Johann A Schürmann ~ Correspondence

Annual Survey of Missionary Stations - London Mission Society

April 1842 | Report.

Benares. J.A. Shürman James Kennedy, David G. Watt. J.H. Budden: 1 Nat. Preacher; 2 Nat. Readers; 10 Nat. Schoolmasters. Mr and Mrs Buyers arrived at Falmouth on the 13th of March. Mr Watt reached Calcutta on his way to Benares, on the 2d of June. Mr Budden embarked on the 17th of June and reached Calcutta on the 3d of December -- Pp 183, 224, 310, 429; and p. 174 of our present Volume -- Communicants, 11 -- Schools, 10; Scholars, about 500.

There are two chapels in the city, and one in the suburbs, in which Native Services have been held on Week day evenings. The Brethren have likewise frequently preached in the morning, in open verandahs rented for the purpose. During the year, the Brethren have put in circulation a great many copies of the [New] Testament.

Mr Buyers will devote his chief attention, during his stay in this country, to preparing for the press a second edition of the Romanizied [New] Testament. A complete Translation of the Old-Testament Scriptures into Hindoostanee has long been desired; and the Committee of the Calcutta Auxiliary Bible Society have requested the Missionarics at Benares to execute this important work. [Report]

Though Benares is called the Athens of India, very few of its inhabitants can read. Most of the Brahmins who chaunt [sic] Sanscrit slokas1 ]) do not know the meaning of them. The greatest number of the Mussulman Priests who read or rather chaunt the Koran do not understand it. The melodious Hindoostanee is despised by the Mussulmans, because it is not so sacred as the Arabic, and not so sonorous as the Persian; and by the Brahmins, because it is not Sanscrit and holy; and by all the educated classes, because the vulgar speak. it But the great obstacle to education arises from the variety of characters. The [Mohamedans] use the Persian Character; the Brahmins the Devanagari; the tradesmen the Kayathi; the bankers the Mahajani. On this account, few can read any printed character, and among these, only a small number can read fluently, or so as to understand. Whenever a man takes a Tract and reads it properly, we may be almost sure that he has learnt to read in the Mission School. Vernacular schools, in which from 50 to 80 boys may receive daily instruction, can be established and supported at a monthly expense of seven rupees each. [Missionaries correspondence]


Published in:
Annual Survey of Missionary Stations throughout the World | London Missionary Society, in The Missionary Register 1842 Page(s): 200.

Online: Google Books. Viewed: 15.1.2015.

  1. sloka, meaning "song", from the root śru, "hear" is a category of verse line developed from the Vedic Anustubh. It is the basis for Indian epic verse, and may be considered the Indian verse form par excellence, occurring, as it does, far more frequently than any other meter in classical Sanskrit poetry. The Mahabharata and Ramayana, for example, are written almost exclusively in shlokas. The traditional view is that this form of verse occurred to Valmiki, the author of the Ramayana, on seeing a hunter shoot down one of two birds in love. (Wikipedia [ ▲ ]

For reference:

Administrator. Johann A Schürmann ~ Correspondence :: April 1842, in: Pirltawardli Research Website. Adelaide 2020.
(Created: 17.01.2015. Last updated: 23.03.2016.)
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