CAREY AS AN EDUCATOR—THE FIRST CHRISTIAN COLLEGE
IN THE EAST.
A college the fourth and perfecting corner-stone of the mission—Carey on the importance of English in 1800—Anticipates Duff’s policy of undermining Brahmanism—New educational era begun by the charter of 1813 and Lord Hastings—Plan of the Serampore College in 1818—Anticipates the Anglo-Orientalism of the Punjab University—The building described by John Marshman—Bishop Middleton follows—The Scottish Free Church and other colleges—Action of the Danish Government—The royal charter—Visit of Maharaja Serfojee—Death of Ward, Charles Grant, and Bentley—Bishop Heber and his catholic letter—Dr. Carey’s reply—Progress of the college—Cause of its foundation—The college directly and essentially a missionary undertaking—Action of the Brotherhood from the first vindicated—Carey appeals to posterity—The college and the systematic study of English—Carey author of the Grant in Aid system—Economy in administering missions—The Serampore Mission has eighteen stations and fifty missionaries of all kinds—Subsequent history of the Serampore College.
The first act of Carey and Marshman when their Committee took up a position of hostility to their self-denying independence, was to complete and perpetuate the mission by a college. As planned by Carey in 1793, the constitution had founded the enterprise on these three corner-stones—preaching the Gospel in the mother tongue of the people, translating the Bible into all the languages of Southern and Eastern Asia, teaching the young, both heathen and Christian, both boys and girls, in vernacular schools. But Carey had not been
LIFE OF WILLIAM CAREY.
a year in Serampore when, having built well on all three, he began to see that a fourth must be laid some day in the shape of a college. He and his colleagues had founded and supervised by the year 1818, no fewer than 126 native schools, containing some 10,000 boys, of whom more than 7000 were in and around Serampore. His work among the pundit class, both in Serampore and in the college of Fort William, and the facilities in the mission-house for training natives, Eurasians, and the missionaries’ sons to be preachers, translators, and teachers, seemed to meet the immediate want. But as the mission in all its forms grew every year and the experience of its leaders developed, the necessity of creating a college staff in a building adapted to the purpose became more urgent. Only thus could the otherwise educated natives be reached, and the Brahmanical class especially be permanently influenced. Only thus could a theological institute be satisfactorily conducted to feed the native Church.
On 10th October 1800 the missionaries had thus written home:—“There appears to be a favourable change in the general temper of the people. Commerce has roused new thoughts and awakened new energies; so that hundreds, if we could skilfully teach them gratis, would crowd to learn the English language. We hope this may be in our power some time, and may be a happy means of diffusing the gospel. At present our hands are quite full." A month after that Carey wrote to Fuller:— “I have long thought whether it would not be desirable for us to set up a school to teach the natives English. I doubt not but a thousand scholars would come. I do not say this because I think it an object to teach them the English tongue; but, query, is not the universal inclination of the Bengalees to learn English a favourable circumstance which may be improved to valuable ends? I only hesitate at the expense." Thirty years after Duff reasoned in the same way, after consulting Carey, and acted at once in Calcutta.
EDUCATIONAL EVANGELISING OF INDIA FIRST STATED.
By 1816, when, on 25th June, Carey wrote a letter, for his colleagues and himself, to the Board of the American Baptist General Convention, the great idea, destined slowly to revolutionise not only India, but China, Japan, and the farther East, had taken this form—
"We know not what your immediate expectations are relative to the Burman empire, but we hope your views are not confined to the immediate conversion of the natives by the preaching of the Word. Could a church of converted natives be obtained at Rangoon, it might exist for a while, and be scattered, or perish for want of additions. From all we have seen hitherto we are ready to think that the dispensations of Providence point to labours that may operate, indeed, more slowly on the population, but more effectually in the end; as knowledge, once put into fermentation, will not only influence the part where it is first deposited, but leaven the whole lump. The slow progress of conversion in such a mode of teaching the natives may not be so encouraging, and may require, in all, more faith and patience; but it appears to have been the process of things, in the progress of the Reformation, during the reigns of Henry, Edward, Elizabeth, James, and Charles. And should the work of evangelising India be thus slow and silently progressive, which, however, considering the age of the world, is not perhaps very likely, still the grand result will amply recompense us, and you, for all our toils. We are sure to take the fortress, if we can but persuade ourselves to sit down long enough before it. 'We shall reap if we faint not.'
"And then, very dear brethren, when it shall be said of the seat of our labours, the infamous swinging-post is no longer erected; the widow burns no more on the funeral pile; the obscene dances and songs are seen and heard no more; the gods are thrown to the moles and to the bats, and Jesus is known as the God of the whole land; the poor
LIFE OF WILLIAM CAREY.
Hindoo goes no more to the Ganges to be washed from his filthiness, but to the fountain opened for sin and uncleanness; the temples are forsaken; the crowds say, ‘Let us go up to the house of the Lord, and He shall teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His statutes;’ the anxious Hindoos no more consume their property, their strength, and their lives, in vain pilgrimages, but they come at once to Him who can save to 'the uttermost'; the sick and the dying are no more dragged to the Ganges, but look to the Lamb of God, and commit their souls into His faithful hands; the children, no more sacrificed to idols, are become 'the seed of the Lord, that He may be glorified;' the public morals are improved; the language of Canaan is learnt; benevolent societies are formed; civilisation and salvation walk arm in arm together; the desert blossoms; the earth yields her increase; angels and glorified spirits hover with joy over India, and carry ten thousand messages of love from the Lamb in the midst of the throne; and redeemed souls from the different villages, towns, and cities of this immense country, constantly add to the number, and swell the chorus of the redeemed, 'Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, unto Him be the glory;'—when this grand result of the labours of God's servants in India shall be realised, shall we then think that we have laboured in vain, and spent our strength for nought? Surely not. Well, the decree is gone forth! 'My word shall prosper in the thing whereunto I sent it.'"
India was being prepared for the new missionary policy. On what we may call its literary side Carey had been long busy. On its more strictly educational side, the charter of 1813 had conceded what had been demanded in vain by a too feeble public opinion in the charter of 1793. A clause was inserted at the last moment declaring that a sum of not less than a lakh of rupees (or ten thousand pounds) a year
SEREMPORE COLLEGE REJECTED.
was to be set apart from the surplus revenues, and applied to the revival and improvement of literature and the encouragement of the learned natives of India, and for the introduction and promotion of a knowledge of the sciences among the inhabitants of the British territories there. The clause was prompted by an Anglo-Indian of oriental tastes, who hoped that the Brahman and his Veda might thus be made too strong for the Christian missionary and the Bible as at last tolerated under the 13th Resolution. For this reason, and because the money was to be paid only out of any surplus, the directors and their friends offered no opposition. For the quarter of a century the grant was given, and was applied in the spirit of its proposer. But the scandals of its application became such that it was made legally by Bentinck and Macaulay, and practically by Duff, the fountain of a river of knowledge and life which is now flooding the East.
