the most part to the north of these snowy peaks. 
The scenery throughout both of these districts is the grandest 
to be found in the world. Garhwal excels Kumaon some- 
what in the possession of the highest and most imposing of 
these gigantic snowy peaks. I can not do better, in trying 
to convey to the reader even an imperfect idea of these great 
mountains, than to quote from Sir John Strachey, who, in 
his earlier days, spent many years in Kumaon and Garhwal : 

" The mere fact that the ranges of the Himalayas are often twice 
as high as those of the Alps, gives no idea of their relative magni- 
tude. You might almost as reasonably, when the Scotch or Welsh 
hills are white with snow, compare them with Mont Blanc and Monte 


Rosa, as compare anything in the Alps with Nanda Devi and Trisul. 
If, preserving the form of its great obelisk, you could pile the Matter- 
horn on the Jungfrau, you would not reach the highest summits of 
the highest Himalaya, and would have a mountain less wonderful 
than the astonishing peak of Dunagiri. 

"Among earthly spectacles I can not conceive it possible that any 
can surpass the Himalaya, as I have often seen it at sunset, on an 
evening in October, from the ranges thirty or forty miles from the 
great peaks. One such view in particular that from Binsar in Ku- 
maon stands out vividly in my remembrance. This mountain is 
8,000 feet high, covered with oak and rhododendron. Towards the 
north you look down over pine-clad slopes into a deep valley, where, 
6,000 feet below, the Sarju runs through a tropical forest. Beyond 
the river it seems to the eye as if the peaks of perpetual snow rose 
straight up, and almost close to you, into the sky. From the bottom 
of the valley to the top of Nanda Devi you see at a glance almost 
24,000 feet of mountain. The stupendous golden or rose-colored 
masses and pinnacles of the snowy range extend before you in un- 
broken succession for more than 250 miles, filling up a third part of 
the visible horizon, while on all other sides, as far as the eye can 
reach, stretch away the red and purple ranges of the lower mountains. 

* In a hundred ages of the gods,' writes one of the old Sanskrit poets, /^ 

* I could not tell you of the glories of Himachal.' " 

It is true that the great peaks ot Mount Everest and 
Kinchinjunga lie far to the southeast of this region; but, 
apart from a few of those notable peaks, the scenery of the 
Eastern Himalaya is not equal to that of Kumaon and 
Garhwal. Lying for the most part in the latter province, is 
a section of mountain lapdscape about thirty miles square, 
within which no less than thirty-three peaks are found rising 
to a height of more than 20,000 feet, while four of the num- 
ber rise above 23,000 feet above the level of the sea. The 
reader in America can never comprehend what these figures 
mean, and even when brought face to face with this stupen- 
dous spectacle, the observer can hardly realize that the stain- 
less mountains before him are actually from three and a half 
to four miles high. 

The people inhabiting the Lower Himalaya, among whom 


our missionary work is carried on, are quite distinct from 
those of the plains. Their origin is somewhat obscure, al- 
though it is generally accepted that they belong to what is 
called the Khasia race, which is represented in other parts of 
India, in the plains as well as the hills. They are of some- 
what fairer complexion than the people living on the plains 
below them, shorter of stature, and are usually supposed to 
be less advanced in civilization. This remark, however, 
hardly does them justice. They live in better houses than 
any others I have seen in India. In some parts of the Ap- 
ennines I have seen Italian villagers who did not appear in 
any respect to be more advanced in civilization than many 
of the villagers of Kumaon and Garhwal. The houses are 
built of stone, and very often are two stories high. The 
people do not enjoy many of the luxuries of life, and yet 
there are fewer evidences of poverty than can be found in 
any other part of India. I am at present among the Kumaon 
hills, and never go out without seeing the mountain-sides 
half covered in places with a species of hawthorn, which at 
present is laden with ripe, red berries. The hillmen now 
and then stop to eat them, but seem to care little for them. 
Were these ripe berries placed w^ithin the reach of any vil- 
lage in any other part of India, the poorer classes would turn 
out and devour them with the utmost eagerness. In school 
the hill boys, in most of their studies, make about as good 
progress as their rivals on the plains, while in arithmetic and 
other mathematical studies they excel them. Slavery existed 
among the people until the advent of British power, and, in 
some forms, survived till a later period, although the bond- 
men could have found their liberty if they had attempted to 
gain it. In their extreme ignorance many were long in com- 
prehending that they could be free. The slavery in which 
the lower castes were held was more like Russian serfdom 
than the Southern slavery with which Americans used to be 
familiar. Girls were sold freely ; but when it became known 
that the price paid for them could not be recovered in case 


they left their first owner, even if he stood to them in the 
nominal relation of husband, this kind of traffic in a large 
measure ceased. Nominally all the people of these hill-tracts 
are Hindus; but large numbers of them, especially of the 
lower castes, are in reality worshipers of demons, or of local 
deities not recognized in the Hindu pantheon. Two of the 
great shrines of Hinduism are located in Garhwal, close up 
to the line of perpetual snow. One of them is under the 
shadow of the mountain Kedarnath, and the other one near 
the better known peak of Badrinath, the former being devoted 
to the worship of Shiva, and the latter to that of Vishnu. 
Pilgrims come from all parts of the empire to these shrines, 
and the never-ceasing procession of these devout but mis- 
taken people may be seen every summer passing along the 
^narrow roads which have been made for them on the banks 
of the Upper Ganges, or over the mountains near the sources 
of that stream. 

Mission-work was commenced in Garhwal in 1865, and 
since that day has made fairly good progress in both prov- 
inces. Additional stations have been opened at Pithoragarh 
in Eastern Kumaon, and Dwara Hat, near the center of the 
province. Out-stations under native helpers have also been 
opened in Garhwal. 

Another of the new stations occupied at this time was 
Gonda, east of the river Gogra. This river, which is but 
little known outside of India, and indeed scarcely known in 
all parts of India itself, is a larger stream than the Ganges, 
and one of the greatest of Indian rivers. It stands related 
to the Gauges very much as the Missouri does to the Mis- 
sissippi. The religious reverence in which the Ganges was 
early held gave it a prominence which it has retained to the 
present day, and henqe the stream which reaches the sea, is 
known as the Ganges all the way down; but as a matter of 
fact the Gogra, which flows to the eastward, is nearly twice 
as large as the Ganges at the place where the two streams 
respectively leave the mountains, and retains its superiority 


until they meet. The smaller, however, is allowed to swal- 
low up the name and fame of the larger, and hence the 
Gogra is comparatively unknown. Between this river 
Gogra and another large stream called the Rapti, still farther 
eastward, is a rich and populous territory in the midst of 
which the little town of Gonda, the head-quarters of the 
Government officials of a district bearing the same name, 
was selected as the site of a new mission. It was not in- 
tended, however, that this one station should confine its 
operations to this single district; and when the Rev. S. 
Knowles, the first missionary sent there, took up his abode 
and began his work among the people, he was really the 
pioneer of all missionary work throughout a populous region 
equal to three or four American States. 

Ml. Knowles, who is still found working successfully at 
Gonda, has not spent all the intervening years in that terri- 
tory ; but, after having been removed to various places, he 
drifted back again to his original work, and has always 
seemed the man best adapted to the peculiar opportunities 
found in that region. It was in that part of the country that 
the founder of Buddhism was born, and the great shrine of 
Ajyudhiya is only about thirty miles from the mission-station 
of Gonda. Here are annually held some of the greatest 
melas, or religious fairs, to be found in the empire, and the 
opportunities for reaching the people, not only from all the 
surrounding country, but from all manner of distant places, 
is as good as could be desired. 

It was in this region, under the preaching of Mr. Knowles 
and his Hindustani associates, that were witnessed the first 
baptisms of converts in the most public manner at the great 
melas, and in the open streets of towns and villages. This 
w^as something new in the history of missionary work every- 
where in India. Previously people of all castes and classes 
had shrunk from baptism, as well as from an open adherence 
to the Christian religion, as from leprosy or death ; and when 
it was stated that men of various castes had come forward in 


the most public manner, apparently moved by deep and 
earnest religious conviction, and avowed their faith in Christ 
and received baptism, an intense interest was manifested in 
many missionary circles to know what was the true char- 
acter of this work, and whereunto it was likely to grow. 
Mr. Knowles has since become prominently identified with 
this movement, and has year after year baptized converts 
immediately on their coming forward in this public way, and 
avowing their faith in Christ, and accepting the obligations 
of Christians. The movement has been criticised very se- 
verely, and, no doubt, in some cases justly; but it must be 
borne in mind that in this, as in every other new procedure, 
much had to be learned by actual experience. The chief 
difficulty with this* kind of work has been that the converts, 
for the most part, live in distant villages, and seldom chance 
to live together in any considerable number. Returning to 
their homes they are immediately confronted by hostile 
neighbors, and large numbers of them have been found un- 
able to endure the pressure to which they are constantly sub- 
jected. In other cases Hindustani preachers have admin- 
istered baptism unwisely, and I fear in some instances in a 
manner deserving of immediate and severe repression. Vil- 
lagers, again, who in large numbers had been baptized, with ap- 
parently every mark of sincerity on their part, have been fright- 
ened by crafty devotees, of whom they have always lived in 
great awe, into a denial of their faith, and thus in various ways 
a great deal of public discredit has been thrown upon this 
work. Conceding, however, the worst that can be alleged 
against it, the fact remains that some very precious fruit has 
in this way been gathered, while many of the failures are so 
clearly traceable to causes which might have been avoided, 
that it seems to be the part of wisdom not rashly to reject 
the whole movement as ill-advised, but rather to see the 
hand of God in It, and learn the lessons which it clearly 
teaches. Beyond a doubt these baptisms have marked an 
advance in the general work in which we are engaged in 


India. The people generally are becoming familiarizea with 
baptism, and in the future it seems certain that, when all due 
precautions are taken and all wise measures adopted in deal- 
ing with the converts, this kind of work will prove as pro- 
ductive as its most sanguine friends believed and hoped for 
when it was first commenced. 

The third station occupied was that of Eoy Bareilly, 
which represented a vast region in Southern Oudh. This 
station was first occupied by the Rev. P. T. Wilson, M. D., 
who entered upon the work with his accustomed zeal; but 
after a very few years was compelled by ill-health to seek a 
chainge to the mountains, and from there was compelled to 
go to America. He has since been very successful as a worker 
in Rohilkhand, but, unlike Mr. Knowles, has never been able 
to return to his original station. Our progress in this section 
has been less marked than in any other part of the original 
field occupied by us. A few valuable workers, however, 
have been obtained among the converts, and in due time, no 
doubt, God will make this field as fruitful as any other 
which we occupy. 

For a number of years the work throughout the whole 
field went steadily forward, and the missionaries continued to 
feel the impulse which had been given them by the better 
organization which the Annual Conference afforded. Changes 
gradually began to appear, both in the manner of work and 
in the progressive organization of the workers and churches. 
Instead of confining their public preaching almost exclu- 
sively to the noisy bazaars, the missionaries and Hindustani 
preachers began to find their way into more quiet places. 
In all the cities, as well as in the country villages, the people 
are often found settled in small groups, like so many sep- 
arate quarters of a town. A group, for .instance, of two or 
three dozen houses will be found on the outskirts of the 
town, inhabited exclusively by Chumars, or leather-dressers; 
another by Chuhras, a very low caste of laborers, and so on. 
Going into one of these quarters, called in India mohullas a 


word which among missionaries is slowly being Anglicized 
the workers began to hold meetings in a more formal way 
than was possible in the bazaars. They would sometimes sing 
for half an hour while the people came together, when one 
or more of the brethren would preach, and this would some- 
times be followed by a prayer-meeting. This kind of preach- 
ing was in every way more satisfactory than the work in the 
bazaar had been, and much more fruit was gathered from 
such meetings than it had previously been possible to secure 
in any part of the work. No kind of Christian work in any 
land could be more delightful than some of these evening 
meetings proved to the missionaries. In a quiet moonlight 
night a large audience would sometimes be gathered under a 
tree, or perhaps under the open sky, with most of the audi- 
tors squatted on the ground or leaning against the mud 
walls which shut in the little village street. The little 
group of Christian workers sometimes tarried literally for 
hours, singing, praying, talking, preaching, and frequently 
producing a deep and lasting impression upon the minds of 
those present. 

With the development of this new kind of work a val- 
uable discovery was made with regard to the social organ- 
ization of the people. I say discovery, for, although the facts 
in the case had been well known from the first, only expe- 
rience could have taught the missionaries the importance of 
following the peculiar lines which the caste system of the 
country had marked out among the people. On the side of 
a hill the reader may have sometimes seen the different strata 
of coal, limestone, potter's clay, iron, or other minerals, lying 
horizontally in regular order, one above another. The miner 
understands his work well enough to follow each stratum, or 
^' vein," as he would say, along its own level, without regard 
to the layers above or below ; and hence, at one point in the 
hill an opening leads to galleries from which large quantities 
of iron ore have been extracted ; another opens a way for 
taking out coal; a third, potter's clay; and so on. In India 


society is stratified in the most elaborate manner by the sys- 
tem of Hindu caste. A thousand people may live in the 
same village, in which all the houses are huddled as closely 
together as they can be built, and yet the inmates of these 
houses are separated by dividing lines so distinctly marked 
that in no possible case will any confusion ever occur in dis- 
tinguishing one from the others. Some interests of the whole 
village are held in common ; but in other respects a move- 
ment may be in progress in one caste without aifecting the 
other castes at all. When a straggling convert was picked up 
here and there, no place could be found for him in such a 
community. He was alike disowned by all, and became an ob- 
ject of aversion, if not of fear, wherever he went. When, 
however, the meetings spoken of above began to result in the 
conversion of one or more families in a given caste, it nat- 
urally produced a great agitation in the caste concerned, and 
sometimes the excitement would spread throughout the whole 
village ; but quite as frequently the other people paid little 
attention to what was going on, especially if the converts be- 
longed to a low and despised part of the community. This, 
however, quickly led to the discovery that much greater 
progress could be made by following family and caste lines 
than by the more general effort to reach a w^hole community ; 
and the progress which has been since achieved has nearly all 
followed from this recognition of a very simple fact in Indian 
social life. When one family is converted, it is always found 
that six, or perhaps a dozen, other families are related by 
marriage or otherwise to the new converts. These relatives 
invariably belong to the same caste as the converts, as inter 
marriage with other castes is not permitted ; and when thev 
in turn, are brought under Christian influence and converted, 
each family opens the way to as many more, and thus the 
circle of Christian influence widens rapidly. In this way, 
following family lines, a steady advance from family to 
family has led our workers in some instances for fifty miles 
across the country, with the result of establishing a line 


of what might be called Christian settlements, or at least 
Christian families in a large number of Hindu villages. 
With the increase of converts, there was also a steady increase 
of workers. A large proportion of the converts were em- 
ployed either as teachers in schools, or preachers, or colpor- 
teurs, and every possible attempt was made to improve the 
character of these workers, not only by giving them the most 
careful Christian culture, but by teaching them in the ordi- 
nary branches of education. As time passed, it was found, 
somewhat to the surprise of the missionaries, that men of 
very slight culture could be made very useful. In fact, it 
was discovered in India, as it had been in England and 
America generations before, that it was possible to educate 
a man so as to separate him from his fellow-men rather than 
bring him nearer to them. In Christian work, only those men 
can be permanently successful who keep in constant touch 
with the community which is to be reached; and from that 
early day in our work in India, up to the present hour, it has 
been found that those who bring forward the most converts 
for baptism are simple, and sometimes almost illiterate, men. 
As these workers of various grades increased in number, 
it was found that another step would have to be taken to per- 
fect the organization of the mission. The Annual Conference 
served a good purpose; but only three native preachers were 
admitted to its membership as probationers at the first organ- 
ization, and comparatively few were found suited for its re- 
sponsibilities in later years. For the rank and file of the 
native preachers and other helpers, it was found necessary to 
devise some other scheme. For two or three years, district 
associations were held, each having a simple constitution, and 
following the pattern of similar associations as they existed in 
the United States at that time ; but this plan did not suffice, 
and after a few years a formal organization of what has since 
been called a District Conference was effected. A somewhat 
elaborate constitution was drawn up, and, with such changes 
as have been suggested by the progess of the work since, 



remains in force to the present day. This was before the Dis- 
trict Conference was authorized by the Church at home ; and 
it is not generally known that the plan adopted by the Gen- 
eral Conference, and which has its place in the Discipline of 
the Church to-day, was in a large measure borrowed from the 
little organization first effected in India. An outline of the 
Indian plan was published in a home paper, and was appro- 
priated freely by those who devised the scheme for the Dis- 
trict Conference which afterwards received the sanction of the 
General Conference. 

Six years had passed, and the missionaries began to realize, 
as they had not at first done, the magnitude of the task which 
they had undertaken. New phases of the work were con- 
stantly developing, the most important of which was the care 
of the female converts, who were annually coming into the 
Church in increasing numbers. It was found impossible to 
give the Christian women especially those gathered imme- 
diately from heathenism the amount of careful attention 
which they needed, while all the pastoral care and nearly 
all the education devolved upon men. The necessity for a 
woman's department of the work began to be felt; and at the 
end of this second term of six years the first two lady mission- 
aries sent out by the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society 
arrived upon the field. The first appointee of the Society was 
Miss Isabella Thoburn, and the second, Miss Clara Swain, 
M. D., who was the first medical lady ever sent as a mission- 
ary into any non-Christian country. Both of these workers 
are still in the field, although Dr. Swain has for some years 
been working independently of the Society, but still retain- 
ing her connection with the Church, and doing a good work 
in a very remote and needy field. At this point we reach the 
termination of what may be considered the seconcj stage of 
progress in our work. 

CI)apber XXL 

FOR a year or two prior to 1870, a conviction began to 
be entertained by a number of our missionaries, that it 
would be impossible for us to confine our efforts permanently 
to the comparatively small field which had first been chosen 
for us. The new railways had been pushed up into North 
India, and were being spread like a network all over the 
empire. All along these lines of rail, at distances of one 
hundred or one hundred and fifty miles, stations had been 
opened, where ten, twenty, fifty, or sometimes one hundred 
families of English-speaking people were settled. The con- 
ditions of life and labor were constantly changing. New 
activities were being introduced in every direction. The 
newspapers of the day began more and more to speak of all 
public interests as common to the whole empire, and it was 
impossible for men who were beginning to discover, in some 
cases to their own surprise, that they had become attached to 
India and were making it their own country, deliberately to 
reconcile themselves to the thought of living behind a 
Chinese wall, which must forever shut them out from the 
rest of the magnificent empire to which God had brought 
them. While viewing the matter in this general way, some 
of the workers also began to feel a deep conviction that God 
had special work for them beyond the Ganges; that He whose 
providence had brought the representatives of so many 
churches to India, had probably purposes of his own which 
transcended the plans formed by man's wisdom ; and while 
the Christian worth of every other worker and every other 
society was fully recognized, it was thought that possibly 



there were kinds of work to be done, which, as in England 
and America, could be accomplished better by us than by others. 
This question became a subject of frequent discussion up to 
the year 1870, by which time a number had become con- 
vinced that we could not much longer confine ourselves to 
our then existing bounds. 

It was not easy, however, to make a move forward. The 
belief in the rules of what was popularly known as mission- 
ary courtesy was almost universal. The Ganges separated 
us on the west from our Presbyterian 'brethren, with whom 
we had always maintained the most fraternal relations, as we 
do to the present day. If we crossed the stream, it might 
seem as if we were trespassing upon territory which they had 
set apart for themselves ; and this would be viewed as a tres- 
pass, not only by them, but by missionaries generally in other 
parts of the country. Hence we hesitated long, and knew 
not when or how God in his providence would bid us go 

In the hot season of 1 870 I was living in Lucknow, and 
it so chanced that on a certain Sunday I was left with 
nothing to do. The preaching appointments had been ar- 
ranged by others, and for the first time in years I found 
myself with a prospect of an idle Sunday before me. On 
Saturday I had an errand at the railway station, and while 
standing on the platform I was accosted by a gentleman of 
the city with an open telegram in his hand, who asked me if 
I knew any one who could go to Cawnpore the following 
day, and preach for a small congregation there. I told him 
that I knew no one excepting myself, and that as I chanced 
to be disengaged I should be happy to go. An arrangement 
was immediately made, and a telegram sent to the parties in 
Cawnpore, notifying ihem that I would come over in the 
evening. Cawnpore, however, was on the western side of 
the Ganges, a little less than fifty miles from Lucknow, and 
was thus beyond the limits of our field. I accordingly went, 
and was cordially received by a Baptist brother, who explained 


that they had rented a small building in which union serv- 
ices were held, and that they had secured preachers for 
two Sundays of every month. He urged me to help them 
out by providing for one, if not both, of the remaining Sun- 
days. I preached on Sabbath morning and evening to a 
small but interesting congregation, and was received so 
kindly, and importuned so strongly to return, and especially 
to help them to effect a permanent arrangement, that, after 
prayerful consideration, I promised to see that the remaining 
two Sundays were filled. Very shortly after this the Bap- 
tist missionary, who had been going once a month to the 
place, wrote me relinquishing his part of the work, and sug- 
gesting that it could be more easily filled by myself. This 
practically left the responsibility of the service resting upon 
me, and I thus found myself on the western side of the 
Ganges, outside our Chinese wall, with a work which had 
come into my hands in such a way that I could not doubt that 
God was leading me in what I had done. But while it is 
easy enough to write these few lines, the decision which I 
was obliged to make at the time caused me an amount of 
anxiety which it is not easy now to realize. Crossing the 
Ganges was to me indeed the crossing of a Rubicon. I knew 
beyond a doubt that if we planted ourselves in Cawnpore, we 
could not stop there. If we crossed the Ganges at all, the 
same guiding hand which led us to the first city on its west- 
ern bank might assuredly be expected to lead us on to other 
cities. Once beyond the barrier, there could be no second 
boundary-line drawn. 

When we met in our Annual Conference at the close of 
the year, the whole bearing of this movement was carefully 
and prayerfully discussed ; but even then very few of those 
present were able to realize whereunto this would grow. It 
seemed impossible, in that day of small things, that we should 
be able to do much except on our own immediate border. 
Cawnpore, however, was a large and growing city, and was 
then, as it still is, commercially the most important inland 


city of the empire. While some doubt of the wisdom of 
going farther than that one point was entertained, the opin- 
ion was almost unanimous that we were perfectly justifiable 
in taking up a work which had thus been so unexpectedly 
thrust upon us. This work was among Europeans, it is 
true ; but it was recognized then, as it has been ever since, 
that it is impossible to maintain a living Christian church 
among Europeans in a country like India, without at the 
same time doing something at least for the teeming masses 
of Hindus and Mohammedans among whom the Europeans 
live. We were practically committed to missionary work on 
the western side of the Ganges. We might tarry at this one 
point a year or ten years ; but unless we ceased to be active 
evangelists, we could not be expected to tarry there per- 

Just at this crisis appeared in our midst the renowned 
William Taylor, at that time known as "California Taylor.'^ 
He had come to us from Australia, after, however, receiving 
earnest invitations, not only from myself, but from the Eev. 
James Smith, a Baptist brother of Delhi. His purpose in 
coming to India had been to spend a season merely as an 
evangelist among the Wesleyan missions in the South, and 
our own missions in North India. He tarried for some 
time in Ceylon, waiting till arrangements could be made for 
him by the Wesleyan brethren in Madras ; but not finding an 
immediate opening in that direction, in response to repeated 
and urgent telegrams from myself, he went up the western 
coast to Bombay, and thence proceeded to Lucknow, where 
he began his work. 

The coming of this world-renowned evangelist marks an 
era in our progress. Our thought in inviting him, and his 
thought in coming, were simply that he might kindle a new 
flame among us, and set in motion an evangelistic work 
which should go forward among the masses of the people. 
We thought he might do this in the course of a few months, 
in the same way in which he had done so great a work in 


South Africa. But God's thoughts were not as our thoughts, 
and his plans differed from ours very* widely indeed. The 
evangelist met with his usual success when preaching among 
the Europeans in Lucknow, and, after a short stay, went 
over to Cawnpore, where our little congregation had in- 
creased till the room was filled to its utmost capacity, and 
repeated his good work there. He then devoted himself to 
the natives of Lucknow, and subsequently went among the 
native Christians of Rohilkhand. Wherever he went good 
was effected; but upon the whole, his work among the 
Hindustani people was a disappointment both to himself and 
us. The success which had been achieved in South Africa 
failed to appear in India. With our riper experience we 
can understand this now ; but missionaries, like other people, 
have many lessons to learn, which can only be mastered in 
the school of experience. God's plan for his servant was 
not our plan. The evangelist spent the rainy season of 1871 
in Naini Tal, and then, after a short tour in North India, 
proceeded to Bombay, where the peculiar work, which for 
some years bore his name, began. 

Bishop Taylor in those days was physically, mentally, 
and spiritually, in his best prime. His erect form, unusual 
stature, patriarchal beard, kindly but piercing eye, gave him 
an appearance which would arrest attention anywhere, but 
which was peculiarly impressive to an Oriental people. His 
sermons were often, and indeed for the most part, rambling, 
and much more didactic than hortatory. He soon learned 
to depend upon quiet work, with small audiences, or often 
but a single family, to labor with, rather than to move heaven 
and earth by trying all manner of expedients to get a large 
crowd. The result was, that he gained an extraordinary in- 
fluence over his converts. He knew them intimately, he 
had labored with them personally, had seen them almost 
constantly in their homes, bowed with them at their family 
altars, and acquainted himself with all their domestic troubles 
and anxieties. He won many friends in Bombay, most of 



whom were Europeans or Eurasians, and in a short time organ- 
ized them into a Methodist Episcopal Church. His organiza- 
tion was exceedingly thorough, and the most permanent 
fruits of his four years' labor in India are still found in that 
city. From Bombay he j)roceeded to Poona, and repeated 
his work there. In the meantime one of his converts had 


commenced holding meetings in Secunderabad, a military 
station adjoining Hyderabad, the capital of the Nizam's 
territories. This work also became permanent, and was or- 
ganized in connection with our Church. The following year 
the evangelist proceeded to Calcutta, where he remained 
thirteen months. His success in this city was not equal to 
that achieved in Western India, and he frequently remarked 


that it was the hardest field he had ever tried to cultivate. 
He succeeded, however, in laying a foundation upon which 
a successful work has since been built. Going thence to 
Madras, he achieved his greatest success in India, so far as 
the number of converts was concerned; but as he only tarried 
among them for a few weeks, the organization was not per- 
fected as it had been in Bombay, and the results proved 
very much less permanent. From Madras he proceeded to 
Bangalore, where his success was equally marked; after 
which he revisited some of his old scenes of labor, and then 
left India. He had not accomplished what he had hoped, and 
yet he had, during his four years' stay, made an impression, 
not only upon our own work, but upon India at large, which 
is felt to the present day, and will continue to be felt for 
many years to come. 

The organization of these widely separated churches in 
the leading cities of India excited attention in both India 
and America, and created no little controversy as to the 
final outcome of the movement. From the first the evan- 
gelist disavowed all intention of founding an independent 
Church ; and when Bishop Harris visited India in December 
and January, 1873-4, with the cordial approval of Bishop 
Taylor, he organized his scattered churches into what was 
ecclesiastically called a mission, which was formally recog- 
nized by the General Committee at its regular meeting in 
New York. The work, however, continued to spread, and 
other churches were organized, until the session of the 
General Conference of 1876, which authorized the organiza- 
tion of a second Annual Conference in India. In the 
absence of a better name, inasmuch as the first Conference 
was located in North India, the title of South India was 
given to the new organization a title which for many years 
seriously misled the public mind in America. Even to the 
present day, some of the stations of the Conference which 
bears the original name are among the most northern of the 


By the organization of this Conference we were formally 
and legally authorized to look upon all India as our field of 
labor. In a way which no human mind would have antici- 
pated, we had been led on from one point to another, until 
now we found our missionaries working in the three great 
cities which had formerly been known as the capitals of the 
three presidencies into which India had been divided. We 
had men stationed also at one or more points in nearly all 
the great provinces, and every one gifted with ordinary fore- 
sight was even then able to foresee that it would be im- 
possible for us to tarry permanently in these cities which we 
had occupied. In the very nature of the case, if our de- 
tached churches lived and prospered, they must take up 
missionary work among the people; and if they did this, it 
could not but happen that we would in time find ourselves 
confronted with responsibilities, compared with which all 
which had gone before would seem almost like child^s play. 
But few persons, it is true, seemed to realize this at that 
early day, and in America for many years it w^as impossible 
to get any one seriously to consider the probability of a 
great Methodist Church, embracing the whole of the vast 
region known as India, ever becoming a practical reality. 

The work, however, continued to go forward. In 1879 
a church was organized, and a mission planted in the 
city of Eangoon, 750 miles southeast of Calcutta, and we 
were thus committed to bear a share in the great work of 
evangelizing Burma. A foot-hold had also been secured at 
Lahore, the capital of the Panjab. The city of Karachi, at 
the mouth of the river Indus, had been entered long before. 
The work had also taken root at Nagpore and Jabalpur, in 
the Central Provinces of India, and at Ajmere, in Rajputaua, 
or, as it is more generally represented on the maps, in 
Central India. In other smaller places, east, north, west, 
and south, our people have since been steadily pushing on 
their way, as God in his providence has led them. 

With this steady advance in so many different directions, 


a new anxiety began to be felt, especially by those who were 
intrusted with the responsibility of leading in India. An- 
nual Conferences in such a country can not exist as they do 
in America. The country is so immensely large, the inter- 
ests so varied, the experience of the workers so different in 
many important respects, that it was felt that some bond 
was needed to hold together the scattered workers with their 
several organizations. The great work must be unified, and, 
if possible, so directed that it could be everywhere wisely 
conserved. Hence, in 1880, after much correspondence and 
careful discussion, a memorial was sent to the General Con- 
ference, asking for tlje authorization of a central body, em- 
powered to deal with such questions as might be common to 
our churches and missions in India. On the face of it the 
proposal looked very much like asking for an Indian Gen- 
eral Conference, and we can now clearly see that such a pro- 
posal was well calculated to excite alarm. The memorial, 
however, was received with much favor by many influential 
men, but never came before the General Conference in such 
a shape as to be put to the test of a vote. Four years later, 
however, a new measure, differing very slightly from the orig- 
inal one, and containing nearly every provision which the mis- 
sionaries had asked for, passed the General Conference with 
but slight opposition. A general supervising body, called a 
Central Conference, was authorized, and the following year 
formally organized by Bishop Hurst. The creation of this 
Central Conference marked the beginning of another era in 
our work. It has proved invaluable to us in the years that 
have since passed, and has justified the wisdom, not only of 
its first projectors, but of those who assisted in securing for 
it favorable action from the General Conference. 

The advance rhovement which led to the extension of 
our work into the most remote parts of the empire was at 
first confined exclusively to English-speaking people; that 
is, either Europeans, directly from Europe, or the children 
of Europeans and Eurasians, with a slight sprinkling of 


Indians who had become familiar with the English lan- 
guage. Very great hopes were entertained at the outset 
that these people, especially those wiio had been born in 
India and had more or less familiarity with the Indian lan- 
guages, would prove invaluable in opening doors of access to 
the great native communities among whom they had prov- 
identially been placed. As in the first century, when Barna- 
bas and Saul began their great work, it was found that the 
scattered colonies of Jews, at that time found in every con- 
siderable city and town in the Roman Empire, were always 
conveniently present to introduce the strangers, and, even 
though hostile to them, served as so many doors of access to 
the Gentiles; so it seemed in India that God had scattered 
abroad all over the vast empire, along the railway-lines and 
in the chief cities, little colonies of Europeans or of persons 
who had adopted European habits, and both used the En- 
glish tongue and professed the Christian religion. These 
little settlements, it was hoped, would prove like so many 
starting-points for a new missionary movement; and in many 
places those who were gathered into the little Churches 
formed in that day were at once initiated into some form of 
missionary work. It must be confessed, however, that the 
hopes at first entertained in this direction have not been 
realized. What might have been done under better manage- 
ment, it is difficult to tell. As it was, the efforts made were 
somewhat desultory, and, for the most part, no proper direc- 
tion was given to the work. Of all those who composed the 
South India Conference at the time of its organization, only 
two can fairly be said to have had actual experience in mis- 
sionary work. For the most part, each missionary was left 
to work for himself, and it ought not to surprise us that in 
many cases in nearly every case such isolated laborers 
failed to learn an Indian tongue, or to engage in labor among 
the Hindus and Mohammedans, while at the same time ful- 
filling the somcAvhat arduous duties of English pastors. 

Bishop Andrews visited India during the cold season of 


1876-7, and a few days after his arrival at Bombay he for- 
mally organized the South India Conference, as he had been em- 
powered to do by the General Conference held in May preced- 
ing. This body at first was composed of twenty-one members 
and probationers. Its members were full of zeal and hope, 
and both in India and in the United States many watched the 
progress of the new Conference with prayerful interest, and 
Avere iiiclined to hope that the outcome would affect most 
favorably our missionary interests in the country. The re- 
sult, however, while not by any means wholly unsatisfactory, 
has not met the sanguine expectations which were cherished 
at the outset. The general value of this work, and the bear- 
ing of some of its peculiar features upon our general mis- 
sionary work, will be discussed in one or more succeeding 
chapters; but for the present suffice it to say that the greatest 
result, and probably the providential purpose which God had 
specially in view at the outset, was that of fully and finally 
committing us to the great work of doing a full share of the 
evangelization of all parts of the great Indian Empire. 
Whatever other result was not attained, this much was cer- 
tainly done. When a Central Conference had been organized, 
with Annual Conferences possessing, in some respects, inter- 
ests subordinate to this central body, and when converts be- 
gan to be enrolled, although but few in number, in Bengal, 
South and West India, Central India, and the Panjab, it was 
felt not only that we had been wonderfully led from place to 
place, but that God had laid upon us a responsibility from 
which, in the future, there could be no further shrinking. 
Every one seemed able to read the common duty, written as 
it clearly was by the Spirit and providence of God, in charac- 
ters which no longer could be mistaken. All India became 
our field. We were not to antagonize any one, not to oc- 
cupy in any place the position of rivals, not to waste time or 
labor in trying merely to maintain a given position among 
our brother missionaries, but in the fear of God to take up 
that part of the work which, in his providence, might fall to 


us, and make full proof of our ministry in every nook and 
corner of the empire to which he might send us. We had 
indeed crossed our Rubicon. We were at last able fully to 
realize how much had been involved in the apparently inci- 
dental acceptance of an appointment to preach on a certain 
Sunday in the city of Cawnpore. One step had led to another, 
and each door, as it opened its portals before us, only dis- 
closed another in advance, which must open in like manner; 
but even then we did not know that God intended to lead 
us to regions still further on. Nor is it probable that even 
now we understand, even in a slight degree, the stupendous 
proportions of the task which God, in his own vision, sees 
looming up before us. We can only stand with our loins 
girded about, ready to move forward as we are summoned 
from on high, and meet our responsibilities as God himself 
lays them upon us. 

CI)apter XXII. 

IN most non-Christian lands the missionary is wholly de- 
pendent upon the society which sends him forth. Under 
ordinary circumstances it would be too much to expect any 
people professing a non-Christian faith, to contribute to the 
support of men and women who avowedly come among them 
to overturn their religious institutions, and undermine their 
ancestral faith. Every Christian missionary who understands 
the true dignity of his calling, feels instinctively that com- 
mon honesty demands of him an open avowal of his purpose 
in taking up his abode among a strange people. He may 
use ordinary prudence, it is true, as to the time and place of 
making his avowal ; but if he attempts to conceal his pur- 
pose at the outset, it is sure to lead to trouble in after days. 
He must answer all questions with transparent honesty, and 
those who know him must understand from the beginning 
that he comes as a messenger of the living God, summoning 
all persons, without respect to age, sex, or condition, to re- 
ceive the message which he brings, and yield their hearts to 
the King of all nations and the Father of all men. It has 
sometimes happened that a missionary thus avowing his pur- 
pose has been received kindly, and assisted to a greater or 
less extent by the people whom he wishes to convert; but 
such instances must, in the nature of the case, always be ex- 
ceptional. The various missionary societies which send forth 
their workers, accept it as an invariable fact that they must 
provide for those who go forth in their name. India, how- 
ever, forms in some respects an exception to the general rule. 
As mentioned in a previous chapter, little colonies of Euro- 



peans and Eurasians are found in all parts of the empire, and 
as these people invariably profess the Christian rjeligion, a 
small measure of support at least may justly be expected from 
them in aid of the missionary enterprise, which in many 
cases they see carried on before their eyes. In the larger 
cities, and sometimes in the smaller stations where a few 
Christian officials may chance to have been grouped together, 
very material aid has been given to missionary work from 
the first; but nevertheless, taking the empire as a whole, the 
rule has been that the work can only advance in proportion 
to the amount of assistance sent from Christian lands. 

In our own case, when we had crossed our Rubicon, as 
noted in the previous chapter, we were confronted with op- 
portunities which seemed tempting enough ; but the time 
was not opportune for expecting any material support of an 
advance movement from our friends in America. The pros- 
perous years which followed the close of the Civil War were 
drawing to a close, and indications of great stringency were 
appearing on the financial horizon. Moreover, it had been 
accepted from the first by the Missionary Board that money 
sent to India could not justly be used for any purpose 
except in more or less directly trying to secure the conver- 
sion of the non-Christian people. Indeed, we had been at 
times peremptorily notified that no money should be used in 
what was called English work. This rule was applied more 
rigidly than wisely. Had the same rule been applied in 
many parts of the United States, it would have made a diifer- 
ence of $100,000 in the appropriations to the home-field. 
Nevertheless, no one in India felt like finding fault with 
the policy which had been laid down, and hence it did not 
occur to any one to ask for money in aid of an advance move- 
ment among people who even nominally professed the Chris- 
tian religion. By the time, however, that we were ready to 
advance, all possibility of changing the policy, at least for 
many years, had vanished. The great financial panic, which 
had been anticipated for a year or two, had at test burst upon 


the country. The MissioDary Society found itself over- 
whelmed with an enormous debt, and most seriously em- 
barrassed in its efforts to maintain the work to which it was 
already pledged in foreign fields. It would have been cruel 
to ask, and most certainly would have been impossible to ob- 
tain, assistance from missionary funds for such a work as we 
were then inaugurating among the English-speaking people 
of India. 

It seemed to us that we ought to enter the open doors 
before us, and yet we had not a dollar in the shape of finan- 
cial resources. What were we to do? It has been assumed 
too often that at this crisis a new plan was devised, which 
has been popularly presented before the Church under the 
very equivocal name of self-support ; but as a matter of fact 
we devised nothing new whatever. We simply fell back 
upon the old plan which had been adopted by Francis Asbury 
and his associates before we were born. It was primitive 
Methodism applied to an emergency to which it was found 
to be admirably adapted. The missionary who went to a 
people speaking English and professing the Christian re- 
ligion, proceeded precisely as hundreds of Methodist preach- 
ers had done in earlier days all over the Western States. If 
I may refer to myself as an example, I entered this work in 
1874, but in doing so proceded upon precisely the same 
lines which I had been taught to follow when a youth of 
twenty-one in Ohio. Indeed, so far as any hardship con- 
nected with the work was concerned, I had learned the secret 
of self-support in Ohio at a greater personal cost to myself 
than that which I was called upon to assume in India. When 
a youth, leaving college, I was asked by a presiding elder to 
go to a circuit concerning which I knew nothing whatever 
except its name. I went as a perfect stranger, with an as- 
sured salary of $100 a year. I found that I was expected to 
purchase a horse, keep myself decently clothed, provide my- 
self with books, and live as best I could. One resource 
upon which I was able to trust without a shadow of mis- 



giviDg was the hospitality of the people. In India we simply- 
fell back upon this old method. A man who can preach 
successfully enough to win the attendance of the people will 
find hospitality in any part of the world, and all he has to 
do is to follow the Saviour's direction and accept hospitality 
in the spirit in which it is given. Then if he works among 
a people who are willing to entertain him, he is absolutely 
sure of winning their hearts for Christ ; and men who have 
been utterly changed in heart and life are always willing to 
pluck out their eyes for the man who leads them to the 
Saviour. This is the New Testament plan of proceeding 
under ordinary circumstances, where men work in their own 
country and among their own people; and when we began to 
apply this rule, as several of us had learned to do in America, 
we found it perfectly applicable to the English-speaking peo- 
ple in India. They received us kindly, proffered us a boun- 
tiful hospitality, and thus relieved us of any financial care. 
The application of this simple rule in our case amounted 
to the discovery of hidden resources of inestimable value. 
We were able to plant our Church in nearly all the great 
cities of India so quietly that our friends in America would 
hear nothing of it till the work was done. We were led 
from one point to another by various indications of the prov- 
idence of God, some of them very surprising and w^onderful 
in their character, and some of them very simple and ordi- 
nary; but in every case we were made to feel that a power 
above and beyond human wisdom was leading us forward. 
We also soon began to discover that these hidden resources 
would be equal to more than the mere support of a certain 
number of missionaries. Churches and chapels began to 
rise unexpectedly in the cities occupied, and soon the par- 
sonage would follow. A year or two later, and schools 
began to take shape ; and thus it came to pass that a vast 
net-work of agencies was organized, spread all over the em- 
pire, steadily gaining in stability, and giving promise of a 
permanency which could not easily be shaken. Mistakes 


were made, of course, but these may be expected wherever 
human agency is employed ; and although we may naturally 
look back upon some of these mistakes with regret, we have 
no right to regard them as in any peculiar sense surprising, 
or as marking any radical defect in the work itself. Take 
Calcutta as an illustration of what was done. We entered 
the city without a dollar in the shape of financial resources. 
We had not a member in all that great city to receive us. 
Bishop Taylor, who first began the work there, spent many 
long months preaching in a chapel which had been kindly 
placed at his disposal by a Baptist missionary in the suburbs 
of the city; but his labors were for the most part confined to 
private houses. We held On, and step by step our work 
took shape and developed, until now we have the largest 
place of worship, not only in Calcutta, but in India, and 
also the largest congregation. We have missions among the 
natives in three different languages Bengali, Hindustani, 
and Ooriya each of them represented by an organized 
church of Christian believers. We have adjoining our church 
one of the finest school-buildings in the city, which accom- 
modates one of the best organized and most largely attended 
girls' boarding-schools in Bengal. We have a boys' school 
rapidly advancing to a like position, and resources have re- 
cently been put within our reach which will enable us to 
erect a similar building for this school. We have a mission 
press in active operation, a mission to seamen, a Deaconess 
Home, an organized work among women ; and, in short, we 
have a powerful missionary agency at work in this city, 
nearly all of which has been developed from resources which 
a few years ago were hidden from our view. In more recent 
years we have been aided by missionary funds from America, 
but these funds have been sent out to aid in work which had 
already taken shape, and the amount received has been com- 
paratively small. It is doubtful if throughout the whole 
United States any instance can be found of a new work, 
wholly dependent upon the resources which it can develop. 


which has ever met with more satisfactory progress than this 
extensive missionary work in the city of Calcutta. 

As an illustration of the rapid development of this work 
in Calcutta, I may cite the case of the two churches located 
in that city. The best success in any kind of Christian work 
is usually dependent upon the willingness of the workers to 
, begin to build on the most humble foundations. If they wait 
till somebody eke achieves success for them, they will never 
prove capable of carrying on the work put into their hands ; 
and if they hesitate until a very wide and open door is set 
before them, without any obstruction whatever in the w^ay, 
they will wait till the end of time before finding one wide 
enough to suit their notions. Bishop Taylor had worked in 
the city nearly a year before he succeeded in renting a small 
plot of open ground in an obscure part of the city, called 
Zigzag Lane. The name of this lane was exactly descriptive 
of its tortuous windings, and in all Calcutta it would 
have been hard to locate a chapel in a place so difficult to 
find. It was, however, our best alternative at that time. 
The house, a picture of which is placed as an object-lesson 
in the frontispiece of this book, was built in the most primi- 
tive style, bamboos being freely used in its construction. 
This chapel, or tabernacle, as it was called, soon gave place to 
a larger chapel, and this again to the present place of wor- 
ship. One church succeeded another so rapidly that the 
third and last of the series was finished only three years after 
the completion of the first building. 

