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shall expose ourselves to the displeasure of Government, who appear anxious to have the work circulated among the Christians: on the other hand, if we have them circulated, we shall cover ourselves with ridicule,' &c. &c.
I recollect an instance of this kind, which will not, perhaps, appear foreign to my subject: About twenty-five years ago, the French Missionaries, in the Province of Satchuen, in China, were earnestly requested by the Holy See at Rome to translate the New Testament into Chinese. The Missionaries answered that, as the Chinese language did not admit of a literal translation, they had, a long time before, compiled a work in a Chinese style, for the use of their congregations, containing both the history and moral of the Gospel, and that nothing more could be satisfactorily executed on the subject. However, as the request had been very urgent, they got, with the assistance of many well-informed converts, a Chinese translation of the Gospel of St. Matthew; a copy of which they sent to Europe, premising, at the same time, that this literal translation, which had cost them very great labour, differed so widely from the Chinese style, that their converts could hardly repress their laughter on perusing it.
Now it is curious enough'to see, that, what European Missionaries, who had passed their lives in China, found nearly impossible to perform, even with the assistance of many well-informed Natives, an unassisted Armenian, at Serampore, boasts to be able to execute; and it is not the translation of one of the four Gospels he has undertaken-the whole Bible, literally translated into Chinese by this Armenian, has been emphatically promised by the Missionaries at Serampore, to gratify the curiosity of the public.
I had occasion, at several times, to converse with many unprejudiced, and unbiassed, well-informed Europeans, acquainted with the languages of the Peninsula, who had an opportunity of perusing some of the partial translations of the Bible, now extant in the country. Their opinion upon the subject perfectly agreed with mine; and they appeared persuaded that so imperfect, low, and vulgar a version of our Holy Scriptures, ought to be carefully concealed from the sight of Pagan Hindoos, in order not to increase their prejudices against Christianity.
In fact, a translation of our holy books, in order to awaken the curiosity and fix the attention of Indians, at least as a literary production, ought to be on a level with the performances of the same kind among them, and be composed in good poetry, a polished style, and a high strain of eloquence; this being the only mode in which all the Indian productions of the same nature are performed But, so long as the translations of the Bible are executed in the low pariah style in which we find those now extant, you may rest persuaded that they will only excite contempt, and serve only to increase the prejudices and aversion of the Natives against the Chris
tian religion, and those who profess it. But, to conclude: Let Bibles, as many as you please, in every shape and style, be translated, and circulated among the Natives; let them, if you wish it, be spread in every village, in every cottage, in every family; let the Christian religion be presented to Indians under every possible light. In my humble opinion (an opinion formed by twentyfour years of experience) the time of conversion, I repeat it, has passed away, and, in the present circumstances, there is no human possibility of bringing it back. The Christian religion has been announced to these people, during the past three centuries; at the commencement, with some hopes of success, but now to no purpose.
In the mean while, the oracle of the Gospel has been fulfilled with respect to Indians; (for the Divine Founder of the Christian religion has, it is true, promised that his Gospel should be preached over all the world,) but, to the best of my knowledge, he has no where promised that it should be heard, believed, embraced, by all nations.
As a most sincere and undisguised believer of the Divine origin of this religion, and as firmly persuaded that this alone can make man happy in this life and in that to come, my most ardent wishes have always been, and are still, to see it believed and followed by all mankind, and its dominion extended over all the world. It was to co-operate in this noble purpose that I came to this country, animated, at the outset, by a most eager spirit of proselytism; but I had hardly made a stay of two years in it, when, becoming acquainted with the insurmountable obstacles to be met with in the deeply-rooted prejudices of the Natives against the Christian religion, my religious zeal was entirely damped, and I had ample room to repent of the choice of the profession I am still exercising.
Unfortunately, I am not the only one in this sad predicament; and, among a great number of Missionaries with whom I was acquainted, there was none who did not experience the same disappointment with me, and who did not heartily repent of having embraced a profession in all respects so unprofitable; and there was also not one who, had he remained in his own country, would not, with less labour and trouble, have reaped more abundant fruits in his professional pursuits among his countrymen. However, as they all came to this country with disinterested views, none, among those I was acquainted with, ever entertained a thought of returning home: they chose rather to persevere in the disgusting and unprofitable labour they had embraced, and to bear with patience the contradictions and other hardships to which they were exposed; persuaded that, after embracing such a profession through pure motives, their duty was to persevere in it to the end, and submit to God's will, who could never make them accountable for successes it was by no means in their power to procure.
Some persons seem to think that, should the civil Government give a proper support and encouragement to the Christian religion,
she could come out of the state of contempt and subjection in which it is everywhere held. In my humble opinion, this might have been the case in former times; but, in the present circumstances, when the prejudices of Natives have reached such a height, I question whether ever all the support and encouragement practicable on the part of the Government could materially advance its interests, and would not rather increase the prejudices against it.
Many people appear to entertain the opinion, that the intercourse of Europeans with Natives ought, sooner or later, to bring about a revolution in the religion and manners of the latter; but, in order to produce such an effect, this intercourse ought to become more close, more familiar and intimate, than it has ever been. In my opinion, Natives will be the same, in this respect, after a thousand years, as they are now, and as they were a thousand years since. Their distance from Europeans will always continue the same, and abhorrence for their religion, their education, and manners, as well as their prejudices, will be preserved unimpaired.
