Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: India's Problem, Krishna or Christ
Author: Jones, John P. (John Peter), 1847-1916
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "India's Problem, Krishna or Christ" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



                             India’s Problem

                            Krishna or Christ

                                    By

                           John P. Jones, D.D.

                    of Southern India, A. B. C. F. M.

                        New York, Chicago, Toronto

                        Fleming H. Revell Company

                                   1903



CONTENTS


Dedication.
Preface.
Chapter I. The Land And The People.
   1. The Physical Features of That Land.
   2. The People.
   3. Economic Conditions.
   4. Social Life.
      (_a_) The Family.
      (_b_) Society.
   5. The Educational System.
   6. The Political Situation.
   7. The Government of India.
   8. The Mission of Great Britain in India.
Chapter II. The Religions Of India.
   (_a_) Judaism.
   (_b_) Mohammedanism.
   (_c_) Parseeism.
   (_d_) Buddhism.
   (_e_) Jainism.
   (_f_) Sikhism.
   (_g_) Hinduism.
      (_a_) Incarnation.
      (_b_) Vicarious Atonement.
      (_c_) Spirituality.
      (_d_) Eschatology.
      (_e_) The Doctrine of Faith.
Chapter III. Hinduism And Christianity Contrasted.
   1. In their Initial Conceptions.
   2. Their Ultimate Aim or Goal.
   3. The Agency and Means Recognized and Appealed to by those Faiths
   Respectively.
   4. The Processes of These Two Religions.
   5. The Ideals of the Two Faiths.
   6. The Credentials of the Two Faiths.
   7. Other Distinguishing Traits.
   Conclusion.
Chapter IV. The Products Of The Two Faiths In India. The Hindu And The
Native Christian—A Study.
   1. And First, The Hindu.
   2. Let us Now Study The Native Christian.
Chapter V. The Women Of India.
Chapter VI. The History Of Christian Effort In India.
Chapter VII. The Missionary.
   1. Physical Fitness.
   2. His Methods of Life.
   3. The Intellectual Ability and Educational Training of the Missionary.
   4. Spiritual Qualifications.
   5. The Missionary’s Attitude Towards the Non-Christian World.
   6. The Relationship Which the Missionary Sustains to the Missionary
   Society and the Churches Which Support Him.
   7. The Missionary and the Mission To Which He Belongs.
   8. The Relation of the Missionary to the People Among Whom He Lives.
Chapter VIII. Missionary Organization.
   (_a_) The Evangelistic Department.
   (_b_) Pastoral Work.
   (_c_) The Educational Department.
      Schools for Non-Christians.
      Schools for Christian Children.
      Training Institutions for Mission Agents.
   (_d_) Literary Work.
   (_e_) Medical Work.
   (_f_) Work for Women.
   (_g_) Work for the Young.
   (_h_) Organizations for the Special Activities of the Native Christian
   Community.
Chapter IX. Present Day Missionary Problems.
Chapter X. Missionary Results.
Chapter XI. Missionary Results—(Continued)
Index.
Footnotes



DEDICATION.


_To_
_ _
_ My Wife_
_ _
_ Without whom the following pages_
_ could not have been written._



                [Illustration: A Typical Buddhist Priest.]

“Yes, it shall come! E’en now my eyes behold,
In distant view, the wish’d for age unfold,
Lo, o’er the shadowy days that roll between,
A wand’ring gleam foretells th’ ascending scene.
Oh, doom’d victorious from thy wounds to rise,
Dejected India, lift thy downcast eyes,
And mark the hour, whose faithful steps for thee
Through Time’s press’d ranks bring on the Jubilee!”



PREFACE.


The following pages are, practically, the result of a course of lectures
given, on the Hyde foundation, at the Andover Theological Seminary in the
fall of 1902. Some of the chapters were also used in lectures, delivered
during the year, at the Yale and Hartford Theological Seminaries and at
the Western Reserve University. Small portions have appeared in Reviews
and Magazines but have been much changed in the transfer. The cordial
welcome accorded the lectures, including an expressed desire that they be
published, has led to their appearance in this more permanent form.

India should be better known to Europe and America. I trust that the
following pages may help the student to understand the vast country and to
realise the greatness of the problems connected with Christian work in the
land; may they also stir within many a strong desire to present Christ to
that great people, and inspire a hope in the ultimate and speedy triumph
of our cause in the land of the Vedas.

I gratefully express my indebtedness to the Rev. J. L. Barton, D. D., for
his valuable suggestions and kindly sympathy, and also to the Rev. W. P.
Elwood for his kind help in proofreading.

John P. Jones.

_Pasumalai,_
_ So. India._



                                Chapter I.


THE LAND AND THE PEOPLE.


No country in the Orient is of greater interest to the West today than is
India. It is picturesque in its life, wonderful in its history, remarkable
in its present conditions and fascinating in its promise for the future.

It is a land most worthy of study both for what it has been, for what it
is and for what it is to become; as the arena for the greatest conflict
upon which our Faith and Civilization have ever entered; and for their
most magnificent triumph in the world.

Moreover, India is now peculiarly wedded to the Anglo-Saxon race. For good
or for evil the destiny of that country, socially, politically,
intellectually and religiously, is linked with that of the Anglo-Saxon;
and we, as a part of the Anglo-Saxon race, cannot, even if we would, shake
off our connection with, and responsibility for, it.



1. The Physical Features of That Land.


It is a very extensive land. More a continent than a country, it
stretches, from east to west, a distance of 1,900 miles; and it extends
the same distance from the Himalayas on the north to Cape Comorin on the
south. It covers an area equal to one-half of that of the United States.

It is physically divided into three portions. The first, on the north,
includes the Himalaya Mountains, which separate it from the rest of Asia
and which furnish an important element in the meteorological conditions of
the country. Then from the base of this mountain range extend the plains
of the great rivers which issue from the mountains themselves. Again, from
the southern boundaries of these plains gradually rises a very extensive
three-sided table-land reaching towards the coast on both eastern and
western sides, and extending to Cape Comorin on the south. There may be
added to this the narrow strips of coast-land on the east and west. In the
land are found some of the greatest and most wonderful rivers in the
world. The Ganges, which is the queen of Indian rivers, carries life and
fertility to a population greater than that of the whole United States.
After a course of 1,557 miles it empties, into the Bay of Bengal,
1,800,000 cubic feet of water per second, which is half as much again as
the water of the Mississippi, and nearly six times as much as that of the
Nile at Cairo.

It is a land wonderful in the variety of its climates. It is difficult to
imagine greater contrasts than those existing between the various climates
of India—from the eternal snows in the north to the fierce and constant
heat of the tropics in the south; from the practically rainless expanse of
the western plains of Sind to the 600 inches of rainfall which deluges the
eastern mountain slopes. No land is more extensively cultivated and none
gives more fruit in return for human labour than India. The Ganges, by the
abundant silt which it carries, brings fertility and fruitfulness to its
valleys. Even the plains of Sind, which are nearly rainless, are
transformed into life by large irrigation schemes.

Rice, wheat and millets are the three staples of the country. In the
north, wheat furnishes sixty per cent. of the cultivated area. This total
area under wheat cultivation in India is estimated to be equal to that of
all the wheat-fields of the United States. One-fourth of the population of
India lives on rice; and various kinds of millets represent fifty-two per
cent. of the whole cultivation of the land. Though the methods of
cultivation there are primitive and the implements used inadequate for
best results, yet through the rich climatic conditions and the persistent
efforts of the people the land normally yields an abundance of good things
for the support of its inhabitants.



2. The People.


The people of India number, according to the census of 1901,
291,236,000—about one-fifth of the inhabitants of the globe. This
population represents more races than are found in the whole of Europe.
Besides many small tribes, it has eleven nations, the least of which
numbers 2,250,000 souls. Of these nations seven are of Aryan, and four of
Dravidian, extraction; and they differ in physique, temperament and
language. Between the sturdy Aryan on the north and the degraded primitive
people on the plains of the south there is a great gulf. Between the
clever and subtle Baboo of Bengal and the war-like Marahtta of the west,
the bold, spirited Pathan in the north and the passive but enduring
Dravidian in the south, there are many intermediate classes which furnish
wonderful diversity of character and temperament. Among these people there
is not, and cannot at present be, a sense of oneness. Until recently their
whole civilization tended to emphasize their divergence, to broaden the
breach between them and to cultivate a perpetual, mutual jealousy and
hatred.

The languages spoken by these people are, according to the census of 1891,
seventy in number.(1) Of these the Sanskrit is the oldest, and may truly
be called the mother tongue of the country. It is one of the most ancient
languages in the world, with a history of more than 3,000 years. It is
strong, pliant, expressive—a worthy vehicle of noble thought and religious
aspiration. Though not spoken today by any tribe or people, it is not a
dead language, for it is the religious tongue of India. The best thought,
the deepest philosophy, the highest religious aspiration, the laws,
customs and legends of the people are treasured in that tongue. All who
would know the religious life and thought of India at its best and in its
sources, should study Sanskrit. From it have sprung many of the languages
of Modern India. In the northern and northwestern parts, the Aryan tongues
find supremacy. Although these languages differ greatly among themselves,
their source and vocabulary is mainly Sanskrit. Of all Indian languages,
the one most widely spoken is the Hindi—88,000,000 people use it as their
mother tongue. Forty-one millions speak Bengali, 18,000,000 speak Punjabi,
19,000,000, Marathi, 11,000,000 speak Gujurathi.

The Dravidian languages of South India are entirely separate from the
Aryan group, their source and character being Turanian. These languages
are Tamil, Telugu, Kanarese and Malayalam. Fifty-three million people
speak these tongues alone.

The inhabitants of India are an ancient people. When thirty centuries ago
our ancestors were grovelling in the lowest depths of primitive savagery,
our fellow-Aryans of India were enjoying a civilization of their own,
which was, in its way, unique and distinguished. Their philosophy shows
testimony to their ancient glory. It may truly be said that their chief
glory is to be found more in ancient than in modern times. It is a people
whose progress has, in some respects, been backward rather than forward,
and whose boast is rightly of what they have been rather than of what they
are.

It is a conservative people. India is a land where custom is deified—the
past is their glory. Today, we are living, they say, in the iron age (Kali
Yuga), in which righteousness is all but lost. Hindu law has conserved the
past—it exalts past observances above those of the present. Under such a
system all innovations are out of place, individual ambitions are crushed.
To resemble their ancestors is the _summum bonum_ of their life.

The inhabitants of that land are a rural people. Unlike western countries,
India has very few large towns. Nine-tenths of the whole population live
in villages of less than 5,000, four-fifths live in villages of under
1,000 inhabitants. The average village of India today contains 363
inhabitants. During the last few years the tendency has been towards
towns. But the large increase in the population is still to be seen in
rural regions. In India two-thirds of the villages have less than 200
inhabitants each, while 1,000 have from 5,000 to 10,000 inhabitants.
Notwithstanding this fact, the population, in some parts of the country,
is very dense. The whole of Bengal furnishes 360 persons to the square
mile, and in the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh the total per square
mile rises to 416.

Owing to modern methods of sanitation, to peace and to general prosperity,
the population has grown and is growing rapidly.(2) There is already one
person to every two acres of land in the country; and under the British
Government the prosperity of India is largely measured by the growth of
the population; and this in turn seriously increases the difficulty of
providing for the wants of the people. Indeed it has become one of the
hardest problems which confronts the Indian government; and the difficulty
is considerably enhanced by the religion of the country which demands that
every man and woman marry and add to the population, regardless of any
question as to health or even sanity. In India the first privilege and
duty of man and woman is supposed to be the propagation of their kind.



3. Economic Conditions.


One of the most marked characteristics of India is its poverty. The
people, as a whole, have always been extremely poor. There has been some
wealth in the land; but it has not been evenly distributed. While a few
nabobs have enjoyed immense treasures, the people, as a whole, have
grovelled in the lowest depth of penury and want. There is better
distribution of wealth today than ever before; and yet the poverty of the
masses continues to be a serious feature of the land. “Its finance lies at
the base of every difficulty connected with our Indian Empire,” is the
remark of Sir Charles Dilke. And at the base of the finance difficulty
lies the poverty of the people. It is a well known and lamentable fact
that one-fifth of the population, say sixty millions, are insufficiently
fed even in ordinary years of prosperity. They are the ever ready prey of
the first drought, distress or famine that may happen. It is a not
uncommon experience of the ryot (or farmer) to retire at night upon an
empty stomach. The average income of the common labourer in India is
between four and five rupees, or, say, $1.50 per month.

Most of this evil which the people endure is self-imposed. They reveal a
combination of blind improvidence, reckless expenditure and an
unwillingness to shake off impoverishing customs. For instance, the debt
incurring propensity of the native is akin to insanity. All the poor
people with whom I am acquainted are bound hand and foot by this terrible
mill-stone. And the interest paid upon loans is crushing. Two and three
per cent. per month is an interest commonly received. It is rare that a
poor farmer who gets into the clutches of the money lender regains his
freedom. It usually leads to the loss of all property and means of
support. Under the ancient Hindu law no money lender could recover
interest upon a loan beyond the amount of the principal which he had
advanced; under the present rule he can recover to any extent, sell the
tenant’s crops and even take possession of the land under a judgment
decree. It is one of those instances where justice in law is made to
minister unrighteousness and cruelty in life. The people moreover are
given to the most extravagant expenses at marriages and funerals. It is
frequently the case that a man spends upon the marriage of his son or
daughter, the latter especially, more than a whole year’s income. I know
of many who are overwhelmed by debts incurred for the marriage of their
children; and the saddest thing about it is that they have little option
in this expense; for it is prescribed by caste custom.

Add to this the rank growth of religious mendicancy, under the fostering
care of religious teaching and superstition. There are five and one-half
millions of such lazy, worthless fellows encumbering that land today. The
mass of them are sleek in body and pestilential in morals. Whenever a man
finds work too hard, he dons the yellow cloth of the religious mendicant
and becomes an immediate success. But alas for the community! Hindu
charity is proverbial, but it is blinder than love itself. Such a body of
worthless consumers would tax even a wealthy land. To India it is a
dreadful burden and drain.

Add to this the insane passion for jewels which consumes both high and
low. Millions of rupees’ worth of gold flows into the country annually,
and most of it is melted and converted into personal adornments for women
and children. For this purpose nearly one-half million goldsmiths,
according to the last census, are employed and make a comfortable living
at an annual expense of ten million dollars. This is a much larger force
of workmen than that of all the blacksmiths in the land.

The litigious spirit of the people is also phenomenal. It is doubtful if
any other people on earth spend, relative to their means, more in legal
processes than the Hindus. In view of all these facts, Sir W. W. Hunter’s
statement that “The permanent remedies for the poverty of India rest with
the people themselves” is eminently true. It is further emphasized by the
remarks of Sir Madhava Rao, K. C. S. I., one of the very few statesmen
whom India has produced among her own children: “The longer one lives,
observes and thinks,” he says, “the more deeply does he feel there is no
community on the face of the earth which suffers less from political evils
and more from self-inflicted, self-accepted, or self-created, and
therefore avoidable, evils than the Hindu community.”

Famine is an oft-recurring and most perplexing evil with which India has
always been familiar. In times past, it was the gaunt Avenger which
decimated the people and which kept down the population within the range
of tolerable existence. The god of dirt and insanitation carried away the
unneeded residue left by famine. Famine is one of the very few evils
before which human power stands helpless. The government has done very
much by irrigation schemes and by the building of railways to mitigate
this evil. By famine funds and relief works it strives, as it did the last
famine, to reduce the mortality and suffering arising from these seasons
of drought. But the constant penury of the people, and the fact of their
always living upon the verge of hunger and want, make it almost impossible
to save many from the terrible result of such visitations. Perhaps there
is no other thing, at present, which occupies more of the time and thought
of the Imperial Government than this; but, to drive entirely away this
hideous demon from a land which is peculiarly liable to drought, and while
the people are chronically unprepared to meet the least extra drain, is
more than can be expected from any government.

The railroads of the land are manifestations of the material progress
which meet one on all sides. In the extent of its railroads India is the
fifth country in the world. Already the splendid railway system, upon
which travel is as comfortable as, and perhaps cheaper than, in any other
country in the world, has extended 23,000 miles and reaches the remotest
parts of the land. These throbbing arteries carry life and enterprise to
all portions of India; and many regions not yet made thus accessible will
soon listen to the neigh of the iron horse and feel the pulsations of new
life thereby. Three hundred million pounds sterling have been expended in
this work alone.

But better, if possible, than these roads is the rapidly developing
irrigation system which brings security of life and works prosperity
wherever it reaches. Nearly 14,000,000 acres are now cultivated under this
system. This includes fourteen and eight-tenths per cent. of all
cultivated land in India. One great enterprise in this line is the “Peryar
Project” of South India which was large in its conception, perfect in its
execution and is rich in its blessings. It consists in the diversion of a
large river which vainly poured its treasures down the western
mountainside into the Arabian Sea, and causing its waters to flow into the
eastern plains to fertilize the thirsty land as far as the Bay of Bengal.
It embraces the second largest dam in the world, a tunnel one and
one-fourth miles through the mountain, and many miles of distributing
channels. It will irrigate at least 150,000 acres for rice cultivation and
will feed 400,000 people. I live in the heart of the region thus
fertilized and refreshed, and know the joy of the residents who also stand
astonished before the magic power of these white people who do for them
what, they say, even their gods failed to accomplish. It is well to
remember that these irrigation schemes, now found in India, are much the
most extensive in any country.

Looking at her commerce during the Victorian reign alone, we see a growth
of 1,000 per cent. in the imports and exports of India. The export of tea
has risen from nothing to 70,000 tons, and that of cotton from nothing to
220,000 tons. There are now in the land 150 cotton-mills with 150,000
labourers. Three million tons of coal are annually mined, and gold mines
yield £1,000,000 sterling every year. It may, indeed, be said that India
has now, for the first time in its history, taken a place as a land of
manufactures, trade and commerce.



4. Social Life.


The contrast between the social life of the East and that of the West is
marked. Problems that today stir this land to its depth have no existence
in India. The conservatism of India is proverbial. The Hindu people have
been kept back from all progress, so that questions arising about human
rights and liberty have not begun to be mooted there. The thousand
problems of our land are the direct result of the emphasis which our
civilization has given to human rights and individual freedom and the
equality of men. India has thus far denied to the individual those rights
and liberties which are deemed elementary and fundamental in the West. Its
emphasis has always been upon the rights and privileges of Society as a
corporate body. It has ignored entirely the claims of the individual and
has prevented him from enjoying his inalienable rights in any division of
society. This may be seen in the two great departments of life in that
land.



(_a_) The Family.


The family systems of the East and of the West are essentially different.
In India the Joint Family System prevails. According to this system
members of a family for three generations live together and have all
things in common. No member of the family can claim anything as his own.
It is the old patriarchal system and emphasizes the rights of the family
as a whole, and denies to any individual member separate possession or
privileges. This system has had a long day in India; but, as western ideas
are spreading, dissatisfaction is manifestly increasing, especially among
the educated classes. The recent introduction to the Madras Legislature of
the so-called “Gains of Learning Bill” is the first serious attack made
upon that system. By means of this bill, which was introduced by an
orthodox Hindu, but which is not yet passed, an educated man could claim
exclusive right to ownership of all properties acquired by him through his
education. Thus, for the first time in India an individual might claim,
apart from the family, that wealth which was acquired by himself. This
bill has brought opposition from the public, because it conflicts with the
rights of the joint family, and is a serious blow to all the old Hindu
family privileges. The Hindu joint family system, while it has been a
source of some blessing to the land, has also been a serious curse in that
it has fostered laziness, dissension and improvidence, and has put a ban
upon individual initiative and ambition.

Child marriages have been an unfailing source of evil to the land. Of this
Sir John Strachey says: “It would be difficult to imagine anything more
abominable than the frequent consequences of child marriages by which
multitudes of girls of ten to twelve or less are given over to outrage;
or, if they belong to the higher class of Hindus, are doomed to lives of
degraded widowhood.”

The Indian government has endeavoured to remove this evil; but at all
points it has been opposed not only by conservative, orthodox Hindus, but
also by educated members of the community. No system can degrade the
womanhood of a race, nor, indeed, for that matter, its manhood, more than
that which marries its girls in childhood and which consigns millions of
them to wretched widowhood. One of the consequences is that girls of even
twelve years are known to become mothers in that land, while very few
attain the age of eighteen without bearing children. An increasing
population under these physical conditions cannot be a healthy or a
vigorous one.



(_b_) Society.


In India, Society is almost exclusively the product of the ancient caste
system. A more elaborate social system than this was never known in the
world. It is an order of social tyranny of the worst sort, whereby every
man is compelled to give up his own individuality and to be bound to the
iron will of an ignorant community: a will also which is based upon the
past and conforms to the rules and habits of peoples who lived in remote
antiquity. No greater millstone could be hung around the neck of any
people than that of the multitudinous caste rules of Manu and later
accretions which are the all in all of Hindu life. There may have been
good in this system in the past, and it may have conserved some blessings
of antiquity; but today it is the worst tyranny and the greatest curse
that has blasted the life of the people. It is the source of their
physical degeneracy, for it compels them to marry within narrow lines of
consanguinity. It has cursed the people with a narrow sympathy; for no man
in that system deems it his duty to bless or help those beyond his own
caste. It has sown poverty broadcast over the land; for it prohibits a man
from engaging in any work or trade which is not prescribed by caste rules
and customs; and thus has brought many to penury, want and famine. When
the caste-prescribed occupation or work is not available, the suffering is
very great.

It has brought stagnation to the people by restraining every man who had
ambition to move forward and improve his prospects in life. The whole
village regards as conceited a young man of the outcastes who seeks to
rise in life; they soon bring him low. Progress is impossible under the
caste system.

In like manner, it has fostered the pride and presumption of one class and
destroyed the ambition and aspiration of the other. No people on earth
today are more proud than the Brahmans; none more hopelessly abject than
the Pariahs and other outcastes.

It has also made national unity and the spirit of fellowship impossible in
the land; large corporate interests are impossible for the people. The
castes of the community are filled with jealousy and are mutually
antagonistic; each division having rules and ceremonies which make it
impossible for communion of interests with others. Many would like to see
it removed; but the system itself has created such abjectness of feeling
among them that they dare not come forward to stem its tide or oppose it.



5. The Educational System.


Ignorance still rests like a pall upon that land. According to the census
of 1891, out of a total population of 261,840,000, 133,370,000 were males.
Of these, 118,819,000 were analphabet. Including boys under instruction,
only 14,550,000 could read and write. Of the 128,470,000 females only
740,000 could read and write or were being instructed. In other words,
only eleven per cent. of the males and a little more than one-half of one
per cent. of the females were in any sense literate. In Madras, we find
the greatest progress; but even there eighty-five per cent. of the male
and ninety-nine per cent. of the female population are illiterate. In
Oudh, on the other hand, corresponding figures are ninety-four and very
nearly one hundred per cent. When it is remembered that the Brahmans, who
constitute only five per cent. of the total population, include seventeen
per cent. of the literate class and more than twenty per cent. of those
who know English, it can be understood that the illiteracy of the common
people is still greater than that indicated by the above figures.

Considerable effort has been made by the government to educate this
immense population. It is seriously handicapped in this endeavour by want
of funds. The State does not largely enter into the establishing of
schools of its own; its policy being to give grants in aid to private
bodies on the basis of results achieved. And it contents itself with the
establishing and conducting of relatively only a few schools of its own
which shall serve as models and as a stimulus to the private aided
institutions. More than three-fourths of the education of the land is thus
conducted by private bodies which are encouraged by the government through
its grants in aid. There still remain not a few indigenous or, so-called,
“piall” schools. Educationally, these schools are of little value, as
their training is both antiquated in kind and extremely limited in
quantity. They are interesting because they reveal to us the old
educational methods of the land. Schools on modern lines, however, by
coming under government surveillance, for the purpose of receiving grants
in aid, are conducted much more efficiently, and attain results worthy to
be compared with those of western lands. The chief feature of the
educational system, controlled, examined and aided by government, is the
emphasis given to an English training. From the second year of
instruction, the English language grows annually in importance in the
curriculum of studies. In the grammar school it becomes compulsory and in
the high school and college it is the sole medium of the communication of
knowledge. The English language is emphasized also because it is the test
for admission even into many of the lowest of the numberless offices in
connection with government service; so that the study of this language of
the West has become to young India practically a necessity and a craze.
People of the lowest conditions in life pawn and mortgage their property
and involve themselves in terrible debts for the sake of giving their sons
an English education.

Christian missions constitute one of the principal bodies which engage in
the training of Hindu youth. One-ninth of all the school children of India
are found in mission schools. This number includes 330,000 boys and nearly
100,000 girls. In the training of girls, Protestant missions have not only
been pioneers; they are also today much the most prominent and efficient
educators of the women of the land. Their girls’ schools and colleges are
not only the most numerous, but also the most efficiently conducted and
thoroughly managed of all institutions for women in India. The Madras
Christian College for boys and the Sarah Tucker Woman’s College of
Tinnevelly are among the best institutions for those classes in India. The
educational system of India culminates in the five Universities of
Calcutta, Bombay, Madras, Allahabad and Lahore. These are not instructing,
but simply examining universities like the University of London. With
these the 140 colleges of two grades and of various degrees of efficiency,
are affiliated. In these colleges are found 18,000 students of whom more
than 5,000 graduate yearly. The city of Calcutta is a city of many
colleges and has more college students, relative to its population, than
almost any city of the West.

Though the masses of the people, and especially the women, are still, as
we have seen, grossly ignorant, yet every year encouraging progress is
being made in spreading the blessings of, and in creating a taste for,
education. Every year natives themselves enter more largely into the
educational work and find in it not only a living, but noble scope for
their activities. Among the higher and cultured classes there is a growing
body of young men, besides the ambitious few from the lower classes,
crowding into the higher institutions of the land. It is one of the
problems of the day to direct the mind of this increasing army of
university graduates to other professions than the overcrowded government
service. There is a persistent feeling among these youth that it is the
business of State to supply them with lucrative posts upon their
graduation. And it is the disappointed element of this class which
furnishes so many of the discontented, blatant demagogues who are almost a
menace to the land.

            [Illustration: Madura Mission Hospital For Women.]

Yet this educational work is one of the potent, leavening influences of
the country, and is helping greatly in carrying quietly forward one of the
mightiest revolutions that have been witnessed in any land. In its train
follows closely the social elevation of the people. The relaxation of the
terrible caste system, the elevation of woman and her redemption from some
of the cruelties and injustice of the past, immediately attend that
expanding knowledge which results from the schools of the land.

Protestant missions are preëminent in their work of educating the
Christian communities gathered together by them.(3) Though these
communities are largely drawn from the lowest outcasts, yet they compare
favourably, in their educational equipment, with the highest classes. This
is a significant indication of their present, and a bright promise for
their future, position among the people of India.



6. The Political Situation.


India today is politically a subject country. Though in one sense England
did not directly subjugate India, it is nevertheless true that its
inhabitants, though treated with large consideration, are today a subject
people—ruled by a foreign nation 7,000 miles away. Hence, it might be
expected that political rights and privileges would not prevail there as
among a self-governing, entirely independent, people. The existence of an
army of about 75,000 Britons in that land today is significant of the
situation and partly reveals one grip with which Great Britain holds India
and makes it a part of her great empire. I do not wish to minimize the
moral power with which also, and increasingly, Great Britain draws India
by sweet compulsion to herself; of this I shall speak later.

It should also be remembered that the genius of the Orient is not for
self-government; in the East, people have little taste for free
institutions; they have always craved, and found their greatest happiness
and chief welfare in, a strong paternal government. The ordinary Hindu
seeks for himself nothing higher than a government which, while not asking
for his opinion concerning its policy and acts, will at least dispense a
fair modicum of justice to him and his.

Notwithstanding all this, the Indian government has bestowed upon the
people a wonderfully large meed of power and privilege. Political progress
in the land is one of the marvels of the past century. Before the British
entered India that land had never enjoyed the first taste of
representative institutions. Today the query which arises in the mind of
disinterested persons who know and love India is, whether political rights
and liberties have not, of late years, been conferred too rapidly upon
them. It should not be expected that a people who, by instinct and
unbroken heritage, are the children of the worst kind of autocratic and
absolute government, should acquire, in one age or century, wisdom or
aptitude to rule themselves. The mass of Hindus love to be led and they
follow easily.

But there is a small and growing party of the soil who have aptly learned
many of the lessons taught them by the rulers. The best acquired of all
these lessons is that of the power of agitation and of the efficacy among
the Anglo-Saxon race of the cry for human rights. The only difficulty is
that one might suppose, from the language of some of these men that
England has not yet conceded to worthy Indians any of those political
privileges which every Anglo-Saxon citizen demands for himself. As a
matter of fact, we see in the municipalities of that land a form of
popular government such as even not all western countries enjoy. The power
of the franchise, in the election of municipal commissioners, is vested in
all those who are possessed of the least amount of property. Even women
enjoy the franchise; and it is a curious fact that the natives of South
India have recently protested in the newspapers against the granting of
this power to women, because, they say, the power is exercised only by
“dancing girls” and other public characters. To those who watch carefully
the working of this right of municipal franchise and see how easily and
speedily the natives have adopted all the vices and tricks of the system,
it does not by any means seem an unmixed good. And the hardest critics of
the system that I have met have been intelligent and loyal Indians who
believe that this meed of self-government is fraught with evil. The
District Boards also are composed almost entirely of native gentlemen, and
they have large powers in the administration of the internal affairs of
the land. Moreover these municipal and local bodies, together, elect
members for provincial legislative bodies where they enjoy recently
enlarged powers for interpellating the government—a power which, by
excessive use or abuse, they may soon forfeit.

To all this must be added the freedom of the press, which also has
recently been abused by the dissemination of disloyal and seditious
sentiments, but which adds immensely to the powers of the people.

Then the “National Congress” is a peculiar institution which, while it
gives scope to the political aspirations of many natives, adds, by its
very existence, to the lustre of the British Raj in the land. Just imagine
for a moment the existence of such a Congress under Russian rule! It is
true that this Congress, which meets annually in some great city of the
land, has no connection with government or legislative bodies and has only
that power and influence which inhere in its deliberations and
resolutions. It is also true that up to the present it has given itself
largely to the criticism and abuse of government. By this it has alienated
some of its best friends. Still, even as a public censor it has doubtless
done good, and offers to the discontented a wholesome vent for pent up
feelings. It is also a remarkable gathering in its numbers of cultured men
and illustrates one of the wonders which Great Britain has accomplished in
that land. To think, that out of the babel of Indian tongues there should
gather together in one place annually some 5,000 native gentlemen to
discuss questions of State, and to criticise one of the most modern of
governments in the pure English accents of Addison or of Macaulay! What a
wonderful object lesson of progress this!

Nor is Great Britain as remiss or as selfish as many would lead us to
believe in the distribution of the loaves of office. There are only
122,661 male Britishers in that land (including the army)—one to every
2,500 of the population. Of these, only 750 are found in the higher
offices of government. In the Provincial Services 2,449 natives are
employed in high judicial and administrative posts. It is a significant
fact that out of 114,150 appointments, carrying Rs.(4) 1,000 annually,
ninety-seven per cent, are in the hands of natives. To all offices, below
that of the Governor of the Province, natives are eligible. As Judges of
the High Court and as Members of the legislative bodies not a few Indians
are found; as they are also in the Indian Civil Service which was so long
exclusively filled by Anglo-Indians. It hardly appears how England can
hold that great land to herself, as a member of her empire, with fewer of
her own citizens than are now found at the helm. Nor does it yet appear
that a strong, efficient and acceptable government can be maintained there
by a large reduction of this force. I use the word “acceptable” advisedly;
and it is certainly the business of Great Britain to discover and consult
the wishes of the people—not of the hungry office seekers—in this matter.
After many years of observation and of living among the people, I am
convinced that nine-tenths of them are prepared any day to vote in favour
of the relative increase, and not the decrease, of the European official
force. The people have found them to be just and honest; they know that
they can be depended upon to administer justice with an even hand and that
they are incorruptible. In their own native officials they have no
confidence. They have found, alas, too often that justice is sold by them
to the highest bidder. The “middle men” who arrange such matters are too
commonly known as the accompaniments of the native courts of justice. It
is true that some native judges are above such venality. But I know how
general is the want of native confidence in native officials. Many a time
have I been importuned to use my influence to have cases transferred from
the jurisdiction of the native to the Englishman. And the reason
invariably given is that “The white man will not accept bribes and will
give justice.” Indeed, it may be said that the chief difficulty which
confronts the Government in its great work is that of saving the people
from low, mercenary and unprincipled native officials—especially those of
the lower and lowest grades.

The police department is corrupt to the core. The common people dread the
policeman as they do the highwayman; for the constable rarely touches a
case without making money out of the transaction; and he is expert in
manufacturing cases.

What India needs today, above all else, is an honest, faithful, efficient
class of officials. The presence of a few English dignitaries found there
is worth ten times its cost to the land, purifying and toning up the
service.

Considering the political situation as a whole, I confidently maintain
that the people of India enjoy political rights and privileges quite as
extensively as they are prepared wisely to exercise them. No people
anywhere enjoy larger privileges, relative to their ability to use them
wisely; and no subject people on earth have ever been treated with larger
consideration by their conquerors, or have been more faithfully trained to
enter upon an ever increasing sphere of opportunity and of
self-government. The political situation in India today—in the privileges
and rights which the people enjoy—is a marvellous testimony to the wisdom
and unselfishness of Great Britain in her Indian rule.



7. The Government of India.


The government of India is perhaps the most elaborate in the world; the
highest powers of statesmanship have been manifested by the successive
rulers during more than a century in the development of a State which is
extraordinary no less in the complication of its provisions and details
than in the wise adaptation of human laws to meet the multitudinous
exigencies of this great conglomeration of peoples. It should also be
remembered that British statesmen in their work of legislation in India,
and in their coordination of laws, have not only had to consider the
manifold character of the different portions of the population of the
land; what is more difficult still, they have been compelled to ingratiate
themselves with the Indians by conserving, so far as possible, those
myriads of ancient laws and customs which obtain there. The laws of Manu
and of other writers of twenty-five centuries ago have been handed down by
this people through the ages and have accumulated authority and reverence
with increasing time, until today all Hindus regard them as divinely given
and as possessing irresistible claim upon them for all time. So that,
while it may be said on the one hand that the laws of India are largely
built upon western foundations, and savour of Christian principles and
modern ideas; it should also be remembered, on the other hand, that the
_dicta_ of ancient Hindu lawgivers find a large place in the legal codes
of that land.

Yea, even more than this is true. There are a host of caste rules and
customs which have no further sanction than the fact that they have become
customs, and yet which have been dignified with the authority of law. This
is of course due chiefly to the fact that most customs in India have a
religious basis and interpretation, and therefore draw to themselves that
sanctity and claim which belong to things religious. Thus, for instance,
every caste in South India has its own marriage customs. Most of these are
highly incongruous with modern ideas and rights, and most of them
absolutely disregard the rights of the wife. And yet it has been deemed
wise by the State to conserve and to give the sanction of law to these
multitudinous marriage customs which are enough in themselves to
constitute an extensive code.

Some conception of the magnitude of the work carried on by the Indian
Government may be gathered from the following description by Bishop
Thoburn:—“With a population greater than that of the five great powers of
Europe put together; with a revenue exceeding $350,000,000; with a foreign
commerce worth $768,000,000 annually; with a standing army 230,000 strong,
more than two-thirds of which are composed of native soldiers; with a
drilled police force of more than 150,000 men; with a code of laws in many
respects superior to those found on the statute books of European
countries; and with courts of justice as impartial and as faithfully
conducted as any to be found in the world, India may well claim a place
among the great empires of the present era.”

The British Government has respected the possessions of native chiefs in
whose hands still remain about one-third of the country. But these so
called native territories are so largely under English control and
guidance that we may well regard them as essentially a part of the British
Domain.

The Secretary of State for India has practically the control of British
Indian affairs. He, with his council in London, has the final word in
Indian matters of paramount importance. Nevertheless, the Indian
Government finds this power rarely antagonistic in matters whereon it has
firmly made up its mind.

The British possessions in India are distributed into twelve governments,
each separately organized and yet all of them constituting parts of the
Supreme Government of India. This Supreme Government is administered by a
Governor-General or Viceroy with whom is associated a Council of six
members. This Council constitutes the Viceroy’s Cabinet and each one has
charge of a separate department of the government.

Of the Provincial Governments of India, the principal ones are the
Province of Bengal with 71,000,000, under a Lieutenant-Governor; United
Provinces of Agra and Oudh, with a population of 47,000,000, under a
Lieutenant-Governor; Presidency of Madras, with 35,500,000, under a
Governor; Presidency of Bombay, with 18,800,000, under a Governor; and the
province of Punjab, with 20,800,000, under a Lieutenant-Governor.

The unit of government in India is the District. The whole of India is
divided into 235 Districts. At the head of a District is placed an officer
known as Collector, Senior Magistrate, or Deputy Commissioner, who is
practically ruler of that division. He is the administrative
representative of the government. In each District there is also a
District Judge and a few other officers at the head of various
departments. These Districts vary in size and population, covering areas
from 14,000 to 1,000 square miles, and containing from 3,000,000 to
250,000 population. The average population of a District is 800,000.
Nothing impresses the careful observer more than the large amount of
responsibility and the multifarious duties which devolve upon these
District officers. During recent years, however, authority has been
withheld increasingly from Collectors and centralized in the Provincial
Governments; for at the head of every Province also there is a government
patterned somewhat after the Supreme Government in Calcutta.

                 [Illustration: Maharajah Of Travancore.]

                     [Illustration: Rajah Of Ramnad.]

No greater mistake can be made than to think that India is either crudely
or poorly governed. Owing to the great poverty of the land it is extremely
difficult to maintain so costly and elaborate a régime as the present one;
and many claim that for the support of so expensive a luxury the people
are taxed beyond their ability and resources. The taxation imposed by a
government on its people is rightly considered, both in its extent and
character, as a measure of the wisdom of the State. The critics of the
Indian government are prone to dwell upon the alleged injustice of its
taxes. It is, however, difficult to understand why this matter should be
pressed unless it be on the ground, apparently maintained, that the
poverty of the people should exempt them from _any_ of the burdens of
taxation—a theory beautifully generous to the people but fatal to the
maintenance of any government. The salt tax does certainly seem cruel in
its severe pressure upon the very poor; and yet it is the only one whereby
this very large part of the community can be reached at all, and made to
contribute its mite to the State which protects it.

Comparing present taxes with those of the past, we should certainly expect
heavier imposts now, because the government furnishes today, as an
equivalent of protection and blessing, infinitely more than former
dynasties did. And yet Sir W. Hunter has ably shown from a comparison of
taxes levied by the present government and by the Moghul government that
the modern Hindu is vastly better off than was his ancestor of two and
three centuries ago. Today, five and one half per cent. is collected in
land tax; under the Moghul rule they had to pay from thirty-three per
cent. to fifty per cent. Besides this, the Mohammedan imposed various
other taxes, many of them upon non-Mohammedans as a religious penalty. Nor
were the Hindu governments one whit better off; and even today the native
states are much harder upon the people than is the British Raj.

The famine commission is the highest authority on the subject. In its
exhaustive report of 1880 it writes:—“In the majority of native
governments the revenue officer takes all he can get, and would take
treble the revenue we should, if he were strong enough to exact it.”

If we pursue the comparison to that of European peoples, Indian taxation
would seem but a trifle. Placing even English taxes side by side with
India’s, we shall find instruction. The average income in the United
Kingdom is £40, while the tax assessed is 44_s_, or five and one-half per
cent. In India, alas, the average income is only 36_s_. But then the tax
is only 1_s_, 9_d_ per capita which is a trifle smaller per capita than
that for England. Here again we are impressed with the reasonableness of
the tax imposed.

The opium and liquor traffic in India is one which has drawn forth much
criticism. From the moral standpoint the critics have a very strong case.
The evil which the opium traffic of India has inflicted upon China—against
her will too—has been enormous. The large army of opium eaters which it
has created, only to destroy with a terrible death, has long been an
argument to which no nation of England’s position and pretensions can
render satisfactory reply.

In like manner, the State monopoly of the drink traffic is neither
honourable nor wise. It not only gives unwonted and unwarrantable dignity
to a disreputable business, it also involves the State in the business of
making a large army of drunkards in the land. To take up a traffic like
this, for the revenue there is in it, is to trifle with the higher
interests of the subjects and to become instrumental in the corruption and
misery of the people whom it is bound to protect. It is questionable
whether any other civilized government has involved itself in such
unworthy means of creating a revenue. Doubtless, opium and drink
represent, morally, the weakest part of this government. Of course, the
all important defense lies in the revenue thus acquired. These two items
of revenue flow more easily than any others into the depleted treasury of
State. To give these up in behalf of what is termed sentiment, would
necessitate the imposition of other heavy taxes. This is an aspect of the
question which too easily silences and secures the acquiescence of the
people of India. But, its evil is great and is spreading.

The drink curse is rapidly becoming one of the trying problems of India.
It was slanderously remarked some years ago that if the English then left
that country the only monuments left behind of their life would have been
broken whiskey bottles! There is indeed ground today for the fear that if
England were to abandon the land, it would leave, as the saddest monument
of its past, an immensely increasing army of drinkers; and this evil is
further enhanced by the mean ideal of life which the ordinary Englishman
sets before Hindus by his passion for the cup. Half a century ago an
Englishman died while on duty in the jungles in South India, and his body
was there buried in the wilderness. The natives soon erected a shrine over
his grave and, for a long time, offered, in true sobriety, whiskey and
cheroots to appease his thirsty and unsatisfied spirit! It is not strange
that the natives should recognize a continuity of spirit-taste in the here
and the hereafter of the Sahib!

The recent utterance of the Archbishop of Canterbury on this subject
should be heeded by the State. “The true principle of morals,” he says,
“is to have nothing whatever to do with that which is shown to be
necessarily productive of evil. The English nation caused the opium evil
in China and we are responsible for that evil. I also protest against the
principle of raising revenue by temptations to evil. It might be right for
a government to pause before interfering with private trade; but, in this
case we ourselves are carrying on the evil trade. Such a thing on the part
of a great government is, I think, without a parallel in the whole world.”

The Army in India is a necessary but great evil in the expense which it
involves to the government, no less than in the evil life which it leads
among, and the evil example which it sets, the native community. Its
influence is deplorable. It is the most vulnerable to attack of all
departments of government, both on the score of expense and character.
“Tommy Atkins” is the greatest trial to the Hindu, and brutally rides
rough-shod over all his sensibilities. If he could only be left at home
with safety to British interests in the land, it would help largely to
improve the situation between the two races. It would also save England
from the terrible disgrace of immorality which the army is instrumental in
carrying as a plague wherever it goes. Awful indeed is the prevalence of
the social vice in the native community itself; but the English Army
spreads the demoralization in a most disgraceful way.

Considering the government as a whole, then, it is wonderful, both in the
extent of its operation and in its numberless activities and agencies. Its
purpose is generally noble, and its wisdom, both in the framing of laws
and in general administration, has been most marked. The occasion of most
of its failings and weaknesses is the poverty of the people whereby the
government has, at times, been driven to subterfuges to avoid bankruptcy.



8. The Mission of Great Britain in India.


The British people are only today beginning to realize fully the wonderful
mission which, under God’s providence, they are called to fulfill in that
great land of the Vedas. For nearly a century the commercial motive was
not only paramount but was practically the only motive which impelled the
Anglo-Saxon in his contact with India. Everything Indian had value in his
eyes in proportion as it added to his revenues. For many years he excluded
the Missionary of the Cross from his domains in the East, lest that good
man should, by teaching the people, disturb the revenue of the Honourable
East India Company. As the domains of this great company extended and its
powers multiplied, the English nation gradually came to realize their own
responsibility as a people to the land; and the Indians thus were brought
within their influence. This contact and communion of interests became to
them the voice of responsibility and of obligation to impart their
blessings to them as well as to take their material resources from them.
The dawn of the new altruistic sense towards its subject people, though
long deferred, rapidly grew into full daylight; and Great Britain today
feels, as no country has felt before, its privilege and duty to bestow
upon its dependency in the East the highest and best which it can furnish.

The difficulty of England’s mission in India is greatly enhanced by the
difference which amounts almost to a contrast between her own people and
the inhabitants of India. The striking difference of type and character
existing between the Anglo-Saxon and the Hindu facilitates all sorts of
misunderstanding between them, and aids perceptibly in making the path of
the British Raj a very thorny one in the land. It would perhaps be
impossible to find two peoples who are farther removed from each other in
temperament and training—whose nature and antecedents are more
irreconcilable at all points. While the Anglo-Indian is bold, frank and
just, even to harshness, the Hindu is subtle, affable, practiced to
dissimulation, with ready susceptibilities to temporize and to barter
justice for expediency. On the one side, we see the Westerner haughty,
unyielding and unwilling to conciliate; on the other we behold the
Oriental willing to be trampled upon when it seems necessary, and to smile
with apparent gratitude under the process; but, withal, possessed of a
large inheritance of ineradicable prejudices, which make a contact with
his too domineering Western lord an unceasing trial to him.

There is another point at which the two races are antipodal. The Briton is
progressive to the core. He only needs to be assured that a certain course
is right and for the best interests of the community, in order to adopt
it. His face ever looks upward and his ambition is ever to go forward.
But, in India he lives among a race whose chief divinity is custom and the
gist of whose decalogue is, “Hold fast to the past.” As they approach a
proposed enterprise their first and last question concerning it is not
whether it is right and best, but whether it is in a line with the past
and would be approved by their ancestors. The whole country has been
anchored for the last twenty-five centuries to a code of social laws and
customs which are more unyielding than the laws of the Medes and Persians.
With them conservatism is the acme of piety and propriety. All progress
has been practically forced upon the country from without, and in the
teeth of their most sacred institutions and their most earnest
protestation and opposition. Thus the great difference between the two
peoples has been a serious hindrance to the realization of British designs
in that land.

Notwithstanding all this, Great Britain has patiently, persistently and
doggedly carried on her work and pursued her highest ideals for India.

And what have been the ideals and blessings which she is seeking to
achieve for that great land?

The first is that of Western culture and civilization. In these two
particulars, England has introduced into India a perpetual conflict.
Western ideas, processes of thought, points of aspect and ideals of beauty
and of life have been gradually supplanting the very different ones of the
East. Western life in India today is a constant challenge to the people to
study, admire and appropriate its many features of thought and conduct;
and India is not insensible to this call. The railroads and hospitals, the
schools and sanitary projects which have been introduced by the West into
that land are markedly transforming the sentiment and the life of the
people. The contrast between the people of India today and of a century
ago is all but complete in this respect. While the educational
institutions of the land are revolutionizing the thought, the more
material elements of civilization are transforming the outer life of the
people.

England also is imparting to India the Anglo-Saxon conception of right, of
law and of justice. In order to know how widely apart the East and West
were in this respect, one should live in India a few years. The idea of
equal rights to all the people, of freedom of speech, of liberty of
conscience and of other similar rights which are regarded as elementary
and fundamental in the West, was all but foreign to India when England
established her power there. That the government itself should treat high
and low, the poor ryot and the wealthy rajah, the ignorant Pariah and the
cultured Brahman as one in their claim for right and protection, for
justice and for favour, seemed to the Hindu absurd. It is one of the best
commentaries on British justice and administration in India, that the
people have now come not only to regard it with satisfaction, but also as
an indispensable condition of their life.

The blessings of peace also are among the greatest which England has
conferred upon India. “Pax Britanica” is equally known and loved today in
India and in the British Isles. From time immemorial India had been torn
asunder, not only by internecine wars, but also by numerous attacks from
the peoples of other countries. India has always been a prey both to the
decimating wars of her own unjust and ambitious tyrants, and mutually
antagonistic castes and tribes; she has also been the easy victim of any
hardy, enlightened, ambitious people who sought to invade her. The
presence of Great Britain in India has been a voice commanding peace to
its troubled and exhausted people. With a strong hand she has put down
injustice of tribe against tribe and made impossible inter-tribal wars and
raids. She has brought rest such as India never before enjoyed and has
given safety to the most harmless and innocent classes, as she has peace
to the most warlike and aggressive in the land. This great land of the
East has thus had opportunities to grow and to develop in many of the most
essential characteristics of individual and national progress. These
blessings would have been impossible apart from the peace which Great
Britain assured and wrought out for the land.

In connection with this we need to emphasize the various forms of progress
which are an essential part of British blessing to India. We have seen
that India was a stagnant land, that its people were preëminently
unprogressive and ultra-conservative. England has helped her to break down
many of these barriers of the past. Though India is obstinately slow in
her acceptance of the spirit and blessings of progress, England has thrust
upon her many of the conditions, and compelled her to enter into some of
the paths of progress which will bring inestimable benefits into her life.

In like manner, the mission of England has been and is a religious one.
Her Majesty, Queen Victoria, upon assuming authority in the land, issued a
proclamation to the effect that under her reign all the inhabitants of
India should enjoy perfect right to worship as they please and whom they
please. It is true that too many of the representatives of the British
Government in India today are so impressed with the importance of a
government that is absolutely neutral in religious matters, that they have
both ceased themselves to manifest any religious preference in their life
and are scrupulously careful to see to it that Christians get just a
little less of right and of protection than the adherents of other faiths.
This they consider to be true altruism added to breadth of religious
sentiment!

Notwithstanding this, nothing is more manifest in India today than that
the very fact of the rulers of the land being nominally Christians adds to
the prestige of Christianity in the land. The people naturally come to
regard it as the State religion. What is more significant, however, is the
fact that, at the basis of modern laws in that land and of the multiplying
institutions of the country, distinctively Christian principles are
universally recognized. Should the government of India resolve to be
_absolutely_ neutral in all religious matters, it would have to renounce
those laws and institutions which have furnished it with all its success
in the land and which today crown its efforts with largest usefulness. To
the government, and unconsciously to the masses of the people, Christian
thought and truth and method necessarily characterize most of the laws,
institutions and processes of India. They are all a part of the work of
Great Britain in that land and such a part as she could not dispense with
if she would. It is a part of her unconscious Christian heritage.

Thus the work of Great Britain in India has been attended with a large
degree of success; it has lifted the land out of a condition of
semi-savagery and placed it among the civilized nations of the world. It
has cut it asunder from its anchorage to the past and brought it almost
abreast of the times. There is still much to be done and much to be
desired. We shall be glad to see the day when radical steps in progress
shall be taken voluntarily by the people and through the initiative of
their own leaders, rather than that they should wait to have them thrust
upon them, as in the past, by the progressiveness of the foreigner among
them.

The people, on the whole, appreciate the blessings of British supremacy in
the land. If they are not demonstratively loyal to the government, they
certainly do rest satisfied in the progress which has been achieved for
them.

The well known political leader of Bengal, Babu Surendra Nath Banerji,
recently expressed, in the following eloquent words, the sentiment of the
most thoughtful and influential natives of the country.

“Our allegiance to the British rule,” he says, “is based upon the highest
considerations of practical expediency. As a representative of the
educated community of India—and I am entitled to speak on their behalf and
in their name,—I may say that we regard British rule in India as a
dispensation of Divine Providence. England is here for the highest and the
noblest purposes of history. She is here to rejuvenate an ancient people,
to infuse into them the vigour, the virility and the robustness of the
West, and so pay off the long-standing debt, accumulating since the
morning of the world, which the West owes to the East. We are anxious for
the permanence of British rule in India, not only as a guarantee for
stability and order, but because with it are bound up the best prospects
of our political advancement. To the English people has been entrusted in
the Councils of Providence the high function of teaching the nations of
the earth the great lesson of constitutional liberty, of securing the ends
of stable government, largely tempered by popular freedom. This glorious
work has been nobly begun in India. It has been resolutely carried on by a
succession of illustrious Anglo-Indian statesmen whose names are enshrined
in our grateful recollections. Marvellous as have been the industrial
achievements of the Victorian era in India, they sink into insignificance
when compared with the great moral trophies which distinguish that epoch.
Roads have been constructed; rivers have been spanned; telegraph and
railway lines have been laid down; time and space have been annihilated;
Nature and the appliances of Nature have been made to minister to the
wants of man. But these are nothing when compared to the bold, decisive,
statesmanlike measures which have been taken in hand for the intellectual,
the moral and the political regeneration of my countrymen. Under English
influences the torpor of ages has been dissipated; the pulsations of a new
life have been communicated to the people; an inspiriting sense of public
duty has been evolved, the spirit of curiosity has been stirred and a
moral revolution, the most momentous in our annals, culminating in the
transformation of national ideals and aspirations, has been brought
about.”

Great Britain has not been, and is not now, without failings in her work
in India; and her line of progress is studded with many errors. But she
has been faithful to her trust and has carried it out in no selfish way.
The warm and deep loyalty of India bears testimony to this; for native
sentiment everywhere reveals marked appreciation.



                               Chapter II.


THE RELIGIONS OF INDIA.


India is the mother of religions. No other land has been so prolific in
religious thought or has founded faiths which have commanded the
allegiance of so large a portion of the human race. While the Aryans of
the West have been content to borrow their faith from the Hebrews;
Indo-Aryans have produced the most wonderful and mighty ethnic religion
(Brahmanism) and also one of the three great missionary religions of the
world (Buddhism). A third of the human race today cling with devotion to
these two products of the fertility of the mind, and the spirituality of
the heart, of India.

India’s toleration for other religions has been marked. For twelve
centuries she has been the asylum of Zoroastrianism. Nearly nine-tenths of
the followers of that ancient cult of Persia found and still enjoy a
hospitable home in India. There are more of the narrow, bigoted followers
of Mohammed among these tolerant people than are found in any other
land—even in the wide domains of the Sultan. Christians also have lived,
practically unmolested, in this great land almost from Apostolic days.

Thus not a few of the great Faiths of the world are at present
represented, and are struggling either for existence or dominance, in the
land of the Vedas.

The principal faiths of the land, with their adherents, were as follows,
according to census of 1891:

Hindu          207,731,727
Sikh             1,907,838
Jain             1,416,638
Buddhist(5)      7,131,361
Parsee              89,904
Mohammedan      57,231,164
Jewish              17,000
Christian(6)     2,284,000

Let us consider these faiths briefly. It will be seen that Christianity
has, as its followers, only one per cent. of the whole population of the
land.



(_a_) Judaism.


