Johann A Schürmann ~ Correspondence

Death of John Adam Shurman

2 October 1852 | Letter | Rev. William Buyers, Benares & Rev. R. C. Mather, of Mirzapore to Board of Directors LMS.

Messages by fellow missionaries Kennedy and Buyers on the death of John Adam Shurman

On the eve of going to press, we have received the affecting intelligence of the decease of another of our Missionary brethren, the Rev. J. A. Shurman, of Benares, East Indies. The following particulars are communicated by the Rev. William Buyers, under date Benares, 2nd October, ult.:

From my letter of the 27th September, you will have been informed of the very precarious state of brother Shurman's health. It is now my painful duty to inform you, that it has pleased the Lord to remove him from this scene of labour and suffering, and to receive him, as we trust, into a state of eternal rest and enjoyment. He departed this life yesterday, at about a quarter past twelve, a.m., and, last evening, his remains were deposited in the European Burying Ground, having been followed to the grave by many of the European residents of Benares, and a large concourse of natives, both Christian and heathen, to whom he was well known.1 ]

The Rev. R. C. Mather, of Mirzapore, also, in a letter of the same date, thus refers to the solemn event:

This morning brought us the sad news of the decease of our brother Shurman. We had been, expecting the event for some days. He had been breaking for upwards of a year, and he himself thought that this last formidable malady (acute dysentery) would cause his death. His last work was the composing [of] four hymns, in Hindustani, for our native paper, the 'Khair Khwah i Hind'2 ]. They were translations of four favourite German hymns. They are all hymns of praise; the first, an expansion of 'Glory to God in the highest,' etc. The second, the 'Song of the Church in the Revelations, on occasion of the Marriage of the Lamb.' The third, 'The Glories of Him who is the Root and Offspring of David.' The fourth, 'A Hymn to the Morning of the Day of the Sun of Righteousness.' I informed you, some time ago, that we had commenced a new edition of the Hindustani Scriptures. Mr. Shurman was the editor, and, in connexion with this undertaking, his death is a great loss. I feel it much, as he and I came out to India in the same ship, eighteen years ago.

To the foregoing notices, we may add, that our lamented brother, Mr. Shurman, had, for a number of years, rendered highly valuable service in the educational department of the Mission, and, more especially, in the work of Scripture translation. The able version of the Urdu Old Testament, now extensively used in the Missions of Northern India, is the product of his editorial labours.


Published in:
Evangelical Magazine and Missionary Chronicle, Volume 30 - New Series, December 1852. London: Ward & Co. Page(s): 739.

Online: Google Books. Viewed: 22.1.2015.

  1. Jan Schürmann found in 2008 the grave of his great-great grand uncle in the St Mary's Cemetery, near St Mary's Church in the Benares Cantonment. [Google Maps]. [ ▲ ]
  2. Extract of a promotion for the journal:

    The Khair Khwdh i Hind has been in existence for nearly a year and a half, and it has now a circulation of more than 300 copies, monthly: of this the native circulation is considerable. The price is low, to bring it within the reach of native Christians, and others in similar circumstances, having been commenced, in the first instance mainly for their advantage. It contains, however, besides religious papers, essays on general subjects, and a fourth part of every akhbar is devoted to an abstract of the Political and General Events of the month. (also includes a list of content).
    (Publications of the London Religious Tract Society. No 82, 1839. Dhurrumtollah: Calcutta Christian Tract and Book Society's Depository. Reprinted, for instance, in: The Calcutta Christian Observer, Band 8, 1839. Page 178. [Google Books]). -- In his A memorial of the Futtehgurh mission and her martyred missionaries : with some remarks on the mutiny in India (1859, Pages 102-103. [].), the author and former US missionary Rev. John Johnston Walsh (1820-1884), describes the monthly journal:

    They also subscribe to the only religious newspaper in Northern India, conducted by the brethren of the London Missionary Society at Mirzapore. This paper is called the Khair Khwah i Hind, or Friend of India, and is published monthly in Hindustani. It publishes short histories of remarkable places, principally those of the Holy Land, and is illustrated with good wood cuts. It contains, also, abridged biographies of celebrated men, such as Luther, Howard, Sir William Jones, and Mahammad, and articles on universal and natural history. This paper has a very favourable and salutary influence, and is always looked for with eagerness. Our converts are nearly all annual subscribers to both the Bible and Tract Societies. The proportion of their beneficence is on an average about one-eighth of their whole income, and it evidences a willingness to do what they can for themselves, and the spread of truth and godliness; and how many there are in our own land, with much better means and more enlarged views of duty, who do much less!

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For reference:

Administrator. Johann A Schürmann ~ Correspondence :: 1 October 1852 - Death of JAS, in: Pirltawardli Research Website. Adelaide 2020.
(Created: 23.01.2015. Last updated: 12.02.2015.)
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