Imagens das páginas

alone, as the Abbé Dubois asserts, they attend, continued there till he was upwards of twenty years of age: indeed, I left him in the school when I came away from the South. He seemed really to love the New Testament; and used to read it at home, notwithstanding the opposition of his family. At length they complained of him to an Uncle, the senior member of the family, requesting him to use his influence to induce the young man to lay aside the obnoxious book. The old man, with the liberality of a Gamaliel, sent for his Nephew, and desired to look at the book (which was a Tamul Testament). Having examined several parts of it, he returned it, speaking to this effect: This is a good book: it can do the lad no harm, and may do him much good: I will not, therefore, interpose, to prevent his reading it.

Just before I left the district, this young Brahmin wrote me the following Letter:

“Reverend Sir,

“I am very thankful to you for the good path which I am now learning in the Tinnevelly English School. My longing wish was, to wait always, yea, even to the day of my death, at your door, for to get instructions to save my perishable soul; which

no one yet had undertaken to do, but is done. in your days. Now, as I hear you are going away very far, we do not know what to do, and how we shall improve for the future. Therefore I beg you would be pleased to give proper orders, to bring me on forward in learning as usual.

“I am, Reverend Sir,

“ Your humble servant, .. “220 January, 1821.


This, with the exception of a few compliments, is verbatim et literatim: it will, therefore, speak for itself, as to the proficiency and spirit of the writer.

There are a few Brahminy Boys in many of the Schools of the Church Missionary Society; and, I believe, in those of other Societies also. In one of the Tranquebar Schools, supported by that Institution, out of the fifty-two Scholars it contains, forty-five are Brahmins. At a recent examination of this School, one of the Brahminy Boys, seven years of age, read our Church Catechism, and repeated a part of it which he had committed to memory.

A Missionary of the same Society, after mentioning his examination of the School at Madabaram, writes

In the afternoon, a Brahmin, who appears to be the principal man of the place, and who formerly was against our establishing a Christian School, came, and several other Heathens along with him. He said, * Sir, we see that this School is profitable to our children; for they have come home, and have put questions to us which we could not answer, and felt indeed ashamed that our children became our instructors. We, therefore, request you, not only to continue this School, but also to instruct us.' It was, indeed, unexpected to me, to hear this from that Brahmin, who, a year before, I thought would be our strongest opponent. According to his request, the way of Salvation was declared, and Jesus Christ preached to him : after which he ordered his servants to bring some fruit, which he offered to me, according to the native custom*.” - By the Third Report of the Serampore College, it appears, that, of the Fifty Students on the Foundation, Seven were Brahmins; who were studying, besides the Languages taught there, Geography, and the Newtonian System of Astronomy. And it is intended, in the present year, to give them, in common with the other Students qualified to

* Missionary Register, Oct. 1823. p. 443.

enter upon these branches of science, “ some knowledge of the First Principles of Chemistry; and thus to lead them gradually forward in scientific pursuits, while they advance in their Philological studies.”

Numerous instances to the same effect might be given, in reference to every other class of Hindoos: but, since the prejudices of the Brahmins are considered and acknowledged to be the most difficult to overcome, it will be sufficient to have stated these results upon that domineering caste, in answer to the Abbé's assertion, that the barrier between us and them is “ impassable.”

The Protestant Reader I refer to the blessed effect of the revival of Literature in the Western World, previous to the Reformation-an effect which, though these Schools produce no immediate conversions, warrants the anticipation of a result, at no distant period, equally glorious, from this wide diffusion of Religious and Scientific Knowledge! And I will detain him with the statement of only one Case, to prove that such expectations are far from being visionary, or beyond the probability of being realized.

At Tinnevelly, the Head Classes of the Church Missionary Society's Schools were assembled every Saturday Afternoon, ac

companied by their Masters, to read a Chapter in the New Testament, which was always given them on the Saturday preceding. They were then questioned as to the meaning of the Chapter, and afterwards listened to an Exposition upon it. The Missionaries at that Station continue this practice; and the last accounts received from them state, that one of the Masters had embraced Christianity, in consequence of what he heard from them on those occasions! · The Abbé Dubois asserts, that the “ project,” (viz. “ the establishment of Schools to enlighten the Hindoo Females")" is merely visionary, and altogether impracticable; the most deeply-rooted prejudices of the country being decidedly hostile to its execution"-" that even should not the prejudices of the country oppose an almost insurmountable bar to the establishment of Schools for Females in India, the state of poverty of the latter, and their numerous avocations, would not allow them to attend those Schools”-and, “that at least five-sixths of the Hindoo Females live in such distressed circumstances, that, from the age of eight or ten years, to the end of their lives, they are obliged to labour without intermission from morning till evening; and that, notwithstand

« AnteriorContinuar »