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Title: Life and Work in Benares and Kumaon, 1839-1877
Author: Kennedy, James, 1815-1899
Language: English
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Missionary of the London Missionary Society, Author of "Christianity
and the Religions of India," &c.

Late Lieutenant-Governor North Western Provinces of India




The history of this volume can be given in a few words. Months ago I
said to a beloved relative that during the greater part of my life I had
more to do than I could well accomplish, and that now, with health and
strength in a measure restored, I sometimes thought I had not enough to
do. He said: "Why not write the reminiscences of your Indian life?" The
counsel struck me as good, and I have acted on it.

My theme has not the advantage of novelty: I cannot tell of a new
country explored, and a new people brought within the knowledge of the
world; but it has the advantage of greatness and variety. I am not aware
that any book on Indian Missions has achieved signal success. I do not
think, however, a single one has been written in vain. That must have
been a singularly poor book on so great a subject which has not had
something in it fitted to interest and inform readers. That must have
been a very solitary, lonely missionary, who has had no friends ready to
listen to what he has had to say. These books may have received little
general attention; but here and there, as the result of their perusal,
there has been a more intelligent apprehension of our work, deeper
sympathy with us, and heartier support rendered to us. I have ventured
to add a volume to those already published in the hope that it may do
some good before it passes into the oblivion which necessarily awaits
most of the productions of the press.

A glance at the contents of this volume will show it takes up a number
of subjects, some of which are merely touched in most books on Missions,
and others not at all. Reminiscences, especially when they spread over
many years, and embrace great events, admit of very discursive
treatment. They leave the writer unfettered to take up any subject
within his wide scope which he may deem fitted to interest his readers.
I have allowed myself the freedom thus afforded me. My aim has been to
take my readers with me to our Indian home, to see us at our work, to
hear us conversing with the people, to accompany us on our journeys, to
surround them in thought with our surroundings, so that they may realize
our position, trials, difficulties, and joys. I have throughout
maintained the standpoint of one whose Indian life has been devoted to
Mission work. My two spheres of labour--Benares during the greater part
of my course, and Ranee Khet, in the Hill Province of Kumaon, in later
years--have come in for extended remark.

My attention has not, however, been confined to Missions. I have
endeavoured to write as one interested in everything which ought to
interest a resident in the land. I have given some account of the
climate, aspect of the country, condition and character of the people,
changes which have taken place, modes of travelling, and the British
Government. I have again and again travelled in the North-West, and some
account of these journeys has been given. On one occasion I spent the
greater part of two months in Ceylon, and to that beautiful island a
chapter is devoted.

I have recorded at some length my experiences of the Indian Mutiny of
1857. No one who was in that terrible storm can ever forget it; and the
European inhabitants of Benares at that time have special reason for
thankfulness for their marvellous escape.

I have found it convenient to follow, as a rule, the chronological
order, but I have not kept closely to it. When recording the more remote
past, the nearer past has been continually coming into view, and the
contrast has found expression.

Indian names are written as ordinary English readers would pronounce
them, in preference to using the diacritical marks with which I have
been long familiar in the writing of Hindustanee in the Roman character.
The term "Hindu" is so established that I have used it in preference to

At the end of this book the reader will find statistics fraught with
interest to all who wish to understand the great Indian problem in its
many aspects.

It is impossible to keep one's self out of view in a work like this; but
I hope the candid reader will give me credit for saying as little of
myself, family, and doings as is compatible with the conditions under
which I have written.

I beg to dedicate this book to the friends of Christian Missions, in the
hope it may increase the interest of some in that great Continent, with
its teeming population, which has in God's providence come under the
rule of our land, and has special claims on our prayers, sympathy, and
efforts. I cannot doubt that my Indian friends, both those who have come
back to England and those who are still in India, will give a kindly
reception to the volume. They will, I believe, confirm the general
accuracy of my statements, and to a large extent acquiesce in my views.
With them so long as my heart beats it will go forth in heartiest wishes
and fervent prayer for the land with which our past has so inseparably
bound us.

                                                                   J. K.
ACTON, August, 1884.




_From 1838 to 1839. Voyage to India and the City of Palaces._

Voyage. First Impressions of Calcutta. Changes since 1839. Messrs.
Piffard and Lacroix. Schools. Visit to Serampore.                      1


_Voyage to Benares--March, 1839._

Various Modes of Travelling. The Sunderbuns. Fellow-passengers. Storm.
Study of Hindustanee. Scenes on the River and its Banks.               9


_Arrival at Benares._

The Rev. William Smith. Congregation of Beggars. The Rev. W. P. Lyon.
Native Service. Settling down.                                        15


_Missions in Benares from 1816 to 1839._

The Baptists first in the Field. Eurasian Agents. The Church Mission.
London Mission. Orphanage of the Church Mission.                      20


_1839 and 1840. First Year in Benares._

Views Enlarged and Modified. Study of Hindustanee. Undue Complacency.
Study of the Native Character. Evangelistic Work.                     27


_First Year in Benares (continued)._

Class-feeling among Europeans. Eurasians. Climate in the North-West
Provinces. Variety of Scenery and Climate in India. Experience of
Climate during First Year. The Sufferings of Poor Natives in Winter.
Homesickness.                                                         34


_The City of Benares._

Sherring's "Sacred City of the Hindus." Residents and Visitors.
Commerce. Antiquity. Gautam's Ministry in the Sixth Century B.C. The
Success of Buddhism. Its Overthrow. The Devotion of the City to Shiva.
Muhammadans. A Trip on the River. The Principal Temple. Heathen Temples
and Roman Worship. The Mosque of Aurungzeb. The Present City Modern.
Beggars. Macaulay's Description of Benares.                           49


_Benares as a Mission Sphere._

Hostility to the Gospel. Apostolic Labour in Great Cities. Robert
Haldane's Project. Benares brought under British Rule in 1781. The Door
opened for the Gospel. Bishop Heber. Benares as a Centre of Mission
Work.                                                                 77


_Second Year in Benares._

Marriage. The Vicissitudes of Indian Life. Celibate Missionaries.
Different Departments of Work.                                        88


_The Religious Gatherings of the Hindus._

Their Saturnalia. The Play of Ram. The Eclipse of the Moon. Mela at
Allahabad. The Peculiarities of a Hindu Gathering. Sanitary Precautions.
Cholera. Ascetics. Influence of Melas in strengthening Hinduism.      94


_The Object of Christian Missions._

Necessity for Different Modes of Action. _Preaching_. Questions,
Objections, and Replies. Polytheism and Pantheism. Muhammadan Hearers.


_Mission Schools._

Primary Schools. Secondary Schools. College Department. Indian
Universities. The Danger of Christian Instruction being thrust aside.
The Value of Higher Schools in a Missionary Aspect. Conversion. Public
Opinion.                                                             124



Pressing Need in 1837 and 1838. Sanguine Hopes. Difficulties.
Advantages. Native Agents obtained. The General Result.              135


_Mission Tours._

Voyaging in the Ganges. Trust in Ganges Water. Serpents. Journey to Agra
at the end of 1842. Tents. The Appearance of the Country. Roads and
Groves. Walled Villages. Traffic. Immunity from Thieves. Kindness from
Missionaries. Agra. Evangelistic Work. Kunauj. An Interesting Inquirer.
New Mission Church in Benares. Tour to Kumaon in 1847. Journeying
Troubles. Return by Meerut and Delhi.                                145


_From 1847 to 1857._

Work at Benares. Voyage to England in 1850. Return to India in 1853.
Calcutta to Benares. From 1854 to 1857. Increase of Native Christian
Congregation. Mission Tours. Visit to the Fort of Rohtas in February,
1857. Biblical Examination. Missionary Conference.                   168


_The Mutiny, 1857 and 1858._

Causes. Peculiarity of our Position. The Native Army. Grievances
alleged. Dissatisfaction outside the Army. Threatenings of the Storm.
The Cartridges. Outbreak and Progress of the Mutiny. Berhampore and
Barrackpore. Meerut.                                                 174


_The Mutiny (continued)._

The Christian Community at Benares. The Fanaticism of the City.
Precautions. The Fourth of June. Mutiny of the Native Regiments. Flight
to the Ganges. Escorted to the Mint. Retribution. The Panic of July 6.
At the Mint on Sunday Night, July 5. Marriage of a Native Couple. Alarm
and Panic. Strange Bed-fellows. After the Panic. Family left for
Calcutta and England. From July to December. Lucknow. Mud Fort. The
Steadfastness of Native Christians. India in 1857 and Egypt in 1882.
Visit to Allahabad. Desolation. The Kindness of English Officials.   185


_Visit to Ceylon--1858 and 1859._

Galle, Colombo, and Kandy. The Cocoanut Palm. The Cinnamon Gardens.
Coffee Plantations. Perpetual Summer. Visit to Newera Ellia. The
Christian Zeal of the Dutch. Great Outward Success. Collapse. Missions.
Buddhist Temples.                                                    205


_From 1859 to 1868._

Work at Benares. Increased Attention to the European Population. Visit
to Cities in the North-West. Allahabad. Cawnpore. Lucknow. Incident on
the Ganges. Visit to Delhi in 1861 on our Way to Kumaon. Visit to
England, Return to India, and Appointment to Kumaon.                 213


_From 1868 to 1877. Kumaon._

_Its Scenery and Products._ A Sub-Himalayan Region. Scenery, Climate,
and Products. New Products. Tea. Inhabitants, Hindus and Doms. Gods and
Temples. Local Gods. Demons. The Character of the People. Want of
Cleanliness. The Plague. History. Native Dynasties. The British Rule.
Progress. Tea Planting. The Irrigation of the Bhabhur. Wild Beasts.
Treaty with the Ghoorkhas. Modes of Travelling. Journey to the Pindaree
Glacier.                                                             232


_Almora Mission._

Schools. Female Education. The Leper Asylum. English Preaching. 252


_Ranee Khet._

Schools. Wooden House. Rain and Rats. Pioneer Work. The Erection of
Buildings. Work among the English. Among Natives. Educated Young Men.
Doms. Night School. Itineracy. A Hill Mela. Bageswar. 260


_Habits and Condition of the Hill People._

Sanitary Regulations. _Yearly Visit to Nynee Tal._ The Missions of the
American Episcopal Methodist Church. Retirement from the Indian
Mission-field. Helpful Friends. Return to England. 279


_The Missionary in India._

Extent and Variety of the Indian Field. The Greatness of the Missionary
Office. The Contrast between Ministerial and Missionary Work. The
Relations of Missionaries to each other, to their respective Societies,
and to Missionaries of other Societies. Their Relation to Europeans. 289


_The Missionary in India (continued)._

The Mode of Living required by the Climate. Missionary Theology. The
Radical Opposition of the Gospel to Heathenism. The Example of our
Lord and His Apostles. Hindu and Buddhist Views of the Future. The
Doctrine by which Mission Success has been achieved. The Necessity of
Sin being considered in the adjustment of Doctrine. _In Memoriam._ 297


_Native Christians._

Syrian Christians. The Descendants of Xavier's Converts. The Shanars in
Travancore and Tinnevelly. _The Hills of Central and Eastern India._ The
Kols and Santhals. _Bengal._ Krishnaghur and Backergunje. _The
Presidency Cities._ The Social and Educational Standing of the Converts.
_Northern India._ The Drummers in Native Regiments. The Waifs of
Society. Pride in the Christian Name. Orphans and their Descendants.
Converts of our Missions. Baptism sought from Wrong Motives. 307


_Native Christians (continued)._

Unworthy Members. The Sacrifices made by Converts. Difficulty in Forming
a Right Estimate of a Community. The General Character of our Native
Christians. _The Ordeal of 1857._ The Christian Constancy of our People.
Their Loyalty. Their Bearing in Joy and Sorrow. "Everywhere spoken
against." Most Europeans have no Sympathy with us. Unfair to judge by
Individuals. _The Support of Native Christians._ Different Occupations.
Native Christian Contributions. _The Compound System._ 315


_The People among whom we labour--Muhammadans_.

_A Large Muhammadan Population._ Variety in Position, Culture, and
Character. The Quran and the Bible. Licentiousness of Muhammadans,
Hindus, and So-called Christians. The Estimable Character of some
Muhammadans. Muhammadan Opposition to the Gospel. Its Opposition to
Idolatry. Proselytes to Islam. The Relation of Muhammadans and Hindus to
each other. Hindu Home-life. Muhammadan Reformers. 329



_Pantheism, Polytheism, and Idolatry, and their Demoralizing Tendency._
Counteracting Influences. _Contradictory Views of Hindu Character._
Professor Max Muller. Sir Thomas Munro. Sir Charles Trevelyan.

_The Caste System._ Its Ramifications and Effects. Its Baneful
Influence. Its Incidental Benefits. _The Patriarchal System._ In the
Presidency Cities Caste greatly weakened. Weakening Tendencies all over

_The Brahmists._ Brahmism and the Gospel. Brahmist Divisions. Successive
Hindu Reformers.

_Girls' Schools and Female Missions._ Access to Hindu Families. Lady
Physicians. Great Importance of Zenana Missions. Behind the Curtain. The
Freedom of Women in Humble Life. The Influence of Women in India.

_Mission Prospects._ Difficulty in gauging Success. Hurtful Influence of
English Infidel Literature. The Strength of Family and Social Ties.
Instance. The Vast Extent of the Field. _Pagani_, Villagers, synonymous
with Heathen.

_Help given in India for the Solution of Great Questions._ 1. The
Immobility of the Eastern Mind. 2. The Genesis and Evolution of
Religion. 3. Comparative Religion. 4. The Migration of Nations. 338


_Europeans in India._

_No Sphere in India for European Colonization._ The Climate. The Land
occupied. _India Presents a Wide Field for European Agency._ _The
Difference between Europeans and Natives._ India never called "Home" by
Europeans. Highly Educated Natives. Native Gentlemen. Natives in
Subordinate and Menial Positions. _The Position of Europeans changed._
Advantages and Disadvantages. _Improved Condition of European Society._
The Effect on Europeans of Home Literature. Increased Effort for the
Spiritual Good of Europeans and Eurasians. 357


_The Government of India._

_Our Right to Govern India._ We went as Traders, and were led by
Circumstances to fight. The Conduct of the Native Powers. The Marquess
of Hastings. Not allowed to remain at Peace. Our Comparative
Faithfulness to Engagements. _The Condition in which we found India._
The Muhammadan Empire. Civil Wars. Invasions. _The Dissolution of the
Empire._ Adventurers. No Elements of Stable Government. The Effect of
British Rule.

_The Greatness of the Work entrusted to us._ Character of our
Administrators. Responsibility elicits Capacity. District Officers.
Strict Supervision exercised over them. The Evils springing from the
Institution of Courts. Runjeet Singh's Plan. The Evils Incident to

_Regulation and Non-Regulation Provinces. The Taxation Heavy._ Regular
Payments. The Land-Tax is the Land-Rent. The Native Army. The European
Army. Civil Officials in the Mutiny. Inadvisability of Bengalees holding
the Highest Offices.

_In India we have Different Nations._ Bengalees Strangers in the
North-West. The Preference given to English as Rulers. Trust in our
Justice. The Large Pay of High Officials cannot be justly or wisely
reduced. Opinion of Natives as Litigants.

_The People Mainly Agricultural._ Poverty. Increase of Population.
Sturdy Beggars. Lending and Borrowing. Debt Hereditary. Marriage

_Incidence of Taxation._ Municipal Institutions and Local Government.
Improvement of Cities during Late Years.

_Our Government no Unmixed Blessing._ Unjust Charges and Incorrect

_From whom is Improvement to be hoped?_ From no Class so much as from
Indian Officials. The "Gazetteer" of India. Importance of Information
being made Accessible to the English People.

_The best Conceivable Government for India._ The best Practicable

_The Future of India._ Antagonistic Elements. The Order secured by the
Army. The Greatness of our Responsibility. Good Government Favourable to
Evangelization. 365


UNION CHURCH, RANEE KHET.                      Frontispiece.
BATHING GHAT, BENARES.                                    48
A JEWELLER AT WORK.                                       53
THE WELL AT CAWNPORE.                                    219
RUINS OF THE RESIDENCY, LUCKNOW.                         223
THE LA MARTINIERE, LUCKNOW.                              227
TEMPLE IN THE HIMALAYAS.                                 237
MISSION SCHOOL, ALMORA.                                  253
LEPER ASYLUM, ALMORA.                                    257
THE SNOWY RANGE FROM RANEE KHET.                         263
LANDSLIP AT NYNEE TAL.                                   281


Neither the author nor his book stands in need of any introduction to
the public. But having been asked for such, I cheerfully respond. During
his long residence in the North-Western Provinces of India, where I
myself happened to reside, ample opportunities were afforded me of
knowing and observing the Rev. Jas. Kennedy and his work. And I am
therefore able, and glad, to say that no man was ever better placed than
he was for gaining a thorough acquaintance with Hindustan and the
various races inhabiting it, during the four decades of which he treats.
I have met with none whose calm and sagacious judgment might more surely
enable him to form correct conclusions, nor whose high and scrupulous
principle should impart to the reader greater confidence in the fair and
truthful statement of them.

I regard this book as possessing a rare interest, not only for the
missionary student, but equally so for the general reader. The amount of
information it contains, descriptive, social, evangelistic, and even
political, is astonishing; and the discursive and, in part,
autobiographical form in which it is written, renders it so easy, that
he who runs may read. The contrast is drawn graphically, and with a
light and lively pen, between the state of things fifty years ago and
that which now prevails: the exchange of slow and cumbrous means of
conveyance for those which enable you in these days to perform the
journey of weeks in, you might say, as many hours; and the not less
marked advance in education and intelligence. The retrospect, material
as well as moral, social, and religious, is useful in many ways.

But that which lends its chief value to this work is the faithful
picture of missionary labour--its trials and difficulties, its results,
rewards, and prospects. During the considerable period brought under
review, standing by, as I did, and looking carefully on, I can
unhesitatingly attest, as a whole, the correctness of my friend's
statements, and the reasonableness of the lessons he would draw
therefrom. This book should be read by every one who wishes to acquaint
himself with the attitude of Christian agencies towards the people of
India, and of these towards the Gospel. There is here a fertile field of
facts and materials for thought. The author resorts to no roseate
colouring, nor any kind of varnish. Nothing is unduly sanguine. All is
tempered by sound judgment and wise discretion.

If I may add a word from my own experience, it is this--Let my
fellow-countrymen and countrywomen in India give their countenance to
the Missionaries labouring around them. They well deserve it, but too
often are allowed to stand alone. The loss is theirs who keep aloof, and
neglect the man and his work. While our people are running to and fro in
the busy whirl of Indian life--some hasting to be rich, others engrossed
in the labours of administration--higher things are too frequently
forgotten. The spiritual life is prone to fade and droop. Many men--and
women as well as men--who would at home be cultivating some corner of
the Master's vineyard, begin to forget that similar obligations follow
after them in their private walk and life abroad. Against these
deteriorating tendencies, to mingle with the missionary band affords a
wholesome antidote. For myself, I can never be thankful enough that in
my early Indian life I found valued friends in the missionary circle,
not only of the highest mental culture, but of a devoted Christian
heart; and was privileged with their intimacy to the end. Among them I
cannot refrain from naming such noble Missionaries as Perkins, Smith,
and Leupolt, French, Stuart, Welland, and Shackell, Owen, Humphrey,
Budden and Watt, Hoernle, and Pfander--that grand apologist to the
Mahometans--all of whose friendship I enjoyed, as well as that of the
Author himself. If some of these were men the like of whom we may not
soon look upon again--a galaxy of rare appearance--yet, as we may learn
from these pages, the field is in the present day stocked even more
plentifully than ever it was before. Opportunities of cultivating in
this field Christian friendship--and may I not add Christian work, and
that for Ladies also--are happily multiplying all around; and I can
promise an ample reward to such as make a faithful use of them.

In conclusion, I will only say that I am much mistaken if this work
fails to take its place as a standard book of reference in every library
of missionary labour and Christian work abroad.

                                                                W. MUIR.
16th September, 1884.



In 1837 I was accepted by the London Missionary Society as one of its
agents. On September 15, 1838, I embarked at Portsmouth with thirty
other passengers on the _Duke of Buccleugh_, a vessel of 650 tons
burthen, and landed in Calcutta on January 19, 1839, _en route_ to
Benares, to which I had been appointed. The only land we sighted from
Portsmouth to Saugar Island was a rock in the Indian Ocean. The time we
thus spent at sea was four months and five days. Every now and then
speedier voyages were made, but a few years previously this voyage would
have been deemed rapid. The _Duke of Buccleugh_, on her next voyage to
India, went to pieces on a sandbank at the mouth of the Hoogly, but
happily the weather was moderate, and passengers and crew were saved.

The route by the Cape of Good Hope has been abandoned for passengers for
many years, and now Bombay is reached by the Straits of Gibraltar and
the Suez Canal in a month, sometimes in less, while another week is
required for the voyage to Calcutta. Those who travel with the Indian
mails across the Continent of Europe can reach their port in less than
three weeks, and distant parts of India by rail in four weeks or less.

All on board--officials returning to their posts, and persons going out
for the first time--were delighted to find the voyage coming to an end;
but new-comers like myself were under the spell of novelty, which gave
new interest to everything we saw. At Kedgeree, near the mouth of the
Hoogly, the Post Office boat came to our ship with welcome letters from
friends, who were looking out for our arrival. The level land on each
side of the river, with its rich tropical vegetation; the numerous
villages on the banks, with their beehive-like huts; the craft on the
river, large and small, many of them so heavily laden as to bring them
down almost to the water's edge; the little boats, with plantains and
other fruits, which tried to attach themselves to our ship in the hope
of getting purchasers; the strange appearance of the people, with their
only covering of cloth round the middle--all gave us a thrill of
excitement which can be known only in similar circumstances. Then, we
were about to set foot on the great land, of which we had read much, to
which we had looked with the deepest interest, and where we purposed to
spend our days in the service of Christ. Though so many years have since
elapsed, we can yet vividly remember the peculiar feeling of that time.

The day before we landed, the Native agent of the mercantile house to
which our ship was consigned made his appearance with letters and fresh
supplies. To the surprise of us new-comers, roast beef was on our
dinner-table that day. We thought it strange that in the land where the
cow was worshipped, beef should be one of the first things brought to

Our missionary friends in Calcutta had heard of the arrival of our ship,
and arranged for our accommodation. Some of them came on board when we
anchored in the Hoogly, off Fort William, and gave us a hearty welcome.
We were right glad to find ourselves on land again.


Calcutta is a hundred miles from the sea, but the country is so level
that the tide runs up in great strength many miles beyond, and the tidal
wave, which comes in at certain times, is very dangerous to small craft,
and requires care on the part of large ships. The great trade of the
city is shown by the vast number of ships at anchor in the river, many
of them stately vessels of large tonnage, of which in our day many are

On landing, a stranger gets the impression that Calcutta is rightly
called the city of palaces. On the great plain adjoining the river, at
some distance from each other, are two notable objects--Fort William and
Government House. Beyond the plain lies Chowringhee, a range of lofty
houses extending for more than a mile, with balconies and flat roofs,
giving one an impression of grandeur, which is scarcely sustained when
more nearly seen, as that which looked at a distance like marble is
found to be stucco and plaster. Behind Chowringhee are a number of wide
streets with similar, but generally smaller houses, each apart, with
offices and servants' houses in the enclosure. When entering the city
one sees that strange combination of meanness and dirt with grandeur
with which travellers in Eastern lands are so familiar. In the
neighbourhood of Government House there are a number of shops in the
European fashion, but a very large proportion of the business of
Calcutta, we suppose the most of it, is carried on in bazaars, in which
there are no showy shops, but where there is abundance of goods of every
description. When we went to India, and for many years afterwards, in
front of these shops were open sewers, over which customers had to pass
on slabs of stone. Amidst houses for Europeans, even in the most
aristocratic part of the city, were native houses of every description,
many of them miserable grass huts.

Since the time of which I speak, some forty-five years ago, Calcutta has
been greatly improved. It has been drained, supplied with good water,
instead of being dependent on great open tanks, to which all had access,
which no arrangement could keep tolerably pure, and is lit with gas.
Open sewers are no longer to be seen, and from the best parts of the
city many native houses have disappeared. The changes effected must
conduce immensely to the health and comfort of the inhabitants. There is
no part of India, we suppose, free from the plague of the musquito, but
in all my Indian life I have not been so much tormented in any place by
it as I have been in Calcutta. It adds insult to injury. If it would
only bite, sharp though its bite be, one could put up with it; but
before it bites, and after, it goes on buzzing, as if mocking you, and
evades every attempt to catch it. The last time we were there musquitoes
were comparatively few, and they seemed to have lost much of their
former mischievous vigour. We suppose the improved sanitary arrangements
have not agreed with them.

When in Calcutta everything reminded us that we had left our own country
behind, though not all our own people. We saw them on every side, but
they were a mere handful in the midst of a strange people in a strange
land, where man and nature presented entirely new aspects. The look of
the people, the exceedingly scanty dress of the labouring class, and the
long flowing robes of those in better circumstances, the marks on the
foreheads and arms of the Hindus, showing the gods whose worshippers
they were, their processions with noisy, unmusical music, the public
buildings of the people, the mosques of the Muhammadans, and the temples
of the Hindus, with a church here and there to show that Christianity
had also its shrines--all brought to our view characteristics of the
great land on which we had entered. Bombay, since the opening of the
Suez Canal, has made progress which somewhat affects the pre-eminence of
Calcutta among the cities of India, but it still remains the capital of
British India--I ought rather to say of India--and its position will
continue to make it, what it has been in the past, a vast emporium of
commerce, the abode of a great population, and a place of most stirring
activity. It continues to be the resort of persons of every civilized,
and almost every semi civilized, nation on the face of the earth.

My stay in Calcutta of six weeks was longer than I had anticipated, but
my time was very pleasantly and profitably spent. A few days after
arrival a united prayer-meeting was held: missionaries of all societies
were present, the attendance was large, the spirit was earnest and
devout, and I then began to realize, what it was my happiness to realize
more fully afterwards, the uniting power of the missionary enterprise. I
had the happiness of attending services with Native Christians, and of
joining them in spirit, though not with understanding. I was especially
interested in the noble Missionary Institution of the Church of
Scotland, and in the smaller, but promising, school of our own Society.
I felt as if the sight of such a number of boys and young men, many of
them with most pleasing and intelligent countenances, all learning our
language, and, what is vastly better, all taught from the Word of God,
was enough in itself to repay one for the long voyage to India. I heard
them examined, and was surprised at the knowledge of English possessed
by some of them, at the extent of their Biblical knowledge, and at the
Christian tone with which they gave replies to questions. I asked a
tall, slightly built young man, with a most intelligent face, dressed in
the flowing white robe of his people, who had spoken with what struck me
as the accent of conviction, "Are you a Christian?" to which he replied,
"Yes, in heart; but I fear persecution." To this subject of schools I
shall have often occasion to revert in the course of my reminiscences.

During my stay in Calcutta I had much pleasant intercourse with
missionaries of different Societies. I was the guest of Mr. Boaz,
afterwards Dr. Boaz, of Union Chapel, by whom I was treated with much
kindness. Mr. Gogerly had been my fellow-passenger to India. Mr. Lacroix
and Mr. Piffard were, at that time, the senior missionaries of our
Society in Calcutta. Both were admirable men. Mr. Piffard was a
gentleman of property, who devoted himself to missionary work, and
laboured for many years most faithfully, without requiring to take, and
without taking, any salary from the Society. A short time afterwards he
was suddenly carried off by cholera. Mr. Lacroix lived for many years. I
had the pleasure of meeting him in my visits to Calcutta, and in his
visits to the North-west, and also of frequent correspondence with him.
He was esteemed and loved as few have been. He was a man with a
commanding presence, tall and well-built, and had a geniality of manner
which won all hearts. He spoke and wrote English remarkably well, with a
slight foreign accent and sprightliness, an _elan_, as our French
friends call it, which told of his French birth and upbringing. He had a
thorough knowledge of the Bengalee language, and used it with a
commanding eloquence, to which his voice, look, and gesture greatly
contributed. His last illness, the result of his long residence in the
enervating climate of Bengal, was borne with Christian patience, and
drew forth the sympathy and kindly inquiry of all classes. At his
funeral such tokens of respect and love were rendered to him by every
class of the community, Native and European, as have been seldom
witnessed in Calcutta.

[Sidenote: SERAMPORE.]

Like all newly-arrived missionaries in Calcutta, I made a pilgrimage to
Serampore. The illustrious trio--Carey, Marshman, and Ward--whose names
are indissolubly connected with that place, as first their refuge and,
for many years afterwards, the scene of their plans and labours for the
evangelization of India, had passed away by that time (January, 1839),
but the Rev. John Mack, who had been long associated with them, and Mr.
John Marshman, Dr. Marshman's eldest son, remained. I was taken by Mr.
Mack to the college, the printing-office, the type manufactory, the
paper manufactory, the mission chapel, the station church, Dr. Carey's
garden, and the native Christian village, indeed, to every object of
interest about the place. I remember seeing an elderly man engaged in
type-making, and observing a little image in a niche above him. I was
told this man had been many years in this department of work, and had
remained so strict a Hindu that he would work only under the protection
of his god. The teaching of the missionaries had had no effect in
weaning him from his ancestral idolatry. Yet many were won to Christ by
the Scriptures and books, for the preparation of which the work of this
man, and of others of his class, was indispensable.

When visiting Serampore, and hearing from Mr. Mack of the doings and
achievements of the great men whose residence at Serampore has given it
a sacredness it will ever retain in the annals of Indian Missions, I
felt as a young Greek would feel on being taken to Marathon and
Thermopylæ. I felt I was entering on a war, where there had been heroes
before me, which demanded courage and endurance of a far higher order
than had ever been enlisted in the cause of patriotism.



_March, 1839._

I left myself in the hands of friends in Calcutta as to the best mode of
proceeding to my destination. There were at that time three modes of
travelling to the North-Western Provinces. One was being carried in a
palanquin on men's shoulders, arrangements being made to have fresh
bearers every few miles. For a long journey of more than four hundred
miles to Benares this was at once a very tedious and fatiguing mode of
travelling. To one who knew not a word of the language of the people in
whose hands one was to be for days it was additionally trying. Yet not a
few persons newly arrived, some of them delicate ladies, did travel in
that mode to far more distant places than Benares, and very seldom any
mishap befell them. In this mode little more could be taken in the way
of luggage than necessary clothing.

Another mode was by the river in a native boat, with a crew engaged to
take the party to their destination. Not a few travelled in this way,
even to Delhi. Weeks, often months, were spent on the voyage; great
inconveniences were endured, and not infrequently great perils
encountered from the sudden storms to which voyagers on the Ganges are
exposed, from the strong and eddying currents in some parts of the
river, and perhaps most of all from the treacherous character of the
boatmen. In 1841 and 1842 a severe storm fell on a large fleet of boats
taking a European regiment to the north-west. Many of the boats were
wrecked, and, if I remember rightly, about three hundred men lost their

There was a third mode of proceeding to the north-west. A few years
previously a River Steam Company had been formed for the transmission of
passengers and goods. Passengers were accommodated in flats drawn by
steamers. As the Ganges enters Bengal it breaks into a number of
streams, by which it makes its way to the ocean. The Hoogly, on which
Calcutta stands, is one of these streams. Some of them are so shallow at
certain seasons that native boats of considerable size cannot find
sufficient water, and they are at that time impassable for steamers,
though so constructed as to have the least possible draught. The result
is that the steamers for the north-west (we believe none ply now) had to
make a great detour, to go down the Hoogly to Saugor Island, and then to
proceed by one of the channels there found to the main stream. This
greatly increased the distance to the north-west. Except in the rainy
season, steamers for Benares had to go about eight hundred miles.


Of these three routes this one of the river steamers was in many
respects the most convenient and pleasant, especially for persons new in
the country, and my Calcutta friends kindly arranged that I should be
sent on in this way. I accordingly embarked for Benares on a flat,
tugged by a steamer, in the first week of March. After going down the
Hoogly to Saugor Island, we made our way into the district called the
Sunderbuns by one of the channels of the Ganges. We got into a labyrinth
of streams, every here and there opening up into a wide reach of water,
giving one the impression we were entering a lake; and shortly
afterwards we found ourselves in a channel so narrow that we almost
touched the banks on both sides, and which barely allowed a passage
where there was a sharp turn in the stream. We had native pilots who
knew the region thoroughly, and were in no danger of going astray. The
land down to the water's edge was covered with the densest tropical
vegetation, so that the banks often bounded our view, except when the
trees on it were lower than those beyond. In the waters and out, wild
beasts abound. Alligators were seen dropping from the banks into the
stream on hearing the approach of the steamer. We saw no tigers, but we
heard much about them as we were threading our way through that region.
The previous year, early one morning, the watch on the deck of the flat
was startled by a tiger leaping on board, and, evidently bewildered by
its new circumstances, leaping off on the other side. Messrs. Lacroix
and Gogerly, when on a native boat in the Sunderbuns, were witnesses of
a desperate fight between a tiger and an alligator. The story has been
often told.

Less than two centuries ago there was a large population in what may be
called that amphibious region, the soil when cleared being very rich;
but owing to the incursions of Mug pirates from the coast of Burmah, and
the oppression of Muhammadan rulers of Bengal, the most of the
inhabitants perished, others fled, and so complete was the ruin that the
exact site of once prosperous cities is unknown. In a region like the
Sunderbuns, when man's restraining and improving hand is withdrawn every
trace of his presence disappears under the rank vegetation, which
speedily covers the sphere of his labours. The country, under British
protection, was in 1839 beginning to be reoccupied. Patches of ground
were reclaimed from the jungle, and since that time cultivation has been
greatly extended. We occasionally met native boats, and were thus
reminded we were not the only human begins in that district. Nearly a
week elapsed before we emerged from the Sunderbuns.

Our passengers were a motley band. Between twenty and thirty were
Europeans, two or three were Eurasians, and there was a company of
Sepoys under a native officer in charge of treasure. Most of the Sepoys
were Hindus, and as they cannot cook on the water, which is forbidden by
caste-law, they were obliged to subsist as they best could on dry grain.
The Muhammadans had no convenience for cooking on the flat, but they
were allowed partial use of the steamer. All were delighted when they
got into the open country, and could get on shore at night to prepare
their meals.

The steamer and flat were brought to anchor at all the important towns
on the river, for lading and unlading goods and for landing passengers,
of whom very few left us, as most were bound for Benares and Allahabad.
When evening came on we always anchored, wherever we might be. We saw a
little of Bhagulpore, Monghyr, Dinapore, Patna, Ghazeepore, and some
other places. At Monghyr I spent a very pleasant evening with Mr. Leslie
of the Baptist Mission, even then of considerable standing, and years
afterwards a highly esteemed veteran in the missionary host.


Our progress was slow. In some places the stream was too strong for our
steamer tugging the flat, and in other places the water was too shallow.
Sometimes we got for hours, in one case for a whole day, on sandbanks,
from which we got off with great difficulty. The most memorable incident
of the voyage was a storm, which came on us one evening as we were
nearing Dinapore. There was so little warning of its approach that we,
who knew not the climate, were quite unprepared for its coming. Before
breaking on us we were brought to a standstill, the flat was separated
from the steamer, and both flat and steamer were brought to anchor. The
sky suddenly became dark, we heard puffs of wind, and then the storm
burst on us in all its fury. The dust was so raised that we could see
only a few feet from the flat, and the flat so rolled that every now and
then a splash of water came in at the windows. A scene of great
confusion ensued. Some Indo-Portuguese servants were on their knees,
imploring Mary--"Mariam, Mariam!"--to save them. The Hindus were loud in
their appeals to "Ram, Ram!" while the Muhammadans shouted "Allah,
Allah!" A newly arrived English lady almost fainted from fright, and her
husband tried to calm and assure her. Every face indicated anxiety. In
less than an hour all was over, and we were thankful to find ourselves
once more in safety.

Before leaving England I had possessed myself of a Hindustanee Grammar,
and in Calcutta of a Hindustanee Dictionary. On the voyage to India I
did not make much of the grammar, but on the way to Benares I gave
myself resolutely to learning the language. I found a young native
officer on the flat who knew a little English, and who professed to be a
good Hindustanee scholar. I got the consent of the native officer in
command to his coming to my cabin when off duty, and I spent hours daily
with him, trying to get my tongue about the strange sounds, with which I
knew I must be familiar if I was to do the work for which I had come to
India. I received great help from this young Muhammadan, and felt as if
I was beginning to get my foot into the language before reaching my

On the three Sabbaths I was on the river I had the pleasure of preaching
to the Europeans on board.

A voyage on the Ganges does not enable one to see much of the country.
The banks are often very high; in many places there is a great extent of
sand; the country, with the exception of the district where the main
stream is entered, is very level, and the country is therefore very
imperfectly seen. The native craft, so unlike the vessels of our own
country, with their lofty prows and sterns, and great ragged square
sails, many laden with wood and grass, which made them like moving
stacks, were constant objects of interest.

At length, after more than three weeks on board, we were delighted one
Sunday forenoon to see in the distance the domes and minarets of




On Sabbath, March 31, 1839, we came to anchor at the northern end of
Benares, at a place called Raj Ghat, the ferry connecting the city on
the left bank of the river with the Trunk road on the right, leading to
Behar and Bengal. Near this place the most of the native craft employed
in the city traffic is moored. Many of the vessels are of considerable

For hours Benares had been in sight, but owing to the strength of the
stream our progress had been slow. It was early afternoon by the time of
our arrival. In so public a place as Raj Ghat there are always a number
of people, but the early afternoon is a time when few bathe, and there
is a lull in the stir of the community. As the afternoon comes on, and
the evening advances, there is fresh activity. We therefore, on landing,
saw little of the scene with which we were afterwards to become

Word of the approach of our steamer and flat had reached Secrole, the
European suburb of Benares, three miles inland, and no sooner had we
come to anchor than the agent of the Steam Company and the friends of
expected passengers came on board. Among these was the Rev. William
Smith of the Baptist Mission, whose house was on the high bank
immediately above Raj Ghat, and who had been requested by my brethren of
the London Missionary Society to be on the look-out for me. This good
man gave me a kindly welcome, and took me with him to his house, built
very much in the native fashion, with flat roof, with small, low rooms
entering from one into another, and a verandah extending along its
front, from which a commanding view was obtained of the river and craft
below, the country on the other side of the river, and a part of the
front of the city. Immediately behind the house was the chapel, in which
daily worship was conducted.


The first thing I saw on getting to Mr. Smith's house was the chapel
crowded with very poor-looking people, of whom a number were blind and
lame. I was told these were beggars, who came every Lord's-day to
receive a dole, either pice or dry grain, from the missionary and his
wife, and who listened very patiently to an address before the dole was
given. This service was kept up for many years, and there was no falling
off in the attendance. Those who have read the life of Henry Martyn, and
others of the early missionary period in India, know that they
ministered to this class. Here were persons whose destitution appealed
directly to the Christian heart, and who were content to be present when
the gospel message was delivered, while little access to others could be
obtained. How far these poor people heard it would be difficult to say.
I am afraid few heard with any desire to understand and consider what
was said, but there is every reason to believe some did obtain lasting
spiritual good. We have heard of instances of genuine conversion, though
it must be admitted these were rare; and it must be also acknowledged
there were instances of pretended conversion, when the life soon proved
that the motive for seeking baptism was entirely sordid. Still the work
in itself was worthy of the followers of Christ, and could not fail to
make a favourable impression, not only on the persons helped, but on the
community around. Almsgiving stands high among virtues in the estimation
of both Hindus and Muhammadans; it is considered sufficient to atone for
many sins, and it is practised so indiscriminately as to pauperize many
who could provide for themselves. It is unfit that Christianity should
seem less careful of those who are really poor and helpless than
Hinduism and Muhammadanism are. Work such as I saw in Mr. Smith's chapel
is carried on in some places down to the present time.

A short time after our arrival at Raj Ghat my dear friend the Rev. W. P.
Lyon appeared, and took me in his conveyance by a road skirting the city
to the Mission House in Secrole, which he then occupied. From Mr. and
Mrs. Lyon, both of whom I had known intimately for years in our own
land, I received a hearty welcome.

At the corner of the mission compound, facing the public road, was the
humble chapel, built of sun-dried bricks, in which service was conducted
in the native language. I arrived half an hour before the time for the
afternoon service. Before its commencement I had the pleasure of meeting
Messrs. Buyers and Shurman, with whom I was to be for years associated
in mission work. With them I went to the service, which was conducted by
Mr. Shurman. There were at that time only two or three native Christians
connected with the mission, and these, with their families, the
missionaries and their wives, and a few orphan children, constituted the
congregation. I had just enough of the language to catch an expression
here and there, and from my ignorance of what was said my mind was left
at greater freedom for realizing my new and strange position.

I had just had a glance of the sacred city of the Hindus. I had seen at
a short distance the domes of some of the principal temples, and the
minarets of some of the principal mosques, especially those of the
mosque built by Aurungzeb, soaring far above every other object in the
city. I had dimly seen the bathing-places of the people stretching away
for miles, and the houses on the high bank of the river. As I landed I
had seen a few bathing, and a number moving about.

And now, in this poor chapel, with its low roof and earthen floor, I
found a few assembled for the worship of the living God through the Lord
Jesus Christ. I realized, as I had not done before, that I had left my
native land behind, and had come among a people the vast majority of
whom were wholly given to idolatry, and the rest followers of Muhammad,
the bitter enemies of my Lord and Saviour. The greatness and difficulty
of the missionary enterprise presented themselves to me with a painful
vividness, and but for the conviction that the work was of God, and that
my long-cherished desire to enter on it and the gratification of my
desire in my appointment to Benares had come from Him, I should have
been ready to retrace my steps. Yet here I was, worshipping with a few
persons who had been idolaters, and one of whom at least had made great
sacrifices when he had avowed his faith in Jesus. Why should we despise
the day of small things? Forty-four years have elapsed since that, to
me, memorable 31st of March, 1839, and I can now realize myself sitting
with Messrs. Buyers and Lyon in front of that humble pulpit, while Mr.
Shurman preached, and remember, as if it were yesterday, the strange
feelings that thrilled me that afternoon.


I had to make no arrangement for my accommodation on reaching Benares.
Previous to my arrival it had been arranged that I was to take up my
abode with my dear friends, Mr. and Mrs. Lyon. I was at once at home
with them, for Mr. Lyon had been my fellow-student at Glasgow, and Mrs.
Lyon was the member of a family with whom I had been intimately
acquainted while studying at Edinburgh. Within a few days of my arrival
I was introduced to the missionaries of the Church Missionary Society,
and to a few European residents who took an interest in missionary



FROM 1816 TO 1839.

It may be well to give, before proceeding further, a brief account of
what had been done for the evangelization of Benares up to that time.

Our Baptist brethren were first in the field. All who have read the
biography of the illustrious trio of Serampore are aware that they
formed, and with ardent zeal and untiring energy prosecuted, great
schemes for the evangelization of the millions to whose spiritual good
they had consecrated their lives. The translation of the Scriptures into
the languages of India was their special service, but it was far from
standing alone. They were fully alive to the importance of preparing and
sending out men of God to go among the people, and make known to them
Jesus as the Saviour of the world. They gladly availed themselves of
Europeans, Eurasians, and natives, who seemed qualified for the work by
Christian character, zeal for the conversion of the people, and aptness
to teach, though, with few exceptions, destitute of any considerable
measure of mental culture. Some of these agents had force of character
and native talent, and much good and useful work was accomplished by
them. One of their number was Mr. Bowley, who afterwards joined the
Church Mission, and was for many years located at Chunar. He translated
the entire Scriptures into Hindee, and did beside much excellent
literary work in the translation and composition of books and tracts. As
he had no knowledge of Greek and Hebrew, his translation of the Bible
has marked defects, though from his knowledge of Hindee and his good
judgment it has also marked excellences. His translation of the New
Testament is now largely superseded, but his translation of the Old
Testament is the only one yet possessed. The style of his smaller works
in Hindustanee, or Urdu, as it is commonly called, is remarkably
idiomatic and pleasing.


Missionary work was commenced in Benares by Mr. William Smith, who was
sent to it by the Serampore missionaries in 1816. I have already
mentioned him as having welcomed me on my arrival. He secured a house
for himself at Raj Ghat, the northern boundary of the city, with a
crowded population around him, and there till his death he lived with
his family, during all the period diligently prosecuting his missionary
work. He had been a drummer in the native army, spoke the Hindustanee as
his mother tongue, and belonged to the large class who, having European
blood in their veins, are professing Christians, but as to their
ordinary habits of life are more native than European. Mr. Smith was a
man of limited education and of little talent, but of sterling
excellence, and secured the respect and love of all classes of the
native community by his kindly and consistent life. For years before his
death there was in his house the strange spectacle of five generations,
and his great-great-grandmother was heard by a friend of mine murmuring,
"It looks as if God had forgotten to take me away." Mrs. Smith, who
was, I believe, a pure native, was a woman of remarkable energy, and
exercised a powerful influence for good on all connected with her. Owing
to the unhappy controversy between the Serampore missionaries and the
Baptist Missionary Society, and the separation in which it ended, Mr.
Smith was left for a time without any salary; but by the establishment
of a Eurasian boarding-school his wants were fully supplied. On to old
age he moved about among the people, conversing with them, going to
their great religious gatherings and distributing tracts and portions of
the Scriptures in a very quiet, unostentatious manner, and succeeded, by
God's blessing, in bringing a few into the fold of Christ.


Among the pioneers of modern missionary work in India the late Bishop
Corrie, of Madras, has a high and honoured name. He was one of the small
band of Government chaplains who gave themselves heart and soul to the
work of diffusing the gospel among the native population. Henry Martyn
is the best known of this band, and with him men like Brown, Thomason,
and Corrie deserve to be held in everlasting remembrance. Mr. Corrie
was, in 1817, the chaplain of the European community in Benares.
Previous to that time a rich native, Rajah Jay Narayan, had established
and endowed a school in the part of the city inhabited chiefly by
Bengalees. This Rajah formed so high an opinion of Mr. Corrie, and of
his ability to carry on the school efficiently, that he asked him to
undertake its management. Mr. Corrie accepted the offer in the name of
the Church Missionary Society, whose sanction to the measure he had
obtained, and to it the school was made over by formal deed of gift in
1818. Under the name of Jay Narayan's School, and afterwards of Jay
Narayan's College, it has continued down to our day; and it has done
much for the education, on Christian principles, of successive
generations of Benares youth. A Mr. Adlington was the first head-master,
and a short time afterwards a missionary was sent. He was succeeded by
others, but owing to their failure of health little was done on to the
fourth decade of the century, except the securing of suitable ground and
the erection of mission-houses at Segra, in the immediate suburbs of the
city on its southwestern side. This place had formerly been noted for
the thieves and thugs that infested it. In 1839 the two missionaries at
Segra were the Rev. William Smith and the Rev. C. B. Leupolt. Mr. Smith
reached India in 1830, and after spending fifteen months in Goruckpore,
on the borders of Nepal, was transferred to Benares in 1832. He was
joined by Messrs. Knorpp and Leupolt in 1833. The two Church
missionaries in Benares in 1839, Messrs. Smith and Leupolt, laboured for
many years afterwards with singular devotedness for the spiritual good
of the people. As it is invidious to make comparisons, I will not say
that they were foremost in the first rank; but all who knew them will
bear me out in saying they attained a high place in the first rank of
the missionary band.


The Rev. Matthew Thomson Adam was appointed by the London Missionary
Society to Benares in October 1819, and reached his destination in
August, 1820. He remained at his post till 1830, when he returned to
England, and resigned his connection with the Society. He afterwards
went to the United States, where he undertook a pastorate. Mr. Adam was
a scholarly and diligent man. He prepared and published a Hindee
Grammar, an English and Hindee Dictionary, and some tracts. He secured
a site for a mission-house on the border of cantonment towards the city,
and erected on it a commodious and substantial structure; and since his
day a church, a school-house for girls, and houses for native
Christians, have been erected in the mission compound. He also secured a
very central site in cantonments for a place of worship for holding
English services, and by the liberal help of the English military and
civil residents erected on it a building which was called Union Chapel.
His services among our countrymen seem to have been greatly valued, but
owing to a change in the _personnel_ of the station, a change which is
going on incessantly in India, the congregation fell off, Union Chapel
was sold, and the money realized by the sale was spent on the erection
of a chapel in the city, on a site obtained with great difficulty. Mr.
Adam left Benares before this building, erected with a view to native
services, could be turned to account. In a brief record of his labours
drawn up by himself, he says that he deemed it a high honour to live
near such a city, and to testify to his Master by pressing His claims on
individuals with whom he had an opportunity of conversing; but he did
not think it advisable to attempt the preaching of the gospel in places
of public resort. He was at times encouraged by the prospect of persons
becoming the followers of Christ, but in every case his hopes were
disappointed. No native was baptized by him.

The London Mission of Benares was reinforced in 1826 by the arrival of
the Rev. James Robertson. He was a man of linguistic talent, and was
full of plans for setting up the standard of the Cross and assailing the
idolatry around him. He opened a number of schools in various parts of
the city, and organized a system of Bible-reading in the streets. Seven
men, chosen from among Hindus, whose sole qualification was ability to
read, were appointed to read daily in different parts of the city our
Scriptures without note or comment. We have no doubt they took care to
tell their hearers that they did their work to please the sahib, and get
his pay, but had no intention of accepting the new teaching, and had no
wish that others should do so. No other missionary has followed this
plan. Mr. Robertson left behind him in MS. translations into Urdu of a
part of the Old Testament, which were carefully examined and partly used
by Mr. Shurman; but the style was too difficult for any except those who
were well acquainted with the Persian language.

The Rev. William Buyers joined the Mission at the beginning of 1832, and
Mr. Robertson was carried off by cholera fifteen months afterwards, in
his thirty-fourth year. Mr. Buyers was thus left alone, but early in
1834 he was joined by the Rev. J. A. Shurman and the Rev. Robert C.
Mather. In 1838 the Rev. W. P. Lyon arrived at Benares, and that year
Mr. Mather went to the great commercial Mirzapore, where he established,
and for many years afterwards conducted with great efficiency, a very
important mission. When I reached Benares I was thus the fourth on its
staff, and the seventh from its commencement.

Much good work had been done by the brethren with whom I was to be
associated. They had established schools for primary education, but
owing to the want of funds all but one had been given up by 1839. They
had taken part in preparing tracts and revising the translation of the
New Testament in Urdu. A place of worship had been erected, and a few
orphans had been gathered. Evangelistic work was being actively
prosecuted in the city.

A short time previous to 1839 the Church Mission had undertaken a very
benevolent and a very difficult work. In 1837 the North-Western
Provinces were desolated by famine. Many thousands perished, everywhere
miserable boys and girls were to be seen who had become orphans, or who
had been abandoned by their parents. At this terrible crisis missions
came forward with the offer of adopting these forsaken children. Fifty
were made over to the Church Mission at Benares, and afterwards many
more were added to this number. Suitable buildings were speedily erected
for their accommodation, and arrangements were made for their education
and support. These children were so emaciated that many died within a
few days of their being brought to the mission. At the close of 1838 an
excellent missionary and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Knorpp, were carried off
by a low fever which attacked them while attending to their charge. By
the hot weather of 1839 the health of the orphans had greatly improved,
and everything was being done which could be done for their temporal and
spiritual welfare.

By the time of my arrival, the missionaries of the Church and London
Missionary Societies--Mr. Lyon excepted, who had arrived only the
preceding year--had fully entered on their work. They had been from
seven to five years at their posts, had acquired a good knowledge of the
native languages, had all the vigour and hopefulness of early middle
life, and were giving themselves zealously to the prosecution of the
great work for which they had gone to India.



A stranger passing hurriedly through a country may carry away
impressions about its climate, products, and people, which residence for
a considerable time would not merely modify but reverse. There are some
things of which he can speak with some confidence. The great natural
features of a country, its mountains and plains and rivers, do not
undergo any marked change, and these may be truly described by the
casual visitor. The general aspect of a people, their houses, dress, and
look, remain much the same, and of these an accurate observer may give a
trustworthy account; but if from what he himself has seen and heard he
attempts to give a general estimate of the character of the people and
of the state of the country, he is almost sure to fall into great

Within the last few years India has become a favourite field for
travellers who can without inconvenience spend a few hundred pounds, and
be absent from home three or four months. Swift steamers take them
quickly to and from Bombay, and railways carry them in a short time from
one end of India to the other. They travel at the season when travelling
is delightful, and thus see the different countries of that great region
in their most attractive form. If they infer what they do not see from
what they see, they are sure to make statements utterly discordant with
fact. Mr. Wilson, who was sent out to India to put its finances into
order after the Mutiny, travelled through the North-Western Provinces in
the cold weather, when the country was covered with abundant crops, and
was delighted with all he saw. He declared it was the finest country he
had ever seen. He returned to Calcutta as the hot weather was setting
in, and died in the succeeding rainy season. It is said that some time
before his death he pronounced the climate to be the most detestable on
the face of the globe. Dr. Norman McLeod was our guest for a very short
time in Benares, as he was prosecuting his Indian journey. When driving
about on a fine balmy morning, he said, in his genial fashion, "You
missionaries often complain of your climate; I only wish we in Scotland
had a climate like this." To which I replied, "Ah, doctor, kindly stop
with us through our coming seasons; prolong your stay till next
November, and then you will be able to speak with authority." The worthy
doctor did not take my counsel. His death some time afterwards was
attributed to his Indian tour; but if it left in him the seed of
disease, the blame rests not on the climate, but on the excessive
fatigue caused by overmuch travelling and work.

The case of a person who has lived through a whole year in a country,
and has during that period moved among the people, is very different
from that of the passing stranger. He knows the climate as a traveller
for a few weeks or even months cannot. The seasons during that year may
have been more or less abnormal, and yet the resident cannot fail to
have obtained that knowledge which enables him to form a notion of what
he has in the main to expect every year. He gets a glimpse into the
character and peculiarities of the different classes of the population,
both native and foreign. He may know little of the language of the
country; but if he has an observing mind, and moves freely about, he is
constantly receiving information about the people in a degree which he
himself does not always realize. If his residence be prolonged for many
years, as he looks back to his first year, and remembers its experience,
he finds that his views have been greatly enlarged, on many points
greatly modified; he is sure that his knowledge is much more accurate
and mature; but there is scarcely any subject on which he finds his
views entirely reversed.


This, at least, has been my experience. I have a vivid remembrance of my
first year in Benares--a much more vivid remembrance than I have of
subsequent years, and it would be strange if I did not find that my
views on many Indian subjects have been greatly modified, and on all
much enlarged; but I do not discover that on any subject there has been
a complete reversal.

I have already mentioned that on my voyage from Calcutta to Benares I
spent much of my time in the study of the Hindustanee language, commonly
called Urdu. Within a week of my arrival I gave myself to it with all
the application of which I was capable. I had as my teacher a munshee,
who had been long employed by the missionaries of our Society, but who
could not speak a sentence in English, though he knew the Roman
character well. I was told that his ignorance of English would prove an
advantage, as I should on this account be obliged to speak to him, in
however broken and limping a fashion, in the language which it was
indispensable for me to acquire. We had before us an English and
Hindustanee Dictionary, a Hindustanee and English Dictionary, a
Hindustanee Grammar, and a book of easy sentences in both languages in
the Roman character. At first my teacher and myself had to put things
into many forms before reaching mutual intelligibility; but gradually
our work became easier, and when two or three months had passed we
fairly understood each other--I trying to express myself in Hindustanee,
and he performing the much-needed work of correcting my words and idiom.
I commenced with a portion of the New Testament, and soon got into some
of the classics of the language. The use of the Roman character in the
writing of Indian languages had been strongly advocated by Sir Charles
Trevelyan, by Dr. Duff, and other men of mark, and was accepted by the
majority of the missionaries. Portions of the Scriptures and other books
were printed in it. Like all young missionaries, I learned the Persian
and Nagree characters, in which the languages of Northern India had
always previously been written; but the Roman character was very
convenient, and I regretted afterwards I used it so much.

This study of the language was felt to be a foremost duty, and was
prosecuted from day to day. This went on for months with little
interruption, except what was caused by the serious and continued
illness of Mrs. Lyon, which, to the great regret of all their friends,
led before the end of the year to the departure of Mr. and Mrs. L. for

In the seventh or eighth month of my residence at Benares I wrote a
short sermon in Hindustanee on John i. 29, and read it at the native
service. Within a year I took my part regularly at that service, first
using my manuscript, and then extemporizing as I best could.

I must confess I regarded my new linguistic acquisition with much more
complacency at the end of my first year than at the end of my fifth or
sixth. On my way to Benares, as I have already mentioned, I spent a few
hours very pleasantly with Mr. Leslie, the Baptist missionary at
Monghyr. I mentioned to him that my friend Mr. Lyon had learned the
language, and was preaching in it. Looking me full in the face, he said,
to my surprise and chagrin, "Depend on it, Mr. Lyon may use the words of
the language, but no one can be said to acquire it in a year." I thought
this a hard saying, but years afterwards I was forced to feel its truth.
I had in a year got such a glimpse into the Hindustanee and Hindee
languages as to have some conceptions of their nature, to know their
tone, and to bring them into partial use; but I had a very limited
notion of their nice distinctions, their peculiar idioms, and their vast
vocabulary. I cannot say that the opinion on this subject I formed in my
first year was entirely reversed by my after experience, but it was
largely modified.


While studying the native language, I felt myself studying the native
character as well. My teacher was very patient, correcting my
mistakes--mistakes, I must confess, often repeated--without allowing
even the slightest surprise to appear in his countenance. He did not
smile at blunders at which, when I knew better, I myself heartily
laughed. When I showed the slightest impatience at being checked he at
once allowed me to go on as I liked, though, as I afterwards knew, I
needed to be corrected. He was loud in praise of my progress, declaring
that I would soon surpass all my predecessors. In my intercourse with
him I had illustrations of the patience, the courtesy, and also the
flattering, cozening character of the people, when dealing with those
by whom they think they can be benefited. The impressions of native
character thus obtained were amply affirmed by the experience of after

This munshee was well acquainted with our Scriptures. He belonged to the
Writer caste, and had from his early years been in contact with
Europeans. He was ready for conversation on religious subjects, and had
much to say in favour of the philosophical notions which underlie
Hinduism. Three or four years afterwards he seemed to awake all at once
to the claims of Christ as the Saviour of the world, and under this
impulse he openly appeared in a native newspaper as the assailant of
Hinduism and the advocate of Christianity, which led to the hope that he
was to avow himself, by baptism, a follower of the Lord. But he became
alarmed at what he had done; he could not bear the reproaches of his
friends, and he fell back into the ranks of his people. Though he had
ceased to be my teacher I had opportunities of seeing him, and I tried
to speak to his conscience, to his conviction of the Divine origin of
the gospel. The last time I spoke to him he said, with marked emphasis,
"There is no use in speaking to me. Let Hinduism be false or true, I am
determined to live and die in it as my fathers have done!" His case was
that of many with whom every Indian missionary is brought into contact.

During this year I was introduced into the methods in which evangelistic
work was conducted. In addition to attending the services of the Lord's
Day, I went now and then with my brethren to the city. We had at that
time two little chapels in good positions, at the doors of which the
people were first addressed, and were then invited to enter that they
might hear the new teaching more fully expounded. There was, of course,
nothing of the staidness or quietness of a Christian congregation. The
speaker was often interrupted; questions, sometimes very irrelevant
questions, were asked; and the people came and went, so that those who
were present at the commencement were seldom present at the close.
During the year I saw the principal places in Benares--its main streets
and markets, its temples and mosques; and thus formed some idea of the
great city, where for many years afterwards it was my privilege to
labour in the gospel of Christ.


The work of the missionary in Northern India would be greatly simplified
if he had to learn only one language. He has to learn the two I have
named, the Hindustanee and the Hindee. The Hindustanee arose from
intercourse between the Muhammadan invaders and the people they had
subdued. It is written in the Persian or Arabic character, and draws its
vocabulary mainly from the Persian and Arabic languages. It is the
language of law, of commerce, and of ordinary life to many millions. The
Hindee in its various dialects, some of which almost rise to the dignity
of languages, is the vernacular of the vast Hindu population of
North-Western India. It rests mainly on the Sanscrit, and is written in
the Sanscrit or Deonagree character. In some of the most popular books
the languages are so strangely combined that it is impossible to give
any definite name to the language used. An acquaintance with these
languages is indispensable to missionary efficiency in Northern India,
but it is very difficult to attain marked excellence in both.



A very brief residence at Benares led me to see the great difference
between the society to which I had come and that which I had left. The
European community formed a mere handful of the population, and was
almost exclusively formed of officials, with all the peculiarities of a
class privileged by office. We had some two hundred European
artillerymen with their officers, of a regiment paid and controlled by
the East India Company; three native regiments officered by Europeans;
three or four members of the Civil Service, charged with the
administration of the city and district; one English merchant, and two
or three English shopkeepers. I now learned for the first time the
difference in rank between Queen's and Company's military officers. The
Queen's officer regarded himself as of a higher grade. Members of the
Civil Service and Company's officers met on terms of social equality;
but the Civilians looked on themselves as of a higher order, as the
aristocracy of the land, and the assumed superiority put a strain to
some degree on social intercourse. The persons sent out from this
country for the administration of India are called Covenanted Civilians,
as they bear a commission from the Queen; while those engaged for
administrative work by the Indian Government are called Uncovenanted.
The former class continue to have a great official advantage over the
latter; but forty years ago there was a great social inequality which
has in a measure ceased, where these uncovenanted servants are English
gentlemen, as they often are. English merchants were regarded as in
society; but shopkeepers, however large their establishment, were deemed
entirely outside the pale, except for strictly business purposes. This
was partly accounted for by European shopkeepers having been previously
stewards of ships, or soldiers who had received their discharge.
Missionaries were looked on as sufficiently in society to be admissible
everywhere, and were treated courteously by their European brethren when
they met, though only a few desired their intercourse.


