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and apathetic views respecting religion which were then too generally prevalent. An idea was entertained by some well-meaning but credulous people, that any attempts to convert the Hindoos would prove a 'sure prelude to the loss of our power in the East; and under the influence of this erroneous notion, many persons imagined that the slightest movement of a religious nature would deluge with blood the whole continent, from Bengal to Cape Comorin.
A few concessions, however, were with difficulty obtained. Parliament agreed to the appointment of an English bishop at Calcutta, assisted by archdeacons resident in the three presidencies. The first bishop was Dr. Thomas Middleton, the author of the celebrated treatise on the Greek Articlė, and at that period Archdeacon of Huntingdon, and Vicar of St. Pancras, London. He sailed from Portsmouth on the 8th of June, 1814, and arrived at Calcutta towards the latter end of November in the same year. Although no public notice was taken of his arrival, that much-dreaded event passed off with the utmost tranquillity; and the natives, being accustomed to treat the heads of their own religion reverentially, only wondered that the English should suffer their chief pastor to land without any external marks of respect.
Bishop Middleton found himself, at the commencement of his episcopate, involved in difficulties of no ordinary character. The chaplains of the Company were the only clergy who ministered to the Europeans; they were few in number, and possessed fewer churches. Thirty-two clergymen constituted, in 1814, the entire ecclesiastical staff of India, and of these many were absent on sick-leave and furlough. The buildings devoted to public worship in Calcutta, Madras, and Bombay, did not perhaps appear entirely unworthy of their sacred object; but at the remoter stations, the ritual of the Church was performed in a mess-room or riding.
school. As might have been expected, the small number of religious instructors, and the paucity of the services, occasioned a wide diffusion of indifference throughout all classes of the European community. It could hardly be otherwise, since many persons never saw a clergyman for twenty years at a time, and the more indispensable religious offices, such as burials, marriages, and even baptisms,—were necessarily performed by laymen.
To the Hindoos, Mohammedans, and Roman Catholics, our countrymen appeared utterly destitute of any religious sentiments; and the lower classes of the former even imagined at one time, that the only act of worship performed by the English was that of whistling, a practice unknown to them, and therefore supposed to be in some way connected with religion. Some of the English even apostatized openly, and became Mohammedans or Brahminists; while others, who remained nominally Christian, degraded that holy profession by their vices and immoralities.
The zeal, firmness, and ability of Bishop Middleton speedily gained for him respect and influence. The number of churches and of clergymen has been slowly increasing since his time, while the morals and piety of the Anglo-Indian community have materially improved. He opened communications with the ancient Armenian and Syrian Churches, visiting also on several occasions the missions in Southern India and Ceylon. But it became evident, that the effectual supervision of so large and unwieldy a diocese, including not only the Indian continent, but the island of Ceylon, far exceeded the powers of any single individual, however pious and energetic.
To describe, in detail, the exertions of Bishop Middleton, would require far more space than the limits of this work will afford; but it should never be forgotten, that although his labours excited less attention than
those of his gifted successor, Bishop Heber, they conferred most important benefits upon the Indian Church. His task indeed was not, personally speaking, a pleasant one. The fruits of his toils and anxieties scarcely manifested themselves during his life-time; and of him, indeed, it might emphatically be said that “ other men entered into his labours.” A mind of less firmness would have shrunk back disheartened from the aspect of the evils with which the first Anglican Bishop of Calcutta found himself obliged to grapple. One covetous of mere success must have given way to despair, when so many of his exertions proved ineffective. Bishop Middleton did neither; he followed up the path of duty calmly, soberly, and hopefully, neither too much depressed by failure, nor unduly elated by good fortune.
The episcopates of Bishop Heber and Bishop Wilson have witnessed the enlargement of the Anglican Church in India, as well as an unprecedented increase of missionary exertion. By the Act of 1833 two new bishoprics were formed at Madras and Bombay, and subsequently a bishop was appointed for the Island of Ceylon. The number of chaplains now amounts to 199, and that of the ordained missionaries may be stated at 131, exclusive of lay-assistants, schoolmasters, and native agents. The Hindoo Christians, whose spiritual necessities have been hitherto supplied by the Church Missionary and Gospel Propagation Societies, are reported to exceed 60,000 souls. The amount of benefit conferred upon the Hindoos by the labours of these religious teachers can only perhaps be fully estimated in another generation ; but even at present, the difference between the native Christians and the native heathen is most remarkable. While the latter are immoral, ignorant, and uncivilized, the former are decent in their manners, cleanly in their dwellings, and far advanced beyond their countrymen in useful knowledge and intelligence. It can hardly,
RESULTS OF MISSIONS.
indeed, be otherwise, when we consider that Brahminism professes to communicate instruction in science as well as in theology, and that it teaches in both branches of study the most puerile absurdities. The Brahminical disciple must not only believe in deities with three heads and twelve arms, but he must admit that Mount Meru is 20,000 miles high, and that the world stands on the back of a tortoise.
On the other hand, the Christian Hindoo learns from his instructors in the mission-school those sound elementary principles of science which are inculcated in the seminaries of Europe ; at the same time that he derives from the pages of inspiration a theological and moral code, as far exalted in literary sublimity as in ethical truth above the childish fables and superficial crudities of the Puranas and Vedas.
THE CHOLERA-WAR DECLARED AGAINST BIRMAH-ARRIVAL OF SIR
ARCHIBALD CAMPBELL AT RANGOON-ATTACK UPON KEMANDINE ILL TREATMENT OF EUROPEAN PRISONERS-DEFEAT OF THE BAN DOOLAH,
WHEN Lord Amherst, the successor of Lord Hastings, reached India, he found the cholera raging with considerable violence throughout the country. This fearful epidemic commenced its ravages at the beginning of the Mahratta war, and then attracted, for the first time, the particular and special attention of European medical
It seems, however, to have prevailed on the Indian Continent from a very early period, being mentioned in ancient writings under the names of Sitanga or Vishuchi. From 1761 to 1787, occasional outbreaks took place in various parts of Hindoostan, but they called forth little notice, and were in general lightly regarded.
During the month of August, 1817, a fresh manifestation of the disease occurred in Jessore, sixty miles north-east of Calcutta. That district abounds in marshes, and is irrigated profusely by small streams and canals, which, when stagnant, influence prejudicially the surrounding atmosphere. Fevers and other disorders, produced or promoted by unwholesome air, are considered to be extremely prevalent in this part of Bengal, especially during heavy rains or partial inundations of the Ganges.
The physical characteristics of these regions are low