Very unfortunately, however, at an early period a serious 
mistake was made in connection with what was called the 
new policy of self-support. As said above, it was not really 
new, and should have been accepted as the ordinary Meth- 
odist policy of the fathers, and applied without any remark 
to the emergency which confronted us in India. We should 
have planted ourselves firmly upon this basis, and maintained 
that we were attempting nothing new, and hence deserved 
neither praise nor censure for doing that which we had learned 


in the school of our fathers. The success, however, which 
attended our efforts led us into the serious mistake of assum- 
ing that there was merit, or virtue of some kind, in the 
policy itself, which would make it succeed under all circum- 
stances wherever and whenever tried. We forgot that there 
is no inherent power in any policy ; and no greater mistake 
can be made than to assume that policy is another name for 
power, just as it can never be assumed that a law can en- 
force itself. Hence, on the one hand, we had the unfortunate 
spectacle of a party of earnest men, both in India and Amer- 
ica preaching what was supposed to be a new doctrine of self- 
support ; while opposed to them another party soon came to the 
front, denouncing and opposing what they did not clearly un- 
derstand, and what they assumed was hostile to the Missionary 
Society in America. This discussion, which even now has 
hardly ceased, was unfortunate from the beginning. It was 
to a great extent based upon a misunderstanding, and at an 
early day began to bear fruit which neither its friends nor 
opponents anticipated. The term self-support has been used 
and abused until it has become almost impossible to employ 
it without being misunderstood. Almost everything now 
goes under the name of self-support. Men engaged in secular 
employment, and who have dropped all semblance of trust- 
ing in the providence of God according to the Saviour's di- 
rections, are loudly professing to be the special advocates of 
the system. There is such a thing as industrial support, 
which is praiseworthy in its place, and in many instances has 
proved successful in helping forward missionary work. There 
is, again, such a thing as pastoral support, which does not 
differ from the same term as used in England or America; 
there is educational support, which depends upon the income 
of schools ; and, lastly, there is the support of the evangelist, 
such as that described above, which means nothing more 
than that the man who goes alone, preaching among strangers, 
and thrusts himself upon their hospitality, is so guided by 
God's hand that he finds a home and shelter when he needs 


it, and is able, while doing his work among the people, to 
realize that his bread and his water are assured to him. 
The term, however, has been so misunderstood, and has be- 
come so complicated by its forced association with all manner 
of schemes and plans and policies, that it can hardly be 
used at all, and might as well be dropped so far as it applies 
to our work in India. 

It must not be assumed, however, that this feature of 
our work has vanished from India. It has left its influence 
permanently upon the whole of our vast field, and its spirit 
is still breathed by many of our best workers. When the 
somewhat heated controversy which grew up in connection 
with the term shall have been forgotten, the influence of the 
blessed spirit of devotion which was evoked at the time 
above mentioned, will continue to be felt in every part of 
our wide field. We still have men and women in India 
who receive no financial aid from any foreign land, and are 
dependent upon resources found in the country, and we shall 
have them in increasing numbers as the years go by. We 
have discovered resources here, the value of which we have 
learned too well ever to throw them lightly away ; and no 
one henceforth should ever say that the missionaries of India 
have abandoned a principle which they once loudly pro- 
fessed. They have merely learned how to apply the princi- 
ple in a practical way, without warping it, or trying to con- 
fine it in a cramped and iron-bound system which w^ould 
destroy its practical worth. 

The progress of our work in India has brought us face 
tt) face with another emergency even more pressing than the 
one noted above. Of late years our converts from Hin- 
duism have been steadily and rapidly increasing, until, as I 
now write, they are literally coming to us at the rate of more 
than a thousand a month. The baptism of one hundred con- 
verts in any foreign mission invariably entails an increase of 
expenditure, as additional schools and preachers, or assistants 
of some grade, must be provided for them, especially when, 


as usually happens, they live in different towns or villages. 
For many years the Missionary Society gradually increased 
its appropriations to our work in India, so as to enable us 
to keep pace with the growing demands which were made 
upon us as our converts increased in number and became 
more widely scattered over the country. Of late, however, 
great difficulty has been experienced in obtaining the funds 
needed to meet the constant expansion of the work, until now 
it seems impossible to expect the Missionary Society to keep 
full pace with it any longer. After simplifying our methods, 
and reducing the expenditure to the low^est possible point, we 
are confronted by more pressing necessities than we have 
ever before known. A thousand converts coming to us in a 
single month may be expected to live in twenty or thirty 
different villages. A point must soon be reached, if indeed 
it has not already been reached, beyond which we can not de- 
pend longer on money from America. What are we to do ? 
The feeble, untaught converts must be looked after and care- 
fully instructed in all that pertains to Christian doctrine and 
Christian living. How are we to meet this demand? 

We must clearly look around us carefully for hidden re- 
sources. As yet no one has been able to point out a way 
which is not beset with difficulties of some kind ; but when- 
ever God leads his people into a narrow strait between two 
impassable barriers, with a rolling sea in front, he has the 
gracious design in view of causing the waters to divide, and 
tracing out a safe and sure pathway through the deep. Am- 
ple resources will be found and will be found in India and 
the duty of the present hour is to look carefully while God 
guides us to them. 

If we turn to the converts themselves, and try to apply 
the policy which proved so successful in our work among 
English-speaking people, w^e are at once baffled by difficulties 
found nowhere else among Christians who speak our own 
language. The mass of our converts, like the mass of the na- 
tives of India generally, are very poor. Indeed, the word 


" poor '' does not convey any idea of their condition to the 
reader in America. If, for instance, in an ordinary village 
congregation, or in a public assembly in one of the streets of 
a great city, a collection were asked for, the contributions 
would consist largely of cowries. A cowrie is a small shell 
used as currency, and which, at the ordinary rate of exchange, 
is equal in value to about one eighty-fifth of a cent. If a 
village pastor lived on eight cents a day, it would require 
hundreds of people who use such currency to support him. 
In the face of such poverty as this indicates, most mission- 
aries and missionary societies have practically given up all 
hope of making converts from the poorer classes self-sup- 
porting. When it is considered that they must not only be 
provided with pastoral oversight, but must also have schools, 
and be supplied with books, the idea of expecting any ma- 
terial help from them seems utterly wild. And yet these 
poor people are numbered by tens of millions, and the most 
sanguine friend of the missionary enterprise can hardly hope 
that the churches of England and America will be either 
able or willing to supply funds sufficient to meet all the 
wants of these millions when they become Christians. Re- 
sources must be found somewhei-e, and, according to the 
gospel spirit and to all the indications found in the New 
Testament, we are forced to look even to these very poor 
people for resources which up to the present day remain 
strangely hidden. 

I ought not to use the word " hidden," at least in an ab- 
solute sense; for, to some extent, God has already shed light 
upon this dark problem. Even among the poorest of these 
people there are resources, although they do not exist in the 
form of gold and silver currency. In the first place, they 
can furnish labor. They can, for instance, build their own 
simple chapels. When in America a year ago, a benevolent 
preacher, who wished to help the people in providing village 
chapels, was perplexed and bewildered when I assured him 
that in very many cases a small sum of money say twenty 


or twenty-five dollars, would suffice to give the village Chris- 
tians a place of worship. He asked me what was the price 
of bricks, and was astonished when I told him that in very 
few of the villages had such a thing as a brick ever been seen. 
" What then/^ he asked, "is the material which they use in 
building? Do they use stone, or wood?'' I assured him 
that they depended on nothing so permanent as these. The 
material used in erecting all kinds of village buildings is, 
nearly everywhere, simply mud. A place is sought where' 
clay is exposed near the surface, and this is dug up and 
mixed with water; but instead of molding the mud thus 
formed into bricks, and either drying them in the sun or burn- 
ing them over a fire, it is built into the wall with the hand 
in the most primitive style, and the wall thus constructed is 
left to dry in the sun. Almost any man can lend a hand at 
such work as this. The buildings are covered, for the most 
part, with thatch, and here again any villager can be of use, 
if not in thatching the house itself, at least in collecting or 
carrying the grass. A few bamboos to support the roof, and 
a small quantity of twine for binding the thatch, will com- 
plete all the material needed in erecting a village chapel. 
In many places better buildings than these are erected; 
but it is becoming plainer to us every day that, in the long 
run, nine-tenths of the people must be expected to worship 
God in the most primitive little mud chapels, and in such 
cases the people will, no doubt, as they become more and 
more zealous and devoted to their Master, be found equal to 
the task of erecting their own places of worship. 

It must be remembered, also, that all their giving needs 
not consist in currency of some kind, not even in the cowries 
mentioned above. In some places in Bengal I have found 
a singular, and indeed touching, custom prevailing by which 
a very considerable amount of help is given to the support 
of native pastors. Each housewife, in the morning, when 
she takes out the rice for the day, puts aside about a table- 
spoonful toward the support of her native pastor. This is 


kept in a bag by itself, and, although a small spoonful put 
in every morning may seem to be a very humble contribu- 
tion, yet, at the end of the month, it will be found an offer- 
ing not to be despised. While very many of our converts 
are too poor to contribute so liberally as this, yet those who 
are cultivators will, in most cases, be able to do a little in 
this way. Others, again, who are fishermen, will give a cer- 
tain quantity of fish weekly ; and so with mechanics of va- 
rious kinds. Each will be able to contribute a trifle ; so that, 
after all, the people will not be found so absolutely helpless 
as may at first appear. It must be remembered, too, that by 
and by the Christians will be found in overwhelming num- 
bers all over the plains of India, and when these all stand 
shoulder to shoulder, and contribute of their very slender 
means for any one purpose, they will be able to do more 
than at first seems apparent. For instance, if six, eight, or 
ten villages are found within a radius of three or four miles, 
each of them containing fifty to one hundred Christian fam- 
ilies, the aggregate would amount to at least five or six hun- 
dred families. These all contributing in their various ways, 
and according to their limited means, would be able to sup- 
port a pastor in what, according to their notions, would seem 
moderate comfort. This pastor could go from village to vil- 
lage, performing the usual duties of a Christian pastor, while 
unpaid class-leaders, who are really sub-pastors in the several 
villages, would look after the details of the work. This is 
a mere outline of what some of us hope to see realized in the 
early future. For my own part, I see nothing impossible 
about it. I ought to say, however, that while in prosperous 
provinces, like Burma, even better things than these have been 
realized up to the present time, the whole problem remains, 
in a large measure, unsolved so far as the poorer people of 
India are concerned. 

The problem of the present hour, so far as our own work 
in India is concerned, is to know how to develop whatever 
resources there may be among our converts. With few 


exceptions they are so very poor that the missionary feels his 
heart sink within him when he attempts to mention the sub- 
ject of their contributing, out of their extreme poverty, for 
the work which he is trying to carry on among them. And 
yet he knows that something of this kind must be done 
before Christianity can become indigenous to the country, 
and before their own best Christian life can be developed. 
We shall all be wiser a few years hence, no doubt; but 
while we are pondering and experimenting and thinking, 
God in his providence is leading us forward, and perhaps 
the people themselves, when they become fully awake to the 
difficulties of the situation, will be able to show us that they 
have resources which we have never discovered, and of which 
we have hardly dreamed. 

Cl)apber XXIII. 


THE above title is placed at the head of this chapter, not 
because it is grammatically accurate, but simply for want 
of a better. Reference has been made in previous chapters to 
the manner in which missionary work, designed in the first 
place wholly for the natives of the soil, interlaces itself at 
times more or less with the interests of the English resi- 
dents in the empire. These, of course, are nominally Chris- 
tians, and it is but natural that persons in England and 
America should wonder that missionaries whose sole work in 
life is supposed to be that of inducing Mohammedans and 
Hindus to.become Christians, should turn aside to preach to 
those who already profess to be followers of that religion. 
The missionary himself, however, especially if he remains in 
the country long enough to identify himself with its inter- 
ests, soon discovers that the letter of the New Testament, as 
well as the spirit of the gospel which he preaches, refuses to 
acknowledge any distinctions which are, or under any cir- 
cumstances may be, merely nominal. The New Testament 
deals with humanity as one whole, and the messenger of 
Jesus Christ is not authorized to know Jew or Gentile, 
Greek or Barbarian, but simply man as man. Hence in a 
hundred ways the missionary who comes in contact with 
English-speaking people in India, discovers that he can not 
dissociate himself wholly from them, nor logically limit his 
gospel in such a way as to ignore them. 

The term " English,'' as popularly used in connection with 
missionary work, is made to include, not only the English 
people who have come out from Europe, either as Govern- 


ment servants or on private business, but also the descend- 
ants of Europeans of past generations. Not a few such 
families are scattered all over the empire. They are pure 
Europeans by descent, but their fathers and grandfathers, and 
in some cases great-grandfathers, have been born in India; 
In addition to these, the Eurasians, who are scattered every 
wh^re, and who constitute a large proportion of the English- 
speaking people, are included in what is called English work, 
so far as missionary phraseology is concerned. These peo- 
ple are more numerous than those of pure European parent- 
age. Their influence in the country has been a subject of no 
little dispute. Some writers are inclined to put it down as 
nil. Others, animated perhaps by unconscious prejudice, do 
not hesitate to affirm that the influence of the Eurasian com- 
munity is against, rather than in favor of Christianity. An 
oft-quoted but very unjust assertion is put forward in nearly 
every such discussion, to the eifect that the Eurasian that 
is, the offspring of European and Asiatic parents combines 
the vices of both races, without having the virtues of either. 
Others, again, affirm that as a people the Eurasians have 
virtues of their own, with which any church capable of ap- 
preciating them would be enriched, and that these people, who 
in any case must be an important and permanent factor of the 
English-speaking population, ought to be utilized to the 
utmost possible extent, in not only missionary work, but in 
the promotion of every other cause which good men have at 
heart. As a class they have much cause of complaint. 
While employed freely in Government service they have, for 
the most part, been kept wholly in subordinate positions. 
They are debarred from military service ; they are subjected 
to a certain kind of social contempt not very formidable, it 
is true, and yet of such a character as often to irritate, and 
sometimes to injure, those who are made its subjects. Edu- 
cated as they have been, and hedged about by adverse in- 
fluences as they are to the present day, it is not strange that 
comparatively few of them have achieved distinction. As a 




community, however, they deserve much more credit than 
has ever been given them, and are capable of doing valuable 
service in the great work to which God is calling all his peo- 
ple in India. 

In addition to the Europeans and Eurasians in India, a 
few representatives of purely Indian races, composed of 
persons who have acquired a familiar use of English, may be 
found more or less closely identified with the Christian com- 
munity. A few of these will be found in almost every con- 
gregation, attending the ordinary Sunday evening service. 
In large cities like Bombay, Calcutta, and Madras, such per- 
sons are sometimes present in considerable numbers, and 
from among them, from time to time, conversions to Chris- 
tianity occur. Of late years not a few Indians are adopting 
the ordinary European costume, and when away from home 
are frequently mistaken for Eurasians. Such persons have no 
objections whatever to identifying themselves with the Euro- 
peans, unless too closely pressed in the matter of caste or re- 

The whole European and Eurasian population of India is 
not only relatively very small, but scattered everywhere over 
the empire. Only in a few of the larger cities can a large 
congregation be collected, and but few of our English-speak- 
ing churches have more than a hundred communicants. This 
one fact presents a very formidable obstacle, especially in the 
eyes of young missionaries, to our success when preaching 
among these people. A young minister fresh from the 
United States finds it difficult to regard any church or con- 
gregation as of any special account unless it has a large 
congregation present at the Sabbath service. India is the 
last country in the world to which a young preacher who 
aspires to popularity should come. The missionary must be 
able to look deeper, and see more clearly the ultimate result 
of such work as he is called upon to perform in the English 
churches. As a matter of fact, most of the young missionaries 
who have engaged in this department of our work, have 


become dissatisfied with it. '' It has no outcome," says one. 
" It offers us no future," adds another. " It amounts to 
nothing, and never will amount to anything," chimes in a 
third. *^ If I have to preach in English," says a fourth, " I 
shall return to my own country." " I did not come all the 
way to India," adds still a fifth, " in order to find a little 
congregation of people to preach to in English. I can get 
plenty of congregations in my own country." And so on, 
one objection follows another, until, as a matter of fact, this 
kind of work does not at present stand in very high favor 
among us. 

Several reasons may be mentioned which account, in part 
at least, for this unfavorable judgment of not a few young 
missionaries. In the first place, these young brethren, when 
they begin their work, encounter an adverse social current, 
such as they have never known, and perhaps never could 
know, in their own country. In a few of the larger cities 
our ministers feel the force of a current somewhat similar, 
but not so powerful as that which is encountered in India. 
I refer to the presence in every city, town, and remote 
country station, of an Established Church. The Roman Cath- 
olics and the Anglicans divide between them perhaps four- 
fifths of the English-speaking people in India. A Methodist 
missionary from America, coming among these people, is ut- 
terly unconscious of the deep attachment which they, with 
few exceptions, feel for the church in which they have been 
born. They may not care much for religion in itself, and are 
perhaps free enough to go and hear a stranger preach; but 
the thought of separating themselves, even nominally, from 
the church of their fathers, is startling enough to many of 
them. Then, there is the general impression that it is not 
altogether respectable to be connected with a dissenting 
church. Only those Americans who have visited England, 
and have become acquainted with the various phases of re- 
ligious thought and feeling in that country, can understand 
how much it costs a Churchman to identify himself with a 


dissenting body. This feeling extends almost with equal 
force to all the English-speaking people of India; and the 
young missionary has some not very pleasant lessons to learn 
before he ean understand its meaning. I have myself been 
called out of bed twice in the same night to visit a small- 
pox patient, by friends who seemed to appreciate what I was 
doing very highly, but who, after the death of the patient, 
refused to let me officiate at the funeral because I was a dis- 
senter. This kind of treatment is not pleasing to the flesh ; 
but sensible men must learn to accept it as inevitable, and 
pay no more attention to it than they do to the prejudices of 
Hindus or Mohammedans. It indicates nothing wicked in 
itself; and if we would do the greatest possible amount of 
good in this world, we shall have no time to worry about the 
weaknesses of men and women who have not, perhaps, en- 
joyed the best advantages. 

Another discouragement to a missionary preaching to an 
English congregation is found in the fact that the people are 
constantly changing. Many of them hold official positions, 
either under Government or in railway service. It is not un- 
common for a man to be removed two, three, or even four 
times in a year. Others, again, are constantly returning to 
Great Britain after a term of service in India, and their 
places must be refilled. It is a well-known fact in all our 
English churches, that the membership must renew itself 
every five years, or else it will become extinct. It requires a 
plucky pastor to work successfully and cheerfully, year after 
year, in the midst of a people who are thus apparently always 
slipping away from him. 

Add to this another embarrassment which he is pretty 
sure to encounter, if he retains an active interest in missionary 
work. Some of his weaker members, noticing from time to 
time that he takes an active interest in the natives of the soil, 
begin to feel themselves slighted, and complain that they are 
neglected, and so on. If the pastor is sensible and moderately 
shrewd, he can avoid bringing slight evidences of hostility to 


a head ; but sometimes unfortunate issues are raised, and for 
years the church, which it is hoped will prove a great help in 
missionary work, remains practically arrayed against it. At 
such times the missionary can hardly be blamed if he feels 
like washing his hands of all such work, and saying, in the 
language of Barnabas and Saul, " Lo, I turn to the Gentiles." 

Probably few men in India have given more attention to 
this whole subject than myself, and certainly very few have 
had more experience in this kind of work in all its various 
phases. I began to preach to the English people at Naini Tal, 
when I first arrived in the country. I personally experienced 
most of the adverse influences enumerated above; and, like 
other young men who in more recent years have tried this 
kind of work and given it up, I, too, reached a point where I 
resolved to have nothing more to do with it. For four years 
I carefully and conscientiously refrained from preaching in 
English, but, in the providence of God, was led to see my 
error, and for many years afterward preached quite as much 
in my own tongue as in Hindustani. My later convictions 
remain unchanged to the present day. For the following 
reasons I believe we ought to carry on an active work among 
the English-speaking people of the empire, and, regarding 
this department of our work as permanent, proceed to fortify 
our position as rapidly and strongly as possible. 

In the first place, the English are here. India belongs to 
the British Empire, and whatever God's ultimate designs 
concerning these people may be, for another century at least 
the predominating influence in India will be English; and 
even if we were to be assured that the great British Empire 
would bestow independence upon India a century or two 
hence, or something equivalent to independence, it would 
not change the fact that the controlling influence would be 
English rather than Indian. This being the case, the im- 
mense influence of everything English ought to be appre- 
ciated by the missionary from the outset. Even though the 
people be few, though the English papers have a small cir- 



dilation, though the English congregations, even in the Es- 
tablished Church, may be small, yet the ultimate influence 
of these people, and of the churches, newspapers, and 
schools, will be unspeakably great. Hence the preacher 
who looks at his little congregation, and longs for the 
more attractive church in which he might be preaching in 
his native land, is anything but a far-sighted man. The man 
who preaches to one hundred people in India is exerting a 
greater influence, so far as future years are concerned, than 
the one who preaches to a thousand people in Chicago or 
Cincinnati. Any one of the American Churches might sink 
out of sight, and its influence would be but little felt; but the 
extinction of a church of one hundred members in an Indian 
city would be felt as a calamity for years and years to come. 
A single little tallow caudfe burning in a very dark place, is of 
more value than any one of a thousand electric lights which 
glare and flash in the midst of the nightly illumination of a 
great city. 

The importance of this work becomes still more apparent 
when we consider the religious situation as it is among the 
English-speaking people of India. As said above, a very 
large proportion of them are Roman Catholics, especially in 
the southern part of the country. Of the remainder, the 
great majority are Anglicans, nominally ; but during the past 
twenty years the Church of England has so far fallen under 
the influence of the Ritualistic party, that thousands of its 
members in India refuse to attend longer on its ministra- 
tions. Their protest, however, is not likely to be permanent. 
People become reconciled to whatever is customary, and, so 
far as the present outlook is concerned, I am forced to believe 
that the future Christianity of all the English-speaking 
classes of India will be either Roman Catholic or Ritualistic, 
unless an evangelical work is introduced and vigorously 
pushed for all the years to come. Some may say that this 
would make little difi^erence ; but a very slight observation 
of the influences of existing churches admonishes us other- 


wise. In every great city it is easy to perceive that the In- 
dian Christians are fashioning their churches and all their 
institutions after the model of the Europeans who live among 
them. If the English churches are ritualistic, the native 
churches will be so likewise ; and if ritualistic notions pre- 
vail without challenge among all the English-speaking peo- 
ple, we may as well give over the future Christianity of 
India to the care of the sacerdotal party at once. It is 
our duty not only to found Christian churches in India, 
but to provide for their future welfare. Hence I regard it 
as a sacred duty one from which there can be no possible 
shrinking that vital evangelical Christianity be not only 
established all over India, but that it be made like a city 
set upon a hill, which can not be hid. 

Another consideration which should not be lost sight of, 
and which has been hinted at above, is the fact that the na- 
tives of India are rapidly becoming Anglicized. This change 
has become increasingly apparent in recent years, and will 
almost certainly proceed with increasing rapidity as time goes 
by. The better educated classes, when alone, do not converse 
in their mother tongues, but speak exclusively in English. 
Public meetings composed of natives exclusively are ad- 
dressed in English, and in very good English at that. 
Houses are beginning to be furnished in English style, and 
English literature is more and more finding its way, not 
only into public reading-rooms, but into the homes of the 
better educated people. In view of this fact, it would be un- 
wise in the last degree to turn our backs upon what we are 
accustomed to call our English work. We must have En- 
glish preachers in every city, and expect that as the years 
go by the number of our English congregations will increase 
rather than diminish. These churches, however, must be 
of a very high order. We can not put an eloquent man in 
every pulpit; but we must exhibit a clear type of pure 
Christianity before the people. We must show them that 
we are not contending for a dogma, but for a life. We 


must have such churches that it will be not only, easy, but 
safe, for the native Christians to accept them as ecclesiastical 
aud spiritual models, and we must expect that in all the years 
to come this department of our work will be kept in the van- 
guard of spiritual progress. 

One important part of this English work, and perhaps the 
most important, is that of our English schools. We were led, 
in the first place, to open these schools because of the difficulty 
of finding education for our people where their children would 
be removed from sacerdotal influences. The English public 
schools throughout the empire, for the most part, fell under 
ritualistic influences more rapidly than the pulpits. All of 
them are more or less directly subject to the local chaplain, and 
some of these gentlemen, although undoubtedly sincere and 
good men, have mistaken notions about their own preroga- 
tives, as well as the rights of parents and children. When 
we began to organize English churches, it frequently hap- 
pened that parents would come to us, saying that their chil- 
dren could no longer attend our Sunday-school, under pen- 
alty of dismissal from the day-schools which they chanced 
to attend. We were forced either to provide a school of our 
own, or see our children thus forcibly taken from us; and in 
the face of such an alternative our decision was soon made. 
We now have nine large boarding-schools for boys and girls, 
in which not only the children of our own people are receiv- 
ing an education, but large numbers of others, sometimes in-- 
eluding the sons and daughters of Eoman Catholics, and 
even, in a few cases, of Buddhists. These schools have given 
us much anxiety, and, as we have been chiefly dependent 
upon Indian resources in building them up, the struggle to 
maintain them has been a severe one from the first. Slowly, 
however, they are gaining ground, and in time will, I trust, 
be placed upon firm foundations. Their influence will be 
very great for centuries to come, not only in our own com- 
paratively small community, but in strengthening our posi- 
tion and enlarging our usefulness in other circles. The boys 


and girls who are educated in these schools go out from us 
to take up the duties of life in remote places, and not a few 
of them will doubtless prove like so many missionaries sent 
to towns, or even provinces, to which we can not go our- 
selves. The schools are worthy of the most generous support 
of our friends in America, and I have no hesitation whatever 
in commending their interests to the Christian public. 

From time to time missionary authorities, both in Eng- 
land and America, manifest a somewhat unreasonable hostility 
to work of this kind. In some cases peremptory orders have 
been sent out to the missionaries who have been engaged in 
English-speaking work, to desist from it altogether. " What 
have we to do with sending the gospel to our own country- 
men?'' asks an indignant supporter of missions in England. 
*' You have everything to do with it," is my reply. " You 
represent a gospel which is broad enough to embrace all hu- 
man interests, and it is not for you to limit the commission 
which the Master has given to all his servants.'' As a mat- 
ter of fact, however, the English-speaking people of India, 
scattered, as they are, so widely that it is impossible for any 
preacher to reach them, and being thus deprived of the re- 
ligious privileges which are so freely enjoyed in England and 
America, are but poor exemplars of the life which Christians 
are expected to live. I do not join for a moment in the 
wholesale denunciations which have sometimes been poured 
out upon them as a class ; but I speak the mournful truth 
when I say that God's name has too often been profaned 
among the heathen in India, as Ezekiel said it was in olden 
time, and it becomes an imperative duty of Christians, both 
in England and in America, to see that their countrymen in 
India receive that measure of Christian care which they not 
only personally deserve, but which the religious situation in 
India makes absolutely imperative. Some of the blindest 
work I have ever known to be done by good Christian men, 
has been accomplished in this illogical effort to keep mis- 
sionaries from helping their own countrymen in India. I am 


glad that in our mission a wiser policy has prevailed in re- 
cent years; but it has cost us more than one contest to main- 
tain it. Our policy has not met with the uniform approval 
of all our friends, either in America or in India. I am per- 
suaded, however, that in this work we have been led from 
on high. As indicated in a previous chapter, our work 
among these people has not only been a blessing to them, but 
it has been overruled so as to be made a great blessing to our 
cause in India. Whatever others may do, there will be, I 
trust, no retreat so far as we are concerned. We must main- 
tain this department of our work throughout the empire, and 
maintain it strongly. 

Cl)apber XXIV. 


THE mission-school in some form is inseparable from or- 
dinary missionary work. However widely the mission- 
aries themselves may differ concerning the best school policy, 
they one and all admit that sooner or later the mission- 
school must have an important claim upon their labor and 
care. For a dozen years past a very earnest controversy 
has been carried on both in India and in the home lands, es- 
pecially in Scotland, with regard to the proper educational 
policy for missionaries to pursue. The Scotch have always 
taken the lead in school-work, especially in its higher de- 
partments, and as they have not reaped as rich a harvest of 
converts as some other missions which have pursued a differ- 
ent policy, not a few of their supporters at home are begin- 
ning to protest against making school-work so prominent, 
while some go to the extreme of opposing it altogether. 
Dr. Duff, who, taking him altogether, was, perhaps, after the 
death of Dr. Carey, the most prominent man in the mission- 
ary world, was best known as the founder of an educational 
policy which has been closely followed by many good and 
able men ever since he clearly pointed out the way. Arriv- 
ing in Calcutta in 1830, he quickly and clearly perceived 
that the reading and thinking men of the future, not only 
in Calcutta, but throughout the empire, would use the 
English language, and he at once resolved to found an edu- 

*A few statements made in a subsequent chapter, written by an- 
other hand, are repeated in this chapter ; but they are brief and unim- 


cational institution of a high grade, in which the best pos- 
sible English education should be given, but so thoroughly 
saturated with Christian doctrine that it would be impossible 
for boys and young men to pursue the course without ac- 
quiring a thorough knowledge of Christianity. All the 
world has heard the story of Dr. Duff's success, so far as 
his schools were concerned. For a time, also, he succeeded 
in making converts; but at a later day the work of conver- 
sion was arrested, owing to causes, however, which lay alto- 
gether outside of the schools themselves. Similar schools 
and colleges were founded in other cities, and nearly all 
missions have followed more or less closely in Dr. Duff's 
footsteps whenever they have attempted to establish schools 
of a high grade in connection with their work. 

Jn opposition to this policy, it is affirmed by many that 
the school should follow the evangelist, and not the evan- 
gelist the school, and that the same amount of labor which 
is bestowed upon these schools and colleges, if directed to 
the simple w^ork of preaching the gospel, would result in 
perhaps a hundred-fold more conversions than have been 
witnessed in educational work. As always happens in such 
controversies, a few extreme men are found who oppose all 
schools excepting those of the most elementary character, 
which are to be introduced after the people are converted, 
chiefly for the purpose of teaching them how to read the 
word of God. The truth of this controversy, as in all 
similar controversies, is found midway between two extremes. 
In most cases, of course, the. evangelist should precede the 
teacher, but in some notable cases he finds it to his advan- 
tage to follow him. Dr. Duff undoubtedly did a great work 
for India, not only as a missionary, but as an educationalist; 
and in all the thirty-three years which I have spent in the 
country, I have constantly met with illustrations of the far- 
reaching influence which that good man exerted upon the 
people. He also proved a valuable coadjutor to the Govern- 
ment in its efforts to introduce education into India. Tak- 


ing him altogether, he may be regarded as, in an important 
sense, the founder of English education in the country. At 
the same time, it would be a fatal mistake for any mission 
to trust exclusively, or even in a very large measure, to edu- 
cational work. In many places it is found absolutely neces- 
sary to introduce schools in order to gain the ear of the 
people; and while nothing better can be done, every wise 
missionary will use the school as the best agency within his 
reach. The best missionary policy is that which avails 
itself of every agency out of which anything good can be 

A point, however, is always reached, in the progress of 
any successful mission, where it becomes absolutely necessary 
to do less and less for schools for non-Christians, and more 
and more for the sons and daughters of Christian converts. In 
some of the missions in India, including our own, this stage 
of progress has already been reached, and it becomes a grave 
question whether we should any longer maintain schools ex- 
clusively for non-Christian pupils. In the beginning, in 
many cases, we opened these schools, and with difficulty pre- 
vailed upon the boys to enter them. All manner of expe- 
dients were adopted to win their confidence and secure 
their attendance. That state of things, however, has long 
since passed away; and now, while our converts are multi- 
plying rapidly, even though they belong mostly to the de- 
spised classes, we can place our schools upon a better footing. 
We open every school as a Christian school of the most un- 
mistakable character. We admit Christian boys as pupils, 
and all the instruction given is such as would be expected 
in a school of the most thoroughly Christian character. If, 
after we have founded such an institution, Hindu or Mo- 
hammedan boys wish to attend, we receive them gladly and 
thankfully, but they understand from the first that they con- 
fer no favor upon us by their coming. We accord them a 
privilege, and this one fact gives us a vantage ground in ap- 
proaching them, which is worth everything in our efforts to 


set Christianity before them in a favorable light. They 
place us under no obligation in any case, while we have it 
in our power to benefit them, both for this world and the 
next. In fact, it may be accepted as settled that the mission- 
school of the future, so far as our own field is concerned, will 
occupy a ground far in advance of that which it has held in 
the past. 

Turning now to the organization of our mission-schools, 
we find them diifering very widely indeed in many respects. 
The Government schools throughout the empire are graded 
with the greatest care, and the mission-schools, especially 
such as are aided from Government funds, are usually organ- 
ized upon the same or a similar model. Throughout North 
India the Government schools are divided, in the first place, 
into lower primary and upper. After this comes the middle 
school, which is carefully graded into seven different classes. 
After this comes the high-school, and lastly the college. 
The lower primary school, even when under the direction of 
a Government inspector, is often a very elementary school 
indeed. In fact, if the children in remote and illiterate 
neighborhoods learn to read and write a little, and possibly 
add a knowledge of the simple rules of arithmetic, the in- 
spector is satisfied. The teachers employed in such schools 
are themselves, if not illiterate, at least untaught, and know 
nothing about the improved teaching of modern times. The 
boys are exceedingly poor, and in many cases are not able to 
pay for school-books or even pencils. Those who can afford 
it, have a wooden slate ; that is, a thin board carefully smoothed 
on both sides, and in size and shape resembling an ordinary 
slate, on which the boys write, if able to procure ink, wash- 
ing off the ink after the board is once filled. A still more 
common practice, however, is that of heaping up a small 
quantity of sand beside the pupil, who lifts a little of the sand 
with his hand, and sifts it lightly over the board. He then 
proceeds to write with his finger, rubbing out mistakes when 
they occur, and sifting more sand upon the board. If 


unable to procure a board for the purpose, the boy simply 
sprinkles a little of the sand on the hard ground before him, 
and proceeds to write and cipher as cheerfully as if provided 
v/ith pencil and slate. 

In our elementary Christian schools we are obliged some- 
times to dispense with nearly all formality, and, in the absence 
of a school-room, hold our little schools, either in some shel- 
tered corner among the village houses, or, perhaps, under an 
adjacent tree. Most of our converts come from the lowest 
classes, whose children are never permitted to enter Govern- 
ment schools at all. I say never permitted ; I mean, not that 
there is any Government order to exclude them, but that 
such an uproar would be created if they attempted to take 
their places among the boys of the higher castes, that the 
school would have to be given up. The teachers do not de- 
sire such pupils; but even if they did, they would not be able 
to protect them in the school. The poor boys have been ac- 
customed to take the lowest place from their infancy, and 
count it no hardship to be excluded from the village school. 
When a Christian school, however, is opened, they can attend 
freely, and although at first all the higher caste boys will stay 
away, the school is none the less interesting and prosperous. 
As soon as possible a mud-walled hut is procured, which 
serves a double purpose of school and chapel. But in the 
absence of any building, both the day-school and the Sunday- 
school are often held under a tree, or even under the open 
sky. We have hundreds of these little schools scattered all 
over the country among the remote villages, and, as might be 
expected, many of them are not in a very satisfactory con- 
dition. We do not, however, feel discouraged on this ac- 
count, having abundant reason to be satisfied so long as we 
know that the young people will learn to read and write. 
Even so limited an education as this will enable them to com- 
mand respect among their fellows, and place their feet upon 
the first round of the ladder up which they may climb to a 
better position. We hope in time, and I trust very soon, to 


systematize this school-work so that qualified inspectors may- 
be appointed to go among the schools, examining the work of 
the teachers, helping them by pointing out improved meth- 
ods, and in a general way developing and superintending the 
whole work. 

Some years ago Dr. Goucher, of Baltimore, well known 
as a fast friend of missions to the heathen, undertook not 
only to support about one hundred village schools, but also to 
give a scholarship to the most promising boy or girl from 
each school, entitling the pupil to go to a central school at 
Moradabad, and receive an advanced education. This plan 
has worked admirably, and already a large number of our best 
workers have gone forth from these schools. As we year by 
year perfect our work, I hope to see a plan somewhat similar 
to this adopted everywhere. The education of the converts 
who are flocking to us will never become satisfactory until we 
not only teach the masses to read and write, but give the 
more promising boys and girls an advanced education, so that 
they may become leaders to their brethren and sisters. The 
Woman's Missionary Society first enabled us to test this kind 
of work by supporting a boarding-school for girls in the city 
of Moradabad. The girls were brought from villages in the 
surrounding district, and after being thoroughly drilled for 
two or three years, were sent back to their village homes at 
the time that they entered upon their married life. Very 
many of these girls are now useful women in their villages, 
and their influence has been found to be so marked that many 
of them might be regarded as veritable missionaries, sup- 
ported without cost to anybody, and yet doing a valuable 
work in their respective villages. 

In establishing boarding-schools, both English and 
Hindustani, we are obliged to recognize the different grades 
of society which exist in India, and provide schools which 
will be accessible to all classes. First of all, we have 
orphanages, in which hapless little children who otherwise 
would be left to wander, if not to perish, on the highway, are 


gathered in, fed, clothed, and educated. They are, of course, 
supported on the cheapest possible basis, and although they 
are always well fed, and according to the standard of India 
well clothed, yet even the poorest of our Christians do not 
care to send their children to be associated with them. 
Some reasons exist for their aversion to doing so, and 
whether we regard them as satisfactory or not, we are forced 
to recognize them. The people wish boarding-schools apart 
from the orphanages, in which their children may secure what 
in India is regarded as an advanced education. We accord- 
ingly provide a second grade of school, a little above the 
orphanage, and yet, as a matter of fact, not differing from 
it so far as the quality of the food or clothing is concerned. 
The children, however, are more respectable, and nearly all 
are sent to the school by their parents, although most of 
them are supported by funds from America. The best 
schools of this grade which we have are in the city of Mo- 
radabad. The one for girls contains about 150 boarders, 
who are supported at an average cost of about $1.50 a month 
for each pupil. This sum covers all expenses, including food, 
tuition, books, washing, servants, etc. The similar school 
for boys in Moradabad is a little more expensive, but does 
not materially differ from the girls^ school. Next above 
these institutions we have in the city of Lucknow two high- 
schools, each of which has recently been advanced to the 
college grade. The charge in these institutions is about $2.50 
a month, and the style of living is correspondingly higher 
than in the Moradabad schools. The reader in America may 
impatiently exclaim against making these distinctions, but we 
have long since learned that it is useless to fight against either 
wind or tide. The people of India, like the people of 
America, will send their children to schools which are near- 
est to their own social level. The very poorest can not send 
to the more expensive school, and those who are compara- 
tively well oflP will not send to the cheaper school. It is best 
for us to recognize facts, and push ahead, and do our work 


without stopping to attempt the impossible task of making 
them all go together. 

Next above the Lucknow schools we have a grade of 
English boarding-schools, in which the charge is sixteen 
rupees a month. The schools of this grade are chiefly pat- 
ronized by European and Eurasian parents; but a few of the 
native Christians who are able to afford it, send their children 
also, and from year to year, I doubt not, the number of such 
will steadily increase. Then above these we have a still 
higher grade, so far as the style of the school is concerned, 
in which the charges are from twenty-five to thirty rupees a 
month. If we would reach all India, from the lowest to the 
highest classes of society, we must make a provision some- 
what after this style. Our friends in America need not 
trouble themselves with the thought that we are thereby add- 
ing greatly to the expense of our educational work ; for our 
schools, if properly conducted, receive all the pupils they can 
provide for. We would have to have the same number in 
any case. 

I have spoken of the two colleges at Lucknow. That for 
boys is called the Lucknow Christian College. It existed 
first as a Christian boarding-school, then became a high- 
school, and in 1887 was affiliated with the Calcutta Univer- 
sity as a college. Dr. Waugh had charge of the high-school 
for two years during its earlier history ; but the institution 
has been for the most part identified with the life and labors 
of the late Dr. B. H. Badley. His work as a missionary, in- 
deed, was largely interwoven with the interests of this col- 
lege. It was the child of his prayers, and of his constant 
thoughts, and of his unremitting labors; and as long as the 
college endures his name will be associated with it. This 
college should be liberally sustained, and its resources in- 
creased without delay. The highest welfare of our Church 
in India depends, in a large measure, on the success of this 

The Woman's College in Lucknow is the outgrowth of a 



girls' boarding-school, which was founded by Miss Thoburn 
in 1870. At that time there were very few schools of a 
high grade for Christian girls in India. The impression pre- 
vailed widely, even in missionary circles, that native girls 
did not need more than a very elementary education. The 
opening of a boarding-school in which a good English edu- 
cation was to be given at once attracted attention in our part 
of India, and the 
school prospered from 
the first. Indeed, at 
that time there was 
only one similar 
school north of Cal- 
cutta the excellent 
boarding - school at 
Dehra Dun, under 
the care of the Amer- 
ican Presbyterian 
Mission. The school 
was affiliated with the 
Allahabad Univer- 
sity in 1886. Its 
school department is 
thronged, and a large 
entrance class has 
recently been en- 
rolled that is, can- 
didates for admis- 
sion to the freshman 
class. The College Department- ha but few pupils, owing 
to the fact that very few Indian girls remain unmarried 
long enough to pursue a college course, as well as to the 
other fact that hitherto it has been considered altogether 
exceptional, if not indeed impossible, for a young woman 
to pursue a college course. Among the teachers in the 
College Department is Miss Lilavati Singh, B. A., who 




was educated in the school, but subsequently took her de- 
gree of Bachelor of Arts in Calcutta. We hope to see her 
occupying the position of a professor in the college at an 
early day. I may add that this college is the first Christian 
woman's college ever established in Asia. 

While speaking of these colleges, it may be proper to 
give a brief account of our theological seminary and normal 
tjchool at Bareilly. The need of such an institution had been 
felt from the first; but we were not able to make a begin- 
ning until 1872, when a timely donation of $20,000, given 
by the Rev. D. W. Thomas, made the founding of such an 
institution possible. A small house, which had been built for 
a native preacher's family, was made to furnish lecture-rooms, 
while some cheap buildings that had been erected for native 
Christians were utilized for students' dormitories. Four years 
later Mr. Philo Remington, of Ilion, New York, gave five 
thousand dollars to aid in the erection of more suitable build- 
ings; and with this sum duplicated by the Missionary Society, 
^^ Remington Hall^' was completed and furnished. It is a 
brick structure, consisting of a central cruciform hall, sur- 
rounded by four class-rooms, filling out the building as a 
square, with a large library and reading-room on the top. To 
the left of this building, in 1890, a structure of one story, 
uniform in style, and consisting of two lecture-halls, was 
completed. The plan now is to build a similar one to the 
right as soon as funds can be secured. The three years' course 
of study pursued in this school is substantially that of any 
theological seminary in the United States, except that not so 
much is made of Hebrew and Greek. The institution has 
sent out 198 Indian missionaries and 48 Christian teachers. 
These workers are widely scattered among a population equal 
to that of the United States. The present attendance in the 
school is ^^ in the Theological Department, and 23 in the Nor- 
mal Department, making a total of 89. The teaching staff 
consists of one American missionary, assisted, to some extent, 
by an American missionary stationed in Bareilly, and five 


Indian teachers. It has been felt for some time that an ad- 
ditional missionary ought to be given to this work. 

The present endowment of the institution is about $50,- 
000, with buildings valued at |16,500. At least $50,000 
more shoukl be added immediately to the endowment. A 
large part of the income from this endowment is used in sup- 
porting the students, over half of whom have no resources 
of their own. Young men in India can not resort to the 
various expedients which are so commonly employed by stu- 
dents in America when working their way through college. 
Labor is so cheap, and the labor market so overstocked in 
every direction, that it would be vain for students to make 
such an attempt. Liberal Christian friends in America could 
not do a better work than add to the endowment of this ex- 
cellent and indispensable institution. 

Dr. T. J. Scott has been principal of our theological sem- 
inary throughout nearly all its history, and has become so 
closely identified with it, that it may be regarded as, in an im- 
portant sense, his own. He has been wholly devoted to this 
one work for many years, and is admirably adapted to the 
position. He has a more thorough knowledge of Hindustani, 
and a more correct and fluent use of it, than is common 
among missionaries, while his theological and general train- 
ing make him an invaluable man in any missionary capacity, 
but specially fits him for the principalship of a theological 

I can not close this chapter without noticing a peculiar 
adjunct to this theological school in the shape of a training- 
school for the wives of the students. This feature of the 
seminary might possibly be copied with advantage at least in 
one of our theological schools in America, where a large pro- 
portion of the students are married men. Mrs. Scott takes 
charge of a woman^s training-school, and perhaps is accom- 
plishing as much good in this exceptional way as even her 
husband, who instructs the young men. While these young 
men will fill the leading pulpits of our Hindustani Church 


in coming years, their wives will have very much to do, not 
only in molding the character of the congregations, but in 
influencing the characters of the preachers themselves. In 
any country such training would be invaluable to the wives 
of Christian ministers; but in India especially, where the peo- 
ple have so much yet to learn about family virtues and the 
Christian home-life in its best aspects, the value of such a 
School can not be too highly estimated. At the present time 
forty-five women are receiving instruction in Mrs. Scott's 
school. Some of these are women of rare character, and give 
promise of great usefulness in future life. 

Cl)apter XXY. 


IN the earlier days of our missionary work in India it was 
difficult, and in most cases impossible, to do much Sun- 
day-school work, owing to the lack of juvenile material. The 
native Christians were few in number, and while in every 
station where a dozen of their children, or even of the older 
people, could be collected, we organized Sunday-schools, yet 
for the first ten years or more these schools were all small, 
except in the stations where we had orphanages on which we 
could draw for attendance. It frequently occurred to us 
that a very great expansion of the work could be made if 
only the Hindu and Mohammedan boys could be induced to 
attend. As for girls, the habits and prejudices of the coun- 
try were such that we accepted it as settled that little or 
nothing could be dowe for them during the present genera- 
tion. It was difficult enough in some places to induce boys 
to attend a day-school, especially if it were known that read- 
ing the Bible was an unvarying condition of attendance. 
When, however, the little fellows became familiar with our 
school methods, and listened without fear or suspicion to the 
opening prayer, and joined not only in reading the Bible les- 
son, but in studying it carefully, and memorizing verses of 
Scripture, they were able to draw a clear line between this 
procedure and anything which partook exclusively of the 
character of Christian teaching or worship. They were fa- 
miliar with our Sunday services, not only from hearsay, but 
from occasional visits. Many of them would at times drop 
into the mission chapel to listen to the singing, or to see our 
manner of conducting Christian worship. They were pres- 



eut, however, solely as spectators, and in every instance where 
an attempt w^as made to induce them to take any part in the 
singing, or to become regular attendants, it always ended in , 
a panic which did more harm than good. We had all, there- 
fore, come to the conclusion that the Sunday-school, however 
valuable an agency it might prove in the future, was beyond 
our reach for the present, except so far as the little Christian 
community was concerned. 