The Jewish Community in India numbers only 17,000; these are found mostly
in Bombay and Poonah. Perhaps the most interesting colony of them is that
on the west coast in Cochin. I had the pleasure of visiting them in 1897.
There are 1,500 of them divided into two sections—the White, and the Black
Jews. There is a marked racial difference between the two. The Blacks were
originally the slaves of the Whites as is shown by their historical
documents. It is not known when the Whites came to India. Some think that
they fled there during the Jewish exile. More likely they came upon the
dispersion during the first century of our era. The purity of their blood
and the remarkable fairness of their complexion indicate that the
settlement has been from time to time reenforced from northwestern
countries. They are an exceedingly conservative people; and in their two
synagogues, they conduct their worship perhaps more like the Jews of
twenty centuries ago than do any other representatives of that race today.
The day-school connected with the White Synagogue closely resembles the
little school which our Lord attended at Nazareth.



(_b_) Mohammedanism.


About one-fifth of the whole population of that land is connected with the
religion of the great prophet of Arabia. This is a number largely in
excess of the whole Mohammedan population of Turkey. It is very suggestive
that this faith finds larger growth under the peaceable protection of the
Indian, than under the semi-barbarism of the Moslem, government.

This religion was carried into India in 711 A. D. at the point of the
sword; and its establishment and success for centuries was owing to the
same method. This community is not evenly distributed all over India; for,
more than one-third of it is found in Bengal alone, where it furnishes the
majority of the population. More than one-half of the adherents of this
faith in India are converts from Hinduism. These were gathered in former
centuries when the Mohammedan power was dominant, and when to be a member
of any other faith than Islam was regarded as a disability. The
Mohammedans of the country are, on the whole, physically more sturdy and
vigorous than their neighbours. Government, in its treatment of the
people, has to conciliate and regard with favour this class more than the
Hindus who are four times their number. They possess a great deal of
religious bigotry which is intrenched behind their dense ignorance. There
is a no more ignorant element than this in the population of India; only
six per cent. of the men are able to read and hardly any of the women; and
they seem, even today, to have a positive aversion to the schoolhouse.
Mohammedanism had, during the days of its dominance, considerable
influence in the land; but it did very little to improve the material,
moral or religious condition of the people; and it is a significant fact
that, comparing today the adherents of Islam in India, with those of
Hinduism, the latter are found not inferior in life, morals and
aspirations to the followers of the prophet.

The converts gathered from Mohammedanism by Christianity are few, though
not so few as ordinarily represented. In North India encouraging success
has been achieved by missions for this class. But in South India, where
their numbers are fewer, efforts in their behalf have not been so well
organised and have produced smaller results. It is a hard task to reach
and to move this class, owing not only to the important truth of
monotheism, which they hold with great enthusiasm, but also because of the
supreme ignorance which blinds them equally to the weakness of their own,
and to the excellence of the Christian, faith.



(_c_) Parseeism.


This faith has had adherents in India for eleven centuries. Driven out by
Mohammedanism from their home in Persia, the Parsees found refuge in
India. There are only 100,000 of these followers of Zoroaster in the
world. 90,000 of them are in India; and nearly all of these reside in
Bombay and its vicinity. Their faith, Zoroastrianism, is the purest of
ethnic religions. It has preserved its ancient integrity and high tone
much better than its sister faith, Brahmanism. Among the members of this
religion are found men possessed of great enterprise, much wealth, the
spirit of progress and of philanthropy and culture. They give high honour
and position to their women, and in all matters of civilization are
considerably in advance of even the best class of Hindus.

This religion, though from the same source with Brahmanism, has
fundamental differences of doctrine from that faith. None is more marked
or significant than its Dualism as contrasted with the Pantheism of its
sister faith. The problem of the origin of evil has found these two
diverse interpretations and these have had a large influence in shaping
the characters, respectively, of these two great ethnic religions.

Besides the far-off common source of these two religions, indicated by the
earliest names and character of their deities, there is hardly any bond of
fellowship in doctrine, worship or observance between the fire worshipping
Parsee and the Hindu idolater. And though these Parsees have, for more
than a millennium, made India their home, they have kept themselves apart
from the people of the land and are still as truly foreigners in the land
of their adoption as are the English residents.



(_d_) Buddhism.


This religion is a child of India; its founder, Gautama, was the product
of that land, and, next to our Lord Himself, is the greatest among the
founders of religions. Buddhism arose as a reaction, twenty-five centuries
ago, against the excesses of Brahmanism. It flourished wonderfully for a
few centuries, and at the time when Christ was on earth, had gained
supremacy over the old faith and had become the State religion in India.
Owing to the Brahmanic revival, in the eighth century of our era, Buddhism
was in its turn, driven out of the land, and has found refuge in Ceylon
and in more eastern countries from that time until the present. Since then
it has been almost entirely without followers in India proper. Of the
British India possessions Burma is the only place where it is the popular
faith today.

Still it is not without much influence in the land of its birth. For,
Brahmanism overcame its rival faith in India only by adopting some of its
most fundamental contentions and teachings. Indeed, modern Hinduism is
largely a blending of the Brahmanism of old with its supplanter, Buddhism.
The abundant sacrifices which Brahmanism offered were entirely abolished
in deference to Buddhistic sensibilities. The doctrine of transmigration,
through Buddhism, received new emphasis; and kindness to all living
creatures was extolled to a supreme virtue. As a climax to this attitude
of conciliation Hinduism finally adopted the Buddha as the ninth
incarnation of Vishnu. Thus, by the irony of history, Gautama, the Buddha,
found a place in the pantheon of the religion which he gave his life to
overthrow; and today many of the leading aspects of the life and teaching
of the Hindus may be traced, either in source or in emphasis, to his
religion.



(_e_) Jainism.


This religion is an offshoot, or the India remnant, of Buddhism. It
perhaps represents that element among the followers of the Buddha who
declined to be absorbed into the revived and transformed Brahmanic faith.
Through the many centuries of their existence as a sect they have spurned
every approach of the Brahmans and have largely stood for Buddhistic
teaching and observances. They have differed little from Buddhists in
their beliefs; for they deny the authority of the Hindu Vedas, disregard
sacrifices, cultivate a high morality, believe strongly in transmigration
and reverence life in all its forms. And yet, strangely enough, many of
the priests of their temples are Brahmans and they place Hindu idols close
to their shrines. They differ from the Buddhists chiefly in their objects
of worship and in their ritual. They have a mythology of their own—a
mythology of saints rather than of gods. These saints, or “Jaina,” (the
“victorious ones”—those who have attained perfection through self-victory
and discipline) are worshipped, and furnish an inspiration to all the
devotees of that faith.

The Jains, like the Parsees, are found mostly in Bombay and are a wealthy
community, usually engaged in banking and commerce. They are noted for
their charity, and their philanthropy is largely directed towards helping
the poor among them and for maintaining hospitals for animals.

            [Illustration: Temple Of Buddha’s Tooth, Ceylon.]

            [Illustration: Oldest Relics Of Buddhism, Ceylon.]



(_f_) Sikhism.


This religion, if we may so denominate it, was founded by Nanak Shah in
the fifteenth century. Nanak Shah was apparently an admirer, if not a
follower, of Kabir, the Hindu reformer who established a sect which was
essentially a compromise between Hinduism and Mohammedanism. This is the
chief characteristic of Sikhism. It eschewed the polytheism and idolatry
of Hinduism. It taught the unity of the Godhead, abolished caste, and
enforced a high type of morality. It has, however, subsequently fallen
under the blighting influence of surrounding Hinduism and has lost much of
its distinctive excellence. So that, according to the census report of
1891, “distinction between Sikhs and the rest of the Brahmanic community
is mainly ritualistic.... The only trustworthy method of distinguishing
this creed was to ask if the person in question repudiated the services of
the barber and the tobacconist; for the precepts most strictly enforced
nowadays (by the Sikhs) are that the hair of the head and face must never
be cut, and that smoking is a habit to be avoided.”

However manifestly the Sikh religion is going the common way of all the
new faiths and religious revolts of India—the way of reabsorption into
Hinduism—it has done much to create and foster a strong national feeling.
Sikhs were cruelly persecuted by the then ruling Mohammedans. But the
overthrow of the Moghul Empire gave the Sikhs territorial power and they
possessed the only remaining political organization in the Punjab. So
that, at the advent of the British, the Sikhs were a mighty power to be
dealt with. They became the great power of North India; and during the
Indian mutiny their loyalty to the British Raj was its salvation. At
present the Sikh nation, warlike and valiant as ever, furnishes, perhaps,
the most stalwart and invincible contingent for the Indian Army.



(_g_) Hinduism.


This is the religion of three-fourths of all the inhabitants of India and
of nine-tenths of all those who are there reached by missionaries.

What is Hinduism? It is a mixture of Brahmanism, Buddhism and
Devil-worship. As we have seen, the supplanting faith of Buddha was
finally absorbed, so far as India was concerned, into the old faith. When,
later on, the Brahmans moved towards the southern part of the peninsula
they entered the region occupied by, and largely given over to,
demonolatry. According to its wont Brahmanism, as modified by Buddhism,
sought not to overthrow the primitive cult of the people, but to absorb
it. Thus, in South India today, more than three-fourths of the people are
devil worshippers. And yet, with their demons, they have been accepted
into the higher faith of the Aryan; and, according to their mood and
preference, give themselves to the worship of Hindu gods or village
demons. Worshipping in pure Hindu temples is to that people but a pastime,
a mere holiday diversion; while the appeasing of the demons at their
village shrines and under old trees in their hamlets is the most serious
concern of their life. And yet all of them are regarded, and rightly
regarded, as Hindus. Indeed, in the Hinduism of today, especially as found
in South India, can be found living amicably together and without any
apparent sense of incongruity or conflict the lowest type of fetishism, an
ardent devil-worship, an engrossing ceremonialism, a worship of the higher
Brahmanical deities, a thoroughgoing pantheism and a pure theism. I have
witnessed in our district, side by side, a hideous fetish, a gross idol of
a local demon, an image of Vishnu who is the best of Brahmanical gods,
while in an adjacent hamlet lived families who belonged to none of these
cults but who gave themselves to a belief in, and practice of, a vague
theism which is farther removed from the fetishism of their neighbours
than is their religion from the highest type of Christian teaching.

Thus Hinduism may be viewed as an immense cloth of many colours; which
colours have been patched together without any reference to harmony or
consistency. In other words, that religion is a big mass of mutually
inconsistent and undigested beliefs, practices and ceremonies. It has not
only mutually antagonistic philosophies, it has also three different ways
of salvation, 330,000,000 gods and as many laws and customs which, though
binding as the laws of the Medes and Persians, are nevertheless,
absolutely wanting in consistency and in unity of purpose and teaching. In
the words of Sir Alfred Lyall,—“The general character of Indian religion
is that it is unlimited and comprehensive, up to the point of confusion;
it is a boundless sea of divine beliefs and practices; it encourages the
worship of innumerable gods by an infinite variety of rites; it permits
every doctrine to be taught, every kind of mystery to be imagined, any
sort of theory to be held as to the inner nature and visible operation of
the divine power.”

It has been the wont of Brahmanism not to directly antagonize and
overthrow the old and the opposing cults, but rather to absorb them. Note
here its fundamental contrast with Christianity. It meets its rival with a
smile of appreciation, then seeks to fraternize with it, after which it
approves and appropriates and finally absorbs it.

In the Madura District of South India, where I have lived, the Brahmans,
upon their first arrival, found all the people given to the worship of
their village demons. They said to them, practically,—“We do not wish to
deprive you of your devil shrines and images and worship. We will take the
leading demons which you worship and marry them to our great gods and then
give to them a place in our pantheon and a part in our worship. Come ye
also with them and we will welcome you into our temples and faith.” Thus
“Meenatchi,” the old and the principal demoness of the primitive cult of
that region, was married to the great god Siva and became the presiding
goddess of the great Hindu temple of Madura; and all her old worshippers
followed her into the new faith of Hinduism. So all those people are
Hindus today. And yet they have not abated one jot of their interest in
and practice of their demonolatry.

That which may be regarded as the more strictly Brahmanical development
and manifestation of Hinduism is divided, at present, into two great
cults. These are Saivism, or the worship of Siva, and Vaishnavism, or the
worship of Vishnu. These two cults, while not mutually antagonistic, are
nevertheless entirely separate—their devotees, respectively, being
satisfied with their own god and his incarnation and manifestations.

The first god of the Hindu triad (Brahma, Vishnu and Siva)—has practically
no shrines among Hindus today. His worship has been largely transferred to
his so-called sons, the Brahmans; and Siva has, in the main, absorbed all
his functions as creator. As it is only Vishnu, the preserver, and Siva,
the destroyer and recreator that have anything to do with men, the Hindus
devote themselves to these two only. Siva is the “great god,” the austere
and terrible one whom the people fear. He is known chiefly through his
phallic emblem, the _linga_, which emphasizes his creative activity.
Vishnu is the benign god who has resorted to many incarnations whereby he
might free the world of demons who were worrying and destroying our race.
Siva has many manifestations; Vishnu alone has “descents” or incarnations,
some of which were in brute, and some in human, form.

These two cults obtain universally throughout India. Vaishnavism (the
worship of Vishnu) has many popular sects which wield extensive influence
throughout the country. The one established by Vallabha-Swami, in the
sixteenth century, is a worship of Krishna and is given to the indulgence
of the passions and is characterised by gross licentiousness.

The sect founded by Chaitanya in the fourteenth century is one of the most
celebrated, and is very popular in Bengal. It subordinates everything to
faith (_bhakti_) even making this more important than caste.
Contemplation, rather than ritual, was Chaitanya’s pathway to salvation
and he gave supreme value to the virtue of obedience to the “guru” or
religious guide.

In South India the cult of the religious reformer, Ramanuja, who
flourished in the twelfth century, has extensive popularity. He was a man
of great thought, and his special type of Vedantic philosophy is much in
vogue today. He proclaimed the unity of God under the name of Vishnu. He
received converts from every caste. It is an interesting fact that nearly
all, in the long list of religious reformers in India, took a position of
hostility to the caste system. But it is also significant that none of
these reform movements has persisted through the centuries in that
attitude, but has fallen into line with orthodox Hinduism in absolute
submission to the caste demon.

“_Sakti_” worship has also attained great influence and extensive
predominance in many parts of India. This is the worship of the _Sakti_ or
the female half of the great deities of the land. The _Saktar_
preëminently worship _Kali_, the goddess of blood, and the other consorts
of Siva. It is a worship of power (“_Sakti_” means energy or power), and
usually power of the maleficent type. It is perhaps the lowest form of
Hinduism and easily lends itself to a gratification of the lowest passions
of men. This _tantric_ cult (the _tantras_ are the sacred books of the
Saktar) is the only one in modern Hinduism which indulges in bloody
sacrifices—_Kali_ and her sisters being satisfied by blood as by nothing
else. This attests the non-Aryan origin and character of this worship,
inasmuch as Brahmanism, since the days of Buddha, abjures all bloody
sacrifice.

Let it not be supposed, however, from the above remarks, about the
multiform and self-contradictory character of the amorphous thing called
Hinduism, that it is therefore impossible for us to understand and measure
its nature and power. For Brahmanism, through all ages, has not been
without a definite tendency, an underlying philosophy and pervasive
fundamental beliefs. It is indeed more a congeries of faiths than a simple
religion, like Christianity. And yet, amid all its hosts of contradictions
and ways of salvation and sects and cults there have sounded, as a
diapason through all the centuries, the fundamental teachings of
Vedantism. A few doctrines such as pantheism, transmigration, “karma,”
“bhakti” and final absorption into the Supreme Soul are all but
universally held by the people of all sects and divisions, however much at
variance with these their peculiar beliefs may seem to be.

The prominent staple of Hindu religious thinking in all ages has doubtless
been Vedantism—that subtle form of pantheism which has charmed and
bewildered not a few of the great minds of the Occident also. The
paramount influence of this philosophy upon all religious thought and life
in India is unmistakable today, as it has been through the centuries. Of
this Max Müller says,—“If the people of India can be said to have now any
system of religion at all ... it is to be found in the Vedanta philosophy,
the leading tenets of which are known to some extent in every village....
Nothing will extinguish that ancient spirit of Vedantism which is breathed
by every Hindu from his earliest youth, and pervades, in various forms,
even the prayers of the idolater, the speculations of the philosopher, and
the proverbs of the beggar.”

We may therefore, without hesitation, so far as Hinduism is concerned
regard as philosophic Hinduism those basal doctrines and their corollaries
which, from the earliest days, have been the stock in trade of all
Indo-Aryan thinkers and at the same time the source and solvent of all the
mysteries of their faith.

By a study of these one may easily reach the heart of Hindus and of
Hinduism and can weigh and measure the forces which enter into their
religious life and thinking, and can compare them with the teachings and
institutions of Christianity.

This study will bring a twofold blessing to Christians of the West,
especially to missionaries who have given themselves to the regeneration
of India. It will give them a larger degree of respect for that great
people of the East and a new appreciation for Hindu thought and religious
speculation. We of the West have been imbued with too much of an
intellectual arrogance and a spirit of contempt for “the benighted Hindu.”
Even if we ever learned, we certainly have too easily forgotten, that
many, many centuries ago—when our ancestors were grovelling in the lowest
depths of primitive savagery—the rishis of India were engaged in perhaps
the highest self-propelled flights of religious speculation the world has
ever known and were working out a philosophy, or more correctly a system
of ontology, which is today the wonder and admiration of Western savants.

I argue for a study of those teachings which, though hoary with age, are
today all-important as the foundation upon which the many-aisled temple of
Hinduism is built and (if I may change the figure) as the cement which
binds the whole structure together.

A few years ago it was generally thought that Brahmanism was little else
than the insane ravings of well-meaning, but unguided, or, worse still,
misguided, denizens of darkness; the whole literature was considered a
mass of intellectual and moral rubbish. How much the verdict of Western
scholars upon this subject has changed during the last quarter of a
century I need not mention. All men who have investigated the subject give
today unstinted praise to the heart and intellect of those sages who
produced much of the ancient religious literature of India. They will not
endorse the statement of the great German philosopher who exclaimed, “In
the whole world there is no study so beneficial and so elevating as that
of the Upanishads. It has been the solace of my life—it will be the solace
of my death.” And yet many claim that its truths are numerous and
spiritually helpful. Hopkins writes(7):—“The sincerity, the fearless
search of the Indic Sages for truth, their loftiness of thinking, all
these will affect the religious student of every clime and age, though the
fancied result of their thinking may pass without effect over a modern
mind.” And Barth truly remarks(8):—“The religion of India has not only
given birth to Buddhism and produced, to its own credit, a code of
precepts which is not inferior to any other; but in the poetry which they
have inspired there is at times a delicacy and bloom of moral sentiment
which the Western world has never seen outside of Christianity. Nowhere
else, perhaps, do we meet with an equal wealth of fine sentences.” Of
their intellectual acumen Dr. Matheson says: “It is not too much to say
that the mind of the West, with all its undoubted impulses towards the
progress of humanity, has never exhibited such an intense amount of
intellectual force as is to be found in the religious speculations of
India.... These have been the cradle of all Western speculations; and
wheresoever the European mind has risen into heights of philosophy, it has
done so because the Brahman has been the pioneer. There is no intellectual
problem in the West which had not its earliest discussion in the East; and
there is no modern solution of that problem which will not be found
anticipated in the East.” These words of the Scotch divine are doubtless
strong; too strong, I think. And yet they may be serviceable, if they warn
us against that proneness to depreciate the intellectual value and serious
purpose of the religious books of that land. It is worse than useless to
confidently descant upon the errors, inconsistencies, the follies and
absurdities of these writings without acknowledging at the same time the
profound thought, the deep spiritual yearning and the sublime poetic
beauty, which characterize some portions.

In this connection the question of the origin of Hinduism is important.

It was formerly laid down as a postulate of the Christian’s belief that
Hinduism is of the devil; and that, coming from below, it must be shunned
as a study and denounced root and branch as a thing purely satanic. This
theory has entirely given way to a more rational belief. The question
whether the truths of Hinduism, with those of other ethnic religions, have
filtered down from some primitive revelation and are the relics of a
vanishing faith, divinely communicated to some of the earliest members of
our race; or whether God has directly, from time to time, guided the
thoughts and answered the deep yearnings of the soul of the Indo-Aryan, is
one which is still discussed. But modern scholarship is practically of one
voice in maintaining that God hath not left Himself without witness among
the many nations of the earth,—a witness that has indeed been
comparatively feeble—a revelation that is dim and starlike as compared
with the noonday brightness of the Sun of Righteousness in the Christian
religion. The day has come when the Christian must accept and believe that
God has been dealing directly with this people through the many centuries
of their history, leading them to important truths, even though their evil
hearts and worse lives have caused them, in many cases, to “change the
truth of God into a lie and worship and serve the creature more than the
Creator.” Many of the truths which are imbedded in the religion of that
land find their solution in no other hypothesis than this.

This study of Hinduism will also lead us to realize the important truth of
the many points of contact between that faith and our own. A knowledge of
their sympathies cannot be of less importance than that of their
antipathies. And this knowledge is indispensable to the Christian worker
in India as it gives a new and a most direct way of approach to the Hindu
heart, and a fresh and all-potent argument with them in behalf of
Christianity.

This process also best illustrates the method and Spirit of Christ. Dr.
Robson aptly remarks that “while no religion has done more to overthrow
other religions than Christianity, no religious teacher has said less
against other religions than Christ. We have from Him only one short
saying condemning the Gentiles’ aim in life, but not even one reflecting
on the gods they believed in, or the worship they paid them. Was not this
because He came not to destroy but to fulfill?”

I can refer to only a few of these common points and belief in the two
faiths.



(_a_) Incarnation.


These are the only two faiths which have exalted, to primal importance,
this doctrine. In Christianity it is basal, and in later Brahmanism, or
Hinduism, it has overshadowed nearly every other teaching. In a sense the
all-pervasive pantheism of Brahmanism made a certain form of incarnation a
necessity from the earliest days. The ancient Aryans could not rest
satisfied with the Unknown and the Absolute of their Vedantism; so they
speedily began to erect for their evergrowing pantheon an endless
procession of emanations. But it was, probably, the phenomenal success of
Gautama, and especially the posthumous influence of his life and example,
that opened the eyes of the Brahmans and suggested to them the supreme
need of an _avatar_ (“descent”), for the popularizing of their faith. And
thus originated that vast system of descents, or incarnations, which have
multiplied so greatly and developed so grotesquely all over the land. The
common ground furnished by this doctrine to the two faiths is not
adequately appreciated. This truth of incarnation, in its fundamental
doctrinal bearing upon Hinduism, and in the strengthening of its hold,
even until the present, upon the popular imagination and affection, should
not go for nought in the mind of Christian critics, because of the content
of the multitudinous descents, which is mostly grotesque, debasing and
repulsive. They forget that the Christian doctrine of incarnation
furnishes, perhaps, the best leverage with which the Christian missionary
is to overturn the faith of that people, simply because the doctrine
itself has been so popularized, even if debased, in India for many
centuries. Christ should be none the less, yea the more, welcome to that
land because the most popular god of the Hindu pantheon (Krishna) is also
the leading incarnation of Vishnu.



(_b_) Vicarious Atonement.


In Christianity this is second in importance only to the doctrine of
incarnation. In Brahmanism also it has maintained, from the first, a
position of cardinal importance. In pre-Buddhistic days this found
expression in sacrifices that were probably more numerous and more
precious than those offered by any other people. This is partly shown by
the fact that words used for sacrifice are more numerous in the Sanskrit
than even in the Hebrew language. It is true that their idea of sacrifice,
both as to its import and object, was different from ours or from that of
the Israelites; and indeed their own ideas also varied at different times.
Under the influence of Buddhism, sacrifice, as such, was practically
abandoned; but the idea of atonement for sin, which was underlying them,
they practically carried over into the doctrine of transmigration. For,
however stiffly they contend that, through metempsychosis, the doctrine of
_karma_ is realized and every soul atones for its own sin, it nevertheless
remains true that the element of consciousness separates the person who
sinned from him who suffers; and one becomes the involuntary atoner and
the other the atoned for.



(_c_) Spirituality.


It may, to some, seem absurd to bring the two faiths into anything but the
relationship of contrast in this particular, when it is remembered that we
are confronted daily by a Hinduism which is as grossly formal,
materialistic and sensual as any religion known in any land. But it is
unnecessary to remind us of the fact that the literature of the faith of
this people is, in some respects, far removed from the low life and ritual
of the present day; and in no greater respect than in this which we are
now considering. All students recognize in many writings, vedic and
post-vedic, profound seriousness and a sometimes strange depth of
spiritual apprehension coupled with an other-worldliness which, to the
western mind, seems absurdly impractical. Indeed, the naturally mystical
bent of the Hindu mind has been regarded, and, doubtless, rightly
regarded, as one of the chief obstacles to a true and easy understanding
of much that is in their sacred writings by the too practical Westerner.
We should not be blind to the lofty height of spiritual thought which we
occasionally, and the deep spiritual yearning which we frequently, are
permitted to witness in their books. In evidence of this we need only to
refer to the powerful hold which the _yoga_ system of philosophy and life
has upon them. An intense meditativeness, a devotional ecstasy and an
insight of true heavenly wisdom is the ideal of life to which the Hindu
has been called from time very remote.



(_d_) Eschatology.


In Hinduism, as in Christianity, man is directed to look to a
judgment-seat and a system of rewards and punishments in the world to
come. While this doctrine again, in its development and detail, differs
essentially from that of the Christian faith, it is well to call attention
to it as a point of contact. It breathes the spirit of _karma_, which, in
its retributive power, has been compared by some to the doctrine of
heredity, and by others, to that of fate. _Karma_ demands the full future
fruition of every act done in the body; and many re-births, with intervals
of keener suffering and bliss in numerous hells and heavens, are the
countless steps in the doleful fugue of emancipation—a process which is
enough to appall any but the patient, stolid soul of a Hindu. And yet this
weary detail of a very long and sisyphean effort to shake off this mortal
coil and to enter into rest is worthy of the missionary’s attention, as it
represents, perhaps, the most elaborate system of eschatology outside of
the New Testament. It is also ethical in its character, and in its
fundamental principles has chords which harmonize with those of the
Christian doctrine.



(_e_) The Doctrine of Faith.


This doctrine maintains that, by devotion to a personal god, salvation is
achieved. This idea separates this doctrine from, and apparently
antagonizes, the prevailing philosophy of the land—Vedantism. This cult of
_Bhakti_ is connected with Krishnaolatry, which is the worship of the most
unworthy and licentious god of the Hindu pantheon.

Of Vaishnavism, or the worship of Vishnu, in which the _bhakti_, or faith,
doctrine prevails, Sir Monier Williams remarks:—“Notwithstanding the gross
polytheistic superstitions and hideous idolatry to which it gives rise, it
is the only Hindu system worthy of being called a religion. At all events
it must be admitted that it has more common ground with Christianity than
any other form of non-Christian faiths.” The basal truth of _bhakti_—that
of supreme attachment to, or faith in, a personal god—could not fail of
rousing within the devout lofty and stirring emotion. _Bhaktar_, _i.e._,
those who have given themselves absolutely to this doctrine and make it
the motive and inspiration of their lives, are oblivious to all other
bonds, abjuring among themselves even caste and all its demands, and
proclaiming the true oneness of the brotherhood of the faith among all the
devotees of the same god.

              [Illustration: Rock-Cut Temple, South India.]

Thus we have today a large and vigorous class of Hindus who have
subordinated every doctrine and practice of their religion to that of
faith, or _bhakti_. I believe, with not a few illustrious scholars, that
this doctrine traces its origin to Christianity. Like everything else
which Hinduism had absorbed, it has been considerably transmuted in the
process. It has been necessarily and greatly affected and degraded by the
character of the gods who have been its objects. It has been debased by
contact with idolatry and error, with superstition and sensuality. And yet
we trace its lineaments to its lofty, divine origin, and hesitate not to
say that it furnishes a common ground of a fundamental truth of which
Christian missionaries have not yet sufficiently availed themselves in
their work for this people.

Hindus have also done not a little thinking in the elaboration of the
doctrine of salvation. In their discussion as to the relative potency of
divine grace and human agency in the salvation of man they became divided
into two antagonistic schools, corresponding, very closely, to the
Calvinistic and Arminian, among Christians—the _Tengaliar_ maintaining the
“cat theory” and the _Vadagaliar_ the “monkey theory”; so called because
one party holds that, just as the cat saves her kitten by seizing and
carrying it away bodily, so God seizes and saves man without his own
effort. This is the doctrine of absolute grace. The other party insists
that the relation of the young monkey to its mother, whereby its rescue
from trouble depends upon its own grasp, best represents the process of
salvation in which man’s coöperation is necessary.

They have also developed the doctrine of growth in grace sometimes in a
very instructive way. The spiritual development from _saloka_ (in the same
world with God) to _sāmīpa_ (in the divine presence) thence to _sārūpa_
(in the divine image) and finally to _sāyujya_ (complete identity with the
divine Being) bears, in some respects, a striking resemblance to the
teaching of St. Paul, where he writes that Jesus was “made unto us wisdom,
righteousness, sanctification and redemption” (1 Cor. 1:30).

In like manner they teach that, for the attainment of beatitude, it is
necessary to pass through five stages—(1) that of _sānti_, quiet repose or
calm and contemplative piety; (2) that of _dāsya_, the slave state—the
surrender of the whole will to God; (3) that of _sakhya_, or friendship;
(4) that of _vātsalya_, or filial affection; and (5) that of _mādhurya_,
or supreme, all-absorbing love.

I must refer briefly to only one other illustration of the probable
influence of our religion upon the faith of India, and that is in its
teaching on eschatology. The illustration is drawn from the tenth
incarnation, _Kalki avatār_, of Vishnu. This incarnation is to take place
hereafter, when Vishnu will come, at the close of the present _Kali yuga_,
or iron age, and put an end to these growing evil times, destroying with
them all the wicked and ushering in the new era of righteousness (_Satya
yuga_) upon the earth. For this great work of the restoration and the
renovation of all creation, he is to come seated upon a white horse with a
drawn sword, blazing like a comet. Hindus at present look forward to this
new incarnation as their future deliverer, when the sorrows and the
depravity of this present, shall be swallowed up in the glories and joys
of the future, age. The striking thing about this teaching is not the hope
which it inculcates for the future; for that is practically a part of the
Hindu conception of the succession of the ages of their time system.
According to this the present era must yield to the coming good _yuga_,
which must, in its turn, give way to the ages of lesser good and of evil,
which again will go and come in their ever-changing cycle. What seems
remarkable is the _form_ in which this idea is here clothed. The coming of
the Deliverer upon a _Kalki_—a white horse—with his great message of
universal destruction and deliverance, brings directly to our memory the
Bible prophecy of Rev. 6:2; 19:11-16, and also brings us into touch with
the belief of many Christians today as to the appearance and the work of
the Son of Man at the great day of His Second Coming.

The question arises as to how this _avatar_ originated. It evidently seems
to be an afterthought and of no ancient date among the series of Vishnu’s
descents. And following the ninth, or Buddha, _avatar_, which was clearly
intended as a bait to Buddhists, and as a frank and full compromise with
that hitherto supplanting and hostile faith, it seems natural to suppose
that this tenth also came in the same way and with the same spirit as a
palm leaf to another religion, even our own, whose prophetic words about
the second coming of Christ could be so easily appropriated and so
harmlessly adopted into the Hindu system. It thus introduced into their
faith an element of future glory and triumph which the religion had not
formerly possessed. Indeed this very element of aggression and conquest is
one of the signs of its Western origin and Christian source.



                               Chapter III.


HINDUISM AND CHRISTIANITY CONTRASTED.


In the previous chapter I have endeavoured to show and emphasize the
teachings common to Christianity and Hinduism.

But it must not be forgotten that if their consonances are neither few nor
unimportant their dissonances are far more numerous and fundamental. They
meet us at almost every point of our investigation and impress us with a
sense of a vast contrast.

We will now give ourselves to a brief study of these divergences.

The two faiths differ essentially.



1. In their Initial Conceptions.


Their starting points are almost antipodal. This will seem evident when we
study their views:

(_a_) In reference to religion itself. Christianity is briefly and
beautifully explained by its Founder (Luke 15) as a divine method of
seeking and saving the lost. It is the expression of the Father’s love
yearning for the return, and seeking the complete salvation, of the son.
It is primarily and pervasively a “Thus saith the Lord”—a revelation from
God manward. Hinduism on the other hand has been the embodiment of man’s
aspirations after God. Wonderfully pathetic, beautiful and elevating these
aspirations have been at times; and doubtless guided at points by Him whom
they so ardently sought. They perhaps represent the highest reach of the
soul in its self-propelled flight towards its Maker. It is true that
orthodox Hindus variously describe the Vedas as eternal, as a direct
emanation from Brahma and as a divine entity in themselves. They
constitute the “Sruti”—“the directly heard” message of God to man. But the
authors of the Upanishads, which are a part of _Sruti_, absolve man from
the necessity of accepting the four Vedas and propound a way of salvation
entirely separate from, and independent of, vedic prayers and ritual. The
direct influence of the Vedas upon religious life and ritual in India
today is practically _nil_; while that of the Upanishads, which are the
_fons et origo_ of the all-potent philosophy, is felt in every Hindu life,
however humble.

This aspect of the two faiths is not unexpected when we remember:

(_b_) Their very dissimilar conceptions of God. The monotheism of the one
and the pantheism of the other are clear and uncompromising. They have
stood for many centuries as representatives, to the world, of these very
dissimilar beliefs. Christianity inherited from Judaism its passion for
monotheism, and brings the “God of Israel” very near to our race as the
infinitely loving Father. It has not only emphasized His personality but
reveals, with incomparable power and tenderness, His supreme interest in
our race and His loving purpose concerning it.

On the other hand Hinduism derived its highest wisdom and deepest
convictions concerning the Divine Being from the ancient rishis through
the Upanishads. There they accepted, once for all, the doctrine of the
Brahm (neuter)—the one passionless, immovable, unsearchable, ineffable
Being who, without a second, stands as the source and embodiment of all
real being.

Barth truly remarks that “this is the most imposing and subtle of the
systems of ontology yet known in the history of philosophy.” This
inscrutable Being is the only _real_ existence, all else being illusion
projected by ignorance. This doctrine of identity or nonduality
(_advaitha_) lies at the foundation of all their religious thinking. This
Being which is devoid of qualities (_nirguna_), because incomprehensible
to man, can be of no comfort to him. In this respect the Hindu is an
agnostic of a profound type.

For this mystical philosophy one word of praise is eminently due. It is
not to be confounded with that species of Western pantheism which is rank
materialism—making God and the material universe convertible terms. Sir
William Jones emphasized this difference—the difference between a system
which, in all that it sees, sees God alone, and that which acknowledges no
God beyond what it sees. One is the bulwark of materialism; the other its
most uncompromising enemy. Whatever the defects of this philosophy of the
Upanishads it must be confessed to be deeply spiritual.

And yet in this very effort to conserve the spiritual and transcendental
character of Brâhm the Aryan sage has covered Him with the dark robe of
mysticism and pushed Him into a far off realm beyond human ken.

So that the only intimations which man has of Him are confessedly false
projection of ignorance. For all practical purposes this hypothetical
deity—for the very existence of Brâhm is only assumed as a working
hypothesis by the theosophist—is a nonentity to the worshipper. How can a
being lend itself to a devout soul in worship when it is rigidly devoid of
every quality that can inspire or attract the soul? This very fact has led
the ordinary Hindu to seek and develop something else as an object of his
devotion. Hence the polytheism of Brahmanism. Let it not be supposed that
there is any antagonism between their pantheism and their polytheism. One
is the natural offspring of the other. The numberless gods which today are
supposed to preside over the destiny of the people, are but emanations,
the so-called “play” of Brâhm. Properly speaking they are neither supreme
nor possessed of truly divine attributes. Even the Hindu Triad—Brahma
(masculine gender), Vishnu and Siva—are but manifestations of the delight
of the eternal Soul to invest itself with qualities (_guna_). These three
gods are no more real existences than are the myriad other children of
illusion (_maya_) and ignorance (_avidya_) which constitute the universe.
And as they had their existence, so will they find their dissolution, in
the fiat of the Supreme Soul. India finds polytheism no more satisfying
than it does pantheism. There is no more assurance of comfort in
worshipping 330,000,000 gods, whose multitude not only bewilders but also
carries in itself refutation to the claim of any one to be supreme, than
there is in the yearning after an absolute, ineffable Being which cruelly
evades human thought and definition. It is no wonder therefore that the
growth of the Hindu pantheon is constant, and both follows, and bears
testimony to, the craving of the human soul for a God who can satisfy its
wants and realize its deepest longings.

(_c_) Their theories of the universe are also divergent. According to the
Bible the outer world is the creation, by God, out of nothing. To the
Brahman of all times the idea of pure creation has seemed absurd. _Ex
nihilo nihil fit_ is an axiom of all their philosophies. Whether it be the
Vedantin who tells us that the material universe is the result of Brâhm
invested with illusion, or the Sankya philosopher who attributes it to
_prakriti_—the power of nature; or the Veisashika sage who traces it to
eternal atoms; they all practically posit that it is eternal.

Of course the Christian doctrine of creation from nothing does not, as the
Hindu too often assumes, maintain that the universe is a result without a
cause; for it teaches that God Himself, by the exercise of His sovereign
will and omnipotence, is an all-adequate cause to all created things.

If the Vedantin claims that creation is impossible, how can he at the same
time believe that ideas have from time to time sprung up in the mind of
Brâhm, which ideas themselves have put on illusion and appear to human
ignorance as the universe? It is, to say the least, no easier for him,
with his conception of Brâhm, to account for the origin of such ideas than
it is for the Christian to trace the source of the material universe to an
all-wise and omnipotent God. Nor does the Sankya philosopher, by
practically denying God and positing the eternal existence of souls and
_prakriti_, remove half the difficulties that he creates.

(_d_) Again, the teachings of the two faiths concerning man are no less
divergent. In the Bible man is represented as a son of God. He is fallen
indeed, but with a trace, even in his degradation, of his Father’s
lineaments. We follow him in his willful rebellion against his Father; he
plunges into the lowest depths of sin. But we still recognise in him the
promise of infinite and eternal possibilities of spiritual expansion and
happiness. Indeed we find at work a divinely benevolent scheme through
which he is to be ultimately exalted to heavenly places in Christ Jesus
and made the heir of infinite bliss.

On the other hand, Hindu Shastras represent man as mere illusion—the poor
plaything of the absolute One. For man to assume and to declare his own
real existence is, they say, but the raving of his ignorance (_avidya_).
To the practical Western mind it seems almost impossible that a
philosopher should be so lost in his philosophy as to aver that he, the
thinker and father of his philosophy, has no _real_ existence—is only
illusion, concerning which real existence can only be assumed for
practical purposes. What must be said of the philosophy begotten by such
an illusive being? Shall it not also be doomed to vanish with him into the
nothingness whence he came and which he now really is, if he only knew it?
Sir Monier Williams aptly remarks,—“Common sense tells an Englishman that
he really exists himself and that everything he sees around him really
exists also. He cannot abandon these two primary convictions. Not so the
Hindu Vedantist. Dualism is his bugbear, and common sense, when it
maintains any kind of real duality, either the separate independent
existence of a man’s own spirit and of God’s spirit, or of spirit and
matter, is guilty of gross deception.”

Another conception regards the human soul (_jivatma_) as a part of the
Supreme Soul. This theory adds small comfort or dignity to it when we
remember that this whole of which it is declared a part is an intangible,
unattractive Being—devoid of all qualities (_nirguna_). If the soul
existed from eternity as a part of the divine Soul and will ultimately
resume that interrupted existence, what value, ethical or otherwise, can
be attached to that bondage of manhood which was thrust upon the soul (or
was it voluntarily assumed?)? This part of deity called individual soul
certainly cannot be improved by its human conditions; and the question is
not—“How soon can I pass through this slough of despond,” but, “why was I
thrust into it at all? Was it a mere sacred whim (_tiruvileiadal_) of
Brâhm?”

Moreover this view of human “self,” or soul, carries one out too far into
the sea of transcendental metaphysics to be of any practical use,
religiously. We know something of man—this strange compound of soul and
body—and we are deeply interested in his history and destiny; the more
deeply because we are included in this category.

But who knows of the eternal soul—that part of the absolute—separate from
human conditions and apart from all experiences of men? Is it not simply
the dream of the philosopher, a convenient assumption to satisfy the needs
of an impractical ontology? To magnify the soul apart from human life, and
to interpret human life as the self’s lowest degradation and something
which is to be shaken off as quickly as possible, can hardly be sound
philosophy, and is certainly bad theology. It simply reduces this life
into an irremedial evil, with no moral significance or spiritual value.

This leads us to the second point of contrast:—



2. Their Ultimate Aim or Goal.


What do these two religions promise to do for those who embrace them? The
work which Christianity proposes to itself is difficult and glorious. It
takes fallen, sin-sodden, man and leads him out into a new life of
holiness; it opens out to him a long and broad vista of life with an
ever-enlarging, blissful, activity. Christ said that He came into the
world that men might have life and have it abundantly. He came not only to
save the lost but also to develop all the grand possibilities of the soul
to their utmost, and to launch the human bark upon a voyage of everlasting
life, which means unceasing growth in all its noblest qualities,
activities and enjoyments.

Hindu philosophy and faith, on the other hand, unite in commanding that
human endowments be starved, qualities suppressed, activity of all kinds
stayed, ambition and every other desire, even the noblest and purest,
quenched. All the essential elements of life itself are to be mortified
that the soul may, unhampered by its own entanglement, reach that
consummation which is supposed to be final. And what is it? Who can tell?
The Aryan philosopher himself stands mute in its presence. All that we can
predicate of it is not life and happiness, according to any standard of
human experience known or imagined. The idea that the individual soul will
finally sink into and blend with the Absolute Being as a drop of water
returns to and mingles with its mother ocean may seem plausible to the
philosopher; but of such an hypothetical existence we know absolutely
nothing and can expect nothing that would inspire hope and kindle
ambition.

In Hinduism there are heavens many and not a few hells. But unlike the
places of reward and punishment connected with Christianity, they
represent nothing final. They are more like the purgatory of the
Catholics, and represent only steps in the progress of the soul towards
emancipation.

Concerning the general view of human life, its import and outcome, the two
faiths are antipodal. Christianity is brightly optimistic. The future of
every Christian is to be as the sun shining more and more until the
perfect day. Unceasing progress and eternal expansion are held out before
him. His is an heritage that will abide and will resound in an ever
increasing anthem of praise throughout time and eternity. Nothing can
occur hereafter to rob him of that crown of glory which is the gift of God
and which is to result in likeness to Him.

Hinduism, on the other hand, is essentially pessimistic. It teaches that
human life is totally and irremediably evil. Every power of the soul must
be exercised in the endeavour to shake off this terrible burden of
separate human existence and escape all the conditions of this life. That
is the only relief possible. To the Hindu the question so often discussed
in Christian lands—“Is life worth living?”—has no interest, since it has
but one answer possible. And even if the Indian sage forgets his present
conditions and pessimism long enough to gaze down the long and dismal
vista of numberless births to the final consummation (_Sayujya_)—the final
union with God—he finds in that nothing which the Christian does not
discover in tenfold richness and beauty in the Bible. To be partaker of
the Divine Nature is a blessed reality to the Christian without his
forfeiting, in the least, the dignity of self-identity and the glory of
separate personal consciousness. To have the “life hid with Christ in
God”; to be able triumphantly to exclaim—“I live; yet not I, but Christ
liveth in me”; to experience the blessedness and power of abiding in
Christ and to realize the answer to Christ’s own prayer to the
Father—“that they also may be in us”—all this is the joy and hope of the
Christian in a manner and to a degree utterly impossible to the Hindu
whose union with the supreme spirit is the loss and end of self, including
all those faculties which are capable of enjoyment.

Looking from another standpoint, we perceive that the aim of the religion
of Christ is the banishing of sin from the life and the establishing of
character. Sin is the dark background of Christianity. It explains its
origin and reveals its universality. Its whole concern is with the
emancipation of man from the presence and power of sin. To the Vedantin,
on the other hand, sin, in the Christian sense of it, is an impossibility.
Where God is all and all is God there can be no separate will to
antagonize the divine will. Monism necessarily, in the last analysis,
carries every act and motive back to the supreme Will and establishes an
all-inclusive necessitarianism which is fatal to human freedom; and it
therefore excludes sin as an act of rebellion against God. Much is made of
sin, so called, in the Hindu system, as we shall presently see; but
nowhere is more care needed than here that we may distinguish between
ideas conveyed by this word in these two faiths. In Christianity the
ethical character of sin is emphasized. It is described as a thing of
moral obliquity and spiritual darkness. According to the Upanishads the
only defect of man is an intellectual one. He is in bondage to ignorance.
Plato made ignorance the chief source of moral evil and proposed
philosophy as a remedy for the malady. The Vedantin differs from the Greek
philosopher only in his more absolute condemnation of (_avidya_) ignorance
as the mother of all human ills. Remove this—let a man attain unto a true
knowledge of self, of the fact that he has no _real_ separate existence
and is one with the Supreme Soul—and he becomes thereby qualified for his
emancipation and ends his long cycle of births. Moreover, in the
polytheism of the Puranas and in the laws and customs of Manu sin
generally means only ceremonial defilement and the violation of customs
and usages.

Hinduism, therefore, has never addressed itself to the task of helping man
as a _sinner_—of regenerating his heart, of establishing within him that
beautiful thing known in Christian lands and philosophies as a well
rounded, symmetrical and perfect character. For many reasons and in many
ways it has aimed at a very different consummation in man from that
consistently sought by Christ and His religion.



3. The Agency and Means Recognized and Appealed to by those Faiths
Respectively.


By what power and instrumentality are the above ends to be sought and
attained? They will be, doubtless, quite as divergent as the aims
themselves were found to be.

In Christianity God Himself is the agent who works out its scheme of
salvation. He entered, through infinite condescension, into human life and
relations in the Incarnation. He wrought, in the days of His flesh, the
redemption of our race—a work which finds its climax in His atoning death.
In the person of the Holy Spirit He is working and bringing to full
fruition, in the hearts and lives of men, the redemption which He wrought.

Into this, man enters not as an efficient cause of his own redemption. He
cannot atone for his past, nor has he the assurance within himself for the
future. Hence the atoning sacrifice of Christ and the indwelling of the
Spirit of God which becomes in him a source of peace, of power and of
hope. Yet, in this divine work, man is neither passive nor apathetic. In
the exercise of saving faith he not only appropriates the works and gifts
of God but also enters into full and active harmony and coöperation with
God in his own regeneration and salvation. So that the Apostle Paul aptly
urges the Philippian Christians (Phil. 2:12) to “work out your own
salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God which worketh in you both
to will and to work for His good pleasure.”

How different is the picture presented to us by the Hindu Shastras of the
means of human redemption—a picture, however, consonant with the aims
which they have set before themselves to accomplish for man. The first and
all-present fact of this faith is the terrible loneliness and isolation of
man in the great struggle of life. His destiny is in his own hands, and he
must fight single-handed against a thousand odds in the awful battle for
emancipation.

_Karma_ is the word used to express this thought which has possessed the
Hindu mind from the earliest days to the present. This word may be
translated “works,” and means the acts by which the soul determines its
own destiny. In Vedic times the all-powerful works were sacrifice and
ritual. In the Upanishads they are meditation and self-mortification.
Today they are ceremonial, with works of charity, self-renunciation or
religious mendicancy generally added.

In pre-Buddhistic days sacrifice abounded in Brahmanism; and it grew to
such proportions that the revolt headed by Gautama and incarnated in
Buddhism became universal. But vicariousness was largely wanting as an
element in, and as a cause of, their sacrifices. They were rather offered
with a view to nourish the gods and as a means of acquiring power. He who
sacrificed a hundred horses was said to gain thereby even larger power
than Indra himself possessed—a power which enabled him to dethrone this
god of the heavens. Such was the power said to inhere in sacrifice that
the gods themselves combined to prevent men from the practice lest they
should rise to larger power than themselves! With the triumph and
subsequent absorption of Buddhism into Brahmanism the latter abandoned its
sacrifices and accepted the Buddhistic emphasis upon _Karma_, and doomed
every soul to the tread-mill of its own destiny. To every human word, deed
or thought, however insignificant, there is fruit which must be eaten by
the soul.

It is claimed for this doctrine that it well emphasizes the conservation
of moral force. Christianity also conserves, to the last, moral force; not
however by insisting upon man bearing himself the whole burden, but by
enabling him to cast the burden upon the Lord who graciously offers to
bear the load of human guilt belonging to every soul.

Another word in India which is synonymous with large power and merit is
_Yoga_. It is inculcated in the _Yoga_ philosophy and is supposed to stand
for a high mental discipline which speedily qualifies one for absorption
into the Deity. It is manifested in the form of abstract meditation and
austerity—an austerity embodied in asceticism and self-mortification. From
early times this method has been held high in honour, and today is
universally esteemed as the most powerful and speedy boat wherewith to
cross the sullen stream of human existence. The grand object of _Yoga_ is
to teach how to concentrate the mind—an object based upon the idea that
the great and sole need of man is not moral and spiritual regeneration,
but more light, _i.e._, a clear, intellectual apprehension of things. Not
only is this basis of philosophy false in supposing that such intellectual
gymnastics can finally exalt and save a soul, it is also radically
defective in its general rules and practical results. No one who has
studied the childish rules which are prescribed to the Yogis, or has
observed in India many of even the better type of Yogis can fail to be
impressed with the degradation to mind and morals which is indissolubly
connected with it. Barth’s observation on the processes of _Yoga_ is
eminently true. “Conscientiously observed,” he says, “they can only issue
in folly and idiocy; and it is, in fact, under the image of a fool or an
idiot that the wise man is often delineated for us in the _Puranas_ for
instance.”(9)

Meditation upon the Divine Being and upon self is a supreme duty
inculcated by Christianity. Here God is a Personality upon whom the mind
can be centred and find rest and exaltation. The self also is conceived as
a being with a separate and infinitely high destiny marked out before it.
Concentrated thought, deep emotion and lofty purpose, in view of these
objects, is supremely profitable. But what is there left worthy of thought
for the Vedantist _Yogi_ when the Divine Being is the unknowable and the
Yogi himself the deluded child of (_Maya_) illusion and (_avidya_)
ignorance—those twin enemies to all true and worthy knowledge? It cannot
be elevating to detach the mind from things worldly and attach it to
nothing!

Incarnation, as we have seen above, has in later times become a popular
doctrine in India. The _avatars_ (“descents”) of members of the Hindu
pantheon, especially of Vishnu, the second member of the Triad, wield a
large influence in the religious life of the masses. Yet the doctrines
should, by no means, be regarded as identical or even similar in Hinduism
and Christianity. It should be remembered that in Hinduism it is believed
and magnified by those who also hold the law of _Karma_ as supreme. There
is hardly a Vaishnavite and Krishnaolater who does not believe firmly that
his destiny is writ large upon his forehead—that nothing that this or any
god may do can affect his _adrishta_ which is that felt but unseen power
working out the _Karma vivaka_, or fruition of works, done by him in
former births. This belief directly antagonizes incarnation from the
Christian standpoint, where it appears as God’s mighty instrument of grace
to man. Not so from the Hindu standpoint. The incarnations of Vishnu are
referred to in their _Shastras_ “as consequences of deeds which the god
himself had performed. One was the fruit of sins he had committed; another
of a curse which had been pronounced upon him.” And yet they are doubtless
frequently referred to as undertaken with a view to benefit and help our
race. If such was their intention it is difficult to see how that benefit
could be any other than racial and temporary; for there is no intimation
in any of them of its being a means for the spiritual uplifting, or moral
regeneration, of one human soul.

There is no finality of blessing supposed to be in any Hindu incarnation;
and it would be sacrilege to compare the character of any one of them with
the wonderful incarnation of Jesus. It is not so much that many of them
appear as fish, fowl and beast, and as such are devoid of moral aim and
efficiency; not a few are immoral, some of them, like Krishna,
representing the worst type of sensuality and moral obliquity. Such
examples, in the popular mythology of the land, have done, and are doing,
inexpressible harm to the people and the country. “Like God like people”;
and when the god is highly popular and conspicuously immoral the result
will be correspondingly great.

In connection with the doctrine of _avatar_ has arisen the well-known
_bhakti marga_—“the way of faith.” Many believe that the latter was the
source of the former and that both were affected by Christian teaching. In
any case they are closely connected. Among many this way of love and
devotion to individual gods has gained preëminence over the other two ways
of salvation—knowledge (_gnana marga_) and works (_Karma-marga_)—though it
should not be forgotten that _bhakti_ itself is regarded as a work of
merit and is by no means synonymous with Christian faith. Yet it must be
confessed, as we have seen above, that Hinduism comes nearer, at this
point than at any other, to touching the religion of Jesus.

The blindness of this faith is also a serious objection to it. To the
_bhaktan_ “faith is the great thing.” It matters not how hideous, morally
and spiritually, the object of faith may be, _bhakti_ will triumphantly
vindicate itself in the ultimate salvation of the soul. “Repose faith in
the idols, in ceremonial observances, in ascetic performances, in all that
you religiously do, and blessing will rest upon you.” This is the
_bhaktan’s_ creed; it is essentially the teaching of the “Divine
Song”—Bhagavad-Gita. And it is this which has so powerfully helped the
moral and spiritual degeneracy of India during the past few centuries. Men
have attached themselves absolutely to gods whose mythology, detailed in
the _Puranas_ and _Tantras_, is a narrative of lust and of moral
crookedness, devotion to which can mean only moral contamination and
spiritual death. Such a faith, in its nature and results, can only be
contrasted with a loving devotion to the incomparably holy and lovely
Jesus.



4. The Processes of These Two Religions.


In other words we inquire, in what manner do they propose to attain unto
their respective ends?

Christianity brings man into the new, divine life through the narrow gate
of a new birth. He stands justified before God and, under the influence of
the Holy Spirit, he begins that course of spiritual development which
steadily progresses towards perfection in truth and holiness. He,
“beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord is changed into the same
image from glory to glory even as by the spirit of the Lord.” And in the
fullness of his acquired, or divinely bestowed, powers he passes through
the gate of death, once for all, to enter upon the full glories of eternal
life beyond.

In Hinduism _metempsychosis_ is the great process. “As the embodied soul,”
says the Bhagavad-Gita, “moves swiftly on through boyhood, youth and age,
so will it pass through other forms hereafter.” This doctrine is
universally regarded as the all-potent solvent of human ills and the
process which alone can lead to ultimate rest. In transmigration the soul
is supposed to pass on from body to body in its wearisome, dismal
progress, towards emancipation. The bodies in which it is incarcerated
will be of all grades, according to the character of the life in the
previous births, from the august and divine body of a Brahman down to a
tenement of inorganic, lifeless rock. From ancient times this weary
process of working out the law of _Karma_ has seized upon the imagination
and wrought itself into the very being of the people of India; so that
today it is the universal way of salvation believed and taught by the
Vedantin, accepted with assurance by the idolater, and the one great
bugbear in the mind of even the common coolie.

