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British India is a conquered country. It is subject to a power whose sent and centre are far away, therefore it were not surprising that the people, exercising their human right of inquiry and discussion might imbibe a spirit of discontent and long for the chimerical restoration of their ancient native dynasties. But unlike almost any other conquest, that of India has been a great blessing to the people. They are governed as freemen and not as before as slaves; they are treated as subjects of a free government instead of being used as they were before as the serfs and vassals of capricious despots. How great then is the importance of letting this be actually known to them, so that instead of being deluded with the name of liberty and self-government, they may prize their privileges and honour their rulers, as indeed in the strictest sense ministers of God to them for good.
Hut further. The conquest and the retension of India by great Britain are phenomena of a class distinct from all others recorded in history. It is a standing miracle evidently produced by the finger of God for the sake of producing higher and greater ends than any that have yet been attained. Whether we look at the instruments by which it was achieved — a company of humble merchants; or whether we consider the mode in which our eastern possessions were forced upon us, we must come to the conclusion that there was from first to last a high and mysterious providence at work in order to give Christian Britain so vast a moral influence over idolatrous and degraded India. Let all this be taught to the natives of the country, and let them be accustomed to reflect upon it and it will, by the blessing of God, operate most powerfully to wean them from their superstitious prejudices and cause them to cease their opposition to that mighty enterprise which Heaven designs to accomplish by the subjugation of India to the British sceptre. Let each native he accustomed to look upon it not only in the gross but with a personal application to himself. Let him be led to think that this has been done, that thrones have been overturned and ancient dynasties overthrown in order that from day to day the gospel might be preached without let or hindrance to me: so let him be taught to consider his own personal conversion to Christianity as actually a matter dictated by the finger of Providenco, as well as the word of inspiration and the warm appeals of the gospel. Thus again we see the vast importance of making the History of India a branch of our scholastic course.
Mr. Montague has a formidable competitor for the countenance of the Teaching community in Mr. Mnrshman, whose History of Bengal and other school books, have been so extensively used in India, As we do not think these books by any means the best possible, we are glad of any thing that may have the effect of producing emulation and in the end furnishing one good book. Before Mr. Montague, however, can compete with Mr. Mnrshman, he must labour hard to attain correctness and simplicity of diction, accuracy of narration, and soundness of inference. If we might offer him any advice we would venture to suggest that the value of the book as a school book would not be diminished by the omission of the concluding Essay. We have no doubt that if a second edition of the work be called for, the author profiting by the strictures of our contemporaries and our own kindly hints, will render it a much better book in many respects than it is now. As it is, it is a respectable compilation.
If the following lines be deemed worthy of insertion in the pages of your periodical, they are much at your service.
ANNE. Monghyr, May, 1840.
itlttfotaiHirj) nnlf Kfligicruo* Iiitfllirrfiirf.
1.— Missionaay And Ecclesiastical Movements. We regret to state that the Rev. W. Fyvie, the indefatigable and lon« resident Missionary of the London Society at Surat, departed this life on the 10th of June, of bilious fever. Mr. F. had been about 20 years at Surat. He was a good man and full of the Holy Ghost. His end was peace.—The Rev. G. Pffander has undertaken pro tempore the pastorship of the Native Church at A'garpara.—The Rev. M. Gordon and Mrs. G., late of the Madras London Mission, have reached England in safety and with improved health.—We regret to learn that the health of the Rev. VV. Campbell, of Bangalore, is such as to prevent his return to India, at least for the present.—The Rev. W. Glen has arrived at his station, Moorshedabad, and commenced his labours. May the Lord long spare him to labour in that vast field with great success.—We regret to announce the death of Mrs. Innes, the wife of the Rev. J. limes, Acting; Secretary to the Church Missionary Society: she departed this life in peaceful triumph on the 15th of June. Mrs. 1. had not been many months in the country: she having arrived in the same vessel with the late Rev. W. H. Pearce, whose happy spirit she has joined in another and better world.—Rev. Mr. Wallis has arrived at Bishop's College as a Missionary from the Propagation Society.—The Church Mission at Kishnagur has been strengthened by the arrival of two brethren from Europe. The work at Kishnagur is going on, we are happy to hear, vert' satisfactorily.—The last accounts from the Bishop speak of his continued health, activity and usefulness.—The London Society expect a re.inforcement of Missionaries at the Banaras station in a short time. Thus do we see one and another carried off the scene of life and labor, and others full of life and vigor coming to occupy their posts and carry on their work. Oh, may we all feel the necessity of working while it is yet day and that with all our might.