As to the people of the land, both Hindu and Muhammadan, I discerned at
once, what I might have fully anticipated, that between them and us
there was a national, social, and religious gulf. Some were in our
houses as servants. We had to do with them in various ways; we could not
go out without seeing them on every side. There was on the part of many
a courteous bearing towards each other; there was in many cases a kindly
feeling; but the barriers which separated us could not be for any length
of time forgotten. I speedily saw that some Europeans looked with
contempt on the natives, as essentially of a lower order in creation;
but the better class of Europeans, the higher in position and education,
as a rule, regarded them with respect, and treated them not only with
justice but with kindness. Native servants received as kind treatment as
servants do in well-conducted families in our own country, and in many
cases repaid this kindness by devoted attachment and the efficient
discharge of the work entrusted to them. When native gentlemen came in
contact with Europeans of the higher class, all the honour was accorded
to them to which by their position they were entitled. Even in this case
there were national and religious differences, which effectually
prevented the intimacy which is often maintained where such differences
do not exist.

[Sidenote: EURASIANS.]

Within the first year I got an insight into a large and growing class,
who were connected with both Europeans and natives, and yet did not
belong to either. I refer to persons of mixed blood; some almost as
dark, in many cases altogether as dark, as ordinary natives--many of
these being descendants of Portuguese; others, again, so fair that their
Indian blood is scarcely observed; some in the lowest grade of society,
very poor and very ignorant; and others, with many intermediate links,
most respectable members of the community in character, knowledge,
position, and means. All these, whatever may be their rank, are
Christians by profession, and they dress so far as they can after the
European fashion; but the poorer class, in food and accommodation live
very much as natives do, and mainly speak the native language. The
people of mixed blood are called by different names--Eurasians, East
Indians, and not infrequently by a name to which they most rightly
object, Half-caste.

I was surprised and sorry to observe the feeling with which many
Europeans regarded this class. They were looked down upon as of an
inferior grade, who, whatever might be their character or position, were
not entitled to rank with Europeans. In the dislike of natives shown by
some Europeans there was something to remind one of the American feeling
in regard to colour, though of a much milder type; but I was not
prepared for the degree in which the feeling prevailed in reference to
Eurasians, though I might have been had I remembered that the slightest
tinge of African blood, a tinge to many eyes not perceptible, had been
considered in America a fatal taint. I speedily observed the effect the
feeling had on Eurasians in producing an unpleasant sensitiveness, and
impairing the confidence and respect indispensable to social

Since that time I have understood the causes of this feeling much better
than I could have then done. The most candid and thoughtful of the class
will allow that as a community they labour under great disadvantages.
Though they have native blood in their veins they are entirely separate
from natives in those things to which natives attach the highest value;
and though by the profession of Christianity, by the adoption of
European habits so far as circumstances allow, and by the use of the
English language, they draw to Europeans, yet they are forced to feel
they do not belong to them. They occupy an awkward middle position, and
the knowledge that they do leads to unpleasant grating. Then they have
not had the bracing which comes from residence in a Christian land.
Though proud of their Christian name and profession, they have been
injuriously affected by the moral atmosphere of their surroundings. The
lower their social position, the closer has been their connection with
the lower class of natives, and the more hurtful have been the
influences under which they have come. Eurasians are noted for their
excellent penmanship, and a great number from generation to generation
have found employment in Government offices, the greater number as mere
copyists, but a few as confidential clerks and accountants, whose
services have been highly appreciated by their official superiors. A
considerable number have risen to important offices in the
administration of the country. An increasing number are able to take
their place in every respect abreast of their European brethren.
Individuals have gone to England, and have succeeded in getting by
competition into the Covenanted Civil Service. The class has been
steadily growing for years in intelligence and character; and as the
members of their families are enjoying educational advantages to a
greater extent than at any previous period, there is every reason to
hope progress in the future will be still more rapid than in the past.
The distinction between them and persons of pure European blood will
thus become less and less a barrier to social intercourse; they will be
delivered from the unpleasantness the barrier has often caused, their
character will grow in strength, and they will become increasingly
fitted for exerting a happy influence on the native community. In the
case of individuals the distinction is now practically ignored. There
are no more honoured and honourable persons in India than some who
belong to this class. There have always been devoted Christians among
them, and of late years an increasing number have come under the power
of Divine grace.

It has been often remarked that one of the most pleasing traits of
native society is reproduced among Eurasians--the tie of kinship
prompting those who are in better circumstances to help their needy
relatives, often to the giving of large pecuniary aid, not unfrequently
to the taking of them into their houses. In the humbler portions of the
community there is often seen a patriarchal household like that so often
seen in native society.


The new-comer's experience of climate prepares him for what he has to
expect during his future residence. We have three marked seasons in the
North-Western Provinces, the one melting gradually into the other--the
hot season beginning in March and ending in June, the rainy season
beginning with July and ending in October, and the cold weather
beginning with November and ending in February. The seasons may thus be
described in a general way, but in fact every year differs somewhat from
others, as they do in our own country. The hot weather is sensibly felt
before March begins, and the heat of March is far less than that of the
succeeding months. The first burst of the rains is often before the
middle of June, but after that burst, called the "little rainy season,"
it is not uncommon to have a spell of very hot sunny weather. In some
years, indeed, there is so much weather of this kind during what is
called the rainy season, that the heat is most intense, and the crops
are burnt up. Towards the end of September there is commonly the last
great outpour of rain, and as October advances there is the cooling
freshness of the approaching cold weather, with enough of heat in the
day-time to tell us it has not quite let go its grasp. December and
January are our coldest months. In England, after an unpropitious
summer, the remark is often made, "We have had no summer!" and in the
same manner in India, when the temperature has been high in the cold
season, and we have not had the expected bracing, we say, "We have had
no winter!" Yet as in our own country, so in India; we have our marked
seasons, though we cannot be sure of the weather at any particular

As India is an immense region, a great continent, with every variety of
scenery, with plains extending hundreds of miles, and vast stretches of
forests, with table-lands and lofty mountains, with land of every
description from barren sand to the richest alluvial soil, the climate
and products of its different countries are so different, that the
statements made about one region, however correct, when applied to the
whole are utterly misleading. I have been describing the seasons of the
North-Western Provinces; and yet, as Benares is in the lower part of
these provinces, its climate is considerably different from that of the
country farther north and west. The farther north we travel the longer
and colder is the cold season, and as a rule the hotter and briefer is
the hot season. On one occasion the heat was so great in Benares in
March that we found the night punkah pleasant; but on reaching Delhi,
nearly six hundred miles distant, a few days afterwards, instead of
seeking a night punkah we were thankful to have blankets to keep
ourselves warm.

[Sidenote: THE HOT SEASON.]

I have a vivid recollection of my experiences of the climate during my
first year. During our voyage on the Ganges the heat during the day was
like that of a cloudless July in England, and at night it was pleasantly
cool, the wood of the flat speedily giving off the heat it had taken in
during the day, and the flow of the river contributing to our comfort.
Reaching Benares as April was setting in, I speedily felt I was getting
into the experience of an Indian hot season. The doors were opened
before dawn to let in whatever coolness might come with the morning, and
before eight they were shut to keep out the heat of the day. The lower
part of the door was of wood, and the upper part of glass. Outside the
doors were heavy wooden blinds, made after the fashion of Venetian
blinds, the upper part of which were opened to let in from the verandah
the degree of light absolutely necessary with the least possible degree
of heat. No prisoner in his cell is more excluded from an outside view
than we were in our rooms during the day in the hot season. There was a
remarkable contrast between the outside glare and the inside dimness, so
that a person coming from without could not on entering see anything.
The prevailing wind is from the west. There is enough in the morning to
show the direction from which it is coming. It rises as the day
advances; by two or three it blows with great strength, raising clouds
of dust, and lulls towards evening. This wind is cool and bracing in the
cold weather, but as the season advances it becomes warm, and by May its
heat resembles the blast of a furnace. It every now and then gives place
to the east wind, which is not nearly so hot, but is so enervating that
the hot wind is greatly preferred. During the day we sit under the
punkah, a great wooden fan suspended from the roof with great flapping
fringes. This is pulled by a coolie, sometimes in the adjoining room,
but when it can be arranged in the verandah outside, who has in his hand
a rope attached to the punkah, which is brought to him by a small
aperture in the wall, through which a piece of thin bamboo is inserted
to make the friction as little as possible. When the west wind is
blowing freshly, it is brought with most pleasant coolness into the
house through platted screens of scented grass, on which water is
continually thrown outside. For years machines resembling the fanners so
much used by farmers in former days, with scented grass on each side and
a hut of scented grass over them, on which water is continually thrown,
with wheels turned round by hand labour, have been brought largely into
use. These machines are appropriately called "Thermantidotes."

The night in the hot season is much more trying than the day. There is
not a breath stirring, and the heat of the day, taken in by the walls,
is radiated all the night long. I found the night punkah in almost
universal use but I thought I would get on without it, and used it very
seldom. When the next hot season came I was glad to conform to the
custom of the country, for I found when I had not the punkah I got up in
the morning so tired and weary that I was unfit for the work of the day.

The aspect of the country at that season is very dreary. Some trees
retain their freshness in the hottest weather; but not a blade of green
grass is to be seen, and the ground is scorched, scarred, and baked, as
if it had been turned into a desert.


A marvellous change is produced by the first heavy fall of rain. After
stifling heat for some days, the rays of the sun beating with a
fierceness which threatens to burn up all nature, and which drives the
birds for shelter to the thickest foliage of the trees, the clouds
gather, the thunder rolls, peal quickly succeeding peal, the lightning
flashes incessantly, and then, after some heavy showers, there comes
down for two or three days, with very little intermission, such torrents
that it looks as if we were to be visited with a deluge. Within a week
all nature is transformed. The parched earth gives way to the richest
green. We in our country say in very propitious weather that we see
things grow; but in India vegetation takes such a bound as it never does
in our temperate climate. Immediately after the downpour of rain, the
sun comes out in all its strength; and, under the action of heat and
moisture, vegetation progresses marvellously. The fields are quickly
ploughed, the seed, for which moisture and great heat is required, is
sown, and in the course of three or four weeks they are far above the
ground. Within three months the harvest of the rainy season, furnishing
the people with rice, maize, and other grains, which furnish the
principal food of the people, is gathered in.

The rainy season is productive in another and less pleasant manner. It
is as favourable to insect life as it is to vegetable life. Flying white
ants, flying bugs, and other unwelcome visitors of the same order, come
out in thousands. At night, if the doors be open the white ants make for
the lamps in such numbers that they are extinguished by them, and the
room is in the morning found strewed with their dead. It requires a
torpid temperament to remain calm under this visitation. All dislike it,
and some find it a grievous trial. As the rainy season advances, the
trouble abates, and by the time the cold weather sets in the ordinary
house-fly by day and the mosquito by night alone remain to buzz about
us. The mosquito has rightly got the first place among insect
tormentors. The house-fly is at all seasons, in some more than in
others, and gives not a little annoyance by its pertinacity.

The change at the commencement of the rainy season is delightful. The
doors are thrown open, and the dry, parching wind gives place to a
refreshing coolness. When the rain ceases, the heat returns; the weather
is very muggy, the skin is irritated by the excessive perspiration, and
many suffer more than during the hot season. When the rain is abundant
and frequent, the suffering is much less than when there is little rain
and much sun. There is one comfort at that time: we know we are going on
to the cold weather, which will make amends for all that went before.

I can hardly conceive any country to have a finer climate than that of
the North-West Provinces of India in the cold months. Rain does
sometimes fall during that season; it may fall at any time of the year.
I remember a heavy fall on the first of May, and about Christmas and the
New Year it is eagerly desired for the crops, but ordinarily from week
to week there is an unclouded sky. There is a cool, pleasant breeze from
the west. In the house it is not only cool but cold, so that a little
sunning is pleasant, and at night in December and January, especially
far up the country, fires are welcome. Then Europeans, so far as
circumstances permit, get into the open air and move freely about, with
everything in the climate to favour their travelling.

[Sidenote: THE COLD SEASON.]

The beginning of the cold weather is a very busy season with the
agricultural class, to which the great body of the people belong. If the
rainy season has been favourable, especially if heavy rain has fallen
towards its close, the wells are full, and from these, after the land
has been ploughed, and the seed sown for the rabee crop, the most
valuable crop of the year, the fields are irrigated. Whatever grows in
our land in summer grows in North-Western India at that season: wheat,
oats, barley, potatoes, carrots, are grown in abundance. About March the
harvest is reaped.

As I proceed with these reminiscences, I shall have frequent occasion to
refer to our North Indian winter, its scenes, and employments, and I
have thought it well to enter at some length into a description of its

One thing I observed my first year which I had abundant opportunity to
observe afterwards. The weather so welcomed by Europeans is very trying
to most natives, especially to those of the humbler classes, whose
clothing is very scanty. They never try to get warm by taking exercise.
They cower in the morning and evening round a fire, which has commonly
for its fuel dried cow-manure, with a coarse blanket over their head and
shoulders. As the sun gets above the horizon, they plant themselves
against a wall to bask in its rays, and if they can, do not stir till
they are well heated. As might be expected, many of them suffer from
chronic rheumatism. The extreme heat is not liked by them, but from it
they suffer far less than from cold.

While most Europeans get new life in the cold weather, the little ones
showing by their rosy cheeks how much they are benefited, a few are in
better health when the weather is warm, as then they are less subject to
aguish attacks. The remark is often made by those who have much
sedentary work that they like the cold season for enjoyment, but find it
unfavourable for work, as they cannot keep so steadily at it as they can
when the heat keeps them within doors.

While giving the reminiscences of my first year, my mind has been
continually carried forward to the experience of after-years in
reference to the vernacular languages, the various classes with whom
residence in India brings one into contact, and the seasons of the
country. In giving partial expression to this experience under the
heading of my first year, I have gone far beyond it. Those who favour me
with the perusal of my narrative may perhaps find it more intelligible
by my having anticipated myself.

I must confess months of the first year passed before I ceased to feel
myself an exile. The scenes around were so unlike those of my own
country, the prevailing idolatry so repulsive, the society,
associations, and climate so different, that I turned from them to my
native land with many a fond longing look. This feeling of exile was no
doubt deepened by the illness in the family with whom I was residing.
We had an English service every Thursday evening, conducted by the
missionaries in the hall of the mission-house, but I greatly missed the
services on the Lord's-day to which I had been accustomed.


[Illustration: BATHING GHAT, BENARES.]



My greatly beloved and much esteemed friend, the late Rev. M. A.
Sherring, years ago published a handsome volume under the title of _The
Sacred City of the Hindus_, in which he gave ample information about its
history, temples, castes, festivals, commerce, and religious
pre-eminence in Hindu estimation. To that work I must refer readers who
are desirous to be furnished with details. My aim is to describe as
concisely and vividly as I can the marked peculiarities of the place.

Benares is the largest city in the North-Western Provinces, though it is
approached in population by some others, as Delhi, Agra, and Allahabad.
It is among the largest purely native cities in India, but it is greatly
surpassed in population and wealth by Calcutta, Bombay, and Madras, the
great seats of British rule, and the great emporia of Indian as well as
of European commerce in the East. These cities under our rule have risen
to be among the greatest in Eastern Asia. For many a day the population
of Benares was said to be above 500,000, but this has turned out a very
exaggerated conjecture.[1] When the first careful census was taken, the
resident population was found to be under 200,000, and every succeeding
census has confirmed its substantial accuracy. In the last census the
number given is 207,570. When the first census was taken great surprise
was expressed at the result, and some asserted no dependence could be
placed on it. The ground of this assertion was that in the houses of
some of the wealthier classes there are many females, who live, in
native phrase, behind the curtain, who are never seen by outsiders, to
whom the officials of the Government have no access; and on this account
the accuracy of the return made to the enumerators entirely depends on
the faithfulness of the head of the household. It has been said that
when the first census was taken the general impression was a capitation
tax was to be imposed, and that in consequence the inmates reported were
far below the actual number. If there was error on this account it was
to a very limited extent, as every subsequent census has agreed with the
first, although the notion of a capitation tax has entirely died out.
One going through Benares, from street to street, from one end of it to
the other, does not get the impression its resident population exceeds
the estimate found in official statements. The city has a great floating
population, as it is the resort of strangers from all parts of India. It
is reckoned that on the occasion of the great festivals there may be
100,000 visitors, some say 200,000, but we are not aware any attempt has
been made to number them.

[Footnote 1: Bishop Heber visited Benares in 1824. He says in his
journal, "The population, according to a census made in 1803, amounted
to above 582,000--an enormous amount, and which one should think must
have been exaggerated." The census which gives such a return must have
been taken in a very singular manner.]


In commerce, as in population, Benares holds a high, but not the
highest, place among Indian cities. The district of Benares is not so
large as some others in the North-West; but it is very productive, is
densely peopled, and the city has on this account a large local
business. Besides, the merchants and bankers of Benares have dealings
with the other districts of the province, and indeed with all parts of
India. The city has many artificers. It has workers in stone, wood,
iron, brass, silver and gold. They produce articles which command a
large and profitable sale. God-making and toy-making are among the
staple businesses of the place. The making of idols in different
materials to suit the taste and means of purchasers, gives employment to
many. The images while being made are only stone, brass, or gold, as it
may be, and no reverence is then due to them. It is when certain sacred
words are uttered over them, and the god is supposed to take possession
of them, they become objects of worship. Benares is well known for its
toys made of very light wood, and lacquered over. Of late years the
enchased brass vessels made in Benares have been much admired, and have
secured a large and profitable sale. Perhaps the most important
manufacture of the place is _kimkhwab_--_kinkob_ as it is called by
Europeans--cloth made of silver and gold tissue, in which the princes
and grandees of India array themselves on state occasions. I believe
this business has fallen off, as with the incoming of European influence
the love of barbaric pearl and gold has declined, if not among the
rajahs of the land, among a class beneath them, who formerly thought
they could not retain their rank in society if they did not appear on
special occasions in gorgeous robes.

While in population and commerce there are cities in India which surpass
Benares, in Hindu estimation it stands above them all in religious
pre-eminence. Perhaps at the present time more eyes are turned
reverently towards it than to any city on the face of the earth.

[Illustration: A JEWELLER AT WORK.]

I must attempt a brief sketch of the history of Benares. We are sure it
was not among the first cities erected by the Aryans after leaving their
home in Central Asia and crossing the Indus. They first took possession
of the land in the far north-west of the great country they had entered,
and gradually made their way to the south and east. Wonderfully acute
and painstaking though the Pundit mind be, it has so dwelt in the
regions of speculation and imagination that it has paid no attention to
historical research. Its laborious productions have left us ignorant of
recent times, and we need not therefore wonder that, except by
incidental allusions, it throws no light on the early settlements of the
Aryans in India. We know that they brought with them a considerable
measure of civilization, and soon erected cities. Indraprastha, built
near the site of the present city of Delhi, and Hastinapore, some thirty
miles from it, figure largely in the Mahabharut, the giant Hindu epic.
Kunauj, lying east and south of Delhi, became some time afterwards the
capital of a widely extended empire, which lasted, with vicissitudes,
down to Muhammadan times. Benares is seen in the dim light of antiquity
as a favourite abode of Brahmans, and as sacred on that account, but it
does not appear that it ever was the seat of extended rule. For many a
day it was subject to Kunauj, and it afterwards came under the sway of
the Muhammadans, to whom it was subject for six hundred years.

[Sidenote: BUDDHISM.]

A clear proof of the influential position of Benares centuries before
the Christian era, is furnished by the fact that Gautama, the founder of
Buddhism, deemed it well to commence his public ministry there in the
sixth century B.C.[2] The spot where he first unfolded his doctrine
was a grove at a place now called Sarnath, about four miles from the
present city. At this place there is a large Buddhist tower, which is
seen from a great distance, and around it are extensive remains, which
have been excavated under the direction of Major-General Cunningham, and
have been found to be of Buddhist origin. The success which Buddhism had
achieved and maintained for centuries in the country where it arose, is
strikingly confirmed by the testimony of two Chinese Buddhists who went
on pilgrimage to India, the one in the fifth century A.D., and the other
towards the middle of the seventh. Their narratives have been preserved,
and furnish us with most interesting details. From them we learn that
down to the time of their visits Buddhism had temples, monasteries, and
thousands of adherents; but it had not the field to itself, for these
strangers tell us, especially the later of the two, that a large and
increasing number of the people were warmly attached to Hinduism. We
have no historical account of the overthrow of Buddhism, but we have
reason to believe that towards the close of the eleventh century, or
earlier, the devotees of Hinduism rose against it, and so stamped it out
that not a temple was left standing and not a monastery remained.
Major-General Cunningham says that about that period "the last votaries
of Buddha were expelled from the continent of India. Numbers of images,
concealed by the departing monks, are found buried near Sarnath; and
heaps of ashes still lie scattered amidst the ruins, to show that the
monasteries were destroyed by fire." This is confirmed by excavations
made at a later period by Major Kittoe, who says, "All has been sacked
and burned--priests, temples, idols, all together; for, in some places,
bones, iron, wood and stone, are found in huge masses: and this has
happened more than once." From Benares having been the scene of
Gautama's early ministry, and the place where his first disciples were
called, it stands high in the reverence of the millions who compose his
followers, although their only living representatives there now are a
few Jains, whom orthodox Buddhists regard as heretics.

[Footnote 2: The names and titles of this famous teacher are perplexing
to those who do not know the meaning. His father was chief or king of a
tribe called Sakyas, and therefore Gautama received the name of
Sakya-Muni, or Sakya-Saint. When he announced himself as the inspired
teacher of the nations he took the name of Buddha--the wise man, the
enlightener, the inspired prophet.]


Long before the time of Gautama Hinduism prevailed at Benares, and we
have observed its rites were practised side by side with those of
Buddhism when the city was visited by two Chinese pilgrims. Some time
afterwards it obtained full sway under the form of fanatical devotion to
Shiva the Destroyer, and that sway it has maintained down to our day.
What Jerusalem is to the Jews; what Mecca is to the Muhammadans; what
Rome is to the Roman Catholics--that, and more than that, Benares is to
the Hindus. They form by far the largest portion of the population of
India, and to them Benares--or as they delight to call it, Kasee the
Splendid, the Glorious City--is the most sacred spot on earth. They say,
indeed, it is not built on the earth, but on a point of Shiva's trident.
They assert that at one time it was of gold, but in this degenerate age
it has been turned into stone and clay. In their belief the Ganges is
sacred through its entire course, but as it flows past the sacred city
its cleansing efficacy is supposed to be vastly increased. The rites
performed at Kasee have double merit, and its very soil and air are so
fraught with blessing that all who die there go to heaven, whatever
their character may be. With this belief diffused among the millions
who, differing widely from each other in nationality and language, are
devoted to Hinduism, it may be supposed how many eyes are reverently
turned towards Kasee, and with what eager steps and high expectations
vast numbers resort to it. I have frequently seen persons entering the
city, not on foot--that they did not deem sufficiently respectful--but
prostrating themselves on the ground, measuring the ground with their
bodies, and approaching the sacred shrines. And then, especially on the
occasion of great festivals, bands may be seen entering the city, often
composed of women--hand-in-hand lest they should lose each other in the
crowd--singing the praises of Shiva and the glories of his city. Many
aged people come from distant parts of India--the greater number, I
believe, from Bengal--to reside and end their days in it, that by
becoming Kasseebas (dwellers in Kasee) they may when they die become
Baikuntbas (dwellers in heaven).

Though Benares be _par excellence_ the sacred city of the Hindus,
strange to say they are proportionately fewer than in ten cities of the
North-West. According to the census of 1872, there were 133,549 Hindus
and 44,374 Mussulmans: that is, a little more than three Hindus to one
Mussulman. In the great commercial city of Mirzapore, about thirty miles
distant from Benares, there were five Hindus to one Mussulman. The fact
thus certified is entirely at variance with the conjecture made by those
who look at the crowds bathing at the riverside, and frequenting the
temples, and contrast them with the small number seen in the mosques,
even on Friday, the Muhammadan weekly day of worship. In the district
the Hindus vastly out-number the Muhammadans.

Benares is built on the left bank of the Ganges, and extends in a
crescent shape three miles and a half along the bank, and a little more
than a mile inward. The most imposing view is from a boat slowly
dropping down the stream in the early morning--the earlier the better,
especially if it be the hot season, as then the people betake themselves
to the river in greater numbers than at any other time. Travellers in
many lands who have seen this view, have declared it to be one of the
most remarkable sights of the kind which the world presents.

Photographic and pencil pictures of Benares have appeared in illustrated
newspapers, in periodicals and books, and give a more vivid and correct
impression than can be conveyed by a verbal description. These pictures
can, however, be better understood when those who look at them are
furnished with information which no picture can afford.

The right bank of the Ganges at Benares is very low, and is always
flooded when the river rises; but the left bank, on which the city
stands, is in many parts more than a hundred feet high. The river sweeps
round this high bank. The city is connected with the river by flights of
stone steps, called "ghats." This word ghat often meets the reader of
books on India. It has various meanings. It means a mountain-pass, a
ferry, a place on the riverside where people meet, and, as is the case
at Benares, the steps which lead down to the river. Two small streams
enter the Ganges at Benares--on the southern side the Assi, on the
northern side the Burna. Some have supposed that the city has received
its name from lying between these two rivulets--Burna, Assi, making the
word Burunassi, Benares; but this derivation is more than doubtful.
Others maintain the word comes from a famous rajah called Bunar; but
this, too, is a mere conjecture.

[Sidenote: A TRIP ON THE RIVER.]

Let me take my readers with me on a trip down the river. We embark at
early dawn on a native boat at Assi Sungam, which means the confluence
of the Assi with the Ganges, at the southern extremity. Towards that end
of the city some of the houses seen on the high bank are poor, some are
falling into decay; but as you advance, lofty buildings, some of them of
a size and grandeur which entitle them to the name of palaces, come into
view. Their numerous small windows, their rich and varied carving, their
balconies and flat roofs, give them a very Eastern look. Perhaps the
most notable of the buildings are an observatory, built by a famous
Rajput prince, Jae Singh, and a massy and extensive structure, with its
buttresses and high walls looking as if recently erected, which was
built in the last half of the eighteenth century by Cheit-Singh, the
Rajah of Benares at that time, who was deposed by Warren Hastings on
account of his refusal to comply with the demands of the British
Government. In Macaulay's famous Essay on Warren Hastings there is a
long narrative of this contest, which is amusingly at variance with the
narrative given by Warren Hastings himself. This building is still
called Cheit-Singh's Palace, but since his day it has been the property
of the British Government, and has been for many years the residence of
princes of the old imperial family of Delhi, who on account of family
troubles had come to reside in Benares, and were, happily for
themselves, far from Delhi during the mutiny of 1857. Some of the
mansions facing the river belong to Indian princes, who occupy them on
the rare occasion of visits to the city, and leave them in charge of
servants, of whom a number are Brahmans performing sacred rites on
their behalf.

There is one spot on the riverside from which most visitors avert their
eyes with horror--the place where the dead of Benares and the
surrounding country are being burnt, and the ashes thrown into the
stream. The fire at that place never goes out. Cremation, not burial, it
is well known, is the Indian mode of disposing of the dead.

The peculiarity of Benares as the sacred city of the country is
strikingly attested by the temples, which crowd the high bank of the
river, and arrest the special attention of the visitor. Some of these
are much larger and more expensive than others, but there is little
variety in their form; and all of them, even the largest and most
frequented, are small compared with Christian and Muhammadan places of
worship. They are circular, with heavy domes narrowing towards the top,
and, as a rule, with a narrow doorway alone admitting light and air.
Some domes are of respectable height, but none approach that of many of
our church towers and steeples. Most of the temples are sacred to Shiva,
Mahadeo, the Great God, as his devotees delight to call him, and are
surmounted by his trident. Many have a pole at their side with a flag
attached to it. One sees at a glance they must, though small, have cost
large sums, as they are most solidly built of hewn stone, and have all
more or less of ornamentation. A few temples are built close to the
water's edge. One has got off its equilibrium, and looks as if it were
about to fall into the stream; but for many years it has remained in
this tottering position.


While the houses and temples on the riverside are viewed with interest,
the visitor, as he looks from his boat, is still more interested in the
living mass before him. It is the early morning. The sun has just risen
above the horizon, and is shedding its bright rays on the river and the
city. It looks as if all the inhabitants were astir and had made their
way to the river. Crowds are seen on the steps, some even then making
their way back after having bathed, and others going down to the stream.
Thousands are in the water. Men and women, boys and girls, are
there--the men and women at a short distance from each other.
Immediately above the water are platforms with huge stationary umbrellas
over them, and on these men are squatted, whose portly appearance
betokens ease and plenty. These are Gungaputrs--sons of the Ganges--a
class of Brahmans, whose duty it is to take care of the clothes of the
people as they bathe, to put a mark on their forehead to show they have
bathed, and who receive a small offering from them as they retire. All
bring with them their bathing-dress, and they most deftly take off and
put on their scanty clothing. When the bathing is over they wring out
the clothes in which they have bathed, fill with Ganges water a small
brazen vessel, which each person carries with him, and make their way
into the city to pay their homage to their favourite gods before
proceeding to their homes. I have been told that the very devout among
them visit some thirty temples of a morning.

You watch the people as they bathe. It is evident they are not engaged
in mere ablution, so important for health and comfort in that hot
climate. They are engaged in worship. You see them taking up the water
of the Ganges in the palm of their hands, and offering it up to the sun
as they mutter certain prescribed words. You observe them making a
circular motion, and if sufficiently near you see them breathing
heavily, which you are told is their way of driving away demons, who
even in that sacred spot are said to haunt them. There is no united
worship: each worshipper apart performs his and her devotion. There is
incessant movement among the crowd. As the words of worship--I might
rather say the spells--they have been instructed to use are not
whispered but uttered, and by many with a loud voice, a stream of sound
falls on the ear. If, at some spot where bathers are not inconvenienced,
the boat be moored, and the visitor ascends the steps, he may find on
certain days, in two or three places, pundits reading and explaining the
Ramayan, or the Mahabharut, the great Hindu Epic Poems, to a crowd of
people, mainly composed of women. Sentence by sentence is read from
poetical translations made long ago, which require to be re-translated
into the ordinary language of the people to be generally intelligible.
We have occasionally stopped to hear these pundits, and, judging by what
we heard, we concluded they satisfied themselves with a loose paraphrase
of what they were reading. These men are rewarded with a respectful and
attentive hearing, and with something more substantial when the work is

If the visitor is bent on obtaining a full impression of the work
continually carried on in Benares, he will make his way into the city
from one of the principal bathing-places. He will speedily find himself
in long narrow streets, with lofty stone houses on either side. The
buildings are of hewn stone, and of the most substantial description.
They have for the most part a narrow doorway, opening into a quadrangle,
around which are the apartments of the inmates. The streets are so
narrow that through some of them a vehicle cannot be taken, and in
others conveyances pass each other with difficulty. There are parts of
the narrower streets and lanes on which the sun never shines. In the few
cases where houses on both sides of the street opposite each other
belong to one proprietor, there is at the top a bridge by which the
inmates pass from one to the other.


Not the houses, however, but the temples, secure the chief attention of
the visitor. They are seen on every side. Numerous though they be, they
are not sufficient to meet the demands of the people. At every few steps
objects of worship meet your view. In niches of the walls are little
images, so worn by the weather and by the water poured on them by
worshippers that it is difficult to determine what they are intended to
represent. At your feet, close to the walls, you see misshapen stones
which are regarded as sacred. As you proceed you find yourself
accompanied by a crowd who have bathed, and who are going to complete
their morning worship by acts of obeisance to their gods. They are seen,
as they walk, bowing their heads and folding their hands before the
sacred objects that line their way. Every now and then one of a party
will raise the shout "_Mahadeo jee kee jae!_"--("Victory to the Great
God"), that is to Shiva, to whom this title is given; and the shout is
taken up and repeated by others till the street resounds. It has
occurred to me that this is done with peculiar force when Europeans are
within hearing.


You speedily find yourself at the principal temple of Benares--the
temple of Bisheshwar, sacred to Shiva under this name, which means _Lord
of All_. This temple is in the midst of a quadrangle, covered in with a
roof; over it are a tower, a dome, and a spire. The tower and dome
glitter in the sun like masses of burnished gold, and on this account
it is called the Golden Temple. Natives will tell you that it is covered
with plates of solid gold, but in fact it is merely gilded with gold
leaf, spread over plates of copper overlaying the stones beneath. Under
the dome is a belfry in which nine bells are suspended, and these are so
low that they can be tolled by the hand of those who frequent the
temple. We are told that the temple, including the tower, is fifty-one
feet in height. "Outside the enclosure is a large collection of deities,
raised upon a platform, called by the natives 'The Court of Mahadeo.'"
Though the gods in the Hindu books are represented as continually
quarrelling with each other, and their devotees take up their quarrels,
not only at the temple of Bisheshwar, but throughout the city which is
regarded as Shiva's own, they are seen side by side, as in perfect
amity, and there is not a single god who does not secure the special
devotion of some worshippers. It is, however, required of all who dwell
in Kasee, or frequent it, to acknowledge that Mahadeo is entitled to
supreme homage, and that to him in the first instance obeisance must be
made. The symbol of Shiva, or Mahadeo, which is found wherever he is
worshipped, is the _Linga_, a conical stone, which does not in itself
suggest any impure notion, but which is intended to be a vile
representation. In this famous temple this conical stone receives
special honour. There, too, are figures of Shiva himself in all his
hideousness, with his three eyes, covered with ashes, and his eyes
inflamed with intoxicating herbs. Outside the temple there is a figure
cut in stone of a bull seven feet high, sacred to the god, as this is
his favourite animal for riding. Within the quadrangle there is a well
called _Gyan Bapee_, the well of knowledge, to which it is said the god
betook himself when he was expelled from his former temple by the bigot
Emperor Aurungzeb. On this account the well is deemed specially sacred.
It is surmounted by a handsome low-roofed colonnade with forty pillars.
It is covered with an iron grating, in which there is an aperture for
small vessels to be let down into it, which when full are drawn up, and
the water thus drawn is highly prized. As from day to day a large
quantity of flowers are thrown into it, it may be supposed how horrible
its water and how offensive its smell; it is a wonder the people are not
poisoned by it.

We must not proceed further with this description of Bisheshwar's
temple. Those who wish for more information can find it in the ample
details given by Mr. Sherring.

To this temple thousands resort every day. It is open, and priests are
present, we are told, twenty hours in the twenty-four. It is only shut
from midnight till four in the morning. The temple itself holds a very
small number, and the entire quadrangle would be crowded by one of our
large congregations. The people press into it in one continuous stream,
toll a bell to draw the attention of the god, make their obeisance, pour
on the object of their worship a little of the Ganges water from the
small brazen vessel they have in their hand, throw on it some flowers,
give a present to the attendant priests, go round the building with
their right hand towards it, and pass away to give place to others.

How does the visitor regard this scene? Apart from the consideration of
the dishonour done to the ever-blessed God by worship rendered to images
representing gods that are no gods--by which, if a Christian, he must be
painfully affected--there is much in the scene before him to impress
him with the sottish folly into which man can sink in his religious
views and practices; and there is nothing to draw forth his regard and
sympathy, except it be the fervour, the deep though mistaken fervour, of
some of the worshippers, especially of the women, who may sometimes be
seen with children in their arms teaching them to make obeisance to the
idol. In Roman Catholic worship there is much which, as Protestants
ruled by the Bible, we rightly condemn; but in the gorgeous vestments of
its priests, in the magnificence of many of the places in which they
minister, in the grand strains of their music and in their processions,
there is much to impress the senses and awe the mind; but in the worship
carried on in the temple of Bisheshwar it is difficult to find a
redeeming quality. The whole scene is repulsive. The place is sloppy
with the water poured out by the worshippers, and is littered by the
flowers they present. The ear is assailed with harsh sounds. The
ministering priests--Pundas as they are called--are, as a rule,
coarse-looking men, with shaven head, save with a long pendent tuft from
the crown, with the mark of their god on their forehead, and are very
scantily attired. They clamour for a present when a European appears,
and if given it is declared to be an offering to the god of the place.
Among the crowd you see men with matted hair and body bedaubed with
ashes, who have broken away from all domestic and social duties, and
devote themselves to what is called a religious life. Some of these
ascetics are no doubt impelled to follow the life they lead by a
superstitious feeling, but many are idle vagabonds ready for the
practice of every villainy, who find it more pleasant to roam about the
land and live on others than support themselves by honest labour. The
people dread their curse, but many give them neither respect nor love.
At a place like Bisheshwar's temple there is always a host of ordinary
beggars, who clamour for alms, and receive from some two or three
shells, called _cowries_, sixty of which go to make up a halfpenny, from
others a little grain, and from the more liberal or more wealthy a small


From this stirring scene you have only a few steps to go to find
yourself in the large mosque built by the Emperor Aurungzeb on the site
of the old temple of Bisheshwar, which was thrown down to give place to
it. The contrast is very striking. You have left the bustling, noisy
crowd, and see only a few individuals in the attitude of devotion--now
standing with folded hands, then on their knees, then with forehead
touching the floor, engaged in supplicating the Invisible One. Instead
of grotesque and repulsive images meeting your view, you see very little
ornament of any kind, and are impressed with the severe simplicity of
the lofty building. The more one knows of Muhammadanism, the more
grievous are its defects and errors seen to be; but in the simplicity of
its mosques, which has nothing in common with the sordid barn-like
bareness too characteristic at one time of many places of worship in our
own land, there is much from which Christians might learn a useful

Within a stone's throw of Bisheshwar's temple there is a host of
temples, none of them very large, some of them small, but most covered
with carving, to some extent for mere ornamentation, but chiefly for the
purpose of illustrating the objects of Hindu worship. If you visit them
you will see everything is accordant with the great shrine you have
left. You will see Shiva, sometimes seated on a bull, sometimes on a
dog; his hideous partner Durga, with her eight arms and her ferocious
look, indicating her delight in blood; Hanuman, the monkey-god, with his
huge tail; Krishna engaged in his gambols; Ganesh, the god of wisdom,
with his elephant head and protuberant belly; and many others beside.
Everything you see is wild, grotesque, unnatural, forbidding, utterly
wanting in verisimilitude and refinement, with nothing to purify and
raise the people, with everything fitted to pervert their taste and
lower their character; and yet, I must add, with everything to give a
faithful representation of the mythology prepared by their religious
leaders. The pundits who wrote the sacred books of the Hindus were men
of great talent, of abundant leisure; and it is a marvel to me, of which
I can give no explanation, how they spent their days in spinning the
wildest legends, and in setting forth their gods as performing the most
fantastic, capricious, foolish, and wicked deeds, when they had a clear
canvas before them, and might have filled it with something worthy of
our nature, and worthy of objects to be worshipped.

Aurungzeb's mosque has two lofty minarets, rising about a hundred and
fifty feet above its floor, and thus having from the river an elevation
of two hundred and fifty feet. From a boat on the river the visitor has
the nearest and most impressive view of the city, with its peculiarities
as the high place of Hindu worship. If he proceed to the top of one of
the minarets, which is reached by a steep, dark spiral stair, he will
have a most commanding and extensive view of the city, the river, and
the country for many miles around. He will see that while the streets in
the centre of the city are long and narrow, and have very lofty houses,
beyond these the roads widen, and many of the houses are poor and mean.
As his eye falls on the part beyond the most crowded portion, he will
observe here and there fine mansions with gardens around them, evidently
belonging to the wealthy portion of the community, but surrounded by
poor streets.


After seeing what I have endeavoured to describe, the traveller is well
pleased to get back to his boat, and to drop down the river to Raj Ghat,
the northern end of the city, where, after his fatigue, he is happy to
find a conveyance to convey him to the European station more than three
miles distant.

During my residence in Benares I often made this trip from Assi-Sungam
to Raj Ghat, generally in company with strangers. The last time I made
it I was accompanied by the late Dr. Norman McLeod of Glasgow, and the
late Dr. Watson of Dundee. They were greatly interested in what they
saw, and repeatedly said the reality exceeded their expectation. Dr.
McLeod was specially eager to see everything that could be seen, and in
his own strong genial way expressed the feelings excited by the strange
scenes before him.

I must press into the concluding part of this chapter, as concisely as I
can, some additional facts which call for special notice.

The city as it now stands is quite modern. Though foundations dug up,
and pieces of masonry seen in existing buildings, testify to its
antiquity, we are told by those who are best qualified to judge that
there is not a single house or temple the erection of which can be
relegated to a more remote period than the reign of Akbar, who was a
contemporary of our Queen Elizabeth.

Various estimates have been given of the number of temples. According
to the census of 1872 the number is 1,454. This does not include smaller
shrines in niches in the walls, which may be reckoned by thousands. The
temples are constantly increasing in number; at no previous period were
there so many as at present. Traders and bankers have prospered greatly
under our rule, and, if devout Hindus, they deem themselves bound to
devote a part of their wealth to the erection of a temple. A regard to
their honour as well as to their gods prompts them to this spending of
their money.

So far as I have been able to ascertain, the temples of Benares have
very little of either funded or landed property. The vast sum required
for the support of the priesthood comes mainly from the offerings of the

The "Imperial Gazetteer" of India gives no account in its last census of
the castes of Benares, but we are sure that many thousands of the
inhabitants are Brahmans. They are greatly subdivided, and are so
different in rank and occupation that they keep as separate from each
other as if they had no caste in common. The Pundas officiate in the
temples; the Gangaputrs, the sons of the Ganges, minister at the
waterside; the Purohits are the family priests; and the Pundits, the
most esteemed of all, are the learned men who study the Shastres, and
expound them to the people as occasion requires. Hindus generally have
their Gurus, religious guides, who perform to them very much the work
done for Roman Catholics by father confessors. These may be family
priests, learned men; or, in the case of the lower castes, the lower
orders of Brahmans. A vast number of the sacred caste have nothing to do
with religious services. They are engaged in various businesses. A
considerable number are cooks in the houses of the wealthy, as from
their hand all can eat, while they in many cases would consider it an
intolerable insult to be asked to eat with their masters. Not a few are

There are places in Benares to which people resort almost as much as to
the temple of Bisheshwar. Among these I may mention the tank of
Pishachmochan, a word meaning deliverance from demons, as bathing in it
is considered very efficacious in securing this end, and the temple and
tank of Durga at a place called Durgakund. At this latter place there
are many hundreds of monkeys--some say thousands, though this is
doubtless an exaggeration--which scamper about in all directions, and
fare well at the hands of Durga's worshippers. These animals are deemed
gods and goddesses, and woe to the person who does them any harm.

The monkeys are not the only animals deemed sacred at Benares. All who
have heard anything about the city have heard about the well-fed lazy
bulls prowling about the streets, and insisting on making free with the
goods of the vegetable and grain sellers. These are no longer to be seen
going about in their former fashion. I shall have something to say
afterwards about them.


Mr. Sherring gives an account of forty melas, or religious festivals, in
the course of the year in Benares. The principal of these are the Holee,
the Saturnalia of the Hindus, the Ram Leela (the dramatic representation
of the life of Ram as given in the epic poem, "The Ramayan"), and the
Pilgrimage of the Panch Kosee, when the people make the circuit of the
city, and halt for the night at certain assigned stations. On the
occasion of eclipses vast numbers resort to Benares from all parts of

Benares has long been considered the Oxford of India. Its learned men
have from ancient times been famed for their learning, and the aspirants
for Hindu lore--all members of the same caste with themselves--have from
generation to generation sat at their feet. They have had no grand
academic halls in which to give their prelections; they have taken no
fees from their pupils; they have met in very humble rooms, or in the
open air in a garden under trees; but both teachers and students have
been characterized by an assiduity and a perseverance which the most
laborious of German scholars rarely attain. The very modest requirements
of these learned men have as a rule been met unasked by the princes and
wealthy of the land.

In 1791, a very short time after Benares was brought directly under
British rule, a Sanscrit college was founded by the payment of certain
pundits, who were left to carry on their work unchecked by any
authority, or even suggestion, from without. It is said that pundits of
the highest repute refused to have anything to do with the foreigner. In
1853 a very fine Gothic structure, said to be the most imposing building
erected by the British in India, was opened under the name of the
Queen's College, for the accommodation of students in both Western and
Eastern learning. Here both English and Sanscrit are studied, and under
the first Principal, the late Dr. Ballantyne, vigorous, and I hope to
some degree successful, effort was put forth to infuse Western
literature, philosophy, and science into the pundit mind.

I have mentioned the number of Muhammadans residing at Benares. It is
officially stated they have 272 mosques, of which that of Aurungzeb,
with its lofty minarets, is the largest. Hindus must have looked with
horror on the sacrilegious deed by which this mosque was erected on the
site of the demolished temple of Bisheshwar; but the power of the bigot
emperor was so great that they could do nothing more than invocate
curses on his head. The close neighbourhood of this mosque to the most
frequented temple, and the remembrance of the building which formerly
occupied its site, have produced a bitter feeling towards the followers
of Muhammad. Early in this century there was a furious contest between
the two classes of religionists, which lasted for some days, and was at
last quelled by the military. During the fight every conceivable insult
was offered to each other's feelings, and lives were lost. The
Muhammadans suffered most, and since that time they seem to have been
cowed, so that there has been much less fighting between them and their
Hindu neighbours than in some other cities in the North-West.

The city has two great squares, occupied as market-places, in which
goods of every description are exhibited and sold in the Eastern
fashion. They present a stirring scene of an afternoon, which is the
principal time of business.


In the census of 1872 the occupations of all males above fifteen years
of age are noted. I give some of the items--

Alms-takers                                  184
Beggars                                    3,490
Barbers                                      979
Pundits                                       96
Priests (temple or ghat)                   2,809
Purohits (family priests)                  1,273
Servants                                  14,309

I suppose the distinction between alms-takers and beggars is that the
former class deem it beneath them to ask, but have no objection to take
alms, while the latter class both ask and take. Among the latter, beside
the blind and helpless, many able-bodied men make beggary their
profession. On one occasion, in the neighbourhood of Benares, I met a
man in the prime of life who said he had just returned from a long
journey. On referring to his business he frankly said that he had never
had any other occupation than that of a beggar. This was his hereditary
profession. We have no Poor Law in India. The people, from varied
motives, are ever ready to give aid to those who cannot support
themselves, and in addition exercise an indiscriminate charity, which
has a demoralizing effect.

The census informs us there are in Benares 16,023 masonry houses, and
21,551 mud houses--that is, houses many of which are of mud moistened
and dried as the walls rise--and others of sun-dried bricks. I do not
wonder at the disappointment felt by some who have been much impressed
with the front view of the city, and have then traversed its streets.

Till recently, from the commencement of our rule, our Government has
never been at peace with all the native rulers of India. In various ways
we have come into collision with them, and the final result in every
case has been their overthrow. The deposed rajahs have as a rule been
sent to Benares, as if our Government wished to compensate them for the
loss of their dominion by conferring on them special religious

On the opposite side of the Ganges, a little above the southern end of
the city, is the town of Ramnuggur, with a population of 10,000. It is
the residence of the Rajah of Benares, who is simply a large landowner,
and has no authority beyond that which wealth confers. His palace, or
rather fort, is close to the river. Behind the town, close to the
Rajah's garden, there is a large tank, and a temple facing it which is
remarkable for the exquisite carving on its walls illustrative of Hindu


I end this account of Benares by an extract from Macaulay's Essay on
Warren Hastings, in which, in his own high rhetorical fashion, which so
readily yields itself to exaggeration, he describes the city. If I
remember rightly, there is no mention in his biography of his having
visited the North-West, and his description is therefore not that of an

"The first design of Warren Hastings was on Benares, a city which in
wealth, population, dignity, and sanctity was among the foremost in
Asia. It was commonly believed that half a million of human beings was
crowded into that labyrinth of lofty alleys, rich with shrines, and
minarets, and balconies, and carved oriels, to which the sacred apes
clung by hundreds. The traveller could scarcely make his way through the
press of holy mendicants and not less holy bulls. The broad and stately
flights of steps which descended from these swarming haunts to the
bathing places along the Ganges were worn every day by the footsteps of
an innumerable multitude of worshippers. The schools and temples drew
crowds of pious Hindus from every province where the Brahmanical faith
was known. Hundreds of devotees came thither every month to die, for it
was believed that a peculiarly happy fate awaited the man who should
pass from the sacred city into the sacred river. Nor was superstition
the only motive which allured strangers to that great metropolis.
Commerce had as many pilgrims as religion. All along the shores of the
venerable stream lay great fleets of vessels laden with rich
merchandise. From the looms of Benares went forth the most delicate
silks that adorned the balls of St. James's and of Versailles; and in
the bazars the muslins of Bengal and the sabres of Oude were mingled
with the jewels of Golconda and the shawls of Cashmere."




Hinduism, like all other religions, has its points of contact, we may
say of agreement, with Christianity; but in its main features and
tendencies it is intensely antagonistic, and this antagonism may be
conceived to have its keenest edge and greatest force in the city from
which it has for ages maintained its sway over the millions of India. If
any religion could be considered entrenched by local advantages beyond
the possibility of overthrow, Hinduism might be declared secure at
Benares, if not against assault, at least against defeat.

People in all ages, all the world over, cling with varying degrees of
tenacity to the views and practices which have come to them from their
fathers. Jeremiah said, "Pass over the isles of Chittim, and see; and
send unto Kedar, and consider diligently, and see if there be such a
thing. Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods?"
Hinduism in its present form is comparatively modern; but the people
generally know nothing of its history, and they regard it as an
inheritance from the most ancient times. It comes to them as the gifts
of gods and sages, which it would be sacrilege to reject. There is much
in the religion itself to bind the people to it. Its numerous
ceremonies, sustained by the largest promises, give the assurance of a
great reward. In discharging their religious duties they have often to
endure toil, undergo privation, and make sacrifices; but the more they
do and suffer, the greater is the complacency with which they regard
their religious position. There is one thing Hinduism does not demand of
its devotees. It does not demand a radical change of character or of
life. Its every requirement may be met without abandoning evil
dispositions and practices. It can be easily supposed how strong a hold
a religion like this has on its votaries, and how especially strong its
hold must be in the city where it has been enthroned for ages.

In our day much is said about heredity. Facts illustrative of its power
over the features, character, and life, not only of individuals but of
communities, are patent to all. Whatever heredity can do it does in
infusing the spirit of Hinduism into the very blood of the people of
Benares, who have been so long dominated by it. The mastery it has
obtained over them is shown by the whole tone of their minds and the
whole bearing of their life. If sincerity and enthusiasm be the
essential requisites in religion, the inhabitants of this city have all
they need, for these qualities are possessed by them in a high degree.
Then, in such a city there is felt the almost overpowering influence of
thousands from day to day, and of vast multitudes on occasion of high
festival, performing the same rites, worshipping the same gods, and
animated by the same spirit. The peculiar thrill of pleasure given by a
great assembled eager host to every individual composing it; the sense
of importance it gives to each, as if on him rested the concentrated
honour of the gathering, does much to bind people to a religion which
receives such services from millions. If for a single year these daily
services and periodical gatherings were intermitted, Hinduism would be
greatly weakened.


In addition to the domestic, social, and public influences which guard
and uphold the existing state of things, there is the tremendous power
of personal gain and honour. The honour, the wealth, the very
subsistence of large influential classes, are bound up with the
maintenance of idolatry. The Pundits, the guardians and expositors of
their sacred books; the Pundas who minister in the temples; the
Gungaputrs who serve at the river side; the Purohits, the family
priests; the Gurus, the father confessors and guides of the people; and
the Jyotishees, the astrologers, with their families and relations,
would be stripped of their honour and gain, of their very means of
living, if Hinduism was at once abandoned. Benares is a great commercial
as well as religious city. If it ceased to be Hindu, we cannot suppose
its commerce would be paralyzed; but as a considerable part of its
ordinary trade is dependent on the thousands of pilgrims who resort to
it, on the money they expend on food, on gifts to the priests, and on
the purchase of articles exposed for sale, great loss would be in the
first place incurred. The many artisans now employed in making images of
stone and brass, would find no purchasers for their goods. In addition
to the pecuniary loss which directly and indirectly would fall on all
classes, the whole community would feel the glory of Kasee, the Splendid
City, had departed, when, stripped of its sacredness, crowds of pilgrims
no longer filled its streets, frequented its temples, or bathed at its
ghats. They would feel as the Jews did in their dark and disastrous
days, when the ways to Zion were untrodden, and there was the silence of
desolation within its gates.

When the peculiarities of Benares are in any degree realized, the work
of making known the gospel to its inhabitants may appear formidable to
the extent of hopelessness.

It is formidable, very formidable, but it can appear hopeless only when
we forget the command of our Saviour to preach the Gospel to every
creature, when we forget the power of the truth, the adaptation of the
Gospel to the human heart, its past triumphs, and the promised aid of
the Holy Spirit. The very strength of this fortress of idolatry should
call forth the courage of Christ's soldiers by directing their eyes to
Him as their great and glorious Leader. Such was the courage of the
Apostles and their immediate successors, when instead of going to small
towns and villages, and working from them towards the cities where the
Gospel might be expected to meet with the most determined opposition,
they assailed at once with their spiritual weapons the high places of
idolatry, of power which claimed worship as well as homage, and of
learning which aimed in its own strength, and aimed unsuccessfully, at
the solution of the deepest questions which affect mankind. They went to
Ephesus, to Rome, and to Athens, and secured in them a measure of
success, which prepared the way for a mighty revolution throughout the
Roman Empire.

Towards the end of the last century, when there was a great awakening of
the missionary spirit, devoted Christians, animated by apostolic
example, formed the purpose of going with the Gospel to Benares. Robert
Haldane sold a fine estate, that with a band of chosen companions he
might preach the Gospel to its inhabitants. He was obliged to abandon
the enterprise by the prohibition of the East India Company; and then,
in company with his brother and others similarly minded, he turned to
home mission work, which for a time was prosecuted by them with ardent
zeal and great success.


In 1781 the city and district of Benares, which had for some time paid
tribute to our Government, were brought directly under our rule. We are
sure no Christian missionary would have been previously tolerated in
Benares for a day. He could not speak of Jesus Christ as the Lord of all
and the Saviour of the world without implying that Mahadeo and the other
gods of Benares were no God. His teaching would be speedily discerned in
its antagonism to the genius of the place, and would ensure his speedy
expulsion, if not his death. To the present hour no missionary is
allowed to plant his foot in Mecca, or Medina, the sacred cities of the
Muhammadans. Till a very recent period, when the Pope's political power
came to an end, no Protestant minister was allowed to open his mouth in
proclaiming the Gospel in Rome. The mild Hindu can be as fanatical as
the Muhammadan and the Roman Catholic in resenting an attack on his
religion, and in persecuting its opponents.

We have no historical records from which we can learn how Buddhism was
overthrown in India; but, as we have already observed, we have reason to
conclude it was not overthrown by argument and persuasion, but by fire
and sword. The intense hatred shown to the Gospel by those who are
imbued by the spirit of Hinduism will not allow us to doubt that, if
they had the power, they would forbid all Christian effort, and
especially such effort in their sacred city. They were long under the
rule of the Muhammadans, and were subjected by them to grievous
indignities, which they were helpless to avert or resent; but their
attachment to Hinduism, instead of being diminished, was inflamed by the
treatment they received, and during the semi-independent position they
held previous to coming under our sway they had both the power and the
will effectually to prevent the entrance of a new antagonistic religion.
The superior strength and daring of the English were so signally shown
in the overthrow of Rajah Cheit-Singh by Warren Hastings, that
opposition to the new _régime_ was seen to be hopeless, and the people
quietly submitted to their new rulers. So far as they knew the temper
and policy of the English, they might conclude their religion would at
their hands not only be safe from violence, but protected from every
attempt at proselytism. The policy which would have left Hinduism
undisturbed was successfully opposed by the Christian feeling of
England, and the way was opened for the Christian missionary into the
very fortress of Hindu idolatry. For this entrance we are not in any way
indebted to the mildness of Hindu religionists, but to the resolute,
persevering, courageous effort of men of God, who contended successfully
against the worldly selfishness which would have doomed the millions of
India to perpetual night.


We have observed that mission operations were tentatively begun in
Benares in the second decade of this century. The work was carried on in
a very quiet unostentatious manner. Some time elapsed before any open
aggressive effort was put forth. If Bishop Heber's counsel had been
followed there would have been no departure from the first timid mode
of action. He says in his journal, "The custom of street preaching, of
which the Baptist and other Dissenting missionaries in Bengal are very
fond, has never been resorted to by those employed by the Church
Missionary Society, and never shall be so long as I have any influence
or authority over them. I plainly see it is not necessary, and I see no
less plainly that though it may be safe among the timid Bengalees, it
would be very likely to produce mischief here. All which the
missionaries do is to teach schools, read prayers, and preach in their
churches, and to visit the houses of such persons as wish for
information on religious subjects." If the good man had lived a few
years longer he would have seen ministers of his own Church forward in
modes of action which he disapproved, and would doubtless have wished
them God-speed, as his successors in the diocese of Calcutta have done.
The Bishop of Lahore, Dr. French, took a prominent part for years in
outdoor preaching.

The missionary has of course met with opposition in many forms; the
opposition has often been keen and bitter, but it has not taken the form
of violence to person or injury to property. The Gospel has been for
many years proclaimed in the most public places in Benares, crowds have
heard it, and no hand has been raised against the preacher. In the
memoirs of the Rev. William Smith, of the Church Mission, who was
indefatigable in evangelistic labour, than whom none was better known in
Benares, it is mentioned that on a few occasions mud was thrown at him,
but it did him no harm. On one occasion, after a very keen discussion,
when my Hindu opponents had been extremely angry, on coming out from the
place a native Christian by my side was struck on the head by a stone,
which was evidently intended for me. Happily the young man speedily
recovered from the blow. The night was dark, and the act was not brought
home to any one. The people present expressed indignation at the deed.
On another occasion a man drew his sword half-way out of the scabbard
(it was the fashion of the time to go about armed), and said he would
gladly cut off my head, because I was trying to turn away his people
from their religion; but he knew if he did he would be hanged, and as he
wished to live a little longer he restrained himself. He gave me a
scowl, which showed how ready he was for the crime if he could commit it
with impunity. On another occasion most vigorous drumming was carried on
above our heads, which made speaking and hearing impossible. As after
many years spent in Benares I cannot recollect any more violent acts
than those I have mentioned, the reader may infer how little reason we
have to complain of danger to life or limb.


Nothing approaching the treatment of Dr. Kalley by the Popish priests of
Madeira has been ever experienced by any missionary in Benares at the
hand of Hindu priests. The perfect security, with which in ordinary
times we went about our work, is in marked contrast to the experience of
many a labourer in the home mission-field, not only in the early days of
Methodism, but down to our own time, to say nothing of the violence to
which the Salvation Army has been exposed. The fact that we belong to
the ruling race, and that it is understood by all an attack on us will
be promptly and severely punished, has had, no doubt, much to do in
enabling us to carry on our operations so quietly and safely. There has
been an ebullition at times on the occasion of baptisms, but it has
soon subsided. Gradually the people have come to understand us
sufficiently to be convinced we are bent on promoting their good, and
they regard us in consequence with a friendly feeling. Most pleasant
proof has been given that many of the inhabitants of Benares have come
to look on missionaries not only with respect but affection. I well
remember gratifying acts of courtesy and kindness, which could not have
been prompted by sinister motives.

I must not omit to say that while missionaries have carried on their
work openly and boldly, they have felt themselves bound to treat the
people courteously, and to abstain from the use of violent and abusive
words. There are places where they do not deem themselves entitled to
declare their message--such as sacred places where worship is being
carried on. Mr. Smith, of the Church Mission, once mentioned to me that
he had for a short time taken his stand close to one of the bathing
places, but the priests and people were greatly excited by his presence,
and he deemed it proper to retire.

While at Benares the Gospel has to encounter peculiar opposition, it has
some marked advantages as a mission-field. The missionary, as he moves
about, meets with people from all parts of India. While these speak
different languages, many know enough of the languages spoken at Benares
to admit of a measure of intelligent intercourse with them. Vast
multitudes come from the widely extended region over which the
Hindustanee and Hindee prevail. While many go to Benares, we may suppose
the great majority, urged by the gregarious feeling so powerful all the
world over, happy to find themselves among the multitude, hoping to get
some religious benefit, and sure at any rate, as they acknowledge, of
amusement, we cannot doubt there are among them earnest souls--how many
it is impossible to say--who are ill at ease, and have a craving for
rest and satisfaction. These persons are in the state of mind to which
the Gospel is specially adapted, and it is very desirous for the
missionary to come into contact with them. Missionaries have fallen in
with persons of this class, and among them there have been pleasing
instances of conversion. There are individuals now in distant parts of
India living Christian lives, who were led to embrace Christ as their
Saviour by what they heard at Benares. Many Christian books have been
circulated among pilgrims to the sacred city. These are taken to their
homes, we may hope sooner or later to be read by them to their spiritual
benefit. Again and again bread cast on the waters has been found after
many days.