This doctrine has its roots in Vedantism and is an essential part of it.
The Brahman theosophist taught that all souls emanated from Brâhm and must
return to their source along the way of metempsychosis. All acts, words
and thoughts find their exact reward in future births. If a man steals a
cow he shall be reborn as a crocodile or lizard; if grain, as a rat; if
fruit, as an ape. The murderer of a Brahman endures long-suffering in the
several hells and is then born again in the meanest bodies to atone for
his crime. According to Manu the soul might pass “through ten thousand
millions” of births. The passageway to absorption is through Brahmanhood
only. Transmigration is the doom of all others.

The prevalence of this doctrine in India is one of the saddest facts
connected with its life. It is sombre and depressing in the extreme and
robs the mind of a good portion of the small comfort which the idea of
absorption might otherwise bring to it. Though the doctrine has found a
footing among other nations at different periods in their history, nowhere
else has it prevailed so long and exercised such a mighty influence over
high and low as it has in that land.

The doctrine is based upon a hypothetical identity of soul in different
successive bodies—a hypothesis which can never be proved, and which
contradicts the universal consciousness. Until that erratic Englishwoman,
Mrs. Besant, appeared, no one claimed to possess the first intimation,
through consciousness or memory, of a previous existence in another body.
Ancient rishis and a few others were said by _others_ to have possessed
it. Strange, if such a re-incarnation were a fact, that none has ever been
assured of it by any other agent than the philosopher in his search after
truth. Stranger still that men in such countless millions should hang
their whole destiny upon so rotten a cord—so unethical a theory—as is here
involved. Why should any moral being be put through a course of
discipline, or be punished, for a past of which he has no knowledge? To
inflict a punishment for any conduct or thought to which the memory does
not bear evidence, nor conscience furnish assent, nor the whole realm of
conscious experience reveal a trace, is both unethical and in violation of
the deepest laws of being.

Nor does it appear how this process, as a method of discipline, can
achieve what is expected of it. It is maintained that, ultimately, all the
myriads of separate souls will cross over this terrible stream of human
existence and reach the further shore of emancipation. But what aptitude,
or efficiency, there can be in metempsychosis itself to reach this end is
not apparent. That the soul should ultimately reach beatitude rather than
absolute, irremedial, degradation through this process is merely
_assumed_, and that without adequate foundation in reason.

In view of the well-known power of sin and its tendency to settle down,
through habit, into a permanent type of character; in view of the
well-attested scientific doctrine of heredity—a doctrine which easily
accounts for and explains every semblance of truth in transmigration—it
seems incredible that any soul in India could, through transmigration,
finally emerge out of the quicksand of sin and corruption which surround
and overwhelm it, especially when it is assumed that it has already passed
through many births.

It should also be remembered that, at its basis, this doctrine has its
face turned, with equal repugnance, against all sorts of work. Desire of
every kind, good as well as evil, is to be suppressed inasmuch as it is
the source of action, and action must bear its fruit, the eating of which
prolongs existence which, itself, is the burden to be removed. The
question is not how to become good and to overcome evil in life, but how
to shake off all personality. And this is accomplished, they say, by
abandoning all action and suppressing all desire whatever. How this can
result in holiness and lofty character is not evident. It is true that a
certain sort of “good works” have large value in this process of
emancipation. But quiescence rather than character is the thing
emphasized. Noble thoughts and aspirations are as fatal as are the basest
to immediate deliverance—they all disturb that equilibrium of the soul
which ushers it into its final rest. “The confinement of fetters is the
same whether the chain is of gold or of iron.”

It is doubtless true that this doctrine has some elements of truth,
otherwise it could not have survived and thriven as it has. It bears
consistent testimony to the immortality of the soul. It also teaches the
important truth that the soul must receive the full reward of all its
deeds in a body. It is also, in a certain way, a response to that deep
instinct of justice which is a part of human nature. But these cannot
atone for its fundamental defects and errors. Some claim that its highest
merit is that it is a powerful deterrent from sin and incentive to virtue.
Beyond the remarks made above the all-sufficient refutation to such a
statement is the present condition of the Hindu race itself. If any people
on earth, more than others, sin with “fatal facility” and seem perfectly
oblivious to the character and consequences of their deeds they are the
descendants of the rishis of old and the heirs, in rich abundance, of this
and its cognate doctrines. To judge this doctrine by its results in India
is to pronounce it an error and a curse.



5. The Ideals of the Two Faiths.


No religion can regenerate or exalt men simply through a code of moral
laws, or even through impassioned appeals to a higher life and threats of
eternal punishment. There must be, above and beyond all this, a life which
stands boldly forth as an example and inspiration to good men. The noble
example of the royal Gautama did more perhaps than any other thing to
disseminate Buddhism throughout India. His supreme renunciation and his
loyalty to truth exalted him before his disciples and transformed him into
an ideal for Buddhists of future ages. This also is a preëminent
characteristic of Christianity. It is the religion of the Christ. _He_
stands supreme in it—not merely as its Founder, Expounder and Life. He is
also the embodiment of His own teaching, the ideal of life and conduct
which He has brought to men. His command to all is not—“Do this or that”;
but “Follow Me”—not, “Believe in this truth or another,” but “Believe in
Me,” who am “the way, the truth and the life.” For these twenty centuries
He has stood before the world as the incomparable, unapproachable, perfect
ideal which has wrought more for the regeneration of the world than all
other forces put together.

Do we find any counterpart to this in Hinduism? Do we find any life or
example which stands related to it as Buddha’s to Buddhism or as
Mohammed’s to Mohammedanism, or, even in a slight degree, as Christ’s to
Christianity? None whatever. Starting with the absolute Brâhm, we have
seen this Supreme Soul shrouded in unfathomable, unapproachable darkness.
We descend to the divine emanations of this eternal Soul and search in
vain among the millions of beings which constitute the Hindu pantheon to
find one who could become an ideal of life and an inspiration to the soul
struggling against sin. “Godlike life could scarcely start from its
examples of incarnations; for none of their lives is superhuman in
holiness. Even Rama, the most blameless character in Hindu mythological
literature, is by no means perfect; while the most popularly worshipped
incarnation committed deeds so vile that even the narrator warns his
hearers not to take him for their example. ‘Listen to the story of Hari,
but do not think of doing his deeds,’ he says.”

We look again at the sages and heroes of India with the hope that we may
possibly find one who stood conspicuous among others as the perfect type
of character and the helper of those struggling after a better and holier
life. Here again we are wofully disappointed, though it must be confessed
that there are loftier types of goodness and of self-discipline among them
than we found among the gods. Thus, with no worthy ideal of life before
them and no one to inspire them to better things, the wonder is that men
in India have not descended to a lower level than they have. It is perhaps
this very reason that has discouraged them and has led them to strive to
attain unto beatitude, not by perfecting, but by destroying humanity. The
renunciation and loss, rather than the realization, of self has thus
become their aim and ambition. Perhaps it is for this same reason also
that the votaries of this faith have constructed one of the most elaborate
systems of ceremonial and ritual that the world has ever witnessed;
whereby, in the absence of a high ideal and of a divine inspiration, the
whole life from birth even until after death, may be directed and
protected from evil.



6. The Credentials of the Two Faiths.


Each has its Scriptures in which are found its original teachings
including a declaration of its source and message to man. Beyond this
general statement very little can be predicated of these two in common.
The theories of their inspiration are dissimilar. In the Bible there is no
theory of inspiration taught. Its testimony to its own divine origin is
indirect rather than direct. And yet the evidence, both internal and
external, that the Bible was written by men under Divine guidance and
inspiration is unmistakable and convincing. Whether we have regard to its
prophetic utterances, its record of miracles, its plan of salvation, its
delineation of the incomparable life and character of Jesus Christ; or
whether we behold its marvellous power among men of all classes and of all
countries and tongues—all that pertain to it point unmistakably to its
divine origin.

Nor can any one fail to appreciate the beauty and sublimity of some of the
Vedic hymns of the Hindus or the profound depth of the philosophic reach
of the Upanishads, those sublime “guesses at truth,” or the great
excellence of the Bhagavad-Gita which is the gem of all Hindu literature.
And yet the puerilities of many and the obscenity of others of the Vedic
songs and prayers are well-known. So are the strange vagaries and the
rambling character of many parts of the Upanishads. And as for the
Bhagavad-Gita it is simply a dialogue whose gist is the argument of
Krishna—“the Supreme God”—to urge the tender-hearted and the
conscience-smitten Arjuna to slay his relatives in war. Its argument is
that no evil which one man may do to another is of any moment, since he
cannot touch his soul which is eternal and beyond the reach of any human
power! In the destiny of a soul what can the destruction of one of its
bodies signify? This is an argument which is subversive of morality and of
social order.

When one leaves these earlier scriptures of Brahmanism and takes up the
later productions—the _Puranas_ and Tantras—he comes into a very different
atmosphere, most of which is morally pestilential and spiritually
degrading. The ascription of divine inspiration and special heavenly
guidance in the production of such literature is nought else but
blasphemy. To pass over from the study of the Bible, with its transcendent
beauty, its perfect ethics, its heavenly spirit, its Divine Saviour and
way of salvation, to the Scriptures of India, especially the more recent
parts, is to exchange the pure air of heaven for the charnel house.

The “divine brevity” of the Bible is one of its most striking features.
Few things could impress one with the heavenly source of this Book more
markedly than its wonderful omissions.

How very different when we examine the countless tomes of the sacred
literature of India! If the salvation of a soul depended upon the reading
of even a hundredth part of these, who then could be saved? Their very
multiplicity and their voluminous character debar any man, however
learned, from an acquaintance with more than a small fraction of them.
Moreover, among learned pandits of today the _Smriti_ (traditions) are
more frequently quoted as authority, and they wield a larger power over
the life of the people, than the _Sruti_ (revelation) itself.

In the Christian Bible we are permitted to see a _progressive_ revelation.
From age to age, and from page to page, we see new glimpses of truth and
are attracted by the divine light whose illumination grows ever brighter
from Genesis to Revelation. This is what we should have expected from a
God-inspired book. We should have looked forward to a gradual transition
from the starry midnight of the far-off past to the rising, in Christ, of
the sun of righteousness with healing in His wings.

In Hindu literature this process is reversed. The surest, I may almost
say, the only, evidence we have of divine guidance in the production of
this literature is to be found among the earliest productions. There we
see earnestness of purpose combined with heavenly aspiration and deep
searching after truth. Subsequent to this we see the light vanishing and
earnestness giving place to triviality of thought, to the ravings of
superstition, to the inanities of ceremonialism and to the laws of social
and religious bondage. All this progress downward is in direct ratio to
our distance from Vedic times.

What could be more conclusive proof of the human source and direction of
these prolific writings? Educated Hindus are sensible of this fact. They
constantly hark back to the Vedas, to the Upanishads and to the
Bhagavad-Gita, conscious of the fact that these represent the high
water-mark of their faith and literature.



7. Other Distinguishing Traits.


These are not a few, and they aid in presenting the two faiths in bold
relief.

(_a_) Their attitude towards the individual and Society. Nowhere are they
more antipodal to each other than here. Christianity is preëminently a
faith which exalts the individual. It presents, with marked clearness, his
rights and responsibilities. His liberty of thought, of belief and of
action, is fundamentally sacred and to be conserved at all hazards.

Hinduism is the staunchest foe of individual freedom. It concedes no right
to the individual which others are bound to respect. It has erected above
the individual, and in such a way as to overshadow him entirely, the
stupendous caste system. And it has subordinated his every right and
privilege to the whim of this demon caste. Man is its abject slave—cannot
swerve one inch from its dictates; and these reach down to the smallest
detail of his life. If the vast majority of the members of a caste were
high in their morals and strict in their integrity and pure in their
beliefs, the aid to a higher life which this system might render to the
individual would, in small part, compensate for its destruction of his
manly independence. But caste discipline directs itself to petty forms and
observances and to the perpetuation of mean jealousies rather than to the
development of character.

In India alone is caste a religious institution. The Brahman merged the
individual in the corporate body, thus perfecting his bondage; and he set
class against class to prevent the lower from rising and to make national
union impossible. Men were said to have been created differently even as
different kinds of animals; to bring them together is as unnatural as it
is sinful.

Thus, every man within the pale of this religion has his social, as his
religious, status fixed unchangeably for him before his birth; and woe be
to him who tries to shake off this bondage, or even in a small degree to
kick against the pricks. No better system than this has been devised under
heaven to rob man of his birthright of independence and self-respect. And
the population of India bears, in its character and conduct, ample
testimony to the truth of this statement.

(_b_) Connected closely with this is another aspect.

The religion of Jesus fosters progress. Not only do we behold Christian
nations the most progressive, we also find that as this faith obtains in
its purity, so do its votaries enjoy the large spirit and results of
progress, both in religion, science, the arts and in civilization. In
India, on the other hand, conservatism is a fetish and custom a divine law
of conduct. In the West the question asked, as men approach a certain line
of action, is whether it be reasonable? Among Hindus the invariable
inquiry is,—is it customary?—did our forefathers practice it? This again
is the legitimate product of the caste system. It conserves and deifies
the past. It never tolerates a question as to the wisdom of the ancients.
The code of Manu, which is the source and supreme authority for this
system, has done more to stereotype and degrade social and religious life
in India than has any other code in all the history of other lands.

(_c_) Another marked feature of the religion of Jesus is its
exclusiveness. It claims to be the only way of salvation. Not that it is
unwilling to acknowledge the truths which are found in other faiths. While
it recognizes such, it maintains that they are but broken lights of the
Truth which it presents in all its full-orbed glory. It reveals Christ as
the fulfillment of the good and pious of all nations, and His revelation
as the realization of all truth wherever found. But as a means of
salvation it stands alone, and will brook no rivalry nor accept divided
homage.

In Hinduism, on the other hand, we see tolerance incarnate. It is true
that the caste system lends itself readily to intolerance, that some of
the most refined and cruel forms of persecution are conducted by it
against Christians today. Yet in itself this faith has a genius for
toleration. It does not go out of its way to attack other faiths. On the
contrary it generally reaches forward the flag of truce and peace to them.
It willingly appropriates much of their teaching and ritual. It placed in
its pantheon its arch-enemy, Buddha, and has dignified many of the demons
of the primitive cult of South India in the same way. And herein lie the
subtle power and supreme danger which inhere in it to other faiths.

(_d_) It must also be remembered that the faith of India is an ethnic
faith, with no ambition to reach to other peoples beyond that peninsula.
This faith has a hundred ways of expelling and excommunicating its members
and only one doubtful door by which it may receive outsiders, namely, by
the formation of a new caste.

Christianity, on the other hand, is preëminently a missionary religion. It
claims to be the universal faith. The last commandment of the Lord upon
earth and the first work of the Holy Spirit upon His descent was to
propagate the faith and to carry it to many lands and peoples. Hinduism is
conserved by its social organism of caste; Christianity, by its leavening
influence upon all that comes in contact with it, and the outreaching
power of its life within.

(_e_) Another difference is observable in the fact that while Christianity
is always held as a system of saving truth to be believed, Hinduism, in
its acceptance, does not involve the necessary belief of any doctrine or
system of doctrine. It is well understood that a man of any belief, or of
no belief, may be a genuine and orthodox Hindu provided he observes caste
rules and ceremonies. It has been more than once insisted upon that a man
may accept Christ as his Saviour and His religion as his firm belief and
still remain a Hindu if he only submit to the demands of caste. Not a few
Hindus are trying to live up to this strange dual system today! And I fear
some native Christians have not got rid of the same delusion.

(_f_) There is also a marked difference in the moral standards of the two
faiths. In a certain sense the moral code of Brahmanism, at its best, is
lofty if not perfect. It enjoins a man not to lie, not to steal, not
injure another, to be just, brave, hospitable and self-controlled. Some
savage races inculcate, with more or less severity, the same moral
lessons. But to Hindus as to savages these injunctions have represented
the moral code; and whoever, among them, attains unto these, mostly
negative, virtues, is deemed worthy of praise. In a sense the ten
commandments communicated through Moses, obtain among Christians and are
enjoined upon them today. But they, rather than represent the Christian’s
ideal, indicate only the low water mark of his moral requirements. To say
of a Christian gentleman today that he does not steal, or does not lie, is
rather an insult than a compliment, since it assumes that he possesses
only what is now considered a very elementary form of morality, such as
the lower classes and children are supposed to practice. It is only as we
follow Jesus Christ and sublimate this code in love (Matt. 22:37-40) that
we rise to the full significance and divine content of morality. The
Christian code rests not in negation, but commands a life of outgoing,
active love. A lofty altruism must permeate his every act and give
colouring to his whole life. Christ not only introduced and emphasized
this golden rule; He taught that it was absolutely necessary (John 12:25;
Matt. 5:44).

To the Hindu, on the other hand, the _lex talionis_ is a law of life still
enforced. See, _e.g._, Vishnu Purana 5:19. He never thinks nor is he
commanded by his religion to think, of aught but outward conformity to a
moral code which is altogether inadequate to keep, direct and inspire him
in life. This difficulty is, of course, enhanced when we remember that in
the whole realm of Hindu life—whether it be of gods or of men—there is no
one who looms up as a perfect example. It is therefore little wonder that
in India today morality is at so low an ebb and that even the code which
prevails there is so sadly and universally violated.

Hopkins aptly remarks in this connection: “This Christian ideal of today,
which makes fair-mindedness, liberality of thought, and altruism the
respective representatives of the savage virtues of manual honesty,
truth-speaking and hospitality, is just what is lacking in the more
primitive ideal formulated in the code of savages and of Brahman alike....
In India all the factors of the modern code are entirely lacking at the
time when the old code was first completely formulated. Liberality of
thought comes in with the era of the Upanishads; but it is a restricted
freedom. Altruism is unknown to pure Brahmanism.”



Conclusion.


Considering therefore these two faiths in all their characteristics and
tendencies we are warranted in concluding that Hinduism must wane and
vanish. It is an ancient faith and has survived not a few storms. It has a
strong place in the hearts of a great people. But the leaven of
dissolution and death is mightily at work within it today. The times are
changed, new circumstances are bringing in a revolution of thought.
Foreign ideas, language and customs are the rage; a new civilization, the
deadly foe to the strongholds of the faith, is supplanting the old. This
faith has nothing to offer with a view to meeting this new and complicated
situation. It opposes all progress; through its pundits and orthodox
defenders it antagonizes modern civilization and scientific advancement at
every point. It is given up to degrading idolatry and a debasing,
all-absorbing ceremonialism. It is the foster-mother of ignorance.

The mighty influence of Christianity, on the other hand, is being felt by
all in the land; and the thousand-headed, thousand-handed civilization of
the West is grasping and slowly transforming all their ideas of life.
Verily India is in the throes of a new birth. Hinduism has done some good,
doubtless. It has had a mission in the world and that has unquestionably
been, partly, in the conservation of the great doctrine of God’s immanence
at a time when the western world had largely forgotten it. But this work
is no longer needed. Today this truth is emphasized also by the Christian
Church, and in the safe and practical way, in combination and harmony with
the personality and fatherhood of God.

We can therefore look forward with confidence to the ultimate issue of
this great conflict and see, through faith, the day when Christ shall
reign supreme in that land.



                               Chapter IV.


THE PRODUCTS OF THE TWO FAITHS IN INDIA. THE HINDU AND THE NATIVE
CHRISTIAN—A STUDY.


During the many centuries of its history and working in India Hinduism has
had ample opportunity to produce its own type of religious devotee, one
who is thoroughly representative of its teaching and life. This type
abounds in India today and is a faithful reflection of that faith. We
shall now endeavour to study that living embodiment of Hinduism. In one
respect it will be but another way of studying the faith itself—perhaps
the best of all methods of studying a religion, for it is thus presented
in life and action.

Protestant Christianity has not been sufficiently long in India to develop
and foster an Indian type of character of its own. And yet we see it
rapidly working towards that consummation. A century is too brief a time
for this purpose. Moreover, native Christian life in that land is too much
under the dominance and guidance of the West to enjoy a large degree of
spontaneity; and without spontaneity life is not natural.

Nevertheless, the century that has passed has brought into existence the
fourth generation of Protestant native Christians in India; and we are
able to see, to some extent, among these descendants of native Christians
that tendency and bent which will ere long develop into a definite and
settled type of its own. For the time being we can only study the native
Christian as a prophecy—a prophecy not for many years to be fulfilled in
all its details, and yet worthy of study both in itself and for what it
suggests.

Let us consider, then, these types of the two faiths which we see in that
land.



1. And First, The Hindu.


The Hindu Devotee is a genuine product of his religion, wrought out during
thirty centuries on its native heath. He stands before us as a distinct
type whose characteristics differentiate him from the followers of any
other religion.

It is well to remember here that that modern product—the Hindu of Western
culture who is so much in evidence today in India and who sometimes comes
West in flowing orange robes and turban to urge his mongrel philosophy
upon our fellow-countrymen—is not the type of Hindu appreciated by, or
representing, the people of that land. Neither in life nor in teaching
does he represent the faith whose name he bears. He is a man who has
studied Western thought and religion under the guidance and inspiration,
perhaps, of the Christian missionary; and then in an ingenious way strives
to interpret his own faith in the light of his Western attainments. He
presents to us not orthodox Hinduism, but a mongrel doctrine and
philosophy which are as foreign to the teaching of the orthodox Hindu
pundit and as alien to the Hindu Scriptures as they are to Western
philosophy and faith. It is a significant fact that all these
Western-travelled Hindus have first to violate a fundamental injunction of
their own religion—namely, that which prohibits sea travelling to a
Hindu—before they can visit the West in order to commend their faith. And
when they return to their native country they do so as the outcastes of
their religion, and can be reinstated only after performing a work of
atonement which includes the disgusting act of eating the five products of
the cow!

The _real_ Hindu, who stands today as the true exponent of his faith, is a
very different man. He would no more cross the seas than he would cut off
his right arm; for he knows that he can remain a true Hindu only so long
as he remains at home. He is a conservative of the stiffest kind. He
thinks on ancient lines and swears by the rishis of old.

                      [Illustration: Idol Worship.]

                  [Illustration: Religious Mendicants.]

(_a_) Study his prepossessions and then alone can you appreciate his
heritage. Though he may not be a scholar or a philosopher, he is
nevertheless fortified by a host of religious beliefs and prejudices. A
thousand dogmas and prepossessions, the inherited treasures of thirty
centuries, are his. He drank them in with his mother’s milk; he has
breathed them in as an essential part of his daily environment. They are
more than second nature to him and constitute largely the world of his
thought. His ideas of God, of himself, of sin, of salvation, of human
life—all are far removed from ours and are peculiarly his own. He feels
himself to be in the toils of an iron destiny which slowly grinds him to
powder. His conception of God brings him no ray of comfort, or hope of
release. His idea is that his sin and suffering of today are the
inflictions, by some unknown power, for the sins of supposed former
births. So that he must, through countless ages, work out his own
salvation—a salvation which indeed means eternal rest; but it is a rest
from all thought, emotion, self-consciousness and separate existence as
well as from all work.

Within the mighty fascination of this Vedantism the people have been held
through the centuries. And it is a doctrine which renders the highest
morality impossible and has proved the mightiest soporific to the
conscience. A few years ago a murderer in South India was being led from
the court of justice to prison where, soon, he was to be executed for his
crime. As he was struggling in the street with the police, a missionary
accosted him, urging him to confess his sin against God and to seek his
peace. Whereupon the man replied, “I did not commit the murder; it was the
work of God Himself, in whose hands I am and of whom I am part.” To this
the missionary replied that this was neither true nor worthy, and that he
would soon suffer the full penalty of the law for his crime. “Ah, yes,” he
exclaimed, “the god who wrought this in me and through me, will put me to
death. It is all his and I am he.”

Such is the line of thought which passes through the mind of the orthodox
Hindu devotee under all circumstances, be they pleasant or disagreeable.
And it is one of the most difficult things for him, under these
circumstances, to cultivate a true sense of responsibility and a genuine
conception of sin as a moral act.

(_b_) See again his ideals. He has many such which influence him largely
in his life. Much depends upon what a man regards as the _Summum Bonum_ of
life. The supreme blessing which the Hindu ever holds before his eyes, as
the highest and last attainment, is union with God. Not a union of
sympathy, but a metaphysical oneness with Brâhm. To lose himself entirely
in the Divine Being and thus to cease having separate thought or
existence, and to pass out of the turmoil and restlessness of human life
into the calm of the passionless bosom of the Eternal—this, to him, is the
ideal which alone is worthy of human attainment.

Again; we, Christians, look forward to a complete self-realization, to a
perfect manhood and a full rounded character as our ideal. The opposite
ideal is the Hindu’s. He seeks the loss of all that we hold best—the
elimination of every ambition and desire, the eradication of all love and
altruism, the cessation of all activity—good as well as evil. His ideal is
not greatness and goodness of heart, but the renunciation of all that
animates and inspires. To him the highest virtue in its noblest activity
has no charms; for he claims that he looks above and beyond all this to
that absolute equilibrium of soul when passion, and when all desire, shall
have been killed through self-mortification and self-abnegation and he
shall have attained mental poise and repose rather than a perfect
character. Thus, in its last analysis, his ideal is an intellectual,
rather than a moral, one; for it is again absorption into the Divine Soul;
and that he conceives to be the Supreme Intelligence rather than the
Perfect Will. This difference of ideal between the two faiths is
fundamental and must work for very diverse results.

In harmony with this is the other thought that the body, yea each and
every body with which the soul may clothe itself, is an unmitigated evil
because it is the highway to suffering and defers the final consummation.
Hence, the Hindu has no respect for the body and longs for the day of
final emancipation from flesh and all its ills.

How then shall the soul be freed from its many births so that it may pass
out of this bondage into the final freedom of _Sayutcha_, or emancipation?
To him _Yoga_, the way of meditation, represents the highest way of
release. To wean the mind, through this process, from all desire and
ambition and thus to reach absolute equilibrium of soul is the object of
_Yoga_. This indeed is the only condition whereby the soul can rise above
any future contact with earthly bodies.

Consequently the Hindu has, for many centuries, looked to the monastery
and the wilderness as the only places where this ideal can be safely and
speedily attained. To live among men, and thus to be subjected to
corroding cares and to the swaying passions of human society, renders the
attainment of beatification impossible. Under these circumstances the soul
finds no way of emancipation. Therefore the watchword of the Hindu is,
“flee from the world rather than overcome it.” For the attainment of those
qualities which ensure final repose he immures himself in a _mutt_ or he
flees into the forest where, apart from men, he gives himself to
self-mortification and meditation that he may speedily find the desired
release. At the root of this idea, as its animating motive, lies the
worthy ambition of living a better life than the environments of a corrupt
society favour. And with this desire is coupled the idea that a full
rounded life and a perfected character are not only possible in the
solitude of a wilderness but are nowhere else attainable. And thus it is,
with many, a silent acknowledgment of failure and of the belief that in
the rush and struggle of public life a godly, heavenly-minded character is
impossible. According to the Hindu conception, a man may be successful in
business matters, but he cannot be holy or fit for the highest communion
with God unless he spend his time in separation from all his kind.
Therefore the so-called pious and holy men of that land are ascetics. They
eschew human society and seek to renounce all human good and every earthly
ambition.

With this purpose, ostensibly, in view there are, as we saw, about
5,500,000 men in India who have given up all earthly employment, who live
apart as ascetics and spend their time in roaming around the country as
religious mendicants. These people are, in the main, doubtless possessed
of the laudable ambition to be holy and to prepare themselves for union
with Brâhm. And yet, as a matter of fact, they are the most pestilential
in their morals of all the people of the land. Many of them, at the same
time, both regard themselves and are regarded by their co-religionists as
the acme of piety. Nevertheless, they daily trample under foot every
command of the decalogue. It is true that a few of them are different from
the mass, and genuinely seek the higher life for the cultivation of which
they have separated themselves. But into their ideal of life altruism
hardly enters at all. It is not to do good unto others, but to escape
contamination from others which is the concern of the Hindu devotee. At
the basis of his higher aspirations concern for self is supreme, thoughts
of others are absent.

A notable illustration of a high realization of the Eastern ideal we see
in the famous Hindu ascetic Swamiji Bhaskara Nanda Sarasvati, of Benares,
who recently died and to whom Dr. Fairbairn has referred so cordially. For
many years he had given himself to devotion and meditation. He had subdued
the body by the rigours of asceticism and had attained preëminence in
self-restraint and in the highest wisdom of _yoga_ culture. He had
therefore retired from the world, spurned all its allurements, denied all
its claims and devoted himself exclusively to thought and meditation. Thus
immured within temple walls in the great city of Benares he was utterly
oblivious to the sin and sorrow of the swarming multitudes of that city
and did nought to relieve the suffering, or to improve the lives, of his
fellow-beings. He died, and over his remains has been erected a shrine to
which the thousands go for worship and for inspiration to attain unto that
ideal of life which they believe him to have realized.

This ideal has, for centuries, taken possession of the Hindu mind, and
never before did it rule with more absolute sway than it does at present.

Another ideal of life with the Hindu is the so-called “path of works.” At
present this term is synonymous with a life of ceremonialism. In modern
parlance “works” means to the Hindu, ceremonial observance. His life is
hedged in on all sides by a host of ceremonies and is permeated through
and through with a most complicated ritual. There is nothing in the life
of a Hindu devotee, whether it be eating, sleeping, bathing or travelling,
which is not religiously prescribed both as to time and method. And
utterly regardless of the significance of these rites or the
appropriateness of them to his life, he deems their observance as
essential to his salvation and finds in their daily keeping the highest
satisfaction and completest assurance of his spiritual progress.

The Hindu is no rationalist in his religion. He obeys implicitly, and
without question, the ritual of his ancestors and finds no interest in the
scrutiny or analysis of them.

So, to the ordinary Hindu, especially to him to whom the way of meditation
in the wilderness seems impossible, ceremonialism becomes a matter of
supreme concern. No other religion has furnished to its followers a more
elaborate and pervasive system of observances than this. These rites
exercise their influence upon the mind and are wielding today a most
potent influence upon Hindu character. A man may think nothing of, nor
have any ambition to attain unto, the spiritual aspect of his faith; he
may give no time whatever to any of its teachings or spiritual
instruction; but if he maintain its ritual with ordinary care he flatters
himself with the thought that he has attained a perfection corresponding
to his estate.

Moreover, the Hindu is a thorough _fatalist_. He believes that his destiny
is “written upon the forehead.” Nothing which he may do can affect this
destiny. Nor does it seem to be a part of the divine purpose. So far as he
is concerned it is an irrevocable fate. This belief manifests itself
largely in his life and conduct. It is one of the inconsistencies of the
Hindu’s thinking that he, at the same time, worships a tribal god in whose
hands he believes his affairs to be, and through whom prosperity can flow
into his life for time and eternity; and yet he holds, with equal, yea
with greater, persistence, the law of _Karma_, that is, the law of works,
according to which law alone future life, both to himself and to all men,
must be wrought out even to the last detail. It is strange that a man
whose pantheon is so crowded as that of the Hindu, and who believes in
such constant divine guidance and interference, should, also, at the same
time, maintain a theory of life which practically dispenses with all
divine action and makes human life the product of a blind and grinding
fate. Nothing is more marked as a characteristic of Hindu thought today
than a possession by the people of these mutually conflicting and
contradictory views of life.

(_c_) Looking at the Hindu from a social standpoint we see him largely
affected by the caste system. Not only is his life in bondage to this
system, his view of life, too, is thoroughly coloured by his caste
sentiments.

Just as ceremonialism covers all his personal life, even so caste
observance defines for him all his social relations. There is not a tie or
an influence which binds man to man that is not, to the Hindu, a part of
the great and all-embracing caste system. So all-pervasive is this social
tyranny that a man dare not withstand it; yea, more, he has learned to
look at it as the prime necessity of his social being and therefore
invariably regards it as the highest good. He may indeed believe that, in
the abstract, caste is an evil and that it has been a curse to the people
of the land. But he nevertheless maintains that, as it is an ancient part,
and a most important part, of his ancestral faith, it must be submitted to
in all obedience and regarded as the ideal of life.

The Bhagavad-Gita is regarded today not only as the gem of all Hindu
literature; it is also held up by educated Hindus as the highest authority
among their _Shastras_. Concerning caste duties this “Divine Song” speaks
as follows:

“Better to do the duty of one’s caste,
Though bad and ill-performed and fraught with evil,
Than undertake the business of another,
However good it be. For better far
Abandon life at once than not fulfill
One’s own appointed work; another’s duty
Brings danger to the man who meddles with it.
Perfection is alone attained by him
Who swerves not from the business of his caste.”

Therefore the Hindu has come to regard caste observance as the supreme
claim of his faith. As we have seen, a man may believe or disbelieve any
doctrine he please; that does not affect his status as a Hindu so long as
he is loyal to caste rules and observances. As one has aptly remarked, the
seat of other religions may be in the mind; the seat of Hinduism is
preëminently in the stomach. It is not what he thinks but what and how and
with whom he eats that gives him his religious status.

The Hindu regards himself as socially devoid of any right of initiative
and choice; he has no will of his own. His social conscience is in the
keeping of his caste. This has gained its rules from the past and
exercises no discretion or judgment of its own in the social direction of
its members; but it insists upon implicit obedience, by every one, to past
customs which have crystallized into irrevocable laws. And to these laws
the Hindu is always and everywhere a willing and an abject slave. To
violate any of them is, he well knows, to be recreant to his faith and to
be an outcaste among his people.

(_d_) The Hindu is not strong in character, as Westerners regard strength.
As we have seen, his religion is not favourable to the highest development
of conscience. Hence, sincerity and truthfulness are not among his strong
points. Not only does pantheism undermine conscience, the example of the
most prominent gods of the Hindu pantheon, leads men to prevaricate and
encourages all forms of duplicity. Under these circumstances it were
strange if the Hindu were conspicuous in honesty and in loyalty to the
truth. And in like manner he is wanting largely in those convictions
which, in the West, are so inseparably associated with earnestness,
integrity and lofty purpose. If, to the Hindu devotee, religion is not a
system of truth to be believed and loyally followed, but a series of
ceremonies to be observed and of caste rules to be obeyed, then loyalty to
truth becomes a very secondary matter and integrity of mind will be
regarded by him as of no great moment. Therefore it is that hollowness is
so often found at the core of their life. Lying and stealing are all but
universal. It is said in our District in South India that the regular
price of a court witness is two annas (four cents); and he stands ready to
perjure himself to any extent for this paltry sum. The ordinary Hindu
seems too often to have a predilection for falsehood and uses truth with
rare economy! There, dishonesty and petty larceny are foibles too
frequently condoned because too generally practiced. Even among the higher
classes—the cultured and élite—open-faced and open-handed frankness and
sincerity are too rare. Hypocrisy and duplicity are too often cultivated
as a fine art. It seems to be the pride and pleasure of an Oriental to
conceal his mind and purpose and to say and do things by the greatest
indirection possible.

India has been extolled as a land where there is no profanity. This is
true and she should have the credit for this abstinence. And one never
feels like giving her this credit more than when he returns from that
country to this and is compelled to endure the coarse profanity which
pervades our streets as a terrible stench.

Yet one can hardly see how the Hindu could find interest in, and a strong
grip upon, profanity, so long as the gods of his pantheon have so little
of his respect and enter so rarely into the serious compacts of his life.
Moreover it should not be forgotten that obscenity fulfills in India the
function of profanity in the West. The bursts of passion which find
expression here through taking the name of God in vain gain utterance
there in language unspeakably bad of the other kind. And this is only a
part of the larger subject of the prevalence of social immorality in
India—an evil which is largely fostered under the protection of the
religion of the land. When Lord Dalhousie, the Viceroy of India, was
considering an act for the suppression of obscenity in the country, he was
compelled by Hindu sentiment to exempt all temples and religious emblems
from the operation of the act! What better commentary could one desire
upon the source and prevalence of this vice in that land? When such an
evil is intrenched behind the religion of the people and is symbolized and
fostered by its emblems and ceremonies—when _tasies_, or women dedicated
to the Hindu gods and temple worship (there are 12,000 of these in South
India alone), constitute the public characters of the land—then the hope
for the purification of life is at the lowest ebb.

It is also very rare that one finds a Hindu whose convictions and loyalty
to certain beliefs are such that he is willing to suffer in their behalf.
That masculine vigour and manly persistence under difficulty in
maintaining what he believes to be right and true is not germane to the
Hindu character.

On the other hand, the Hindu is strong in the so-called passive virtues.
In harmony with his religious beliefs, patience and meekness and endurance
of evil have become second nature to him. This side of his character has,
indeed, received undue emphasis during the many centuries of his history.
He cannot understand the rush and impatience, the push and aggressiveness
of the Westerner any more than he of the West can understand the Hindu’s
cool, quiet, patient, bearing under most trying and adverse circumstances.
He has a large lesson to teach us in the art of self-control and in the
ability to endure with complacency evils which cannot be remedied.

Thus as we look at the Hindu from the various standpoints of life and
character we see how strange a compound he is, and how unlike the man of
the West at nearly all points in our examination. He is preëminently weak
where we are strong, and he manifests strength where we seem to need it
most. His religion has developed within him traits and tendencies which,
through these many centuries, have wonderfully wrought in his life and
character, and have largely made him what he is today.

Moreover all this enables us to see what a serious problem Christianity
has in hand in India today, namely the conversion of 230,000,000 people so
far removed in life and sentiment from those who have gone to preach
Christ to them. Yea, more, we have seen what mighty influences and forces
Christianity has to overcome, what hosts of prejudices to destroy, before
she can lay her hand in power upon that great land and claim it as her
own.



2. Let us Now Study The Native Christian.


The Indian Christian, as we have seen, is a recent product, so far as
Protestant Christianity is concerned. And yet we are glad to witness a
marked development in the life and character of those who are connected
with the Protestant missions. It is true that fully one-half of the
Christian community there found has been connected with our faith no more
than a quarter of a century. But as we compare these recent accessions to
our faith with those Christians of a second, third and fourth generation
we are much encouraged by the growth in Christian character and principle
which is taking place. I have often studied these differences between the
recent convert and the Christian-born member of the community. I have also
compared those of the second, with those of the third and fourth,
generation of Christian heritage; and I have been much encouraged to see
that our faith is adding to its power over the life and character of the
native Christian community as the years and generations increase. And if
the work continues, with the present insistence and vigour, it will not
take many generations more before Christianity will have become thoroughly
indigenous, because it will have developed a type of character in that
land fully in harmony with its own genius and teaching.

It is necessary, however, in considering this question, that we remember
specially that the antecedents and the environment of the native Christian
have been entirely Hindu. His ancestral faith has coloured, and must
colour, largely his religious preceptions and conduct. Let it not be
thought that, when a man abandons Hinduism and becomes a Christian, he
thereby, once and for all, drives out of his mind all those
prepossessions, prejudices and superstitions which he has inherited from
the past. It will take a long time for him to separate himself from these
and their influence. Many of them will probably cling to him during his
whole life. It is as much as we can hope that Christian truth will take
increasing possession of his mind and gradually supplant the old and
unworthy beliefs of Hinduism.

There are moreover certain elements of truth in that old faith which we do
not care to eliminate from his mental furnishing, but which must find new
adjustment and be properly located in the new religion which he has
adopted.

It should also be remembered and made prominent in our consideration of
this subject that the people of India are an Oriental people and are the
children of the tropics and, as such, will always remain and must remain
very different from us of the Northwest. Their climatic and meteorological
conditions, their outer, physical life, their social customs and the trend
of their civilization, have always been, and will continue to be, far
removed from our own. Nothing could be more fatal to our success in our
effort for the conversion of India than the idea that we must in every
respect mold them after the pattern of Western life and habits. A large
portion of their life is the result of the conditions which I have
mentioned and must largely remain unchanged; and it would be folly for the
missionary to regard these as a part of the faith to be supplanted, and to
teach that western social customs are inseparable from Christianity and
must be accepted by the Orient with our faith. The Christian of India will
always be, and it is well that he should be, differentiated from the
Anglo-Saxon Christian.

It should also be remembered that the people of India, at least the
masses, are low in civilization. It should not be expected that those who
are in that low estate, when they become Christians, will leap with one
bound into the full possession of a high civilization and be clothed upon
with some of those beauties of western life and character which we
inevitably associate with the term, “A Christian Gentleman.” They, indeed,
become truly and sincerely the disciples of Christ; but they will, at the
same time, manifest some of the crudities and weaknesses of the low social
grade of which they have been and still remain a part. They should not be
judged by standards Western or of a high civilization.

Looking, then, at the native Christian of India let us have regard to his
condition socially, morally, religiously and spiritually.

(_a_) Studying this product of the Christian faith in that land from a
_social_ standpoint we find encouragement. He differs from his Hindu
neighbour by a growing freedom from the trammels of caste. He feels, in
his best moments, that caste has been and continues to be the greatest
curse of the land, that he has been emancipated from it, and that he is
ambitious to enjoy the liberty wherewith Christ has made him free. And
yet, unfortunately, he does not remain constantly in the possession of
this sane mind. The roots of the caste system have reached down into the
lowest depths of his being. Even at times when he believes that he is
absolutely independent of caste considerations, there is in him a blind
persistence which clings to caste bondage. I have often felt that Hinduism
can be dispensed with by our convert with vastly more ease in all other
particulars than in its caste feelings and affiliations. This relic of the
past clings to him with a tenacity which is phenomenal and most sad.
Though everything teaches him that this caste system is the greatest enemy
of Christianity and will prevent any one who believes and practices it
from fully imbibing the spirit of Christ; and though he aspires to be an
earnest and an efficient Christian and to love all his brethren, this
remnant of Hinduism in his heart returns to rob him of the joys and
blessings of his Christian birthright. I have seen this frequently
disfigure what would otherwise have been a beautiful Christian character.
I have witnessed it blast the prospects of Christian congregations dooming
them to stagnation and death. I have known it to palsy the arm and deaden
the heart of more than one Christian worker.

All this is inevitable when we remember the mighty influence and the long
continued dominance of caste in that land. But even at this point, where
the missionary finds the greatest discouragement, there are marked signs
of progress. So long as the missionary fought this evil alone there was
little hope of success. But, during the last few years, the conscience of
the native Christian Church itself has been roused on this question. The
Indian Christian today, as never before, has the conviction that this
caste evil saps the spiritual life of every member and of every church
which entertains it, and that it is his supreme duty to fight it steadily
in his own heart, home and church. And there is an increasing number,
especially of the young Christians, who are pledging themselves to an
unceasing warfare against the demon caste. Christians are also organizing
themselves into Caste Suppression Societies. All this is highly
encouraging, but needs large furtherance and development before the native
Christian can be said to be freed from this most subtle curse of the
ancestral faith.

The old Hindu Joint Family System is the foster-mother of the caste idea,
and it is cheering to see native Christians increasingly abandoning that
system for the Western idea of home which encourages thrift, independence
and liberty among the various members of a family and clan.

In India, for many years to come, this blight of social narrowness,
exclusiveness and divisiveness will affect more or less the native
Christian character and give colour to the native Christian Church. For
centuries it may prove the weak spot of Indian Christianity.

(_b_) _Morally_, the native Christian develops slowly. One writer has
recently claimed that the Christian of India manifests little, if any,
preëminence over the Hindu, in this respect. This is not true. He is
certainly moving forward and upward morally. But it should be remembered
that moral character is not one of the first results of Christian conquest
among such a people. It is rather the highest and last fruit upon the tree
of Christian life. It should not be forgotten that what we regard in the
West as the high moral traits of a Christian gentleman are the product of
more than 1,000 years of Christian living.

The native Christian manifests, in this respect, the weakness of his
antecedents and his environment. When we remember that weakness of
character to which we have referred as belonging to the Hindu it is not
surprising that the native Christian, who is daily surrounded by men of
that faith and who imbibes the atmosphere of that religion, should largely
be affected by the same evil. A few years ago an English barrister
complained to me of certain Christian witnesses who had given evidence in
a case recently conducted by him in Madura. “I hate to have your
Christians as witnesses in any of my cases,” he says; “for whenever they
venture to give false evidence they instantly falter and stumble and are
caught by the opposing counsel. A Hindu, when he gives false evidence,
will tell a straight and a plausible story. But your Christians are too
much affected by twinges of conscience.” What was embarrassing and
annoying to him was encouraging to me! That our Christians should
occasionally give false evidence did not surprise me; but that they, in
this matter, should be differentiated, by this disinterested observer,
from Hindu witnesses is a reliable testimony in favour of their growing
veracity.

Among the higher class of native Christians, which is annually increasing
in number, there is marked improvement in character. Especially among
mission agents do we have opportunity to witness this development. They
are growing in sincerity and reliability. The missionary is learning, with
increasing pleasure, to place confidence in their veracity. And yet, we
must mourn that moral progress among our people, both high and low, is not
more rapid and satisfying.

Social immorality, as we have seen, is very prevalent in that tropical
country. It is natural that this should annoy and worry us greatly among
our native Christians. It is a sad fact that more of our mission agents
are dismissed on account of this sin than any other. Hindu society is not
only largely demoralized by this evil, there is also no public sentiment
against it. But, under the influence of a growing sentiment in behalf of
chastity and purity, the evil is gradually diminishing among our native
Christians.

One source of moral depravity in Hindu society is the prevalent belief
among them that there is no necessary connection between piety and
morality. Their faith maintains that a man may be an ardent and worthy
devotee, and at the same time trample under foot every part of the
decalogue. Indeed the immorality of their religious ascetics is as
noticeable as their profession of piety. Nobody there questions their
lofty faith, their deep piety, their supreme devotion to their gods; nor
will any one hesitate for one moment to charge them with every vice and
sin in the human catalogue. Such is the Hindu mind that it can and does
believe that these, to us, inseparable elements of a noble life, can be
severed and found absolutely apart. In India, today, the moral people are
largely the non-religious; while the ostentatiously religious are the
publicly immoral ones.

It will take a long time for this fundamental and universally prevailing
error to lose its grip upon our Christian people in that land. We find,
not infrequently, in the Christian community, men and women living in
unrighteousness and at the same time believing that it will be overlooked
in the Divine account because of their zeal in Christian advocacy or their
offering for the Christian cause. Perhaps this land of the West also is
not free from such a delusion! We endeavour to teach them, in the language
of the Apostle Paul (1 Tim. 3:9), “to hold the mystery of the faith in a
pure conscience”; and we emphasize the supreme truth that faith and
conscience, piety and morality are one and inseparable.

(_c_) _Religiously_, the native Christian is slowly shaking off the
clinging brood of superstitions which he inherited from Hinduism. Our most
recent converts have often a tenacious belief in the efficacy of some of
those childish superstitions and charms which were largely their main stay
in their ancestral religion. In most cases these are not a matter of faith
so much as of inheritance which have become more than a second nature to
them. Idolatry may be abandoned, belief in Hinduism as a saving faith may
be thrown to the winds, Hindu ritual may lose its charm; but the many
little superstitions which are connected with private life and social
customs have still a quiet influence and a lingering power over them.
These largely belong to the life of those who have _recently_ accepted the
Christian faith. It may be that some of them will never make that progress
in life which will lift them entirely above some of these Hindu
superstitions. But the great majority of native Christians today have
religiously had no connection whatever with Hinduism and have entirely
substituted Christian rites and observances for those of the Hindu
religion. And they apparently have large satisfaction in them. The old
Hindu idea of the supreme value of asceticism is largely yielding to a
Christian altruism which abandons self-centred, self-seeking, activity in
favour of loving sympathy for, and an endeavour to do good to, men.

We also notice that among them the idea of the efficacy of certain forms
and ceremonies is lessening in favour of a conviction of the power of the
inner life of faith.

And yet it should be constantly kept in mind that ceremony and ritual must
always find a larger place in the religious life of India than in that of
the United States. The inhabitant of India is tropical and poetic in
temperament. He beholds things, and appreciates and appropriates spiritual
blessings, more through the help of forms and ceremonies than does the man
of the West. A rite appeals to his nature more strongly and lends to him
greater facility in getting at its underlying truth and antitype than it
does to us. Indeed it is his nature to look at Christian truth through the
eyes of a poet; and ceremonies consequently convey to him the largest
significance and are more revealing of the spirit within. We seek divine
truth and spiritual blessings more directly than he. It would be therefore
a mistake for us to expect that practical, unpoetic mind of ours in the
Oriental, or to present religious truth to him in its nakedness, unadorned
and unenforced by rite and ritual. It has been, and, to some extent,
continues to be the fault of our Congregational Missions in India that
they try to lift the native Christian to those dry, unadorned, simple
forms of religious service which indeed satisfy the missionaries, but
which ignore the great difference of nature and temperament between
themselves and the converts. It should be remembered that in India people
think vocally. Even as they must and do read aloud in order to read
intelligently, so must they worship aloud in order to worship feelingly
and thoughtfully. Hence the wisdom and urgency for them of a ritual and a
responsive service.

(_d_) _Spiritually_, the Indian Christian is slowly and surely developing
on definite lines of his own.

The simplicity of his faith is beautiful. He has none of those questions
of doubt or misgivings of unbelief which are so prevalent in the West. He
takes the Bible in all fullness of acceptance. His prayers are not crossed
and frustrated by any rationalistic theories, but have the simplicity of
childish directness, filial trust and full expectancy. Nothing has touched
me more in my contact with native Christians than to feel the directness,
simplicity, unquestioning trustfulness of their prayers even in times of
greatest adversity.

The native Christian possesses a mystic temperament. The inhabitants of
that land, through many centuries of training, have become natural mystics
in religion. This national heritage the native Christian retains; and
properly chastened and directed by Christian truth and faith it will add
depth, beauty and power to his religious life. Under these conditions I
shall have no fear of mysticism in the Christian Church in India. Deep
spirituality and a yearning after the hidden things of religion is more
natural to the East than to the West. The West is practical and worldly;
the East is mystical and other-worldly. The native Christian, at his best,
is manifesting some of this spiritual power. He takes naturally to the
Pauline emphasis upon the life “hid with Christ in God,” and to the mystic
union which exists between Christ and His own.

It is here that the native Church in India is, I believe, to show an
inspiring example to the Church of the West. If the Christian of India is
not to be as practical or indeed as spiritually sane as his brother of the
West, he will probably illustrate more of the hidden mysteries and power
of the spiritual life. In this respect the spiritual power of the East and
that of the West will be, in their separate emphasis, mutually
complementary.

The Indian Christian, true to his native temperament, is and will continue
to be strong in the so-called passive virtues, and weak in the positive or
aggressive ones. Patience, meekness, gentleness, endurance—these are the
graces which preëminently adorn him and which give colour and shape to his
religious character. Here, again, his life will be very different from
that life which has characterized, thus far, the Western Christian. The
masculine virtues of assertion, boldness, aggressiveness have
characterized the West. We have been strong and continue strong in that
aspect of our faith which we associate with the words assertion and
attack. The West has, true to its environment and training, developed
Christian character mostly, I will not say exclusively, on the positive
side of life. The equally important passive virtues we of the West have
much neglected if not despised as weakness. The East is even today
manifesting the blessedness, and the native Christian will increasingly
illustrate, the beauty and potency, of the passive virtues—of the
spiritual element of endurance and non-resistance. He will show to us that
a true and perfected character—a character molded after that of the divine
Exemplar—must have also, and with equal emphasis, the sweet and feminine
passive graces of life as an essential element. In India today the
Anglo-Saxon is wont to speak with contempt of “The mild Hindu.” That
mildness which we are too apt to despise contains the germs of that half
of Christian character which is too largely wanting in the spiritual life
of the Anglo-Saxon and which the Christian Church of India will
increasingly illustrate and gradually seek to respect, honour, and
ultimately, to adopt.

Thus, speaking broadly of the native Christian of India today we find him
almost as much a product of heredity and environment as he is of
Christianity. He holds out Christ before himself as his ideal of life, and
His words as the all-satisfying truth. He seeks in His redeeming work rest
and salvation of soul; but many of the deepest yearnings of his heart come
to him through old channels worn out by his ancestral faith. Hinduism
gives more or less of colouring to his religious thought and aspirations;
and not a few of its forms and ceremonies are retained, but filled with a
new Christian content, and are utilized to aid in the development of
Christian life. Even as the Jews of old entered into possession and
appreciation of Christian life through Jewish rites and ceremonies, so do
native converts enter Christian life through Hindu forms today. From the
necessity of their thought and being they utilize not a few of the
processes of the old, in order to acquire and enjoy the blessings of the
new, faith. This cannot be avoided nor do we desire that it should be
avoided.

             [Illustration: House Of A Missionary In India.]

               [Illustration: A Village Christian Church.]

The study of the Indian Christian character in its peculiarities and
tendencies is of importance, because, as I have said above, I believe it
is to affect our conceptions of life in the West. At the present time not
a few of the religious vagaries which infest our land such as Christian
Science and Theosophy, have chiefly come to us from India. At least,
whatever of philosophy they may possess, and all of the occultism and
mysticism which they court and magnify, are thoroughly Eastern and Indian.
And from the popularity of such movements in this land it would seem as if
the boast of some men that Hindu thought is invading the West is partially
true. But the invasion which I desire and expect, in the not distant
future, is the invasion of an Oriental _Christian_ thought, _Christian_
life and _Christian_ character. This will come in its time as truly as,
and much more fully than, the other has come, and it will do this country
as much good as the other is now doing evil.

As an illustration of what I mean in reference to the influence of Eastern
thought upon the West I would prophesy that ere long the Indian Christian
Church will formulate for itself and enunciate to the world an advanced
and helpful doctrine of the Holy Ghost beyond anything that the West has
enunciated. India, which for these many centuries has been the home of an
all-prevalent spiritual pantheism, when it comes to elaborate the doctrine
of God, from a Christian standpoint, will give as much emphasis to His
immanence as the West has given to His transcendence. God with us and in
us and working in all creation, even the Holy Spirit of God,—this is the
conception which the Indian Christian will elaborate and illuminate beyond
anything that the West has thus far attempted.

There is danger, today, and it is inevitable, that missionaries from the
West be too ambitious to occidentalize the native Christian community,
ignorant of, or indifferent to, the grand possibilities of thought and of
life which lie in Eastern character and teaching. It is much easier to
thrust upon them everything Western than it is to appreciate and to
conserve many things Eastern. The future missionary will learn wisdom from
the past and will enter upon his work with less depreciation of things
Oriental and with a larger desire to conserve to the utmost Eastern habits
of thought and social customs, so long as, and so far as, they can be made
the vehicles of Christian thought and the channels of Christian life.
Herein must lie the best means for a speedy coming of the Kingdom of
Christ in India.



                                Chapter V.


THE WOMEN OF INDIA.


The condition of its women is the truest test of a people’s civilization.
Her status is her country’s barometer.

