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eighty miles to the north of us, also the Free Church of Scotland Mission eighty miles to the north-west, and amongst us all-missionaries and native Christians—there is no feeling and no quarrelling about Church party. Our object is to follow Jesus and to love one another, and to do the work in that field 10 which He has sent us, and there is no talk about mine and thine. Our Christians go to the other missions, and the Christians from the other missions come to us, and they sing and praise the Lord Jesus Christ with one heart, and I do believe this is the great secret of the success of the mission among the Santhals. Your correspondent calls us missionaries of the Baptist Missionary Society.' It will do no harm what people call us so long as we have a right and permission from the Lord Jesus to preach His blessed word amongst the heathen; but allow me to say that we do not belong to any society."
Several of the terms used in the above quotations are open to question, but we do not care to examine them here. Suffice it to say that the points on which the Committee felt concerned were principally the following :—1st. That the statement made by Mr. Boerresen did not give the true history of the origin of the Santhal Mission and of the way in which he and his colleague became identified with it. 2nd. That the important connection which existed between the Mission and the agents and friends of our own Society in India was igaored. 3rd. That there was no recognition of the fact that the Society were possessed of the land originally bought and the Mission premises erected upon it. 4th. That moneys specially contributed for building purposes had not been appropriated to their legitimate use; and 5th. That the Home Missionary character of the Mission was destroyed, in so far, that is, as funds were no longer to be raised in India, but in Europe, and principally in England.
Under the existing circumstances, the Committee decided ou seeking an interview with Mr. Boerresen, and after some delay, owing to his absence from London, the interview took place on May 8th last. Substantially, Mr. Boerresen admitted the facts, as they will be stated below, as to the origin of the Mission, and the proprietorship of the land at Ebenezer, but he also stated that he and Mr. Skrefsrud had purchased more land around the original holding, and that the deed which conveyed the latter to our society had been cancelled. The whole property is now vested in Messrs. Skrefsrud and Boerresen. Whether such a transaction can stand legally or not remains to be seen ; but the Committee were startled and grieved to find that their property had been so dealt with, and without their knowledge or consent. The interview was painful and unsatisfactory, and the result was the suspension of the annual grant to the Mission at Ebenezer.
In order to aid the Committee in presenting the true state of the case before their constituency, Mr. C. B. Lewis, of Calcutta, was asked to furnish such facts as he possessed. Mr. Lewis immediately did so, and the following statements are extracted from his printed memorandum :
Mr. Lewis wrote to Mr. Skrefsrud on the 22nd of May, in reply to a letter of his, in the following terms :
“I do not think that any one has wished to interfere with your freedom as missionaries of the Gospel, yet your relations with the Baptist Missionary Society are surely closer than your letter would seem to imply. Was not the Ebenezer station chosen and commenced by Mr. Johnson as a station of the Baptist Mission ?-was not the Pottah taken in the name of the Society ?were not the houses put up by contributions in aid of the same Society ?-and was not the Home Mission, whose funds have of late so abundantly sustained you, introduced to the public as 'Auxiliary to the Baptist Missionary Society? To say nothing therefore of the monthly subsidy paid you since 1867, there has evidently been a close alliance between you and our Society which deserves a better fate than to expire now in ill-feeling between us."
