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it is not impossible,-hardly improbable. If such, in future, should be the situation of this country, it is impossible to say what political animosities may not be ingrafted upon this marked and dangerous division of mankind into the godly and the ungodly. At all events, we are quite sure that happiness will be destroyed, reason degraded, sound religion banished from the world ; and that when fanaticism becomes too foolish and too prurient to be endured (as is at last sure to be the case), it will be succeeded by a long period of the grossest immorality, atheism, and debauchery.
We are not sure that this evil admits of any cure,-or of any considerable palliation. We most sincerely hope that the Government of this country will never be guilty of such indiscretion as to tamper with the Toleration Act, or to attempt to put down these follies by the intervention of the law. If experience has taught us anything, it is the absurdity of controlling men's notions of eternity by acts of Parliament. Something may perhaps be done, in the way of ridicule, towards turning the popular opinion. It may be as well to extend the privileges of the dissenters to the members of the Church of England ; for, as the law now stands, any man who dissents from the Established Church may open a place of worship where he pleases. No orthodox clergyman can do so without the consent of the parson of the parish,—who always resuses, because he does not choose to have his monopoly disturbed ; and refuses in parishes where there are not accommodations for one half of the persons who wish to frequent the Church of England, and in instances where he knows that the chapels from which he excludes the established worship will be immediately occupied by sectaries. It may be as well to encourage in the early education of the clergy, as Mr. Ingram recommends, a better and more animated method of preaching; and it may be necessary hereafter, if the evil gets to a great height, to relax the articles of the English Church, and to admit a greater variety of Christians within the pale. The greatest and best of all remedies is, perhaps, the education of the poor ;-we are astonished that the Established Church in England is not awake to this means of arresting the progress of Methodism. Of course, none of these things will be done ; nor is it clear, if they were done, that they would do much good. Whatever happens, we are for common sense and orthodoxy. Insolence, servile politics, and the spirit of persecution we condemn and attack whenever we observe them ; but to the learning, the moderation, and the rational piety of the Establishment we most earnestly wish a decided victory over the nonsense, the melancholy, and the madness of the tabernacle. *
God send that our wishes be not in vain !
* There is one circumstance to which we have neglected to advert in the proper place, the dreadful pillage of the earnings of the poor which is made by the Methodists. A case is mentioned in one of the Numbers of these two magazines for 1807, of a poor man with a family, earning only twenty-eight shillinys a week, who has made two donations of ten guineas each to the missionary fund!
INDIAN MISSIONS. (E. REVIEW, April, 1808.) Considerations on the Policy of Communicating the Knowledge of Christianity to the Natives
in India. By a late Resident in Bengal. London: Hatchard. 1807. An Address to the Chairman of the East India Company, occasioned by Mr. Twining's
Letter to that Gentleman. By the Rev. JOHN OWEN. London: Hatchard. A Letter to the Chairman of the East India Company, on the Danger of interfering in the
religious Opinions of the Natives of India. By THOMAS TWINING. London: Ridgeway. Vindication of the Hindoos. By a Bengal Officer. London: Rodwell, Letter to John Scott Waring. London: Hatchard. Cunningham's Christianity in India. London: Hatchard. Answer to Major Scott Waring. Extracted from the “Christian Observer." Observations on the present State of the East India Company. By MAJOR Scott WARING.
London : Ridgeway. At two o'clock in the morning, July the roth, 1806, the European barracks at Vellore, containing then four complete companies of the 69th regiment, were surrounded by two battalions of Sepoys in the Company's service, who poured in a heavy fire of musketry, at every door and window, upon the soldiers : at the same time the European sentries, the soldiers at the mainguard, and the sick in the hospital were put to death ; the officers' houses were ransacked, and everybody found in them murdered. Upon the arrival of the 19th Light Dragoons under Colonel Gillespie, the Sepoys were iminediately attacked ; 600 cut down upon the spot; and 200 taken from their hiding places and shot. There perished, of the four European companies, about 164, besides officers ; and many British officers of the native troops were murdered by the insurgents.