The greed of the Pundas and Gungaputrs of Benares is notorious. Many a
poor pilgrim has suffered from their exactions, and we may suppose that
reverence for the sacred city has received a shock under such treatment
similar to that which Luther experienced on his visit to Rome. While
Hinduism is no doubt greatly strengthened by the resort of the people to
Benares, much done and endured there is well fitted to alienate the more
thoughtful of the visitors; and so far as they are alienated from the
prevailing superstition, the more likely they are to listen patiently
and candidly to the Christian preacher.


I conclude these remarks on Benares as a mission sphere by observing
that marked success there would have a marvellous effect on the
evangelization of India. The news would soon spread that Hinduism was
drying up at its fountain, and that its power could not be much longer
maintained. We know that Hinduism itself has undergone great, we may say
radical, changes, since Kasee became one of its principal seats, if not
its head-quarters. There Buddhism was first preached, and from it
Buddhism went forth to all Eastern Asia. There it was for a time
predominant, but Hinduism again obtained supremacy, and drove its rival
from the field. For centuries, Hinduism under the form of devotion to
Shiva Mahadeo, the Great God, as they delight to call him, has had full
sway. Is his dominion to last for ever? Are the people to be for ever in
the slough of idolatry and superstition? We cannot believe that they
are, until we abandon all trust in Him who rightly claims all human
hearts, and whose grace is sufficient to enforce these claims. We know
not when, we know not how, but we do know that even in Benares, as all
the world over, our blessed Saviour will take to Himself His great power
and reign. Even now entrance has been gained for the truth of God,
hearts have been won by it, and Christian churches have been formed. The
first-fruits have been gathered, and the harvest will come. Are we
allowing imagination to take the reins at the expense of judgment, when
we indulge the hope, that as in former days Buddhist preachers went
forth from Benares to the millions of Eastern Asia with the lessons of
Gautama, the Brahmans of Benares, accepting Jesus as their Saviour, will
go forth with His Gospel to diffuse it far and wide among the nations of
India, and then, with their converts, make their way to the remotest
East? Let us not say, "If the Lord would make windows in heaven, might
this thing be?" but rather, "Who hath despised the day of small things?"
The Messiah "shall build the temple, and He shall bear the glory."



In beginning this chapter it is fitting I should mention that shortly
after entering on my second year an event occurred of transcendent
importance to me, which has contributed to my personal comfort and
missionary usefulness as nothing else could have done--my marriage with
the object of my choice, who has been, through God's great goodness,
spared to me through all the intervening years.

Before the close of my first year I had a striking illustration of the
vicissitudes of Indian life, and of consequent difficulty in prosecuting
the missionary enterprise. On reaching Benares at the end of March,
1839, I found three missionaries of our society, Messrs. Buyers,
Shurman, and Lyon. Within a month of my arrival we were joined by a
German missionary and his wife, Dr. and Mrs. Sommers. Towards the end of
autumn Mr. and Mrs. Lyon left, owing to the failure of Mrs. Lyon's
health. They were followed three months afterwards by Dr. and Mrs.
Sommers, owing to Mrs. Sommers' illness. My second year was advanced
only a few months, when Mr. and Mrs. Buyers, after a residence of nearly
ten years, departed for Europe. Dr. Sommers had remained too short a
time to render any service. Mr. Lyon had made excellent progress in the
language, and promised to be a very efficient missionary; but, to our
great regret, he was obliged to leave. Mr. Buyers was in his prime, and
was well equipped for service. Thus within eighteen months the staff of
the mission was reduced from five to two, and one of these too young and
inexperienced to do anything more than help his senior brother. In June,
1841, we were joined by the Rev. D. G. Watt, and early in 1842 by the
Rev. J. H. Budden. These much-esteemed brethren still survive, and have
done excellent service in the cause of Christ; but both suffered much
from the climate, and their stay at Benares was too short to admit of
their doing there what their hearts were bent on doing.


I have not the means of comparing our Indian missions with missions in
other parts of the world, but I believe our losses by the failure of
health have greatly exceeded theirs. The climate of the South Sea
Islands, of South Africa, and of the West Indian Islands, is far more
favourable to European health than that of the parts of India in which
most of our missions are. The longevity of many of the South African
missionaries bears remarkable testimony to the salubrity of their

This failure of health and consequent abandonment of the work is one of
the greatest trials missions in India have had to encounter, and is a
formidable obstacle to success. Instances have not been rare when, after
great expense has been incurred, the missionary or his wife has suddenly
broken down--the wife perhaps more frequently than the husband--and a
speedy return to England has been the result. The name appears in the
Report as an agent, but no work has been, or could have been,
accomplished. In other cases the stay has been too brief to have
admitted of efficient service. A considerable time must elapse before
the missionary, however zealous and able, can acquire such an
acquaintance with the language and people as will enable him to do his
work in a satisfactory manner. When one has fully entered on the work,
there is frequent interruption from illness and weakness induced by the
severity of the climate. When I transfer myself in thought to my first
two years in Benares, and from my vivid remembrance of the vicissitudes
of our mission during these years look down through all the succeeding
years not only of our mission, but of other missions in Northern India
with which I am well acquainted, I am painfully struck with the bitter
disappointments of missionary Societies in the prosecution of their
work. They have responded to the urgent appeal for reinforcement, and in
not a few cases no sooner has the reinforcement been gained than it has
been lost. The Societies formed of late years for Zenana work have
suffered from this cause more than even the older Societies. They have
suffered in a degree which must have been very discouraging to their
managers and supporters. Happily a considerable number of all Societies
have been able to remain at their post, and some have remained so long
as to give an average length of missionary service, which hides the fact
of the extreme brevity of the period spent by many in the foreign field.

The question here suggests itself, Has this speedy abandonment of the
work been always necessary? Has there been the endurance demanded of
those who have professed themselves consecrated to a missionary life?
Has the return to England been accepted only when the compulsion of
circumstances left no alternative, and then accepted most reluctantly?
With every desire to think of others as favourably as possible, without
any breach of charity, it must be acknowledged there have been cases of
departure, where I think a more resolute spirit would have kept persons
at their post. This I trust holds true of only a few. I know some who
soon left to whom the abandonment of the work was a bitter trial.
Nothing but the thought that to remain would have been to fight against
Providence took them away. To go back to the cases of failure during my
early period at Benares, I may mention that the departure of Mr. and
Mrs. Lyon was absolutely necessary; and those who know the subsequent
career of my friends, Messrs. Watt and Budden, need not be told that if
health had permitted Benares would have been for many years the sphere
of their labours.


As the withdrawal of missionaries has often been caused by the failure
of the health of their wives, some have thought it would be well to have
celibate missionaries in a country which has so severe a climate. To
this there is the obvious reply that missionaries, like others, are
human beings, and a restriction on them which wars with human nature
would be found very pernicious, as it has ever been. Then, the wives of
missionaries, when they are what they ought to be, are very efficient
and, indeed, necessary missionary workers, and in many cases their
labours are as useful as those of their husbands. In well-ordered
missionary families the people see what a happy Christian home is, and
they are assured of a sympathy in their trials and cares which they
could not expect from unmarried missionaries. Some Societies, our own
among the number, have accepted as missionaries to India persons engaged
to be married, but they have required them to remain for a year or two
unmarried after going out to test their fitness for the climate; and, in
the event of the test being successfully stood, to give them an
experience which will enable the newly married wife to enter with less
strain on her Indian life. This may be a wise arrangement, and yet there
is often a restlessness till the marriage takes place, and time spent in
going to the port of debarkation, which carries with it some

We dare not retreat from this great work of evangelizing India on
account of the vicissitudes of which I have been speaking, or on account
of other very formidable obstacles which oppose us. To do so would be to
act a craven part. Agents must be found for the prosecution of the work,
and we must hope with the improved advantages of an Indian career the
failures will be fewer than in the past; but whatever they may be, the
Christian Church must go forward. One obvious inference from the facts I
have stated, is the extreme desirableness of a native agency. The
natives of the land, when found fit for the work, have always been
highly prized. Many of this class are now labouring in different parts
of India, and there is every reason to hope that in coming years the
native agency will grow largely in extent and efficiency.


During my second year in Benares I entered on every department of
mission work, and had many opportunities for intercourse with the
people. In my turn I preached to the native Christian congregation, went
with the missionaries and catechists to the city, and engaged in
teaching the boys attending our primary schools. I saw the great
gatherings of the people at their religious festivals, and realized
their character, and the nature of the work to which I had devoted my
life, more than I had previously done. Instead of following
chronological order, my object in these reminiscences will be best
attained by endeavouring to present to my readers those aspects of
Indian and mission life which, during my second year, made a deep
impression on my mind, an impression which was deepened by subsequent




Crowds pass through the temples of Benares every day, pay obeisance, and
present offerings; but on ordinary occasions there is no combined act of
worship conducted by a leader, as is common in Christian assemblies. On
occasions of special urgency--the failure of rain, its unseasonable
fall, the fear of famine, or the dread of a great calamity coming on the
community in some other form--sacrifices are offered up by priests in
the presence of great multitudes, in which all present unite. These are
very special and occasional services, for, as a rule, all over India
persons and families act apart.

Hindus are, however, eminently social, and in their religious services
full play is given to the social feeling. This is shown by their melas,
or religious gatherings, which are held all over the country, and are
extremely popular. Some of these melas are local, and have only a local
attendance. Those to which crowds from places far and near resort are
held in so-called sacred spots. Many are periodical, and are held at
fixed periods of the year in honour of their gods, and in celebration of
their exploits. Others, again, are held on special occasions, and of
these eclipses are the most attractive.


In the course of my second year I saw a good deal of these festivals. I
have a vivid and very unpleasant recollection of the Holee of that year,
the Saturnalia of the Hindus, which is held at the setting in of the hot
weather. It lasts for several days, during which the people act as if
freed from every moral restraint. There is a general cessation of
labour; the people wander about, indulge in the wildest freaks, address
to women who venture out the vilest words, leap and dance as if
possessed of the spirit of licence, and throw red colouring-matter on
those they meet, without respect of persons; till all seen in the
streets, with their besmeared faces and soiled clothes, have a most
disreputable appearance. The night is rendered hideous, and sleep
well-nigh impossible, by the drumming, fifing, and shouting of the
revellers, kept up till break of day. During this period many think
themselves at liberty to do what at another time they would deem very
culpable. Not a few partake of intoxicating drink, and if native
statements be true they give themselves over to the grossest
licentiousness. Europeans, as a rule, except it be necessary for them to
go abroad, remain quietly in their homes while the Holee lasts, and
mission work is for the time well-nigh suspended. When, however,
Europeans have occasion to go out they have little reason to fear
insult, as even in the Holee season they are regarded, if not with
respect, at least with a dread which restrains the revellers. The
hurtful influence of this season of licence can be conceived. I have
always observed that for some time afterwards the boys in our schools
were sleepy and listless.

On the night of the Diwalee mela, held in honour of Lakshmee, the
goddess of wealth, the whole city is illuminated, tiny lamps are seen
everywhere, friends give presents to each other, sweetmeats and parched
grain are distributed among the poor. High and low give the night to
gambling. The belief is entertained that if they fail to spend the night
in this manner they will in their next birth be turned into frogs, or
some vile reptile.

The most popular festival of the year at Benares and over the
North-Western Provinces is the Ram Leela, the Play of Ram, when the life
of Ram, a very popular incarnation of Vishnu, is dramatized. This drama
is acted in the open air in different parts of the city, in the presence
of admiring thousands. The people see Ram and his faithful spouse Seeta
forced to leave their royal home by the intrigue of his mother-in-law;
they see them in the forest, where Ram leads the life of a hunter; they
see Seeta carried off by Rawan, the Demon King of Lunka (Ceylon); they
hear Ram's cries of bitter distress on finding his beloved Seeta gone;
they see him informed that Rawan is the ravisher; they see him setting
out with the divine monkey Hanuman, and his army of monkeys for the
rescue; and they rejoice with him in the taking of Lunka, the
destruction of Rawan, and the rescue of Seeta. The story furnishes
abundant material for a drama, and the people enter with the greatest
zest into the different scenes. A huge figure of Rawan is made of wood
and paper; it is set on fire, and the crowds, looking on, make the air
resound with their shouts. During this mela two things are united which
in Hindu estimation well agree--amusement and devotion. They regard the
Ram Leela as a religious service, which they are bound to render to the
conqueror of Rawan, and while rendering it they are at once performing
duty and receiving pleasure. They continually call such a service
_tumasha_, _show_, _fun_, and they regard its life and sprightliness a
pleasing contrast to the sombre and staid services of the Christian


Before the conclusion of my second year an eclipse of the moon occurred,
which drew to the city the greatest assemblage of human beings I had
ever seen. The Hindus place high among their deities the sun and moon,
and render to them daily worship. Between the gods and the demons there
is perpetual war, and victory inclines at one time to one side, at
another time to another. In Hindu mythological annals many instances are
recorded of the gods having been reduced to the utmost extremity. We are
told that eclipses are caused by the demons endeavouring to swallow the
sun and moon; and religious services on these occasions have a double
benefit--the worshipper secures a high degree of merit, of which he will
reap the reward one day; and the demons are driven off from their prey
by the drumming, the shouts, and the merit of the assembled people, to
the great relief of the endangered gods. The most extravagant promises
are held out to those who bathe in the Ganges, at any time in any part
of it; but bathing on the occasion of an eclipse, and especially in so
sacred a place as Benares, is meritorious in a degree which is
incalculable. The Pundits, the religious leaders of the people, have, it
appears, access to the council of the demons, for the exact time of the
coming attack is known by them so long before hand that the people far
and near are prepared for its approach. In fact, if it did not come on,
if the demons withdrew from their intention, there would be great
disappointment. Brahman missionaries go great distances to inform the
people the eclipse is to take place, and to press on them the benefit
they will receive by bathing at Benares on that occasion. On their
return they are accompanied by those whom they have succeeded in
persuading. Leaving the mythological for the scientific platform, we had
better mention that the Hindu astronomers have for ages been able to
calculate eclipses; and now they need not trouble themselves to make
calculations, as European almanacks are in their hands to give the
requisite information.

For a few days previous to the eclipse of which I am now to speak, the
unusual number of strangers in the city made it evident some great event
was about to occur. From the morning of the appointed day the people
poured into the city in a constant stream. As evening came on I made my
way into the city on foot, but before reaching its centre I found the
streets so blocked that I despaired of getting to the riverside. I
retraced my steps, and by a road skirting the city made my way to Raj
Ghat at the northern end. There I remained till the eclipse commenced.
Many were near, but they were few compared with the crowds pressing
towards the chief bathing places. When I arrived at Raj Ghat the
confused sound of a great multitude fell on my ear, but no sooner did
the eclipse begin than the thousands on the river's brink and crowded on
the ghats, as with one voice raised a shout so loud and prolonged, that
I should think it must have been heard for miles. I was on a high bank
of the river, and could see distinctly the people below rushing into the
stream. I could not but think of what must be occurring where the crowd
was so dense that individual motion was well-nigh impossible. It was
reported next morning that three or four hundred persons had been
trampled to death or drowned in the rush to the river when the eclipse
began. This was afterwards declared to be an exaggerated statement, but
it is certain many lives were lost, though how many was not ascertained,
as a number were carried away by the stream. Special care was afterwards
taken by the authorities to prevent such catastrophes. After stopping
some time at Raj Ghat I returned to my home, musing on what I had seen,
and longing for the time when the millions of India will seek cleansing
and life, where alone they can be found.


Towards the end of 1840 I went to Allahabad, seventy miles north-west of
Benares, to take part in evangelistic work at a great mela held there
annually, as I thought I might be able to render some help to my
brethren. Allahabad, called Pryag by the Hindus, is at the confluence of
the Ganges and the Jumna, and all such places are deemed sacred. It is
said there is a third river, the Suruswatee, once visible but now
underground, and the place is therefore called Tribeni--the threefold
stream. Pryag has been for many years a famous place of pilgrimage, and
every year a mela is held, which is at its height for some seven days,
but is kept on for weeks. It is held in the cold weather, December or
January; and, next to Hurdwar, where the Ganges issues from the
mountains, draws a greater crowd than any other mela in Northern India.
Bathing at Tribeni is peculiarly meritorious in some years, and in these
there is a vastly increased attendance. Except on the occasion of
eclipses there is no such gathering even at Benares; but very many who
go to Allahabad, before returning to their home, often a distant home,
pay a visit to the sacred city.

At one time the Government imposed a tax on pilgrims to this mela, but
it was taken off in 1838 or 1839.

The mela is held below the fort, on the land lying between the Ganges
and the Jumna at their point of meeting, on a great stretch of sand,
which is covered in the rainy season. In December and January the west
wind blows freshly over the place, and as there is incessant movement,
soon all present are so covered with dust that they look like millers.


A gathering like this at Allahabad is always embraced for evangelistic
purposes. Missionaries and native brethren are thankful for the
opportunity afforded them of preaching the Gospel to many who have come
from places to which no missionary has ever gone. The missionaries at
Allahabad gladly welcome and hospitably entertain the brethren of other
missions who join them at these annual gatherings. Large tents are put
up, with the front open towards the road, and there the preachers from
morning till evening, preacher succeeding preacher, address the people,
while hearers succeed hearers. A few individuals stop a long time, as if
rapt up in what they hear, as if they were drinking in every word;
others stop a considerable time; while many, after looking on and gaping
for a few minutes, hold on their way. Every now and then questions are
asked, objections are started, and a discussion ensues. When the
questions are in any measure serious and reasonable, much benefit
results from such discussion. The interest of the people is quickened,
and opportunity is afforded for explaining, defending, and enforcing the
truth as it is in Jesus. Sometimes the questioner is neither serious nor
reasonable, and then the danger is of the discussion turning into a
wrangle, which does more harm than good. Prominent transgressors in this
line are the Pundas, specially interested in the mela, who do all in
their power to set the people against us. At this first great gathering
which I attended--I found it was the case afterwards on similar
occasions--there was less mere idle discussion than there is where the
missionary carries on his work from day to day. In addition to
preaching-stations, there were bookstalls where portions of the
Scriptures and Christian tracts and books were disposed of. On to the
time of this mela there was a large gratuitous distribution among
persons who from their look and manner were deemed suitable recipients;
but for many years it has been found best to charge a small price,
without adopting a hard and fast line against giving away.

It is very difficult, rather impossible, to estimate the effect produced
by evangelistic services on such occasions. They have not been fruitless
as to conversion, but if we look simply at results of this kind it must
be acknowledged they are very limited. Instances have occurred of
persons having been so impressed that they have followed missionaries to
places far away from Allahabad; but their courage has failed them, and
they have after a short time disappeared. One advantage is secured--the
Gospel is kept before the minds of the people, and some knowledge of it
is carried to the remotest parts of the land. Books and tracts are taken
to places which missionaries have never visited. It cannot be doubted
that such services have their part in preparing the people for the new
and better state of things which every Christian longs for and expects.

At Allahabad I had an opportunity of observing the peculiarities of a
great Hindu mela. The morning was devoted to bathing and the performance
of religious rites. As the forenoon came on, the merchants of every
class set out their wares in tents erected on sites appointed for them,
with their opening, so far as possible, away from the side exposed to
the wind. Goods of every description, useful and ornamental, cloth,
grain, cooking vessels, trinkets, and sweetmeats, were exhibited to
tempt purchasers, and buying and selling went on as vigorously as if the
people had come together solely for that end. Crowds were in constant
motion, going from place to place to see what could be seen, and
stopping where there was any special attraction, or, as happens in our
own crowded streets, stopping where a few were incidentally collected.
By the afternoon, singers, experts in tricks, and show-people of every
description, commenced their operations, and were sure of admiring
crowds. The merry-go-rounds were largely patronized. Hour after hour was
thus spent.


A few cooked food early in the day, but the vast majority staved off
hunger--in some cases by partaking of cakes reserved from the previous
evening meal; the greater number, I believe, by partaking of sweetmeats
made with flour, sugar, and melted butter, of which an enormous quantity
was offered for sale. As evening came on they scattered themselves over
the ground lying between the Ganges and the Jumna, and set to the
preparation of their one proper meal for the twenty-four hours. The
plain was alight with their fires. Nothing can be simpler than their
cooking. They make what they call a _choola_, an elevation in the shape
of a horseshoe of a half-foot or a little more of moistened mud, or
stone if they can get it. If the traveller be of a respectable caste, he
takes care to make no use of the _choolas_ which former travellers have
left. They may have been set up by impure hands, and so he makes one for
himself. It is convenient to have two such _choolas_, that they may put
on the one a small pot with rice or _dal_, a kind of pea, in it, and on
the other a girdle for bannocks of unleavened dough. Cooking is, of
course, largely women's work, but men are as expert at it as women, and
are continually seen preparing their meal. I have never travelled with a
native who seemed to think he was called to an unusual or unpleasant
work, when required to cook his food. All he needs is a couple of small
cooking vessels, which he carries with him, a little fuel, good water,
meal, and a spot on which he may set up his humble hearth. I have seen
this work done by pundits, learned men, who showed no indication of
shrinking from it as if it trenched on their dignity. Indeed the pundit
in a party that has few facilities for cooking has, as I remember well
in one instance, this honour conferred on him on account of his caste
being higher than that of those who are with him. All of every caste can
eat what he has prepared, but he helps himself first, and eats apart.

To return to the mela. The evening is well advanced before the repast is
over. We might suppose that after the stir of the day all would be ready
for sleep, and no doubt many lie down and sleep soundly; but quite a
number are too eager for the enjoyment of the fair to give themselves to
rest. Singing, drumming, and boisterous mirth go on till the small hours
of the morning, as I have known to my unpleasant experience--not at
Allahabad, but elsewhere when I have been in their close neighhourhood.

How do the vast multitudes who attend a mela, such as that of Allahabad,
dispose of themselves at night? Their arrangements are of the simplest
kind. Many wrap themselves in their sheet or blanket, if they have one,
and lie down on the ground without any idea they are enduring hardship.
Others rig out a temporary tent with sticks and a blanket over it,
creep under this, and deem themselves luxuriously accommodated. This
gathering at Allahabad is in the cold weather, and if the nights be very
cold, as they sometimes are at that season, no doubt many suffer
severely. Every now and then heavy rain falls, and then, as may be
supposed, the suffering is extreme. Sanitary precautions are of the
utmost importance where such vast crowds meet and remain together for
days, and these are taken by the authorities. They cannot, however,
provide against suffering caused by bad weather. Occasionally cholera
breaks out, and then the scenes witnessed are appalling. At the mela of
1840 the weather was good, and there was no indication of disease among
the people. Some years afterwards we were travelling towards Allahabad
at an early period of the mela, and met crowds fleeing from it on
account of the outbreak of cholera. Here and there we saw corpses at the
side of the road, occasionally without one person near, at other times
with a weeping group around, who were preparing to carry off the body to
some rivulet to have it burnt, or, as it often happens, to have it
scorched, and then left to be devoured by jackals and vultures. Some had
held on their way with weary limbs till the fell disease seized them,
and then they succumbed, lay down, and died. We remember stopping where
a young man was dying, with two or three sorrowful ones around him. We
spoke to him, but got no reply. His glazed eye told he was beyond all
human help.

One of the first things I saw at this Allahabad mela was a quantity of
human hair, and was told that it had been cut off after the fulfilment
of vows, reminding one of a custom to which we find frequent reference
in both the Old and New Testaments. I also saw a very disgusting
sight--men in stark nudity, sitting in a very composed dignified
fashion, and women approaching them with folded hands, and paying them
profound homage. These were deemed men of great sanctity, whose blessing
brought signal benefit, while their curse entailed terrible calamities.
At an early period of our residence at Benares we sometimes met these
naked creatures in the streets; but for many years they have
disappeared, as there is a magisterial order that they be flogged for
their indecency, however loud may be their pretension of sanctity. At
Allahabad there were many devotees with their tangled hair, besmeared
bodies, and _very_ scanty clothing--if what they had on could be called
clothing. These are yet seen all over the country. The time has not yet
come for stringent orders in these cases.


On the occasion of a gathering such as that of Allahabad a stranger sees
no sign of the separating influence of caste. The people move about and
mix with each other as freely as people do in Europe when assembled in
large numbers. There is nothing in caste to prevent people conversing
with each other and being on friendly terms; but the friendliness must
not go the length of eating together or of intermarriage. There are
indeed large classes deemed so low, so outside the pure Hindu castes,
that, so far as is possible, their touch is shunned, and they are not
allowed to enter temples; but even these may be spoken to and caste
purity retained. We have not in Northern India a class so low that they
must hide themselves when a Brahman appears, as Pariahs have to do in
some parts of Southern India. In fact, at Hindu melas one receives a
pleasing impression of the social character of the people, when he
observes their good humour and friendly intercourse.

We do not wonder at the popularity of these gatherings. The social
feeling is as strong among the Hindus as among any people on the face of
the earth. The vast majority lead lives of monotonous toil in places
where there is no excitement greater than that of ordinary village and
hamlet life, and to them it must be a great pleasure to resort to the
gatherings of their people, where religion, business, and amusement are
very happily combined, and where there is so much to interest,
exhilarate, and gratify them. These times are to them the red-letter
days of the year, without which life would be intolerably dull. Resort
to these gatherings no doubt involves them in toil, in expense, and
sometimes in great suffering; but they do not shrink from the cost, as
they anticipate the expected benefit.


There cannot be a doubt that Hinduism is greatly strengthened by these
melas. Judaism was greatly strengthened by the people according to the
Divine command going up thrice every year, at appointed times, to the
place where the name of the Lord was, and by their repairing in vast
numbers once a year to their sacred capital after they had become widely
scattered among the nations. Muhammadans, by long journeys and perilous
voyages, make their way to Mecca and Medina, their sacred cities, and
make it a point to be present at the most sacred season, when many
thousands are assembled. These pilgrims return to their homes more
devoted than ever to Islam. It would be strange if Christianity, which
above every other religion aims at producing and sustaining the feeling
of universal brotherhood, did not avail itself of this social feeling,
to which so much scope is given in human religions, and which is so
potent in confirming the devotion of their adherents. Our blessed
Saviour, the Head of the Church, has by the institution of Churches, and
the instruction given to them through His Apostles, provided for the
fellowship of His people; and the occasional gathering of the members of
different Churches, to which the principles of the Gospel point, and to
which it gives the fullest sanction, presents precious opportunities for
the manifestation and exercise of the brotherliness so characteristic of
the kingdom of heaven which our Lord came to set up on the earth.




There is no difference of opinion among missionaries as to the object
for which they have gone to the heathen. They are all agreed their
object is to make known the Gospel, the message of salvation, to all to
whom they obtain access, to explain its nature, and press its claims on
their acceptance. To this nothing can be held superior; to this
everything must be deemed subordinate. To place anything above it, or
even beside it, would be to lose sight of the very _raison d'être_ of
their missionary calling.


There may be, however, and there often is, a difference of opinion as to
the line of operation best fitted to secure success. Missionaries find
themselves in presence of widely-separated classes, who must be
approached in different ways, and it is the part of wisdom to find out
the most direct path to their understanding, conscience, and heart.
About these modes of operation there has often been marked diversity of
opinion, some pleading for one mode, and others for another. It cannot
be denied that in the discussion thus carried on there has often been
one-sidedness, resulting in some cases from natural liking, in some from
special fitness, in others from the peculiarities of the sphere into
which missionaries find themselves introduced so that they fail to
realize the peculiarities in the qualifications, likings, and spheres of
their brethren, who are as eager as themselves to bring the people to
the feet of the Lord Jesus. Hinduism is a strong fortress, and those who
assail it by hurling at it--if I may so speak--the red-hot shot of
exposure of its errors, and the fire of the truth as it is in Jesus, act
very unwisely in depreciating those who are quietly preparing the
ammunition required for carrying on the siege, or are undermining the
foundations, and thus preparing for entering the breach. The erection of
the Christian Church in India is a most arduous, and at the same time a
most glorious, enterprise, and a variety of workmen is required. Those
who handle the trowel and the hammer act very unwisely in depreciating
those who plan the structure, clear away the rubbish, and lay the
foundation, or who in other ways help on the building. These
illustrations require no enlargement. They indicate the views which
every succeeding period of my missionary career has led me to entertain
with increasing firmness. The translation and revision of the
Scriptures, the preparation of Christian tracts and books, teaching in
schools and colleges, taking charge of orphanages, the going among the
people in city, town, and hamlet, wherever they can be reached, to speak
to them about the Saviour of mankind; attending to secular work, such as
the erection of buildings, keeping accounts, and gathering money--all
are legitimate departments of missionary work, and the choice of them by
missionaries ought to be determined by the exigencies of missions, by
personal fitness, and by providential indications of the course which
should be pursued. I would go further, and say that the preparation of
grammars and dictionaries, the giving of time and strength to literary
work, may in certain circumstances, in the case of men of peculiar
qualifications, be deemed work worthy of a missionary, as thereby he may
do much to further the cause to which he has devoted his life. Readers
will readily recall names of illustrious men, who were deeply imbued
with the missionary spirit and did eminent service, who were also
remarkable for their literary achievements. It would, however, be very
undesirable that literary ability and industry should be the most
prominent characteristics of a large portion of the missionary band.
Devotion to literary work is, with rare exceptions, incompatible with
the active life which must be led by those who would come into close
contact with the people, and by personal intercourse strive to bring
them to the Saviour.

Some individuals have gone to the mission-field with the firm resolve to
do the work in only one way. Such a resolve has ever seemed to me most
unwise, savouring more of wilfulness than of holy steady purpose to do
the Master's work. The missionary ought to go out ready to part with
every preconceived notion at the call of providential direction and the
Spirit's guidance, prepared to do with all his might whatever he may
have the opportunity of doing for the advancement of Christ's kingdom,
however little may be his natural liking or supposed fitness for the

Like most missionaries, I went to India with my liking for certain forms
of work; but like nearly all who have been long in the field, there is
scarcely any department in which I have not some time or other been
engaged, though for some departments I have had little aptitude and, I
may say, no liking, and from which I would have escaped if I could. To
have held back would have been dereliction of duty, and this conviction
overcame my reluctance.



Without any depreciation of other departments, preaching to the
heathen--what is commonly called in India Bazar preaching--ought ever to
hold a prominent place.

Evangelistic work is carried on wherever access to the people can be
obtained. In Benares, our primary schools, of which I shall speak
presently, were taught in verandahs open to the streets. These were
utilized as preaching-stations. The boys were first examined and taught;
a few invariably gathered around, and we turned from the boys to the
bystanders, and spoke to them so long as they were willing to hear, or
we were able to speak. In addition to these verandahs we had humble
buildings erected on the most available spots, for the double purpose of
schools and preaching-stations. To these little chapels we could retire
from the noise of the streets. In them we had morning and evening
service; but as the hot weather advanced the heat was well-nigh
intolerable in the city in the evening, and evening work was suspended
till we got cooling by the first burst of rain.

We every now and then betook ourselves to the shade of a house or a
tree, where we spoke to the passers-by. On the occasion of great
gatherings we took our stand at the roads by which the people were
pouring into the city, or making their way out of it. Every place was
deemed suitable where we could get hearers, and could hope for any
degree of attention. At some spots the crowd was so large and noisy that
there was no use in trying to make ourselves heard. As we went about we
spoke to individuals and little groups as opportunity was presented to

Some missionaries who laid themselves out for this department made it a
point to go every year, with their native assistants, considerable
distances to the great melas, and spend days, sometimes weeks, in
setting before the assembled crowd the great truths of God's Word.
Others, again, made it a point to travel during the cold weather, so far
as home duty allowed, to preach the Gospel through the country; some
within a limited area, confining themselves to certain towns and
villages, and visiting them again and again, while others made very
extended tours. It was my privilege for years to take part in these
itineracies, and I remember with peculiar pleasure the opportunities
they afforded for intercourse with the people.


What in India is called Bazar preaching is very different from the
ordinary preaching of ministers in this country, both in its mode and in
the circumstances in which it is conducted. When accompanied by a few
native Christians, we begin by singing a hymn and offering a short
prayer. Then those present are addressed. Often one of our Lord's
parables, or some striking fact or passage from the Scriptures is taken
as a text. Sometimes a remark by one of our hearers, or something of
general interest which has just occurred, gives the keynote to the
address. The great doctrines and facts of Scripture are mainly dwelt on,
and the more simply and directly they are set forth, the more are we
satisfied our duty is efficiently discharged. In our preaching the first
place is assigned to the life and character, the words and deeds, the
death, resurrection, and reign of our blessed Saviour. Suitableness is a
valuable characteristic of preaching everywhere, and among no people is
it more important than in speaking to the Hindus. They are very fond of
figures, of illustrative instances, and when these are happily applied
they produce a marked effect. In the character of the gods and
goddesses, and in Hindu notions and practices, there is much which is
open to attack, and some avail themselves largely of this opening to
assail the cherished belief of the people; but as a rule it is far
better to assert and enforce truth than to confute error, though truth
does at times require error to be directly exposed. The native brethren
are much more inclined to aggressive speech than the missionaries. They
know their own countrymen well; they are familiar with their modes of
thinking and of acting, they are well acquainted with the doings
attributed to their gods, and they are ready to attack them with
unsparing severity. On one occasion a catechist, more zealous than wise,
began his address with the words, "Your religion is altogether false,"
which so provoked his hearers that they did not hear another word, and
went away in indignation. Afterwards I sharply reproved him for his
indiscretion, as I had at times to do to him and others.

Occasionally a missionary is quietly heard, and if heard attentively as
well as quietly he is gratified with the reception he gets, and hopes
that good is being done. It is seldom, however, in a city like Benares
that a preacher is allowed to go on long without interruption. If a
considerable number assemble we are almost sure to find, before we
conclude, some among them ready to speak, and the object of those who
thus come forward becomes speedily apparent. Some are eager to interrupt
the preacher. He has scarcely announced his subject, and has had no
opportunity of explaining and illustrating it, when he is interrupted
by the words, "You have spoken a long time" (the long time has perhaps
not been five minutes); "let me speak a little while." As a rule, in
this case the missionary appeals to the fairness of his audience to give
him a patient hearing, that they may really know his views, and may be
in a position for coming to a right judgment regarding them. Often the
appeal is successful, and our eager disputant is compelled to remain
silent. When the address is over discussion is welcomed; and, as I have
observed about preaching at the religious gatherings of the people, if
conducted with reasonableness and good humour it is fitted to do good.
We are thankful when there is the appearance of candour, even though
there be not earnestness, when those who speak seemingly desire to know
exactly what we do hold, as thereby an opportunity is given for the
clearer and fuller statement of the Gospel. I have a pleasing
recollection of many instances when persons were evidently impressed
with what had been told them of the Lord Jesus Christ, and of the claims
He has on man's love and trust.

It must be acknowledged that this has not been the mood of most of our
hearers where we are well known. Many are eager to defend their own
position as Hindus, and to attack Christianity because it wages war with
their religion. Heathenism in ancient times, heathenism now as we see it
in India, was and is very liberal. It is ready to let Christianity
alone, if Christianity will let it alone. It is the exclusiveness of
Christianity which is so offensive. We are continually told that
Christianity is excellent for us; we are most welcome to maintain our
adherence to it; and it is surely fair to let them alone in the
enjoyment of their religion. Because they are not let alone, because we
contend that their religion is dishonouring to the living God and
hurtful to themselves, because we affirm that Christ is the one Saviour
and the rightful Lord, they are eager to find something in our books and
views which they can assail, and by which they can show our position to
be untenable.

There is nothing we hear more frequently than that all religions lead to
the same goal, as all the roads of a country lead to its capital. To
this we reply that those who wish to go to Calcutta in the east are not
likely to reach it soon if they set out on the road to Lahore in the
west. The east and west are opposite, and yet they are not opposed; but
good and evil, righteousness and unrighteousness, are essentially
opposed, their fruits are opposed, and those who practise them are sure
to find themselves at last in places as distinct from each other as
light is from darkness, as happiness is from misery.


Traditional religion is strong, except in peculiar seasons when the tide
of public opinion runs in the channel of religious revolt. From the lips
of Hindus we hear continually, "We must walk in the ways of our fathers.
What our fathers believed we believe. What our fathers practised we
practise. No good son leaves his father and mother. No good wife leaves
her husband for another." To this objection we have various replies. We
tell them they do not walk in the ways of their ancient fathers, for
they did many things, such as eating the flesh of cows, which they
abhor, knew nothing of the gods they worship, and were not fettered by
caste as they are. What we say about these Hindu ancestors gets little
credit, as the people generally know nothing about them. We remind them
that among themselves there have been tribes that have from generation
to generation lived by thuggery and dacoity (murder and robbery). Ought
the children of these murderers and robbers to walk in the ways of
_their_ fathers?

I have often referred to the Khonds in the hills of Orissa, who, till
the horrid practice was stopped by British interference, enticed
children from the plains, fed them well, treated them kindly, and then
on a fixed day murdered them, tore limb from limb, and scattered the
bleeding fragments over the fields as an offering to the Land Goddess to
secure an abundant harvest. I have asked, "Ought these people to walk in
the ways of their fathers?" To this question I have never received an
affirmative reply.

We have reminded the people their fathers were as prone to err as we
are; that we ought to weigh in the scales of truth and justice what they
did, in order to the imitation of them when right and the forsaking of
them when wrong. If they were with us, provided they were really wise,
they would wish us to embrace the good of which they knew nothing, but
which was now presented for their acceptance. With all their regard for
their fathers, there were things unknown to them--as, for instance, the
potato for food, and the railway carriage for travelling. If the potato
was good for the body, as many of them showed they thought by partaking
of it, might not our religion be good for the soul? If they resorted in
crowds to the railway carriages even when going on pilgrimage to their
sacred places, if in their earthly travels they found these carriages so
serviceable, might they not find the religion of Christ, if candidly
considered, the best vehicle for carrying them to heaven? We have much
sympathy with the feeling of reverence for ancestors, but they are not
entitled to tyrannize over their descendants. We tell them we do not
wish them to leave their father's house, but to return to it; not to
leave the husband, but to return to the true husband.


At first sight the worship carried on at Benares seems so absurd that
one wonders how a reasonable being can say anything in its defence. Many
years ago I had a visit from an English gentleman who was travelling
through India, and he expressed his surprise we had such limited success
in turning the people from worshipping such ugly misshapen stones. He
evidently thought that by quoting some of the passages of Scripture in
which the wickedness and folly of idol-worship are exposed, he could
silence idol-worshippers, and secure their speedy conversion to the
living God. If he had come into contact with the people he would not
have found their conversion such an easy matter. I have never met a
Hindu who would allow he worshipped the material objects before which he
bowed down. However illiterate he may be, he is ready to maintain that
he worships the god represented by the image, and who is actually
dwelling in it in a mysterious manner, after some sacred words have been
uttered over it.

We are often told in defence of Hinduism that it is a symbolical
representative religion, and that as God is vastly beyond our
comprehension, we cannot, except by symbols, attain any conception of
Him. We have often to say in reply, that as we cannot see our own
spirit, and yet know how real, how dominant it is, so far less do we
know the Supreme Being, and yet we have abundant evidence of His
existence, character, and government. Of Him no fitting image can be
made, and every such attempt is unworthy of Him, and degrading and
demoralizing to us. The representations of God in Scripture under
sensible forms are of high value to us in our weakness; but when
reproduced in material substances, such as wood and stone, they have
been ever found to foster low, materialistic views of the Most High. If
we must betake ourselves to such symbols, let us have those which
inspire lofty thoughts. What is there in these grotesque idols to help
us in rising to the living God? Hindus who know English have quoted
Cowper's address to his mother on getting her picture, "Oh that those
lips had language," and we have been asked, "Was not Cowper helped in
realizing his mother when looking at her picture?" To which there is the
obvious reply, "Cowper's mother was truly represented. Is God truly and
fittingly represented by the idols you worship?"

The gods are continually represented as mediators through whom we
approach the Supreme. "When we seek the favour of a king we approach him
through his ministers; when we wish to propitiate a judge we try to
secure a friend who will plead for us: and thus by the gods we get
access to the Most High." To this we reply that as creatures we may each
one go directly to God, for He is always near us, and we can never be
far from Him; but as sinners we need a mediator. As the necessity for a
mediator is acknowledged, we have an excellent opportunity of showing
how worthy Christ is of being trusted as the Mediator, related as He is
by His essential nature to the Most High, and to man by the nature He
has assumed. A favourite figure with the Hindus is that the gods are a
ladder by which they ascend to the Supreme; and we could not have a
figure more adapted to our purpose, as it leads us to show that Christ
is the very ladder we need--He by His Divine nature reaching heaven, and
by His human nature being set upon the earth. His infinite excellence
and His propitiatory sacrifice assure us that this ladder is so strong
that it can bear the weight of the whole of the human family in their
ascent to God.

Few things have been a greater stumbling-block to the Hindus than the
crucifixion of Christ, and we have to dwell continually on the fact that
it was not by the failure of His power, but by the ardour of His love,
He endured this death. Some of the gods, Shiva and Kalee in particular,
are propitiated by animal sacrifices, as blood is specially pleasing to
them. The need of sacrifice to deliver from the consequences of sin is
dimly discerned by the people, but they have such distorted views on the
subject that it is difficult to convey to them the Christian idea of


The learned men of India have been singularly wanting in what may be
called the historic instinct, and we need not wonder at finding the
people generally destitute of it. The evidence for Christianity drawn
from its history makes no impression on them. Historical facts and the
wildest legends are received by them with equal readiness. When speaking
of the miracles of our Lord, and enlarging on their peculiar features of
power and goodness, I have been pleased to witness an attention which
led me to hope that a favourable impression was being made; but more
than once my hope has been dashed to the ground by one of my most
attentive hearers saying, "You have been telling us of your God. He did
excellent things, and you do well to worship Him; but listen to me, and
I will tell you what my gods have done." And then my hearer has become
the speaker, and has dilated on the wonderful feats of his gods, such as
Krishna lifting up a mountain and holding it on his hand above his
worshippers to shelter them from the angry bolts of Indra; and has
triumphantly asked, "Is there anything similar to that in your Bible?"
To which we have readily replied, "There is not, but there is what is
more worthy of God." The most illiterate of the people are very familiar
with mythological stories, and if listened to will go on to relate them
with the greatest gusto, and at the greatest length.

Our doctrine of salvation by grace alone, and not in any degree by man's
merit, is often declared to be fatal to morality. This is often said in
our own country, and we need not say what we advance in its confutation.

The doctrine of previous births has taken full possession of the Hindu
mind, as accounting for the character and events of the present birth.
This belief in transmigration has a very hurtful effect on the people,
as it leads them, when suffering for their conduct, to attribute their
sufferings to births of which they do not profess to have any
remembrance, instead of blaming themselves for the course they had
pursued. We have to show the baselessness, the unreasonableness, and the
injurious tendency of this notion. The doctrine of a blind fate
determining everything is widely held. The greatest criminals coolly
assert it has been their fate to have done what they have done, and, of
course, to suffer as they suffer. The moral nature of the people, though
benumbed, is happily not destroyed, and to it we appeal against a notion
which levels all moral distinctions.


Pantheism, it is well known, lies at the foundation of Hindu Polytheism.
It may be indeed doubted if there has ever been a Polytheistic system
apart from a Pantheistic element. The Hindus generally cannot work out
the Pantheistic theory, as the Pundits do, but the most illiterate are
familiar with its commonplaces, and are ready with their avowal. We
often hear, "Is not God everywhere? Does He not pervade all? Is He not
all? Is not all evolved from Him, as the spider's web is evolved from
its body? Does not all emanate from Him, as the stream flows from the
fountain and rays from the sun? Are we not all portions of Him? We may
worship anything and everything if only we see God in it. There are
differences in the sparks from the central fire, some far brighter than
others. The gods are the brightest sparks, and therefore they are
specially worthy of worship." In reply we have to insist on the
difference between the Creator and the creature, between the Ruler and
His subject. We are often told it is God that makes us speak and act,
and we are puppets dancing as He draws the strings. In protest against
this doctrine we appeal to the acknowledgment they themselves make of
the essential distinction between right and wrong, the one to be done,
the other to be shunned, and show that if their Pantheistic notion be
accepted the distinction is obliterated, and the floodgate is open to
the commission of all wickedness.

The most advanced thought of Hindu philosophy is that all is Maya,
illusion, the play, the amusement of the Supreme, who leads us to
believe that we are, that we have a separate existence, which we have
not; but at last the illusion will come to an end, all will be absorbed
in Brahm, as the water in the clouds falls into the sea; there will be
no conscious existence in the universe. Brahm himself will glide into a
profound slumber from which he will awake after a vast season of repose.
A rope lying on the road is taken for a serpent, but it is only a rope.
There are hundreds of suns glancing on the waters, but there is only one
sun. In reply we contend that illusion implies reality; that if there
was no reality illusion would be impossible. If there was no serpent a
rope would not be taken for it. If there was no sun there would be no
suns glancing in the waters.

The question has been often discussed, Have the Hindus any idea of a
living, personal God? It is unquestionable they often speak as if they
had. They often say, "Does not God see? Does He not know? Will He not
punish us if we do what is wrong?" It is difficult to say to what degree
this notion has been formed and cherished from intercourse for ages with
Muhammadans, and how far it comes from the demand of the human spirit
for the living God. Some eminent Sanscrit scholars tell us that the
Vedas teach Pantheism, while others assert that in their most ancient
teaching they assert the doctrine of a living, personal God. From this
divided opinion it is plain that the teaching of the Vedas on this vital
subject is ambiguous. At any rate there cannot be a doubt that the
modern Hindus have some notion of God as a living, conscious One apart
from His creatures, although it is held with Pantheistic and
Polytheistic notions, which are antagonistic to it, and greatly weaken
its influence. Its being held at all is very serviceable to a missionary
in the prosecution of his work.

In a city like Benares many have acquired a considerable acquaintance
with the Bible, and these endeavour to find flaws in it to show that our
religion is as assailable as theirs.

I must not go further into these details of evangelistic work. As I am
giving them my past life comes vividly to my remembrance. I remember its
pleasures, and also its difficulties and trials. I feel as if I was
engaged in preaching to the Hindus among whom I have spent a great part
of my life, and discussing with them the great questions which affect
God and man. I am consequently in danger of saying more than can be
interesting to my readers.


In Benares it is rare to have only Hindus for our hearers. We very often
have Muhammadans also, and, they are our most eager and bitter
opponents. All I can now say about them is that they are bent on
entrapping us with questions about the Sonship of Christ, the Trinity in
the Godhead, the authenticity of the Scriptures as we now have them, the
alleged incompleteness of Christ's prophetic office, as proved, they
think, by the promise of the Paraclete as well as by the predictions in
both the Old and New Testaments. Among Muhammadans we have met
individuals who seemed sincere inquirers after truth, who seemed bent on
ascertaining what is true and discovering what is false. We have been
gratified with their apparent candour, humility, and reasonableness. We
must acknowledge these have been a small minority compared with the many
whose pride and bigotry have shut up their mind against everything we
had to advance, and whose sole aim has been to assail Christianity and

In the prosecution of the evangelistic work, which I have endeavoured to
describe, missionaries come into contact with all classes. The seed of
the word thus sown far and wide may remain for a time hidden, but we
have every reason to hope it will some time spring up and bring forth
abundant fruit.



From the commencement of Missions, schools have received much attention,
and have absorbed a large part of mission agency. These schools have
been of different orders, many primary, a number secondary, and a few
educating the pupils up to the University mark for degrees. I have had a
great deal of experience in teaching and superintending primary and
secondary schools, and I have seen something of the institutions of the
highest class. I now speak of schools for boys and young men. Girls'
schools will receive attention in a subsequent chapter.


I do not know any mission in Northern India where elementary education
has been entirely neglected. Some have done much more in this department
than others, but all have devoted to it a measure of attention and
effort. We had at one time ten schools of this class in different parts
of Benares. In these humble schools many have learned to read, write,
and keep accounts, and have thus been fitted for discharging efficiently
their secular work. Their minds have been furnished and their character
improved by useful information communicated to them. Above all,
Christian instruction has been imparted. The schools have been
frequently visited by the missionary and his native assistants for the
special object of reading with the pupils portions of the Scriptures,
and inculcating the lessons they contain. Thus readers for our
Scriptures and Christian books have been prepared, who we may hope come
to their perusal with weakened prejudice from the kindly feeling with
which we are regarded. A favourable impression has thus been made on the
minds of parents as well as of pupils.

I have already mentioned that these schools have been utilized for
preaching-stations, and have been well adapted for this purpose. They
have been carried on at small expense. The great drawback has been that
with few exceptions the teachers have been Hindus. They have been of the
Kaisth, the writer caste, who are as a caste less imbued perhaps with
Hinduism than any other. When Christians have been available their
services have of course been thankfully secured. For some years the
Hindu element has been gradually withdrawn from the teaching staff. Two
of the early teachers in our time became Christians, one having been
baptized in our Mission, and the other in the Church Mission at Benares.

The whole state of primary education in the North-West, I may say in
India, is on a very different footing from what it was in 1840. Great
progress in every department of education has been made since that time.
Considering the vast importance of primary education, the advancement
has not been so great as might have been expected, but there is every
prospect of its being largely extended in the immediate future. It is
hoped that one outcome of the Education Commission which is now sitting
will be the gathering into schools of many thousands of the young who
have been hitherto neglected.

In most Missions of any standing, even where the chief attention has
been given to direct evangelistic work, some provision has been made for
secondary education. A school with this object was established in our
Mission in 1845. It was taught in a well-sized native house, and was
afterwards transferred to a larger building. It had successive
superintendents, the late Mr. Sherring, Mr. Blake, and myself. It was a
longer time under Mr. Sherring than under any other, and in it he
laboured very diligently and efficiently. It received the name of the
Central School, as our idea was to transfer to it the best boys from
what we called the Bazar schools. It was intended to allow none to enter
who had not made some progress in reading their own language, but we
found this exclusion impracticable, and we were obliged to form an
elementary department. English was taught, and the higher classes were
introduced to geometry, algebra, history, especially Indian history, and
other similar branches of a liberal education. Almost all when they
entered were ignorant of English. Those who remained a considerable time
made fair progress, a few made remarkable progress; and we were happy to
find that many on leaving us obtained responsible situations, which they
continued to hold to the satisfaction of their superiors.

For years under successive superintendents the Head Master was a
Christian, Babu Ram Chunder Basu, who is now most usefully employed as a
lecturer to educated natives. His great attainments, his diligence and
teaching power, did much to promote the prosperity of the school.

In our Central school a very prominent place was given to Christian
instruction. Every day Scripture lessons were given by Christian
teachers; on Saturday, for years, a lecture was delivered to the
assembled school; and on Sunday morning a service was held, at which
there was a good voluntary attendance. The effect of the prominence thus
given to Christian teaching was shown early in 1857, when on a plan
arranged by the zealous public-spirited Commissioner of the Benares
Province, Mr. Henry Carre Tucker, there was a gathering in the city of
the pupils from all the schools in the province who choose to attend to
submit to an examination in Scripture knowledge. Prizes in money and
books were given to those who proved themselves most proficient. A great
number of lads and boys made their appearance, and the high place taken
by the pupils of our Central school showed how well they had been


Some missions provide for taking their pupils on to the University
standard. Among these the missions in the Presidency cities have held,
and from their peculiar sphere must continue to hold, the first rank. I
have already observed nothing interested me more, nothing delighted me
more on reaching Calcutta early in 1839, than the sight of many young
men and boys taught in the institutions of the Church of Scotland and of
our own Mission. It was most exhilarating to see so many bright youths
studying our language, introduced to Western knowledge, and, above all,
led to the fountain of truth in the Word of God. Dr. Duff was not the
first in establishing in Calcutta an institution for the teaching of
English; he was not the first in establishing a Christian school; many
were before him in this good work: but he was the first in setting up an
institution on a large scale on a thoroughly Christian basis, in which
English was to have the first place, and in which provision was made for
carrying the students on to the University standard of Europe. In 1843
the missionaries, on account of their adherence to the Free Church, were
obliged to give up their buildings in Cornwallis Square, and to seek
accommodation in another part of Calcutta, where they have continued
their scholastic work with great zeal and efficiency. The institution in
Cornwallis Square has been conducted for many years with remarkable
success by the missionaries of the Established Church of Scotland. All
the missions of Calcutta have taken part in this work, and have sent
forth bands of well-educated young men, who have acquired a large
acquaintance with the Word of God.

Similar institutions have been formed throughout the country. As may be
supposed, these vary greatly in resources and efficiency. Years ago our
Central school was transferred from a rented house in the city to a
large purchased house in the suburbs, where, under the name of the High
School, it has continued to flourish. Many of its students have
successfully passed the Entrance examination of the Calcutta University,
and a considerable number have passed the First Arts examination. It has
always stood high in native estimation, has had a large attendance of
pupils, and is reckoned one of the best institutions of the kind in the
North-West. The change from the Central school, with its secondary
education, the the High school, with its arrangement to carry on the
pupils further, was made by the late Mr. Sherring, and to his assiduous
care and efficient management its success is largely due. It maintains
its character under the superintendence of our friend Mr. Hewlett, who
has arranged for the opening of a B.A. class.

I have mentioned the University standard. For many years after our going
to India there was no University in the land. The establishment of
Universities in Calcutta, Madras, and Bombay, and the introduction of
the grant-in-aid system, have effected in the educational department a
change so great that it may be called a revolution. The studies in
mission schools are to a large extent what they were, but they have come
under new conditions, which greatly alter the proportionate attention
given to them, and the degree of zeal with which they are prosecuted.
Under the grant-in-aid system missionaries are allowed full liberty in
giving Christian instruction to their pupils. The only thing required by
the Government Inspector is that the secular education be such as will
entitle the school to a grant. If formerly a mission school egregiously
failed in fitting the pupils for the positions in life to which they
were looking forward, it rightly lost favour, and was soon deserted. Now
there is a new urgent necessity for efficiency, and the healthy stimulus
thus given is in itself a marked benefit; but if care be not taken the
opportunity for imparting Christian instruction is impaired, which
formed the main inducement for missionaries taking part in the work.


The effect of the change is most marked in our higher schools. There is
a widely spread and intense ambition for University honours. Not only in
the Presidency cities, but in the great cities of the country, a crowd
of boys and young men are eager for admission to the University circle.
This eagerness springs from the desire for honourable distinction, which
is as strong in the minds of Indian youth as in any youth on the face of
the earth. It springs, perhaps, still more from the fact that the
University stamp, attesting educational proficiency, is a high
recommendation in favour of applicants for well-paid situations. It
would be hard to say how far a love of knowledge contributes to this
eagerness for study. It would be uncharitable to affirm it is altogether
absent, but it would be shutting one's eyes to potent facts to suppose
it furnishes the greater part of the motive power. Owing to various
causes, such as the want of opportunity, of capacity, and diligence, the
great majority of students do not aspire higher than the Entrance
examination; but even to pass this successfully is considered a great
feat, and many are proud of achieving it. The Calcutta University has a
high standard for degrees, and those who acquire them are entitled to be
considered well-educated men.

The effect of this eagerness, we may say this rage for University
distinction, on mission schools can be easily conceived. The great
question with the student is, "How can I get to the University goal?
What are the studies which promise the quickest and largest success?"
The studies which do not lead to this goal have little attraction; while
those that lead to it, and just in proportion as they lead to it, are
eagerly pursued. Our Scriptures have no place in the University
curriculum. The consequence is that the student, whose supreme aim is to
acquit himself well when he goes up for degrees, and estimates studies
by their bearing on his success, gives to the Bible only the attention
required by the rule of the institution he attends, and he often gives
that attention reluctantly; so that even the knowledge he cannot fail to
acquire can scarcely be expected to tell on his heart and conscience.
Every hour given to the Bible he is apt to regard as taken away from the
studies which he most highly values, and in which, with all his
application, he finds it difficult to attain proficiency.


It is undeniable that mission schools have been, and are, popular with
the people of India. From the Report just published of our Benares
Mission it appears that at present there are 1,265 pupils in its
schools, boys and girls. Various things have conduced to this
popularity. Missionaries as a class have acquired a firmly established
character for attention to their pupils and kindly treatment of them.
They are credited with good motives by many who have no drawing to
Christianity. Then, for a considerable time no charge for tuition was
made, the pupils being simply required to pay for their school books.
Since fees have been taken they are, I believe, generally lower than in
Government institutions; though, on the other hand, these have
scholarships and prizes which are far beyond any pecuniary advantage
mission schools can offer. There is, of course, in our schools the
possibility of the pupils' ancestral religion being weakened, or even
abandoned, but the hope is entertained both by them and their parents
that the danger will be escaped. While the main motive for resorting to
our schools is secular advancement--undoubtedly a right motive, if kept
within due limits--the missionaries, while earnestly desiring the
temporal welfare of their pupils, are actuated by a still higher motive,
which they constantly avow. Till the establishment of the University,
boys and young men, while prosecuting the special object for which they
had put themselves under tuition, with few exceptions showed no
disinclination to Christian instruction. A portion of the school-time
was allotted for it, and to the work of that time many cheerfully
applied themselves. Some became deeply interested, and a few were led in
consequence to avow their faith in Jesus. With the new University system
a new order of things has come in, which has placed Christian
instruction under great disadvantages.

In consequence of this change some have advocated the entire withdrawal
of mission agency from the schools where the higher education is
imparted. It has been said, "Why should missionaries from day to day be
doing the work of mere secular teachers, in hope that during the short
time allotted for Christian instruction to young men, indisposed to
receive it, they can secure their spiritual good?" If they withdraw,
what then? The alternative is the loss of influence over a class that
may be expected to take the lead in all movements of their people, and
their transfer to teachers who are, in many cases, the avowed and bitter
foes of Christianity, and whose object will be to imbue them with their
own sentiments. There is abundant testimony to the fact that the pupils
of mission schools regard missionaries with a friendly feeling, and
diffuse that feeling in their respective circles, and also show respect
for the Gospel even when they argue against it to justify their
adherence to their ancestral religion. May it not be hoped, too, that in
many minds a conviction is left that Christianity is the religion of
heaven, although there are formidable obstacles to that conviction
obtaining sway over the heart and life? There have been instances where
the conviction has broken through every obstacle, and has been avowed by
open profession of faith in Christ. Our Missionary Societies may well
shrink from the abandonment of a sphere which furnishes the opportunity
for favourable influence over so many minds--and minds, too, which are
sure to be very influential in the community.


The preferable plan has been adopted. It appears from the latest
statistics that the number of students in mission schools is greater,
and the course of study more advanced, than at any previous period. I am
not aware that any of the missionaries in the higher institutions have
proposed to abandon them on account of the new state of things. While
giving themselves cheerfully to the imparting of the education which
their pupils are eager to acquire, they put forth resolute steady effort
to counteract the secularizing tendency of their studies. The assembled
school is opened with prayer, Scripture lessons are given, and, taught
as they are by Christians, the pupils are under Christian influence
during all their school hours. It is common in the North-West, and I
suppose in other parts of India, to have services in the schools on
Sabbath morning, at which the attendance is voluntary; and at Benares,
at least, the attendance has been very encouraging. Of late Sabbath
schools, apart from day schools, have been established in many missions,
with every prospect of success. The attendance is large, and in some
places a number of parents are present. These schools are carried on
largely on the English and American model. The international lessons are
used, pictures and books are given as prizes to attentive scholars; and
they have a yearly treat, in conducting which care is taken against the
violation of caste. The American Episcopal missionaries have taken the
lead in this new departure.

It has been often remarked that our higher schools can show very few
converts. The conversions have not been many, and yet they have not been
so inconsiderable in number as they have been represented. When we look
at our mission agents we find that a large proportion of our most
efficient men, the men that have done the best service, have come from
these schools. At the great Missionary Conference at Allahabad in 1874,
at which I was present, they acquitted themselves in a manner which
attested their mental power and Christian earnestness, and gave one a
high opinion of their fitness for evangelistic work among their
countrymen. At the late Decennial Missionary Conference in Calcutta they
took a prominent and effective part. It is, indeed, a matter for deep
regret that of late our accessions from this quarter have been few; but
when hope has been at the lowest ebb one has appeared here and there to
strengthen it by avowing himself a follower of Christ.[3]

[Footnote 3: At the Calcutta Conference there was much discussion about
schools, especially of the higher order. Experienced educationalists
gave expression to their views, some stating in strong terms the
aversion to Bible lessons shown by many of the pupils; while others,
among whom Mr. Miller of Madras was prominent, represented the pupils as
generally willing to receive Christian instruction.]

In reference to our schools, in reference to our work generally, it is
important to keep before our minds the great power of public opinion.
Many are the things which go to form it; it is very subtle in its
working; the most acute and observant mind cannot estimate its force:
but when once widely formed its effects are remarkable. In India public
opinion is formed much more slowly than in a land like ours; the
constitution of society presents a stronger front to its action. But
there too it works, and when it works on till it has obtained
overmastering power we may expect to see a marvellous change. We cannot
doubt that missions have a high place in forming this opinion; and among
mission agencies I believe there is no one which has told and is telling
more beneficially on the people than our mission schools.



