Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

made by pious and excellent men for its immediate introduction over ourlate Conquests; and the same caution led to very strict rules being laid down to prevent any European Merchants or Adventurers settling in Central India, or having any money concerns with its inhabitants." :. There is nothing in this Extract (and I find no stronger language upon the subject in the work from which it is transcribed) that can justify the conclusion, that the writer has enlisted himself on the side of those who are opposed to Missionary Proceedings in the East. Instead of applying to the Advocates of, the Cause, as is sometimes done, contemptuous epithets, he speaks of them in respectful terms, as “ pious and excellent men;" and explains his reasons for rejecting their proposition, to arise, not from any hostile feelings towards them or their object, but from that caution which he thought it necessary to observe in reference to all other Europeans not immediately in the service of Government. .: The same author has forcibly shewn the

when Commissioner of the Poona Territories; as well as to me, when in charge of Central India. An answer, grounded on the reasons that have been stated, was given, by both, for rejecting its adoption.”

necessity of peace throughout the British Empire in the East, in order to preserve its stability. The propriety of the measures which he suggests for the purpose, on their adaptation to the end in view, I presume not, nor does it fall within my province, to discuss. One additional expedient, however, I may be permitted to mention, in consistency with the design of the present work ; viz. The introduction of Christianity. No policy can be compared with this! No enactments, no concessions, no judicial or financial arrangements, can so tranquillize the minds of men, as the genial influence of our Holy Religion. Peace is its appropriate characteristic. It reveals how peace was effected between God and apostate Man, by the Atonement offered on the Cross. It calms the fears of the guilty conscience, and reduces the turbulent passions of the soul to peace. When thus received into the heart, it will unite all the members of the body politic, to their Rulers and to each other, in one bond of amity and love. Visionary as these anticipations may appear to the partial observer, they are the very predictions of Holy Writ. “ And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the Mountain of the Lord's House shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills ; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the Mountain of the Lord, to the House of the God of Jacob! and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths : for out of Zion shall go forth the Law, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people; and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more:” (Isa.ii. 2-4.) • Come! behold the works of the Lord, what desolations He hath made in the earth! He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; He breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder: He burneth the chariot in the fire, Be still; and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the Heathen; I will be exalted in the earth :” (Ps. xlvi. 8-10. Every Christian, who has felt the power of Religion in his own heart, will declare, that such must be the universal effect of its diffusion through the world. And hence it is obvious, that there can be no sounder policy than to promote its advancement in the East.

That Sir John Malcolm has not noticed

this, in his enumeration of the measures calculated to preserve the tranquillity of India, cannot be fairly construed even into indifference, much less hostility, to this great subject. It may, and, probably, ought to be attributed to the same cause which I assign for not entering into the political view of the question-it did not fall within his province. • But while I argue thus for the policy. of propagating Christiany in the East, I must not be understood to recommend the Government to take an active part in the work. Not because I think, with the Abbé Dubois, that it would “prove detrimental to” the Cause, “by increasing the jealousy and distrust of the Natives” (p.48); but because I am persuaded that it would occasion the Church to be crowded with multitudes who would prove a disgrace to our Religion. When, in the reign of Constantine, Christianity was first made the Religion of the State, such was precisely the effect produced. The unassuming, the self-denying Genius of the Gospel fled before the Spirits of ambition and cupidity, which now possessed the Church. “External piety flourished; Monastic Societies in particular places were also growing ; but faith, love, heavenly-mindedness, appear very rare : yet among the poor and obscure Chris

tians, I hope,” says Milner, " there was far more Godliness, than could be seen at Courts; and among Bishops and persons of eminence. The doctrine of Real Conversion was very much lost, or External Baptism was placed in its stead; and the true doctrine of Justification by Faith, and the true practical use of a Crucified Saviour for troubled consciences, were scarce to be seen at this time. There was much outward Religion, but this could not make men Saints in heart and life.” True humility and charity were now little known in the Christian World, while Super: stition and Self-righteousness were making vigorous shoots; and the real Gospel of Christ was hidden from men who professed it *.”

Notwithstanding the confident assertions of M. Dubois and others, respecting the invincibility of the Hindoos' attachment to their customs and superstitions, I will venture as eonfidently to predict, that the Church of Christ in the East will soon become as crowd. ed, and as soon degenerate into this secular, heterodox, and vicious character, when the Natives shall find it conducive to their temporal welfare to embrace the Christian Religion. They would flock by thousands to the

* Church History, vol. II. p. 49.

« AnteriorContinuar »