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India, then I should be liable to the exception taken; but I did not argue so, and I am not so liable.
8. The question as to the barbarity or refinement of the languages of India is a much more difficult one than those who have not given their attention to the subject can probably be made to understand. Mr. Sutton no doubt knows this very well. That there is a refined language, or it may be, refined languages t» India no one disputes, but that language or these languages are not the languages of India. They are not the languages of the people, nor the languages used for ordinary purposes by any portion of the community. There is no paucity of words, but then are these words intelligible to the mass of the people? I know that there is amongst the most experienced Missionaries very considerable diversity of opinion as to what really are the languages of the country. When then I am told that there is a sufficiency of words in the Bengali language to express all human ideas, I believe the statement thus far; that there is a source, namely the Sanscrit, from which an ample sufficiency of words may be introduced into the Bengali; but then it ought to lie borne in mind that that these words are just as much foreign and unknown to the people of India, as are English, German or French words. But when I spoke of a barbarous language I spoke with reference to the learning of the language by the Missionary, and not in reference to bis using it in his addresses to the people. Now this is a fact which will be admitted by all who know the facts of the case, that there is scarcely a person in India, who has received an education inferior to that of a pandit, (which includes a ten years' course of study of Sanscrit Grammar), that can spell accurately and properly the words of the Bengali language! If this does not prove that the language is an imp-acticable one, I know not what would be sufficient to prove so in regard to any .language. Bengali, as taught by pandits, is comparatively speaking not a barbarous language; but the Missionaries of most experience in Calcutta, declare that a Missionary who should preach to the people in that language would speak in a tongue to them unknown.
4, Mr. Sutton's argument cuts both ways. According to him, "if a man does not set to in good earnest to acquire the native language when he first arrives in the country, he very seldom has the time or energy to do it afterwards." From this I think several inferences may be drawn besides that which Mr. Sutton draws; as first, that the acquiring of the native languages is a very hard task; and this comes not very far short of my original statement as to the "drudgery" of acquiring them: secondly, that the first period of a Missionary's career in India is generally the most energetic. The question then is whether this most energetic period is to be expended in what is not Missionary work, although it may be, in some cases, a most important and indispensable preparation for Missionary work, or whether it is to be devoted to that work which every Missionary who comes from Europe is qualified to enter upon at once; or thirdly, if it be time rather than energy that is wanting to the English teacher for acquiring the native languages, does it not appear that there is yet sufficient work in this department for a greater number of labourers than have jet undertaken it? As to Mr. Sutton's exclamation on the enormity of my questioning the necessity of, in every case, learning the native languages immediately on coming out, I believe he would not have written that exclamation if he had thought of the full import of the charge it will be understood by all readers to bring upon my missionary character. But let that pass, for I am anxious to leave every thing personal out of the discussion. Let us look to the argument, which is a logically unsound one.—What he says would apply just as well to a minister at home as to a missionary in India. If I were to go down to Cuttack and say to Mr. Sutton, " Why do you not learn the Chinese language? There are 300 millions of people who know no other and can learn the gospel in no other tongue." His answer would unquestionably be in substance this:—" I know and lament over the state of the perishing millions of China, and I would to God I could do any thing to bring them to the knowledge of the truth; but I cannot—my hands are full of work here. Why should I study the Chinese language when there are thousands of people who are to be instructed by means of the Oriya which I have already acquired?" Well, if Mr. Sutton should come up to the General Assembly's Institution here, and should put a similar question to me, my answer should likewise be similar. If he should say, " Why are you not at home with your pandit learning the Bengali language, when there are 90 millions of the people who can hear the Gospel in no other ?"—my answer should simply be—" My hands are full here—I long for the day when every man in India shall hear in his own tongue the wonderful works of God, and all my efforts here are directed to that as their ultimate object; but here I have as much work as I can do. Here are hundreds of natives hearing the Gospel in a language that I already know. God has in His Providence assigned me my sphere amongst them; and if I do what 1 can, I trust that He will not require at my hands the blood of the perishing millions around me."