The first result of the liberalism of the charter of 1813 and the generous views of Lord Hastings was the establishment in Calcutta by the Hindoos themselves, under the influence of English secularists, of the Hindoo, now the Presidency College. Carey and Marshman were not in Calcutta, otherwise they must have realised even then what they left to Duff to act on fourteen years after—the importance of English not only as an educating but as a Christianising instrument. But though not so well adapted to the immediate need of the reformation which they had begun, and though not applied to the very heart of Bengal in Calcutta, the prospectus of their "College for the Instruction of Asiatic, Christian, and Other Youth in Eastern Literature and European Science," which they published on the 15th July 1818, sketched a more perfect and complete system than any since attempted, if we except John Wilson’s almost unsupported effort in Bombay. It embraced the classical or
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learned languages of the Hindoos and Mohammedans, Sanskrit and Arabic; the English language and literature, to enable the senior students "to dive into the deepest recesses of European science, and enrich their own language with its choicest treasures;" the preparation of manuals of science, philosophy, and history in the learned and vernacular languages of the East; a normal department to train native teachers and professors; as the crown of all, a theological institute to equip the Eurasian and native Christian students, by a quite unsectarian course of study, in apologetics, exegetics, and the Bible languages, to be missionaries to the Brahmanical classes. While the Government and the Scottish missionaries have in the university and grant in aid systems since followed too exclusively the English line, happily supplanting the extreme Orientalists, it is the glory of the Serampore Brotherhood that they sought to apply both the Oriental and the European, the one as the form, the other as the substance, so as to evangelise and civilise the people through their mother tongue. They were the Vernacularists in the famous controversy between the Orientalists and the Anglicists raised by Duff. In 1867 the present writer1 in vain attempted to induce the University of Calcutta to follow them in this. It was left to Sir Charles Aitchison, when he wielded the power and the influence of the Lieutenant-Governor, to do in 1882 what the Serampore College would have accomplished had its founders been young instead of old men.
Lord Hastings and even Sir John Malcolm took a personal interest in the Serampore College. The latter, who had visited the missionaries since his timid evidence before the House of Lords in 1813, wrote to them: "I wish I could be certain that your successors in the serious task you propose would have as much experience as you and your
NOBLE PROPORTIONS OF THE COLLEGE BUILDING.
fellow-labourers at Serampore—that they would walk, not run, in the same path—I would not then have to state one reserve." His Excellency the Governor-General "interrupted pressing avocations" to criticise both the architectural plan of the building and the phraseology of the draft of the first report, and his suggestions were followed. Adopting one of the Grecian orders as most suitable to a tropical climate, the Danish Governor’s colleague, Major Wickedie, planned the noble Ionic building which was then, and is still, the finest edifice of the kind in British India. Mr. John Marshman’s architectural description is authoritative, and it is within the truth.
"The centre building, intended for the public rooms, was a hundred and thirty feet in length, and a hundred and twenty in depth. The hall on the ground floor, supported on arches, and terminated at the south by a bow, was ninety-five feet in length, sixty-six in breadth, and twenty in height. It was originally intended for the library, but is now occupied by the classes. The hall above, of the same dimensions and twenty-six feet in height, was supported by two rows of Ionic columns; it was intended for the annual examinations. Of the twelve side-rooms above and below, eight were of spacious dimensions, twenty-seven feet by thirty-five. The portico which fronted the river was composed of six columns, more than four feet in diameter at the base. The staircase-room was ninety feet in length, twenty-seven in width, and forty-seven in height, with two staircases of cast-iron, of large size and elegant form, prepared at Birmingham. The spacious grounds were surrounded with iron railing, and the front entrance was adorned with a noble gate, likewise cast at Birmingham...
"The scale on which it was proposed to establish the college, and to which the size of the building was necessarily accommodated, corresponded with the breadth of all the other enterprises of the Serampore missionaries,—the mission, the translations, and the schools. While Mr. Ward was engaged in making collections for the support of the institution in England, he wrote to his brethren, 'the buildings you must raise in India;' and they determined to respond to the call, and, if possible, to augment their donation from £2500 to £8000, and to make a vigorous effort to erect the buildings from their own funds. Neither the ungenerous suspicions, nor the charge
LIFE OF WILLIAM CAREY.
of unfaithfulness, with which their character was assailed in England, was allowed to slacken the prosecution of this plan. It was while their reputation was under an eclipse in England, and the benevolent hesitated to subscribe to the society, till they were assured that their donations would not be mixed up with the funds of the men at Serampore, that those men were engaged in erecting a noble edifice for the promotion of religion and knowledge, at their own cost, the expense of which eventually grew under their hands to the sum of £15,000. To the charge of endeavouring to alienate from the society premises of the value of £3000, their own gift, they replied by erecting a building at five times the cost, and vesting it in eleven trustees,—seven besides themselves. It was thus they vindicated the purity of their motives in their differences with the society, and endeavoured to silence the voice of calumny. They were the first who maintained that a college was an indispensable appendage to an Indian mission."
The first to follow Carey in this was Bishop Middleton, who raised funds to erect a chaste Gothic pile beside the Botanic Garden, since to him the time appeared "to have arrived when it is desirable that some missionary endeavours, at least, should have some connection with the Church establishment." That college no longer exists, in spite of the saintly scholarship of such Principals as Mill and Kay; the building is now utilised as a Government engineering college. But in Calcutta the Duff College, with the General Assembly’s Institution, the Cathedral Mission Divinity School, and the Bhowanipore Institution; in Bombay the Wilson College, in Madras the Christian College, in Nagpoor the Hislop College, in Agra St. John's College, in Lahore the Church Mission Divinity School, in Lucknow the Reid College, and others, bear witness to the fruitfulness of the Alma Mater of Serampore.
