Johann A Schürmann ~ Correspondence

The Report of the Directors to the 41th General Meeting of LMS

12 May 1835 | Report | LMS Directors, Exeter Hall, London.

Messrs. Mather and Schürmann, whose departure with their wives was noticed in our last Report, reached Calcutta on the 15th of November, 1833. On the 17th of December, Mr. and Mrs. Schürmann proceeded to Benares, where they arrived on the 17th of February, 1834. Mr. Mather remained in Calcutta, as the minister, pro tempore, of Union Chapel. He afterwards proceeded, according to his original appointment, to Benares, where, accompanied by Mrs. Mather, he arrived on the 7th of September, 1834-.
By the mercy of God, in favouring him with health, our esteemed brother, Mr. Buyers, was enabled; while alone in this important station, to continue, without interruption, the usual services, animated by evident tokens of the Divine blessing. He is not able to report an increase of actual conversions, yet has many indications that his public ministrations, in mixed and frequently numerous congregations, are not only increasingly acceptable, but highly beneficial, in removing the prejudices and errors by which their minds have been so long darkened, and exciting inquiry after the truth.
Mr. Buyers has preached every week to native congregations in the Mission Chapel, at Visheshurgunge, Allipore, Ganesh, Chaitgunge, and the village of Lahta. These services are conducted in the Hindui and Oordu languages. Within the lines, he has once a week an English service to a small but interesting congregation of his countrymen. Speaking of one of these services, in which he had addressed a large and attentive audience, including a number of Brahmins, Mr. Buyers observes:

At the same place, last week, I reached to nearly 200 people, many of  hom were Brahmins. All heard with attention while I expounded the Decalogue, showing the extent and spirituality of its claims, the fact of men being unable now to satisfy these claims, and the way of deliverance from condemnation through the atonement made by the Son of God. After I had finished, there was a moment's pause, when a Brahmin, who had listened with apparent interest all the time, exclaimed, "Blessing! blessing! blessing on Sahib, who comes to give us such instructions!" A great many voices immediately joined and repeated hiı words five or six times; and one man, holding up both his hands, called out, "Cursing! cursing! cursing! on all the Purans." To hear a Brahmin, in the midst of Benares, the grand seat of Eastern idolatry, pronouncing a blessing on the Gospel, and the bearers of its message, and joined by, perhaps, a hundred of his fellow-citizens; while another, loudly and publicly denounced, as cursed, the Shasters, adored for so many ages through the whole of Hindostan, could not but gladden my heart, and strengthen the hope that the time is rapidly approaching when this great and renounced city will cast its thousands of idols to the moles and to the bats, and rejoice in the light and liberty of the Gospel."

The number of schools is five; one of which is Persian, and the four Hindui. The number of scholars is 150. Mr. Buyers has frequently examined the children. The teachers and scholars usually attend with cheerfulness public worship in the Mission Chapel on the Sabbath, and Mr. Buyers is not without hope that some are deriving permanent spiritual benefit from these means of improvement. In the Persian School, Mr. Buyers has also occasionally given lessons on Geography to the most intelligent of the scholars, as a means peculiarly adapted to undermine many of the Hindoo superstitions.

Since Mr. Schürmann arrived at Benares, he has undertaken the snperintendence of the schools, and has pursued the system of visiting and examining them which Mr. Buyers had introduced. This arrangement had enabled Mr. Buyers to devote his time and strength chiefly to the preaching of the Gospel.
The Directors have learned with great satisfaction, that Mr. Schürmann, after having devoted the first months of his residence at Benares almost entirely to the study of the native languages, was able in the Autumn of 1834, to preach thrice a week to the natives, once in the Mission Chapel in town, once at Allipore, and once at Lahta, four miles from Benares. His cordial and affectionate co-operation, and his zeal and cheerfulness in his work, have contributed much to the comfort of his fellow-labourers and the efliciency of the Mission.
Mr. Buyers has finished the correcting of his translation of the Pilgrim's Progress.
Mr. Mather's stay in Calcutta prevented his reaching Benares until a short period prior to the date of the latest communication from that station, and he had scarcely commenced his labours there, when they were forwarded.


Published in:
The Report of the Directors to the Fortieth General Meeting of the Missionary Society, usually called the London Missionary Society, on Thursday, May 12th, 1835. Page(s): 42-43 (pdf 262-263).

Online: Google Books. Viewed: 5.2.2015.

For reference:

Administrator. Johann A Schürmann ~ Correspondence :: 12 May 1835 - 41. LMS Report, in: Pirltawardli Research Website. Adelaide 2020.
(Created: 08.02.2015. Last updated: 10.02.2016.)
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