In the year 1868 I was placed in charge of the mission 
in Garhwal, and established a boarding-school for boys at 
Paori, our central station in that province. These boys were 
all Hindus, and, in order to preserve their caste distinctions 
intact, arranged for their own food, and lived in buildings 
erected by the mission. They were separated for the time 
from their friends, and were thus directly under our influ- 
ence. Nearly all of them had come from remote villages, 
and had never seen or heard anything of Christianity until 
taking up their residence with us. In opening the school, I 
assumed at the outset that the Sunday-school was a part of 
the ordinary routine of the institution, and, without com- 
manding the boys to be present, quietly assumed that they 
would come. Without an exception, they all put in an ap- 
pearance, and during the two years in which I was in charge 
of that station, the Sunday-school embraced not only the 
Christians, but also all the boys of the boarding-school. 
This example was suggestive ; but the circumstances were so 
exceptional that it w^as not thought best to repeat that ex- 
periment elsewhere. A great change, however, was close at 
hand, and early in the year 1871 we discovered, on the one 
hand, that the -extreme timidity and suspicion of the people 
had been giving way to an extent which we had not realized, 
and, on the other, that Ave ourselves had all along been pay- 
ing more respect to this timidity than it really deserved. 
The great Sunday-school work in which our missionaries 
have since been engaged, so far as the incorporation of non- 
Christians into the schools was concerned, took its origin in 


a very simple way. Bishop Taylor was then holding meet- 
ings in Liicknow as an evangelist. He knew nothing of In- 
dia, and was wholly unable to appreciate the extreme aver- 
sion of the people to anything which might seem to commit 
them to a participation in Christian worship. One day, 
when a number of school-boys were in one of his meetings, 
where he was about to preach through an interpreter, he dis- 
covered that some of the boys understood a little English. 
He accordingly began to sing a simple hymn to them, and, 
after repeating a few couplets a number of times, it was ob- 
served that a number of the boys were beginning to sing 
with him. Thus encouraged, he went on, urging the boys, 
from time to time, to sing; and while the spectators were 
both interested and very much amused, a discovery was made 
which proved to be of the utmost importance to our work. 
That discovery was the fact that non-Christian boys could be 
induced to sing Christian hymns without creating a panic 
either in our schools or among the people outside. 

It so chanced that the Rev. Thomas Craven had recently 
arrived from America, and was just entering upon his work 
as a missionary in the city of Lucknow. Mr. Craven, like 
Bishop Taylor, knew little or nothing of the prejudices of the 
people, or of the extreme caution whicH had previously been 
observed lest these prejudices might be aroused. He was 
present when the boys made their first attempt to sing in the 
meeting mentioned above, and at once resolved to act upon 
the discovery which was then made. Going out into the 
street, he began to gather a few little fellows around him 
wherever he could, and interested and amused them by sing- 
ing simple couplets of Christian hymns to some of their own 
familiar Hindustani tunes. Both boys and older people 
were pleased and interested to hear a European sinf^ing in 
this manner, and very soon he would be surrounded by boys 
eager to hear him. Little by little he induced these boys to 
join in singing, and as the tunes were not foreign, but their 
own familiar airs, they saw no harm in singing them. The 


language, in many cases, was such as could be used by 
Hindus as well as Christians. In a week or two Mr. Craven, 
who chanced to have charge of our Sunday-school work in 
Lucknow, began to hold Sunday-schools in the rooms oc- 
cupied by our day-schools in different parts of the city, 
and by taking a few boys who could sing, he secured, not 
only the attention of the older people of the neighborhood, 
but their favorable consideration. The whole thing was new 
to them, and presented itself as apparently but another phase 
of the ordinary school- work which they knew was carried on 
in the buildings throughout the week. As a matter of fact, 
a large measure of the success which Mr. Craven achieved 
during that eventful year was owing to his own ignorance of 
the prejudices of the people. We had all been standing too 
much in awe of this on the one hand, perhaps, not observing 
carefully enough the change in public sentiment which had 
been going on, and, on the other, not trusting enough in the 
power of Christian effort when courageously undertaken on 
the simple lines wl^ich Christian workers are usually called 
to follow. 

Before the close of 1871 we had, perhaps, a dozen Sunday- 
schools organized and in successful operation in the city of 
Lucknow alone. These Sunday-schools were, however, little 
more than Christian singing-schools of the most elementary 
character. In fact, song w^as almost everything at first. We 
cared little for the conventional routine of Sunday-schools in 
Christian lands, provided we could get the boys to attend 
and secure a favorable hearing for the message which we 
gave them. From the first, however, each school was opened 
with the Lord's Prayer, and closed by a short address from 
the superintendent. This address, especially when the super- 
intendent had a familiar use of the Hindustani, would often 
take the form of a brief sermon, and as the doors and win- 
dows of the school-rooms were always crowded with adults 
eager to see the novel spectacle within, the superintendent 
had an excellent opportunity for preaching. As time went 


on, a better organization of the schools, was effected, and they 
became more worthy in every respect of the name which 
they bore. The good work was extended also to the girls, 
as far as circumstances would permit. Not only in the 
zenanas of the city, where small schools had been carried on, 
but among the lower classes in a more open way, wherever 
a day-school had been held a Sunday-school was established, 
and as many women and girls gathered into it as possible. 
Then as now, however, these schools for girls were relatively 
not only few in number, but much smaller than those for 
boys. This is a difficulty which can only be overcome by 
time. With the exception of very small children, parents 
will not permit their girls to- go very far from their own 
doors to attend a Sunday-school, or any other gathering, no 
matter how attractive it may be. 

At that time our English church in Lucknow had a mem- 
bership which perhaps did not exceed fifty persons. These 
persons were, however. Christians in the best sense of the 
word, and many of them engaged in the new Sunday-school 
work which had been opened in the city with a zeal and suc- 
cess which I have never since seen equaled in India or else- 
where. . By the close of the second year we had more than a 
thousand children in Sunday-school in the city of Lucknow 
alone, and the superintendence and most of the teaching of 
these schools was the voluntary work of the members of our 
English church. At that time we had just commenced our 
outward movement among the English-speaking people of 
India, and as I looked at what was done in Lucknow, I was 
led to cherish the brightest hopes for the future of our work 
in India, when English churches of like character should be 
established in every city, and all the people thus enlisted in 
direct missionary work. These hopes, I regret to say, have 
not been realized, nor has the good work that was commenced 
by the members of our English church in those early days 
been kept up, as we had fondly expected. A few of those 
same members who yet linger among us are still found at 


their posts, but unhappy controversies sprang up In later 
years, and the good feeling which at first prevailed, was in- 
terrupted more than once by influences which perhaps were 
inevitable, but which were none the less deplorable. I still, 
however, cling to the hope and belief that when all the Eu- 
ropean Christians of India, who are really true believers, are 
led to see their opportunity and their duty in this matter, they 
will rise up in their strength and do wonders in giving the 
gospel to the millions of Hindus and Mohammedans among 
whom they live. 

From Lucknow, as a center, this new Sunday-school 
work spread throughout the North India Conference, and in 
a very few years began to attract the attention of mission- 
aries in all parts of India. In every station the schools 
were commenced in much the same way, but in the course 
of years became more thoroughly organized, and were so 
used as to become not only a means of doing good to the 
boys who attended, but were made a powerful missionary 
agency among the adults without. The informal manner in 
which many of these schools have always been conducted, has, 
as might have been expected, exposed them to no little 
criticism ; but the men on the spot, who understood what 
they were doing, and who perceived clearly the far-reaching 
influence of this work, wisely paid little attention to the 
criticism, or even censure, which was leveled at them by per- 
sons who, owing to distance, could not correctly estimate 
the value of such a work. The gospel "sounded forth" from 
each school in a manner which had not been anticipated, and 
yet which proved very eflective. Whatever else the boys 
failed to learn, they all learned to sing our Christian hymns, 
and in the towns and villages at all hours their voices would 
be heard by hundreds and thousands who otherwise would 
nevfr have listened to a gospel sound. It has been said of 
our Methodist people all over the world that they have never 
leaiued their theology, but that it has been "sung into 
them.'^ In an important sense this remark will apply to 


hundreds of thousands of the people in North India. They 
have never heard a word of gospel truth excepting as it has 
reached them through the medium of the simple Christian 
hymns which they have heard the Sunday-school boys sing- 
ing. Older people sometimes learn these hymns from their 
children, being attracted by the native airs with which they" 
have been familiar from their childhood. Then, again, these 
boys are taught to memorize verses. A small ticket is given 
them, Avith a verse of Scripture on it, and each boy is required 
to memorize this before the following Sabbath. All children 
in India are exceedingly fond of memorizing, and the only 
idea which the people generally have of learning, consists in 
the one accomplishment of meuiorizing what is put before 
them. In school they invariably read at the top of their 
voices, as used to be the custom three-quarters of a century 
ago in the United States. A boy in a village wishing to 
memorize his verse will go down the street repeating it at the 
top of his voice, perhaps a hundred times in the course of a 
few minutes. He continues the process as he sits by his 
mother's door in the evening, or as he watches the cows and 
goats at pasture in the fields. In this way thousands upon 
thousands are hearing precious words of truth, repeated, it is 
true, in the most careless manner possible, but yet so repeated 
that the words will iix themselves in the memory of the 
hearer, and where they can not but in time produce an im- 

Still another good effect of this work is that the people 
are made familiar with w^hat is substantially an act of Chris- 
tian worship. In earlier days most of them stood in terror 
of anything of the kind, fancying, in their superstitious ig- 
norance, that all manner of evils might come to them if they 
ventured to come in contact with Christians engaged in an 
act of religious worship. It is worth more than the reader 
in America can appreciate to have hundreds of thousands of 
the people become familiar with the spectacle of a congregation 
gathered together, joining in prayer, singing songs of praise 


to God, and otherwise going through the routine of ordinary 
Christian worship. Some good people, however, have objected 
to this work upon this very ground. To them it seems too 
much like degrading our w^orship, or making it a too familiar 
exercise, so that the people will learn to look upon it with 
indiiference, if not with contempt. Others, again, object that 
boys who are not Christians are taught to repeat the Lord's 
Prayer, which they regard as altogether improper, if not 
morally wrong. The average Christian of modern times is 
more of a Jew than people generally suspect. A great deal 
of ancient Judaism has filtered down through the ages, and 
affects even intelligent Christians at the present day to an 
extent which sometimes hinders their usefulness, and keeps 
no little light from shining into their own minds. The word 
"heathen,'^ on the lips of the average Christian in England 
or America, to say nothing of India, is often a mere syno- 
nym for*' the word "Gentile," as used by the ancient Jews; 
and hence good people are sometimes troubled at the thoug;ht 
of heathen boys that is to say, boys who, in their own 
homes, worship idols joining with Christians in repeating 
the Lord's Prayer. The whole procedure seems to them too 
much like taking the children's bread and casting it to dogs. 
I need hardly say that this faint reflection of Jewish preju- 
dice should have no place in a missionary's heart. We place 
all these dear little folks, boys and girls, Hindus, Mohamme- 
dans, and Christians, upon exactly the same basis. AVe 
teach them that God is their Father in heaven, and do not 
pause to qualify the statement in any way whatever. We 
teach them to look up to him and say, " Our Father," 
without the slightest hesitation. We teach them to sing 
songs of praise to him, believing that he looks down with 
pleasure upon every such gathering of little folks, without 
regard to their name, language, race, or religious profession. 
We have not the slightest scruple in teaching every human 
being to begin at once to look heavenward, and say, " Our 
Father who art in heaven." We believe that thousands of 


these children have learned to repeat the Lord's Prayer with 
sincerity, and to sing our hymns, not only with the under- 
standing, but at times with the spirit also. 

From the very first our chief hindrance in this Sunday- 
school work was that of finding suitable officers and teachers 
for the schools. In the beginning we had but few Hindu- 
stani Christians who were fitted for such work, while our 
English membership was also small, and not a few of the best 
of our people were unable to sing or even speak in Hindu- 
stani. In some cases a zealous Scotchman would be seen, 
with an interpreter at his side, managing the school as best 
he could ; while in another school an Englishman would per- 
haps be seen in charge, talking to the boys in broken sen- 
tences, such as would have provoked great mirth had the 
school been composed of American boys listening to a for- 
eigner, but which were listened to with all gravity by the 
little Orientals, who seldom laugh or even smile in the face 
of any one who blunders, no matter how seriously, in the use 
of their language. The work continued to spread rapidly, 
and was taken up in all the stations of our mission in Oudh 
and Rohilkhand. In order to meet the sudden and unex- 
pected demand for this kind of work, some of the mission- 
aries began to hold schools in two or three different places in 
the course of the same Sunday. As a general rule, in those 
days, not more than two or three officers and teachers were 
assigned to each school. These would go out, perhaps at six 
o'clock in the morning, and hold a school in the usual form; 
then proceed to another point, and hold a second school at eight 
o'clock. The same workers would sometimes go out again 
in the evening, and hold a school at five or six o'clock in a 
third place. In this way a vast amount of work could be. 
done by a comparatively small force of workers ; but even by 
duplicating and triplicating the efforts of the teachers in this 
way, the demand for such schools could not be fully met; 
and after a time some of the missionaries began to hold 
Sunday-schools on week-days. This raised a somewhat amus- 


ing, and yet very practical, question as to whether such 
schools were entitled to a place in the table of Sunday-school 
statistics, or whether they should be called Sunday-schools at 
all. They were conducted in precisely the same way as the 
regular schools held on the Lord's-day, and, so far as any 
one could judge, were quite as useful in every respect, unless 
it was in the single fact that they did not mark the Lord^s- 
day as in any sense different from the other days of the week. 
As time has passed, however, workers have iucreased and 
multiplied with the increase of our native Christians, both in 
numbers and intelligence, so that it is probable that we shall 
soon have a sufficient supply of Sunday-school teachers. 

Another difficulty which was experienced almost at the 
outset was that of finding suitable buildings in which to hold 
the schools. The chapels, school-houses, and rented rooms 
which were used at first soon proved utterly insufficient for 
the thousands of boys who were eager to meet with us in 
Sunday-schools. The workers were not long in deciding how 
to meet this difficulty. In the absence of buildings, they as- 
sembled their boys under trees, and sometimes, in the early 
morning or late evening, under the open sky. The superin- 
tendent would take his cane and draw straight lines, about 
four feet apart, on the hard-baked earth, arranged in the same 
order as the seats in a church, with an aisle three or four feet 
wide separating the two rows of lines. The boys would 
crowd in, and seat themselves on the ground in their usual 
style, with their toes touching the line, so that they sat in 
perfect order. When all were seated, the superintendent 
would call on them to rise and sing a hymn, after w^hich all 
joined in repeating the Lord's Prayer. Then they would 
sing again a number of hymns, after which, if enough teachers 
were present, they would resume their seats, and repeat the 
verse or verses which they had learned during the week. 
If sufficiently advanced, they would also receive a brief 
exposition of the lesson of the day, after which there would 
be some more singing followed perhaps by a general cate- 


chizing of the school, and then an address from the superin- 

Some two or three years ago this kind of open-air Sun- 
day-school work was pushed with great energy in some sec- 
tions, to such an extent that these schools were at times held 
in the open squares of the cities and towns, and prosecuted 
with equal zeal on Sundays, and week-days. Thousands of 
men and boys, and in some cases even women and girls, 
were enrolled, and thus publicly taught. This raised anew 
the old questions: What is a Sunday-school? How many oi 
these schools can legitimately be included in the Sunday^ 
school statistics? The decision reached was, that such 
schools, held on ordinary days, were to be termed Bible- 
schools, and reported separately. It was thought best to 
keep the Sunday-school, as far as possible, so distinct from 
everything else resembling it, that its character, not only as 
a school but a worshiping assembly, might not be lost. I 
had a few opportunities of examining this kind of work, and 
was surprised to find that boys of the most thoughtless and 
wild description, thus called together in the public street, 
could really learn a great deal ot precious truth in the course 
of a half-hour, provided the process was repeated two or 
three times a week. I was surprised, and both amused and 
saddened, on one occasion, when, on going through a public 
jail, I was addressed by five boys who had been imprisoned 
for some petty offense, and who assured me that they be- 
longed to our Sunday-schools. They proved their assertion 
by repeating hymns .and portions of the Catechism, and 
seemed to have profited, intellectually at least, by the very 
meager opportunities which they had enjoyed. I saw noth- 
ing discouraging in the fact that such boys had found a lodg- 
ment in the public jail. They were briglit boys in their way, 
and the same acuteness which had drawn them to the open 
Sunday-school in the street, had also unfortunately lodged 
them in their prison home. We have to take both boys and 
men as they come, and it seemed to me that we ought to be 


thankful that the poor little fellows had learned to sing a 
few hymn before being shut up within the dark walls of 
the public prison. 

What has been the result of this work? As expressed in 
statistics it has far exceeded our anticipations. We have 
1,374 Sunday-schools in operation in India, with more than 
55,000 pupils. We have been led to give more attention to 
this department of our work than any other mission in In- 
dia, and consequently stand at the head of all the missionary 
organizations in the empire in our Sunday-school work. God 
has wonderfully led us in this department of our work, and 
we have no thought of slackening our efforts, but hope that, 
as the years go by, we shall not only increase the great army 
of Sunday-school workers and pupils which he has given us, 
but that we shall reap rich harvests when the precious seed 
which has been sown through this agency shall have had 
time to spring up and bring forth fruit. 

moiiamme:dan young women. 

Cl)apber XXYI. 

AFGREIGrN visitor to the Centennial Exhibition asked 
why the peasantry did not appear among the multitudes 
thronging the gates. He had not before been in a country 
where there was no visible class distinction. That which is 
so conspicuously absent in America is the most striking 
characteristic of an Indian crowd. As no country in the 
world has so many caste distinctions, so no one presents such 
strongly marked differences in the appearance and dress of 
the people who represent its various races, religions, and oc- 
cupations. The women of India, having less intercourse 
with each other than the men, have for ages maintained 
these differences with little or no modification. If it would 
be possible to bring them all together in one great assembly, 
it would still be as easy to classify them as when we meet 
them in their own cities or zenanas. In features they are much 
like Europeans ; but there are as many types as among the 
western Aryans, and these differ from one another as plainly 
as the German differs from the Irishman, or the Swede from 
the Italian. There is the wide forehead, arched eyebrows,' 
and olive skin of the Mogul, the oval face and well-set 
head of the Bengali, the small regular features of the 
Marathi, the efficient, business-like expression of the Parsee, 

* This and the two following chapters have been kindly written for 
this book by Miss Isabella Thoburn, Principal of the Woman's Christian 
College of Lucknow. A few slight changes have been introduced, but 
none of importance. Miss Thoburn's long residence in India, and in- 
timate association with Indian women of all classes, fit her in an 
eminent degree for the task which is here fulfilled. 




the shrinking reserve of the Hindustani, the low-browed 
Madrasi, and so on down the list. 

As in countenance, so in costumes; and in a hundred 
varying peculiarities do the women of India maintain, gen- 
eration after generation, lines of distinction which never are 
effaced. The Brahmani of Hindustan, like the Bengali of 


all castes, wears a "sa/*i." This is one garment, about five 
yards long and a yard and a quarter wide, so arranged as to 
cover the whole person gracefully, and, to one initiated, re- 
quiring neither pin nor button. The right arm is left free 
and the right shoulder partially exposed. This costume is 
very pretty. It is generally white, but is sometimes colored, 
and often with a narrow woven border of blue, red, or yel- 
low. The Madras ^ari is differently arranged, and does not 


cover the head. The Marathi puts hers on in still another 
way ; but the Gujarati has the prettiest style of all, and her 
garment is often rich in colors and embroidery. The lower 
Hindustani castes wear skirts heavily trimmed with colored 
silk and tinsel braid, small jackets with short sleeves, and a 
^^ cAac?ar," a garment which is two and a half yards long, and 
one and a quarter wide. One end covers the head, and the 
other is brought across in front, and thrown over the left 
shoulder. This cliadar may be of any material plain or em- 
broidered, white or colored. It is often edged with gold or 
silver braid. The working-women are known by their woven 
skirts of dark gingham, either checked or striped, with a 
deeper stripe of the prevailing color at the bottom. The web 
is made the width and length of one skirt. These women 
often wear blue or red chadars, and a group of them at work 
among the wheat-fields heightens the beauty of an always 
bright landscape. The women of the mountains wear a 
jacket, with a pretty vest, in which another material of some 
bright color has been set, and the chadar falls back from 
the head so as not to hide this piece of finery. The skirts of 
Nepali women contain yards and yards of cloth, so full that 
they stand out as though hooped. 

Very different from all of these are the Mohammedan 
costumes, in which trousers invariably take the place of 
skirts. These are sometimes close-fitting a style which, it 
is unnecessary to say, is not at all pretty. The most com- 
monly worn fits closely at the hips, and is gored to a great 
width at the bottom, the number of gores and the width de- 
pending entirely upon the ability of the wearer. A hand-i 
some pair would sweep the floor a yard behind ; but they are 
caught up in folds in front, and tucked in at the waist, hang- 
ing like large ruffles, and leaving anything but a pretty 
effect at the back. The jacket is a little vest-like thing, all 
embroidery and trimming, which leaves bare the arm and a 
hand-breadth of the body between its hem and the band of 
the trousers. The chadar is generally net, or some very thin 


material Avhich is often allowed to fall back on the shoulder. 
It is always heavily trimmed. The Mohammedans wear 
much more color than the Hindus; the order being reversed 
with them, the well-to-do classes wearing color, and the 
working-women white. 

All these women, of all classes, are loaded with jewelry ; 
indeed, it largely constitutes the dress in their eyes. There 
are pendants falling on the forehead ; as many ear-rings as 
can find place from tip to tip of the ear; nose-rings so large 
that they can sometimes be tied back to the ear-rings, or so 
small that they are mere buttons on the nostril a Mo- 
hammedan preference; necklaces in close bands around the 
throat, and suspended in larger and larger circles to the 
waist; armlets above the elbows, and bracelets by the dozen 
below ; rings on the fingers, rings on the toes, anklets, and 
instep ornaments, and chains at the waist. Some of the toe- 
rings have little bells attached, and the bearer " makes music 
wherever she goes,'' or at least makes a jingle. With such 
loads to carry, it is a happy thing that these women have 
little walking or working to do; and yet the poor laborers, 
who can not afford the precious metals, array themselves in 
heavy pewter or earthenware ornaments. Shellac is made 
into very pretty bracelets of all colors and designs, and is 
much worn, with either gold or silver bands between. Gold 
is never worn on the feet of even the most wealthy. 

It is not only that Indian women like ornaments and 
jewels, but because they are a sort of deposit of money, that 
they are worn. If a woman has money to lay by, she has it 
made up into bangles, and puts them on her arms, or per- 
haps locks them in a box. When a time of need comes, 
they are either pawned or sold. "What will you do now?*' 
was asked a Christian widow who had lost her employment 
for conscience' sake. " Eat these," she replied, holding out 
her arms to show a pair of heavy silver bracelets. She ate 
them, and when a new service gave her a surplus again, she 
bad bracelets made for another rainy day. 


A bride's dowry consists largely of jewels, which it is 
considered dishonorable for her husband to sell. A Moham- 
medan wife may sue her husband if he disposes of her jewels 
without her consent. 

Only well-to-do people are confined to the zenana,* and 
only those of some nationalities. In South India, women 
may go out much more freely than in the North. The 
Marathi women have much freedom, and the Parsees walk 
where they will, and even drive out with their husbands. 
Thepar^iaf system is more generally observed where there 
is most Mohammedanism, and most strictly in cities that 
were Mohammedan capitals. Islam is to blame for the 
system. Oriental women always lived more or less in the 
background, but Mohammed shut them within walls and 
turned the key. When his religion was brought to India 
this custom came with it. The invading kings and their 
courtiers forcibly added Hindu women to their harems, and, 
to protect their wives and daughters from such outrages, the 
Hindus kept them indoors. Gradually the Mohammedan 
zenana system came to prevail among them as among their 
Conquerors, and in proportion to their natural reserve and 
timidity, it became much more strictly observed. In course 
of time seclusion became the Indian standard -of respectabil- 
ity. If a man could afford to keep his wife and daughters 
in idleness, they were shut up in a zenana not unwillingly ; 
for they, too, aspired to the higher social position. This se- 
clusion is rigidly enforced in the cities; but in villages and 
remote towns the women only keep in the background, and 

* The word zenana is of Persian origin, and usually means the 
part of a house set apart for the exclusive use of the women. Some- 
times, however, the term is used to designate the inmates of women's 
apartments, and in missionary circles it is often applied, somewhat 
loosely, to all forms of work among the higher classes of women, carried 
on in their own homes. In popular language, a " zenana woman " is 
one who lives in Oriental seclusion. 

t The parda, mentioned below, means, literally, the veil or screen, 
and is the common term used for the seclusion of women. 


draw their chadars well over their faces when men are near. 
They would never, under any circumstances, enter into con- 
versation with a man. Among Hindus a woman is more 
careful to veil her face in the presence of her husband than 
of even remote male relatives; but a Mohammedan woman, 
except for a short time after marriage, looks her husband in 
the face, and talks to him freely. When she displeases him 
he reminds her with high disdain that he is a maw, and if 
she is a pious Mussulmani, she will at once be meekly silent; 
if not, there will be an argument, in which she will have 
the last word at any cost. 

The Indian house of the better class is cheerless enough 
to outward appearance a four-walled prison, with one door 
and no windows but within it always contains an open 
court, into which the sun can shine by day and the stars 
look down at night. The rooms may be small and dark, 
but they open on verandas, and these open on the court, 
and the veranda is the family dwelling-place. They sleep in 
the little rooms in the coldest weather, and in the court in 
the warmest, or up on the flat roof, around which the outer 
wall extends high enough to form a screen. There are 
sometimes small windows in this wall if larger than 
pigeon-holes, they are closely latticed and through these the 
women may look into the street below. Not much of a 
view; for the dwelling-houses of respectable people are not 
on the bazaar, but in narrow lanes, where the outstretched 
hands may almost touch opposite houses. The court gener- 
ally contains a well, and sometimes a tree, and in large es- 
tablishments of the rich it expands into a small garden. 
Many a poor little place is made bright by a bed of mari- 
golds, or sacred by a carefully kept tulsi plant (an object of 
worship) ; but broken or unused househould utensils and 
furniture, and a sadly kept drain, often detract from this 
otherwise pleasant part of the house. In large zenanas there 
is often an inner court for the womem and the household 
work; but the average Indian house contains a little ante- 


room, sometimes used for a stable, sometimes for a passage 
only, with a small room to the right or left of this where the 
men sit and talk and receive their friends. Within, on one 
side of the court, is the kitchen and store-room, and on the 
other two sides the sitting and bed-rooms. The furniture of 
the same average house consists of beds which are light cots 
that can be be lifted in and out at pleasure, and the bed- 
ding of which is generally rolled up by day the boxes which 
contain the family clothing, a pan-box, a few pictures of 
wonderful many-armed and many-headed gods and goddesses, 
a low desk, if the master of the house has literary tastes, and 
a few mats, and perhaps cushions. In Mohammedan houses 
there is a wooden platform about a foot high, on which a 
cotton mat is spread, and here the women sit, or recline, 
much of their time. In fine houses a mat covers the floor, a 
white cloth is spread on this, and bolsters and cushions placed 
here and there to support head, back, or elbow, as the sitter 
may wish. 

The kitchen of a Hindu house is its most attractive part. 
It is small, but absolutely clean. The stove is of the 
rudest simply a little fireplace of clay or brick, built against 
the wall, and without a chimney. The fireplace and the wall 
behind and the floor in front, after each meal, are brushed 
over with a clay wash, which hardens and dries, and leaves a 
spotless surface. The brass plates, cups, spoons, and kettles, 
scoured until they shine like mirrors, are then leaned against 
the wall, to await their next service. The Mohammedans do 
not use brass, but copper, covered with a surface of tin ; and 
neither vessels nor kitchen are kept remarkably clean, but 
often the reverse. 

But there is not a plate and cup for each member of the 
family. The Indian home has no family table or family meal. 
The food is prepared, and a portion set before the master of 
the house, if he i^ ready to eat, and, if they are present, the 
sons or other male relatives may eat with him ; then the 
women all together, if convenient, but otherwise as it suits 


them, sitting near the hearth, or taking the plate to the plat- 
form, or the cot, which is a seat by day and a bed by night. 
If guests are invited, a table-cloth, or crumb-cloth for there 
is no table is spread on the floor and the food placed upon 
it, while the guests sit around, but not the family. Like 
Abraham, the prince of Orientals, the host serves his guests, 
standing meanwhile, or the hostess, if they be women. The 
meal consists generally of two dishes, with sometimes an ad- 
ditional relish of catsup or some hot sauce. The fast is 
broken in the morning with fruit or milk, or something kept 
over from the day before. The breakfast is taken at early 
noon, and the dinner in the evening. If a lunch is taken, it 
"^ consists of a little sweetmeat; but even the well-to-do are 
temperate people, and not given to much eating; the poor 
can not afford it. Multitudes have only one cooked meal a 
day, and make the other of a handful of parched grain. 

A good Hindu wife cooks her husband's food with ker 
own hands, although she may have servants in the house. 
She also prepares the food of an honored guest. Aside from 
such labors, Hindu women have little to do. If they wear 
the sari^ it requires no sewing ; and the elaborate trimming 
of the skirts and jackets of other castes is generally done by 
a tailor. The same is true of the trousers of a Mohammedan 
lady ; very few make their own, and even the village women 
who work in the fields have their plain sewing done by a 
tailor. The Mohammedan woman who can afford to keep a 
servant does not cook for any one, and, except putting on and 
off her jewels, and preparing betel-nut and j9a?i, she is abso- 
lutely idle. Sometimes she does a little embroidery, and 
keeps a piece to show her visitors. The pan-box contains 
an upper tray, on which the fresh leaves are placed. When 
this is removed, there is seen under it a number of little cups, 
containing the different articles used in the preparation 
betel-nut, cardamom-seeds, cocoa-nut, cloves, catechu, and 
lime. One or two leaves are laid on the palm, the lime and 
catechu spread on, the betel-nut cut in small pieces by a knife 


made for the purpose, and cardamom and cocoa-nut added, 
and then the leaf is neatly folded over and pinned with a 
clove. The whole must be taken into the mouth at once, )<v 
and what with the distended cheek and the red catechu on 
the lips and teeth, it in no way adds to the beauty of the face. 

, It is slightly stimulating, perhaps equal to a mild cup of te?. 

y It is always offered to a guest. It is taken after each meal. 
It is prepared for the men of the family when they come in 
or go out, taken as refreshment at any time of the day, and 
in process of time it becomes such a habit that elderly peo- 
ple men and women^are seldom seen without a 'pan in 
their mouths. This is especially true of Mohammedan 
women, whose beautiful teeth in girlhood become quite 
spoiled by its use. 

As the women neither sew nor read, their daily re- 
ligious duties are, to many, their only occupation. Prepar- 
ing the flowers and sweetmeats, and performing the daily 
worship, is not only a pious act, but it is a relief from the 
monotonous idleness of the day. This is done in a little 
room set apart for the purpose. Another religious act is a 
relief from the four- walled seclusion in which they live. On 
all sacred days and full moons, and whenever there is special 
reason for the act, the elderly women of the family are per- 
mitted to go to the river to bathe. They put on a large 
outer chadar, much like a sheet, and draw it over the face so 
closely as almost to hide it, and take with them an offering 
according to their ability; it may be a handful of rice, or 
fruit, or sweetmeats; if it is money, it is generally copper. 
They go into the water with one garment on, and on coming 
out a dry chadar is put round the shoulders, while the wet 
one is dropped on the ground, and afterward wrung out and 
carried home. The bath and change of garments is made 
with the utmost modesty and care. After coming up from 
the river, an offering is made to the priest, who sits con- 
veniently near; then some of the sacred water is taken 
home, for household use, in the little brass cup she has 




brought for the purpose; and perhaps, also, some flowers from 
before the god are taken in exchange for those she has offered. 

Mohammedan women, if they are pious, pray five times a 
day, standing or bowing on their praying-mat, with their 
faces toward Mecca. They also fast rigidly during the 
Ramzan, and weep themselves blind during the Moharram, 
special mourning services being held in the houses ; but they 
seldom go to the mosques. 

The religion of Hindu women is obedience to priests and 
husbands, and superstitious reverence for all the rites, tra- 
ditions, and customs of their faith. This means more than 
any one can comprehend who has grown up free in thought 
and action. It enters into all the affairs of life, from birth 
to death. In eating and drinking, in sickness and health, in 
marrying and giving in marriage, in making and receiving 
visits, the gods, the stars, and all the elements are consulted, 
either through the priests or through signs that have come 
to mean good or evil, with a fear that nothing in reason can 
overcome. The cutting of a boy's hair is a religious observ- 
ance, and sometimes a pilgrimage is undertaken in order to 
perform it in a sacred place. Small-pox is a goddess who 
will be offended if she is treated as an unwelcome guest, and 
will send greater calamities upon those who are unwilling to 
receive her; therefore vaccination is resisted. All sickness 
comes from the displeasure of angry gods, or from the influ- 
ence of evil spirits, and these must be propitiated by charms 
and incantations, by feeding Brahmans, going on pilgrimages, 
and other difficult and expensive acts. Hinduism is not a 
religion of love, but of fear; and the anger of the gods, which 
descends in curses upon those who offend them, is dreaded 
at every step. This anger is not manifested when their devo- 
tees commit sin as we understand it not for acts of false- 
hood, impuiity, or dishonesty; on the contrary, they could 
invoke the aid of the gods in these things but for omitting 
some rite, neglecting some gift to priest or temple, or break- 
ing a custom that time has made sacred. Next to the gods 


they fear evil spirits. To keep these off, amulets are worn 
on neck and arms, and even tied to the hair, if the head 
aches. They may consist of relics brought from sacred 
places, the name of a god carved on carnelian or bloodstone, 
or a line of the Koran inclosed in a little silver box. Super- 
stition is by no means confined to the women ; but it is more 
marked among them, and especially in the villages its name 
is legion. Every poor, nervous, hysterical creature is thought 
to be possessed, and is often beaten, or burned with hot irons, 
to drive the demons away. 

There are no gentler, more kind-hearted, and unselfish 
women in the world than the women of India. The Hindu 
wife is not only devoted to her husband as a religious duty, 
but to him and her children, and all her friends, from the 
love of her heart. She can do nothing to show it but pre- 
pare their food when they are well, and wail over them when 
they sicken or die; and in her blind affection she is often the 
worst enemy of those dearest to her. She must have them 
within sight and touch, although health, education, or pro- 
motion require their absence ; they receive her sympathetic 
approval when they are wrong, if the wrong should bring 
them into any trouble, and she has fierce wrath for all who 
think them guilty. She does not dream that she has anything 
to do in forming the character of her children. If she 
is angry enough to lose self-control, she punishes for the 
merest trifle ; otherwise no notice is taken of the gravest mis- 
demeanors, and falsehood and bad language are thought evi- 
dence of precocity, and praised accordingly. This is the 
untaught Hindu ; but the educated Christian mother of India 
has the virtues of the Christian woman of other countries. 

There are few American newspapers that have not pub- 
lished, in an item or editorial article during the past few 
years, a statement to the effect that there are 21,000,000 
widows in India; of these, 670,000 are under nineteen years 
of age! Many of them are little children. An infant may 
be married, or even betrothed, and, if left a widow, can not 


remarry. It is parental duty to get a daughter married, and 
that when she is a child; and so there are no unmarried 
women of a suitable age for a mature widower, and he must 
marry a child, even though he be an old man. A reform 
measure proposed by the last Indian National Congress was, 
that a man of sixty be forbidden to marry a girl under 
twelve ! 

Suttee was abolished by law during Lord Bentinck's ad- 
ministration, in 1829. Gradually the native States, led by 
their English-educated chief men, and acting under strong 
pressure from the English Government, followed the example 
set in British territory, until the last prohibitory law was 
made in Nepal a few years ago. 

It was honorable to die with her husband, and the widow 
thus won glory here and heaven hereafter; but to live was 
to bear continual reproach. The sacred books and laws of 
the Hindus never commanded suttee ; but they recommended 
perpetual widowhood and a life of privation as a means of 
attaining a better state hereafter, and release from the penalty 
of being born again as a woman. Except with little girls, 
this hard life is often accepted as a necessity of the widow's 
lot; and in many instances she subjects herself to more severe 
penances than her friends require, being guided by her priests 
and her own fears. The belief is that widowhood is a pun- 
ishment for some sin, either in this or a previous birth; and 
the woman who has offended her gods to the extent of de- 
serving such punishment, is deemed as unworthy as one whose 
known sin makes her an outcast from polite society in other 

And yet there were, here and there, liberal-minded fam- 
ilies, even in the past, and one occasionally meets an aged 
widow who was saved from suttee by an orthodox Hindu 
father, and frequently, also, happy widows in homes where 
they have won for themselves affection and influence. They 
are, in such cases, what the maiden aunt or grandmother is 
in Christian families to be consulted and considered in all 


important matters, and kindly cared for by those for whom 
they care in turn. It is a cause of thankfulness that the 
people of India are not all as bad as their systems. 

In 1856 the remarriage of widows was legalized by Lord 
Canning; but the law was for years after almost a dead letter. 
The feeling against it was almost too strong for a merely 
permissive law to overcome; and even now the man who 
marries a widow risks social ostracism, and must pay a large 
fee to the Brahman who performs the ceremony. A few 
years ago, each such case was loudly proclaimed, widely pub- 
lished ; but they are becoming, by slow degrees, more fre- 
quent and less notable. Like child- marriage, compulsory 
widowhood will pass gradually away. 

To overcome an age-intrenched Hindu custom is like 
leveling one of the Himalayas possible, but with infinite 
pains of effort and suspense. The reformers are now attack- 
ing child-marriage, but with such slow success that they 
would be discouraged if they had not the reformer's faith. 
The last Legislative Council passed a law forbidding mar- 
riage under twelve years a step that former administrations 
feared to take, believing that the empire was not ready for 
such extreme measures! They were right, if ready means pre- 
pared to accept them without protest or dissent. Mass-meet- 
ings were held all over the land while the act was pending, 
much talking was done, and many fiery appeals sent up to 
Government; but when the bill became a law, the disturbance 
subsided to occasional low mutterings from the most conserv- 
ative. The extent of sympathy with the established order of 
things may be imagined when even the late Mrs. Joshee, ed- 
ucated and studying medicine in America, was unwilling to 
admit that child-marriage was an evil. Her own marriage, at 
nine, had been to a relative, her teacher and best friend; 
and with this experience, and the traditions of her people, 
she had been unconscious of the suiferings of others. She 
would have changed her opinion if she had lived to practice 
her profession in India. 


Mohammedan marriage customs differ from those of the 
Hindus in almost every particular except the expense at- 
tending the ceremony. Widow-marriage is as common as 
among English people, and child-marriage is not common ; 
few Mohammedan girls are married before their teens, and 
many when they are quite w^omen. But what they gain in 
these regards they more than lose in other abuses of the 
family relation. Among Hindus polygamy is very seldom 
practiced; it is the exception to find more than one wife in 
the family. Princes sometimes take more, and low-caste 
people; but among the better classes it is not approved by 
practice or opinion. But Mohammedans take as many wives 
as they can afford. The Koran allows them four, and those 
w^ho can support them generally enlarge their families to the 
limits of the law. Worse than this, their law permits un- 
limited divorce which, among Hindus, is unknown an 
abomination to the mind of a Hindu woman. That some 
castes in the hills turn their wives out and take others, does 
not alter the general fact. But the Mohammedan man or 
woman who wishes a divorce may obtain it by paying for it. 
A devout Mussulman may never have more than four wives 
at once, but he may be married twenty times. Dr. Murdoch 
mentions an Arab who had been married fifty times. It is 
also allowed to them to marry for a period of time a year, 
or six months, according to their pleasure. These customs 
have degraded every family instinct, and home-life and char- 
acter have suffered immeasurably. The women have less 
refinement and gentleness; their happiness, where it exists at 
all, is less secure ; and the dissensions between rival wives are 
more fierce than between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law. 
When the polygamous husband can afford the house-room, 
he sets up separate establishments, and thus avoids the strife 
of tongues. When child-marriage has been done away, in 
practice as well as in law, this barbarous abuse will still wait 
to be abolished. 

chapter XXVIL 

FROM the beginning, missionary work among the women 
of India was of necessity, largely educational. Like 
the children that they are, they have to be led step by step, 
and receive line upon line. They have never presumed to 
question their false faiths; for they have been taught that 
they must not question anything that they must not have 
opinions. The Corinthian woman was told that she must 
ask her husband at home, if she wanted instruction ; but the 
Indian woman can not ask, and must not want to know. To 
wish to read was presumption, and an attempt to learn was 
punished by the gods with widowhood. The better class of 
Mohammedans generally have their daughters taught to read '<- 
and write, and, compared with Hindus, they are '^ strong- 
minded women.'' Among the latter, perhaps one in a thou- 
sand has been taught by a liberal father, like Ramabai's, or 
by a husband who gave the lessons secretly for fear of the 
ridicule of the younger members of the family and the anger 
and prohibition of the elder. One reason given by the men 
for keeping the women in ignorance was, that there was noth- 
ing fit for them to read; but it never seemed to occur to 
them to write pure books, or expurgate their classic litera- 
ture for themselves or their families. Without books, with- 
out intelligent conversation, blind followers of blind guides, 
the women became mentally unfit to receive new impressions 
or to be reached by new influences. Indeed it was difficult 
to reach them at all, shut in by zenana walls, by the com- 
mands of their lords, and by their own fears and supersti- 
tions. This fear was the same among all classes. Mrs. Sale 

24 369 


says that when she tried to visit the women, in 1850, she 
found admittance to the zenanas impossible. Slie then " went 
to the villages among the poor cultivators of the land, but 
found the women in their lowly huts as fearful of allowing 
their faces to be seen by strangers as the dwellers in larger 
houses. They begged her not to come any farther ; they 
were cooking, and if her shadow but passed the cook-room 
door they would have to throw^ away all the food and break 
the earthen vessels.'^ Gradually, here and there, by patient 
kindness and perseverance, Mrs. Sale, Mrs. Mullens, Mrs. 
Winter, and others, gained an entry into homes and hearts ; 
workers increased year by year; men began to observe and 
think, and, as a result, were willing to grant the same favor 
to women; prejudices weakened and gave way, until now we 
can speak of many of the old difficulties in the past tense, and 
find our most serious hindrance in the limited number of 
Christian women who are as willing to teach as these multi- 
tudes are willing to learn. 

In our own mission, as in most others, the first work was 
done in the orphanage. In a land of wars and faaiines, of 
poverty and pestilence, homeless children wandered about 
little waifs whose near relatives had perished, or were them- 
selves so poor that they could not fill the mouths of their own 
children. The mutiny left many in wretchedness and want; 
and yet when an orphanage was opened in the latter part of 
1858, there was so much opposition by both Hindus and Mo- 
hammedans that only thirteen girls were gathered in during 
the first two years. Then a famine visited the already 
stricken land, and the number trebled at once, and has gone 
on increasing until it has sometimes reached three hundred. 

Without restraint or fear, the little girls, brought in from 
the roadside or the desolated huts, were taught as they would 
have been in a Christian home or school; and during the 
years since then they have themselves been teachers in 
homes and schools, and now their daughters are bright and 
promising girls in all our classes. 


Next to the orphanage came the "pice schools'^ little day- 
schools, where poor girls were paid a pice (three-fourths of a 
cent) a day for coming to be taught for a few hours. This 
was offered because their parents said they could not spare 
them from the work that helped to win their scanty food. 
These were literally ragged-schools, and it was a pleasure to 
give anything to the half-naked and half-starved little things, 
who came to school just as they would have gone to carry 
stones or do any other coolie's work. They learned to sing 
and pray oftener than to read, being married too soon to 
make much progress in what their parents believed to be not 
only folly, but presumption. Hired pupils are not worth 
much, and these schools passed away as soon as more promis- 
ing work began. 

