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Now, provision ought certainly to be made for divine worship, and for spiritual consolation to the soldiers, during that period; for it is sometimes a period of great sickness, and of frequent death. ' Indeed there ought to be a chaplain on board of every India ship.*
They who profess to believe in the Christian religion, ought also to believe in the superintending providence of God: ought to believe that the divine blessing will accompany those designs which are undertaken in his name, and conducted in his fear. If we were a heathen nation, then might we send forth our fleets without a prayer, and commit them, for a safe voyage, "to goddess fortune and fair winds.” But we are a Christian nation, tholigh not a superstitious one; and, however individuals may consider it, it is certain that our countrymen in general, view the performance of the offices of religion with great respect; and that, in particular circumstances on board ship, no duty is more acceptable, none more interesting, none more salutary and consoling. Such scenes the author himself has witnessed; and from those persons who have witnessed such scenes, he has never heard but one opinion as to the propriety of having a clergyman to form one of the great family in a ship, in these long, sickly, and perilous voyages.
When the news arrived in England last year of the loss of the seven India-men in a distant ocean,
The East-India company requires the commander or purser of every ship to read prayers on Sunday, when the weather permits. The service is performed, in many cases, in a serious and truly impressive manner; and the acknowledged good effects in such cases, convey the strongest recommendation of the measure which has been proposed. One important daty of the chaplain of an India-man might be, to superintend the studies of the young writers and cadets proceeding to india; who, for want of some direction of this kind, generally pass the long voyage in idleness, lounging on the quarter-deck, or gambling in the cuddy, So important has this subject been considered, that during the administraiion of marquis Wellesley, a detailed plan for carrying th proposed measure into effcct was actually transmitted to a member of the court of directors, to lay before the court. If it were made an indispensable qualification af the chaplain, that be should understand the rudiments of the Persian and Hindostanee languages, and the common el ments of geometry and navigation, for the instruction of the midshipmen, his services would be truly importani, merely in his secular character. Every truly respec able commander in the company's service, must be happy to have an exemplary clergyman on board his ship.
how gratifying would it have been to surviving friends, if they could have been assured that the offices of religion and the consolation of its ministers, had been afforded to those who perished, during their last days!* These events have a warning voice; and it is not unbecoming a great and respectable body of men, like the East-India company, to attend to it. The author has already remarked, that the legislature has not neglected a subject of this importance. It is required that every ship of the line should have a chaplain; and we have lately seen some of our most renowned admirals, both be fore and after battle, causing the prayers and thanksgivings of the fleet to ascend to the God of heaven,
There still remains one topic more, to which the author would advert. It may be presumed to be the wish of the major part of this nation, that whenever a missionary of exemplary character and of respectable recommendation, applies to the EastIndia Company for a passage to our Eastern shores, his request might be treated with indulgence. In him we export a blessing (as he may prove to be) to thousands of our fellow-creatures ; and his example, and instructions and prayers, will do no harm to the ship in which he sails. While the East-India Company retain the sole privilege of conveyance to India, the nation would be pleased to see this condescension shewn to persons in humble circumstances, whose designs are of a public character, and acknowledged by all men to be pious and praiseworthy. The author will conclude these observa. tions with a paragraph which he has found in a ma nuscript of the Rev. Mr. Kohloff, of Tanjore, the successor of Mr. Swartz, which has been just transmitted for publication :
“ It is a remarkable fact, that since the foundation of our mission, which is now one hundred years,
• The rev. Paul Limrick was a passenger on board one of these ships. Mr. Limrick was second chaplain at the presidency of Fort-William; an amiable, benevolent and respectable man whose loss will be heard with deop regret by a large body of the inhabitants of Calcutta, and of his friends in Europe.
and during which period upwards of fifty missionaries have arrived from Europe ; among the many ships that have been lost, there never perished one vessel, which had a missionary on board."*
The following letter, written by doctor Watson, bishop of Llandaff, on the subject of an ecclesiastical establishment for British India, was published in Calcutta, in the year 1807:
Calgarth-Park, Kendale, 14th May, 1806. REVEREND SIR,
“ Some weeks ago I received your memoir of the expediency of an ecclesiastical establishment for British India; for which obliging attention I now return you my best thanks. I hesitated for some time whether I ought to interrupt your speculations with my acknowledgments for so valuable a present; but on being informed of the noble premium, by which you purpose to exercise the talents of graduates in the university of Cambridge, I determined to express to you my admiration of your disinterestedness and zeal in the cause of Christianity.