The Serampore College began with thirty-seven students, of whom nineteen were native Christians and the rest Hindoos. When the building was occupied in 1821 Carey wrote to his son:—"I pray that the blessing of God may attend it, and that it may be the means of preparing many
THE SERAMPORE COLLEGE
KING OF DENMARK GRANTS A CHARTER AND GIFTS.
for an important situation in the Church of God. . . . The King of Denmark has written letters signed with his own hand to Brothers Ward, Marshman, and myself, and has sent each of us a gold medal as a token of his approbation. He has also made over the house in which Major Wickedie resides, between Sarkies's house and ours, to us three in perpetuity for the college. Thus Divine generosity appears for us and supplies our expectations." The missionaries had declined the Order of the Dannebrog. When, in 1826, Dr. Marshman visited Europe, one of his first duties was to acknowledge this gift to Count Moltke, Danish Minister in London, and ancestor of the great strategist, and to ask for a royal charter. The Minister and Count Schulin, whose, wife had been a warm friend of Mrs. Carey, happened to be on board the steamer in which Dr. Marshman, accompanied by Christopher Anderson, sailed to Copenhagen. Raske, the Orientalist, who had visited Serampore, was in the University there. The vellum charter was prepared among them, empowering the College Council, consisting of the Governor of Serampore and the Brotherhood, to confer degrees like those of the Universities of Copenhagen and Kiel, but not carrying the rank in the State implied in Danish degrees unless with the sanction of the Crown. The King, in the audience which he gave, informed Dr. Marshman that, having in 1801 promised the mission protection, he had hitherto refused to transfer Serampore to the East India Company, since that would prevent him from keeping his word. When, in 1845, the Company purchased both Tranquebar and Serampore, it could be no longer dangerous to the Christian Mission, but the Treaty expressly provided that the College should retain all its powers, and its Christian character, under the Danish charter, which it does. It was thus the earliest degree-conferring college in Asia, but it has never exercised the power. Christian VIII., then the heir to the throne, showed particular interest in the Bible trans-
LIFE OF WILLIAM CAREY.
lation work of Carey. When, in 1884, the Evangelical Alliance held its session in Copenhagen and was received by Christian IX., it did well, by special resolution, to express the gratitude of Protestant Christendom to Denmark for such courageous and continued services to the first Christian mission from England to India.
The new College formed an additional attraction to visitors to the mission. One of these, in 1821, was the Maharaja Serfoje, the prince of Tanjore whom Schwartz had tended, but who was on pilgrimage to Benares. Hand in hand with Dr. Carey he walked through the missionary workshop, noticed specially the pundits who were busy with translation, and dilated with affectionate enthusiasm on the deeds and the character of the apostle of South India. In 1823 cholera suddenly cut off Mr. Ward in the midst of his labours. They year after that Charles Grant died, leaving a legacy to the mission. Almost his last act had been to write to Carey urging him to publish a reply to the attack of the Abbé Dubois on all Christian missions. Another friend was removed in J. Bentley, the scholar who put Hindoo astronomy in its right place. Bishop Heber began his too brief episcopate in 1824, when the college, strengthened by the abilities of the Edinburgh professor, John Mack, was accomplishing all that its founders had projected. The Bishop of all good Christian men never penned a grander production—not even his hymns—than this letter, called forth by a copy of the Report on the College sent to him by Dr. Marshman:—
"I have seldom felt more painfully than while reading your appeal on the subject of Serampore College, the unhappy divisions of those who are the servants of the same Great Master! Would to God, my honoured brethren, the time were arrived when not only in heart and hope, but visibly, we shall be one fold, as well as under one shepherd! In the meantime I have arrived, after some serious considerations, at the conclusion that I shall serve our great cause most
BISHOP HEBER AND CAREY.
effectually by doing all which I can for the rising institutions of those with whom my sentiments agree in all things, rather than by forwarding the labours of those from whom, in some important points, I am conscientiously constrained to differ. After all, why do we differ? Surely the leading points which keep us asunder are capable of explanation or of softening, and I am expressing myself in much sincerity of heart—(though, perhaps, according to the customs of the world, I am taking too great a freedom with men my superiors both in age and in talent), that I should think myself happy to be permitted to explain, to the best of my power, those objections which keep you and your brethren divided from that form of church government which I believe to have been instituted by the apostles, and that admission of infants to the Gospel Covenants which seem to me to be founded on the expressions and practice of Christ himself. If I were writing thus to worldly men I know I should expose myself to the imputation of excessive vanity or impertinent intrusion. But of you and Dr. Carey I am far from judging as of worldly men, and I therefore say that, if we are spared to have any future intercourse, it is my desire, if you permit, to discuss with both of you, in the spirit of meekness and conciliation, the points which now divide us, convinced that, if a reunion of our Churches could be effected, the harvest of the heathen would ere long be reaped, and the work of the Lord would advance among them with a celerity of which we have now no experience.
"I trust, at all events, you will take this hasty note as it is intended, and believe me, with much sincerity, your friend and servant in Christ, Reginald Calcutta.
"June 3, 1824."
This is how Carey reciprocated these sentiments, when writing to Dr. Ryland:—
"Serampore, July 6, 1824.
"I rejoice to say that there is the utmost harmony between all the ministers of all denominations. Bishop Heber is a man of liberal principles and catholic spirit. Soon after his arrival in the country he wrote me a very friendly letter, expressing his wish to maintain all the friendship with us which our respective circumstances would allow. I was then confined, but Brother Marshman called on him. As soon as
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I could walk without crutches I did the same, and had much free conversation with him. Some time after this he wrote us a very friendly letter, saying that it would highly gratify him to meet Brother Marshman and myself, and discuss in a friendly manner all the points of difference between himself and us, adding that there was every reason to expect much good from a calm and temperate discussion of these things, and that, if we could at any rate come so near to each other as to act together, he thought it would have a greater effect upon the spread of the gospel among the heathen than we could calculate upon. He was then just setting out on a visitation which will in all probability take a year. We however wrote him a reply accepting his proposal, and Brother Marshman expressed a wish that the discussion might be carried on by letter, to which in his reply he partly consented. I have such a disinclination to writing, and so little leisure for it, that I wished the discussion to be viva voce; it will however make little difference, and all I should have to say would be introduced into the letter."
"Brother Mack is an excellent man, and of great use in the mission. Brother Williamson is an exceedingly steady and useful man. He was educated at Edinburgh for the medical line, and went several voyages to Russia and other parts, and at last came to this country as the surgeon of a ship. Here he settled, and after his conversion joined in communion with us, and left that profession for the purpose of preaching to the heathen. He now speaks Bengali with fluency, and is very useful among our native brethren. Brother Fernandez baptized fiver persons a short time since, and expects to baptize six more. The churches among the Arakanese were broken up, or rather all the people driven from their habitations, by the war between us and the Burmans. They have all, with their families, through mercy, arrived safely at Chittagong, where they are with Brother
THE SEREMPORE COLLEGE AND MISSION.
Johannes. Brother Fink is here. We sent them 100 rupees, and our Christian friends (here) contributed 150 more, which have also been sent to help them under their present distress, as they have lost their all, and are nearly 300 persons, men, women, and children. A small detachment of our troops was cut off by a large body of Burmans at Ramoo, which place and Coxe’s Bazar, places where our brethren lived, have been taken possession by them.”
On the death of Mr. Ward and departure of Dr. Marshman, Mr. John Marshman was formally taken into the Brotherhood. He united with Dr. Carey in writing these letters to the Committee. They show the progress of the college and the mission from the first as one independent agency, and they close with Carey's appeal to the judgment of posterity.
"Serampore, Jan. 21, 1826.
