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The above will, wc think, satisfy our readers that the Vajra Stichi is a work of large merit though of small extent, and that it is well deserving of the estimation in which the joint editors hold it. Our Missionary friends, particularly, will be glad to be furnished with the principle, as well as with some of the most valuable portions of the detail, of its arguments. They are, we know, fully prepared to agree with Mr.Wilkinson in reference to the amazing obstacle which this most unnatural and perverse institution of caste opposes to the progress of our divine faith, and will therefore heartily rejoice in the appearance of a purely native work, of great clearness and vigour, directed against its supporters. It is of the highest moment unquestionably, to be able to shew, (even from those shasters affected at least to be so much, if not in all cases really revered,) the human and recent origin of an institution which, while it cramps the intellectual energies and rivets on the chains of an absurd and noxious superstition, at the same time so debases the human character, corrupts the moral sense, deadens the hest affections of the heart, and is calculated only to hold the mass of men in a condition of abject mental and social servitude to a crafty and oppressive tribe of priestly dominators.
Mr. W.'s preface thus well depicts some of the more prominent mischiefs resulting from tlie rules of caste :—
"There is no evil in Indian Society, which has heen so much deplored by those anxious to promote the enlightenment of the people, as the institution of caste. It opposes an almost insuperable barrier to the advancement of every class of the people. Whenever a youth, better educated than his neighbours or naturally gifted with keener powers of discernment, begins to shew his contempt for any debasing and superstitious observance, or a heartfelt desire to abandon any vicious custom by which he observes the morals ofhis countrymen to be corrupted, or to remove any restriction on the freedom of men's thoughts and actions, his caste forthwith taking alarm at these dangerous innovations, assembles, condemns his heterodoxy, And passes on him a sentence of excommunication more severe than the "aqua) et ignis interdictio" of the Romans, and only less so than the penalties of the Papal inquisition.
"If our young Philosopher possess strong nerves and an unusual degree of independence of mind and spirit, he may persist in maintaining the eternal truth and beauty of his new doctrine, and inveigh against the ignorance, prejudice and injustice of his fellows: by this means he only exasperates his adversaries, and thus forfeits altogether his respect (with) sod influence over them, and with these his power of conferring any benefit upon them.
"If our young Philosopher be made of softer stuff, he yields, out of respect to the feelings of parents, brothers, and sisters, that submission to the requirements of custom which he might withhold from the dictation of his caste. His submission to practices which his heart condumns as foolish, is thus liable to be quoted by others as a proof of their reasonableness. Thus, in holli cases, truth is sacrificed or despised, the spirit of improvement is overliorne and repressed, and the majority of the ignorant, prejudiced and superstitious triumph in the sacrifice of those who would be their saviours, enacting the Jews of old, who stoned them that were sent to them and slew their propkgts."
We now conclude with an expression simply of our earnest hope that some among our many competently qualified Missionary friends, or others, zealous in the cause of truth and Christianity, will not be tardy to turn this valuable tract into the vernacular idioms of each province of this vast empire. The original Sanskrit is in a very easy and tolerably pure style—at all events the English Translation is so accurate to the sense, and even preserves so much of the manner and spirit of the original, that versions from it would answer every necessary purpose, and may at once therefore be undertaken even by such as are but slightly or not at all acquainted with " the language of the gods."
On Saturday the 15th Jan. the Rev. Mr. Morton and family proceeded on board the Somersetshire on their voyage to England. In noticing Mr. Morton's departure we must be allowed to acknowledge the services he has rendered to the Observer as an Editor and a large contributor. We had occasion in our Introductory Remarks at the commencement of this year to allude to his services in one department. Our readers are indebted to his pen for all the articles that have appeared in the Observer under the signatures of HaVarensis and of Cinsurensis. His articles embrace many subjects. Besides those of an oriental cast, to which we previously adverted, his signature will be found affixed to reviews of works, western as well as eastern, and treatises theological, critical and literary. All his productions are distinguished by the same characteristics, liveliness of thought and expression. Altogether we have lost in Mr. Morton a most valuable coadjutor.—The Rev. A. Kreiss, formerly of the Basle Mission, has proceeded to Agra to labor in connection with the Church .Mission at that station. The Rev. G. l'ffander remains for the present in Calcutta.—The Rev. Messrs. Lacroix and Gogerly have returned to Culcutta, after an extensive and highly interesting ministration in the north-east of Bengal.—We understand that a Missionary belonging to the American Board of Foreign Missions may be expected in Calcutta early in the next year. A new mission is also about to be established at Moorsbednbad in connexion with the London Society; the Missionary appointed to this station is now on his voyage.—U'e notice with pleasure the arrival in Calcutta of the Rev. Mr. Barker, Mrs. Barker, and Miss Bronson, from America, on their way to join the American Mission in Assam.
