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countries. This glorious cause, which involves every blessing, is a whole, and if it advance in one part, all the rest rejoice with it. And next to the immediate enjoyinent of His favors ourselves, is the joy arising from their being imparted to others.
We have thus simply developed our plan. Its chief object is, to strengthen the hands of those who interest themselves in the wel. fare of India, by bringing regularly before them every thing calculated to furnish ground of encouragement. The sources are various; and the Editors trust that their long residence in India, the idea they have been enabled to obtain of the chief languages of Eastern Asia, and their extensive correspondence in India, Britain, and America, will prevent their wholly disappointing expectation. But they'would earnestly caution their friends against expecting too much. Intelligence from the various parts of India and from Europe is often precarious; and they have much on their hands besides. If they shall be enabled in the least degree, however, to increase the sum total of exertions made in India and its various isles, by those who long for the coming of the kingdom of God and the emancipation of man from ignorance, vice, and misery, their wishes will be fully accomplished.
The “ Friend of India” will be printed on Engli-h paper in a small octavo size; and the number of pages will vary from 24 to 32 according to the quantity of matter in hand. The price of each number will be at present only One Rupee; and should the quantity of intelligence constrain them hereafter to increase the size and the price, previous notice will be given. The numbers will in general appear monthly, and as early in every month as circumstances permit. The first numbers will contain a brief view of the progress of vital religion in Bengal among the European part of the community from the earliest period to the present time, to which will be added, an account of the various Institutions now formed at this Presidency for the promotion of knowledge and religion.
Mission House, Serampore,
April 30th, 1818.
THE FRIEND OF INDIA.
A brief View of the Progress of religion in Bengal chiefly among
the European part of the community, from the year 1758 to the present period, with an account of the various Societies and Institutions for the advancement of knowledge and religion.
FEW facts can be more worthy of preservation than those which relate to the existence of true religion in any place or country. On this head the conduct of the Supreme Governor of the world, when, amidst a general profession of attachment to bis worship, the number of those who really feared him were few, may serve both to direct and to fix our ideas. 66 Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another, and the Lord hearkened and heard it; and a book of remembrance was written be. fore him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon
his name." If the King of the universe, the Source of wisdom and knowledge, did not deem this discrimination relative to those who really feared him, unworthy either of his goodnes or his wisdom, nor the record of their daily intercourse unworthy of a place before himself; to attempt such a research or to perpetuate the record cannot be unworthy of men. The taste for this discrimination must be allowed to be godlike, and therefore worthy of cultivation, however disapproved by the world at large.
There are also circumstances which render such a subject interesting to every friend of mankind. That Britain is capable of. becoming an extensive blessing to India, is admitted by all' who are thoroughly acquainted with the circumstances of the two countries. That this arises chiefly from her being able to impart a knowledge of the scriptures and a love to vital godliness, is also
admitted. But can this be imparted without being previously possessed? The moral character of Europeans in India therefore, or in other words, the degree in which they possess the fear of God, muśt ever be a matter of importance. If one of the greatest obstacles to the reception of the Gospel by the natives has been found in the irreligious conduct of Europeans, surely nothing can be more important to themselves to Britain, -and to India, than the state of real religion among them; and in future time few memoirs will be more interesting, than those which contain genuine though im. perfect information relative to the origin and progress of vital religion in Bengal. With this view we have turned our attention to this subject, urged by the consideration that the present generation are rapidly passing away; that every year removes to their native land, or consigns to the tomb, persons in whose remembrance alone important facts of this nature remain; and that time is thus gradually drawing the curtain of oblivion over former scenes. Sensible of this, therefore, it seems not improper to pen such a brief sketch of facts and circumstances as a course of nearly twenty five-years, assisted by personal conversation with many who were on the spot many years previously to that period, has brought to our knowledge. In doing this our aim is simple fact: the view conveyed will no doubt be incomplete, but we trust that as far as it extends, it will be found correct.