Dear Brethren—Our colleague, Dr. Marshman, being about to visit his native land, after twenty-six years of active missionary service, we embrace this opportunity of soliciting your attention to the necessity of some arrangement respecting the stations connected with Serampore College; and as he is perfectly acquainted with our sentiments, and equally anxious with ourselves for the continuance of mutual harmony, we are enabled to leave the conclusion of any settlement in his hands with entire confidence.
"The missionary stations connected with us, and now associated with the college, amount to ten. It will be in your recollection that they have from the beginning been supported independently of subscriptions from Europe, and almost exclusively from the proceeds of our own labour. These stations, however, have been constantly identified with yours in all your applications for public support, and the majority of the subscribers to the Baptist Mission have been ignorant of the fact that we did not participate in the
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funds thus raised. We might, indeed, with strict equity, have claimed a share of support for them out of those donations, for they have in general out-numbered the other Indian stations; but, as we felt a particular pleasure in supporting them ourselves, we have never, till lately,1 made any solicitations to you on their behalf, which has left one-half of the stations in India in the entire enjoyment of those funds which were subscribed towards the maintenance of all. We have not, however, the most distant idea of censuring this arrangement, for we voluntarily allowed the claim of our stations to lie dormant; but, as we are now constrained to solicit public assistance for those stations, it appears requisite to state this circumstance, as the ground on which we make our primary application to you.
"About seven years ago we felt convinced of the necessity of erecting a College for native Christian youth, in order to consolidate our plans for the spread of gospel truth in India; and, as we despaired of being able to raise from public subscriptions a sum equal to the expense of the buildings, we determined to erect them from our own private funds. Up to the present date they have cost us nearly £14,000, and the completion of them will require a further sum of about £5000, which if we are not enabled to advance from our own purse, the undertaking must remain incomplete. With this burden upon our private funds we find it impossible any longer to meet, to the same extent as formerly, the demands of our out-stations. The time is now arrived when they must cease to be wholly dependent on the private donations of three individuals, and must be placed on the strength of public contributions. As two out of three of the members of our body are now beyond the age of fifty-seven, it becomes our duty to place them on a more permanent footing, as it re-
1"A request was made in 1819 to the Committee for £1500 annually during three years, while we were erecting the College buildings at our own expense; which request was declined owing to want of funds."
A DIVINITY FACULTY.
gards their management, their support, and their increase. We have therefore associated with ourselves, in the superintendence of them, the Rev. Messrs. Mack and Swan, the two present professors of the college, with the view of eventually leaving them entirely in the hands of the body of professors, of whom the constitution of the college provides that there shall be an unbroken succession.
"To secure an increase of missionaries in European habits we have formed a class of theological students in the college, under the Divinity Professor. It contains at present six promising youths, of whose piety we have in some cases undoubted evidence, in others considerable ground for hope. The class will shortly be increased to twelve, but none will be continued in it who do not manifest undeniable piety and devotedness to the cause of missions. As we propose to allow each student to remain on an average four years, we may calculate upon the acquisition of two, and perhaps three, additional labourers annually, who will be eminently fitted for active service in the cause of missions by their natural familiarity with the language and their acquisitions at college. This arrangement will, we trust, secure the speedy accomplishment of the plan we have long cherished, that of placing one missionary in each province in Bengal, and eventually, if means be afforded, in Hindostan.
"It will strike you at once that such a plan, for the permanence and increased efficiency of missionary labours, requires the permanent security of public support. We would therefore apply to you in the first instance for assistance, partly because these stations have hitherto contributed to the improvement of your funds, and partly because of the sincere pleasure it would give us if all the Baptist stations in India could appear before the public in connection with you. We would therefore propose the following arrangement:—That you should bring this plan of operation distinctly before the
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public, distinguishing the stations connected with Serampore College from those under your own guidance and superintendence; that all the intelligence from our stations be published by you from our Periodical Accounts, of which we should then send only a few copies to our friends; and that your should appropriate from the funds raised on this combined publication £1000 annually to the support of our stations at present, and £1500 eventually, when they so far in crease as to need it. It scarcely needs to be remarked that this plan would leave you annually £7000 for the support of somewhat more than one moiety of the stations in India in the Baptist connection. Our reason for desiring that the stations should be kept distinct in the same publication is, that, in the event of the funds thus raised being at any future period inadequate to the support of both classes of stations, these funds might be left entirely for the support of your stations, and we might be enabled to apply to the public in a separate form for supplies, without even the appearance of division.
"You will easily perceive that unless permanent support be obtained we must sacrifice our stations, the fruit of so many years' labour, and dismiss every prospect of future usefulness—a course which we are confident would distress you as much as ourselves. We can therefore leave the determination of the question to our own judgment with perfect safety, only adding that nothing would give us more sincere pleasure than for our efforts to remain united with yours. Be should you, after maturely weighing the question, discover inconveniences in this plan, and perceive that greater advantages would accrue to the cause from our stations forming a distinct claim before the public, we have requested Dr. Marshman to consult with friends of religion on the best means of bringing them forward and raising supplies; and, as we cannot expect any member of the College to visit England till three years after Dr. Marshman’s return to India,
THE COLLEGE TO BE PERMANENT.
we have pointed out to him the indispensable necessity of his securing some permanent arrangement, either with you or with the public, for the support and increase of our missionary stations before he quit England.
"It may not be intrusive for us to mention the arrangements respecting the college, to which Dr. Marshman will direct his attention. As the completion of the buildings requires no public contribution, the sole expense left on the generosity of its friends is that of its existing establishment. Our subscriptions in India, with what we receive as the interest of money raised in Britain and America, average £1000 annually; about £500 more from England would cover every charge, and secure the efficiency of the institution. Nor shall we require this aid beyond a limited period; as we are endeavouring to form a fund here, with a view of presenting it to the college when it is sufficiently increased to provide permanently for two professors, which we calculate will be effected in twelve or fourteen years, and when the professors and fellows (or tutors) are thus permanently provided for, we trust that the contributions of Indian public will be sufficient for all other expenses of the college. We have therefore requested Dr. Marshman to aim at the formation of about five corresponding committees in as many of the principal towns in England, with the hope of receiving 100 annually from each; and, as the college possesses a literary as well as a missionary interest, we further trust that the greater part of this sum may be obtained from among those who are not in the habit of aiding missionary efforts."
"Serampore, Nov. 15, 1827
Dr. Carey, and after him, Dr. Marshman and Mr. Ward, were, as you know, sent out soon after the formation of the Baptist Missionary Society, by the Committee, to plan the gospel in India, with this express stipulation, that they should without delay, make exertions for their own
LIFE OF WILLIAM CAREY.
Support, and should receive assistance from the Society only till they were able thus to support themselves. Within eighteen months respectively of their arrival, they were enabled to fulfil this stipulation, and to relinquish all support from England. Thus was the pecuniary connection between the two bodies dissolved, in the earliest stage of the mission.