The one hundred million women of India admirably reflect the whole social
and religious condition of that land. There are more nations in India than
are found in all Europe; they also present a greater diversity of type.
Between the aboriginal tribes which treat the weaker sex only as a beast
of burden, and the Parsee community which holds its women in the highest
consideration and furnishes them with a liberal education and large
opportunity, there are many intermediate tribes and nations which regard
their women with varying degrees of consideration and of contempt.

Of all Scriptures the Zend Avesta of the Parsees is the only one which
furnishes woman, from the beginning, with absolute equality with man; and
that position she has never lost among the Parsees. But the Parsees in
India are a mere handful.

The Hindu woman constitutes four-fifths of the total number of her sex in
India; and her condition is fairly uniform everywhere and conforms, in
varying degrees, to a type whose characteristics are easily recognized.
She has come down from earliest history. We recognize her everywhere in
the pages of their ancient literature, in their laws and legends; and we
behold her in all the manifold walks of modern life. For nearly a quarter
of a century the writer has lived as her neighbour, gazed daily upon her
life, wondered at and admired her many noble traits which have been
preserved under the most adverse circumstances, and grieved over her
weakness and her many disabilities.

In ancient times, the position of woman in India was one of power coupled
with honour. Today the power remains, but the honour has been largely
eliminated.

1. In ancient Vedic times woman enjoyed many distinctions and revealed
great aptitude. She joined her husband in the offering of domestic
sacrifices and sat as queen in the home. Some of the sacred hymns of the
Rigveda were made by her and have come down these thirty centuries as a
beautiful testimony to her intellectual brightness and aspiration, and as
an evidence of the honour in which she was held.

Five centuries later this beautiful description was given of her in the
Mahabarata:

“A wife is half the man, his truest friend;
A loving wife is a perpetual spring
Of virtue, pleasure, wealth; a faithful wife
Is his best aid in seeking heavenly bliss;
A sweet speaking wife is a companion
In solitude, a father in advice,
A mother in all seasons of distress,
A rest in passing through life’s wilderness.”

The rights and opportunities of woman are strikingly illustrated by many
of the legends of their ancient epics. For instance, we read of the
_Svayamvara_ of the lovely princess Draupadi. It was the occasion when she
had attained womanhood and was entitled to the right to choose her own
husband. How graphically are the royal suitors described as they press
their claims to her heart and hand in knightly tournament. It is one of
those scenes which reveal woman in the possession of some of her most
queenly rights and attractions.

The ancient ideals of womanly character have come down the centuries writ
large in their songs and annals; and these ideals are today held as
dearly, and are loved and sung with as much ardour, as at any time in the
history of India.

Every boy and girl of that land, today, knows the lovely Sita, wife of the
noble and heroic Rama,—how, while in the power of the terrible Ravana, and
at risk of life, she withstood every temptation and lived in unspotted
purity and in supreme devotion and faithfulness to her royal lord.

Who does not know of the faithful Saguntala, whose legend is woven into
one of the most beautiful and touching love stories the world has ever
known. This drama was the first translation from Sanskrit into the English
tongue and elicited the astonishment and lively admiration of such a man
as Goethe.

India has always boasted of the constancy and devotion of the beautiful
Savitri to her beloved Sattyavân. After the death of her husband, she
followed his soul into the spirit-world with fearless devotion and pleaded
with the King of Death with so much passion and persistence for his return
to life that he was finally restored to her in youthful vigour.

These are some of the stock illustrations of the model wife used
everywhere and at all times in India. And they have had an extensive and
wonderful influence in the molding of wifely ideals.

It is, as we see, a glorification of devotion, faithfulness,
constancy—traits that have always beautified the character of the Hindu
woman. It is true that, apart from her husband and from the kitchen, woman
has had few ideals urged upon her in that great country. Her ambitions
have not crossed the doorsteps of her house and home. She is measured
entirely by her relation to her husband or children. She is her lord’s
companion and servant. Love to him is the wand which alone can transform
her life into gold. Her usefulness and her glory are the reflections of
his pleasure and of his satisfaction in her. She has no separate
existence. Apart from man, she is an absolute nonentity. And yet, within
the sphere which has been granted to her, she has shone with a wonderful
radiance and with a charm which reminds us often of some of Shakespeare’s
beautiful womanly creations.

The physical attractions of woman have always, of course, captivated the
sterner sex in India, as in other lands. Her beauty is lavishly described
and painted in warm colours through all Hindu literature. And she _is_
physically beautiful; she will compare favourably with the fair ones of
any land in womanly grace, in beauty of figure, and in bewitching charm of
manner.

But the standard of womanly grace and beauty is not precisely the same
there as it is with us in the West. A Hindu and an American have different
ideals of personal beauty. Though the Aryan type of countenance may not
largely differ East and West, there are touches of expression and shades
of beauty which correspond respectively to the different ideals in both
lands. May they not have created the ideals themselves?

The most common results of a Hindu woman’s toilet are the smooth hair, the
blackened eyebrow, the reddened finger-nails, the pendent nose jewels, the
bulky ear-rings, the heavy bangles for ankles and arms. Without these,
life, to the Hindu belle, is not worth living. On wedding occasions, among
the common folk, red ochre is also daubed over the throat in ghastly
suggestion to the Westerner; but in glorious attractiveness to the native
of the land!

West and East associate a fair complexion with highest beauty. A fond
Hindu mother once came to the writer moaning that she could not find a
husband for her daughter because she was “too black!” The young man of
India puts a premium upon every shade of added lightness of complexion.
His taste is reflected in the universal feminine custom of using saffron
dye to lighten the complexion upon all festive occasions.

The clothing of the woman of India is exceedingly attractive. Her pretty
garb sets off admirably the beauty of her person; and, both in
inexpensiveness and grace, and in its contribution to health, is far
better than the complicated extravagance, the heavy encumbrance and the
insanitary tight-lacing of the West. The women of South India dress with a
view to comfort in the tropics; but they have also, in a most remarkable
degree, conserved appropriateness, beauty, and simplicity in their robes.
The possibilities of the one cloth, which is the full dress of the South
Indian woman, as a modest garment and as a charming full-dress equipment
would be a revelation to the much dressed votary of the West. In the
arranging of this cloth there is considerable scope for ingenuity and for
æsthetic taste; although, in this matter, the rules of each caste furnish
an iron etiquette which must be followed by the women. Indeed, the tyranny
of Worth in the West is nothing as compared with caste tyranny as the
Fashioner of the East. This is accounted for by the fact that a woman’s
dress must be arranged in such a way as to publish abroad her caste
affiliations.

Woman has a vast influence upon the life of the people of India. In no
other country has she relatively exercised more power. All this,
notwithstanding the fact that, for more than twenty centuries, she has had
no recognized position in religion or in society. Her spiritual destiny
has been entirely in the hands of man. By the highest authorities her
salvation has been made entirely dependent upon her connection with him.
She has absolutely no right of worship of her own. From the cradle to the
grave she is in man’s keeping. Until she is married, supreme obedience to
her father is her only safety; while her husband lives, heaven’s blessings
can come to her only through his favour and prayer; and, after his death,
her sons become her lords and the sole guardians and protectors of her
spiritual interests. All this is everywhere recognized by Hindu society,
and by none more than by the woman herself.

And yet, it is equally true, and a fact of remarkable significance, that,
in India today, the religious influence of woman is paramount. She is the
stronghold of Hinduism at the beginning of this twentieth century. Man,
under the growing influence of western thought, civilization, and faith,
has largely lost his moorings and is growing increasingly insincere and a
trifler with religious beliefs and institutions. The woman, on the other
hand, is a conservative of the conservatives. In her superstition she is
deeply sincere; her faith has no questionings, and her piety shapes her
every activity. Were it not for the women of India, Hinduism, with all its
vaunted philosophy, its wonderful ritual and its mighty caste tyranny,
would, within a decade, fall into “innocuous desuetude.”

It is a significant fact that in the religion of no other people on earth
does the worship of the female find so prominent a place. In many parts of
the land _Sakti_ worship, or the worship of goddesses, is widely prevalent
and almost paramount in influence. It is really the worship of power under
a female form; and the power which these goddesses exercise is mostly
malevolent in its character. The terrible wife of Siva, in all her dread
manifestations, is the most popular deity, because the most feared in the
land.

It is natural to inquire whether this characteristic of the Hindu pantheon
is not a reflection of the Hindu mind as to the influence of woman, and as
to the belief of man in the evil character of that influence. As is the
place and power of woman among the men so is the character and place of
the goddesses in the pantheon of that people.

The famous religious reformer Chunder Sen, though he adopted and used the
Lord’s Prayer, changed the form of address from the masculine to the
feminine and said, “Our Mother who art in heaven!” The adoration of the
female in Hindu worship was never more marked than at present. What has
Christianity to meet this bent of the Hindu mind? Or should it be
discouraged as an element in worship? The Romanists meet it by exalting
and giving preëminence to the Virgin Mother. The Protestants have nothing
corresponding to this.

Socially, the Hindu woman is a reactionary of the most pronounced type;
she opposes social reform at all points—nowhere more than when it is
directed to ameliorate her own condition. Religiously, as we have seen,
she is the slave of man by law and teaching; yet she rules her household,
even in these matters, with an iron hand.

From her throne in the home she so wields her sceptre that it is felt also
throughout the whole social fabric. Her beloved lord has perhaps passed
through a university course, is a pronounced social reformer and
discourses in eloquent English, before large audiences of his admiring
countrymen, concerning the mighty social evils which are the curse of the
country; he, with his ardent fellow-reformers, frames rules which shall
soon usher in the millennium of social reform and progress! And then
he—this man of culture, of eloquence, of noble purposes and of altruistic
ambitions—goes to his home and meekly submits to the grandmotherly tyranny
which has shaped his life much more than he knows, and which vitiates and
renders nugatory all his social and other schemes! As man has narrowed the
scope of woman’s life in that land, so she has given it intensity of
power.

And what is more significant, she has become supremely contented with the
narrow sphere which man has grudgingly given her. And, for this very
reason, she combats every endeavour, on the part of her friends, to
release her from her bondage and to increase her opportunities and
blessings in life. The old triple slander perpetrated upon India, to the
effect that “it is a country in which the women never laugh, the birds
never sing and the flowers have no fragrance,” is a falsehood in all its
details. Hindu women have as merry a laugh as their sisters in any other
land. They have learned to make the best of their lot and to rejoice in
it.

Since the time of the Mohammedan conquest, and probably long before, the
higher class of women have mostly led a life of seclusion. This is
preëminently true of the northern parts of the country where Mohammedan
influence was strongest and the Hindu had carefully to protect his wife
and daughters from the coarse Mussulman. In South India this seclusion is
very rare and observed only among the most aristocratic. The common woman
of India finds ample freedom of intercourse in her town and village, and
figures conspicuously at the great religious festivals of her land.

Generally speaking, woman is the redeeming feature of India. She is the
ideal home-keeper and housekeeper. Usually, she is devoted to her husband,
a passionate lover of her children, the conserver of society, the true
devotee in religion. Her lord and husband has been taught, from time
immemorial, to keep her in obscurity and to surround her with the screen
of ignorance and narrow sympathies; but she has magnified the work
assigned to her; her excellence has shown far beyond his; and, in her
bondage, she has built her throne from which she has wielded her sceptre
of love and goodness over him.

She has never aspired to realms not granted to her by her lawgivers. The
modern aspiration of the “new woman” of the West does not appeal to her.
She asks only to be let alone in her narrow but, to her, all-sufficient
sphere.

2. But, after all we have said, or can say, of the power of woman in
India, it still remains that, in no other land, has she suffered such
marked disability and deeper injustice. If her goodness has shone out of
her darkness, it has only served to reveal the more the sadness of her
position. She bears in her condition the signs of her bondage and
humiliation. The evils of the land have been attributed to her; and man
too often ascribes his own degradation and sin to the curse breathed upon
him by woman.

The proverbs of a country are the truest test of its sentiments. What have
these to say of the woman of India today?

“What poison is that which appears like nectar? Woman.”

“What is the chief gate to hell? Woman.”

“What is cruel? The heart of a viper. What is more cruel? The heart of a
woman. What is the most cruel of all? The heart of a soulless, penniless
widow.”

“He is a fool who considers his wife as his friend.”

“Educating a woman is like putting a knife in the hands of a monkey.”

These are a few of the many proverbs which characterize woman in one
vernacular only. Every other Indian tongue equally abounds in proverbial
expressions which brand a woman as one of the greatest evils of the land.
Sanskrit writers have exhausted vituperative language in describing woman.
They represent her as “wily, hypocritical, lying, deceptive, artful,
fickle, freakish, vindictive, vicious, lazy, vain, dissolute,
hard-hearted, sinful, petty-minded, jealous, addicted to simulation and
dissimulation. She is worse than the worst of animals, more poisonous than
the poison of vipers.”

These proverbs do not necessarily reveal the depravity of the Hindu woman;
but they do testify unmistakably to the estimation in which she is held by
man.

The ignorance of woman there is dense and is probably a fact which closely
connects her with the proverbial expressions concerning her. Her
illiteracy is not an incident in Indian life. It has been, through the
centuries, a settled policy of the land. At the present time only one
woman in two hundred can read and write in that land of progress. The
remarkable thing is, not that so many are illiterate, but that even a few
have been taught at all, in view of the attitude of the Hindu mind towards
her. In ancient times there was little to learn, in India, apart from
religion; but it has been the strict injunction of their Shastras and
religious instructors that no man shall, under penalty of hell, teach to
his wife or daughter the Vedas which are the purest and best part of Hindu
Scriptures. Any form of useful knowledge was considered dangerous in her
possession.

It is not that woman is wanting in capacity. She is as bright and as
teachable as her brother. All that she has needed, educationally, has been
opportunity; and this, society has denied her, and this has done injustice
not only to her but, still more, to itself.

Infant marriage has been, for many centuries, a crying evil in that land.
This has brought to woman a train of evils which have made deplorable her
condition above all the women of the earth. This custom originated,
probably, from a sense of kindness to the girl herself. It was the
expression of a desire on the part of the parents to insure their
daughter, at an early date, against failure to attain that which all
Hindus regard as the _summum bonum_ of a woman’s life—marriage. But, in
their short-sighted policy, they failed to realize the myriad evils which
would follow this pernicious custom. The girl’s will or desire must not be
regarded as an element in this life compact! And, what is worse still,
these infant compacts are necessarily followed by early consummation,
whereby girls enter, in many cases, upon the duties of motherhood at
twelve years of age. Few, indeed, are permitted to reach full physical
development before they assume the function of child-bearing. This is not
only a serious evil to the woman herself, it also gives poor chance for
the begetting of a healthy progeny and for the early training of the same.
And it is not strange that the woman who thus early enters the sphere of
motherhood should become a worn out old woman at thirty-five or forty
years.

Much effort has been put forth in India, by Westerners especially, to make
infant marriages impossible, or at least unpopular. But, little success
has thus far attended this effort.

A small meed of alleviation was gained with much effort in 1891. It came
through the passing of the “Age of Consent Bill” whereby the age of a
girl’s consent to cohabitation was raised from ten to twelve. To a
Westerner, the blessing acquired by this bill seems in itself a mockery
and only reveals the appalling cruelty of that people to its girls.

It has been found impossible to touch, much less remove, the gross evil of
infant marriage itself, the custom which opens wide the door to other
ghastly evils.

The greatest of these is that of virgin-widowhood. If men will perversely
marry their infant daughters to small boys, it is sure that a considerable
proportion of the boys will die before their marriage is consummated.
Thus, annually, thousands of these poor girls, who are in absolute
ignorance of the situation, are converted into virgin widows whose
condition, upon the death of their husbands, is instantly changed from one
of innocent childhood pleasure into a sad, despised and hated widowhood.
For, the parents of the boy sincerely believe that it is her evil star
which has killed the boy whose destiny was blended with her own. And
henceforth she is regarded, not only by the parents concerned, but by
society in general, as an accursed person, hated for what has happened to
her husband, and also a creature to be shunned. Her presence must not be
allowed on any festive occasion, lest its evil influence bring sorrow and
death to others. Thus a child of four or five years may suddenly have her
prospects blasted, her life embittered and her company shunned by the
whole world, with none to befriend, to cheer or to comfort her. There are
two millions of such sad and injured ones in India today. Their cry goes
up to God and to man in inarticulate appeal for relief and redress against
a social custom and a religious rule which consigns them, in their time of
greatest innocency, to a life which is worse than death itself and which
robs them of the protection, love and sympathy which the whole economy of
heaven and earth should guarantee to them.

Coupled with this terrible fact is the other, that woman _must_ marry in
India _anyhow_. No disgrace and misfortune can befall a woman, according
to Hindu ideas, equal to that of spending her whole life in maidenhood.
This, of course, is connected with the idea that she has no social status
or religious destiny apart from man. Hence it is that a host of loving
parents, who are unable to find a suitable match for their daughters,
rather than leave them unmarried, stupidly join them in wedlock to
_professional_ bridegrooms. There is, in Bengal, today, a division of the
Brahman caste whose men are professional purveyors to this silly but
prevalent superstition. They are prepared to marry any number of girls at
remunerative rates. And thus they acquire a fair income. Each of these men
have scores of such wives and entertains the proud satisfaction,
doubtless, that he is bestowing a favour upon a benighted community by
coupling his name in wedlock with unfortunate girls who otherwise would be
without a name or hope among men! A state of society which renders such a
condition of things possible is not only a disgrace to any community, it
is a monstrous evil against the womanhood of that community. Is it any
wonder, then, that so many of the women of India, under these
circumstances, should commit suicide? Is it strange that a wife, in such a
land, should find it best to obey and submit to the indignities of the
worst kind from her husband? And is it remarkable that the Hindu widow,
rather than endure the neglect, the temptations and the obloquy of her
widowhood, should have preferred to practice Suttee and to end her
miseries upon the funeral pyre of her husband? When we remember that their
system consigns one-fifth of all the women of India—more than 20,000,000
souls—to this despised and ostracized widow class, we realize the depth of
evil which flows from the system.

There is still another cruel injustice inflicted upon the womanhood of
India. Many thousands (there are 12,000 in South India alone) of her
daughters are dedicated in infancy to a life of shame in connection with
temple worship in that land. These women, the so-called “servants of the
gods,” have been mostly dedicated by fond mothers to this wretched life as
a thank offering to the gods for blessings received. This seems very
strange when it is known that all such girls thereby become public
characters. The “Dancing Girl” of India is thus shut up to her evil life
by those who love her most; and her religious profession becomes to her
the highway to perdition and a bitter curse to society. Recent effort has
been made, in Bombay, to save such girls by making it a legal offence to
“marry” them to the gods and thus devoting them to a life of shame. But
this law only refers to the dedication of girls of tender age in Bombay.
It is exceedingly sad that, practically, the whole population is utterly
indifferent to this greatest insult committed against the womanhood of
India and to the coupling of their own religion and their gods with the
ruin of the soul and body of many thousands of the daughters of the land.

It is not remarkable, under these circumstances, that among all the people
of India the birth of a daughter is the most unwelcome of domestic events.
The evils which surely await her, and the greater possibilities of sorrow
and suffering which surround her, the great burden of expense and of
trouble which her training, and especially her marriage, will entail upon
the family—all combine to make her birth a much dreaded event.

The large expense, in the shape of the marriage dowry and the wedding
expenses which have to be incurred among nearly all classes in connection
with the disposal of their daughters, only make this situation the more
emphatic.

The practice of infanticide, so extensively found in India, was the direct
result of this difficulty. For instance, among the noble race of Rajputs
in North India it was found, some years ago, that, in a community of
30,000, there was not a single girl! Every daughter that was born was
killed. The higher the rank of the family the more constant and systematic
was the crime. “Thus, while an unmarried daughter in India is looked upon
as hopelessly disgraced, a son-in-law cannot always be found unless the
father of the girl is prepared to pay highly, and the marriage of a
daughter may mean the ruin of a family. Rather than incur this danger, the
Rajput preferred that his daughter should perish. And though the
government has enacted stringent laws against this custom, it is not
entirely eradicated yet.”(10)

Thus the Hindus have wittingly and unwittingly placed many of the most
serious disabilities of life upon their women. And the greatest evil of it
is that the woman has become so hardened to her lot that, like the
prisoner of Chillon, she has become enamoured of her chains and is most
loathe to part with her bondage.

3. But the dawn of a new day has risen upon India. It is the day of
woman’s emancipation. A new spirit, during the past century, has entered
that land, and the welcome era of brighter blessing, greater appreciation
and larger opportunity for woman has actually begun. One has only to study
the laws which, during the nineteenth century, were enacted in India with
a view to removing the terrible evils and crimes which were committed
under the sanction of Hinduism; and he will find that not a few are
directed towards the amelioration of the condition of woman. Such inhuman
customs as _suttee_, the murder of children, the dedication of girls to
lives of shame—these have been removed in whole or in part; and, by the
“Age of Consent Bill” and other similar half measures, the beginning has
been made in introducing a day of better things for the women.

Many of the efforts of Hindu Social Reformers are directed towards the
removal of some of the disabilities under which woman lives. It is true
that the woman of India cannot expect, for a long time, much help from her
own people. Even the Social Reformers among them are so few in number, are
so half-hearted in their measures, and are so unwilling to deny themselves
in behalf of the cause which they advocate, that little can be expected
from them. And yet, it must be said that in a few matters of importance
Hindu sentiment is slowly moving in the right direction. As a Social
Reformer, the Hindu is a poor success; but he is not a fool; he can see
that the situation, so far as woman is concerned, is becoming increasingly
untenable and flagrantly inconsistent with the growing light of today. The
hope is that he will yield, with increasing readiness, to the pressure
brought to bear upon him by Western sentiment.

The presence of many women of the West in that land has been a standing
rebuke to the Hindu social situation. These women have done not a little
to stir within their Eastern sisters a desire for something better. They
open their eyes to the contrasted conditions of the women of the East and
of the West. When they shall have aroused the women of India to the
desperateness of their condition and to the urgent need of reform and
relief, the battle will be more than half fought and victory will be in
view. For, when the Eastern woman herself will vigorously demand her
emancipation, man will yield it to her. The Dufferin Hospitals are a noble
tribute to the active interest of the good lady whose name they bear; and
the sympathetic endeavour of Lady Curzon for the elevation of India’s
women are but suggestive of considerable work which the fair sex of the
West have rendered and are rendering in behalf of their Indian sisters.

Protestant Christian missions have been pioneers in this great movement
towards the emancipation of the women of India. American and English
women, connected with these missions, have given themselves to the
redemption of their sisters. More than one thousand of these good women
are devoting their lives to the salvation of India through the elevation
of the women of the land. Thousands of schools are conducted by them in
which a host of young girls are receiving that training which Hinduism has
proscribed for many centuries. And through these schools, and by means of
at least two thousand Bible Women, trained by them, they have access into
hundreds of thousands of Hindu homes where they reveal to the women and
girls a broader horizon of life and give a new conception of the
privileges and opportunities which are opening today before them. They are
creating among the women a spirit of unrest which is the dawning of a new
ambition for greater things in life and service. The very presence of
these foreign ladies suggests to their Indian sister a new sphere broader
than the home, and a new opportunity pregnant with rich blessings to the
land.

Under the influence of these missionary efforts and of the less thorough
training given in government schools, Hindus themselves are beginning to
bestir themselves and to establish schools for their daughters; and thus
we trust that coming years will not only witness a change of thought among
Hindus concerning women, but also a new line of indigenous activity for
their elevation.

There is further ground for encouragement; for the Hindu man of culture is
growing increasingly sensitive to the wide gulf which lies between him and
his absolutely untrained wife. He sees that, while the Western woman is
suited in every way to become the companion of, and a helpmeet to, her
husband, his own little wife is fit to be neither. Even when not separated
from him by a disparity of many years in age, he finds that she has
absolutely no interest outside the walls of her home and has not the first
qualification to discuss with him or to help him by advice in any matter
pertaining to his work or profession. So he, under the new light of modern
times, is increasingly ambitious to have a wife of the new training and of
the larger horizon, and is willing to pay a premium for her in marriage.
And this, itself, is beginning to create a market for educated women even
in that stronghold of conservatism, the Brahman caste.

Thus the effort of Christian missions in the development of womanhood is
acting like leaven upon the whole social mass.



                               Chapter VI.


THE HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN EFFORT IN INDIA.


Christianity found very early entrance into India. How early we cannot
definitely say. The Syrian Church of Malabar traces its legendary origin
to the “doubting disciple,” by whose name it loves to be called. The
Romish Church also warmly supports this contention and exalts St. Thomas
to a high place as the Patron Saint and Apostle of India.

Careful historical investigation entirely overthrows this old claim. The
Thomas legends probably owe their existence to the natural desire of the
Syrian Christians to connect their history with Apostolic origin and
sanction. The name may also be confounded with a later Thomas, several of
whom were conspicuous in the annals of the India Syrian Church.

The ancient vagueness of the name “India,” has also, doubtless, had no
little influence in the formation of these legends. In the beginning of
the Christian era “India” was a term of much wider application than at
present. It included several countries in Southwestern Asia, and even a
portion of Africa. While St. Thomas may therefore have laboured and died
in “India,” it does not at all follow that his field of labour was within
the limits of the peninsula now called by that name. Indeed, many
historical incidents and facts agree in disproving Apostolic connection
with the rise of Christianity in India.

Pantænus, the saintly and learned Presbyter and Christian philosopher of
Alexandria and the renowned teacher of the illustrious church fathers,
Clement and Origen, is the first honoured name which finds historic
sanction in the grand roll of Christian missionaries to India. He visited
Malabar, South India, during the last decade of the second century. He was
a man wonderfully equipped by deep spiritual insight and piety and also by
philosophic training and metaphysical acumen to become the messenger of
Christian truth and life to the Buddhists and Brahmans who lived side by
side in South India in those days.

We know little of his work in that land. He found in Malabar a colony of
Jewish Christians who possessed a copy of the Gospel of Matthew in the
Hebrew tongue, said to have been given to them by the Apostle Bartholomew.
It is not known, however, whether this last named apostle laboured among
these Christians in that region.

Probably a century later that Christian community formed connection with
Antioch, Syria, which was the first of all Christian missionary centres;
but which, through its Nestorian faith, soon lost its missionary ardour.

1. And thus emerges out of the darkness into its long and unique history
the Syrian Church of Malabar.

It has passed through many vicissitudes and has lost much, if not all, of
its positive Christian influence and missionary character. During a recent
visit to that region I was saddened by the sight of this Christian
community which had lived all these centuries in the centre of a heathen
district with apparently no concern for the religious condition of the
surrounding, non-Christian, masses—content to be as a separate caste
without religious influence upon, or ambition to bring Christ into the
life of, its benighted neighbours.

This church has survived its own apathy, on the one side, and Roman
Catholic inquisition on the other, and appears before the world as what it
really is—the only indigenous Christian Church in the peninsula of India.
It enjoys the unique distinction of having lived more than a millennium
and a half in a heathen land, for a thousand years of which it was
entirely surrounded by a non-Christian people.

During the last half century it has been considerably influenced by the
work and example of the Church Missionary Society which is established in
that region. Through this influence a Reformed Syrian Church has come into
existence which promises to do much for the whole community in ideals and
life. The Syrian Church has hitherto been greatly cursed with the trinity
of evils—ignorance, ceremonialism and superstition. It was not until 1811
(at the suggestion of an Englishman) that it translated a part of the
Bible (the four gospels) into the vernacular. And this is the only
translation of the Scriptures ever made and published by the natives of
India.

The Syrian Church now numbers 248,741. That part of the Syrian community
which the Romish Church compelled, by the inquisition, to unite with it
numbers 322,586.

2. From the fourteenth century the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH has continued to
send out her emissaries and missionaries to that land.

Jordanus and his brave band of missionary associates were her first
representatives.

But it was only from the arrival of Vasco da Gama and the Portuguese
conquest four centuries ago, that the influence of that Church began to be
seriously felt and its triumphs recorded.

By the sword and cruel Inquisition not only were Syrian Christians
compelled to transfer their allegiance to the Pope; non-Christians also
were, for perhaps the second time in the long history of the land,
subjected to the bitter restraints and inhuman inflictions of religious
persecution. It is a curious fact that the hideous and bloody monster of
religious intolerance was hardly known in India until, first, the
followers of Mohammed and, secondly, the disciples of the meek and lowly
Jesus began to invade the land.

Then follow the devoted and heroic labours of the saintly Xavier. He was a
man of princely extraction, of royal bearing, of Christian devotion and
self-denial. He wrought, according to his light, with supreme loyalty to
his Lord and with a divine passion for souls in South India. Many
thousands of the poor fishermen on the coast was he permitted to baptize
into the Christian faith. It is much to be regretted that, like nearly all
subsequent Romish missionaries, he gave himself, all but exclusively, to
the ceremonial salvation, rather than to the ethical transformation and
the spiritual regeneration, of the people. It has always been a much
easier thing, in India, to gather the people for the reception of the
mystical ordinances of our faith than it has been to prepare them, by
patient teaching and guidance, to exemplify its precepts by their lives.

After Xavier came the accomplished and wily Jesuit, Robert de
Nobilibus—the nephew of Cardinal Bellarmine. A believer in the Jesuitical
principle that the end justifies the means, and ardently desiring to bring
the Brahmans over to his faith he proclaimed himself, and in every way
assumed the rôle of, “the Western Brahman.” He lived scrupulously as a
member of that haughty caste and, until recalled by the Pope on account of
his deception, wielded much influence over the Brahmanical hierarchy in
Madura.

Men of great power and supreme devotion to their faith followed as
representatives of that great Church in India. Such names as de Britto,
Beschi, the Abbe du Bois are a crown of honour to that community. Many
like them spent lives of great self-denial for the cause of Christ and
faithfully wrought for the redemption of the people; so that at present
the power of the Romish Church and the devoted energy of its leaders are
known in every section of the Peninsula. After nearly six centuries of
effort its community in India has reached the total of 1,524,000 souls.
For a long time, it has not enjoyed much increase in its membership. In
many places it finds numerous accessions; but not a few of its people
backslide and return to their ancestral faith. The marked defects of
Romanism in that land have been its concessions to, and compromise with,
the religion of the land both on the side of idolatrous worship and of
caste observance. I have discussed the subject with Indian Roman Catholics
in the villages and find that to them the worship of saints, through their
many obtrusive images, is practically the same as the idolatry of the
Hindus—the only marked difference being in the greater size of the Romish
images! In like manner the Jesuit has adopted and incorporated into his
religion, for the people of that land, the Hindu caste system with all its
hideous unchristian divisions. All this makes the bridge which separates
Hinduism from Roman Catholic Christianity a very narrow one; and it
reduces to a minimum the process of “conversion” from the former faith to
the latter. But an easy path from Hinduism to Christianity means an
equally facile way of return to the ancestral faith. If the Hindu has
little to surrender in becoming a Christian, neither has such a Christian
any serious obstacle to prevent his return to Hindu gods and ceremonies
when it suits his convenience to do so. Hence it is that the new
accessions to Romanism hardly exceed the number of those who leave it in
order to resume their allegiance to the faith of their fathers.

3. PROTESTANT MISSIONARY EFFORT began late. In India it was introduced
with the Dutch conquest in the early part of the seventeenth century. But
the proselytizing methods of the Dutch in those days savoured too much of
the Romish inquisition under the Portuguese. When the pressure of
religious compulsion by the civil government was removed, consequent upon
the English conquest in Ceylon and India, the people apostatized in a
body.

(_a_) It was not until the truly Christian King, Frederick IV. of Denmark,
took, himself, a religious interest in that land at the beginning of the
eighteenth century, and sent, at his own expense, the first two Protestant
missionaries to Tranquebar on the east coast, that really consistent
Protestant effort for the redemption of India began.

Zeigenbalg and Plutschau, the two pioneers who were sent to Tranquebar,
arrived in 1706. They inaugurated the great work of Protestant
Christianity for the spiritual regeneration of India, and will always find
an honoured place among the heroes of the cross.

Zeigenbalg was a man of great piety and of intellectual resources. He died
in 1719 after a most successful service of unremitting toil. He gathered
hundreds of converts into the Christian fold, established schools and
erected a beautiful church edifice which stands today as the oldest
Protestant Mission Church in the East. Above all, he felt that an open
Bible in the vernacular was essential to the conversion of India; and he
therefore gave himself to the translation of God’s Word. He was not able
to complete this work; it did not issue from the press until 1725. This
Tamil version of the Bible was the first translation of God’s Word in
India and in all the East; and it stands today as a monument to his
intelligent labours and to those of his worthy successor, Schultze. It
also represents the beginning of a new era of missionary effort in the
country. The Roman Catholics, during all their stay in that land have done
nothing towards giving to the people the Bible in their native tongue. It
was not until the year 1857 that, stirred by Protestant example, they
published their first and only translation of any portion of God’s Word in
any of the South India vernaculars—that of the Tamil Gospels and the Acts
of the Apostles.

Schultze spent fifteen years in Madras and left a congregation of 700
persons there. From Tranquebar, as a centre, missionary effort spread
extensively throughout the Madras Presidency. This was done through German
missionaries supported mainly by English funds furnished by the Society
for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge.

Perhaps the most commanding figure connected with that work and century
was Frederick Schwartz, the missionary statesman and apostle who arrived
in India in 1750. His efforts extended throughout the Kingdom of Tanjore
and even to the Madura and Tinnevelly districts. Through all these regions
his power was felt and, in company with a few other worthy souls, he
laboured with distinguished faith, wisdom and heroism. The Protestant
Native Church which has so flourished in Tinnevelly and Madura found its
origin and first success under his guidance. He spent forty-eight years in
unremitting effort, influenced powerfully all missionaries who came in
contact with him, and passed on to his reward in 1798.

Thus, before the close of the last century, at least 50,000 Tamilians had
been baptized in connection with this Protestant effort. When we bear in
mind the fewness of the agents, and the very limited tract of country
which they occupied, it is a matter of considerable astonishment that so
many converts were every year baptized in the various missions. In
Tranquebar alone, in nineteen years, there were 19,340 persons baptized;
and during the century, the entire number of converts was nearly, if not
quite, double this amount. In Madras, as many as 4,000 natives were
received into the Christian church. The Cuddalore Mission, notwithstanding
its great troubles, yielded between 1,000 and 2,000 converts; the
Trichinopoly Mission, more than 2,000; the Tanjore Mission, about 1,500;
and the mission established at Palamcottah in Tinnevelly in 1785, also a
few.

It is impossible to know exactly the number of the native Protestant
Christian churches and congregations existing at the beginning of the last
century, or the number of the Christian community in the Presidency.

Probably only a few thousand remained to await the dawn of the new
century.

From Madras, down South as far as Palamcottah, infant Christian
communities existed. But they did not largely flourish until new
missionary societies were organized and a larger force of missionary
workers were sent to strengthen and push forward the work established.

And it is very unfortunate that, with much good, not a little evil was
found among these few Christians whom the eighteenth century bestowed upon
the nineteenth. Mr. Sherring truly says,—“That many of the converts were
sincere and genuine, we cannot doubt. Yet it is certain that the
permission to retain their caste customs and prejudices throws
considerable suspicion on the spiritual work accomplished among them. The
Danish and German missionaries soon perceived the formidable influence of
caste as an opponent of the Gospel, unless they were ready, like the Roman
Catholics, to enlist it on their side, by permitting it to be retained in
the Christian churches established by them. They chose to make caste a
friend rather than an enemy. In doing this, however, while they made their
path easier, they sacrificed their principles. They admitted an element
into their midst which acted on the Christian community like poison.” And
this poison is still exercising a potent influence upon a no small portion
of the Protestant Native Church in South India. A bad beginning in this
respect has facilitated an evil continuance.

The closing years of the eighteenth century carry our interest to North
India and are notable as the beginning of the organized missionary effort
of the English people for the redemption of India.

(_b_) The Anglo-Saxons seem to have been the last among Christian peoples
to awake from the lethargy of a self-centred, self-seeking Christianity,
and to enter upon the great missionary campaign for the conquest of the
world for Christ. It is true that the Society for the Propagation of the
Gospel received its first charter in 1701. But for more than a century of
its history it did not concern itself about carrying the Gospel to the
heathen races. It seems strange that, up to that time, both the Protestant
clergy and laymen of Great Britain and America felt little or none of that
sense of obligation for the conversion of the non-Christian world to
Christ which has now become so universal a conviction and a passion among
them.

            [Illustration: American Church In Southern India.]

In the work of rousing the English to this grand world-wide enterprise
William Carey acquired well-earned distinction. Though of humble origin
and wanting in early training, his spiritual vision and contagious
enthusiasm made him a leader of power. Thus, God chose a cobbler youth to
lead the Christian hosts of England out of the bondage of narrow religious
sympathies into a world-wide conquest of souls for Christ. Carey’s efforts
in England were unremitting, and the contagion of his burning altruism
spread everywhere notwithstanding much opposition and contempt met from a
certain class.

His early efforts at home were supplemented by a missionary life in India
so remarkable in its self-denying devotion, so characterized by
distinguished ability and linguistic genius, and so notable in wisdom and
persistence under the greatest difficulties that his name will ever stand
preëminent in all the annals of missionary effort.

But it was very sad that, while _Christian_ England was waking out of her
lethargy to her spiritual opportunities and duties in India, _commercial_
England threw herself across the path and denied the right of Christian
service for the Christless people of that land.

Carey found no welcome or even permission to work in British India. He was
compelled to flee from the territory of the East India Company and to find
refuge and opportunity for missionary work under the more enlightened and
progressive rule of the Danish in Serampore. It was from that place that
he directed his missionary effort in India and found the long-sought
opportunity to serve his Master in that heathen land. It was there that,
in company with his worthy associates, Marshman and Ward, he built up a
Christian community and translated and published the Word of God into many
oriental tongues. The success and achievements of Carey would be regarded
as phenomenal in the case of any missionary. But when it is remembered
that he was compelled to support himself and his mission, in considerable
part, through his income in secular pursuits; when it is also known that
his wife was, for many years, a wreck, mentally, and therefore a source of
great care and anxiety to him, how wonderful must have been his faith, his
persistence, his intellectual endowments and his love for the people of
India to have led him to accomplish so much for the cause of Christ in
that great land!

Carey’s life and example wrought wonders in its influence upon others of
his countrymen. Among a noble band of followers is found the devout and
pious enthusiast Henry Martyn who, during his too brief career as a
chaplain in India, found time to commend his Master and His Faith to many
in that land of darkness and death. Martyn was a worthy example of what a
consecrated chaplain can do for the Christian cause, beyond the strict
performance of his priestly functions—an example which was perhaps never
more needed in India than at present when so wide a gulf is found between
the ordinary chaplain and the missionary.

As a result of this missionary revival there also came into existence not
a few hopeful, vigorous missionary societies. First among them was the
London Missionary Society which entered, in 1795, upon its grand career of
world-wide endeavour. After that, was organized (in 1799) the Church
Missionary Society. Both of these organizations, at the opening of the new
century, began to put forth their best energies for the salvation of
India. Then a host of other lesser, but equally determined, agencies
followed in their train and made India their special field of activity.

In addition to distinctively English societies there were organized, also,
separate Scotch, Irish and Welsh movements for work in the land—each
nation vying with every other in the work of upbuilding there the Kingdom
of Christ.

Among the British societies the Church Missionary Society, the Society for
the Propagation of the Gospel, and the London Missionary Society have done
most extensive service and have been markedly blessed with growing
communities and effective organizations for work among the people.

Each nationality also represents a separate type of life and activity. The
English missions, for instance, are strong in their wise organization and
effective administration. The Scotch, on the other hand, have a genius for
thoroughness in everything, especially in educational work. The names of
the greatest missionary educators of India are, almost without exception,
Scotch. They have dug deep foundations and have aimed, by means of their
splendid schools, to excel in the work of directing the thought of, and
imparting a new philosophy to, the rising generation of Indians. If their
results have not been statistically impressive, so far as converts are
concerned, they have had preëminence in the task of transforming the
thought and of leavening the institutions of the land. For instance,
Alexander Duff—the father of the higher educational work of missions, a
man mighty in thought and kindled with a sublime faith and a Christian
enthusiasm—did not number many converts as the result of his college
training of the young. But every convert under him counted for something
in the Christian Church. It is said that, of the forty-eight educated men
who were won to Christ through his mission in 1871, nine were ministers,
ten were catechists, seventeen were professors and high-grade teachers,
eight, government servants of the higher grade, and four, assistant
surgeons and doctors. Similar to the work of Dr. Duff in Calcutta was the
work of Dr. Wilson in Bombay and is the effort of Dr. Miller, at present,
in Madras. Mission results must be weighed as well as measured.

As a contrast to this thought-directing and leavening work of the Scottish
Churches may be placed the work of the Salvation Army in India. This
unique organization invaded that great land nearly a quarter of a century
ago. Believing that existing missionary organizations and methods of work
were too dignified, staid and inadequate for best results, the leaders of
this movement introduced its cyclone methods and proposed to take India by
storm. They began by insisting upon all their European officers conforming
to native custom, in clothing and diet. Their appeal was simple even if
their work was narrow and noisy. It was a call upon all to immediate
repentance and to a belief upon the Lord, Christ, for salvation. They
ignored the Sacraments of the Church and, for a while, even emulated the
Hindus by daubing their religious emblems upon their foreheads.

But their appeal fell flat upon a people who had no Christian heritage or
training; and their genuine forms of self-denial and methods of
adaptation, instead of producing popular admiration and attachment, soon
produced pity and even contempt. If the officers were men of spiritual
ardour and were kindled with a passion for the salvation of India, they
were also, on the whole, untrained and uncultured. They not only disobeyed
their Lord in neglecting the Sacraments, they did not and could not
understand the people and their religion. By ignoring all sanitary rules
many of them vainly sacrificed their lives to the Cause.

Considering the money expended, the precious lives sacrificed and the
efforts exhausted during this quarter of a century the results achieved by
this organization have been painfully, though not unexpectedly, small. It
clearly illustrates and emphasizes the fact that India is not to be won
for Christ by a campaign of ignorance and noise, however largely it may be
enforced by altruistic fervour. And it should not be forgotten that the
army officers have not scrupled to enter territory already occupied by
Christian missions, to cause unspeakable annoyance to workers on the
field, and to fill up more than half the ranks of their “soldiers” with
people who already claimed allegiance to Christ in connection with
well-established missions.

(_c_) Australia has recently fallen into the ranks of those who carry the
Gospel to India. One Faith Mission in Western India is almost entirely
conducted by men and women of that country. A Baptist Mission also is
maintained by them there. And not a few of the strong members of British
missions are Australians; these, with their work, are supported by the
churches which sent them forth.

(_d_) Protestant Europe has not been conspicuous for its missionary
effort. And yet India owes a large debt to the Christians of the
Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Sweden for their effort to present to
them the message of life. As we have seen, the Dutch, upon their first
conquest in the East, sought to introduce their faith among the people.
The first Protestant missionaries who gave their life for India were
Danes. They were supported by the private resources of their own king. In
early times Danish settlements in India were the refuge of Gospel
messengers to that land. They protected them against the unchristian
narrowness and persecution of the East India Company. The Danish
settlement of Serampore gave the only opportunity to Carey and his
associates for a home and for missionary work.

The Bible was the first time translated into an Indian vernacular (Tamil)
by our Continental brethren, and the first vernacular Christian books were
printed in Germany.

At the present time they are giving themselves more fully than ever before
to the work of India’s redemption. There are eight Continental Missions
conducted there, some of which have achieved considerable success. The
Leipzig Evangelical Lutheran Mission has fallen heir to the first Danish
mission established at Tranquebar. It has at present a strong force of
workers, and they are scattered through several Districts in South India,
are doing solid and substantial work and have gathered a numerous
Christian community.

Perhaps the most successful of these European missions is the Basil German
Evangelical Mission, which is established upon the southwestern coast. It
is well organized, has a thorough educational system and is embued with a
strong evangelistic spirit. Connected with this mission is an extensive
and prosperous Industrial Mission. With the German spirit of thoroughness
they have developed, more largely than any other mission in India, the
industrial department, until it is now well established and fully
self-supporting.

All these European missions are systematic and painstaking in the work
which they are carrying forward. In some respects this gives them
well-earned distinction. But, on the other hand, they labour under a
serious disability in having to acquire the English as well as the
vernacular of the people after arriving in the land. They are also
extremely conservative, not to say antiquated, in their methods; and they
have not, in most cases, learned to hate and antagonize, as they should,
the terrible caste system of the country.

(_e_) The American participation in the Christian conquest of India began
early. It was the perusal of the Life of David Brainerd, the American
missionary saint, which kindled the missionary zeal of William Carey in
England. On the other hand, the Life of Carey had no small influence, at
the beginning of the nineteenth century, in giving irresistible impulse
and definiteness of purpose to that noble band of American missionary
pioneers—Mills and Nott, Newell and Judson. And their consecrated
enthusiasm and purpose to labour for the conversion of the heathen
nations, in its turn, led, in 1810, to the founding of the first foreign
missionary society in the United States—the American Board of
Commissioners for Foreign Missions.

The first field chosen by this society for its activity was India. It
represented to them both the greatest need and the best opportunity for
Christian work.

Thus the first organized attempt of the Christian Church of America to
reach and to redeem the heathen world was directed towards the land of the
Vedas. And the first band of missionaries which that, now venerable, Board
sent forth into the harvest went, with eager anticipation and earnest
prayer, to that ancient and benighted people.

But how great must have been their disappointment and sorrow, upon their
arrival, to be refused permission by the Honourable East India Company to
land in Calcutta. With sad hearts they turned their faces towards Bombay,
hoping that God would open the way to their entering upon missionary
service there. This again was denied them and they fled to Cochin, but
were seized and brought back to Bombay to await the arrival of an American
ship to convey them home. It was just then that their prayer was answered
and the Lord of Hosts came to their succour and opened wide the door of
that land to the missionary labourer. A new charter was granted by the
British Parliament to the East India Company. In that, insistence was made
that the Christian missionary be permitted to prosecute his work for the
heathen of that land unmolested. This charter was granted in 1813, while
the Americans were still held in durance in Bombay.

It was the Magna Charta of missions for India; and from that time until
this the Christian missionary has found permission to preach his message
in that land. He has also enjoyed there ample protection in the exercise
of all his religious duties and work as a messenger of Christ. By this
charter missions received State sanction to obey heaven’s command, and
missionaries of all lands came to enjoy, on British territory in the East,
the undisputed right to carry the gospel of our Lord to heathen people.

The impatient little band of missionaries were therefore released at
Bombay; and from that day until this America has found joy in her effort
to convey her spiritual blessings to that land. Adoniram Judson, having
become a Baptist, was directed by Carey to Burma where he laboured for
many years with apostolic zeal and with distinguished success. The nearly
150,000 native Christians of Burma today owe their conversion largely to
Judson’s wise initiative, resistless energy, grand Christian faith and
inspiring example.

Mills, who was the leader in the early band of students whose zeal led to
the organization of the American Board, found his field of service on the
West coast of Africa, whence also he was early called to his heavenly
reward.

The saintly Harriet Newell, wife of another member of this distinguished
company, died on the Isle of France, and her sorrowing husband returned to
Bombay and rejoined his brethren Hall and Nott. These three, therefore,
were the founders of this first American Mission in India—now called the
American Mahratta Mission. Bombay, Ahmednaggar and Sholapur are its
principal centres of work; and it covers a field whose population is
between three and four millions. It has had distinguished success and has
gathered the largest native community among the Protestant missions of
Western India.

In 1834 the same society established its South India Mission at Madura.
This was an offshoot from the Jaffna Mission which was founded in 1815 in
that northern corner of Ceylon. The Madura Mission has prospered, has
18,000 in its Christian community, and is regarded as one of the best
organized missions in the country.

In 1834 the American Presbyterians, while yet connected with the American
Board, established in the Northwest their large and successful mission.
Its centres of work are Lahore, Lodiana, Futtegarh, Dera-Dun and
Allahabad. This mission has done excellent work and has attained high
eminence among the missions of North India, both for its educational work,
its leavening influence and for its evangelistic zeal. A number of its
missionaries suffered martyrdom during the terrible Sepoy Mutiny of 1857.
It was from that mission that the first call to universal prayer for the
conversion of the world was sent forth. And thus was founded the Week of
Prayer which now finds such general observance among Protestant
Christians.

           [Illustration: College Hall Of The Madura Mission.]

In 1836 the Baptists established for Telugu people, on the southeastern
coast, the famous “Lone Star Mission.” It has had such phenomenal success
that, though established only in 1840 in a purely heathen field, and
notwithstanding the fact that the first twenty-five years of its efforts
were barren of outward results, it is to-day by far the largest mission in
India, having 53,790 communicants and a community of 200,000. Its chief
centres of work are Ongole and Nellore.

The Rev. Samuel Day was sent out by the society in 1835 to Chicacole, but
in 1837 removed to Madras. After three years’ labour there he resolved to
establish a mission among the Telugu people, and so removed to Nellore and
commenced work there in March, 1840. The unproductiveness of the work in
the early history was such that the abandonment of the mission was several
times under consideration. But in 1866 prosperity dawned. Later followed
the great accessions which have, up to the present, continued in greater
or less degree and which have been on a larger scale than in any other
field in South India. “The history of Christianity, in all ages and
countries, shows nothing which surpasses the later years of this mission
in spontaneous extension, in rapidity of progress, in genuineness of
conversions, in stability of results or in promise for the future.” The
church organized with eight members by Dr. Clough at Ongole in 1867
numbers now its thousands. The great famine of 1877 presented a large
Christian opportunity which was eagerly seized by Dr. Clough, himself a
civil engineer, in the conduct of large famine relief works under
government and in the Christian instruction of many thousands who laboured
under him. This itself created a wonderful movement which has been
marvellously used of God in the conversion of the people. Nearly all of
these converts have come from the lowest class of society. But at present
the higher classes are beginning to consider the claims of the Gospel. It
is natural that the most serious problem and principal concern of this
mission has been to keep pace with the movement, and to train suitable
agents for the guidance and instruction of the incoming thousands. It has
also been largely blessed in this line, as its various and growing
institutions testify.

As the Madura Mission was the daughter of the Jaffna Mission so the Madras
section of the Madura Mission, in the year 1851, became the mother of a
vigorous daughter. For the members of the Scudder family—a family famed in
missionary annals—were appointed to the District of Arcot, some seventy
miles south of Madras, and there began a work under the American Dutch
Reformed Church which has rapidly grown into power and promise.

In the year 1856 the Methodists of America entered upon their great work
in that land. With their wonted zeal and evangelistic fervour they carried
forward a vigorous campaign in North India. They early found an opening
among the outcaste people as the Baptists had found among the same in the
South; and they eagerly entered the open door and vigorously prosecuted
their endeavours for that class. Their success has been signal. More than
100,000 people have been gathered into their Christian community and an
equal number of others are desirous to place themselves under their
spiritual care and guidance. They have also entered seriously into the
work of training an agency and of educating the densely ignorant members
of their community. In addition to their village schools they have a large
theological and normal school, besides two colleges, one of which is
perhaps the best college for women in Northern India, if not in the East.
Their work has now spread to many parts of the land and even to Burma and
the Straits settlement. They have also wisely cultivated the press and the
publishing department as an important auxiliary in their work. In this
department they are perhaps doing more than any other society now at work
in India.

The great success of this society in India is largely owing to the wise
leadership of that missionary statesman—Bishop Thoburn. I doubt whether
many other missionaries, if indeed any other, have wrought more for the
redemption of that people than this sturdy American of ample common—and
uncommon—sense, of wide vision, of sublime faith and of masterful
generalship.

Several divisions of the American Lutheran community have also wrought
much for India and are justly proud of their prosperous missions,
especially in South India.

In like manner American “Faith Missions,” not a few, have planted the
banner of the cross in that land of the trident and are prosecuting their
mission and proclaiming their message with singleness of purpose and
exemplary zeal. The “Christian Alliance” is the most pretentious
organization of this class which does work in that land. Its efforts are
chiefly confined to the Bombay Presidency where it has a goodly number of
earnest workers.

Organizations for the young—the Y. M. C. A., Y. W. C. A., Y. P. S. C. E.,
S. V. M.,—while they are not in any sense distinctly American, are
nevertheless dominated by the American spirit and methods, and are, to a
large extent under the guidance of American youth. These Christian
movements are doing royal service for the Kingdom of Christ in that
stronghold of error. They bring cheer to the missionaries, youthful
inspiration to the churches, a wide opportunity to the young life of the
Christian communities and a new pace to all the messengers of Christ in
the land. The Y. M. C. A. is also doing an excellent evangelistic work
among the educated non-Christian youth of India—a work that is appealing
mightily to their deepest spiritual instincts and is impressing them, as
nothing else does, with the combined sanity and spirituality, the
reasonableness and the saving power of our faith.

I must also allude to that unique American Institution—the Haskell-Barrows
lectureship—which has already done no small good to the educated of the
land, and has within itself the possibility of largest blessing to the
country. It was founded in connection with the University of Chicago; and
it appoints and sends to India once every two or three years a
distinguished lecturer to present the excellence of our faith in its
philosophy and life in such a manner as shall best commend it and appeal
to the thoughtful non-Christians of the Orient. Every effort of this kind
which shall emphasize to Hindus the harmony of Christian truth and the
best thinking of our age and shall reveal to them Christ as the Redeemer
and Exemplar of our race and as the only “Name under heaven given among
men whereby we must be saved,” is to be cordially welcomed among God’s
best forces for India’s redemption. And America is to be congratulated
because she is the first to endow and to inaugurate such a helpful agency
for the glory of God and the salvation of India’s men of culture.

It is comforting to the American worker in India to be assured that the
modern rulers of the land are amply atoning for the unchristian and rude
incivility of their predecessors in office ninety years ago. For they not
only cordially welcome the Christian worker from the States; they also
reveal full appreciation of his labours, render him every protection and
are not averse to praising him for his arduous endeavours. Listen to the
words of Lord Wenlock, while Governor of Madras,—“Our cousins in America,”
he says, “are not, as we are, responsible for the welfare of a very large
number of the human race; but seeing our difficulties and knowing how much
there is to do, they have not hesitated to put their hands into their
pockets to assist us in doing that which is almost impossible for any
government to achieve unassisted. They go out themselves, their wives and
their sisters; they enter into all parts of the country, they send a very
large amount of money and they spend their time and their health in
promoting the welfare of those who are in no way connected with them....
In all Districts I find our American cousins joining with us in improving
the system of education and in extending it wherever it was wanted. To
their efforts we owe a very great deal. It must be recognized that their
great object is the advancement of the Christian religion.”

Lord Harris, the Governor, of Bombay, a little more than a decade ago,
also said publicly, of the work of the American Board Mission among the
Maharattas,—“I do not think I can too prominently say that our gratitude
towards this American Mission has been piling up and piling up all the
years of this century.”