In answer to this Mr. Skrefsrud wrote me, on the 2nd of June, 1877, as follows:
“As to your several questions, then, I must enlighten you on certain points. I wrote to Mr. Johnson from Allamdanga requesting him to show me a place in Santhalistan, where two independent missionaries might labour. He suggested that we three, Johnson, Boerresen, and myself, should work together for the conversion of the Santhals, irrespective of denomination, leaving baptism and other matters an open question. At that time Johnson was in Belboonia. He and myself went in search for a place, where we might commence mission operations, and thought Chitragaria would do; afterwards he and Boerresen went to inspect the place; and finally Boerreson and myself decided upon our present station in Beniagaria. For the Potta I am alone responsible. Boorreson laid out the place, and he and myself built the houses, whilst Johnson remained in Sewry and Belboonia, only paying us a visit from time to time, till we had made the houses inhabitable, when he removed to Beniagaria in September 1868, and stayed there till February 1869, when the unfortunate accident happened, by which he was obliged to leave, first for Calcutta and Rangoon, and finally for Europe, since when he has not returned to Ebenezer. The largest sum for the buildings has been collected by Mr. Boerresen, but never has he collected money under cover of any missionary society beside our Santhal Mission, which does not belong to any society, as he tells everybody from whom he gets money for carrying on this work. The way in which this mission afterwards was named the Indian Home Mission to the Santhals was as follows:Mr. Boerresen brought Mr. Evans down with him from Allahabad. We had a conference here at which Mr. Johnson, Boerresen and myself decided to appoint some gentlemen as directing elders, to whom any important case might be referred and finally decided, and with a view to release Mr. Johnson from giving us the help he himself needed, to relinquish the help the Baptist Missionary Society recently had kindly given us, and finally that Johnson himself might not have to draw on the Baptist Missionary Society for support. The independence of the mission was also distinctly stated then. Next year Mr. Boerresen and myself appointed a managing committee, with Mr. Evans as secretary; but as some of the members either misunderstood their authority or exceeded it, Boerresen dissolved it in my absence. At a conference here, when we had the managing committee, it was proposed and carried, but for me, that the Rs. 115 the Baptist Missionary Society gives us, should be given up. My reason for that was, not to wound our kind friends who had helped us so liberally; and I should not like to see the co-operative relation of helping and being helped cease, especially as our work is conducted on Baptist principles with regard to baptism, the sine qua non in our work. There has been a near relation, is a near relation, and I hope it will remain to be a near relation, between us; but that relation must of course not infringe upon our independence. I think a short conversation between Mr. Boerresen and myself will dispel any misunderstanding which may exist between Mr. Boerresen and the good people in England.
“I must not forget to add that Evans had no authority from us to write 'auxiliary' to any existing society on our report; and he left it afterwards.”*
v. To this reply Mr. Lewis objects as inaccurate, and says :
“The desire to commence mission work in good earsest amongst the Santhals was felt by us many years ago. It was most definitely cherished, I believe, by our brother Mr. R. J. Ellis, when stationed at Sewry, Beerbhoom, a district where many Santhal villages are to be found. Mr. Ellis had a strong desire to become a missionary to the Santhals. His desire was not fruitless, but led him to collect an extensive vocabulary of their language, in which he had begun to preach, and to accumulate by the gifts of Christian friends the nucleus of a fund which might enable him to build himself a house whenever circumstances permitted him to settle among these people as their missionary. In January, 1865, however, a conference of the Bengal Baptist missionaries was held in Calcutta. Amongst its most important conclusions it was determined that Mr. Ellis should remove to Burrisaul, and that Mr. E. C. Johnson should, for the present, take his place at Sewry, 'as well to aid in carrying on the work at that station as to conduct the mission among the Santhals.'”
Our venerable brother, Mr. Williamson, was then alive, and it was thought that to place with him his son-in-law, Mr. Johnson, would be every way advantageous and agreeable to the wishes of both families. Mr. Johnson, however, who had received from Mr. Ellis his Santhal vocabulary and the money collected for build. ing, and who was very ardently and successfully striving to master the Santhal language, soon found himself burdened at Sewry by the Bengali work of that station; and he very restlessly and pertinaciously pleaded with the Committee to sanction such arrangements as would enable him to devote himself wholly to work in the new field. In looking over my letter-book I find repeated admoni
• Mr. Evans has seen this, and writes :
“ It was done with the sanction of both the missionaries and the (Indian Home Mission] committee, and was dropped at Mr. Skrefsrud's request, when he and Boerreson thought they could manage without the aid of the Baptist Missionary Society.
"I always regarded the work as auxiliary to the Baptist Missionary Society, and it was as such that I did all I could for it.”