“Twenty years and more have now elapsed since, in a sermon before the house of lords, í hinted to -the then government; the propriety of paying regard to the propagation of Christianity in India; and I have since then, as fit occasions offered, privately, but unsuccessfully, pressed the matter on the consideration of those in power. If my voice or opinion can, in future, be of any weight with the king's ministers, I shall be most ready to exert myself in forwarding any prudent meaure for promoting a liberal ecclesiastical establishment in British India; it is not without consideration that I say a liberal establishment, because I heartily wish that every Christian should be at liberty to worship God according to his conscience, and be assisted therein
MS materials for the life of Swartz.
by a teacher, at the public expense, of his own persuasion.
“The subjects you have proposed for the work which shall obtain your prize, are all of them judiciously chosen, and if properly treated as my love for my Alma Mater persuades me they will be) may probably turn the thoughts of the legislature towards the measure you recommend.
“The Salutaris Lux Evangelii, by Fabricius, published at Hamburgh, in one thousand, seven hundred and thirty-one, will be of great use to the candidates for your prize; and his Index Geographicus Episcopatuum Orbis Christiani, subjoined to that work, might, if accompanied with proper notes, afford a very satisfactory elucidation of your third head,
“God in his providence, hath so ordered things, that America, which three hundred years ago was peopled by none but pagans, has now many millions of Christians in it; and will not, probably, three hundred years hence, have a single pagan in it, but be occupied by more Christians, and more enlightened Christians than now exist in Europe.
“Africa is not now worse fitted for the reception of christianity than America was, when it was first visited by Europeans; and Asia is much better fitted for it, In as much as Asia enjoys a considerable degree of civilization; and some degree of it is necessary to the successful introduction of Christianity. The commerce and colonization of Christian states have civilized America, and they will, in process of time, civilize and christianize the whole earth. Whether it be a Christian duty to attempt, by lenient methods, to propagate the Christian religion among pagans and mahomedans, can be doubted, I think, by few; but whether any attempt will be attended with much success, till christianity is purified from its corruptions, and the lives of Chriscians are rendered correspondent to their Christian
profession, may be doubted by many: but there certainly never was a more promising opportunity of trying the experiment of subverting paganism in India, than that which has for some years been offered to the government of Great Britain.
“The morality of our holy religion is so salutary to civil society, its promises of a future state so consolatory to individuals, its precepts so suited to the deductions of the most improved reason, that it must finally prevail throughout the world. Some have thought that christianity is losing ground in Christendom. I am of a different opinion. Some ascititious doctrines, derived from Rome and Geneva, are losing ground amongst learned men; some unchristian practices springing from ignorance, bigotry, intolerance, selfsufficiency of opinion, with uncharitableness of judgment, are losing ground among all sober minded men; but a belief in Jesus Christ, as the Savior of the world, as the mediam through whom eternal life will be given to all who obey his gospel, is more and more confirmed every day in the minds of men of eminence and erudition, not only in this, but in every other christian country. From this praise I am not diposed to exclude even France itself, notwithstanding the temporary apostacy of some of its philosophers from every degree of religious faith." I cannot but hope well of that country, whon I see its national institute proposing for public discussion the following subject; What has been the influence of the reformation of Luther, on the political situation of the different states of Europe, and on the progress of knowledge?" especially when I see the subject treated by Mr. Villers, in a manner which would have derived honor to the most liberal protestant in the freest state in Europe.
“It is not to be denied, that the morals of Christians in general fall far short of the standard of Christian perfection, and have ever done so, scarce