Though thus disconnected in a pecuniary sense, they were still bound to the Committee, more especially to Mr. Fuller, by the most intimate ties which can unite men together, by a common co-operative interest in one of the most illustrious objects of human pursuit. It would be idle to institute any comparison between the strength of the union thus created, and any other in which pecuniary dependence must constitute a prominent ingredient. The full and free communion of should which characterized the first association between Fuller, Sutcliff, and Ryland, the three chief men who presided over the Society at home, and their colleagues in India, was the offspring of those peculiar circumstances which fall but once within the history of a society. With the death of Mr. Fuller this bond of union, which had subsisted for nearly a quarter of a century, was weakened. Subsequent events combined, with the death of Dr. Ryland, to dissolve it altogether.
"It is a fact that no stipulation was made with the Serampore missionaries regarding the disposal of their private funds. But the principles of natural equity, which were admitted by both parties, and which give every freeborn man the absolute control of his own property, supplied the deficiency. The Society, as a body created to receive and disburse public subscriptions, could not interfere with funds not thus received, without departing from the spirit of its institution. Hence, Mr. Fuller required accounts only of the public subscriptions with which he entrusted us as the
MISSIONARIES RAISED UP IN THE COUNTRY.
corresponding Committee of the Society; and we confined our annual returns of receipts and disbursements to these specific sums. As our private income gradually increased so as to exceed the necessities of the three families, we expended the surplus in the formation of missionary stations around us. We superintended them ourselves, but sent the missionary intelligence from them to the Committee, to be incorporated with the annual Report of the Society.
"With the multiplication of the stations, the efficiency of missionaries raised up in the country became more apparent, and we determined to bend our attention chiefly to this object. The native Christian population had also increased, and required increasing care. We therefore determined in 1818 to establish a college, which might in its gradual development provide means for more extensively diffusing religion and knowledge in Hindostan. Convinced that it would be difficult to raise funds for more extensively diffusing religion and knowledge in Hindostan. Convinced that it would be difficult to raise funds for the college buildings, we determined to attempt the erection of them ourselves, and though we were thereby involved in debt for many years, we have no the happiness of knowing that about £3000 more will complete the undertaking. We need scarcely add, that for this sum also we do not intend to apply to the public. The course of circumstances has thus led us first to the establishment of means for our own support—then to the employment of a portion of our surplus income in the extension of the cause by missionaries raised up in the country—after this, to provide for the education of native Christian youth—and finally to concentrate every plan in one institution, in the hope that it might survive the transient circumstances of our private union.
"Of these three objects connected with the College, the education of non-resident heathen students, the education of resident Christian students, and the preparation of missionaries from those born in the country, the first is not
LIFE OF WILLIAM CAREY.
strictly a missionary object, the two latter are intimately connected with the progress of the good cause. The preparation of missionaries in the country was not so much recommended as enforced by the great expense which attends the despatch of missionaries from Europe. That the number of labourers in this country must be greatly augmented, before the work of evangelising the heathen can be said to have effectively commenced, can admit of no doubt. But the prospect of adequately supplying the missionary exigencies of the country from Europe, is altogether hopeless. Nearly every European missionary has, on an average, cost the public in his education, outfit, and passage £700. The first eighteen months of his residence are necessarily devoted to the acquisition of the language. If we estimate the expense of that period at £300, a charge of £1000 is incurred before he can be said to have commenced his missionary career. After such an expenditure, it will not be found in the records of any society, that more than half the number of missionaries sent out are to be found at their post, at the close of ten years; so hostile is this climate to European constitutions.
"The expense of Asiatic missionaries educated at Serampore College, during the four years of study, amounts to nearly £200 each, including their clothes, etc., and their board through the whole year. Their intuitive knowledge of the language enables them to enter on their duty without delay; their widows fall back into the society of their relatives, and require but a slender support. If attacked with disease, no long sea voyages are required to restore them to health; and if inefficient as missionaries, they may be severed from the body with little expense. Their constitutions are moreover so assimilated to the climate, that, of ten missionaries thus employed by us, during the last fifteen years (some of course for a shorter period), we have
NATIVE DIVINITY STUDENTS, SERAMPORE COLLEGE
IDEAL OF NATIVE CHRISTIAN MINISTERS.
lost only one by disease. All that is require to fit them for labour is the grace of God, and an adequate education, and we were therefore led to think that we could not render a more acceptable service to the cause than to assemble in the college every facility for their tuition.
"The education of the increasing body of Native Christians likewise, necessarily became a matter of anxiety. Nothing could be more distressing than the prospect of their being more backward in mental pursuits than their heathen neighbours. The planting of the gospel in India is not likely to be accomplished by the exertions of a few missionaries in solitary and barren spots in the country, without the aid of some well-digested plan which may consolidate the missionary enterprise, and provide for the mental and religious cultivation of the converts. If the body of native Christians required an educational system, native ministers, who must gradually take the spiritual conduct of that body, demanded pre-eminent attention. They require a knowledge of the ingenious system they will have to combat, of the scheme of Christian theology they are to teach, and a familiarity with the lights of modern science. We cannot discharge the duty we owe as Christians to India, without some plan for combining in the converts of the new religion, and more especially in its ministers, the highest moral refinement of the Christian character, and the highest attainable progress in the pursuits of the mind.
"Subsequently to the adoption of this plan, it appeared desirable to attach the superintendence of the stations to the college; the reasons which recommended this arrangement were two. First, pre-supposing the zeal and piety of the professors, we thought that not individuals could be better adapted to conduct the work of the mission than those whose daily employment was so intimately associated with it; and that, as the body of the missionaries is our connec-
LIFE OF WILLIAM CAREY.
tion would gradually be formed out of those who had pursued their studies at the college, no men could be better fitted to direct their future labours than their former tutors, who must necessarily possess a more distinct knowledge of their several capacities and deficiencies than any other men. The second reason for taking this step was, our anxious wish to consolidate and perpetuate the missionary undertaking we had begun. The peculiar circumstances under which our union, partly missionary, partly secular, arose, are not likely again to occur. We were therefore desirous of placing our missionary undertaking during our own lifetime, on a more permanent basis, by separating it from the risk which must inevitably have attended its being entwined with transactions of secular business. We wished that the missionary undertaking, which was the great object, should in not respect be dependent on the secular undertakings, the minor object. No plan seemed more likely to secure this result, than to associate the professors of the college with ourselves in our missionary exertions, and gradually to devolve on them, with the lapse of our lives, the responsibility and management of the stations. By the charter the college has acquired that perpetuity which could never be given to a union in which an aptitude for secular business must be an essential qualification. By this arrangement we hoped to secure the object nearest to our hearts, the perpetuity and enlargement of the missionary plan, which has formed the chief business of our lives.