Zenana-schools were opened after many attempts and fail- 
ures. The same stories were told that are now used to excite 
opposition in China that the missionaries would kill the 
children and make medicine of their eyes, or that they would 
collect a ship-load and send them to America as servants. In 
our mission-field the Mohammedans were the first to yield, 
having less timidity and more curiosity than the Hindus. 
They did not open their houses to visits at once, but were 
willing to attend a school where the secular instruction was 
given by one of themselves in her own house. They did not 
refuse the Scripture-lessons given by the missionary lady in 
charge. There were a number of such schools in Luck- 
now and other cities; the girls were carried to and fro in a 
little curtained doli^ swung on a pole that rested on the 
shoulders of the bearers, whose hire, like all other expenses, 
was paid by the mission. Neither fees, nor price of books, nor 
sewing materials could be collected from pupils. Through 
the acquaintance begun in the schools, visits were made in 
the course of time to the houses of the pupils, and through 
them to their friends and neighbors, until some years later 
this zenana visiting and teaching became more interesting 
than the schools themselves; but, judging from apparent 


results, the whole work has been comparatively unprofitable. 
Three women were baptized in Lucknow in 1869; but soon 
after, when opposed and threatened, they fled from the city, 
and have never since been seen. Others have given a half- 
way assent to Christianity ; one was baptized, but after a few 
years recanted ; some confessed faith in Christ on their death- 
beds or during times of trial. The women so educated are 
weekly readers of the zenana paper; they are happier and 
wiser, their homes are cleaner and more quiet ; but they are 
not known as belonging to Christ, and are apparently as 
steadfast as ever in observing the fasts and feasts of Islam. 

Hindu schools were opened in the towns and villages, 
generally, but not always, among the lower castes. They 
were at first taught by pundits, or Brahman teachers, the girls 
being brought together daily by women employed for the 
purpose; but the place of the pundit was filled by a Christian 
woman as soon as one could be provided. Most of these 
schools were of the most elementary kind. To read and 
write, to count and add or subtract, and learn a little geo- 
graphy, is a good education in a country where only five 
women in a thousand can read, even now after years of mis- 
sion and Government instruction. Even this little makes a 
quickly apparent difference in countenance, speech, manner, 
ambitions, and efforts, which would be a reward if there were 
no other results. 

In 1869 another department of educational work began, 
which has increased in importance and interest with the growth 
of the Christian community. In the first published report 
of woman^s work in the North India Conference, this passage 
occurs : 

" For ten miles around the city of Amroha there are many vil- 
lages, in which a few Christians live who are converts from an ig- 
norant class of people. There are no schools in any of these villages 
in which girls can learn to read, and the Christians are so scattered, 
and so few in each village, that we can not reach them through vil- 
lage schools. The only way, therefore, to educate the daughters of 


these Christians is to have a boarding-school at some central point. 
Such a school has been opened at Amroha, and is under the charge 
of the Eev. Zahur-ul-Haqq and his wife. In this Christian family 
the girls are separated from heathen influences, are taught to read 
and write and work, and trained in everything necessary to fit them 
to take charge of a village school or to regulate a Christian home. 
There is good reason to believe that when these girls return to their 
homes they will, by their lives and words, become successful evan- 
gelists to their people. There are now fifteen girls in the school," etc. 

The Amroha school was removed to Moradabad three 
years later, the latter place being more central, and contain- 
ing greater facilities for instruction. It has fulfilled the de- 
sign and expectation of its founders. Christian women at 
many places in Rohilkhand and the adjoining provinces 
learned how to live and work in the Moradabad school. It 
has now fine buildings, a high-school department, and a class 
preparing for entrance to the Calcutta University. 

A similar school had been opened in Paori, Garhwal, a 
few years before ; but some of the girls admitted were or- 
phans, and others Hindus, who cooked and ate apart. The 
next boarding-school was opened in Bijnour, in 1878, and in 
1880 others were started in Budaon and Pithoragarh. The 
latter was begun when four girls, who attended the day- 
school, became Christians; there was no longer place for 
them in their Hindu homes, and a school-home was prepared 
for them by Mrs. Gray. It has now ninety pupils. Board- 
ing-schools of this kind were opened later in Sitapore, Gonda, 
\ Shahjehaupore, and other centers, and, with the rapidly in- 
creasing number of village Christians, and the opening of 
new districts, many more will be required. 

These schools are supported by scholarships from Amer- 
ica; but fees are required from those able to pay them, ac- 
cording to the ability of the parents. They are carefully 
collected, even though not amounting to more than a dime 
a mouth ; some are not able to pay even so much. 

In April, 1870, a school of a higher grade and on a dif- 



ferent basis was opened in Lucknow. There were, here and 
there, Christians in good circumstances whose sons were 
studying in high-schools and colleges, reading and talking 
English, and living in touch with the new life of the empire. 
They asked for a school where their daughters might have 
like opportunities. Some were in remote places, and a board- 
ing-school was necessary.* They were not rich, but had 

money enough to pay 
boarding fees and all in- 
cidental expenses; the 
mission, with a grant 
from Government, has 
paid for teachers and 
buildings. This school 
has from the first re- 
ceived all pupils sent, 
without regard to race 
or language, and has 
combined in one happy 
family Hindustani, Ben- 
gali, Eurasian, and En- 
glish girls. All learn 
Urdu and English, and 
all are trained, as far 
as possible, to work for 
Christ. This school has 
now a collegiate depart- 
ment, and is affiliated 
with the Allahabad Uni- 
versity. But while girls were admitted without regard to race, 
there were some who wished their daughters to live more ex- 
pensively, with European instead of Indian food and cus- 

* These two young ladies, whose portraits are given, are represent- 
atives of the Eurasian community. They began their studies at Luck- 
now and Cawnpore, and received the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and 
Bachelor of Medicine, respectively, at Calcutta and Madras. 

MISS D'ABREU, b. m. 



toms. In 1874 a Eurasian gentleman, whose (laughter at- 
tended the Lucknow school as a day-scholar, called to ask if 
she might be received as a boarder in the family of the lady 
missionaries and teachers. She had to be refused for lack of 
room; but with the assurance that the matter would be kept 
in mind, and that, as soon as possible, a school would be 
opened for English-speaking girls. This was done a year 
later, at Cawnpore, and 
soon after at Calcutta; 
next at Naini Tal, at 
higher rates, to cover 
the expensive living of 
the hills; and next at 
Rangoon, Poona, and 
Bangalore. Thus a field 
was entered which, for 
both sowing and reap- 
ing, had been largely 
in the hands of Roman 
Catholics. A class of 
people who will spend 
all their lives in India, 
and be identified with 
its good or ill, socially 
and religiously, are be- 
ing taught in a mission- 
ary atmosphere, and, 
when possible, trained 
for Christian work. mrs. sophia dabreu Thompson 

They cost the Missionary Society comparatively little, and 
even begin to contribute to its expenses. The Naini Tal 
school supports nine orphan girls. 

The girls of the boarding-schools are from Christian 
families, unlike those of China, Japan, and other mission- 
fields. They are thus receiving advantages impossible for 
caste-bound, zenana-locked Hindus and Mohammedans, and 


the consequence is that the Christian community is rising 
above those of other faiths in intelligence even more rapidly 
than it is increasing in numbers. A large majority of the 
young women who have entered and passed through the 
universities are Christians. 

These universities were in advance of those of England 
in opening examinations and degrees to women. Their ad- 
mission was not questioned. Miss Chandra Mukhi Bose, 
the first candidate, was prepared in the GirFs School at 
Dehra Doon, in the American Presbyterian Mission, and 
passed her entrance examination in 1876. Passing through 
the full course of study, she received the degree of M. A., in 
1884, and is now the principal of the Bethune Girls' College 
in Calcutta. Only one other lady has passed the highest ex- 
amination, and she, too, is a Christian. Fourteen have 
passed the B. A. examinations, of whom nine were Christians, 
the others members of the Brahmo Somaj. In all 470 girls 
have matriculated in the universities ; a large number when 
we remember that the first one appeared only sixteen years 
ago, and that candidates are subjected to a very thorough 
written examination. 

Only four ladies have taken the degree of M. B. all 
Christians but there are a number of licentiates from the 
university medical colleges. Degrees are only given to those 
who have passed the first examination in arts before com- 
mencing their medical studies. . . . 

It may be well to insert here a short extract from " My 
Missionary Apprenticeship,'^ published eight years ago, in 
which the origin of the Moradabad boarding-school is ex- 
plained, and from which its providential mission will become 
more apparent. It now enrolls nearly one hundred and fifty 
boarders annually. In all our missions in India we have 
eleven hundred Christian girls in boarding-schools. 

"Just before Mrs. Parker left for America, she had made a 
small beginning in the way of a boarding-school for girls, and had 
received the first three pupils. Her plan was to gather in the village 




girls, and, after giving them a simple education, send them back 
again to their homjes, where they might be expected to act like so 
much leaven among the native Christians in the villages. Find- 
ing it impossible to arrange for these girls in Moradabad, Mrs. 
Parker had made them over to Mrs. Zahur-ul-Haqq, who lived in the 
city of Amroha. For a time the people held aloof, and were un- 
willing to send their girls away from home; but during these tours 
in the villages I succeeded in picking up a few pupils, and before 
the close of the year the' school began to assume very respectable 
proportions. The next year the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society 
was most opportunely founded, and the school, having fallen under 
its fostering care, has had a career of wonderful prosperity. It now 
contains more than one hundred pupils, and the girls who have been 
taught in it are exercising the most wholesome influence all through 
the villages of that region. Natives of India, like natives of other 
countries, wish to see a strange thing done before attempting it 
themselves. A missionary might lecture to the village women for 
years without inducing them to change their ancient habits and 
superstitions; but a better way is simply to send a few intelligent 
and educated young women of their own class among them. What 
precept can not do, example easily accomplishes. I am more and 
more persuaded that Christian boarding-schools are to be most im- 
portant factors in the future development of Christianity in India. 
The boarding-school must follow close in the pathway of the evan- 
gelist. The school does not save the people ; but it takes up the work 
of their improvement, and aids in the development of a new life 
which the gospel brings to them." 

' Cl)apber XXVIII. 


'' F)I^EACH the gospel, and heal the sick/' was the com- 

1 mission to the Seventy ; and, although the modern 

missionary may not have heard the formal command in the 

beginning, yet he 
has always found 
the use of medicine 
an essential part of 
his work. Not only 
because he wishes 
to win the confi- 
dence and friend- 
ship of the people 
to whom he has 
been sent, but as 
one of the suffering 
human race, he can 
not pass by on the 
other side, even to 
preach the gospel, 
and leave his fel- 
low-creatures in un- 
relieved pain. Nat- 
urally he has with 
him the simple rem- 
edies known in all households, and these gradually increase 
with his experience and knowledge, and the demands made 
upon him, until medicine often has the most important place 
in his traveling outfit when he goes among the villages. 
Often he is stopped in the road to look at a wen, a goitre, or 



an abscess; or one comes running across fields to beg him to 
stop and advise about a burn, or the wound from an ox's 
horn, or a scorpion's sting. The fevers and ordinary com- 
plaints brought to his notice are legion, and the sick are 
sometimes carried to him on cots, as to his Master of old. 

But these are men. Within the walls of palace and hut 
alike, the women have for ages suffered according to their 
lot, relieved only by practitioners who judged their symptoms 
from hearsay, and who knew little of the anatomy or physiol- 
ogy of the human body except what they had learned from 
observation of cause and effect. Some of these men have 
natural gifts of healing, but the majority make sad mistakes 
when they do their best. 

It long since became apparent that the only doctors who 
could relieve these, the greatest sufferers in the land, must 
themselves be women. No one else could approach them, 
even if they were dying. It was hoped, too, that the desire 
to be relieved from pain would make those who kept in the 
most rigid seclusion willing to be visited, and that thus the 
way of access would be opened for the Bible, and all the 
gracious influences it carries with it, to hearts and homes. 

The first effort in this direction was made by Dr. Hum- 
phrey, a medical missionary of the North India Conference, 
who, in 1867, began training a class of young women from 
the Orphanage, hoping to send them where he could not go 
himself. Meanwhile the first lady medical missionary, Miss 
C. A. Swain, M. D.,* of Castile, New York, a graduate of 

* Dr. Swain enjoys the honorable distinction, not only of being the 
pioneer lady physician in India, but the first lady physician ever sent 
out by any missionary society into any part of the non-Christian world. 
After some years of successful service in North India, she accepted an 
appointment as resident physician at the court of the Raja of Ketri, a 
small State in Rajpootana, where she still remains, doing a good work, 
and occupying a position of commanding influence. No restraint is put 
upon her work as a missionary, and her position offers a striking com- 
ment upon the constant assertions of certain officials that medical work 
among the women of India must be kept wholly apart from missionary 


the Woman's Medical College of Philadelj^hia, was sent to 
India by the newly organized Woman's Foreign Missionary 
Society of the Methodist Church. Another class in the Or- 
phanage had been taught English by Mrs. Thomas, and were 
thus prepared to receive lessons from Dr. Swain as soon as 
she arrived. Besides this, an interesting and successful prac- 
tice came into her hands at once. There had been fears in 
some minds that the women were too timid and superstitious 
to take treatment, even from a lady physician ; but from the 
beginning not only the poorer and middle classes came to the 
dispensary, but the high caste and wealthy were among the 
patients, coming to her in their closed conveyances, or send- 
ing for her to their houses. Zenana doors previously barred 
against missionary visits were opened, and opportunities for 
doing good were widened and increased. 

The need of a hospital was soon felt, and was met by the 
gift from the Nawab of Rampore, the ruler of a Moham- 
medan State near by, of a large, well-situated house, sur- 
rounded by ample grounds. To this building enlarged accom- 
modations were added by the Missionary Society, and in this 
first woman's hospital in India the second medical class was 
trained, and also compounders and nurses were taught the 
work they were to do in neighboring places. 

Other missionary societies were moving in the same di- 
rection, and ladies were sent from America and England as 
rapidly as they could be prepared for the work ; but the need 
was so much greater than the possible supply from abroad, that 
admission for female students was asked in the Indian med- 
ical colleges. The universities, led by Madras, opened their 
doors to women medical students. They were welcomed and 
treated with uniform respect by students and professors, na- 
tive as well as foreign a fact gratefully recorded in view of 
the very different treatment women have received from West- 
ern medical colleges. The pupils from our few high-schools 
who were prepared to take the course of study, which was in 
the English language, entered the colleges; and a vernacular 


training-scliool, with a three years' course of lectures, was 
opened in Agra. Interest so increased that scholarships were 
offered by non-Christians as well as by missionary societies. 
Municipal Boards made appropriations, and princes promised 
student-support and after-salary to women on condition that 
they would work a given number of years in their do- 

Into the midst of this universal interest came the Dufferin 
movement, bringing with it Government influence, system, 
and combination of effort. The romantic story has been 
often told, and is given in full in Bishop Hurst's " Indika," 
of the English missionary who went from Lucknow to treat 
the Rani of Pannah, from whom she was charged to carry a 
message to Queen Victoria, begging her to do something for 
the relief of the suffering women of India. The Queen re- 
ceived the message and the little gift that accompanied it, and 
her kind heart was touched by the appeal. She passed it on 
to Lady Dufferin, the wife of the outgoing Viceroy, who ar- 
rived in India with her brain busy and her heart burdened 
with plans for the accomplishment of the work. The 
" Countess of Dufferin Fund '' was organized soon after her 
arrival, in consultation with leading officials, missionaries, 
and philanthropists. The organization met with less prej- 
udice than anything else that could have been undertaken 
for women, and by many it received an enthusiastic response. 
Wealthy Indians had been accustomed to making large dona- 
tions for charitable purposes, and, with the stimulus of vice- 
regal approval united to their personal interest, they freely 
opened their purses for this cause. English officials have 
also given largely. 

During the seven years since the association was organ- 
ized, twelve million rupees have been spent in the erection of 
buildings, and over a million rupees have been invested as 
endowment. Nine lady doctors with English qualifications, 
and thirty-one certificated assistants, are now working under 
the Association, while 224 persons are studying ou Dufferin 


scholarships at the medical colleges and schools in the differ- 
ent provinces. There are a Central Committee, Provincial 
Committees, and again, under these, local committees, so that 
the benefits of the fund are reaching out to all the important 
cities and towns of the empire. Where lady doctors can not 
be obtained and they are still very few assistants work under 
the civil surgeons of the stations. The number of patients 
treated during the past year was 465,000. 

The objects of the Association are set forth to be : Medi- 
cal tuition, including the teaching and training in India of 
women as doctors, hospital assistants, nurses, and midwives; 
medical relief, including the establishment of hospitals and 
dispensaries, to be under the superintendence of women ; the 
supply of trained nurses and midwives. 

The Association is philanthropic, but not missionary in 
any other sense. Its employees are pledged not to interfere 
in any way with the religious beliefs of the patients that come 
under their care. Missionary hospitals and dispensaries are 
invited to be affiliated with the National iVssociation ; but as 
there are no benefits to be derived from such a union, they 
have generally preferred to remain apart. Their work has 
increased and prospered, and although they have been accom- 
panied by the Bible-reader and the evangelist, and have 
themselves spoken freely of the hope of a suffering, sinning 
world, they have had, not only free access to the homes of the 
people, but have won the grateful affection of many hearts. 

Medical missions, though begun by Americans, have been 
taken up with greater enthusiasm by the English societies. 
They have twice as many lady doctors in the field, with as- 
sistants more or less trained in general practice, midwifery or 
nursing. In all there are now more than fifty lady mission- 
ary physicians in India mission-work, nearly all of whom are 
in charge of hospitals or dispensaries. A few are independ- 
ent practitioners, but are none the less doing genuine mission- 

The medical work has been a spur to the higher educa- 


tlon of women. ^^ What for?^' was often asked by visitors 
to girls' high-schools, and even grammar-schools where En- 
glish was taught. In a land where the masses were so ig- 
norant, and where a woman\s life had so many limitations, 
these critics failed to see the good that might result from 
these exceptional advantages to the few who were free to 
receive them. But here was a call to usefulness, and it 
brought with it promise of fair and, in the higher depart- 
ments, lucrative compensation. Indian women who have 
taken a full course of study are receiving two hundred 
rupees a 'month from the DuiFerin Fund, and those in the 
lower positions are also well paid. The missionary societies 
can not give so much ; but even the salaries they pay are 
prizes by those who wish to assist in the education of younger 
sisters, or the support of parents. The study of medicine 
requires a thorough previous education, and only those thus 
prepared can compete for the Dufferin scholarships. Can- 
didates must have passed certain examinations before they 
can be admitted to the schools, and must have received a 
degree in Arts before they can receive the degree of M. D., 
although a licentiate's certificate will be given if they pass 
the medical examinations of the five years' college course 
successfully. With the exception of a few Brahmans, not 
many women have had this education except those who have 
received it in Christian schools, and of these only the Chris- 
tians themselves are willing to take the comparatively public 
place required by a medical student. They have not been 
entangled in early marriages ; they are encouraged by friends, 
instead of being held back by the fears and prejudices of their 
parents. It thus comes about that the large majority of stu- 
dents in the Dufferin training-schools, and a still greater ma- 
jority in the university colleges, are Christians. In the Agra 
school seven-eighths of the students are Christians ; in Madras, 
of forty-two lady students now studying in the Medical 
College, only one is non -Christian. The three ladies who 
have taken the degree of M. B. in that university are all 



Christians, and nearly all the licentiates are of the same 
faith. The Christians are largely in the majority in Lahore, 
Bombay, and Calcutta. Some of these, when they go out, 
will be independent practitioners; some will work in the 
missions, but the majority will be employed by the Dufferin 
Association all will be so employed who receive scholarships 
from that fund. It will thus be seen that the Dufferin As- 
sociation, secular as it is supposed to be, and supported 
largely by the money of Hindus and Mohammedans, must 
depend upon Christian women for its success. This gives 
an opportunity to show the capacity and trustworthiness of 
women to those who have not only doubted, but derided 
their claims to such virtues; it gives Christian womanhood 
a prominence which otherwise could not have been attained 
for years, and is one of the most active forces in bringing 
the whole Christian community to the front among the many 
classes, castes, and countries of the Empire of India. 


Cl)aptGr XXIX. 


THE work of a successful missionary in a country like 
India, often illustrates important phases of Christian life 
and work in the primitive church. Society throughout the 
whole Oriental world has, since the earliest days, been so 
much alike in many of its features, that the modern mission- 
ary in India, Persia, or even China, frequently finds himself 
in the midst of associations which remind him of events re- 
corded in the book of Acts, or alluded to in PauFs epistles. 
This is notably true in matters relating to the position of 
women in the mission churches of India. Among converts 
from Judaism the early Christian women no doubt enjoyed a 
degree of liberty which the women of India have never 
known; but in the Greek and Koman cities, and more es- 
pecially in all regions farther east, the women were kept in 
a state very much resembling that in which their Indian 
sisters live at the present day. Women have always held a 
strictly subordinate position in India, and hence it would 
be natural to expect to find them occupying a similiar posi- 
tion in the Christian church. This becomes the more in- 
evitable when it is remembered that women, with rare ex- 
ceptions, have never had opportunities for improving their 
minds, and are consequently much more ignorant than their 
husbands or brothers. They are also more superstitious, 
and much more strongly attached to their ancient religious 
systems, as well as to a great multitude of customs and tra- 
ditions which are more or less hostile to the Christian spirit. 
As might be expected under such circumstances, woman 
does not occupy a very prominent position in mission 



churches as first organized in India. She is more unwilling, 
for instance, to give up the pernicious custom of infant mar- 
riage than her husband, and is more easily tempted to bring 
back an idol into her house and offer to it the customary 
worship, especially in a time of temptation ; as, for instance, 
when a child is dangerously ill. She is wedded to all the 
ways of her ancestors, and shrinks, sometimes with timidity, 
but as often from sheer obstinacy, from giving up the cus- 
toms in which she has lived, or accepting those which are 
utterly foreign to her notions of right and propriety. 

The missionary in India finds no little light shed upon 
some of the perplexing counsels given by the Apostle Paul 
to some of his Greek converts, as he deals with the various 
questions which arise from time to time among his converts. 
It is amazing, and at the same time often amusing, to note 
how perplexed, not only the great commentators, but the 
rank and file of modern disputants as well, become over 
certain seemingly contradictory directions given Christian 
women by the great and good apostle to the Gentiles. One 
man seems to notice only that Paul commands the women to 
keep silence in the churches, while another makes prominent 
the fact that he gives direction as to the manner in which 
they are to pray and prophesy in the assemblies. The most 
extreme and absurd conclusions are drawn from these in- 
cidental directions, and attempts are made to lay down great 
principles, applicable to all ages and to all countries, al- 
though it is certain that the apostle had no such thoughts 
in his mind. In India, for instance, the wife occupies a 
position in the household very much like that of one of her 
children. She lives in absolute obedience to the law of her 
husband, and if the rod is used to enforce discipline, it is 
applied to her as readily and as severely as to one of her 
daughters. The right of a husband to punish his wife is 
never questioned, and hence nothing could be more radical 
or more revolutionary than to introduce into a Hindu family 
the new principle that wives are not to obey their husbands, 


inasmuch as both are equal in Christ. In India, as in the 
churches established by Paul and Silas, the new doctrine of 
liberty is sometimes liable to abuse, and it would be strange 
if some poor, weak women did not at times fancy that equal- 
ity with their husbands amounted in fact to superiority. 
Family discipline in such a case is at an end in a moment, 
and utter domestic chaos is sure to supervene. A sensible 
missionary, who can take in the whole situation, will never 
hesitate to adopt the same line of policy which Paul pursued, 
and say to his converts : " Wives, obey your husbands." 
In a good sense, guarded and protected by Christian law and 
by the Christian spirit, this is good advice in every age ; but 
aside from questions of abstract right or wrong, among a 
people like the converts found in India, any contrary advice 
would produce inevitable and interminable mischief. 

In like manner, circumstances arise from time to time 
when it becomes prudent to forbid the Christian women to 
speak in certain assemblies. Some years ago I visited a 
mission station, and in the evening went out with a mission- 
ary and a party of Christians to a service in the bazaar. 
The party marched in procession, after the manner of the 
Salvation Army. Two or three grown-up girls were in the 
company, and not only joined in the singing, but stood on 
a stone platform in the street, and spoke somewhat briefly to 
the people. I walked in the rear of the procession, where I 
could see and hear to the best advantage, and also listened 
very carefully to all that was said by the people during the 
speaking. The result was th|it when I returned to the mis- 
sion-house, I earnestly advised the missionary and his wife 
not to let those young women join in the procession again, 
and especially not to permit them to speak or sing in the 
bazaar as they had done that evening. It was perfectly 
clear to me that it was improper for them to do so. At the 
same time, there were other occasions when I would have 
approved their speaking and singing in public, and, had I 
been present, would no doubt have been quite ready to give 


directions as to how they should engage in these exercises. 
It is very true that young girls in the Salvation Army do 
speak in the most public manner, not only in large rooms, 
but often in the open air, in the presence of rude and vul- 
gar men. I have often been present when they did so, and 
have given close attention not only to what the speaker 
said, but to the effect upon the audience. I do not doubt 
that such young women often do good by addresses of this 
kind, and yet, after a wide and careful observation, I have 
become convinced that there is a marked impropriety in 
women, and especially young women, engaging in that kind 
of work. At the same time I am equally free to say that 
these same Salvation Army women often do good by their 
public addresses, when the ordinary proprieties of society, 
according to the standard of the community in which they 
are working, are carefully observed. I have not only de- 
fended such speaking on their part under proper restrictions, 
but have often taken part in their meetings, and aided them 
both by my presence and voice. In PauPs time, there were 
occasions when the public meetings were such as women 
could not engage in, without doing violence to the notions 
of propriety which were entertained by the people of that 
age and of that part of the world. No man or woman of 
good judgment will ever outrage the sense of propriety en- 
tertained by the general public, and Paul simply advised his 
churches to observe the rules of ordinary propriety. It is 
much the same in India at the present day. The voice of 
woman is heard in our assemblies very frequently; but there 
are occasions when it would be improper to allow women to 
occupy a conspicious place in the assembly, or to take a prom- 
inent part in the proceedings. 

It must not be supposed, however, that our Christian 
women in India are not worthy of the high position which 
Christ has assigned to his female disciples in the Universal 
Church. In the earlier stages of the work they are in a 
minority, and during the first generation their defective 


education does much to keep them in the background ; but 
from the first we have had invaluable workers among our 
Christian women, and, as our field enlarges and our oppor- 
tunities increase, we find their help more and more indis- 
pensable. Much of the work -among their own sex can be 
done by women only, and the great ingathering of recent 
years has convinced me that we must look to God for a great 
host of female evangelists, whose chief work shall be among 
the recently baptized converts. We can not reach them by 
any other means. I have seen large companies gathered 
together in country places, within easy reach of even the 
poorest, and yet in every instance the men outnumber the 
women at least four to one. Sometimes, indeed, hardly any 
women are present. It is useless to lament the fact ; we 
must simply accept it as we find it. No man of good sense 
will battle hopelessly against the timidity of women. Ac- 
count for it as you may, the simple fact is, that either the 
women are timid and will not go into the great assemblies 
where the men eagerly flock together, or that many of them 
are superstitious, or even hostile to the object of the meet- 
ing. In either case the logic of the situation remains the 
same. Instead of fighting hopelessly against these inevita- 
ble facts, the better way is to commission our more enlight- 
ened Christian sisters to go among them as messengers of 
the Lord Jesus, and give them the gospel in its simplicity 
and fullness. Already a few devoted Phebes and Priscil- 
las are engaging in this work, and. I am persuaded that a 
great host will soon follow in their footsteps. 

The mere mention of this probability may possibly alarm 
some readers who dread as an unspeakable calamity the pos- 
sibility of women being inducted into the ministerial office. 
To all such I have only to say that there is no cause of 
alarm. The Church of Christ has never suffered from an 
honest and earnest attempt to obey the Master in making 
him known to every creature. The trouble with many per- 
sons is, that they are in bondage to notions which have sprung 


up in modern times, and which are not found in the New 
Testament. One of these notions is an exaggerated idea of 
the sanctity of certain ministerial functions which in the New 
Testament are uniformly treated as incidental rather than 
vital, and which were never intended to hamper the Church 
of Christ, instead of helping her to fulfill her mission. 
Questions of law, order, and propriety can never be ignored 
or treated lightly without danger to the interests of the 
church; but on the other hand, the freedom of the disciple 
to work in the Master's name must never be jeopardized. 
God never intended that the Christian church should be 
divided into "union" and " non-union '^ workers, and that, 
under the plea of respect for the ministry, the vast majority 
of the disciples of Jesus Christ should be forbidden to work 
in the Master's name. 

No little interest has been excited of late years in the 
question of the possible ordination of women to the office of 
the ministry, and it is a little unfortunate for us that both 
parties to this discussion have turned toward India for illus- 
trations affecting the right or wrong of the question. Some 
of those who are eager to see women ordained ask from time 
to time if a necessity does not exist for an ordained female 
ministry, especially among the women who are secluded in 
the zenanas. I wish to answer this question frankly, and 
yet with a strict regard for existing facts. I do not like the 
unqualified use of the term " ordained," or of the phrase " the 
ministerial office," as applied to women. It is better for us 
to go back as near as possible to the New Testament stand- 
ard. Indeed, of late years I have been amazed more and 
more, as our work expands, to see how closely it conforms to 
the order which seems to have been adopted in the primitive 
church. As a matter of fact, I believe, beyond a doubt, 
that as soon as our work begins to advance with rapidity 
and power among the higher classes in the cities, it will be- 
come necessary to do one of two things either to authorize 
Christian women to enter the zenanas and administer bap- 


tism and the Lord's Supper, or to tell converts who are 
confined in the zenanas that they must do without those or- 
dinances until such time as God providentially opens their 
way to receive them. For instance, in a case which occurred 
in Calcutta a very few years ago, a medical lady physician 
found the wife of an intelligent Hindu, who was suffering 
from an incurable disease, and felt it her duty to tell her 
that she must soon die. The poor woman had been instructed 
by a Presbyterian lady missionary, and at once said that if 
she died she wished to die a Christian. The husband was a 
tender-hearted and good man, and when appealed to replied 
that he had no objection whatever to his w-ife becoming a 
Christian ; but two things were impossible : In the first 
place, she could not go out to receive baptism in the church ; 
and, in the second place, he could not permit a man to enter 
her apartment to baptize her. He said it was not his own 
wishes or feelings that influenced him, but his regard for his 
relatives. Caste rules and the state of public feeling were 
such that it would greatly afflict his relatives, and he could 
not, for their sakes, suffer it. Cases like this may be ex- 
pected to turn up every year, and almost every day, espe- 
cially when our work begins to gain headway in the great 
cities. Now, what is to be done in such an emergency? 
For one, I do not hesitate to say that the lady missionary who 
carried the gospel to this poor dying woman should have been 
authorized to administer baptism to her. It is easy enough 
for a man in America with strong convictions, if not preju- 
dices, to say that she would get to heaven without baptism ; 
but such a reply is as unjust as it is cruel. A dying woman 
has a right to baptism, if she desires it, and no theologian or 
ecclesiastical politician has any right to deny her this privilege. 
It remains for the Church to decide on what terms it shall be 
given her. For one, I do not care to insist on the point of 
ordination. I prefer the word "authorization." We must 
not be in bondage to ordinances, and in a case of this kind 
it would be as wise as it would be Scriptural, if a Christian 


woman formally authorized to do so were to administer the 
sacraments to a suffering disciple to whom no one else had 

Let no one be alarmed, however, by this frank statement, 
and assume at once that a radical innovation, amounting 
almost to a great revolution, is about to be introduced into 
India. We shall do nothing hastily. There are those in In- 
dia not members of our own Church who are more than 
ready to act in this matter, and very recently certain ladies 
have avowed their purpose to baptize converts in zenanas, 
with the consent of husband or father, as the case may be, 
whenever the emergency arises. These ladies would prob- 
ably be called Kitualistic by some of our own people, who 
shrink from the very thought of allowing a Methodist lady 
to exercise such a privilege; but they are practical, far-see- 
ing, and earnest women, who have seen the unwisdom of 
trying to avoid the inevitable. For my own part, I have 
decided that there shall be no haste in the matter, and that 
no such baptisms shall take place until the circumstances are 
such that the whole world can see the absolute necessity of 
the course pursued. In other words, when God makes it clear 
that the duty should be performed, and so clear that no place for 
doubt remains, then the important step will be taken. This 
may or may not have an important bearing upon the ordina- 
tion of women to the Christian ministry. With regard to 
that subject, I beg to say that I am not careful to answer in 
such a matter. We are working and legislating for the sal- 
vation of the hundreds of millions of the Eastern World, 
and are only incidentally interested in the controversies 
which affect the Churches of the West. It is our fixed pur- 
pose to do nothing which will in any Avay make us parties 
to any controversy in America ; but, on the other hand, we are 
equally anxious not to be held back or hampered by the fact 
that parties on the other side of the globe are discussing 
questions which have more or less of a bearing upon our 
own situation. In other words, we view the whole subject 


from the most practical point of view, and seek only to 
know how we shall fulfill our mission in lifting the women 
of the East to the high position which Christ has prepared 
for them in his Church. 

In our mission-work in India we have, from the first, 
thankfully accepted woman's service in every form which 
promised any practical usefulness. Such service is usually 
rendered in quiet ways, and with the meek spirit v/hich so 
peculiarly adorns a Christian woman ; but it is none the less 
eifective and invaluable. The particular title which the 
woman bears does not matter much, and, as a matter of fact, 
does not by any means always define the nature of her work. 
" Bible woman '^ is a very common term applied to a Chris- 
tian woman who goes about among the women in their 
homes, with a Bible in her hand, which she reads and some- 
times expounds. When giving an account of their work, 
these simple women often say : " I visited so many families 
to-day, and preached in so many houses.^' They have never 
learned to use the word preach in its modern and limited 
sense, and do not know any better than to call every proc- 
lamation of the gospel, whether in a pulpit or on a well- 
curb, or by the door of a lowly mud hut, preaching. Other 
women are teachers, a smaller number are zenana visitors, a 
very few are evangelists, while many, especially all wives of 
preachers, are appointed to " woman's work '' in a general 
way, the meaning being that they are expected to go among 
the women freely, and lend a helping hand at any time and in 
any way which may present itself. All possible pains are 
taken to introduce system and organization into the work of 
our Christian sisters, and every year this work is becoming 
more eifective and satisfactory. 

CI)apber XXX. 


I BORROW the phrase which stands at the head of this 
chapter from the officer in charge of the Bombay census 
of 1881. The well-known caste system of the Hindus em- 
braces not only the three traditional higher castes, with all 
their minute subdivisions, but also those who are popularly 
known in the sacred books as Sudras. The reader in Amer- 
ica has no doubt been led to suppose that the Sudra is an 
out-caste; but such is by no means the case. Relatively 
speaking, he is usually a respectable person, although in early 
times he probably did occupy a position similar to that of 
the out-castes of the present day. In Bengal it is common 
to hear large classes of the poorer people spoken of as 
Nama-Sudras; that is, Sub-Sudras. This term describes 
several so-called castes or classes who compose the very low- 
est social strata, and are known in various parts of India by 
different names. They may have originally sprung from a 
common race, but it is more likely that similar circumstances 
in different parts of the empire at an early period in Indian 
history compelled them to take a position wholly outside the 
more powerful and respectable communities embraced by the 
rules of Hindu caste. In Southern India it is common to 
hear persons spoken of as caste-Hindus to distinguish them 
from those who are supposed to be wholly outside the pale 
of the caste system. In other parts of the country these 
lower classes are called out-castes, pariahs, sweepers, scav- 
engers, and other names. They themselves, however, by no 
means reject caste, but are divided and subdivided after the 
manner of the more respectable Hindus, and often are found 


as jealous of their caste privileges as any Brahmans in the 
empire. The census officer mentioned above applied the 
phrase " Depressed Classes '^ to these people, and it describes 
very accurately their condition as found in India at the 
present day. 

To understand the position of these people, one must be- 
come acquainted with the Hindu social system. As society" 
is at present organized, it becomes a necessity for such an 
inferior people to be found in every village. An intelligent 
lady, who had been brought up in India, was once speaking 
to me about a certain tract of country in which she wished 
to have a mission established. I asked her if there were 
any low- caste people in the villages who were interested in 
Christianity. She replied that she did not know what par- 
ticular class of such people lived there, but that some such 
class would certainly be represented. " You are sure to find 
low-caste people everywhere in India. They are needed in 
every village, and the people of India could not get along 
without them. They may belong to one or another tribe, 
or one or another low-caste, but they are sure to be there." 
Many of these people are practically serfs, and in earlier 
days most of them sustained such a relation to their high- 
caste neighbors. At the present day millions of them are 
employed as common laborers by the petty village farmers, 
who pay them in cash perhaps five or six dollars a year to 
each family, with enough inferior kinds of grain to meet the 
demands of hunger. In every village, also, one or more 
shoemakers will be found, perhaps two or three carpenters, 
and a blacksmith, and other representatives of the commoner 
trades. Nearly all artisans belong to low-castes. The shoe- 
maker is very much lower, however, than the blacksmith ; 
and the blacksmith, again, than the carpenter. The lowest 
of all is the sweeper. He is the scavenger wherever found 
in India, and both in city and country village is regarded 
as an utter out-caste. 

The leading body of these depressed classes is that known 


as the Chamars. They have been introduced to American 
readers frequently as leather-dressers, and the title belongs 
to them to this extent, that all Indians who work in leather 
are drawn from this class. The name also implies that in 
early times this was the occupation assigned to them as a 
people. As a matter of fact, however, comparatively few of 
'them ever work in leather. They are farmers and day- 
laborers for the most part, and are found in all the villages 
of North India. The total number of Chamars in all India 
has not yet been reported by the latest census, but is prob- 
- ably between eleven and twelve millions. In Northern In- 
)^ dia these Chamars are very numerous. In fact they stand 
at the head of the list in the Northwest Provinces and Oudh ; 
that is, in the populous region embraced within the bounds 
of the North India Conference. They are almost a million 
in advance of the Brahmans, and more than two millions 
^in advance of the Eajputs. The sweepers in the same ter- 
ritory number nearly half a million, while other castes, 
standing very little if at all higher in the social scale in the 
same territory, number about a million and a half. In 
Southern and Western India corresponding castes are known 
by various names, such as Malas, Madigas, Mhars, Dheds, 
etc. In the Panjab, again, another large class appears, reck- 
oned a little below the Chamars, and a trifle above the 
sweepers, known as Chuhras. 

It is impossible to gather from the census-tables a correct 
estimate of the whole number belonging to the depressed 
classes of India. Some census officers speak of them simply 
as belonging to aboriginal races. Others report them with 
local names, while others, again, confound mere occupation 
with caste. It is probable, however, that a careful reckon- 
ing would show that, leaving out the Mohammedans^ not less 
than twenty per cent of the people generally known as 
Hindus belong to these different classes. By adding the 
aboriginal tribes, who, with a few exceptions, have similar 
religious notions, and occupy a social grade very little, if at 


all, higher than that of the sub-castes among the Hindus, it 
would probably bring up the proportion to the figure men- 
tioned above. It is certainly a moderate estimate to place the 
total population belonging to the depressed classes at forty 

It is needless to say that these people, with very rare ex- 
ceptions, are illiterate and subject to all the infirmities which 
are inseparable from popular ignorance. They are super- 
stitious, timid, subject to strong prejudices, like other Indians, 
and, for the most part, destitute of that manly ambition 
which forms an indispensable quality in every progressive 
people. Some of their habits, also, are very repulsive. With 
few exceptions they are, in most parts of the country, pop- 
ularly known as carrion-eaters. The term is more offensive 
than the facts in the case exactly warrant, and yet at best 
it reveals a standard of civilization among them which is 
certainly low enough. They can not be said to be carrion- 
eaters in the same disgusting sense that the jackal or the vul- 
ture is; but it must be admitted that they count themselves 
fortunate when they find an animal which has recently died, 
either by accident or of disease. The skin of the animal be- 
comes the perquisite of those who remove it, while the flesh 
is feasted upon with great eagerness, sometimes by a whole 
village. It may possibly seem to lessen the enormity of this 
deplorable weakness on their part if I state that, in some of 
the hill districts, Hindus of higher castes do not shrink from 
similar entertainments. I once had a sheep tied by the neck 
near the edge of a precipice, and while grazing the poor crea- 
ture suddenly stumbled over and was strangled. I gave 
orders to have it buried ; but before the carcass was removed 
a respectable Brahman came to me and begged it for himself. 
I was the more surprised because orthodox Hindus are not 
supposed to eat mutton under any circumstances. This in- 
cident occurred in the mountains, and I have since been told 
by Brahmans of the plains that the man who asked for the 
sheep would not be recognized in India proper as a Brahman. 



The practice of carrion-eating is not only universal among 
these depressed classes, but one of the first problems which 
confronts the missionary who works among them is that of 
breaking up the habit. Abstinence from carrion is every- 
where made a condition of membership in the Christian 
church, and those who become Christians in time learn to 
abstain from it ; but only those who have lived in India and 
mingled with the very poor people, can understand how 
strong the temptation, in such a case, is at the outset. In- 
stances also occur in which the missionary can not but 
hesitate before giving a decision against the unlawfulness of 
a feast, in which the flesh which is served up is of doubtful 
quality. For instance, one of our preachers recently found 
himself in a village where the simple people were about to 
sit down to a feast which had been provided for them by an 
obliging tiger, which had killed a cow in the vicinity. This 
was a case of an animal which had not died either of disease 
or by accident; and yet it was not exactly meat which is sold 
in the shambles, and, consequently, hardly came within PauFs 
list of admissible articles of food. The preacher, on this oc- 
casion, thought it best for him, as a matter of expediency, to 
join in the feast and ask no questions ; but he paid a severe 
penalty for his indulgence. He had, in fact, never eaten the 
flesh of the cow before ; and the double recollection that he 
was eating not only a flesh he had always scrupulously 
avoided, but also that of an animal which had not been killed 
for the market, completely prostrated him. 

Many years ago it was found by the missionaries in 
Southern India that many of the people belonging to these 
depressed classes were peculiarly accessible to the Christian 
missionary. Most of the converts, indeed, in Southern India 
were drawn from this grade of people ; and more recently a 
similar work has commenced in various parts of North India. 
A question at once presents itself, which has occasioned no 
little inquiry in missionary circles, both in India and else- 
where, as to whether it is wise policy to devote much time or 


atteDtion to people who occupy so low a social status. It is 
alleged, on the one hand, that their motives can hardly be of 
the highest order ; that their character as Christians must be 
more or less unsatisfactory ; that it is impossible to raise them 
to positions of influence in the community; and that, so far 
from helping in the general work of converting India, they 
will probably become a barrier which will stand directly in 
the way of missionary progress. On the other hand, atten- 
tion is called to the fact that God manifestly seems to be 
leading the missionaries in the direction of these people ; that 
it is they who are coming to the missionary, rather than the 
latter who goes to them ; that their motives, if not always of 
the purest and highest order, are, all things considered, quite 
as pure as those of other people ; that it is impossible for such 
men to be blind to the fact that they can, by becoming 
Christians, improve their condition, and th^t there is no harm 
in their perceiving it; that they will not permanently stand 
in the way of access to the higher caste, while, even if they 
did, we dare not hold aloof from them on that account. 
Happily for all parties concerned, experience soon settles 
most of the questions raised in this controversy. As a 
matter of fact, these depressed classes are, in all parts of 
India, beginning to discover that Christianity has much to 
oflPer them, and that in the Christian missionary they can find 
not only a spiritual guide, but an invaluable friend. They 
find that Christianity alone opens for them a doorway by 
which their children can enter the public schools; Chris- 
tianity alone can secure for them any public employment 
worthy the name; Christianity alone can point out to them 
a way of escape from the long and weary condition of semi- 
bondage in which they and their forefathers have lived ; 
Christianity alone can remove the stigma of social degrada- 
tion which has been so cruelly imprinted upon them as a 
people; and Christianity alone can give them the hope of a 
happier life in this world, and a better life in the world to 
come. In the Panjab, in the extreme part of South India, 


in the eastern part of the Telugu country, among the Mhars 
of the Bombay coast, and in various districts of Central India, 
and throughout the Northwest Provinces, large numbers of 
these people are beginning to move steadily toward Chris- 
tianity. The missionary can hardly choose his course, even 
if disposed to do so. In the face of such a movement he 
may, if possessed by a doubtful spirit, hesitate for a short 
time; but unless recreant to his commission as a messenger 
of the world's Saviour, he is compelled to meet these people 
and give them a glad welcome to the great brotherhood of 
Christian disciples. 

It is by no means certain that the fact that the great ma- 
jority of Christian converts come from these depressed 
classes will prove a barrier to the reception of the gospel by 
the higher castes. So far as the experiment has been tried, 
it seems to be woj^king in the opposite direction. When the 
Brahman and Rajput begin to discover that the despised Cha- 
mar or sweeper of their village has suddenly overtaken them in 
the race, and established his superiority as a man of character 
and intelligence, they can not but be impressed by the fact. 
I have been told that in the Telugu country, where the 
American Baptists have achieved such amazing success 
among these depressed classes, many leading Brahmans have 
become profoundly impressed by what they have seen, and 
begin to ponder the question of becoming Christians them- 
selves, with a new interest. 