tions to patience and self-control addressed to him. Gradually, however, his way was cleared for entrance upon this new work; but in my absence in England during 1866, and the greater part of the following year, all the details of its beginning are not known to me. It was, however, early in 1867 that Mr. Johnson became interested in Messrs. Boerresen and Skrefsrud, who had come out to join in the Chota Nagpore mission ; but owing to some disagreement with the senior missionaries had separated from them. What the unpleasant circumstances leading to the separation were, Mr. Johnson does not appear to have been told. Well satisfied with his own conviction of their Christian integrity, Mr, Johnson encouraged them to come and labour with him, most generously contributing to their support the whole income derived from his little patrimony, amounting to about Rs. 80 monthly. Our brethren in Calcutta, recognizing his missionary ardour and generous self-sacrifice, did not discourage his arrangements, but recommended to the Committee at home that an allowance of Rs. 100 a month should be made for the further support of his helpers. At a meeting held in Calcutta, on the 6th of August, 1867, Mr. Johnson was recommended to put up houses for the accommodation of himself and his brethren at Ebenezer, twelve or fourteen miles to the west of Rampore Haut; a spot which had been fixed upon by himself and his new colleagues as suitable for the purpose they had on view. One of them, Mr. Boerresen, was thought to have some experience as a civil engineer, and the erection of the houses was entrusted to his care. Mr. Johnson computed that the cost of two small bunga. lows for himself and his fellow-labourers would be just covered by Rs. 2,000. The work was now begun, and when I arrived in Calcutta at the end of Nov., 1867, Mr. Johnson met me on ship-board, eager to secure my sympathy and aid in regard to the new station. He had not yet heard from England that the Rs. 100 per mensem solicited for the support of his colleagues had been conceded by the committee, and he was anxious to secure my advocacy in this matter, which was willingly promised. Mr. Johnson and his helpers for the present resided at Sewry; but paid frequent visits to the new station. His journal shows that he shared very largely with them in all the toils of the new undertaking, cutting wood for the buildings with the Santhals, and besetting the raja of Nulhattee with frequent and most wearisome importunity for the needful Pottah, until at last, at 2} a.m., on the 15th of March, 1868, the long delayed document was duly signed and given into his possession. The responsibility of finding the money was, of course, at this early stage of the proceedings, all his own. The want of funds sufficient to complete the buildings was indeed a matter of great concern to him, and other occasions for anxiety were not lacking. In December he wrote me as follows:
“I should be very thankful if, whenever you hear it, you would correct a certain report which, I understand, has found its way into some Baptist circles in Calcutta—and that is, that infant-baptism is to be practised in this work. Now this is quite a delusion, arising I believe from a misunderstanding of the words in my report, ` All church matters to be settled by us.' Now, not from vanity, but thinking that such would be better understood, I have unfortunately put myself in the plural number in that report. The meaning is this, that baptism and all church matters are to be left in toto to me, that Skrefsrud has quite resigned his right to have anything to say in this matter. He simply preaches and forwards the interest of the Mission in every wiy. It is distinctly understood that, as a Baptist Mission, infant-baptism is never even to be discussed, much less practised.
“Furthermore, Skrefsrud is decidedly against infant-baptism, and considers that our plan of baptising only adults is the correct and scriptural one to be pursued with the heathen.”
Mr. Skrefsrud was baptized in the Circular Road Chapel on the 5th of April, 1868.
Following this is a brief account of Mr. Johnsons early plans, and then the narrative goes on thus :
Towards the end of February, 1867, Mr. Johnson had the pleasure to meet at Ebenezer the Rev. T. Evans and R. Carr, Esq., who came down from Allahabad to see the new station, and to encourage those who were erecting it. They did not come empty-handed, but brought with them Rs. 1,000, making up the sum of Rs. 3,000 from Allahabad, for the building expenses, mostly realized from a Fancy Sale which Mr. Evans and his friends had held. The want of more money was, however, very soon sorely felt, and on the 30th of May, Mr. Johnson applied to me to know whether I could not, on the part of the Society, let him have Rs. 1,000. He was at this time drawing Rs. 30 monthly for house rent. He proposed to take this Rs. 1,000 as an advance on the same account, and he evidently hoped that, with the money previously spent, this assistance would very nearly enable them to complete the building. His request was complied with.
After some details concerning differences between Mr. Johnson and Messrs. Skrefsrud and Boerresen on account of the buildings, which the former considered to be too expensive, as well as faultily constructed, the memorandum proceeds :
Matters now moved on quietly for a little while. At the end of September, however, Mr. Johnson wrote as follows :
“I have now something to speak upon which is not pleasant. I much fear I cannot get on with the two brethren here. I do not think it necessary here to state my reasons. If called upon to do so, I will.
“I briefly propose a plan which I think might be advantageous to the Society. I believe the Society wish a Santhal Mission. In such a case I would suggest that Messrs. Boerresen and Skrefsrud each receive a salary of Rs. 150. They will then be able to live in the two separate bungalows which are erected here, in comparative comfort, instead of the wretchedness which they are now in.
“Should you wish to have a superintending missionary (though I do not think such would be necessary if both are made responsible agents of the Society) there would be room enough for him in the larger bungalow to visit the station occasionally.
"With regard to myself, I would suggest that I be sent elsewhere. If I anderstand right, there are now and will be shortly many places in need of a missionary. I am open to a proposition to be sent to any of them.
“I mention this plan, as being that which I think best suited for the Society's wishes, in having the work carried on as cheaply as possibly, as both Skrefsrud and Boerresen are willing to live on Rs. 150 each.”