4. Our record of the efforts of Christian countries in behalf of India
were not complete without a reference to the hearty coöperation of
Protestant Canada in this work. Several missions have been established
there by Canadian Baptists and Presbyterians; and these are flourishing
and are adding daily to the number of those who are being saved.

Looking at the whole force of Protestant Christian missions in that land
today we are impressed with the magnitude of its organization, work and
success. Nearly two and a half million dollars are devoted annually by the
Christians of the West to this work of saving this great one of the East.
It is a great financial investment, but not to be compared with that of
the thousands of choice men and women who go forth and give themselves
unto death that they might enable Christ to see of the travail of His soul
and be satisfied among the millions of that land.

Comparing present missionary agency and methods in India with those of
past ages it may be well to consider the differences and gather therefrom
assurance for the coming of the Kingdom of our Lord in the East. These
differences are numerous and radical. I need only refer to a few of them:—

(_a_) The spell of an ecclesiastical, and the glamour of a ceremonial,
Christianity is being increasingly substituted by the moral and spiritual
characteristics of our faith in that land. The conversion of India is less
and less regarded by Christian workers in the land as a change from the
ceremonial and ritual of the old, to those of the new, faith. Ever
increasing emphasis is given to the fact that to be a Christian is to live
the Christ-life and to be loyal to Him in all the ethical and spiritual
teachings of the Sermon on the Mount. And these missionary workers care
less to touch the life of our converts on the surface and more to grip it
at its centre and to transform character. And this is a work which is most
enduring in its results.

(_b_) Christian workers in India are learning mutual sympathy and
appreciation in their work. Instead of the old jealousies, suspicions,
antipathies and misunderstandings of the past, there is found a developing
sense of oneness, of fellowship, of comity, amity and mutual helpfulness
among the missionaries of that land. The watchword of to-day is
coöperation. The distracting spectacle of a divided Christianity, of hated
and mutually hating Christian sects in a heathen land is surely passing
away and the dawning of the day of peace and harmony and fellowship in
Christian work is upon us. And India will enjoy the wonderful results of
this.

(_c_) The serious mistakes of method and standpoint in missions of former
centuries are now avoided. The compromise which they made with Hinduism in
caste and in other matters is no longer possible in Protestant missions.
We know, as they could not, the irreconcilable antagonism of caste to
Christianity.

On the other hand we know Hinduism and other non-Christian faiths better
than our fathers did. We are not so anxious to trace all these back to
Satanic origin. We are learning the sympathies as well as the antipathies
of religions. The translators of God’s Word into the vernacular of India
two centuries and one century ago largely avoided the use of popular terms
_because_ they were popular and the common-vehicles of Hindu thought,
which (they said) was of the devil. We see the folly of such an avoidance
and the need of using and rehabilitating the religious terminology of the
people that we may the more surely come into touch with them, and the more
easily convey to them the deepest truths of our faith. Formerly,
missionaries declined to use the music of Hinduism because it enriched the
temple services and “was of the devil.” Today these same sweet and
plaintive songs are wedded to beautiful Christian hymns, prepared by
native Christian poets, and are the appropriate and very popular vehicles
of the best Christian thought and sentiment to Christian and non-Christian
natives alike.

This only illustrates the fact that the Christian message and work are
finding greater power over the people because conveyed to them in more
intelligible terms. It can come home to them in their common life as it
did not formerly.

          [Illustration: Village Christian Church, South India.]

        [Illustration: High And Normal School For Girls, Madura.]

(_d_) Educational work is increasingly utilized. Formerly missionary
effort was mostly the work of the preacher—it was the direct Gospel
message and appeal. To this has been added the no less necessary, indeed
the deeper, work of transforming the thought of the land and of
introducing everywhere a Christian philosophy and a process of thinking
which will undermine the old methods and foundations of Hinduism. This
Christian education, which is now being imparted in India to nearly half a
million youth in our schools, is a leavening power the extent of whose
influence no one can compute. And it carries within itself untold
possibilities for the conversion of India. By these institutions, Sir
William Muir truly tells us, “the country has been inoculated with
Christian sentiment.”

Sir Charles U. Atchison declares that, in his judgment, “the value of
educational missionary institutions, in the present transition state of
Indian opinion, can hardly be overrated. It is more than ever the duty of
the Church to go forward in its educational policy.”

In other ways also, medical and industrial, Christian work has broadened
out so that it reaches the people at all points and lifts up the Christian
community into a self-respecting power which will abide and grow in
influence.

In modern missions the Word of God, translated into all the vernaculars of
the people, has become the mightiest instrument of progress in Christian
life, and the most ubiquitous messenger of Christian truth. The Bible was
almost a sealed book to the people of India when William Carey arrived at
the close of the eighteenth century. The Roman Catholic and Syrian
Christians had done nothing to bring this blessing to the people. The
Danish mission, as we have seen, had translated it into the Tamil tongue.
And that was all. How wonderful the work of the last century whereby this
blessed Word has been translated into every language and many dialects of
polyglot India. Among its 300,000,000 inhabitants there are few who cannot
find God’s own Word translated into their own speech, published and
brought to their doors. Can any one realize how great a leverage this is
in the work of overturning that land religiously and in bringing Christ
into the life of India?

                                * * * * *

Thus the history of Christian effort in India has not been without its
many lessons. And these lessons have brought wisdom and, with that wisdom,
confidence and growing efficiency to the Christian forces now at work in
the land.

For this reason the progress of the Kingdom of Christ in India will,
during the present century, be much more marked and its triumphs more
signal than in the past centuries. And for this well-founded assurance we
thank God.



                               Chapter VII.


THE MISSIONARY.


The present missionary force in India represents, according to the “Indian
Missionary Directory,” a body of nearly 2,500 men and women who have been
sent from Europe, America and Australia to instruct the people in the
blessings of our faith. This body is constantly increasing in numbers and
is sent forth and maintained by some seventy societies.(11) They are a
noble band of Christian workers, of no less consecration and faith than
those in the past, and of the highest training and broadest culture ever
known.

The missionary furnishes to the home churches the chief interest in
missionary work and is the link which connects them and the home society
with their enterprise abroad.

His work at present is not what it once was in India. In earlier days the
missionary had to be a man of all works; every form of missionary
endeavour came under his direction. In mission work, as in every other
line of effort, specialization has become a feature and a necessity. There
must be men of as varied talents and special lines of training as there
are departments of missionary work. But every missionary should be
preëminently, _a man_. He should be a man of large calibre. There is much
danger lest the church become indifferent to this matter, and send to the
mission field inferior men—men who would be unable to stem the tide of
competition and attain success at home. If a man is not qualified for
success in the home land, there is little chance of his attaining much
usefulness upon the mission field. And an inferior class of men sent out
to heathen lands to represent, and to conduct the work of, the home church
must necessarily react upon the church through want of success,
discouragement and defeat in the missionary enterprise. A church whose
missionary representatives abroad are wanting in fitness and power cannot
long continue to be a strenuous missionary church; it will lack fuel to
keep burning the fire of missionary enthusiasm.

And in speaking of the missionary I include the lady missionary.
Missionary ladies today are more numerous in India than are the men. More
than a thousand single ladies have given themselves to the missionary life
and are labouring with conspicuous success in that land. They meet almost
the same conditions of life and require the same qualifications for
success as their brother missionaries do. Of course, in certain details,
they differ; but into such matters I cannot enter at present.

I desire to enumerate the qualifications of a missionary for highest
usefulness in India at the present time.



1. Physical Fitness.


Is a man physically qualified to be sent out into missionary work? For an
enterprise like this, where a man practically enlists for life, it is of
much concern to the Society which appoints him, and of great importance to
the work which he is to take up that he be possessed of good health. This
is preëminently true in the case of all those who are appointed to India.
The climate of India is trying, though it is neither dangerous nor as
fruitful in difficulty, as many believe. It is not necessary that a man
who is sent out to India be possessed of robust health. Indeed, I have
often noticed that the most robust are the most likely to yield, through
ill-health, to climatic influences there. This is chiefly owing to the
fact that such people are usually careless in all things pertaining to
health. They place too much reliance upon their stock of vigour, and
ignore, until too late, the insidious influences of the tropical sun. We
ask not for a man of great bodily vigour; but he should be possessed of
organic soundness. Such a man may stand the climate longer and work with
fewer interruptions than his more vigorous brother; simply because he
knows that his health is delicate and appreciates the necessity of taking
suitable care of himself. On the whole, my experience has led me to two
convictions about this matter; the first is that the less robust and more
careful missionaries stand well that tropical climate; and in the second
place, that to those who do take adequate care of themselves, the climate
of India is neither dangerous nor insanitary.

There are, however, certain precautions which missionaries should take in
that land in order to insure the proper degree of efficient service.
Annual periods of rest at hill “sanitaria” are not only desirable, but are
necessary, in order to preserve the health and add to one’s usefulness.
Many of the best missions in India, at present, not only arrange that
their missionaries take this rest, but demand it of them. They have
learned by experience that it is a reckless waste of precious power for
their missionaries to continue working upon the hot plains until compelled
by a break-down to seek rest and restoration. It is much easier, in the
tropics, to preserve, than to restore, health. Many a noble service has
been cut short, and many a useful career has been spoiled by recklessly
continuing work for a few years without rest or change in that land. The
youngest and the least organized missions, and consequently those which
have not perfected arrangements for the rest and health of their members,
are those which have the largest number of break-downs, and which lose
most in labour and money on account of the ill health of their
missionaries.

Visits to the home land every eight or ten years are also desirable, not
only for restoration of physical vigour, but also, for a recementing of
domestic and social ties and for a renewed contact with and a new
inspiration from the Church of God in the West. Life in all its aspects
has a tendency to degenerate in the tropics; and one needs occasional
returns to northern climes for the blessings which they alone can give.

Shall the missionary indulge in recreations? Among missionaries themselves
this is a much debated question. Some maintain that all forms of
recreation are unworthy of a man engaged in this holy calling. I do not
agree with them. I have seen many missionaries helped in their work by
such recreation. There are some men and women who have no taste for such
diversions. To them they may have little value or usefulness. But, to the
ordinary missionary who has done a hard day’s work an hour’s diversion in
tennis, badminton or golf has often been a godsend. It has brought relief
to the tense nerves and a new lease of life to the organs of the body. In
a similar way an interest in carpentry, in geology, photography, or any
other set study, brings to the jaded mind a diversion and a new lease of
power, and prepares one to go back to his work with fresh pleasure and
renewed enthusiasm.

One should carefully avoid entering inordinately into any such recreation.
There is danger, and sometimes a serious danger, that such lines of
diversion may be carried to an excess, and the mind and heart be thereby
robbed of, rather than strengthened for, one’s life-work.



2. His Methods of Life.


There are questions of importance which come under this consideration and
which are much discussed at the present time. It is asked, for instance,
whether a man should go out as a married, or as a single, missionary. A
few years ago the American Board showed very decided preference for the
married missionary, and hesitated to send, except under special
circumstances, bachelors. Missionary societies connected with ritualistic
churches, on the other hand, have given preference, almost exclusive
preference, to the unmarried missionary. At the present time there is a
growing feeling, in all Protestant denominations, that there is a demand,
and a specially appropriate field of usefulness, both for the married and
the unmarried missionary. The supreme argument in favour of the married
man is connected with the home influence which he establishes and which,
in itself, is a great blessing to the heathen people among whom he lives.
The light and beauty of a Western Christian home is always a mighty
testimony, not only to the Gospel, but to the civilization of the West
which is a direct product of the Gospel. Through the wife is also
conserved the health of the husband who is thereby rendered more
efficient. And to his activity is added her equally beneficent one among
the women of their charge. The missionary home constitutes a testimony and
a power which no mission can be without.

On the other hand, there is a large and an attractive field of usefulness
which can best be worked by the unmarried man and woman. There are forms
of activity and lines of self-denial which can best be met by those who
are not tied down by home life and who are more free to meet the rapidly
changing necessities of certain departments of work. It is also true that
the unmarried life represents to the Orient that type of self-denial which
has always been associated, in their mind, with the highest degree of
religious attainment; and it may, for this very reason, be in the line of
highest influence upon the people of the land.

So, married and unmarried life have in the mission field today their
recognized place, advantage, and sphere of influence. And, working
together they will exemplify to the people those forms of religious life
and activity which bring highest glory to our cause.

Another question pertains to the missionary’s daily life. Shall he conform
to the ordinary habits of life practiced by the people among whom he
lives? In other words, shall the missionary from the West conform to
native customs in food and dress? It is not possible to give a categorical
reply to this question. A country should be studied and the ideals of the
people thoroughly investigated by the missionary before he decides upon
any course of action in this matter. There are countries where such
conformity would be desirable and would add considerably to the
missionary’s influence and success. China is such a country; and many of
the missionaries in that land find it to their interest, and to the
interest of the work, to adopt the Chinese costume, cue and all. They thus
cease to appear foreign and peculiar in a land where to be a foreigner is
to be hated, or at least to be unloved and distrusted by the people.

The same thing has been tried in India, not only in clothing, but also to
a large extent in food. Many a missionary, feeling how great a barrier his
foreign habits created between him and the people, and inspired by a
passionate desire to come near to them in order that he might bless them,
has divested himself of European clothing, adopted the native costume (at
least so far as it was possible for him to do so) and has confined himself
to native food. But I have never known of any Western missionary who has
continued this method for a long time and declared it a success. One of
the most pathetic instances on record is that of the famous Jesuit
missionary Abbe Du Bois, who, after a careful study of the situation,
donned the yellow garb of the Hindu monk and became practically a Hindu to
the Hindus, spending most of his time in travelling from town to town and
living strictly, both as regards food, clothing, and general habits, as an
ordinary Hindu in order that he might gain close access to the people and
thus win many converts to the Roman Catholic Church. For many years, in a
distinguished missionary career, he followed this method of life. But was
it a success? In his “Life and Letters,” written at the close of his
missionary life, he frankly confesses that that method of approach to the
people had proved an entire failure; that he had not thereby gained any
added influence over them or had become better able to lead them into the
Christian fold. He maintains that, so far as this style of living was
concerned, he had accomplished absolutely nothing for India. I have known
of ardent and able Protestant missionaries also who have tried the same
method, with the same result, and have returned to their Western costume
and food.

The Salvation Army, at the beginning of its work a few years ago in India,
compelled all its officers fully to adopt Indian methods of life. This was
enforced, in its rigour, only for a short time; but for a sufficiently
long period to reveal its disastrous effects upon the health and life of
its European officers. Their system has been considerably modified, but is
still unsatisfactory on the score of health and usefulness.

It is now recognized by all that the differences between the natives of
tropical India and the inhabitants of northern climes, and between the
tropical clime and that of the temperate zone, are so great that we of the
Northwest cannot, with wisdom and impunity, adopt the manners of life of
that people. There are differences so great, both in clothing and in food,
that it would require generations of acclimatization before the change
could be wisely adopted in its entirety. It is indeed desirable that the
European or American, who goes to live in the tropics, should change
somewhat his diet so as to meet the changed requirements of his system
there. But, to adopt the native diet is a very different thing, and will
be conducive neither to nourishment nor digestion.

There is, however, another question of more importance than this and one
which seriously confronted the Abbe Du Bois. What is gained in
accessibility to, and power over, the people by adopting these native
habits? It should be remembered that Westerners have lived in India so
long as to have become perfectly well known to all the people. Moreover,
the Western garb and habits of life represent to the Hindu honour,
influence, power, and culture. In his heart of hearts the Hindu highly
respects, and is always ready to listen to, that man of the West who is
true to himself and stands before him for what he is and for what he
teaches. The ordinary Hindu is not stupid enough to be deceived as to a
man’s nationality or true position in life because of his change of
clothing or food. Indeed, to nine-tenths of all Hindus, such a change of
habits, on the part of a European, would mean nothing else than that he
had lost caste among his own people and had descended to a much lower
social scale than formerly. It is well to remember in India that the way
of access to the people is opened to the Westerner not through such outer
changes of life, but through true manifestations of kindness and love to
them. They are quick to understand the language of love and would never
confound it with outer posings of men who are thereby seeking to win their
favour.

The Rev. Geo. Bowen, of Bombay, was perhaps one of the most self-denying
of all the missionaries who lived in that land. He reduced the annual
expenses of his living to $150.00. It was in this path of self-denial that
he sought to find greatest usefulness as a missionary. Of this life he
said at one time: “I have not been wholly disappointed, but I have not
been successful enough to make me feel like advising any one else to
follow my example. And yet I have not so completely failed as to make me
regret the course which I have pursued. I have discovered that the gulf
which separates the people of this country is not a social one at all; it
is simply the great impassable gulf which separates between the religion
of Christ and an unbelieving world.”

It may be laid down as a general principle of life in that land that the
missionary should adopt that method of life which, while consistent with
severe economy, shall best conduce to health and efficiency of service
among the people.

And in this connection it should also be stated that there are many things
which are perfectly natural and wise and desirable in the line of self
help in America which should be unnecessary and unwise in such a land as
India. It is a safe rule adopted by the best missionary workers in that
land that a European should never do those things which can easily be done
by natives in the matter of domestic service. It would be folly for a
missionary man or woman to spend much time in household work and in
similar duties when there are many people around whose special province
that is, and who can do it for one-thirtieth his own wage, and who can
thus release him for the more serious and higher duties of life.

Thus, in all these matters, one should consider fully the whole
situation—the character of the climate, of the people, and the conditions
of the best health and efficiency and greatest usefulness of the
missionary worker.

The question as to the length of the missionary’s service is an important
one. Shall he enter upon it for a definite term or shall he consider it
his life work? In most missions and societies the missionary service is
considered a life service. It is a service so peculiar in its training and
in its direction; it tends in many ways so to lead a man away from the
atmosphere of work and direction of activity found at home, that it is
better for him, who undertakes it at all, to consecrate himself to it as
the great mission of his life. It is also a fact that the longer he
continues in it, the more ability and aptness he acquires for that special
work.

There are, of course, some who will find that they have mistaken their
vocation and that missionary work does not suit them; or, rather, that
they are not adapted to it. Such people should make no delay in returning
home and in seeking a more congenial life work.



3. The Intellectual Ability and Educational Training of the Missionary.


Whatever may have been the case in the past, the day certainly has come
when India demands only men and women of wide intelligence and thorough
training as missionaries. Whether we regard it as a land of profound
philosophy, and of a marvellously organized religion; or whether we
consider the intellectual power of many of the natives of that land, the
missionary must be amply prepared, through educational and intellectual
equipment, to meet them. One of the saddest sights seen in India is a
missionary who has absolutely no interest in the religious philosophy of
the land, and who is not able to appreciate the mutual relations of that
faith and his own and who is unequal to the task of discussing
intelligently with, and of convincing in, matters of faith, the educated
natives of the country. Such a man apparently did not know that he would
meet in that land many university graduates who are still believers in,
and defenders of, their ancestral faith. So he finds himself unable to
stand before such men and to give reason for the faith that is in him so
as to satisfy their earnest, intelligent inquiries, or to quiet their keen
opposition.

It should also be remembered that, in addition to this growing host of
natives of university training and culture, there is a considerable number
of Europeans in government service and in other departments. They come
into constant touch with the missionary, and gauge his culture and
capacity, and are sure to judge of the missionary work according to their
estimate of his training and qualification.

In such a land, and facing such conditions, and in the presence of such
people, the missionary should be a man of thorough training and culture,
and should have a mind which has ample command of the treasures of
knowledge which it has acquired. He should also be able to find interest
in various branches of learning. As I said above, he should, in some
respects, be a man of special training with definite and high
qualifications for the special department upon which he has entered; but
he should also be not narrow, but of broad sympathies and of a growing
interest in the general realm of culture. He should continue to cultivate
his student tastes, and should grow constantly in ability and aptitude to
grapple with the mighty problems of the land. He should be able not only
to understand the many aspects of Hinduism and of Buddhism, which has
entered so largely into the Hindu faith, but he must also know
considerable about Mohammedanism, since it is held by one-fifth of the
population of that land.

It is well that he be thoroughly grounded in Christian doctrine before he
enters upon his missionary duties. I have known men to enter the mission
field who had not clear views and definite convictions concerning some of
the most essential Christian doctrines; with the consequence that they
drifted away from their moorings and had to recast their faith, under
adverse circumstances, on the field.

The mission field is no place for a man to readjust his faith and to
discover that his religious affiliations are not what they ought to be.

It is not a question whether a man’s theology is of the conservative, or
of the progressive, type. Both types may be needed. It is largely a
question whether he has grasped clearly and with conviction _any_
doctrine—whether he has thought for himself and appropriated _any_ system
of truth. Or, I should say, whether any sort of theology has gripped him
in its power. Bishop Thoburn has well said that “the young missionary
should have a clear and well-grounded theology before going abroad. His
views of vital theological truth should be clear and settled. The
Christian Church of America cannot afford to export doubts or even
religious speculation to foreign fields. The people of India, and I may
add of other lands, are abundantly able to provide all the doubts and all
the unprofitable speculation that any church will care to contend with;
and one important qualification of the missionary should be a positive
faith as opposed to doubt, and a clear system of living truth as opposed
to profitless speculation.” Above all, the missionary should have a
working faith in the gospel—not a half-grounded conviction. There may be a
place _at home_ for the unsettled mind; the mission field is not for such.
In India, especially, while there is ample room and abundant opportunity
and inducement for progress in thought and development in doctrinal
construction, there is no place for destructive doubts and mental
unsettlement. Positive teaching and not interrogations and destructive
doubts should characterize the missionary. Give us a man who _knows_
something and is inspired with convictions. For, it should be remembered,
the missionary is preëminently an instructor. He must give himself to the
work of establishing others in living, satisfying, saving truth. He is to
instruct the people, as a preacher, in the way of salvation. He is also
called upon to furnish a working equipment of truth to pastors, preachers
and teachers. He should be conversant with the Bible and with the various
theories of interpretation. He should be possessed of a clear system of
theology and should understand the best methods and principles of
Christian work.

For the attaining of all this, the missionary must continue as an earnest
student, he must maintain upon the field thorough habits of study. His
missionary life, itself, should be to him, not only an interpreter of what
he formerly studied, but an incitement to further regular study. Many
temptations overtake the missionary to intellectual indolence as well as
to intellectual dissipation. He is in danger, under the pressure of other
interesting work and distractions, either not to read anything very
seriously or to read in a haphazard, desultory way. The latter is
specially a dangerous habit on the mission field. The missionary needs not
only to cultivate habits of study and to devote certain hours daily, so
far as possible, to that habit; he should, preëminently, keep before him
some definite aim or ideal towards which all his reading should be
directed. If he be specially a preacher, he should conscientiously and
thoroughly prepare his sermons as if he were to preach to the most
cultured audiences; or, if he instruct his agents, he should make
previous, elaborate preparation for the same.

He should take an intelligent interest in, and make a thorough study of,
the people, their social and religious customs, their economic conditions,
their educational efforts, their history,—these and many other studies
will furnish abundant and abounding interest to the thoughtful missionary
and will add to his power in his work. In all these respects, no people on
earth are more interesting than those of India. And for successful
spiritual work among them the missionary needs to study these side issues
more than he would, perhaps, among any other people.

He will find it of much help if he is apt at acquiring language. A good
and usable knowledge of the vernacular of the people is a most important
avenue of access to their mind and heart. The acquiring of a living
language is a very different thing from the study of a dead language. A
man may be a success in the one and a failure in the other. A good ear is
of paramount importance in a first-class facility for acquiring and using
a modern vernacular.

I would not say that a man who has not a good command of the vernacular of
a people cannot be to them a good missionary; for a few of the best
missionaries I know, speak the vernacular wretchedly. But I _do_ emphasize
the fact that proficiency here is of prime importance and I would also add
that it should be the first work of a missionary after entering his field.
To dawdle with the language the first year, is, generally speaking, to
fail in acquiring it at all.

Should a young man, who intends to become a missionary, receive a special
preparatory training for missionary work? Yes, to a certain extent. I
heartily approve of all recent courses established in theological
institutions with a view to training their students in missionary
principles and literature. And I would that these courses were much
enlarged so as to correspond with the relative importance of the
missionary work. Beyond all this, I believe that every student, who
intends to become a missionary, should spend time during his last year or
two as a student in special preparation for his work and field. For
instance, it were a great help to him who is to become a missionary in
India that he study seriously the Sanskrit language and Hindu philosophy.
These two would give him an important start upon his missionary career
and, probably, furnish him with initial taste for that larger equipment
which is essential to the great missionary. It is of course understood
that the modern science of Comparative Religion has already had his
attention in the general course of study. Too much emphasis cannot be
placed upon the study of this science as an aid to the modern missionary.

I would also urge here the importance of each missionary, so far as his
tastes and ability permit, preparing himself for the work of enriching the
Christian literature of the field and country of his choice. In India this
is becoming a matter, not only of growing, but also of paramount,
importance. In the past, missionaries have been too much engrossed with
the other departments of work to give themselves to the production of
tracts and books. Much more must be done in this line in the future. Every
year adds to the need for, and the influence of, a worthy literary effort
expressed in the various vernaculars of India. The growing host of readers
in the Christian communities and among the non-Christians is a loud cry
for missionary consecration to this specific work.

There is not one possession or element of power connected with a thorough
education and high culture which will not become available and most useful
in that interesting land, and which will not be transmuted into power for
the elevation and redemption of that people.



4. Spiritual Qualifications.


It would hardly seem necessary to speak on this subject. It must be
everywhere understood that a life of spiritual power is, and must ever
remain, the first requisite of the missionary. And yet, I fear that the
missionary force of today reveals more serious delinquency at this point
than at any other. If missionaries were asked, wherein lies the chief
hindrance to their work, I believe they would, all but unanimously, refer
to their want of spiritual power. Not that they are more defective in this
respect than are the ministers at home. They are a noble band of
consecrated men and women. But they greatly need, and bemoan their need
of, a growing spiritual endowment, the possession of which would give to
them a new joy, and, to the people, an inexhaustible gift of life, and to
the missionary work a power hitherto unknown.

A man should not go out as a foreign missionary unless he has a definite
call from God to go. It must be laid so strongly upon his heart that he
feels the necessity of going forth unto the heathen. There must be a
constraining power and a felt conviction within, that in the mission field
alone can he find rest and peace and power.

The missionary should be a man of pronounced and positive spirituality—a
man who loves the Word of God, who finds meditation in it sweet, and who
finds relief, strength and joy in frequent daily prayer. The depressing
influences which beset his spiritual life are many. The all-pervasive,
chilling influence of heathenism, and its dead and deadening ceremonialism
tend to exercise an increasing power over him. He will not, at first,
realize this influence; but as an insidious and an ever swelling tide of
evil it will come into his soul, unless he is well guarded and daily
fortified against it by frequent communion with God. In India the
hardening influence of the all-surrounding heathenism is as subtle as it
is potent in its influence upon the life of any Christian worker and needs
to be overcome by constant spiritual culture.

The life of the European Christians who reside in that country is so far
from being Christlike and is so wanting in these spiritual traits which
should characterize an earnest Christian, that the missionary constantly
has to guard himself against its influence upon himself.

The loneliness of the missionary—his frequent and long-continued absence
from those means of grace which so largely minister to the spiritual
strength of a pastor in this country—is something deeply felt. Few men
realize the extent of the spiritual helps which the Christian society of
America renders to the aspiring life of a man of God. In his loneliness,
in the far-off land, the missionary feels its absence keenly.

Moreover, all the native Christians of the community of which he is the
official head look up to him for inspiration. Is he wanting in faith,
hopefulness and cheer; is he depressed and discouraged; is he lacking in
the power of prayer and of sweet communion with God? It is marvellous how
quickly this frame of mind is transmitted from him to the people of his
charge. The pastors, catechists and other mission agents of his field all
look to him for their ideal and seek to draw from him their inspiration in
spiritual life. Is he down; then they are down with him. In coldness as in
spiritual ardour they faithfully reflect his life and temper. It is,
indeed, true that many of these live spiritual lives which bring
inspiration and spiritual joy to him. The simplicity and earnestness of
the faith of most of the native Christians is beautiful. Still, in many
respects, he finds the community a heavy spiritual drain upon him; and, if
he is to maintain himself as a worthy leader in the higher Christian life,
he must live constantly with God and find daily strength in Him.

In India, specially, there are needed a few definite spiritual gifts which
I desire to emphasize and which a missionary should aim to cultivate.

The first in order, if not in importance, is patience. To us of the West
the Orient seems preëminently slow. To them of the East we of the West
rush everything unduly and are the victims of impatience. There is much
truth in that homely skit of Kipling’s:

“It is bad for the Christian’s peace of mind
  To hustle the Aryan brown;
For the Christian riles but the Aryan smiles,
  And it weareth the Christian down.

“And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
  With the name of the late deceased;
And the epitaph drear, a fool lies here
  Who tried to hustle the East.”

The ordinary Hindu will endure the white man’s impatience, and he and the
native Christian will submit to the same weakness on the part of the
missionary. But they fail to understand it; and the missionary’s power
with them is very largely impaired by the manifestation of this evil
spirit. Even if impatience were ever, anywhere, a virtue, in India it is
always an unmixed evil and should be guarded against. The warning is the
more needed because the tropical climate itself is a very bad irritant to
the nervous system. Among the Hindus patience is regarded the supreme
virtue of God and of man; and it should adorn every missionary who seeks
to be their leader.

Humility also is a grace which needs much cultivation by the missionary.
He has constant temptation to pride. The sin of masterfulness is naturally
his besetting sin; for his influence over his people and his control in
the direction of his work gradually grow sweet to him and develop, if he
is not very careful, into an imperiousness of will which is neither
pleasant to those who come in contact with him, nor consistent with the
golden grace of humility, nor in any sense pleasing to God.

Love—that essence of divine character—needs preëminent guarding,
encouragement and development on the part of the missionary. There is so
much that is unlovely and unlovable all about him, so little to attract
and draw out his tender emotions that he needs to drink freely from the
fountain of love above; or he will degenerate very easily into a hard,
cold, unsympathetic, cynical missionary—a frame of mind which will utterly
disqualify him for any joy or power in his work. One of the best
missionaries I have known used to pray very frequently—“O Lord, save me
from the sin of despising this people.” It is a prayer which every
missionary may find it necessary to offer frequently. True Christian love
is none the less necessary, yea the more necessary on the mission field,
because the missionary lives among people who are not kindred in blood to
himself.

Then he needs also a large gift of faith and of hope. The smallness of the
Christian Church in the midst of a dense mass of heathenism; the apparent
inadequacy of earthly means to convert that great people to Christ; the
slowness of progress and the fewness of results—all these tend to depress
and discourage the worker. And he needs to offer for himself, as for his
people, the prayer which Elisha offered in behalf of the young man,—“O
Lord, I pray thee open his eyes that he may see. And the Lord opened the
eyes of the young man and he saw and behold the mountain was full of
chariots of fire round about Elisha.”

Spiritual power, in all its forms, is not only greatly needed by the
missionary, it is also highly appreciated by the people who are always
ready to be led by it. I believe that the people in the East are much more
amenable to this influence and much more ready to follow spiritual
guidance than are the people of our own land. And this, in itself, is an
added reason for deep spirituality in the missionary.



5. The Missionary’s Attitude Towards the Non-Christian World.


This attitude is one of considerable importance to the missionary because
it furnishes largely the motive of his life work. Before one goes out as a
missionary he should acquire some definite and sound views as to the
condition of the non-Christians who constitute three-fourths of our race.
This means that he must decide as to his missionary motive,—what motive
power shall impel him to leave his native land and go to live among a
benighted people surrounded by a thousand disadvantages.

Since the organization of our missionary societies—less than a century
ago—there has been an important change of emphasis in the matter of
missionary motives. The progress, I might almost say revolution, in
theology has worked towards this change. The recent discovery of new
sciences, and the utilization of the wonderful modern means of
communication whereby a new knowledge of non-Christian peoples has been
made possible to us, has affected our consideration of the whole problem
of missionary work and has especially modified the missionary motive. Dr.
W. N. Clark, in his admirable book on Christian Missions, discusses fully
this question. “The difference,” he says, “between our conception of man
today and that of a century ago is mainly not that something true has
fallen out of it, though that may be the fact with many minds: it is
rather that immeasurably much that is true has been added to it.
Unquestionably our conception of man is still incomplete, unbalanced and
incorrect, but it certainly has been altered within the century by the
addition of much that must remain in any true conception. Our knowledge
must have experienced true and legitimate growth and from our present
conception of the human world we can never go back to that which our
fathers held when they began the work of modern missions ... our thought
concerning our fellow-men contains elements of truth and justice that our
fathers knew nothing of. The best Christian feeling towards the heathen
world today is far more true, righteous, sympathetic, Christlike, than the
feelings of those who were interested in missions an hundred years ago.
But the single motive which, standing alone, led to the missionary
enterprise has come to be so surrounded by other thoughts and motives as
to lose its relative importance, and be less available than it then was as
a controlling influence. This is one of the great and significant causes
of the crisis in missions.”

It is not necessarily true that the paramount motive of a century ago is
no longer believed; but that other motives have grown and reached a
commanding influence as a power in the Christian consciousness of today. A
Christian missionary has indeed changed his views, for instance,
concerning the origin and character of Hinduism. Through modern
enlightenment and the study of comparative religion no man can go out as a
missionary, even as I was expected to go less than a quarter of a century
ago, with a general belief that that great religion is entirely of the
devil and is in itself evil and only evil continually. The missionary of
today must discriminate, must study appreciation and consider historic
facts. He must know that ethnic, and all non-Christian religions, have had
their uses, and that some still have their uses in the world. They are the
expression of the deepest religious instincts of the human soul. And they
have, especially such a faith as Hinduism, not a few elements of truth
which a missionary should know no less than he should understand the great
evils which enter as a part of them.

The greatest missionary motive of today lies in the last commission of our
Lord which emanates from the heart, and reveals the essence of our
religion. His command to his disciples to go and disciple the nations
stands now as the Supreme Christian Command; and its significance is
appreciated and emphasized today as never before. And so long as a Church
gives increasing emphasis to this, His greatest commission, it must
necessarily be in the path of duty, of privilege, of blessing and of
power. Above all other missionary motives this must remain supreme.

And there must go hand in hand with this loyalty to Christ, a deepening
loyalty to Christianity and a growing appreciation of its uniqueness in
the world. Christianity is not one religion among many; it stands alone as
the soul-satisfying and soul-saving faith. The scattered lights of other
faiths find here their centre, and all their prophesies find here
fulfillment. The need of Christianity, by all men, is supreme. Whatever
may be said in favour of other faiths we must say of them that they are,
in many respects, perverted and are inadequate as a means of salvation.

And in addition to this the missionary must feel that all non-Christian
peoples are in supreme need of Christ, the Saviour. This fact we cannot
afford to qualify, without, in very truth, cutting the nerve of missions.
When a missionary regards Christ and His mission and message as only an
incident in the life and need of our race and ceases to acknowledge that
all men need Christ supremely, he had better give up his work; for his
missionary motive has lost its foundation and his life work has been
robbed of its power.

The missionary is called to go wherever the Macedonian cry of human need
and of spiritual helplessness is heard. Our Lord’s command was
world-embracing in its extent; it was a discipling of _all_ nations; it
was a call to be witnesses unto the uttermost parts of the earth.

Shall the missionary go and preach everywhere the gospel of Christ,
whether men invite him or not? In view of recent events in China and in
other lands some people (and among them are a few well-meaning Christians)
question our duty and even our right and privilege to carry the gospel to
a people against its will and when it is satisfied with its own faith.
They claim that this restraint is demanded by true Christian altruism and
by the spirit of Christ. That the day has come when the Christian Church
should thoroughly reconsider the best methods of missionary approach to
such peoples I readily agree. I also maintain that Protestant missions
should everywhere scrupulously avoid all Jesuitical methods and political
influences and should always strive to minimize, if not ignore, their
political rights and magnify the spiritual side of their work. Under these
conditions no people has lent an unwilling ear to the missionary’s
message, or, for a long time, failed to rejoice in his presence and work.
But had missionary societies sent their missionaries only to those people
who invited them, or were prepared to give them a cordial welcome, where
could they have found work or how achieve the magnificent success of the
last century? Imagine the great missionary apostle sending messengers in
advance to inquire whether the inhabitants of Lystra and Ephesus, of
Thessalonica and Athens were willing to receive him, and turning away his
face because, forsooth, they were not prepared to welcome him! The only
invitation he did receive was from Macedonia in a vision. The acceptance
of the invitation brought to him at once opposition and stripes. Paul said
that he _knew_ that bonds awaited him wherever he went. But that did not
deter him.

Had our Lord Himself considered the attitude of man towards Himself He
would never have come down to men. He came to fling fire upon the earth—to
bring not peace but a sword. He was despised and rejected of men. Like
Him, missionaries must consider the deep spiritual _need_ and not the
_desire_ of a people. Above all, they must be assured everywhere, in their
great life work, that they are sent by God rather than invited by men.



6. The Relationship Which the Missionary Sustains to the Missionary
Society and the Churches Which Support Him.


The relationship into which a man, who becomes a missionary, enters with
the missionary society and the churches is a very precious one, and should
be fully realized. In a peculiar sense he has become their adopted
child—the subject of their prayer and the object of their pride. They have
taken him into their own heart and his support and success are their
peculiar concern.

He is the connecting link between them and the work which they support and
cherish in the far-off land. Whatever of interest, of joy and of
responsibility they possess in that work passes through him. He is to them
the channel through which flow their endeavours. He is the living
embodiment of their interest in the work as also of their effort to bring
the heathen to Christ. And in like manner he has become to them the
articulate cry of the heathen world for help. He represents to them at the
same time both the progress of the work, its need and the claims of a
heathen world upon them. He is their agent to develop and inspire their
infant Mission Church. He is also the almoner of their benevolence.

In all these capacities it is well that he remember, constantly, how much
he depends for inspiration as for support upon those who have sent him
forth to the heathen and who, under God, sustain him and his work. He
should cultivate full appreciation of their endeavour; he should keep
himself in living, loving touch with both society and churches; and he
should deem it his duty and privilege to furnish them with all light and
intelligence concerning his work. It is thus that he must strengthen their
faith and inspire their hearts in the great and far-off work which they
are maintaining. It is his opportunity to add fuel to the ardor and
enthusiasm of all the churches in the missionary endeavour. In this he has
an important function to perform and should endeavour to magnify his
office.

In my opinion the relationship between the missionary and those whom he
represents at home might easily be strengthened and improved by added
recognition and courtesy to him in the home-land. At present the foreign
missionary of the congregational churches is simply regarded as their paid
agent. This relationship is indeed a pleasant and a cordial one. The
American Board is most appreciative of the labors of its missionary agents
and deals with them generously. The churches also give them a cordial
welcome and a warm hearing. But the missionary has no status whatever
beyond this. He returns for a furlough to the home-land and feels himself,
in a peculiar sense, a stranger. He has no official connection whatever
with his society; his voice is not heard in its councils; his wisdom and
experience are not sought in its deliberations. In other words, though
possessed of a large stock of knowledge which might be of value to the
Board in the shaping of its policy and in the direction of its work at its
annual meetings, he has absolutely no voice or place there and stands
apart from its organization, beyond the privilege of being its foreign
servant. The missionary body has felt this deprivation and isolation
during critical periods in the history of the Board; and it still feels
that, at least some of its number should be permitted both to enjoy the
honour, and also to render the service incident to being corporate members
of the Board.

The situation is no better in his relation to the home churches. He is a
member, probably, of some church in the home-land; but, upon his return
home he has no status whatever in any Conference or Association, or as a
member of a Ministerial body among his home brethren. In his deputation
work at home he finds welcome, as a stranger or as an outsider, and not as
a member or as an integral part of any body or Association.

The position of the missionary is different among the Methodists. Every
minister of that body finds that, by becoming a foreign missionary he does
not separate himself from home ties and privileges. His ministerial
connection is preserved intact, so that he has a status in the churches
and in the missionary society.



7. The Missionary and the Mission To Which He Belongs.


When a man becomes a member of a foreign mission he soon realizes that he
has become a part of a compact organization. All its members are bound
together by the warmest ties of friendship and love. Largely separated
from the world and knit together by common purpose as by all their highest
ambitions, they verily become a big family whose love increases as the
years multiply, and among whom the spirit of dissension can only create
the deepest sorrow and greatest bitterness. It is, therefore, of the
utmost importance that every one who becomes a missionary should be a man
of peace; should know how to live in harmony with all his brethren. He
should cultivate that spirit and should aim to see eye to eye with those
who are thus so intimately connected with him. In loving sympathy they
should unite in the serious concerns of their life-work. One of the first
requisites demanded from a missionary applicant from the American Board is
that he be of a peaceable disposition—able to live harmoniously with
others. And it is not only a suggestion that should be heeded by every
missionary; it is also a rule which should be enforced by every missionary
society.

Each mission has behind it a history, and, before it, more or less of an
aim and policy. It should be the ambition of every member of that mission
to study and honour the one, and to be faithful and loyal to the other.
The history of most missions in India is precious and full of instruction.
They have sainted heroes and most interesting traditions. The missionary
should not only study the records of his own mission and draw from them
every possible lesson for his life; he should also enter heartily into the
spirit of the mission and endeavour cordially to bring himself _en
rapport_ with its highest wisdom, deepest purposes and most cherished
schemes for the future. It is not necessary that he be satisfied with all
that the mission has done; he should also aim, in the spirit of humility
and of patience, to constitutionally influence his brethren to his own new
views and better way of thinking, if he have any. Above all, he should aim
to conserve rather than to destroy. The blessings of the past should be
utilized in attaining higher things for the future. Revolutionary methods
are ill-adapted to add blessing to such a work. It should also be the aim
of the missionary to so further the work of his mission that it may soon
cease to be a necessity. A mission, at best, is but a temporary thing. It
should constantly aim to so nourish and strengthen the native church as to
make itself unnecessary. And it should be the aim of the missionary to
hasten, with all speed, this consummation.



8. The Relation of the Missionary to the People Among Whom He Lives.


Having entered upon his work and settled among the people of his choice,
he must seek to realize the best possible relation to them. This
relationship will be a varied one.

He must be a leader of the Christian community. In India, today, there is
special need for missionaries who are born leaders. The people of that
land are defective in the power of initiative; but they are most tractable
and docile. They love to follow a bold and a wise leader of men. And the
missionary, from the very necessity of his position, should be able to
direct and guide the Christian community into ways of holiness and of
Christian activity. He is to be a leader of leaders. He should marshal the
mission agents connected with him in such a way as to lead the native
Church into highest usefulness and most earnest endeavour for the
salvation of souls.

He should be strong as an organizer and administrator. In missions the
word organization is becoming the keyword of the situation. There is no
danger of over-organization, so long as the organization is endowed with
life and does not degenerate into machinery. The best organized activities
of today are the most powerful and the most useful. And the missionary
will find his highest powers for organization taxed to the utmost in his
missionary work. And as an administrator there will be made many claims
upon him daily. I know of few qualifications that are more essential to
the highest success on the mission field than conspicuous ability to
organize and wisdom to administer the affairs of a mission. Missionaries
frequently fail at this point and need therefore to strengthen themselves
in this particular.

A missionary should be as much the conserver of the good as a destroyer of
the evil which he finds among the people. Much of that which he will see
in India, for instance, will at first, and perhaps for a long time, seem
strange and outlandish to him; but let him not decide that it is therefore
evil. The life of the Orient is built on different lines from that of the
Occident. Many things in common life, in domestic economy and in social
customs will, and must, be different there from what they are here. Their
civilization, though different from ours, has a consistency as a whole;
and we cannot easily eliminate certain parts and substitute for them those
of our own civilization without dislocating the whole. Therefore, it is
often safer and better to conserve what seems to us the lesser good of
their civilization than to introduce what seems the greater good of our
own.

The missionary must be careful to distinguish between those things which
are real, and those which are apparent, evils among the customs of the
people. There are some customs, such as are connected with the degradation
of woman and heathen ceremonies which are fundamentally wrong and must be
opposed always. There are others which seem uncouth and unworthy, but
which are devoid of moral or religious significance. Of two missionaries,
the one who studies to utilize the existing good among the habits of the
people will find greatest usefulness. Some waste their time, destroy their
influence and minimize their usefulness by a destructive way of attacking
everything that is not positively good and beating their head against
every wall of custom.

The missionary should be a prophet to rebuke and to condemn evil. He will
find numberless evils on all sides of him—in Church, in general society
and in individual life among the people. He must not hesitate to use
constantly his voice as a protest against all forms of evil. This duty is
the more incumbent upon him as there are none among the people to protest
and to denounce the most flagrant, demoralizing and universal evils of the
land. One of the most discouraging things concerning the situation in
India is, not the universality of certain evils, but the utter absence of
those who dare to withstand them and denounce them as sins before all the
people. Missionaries have done more in that land to rightly characterize
certain gross evils and to call the attention of the people to them than
have any other people in the land. And they have recognition for this. And
this prophetic function of the missionary must be exercised with
increasing faithfulness for the good of the land and for the purity of the
Church of God.

In that country the missionary must also stand before the people as their
exemplar. He must represent, not only Christianity at its best, but also
the civilization of the West in its purest and most attractive garb. India
has always greatly needed such human types of nobility of character to
encourage and stimulate the people to a higher life. With all modesty and
due humility the missionary is called upon just as much to live as he is
to teach the best that is found in his religion and in the civilization of
his mother country. In India, the life of the missionary has spoken more
loudly than his words. There are millions in that land today, who, while
they deny and reject the teaching of the missionary, give him unstinted
praise both for what he is and for what he has done for the country.

The testimony of Sir William Mackworth Young, Lieutenant-Governor of
Punjab is only one of many such;—“I take off my hat to the humblest
missionary that walks a bazaar in India,” he said, in a recent public
address, “because he is leading a higher and a grander life and doing a
grander work than any other class of persons who are working in India. If
the natives of India have any practical knowledge of what is meant by
Christian charity, if they know anything of high, disinterested motives
and self-sacrifice, it is mainly from the missionary that they learn it.
The strength of our position in India depends more largely upon the
good-will of the people than upon the strength and number of our
garrisons, and for that good-will we are largely indebted to the kindly,
self-sacrificing efforts of the Christian missionary. It is love which
must pave the way for the regeneration of India as well as for the
consolidation of England’s power.”

The missionary must never lose this crown of glory in India. He must hold
it most precious and strive to add to the glory which he thus reflects
upon his Faith in that land.



                              Chapter VIII.


MISSIONARY ORGANIZATION.


Thorough organization of any work is essential to its highest efficiency.
The Missionary Department of the work of the Christian Church should,
therefore, be well organized. As missionary effort expands, grows in
intensity and increases in power, it must find a growingly efficient
organization in order to adequately express itself and to attain further
growth.

1. A thorough Missionary Organization at home is the first requisite in
order to highest success. Thus only can the missionary work abroad be
maintained and fostered; because, by this means only can missionary ardour
be kindled in the churches. A Church which is not adequately marshalled
for activity in heathen lands will soon become self-centred and will
easily forget the claims, if not the very existence, of the heathen.

A Foreign Missionary Society of well organized efficiency has, up to the
present, been the best agency in the development and furtherance of the
foreign work of every denomination. And the day does not seem near when
this agency can be dispensed with.

This missionary society should be in close touch with the denomination or
body of Christians which has organized and maintains it. It should be
plastic to the touch and will of its constituency and should seek in every
way to be at the same time a faithful exponent of the thought and ambition
of the churches, and a leader and a source of new inspiration and light to
them on missionary problems. This society should scrupulously avoid, on
the one hand, the danger of too much independence and of a purpose to
shape the missionary policy of the churches; and, on the other, the
equally serious evil of dragging, or of declining to move a step without
the direct intimation, command or leadership of the churches. There has
been a time in the history of the American Board when the one evil
constituted its danger; at the present time it would seem as if the other
danger seriously threatened it.

It is of much importance that the foreign missionary benevolences of a
church should be wisely administered _as a whole_. When different
missionary societies of a denomination appeal, as they do at present, to
our churches for funds to support the missionary cause in foreign lands,
it is of great importance that moneys received by these different bodies
should be appropriated wisely. They should be brought together both for
unity of results and for economy of expenditure on the mission field. My
observation convinces me that, for want of a wise union or correlation of
our missionary agencies at home the various departments of the work (of
the Congregationalists, for instance) on the mission field are very
unequally supported, and an unwise distribution of the benevolences of the
churches follows as a result. A previous, full consideration, by a
competent general committee of finance, in America, should be had of the
needs of the various departments of each mission and of the distribution
of all the funds collected for that mission by the various societies; and
they should be carefully distributed in accordance with the urgency of
those needs respectively.

These missionary societies should aim to cultivate in the churches the
spirit of missions as a _Christian principle_. Advocates of the missionary
cause strongly feel that the interest of the Church in missionary work
today is too little based upon the real and fundamental principle of
missionary work as a necessity of the life of the Church itself, and too
much dependent upon exciting narrative, tearful appeal and poetic romance.
The cultivation of the missionary principle and the inculcation of the
doctrine of the privilege and beauty of supporting missions, apart from
any impassioned appeals or tragic events, is one of the _desiderata_ of
the Church today. It is a morbid condition of the mind of the Church which
demands exciting narrative and hysterical appeal in order to arouse it to
its duty in this matter; and it also tends to create a standard of
missionary advocacy which is neither manly nor sufficiently careful to
balance well the facts and data of missionary work as it is found upon the
field. There is considerable danger of accepting, today, only that form of
missionary appeal which is directed to the emotion and which abounds in
mental excitement rather than that which furnishes food for sober thought.
The consequence is that this advocacy is in danger of becoming a producer
of more heat than light—of more emotion than intelligent conviction.

The recent movement towards leading certain churches to take up definite
portions of the work in foreign lands and to support, each a missionary
for itself, has in it much to commend it to our acceptance. It certainly
has the merit of definiteness in purpose, work and prayer; and this brings
added interest and a growing sense of responsibility to each church which
takes up the work. If a man (or a church) finds his interest in missions
waning as a principle of Christian activity the best thing for him,
perhaps, is to come into touch with a missionary or a mission agent on the
field. By supporting him or a department of work conducted by him, and by
being kept frequently informed of the work which he is supporting, new
fuel is constantly added to that missionary interest which thereby
develops into zeal and enthusiasm. The method has apostolic sanction and
partakes of the simplicity of primitive missionary endeavour.

But this method should not be too exclusively pursued. It should not
interfere with a broader outlook upon missions and a general sympathy
with, and support of, the _common_ work. And all of the work should be
done through the missionary society which alone can rightly coördinate and
unify the whole work of the particular mission.

Faith Missions, so called, represent a genuine and a worthy spirit among
many of God’s people today. To them the somewhat lumbering business
methods of the large missionary organizations savour too much of worldly
prudence and seem subversive of the deepest Christian faith. They maintain
that the old method is one that looks too much to men and too little to
God for support. And they also claim that the missionary of such a society
has little opportunity for the exercise of highest faith in God both for
himself and his work. These new missions, therefore, have come into
existence practically, if not really, as a protest against modern methods
of conducting missionary work. They may do much good if they exercise some
restraint upon missionary societies in this matter. Probably it is needed.
Many believe that there is an excessive tendency among the directors of
missionary societies, at the present day, to consider this great
enterprise simply as a _business_ enterprise, and that, in the committee
rooms, faith has yielded too much to prudence, and the wings of missionary
enterprise have been too much clipped by worldly considerations. How far
their reasoning is true, I will not decide. Their claim is not without a
basis of truth. The financial embarrassment brings to the Missionary
Society today, much more than it used to, discouragement and a halt; with
the result that the missions are more than ever before crippled by
retrenchment and home churches are resting satisfied with smaller
attainments and are forgetting the old watchwords of progress and advance.

“Faith Missions” are created by and meet the needs of a certain class of
people in the church whose spiritual life is intense and who crave romance
in faith and in life. The missionaries of these societies tire of the
great organizations of the church and are usually men who are restless
under any stiff method or extensive system in Christian work.

But very few such missionaries meet with permanent success. The glamour of
the “faith life,” so called, does not abide with them. Few men have the
staying, as well as the supporting, faith of a George Müller; and yet
every missionary in this class should be a hero of faith—a man with that
special gift and power from God which will maintain itself and go on
working under the most adverse circumstances. And this is what the
ordinary “faith missionary” does not possess in an exceptional degree.

As a matter of fact, “Faith Missions” are decidedly wasteful of means in
the conduct of their work. If, in some ways, they practice more economy,
in other matters of greatest importance, there is deplorable wastefulness.
For, they are wanting both in continuity and in wise management and sane
direction. As history has shown, they also easily degenerate into very
prudential methods and sensational forms of advertisement which destroy
the very faith which the missions were supposed to express and conserve.
There is no less faith—rather is there more—exercised by members of
well-organized missions who depend upon God’s supply through the regular
channel of a society. For they can give themselves entirely to their work
of faith and love, confident that God will provide for their wants and the
wants of their work; while the “faith missionary” has to devote much time
in anxious thought and in skillful and dubious methods of appeal to secure
the means of support.

One only needs to look at India today and there study the results of these
two classes of missions in order to see which method is the more
economical and the more owned of God.

The Missionary Boards should keep in close touch and living communication
with the missions which they support. The mission to which I have the
honour of belonging has not had the privilege, until the last year, of
receiving an official visitation from any member of our Board for nearly
forty-five years. That a society should aim, by its officials in one city,
to conduct, for so many years, a mission among its antipodes without
having one representative among its directors who has gazed upon that
land, seen that people or studied on the ground any of its problems, seems
remarkable, and wants in that sagacity which usually directs us as a
people. By frequent visitations alone can such a society expect to be able
to direct wisely and lead successfully its missions. For, it is highly
desirable, both in the interests of the mission itself, of the society and
of the home churches that at least some of the directors of the society
should know personally and well each mission supported through them. At no
greater intervals than five years such a visitation should be planned for
every mission. I am confident that they would add largely to the
efficiency of our missionary work and increase the interest of home
churches in their foreign work. But such visiting committees should be
willing to learn and should not come out with preconceived ideas of what
ought to be done, nor with bottled and labelled remedies for all the ills
of the mission. Some missions are sore today because of a visitation many
years ago, since it was not conceived in the spirit of highest wisdom and
teachableness.