No one needs feel surprised when told that even some 
missionaries in India, who have seen more or less of the 
daily life of these depressed classes, are inclined to doubt 
the possibility of elevating them either morally or socially 
after they become Christians. The simple statement that 
many of them have earned the appellation of carrion-eaters 
will suffice to destroy all hope of their social renovation in 
the minds of multitudes, even of intelligent people. But we 
are always prone to forget the social rock from which we our- 
selves have been hewn, as well as the pit from which our own 


feet have been taken. Three centuries ago many of the an- 
cestors of the most cultured members of the Anglo-Saxon 
race were addicted to the practice of feasting upon puddings 
made of blood drawn from living cows. We forget, too, 
that three centuries ago there were sections of Great Britain 
in which the half-savage farmers knew no other method of 
plowing than that of tying the tails of their oxen to the 
plow. The use of harness was an innovation to them un- 
known. The descendants of these rude and utterly ignorant 
people conveniently forget many pages in the history of their 
ancestors which it would do them good to study. So far as 
the possibility of elevating these Indian people of low caste 
is concerned, I venture to affirm that the problem has 
already been solved. I have seen before my own eyes the 
second generation of Christians drawn from this class grow 
up to a new and nobler life than their ancestors ever knew. 
More than that, I have seen them overcome the prejudices 
of their high-caste neighbors to an astonishing extent, and 
not only win but command their respect without an effort. 
In regions where two or three generations ago it would have 
been considered an outrage for a man belonging to any one 
of these depressed classes to presume to learn to read or to 
seek an education in any form whatever, I have seen the 
Christian convert not only acquiring knowledge, but impart- 
ing it without exciting either indignation or surprise. Two 
years ago, when visiting a high-school in North India, my 
attention was called to a young man who was pronounced 
the most successful teacher in the institution. The principal 
of the school said to me that he passed more boys at the an- 
nual examinations than any other teacher ; and when I was 
in his room I noticed among his pupils, not only Brahmans 
and other Hindus of high rank, but also Mohammedans of 
the better class. This successful teacher was the son of a 
sweeper, and his low origin was perfectly well known, and 
yet I saw him in the very act of preparing Brahman boys 
for admission to the university. This one illustration would 


suffice to show what is possible in the way of revolutionizing 
the position of these lowly people, but it is one among a hun- 
dred. We have probably now more than a hundred teachers 
at work in North India, all of whom belonged by birth to 
the depressed classes. A writer in a recent number of the 
Madras Times, in discussing this subject, says: '^Twenty- 
five years ago I baptized a sweeper. That sweeper's son is 
now a successful school-master, and has coached more than 
a hundred Brahmans and Kshatrias through the difficulties 
of high-school examinations. The sons of sweepers are in 
Government offices, are pushing their way on the railways ; 
they are studying law and engineering, as well as theology 
and medicine.^' 

Another fact, which has been amply demonstrated in the 
history of our own mission, is the certainty that Christians 
drawn from the most lowly of the people not only sometimes 
rise as individuals, but also as a community. The native 
Christian in the villages of Rohilkhand to-day stands very 
much higher than he did twenty, or even ten, years ago. 
One thing which has contributed, perhaps, more to this re- 
sult than anything else, has been the remarkable influence 
exerted by educated native Christian women. Whatever 
may be true of the men, the most blind can not help seeing 
that the Christian women who have been educated, and in a 
measure refined, in the mission-schools, stand head and 
shoulders above all the other women in the villages. The 
men themselves can not but feel their own inferiority in the 
presence of such women. Not only can they read and write, 
but there is something about their self-respecting carriage 
which arrests attention and commands respect. The wives 
and daughters of both Mohammedans and Hindus are for 
the most part wholly illiterate, and if the men made no ad- 
vance whatever, the superior intelligence of the women 
would quickly raise the whole community in the estimation 
of the public. 

As an illustration of the manner in which a Christian, 


especially if possessed of a fair degree of common sense and 
genuine modesty, can win his way in the esteem of the most 
haughty Brahman or Mohammedan members of the com- 
munity, is found in the case of one of our preachers in North 
India. When the Rev. F. M. Wheeler, now of the Puget 
Sound Conference, was a missionary in Moradabad, his at- 
tention was drawn to a boy belonging to the sweeper class, 
who was driving a buffalo attached to a conservancy cart. 
He seemed to be a bright boy, and Mr. Wheeler offered him 
a chance to secure an education. He quickly accepted the 
offer, and in due time became fairly well educated in his 
own language, and, after a preliminary service, was made a 
preacher. Some four or five years ago he was appointed to 
a town in which all the Christians were sweeper converts, 
and consequently held in the lowest estimation. It was 
probably known that he himself had come from the same 
despised class. When he went to buy any article in the 
common market, he was required to spread a sheet on the 
ground, on which the seller would place the articles pur- 
chased. They were never handed to the preacher as they 
would be to an ordinary purchaser. He would then lay the 
money which was to pay for the articles on the ground, and 
the seller would pick it up, refusing to be contaminated by 
taking even money from the hands of one so utterly degraded. 
The wise preacher never protested against such an indignity. 
When he had any business with the native magistrate of the 
town, he was required to stand at a distance and state his 
case, precisely as other sweepers would be. He always ac- 
cepted his lot without complaint, acting as if unconscious of 
any indignity. Time, however, began to work in his behalf 
The people could not but respect him as they began to learn 
his worth. By and by he was no longer required to have 
the articles which he purchased laid upon a sheet at a dis- 
tance from the seller's shop. Then he began to be treated 
with more deference by the native magistrate and all other 
officials, and, after some two or three years, when he had 


any business with the magistrate, he would not only be 
courteously received, but a chair would be set out for him, 
and he invited to take a seat. In other words, he was 
treated in all respects like a respectable native gentleman, 
and when the census of 1891 was taken he was made census 
officer for the whole town. This one case will illustrate the 
workings of the general law. If we make these people 
worthy of respect, they will receive all the social deference 
to which they prove themselves entitled. The change will 
not come in a day or a year ; but they are sure to rise in the 
social scale that is, provided we make them really, and not 
nominally. Christians. 

It has been truly said more than once in recent years 
that the Indian Brahmans of the future that is, the highest 
social class of the Indian future will be those who shall first 
have received Christianity in all its purity and integrity. 
No artificial scheme can ever do for any people what the 
simple faith of Christ invariably accomplishes when it is re- 
ceived in all sincerity. In some parts of India, it is true, the 
Christian community has not risen as rapidly as some of 
these statements would indicate ; but in all such cases it will 
be found that the fault lies either with the first teachers, who 
failed to give the people the right impetus, or that some mis- 
take, such as the neglect of education, or the toleration of 
caste practices, or drinking habits, or something else of the 
kind, has intervened to prevent the progress which otherwise 
would have been inevitable. 

The fact that not a few of our Indian Christians look 
with grave concern upon the present growing movement 
among the depressed classes in favor of Christianity, ought 
not to excite much surprise when all the facts of the case be- 
come known. The reader in America can hardly understand 
how very low in the esteem of the general public these de- 
pressed classes really stand. The contempt of the white 
population in the South for the Negroes in the days of slav- 
ery was not so great as that which is felt by the high-caste 


Indian for his out-caste neighbors. Before the days of En- 
glish rule, in many parts of the country the out-castes were 
not permitted to walk on the public roads, or to carry um- 
brellas; and in some districts of Southern India, in compara- 
tively recent years, the missionaries encountered fierce oppo- 
sition from the higher castes when they attempted to teach 
their female converts to dress with ordinary modesty. For 
ages all women belonging to the lowest castes had been for- 
bidden to wear any covering on their bosoms, and when such 
women became Christians their high-caste neighbors felt per- 
sonally outraged because the missionaries encouraged them 
to dress with ordinary womanly modesty. The matter was 
appealed to the Government, and had to be tested in the 
courts before the Christian women could secure even this 
small measure of protection. The absurd thing about the 
whole procedure was, that the high-caste people regarded 
themselves as outraged by the impudence of the low-caste 
women. In some remote districts some of these customs 
still prevail. When I lived in Garhwal, in 1866-7, the 
school-boys frequently told me that I had for the first time 
introduced into that region the custom of allowing low-caste 
people the ordinary rights of the general community. To 
the present day, in remote parts of that mountain district, a 
low-caste man is required to leave the road when he sees a 
high-caste person approaching him. I remember on one oc- 
casion, when on an itinerating tour, I was passing a carpen- 
ter's shop, and, wishing to talk with the men who were at 
work inside, I entered and took a seat. A young Brahman 
who had been walking with me wished to follow; but before 
doing so he deliberately ordered the carpenters out of their 
own shop, and was obeyed in a moment. The poor fellow 
looked very foolish when I arose and followed the low-caste 
men out, telling him that it was them I came in to talk with, 
and that I cared nothing for his presence whatever. 

It tests the humility as well as the courage of ordinary 
Christians, not only to see people so despised admitted to the 


general Christian community, but to see them coming by 
hundreds and by thousands, with the certain prospect of be- 
coming in a short time overwhelmingly in the majority so 
far as the whole Christian community is concerned. This 
humiliation is felt much more keenly in India than it would 
be in countries where the caste idea does not prevail, at least 
in the acute form in which it is found in- India. Hence, if 
many who are opposing, or at least severely criticising, the 
present movement, were to state their feelings frankly and 
fully, they would admit that what they fear is that Chris- 
tianity will be degraded in public estimation, and soon be 
regarded as merely the religion of out-castes. Such a feeling 
is natural, but at the same time wholly misplaced and un- 
worthy of any persons bearing the Christian name. That it 
exists is certain, and for one I am not surprised to discover 
that it meets a certain amount of sympathy among even in- 
telligent persons in America. I have often been asked, in a 
tone which betrayed the most serious concern, if it were not 
true that the mass of our converts were drawn from the 
dregs of the population. To such a question I of course re- 
ply in the negative. The word "dregs,'' w^hen used in a 
social sense, is sometimes equivocal. Mr. Spurgeon once 
X aptly said that we have no more to fear from the dregs at the 
bottom, than from the scum that floats upon the surface of 
society. The most depressed people are by no means neces- 
sarily the worst people. Those who rallied around our Saviour 
himself when on earth were as heartily despised by the 
religious leaders of their day as the native Christians of In- 
dia are by the Brahmans of our own time. 

The missionaries of India would not have chosen to have 
the great majority of their converts taken from the lower 
classes if the question had been put to them at the outset; 
but God's ways are not man's ways, and he saw clearly that 
if the Christian church in India should at first be composed 
wholly of the wise and the great, according to the standard 
of this world, it would be ages upon ages before the lower 


castes would ever be reached. For a score of reasons it is 
better that Christianity should begin the great work of ren- 
ovating India from the very foundation of society. Here 
are multitudes who at once are the most needy and the most 
accessible. They will first be won, and when they have become 
Christians their position will be forever assured. The change 
will probably work a practical revolution in the empire,' 
possibly within the next century. A very few of our Indian 
statesmen begin to perceive this, and look with anxiety to the 
great upheaval which must come when these depressed mill- 
ions begin to understand their rights as men and Christians. 
One Government official, a few years ago, in a report of th-e 
work under his jurisdiction, remarked that if the Chamars of 
his district became Christians in a body, it would work a rev- 
olution, the effects of which no one could foretell. He con- 
fessed that the very prospect filled his own mind with dismay. 
What this gentleman clearly perceived in his own particular 
district, holds true with regard to almost the whole empire. 
But it is needless to speculate with regard to popular con- 
tingencies of this kind. Not only India, but the world, is 
on the eve of more revolutions than we short-sighted mortals 
can possibly foresee. It becomes us only to do our duty, 
meet the demands of the present hour, and, like Daniel, stand 
in our lot till the end, whatever that end may be, which God 
has determined shall come. 

Cl)apber XXXL 


EVERY missionary who worked in our circle thirty years 
ago will have a vivid recollection of the manner in 
which every door of access to the people seemed then to be 
barred against us. Wherever the missionary turned in those 
days he was met by a social as well as religious barricade 
which challenged his progress, and it seemed to him a per- 
petual wonder that, having come so far with the most im- 
portant message which any man could bear to his fellow-men, 
and to a people who were at heart kindly disposed towards 
every stranger, he could nevertheless gain but indirect access 
to the hearts and homes of those whom he wished to reach. 
If he found any earnest inquirer, he had to seek for him ; and 
when he succeeded in discovering one, he had to observe con- 
stant watchfulness lest some sudden obstruction should rise 
between him and the one whom he wished to benefit. In 
those days the missionary literally was obliged to go to the 
people, rather than have them come to him. He not only 
found it imperative upon him to go among them, and live 
within sight and hearing of the ceaseless multitude which 
passed before him, but also to search out every possible 
private pathway by which to gain more immediate access, not 
only to the community, but to the mind and heart of each 
particular person. Thirty years, however, have wrought a 
great change in this respect. Doors which seemed closed and 
double-barred in former days, are now swinging wide open ; 
and if access to some castes and classes is still practically 
closed, no missionary needs longer mourn because he can find 
no one willing to be led to Christ. 


In former days, uncultivated fields could be found in 
abundance; but when the missionary entered his field of 
labor, although he found ample room so far as mere residence 
was concerned, he failed utterly to find any way of success- 
fully beginning his task. As stated above, there was no 
access to the people. They were hedged about by so mauy 
prejudices, fears, customs, and adverse influences of all kinds, 
that, although living and moving among them, he still was 
made to feel constantly as if he was separated from them by 
many weary leagues. Now, however, not only are ample 
fields still waiting for the reaper, but within each field im- 
mediate and easy access is found to multitudes of the people. 
As stated in other chapters, most of these new doors, which of 
late have been opened wide to all missionary workers, are 
among the lower castes; but if there is any disadvantage 
found in this fact, it is more than counterbalanced by the 
extraordinary opportunities found among these people. If a 
report were to reach the United States that a new island had 
been discovered in the Pacific Ocean, with 500,000 people 
living upon it, none of whom had yet received the gospel, 
and all of whom were sorely oppressed by false and cruel 
social and religious systems, under which they and their fore- 
fathers had been groaning for centuries, all the churches of 
America would at once rise with the utmost enthusiasm, and 
determine to send missionaries to these neglected people. 
But it is precisely a discovery of this kind which has re- 
cently been made in many parts of our field. In another 
chapter I have spoken of the discovery made some years ago 
that missionary labor could most successfully be prosecuted 
upon caste lines. Every year this discovery becomes of more 
practical importance to us. When we strike a particular 
caste, for instance, and find the people accessible, and re- 
ceive a few hundred, or a few thousand of them into the 
Christian church, we have made a discovery virtually of a 
great island in the social world of India, containing fifty, a 
hundred, or five hundred thousand persons, all of whom are 


without the gospel, all of whom have long been groaning 
beneath heavy burdens bound upon them by false religious 
systems, and all of whom are more or less interested in the 
world's Saviour, of whom they have dimly heard. I have 
spoken of such a community as numbering perhaps five hun- 
dred thousand, but as a matter of fact some of these commu- 
nities far exceed that number. The Chamars, for instance, of 
the Northwest Provinces and Oudh number between five and 
six millions, and every year many of them are embracing 
Christianity.* Every new caste or class of the people among 
whom we gain a foot-hold is like the discovery of one of 
these great islands; and we are now not only successfully 
working among quite a number of the lowest castes, but have 
gained a very encouraging foot-hold among several of the 
higher castes, including a very important opening among the 
Rajputs, who rank next to the Brahmans. We have also in 
two different sections of the country found an open door 
among the Mohammedans, the people who of all others at 
first seemed most effectually shut off from our efforts. 

Thirty years ago we were obliged in every case to go to 
the people, but now the situation is changed and they are 
coming to us. In those days it was difficult to find people 
who would receive us ; now it is impossible to find mission- 
aries and other workers enough to receive the eager hun- 
dreds and thousands who ask us to baptize them, and not 
only admit them to the privileges of the Christian church, 
but teach them and their children to read the word of God, 
and to acquaint themselves with the knowledge that makes 
wise unto salvation. In some parts of our great field, it is 
true, we are still obliged to seek the people; but in other 
sections the rule has become reversed, and there is every 
reason to believe that before many years the extreme pressure 
which is now felt by our laborers in North and Central India 
will extend to our w^ork in every part of this great empire. 

'One missionary writes that he expects to baptize one thousand 
of them before the close of the present year. 



It is within the bounds of the North India Conference 
where the most marked progress has been made during the 
past four years. The territory embraced within the ecclesias- 
tical boundaries of that Conference might for convenience be 
divided into three sections. First we have the little province 
of Rohilkhand, of which I have spoken in previous chap- 
ters, with its population in round numbers of about five mill- 
ions. This one little field is in every respect more promising 
and hopeful than it has ever been before. There is no rea- 
son to anticipate that the work now going on will lose its 
momentum for many years to come, and experienced mission- 
aries in that region anticipate that for years it will be per- 
fectly practicable, if the Church in America sustains them, to 
gather in at least ten thousand converts every year. 

To the south of Rohilkhand is the ancient kingdom of 
Oudh, with an area of 24,246 square miles, and a population 
of more than twelve millions. In ancient times this was one 
of the most important parts of the empire. The founder of 
Buddhism was born in Eastern Oudh, and Rama, perhaps 
the best and most popular character in Hindu mythology, 
who was no doubt a veritable king in ancient times, was 
born at the ancient capital of the kingdom, now known as 
Ajodhya. In the time of Warren Hastings, Oudh was a 
powerful kingdom, holding only a nominal allegiance to the 
Mogul Emperor, and was then esteemed, as it had been for 
ages before, one of the richest provinces of all India. It is 
often called the Garden of India, but is less productive than 
Lower Bengal. It is a little behind Rohilkhand in civiliza- 
tion and in the intelligence of its people. Its Mohammedan 
rulers did very little for the people, but squandered its 
splendid resources in building palaces for themselves, first at 
Faizabad, and later at Lucknow. The city of Lucknow was 
for a long time the leading inland city of India, and at the 
time of the annexation of Oudh by the Indian Government 


it was supposed to have a population of at least half a million. 
A very large proportion of these were mere parasites, either 
living upon the direct bounty of the court, or attached to 
hangers-on of various kinds. The condition of the country 
before the annexation was simply deplorable. The reigning 
king had become a mere puppet in the hands of worthless 
men, and had given himself up to a life of voluptuous pleas- 
ure, which made him insensible to all hopes of reward or 
fear of punishment. After repeated warnings the stroke fell, 
in the year 1856, when Oudh was annexed to British India, 
and the king deposed and banished to a palace built for him 
on the banks of the river Hoogly, below Calcutta. 

Our mission-work in Oudh has been much less successful 
than elsewhere, partly owing to causes which could be pointed 
out in the policy of the mission itself, but chiefly to the dif- 
ferent conditions of the people. One of our Hindustani 
preachers remarked some years ago that it was more difficult 
to make a low-caste man a Christian in Oudh than to con- 
vert a Brahman in Eohilkhand. Such was the popular be- 
lief for many years among our Hindustani workers. The 
people of Oudh had fewer schools, and were more timid and 
subject to prejudice than those farther north. They were 
also much more subject to the landlords of the province, and 
had not as fully escaped from the stat^ of semi-serfdom in 
which they had formerly lived. At last, however, a better 
day seems to have dawned upon Oudh. During the year 
1891 over a thousand converts were gathered in at the dif- 
ferent mission stations of the province, and the workers 
begin to feel that a success equal, if not greater, than that 
achieved in other regions may soon be expected, even in 
Oudh. If the work can be sustained, even upon its present 
basis, there is no reason to doubt that it will soon begin to 
assume proportions somewhat like those realized in Rohil- 
khand, and yield an annual harvest of not less than ten thou- 
sand souls. Indeed, we ought not to anticipate anything 
below these figures. The workers are sure to experience 


grave difficulties ; but they have already struck what miners 
would call rich " leads," and begin to discover that they have 
only to follow these up faithfully in order to achieve the 
success for which they have for years been longing and pray- 
ing. In some parts of the province particularly on the 
eastern side of the great Gogra river the prospects are es- 
pecially encouraging. In the Gonda district, of which men- 
tion has before been made, where the Rev. S. Knowles has 
labored for many years, many interesting openings present 
themselves; and in that region alone it is probable that a 
field equal to the whole of Rohilkhand may yet be found in 
the immediate vicinity of the historic cities where the great- 
est of the epic kings of the Hindu faith, as well as the 
founder of the great religious system known as Buddhism, 
were born and reared. 

A similar estimate might be made for the country called 
the Doab literally, two waters that is, the region lying be- 
tween the Ganges and Jumna rivers. In former years, 
while we restricted our labors to the region east of the 
Ganges, we received frequent intimations that open doors 
awaited us west of the river, among relatives of our converts. 
But in those days it was thought best for each church or 
society to confine its labors within a given field, and for some 
time little heed was given to the calls from that section. It 
was impossible, however, to persist in such a policy very 
long. Not only did some of our converts remove to the 
western side of the river, but from time to time parties living 
over there would visit their Christian relatives in Rohil- 
khand, and while among them be converted, and return to 
their former homes as Christians. In this way a scattered 
membership began to be reported in the annual statistics, 
some years before it was formally resolved to take up work 
on that side of the river. At last, however, the repeated and 
urgent calls from that section of country met with a re- 
sponse. At first only Hindustani preachers were sent among 
the people; but finally, as the work assumed an organized 



form, it was determined to occupy the country in consider- 
able force. Cawnpore had become one of our stations in the 
south, and Mathra and Agra, important cities, were occupied 
farther north and west. Finally, at the Annual Conference 
of January, 1889, two presiding elders' districts were formed 
on that side of the river one with the Rev. J. E. Scott, 
Ph. D., as presiding elder, and the other with the Rev. Hasan 
Raza Khan, a convert from Mohammedanism, arid a man of 
much energy and zeal, who had practically carved out the 
district over which he now presides. At the present time 
this section of our Avork is the most promising we have in 
India. Presiding Elder Hasan Raza Khan has repeatedly 
written to me and others that, in addition to the many con- 
verts whom he has received during the present year, he could 
baptize three or four thousand others if provided with workers 
to take charge of them after baptism. Dr. Scott also reports 
almost equally promising fields in parts of his work. The 
station of Ajmere, far to the west of the Doab, and belong- 
ing to Central India, has been attached to this district, be- 
cause nearer to its head-quarters than to any other part of 
our work. The Rev. James Lyon, missionary at Ajmere, 
has baptized large numbers of converts during the present 
year. At many points nearer to Mathra and Agra a similar 
work has commenced, and, taking this district as a represent- 
ative portion of the North India Conference, I have no hes- 
itation in saying that if the work could only be sustained, it 
also would yield permanently a harvest of perhaps ten thou- 
sand souls annually. 

Just here I might pause to explain a peculiarity con- 
nected with the expansion of our work. Friends in America 
constantly warn us, and sometimes even chide us for our 
headlong precipitancy in extending a work which already has 
outgrown our working force. We are told to be more delib- 
erate, and not to advance a single inch beyond the lines 
which have been already marked out for us. Persons who 
thus counsel us forget that such advice is practically impos- 


sible while we are working under our Methodist system. In 
an early chapter of this book, in speaking of the apparent 
necessity which was laid upon the first English leaders to 
found an empire in India, I pointed out the fact that all 
Englishmen had from childhood been familiar with what 
might be called an organizing instinct in the Anglo-Saxon 
character. Put down men of this race in any part of the 
world, and they will proceed with the work of organization 
as naturally as with that of tilling the soil. They have been 
trained to it, and recognize its necessity at once. A similar 
remark will apply to men who have been trained in the 
school of active Methodism; The idea of organizing and ex- 
tending their work becomes to them almost an instinct. 
Take, for instance, a young man to whom I might refer, 
now engaged in our work in another part of the country. 
Not long since I was sketching on a sheet of paper the cir- 
cuit which had been given him. It contained four or five 
appointments. As I went on sketching his circuit, a friend 
who was looking at the improvised map, remarked: "That 
young man is really carving out a presiding elder's district. 
Each appointment on his circuit is becoming the center of 
another circuit.'' *' Yes," I replied, " it becomes perfectly 
natural for him to go on and build upon the model furnished 
to him. His circuit will be a presiding elder's district before 
many years, if it continues to expand as it is now doing." 

This is precisely what has happened in the case of our 
brother, Hasan Ilaza Khan. He was given a certain circuit 
in the Doab, and at once began to extend his work. Each 
one of his little appointments became the center of a group 
of villages in which Christian classes were formed, and within 
a very short time it began to be observed that his circuit 
was taking the shape of a presiding elder's district. When 
he had carved out the district, it was felt by every one 
that he was justly entitled to preside over it, and thus far 
the experiment tried in his case has proved more than suc- 


In Rohilkhand, our third Indian presiding elder has won 
his position in the same way. I say Indian, although the 
brother in question is a Jew by race the Rev. Abraham 
Solomon. This brother also had a circuit which he held for 
a number of years, and, having achieved unusual success in 
winning converts, there grew up around him in the process 
of time a group of appointments, each of which became of 
sufficient importance to become the head of a circuit ; and 
when this zealous 'worker had thus furnished the material for 
making a new presiding elder's district, it seemed both nat- 
ural and just that he should assume charge of it. He also 
is doing well, and perhaps furnishing one of the few interest- 
ing illustrations we now have of the future expansion of our 
work among the millions of this great empire. 

These three men Avill illustrate a tendency which is com- 
mon to our work everywhere in India. That ecclesiastical 
system which is popularly called Methodism has now been 
in operation more than a hundred years, and those who have 
grown up and been trained according to its maxims can 
never stand still in any part of the earth, unless they bid 
farewell to success in their work. If they build at all, they 
must be expected to build according to the pattern showed to 
them in the Methodist mount more than a hundred years ago. 
They are not Congregationalists, or even Presbyterians, and 
their system, if worked in its integrity, in the very nature of 
the case will impel, or propel, them forward, and they will go 
on organizing, even as their fathers did before them, for all 
the years to come. It is utterly useless for parties in Amer- 
ica to sit down in their quiet homes and form plans for work- 
ers on the other side of the globe, which embrace so impos- 
sible a condition as that of bodies moving and standing still 
at the same time. Methodism was never intended to illus- 
trate such an impossible policy. It must move forward, or 
else suffer spiritual paralysis. We may as well accept the 
conditions at once, and ought to feel no surprise when we 
discover that a wonderful system which has covered the 


whole United States and, indeed, all the British colonies, 
with a net-work of evangelizing agencies, continues to fulfill 
its mission when applied to so peculiar a people as are found 
in the Empire of India. 

In speaking of the North India Conference, I have omit- 
ted mention of the splendid mountain district included within 
its boundaries. Here, also, is a hopeful field, extending 
from the borders of Nepal on the east, to the head-waters of 
the Ganges on the west. Owing to an unfortunate but tem- 
porary connection of a part of North India with the Bengal 
Conference, the boundary-line on the west shuts off a part 
of North India, which would otherwise include the impor- 
tant station of Mussoorie, and the native state of Tiri. Add 
these to the three sections of the Conference spoken of above, 
and we have a region within which doors stand wide open 
to four or five important castes, with every human probability 
that the number will be increased almost with each return- 
ing year. We rejoice greatly at the present time over the 
probable baptism of ten thousand converts of all ages during 
the present year. I see no reason why the number might 
not be increased to fifteen thousand a year, and not allowed 
to fall below that figure for the next fifty years. In fact, it 
is impossible for any one in America to realize what is meant 
by an open door among a people who are counted by the 
million, and who are often accustomed to move in masses. 
The remark is often made among us that we fear, not that 
we shall fail to win converts, but that they may come more 
rapidly than we can care for them. But if we had nothing 
else in India at all ; if we could possibly do so, and were to 
return to the narrow boundaries of our former single mis- 
sion that of North India we might soon expect to have a 
great Christian church numbering not less than a hundred thou- 
sand members, and advancing with steady step if not, indeed, 
by leaps and bounds toward the final consummation of our 
hopes, the conversion of all these people to Christ. Only 
those who have known our day of small things can compre- 


hend what such a prospect means. We often grieve that our 
dear friends in America seem unable to appreciate such a 
golden opportunity. Nothing like it has ever before been 
presented to any Christian church, and if our own people re- 
fuse to discern the signs of the times as God reveals them ; if 
they shrink from an opportunity which angels would eagerly 
grasp; if they content themselves with a mere nominal sup- 
port of a work which to them has little more meaning than 
that of a conventional religious term, they will do so at 
the peril of their own best interests, and perhaps earn the re- 
proach of generations yet unborn. 

I have spoken of these open doors in one part of North 
India. In a few brief chapters I shall now speak of other 
fields, in other parts of the great empire, to which God has 
called us, and, if possible, give the reader a glimpse, in out- 
line merely, of the many doors which God is setting before 
us, east, west, north, and south, any one of which affords 
more signs of promise than were found in all parts of India 
and the East when I entered upon this great work thirty-two 
years ago. 

P. S. The above was written in August, 1891. A brief 
year has passed, and the march of events has thrown much 
light upon some of the estimates then made. In three places 
I have changed the estimate of annual increase from five 
thousand to ten thousand. One year ago we ventured to 
hope for fifteen thousand baptisms from heathenism during 
the year; but the actual number was over nineteen thou- 
sand. My estimate of fifteen thousand converts every year 
was then considered a sanguine, if not extravagant, calcula- 
tion; but now few, if any, of our missionaries would fix on 
a lower number. I have not made an estimate of probable 
success during the past four years, which did not prove too 
low, instead of too high, when tested by the event. 

Cl)apber XXXII. 


THE Panjab literally five rivers is the name given to 
the large and important province which lies in the ex- 
treme northwestern part of India. It contains about 142,000 
square miles, and a population in round numbers of 25,000,- 
000. Its Government is administered by a Lieutenant-Gov- 
ernor, but a number of feudatory States are included within 
its boundaries. The western part of the Panjab is the region 
which was conquered by Alexander the Great when he invaded 
India. No event in the career of that great conqueror added 
more to his fame than his invasion of the mysterious realm, 
at that time hardly known, which lay east of the Indus; but, 
as a matter of fact, it seems to have been a very unimpor- 
tant conquest. He was not able to penetrate as far as the 
Jumna, much less to the Ganges, and after a few unimpor- 
tant victories was obliged to retrace his steps. 

The Panjab is famous as the home of the Sikhs, one of 
the most recent races of India, and one of the finest races 
w hich has ever appeared on the stage of Indian history. The 
rise and progress of these people, as well as the character of 
their religion, would form an interesting subject, but would 
require more space than can be afforded in a book of this 
character. Among all the enemies whom the English have 
conquered in India, the Sikhs easily take the foremost place. 
Physically and mentally they are a fine race, and, occupying 
as they do a ground midway between Mohammedanism and 
Hinduism, ipay yet play a prominent part in the Christian- 
ization of the country. 

While the Sikhs occupy the most prominent place in the 



Paiijab, both the Hindus and the Mohampiedans are also very 
numerous. As a mission-field this part of India is perhaps 
not quite as ripe as some regions which have been longer 
under Christian influence, and yet it is altogether probable 
that before many years the Panjab will take high rank among 
the mission-fields of the empire. The American Presbyte- 
rians were the first to enter the province ; but were followed in 
force by the Church Missionary Society, and at a later day 
the Church of Scotland, the United Presbyterians of America, 
the Baptists, and Methodists, and perhaps one or two others 
have joined in the work. Both the Presbyterians and Church 
missionaries occupy important stations. The latter have 
adopted the policy of posting themselves on the frontier, 
where they can not only influence the people of the Panjab, 
but throw rays of light far into the outer darkness of Cen- 
tral Asia. 

We were led into the Panjab in our usual way by begin- 
ning to preach to the English-speaking people of Lahore. 
Our success up to the present has not been very great in that 
city. In fact, we have encountered many discouragements, 
and might possibly have withdrawn had that been the only 
point occupied by us in that particular kind of work. There, 
however, as elsewhere, we soon began to do a little among the 
natives, and, having once commenced, we always feel com- 
mitted to go forward rather than retreat. In 1889 we opened 
a mission at the capital of the native State of Patiala, by send- 
ing a Hindustani ordained preacher to occupy the place. 
This is an important State, and our Hindustani brother* has 
met with a measure of success which is very encouraging. 
He has already won more converts than all of our mission- 
aries in India did during the first three years of our mission 
history. The census reports more than a million people 
in the Panjab belonging to the out-caste tribe known as 
Chuhras. It is among these people that our work is chiefly 

* This dear brother, the Rev. Antone Dntt, has since been called 
to his reward. He died at Patiala, June 15, 1892. 


carried on at present, and on the eastern border of the prov- 
ince our missionaries have baptized many hundreds of them 
in the last two or three years. We are now fully com- 
mitted to this work, and if we had no other interest in India 
we could employ all our forces in pushing a great campaign 
among them, with the almost certain prospect of achieving a 
very large measure of success. 

When we speak of Western India every one in the East 
would understand the reference to be to Bombay and the 
country lying adjacent to that great sea-port. The city of 
Bombay is the second city in the British Empire, and in most 
respects is eminently worthy of the position which it has 
gained. As the gateway through which Europe enters India, 
the city will no doubt retain this prominence, at least for 
many long years to come. Its commercial position is one of 
the best ; its harbor equal to all possible demands which the 
ships of the world can make upon it ; while its great lines 
of railway, reaching north, east, and south, serve as so many 
arms with which to gather in the produce of the great 

The city of Bombay is the seat of government of what 
used to be, and is still, popularly called the Bombay Presi- 
dency. The government is administered by a Governor in- 
stead of a Lieutenant-Governor. This official ranks a little 
higher than the ruler of Bengal, for instance, although he 
has less than one-third as many subjects under his adminis- 
tration. The Province of Sindh, at the mouth of the Indus, 
is under the jurisdiction of the Governor of Bombay, and, in- 
cluding this district, the total population is about 28,000,000, 
living on an area of 206,000 square miles. This estimate, 
however, includes the important native State of Baroda, and 
a large number of petty States, most of them, however, almost 
directly subordinate to the Bombay Government. 

The province of Sindh is made up almost exclusively by 
the delta of the great river Indus. It is a small Egypt, 
and very much more like the original Egypt than Bengal, 


which is likened to it in another chapter. It comprises 
an area of 54,000 square miles, with a population of about 
3,000,000. The surrounding region is for the most part 
an arid desert, and the little province is as dependent upon 
the Indus as Egypt is upon the Nile. The people of Sind 
have a language of their own, affiliated to the ancient San- 
skrit, and Ibrming one of the seven branches which are pop- 
ularly said to have sprung from the roots of that ancient 
tongue. We were led to Karachi, the capital of the province 
and one of the rising sea-ports of the empire, long years ago, 
by a local preacher, who began to hold meetings in that city 
among the English-speaking people, chiefly soldiers, to whom 
he could gain access. A large number were converted, and 
at their request one of our missionaries visited the place and 
formally organized them into a Methodist church. The re- 
moteness of the city has always been a hindrance to our 
work. It is difficult to give the little church and mission 
which has grown up in that place the supervision which it 
requires. During the present year an advance post has been 
established in the city of Quetta, a military station opened in 
Beluchistan and connected with Karachi by railway. Our 
friends in both Karachi and Quetta are eager, and almost 
clamorous, for a more vigorous support than we have here- 
tofore been able to give them. It will probably be found 
best for us to have either a presiding elder's district for- 
mally organized in that region, or the Province of Sindh set 
apart as a mission, somewhat after the manner of Korea or 

North of Bombay we find the home of the Gujarati peo- 
ple, one of the leading Hindu races. They have a language 
and literature of their own, and are found in great force in 
the city of Bombay itself, where they divide with the 
Marathas the chief interests of the city. The number of 
Gujarati people is variously estimated, but does not probably 
fall below 10,000,000. More than fifteen years ago our 
work became rooted in the city of Baroda, in Gujarat, 


through a small community of English-speaking persons. 
Soon after, a number of natives were converted and bap- 
tized, but owing to the inexperience of our missionaries at 
that early day, we had no one who understood such work to 
put in charge, and the promising opening which was then 
presented to us came to naught. We can now see clearly, 
that had we followed the indication which God then gave us, 
a great work might have been accomplished. More recently 
we have gained access to the Gujarati people through our 
missionaries in Bombay; and as many of these people return 
to their villages in Gujarat, they carry with them the gospel 
which they have received. We now have an organized 
Gujarati church in Bombay, and another in Baroda, and are 
planning to extend our work in that interesting province as 
rapidly as possible. Gujarat resembles North India more 
than any other region beyond the Gangetic plain. The 
lower castes are fully as accessible as any of the castes or 
tribes which we find in North India, and we have every 
reason to believe that a work carried .on among them on the 
same lines which we follow in North India, would produce 
the same results. 

Many readers are already familiar with the history of our 
work in Bombay. It was here that Bishop Taylor made his 
first independent stand in the empire. It was here that he 
was joined by the saintly and venerable George Bowen, a 
man whose praise was in all the churches of the East, and 
who brought with him a commanding influence in the city of 
Bombay itself It was from this point that our work ex- 
tended itself to the great city of Poona, the ancient capital of 
the Maratha Empire, and as far southward as the city of 
Hyderabad, the capital of the great Mohammedan State of 
that name. When Mr. Bowen united with the Methodist 
Episcopal Church he was an independent Presbyterian mis- 
sionary, but had been sent to India in the first place by the 
American Board. He of course continued the work which he 
was doing, and in this way it may be said that we have always 


liad a vernacular work in Bombay. This work was at first 
conducted wholly in the Marathi language. The Marathi is 
spoken by perhaps 20,000,000 people. As remarked else- 
where, it is impossible to ascertain, with accuracy the number 
of people who speak any particular tongue, as the census re- 
ports must, in the nature of the case, always be more or less 
imperfect. Like the Hindustani, the Marathi overflows into 
adjoining provinces and districts. The most careful estimate 
which I have been able to find, based on figures taken from 
the census of 1881, places the number of people using the 
Marathi tongue at 19,000,000. The increase during the time 
since then would no doubt bring the number up to 20,000,000. 
We have three churches in Bombay, and also a large 
building for work among the seamen. Our people, however, 
have found the struggle for existence in Bombay in some re- 
spects . a hard one. The English-speaking population is 
smaller than in Calcutta, or even Madras; and, while wholly 
dependent upon their own resources, our members, although 
devoted and faithful in a high degree, have heavy burdens to 
carry. We need to strengthen our forces in the city at once 
and very materially. We need especially, as also in Calcutta, 
to organize a strong working force among the native popula- 
tion. In the great city of Poona, which lies to the southeast 
of Bombay, at the edge of the great table-land known as the 
Deccan, we have a vigorous English church and school for 
European boys and girls, and a well-organized and vigorous 
mission for the Maratha people. We also occupy two or three 
smaller stations in Marathi-speaking districts. Very recently 
quite a number of converts have been baptized in the vicinity 
of Bombay, and the few attempts which have been made to 
reacli the lower castes, of whom there are large numbers, have 
met with a measure of success, which leaves no doubt in my 
mind that all we need in order to reproduce the success we 
have achieved in Northern India, is to api)ly the same meth- 
ods and a similar working force. In other words, I mean 
that if we could even moderately strengthen our work in 


the three provinces the Panjab, Gujarat, and the Maratha 
country it would be the most reasonable thing in the world 
for us to anticipate an ingathering of at least five thousand 
souls annually in each district; that is, we ought to anticipate 
such a measure of success at an early day. Looking to the 
years beyond, of course such figures would be altogether out 
of place. Here again our friends in America can see three 
wide-open doors clearly marked and easy of access. Each of 
these doors admits us not so much to a district as to an empire. 
If our church had no other calls in any part of the world, and 
were to throw her whole strength into any one of these three 
fields, she would find enough, and much more than enough, 
to test all her energies and to call forth all her resources. 
But here, as elsewhere, we do not propose to accomplish 
everything in a day. We only ask to be strengthened so as 
to make an advance, and create on the ground the resources 
by which future and greater campaigns shall be sustained. 

Christianity should especially be strengthened in every 
possible way, and in the best sense of the word, in the great 
city of Bombay. The power that holds Bombay must neces- 
sarily hold all Western India. This is as true of the religious 
as of the political situation. While Calcutta has thus far 
taken a leading position intellectually, and will probably hold 
it for many years to come, yet Bombay, so far as Western 
India is concerned, will, in every sense of the word, occupy a 
more commanding position. As one branch of our common 
Master's service, the Methodists must bear this fact in mind 
in all their plans for Western India. In order to sustain 
their work elsewhere in that region they must occupy Bom- 
bay in force. They should at once form plans on the broad- 
est basis, and provide schools, churches, and evangelizing 
agencies of eVery possible kind. Their action, too, should be 
not only vigorous but prompt. No time is to be lost in seiz- 
ing the present opportunity. Had we acted more promptly 
in the past, our position would have been greatly strengthened 
in Bombay and all Western India to-day. 


Cl)apber XXXIII. 


THE Dame Bengal was formerly applied to all the vast 
region comprised in eastern, northern, and north- 
western India, which was then known as the Bengal Presi- 
dency. At the present time, however, it is used in a much 
more restricted sense, being applied to the jurisdiction of the 
local government of that name, and forming one of the twelve 
subordinate divisions which are comprised in British India. 
It is by far the most important of these local governments, 
containing, as it does, about one-third of the total population 
of the empire, and also yielding about one-third of the public 
revenue. It is ruled by a Lieutenant-Governor, and is sub- 
divided into four great provinces, known as Bengal proper, 
Behar, Orissa, and Chota Nagpore. The last named of 
these provinces is composed chiefly of a hilly tract to the 
westward of Calcutta, and inhabited for the most part by 
aboriginal tribes. Orissa is a comparatively small province 
on the sea-coast, southeast of Calcutta, and chiefly famous as 
the seat of the well-known temple of Jagannath. The people 
of Chota Nagpore, for the most part, speak the Hindi lan- 
guage ; but the inhabitants of Orissa, known as the Ooriyas, 
have a language of their own, somewhat akin to the Bengali. 
Bengal proper is the Egypt of India, the country having 
been built up by the alluvial deposits of the Ganges and 
Brahmaputra Rivers. These two mighty streams unite their 
two deltas before reaching tlie sea, and in ])ast ages have 
built up one of the largest and richest alhivial plains to be 
found anywhere in the world. Bengal proper has an area of 
about 70,000 square miles, and contains a population of 

BENGAL. 435 

about 37,000,000. The country is exceedingly rich, but the 
people for the most part, like the masses of India generally, 
live in great poverty. Their chief food is rice, although 
other grains are grown to some extent in the more northern 
parts of the country. For many centuries past Bengal has 
been known as one of the richest regions in the East. Its 
commerce, important even before the European era, has had 
an immense development, and has been the means of build- 
ing up Calcutta from a miserable village of mud huts, into 
one of the largest and most important cities in the British 

The Bengali people number about 40,000,000, or at least 
about that number speak the Bengali language. Some of 
these, it will be seen, live beyond the limits of the province, 
and are included, for the most part, in Behar, although col- 
onies of Bengalis have become settled in many of the cities 
of North India. The largest of these is at Benares, where 
pious Hindus from Bengal have been in the habit of going 
in their more advanced years, that they might die within the 
precincts of that holy place. The sanctity of the city and 
other inducements have drawn together a very considerable 
colony, which has become permanently established at this 
point. The Bengalis have a very distinctly marked physi- 
ognomy, and a character differing in several respects from 
that of all other Indians, so that they are as easily recognized, 
and perhaps more generally known throughout India than 
any other race of the empire. They have also secured more 
attention in England than any other Indians, chiefly owing 
to the fact that those who apply themselves to the effort, 
succeed in mastering the English language more perfectly 
than is common in the East, and use both tongue and pen 
with an ease and skill which commend them to the favorable 
notice of strangers. I am bound to say, however, that they 
are not popular, either among Europeans or their Indian 
brethren of other races. They are popularly accused of a 
want of courage, and are never found enlisted among the 


sepoys of the Indian army. They are of an aggressive spirit, 
fond of criticising the Government of the day, and, both by 
their superior mental ability and success in seeking their per- 
sonal promotion, have created a feeling among their country- 
men of other races which is perhaps tinged more or less by 
popular jealousy. It must be conceded, however, even by 
their most severe critics, that they are, as a race, endowed 
with minds of a high order, and capable of easy and success- 
ful cultivation. They learn rapidly and eagerly. The schools 
of Calcutta are a standing evidence of their eagerness to se- 
cure a good practical education. The student population of 
the city is very large, numbering not less than 15,000 youths. 
Thousands of these have come from different parts of the 
province, and push their way with indomitable perseverance 
until they pass the full university course, and return home 
with the degree of Bachelor or Master of Arts. I have my- 
self seen 1,400 students present in the General Assembly's 
Institution, a missionary college founded by Dr. Duff on his 
first arrival in India, before the separation of the Free Church 
from the General Assembly. This is the largest of the Cal- 
cutta colleges; but another has over 1,200 students, and two 
or three others about 1,000 each. The number of smaller 
institutions is very large, and although well acquainted with 
the city, I can not attempt to give even a list of them. 

