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Row was conducted, under the charge of a numerous escort, to Bithoor, one of the sacred places of the Hindoos, where he spent his time chiefly in superstitious ceremonies and idle debauchery. A feeling of shame, if not some latent remains of affection, withheld the Peishwa from contributing, either directly or indirectly, to the capture of Trimbuckjee. That individual tendered his submission, but the English authorities declined to receive it, and the once powerful author of the Mahratta confederacy found himself reduced to the necessity of wandering about the country as the outlawed chieftain of a band of robbers. The Arab mercenaries, formerly in the Peishwa's service, attached themselves to Appa Sahib, who was engaged in collecting a heterogeneous host in the mountainous regions, composed principally of the relics of those armies which the English had recently defeated, or ordered to be disbanded. Being joined by Chetoo, he maintained his ground for some time, but at length he was surrounded on every side, and obliged to take refuge within the walls of Asseergurh. The fate of Chetoo has been already recorded, and the loss of that bold partisan seemed likely to terminate speedily the career of Appa Sahib. Upon learning that the latter had sought shelter at Asseergurh, General Doveton and Sir John Malcolm advanced to besiege this stronghold. It capitulated on the 9th of April, 1819, when the commandant, who had hitherto declined to surrender the person of Appa Sahib, asserted that he was no longer in the town, having left it several days before. This appeared, on examination, to be the truth, and for some time the precise retreat of that chieftain remained enveloped in mystery, until it was discovered that he had filed to Lahore, where Runjeet Sing afforded him an asylum, and granted annually a small pension for his maintenance.

The fort of Asseergurh belonged nominally to Scin

1820.)

CONCLUSION OF THE MAHRATTA WAR.

259

diah, the professed ally of the English government; but his subordinates, nevertheless, resisted our troops, and endeavoured to mislead their officers.

The cause of all this inconsistency soon came to light. Papers were discovered, after the taking of Asseergurb, which proved that a constant correspondence had been carried on between Scindiah and the Peishwa, while the latter remained in a state of open hostility to the English government. As no danger could now be apprehended from such a proceeding, it was judged expedient to take little notice of the discovery. Lord Hastings forwarded the principal paper to Scindiah, and annexed Asseergurh' to the Company's territories; two practical reproofs that drew from the chieftain, to whom they were addressed, a humble and submissive apology for his past conduct.

The conclusion of the Mahratta war gave the governor-general an opportunity of carrying into effect certain measures that he had long contemplated, and deemed indispensable to the welfare of the country at large. The policy hitherto pursued of allotting conquered territories to doubtful, and in many past instances, discreditable allies, now received its deathblow. Lord Hastings at once claimed for the Company the right of sovereignty over the whole of India, which had formerly been possessed by the Mogul, and thus abolished for ever the political fictions of his predecessors.

The natives of Hindoostan received this announcement with apathetic indifference, if not with positive gratification; for having been, even from the earliest times, the vassals of foreign invaders, they were strangers to the emotions of patriotism, and felt no desire for national independence. Like all orientals, they could not appreciate a strictly constitutional government, or, indeed, one in which the voice or wishes of the subject were at all recognised. They required a firm, though judicious, rule, free from the anarchy and confusion incident to their own

modes of government, and capable of holding in check the discordant elements by which it was surrounded. This desire had been in a great measure accomplished for them by the Company. Their commerce was no longer interrupted, and they tilled their lands without fearing the ravages of contending nabobs, or the incursions of Mahratta plunderers. Under the English, they experienced neither the military tyranny of Hyder, the proselytising violence of Tippoo, or the vacillating weakness of the Emperors of Delhi. Their European masters ruled indeed by right of conquest ; but they exercised this right with tenfold more humanity and justice, than their predecessors had exhibited in past ages. The sway of the Company was not exempt from errors, nor perhaps from serious faults, but upon the whole, it far surpasses the most laudable native administration that ever existed, and promises to become eventually as perfect as any political machinery can be in a world where everything is defective, and nothing in all respects above censure.

The condition of British India at the departure of Lord Hastings, was peaceful and flourishing. At Sattara, the source of the Mahratta race, a vassal prince enjoyed the dignities of royalty, carefully separated from every semblance of power. An English resident governed the patrimonial territories of the house of Seevajee, while an official of the Company replaced the deposed Peishwa at Poonah. Nagpoor shared the same fate, and Holkar, though deprived of the bulk of his possessions, was still permitted to retain an inconsiderable portion. Scindiah proved more fortunate, but he had now ceased to be formidable, and the dissolution of the Mahratta confederacy rendered the efforts of an individual chieftain as limited as they were void of danger.

GS.)

CHRISTIANITY IN INDIA,

201

CHAPTER XX.

INTRODUCTION OF CHRISTIANITY INTO INDIA-THE SYRIANS OF THE

MALABAR COAST-THE ARMENIANS- PORTUGUESE-ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONS-PROTESTANT MISSIONS-SWARTZ-FOUNDATION OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN EPISCOPATE-BISHOP MIDDLETON-STATE OF RELI GION IN INDIA.

ABOUT 68-1854.

ACCORDING to the oriental ecclesiastical historians, Christianity was first planted in India by the Apostle St. Thomas, who is said to have suffered martyrdom at Meliapoor, a city situated near the modern Madras. This tradition, which Bishop Heber considered incontrovertible, still prevails in the country, both among native Christians and Hindoos, though some later writers dispute its authenticity. One thing, however, is certain, that our divine religion was professed on the western coast of India at a very early period, since the name of a Bishop of Persia and India appears among the signatures to the canons of the first Nicene Council. During the sixth century, Cosmas, a Nestorian Christian, styled Indopleustes, or the Indian voyager, from his travels through those regions, found numerous Christian Churches in the island of Ceylon, and in places termed by him Malè and Callianè, generally supposed to have been districts on the Malabar coast.

The early history of the Malabar Christians is involved in obscurity, but during the ninth century they acquired some important privileges from the heathen rulers of Travancore, and even became sufficiently powerful afterwards to establish a sovereign of their own. When, however, the Portuguese arrived, they found the Syrians of Malabar living under the dominion of the king of Cochin, by whom they were treated with considerable respect, their bishop being allowed exclusive jurisdiction in all civil as well as ecclesiastical causes. At first the Portuguese behaved towards them as brethren, but subsequently the difference between their doctrines and those of the Roman Church, provoked hostility and persecution. In the Synod of Diamper a forced union was effected, chiefly through violence, although a large majority still adhere to the church of their fathers.

The Armenian Christians who reside in the three capitals of British India, have for some years possessed churches and ecclesiastical establishments at Calcutta, Madras, and Bombay. They hold communion with the Patriarch of Etchmiadzin, in Armenia, but their bishops and priests usually come from Persia, the nearest settlement of their church in the vicinity of India. Their creed is Monophysite, and their worship resembles generally that of the Greek communion. Neither the Armenians nor the Syrians of Malabar appear, however, to have been anxious, of late years, to propagate among the heathen the principles of the Gospel ; it may even be questioned, whether the former ever attempted it during their lengthened sojourn in Hindoostan; and the zeal of the latter, although active at the commencement, has long given place to deplorable apathy and indifference.

The first missionary efforts that were put forth in modern times, emanated from the Church of Rome. Imitating the example of the Spaniards in South America, the Portuguese endeavoured, partly by persuasion and partly by coercive measures, to make converts from the Hindoos and Mohammedans under their control. The celebrated Xavier laboured for some time on the western coast, while his nephew and

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