All over India missions have had orphans under their charge, but from
personal knowledge I can only speak of the North-West.


The need for these institutions was most pressing in 1838 and 1839. I
remember hearing, on my arrival at Benares, the most harrowing account
of the fearful sufferings of the people over a great extent of country.
The famine had been sore in the land. People fled from their towns and
villages, hoping to reach a more favoured region; but travelling through
districts as destitute of food as those they left, they received no
help, and perished miserably. The weak and the very young were the first
to succumb. Many struggled on, eating grass or anything that could allay
the pangs of hunger, in the hope of reaching the cities where they could
expect relief from their own people, and still more from their English
rulers. At that time Agra was the seat of government for the North-West,
and as the famine was specially severe in that district, so great a
multitude poured into it that, notwithstanding the strenuous effort put
forth by Europeans, official and non-official, helped by wealthy and
benevolent natives, only partial relief could be afforded. The means of
communication between one part of India and another were, even at that
time, far better than they had been in the days of native rule; much had
been done to improve the roads, but owing to the distance of places
where food was comparatively abundant, and the length of time and the
expense incurred in conveying it to the afflicted districts, timely help
was not obtained. Many children were abandoned, and the authorities sent
out orders to their subordinates to rescue these waifs and feed them
till arrangements could be made for their support.

Missionaries felt themselves called on to offer their services in this
dreadful emergency, and the offer was readily accepted. The large
expenditure for which they thus became responsible was met by a small
allowance made by Government for each child, by a grant from a Famine
Fund which had been raised, and by contributions received by
missionaries from friends to help them in this new undertaking.

The institutions then established have become permanent. The places left
vacant by the death of many of the first inmates, and the entrance into
active life of those who survived, were soon filled by others who had
equal claims on Christian compassion. On the occasion of great melas
children are often lost, and in not a few cases their parents are never
found. In the great cities, by the death of parents, and by the
abandonment of children--sometimes through extreme destitution, at other
times by unnatural indifference--helpless little ones are cast on the
pity of the public. From country places forsaken children are sent to
the head-quarters of districts. In seasons of scarcity, which frequently
occur, and especially in famine years such as 1861, large additions are
made to the number of orphans. With these causes operating to produce
the class from which orphanages are recruited, there is no likelihood
of the time coming when they will not be needed. The people, as a rule,
are undoubtedly kind to children; but when we consider the great poverty
of many, the extreme difficulty with which they obtain the necessaries
of life, there is no reason to wonder at the cases of destitution which
are continually presenting themselves. In our own country, with all its
advantages, we have numerous orphanages, where many are sheltered and
trained for useful life, who would otherwise be thrown as waifs on the
surface of society.


When orphanages were first formed in Northern India, great hope was
entertained they would not merely relieve present and pressing distress,
and do good to a large number of destitute young persons, but would tell
powerfully on native society, and lead to the formation of a large,
strong Christian community. The sufferings of the people afflicted by
famine were deplored, they were regarded with deep pity; everything was
done which could be done to relieve them, but it was hoped that out of
this calamitous state of affairs would be evolved, through the
overruling of Providence, a signal moral and spiritual benefit to the
people generally. Here was a large band of boys and girls taken out of
native society, cut off from idolatrous training and associations, and
made over in the most plastic season of their lives to be moulded by
those whose supreme aim would be to strengthen and elevate their
character, and prepare them for a happy, useful, and honourable career.
It was hoped that when these children thus trained grew to manhood and
womanhood, they would go out among their countrymen striking examples of
moral and spiritual excellence, and would by their manifest superiority
make a greater impression on the minds of the people than could be made
by the preaching and efforts of missionaries. A worthy chaplain sent out
a pamphlet advocating the gathering by Government of all the orphan
children in the country, and, if I remember rightly, of all the children
with whom parents were willing to part, and the placing of them in
institutions where they should be brought up as Christians, and as
members of the Church of England. He maintained that if this was done,
in the course of a few years a great number would go out to native
society to leaven it with Christian sentiment, and with loyalty to the
British Government. He drew a glowing picture of the good that would be
accomplished if this policy were adopted and vigorously carried out. Few
were so hopeful as my friend, but many did anticipate great results.

It cannot be doubted that orphan institutions have done much good; but I
think none will maintain that the sanguine hopes with which they were
begun have been realized. There have been obstacles in the way of
success which might have been partly foreseen, but which could not have
been fully anticipated. Many of the children brought to the missionaries
were so sickly and emaciated, that they soon died in spite of all the
attention bestowed on them. The mortality has been at times most
depressing. There was no vitality to resist disease. The effort to
preserve life was in many cases frustrated by the vitiated taste of the
children, which led them to eat lime, earth, garbage of any kind on
which they could lay their hands, in preference to good food. They were
closely watched, but it was impossible to watch them so closely as to
prevent them from doing that which hurried them to the grave.


The orphans were of different ages, from very early youth to fourteen or
fifteen. The elder ones were steeped in the spirit of the class from
which they came--as a rule the lowest class of the community; and the
younger ones had in their very blood hereditary qualities which put
obstacles in the way of successful training. We do not believe there is
in blood the overpowering efficacy which some have attributed to it; if
it had, responsibility would cease, and the effort to raise certain
tribes and classes would be hopeless; but we believe it has a strong
influence, and we think we have seen clear evidence of its hurtful
effect on Indian orphans. There were these difficulties to begin with.
And then it was impossible to bring these children under the happy
influence of an orderly living family. In our own country it has been
found highly conducive to the right bringing-up of orphans, to the
repressing of evil tendencies, and the drawing forth of the finer
elements of character, to secure for them domestic training to the
utmost extent circumstances will permit. The keeping of many together,
not merely taught together, which is very desirable, but eating
together, sleeping together, constantly acting and reacting on each
other, is found very unfavourable to the formation of the right
character, however careful, wise, and kindly the superintendence may be.
In India, where hundreds of orphans were brought at once to mission
premises, this gregarious life was unavoidable. Besides, it is
impossible to separate orphans from the community around so completely
as to leave them unaffected by its moral atmosphere.

There was of course a difference in the qualifications of those who
undertook this great charge, some being more fitted for it than others;
but this we say with the utmost confidence, after an intimate
acquaintance with the working of some of the larger orphanages, and a
general knowledge of others, that they have been managed with a
laboriousness, a patience, a wisdom, and a kindness, deserving of the
highest praise. Those in charge acted as parents, so far as that was
possible, but in the nature of things there could not be the close
attention and the fond personal affection to each of ordinary domestic
life. We remember cases where children were committed to well-ordered
Christian families with happy results, but for many years after
orphanages were founded there were no such families to receive them.


With the exception of orphans sent to Baptist Missions, they were as a
rule baptized at once, and were thus brought within the pale of the
Christian Church to be trained for the love and service of Christ. The
first place was given to Christian instruction and training. All were
taught reading, writing, and arithmetic. Those who proved themselves
capable of receiving a higher education were continued at school, in the
hope of their becoming qualified for offices such as those of teacher
and preacher, for which mental and moral fitness was indispensable. The
great majority were early taught a trade. In the larger orphanages a
variety of trades was introduced--tailoring, carpentry, baking, dyeing,
carpet-making, printing, bookbinding, and farming. Some of these trades,
after much labour had been bestowed upon them, were given up, as it was
found the orphans could not compete with native workmen. They had not
the energy and aptitude possessed by those who followed their ancestral
occupations, and who had been from their earliest years familiar with
the conditions of native trade. Hopes were entertained many would betake
themselves to farming. These hopes have been only partially realized.
On land secured by the Church Mission of Benares, at a short distance
from the city, orphans when they grew up were settled; but few took
kindly to the work, and most soon abandoned it. There are now a few
Christian families on the ground, but the larger part of the land is let
to ordinary native agriculturists. In some places, such as Goruckpore
and Shahjehanpore, the experiment has been successful. A greater number
have continued at printing and bookbinding than at other trades.
Co-operative associations of native Christians have been formed at
Allahabad for printing, and at Futtygurh for tent-making, which I
believe continue to prosper. These associations are under unfettered
native management. A considerable number who have come out of orphan
institutions have followed the trades they were taught, and have
succeeded in getting employment in different places. Many were trained
as servants, and in that capacity they are scattered over all Northern
India. These have been joined by not a few who were taught trades, but
did not continue in them, as they deemed service easier and more
profitable. This is much to be regretted as native Christians in service
are exposed to many disadvantages and temptations from their
fellow-servants, and too often from their European masters and
mistresses. The position of a capable artisan is far superior.

It must be acknowledged by those who have the kindest feeling towards
the orphans, and who wish to entertain the most favourable opinion of
them, which truth will permit, that they have often been wanting in
energy and self-reliance. There has been a tendency to lean unduly on
those to whom they have been indebted for the preservation of their
lives, and for everything which makes life desirable. They have been
accustomed to call them, in the language of the country, _ma,
bap_--_mother, father_--and to expect everything to be done for them as
if they were still helpless children. This can not be said of all, but
it must be acknowledged this unduly dependent spirit has been often
shown. A greater wrong could not be done to orphans, when grown to
maturity, than to treat them as children, unable to make their own way
in the world. This would be to destroy all strength of character, and
turn them into abject, and at the same time discontented, paupers. Few
have been so destitute of common sense as to have supposed that in this
way they were to be supported, but there has been a tendency to expect
the missionaries to set them out on a career of self-support, and remove
all obstacles in their way without any special effort on their part, and
when difficulties have arisen to fall back on their missionary friends
to set them out afresh. When these expectations have not been realized,
they have been disposed to view their guardians as having failed in
parental duty and affection. We have known cases where the rough
experience of life has taught self-dependence, and thankfulness also for
the treatment, which at the time was regarded as unkind, but had led to
lasting benefit. So far as we have been able to ascertain, the ordinary
feeling among those who had been inmates of orphan institutions, and of
their descendants, has been one of affection and gratitude to those who
have watched over them and provided for them in their days of
helplessness, and who have toiled and in many cases suffered to promote
their temporal and spiritual good. When travelling we have met many of
this class, and have been much gratified by the spirit they have shown.

Some have come out of orphanages well equipped for the highest work by
character and attainments. As teachers, catechists, and native
preachers, these occupy honourable and useful positions, and have been a
great blessing to the Church and the world. In the course of our
residence in India we have seen many of the missions in the North-West,
but our acquaintance with them is too slight to enable us to mention the
number given by orphanages to the higher class of native agents. We have
known several who are worthy of all respect, confidence, and affection.


To the question, "What is the general character of the large community
of native Christians formed of orphans and their descendants?" it is
difficult to give a satisfactory reply, though easy enough to give one's
impression. A characterization of communities is one of the most common
and at the same time most unsatisfactory of operations, as the data for
its being done well are so wide, recondite, and difficult to grasp. As I
proceed I shall have occasion to give my views of native Christians
generally. All I can now say about orphans and their descendants is,
that considering what human beings are, as shown from age to age,
considering the circumstances and surroundings of those of whom we are
speaking, the moral and spiritual results are what might have been
expected, though not all that had been wished for and hoped for.
Sanguine spirits had hoped that they would have had a striking
superiority to their fellow-countrymen, which would have drawn forth
their wonder and led them to inquire whence the superiority had come;
but no one will maintain this has been the case. A few, I believe very
few, have turned out utterly reprobate. The character of some who have
not lapsed into gross wickedness has been very unsatisfactory. Many are
respectable members of society, and make the profession of religion
implied in attending public worship and calling themselves Christians. A
considerable number show in different ways spiritual character. What
more can be said of congregations composed of those whose advantages
have been immeasurably greater? It would have been a most pleasing, but
at the same time a most remarkable and unparalleled result, if orphans
brought up under the charge of missionaries had gone forth a united
band, with no defaulters, to maintain the cause of God among their
countrymen, by a life so adorned with excellence that its testimony to
Christ could not be resisted. The result actually attained, though
chequered, is sufficient to show that orphan institutions have by the
Divine blessing done much good, and that the faithful labour bestowed on
them has borne gratifying fruit.




In our own country, under the pressure of life, many hail the release
from toil and the refreshment of spirit promised by the annual summer
trip. So in India missionaries avail themselves of the cold season to
sally out for the prosecution of their work. Their main object is to
make known the gospel to the many whom they are sure to meet wherever
their tent may be pitched, who have never heard the name of Jesus,
except perhaps amidst the bustle and noise of a mela, and who but for
itineracies would remain in total ignorance of the Saviour of mankind.
The missionary who does not keep this before his mind as his chief aim
is unworthy of the name. While this object is pursued, another is sought
which missionaries deem very legitimate. Health is indispensable for the
efficient discharge of their duties, and travelling is found very
beneficial to the health of their families as well as to their own.
Touring in the cold weather, by the new strength it gives to the body
and the refreshment it gives to the spirit, has been found to prepare
them for a new campaign at home as nothing else could have done.

Some missionaries have kept themselves within a limited sphere not far
from their homes, visiting the same places again and again, obtaining a
personal acquaintance with many of the people, and endeavouring to
deepen any impressions which may have been made. Others have travelled
for weeks, sometimes for months, over hundreds of miles, visiting the
towns and villages on their route, and speaking about the things of God
to all whom they have met.

During my long residence in India it was my privilege to undertake tours
of both descriptions. I never stopped at home during the cold
weather--we are not in India in the habit of saying "summer and winter,"
but "hot weather and cold weather"--except when justice to my
colleagues, or the necessities of the mission, compelled me to stay.
There were seasons when my colleague was, either from inexperience or
ill-health, unable to do the home work; or, as happened more than once,
I had no colleague at all, and in these circumstances it was obvious
duty to remain at my post. Even then I commonly managed to get out a
little into the surrounding country. On some of our tours we were put to
no small inconvenience, and we were not strangers to hardship; but we
look back to them with much pleasure, and think how much we would like
to set out on them again if circumstances permitted.


At an early stage of our residence at Benares voyaging on the Ganges was
a favourite mode of enjoying the cold season. There were budgerows,
vessels with two tolerably sized rooms, available for hire at a moderate
charge. It was indispensable to have with the budgerow a small boat for
the accommodation of servants and for the cooking of food. On a few
occasions I took a trip on a vessel of this description with my family,
moving up and down the river, and halting towards evening near a town
or village, which I could visit for the purpose of speaking to the
people about the Saviour. The country is so populous that there was no
difficulty in mooring our little craft in the evening near some place
where hearers could be collected. It was seldom on any tour in the
North-West we were allowed to forget that we were in the region of the
sacred river, which receives from the people divine honours, and which
in their belief confers inestimable benefit on all who bathe in its
waters. When on the bank of the river, its alleged virtues formed a
frequent subject of remark and discussion. There, as elsewhere, we had
to tell them that Ganges water, however good for refreshing and
cleansing the body, cannot wash away one spot from the soul. We had to
tell them frequently, that as the washerman who puts clothes into a box
and carefully washes it with the expectation of their coming out clean
and white will be acting a very foolish part, so they were acting an
equally futile part if they supposed that the water of the Ganges, so
useful for the body, had any effect on the spirit. In answer to the
remark that Ganges water could not do what other water could not, as it
had nothing peculiar in its composition, I have been gravely told that
two things exactly the same to the senses may be essentially different;
and the proof given was that the river Kurumnasa, which means the
destroyer of merit, takes away all merit from those who bathe in it,
while bathing in the Ganges secures an untold degree of merit, extending
not only to one's own past and future, but to an untold number of
ancestors and descendants!

When on the Ganges or its banks one continually sees proof of the
implicit trust placed in it. We remember being awakened very early one
morning long before dawn by a person bathing close to our boat, in a
quivering voice which showed he was chilled by the water, long and
earnestly imploring the favour of _Gunga Ma_--Mother Ganges.

There is no part of India, mountain or plain, where serpents may not be
encountered. One evening, when returning to our boat from a village on
the banks of the river, I was walking warily on a narrow path
half-covered with grass from both sides, when I saw before me what I
first supposed to be a rope. I halted, and immediately a serpent glided
away. That evening, before reaching the boat, I saw at least a dozen of
serpents at their evening gambols over the ruins of a house. I walked
quietly on, deeming it the best part of valour to leave them
undisturbed. If they observed me they showed no inclination to approach

For many years voyaging on the Ganges has gone out of fashion. Native
boats laden with produce and wood continue to ply, but the budgerows and
pinnaces, which Europeans could hire, have almost entirely disappeared.
There are various reasons for this change. The current of the river is
very rapid in some places, which makes the work of dragging against it
very slow and tiresome; there is sometimes the danger of collision with
other boats. The high banks of the river here and there prevent the
country from being seen, and at other places there is a dreary stretch
of sand. Though the weather of the cold season is very steady, a storm
might come on, and if it did neither boat nor boatmen could be trusted;
for the boat, never of the best material, was often sadly out of repair,
and the boatmen were ready, when danger appeared, to throw themselves
into the water and make for the shore, leaving the passengers to shift
for themselves. There was, indeed, the pleasantness of sailing on a
broad river; the air was very fresh; there was no leaving of the
temporary abode from day to day; the trouble of a shifting camp was
escaped, though occasionally there was inconvenience from the
indispensable cook-boat not keeping sufficiently near. Opposed to these
advantages were the disadvantages I have mentioned, which were always
felt to be serious drawbacks; and when the roads had been improved, and
journeying facilities increased, travelling by land obtained so decided
a preference, that the river has been well-nigh abandoned by Europeans.


Some seasons our touring was confined to a narrow range, not extending
beyond thirty or forty miles. We every now and then spent a few days
within a few miles of the city. Our first journey of any considerable
length was, at the end of 1840, to the mela at Allahabad, some seventy
miles north-west of Benares, which I have already mentioned. At the end
of 1842 I made a tour along with my wife and child to Agra, more than
four hundred miles from Benares, which occupied us about three months.
On this tour we passed through Allahabad, Cawnpore, Futtygurh,
Mynpoorie, and other well-known places. Early in 1847, accompanied by a
brother missionary, we went to Almora, nearly six hundred miles distant,
travelling with our tents to the foot of the hills, and spending six or
seven weeks on our way. We left Almora for Benares in October, and
reached it early in December, having taken Meerut, Delhi, and Allygurh,
as well as Cawnpore and Allahabad, in our return route. Our long
journeys many years afterwards were performed with few exceptions under
new conditions, and with much greater expedition.

If my readers are in thought to accompany us on those journeys, it may
be well to state the circumstances in which we travelled, the weather
we had and could generally expect, our travelling arrangements, the
state of the roads, and the aspects of the country through which we

As to the weather, it was generally delightful. We had from day to day
an unclouded sky, with the sun rather strong as the day advanced, but
with a refreshing breeze, which made it thoroughly cool in the shade,
even cold sometimes, so that one was inclined to go out into the
sunshine to get warmth. In the daytime warm clothing was pleasant, and
at night, especially in tents, our blankets and wraps came into full
requisition. There was a steadiness in the weather exceeding anything
known in our climate. We have known weeks without any shading of the
sky. There were, however, occasional breaks. Now and then clouds
gathered from day to day, and at length came down in heavy rain, which
was most welcome to the farmers, especially when it came as it often
did, about Christmas. Thunder storms might be sometimes looked for,
accompanied by sudden and severe gusts of wind. These days of
atmospheric disturbance were sufficient to make us, as travellers,
appreciate more highly the weather with which we were ordinarily


The greater part of the country through which we travelled is very
level. Beyond Chunar, indeed, which is sixteen miles from Benares, and
Mirzapore, which is thirty miles distant, there is a great extent of low
hill-country. These districts we visited several times. The most of our
journeys were in the wide open plains of the North-West. The country,
though level, is by no means uninteresting. You receive as you travel a
very favourable impression of the productiveness of the land and the
industry of the people. In the cold weather you see, as far as the eye
can reach, a sweep of growing corn, wheat and other grains, which give
the hope of an early and abundant harvest. Towns and villages meet your
view on every side. If you get to a slightly elevated spot you are
struck with the number of wells you see in the fields, dug for the
purpose of irrigation. In the great region lying between the Ganges and
the Jumna, called the Doab--the country of the two rivers, the
Mesopotamia of Northern India, over a great part of which we travelled
for the first time at the end of 1842 and the beginning of 1843, and
which we have often traversed since--there is no extensive forest near
the Trunk Road. In all directions, however, you see clumps of lofty and
shady trees, and occasionally groves of considerable extent. Trees have
been largely planted along the road, and within every few miles there
are groves, where travellers get their tents pitched, and where they are
thoroughly protected from the glare and heat of the sun. Even in the
coldest part of the cold weather tents pitched in the open become
quickly too heated for comfort. In the groves the deep shade cast by the
widely-spread branches and the thick foliage sometimes darkens the tent
too much for reading and writing; but outside, on a chair before a small
table, if that be required, one can spend hours very pleasantly reading
or writing, as it may be, and listening if inclined to the cawing of the
crows, the cooing of the doves, and the notes of other birds, while the
gentle breeze rustles through the trees, and the children, if any, play
with their toys under them.

Natives, when they travel, as I have already mentioned, manage things in
a fashion which we are not able to imitate, but which I have often been
inclined to envy. Let them have flour, water, a little wood for fuel,
if not in its stead dried cow-dung, and they partake with relish of the
meal their own hands have cooked, conscious of no want and complaining
of no hardship. The relish is increased if they can get some of the
ordinary vegetables of the country. With the meal over, after chatting a
while over the Hookah, the "hubble-bubble" as English people call it,
the pipe which sends tobacco smoke through water, they wrap themselves
in the blanket which they carry with them, and sleep soundly under a
tree, when, as is often the case, no Sura, a native resting-place, is at
hand. If rain comes on they creep into a place where the rain cannot
reach them, if such a place be available. A few Europeans have at
different times tried to follow the habit of native travellers, and in
very exceptional cases it has been successful. The ordinary result has
been the speedy ruin of health.

Our habits compel us to travel in a different way. When a missionary is
alone, though he cannot travel as a native does, he can put up, and does
put up, with inconveniences to which a family cannot be exposed. The
family, however, requires a change as well as himself; and when wife and
children are with him, as they often are, the house is shut up at home,
home servants are taken, and travelling requires only a slight addition
to the domestic staff. An additional horse is needed for the conveyance
(in India a conveyance is not a luxury but a necessity); two tents are
required, one to be sent on over-night, while the other is kept behind
for occupation; along with the tents, slight portable beds, bedding,
small folding-table, cane chairs, and cooking-vessels. These goods of
the moving household are laden and forwarded on carts called Hackeries,
drawn by oxen. Highly paid officials manage as they travel to have with
them many of the luxuries and even some of the elegancies of life, but
missionaries are satisfied if they get necessaries. As we travel we
manage, though not always, to get milk, fowls, and eggs, and
occasionally a kid. Whatever beside we need must be taken with us.


When the weather is fine, the roads good, the horses and bullocks strong
and manageable, and the attendants efficient, touring in the North-West
in the cold weather is very pleasant. If travelling be prosecuted from
day to day, the custom is to rise very early in the morning at the
earliest dawn, or before dawn, when the morning-star appears, and to
rouse the camp. This was my part when travelling with my household. The
watchman wakened me, and I wakened all around. We got quickly ready, and
set out on our journey of twelve or fourteen miles. The mornings were
not only cool, but often sharply cold. On arriving at the end of our
stage, it might be as early as eight or half-past eight o'clock, we
should find, and often did find, the tent pitched, which had been sent
on over-night, the table spread commonly under a shady tree, the water
boiling, food prepared; and then with a keen appetite we sat down to
breakfast. When the afternoon was a little advanced, the cart arrived
with the tent and other things left behind, and was soon pitched for our
night occupancy. Towards evening the day-tent was taken down, and was
sent on over-night with everything requisite for the next day. When all
the circumstances were favourable, everything went on with an ease and
regularity which made us feel at home while away from home, and gave us
at the same time the constant variety of new scenes.

The circumstances were not, however, always favourable. They were
sometimes the reverse. The new horse was unmanageable, the bullocks were
weak and could not draw the carts, the servants were remiss or
incapable, the roads were in some places shockingly bad, we were left
for hours without tent and food, and, as I have said, the weather now
and then was wet and stormy. We had sometimes an amount of trouble which
made us half regret we had left home. Ladies are generally very patient
in such circumstances, but children are sorely tried. The difficulties
we encountered in some of our early journeys were such that we now
wonder how we got out of them, and succeeded in getting on at all. The
touring in favourable circumstances, which I have described, is not
however a mere ideal. Happily it was often with us a reality. On setting
out things required to be adjusted. Time was required for getting things
into their places, and for each person learning to do the work assigned
him. When once we got into travelling trim, and our people were what
they ought to be, things went on with the regularity of clockwork.

I have mentioned our long tours in 1842 and 1847. On these journeys we
had a good deal of pleasant smooth travelling, and we also encountered
some of the difficulties of which I have spoken. The Trunk Road from
Allahabad to the North-West was in excellent condition in 1842-43; but
from Benares to Allahabad it had been allowed to get out of repair, and
the roads diverging from the Trunk Road on one side to Futtygurh and on
the other side to Agra we found very bad. The story of our difficulties
is well remembered by us, but it must be given very concisely. At one
place a wheel of our conveyance broke in the middle of a stage, and
after some delay we succeeded in getting an Ekka, a small native
conveyance drawn by a pony, on the narrow platform of which the members
of our party who could not walk were squatted as they best could; while
the rest of us walked. We sent on word of our trouble to our missionary
friends at Futtygurh, who kindly arranged to get us on to their
hospitable abode, and to get our conveyance repaired. Three days after
leaving Futtygurh our best horse died, from sheer fatigue in drawing our
conveyance through the sand. This threw us on having it drawn by
bullocks at the rate of a mile and a half, or at the utmost two miles,
an hour, over a very bad road, which jolted us frightfully.


As we travelled we saw many things which drew our attention and excited
our interest. Most of the villages along our route were surrounded by
high mud walls, and had only one entrance by a great strong gate, which
was shut at night, reminding us of the insecurity from which this part
of India had emerged when it came under British rule within the memory
of men then living. Villages thus fortified, if sufficient watch was
kept, were quite secure against the sudden raids of Mahratta horsemen,
or the attacks of robbers, to whose unwelcome visits they were always
exposed. The former state of insecurity was also suggested by the number
we met armed to the teeth, by shield on the breast, sword at the side,
and matchlock on the shoulder. The insecurity had to a great extent come
to an end, but the habit of going armed continued.

Along the road at convenient distances there were Suras for the
convenience of travellers, which people in England, when speaking of
Eastern lands, call Caravanserais. These are generally open spaces,
surrounded by mud walls, with sheds at their sides for people who are
willing to pay a very trifling sum for the luxury of sleeping under
cover, and, if they like, for having their horses near them. Carts and
oxen are always in the open. Sellers of grain and wood are always there
with everything native travellers require. If a bedstead--a low
four-footed article with rope for its bottom and mattress--be preferred
to the bare ground, it can commonly be procured for three-halfpence for
the night. When in the evening we were near these places we went to
them, and saw the poor weary travellers setting to the preparation of
their simple meal--with most the only cooked meal of the day--with
apparently as great contentedness as we have when after a fatiguing day
we reach an hotel, and, having given our orders, know that speedily we
shall sit down to an ample repast. Many of these Suras have been built
at the expense of well-to-do natives impelled by different motives, for
love of name--_nam ke liye_, as the natives say, a motive for which
their countrymen continually give them credit--for the acquisition of
religious merit, and from benevolent feeling. These places are called
Dhurmsalas, places erected by righteous, good men.


On this our first long journey in the country, we were impressed by the
amount of traffic we saw on the road; and this impression was deepened
on future occasions. We seldom travelled a few miles without seeing
carts drawn by bullocks and laden with goods. We saw rows of camels,
walking in single file, each attached to the one before and the one
behind by a string. These belonged chiefly, though not exclusively, to
Afghans, and were laden to a large extent with the products of their
country. Every now and then we came across elephants, sometimes with a
stack of tender branches on their back, which form a large part of
their food, and at other times with persons seated sometimes on a
howdah, sometimes on a pad. There were many foot-passengers, not a few
with heavy loads on their heads. When these came in sight of a well, how
quickly did they step up to it, throw off their burden, drop into it
their brass vessel attached to a string, draw it up, and take a long,
deep draught of the precious water! As I have observed them I have
thought of the words, "With joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of
salvation." To these poor toiling people the wells did appear wells of
salvation. On some days we met bands of persons--chiefly men, with a
woman here and there among them--with bamboo rods across their shoulders
with a basket at each end, their travelling gear in and on one basket,
and a vessel with Ganges water in the other. Thousands of these pilgrims
travel every year over Northern India, going from one shrine to another,
and pouring on certain images the water of the sacred river.

In our journeyings we had a singular immunity from thieves, a greater
immunity than we had in our house at Benares, which was several times
visited by these unwelcome intruders, though we always kept a watchman.
All over the North-West, I suppose all over India, thieves abound. Whole
tribes have for generations followed theft as a profession, and have
betaken themselves to honest work only when compelled by finding their
occupation perilous. They have had as their associates the idle and
dissolute of other castes. Tents, as I have observed, are commonly
pitched in shady groves, and in consequence admit of being approached
unobserved, and a sharp knife in a skilful hand can easily secure an
entrance on any side. Travellers have piquant stories to tell of the
cleverness and impudence with which their property has been taken away.
A missionary friend of ours awoke one morning to find that during the
night everything in his tent had disappeared on which thieves could lay
their hand. We had a large experience of tent life, but we have happily
no story to tell about any similar loss. I do not remember our having
had even a night alarm, though I well remember the difficulty we often
had in preventing our guardians from sending forth unearthly cries,
which made sleep impossible. My habit was, wherever we halted, to make
my way to the headman of the adjoining village or town, and to place our
encampment under his care. We were generally told there were thieves in
the neighbourhood; we were sometimes told they were numerous and daring.
We always stated our readiness to pay for watchmen, and we told the
headman that if he did not send trustworthy men we should hold him
responsible. We thus paid a sort of black-mail, but we thought the small
sum paid well expended as insurance for the safety of our property. Some
travellers take watchmen with them. This we never did, as we thought
ourselves safer in the hands of men on the spot. Many a time as we lay
down in our tent did we think how strange it was that, far away from our
European brethren, in a strange land among a strange people, we could
compose ourselves to sleep with as little fear, and with as strong a
feeling of security, as if within locks and bars in our own country. We
thought, with thankfulness, that we were under the ægis of our own
government, even when we were in places where Englishmen were seldom
seen, but where, notwithstanding, our prestige was fully recognized.

At all the places through which we passed on our first long tour,
Allahabad, Cawnpore, Futtygurh, Mynpoorie, and Agra, we were treated
with the utmost kindness by the American and English missionaries, and
by other Christian brethren, some of whom have been life-long friends
ever since.


We were interested in all the places we saw on this tour; but
Agra--Akbarabad, as natives always call it, the capital of Akbar, the
most remarkable emperor who ever ruled over India--had for us, as for
all who have visited it, peculiar attractions. When at some distance
from the city we saw glistening in the sun the lofty dome and the still
loftier four minarets or towers of the Taj Muhal, that wondrous
mausoleum of the purest marble, built by the Emperor Shah Jehan for a
favourite queen. On our arrival we lost no time in going to it. On
subsequent visits to Agra we renewed our acquaintance with it, and on
every new occasion its exquisite beauty and lofty grandeur enhanced our
admiration. We also saw the Motee Musjid, the Pearl Mosque as it is
called, built of marble, and called the Pearl Mosque, as I suppose, on
account of its beauty and symmetry; the grand tomb of Akbar at Secundra,
six miles from Agra; and other objects of interest. I am not to attempt
a description of these world-famed buildings of Agra. They have been
often described, and by none perhaps better than by Bishop Heber in his
journal, which is now little read, but which gives a more graphic and
accurate account of the parts of India he visited in 1825 than any I
have seen elsewhere. Of the Taj and other grand structures of the
Muhammadan emperors, he says they look as if "built by a giant and
furnished by a jeweller."

While deeply interested in much we saw in this tour of 1842-43, on it,
as well as on all subsequent tours, our great evangelistic object was
kept steadily in view. On this occasion I was accompanied by a
catechist. In the early afternoon, when we might hope to meet people
released from the work of the day, we repaired to the neighbouring
village. Often we found a large tree at the entrance to the village,
with a stone seat close to its trunk, and on it we sat down. If there
was no such seat a small native bedstead was often brought--such a thing
as a chair was unknown--and we were asked to sit, while the people
politely stood, till at our request they sat, which they can well do on
their haunches. We entered into conversation with those who gathered
around us. We asked if there was any pundit, any learned man in the
village; and if there was we were happy to see him come, as we knew the
people would look on us with less suspicion if he was present. In many
places they were so unaccustomed to the sight of Europeans that they
looked on us with a mingled feeling of curiosity and fear. We tried to
put them at ease by speaking about something in which we knew they were
deeply interested, such as their fields and crops, and as soon as we
well could we made our way to the subject of religion. We read those
passages from our Scriptures which we thought most fitted to arrest
their attention. We aimed at setting forth the great facts and truths of
revelation with all the simplicity, conciseness, and earnestness we
could command. We repeated what was not understood, or was
misunderstood, and endeavoured to make it plain by familiar

We met with varied reception. In some places the people were so stolid,
that even the catechist, one of their own people, seemed to make no
impression. On many occasions we were heard most patiently, and were
treated most courteously. Now and then, especially in the larger places,
and where markets were being held--these are held weekly in central
places, sometimes twice a week, and are well attended--there was much
noise and great interruption. At times we encountered strong, bitter,
and captious opposition. On the whole we met with far less opposition,
and with a much more patient and respectful hearing, than at our stated
work in a city like Benares. Often we were thanked for our visit, and
were told our teaching well deserved consideration. Not infrequently the
remark was made, "What you say is very good, but we never heard it
before; we understand it very imperfectly, you will be leaving
to-morrow, and we shall forget it all." We parted with such persons with
a heavy heart. We always halted on the Lord's Day, and often on other
days, when we met with encouragement and circumstances permitted.


Kunauj, now a poor, decayed town, composed chiefly of low mud-built
houses, with not one fine building in it so far as I remember, was, as I
have already mentioned, for ages the most famous city in Northern India,
the capital of sovereigns ruling over extensive regions. The Brahmans of
Kunauj continue to hold the highest rank in the Brahmanical hierarchy,
but I believe only a few reside in Kunauj and its neighbourhood. As we
learned it was only a few miles off the Trunk Road, we determined to
halt a day for the purpose of visiting it. We accordingly went to it one
morning, and remained in it some time, looking at the mounds which cover
the ruins of its palaces, and which is all that remains to tell of its
former greatness. A number gathered around us, with whom we conversed.
They seemed so much interested in what we said about the Saviour, that
we promised to visit them on our return. We accordingly arranged to
remain a Sabbath at the part of the Trunk Road nearest to Kunauj.
Reaching it on a Saturday we sent on a small tent, and early next day,
accompanied by the catechist, I made my way to the town. There we
remained the entire day, and I have seldom had such a day of pleasant
toil. The people came in crowds, and talk on the highest subjects was
kept up from hour to hour. The catechist, after a time, left me to visit
some persons he knew in the neighbourhood, and I was left alone to
unfold the doctrines of Christianity, and to answer the questions put to
me. I more than once said, "I must have rest." All went out, and I lay
down on a piece of carpet on the floor of the tent. Some one soon peeped
in; "Have you not had rest now, sir?" and so I had to get up and resume
my work, not over well-pleased the catechist had left it all to me.
Since that time Kunauj has had visits from missionaries, and they have
had many hearers, but I have not heard of any fruit gathered from these
visits in the form of converts.


I was greatly impressed with one visit I received on this tour. We had
got over our morning journey. I was, I suppose, more tired than usual,
for in the forenoon I lay down on our travelling bedstead to rest. I
heard a voice at the tent door, "Sahib, sahib!"--"Sir, sir!"--and I
said, "Come in." In came a native well dressed, and looking as if tired
with a long walk. I told him to sit down on the carpet, which he did,
and he then proceeded to tell me the object of his visit. He said in
substance: "Last night you were in a village twelve miles from this
place, and you there spoke much of an incarnation, an '_autar_,' which
had for its object the deliverance of man from the power and punishment
of sin. One who heard you last night told me something of what you had
said. I have long been a worshipper of the gods of my fathers, but I
have got no rest, no satisfaction. I have heard much of incarnations,
but I know of no sinless one. Not one of them has done me any good. Have
you certain information of one that can deliver me and satisfy me?" I
need not say what I said in reply to this great inquiry. We talked long
and earnestly. I found he could read, and I gave him a Gospel and some
tracts. He professed to be much interested. I begged him to give me his
address that I might communicate with him. He did not pointedly refuse,
but no address was given to me, apparently from the fear, so common
among the people, of the reproach and suffering which will come upon
them if they be suspected of an intention to abandon their ancestral
religion. I parted with the man praying, that he might be led to the
Saviour. Often, often have I thought of him; often have I hoped that
what was said that forenoon had sunk into his heart; but I have never
seen him, never heard of him, since that time.

I have mentioned that early in 1847 we went to Almora, in the Hill
Province of Kumaon, and towards the end of the year returned to Benares.
Before our departure we had the pleasure of seeing the completion of a
work which had made a great demand on our time and attention, and had
caused us no small anxiety--the erection of a new place of worship in
the Grecian style, in the place of the small mud building in which we
had hitherto met. This was our first essay in building, and our
inexperience led us into many mistakes, which we tried to avoid in
future work of the kind. The building cost above £1,200, fully twice the
sum we had calculated. Through the liberality of friends its entire
cost was met within six months of its opening, and it has proved of
great service to the Mission. The opening services were conducted in
Hindustanee and English. The late Rev. J. A. Shurman preached with great
power in Hindustanee to a crowded congregation composed of Christians,
Hindus, and Muhammadans, and I preached in English to a large European
congregation. We were greatly encouraged by the liberal collections made
at these services.


I must defer to a later period of this work what I have to say about
Kumaon, to which we paid several visits, and where we spent the last
years of our Indian life. Our journeying to and from Kumaon in 1847 was
partly over the ground traversed on our trip to Agra in 1842-43, and
partly over new ground, as one may see by looking at the map of Northern
India. The conditions of the journey were to a large extent those I have
already described; but we suffered from bad roads, from our camp
equipage falling behind, and I may add from inefficient service, much
more than we had formerly done. On reaching Almora we mentioned to a
friend the route we had taken, and he said, "Surely you have not come in
a wheeled conveyance, for I am told that road is impassable." I told him
the road was passable, for we had passed it, but if we had previously
known what it was we should not have attempted it. Amidst the tracks we
saw, we often had difficulty in deciding which was the road. Between
unbridged streams with high banks, ditches, and deep ruts which caught
our wheels and would not let them go, our progress was much impeded; but
we toiled on. At one place we were happily helped by a company of
Sepoys, whose medical officer was a dear Christian friend. In other
places we were extricated by the help of villagers.

As we journeyed in these circumstances we were not in a mood to be
amused, but I was amused one day by the contrast between a romantic lady
and an unromantic "sais" (_anglicè_, groom). The Hills had come grandly
into view, but unhappily we were fast in a ditch. The lady looking to
the "sais" said, "Sais, do you not see the hills?" To which he most
dolefully replied, not lifting his eyes as he spoke, "Madam, what can I
see? We are stuck in the mud."

One day we took full ten hours to go twelve miles. When we came to the
end of our stage we found we had to encamp for the night in the low
scrub of the forest, with stagnant water all around us. There was a hut
at the place with two native policemen to help travellers, and we were
told by them that there had been for some days in the neighbourhood what
is called "a rogue elephant"--an elephant which, for some reason known
only in elephant councils has been driven out of the herd, and is so
enraged by his expulsion that he is ready to run amuck at every person
and animal he sees. This was not pleasant intelligence. We found native
carts at the place, ready to proceed in the morning to a market to be
held at the foot of the hills; and after a very uncomfortable night,
much disturbed by the cries of the beasts of the wilderness, we set out,
the people shouting to scare the elephant, which, though ready for
mischief, is frightened by noise. We saw no trace of him. When the day
was well advanced we reached a rest-house close to the hills, with a
brawling stream behind it, with which our children as well as ourselves
were delighted, one of them clapping his hands and saying, "Water clear
and bright!" We had our first and rather perilous hill journey the next
day, but my account of it and subsequent journeys in the mountains must
be reserved for another time.

We went to Kumaon by the most direct route through Futtygurh and
Bareilly. We returned by a longer route _viâ_ Meerut and Delhi. Our
difficulties on our way back were somewhat different, but they were
quite as great as on our upward journey. Some of the streams we had to
cross were not fordable, and we had great difficulty in getting
ourselves ferried over. A few nights were spent in exceeding discomfort,
our carts not having come up with our tents, and we were shelterless and
supperless--rather, if I may coin such a word, dinnerless. One night
cover was got for my wife and children, but a missionary brother and
myself remained out all night, with no possibility of obtaining rest, as
a pack of jackals were gorging themselves on the carcase of a bullock,
and making the most hideous noises. As the night was cold, and we had no
bedding, it was perhaps well the jackals were there, as otherwise we
might have been tempted to lie down on the bare ground, which we could
not have done with safety to our health. When once we got to the Trunk
Road, which we had from Delhi to Benares, our travelling difficulties
were at an end, and we got on most comfortably.

At Delhi our tents were pitched in an open space near the house of Mr.
Thompson, for many years the Baptist missionary in that city, whose
widow and daughters were afterwards so barbarously murdered by the
mutineers in 1857. With him and his family, and with some other
Christian friends there, we had much pleasant intercourse during the few
days we remained. We of course saw the sights of the grand old imperial
city--the Juma Musjid said to be the largest mosque in Asia, a most
commanding building on a small rocky elevation, to which you ascend by
a lofty flight of steps, and which has a most magnificent court paved
with granite inlaid with marble; the palace, so far as it was open to
visitors; the Chandnee Chauk, the great open street and market-place
with a fine stream of water flowing through it; and, at the distance of
a few miles from the city, the remarkable tower, the Kootub Minar, 240
feet high, erected by the Muhammadan conquerors who first made Delhi
their capital. For miles around there are ruins of mosques, mausoleums,
palaces, and splendid mansions. For a description of Delhi, as for the
description of Agra, I must refer my readers to Bishop Heber's Journal.

During this journey to and from Kumaon we carried on, so far as
circumstances permitted, the missionary work I have already mentioned.
Our experience while prosecuting this tour so closely resembled that of
which I have already given an account, that it is unnecessary to enter
into details.


As on our visit to Agra in 1842-43, so on these journeys of 1847 we met
with the greatest kindness from our missionary brethren, some of whom we
had afterwards the privilege of entertaining at Benares. It mattered not
whether they were Episcopalian, Presbyterian, or Baptist, English,
Continental, or American (at that time there were no Methodist missions
in Northern India), we received a cordial welcome, and though formerly
unknown to each other we at once felt at home. We sometimes felt in much
need of help, and it was most readily afforded. To some other Christian
friends we met our grateful acknowledgments are due.




When two more years had passed, during which we were enabled to carry on
our work with few interruptions, we found that, beneficial though our
visit to the hills had been, we stood in need of a still greater change,
and of a more thorough bracing of both body and mind. Health again began
to fail, and we felt unequal to the work devolving on us. We accordingly
left Benares for Calcutta towards the end of 1849. As our children were
young, and travelling by land was both fatiguing and expensive, we hired
a budgerow and sailed down the Ganges. Our voyage lasted over four
weeks. It gave us the opportunity of touching at a number of places,
Ghazeepore, Buxar, Monghyr, Dinapore, Patna, and Berhampore, in most of
which we had the pleasure of meeting missionary brethren. Towards the
end of January we embarked on the ship _Monarch_, and after a
prosperous, though not a rapid, voyage we arrived in England in May,
1850. The only place at which we touched was St. Helena. We lay off it
the greater part of a day, but none were allowed to land as we had
measles on board.

I will dismiss our stay in England in a few sentences, as it is no part
of my plan to give English reminiscences. Like other missionaries on
leave, I visited many places in England and Scotland on behalf of the
Society of which I was an agent. At the expiration of our leave in the
autumn of 1852 medical opinion forbade our departure. By the autumn of
1853 health was so improved that the way was open for our return to

[Sidenote: VOYAGE TO INDIA.]

After a season of severe domestic trial, which delayed our departure, my
partner, myself, and two children embarked on board the _Indiana_, one
of a new magnificent line of steamers plying to India round the Cape of
Good Hope, in November. The voyage extended to eleven weeks. The weather
throughout was remarkably favourable. We touched at the Islands of St.
Vincent, Ascension, the Cape of Good Hope, the Mauritius, Point de
Galle, and Madras. We landed at most of these places, and this took away
in a great measure the weariness of a long voyage, which I must say we
felt increasingly on every successive occasion. We were detained at the
Cape for three or four days, which gave us an opportunity of getting to
the top of Table Mountain, and of visiting the vineyards a few miles out
of Cape Town. We were hospitably entertained by Mr. Thompson, and
attended his services on the Lord's Day. Mr. Ellis, who was at the time
at the Mauritius, kindly came on board as soon as the _Indiana_ came to
anchor, and took us on shore to the house of our missionary, Mr. Le
Brun. We attended his service--it was the Lord's Day--and were delighted
to see so many present, several of whom we were told were refugees from
Madagascar. The congregation was well-nigh entirely composed of people
of colour, varying from the brown of the mixed race to the jet black of
the negro. The white dresses formed a striking contrast to the dusky
faces, many of which, dark though they were, were lit up with an
expression indicative of intelligence and contentment. The service was
conducted in French, which continues to be the language of the island,
although many years have elapsed since it became a British possession.
After the service we were taken to the house of the Secretary to
Government, who hospitably entertained us. We embarked the next day. As
we were proceeding to the shore we were struck with the familiar sounds
of the Hindustanee language from the lips of Indian coolies. We were
sorry we could exchange with them only a few passing words. During the
few hours we were off Madras we had the pleasure of landing and seeing
some of the missionaries there.


After a short stay in Calcutta, we set out for Benares. The journey was
performed in a new fashion. We purchased a conveyance, and arranged to
have it drawn by relays of coolies all the way. Arrangements were made
by an agent in Calcutta to have word sent on in advance, so that at
every sixth or eighth mile coolies might be in readiness for us. Before
1839 the great Trunk Road from Calcutta to Delhi had been made, but the
streams and ravines were for the most part unbridged, and consequently
travelling by a wheeled conveyance was very slow and difficult. By 1854
the road had been greatly improved, many bridges had been made, and thus
the facilities for travelling were much increased. At every twelve or
fourteen miles there were rest-houses for European travellers, called
"staging bungalows," all built on the same plan at the expense of two
wealthy natives, each with two rooms and a bath-room attached, a
bedstead in each room, a table, and two or three chairs, with a man in
charge to take a small sum from each traveller for accommodation, and
ready to furnish him with a good Indian meal at a very moderate rate. At
some of these we stopped for rest and food. Our party consisted of our
family, and a lady friend who wished to travel with us. Desirous to get
on quickly, we were sometimes in our conveyance twenty hours out of the
twenty-four, and dosed as we proceeded the best way we could. We met
with no adventure worth relating, and were glad after ten days'
journeying to find ourselves once more in our old dear abode. We had a
most hearty and gratifying welcome from our brethren, both European and
native. We reached it on a Saturday. I told the brethren that after my
long absence, and entire disuse of the native language during that
period, I must be a hearer the next day. They said that could not be, as
the people were expecting me to officiate. Thus urged I ventured to
conduct the service, and I was agreeably surprised to find that old
scenes seemed to revive my knowledge of the language, and to bear me
through with unexpected ease.

We resumed work at Benares recruited in health, and refreshed in spirit,
and prepared by the experience of previous years to prosecute it with
new effectiveness. We had a sense of the difficulties of the work, its
trials and discouragements, and of the absolute necessity of Divine help
in order to its being rightly prosecuted, which we could not have had at
an earlier period; and we had at the same time a deeper realization of
its greatness, blessedness, and final certain triumph. The missionary
has little of the spirit of his office, and little fitness for it, who
at every successive stage of his course is not increasingly bent on
honouring his Master and promoting the good of the people among whom he
labours, and who is not at the same time increasingly thankful for
having been called to so high an office, while deeply humbled at his own
unworthiness and his many shortcomings.

During the three years under review, our native Christian congregation
was larger than it had been at any previous period, and, I am sorry to
say, larger than it has been in later years. There were at that time
about twenty Christian households in the mission compound, and several
Christian families came from a little distance. There was a
printing-press in our neighbourhood, which gave employment to a number
of our people, and others succeeded in getting situations which gave
them comfortable support. It was a gladdening sight, when the gong was
struck for worship, to see them making their way to the chapel, and to
find them, when assembled there, well-nigh filling the place, all
cleanly clad, and devoutly engaged in the service of God. Many a time
was my heart full of joy and hope when ministering to them. We had,
indeed, our difficulties and trials. These are never long or far from us
wherever we may be. There were inconsistencies and lapses among the
native Christians which grieved us; but their general conduct was good,
they were at peace with each other, and in some there were marked
indications of growing piety.

Our tours during the cold weather of these years were mainly confined to
the country within thirty or forty miles of Benares. Our only tour of
any length was in January and February of 1857, when we went on the
Calcutta road as far as Susseram, more than a hundred miles distant;
and, leaving the Trunk Road, made our way to the rock of Rohtas,
overlooking the Soane, where there are extensive remains of an imperial
fort. We lodged one night in one of the deserted halls, of which there
were several in a fair state of preservation, and we were told that to
these the tigers of the surrounding forest occasionally resorted. During
the Mutiny this fort was for some time the headquarters of a rebel
chief. With the exception of this tour to the east of Benares, to which
I shall afterwards refer, our experience in these itineracies closely
accorded with that of former years. During this period the school and
preaching work of the mission was steadily prosecuted by the catechists
and missionaries.


Towards the close of 1856, and at the beginning of 1857, there were two
interesting gatherings at Benares. The one was the meeting of boys and
lads from all parts of the province for a Biblical Examination--of which
I have already given some account. The other was a Missionary
Conference, which was largely attended and efficiently conducted. The
facilities for travelling were not so great as they are now, but they
were such as admitted the presence of a number of missionaries from
distant places. We parted deeply thankful for the pleasant and
profitable intercourse we had had with each other. Little did we think
of the terrible storm which was so soon to break over us, in which
several of our number were to lose their lives.


THE MUTINY OF 1857-58.

No one who was within the range of the hurricane of 1857, no one who was
even on its edge, can ever forget it. When we now look back, we marvel
that a single European in that part of India was spared to tell of its
fierce struggle, its sad sights, and its fearful perils. The annals of
the Mutiny are furnished in volumes filled with ample details. Its
causes and consequences have been largely discussed. My narrower and
humbler aim is to describe that terrible outbreak so far, and only so
far, as it came within my own experience and observation. My narrative
will, however, be better understood by stating briefly the causes,
which, in my opinion, led to this great rising against us, and by giving
an outline of its progress before reaching Benares, where we then


Our position in India is very peculiar. The history of the world
presents no parallel. A great continent, containing a number of nations,
possessed of an ancient civilization, some of them composed of races
given to war and noted for their prowess, with a population amounting at
present to 253 millions, has been brought under the dominion of a
country of limited extent and limited population like ours, separated
from it by many intervening countries, and accessible only by thousands
of miles of ocean. That continent has not been subjected to tribute, and
then left to its native rulers. Over by far the greater part of India
these rulers have been displaced, and British rule has been established.
Where native rulers remain, they are bound to administer their affairs
in accordance with the views of the Sovereign Power. Over a part of the
Indian continent the rule commenced more than a hundred years ago, and
from decade to decade it has extended till it now embraces its present
vast proportions. It extends beyond India. In the North-West we have
entered into what properly belongs to Afghanistan, and from Burma a
large extent of territory has been taken; so that the east as well as
the west coast of the Bay of Bengal has come under our rule. To all
appearance the rule is as firmly established as if it had come down from
ancient times.


It would be a great mistake to suppose that India had been conquered for
England by its own people. If they had been left to themselves, no part
of it would now belong to us. The small European force has always been
the backbone of our armies; but in every battle native soldiers have
formed the great majority. The French gave us the example of employing
native soldiers to place their country under European rule. In the
dissolution of the Mogul Empire, thousands of warriors were ready to
fight the battles of any one, European or native, who would pay them
well. The example of the French was followed by the English, till India,
from Cape Comorin to the mountains of the north and the north-west, came
under their sway, to an extent and with a completeness and firmness of
grasp never reached by the Muhammadan power in its palmiest days. Each
Presidency--Bengal, Madras, and Bombay--has had its own native army, in
1857 amounting altogether to 240,000 men. In the Bengal army, by far the
largest of the three, there has never been a single native of Bengal
Proper. It has been entirely composed of north countrymen, to a large
extent of Brahmans, and Chhatrees the old fighting caste of India, who
have entered our service on account of its good pay and good treatment,
though alien from us in everything by which one people can be alien from
another. Many of the native soldiers have been Muhammadans, who are
intensely averse to us on both religious and political grounds. Under
the influence of friendly intercourse and good offices performed to each
other, a kindly feeling often sprung up between officers and men; but as
a body they were mercenary troops fighting for strangers, and the
history of the world furnishes abundant instances of such an army being
as formidable to their employers as to those against whom they have been
employed. In the course of time our native soldiers were more and more
trusted; important places were garrisoned by them, military stores were
entrusted to them; and nothing was more natural than that in the more
ambitious of their number the thought should spring up that the time had
arrived for expelling the stranger, and seizing the power within their
grasp. In thus acting they could make themselves sure of the sympathy of
their countrymen.


The Sepoys have been treated in the matter of pay, clothing, and food,
as they never were under native rulers; but they have been subjected to
strict discipline, and they have been cut off from the much-prized
privilege of foraging, or rather plundering. They have at different
times complained loudly of unjust treatment. Alleged breach of promises
of pay, and their being sent to fight our battles in foreign countries
such as Burmah, China, Persia, and Afghanistan, and to parts of India
foreign to them, have been prominent among their causes of complaint.
They have not confined themselves to complaint and remonstrance; they
have again and again broken out into mutiny, which has led to some
regiments being disbanded, and the mutineer leaders being severely
punished. Years before 1857 it was asserted by persons eminently
qualified to judge, like Sir Henry Lawrence, that grievous mistakes had
been committed in the administration of the native army, and that our
safety demanded great changes in its treatment and distribution. When
one reads the statements they made, and the warnings they gave, the
wonder is the mutiny did not sooner occur. Lord Ellenborough, before
leaving India, declared the Sepoys were our one peril in India, and
characteristically proposed we should keep them in humour by keeping
them always fighting.

All other causes of revolt were light compared with the charge often
advanced and believed that we were bent on the destruction of their
religion. From the outbreak at Vellore in 1806, on to the great mutiny
of 1857, this charge was persistently made. The Sepoys were allowed all
the religious liberty compatible with military obedience; they had every
facility for following their religious customs; they were fenced off
from Christian influences as no other part of the community was; they
were solemnly assured again and again their religion would be
scrupulously respected; they had full evidence before their eyes that
with few exceptions their officers had no Christian zeal. Whence, then,
this charge of tampering with their religion? The explanation is to be
found in the character of Hinduism. It is intensely outward. It is a
matter of rite and ceremony, of meat and drink, of clothing and posture.
It may be filched from a man without any act of his own by the act of
another, and he may not be aware till informed that the fatal loss has
been incurred. Something may be introduced into his food which will
deprive him of his religion, and make him an outcast all his days. What
more easy than to introduce a defiling element, such as the blood or fat
of the cow or bullock, of which the Brahman or Rajpoot might unaware
partake? To this intensely outward religion people of these castes are
passionately attached from custom, from superstition, and still more, I
think, from the consideration among themselves and others which caste
purity secures. Their honour, _izzat_, as they call it, is their most
valuable possession. An attack on it is bitterly resented. This honour
is quite consistent with licentiousness, robbery, plunder, and even
murder; but to violate caste by drinking from the vessel of a low-caste
man, or eating with him, would bring with it indelible disgrace. To
partake of the cow, the sacred animal, is the greatest crime which can
be committed, and, if done unconsciously, the greatest calamity.

Notwithstanding the fact that the English as a people had little zeal
for their religion, the Sepoys thought they saw reasons for our wishing
to effect their conversion. If Christians, they would be fitter
instruments for carrying out the designs of their English conquerors.
They would in that case be no longer hampered by class distinctions,
commissariat arrangements could be more easily made, they would have no
objection to serving in foreign lands, and they would become identified
with us. What was more easy than to effect the change by the
manipulation of their food? Their imagination led them to interpret
facts as justifying suspicion, and the supposition was enough to drive
them to revolt.

The Muhammadans in India have become Hinduized to a large extent; they
continually speak of themselves as a caste, and Muhammadan soldiers have
shared with their Hindu comrades in the fear that the English were bent
on destroying their religion. They took the most prominent part in the
mutiny at Vellore in 1806. They were injudiciously required there to put
on the English military hat, to shave their beards, and put on leather
belts, which they maintained were made of pigs' skins; and all this was
done, they said, to turn them into _Topeewalas_, Hatmen--in other words,
into Englishmen and Christians.


Outside the army there have been causes, co-operating with those within,
in prompting the soldiers to rise against us. Our government is a very
foreign one. There is a national gulf between the rulers and the ruled,
and consequent absence of the sympathy which would draw them to each
other, if they were of the same people. Our government is at once
expensive and strong, requiring a large amount of taxation considering
the resources of the country, and able to enforce its payment. India has
been greatly favoured by high-minded and able rulers; but often, with
the best intentions, from want of thorough acquaintance with the native
character and customs, injustice has at times been done by the decisions
of our courts. Though giving security for person and property, such as
India had never previously enjoyed, our government has borne hardly on
some classes, such as the officials of the native states we have
annexed, the numerous dependents of the abolished native courts, and the
able and enterprising members of the community, for whom no suitable
sphere has been open, as the main prizes in both the military and civil
services are reserved for the English stranger. Then deposed princes
have now and then intrigued with the army to draw it away from its

In the spring of 1856 Lord Dalhousie laid down his office, after his
long and memorable Proconsulship. So little did he anticipate the events
of the coming year, that in the elaborate Minute he wrote on his
retirement he satisfied himself with saying, regarding the native army,
that the condition of the Sepoy could not be improved. Till the closing
months of the year there was no fear of the coming storm. Profound peace
reigned throughout India. War had been declared against Persia, but
hopes were entertained that victory would soon crown our arms, and these
hopes were fulfilled.


Towards the end of 1856 and early in 1857 there were mutterings of the
storm. A number of men were selected from each regiment to be taught the
use of the Enfield rifle, and for this purpose a new cartridge was
required, which required to be bitten with the teeth. The report spread
like wild-fire, and was firmly believed, that the cartridge was smeared
with bullock's fat to destroy the caste of the Hindus, and with pig's
fat to destroy the caste of the Muhammadans. The Adjutant-General of the
army declared there was not the slightest ground for the statement; but
the more strongly our innocence of design on their religion was
asserted, the more firmly did the Sepoys believe our guilt. Paper was
offered to them, and they were told to prepare cartridges for
themselves; but they said the paper was dangerously glazed, and they
would not accept it. Among other things causing disquietude was an order
that in future all enlisting must engage to go wherever they might be
sent in India or beyond. Hitherto some regiments had been enlisted only
for service in India, and could not be sent out of it except by their
own consent. On every side there were signs of a new era setting in,
which forbode no good to the ancient customs and institutions of the
land. The more aspiring spirits among the Sepoys had evidently formed
the project of uniting the whole army in the attempt to drive the
English into the sea, and secure power and emolument for themselves.


Various things favoured the project. It was well known that many
throughout India hated the English, and were ready to join in their
expulsion. Forts and arsenals were left in their keeping, unchecked by
the presence of European soldiers. The mass of the European force was in
the far North-West, in the Punjab, and towards the border of
Afghanistan, as if there the danger lay. The Sepoys saw that if they
could combine and act in concert they could with ease strike us to the
ground. Then the prophecy was widely spread that our rule was speedily
to come to an end. It had commenced with our victory at Plassey on June
23, 1757; and when the sun of June 23, 1857, should set, not one English
face would be seen in India. Mysterious cakes, resembling our bannocks,
were sent on from village to village, like the fiery cross in Scotland
in former days, to prepare the people for great and startling events.
Early in 1857 the ferment among the soldiers was spreading among large
classes of the people.

During the cold weather of 1856-57 I spent some weeks in travelling with
my family in the country to the east of Benares, on the Calcutta road.
We left the high-road and made our way, as I have already mentioned, to
Rohtas Gurh, a famous abandoned fortress on the top of a hill. In some
of the villages to which I went to preach the Gospel the bitterest
feeling was shown, especially by young men, towards our rule and
religion. In one place the feeling manifested was so bitter that I
thought they were prepared to lay violent hands on me. I remember
remarking more than once, as I returned to the tent weary and worn out
in body and mind, that a strange feeling was coming over the people,
which I had never previously observed, and that I feared dark days were


At Berhampore, more than a hundred miles above Calcutta, and
Barrackpore, a few miles from it, the Sepoys broke into open mutiny,
which led to the leaders being executed and their regiments disbanded.
The outbreak at these places made a painful impression on the entire
English community, and created deep anxiety. That anxiety was increased
by the reports received from day to day of the mutinous spirit shown by
the Sepoys all over the country. We were told of midnight meetings,
insolent conduct, and incendiary fires. The most sanguine could not but
fear that we were entering a calamitous period. The most hopeful were
those officers who had been long with native regiments, and were sure
that whatever others might do, their men would remain staunch.


