In 1837, Sir Peregrine Maltland (1777-1854), Commander-in-Chief of the Madras Army, resigned his position rather than salute a Hindu religious idol. This caused a great uproar in England. The Army command, led by the Duke of Wellinton, condemned Maltland. The Parliament, however, put great pressure on the East India Company to fully execute the provisions of the 1833 Charter which eliminated support of the Hindu religious festivals.
In 1838, in Benaras, Reverend Robert C. Mather (1808-1877) of the London Missionary Society initiated the publication of The Friend of India, a periodical intended for the needs of Indian Christians. During the same time, Dr. Archibald Ramsey established the first medical mission of the London Missionary Society at Nagercoil in South India. To accompany his work, the Society also built a local hospital. The mission perceived that while serving as a healer, the "message" received a more sympathetic hearing. The British missionaries in India had left no stone unturned to spread missionary and religious activities in a uniform manner.
In 1843, in Madras, Mrs. Braidwood of the Free Church of Scotland initiated a kindergarten school for Indian girls. At age twelve or thirteen, they were encouraged to undergo baptism. These measures were unique to the Madras Presidency.
In 1845, Reverend Stephen Hislop (1817-1863), a missionary of the Free Church of Scotland, arrived at Nagpur in Central India to establish a mission and a school. In a hotbed of Hindu belief, this represented the first entry of Christian missionary efforts.
On 1st October 1846, in Madras, a gathering of prominent Hindus formed the Madras Hindu Association. This pressure group perceived the Company to be practicing levels of civil and religious bias toward the Hindus and their religion. They prepared a list of grievances which was sent to the Company's Court of Directors in London.
On 8th October 1847, Ret. Reverend Daniel Wilson, Bishop of Calcutta, consecrated the new St. Paul's Cathedral in Calcutta. For a time, the Cathedral held services for both Bengali and English Christians. Later St Mary's was built for the Bengali congregation.
In 1848, Reverend Karl Gottlieb Pfander (1803-1865) established The Tract and Book Society in Agra for the purpose of supplying religious publications in English, Urdu and Hindi in the Northwestern Provinces and Punjab. Sir William Muir (1819-1905), Lieutenant-Governor of the Northwestern Provinces, served as President of the Society for the next twenty years. The third phase of religion and missionary activities of British to India had already turned fluid, with united efforts of the English and 'heathens'.
On 11th April, the Government of India passed an act establishing the liberty of conscience in Bengal. The law protected both Hindu and Muslim converts to Christianity from losing their rights of inheritance. In 1850, the provisions of this law were extended to all of India.
In 1849, John Muir (1810-1862) published his An Essay on Conciliation. An Orientalist scholar and an Evangelical, Muir pointed to the Apostle Paul's suggestion of adopting a conciliating attitude. Hence, Muir suggested the same approach in the examination of Oriental character in the missionary judgement of Hinduism. Hinduism was no longer the 'only' religion which captured interest of natives; they had started to obtain interest in British religious and missionary activities, evident from the third phase initiatives.
In 1850, in Almora, John H. Budden (d. 1890) created an asylum of lepers. Perhaps because of its close confines, it proved a rich area for conversion as nearly every occupant were reported to be Christians by 1895. Also in the same year, the passage of the Caste Disabilities Act apparently secured the civil rights throughout all of India for those Indians who had converted to Christianity. It also provided for the right to inherit ancestral property.
In 1851, in Calcutta, a group of over three hundred high-caste Hindus met to consider rules for the re-admission to Hinduism of Indian Christians. In south India, the Hindus organised the Society for Diffusing the Philosophy of the Four Vedas. The Society also carried out mock Christian services and generally abused Christianity.
In the same year, the Decennial Missionary Tables recorded 91,092 registered Protestant Indians Christians, of whom 14,661 were communicants. During that time, twenty-one Indian ministers had received ordination. The English effort to spread Christianity through missionary and religious activities had touched an overwhelming count.
In 1852, following the termination of the Second Burma War, British Burma became a part of the Diocese of Calcutta. The British East India Company initiated the placement of chaplains in Burma. Later, in 1859, the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel initiated missionary work at Moulmein.
In 1852, on the eve of the Company's Charter renewal, the Bombay and Calcutta missionaries petitioned Parliament regarding the traffic of opium within India and its trade with China. The concern possessed a divisive factor as the missionary confronted the roles of evangelist and social reformer.
In 1853, C. C. Leith established a mission hospital at Neyyor in south India. Operating under the auspices of the London Missionary Society, it grew to be the biggest Christian hospital in India. During this period, Reverend John Fordyce and Dr. Thomas Smith (1817-1906) of the Free Church of Scotland originated and pushed through the practice of zenana (refers to the part of a house in South Asian countries like India and Pakistan, reserved for the women of the household. The Zenana is an apartment of an Eastern house, in which women of the family are secluded. This is an Islamic custom) teaching for India's women. Thus, English women missionaries began to travel to individual homes to meet with small gatherings of Indian women to educate and evangelise. The participation of women in spreading religious and missionary activities was quite a surprise to the British in India, which was to become much clearer later.
