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INDIAN MISSIONS. (E. Review, 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.

Windication 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. Ridgeway. London.

AT two o'clock in the morning, July the 10th, 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 ". 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 every bod found in them murdered. Upon the arrival of the 19t

Light Dragoons under Colonel Gillespie, the Sepoys were immediately 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 Mahomedan 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 3d of December, 1806, the government of Madras issued the following 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 Government 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 may have died in battle; and by 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. Bucha N, Chief Secretary to Government.

* Dated in Fort St. George, 3d 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 {}. 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, IL. 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. 369.

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

* 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.

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