2. The missions themselves also should be well organized for work. The
success of a mission will depend, in no small degree, upon the character
of its organization. In India, today, there is a great variety of
missionary organizations. They range from the almost purely autocratic
ones, established by Christians of the European Continent, to the
thoroughly democratic and largely autonomous ones of the American
Missions. German and Danish Missions are mostly controlled by the home
committees of their missionary societies. American Missions have a large
degree of autonomy in the conduct of their affairs. British Missions
divide equally with their home Society the right and privilege of
conducting their affairs. It is certainly not wise that a committee of
gentlemen thousands of miles distant from the mission field should
autocratically direct and control, even to matters of detail, the affairs
of their mission. The missionaries on the ground should not only have the
right to express their opinions, but should also have a voice in
conducting the affairs of the mission for whose furtherance they have
given their life, whose interests they dearly love and whose affairs they
are the most competent to understand.

Nor yet should a mission be entirely free from foreign guidance and
suggestion. Too much power given to a mission is as really a danger as too
little power. It is well for a mission that it should have the aid of men
who have large missionary interests under their guidance and who are in
full sympathy with home churches. The ideal mission is that which, on the
one hand, enjoys a large degree of autonomy in the conduct of its affairs,
and yet which, on the other hand, is wisely supported and strengthened by
the restraining influence, suggestion and even the occasional initiative
of a well-formed home committee.

The relation of the mission to its own members should always be firm and
its authority kindly and wisely exercised. There may arise a serious
danger of too much individualism in a mission. A mission which does not
have a policy of its own and conduct its whole work in harmony with that
policy, and so control the work of each of its members as to make it fully
contribute to the realization of its aims, will not attain unto the
largest success in its efforts. When each missionary is given absolute
independence to develop his own work on his own lines it will soon be
found that whatever mission policy there may have been will be crushed out
by rampant individualism. And when each man is at liberty to follow his
own inclination and to direct his work according to his own sweet will,
mission work will have lost its homogeneity. Each section and department
of the mission will be changed in direction and method of work upon the
arrival of every new missionary; and thus every blessing of continuity in
work and of a wholesome mission policy will be lost. I know of missions
(American, of course) which suffer seriously on this account. I also know
of other missions which are seriously affected by the opposite difficulty.
The mission controls its work so completely, even to its last detail, that
it leaves to the individual missionary no freedom of action and no power
of initiative. The mission, in solemn conclave, decides even the character
and quantity of food which must be given each child in a boarding school
conducted by one of its missionaries! A control which reaches into such
petty details as this, is not only a waste of time to the mission itself;
it seriously compromises the dignity, and destroys the sense of
responsibility, of the individual missionary. It takes away from him the
power of initiative and thus largely diminishes his efficiency.

The ideal mission is that which gives to each of its members some latitude
for judgment and direction, but which has a definite policy of its own and
sees to it that this policy is, in the main, respected and supported by
every one of its missionaries.

It is an interesting fact, in the study of the missions of India, that the
American Missions, on the whole, represent the largest degree, both of
mission autonomy and of missionary individualism. The farther we pass east
from America the more do we see mission autonomy yield to the control of
the home society; and the independence of the missionary lost in the
absoluteness of mission supervision.

How far shall missions give the power of franchise to their lady members
in the conduct of mission affairs? The last few years has seen this
question agitated by many missions. They differ largely in this matter.
The Madura Mission has settled the problem by giving to the women absolute
equality with the men. This, probably, is an ideal solution. But it should
be accompanied by a similar movement in the missionary societies at
Boston. The position at present is anomalous in that mission; for while it
has given to both sexes equal rights of franchise and is therefore a unit
in administrative power, the societies at home which support the general,
and the woman’s parts of the mission activity are entirely separate from
and independent of each other. It is not too much to hope that, at an
early date, the relations of the home societies may be changed towards
unity of action, to correspond with the present situation in the mission
field.

The relation of missions contiguous to each other in foreign lands is a
subject which is increasingly engaging the thought of all missionaries. In
the past, missions of different denominations lived largely isolated from,
and absolutely indifferent to, each other’s welfare. There was much
friction and jealousy, coupled with a readiness to disregard each other’s
feelings and a willingness to take advantage of each other’s weaknesses. I
am glad to say that that era is gradually giving way to a time of better
feeling, when sympathy and appreciation, fellowship and coöperation are
becoming the watchwords. During the last few years marked progress has
been seen in India in the line of amity and comity between the Protestant
Missions of the land. Recently, a large Conference of Christian
Missionaries was convened in Madras representing the thirty-five
Protestant Missions of South India. Missions which formerly held aloof
from their sister missions and declined to fraternize in any way with
them, came on this occasion and heartily joined in the universal good
feeling and desire for fellowship among all. Coöperation was the watchword
heard in all discussions at that great Conference; and since that day
increasing effort has been put forth to bring several of the more nearly
related of these missions, not only into coöperation in work, but also
into organic unity. For instance the missions of the Free Church of
Scotland and of the Dutch Reformed Church of America have met, through
their representatives, and have perfected a scheme of ecclesiastical union
and of coöperation in work. And already expressions of hearty desire have
been made that the missions of the Congregational denominations unite with
these Presbyterian Missions in this Scheme of Union. I believe that it
will require but a short time for the perfecting of such a union among all
these kindred missions. Thus and thus only can we hope to teach to our
native Christians the growing oneness of God’s people; and thus also do we
hope to reduce considerably the expenses of the work in that land. For, by
thus uniting our forces, we shall be able to reduce the number of our
special institutions for the training of our agency and the development of
our work. Nothing can further the cause of economy in mission lands today
more than the union of mission institutions now built on denominational
lines and expensively conducted in all the missions. I believe in
denominationalism. It has its mission in the world and has done much good.
But a narrow, selfish, denominationalism on the mission field, and in the
presence both of the infant native church and of the inquiring Hindu
community, is one of the most serious evils that can befall the cause of
Christ in India.

We should all pray for the day when all narrowness in this matter shall
yield to the broadest sympathy, love and coöperation. And, perhaps, the
best way to answer our prayers in this matter is by furthering the noble
cause of Christian union among the denominations and churches here at
home.

The old illustration, taken from the rice fields of South India, is apt
and instructive. These fields are small and divided by low banks. The
banks serve the purpose of separating the fields of different persons, of
furnishing water channels and of facilitating the irrigation. When the
crops are young and low every field is seen marked out by its banks. But
as the crops grow the banks are hidden and we see nothing but one great
expense of waving grain ready for the harvest. So, while the useful,
denominational banks which have divided us in mission lands are still
there we thank God that they are being hidden more, year by year, as the
harvest of Christian love and fellowship is approaching.

3. The organic structure of a mission in the early stages of its growth is
a very simple thing; as it achieves increasing success the necessities of
the situation compel it to add to its efficiency by widening its scope and
increasing its functions and multiplying its departments of work. A
hundred years ago, or less, as the missionary entered virgin soil and
began to cultivate a new mission field, he devoted himself, almost
exclusively, to the work of preaching the gospel to the heathen. Presently
the gospel message found entrance into the hearts of a few and they were
formed into a congregation. At once he began to train this infant
congregation and selected one or more of the most promising of its number
for special instruction and initiation into the duties of Christian
service. He then took this nucleus of a native agency with himself on
preaching tours until new accessions to the faith were gained and new
congregations established. As the congregations multiplied his work as an
evangelist had to give way, in part, to his efforts to train an adequate
native agency to guide and nourish the growing Christian community. There
was also added to this the pastoral care and superintendence of
congregations new and old. Later on he felt the need of schools to train
the young of his congregations; he also began to realize the value of
educational work for non-Christians as a means of presenting to them the
gospel of Christ. Thus a system of schools was gradually established, both
for Christians and for non-Christians which not only required his care,
but also demanded a force of Christian teachers adequate to this
increasing work. So, institutions for the systematic training of teachers
and preachers had to be established. Under the influence of these schools
intelligence grew apace and was suitably met and satisfied by a developing
Christian literature—a literature which met the needs of the Christian and
heathen alike.

Moreover as he studied the physical condition of the surrounding people he
was appalled by the prevalence of disease and the inadequacy, yea, even
the evil, of the system of medical treatment which obtained there; and so
his heart was drawn out to the need of making some provision for modern
medical aid. As the community continued to grow and the number of young
people multiplied, in church and congregation alike, he became impressed
with the need of organizations whereby this latent youthful power might be
conserved, increased and utilized for the Glory of God.

In this way the primitive missions of the past have actually developed
into the powerful organizations of the present. One must study, on the
spot, one of the larger missions of India today in order to appreciate
what a complicated organism it is. He then will see how it has sent out
its ramifications into all departments of life and of Christian activity.
It has laid its hands, in organized power, upon every department of
Christian work which can be made to contribute to the furtherance of the
cause of Christ in that field. In this way have come into existence the
following departments, which are represented in more or less fullness in
all the missions of India today.



(_a_) The Evangelistic Department.


This, as we have seen, is the oldest as it is the most fundamental, of all
organized missionary activities. And it should retain its prominence in
missionary effort. It was preëminently the method of Christ. He was the
Heavenly Messenger proclaiming that the Kingdom of God was at hand. He was
first of all the great Preacher; “and the people everywhere heard Him
gladly.” The missionary of the Cross never feels that he is more directly
in the footsteps of his Master than when he is preaching to the unchurched
and Christless masses. There is to this work a joy and an exhilaration
which are peculiarly its own, even though it is a work fraught with
physical weariness. I have felt, in the prosecution of this work, more
satisfaction than almost in any other. Not that I regard it as the most
successful form of labour. It is not. Even as a direct evangelizing
agency, I believe that it must yield precedence in India to school-work.
The faithful Christian teacher is now a more successful evangelist in that
land than the preacher himself. And yet the preacher reaches and offers
light and gracious opportunity to the more benighted and the more
neglected members of the community. Without making special choice of any
favoured class he sows broadcast the seed, preaches the divine Word,
praying that the Lord himself, who also preached to the common people,
bestow his richest blessing upon the labour which he has done in his name.

This work of preaching Christ to those who know him not, must be carried
on by missionaries and agents. It is usually the custom to expect that
every mission agent shall devote some of his time in visiting neighbouring
villages and in gathering the people together and in presenting to them,
in all simplicity, the message of salvation. Frequently these teachers,
catechists and pastors take with them some of the members of their
congregations to help them, by song and by the influence of their
presence, to present their message effectively to the people; and thus the
Christians also receive a most useful training in this elementary part of
Christian service.

From time to time special itineracies are conducted by a band of mission
agents who will spend a week or more in traversing a whole region,
preaching in every village and street as they pass along their journey.
These itineracies are conducted in various ways, but are always most
helpful in the evangelization of the district.

Some of the best organized missions are adding emphasis to this work by
devoting missionaries specially to the conduct of it. These men gather
bands of native preachers around them who spend their time and strength in
preaching and in disseminating gospel truth in the neglected regions of
their fields.

Theological seminaries also give a part of their time to this excellent
work. The seminary, with which I am connected, gave, during the year 1900,
five weeks to village work. Teachers and students travelled hundreds of
miles among the villages of the neglected part of the field and carried
the message to more than 50,000 people. This was not only a joyful
service, it was also a most helpful experience to the young students while
undergoing their theological training.

But, as the native Church, in a mission, grows in numbers and in
intelligence, the work of evangelism becomes its special duty. If the
Church does not enter, with added joy and power, into this department of
its work; and if it does not voluntarily assume, with ever increasing
fullness, this form of Christian activity, there is something radically
wrong about it. It should be the prayer and purpose of the missionary that
every church and congregation established by him become a centre of
evangelistic power, whence will radiate divine light and heat into
adjacent hamlets and villages. I am glad to say that, so far as my
observation goes, the native Church is undertaking this work with
increasing zeal and with a growing impulse from within, rather than by
pressure from without. In the Madura Mission, through the Home Missionary
Society and its auxiliaries, and through the organizations of the native
women, at least eighteen men and women are being supported for this
especial work of evangelism. And the number of members of churches, who
engage voluntarily in this work, is every year growing.

The character of this preaching is a matter of importance. In India it
should be, largely, if not exclusively, constructive rather than
destructive. Forces destructive to a belief in Hinduism and its numberless
superstitions have multiplied wonderfully in that land during the last
fifty years. So that there is no necessity, today, that the Christian
preacher spend any of his time in attacking the errors and evils of the
ancestral faith of the people. He should give himself to the more
agreeable and blessed work of imparting the living truth of the Gospel in
all directness and simplicity. The destructive agencies of the
civilization, knowledge and religious institutions of the West have
accomplished their work and have made straight the pathway of the Gospel
Messenger into the mind and heart of the people. Thus, it is not the abuse
of the old, but the exposition of the new, faith which should occupy the
time of the preacher to Hindus today. It has been my own custom, and I
always urge it upon my students, to avoid the temptation of attacking
Hinduism, and to preach a simple Gospel of salvation.



(_b_) Pastoral Work.


The rapidly increasing number of churches and congregations has added much
to the pastoral duties of a mission. Formerly missionaries themselves
acted as pastors and shepherded the flocks in the villages. Even today
some of the German missions have missionary pastors. But this is now
exceptional. Missions generally have learned that, for native
congregations, native pastors are essential. They not only are better
adapted, by nature and by training, to meet the needs of the native
Church; they are also the only ones that are within the range of the
financial possibilities of self-support. And self-support must be ever
held before the church as a high future blessing and duty of the Christian
community.

        [Illustration: Theological Students With Their Families.]

                 [Illustration: Group Of Madura Pastors.]

And yet the day when the pastoral work can be effectively and
satisfactorily done by the natives themselves has hardly arrived. Few
native pastors today, and much fewer catechists, are competent, both on
the score of character and of independence, to wisely direct the affairs
of their people and to efficiently preserve church discipline. This is a
sad confession to make; but truth compels me to make it—a truth emphasized
more than once by long experience among them. A few years ago a church
within my jurisdiction wished to expel a leading member whom it knew to be
a godless man. He had become a curse to the community, and nothing but
excommunication seemed wise or possible. I visited the church for the
purpose of assisting the pastor in the administration of the Lord’s Supper
and of studying the general condition of the church. And we attempted,
congregationally, to discipline this member. The church was asked to vote,
in case it thought wise, to excommunicate the man; but not a hand was
raised. The matter was further explained to them, and all those who were
in favour of his expulsion were requested to raise the hand. Again not a
hand was raised! The pastor, thereupon, explained the situation by stating
that the people were afraid of the man and dared not vote against him even
though he was not present. The pastor was himself equally timid in the
situation. Thereupon I asked those of them who desired that _I_ should act
in this matter _for the church_ to raise the hand; whereupon every hand of
pastor and people was immediately raised; and I fulfilled their wish by
excommunicating, in their name, the evil member!

This may or may not be Congregationalism; but it illustrates the fact
which I am now dwelling upon, viz.: that for the present, both pastor and
people are unequal to the severe duties of church discipline. Every month
the missionary is confronted with similar situations which reveal to him
the necessity of his presence as a superintending pastor and the urgent
need of his wisdom to direct the affairs of the church, his firmness to
put an end to many impossible situations, and his inspiration to tone up
and give backbone to pastors and other agents connected with him. It
should not be forgotten that, while the infant community connected with
each mission has many admirable traits of piety and of character, it is
still the victim of great weakness in matters of purity, of fellowship and
of Christian peace. So that if the Church is to be preserved from many
intolerable evils and brought into the noble traits of a Christian
character which will impress itself upon the non-Christian community there
must be firm guidance, stern repression of evil and wise inspiration to
good on the part of the native pastoral force under the bracing influence
of missionary guidance. To those who are conversant with the condition of
the native Church in India there is a supreme conviction that its greatest
danger lies in the irregularity of the life of its members and in its want
of firm discipline and the preservation of purity rather than in the
fewness of accessions from heathenism. Hence the importance of the work of
shepherding Christ’s feeble flock in that land. The training of suitable
native agents for this work is a duty of paramount importance; and the
training must be continued through their life by the presence of the
missionary to guide, restrain and inspire.



(_c_) The Educational Department.


In large, well-organized missions, the educational department is now
perhaps the most important and all-pervasive. As a mission grows, this
department usually develops more rapidly than any other of its organized
activities. This work is divided into three classes:



Schools for Non-Christians.


These are especially established with a view to reaching and affecting the
non-Christian community. They have developed wonderfully during the last
half-century and hold an important place in the economy of missions. They
represent the leaven of Christianity in India. They are preëminently an
evangelistic agency. They furnish excellent opportunity to present Christ
and His Gospel of salvation to a large host of young people under very
favorable circumstances. These institutions are of two classes—primary
schools in villages and high schools and colleges at centres of influence
and culture.

They have been the object of attack from men of narrow missionary sympathy
and of limited horizon. These men claim that money expended on such
institutions is a waste of mission funds. But they have failed to
recognize the significant fact, which I have already mentioned, that these
institutions undoubtedly furnish the best opportunity for missionary
evangelistic work. And I fearlessly maintain that more conversions take
place, and more accessions are made, through these schools than through
any other agency, apart from the Christian Church itself. Not a few of the
village primary schools become _nuclei_ to Christian congregations, which
flourish and develop into Christian churches. And through the higher
institutions some of the best and strongest members of the Christian
community have been won from Hinduism. All this, apart from the fact that
these institutions perform an unspeakably important function in the
dissemination of light throughout the whole Hindu community and in the
leavening of the whole mass of Hindu thought and institutions. The good
done by this class of institutions is beyond computation in that land.



Schools for Christian Children.


It is the worthy ambition of every mission and missionary to train the
children of the Christians so that they may rise, not only in
intelligence, but also in social life and position. Under this class of
schools the native Christian community is being rapidly developed and
educated, so that it is already in advance of any other community in
general literacy.

Among these schools for Christians are industrial institutions for the
training of boys and girls in manual labour. At the present time there
seems to be a growing tendency to magnify this department of work. These
schools are given to training in carpentry, blacksmithing, weaving,
brass-work, rattan-work, etc. The Germans have entered more fully into
this effort than any other missions in India. But they are not loud in its
praise as a department of _mission_ work. It certainly has both merits and
demerits which we shall consider later.

During the last decade a few missionaries have launched out upon a new
enterprise in the shape of Peasant Settlements. One object of these is to
train the poor and improvident members of the community, especially the
socially submerged classes, to habits of thrift, economy and independence.
It is also conducted as a philanthropy for the purpose of raising the
people socially and industrially through new methods and forms of
agriculture. This movement is still in its infancy.



Training Institutions for Mission Agents.


It is the duty of every mission to train for itself an efficient class of
men and women who shall conduct all the departments of missionary work and
gradually relieve the missionary of many of his duties. These schools are
of many kinds corresponding with the various classes of agencies required.

This may be illustrated by the institutions now found in the Madura
Mission. Nearly every one of the twelve out-stations of that mission has a
boarding school for Christian boys and girls. The best students who
graduate from these schools, especially those who are deemed worthy to
become future candidates for mission service, go to Pasumalai and to
Madura for further, and professional, training. At Pasumalai young men may
pass through the High School and even the college department. They are
then placed in the normal department, to qualify them as teachers, or in
the Theological Seminary, to prepare them as preachers and pastors. So,
also, girls are placed in the Madura Girls’ High and Training School and
are there qualified for one of three grades of teachership. Or they may be
placed in the Bible Woman’s Training School where they receive a
two-years’ course of training for work as Bible women.

The only class of agents which is not trained by the Madura Mission is
that of medical assistants. I trust that the mission’s desire for funds to
establish this work also may be gratified and that thus we may have the
means of training suitable agents for every department of our missionary
work. No mission can be complete unless it has some means of furnishing
itself with an efficient agency to conduct all departments of its
activity.

The only danger connected with the excellent educational department of
work is, lest it should outgrow and overshadow all other departments. This
danger is at present manifesting itself in some missions. It is an
attractive form of work which allures the missionary; and, for several
reasons, he yields to the temptation of emphasizing it out of proportion
to its relative value and gives more time and money to it than a wise
place in mission economy demands. The ideal arrangement for a mission
would seem to be to keep well in front its evangelistic and pastoral
endeavour, and to utilize all forms of educational work with a view to
strengthening and furthering these. It is true that certain missions, like
certain individuals, have a special genius or talent of their own; and
their highest success will depend upon their following that bent. For
instance, the Free Church of Scotland, in South India, has shown eminent
ability and taste in the work of education. It has met with distinguished
success in that line of effort, and its college for boys and high schools
for girls in Madras bear testimony to its eminent success in this
department. In evangelistic work it has thus far neither shown much
interest nor large aptitude. The Wesleyan Methodists, on the other hand,
are born evangelists and find their chief success as preachers of the
gospel. Each mission should not only consider its field and its claims and
needs, it should also study its own corporate gift and bent and then
strive to develop its work mainly upon those lines which are most
congenial to it.



(_d_) Literary Work.


The creation and circulation of a healthy Christian literature has always
been recognized by our missions as a work of paramount importance. While
not many missionaries have devoted themselves exclusively to this work,
yet not a little has been accomplished in it by the missions. If not much
that is original and brilliant has issued from the missionary pen; and if
it stands sadly true that too few have seriously undertaken this work; it
is nevertheless a cause of thanksgiving that Christian truth has been
extensively expounded and defended by them, and that they have sent forth
from the press a continual stream of blessing to all the people.

In India, three strong societies aid the missions by engaging directly in
the production and dissemination of Christian literature. These are the
Bible Society, the Tract Society and the Christian Literature Society.
These institutions have spent large sums of money in the translation,
revision and circulation of the Holy Scriptures and in the furnishing of
fresh, readable and informing tracts and books in explanation,
illustration and defense of Christianity. The far-reaching results of the
work of these societies no one can adequately estimate. The need of this
department of work is not only great, it is growing annually. Missions
feel this keenly and are unwilling to depend entirely upon the above
mentioned societies. Each mission of any importance has one, or more,
printing establishments with which it can prepare and issue tracts and
books of its own, and whereby it may present special truths and teachings
which seem to it urgently needed by its people. Through these presses the
missions publish also 147 newspapers and magazines for the special use of
the Christian people and others. In this way forty-one printing
establishments, employing no fewer than 2,000 men, are utilized by the
Protestant missions of India in the production of healthy literature for
the furtherance of the cause of Christ in that land.

In this department two special classes are kept in view. The growing
Christian community must be provided with suitable books in the
vernaculars. Books devotional for the mass of Christians, and text-books
for the students in our professional schools, and helpful books of
instruction for the large body of Christian agents are needed. All these
make an increasing demand upon the literary fertility of writers and
authors on the mission field.

There is also a growing demand, and an urgent need, for good books adapted
to the non-Christian community—such tracts and books as can present to
them, in an attractive and convincing way, the special truths and the
supreme excellence of our faith. The number is annually increasing, both
among native Christians and in the non-Christian community, of those who
can read and whose taste for books is growing.

This method of approach to the mind of the people has peculiar advantages
of its own. The prejudices connected with Christian instruction, as it
proceeds directly from the lips of the teacher or preacher, does not exist
in connection with tracts and books. These printed messengers of truth and
salvation quietly and effectively do their work in the silent hours of the
night and in the secret recesses of the woods or of the solitary chamber.
And this message is the more effective because it may be read and pondered
more than once, until its truth grips the soul in convicting and saving
power.

The power of the printed page, as a Christian messenger in India, is
second to none at present; and its influence will multiply mightily as the
years increase. Missions and individual missionaries should enter more
fully into this work; none needs increasing emphasis more than this; and
none has larger hopes of preëminence in the great work of India’s
redemption. Missionary societies also should devote more men, than in the
past, to the creation of a strong Christian literature.

And even where missions are too weak to publish anything of their own and
are unable to write books or tracts; there is a wide field of usefulness
open to them in a thoroughly systematic and energetic work of distributing
the existing literature produced by the great societies. In some missions
this work of circulating Scriptures and Christian books has been reduced
almost to a science and has become an exceedingly efficient help to the
cause in those districts. Other missions have yet to learn the importance
and blessing of this activity.



(_e_) Medical Work.


This department of missionary effort has a wide sphere of usefulness.
Though not so urgently necessary now as in former times in India, owing to
the ubiquitous and efficient Government Medical Department, it is
nevertheless popular and very useful. This is specially so when the whole
work and its agency are brought into full subjection to the Christian, as
distinct from the purely humanitarian, motive. No other department is more
capable of being utilized as an evangelizing agency; and in many missions
its influence is thus widely felt. Everywhere its aid to other departments
of mission work is much appreciated through its ability to gain friends
for our cause among those who would otherwise be inimical; and in
preparing the hearts of many to receive spiritual help from the Great
Physician. No fewer than forty hospitals, besides many dispensaries, are
conducted by Protestant missions in India today. Many of the medical
missionaries give their whole time to this work; others conduct the
medical as only one of the departments of their missionary activity. To
each method there are advantages and disadvantages; though, perhaps, the
medical missionary finds greatest usefulness when he gives himself
entirely to his profession as physician. But, in that case, he needs
tenfold caution lest the distinctively missionary idea of his life-work
should be subjected to, or lost in, the professional and the humanitarian
spirit.

Medical work for women and children finds in India today perhaps its most
urgent call. There is more need and suffering among them than among men.



(_f_) Work for Women.


From the first, missions have not neglected woman. She has been their
care, and her conversion and elevation their ambition. But, in recent
times, much has been added to this. Not only have separate and definite
forms of work been opened _for_ women; organized work _by_ women in their
behalf has suddenly taken high rank and attained considerable popularity
among Christian peoples. Under Women’s Missionary Societies fully 1,000
ladies have come to India and are giving themselves exclusively to work
for their Indian sisters. All forms of effort are undertaken in their
behalf. Assisted by an army of thousands of native Bible women, Zenana
workers and mistresses, these ladies perform their noble service. Hindu
homes are daily and everywhere visited, and the seed of Christian life and
truth sown; thousands of non-Christian girls and young women are
instructed and initiated into the mysteries of Bible truth and Christian
life; and Christian womanhood is being developed, more rapidly indeed than
Christian manhood, into a thing of strength and beauty. In the town of
Madura alone thirty-one Bible women have access to 1,000 non-Christian
homes where Bible instruction is gladly received. Another staff of
twenty-one Christian workers instructs daily, in five schools, 500 Hindu
and Mohammedan girls. Also a High and Training school for Christian girls,
with 256 pupils; and a Bible woman’s training school, with seventeen
students, complete this organized work for women in that town. From it, as
a centre, seventeen other women visit and work in seventy-two different
villages and instruct 1,005 pupils. No work at present is more important
or finds more encouragement than this organized activity for women.

           [Illustration: A Junior Christian Endeavor Society.]

               [Illustration: A Village Christian School.]



(_g_) Work for the Young.


Ours is preëminently the age of youth—the time when the importance of work
for the young is fully appreciated, and when manifold activities are put
forth by the Christian Church in their behalf. During recent years such
activity has been extensively introduced into mission fields. In India at
present, Y. M. C. A., Y. W. C. A., Y. P. S. C. E., Epworth League,
Sunday-school Union and a host of other less-known organizations for the
young have established themselves and are working with much enthusiasm. In
former years little was done for the young of the infant Christian
communities. The old Oriental idea that young people are of no account,
and that effort in their behalf is hardly worth while, obtained in India
until recent years. The consequence was that the children of Christian
congregations were neglected and allowed to absent themselves from
Christian services and to grow up in ignorance and heathenish darkness. As
a result of this many of these boys and girls, when they grew up into
manhood and womanhood, reverted to heathenism; and many flourishing
Christian congregations of the last generation became defunct. It is now
understood, with increasing distinctness, that the permanent success and
growth of a Christian congregation, as of the whole Christian community,
depends more upon the effort which is exercised in behalf of the young
than upon any amount of labour lavished upon those of maturer years.
Hence, more activity, of an organized type, is being wisely put forth in
behalf of the children and of young people. The more plastic, responsive,
tenacious mind of the young takes in more readily, appreciates more keenly
and clings with more persistence to religious instruction and inspiration
imparted to it than does that of the older members of the community. The
Christian worker thus finds earlier and greater fruit to his labour among
the young than among the old. Any enthusiasm imparted by him to the young
people is also, sooner or later, apt to be carried by them to the older
members of the congregation or church. The hope of the Church in India
lies in the young people; and that missionary, or native agent, who can
best organize the young into useful forms of outgoing Christian activity,
will do most for the Church of the present and future. And, while so
excellent an agency as the Christian Endeavor Society is available for use
in this line of work, the missionary need not be discouraged, but may feel
confident that he has within his power an organization rich in promise of
blessing to his whole community.



(_h_) Organizations for the Special Activities of the Native Christian
Community.


Every mission should encourage all forms of wise and necessary
organization for the furtherance of the highest life of the community
itself. And this chiefly with a view to developing self-dependence in the
community. These organizations will be naturally divided into two classes.

_Those Which Promote Self-Government._

The Christian Church in the mission field should be organized
ecclesiastically and administratively in such a way that it may
ultimately, and as speedily as may seem wise, become entirely
self-governing. Every mission should aim to so teach the people that they
may control and conduct successfully their own affairs. It should
establish a Church which sends its roots deep into the soil of the land
and which will become, in the highest sense, indigenous. One of the
necessary evils of missionary life is the early Western control and
guidance of everything. I should like to see the day, when the native
Church can establish that polity which is most congenial to its taste and
run its affairs independently and on Oriental lines, in such a way as to
win more effectively the people of India to Christ. The question is
sometimes asked,—“Must our Congregational missions bind, to our
Congregational form of ecclesiastical government, the people whom they
bring over from heathenism? Must our church polity, in the mission field,
be Congregational, or Presbyterian, etc., regardless of its adaptation, or
want of adaptation, to the people?” The affirmative answer has usually
been given by all societies (and wrongly I think) to this inquiry; and
thus every denomination transplants into heathen lands, with renewed
emphasis, not only its own peculiar shibboleths of doctrine; it also
exalts to a heavenly command the government and ritual which it
represents.

Missions in India are conscientiously endeavouring, with varying degrees
of wisdom and success, to lead forward their people in the line of
self-government. But both love of power and a conviction of the inability
of the infant Church to wisely control its affairs, combine to render this
transfer of power from the mission to the native Church a very slow
matter—more slow than seems wise to many besides the leaders of the native
Church themselves. It is a significant fact, in India today, that the
Methodist missions, by their compact organization, are able to, or at any
rate do, confer more ecclesiastical and administrative power upon the
native Church than any other mission; while Congregational missions—the
least organized—are the most backward in this matter. A study for the
causes of this would be instructive.

_Those Organisations Which Promote Self-Extension._

One of the first things that a mission should do, after gathering the
Christian community, is to organize, in the community, such activities as
are outreaching and self-extending. In the Madura Mission there has been
for many years a Home Missionary Society whose aim is to help support weak
churches and also maintain a force of evangelists to preach to
non-Christians. It is the society of the native Christians—supported and
largely directed by them. It has created, maintained and increased the
interest of the people in furthering the cause of Christ.

Many such societies exist in India today and they render valuable service
in keeping before the mind of the people the deepest characteristics of
our faith and the highest privilege of a Christian community—that of
outgoing love, and self-extending enthusiasm.

_Those Organisations Which Further Self-Support._

How extensively should the idea of self-support be at present urged upon
the native Christian community? This is a question which we will discuss
later on. There is no question however but that every mission should so
organize its benevolences that the infant Church may, at as early a date
as possible, cease to seek support from a foreign land; and that it
cultivate at the same time a spirit of self-denial and of self-reliance.
The poverty of the people is, and will long remain, a serious barrier to
this consummation. But the evil of poverty may be counterbalanced by a
careful system whereby the benevolent feelings, generous impulses and the
sense of obligation of the people are conserved, strengthened and made
fully effective. This matter should not be left to haphazard or to
spasmodic appeal. Every Christian, even the poorest, should be so directed
and inspired in his benevolence that he may effectively contribute to the
worthy object of self-support.

These three _desiderata_ of the native Christian Church—self-support,
self-propagation and self-government—are to be desired above all other
blessings by the missions and should be sought with a persistence and a
well-organized intelligence, which will mean advance and ultimate success.
When these three have been attained, missions, with all their expensive
machinery, may gladly disband and feel that their end has been
accomplished and that they are no longer needed.



                               Chapter IX.


PRESENT DAY MISSIONARY PROBLEMS.


Every age has its own problems to solve; and so has every department of
life. The problems which belong to missionary life, method and work are
many. The permanence and future success of the missionary effort of the
Church of God depends upon the wise solution of these problems. Nowhere is
this more manifest than in India. In that land Christian effort for the
conversion of the people has been made for many centuries by numerous
nationalities and Christian communities with varying success or want of
success. Unwillingness or an inability to thoroughly confront and master
the deep problems of the field, the work and the people, with a view to
adapting Christianity to them has largely been the cause of the slow
progress of our faith in that land. Successive efforts by the Greek, the
Syrian, the Romish and the Protestant Churches have not been prolific in
marked and permanent results, simply because they have not adequately
studied the novel and strange conditions of the land and the best methods
of presenting Christ and His truth.

We need in India, today, highest wisdom in order to establish worthy
missions, and to conduct them in the right and best way so as to attain
results commensurate with the resources of the kingdom and of the great
King whose we are and whom we preach.

The missionary problems of today are many.

1. The initial and preliminary question as to the right of the Christian
Church to send forth its missionaries, and to establish its missions in
heathen lands.

This question is now raised by many. They ask it because they believe in
the integrity of the doctrine of evolution. “Why do you not,” they say,
“leave those non-Christian peoples to work out their own salvation through
a natural evolution of their own faiths? Let those old crude religions
pass into something higher through the natural process of evolution rather
than resort to the cataclysmic method of over-throwing the old and
introducing a faith that is entirely foreign. Why not let the process of
growth work out its own results even though it takes a long time for it?”

This objection to our work is modern and thoroughgoing. Of course it is
equally pronounced against supernaturalism in all its forms and
ramifications. It would be futile to reply to this by appealing to the
command of our Lord to go and disciple all nations. It is enough to remind
this objector that the doctrine of evolution admits that the highest
altruism is a part of the evolution process. And if that is so, then the
highest Christian altruism must find its noblest exercise in the work of
bringing, by Christians to non-Christians, those ideas and that life which
they deem the best and of which those outside of Christ stand in urgent
need. The highest evolution of our race has been, and ever must be,
through that Christian altruism which will not rest until the noblest
truth and the fullest life are brought to all the benighted souls of our
race. Is not this the last message of evolution to us at this present? And
is it not identical with the last commission of our Lord to His
followers—to go and disciple the nations? And while it is the function of
Christianity to maintain the evolution principle of the survival of the
fittest, it does this by indirection—by seizing upon the most unfit and
unworthy and making them fit to stand before God and worthy to enjoy the
life eternal in all its glory.

Moving a step forward we come to,—

Another problem kindred to the one mentioned—one which concerns the aims
and the results which should animate missionary endeavour.

2. What shall a man or a mission entertain as a motive or as an aim to be
attained and as results worthy of achievement in missionary work?

This question also is based upon and will cover very largely the character
of the work accomplished.

There are two distinct and separate motives and aims impelling Christians,
at the present time, to missionary effort. They are, in the main, an
emphasis given, respectively, to each of Christ’s two final commands to
his disciples upon earth.

In the first instance his last commission to his followers to go and make
disciples of the nations is taken as the watch-word; and this has always
meant thorough, patient, all-inclusive effort for the redemption and
elevation of all the races of the earth.

The other class has taken as its watch-word our Lord’s last utterance upon
earth—“Ye shall be My witnesses.” “Witness-bearing” has become to them the
expression of the Church’s great duty to the world.

There is a great difference between these two classes of aims and motives,
and they are associated with two classes of theological thinking.
According to the former theory the Kingdom of our Lord, under the
dispensation of the Holy Spirit, is to spread in regenerating power and
triumphant efficacy until all the nations of the earth shall come under
its sway. This is a great and arduous undertaking. The planting of this
Kingdom in heathen lands and the discipling of those people until the
Church of God shall have become a living and a self-propagating church in
all the regions of the earth is a work of ages, worthy of the combined
effort of heaven and earth. And this consummation will surely take place.
God has promised it; Christ’s work involves it; the Holy Spirit came into
the world for its realization. They who entertain this belief are
Christian optimists. No reverses can daunt them; no opposition can
discourage them. They lay broad and deep the foundations of their work and
labour patiently but hopefully for the great and final consummation.

Those, on the other hand, who are pessimistic as to the triumph of the
Kingdom of Christ under the dispensation of the Spirit, maintain, with
exclusive emphasis, the Christian duty of witness-bearing. They claim, in
Dr. Pierson’s words, that our mission to the heathen world should be one
of diffusion and not of concentration; that we should bear witness
concerning Christ to the people who know Him not and then pass on to
others, rather than remain to expand, to convert, to train and to
establish living churches. They maintain that our duty is preëminently to
bear witness to Christ, that we have no responsibility for the conversion
of the people and for the building up of strong churches.

This claim that it is the duty of the Church to herald the good news of
redemption to all men as speedily as possible apart from the expectation
that they will accept it: does not commend itself to me either upon
Scriptural grounds or upon grounds of reason.

The idea of preaching the gospel to the heathen “for a witness,” in the
ordinary acceptance of that term, does not constitute a worthy Christian
motive. Dr. W. N. Clark well analyzes this thought in the following words,
(page 53, in “Study of Christian Missions”),—“At the outset, there is one
motive, often, though not necessarily, associated with the theory of
heralding, that must be rejected as no Christian motive. It is often held
that in this rapid work the gospel is not to be preached mainly in order
that it may be believed unto salvation, but rather ‘for a witness,’—which
is taken to mean ‘for a witness against,’ the hearers when they meet the
judgment of God. The hearing of the gospel marks a turning-point, both in
experience and destiny. When once men have heard the gospel, they will be
saved if they believe, and justly condemned if they do not. Only a few
will be saved by the missionary preaching; the elect will be gathered out
of the mass, and the many will remain indifferent. But the blame of their
ruin will be upon themselves, not upon God or the Christian people; and it
is to insure this result that the gospel is preached to them for a
witness. But this is no _Christian truth_. Such teaching cannot truly
represent the motive of God the Saviour. We must maintain that God acts in
good faith in the offers of His grace, or Christianity becomes a delusion.
We must preserve our own good faith also in conveying the offer of grace,
or our hearers will rise in the judgment to condemn us. No allowance
should be made for any such unchristian motive in our plans for Christian
missions, and we must hold no theory of missions that implies it.”

Moreover the view is thoroughly pessimistic, so far as this dispensation
is concerned, and fails to realize the power and the glory of Christian
truth and of the kingdom of Christ as inspired by the Holy Spirit. A
theory of missions which is pessimistic at the core can hardly be a safe
or an inspiring one.

It should be remembered also that missions are not an end in themselves.
They should aim at making themselves unnecessary by the establishing of
vigorous churches which shall become self-extending and indigenous in all
the lands of the earth. The hope of missions, and the hope of the world
through missions, lies not, ultimately, in the missions, but in the
churches which they establish. Therefore they should be well established
and patiently developed. The Church of God must take up its missionary
work with a full appreciation of its supreme greatness and difficulty. Let
it not be supposed that it is called simply to “bear witness.” This
heralding of the gospel of Christ, is only a part, and indeed a small
part, of the great duty of the Church to the world. It is also
specifically, and with greater urgency, called upon to _disciple_ the
nations—to bring them into full possession of saving truth and into joyful
acceptance of, and life in, Christ.

Let us not delude ourselves with the idea that this work is easy, that we
can pass over it lightly or that we have no responsibility for the
conversion of the world. As I have preached for the first time to a
heathen village I have felt that my obligation to its inhabitants for
their salvation was thereby increased rather than fulfilled. There is no
doubt that Christian missionaries realize today as never before the
greatness of the task set before God’s people to _disciple_ the nations.
The obstacles to it and the conflict which it involves seem greater than
ever. The romance of missions has largely given way to sober work and the
rush of battle has been succeeded by a great siege. This is preëminently
the condition in India today. Let us not forget this in our missionary
enterprise lest we lose courage by the way. But let us also remember that
it is _God’s_ work. He is pledged to bring it to its ultimate triumph, and
He will do it. He will fulfill His promise and give to His Son the heathen
for His inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for His
possession.

_This_ theory of missionary work is the only one that has produced, and
can maintain, all the present organized activity of the missionary Church.
The aim of the manifold activities and various departments of missionary
effort, as witnessed in India today, can be nothing less than the ultimate
conquest of that land for Christ through the establishment of a living, an
ever-growing and self-extending Indian Church there.

Let us now consider some of the problems which specially exist in India.

3. THE CASTE PROBLEM.

The caste problem has been, and continues to be, the most troublesome and
obtrusive among all the questions which confront missions in that land. It
is a more serious problem—more pervasive and intense—in Southern than in
Northern India.

This is radically different from social problems in all other lands, in
that it traces its source to, and gathers its authority from, religion. It
enforces all that it sanctions by the most compact and relentless
religious system the world has known. It maintains that men have been
created into a great number of castes or classes from none of which can
they, by any possibility, pass into another. In whatever social stratum a
man is born there must he live and die. It is impious for him to attempt
to evade or to violate this heavenly classification. His interests and all
his rights are confined to that one caste of his birth. It is sin for him
to marry out of it or, in any way, to transgress his natal compact with
it. Neither added wealth, growing culture, a new ambition, nor anything
else can enable him to change his caste. All the forces of religion are
directed, like a mighty engine of tyranny, to bind him to it.

This sentiment of caste, after millenniums of teaching, of rigid
observance and custom, has become even more than second nature to the
Hindu,—it has grown into a sweet necessity of his life, from whose claims
and demands he neither expects nor desires relief. To the ordinary Hindu a
change of caste would be as unexpected, yea as impossible, as his sudden
change into the lower brute, or into the higher angelic, kingdom.

When Christianity was first established in India the problem of the
adoption or the rejection of caste by the Christian church had to be
faced. It was rejected by the earliest Christian community in India; for
we find no traces of it in the Syrian church on the coast of Malabar
today. Even caste titles, that dearest remnant of that system to all other
native Christians in India, have entirely disappeared from that community.
It is a great pity that the history of that victory over caste has not
been preserved as a lesson and a heritage to later Christians.

The Romish Church, which next invaded India, unfortunately despised the
Syrian community, sought no instruction from its history, made a friend of
the caste system and adopted it in all its hideousness. It did not wait to
consider the terrible fact, so patent to all at present, that Hinduism and
caste are convertible terms—that one cannot cease to be a Hindu who
maintains the caste system in its integrity. Its intention was, no doubt,
good in its way. It was an effort to make an easy way out of Hinduism into
Christianity and thus to swell the tide of incoming converts. But,
unfortunately, the path was made _too_ easy; the narrow gate was
sufficiently enlarged for the Hindu to enter with his burden of heathen
prejudices and superstitions, and it soon became the highway of
insincerity and hypocrisy. Moreover, the Romish Church has found, to its
cost, that an easy way from Hinduism to Christianity is an equally easy
path to return. A man who carried much of his Hinduism with him into the
Christian Church was easily drawn back by the remaining old ties and
affections. The consequence is that, while Romanism has made large inroads
upon Hinduism in some places, it has only been for a time; and the
back-sliders have been as numerous as the new converts; so that Roman
Catholicism has made little net progress in India for many years.

This alliance which Christianity made, four centuries ago, with caste was,
thus, a fatal one. It gave also a clue to the earliest Protestant
missionaries—a clue which they, in a weak moment, decided to follow. For,
the first Danish missionaries also made a sad compromise with this monster
evil. I presume that this may be regarded as a continental failing of that
day, when in Europe class differences were great and almost
insurmountable. Human rights and individual liberty were not held so
sacred, or so scrupulously defended, in Europe in those days as they are
in Anglo-Saxon countries today. Otherwise any alliance by the Church with
the caste system would have been an impossibility in India. Even today
some Protestant missionaries from the European continent are found in
India who defend the adoption of the caste system by the Christian Church.
How different would have been the attitude of the Protestant Church
towards this heathenish institution had men of the Anglo-Saxon type of
today rather than Continentals of two centuries ago started its work in
South India! In any case, the attitude of compromise assumed towards the
caste system in those early days has led to interminable evil and to
constant trouble in the Christian Church in that land.

After caste had first found admission as a friend and then was discovered
to be an uncompromising enemy to Christian life and principles, much
effort was made to expel it. Nearly all Protestant missions now denounce
it, root and branch, and preach against it, and in various ways try to
check and to cast it out. But with no great success thus far. The false
step taken at the beginning has cost the Church terribly. Today in South
India more than nine-tenths of all Protestant native Christians, while
they seek an alliance only among Christians, nevertheless marry not on
lines of Christian affinity so much as on Hindu caste lines. It is not
often that we find a man among common Christians who has courage and sense
enough to seek a match for son or daughter outside of the limits of that
caste to which he and his people belonged in Hinduism. This custom is
found not only extremely inconvenient and troublesome to them; worst of
all, it perpetuates, in the Christian fold, the old heathen lines of
cleavage. And thus life in the Christian community is still running
somewhat in the old channels of Hinduism and largely preserves those
social distinctions of the past which should have been buried with them at
baptism and forever abandoned.

Under these circumstances what should missions do? What should be their
attitude towards caste spirit and customs? Through former misapprehension
and neglect the evil is in the Christian Church and exercises a potent
influence. How shall it be overcome or expelled? Some believe in the
_laissez faire_ method. They maintain that, if left to itself for a time,
it will die out, or the general spirit of Christianity will naturally
drive it out. The spirit of caste is not exorcised in that way. So long as
it is perpetuated by marriage affinity, the source of the whole evil, and
by habits of eating together on caste lines, it will not diminish very
much or cease to torment the Church. A century of such waiting, in some
missions that I have known, finds the evil not much diminished. It is only
in those missions where it is attacked and constantly denounced and its
terrible evils exposed, that progress is evident.

That which can do speedy and sure work, in the destruction of this evil in
Christian missions is inter-caste marriage. And through this I am glad to
see that increasing good is wrought. Missions should in every way
encourage and put a premium upon marriages among their members from
different castes. They should teach frequently and emphatically that
membership in different castes does not constitute a prohibited marriage
relationship; but rather does it furnish the best ground for marriage. In
this way, and in this way only, will this wretched caste feeling speedily
die a natural death and Christians come to marry, eat, sympathize, love
and live on Christian, rather than on Hindu, lines. A mission which does
not improve every opportunity to show its hatred of the caste system and
to antagonize it positively and persistently can find no peace; nor will
it find any permanent prosperity. Missions are feeling this increasingly
and are acting accordingly.

4. SELF-SUPPORT OF MISSIONS.

Every mission seeks, as its ever-present ambition, to attain unto
independence from all outside financial aid and a thorough self-support of
its own institutions. We await the day, and believe in its no distant
coming, when a large number of mission churches will entirely support
their own institutions. Indeed there are now many churches, on mission
ground, that have grown into self-dependence and that maintain, at their
own expense, all those normal forms of work that are connected with
Christian activity.

The question is frequently asked,—how far shall missions place before
them, as the supreme and immediate aim, the self-support of their separate
churches? Among missions and missionaries there are two tendencies in this
matter. One class, represented by the Church Missionary Society Mission in
Tinnevelly, place all moneys received from their mission churches into one
fund, and from this fund they pay the salaries of the pastors and
catechists, so far as possible. Bishop Sargent told me that he did not
think any church should be allowed to directly support its own pastor lest
they consider that thereby they had a right to exercise authority over
him! That mission, therefore, and for other reasons also, has relegated
the direct question of the self-support of each church into the limbo of
the undesirable. In the American Madura Mission, on the other hand, the
responsibility is urged upon every individual church to support its own
spiritual instructor; and all rules and methods are directed towards
emphasizing and enforcing this. Self-support thus becomes, in that
mission, its ever-present cry and the growing ambition of its every church
and congregation. And the progress of the Church and of the mission is
largely measured by this standard.

The self-support of a mission, as such, is a question which is not looked
upon with the same urgency, or with the same idea of importance by all
missions, or by all missionaries. One party, for instance, would make
self-support the supreme end; everything else must be subordinated to it.
Nothing should be undertaken, they say, which is not within the means and
the desire of the people to support. For instance, they maintain that the
salary of all mission agents and the support of mission institutions must
be pecuniarily within the means of the Orient and within the limits of its
ambitions. I ought to say that no mission, to my knowledge, carries out
this principle in its integrity, although there are some missionaries who
urge it and proclaim it at all times.

The other party believes that the principal duty and highest privilege of
a mission, as such, is not immediately to seek self-support or to pare
everything down to the capacity of the people to give; but to push forward
the work energetically; with economy indeed, but regardless of expense,
knowing that vigour and enterprise and a strenuous Western energy today
will be both amply rewarded in results and will also set a pace for the
native Church in coming years. They therefore seek the best trained agents
regardless of the immediate ability of the people to pay their salary. And
they establish schools and hospitals and various other institutions which
are altogether beyond the present ability of the Indian Church either to
found or to maintain.

We must not forget that self-support, _entire_ self-support, is possible
in any mission from the very first day of its organization, if the mission
only makes this paramount and has the boldness of its convictions to shape
its work according to the offerings of the people. And there are some
advantages to that method. Many of the best missionaries have often felt
that they would like to try that system in India. Bishop Thoburn, while
maintaining that it would be impossible to radically change the method of
an old mission, expressed the conviction that it might be well to
establish in India a new mission on the basis of complete self-support
from the beginning. This, doubtless, was the Pauline method; and it
operated well under the then existing circumstances in those lands. And
had our missions in the East been established and conducted by the Orient
instead of the Occident they would have had adequate patience to pursue
the method of self-support _ab initio_. But as we are of the West,
Western, our missions must partake of the characteristics of our nature;
and be imbued with that energy, push, impatience for results which
distinguish us in everything. I am sure that neither the churches at home
nor their missionaries abroad are prepared to limit their efforts by the
poverty, slowness and apathy of the East, and thus perhaps delay for
years, or generations, the results which, through the expenditure of more
money, they possibly might reap today. The method which missions have
adopted is the western method, characteristic of our haste and strenuous
spirit, and partaking of the evils incident to that spirit and method. It
is, on the whole, perhaps the best method that can be used and fully
realized by us.

5. MISSION EDUCATIONAL WORK.

In connection with the increasingly important department of mission
educational work in India not a few perplexing questions arise. We have
seen that this department has conquered for itself general recognition as
a legitimate part of missionary effort.

But there is a serious conflict ahead, in the not distant future. And this
is in part owing to the attitude of the Government Educational Department
and of the local governing bodies towards mission institutions. There is
no concealing the fact that most of the English officials of the
Educational Department in India deem mission schools the most serious
rivals to, and regard missionary educators as quasi enemies of, their
departmental schools. These men have recently assumed, and are
increasingly assuming, an attitude of jealousy, if not of hostility, to
mission institutions, chiefly because of their strength and excellence as
rival schools, and partly because of the Bible training which is imparted
to all the students of these schools—a training with which those officials
have no sympathy and which they are wont to regard as an educational
impertinence.

Missions must expect that the jealousy and the antagonism of that
department will increase. It is true that the great State Educational
Despatch of 1854 and later enunciated government policy, declare that it
is not the purpose of the government to establish schools of its own,
except where private bodies fail to do so; and that it is its purpose to
encourage, so far as possible, private institutions. But the general
declaration of the Imperial and Provincial governments is one thing and
the purpose and ambition of its Educational Department a very different
thing. Departmentalists find it to their interest to strengthen and
increase government schools at all points; and as the funds appropriated
for educational purposes are inadequate for all schools they seek the
lion’s share for their own, and grudgingly give an ever decreasing quota
to mission institutions. It will be an ill day for missions when the
Educational Department and its schools will become sufficiently strong to
affect the policy of the general government as against private, and in
favour of government schools.

Another fact, of equal significance, is the attitude of District Boards
and Municipal Commissioners towards the schools of Mission Bodies. Nearly
all the members of Local Boards are native gentlemen. They see the large
influence of mission schools, scattered as they are through their
districts and towns, and they regard them as Christian propaganda and as
evangelizing agencies; and it is but natural that, under the impulse of
their new nationalism and of their interest in a Neo-Hinduism, they should
be jealous of mission schools which are the rivals of their own indigenous
and growing institutions. And as they have the power of the purse and make
and withhold grants to different schools at their pleasure; and as all the
subordinate officers of the Educational Department are natives and are not
in full sympathy with mission schools; it can be easily seen how our
schools are doomed to suffer through an ever decreasing government aid
towards their support.

Thus, there are two problems, in this connection, which will confront us.
One is the question whether it be worth while for missions to conduct
their schools entirely at their own expense, _i.e._—without any government
aid. This problem must be faced ere long; and it means either the
curtailing of this department of work or the expending of a very much
increased sum of money upon it.

The question may also be urged upon us, more speedily than we anticipate
(indeed it has been raised already), whether any schools aided by
government shall be allowed to be used as religious propaganda. In other
words, whether mission schools shall enjoy the privilege of teaching the
Bible to all non-Christian students in attendance, even against their
will. This question is exercising the mind of not a few natives and others
today; and it is claimed that the present practice is contrary to the
Royal Proclamation of Religious Neutrality in the land. There is some
reason for this contention; and, under increasing religious rivalry and
jealousy, it may, at an early date, lead to a crisis in mission schools.
And the problem may confront us as to whether we are prepared to continue
all our schools for non-Christians under conditions which make it
impossible for us to give Bible, or even any religious, training in them.

Another serious problem, in this same connection, is whether missions
should conduct, to any extent, educational work apart from other indirect
aims and purposes. In other words, how far, if at all, should a mission
give itself to the work of education, _per se_, and not as a Christian
training or as an evangelizing agency.

Many at present maintain that education—_general_ education—is in itself a
good and a blessing which it is the business of a mission to impart,
independent of any direct religious instruction or spiritual training
which might be given through it. They maintain that mission funds should
thus be used for the intellectual advancement of the people apart from
their Christianization. The majority, however, would claim that a
mission’s educational work should be conducted only so far as it can be
the medium of communicating religious truth, or only in so far as it can
be made a direct auxiliary to the Christianizing of the land. This class
would claim that no work should be undertaken by a mission which does not
contribute to the Christianizing of the people as a result distinct from
their progress in civilization. And it is here that these two classes of
missionaries take issue with each other. It is an important difference in
the conception of the Church’s work in heathen lands. As I shall consider
this later I only call attention to it here.

Another matter, of no little consequence in this connection, is that of
the amount of educational privilege which a mission should furnish to its
people. President Stanley Hall has recently maintained that, even in this
country, many are educated who should not be. They should, he says, be
left to the hoe and shovel. He claims that not a few are, through
education, spoiled for usefulness in the lowest sphere of manual labour
for which they were by nature designed; while they are also disqualified
for the highest sphere of service and life. If this be true in America it
is doubly true in India. Many young men and women in that land have had
lavished upon them the blessings of education to an extent that was
unprofitable both to them and to the cause. They have received an
education and training which not only carried them away far outside the
social realm for which they were intended by nature; it also left them
incapable of doing the higher thing for which they were intended by the
mission.