In 1854, Bishop Anastasius Hartman (1803-1866), Swiss by birth, received appointment as the chief representative of the Roman Catholic Church in India. The Government of India recognised by this appointment that many Indian Christians were Catholics due to earlier Portuguese influence and that great numbers of Irish Catholic soldiers were stationed in India.
Within the days of 10th to 11th April, in Agra, Karl Pfander met in debate of Christian and Islamic doctrines the Muslims, Rahmat Allah and Dr. Wazir Khan. They discussed five subjects, comprising abrogation, corruption of Biblical text, the Trinity, the prophethood of Muhammad and the Koran. Both sides claimed victory.
In February 1856, the Government of India ceased all financial or other aspects of support to the conduct of Hindu religious festivals such as held at Jagannath, Allahabad, and Gaya. This measure came after many years of lobbying by the Baptist Missionary Society and the Church Missionary Society.
In 1857, with the outbreak of the Sepoy Mutiny, Indian Christians generally rallied to the aid of the British. In central and south India, Christian Indians offered their services as soldiers to the British. Of the four hundred missionaries in India, thirty-seven died as a consequence of the Mutiny. In the following year, Queen Victoria's Proclamation called for the practice of religious tolerance by Christians, Hindus and Muslims. This was indeed a witty move by Her Highness back in England; it immensely helped the spreading of British religious and missionary activities to the Indian cult population.
In 1858, in Parliament, Lord Ellenborough (1790-1871) charged Lord Canning (1812-1862) with subscribing to the missions. In consequence, this stood as a causal factor for the Sepoy Mutiny.
In 1858, with the passage of the governance of India from the British East India Company to the Crown, official religious policy of the Government of India struck a neutral tone with Christian missions conducted on a voluntary basis. By this date, translations of the Bible appeared in ten Indian languages with translations of the New Testament available in four additional languages. This work emanated from the many different American and British missionary societies working together in relative harmony. The year also witnessed Max Muller (1823-1900) providing in his translation of the Rig Veda and later in his editorial production of The Sacred Books of the East, a knowledge of the non-Christian religions for the missionaries. He believed that missionaries should attain a maturity of thought and an understanding of other religions coming into contact with Christianity.
Within the period of 1867 to 1876, Rt. Reverend Robert Milman (1816-1876), Bishop of Calcutta, practiced the eastward position of the altar in celebrating communion, stirring great evangelical opposition. The latter viewed this as associated with the doctrine of Eucharistic sacrifice. The Evangelicals similarly objected to the placement of the cross and lighted candles on the altar. Milman's use of Hymns Ancient and Modern (1842), considered as a High Church hymnal, also created objections. These stray incidents were not to hamper in the way of British spreading of religious and missionary activities. It had already achieved a way out.
In 1874, Parliament passed the Colonial Clergy Act, which empowered the Metropolitan of India to consecrate bishops in India. This importantly replaced the awkwardness of the availability of consecration only in England and the delay that caused.
1875 witnessed the rise of the Arya Samaj, a Hindu revival organisation. The Samaj began to aggressively challenge the Christian missions in northern India. Its treatises vigorously attacked Christianity. The Society denounced ideals and asserted that all knowledge resided in the Vedas, or Hindu religious works. During the same year, the Society of St. John the Evangelist, also known as the Cowley Fathers, was established in the Bombay Presidency.
Within the period of 1876 to 1877, in the course of a considerable famine in South India, the London Missionary Society and other missions became active in the care of orphans. Also as possible, they distributed relief from a fund of 10,665 pounds, collected by friends of the Society. British missionaries had retained a certain level of honesty when it came to spreading of Christianity by the religious bunch.
In February 1876, in Cambridge, Reverend Edward H. Bickersteth (1825-1906) and Reverend Thomas Valpy French (1825-1891) developed the concept of developing a missionary brotherhood in Delhi. As founded, the Brotherhood consisted of six members, which included Bickersteth who served as its head. In December 1877, the Brotherhood arrived at Delhi and began its work. As the group's membership retained an evangelical background, its tenets reflected the elements of personal devotion, sense of duty and an evangelical spirit.
In 1877, due to the size of the Diocese of Calcutta, the Diocese of Lahore split off to form its own centre. The bishopric included Delhi, Punjab, Sind, Baluchistan, the North-West Frontier, and Kashmir. Rt. Reverend Thomas Valpy French (1825-1891) was appointed as its first bishop.