The Bengali people are evidently destined to exert a 
most important influence upon the empire generally. I 
ought to say frankly that it is considered the correct thing in 
certain circles in India to speak of them contemptuously, to 
ridicule their pretensions, and scout at the very idea of their 
ever exerting a wide or permanent influence among their 
countrymen. As a matter of fact, however, that influence is 
already felt, and can not be overlooked. They have had for 
years past some able leaders, and wherever they have gone in 
the little colonies formed by them throughout Upper India, 
they have taken prominent places in the community. I have 
heard some experienced missionaries express the opinion that 

BENGAL. 437 

in the fullness of time they will become most successful mis- 
sionaries of the gospel of Jesus Christ. They read more 
eagerly than most others in India, and in Calcutta they 
issue one daily paper in Euglish, quite a number of weekly 
English papers, and a very large number of vernacular 

To the north of Bengal proper lies the historic province 
of Behar. The city of Patna, which has for some time past 
been well known as the chief seat of Mohammedan influence 
in that region, was originally the capital of a powerful Bud- 
dhist kingdom. It was at this royal capital that the well- 
known Megasthenes lived for some years as ambassador 
from one of the Greek courts, and from his writings much 
valuable information has been gathered concerning the con- 
dition of ancient India. The province of Behar is situated 
between Oudh. on the north, and Bengal on the south, and 
resembles both of these provinces in the richness of its soil, 
its climate, and its general productions. It contains about 
44,000 square miles, and a population of about 24,000,000. 
The people, for the most part, speak Hindustani in a slightly 
modified form; but missionaries from Upper India find no 
difficulty whatever in preaching and carrying on the ordinary 
forms of missionary work among them. Thus far mission- 
ary work has not made much progress in Behar. A German 
Lutheran mission has been at work for more than half a cen- 
tury, chiefly on the northeastern side of the Ganges, which 
river runs through the center of the province. To the west 
and southwest the English Baptists have several stations ; but 
thus far neither they nor the German Lutherans have achieved 
any marked success in their work. For some reason which 
I have never been able to understand, this promising and 
most important region, with its vast population of 23,000,- 
000, has been much overlooked by missionary bodies gener- 
ally. It lies on the highway between Bengal and Northern 
India, and can not have escaped notice; but, as with the 
wonnded traveler who had fallen among thieves,-the journey- 


ing missionaries seem to have passed by on the other side 
without pausing to inquire if they had any duty to perform 
for the peojDle. Early in 1888 our own church sent its first 
missionary into Tirhoot, a district of Behar, lying north- 
east of the Ganges. The brother chosen was the Rev. H. 
Jackson, formerly of North India, but who had for a time 
retired from the field. He came out promptly on receiving 
his appointment, and has since been working, with his family, 
at the station of Mazafarpur. This one missionary family, 
however, must be looked upon as merely an advance guard. 
The field is as ripe for harvest, and gives as much promise 
as any other that I have seen in India. 

Returning now to Bengal proper, we find another mission- 
field of extraordinary promise. It is true that more mission- 
ary work has been done among the Bengali people than in 
Behar, and more also than had been done in Northern India 
until a comparatively recent period. All the great missionary 
societies of England are represented in Bengal, but only two 
American societies have yet entered the field. Neither of 
these is present in much force, and outside of the city of Cal- 
cutta the American missionary influence is but very slight. 
Although Dr. Carey began his great work in Bengal a century 
ago, and was followed at a comparatively early day by mis- 
sionaries of other societies, yet vast sections of the country 
can be found where no missionary is ever seen, and there are 
probably millions of the people who have never yet heard 
the name of Jesus Christ. When we consider the important 
position which Bengal occupies, politically, commercially, 
educationally, and, I may add, religiously, it is a marvel 
that our great missionary leaders have not seen more clearly 
the importance, if not absolute necessity, of putting forth 
more strenuous and better organized efforts for the conver- 
sion of the people. It might perhaps be said, by way of 
apology, that many stations have been established at impor- 
tant points throughout the province ; but this means very 
little. If, for instance, a district containing two millions of 

BENGAL. 439 

people chances to have a central station at which one or two 
missionaries live and labor, it does not by any means follow 
that the people generally are placed within reach of the 
gospel. If two Buddhist missionaries were to determine to 
establish a mission for the propagation of their faith in Iowa, 
and select an ordinary county-seat as their mission-station, 
it would take them a long while to make themselves felt 
among the people of the State at large, even though they 
were to avail themselves of all the advantages which news- 
papers, lecture-halls, and easy and rapid locomotion could 
give them. In Bengal tw^o missionaries among two millions 
of people find it still more difficult to make their presence 
felt. The railway does not carry them to the masses of the 
people in their quiet villages, nor are there any daily papers, 
lecture-halls, or other means of access to those whom they 
would willingly reach. As a sad matter of fact, there are 
millions upon millions of the people who are practically as 
much neglected, and as far from the sound of the gospel call, 
as their ancestors were when William Carey first landed 
upon Indian soil. 

In another chapter I have briefly told the story of our 
own entrance into Bengal. We were led to establish per- 
manent work in the city of Calcutta through the success 
which God gave us among the English-speaking people of 
that city. Very soon after organizing our church in Cal- 
cutta, Bengali Christians began to gather around us, at first 
in small numbers, but, as the years went by, slowly but steadily 
increasing. The native Christian community in that city, 
though not very large, has become very much like an ordinary 
community in England or America ; that is, it is composed 
of some earnest Christians, some who are comparatively in- 
different, and not a few who have thrown off the restraints of 
religion and are living lives of utter worldliness. It was 
among these last that our first converts were gathered. 
Nearly all of them had drifted into the city from country 
districts, where they had become Christians, and, being sepa- 


rated from their earlier and better associatioDS, they practically 
gave up not only their Christian integrity, but almost the 
very Christian name. After a time we began to make con- 
verts from Hinduism, chiefly through the agency of these 
people, and the work thus commenced in the city gradually 
extended itself into the country districts between Calcutta 
and the sea, in some sections of which many native Chris- 
tians are found. We have had more or less direct conver- 
sions from Hinduism in that region every year, but upon the 
whole the work has not been satisfactory. We do better in 
every way when we go among the heathen exclusively, and 
train our own converts from the beginning, instead of re- 
ceiving those who have perhaps, more than once in their 
lives, changed their religious profession. 

In like manner, a work among the Hindustani-speaking 
people of Calcutta began a number of years ago ; and, al- 
though its progress has not been so decided or satisfactory as 
that among the Bengalis, yet a Hindustani church with about 
a hundred members has been organized, and, considering all 
the circumstances, is doing fairly well. During the present 
year an opening has also been found among the Ooriyas that 
is, the natives of Orissa, the province mentioned above as 
lying to the southeast of Calcutta. A very large number of 
Ooriyas live in Calcutta permanently, and thus far very little 
has been done for them by any of the missionaries of the city. 
We hope to do what we can for them, although it is no part 
of our plan to establish separate missions in Orissa itself. 

The city of Calcutta is, for missionary purposes, beyond 
doubt the most important point in the East. Not only does 
it stand, like Singapore and Bombay, at one of the great 
cross-roads of the nations, with a far-reaching influence in 
every direction, but in India proper its position, from a re- 
ligious point of view, is very commanding. More than any 
other city in the empire, it is constantly in full view of all 
the Indian people, and any great event which occurs in 
Calcutta, not only attracts more attention, but produces a 

BENGAL. 441 

deeper and more lasting impression upon the public mind 
than if it took place elsewhere. A great religious movement 
beginning here would at once arrest attention everywhere 
throughout India, and the church or society which wishes to 
secure and permanently hold a strong position in India and 
the East, should be well represented in Calcutta. So far as 
our work among the English-speaking people is concerned, 
we have perhaps nothing to complain of, occupying as we do 
the largest church, and preaching to the largest congrega- 
tion in the city; but so far as our work among the Bengalis 
is concerned, we have not only failed to do our full duty in the 
past, but have now reached a point where it becomes imper- 
ative upon us to make a most vigorous and effectual advance. 
We should have a number of young men at once at work 
among the great college population of the city, and we should 
set them apart so exclusively for this work, that nothing in 
the future shall in any way interfere with their special duty. 
The work among the Bengali women also should be prose- 
cuted with new vigor. That field is peculiarly ripe, and a 
rich harvest may be regarded as near at hand if only reapers 
can be found to enter the field. 

Taking the whole region represented on the maps as Ben- 
gal, we are called upon imperatively to extend our lines and 
increase our working force immediately. If we create a pre- 
siding elder's district in Behar, corresponding in a moderate 
degree with a similar district in North India, and place not 
less than three new missionaries in that field at once, we may 
confidently expect, after a few years of preliminary work, to 
begin to gather in converts as rapidly as we are now doing in 
Rohilkhand or the Doab. The same remark is true of Bengal. 
If we at once strengthen our position in the city of Calcutta, 
and send out three or four tried and true missionaries to im- 
portant centers in the country, we may as confidently expect 
an annual ingathering of five thousand converts here as in 
the North. In other words, if we attempt to do our duty to 
this vast dependency, including as it does one-third of the 


population of India within its boundaries, we must confi- 
dently look forward to the not remote time when our mission- 
aries shall report ten thousand converts a year. I know, 
only too well, that many good men have an excessive dis- 
like of estimates of this kind ; but the time has come for us to 
be practical, and if we can not engage in this blessed mission- 
ary work with even that small measure of confidence which an- 
ticipates moderate success at the end of a reasonable time, we 
may as well abandon our gigantic task altogether. Let the 
church at home understand fully that in Behar and Bengal we 
have two doors standing wide open, easy of access, and both 
leading to assured success. Our people can not neglect to 
enter in, and be guiltless. 

CI)apter XXXIY. 

THOSE who remember the lessons in geography which 
they received in school forty or fifty years ago, may be 
able to recall the map of Asia, with a country called Hindu- 
stan, which represented the India of the present day; and to 
the southeast of this another country, called Farther India, 
which represented the kingdoms of Burma, Siam, Cambodia, 
Anam, and Tonquin. This region was wholly unlike India, 
and it is probable that the name. Farther India, was merely 
given to it by the map-makers in default of a better term. 
The countries in question are thoroughly Asiatic, but not in 
any special sense Indian. The chief among these was, and 
still is, Burma, which was an independent and somewhat 
powerful kingdom at the beginning of the present century. 
Its territory then extended far within the present boundaries 
of India proper, while it maintained an intermittent warfare 
with Siam and China in regard to its northern and eastern 
boundaries. The kings of Burma have always been absolute 
monarchs, and given to tyrannical ways, and early in the 
present century became involved with the Indian Govern- 
ment. This resulted in successive wars and annexations of 
territory, which finally included all the sea-coast and the 
richer part of the territory which is known as Lower Burma. 
From 1852 to 1886, a period of thirty-four years, the country 
was known, in its two divisions, as British and Independent 

In 1878 the last Burman king, Theebaw, ascended the 
throne. He had been educated in an English school, and it 
was expected that he would display better qualities as a rulef 



than had been common among his predecessors. This hope, 
however, was grievously disappointed. He at once began a 
reckless career, and gave himself up to a life of cruelty and 
oppression. The British Resident was repeatedly insulted, 
and before the close of the first year of Theebaw's adminis- 
tration, withdrawn. True to the Oriental instinct, which in 
all past times has prompted so many tyrants when ascending 
a throne to destroy all possible rivals, Theebaw ordered the 
slaughter of nearly all his relatives. The Indian Govern- 
ment was at this time engaged in a serious war on its north- 
western frontier, and threatened with still more serious 
trouble from the Russians, and hence could not at once in- 
tervene in the affairs of Burma. Finally, in 1885, it was 
discovered that Theebaw was negotiating with the French, 
who were his near neighbors in Tonquin ; and this at once 
made it imperative upon the English to intervene. It would 
never have done to allow the French to gain a perma- 
nent lodgment in Upper Burma. An ultimatum was sent 
to the short-sighted Theebaw, which had only the effect of 
inducing him immediately to begin hostilities. He was 
quickly overthrown, and on the first of January, 1886, Lord 
Dufferin annexed all the remaining territory of Burma to the 
Indian Empire. 

The kingdom of Burma, which thus became a province of 
the Indian Empire, comprises a large tract of country con- 
taining nearly 200,000 square miles, but with the compara- 
tively small population of only 7,550,000. This population 
is composed of various races, the Burmans or Burmese, as 
they are sometimes called taking the leading place. They 
are a branch of the great Mongolian family, with a light 
yellow rather than a dark brown complexion, speak a tonal 
language, and show other marks of close affiliation to the 
Chinese. In ordinary intercourse they seem to be an ami- 
able, sprightly, and intelligent race, and are often called the 
Irish of the East. They are fond of gay colors, and are for 
the most part a gay people. They enjoy a good joke, even 

BURMA. 445 

though it be at their own expense, and in this respect they 
are said to differ very much from the Karens who live 
among them. The men are not fond of work, and not only 
most of the work, but often the business of the family, is 
wholly left to the management of the housewife. The 
women are industrious, and said to be excellent managers. I 
was struck during my last visit to Rangoon with a remark 
made by our missionary there, when speaking of a woman 
who had become a Christian, and who, in consequence, would 
probably be deserted by her husband. I asked what could be 
done for her. " O, she will take care of herself,^' was the 
reply. " She can easily earn her own livelihood." When I 
asked in what way she could do so, I was told that she would 
adopt any one of half a dozen different callings in order to 
earn her bread, and that that part of the problem needed give 
no concern whatever. It would have been very different 
had the case occurred in India, where a woman thus cast upon 
the world is almost helpless. 

The zenana system of India is unknown in Burma. The 
"women go abjroad with the utmost freedom, never so much 
as wearing a veil. They have adopted the peculiar and by 
no means becoming habit of smoking huge cigars. The best 
dressed ladies in the street will be found with a cigar, some 
three or four times the size of an ordinary American weed. 
The accompanying picture w^ill give at once a fair specimen 
of a good-looking Burmese womian, with her peculiar if not 
repulsive habit of smoking at all times, whether in season or 
out of season. The huge cigar is not composed wholly of 
tobacco leaves. The tobacco is wrapped up in an ordinary 
leaf, which resembles tobacco in appearance, but is as harm- 
less as so much paper. When in the mouth, however, it re- 
sembles an ordinary cigar so much in every respect, except- 
ing size, that the observer, if a stranger, would never sup- 
pose that it was composed of any other leaf. 

The Karens have long been known to the religious pub- 
lic in America by the remarkable story of the success of the 


Baptist missioDs among them. Every reader of the " Life and 
Labors of Dr. Judson " will be familiar with the story of the 
discovery of the remarkable people from the jungle, known 
as the Karens, and of the extraordinary manner in which 
their minds had been prepared for the reception of the 


gospel. They are found in different tribes, all resembling one 
another in certain important respects, and yet differing 
among themselves like the various tribes of American In- 
dians. They possess many fine qualities as a people, and 
since becoming Christians have advanced steadily and even 
rapidly in civilization and refinement. The Baptist missions 

BURMA. 447 

are still largely confined to them, and their work among them 
continues to make steady progress. The ultimate conversion 
of the whole of these people is only a question of time, and 
probably of a very brief time. 

Farther to the north another people are found, called the 
Shans. These, like the Karens, are in different tribes, and 
speak different dialects. They also are an interesting and 
promising race. The gospel has made some headway among 
them, but they have not yet been found as accessible as the 
Karens were. The missionaries, however, regard the work 
among them as very hopeful, and find no cause whatever for 
serious discouragement in connection with it. 

Still farther to the north are found the Chins. These 
people occupy the border-land between Burma and China. 
Their civiilzation is lower, and their morals and social life 
more depressed, than those of the Shans and Karens. Polyg- 
amy is more prevalent among them, and they are also some- 
what given to predatory warfare. Only a few years before 
the overthrow of Theebaw an invasion of the Chins occurred 
in Upper Burma, during which the important town of Bhamo 
was wrested from the Burmese. The invading party were 
assisted by an interpreter, who proved to be a Chinese Chris- 
tian that had been baptized by our own missionaries in Foo 
Chow. This man, when I last heard from him, was still in 
Upper Burma, and, although not living a satisfactory life, 
continued to profess the Christian religion. 

In addition to these long settled races, in more recent 
years Burma has received a considerable number of immi- 
grants both from China and India. The Chinese have come 
in part overland from the northeast; but most of those set- 
tled in the sea-port cities came by sea. They are here, as 
everywhere, an industrious people, and are rapidly becoming 
rooted in the soil. As they profess the same religion as the 
Burmese, the latter have no objection whatever to negotiating 
marriages with them, and the children of these mixed mar- 
riages grow up in the country, often speaking both Chinese 


and Burmese, and becoming valuable members of society. 
The Chinese element in Rangoon is already a very powerful 
factor in the growth of the business of the city, and it is by 
no means improbable that now, since the country has become 
thoroughly settled, immigration from the northeast will 
proceed more rapidly, and in time a new nation grow up in 
Burma, conforming more nearly to the Chinese standard than 
the Burmese. 

The immigrants from India are not looked upon with 
very much favor by the people; but they receive high wages, 
and but for their drinking habits would quickly become at- 
tached to the soil, and form an important element in the pop- 
ulation. It is doubtful, however, whether they will keep 
pace with the Chinese in the race of progress. They are 
settled, for the most part, in the sea-port towns, or in their 
immediate vicinity. Many of them have become permanent 
residents; but the majority return to India as soon as they 
have accumulated enough money to justify them in doing so. 

The chief sea-port of Burma is Rangoon, a town which 
has risen very rapidly in commercial importance since the 
annexation of Lower Burma by the Indian Government. It 
is now the fourth sea-port of the empire in importance, if 
not indeed the third. Madras still surpasses it in popula- 
tion ; but the trade of Rangoon has for some years past been 
advancing by leaps and bounds, and the city will soon assume 
its place as third in rank among all the sea-port towns of the 
Indian Empire. It is laid out in regular streets, being the 
only city I have yet seen in the East which in this respect 
resembles an American town. The streets, however, are di- 
vided into three classes, only a few of which are wide 
enough for comfort and convenience. Some are so narrow 
as to merit only the name of alleys, or at best lanes. Only 
a very few thoroughfares, which might more properly be 
called avenues, are wide enough to be worthy of so impor- 
tant a city. 

In Rangoon and vicinity are found a number of the 

BURMA, 449 

pagodas for which Burma is famous. One of these, the Shwe 
Dagon, or Great Pagoda, is famous throughout the East. 
It stands on a slight eminence, in the rear of the city, about 
a mile and a half from the river, and is three hundred and 
seventy-five feet high from its base. It is a solid structure, 
made of brick, and richly covered with pure gold. It is 
surrounded by shrines of various kinds, many of them being 
small pagodas about thirty feet high. Around each of the 
smaller pagodas are dragons, kneeling elephants, and altars 
for the reception of offerings. A constant stream of appar- 
ently devout people may be seen at all hours wending their 
w^ay to these shrines. The pagoda is supposed to have been 
originally erected for the reception of sacred relics, but in 
itself serves no purpose except that of a monument. It is 
regarded, however, with great veneration by the people, and 
no doubt will be, in the ages to come, an object of curious 
interest long after the present traditions of Buddhism shall 
have vanished away. 

The chief exports of Rangoon are teak-lumber and rice. 
The mills for hulling the rice, and saw-mills for cutting up 
the teak-logs, line both sides of the river on which the city 
stands, and afford employment to large numbers of the peo- 
ple. Here for many years the curious spectacle of elephants 
patiently working in the saw-mills has attracted the atten- 
tion of strangers. These huge creatures are found to be ex- 
tremely useful when working among the logs, or drawing 
out the sawn timber preparatory to loading it on the ships 
in the river. 

Our own work in Burma was thrust upon us, rather than 
sought by us. When I began my own work in Calcutta, in 
1874, I very soon came in contact with persons who had 
lived in Rangoon, and who lost no time in writing to their 
friends in that city of the new work which we were begin- 
ning in Calcutta. The result was that I received immediate 
and urgent invitations to go to Rangoon. These invitations 
continued from time to time, and constantly became more 



urgent, until I could not but regard them as to some extent, 
at least, providential. Finally, after nearly five years of 
waiting, I determined to go and see if God had anything for 
us to do in Rangoon. About the same time some parties in 
America became much interested in this work, and, at the 
session of the Rock River Conference in 1878, money was 
collected with which to send a missionary to Rangoon. This 
alone seemed sufficient to decide our course ; but it was not 
until I received a telegram that a missionary and wife had 
actually arrived in the city, that I finally sailed for that place. 
The missionary was the Rev. R. E. Carter, of Ohio. Ran- 
goon is seven hundred and eighty miles southeast of Calcutta. 
I left in the early part of the rainy season, and found the 
Bay of Bengal in its very worst mood, the monsoon having 
just burst. The late Rev. F. A. Goodwin, at that time my 
colleague in Calcutta, accompanied me. 

We were kindly received by Baptist friends, and invited 
to use the small chapel in which, at that time, the Baptist 
missionaries held their English service. Previous to that 
time Dr. Stevens, of the Baptist Mission, had been preaching 
every Sunday evening to a small English congregation, and 
also holding a prayer-meeting on Wednesday evenings. The 
Baptist missionaries, however, had given themselves wholly 
to vernacular work, and had not found it practicable to at- 
tempt the organization of a regular church with all its usual 
appliances for the English-speaking people. I was much ex- 
hausted on arrival, and had only two weeks to spend in the 
city. The first evening I attended the usual Baptist prayer- 
meeting, at which it was announced that our meetings would 
begin the following evening. I continued to preach twice a 
day during the fortnight that I was able to stay in the city, 
and God wonderfully opened our way. I may here say that, 
in going to the city, we had no resources whatever except 
God's promises. We had to borrow money with which to 
pay for our steamer tickets, although furnished to us at 
greatly reduced rates. At the end of two weeks, however^ 

BURMA. 451 

we had not only money enough to pay for our passage up and 
down, but were in possession of a valuable plot of land at 
the corner of two main streets, on which to build a church 
and parsonage. We had an organized church of sixty or 
seventy members, a Sunday-school in operation, had held our 
first Quarterly Conference, had licensed one local preacher 
and two or three exhorters, had held our first class-meeting 
and love-feast, and had commenced street-preaching in three 
different languages. In other words, we had quickly and 
permanently become rooted in the soil of Burma. 

As remarked in another chapter, the opening of a work 
among English people, such as that commenced in Rangoon, 
at once committed us to general missionary work among the 
people around us. It could not have been otherwise. The 
result in Rangoon has clearly illustrated this. Among the 
very first of those influenced by our meetings were men 
who spoke both Telugu and Tamil two of the Indian lan- 
guages represented in the city. These men began to preach 
in the language with which they were most familiar, and 
very soon a small membership began to gather around them. 
This work has gone on to the present day, and although its 
progress has been slow, owing to the constant return of con- 
verts to India, yet it gets a little stronger year by year, and 
becomes more and more rooted in the soil. 

The Burmese have heretofore not proved to be a very ac- 
cessible people to the Christian missionary. From the be- 
ginning. Dr. Judson found them not merely indifferent, but 
actually hostile both to him and his message ; and up to the 
present day the Baptist missionaries in most parts of the 
country regard the Burmese as the least hopeful part of the 
community. The Karens offered the richest harvest, while 
the Shans, and even the Chins, take precedence of the Bur- 
mese so far as accessibility to the missionary is concerned. 
When I first visited Rangoon, I saw no indication of any 
special interest on the part of the Burmese people ; but in 
jnore recent years I have perceived a change which is unmis- 


takable and certainly very remarkable. Early in 1889, when 
I arrived in Rangoon on my annual visit, I was met at once 
by a Tamil Christian, who asked me to go with him to a vil- 
lage on the Pegu river, some fifteen miles distant, and bap- 
tize a few Burmese converts. The request was an extraor- 
dinary one, not only because the converts were Burmese, but 
because they had been reached and influenced by adespised 
Indian. I went, however, taking with me the Bev. S. P. 
Long, at that time our missionary in Rangoon, and a num- 
ber of other Christian workers. T^one of these, however, 
could speak Burmese except a young girl of sixteen, belong- 
ing to our girls' boarding-school. This young disciple acted 
as interpreter; and when we reached the village and the 
people gathered around us, all eager to hear who we were 
and what our errand among them was, she did her part ex- 
tremely well. I soon perceived, as she went on talking to 
them, that she was not only giving them my words, but add- 
ing a good many of her own; and in the course of the day 
she had many long talks with them in which I was not re- 
quired to give any assistance. Before we left in the evening 
I baptized five persons, and in this way we gained a slight 
foot-hold in this one little village. 

A year later I went to the same place again, and on the 
way made the acquaintance of a young man who could speak 
English, and who had been brought up in the midst of Chris- 
tian associations. This man became interested, and was bap- 
tized by me on my return up the coast, a few weeks later. He 
opened a school for boys in the city, which has continued 
successfully to the present day. The strange feature about 
this school is, that not only do the boys pay fees enough to 
make it almost self-supporting, but a number of them have 
been converted and baptized without exciting either the fear 
or the hostility of their parents. Nothing of the kind has 
ever occurred in our school-work in India. It would be im- 
possible for any number of our school-boys to profess Chris- 
tianity without creating an uproar which, for a time, would 

BURMA. 453 

break np the school. The parents also would be smitten 
with either anger or fear if they heard mention of such a 
thing. The Rev. Julius Smith, our present missionary in 
Rangoon, tells me that not only is this school going on suc- 
cessfully, but that he has received applications to establish 
others, with offers of liberal aid; and it is his opinion that 
if we were only prepared for an organized work, we would 
find open before us a wide and effectual door of access to the 
Burmese people. I quite agree with him in his opinion in 
this case. One of the most interesting and promising fields 
that we now have before us in all the East is in Burma, and 
among the leading people of Burma. It is practically a new 
field; for, although the Baptist missionaries have long been 
preaching in that tongue, they have made comparatively few 
converts among the Burmese proper. Some of their oldest 
missionaries speak of this part of the work as utterly discour- 
aging. They are older and more experienced than we are, 
and possibly would speak in less hopeful terms than I do of 
the signs of promise which have lately appeared. Neverthe- 
less the field is there, the people invite us, and we can 
hardly refuse the offers they make us, and be guiltless. 

I can only state in barest details the present condition of 
our work in Burma. We have a small but energetic and 
devoted English Church in Rangoon. In all the Methodist 
world no church of equal membership can be found which 
has undertaken and accomplished more than has been done 
by this little band of Christian believers. They started an 
orphanage some years ago for European and Eurasian chil- 
dren, Burma being somewhat noted for the large number of 
the latter class who are found abandoned by European 
fathers, and with mothers unable to support them. They 
have a coffee-room and seamen's rest at a short distance 
from their church. They have four organized churches one 
for English-speaking people, one for Tamils, a third for 
Telugus, and a fourth for the Burmese. They have an ex- 
cellent girls' boarding-school, both for boarders and day 


pupils. They are devising the organization of a boys' 
school of like character. They have never been aided very 
materially in their work, and have been compelled for the 
most part to depend upon their own resources. Both of our 
Missionary Societies should come to their aid quickly and in 
the most liberal spirit. God has a great work for us to do in 
that rising province, and we should lose no time in availing 
ourselves of the splendid opportunities which are now offered 
to us. 

Obapl^er XXXV 


THE region formerly known as Central India has for 
political reasons been recently divided into two large 
sections, one known as Central India, and the other as the 
Central Provinces. The former lies north of the Vindhya 
Mountains, and is for the most part composed of feudatory 
native States. It is a somewhat arid region, containing 
75,000 square miles and about 9,500,000 inhabitants. We 
have only one mission within its borders, the station of 
Ajmere, which is included in the Agra District of the North 
India Conference. Mention of this mission has been made 
in a previous chapter, and needs not be repeated here. 

The Central Provinces occupy the actual center of the 
Indian Empire. The name is applied politically to a group 
of small provinces administered by a Chief Commissioner, 
who has his residence in the city of Nagpore. The provinces 
are divided into four divisions, each supervised by a Com- 
missioner, with eighteen smaller districts, having the usual 
quota of magistrates and other district officers. The Ner- 
budda River flows through the northern part of the Central 
Provinces, and the Nerbudda Valley District is the name of 
one of the presiding elder's districts of the Bengal Confer- 
ence. A railway connects the stations occupied by us in 
this valley, and affords many advantages in the prosecution 
of our work. The Rev. C. P. Hard, the present presiding 
elder, has reported very encouraging progress during the 
present year. About 700 converts of all ages have been bap- 



tized,* and new openings present themselves at many points 
in the valley. We occupy the cities of Jabalpur, Narsingh- 
pur, Harda, Khandwa, and Burhanpur; but our force needs 
to be greatly strengthened in order to make the district what 
it ought to be. South of the Nerbudda Valley the Satpura 
range of mountains runs east and west, and made until 
recently the boundary-line between the Bengal and South 
India Conferences. South of the Satpura range we occupy 
the two important cities of Nagpore and Kampti. Thus far 
our missionaries have not achieved much success among th^ 
natives; but the prospects are favorable, and there is no 
reason whatever to doubt that we can succeed as well in the 
regions south as in the north of the Satpuras. Thus far we 
have not been able to bring the same forces into action, and, 
in fact, have been doing little more than holding our ground 
so far as work among the natives is concerned. 

We were led into all this region by our work among the 
English-speaking people. We occupied Jabalpur and Nag- 
pore many years ago, and subsequently our evangelists 
pushed up and down the railways, and won many converts at 
different stations. We first attempted little more than to 
take care of these converts, but, as has happened everywhere 
else, such work inevitably leads to the prosecution, first on a 
small scale, of a simple work among the natives, followed in 
due time by a better organized and vigorous system. The 
whole field of the Central Provinces is a hopeful one, and 
will doubtless yield us a rich harvest if we are even moder- 
ately faithful to our opportunities. 

Leaving Bombay, and proceeding by railway toward the 
southeast, we enter the country known as the Deccan, or 
South Country, and twenty-four hours after setting out on 
our journey we reach the large and important city of Hy- 
derabad. Here we find many of the people speaking Hin- 
dustani ; but this language is confined almost exclusively to 

*This number has since been largely increased. The Rev. T. S, 
Johnson, M. D., is the present presiding elder. 


tlie city, and is chiefly spoken by settlers from North India, 
or the descendants of such. The mass *of the people of the 
great Province of Hyderabad, better known as the Nizam's 
Dominions, speak Kanarese, Telugu, or Marathi. Im- 
mediately around the city of Hyderabad we find Telugu the 
prevailing tongue. A little west we encounter Kanarese, 
which is spoken throughout most of the region south and 
southwest of Hyderabad, until we reach the southern limits 
of the Province of Mysore. The Telugu is spoken to the 
eastward and as far north as the southern boundary of Orissa. 
Farther south we encounter the Tamil language. We thus 
find these three races in Southern India, each having its own 
distinct language. Our missionaries have long since been 
led into missionary work among all three of these races. We 
have been cautioned here as elsewhere not to extend our 
work too widely ; but fishermen might as well be told, when 
they cast their net into the deep, to be careful not to let it in- 
close more than one or two of the dozen different kinds of 
fish which swim in the waters. It is impossible, absolutely 
impossible, for Christian men and women to live among 
great surging masses of their fellow-beings, and succeed in 
winning some of them to Christ while carefully avoiding 

Thus far we have not done as much among the Telugu 
people as we should have done. They are the most numer- 
ous of these three southern races, numbering at present per- 
haps very nearly, if not fully, 20,000,000. They have been 
found thus far the most accessible of the three races, and it is 
among them that the American Baptists are making such 
wonderful progress. Our own missionaries have been led to 
attempt more among the Kanarese. We have two stations 
in the Nizam's Territory among the Kanarese, and also work 
among the same people at Bangalore. Last year the atten- 
tion of our Church was attracted to the important station of 
Kolar, in the Province of Mysore. Here an excellent English 
lady. Miss Louisa Anstey, had established, and for nearly 



fifteen years maintained, an orphanage and mission among the 
Kanarese people. Finding it difficult to continue the work 
in the new proportions which it had assumed, this lady 
offered to make the whole mission over to us without charge 
of any kind. We had no resources at the time ; but en- 


couraged by a few kind friends whom I met at Oil City, Pa., 
and trusting in God who had led us so wonderfully hitherto, 
I cabled to India to accept the offer. We have now two 
missionaries stationed at Kolar, a prosperous orphanage with 
several Christian settlements in the vicinity, and a Christian 
community of over live hundred. 


We have done less amoDg the Tamil people in their own 
country than perhaps among any other of the leading Indian 
races. We, have, however, Tamil work at Bangalore, and 
also in the city of Madras, which is practically a Tamil city. 
Our work here, as elsewhere, is inseparable from the work 
we are doing among the English-speaking people. Every 
year Tamil men are converted and unite with us, and we 
could not give up such work if we tried. We have only 
to extend the work, strengthen our forces, and apply the 
same methods which have been found successful elsewhere, 
in order to attain the measure of success among the people 
of these three great races whicji we have witnessed in other 
parts of the country. 

Strangely enough, we encounter the Tamil people speak- 
ing their own language at the distant ports of Singapore and 
Penang, and also at Rangoon and other towns in Burma. 
The Tamil language is regarded as the most difficult of the 
better known languages of the empire. It has a copious 
literature, and challenges the best ability which even our 
most cultured missionaries can put forth before it is mas- 
tered. The Tamil people thrive better as colonists, or at 
least seem more willing to go beyond the borders of India, 
than most of the other races. The northern part of the island 
of Ceylon is inhabited by people of this race, and it is from 
Jaffiia, a mission-station of the American Board in Northern 
Ceylon, that we draw most of our Tamil preachers and teach- 
ers in the Straits Settlements. We have here an indication 
of the changing conditions which we already begin to dis- 
cover as the people of this lethargic East begin to move 
about more freely. Christianity will yet be carried to many 
a distant point by colonists, or by Eastern Christians moving ' 
from place to place in the ordinary course of their business 

When our Missionary Committee, a few years ago, after 
full deliberation, decided to support work throughout the 
vast region known at that time as the South India Confer- 


ence, embracing the country as far south as Madras and 
Bangalore, a responsibility was assumed which probably few 
of those concerned were able to appreciate. It is forever 
too late for us to retreat, and one of the first great duties 
which awaits our missionary authorities is that of effectually 


strengthening our work throughout the whole of South In- 
dia. Eight or nine American missionaries should be sent 
into that region at once. Whether they go among the Tamil, 
Kanarese, or Telugu people, they will find a most inviting 
field, and can enter upon their labors with assured hope of 
success. But we can not prosecute such a work by following 


our present somewhat desultory methods, and we can not im- 
prove the methods until we have more men on the field 
adapted to such work, and with their lives fully consecrated 
to live and die for India. Three or four men should at once 
enter the Tamil part of the work. At least three should be 
stationed in the Telugu country, and two or three more be 
stationed among the Kanarese. If we were able at once to 
strengthen our forces and extend our lines in that region, we 
would soon be reaping as large a harvest among all three of 
these peoples, as any which has rewarded our labors in other 
parts of India. 

The city of Madras was at one time the most important 
post held by the English in India. It has declined in im- 
portance, however, since the rise of Calcutta and Bombay, 
and, owing to its lack of a good harbor, can never hold a 
first-class position as one of the great sea-ports of the empire. 
Locally, however, it will continue for all time as the center 
of a very important influence. Christianity has secured a 
stronger position, in some respects, in Madras than elsewhere, 
and the common people of the city have throughout the 
whole of the present century been brought into closer con- 
tact with Europeans than perhaps any other natives in India, 
with the result that most of them can speak, more or less im- 
perfectly of course, the English language. Servants from 
Madras are in demand all over India, because of their com- 
mand of the English tongue. This close contact with Euro- 
peans, however, has not in all respects proved salutary. The 
Madrasi Christians do not stand very high in public esteem, 
chiefly owing to the bad habits contracted in former days by 
their ancestors two or even three generations back. It is 
only in recent years that total abstinence has become in y 
any degree popular in any part of India, and the Chris- 
tians of Madras have suffered more from intemperance than 
from all other bad habits combined. This has not only 
given them a somewhat questionable character, but all the 
Indian Christians have had to carry a share of their burden. 


Thousands of Europeans have no idea whatever of Chris- 
tian converts in India, except as they come in contact with 
these house-servants from Madras; and hence, when they 
return to Europe, they unhesitatingly affirm that all the 
Christian converts in India are notorious drunkards. The 
next generation, however, will probably be a great improve- 
ment upon the present. In any case, it will not be much 
longer true that people preferring Christian servants who are 
total abstainers can not find any who are deserving of that name. 
In the preceding five chapters I have, in addition to brief 
notices of other fields, sketched in bare outline thirteen vast 
regions, each capable of furnishing material enough to make 
a Christian empire, into which we have been led in the 
providence of God, and are fully committed to do our share 
of their evangelization. In five of these thirteen fields we 
have, during the past two years, met with a measure of suc- 
cess which is new, not only in the history of our Church, but 
of Methodism. There is no reason whatever to doubt that 
these successes can be extended to each one of the thirteen 
fields ; and I regard it as practically certain that within a 
very few years we could report an average of from five to ten 
thousand converts for each one of these fields every year, if 
we only prosecuted the work with that moderate degree of 
vigor, and with the same careful organization, which have 
characterized our work in the fields where we are now 
reaping a rich harvest. As repeatedly remarked before, we 
can not withdraw from one of these fields; we can not re- 
trace our steps at any single point. We are compelled to go 
forward. Never did the providence of God, working in 
harmony with the revealed word, and with the clear and 
widely-felt promptings of the Holy Spirit, call more clearly 
or in louder tones to any people to engage in any specific line 
of Christian duty. May God help pur beloved Church to 
catch a clear view of these open doors, and to gird her loins 
at once for the gigantic task of entering in and doing her full 
share of the great work of saving India ! 

Cl)apter XXX YL 


EVERY returned missionary quickly discovers that his 
friends in the United States are not only surprisingly 
ignorant with regard to the kind of life he has been living 
in his mission-field, but also, with few exceptions, are eager 
to learn all manner of details concerning his every-day life 
in a country so little known as India. Two mistakes, each 
representing an opposite extreme, are met with everywhere. 
A few persons, and I am happy to believe a very few, have 
heard stories about the luxury in which missionaries in 
Asiatic countries live, and honestly suppose that European 
life in such a country as India is one in which the most 
elaborate forms, not only of comfort, but of luxury, abound 
in every home. A much larger number fall into the opposite 
error of supposing that every heathen land is a barbarous 
realm, in which few of the ordinary comforts of life can be 
found, and where every true missionary must, in the nature 
of the case, lead a life of extreme hardship, if not suffering. 
Both of these notions are mistaken, and, in the interest of the 
missionary cause, need to be corrected. In any and every 
country of the world life is very much what the individual 
makes it. Hardship can be found and endured if it is sought 
for; and luxury, being a product of artificial life, can be 
created, provided money is at hand in sufficient quantity. A 
missionary's life in India can be a very happy one. It may 
also be a very laborious and trying one, but it is by no means 
necessary that it should be a life of privation and hardship. 
In the first place, it should be understood from the outset 
by every European or American going to India, that he 



must live the life of an exotic in a strange and some- 
what hostile climate. After saying the best that can be 
said for the climate of India, taking the empire as a whole, 
it must be conceded that the conditions of life are much 
less favorable to the average European than is common in 
more northern latitudes. Some foreigners can not live in 
India at all. Be the cause what it may, their constitutions 
will not endure the peculiarities of the Indian climate. 
With the majority, however, the case is otherwise. By ob- 
serving the conditions of health peculiar to the country, and 
by adapting himself to his immediate environment, an or- 
dinary European or American may live out his threescore 
years and ten in the enjoyment of a fair degree of health. 
Shortly after my first arrival in India, I met an English 
gentleman who had been sixty-one years in the country, 
without returning even once on furlough to his native land. 
He died in extreme old age, and I have since known numer- 
ous instances of persons of both sexes who lived to a very 
advanced age in various parts of the country. The stranger, 
however, must accept the fact from the hour he sets foot in 
the country, that he is to live the life of an exotic, and must 
accept all the conditions which such a life imposes upon him 
without murmuring, and without any attempt to ignore na- 
ture's inflexible laws. He must not, for instance, expose him- 
self to the sun as he has been accustomed to do in his native 
land. He must be careful about his food, his recreation, his 
hours of work, his bathing, and above all his sleep. An or- 
dinary man needs more sleep in the tropics than in the tem- 
perate zones. I have always strongly advised all missionaries 
who can possibly do so, to set apart an hour or two in the 
middle of the day, through the hot season at least, for a sound 
nap. A doze of fifteen minutes will not suffice. For many 
years I have made it a rule during the hot season to go to 
bed on Sunday about twelve or one o'clock, and have a sleep 
of two hours. When able to secure this refreshing rest, I 
am always as full of life and vigor at the beginning of the 


evening sermon as in the early morning. It is a bad habit 
in any country for a worker to allow himself to be fagged 
out until he is compelled fairly to drag himself to his various 
tasks, but in India it is almost suicidal. 

The home comforts of the average missionary are moder- 
ate and modest enough both in quality and quantity, and 
yet it often happens that visitors from the home-land carry 
away an impression with them that the missionary is in the 
enjoyment of a pretty full share of the good things which 
belong to a home. His house is probably a large one. The 
rooms are twice as high as those in an ordinary American 
parsonage. The doors and windows are large, and as they 
usually stand wide open, the whole house seems to be some- 
what on the palatial order; that is, when measured by the 
standard of an ordinary American parsonage. The furniture 
is seldom costly, but the thrifty housewife is apt to cover 
over and ornament cheap articles in such a way as to give 
the impression that her house is well furnished. The tables 
are wide, and often ornamented with a profusion of flowers, 
which cost little enough, but which sometimes convey to the 
visitor an impression of somewhat stylish living. Worst of 
all, one or possibly two servants stand around the table to 
wait upon the guests, and although these men, whether there 
be two or three of them, do less work and cost less money 
than one Irish or Swedish girl would do in America, yet the 
visitor is impressed with the idea that the family are keep- 
ing up a good deal of style. The reality, however, is far 
diiferent from the impression made upon the stranger. In a 
book which has had a wide circulation in America, the 
author "tells of a sofa on which he rested on a certain oc- 
casion, which I happened afterwards to see, and which 
proved to be made of reeds and covered with chintz, the 
whole affair not having cost more than two or three dollars. 
The rooms are made large for the sake of securing a plenti- 
ful supply of good air ; but they contain less of comfort and 
much less expensive furniture than will be found in an 



ordinary American house. The food on the table is much 
the same as we get in the home-land. During the cold sea- 
son, potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, and in short all the com- 
mon vegetables, abound. Beef, mutton, and fowls can be 
obtained in most parts of the country. Butter is more of a 
luxury than at home, but good bread can be obtained almost, 
everywhere. The fruits of the land, if not equal to those of 
America, at least give abundant satisfaction to every one 
who has lived any length of time in the country. 

The diseases of India, which are so much dreaded by the 
friends of missionaries, especially when about to bid them 
farewell, are some of them formidable enough, and yet all 
missionaries who have lived any length of time in the coun- 
try smile at the exaggerated fears of their friends in America 
in reference to their deadly character. It is very true that 
India is the home of the cholera, and that this scourge is 
never wholly absent from the country. In many places six 
months may elapse without a single case- being reported ; but 
if one or more cases occurred every month, it would excite 
no* special attention. It has been many years since a great 
epidemic of this frightful disease has swept over the country, 
such as Avere frequent many years ago. At best, however, it 
must be admitted that the cholera in its mildest forms is a 
terrible enemy; but, as a matter of fact, our missionaries 
have lived in constant contact with it for a third of a cen- 
tury without many of them having become its victims. So 
far as I can remember, four deaths have occurred among us 
from cholera during these years. Small-pox generally as- 
sumes an epidemic form once every year, and is sometimes 
very fatal. When it makes its appearance the authorities 
always insist on a general vaccination; but it seldom or never 
creates anything like a panic. We live in the midst of it 
without feeling any alarm whatever. In passing along the 
narrow streets I have often seen a dozen cases in a single 
morning, the children, or perhaps older people, covered with 
the eruption being seated on their door-steps, or perhaps 


even out in the narrow streets. During the past quarter of a 
century I have known of five cases in our missionary fami- 
lies, one of which proved fatal. Three of the other cases 
were very mild. Pulmonary diseases are less fatal in India 
than in America, and yet more deaths have occurred among us 
from consumption than from both cholera and small-pox. 

