On this day in 1806, Alexander Duff, missionary to India, was born on a small farm in Scotland.

At the age of 23, Duff was sent to India under the guidance of the Church of Scotland.  He was their first missionary to India.  When Duff arrived in India, he found many of the missionaries there working among the lower caste.  But few were working to reach the upper caste systems.  The members of the higher caste were so bound by their power, wealth, and culture that any missionary who did try to work among them found himself facing an almost impossible task.  But Duff was determined to reach out to these people and not give up.

Like so many of the other missionaries, Duff seemed to hit a brick wall when trying to reach out to them with the gospel.  But then an idea came to him.  If the older members of the society refuse the gospel, why not reach out to the younger ones?  Why not try to influence the next generation?  So Duff did just that.  He realized that if he create universities that offered quality education, the upper class members of the Indian society, whether Muslim or Hindu, would happily send their children with the dreams of further advancement for them.  But once they were in the universities, he could them them, aside from the secular knowledge, the great truths of God’s word.

His first school was started in the home of an influential Hindu man, who liked the idea of a University for his children.  Soon, the school began to grow and Duff saw success in not only influencing the lives and minds of these young people, but also their spiritual condition.  Soon, Duff’s plans for work among the upper class became the model many other missionaries used.


Alexander Duff

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