Subsequent to this explosion there was a mutiny at Nundydroog; and in one day 450 Mahometan Sepoys were disarmed and turned out of the fort, on the ground of an intended massacre. It appeared, also, from the information of the commanding officer at Tritchinopoly, that at that period a spirit of disaffection had manifested itself at Bangalore and other places, and seemed to gain ground in every direction. On the 3rd of December, 1806, the government of Madras issued the following proclamation :
“A PROCLAMATION. " The Right Hon. the Governor in Council having observed that, in some late instances. an extraordinary degree of agitation has prevailed among several corps of the native army of this coast, it has been his Lordship's particular endeavour to ascertain the motives which may have led to conduct so different from that which formerly distinguished the native army. From this inquiry it has appeared that many persons of evil intention have endeavoured, for malicious purposes, to impress upon the native troops a belief that it is the wish of the British Covernment to convert them by forcible means to Christianity; and his Lordship in Council has observed with concern that such malicious reports have been believed by many of the native troops.
“The Right Hon. the Governor in Council, therefore, deems it proper, in this public manner, to repeat to the native troops his assurance that the same respect which has been invariably shown by the British Government for their religion and for their customs will be always continued; and that no interruption will be given to any native, whether Hindoo or Mussulman, in the practice of his religious ceremonies.
“His Lordship in Council desires that the native troops will not give belief to the idle rumours which are circulated by enemies of their happiness, who endeavour, with the basest designs, to weaken the confidence of the troops in the British Government. His Lordship in Council desires that the native troops will remember the constant attention and humanity which have been shown by the British Government in providing for their comfort, by augmenting the pay of the native officers and Sepoys; by allowing liberal pensions to those who have done their duty faithfully; by making ample provision for the families of those who
receiving their children into the service of the Honourable Company, to be treated with the same care and bounty as their father had experienced.
“The Right Hon. the Governor in Council trusts that the native troops, remembering these
circumstances, will be sensible of the happiness of their situation, which is greater than what the troops of any other part of the world enjoy; and that they will continue to observe the same good conduct for which they were distinguished in the days of Gen. Lawrence, of Sir Eyre Coote, and of other renowned heroes.
« The native troops must at the same time be sensible that if they should fail in the duties of their allegiance, and should show themselves disobedient to their officers, their conduct will not fail to receive merited punishment, as the British government is not less prepared to punish the guilty than to protect and distinguish those who are deserving of its favour. * “It is directed that this paper be translated with care into the Tamul, Telinga, and Hindoostany languages; and that copies of it be circulated to each native battalion, of which the European officers are enjoined and ordered to be careful in making it known to every native officer and Sepoy under his command.
" It is also directed that copies of the paper be circulated to all the magistrates and collectors under this government, for the purpose of being fully understood in all parts of the country. "Published by order of the Right Hon. the Governor in Council.
“G. BUCHAN, Chief Secretary to Government. “Dated in Fort St. George, 3rd Dec., 1806."
Scott Waring's Preface, iii. -v. So late as March, 1807, three months after the date of this proclamation, so universal was the dread of a general revolt among the native troops, that the British officers attached to the native troops constantly slept with loaded pistols under their pillows.
It appears that an attempt had been made by the military men at Madras to change the shape of the Sepoy turban into something resembling the helmet of the light infantry of Europe, and to prevent the native troops from wearing on their foreheads the marks characteristic of their various castes. The sons of the late Tippoo, with many noble Mussulmans deprived of office, at that time resided in the fortress of Vellore, and in all probability contributed very materially to excite or to inflame those suspicions of designs against their religion which are mentioned in the proclamation of the Madras Government, and generally known to have been a principal cause of the insurrection at Vellore. It was this insurrection which first gave birth to the question upon missions to India; and before we deliver any opinion upon the subject itself, it will be necessary to state what had been done in former periods towards disseminating the truths of the gospel in India, and what new exertions had been made about the period at which this event took place.
More than a century has elapsed since the first Protestant missionaries appeared in India. Two young divines, selected by the University of Halle, were sent out in this capacity by the King of Denmark, and arrived at the Danish settlement of Tranquebar in 1706. The mission thus begun has been ever since continued, and has been assisted by the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge established in this country. The same Society has, for many years, employed German missionaries, of the Lutheran persuasion, for propagating the doctrines of Christianity among the natives of India. In 1799, their number was six ; it is now reduced to five.
