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the Hindoos, than on those of religion. They are every where divided into two remarkable classes, the one called the right hand, the other the left hand; which hardly ever meet without abusing one another, and very often proceed to blows, bloodshed, and murder. In a letter from a gentleman in India, addressed to the Rev. Dr. Vincent, and published in the report of the (London) Society for promoting Christian knowledge (1800), he says of the Hindoo religion," that it causes annually excessive tumult, and much bloodshed and murder. Let any one,” he continues, “recollect what annually passes between the immense multitude of the right hand and left hand castes, as they are called.
Such outrages are exhibited every year in Madras itself, in spite of the military drawn out to oppose it.” Is it possible, after knowing all these facts, to believe that any indecency of abuse ever commited, or possible to be committed by the missionaries, can much shock or alarm the Hindoos ? Our present author, (at p. 378) has, notwithstanding, quoted with trust and approbation the following passage from Major Scott Waring. “Hitherto the Brahmins lived on the most intimate terms both with the Protestant and Romish missionaries, without betraying any symytom of jealousy or enmity, but these English missionaries, by what I may call a ruffianly and abusive attack on the national religions of Hindostan, naturally excited the enmity of the Brahmins, and I am sure of all the Hindoos who read their tracts. Whatever objection this Major may have to abusive language against the Brahmins, he evidently has great delight in it when employed against the missionaries. The concession, however, is important. The Major tells us, by the work of his own pen, that the preaching of Christianity was so far from giving the Brahmins any, uneasiness that they lived on the most intimate terms with the preachers, without betraying any symptom of jealousy or enmity, till a ruffianly attack was made on their national religions. It is clear, that the controversy between us and the Major will be very soon closed. We say, let there be no ruffianly attacks,—we are persuaded there have been
say, that in this case Christianity may be preached without exciting any symptom of jealousy or enmity.
It is perfectly of a piece with the dishonourable misrepresentations of Mr. Chatfield's favourite Major, to intimate that disrespectful language, and even toward the most sacred and sensitive part of the Hindoo religion, viz. the Brahmins, was at all unusual in India or peculiar to the missionaries. We happened, for example, while writing this article, to open by accident a Calcutta Newspaper (the Asiatic Mirror of the 13th of May, 1807,) containing the following paragraph :-“The sanguinary battles between the Russians and French, the death of the king of Prussia, and the various other great events with which public credulity was some days ago amused, on the alleged authority of the Guzzerat Brahmins, are now universally admitted to have been achieved by fame alone. It is particularly unfortunate for the credit of the Guzzerat Brahmins, that their speculations, in which we were told they were so very confident, should have failed in this first essay. We recommend that, in future the authority of the Guzzerat bullocks be superadded to that of the Brahmins, an association that must give great additional weight to the testimony. We believe that no arguments can be necessary to convince our readers, that both authorities are likely to be equally well informed respecting the political affairs of the north of Europe ; and that, of the two, the quadruped is by far the least likely, either to circulate unauthorized rumour, or to indulge in any erroneous speculation. And, therefore, a report brought forward on the credit of the Brahmins, if backed by that of the bullocks, though it should not command implicit belief, must at least be entitled to the most respectful consideration, and will prove a much better apology for the publication of extraordinary papers, than any account resting on the evidence of the Brahmins alone." Is it possible, in words, at least, for human beings to be treated with greater contumely than this? When the sacred class itself is thus insulted in common newspapers, why are we imposed upon with
accounts of danger from a little alleged indecorum on the part of one or two missionaries?
There is a passage which Mr. Chatfield quotes (p. 376) from the Transactions of the Baptist Missionary Society, with a view to prove the frenzy of the missionaries. We transcribe it, as a very remarkable proof of three things; Ist, of the candour and veracity of the missionaries; 2nd, of the repayment in their own coin, which the missionaries, if they were really to be guilty of coarse and violent abuse of the heathen superstitions, would be liable to receive from the Hindoos on the score of those superstitions; and 3rd, of the total absence of any thing like alarm on the part of the Hindoos upon the preaching of Christianity: “ Wherever we have gone," say the missionaries, “we have uniformly found, that so long as the people did not understand the import of our message, they appeared to listen; but the moment they understood something of it, they either became indifferent or began to ridicule. This in general has been our reception!”
There is another passage of Mr. Chatfield's, which on every view of it deserves the most indignant reprobation.
“ The account," says he, “ of the modern conversion of the Hindoos may remind us of the conduct of the Spaniards, in the conquest of Mexico, whose greatest glory consisted in the number of souls baptized, not in the number of those made Christians.”—p. 381.
Let any one recollect the dreadful ideas which are conjured up in his mind by the mention of the conquest of Mexico, and of the horrid baptisms which attended it, ideas of cruelty, murder, and extermination, at which the blood runs cold,—and then think of the attempt to associate these ideas with the peaceful efforts of the missionaries to propagate Christianity in India! If this apparent attempt to associate the two undertakings, or rather to identify them in the reader's mind, was the result of deliberate intention, and not of mere inadvertence, we must consider it as involving a stain of indelible infamy on the character of the reverend author. But laying aside all thought of this insidious comparison,
as it respects the atrocities committed by the Spaniards, we must be allowed to observe, that the charge obviously intended against the missionaries-of being more anxious to baptize the body than to convert the soul—is utterly false. The principles of the Baptist Missionaries, if they are intended, render the truth of such a charge peculiarly improbable: because they attribute no efficacy to the rite of baptism in the affair of human salvation, and because they deem the baptism of any who are not first “made Christians” to be unscriptural and improper. If any one thing in the history of Missions can however be deemed certain, it is that these missionaries have been (to say the least) exceeded by none of any age or country in the scrupulousness with which they have investigated the sincerity of professed converts, and the candour with which they have published particulars of several cases in which their utmost vigilance has eventually proved to have been ineffectual.
It only remains for us to deplore that unhappy bias of heart or subjugation of intellect, which has occasioned a clergyman of the English Church to incur the suspicion, at least, of opposing the propagation of Christianity, and recommending the persecution of its abettors.
[January and February, 1810.]
Essays on Professional Education. By R. L. EDGEWORTH, Esq., F.R.S.,
M. R.I.A., &c. 4to.
In literary partnership with a female relative, this author has become sufficiently well known to the public, to enable it to prejudge with tolerable confidence the general qualities of any work he might write, especially on the subject of education. His book will be opened with the expectation of a very good share of valuable instruction, the result of a long and careful exercise of sound sense on the habits of society, on the experience of education, and on a great multitude of books. There will be no hope of convicting the author of enthusiasm for a system, or servility to any distinguished authority. It will be expected that good use will be made of the opinions of the most opposite speculatists, and that most of the opinions that are approved will be supported by some reference to experiments by which they have been verified. It will be expected that, while a philosophic manner and diction are avoided, and all speculations are constantly applied to a practical purpose, full advantage will yet be taken of those explanations which the laws of our nature have received from the best modern philosophers. The reader will reckon on finding it constantly maintained, that the influence of facts has fully as efficient an operation as instruction by words, in forming the human character; and he will not be surprised at a tone of somewhat more positive confidence than himself is happy enough to entertain, of the complete and necessary success of the process, when it unites the proper facts and the proper instructions. As a moralist, it will perhaps raise no wonder if the author should be found so much a man of the world, as to admit various convenient