At length, on May 10th, the storm burst out at Meerut in all its fury.
I cannot enter on a detailed account of the events of that sad,
memorable day. I can only in a few words mention what took place. On the
previous day 87 men of a native cavalry regiment had, before the whole
garrison of the place, been put in irons for repeated persistent
disobedience. Though there was a large European force a native guard was
put over the prisoners, who were confined in a place close to their
comrades. No precaution was taken against their rescue. On the evening
of the next day, Sunday, as the Europeans were gathering for Church, the
Sepoys rose, murdered their officers, hastened to the parade ground,
liberated their imprisoned comrades, opened the jails, raised all the
villainy of the native town, massacred the Christians whom they met,
men, women, and children, set houses on fire, and then set out for
Delhi, the great old imperial city. There they were welcomed by the
titular king and his family, and there, as at Meerut, they murdered all
the Christians on whom they could lay hold. By the mismanagement of the
large European force at Meerut, a small portion of which was well able
to cope with the Sepoys, they did not arrive on the scene of revolt till
the Sepoys had done all the mischief on which they were bent, and had
set out for Delhi.

That 10th of May we remember vividly. We had had our usual afternoon
service with the native Christians. In the evening we walked out in the
garden. The moon was shining in an unclouded sky. Hot though the weather
was we enjoyed our quiet walk, talked of the services of the day, and
the threatening appearance of affairs. Little did we think of the
terrible scenes which were then being enacted at Meerut.

The outbreak at Meerut awoke as with a peal of the loudest thunder the
entire English community in India, and especially in Northern India, to
a sense of imminent peril. We had hitherto lived in the enjoyment of
profound security. There had been uneasiness on different occasions,
when our power seemed imperilled by the disasters which overtook us in
Afghanistan in 1841-42, and by the life and death struggle we had
afterwards with the Sikhs. Our enemies were then watching for our fall,
and the reasons for uneasiness at those times were stronger than the
community generally were aware of. There had been also at different
times uneasiness in reference to the Sepoys, but they came to be
regarded as wilful children, who might be troublesome, but who would do
us no harm. In our own country, among our own people, we could not have
felt safer than we ordinarily did. At the travelling season we went
about, pitched our tents in solitary spots, for weeks together perhaps
did not see a white face, and were treated not only with courtesy, but
generally with profound deference, as if we belonged to a superior race.
The people in their obsequious fashion, and with their idolatrous views,
would almost have given us divine honours. All at once we realized
ourselves as living in the midst of a dense alien population. Our own
trusted soldiers, serving under our banners, receiving our pay, and
sworn to defend us, had risen against us; and with them as declared
enemies, in whom could we confide? Our obsequious servants of yesterday
might become our murderers to-day. We felt ourselves at bay, surrounded
by a host who might any moment fall on us and destroy us.



At no place was the shock felt more severely than at Benares, where I
was residing with my family. In no place was the danger greater. We were
living in the suburbs of the most superstitious and fanatical city in
the land. Again and again during the eighty years of our rule there had
been riots in the city, professedly to avenge religious wrongs--riots so
formidable, that they were quelled by military force. A very few years
previous to 1857 the city was thrown into violent commotion, in
consequence of new messing regulations in the jail, by which it was
alleged, though without reason, the caste of the prisoners would be
affected. The rowdy element, composed of those emphatically called
_bud-mash_ "evil-doers," persons ready for every mischief, was very
strong. The Sepoys put in the forefront of their quarrel the plea that
they were fighting for their religion, and where could they expect so
much sympathy and help as in Kasee? Sir Henry Lawrence, writing some
time previously about the mistakes committed in the management of the
native army, named Benares as a place where fearful scenes would be
witnessed in the event of a Sepoy rising. Intensely Hindu, though
Benares be, it has, as we have already observed, a large Muhammadan
population, and in attacking us the Hindus could fully depend on their

Our danger was greatly increased by the vast disproportion between the
native and European force--a disproportion so great, that apart from the
danger of our neighbourhood to a great city, from which we might expect
a host to pour out to attack us, it looked as if we were doomed to
destruction. We had in Benares a Native Infantry regiment, which was
believed to be tainted; a Sikh regiment, the temper of which was little
known; and, a few miles off, an Irregular Cavalry regiment, composed, it
was said, of a superior class of men, all, I believe, Muhammadans, but
whom few could trust in the event of a rising. Our European force
consisted of thirty artillery-men in charge of a battery of three guns.
At the fort of Chunar, sixteen miles distant, there was a number of
European soldier pensioners, of whom perhaps sixty or seventy might be
effective. So unbounded had been the confidence in the Sepoys, that the
artillery-men in Benares and the pensioners in Chunar were the only
European force in the entire province of Benares under the Benares
Commissioner, with a population of over ten millions; while in seven
stations in the province there were native soldiers, chiefly infantry,
but partly cavalry and artillery. Besides the English officers of the
native regiments, and some half-dozen English civil officials, the only
English people were missionaries of the Church, Baptist, and London
Societies, and a few traders, while a few indigo planters were scattered
in the country.


On the news of the Meerut mutiny reaching Benares, the civil and
military authorities lost no time in consulting what should be done. The
proposal that we should leave in a body for the Fort of Chunar was most
wisely rejected. It was impossible to disarm the distrusted Native
Infantry regiment in the absence of a European force. There was a large
building in cantonments, which had been erected for a mint for the
North-Western Provinces, and had been used for this purpose till the
provincial mints were removed to Calcutta. It always afterwards bore the
name of "The Mint." This building is in a wide enclosure, surrounded by
a high wall, and it was hinted all round that in the event of a rising
we should, if possible, make our way to this place. The Irregular
Cavalry regiment was called in to patrol the roads leading to the
station and city, and report the presence of suspicious persons. The
resolution was formed to maintain a bold front, and pursue our usual
course, as if we knew that succour was at hand. On every side the hope
was expressed that none would give way to panic. The men at the head of
affairs had the general confidence of the community.

Most happily for us and for many others there was a lull in the storm
after the mutiny at Meerut and the possession of Delhi by the mutineers.
There was alarm everywhere, here and there there was commotion, but
there were no extensive and concerted risings. If there had been we
could not have been saved. Our soldiers were returning from Persia,
regiments proceeding to China were stopped on the way and brought to
India, and an available force was thus placed at the disposal of the
authorities. English soldiers were hastened up from Calcutta. From day
to day we with joy saw them pass our gate in carriages on their way to
cantonments. Great though our danger was they were not detained. A small
number was kept for our defence, and the rest were sent on to relieve
our sorely-pressed people farther north. Some began to hope the dark
cloud over us was about to be dispersed, while others looked on our
position with dismay approaching despair. As our house was in a very
exposed position, a friend had at an early period invited us to take up
our abode with him; but we resolved to remain for the present in our own


At length the storm burst over us. By attempts at incendiary fires and
in other ways the Native Infantry regiment had shown a mutinous spirit.
The necessity for disarming it was obvious to all except its own
officers, but the difficulty of the measure was great. On June 4th
Colonel Neil, one of those men whose high qualities were elicited by the
terrible struggle on which we had entered, arrived at Benares. On the
previous day a native regiment had mutinied at Azimghur, sixty miles
distant. A council was held, and as there were one hundred and twenty
English soldiers it was resolved to disarm the Native Infantry regiment
next morning. The question was asked, "Why not now? We may be all killed
before morning." Immediate disarmament was determined on. Well was it
for us this was the decision, as it was afterwards found that very night
had been fixed for the rising of the regiment, and the massacre of us
all. The whole military force of the place was called out, the English
soldiers being placed near the guns, and the Sepoys were ordered to pile
their arms. The order instead of being obeyed was met by our officers
and men being fired on, and the fight commenced.


We had just finished dinner when our night watchman rushed into the
room with the startling words, _Pultun bigar guya_, and _lin men ag
luga!_--"The regiment has mutinied, and the cantonments are on fire."
Scarcely had he uttered the words, when we heard the sharp rattle of the
musketry and the crash of the guns. Our little conveyance was made
quickly ready, and, with all others in that part of the suburbs, we
drove as quickly as we could to the only place of temporary safety
available for us, on the banks of the Ganges at the northern end of the
city. The English were in different parts of the suburbs, and betook
themselves to the places nearest to them which promised immediate
shelter. Sir John Kaye, the historian of the Sepoy War, says that the
missionaries left the city for Chunar, with the exception of one he
names, Mr. Leupolt. In fact, only the Church missionaries went in that
direction, and they could go in no other.

As we were hastening to the Ganges we knew from the noise of the
musketry and cannon that the battle was going on, and from the cloud of
smoke rising from cantonments we feared that all the houses were on
fire. We went with others to the house of an English merchant whom we
knew well, and then as the natives were gathering around we betook
ourselves to boats on the river, and got out into the stream. In a short
time a messenger from cantonments reached us with the good news that our
men were victorious, and that the mutineers were in flight. We returned
to the house of our merchant friend with the intention of remaining
there for the night. With our party were a number of children, some of
them infants, and they, poor things, were put to rest in any corner
which could be found. Between eight and nine the Brigade-Major, who had
been slightly wounded, and had been saved from certain death by the
faithfulness of a trooper, rode into the compound accompanied by men of
the Irregular Cavalry regiment. We all ran out, and were told by him
that a number of English soldiers, who had just arrived from Calcutta,
were on the other side of the Ganges ready to be ferried over, and that
they would form our escort to the Mint, which was between three and four
miles distant. In the meantime we learned all that had occurred--how the
Native Infantry regiment had mutinied, how they had been joined by the
Sikhs, some said by panic, by others I believe more truly, from sympathy
with their Hindustanee brethren, as was shown by their after conduct;
and how all had been put to flight by our band of soldiers, aided by the
guns. On our side four were killed and nineteen wounded, of whom the
greater number afterwards died. How many of the Sepoys were killed was
not ascertained, as, with the exception of a few, the dead and wounded
were carried off by their comrades.

When all was ready we set out, a long cavalcade, with English soldiers
in front and behind, and native troopers on each side, our guardians
then, but before the morning dawned in flight to join the mutineers. It
was a calm, beautiful moonlight night, forming a strange contrast to the
turmoil of the preceding hours. The road took us by our house, and as we
passed the gate a servant, who had been watching for us, came out with
artificially cooled water, which was very welcome. We reached the Mint
about midnight, and there the whole European community was assembled. On
every side there was eager talk about our position and prospects, but
there was no appearance of panic or fright. The mothers soon succeeded
in finding spots in the spacious rooms of the Mint--which had not been
swept, and were covered with half an inch of mud--for their precious
charge, and there they remained to watch over them; while the men
sauntered about, or tried to sit where anything like sitting was
practicable. Stray shots were heard, and from the city went up rockets,
which were regarded as signals to the Sepoys outside. Most were awake as
if it were full day. Between three and four in the morning, as I was
sitting with two or three others on a native bedstead, a person came and
said, "Where is the magistrate? The city is up." It was a false alarm;
the city remained strangely quiet. As the morning broke we were all in
safety, and no enemy was to be seen. Many of the English soldiers were
so overcome by fatigue that they lay on the gravel fast asleep, with
their muskets by their side.

[Sidenote: LIFE AT THE MINT.]

In the Mint we all remained for more than a week in the greatest
possible discomfort, unable to change our clothes except by going to
some house outside, which some of us ventured to do. We once ventured to
our house for some very necessary articles, and daily visits were paid
to a barrack a short way off, where the sick and wounded were. During
the day, with the blazing sun above us, and the wind blowing through the
Mint with the heat of a furnace, we were obliged to confine ourselves to
its large crowded rooms. The exposure was trying, but was patiently
borne, and did no seeming injury to our health. At night we slept
outside, most of us on the flat roof of the Mint, on bedding which our
servants brought us. Our food was cooked at our homes, and brought to us
by our servants, and very thankful were we to get it, though we had
neither tables to sit at nor chairs to sit on. Had not our servants been
faithful we should have starved, as the authorities, to prevent panic
and to show a bold front, had laid in no provisions. This seems very
unwise, and yet there is no doubt the bold front did much under God to
effect our deliverance.

In the morning of the Sunday after the mutiny the Rev. C. B. Leupolt, of
the Church Mission, preached on the parade ground. In the afternoon I
was requested to preach. The soldiers, with their rifles in their hands,
and the European inhabitants were my audience. I took for my text words
which at once suggested themselves to my mind, "If God be for us, who
can be against us?" These words of the Apostle Paul, I was afterwards
told, came fraught with strength to the hearts of some present.

On Sunday evening it began to be whispered that mutiny had broken out at
Allahabad. On Monday we knew all. The 6th N. I. Regiment, after
professing in the afternoon their readiness to march to Delhi and fight
the rebels, in the evening rose, murdered sixteen officers, six of them
young lads who had just arrived, and all Europeans who came their way.
Happily families were in the Fort, to which they had betaken themselves
in opposition to the affectionate remonstrances of the native officers,
who said it was a slur on their fidelity! The Sepoys plundered the
Treasury; and it is said many of them were afterwards murdered by the
villagers on account of the money with which they were laden.

As the Sepoys entirely disappeared, and the city of Benares was quiet,
though the country around was much disturbed, most of us after a time
returned to our homes. In our own case we found that not one of our
servants had decamped, and not a pin's worth had been stolen. The very
night of the mutiny a servant picked up the few silver spoons we had
left on the table, and at considerable risk made his way to us to place
them in his mistress's hands. Indeed, all about us acted with a
faithfulness which elicited our warm gratitude.


While we were at the Mint a little incident occurred, which suggested
how, in the excited state of affairs, a spark might have caused a great
conflagration. Seeing a crowd of natives, almost all servants, at the
gate, I went to it, and there the sentry, a little peppery Irishman, was
threatening to stab with his bayonet a native servant with a note in his
hand. I asked what was the matter. The sentry said, "That black fellow
is mocking me, and I'll send this through him." The servant appealed to
me. He said he had a note for a gentleman in the Mint, and entreated
that "gora," "white man," to let him in, but instead of doing so he
threatened to kill him. The mocking was, it turned out, the native
folding his hands in the attitude of supplication. I explained the
matter, and the man got in. The native servants were so roughly treated
by some of our people, especially by the newly-arrived soldiers, simply
because they were natives, that I was afraid they might leave us in a
body; and if they had done so we should have been in a sad plight. One
of my own servants, a native Christian, complained bitterly to me of the
treatment he had received.

The quiet of Benares during this period was remarkable--I might almost
say preternatural. When the fight of the 4th of June commenced, numbers
were seen with drawn swords rushing towards cantonments, but when they
saw Sepoys falling, and others running away, they shrank back into the
city. A great dread fell on the entire population. I was told by natives
the report had gone out that the English soldiers had been commanded to
enter the city, and slay every man, woman, and child they met; and that
in consequence, to adopt their exaggerated words, they sat trembling all
night, no one daring to sleep.

In the meantime the terrible work of retribution commenced. Martial law
was proclaimed, and many poor miserable creatures, charged with
plundering, were hanged. Some of the Sepoys caught were blown from guns.
I will not harrow my readers with details. I shunned as much as I could
these bloody scenes, but on several occasions I came suddenly on them.
To the present day I shudder as I think of what I saw.


[Sidenote: OUR DAY OF PANIC.]

I must now come to our day of panic, July 6th. July 5th was a Sunday. We
had our usual services with the native Christians. Some two hours after
the evening service, a nephew of ours, then at Benares, drove into the
compound, and told us we must go at once to the Mint, as a large force
of Sepoys and country people were four miles off, prepared to attack the
jail. This was startling news, as our house lay in the direct line
between the jail and the city, and, in the event of the attack being
successful, we should be the first victims. Still, we were very
unwilling to stir, but our nephew was so urgent that we at last complied
with his entreaty. A refugee family was in our house, and with us all
crowded into a small conveyance we made our way to the rendezvous. What
a scene was there! Most had arrived before us. Rain was falling, and we
could not remain out. The rooms were so crowded that we could not get
into them, and we had to lie for the night as we could in a dirty
passage, with our back to the wall. The night passed off without an
alarm, and in the morning we returned to our home, somewhat annoyed at
having been taken from it, as we supposed, without sufficient reason.

On the morning of the 6th I had a strange duty to discharge for such a
time--the marriage of a couple. One of our native Christians had
arranged for his marriage taking place at that date. I told him that
this was no time for marrying; that we who were married must abide with
our families, but that those who were intending marriage should defer it
to a more propitious season. He said all was arranged, and he begged me
to officiate, which I did, I must say, with a bad grace. No sooner was
the marriage over than I went home. After breakfast and family worship,
we each betook ourselves, thoroughly worn out, to our rooms to obtain
some rest. Scarcely had I lain down on my couch, when our faithful
watchman came to my door and exclaimed, "If you do not go at once to the
Mint you will all be killed." I asked him what was the matter. He could
not tell me. He could only say, "Fly, fly." The refugee lady who, with
her family, was with us, hearing the watchman's words, exclaimed, "Oh,
Mr. Kennedy, do not leave us!" to which I replied, "Depend on it, I will
not. Rather than that, I myself will remain behind." Our conveyance was
speedily made ready, and off we started, with such a crowded coach as
has been seldom seen, I, as driver, urging the poor overladen horse to
his utmost speed. Natives as well as Europeans were seized with panic.
There was a stream, then in full flood, close to our house, and I saw
several natives throw themselves into it to swim across, at the imminent
risk of their lives. As we crossed one of the great roads leading to the
city, the natives were running as if pursued by demons. Right before us
we saw an English lady running towards the Mint, with her bare head in
the sun, which had now come out in its strength. A gentleman in a buggy
drove past us, pulled in reins, the lady leaped into it, and they dashed
on to the place of refuge. On reaching the Mint we found most of the
Europeans there before us. I accosted a friend and said, "What does this
mean?" He told us how the impression had gone out that the enemy were on
us, and how the panic might have been prevented if information of the
state of affairs had been given. There was danger. The host coming
against us had, with characteristic procrastination, put off the attack
till the morning. To prevent their approach to the city, every man and
gun that could be spared were sent out to meet them.

When we reached the Mint we heard the rumour that Cawnpore had fallen.
The report was not generally believed, but it was true. We were only two
hundred miles from Cawnpore, and yet nine days had passed before our
hearing of its fall, and we then heard of it only as a rumour.

The feeling of panic soon subsided, and as some in their haste had taken
something with them, it soon looked as if we were a large improvised
picnic party. For a few hours all was quiet; but in the afternoon the
rattle of the musketry and the boom of the cannon told us the battle had
commenced. Soon the news reached us that the rebels were in flight, and
that we were again safe. Till the news reached there was anxiety, but
there was little manifestation of it, except by the wives of some of the
soldiers, who were wringing their hands and weeping bitterly. The night
was spent by us in the greatest discomfort, huddled together, lying in
our day clothes on the floor, in an atmosphere so close that I wonder
we were not stifled. That 6th of July, 1857, at Benares can never be
obliterated from the memory of any one who was there. It makes us
understand, as nothing else could do, how much more dreadful a panic is
than the most furious combat.


I must recall my readers for a little to the couple whom I had married
on the morning of that memorable day. We had not been above a few
minutes in the Mint, when whom did I see rushing in at the gate, out of
breath, but my friends whom I had united in wedlock a few hours
previously, the bridegroom a few steps in advance of the bride, who was
doing her best, with little success, to save her bridal dress from being
soiled by the muddy road. Grave though our position was, I could not but
smile when I saw them. I went to meet them, and looking sternly at the
bridegroom I said, "Chhotkan, did I not tell you this was no time to
marry?" He looked at me sheepishly, and said, "Well, sir, it is now
over, and I cannot help it." I had better add that the marriage has been
a happy one. The husband has maintained a Christian character, and has
had a prosperous career, and they both survive to the present time.


On the day after the panic we all returned to our respective homes. The
immediate danger was past, but the country around was in a very
disturbed state. The officer commanding the station sent round a
circular strongly recommending the immediate departure for Calcutta of
European families, and, indeed, of all Europeans who were not able and
willing to bear arms. Like many of my countrymen, I was thrown by this
circular into great perplexity. Our house was out of cantonments, in a
very exposed situation. We had four children with us at the time, the
eldest six years of age, and the youngest a little more than three
months. Their departure was indispensable. Was I to go with them, or
send them away and remain behind? Some advised me to go, but we soon saw
this was not the course which ought to be pursued. Officers were sending
away their families, and they themselves were remaining behind. For me
to desert my post at such a time, was seen by us both, would be to undo
the work of my life, and it was evident my duty was to remain. Armed
steamers were going up and down the Ganges, and I hoped to secure a
passage to Calcutta in one of them for my family. Hearing a steamer was
expected from Allahabad, we went down to Raj Ghat; and as soon as the
steamer came to anchor I went on board. It was full to overflowing of
refugees from the North-West. The captain told me he could not give my
family even a deck passage, so crowded was the vessel. There was nothing
for us but to go back to a friend's house, where we had been living for
a few days. Through the kindness of a friend at Allahabad, to whom I had
written, I succeeded in securing a small cabin for my family in the next
steamer, and in it they made their way to Calcutta, after a detention of
some days at Dinapore in great discomfort and danger, owing to the
mutiny having broken out there. At Calcutta they embarked, in September,
in a cargo ship for England, which they reached after a long and stormy
passage. During the whole of July and August the communication between
Bengal and the Upper Provinces was so interrupted, that sometimes for
weeks together no certain information was received of what was
transpiring. At Benares the only mails reaching were from places near
us. At Calcutta the rumour went out that Benares had fallen, and that
all the English people in it had been massacred, causing the deepest
distress to the many there who had left loved ones behind.



From July till October the position of the English at Benares was one of
great danger. We had no fighting, but we were continually threatened. We
had twice or thrice an alarm, the most serious being from an _emeute_ in
the jail, which was soon suppressed and the leaders executed. Delhi was
not taken till September, and till that was done, all who desired our
overthrow were sure it was about to be accomplished. Our great peril was
from Lucknow. Our small force there was besieged, it was reckoned, by
50,000 men. They were not relieved till towards the end of September.
While the siege was being carried on, information reached the
authorities of Benares that a plan had been formed to detach from the
besieging army five or six thousand men to attack us. The plan was most
feasible. The distance by the direct route was under two hundred miles.
The river Goomtee, which flows by Lucknow, enters the Ganges a few miles
from Benares. It was at that time in full flood, and a flotilla might be
easily gathered by which, in a few days, a large body of armed men with
the munitions of war could have reached us. Some of the Barons of Oude
sent offers of aid, but these offers were by many considered lures to
draw us into their net, that they might the more easily destroy us. Jung
Buhadur, the famous ruler of Nepal, proposed to come with his brave
Ghoorkas to defend us, but their presence was more feared than desired.
Then in the great city near us we knew there were many plotting our
destruction, and ready to rise at the first signal of an approaching

So great was the danger considered, that thousands were set to the
erection of a great earth fort close to the Ganges, on the site of an
old Muhammadan fortress. Owing to the disturbed state of the country the
commerce of the place was paralyzed; the stock of grain in the market
was very low, and food was selling at famine prices. The erection of the
fort gave most welcome employment to the poorer portion of the
community. So great was the danger, that, acting under the advice of
those best acquainted with the state of affairs, I sent to this fort
books, documents, and other things which I deemed it most important to
preserve. We were instructed how we were to act in the event of a sudden
outbreak, the rendezvous to which we should instantly resort, and from
which we might make our way together to the fort, which was being
erected. It often occurred to me that our position at that time was like
that of persons sitting on a barrel of gunpowder in a house on fire. So
alarming were the accounts received in the daytime, that I often lay
down at night uncertain what might occur before morning. Often I got up,
looked towards the cantonments, and listened. Thankful that all was
quiet, I returned to my bed.


During these anxious months I had abundant reason to be thankful for the
decision at which we had arrived, that I should remain behind when my
family left for England. In the discharge of the work devolving on me
from day to day, I felt I should have been recreant to duty, and missed
many opportunities of usefulness, had I gone away. Early in September,
to the great grief of us all, a much-loved member of the Mission, my
sister-in-law, the wife of my senior colleague, Mr. Buyers, was removed
by death. She had remained behind when other ladies, who had children,
left. Mr. Buyers was prostrated by the blow, and for a considerable time
was unable to resume work. The charge of the Mission thus came largely
into my hands. Before the end of July we re-opened our principal school
in the heart of the city, of which I was superintendent, and which I
visited constantly. At Benares a Depôt Hospital was opened, to which the
sick and wounded Europeans were brought from the surrounding country,
and there a part of every day was spent. My principal work, however, was
among the native Christians, with whom I met constantly to speak about
the state of affairs, to consult what should be done, to commit
ourselves to God, and ask from Him guidance and protection. The firmness
and courage of these Christians were worthy of the highest praise. As
natives, they could elude observation far more easily than Europeans;
but even where they were unknown, so entwined is idolatry with the whole
life of the people, they could not be any time among their countrymen
without being discovered if faithful to their Lord; and, as recreants
from their ancestral religion, they were sure to be cruelly treated.
They had only to declare themselves Muhammadans, and safety would be at
once secured. Not one of our native Christian community thought of
seeking safety by such means. They seemed resolved to brave every hazard
rather than deny their Lord. At length, by the capture of Delhi in the
first half of September, and the relief of the Lucknow garrison some
twelve days afterwards, the dark, threatening clouds over us began to

From October onward the tension was loosened; but the danger was not
over. Though the garrison at Lucknow had been relieved, we were forced
to evacuate it, and for months afterwards the whole country of Oude
remained in the hands of those who had risen against us. Over a large
portion of the North-West, and in Central India, our government remained
prostrate. We had been so long in danger we had become blunted to the
sense of it, and remained unmoved in circumstances which at an early
period would have greatly excited us.

During the recent outbreak in Egypt, the position of Europeans in that
country in many respects resembled that of Europeans in Northern India
in 1857. Very similar was their danger, very similar their sufferings,
and very similar was the deliverance of the greater number. But for
providential interposition, not one would have in either case escaped.
When I look back and consider what our position was, I marvel that any
of us survived to tell what we endured; and our hearts are hard and cold
indeed if we are not fervently thankful for our preservation. While my
narrative shows that the residents at Benares in 1857 had to pass
through a season of severe trial and great danger, all acquainted with
the history of that period are aware that our countrymen in other places
had vastly more to suffer. In many places the rising was temporarily
successful. With us, the authorities all through kept the upper hand.
The result was that we were kept from the extremity of suffering to
which many were subjected. The entire loss of property was the least of
the trials they had to bear. Many, among whom were delicate women and
helpless children, were cruelly murdered. Others saw the objects of
their warmest love killed before their eyes, had to endure the most
fearful privations, and had to pass through untold horrors before
reaching a place of safety. Not a few sank into the grave, the victims
of toil, suffering, and sorrow. At no place was the danger greater than
at Benares, and at no place did the general community suffer so little.



Learning that there was no missionary at Allahabad, about seventy miles
north-west of Benares, which is now the seat of Government for the
North-West, I wrote in December to a native Christian there whom I knew,
proposing to visit him and his brethren, and in due course I got his
reply, expressing the pleasure my visit would give them. I accordingly
went, taking Mirzapore on my way, where I spent two or three days very
happily with the mission family. I found a tent erected for my
accommodation by the native Christian brethren close to the ruins of the
mission premises. What a scene of desolation the whole place presented!
The houses of the European residents had been set on fire, and there
they were as the mutineers had left them. There were no European
families. One large house had been put in order by the magistrate, and
in the wide surrounding enclosure what may be called a canvas town had
arisen. Civil and military officers were continually passing up and
down, and for their accommodation tents had been pitched. All took their
meals together in the restored mansion, and they kindly asked me to join
them during my stay. My tent was pitched close to the abode of the
native Christians. I had thus the opportunity, during the week I
remained, of holding constant intercourse with my own countrymen and
with native brethren. From the natives I heard much of what they had
seen and suffered. I was shown the scenes of the terrible events which
had occurred, and as retributive measures were still carried on, I saw,
in spite of myself, scenes which made me shudder. On the other side of
the Ganges there were frequent skirmishes between parties sent out and
bands there who were resisting our authority; the firing was distinctly
heard. On Sunday I preached twice to the native Christians. In the
forenoon the service was conducted in a small chapel, which had not been
burnt down, because it was so close to native houses that, if burnt, the
flames would have certainly spread to them. In the evening I re-opened
for worship the principal mission chapel. An attempt had been made to
set it on fire, but as it had not been at once successful, owing to its
being very strongly built, the insurgents satisfied themselves with
breaking the doors, windows, seats, pulpit, and everything which could
be easily destroyed. The wreck had been cleared away, and there I
preached to a goodly company, one of them a man whose arm had been cut
off because he was a Christian, and who had been left as dead. His
recovery was marvellous. That was a memorable Sunday to me and to those
to whom I ministered. My morning subject was, "In the day of adversity
consider" (Eccles. vii. 14); and in the evening, Christ stilling the
storm (Matt. viii. 23-28).




During the hot season and rains of 1858 I suffered greatly from boils
and feverishness. After applying in vain the usual means of cure
prescribed, I was advised to try a sea voyage. I accordingly arranged to
go down the Bay of Bengal to Point de Galle in Ceylon, and to await
there the arrival of my wife from England, so as to return with her to


The rebellion still flickered in Bahar. A part of the road to Calcutta
was in the hand of Kower Singh, a rebel chief; and travellers like
myself to the capital from the North-West were on that account happy to
avail themselves of the river steamers. We had the clear sky and the
gentle breeze of that delightful season in Northern India. From morning
to night we sat under a thick awning, reading or talking, as we were
inclined, refreshed by the breeze, and interested in the various objects
presented to our view on the river and its banks. The fortnight of the
voyage passed most pleasantly, and I arrived in Calcutta half cured of
my ailments. I was happy to find myself in time for the outgoing steamer
of the P. and O. Company, on which I took passage to Point de Galle. On
landing I saw the last newspaper received from England with the list of
passengers for successive steamers, and from it I learned that my wife
was to come a month later than I had anticipated. This left me with five
or six weeks in Ceylon to dispose of myself as I best could. I made up
my mind to travel through the island. I accordingly left Galle by coach
the next day for Colombo, the capital. After staying there a few days I
set out for Kandy, the old capital; held on to Newera Ellia, the
sanatorium of the island, lying under Pedro Talla Galla, its highest
mountain; ascended the mountain, made my way back by another route to
Kandy, and then proceeded to Galle, where I was happy to meet my wife
and child, with whom I went on to Calcutta.

When I landed at Galle I was not aware that I knew a single individual
in the island, but I was not an hour at the hotel to which I went before
I found myself in company with a medical gentleman, a native of
Perthshire, who knew my friends; and on my arrival at Colombo I was
recognized on the street, by my resemblance to my father, by a person
who had never seen me previously, but who knew him. It struck me it
would be dangerous for me to attempt an incognito, which, happily, I had
no temptation to do. During my travels in Ceylon I met several from the
North of Scotland whom I had known intimately, and among them one who
had been for years my schoolfellow. My countrymen were there, as
elsewhere, prominent members of the community.


I was much interested in all I saw during my travels in Ceylon. I was
prepared to see fine scenery and rich foliage, but the reality greatly
exceeded my expectation. On the coast between Galle and Colombo there is
a considerable extent of level land, covered by the cocoanut palm,
which forms much of the wealth of the people. Every part of the tree is
turned to account. The wood is used for rafters, and the leaves for
thatching. The kernel is an article of food, but its principal value
comes from the oil made from it after it has been dried. The nut
contains a liquid, which is deemed by the natives very refreshing. The
fibrous husk round the cocoanut, called coir, is manufactured into
ropes, matting, brushes, and other useful articles. It is largely and
profitably exported. The trees are tapped for a juice, which, boiled
when fresh, gives what is called palm-sugar; but when kept, becomes
intoxicating. The name of the tree in the native language is "Tar"; this
intoxicating juice is called "Taree," and by a well-known custom of
linguistic transposition it is called by English people "Toddy." We have
at Benares palm-trees which furnish this toddy, and I am sorry to say it
is by far too largely used. This cocoanut palm abounds on the coast, and
is always bent towards the sea, as if to welcome its breezes, or to
strengthen itself against them. Away from the coast it well-nigh
disappears, and trees of a very different order are seen on every side,
many of them rising to a great height and covered with beautiful

The scenery in the interior is very striking. When travelling on the top
of the coach from Colombo to Kandy, I might have thought myself in my
own Highlands, as mountain after mountain came into view, and our road
in its descents and ascents skirted precipices, where safety demanded
the most careful driving. Long, winding valleys, through which rivers
flowed, with falls and cascades here and there, reminded me of our
finest straths. I saw no large bodies of water like our lochs. There
were two points of marked dissimilarity. The month was December; I
required no great-coat, and the rays of the sun were stronger than was
pleasant. Instead of the leafless trees, and the white covering of the
snow of the Scottish winter, there were trees in their richest dress,
and all around a verdure of the freshest green, telling me I was in a
tropical land, and in a land where heat and moisture by their abundance
gave extraordinary force to vegetation. As I travelled from Kandy to
Newera Ellia, and back again to Kandy by a different route, my
impression of the picturesqueness and productiveness of the country was
confirmed. There was one thing I did not see--the blooming heather of my
own Highlands.

There is, I suppose, no country where all that is desirable can be
obtained. It must be acknowledged Ceylon has its disadvantages. Its
climate is that of perpetual summer, warmer indeed at some times than at
others, but never approaching our heat in Northern India in May and
June. It is only six degrees from the equator, and it owes its moderate
temperature to its sea breezes and abundant rain. I missed the bracing
coolness of Northern India in December and January. Perpetual summer is
good for neither soul nor body. For bodily health and enjoyment the
alternation of cold and heat is far better, as in the moral world
prosperity and adversity are required for the maturing of character.

There is one evil--I do not know whether I should call it a minor or a
major evil--to which both man and beast are exposed in Ceylon. We have
all heard of snakes in the grass. In the fine grass of Ceylon leeches
abound, and are ever ready to take their unwelcome contribution from all
that come their way. They leap up on passers by, and try to exact from
them their favourite food. I was often reminded by unpleasant nips that
they had got hold of me. For months after leaving Ceylon I had on my
limbs marks of their doings.


When travelling between Kandy and Newera Ellia, I was the guest of
coffee-planters, all of them, so far as I remember, my own countrymen;
and saw coffee in all its stages, from the berry on the coffee-bush on
to the manufactured article ready for the market. The plant is
indigenous in the island, but it was turned to little account till taken
up by Europeans. The pioneers in its culture, as so often happens in
such cases, are said to have lost heavily; but at the time of my visit
plantations were paying well, and a large tract of land was under
cultivation. I believe it afterwards ceased to be profitable, and now
tea cultivation is taking its place.

At one time cinnamon was the most valuable export of the island, but by
1858 it had so decreased in value by its being produced abundantly in
lands still farther east, that comparatively little attention was given
to it. I was taken to the public garden in Colombo, and saw the
work-people with their sharp knives peeling off the fragrant bark from
the cinnamon-tree, and preparing it for the market.

Colombo, the capital, is a large, stirring, rising town. Galle is a much
smaller place, and owes its importance to its being a place of call for
steamers on account of its sheltered bay. It is noted for its pedlars,
men who, with combs in their long hair, and clad in jacket and
petticoat, might be taken for women. Their wares of jewellery and
precious stones have not a high character for genuineness. Kandy, the
old capital in the interior, is a small place, lying very low, and is
surrounded by hills. It has a beautiful little artificial lake, and is
famous for its temple, with a tooth of Buddha as its great treasure.

During the few weeks I was in Ceylon I was most hospitably entertained
wherever I went by missionaries, chaplains, coffee-planters, and others.
I shall always retain a grateful recollection of the kindness I
experienced. From these friends I heard much about the spiritual state
of Ceylon. It is well known the Dutch were the first Europeans who
obtained a footing in the island. They determined to stamp out
heathenism and establish Christianity, not by violent persecution, but
by reserving offices of every description for those who embraced the
Christian faith, by treating them in every possible way as a privileged
class, and by showing official disfavour to the unbaptized. An agency
composed of chaplains, catechists, and schoolmasters was appointed to
bring the community within the Christian fold. The work went on with
great apparent success. Tens of thousands avowed themselves Christians.
It looked as if heathenism was to disappear under Dutch rule. If the
Dutch had retained possession of the island, and had persevered in their
policy, in all likelihood by this time Ceylon would have been a
professedly Christian country, with a strong underlying element of
heathen notion and practice.


No sooner was the policy of neutrality adopted with the installation of
English rule, than this large Christian community melted away, and
flowed into the old channel of Buddhism, which had been for ages the
religion of the Cingalese. The thousands of Christians were reduced to
hundreds and tens. The London Missionary Society early entered the
field, but withdrew. In the parts of Ceylon where I travelled I met with
Methodist, Baptist, and Church of England missionaries, and in other
districts there were American missionaries. The descendants of those
who once were professed Christians retain some Christian notions, and
adhere to some Christian practices. Baptism is still in favour with
them, but it is never administered by Protestant missionaries except to
those deemed fitting recipients. If Buddhists were consistent, caste in
a mild form and to a limited extent might be tolerated, but could not be
approved. They are not, however, consistent, and caste is much more
regarded by them than Gautam would have sanctioned, though it has not
among them the rigidity it has among the Hindus. I was told regarding
one boarding institution for young men, all ate together; but on
returning to their homes they performed certain ceremonies which removed
the defilement they had contracted. As to the general character of the
native Christians, I inferred it was much the same as in India, with
similar excellences and similar defects.

I went into some of the Buddhist temples. On the walls were sculptured
the terrible sufferings of the wicked in the different hells into which,
according to Buddhism, they are cast. The worshippers appeared to me
remarkably stolid and listless, as if engaged in a work which could not
be too mechanically performed. There was nothing of the animation of the
Hindus when they are worshipping their gods.

I went into a large Roman Catholic church, and saw all the usual
furniture of Roman Catholic worship. On the wall, the worship of demons
by the faithful and their attendance at demon feasts was strongly
denounced, and threatened with severe punishment; from which it would
appear this was no uncommon offence.

I was struck with the massy churches built by the Dutch in Galle and
Colombo. They testify to the zeal of the first colonists, as if they
were taking possession of the land for Christ, and were determined to
maintain His worship, though far distant from the land of their fathers.
Dutch descendants and Scotch colonists now form the most of the
worshippers in these places. The Dutch language still survives, and in
1858 some of the Dutch people understood no other. For them a service is
held in their own language. I preached in both of these churches at the
request of the chaplains. In one of them the Lord's Supper was
administered, and the communicants were addressed first in English and
then in Dutch.

Towards the end of December I left Galle with my wife and child for
Calcutta, taking away with me pleasing recollections of the scenes I had
witnessed, the information I had received, and the kindness I had
experienced during my six weeks' travels in the island.

After a brief stay in Calcutta we made our way to Benares--the first
part of the journey by the recently constructed railway, and the rest,
the greater part of it, by a four-wheeled conveyance, drawn by a horse,
called a Dawk Garry, arrangement for a fresh horse every sixth or
seventh mile being made by the Dawk Garry Company. Instead of spending
three weeks on the way, as we had done in 1839 when proceeding to
Benares on a steamer, and twelve days in 1853 in a conveyance drawn by
coolies, we now completed our journey in five days. We were glad to
rejoin our brethren, and to resume our work in Benares.



FROM 1859 TO 1866.

From the time of our arrival at Benares in January, 1859, on to our
departure for the hills in March, 1861, the work of the Mission was
carried on in the usual way. There were interruptions from failure of
health, but during the most of the period the operations of the Mission
were vigorously carried on with tokens of the Divine blessing.


The principal change during this period was the greater attention given
to the European population. Before 1857 the English-speaking population
of Benares was very small, and as there was always an English chaplain
at the place, and our Baptist brethren kept up an English service, our
Mission did very little in this department. For a time we had an English
service one evening in the week, but owing to the weakness of the
Mission, and the pressing demands of native work, this had been given
up. After the Mutiny the English-speaking population was largely
increased by English soldiers, and persons connected with the Public
Works. It was deemed incumbent on us to do something for our own
countrymen, whose spiritual need was manifest to all. On this account
English services on the Lord's Day were commenced. For a time two such
services were held, one in the Mission chapel, and another in the
schoolroom of the cavalry barracks. On the withdrawal of the cavalry
this second service was discontinued. The service on the Lord's Day
morning or forenoon in the Mission chapel has been steadily kept on till
this time, has been generally well attended, and has been, I believe,
productive of much good.

As the Rev. William Moody Blake, who joined the Mission in 1858, took
the superintendence of the Central School, and with occasional
assistance conducted the English services, the work among the native
women and girls was left to be carried on by my wife, to which she had
given her heart and strength from the time she became a member of the
Mission in 1839, while I had the principal charge of evangelistic work
among the heathen, and of ministering to the native Christians.

The most memorable episode of this period was a visit we paid to
Allahabad, Cawnpore, and Lucknow, in the winter of 1859-60. We saw much
on this tour which deeply and painfully interested us. I have already
mentioned the desolation I saw on my visit to Allahabad at the end of
1857. During the two succeeding years the houses which had been burnt
had been rebuilt, new houses had been erected, and new roads had been
made. Traces of the desolation caused by the Mutiny remained, but there
were on every side signs of great prosperity. Allahabad, from its
position at the confluence of the Ganges and the Jumna, had always been
deemed a place of great importance in both a military and civil aspect.
It rose to new importance by being made the seat of government for the
North-West instead of Agra, and also by becoming the central
railway-station, from which it was arranged railways should ramify to
Lahore and Peshawur in the north-west, to Calcutta in the east and
south, to Jubbulpore and Bombay in the west, forming in Central India a
connection with the railways in Southern India. This arrangement has
been carried out, and now there is no city in the interior of the
country which bears so close a resemblance as Allahabad to the great
Presidency cities, in its churches, European shops, hotels, and roads so
lined with houses that they may be called streets. As might be expected,
the native population has greatly increased.

From Allahabad we went by train to Cawnpore, one hundred and thirty
miles to the north-west. This place was for many years a large military
station, as the kingdom of Oude lay on the other side of the Ganges. It
may be well to give a very brief narrative of the terrible events which
occurred there, that readers may the better understand what we saw.


On the breaking out of the Mutiny, the English soldiers and residents
entrenched themselves in an open plain, which had the solitary advantage
of accommodation in barracks, while they left the arsenal in the hands
of the insurgents. The siege commenced on June 6th, directed by Dundhoo
Punt, the Nana Sahib as he was called, the adopted son of Bajee Rao, the
ex-Peshwa of the Mahrattas, whose castle was ten miles distant. On June
27th, after enduring terrible hardships and privations, our people
surrendered on promise of being sent safely to Allahabad. They
accordingly made their way to the promised boats; but no sooner had they
been reached than they were set on fire, and the Nana in person directed
a fusillade on the party. Only four succeeded in escaping, and they did
this by swimming. The men were murdered, the women and children, to the
number of two hundred, were taken back, were huddled together in crowded
rooms, scantily fed on the coarsest food, and subjected to every
indignity. The Nana's army was defeated in several engagements, and was
at last utterly overthrown by the army led by General Havelock, in a
battle fought at the entrance to Cawnpore. By an order of the Nana,
issued by him when fleeing from the place, the women and children were
murdered, and their bodies were thrown into a well. Our soldiers arrived
to see to their horror the well choked with the victims of Nana's
satanic cruelty. Unknown to those whom he was besieging, he had
previously, on June 4th, ordered the massacre of one hundred and thirty
men, women, and children, who had come from Futtyghur.


At Cawnpore we saw much to sadden us to the very core. The thrilling
accounts we had read of the atrocious deeds there committed came to our
remembrance with a painful reality. All along the river-side, houses,
once occupied by officers, lay in ruins as the mutineers had left them.
We observed flowers blooming here and there in the gardens, planted by
those who had been so ruthlessly cut down. We visited all the places
made memorable by the sad events of 1857. We went to the Sabadha Kothee,
as it was called, the house on a slight elevation from which the Nana
directed the siege of the entrenched camp. It was well remembered by us
as the abode, in 1842, on our first visit to Cawnpore, of a missionary
of the Propagation Society, with whom we had much pleasant intercourse.
Within less than half a mile of this house lay the entrenched camp of
the English--if a trench three or four feet deep, with a breastwork of
earth behind it four or five feet high, deserves the name of an
entrenchment. The spot was chosen on account of the barracks, in which
our people could shelter themselves against what they expected to be a
mere temporary assault, if an assault at all was made, as they supposed
the mutinous soldiery would leave at once for Delhi, which they would
have done had not the Nana stopped them by large pay and larger
promises. The barracks speedily became well-nigh uninhabitable under the
fire of the enemy. At last they were burnt down, and no shelter remained
from the fierce rays of the sun. One could not look on the spot, and
consider the weakness of the defenders compared with the strength of the
enemy, supplied as they were with the guns and ammunition of our
arsenal, without wondering the defence could have been maintained for a
day. The defence was most heroic; extraordinary feats of valour were
performed, but at last the besieged were obliged to succumb from the
failure of food and ammunition.

We walked from the entrenchment, which was rapidly disappearing under
the rains and heat of the climate, by the route taken by our people to
the promised boats, which were set on fire as soon as they reached them.
It was truly a _via dolorosa_, and we walked on it with saddened hearts,
musing on the awful sufferings our countrymen had endured. On a little
temple close to the ferry at which the boats lay, and on some houses
near it, we saw marks of the bullets on the walls.

Since that period--the winter of 1858-59--we have been on several
occasions at Cawnpore. The desolation has disappeared. Ruined houses are
no longer to be seen. A stranger might pass through the place without
observing anything to remind him of the events of 1857. He would be a
very preoccupied or a very stolid person who could pass through Cawnpore
without making it a point to see the monuments erected to commemorate
our fallen countrymen. On the site of the entrenched camp a memorial
church has been raised, with stained windows and varied devices bearing
the names of those who had fought and suffered there. A very handsome
monument of marble, surmounted by a statue of the Angel of Peace, with a
suitable inscription, has been erected over the well into which the
bodies of the women and children were thrown. The ground round it is
kept in beautiful order. For many a day visitors to India will look with
tearful eyes and sad hearts on these spots sacred to their fallen

[Illustration: THE WELL AT CAWNPORE.]


Leaving Cawnpore, we crossed the Ganges and travelled forty miles to
Lucknow, the capital of the country of Oude, which was ruled by a
feudatory of the Mogul Empire, who had become a feudatory of the British
Crown. To him our Government gave the title of King. In 1856, by an
order from home, the country was taken under our direct rule on account
of gross misgovernment, by flagrant and persistent violation of the
engagement made with us. The Chief Commissioner in March, 1857, was Sir
Henry Lawrence. After staving off the Mutiny successfully for a time, he
was obliged in the end of June to concentrate his force in a
half-fortified place on a slight elevation, called the Residency, as
there the British representative, under the title of Resident, and his
official subordinates, had their abode and offices. There the English
were besieged by a vast body of Sepoys, and by the Talookdars, the
Barons of Oude, and their retainers. Sir Henry Lawrence was mortally
wounded on July 4th. The siege was maintained till September 25th,
when, after a fierce struggle, it was relieved by Havelock and Outram.
They in their turn were besieged, but they were able to maintain their
footing till November 19th, when they were finally relieved by Sir Colin
Campbell. Outram remained with a force of observation at Alum Bagh, a
large garden with a very high wall, outside Lucknow on the Cawnpore
road; while the rest held on to Cawnpore. Sir Colin Campbell returned
with his army, and took the city on March 6th, 1858. We are told that in
the interval it had been fortified in a way which would have done credit
to a European power. My narrative will be better understood by these
facts being remembered.

As we travelled from Cawnpore to Lucknow we passed houses close to the
road which still retained the loopholes through which the enemy had
fired on our troops. The earthworks hastily raised for temporary shelter
still remained. We were reminded at every mile of the fierce resistance
our soldiers had to encounter. At Lucknow we remained for a week, and
went over all the scenes made memorable by recent events. We paid
several visits to the Residency, where our people defended themselves so
long and valiantly against thousands of armed men well supplied with
ammunition. At every step proofs presented themselves of the desperate
struggle maintained with the foe. The houses in the Residency had been
so battered and torn by shells and balls that scarcely one was habitable
before its evacuation, and the ruin was completed when the city was
finally taken by Sir Colin Campbell. At the beginning of 1859 the whole
place was a mass of ruin, with here and there a piece of tottering wall,
shaken or perforated by heavy shot and ready to come down. The walls
still stood, though in a very broken state, of the house in which Sir
Henry Lawrence died, and the spot was pointed out to us where he had
received his death-wound. A large body of labourers was employed in
taking down the ruined walls and levelling the ground. We observed bones
which had been dug up by them as they pursued their work.

From the entrance into Lucknow on the Cawnpore road there is a street,
two miles in length, leading straight to the Residency. The enemy
expected our army to advance by this street, and made provision for its
destruction by digging trenches, and lining the houses on both sides
with musketeers ready to pour on our soldiers a killing fire. The
relieving army, guided by a person who knew Lucknow well, and had at
great risk made his way to them at night from the Residency, made a
sudden detour to the right, and advanced by a comparatively open route,
stoutly but unsuccessfully opposed at almost every step. I had the
promise of a guide to take me on foot by this route to the Residency,
but on reaching Alum Bagh, the appointed place of meeting, I found no
one there. I made my way, however, with very little difficulty by
observing the marks of the bullets on the houses along the line
traversed. I sometimes lost the trace, but soon recovered it, musing as
I went along on the very different circumstances in which our countrymen
a short time previously had gone over that road.


We saw other places of interest, such as the Muchee Bhawan, the fort in
which our soldiers were previous to the siege; the Kaisar Bagh, an
extensive garden, filled with showy, lofty houses, where the King of
Oude and his numerous retinue had resided; the Chuttar Manzil, a
handsome building where public entertainments were given; the gateway at
which the gallant Colonel Neil fell--now called Neil Gate; the
Secunder Bagh, a garden with a high wall, where a large body of the
enemy was posted, and which was stormed by the 78th Highlanders, who
shut up every exit and killed every soul, many of the Sepoys fighting
desperately to the last. Two thousand bodies were taken out of the place
and buried in the adjoining ground. We observed on the walls the marks
of the bullets, and even the indents made by the swords and bayonets,
while this carnage was going on.


A French adventurer of the 18th century, General La Martine, had risen
to great power and wealth in the service of the Kings of Oude. He
erected a splendid mansion in Lucknow for the support and education of
boys of every creed--Christian boys to be brought up in the Christian
Government's religion--and richly endowed it. Similar institutions were
established in Calcutta and in Lyons, La Martine's native place. This
institution has proved a signal blessing to European and Eurasian
families. On the outbreak of the Mutiny the teachers and pupils betook
themselves to the Residency, and under the leading of their Principal
took an active part in the defence. La Martine had so little confidence
in the kings whom he had served for years, that he ordered his body to
be buried in a vault under the building, which he knew would prevent a
Muhammadan from making it his dwelling-house. This was accordingly done.

While we were at Lucknow we were most hospitably entertained by a
missionary of the Church Missionary Society, to whom a large native
mansion had been made over by the authorities on account of the owner
having taken an active part in the rebellion. On Sabbath I preached in
Hindustanee to the native Christians, and we attended the English
service held in a building which had been an Imambara, the name given to
a building where Muhammadans of the Shiah sect worship.

When going from Cawnpore to Lucknow we travelled by day. We returned by
night, when the moon was full. It was one of those calm, clear nights of
which we have many at that season. We reached the Ganges about four in
the morning. While waiting for a boat to take us across, there fell on
our ears, coming from a cluster of huts close by, the voice of a singer
at that early hour; and what was our delight and surprise, as we
listened, to hear the words distinctly uttered of a well-known hymn in
praise of the Redeemer of mankind! A short time previously the mention
of that name with honour in that place would have exposed him who
uttered it to a violent death. The incident was very cheering as an omen
of the dawn to benighted India, when, through the tender mercy of our
God, Jesus the light of the world shall shine into the hearts of its
teeming population, and raise them into the sunshine of heaven.

Lucknow, as well as Cawnpore, has undergone a great change since 1859.
We saw it last in 1877, when traces of the fierce conflict which had
been there carried on had well-nigh disappeared; while on every side, in
new roads opened up, in miserable tenements thrown down, in new houses
erected, and in rubbish removed, evidence was given that the effete
government of the Kings of Oude had given place to the vigorous
government of their Western conquerors. Nothing is now to be seen of the
ruins and desolation of the Residency. The ground has been levelled,
trees planted, paths made, and the whole place is kept in beautiful
order. On the highest spot there is a memorial cross. All out from
Lucknow for miles, at the instance of friends, monuments have been
raised, some of them with very touching inscriptions, in memory of the
fallen, so far as the spots where they fell could be identified.


We returned to Benares with a very vivid impression of what we had seen,
with a new realization of the sufferings our countrymen had endured,
with deepened admiration of the heroism they had shown, and with
thankfulness at once for our rescue as a people from destruction, and
for the restoration of our rule.

[Sidenote: VISIT TO DELHI.]

We continued at our post at Benares till March, 1861, when the state of
the Mission admitted of our obtaining a much-needed retreat to the Hills
for a few months. We accordingly left Benares for Almora, and took Delhi
by the way, where we remained a few days. This was our second visit to
the grand old imperial city. On this occasion we visited the scene of
the memorable events of the Mutiny year, as we had previously done at
Cawnpore and Lucknow. We went to the heights commanding the city, where
our army was encamped for months, at once the besiegers and the
besieged, and from which at last they took the city, after a contest so
desperate and bloody that for days the issue was doubtful. The palace,
with its magnificent halls of audience and entertainment, where the
Emperors of India had for ages kept their court, we found turned into
barracks and an arsenal. English soldiers trod those rooms where Indian
magnates had bowed before imperial majesty--giving us an impressive
illustration of the transitory nature of earthly glory.

For some time after going to Almora our health improved; but as the
season advanced it gave way so entirely, that our medical attendant
came to the conclusion a visit to England was indispensable to its
restoration. The Directors of the Society gave their kind and prompt
consent to our return. We accordingly embarked from Calcutta for
England, _viâ_ the Cape of Good Hope, in January, 1862, and reached our
destination in April.

All I have to say about the interval between 1862 and 1865 is that I
visited many places in England and Scotland on behalf of the Society,
did a good deal of ministerial work besides, and was kept in uncertainty
about my future course by medical opposition to my going back to India.
In 1864 I feared I could not return; but my health improved so much in
1865, that the medical men I consulted, to my great joy, consented to
our going back. We accordingly embarked for Calcutta _viâ_ the Cape,
accompanied by two young missionaries appointed to Benares, in
September, 1865, and reached our destination, after a prosperous voyage,
towards the end of the year. We were very pleased with the thought that
our traversing the Atlantic and Indian Oceans had come to an end.

The railway had some time previously been completed to the North-West,
and so instead of days and weeks spent on the journey from Calcutta to
Benares, it was now made in twenty-six hours.


The hot weather and rains of 1866 were spent in Benares. We felt the
heat that year more than we had ever previously done, and were to a
great extent incapacitated by it for the prosecution of mission work. We
came to the conclusion that continued work in the plains was beyond our
strength, and as we much wished to continue in the mission field, we
hoped a hill sphere might be opened up. In March, 1867, we left for
Almora, where, with our colleague Mr. Budden, we engaged in different
departments of mission labour. Early in the cold weather we returned to
Benares, and resumed our work there. As the hot weather of 1868 came on,
we were again privileged to return to Almora. Towards the end of that
year it was arranged that our connection with Benares should cease, and
that we should begin a new mission at Ranee Khet, about twenty miles
north-west from Almora.





Kumaon is a sub-Himalayan region, with Nepal to the east, the snowy
range, separating it from Tibet, to the north, Gurhwal and Dehra Doon to
the west, and Rohilkund to the south. Including the hill country of
Gurhwal, and the belt of forest and swamp lying immediately under it, of
which only a small part has been reclaimed, Kumaon is about half the
size of Scotland.


The province presents a remarkable contrast to the great level country
beneath. Over it you travel in some directions hundreds of miles, and
scarcely any elevation or depression in the land can be discerned. As
you travel northward, and approach the limit of the plains, you see
hills rising before you, tier after tier; and behind them, on a clear
day, the higher Himalaya, with their snowy peaks, as if touching the

Kumaon is very mountainous, with as great irregularity as if the land
had been fluid, had in the midst of a storm been suddenly solidified,
and had then received its permanent shape. Here and there are valleys of
some extent, table-lands and open fields are occasionally seen; but over
a great part of the province hill is separated from hill by a space so
narrow that it can only be called a ravine. The consequence is that
cultivation is carried on mainly in terraces. Where the slope is
gradual, and the soil fit for cultivation, these terraces, some very
narrow and others of considerable width, rise one above the other to the
distance of miles, with the hamlets of the cultivators scattered over
the hill-side, presenting to the eye of the traveller an aspect of
scenery which is not to be seen in Europe, so far as I am aware. At any
rate, we saw nothing resembling it on the vine-clad hills rising from
the Rhine, or in the mountains of Switzerland.

The country is well watered. It has innumerable streams, varying from
tiny rills to large rivers. In travelling, we have been for days within
the constant sound of running water. It has a few lakelets, but it has
no large bodies of water, like the lakes which contribute so largely to
the beauty and picturesqueness of Switzerland and Scotland. It looks as
if the deep hollows, of which so many are to be seen, had been unable to
retain the water poured into them, and had let it all flow away. A large
part of the province is so steep and rocky that it cannot be turned to
any agricultural purpose; and even for grazing purposes a large portion
is of little use, as the grass is coarse and poor. There is a great
extent of forest and brushwood. As the land slopes towards the Bhabhur,
the forest is very dense and varied. The timber is of considerable
value, but as there is neither road nor water carriage it must be
carried on men's shoulders, and this involves an expense more than it
can bear.

From what I have said about the peculiarities of Kumaon scenery, its
mountains, valleys, and ravines, my readers are prepared to hear it has
a great variety of climate and produce. Of hills, of which there are
many from 5000 to 9000 feet above the level of the sea, the climate is
delightful--warm, but not oppressively warm, a little warmer than it is
in our country in summer; and cold, though not so severely cold as it is
with us in winter. The rains are very heavy, but to compensate for this
there is, during the greater part of the year, a steadiness of climate
which forms a striking contrast to the fickle climate of England. Down
in the valleys the heat is very great. Even in winter the sun is
unpleasantly strong, and in summer in the deep ravines the temperature
is almost as trying as in the plains. When the season has been somewhat
advanced, I have been very thankful to escape from the heat of these low
places to the bracing air of the hills. The English Sanatoria are of
course on elevated sites.

As Kumaon has within its borders a cold, a temperate, and a tropical
climate, it has a great variety of produce, and when its capabilities
are more fully turned to account this variety will be greatly increased.
Most of the grains found in the plains are grown in the hills. The
warmer parts of the country produce superior oranges in abundance, and
there is also a good supply of walnuts. Of late years apples and pears
have been grown with great success, and if the farmers paid attention to
this branch of horticulture they might reap a large profit. Attempts
have been made on a small scale to cultivate the grape, gooseberry, and
currant, but the excessive rainfall of the rainy season has been found
unfavourable to them. Tea has become the most valuable product of the
province. Tea-planting was commenced at the instance of Government,
under its direction and at its expense, more than forty years ago; and
now tea-gardens are found all over the province, owned almost entirely
by our fellow-countrymen, and, with few exceptions, managed by them. At
first Chinamen were employed, but they have been dispensed with, and the
entire work is now done by hill people under English superintendence.



The hill people of Central and Southern India, the Kols, the Santhals,
the Bheels, and others, as is well known, widely differ in race,
language, customs, and religion, from the Hindus and Mussulmans of the
plains. In Kumaon, on the other hand, the great majority are strict
Hindus, worshippers of the Hindu gods, and scrupulous observers of caste
rules. It would appear that when the ancestors of the Hindus, coming
from Central Asia, crossed the Indus, and took possession of the country
now called the Punjab, they made raids into the lower range of the
Himalayas, killing their inhabitants, or turning them into slaves. The
descendants of the aborigines are at present found in a class called
Doms, who form the artisan portion of the population, and are also
largely employed in agriculture. The Muhammadans form a very small part
of the population, and are almost entirely emigrants from the plains.

The character of the hill Hindus, in its essential elements, closely
accords with that of their brethren elsewhere. They worship the Hindu
gods, practise Hindu rites, and are imbued with the Hindu spirit. The
Brahmans and Rajpoots are proud of their position, firm in maintaining
it, and shrink from everything which would invalidate it. Under native
rule the high-caste spirit had full scope, for we are told that for
murder a Brahman was banished, and a Rajpoot heavily mulcted; while
other murderers were put to death. Such offences against the Hindu
religion as killing a cow, or a Dom making use of a _huqqa_ (the pipe
for smoking), or a utensil belonging to a Brahman or Rajpoot, were
capital offences. The power obtained by the Brahmans was shown by the
fact that, when the province came under British rule, one-fifteenth of
its arable land belonged to the religious establishments.

