Scudder, John, Md

Scudder, John, M.D., a celebrated missionary in Ceylon and India, was born at Freehold, N. J., Sept. 3, 1793, graduated at Princeton College in 1811, and at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, in 1815. He established himself at once in medical practice in that city with success and lucrative prospects. In 1816 he married Miss Harriet Waterbury, the estimable and efficient companion of hit missionary life. In 1819, while waiting to see a patient, be picked up in the anteroom a tract called The Conversion of the World, or the Claims of Six Hundred Millions, and the Ability and Duty of the Churches respecting them. Deeply impressed by its appeals, he consulted with his wife prayerfully, and with fasting and great deliberation. They gave themselves up to the foreign missionary, service, offered themselves to the American Board, and prepared for their .work. His friends were astounded that he should sacrifice his medical prospects of tame and fortune for such a venture. But the vow was made, never to be recalled, and joyously to be fulfilled. He was licensed by the Classis of New York of the Reformed Dutch Church in June, 1819, and they .sailed on the 8th of that month for their destination, with Messrs. Winslow, Spalding, and Woodward, to reinforce the Ceylon mission at Tilligally. Here he immediately began his career as a missionary, physician, and minister, although he was not ordained until May 15,1821, in the Wesleyan chapel at Jaffnapatam, by clergymen of the Congregational, Baptist, and Methodist denominations. In the large hospital which he established, cholera and jungle fever were treated with eminent success, as well as ordinary diseases of the climate. In 1822 a college was organized' In 1824 the mission enjoyed a wonderful revival of religion, which wrought with power at Dr. Scudder's schools. His influence added much to the great prosperity of the Ceylon mission, hi 1836 he and Mr. Winslow were transferred to India to establish a printing- press at Madras for publishing the Scriptures and tracts in the Tared language, The large printing establishment of the Church Missionary Society fell into their hands in 1838. Six millions of pages were printed by these brethren the first year. and more in later years. These were scattered through every open door far and wide among the natives. Dr. Scudder resided at Chin-tadrepettah, near Madras, and out of these beginnings grew up the Arcot Mission, which was received under the American Boara of Christian Foreign Mission in 1852, and subsequently passed into the care of the Reformed Church in America in 1853 as the Arcot Mission on the Reformed Church. After a residence of twenty-three years abroad, his health having suffered from the climate, Dr. Scudder returned to America in 1842, and remained until 1846. During these four years his time was employed in constant missionary service among the churches of this country. His labors among children and youth were memorable for the crowds that attended his public meetings, and his marvellous success in addressing them and direct influence for their conversion and consecration to the mission work. Upon his return to India, he resumed his work with characteristic zeal and energy. For a short time (1849), he was temporarily connected with the Madura mission. In November of the same year Mrs. Scudder died, and but a few days previously his son Samuel also deceased at New Brunswick, N. J., where he was pursuing his theological stuidies preparatory to joining his father and brothers in India. The death of this promising young man, in his twenty-second year, called forth one of the most touching appeals for men for his field, and in their absence he resolved to make up for Samuel's loss by personally rendering extra Service. This excessive labor brought on serious illness. In 1854, by medical advice, he went to the Cape of Good Hope. The voyage reinvigorated him, and after a brief sojourn at Wynberg, where he was very useful in Christian labors among the English-speaking people, he arranged to return again to his field. But only two days before the ship arrived, he died suddenly' of apoplexy, Jan. 13, 1855. Of his fourteen children, nine survive. His seven sons and two daughters became missionaries in the same field with their parents, and in the Afoot Mission of the Reformed Church. Two of the sons have since been obliged to leave India on account of ill- health, and have done good service to the Church at home. One of the daughters was, and the other still is, in missionary work (1870). Besides his numerous communications to the Missionary Herald and other serials for thirty-five years, Dr. Scudder issued several publications, which have all had a wide and useful circulation. Among these are, The Redeemer's Last Command : — The Harvest Perishing : — An Appeal to Mothers : — Knocking at the Door: — Passing over Jordan : — Letters to Children, etc. Dr. Scudder's distinguishing traits were decision of character, martyr- like attachment to the truth, and steadfastness in prosecuting his plans. He had in him many of the highest elements of moral heroism, a sublime daring to do right irrespective of opposition, a supreme regard for first principles, a scorn of all that was mean and small, a "zeal according to knowledge," and a practical wisdom in accomplishing his purposes which easily overrode mere conventionalities of routine. His intellect was robust, intensely active, and independent. His will was most positive and all- controlling when once he believed himself to be fight. Nothing daunted his brave soul In early life he had for months been the victim of a most terrible spiritual conflict, which ended in a peace that nothing afterwards seriously disturbed. It was the grand victory of his life, which dwarfed all other contests and made self-sacrifice the easy law of his new being. When one told him that he should consult conscience lest he should overwork himself, he said that he had "quashed conscience of that sort long ago." When asked in America, "What are the discourage-merits of the missionary work?" he replied, "I do not know the word. I long ago erased it from my vocabulary.'' He fought the battles of temperance among the missions and people, and for the extirpation of caste in the churches of India, with heroic power and triumph. His piety wan sweetly expressed in saying to one of his sons "that his ambition was to be one of the inner circle around Jesus in heaven." For years before his death he enjoyed unbroken "assurance of faith." His power and tact in personal religious conversation with almost everyone that tie met were wonderful. He preached the Gospel in almost every large town in Southern India. He made frequent and extensive tours for this purpose, preaching generally twice a day, and once "he stood at his post eleven consecutive hours. He did not even stop to eat, but had coffee brought to him." His biography is full of stirring incidents illustrating these and other characteristics of this remarkable man. A Memoir of him has been published by his brother-in-law, Rev. J. B. Waterbury, D.D. (N. Y. 1870, 12mo); also a previous volume called The Missionary Doctor and his Family, by M. E. Wilmer (Board of Publication of the Reformed Dutch Church). See Sprague, Annals of the Amer. Pulpit, vol. ix Corwin, Manual of the Reformed Church in America, p. 204-210. (W, J. 11. T.)

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