Alexander Duff (missionary)

Alexander Duff (25 April 1806, in Edinburgh – 12 February 1878, in Sidmouth) was a Christian missionary in India; where he played a large part in the development of higher education. He was a Moderator of the General Assembly and convener of the foreign missions committee of the Free Church of Scotland and a scientific liberal reformer of anglicized evangelism across the Empire. He was the first overseas missionary of the Church of Scotland to India. On 13 July 1830 he founded the General Assembly's Institution in Calcutta, now known as the Scottish Church College. He also played a part in establishing the University of Calcutta. He was twice Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland in 1851 and 1873, the only person to serve the role twice.

Alexander Duff

Quotes edit

  • While you engage in directly separating as many precious atoms from the mass as the stubborn resistance to ordinary appliances can admit, we shall, with the blessing of God, devote our time and strength for the preparing of a mine, and the setting of a train which shall one day explode and tear up the whole from its lowest depths.
    • Alexander Duff, Missionary addresses delivered before the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, in 1835, 1837, 1839. With additional papers on Female education, and the Danish, or earliest Protestant Mission to India, also in : Madhya Pradesh (India), Goel, S. R., Niyogi, M. B. (1998). Vindicated by time: The Niyogi Committee report on Christian missionary activities. ISBN 9789385485121
  • Alexander Duff was convinced that “of all the systems of false religion ever fabricated by the perverse ingenuity of fallen men, Hinduism is surely the most stupendous” and that India was “the chief seat of Satan’s earthly dominion.”
    • Alexander Duff, cited by S.R. Goel History of Hindu-Christian Encounters (1996)
  • In 1840, the Reverend Alexander Duff briefly referred to the Aryan commonality by stating that the Hindus "can point to little that indicates their high original." But for the most part he also simply ranted that they "have no will, no liberty, no conscience of their own. They are passive instruments, moulded into shape by external influences—mere machines, blindly stimulated, at the bidding of another, to pursuits the most unworthy of immortal crea tures. In them, reason is in fact laid prostrate. They launch into all the depravities of idol worship. They look like the sports and derision of the Prince of darkness" (107).
    • quoted in Bryant, E. F. (2001). The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture : the Indo-Aryan migration debate. Oxford University Press. ch 1

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