« IndietroContinua »
is believed that no Missionary has yet attempted to labour among this highly interesting race of men ; and it may reasonably be hoped, that
wan begins to flourish, the neighbouring North-West Districts will afford a most delightful field for publishing the tidings of great joy.
when the good seed sown in Burd
(See Page 155.)
view of soy E of THE cus EP Districts IN THE MA DR As PREs, DENCY, IN RErik Excis, MORE PARTICULAR LY, TO FUTURE MISSIONARY LABOU Rs.
The following Questions were circulated, and Answers requested, in order to obtain the information which the Society desired : —
1. Name and Geographical Situation of the District, its principal Towns, and the character of the country in respect to Climate. 2. Religion, Language, Occupations, Number, and prevailing Castes of the people, with the general Character of the different classes. 3. Whether any and what Christian Missions or Communities exist in the District; and, if any, by whom first established; and the numbers, and temporal and moral condition of the Christian Natives. 4. The Facilities or Obstacles presented to Missionary Undertakings— the most suitable situations for Missions—the most eligible methods of pursuing Missionary Plans—and the qualifications desirable for the Missionaries in that particular sphere. 5. Any additional information or observations, which occur as likely to be useful, with a view to the object of the inquiries generally; which is, to possess authentic and comprehensive information for the guidance of measures undertaken by the Society, either for the improvement of the religious condition of the present Christian Natives who are not already under the care of other Protestant Missionary Societies, or for the extension of the benefits of Christianity to the Heathen Inhabitants of
the country. Chingleput.
This District, formerly called the Company’s Jaghire, and now the Zillah of Chingleput, surrounds Madras. The population consists of 865,000 souls, and the geographical extent is about 3400 square miles.
The principal towns are Conjeve-.
ram, Trivaloor, and Chingleput; and, at these places, I would recommend that Missionaries should be stationed. Conjeveram is situated on the western side, Trivaloor on the northern, and Chingleput on the southern ; at these places, there now are, or have been, Schools under the inspection of the Missionaries at
Madras; and the diaries of the
regarding the qualifications of a Missionary for Conjeveram, which is the grand resort of the principal Hindoos, and the constant residence of great numbers of Brahmins, learned and unlearned. True piety is, in fact, essential to a Missionary ; and, therefore, I shall suppose that to exist in the person to be appointed. As, however, he may be expected to be engaged in controversy with the learned, he should be, moreover, a sound Divine, and skilled in logic. He should be conversant with Sanscrit, as well as Tamul : it is very desirable that he should be a man of great suavity of manner and command of temper. There are also some Jains at Conjeweram, who, I have been informed, have conversed with attention and pleasure with the Missionaries who have occasionally visited the place. Wherever practicable, I suppose two Missionaries will be sent together to a Station; especially if it be not the residence of Europeans. The climate, I think, acts so much upon the frame, as to render this measure very desirable. Mutual encouragement is of importance ; and our Blessed Lord and Master sent forth his disciples two and two. Having mentioned three Stations, there would be thus required, six Missionaries: but I am aware I must not indulge any such pleasing expectations, as that these will be immediately sent. The introduction of our Holy Religion, and the improvement of the moral condition of the Native Subjects of British India, it
is now generally agreed, will be the .
gradual result of preaching and teaching; and surely six persons, in a country containing 3400 square miles, and 365,000 souls, are not numerically great. Even two, however, in each Zillah would be a great blessing; and though their preaching and stated ministry would be confined, yet they might superintend many Schools—those grand founda
tions for the melioration of the future race. It appears to me, that the greatest importance attaches to instruction in the English Language. A Native who can read English, has a key to all our books ; whereas a translation of one work gives no aid to the perusal of another. Translation is laborious, and scarcely two persons agree as to the rendering : I do not wish to detract from the merits of translation, but rather to advocate the plan of introducing our own language. Our manners, our arts, our sciences, and above all our religion, will be communicated in a much more rapid manner in our own language, which the Natives are very desirous to learn. Two or three Central Free-Schools in each Zillah would, in a few years, diffuse a great and lasting advantage. Our Native Subjects would begin to feel in common with ourselves: in learning the English Language, they would imbibe an English Feeling, morally and politically , which would render them better men and faithful subjects. Under the Madras Presidency, we find the use of the following languages: —Teloogoo, Tamul, Canada, Mahratta, Toolaver, Malayalim, Dukhanee, and Coriya ; and these having various dialects. We may add to this, that, in every language, there is a vulgar use of expression quite distinct from the learned writings: not merely in a few words or phrases; but so great is the difference, that the correct language is not comprehended by the mass of the people. The learned, indeed, of every country in the Peninsula study Sanscrit; but that language would not answer for common daily, uses, even if it were practicable to teach it. Surely it must be desirable that the governors and the people of a country should possess the means of correspondence in one language ; and the language of the Governing Power will naturally be the one of fashion, as well as of business, in the higher departments of the State. But I have no doubt that it would be of the greatest benefit, if English could be used in detail. If there were but one man in every village who could speak English, many corruptions would be exposed, much violence curbed, and many of the good intentions of the Government made public which are now unknown or concealed. Our laws and regulations will be best promulgated in the English Language, if it be once publickly taught; and they will never be generally understood until they are. I will only add my recommendation, that Missionaries should make the teaching of English one of their chief duties.