In 1878, Monier Monier-Williams (1819-1899), an Oriental scholar, articulated in his Modern India and the Indians the concept of "fulfillment" in the religious sense. He believed that Hinduism would be fulfilled by the higher religion, Christianity. This notion became the primary source of the later missionary theory of fulfillment as expressed in India particularly, by John N. Farquhar (1861-1929) from 1909 onward. British religious and missionary activities had re-established their foothold in India, with Indians joining in whole-heartedly in the endeavour, once more.
On 2nd December 1880, the Oxford Mission arrived in Calcutta. Its central purpose embraced the education and the exposure of the educated Indian classes to Christianity. Oxford Mission House formerly opened on January 6, 1881. The organisation later became known as the Oxford Missionary Brotherhood of the Epiphany and served under the general supervision of the Bishop of Calcutta. It supported mission publications to include Occasional Papers on Aspects of Christianity and a journal entitled the Epiphany.
In 1882, the Church Missionary Society accepted the offer of the Church of England's Zenana Society's offer to sent women to work in Indian villages under the former's auspices. In December of the same year, the Decennial Conference of Protestant Missionaries in India convened at Calcutta. The meeting was particularly noteworthy for the attendance for the first time of a significant group of women missionaries and a large contingent of American Episcopal Methodist missionaries. Prepared papers addressed such subjects as: Native Agency, Spiritual Life, the Native Church, Word Among the Aboriginal Tribes and Depressed Classes, Medical Missions, etc.
Within the period of 29th January to 1st February 1883, the Church of India called an Episcopal Synod, which met in Calcutta and was attended by nine Anglican bishops. The conference held to the position that all Christians of India belonged to one church.
In the mid-1880s, led by the thinking of the London Missionary Society, the independent evangelism of the educated Indian became a new missionary initiative. This more direct approach replaced, to an extent, the thrust of Christian higher education as a vehicle of conversion. Forced conversion, in fact, was never the intention of British religious and missionary activists to India; it amounted to almost a heinous crime.
Within the period of 1887 to 1889, William S. Caine (1842-1903), Member of Parliament and President of the British Temperance League and the National Temperance Federation, made a tour of India with the purpose of temperance reform. On July 24 1888, he helped in the formation of the Anglo-Indian Temperance Association and served as its Honourary Secretary. In 1889-90, Caine made a second Indian tour regarding this reform.
In 1887, in the Madras Presidency, English missionaries began to receive competition from a reinvigorated Hindu movement. The Hindu Tract Society initiated the printing and distribution of treatises attacking Christian tenets, The Bible, and the provision of education. The Hindus further started their own preaching tours. The participation of Hindus in the mammoth task of spreading of religious and missionary activities was overwhelming news to the British residing in India.
In 1889, in south India, the principal missionary publication, The Harvest Field, devoted considerable space to the publication of articles supporting the evangelisation of the educated Indian. It began publication in 1889 and in 1914 became the official organ of the National Missionary Council.
On 20th January of the same year, the High Court of Calcutta reversed the obligation of a magistrate, regarding the return of a child less than fourteen years of age to its parents. The decision permitted converts to remain at the mission quarters or to reside in the homes of other converts.
In the months of 1890s, the Christian missions began to face the challenge of a revived Hinduism as represented by the Arya Samaj and the impact of ideas emanating from the Theosophical Society. From approximately this date, i.e. 1890s, a revivalist mission movement in India emerged from roots in the Keswick Convention. In India its chief spokesperson was Reverend Thomas Walker (d.1912). The movement influenced mostly those Indians who were already Christians. The bunch that had already converted themselves to Christianity can solely be credited to the British religious missionaries and activists, working day and night to be accepted as a part of 'Indians'.
In March 1891, the Government of India passed the Age of Consent Act, which raised the age from ten to twelve at which an Indian girl could marry. While many influences evoked this legislation, the information contributed by the women medical missionaries on premature sexual intercourse held considerable weight and value.
From the beginning of 1892 to the turn of the century, the missionaries, particularly in south India, led an anti-Nautch Movement. The opposition to temple dancing girls also regarded their close association with prostitution. The protest spread to other parts of India but failed to create either political controversy or legislation.
Within the extensive period of 1897 to 1899, the Zenana Bible and Medical Mission stepped forward with other missionary groups to provide significant assistance in western India which was suffering from famine and the plague. Of particular missionary focus were widows and children. British missionary and religious activities in the third phase in Indian soil had advanced to such a stage, from where there could no turning back. Positive effects had already started to manifest themselves.
In 1897, missionaries from America, Britain and Europe joined in the formation of the Indian Missionary Society. Its efforts focused mainly on evangelistic work among the masses of untouchables in south India. Its cooperative efforts led to the formation of the National Missionary Council in 1914.
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