Mr. Sutton goes on to say—" But this teaching in English is advocated with especial reference to the ministry. I am afraid this is not solid ground. The natives of India make out very poorly in English unless they begin in childhood. Are we then to devote certain native children to the ministry before their religious character is developed? or are we to teach all we can with a view to a future selection?" This objection is by no means new, nor is it difficult to answer. I have a son regarding whom my dearest hope and highest ambition is, that when he comes to maturity he m.iy he found endowed with such mental and spiritual gifts as may fit him for becoming a minister of the gospel and a missionary to the heathen. But how am I to proceed with his education? 1 have no right to presume that he is one whom God will call to work as a minister in his church. But I have the promise that if I train him up in the way in which he should go, he will not depart from it when he is old. My path of duty then with regard to him is clear. 1 have to do that part which alone man can do—to furnish his mind with all truth, so far as I can teach and he can bear it, and especially with the truth which maketh wise unto salvation; I have to dedicate him to God, and continually to supplicate
the blessing of God upon all his education. More than this I cannot do ; the result is in the hands of Him who is infinitely wiser than I. Well, there are thousands of youths whose education is in the course of a few years in like manner committed in part to me; my heart's desire and prayer for them all is that they may be saved; and not only so, but 1 would that all the people of God were prophets. I cannot save them; I cannot make them prophets ; but I am bound to use the means wherewith God hath furnished me; to sow beside all waters, not knowing what may be the amount of fruit produced, but being assured that no word of God will ever return to him void.
What idea Mr. Sutton may attach to the term "well-taught clerks" I cannot tell. But this I know, that if I were required to describe the class of ministers whom I should like to see located in every village in India, 1 should do it in very few words, and the words should be these—" very learned and very pious."—In discussing this subject lately in another place, I took occasion to quote from memory the words of an American divine, which were as nearly as I can recollect as follows—" What has ignorance to do with the work of the ministry ?—Just as much as sin has and no more*."
Mr. Sutton seems to argue very strangely about the support of our native ministry, as if a man who had been taught through the medium of English should necessarily be more difficult to maintain than one taught by means of Bengali and Sanscrit. I cannot tell why this should be: on the contrary I should expect, and the range of clerical and missionary biography will bear me out in my expectation, that the more varied are a man's acquirements, the less difficulty will he have in sustaining the pressure of pecuniary embarrassments, when these are imposed upon him by the circumstances of the Church. I have the happiness to be a minister of a Church which has been said both by its friends and its enemies to be " a poor church and a pure church." Now I believe that many of her ministers have the elasticity of their minds preserved by their mental acquirements, which else would run no small risk of being crushed by their worldly circumstances. I know that the grace of God alone can enable a man to sustain any trial; but I know also that that grace frequently works by sanctifying human gifts and human faculties and acquirements. But if Mr. Sutton means, that in the present state of this country so large salaries are obtainable by English Scholars, that natives will not engage in the work of the ministry unless they also receive a high salary, then I should say that while every labourer is worthy of his hire, I shall not think the church a loser if all those go off from her service who prefer an office which offers pecuniary emolument as its reward to one which holds out souls as its hire. We wish not men who are only willing to offer to the Lord that which costs them nothing,—those talents which they can turn to very little account in any other sphere. We want those who consecrate themselves a living sacrifice to the cause of that Saviour who bowed down his head to the sacrifice for them—and who will
• This was written in the belief that Mr. Sutton uses the word clerk in the old and proper sense as synonymous with Clergyman. On looking over his letter a second time it appears from its juxta-position with Deputy-Collectors, that he uses it in the more modern sense, so that the remarks in the text are not strictly applicable. rather be engaged directly in his service, who will rather suffer affliction and poverty with the people of God, and in the work of God, than enjoy the pleasures of sin and the emoluments of worldly business. It was but a few weeks ago that I heard of a native Christian who was urged to accept of a Deputy Collectorship with a large salarv but who refused for this bribe to leave his employment as teacher of a humble missionary school. It was not his English education that enabled him to withstand this temptation. No—it was the grace of God. But I mention this case to shew that the power of obtaining lucrative employments does not entail upon our native Christians the necessity of accepting them.