Missionaries should, as much as possible, assimilate themselves with the Natives, and gain their affections. They should attend to their bodily as well as to their spiritual wants. The Hindoos are an observing people; and will notice what the Missionaries do, before they listen seriously to what they teach. If they gain the heart, they will ensure attention; and they may then preach, with the Divine Blessing, to good purpose. Let the ground be prepared, then let the Missionaries plant and water, and pray to God to give the increase. I should wish, with this purpose in view, that every Missionary was instructed in Medicine and Mechanics: I should be glad to see him able to assist the people when sick, and to direct their labours when in health. In agriculture, and in every craft, there is abundant room for improvement. It occurs to me that a Missionary should direct the industry of Scholars between the hours of teaching ; to render them able to provide an honest livelihood, and to fashion them into good subjects. This, I know, like many other good things, is easier to advise than
to put in practice: but if we are to attempt any thing, we must use the best means which present themselves: the requisite knowledge of Mechanics or Husbandry would not be profound: it should rather aim at being practi. cal. With regard to a knowledge of Medicine, I would suggest that every Missionary, before he proceeds to India, should study one year, in London, the elements of Anatomy, Pharmacy, and Chemistry. A knowledge of the prominent diseases of India, in order to be practically useful, is certainly attainable; and, in a Missionary, very desirable: a person well grounded in the elementary knowledge of medicine may improve himself by reading and experience. I am aware that this will involve a considerable expense ; but I state rather what, to the best of my judgment, is desirable, than any matter which is immediately practicable: but if we wish to introduce our own Mode of Worship together with the fundamentals of the Christian Religion, it is high time that some exertions on an extended and systematic footing should be adopted. There are 'Twenty-one Districts under the Madras Presidency, which would require the aid of 126 Missionaries, for a very moderate diffusion of general education and religious instruction; calculating three Stations in each District, and two Missionaries at each Station. But even if two Missionaries were stationed in each District, with a sufficient number of Schools under them, much good might be effected. In Vizagapatam, Bellary, Tanjore, Trichinopoly, and Tinnevelly, there are Missionaries; and Seringapatam might perhaps be inspected by the Missionaries of Bangalore; but, still, there are Fifteen Districts, which require thirty Missionaries. I would first notice the district of Madura, because it is situated between Tinnevelly and Tanjore and Trichino
poly. A chain of Missionary Stations is very desirable: if a Heathen becomes a Christian, the temporal loss which he most feels, is the difficulty of marrying or procuring alliances for his children; but this will gradually be less felt, if there be a chain of Missionaries affording to the Native Christians the means of communicating with one another. The condition of the Country-born portion of our Indian Subjects well deserves, and I am sure receives, the attention of the Committee. A certain number of pious Young Men might be selected from among them, and educated as Missionaries at the expense of the Society. One Country-born Missionary, joined with a European Missionary, would lessen the labour and increase the utility of both. If a Seminary was instituted, there should exist the means of instruction, not only in Divinity and general Literature, but in the elements of Medicine and the useful Arts. The inculcation of the Christian Religion should go hand in hand with the promotion of morality, the restoration of health, and the encouragement of industry. A great part of the duties of Missionaries will be with the poor ; and their management requires much consideration. It is obvious that those who pretend to teach and improve others, must be themselves instructed and intelligent; and if the Parent Society can furnish funds, they might be most beneficially used in the formation of a Seminary for finishing the education of Country-born Youths. It will ultimately be a great aid to the Parent Society, because the difficulty of procuring the services of approved Missionaries is confessedly great: it cannot, indeed, under human infirmity, be otherwise; for a truly-devoted Missionary, with the necessary qualifications, ranks among the great and good men which are rarely to be met with, and which those who consider