"The plan proposed by the Committee, of severing the stations from the college, by bestowing the management of them on the body of resident missionaries in Bengal, or by leaving hem with us only during the lifetime of the two elder missionaries, would completely have subverted our design. The Committee will forgive our objecting to the proposal partly on this ground. We cannot bring ourselves
THE COLLEGE ESSENTIALLY MISSIONARY.
to violate the paternal feelings with which we cherish the prospects of missionary utility likely to result form our plan. We cannot contemplate without dismay the annihilation of those expectations which give the college its chief value, nor the gloomy prospect that on the death of two of our number (the one sixty-seven, the other sixty), everything that was valuable at Serampore should be transplanted to another soil. These fears were not idle and unfounded. Your proposal would immediately have excluded the professors of the college and the youngest member of our body, from all share in the management of the stations, since they are not officially Baptist missionaries. If thus excluded during the lifetime of their elder colleagues, it is not to be expected that they would meet with more favourable treatment after their death.
"There appears another objection to this proposal. It has been objected to the college that it was not calculated to promote the missionary undertaking. We have invariable maintained that it was eminently adapted to promote that great work, and have employed every effort to bring it to bear directly on it. Were we then to subscribe to a measure which would removed out our possession the means of rendering the college efficient for this work, we should give validity to the taunts of our adversaries, and appear weak, inconsistent, and contemptible, in the eyes of the Christian world. The last, but not the least objection to this proposal is, the uncertainty to which it would expose the missionary establishment. For the welfare of the stations in connection with us we are responsible. We are responsible to a higher tribunal than an assembly of subscribers , and if we were to place their welfare in any degree of risk, we should be guilty of a dereliction of duty, for which the highest human approbation could not compensate. Our experience of the past is perhaps superior to yours, since
LIFE OF WILLIAM CAREY.
it has been acquired by suffering. That experience forbids us to hope that if at any future period the direction of the stations be left open as a prize for competition, there can be any prospect of harmony. It is even possible that discussions similar to those which have embittered the last then years may be renewed. In this case the cause would be the first and greatest sufferer; and we cannot reconcile it with the tenor of our responsibility to leave our missionary undertaking on so dangerous a footing.
"On these grounds we are constrained to withhold our assent from your last proposal to Dr. Marshman, and to give our cordial concurrence to the arrangements he has made. Your first proposal (to allow us a tenth of your income) did not compromise the independence of them with us, we therefore agreed to it. When Dr. Marshman requested from you’re an addition of funds, your proposed to take them away from Serampore after the death of the two elder missionaries. We therefore withhold our assent from this plan. We are fully aware of the pecuniary risk which we incur. In fact, the risk is entirely on our side. Your have five missionary stations on the continent of India, and twelve European and Asiatic missionaries on your funds; we have ten missionary stations, and from twenty-five to twenty-eight European, Asiatic, and Native missionaries dependent on us for support. The prospect of our being embarrassed for funds is therefore much more immediate than yours. But with every pecuniary disadvantage against us, we prefer the adoption of a plan which secures a certain tangible benefit, with the blessing of peace, to one which contains within itself the seeds of discord and dissolution. . . .
"The irreconcilable difference of our plans of action having thus rendered a separation inevitable, we are of course anxious to part on friendly terms, and to secure the
HIS APPEAL TO POSTERITY.
esteem, even though we should not enjoy the co-operation, of all our brethren. We entreat only for that measure of candour, in forming a judgment of our conduct, which every man is permitted to expect from his neighbour. If we were to say that every plan sketched out and every document penned here, during the last twenty-seven years, has been free form imperfection, we should justly appear ridiculous. Like every other body of men associated in a new undertaking of some difficultly, we have been constrained to follow that judgment which appeared most correct. When the lapse of time or the course of circumstances has discovered the error of the judgment we have not scrupled to adopt a different line of conduct. Thus in 1805 Mr. Ward drew up his ideas of missionary economy, in the 'agreement' respecting the way in which we thought missionaries ought to act in money matters, and obtained the concurrence and signature of his brethren to it; in less than a year it was found impracticable, and was consigned to oblivion. We were no parties to its publication, from which we never reaped a farthing of benefit; and if we could have foreseen the unfair use which has been made of it to our disparagement, we should certainly have sent home for publication a formal abrogation of it in 1806.
"It was superseded in 1808 by another arrangement, when the out-stations were formed. We then wrote to our brethren to say that, in reference to our own money, we intended to make several appropriations and to present the surplus to the Society. Mr. Fuller never acted on this gift, nor suffered it to appear in the Annual Accounts of the Society, convinced, as he informed us, that we were more competent to manage our own affairs than the Society at home. When, upon his death, there arose a new Committee, almost entirely ignorant of the state of affairs, they appeared to us to claim as a right what we had intended to present, and their missionaries appeared ready to give effect to this claim.
LIFE OF WILLIAM CAREY.
We therefore determined to pursue a new line of conduct. Withdrawing nothing of what we had already given, we resolved to give no more. An idea has been propagated that we seized on the property of the Society and then declared ourselves independent. It is unfounded. The balance of money belonging to the Society in our hands, Rs.25,927, 2as. 8p. (£3249 : 17 : 6), we paid over to Messrs. Alexander and Co. on the 15th of July 1817. Respecting our own property, our letter of 1817 informed you that, when all our obligations should be discharged, we should have nothing left, except the premises the right of property in which is still vested in the Society. Our determination, therefore, had reference to the future, not to the past. But when we resolved that our future income should be free and unfettered, we did not intend to desert the cause. During the last ten years of entire independence the missionary cause has received from the product of our labour, in the erection of the college buildings, in the support of stations and schools, and in the printing of tracts, much more than £23,000. The unceasing calumny with which we have been assailed, for what has been called 'our declaration of independence' (which, by the bye, Mr. Fuller approved of our issuing almost with his dying breath), it is beneath us to notice, but it has fully convinced us of the propriety of the step. This calumny is so unreasonable that we confidently appeal from the decision of the present age to the judgment of posterity. If the whole amount of public money ever expended in any shape by the Society on the three senior missionaries never exceeded £1500, and if this sum has been repaid with far more than a twenty-fold addition, is not that judgment harsh which condemns us? If, when we found it necessary for own security ten years ago to dissolve whatever pecuniary connection was supposed to subsist between us and the Society, we conscientiously respected every preceding gift, and simply determined that
EDUCATION OF NATIVE WOMEN.
we would not give our future income to a body we knew not and who knew us not, what individual would not have acted in the same manner under similar circumstances?
"We fervently join in the pray with which your Report concludes, that it may please God to overrule this event, however undesirable in itself, to the furtherance of the Gospel of his Son."