2.—The United Monthly Missionary Prayer Meeting Was held last month at the Lai Bazar chapel. The address, delivered by the Rev. J. Thomas, was a very excellent and spirit-stirring appeal to
the Jaity on behalf of Missions. The text was, " Brethren, pray for us.'' The attendance was good.
3.—The Missionary Conference. At the Missionary Conference, the subject of Popery was discussed, and a very able report read on the present state of popery and the efforts of its emissaries for its propagation.
4.—Lord Auckland At Brindabun. The Native papers state, that Lord Auckland, in his way down, visited the famous Idol-shrine at Brindabun, and gave 1000 Co.'s Rupees to the priests. We hope this is false, for the sake of our common Christianity.
5.—Calcutta Bible Association. The Eighteenth Annual Report of this deserving institution has just been sent us, and for which we tender our best thanks; but as we have already given a full account of the meeting of the Association and in that a syllabus of its labors and prospects, we need not do more than state that it contains some very interesting matter, and will, we hope, induce the Christian public to render its aid to promote the local circulation of the Diviue volume in this city, almost wholly given up to idolatry.
6.—The Report Of The Calcutta Baptist Missionary Society.
We have been favored with the Nineteenth Report of the Calcutta Baptist Missionary Society—& most important and instructive document, ami one which we are confident will amply repay a most attentive and diligent perusal. It is superior in the amount and kind of information, and the general views which it contains on Missionary operations, to the generality of such documents. We gather from it, that the Society in northern India has 42 stations, principal and subordinate; 27 Missionaries, -tts Assistant Missionaries and Native Preachers; 2-t Churches; 757 Members; 23 Schools, 706 scholars; and in other parts of the world 80 stations; about 30 Missionaries; 77 Churches; 21,GOO Members, 6000 day scholars, and upwards of 10,000 in Sunday schools. We regret to find that the Calcutta Society is in debt upwards of 1800 Co.'s Rs. We hope this will not be allowed to rest as an incubus on the labors of the Committee. We postpone to our next No. a fuller notice of this interesting Report.
7.—Calcutta Missionary Herald. (Baptist.) A new monthly Missionary periodical has just appeared under the above title. The projectors state, that a similar work existed previously to the appearance of the Observer, when it was discontinued. The cause of the present publication is the lack of interest in many minds on Missionary subjects, owing to the want of more widely diffused information on the progress of the work of God amongst the heathen; this certainly would imply that we of the Observer have not been ample in our information on these topics. All we can say in extenuation is, that if it has not been so, the fault has not been ours; we have published all that has been sent to us, and shall be happy to continue to do so when it is of a catholic character. We sincerely hope that this new vehicle for diffusing .Missionary information may answer the largest desires of those who have it under their direction. We extract the following letter from it on the interesting subject of Missions to Afghanistan. In our last we inserted a C1'H from an Episcopalian; in this from a Baptist. May the whole Church °* thug awakened to action.
"Knowing that you have the best interests or the heathen at heart, I take the liberty of addressing you for the purpose of drawing your serious attention, towards the perishing multitudes in Afghanistan.
"There are two large cities in this country, Cnndnhar nnd Cabul, where there are some hundreds of thousands of inhabitants who are perishing for lack of knowledge. They have no Christian Miuister to teach them the errors of the Musalman, and the truths of the Christian religion. It is said there is a population of 300,000 in Cabul, whieh is a much larger place than Candahar. No doubt great good would be done in this country if Missionaries, who were well skilled in the Persian and Pashtu languages, could be sent into it for the blessed purpose of teaching the people bow they may be Baved from the wrath to come.
"An accession of Missionaries soon entered Buriaah after a British Force went to that country, anil their labours have not been in vain in the Lord; and no doubt were you now to send Missionaries into Affghnnistan, the fruit of their labours would soon be made manifest to themselves and others. 'Righteousness eaalteth a nation, and sin is a reproach to any people.' The great duty then for Christians to perform, is to use every scriptural means for the gracious end of teaching the nations how they may become righteous. Preaching Christ and him crucified must be considered the first and most scriptural labour for the conversion of sinners to God. The command is ' Go ye, therefore, and tench all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching then to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.' Further, the Scripture saith, 'Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall tlicy hear without a preacher?'
