Record

LevelItem
Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)CMS/B/OMS/C I2 E2/108
TitleLetter from Pratt and Bickersteth to Mortlock: 30 March 1820: London
Extent1 doc.
Date1820
DescriptionIs perplexed by way M. speaks of rules or regulations between missionaries and Corresponding Committee; M. alleges committee is given in effect no control over missionaries but this is not true; with his suggestion that the Corresponding Committee will give way over the printing of tracts, the Parent Committee cannot agree; the feeling of the Madras government towards the press, the indiscretions already committed by Rhenius, and imperfect acquaintance with the languages in which the tracts are to be written, over and above the importance of the principle involved and its very extensive bearing upon all future operations in India, render it imperative on the committee to "assert and enforce their right to hold an indisputed control over every publication which emanates from any individual connected with the Society". "The Committee cannot but be offended at the use which has been made of the Tract Association to thwart their proceedings, and are apprehensive of serious evils from such Institutions in India; Bible Societies and Prayer Book and Homily Societies are not dangerous because their activities are defined and there is a body responsible for them; tract societies are not necessary when each missionary society is capable of producing its own; may be advantage to supporting societies such as the Calcutta School Book Society, as members may support such an object when they will not support a tract society and there is less chance of conflicting religious views", but this does not apply to Religious Tract Societies; Committee feel some embarrassment in expressing views so deliberately, as Corresponding Committee had already approved Rhenius and Schmid joining the Tract Association; but Committee are still responsible for actions of R. and S. and insist that either they leave the association or all the tracts published by the association must be approved by the Committee prior to publication; M.'s representation of probable fears by Madras government reinforces Society's views, the government will feel more confidence in societies who are responsible to the Court of Directors in England, than in independent associations; suggest that members of the Corresponding Committee should avoid private communication with missionaries on topics where there is any difference of opinion; Committee are concerned to learn that some parts of Rhenius's journals are considered illusory or exaggerated by friends in India; depend entirely on Corresponding Committee and others in India to warn them of these matters, also to give guidance about publication of names; the suggestion that the English clergyman stationed at Madras should be secretary to the Corresponding Committee is quite incompatible with the relationship intended between the Committee and the missionaries; the Corresponding Committee should be an entirely independent body; errors of transcribers in despatches have been so bad that the meaning has been lost and much valuable time wasted; suggest engaging an assistant secretary, well acquainted with English to write regular despatches (without crossing) ensure all despatches are dated to assist ease of reference; Mr. Hough's reports are very gratifying; decision by the Resident relating to the transfer of the churches to the Syrians must be met with patience and prayer, thought the committee are not so dissatisfied as the missionaries, as they had doubted the original transfer through Major Munro (copy).
Access StatusOpen