All the Hindu gods and goddesses are worshipped in the hills, but the
hideous goddess Kalee is the favourite object of worship. Small temples
to her honour are found all over the province, many of them in solitary
places on the tops of hills, to which it is meritorious to make
pilgrimages, and around which at certain seasons melas are held. We have
in our wanderings fallen in with several of these temples in spots from
which, for many miles around, no human habitation is seen. By far the
most famous shrines are those of Badrinath and Kedarnath, in the upper
part of Gurhwal, within the snowy range, where Vishnu is the object of
worship, and the officiating priests are Brahmans from Southern India.
Pilgrimage to these places is very meritorious, as it can only be
accomplished at the cost of great toil and suffering, and at the
imminent risk of life.


In addition to the gods worshipped all over India, the hill people have
local gods unknown elsewhere. _Bhoots_, evil spirits, commonly supposed
to be the spirits of those who have during their earthly life been noted
for their wickedness, and have acquired the demon character, are
believed to haunt the mountains and forests, and are the objects of
special dread. Homage is paid to them to secure their goodwill and avert
their vengeance. The people greatly dislike travelling at night, as that
is the season when the _Bhoots_ roam about and fall on their prey.
When they must move about they break off the branches of the pine-tree,
and turn them into torches to frighten off both the wild beasts and the
evil spirits. In the imagination which peoples hills and forests with
beings outside the circle of humanity, that make their presence
especially felt at night, the people of Kumaon closely resemble the
mountaineers of other lands, among others those of our own Scotch
Highlands, as they were till a recent period. In my early days I heard
so many stories in my native Highland village of ghosts and fairies,
that I was afraid to move about after sunset except when guarded by
others, lest these supernatural beings should lay hold of me and carry
me away.


The people have a character for industry. When one sees the difficulties
under which cultivation is carried on, he is inclined to consider it
deserved. They have periods of lounging, but also of very hard work. The
women, in addition to household work, cut and carry wood and grass, and
do much farm work--I have thought at times more than their share; but
after all, the heaviest work, the carrying of great loads on head and
shoulders, up hill and down hill, and the farm work requiring most
strength, is done by the men. Much of the work done by them--work done
by draught animals elsewhere--must tend to break down their health and
shorten their days.

The Kumaonees have been described as untruthful but honest. I must say
our experience has verified the unfavourable part of this description
more than the favourable. So far as veracity is concerned we have not
been impressed with any difference between them and other natives of
India. We think their honesty has received more credit than it deserves.
This is, at any rate, the opinion of the tea-planters with whom we have
conversed, and who have had superior opportunities for judging. They
have told us of the strict watch they have to set to guard their tea and
fruit. We found that some hill servants, whom we had greatly trusted,
had systematically robbed us. The character for honesty was, I believe,
given to them because when they set out on their periodical migration to
the plains they left their villages unguarded, and found their property
safe on their return. I suppose this resulted partly from an
unwritten--may I say?--honourable understanding, that as in their sparse
and widely-scattered population it was well-nigh impossible to guard
their goods, the rights of property should be respected; and partly from
the circumstance that there was little left behind in the villages which
could be carried away. So far as others, especially Europeans, are
concerned, this understanding to practise honesty does not hold.

We incidentally heard of no small degree of immorality among the people,
but our information is too limited to justify one in comparing them with
others in this respect. There is much that is likable among them, but
the general moral tone is undoubtedly low. Polyandry, which prevails in
some districts in the Western Himalayan range, is I believe unknown, but
polygamy is not uncommon among those who can afford it.

Cleanliness has never been considered a virtue of Highlanders. It is
not--or perhaps I should say it has not been--a characteristic of the
Highlanders of our own land. Among the Kumaonees it is notably wanting.
The loathsome disease of leprosy has long prevailed in the province,
owing to a large extent to the filthy habits of the people. To the same
cause there is every reason to believe, we have to trace the outbreak
now and then of the plague--_muha muree_, the great plague, as it is
called--which has proved very destructive. It resembles the plague which
at different times prevailed in Europe and swept away thousands. So
great is the dread of this terrible malady, that on the report of its
approach people flee from their villages. Cholera has been at times
fatal to many, but its ravages are not to be compared to those of the



Kumaon had been long under the rule of a native dynasty, but intestine
feuds laid the country open to the attacks of ambitious neighbours. In
the latter end of the eighteenth century the Ghoorkhas, a military
tribe, rose to power in Nepal, the hill-country to the east, and early
in this century they extended their conquests over the hill-country to
the west, till they were checked by Runjeet Singh, the famous ruler of
the Punjab. Their rule over Kumaon was said to be very oppressive. By
raids into British territory they came into collision with the English.
After a severe struggle, carried on through two campaigns, they were
defeated, and forced to give up the country they had conquered to the
west of Nepal, which they had held for about twelve years. Kumaon and
the adjoining hill-country of Gurhwal were placed under the jurisdiction
of a British Commissioner, and the arrangement made in 1816 has been
maintained to the present time.


The country has made immense progress since the English took possession.
The people are now under a government which aims at protecting life and
property, and at treating all, high and low, with equal justice. No
longer are Dom offenders against caste laws executed while Brahman and
Rajpoot murderers escape. Atrocious customs have been suppressed, such
as the burial of lepers alive, which was formerly largely practised.
Sanitary regulations have been issued, and penalties imposed on those
convicted of violating them. Fights between villages, ending in robbery
and murder, are no longer permitted, though sham-fights are still
allowed. I was once a witness of such a fight, when a vast number of
hill people were collected, as if for a great field-day, and stones were
thrown from slings in a way I thought perilous to the combatants. Roads
have been made, and rivers bridged. The new roads are too narrow and
steep to admit of wheeled conveyances; often they are only three or four
feet in width, and are at a gradient which makes them trying for horses
and for persons on foot; but they are an immense improvement on the
footpaths with which the natives were satisfied till they came under
British rule, and with which they are still satisfied when left to
themselves. I have not had much experience of the by-paths of the
country, but quite enough to have made me thankful for the new order of
things. Very recently a road for carts and conveyances has been made
from the plains to Nynee Tal, Ranee Khet, and Almora; but the route is
so circuitous that the roads hitherto traversed will continue the chief
means of communication.

No sooner was the British rule established than the effect was seen in
the increase of cultivation. Mr. Traill, the first Commissioner, states
that from the time of the occupation, 1816 to 1822-23, the date of his
retirement, cultivation had increased fully one-third, and since that
time there has been a steady advance. The population has more than
doubled, for we are told that in 1823 there were 27 inhabitants to the
square mile, while in 1872 there were 65. At the same time there were
797 to the square mile in the Benares district, and there was no
district in the North-West Provinces where the population was under 185,
while the average was 378. An immense disparity must continue between
countries with such different capabilities, but the progress made in
Kumaon under British rule is proportionably as great as that made in the
most favoured parts of India.

Wealth has been brought into the country as well as drawn out of it. I
have already referred to tea-planting as a new department of
agricultural industry. Many thousands have been spent on
tea-gardens--much more, I suspect, than has yet been got out of them. A
tea-planter once pointed to a cluster of well-built villages, and said,
"These houses have all been built within the last few years by the
proceeds of wages made in the tea-garden under my charge." Then the
great influx of European travellers and residents has done not a little
to enrich the people in various ways, though at times the labour thus
required has been very grudgingly given, as it has withdrawn them from
their homes when their own work was urgent.

Of late years a new source of income has been opened up to the people by
the enterprise of Sir Henry Ramsay, who has been for many years the
Commissioner of the Province, and has done more for it than any of his
predecessors. The hill people of some districts have been for ages in
the habit of moving down _en masse_ with their cattle at the beginning
of the cold weather for grazing, and have returned to their mountain
homes when the hot weather had set in. The country immediately under
the hills is called the Bhabhur, and is quite distinct from the Turai
which lies beyond. This Bhabhur is a formation of sand and shingle
filled with boulders, largely covered over with soil, which produces
abundant herbage in the rainy season, and is thus good grazing ground in
the succeeding months. It has a large extent of forest, composed of
trees of great girth and magnificent height. The innumerable streams
which come down from the hills flow under the Bhabhur, and make their
way into the Turai beyond, where the land becomes water-logged, and the
main product is long, rank grass, growing to the height of ten or twelve
feet. By a system of canals, devised and carried out by Sir Henry
Ramsay, the water as it comes down from the hills is made to irrigate a
large part of the Bhabhur, rendering it fit for agricultural purposes.
The result is that the people now cultivate the land, beside grazing
their cattle over it. They sow toward the end of the rainy season, and
reap at the beginning of the hot weather, when they retreat to the
hills, and are ready for the cultivation of their fields there. This
addition to the arable land has been a great boon to the people. I
cannot say, however, judging by those with whom I have conversed, that
they are satisfied. They grumble at the new tax imposed for the
construction and maintenance of the canals, and also at the tax they
have to pay for their holdings in the hills, though I believe it to be
very light. They would gladly have all the benefits of a firm and
improving government without paying anything for its support.

[Sidenote: WILD BEASTS.]

Notwithstanding the extension of cultivation and the increase of
population in Kumaon, we may travel for many miles over hill and forest
and not see a trace of man's presence. Cover for wild beasts has been
somewhat abridged, but it is still sufficient to shelter them, and to
make it unlikely they can be exterminated. Both in the hills and in the
country beneath, hunters of wild beasts, European and native, still find
abundant employment. Not a year passes without persons, sheep, and
cattle being killed by tigers, leopards, and hyenas. They live so much
in the gorges of the mountains, and in the depths of the forests, ready
to pounce on their prey when opportunity presents itself, that the
destruction caused by them is seen, while they themselves disappear. The
first thing we saw on our first approach to Almora was a horse which had
been killed by a leopard the preceding night. A woman, who had been
cutting grass before the door of a house we occupied for a few days, was
killed an hour afterwards by a tiger in the adjoining forest. One
afternoon we heard the cry of a herd, and running out we saw a goat with
its throat cut, but the leopard that had killed it had disappeared in
the jungle beneath. On another occasion my pony, picketed near my tent,
had a narrow escape from a leopard. I have often heard huntsmen relate
the encounters they have had with these terrible brutes. On one occasion
I saw four dead tigers brought in by a party that had killed them a few
miles from the place where my tent was pitched. Tigers are very
migratory. They live in the cold weather down in the Bhabhur and the
Turai, and as the hot weather advances they follow the herd up the hills
on to the verge of the snow. The bears of the hills feed on fruit and
vegetables, and usually make away when human beings are seen, but they
are very formidable to those who attack them, or come suddenly across
their path. In some places wolves abound, and children and animals
require to be guarded against them; but they never hunt in packs as in
Russia, and they are not feared by grown-up people. In the lower hills
and the Bhabhur there are herds of wild elephants, which do much injury
to the crops of the people, and cannot be safely approached. I have been
again and again in their track. There are also serpents, but they are
not so numerous or venomous as in the plains. The dangers to which the
inhabitants are exposed is shown by the annual statistics of casualties,
in which the first place is given to the ravages of wild beasts, the
second to landslips, and the third to serpents.


I may end this account of Kumaon, its scenery, products, history, and
people, by mentioning two stipulations in the treaty with the Ghoorkhas,
when the British took possession of the land, which are strikingly
illustrative at once of British policy and of Hindu feeling. One
stipulation was that certain sums should be paid annually to the priests
of certain temples. A second stipulation was that the slaughter of
bullocks and cows should be strictly prohibited. Not a vestige of power
over the country was left to the Ghoorkhas; the entire rule was
transferred to the British. But our authorities, influenced at once by
religious liberalism or indifference, and by deference to Hindu feeling,
accepted these conditions. The first stipulation caused no trouble, but
the force of circumstances has led to the violation of the second. When
there were no European troops in the Province, and the only Englishmen
were civil officials, officers of native regiments, and a few casual
travellers, the prohibition of beef caused little inconvenience; but a
large influx of English people, soldiers and others, made the observance
of the stipulation impracticable. For a time it was violated, and the
authorities professed to know nothing about it; but when Nynee Tal
became a great summer resort, and English soldiers were located at it,
beef became a well-nigh indispensable article of food, cows and bullocks
were killed, and the breach in the treaty by which the country was ceded
to us became manifest to all. It is said that when the high-caste
officials protested against this outrage on the Hindu religion, an
English official quietly said that such good Hindus were not in their
proper place, that they should be transferred to their holy city,
Benares. This speedily silenced the complaint, as hill people intensely
dislike leaving their mountains for the plains.

The treaty with the Ghoorkhas is not the only one in which the
stipulation against beef has been made when territory has been ceded. To
a treaty-keeping people like the English the stipulation has been very
embarrassing, so embarrassing that for a time resolute effort has been
made to observe it, but it has at length broken down under what has been
deemed the compulsion of circumstances. We have heard of a high-caste
official consoling his brethren for the outrage by reminding them it is
the nature of tigers to eat cows and bullocks, and by telling them that
the English were tigers, had a similar love for such food, and as it was
their nature it must be borne with. Though so shocked with the shedding
of the blood of cows and bullocks, the ruling class in Nepal have shown
no aversion to the shedding of human blood, as is well known by all
acquainted with the history of the country. During the mutiny a friend
of mine, travelling with a regiment of Ghoorkhas that had come down from
Nepal to help us, saw them kill a party of mutineers who had surrendered
under an oath of their lives being spared, with a savage ferocity which
shocked him beyond measure.


[Sidenote: TRAVELLING.]

The greater part of our time in the Province was spent in the capital,
Almora, and in the newly-formed Sanatarium Ranee Khet, but we frequently
travelled through many of its districts. I have mentioned the improved
means of communication, but vastly better though the roads be than they
were in the days of native rule, travelling continues to be very
expensive, fatiguing, and in some modes not a little dangerous.
Travellers must either walk, ride, or be carried on men's shoulders. The
first mode can be adopted only by those who have abundant strength and
leisure. It was my mode during our first visit, as I was not pressed for
time, and notwithstanding our residence of eight years in the plains I
retained a good deal of my youthful vigour. The mountain scenery and the
mountain air gave us new life. I travelled on foot some three hundred
miles. On the occasion of future visits I was happy to avail myself of a
hill pony. Most gentlemen and many young ladies perform their hill
journeys on horseback. Happily, hill ponies are, as a rule, quiet and
sure-footed; and they require to be, as the roads are narrow, in some
places very narrow, and overhang precipices, down which the rider would
be dashed if the pony slipped or was scared. At first, riding appears
very dangerous, but after a time there is a feeling of security. I
remember riding with confidence over places where at first I deemed it
prudent to dismount. Scarcely a year, however, passes without riders
being killed, and all who have travelled much over the country have to
tell of providential escapes. The third mode, the mode adopted by most
ladies, and by gentlemen who have not nerve to ride, is to be carried
on men's shoulders. The palankeen and dolie of the plains are by far too
heavy and cumbrous for the hills. The favourite vehicle is the
_dandee_--a pole, with a piece of carpet attached, on which the
traveller sits sideway, and which has belts for the back and feet. Two
men, one at each end of the pole, are able to carry the _dandee_ a short
distance, but in journeys four are commonly employed. During the last
few years a very light sedan-chair has come into favour, which is far
more convenient for ladies, but the _dandee_ is lighter and will
continue to be largely used.

We have seen a good deal of both the eastern and western portions of the
Province. In 1847 we travelled to Lahoo Ghat and Petorah Gurh in the
east. On this occasion I went on to Nepal, and was told by the Nepalese
sentry on the frontier bridge that without special permission from
Khatmandoo, the Capital, I could not proceed farther. In 1869, in
company with my much-esteemed friend the late Dr. Mather, I travelled in
the same direction, and saw much of the country, as we went by one route
and returned by another. During the later years of our residence we saw
a good deal of the western districts, to which I shall refer when giving
an account of missionary operations.

Along some of the main roads, at the distance of twelve or fourteen
miles, are small rough Rest-houses, with a table, two chairs, and a
bedstead, often in very bad condition. These houses are in charge of a
watchman, who is often long in making his appearance, and then brings
wood and water, and sometimes a little milk. For everything else you are
dependent on people with you carrying supplies. Where there is much
traffic there is good accommodation.

[Sidenote: TIMELY ESCAPE.]

Our most memorable journey, perhaps, was one made in 1861 to the
Pindaree glacier. The journey was a very fatiguing one, as the roads
were so bad, and the ascents and descents so steep, that before we got
half way I was obliged to leave my pony behind, and to make my way on
foot, helped to ascend and descend in some places by strong hill-men,
who drew me up or helped me down by a belt round my middle, while my
wife and little boy were carried in _dandies_. Many of the bridges were
rough wooden structures, with no parapets. As we approached the snow we
suffered much at night from cold in our little tent. The hill people of
the higher region we found much stronger and more unsophisticated than
those we had left behind. The women seemed never to have seen an English
woman or child. They were first afraid to come near us, but my wife made
her way to little groups, and they seemed delighted with her, and still
more with her little boy. Fatiguing and trying though the journey was,
health was improved by it, and we were well rewarded for any toil and
inconvenience we endured by the magnificent scenery we saw. Down the
Pindaree valley came a roaring torrent, showing by its yellow tinge it
came from the melted snow. We were awed as we looked up at the
tremendous cliffs on either side. Pursuing our way in silence, I heard a
servant from the plains, who was walking behind me, muttering to
himself, "Such a wicked place I never saw in my life." We breakfasted on
the glacier, and after looking at some of the crevasses we were glad to
make our way back to our tent a few miles below. Next morning we
retraced our steps, and it was well we did so, for as we were rapidly
descending we had heavy rain, and could see snow falling where we had
been. The next day the whole region behind was covered with snow, and
we were thankful for our timely escape.

The details of travelling I have now given, and the previous details
about the country and people may perhaps enable the reader the better to
understand and realize missionary work in the Province.




Stated mission work was commenced in Kumaon in 1850. Previous to that
time a few of its people had heard the Gospel from missionaries
travelling through it, or residing for a few months in it. In that year
the Rev. J. H. Budden, of the London Missionary Society, after labouring
for a time in Benares and Mirzapore, was obliged by the failure of
health to abandon all hope of continuing in the plains, and took up his
abode at Almora, the capital of the Province. The society declined to
enter on mission work in Kumaon; but Captain Ramsay, Senior Assistant to
the Commissioner, with other friends, came forward with most liberal
offers of support, and consent was given to Mr. Budden's entering into
an engagement to carry on the Mission as the agent of its local
supporters. For some time his entire salary and all expenses were met by
these friends. Afterwards a part of the salary was paid by the Society,
and for years the whole, but the friends who founded the Mission have on
to the present time supported it with princely munificence. At the head
of these is Sir Henry Ramsay, the Captain Ramsay of 1850, who has been
for many years the Commissioner of the Province, and who continues the
warm and liberal supporter of everything by which the spiritual as
well as the temporal good of the people may be promoted.


As the Mission at Almora was the first, so it continues to be the most
important in the Province. Organized and administered by Mr. Budden, and
heartily supported by friends on the spot, it has done a work which has
told powerfully and happily on the entire country. From the beginning
much attention has been paid to the education of the young. For a long
time the school of the Mission was the only one in the Province where a
superior education, at once native and European, was imparted; and
still, both in the number of its pupils and in the extent of its course
of study, it stands highest. From it have gone out for many years bands
of young men who now fill varied positions under Government, and it is
believed they are discharging their duties with greater intelligence and
a higher character than those they have succeeded. In remote parts of
the Province I have met persons who have spoken in strong terms of
gratitude of the benefit they had received from attending the Almora
Mission School. A few years ago a large, handsome structure was erected
for its accommodation at great expense, towards which the natives
contributed very liberally. In addition to this school-house, the
Mission has valuable property in mission-houses for native Christians,
an orphanage, and a book-room.



In other departments excellent work has been done. Female education has
been zealously prosecuted under the direction of Mr. Budden's daughters.
For many years there has been an orphanage in which destitute children
have been brought up and educated. The authorities made over to the
Mission a Leper Asylum they had established, and for years it has been
under its exclusive charge. Much has been done for the inmates of this
asylum at the cost of personal labour, great anxiety, and a heavy
expenditure. Suitable buildings have been erected, the wants of the
lepers have been supplied, everything has been done which could be done
to mitigate their sufferings, and to secure order and cleanliness. The
efforts put forth to draw them to the Great Physician to secure their
spiritual cure have by the Divine blessing borne abundant fruit. When
the Rev. John Hewlett was in charge in 1864-65 there was a movement
towards Christianity, which resulted in the baptism of several. Since
that time the work has gone on. Christian worship has been regularly
maintained among them, and much labour has been bestowed on their
instruction. Many have been baptized, after giving all the evidence of
sincerity which could be expected, and at certain times the Lord's
Supper has been dispensed. Among the lepers there have been persons of
very debased character, but the conduct of most has been good, and, so
far as we can judge, a number have become the true followers of the
Saviour. If the Mission had done nothing more than sustain this Leper
Asylum, it would have done a most Christ-like work, deserving the warm
approbation and liberal support of Christ's people.

[Illustration: LEPER ASYLUM, ALMORA.]

From the commencement of the Mission a service has been conducted every
Sabbath in English for the benefit of our countrymen residing in Almora.
Services have been held in the native language for the native Christians
and natives generally.

In addition to the work of organizing and conducting the various
departments of the Mission, Mr. Budden has made large and valuable
contributions to native Christian literature.

I have seen much of the Almora Mission, and have had the privilege of
taking part in conducting its operations. Among other duties which I
endeavoured to discharge during two seasons was to go, along with my
wife, every Sabbath morning to conduct worship with the lepers, and to
instruct them. Mrs. Kennedy went besides once every week. There is no
work on which I look back with deeper interest than I do on this. We
first conducted a brief service of singing, prayer, and preaching. Mrs.
Kennedy then took the women and I took the men to see how much of the
sermon they understood, and to inculcate the great lessons of God's Word
in the way of question and answer. The work was at first very trying,
but gradually we became more than reconciled to it. Our heart was drawn
forth in deep pity to these poor people, and we left them deeply
thankful for the privilege we had of speaking to them of the Saviour,
and of telling them of His compassion for the suffering and the lost.




In accordance with instructions from the Directors of the London
Missionary Society, Mrs. Kennedy and myself went at the beginning of
May, 1869, to Ranee Khet, a new station twenty miles north-west of
Almora, to enter on mission work there. Some time previously it had been
resolved to open a new mission in the Province, and I had been appointed
to commence it. After much consideration Ranee Khet was deemed the most
eligible place for the extension of our work. The name means "The Field
of the Queen," and was probably given to it in honour of Kalee, as it
has on its higher part a small temple sacred to her, round which the
hill people hold a yearly mela. The place may be described as a rough
table-land, with an elevation of from 6,200 to 7,000 feet above the
level of the sea. With the exception of a little land cleared on one
side, the country for miles around was covered with forests of pine,
oak, and rhododendron, over which the people of the valleys pastured
their cattle at some seasons of the year. The attention of the
Government was drawn to the place as suitable for a military Sanitarium,
and engineers were sent to open up roads and investigate its
capabilities. The report made by them was so favourable that a
considerable outlay was sanctioned for turning it into a retreat for
English soldiers from the heat of the plains.

The prospect of Ranee Khet as a European station, where soon a large
population was sure to gather, was one reason for regarding it as a good
sphere for a new mission. The chief reason, however, for the choice was
the fact that within twelve miles around, on the sides of the hills and
in the valleys beneath, there was a large accessible population,
furnishing a much wider field than one missionary could well occupy.


Previous to taking up our abode at Ranee Khet I paid several visits to
it, with a view to making myself acquainted with the neighbourhood and
to holding intercourse with the people, many of whom I met in their
villages. They looked on me with fear, as if I had come to lay a new tax
on them, and seemed utterly unable to comprehend me when I told them I
was no Government official, but a servant of God, who came to them with
good tidings from Him. The only school of which I heard was twelve miles
distant, and I came to the conclusion that the establishment of primary
schools would be very beneficial to the people, and highly favourable to
my object. Though so illiterate that in well-sized villages I did not
hear of a person who could read, a number expressed approval of my
object. Some were forward with the promise to erect school-sheds, and to
send their children, but the performance did not come up to the promise.

When we went to Ranee Khet there was not a single house at the place.
The only Europeans were two Engineers and a sergeant, and they were
living in their cook-houses, preparatory to building houses for
themselves. I had arranged with a friend to have a wooden house erected,
but when we went the work had only been commenced, and the first six
weeks we lived in a tent. It was midsummer, and the tent was in the
daytime intolerably hot. The trees around gave little shelter, they were
chiefly pine; but we soon succeeded in putting up booths, and in them,
except when storms came on, we were very comfortable during the heat of
the day.

We were thankful when we exchanged our tent and booths for our rough
wooden house. In it we remained two years and a half in tolerable
comfort. There were two serious drawbacks. In the heavy rains the house
leaked in such a degree that there was scarcely a dry spot in it; and,
what was worse, the rats got into the open roof, and by their active
movements, especially at night, were a great annoyance. Latterly the
leakage was stopped, but the rats were too strong for us, and could not
be dislodged. Notwithstanding these inconveniences, when we remembered
the heat of the plains, during six months of the year, which we had
endured, and our brethren were continuing to endure, and contrasted the
climate there with the climate we were enjoying, we were never tempted
to murmur. We felt deeply thankful for the Providence which had given us
an abode in a country where summer heat was only a little greater than
in our own, where there were no hot winds, where with windows open we
could be always comfortable in the hottest weather, and where all around
us was magnificent scenery.

I have mentioned rats. In their division of common rat and musk-rat,
they are troublesome enough in the plains, but they are a plague in the
hills. They abound in the fields, and are very hurtful to the crops. Not
a house is erected into which they do not manage to make their way; but
where a house is well built, and due care is taken, they find little
shelter. They go into a rough wooden house as if they were entitled to
full possession. These unwelcome intruders may be kept in check, but
there is no hope of entire deliverance from them.


During our eight years in Ranee Khet we had to discharge the varied
duties devolving on missionary pioneers. To one department, to which I
knew much attention must be given, I looked forward with dismay--the
erection of buildings. Remembering our experience in the plains we would
gladly have shrunk from this work, but we knew it must be faced. Through
the great kindness and efficient help of friends we succeeded in getting
suitable buildings erected. The first building we put up was a place of
worship. After considerable delay we succeeded in getting a suitable
site for a mission-house on a knoll within a short distance of the
native bazar. The servants' houses and the cook-house were first up, and
leaving our hut we took up our abode in the cook-house, that we might be
at hand to superintend the erection of the mission-house. Before its
completion we got, close at hand, a site for a school-house, which, with
its handsome hall and four side-rooms, furnishes more accommodation than
has yet been required. To this building natives contributed liberally.
As the stone and wood required had to be carried on men's heads and
shoulders, every additional yard increased the expense, and we were
obliged to use the wood and stone nearest, though at some distance
better might have been procured. Our masons and carpenters were not of a
superior order, and required to be constantly watched and directed. The
buildings were not all we could wish, but they were suitable for the
climate and for our purpose. Our house was commodious, was in the best
position for mission work, had a magnificent view of the snowy range,
and we would not have exchanged it for the finest house we had seen in
the plains.


From the commencement of our residence in Ranee Khet, village schools
received much of my attention. For a time I had nine under my charge, at
distances of from six to fifteen miles. For the accommodation of three
schools stone houses were erected, and for other schools sheds of grass
and wood were put up. The attendance at these schools varied greatly at
different seasons of the year: many came too short a time to get any
benefit, the attendance of others was too irregular to admit of much
progress; but a considerable number remained till they received a good
primary education. On my visits I taught the pupils, and conversed with
their parents and friends who gathered round. When the weather permitted
I had my tent pitched for days near the school, and visited the
adjoining villages. On these occasions I tried to sit down where or how
I could, with the people around me, and entered into familiar
conversation with them. The language was a great difficulty, as the
dialect of Kumaon differs widely from the Hindee of the plains; but by
dint of repetition, and putting what I had to say in different forms in
the simplest fashion, I was often happy to find myself getting into the
understanding of my hearers. Every second Saturday the teachers, often
accompanied by senior pupils, came to my house to report what they had
done, and to receive instruction.


I had reason to be thankful for having entered into this department of
work. A large amount of Christian instruction was imparted; many of the
boys showed remarkable aptitude in committing to memory portions of
Scripture, such as the ten commandments and the parables of our Lord.
Much general knowledge was acquired, a number of the pupils became
better fitted for their secular calling, and the goodwill of the people
was secured. Once, when thirty miles away from Ranee Khet, I met a lad
whom I recognized as an old pupil. I asked him if he remembered what he
had been taught. He said he did. He went to a house close at hand,
brought a copy of St. Luke's Gospel, read at my request the fifteenth
chapter, and explained its meaning with an accuracy which surprised me.
At the same place I met a man of a different order. He told me he was
going to a mela, to which I was also proceeding. I asked him what he was
to do there. He said he was to bathe, to wash away his sins. I asked him
what was the sin which oppressed him. He said, "I am a husbandman. In
ploughing my fields I destroy much life, which is a great sin. This is
the worst thing with which I am chargeable." The lad taught in the
school knew something of what sin was, as the poor man did not. I can
say nothing about the spiritual results of these school efforts. I can
only hope that by God's blessing good has been done. The Government has
now entered largely on primary education in the Province, and with its
resources and prestige will, I trust, secure a large school attendance.

All through my residence at Ranee Khet I endeavoured to embrace the
opportunities given to me of promoting the spiritual good of our own
countrymen. A service was at once commenced with the few residents and
visitors at the station. Towards the end of 1869 two companies of
English soldiers were sent, and as soon as tolerable accommodation was
provided a regiment was stationed at Ranee Khet. As for nearly three
years I was the only resident Christian minister, I held two services
every Lord's Day--one for Presbyterians, including all non-Episcopalian
adherents, and the other for the Episcopalians, the Prayer-book being
used at this latter service. I also visited the sick in hospital, and
when at home conducted a weekday meeting. We first met in the open air,
or verandah of our hut; afterwards in the hut used as a temporary
canteen; for some time in the recreation-room; and during our later
years in our place of worship, which we called Union Church. An effort
was made to get up a girls' school, but it was unsuccessful, as the
attendance of the few native girls in the Bazar could not be secured. So
far as native women were concerned, all Mrs. Kennedy could do was to
instruct the few living in the Mission compound. She found, however, an
interesting sphere among the wives and children of the soldiers. The
Sabbath school, commenced and carried on by her, assisted by others, was
attended by all the children, Roman Catholic as well as Protestant; but
no sooner was a Roman Catholic chaplain appointed than the order went
forth for the withdrawal of the children of his Church, which was obeyed
with manifest reluctance. We had much pleasure in these services with
our own people, and had every reason to believe lasting good was done.
Some of the boys of the Ranee Khet school expressed a desire to be
taught English, and these came every second day to our house to be
taught by Mrs. Kennedy.


While thankfully availing myself of the opportunities presented of
preaching the Gospel to our own countrymen, such opportunities as I
never had at any previous period of my Indian career, my chief attention
was given to the work for which I had been sent to Ranee Khet. I have
already mentioned missionary work done on visits to the schools. At
Ranee Khet opportunities were found for conversation with shopkeepers
and their customers. Thousands of work-people were employed on the
buildings which were being erected, and these, when the work of the day
was over, flocked to the Bazar to buy food. After the toil of the day,
when eagerly anticipating their only cooked meal in the twenty-four
hours, they were not inclined to listen to a stranger telling them of
his strange religion. Occasionally I did succeed in getting for a time
the attention of some not so eager as others to get their evening meal.
Most heard quietly, but sometimes individuals replied with bitter words.
Many of the work-people had come from a great distance. The most
prominent of these was a band of Cashmeeree Mussulmans, who spoke
against Christianity with a fierceness which showed what they would do
if they had the power. From one of them I got a retort, which it was
difficult to repel. I tried to put the party into good humour by asking
them about their country, and I smilingly said, "Is there no food in
your country, that you have come all this way for it?" To which I got
the reply: "You, sir, have come much farther than we have done. Had you
no food to eat in your country?" I must acknowledge I felt myself shut
up under this rebuff.

During my residence at Ranee Khet I had much intercourse with two
classes widely separated from each other--educated young men, and Doms.

I have mentioned that from the Almora Mission School a number of young
men had gone into all parts of the Province. Several got situations in
the public offices of Ranee Khet, and to them in the course of time
persons of the same class were added from Bengal. I visited these at
their quarters, and did all in my power to maintain friendly intercourse
with them. A room in the school-house, supplied, partly at their own
expense and partly by the liberality of friends, with newspapers,
periodicals, and books, was turned into a reading-room, which was always
open in the evening. One evening in the week they met me in class, when
we had as our text-book the Advanced Reader of the Christian Vernacular
Education Society, which furnished full opportunity for conversation on
the most useful and important subjects. The attendance was not so steady
as could be desired. All were friendly in their bearing, and some seemed
much interested in our study and talk. A few professed Brahmist views,
but none were inclined to join the Brahmist community and break with
their own people. There was no indication of the spiritual concern which
compels the soul to earnest investigation, with a view to following
truth wherever it may lead.


The other class with whom I had much to do at Ranee Khet were the Doms,
to whom reference has already been made as in all probability the
descendants of the aborigines of the country previous to the Hindu
invasion. They are a most useful part of the community. As the artisans
of the country, the people of every caste have much to do with them.
They are largely engaged in agriculture. They do things by which the
caste people would be defiled, such as carrying away the carcases of
animals. In a high-caste village it is not uncommon to see, a little
aside from it--if the ground permits, below it--a number of houses
occupied by Doms. The pigs and fowls around the meaner dwellings, and
the poorer looks of the inhabitants, tell what they are. As artisan
work is now in great demand the circumstances of the Doms are much
improved, and there is every prospect of their rising into a higher
position. They bear, and for many a year they may be expected to bear,
indubitable marks of having been for ages a servile, despised,
downtrodden class, having no respect from others, and entertaining
little respect for themselves. Their improved circumstances will do
something towards raising them in the social scale, but we cannot look
for high moral excellence and real manhood till they come under the
power of the Gospel.

On account of the abundance of work which the formation of an English
station was sure to afford, a colony of these people erected a village
for themselves on the side of the Ranee Khet hill below the Bazar. I had
when in Almora conversed frequently with Doms. At Ranee Khet I saw much
of them, and had more encouragement among them than among any other
class. To some who expressed regret they could neither read nor write, I
said it was not too late; that I would take care that they be taught if
they were willing to learn. To test them I opened a night-school, and a
number availed themselves of it. It was a gratifying sight to see them,
at ages varying from fifteen to thirty-five, conning their
spelling-books at the door of the school-house as evening was coming on,
or trying to form letters on their slates. A few became soon
discouraged, but a number held on, night after night for two or three
hours, with the greatest eagerness, till they could read, write, and
count very fairly. One result of the school was that they began to
attend, with great regularity, a service held every Sabbath afternoon in
the hall of the school-house. During the last year of our residence in
Ranee Khet, the attendance at this service was larger than at any
previous period, and it was mainly composed of Doms. Nothing could
exceed the quietness and apparent interest with which they heard the
simple addresses given. I cannot say I saw any evidence of spiritual
awakening, but the torpor of their previous life was shaken in a way
which inspired the hope of their being brought into the fold of Christ.

I have mentioned the fierceness of the Cashmeeree Mussulmans. This
charge cannot be brought against them all. One of their number, a young
lad, came to the school, and was in every respect one of the best pupils
in it. With another, one so trusted by the rest that he was the
go-between in the arrangements for work with the English engineer, I had
much intercourse. Though the head of the party, and himself doing no
manual work, he could neither read nor write, and was entirely dependent
on accounts being kept by another. To my surprise he came to the
night-school, and applied himself so diligently that he acquired a fair
measure of elementary education, though his knowledge of the Hindee
language was very imperfect. He regularly attended the Sabbath evening
service, and seemed to listen most eagerly. One day he came to our
house. I at once saw that he was greatly excited. He shut the door
behind him, as if afraid of being seen, came close to me, got down on
his knees, and said: "Sir, what am I to do? Last night Huzrut Isa" (the
name given by Muhammadans to our Lord, which may be translated "His
Honour," or "His Excellence Jesus") "appeared to me in a dream, and
said, 'Follow me; follow me.' But how can I follow Him? My people will
kill me, they will kill me!" I have seldom been more touched than when
I looked on the anguish in the face of that poor man, and the tears
coursing down his cheeks, as he uttered these words. I need not tell the
Christian reader what I endeavoured to say. Shortly afterwards the
Cashmeerees left Ranee Khet, and this man with them. I could not find
out where they went, and I have lost all trace of my friend.

[Sidenote: ITINERACY.]

A considerable part, sometimes the greater part, of the cold weather was
given to itineracy. Some winters we went down to the foot of the hills
to prosecute mission work among the large population found there at that
season. We moved from place to place, erecting our tent in central
spots, from which within a radius of two or three miles we could visit
populous villages, some built of rough stones, but most composed of
grass sheds. I was generally accompanied by a catechist. We had many
opportunities of speaking to the people on the highest subjects. Not
infrequently we met persons whom we had met in the hills, and then we
were sure of a special welcome. Once I came on a party of Doms, tailors,
whom I had seen a short time previously, and I said to them: "As you
have no cattle, and do not cultivate the ground, what has brought you
down?" To which I got the reply: "We have come in search of the sun."
This gave me an opportunity of speaking of that Sun in whose warmth and
light their spirits might dwell at all times, in all places. I
endeavoured to set up schools in the Bhabhur, but had not any
encouraging measure of success.

There was much which was pleasant and exhilarating in this movement from
place to place, and in camping under the trees: but it was at times very
fatiguing, and in bad weather very unpleasant. More than once we were
overtaken by severe storms, but happily the worst of these storms came
on us in favoured places, where we could find shelter on escaping from
our tent.

Hill ponies feel themselves strange when in what a friend used to call
the "roomy plains." The pony I had for years was quiet enough in the
hills, but I had to watch it narrowly in the plains, as it seemed to
have always the sense of danger, and was ready to start in a fashion
which more than once almost dismounted me.

Some winters were spent in itinerating in hill districts from which the
people did not go to the Bhabhur. In these winters I had the opportunity
of going to a mela held at Bageswur, about thirty-five miles from Ranee
Khet, at the confluence of the Surjoo and the Kalee. This mela is the
greatest held in the Province. To many it is the grand event of the
year. The people from all parts flock to it for religious, commercial,
and social purposes. In the motley crowd may be seen hill-men from all
the districts of the Himalaya, natives from the plains, Tibetans from
the other side of the snowy range, and Englishmen.

This mela is held in a low valley not far from one of the passes into
Tibet. It is attended by many Tibetans, who succeed in bringing their
ponies through the tremendous defiles which separate their country from
Kumaon. These ponies bring high prices. They also bring sheep laden with
salt and borax. These Mongolians are great stalwart men, with broad
faces, clad in homespun woollen cloth of many folds, which is seldom
taken off till it is worn off. They are accompanied by a few women and
children. They take their religion with them in their praying-wheels,
which they keep going. They are an intensely religious people, as Mr.
Gilmour tells us, but it is in the most mechanical fashion which can be
conceived. If they were mere machines, wound up like their
praying-wheels, they could not to all appearance be more devoid of
thought, feeling, and conscience in the exercise of their religion. I
marked their countenances, and could only wonder at their stolid look.
Much that is absurd is found in man's religion, but the Tibetan form of
it seemed to me the very _ne plus ultra_ of irrationality. Some of these
Mongolians are inveterate beggars, but it would not be fair to judge the
people generally by these stragglers into India. There was more life in
their dances than in their religion, though not much grace. It seemed to
me that if elephants could dance, they would do it somewhat in that


In the town of Bageswur there are substantial houses belonging to the
merchants of the Province, and these are occupied by themselves or their
agents during the greater part of the cold weather. During the rest of
the year it is deserted, as the valley is very hot and feverish. During
the colder weeks of the year it is a very stirring place, but it is on
the occasion of the melas, two of which are held within three months,
that there is a large gathering. At the principal mela many thousands
must be present. As in all Hindu gatherings, religion, business, and
pleasure are eagerly prosecuted. A town of booths rises suddenly in the
valley and on the sides of the hills. Whenever I have gone, I have for
miles before reaching the place seen many carrying or trailing branches
of trees, with which they were to erect their temporary abode. These
answer well in good weather, but when rain or snow falls they give no
shelter. The morning is given to bathing. One morning is peculiarly
propitious, and then from the earliest dawn the people are in the
stream, many of them, I suppose, getting well-nigh the only ablution
they have in the course of the year. During the day selling and buying
go on vigorously. As evening approaches the merry-go-rounds are
patronized, and crowds gather round singing and dancing parties. The
dancers are young men linked hand in hand, who move about in circles,
shuffle their feet, and sing in a very monotonous fashion. Many set to
the preparation of the evening meal, and the valley and the hill-sides
are aglow with fires and lights. Amusement, however, has not come to an
end. Singing is kept up till the small hours of the morning, to the no
small disturbance of those who cannot sleep except when there is a
measure of quiet. Between the singing of the people and the
barking--rather the howling--of the Tibetan dogs, such barking as I have
never heard in our own country, wearied though I have been by the work
of the day I have for hours found sleep to be impossible.

Englishmen attending the mela find a temporary abode in tents, and in a
staging bungalow erected for the accommodation of European travellers.
They dine together in the hall of this house, and occupy their tents at
night. Officials deputed by the Commissioner of the Province are
present, for the double purpose of keeping order and of paying rewards
to those who have killed wild beasts. The skins of the tigers, bears,
and leopards, for the destruction of which rewards have been paid, are
sold by auction under the direction of the officials. The heaps of skins
exposed for sale give one a striking impression of the number of wild
beasts in the country. There are many keen hunters, both native and
European, and there is no likelihood of their occupation coming to an
end for want of game. Tea-planters attend this mela to buy mats, which
are made by the people in large quantities, and are required in the
preparation of tea for the market. Military officers on leave and
travellers from the plains are present from the double motive of seeing
this strange gathering and of purchasing ponies.

For many years Mr. Budden, accompanied by native Christians, has been in
the habit of going to this mela, and I have been happy to help him and
his brethren when opportunity has been given to me. A colporteur has
been present with his wares, and succeeds in selling at a small price
portions of the Scriptures and tracts. An amusing instance of indecision
occurred at the bookstall the last time I was present. A man had
purchased a Gospel. He came back saying he was told by his people that
he would certainly become a Christian if he took that book to his
village, and he laid down the book on the stall and asked for his money.
The colporteur refused to cancel the sale, and the man was sorely
perplexed, reluctant to lose both his money and that for which the money
was paid. At last he walked away with the book, the colporteur assuring
him it would do him only good.


We took our stand at different parts of the mela, and spoke to all
willing to hear. Many speedily passed on, but a number remained for some
time, as if desirous to know what this new religion was. Now and then we
encountered pundits, and if they were at all reasonable we were pleased
with their presence and opposition, as a colloquy with them greatly
quickened the interest of the people. On one occasion, after skirmishing
with some pundits, it was arranged they were to meet us at a fixed hour
for discussion. Our Christian party were present at the appointed place
and hour, but our pundit friends did not put in an appearance. Our
going, however, was not in vain, as we succeeded in getting hearers who
listened patiently to what we had to say about the Saviour of mankind.
One of our number was a converted pundit of Almora, who spoke to the
people in a way I thought eminently fitted to make a favourable




During our residence in Kumaon we had many opportunities of observing
the condition and habits of the people. I have mentioned the new
resources opened up to them, and yet it must be acknowledged that many
are poor. The population is probably much larger than it has been at any
previous period. The holdings are small, and by the division made on the
occasion of the death of the head of the household they ever tend to
become smaller. There are a number in the Province who own no land, and
are poorly remunerated for their labour by their countrymen. I have
mentioned the new source of wealth opened up to the people by the canals
and cultivation of the Bhabhur. Reference has also been made to the
tea-gardens and public works, on which large sums of money have been
spent, of which much has reached the people in the form of wages. Thus
all classes, both those who have land and those who have not, have been
benefited. Indeed, apart from income thus obtained it is difficult to
conceive how the people could have been supported. If they do not make
progress in material comfort the fault must lie in their want of

Like their brethren in the plains, the people in the hills live chiefly
on cereals--the cheaper cereals--and vegetables; but, like most below,
including even many Brahmans and Rajpoots, they have no objection to
animal food when they get it of the kind they approve, and prepared in
the way caste rules require. As to Doms, nothing that is at all eatable
comes amiss to them. They have no objection, indeed, to much we should
deem uneatable. The Hindus eat the flesh of goats and kids offered in
sacrifice. They also eat the flesh of short-tailed sheep, but
long-tailed sheep are an abomination to them, as they regard them as a
kind of dog. We saw once an amusing instance of the notion of
uncleanness attached to this species of sheep. A few sheep were being
chosen by a purchaser from a flock. The animals were scampering about,
showing, according to their nature, their unwillingness to be caught.
Three or four men were engaged in catching them, but one every now and
then started back when about to lay his hand on a sheep, exclaiming,
"_Wuh doomwala hai!_"--"It is a tailed one! it is a tailed one!"--as if
he would be hopelessly defiled by touching it, while his less scrupulous
companions of the same caste said, "You fool! what does it matter? It
will do you no harm." They would not have eaten its flesh, but their
caste spirit was sufficiently relaxed to allow them to touch it.

I have referred to sanitary regulations issued by the authorities to
guard the people against epidemics caused by want of cleanliness. One of
these regulations forbids the dwelling together of animals and human
beings. On our first visit to the hills in 1847 I came unpleasantly into
contact with this dual occupation of the same house. As night was
setting in I came to the top of a hill, and from it I could see a few
straggling houses at a short distance. I had with me two or three men,
who proposed to put up a booth for the night. Unhappily for my comfort,
a thunderstorm came on with heavy rain, and the booth was no protection.
I was taken to a house a short way off, but on entering it the smell
from the animals occupying it with their owners was so strong that it
drove me out. I preferred to face the storm to bearing the effluvia of
that highland abode. I was told of a little unoccupied grass-shed a mile
down the hill. I found the grass so thick and well tied that the rain
did not get through, and the entrance was on the lee side. Into this I
crept, and slept soundly till the morning, for I was very tired with the
long walk of the day.

The new sanitary orders have no doubt done good, but it is difficult to
secure compliance with them, though fines are imposed on persons
convicted of disobedience. If there had been a reward for informers I
could have more than once won it by telling what I had seen.

[Sidenote: NYNEE TAL.]

A very pleasant break during our life at Ranee Khet was a yearly visit
paid to Nynee Tal, about thirty miles distant, which had become the seat
of Government for the North-West for half the year, and a place of great
resort from the plains during the hot and wet months. It has many
advantages as a Sanitarium. It is within sixteen miles of the Bhabhur,
and has an elevation of from 6,300 to 8,000 feet above the level of the
sea. There is a small, beautiful mountain lake, from one end of which
one looks down on the plains over the intervening hills; while at the
other end, beyond a piece of uneven ground, rises a lofty mountain.
There are rather steep hills on either side, but hills with a gradient
which admits of houses being built on them. Though so near the plains,
this lakelet was till 1842 unknown, except to natives and a few English
officials. In that year travellers with difficulty made their way to it,
and drew attention to its attractions. We first saw it in 1847, and then
it had very few houses. An old General, one of its first residents, told
us that one day the preceding year he saw a tiger walking leisurely
above his house, and looking down, as if wondering at the change which
was coming over the place. Some of the first residents were startled by
meeting bears in their walks. Since that time houses have been built on
every side, and during the season there is a great population of both
Europeans and natives. Four years ago there was a fearful landslip,
which carried down a number of houses with it, and buried many under the
falling mass.

[Illustration: LANDSLIP AT NYNEE TAL.]

At the beginning of 1857, the American Episcopal Methodist Church
entered on mission work in Rohilkund. When the mutiny of that year broke
out, the agents of this church in Rohilkund escaped to Nynee Tal, and
from that time they continued to occupy it as a mission station, and
also as a sanitarium for their brethren in the plains. The Mission has
been efficiently conducted. English services have been maintained during
the season. They have been well attended by all classes, and have done
much good. Between native servants and shopkeepers from the plains, and
natives of the hills, who flock into the place for service and work,
there is a large sphere for mission work, and much has been done in the
way of both preaching and schools. The Mission has been extended to
other parts of the Province, to Gurhwal in the north, to Petorah in the
east, and to other places, with manifest tokens of the Divine blessing.


With these American brethren we have been on the most friendly terms,
and have co-operated with them in every way open to us. We formed an
association with them for mutual counsel and help. One result of this
association has been the holding of annual meetings in Nynee Tal in
autumn, for the benefit of Europeans and natives, and conducted in both
the English and native languages, ending with the celebration of the
Lord's Supper. These meetings were largely attended, excited much
interest, did, I believe, much good, and were very enjoyable. On these
annual visits to Nynee Tal we commonly remained a week or ten days, and
had much pleasant intercourse with the missionaries and other friends.
During several years Sir William Muir, as Lieutenant-Governor of the
North-West, was resident for half the year at Nynee Tal, and our special
thanks are due to him and Lady Muir for hospitable entertainment.

While, during our residence in the hills, time and strength were mainly
given to effort for the spiritual good of our own countrymen and the
native population, there were times, especially during the rainy season,
when I was much at home; and I was glad to avail myself of the leisure
afforded of writing for the press what I hoped might prove, and what I
trust has proved, of spiritual benefit to natives and others. During our
stay in the hills, in addition to articles for the "Indian Evangelical
Review" and other periodicals, I wrote a Commentary on the Epistle to
the Romans in Hindustanee, and Essays in English, which were published
in book form under the title of "Christianity and the Religions of
India." At an early period of my missionary career, at the request of my
colleague Mr. Shurman, to whom the work of revising and in part
translating the Bible into Hindustanee was entrusted, I transferred the
Pentateuch from the Persian into the Roman character, and translated the
book of the Prophet Jeremiah, which, revised by Mr. Shurman and Dr.
Mather, now forms part of the version. Before leaving India I did a
little, at the request of the North India Bible Society, towards the
revision of the Hindee translation of the New Testament. On this work a
large and very able Committee is now engaged. During my Indian career I
have written a good deal for the press--I must acknowledge in a very
desultory manner.

Thus engaged in prosecuting our work, years passed on till the end of
1876, when we felt the time had arrived for retiring from the Indian
Mission-field. In July of that year I had a severe illness, which laid
me aside, and incapacitated me for carrying on mission work with any
measure of efficiency. I might have continued at Ranee Khet, and done
the work within my reach there, but by doing so the most important part
of the work, the work in the district, would have remained undone; and I
deemed it best to retire to make way for one who could fitly occupy the
sphere. Medical men whom I consulted strongly advised my departure, and
the Directors of the Society gave their prompt and kind sanction to our
return to England.

[Sidenote: FRIENDLY HELP.]

I cannot end this account of our life in Kumaon without giving
expression to our gratitude for the kind aid afforded us by friends in
the prosecution of our work. Among these friends, one of the steadiest
and kindest was the cantonment magistrate, Colonel, afterwards
Major-General, Chamberlain, who identified himself with the Mission, and
was ever ready to do all he could to promote its prosperity. During our
lengthened absences from the station in the cold weather, and whenever
I could not officiate, he conducted service with the English soldiers,
and he was ready in every way within his power to render help. In
addition to aid in carrying on the Mission, we received great personal
kindness from him and his partner, of which we shall always retain a
grateful recollection. He retired to England a short time after us, and
within a little more than a year he was suddenly called away--to his own
gain, we are sure, but to the grief of all his friends. It gives me a
melancholy pleasure to render this tribute to his memory. For steady
friendship and most valuable aid our best thanks are also due to
Captain, now Lieut.-Colonel, Birney, R.E., the resident Chief Engineer;
Robert Troup, Esq., a tea-planter in the neighbourhood; and Mr.
Ashhurst, engineer. Among the friends not resident at Ranee Khet, to
whom the Mission is largely indebted, are Sir Henry Ramsay and Sir
William Muir. Besides the friends I have mentioned, many others
contributed liberally to the Mission, without whose aid much which was
done must have remained unaccomplished. By the liberal contributions
received the operations of the Mission were carried on, and valuable
property was created at very little expense to the Society.

We left Ranee Khet at the close of 1876. As we were leaving India with
no prospect of returning, we spent two months in visiting different
stations, seeing their Missions, and holding intercourse with friends
and brethren. In the course of these months we visited Bareilly,
Shahjehanpore, Agra, from which we went to see that wonderful deserted
city, Futtypore Sikree, with its magnificent tombs, Jeypore, Lucknow,
Cawnpore, Allahabad, Mirzapore, Benares, Jubbulpore, and Bombay. At Agra
we attended the native service of the Church Mission. The minister who
preached was a native who had been educated in our central school at
Benares when I was superintendent, and was there led to the knowledge of
Christ, though he was not baptized till his return to his native city,
Agra. On this tour we saw and heard much which interested us greatly, as
it showed the work of evangelization was being vigorously prosecuted
with tokens of God's blessing resting on it. We embarked at Bombay in
February, and arrived in England at the end of March.

We left India, where we had spent the greater and, I may say, the better
part of our life, with feelings I will not attempt to describe. I can
only say when we review our Indian life, that while deeply humbled at
the recollection of many errors and defects, defects in wisdom, zeal,
and love, we are deeply grateful for having been privileged to labour
for so many years in the service of our adorable Redeemer, not, we
trust, without proof that good was accomplished through our
instrumentality; and so long as we breathe, our hearts will steadily
turn towards India with ardent love, and with fervent prayer for the
spiritual and temporal welfare of its inhabitants.




On reviewing these reminiscences I find there are several subjects of
interest to which I have only casually alluded, and others on which I
have made no remark. My readers will, I hope, bear with me while I
detain them by stating facts and expressing views which will make the
narrative more complete.

It is unnecessary to describe the office of missionary to the heathen.
No one has rightly entered on the office without being deeply impressed
by its greatness, arduousness, and responsibility. It is equally
unnecessary to describe the qualifications required. No one can
contemplate the demands the office makes on intellect, heart, and
conscience, on love to the Lord Jesus Christ and love to souls, on
wisdom, perseverance, and courage, without exclaiming with the great
missionary Paul, "Who is sufficient for these things?" The idea that one
unqualified for work at home would do for a missionary abroad is so
preposterous that it is strange it should have ever been entertained by
the most heedless.

There is, however, a great difference between an office and those who
serve in an office. Because an office is great and honourable it does
not follow that those who hold it have always the high character it
demands. The question may, then, be fairly asked, Are missionaries
worthy of their office? I, of course, use the word "worthy" in a
relative sense, and I remember our limited acquaintance with the human
heart. It must be acknowledged there have been a few, happily a _very_
few, who have shown themselves utterly unworthy of the office, some by
lack of intellectual fitness, and others by want of spiritual character
and by indisposition to the work. There have been cases of the utter
failure of character, but these have been extremely rare. Of
missionaries generally it may be confidently affirmed they have been
true men. I have a wide acquaintance with the missionaries of Northern
India. During our long residence in Benares we saw many of all
Societies, of all Churches, as they travelled up and down. Benares is
one of the great halting-places between Bengal and the Upper Provinces,
and residence there gives many opportunities for acquaintance with
brethren. We have the most pleasing recollection of many we have met,
and we have followed their course with deep interest.


I should be acting in opposition to my settled conviction if I were to
speak of missionaries as more devoted to Christ's service, more
self-denied, more ready to endure privation than home ministers. This
glorification of missionaries, as missionaries, was much in vogue at one
time, and is still sometimes heard. Our Master, the Lord Jesus Christ,
gives to every one his work, and our devotedness is shown, not by our
office, but by the way in which we do the work assigned us. Predilection
to a certain sphere, supposed fitness for it, temperament and
circumstances, have much to do in indicating to us the sphere our Lord
would have us to occupy. Tried by the test of devotedness, as shown in
daily life, I have never seen any reason for placing one class of
Christ's servants above the other. Among ministers there is, as we all
know, a great difference, not only in talent and attainment, but also in
love, zeal, wisdom, and endurance--in every quality which their work
demands. Similar is the variety among missionaries. There are many
degrees of efficiency and, it must be acknowledged, of inefficiency.
They, as well as their brethren at home, can go through the routine of
their work in a very perfunctory and unsatisfactory manner; while they,
too, can consecrate all their powers to the service of their Lord. It
would be easy to select from the home field ministers who, in unwearied
labour, self-denial, and privation for Christ's sake, greatly excel the
ordinary run of missionaries; and it would be equally easy to select
from the foreign field missionaries who greatly excel most of their home

In several respects there is a marked contrast in the position of
ministers and missionaries. Ministers labour in their own language,
among their own people, amidst home surroundings and associations; while
missionaries have to part with loved relatives and to betake themselves
to a foreign land, where they have to learn a foreign language, often
languages, at the cost of much time and of wearying application, have
for years, as in the greater part of India, to bear a severe climate,
are called to prosecute their work among a strange, an unsympathetic,
and sometimes a hostile people, and, what is felt by family people to be
the greatest trial of all, they have to send their children to England,
and to live separate from them for years. Some of these trials
missionaries share with their fellow-countrymen, who from secular
motives go to foreign lands, but others are peculiar to their vocation.

While I mention the trials of a missionary career I cannot forget the
trials of ministerial life at home. We should require to shut our eyes
to patent facts if we were to ignore the privations many excellent men
are called to endure, and the varied difficulties they have to encounter
from the character and circumstances of the people among whom they
labour, from the peculiarities of our times, and from the abiding
qualities of human nature, as it is now constituted. Missionaries are
not rich, but they have adequate support, for good or evil are not
dependent for it on the goodwill of those to whom they minister, and
receive it as regularly as if it came from an endowment. With children
sent home for education they have times of great pressure, but much has
been done to aid them in meeting this additional expense. Viewed merely
as to the comfort of living, and ease of mind as to support, the
advantages are not all on the side of the home minister. To counteract
the advantages of the missionary's position to which I have referred, it
must be remembered the average career of service in India is short--some
returning very soon, and others after a few years. Those who return
after years spent abroad, and yet in the prime of life, are rightly
expected to enter the list of the home ministry; but the work they have
left and that on which they are entering are so different, that the
mental habits acquired in the one are felt to be a poor preparation for,
and often even an obstacle to, efficiency in the other.


In their duties, joys, and trials, ministers and missionaries have much
in common. We have to deal with the same human nature, manifesting the
same characteristics, though in different forms. We have the same
message to deliver. We have the same great end in view, the salvation
of those to whom we minister, their restoration to the character and
joys of God's children. Whether we labour at home or abroad, we are
required to endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ. If we have
not entered on our work from love to Christ and love to souls, with an
intense desire to spend and be spent in Christ's service, with a belief
that He has called us to it, and given us a measure of fitness for it;
if we are conscious of being dominated by inferior motives; if we have
not delight in our work, even when there is great pressure on both mind
and body; if we do not long for the success of our work, it is obvious
we have missed our vocation, and it would be better for us to sweep the
street, I would say it would be better to walk the treadmill than occupy
our position for an hour. This I must say for myself, I am deeply
thankful for having been privileged to labour in the foreign field, and
consider it the highest honour which could have been conferred on me.
With my brethren I have had many trials to endure, some privations to
bear, some perils to encounter, but I have never for an hour regretted
my early decision to give myself to Christ's work among the heathen. I
am sure I here speak the feeling of my missionary brethren.

I have endeavoured in my reminiscences to give such a representation of
a missionary's position and work in Northern India, that home ministers
who may read my narrative can have no difficulty in comparing and
contrasting ministerial and missionary spheres. It will be seen how
varied are the duties devolving on the missionary, and how great are the
demands on thought and effort for their proper discharge. They have, in
many cases, to attend to harassing and perplexing secular work. A number
give their time and strength to teaching, and I know enough of this
department to testify that those who give themselves to it in a climate
like that of India lead very laborious lives. I have said little of the
translation of the Scriptures, and the preparation of Christian books
and tracts. This is a department in which there has been much exhausting
effort of both body and mind, as all know well who have done even a
little in it. In the prosecution of direct evangelistic work the
missionary finds much to interest and encourage him, but also much to
grieve and depress him, especially if he has a sensitive nature, and has
no natural love for debate. Even to those who do not shrink from
discussion there is often not a little which is very trying. I have a
vivid recollection of times when I have returned from Benares to my home
in the suburbs, so wearied in body and grieved in spirit by the
opposition I had encountered and the blasphemies I had heard, that I
have felt as if I could never enter the city again. But I went again,
and perhaps the next time was much encouraged.

Missionaries at the same station are much more closely associated than
ministers at the same place at home. The management of the mission, the
policy to be adopted, and the respective places to be filled, are under
common arrangement and control, subject to the district committee, and
through them to the home directors. Many perplexing questions come
before missionaries thus associated, and human nature in them must have
parted with its usual infirmities, and put on peculiar excellence, if
difference of judgment and consequent variance of feeling had never
appeared. We cannot plead exemption from human imperfection. It cannot
be denied that at times there has been strong diversity of judgment and
painful alienation of feeling, when missionaries have too closely
resembled Paul and Barnabas in their sharp dispute at Antioch; but it
can at the same time be most truly affirmed that with very rare
exceptions discord has soon come to an end, and those who have differed
widely have become attached friends, as we know Paul and Barnabas did.
The normal state of things is that of mutual love, respect, and

Missionaries have also had their differences with the Societies that
have sent them out and supported them. The respective position of home
committees and foreign missionaries are so different, that a difference
of judgment is in some cases unavoidable; but confiding as they have
done in the goodness of each other's motives, full harmony has been soon
restored. I must be allowed to say of the London Missionary Society,
whose agent I was for so many years in India, that my warmest
acknowledgments are due to it for all the kindness and consideration
shown to me and mine. If I were now to begin my career with my knowledge
of the past, there is no Society with which I could so confidently
connect myself.