Under Carey, as Professor of Divinity and Lecturer on Botany and Zoology, Mack and John Marshman, with pundits and moulavies, the college grew in public favour, even during Dr. Marshman’s absence, while Mrs. Marshman continued to conduct the girls’ school and superintend native female education with a vigorous enthusiasm which advancing years did not abate and misrepresentation in England only fed.1 The difficulties in which Carey found himself had the happy result of forcing him into the position of being the
1What Hannah Marshman, and for a time Charlotte Emilia Carey, had done for the education of the girls and women of Bengal may be imagined from this paragraph in the Brief Memoir of the Brotherhood, published in London in 1827:—
"The education of females, till within these few years, had never been attempted; and not a few were disposed to regard the experiment as one which must prove altogether vain. This, however, like various other prognostications respecting India, was a great mistake. In Serampore and its vicinity there are at present fourteen schools composed entirely of Hindoo females, among which are the Liverpool and Chatham, the Edinburgh and Glasgow, the Stirling and Dunfermline schools, etc. Besides these, one is taught at Benares, another at Allahabad, a third in Beerbhoom, three at Chittagong, and seven at Dacca; in the whole twenty-seven schools, with 554 pupils on the lists. One of these in the vicinity of Serampore may be regarded as an unprecedented thing; an adult female school, in which the women who have entered have shown themselves quite desirous to receive instruction The daughters of Mohammedans, as well as Hindoos, indeed, receive instruction with evident delight: and into these schools, whether for boys or girls, the sacred Scriptures are freely admitted."
In Calcutta, when the separation had taken place, the wives of the two younger missionaries who had been first trained at Serampore, Mrs. Pearce and Mrs. Lawson, conducted a school on the plan of Mrs. Marshman’s, and encouraged the young ladies, some of whom became the wives of missionaries, to open schools for native girls.
LIFE OF WILLIAM CAREY.
first to establish practically the principle of the Grant in Aid system. Had his Nonconformist successors followed him in this, with the same breadth of view and clear distinction between the duty of aiding the secular education, while giving absolute liberty to the spiritual, the splendid legacy which he left to India would have been both perpetuated and extended. As it is, it was left to his young colleague, John Marshman, and to Dr. Duff, to induce Parliament, by the charter of 1853, and the first Lord Halifax in the Educational Despatch of 1854, to sanction the system of national education for the multifarious classes and races of our Indian subjects, under which secular instruction is aided by the state on impartial terms according to its efficiency, and Christianity delights to take its place, unfettered and certain of victory, with the Brahmanical and aboriginal cults of every kind.
In 1826 Carey, finding that his favourite Benevolent Institution in Calcutta was getting into debt, and required repair, applied to Government for aid. He had previously joined the Marchioness of Hastings in founding the Calcutta School Book and School Society, and had thus been relieved of some of the schools. Government at once paid the debt, repaired the building, and continued to give an annual grant of £240 a year. John Marshman did not think it necessary, "to defend Dr. Carey from the charge of treason to the principles of dissent in having thus solicited and accepted aid from the state for an educational establishment; the repudiation of that aid is a modern addition to those principles." He tells us that "when conversation happened to turn upon this subject at Serampore, his father was wont to excuse any warmth which his colleague might exhibit by the humorous remark that renegades always fought hardest. There was one question on which the three were equally strenuous—that it was as much the duty of Government to support education as to abstain from patronising missions."
ECONOMICS OF INDIA MISSIONS.
A letter written in 1818 to his son William, then one of the missionaries, shows with what jealous economy the founder of the great modern enterprise managed the early undertakings. At a time when "missionaryism" threatens, in some cases, to drag down to a lower level the noblest form of disinterestedness which this or any century has seen, the letter has its lessons:—
"My dear William—Yours of the 3d instant I have received, and must say that it has filled me with distress. I do not know what the allowance of 200 rupees includes, nor how much is allotted for particular things; but it appears that Rs.142 : 2 is expended upon your private expenses, viz., 78 : 2 on table expenses, and 64 on servants. Now neither Lawson nor Eustace have more than 140 rupees for their allowance, separate from house rent, for which 80 rupees each is allowed, and I believe all the brethren are on that, or a lower allowance, Brother Yates excepted, who chooses for himself. I cannot therefore make an application for more with any face. Indeed we have no power to add or diminish salaries, though the Society would agree to our doing so if we showed good reasons for it. I believe the allowances of the missionaries from the London Society are about the same, or rather less—viz. £200 sterling, or 132 rupees a month, besides extra expenses; so that your income, taking it at 140 rupees a month, is quite equal to that of any other missionary. I may also mention that neither Eustace nor Lawson can do without a buggy, which is not a small expense.
"I suppose the two articles you have mentioned of table expenses and servants include a number of other things; otherwise I cannot imagine how you can go to that expense. When I was at Mudnabati my income was 200 per month, and during the time I stayed there I had saved near 2000 rupees. My table expenses scarcely ever amounted to 50 rupees, and though I kept a moonshi at 20 rupees and four
LIFE OF WILLIAM CAREY.
gardeners, yet my servants' wages did not exceed 60 rupees monthly. I kept a horse and a farmyard, and yet my expenses bore no proportion to yours. I merely mention this without any reflection on you, or even a wish to do it; but I sincerely think your expenses upon these two articles are very great.
"I expect Felix every hour at Calcutta. I am greatly distressed to know what is to be done with him. He writes Jonathan that the Rajah of Tippera has offered him 300 rupees a month, but that he has refused it, and requires 500. This is certainly a most thoughtless step, for places of 300 rupees monthly are not to be met with every day. In England it would be a good fortune. If he comes to Calcutta he must expect to be cast into prison for debt. Jonathan thinks that if his creditors will have patience he can get him a situation in an attorney’s office. But Felix will never confine himself from eight in the morning till four in the evening at a desk. If he be but truly on the Lord's side I have no doubt but he will be provided for; but I am fully of anxiety.
"Of Jabez I have heard nothing for a long time past. I have been disabled from writing by a bad hand, which is now through mercy well.; but I have for the last week been unable to bend on account of a violent pain at the bottom of my back, which is still very bad. The cholera morbus still awfully prevails. May we all be found ready whenever the call my come.—I am your affectionate father, W. Carey."
"10th March 1818."
In 1825 Carey completed his great Dictionary of Bengali and English in three quarto volumes, abridged two years afterwards. No language, not even in Europe, could show a work of such industry, erudition, and philological completeness at that time. Professor H. H. Wilson declared that it must ever be regarded as a standard authority, especially because of its etymological references to the Sanskrit, which
HIS BENGALI DICTIONARY.
supplies more than three-fourths of the words; its full and correct vocabulary of local terms, with which the author’s "long domestication amongst the natives" made him familiar, and his unique knowledge of all natural history terms. The first copy which issued from the press he sent to Dr. Ryland, who had passed away at seventy-two, a month before the following letter was written:—
"June 7th, 1825.—On the 17th of August next I shall be sixty-four years of age; and though I feel the enervating influence of the climate, and have lost something of my bodily activity, I labour as closely, and perhaps more so than I have ever done before. My Bengali dictionary is finished at press. I intend to send you a copy of it by first opportunity, which I request you to accept as a token of my unshaken friendship to you. I am now obliged, in my own defence, to abridge it, and to do it as quickly as possible, to prevent another person from forestalling me and running away with the profits.