"Though several Baptist Missionaries have lately come out to Calcutta, 1 aat aware that many more are required for Bengal and Hindustan, and it is likely many more will be sent from England ere long; but it is to be hoped Afghanistan will be favoured with a few also, Bo that the people in this benighted land may be enabled to hear the joyful sound, and receive it to the saving of their souls. We pray that all people, from the least to the greatest, may know the Lord: then let us use our endenvonrs individunlly and collectively to send forth labourers into the whole world, that the knowledge of the Lord may spread from east to west, and from north to south, uatil the world shall be filled with the knowledge of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, whom to know is life everlasting,"
8,—The Violation Of The Sabbath. It has been our painful duty for some lime past to revert to the several ways in which the Lord's day is violated in this country by professing Christians. One of the most painful instances of such violation is recorded in the Calcutta Christian Advocate of the 22nd of February in the following letter, which we have transferred to our pages, in the hope that should it have escaped the observation of those for whom it was designed in that journal, it may meet their eye in this. "To the Editor of the Christian Advocate. "Sir,—Not only the title of your paper, but the spirit and temper with which it is conducted, entitle you to the appellation of Guardian of Christian morals. As such, if yon have not already learnt, allow me to inform you of the desecration of last Sabbath by a British judge and a member of the Law Commission, in occupying a great portion of the day examining the senior department of the Hindu College boys at the Supreme Court Chambers. I shall do little more than state the fact, and leave you as well as every right-minded Christian to comment on or draw your own conclusions from so gross an outrage on Christina morality. When a judge and a commissioner of the land thus openly set at defiance the commands of the Almighty to keep holy the Sabbath dny, which they ought equally (if not indeed pre-eminently) with the clergy and more private Christians, in a heathen land especially, to enforce, by example, in a regular and consistent attendance at the house of God—when such among the magnates of the lund, I say, thus demean themselves, it becomes all who love the cause of Christ sincerely, to redouble their vigilance, and prayci fulness that God in mercy would turn the hearts of our Rulers to the wisdom of the just, give them to see the error of their ways, and lead them to turn unto Him with a true heart, that they may henceforth, by a holy life and conversation, recommend to others, and adorn themselves that cause and those commands they now so lamentably set at naught. “I am, &c. “ Calcutta, Feb. 14, 1840. ** A CHRISTIAN READER.”
Who can wonder, when the magnates of the land thus violate one of
the first of the commands of God, that the land should “mourn because of sin.”
9.—ITEMs connected with THE STATE of frei.ING on ReLigious AND MoRAL subjects Amongst THE INDIAN Community. Since our last a petition has been presented to the Bombay Government on the subject of Mission work by several of the Native community. The F. is for Government interference with Mission labour. The reply of the Government is, that it is neutral and cannot interfere. The petition has been ably replied to by Dr. Wilson, and the whole referred to the Supreme Government.—A new Native Unitarian Society has been formed in Calcutta.-The natives of Madras have petitioned the Government for the establishment of a college at that Presidency. The reply is encouraging.—Rajnarain Roy the “titled ruffian" has been fully committed for trial for contempt of court—and the two sons of Budinauth Roy have been committed for trial for the supposed murder of a poor man at Patturghatta. – Mutty Lal Seal has offered a lack of rupees for the establishment of a lying-in hospital for native females. It is to be attached to the Medical college. He has also offered 1000 rupees to any native widow who will marry again; the offer we hear has been accepted, at least an individual of the same caste with the Babu has offered to marry any widow on these terms.-It is proposed to establish a Missionary Society at Agra, for supplying the immediate, wants of that neighbourhood. These matters, connected with the following observations from the Calcutta Christian Advocate on the state of feeling on Religious subjects in our community, shew that we are evidently living in an important crisis. “The state of feeling on the subject of Religion in this country, both amongst Natives and Europeans, is at present most extraordinary ; nor can it long remain as it is. The very conflict of opinion must soon terminate ; that it will be brought to an issue for good, we doubt not. Amongst our native fellow-subjects there are three classes of opinions, as it regards their own and the Christian faith—that of the orthodox Hindus, who adhere pertinaciously to things as they have been ; the more enlightened, but sceptical, who are disposed to reject all religion : and the enlightened but searching, who would find truth in every religious system, and construct a religion which should combine the excellencies contained in every existing creed ; —all and every one of these parties, however, appear desirous of keeping out the Christian faith as a whole, and yet, we believe, the general impression amongst themselves is that, ultimately Christianity must triumph. The first class is fully represented by the Bombay petitioners and the disciples of the Dharma Shabha; the second, by large classes of young men educated in the different Anti-christian seminaries ; while the third finds representatives in those who would form the New Theophilanthropic School. Amongst the European or Christian community, we find those who would deem the introduction of Christianity a great bane, the sceptical party amongst professing Christians, the liberals ; another party would introduce Christianity in a Unitarian dress ; while a third would, by every legitimate effort, introduce it in its generally received or Evangelical form. All these parties appear united for the overthrow of the idolatries and follies of the East. The first rertainly not avowedly, but yet assuredly through the alone medium of secular education : the latter, through the direct and purifying principles of our holy faith. The one would base education on purely Christian principles; the other would exclude it altogether: but both the one and the other, (both Native and European) are strenuous for the promotion of education. The Bombay and the Madras Petitioners equally demand education; and thousands, who are represented by neither, cry for education, and are willing to receive it even through a Christian medium. The general impression on the native mind is, that the Christian religion is making rapid advances. In the letter of the Theophilanthropic Society, it is said that Chris