2.—The Monthly Missionary Prayer Meeting Was held last month at the Union Chapel. The address, delivered by the Rev. T. Boaz, was on the instruction afforded to the Church from the occurrences of the day of Pentecost. The devotional parts of the service were engaged in by the Rev. Messrs. Pi Hard and Ewart.
3.—New Hospitals. The physical ills to which flesh is heir are in every land many, but in this they are very numerous and afflictive. Every well-directed and hopeful attempt, therefore, to ameliorate them should meet with the prompt and prayerful aid of every man and especially of every Christian. We have much pleasure in announcing that Dr. Brett has once more appeared amongst us, and is about to establish his hospital for the relief ■of the native diseased poor. We understand that the Governor General and other influential members of Society have promised aid to Dr. B., provided he can give hope that the New establishment will be likely to continue its operations in case of his removal. Dr. Mitchell has also put forth a Prospectus for a new Medical Hospital and Dispensary for indigent Christians. Both are needed and both promise such great good on an economical scale that we cannot but cordially recommend them to the favorable consideration of the public, and sincerely pray that they may ■effect all the good, yea even more than contemplated by their beuevoleat projectors.
4.—New Native Schools. The Vedists and other enlightened native gentlemen have opened three or four new Schools for native youth in and about Calcutta during r In' Inst month. This all augurs well. May the feeling set in shortly amongst the natives, that the most effectual way to recommend them, selves to the notice of their more enlightened fellow-men ami of benefitting their country is by the establishment of schools. It will be a noble sight to see the wealthy natives emulating each other in such a work.
6.—Capt. Whelkr And The Oriental Observer. The Oriental Observer of the '23th July, contains one of the most shameless and undisguised attacks upon Capt. Wheeler, of Agra, and through him upon every pious officer in the Company's Army, that it has ever been our lot to peruse, at least from those who "are the earnest friends to the diffusion of the tight of the gospel in India." The sin of which Capt. W holer is guilty in the estimation of the Oriental Observer, is that of distributing religious tracts and books! The Oriental Observer modestly and liberally enough begs to call the attention of the Governor General and His Excellency the Commander-in-Chief to an extract from a. letter addressed by Capt. W. to the Secretary of the Calcutta Tract Society and inserted in the Report of that institution in the year 1839!!! Surely the Oriental Observer must have been hard driven for a subject on which to wreak his vengeance upon the religious portion of the community to seek for matter against an upright and zealous officer of the Company's service in an old Report of a religious institution. We connot now, the paper having reached us so late in the month, offer any lengthened remarks upon it; we will, however, not fail to do this in our next. In the mean time our readers may judge of the spirit and temper of the article by the following expressions. The writer " would most heartily rejoice to hear that, if after due warning, any officer in the service persists in following out this silly notion," (extending the knowledge of Christ) " he be brought to a court martial and dismissed the service!" How fortunate that the Editor of the O. O. is not the Commander-inChief!—and yet we doubt not but that he is one of the many who are loud in their cry for liberty of conscience! Again "the over-righteous"—"new species of martyrdom"—"He cannot indulge his fancy of serving God by distributing religious tracts"—" a drunken man distributing temperance tracts is a joke to an English officer in India distributing religious tracts"—" the bigot notion that distributing tracts is the Lord's work"—" this new-fangled freak," (viz. distributing tracts)— "the bayonet saints"—" sowing seed in the shape of religious tracts—containing gross vituperationo( Muhammadanismon the one hand and Hinduism on the other"—" Capt. Wheler and his pious friends"—" the good cause was served." The very heading of the article shows the animus of the writer—it is low and scurrilous. "Not preachee and fightee too."— The writer is not satisfied with abusing Capt. Wheler and his pious friends, but, speaking of the missionary body, he says, " Distributed by a Feringee brahman; they signify nothing more than his particular abuse of the religion of the country and zeal for the establishment of his own religion." We pity the man whose heart could allow him to pen such a libel on a body of men whose object and practice is, not to abuse but to bless—not to revile but te reclaim from the errors of idolatry to the worship of the one true God. We deny it in the most unqualified manner that the Keringee brah roans do abuse the religion ot the country. As we said at the commencement, so we repeat at the close, that it has seldom been our lot to peruse au article which in so short a space contains so large a measure of hostile feeling to piety, irreverence for God's work, and bitter animosity against a good and upright man, and that under the guise of anxiety for the prosperity of religion in the land.
