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you would not have room for them. I will only add a remark or two on the subject of the moral feelings and habits of these people.
It is scarcely necessary to say, that this their system tends to make them daily more earthly, sensual, and devilish” than they are by nature. Demonism can have no moral law, can teach nothing but vice, can have no other tendency than to make men abominable in the sight of God and man.
In all the religious systems which prevail in India there is the completest separation between those things which God hath joined—Religion and Morality. A man steeped in every
vice and abomination may be a Hindú saint. The demon-worship of the South does not pretend to have anything to do with a man's moral conduct. There is no recognition of the necessity of holiness; no reference whatever to morality, no inculcation of law, not the slightest intimation of a difference between good and evil. Certain crimes which affect them in their social relations are punished by the chief men of the village, or the heads of the caste, but this has nothing to do with their religion. The indignation of the demon is never said to visit a man because of
have committed. The nearest approach to this is the idea that the murdered man having become a demon, does sometimes visit with plagues the murderer. And, indeed, natural conscience seems almost extinct in the minds of those with whom I have had to do. I once baptized an individual of forty years of age, a shrewd, thinking man, the head of his caste, and a man of some little property; and this man assured me that, until he met with a Christian teacher, he never had heard, or supposed for a moment, that there was any such thing as “ sin,”--that lying, &c. were wrong. He said, he always had thought that a man had as much right to lie, and deceive for his own ends, as to labour for the attainment of anything he might desire; and that a man might gratify his own passions in any way he could, just as properly as he might eat any food within his reach. This man had read several books connected with the Brahmanical religion, and was moderately well-acquainted with that system,
I will not pursue this subject further, I have said enough to show that in the South of India our warfare is especially with sin,--that, whatever other obstacles we have to contend with, the love of vice is the most difficult to surmount.
Their system permits them to live as they please-ours demands the sacrifice of their own will, and requires them to live “ godly, soberly, and righteously, in this present evil world.” And this is to them a hard saying.
I claim sympathy from all classes of men for the missionaries in Southern India, as earnest, and, to a great extent, successful moral teachers. Indian missions are regarded too often with distrust. They are looked upon as the offspring of enthusiasm, nourished by romantic and excited feeling; unreal in their pretensions, and disappointing in their results. But I would implore those who may have imbibed this prejudice to read, calmly and dispassionately, the publications of the venerable Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, and of the Church Missionary Society, in regard to the missions of the English Church in India; and then to say whether there is not an urgent necessity for missionary labours there, and whether the zeal and earnestness which must animate our missionaries, have not been tempered, in most cases, by the utinost sobriety and discretion.
But I must remember, that I am writing not as an advocate, but simply as a witness regarding our missions. Some of
my readers will feel that this account of the condition of the Hindús is very different from the idea they had entertained of that people. The inhabitants of the North doubtless differ much from those in the South; and in the large towns you meet with men of somewhat higher professions; but I do believe that this paper gives a true and real picture of the condition of the overwhelming majority of Hindús. Everywhere ignorance, moral debasement, gross sensuality, utter prostration of mind and intellect, and apathy, are characteristics of the people. “ The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment."
Traits of magnanimity, elevation of mind, delicacy of feeling, energy of character, I never met or heard of among them.
. The example of the beings in whose hands they suppose their destinies to be placed, the absence of all hope, the nature of their worship, all tend to develope and strengthen the vicious propensities of the human heart. And thus every village is a festering heap of moral corruption.
In some of their books there are very beautiful ideas, and fine moral sentiments; but these exist only in those books, and meet with no response in the minds of the people. And those books are not religious books. I speak of the Hindús as I have found them.
Some, perhaps, will say, "If this be true, can these dry bones live?”. I can almost understand the feeling of those who, like the Abbé Dubois, write it down as their fixed opinion, that the Hindús are abandoned of God, undeserving of our sympathy, and inaccessible to our efforts.
The heart of a missionary, as I can testify, often dies down within him, as proof after proof of the moral degeneracy of the people is afforded; and more especially, when those he had trusted, and of whom he had hoped better things, deceive him. But surely the greater their weaknesses and wants, the louder the call for our sympathies and efforts to relieve them. And indeed, when we reflect that all the evils under which they languish are the natural and necessary effects of the religious systems by which they are and have been for generations enslaved, the greater hope is afforded us that, with the subversion of those systems, these evils must in time cease. Christianity is the sure remedy for every moral disease of man. In the measure of success already vouchsafed to our efforts and, making every deduction, that success has been really very great --we find ground for the hope, that, as our efforts are increased and our plans matured, with God's blessing, we shall at length be permitted to see the day when India shall become the garden of the Lord.
The present is surely a crisis in the history of India. Our empire seems to have attained its utmost limits. Peace prevails. Educational systems are being formed-railroads are contemplated; things are in a transition state. The time must be at hand when every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain ;” and when the word of God there shall run very swiftly. But the Church of England has never put forth her full strength in her East Indian missions. Men of preeminent qualifications are now more than ever required for those missions. A native ministry must be raised up. Great and comprehensive plans must be formed. A more complete ecclesiastical organization is needed. The work has been, it is true, to a great extent successful, but we stand as yet on the threshold only of our undertaking. We want more wisdom, more energy, more prayer.
