J A Shurman ~ Time line
50th Anniversary of the London Missionary Society
According to journal reports, Shurman attended the 50th anniversary celebrations of his sending agency, the LMS, on 9 May 1844 at one of the largest venues in London, the Exeter Hall.[ 1 ]
A contemporary report of the event summarises its context[ 2 ]:
The weather was exceedingly ﬁne, and long before the time of meeting, the Hall was well ﬁlled. When the chair was taken there were about four or ﬁve thousand persons present, and it was a noble sight to witness so large a crowd of the friends of missions. On the platform were a large number of ministers from town and country, and in the chair a pious member of parliament, William Evans, Esq.
The meeting conımenced by singing and prayer. After this the chairman made an opening speech, in which he thanked the meeting for the honour done him by appointing him as chairman, and spoke of the great things etfected by that Society.The Rev. A. TIDMAN, one of the secretaries, then read a brief report of the society's operations during the past year ...
In INDIA, idolatry and caste combine to impede the spread and triumph of the truth. Still the grace that bringeth salvation has not been without its trophies in the past year - it has gone forth with the voice of the devoted missionary, and fruit has been gathered unto life eternal. The conﬁdence of the people in the gods that cannot save was becoming more and more feeble; the absurdities of Hindoo mythology and superstition were passing away before the light of European science and literature; the conviction in the native mind, that Christianity will at length prevail over the ancient forms of religion, was daily gaining strength; the truth and excellence of the gospel are admitted by vast numbers of the people, and disputed by few; and all things seem ready for the King of Glory to enter into his rightful possession. ...
Following the financial report ("The total amount of receipts during the past year has been £81,812 17s. 1ld.; the expenditure £83,525 11s. 7d."),
... a deeply interesting scene occurred. The Rev. J. SHURMAN, missionary from Benares, publicly presented the Chairman with a copy of the entire Bible, in the Hindustani language -a language spoken by about forty millions of people in India! Mr Shurman with one or two others undertook the task of translating and printing it from the Hebrew and Greek. The last sheet was completed on "May the 30th, 1843." The Chairman said he was delighted to receive from the hands of the translator such a "precious treasure."
Another British church journal observed[ 3 ]:
Rev. J. A. Shurman (from Benares) stood forward to present to the Chairman a copy of the Hindustani Bible, and in doing so said,— You have heard that our Benares Mission has translated the Bible into the Hindustani language. This Language is spoken by almost forty millions of people, and has diffused itself over the whole of India — it is the language of all the Europeans who go there: with a knowledge of it, you may travel from Cape Comorin to the Himalaya mountains — from the borders of China to Bombay. Great difficulties were experienced in the efforts to accomplish this work, but they have all been overcome; and on the 30th of May, last year, I had the t pleasure to write on the last proof-sheet, containing the last chapter of Revelation, "Printed May the 30th, 1843." Now, at the request of the directors, I appear before you to present this copy to the meeting, through our respected Chairman. But no glory is to be ascribed to us. It is the Lord who has honoured us as his humble instruments in this work.
Exeter Hall was a hall on the north side of The Strand, London, England. It was erected between 1829 and 1831 on the site of Exeter Exchange ... The site was formerly part of Exeter House, the London residence of the Earls of Exeter ..., almost opposite the Savoy Hotel. The official opening date was March 29, 1831.
... The smaller hall's auditorium could hold around 1,000 people, and the main hall's auditorium could hold more than 4,000 people. Exeter Hall was used for holding religious and philanthropic meetings, including the Protestant Reformation Society (founded in 1827), and the Protestant Association (revived in 1835). [Wikipedia]. [ ▲ ]
- documented as teaching material in The Independent magazine (ed. by J. Fletcher), June 1844. Page 199-201. [Google Books]. [ ▲ ]
- THE SCOTTISH CONGREGATIONAL MAGAZINE. New Series. Vol IV, 1844. Glasgow: James Maclehose. Page 351. [Google Books]. [ ▲ ]
(Created: 05.02.2015. Last updated: 06.02.2015.)
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