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but in past times have even caused continual wars and frequent bloods hed to rage amongst them, more dreadfully than between Christians and infidels. A slight reference to the histories of Christian countries will, I trust, afford to my readers entire conviction upon this head. Besides, the Compiler, residing in the same spot where European missionary gentlemen and others for a period of upwards of twenty years have been, with a view to promote Christianity, distributing in vain amongst the natives numberless copies of the complete Bible, written in different languages, could not be altogether ignorant of the causes of their disappointment. He, however, never doubted their zeal for the promulgation of Christianity, nor the accuracy of their statement with regard to immense sums of money being annually expended in preparing vast numbers of copies of the Scriptures ; but he has seen with regret, that they have completely counteracted their own benevolent efforts, by introducing all the dogmas and mysteries taught in Christian Churches to people by no means prepared to receive them ; and that they have been so incautious and inconsiderate in their attempts to enlighten the natives of India, as to address their instructions to them in the same way as if they were reasoning with persons brought up in a Christian country, with those dogmatical notions imbibed from their infancy. The consequence has been, that the natives in general, instead of benefiting by the
perusal of the Bible, copies of which they always receive gratuitously, exchange them very often for blank paper ; and generally use several of the dogmatical terms in their native language as a mark of slight in an irreverent manner; the mention of which is repugnant to my feelings. Sabat, an eminently learned but grossly unprincipled Arab, whom our divines supposed that they had converted to Christianity, and whom they of course instructed in all the dogmas and doctrines, wrote a few years ago a treatise in Arabic against those
very dogmas, and printed himself and published several hundred copies of this work. And another Moosulman, of the name of Ena'et Ahmud, a man of respectable family, who is still alive, and speedily returned to Mohummudanism from Christianity, pleading that he had not been able to reconcile to his understanding certain dogmas which were imparted to him. It has been owing to their beginning with the introduction of mysterious dogmas, and of relations that at first sight appear incredible, that, notwithstanding every exertion on the part of our divines, I am not aware that we can find a single respectable Moosulman or Hindoo, who were not in want of the common comforts of life, once glorified with the truth of Christianity, constantly adhering to it. Of the few hundred natives who have been noininally converted to Christianity, and who have been generally of the most ignorant class, there is ground to suspect that the
greater number have been allured to change their faith by other attractions than by a conviction of the truth and reasonableness of those dogmas; as we find nearly all of them are employed or fed by their spiritual teachers, and in case of neglect are apt to manifest a rebellious spirit ;-a circumstance which is well known to the Compiler from several local facts, as well as from the following Occurrence. About three years ago, the Compiler, on his visit to an English gentleman, who is still residing in the vicinity of Calcutta, saw a great number of Christian converts with a petition, which they intended to present to the highest ecclesiastical authority, stating, that their teachers, through false promises of advancement, had induced them to give up their ancient religion. The Compiler felt indignant at their presumption, and suggested to the gentlemen, as a friend, the propriety of not countenancing a set of men who, from their own declaration, seemed so unprincipled. The Missionaries themselves are as well aware as the Compiler, that those very dogmas are the points which the people always select as the most proper for attack, both in their oral and written controversies with Christian teachers ; all of which, if required, the Compiler is prepared to prove by the most unquestionable testimony.
Under these circumstances, the Compiler published such sayings of Christ, as he thought intelligible to all, conveying conviction with them, and best calculated to lead mankind to universal love
and harmony ; not dwelling upon those matters, an observance of which is not absolutely ordained, and the interpretations of which, instead of introducing peace and happiness, have generally given rise to disputes and controversies. The Compiler had no local influence nor power to promote any one's interest, nor has he situations to give away, nor yet has he friends and colleagues to recommend others to their patronage. Humble as he is, he has therefore adopted those measures which he thought most judicious, to spread the truth in an acceptable manner ; but I am sorry to observe, that he has unfortunately and unexpectedly met with opposition from those whom he considered the last persons likely to oppose him on this subject. From what has already been advanced, the Reviewer may perceive the reason why the passages extracted by the Compiler from the Gospel of St. John should be comparatively few. It is from this source that the most difficult to be comprehended of the dogmas of the Christian religion have been principally drawn : and on the foundation of passages of that writer, the interpretation of which is still a matter of keen discussion amongst the most learned and most pious scholars in Christendom, is erected the mysterious doctrine of three Gods in one Godhead, the origin of Mohummudanism, and the stumbling-block to the conversion of the more enlightened amongst the Hindoos.
To impress more strongly on the minds of those for whom this compilation was intended, the
doctrines taught by Jesus, the Compiler thought the varied repetition of them by different but concurring reporters highly advantageous, as showing, clearly, that those doctrines were neither misrepresented nor misconceived by any of those Evangelists.
6. Nor is the conduct of the Compiler in selecting certain passages of the Scriptures for certain purposes singular; for we see very often extracts from the Bible, published by the learned men of every sect of Christians, with a view to the maintenance of particular doctrines. Christian Churches have selected passages from the Bible, which they conceive particularly excellent, and well adapted for the constant perusal and study of the people of their respective churches ; and besides, it is the continual practice of every Christian teacher to choose from the whole Scriptures such texts as he deems most important, for the purposes of illustrating them, and impressing them on the minds of his hearers. Nor will those teachers, if questioned as to their object in such selection, hesitate to assign as their motive the very reason adopted by the Compiler as his—the superior importance of the parts so selected. Whether or not he has erred in his judgment on that point, must be determined by those who will candidly peruse and consider the arguments already advanced on the subject, always bearing in mind the lesson practically taught by the Saviour himself, of adapting his instructions to the susceptibility and capacity of his hearers. John xvi. 12: