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Church Progress in Tinnevelly

From Mission Life, Vol. VI (May 1, 1869)


Church Progress in Tinnevelly.

SUNDAY, the 31st January [1869], will long be remembered in the Tinnevelly Missions. On that day, twelve persons, ten of them natives were admitted to priests' orders by the Bishop of Madras, and twenty-two persons, all of them natives, to the order of deacon. The total number of persons ordained on this occasion was thirty-four, which greatly exceeds the number admitted to orders at any previous ordination in India. Of the twelve candidates for priests' orders, one European and three natives were connected with the Church Missionary Society; one European and seven natives with the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. Of the twenty-two candidates for deacons' orders, fifteen were connected with the Church Missionary Society, and seven with the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. The examination was conducted by the Bishop's domestic chaplain, the Rev. O. Done, and his two native Missionary chaplains, the Rev. J. Cornelius, of the Church Missionary Society, and the Rev. D. Samuel, of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. The private address to the accepted candidates was delivered on the Saturday preceding the ordination by the Rev. T. Spratt, of the Christian [sic] Missionary Society. The ordination sermon was preached by the Rev. C. Devanayagam, of the Church Missionary Society, from Col. i. 28, "Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Jesus Christ;" and the Bishop was assisted in the laying-on of hands on those who were ordained to the priesthood by three Europeans and three native clergymen. The greater part of the Ordination Service, and of the service for the Holy Communion, was said by the Bishop in Tamil.

The total number of Missionary clergymen now in Tinnevelly is sixty-one, of whom fourteen are Europeans, and forty-seven natives; and of this number of forty-seven native clergymen, twenty-two, or nearly half the entire number, were admitted to holy orders on this occasion. When the writer of this notice arrived in Tinnevelly, in 1841, he found in the district seven European clergymen and only one native; and that native clergyman, the late Rev. J. Devasagayam, belonged to the district of Tangore. The increase in the number of native clergy from one to forty-seven marks the progress the native Church has made during that period of twenty-seven years.

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