It appears that Mr. Sutton and I are fated to disagree on all the points of this subject. He states that he is "not a foe to teacbing English to some extent." Now taking the interpretation of the term some from the general tone of his letter, I am a foe to teacbing English only to that extent. The object of education is to furnish the mind with sound knowledge and sound principles to as great an extent as the talents and opportunities of the individual will permit. Now, I believe that when the talents and opportunities of the individual are considerable, he will, during the course of his education, acquire more knowledge by learning English than without it, and therefore I am an advocate of English education. But then in order to gain any knowledge at all through the medium of English he must learn it well. Let me explain. Suppose a boy's circumstances will permit him to remain at school for a considerable period, say 5, 6, or 7 years; then I believe that he will at the end of that time have gained more knowledge by a judiciously administered system of English education than by any other. But if the period beyond which his attendance cannot extend be much less than this—if for example he is likely to leave school in the course of one or two years, then 1 should begin at once to communicate the knowledge through the medium of the language that he already understands. I am not at all surprised then that Mr. Sutton's zeal for English Education should have become "small by degrees." The system on which he has proceeded has been a wrong one; and I have no doubt that the "some extent" to which he is now no foe to teaching English will become a less and less extent every day. But then 1 think he ought to consider that even in bis earliest days, before he underwent that " change" of which he speaks, the system which he then approved may have been not too much but too little English; and that the deficiencies in it which have produced the change in his sentiments were not attributable to its being an English system instead of a vernacular one, but rather to its being a bad English system instead of a good one. The fact is, a work like this will never be attended with any very good results, and will never give satisfaction to those engaged in it if they are employed in it merely as a by-play. It must be made a business—a sacred and most important duty ; and I would have no man engage in it whose conscience or avocations will not permit him to devote to it his time and his heart.
I am very sincerely yours,
iHttftffaitarg unit &tli$tButi SnttlliQtmt.
1.—Missionary And Ecclesiastical Movements. Since our last the following arrivals have taken place:—the Rev. Mr. Backhouse, chaplain, H. C. S. and lady ; Miss Wilson, connected with the Ladies' Society for promoting Female Education in the East.—The Rev. Messrs. Crisp and Porter have joined the London Mission at Madras.—We regret to learn that the Rev. F. Tucker is obliged to relinquish his charge and return to Europe, owing to the impaired state of his health.—One of the German brethren connected with the Patna Mission, while proceeding to Calcutta, was attacked with cholera, and died in a short time.—The Rev. Mr. Williamson of Goruckpore, has reached Calcutta, on his way to a more bracing climate, for the restoration of his health.—Afresh arrival of Missionaries from Germany is announced in the Oriental Spectator. They have proceeded to Manaalnre and Tellicherry. One of them is spoken of as a very superior orientalist, Mr. Weigle.—The Presbyterian Synod of Ireland have appointed two Missionaries to India.—The overland despatch announces the appointment of nine Chaplains on this presidency.—Letters have been received from the Rev. W. Morton, he has reached England in safety and health, and is laboring well for India.— We regret to state that the Rev. G. Mundy and Mrs. M. are obliged to remove temporarily from Chinsurah in pursuit of health.— We regret to learn that the Rev. Mr. Ellis, Secretary to the London Missionary Society and author of Polynesia, is not expected to recover from his protracted indisposition. He was at the departure of the last overland in Paris under the care of an eminent Physician..—The Rev. Mr. Small, connected with the Baptist Mission, has sailed in the Mfiy Anne, and may be expected almost every day.—The Rev. M. Hill leaves England (D. V.) for India next August.— The Bishop still remains in the hills.
2—The New Poem In Benoa'li'—The Santa'si'. The following are additional translated specimens of the new poem in Bengali, referred to in our issue for August. The poem may now be had on application to the puhli-her of the Observer. The price to subscribers eight annas—to non.subscribers ten annas. It contains 115 pages and describes 15 different places of pilgrimage. It merits an extensive circulation which we doubt not it will obtain. —Ed.
The brdhmans attached to the shrine of Shib Keddrndth, Assam.
About half a mile from the shrine of Hoiogrib Madhob is a shrine of Shib Kedarnatb ; his temple surrounded by a wall stands on a mountain. Near it is a deep tank. In the temple is Shib concealed under a covering. In the tank there is a large tortoise; every body calls it Mohana; it is Shih himself, the brahmins say. At this shrine there are also dancing girls; and here also do the Brahmins practise every sort of deception. After having taken from the pilgrim, offerings and presents, consisting of money, rice, plantains, ghee, sugar, they take him to the tank and say: You must give a kid or a dove to Shib. In this way they get money out of him. Afterward they let him see something very marvellous. They say, O pilgrim, you must feed Shib with your own hand; this is an holy act which will prepare you the way to heaven. Having given a kid or a dove in to the hands of the pilgrim, they call aloud ; " Mohana;" the tortoise rises out of the water, for they have taught it so to do, and comes and takes whatever is given to it. Seeing this, foolish people believe in it. When the feeding is at an end they say to the pilgrim, Now give great