them at all must for the most part be contented to assist and admire. Whatever disagreement may exist as to the fittest mode of improving our Native Subjects, and as to the employment of Missionaries, there is one common expression of regret at the total Want of Truth, experienced daily in almost every business and in all quarters, from the highest to the lowest. This evil strikes so deeply at the root of every practical duty, that it is universally lamented: the Love of Money, and entire want of shame in receiving bribes, are scarcely less injurieus to the State. Selfishness is the third prominent feature of deformity which I shall mention: this operates extensively, and is a bar to most attempts to improve society : so long as this vice reigns paramount, there never can be an efficient police in the country. These practical evils may, possibly, attract the attention of some, to the necessity of attempting to improve the moral condition of the Hindoos. I imagine that there will not be found any one to deny the improved state of society in Europe, consequent upon the introduction of Christianity ; and yet, in Pagan Rome and Greece, there was found a love of truth, a disregard of wealth, and sometimes a noble spirit of self-devotion, worthy of a better principle. Patriotism was a common virtue. If, then, in these countries, there was a radical deficiency in morals, and the absence of all those principles which Christianity enforces, what shall we say to the indifference with which some regard the necessity of raising the character of the Native Subjects of British India? Is it really nothing to endeavour to substitute truth for falsehood, to teach men to love their neighbours, and to implant a fear of the Almighty Maker of Heaven and Earth which shall check a crime known only to the Omnipresent and All-seeing God? Those who desire further information relative to the domestic manners and religious observances of the Hindoos, will do well to read the work of the Abbé Dubois, and the powerful History of India by Mr. Mills: the latter is, truly, Philosophy teaching by Examples. Innate Modesty will blush at the impurities strangely styled religious. The philanthropist will lament, to weeping, on the perusal of the accounts of the degradation of his fellow-men ; and the Christian, while he rejoices in God his Saviour, will pray to the Father of Mercies, that the dayspring from on high may dawn upon the Nations which lie in darkness.
The Province of Tanjore lies about 150 miles to the south of Madras: and is bounded, on the north, by the Southern Province of Arcot; on the south, by that of Madura; on the east, by the Sea; and, on the west, by the Countries of Trichinopoly and Tondiman. It is divided into Nine Talooks, which respectively take their names from the largest towns in each; and of which the principal are, Tanjore, Combaconum, Manargood, Trivear, Putticotlah, Marjeveram, and Trivalore; to which may be added, separately, Nagore and Negapatam. The gene. ral character of the climate is salubrious, and the amount of population is within a million.
The prevailing religion is Hindooism—the language, Tamul—the occupations, chiefly husbandry and weaving. Of the castes, an unusual number is Brahminical : the character of the different classes is unfavourable. When under the Government of the Palace, from imbecility and mismanagement the people groaned under a system of the most oppressive tyranny and extortion, exercised by the usurped power of a few mercenary individuals, which
that imbecility could not curb or restrain ; and such was the confusion reigning everywhere, that, on the territory falling under the controul of the present Government, there were not in any two villages corresponding weights and measures; but, since that period, the face of things has undergone a material change for the better, leaving stilla sediment of vice and corruption in the majority, which is fostered and encouraged even by the existing mode of managing affairs. There are two Christian Missions in the province ; one at Tranquebar, and the other at Tanjore. That at Tranquebar was instituted in 1706, by His Danish Majesty, Frederick the IVth and was supported by the Royal Treasury, till it was transferred to the superintendence and charge of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge: those Natives who are attached to it are now very few and scattered—an effect apparently, in some measure, from the pressure of the fall of trade there. Of the Tanjore Missions I have no precise information. The obstacles to Missionary Undertakings are obviously many, while the facilities are proportionably limited. A Missionary cannot reside in the houses of Natives: light and air are too much excluded. He cannot eat with them ; and, in fact, there is hardly any thing which he can do in common with them: and, to win his way to their attention and regard, he requires a very exact knowledge of their language, manners, and customs; and an entire abstinence from all attempts to ridicule their prejudices and maxims.
‘Wherever these have been conformed
to, consistently with the Christian Character, some progress has been made in gaining their affections. A studious care is absolutely necessary to cultivate the acquaintance and friendship of the principal inhabilants, aniong whom he happens to be