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siders that the knowledge of Christian principles can alone enable the natives to comprehend or to appreciate the spirit of Christian government. Our religion is therefore inculcated for the following reasons generally:
1st. Because its civilizing and benign influence is certain and undeniable. We have seen that it has dispensed knowledge and happiness to every people, who have embraced it.
2dly. Because it attaches the governed to their governors; and facilitates our intercourse with the natives. There can never be confidence, freedom and affection between the people and their sovercign, where there exists a difference in religion.
3dly. The Christian religion is inculcated on account of its eternal sanctions, and the solemn obligation of Christians to proclaim them, whenever an opportunity shall be afforded by providence of doing it with probable success; it being by no means subinitted to our judgment, or to our notions of policy, whether we shall embrace the means of imparting Christian knowledge to our subjects or not; any more than it is submitted to a Christian father, whether he shall choose to instruct his family or 110t.
These motives will acquire additional weight, if, first the natives be subject to an immoral or inhuman superstition; and, secondly, if we voluntarily exercise dominion over them, and be benefitted by that dominion.
3. The question of policy, regarding the instruction of our native subjects, the Mahomedans and Hindoos, is to be deterinined by the consideration of their moral state.
The Mahometans profess a religion, which has ever been characterised by political bigotry and intemperate zeal. In this country that religion still retains the character of its bloody origin ; particularly among the higher classes. Whenever the Maho
metan feels his religion touched, he grasps his dag. ger. This spirit was seen in full operation under Tippoo's government; and it is not now extinguished. What was the cause of the alarm which seized the English families in Bengal after the late massacre of our countrymen at Benares, by the Mahometan chiefs? There was certainly no ground for apprehension; but it plainly manifested our opinion of the people. We have consolidated our Indian empire by our power; and it is now impregnable; but will the Mahometan ever bend humbly to Christian dominion ? Never, while he is a Mahometan.
4. Is it then good policy to cherish a vindicitive religion in the bosom of the empire forever? Would it not accord with the dictates of the soundest wisdom to allow Christian schools to be established, where the children of poor Mahometans might learn another temper; the good effects of which would be felt before one generation pass away? The adult Hindoo will hardly depart from his idol, or the Mahomedan from his prophet, in his old age; but their children when left destitute, may be brought up Christians, if the British parliament please. But as matters now stand, the followers of Mahomet imagines that we consider it as a point of honour to reverence his faith and despise our own.
For he, every day, meets with Europeans, who would more readily speak with disrespect of their own religion, than of his. No where is the bigotry of this intolerant faith nursed with more tenderness than in British India. While it is suffering concussion in every other part of the world, even to Mecca, its centre, (as by a concurring providence, towards its final abolition,) here it is fostered in the peaceful lap of Christian liberality.
5. A wise policy seems to demand that we should use every means of coercing this contemptuous spirit of our native subjects. Is there not more danger of losing this country, in the revolution of ages, (for
an empire without a religious establishment cannot stand forever,) by leaving the dispositions and prejudices of the people in their present state, than by any change that Christian knowledge and an improved state of civil society, would produce in them?-And would not Christianity, more effectually than any thing else disunite and segregate our subjects from the neighboring states, who are now of the same religion with themselves; and between whom there must ever be, as there ever has been, a constant disposition to confederacy and to the support of a common interest? At present there is no natural bond of union between us and them. There is nothing common in laws, language, or religion, in interest, colour or country. And what is chiefly worthy of notice, we can approach them in no other way than by the means of our religion.*
6. The moral state of the Hindoos is represented as being still worse than that of the Mahometans.Those who have had the best opportunities of knowing them and who have known them for the longest time, concur in declaring that neither truth nor honesty, honour, gratitude, nor charity, is to be found pure in the breast of a Hindoo. How can it be otherwise? The Hindoo children have no moral instruction. If the inhabitants of the British Isles had no moral instruction, would they be moral? The Hindoos have no moral books. What branch of their mythology has not more of falsehood and vice in it, than of truth and virtue? They have no moral gods.
• The n'wly converted Christians on the coast of Malabar are the chief support of the Dutch East India Company at Cochin; and are always ready to take up arms in their defence. The Pagans and Mahometans are naturally enemies to the Europeans, because they have no similarity to them either in their external appearance, or in regard to their manners, their religion, or their interest. If the English therefore do not endeavour to secure the friendship of the Christians in India, on whom can they depend? How can they hope to preserve their possessions in that remote country?- In the above observations may be found one of the reasons why neither Hyder Ali nor Tippo Sultan could maintain their ground against the English and the king of Travancore on the coast of Malabar. The great number of Christians residing there, whom Hyder and his son every where persecuted, always took part with the English." See Bartolomeo's Voyage, page 207, and note.
