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the form of a buffalo, which means—how is it possible it can mean any thing else ?—that virtue wars with vice; which notable piece of instruction, he says, is exhibited in pictures in ever so many places in Calcutta, where vice is no doubt very much restrained by this palpable and formidable lesson, this “speaking picture of good sense,” as he calls the disgusting and hideous figure of Doorga. True enough, much of the mythology was originally founded in allegory ; but boundless extravagancies of imagination have, in most cases totally obscured the original meaning, and not one Hindoo in a hundred, that hears the story, knows or cares any thing about the moral ; by which neglect, indeed, he probably suffers very trifling loss in the article of religion.
But mythology enters but little into the “religion" of a great proportion of the Hindoos; for the lower order are a very little more than mere worshippers of idols, and not a few of the unlearned part of even the Brahmins fail to carry their ideas beyond the idol, to which this writer pretends that even the most ignorant approach with no other view, than to aid their minds to raise their contemplations to “ celestial beings.”
It is well known that excesses of indecency, of a grossness almost inconceivable, and certainly unutterable, are practised as rites of worship before some of the idols. The Vindicator, however, says,
“Of the nature of the disgusting vices practised before these idols, I am entirely ignorant; for though I have visited many temples of elebrity, in Bengal, Benares, Mutha, Canouge, and Hurduar, and a hundred places besides, yet I have never witnessed any exhibition at their shrines, that bore the appearance of indecency."--p. 100.
He may be perfectly sincere in this declaration, and yet have actually witnessed such vices; for there is a moral sense necessary, as well as the sense of seeing, to perceive fully the disgusting quality of vice and indecency. He has probably seen in these hundred temples, very many times, the direct worship of the Lingam!!!— but it was not worth while, certainly it was not, to indulge any squeamish feelings of European moral taste. We could here fill many pages with loathsome descrip
tions, now on our table, of what it must have been inevitable for him sometimes to have seen ; and it cannot be for fear of hurting the moral sensibility which has been refined into Indian delicacy, that we forbear to insert them.
As to the morality of the Hindoo system, it would necessarily be of the most depraved character, if there were no other cause than the castes.
A large part of the moral code must relate to the interchange of equity among human beings; but what is to be the basis of such a code, when these human beings are assumed, or rather made, to be several distinct races of creatures, who can scarcely have any principles of social justice in common,—and when every rule and precaution for the preservation of this distinction, operates to the exclusion of benevolence? What will be the spirit of that morality, of which it is an express injunction on the Brahmin to despise the Sudra? Between the pride and contempt of the one, and the wretched degradation of the other, all kind affections, and all generous exercise of justice, are annihilated. Apart, however, from the castes, the Hindoo morality defies all comparison for absurdity. The compressed view of it, in the Institutes of Menu, is extolled by this unfortunate writer as the model of wisdom, and is most exactly deserving his praise ; for it is probably the most ridiculous and abominable assemblage of absurdity and priestcraft that ever insulted the slaves of superstition in any age or country.
A Reply to a Letter, addressed to John Scott Waring, Esq., in Refutation
of the illiberal and unjust Observations and Strictures of the anonymous Writer of that Letter. By MAJOR Scott WARING. 8vo.
A class of saints in India, and it is the most sanctified class,-commands the admiration of the natives, and excites the ridicule of foreigners, by the exhibition of limbs distorted and stiffened by a voluntary penance to please the gods. It must be amusing enough to the profane, to see the solemn gravity of countenance with which the yogi or fakeer comes along with his arms raised and crossed over his head for life, or with one arm sent bolt upright from the shoulder, never again to interfere in the concerns of its owner, and never to come in contact with his person, unless mischance or malice should happen to snap down the withered stick. It must be curious to consider, that while other men's limbs will perform an infinite number of optional movements, his will remain faithful to their “religious” crook or poker fashion, and will be found cutting the air in just the same figure, if the public should be favoured with the sight of them twenty years hence. Something analogous to this appears to have taken place in the mental faculties of our worthy acquaintance, Major Scott Waring. When in the preface to his “ Observations” he first set himself forth in a disgusting posture, we could have no idea that he was, to the exactest nicety, to stiffen in that very predicament; from the evident aversion to Christianity, we might indeed have expected performances not less true in their general spirit to paganism than the first; but it could not be foreseen that from the moment of finishing that first, the writer's mind should become incapable of altering, thenceforth, the action of its faculties, even in
the smallest perceptible degree, and that, as a true intellectual fakeer, it should be cramped into one precise specific mode of inviolable deformity. Such however seems to be the case; two large pamphlets have quickly succeeded the first, and the three taken together form such an instance of hopeless iteration, of absolute dead sameness, as the English public never saw before; and it will happen contrary to all present probability, if this most unfortunate man do not continue to the very last day of his life repeating incessantly, without the chance of any variation, even of phrase, that the missionaries are mad Calvinistic sectaries, that the Indians never can be converted, that it is madness to think of it, that there has never been one good convert, &c &c. &c.
It is certainly a hapless condition to have the mind thus set and shrivelled into one unalterable and degrading position of its faculties; but if we regret to see the spectacle, it is not on account of Christianity, as the object of the fixed enmity of such a mind; for no mode of hostility can be more innoxious than the pure insensate reiteration, without the possibility of a diversification or novelty, of a few false or futile propositions. Not, however, that the Christian religion could have had any thing to fear from the slender talents of our fakeer, even if this fatal arrest had not annihilated their free agency, by crooking and clinching them into this one peculiar cramp of impiety.
In making a very few remarks on the assertions repeated in our author's second and third pamphlets, it is not of the smallest consequence which of these assertions is noticed first. It is said over again, a countless number of times, that the increase of missionaries, bibles, and tracts, had been represented to the mutinous troops at Vellore, and had greatly contributed to rouse their apprehensions that the Government intended to force them into Christianity. Now whether he did or did not receive this account from “gentlemen in India,” we can imagine his anger and vexation on finding it proved an utter falsehood, in a recent and decisive publication,
Considerations on the Practicability, Policy, and Obligation of communicating to the natives of India the knowledge of Christianity.
attributed to a person of the very highest authority, who has informed the public, that in a very long and minute examination of a great number of the surviving sepoys, before a Commission of Inquiry at Madras, none of those troops, in assigning the causes of their anger and tumult
, made any mention of missionaries or Christian books, which beyond all question they would eagerly have done in extenuation of their conduct, if that conduct had in any degree whatever been prompted by such a cause. For the truth of this statement, he appeals to the official Reports of that Commission, now deposited in the India House. It will take some considerable time, for the unfortunate Major to collect himself up from the splinters and fragments in which he is dashed by this demolishing blow. A
very favourite sentence in all the three pamphlets, and which is repeated beyond the patience of enumeration, is that unless the missionaries are recalled, or at least all their Christian operations suppressed, our Indian empire will be terminated within twelve months, by a general insurrection of the people. Now the only English missionaries who have as yet been able to make any very active exertions, are those in Bengal ; and this same man says that these missionaries have been confined to a very narrow scope, and have produced but a slight effect of any kind on the minds of the people.
He incessantly cites the expression of one of the missionaries, Mr. Marshman, that the appearance of one of them in a bigoted city “would create universal alarm," and asks how there can be any safety for our empire and people if such men are permitted to remain. It is to be regretted that Mr. Marshman had not used a more precise term, or added some explanation, in speaking of the sensation caused in the popular mind by the appearance of the missionaries; but if he has used å term of a signification too little defined for so important a subject, is it not the last excess of absurdity for a man in England to assume to interpret this term by any other rule than that supplied by this missionary himself and his associates ? Is it not a stupidity beyond example to