But if a few diseases are unusually prevalent, we are hap- 
pily relieved of the presence of two or three of the worst 
plagues of America. Scarlet fever, diphtheria, and spinal 
meningitis, if not wholly unknown, are very rare in India, 
and our little ones are thus exempt from what families in 
America find to be a constant source of danger. It would 
no doubt be found, in comparison, that the same number of 
families living in the United States have had more deaths 
among the children during the past third of a century from 
these three diseases, than have occurred in our mission fami- 
lies during the same period from cholera, small-pox, and 

Perhaps the most common source of dread in the minds of 
our friends in America, when thinking of the perils of life in 
India is associated with the frightful stories they have heard 
of serpents, scorpions, centipedes, and other venomous crea- 
tures. So many frightful stories have been told, and so 
active is the popular appetite for the marvelous, that many 
intelligent persons believe that life in India is attended by 
constant danger from the cobra, which is coiled up under 
every bed, or the scorpion which hides in every boot, or the 
centipede which creeps under every carpet. It can not be 
denied that some of the serpents of India are extremely ven- 
omous. Indeed, the bite of two or three varieties is so fatal 
that it is doubted by many physicians whether recovery ever 
takes place after the poison has been fairly injected into the 
human system. It is also true that these serpents are found 
in all parts of the country, and in quite a number of in- 
stances I have known them to be found in our mission- 
houses. Scorpions also abound. I once lived in a house 


where they seemed to be much more plentiful than spiders, 
and the latter were numerous enough. Centipedes, too, can 
be found without much searching. On the other hand, 
it may comfort many friends when I tell them that during a 
residence of thirty-three years in India, I have never known 
even one European to be bitten by a venomous serpent. I 
have heard of two or three cases, but they were not well enough 
attested to be quoted in evidence. Nor have I known, in all 
these years, of even one instance of any human being, Euro- 
pean or Indian, being bitten or stung by a centipede. In 
fact, I have come to entertain grave doubts about the centi- 
pede, and sometimes think it is a badly slandered creature. 
I remember well that when I left New York in 1 859, acting 
on urgent advice given to me, I bought some kind of med- 
icine to be applied in case of being stung by centipedes. As 
for scorpions, they are plentiful enough, and I am compelled 
to acknowledge that both Europeans and natives are fre- 
quently stung by them. Their poison, however, is not fatal, 
although their victims suffer acutely, and sometimes for 
many weeks, from its effects. The bite of the cobra, or the 
krait, is more fatal than that of any serpent known in Amer- 
ica or Australia, and many thousands of the natives die from 
snake-bite every year. The exemption of Europeans from 
being bitten is probably owing to their style of dress. Most 
of the natives walk about bare-legged, and multitudes of 
them sleep on the ground, often in the open air, and, when 
bitten, the serpent has every advantage over his victim. If 
he is walking, his bare leg is within easy reach of the cobra. . 
If sleeping, his bare arm will probably be thrown out un- 
consciously while he sleeps, and this act being accepted as a 
challenge by the cobra, the fatal bite is given. The mission- 
ary, however, in his comfortable home, rarely ever thinks of 
the venomous serpents of the country as a source of danger. 
They are to him very much like the lightning. It is fatal 
enough in its effects, but it does not often strike ; and hence 
he soon learns to be indifferent to it. The monster serpents 


which are found in the jungles of India are very stupid and 
comparatively harmless. None of the large species of ser- 
pents are ever poisonous. In all my Indian experience I 
have only known one instance of a huge python attacking a 
human being, and in that case the victim was a little boy, 
(ight or nine years of age. In India, as in Africa, the natives 
who are most familiar with the habits of these monsters have 
very little dread of them. 

It is a significant fact that of all the missionaries who, 
after having lived a term of years in India, have returned to 
America, hardly one can be found who is not anxious to re- 
turn to his Indian home and his Indian work. In some 
cases the exiles, while in India, long to return to their native 
land, and fancy that they could be much more comfortable 
and happy among the associations of their youth and in the 
midst of the comforts of Christian civilization ; but a very 
short experiment suffices to undeceive them. If the way were 
open, and health permitted, nearly every Indian missionary 
in the United States would at once hasten his departure for 
the scene of his former labors. No matter how much he may 
love his native land, or how strongly he may be attached to 
his country and friends, or how highly he may prize many of 
the blessings which are the peculiar heritage of the American 
people, yet India, with its mission-fields and missionary work, 
has a stronger attraction for him than any other part of the 
globe. I have spoken of the missionaries as exiles; but in the 
strict sense of that word they do not merit the title. To the 
great majority of them India is, in the best sense of the word, 
their own country and their own home. If they are truly 
called to their work, if they love it, and if their hearts' best 
sympathies are bound up with its interests, it becomes to them 
not only a land in which they can be happy and cheerful, but 
in very deed the land of their adoption, and the dearest spot 
on the globe to them during the brief term of their earthly 

Much controversy has been stirred up during recent years 


with regard to the style in which missionaries in countries 
like India should live. Long before the advent of the Salva- 
tion Army the question had been agitated in India, and not a 
few devoted men in different parts of the country had made 
attempts to conform as nearly as possible to the simple style 
in which the mass of the people live. This involved self-denial 
in the most practical sense of the word, and obliged the mis- 
sionary in every instance to live a life, not only of extreme 
frugality, but of actual poverty. So far as I have been able 
to observe, none of these experiments has ever produced 
any marked effect. They have added to the influence of the 
individual in some cases, and no doubt have done much to im- 
press some of the Hindus with the idea that Christianity, like 
Hinduism, makes a merit of self-denial ; but so far as winning 
converts is concerned, the devoted men and women who have 
made such experiments have been disappointed. The best plan 
for a missionary to pursue is to adopt what the people around 
him will regard as a natural style of living. He is in a 
country where Europeans are often seen, and where his man- 
ners and customs have nothing of novelty about them in the 
eyes of the people; and hence he will make the best impression 
if he lives in the style of an ordinary European. He should 
cultivate, in the best sense of the word, the virtue of Chris- 
tian simplicity, and always be accessible to the people of all 
classes. He should be the last man to squander money in 
useless display, but at the same time he should avoid every 
form of privation for its own sake, and should take the best 
possible care of the sacred temple in which God calls him to 
live during his earthly career. 

Our own experience has convinced us that both the term 
of missionary service, and the life of the individual, can be 
prolonged by paying due attention to the laws of health and 
avoiding needless exposure. The roof of the mission-house 
should be thick enough to protect the inmates from the rays 
of a sun which, through the long tropical day, burns like a 
furnace in the sky above them. The walls should also be 


thick enough to form a protection from the heat, which at 
some seasons makes even the furniture inside hot to the touch. 
The food should be wholesome in quality and generous in 
quantity. If at all possible, every missionary should have a 
furlough of a month or six wxeks during the hottest weather. 
Many do not avail themselves of this privilege j but it would 
be a good thing if all workers in all lands, in addition to 
their Sabbath rest, could have a holiday of some weeks once 
a year. Among the mountains of India are many sanitaria 
where the climate is almost equal to that of the Northern 
States of America during August and September, and both 
money and labor can be economized by sending missionaries 
to these retreats whenever the first symptoms of breaking 
down begin to appear. It costs a very great deal to send a 
missionary and his family to India, and maintain them until 
they are acclimated and acquire such a pse of an Indian lan- 
guage as will equip them for service; and when one such 
family is in the field, and actually at work, it is the worst 
possible economy to suffer them to break down and leave the 
country, instead of permitting them to retire for a few months, 
or possibly even a year, to the bracing atmosphere of one of 
the mountain stations. 

All things considered, life in India has many bright fea- 
tures, and perhaps has its pathway darkened by shadows as 
little as would happen in other lands. Friendships formed 
among both Europeans and Indians are strong and abiding. 
Home has a quiet sweetness which often seems to be want- 
ing among tjie bustling, impatient people of the Western 
world. We enjoy a sense of freedom both indoors and 
abroad. Doors and windows stand wide open in midwinter. 
A sparrow is building its nest on the cornice, a crow is seated 
on the window-sill, flowers are blooming at every door and 
window, the veranda is one mass of rich foliage and gorgeous 
bloom, and the humble dwelling combines at once all the 
blessings of seclusion and the beauties of garden-life. I 
never revisit America, unless it be in the summer months, 


and enter the close little rooms, with their baked atmosphere 
and high temperature, without longing for the sweet and 
pure air of our Indian homes. For one, I have no wish to 
live in a better country than India at least not until I find 
the country which is out of sight and I never hesitate to 
assure young missionaries about to leave their native land 
that they have much to gain, even though they have some- 
thing to lose, by making India the land of their adoption. 

Cl)apber XXXYII. 


EUROPEANS in India, almost without exception, bold 
the music of the natives in very low esteem. Many of 
them, no doubt, if questioned on the subject, would say that 
it is beneath contempt ; and yet the few who have given special 
attention to it, together with many missionaries who have had 
the good sense to use it in connection with their missionary 
work, will be ready to testify that it is by no means without 
merit, and in some respects seems admirably adapted to the 
wants of the people. One writer has spoken of the first im- 
pression made upon the foreign ear by Indian music as 
" little more than a dull wail or a timeless jargon, modulated 
according to the caprice of the performer, without harmony 
and without passion, except as it seems to aiford relief to 
some pent-up feeling of weariness or woe, of fear or despair.*' 
The same writer, however, believes that this unfavorable im- 
pression is largely owing to a want of acquaintance with the 
music, and refers to the fact that the musical instinct is 
very prominent among the Indian people. He says : " They 
are so universally fond of music that they sing rather than 
read their sacred writings ; they put even their treatises 
on mathematics into verse, and chant the very alphabet 
itself; they sing to quiet their children, to entertain them- 
selves while traveling, to keep time with the oar, or the 
pestle, or the gravel-pounder, to the cadence of some plain- 
tive melody.'' Dr. T. J. Scott, who has published an inter- , 
esting monograph on Indian music, points out that the merit 
of their music consists in the fact that it is nearer nature 
than the more elaborate European system, and quotes the apt 



remark: "Catch nature, comb her hair, and wash her face, 
and you have the highest style of beauty/' This writer main- 
tains that Indian music keeps close to nature's ideal, and 
that all it needs to make it more attractive is to remove a few 
of its more prominent defects, and supply their place by a 
few slight improvements which might easily be incorporated 
into the system. 

The educated people in India are surprised, and naturally 
a little indignant^ when they hear foreigners assuming that 
their music is merely the natural expression of a rude and 
uncultured people, who have never received any musical 
training, and who have no idea of music as a science. They 
point to the fact that long before letters were known in 
England, Sanskrit scholars wrote able works on music, and 
that they have inherited from a very remote ancestry a mu- 
sical system of which they have no need to be ashamed. It 
is probable, and indeed almost certain, that the ancient In- 
dians were in advance of the Greeks in their knowledge of 
music. Abundant references to the flute in the writings of 
the ancient Sanskrit authors prove that the people of India 
were familiar with the use of that instrument before it had 
been introduced into Greece, and it is maintained that they 
anticipated all other nations, except perhaps Egypt, in the 
use of most of the ancient musical instruments. 

It happened unfortunately, however, in the case of music 
as in the case of the other sciences, that it fell into the hands 
of the Brahmans, and of course fared very badly under their 
treatment. Their teaching was, as might have been ex- 
pected, mixed up with mythological nonsense, and it is even 
affirmed by some defenders of Indian music that at an early 
day the subject was handed over to the treatment of writers 
who knew nothing whatever of either instrumental or vocal 
music. It is maintained, and with some show of probability, 
that for centuries the singers were distinct from the teachers 
of music, and diffisred from them in the fact that they practi- 
cally knew a good deal about the science, while the learned 


men who were supposed to explain its principles were writing 
and talking about things of which they were wholly ignorant. 
To such men, for instance, the Indians owe the tradition that 
the popular tunes of the present day were in the first place 
the direct offspring of the gods; that the 'first six of these 
tunes were each of them, as offspring of the gods, divine 
beings, and, being males, were provided with, some say five, 
and some six, wives each. Each of these wives represented 
a tune. The offspring of these strange unions were so many 
additional tunes, no less than eight being assigned to each 
divine father. The mere statement of this myth will suffice 
to show how little Indian music had to hope from its ancient 
teachers. The advent of the Mohammedans in India was un- 
fortunate so far as the cultivation of this science was con- 
cerned. The Mohammedans dislike music, and many of 
their most learned men utterly repudiate it and regard it as 
sinful. The Mohammedans in India never sing in connection 
with their worship, and the more pious among them never 
sing under any circumstances. As might be expected, they 
are for the most part a gloomy and almost morose people. 
Some excuse may be made for them in the fact that music 
has been prostituted to such base purposes in India, and 
indeed in all the East, that good men might be excused for 
regarding it as the offspring of another power than divine. 
But whatever the original cause may have been, as a matter of 
fact, the Mohammedans repressed rather than encouraged the 
study of music in India, and it made but little progress from 
their accession to power until the advent of the English. 

The reason that Europeans so commonly fail to appreciate 
the music of the Indian people is owing to some of its pecu- 
liarities. Indian music differs from that of Europe in the fol- 
lowing particulars : 

1. It has no harmony. The people of India, until trained, 
are utterly unable to detect the harmony in an English tune. 
The more cultivated among them, when questioned on the 
subject, affirm that there is melody in nature, but no har- 


mony ; and it must be confessed that it requires a very in- 
tricate argument or illustration to prove the contrary. They 
are quite capable, however, of recognizing the harmony in an 
English tune after a short period of training. The same re- 
mark is true with regard to the Chinese. I have heard 
Chinese youths singing a correct and rich bass which they 
had picked up themselves, simply by listening to the sound 
of a cabinet organ once a week. No one had taught them 
or called their attention to the difference in the notes, but 
they simply detected it themselves, and began to sing the part 
which suited them, and soon sang it very well indeed. 

2. Indian musicians have no idea of pitch. A tuning 
fork is an unknown instrument, and could not possibly be 
used by them if put into their hands. Each singer is sup- 
posed to pitch his song in the key that suits him best, and the 
widest possible variations are allowed. This is of course a 
disadvantage in some respects, but it falls in with the Indian 
idea, especially in solo singing, where the performer is 
allowed a latitude which is unknown in European music. 
This leads to another remark, that the singer, especially in 
solo singing, is not expected to adhere rigidly to the tune 
which may be set to the song he is singing. He is supposed 
to throw in as many embellishments and introduce as many 
changes as suits his fancy, and is also expected to display a 
good measure of both vocal and physical vigor while singing. 
It has been said that to a solo singer a tune is little more 
than what a thread is to the beads which are strung upon it. 
It is a mere line which is supposed to receive the slurs, 
roulades, shakes, turns, flourishes, and other ornaments 
which the performer attaches to it. When, however, a large 
congregation sings a hymn to one of these tunes, these ac- 
cretions must of course be dispensed with, and the tune be 
sung in its simplicity. 

3. Another peculiarity of Indian music is the custom of 
keeping time by percussion ; that is, while some sing, one or 
more keep time by striking some kind of cymbals or other 


metallic instruments together, in a way which the European 
spectator at first regards as mere barbarous noise-making, but 
which, as a matter of fact, serves the purpose of beating 
time for the singers. Nothing could be more monotonous, 
and to the average European ear more distasteful, than the 
ceaseless thumping upon the little drum called the tom-tom, 
which is heard in every city, town, and village of India, 
sometimes keeping up its wearisome notes till an early hour 
in the morning. There is the least possible resemblance to 
music in the noise it makes, yet it is serving a purpose 
which can be appreciated by the simple people who are seated 
around the group of singers. 

4. The Indian chorus always precedes the first stanza of a 
hymn instead of succeeding it. After the first verse, how- 
ever, has been sung, it is customary to repeat the chorus at 
the close of each succeeding verse. Most of the verses also 
are repeated at least once in the ordinary course of singing ; 
and this, with the continual repetition of the chorus, impresses 
the European hearer at first with a sense of monotony. 
However, after he becomes acquainted with the meaning of 
the words, and also learns to understand the tune, it im- 
presses him very differently. 

5. Writers who have studied Indian music chiefly from a 
scientific point of view, lay most stress upon the extraordinary 
number of modes which it possesses. Instead of dividing all 
their tunes into two classes, known as major and minor, the 
Hindus lay claim to sixteen thousand modes ; but, as a mat- 
ter of fact, only eighty-four of these come within the range 
of practical music, and these again are reduced to thirty-six, 
which have been sufficiently popularized to be in general use. 
The scale, with its seven tones, is the same as in English 
music; but the Indians, as is their wont, limit it to five or 
even a smaller number, if it suits them. It is considered no 
blemish for a singer to lengthen or shorten a note, as the 
case may be, but on the other hand it is regarded as an 
evidence of his skill or superior knowledge of music. The 


seven notes of the scale are written thus : sa, ri, ga, raa, pa, 
dha, and ni. 

6. In Indian music the notes are lengthened or shortened 
according to the character of the vowel which they represent 
in the poetry. I quote from the Preface of the North India 
Tune-book, by Mrs. J. D. Bate, of Allahabad: "In Hindu 
poetry the number and accent of the syllables are not the 
standard of accuracy as they are in English poetry, but the 
number and value of them, which depends upon Whether the 
vowels are long or short. A short vowel reckons as one, 
and a long vowel as two, in counting the number of beats, 
or instants, required to make up the line. The inherent 
vowel must always be counted, and a short vowel before a 
compound consonant is considered long. In singing, a close 
correspondence must exist between the long vowels in the 
poetry and the long notes in the music. For instance, in J 
time the long vowels are sung to the crotchets, and the short 
vowels to the quavers.'' 

7. The utmost freedom is used in adapting the hymn to 
the necessities of the tune. A vowel is often inserted be- 
tween two consonants, or a compound letter is divided into 
its primary parts, and a -vowel supplied to each consonant, or 
a vowel may be added to a word, or stricken out, if it is so 
desired. Any unimportant word may also be omitted ; or, 
on the other hand, inserted, if the necessities of the music 
seem to call for it. This makes the language of the hymn 
often unintelligible to those who have not a very familiar 
use of the language. To give an illustration, if we were to 
. dapt this kind of music to an English hymn, the familiar line, 

"From all that dwell below the skies," 
would appear somewhat like the following: 

"Furrom all that dawell below sakies." 

Changes of this kind are introduced with the utmost 

For many years the opinion prevailed in India that 


Indian tunes could not be harmonized successfully; but Mrs. 
Emma Moore Scott, of Muttra, enjoys the distinction of hav- 
ing, after long and painstaking eifort, accomplished this dif- 
ficult task. A few years ago she published a collection of 
popular Indian tunes harmonized in the European style; 
and, although there was not an immediate demand for the 
book, it slowly worked its way, and a new edition is now 
called for. It seems very probable that this experiment will 
not only prove successful as a publishing venture, but that 
it will prove the beginning of a new era in the cultivation 
of Indian music, especially for use in Christian worship. I 
have myself heard the harmonized tunes sung fairly well by 
Hindustani congregations of very moderate culture. 

For some time past there has been a diversity of opinion 
among missionaries concerning the wisdom or otherwise of 
using Indian tunes in Christian worship. We are all more 
or less in unconscious bondage to habits and tastes which 
have been woven into the very fiber of our being from child- 
hood up, and none of these takes so deep a hold upon us as 
those which are rooted in our religious nature. Devout per- 
sons, no matter how intelligent, find it very hard to tolerate 
anything in connection with their worship which is not in 
keeping with their traditional notions, and especially with 
what seems to them religious good taste and propriety. When 
Bishop Kingsley visited India in 1869, I asked a few native 
Christians to come in one evening with a few of their rude 
musical instruments, and let him hear some Indian music. 
They sang simple Christian hymns, and played on their in- 
struments with great vigor and enthusiasm. The whole 
spectacle was interesting enough in its way, but as unlike 
anything bearing the name of Christian worship as could well 
be imagined. When the singers retired, I asked the good 
Bishop if he thought it would be wise for us to introduce 
that kind of instrumental music into our public services. He 
replied in the negative, with an emphasis which was not only 
decided but amusing, and deprecated in the strongest Ian- 


guage any step on our part which should degrade Christian 
worship to so low a level. I was not surprised to hear him 
speak in this way, nor is it probable that any one of a thou- 
sand intelligent Christians from America, having listened to 
the singing and witnessed the playing, would have given a 
diiferent answer. And yet, although I did not attempt to 
argue the question with the Bishop, I held a very different 
opinion. A pair of rude brass cymbals and a little drum 
called a " tom-tom/' are to the simple villagers of India all 
that a ponderous organ is to the refined worshipers in our 
city churches. We may smile, or wonder, or feel disgusted, 
but the fact remains that music is simply a vehicle for the 
expression of thought and feeling on the part of worshipers, 
and that which serves its purpose most effectually is the best 
vehicle for the persons concerned. 

Methodists, of all people, should be the last to find fault 
with the people of any nation appropriating for the purpose 
of Christian song such tunes as they find popularized among 
the people. More than any other people in the modern 
world, the Methodists are responsible for the free use which 
is now made in public worship everywhere, of tunes Avhich in 
former years were wholly given up to the profane and 
worldly. If the people of India prefer their own simple 
or, if the reader pleases, uncouth tunes, by all means let 
them use them. Let them use that which they like best. If 
they prefer to ride in their rough, jolting carts, rather than 
in high-topped and frail-looking American buggies, let them 
have their carts. Whose business is it ? 

The question is not yet settled by any means ; but beyond 
a doubt the party in favor of using native music is gaining 
ground. In fact, the question will take itself out of the 
hands of the foreign missionaries in the natural course of 
events ; for the people will sing when they once possess the 
joy of the Lord, and nothing can restrain them ; and when 
they sing they will give expression to their religious joy and 
hope in the way that is most natural to them, without much 


regard to the tastes or feelings of other people. At present 
the tendency seems to be to use European tunes in the cities 
and large towns, where the native Christians are brought in 
contact with Europeans; but in the more remote country 
districts the Indian music is more and more found in the 
ascendant. The popular airs commonly known in recent 
years as " Sa^ikey tunes ^^ are the general favorites among the 
better educated Indian Christians. In some parts of the 
country the missionaries have succeeded thus far in prevent- 
ing the use of Indian tunes altogether; but this is probably 
owing more to the fact that the people in those regions 
have very few good tunes for any purpose, than to the ef- 
forts of the missionaries to confine the singing to English 

It is highly probable that many of the current Indian 
tunes will be materially improved as they are brought into 
popular use in connection with Christian worship. None 
but Christians can breathe both life and spirit into music, 
and when the people of India, not only by thousands but by 
millions, begin to sing the praises of God to the simple tunes 
with which their forefathers were familiar ages ago, they 
will almost certainly put new life into them, and perfect 
them from time to time to such an extent that they will be- 
come practically new. In other words, Indian music will 
probably enter upon a stage of development such as it has 
never known, and a century or two hence may attain a per- 
fection which its critics of the present day regard as altogether 

I append two Indian tunes as specimens of those in most 
common use among Christians. Most tunes of Hindu origin 
are called Bhajans, while those borrowed from the Moham- 
medans are called Ghazals. A specimen of each class is 
given on the next page. I have often heard these two fa- 
miliar hymns sung with very great religious power, by de- 
vout congregations, both in remote country villages and 
among the more cultured Christians of the cities. 






Modernte time. 





^ ^ 


Kau-na ka - re mo - hi 


ra tu-ma bi-na kau-na ka- 





-^ ^,- 

re mo- 


Mo- 111 pa - ra mo - hi p! 

I - ra, mo - hi 


V 1 7 1 1 

^ !^ 

. 1 


J/L.V 1 

rN 1 ' ^ 

1^ i 

J J 

P n ^ N 

n^V s J 

|lj*> J * 

M * 


J J > ' _P 

V<\) ' 


* If* 




n u 

ra. Kau 


ka - re mo - hi pa - 



-ma hi - na 

/ 1 P 1 K P 



1 r^ ^ P 


Lb _i ^ 

J _rv _j^ 

p * 

m " 

# _ 

hJ _i ^ 


^v J # 


^ J 

r ' , 

B* J # 


1 1 






kau - na ka - re mo - hi Tu - tl na - wa tu - fa - na hai 






bha - ri, tu-fa - na hai bhri-ri, Kai-se main u- tu-run pa - ra 

Freely translated, this very simjile little song begins as 
follows : 

Refrain Who, save Thee, can land me safely on the other shore ? 
First Verse My boat is broken, the storm is wild ; how can I reach 
the other shore ? 


^'-AU^ ^=^^ -^ = f^f='=tf =^: ^^^ 

Ka-ra - ta hun tujh se il - ti - ja Yi-shu Ma-sih fa - ri - ya - da sun, 





V ^ 

-# #- 
Qu- ra - ba - na te - re na - ma ke Yi-shu Ma-sih fa - ri - ya - da sun. 

Unto Thee do I make my entreaty ; 

O Jesus Christ, hear my complaint. 
Expiation is through thy name ; 

Jesus Christ, hear my complaint. 

Cl)apber XXXYIIL 


THE name Malaysia is Dot often found in standard geog- 
raphies, and Tcah remember having seen it only once 
on a map. The region which it designates has neither 
natural nor political boundaries to separate it from ad- 
jacent countries ; hence it is only in recent years that an 
attempt has been made to give it a distinctive name. It 
is the region inhabited by the Malay race and its many 
branches, and includes the Malay Peninsula, together with 
the larger half of the islands of the Eastern Archipelago. 
The term Malaya is frequently applied to this region ; but as 
Asiatic colonists are rapidly settling on both the islands and 
main-land, and in some sections intermarrying freely with the 
Malay people, the term Malaysia seems more appropriate, 
both with regard to the present and future population. The 
following pages are taken, with slight alterations, from an 
article written by me some years ago, and published in the 
Methodist Review of March, 1887. 

The average American finds it hard to "forgive the Euro- 
pean who fails to appreciate the immense extent of territory 
embraced in the Great Kepublic; but when he himself passes 
from Europe over to Asia, he forgets in turn how very much 
larger that vast continent is than his own America. Let us 
suppose, for instance, that the Philippine Islands are men- 
tioned. He knows that there is such a group to the south- 
east of Asia, and that Manilla cigars and a valuable kind of 
hemp are produced there ; but he thinks of the islands as he 
does of the Bahamas, a few little green points rising out of the 
sea islets, rather than islands, and of little or no importance 



to the world at large. He is as igaorant as a Chinaman of 
the fact that one of these islands is as large as the State of 
Ohio, that a second is as large as Indiana, and that the whole 
group contains an area almost exactly equal to that of Italy, 
and capable of sustaining, without crowding, a population of 
thirty millions. The Bahamas might be added to, or sub- 
tracted from, the Philippines without making any appreciable 
difference in the extent of the group. 

As with the Philippines, so with the vast archipelago of 
which they form a part. Lying between -Asia and Australia, 
and covering a sea area thirteen hundred miles wide by four 
thousand in length, it is the most wonderful island region of 
the globe. After Australia (itself a continent), the largest and 
second largest islands in the world are found there New 
Guinea and Borneo, the former nearly one and one-half times 
as large as France, and the latter as large as the whole Aus- 
trian Empire. The land area of the whole group exceeds 
one million square miles, and this magnificent belt of islands 
is certainly entitled to take rank as one of the grand divis- 
ions of the globe, instead of a collection of barbarous islets 
in an almost unknown sea. In order to impress his English 
readers with a true conception of the vast extent of some of 
these islands, Mr. Wallace, in his work on the Malay Archi- 
pelago, published a small map of Borneo^ with Great Britain 
and Ireland, and all their interjacent waters, put down in its 
center, where they were wholly surrounded by a sea of for- 
ests. This island has a coast-line of three thousand miles, 
omitting the smaller bays and headlands, while New Guinea, 
which is both larger and more irregular in shape, has a coast- 
line which, though not yet accurately measured, is longer 
very considerably. 

These islands, though constituting one group on the map, 
are divided ethnographically into two distinct families, the 
Malayan and the Papuan. The great islands of Sumatra, 
Java, and Borneo are separated from the Asiatic continent 
by seas so shallow that ships can anchor 'almost anywhere in 

MALAYS/A. 485 

them; and it seems extremely probable that, at a not very- 
remote period of the earth^s history, these islands formed a 
part of the main-land. In like manner the Philippines, at 
probably an earlier period, were detached from the continent 
by a depression of the intervening surface. In precisely the 
same way New Guinea and other islands near the Australian 
coast were probably separated from the Australian main-land; 
and thus we have in the great island group an Asiatic and 
an Australian section. The productions of the two groups 
strikingly sustain this theory of the origin of this division. 
The animals and birds found in Sumatra, Java, and Borneo 
are the same as those found in the Malay Peninsula, or with 
differences no more marked than is common in widely sepa- 
rated regions on the main-land. In New Guinea and adjacent 
islands, on the other hand, the peculiar marks of an Aus- 
tralian origin are found everywhere. The marsupial animals, 
for which Australia is famous the honey-suckers, lories, 
brush-turkeys, and other birds which have been supposed to 
belong only to Australia are found on these islands, and are 
never found beyond the deep straits which separate them 
from the Asiatic group, although so near to them. Borneo is 
not more unlike Australia than Java is unlike New Guinea, 
although in point of climate and general character the two 
islands are very much alike. 

The inhabitants of these two groups of islands dilBfe^ no 
less unmistakably than their animals and birds. On the west 
we have the Malays, and on the east the Papuans; and al- 
though many tribes and subdivisions may be found among 
both these ethnic families, the general distinction is every- 
where easily recognizable. The Malay is _an Asiatic, and 
the Papuan is a Polynesian. The Slalay is short of stature, 
with a reddish-brown complexion, beardless face, straight black 
hair, and broad and rather flat face. The Papuan is taller, 
with black frizzly hair and beard, dark and sometimes black 
complexion, with thin lips and broad nostrils, and looks as 
little like a Malay as an African resembles an American 


Indian. In natural ability he is probably more than equal to 
his Malay neighbor; but the latter has had the advantage of 
a longer contact with civilization, and for the present, at least, 
stands higher in the estimation of the outside world than the 
Papuan. The Malays inhabit, or at least are the predom- 
inant race in, the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, 
Celebes, the Philippines, and part of the Moluccas; and these 
islands, together with the peninsula, which is itself practically 
an island, constitute Malaysia proper. 

But even when thus restricted, the Malay has still a 
splendid home for his race. The land area embraced within 
its boundaries amounts to more than 700,000 square miles. 
The soil is nearly all productive, while the mineral resources 
are extremely valuable. The peninsula is the Golden Cher- 
sonese of which Milton sings, and from the remotest antiquity 
it has been famous for its gold and gems. Its mountains are 
stored with tin enough to supply the whole world. Sumatra 
is the richest of the islands in minerals; but, like all the 
large islands except Java, it has been but slightly explored, 
and the extent of its mineral wealth is imperfectly known. 
Borneo is known to be rich in minerals, and clothed in for- 
ests of valuable timber, while rumors of gold deposits, and 
of copper and iron, and last, but perhaps most valuable of all, 
of vast coal-beds, are exciting the interest and cupidity of 
the ever-increasing swarms of adventurers who wander up 
and down the earth. Throughout the whole region, with the 
exception of a few small tracts, the land is fertile, and adapted 
to the growth of all kinds of tropical products. The forests 
are rich in timber, the gardens in spices, the orchards in 
fruits, the fields in the many forms of tropical food produc- 
tions, and thje whole region capable, if properly cultivated, of 
sustaining a vast population. If peopled as densely as Java 
is at present, Borneo alone would contain a population of 
more than 125,000,000 souls, and the whole region of Ma- 
laysia would contain not less than 250,000,000. Or, if it be 
objected that Java is an exceptionally rich island, and hence 


the estimate an unfair one, let the sleepy old island of Sicily 
be taken as the standard of comparison, and the result, if not 
so amazing, is still striking enough. If peopled only as 
densely as Sicily is at the present day, Borneo would still 
have a population equal to that of the United States, while 
the whole Malaysian region would have four times as many 
inhabitants as France. It is not necessary, however, to make 
any reduction of the higher estimate. Java, although sus- 
taining a large population, is not half so densely populated 
as some portions of the valley of the Ganges; and her 20,- 
000,000 will no doubt become 30,000,000 at a not remote 
day, while the less favored islands around her will advance 
to a position at least equal to that which it now occupies. 
r The capacity of tropical lands for sustaining vast popu- 
1 lations of easy-going people is not easily appreciated by those 
] who are familiar only with the highly artificial life of Europe 
\ and America. In some of these islands a single sago-palm 
yields enough food to support a man for a year, and the tree 
can be purchased and its pulp turned into food for the sum of 
three dollars. In the immediate vicinity of Singapore tapi- 
oca is found growing wild by the roadside, and its roots are 
so cheap in the market that many planters have abandoned 
its cultivation as no longer remunerative. Rice is very in- 
differently cultivated by the partially civilized natives of all 
the interior regions ; but both soil and climate favor its 
growth, and a rice-producing country can support a much 
larger population than one producing maize or wheat. But 
it must not be supposed that the people who are thus boun- 
tifully fed get only food enough from the soil to sustain life. 
They can make all the nations of the world tributary to 
them; and their spices and their fruits, their sugar, coffee, 
cocoa, hemp, tobacco, and other products, will give them 
ample means with which to purchase all the appliances of 
civilization which an advancing people need. If the poor 
cultivator can purchase his daily food for a nominal price, 
he can also find means for surrounding himself with much 



of the world's luxuries. On the island of Singapore a sea- 
,,^ son's yield of a sjngle durian^tree^ a favorite fruit, is sold for 
from fifty to seventy -five dollars while yet the fruit is half- 
grown upon the tree. 

Tlie fact that nearly all this vast region is but sparsely 
populated is usually accepted as a proof that there is some 
serious drawback either in climate or soil, or in liability to 
) pestilence or earthquakes. A long volcanic belt extends 
through the middle of the archipelago, from Sumatra to the 
Philippines ; but the frequent and violent earthquakes which 
occur in the vicinity of this volcanic region do not seem per- 
ceptibly to hinder the growth of the population. People 
soon learn not to be alarmed about such things, and Java^ 
which is more scourged by earthquakes than any other part 
of the world, is not only the most prosperous of all the 
islands, but the richest tropical island on the globe; while 
Borneo, in which volcanoes and earthquakes are unknown, 
is sparsely settled, and by a people in a low state of civiliza- 
tion. As to climate, this whole region is as healthful as the 
"West Indies, and much more so than Central America. 
Here, as everywhere else in the tropics, low, marshy lands 
occasion malarial fevers, sometimes of a malignant character, 
but not worse in any respect than is common in similar re- 
gions in both the New and Old Worlds. The temperature 
is much more equable than in regions farther from the 
equator, and the heat is never so oppressive as during more 
than half the year in Northern India. In some places 
Europeans especially free livers will be apt to suifer from 
fevers ; but, taking the whole region together, no part of the 
tropics will be found more friendly to the European consti- 

The true explanation, both of the sparseness of the pop- 

^J ulation and the backwardness of the people in civilization, is 

found in the fact that the Malays are a race of pirates^ as 

were our own forefathers; and for centuries past they have 

not only been averse to the quiet ways of civilized life them- 


selves, but have hovered around the coasts of their beautiful 
islands like so many armed blockaders, sealing up every har- 
bor against the entrance of better and more peaceful people. 
Tlie advent of the Europeans into the archipelago did not 
put an end to the depredations of these pirates, partly be- 
cause at first the Europeans were little more than pirates 
themselves, and at a later period they did not care to follow 
the little praus of the pirates into regions where they had no 
interests at stake, and no hopes of opening up a profitable 
commerce. Only recently have determined and successful 
efforts been made to put down piracy throughout the archi- 
pelago, and now for the first time this fair region is begin- ^ 
ning to have a chance to take the place in the world to 
which its natural advantages entitle it. Added to the scourge y) 
^X-^^^- ^^ ^^^ coast has been the curse of interminable ^ 
strife and misrule in the interior. Rival chiefs have been 
engaged in endless tribal wars, and with their jealousies and 
strife have stood in the way of civilization. Wherever a 
stable government has been established, with assured pro- 
tection to all races and all creeds, thither settlers have 
flocked in vast crowds, and have quickly demonstrated that 
these rich and beautiful islands only need the protection of 
a strong government to make them the homes of prosperous 
and mighty nations. At three points on the peninsula, and 
on the little island of Singapore, the English have estab- 
lished settlements, the whole being under the authority of a 
colonial Governor with a Legislative Council. The result is, 
that within the limits of these four settlements there is al- 
ready a settled and exceedingly prosperous population, num- 
bering no less than four hundred to the square mile. In 
the adjacent Malay territory, equally productive and equally 
attractive in its natural advantages, the population is esti- 
mated at but little more than nine to the square mile. The 
prosperity of Java under the firm but somewhat rough hand 
of the Dutch has already been referred to, and similar re- 
sults are very rapidly developing themselves in Sarawak, 


where the nephew and successor of the famous Rajah Brooke 
is building up a strong and prosperous Malay State. 

If it were certain that the dark days of Malaysia are 
over, and a bright future assured to her, it would become at 
once a most interesting question to determine who and what 
the people are to be who shall possess this rich heritage. 
Those who know the Malays are not sanguine that, as a race, 
they will ever prove worthy of so magnificent an oppor- 
tunity as would then be set before them, and it is perhaps 
want of faith in them, rather than want of appreciation of 
their island home, which leads many thoughtful persons to 
speak doubtingly of the future of the archipelago. For 
Fthe present the Malays are in possession, and in discussing 
//the future of the islands their character becomes a leading 
I and most important factor in the problem. 

Not very many years ago our children were taught in 
their school geographies that the human race was divided 
into five great families, among whom the Malay and the 
American Indian occupied the fourth and fifth places. The 
Chinaman was the typical Mongolian, and no affinity was 
suspected between him and the Malay. This system of 
classification was given up years ago; but ethnologists have 
been slow in assigning a new place to the Malay people. 
Tradition traces their origin back to a tribe that lived on 
the north coast of Sumatra, and migrated thence to the main- 
land near the site of Malacca, and it is generally admitted 
that the Malay language is spoken in greater purity there than 
in any other part of the archipelago. But beyond this 
slight trace nothing else has been discovered about their 
origin, and very little is known of their history. They are 
scattered very widely, and speak many languages and dia- 
lects,, and different tribes are often mistaken for members of 
distinct races; but they are one as the American Indians, 
while differing as those differ in language and tribal peculiari- 
ties. The agent of the British and Foreign Bible Society at 
Singapore sells Scriptures in thirty-seven different languages, 


most of which are spoken on the islands of the archipelago. 
While these numerous tribes and dialects are found scattered 
over the islands, the mass of the people may be separated into 
four great divisions: 1. The typical Malays, who inhabit the 
peninsula and the coast regions of Sumatra and Borneo; 
2. The Javanese, who inhabit Java and parts of the numer- 
ous adjacent islands; 3. The Bugis, who inhabit the larger 
portion of Celebes; and, 4. The Tagalas, who inhabit the 
Philippine Islands. These four divisions are often spoken 
of as so many different races ; but they are all members of 
the same ethnic family, and they are themselves marked by 
lines of separation, more or less distinct, between various 
subdivisions. The Dyaks of Borneo, and other similar 
tribes, are often spoken of as aborigines, but they are thought 
by the best authorities to be but ancient branches of the com- 
mon Malay family. There has been more or less amalgama- 
tion with other races in some places, especially in the neigh- 
borhood of the Papuans on the east; and a few members of 
other and probably more ancient races are found scattered 
among the Malay masses; but still the population may be 
correctly said to be distinctly Malay in its character in every 
island, and up the peninsula as far as Tenasserim. 

Mr. Wallace is inclined to think, and his opinion is sup- 
ported by very weighty reasons, that the Malays were origi- 
nally Chinamen, with a later admixture of some foreign 
blood, and modified by a long residence in an isolated re- 
gion. A striking and indeed almost conclusive evidence in 
support of this theory was found in the appearance of a party 
of Chinamen on one of the islands, who had adopted the 
Malay style of dress, and who in this costume were so much 
like the real Malays that Mr. Wallace found some difficulty 
in distinguishing between the two. Future and more care- 
ful research will probably show that the leading races in 
southeastern Asia are all descended from the same original 
stock with the Chinese. 

It is not easy to write confidently of the Malay character. 


For centuries they have been represented as treacherous, 
vindictive, and cruel, and not many apologists have come 
forward to speak in their favor. It is more than probable, 
however, that they are a much better people than the outer 
world has given them credit for. It is not to be expected 
that a people who have been known to the world chiefly as a 
race of pirates will be spoken of very highly ; and it is easy 
to understand how their character has been painted in too 
black colors. As to their treachery, a gentleman in Singa- 
pore said to the writer: ^^I have lived among them in their 
villages for months, having my family with me, and I assure 
you I never felt safer in my life.'' It may generally be taken 
for granted that indiscriminate denunciations of a whole peo- 
ple are exaggerated, if not groundless; and it may be assumed 
at once that the Malays have not a monoply of all the bad 
and base qualities which are claimed for them. At the same 
time, it may be freely admitted that they have furnished some 
grounds for the grievous accusations laid against them ; but 
even when this is conceded it does not follow hopelessly that 
they are incapable of better things. Man is generally found 
poised midway between the character of a saint and that of 
a devil ; and" the presence of startling evil in a member of 
the race is no proof that the possibilities of the highest vir- 
tues do not coexist with the evil. The Anglo-Saxon has in- 
herited enough treachery and cruelty to sink a dozen 
nations; and we are the last people to take up stones against 
tribes and nations which have never enjoyed a tithe of our 
advantages. It is more than probable that the Malays, 
,under a settled government and controlled by a firm hand, 
will rapidly settle down into a quiet and peaceable people, 
and quickly forget the bloody practices by which, in darker 
days, they earned their evil reputation. In many regions 
they are even now as orderly and peaceable, if not as indus- 
trious, as the inoffensive people of North India, who, less 
than a generation ago, went armed like so many assassins. 
Moral delinquencies, however, are not the only accusations 

MALAYS/A. 495 

laid to the charge of the Malays. They are averse to hard 
labor and industrious habits; are improvident and indolent in 
disposition; fond of cock-fighting and childish sports; are 
inveterately addicted to gambling; and altogether seem to 
lack those qualities which are absolutely indispensable to a 
people who would rise in the scale of civilization to a place 
of respectability among the great family of nations. Dr. 
W. F- Oldham says : 

"The Malay is lethargic because of the condition in which he 
finds himself. Life under the equator does not tend to activity. 
The sea is full of fish, the shores covered with cocoanut-groves, the 
rice-fields easily produce their crops. He builds himself a house on 
stilts on the margin of the sea, or on the bank of a river, so that 
when the tide comes in the water will flow under the house. The 
windows are built so that, leaning on his elbow, he can look out of 
them and fish, the kindly ocean bringing the fish to his very win- 
dow. Lying there he may catch enough for his wants. The cocoa- 
nut grove behind the hut, without any care from him, will produce 
its unfailing crop of nuts. The rice-fields need but little attention. 
Why should the Malay exert himself? You talk to him concerning 
the civilized life of other men, and the unceasing activity and tire- 
less energy of the West, and he looks at you through his large, soft 
eyes, shrugs his shoulders, and says a single word, ' Susa^^ ' It is 
difficult.'" ' " 

It must be confessed that the Malay does not seem a very 
hopeful member of the industrial world; but it hardly be- 
comes the descendants of the ancient pirates of the north of 
Europe to pronounce a hasty judgment upon the modern 
pirates of the East. The Malays may not rise rapidly as a 
people, but they are clearly not destined to perish rapidly 
from the earth. Tiie Javanese are increasing rapidly, and 
are advancing moderately in civilization ; and it is reason- 
able to expect that other sections of the common family may 
yet flourish in like manner. 

During recent years a new race-factor has been introduced 
into these islands, and one which is destined not only to be 
permanent, but to exercise a most important influence upon 


the future of the country and the race. The Chinaman has 
made his advent in Malaysia, and has come to stay. He is 
the Anglo-Saxon of the tropics, and will push his way wher^ 
ever land awaits cultivation or mines invite exploration. In 
the whole history of the human race there have been few 
more curious or more interesting episodes than the modern 
opening of the gates of China, and the outpouring of her 
millions upon the rest of the world. They are overflowing, 
and will continue to overflow. East and South ; and no hostile 
legislation, and no opposition, can permanently arrest their 
course. The world has much to fear, but more to hope from 
their irruption. They are the men above all others who are 
to subdue the jungles of the tropics, and make the wilderness 
blossom as the rose. They will do for Malaysia what the 
present inhabitants can not do, and what no other people can 
be expected to do. They do not seek these beautiful islands 
merely to earn wages, and after a brief sojourn to return to 
their own laud; but they make their homes in the new land 
to which they go, marry the daughters of the people, and 
identify themselves with all the interests of the country of 
their adoption. 

In both Singapore and Penang the Chinese already con- 
stitute a large majority of the population, and are beyond 
comparison the richest and most prosperous part of the gen- 
eral community. In both cities the second and even third 
generations of '^ Straits-born '' that is, of Malaysia-born 
Chinese are found, and in both cities these are the leading 
people of the community. They cherish no dream of return- 
ing to the land of their ancestors, and they not only take 
pride in the fact that they are British subjects, but speak with 
unaffected contempt of " those Chinamen,^^ as they designate 
the China-born portion of the community to which they be- 
long. Owing to the religious prejudices of the Mohammedan 
Malays, very few of these China settlers have married native 
wives; but in other parts of Malaysia intermarriages with 
the natives are very common, as is also the case in Borneo, to 



which country the Chinese are flocking in large numbers. 
Thus far nearly all these settlers retain the peculiar costume 
of their race ; but in other respects they imitate Europeans 
freely, and manifest a spirit of enterprise which augurs well 
for their future progress. 

What is witnessed in these two cities will probably be 
repeated, with modifications, all over the islands. The 
Chinese will penetrate everywhere; will take the lead in 
every form of industrial enterprise; will become, in time, 
amalgamated with the present inhabitants; and thus there 
will gradually rise up a new people, combining in their char- 
acter the patient power of application of the Chinaman with 
the pride and courage of the Malay. In other words, a new 
race will ultimately, and at no distant day, appear upon the ^ 
stage, and enter upon a career of progress worthy of the 
splendid heritage which God in his providence appears to be 
preparing for it. 