"On Lord's day I preached a funeral sermon at Calcutta for one of our deacons, who died very happily; administered the Lords' Supper, and preached again in the evening. It was a dreadfully hot day, and I was much exhausted. Yesterday the rain set in, and the air is somewhat cooled. It is still uncertain whether Brothers Judson and Price are living. There was a report in the newspaper that they were on their way to meet Sir Archibald Campbell with proposals of peace from the Burman king; but no foundation for the report can be traced out. Living or dead they are secure."
On hearing of the death of Dr. Ryland, he wrote: "There are now in England very few ministers with whom I was acquainted. Fuller, Sutcliff, Pearce, Fawcett, and Ryland, besides many others whom I knew, are gone to glory. My family connections also, those excepted who were children
LIFE OF WILLIAM CAREY.
when I left England, or have since that time been born, are all gone, two sisters only excepted. Wherever I look in England I see a vast blank; and were I ever to revisit that dear country I should have an entirely new set of friendships to form. I, however, never intended to return to England when I left it, and unless something very unexpected were to take place I certainly shall not do it. I am fully convinced I should meet with many who would show me the utmost kindness in their power, but my heart is wedded to India, and though I am of little use, I feel a pleasure in doing the little I can, and a very high interest in the spiritual good of this vast country, by whose instrumentality soever it is promoted."
By 1829 the divinity faculty of the College had become so valuable a nursery of Eurasian and Native missionaries, and the importance of attracting more of the new generation of educated Hindoos within its influence had become so apparent that Oriental gave place to English literature in the curriculum. Mr. Rowe, as English tutor, took his place in the staff beside Dr. Carey, Dr. Marshman, Mr. Mack, and Mr. John Marshman. Hundreds of native youths flocked to the classes. Such was the faith, such the zeal of Carey, that he continued to add new missions to the ten of which the College was the life-giving centre; so that when he was taken away he left eighteen, under eleven European, thirteen Eurasian, seventeen Bengali, two Hindostani, one Telugoo, and six Arakanese missionaries. When Mr. David Scott, formerly a student of his own in Fort William College, and in 1828 Commissioner of Assam (then recently annexed to the empire), asked for a missionary, Carey’s importunity prevailed with his colleagues only when he bound himself to pay half the cost by stinting his personal expenditure. Similarly it was the generous action of Mr. Garrett, when judge of Burisal, that led him to send the best of his Serampore students to found that afterwards famous mission.
HIS DEFENCE OF EVANGELISING BY EDUCATION.
Having translated the Gospels into the language of the Khasias in the Assam hills, he determined in 1832 to open a new mission at the village of Cherra, which the Serampore Brotherhood were the first to use as a sanitarium in the hot season. For this he gave up £60 of his Government pension and Mr. Garrett gave a similar sum. He sent another of his students, Mr. Lisk, to found the mission, which prospered until it was transferred to the Welsh Calvinists, who have made it the centre of extensive and successful operations. Thus the influence of his middle age and old age in the Colleges of Fort William and of Serampore combined to make the missionary patriarch the father of two bands—that of the Society and that of the Brotherhood.
Dr. Carey’s last report, at the close of 1832, was a defence of what has since been called, and outside of India and of Scotland has too often been misunderstood as, educational missions or Christian Colleges. To a purely divinity college for Asiatic Christians he preferred a divinity faculty as part of an Arts and Science College,1 in which the converts study side by side with their inquiring countrymen, the inquirers are influenced by them as well as by the Christian teaching and secular teaching in a Christian spirit, and the Bible consecrates the whole. The Free Church of Scotland has, alike in India and Africa, proved the wisdom, the breadth, and the spiritual advantage of Carey’s policy. When the Society opposed him, scholars like Mack from Edinburgh and Leechman from Glasgow rejoiced to work out his Paul-like concep-
1In 1834, the year Carey died, there were in the college ten European and Eurasian students learning Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Bengali, mathematics, chemistry, mental philosophy, and history (ancient and ecclesiastical). There were forty-eight resident native Christians and thirty-four Hindoos, sons of Brahmans chiefly, learning Sanskrit, Bengali, and English. "The Bengal language is sedulously cultivated. . . . The Christian natives of India will most effectually combat error and diffuse sounder information with a knowledge of Sanskrit. The communication, therefore, of a thoroughly classic Indian education to Christian youth is deemed an important but not always as indispensable object."
LIFE OF WILLIAM CAREY.
tion. When not only he, but Dr. Marshman, had passed away Mack bravely held aloft the banner they bequeathed, till his death in 1846. Then John Marshman, who in 1835 had begun the Friend of India as a weekly paper to aid the College, transferred the mission to the Society under the learned W. H. Denham. When in 1854 a new generation of the English Baptists accepted the College also as their own, it received a Principal worthy to succeed the giants of those days, the Rev. John Trafford, M.A., a student of Foster's and of Glasgow University. For twenty-six years he carried out the principles of Carey in all things, save that, when Serampore become one of the colleges of the Calcutta University, the Society would not apply for the same grant in aid from Government which other Nonconformist colleges enjoy.
The result was that after Mr. Trafford’s retirement1 the college of Carey and Marshman ceased with the year 1883, and in the same building a purely native Christian Training Institution took its place. There, however, the many visitors from Christendom still found the library and museum; the bibles, grammars, and dictionaries; the natural history collections, and the Oriental MSS.; the Danish Charter, the royal portraits, and the British Treaty; as well as the native Christian classes—all of which re-echo William Carey's appeal to posterity.
1On the 6th March 1879 a meeting was held by the old students of Serampore College to bid farewell to their Principal, the Rev. J. Trafford, M. A. An address was read by Babu Narayan Bhattacharjya expressing appreciation of Mr. Trafford’s motives and labours, and admiration of the way in which he had preformed the task he set before him. One last kindness they asked of him was to send his picture to be hung up in the college hall. Pundit Jadhob Bhattarcharjya then read a poetical address in Sanskrit. An address was also given in Sanskrit by the second pundit of the college, after which an address in English was given by the entrance class. Mr. Trafford strove in his reply to make clear to them the object for which he had laboured as a teacher. He said that he had been glad to introduce them to much that was useful and elevating in English literature, and both he and they had therefrom received benefit and enjoyment. But the object of his life at Serampore had been to make the Bible known to them and theirs.
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Created: June 30, 2007 Updated: July 12, 2007