The Scriptures translated into the Tamulic language, which is vernacular in the southern parts of the peninsula, have, for more than half a century, been printed at the Tranquebar press, for the use of Danish missionaries and their converts. A printing press, indeed, was established at that place by the two first Danish missionaries; and, in 1714, the Gospel of St. Matthew, translated into the dialect of Malabar, was printed there. Not a line of the Scriptures, in any of the languages current on the coast, had issued from the Bengal press on September 13, 1806.
It does appear, however, about the period of the mutiny at Vellore, and a few years previous to it, that the number of the missionaries on the coast had been increased, In 1804, the Missionary Society, a recent institution, sent a new mission to the coast of Coromandel ; from whose papers we think it right to lay before our readers the following extracts : *
"March 31st, 1805. Waited on A. B. He says, Government seems to be very willing to forward our views. We may stay at Madras as long as we please ; and when we intend to go into the country, on our application to the Governor by letter, he would issue orders for granting us passports, which would supersede the necessity of a public petition.-Lord's Day.”-Trans. of Miss. Society, II. p. 365.
In a letter from Brother Ringletaube to Brother Cran, he thus expresses himself:
"The passports Government has promised you are so valuable, that I should not think a journey too troublesome to obtain one for myself, if I could not get it through your interference. In hopes that your application will suffice to obtain one for me, I enclose you my Gravesend passport, that will give you the particulars concerning my person.”—Trans. of Miss. Society, II. p. 396.
They obtain their passports from Government, and the plan and objects of their mission are printed, free of expense, at the Government press.
“1805. June 27. Dr. — sent for one of us to consult with him on particular business. He accordingly went. The Doctor told him that he had read the publications which the brethren lately brought from England, and was so much delighted with the report of the Directors that he wished 200 or more copies of it were printed, together with an introduction, giving an account of the rise and progress of the Missionary Society, in order to be distributed in the different settlements in India. He offered to print them at the Government press free of expense. On his return we consulted with our two brethren on the subject, and resolved to accept the Doctor's favour. We have begun to prepare it for the press.”—Trans. of Miss. Society, II. p. 394.
In page 89 of the 18th Number, Vol. III., the Missionaries write thus to the Society in London, about a fortnight before the massacre at Vellore :
“Every encouragement is offered us by the established government of the country, Hitherto they have granted us every request, whether solicited by ourselves or others. Their permission to come to this place; their allowing us an acknowledgment for preaching in the fort, which sanctions us in our work; together with the grant which they have lately given us to hold a large spot of ground every way suited for missionary labours, are objects of the last importance, and remove every impediment which might be apprehended from this source. We trust not to an arm of flesh; but when we reflect on these things, we cannot but behold the loving-kindness of the Lord.”
In a letter of the same date we learn, from Brother Ringletaube, the following fact :
“The Dewan of Travancore sent me word that if I despatched one of our Christians to him, he would give me leave to build a church at Magilaniy. Accordingly I shall send in a short time. For this important service our Society is indebted alone to Colonel without whose determined and fearless interposition none of their missionaries would have been able to set a foot in that country.”
In page 381, Vol. II., Dr. Kerr, one of the chaplains on the Madras establishment, baptizes a Mussulman who had applied to him for that pur. pose: upon the first application it appears that Dr. Kerr hesitated ; but upon the Mussulman threatening to rise against him on the day of judgment, Dr. Kerr complies.
It appears that in the Tinevelly district, about a year before the massacre of Vellore, not only riots, but very serious persecutions of the converted natives had taken place, from the jealousy evinced by the Hindoos and Mussulmans at the progress of the gospel.
* There are six societies in England for converting heathens to the Christian religion. 1. Society for Missions to Africa and the East; of which Messrs. Wilberforce, Grant, Parry, and Thorntons are the principal encouragers. 2. Methodist Society for Missions. 3. Anabaptist Society for Missions. 4. Missionary Society. 5. Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. 6. Moravian Missions. They all publish their proceedings.
