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Military Stations ....
* CHARTER, 10th William III, 5th Sept. 1698.
“ And we do further will and appoint, That the said Company hereby established, and their successors, shall constantly maintain one MINISTER in every garrison and superior Factory, which the same Company or their successors shall have in the said East Indies, and shall also in such garrison and factories respectively, provide or set apart a decent and convenient place for divine service only" (i.e. a church.)
1. There are more Stations, civil and military, than those above enumerated; and some of the above are both civil and military. But accuracy is not required. The Stations often change their importance, by the accession or diminution of European residents.
2. From the above List it appears, that, of fifty-one Stations, only eight are supplied with Chaplains. It is true that the Register gives fifteen Chaplains to the Presidency of Bengal; but it states that of these, four are assigned to Calcutta and Fort William ; two are not arrived in India, or not appointed; one is on furlough ; one is absent from sickness; and it ought to have added, one is dead. And it may be received as a general rule, that, in every India list, nearly one fourth is ineffective, from death, indisposition, furlough, length of voyage, or other causes.
3. All the above Civil Stations (without exception, we believe) are accounted of sufficient importance, from the number or respectability of the English residents, to have one Surgeon or more attached to each. Some of the Military Stations have many Surgeons. At each of the Civil Stations reside, in general, three descriptions of Protestants, viz. Ist, a Judge, Collector of Revenue, or Commercial Resident (which are the families of chief consideration in the Company's service, and are the proper representatives of the British character in India) together with his Assistants and their families; 2dly, Indigo Planters, Traders, and other European inhabitants; 3dly, Half-cast families.
4. Some of the above Stations are large, and contain a numerous Protestant population. Others are small. But the smallest is yet an official station of the British Empire; far remote, it may be, from any other station, but yet of vast importance in regard to the civilization of the country around it.
5. There being no clergymen in these societies, the offices of marriage and burial are generally performed by the civil magistrate, or by a military officer. Baptisms are commonly deferred (but not always) till the children grow up, and the parents come down to Calcutta, on their
way to Europe. Marriages have been sometimes solemnized a second time, by a regular clergyman. It is possible, that some circumstance may arise which will make it necessary for an Act of Parliament to pass, to give validity to the marriages in India, solemnized by laymen, for the last fifty years; as was done in the reign of Charles the Second, after the Usurpation.
6. It will be admitted by every man who has visited the above stations (supposing that he has any respect for the religion of his country) that not one of them, however small, ought to remain longer destitute of the offices and instruction of Christianity. It must be equally evident, that not one of them ought to be without a Schoolmaster, if it were but for the advantage of the Half-cast children alone. The appointment of Schoolmasters (a measure so easily practicable), ought to be the first and immediate operation of the proposed Establishment. Almost all the above civil stations are in the neighbourhood of Hindoo towns;-the very places which it would be desirable to select for European teachers, in reference to the civilization of the natives.
X. BUILDING CHURCHES IN INDIA.
1. Whether an Ecclesiastical Establishment shall be presented to India at this time or not, it is indispensable that Churches be erected at the principal stations; in order that the services of the Clergy, who are already in the country, may be rendered, in some degree, efficient to the people.
2. Dean Prideaux, in his Account of the English Settlements in India, dated 23 January, 1694, has the following passage :-“There is not
so much as a chapel in any of the English set“ tlements for the true religion, except at Fort “ St. George only (Madras), where lately a church “ has been erected for the use of the English Fac
tory, by the piety and care of Mr. Streynsham “ Masters, then President, without any aid or ” countenance from the Company in order there“ to. In other places, the room they eat in con“ tains their congregation *."
After the revolution of a hundred years, the expression of Dean Prideaux is yet nearly correct; “ the room they eat in contains their congrega“ tion.”—There are, however, two exceptions. There is now a church at Calcutta, and another at Bombay. The new church of Calcutta (for the old one was thrown down by the great storm of the 12th of October, 1737 +), was erected about the year 1787, by the voluntary subscription of the inhabitants, and by a contribution from
* See Hawkesworth's “ Ecclesiastical, Chronological, and Historical Sketches respecting Bengal." p. 4.
On the account of Dean Prideaux, the author makes the following remark : “ When a community consists of a fleet
ing body, which will not regularly colonize, little regard “ is paid to the important concern of religion.".
† See Gentleman's Magazine for 1738-9.