All have heard of the friendly intercourse among missionaries of
different churches. They, too, when near each other have had occasional
differences; but with rare exceptions they have been on terms not only
of courteous bearing, but of affectionate intimacy. There is nothing in
our Indian life to which we look back with greater pleasure than our
intercourse with Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodist, and Episcopalian
brethren. With the Episcopalian and Baptist missionaries at Benares we
were on as warm terms of friendship as if they had been members of our
own Mission. For many years we were in the habit of meeting weekly with
them for the study of the Scriptures, prayer, and Christian communion.

Most Europeans take no interest in missions, look on missionaries as
good men engaged in a Quixotic enterprise, and know almost nothing about
their work, but still they treat them with courtesy. There are, however,
some of our own countrymen who take a deep interest in our work, visit
our schools, occasionally attend our native services, and contribute
liberally to our mission schemes. These do much to cheer our hearts and
promote our success. Again and again my work would have been at a
standstill but for the help given me by European Christians, and our
intercourse with some has resulted in close and enduring friendship. If
persons have a temperament preparing them for friendship, I cannot
conceive any position more favourable to its formation and strength than
that of a missionary in many of our Indian stations.




It has been already stated that missionaries have an income, which
enables them to live in a way conducive to the health of themselves and
families. Things which would be luxuries at home are necessaries in
India, and all they can do is to alleviate the suffering caused by the
climate. As missionaries are often more stationary than European
officials, both military and civil, and spend much less than they do on
horses, establishments, and entertainments, their houses have an air of
comfort which is surprising to those who know their income, and has led
to much misrepresentation on the part of those who know not and do not
care to know what it is.

Not infrequently young men have gone out to India as missionaries with
the firm resolve to live to a large extent in the native fashion, and to
eschew what they conceive the undue indulgence of those who had preceded
them, but the experience of one hot season has generally brought them to
another mind. Individuals have adhered to their resolution, and the
result in one case I know was insanity, in other cases utter failure of
health, and in others speedy death. A band of Germans determined to
live, if not in the native style, at least in the simple style of the
Fatherland, as to habitation, food, and service, and with scarcely an
exception the plan was soon abandoned. The only successful case I have
heard of in our day has been that of Mr. Bowen, a devoted American
missionary in Bombay. We have had no William Burns, in Northern India at
least. I can say for myself, that so far as the mere comfort of living
is concerned I should greatly prefer a humble abode and simple fare in
England, to the finest house and the most sumptuous fare in the plains
of Northern India. It has been maintained by some that our only hope of
success lies in our becoming ascetics, and outstripping by our
austerities the Hindu saints. In other words, by acting as if we
accepted Hindu principles of religion we are to overthrow Hinduism, and
win the people to Christ. The proposal calls for no consideration.

Of late a good deal has been said about the substance of missionary
teaching. Missionaries as a class maintain and teach the doctrinal views
of the Churches whose messengers and agents they are. In these Churches
a sifting process has been going on for a considerable time, which has
led in some cases to a reversal of belief in matters of great moment,
and in a greater number to the modification and softening of views
hitherto entertained. Every one must decide for himself how far the
sifting has been wisely done, how far chaff and only chaff has been
given to the wind, and precious grain gathered into the garner.
Missionaries have unquestionably been affected by doctrinal discussion,
in a few instances, I believe a very few, to the reversal of some of
their former views, in all, perhaps, though in different degrees, to a
readjustment of their doctrinal position, to giving more prominence to
some aspects of truth and less prominence to others, under the
conviction that such is their relative position in the Word of God.


However much imbued missionaries have been with the views of their
respective Churches, their position among the heathen has always led
them to the constant and simple presentation of the great facts and
doctrines of the Bible. These have been set forth in the manner deemed
best fitted to commend them to the understanding, conscience, and heart
of the people. Familiar illustrations have been largely used, and
elaborate doctrinal discussion shunned. While the missionary finds much
in the narratives and teachings of the Old Testament which is helpful to
his object, he dwells chiefly on the life of Christ, His deeds, words,
living, and holy example; death to redeem men; man's urgent need of such
a Saviour, because guilty and depraved; the claims of Christ on His
love, trust, and service; the blessedness of compliance with these
claims on character and state; the misery and doom incurred by their
persistent rejection. How often have I seen the heathen greatly moved by
the parable of the Prodigal Son!

The missionary, like the home minister, has to guard against
one-sidedness, if he would keep to the Book which he professes to be his
standard. The many-sidedness of the Bible, its appeal to man's whole
nature, is one of the most marked proofs of its superhuman origin. While
it addresses itself continually to man's moral nature, to his sense of
right and wrong, while it appeals to his intellect and heart, it also
speaks to his fears and hopes. These appeals are made to all, whatever
may be their diversity in character and condition. If we were to follow
the course of many in our day who condemn appeals to fear, we should be
ignoring a large part of Scripture, including many of our Lord's
utterances, and at the same time ignoring that fear of hurtful
consequences which the Author of our nature has implanted in us as a
great means of self-preservation. To hope as well as to fear much is
addressed in the Bible, and the missionary who would approve himself to
his Master is bound to appeal to both principles, while, like his
Master, he makes his constant and main appeal to the higher part of
man's nature.


While the missionary ought to strive to understand the people among whom
he labours, and to discover the most promising avenue to their minds,
while he ought to commend himself to every man's conscience as in the
sight of God, he is not to seek acceptance for his message by
accommodating it to the views of his hearers. He knows that between
their views and his message there is not only a marked discrepancy, but
on many points radical opposition, and the one must be displaced if the
other is to be accepted. We have here for our guidance the example of
our Lord and His apostles.

I have endeavoured to give a faithful description of the tenor of
missionary teaching. It appears many are dissatisfied with it. We are
told we must part with our narrow traditional views of doctrine, and
become imbued with the larger and more liberal views of our times, if we
are to hope for success. In the late Dr. Norman McLeod's "Life" we find
him saying, "The chief difficulty in the way of advancing Christianity
in India is unquestionably that almost all the missionaries represent a
narrow one-sided Christianity." I cannot conceive what could have been
his ground for this astounding statement, except his impression--it
could not have been anything beyond an impression--that missionaries
adhered to the doctrines of the Churches that had sent them out, his own
among the rest, and had not followed him in his changes. Every one who
comes out with new views, or modification of old views, assures us that
success will speedily follow the acceptance and preaching of _his_ phase
of doctrine. Some tell us we must preach the moral aspect of the
atonement, and part with what has been called the forensic aspect; we
must only speak of the love it shows to man, and say nothing of its
bearing on the Divine law and government; and then the great cause of
so-called failure will be removed. So far as I know missionaries, they
accept both aspects of the atonement; they believe both aspects are
taught in Scripture, and they are convinced that instead of enfeebling
they strengthen each other, while the doctrine thus presented meets
man's deepest wants. Others, again, tell us we must preach what is
called Life in Christ--the utter extinction of impenitent sinners, while
others say this is a shocking doctrine, and we must preach universal
restoration. This is no place for discussing the teaching of the Bible
regarding the great Beyond, which is at present exercising so many
minds. All I will say is that neither in the old views nor in the new is
there anything which a Hindu or a Buddhist will accept, while he remains
a Hindu or Buddhist. So far as I am aware, all students of Hinduism and
Buddhism are agreed that eternal conscious existence, with identity of
being firmly maintained, is alien from both systems. They do not hold
the doctrine of either eternal happiness or eternal misery. To be
extinguished, in the sense of being absorbed into Brahm and losing all
conscious personality, is the reward of high virtue, while the wicked
have to pass many miserable births before they reach this longed-for
goal. With them salvation, liberation, is not deliverance from sin, but
from conscious existence. They have both heavens and hells--heavens
supernatural in their surroundings but intensely earthly in their
character, doings, and strifes, and hells full of everything which is
repulsive and painful; but both, after vast lapses of time, will be
emptied into the great ocean of being, into the One without a Second.
Cessation of conscious existence is not with them the punishment of
wickedness, but the eagerly desired consummation of their being, the
goal which is quickly reached by the eminently good.

Let missionaries by all means listen to what is said in favour of new
views, let them modify or change their views if they think they see
scriptural authority for the change, but I am profoundly convinced no
shifting of our doctrinal position will secure success. Looking over the
whole field of foreign missions since the end of last century, it is
undeniable that God has done great things by them, for which we have
abundant reason to be glad; and we know the teaching by which the desert
has in many places blossomed as the rose. New phases of doctrine have
yet to win their triumph. We must look in another direction for a
greater degree of success--to more unreserved devotedness to Christ on
the part of both missionaries and those who send them out; closer
communion with Him; a higher degree of attainment in the mind which is
in Him; a more persuasive deliverance of our message, and a larger
effusion of God's Spirit.


The great obstruction at home and abroad to the acceptance of Christ as
the Saviour is moral obtuseness, a dormant conscience. Our Lord's words
throw a steady light on man's neglect of the great salvation, "_They
that are whole need not a physician, but they that are sick._" Till men
know they are sick, and recognize the deadly nature of their sickness,
there will be no application to the Great Physician. In addition to the
indurating effects of sin everywhere, the people of India have been for
ages so drugged, I may say, with pantheistic and polytheistic teaching,
that if man's moral nature had been destructible it must have been
destroyed ages ago. Happily it can not be destroyed. Perverted,
stupefied, dormant, though it is, it still exists, and to it we can
therefore address the message of Heaven, while we look up to God to make
it effectual by the teaching of His Spirit. When man knows himself to be
a sinner, when he knows what sin is, then, and only then, whether in
India or in England, he casts himself with joy into the arms of the

I am surprised when Christians speak as if only a modification or a new
statement of doctrine was required in order to achieve full and
immediate success, as if they had never read such passages as "_The
carnal mind is enmity against God_;" "_The natural man receiveth not the
things of the Spirit of God_;" as if they were ignorant of the facts by
which these statements are so amply and mournfully attested; as if they
had never heard of One who appeared, as ancient sages longed to see,
clothed with perfect virtue and dwelt among men, and was yet rejected
and crucified by them; as if they knew nothing of His apostles, who
spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, and yet had to lament over
many hearers to whom their message was the savour of death unto death.
Musing over the controversies of the day, the wish has often arisen in
my mind: Would that the nature of sin was not kept so much in the
background! Would that it was seen in its offensiveness to God and
injuriousness to man--persistently daring high Heaven, while corrupting,
degrading, disquieting, and ruining man! Would that the scriptural view
of sin and sinfulness, which receives such ample confirmation from human
experience and history, was more considered in the adjustment of
doctrine! All readjustment in which the nature and effect of sin is not
kept steadily in view must lead to serious error--error which
misrepresents God's character and government, is inconsistent with facts
meeting us on every side, and must prove most hurtful to man. I am
convinced that while on some points there has been progress, and wise
modification of doctrine, on the subject of sin the theology of former
days was truer to Scripture and fact than the theology of our time.

[Sidenote: "IN MEMORIAM."]

I cannot conclude these remarks about the Indian missionary without
mentioning--and I can do little more than mention--the names of loved
fellow-labourers who rest from the toils of earth, and have entered into
the joy of their Lord above. A feeling of sadness and yet of
thankfulness comes over me, as I see before my mind's eye brethren of
our own Mission with whom I was associated--Buyers, with his intimate
acquaintance with the native languages, his large knowledge, and his
kindly disposition; Shurman, the keen, impetuous, plodding German
scholar, whose great monument is his translation of the Old Testament
into Hindustanee; Mather, first of Benares and afterwards of Mirzapore,
one of the most enterprising and devoted missionaries ever sent to
India, whose peculiarity of temper and urgency with new plans led in his
early years to unpleasantness, but who, when well known, was one of the
truest and kindest of men, with whom for many years we had an intimate
friendship, and whose memory and that of his excellent wife we shall
always revere; and Sherring, one of the most amiable of men and most
pleasant of colleagues, a man of marked attainments, and an
indefatigable worker. The agents of other missions at Benares call for
affectionate mention. I have in an early part of my reminiscences
spoken of Smith, the founder and for many years the sole agent of the
Baptist Mission at Benares, a quiet, diligent, Nathaniel-like man. This
mission had for years George Parsons, a man of large linguistic
attainments, of most amiable, meek, and devout character, than whom it
would be difficult to find a more conscientious labourer. The Church
Missionary Society was highly favoured in having had for a long period
at Benares two men, Smith and Leupolt, who, in their respective
departments, had, I believe, no superiors in India. For many years
Smith, with resolute perseverance and great efficiency, often with
severe strain on both body and mind, prosecuted evangelistic work in the
city and the surrounding neighbourhood. No man was better known and more
highly esteemed by the entire community. He had success to cheer him in
the form of persons avowing themselves the followers of Christ, but the
number was so small that he was often greatly depressed. I cannot doubt
that by his ministry seed was sown in many minds which will yet bear
fruit. During our later years in Benares, Fuchs was one of the agents of
this Mission, an excellent biblical scholar, a diligent labourer, who
required only to be known to be loved and esteemed, with whom we had
much pleasant and profitable intercourse. He was suddenly called away in
the midst of his usefulness, and in the prime of life. I have been
confining my remarks to the departed; but I must mention two who
survive--warm-hearted Heinig, of the Baptist Mission, now set aside by
age and infirmity, after a long life of great toil in the service of
Christ, and our greatly-loved friend Leupolt, of the Church Mission, who
is still doing good service now in England, and was for many years the
fellow-labourer of his friend Smith. His name and work at Benares will
last for many a day.

Our departed brethren had their imperfections; who of us are without
them? But I can truly say that in their general character, work, and
bearing they were the messengers of the Churches to the Gentiles and the
glory of Christ.

Looking beyond our Benares missions we remember a number of faithful
labourers, whom we knew and loved, who have joined the majority, such as
the learned and kindly Owen, the venerable Morrison, the apostolic
Ziemann, and many others besides. I do not use these terms in a
conventional sense, but as justly applicable to the men. Those I have
named laboured, and others have entered into their labours, men worthy
of all esteem, love, sympathy, and help.




Native Christians form so large and varied a community that right views
of them can be obtained only by those who consider its component parts.

In Southern India there are thousands calling themselves Syrian
Christians, still more frequently Christians of St. Thomas. Either the
Apostle Thomas or some of his spiritual children went to India, and
founded a Christian Church. Down through the ages the descendants of
these first converts have clung to the profession of Christianity, and
have kept up their connexion with their fellow Christians in Western
Asia. They have the peculiarities of hereditary Christians exposed to a
corrupting moral atmosphere, and possessing limited means of spiritual
improvement. We are told that they have made great progress through
their intercourse with European missionaries.

In Southern India and Ceylon there is a large body of native Christians,
the descendants of the many baptized by Xavier and his companions. Every
one who has read the life of Xavier knows how widely he opened the door
of the Church; with what facility, to use his own favourite expression,
he "made Christians." Many speedily relapsed into heathenism, but a
sufficient number remained steadfast to form a large community, and
their descendants are reckoned by tens, rather hundreds, of thousands.
There is not--at least there was not a short time ago--any reliable
census of their number. Protestant opinion of these native Christians is
very unfavourable. It may be prejudiced, and yet it has been expressed
by persons who have come into contact with them, who know them well, and
who would shrink from doing injustice. Many facts have been stated in
support of an unfavourable estimate. The Abbé Dubois condemned them as a
scandal to the Christian name, and other Romanists have joined him in
confirming the testimony of Protestants.

In Travancore and Tinnevelly, in the far south, there are large native
churches, in connexion with the Propagation, Church, and London
Missionary Societies, composed of Shanars, a people outside the Hindu
pale and greatly despised by them, with a sprinkling of caste people.
When whole villages come over to the profession of Christianity, we
generally find a few who may be regarded as true believers in the Lord
Jesus Christ, with limited knowledge but genuine faith, while the many,
though favourably impressed, simply assent to the action of their
friends and neighbours, and are little changed except in name. They are
on the way to a happy change by having come under new and elevating

All over Southern India there are native Christian churches, the work of
conversion having proceeded in some cases gradually, individual by
individual, while in other cases numbers have been admitted at the same


Among the non-Aryan tribes, the Kols and the Santhals, occupying the
hills and forests of Central and Eastern India, a great work has been
done during the last thirty years. Thousands have been brought into the
fold of the Christian Church. In habits, character, and condition, these
tribes bear a considerable resemblance to our rude Teutonic ancestors,
and they have been brought to the profession of Christianity in a
somewhat similar manner; with this difference, that they have not been
headed by chiefs in the reception of baptism, and in many cases
commanding it. The first converts were the direct fruit of mission
labour; their number increased, inspired by zeal they told their
countrymen the treasure they had found, and called on them to share it
with them. Many listened to their words and accepted their message. The
work thus spread from village to village, and from hamlet to hamlet,
till it extended to parts of the country never visited by a missionary,
and included many who had never seen a missionary's face, in some cases
who had never seen a white face. A very dear friend and enterprising
missionary, the late Rev. William Jones of Singrowlee, made his way
through a wild roadless country to the border of the Kol region, and
came to a hamlet where the people were startled by the appearance of a
European, as they had never been visited by one before. Though from
difference in language their intercourse was limited, they understood
each other sufficiently to discover, to their mutual delight, that they
had a common faith. The general character of a community formed of a
rude people, emerging from fetish and demon worship, can be readily
supposed. I suspect the converts made by the monk Augustine and his
companions had not a little in their character and conduct to show the
pit from which they had been taken; and yet that was the dawning of a
day for the Anglian and Saxon race in our country for which we have
abundant reason to be thankful. There is no doubt much imperfection in
Kol and Santhal converts, but we may well anticipate for them a far less
clouded day than that which dawned on our forefathers when Augustine
went to them.

In Bengal there are two large native Christian communities, one in
Krishnagurh in connexion with the Church Missionary Society, and the
other in Backergunje connected with the Baptists. In both cases the
conversion of individuals has led to numbers avowing themselves the
followers of Christ. Where conversion is thus what may be called
collective rather than individual, there may be in some a high degree of
spiritual life, but the majority simply go with the stream. It will be
observed that in the statistics of some missions so many are represented
as baptized, so many members of the church, so many adherents, the last
class often outnumbering the other two. These adherents openly declare
their abandonment of idolatry, attend public worship with more or less
regularity, call themselves Christians, and are called Christians by
others. They may be described as in the outer court of the temple, from
which not a few from time to time enter the inner.

In the great Presidency cities, Calcutta, Bombay, and Madras, and their
immediate neighbourhood, the native churches connected with Protestant
Missions are comparatively small. The members of these churches differ
more widely in social position, mental culture, and I think I may add
spiritual character, than any other native churches in India. Some of
the members are highly educated, have acute and disciplined minds, and
have an intimate acquaintance with our language and literature.
Individuals among them have made sacrifices by becoming the followers
of Christ, of which the only adequate explanation is that they have come
under the power of an all-controlling faith, of the faith which gives
the victory over self, the world, and the devil. Persons more
established in the faith of Christ than some of these are, more
thoroughly assured that He is the Son of God and the Saviour of the
world, I have never met. In these churches there are degrees of culture
and social standing, till we come to unlettered persons in the humblest
rank of life, some of whom are, I doubt not, as genuine Christians and
as devoted to the Saviour as their brethren of higher social standing
and larger mental attainment.


I now proceed to speak of the native Christians of Northern India, with
whom for many years I have been closely associated, and of whom I can
speak with a measure of confidence.

In the North-Western Provinces, as in other parts of India, we have
different classes that go under the name of native Christians. Most
drummers of native regiments have been Christians, in the sense that
they have been baptized persons. Many are descendants of Portuguese, who
have gradually become mixed with the lower classes of natives, and
cannot, except by dress, be distinguished from them, their hue being
often darker than that of the people. These Portuguese descendants are
numerous all over India, in the South very numerous, and hold very
different positions in society, but those I have known in the North have
been mainly of the drummer class. To these have been added a
considerable number of natives, the waifs of native society, who have
attached themselves to European regiments as camp-followers, not a few
of whom have so separated themselves from their own people that they
have found it convenient to profess the Christian faith. I have known
individuals of this class who bore a good character, and were regular in
their attendance on public worship. We had a number of them in our
native Christian congregation at Benares, and we had for years a weekly
meeting in their quarters. I cannot, however, speak highly of them as a
class, either as to intelligence or goodness. Not a few went to a place
of Christian worship only on Christmas Day, or on the occasion of a
marriage or baptism, and their general conduct was no honour to the
Christian name. Yet these people are proud of being ranked as
Christians. We had a striking illustration of this at Benares. A person
died, the son of an English colonel by a Muhammadan wife. I knew the man
well. He often called on me, and was eager for discussion. He
continually avowed himself a follower of Muhammad. He was never seen in
a place of Christian worship, and was often seen in the mosque. When he
died, the relatives of his mother made arrangements for the funeral; but
the drummers and Christian camp-followers gathered in numbers, went to
the magistrate, and claimed the body on the ground that the man had been
baptized in infancy. As the result of inquiry it was found that at the
father's instance he had been baptized, and on this account the body was
made over to the Christians, who carried it to the grave in triumph, as
if they had achieved a great victory for their faith, the chaplain of
the station reading the funeral service. The native Christians connected
with the different missions in Benares for the most part kept aloof.

I have already spoken of orphans and their descendants, and need say
nothing more about their character. They form a considerable portion of
the native Christian community in the North-West.


All our missions have had accessions from both Hindus and Muhammadans,
but chiefly from Hindus. I heartily wish I could say all have joined us
from right motives. This I cannot say. It is undeniable that persons
have joined us from unworthy motives, some because they have broken with
their brethren, others who are pressed by want in hope of support, and
others again in anticipation of a life of less toil if they can get
under the wing of a missionary. There have even been individuals who
have made it a trade to be baptized, who have told most plausible
stories, have hung on missionaries for a time, and have then set out in
quest of new pasture. They remind us of the wild Saxons, who submitted
to baptism again and again that they might obtain the white dress given
on each occasion to the baptized. Some missionaries have been far more
ready than others to administer baptism, but as a rule they have
examined candidates closely, have made all possible inquiry, and have
baptized them only on obtaining what appeared satisfactory evidence of
sincerity. Some who proved most unworthy manifested the greatest
apparent earnestness, possessed a considerable degree of knowledge, and
were hailed by us as a valuable accession. I narrowly escaped baptizing
a man who turned out the leader of a band of thieves. He came to me
professing an ardent desire for baptism, paid frequent visits, made
marked progress in knowledge, and was well spoken of by persons who said
they knew him; but circumstances occurred to bring suspicion over him,
and he suddenly disappeared. Long afterwards we found out that he was a
leader of an infamous following.

To give one of many illustrations of the way in which persons try to
connect themselves with us, I may mention that one day a well-dressed
native, mounted on a good horse, rode up to my door. On coming to my
room he told me he had come to be baptized, as he was convinced Christ
was the Saviour of the world. He was urgent for immediate baptism. Life
was uncertain, he might die at any hour, and how could he know he was
safe if he did not come under the wing of Christ? I told him if he
believed in the Lord Jesus Christ it would be well with him, whether
baptized or not, and that I could not baptize him till I should make
inquiry and know more about him. It occurred to me that he had a motive
for such urgency which I could not discover. I sent for one of the most
judicious of our native Christians, and begged him to find out what the
object of the man was. He took him away, and soon returned to tell me he
had got it all out--that the man had had a violent quarrel with his
relatives, and had vowed to bring disgrace on the family by becoming a
_Kristan_--a Christian. I recalled the man, and told him he must come to
me from another motive and in another temper, if I were to baptize him.
He rode away, and I never saw him afterwards.




I suppose there is no community of any extent that has not unworthy
members, persons that may be called its excrescence and blots, who have
increased its size, as a tumour increases the size of the body, but are
actually its weakness and disgrace. Such were the unworthy persons of
whom I have been speaking. Very different is the general character of
the native Christians connected with the various missions in Northern
India. Some of our converts have made sacrifices, by avowing themselves
the followers of Christ, to which persons in our country are never
called. They have literally left father and mother, houses and lands,
wife and children, for the sake of the Lord Jesus Christ. Whatever may
have been the position of our converts, they have, as a rule, parted
with much which is highly valued by their people. Caste standing, even
when the caste is not considered high, secures many advantages, and is
greatly prized. Its loss is deemed a dire calamity, and this loss our
converts are called to endure. They join a despised and hated community,
are called vile apostates, and are charged with the most sordid motives.
I have heard the charge advanced against converts who, to my knowledge,
had left their place in native society under the power of the profound
conviction that Christ was entitled to their hearts and lives, though
the conviction required of them the most painful sacrifices, and exposed
them to the bitterest reproach. During my first years at Benares, one of
the catechists of our Mission was a Brahman, who had been baptized by
Mr. Ward of Serampore. He was stripped of the property to which he was
the heir, of which the annual rental, according to an official document,
was 5,000 rupees (£500), because he could not perform the funeral rites
of his father. His income as catechist was small, but I often heard him
charged with the lowest mercenary motives by those who knew not, and did
not wish to know, anything about his antecedents. He bore the charge
patiently, deeming it an honour to be reproached for his Master. He was
far from being a perfect character, but no cloud ever seemed to come
over his belief that Jesus was the Saviour of the world. When he was on
his death-bed I asked him if he regretted the life of comparative
poverty and of great reproach he had led because he had become a
Christian. He tried to raise himself on his pillow, and said with an
energy that startled me, "If I had a thousand lives, I would give them
for Him who died for me." In reference to him and others, the remark was
often made by our hearers, "We are willing to listen to you--you are a
good man and have kept to your religion; but we do not wish to hear
these, for they are apostates."

In all communities there are so many varieties, that the most successful
attempt at characterization on the part of those who know them well can
only claim an approach to correctness, and must be received with
deductions. Those who look at a community from a distance, who know only
a few individuals, perhaps know none at all, but judge from what they
hear from others, and these deeply prejudiced, are sure to form a very
false estimate. When speaking of our native Christians, I have the
advantage of long and intimate acquaintance not only with those of our
own Mission, but with those of other missions in Northern India, and I
think I should understand them better than many who have the most
superficial and partial knowledge of them, perhaps do not know them at
all, and yet speak of them in depreciating terms.


I cannot speak of our native Christians, even of those who have made
great sacrifices, as possessing a lofty character, as marked by signal
excellence. We learn from the Epistles of the Apostle Paul he found much
which was faulty in his converts, and we need not wonder at the faults
which are too manifest in ours. Is there any home minister who is not
tried by the conduct of some of his people? Is there any minister or
missionary who has not frequent reason to be dissatisfied with himself?
Indian missionaries are sometimes sorely tried by their converts. All
around is a low moral tone. Slight, inadequate views of sin prevail.
Truthfulness is praised, but little practised. Our people breathe a
tainted atmosphere, and by becoming Christians they do not escape its
deleterious effects. While these defects are frankly acknowledged, truth
enables me to state, without any misgiving, there is much in our people
which is very estimable. Observe their daily life, go with them to their
respective businesses, and you will find them with few exceptions
diligently pursuing their vocation, and honourably supporting their
families. See them at their homes; you will be gladly welcomed, and you
will generally find them striving to have everything clean and tidy, and
as comfortable as their means permit. You will find the Bible and a few
Christian books on their shelves, and you will learn that family worship
is largely observed. When conversing with them you are often impressed
with their manifest sincerity, with their gratitude for having been
brought into the fold of Christ, with the honour conferred on them by
bearing His name, much reproached as they are on account of it, and with
their desire to walk worthy of their profession. See them in the house
of God, cleanly clad, and as they engage in the different parts of the
service you are struck with their devout appearance. Observe them in
their intercourse with each other, and you will find much of mutual
kindness and helpfulness. Observe them in their intercourse with Hindus
and Muhammadans, and you will find that instead of hiding their
Christian profession, and being ashamed of it, they glory in it. I have
said that missionaries are tried by their converts. I ought in candour
to add that converts are sometimes tried by missionaries. Their training
has been so different from ours, their position is so different from
ours, that it is very difficult for us to understand them thoroughly;
and so far as we fail to understand them, we fail in sympathy and in
right action towards them.


The native churches passed through a fiery ordeal in the Mutiny of 1857,
and came out of it in a way which reflected great honour on their
Christian constancy. Even those who had the most favourable opinion were
not prepared for the readiness shown by them to part with all, to part
with life itself, rather than part with their Lord. I cannot say how
many were put to death, but we know that thirty-four were killed on the
Parade-ground of Furruckabad by order of the Nawab, and seven or eight
perished at Cawnpore. In Foxe's "Book of Martyrs" there is not a more
striking instance of witnessing to the death for the Lord Jesus than was
manifested by Vilayat Ali, in the Chandnee Chauk of Delhi, when,
surrounded by infuriated Muhammadans calling on him to recant or die, he
declared Christ to be his Saviour and Lord, and when falling under the
swords of his enemies uttered with his last breath the prayer of
Stephen, "_Lord Jesus, receive my spirit._" The account is furnished by
a witness of the scene. There were defections, but if our view be
confined to Christians connected with the different missions they were
remarkably few, fewer, it is affirmed, than those of Europeans and East
Indians. One whom I knew well, though he was not of our Mission,
apostatized to save his life, and died most miserably, abandoned by his
new fellow-religionists, and tenderly watched by those whom he had left.
Full details of the conduct of the native Christians in that terrible
crisis are given by Mr. Sherring in his book, "The Indian Church during
the Great Rebellion." This book had, I believe, a considerable
circulation when it was published, but like many other good books it has
passed into oblivion. The information it contains was furnished by
persons intimately acquainted with the facts, and is very valuable as
proving the genuineness and constancy of native Christian piety. It
gives more insight into the real character of the native Christian
community than can be obtained by perusal of large volumes full of
ordinary mission details. The friends of missions would do good service
by seeking its republication.

The loyalty of the native Christians to the British Government, as well
as the constancy of their Christian faith, was strikingly shown
throughout the Mutiny. This loyalty was maintained amidst much fitted to
discourage it in the conduct towards them of Europeans, both official
and non-official.

We have seen native Christians in joy and sorrow, in trial and
temptation. We have been present at their death-bed, and have heard
their words of hope and trust when entering the dark valley. We have had
abundant reason to regard them with esteem and love. With many we have
had pleasant intercourse, and from our intercourse with some we have
received intellectual and spiritual profit. At one time there was a
small band of highly-educated native Christians at Benares connected
with the different missions. It gave us great pleasure to have them now
and then spending an evening with us. They were always ready to start
some important subject, and their remarks were stimulating and
instructive. I remember more than once our remarking, when they went
away, Could we have had a more pleasant and profitable evening if our
European brethren had been with us? At the great Missionary Conferences
which have been held in recent years the native Christian brethren have
taken a prominent part, and both intellectually and spiritually they
have been found worthy of standing abreast of their brethren from Europe
and America. It must be acknowledged there has been a difficulty at
times in adjusting the exact relationship of these highly-educated
native brethren to their missionary friends, and there has been in
consequence unpleasant jarring; but amidst differences Christian
principle has asserted its uniting power, and their ordinary bearing is
that of mutual esteem and love.

It may be said, "If native Christians as a community deserve the
character you have given them, how is it that people from India speak so
much against them?" The explanation can be easily given.


There is no part of the mission-field, the South Seas, Africa, the West
Indies, China, as well as India, from which persons have not come
affirming that the so-called converts are changed in name only; that
they are no better than they were, and in many cases worse. Do we not
find analogous cases nearer home? It is often said of professors of
religion--very truly of individuals, very untruly of the class--that
they are less worthy of trust than avowedly worldly persons. Large
communities remarkable for religious zeal, like the people of Wales, are
condemned in the face of favourable evidence which seems well
authenticated. Persons have even stoutly maintained that Christianity
itself has been a failure in its moral influence on the nations. Want of
sympathy and antipathy blind the mind to facts, and lead to most
erroneous judgments. The great majority of Europeans in heathen
countries have no sympathy with missions, and have neither the knowledge
nor the spirit indispensable to the formation of a correct judgment.
They hear a loose report of converts from persons who in turn have been
told by others what they say, and the report is at once believed and
circulated. They have, perhaps, met an unworthy native bearing the
Christian name, and he is regarded as a fit representative of the entire

It is a common opinion among many of our countrymen in India that
Hinduism is as good for Hindus as Christianity is for us, and they
cannot conceive why a person should leave the one for the other except
from sinister motives. When speaking on one occasion with a lady who
regularly attended church, and no doubt deemed herself an excellent
Christian, about a native gentleman of high rank, whose kindly temper
and courteous demeanour we were both praising, I said, "Would that he
were a follower of our Saviour!" She looked surprised, and said, "Do you
think so? He is, I think, a better man by remaining as he is." So strong
is this feeling with some English people, that a native who calls
himself a Christian is regarded by them as on that account a suspicious
character. I know a well-educated native Christian who applied for a
Government situation. He had good certificates; they were sent in, and
when the official to whom he applied came to know he was a Christian--he
knew nothing more about him--he threw them aside with the word
"_namunzoor_," "not accepted"--the technical term for "rejected." One
result of this English dislike to native Christians is that natives have
told me that none but missionaries and a few associated with them wished
them to become Christians; that English people generally wished them to
remain Hindus. It can be conceived how great is the stumbling-block thus
put in our way. A Church of England missionary of great experience once
said to me, "Would that there were no Europeans near us! We might then
hope for progress." I am not to vindicate the remark. I mention it to
show the effect on the mind of a devoted missionary by English hostility
to the conversion of natives. On every side, from European as well as
from native society, there is every worldly obstacle to their embracing
the Gospel.


At one time there were obstacles to the profession of Christianity which
do not now exist. When India was being brought under the sway of
England, our rulers regarded the Gospel as a disturbing and threatening
element, which ought to be carefully excluded. Long after the Christian
feeling at home had forced open the door, the Gospel was treated as an
intruder to be in every possible way thwarted and disgraced. In
illustration of the opposition the Gospel had to encounter, I quote a
few sentences from a recently-published volume, "Asiatic Studies,
Religious and Social," by Sir Alfred C. Lyall, K.C.B., the present
Lieutenant-Governor of the North-West Provinces:--"We disbursed
impartially to Hindus, Mussulmans, and Parsees, to heterodox and
orthodox, to Juggarnath's Car, and to the shrine of a Muhammadan who had
died fighting against infidels, perhaps against ourselves." "The chief
officers of the Company in India were so cautious to disown any
political connexion with Christianity that they were occasionally
reported to have no religion at all." "Up to the year 1831 native
Christians had been placed under the strongest civil disabilities by our
regulations.... Converts were liable to be deprived not only of
property, but of their wives and children; and they seem to have been
generally treated as unlucky outcasts, with whom no one need be at any
trouble of using any sort of consideration." We are told that they were
even forced by Government order to pull the car of Juggarnaut, and
severely punished if they refused. According to a parliamentary paper of
1832, "our interference extended over every detail of management: we
regulated funds, repaired buildings, kept in order cars and images,
appointed servants, and purveyed the various commodities required for
use of the pagodas." Under home pressure this state of things has
gradually given place to neutrality, which, if impartially maintained,
is I suppose the only policy open to us in the peculiar circumstances of

I have already said there are very unworthy persons bearing the name of
native Christians. To judge our Indian churches by these is as unfair as
to judge English Christians in India by Englishmen, of whom, alas!
there are many, soldiers and others, who are notorious for drunkenness
and licentiousness. We have even English beggars in India, wretched men,
who have drifted out of the army, railway, or other department, and who
disgrace our name. Strong men have come whimpering to my door, to whom I
have given help, and I have seen them a few hours afterwards--I remember
one case well--rolling in the bazaar in beastly drunkenness. It would be
as fair to take these men as a specimen of English Christians, as to
judge native Christians by persons bearing the name while they disgrace

The very acknowledgment of missionaries about the imperfections of their
communities, about the utter hollowness of some individuals, has been
turned into adverse testimony. In the recent meeting at Exeter Hall to
welcome the Madagascar missionaries, Messrs. Cousin and Shaw, Mr.
Cousin, in the course of his very interesting address, said that much of
the Christianity of the Malagash was "purely nominal and utterly
worthless." I should not at all wonder if some day I found this brought
forward as a missionary's acknowledgment that the Christianity of the
Malagash is purely nominal and utterly worthless, and that missions in
Madagascar, as elsewhere, had been a failure.


The support of native Christians has sorely tried and perplexed
missionaries. They have been desirous, on the one hand, of holding out
no inducement to persons to join them from unworthy motives; and on the
other they have felt that persons thrust out of their caste and
employment, and not infrequently from their family, had claims on help,
with which every Christian feeling bound them to comply. Persons able to
work have never been allowed to live in idleness, but the difficulty has
been to find suitable work. In some missions, when persons have shown
an aptness for domestic service they have been trained to it. In a
number of missions trades have been started, and have been carried on
for a longer or shorter period, with more or less success; but, as a
rule, the relation of employer and employed does not accord well with
the relation of pastor and people. The difficulty continues, and will no
doubt continue, but it is decreasing every year. When travelling down
through Northern India in 1877 we found Christians in every place at
which we stopped, and we learned they were supporting themselves in
various modes, in printing offices, bookbinding establishments,
railways, and public offices. A number were in domestic service. I wish
fewer were thus employed. When anything goes wrong in a house the Hindu
and Muhammadan servants are sure to blame the Christians; masters and
mistresses look for more from them than can be reasonably expected, and
they no doubt are apt to fall into the well-known and objectionable
habits of the class. The more capable of the native Christians, the
higher in character and education, are for the most part employed as
teachers, catechists, and native preachers. A few have risen to
responsible and lucrative positions in civil life. A native Christian
from Bengal held for some years, to the great satisfaction of both
Europeans and natives, the office of Postmaster of Benares. He and his
wife were members of our native church. Another member of our church for
a time was the Inspector of Post-offices in the Benares district.

I believe in every mission in the North-West native Christians
contribute regularly to the support and diffusion of the Gospel, and,
considering their means, their contributions are liberal. I remember
hearing years ago of a native church in Calcutta agreeing, without a
dissentient voice, to give a month's salary for the erection of their
new church building--an act of liberality which has been seldom equalled
in our country.

Much has been said about the compound system, as it has been
called;--Christians living together apart from the heathen, and in most
cases in the immediate neighbourhood of the missionary's residence. Much
has been said, I think unjustly, in condemnation of this arrangement. It
is not the hot-bed, which it has been called, in which robust Christian
character cannot be produced. Native Christians, thus living together,
hold constant intercourse with the heathen in the business of life, and
are at the same time saved from the peculiar trials and temptations
incident to living among Hindus and Muhammadans. So far as native
Christians make their light to shine, it will be well seen by the
heathen though their dwellings be apart. One great advantage of living
in a mission compound, near the place of worship and the missionary's
residence, is that wives and children can regularly attend public
worship, and can come under the teaching of the missionary, and
especially the missionary's wife, as otherwise they could not have come.
For a time we had quite a number of native Christians in our compound at
Benares, who paid a small rent for their houses, and went out every day
to attend to their respective callings. If they had lived in the city I
cannot conceive how mothers and children could have attended worship as
they did, or how my wife could have taught the children and held
constant intercourse with the women. Because living in the compound, it
does not follow that they are dependent on the mission for support.
There is nothing more desired by missionaries than that their people
should maintain themselves, by their own exertions. Living among the
heathen is often indispensable--it is so increasingly with our native
Christians; but where circumstances admit, I think great advantages
result from Christians living near each other and near the mission
church. In our own country, are not favourable surroundings sought for
the young and the inexperienced?

[Sidenote: PROGRESS.]

When I look back to the beginning of 1839, when I landed in Calcutta,
and compare the native Christian community of that day with what it is
now, I am struck with the great change which has taken place. If we
confine the term to those connected with missions, they were then a mere
handful. Now they are considerable in number, and they have become a
recognized and appreciable portion of native society. They are
increasing in number, though not so rapidly in the North as in the
South, and are becoming rooted in the land. The largest native Christian
community in the North-West is, I suppose, that connected with the
missions of the American Episcopal Methodist Church in Rohilkund and
Oude. It is largely composed of Muzbee Sikhs, a people much despised by
both Muhammadans and Hindus. Of late the Salvation Army has entered on
the campaign against Hinduism and Muhammadanism. Its organ boasts
largely of success, but its statements have been strongly questioned by
persons acquainted with the facts, on whose warm attachment to the cause
of Christ full dependence can be placed. A well-known missionary of the
Episcopal Methodist Church in Oude has been lately pursuing the tactics
of the Salvation Army. Accompanied by a band of native Christians, he
has been entering villages and towns with song and drum and tambourine.
The people in crowds have gathered round him. He and his brethren have
preached Christ to them, have urged them to accept Him as their Saviour,
and have given on the spot baptism, _chin_--the mark of the Christian
Church, to any avowing their readiness to become Christ's disciples.
Time will show how far the work is genuine. Perhaps we old missionaries
have been too slow in administering baptism. Of this I am sure, that
nothing is more fallacious as the test of success than the number of
persons baptized--so different is the opinion held by missionaries
regarding the qualifications required in order to baptize. Native
Christians are more self-dependent than they were, and are receiving a
healthy impulse from feeling that they must push out for themselves.
They have to contend against much which is adverse and hurtful, but
without indulging too sanguine hopes we may firmly anticipate for them a
brighter and better future than their past has been.





All over Northern India--I may say all over India--we find the followers
of Muhammad. They are very unequally distributed. In some districts they
form the majority, in others their number is very small, while in the
cities they abound. There is among them all the variety of station which
might be expected in a community composed of millions, ranging from
princes, wealthy landholders, and great merchants, down to labourers and
beggars. There is among them all variety of culture, from profound
learning in a narrower or wider groove, down to utter illiteracy and
gross ignorance. There is also variety of character, many leading
notoriously wicked lives, while others are noted for goodness, and are
honourable and useful members of society.

Looking at the Quran and the Bible, one might suppose there is a close
accord between them, as both assert the unity and sovereignty of God,
both condemn idolatry, and in both the same names continually meet us,
such as Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, David, Solomon, and our Lord Jesus
Christ. In fact, however, in India, as elsewhere, Muhammadanism has
shown itself intensely hostile to the Gospel. The reason is apparent. I
think it is difficult for any one to read with candour the Quran on the
one hand, and the Bible, especially the New Testament, on the other,
without perceiving the marked contrariety between them, notwithstanding
their agreement on some points.

A true follower of Jesus Christ, one imbued with the spirit of His
teaching and bent on the imitation of His example, cannot fail to
cultivate holiness of heart and life, to cherish a humble, lowly temper,
to look on all with love, however unworthy of love their character and
conduct may be, and to promote their good in every way within his power.
A follower of Muhammad, so far as he is imbued with his teaching,
regards God with profound reverence as the Sovereign of the universe,
deems homage to Him most due, looks with indignation on the worship of
idols, attaches immense importance to outward rites and services,
glories in Islam, pays comparatively little attention to inward
excellence, and sees no need for a change of heart. As a worshipper and
servant of Allah, following the precepts of the Prophet of the later
age, he deems himself the spiritual aristocrat of the race, and looks
down with scorn on all outside the pale of his community, whom he is in
some cases bound to put to death, and in all cases to subject to
degrading conditions, so far as he has the power. However wicked his
conduct may be, as a worshipper of Allah he is sure of more tender
treatment in another world than that which awaits Christians and
idolaters. Thus the typical Muhammadan is one who scrupulously observes
the laws of Islam, goes through his devotions with all the regularity of
a soldier on drill, fasts at the appointed season, gives alms to the
poor, attends to all prescribed rites, and at least once in his life
goes on pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina. Outward religiousness, pride and
self-righteousness, are his distinguishing characteristics.


Much has been said about the sensuality of Muhammadans. The sanction
given by Muhammad to polygamy and extreme facility of divorce has borne
bitter fruit. His own example has had a depraving influence. He alleged,
indeed, a special Divine sanction for the dissoluteness of his later
life, but this has not deterred his followers from thinking they could
not go far wrong in imitating him. In addition to these facilities for a
life of sensual enjoyment, the teaching of the Prophet in reference to
female slaves has had a most depraving effect on family life. The
Hindustanee expression for _libertine_, _profligate_--_luchcha_--is, I
think, more frequently applied to Muhammadans in Northern India than to
any other class of the community. It must be confessed, however, there
is so much licentiousness among other classes--not only among Hindus,
but I am grieved to say among many from our own land, soldiers and
others--that I can scarcely join in declaring Muhammadans sinners in
this respect above all others. There is this difference between the
licentiousness of so-called Christians and Muhammadans, that in the
teachings of the Gospel, while no unnatural restraint is laid on those
who accept it, the strongest motives are brought to bear on them in
favour of purity of heart and in opposition to licentiousness of life;
while in the teachings of the Quran, amidst severe condemnation of the
gratification of unlawful desire in some forms, there is much, if not to
encourage, at least to give every facility for a life fatal to personal
and domestic purity, a facility of which the adherents of Islam have
largely availed themselves.

While agreeing with the views generally held by Christians regarding the
teaching of the Quran and its influence in the formation of character, I
cannot join in the sweeping condemnation of the Muhammadans which I have
sometimes heard, as if they were one mass of corruption. In the middle
and lower classes in Northern India we are told, by those whose
testimony can be trusted, monogamy is the rule. Many lead a quiet,
orderly life, with the domestic affections in full play which beautify
and gladden the home. A Muhammadan writer, who may be supposed to know
his own people, tells us that polygamy is getting out of favour, and
that a strong feeling has set in in favour of a man having only one
woman to wife. Among them there are undoubtedly persons of high
character, whose bearing would do honour to the adherents of a far
higher creed. I have conversed with some who seemed to me set on knowing
and doing the will of God, who showed, so far as I could obtain an
insight into their character, a reverent, earnest, humble temper, as if
they had come under the power of the few passages, occurring here and
there in the Quran, which inculcate spirituality of mind and love to all
men, and as if they had in a measure escaped from the externalism so
prominent in that book, and from its hard, fierce, bitter tone towards
all who refuse to receive it as a revelation from heaven. With two
Muhammadans I was for years on as friendly terms as I could be with any
whose belief and practice differed so widely from my own. As to
courteous, kindly demeanour, they were all that could be desired. I had
many an earnest talk with them on the highest subjects, and I was struck
with the apparent candour with which they listened to all I had to say.
They read with evident interest books I gave them, and in the case of
one such an impression was made that I hoped he was coming to the
acknowledgment of Christ as his Lord and Saviour; but after going to his
Moulvies he kept to Muhammad, though with manifest misgiving.


While I cannot join in the sweeping condemnation of Muhammadans, I must
acknowledge my experience accords with that of my missionary brethren
regarding those with whom I have come ordinarily into contact. When I
have been speaking to a company of Hindus, and have apparently secured
their attention, I have been sorry to see a Mussulman coming up, as past
experience had prepared me for the immediate introduction of such
questions as the Trinity, the Sonship of Christ, His propitiatory
sacrifice, and not infrequently the eating of pork. I have done my best
to stave off such untimely discussion, and to keep to the subject I was
teaching, but in not a few instances my audience has been broken up by
the new-comer insisting on being heard. During my long missionary career
I have had many discussions with Muhammadans in public and in private,
in some cases conducted with a calmness and fairness which promised good
results; but in still more numerous cases with a readiness on their part
to resort to the veriest sophistry, and fly from one point to another,
and with a love of disputation which led to wrangling, and could
accomplish no good. The controversy between Christianity and
Muhammadanism has been carried on by the press as well as by oral
discussion. In this department the late Dr. Pffander, Sir William Muir,
and Mr. Hughes of Peshawur, have done excellent service.

It might be supposed that as Muhammadanism is so near to Christianity
that it may almost be called a Christian heresy, and as we have in
consequence much common ground, we might expect to find its adherents
more accessible than Hindus to the Christian missionary. The opposite is
the case, furnishing another illustration of the fact that no
religionists are so antagonistic to each other as those who most nearly
approximate. At the present time all over the world, Popery, under the
conduct of the Jesuits, is far more hostile to Protestant missions than
any form of heathenism.

It ought to be mentioned to the credit of Muhammadanism that it arose as
a protest against polytheism and the worship of idols. This protest it
has maintained down to our day. Not even a religious symbol is allowed
to appear in their places of worship, and hence the marked contrast
mosques present not only to Hindu temples, but to Christian churches.

Muhammadanism is a proselytizing religion as well as Christianity.
During my Indian career I have heard of a convert now and then from
Hinduism in the North-West, and very occasionally one from Christianity;
but these accessions have been very few. In Bengal, on the other hand,
it appears that during the last thirty or forty years a great number of
low-caste people have been drawn into the Muhammadan ranks, many of them
small farmers, who think that by belonging to a large and influential
community they can the better contend with the landlords. It is said
that the change is simply one of name and ritual.

The accessions from Muhammadanism to Christianity have been very few;
but some of the best converts in the North-West belong to this class.


For centuries Hindus and Muhammadans have been near neighbours in India.
In the ordinary course of life they have had much intercourse with each
other, and have exerted a strong mutual influence, the Muhammadans,
especially of the lower class, having become in a measure Hinduized,
while the Hindus of the lower class have become, if I may use such a
word, in some degree Muhammadanized. I believe the stricter Muhammadans
are of pure Mogul and Pathan descent, while the more lax are the many
who at different times have been drawn or forced into Islam. Our
Muhammadan servants speak continually of their caste, have many Hindu
notions, and follow many Hindu practices. Low-caste Hindus, on the other
hand, are prominent in some Muhammadan processions. Both Muhammadans and
Hindus, as a rule, are satisfied with their respective position, as
assigned to them by Allah or Fate, have no repugnance to each other, and
no wish to disturb each other.

So far, however, as Muhammadans and Hindus are imbued with their
respective systems they must be antagonistic; and their antagonism,
though generally latent, every now and then breaks out into fierce
strife, which but for the interposition of Government would lead to
civil war. Early in this century there was in Benares a pitched battle
between them, when they assailed each other with the utmost fury, and
were separated by military force. All have heard of a recent conflict in
Southern India, where blood was shed and property destroyed. About
thirty years ago Oude was threatened with the outbreak of a war between
the parties. There have been recently conflicts in Rohilkund on the
occasion of processions, which but for prompt interference would have
led to disastrous results.


Of late years a reforming party has arisen among the Muhammadans with
both political and religious ends in view. This party painfully
realizes the loss incurred by their fellow-religionists on account of
their neglect of the English language, and their failure to accommodate
themselves to their new masters, thus allowing the Hindus to get in
advance of them. They consequently discourage exclusive attention to
Arabic and Persian literature, and advocate the cultivation of English.
A few of this class have come to England to prosecute their studies, but
for the many who must remain in their own land an institution has been
opened at Allygurh, in the North-West, in which provision is made for
imparting a liberal education. It cannot be expected that Indian
Muhammadans can have a strong liking to the English Government, but this
reforming party wishes to reconcile itself to the new order of things,
and to identify itself with our rule so far as the Quran permits. In
religious belief these reformers range from strict orthodoxy to rank
rationalism. Their leader is an able and ardent advocate of Islam,
though he has thrown off what he deems unauthorized and hurtful
accretions, and many of his followers no doubt agree with him. A
Bengalee Muhammadan, a graduate of Cambridge, has published a book
entitled "The Life of Muhammad," which is saturated with rationalistic
views. I cannot suppose he stands alone in his rationalism, but I have
no means of knowing to what extent his views are shared by others. The
whole party is the antipodes to the Wahabees, the extreme Puritans of
Islam, who aim at following strictly the instructions of the Quran and
the Traditions, and wage war to the knife against Christians and
idolaters. Between the Wahabees and the reformers there is a very
numerous party--it is supposed the great majority of Muhammadans--who
have little sympathy with the strictness of the former, but as little
with the looseness of the latter, who in their opinion are sacrificing
Islam to their ambitious and selfish views. Between the reformers and
those who cannot advance with them there has been sharp controversy, and
there is no prospect of its coming to an end.





I have endeavoured in my account of Benares to describe the Hindu
idolatry there practised, and in my account of our missionary preaching
I have stated the arguments by which that idolatry is defended. The
Hindu system, it is well known, is at once pantheistic and polytheistic.
The universe, we are told, is God expanded. _Brahm_--he alone is the
Existent One; but there are several persons and objects in which he is
more manifest than in others, and as owing to _Maya_ (illusion) we
believe in our separate existence, it is fitting that to these objects
special honour should be paid. I have mentioned the hideous aspect of
the images worshipped at Benares, and their hideous aspect well accords
with the character attributed to the gods worshipped under these forms.


We are all familiar with the maxim, Like priest, like people. May we
say, Like God, like worshipper? If so, we must regard the Hindus as in
the very mire of moral debasement. Just think of a whole people acting
like Shiva, Doorga, and Krishna! I think it cannot be doubted by any one
who looks at the nature of the human mind, and the power exercised over
it by its belief, that the worship of these and similar gods, along
with the prevalent pantheistic and fatalistic views, which strike at the
very root of moral distinctions, have done much to deprave the Hindu
mind. The people, indeed, often assert "to the powerful there is no
fault." The gods had the power and the opportunity to do what they did,
and therefore no fault attached to their conduct; but ordinary persons
have neither the one nor the other, and for them it would be very
culpable to pursue the same course. Can a people fail to occupy a low
place on the plane of morals to whom the maxim I have quoted would be
tolerable? I believe they do as a people occupy a low place, and yet not
nearly so low as might have been anticipated.

There is much to counteract the influence exerted on the Hindus by the
evil example of their gods, by their excessive trust in outward rites
apart from all mental working, and by the pantheistic teaching of their
philosophers. They retain a moral nature, and acknowledge the
distinction between right and wrong as readily as we do, though the
distinction be inconsistent with the views they often express. The
requirements of society and of daily life exert a powerful and salutary
restraint by the obstacle which they present to a vicious career. The
family constitution has conferred immense benefit on the Hindus, as on
other nations.

It must be acknowledged that however long we may reside in India, our
knowledge of the inner life of the people is very limited. We may be for
years on the best terms with them; we may meet them frequently, and
converse with them freely on all subjects; there may be not only
acquaintance, but to all appearance friendship: and yet we have no
entrance into the family circle, we cannot join them in the family
meal, we can scarcely get a glimpse into their home life. If they be of
the poorer class they would be shocked at our entering their houses, and
conversing with their women and children. If of a higher class, they
visit us and we visit them. They have a room of audience in which they
welcome us. On occasions they prepare sumptuous feasts for Europeans, of
which they themselves do not partake. However friendly we may be with
natives of rank in Northern India, it is difficult, often impossible, to
secure an interview between our wives and the female members of their
families. As to English gentlemen, they never see the face of a native
lady. Still, notwithstanding our being kept so far outside Hindu family
life, we know enough about it to be sure there is often strong family
affection. We have many proofs that parents regard their children with
the most tender love; and we know that in the lower classes, at least,
children often requite this love by sending a large portion of their
wages to their aged parents. I myself have often been the channel of
communication. It cannot be doubted that this family affection is widely
extended, and has a very happy influence on the character and life of
the people.


Professor Max Muller, in his recently-published book, "India, what can
it teach us?" discusses at length the character of the Hindus. He quotes
the views entertained by persons of large Indian experience, who had
mixed freely with all classes, and yet differ widely in their testimony,
showing that in forming an estimate of the character of a community we
are greatly influenced by our temperament and by the standard we employ.
Sir Thomas Munro, the famous Governor of Madras, speaks of the character
and attainments of the Hindus in the most laudatory terms. He says, "If
civilization is to become an article of trade between England and India,
I am convinced that England will gain by the import cargo." Sir Charles
Trevelyan, on the other hand, speaks of them as a morally depraved
people, to whom "the phenomenon is truly astonishing" "of a race of men
on whose word perfect confidence may be placed." "The natives require to
be taught rectitude of conduct much more than literature and science."

The Professor is evidently inclined to take the favourable view. He
thinks the ordinary view of their falsehood and dishonesty is applicable
only to the rabble of the cities and the frequenters of our courts, but
is most unjust to the unsophisticated people of the country, whose
truthfulness he extols. After the laudation of these honest and truthful
people, I must say I was amused with the _naïveté_ of the learned
Professor, when he goes on to show that the excellence of his _protegés_
is not sufficiently strong to be maintained in the face of temptation.
He says, "A man out of his village community is out of his element and
under temptation. What would be called theft or robbery at home, is
called a raid or conquest if directed against distant villages; and what
would be falsehood or trickery in private life, is honoured by the name
of policy and diplomacy if successful against strangers." The lauded
truthfulness and honesty are so delicate that they cannot stand the
breath of the nipping cold which has to be encountered when they leave
their sheltered enclosure. The excellence is, according to the
Professor, though he does not say so in words, merely conventional, as
it rests on the principle of mutual insurance among those who form a
closely-knitted community, bound together by common interests and
associations. Even then excellence needs to be guarded by an oath, which
is viewed with superstitious awe. I do not think the Professor's friends
will thank him for this defence of the morality of their countrymen.

When I think of the wickedness rampant among large classes in a country
like our own, notwithstanding our great privileges, I shrink from
applying to the Hindus the strong terms of condemnation which I have
often heard. There is among them, as I have already said, much family
affection; they are, in ordinary circumstances, very courteous; they
often manifest a kindly disposition; almsgiving is reckoned a high
virtue; many lead quiet, orderly, industrious lives; and, as Max Muller
tells us, from the earliest age _satya_, "truth," in its widest sense,
has been represented by them as the very pillar on which goodness rests,
though it must be allowed it has been much more praised than practised.


Am I then to say, as many have done, that Hinduism has done its
adherents no harm, and that Christianity has done its adherents no
good--that the Hindus as a people stand as high morally as we do? With
every desire to speak of them as favourably as I can, with a pleasing
recollection of many acts of kindness and courtesy, and with every
desire to rid myself of prejudice, I must dissent strongly from this
view. I cannot forget the lurid light cast on the native character
during the Mutiny; the treachery, ingratitude, falsehood, and cruelty
shown by many who gloried in their caste purity--relieved, however, it
is only right to acknowledge, by notable instances of faithfulness and
kindness. I cannot but remember the impression often made on my mind of
their low standard of character, the absence of high motive, even when
full expression has been given to the distinction between right and
wrong. Happily, in our land there are many, in every class of society,
who, as the result of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, hate sin in every
form, and strive after excellence, an excellence springing from supreme
love to God, and prompting to sustained effort for the good of man, for
which we look in vain among the best of Hindus, though among them we
discern the workings of conscience and the desire to do what is right.
The standard of character is undoubtedly far higher among us than it is
among Hindus, and this standard, protesting as it does against
wickedness, and calling us to aspire after goodness, is in itself an
incalculable benefit to a community. For many a day it has been my
settled conviction that Hindus are vastly better than, looking at their
religion, we could expect to find them, and that we on the other hand
fall far below the excellence to which our religion summons us. If
Hinduism was allowed full sway over its adherents society would go to
pieces, while we should rise to the excellence of angels if we were to
come under the full sway of the Gospel.

All have heard of the caste system of India, but only those who have
lived among the people can understand its innumerable ramifications and
its remarkable effects. Every caste, down to the lowest, is endlessly
sub-divided. There are Brahmans who would as soon eat, drink, and
intermarry with people of low caste, as with many who like themselves
boast of Brahmanical blood. In books the Sudras are described as the
fourth, the low, servile caste; but in fact a vast number in Northern
India, who are loosely reckoned Hindus, are far below the Sudras, and
thus the Sudras acquire a relatively high place. These low-caste
people, on whom the people above them look down with contempt, are in
their own fashion as tenacious of caste as their superiors, and they,
too, multiply their divisions, one class maintaining its superiority to
others. We have a large community called _Chumars_, "leather-people" as
the word means, though many of them have nothing to do with leather. One
of them once told me there were twelve divisions in their caste. We had
near us at Ranee Khet a little colony of Dhobees, washermen, whom I
visited now and then. I observed some huts were built separate from the
rest, and I asked the reason. The man to whom I was speaking, for his
class an intelligent man, expressed his surprise I did not know the
reason. He said, with an air of dignity, "These are of an inferior
order, and it is requisite their huts should be built apart."

It has been often shown that this caste system is most baleful. It
narrows the sympathies of the people, keeps them in the same groove,
fetters their minds, represses individuality, and is a bar to progress.
It would be unfair, however, to say that all its consequences are
pernicious. It so far benefits those bound by it that it restrains them
from some forms of evil, and secures mutual helpfulness, just as the
close trade guilds of our own country did, of which we have happily got
rid. When the clan system was in full force among the Scotch
Highlanders, there were broken men, men who had left the clan or were
expelled from it, and these were notorious for their crimes. In like
manner there are persons who break away from caste, and are the worst
members of the community.

The patriarchal system, the system so prevalent in India, by which the
people, instead of forming separate families in their separate
dwellings, all form one household, to a large extent with a common purse
and under a common rule, is perhaps still more fitted to fetter the mind
and to obstruct progress than even caste itself. Those who have embraced
Christ as their Saviour have often suffered more from their own kindred,
dwelling together, than from their caste brethren.