At the same time, if the general intercourse between the individuals of both nations were to become more intimate, a revolution might indeed, by little and little, be operated through this means in the religion and manners of the Hindoos. It would not be to become converts to Christianity, that they would forsake their actual religion, but rather (what is a thousand times worse than idolatry) to become perfect atheists; and, if they renounce their manners and education, it will not be to embrace those of Europeans, but rather to become what are now pariahs. Such would be, in my humble opinion, the sad results of such a revolution, if it ever took place.
Of this I was a witness, five or six years ago: a Brahmin, a wellinformed man, fluently speaking and writing all the idioms of the Peninsula, was driven out of his caste for drunkenness' sake. This out-lawed man, being so left without resources, applied himself to a French Missionary, a friend of mine, living then in the Jagghire, to become a Christian convert. My friend, not knowing his character, but finding him a man of talent, had him baptised; and, two or three months after his baptism, he sent him to me, to Seringapatam, strongly recommending him to me as a man who could render the greatest services to the cause of religion. I received him affably, and afforded him the assistance in my power. Some days after his arrival, he was several times surprised by the other Christians in a state of intoxication; and I was informed, that all the money I gave him to live upon was spent in spirituous liquors. As this man proved a scandal to the whole congregation, I sent him back to the Coast; I, however, through pity, recommended him to a Christian merchant, living at Carrical, warning him, at the same time, of his vice, and exhorting him to endeavour to correct him. That merchant, according to my recommendation, took him into his service, to keep Oriental Herald, Vol. 18.
accounts; but, one night, this new convert found means to steal the jewels of his employer, to a large amount, and fled away with this booty. When I was at Madras, I was informed that this same man became again an apostate from the Catholic persuasion, and a convert to the Lutheran, into which he was admitted with much solemnity by the Lutheran missionaries at Vepery, who, valuing his abilities, sent him to the Protestant missionaries at Visagaptam, to translate the Bible into Telinga. He is now employed in this work, on a salary of twenty pagodas a month. Now, it is curious indeed to see that drunkard, thief, &c., in the trusty employ of translating the Bible, without being acquainted with a single word of any European language, whilst his employers are but very imperfectly acquainted with the language into which this Sacred Book is to be translated. This instance will give you some idea of the value of those translations of the Bible into the Indian idioms, so much spoken of, and so much extolled, in Europe, by uninformed
I will here put an end to this already too long discussion: the perusal of it will, I fear, prove tiresome to you, and fall short of your expectations. However, if it be not drawn up with ability, I hope that you will do justice to the candour and simplicity with which it is executed. I intreat your indulgence for any grammatical errors to which my imperfect acquaintance with the English tongue may have exposed me.
THE FORCE OF TIME.
WITHIN the deep gloom of his sunless cell,
In hopeless solitude should pass away:
But grief's black tide at length was swallowed up
Was quaff'd till it grew sweet-fierce passion's play
OBLIGATIONS OF GOVERNMENTS TO ABOLISH THE LAWS OF
By Charles Maclean, M.D.
THE doctrines which relate to epidemic diseases, as embracing the interests of every class of the community, from the highest to the lowest, are of extraordinary importance to mankind. They deeply affect life, health, liberty, morals, science, individual intercourse, and the intercourse of nations, commerce, navigation, manufactures, food, revenue. There is not a village or a hamlet, a ship or a regiment, an expedition or an armament, a city or a fortress, a fleet or an army, a siege or a battle, a war or a campaign, whose fate may not depend upon the state of knowledge respecting these maladies. It may even decide the issue of negociations, and the destinies of empires. To this source has been owing, at various periods, the destruction or failure of powerful fleets and armies, eventually determining, not only the fortune of war, but the conditions of peace, and finally the subjugation or independence of nations. Of each of these results, instances are to be found in history, some of which I may hereafter display, as opportunity shall serve.
In Christendom, the unfavourable influence of these maladies upon the welfare of nations has been incalculably augmented by the operation of the erroneous belief, which has for some centuries prevailed, respecting their cause, and of the stupendous code of legislative, municipal, and international regulations, founded upon it, which, on the Continent of Europe, have obtained the name of 'Sanitary,' and in England that of Quarantine Laws.'
Governments are not only warranted, but required to abolish the Laws of Quarantine, upon two grounds, either of which is separately sufficient, and both irresistible. 1. Pestilential contagion being proved to have no existence, laws to prevent its spreading can have no object. 2. In pestilences, whatever be their cause, the Quarantine Laws are, in point of fact, invariably found to increase sickness and mortality.
The first of these propositions I have repeatedly demonstrated, by every variety of proof, positive, negative, analogical, circum stantial and ad absurdum. But, as the question of the existence of such an agent as pestilential contagion has been mystified with almost unprecedented pertinacity, and as the establishment of the other proposition alone affords more than sufficient ground for requiring the abolition of the Quarantine Laws, to the proof of that I shall here entirely limit myself. It is deduced from the history, and bills of mortality (here inserted), of the plagues of London in 1592, 1603, 1625, and 1665, together with the recorded phonomena of some other considerable pestilences. By a fair comparison of the results, in pestilences, in which the Quarantine restrictions