The Presidency of Fort William, seems to have been indebted for the introduction of religion to the Mission at Tranquebar. Prior to the capture of Calcutta in 1756, there was a church somewhere near the spot on which the Writers' Buildings now stand, which however had suffered materially in the dreadful earthquake experienced at Calcutta in the year 1737, when its spire was thrown down; and in the sacking of the town by the army of Sirajůddoulah in 1756, it was completely demolished. One of the chaplains, the Rev. Jervas Bellamy perished among the other captives who were suffocated in the Black Hole on June the 20th of that year, and the other, the Rev.Mr. Mapletoft, died at Fultah among many others, in the mortality which followed the capture
of Calcutta and that fatal confinement. The Rev. IIenry Butler, appointed to Bencoolen, was detained at Calcutta in 1758 by Governor Drake, and the Rev. John Cape, appointer to Calcut. ta, arrived there the same year. But both of these died in 1761; and though no less than eight other chaplains were appointed to Calcutta within the space of twenty-four years, no church was erected for the Presidency till the year 1787. For nearly thirty years, therefore, the only Protestant church there, was one raised almost wholly by the exertions of a foreigner, a missionary men. ber of the Tranquebar mission, the Rev. John Zachariah Kiernander, of whom we will now communicate the few brief notices we have been able to obtain.
Mr, Kiernander was born at Akstad in Sweden, in Nov. 1711, and educated at the university of Upsal in the same province. When about twenty-three, he felt a desire to visit foreign universities, and in November 1735 he arrived at Halle in Saxony. Here he was noticed by Dr. G. A. Franck, the worthy son and successor of the excellent Professor Franck, who appointed him to an office of respectability and usefulness in that Institution. While he w's thus employed, the Society in London instituted for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge, applied to Dr. Franck, desiring hinn to recommend to them a suitable person for the Mission at Cud. dalore. Dr. Franck submitted this to Mr. Kiernander, who after
due deliberation accepted the call, and was accordingly ordained i by Dr. Franck to the ministry in November 1739. From thence . he went to London, where he was introduced to the dociety for
promoting Christian Knowledge, by the Rev. Mr. Ziegenhagen, for
abore fifty years chaplain to the Royal German chapel ; and being ; accepted by the Society, he left England in April, and arrived at
Cuddalore in August, 1740, where, for four years with the Rev. J. E. Gurister, and for fourteen years alone, he had the charge of that mission, preaching as occasion offered in English, Tamul, and Portuguese.
la May, 1758, Cuddalore was taken by the French General Count La'ly, who told Mr. Kiernander, on his waiting on him, that no Irotestant misionary was further required at Cuddalore; but that he was at liberty to retire to Tranquebar. To this town, the seat of the Danish Mission, he retired; but seeing no prospect of the immediate restoration of Cuddalore, he at length turned his attention eastward to Bengal, where the English were now risirg in power, and whither the Brethren at Tranquebar had long contemplated sending a mission*. In the city of Calcutta he arrived September the 29th, in the year 1758. Here he was received with great kindness by Governor Clive, and the other members of government, as well as by the Rev. Mess:s. Butler and Cape, the two chaplains then at the presidency; and here he began preaching the gospel with diligence, and opened a Schcol kuown by the name of the Mission School, in which many children were educated in the course of years, the Honorable Company furnishing him with a house for these purposes for more than eight years. On their needing these premises in 1767, Mr. Kiernander, who by marriage and the generosity of friends was now in wealthy circum. stànces, determined to purchase ground both for a church and a school, and to erect a church though at his own expence. This he accomplished, and on the 23d of December, 1770, the edifice plain in its appearance, but built of the best materials, was opened for public worship, being named by him Beth-tephillah, or "The House of Prayer." This building cost above sixty Thousand Rupees, of which only 1818 Rupees were contributed by others, he nəbly furnising the rest from his own private property. On the death of Mrs. Kiernander in 1773, he devoted the nett proceeds of her jewels to the Mission School, and on another occasion he and his son Mr. William Kiernander contributed four thousand Rupees more to the same object.
or Mr. Kiernander's personal piety it is not easy perhaps to speak with precision. Still however, that “charity which hopeth
* See Brown's Hist. of Missiou, vol, i.