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Middleton was, and what manner of man, though at an humble distance, I must endeavour, by God' help, to be
I can only conclude by expressing, so far as words can express, to your Grace, to the distinguished Prelates around you, and to the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge in general, my gratitude for the private and personal, as well as public kindness and countenance, with which
you have honoured me; my gratitude, and that of the Indian Church, for the splendid bounty of which you have made me the dispenser; my gratitude, for the patience and indulgence with which you have now heard me; my gratitude, above all, for those prayers which you have promised to offer up, on my behalf, to the throne of grace and mercy. Accept, in return, the blessing of a grateful heart; accept the settled purpose of my mind, to devote what little talent I possess, to the great cause in which all our hearts are engaged, and for which it is not our duty only, but our illustrious privilege to labour. Accept the hope, which I would fain express, that I shall not altogether disappoint your expectations, but that I shall learn and labour in the furtherance of that fabric of Christian wisdom, of which the superstructure was so nappily commenced by him, whose loss we deplore! I say the superstructure, not the ioundation, for this latter praise the glorified spirit of my revered Predecessor would himself be the first to disclaim. As a wise master-builder, he built on that which he found; but other foundation can no man lay,” nor did Bishop Middleton seek to lay any other than that, of which the first stone was laid in Golgotha, and the building was complete when the Son of God took His seat of glory on the right hand of His Father.
I again, my Lord Archbishop, with much humility, request your blessing, and the prayers of the Society. It is, indeed, a high satisfaction for me to reflect, that I go forth as their agent, and the promoter of their pious designa in the East; and, if ever the time should arrive when I may be enabled to preach to the natives of India in their own language, I shall then aspire to the still higher distinction of being considered the MISSIONARY of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.
THE CLERGY OF THE DIOCESE
Calcutta, May 27, 1924; at Bombay, April 29, 1825; at
Colombo, September 1, 1825; and at Madras, March 10, 1826.
Σπουδασω δε και εκαστοτε εχειν υμας μετα την εμην εξοδον την τουτων
Minuno kolo 26.-2 Peter i. 15.
PREFIXED TO THE CALCUTTA EDITION.
The Right Reverend Author, after holding his visitation at Madras, delayed the publication of his charge till the completion of his extensive journey to the south should have enabled him to speak, from personal observation, of the actual state of the several missions in the diocese. In the course of his laborious visitation of the several provinces of Upper, Central and Western India, and subsequently of the Island of Ceylon, his attention had been anxiously directed to these inquiries; and the last weeks of his invaluable life were devoted to the minute and careful survey of the more cultivated fields of missionary labour in the Peninsula. And though, amongst the many eircumstances which render the untimely loss of such a man a source of universal sorrow to the Church of India, this may well have been overlooked; it is yet no slight subject of regret to the Christian world, that he whose mind was most capable of appreciating those important labours, whose opportunities were most favourable for observing them, and whose high and sacred dignity gave weight and authority to his testimony, should not have been spared to record more minutely the scenes of infant Christianity which he himself had witnessed, and to communicate to the hearts of others the impressions of delight and gratitude which they had left upon his own.
MY REVEREND BRETHREN,
ADDRESSING you, for the first time, in your collective. and corporate capacity, I am happy to be enabled to apnounce the probable increase of your numbers to an amount more nearly adequate to the spiritual necessities of India; to the arduous and peculiar labours which the Indian clergy undergo; to the casualties of an enfeebling and devouring climate, and to that fair proportion which might be looked for between the ecclesiastical establishments of Fort William and its subordinate Presidencies.
The number of chaplains allotted to the former is increased, by a recent order of the Honourable Court of Directors, from twenty-eight to thirty-one, while the transfer of Mhow and Nagpoor to the establishments of Fort St. George and Bombay will enable the government of this Presidency to avail itself, in other quarters, of the services of the clergymen who now officiate there ; and the change, which is further directed, of "station” into "district chaplains, may lead, I trust, to measures still further increasing the effective nature of their ministerial labours.
For the munificent and parental care which has prompt. ed these measures, it would ill become me to conceal the expression of my gratitude,--and it is in the hope of so far exciting (by an unvarnished statement of our wants) the zeal of our brethren at home, as not to render vain the Christian care of our rulers,—that I am induced to mentiop (what, to those who hear me, is unhappily but too fa
miliar) the very great deficiency, in numerical strength, of the Clergy on the Indian establishment.
Of twenty-eight chaplains assigned by the Honourable Company to the Presidency of Fort William, fifteen only are now on their posts, and effective. Five are, from ill health and other unavoidable causes, at present absent on furlough; while of the remaining eight appointments, no fewer than seven are represented as vacant, the clergyman who fills the eighth only, being reported on his voyage from England.
The consequence has been, that, even in Calcutta and its vicinity, some Churches must have been shut up but for the occasional help of clergymen not in the Company's service; that at Cawnpoor, a single labourer is sinking under the duty of a military cantonment about five miles in length, containing two places of Worship, two burial grounds, two distinct establishments of barracks, schools, and hospitals, and for which the wisdom of government had designated two resident ministers;—while in the other mofussil provinces, some of the most important stations are addressing to me, almost daily, their earnest, (and, unhappily, their unavailing) applications for that comfort and instruction which in our own country is accessible to all.
This is a state of things, beyond a doubt, sufficiently lamentable. It presents the revolting spectacle of a nation almost without a priesthood to the Romanists who dwell among us, and to the surrounding heathen. It has a tendency to increase itself and its own evils by oppressing and overpowering the strength of those labourers who still continue in the vineyard. And it excludes, in the worst and most effectual manner, from the teaching and ordinances of our religion, the daily increasing multitude of our countrymen and their descendants, of whom by far the greater part are still ardently attached to the faith and worship of their fathers.
In all which I have said, I am far from designing to convey a censure on our rulers. Those rulers have shown (I cheerfully bear them witness) a progressive attention, during many years, to the spiritual wants of their servants and