There is adequate excuse for this in the early stages of mission progress.
The greatest need of a mission is a good, strong, native agency. And in
its desire to furnish this agency the mission, as well as the individual
missionary, eagerly seizes upon every boy and girl who shows any signs of
promise as an applicant to be trained for missionary service. This same
ambition to develop, in intellectual power and in civilizing progress, the
young of an infant Christian community so that they may adorn our faith
and give an honourable status to the community leads many a mission to
expend upon the education of its boys and girls more than it will in its
later and more mature stage of growth.

6. THE INDUSTRIAL AND ECONOMIC PROBLEM.

During the last two decades there has been a marked and strong tendency in
Indian missions, as in the home churches which support them, to still
broaden the scope of missionary effort by adding to its directly
spiritual, and to its educational and medical, work, schemes for the
industrial, economic and social advancement of the people. This broadening
of the conception of the work of the Church in missionary lands is a most
interesting study. Less than a century ago nothing that was not directly
and intensely spiritual in its character was regarded as, in any sense, a
part of missionary effort. To preach the Gospel to the heathen, to
establish and to train Christian churches and to develop and direct a
suitable native agency—this embraced the whole work of the mission.
Anything beyond this was considered illegitimate. Subsequently the medical
department was introduced,—chiefly because of the example of Christ
Himself as the Great Healer. Soon the educational work was begun, as a
necessity in its elementary stages, and it gradually grew until it has
reached its present manifold character and large proportions. Then a few
missions began to touch the industrial problem and to establish schools
for the training of boys and girls in manual labour. Today that work is
finding much increased emphasis, and missions are beginning to take up, in
all seriousness, Peasant Settlements as a means of lifting the people
economically, and of training them to habits of industry, and to found
villages as separate Christian communities. Schools for the blind and for
deaf mutes also have been established. In fact all forms of philanthropic
effort have now practically been adopted by the missions of India as
legitimate forms of their activities. Indeed, it is extensively
proclaimed, what has long been strenuously denied, that missions are not
founded simply to Christianize but to civilize and to elevate in all
matters pertaining to soul, mind and body, the people among whom they are
established.

This is a broad question and an issue of fundamental importance. It
belongs to the very concept of missions and is largely a question of aim
and purpose. The trend of the times is doubtless in favour of the broader,
humanitarian, philanthropic, civilizing purpose of missions as against the
deeper and more exclusive, spiritual and Christianizing end.

It seems to me to be a question whether missions are ready for this
change.

It is also a very serious problem whether, in the mission field, this
modern tendency to extend and broaden out is of the spirit of Christ and
is a passion to do good unto men in every department and sphere of their
life; or whether it is a degeneracy—a drifting away from the lofty and
exclusive purpose of soul-winning and soul-saving down towards the lower
plane of earthly blessing and general philanthropy. There is certainly a
sense in which this widening of missionary endeavour is a part of the
broadening of the Christian life of today and is in harmony with the
multiplication of the agencies of the Church at home for the general
betterment of the people and for preparing them for the highest blessings
of our faith; and as such it is both commendable and encouraging.

On the other hand I know of no temptation that is pregnant with greater
evil to missions, at the present time, than that connected with this
multiplication of what may be called the lower activities of missions. The
spiritual work of a mission must ever remain its principal work if it is
to succeed in the highest sense. It is also the most difficult work. It
bears with it, often, serious discouragement to the worker. And in times
of discouragement it is a very easy thing for a missionary, and for a
mission, to relax effort at this point and, as a compensation, to seek
larger results on the lower planes of social and industrial activities and
humanitarian and philanthropic effort. These lower forms of activity are
exceedingly absorbing and distracting; and when a mission enters
extensively into them it usually means, and, I would almost say,
_necessarily_ means, a withdrawal of time and energy and of interest from
its highest spiritual work. A man or a mission has only a certain amount
of strength and money to devote to his work; and if this is increasingly
and extensively expended upon the lower forms of philanthropic effort, the
higher, spiritual purposes and endeavors must suffer.

The Basle Lutheran Mission of South India has done more industrial work
than any other mission of that land. But the industrial department grew so
rapidly and became so absorbing that it was found necessary to make a
separate “mission” of it. It has flourished as a commercial enterprise and
is self-supporting. But the leader of that mission informs me that its
blessings are questionable, in that it tends to demoralize the people and
renders little or no aid to their spiritual work.

While I believe that a certain amount of endeavour, by a mission, for the
temporal good and social betterment of its people is legitimate and
desirable, extreme care should be taken, in the present early stage of
progress, lest this form of activity become prominent or dominant; and,
above all, lest it, in any way, interfere with the conviction concerning
the supreme importance and prime urgency of the spiritual training and
growth of the people. This class of work can very easily, by changing the
people’s ideas of a mission’s aim and purpose, demoralize them. It can
also, with equally fatal facility, transfer the interest of the missionary
from the higher to the lower realm of work, and thus become a curse,
rather than a blessing, to him. If the work of missions is to be broadened
the greatest care must be exercised lest this breadth be secured at the
expense of depth of spiritual purpose and power, and height of spiritual
life and experience. I must confess that this new movement, in the present
stage of the progress of missions, brings to me as much fear as it does
hope. For, while I see reason for taking up such work, I know also the
demoralizing influences that so naturally and easily follow it. A mission
that allows itself to be secularized, by giving too much emphasis to these
social and civilizing agencies, becomes inevitably paralyzed as a
spiritual force in its field; and woe be to any mission that gains
anything at the expense of its spiritual paralysis.

7. MISSION ADMINISTRATION.

The question of administration is an exceedingly important one to every
mission. How wisely are our missions organized for large economy of money
and effort and for highest efficiency? Could not missions unite, for
mutual counsel and wisdom, as many officers of our societies at home now
do; could not missions learn more from one another in this most important
respect? The annual expenditure of more than one million dollars on
mission work in South India alone is in itself a large trust which
requires great care and breadth of wisdom. Hitherto not much has been done
by the many missions of India to learn from one another the wisest methods
of administration. There is remarkable diversity and even contrast among
those missions in the methods of conducting their work and in the
administration of their affairs. This is, in no small part, due to the
different peculiarities of the several nationalities which conduct the
missions; it is also in part due to their denominational affinities. But,
by growing familiarity with one another’s methods and by more appreciative
study of the same, much could be learned by these missions which would
tend to increasing uniformity of administrative method, efficiency of work
and abundance of results.

Another question of perennial interest, in this connection, is that of the
extent to which native Christians should be allowed to participate in the
administration of the affairs of a mission. The training of some of the
highest members of the native Christian community in the responsibility of
missionary administration is a serious duty of every mission. The day must
come when the whole administration of the Christian work carried on by
missions will be in the hands of the native community itself—when
missions, as such, shall have accomplished their work and shall be
disbanded. What is being done by our missions today to make that
consummation possible and desirable at the earliest moment? Most missions
maintain that Indians should have nothing to do with the administration of
_foreign_ funds. Is this a wise position to take? Is it consonant with the
best training of the highest native Christians for future control? In
other words, what administrative preparation is being made by the mission
for the incoming of an indigenous, self-governing Church?

It is true that Indian Christians will not, for a long time, be able to
render much assistance to the missions in this line. But if they are to
be, at any future time, capable of undertaking the responsibility of the
work they must be trained for it; and this training must be conducted with
patience by the mission. If they are now wanting in independence and poise
of character and breadth of horizon, these can come to them only through
an extended training. And it is the duty of missions to give this training
to them.

There is danger that missions cling too tenaciously to their right to
rule. Power is sweet to the missionary no less than to other men.

I am glad to say that progress is made by missions in this matter. Slowly
but surely the native Christian is entering into their counsels and is
finding increasing opportunity and responsibility there.

8. PROBLEMS CONCERNING NEW CONVERTS.

There are many interesting and important questions connected with the
reception of new converts into the Christian fold in India. Some of these
have a growing interest to the Cause and have found an important place in
missionary discussion. I shall refer to only a few of them.

(_a_) _Shall polygamous converts be received into the Christian Church?_

In Hinduism polygamy (more especially, bigamy) is not uncommon. It is
permitted and indeed fostered by that faith and is legalized by the laws
of the country. As our faith makes increasing inroads upon that religion,
numbers, and yet never a large number, of those who have two or more wives
will accept our teaching and, with all earnestness, seek admission into
our Christian communion. What shall we say to such? How shall we meet them
and their desire? This question has, in a few cases, been sent to the
societies at home, the missions seeking from them advice and guidance.
From America the instruction has been received against receiving any such
into the Christian Church. This is natural enough from a country which is
confronted by the Mormon question. But the problem has its Eastern bearing
which is not understood in the West and which has led missionary bodies in
India almost invariably to decide in favour of receiving such into the
Christian fold.

In the consideration of the problem many things must be kept in mind. None
more important than the claims to a cordial welcome from the Church of any
man who, in true faith and Christian earnestness, seeks admittance. If it
be demanded of the man that he put away all but one of those wives taken
in heathenism; then we ask whether it is Christian, or even just, to cast
away one to whom he was solemnly and religiously pledged according to the
laws of the land and with whom he has been linked in love and harmony for
years and from whom he has begotten children? And if he is to put away one
or more of his wives, which one shall it be? Shall it be the first wife?
Certainly that would not be Christian. Or shall it be the second wife who
is the mother of his children and whom he probably married at the request
of the first, who was childless, in order that he might raise seed unto
himself? It is not easy, on Christian grounds, to decide such a problem as
this; nor is it very Christian to put a ban upon any woman who, in
accordance with their religion and their country’s laws, has formed this
sacred alliance with a man and has lived with him for years. Nor can it be
right to brand with illegitimacy the children born of such a wedlock.

I would not allow such persons, received into the Christian Church, to
become officers of the Church. But I cannot see why there may not be an
humble place in the Church of God for such and their families.

(_b_) _Should the baptism of a person, in any case, immediately follow his
confession of Christ?_

This question does not pertain to those who live in Christian communities
and within the circle of Christian light and influence. It refers mainly,
if not exclusively, to those who accept Christ under the influence of
Christian teaching at heathen festivals and who may live far away from
Christian communities. In North India, some of those who have accepted
Christ under these circumstances have received immediate baptism and have
been sent back to their villages professing Christians. At first sight
this seems unwarranted and unwise. Men who have received and made an open
confession of Christ under these circumstances have not likely received a
sufficient knowledge of our faith, or attained an adequate familiarity
with its truths; nor have they been grounded in its principles and life,
sufficiently to warrant us in the hope and assurance that they will
continue this life in their heathen homes and do honour to our cause and
the name of Christ which they have professed. And yet who are we to decide
adversely upon the application of such a man who may find, or think he
finds, in that public occasion the only opportunity of making an open
confession of Christ? And what right have we to conclude that he will not
stand firm to his pledge and promise if we are convinced that it is made
in all sincerity and earnestness, and if we are convinced that the man has
really accepted Christ as his Saviour? Or, more properly, what ground have
we to believe that the Holy Spirit cannot carry on to perfection the work
thus begun by Him in the heart of such a man? And was not this method of
immediate baptism that of the Apostolic Church, even though many thus
baptized subsequently denied their new faith?

There are, doubtless, cases of this kind where baptism cannot be refused
by the minister of God—where it is even imperative and may prove a
blessing to the heathen audience as well as to the new convert. And yet,
the ordinary method of delay and careful scrutiny and training should
still be adhered to as a normal method of the Church in heathen lands. It
is the safest way to lead to a healthy and a strong Church.

(_c_) _Another question frequently asked is that concerning secret
baptism._

Shall a missionary, at any time and under any circumstances, secretly
baptize such as are anxious to make confession of Christ, but are debarred
by family opposition, or by similar causes, from public baptism? This
problem frequently arises in connection with work for heathen women. Under
the influence of the work of a Bible woman, or a lady missionary, a woman
may abjure her faith, accept Christ as her Saviour and yearn for baptism.
But to be baptized publicly and to confess Christ before her people openly
would inevitably result in her being driven from home, separated from her
children and people, and robbed of all opportunity to influence them in
behalf of her newly found faith. Moreover, by this public confession she
is deprived of all family support and becomes a helpless dependent upon
the mission for her daily bread. The question rises whether such a woman
should be quietly baptized and thus left to pursue her way in her own home
and with her family as a pledged, but secret, follower of the Lord. There
is much to be said in favour of, as there is against, such a baptism. Many
contend that such an acceptance of Christ would be unworthy and would be
robbed of its saving power. But such are not conversant with Hindu life
and some of its terrible conditions. Some would maintain, perhaps with
more wisdom, that it would be better not to baptize such, but to encourage
them to believe that they are accepted of Christ and to treat them in
every way as Christ’s own disciples.

Another problem in this connection is as to the right or wisdom of an
unordained lady missionary to administer this initiatory rite to such
women converts. This question, of course, will be largely decided in
accordance with the ecclesiastical connection of those who consider it.
There is a growing number of persons who believe that it would be well
that ladies be authorized to administer this rite under such
circumstances.

9. Another problem is connected with the revival of thought among the
people of India whom we seek to bring to Christ.

This revival is really the result of western influence—largely the product
of Christian teaching and activity in that land. In its last analysis it
is therefore not to be deplored, but rather to be welcomed. At the same
time this new awakening seems to be, for the present, connected with a
reactionary and a militant spirit. It speaks in the interest of a new
nationalism and a false patriotism which extols everything Eastern simply
because it _is_ Oriental. Its aggressiveness is manifest even in America.
We are becoming familiar, in this country, with the yellow-robed Hindu
monk who has probably been trained in a Christian mission college and who
talks Hinduism with a strong Christian accent. Though he has violated a
peremptory command of his ancestral faith in crossing the seas; and
though, of necessity, he daily tramples in this land the whole decalogue
of Hindu life and ritual, he feels competent to champion Hindu philosophy
here! And he seems to find a coterie of admirers and quasi disciples in
this land of light and privilege! Recently an old classmate of mine
informed me, with all solemnity, that Eastern thought is now invading the
West; and that he himself had become a theosophist! I have, since hearing
this statement, travelled considerably over this country and confess that
his statement does not seem so absurd as at first I thought. For, I have
seen the recent phenomenal spread of Christian Science and of other
vagaries with which we are too familiar in this land. What is Christian
Science but the subtle, evasive idealism of India unequally yoked to a
form of Christian truth and ritual. What is theosophy, but the stupefying
philosophy and the benumbing metaphysics of the East, clothed in its own
garb of Oriental mysticism and senseless, spurious occultism. It is a sad
reflection upon our Western life that so many people who fail to find rest
in the divinely inspiring teachings of Christ, sink into the depths of a
credulity which will accept the inanities of Madame Blavatsky and the wild
assumptions of Mrs. Eddy. Let these people go out to India and live there
for years to see how Hindu thought and teachings have, for three
millenniums, worked out their legitimate results in the life of the
teeming millions of that land. Let them observe the debasing immorality,
the hollow ceremonialism, the all-pervasive ignorance and superstition
which rest, like a mighty pall, upon that people and which make life mean
and render noble manhood impossible. The situation in India reminds one of
the legendary house built upon the banks of Newfoundland. The foundation
was completed when a dense fog swept over the place and rested upon all.
After the superstructure was built and finished the fog lifted and it was
found, alas, that the building was erected some two hundred yards away
from the foundation, and rested upon nothing! Whatever one may say about
Hindu thought and philosophy as a basis of conduct, that people have been
living for many centuries in the dense fog of ignorance, superstition and
ceremonialism; and their life has been unworthy and debased because it
rested upon nothing.

                   [Illustration: A Brahman Gentleman.]

                    [Illustration: Swami Vivekananda.]

But there is another form of this awakened Eastern thought which invites
our attention and which concerns the missionary work not a little. It
appears there in a reactionary form among men of culture and leads many of
them to turn away in hearty disapproval from our faith. They are
wonderfully drawn towards Christ, our Lord. His praises are in their
mouths, and they eagerly study his example and life. They claim him as one
of the East and, therefore, as one of themselves. But these same men will
have none of Christianity, because it is, as they say, of the West,
Western. One of their number recently wrote an article under the following
caption:—“Why do We Hindus Accept Christ and Reject Christianity?” He
claims that they reject our faith because it is “not Christianity but
Churchianity”; that is, it savours of the Western Church more than it does
of Christ. There is a great deal that is false and foolish in this
contention; and yet it has an element of truth in it. We, of the West,
have not realized, perhaps we never can fully realize, the great width of
the gulf which, in thought and life, separates the Occident from the
Orient. Hence we have in part failed in the duty of adapting our faith, in
thought and ritual, to the taste and inherited bias of that people. We
forget that they and we usually approach things temporal and spiritual
from opposite sides. They are deeply mystical and poetic, while we are
obtrusively practical and meanly prosaic. Thus the Western colouring and
emphasis which is given to our faith in that land can neither be
appreciated nor approved by the educated Hindu. Even native Christians are
bemoaning this fact. I shall never forget the eloquent appeal which the
Hon. Kali Churn Banerjee, a leading native Christian in that land, made
before the Bombay Missionary Conference, begging the missionaries to cease
emphasizing, as he said, “adjectival” Christianity and to dwell more upon
“substantive” Christianity before the people of India. It is a sad fact
that we carry there our Western shibboleths, our antiquated controversies,
and our sectional jealousies. Most of these are not only unintelligible in
India; they weary the people and largely bury the essentials of our faith
from public gaze and appreciation.

The question returns to us with a new emphasis today,—How much of our
Western Christianity can we eliminate and how much must we retain in order
to present to that people the gospel in its simplicity and saving power?
How much of our modern Christianity is the product of Western thought,
interpretation and life, and how much is of the very essence of Christ’s
message? We have yet much to learn and are to be overtaken by many
surprises in this matter, I believe. God forbid that we should rob our
message of one tittle of its essential truth. But may He enable us to
discriminate more and more, and lead us to cease encumbering our gospel to
the East with such unessential thought and ritual as are suited to us but
not to them.

I doubt whether we of the West can accomplish this—it can be _fully_ done
only when the Christian Church in India shall have become indigenous and
strong, and, when freed from Western influence and leadership, it shall do
its own thinking and shape its own ritual and ceremonial on Eastern lines.
Then indeed shall we behold that welcome and mighty movement which will
draw completely the culture of India into the Christian Church. Then also,
and not until then, shall we begin to see the Indian Church contributing
her share to the Christian thought and life of the world. We, of the proud
West, are prone to think that our type of life is all-embracing and that
our religious thought is all-satisfying. Nothing can be more fallacious or
more injurious than such a conceit. The East is the full complement of the
West. In life and thought we are only an hemisphere, and we need the East
to fill up our full-orbed beauty. The mystic piety of India will correct
our too practical, mundane view of things. The quiet, passive virtues
which find their perfect realization in that land we must learn from them
to accentuate in addition to the more aggressive and positive virtues of
the West. All this is to take place in the no distant future. The Kingdom
of Christ in the East is to reach out its hand to the West and both, in
mutual helpfulness, will coöperate in bringing this whole world to Christ.
Then shall we see a universal kingdom and the beginning of the fulfillment
of the blessed vision in which “the kingdoms of this world have become the
kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, and He shall reign forever and
ever.” God hasten the day.



                                Chapter X.


MISSIONARY RESULTS.


We are occasionally compelled to read and to hear detailed and emphatic
statements about “the failure of missions.” An increasing number of our
countrymen spend their vacation days in hurried trips through mission
fields. They are so impressed by glimpses of the strange life and
institutions of the Orient that they have neither time nor inclination to
study and appreciate the missionary work and organization which everywhere
invites their attention. They return home absolutely ignorant of the work
whose power, prevalence and progress they might easily have learned on
their travels, and they are wont to hide that ignorance behind the
emphatic assurance that “there was nothing to be seen” of missions; and
they soon convince themselves, and not a few others, that what they did
not see was not worth seeing or was, perchance, non-existent. I have long
lived on one of the great lines of travel in India and have sorrowed over
the fact that hardly one in ten of our travelling countrymen (and many of
them members of our home churches too) turn aside for a moment from gazing
upon Hindu temples to study the important work which our mission is
carrying forward in that city and district.

Even the friends of missions should learn what constitutes missionary
success.

In South India there is found a mission which counts its converts only by
the hundreds. It is known in Christian lands only through the severe
criticisms which have been heaped upon it by some good Christian men
because it is an educational mission.

And yet I sincerely believe that that abused mission is doing a work not
inferior to that of any other mission in India for the permanent growth
and highest achievement of the Kingdom of God in that land. Its leavening
influence upon Hindu thought and institutions is hardly surpassed by that
of any other mission. In the wonderful turning of the educated classes of
India towards Christ, and the acceptance of him as their Ideal of life,
that mission has a position of power. Many of the native Christians of
greatest influence, culture and character in South India trace their
conversion or highest efficiency to the work and influence of that
educational mission. The best educated pastor in the Madura district came
from and was trained by that mission; as also its highest and best
Christian teachers received their final course of training and discipline
there.

That mission is largely ignored and even despised by the too common
statistical reckoning of results and success. And yet the illustrious name
of Dr. Miller, the leader of that mission, will be cherished in India and
in the world a century hence as a chief among those who were instrumental
in bringing that great people to Christ.

The mighty and unparalleled revolution which is going on in India at
present, as a result of missionary work, is not to be tabulated in our
statistical reports. The deepest currents of those great moral and
spiritual forces of the India of today are not found within the realm of
figures. They defy tabulation; and yet they bring to the keen Christian
observer in that land more encouragement, because they have more
significance, than all the facts and figures usually found within the
covers of an ordinary mission report.

A great deal of the discouragement and pessimism about missions today is
born of this statistical craze.

Let us therefore take a broad view of the work of our missions and study
some of the results achieved—results which are almost entirely the harvest
of the labours of the last century.

These results are threefold.

1. PRESENT MISSIONARY APPLIANCES.

(_a_) Protestant missions in India have created a plant and have developed
appliances which are not only an assurance and a prolific source of
encouragement for the future; they are also monuments of the industry and
wisdom of those who have passed on, and definite signs of God’s guidance
of, and blessing to, the work.

In the first place, consider the buildings and other property erected and
owned by the missionary societies and utilized for the maintenance and
furtherance of their work in that land.

Few people realize the enormous store of wealth which is thus treasured in
this elaborate mission plant. Nor can they appreciate the equivalent of
this in terms of moral efficiency and spiritual power in the regeneration
of India.

The thousands of acres of land and the many thousands of substantial
edifices erected and dedicated to the cause of Christ in connection with
these missions represent an investment of at least ten million dollars;
and this money not only represents the generosity of Christians in the
West, it also includes the self-denying offerings of Indian Christians,
who from their poverty have given liberally to build up the cause which is
dear to their hearts.

Mission educational institutions are housed in a legion of substantial and
beautiful buildings ranging, from the massive imposing structures of the
Madras Christian College, downward; churches there are of all sizes and
architectural design, from the magnificent and beautiful stone edifice
which accommodates its thousands and which was erected by the Church
Missionary Society in Megnanapuram, Tinnevelly, down to the unpretentious
prayer-house of a small village congregation. A host of suitable buildings
for hospitals, presses and publishing houses, residences for missionaries
and native agents, school dormitories, gymnasia and lecture halls; Y. M.
C. A. and other societies’ buildings—all these represent that power for
service, incarnate in brick and mortar, which is invaluable and even
indispensable to the great missionary enterprise in that land.

(_b_) Nor must we overlook or fail to estimate adequately the results
achieved in the form of a Christian literature. Though our Protestant
missions have not cultivated, as extensively as they should, the press and
the publishing house as a missionary agency, they have not been insensible
to their power and have utilized extensively the printed page.

In the first place a translated and a well-circulated Bible has been the
aim and pride of our missions from the beginning. The humblest native of
that land can find, in his own vernacular, the Word of God, and read for
himself the message of God in Christ Jesus to his sin-burdened soul. Who
can realize the work involved in all this, or the achievement which it
represents?

Then the Christian hymnology of India is already a rapidly growing power.
Every important vernacular has one or more Protestant Christian hymn
books, which reveal to what a large extent our faith has inspired and made
vocal the praises of Zion in that land. Nearly all of these Christian
hymns in South India and many in North India are the compositions of
native Christians and manifest considerable poetic power and high
sentiment. Though many of them are worthy of translation, only two have
thus far found place in our American hymn books. One is a Tamil hymn
composed by Yesuthasan, catechist, and translated as below by Rev. E.
Webb,—

1. Whither with this crushing load
Over Salem’s dismal road,
All thy body suffering so,
O, my God where dost thou go?

CHORUS:—

Whither Jesus goest thou,
Son of God what doest thou,
On this City’s dolorous way,
With that cross, O, Sufferer say?

2. Tell me fainting, dying Lord,
Dost thou of Thine own accord
Bear that cross, or did thy foes
’Gainst thy will, that load impose.—CHO.

3. Patient Sufferer how can I
See thee faint and fall and die,
Pressed and peeled and crushed and ground
By that cross upon thee bound?—CHO.

4. Weary arm and staggering limb,
Visage marred, eyes growing dim,
Tongue all parched, faint at heart,
Bruised and sore in every part!—CHO.

5. Dost thou up to Calvary go,
On that cross in shame and woe,
Malefactors either side
To be nailed and crucified?—CHO.

6. Is it demon thrones to shake,
Death to kill, sin’s power to break,
All our ills to put away,
Life to give and endless day?—CHO.

Besides this there is an ever-growing mass of Christian literature in all
the vernaculars used by our missions; and this is becoming increasingly
available as a power for the uplifting of the people who are, in growing
numbers, learning to read. Beyond almost every other appliance for the
Christianization of that people there stand high in usefulness and
pervasive influence these books, tracts and magazines of the missions; and
the aid which they furnish to all Christian workers in that land is beyond
computation. Missionaries may go and come, and mission policy may change,
but this Christian literature will quietly and mightily work out its own
benign results throughout the land, enlightening the people and appealing
to the best that is in them.

(_c_) In like manner the missionary educational institutions, which cover
the whole land as a great network, are a noble product of missionary
ideals and efforts in the land. They are in themselves an achievement
which not only has cost millions of rupees for its creation and
maintenance, but is also the product of some of the best thought and
highest wisdom of many choice spirits during the last century. These
schools constantly furnish to the Christian Church in India, for
intellectual upbuilding, for moral guidance and for spiritual
regeneration, nearly a half million of the brightest youths of the land.
These institutions are the product of a century of endeavour; and it can
be truly said that without them the Protestant mission of India would be
shorn of much of their power and more of their promise.

In the present organized activity of missions there stands nothing in
higher esteem than these institutions for what they have done in the life
both of non-Christians and of Christians alike.

(_d_) In connection with missionary activity in that land one of the most
encouraging, as it is also the most monumental, of results, is the large
army of well-educated and thoroughly equipped men and women who have been
taken from among the people and have been trained and placed as their
leaders and guides.

Perhaps 20,000 such (there are 10,550 in South India alone) are at present
giving all their time and strength to the spiritual training of the
Christian community, to preaching to non-Christians and to the instruction
of the young in the schools.

India is to be brought to Christ and his religion, not through the efforts
of the foreigner, so much as through the life and activity of men and
women of the soil. They are to be the essential factor in the future
prevalence and in the character of our faith in India. Therefore it stirs
one to deepest emotion to behold this mighty army of native workers, who
are praying and working daily in that land for the conversion of their own
people and for the upbuilding of the Christian community in all that is
characteristic of our faith. As I have been permitted, for years, to train
and to send forth into that great harvest field young men to preach the
gospel of Christ and to guide the churches and congregations into
spiritual truth and life, I have felt that it was the highest and best
opportunity that could be granted to any missionary worker in that land.
This work of training an adequate spiritual agency is occupying the
serious thought of all missions. There are 110 theological seminaries and
normal training schools in the country; in these, 4,305 students, of both
sexes, are undergoing training.

Many of the agents now employed are men and women qualified to clearly
expound the truths of our faith to believers and unbelievers. They are
well fortified against attack as rational defenders of Christianity and
are prepared to remove doubts which may arise in the minds of sincere
inquirers and wavering believers. Not all of them are such as we could
wish in intellectual equipment or in strength of character. But the
poorest of them are gradually being replaced by better ones; and the
intellectual, moral and spiritual tone of the whole force is constantly
improving. The ordained native clergy are a body of men who are rapidly
growing in efficiency and power. There are 406 of them in South India
alone—nearly as many as there are ordained missionaries in the same area.

A comparison, in South India, between this force of 406 native pastors and
the 585 native priests of the Romish Church shows how well, relatively,
the Protestant Church of South India is supplied; there being one native
pastor to every 1,500 of the Protestant community, while the Romish
priests are only one to every 2,000 of their community.

Some of these pastors are university graduates, and all are men of good
professional training. They are faithful workers and are increasingly
worthy, and enjoy the confidence, of their missionary associates. Among
the native agents of our Protestant missions in South India alone there
are about 100 university graduates, 200 First in Arts (the degree granted
after two years of college work) and 600 university matriculates. This
thorough utilization of a strong, cultured, native agency is one of the
most striking results of the last century’s work in that land. And it is
the more remarkable in the case of the women, since a generation ago
hardly any of the weaker sex were in mission employ, while today the
missions of South India alone employ 3,000 of them. It is practically the
creation of a mighty and most faithful and devoted agency in one
generation.

What may we not expect from this great army of native brethren and
sisters, as they shall continue to grow in numbers and in general
equipment, and as they shall be filled with the Spirit of God and be fully
used by our Lord in the redemption of their own people!

2. THE NATIVE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY.

Recent statistics give the total number of Christians in British India as
2,923,349. This is a growth of about 640,000 in ten years, four times more
than the rate of growth of the whole population. And yet there are people
who tell us that the kingdom of our Lord is not coming in that land!

CENSUS OF CHRISTIANS IN INDIA, MAY 2, 1901.(12)

Total of all denominations   2,923,349
European and other races       258,990
Natives                      2,664,359

_Total Returned._ _Natives._

Anglican                              453,612     305,907
Baptist                               220,863     216,743
Congregationalist                      37,876      37,313
Lutheran and allied denominations     155,455     153,768
Methodist                              76,869      68,451
Presbyterian                           53,829      42,799
Friends                                 1,309       1,275
Roman Catholic                      1,202,039   1,122,378
Salvationist                           18,960      18,847
Syrian                                571,327     571,320
Scattering                            131,210     125,558

Of the above number of Christians 2,664,359 are natives of India. This is
an increase of over 630,000, or about thirty-one per cent, of Indian
Christians during the last decade. And during this time the general
population of India has increased only about two and one-half per cent.!
Analyzing this aggregate of all Christians we find that 970,000 of them
are native Protestant Christians. This represents an advance of sixty-four
per cent, during the last ten years in that community; while the Romish
and Syrian native Christian communities have gained hardly three per cent,
in the same time. Thus it will be seen that the rapid progress of our
faith in that land of the East depends almost entirely upon the remarkable
advance of Protestantism among the people of India. This is certainly a
result most encouraging to Protestant Christian workers in that land. That
this decade’s growth is not abnormal is attested by the fact that the
native Protestant Christians of India are more than ten times what they
were fifty years ago.

In view of the fact that the whole Christian community of India is only
one per cent, of the total population, one may be inclined to feel
discouraged. And yet if the relative growth of the whole population and,
say, of the Protestant Christian community for the last decade be
maintained for one hundred and thirty years more, the whole population
will be found Christian of the Protestant type.

These figures indicate the magnificent development of our work in that
land. And when we remember the splendid equipment and wonderful modern
appliances of the missionary organizations of today we can easily believe
that, even within another century, Christianity will become the prevailing
faith of India.

A large number, in our Christian community, has been gathered through mass
movements, where certain castes and classes have, in large bodies, sought
the blessings of our faith. In Tinnevelly, for instance, the Shanar caste
was early influenced by Christian workers; and, as they are a very
clannish community, many thousands of them have embraced the Christian
faith and have been wonderfully transformed and elevated through their
contact with it.

One of the most marvellous manifestations of the power of the Gospel is
presented today in that district by this people, who, under missionary
influence and Christian training, have risen from great depths of
ignorance and social degradation until they stand among the highest of
that land in intelligence and in the spirit of progress. Most of the
Christians of Tinnevelly belong to this once despised class and are, in
many respects, full of vigour and enterprise.

In the famous Telegu Baptist Mission we find a similar movement. That
American Mission laboured for twenty-five years without much
encouragement. After those years the outcastes of the community began to
appreciate the advantages of our faith and to apply for admission into its
congregations. It gathered them in by thousands until it has become by far
the largest mission in the country. It represents nearly one quarter of
the whole Protestant Christian community of India.

During the last few years a similar movement has overtaken the American
Methodist, and other missions in North India. Many thousands of the
depressed classes, within its area, have sought a refuge from their ills
and a Saviour for their souls in the Christian fold; so that it taxes all
the energies and resources of the mission to keep pace with the movement
and to instruct adequately, in Christian truth, these ignorant masses who
flock unto it. Bishop Thoburn says that more than 100,000 of this class
are now waiting to be received into their community; but that their
mission has not the men or means to instruct them.

In other missions, also, reports are being received of similar movements
now going forward on a smaller scale. Some missionaries of these fields
have written to me stating that the only limit to the growth and
development of their missions is that of men and money wherewith to
instruct and properly direct the people who come seeking for light and
help.(13)

In the great majority of missions, however, growth has been general and
normal; people have come as individuals and as families, separating
themselves, after much thought and prayer, from those who are dearest to
them upon earth, and passing through a sea of tribulation and persecution
into the Christian life.

It has been claimed by Hindus, and by some others, that Hinduism is a
tolerant faith—that it does not resort to persecution. In one respect this
is true. As we have before seen, it will permit its members to hold any
doctrine and to accept any teaching that they please. It has no punishment
nor even a voice of disapprobation to its member who is a rationalist, an
atheist, or a Christian so far as acceptance of such belief or non-belief
is concerned. And, so far as conduct is concerned, a man may be a
libertine, a robber or a murderer, and yet maintain his religious status.
But when it comes to the violation of caste rules it is very different.
Hinduism will tolerate anything but caste insubordination. So that when a
man, in becoming a Christian, severs his connection with his caste and
becomes, socially, an alien to his people, then Hinduism steps in and
brings to bear upon him all the bitter penalties of caste infliction, and
persecutes him in a thousand social ways such as make life a burden unto
him. The engine of caste is the most complete and mighty instrument of
religious persecution the world has known, as many thousands of our native
Christians have learned to their bitter cost.

When a man decides to become a Christian there is very little opposition
to this purpose among his people so long as his decision involves only his
belief, conviction and private devotion and prayer. But when it leads him
to a public confession of Christ and to baptism, which is regarded as his
renunciation of caste rules, affinities and obligations, then all the
spite of caste tyranny is showered upon him. He is boycotted thoroughly.
None of his caste people, not even his own Hindu family, will eat with
him. The family and caste washerman is no longer permitted to serve him;
their barber will not shave him, and the blacksmith, carpenter, mason and
other village servants decline to render him their wonted service. So that
he is absolutely helpless. It requires a very strong man to face all this
kind of annoyance and deprivation, and to stand firm in the new life upon
which he has entered and continue loyal to the new faith which he has
embraced.

It must be admitted that such rigours of persecution are not carried out
in all cases at present. Though this is the spirit and method of caste,
yet the influence of home ties and family affection and the social
position and influence of a new convert may be such as to mitigate this
public opposition to his Christian decision. But the engine of persecution
is there, always ready for use.

The question has often been asked as to the motives which animated those
of our Christian community who denied their ancestral faith in order to
become Christians. In this land many have an idea, in some cases expressed
but in many unexpressed, that most of the Christian converts in India are
what are denominated “rice Christians.” This charge against the adherents
of our faith in that land is as unworthy as it is untrue. That some
embrace our religion and take upon them the name of Christ from unworthy
motives we know—perhaps this is a thing not confined to India. But it has
always been a surprise to me, not that so many, but that so few, join our
missions from worldly or unworthy motives. For they soon learn that the
missionary of their district is a friend of the poor and the oppressed;
and they are constantly suffering from the injustice and the rapacity of
Brahmans and of other members of their own faith who are above them.
Outside of slavery there are few people who are subject to grosser
injustice at the hand of men of wealth and of power than are the poor,
down-trodden people of India.

Most of them are also groaning in the deepest pit of poverty. Poverty is a
relative term. As compared with India, America knows absolutely no
poverty. The poverty of India is crushing, over-whelming. When we remember
that according to government statistics, the average income of a man for
the support of his family in India is less than $1.50 a month we get a
glimpse of what abject poverty means.

And when we further remember that, during many months and seasons of his
life, even this is partly denied him, owing to frequent droughts and other
unpreventable evils, we know in part how an unsatisfied craving, and
pinching distress overwhelm a large proportion of that population.
Government statistics show that one-fifth of the population are in a
chronic state of hunger.

And yet I heartily bear testimony that comparatively few of our people
have become Christians in order that they might receive physical and
temporal blessings. We dare not say that this motive does not exist; but
we are confident that in three-fourths of our converts it is not the
prevailing or the dominant motive. There is a soul-hungering and a
heart-thirsting in India such as are not in any way satisfied by their
ancestral faith. And Christianity appeals to the people increasingly as a
soul-satisfier and as a power of God unto salvation; and they more and
more realize this fact and are impelled more by that motive than by any
other in transferring their allegiance from Krishna to Christ.

And even when some do come with prevailingly low and sordid motives and
seek to be enrolled as members of the Christian community, we dare not
discourage or deny them; because we hope soon, after they have united with
our community and have placed themselves under Christian instruction, to
impart to them loftier conceptions of life and of truth. And even should
we fail to reform them and to give them worthy views of our religion and
of their relationship to it, we entertain the hope that their children
will become worthy and genuine Christians. Many of the best and most
honoured members of our community, today, are the children and
grandchildren of very unsatisfactory Christians of the past.

I might say here that missionaries are being frightened less and less by
the charges so frequently made, by those who know the situation least,
concerning the unworthy motives of those who become Christians. Indeed, to
be frank, the question of motives is, in my opinion, one of very little
consequence, save as it may involve down-right hypocrisy or gross
deception.

Ordinarily we do not expect, from a people who have been brought up in so
selfish and so debasing and sordid an atmosphere as that of the common
Hindu of today, a highly spiritual, or a purely ethical motive in becoming
Christians. If such be the prevailing motive, or even if we are convinced
that it is not absent, we are satisfied. Nor can there be anything wrong
if a man in India seeks alliance with Christianity in order to better his
earthly circumstances. This may mean a purpose to secure an education and
the blessings of civilization and culture for his children; or it may
reveal a desire for relief from injustice, or protection from gross
tyranny; it may signify merely a vague hope that, by becoming a Christian,
the general circumstances both of himself and family will be improved.
There is nothing intrinsically evil in any of these ambitions nor in
seeking Christian affiliation largely with a view to obtaining these,
provided always that there is also a conviction of the moral and spiritual
excellence of our faith and of its ability to satisfy the soul’s need. And
this we may generally assume in a man who voluntarily severs his
connection with the faith of his ancestors, and from a religion which was
a part of his own deepest life.

Nor should the deep ignorance of many of those who become Christians lead
us hastily to conclude that, because they know so little about our faith,
they therefore are unable to appreciate or enjoy any of its spiritual
blessings. I have often been surprised to see how many very ignorant
Christians, and those who greatly try our patience at times, both by their
stupidity and their crooked lives, nevertheless often reveal beautiful
touches of a genuine faith and of a most direct and simple trust; and they
stand nobly firm under the most trying and worrying persecution which
Hinduism knows too well how to inflict upon those who desert and deny it.

It has often been charged, with a view to discredit missionary effort in
India, that the converts gathered into the Christian fold have been from
the lowest social stratum, and not from the higher and ruling classes of
society. Even if this charge were entirely true, I can see in it nothing
reflecting upon the success of our cause in that land.

It has, indeed, in all ages and lands, been the normal process of
Christian conquest, to gather in the lower classes first. It is not by
filtering downward but by leavening upward that Christianity has been wont
to enter and to transform nations. As this was the initial method in
apostolic days, so has it continued through all the history of the Church.
It has been by the weak and despised things of the world that our Lord has
brought to nought and then won the mighty. It is so in India. Perhaps
three-fourths of the native Christians of that land are from the non-Aryan
community—from the aboriginal classes over whom the sway of Hinduism is
less complete than it is over the Aryan races. This is doubtless one
reason why two-thirds of all the Christians of India are found in Southern
India—among the Dravidians, who, as we have seen, are more the children of
Demonolatry than they are of Brahmanism. And yet, let it not be supposed
that the Turanians of the South are far inferior to the Aryans of the
North; or that the salvation of the so-called “aborigines” of India, of
whom there are more than sixty millions, is unworthy of our highest
ambition.

Neither let it be thought that Christianity has not made glorious inroad
upon the middle classes and even upon the highest class in that land—the
Brahmans. It is true that, thus far, not very many of that high and
haughty caste have openly professed Christ. It is equally true, however,
that some of the best members of our Christian community are converted
Brahmans. The Indian Christian community is proud of such men as the Hon.
Kali Churn Bannerjee, Dr. K. M. Bannerjee, Rev. K. C. Chatterjee, Rae Maya
Das and the Hon. N. Subramanien, not because they were Brahmans, but
because they have consecrated to the Lord all their distinguished ability,
and because they excel in their possession of Christian graces.

These names, and many others like them, reveal the growing power that our
faith is wielding over men of position in that land. At the coronation of
King Edward, in London, twenty representatives of the Indian Christian
Church were present. Of these, six are ruling princes; perhaps the most
distinguished of them is Sir Harnam Singh Ahluwalia, K. C. I. E. He is a
man of culture—“a true representative of educated India.”

He was entrusted by the Indian Christians to convey their address to the
king upon the occasion of his coronation. Sir Harnam Singh’s usefulness
and success largely depend upon the support, which he receives, in all
good things, from his wife, Lady Singh, who is the daughter of Rev. Golak
Nath.

The devout Henry Martyn, nearly a century ago, with mingled discouragement
and yearning, declared that to see one Hindu a real believer in Jesus
would be something more nearly approaching the resurrection of a dead body
than anything he had yet seen. The illustrious Jesuit missionary, the Abbe
Du Bois, mourned that, even after a long period of faithful work, he
believed he had seen no genuine convert to Christianity in that land. How
would those two great friends of India rejoice today were they to see the
glorious harvest which Christianity has been permitted to gather during
the last century from that great people! And among the best of them are to
be seen not a few representatives of the haughty Brahman caste and also
members of the crushed and despised outcaste Pariah community.

It is well to remember that it has been the ambition of missionaries in
India, not so much to gather in numerous accessions from the social and
intellectual aristocracy of the land, as to create out of the Indian
Christian community, however degraded may have been its origin, an
aristocracy of character and of true culture. And in this they have
achieved remarkable success. For the native Christian community is being
most rapidly transformed in these respects. Remember, please, the
condition, previous to their embracing our faith, of those outcaste people
who now constitute three-fourths of the Christian community. They were not
only socially ostracized, and therefore wanting in all traits of manly
assertion, of independence and of self-respect. They were also in deepest
ignorance. Not five per cent, of them could either read or write. Moreover
they were under serious religious disability. Though nominal Hindus, they
had no right to enter purely Hindu temples nor to approach in worship any
strictly Hindu deity. The most sacred of Hindu religious books were denied
them, and the most cherished of Hindu rites and ceremonies they were
deemed totally unfit to observe.

All that they could claim was permission to appease the demons of their
ancestral worship. I have seen these outcastes, who, while absorbed into
Hinduism, nevertheless live constantly under its ban. They erect fine
halls and shrines in Brahmanical temples, but are not permitted to enter
them after the day of their dedication to Hindu worship. Hinduism has
never declined any pecuniary offerings from these despised ones; and yet
it has never deemed it its province or duty to impart its religious
blessings to them. It has denied to them instruction, comfort and
salvation. Is it a wonder that most of the people were almost on a level
with brutes so far as thoughts of the highest interests of the soul are
concerned? These are the people whom Christianity has delighted to rescue
from their thralldom and to build up in religious thought, ambition and
spiritual blessings.

It has applied itself to the task of raising them from their low estate.
It has erected buildings for their instruction. In most cases its
prayer-houses have been daily used as schoolhouses where the young have
been instructed; so that today this community stands distinguished among
the other communities in the land for its intelligence.

For example, the total number of Christian youth in mission schools in
South India is 62,000—two-thirds of them being boys and one-third girls,
which represents a percentage to the total of school-going-age of 68.7 for
boys and 33.7 for girls; and this while, in the general community, only
twelve per cent, of those who are of an age to be at school are attending
school. Among the Brahmans only is literacy more common than among Indian
Christians. And even that caste, which has for thirty centuries
represented the cultured aristocracy of India, must look to its laurels;
for, though their males are preëminent in culture, the females are as
illiterate as any class in India, only six in 1,000 being able to read. In
the Christian community, on the other hand, the women are not far behind
the men in the race for culture. It is therefore not difficult to prophesy
that the day is not far off when the Indian Christians, among whom both
sexes find equal opportunity and inducement to study in the schools, will
outstrip the Brahmans and stand preëminent as the educated and cultured
class of India.

This is as true in the higher as in the lower grades of education. There
are today living 418 native Christian graduates of the Madras University.
Last year twenty-seven of these Christian youth received the B. A. degree
in that Presidency alone, and the only three Indian ladies who have seized
the difficult and much coveted prize of Master of Arts from that
University are Christians. These facts are significant and reveal the
marvellous progress made by this once despised community.

As to the character of these Christians the testimony of Sir Alexander
Mackensie, a distinguished Anglo Indian statesman of large experience, may
be of interest:—“The advance made (in missions) during my time,” he says,
“have been substantial and encouraging, and it is my firm belief that the
day-spring of still better things is very close at hand, while the simple
faith and godly lives of many native Christians, might put all, or most of
us certainly, to the blush.”

It may be well to add emphasis here to the position of woman in the native
Christian community as a direct result of mission endeavour in that land.

The new womanhood of the infant native Christian community has begun to
impress itself upon the land. There are nearly five hundred thousand women
and girls connected with the Protestant missions of that country today.
They are being trained for, and introduced to, new spheres and
opportunities such as the women of India never dreamed of before.
Thousands of them are engaged as teachers and as Bible women. Some
practice medicine; others adorn and cheer the homes, beautify the lives
and strengthen the work of pastors and preachers, of teachers, doctors and
other professional men. They grow into the full bloom of womanhood before
they leave their school training; and they go forth well equipped
intellectually, morally and spiritually for the manifold duties of life.

The last few years have not only helped the Christian women of the land,
as a class, they have also brought into distinction many of them who are
worthy to stand among the eminent women of the age and world.

The first of these, both on account of the remarkable career which she has
led and of the noble work which she is performing, is the well-known
Pundita Ramabai. Herself a Brahman widow, who lost her father in the
tender years of childhood and who subsequently entered into the joys and
blessed power of a Christian life, she dedicated herself to the work of
redeeming her unfortunate Hindu sisters from their sad lot. To this noble
work of philanthropy and of heroic Christian service she has given herself
absolutely; and through distinguished administrative skill and a
triumphant faith she has achieved marvellous success. Beside her
well-known institution for child-widows at Poonah—the Sharada Sadan, which
the writer visited and greatly admired—the recent famine inspired her to a
new effort to save the waifs and orphans of that region. So that, today,
she has under her care more than two thousand of the unfortunate ones of
her own sex whom she is not only protecting and wisely training for worthy
positions in life, but is also bringing forward into the joys of a true
Christian life. Few women, in any land, have found a more useful, or more
honourable, career than this noble woman of the East. She combines, in a
rare degree, large capacity for work, the highest sanity in her methods
and the deepest love for those whom she has given her life to bless.

The Sorabjis, also of Western India, have achieved distinction beyond most
native Christian families. Mr. Sorabji was one of the few Parsees who have
embraced Christianity. One of the daughters of the family, the widow of an
Englishman, lives in London and has delighted the Queen by her exquisite
rendering of Persian songs. One sister is an artist, whose paintings are
exhibited in Paris and London. One is a surgeon of distinction. It was
another daughter of this family who was the only representative of her sex
from the Orient at the Parliament of Religions in Chicago. The most
distinguished of these seven sisters is Cornelia Sorabji, the barrister.
Her graduating paper on “Roman Law,” at Oxford, was classed among the best
papers produced by the pupils of that famous institution. She is the first
lady barrister of India, and is not only a powerful advocate, but also a
brilliant writer, as her book and her articles on the woman question in
“The Nineteenth Century” amply testify.

Toru Dutt, of Calcutta, one of the brilliant young stars of India, was
versed in French, German and English. At twenty-one she published “A Sheaf
Gleaned in French Fields.” It is a skillful and able English translation
of the works of famous French authors. She and her sister, Aru, were
remarkably talented. It is sad that she, who was so full of intellectual
brightness and so beautiful in Christian life, should have been taken away
by death in the bloom of life.

Miss Goreh is the only Indian Christian who has thus far added to our
popular English hymnology. Her beautiful hymn:

“In the secret of His presence how my soul delights to hide;
Oh, how precious are the moments which I spend at Jesus’ side.
Earthly cares can never reach me, neither trials bring me low;
For when Satan comes to tempt me to the Secret Place I go,”—

has been a blessing to many in this land of ours.

Mrs. Sattianathan of Madras (the wife of a distinguished Indian Christian)
was another bright young woman who showed marked evidence of talent as an
English writer. Her books, descriptive of the life both of Hindu and of
Indian Christian women, have had deservedly large popularity. They created
in many of her friends a hope for even greater results from her. But,
alas, these hopes were soon shattered by her sad and premature death.

The second Mrs. Sattianathan, herself an M. A. of the Madras University,
has entered upon a brilliant career as a writer, and has established the
first English monthly magazine for her Indian sisters—a magazine which is
full of attractiveness and promise.

These ladies are only a few of those who illustrate the ability, devotion,
beauty and promise of the women of India. Such are preëminently the hope
of that country.

It was while looking upon one of these Indian Christian ladies that the
late Benjamin Harrison, Ex-President of the United States, remarked that
if he had spent a million dollars for missions and had seen, as a result
of his offering, only one such convert as Miss Singh he would still have
considered his offering a most profitable investment.

These women are creating their own opportunities and will, ere long,
achieve much in all the ranks of life and especially in their own peculiar
sphere of womanly activity and influence. Woman will do more for the
progress and development of the country than the sterner sex, as she has
hitherto done more than he to conserve and dignify the past. And it is
safe to conclude that the womanhood of India will discover its chief glory
as it now finds its largest opportunity in Christianity. And I may add
that the mission of Christianity to, and in behalf of, the women of that
land may almost be called its chief mission, as the results which it has
achieved, and will yet achieve, in this line, will constitute its chief
glory.

At large centres the Indian Christian community is already beginning to
feel its power and is organizing in behalf of its own highest interest.

The “Madras Native Christian Association” is perhaps the strongest
organization of the community. It unites hundreds of the best members and
gives them a corporate existence and furnishes opportunity to render
articulate the ideals, ambitions and needs of the Christian community. It
has recently undertaken several enterprises of importance, such as _The
Twentieth Century Enterprise and the Indian Christian Industrial
Exhibition_. It discusses, with much sanity, the most serious problems of
the community and creates a worthy sentiment which will increasingly
spread until it reaches the remotest parts of the country.

All this tends to show that the community is growing conscious both of its
strength, its responsibility and its opportunity.

                [Illustration: Rev. S. Sattianatha, LL.D.]

                [Illustration: Mrs. S. Kruba Sattianatha.]

For the furtherance of this purpose weekly and monthly magazines, both in
the English language and in the vernaculars, are being conducted by them.
_The Christian Patriot_, the best organ of the community, is published in
Madras, is conducted with much ability and represents the best sentiments
of its constituents. It has done much to develop the consciousness of life
and power in the community and has always urged worthy ideals upon its
readers.

The seriousness with which all the native Christians of India regard their
calling and the gratitude with which they enjoy their faith is clearly
attested by their offerings.

Perhaps nothing can render more satisfactory reply to those who charge the
native Christians with worldly motives than to show how far they deny
themselves in behalf of their faith. In other words the benevolence and
offerings of the native Christians may be taken as a fair test of their
sincerity and of their spiritual appreciation. It is a good test in any
land. I have said that they are very poor. A few years ago I investigated
carefully the economic conditions of the most prosperous and largest
village congregation of the Madura Mission. I discovered that five rupees
(that is $1.66) was the average monthly income of each family of that
congregation. And that meant only thirty-three cents a month for the
support of each member of a family! We have congregations whose income is
less than this. And yet, the Christians of that mission contributed over
two rupees (seventy-five cents) per church member as their offering for
1900. For all the Protestant Missions of South India the average offering
per church member during 1900 was one rupee and nine annas (fifty-two
cents). For South India this represented an aggregate sum of R 248,852
($85,000) or about seven and one-half per cent, of the total sum expended
in the missions during that year. An American can easily realize how much
this offering is as an absolute gift; but he cannot realize how much of
self-denial it means to that very poor people; nor how large an offering
it is as related to the best offerings of our home churches today. If our
American Christians contributed for the cause of Christ a percentage of
their income equal to that of the native Christians of India they would
quadruple their benevolence. And if, in relation to their income, the
Christians of India contribute four times as much as the Christians of
America, in relation to their real ability, after supplying the most
primitive needs of their bodies, they contribute a hundred times more than
do their brothers and sisters in this great land of luxury and abundance.
Who in America, today, in contributing to the cause of Christ, denies
himself a convenience or a comfort; yea more, who on that account fails to
meet the craving of bodily appetite? And yet there are many Christians in
India who suffer in both these respects in order that they may add the
widow’s mite to the treasury of the Church and their loving offering to
advance the Kingdom of the Lord.

In this way the infant Christian Church of India, in its poverty of this
world’s goods, is revealing a wealth of spirit and a richness of purpose
such as are worthy of emulation in Christian lands today.

The organized effort of the Indian Church for self-extension is rapidly
multiplying. Every endeavour is put forth to train them out of that spirit
of dependence which is one of the necessary evils incident to modern
missions.

In nearly all well organized missions in India are found, as we have
already seen, Home Missionary Societies, which are conducted and
maintained by the people, and which constantly direct their thoughts to
their privilege to further the cause of Christ in their own land and among
their own people.

Work by the young for the young, also, is being conducted with increasing
prevalence, zeal and success throughout the land.

Indeed, all departments of a healthful, normal life and activity are
vigorously prosecuted on mission territory with a view to imparting to the
Christians, not only a knowledge of the highest type of Christian
altruism, but also for the purpose of making them partakers of the same.

And the Indian Christian community at present, notwithstanding all its
faults and weaknesses, which I would not conceal, furnishes us much
encouragement as a product of past effort and as a growing power which is
to be used by God in the speedy upbuilding of his Kingdom in that great
land of the East.

