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The designs of the “Propaganda" embraced the conversion of the world, and in the different religious orders prepared to act under its directions, it had a power prodigious in force, and proportioned to the magnitude of the undertaking. These singular institutions supplied a number of men distinguished by ardour of piety and innocence of life, accustomed to labour, to poverty, to the severest privations; inured to implicit obedience; proficients in the study of human nature, and versed in the sciences, the arts, and the languages which could facilitate admission and intercourse in the several countries assigned for the exertions of their zeal.* Bishop Warburton, who remarks that " we should be unjust to Rome, not to acknowledge its zeal to be equal to that of other churches, in displaying the Christian banner throughout the habitable world”-has given a striking picture of the training to which the Propaganda missionaries were subjected. He had spoken of the qualifications of the missionary, -"ardent zeal and unwearied diligence-appetites subdued to the distresses of want, and a mind superior to all the terrors of death." Now, all these qualities and habits, their several orders of religions, whence these missionaries are taken, very early labour to inculcate. One quality is more deeply implanted by this order, another by that; and the most necessary and essential are formed in all: thus every monastic institution kindles and keeps alive that exalted charity-a self-sacrifice for the salvation of souls.
The Jesuits subdue the will by the severe discipline of blind obedience-to stand where they are placed, and run where they are bid. The Carthusians subdue the appetites by a tedious course of bodily labours and mortifying abstinences; and the order called “the Congregation of St. Paul,” subdues the whole man; for, in a sense peculiar to them, as their holy patron, they die daily; the observance of their whole rule consisting in one continued meditation on that king of terrors.
Nor is this all. The several orders, like workmen who travail separately on the various parts of the same machine, each of them to be sent to the master artist to be put into its destined place, where, by a proper combination, all are fitted for their peculiar use; the orders I say, send their subjects, thus prepared, to the COLLEGE DE PROPAGANDA FIDE, to receive their last finishing and first motion ; " by instruction in the languages, the manners, and the customs of the barbarous nations, to whose conversion they are appointed and addressed.”+
Dr. Hooley, Lord Bishop of London, before the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in foreign parts, 1817.
Warburton, Lord Bishop of Gloucester, before the Society for the Propaga. tion of the Gospel in foreign parts, 1766.
And yet, the effect produced by all this mighty apparatus, was not so great in proportion, as might have been expected. Of the causes of failure, we are not qualified to speak, neither should we care to enter into any discussion, as this would lead into the region of polemics, as foreign from our taste, as it is from the grand design of our work.
Our business, in rapidly tracing the history of Christian effort in India, is more particularly connected with Protestantism, and still more with the efforts made by the British church. We necessarily pass by a variety of missions directed to other quarters of the globe, and we shall leave out from the consideration, those established by our own countrymen, neither last, nor least; because a full investigation would extend our article far beyond all reasonable limits, and we may find some future opportunity to enter fully into the history of American effort in the East.
In the beginning of the 18th century, Frederick IV., King of Denmark, attempted the conversion of the heathen on the coast of Coromandel, and for that purpose he sent out Bartholomew Zeigenbalgrus and Henry Plutche, both educated for the ministry at the University of Halle, in Upper Saxony, and ordained by the Bishop of Zealand. In 1707, two years after their landing, they baptized five of the natives, as the first fruits of their labours among the heathen. This mission was patronized by George I. of England, and the then Primate, Archbishop Wake ;-and the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, which had been established a few years before in London, came forward with alacrity and zeal in the support of the undertaking. Among the constant accessions of strength which this mission received, one of the most important was that of Christian Frederick Swartz, in 1750-a man, who, for nearly fifty years, was one of its brightest and most distinguished ornaments. Of this apostolic man, and his labours, it is impossible for us to speak in the short compass allowed for this sketch-suffice it to say, his equal has never yet appeared on the shores of India. What Heber might have been, had his valuable life been spared, we know not; but take all the circumstances into consideration, and Swartz has not yet had a rival. In token of his respect for Swartz, the Rajah of Tanjore, in 1798, wrote to the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, requesting them to erect a monument of marble in his capital, in the church where the good man preached ; “with a view,” said he, “to perpetuate the memory of Father Swartz, and to manifest the high esteem I have for the character of that great and good man, and the gratitude I owe him—my father, my friend, the protector and guardian of my youth.” In 1807, the monument was erected by the East India Company.
The first serious, decided, and persevering attempt, to awaken the public attention of Protestant England, was made as late as 1805, by one whose name will ever be identified with the progress of Christianity in India; we mean Claudius Buchananperhaps not inappropriately termed the Apostle of the Indies. During the century in which they had been acquiring their oriental empire, the British East India Company, intent on the pursuits of commerce and ambition, and contending frequently, not only for aggrandizement, but for existence, were but little at leisure to attend to the moral and religious claims, even of their own European servants, much less to consider those of their native subjects, to any thing beyond general protection and the administration of justice. Among those, who, from the principles of infidelity, or, from the absorbing influence of worldly pursuits, felt little immediate concern in religion; and who, in the acquisition and consolidation of power, amidst the half-civilized votaries of idolatry and imposture, were tremblingly alive to the danger of offending or alarming them, by the too prominent profession of a purer faith, it may be easily imagined that no effort would be made. * But, to the eye of Christian observation, the matter always appears in an aspect, which takes its character more from the lights of eternity, than from any views of short-sighted worldly policy; and, it is not surprising, that a subject so grand in itself, and so intimately connected with his own profession and local situation, should have early occurred to the mind of such a diligent and wakeful observer as Mr. Buchanan. Pearson, the learned biographer of Buchanan, observes, and indeed Buchanan himself, allows, in his Christian Researches, that the first suggestion was made to him by the late excellent Bishop Porteus, who had, he said, attentively examined the state of the British dominions in Asia, and had expressed his conviction of the indispensable importance of some vigorous effort to advance the interests of Christianity; and who can doubt it, when we consider that India, from the Indus to the Ganges-from Cape Cormorin to the mountains of Himalaya, and including the Island of Ceylon, contains a population of 80,000,000 of souls, directly, or indirectly, under the sway of the British Crown?