G. U. P. Ashill Rectory, Norfolle.
CONSTITUTION OF THE CANADIAN CHURCH. The Church newspaper of Toronto bas lately (14th and 21st of February, and the 14th and 21st of March, and the 4th of April) contained various documents on a plan proposed by the Hon. Peter Boyle De Blaquiere, for establishing a Church Legislature in Upper Canada. This plan he has embodied in an Act which he intended to present to the parliament of Canada, in his capacity of a member of the Legislative Council ; but has been induced by an appeal made to him by the Archdeacons to defer it till next year, in consequence of the absence of the Bishop of Toronto. • It seems to us only just to Mr. De Blaquiere to draw a distinction between his objects and the mode by which he proposes to effect them ;—with the former we are disposed in the main to concur, and we hope that he may not be diverted by the criticism that he has met with, from presenting his measure in such an amended shape as may secure its advantages.
His plan is simply to introduce into Canada the constitution of the Church that prevails in the United States, with some modifications suited to the monarchical character of our institutions. We are persuaded that the events of the last few years in England will have tended to secure for him much sympathy among English Churchmen in such a measure as this. It seems that the chief cause of objection has arisen from the feeling that there has been want of courtesy to the Bishop of the Diocese in the conduct of the measure. Upon this point we hold, of course, that ecclesiastical authority emanates from the Bishop, and that nothing new ought to be completed without his sanction, and that it were well to consult him from the beginning; but we do not see that laymen and clergymen are absolutely precluded by this principle from proposing measures, or bringing them before any legislature of which they happen to be members, because they may not have previously consulted the Bishops. Mr. Frewen, we believe, has erred in this respect more than Mr. De Blaquiere, and has received not one tithe of the censure so liberally bestowed on the latter. Again, in the objections against his plan, much is made of loyalty, and the institutions of America are stigmatized as republican; and the dependence of the Church on the Crown, according to the old English theory of identity of Church and State, is relied on to an extent that seems very strange in these days, as well as the high sacerdotal principles taken against the laitý.
On the whole, we think the replies do not answer his case for reform, and that they are not drawn up in a manner and temper worthy of the subject
. We wish Mr. De Blaquiere had confined himself to obtaining for the Bishops of Canada (we do not see why the Diocese of Toronto alone should be chosen) such collateral sanctions as the State can give for the assembling their clergy and laity, in general and diocesan conventions, and making, all laws that might be requisite for the good government of their Church, subject to the authority of their ecclesiastical superior, the Archbishop of Canterbury. We think he would have pursued a better course.
In that case the power would be in reality derived from the episcopate, from which we hold that Church authority is derived; as it is, he seems to draw his authority from the colonial legislature—which we cannot admit any more than the imperial parliament to have inherent power to establish Churches, or to make their laws. We should have thought it was even more palpable in Canada than here; that it behoved Churchmen to stand aloof, maintain their right, and ask for power to deal with their own discipline, and all that relates to the strengthening and improving and extending the institutions of the Church within their own communion; basing its laws on the authority of the episcopate, and the hearty assent of the clergy and laity expressed through their representatives in synods.
Mr. De Blaquiere's Act is drawn too much on the appearance of the legislature founding a Church; it declares that the Church shall be of three orders, Bishops, Clergy, and Laity; it provides for the appointment of new bishops, for the election of bishops in future, for diocesan conventions consisting of all the clergy and a layman from each vestry, the Bishop being president, and having only a casting vote; for triennial conventions, the bishops, clergy, and laity debating and voting separately; for trials of clergy, in a manner which we do not thoroughly understand, and seems rather clumsý; for trials of bishops, by the triennial convocation : there are provisos against alterations of the Liturgy, well intended, but not, we think, well devised; and that nothing in the Act shall be held to make the Church dominant, which is only reasonable; and the powers given are in various ways restricted in a manner which cannot but necessitate a recurrence to the Canadian parliament, on occasions when perhaps it may be most inconvenient.
So far as we are aware, the two great blots in the system of the Church in the United States are, the power of the standing committees, and the not giving a veto to the bishop over the acts of his diocesan convention,-in other words, the letter of the constitution does not sufficiently recognise the episcopal office. We doubt not, that in practice the personal influence of the bishop and the improvement in Church feeling very much counterbalance this defect; and, possibly, the bishop has more real influence, as president with only a casting vote, than he could have if his nominal authority were recognised as it is in Europe. With these feelings, we regret to find that Mr. De Blaquiere proposes to give no veto to the bishop on the acts of his diocesan synod, though he seems to avoid the other objection in great measure, and gives the power of patronage, and, we conclude, that of ordination also, to the bishop, with a completeness that can hardly be permanent.