* Ten thousand nacire Christians lost iheir lives during that war." Jbid, 148.
The robber and the prostitute lift up their hands with the infant and the priest, before an horrible idol of clay painted red, deformed and disgusting as the vices which are practised before it.*
7. You will sometimes hear it said that the Hindoos are a mild and passive people. They have apathy rather than mildness; their hebetude of mind is perhaps the chief negative virtue. They are a race of men of weak bodily frame, and they have a mind conformed to it, timid and abject in the extreme. They are passive enough to receive any vicious impression. The English government found it necessary lately to enact a law against parents sacrificing their own children. In the course of the last six months, one hundred and sixteen women were burnt alive with the bodies of their deceased husbands within thirty miles round Calcutta, the most civilized quarter of Bengal.t But independently of their superstitio:is practices, they are described by competent judges as being of a spirit vindictive and merciless; exhibiting itself at times in a rage and infatuation, which is without example among any other people.* But it is not necessary to enter into any
•The Hindoo superstition bas been denominated lascivious and bloody.-That it is bloody, is manifest from the daily instances of the female sacrifice and of the commission of sanguinary or painful rites. The ground of the for. mer epithei may be discovered in the description of their religious ceremonies, (There is in most sects a right-handed or decent path; and "a left-handed or indecent mode of worship."
See essay on the religious ceremonies of the Brahmins, by II. T. Colebrooke, Esq. Asiat Res. Vol. VII p. 281. That such a principle should have been admitted as systematic in any religion on earth, may be considered as the last effort of mental depravity in the invention of a superstition to blind the understanding, and to corrupt the heart.
From April to October, 1804. See Appendix D.
Lord Teignmouth, while President of the Asiatic Society in Bengal, deliver. ed a discourse in which he illustrated the revengeful and pitiless spirit of the Hindoos, by instances which had come within his own knowlede while resident ar Banares.
In 1791, Soodishter Meer, a Brahmin, having refused to obey a summons issued by a civil officer, a force was sent to compel obedience. To intimi. date them, or to satiate a spirit of revenge in himself, he sacrificed one of his own family. “On their approaching his house, he cut off the head of his deceased son's widow, and threw it out."
In 1793, a Brahmin named Ballo, had a quarrel with a man about a field, and, by way of revenging himself on this man, be killed his own daughter. "I became angry, said he, and enraged at his forbidding me to plough
the field, and "bringing iny one little Apuunya, who was only a year and a half old, I killed Wher with iny sword."
detail to prove the degraded state of the Hindoos; for if it were demonstrated that their moral deprarity, their personal wretchedness, and their mental slavery were greater than imagination can conceive, the fact would have no influence on those who now oppose their Christian instruction. For, on the same principle that they withhold instruction from them in their present state, they would deny it, if they were worse. Were the books of the Brahmins to sanction the eating of human flesh, as they do che burning of women alive, the practice would be respected. It would be considered as a solemn rite consecrated by the ancient and sacred prejudices of the people, and the cannibal would be esteemed holy.
8. During the last thirty years there have been many plans suggested for the better administration of the government of this country; but no system which has not the reformation of the morals of the people for its basis, can ever be effective. The people are destitute of those principles of honesty, truth and justice, which respond to the spirit of British administration; they have not a disposition which is accordant with the tenor of Christian principles. No virtues, therefore, no talents, or local qualification of their governors can apply the most perfect system of government with full advantage to such subjects. Something may be done by civil institution to ameliorate their condition, but the spirit of
About the same tiine, an act of matricide was perpetrated by two Brahmins, Beechuck and Abher. These two men conceiving themselves to have been in jured by some persons in a certain village, they brought their mothertu an adjacent rivulet, and calling aloud to the people of the village, “Beechuck drew
bis seymetat, and, ai one stroke, seiered his mother's head from the body; "with the professed view, as avowed by both parent and son, that the mother's "spirit might forever haunt those who had injured them." Asiat. Res, Vol. IV p. 337.
Would not the principles of the Christian religion be a good substitute for the principles of these Brahmin of the province of Benare ?
It will, perhaps, be observed, that these are but individual instances. True: but they prove all that is required. Is there any other babarous nation on earth ean exhibit saeb instances?
It is a fact that human sacrifices were formerly offered by the Hindoos: and as it would appear, at that period which is fixed by somne auchers for the sera oup beis civilization and retinomene,