"Rev. Sir, I thought
ought you sufficiently acquainted with the late vexations of the Christians in those parts, arising from the blind zeal of the heathens and Mahometans; the latter viewing with a jealous eye the progress of the Gospel, and trying to destroy, or at least to clog it by all the crafty means in their power. I therefore did not choose to trouble you; but as no stop has been put to those grievances, things go on from bad to worse, as you will see from what has happened at Hickadoe. The Catechist has providentially escaped from that outrageous attempt by the assistance of ten or twelve of our Christians, and has made good his Aight to Palamcotta ; while the exasperated mob, coming from Padeckepalloe, hovered round the village, plundering the houses of the Christians, and ill-treating their families by kicking, flogging, and other bad usage; these monsters not even forbearing to attack, strip, rob, and miserably beat the Catechist Jesuadian, who, partly from illness and partly through fear, had shut himself up in his house. I have heard various accotints of this sad event; but yesterday the Catechist himself called on me and told me the truth of it. From what he says it is plain that the Manikar of Wayrom (a black peace officer of that place) has contrived the whole affair, with a view to vex the Christians. I doubt not that these facts have been reported to the Rev. Mr. K. by the country priest ; and if I mention them to you, it is with a view to show in what a forlorn state the poor Christians hereabout are, and how desirable a thing it would be if the Rev. Mr. Ringletaube were to come hither as soon as possible; then tranquillity would be restored, and future molestations prevented. I request you to communicate this letter to him with my compliments. I am, Sir, &c. Manapaar, June 8, 1805.'
“This letter left a deep impression on my mind, especially when I received a fuller account of the troubles of the Christians. By the black underlings of the collectors they are frequently driven from their homes, put in the stocks, and exposed for a fortnight together to the heat of the raging sun and the chilling dews of the night, all because there is no European missionary to bring their complaints to the ear of government, who, I am happy to add, have never been deficient in their duty of procuring redress, where the Christians have had to complain of real injuries. One of the most trying cases, mentioned in a post. script of the above letter, is that of Christians being flogged till they consent to hold the torches to the heathen idols. The letter says, “The Catechist of Collesigrapatuam has informed me that the above Manikar has forced a Christian, of the Villally caste, who attends at our church, to sweep the temple of the idol. A severe flogging was given on this occasion. From such facts, the postscript continues, 'You may guess at the plorable situation of our fellow-believers, as long as every Manikar thinks he has a right to do them what violence he pleases.'
“It may be observed, to the glory of that Saviour who is strong in weakness, that many of the neophytes in that district have withstood all these fiery trials with firmness. Many also, it is to be lamented, have fallen off in the evil day, and at least so far yielded to the importunity of their persecutors as again to daub their faces and bodies with paint and ashes, after the manner of the heathen. How great this falling-off has been I am not yet able to judge. But I am happy to add that the Board of Revenue has issued the strictest orders against all unprovoked persecution.”—Trans. of Miss. Society, II. 431-433.
The following quotations evince how far from indifferent the natives are to the progress of the Christian religion in the East :
"1805. Oct. 10 A respectable Brahman in the Company's employ called on us. We endeavoured to point out to him the important object of our coming to India, and mentioned some of the great and glorious truths of the Gospel which we wished to impart in the native language, He seemed much hurt, and told us the Gentoo religion was of a divine origin, as well as the Christian ; that heaven was like a palace which has many doors, at which people may enter; that variety is pleasing to God, &c., and a number of other argu. ments which we hear every day. On taking leave, he said, 'The Company has got the country (for the English are very clever), and perhaps they may succeed in depriving the Brahmans of their power, and let you have it.'
“November 16th. Received a letter from the Rev. Dr. Taylor ; we are happy to find he is safely arrived at Calcutta, and that our Baptist brethren are labouring with increasing success. The natives around us are astonished to hear this news. It is bad news to the Brahmans, who seem unable to account for it. They say the world is going to ruin."Trans. of Miss. Society, II. 442 and 446.
“While living in the town, our house was watched by the natives from morning to night, to see if any persons came to converse about religion. This prevented many from coming, who have been very desirous of hearing of the good way."-Trans. of Miss. Society, No. 18, p. 87
“If heathen of great influence and connections, or Brahmans, were inclined to join the Christian Church, it would probably cause commotions, and even rebellions, either to prevent them from it, or to endanger their life. In former years we had some instances of this kind at Tranquebar, where they were protected by the assistance of Government. If such instances should happen now in our present times, we don't know what the consequence would be."-Trans. of Miss. Society, II. 185.