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will ultimately lead the natives to reject their British governors, and reascend the throne themselves. I would say, that the principles of Christianity forbid such conduct, and bind the conscience of every one to submit to the rulers whom God in his providence has placed over them; whether such rulers be of foreign extraction, or their own fellow-countrymen. language of Scripture is, to every ordinance for the Lord's sake, whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him, for the punishment of evil doers,” (1 Pet. ii. 13, 14.) The apostle here refers to the governors sent from Rome, to rule the various foreign provinces which were under the dominion of the Roman Empire. We find, therefore, that Christianity is as favourable to the monarch as to the subject, and that its extensive diffusion in India is in every point of view a most desirable event.
With respect to the persecution to which the Abbé refers, of course in India as in every other country, Christian as well as pagan, every real convert, who firmly opposes the immoral principles and practices of his countrymen, must expect to endure it, in a greater or less degree; but as to the Abbé's representation, that the Hindoos are so inflamed by the contradictions with which they have been harassed, as to be
ripe for acts of open persecution, as far as I have seen and heard in Bengal, the spirit of intolerance and ill-will towards such as deem it their duty to renounce Hindooism, in favour of Christianity, instead of increasing, has decidedly abated; which I account for, partly from the genial influence of a mild and impartial government, allowing none of its faithful subjects to be oppressed; partly from the positive good which the Hindoos have seen resulting from the principles of the gospel; partly from the growing conviction, that there is no design on the part of the English to introduce their own religion by any force, except that of argument and persuasion; and partly from the increasing respect the natives pay to the doctrines and precepts of Christianity.
I have thus entered into the merits of the question, though probably I might have been justified in simply discrediting the Abbé's representation, by pointing out the following contradiction in his statements.
"It is a certain fact," he says, in the quotation given at the commencement of the chapter, "that since the new reformers have overflowed the country with their Bibles and religious tracts, the Christian religion, and the nations who profess it, have become more odious to the heathen than ever."
"Now the religious tracts dispersed with
profusion in every direction, have brought them (the native Christians) into public notice, and rendered them an object of universal opprobrium; and I apprehend, that this very cause would already have given rise to an open persecution, were it not for the awe inspired by government, &c."
With the preceding, let the following statement of the Abbe's be compared." I shall certainly," says he, in another part of his book, never call on any lady, or other individual whatever, to engage him or her to squander away the money in contributing to the (in my humble opinion) absurd project of establishing schools for the purpose of enlightening the Hindoo females, or of circulating Bibles and tracts which are perused by no one, and are above the comprehension of all." (pp. 207-8.)
We thus find the Abbé asserting, in one part of his book, that the Bibles and religious tracts have excited such general indignation in the minds of the natives, among whom they have been circulated, that they have been strongly disposed to break out into open persecution and rebellion. In another part of his work, the Abbé affirms, that as for the Bibles and tracts which are circulated, they are perused by no one, and are above the comprehension of all!
How books which no native reads, and which
if he did read, he could not understand; how such books should produce a resentment so deep and universal, it is for the Abbé to explain. And it is, at the same time, for the reader to determine how far the Abbé's representations are worthy his regard.
Reply to the Abbé's assertion, that hopes of success, in the project of converting the Hindoos, are founded in ignorance, and vanish upon actual intercourse with the Natives themselves.
THE Abbé expresses his sentiments on the point discussed in this chapter as follows:--"The wellwishers to the cause of Christianity in Europe, who know nothing of the insuperable difficulties to be encountered every where in the dissemination of evangelical truths among the Hindoos of all castes, may indulge on this subject such speculations as they please, and such as their religious zeal may suggest to them. They may exclaim, that the gospel is the true light, that lighteth every man that cometh into the world.' That the truth, in its silent and slow, though steady march, must get the better of error, win the supercilious, soften the obdurate, fix the fickle, and overcome every obstacle that impedes its progress. Such pleasing dreams