There are, indeed, not many forms of organized Christian activity
conducted by Indian Christians themselves—apart from Western missions.
There are some, however, which are worthy of note and commendation. Such
are Pandita Ramabai’s Mukti Mission for Widows; Miss Chuckerbutty’s
flourishing Orphanages; Mrs. Sorabji’s High School for Women; the
Gopalgange Mission started by the Rev. M. N. Bose, and Dr. P. B. Keskar’s
Orphanage and Industrial School at Sholapur.

Recently a novel enterprise was inaugurated in the American Mission,
Jaffna, Ceylon, in the form of a Foreign Missionary Society, which sends
forth, to a region in Southern India, its missionaries to carry the gospel
of Christ to the non-Christians of that place. It is chiefly conducted and
supported by the young people of the mission and is prophetic of a
movement which will, ere long, spring up throughout India as a result of a
growing sense of responsibility and opportunity among the Christians of
that land.

It is with no spirit of boasting that I wish to dwell upon the share which
America has had in producing these results. Other people have done in some
respects, better than we. But there is no doubt that India is much
influenced by our land. America has, for a century, lavishly given her
sons and daughters and expended her wealth for the salvation of India. Her
sacrifices have not been in vain. None have found more hearty response
among that people than the American Missions. Among the many Protestant
Missions now at work in that Peninsula less than one-fourth are American;
and, yet in connection with these missions have been gathered and are
found nearly one-half of all of the Protestant Christians of that land. In
South India the mission which has found much the largest success in
gathering converts is an American Mission. In North India, again, one of
our missions stands preëminent in the multitude of its Christians, and
another, in the excellence of its educational power and leavening
influence. In Western India, also, America stands first in the
acknowledged power and preëminence of one of its missions.

In the organized movements for the young, America again stands conspicuous
in that land. As we study the wonderful activity exercised by Protestant
Christianity in behalf of India’s youth, we are at once impressed by the
leadership of American workers as we are by the American methods used.

The finest Y. M. C. A. building in the Orient is mostly American, both in
conception and in the organized energy and princely offering which made it
possible. It stands today in the city of Madras, as one of the noblest and
the most beautiful tributes of western Christian enterprise to that great
land.

The only theological seminary which has been adequately endowed for the
training of Protestant Christian workers in India, is an American one.

Perhaps the best, because the most sane and enterprising, Christian weekly
newspaper in the land is American.

The only Quarterly Review conducted in that land by Protestant Christians
was founded by an American.

And, in the same line, it is interesting to note that American presses and
publishing houses are multiplying and are exercising an ever-widening
influence in the redemption of that country.

So largely have all these American agencies been used for the furtherance
of Christian truth and light; and so much have they been welcomed and
appropriated by the people, that it may well be spoken of as “an American
Invasion.”

The Bishop of Newcastle, England, referred to this in his last annual
sermon. “So far,” he says, “has America realized the need of winning India
to Christ that a hundred years hence, if the last thirty years’ proportion
continue, India will owe its Christianity more to America than to Great
Britain and Ireland combined.” These words are no less significant in
their truthfulness than generous in their appreciation. England has been
entrusted with the work of leading that great people of the Orient,
politically and socially, into a larger and higher life. This, by a
strange Providence, has been entrusted to her in consequence of her
conquest of that people seven thousand miles away and seven times her own
population. So also has America been favoured with a fair share of
opportunity and of influence as the moral supporter of England in this
unique and unprecedented work. And, while England by the nature of her
compact, or conquest, is somewhat handicapped in this task, so far as her
religious influence upon the people is concerned, America has free access
and ample entrance into the heart of the community because of her
disinterested and unrestrained relationship to them.

Her voice to India has always been the voice of a constraining altruism.
All her endeavours in that land have been the outgoings of a world-wide
philanthropy and of Christian self-denial. Therefore, she has been free
and unencumbered in all her ambitions for the uplifting of that people;
and she has found the heartiest response and warmest appreciation from
those whom she has sought to bless. Consequently, that noble band of 1,000
of her sons and daughters, who are today giving themselves to the
salvation of India; and the one million dollars sent forth annually to
maintain her work in that land, are fruitful in the highest good and in
the richest result in all parts of the land.

While all this means a great achievement, it means also, and preëminently,
a stirring opportunity. The widest door of opportunity is open to America
among her antipodes in that historic land. Christian effort can nowhere
else find heartier welcome or results more encouraging and telling in the
great gathering of eastern nations into the Kingdom of our Lord.



                               Chapter XI.


MISSIONARY RESULTS—(CONTINUED)


1. THE LEAVEN OF CHRISTIANITY.

Our Lord compared his Kingdom to the mustard seed which grew into a tree.
This wonderful growth and development of his Kingdom we considered in the
last chapter. He compared it also to the leaven which was placed in the
meal and which leavened the whole lump. We shall now consider the
leavening or assimilating work of his Kingdom as at present witnessed in
India.

If a man were to ask me, “wherein do you find the most encouragement as a
Christian worker in India?” I would doubtless reply:—not in the Church and
community gathered by the missions, but outside of the Christian fold, in
the institutions, and among the non-Christians, of the land. It is not in
the fields already harvested (though much of joy and promise we certainly
find there), but in the fields whitening for the harvest, that we see the
largest hope for the ultimate conquest of that great people by Christ.

There are in India, at present, a thousand results, movements and
tendencies which, to the thoughtful, watchful, Christian worker, bespeak
the rapid coming of the Kingdom of Christ, even though their testimony is
not heard through mission statistical tables, and though their activity is
found mostly outside the visible pale of the Church.

I appreciate the fact that, when we begin to consider these results which
lie outside the life and organization of the Christian community, we need
much discernment and discrimination, lest we ascribe to Christianity alone
an influence and an efficiency which it only shares with Western thought
and civilization. But it is not only impossible to separate these forces,
in our endeavour to estimate the share of each in the results achieved;
western thought and civilization, both in their origin and development,
are themselves as much the product as they are the expression of
Christianity; so that we need not hesitate much in ascribing to our faith
all the results which the combined energy of these have produced in that
land.

Another discrimination is here necessary. In the last chapter we dwelt,
almost exclusively, upon Protestant missionary activity and results. These
we were able to measure chiefly through the concentrated activity and
published statistical reports of Protestant Missions. But, in considering
the more indirect and general results there achieved we must not forget
that they must be ascribed to all the Christian agencies at work in that
land. I believe that Protestant Christianity is much the largest Christian
power among all the forces that make for the redemption of India. And yet
it would be presumptuous and unjust not to recognize the strenuous
activity and pervasive influence of Roman Catholicism in the land. I am
convinced that that great historic Church, with all its errors and false
methods, is nevertheless a positive and a mighty power in the
dissemination of Christian thought and principles in India. In the results
which I am about to mention, this and all other Christian agencies have
had their share.

Some of these activities, indeed, _seem_ to come directly from none of the
organized agencies of Christianity in the land. But they are only
apparently so. They are among the thousand subtle influences which work in
a quiet way in the minds and life of the people and which suddenly, from
time to time, break upon our sight through their results. An illustration
of this kind occurred not long ago. It is said that one of the vernacular
versions of the Gospels accidentally fell into the hands of a Mohammedan
Moulvi, or teacher, in North India. It had been prepared and published by
the Bible Society. The Mussulman read the book with eagerness, chiefly
with a view to find new arguments against the divinity of our Lord and the
heavenly source of our faith. But, as he read, he was so impressed with
the wonderful narrative and the unique beauty of the character of our
Lord, that he surrendered himself to him as his Saviour and found in him
peace and rest. Sometime later he met a Hindu fakir, named Chet Ram, who
was earnestly in search of the truth. The Mohammedan convert joyfully told
him of his newly found Saviour and gave him his copy of the New Testament
that he might find for himself the same blessing. The Holy Spirit carried
the Gospel message of life into his heart also, and he accepted Christ and
at once began to preach him unto his friends and neighbours. This work he
performed faithfully; and he gathered around himself many who accepted his
following, short creed;—“I believe in Jesus Christ the Son of Mary and in
the Holy Ghost and in the Father to whom prayer should be made and in the
Bible through which salvation is to be received.” Chet Ram died some time
ago; but there are today found, scattered through the villages of North
India, thousands of his followers who subscribed to his brief creed and
who always carry upon their persons a copy of the Scriptures. So far as I
know, these people have never come into contact with Christian workers,
but have been led simply through a study of God’s Word, under the guidance
of God’s Spirit, unto Christ the Saviour of the world.

It is one of the most encouraging facts connected with Christian influence
in India that one so often and unexpectedly meets its manifestations in
individual life and institutions. Suddenly he comes across little streams
of influence whose source may be unknown, but which do a great deal
towards fertilizing thought and producing a harvest of religious results
throughout the land.

The general subject of the influence of the West upon the East has been
recently raised in the very interesting and thought-provoking book on
“Asia and Europe” by the English writer, Meredith Townsend. He stiffly
maintains that the West never has, and, probably, never will, seriously
and permanently influence the East in thought and life. While there is a
semblance, yea an element, of truth in his contention, so far as the past
is concerned, it fails to apply to the India of the present and must fall
far wide of the mark in the future. Many years have elapsed since the
author of “Asia and Europe” left India; and he is not conversant, at first
hand, with the mighty revolution which is taking place there at present.
He fails, for one thing, to appreciate the wonderful influence of modern
scientific discovery as a unifier of all peoples and as the handmaid of
western life and thought and of Christian conquest. I need refer only to
one of these modern agencies—the telegraph. The election of Mr. McKinley
as president of the United States was known to me in India before it was
known to nine-tenths of the population of this land.

The calamity which recently befell Galveston, Texas, was not only known to
Hindus, the very next day; the price of cotton went up in South India
villages as a consequence of that sad event. The generous offerings
recently contributed in America for the famine sufferers in India were
actually distributed to them in food the next day after they were offered!
Can these things, and a thousand like them, which enter into the every-day
transactions of East and West, have no permanent influence upon the
relations of these once remote but now neighbouring people? Isolation has
everywhere given way to intercourse and mutual dependence; and that means
community of life and thought which produces fundamental action and
reaction.

Under these new and marvellous conditions the former “mental seclusion of
India,” so unduly emphasized by Mr. Townsend, is rapidly yielding and must
utterly pass away. It will, however, not pass away simply because of the
influence of the West upon the East, but rather because of the mutual
action and reaction of East and West. The East will approach the West
because, to a large extent, the West will have learned to appreciate, and
to draw in sympathy towards, the East. Herein lies the secret of the
future oneness, or at least of the communion, of the two great
hemispheres.

India is, therefore, in this matter, facing today such conditions as never
before existed there; and these are to further considerably the work of
revolution which our religion is bringing to pass in that land, and which
such pessimists as Mr. Townsend are wont to ignore.

That keen philosopher and high authority upon India, Sir Alfred Lyall, is
right in his anticipation when he claims that India “will be carried
swiftly through phases which have occupied long stages in the lifetime of
other nations.”

Considering, then, the leavening influences and the general results of our
faith in that land we shall see them in many institutions and departments
of life.

(_a_) In laws which the government of India has enacted during the last
century.

There has been a steady conflict between the enlightened government of the
white man and the inhuman customs of the people of that land. The
Christian sentiment of the members of the government, and of other
Christians outside of that circle, has ever rebelled against and sought to
put down the grossest evils which obtain there.

And the fact which we need to emphasize here is that these evils have been
directed and protected by Hinduism itself and are an integral part of its
ceremonies and teachings. Whenever the government has sought, by
legislation, to do away with these inhuman rites and customs it has been
bitterly opposed by Hinduism and has been met by a general uprising of its
followers against what they have called religious interference and
persecution. Thus the suppression of Thuggism was a definite attack upon a
religious institution, for the Thuggs never committed a murder, save as a
part of their worship of the goddess Bhowanee to whose service they had
dedicated themselves and to which the blood of the innocent traveller (as
they thought) was the most welcome sacrifice its devotee could offer.
Hence the difficulty which faced the government in bringing these
religious murders to an end.

Suttee was also regarded as a high type of religious devotion. For the
widow to immolate herself upon the funeral pyre of her dead husband was
not only the supreme test of wifely devotion, it was also preëminently the
highest religious act possible to her; and it brought to her a future
bliss which was painted in glowing and attractive colours by the sacred
books of her faith. It was not strange, therefore, that the State
hesitated, for a long time, to abolish by law this hideous custom, whereby
in the year 1817, for instance, two widows were burned daily in the Bengal
Presidency alone.

It was in the face of extensive protest and threats by orthodox Hindus
that the government abolished it. “Previous to 1857, 150 human sacrifices
are said to have been annually offered in Gumsur, a city in East Central
India; and the abolition of that horrible custom raised such a storm of
opposition among the Hindus that an eight years’ war was the result. More
than 2,000 victims were rescued from sacrifice and handed over to the care
of the missionaries.” In like manner infanticide was encouraged for
centuries in the land as an act of religious devotion which was possessed
of great efficacy. In the name of religion and with the promise of its
highest blessings mothers were led to feed the crocodiles of the sacred
Ganges by throwing to them their own infants.

It seems hardly possible that human beings could regard the prohibition of
that inhuman and unnatural act as a piece of injustice and an interference
with the rights of conscience. And yet it was so regarded!

Not fewer than twenty laws have thus been enacted in that land, during the
last century, with a view to putting an end to religious customs which
robbed thousands of people, annually, of life itself and deprived many
thousands more of the most elementary and inalienable rights of human
beings. So it has become penal to do any one of the following things, all
of which were regarded as expressions of the highest religious devotion
and were committed with the sanction of the ancestral faith and under the
inspiration of its benediction: to burn widows; to expose parents to death
on the banks of the Ganges; to offer up human sacrifice; to murder
children, either by throwing them into the Ganges, or by the Rajpoot
secret method of infanticide; to encourage men to throw away their lives
under temple cars and in other ways of religious devotion; to encourage
various forms of voluntary self-torture and self-mutilation; to outrage
girls under a certain age.

How much hath the Spirit of Christ wrought in that land during the century
by saving the lives of millions of poor innocent creatures from the
ravages of a savage faith and an inhuman religious devotion!

Thus, in India today the laws protect the people, old and young, from the
old murderous customs of its religion, and gives a sanctity to life and a
protection to the innocent and a check to the mad, suicidal tendency of
the religious fanatic, such as India never before knew. And all this has
been done in the teeth of their religion and notwithstanding the
persistent cries and protests of the religious leaders of the people.

I have already mentioned the fact that the obscene and the impure have in
many ways been fostered by that faith, and that the government has thus
far been unable to find courage to apply to religious temples, symbols and
rites that legislation which it has enacted against the obscene in
literature and in the ordinary life of the people. And yet, we are
encouraged to find there this anomaly today,—that men, for translating and
publishing obscene portions of the Hindu scriptures, have been punished in
accordance with this law. The day will, doubtless, soon come, it must
come, when this legislation against obscenity will be enforced without
exception in favour of temple cars and sacred objects and rites.

In reference to caste observance the State has been more courageous and
has absolutely ignored class distinction among its subjects. No one who
has not lived in the East can realize how radical and important this
policy is in that land of class distinctions based upon religious
injunction and revelation. It seemed absurd and unrighteous to that people
that the august and sacred Brahman and the unclean and outcaste Pariah
should be regarded as equal before the law, and that a pauper should
enjoy, with a prince, the same protection and blessings from the State.
Regardless of immemorial custom and religious injunction, the government
has become the great leveller—it has ignored entirely, in all the rights
and privileges which it has to confer, every caste distinction and class
privilege and disability which Hinduism had created and sacredly
maintained for centuries. And it adheres stiffly to its Christian
principle of the equal rights of all its subjects.

(_b_) Moreover, Hinduism itself is being gradually transformed under the
search-light of a present Christianity.

Not only has it been compelled, from without, to give up some of its
inhuman practices, it has also voluntarily, from very shame, relinquished
some of its grossest evils.

There is a very interesting conflict now going on in Hinduism—between the
ultra-conservatives and the progressives. This latter class is composed
almost entirely of men who have been educated in mission and government
schools, and who have been influenced by Christian light and life.

I do not expect much from a Christianized Hinduism any more than I do from
a Hinduized Christianity. And yet we cannot be unmindful of, nor
ungrateful for, that growing sense of shame which leads that faith to
conceal, if not to abandon entirely, some of its worst crimes against man
and to adorn itself in such a way that it may not too violently shock the
sensibilities of a people who are living under the growing light of a
Christian civilization.

This is what the ancestral faith of India is now intent upon doing, at
least so far as the changing situation compels. The influence of educated
Hindus upon the pundits and other religious guides of the land is
increasing annually, and is steadily in favour of religious reform and of
a broad and enlightened interpretation of Shastraic deliverances upon
religious customs. For example, a few years ago, sea voyages were strictly
prohibited to all Hindus. No exceptions were allowed and excommunication
was the inevitable penalty for the violation of this religious injunction.
Today hundreds of Hindus, impelled by an ambition for the best education
and for a broad culture, annually travel to England and to other foreign
lands. Though some of those men are punished for their temerity in defying
this sacred injunction of their faith, it is remarkable how many pundits
arise to defend such travel and to reduce the opprobrium which overtakes a
sea-travelled man. Indeed, every year adds to the ease with which such a
man can avoid punishment for going abroad.

Until recently, Hinduism had no way of reinstating a man who had deserted
his ancestral faith and had thereby broken caste. Today this subject is up
for discussion, and many of the religious leaders are pointing to passages
from their Scriptures which justify such a reinstatement and are showing
methods by which it can be effected. In consequence of this not a few
back-sliding Christians have recently found an open door to reenter their
ancestral faith. This is an important move; but I doubt whether it will
cause Christians to lose any converts save those who are not sincere and
who would therefore be better outside than within the Christian Church.

A generation ago few Hindus in the villages of the land would fail to
defend polytheism and idolatry as an essential part of their faith. At
present the Christian preacher, as he travels among these same people,
finds universal assent to his declaration concerning the unity of God. I
have hardly met one villager in the land who maintains today that there
are really “gods many.” Polytheism is not defended but explained away, and
idolatry, it is claimed, is only an accommodation—a kind of religious
kindergarten—for the sake of the very ignorant, and “for women and
children.” But of course, pantheism is the Hindu’s conception of the
divine unity.

Whenever an educated Hindu defends his faith, in an argument with a
Christian, he never quotes as scriptural authority the more recent
writings of their faith—the Tantras and Puranas, which are the storehouse
of legend and myth, of myriad rites and customs and are the refuge and joy
of the orthodox and conservative pandits;—he discards these and falls back
upon the most ancient writings, which are the exponents of nature worship
and of vedantic philosophy. Or he will extol the Bhagavat Gita, which is
an eclectic attempt to unify and approve the conflicting philosophies of
Brahmanism.

In these, and in many other ways, Hinduism finds today new presentation
and defence. It is not the thing it used to be. And yet in matters of
fundamental importance it is and will remain unchanged. In some respects
these changes make that ancient faith less vulnerable to attack. In the
words of Doctor Robson,—“The influence of Christianity upon Hinduism has
been rather to strengthen its rival by forcing it to abandon certain
positions which weakened it, and bringing it more into accordance with
natural religion. But Hinduism remains the same. The contest is coming to
be between the ultimate principles of the two religions, and these are
irreconcilable.”(14) Yes, it will be a good day for Christianity when the
great contest is thus narrowed down, and when the deepest teachings of the
two faiths will be placed in clear and simple juxtaposition.

One serious source of danger in this controversy lies in the Neo-Hinduism
which interprets Hinduism in the light of Christian truth and modern
thought. Hindus formerly maintained that the teachings of Christianity
were false. Now they tell us that most of its truths were taught by their
own faith even before the Christian era! Through the allegories of their
Shastras, and under the guidance of the fertile imagination of that
Englishwoman, Mrs. Besant, they find equally the best Christian truth and
most recent results of modern scientific discovery taught by their ancient
scriptures! Mrs. Besant has even discovered that the ten incarnations of
Vishnu are based on strict evolution principles and follow that order.

She claims, indeed, that many of the most recent discoveries in the
physical universe were anticipated and promulgated three millenniums ago
by Hindu rishis. This of course is a method of insanity which will soon
give way to a newer craze. For the present it helps to evade or confuse
the issue in certain minds; but as it is in itself a substitution of
nonsense for argument and reason it will not long deceive any one, not
even the poor Hindu.

And just as, under the present Christian régime, Hinduism is rapidly being
transformed, no less truly does the Mohammedan faith undergo change. There
is a new Islam arising in India. That faith cannot be preserved in its
rigid integrity under the ægis of a Christian government; therefore in
India the faith of the great Arabian prophet has undergone marked
transformation during the last century and a half. Its religious leaders
there are rationalists who scrutinize and criticise the Koran with the
boldness of the higher critics of the Bible. They both urge that the Koran
has no permanent authority on moral questions, and also insist upon
progress in all religious matters.(15)

This young Mohammedan party of progress have found a vigorous leader in
Judge Amir Ali Sahib, a brilliant writer, who hesitates not to explain
away or antagonize all those teachings of his faith which lie athwart the
path of progress and enlightenment.

He avows, in his book on “The Spirit of Islam,” that his purpose is to
assist “the Muslims of India to achieve intellectual and moral
regeneration under the auspices of the Great European Power that now holds
their destiny in its hands.” “The reformers,” he further writes, “are
congratulated that the movement set on foot is conducted under a neutral
government.” Thus a Mussulman writer declares that the highest reforms can
best be conducted under a Christian government!

All this is illustrative of that leavening influence of our faith as it
comes into contact with and permeates the spirit and teaching of these and
other religions of that land.

(_c_) Another marked result of Christianity in that country is seen in the
attitude of many thousands of Hindus who live contiguous to the Christian
communities found there.

In the first place we see it among the common people. I have already
referred to mass movements which have largely helped to strengthen the
Christian Church in the past. Those movements have only just begun; they
will continue and increase in the land. Day by day Christianity is
commending itself to the people in a thousand ways. In times of famine,
when the old religious leaders of the people—the Brahmans—render no help
and manifest no sympathy, yea more, are as rapacious as ever, the loving
sympathy of Christians there and in far off lands, and their outgoing
charity and their substantial help to the famine stricken and the
suffering—all this does not fall in vain upon the susceptible mind of the
people.

This work of Christianity in uniting the world through brotherhood and
sympathy seems wonderful to a people who are crushed and robbed by the
wretched divisiveness of their own terrible caste system. They recognize
also the truth and the life which Christianity presents in contrast with
the debasing idolatry and the senseless, all-pervasive ceremonialism which
haunt them.

It is not surprising therefore that we see, not only certain mass
movements towards our faith but also, on the outskirts of the Christian
community in every district, a growing number of doubting, halting
ones—those who have done with their ancestral faith and who are attracted
by the religion of Christ, but who are so much afraid of the terrible
demon, caste, that they dare not openly accept Christ and unite with God’s
people through baptism. They linger on the outside, hoping for some great
tide of influence to come, soon, to carry them, without persecution, into
the kingdom. Their attitude of mind is encouraging, and the missionary
hopes for the day which will furnish the strength and opportunity for this
great host of weak and doubting ones to make its decision for Christ and
to enter, in ever-increasing numbers, into His Kingdom.

I have come into daily, close touch with many men and women of this class.
They, at the same time, encourage and exasperate one. They give evidence
of the strong influence of our faith upon them—they have ceased to visit
Hindu temples, they decline to worship the family and tribal gods, they
lose no opportunity to denounce the idolatry and superstitions which have
debased them, and they always speak to their friends a warm word for
Christianity and often attend its meetings in their village. But there
they continue to stand. They are the slaves of caste fear and of social
inertia. While, however, they stand and wait they often say the word and
give the encouragement which enable others to accept Christ openly and to
enter the Christian fold.

They are also always glad to send their children to our schools and are
willing to have them instructed in the truth and guided into the life of
our faith. They often contribute towards the support of Christian pastor
or teacher, and in various other ways evince their sympathy and reveal
their intellectual assent.

For instance:—In Tinnevelly there is a hall built by such a Hindu to
commemorate the late Queen Victoria, in which lectures and entertainments
are held. Christian ministers are frequently asked to pray at these
gatherings; and former years have witnessed requests by the donor for
prayer, from well-known ministers and bishops. Such appreciation of
Christian worship is very pleasing, particularly as the proprietor is a
member of a committee that has the oversight of nearly 300 Sivite temples
in the district.

They also show their appreciation of the medical work of Christian
missions. In the city of Madura stands one of the finest hospitals in the
country. It is the property of the American Board, but was erected, at an
expense of $14,000 by members of the orthodox Hindu community as a
monument of their appreciation of the mission physician and of their
confidence in the mission and its work.

(_d_) Another marked feature of the religious life of India, at present,
is the existence there of several new cults or religions. They not only
add picturesqueness to the religious situation, they also reveal the
unrest of the people and their desire for something better than the
orthodox faith of their fathers furnishes them.

              [Illustration: Sacred Tank In Madura Temple.]

        [Illustration: Hospital For Men, American Madura Mission.]

Having become dissatisfied and disgusted with their ancestral religion,
they are striving in every possible way, short of being Christians, to
seek for something better and higher. This is what we should expect. In
the many schools and colleges of the land the subtle metaphysics of the
East is supplanted by the modern philosophy of the West; their own
bewildering ancient rules of logic are replaced by the more rational
processes of the West. So that every university matriculate and graduate
of India is today crammed with ideas, and trained in methods of thinking,
which make a belief in practical Hinduism and in much of its philosophy an
impossibility, if not an absurdity.

Thus we see in that land today a number of movements and organizations
which are a protest against orthodox Hinduism and are carrying the people,
in thought and sympathy, from the past to the present, from the old to the
new. Most of these movements are merely half-way houses between Hinduism
and Christianity. They are with faces more or less turned towards the
light and possess the progressive spirit which, in some cases, cannot fail
of landing their members, at no distant date in the Christian fold. For
instance, we have in western India the _Prartanei Somaj_ (prayer society);
in north India the _Arya Somaj_ (Aryan society), and in Bengal the _Brahmo
Somaj_ (society of God).

These are healthy movements, away from a general, old-fashioned view of
religious things. Take, for example, the Brahmo Somaj. Though not as large
in membership as the Arya Somaj it represents more culture and power.
Nearly all the members are men of education and of western training, and
represent much more influence than their number (4,000) would suggest.
Their new faith is an eclecticism. It has adopted a little of Hinduism and
of Buddhism and of Mohammedanism and a great deal of Christianity. The
movement, especially that progressive branch which was under the
leadership of Protab Chunder Mozumdar, is largely Christian in drift and
spirit. Mozumdar accepts Christ, though not in the fullness of belief in
His divinity or in His atoning work; nevertheless with an amount of
appreciation, affection, devotion and loyalty not met even among many
Western Christians today. His book on “The Oriental Christ” is full of
appreciation and reveals a wonderful knowledge of the eastern Christ from
an Eastern standpoint. I shall not be surprised to see the members of this
society landing, at an early date, through a full confession of Christ, in
membership of the Christian Church.

In the meanwhile it is disappointing to find this organization divided,
already, into so many mutually antagonistic sects. It is also a reason for
regret that Mozumdar, who is a man of great culture, intelligence and deep
spiritually, has recently relinquished the leadership of the movement.
Having retired to the Himalayas, he communicates his reasons in these
truly oriental, pathetic and pessimistic words:

“Age and sickness get the better of me in these surroundings, I cannot
work as I would—contemplation is distracted, concentration disturbed,
though I struggle ever so much. These solitudes are hospitable; these
breadths, heights and depths are always suggestive. I acquire more spirit
with less struggle, hence I retire.

“My thirst for the higher life is growing so unquenchable that I need the
time and the grace to reëxamine and purify and reform every part of my
existence. The Spirit of God promises me that grace if I am alone. So let
me alone.

“The rich are so vain and selfish, the poor are so insolent and mean, that
having respect for both I prefer to go away from them.

“The learned think so highly of themselves, the ignorant are so full of
hatred and uncharitableness, that having good will for both I prefer to
hide myself from all.

“The religious are so exclusive, the sceptical so self-sufficient that it
is better to be away from both.

“Where are the dead? Have not they too retired? I wish my acquaintance
with the dead should grow, that my communion with them should be
spontaneous, perpetual, unceasing. I will invoke them and wait for them in
my hermitage.

“What is life? Is it not a fleeting shadow, the graveyard of dead hopes,
the battlefield of ghastly competitions, the playground of delusions,
separations, cruel changes and disappointments? I have had enough of
these. And now with the kindliest love for all, I must prepare and
sanctify myself for the great Beyond, where there is solution for so many
problems, and consolation for so many troubles....”

This seems an unworthy ending to a very worthy life. And yet a movement
which has created two such men as Chunder Sen and Protab Mozumdar is a
compliment to Christianity and has a mission before it. But it must
undergo many changes ere it can exercise a commanding influence in the
land.

A much more popular movement is the Arya Somaj. The recent census reports
40,000 members of this organization. If Brahmo Somaj represents the
working of that Hindu mind which has been imbued with European culture and
Christian thought towards a solution of its religious doubts and problems;
the Arya Somaj represents a strong Theistic movement springing forth out
of Hinduism itself. This latter movement is possessed of unwonted vigour
and has a future before it. The founder of this Somaj was Dyanand
Sarasvati, a Brahman who was born about the year 1825. He was a man of
much thought and of deep religious interest. He was entirely ignorant of
the English language. He broke with orthodox Hinduism after reading the
Christian Scriptures. And yet he also attacked the character of Jesus. He
accepted the Hindu Vedas as Scriptures, but interpreted them so freely
that he was able to find in them all that he desired of religious reform.
He vigorously opposed caste.

The following are some of the principles of the Arya Somaj:

1. God is the primary source of all true knowledge.

2. God is perfect in all His attributes and should be worshipped.

3. The Vedas are the books of true knowledge.

4. The caste system is a human invention and is evil.

5. Early marriage is prohibited.

The movement has assumed the aspect of a sect of Hinduism. But some of its
fundamental contentions are so directly antagonistic to most cherished
institutions of Hinduism that it is a mighty disintegrator of that
religion in the land.

It must be confessed that the Arya Somaj is, in its present spirit,
anti-Christian. It champions the cause of home religion in the East as
against the aggression of the great rival, Christianity. But the teachers
of our faith in India find encouragement equally in the hostility of this
movement and in its coöperation in a common attack upon modern Hinduism.
Any movement, that effectively calls the attention of the people to the
weakness and defects of its ancestral religion, cannot fail, in that very
process, to invite their attention to the claims of its rival,
Christianity.

The chief function of all these movements is to reveal the general
religious interest of the people. Indeed, they forward greatly the spirit
of discontent towards the ancestral faith. And while they do this, they
themselves furnish a no more satisfying or soul-inspiring substitute. And
in this way they emphasize the need of a new faith and draw the thought of
many to the new supplanting religion of the Christ. Chunder Sen, even
twenty years ago, declared that, “None but Jesus, none but Jesus, none but
Jesus is worthy to wear this diadem, India, and He shall have it.” Yes,
even through such movements as the Brahmo Somaj, Christ is winning India
for himself.

The educated classes of India are largely permeated and influenced by
Western thought. They may not be inclined to join any of the reform
movements which I have mentioned; but they are now thinking on absolutely
different lines from those of their ancestors fifty years ago. The
dissemination of Western literature, and especially the conduct of so many
Christian schools have done more, perhaps, than any other thing to create
an intellectual ferment and to produce a revolution of thought in all
parts of the land.

One cannot unduly emphasize the importance of Christian schools in India.
The government schools and the Hindu institutions of learning are
acknowledged to be the hot-beds of rationalism and of unbelief. They not
only furnish no religious instruction to the youth, they too often give
the impression that all religion is a mere superstition and is unworthy of
being taught.

To such an extent is this trend and influence observable that the
government experiences much concern, coupled with an expressed, though
vague, desire, that this evil be arrested by the introduction, into all
public schools, of some method of imparting at least the fundamental
principles of religion. But to discover the method of accomplishing this,
without violating the principle of religious neutrality, seems beyond its
power.

In the meanwhile mission schools have a grand sphere opened to them on
this line. They are not only a common agency, with governmental and all
other higher institutions, in the work of undermining and destroying vain
credulity and the whole brood of superstitions which are legion in India;
they are also a positive and constructive force in the impartation of
those principles of morality and teachings of religion which will ennoble
life here and hereafter. And in this connection it should not be forgotten
that all mission schools—higher and lower—enjoy unlimited opportunity to
teach, daily, to all their students God’s Word and to apply its principles
and its saving message to the minds of the half million students who are
being trained by them.

I desire to emphasize again the importance of all these schools as the
most potent agency, apart from the native Church itself, in the
transformation of the thought and life of India. It is a noteworthy fact
that the only statue erected to a missionary in India was that recently
unveiled by the Governor of Madras in the city of Madras to Dr. Wm.
Miller. This noble missionary educator has wrought mightily, through his
great institution in Madras, for the upbuilding of Christian truth in the
minds of Christian and non-Christian youth alike. And this statue is a
unique tribute of gratitude from his “old boys”—most of them still Hindus,
indeed—to the man who has been instrumental in opening before them the
broad vistas of Western thought and of Christian truth and life. But more
enduring than marble will abide the blessed results which he and his
colabourers have wrought in the thought and life of the more than 2,000
graduates who have been educated by them. Of these there are 1,800 who
represent the Hindus of thought and culture in South India at present.
Such is the influence of one Christian school.

If the work of the thousands of village Christian schools is more humble
in its aim it is much more pervasive in its reach, and it marvellously
directs thought and inspires life in remote villages.

Twelve years ago I opened one little primary school in a small unlettered
heathen village. Ten bright Hindu boys sought instruction at the hands of
the devout old Christian teacher placed there. Today these boys have grown
into manhood and, with one or two exceptions, have entered into the
Christian life and have been formed into a Christian congregation. They
are not only intelligent, but firm and beautiful in their new-found
Christian hope. Moreover, the whole village is permeated with Christian
truth and it resounds with the appeal of our faith. In this way have come
into existence many of the best and strongest congregations of the
Christian Church in India.

But, to return to the educated class in India. We have considered already
its attitude of mind towards the supplanting religion of Jesus.

                [Illustration: Madras Christian College.]

                 [Illustration: Bombay Railway Station.]

Their opposition to Christianity, as it is now presented to them, I can
appreciate. They are beginning, for the first time, to think seriously and
philosophically about religion. They are, more than ever before, impatient
with their past, and annoyed with the inadequacy of their present faith.
It is not strange if this feeling is shown in their attitude towards the
only supplanting faith. In this matter they are on the way to light and
truth. The under-current is strongly right and in the direction of an
enlightened and an enlightening religion. They are more earnestly in quest
of truth than ever before. Moreover it is not substantive Christianity,
but adjectival Christianity—the too Western type of our faith—which
arouses their antagonism. And I must again express my belief that, before
Christianity is to gain universal acceptance by the people of India, it
must be dissociated from many Western ideas and practices which seem to us
essential even to its very life. When we learn to forget our antecedents
and prejudices and to study well the Hindu mind and its tendency, then
perhaps shall we be prepared to present a Christianity which will commend
itself universally to that land. The Rev. G. T. E. Slater in his new book,
wisely emphasized this same need.

“The West,” he says, “has to learn from the East, and the East from the
West. The questions raised by the Vedanta will have to pass into
Christianity if the best minds of India are to embrace it; and the Church
of the ‘farther East’ will doubtless contribute something to the thought
of Christendom, of the science of the soul, and of the omnipenetrativeness
and immanence of Deity.”(16)

But the most encouraging aspect of this question is the present attitude
of the mind of educated India towards Christ himself.

Listen to the words of an orthodox Hindu in a recent lecture delivered to
his fellow Hindus:—“How can we,” he says, “be blind to the greatness, the
unrivalled splendour of Jesus Christ. Behind the British Empire and all
European Powers lies the single great personality—the greatest of all
known to us—of Jesus Christ. He lives in Europe and America, in Asia and
Africa as King and Guide and Teacher. He lives in our midst. He seeks to
revivify religion in India. We owe everything, even this deep yearning
towards our own ancient Hinduism, to Christianity.”

All former antipathy to, and depreciation of Jesus, our Lord, have given
way to appreciation and admiration. They vie with each other in a study of
His life and regard Him as the only perfect Exemplar of man. That great
land which has never found in its old faith an ideal of life is now
finding it in our blessed Lord. This movement towards Him is remarkable.
They are enthroning Him in their imagination and are drawing Him to their
hearts.

A Braham friend of mine—a devout Hindu, a university graduate, a barrister
and a leader of the Hindu community, requested me to purchase for him a
pocket copy of Thomas a Kempis’ “Imitation of Christ.” He possessed a
large copy, but desired a small one which he could carry with him and
could use for devotional purposes on his journeys. Some of his friends
sought other copies through him. Thus they bought all the copies that I
could find for sale in South India. He also asked me to buy for him a copy
of Dr. Sheldon’s book, “In His Steps.”

I bought four dozen copies and sold all to Brahmans and to native
Christians. One of our pastors bought a copy. He soon handed it to a
Brahman friend—a government official and a university graduate—requesting
him to read it. This he did, and, returning with the book a few days
later, he earnestly said—“Sir, why don’t you bring us more such books as
this. We also want to know more of Christ and to follow ‘In His Steps.’ ”

Indeed, I find a wonderful eagerness among Hindus of culture to know all
that can be known about the life and teaching of our Lord, even though
they are not prepared to accept his atonement as their salvation. The same
fact is true among the common people. There are not a few who believe that
the tenth—that is, the coming—incarnation of Vishnu (Kalki avatar) refers
to Christ. A Hindu Saivite devotee told me once that they proposed soon to
place in their monastery an image of Christ (as they had one of Vishnu)
and thus render to Him worship in common with the others. I am confident
that Hindus, all but unanimously, would, today, vote to give him a place
in their pantheon and a share in their worship, if Christians would accede
to this. “Did we not,” they say, “thus appropriate Buddha, the arch-enemy
of Brahmanism, twenty-five centuries ago, and make him the ninth
incarnation of Vishnu? And why should we not regard Christ, also, as the
tenth ‘descent’ of our beloved Vishnu.”

I deem this trend towards Christ, and it is marked especially among the
educated in all parts of India, as the greatest encouragement to the
Christian worker in that land today.

I care not so much whether they accept our faith in its Western form and
spirit, so long as I see them growing in their appreciation of, and
devotion to the Christ. Through Him I am sure they will pass on to some
outer expression or other of their faith in Him—an expression which will
doubtless correspond with their own oriental turn of thought and life.

CONCLUSION.

Thus, whether we look at the growing Christian community and its many
cheering features of life and of activity; or whether we study the
non-Christian community and all the social and national institutions of
that land, we find large encouragement and a rich assurance of the speedy
coming of the Kingdom of our Lord.

Nearly a century ago—the very time in which America, through the America
Board, sent its first missionaries to that great land—the Directors of the
East India Company placed on record their sentiments in the following
words:

“The sending of Christian missionaries to our Eastern possessions is the
maddest, most expensive, most unwarranted project that was ever proposed
by a lunatic enthusiast.” This was, at that time, the conviction and the
confession of the English rulers of India. It was the voice of unbelief
and the declaration of defiant opposition. How different the attitude and
the words of Sir Rivers Thompson; the Lieutenant Governor of Bengal, near
the close of that same century. “In my judgment,” he says, “Christian
missionaries have done more real and lasting good to the people of India
than all other agencies combined.” Certainly, a no more competent witness
than he, and a no more conclusive evidence than his, could be desired.

In my compound in South India, for a quarter of a century, a date palm
tree grew and flourished. Years later a seed was carried by a bird and
dropped at the foot of this palm tree. It was the seed of the sacred _boh_
tree. It also sprouted and its slender, subtle shoot wound round the
sturdy palm. Every year it grew higher until it finally towered above the
date palm; and the higher it grew the more its winding stem thickened; and
as it thickened it began to tighten its grip upon the other tree. That
grip, so weak and innocent at first, soon became to the palm tree a grip
of death. For every day so added to the encircling power of the _boh_ tree
that, about three years ago, it completely enshrouded and killed the palm.
Today that _boh_ tree stands alone, indicating, by its spiral form, where
the unfortunate palm found its death; and it stretches forth its beautiful
branches in rich verdure and in welcome shade to all who seek refuge from
the heat of the tropical sun.

This is only a parable of the struggle which is witnessed in India today.
For many centuries the tree of Brahmanism has flourished. It covers that
whole land. But at its very root has been sown the seed of God’s Word and
there is growing out of it, in its beauty and strength, the sacred tree of
our Faith. Already it has the old tree in its almighty grip. The work of
death is progressing and the final issue is sure.

But it will not transpire in a day. The victory will come, is now coming.

But the resources of Hinduism are legion, and its strange fascination, to
some extent, continues. India, which is increasingly becoming Christ’s in
thought and ideals, will become his in worship and ritual, when his name
shall be heard in every home throughout the land. But we need patience;
and the grand result to be achieved is worthy of the noblest endurance and
of the most patient waiting.

Christian workers in that great land are faithfully labouring and
hopefully waiting until the fruitful branches of the sacred tree of
Christianity shall have spread over the whole land, so that its shade may
be the refuge of all souls in distress and its fruit shall abound for the
healing of all the nations of India.

The resources and the agencies of our Faith, which are now utilized for
the furtherance of the truth in that land, are already wonderfully varied
and potent; but they are also increasing annually in prevailing power as
in bewildering variety. Every Christian drawn from Hinduism and added to
the fold of Christ becomes, in himself, a force to draw and to win others
to Christ. This power has already become the main agency in the growth of
the church, and its efficiency is to grow in geometric ratio as the years
increase.

The great need of India today is the power of the Holy Spirit of God. His
people must bring themselves much more into subjection to his Spirit, that
they may, the more fully, be the vehicles of His grace to others and the
channel of His power in the land. The dangers of God’s Church are, and
will preëminently be, dangers from within rather than from without. It is
Hinduism, godlessness and sin within which must be fought with an eternal
vigilance and an uncompromising hostility. And for this a larger baptism
will mean a mighty fire of God kindled in the whole Church such as will
burn all its dross and consume all opposition. And then shall we speedily
witness the great desire of our heart—a happy, prosperous India, because
it will be Emmanuel’s land—a part of the great Fold of Christ.

This consummation is as sure as God’s own promises, for, in all his work,
the missionary is not only encouraged by results achieved and by
assurances given, but also by the double promise of God. First he has the
promise of the Father to the Son:

“Ask of me and I will give to thee the heathen for thine inheritance and
the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.” The Son _has_ asked
and is seeking the possession of the earth; and in the confidence of his
assurance he exclaims, “All authority is given unto me in heaven and in
earth.” And, to his waiting disciples, he adds, “Go ye therefore and make
disciples of all nations.” And with this all-embracing command he coupled
the all-satisfying promise, “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end
of the world.” Amen.



INDEX.


Administration, Mission, 264-286

Advaitha, 82

Agency employed by Hinduism and Christianity, 89

Agents, Mission, 304

Aims of the Two Faiths, 87

American Effort in India, 179, 329

American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, 180

American Push, 187

Amir Ali Sahib, 345

Anglo-Saxon Effort in India, 172

Appliances, Missionary, 300

Army, The, 44

Aryans, 15, 289, 316

Arya Somaj, 313, 315, 349, 351

Asceticism of Hindus, 120

“Asia and Europe,” 335

Atchison, Sir Charles, 191

Australian Effort, 177

Avatar, 79

Banerjee, Kali Churn, 295, 316

Banerjee, Dr. K. M., 316

Banerjee, Surendra Nath, 51

Baptism—shall it be administered immediately upon confession? 290

Baptism—shall it be administered secretly? 291

Baptism—shall ladies administer? 292

Baptists, American, 292, 309

Barth, 69, 82, 94

Basil Mission, 285

Benevolence of Native Christians, 225

Besant, Mrs. Annie, 344

Bhagavada Gita, 96, 124

Bhakti, Doctrine of, 76

Bible—Influence of, 90

Bible, Translated, 178, 301

Bowen, Rev. George, 202

Brâhm, 84

Brahmo Somaj, 349

Buddha, The, 59

Buddhism, 54

Burma, 181

Canadian Effort, 188

Carey, William, 173

Caste, 26-107, 124

Caste and Government, 340

Caste in the Church, 131, 171, 270, 271

Ceremonialism, 121, 122

Chaitanya, 65

Character of Native Christians, 320

Child Marriages, 25, 154

Christian Community, The, 307

Christian Science, 293

Christian Schools, 354

Christianity and Hinduism Contrasted, 80

Chunder Sen, 150

Church Missionary Society, 174

Clarke, Dr. W. N., 267

Climates of India, 14

Comparison of present and past Methods of Work, 188

Comparative Religion, 209

Contrast of the two Faiths, 88

Contrast of the two Races, 46

Converts—from what Social Strata? 315

Coöperation among Missions, 238

Coronation Address of Indian Christians, 86

Credentials of Hinduism and Christianity, 183

Danish, 173

Demonolatry, 63

Denmark, 168

Direction of Missions, 234

Discipling the Nations, 266

Dress and Food of the Missionary, 199

Du Bois, The Abbe, 200, 201

Dravidians, 15

Drink Evil, The, 42

Duff, Alexander, 175

Dutch, 178

Dutt, Toru, 322

East and West, 297

East India Company, 176, 180, 360

Eastern Thought, 141

Economic Conditions, 18

Economic Problems, 282

Educated Classes and Christ, 357

Educated Classes and Western Thought, 353, 356

Education, 27, 193, 248, 277, 280

Education of Christians, its Extent, 281

Emancipation of Woman, 159

English Missions, 175

Eschatology, 75

Ethnic Faith, 109

European Effort in India, 178

Evangelistic Department, 242

Evolution, 264

Exclusive Spirit of Christianity, 108

Faith Missions, 231

“Failure of Missions,” 298

Fairbairn, Dr., 121

Family Life, 24

Famine, 21

Fatalism, 122

Frederick IV, King, 168

Gautama, 59

God, Doctrine of, 81

Goreh, Miss, 322

Government, The Educational Department of, 278

Government of India, 37

Government Service, 34

Grain of India, 15

Hall, Stanley President, 281

Haskell-Barrows Lectureship, 186

Harris, Lord, 187

Harrison, Ex-President Benjamin, 323

Heavens and Hells of Hinduism, 88

Hindu Character, 125, 128

Hindu Joint Family System, 24, 133

Hinduism, 62

Hinduism Conservative, 107

Hinduism an Ethnic Faith, 109

Hinduism—is it Tolerant? 310

Hinduism Transformed, 341

History of Christianity in India, 163

Hopkins, 69

Humility necessary to the Missionary, 213

Hymnology of India, 302

Ideals of the Two Faiths, 101

Ideals of the Hindu, 118

Incarnation, 72, 94

Independent Work of Indian Christians, 326

Individualism in Missions, 236

Industrial Mission, 179

Industrial Problems, 282

Infanticide, 158

Influence of Woman in India, 148

Inter-caste Marriages, 274

Irrigation Schemes, 22

Islam, The New, 345

Jaffna Mission, 182

Jones, Sir William, 82

Jordanus, 166

Judaism, 55

Judson, Adoniram, 181

Kali, 66

Kalki Avatar, 78

Karma, 92

Kipling, Rudyard, 212

Languages, 16

Last Commission of our Lord, 265

Laws of India Changed, 337

Leaven of Christianity, 332

Leipzig Lutheran Mission, 178

Length of Missionary Service, 203

Lex talionis, 111

Life of the Missionary, 197

Literacy, 27

Literary Work, 252

Literature, Christian, 301

London Missionary Society, 174

Love—a Missionary Qualification, 213

Lyall, Sir Alfred, 63

Macedonian Cry, 219

Mackensie, Sir Alexander, 320

Madras Native Christian Association, 324

Madura Mission, 182, 325

Magna Charta of Missions, 180

Mahabarata, 144

Mahratta Mission, 181

Man, Doctrines concerning, 85

Manu, Code, 108

Marriage among Hindus, 156

Martyn, Henry, 174

Mass Movements, 308, 346

Matheson, Dr., 70

McKinley, President, 336

Medical Work, 255

Metempsychosis, 97

Methodist, American, 184, 309

Miller, Dr. William, 299, 355

Mills, Samuel, 179

Mission Administration, 286

Mission Agents, 304

Mission of Great Britain in India, 45

Mission Enterprise as a Christian Principle, 230

Mission Schools, 29, 277

Missionary, The, 193

Missionary and the Mission, 222

Missionary and Missionary Societies, 219

Missionary Appliances, 300

Missionary’s Attitude towards the Non-Christian World, 215

Missionary as an Organizer, 224

Missionary Organization, 228

Missionary Results, 298

Missionary Societies, 228

Missionary Success—What is it? 298

Mohammedanism, 56, 345

Moral Standards of Christianity and Hinduism, 110

Morality and Piety, 135

Motive of Missionary, 215, 265

Motives of Christian Converts, 312

Mozumdar, Protab, 350

Muir, Sir W., 191

Müller, Max, 67

Multiplication of Missionary Activities, 284

National Congress, 34

Native Christian, 126

Native Christian Character, 130

Native Christian Community, 307, 318

Native Christian Women, 320

Native Church and Evangelism, 244

Native Officials—Their Attitude Towards Mission Schools, 279

Native States, 39

Neo-Hinduism, 344

Newcastle, Bishop of, 330

New Converts, 288

New Religious Movements in India, 348

Obscenity in the East, 126, 340

Offerings of Native Christians, 325

Opium Traffic, 42

Organic Structure of a Mission, 240

Organizations of the Native Church, 259

Oriental Christianity, 296

Origin of Hinduism, 70

Pantænus, 164

Parseeism, 57

Passive Virtues of India, 127

Pastoral Work in Missions, 245

Path of Works, 121

Patience, an Equipment of the Missionary, 212

“Patriot, The Christian,” 325

Pax Britanica, 44

People of India, 15

Persecution, 309, 315

Pessimism of Hinduism, 89

Physical Features of India, 13

Physical Fitness of the Missionary, 194

Plato, 90

Plutscho, 167

Political Condition of India, 31

Polygamous Converts, 288

Poverty of Christians, 312

Poverty of the Land, 19

Prakriti, 85

Prartanei Somaj, 349

Preaching to the Heathen—Its Character, 245

Prepossessions of a Hindu, 116

Presbyterian Mission, 182

Problems, Missionary, 263

Problems Concerning New Converts, 288

Products of Christianity and Hinduism, 114

Profanity, East and West, 126

Progressive Spirit of Christianity, 108

Property of Missions in India, 300

Protestant Christian Effort, 166

Provincial Governments, 39

Puranas, 94, 105, 343

Railroads in India, 22

Ramabai, Pandita, 321, 327

Ramanuja, 66

Reactionary Spirit in India, 293, 295

Religions of India, 54

Religious Instruction in Mission Schools, 280

Religious Mendicancy, 20, 120

Religious Toleration, 54, 109

Rest and Recreation for Missionaries, 195

Results, Missionary, 298, 332

Revival of Thought in India, 293

Right of the Christian Church to Send Missionaries, 264

Rivers of India, 14

Robert de Nobilibur, 167

Robson, Dr., 72, 344

Roman Catholic Effort in India, 165

Roman Catholics and Caste, 271

Rural People, Hindus a, 18

Saivism, 64

Sakti Worship, 66

Salvation Army, 176, 200

Sanskrit, 16

Sattianathan, Mrs., 323

Schools for Christian Children, 249

Schools for Non-Christians, 248

Schools, Mission, 303

Schultze, 169

Schwartz, 170

Scottish Missions, 175

Self-Extension of the Native Church, 260

Self-Government of the Native Church, 32, 259

Self-Support of the Native Church, 261, 274

Sell, Dr. E., 345

Serampore, 173

Shanars, 308

Sherring, Rev., 171

Sikhism, 61

Sin, Hindu and Christian Conception of, 89

Singh, Sir Harnam, 317

Sita, 145

Slater, Rev. G. T. E., 357

Social Life in India, 23, 26

Sorabjis, The, 322

Soul, Doctrine of, 86

S. P. C. K., 170

S. P. G., 172

“Spirit of Islam,” 345

Spirituality of Hinduism, 74

Spiritual Qualifications of the Missionary, 210

Statistics, Religious, 55

Strachey, Sir John, 159

Study of Christian Missions, 267

Supreme Soul, 86

Survival of the Fittest, 264

Syrian Church of Malabar, 165

Tamil Bible, 178

Tantras, 105, 343

Taxation in India, 40

Telegu Baptist Mission, 309

Theological Seminaries, 244

Theology of the Missionary, 205

Theosophy, 293

Thoburn, Bishop, 185, 206, 277, 309

Thomas, St., 163

Tinnevelly Mission, 308

Toleration, Religious, 310

Townsend, Meredith, 335

Training of the Missionary, 204

Tranquebar, 167

Triad, Hindu, 65

Turanians of South India, 316

Universe, Doctrine of the, 84

Vaishnava Sects, 65

Vaishnavism, 65

Vasco da Gama, 166

Vedantism, 67

Vernaculars of India and the Missionary, 208

Vicarious Atonement, 73

Webb, Rev. E., 302

Wifely Devotion, 145

Williams, Sir Monier, 85

Wilson, Dr., 176

Witness Bearing, 266

Women of India, 143, 147, 151, 320

Women of India, their Disabilities, 152

Women in Missionary Organization, 237

Work for Women, 256

Xavier, 166

Yesuthasan, 302

Yoga, 93, 119

Young, Work for the, 185, 257, 329

Young, Sir William Mackworth, 227

Ziegenbalg, 167



FOOTNOTES


    1 Some of these, doubtless, are only well-developed dialects. Many
      other, more imperfect, dialects might be added to this total.

    2 The extensive famines of the last few years have reduced this
      increase to two and one half per cent. during the last decade.

    3 This subject is treated more fully in later chapters.

    4 The rupee is at present one-third of a dollar.

    5 Nearly all these Buddhists live in Burma which is included in these
      statistics because it is now politically a part of India.

    6 According to the census of 1901 there were 2,923,349 Christians.

    7 “The Religions of India,” p. 562.

    8 “The Religions of India,” p. 288.

    9 “The Religions of India,” page 83.

   10 Sir John Strachey’s “India,” page 311.

   11 I speak vaguely because it is hard to definitely declare what a
      missionary society is.

   12 The returns for Congregationalists do not include the members of the
      London Missionary Society Missions,—these being, apparently,
      included among the “Scattering.”

   13 See Toronto Convention Report of Student Volunteer Movement, p. 378.

   14 Hinduism and Christianity, page 248.

   15 See Dr. Sell’s article, “The New Islam,” in _Contemporary Review_,
      August, 1893.

   16 “The Higher Hinduism in Relation to Christianity,” page 291. This
      valuable book has only just been published after my manuscript was
      written.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "India's Problem, Krishna or Christ" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home