Many things tend to the disintegration of caste, such as education, the
subjection of all to the same laws, the growing demands of commerce, and
travelling together in railway-carriages. The attractions of the
railway, notwithstanding its disregard of class distinctions, are
irresistible. Thousands of pilgrims thus make their way to distant
shrines, though by travelling in this easy fashion they lose the merit
which suffering would bring. When railways were constructed, a proposal
was made by leading Hindus to have separate carriages for separate
castes, but compliance with the proposal was of course out of the
question; and now high Brahmans and low Chumars--who are never seen in
the same temple even though they worship the same gods, as the presence
of a Chumar there would be deemed a profanation--may be seen packed in
the same carriage in as close contact as two human beings can be. When
they separate the Brahmans have recourse to lustrations, and satisfy
themselves the impurity has been washed away.

In the great Presidency cities caste is no doubt greatly weakened. Many
openly violate its rules, and are never called to account, but these
very persons take care to maintain their caste position for certain
domestic and social purposes. Leaving these cities and a small class
scattered over the country, the mass of the people seem as much bound by
caste as they ever were, so far as its outward requirements are
concerned, though, as I have said, there are no doubt influences widely
spread which tend to its relaxation. This is the case in Northern India,
at any rate.

Much has been said about the Brahmist movement. The number of its
professed adherents is very small, but many of the educated class are
imbued with its spirit. Years ago branches of the Brahmist Sumaj were
formed in the great cities of the North-West by young Bengalees employed
in the public offices. For a time their services were kept up zealously,
but soon they declined. The last time I heard about these communities
most had ceased to exist, and only two or three had any sign of
vitality. So far as I have learned, the Brahmists have had very few
adherents from the Hindus of the North-West. At first sight Brahmism
seems an advance towards the Gospel, and a preparation for its
reception, but the best of our native Christians in Calcutta look on it
as furnishing a welcome abode to those who cannot remain Hindus, and yet
for various reasons refuse to embrace Christ as their Lord and Saviour.
Its avowed hostility to definite doctrine, to what is denounced as
dogma, the dreamy sentimentalism characteristic of the system, the
ignoring to a great extent of the terrible facts of man's depravity and
guilt, and the coquetting with Vedism, do little towards bringing its
adherents to the feet of Jesus. The Brahmists used at one time to taunt
us with our divisions, but for a long time they have had two separate
Sumajes, composed respectively of Conservatives and Liberals. In
consequence of Chunder Sen's Hindu proclivities in his later years, the
Liberals became divided among themselves, the majority having seceded,
while a few remained his devoted followers, who are likely to settle
down into a Hindu sect, tinged with Christian thought and feeling.


From time to time reformers have appeared among the Hindus. Gautam, the
Sakya Saint, was one of the earliest and greatest of the class.
Successive reformers have had a great following, but the stream has not
risen above its source. From Gautam downward some fundamental principles
of Hinduism have been retained, and in the end these principles have
asserted much of their former sway. This threatens to be the case with
Brahmism. Notwithstanding its assertion of the Divine Unity, it has a
strong pantheistic tinge, and already we see its effect. As it has
arisen in a measure as the result of Christian teaching, and among a
people to whom the Gospel is made known, it may be hoped that many,
influenced by it, may travel upward to the light, instead of turning to
the darkness from which they have emerged.

Increasing effort has been put forth in late years for the menial and
spiritual improvement of the female portion of the population. From the
commencement of missions, the wives of missionaries have bestowed much
labour on the women and girls to whom they could find access. These have
been well-nigh exclusively either Christians, or of the lower class of
society. Very occasionally individuals of a higher class come under
Christian teaching. A daughter of the late Rajah of Coorg, a state
prisoner at Benares, was for a time under the tuition of Mrs. Kennedy.
She was brought daily to our house, sat with us at table, and was taught
with our children. The Rajah wished her to be brought up as a Christian
and an English lady, in the hope that he might thus be helped in getting
back his kingdom. Eventually she was brought to England, was baptized
by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Queen standing sponsor, and was
married to an English officer. She survived her marriage a very short
time. This was altogether an exceptional case. It has been most
difficult for the wives of missionaries to obtain even an occasional
interview with native ladies, as I have already intimated, though their
husbands have been our frequent and friendly visitors. From the Reports
of Zenana Missions we learn that of late years access has been obtained
to many native families which had till recently been excluded from all
Christian, and, indeed, from all European influence. The lady physician
is often welcome where the ordinary teacher can find no entrance. In a
city like Benares--and I suppose it is the same elsewhere--except for
the lady physician in her professional capacity, and only rarely even in
that capacity, the door of the Zenanas in the houses of the great
magnates continues shut against all who would seek to awake and guide
the dormant minds there.


Nothing can be conceived more deplorable than the condition of the
ladies of India, living, as the phrase is, behind the curtain. They are,
as a rule, utterly uneducated, know nothing of books, are shut out from
the world, and have no refuge from _ennui_ in such employments as
needlework, knitting, and embroidery, for which the nimble fingers of
the sisterhood are so well adapted. They have no society beyond the
women of the household, their husbands and their children. An occasional
glimpse has been got by our ladies into their state, and, as might have
been expected, their minds have been found utterly childish and dwarfed.
Happily for themselves the vast majority of the women of the country
are under no such bondage. Their husbands cannot afford to curtain them.
They move about freely as they do in our country, only with the hood
ready to come down over the face. They are seen in the streets of
Benares as they are seen in the streets of our own towns.

All have heard of the low view of woman entertained in India, and of the
humiliating customs to which she is subjected; but nature asserts itself
there as elsewhere, and notwithstanding all the inferiority with which
she is charged, she exercises a profound influence on the male portion
of the community. This is recognized by the people always saying, _Ma,
Bap_--Mother, Father--not _Father and Mother_, as we say. It is well
known that in the large households of which I have spoken the dowager
lady is the supreme ruler, often the tyrant--not the less a tyrant
because in her youth she had been treated as a slave. The state of
widows, many of them mere children, is sad indeed.

Shut out though we be to a large extent from native families, we have
many proofs presented to us of the power of female influence, a power
often most perniciously exerted, as it is the power of ignorance and
superstition, a power opposed to all intellectual and spiritual
progress. The devout women of India are often our most formidable
enemies, as they were of Paul in Antioch in Pisidia, and no doubt in
other places. Some of our converts have known from painful experience
what their opposition to the Gospel is, and it cannot be doubted that
many have been prevented from joining us by the pressure brought to bear
on them by their mothers, wives, and sisters. Well may every friend of
India pray earnestly that Zenana Missions may be crowned with success.

A returned missionary is often asked what are the prospects of missions.
From careful and trustworthy statistics we learn the number of
Christians is increasing rapidly. It is right to observe that this
increase has come mainly from the non-Aryan tribes, and people of low
caste. We have valuable converts from the higher castes, but they are
few. When we leave statistics we have recourse to impression, and that
impression depends greatly on circumstances, and still more, perhaps, on
the temperament of the observer. It is very difficult to gauge public
opinion. When we think of all the influences at work, such as education,
both primary and more advanced, Christian literature, missionary effort
in many forms, railway travelling, commerce, and a Government bent on
doing justice, we look forward with hope to an awaking of the Hindu
mind, under which it will seek and embrace the highest good.


The obstacles to success are most formidable, so formidable that,
notwithstanding promising appearances, we should despair if we were not
assured that the work is of God. The literature of our own country is
strengthening the opposition to us. The unbelief of many educated
natives, an unbelief springing both from repugnance to the Gospel and
from dread of the sacrifices to which its acceptance would subject them,
is fortified by the perusal of sceptical books and periodicals. Years
ago I met a Bengalee far up in the mountains, who told me I need not
speak to him about Christianity, for all reasonable people in England
were abandoning it. In proof he put into my hands a letter from
Professor Newman in answer to a letter he had sent to him. The Professor
counselled his correspondent to worship God as his conscience and reason
directed him, and to keep apart from the Christian Church.

Notwithstanding these obstacles to the reception of the Gospel, there
are persons to whom it has come with a Divine sanction, but who are so
bound by family and social ties that they do not avow their faith.
Striking instances of this failure to act in accordance with conviction
have come under my observation. I mention only one. I once had an
interview with a dying young Hindu, who had been taught in a mission
school and was well acquainted with the Gospel. With tears in his eyes
he said all his trust for salvation was in the Lord Jesus Christ, and
that he knew it was his duty to avow his faith, but he could not, for if
he did his relatives would one and all abandon him. He seemed to dread
any one but myself hearing the confession of his faith. I have known
others who have had a strong drawing to the Saviour, but they have
stifled their convictions, and have become, as I remember with sadness,
bitter foes of the truth. Let only the tide set in in favour of
Christianity, and many, I doubt not, will be ready to flow with it.

It ought ever to be remembered that in India we have a vast population.
In the North-Western Provinces and Punjab alone there is a population
twice as large as that of Great Britain and Ireland. Those of this
population who may be said to be educated in a high degree are the
merest handful. You travel hundreds of miles through regions full of
towns, villages, and hamlets, where you find that the partially educated
are very few compared with the wholly uneducated many. Even most of the
shopkeepers who can keep accounts well are unable to read a book with
ease, as the written and printed characters are very different. All know
that their English rulers are called Christians; those who live near the
great lines of road hear an occasional address from a passing
missionary, many frequenters of melas have come under the sound of the
Gospel, but the vast majority have not the slightest conception of its
meaning. When Christianity had spread to a considerable extent in the
Roman Empire, country districts were so little affected by it that
_pagani_ (villagers) became soon synonymous with "heathen," the only
meaning which attaches to the word as it is now used by us. A vast work
has to be done before the villagers of Northern India cease to be pagans
in our sense of the word. The work of evangelization is only in its
initial stage. It is yet with us the day of small things--but it is the
day, not the night. The morning has dawned; over a great part of
Northern India we can only see the faint streaks of the coming day, but
the light will spread, the darkness will vanish, and the millions of
that great country will yet be gladdened by the beams of the Sun of

I mention, and merely mention, help which India gives for the solution
of some great questions:--

(1) _The immobility of the Eastern mind._ In manner of life, in
salutations, in offerings of inferiors to superiors, in many customs,
the far East, like the nearer East, continually reminds us of the East
as presented in the records of antiquity--above all as presented to us
in the Bible. He must be a very careless observer who has not been
struck with the resemblance. The restless changing West furnishes in
this respect a striking contrast to the staid, unchanging East. There
has been no such immobility as to religious opinion and practice. There,
as elsewhere, it holds true that man's mind never remains in one stay.
The Hindus of the present day speak of their Vedic ancestors with
profound reverence, but if they were to rise from their graves and act
as they did when denizens of earth--kill cows, disregard caste, drink
largely of the intoxicating juice of the som plant, and worship in an
entirely different manner--their reverence would turn into horror and
detestation. We cannot say that the modern Puranas do not rest in any
degree on the Vedas; some Vedic principles are manifest in them: but in
the gods they set forth for worship and in the practices they enjoin,
there is between them and the Vedas a marked diversity. The numerous
sects which have arisen from time to time among the Hindus show that
they too have had that measure of mental activity which has led to new
forms of thought and practice.


(2) _The genesis and evolution of religion._ In the dim remote past to
which the Vedas introduce us, we find the Hindus a religious, a very
religious, people. There is no indication of any period when they could
be called secularists. Their religious views and practices have changed,
there has been an evolving process; the connection may be traced, and we
see the result in the Puranic system of our day. Has this movement been
forward, or backward? Has the fittest survived and the weak and useless
perished? The Vedic system little deserves the praise often lavished on
it, but surely it is preferable to that which has taken its place. There
has been deterioration, not improvement. Has not this ever been the case
in reference to religion, so far as the working of the human mind is
concerned? Is not modern Buddhism a falling off from ancient Buddhism?
Does not Rabbinical Judaism belittle and dwarf Old Testament Judaism?
Does not Roman Catholic Christianity materialize New Testament
Christianity? The facts of man's religious history prove incontestably
that his constant tendency is towards retrogression, not towards


(3) _Comparative religion._ On this subject elaborate treatises have
been written with the object of proving that all religions have had
their origin in the human mind, and have been evolved under purely human
conditions. Some of the writers, prompted, we may hope, by a devout
feeling, allow in vague terms an influence exerted on the evolution by
Providential arrangements. Still, in the result we are not to see in any
case the effect of a supernatural revelation, but in all cases an
approximation in different degrees to truth, secured by the unaided
working of the human mind. Does a comparison between the sacred books of
the Hindus and the Bible support this view? Listen to a Sanscrit
specialist like Professor Max Müller, who has spent years in the study
of the Veda, and who has every conceivable motive to say everything he
can on its behalf: "That the Veda is full of childish, silly, even to
our mind monstrous conceptions, who would deny? But even these
monstrosities are interesting and instructive. I could not even answer
the question, if you were to ask it, whether the religion of the Veda
was polytheistic or monotheistic. Monotheistic in the usual sense of the
word it is decidedly not." The dreamy, vague teaching of the Veda has
hardened into the unmistakable polytheism and pantheism of modern
Hinduism. In no country in the world has mind been more active than in
India; in no country have the learned had such abundant leisure, such
full opportunity for quiet, sustained thought--and you see the result.
We follow with deep interest and sympathy the straining of these minds
to understand themselves and the world around; as they grope after God
we find they occasionally obtain a glimpse of the highest truth, but
the darkness, though for the moment relieved, is not dispelled. The
truth has continued to elude them. They have not arrived at the
knowledge of even the first principles of a theology worthy of God, and
fitted to direct, purify, and guide man. Excellent, high-toned
sentiments are no doubt found in Hindu writings, but these do not alter
their general character. The Bible, by its teaching regarding God and
man, above all by its record of the peerless excellence of our Lord
Jesus Christ, and of the provision made through Him for the supply of
man's deepest wants, presents a marvellous contrast to the Veda, to the
great epic poems of the Hindus, to their philosophical treatises and
their Puranas. I know a good deal of what has been said to show that the
characteristics of the Bible may be accounted for on merely human
principles, but the certain facts of the case refute, to my mind, the
arguments adduced. Max Müller says in one of his writings--I cannot
quote his exact words--that we are not to look in the songs of the Veda
for anything so advanced as we find in the Psalter. Why not? Had not the
Pundits of India far more cultured minds than David and the hymnists of
Israel? Their works are different, for their teaching came from
different sources. One benefit I have got from my residence in India, a
conviction deepened by every successive glimpse into Hindu teaching and
practice: that in the Bible we have a supernatural revelation of God's
will, and that in building on it we are building on a rock which cannot
be shaken.

(4) _The migration of nations._ Few things in the history of the world
are more surprising to us than whole nations making their way to new and
remote countries. I have thought I have got a little help towards
understanding these movements when I have observed large bands of
people--men, women, and children--pursuing their journey, carrying with
them all they deemed necessary, and lying out at night on the bare
ground, with a blanket, which they had carried over their shoulder, as
their only covering. They took food with them when they knew that at
their halting-place it could not be procured. Very differently do our
native regiments travel. They are attended by a host of camp-followers,
and have a formidable amount of baggage. I once saw a party of woodmen
in the hills sleeping under a tree when there was frost on the ground;
and on the remark being made it was a wonder they could live, a hillman
remarked, "Has not each got his blanket? What hardship is there?" When
nations migrated they no doubt sent out scouring parties, who seized all
the food on which they could lay their hands. When travelling alone in
the hills I had commonly with me a tent so small that a man carried it
on his head, but I must acknowledge I could not approach the simplicity
of the native traveller's arrangements.




The climate of India precludes the possibility of its being a sphere for
European colonization. With the exception of the hill districts, the
intense heat during the greater part of the year makes out-door
occupation trying even to the native, and well-nigh unendurable for
Europeans--a heat uncompensated by the coolness of the night, for in the
North-West, at least, the stifling closeness of the night is more trying
than the heat of the day. If this heat lasted for only a few days, as in
Southern Australia, it might be borne, though a hindrance to work; but
in India it lasts for months, and it is succeeded by months of drenching
rain, during a great part of which the moisture and mugginess are as
unpleasant as the previous dry heat had been.

Apart from climate, there is no room for us as colonists. In India we
have not to do with rude tribes, as in America, New Zealand, and
Australia, and in a measure in Southern Africa, that cannot be said to
possess the land over which they and their fathers have long roamed, or
of which they have cultivated a very small part. We have to do with
ancient nations that have taken full possession of the land by
cultivation of the soil, and by pursuit of the arts of civilized life.
We find in India no tribes wasting away before the white stranger, but
a people growing in number under the security of our government. There
are districts in the North-West more densely peopled than any districts
in Europe occupied by an agricultural population. The emigration of
coolies to the Mauritius, to Bourbon, to the coast of South America, and
to the West Indian Islands, has done little to relieve the pressure.
Migration to unoccupied parts of Central India and Assam has been
carried out to a small extent, and it is very desirable this migration
should increase. Non-Aryan tribes occupy a large part of the mountains
and forests of Central and Eastern India. They have no wish for
accession from the people of the plains, and still less do they wish for
the entrance of Europeans. I can say nothing about the mountains of the
South, but so far as I have travelled over the sub-Himalayan range in
the North there is no place for Europeans in it, except for officials or
employers, and managers of native labour, such as tea-planters.

While India presents no sphere for European colonization, it presents an
increasingly wide field for European agency in the civil and military
services, in the departments of education, commerce, manufacture--for
instance, of cotton goods, railways, indigo, and tea. In these different
departments Europeans are in constant intercourse with natives of every
class from the highest to the lowest. There is often much pleasant and
courteous intercourse between them; but in language, habits, religion,
in almost everything in which human beings can be separated from their
fellows, they are so different that they remain to a great degree
strangers to each other, however kindly may be their mutual feeling.
English people never call India "home," though they may have lived in it
the greater part of their life. This name is always reserved for our
fatherland. (I had better say that the term English, as used in India,
includes all from Great Britain and Ireland, and to them also the term
European is mainly, though not exclusively, applied.) I have heard
persons of pure English descent, who had never been out of India, speak
of England as "home." The reservation of the word to the land from which
we have gone, indicates the fact that in India we are strangers, and
cannot cease to be strangers. Colonists in America and other lands may
make a similar reservation; but living as they do among their own
people, in a country which they expect to be the home of their
descendants, the term as applied to England is deprived of much of its
endearing force.


In the great Presidency cities, and in a less degree in other cities
throughout the country, we have a large educated class of natives, who
are well acquainted with our language and literature. They have pursued
their studies in the hope of securing good situations, and this hope is
in a large measure realized. They are found all over Northern India
occupying responsible and well-paid positions. Many persons of this
class come daily into close intercourse with Europeans in the discharge
of their duties, and have means of knowing them which no other class
possesses. The intercourse is generally courteous, in not a few cases
friendly, and they talk freely with each other on a great variety of
subjects. There is, however, not infrequently an underfeeling with
educated natives that they are not sufficiently appreciated--that they
do not get the place due to them--that they are treated as an inferior
race; and there is consequently a suspiciousness fatal to cordiality. I
am far from thinking that Europeans always treat educated natives with
the courtesy due to them. I have known instances of marked discourtesy;
but I am sure many of our people are bent on treating them with all
justice and kindness, and sometimes, at least, this friendly feeling has
not been reciprocated. Human nature being what it is, however much we
may regret, we need not wonder at the grating between parties that have
so much in common, and yet owing to that very circumstance have clashing
feelings and interests.

Many native gentlemen, some of the highest rank, cultivate European
society, and every European who has anything of the gentleman in him
treats them with the courtesy due to their position. Natives of this
class are, as a rule, most gentlemanly in their demeanour, and
intercourse with them is very pleasant.


Between Europeans and most natives with whom they have to do, there is
such a difference of station there is no room for jealousy. To some
Europeans they stand in the relation of agents, clerks, and labourers;
to a greater number in the relation of servants. In India, as in our own
country, there is a great variety in the character of both masters and
servants. There, as here, there are hard, selfish, unreasonable masters
and mistresses, and there are undoubtedly bad, false, dishonest
servants; but I have no hesitation in giving my impression--I may say
stating my belief--that native servants are generally well treated, and
that this treatment draws forth no small degree of gratitude and
attachment. This was strikingly shown in the Mutiny period. Servants
often remain for years with the same masters, render most useful and
faithful service; their wages are continued in whole or in part during
the temporary absence of their masters from India; on their return they
are found waiting for them at the port of debarkation, and on final
departure for Europe it is not unusual for old Indians to pension those
who have been faithful to them. When I speak of faithfulness, I do not
mean that, with the exception of very rare cases, full dependence can be
placed on their truthfulness, or even on their honesty in the strict
sense of the term. It is very difficult for them to resist the
temptation to tell a lie, when a fault is to be screened or benefit to
be obtained, and there are certain understood perquisites of which they
are inclined to avail themselves in too liberal a degree; but they are
at the same time very careful to guard the property of their master
against all others, and are deeply concerned for the honour of his name.
As a rule natives, both servants and others, are treated with less
justice and kindness by the lower class of Europeans than by persons
better educated and of a higher position. There are indeed soldiers and
others who look on "niggers," as they call all natives, with contempt,
and are inclined to abuse them, so far as they are permitted, to the
full bent of their rude nature. The term "nigger" is used by some who
call themselves gentlemen. All I can say of such gentlemen is that I
wish they would speak in a manner worthy of the name.

Of late years the position of Englishmen in India has greatly changed.
By the overland route, and by the weekly postal communication, England
and India are brought near to each other in a degree which could not
have been deemed possible in former days. Persons on leave for three
months can now spend a month or five weeks with their friends in
England, and at the end of their leave be ready to resume their duties.
Every week a stream of literature, in the shape of newspapers,
periodicals, and books, is poured over every part of India, reaching
the European in the most remote part of the land. Hill stations have
become very accessible by rail, and to these Europeans betake themselves
in great numbers for the hot months. All these things give greater force
than ever to the home feeling, by strengthening home sympathies and
ties. The result is our people in India are birds of passage as they
never were before, ready to return to their own land as soon as
circumstances will allow them.

There are some advantages from this altered state of things. Many of the
early residents became, to their own deep injury, too intimate with the
people of the land. They learned their ways, and became like them in
character. It was often said, when the Mutiny broke out, that the
officers of native regiments had in former days maintained friendly
intercourse with the Sepoys, and thus secured their attachment, and that
the cessation, or at least the lessening, of this intercourse was one
great cause of the outbreak. If good resulted from it in the weakening
of national antipathy, in many cases evil resulted from it in the
deterioration of character. Many of our countrymen at an early period
formed native connections, and by doing so brought themselves down to
the level of their new friends. Some became so entangled that they gave
up all thought of returning to their own country. It must not be
supposed that all who settled down in India for life were of this
character. Some who had kept themselves aloof from all improper
connection with natives became so attached to India and to the mode of
living there, that they made it their permanent abode. A few of this
class remain, but their number is rapidly decreasing, and none are
taking their place. The persons who have thus made India their home
have often had a large circle of attached native friends.

The constant communication of Englishmen with their native land,
frequent visits to it, and the anticipation of getting away from India
at the earliest possible period, tends to lessen their interest in
Indian affairs, and weaken their sympathy with the native population.
The closer connexion with England is, however, attended with some
advantages. It can be confidently affirmed that many of our countrymen
in India are bent on promoting the good of the people with whom they
come into contact, and strive to perform their duties faithfully. We may
hope that home influence may strengthen them for the more efficient
discharge of their work, and may thus prove a benefit to the people.


In many respects there has been a marked improvement in European
society. The small house near the large one, significantly called the
Zenana, is never seen near the houses of recent erection. Even in the
smaller stations there are places for Christian worship, where Europeans
meet on the Lord's Day, when some official reads the prayers of the
Church of England, and, if he be a zealous man, a sermon. A chaplain
pays occasional visits to these places. The attendance on public worship
is far from being what it ought to be, and we have much reason to fear
it is often very formal; but it furnishes a pleasing contrast to the
neglect which formerly prevailed. Along with this church-going there is,
no doubt, a great deal of unbelief in India. I have already said we have
in India Christians who are earnest for the honour of their Lord, and do
all they can to promote His cause; but the greater number of our people
are not, and have never been, friendly to the propagation of the
Gospel. I am afraid the unfriendliness has been increased by the
sceptical tone of much of the literature of the day. I have known
gentlemen giving to their native subordinates for perusal periodicals
and books which could only lead them to the conclusion that Christianity
was dying out in England.

There are, happily, counteracting influences. Christian as well as
sceptical literature makes its way to India, and is telling on many
minds. And then, at our larger stations, where Europeans and Eurasians
are in the greatest number, more is done for their spiritual benefit
than at any previous period. Well may every Christian heartily desire
success to all such effort, for nothing would do more to bring the
people of the land to the feet of Jesus than the prevalence of living
godliness among our own countrymen.




The first question which comes before us when considering the government
of India is, What right have we to govern it? For an answer to this
question we must betake ourselves to the history of our connexion with
India. This history cannot have for us the interest and fascination of
the history of our own country; but it has strong claims on us as the
subjects of the British Crown, contains much that deserves and repays
perusal, and must be known by us in order to the right understanding of
the position we have obtained.

My reading of Indian history leads me to the conclusion that in all
likelihood we should never have been rulers in India had we not been
grievously injured as traders, in violation of rights accorded to us by
the native powers. All know the story of the black hole of Calcutta,
which led to our waging war on the Nawab. We had previously fought with
the French and French allies in the south, we had contended with other
European rivals, but our rule began with the victory of Plassey. After
that victory our only alternative was either to leave the country
altogether, or to go on conquering till we should become the supreme
power over the whole of the continent. If we had retired from the land
we had conquered, and had sought to remain as traders, our retirement
would have been attributed to weakness, and demands would have been made
on us which would have made trading impossible. If we had determined not
to advance, but simply to retain what we had acquired, and had satisfied
ourselves with repelling attacks, these attacks would have been
continued till we had either gone forward, or resigned our conquest

We can understand the course pursued by the founders of the British
Empire in India only when we look on them as placed between the
alternative mentioned. The Directors of the East India Company did not
seek the government of India. They deprecated it. By it commerce was
disorganized and dividends lowered. Some of their servants in India made
enormous fortunes by the new state of things, but this was no comfort to
them. Order after order was sent out against the extension of territory.
Governor after governor was commissioned to carry out the peaceful views
of the home authorities, but still conquest went on under the direction
of these very governors.


I am far from vindicating all that was done; deeds were committed which
deserve severe condemnation; but it would be a travesty of history to
say that the governors, who set out with peaceful intentions, succumbed
to the lust of conquest. They were often forced to adopt war measures.
Many instances might be adduced. I give only one. The Marquess of
Hastings had denounced the conquering career of the Marquess of
Wellesley. He was selected for the very purpose of reversing his policy,
so far as it could be reversed. If any person could be trusted for
giving peace to India he was the man. Shortly after his arrival our
connexion with the Ghoorkhas, the ruling body in Nepal, became strained.
They made raids into our territory beneath the hills, and murdered and
robbed our subjects. The Marquess was extremely desirous to avoid a
rupture with them. Remonstrances were addressed to them, and proposals
made to settle differences by the better defining of the boundaries
between their country and ours. These proposals were regarded as a proof
of weakness, and the bold demand was made we should give up to them the
great fertile region north of the Ganges. There was no further
hesitation. To yield to this demand, for which there was not the pretext
of right, would have been to announce to all the potentates of India
that we were unable to defend ourselves, and would have led them to
assail us. War was declared, which, after two campaigns and a severe
struggle, ended in the discomfiture of the Ghoorkhas, and in their
cession to us of the large territory they had conquered a few years
previously. Ought the Governor-General to have yielded to the Ghoorkha
demand? Yes, if we were prepared to leave the country altogether, but
otherwise not.

No sooner had the Marquess of Hastings landed in India than he began to
doubt the policy he had formerly advocated, and events soon compelled
him to abandon it. The policy on which he acted was declared by him in
unmistakable terms: "Our object in India ought to be to render the
British Government paramount in effect, if not declaredly so ... and to
oblige the other states to perform the two great feudal duties of
supporting our rule with all their forces, and submitting their mutual
differences to our arbitration."

Till we became confessedly supreme we were not for any length of time
allowed to remain at peace. There were two main reasons for the unrest,
which prepared the way for war. One reason was that the native powers
hated and dreaded us, and were eager for our overthrow even when they
professed the greatest friendliness. When we were involved in
difficulties they were ready to rise against us. Every indication of our
desire to avoid hostilities was interpreted as a sign of weakness, and
thus became an incentive to the renewal of the struggle. Another reason
for the fresh outbreak of war was the treachery of the native princes. I
cannot say that in the matter of treaty keeping we had clean hands. The
gross deceit played on Omichund, as described by Macaulay in his Essay
on Lord Clive, stands nearly alone in our public conduct in India, but
other transactions have been unworthy of our character for high-minded
integrity. It may, however, be confidently affirmed, that looking at our
governing conduct as a whole, it presents by its faithfulness to
engagements a marked contrast to the conduct of those who had entered
into treaty with us. Many of our Indian wars would have been prevented
had there not been on their part the violation of engagements in a
manner which showed they never intended to keep them an hour longer than
they were compelled by circumstances.

If a review of the course pursued by our people in India shows how we
became the governing power, and indicates the ground on which our rule
rests, a review of the history of India for ages previous to our advent,
and of the condition in which we found it, will help us greatly in
answering the question--Has India been benefited or injured by our
having seized the sceptre?


For centuries Muhammadans were the rulers of India. They entered, not
to avenge wrongs done to them, but as the servants of Allah, called to
put down idolatry, and entitled to rule over the nations they subdued.
Centuries elapsed before the extension of their rule beyond the
North-West region. Gradually it extended to other parts of India. The
seventeenth century was well advanced before the greater part of
Southern India came under the rule of the Emperor of Delhi--the
Shah-un-shah, King of kings, as he was called. His suzerainty was
generally acknowledged in those lands which continued under Hindu

As we turn over page after page of the Muhammadan rule in India, what
scenes of strife, of bloody war, of treachery, of desolated countries,
continually meet our view! No sooner did an emperor die than the
struggle commenced for the vacant throne between his many sons, brother
fighting with brother till one became the victor, and then woe to the
vanquished! The governors of Provinces, as soon as they thought they had
sufficient power, rebelled against the sovereign, and struggled--not
infrequently with success--to secure an independent throne. In the
course of these civil wars countries were overrun, towns and villages
levelled with the ground, their inhabitants massacred, and their
property pillaged. We read of rival dynasties which contended with each
other for empire. We are told of terrible invasions like those of Timour
and Nadir Shah. There were no doubt great emperors, such as the
illustrious Akbar, during whose rule India suffered comparatively little
from war, and enjoyed great prosperity. Governors were now and then firm
and just rulers. Looking at the whole period of Muhammadan rule, during
no part of which India was free from the scourge of war, and during a
great part of which war on a large scale was carried on, untold misery
must have been endured by many of its inhabitants, and there was little
security for life and property. The aristocracy of the emperors' courts
was mainly that of office, and only to a limited degree that of blood
and ancient possession. We find persons of mean birth rising to
greatness, and persons on the very pinnacle of honour cast down to the
ground. There was a succession of emperors called Slave Emperors, as
they had originally been slaves in the court, whence they rose to
supreme power. When we consider the teaching of the Quran respecting
those who do not submit to Islam, we may suppose what the condition of
the Hindus was under Muhammadan rulers, so far as they acted out their
principles. Happily during this period, though constantly exposed to
terrible disasters, the people in their villages were often left to
manage their own affairs.


When our nation commenced its conquering career in the middle of the
eighteenth century, the Muhammadan Empire was in a state of collapse.
Within thirteen years of Aurungzeb's death, in 1706, six sovereigns were
seated on the imperial throne. Shah Alum was nominal emperor from 1759
to 1806, and all the time he was a wanderer, a prisoner, or a pensioner
of the Mahrattas, the Rohillas, or the English. He was as melancholy an
example of fallen greatness as can well be conceived, a greatness which
retained its title while its bearer was subjected to every indignity. He
had been for some time in the hands of the Mahrattas, who used his seal
freely, and at the same time treated him with the utmost cruelty. The
food supplied was so insufficient that he and his household were almost
starved. When Lord Lake took Delhi from the Mahrattas in 1803 he found
the poor old blind emperor under a tattered canopy, trembling at what
might now befall him. Some years previously his eyes had been gouged out
by one of his Rohilla keepers. At once he was treated by us with the
highest consideration. Power was not given, but a handsome pension was
assigned, and he was personally treated with all the honour due to a
reigning sovereign. When these facts are remembered, it is strange we
should be charged with overthrowing the Muhammadan Empire in India.
Whoever was injured by our conquest, Shah Alum and his family were
assuredly benefited.

Our contention was with those whose only claim to rule rested on the
sword. Bold adventurers had risen everywhere, and were snatching at the
fallen sceptre. There were still emperors, as we have mentioned, and
their prestige gave value to documents bearing their seal, but they did
not retain a shred of power. Daring Europeans, helped by native allies,
had set to carving out principalities for themselves. The viziers and
nawabs that ruled in the name of the emperors rendered them neither
obedience nor tribute. Our first great battle was fought with Suraj ud
Dowla, the Nawab of Bengal, the grandson of Aliverdi Khan, an Afghan
adventurer, who had acquired the government of the country. In the South
we fought with Hyder Ali, a trooper who gathered under him a marauding
band, and by courage and craft rose to being a sovereign, and with his
son Tippoo Sahib. Our longest and most severe contests were with the
Mahrattas, a warlike tribe of Hindus in Western India, who came first
into prominence in the seventeenth century under Sivajee, a petty
chieftain, and gradually advanced under various leaders till they became
for a time the paramount power. Their hordes of horsemen scoured the
country in all directions, north and south, east and west, demanding
the _chauth_, the fourth part of the revenue, and returning to their
capitals laden with spoil. The leaders with whom we had most to do,
sometimes in the way of friendship, far more frequently in the way of
warfare, were the Peshwa, the head of the Mahratta confederacy, the heir
of Sivajee; Ranojee Bhonsla, a private horseman, who became Prince of
Nagpore; Pilajee Gaikwar, a cowherd, who ruled in Baroda; Ranojee
Scindia, a menial servant of the Peshwa, who made Gwalior his capital;
and Mulhar Rao Holkar, a shepherd, who became Maharajah of Indore. Not
one of their number professed to belong to the ancient ruling families
of India.

As we glance at India as it was under Muhammadan rule, and consider its
state when our conquering career began, we find there were no elements
of stable government: the Imperial power had become a shadow; ambitious
leaders were everywhere striving for the mastery, ready to beat down all
opposition within their own immediate sphere, and then prepared to wrest
power from neighbouring chiefs. India had at that time a very dark
prospect before it.

This review of the past history of India may seem an unduly long
introduction to a brief statement regarding its condition under our
rule, but it is only by looking to the past a right answer can be given
to the questions: What right have we to govern India? From what evils
has our government delivered it? What benefits have we conferred on its
population? Inattention to the past has led many to give in some cases
an utterly wrong, in other cases a very inadequate, answer to these
questions. It is clear that India has been brought under our rule by
what may be rightly called aggressive war only to a very limited
extent. It is also clear that the hostile forces we encountered were not
those of the ancient princes of the land, but of adventurers who were
struggling to rise on the ruins of the disorganized empire. At the
present time, on the mere ground of the length of possession, our rule
has a stronger claim than that of the potentates whom we overthrew.


A review of the past prepares us to see some of the advantages our rule
has conferred. No longer are armies marching over India, supplying their
wants by the plunder of its people, and leaving ruin in their track. No
longer has the husbandman, when he sees at a distance the dust raised by
the tramp of the Mahratta cavalry, to flee to his walled village, if he
has one to flee to, or to his hamlet if he cannot do better, leaving his
field, perhaps ready for the sickle, to be trodden down by the unwelcome
stranger. No longer are hosts of marauders like the Pindarees, who
scarcely professed to be anything else than marauders, allowed to roam
over fertile and populous regions in their robbing and murdering
expeditions. No longer are professional robbers called Dacoits allowed
to set out on excursions, and make their way under various disguises to
towns, to rise at an arranged signal, attack the houses of the rich, and
force them, often under torture, to reveal their treasures. No longer
are Thugs, professional murderers, left to arrange their plans for
insinuating themselves into the goodwill of travellers, with a view,
when the opportunity came, to throttling their victims, robbing them,
and then burying them, that all mark of their deeds might be effaced.
From Dacoity and Thuggery Europeans had nothing to fear, but natives
suffered frightfully; and special departments were formed for their
suppression. In Northern India, at least, these bands of robbers and
murderers have been broken up. No longer are the lives and property of
the people at the disposal of their rulers, as was to a large extent the
case previous to the British era. They are now under the ægis of law.

If any one think that the advantages thus conferred by the establishment
of a stable government are of little value, all we can say is they have
no conception of the misery brought on thousands from generation to
generation, when these advantages were unknown.

Never was a comparatively small nation entrusted with so vast a work as
that committed to us by our undertaking to administer the government of
a continent thousands of miles from our shores, inhabited by two hundred
and fifty-four millions, who differ widely from us in language,
religion, habits, history, associations--in almost everything in which
one nation can differ from another. Two hundred millions are under our
direct rule, and the rest are under native rulers who acknowledge our
Queen as suzerain. It would have been a miracle had we not in the course
of our government, during more than a hundred years, done many unwise,
many wrong, even many cruel things. He would be a bold man who would
stand forth and maintain we had done good, and only good, to the nations
of India. We take no such optimist position. You can adduce many things
in our dealings with the people which the best of the officials have
themselves condemned, and you can mention evils which have followed our
rule for which we can scarcely be said to be responsible. This, however,
we say with the fullest conviction, as the result of long residence in
India and of extensive observation: that considering our position as
Western strangers, and the difficulties with which we have had to
contend, our Government has had a success far greater than could have
been anticipated, and has conferred vast advantages on the country.


It would be difficult to find in the history of the world a more
remarkable class of men than those who have been engaged in the
administration of India. There have been inefficient, selfish, idle,
unprincipled men among them. In former years we used to hear of John
Company's bad bargains; and now that India has come directly under the
rule of Queen Victoria we now and then hear of John Bull's bad bargains.
These have been the exception, not the rule. There has been in
succession a band of men who have earnestly sought the good of the
people, and have shown a capacity for administration which I have no
doubt surprised themselves, as it has those who have watched their
progress. Sir John Kaye has given interesting sketches of some Indian
worthies, but it would require a series of volumes to record the deeds
of the many who have taken a warm interest in the people, have toiled
for their good, and have been trusted, and in some instances literally
adored, by them. I have had a considerable acquaintance with the
_personnel_ of the Government of the North-West Provinces, from some
occupying the highest position down to assistant magistrates. I cannot
say I admired all, but I can say that I have been surprised at the
number who did their duty faithfully, were thoroughly interested in
their work, and rejoiced when they had achieved any measure of success.

With a few exceptions the Governor-General has been an English nobleman
who has filled some important office at home; but Lieutenant-Governors,
and not infrequently Governors, have been persons of large Indian
experience, who have passed with honour through all the grades of the
Civil Service. These, assisted by the Commissioners of Provinces,
exercise a strict supervision over the entire administration. Officials
have continually to report their doings, and irregularities are quickly
discovered. We know of no class who have more onerous duties to
discharge than magistrates of districts and their subordinates. They
have long hours in crowded courts in an exhausting climate, decide many
intricate cases, maintain order within the bounds of their jurisdiction,
receive reports of what is being done and give directions, prepare
reports for the Government, and they are expected to give a courteous
reception to native gentlemen when they call, however long these
gentlemen may be inclined to prolong their visit. We have been at times
in a position to see the daily life of some of these men, and have been
struck with the amount of work devolving on them, and the patience they
have shown where there was strong temptation to impatience.


As strangers, it is difficult for us to understand the people, and the
result is that with the best intentions we have at times adopted
measures utterly unsuited to them. Our very attempt to secure the rights
of all classes by the careful drawing up of civil and criminal codes,
and by the institution of courts where they are administered, has
fostered the litigiousness of the people, and has led to a fearful
amount of perjury. Litigiousness got no play where courts did not exist,
and perjury could not show itself where witnesses were not examined. It
is said that in one of our most recent acquisitions, the Punjab, the
people have deteriorated under our rule. Runjeet Singh had no prisons.
Thieves caught in the act were maimed and allowed to go their way.
Murderers and other great offenders were at once put to death. We can
scarcely adopt this primitive mode of maintaining order, and by our
codes, courts, judges, and witnesses we have no doubt opened the door to
evils of which the Punjab knew nothing in Runjeet Singh's time. If the
early colonists of New York and Boston had retained their primitive
simplicity, those cities would not now be disgraced by the slums, with
their vice, crime, and misery, which make them too closely resemble the
cities of the old continent. When society makes progress, new, social,
and political, arrangements are indispensable, the countervailing good
being much greater than the incidental evils which come in their train.

In India there are Regulation and Non-Regulation Provinces, the
Regulation Provinces being those which have been long under our rule,
and are subject to all our laws; and the Non-Regulation Provinces being
those to which our codes are only partially applied, and where much is
left to the discretion of the administrator. In the former the chief
offices belong to the regular Civil Service, while in the latter
military men as well as civilians are employed. Both classes have
furnished most able and capable men.

[Sidenote: TAXATION.]

Considering the resources of India its taxation is heavy. Our Government
pays its servants of every description, high and low, civil and
military, with a regularity utterly unknown under native rule, and the
income must in regularity keep pace with the outlay. When we read of
seventy millions as the expenditure, it must be remembered that what is
called the land-tax is really rent, for in India the land has always
been considered the property of the state. This is kept before the mind
of the people of Madras by the yearly assessment of the tenants, and
before the people of the North-Western Provinces by the new assessment
made every thirtieth year. By the perpetual settlement of Bengal, the
tax-collectors were at once raised to the position of landholders, of
which they have often taken undue advantage. It must also be remembered
that a considerable sum is expended on remunerative works, such as
canals and railways. The expenditure on the army is great. I cannot
conceive why our Government keeps up so large a native army. It would
appear to those who are outside the Government circle, that its
reduction would conduce to safety as well as to economy. The European
part of the army is comparatively very small, and it would be most
perilous to lessen it. Years before the Mutiny, Sir Henry Lawrence said
it was the backbone of our strength, and events proved how true his
remark was. Yet it is, and must continue to be, very expensive, like
every other form of European agency. The Mutiny among its other results
left behind it heavy pecuniary responsibilities, which have added to the
debt and led to increased taxation. Many are of opinion that the
amalgamation of the Royal and Indian armies was an unwise measure, and
has caused much unnecessary expense. Often complaints have been made
that successive home Governments, from their unchallenged control over
the affairs of India, have imposed an unjust burden on its resources by
keeping at home too large a force at its expense, and by undue charges
for stores sent out, as well as by making it pay sums which were more
properly due by the imperial exchequer.

"The net land revenue has risen in the ten years beginning 1870-71 from
£20,335,678, or nearly half the total net revenue of £42,780,417, by
about two millions sterling, to £22,125,807, with a total net revenue of
£49,801,664. The gross revenue of the latter year, 1879-80, was
£68,484,666, the difference being derived from sources other than
taxation, such as the opium monopoly. The revenue of 1880-81 was
£72,920,000, and the gross expenditure £71,259,000. Including the land
revenue as land-tax, the 200 millions in the twelve Provinces of British
India pay about 4s. a head of imperial taxation, besides municipal or
local and provincial cesses, which purchase such local advantages as
roads, schools, police, and sanitary appliances. This incidence of
taxation varies from 5s. 6d. per head of the land-owning classes to 3s.
3d. for traders, 2s. for artisans, and 1s. 6d. for agricultural
labourers. The fiscal policy of the Government has of late been to
reduce the burden of the salt monopoly, which is a poll-tax, and to
abolish import duties. The 54½ millions in the Native States pay only to
their own chiefs, who enjoy a net annual revenue of fourteen millions
sterling, and pay £700,000 as tribute, or less than the cost of the
military and political establishments maintained on their account" (Dr.
George Smith's "Geography of British India"). Deducting land-tax, opium,
railways, irrigations, post-office, and suchlike remunerative services,
the taxation is reduced to 2s. per head of population.

If the European army in India be the backbone of our military sway,
European administrators are, I believe, the backbone of our government.
During the terrible years 1857 and 1858, the services rendered by those
who were engaged in civil employment were of the highest value in
restoring peace to the distracted country, and in re-establishing our
government. European officials of every grade showed equal zeal and
determination. There were many native officials in these Provinces, some
of them highly paid and greatly trusted. A few remained faithful and did
good service, though the help rendered, when summed up, cannot be
reckoned great. Many proved unfaithful, and some became our bitter
enemies. If instead of Englishmen as judges, magistrates, and
collectors, we had had at that time highly educated natives of Bengal
holding these offices, the men who receive for themselves the best
hearing in England, can we suppose that, however well inclined, they
could have borne the brunt of the contest, and aided largely in securing
the victory? It would ill become me to speak against these men. I know
some of the class for whom I have not only a high esteem but warm
affection. Among them there are not a few who are great in attainment,
keen in intellect, and strong in purpose to do the right. Still I do not
think they themselves would maintain they have the physical courage, the
firm mental calibre, the moral strength, and the high place in the
confidence of the community, which would qualify any of their number to
occupy the position of Governor-General, Governor, Lieutenant-Governor,
and Chief Commissioner, or would make it desirable they should form the
leading body of the administrative staff. The successful candidates for
the Civil Service have come, we believe, exclusively from the
highly-educated youth of the Presidency cities, between whom and the
millions of their own Provinces there is no such bond as unites the
so-called leaders of the Irish with the majority of their countrymen. In
the other countries of India they are little known, and are regarded
with no special interest.


Many mistakes would be prevented if English people would remember that
we have in India nations differing widely from each other. We have a
striking illustration of this fact in the part of India in which we have
lived. Bengalees abound in the public offices in the North-West
Provinces and in the Punjab. They are deemed sharper in intellect, and
are better educated, than the Hindustanees, and on account of their
superior education they have got situations which would have been filled
by natives of the country, had their educational acquirements been
equal. These Bengalees are not strangers in these Provinces to the same
extent as Englishmen, but they are strangers, and are looked upon as
such by the people. Where they are numerous they keep mainly to
themselves, and however friendly they may be with Hindustanees they are
regarded as belonging to another country. When you meet them you know
them at once by their look, dress, language, and habits. A part of
Benares, called Bengalee Tola--Bengalee district--is inhabited almost
wholly by Bengalees, and when you enter it you feel you have come among
another people, who speak a different language and present a different
appearance. During the Mutiny they were regarded in the North-West with
suspicion, as half-English, and many were happy to seek shelter where we
were able to keep our footing. If the question was put in Hindustan
Proper to any large body of people--Would you have Bengalees or
Englishmen for your magistrates and judges? I think in most places the
well-nigh unanimous response would be, The Englishman.

If my opinion is to rest on my own observation, I would confidently say
that notwithstanding the injustice and unkindness charged against some
English officials, the people generally have profound trust in our
justice--in our _insaf_--and as a rule, except when they think the
native partial to themselves, they prefer to have their cases tried
where an Englishman presides. When on a journey I once came up to two
men engaged in eager talk. I heard them use frequently the words,
_Ungrez_ and _Insaf_--_Englishmen_ and _Justice_--and on stopping I
heard the one telling the other of the bribes taken by native officials
in a case he had, and of the justice done when the Englishman took it
up. He ended with the words, "What a wonderful people for _insaf_ these
English are!" to which remark the other man assented. I thanked them for
their good opinion, and held on my way.

If the administration of India in its present state must, in its chief
offices, remain in the hands of Europeans, it must be expensive. The
great officers of state, considering the dignity they have to maintain
and the establishments they have to keep, must be highly paid. When we
think of the qualifications required by those who are charged with the
ordinary administration, the great expense to which they are put, the
years they spend in laborious work in an exhausting climate, and their
unfitness as a rule for work in England on their retirement, I do not
think their income or pension can be to any large extent safely or
justly reduced. The era of nabobs, returning with vast wealth to
astonish the English people, has long since passed away. These men had
small pay, but great perquisites. The pay has been greatly increased,
but the perquisites are gone, and India has benefited vastly by the

Indian magistrates have much to tell of the litigiousness of the people,
their constant attempts to overreach each other, the carefully woven
lies which they have daily to unravel, the trust put in bribes to
influence decisions, and the deeply ingrained notion in the minds of
native officials that they should get more for their services to the
public than the bare pay, the _sookha tulub_--_dry wages_--as it is
contemptuously called.


The people of Northern India are mainly agricultural, and they are
unquestionably poor. Our very success has in one aspect tended to their
impoverishment. With very few exceptions they marry young, and during
the many years of peace which have passed over them, with the exception
of the short sharp crisis of the Mutiny, the population has greatly
increased. Whenever an epidemic breaks out, means are at once employed
to check it. There is a vaccination department for the purpose of
preventing the ravages of small-pox. Female infanticide, which had
prevailed to a frightful extent among certain castes, has been
diminished, though not, it is feared, wholly suppressed. It is well
known that famines have been sadly destructive of life, but there is
evidence that previous to our rule, when there were few roads and little
communication between one part of India and another, famines were still
more so. Among so vast a population directly dependent on the soil, in a
country where rain is so indispensable, and is now and then a failure,
we have too much reason to fear famines may yet recur; but such
provision is now made against their ravages, that it is hoped the
catastrophes of the past will be escaped.

It is believed that, as the result of the new order of things, India at
the present time has by many millions a larger population than it ever
had previously. Mention has been made of the improvement effected in
the Province of Kumaon; and other parts of India present instances of
equally successful administration, but the area of new cultivation has
not kept pace with the increase of population. It is sad that so many of
the people should be underfed. In our own country and in Ireland this
question of sufficient food for the entire population is one of the
pressing difficulties of the day. Much is within the power of people
themselves to improve their condition. We know it is so at home, and it
is so in India. There, there is a vast body of sturdy beggars, under the
guise of religious devotees, who feed on the people. Lending and
borrowing go on at a most hurtful rate. If a person finds himself
possessed of some twenty or thirty rupees, he either puts it into jewels
for the female members of his family, or lends it at an exorbitant rate
of interest. It has sometimes seemed as if creditors and debtors
included the entire population. Debt, not by law but by custom, is
hereditary, and a man is expected to pay the debts of his grand-parents.
Marriage expenses are so heavy, that very often a debt settles down on a
man on his marriage day under which he lies till the day of his death.
Government has done much to induce leading men to bind themselves to a
moderate expenditure on the occasion of marriages, in the hope that the
example might prevent the unreasonable and pernicious profusion of the
marriage season. If the habits of the people were changed the pressure
of poverty would be greatly lightened.

[Sidenote: IMPROVEMENT.]

There is much room for improvement in the incidence of taxation. The
land-tax, we may say the land-rent, is the main source of revenue, but
it is alarming to think of dependence on the opium monopoly for the
millions it contributes. Intoxicating drugs are largely used in India,
and among them opium holds the favourite place. Permission to the people
to grow and manufacture opium for themselves would be as hurtful as
permission to distil whiskey and gin would be to our country. It is
devoutly to be wished the present system may come to an end, and that in
its place a fiscal system be adopted similar to that of England in
reference to alcoholic drinks. In reference to spirits, every effort
should be made to discourage their sale, however much the revenue may
suffer in consequence. The salt-tax has been so productive that it has
been kept up in a manner which has borne heavily on the people. It has
been reduced, and it is hoped that it will be reduced still further.

Regarding some of the questions at present much discussed, I can only
say that every friend of India, I may say every friend of justice, must
desire that the people be largely entrusted with the management of their
own affairs, that local government be encouraged, and every facility
given to the admission of natives, so far as they are qualified, into
the rank of administrators. Much is being done in this direction, and
still more will be done in the future. The police has been improved, but
it stands much in need of further improvement.

Happy changes were expected from the assumption by the Queen of the
direct government of India. Progress has been made since that time, but
I do not think it is in any large measure owing to the change. For some
time previously increased attention was given to the sanitation of
towns, the improvement of roads, the laying out of market-places, the
planting of public gardens, the building of hospitals, dispensaries, and
town houses. Many wealthy natives, stirred up by magistrates, have
contributed liberally to these improvements. Of late years these works
have been carried on with increasing zeal. In 1877 we saw some of the
principal towns in Northern India, and were struck with the contrast
they presented to their condition during the early years of our
residence. The filthiest place in Benares, which almost sickened me
every time I came near it, is now a beautiful garden, with a fine
town-house attached to it. The very bulls of Benares have been got rid
of. No longer are these brutes encountered in the streets.

My readers will observe that I am far from agreeing with those who
describe our rule in India as an unmixed blessing to its inhabitants. It
is undeniable that our rule, because foreign, lies under great
disadvantages. I am still farther removed from agreement with the
extremely pessimist views which are sometimes advanced. The history of
India rebuts the assertion that we have acquired our sovereignty mainly
by fraud; and whatever may be said of other parts of India, no one
acquainted with Bengal and the North-Western Provinces can say that he
has there seen "the awful spectacle of a country inhabited only by
officials and peasants." When one thinks of the atrocious crimes, upheld
by religious sanctions, such as suttee and infanticide, which we have
put down in the face of determined opposition and even threats of
rebellion from the most honoured classes of the community, it is strange
to be told that "before we went the people were religious, chaste,
sober, compassionate towards the helpless, and patient under suffering,"
and that we have corrupted them. We are told that "while we have
conferred considerable advantages, the balance is wofully against us."
As the result of long residence in India, and of reading about India, I
have come to the conclusion the balance is immensely in our favour.


All friends of India desire the improvement of its government, and the
increasing welfare of its people. Whence is the improvement to come? We
are told "nothing is to be hoped for from the Indian official class."
From whom is anything to be hoped for? From the Home Government? The
leaders of our political parties have passed measures beneficial to
India, but they have again and again taken advantage of its helplessness
to impose on it burdens to which it ought not to have been subjected.
Are we to look to the people at home for relief? How difficult is it to
secure attention to the subject, or to make them understand it when
their attention is gained! Are we to look to the non-official class in
India? I have nothing to say about the Ilbert Jurisdiction Bill, except
that while officials have been divided about it, many of the most
eminent being in its favour, non-officials almost to a man have been
bitterly opposed to it. Where I have spent the greater part of my life,
nothing has been more common than complaints by Europeans of injustice
done to them by partiality shown to natives at their expense. Are we to
look to the great landholders, bankers, merchants, shopkeepers, and
well-to-do classes in the cities of Bengal and the North-West, who have
benefited most by our rule? What may be expected from them is
illustrated by the fact that when the finances were thrown by the Mutiny
into confusion, many protested against an income tax, and some of high
position proposed that the finances should be rectified by an increase
of the salt-tax! In these influential classes there are high-minded and
benevolent individuals, but if we look at them in their collective
capacity we shall be disappointed. When we look at the long roll of
distinguished Indian officials, mark their achievements, hear their
protests against what they deemed hurtful measures, and their advocacy
of beneficial changes, I think we find in them India's warmest friends,
who have done it the most signal service, and from whom more can be
expected than from any other class.

There are ample materials for arriving at correct views regarding the
condition of India and the way in which it is governed. No Parliamentary
Committee, no Royal Commission, is required to elicit the facts. The
recently completed "Gazeteer" of India, in which Dr. Hunter and his
assistants had been engaged for years, furnishes full and reliable
information. The state of India is described in that imperial work with
a frankness and fulness which leave nothing to be desired. If one of our
great writers, who has secured the ears of our country, would set to the
drawing up of a volume of moderate size, founded on the "Gazeteer,"
showing in a readable interesting form what has been done and what has
been left undone, what has been done well and what has been done ill,
and if the intelligent people of our country could be induced to give it
a careful perusal, untold good would be done both to England and to
India. Nothing would please Indian officials more than the eye of
England being thus fixed on their doings and misdoings, that the whole
truth might be known, and praise and censure be justly distributed, and
still more that the changes most beneficial to the people might be


It is undeniable, as already said, that our rule because foreign lies
under great disadvantages. When the ancestors of the present Hindus
crossed the Indus and gradually made their way into the Continent before
them, they subdued and to a great degree enslaved its inhabitants. For
many a day their rule was foreign. This was also the case with the
successive Muhammadan conquerors. Rule founded on the suffrages of the
people remains to the present day unknown. There is, however, this
difference between the previous rulers of India and the English, that
they remained in the country, and gradually became amalgamated with its
inhabitants, while we show no disposition to make India our home. As we
do not, it would be far better if Hindustanees were the rulers of
Hindustan, Bengalees of Bengal, the members of other Indian nations of
their respective nations, provided they were qualified by character,
attainments, and the estimate entertained of them by the ruled, with a
strong central power to secure order throughout the Continent, while
leaving unfettered the general administration. Towards this ideal
strenuous efforts should be directed; but when we look at India as it is
now, with its divergent and antagonistic elements, with the weakness
induced by ages of superstition and despotism, what a long road has it
to travel before it can reach this goal! The question, then, is not what
is absolutely best, but what is practicable. Thus regarded, we are shut
up to the continuance of our rule. Every friend of India must desire
that it may be improved in every possible way, so that it may be in an
increasing degree a blessing to its teeming population.

No one can predict the future of India. Within its borders there are
many who for various reasons would be delighted with our overthrow,
while I believe the vast majority in the parts of India I know best
would deprecate our departure as a dire calamity. It is a notable fact
that when our own native soldiers, sworn to uphold our rule, rose
fiercely against us, and rebellion in many districts followed in the
wake of mutiny, not a single native prince of the highest rank availed
himself of the opportunity to throw off the suzerainty of our Queen.
The army of the Prince of Gwalior rose against us, but by doing so they
rebelled against their own sovereign. When in 1877 we were in a native
state in Rajputana, a gentleman, who knew well the temper of the people,
said that if our control was withdrawn the Rajputs and Mahrattas would
be at each other's throats in a month. Our army has something better to
do than to uphold an alien government. It has to prevent the outbreak of
war which would desolate India from one end to the other. Happily its
prestige is sufficient to avert this terrible evil, but the prestige can
only continue while the army exists. By the suppression of the Mutiny
our prowess was shown in a manner which has made an indelible
impression. It is scarcely conceivable we can again have to encounter a
similar outbreak, though trouble may come from unanticipated quarters.
Our immensely improved means of communication contribute largely to our
security. Good government, the conferring of manifest benefits on the
people, will do more to establish our rule than all other things
combined. It is obvious to all who have any just conception of our
position in India, that never was a nation charged with greater
responsibilities, never was such a tremendous task committed to a
people, and never was there a more urgent call for the highest
qualities, if the duties devolving on us are to be worthily discharged.
Our Government cannot, and ought not, to undertake its evangelization,
but if the work of government be rightly done, it will indirectly, but
very effectually, help the Christian Church in giving the Gospel to the
millions of India, which, when accepted by them, will purify and elevate
their character, improve their condition, and fit them for true,
healthy, national life, while securing their spiritual and eternal


Area of India and British Burma, 1,495,574 sq. miles. Population in
1881, 254,899,516.

Under British rule                        197,815,508
Under Native rule                          57,084,008

Hindus                                    187,931,450
Muhammadans                                50,127,585
Buddhists--almost entirely in British
   Burma                                    3,418,884
Sikhs                                         853,426
Aborigines--mainly Demon worshippers        6,426,511

Europeans[4]                     142,000
Eurasians                         62,000
Protestant Native Christians[5] 492,882
Roman Catholics                  865,643
Syrians--about                   300,000
                                --------    1,862,525
Other Creeds not specified                  4,479,135

The increase of the Native Christian community connected with Protestant
Missions from 1851 to 1861 was 53 per cent.; from 1861 to 1871, 61 per
cent.; and from 1871 to 1881, 86 per cent. The number of communicants
rose from 14,000 in 1851 to 113,000 in 1881. Within the last decade the
number of native ordained agents has risen from 225 to 461; of native
lay preachers from 1,900 to 2,400; of native Christian teachers from
1,900 to 3,400; of native Christian female agents from 800 to 1,600. The
number of male pupils in Mission schools in 1851 was 50,000; in 1881,
129,000. The female pupils increased within that period from 11,000 to
56,000. The increase in Zenana pupils was from 1,900 in 1871 to 9,100 in

[Footnote 4: Including 65,000 British soldiers.]

[Footnote 5: Including 75,510 in British Burma, but not the 35,708 in



[Transcriber's Note: The following typographical errors from the
original edition have been corrected.

In Chapter III, in the sentence beginning "Forty-four years have
elapsed" the word "sittting" has been changed to "sitting".

In Chapter XI, in the sentence beginning "It was my privilege for
years" the word "intineracies" has been changed to "itineracies".

In Chapter XVII, in the sentence beginning "So great was the
danger" the word "thouands" has been changed to "thousands".

In Chapter XXII, in the sentence beginning "The Government has now
entered" the word "largerly" has been changed to "largely".

In Chapter XXV, in the sentence beginning "I am surprised when
Christians speak" the word "achieve" has been inserted between
"to" and "full"; in the sentence beginning "I have been confining
my remarks" the phrase "who his still" has been changed to "who is
still"; and in the sentence beginning "Looking beyond our Benares
missions" the word "beyound" has been changed to "beyond".

In Chapter XXVI, in the sentence beginning "It occurred to me" the
word "occured" has been changed to "occurred".

In Chapter XXXI, in the sentence beginning "The great officers of
state" the phrase "must he highly paid" has been changed to "must
be highly paid".]

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