Dr. Buchanan's memoir on the expediency of an ecclesiastical establishment for British India, produced a most powerful sensation of the public mind. This work is not probably familiar to the mass of our readers; neither is it necessary that we should at all enter into the argument, which was calculated to make so striking an impression on the British public. With their ecclesiastical establishment, and its consequent want of real to
leration, we shall have a constant quarrel, and shall ever have reason to bless God, that in this, our country, church, and state, have no connexion. Religion, to flourish, must flourish by its own intrinsic excellency--it wants not the aid of the civil power. To be valuable, it must dwell in the heart; and when it has its residence there, it has a better guarantee than all the laws which human ingenuity could devise for its support. Be this as it may, the memoir of Dr. Buchanan presented arguments which had resistless weight with the people of England; and when a fair opportunity offered to discuss the whole subject, no opposition could stand before the torrent of awakened public sensibility. That opportunity was offered, when the renewal of the charter of the East India Company was brought before the British Parliament. Independently of the question of the slave trade, and the still more recent subject of Catholic emancipation, there never was one which produced so general an excitement over the British empire; and the periodical press of 1812-13, made the Christianizing of India its paramount topic. The object of all this discussion was, that, in the renewed charter of the Company, a clause should be inserted, providing
for the formation of an adequate ecclesiastical establishment. The greatest names of England appear in this discussion; and a more decided mass of eloquence is nowhere to be found, than in the debates of parliament at this period. Petition after petition poured in from all quarters, in favour of the introduction; and on the tables of the two houses, no less than nine hundred were eventually laid, signed by more than half a million of the people of all ranks and degrees. On the 22d of June 1813, a memorable day in the history of British effort for Christianizing India, Lord Castlereagh proposed to the House of Commons the adoption of the following resolution, viz:
"That it is the duty of this country to promote the interest and happiness of the native inhabitants of the British dominions in India, and that such measures ought to be adopted, as may tend to the introduction, among them, of use. ful knowledge, and of religious and moral improvement :- that in the furtherance of the above objects, sufficient faculties shall be furnished by law, to per sons going to, and remaining in, India, for the purpose of accomplishing these benevolent designs."
. On the 24th of the same month, it was moved by Lord Buckinghamshire in the House of Lords, and carried without a dissenting voice. In the Commons, the majority in favour had been fifty-three ;-eighty-nine voting for it, and thirty-six against it.
In consequence of this triumph of the friends of religion, the Crown was enabled to constitute a bishopric, with such jurisdiction and functions, as should from time to time be defined by his
* Christian Observer, June and July, 1813.
Majesty, by letters patent, under the great seal of England. The East India Company was charged with salaries to be paid to the bishop and three archdeacons. Calcutta was then erected into a Bishop's see; and the eminent individual selected first to fill that important station, was Thomas Fanshaw Middleton, D. D., then archdeacon of Huntingdon. He was a man exceedingly well qualified for his station, by his learning and piety, and to him the world is indebted for one of the most learned works on the Greek article extant. Indeed, his work may be considered as standing alone, on this branch of philology ; for, preceding critics had not directed their attention sufficiently to this subject, to give a full and satisfactory account of it. Literary eminence, however, was not that at which he aimed; for, though his memory was stored with all profane and civil literature, and he was ranked among the first critics of his age, and had an inexhaustible supply of lighter and more elegant learning, yet he sought only to be remembered as a faithful servant of his master. His work on the Greek article, will remain a monument of his learning, while biblical criticism shall be ranked among the sciences; but his enduring fame, is in the churches of the East. Bishop Middleton was consecrated on the 8th of May 1814, in the chapel of the Lambeth palace, by the Archbishop of Canterbury ; and, on the 8th of June, accompanied by Mrs. Middleton and Archdeacon Loring, he sailed for Bengal. On the 28th of November of the same year, he arrived at Calcutta, and, from that time, was actively engaged in the duties of his calling, during nearly eight years. He died of a nervous fever, on the 8th of July 1822, in the fifty-fourth year of his age. To the see of Calcutta, thus rendered vacant, Reginald Heber was appointed, on the 14th of May 1823; and, on the 16th of June, he em-! barked for Calcutta, which he reached early in October. The providence of God, however, had designed for him a short but active career. He suffered nothing to interfere with his duties as a Missionary Bishop. His labours are placed before the public, in the journal of his tour; and never has the self-sacrificing spirit of the devoted missionary, been more sublimely exemplified. Of his death, it has been beautifully said, “His sun was in its meridian power; and its warmth most genial, when it was suddenly eclipsed for ever. He fell, as the standard-bearer of the Cross should ever wish to fall, by no lingering delay, but in the firmness and vigour of his age, and in the very act of combat and triumph. His master came suddenly, and found him faithful in his charge, and waiting for his appearing. His last hour was spent in his Lord's service, and in ministering to the humblest of his flock. He had scarcely put off the sacred robes with which he served at the altar of his God on earth, when he was sudden