6.—The Examination Of The Pupils Of The Free School Took place at the school in the beginning of July. The Archdeacon presided. The examination was conducted by the Rev. Mr. Macqueeu stud the Chairman. The children acquitted themselves upon the whole very satis, factorily. This school deserves well of the public and is at present, with some few exceptions, under very good management. From the Report which is now before us we should infer that some alteration in the dieting of the children would be attended with advantage.
7.—New Poem In Bengali.
We have been favored with a sijrht of a new Poem in Bengstlf written by a native Christian catechist formerly a Sanyasf. The object of the Poem is to expose the practices of the most celebrated shrines in India, nearly the whole of which were visited by the author with a view to obtain salvation, but in vain. It is an admirable expose of the abominations of these falsely-called scenes of salvation. The Poem, we doubt not, will be referred to after many a year to illustrate the manner of the times in which we live, as Chaucer's severe and caustic satires on the age in which he lived are referred to as that from which we catch the spirit of the times he lived in. We give a specimen of the Poem, a bare translation, below. Many parts are not fit for other than Bengali eyes and ears. The whole reveals such a system of gross and sensual iniquity as it were difficult to imagine could be sanctioned under the mask of religion did we not know that Popery had swollen her revenues by the licencing of brothels and the guilt of prostitution.
lirdhmaiu at KamikliyA, in Assam, inviting Pilgrims to visit their shrine. (Fragment of a Bengali Poem.)
They sit on the wayside, looking out for pilgrims, they ask every one who passes that way, Will you visit the temple? If they meet a pilgrim, who is willing to do so, they are overjoyed and take him quickly to their house. They treat him with great politeness, beg him to be seated; they prepare tobacco for him, and offer him the huka, and then ask him with a soft sweet voire, Where do you come from? Where is your home? Blessed are your father and mother, who have given you birth. Friend, you have done the duty of a good son; For to worship the goddess Kamikhya with a joyful heart, in so doing, run will escape the punishment of hell. Give gifts to the brahmans and honour the virgins*. Then you will with ease obtain entrance into heaven, but I will now tell you, what is required. Jf you wish to see and worship the goddess you must present her with a Sari (woman's cloth) and vermilion (with which Hindu women adorn their foreheads); you must sacrifice a he-goat at the door as an atonement for your sins, and make an offering of spices, sugar, rice, plantains—also money; you must give as much as you can afford, and clarified butter and wood for the sacrifice, the head-priest and the other brahmans and all the servants of the temple expect also some trifle. After this you will be able to behold the face of the goddess. And finally, friend, you may give me whatever you think proper. When the virgins come to you, take heed to satisfy their wishes, for to offend them is to offend the goddess. Her creative power has produced them all, and she has a secret familiar intercourse with them. O! who understands the mysterious ways
* Virgins, so called, women of easy virtue attached to many temples in Hindustan, they also expect to receive gifts from the pilgrim.