Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

and political view, seem of the highest importance. It ap. pears from the foregoing statement, that pure christianity is far, very far, from being a religion for which the highest cast of Hindoos have any disrespect; and that it is the abuse of the Christian name, under the form of the Romish religion to which they are averse. We have, my Lord, been sadly defective in what we owed to God and man, since we have had a footing in this country, as well by departing most shamefully from our Christian profession ourselves as in withholding those sources of moral perfection from the natives, which true christianity alone can establish; and, at the same time, we have allowed the Romanists to steal into our territories, to occupy the ground we have neglected to cultivate, and to bring an odium on our pure and honourable name as Christians. The evil would be less, were it not well known that many of the Romish priests, and their people, who have thus been allowed to grow numerous under our authority, are supposed to be far from well affected to the government under which they reside; indeed, in many instances, the Roman clergy are the natural subjects of nations at enmity with ourselves, at the same time they are eminently qualified by their influence in their profession, to do us the greatest mischief, by spreading disaffection throughout every part of the extended country. The Roman Catholic religion, my Lord, I believe I may say, without offence to truth or charity, has almost always been made a political engine in the hands of its governments; and we must be blinded indeed, by our own confiilence, if we do not calculate on its being so used in this great and rich country, where it has established a footing amongst an ignorant people; especially when it is so well understood that our eastern possessions have been a subject of the greatest jealousy to all the rival nations of Europe. In my humble opinion, my Lord, the error has been in not having long ago established free schools *

* To gire English morals to the natives in their purity, we must, I imagine, make them read English books. Translations have hitherto been very defective in the different country languages; besides, they must be extremely circumserided in number. I do not think the natives will come to us freely but to learn Eng. lish. This they consider as the key to fortune: and, on the cousi, the most strict of the Brahmins will have little hesitation, as far as I can learn, in permitting their children to attend a free school for the purpose of learnmg it; for they derpise us too much to suppose there is any danger of orerturnin; the principle of Brabininism. But their ill founded, ridiculou principles must be shaken to the very foundation, by the cominunication of such liberal knowledge as a Christiau can instil into the minds of youth, and fix these by means of English books; and el ibis without making anyalarming attack directly on the religion of the Kinder

throughout every part of this country, by which the chil. dren of the natives might have learned our language, and got acquainted with our morality. Such an establishment would, ere this, have made the people at large fully acquainted with the divine spring, from whence alone British virtue must be acknowledged to flow. This would have made them better acquainted with the principles by which we are governed: they would have learned to respect our laws, to honour our feelings, and to follow our maxims; whereas they appear to me, generally speaking, at this moment, as ignorant of their masters as on their first landing on these shores. I speak not of interfering with their religious prejudices, or endeavouring to convert the natives by an extraordinary effort on the part of the British government. Conversion, in my opinion, must be the consequence which would naturally flow from our attention to their moral instruction, and their more intimate acquaintance with the English character.

"I do not mention this as an experiment, the result of which might be considered as problematical; the experiinent has been already made, and the consequences have proyed commensurate with the highest expectation which reasonable men coald entertain. The Danish mission, united with the Society for propagating the Gospel, have sent some good men into this country, with the laudable view of spreading true Christiantity thronghout our eastern possessions; and the names of Swarts, Gerricke, and others, will ever be remembered by numbers of our Asiatic subjects, of every cast and description, with veneration and affection: and there are happily still living some amongst us of the same character.

"It is true, that the object they had more particularly in view, has in some measure failed: and few good converts, it is generally imagined, have been made; but let it be remembered also, that they have laboured under every possible disadvantage; they have scarcely enjoyed a mere toleration under our government, and received no kind of assistance whatsoever; that they were few in num. ber, and perhaps I may say, without injnstice, that they erred (as the best might err) in the means which they adopted; but that they have done much good by the pu rity of their lives, and by their zeal in spreading instruction. This will admit of no denial; and I doubt not that

in my

I may say, without the danger of contradiction, that few and poor as these men have been, without authority or power to support them, a greater and more extended portion of heart-felt respect for the European character has been diffused by their means throughout this country than by all the other Europeans put together. We have,

humble opinion, my Lord, kept ourselves too far from the natives; we have despised their ignorance, with out attempting to remove it-and we have considered their timidity, (the natural resylt of thoir bring trampled upon by one race of conquerors after another,) also as an object for our contempt; at the same time, that we have viewed the cunning of their character, (which is ever the natural resou ce of ignorance and weakness,) as the completion of all that is vile and deceitful. Thus have we continued a system of neglect towards the interest of our native subjects, in points the most essential to their every happiness, throughout the whole of our governments in their country. Fain, my Lord, would I see a change in this particular; and I seize the opportunity which the present moment affords, to press the justice and the policy of the measure on the attention of your Lordship's gorernment. Having the honor to remain, with the highest respect, my Lord, your Lordship’s faithfuland obedient humble servant. ( Signed)

R. H. KERR. Senior chaplain of Fort St. George, Madras, Nov. 3, 1806."

FINIS.

No. 129, Market-Street, Baltimore,

HAVE IN THE PRESS AND SHORTLY WILL PUBLISH,

A MINIATURE EDITION OF

DR. YOUNG S

NIGHT THOUGHTS.

THEY HAVE FOR SALE,

Drew on the Resurrection,

Soul, Miscellaneous Books, general assortment, Diamond Bibles, Quarto do. School and Children's Books, Merchant's Account Books, Quills, of a superior quality, Lead Pencils of the best kind, With a general assortment of Stationary.

BOOK-BINDING, In all its extensive variety, executed in a

superior manner, at the shortest notice.

« EdellinenJatka »