In discussing the probable future of these commingling 
races, the question of language naturally presents itself, and sug- 
gests 'some curious and interesting phenomena.* The Malay 
language, as spoken in Northern Sumatra, Malacca, and Singa- 
pore, is the lingua franca of the whole region from Java to 
the Philippines, and from Penang to the Moluccas. It is a 
very simple language, in an elementary stage of develop- 
ment, without any proper inflections, and with but a very 
limited literature; and yet it seems to possess a wonderful 
power of making other tongues give way before it. The 
Chinese born at Singapore use it as their mother tongue, and 
in that city the singular spectacle is witnessed of a congrega- 
tion of Christian Chinamen meeting regularly to worship 
God in a tongue unknown to their ancestors. It is easily 

* The Rev. H. L. E. Luering, Ph. D., has kindly furnished me a 
list of fifty-seven languages spoken in Malaysia, and mentions the 
habitat of forty-three other tongues to which no distinctive names have 
been given. None of these are dialects of the Malay language, of which 
there are many. 




learned, and is everywhere understood. It had been re- 
duced to writing by the Mohammedans before the advent of 
the Europeans, the ordinary Persi-Arabic letters being used 
with slight modifications. A Romanized alphabet has been 
introduced since the European era, and will no doubt be the 
character used by the people generally when they become a 
reading people. It is not to be supposed that all the other 
languages, particularly the Javanese and the Tagala, will be 
discarded quickly, and the Malay adopted in their stead; 
but it is extremely probable that the latter will prevail more 
and more as the people become Christianized and civilized, 
and that the less important dialects will disappear before it 
in a few generations. In the meantime the Malay language 
itself will no doubt undergo great changes, and ere it be- 
comes the common language of a hundred millions of people 
will probably assimilate to itself many new elements of 
strength, and become a polished and, possibly, even an 
elegant tongue. 

But, all speculation aside, it is an interesting and hope- 
ful fact, interesting alike to the missionary, the merchant, 
the scientist, and the statesman, that such a language exists, 
and can be used as a common medium of intercourse through 
all the vast extent of the Malay Archipelago. It simplifies 
the task which Christianity and civilization alike have set 
before them, to enlighten and elevate a mighty people it 
might almost be said one of the grand divisions of the globe. 
If this imperfect Malay tongue is not fitted to be all to the 
missionary of the present day that Greek was to Paul and 
his companions, it is nevertheless an invaluable aid to the 
evangelist who sets out upon voyages longer than any which 
Paul ever made, and among a people scattered over a sea 
nearly twice as large as the Mediterranean. 

When the vast extent as well as the rich resources of these 
islands is considered, it can not but excite surprise that they 
have been so long neglected, and that the early strife for 
their possession has so long given place to indifference and 


neglect on the part of all European nations, with the single 
and very notable exception of Holland. Three centuries 
ago all Europe was filled with the fame of these islands. 
Their rich spices, their luscious fruits, their birds of para- 
dise, their gold and gems were found in every land, and for 
many years no richer East was known than that discovered 
by the early adventurers who first made their way into these 
unknown seas. The first to come were the Portuguese, who 
settled at Malacca as early as 1511, where they fixed the 
seat of what then bid fair to become a vast dependency of 
their empire. The Spaniards were the next to follow, and 
in 1565 they established themselves at Manilla, in the 
Philippines. The first English expedition which reached 
the islands, was that of Drake, in 1578, on his voyage round 
the world, and the first Dutch arrival was in 1594. In 
those unhappy days all such adventurers were little better 
than so many pirates. Their respective countries might be at 
peace in Europe, but it mattered little to the desperate men 
who sought wealth and fame in these ends of the earth. 
They not only made war against one another, but robbed 
and plundered with impunity, and seemed as little as possi- 
ble like the forerunners of the men who in later years were 
to teach the islanders the arts of civilization and peace. It 
would be a thankless task to try to give even a brief sketch 
of the many struggles which took place among these ancient 
rivals. Cities were taken and retaken ; islands were ceded to 
one, and then to another; change followed change, until after 
two and a half centuries Holland remains the rich possessor 
of an empire, Spain holds the Philippines, while England, 
as is her wont, keeps a firm hand upon the key position of 
the whole region. Portugal has retired altogether, and little 
trace of her former glory now remains. 

It is not generally known that the great East India 
Company was originally organized to trade, not with India, 
but with Malaysia, and but for an untoward event which 
took place at a critical moment the great company might 


have worked out its destiny in another sphere than that of 
India. The early English adventurers did not set foot in 
India for twenty-seven years after their first arrival in 
Malaysia; and Bantam was the English head-quarters in the 
East until it was superseded by Madras in 1653. In those 
bitter days the Dutch and English were in a state of chronic 
feud, and vigorously opposed each other all through the East. 
It so happened that an English vessel, with a crew half En- 
glish and half Japanese, was seized by the Dutch of Amboyna, 
and captain and crew were alike cruelly put to death. This 
happened in the year 1623; and although the vessel was 
small, and the officers and crew few in number, the tragedy 
made a profound impression, and to this day is uniformly 
spoken of in the East as the " massacre of Amboyna.^^ Its 
immediate effect, however, was such as no one could have 
anticipated. Dreading a similar fate, the English traders 
determined to turn toward India for a time, and in doing so 
quickly discovered a wider and richer field for their enter- 
prise than that which they had found so perilous. From that 
day the English trade was diverted in the direction of India, 
and very soon the foundations began to be laid of the 
greatest empire which Asia has ever seen. But for this 
hideous little tragedy happening in one of the most remote 
corners of the earth, and turning aside the current of what 
was yet to become a mighty and irresistible stream, England 
might to-day have been the possessor of the archipelago, 
while India would probably have been a French empire. 

The immense value of the Netherlands India to Holland 
is little known to the world at large, but is fully appreciated 
by the Dutch themselves. The amount of territory claimed 
by them is equal to the whole of Germany in area, and 
contains a population of twenty-five millions. Among co- 
lonial possessions held by European powers it ranks second 
only to British India. Its trade with Holland is equal to 
half the trade of India with England, while its ample revenue 
sufHces not only to maintain an efficient army and a vigorous 

MALAYS/A. 501 

government in the islands, but enriches Holland in a way and 
to an extent which is unknown in the relations of India 
with England. 

The policy of the Government of Netherlands India has 
been exceedingly conservative from the first. The rigid 
monopoly which was enforced by the British East India 
Company as long as public opinion in England permitted, 
continued uninterrupted in Netherlands India until very 
recent years, and some of its features are still preserved 
intact. This monopoly was not merely commercial, but em- 
braced the products of the land as well, and was carried to 
such an extent that when the Dutch assumed the monopoly of 
the growth of nutmegs, they deliberately cut down all the 
nutmeg-trees of the islands except what grew on the reserved 
lands of the Government. The price of the various kind of 
field products was fixed each year by authority, and the 
patient cultivators were obliged to sell to Government, not 
at the price which their products were worth, but at that 
which would enable their paternal rulers to realize a large 
profit in the general market. This system has been warmly 
advocated, even by English writers, as admirably suited to 
the condition of the people at their present stage of civiliza- 
tion; but a single glance will suffice to show that every such 
system must tend to foster abuses, while it will just as cer- 
tainly repress enterprise and hinder all healthy progress. 
There has been a vigorous agitation in Holland upon the sub- 
ject during recent years, and some radical reforms have been 
introduced, but even yet restrictions are laid upon settlers in 
those islands such as are unknown in British India, and 
such as would not be tolerated for a day if an attempt were 
made to enforce them. 

The appearance of the Germans a few years ago in the 
Eastern seas created great surprise throughout the world, and 
gave rise to no little discussion as to what ultimate designs 
the great Bismarck, then at the height of his power, cherished 
in his own mind. Under the orders of the great Chancellor, 


German troops were landed on the coast both of New Guinea 
and Borneo7and portions of territory on those islands were for- 
mally annexed in the name of the German Government. The 
Australians warmly resented the annexation of a portion of 
New Guinea, affirming that all the islands lying near their 
coasts properly either belonged to themselves, or were so far 
within what has been called their "sphere of influence/' that 
no intruders from Europe should be allowed to meddle with 
them. This agitation has since subsided, and the Germans 
quietly maintain their footing in both the great islands with- 
out further question from any one. If, as seems quite pos- 
sible, a political union should be effected between Holland 
and Germany at any time in the future, these German settle- 
ments would naturally be incorporated into Netherlands 
India, which would then become German India. 

The Philippine Islands are situated so far to the northeast 
that they are frequently overlooked when the rest of Malaysia 
is considered; but the people properly belong to the great 
Malay family, and the islands form a part of the volcanic 
chain which runs through the center of the great group. The 
Spaniards made their first descent upon these islands in 1517, 
and with unimportant interruptions have held possession ever 
since. They have thus had nearly four centuries in which to 
show to the world what they can do under the most favorable 
circumstances, in developing the interests of a distant colony, 
and improving the civilization of a semi-barbarous people. 
The result of this experiment is not creditable to the Spanish 
Government, and much less so to the Koman Cat*holic hierarchy. 
In these islands the Roman Catholics have had their own 
way, with scarcely a challenge from any quarter. A Captain- 
General is sent out by ,the Spanish Government, but the real 
ruler is the Roman Catholic Archbishop, who is president of 
the " Board of Authorities.'' This Board is composed of lead- 
ing officers of the Government, and all important measures 
are referred to them for approval before being enforced, not 
excepting orders from the home Government. In all country 


districts the priests are the magistrates, school inspectors, and 
practically the administrators of the Government. Under this 
arrangement the Archbishop becomes practically the ruler of 
the islands; and after three hundred and seventy-five years of 
trial the world can now examine the results, and see what the 
Eoman Catholic Church is capable of doing for a people 
bound hand and foot and committed to its tender mercies. 

In the city of Manilla, which represents all that is most 
advanced in the islands, seventy-five per cent of the people 
are illiterate, not being able even to read or write. In the 
country districts no less than eighty-eight per cent are illiter- 
ate. This illustrates the real character of Eomanism. If 
Protestant missionaries could be admitted to the islands, and 
proceed, as they undoubtedly would, to found schools and 
give the people a chance to improve themselves, Roman Cath- 
olic schools would at once spring up on every side. But 
where they are not, in a measure, thus compelled to give the 
people an education, nowhere in the wide world will it ever 
be found that the Roman Catholic hierarchy troubles itself 
about the intellectual elevation of the people. 

Nor is the case any better from a moral point of view. 
The present Archbishop has but recently arrived in the 
islands, and I have heard nothing for or against his charac- 
ter ; but his predecessor was well known as a man who led an 
irregular life. Two well-known ladies in Manilla have been 
recognized as his daughters, and little remark has been occa- 
sioned thereby. As for the ordinary priests, very few of 
them make any pretensions to leading pure lives. It is quite 
common for them to be fathers of families, although never 
husbands of wives. It would shock their moral sensibilities 
to the last degree if one of their number should legally and 
decently, as well as Scripturally, marry the mother of his 
children ; but so long as they abstain from Christian mar- 
riage, nothing is said of their irregularities. It will be said 
by apologists, no doubt, that these priests belong to the ob- 
scure and almost illiterate descendants of the early Spanish 


settlers; but this is by do means true. Ninety per cent of 
them are directly from Spain ; and when, in conversation with 
a Spanish gentleman, I expressed surprise at this fact, he as- 
sured me that the case was little better in Spain itself. The 
people are shocked by the scandalous lives of these priests, as 
even heathen would be; and when we remember that no other 
representatives of the gospel of Jesus Christ are tolerated on 
the islands, the state of religion appears deplorable enough. 
Nominally the inhabitants of the islands are nearly all Roman 
Catholics, as might have been expected. They have no op- 
tion in the matter. But while they have peacefully accepted 
the religion forced upon them, they still retain many of their 
old customs. They have among them their own native med- 
icine-men, who practice witchcraft, sorcery, etc., after the 
style of their ancestors. These islands present as needy a 
field for missionary effort as any of those farther south, where 
Christianity is wholly unknown. But for the present we 
have no access to them. An agent of the British and For- 
eign Bible Society, who was sent there two or three years 
ago, was promptly arrested and imprisoned for the crime, as 
it was defined at his trial, "of spreading doctrines contrary 
to the official religion." After a brief imprisonment he was 
released on bail, and permitted to leave Manilla. He has 
since not been able to return. This agent is a member of 
our own church, and well known to me as a man of excellent 
Christian character. 

It remains to speak of the position of the English in 
Malaysia, and of the probable extension of their power in 
the early future. This, however, will lead to a wide digres- 
sion, and must be reserved for a separate chapter. 

^ chapter XXXIX. 

THE Straits Settlements is the name of a number of small 
but important English settlements on the Malay Penin- 
sula and a few small islands near the coast, governed under 
the colonial system, and having no connection directly with 
India. Correspondents in the United States seem to find it 
hard to understand this, and in sending letters to Singapore and 
Penang persistently add India to the address, and thus send 
them astray. In former days, when the very small posses- 
sions retained by the English in that quarter of the world 
were unimportant, their affairs were administered by the 
Government of India; but in 1852 a separate Government 
was established under the title of the Straits Settlements, and 
a Governor appointed from England to manage their affairs. 
As the Indian laws had been in force before the separation 
of these settlements into a colony, they were formally adopted 
by the first Governor and his Council, and hence the same 
code of laws is in force in India and the Straits Settlements. 
The administration of public affairs generally has also been 
continued upon the former lines, so that the Indian visitor 
in Penang or Singapore finds himself quite at home in all 
that pertains to public affairs. These settlements comprise 
the island of Singapore, the town and province of Malacca, 
the islands and adjacent main-lands of the Bindings, the 
island of Penang, with the Province Wellesley on the ad- 
jacent main-land, and the Cocos, or Keeling, Islands. The 
Governor of the Straits Settlements is also High Commis- 
sioner of the Territories of the British North Borneo Com- 
pany, Brunei and Sarawak, in Borneo. This, of course, 



points to an ultimate incorporation of those territories into 
a single consolidated Government, with its capital at Sin- 

Of these settlements, Singapore is the most important. 
The city is built upon the southern coast of a beautiful little 
island, separated by a narrow strait from the main-land. One 
of the most common mistakes into which Americans fall in 
reference to tropical countries, is in supposing that the nearer 
one goes to the equator the higher the temperature rises. I 
frequently receive requests from young missionaries coming 
out to India to send them as far north as possible, hoping 
thereby to find a home in a cool climate. The hottest sta- 
tions we have in all this great Eastern field are in Northern 
India. Singapore, on the other hand, which is only ninety 
miles from the equator, has a very equable climate, and is 
considered a healthy place. The highest range of the ther- 
mometer observed since 1869 was only 94 degrees. The 
lowest since the same date was 63 degrees. There is but 
little difference in the temperature from month to month, 
the changes being for the most part dependent upon local 
causes. The mean maximum temperature is 86.3 degrees. 
The mean minimum is 73.1. Storms are rare, and indeed 
almost unknown; but a little breeze is nearly always blow- 
ing in some direction, aud so long as there is the slightest 
motion in the air the heat is not oppressive. A popular 
belief is entertained that in Singapore it rains every day in 
the year; but, as a matter of fact, the annual average of wet 
days is only 164. The highest number of wet days ever re- 
ported in a single year is 209. The total rain-fall is 90.55 
inches, which is by no means excessive for a tropical climate. 
In the early morning the average temperature throughout 
the year is 77 degrees, and, as a general rule, it is not un- 
pleasantly hot in the open air before nine o'clock, even in 
sunny mornings. The nights are always cool. The island 
of Singapore is twenty-seven miles long and fifteen miles 


The city was founded in 1819 by Sir Stamford Raffles, to 
whom it was ceded by the Malay Sultan of Johore. It was 
made the seat of government of the adjacent settlements in 
1837. Sir Stamford Raffles had the eye of a statesman, and 
quickly perceived that the little island upon which the city is 
built occupied the key position to all that part of the East- 
ern World. All vessels sweeping around the long Malay 
Peninsula, on their way to China, have to pass this point. 
Every steamer which goes through the Suez Canal en route 
to China must also pass here. The growth of the town was 
exceedingly rapid, surpassing anything that had before been 
seen in all the Malay region. Within the first four months 
after the settlement was established, no less than five thou- 
sand Chinese colonists had settled there. In order to en- 
courage commerce at this point. Sir Stamfor^d Raffles made 
Singapore a free city, and it has maintained this character 
ever since. The consequence has been that it is every year 
becoming more and more an emporium for all the great 
islands adjacent, and must permanently hold a leading posi- 
tion among the great commercial cities of the world.* 

Penang is situated on a small island, at the upper end of 
the Straits of Malacca, formerly called the Prince of Wales 
Island, but now better known by the name of the city. The 
island was ceded to the English Government by a native 
prince in 1785, for the small sum of six thousand dollars a 
year. It is only about two miles from the main-land, and is 
twelve miles long and nine miles wide. At a later day a 
small strip of land was taken possession of on the opposite 
coast for the purpose of putting a stop to the piracy of the 
Malays, which was a standing menace to the commercial 
prosperity of the town. This strip of land is named the 
Province Wellesley, and was purchased for two thousand dol- 
lars, with an additional annual grant of two thousand dollars. 

^According to the census taken April 1, 1891, Singapore contained 
184,554 inhabitants. Of these, 121,908 were Chinese, 35,992 Malays, 
16,035 Indians, and 8,843 Europeans and Eurasians. 


For many years the trade of Penang made it a leading East- 
ern port; but it has suffered severely in recent years by the 
cession on the part of the English Government of their pos- 
sessions in the island of Sumatra to the Dutch. The trade of 
that region, which formerly came to Penang, has since been 
diverted elsewhere. As an indication of the large and rapidly 
growing trade of this region, it is sufficient to mention that 
the imports of Singapore two years ago were $88,683,000, 
while those of Penang were $41,833,000. The principal ar- 
ticles of export from both cities are gambier, gutta-percha, 
coffee, hides, rattan, sago, pepper, tapioca, nutmegs, canes, 
gums of various kinds, stick-lac, oil-seeds, cloves, tin, and 
small quantities of other metals. But little of the land, even 
in the immediate neighborhood of these cities, is cultivated. 
On the small island of Singapore alone there are more than 
one hundred thousand acres of arable land which has not yet 
been touched by either plow or spade. 

The city of Malacca is situated on the main-land of the 
peninsula, about half-way between Singapore and Penang. 
It was formerly a well-known and very prosperous city the 
most prosperous, indeed, in all the Eastern World. Long 
before Calcutta, Bombay, Rangoon, Batavia, Hong Kong, or 
Manilla had attracted the attention of people in Europe, 
Malacca was a great emporium of trade, and the magnificent 
seat of Portuguese power. It was wrested from the Portu- 
guese in 1641 by the Dutch, who held it, without, however, 
keeping up its former prosperity, till 1795, when it was cap- 
tured by the English. It was restored again to the Dutch in 
1818, but a little later was again and permanently restored 
to the English. It had declined steadily from the time that 
the Portuguese were expelled, not only from Malacca itself, 
but from all the adjacent seas ; and when the Dutch took 
their departure, and the English established their head-quar- 
ters, first at Penang and later at Singapore, Malacca fell into 
rapid decay. In recent years, however, it has rallied, and is 
now said to be a prosperous town. Large numbers of indus- 


trious Chinese have settled there, and it will no doubt remain 
a local center of some importance. 

The Malay Peninsula is a long, narrow strip, which ex- 
tends from Burma southward to Singapore. The upper end 
of the peninsula nominally belongs to Siam ; but it is very 


doubtful if the'Siamese Government could assert its authority 
in any part of this territory if the people themselves objected 
to the arrangement. In former years the Siamese ruled over 
the whole peninsula; but from time to time they were 
obliged to release their hold upon one part after another, 
until now their rule in the North is little more than nominal. 


In the meanwhile the English have extended their authority 
over a number of the small States of which the peninsula is 
made up. These States are, for the most part, ruled by Mo- 
hammedan princes known as Sultans.* Six of them have 
been formally proclaimed as " Protected States. '^ The word 
" protected " may be accepted as equivalent to " prospect- 
ively annexed,^' and is somewhat similar to the phrase " sphere 
of influence," as used at the present time in Africa. The 
States thus protected at the present time are the following: 
Perak, Selangore, Rembau, Jelebu, Negri-Sembilam, and Pa- 
hang. For all practical purposes the government of these 
States is under the control of Residents appointed by the 
Governor at Singapore. Each Resident is the official ad- 
viser of the Sultan ; but in several of the States the admin- 
istration has, to a large extent, been placed in British hands. 
The whole of the peninsula will undoubtedly come under the 
direct administration of the Government at Singapore before 
very many years. The peninsula is popularly supposed to con- 
tain about ninety thousand square miles, and is rich in min- 
eral and agricultural resources. A range of mountains, which 
runs down the center of the peninsula, is supposed tO be rich 
in its deposits, chiefly of tin, but also in some places of gold, 
copper, and other metals. The population is very sparse, 
and is composed for the most part of Mohammedan Malays, 
with here and there, in the remote interior, small tribes of 
aborigines. The Chinese, for some years past, have been 
flocking into the country, chiefly for the purpose of working 
in the tin-mines; but many of them are beginning to till 
the soil and engage in all manner of other occupations. It 
is abundantly evident that the future population of the whole 
peninsula will be Chinese. These settlers are sometimes 
very turbulent, and the raids and petty wars inaugurated by 

* The Sultan of Johore, a prosperous little State lying immediately 
north of Singapore, is the most enlightened of these princes. He is a 
man of fair culture, and makes a good and successful ruler. His por- 
trait is given on the preceding page. 


them on the one hand, and the persistent piratical habits of 
the Malays on the other, have been the chief causes thus far 
which have led the English to interfere in the affairs of the 
native States. It is the old story over again of Christian 
civilization coming in contact with heathen barbarism. It 
will be no more possible for an enlightened British Gov- 
ernment at Singapore to refrain from meddling with the 
tribes to the northward, than for the Americans to pause in 
their westward march when they reach the confines of an 
Indian tribe. 

In addition to these settlements, the British possessions 
in the great island of Borneo, which have but recently been 
placed under the government of the Straits Settlements, will 
no doubt, in the early future, become very important settle- 
ments. The British North Borneo Company has taken pos- 
session of a valuable strip of territory, said to contain 30,000 
square miles; but when it is added that it has a coast-line of 
900 miles, it will be seen that there is a practically unlim- 
ited "sphere of influence" lying behind this line, in addition 
to the 30,000 square miles which have been more directly 
taken possession of by the company. The head-quarters of 
the government of this company are at Sandakan. The 
coast is supplied with good harbors, but the country is as yet 
very sparsely settled. The Chinese, however, have com- 
menced coming, and will probably increase rapidly from 
year to year. Sandakan is a thousand miles from Singapore, 
sixteen hundred from Port Darwin, in Australia, and twelve 
hundred from Hong Kong. Land is sold to settlers for 
three dollars an acre, and an annual tax of ten cents an acre 
collected from cultivators. If the settlers neglect to culti- 
vate the land, it reverts again to the Government. 

The State of Sarawak is better known as the creation of 
the somewhat famous Raja Brooke. It contains about 50,- 
000 square miles, with a coast-line of 400 miles. Its popu- 
lation is estimated at 300,000, of various races, among whom 
the Chinese form an important factor. Sarawak and British 


North Borneo are both on the northern coast of the island* 
The capital of this State is Kuching. The present Raja is a 
nephew of Sir James Brooke, and has been knighted as Sir 
Charles Johnson Brooke. He is a little over sixty years of 
age. The imports of the State amount to about $2,225,000 
annually, and the exports amount to nearly $2,500,000. 
The principal sources of revenue are the licenses granted for 
opium and liquor shops, gambling, and other questionable 

The mention of so disreputable sources of revenue as 
those which the State of Sarawak reports, will no doubt ex- 
cite the surprise of the reader ; but I regret to say that the 
Government of the Straits Settlements itself is dependent to 
a very large extent upon an income from no more reputable 
sources. Singapore and Penang both being free cities, 
nothing can be collected in the way of customs duties. 
From the first, the Government of the Settlements has unfor- 
tunately depended chiefly upon the revenue derived from the 
sale of opium and spirits. This privilege is " farmed out/' 
and the two *' farms,'' so far as Singapore and Penang are 
concerned, were sold in 1889, the former for $1,608,000, and 
the latter for $1,112,400. That is to say, the party or par- 
ties who agreed to pay this enormous sum at Singapore, re- 
ceived therefor the exclusive right to sell opium and spirits, 
and could at once proceed to sublet his privilege to as many 
shop-keepers as he found it best to employ. Other privi- 
leges of even more questionable character have at times 
yielded an important part of the revenue; but since the 
memorable vote in the House of Commons condemning the 
practice of licensing vice in the East, this custom has been 
happily abated. 

The future prosperity of all this region depends very 
largely upon the Chinese. As remarked in a previous chap- 
ter, it seems to be the destined mission of these people to 
drain the swamps and cut down the jungles of the whole of 
the Eastern tropical world. The reader in America will find 


it difficult to realize how actively this wonderful people are 
swarming around those distant Eastern shores. President 
Hayes, during the latter part of his administration, startled 
the American people by calling attention to the fact that not 
less than five millions of Europeans would probably settle in 
the United States within the decade following the year of 
his address. The event has proved that his estimate was 
none too high. But here, in this remote corner of the earth, 
the city of Singapore alone receives about 150,000 emigrants 
every year. These, it is very true, do not settle in the city 
where they are reported, but scatter thence, some to Sumatra, 
some to proceed up the peninsula, some to push on to Burma, 
while others, in large and constantly increasing numbers, are 
distributed among the great islands to the southeast. No 
doubt many of these will ultimately return to their native 
land ; but out of so vast a host it may be safely assumed that 
at least two-thirds will become permanent residents in the 
islands to which they go. The 150,000 who are reported 
now will be 300,000 before many years ; and in all our esti- 
mates concerning the future of Malaysia it may as well be 
taken for granted at once that, whatever the future language 
of this region may be, the people will practically be Chinese. 
This fact must be borne in mind in order to appreciate the 
importance of the work which we are trying to do among 
the Chinese at Singapore, and also to guide us in all our 
plans for the future prosecution of missionary work in that 

As we near the equator we leave behind us the produc- 
tions not only of the temperate zone, but of the sub-tem- 
perate, and are more and more surprised to find that the 
grain-fields even of Central and Southern India no longer 
appear. Rice is cultivated to some extent under the equator 
itself; but even that product of the tropical swamp does not 
flourish at its best in the immediate neighborhood of the 
equator. What a more intelligent and higher civilization 
may yet be able to extract from that tropical soil still remains 



to be seen ; but for the present the people are largely depend- 
ent upon the exchange which they make with their northern 
or southern neighbors. Malaysia will probably be for many 
years to come the great producer of the more precious spices. 
Its forests and its mines will contribute largely to the wealth 
of the world, and perhaps some new productions will be dis- 
covered which will in some measure take the place which the 
great family of cereals occupies in the temperate zones. For 
the present, however, both the garden and the field disappoint 
the stranger who visits that region. 

Not so, however, with the orchard. No part of the 
world can produce more luscious fruit than is found upon 
the table in Penang, Singapore, and Batavia. The pine-apple 
flourishes better, perhaps, than in any other part of the 
world. The banana, of course, is everywhere in its natural 
home. The mangosteen, a delicate fruit, looking, when the 
outer covering in which it is encased is cut open, like the 
most delicate new, white honeycomb, is often called the 
queen of all fruits, and for delicacy of flavor is certainly sur- 
passed by no other fruit in the world. The mango, although 
not at its best under the equator, is brought down the coast 
from both Burma and Siam. But the one notable fruit for 
which all the Malaysian region is famed is the durian, or, as 
it is sometimes written, dorian. This fruit belongs to the 
same family as the jack and bread fruit, but differs from 
those fruits in several very marked particulars. The durian- 
tree grows to a great size, and has smooth and almost white 
bark, which sometimes reminds one of the Western sycamore 
or buttonwood. The fruit when at its best is somewhat 
oval-shaped, about eight or ten inches in diameter, and 
covered with a thick shell, which is protected by sharp and 
hard spikes. When broken open, the stranger who draws 
near to look at it will probably fly in dismay. The fruit 
unfortunately exhales a perfume which is as little pleasing 
to the ordinary nostril as any other odor to be found in the 
world. If one can forget the odor, and make bold to taste 


the fruit, he may become passionately fond of it at once, or 
he may find it as difficult to acquire a liking for it as a novice 
does in the use of tobacco. Habit, however, here as every- 
where, soon settles the case. As a matter of fact, nearly all 
European residents in Malaysia become very fond of the 
durian. Mr. Wallace, in his work on the Malay archipelago, 
calls it the king of fruits ; and old residents protest vigor- 
ously, and sometimes indignantly, when they hear their 
favorite fruit disparaged. It is often amusing to see this 
fruit put upon a table when strangers are present. Some of 
the new arrivals will actually fly from the room. At hotels 
and on steamers, strangers have been known to protest against 
placing such an offensive fruit upon the table. On one 
steamer on which I traveled, the captain, to the extreme in- 
dignation of some of his passengers, had a durian put upon 
the breakfast-table. The following week I chanced to be 
upon another steamer in the same harbor, and, when a boat 
with durians for sale came alongside, the captain peremp- 
torily ordered the quartermaster not even to allow the boat to 
lie alongside, much less to permit any of the fruit to be 
brought on deck. 

The stranger from the North is surprised, on nearing the 
Eastern tropics, to notice the absence of everything like a 
rich floral display. Flowers indeed are found, but very few 
of them challenge attention by either their beauty or perfume. 
On the other hand, the foliage of many trees and creepers 
makes ample amends for the deficiency of display on the part 
of the flowers. Everywhere the stranger is struck with the 
variety and beauty of the leaves, some of which are very 
large, while others again, though smaller, are no less delicate 
than beautiful in their array of color, which, like the lilies 
of old, far surpassed the raiment of the resplendent Solomon. 
Aside from the uncounted family of orchids, which in the 
depths of the jungles, as well as in the conservatories of the 
cities, appear at their best, the Malay Peninsula and adjacent 
islands can boast of but a small list of beautiful flowers. 


The fauna of this region is, with a few exceptions, the 
same as that of India. The elephant, tiger, and other large 
animals no doubt belonged to the islands before the great 
submergence which separated them from the main-land of 
Asia. The bird of paradise is a notable exception among 
birds, and the orang-outang literally " wild-man'^ in the 
Malay language among animals. The bird of paradise has 
a very limited habitat, and is found only among some of the 
smaller islands in the eastern part of the archipelago. There 
are many varieties of this bird, some of them differing very 
widely from the specimens with which Europeans are most 
familiar. While probably the most beautiful of all known 
birds, this famous queen of the forest is not gifted in any 
other particular. Like other children of vanity, the bird of 
paradise has but a small stock of brains, and is so stupid 
that the most common method of capturing it is for a Malay 
to climb the tree upon which it is perched until he is within 
a few feet of the bird, when he shoots it with an arrow, while 
it is absorbed in strutting about on a branch above him, dis- 
playing its gorgeous feathers, very much after the manner of 
a peacock when similarly engaged. It is said that a dozen 
or more of these birds w^ill be thus employed, strutting and 
making a noise which has more of a frog's croak than a 
bird's music in it, and such is their want of intelligence 
that a number of them will be killed before the others take 

The stories of man-eating tigers in the neighborhood of 
Singapore, and of enormous serpents on the peninsula, are 
no doubt exaggerated. Nearly every globe-trotter who passes 
Singapore goes on his way to tell, during the rest of his life, 
that tigers abound in the jungles of the island of Singapore 
to such an extent that, on an average, one native is killed 
every day in the year. This story is simply a myth. It 
does happen at times that tigers swim across from the main- 
land, and give more or less trouble to the people on the 


island, especially those whose duty it is to go into the jungles 
to cut timber; hut it is much nearer the truth to say that a 
dozen natives are killed on the island in the course of a year, 
than three hundred and sixty-five. Tigers are dangerous 
denizens of any forest after they once acquire a taste for hu- 
man flesh. It is not that they prefer this kind of food to 
any other, but rather that they chance to make the discovery 
that man is not as well able to defend himself against such 
a foe as other large animals. In fact, no creature when face 
to face with a tiger is more helpless than a man, when he 
chances to be without weapons of any kind. Many years 
ago I knew of an old tigress near the foot of the Himalayas 
which killed more than one hundred and fifty persons before 
being killed herself. The creature was known by the fact 
that a number of the toes of one of her forefeet had been 
cut off in an encounter with a hunter, and her track in the 
sand was easily recognized. One such tiger as this could give 
a reputation to the island of Singapore which would not be 
effaced for a dozen years. 

Large pythons undoubtedly are found in the forests of 
the peninsula ; but it is not probable that they are any larger or 
much more numerous than in the great forest tracts of India. 
The difference, if any, is probably owing to the fact that the 
jungles of the peninsula have not been traversed by armed 
hunters, and not only tigers and pythons, but all manner of 
wild animals and reptiles have been left to increase and mul- 
tiply. Stories are told of serpents having been shot twenty- 
five and even thirty feet long ; but I have not been able to 
authenticate even one such account. Occasionally, however, 
a python is captured from twenty to twenty-two feet in 
length. One of our missionaries. Dr. B. F. West, had an 
adventure a few years ago with one of these monsters, which 
he probably will not soon forget. He had gone to a point 
on the western coast, and was making a journey across the 
peninsula eastward, on a route which had, so far as was 


known, never before been followed by any European. He 
was traveling on foot, and had just crossed a small stream 
and climbed up the somewhat steep ascent to a level piece of 
ground covered with high grass, through which he had to 
pass by a very narrow path, the grass being in many places 
as high as his head. In front of him was a small open 
space, on which some buffaloes, with their calves, were 
grazing. As Dr. West was leisurely walking along, he 
chanced to notice an enormous python stretched out close 
along the path, not more than six inches from his feet. The 
monster was probably waiting for the buffaloes to come down 
the path to get a drink at the river below, in which case he 
would, no doubt, have seized one of the smaller calves, and 
made his breakfast upon it. As Dr. West was telling me of 
the adventure, I asked him : 

" What did the python do T 

" He simply raised his head a little," he replied, "but 
made no other motion." 

"And what did you do?" 

" I raised every hair on my head, and got out of there as 
fast as I could." 

He probably had a narrow escape, although it is possible 
that the serpent, preferring to breakfast on a buffalo-calf 
rather than a man, purposely let him pass. The python, like 
all other large serpents, is a very stupid creature, and, unless 
approached suddenly in some way similar to the above, will 
never attempt to harm any one. No living creature could 
be more stupid. I have seen them put up in boxes for ship- 
ment to Europe, eight or ten big fellows being put in a 
single box. A few holes are bored in the lid to admit air, and 
the serpents lie perfectly quiet throughout the voyage. They 
are caught in the simplest possible manner. When the na- 
tives discover one lying quietly in the jungle, a man spreads 
a blanket upon a slight frame attached to the end of a long 
bamboo, and, approaching quietly, throws the blanket over 


the python's head. Instead of drawing back, the big serpent 
attempts to raise its head, and thus muffles its own eyes. 
Two men, with a kirge open bag, are in readiness, and, seiz- 
ing the serpent's tail, they slip it into the bag ; and then, ad- 
vancing toward its head, they slip the whole body back into 
the bag, and by a quick jerk bring it up over the head, and 
tie it. The hideous but harmless captive is then taken to 
the city, and sold for export to Europe. 

CI)apter XL. 

OUR attention was first drawn to Singapore in the same 
way as it had been directed to Rangoon. By the 
steamer route down the eastern coast of the Bay of Bengal, 
Singapore is about 1,850 miles from Calcutta ; but, although 
so far away, when we began our work among seamen in the 
latter place we soon began to hear of the thriving city 
which was growing up almost under the equator, on the 
great ocean highway to China; and when, in 1879, we ex- 
tended our work to Rangoon, we began to receive occasional 
invitations to proceed farther down the coast, and preach in 
Singapore also. At that time I chanced to be the presiding 
elder of what was called the '^Calcutta District," a geo- 
graphical expression, which included Bengal and as much 
territory down the coast as we might wish to occupy. For 
some time I gave no serious attention to such invitations, 
but at length began to feel a conviction that we should go 
to Singapore, and see if God had work for us in that city. 
As this conviction matured, and as I procured all possible 
information about the city, the people, and the vast region 
of which it must always be the commercial center, all doubt 
vanished from my mind, and I felt assured that God was 
beckoning us onward to one more advanced post. At length 
I became so impressed with the importance of the project, 
that, early in the year 1884, I published a letter in the 
Western Christian Advocate, calling for two young men to 
come out as volunteers, and occupy the distant outpost of 
Singapore. I had nothing to offer the volunteers except a 
great opportunity to do and dare for their Master. We had 


not a dollar in the way of financial resources, and our plan 
was to do as we had done in so many cities of India preach 
to the Europeans and Eurasians, organize a self-supporting 
church among them, and then from this base work outward 
among the non-Christian people. The utmost I could prom- 
ise was that I would accompany the two young men, and 
help them make a start by preaching for a season and 
organizing the work for them. 

To this appeal there was an immediate res{)onse. About 
twenty young men came promptly forward and offered them- 
selves for what then seemed a very forlorn enterprise. It 
took time, however, to correspond with these candidates, and 
while they proved to be good and true men, no two among 
them were quite adapted to the very peculiar service re- 
quired of them. Two or three of the number, however, 
were accepted for service in India a year or two later. 

In the meantime, near the close of the year, Bishop 
Hurst was approaching India, after a prolonged tour in 
Europe. He had heard nothing whatever about our pro- 
jected mission in Singapore, and was not aware that a call 
for volunteers had already been made in America, or that 
young men were offering for the post. By an extraordinary 
coincidence, which every Christian will interpret as a clear 
evidence that God was moving in the matter, his mind had 
been strangely turned in the direction of Singapore. He 
had just authorized the opening of a new work in Finland, 
thus gaining access in the extreme north to a people within 
the territory of the great empire of Eussia, and there seemed 
a poetic fitness in the thought that his next advanced move 
should be in the far south, almost under the equator itself. 
It was no such fancy, however, that directed Bishop Hurst's 
mind in this case. He had met with tourists, and, in one 
case, with a resident of Singapore itself, who had called his 
attention to that part of the world, and he had thus become 
impressed with its importance. But added to the interest 
thus created was a distinct conviction, which he felt was 


from above, that he ought to do something to extend our 
work in that direction. When I met him, soon after his 
arrival in Bombay, the first question he put to me was, 
" What can we do for Singapore V^ I supposed he had 
heard of my appeal in the American papers, but was sur- 
prised to learn that he had received no intimation from any 
quarter that such a project had ever been mooted by any one 
else. He and I had been living and working on opposite 
sides of the globe, and yet our minds had been strangely 
led to the same conclusion, and our hearts had become im- 
pressed with the same conviction. We both felt that God 
would have us move in the direction of the far southeast. 
When the South India Conference met for its annual 
session in Haidarabad, in December, 1884, the proposal to 
found a new mission in Singapore was the most prominent 
question brought forward. Practically, it presented itself 
as a proposal to found a foreign mission, the first enterprise 
of the kind which had ever been undertaken by our Indian 
Methodists. Singapore was, both geographically and polit- 
ically, far beyond the boundaries of India proper, and to 
all intents and purposes would constitute a foreign mission, 
founded and directed by the Methodists of India. We had 
no financial resources whatever to fall back upon, but this 
gave us little concern. The one vital question to be con- 
sidered was that of finding the right man to put in charge 
ot the work. Up to that date no one with the peculiar 
qualifications needed for so difficult a post had offered in 
America, and we were obliged to look round among our 
own little band of workers for some one to send to the 
new and distant outpost. At once our thoughts turned in 
the direction of Wm. F. Oldham, a man who seemed in 
many respects peculiarly fitted for the difficult and, in 
some respects, hazardous undertaking. This was to be our 
first Indian foreign mission, and it was peculiarly fitting 
that we should put an Indian in charge of it. Mr. Oldham 
was of European parentage, but had been born in India and 


brought up there. He had been employed for a number of 
years in the survey service of the Indian Government, and 
had been thoroughly educated for that kind of work, but 
soon after his conversion he began to feel the need of a 
broader culture, and also became impressed with the con- 
viction that God had a work for him to do in connection 
with our church. His young wife, also born in India, 
shared his convictions, and the two determined to go to 
America, complete their education, and in due time return to 
India to devote themselves to missionary work among their 
own people. They were now on the ocean and nearing 
India, but without the shadow of a dream that their brethren 
in India were planning for them so complete a change in all 
their plans and expectations as that of sending them on 
beyond to distant Malaysia. It was impossible to consult 
them, and the brethren at Haidarabad could only act in full 
confidence in the loyalty, courage, and devotion of the 
two workers at sea. The decision was carefully and prayer- 
fully made, and when Bishop Hurst read the appointments, 
the name of Wm. F. Oldham was announced as missionary 
at Singapore. 

When Conference adjourned I hastened to Bombay to 
meet the Oldhams, and found them calm and resolute in the 
face of the unexpected and difficult enterprise which con- 
fronted them. They were startled and perhaps a little sad- 
dened, but not discouraged or depressed. Mr. Oldham said 
to me : "I had prayed for some days that God would make 
me willing to go to any post in all India to which I might be 
sent, and I at last had reached a point where I felt I was per- 
fectly willing for any place selected for me in all this empire ; 
but it never once dawned upon my thoughts that they would 
shoot me clear through the empire, and fifteen hundred miles 
out on the other side.'' We talked a little while about the 
best course for the future, and soon drew up a plan of action. 
We were going to plant a new mission in a place as far dis- 
tant from Bombay as Liverpool is from New York. We had 


no financial resources whatever. We knew no person in 
Singapore, and had nothing to depend upon on arrival except 
the promises of God. We could not look to the Missionary 
Society; for we were taking the initiative in this case, and it 
would have required a full year to send forward an applica- 
tion to the General Committee and secure an appropriation 
in the usual way. As a matter of fact, I had not money 
enough to pay our passage to Singapore and my own passage 
back again. It was decided that we should go there, begin 
to preach to the English-speaking people, organize a self- 
supporting church, and having thus planted our missionary 
in a new post, await the developments of Providence. Leav- 
ing Mrs. Oldham with her mother for the time being, we 
crossed India, and took passage from Calcutta for Rangoon and 
Singapore. As we expected to hold continuous services for 
several weeks, and needed help, especially in conducting sing- 
ing, we took with us my wife and Miss Battle, who was at 
that time chorister of our Calcutta congregation. We had 
barely money enough to buy tickets to Singapore, but noth- 
ing to pay our way back ; and thus we entered upon the for- 
midable enterprise of planting a new mission in the central 
city of the vast region known as Malaysia. 

Our first stop was at Rangoon, where we spent five days, 
holding meetings morning and evening, and assisting the de- 
voted and courageous little band of workers who are sta- 
tioned in that city. There seemed to be an inspiration in the 
project on which we had embarked, and our people in Ran- 
goon were not only cheered, but greatly encouraged and 
filled with enthusiasm, at the idea of thus pushing our work 
into the regions beyond. At our last meeting a liberal col- 
lection was taken in aid of our enterprise, and we thus learned 
that God was not going to forget our needs. Our next stop 
was at Penang, where our steamer remained for twenty-four 
hours. We went ashore and visited the only Protestant 
mission in the place, under the care of the Reverend Mr. 
Macdonald. It was an independent mission, and had not 


made much headway among the people. I preached to a 
small congregation in the evening, and made such observa- 
tions as our brief stay enabled me to do. A single glance 
sufficed to show that a vast field was open to any mission 
which would begin a vigorous work in the place. Mr. Mac- 
donald was carrying on an independent work, but on narrow 
lines, which left most of the field practically open to any 
new-comers. Proceeding on our way, we entered the beau- 
tiful harbor of Singapore on the morning of the second day, 
and were kindly greeted by Mr. Phillips, superintendent of 
the Sailors' Home, a Christian brother who had repeatedly 
sent us kind messages and invited us to come and preach in 
Singapore. We were driven to the home of this good 
brother, and kindly entertained by him during our stay of 
three weeks. 

Singapore now lay wide open before us, and yet at the 
same time, in another sense, tightly closed against us. The 
people were all there, the utmost liberty was accorded to us, 
and no one was disposed to throw the slightest obstacle in 
our way; and yet we were strangers in a strange city, with- 
out resources, without prestige or influence of any kind, and 
it certainly seemed a most difficult undertaking to plant a 
mission on the basis which we had adopted. The European 
public of Singapore was not a large one, and at that particular 
time was not favorably inclined toward a work such as we 
proposed to establish. An unfortunate attempt to hold 
evangelistic meetings had just been made without success, 
conducted by a stranger whose zeal had not been wholly ac- 
cording to knowledge. No one could be sure that we would 
do any better, or that we would work upon a different basis, 
and hence we must first establish a reputation before we could 
expect to wield much influence. Only one way seemed open 
to us, and that was to invite the public to come out and hear 
the word which God had commissioned us to preach. The 
town hall was secured and notice given to the public that 
there would be preaching twice on Sunday, and each evening 


of the week following. We could do do more, and, having 
circulated the notices as widely as possible, we awaited the 
issue with some anxiety, but without any fear. I can not do 
better at this point than to quote from an account written by 
Mr. Oldham of the inception of this work : 

"Sunday morning found us in the town hall. A little Estey 
organ the gift to Mrs. Oldham of her fellow-students at Mt. Hol- 
yoke was unpacked and pressed into service. Miss Battle sat at the 
organ ; Dr. Thoburn sat on a small improvised platform at a table ; 
Mrs. Thoburn led the singing; while I played usher, and handed 
round the hymn-books. After singing and prayer, the text was an- 
nounced : ' Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the 
Lord ;' and Dr. Thoburn proceeded to preach the first Methodist ser- 
mon ever preached in Malaysia. I listened with some wonder, if not 
doubt, as he told the people, among other things, that they would 
come again and again, that friends would come with them and some 
of them be deeply interested, and that among them would be found 
those who would seek forgiveness of their sins and peace for their 
souls. * Within these four walls,' he said, ' men and women will be 
converted to God.' It seemed scarcely credible that such a result w