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evidently shews that he does design his servants for particular stations, and assigns particular stations to particular classes of men. Now in order to follow the leadings of providence, and be free of the charge of working in opposition to the designs of God,—the Church is bound to possess herself of all the knowledge she possibly can attain, regarding the different quarters of that field which her Divine Master has committed to her to be cultivated. She ought to possess such a knowledge of her whole territories, (for the world is all her owo, as she is Christ's and Christ is God's) as to be in no danger of ever leaving any open door unentered, or sending a man to that portion of the vineyard for which he is not best fitted. Hence follows at once the importance of the science of Geography in its direct bearing upon the Missionary enterprise. Indirectly too, through the medium of its influence on trade and commerce, it must exercise a powerful bearing on the missionary work*.

And while the importance of Geography is so great, we believe there is not to be found in any language any work from which the church can gather more than most remote inferences for her guidance in the allocation of her various laborers. Take even India, which is like a world in itself, inhabited by different races of people, of all varieties of intellec

* We have been favored by the projector of the work with the follow, ing interesting and eloquently written extract of a letter, dated 26th February, 1840, to the Rev. D. A. "I wag much struck with a train of thought strictly in accordance with the views / have brought before the Christian Public at home, and which I think have been sadly overlooked or under-estimated. In the instructions of the Prudential Committee of Mis. sions in America to the brethren proceeding to Asia Minor I find the following admirable observations: 'The Imperial warrior who lately convulsed the civilized world with his ambitious schemes, always made himself thoroughly acquainted with the nations he designed to conquer; their geography, numbers, government, character and history he studied as means to his favorite end, with the characteristic ardor of his great but perverted mind. Facts were the lights by which he marched his armies through Europe, and none were unsought, or deemed unimportant, which might affect the issue of a campaign or a battle. And in this minuteness and accuracy of information, combined with a capacity to adapt the means at command to the end in view, lies the secret of practical wisdom.

"' Remember that you also are soldiers engaged in a warfare, and in a war of conquest. And though the contest be spiritual, of mind with mind and heart with heart, and your weapons spiritual and rendered powerful by divine aid, yet is there the same demand for inquiry and information, the same scope and necessity for discretion and forethought, as there were in the military enterprises of Napoleon. Indeed to a very great extent your inquiries will relate to precisely the same classes of objects; though you will survey them from other points of view, associate them by different relations, and estimate them by another species of arithmetic and measure, ment.'" J.

tual capabilities, possessing different systems of religion, differing in fact from one another in every thing in which human beings all sinful can differ from each other.

We therefore hail the announcement of a large and comprehensive work on the Geography of India, which shall contain, in a methodical manner, ail that is known or that can be known regarding the whole of British India and the neighbouring territories; and we rejoice to be the first to lay the prospectus of such a work before the Christian people. We know that the work will be conducted not only with the highest scientific ability, but also with the soundest Christian wisdom; and therefore while we leave to others to speak of its importance in a political and commercial view, we earnestly wish it all success on account of the influence which we think it calculated to exert on the enterprise in which we are embarked. We subjoin the Prospectus which has been put into our hands, and have no doubt that the undertaking will commend itself to the favour of our readers.—Ed.


Tt were much to be desired, among other indications of general improvement and intercourse, that the progress of a familiar and exact acquaintance with the Geography and statistics of every country throughout the earth, kept pace with the exhibition of that enterprise which seeks to reclaim it from darkness and barbarism: or make it available to the friendly commercial internationality, which must reciprocally affect its well-being, and oar own. Such, as au exemplification, are the new and extended relations of British India with the contiguous countries of Central Asia, the bordering nations of the Malayan Peninsula, and China, and the innumerable islands of the eastern archipelago; with which no doubt a far more productive trade would be carried on, to say nothing of the spread of civilization and religious truth, were the public in possession of more full and correct information of what is available for the British market, or suited to the wants of these countries, as an article of export or manufacture from our own. Such information is justly appreciable as subserving the noblest object of Philanthropy,—the communication of the blessed Gospel to all nations.

War und commercial adventure, have indeed originated a great variety of researches, which contribute to the illustration of one of the fairest and richest portions of the globe; yet who, that desires a mere summary acquaintance with the present condition and resources, the precise locality often, of these countries, can be satisfied with the imperfect knowledge which at a very remote date furnished matter for the best and only works now in existence. The more ample and recent details, however, being interspersed through a multitude of works and documents, some comparatively costly and rare, others little known or accessible to a very limited number of readers, are so mixed up likewise with much that is of an extraneous character, or of purely local ititerest, as to repress the roost anxious curiosity. And if such be the case with portions of each country, how is the difficulty enhanced, in obtaining more comprehensive views of Geography? It 19, in fact, no very easy matter, with the best information before us, to arrive at any decided estimate either of the state and relative limits of our moat settled possessions, or of those which have been recently superadded, or brought within the commanding influence of our political power. Such knowledge, no doubt, exists to a large amount, and is to be found with the several employes of Government; but they are usually too much occupied to make any further inquiries than may be necessary to present exigencies; and if presented by them to the higher authorities, it is simply in connection with their immediate duties. Nay, all who have occasion to make such researches, are necessitated or prevailed on so to blend them with particulars of transient importance, that the most indefatigable patience would be severely taxed to draw such inferences as the present state of knowledge might very reasonably be expected to furnish.

Without adverting, otherwise than in a cursory way, to the deficiencies of Hamilton's Gazetteer, and his larger Geographical and statistical account of India, (one identical work by the way, though published under different titles,) it must be allowed, that the accumulation of materials since the date of its first appearance in 1815, for an enlarged and improved description of our Eastern possessions, would abundantly justify the attempt to get up something more in accordance with the philosophical, yet popular works brought out on the continent at a long subsequent date: gleaned chiefly from the writings of British officers, by industrious and learned foreigners.

It is indeed a reproach to our country, that we invariably leave others to analyse and compound the fragmentary results of science and discovery, which our own curiosity and observation have arrived at: and receive at a distant date, perhaps, from foreigners, that which we might well have been proud of communicating to them, in all its racy originality: while, at the same time, by determining the tide of further inquiry into such channels, the British public would have had the earliest intelligence of every fact essential to its best interests. The works of Balbi, Malte Brun, Ritter, and Berghaus, would have made but a poor show without the help of British materials, though it is delightful to see masterminds like these, of so much ability and aptitude to discuss their value, instituting investigations from these documents, into questions of the most important and instructive nature. What accessions have they not brought to Physical Geography, to the systematizing of facts, bearing on subjects of universal concern? They have called attention to our neglect, and invited us to methods of a more pleasing description than have hitherto been followed by British Geographers. They have taught us that this department of knowledge is not a mere dry epitome of facts absolutely denuded of narrative or reflection; and which as the mere annals in respect of history, indicate certain landmarks in space, as those in time; but apart from irrelevant and speculative discussions, may present in the spirit of that striking natural landscape from whence it is drawn up, some resem

blances of varied novelty, some curious and valuable truths at every fresh step. It is to the illustrious Humboldt that they and we must consider ourselves indebted for such comprehensive and just views of this Bubject; and on such models must all works be formed, which aim at an enduring existence and popular acceptability. The remark ■we have ventured could never be put forward without allusion to the names of D'Anville and Rennell, as they who have chalked out the best, the only course in works of an extensive Geographical nature.

The condensation of what is practically important to the Missionary, the merchant, and the functionaries of Government, is not incompatible with such a style, or arrangement, as shall recommend it to more general consideration; and expecting, as we may, day by day, a still further accession to our present knowledge, there are notwithstanding, now, abundant materials, sufficient at least, to encourage a publication, •which shall embrace in a compendious form the most interesting particulars, bearing on the Geography and statistics of Asia, and those parts more directly under the authority or influence of the British Government, with suitable and correct maps of the larger divisions.

Without adhering to the admirable specimen put forth by Mr. Macculloch, as an universal Geographical Dictionary, it is proposed to arrange the articles in some sort alphabetically—classing the places of minor note, subordinately to the great territorial divisions, and thus not giving them an undue degree of importance, or sacrificing perspicuity and utility to the straight-laced system of a mere Gazetteer.

The unexpected difficulties that occurred to the restriction of such a work as this to the British possessions in India, as at first contemplated, have induced the Projector to believe, that without entering into the like minute account of other countries, in places beyond those limits, or not so immediately connected therewith, it will not be thought a defect that it embraces all that can concern or interest the British public, especially our countrymen in India. How, in fact, could we dispense with a description of Aden, of Mocha, of Karrack, of Kelat and Herat, of the places of note on the overland route from Bussora to Beirout, by which the communication is curried on with Europe for four months in the year; or some passing notice of those places of resort in China, which our forces are about to occupy? If there is any thing omitted which should properly have been inserted, it will be matter for after consideration to append; if any thing to suppress, new matter may easily be found to supply its place.

VI.—Remarks on the Notice of the Missionary Conference in
the last number.
To the Editors of the Calcutta Christian Observer.
Dear Gentlemen,

In common with some others, my associates and fellow labourers in the missionary field, 1 have felt aggrieved by the last notice of the Missionary Conference over the signature of T. S.

Independently of the question at issue, viz. "the place tli« English language," &c. there are two or three exceptions which I beg leave to take to the article by T. S. To T. S. himself I take no exceptions: let this be borne in mind, for I esteem him highly as a missionary brother; but I do object :—

1. To a young brother who has scarcely smelt the air of India being deputed to write on a subject where the loug-tried experience of others is available, and necessary in order to satisfy the minds of those most deeply interested on this point.

2. I object to the state of tilings in Calcutta being assumed as a datum on which to build an argument for India generally. If your opinion on this point be limited to Calcutta, I do not object to it; but there is so little resemblance between missionary labour in Calcutta and that in the country generally, that he who would argue from one to the other would deceive himself, and all who are influenced by his opinions

3. I protest against the use of such epithets from the pen of a missionary brother in reference to the language of India as the " heartless drudgery of acquiring a barbarous language," and " a tedious course of hard and uninteresting labour,''' &c I have never heard such language from those who really understand the languages of India, though it is common to hear it from those who know little or nothing about them. I have been labouring daily about 15 years in a language less cultivated than the Bengali, and I deny fearlessly that either that or the Bengali can be called a barbarous language.. There is no idea that man can form which may not be expressed with the utmost precision hy these languages ; the greatest difficulty of the translator is not paucity of terms, but the selection of them. Let these languages be cultivated, and that ability to understand them be extended to the many which is now monopolized by the few, and there will be no complaint of the paucity or barbarity of the language.

4. There is another remark I think called for by the tone and manner in which reference is made to English ; teachers of English being able to set about the work at once, &c. Now without " sneering" at this advantage, I wish to qualify it. Where men cannot or will not devote the time and study necessary to acquire the native language, it is well to have them set to work in teaching English rather than not work at all; but I would say to every man who wishes in the full sense of the term to be a missionary to the heathen—beware how you allow yourself to be seduced into teaching in English. I have had an apportunity of observing the course of many missionaries, but 1 can scarcely think of one who began with teaching

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