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from European rivals, and dethroning its native dynasties, and being masters of its destiny for a hundred years, and breaking down the coherence of its own native institutions, and plunging it into a transition state of society, policy, and religion ;-after all this, to declare that the task was too great for us and we must give it up; that we were very sorry for the mischief we had done and the confusion we had introduced into the country, but it could not be helped now; we must go home again to Europe and manage our own affairs, and only hoped the natives might be able to do the same ;-and all we could say was, that if ever they wanted any English broadcloths, or Sheffield cutlery, or pale ale, &c. &c., we should always be happy to supply them at the lowest prices, and take cotton and indigo in return; and so, getting like cravens into our ships, turn our backs upon God's heritage, and leave that vast continent, with its millions still unfit for freedom, its upstart princes and its contending creeds, to become again a very hell of anarchy
Army; and the Indian Council was known to be strongly of the same opinion. But the result was in no way affected. The Indian Council was not consulted. And both parties in Parliament, against their judgment, at the end of a long session, deferred to the Ministry, and agreed to an entire amalgamation of the armies.
Again, in the same session, Sir Charles Wood, Secretary for India, made his annual Financial Statement to the House of Commons op August 13th, and the “ Times, ” in its analysis of the debates, remarked that “the greater part of it was listened to by not more than thirty members."
These incidents indicate either that the Home Legislature is indiffer. ent about India, or has not time for its confessedly difficult affairs. In either case, some improvement in the present machinery must be made. It will not do to go on “never minding” 200 millions of our subjects. There mnst be some place where Indian affairs may be fully and openly deliberated before the country—and that exclusively, for the Indian Empire is altogether too large to be squeezed into the House of Commons at rare intervals, between two impatient orders of the day.
It wants more space, and more ventilation.
and war;-no! come what may, England will not do this ! We may
set that chance aside. There remains, my friends, one other way of giving up our Indian Empire. Tell me what you think of it; and I have done, Suppose there were to arise in the hearts of any number of our countrymen-(say a body of young Christian men associated together to do good to themselves and others)—a strong conviction that India is a stewardship; that it could not have been for nothing that God placed it in the hands of England ; that He would never have put upon 200 millions of men the heavy trial of being subject to 30 millions of foreigners, merely to have their roads improved, their canals constructed upon more scientific principles, their letters carried by a penny post, their messages
flashed by lightning, their erroneous notions of geography corrected; nor even to have their internal quarrels stopped, and peace restored, and life in many ways ameliorated; that there must have been in India some far greater want than even these which England was needed to supply, and for which Portugal and France were not found worthy; and that the greatest and oldest and saddest of India's wants is religious truth—a revelation of the real nature of the God whom for ages she has been “ignorantly worshipping." Suppose this conviction, springing up in the hearts of a few young men, were to work like leaven there, and spread from home to home, and gradually grow up into that giant thing that statesmen cannot hold—the public opinion of the landwhat would be the consequence? Why, this. The English people would resolve to do their duty. This battling, independent England, which has fought so hard to be allowed to govern herself, would do unto others as she has wished to be done by. This humbled England, which also fought so hard to withhold self-government from America, would recoil from another War of Independence. This free and sympathising country, which has now a heart for Italy, and shouts across these narrower seas, “ Italy for the Italians!” would lift that voice still higher and shout across the world, “India for the Indians!” In short, England, taught by both past and present, would set before her the noble policy of first fitting India for freedom, and then setting her free.
Believe me, this is not merely a glorious dream. Do not dismiss it as a lofty but vain aspiration. Right is never too high, and unselfish hope is never vain. Don't grovel in present difficulties and their dust. Look up! Look out into the future of India and your country! Look high! Aim high. Reach high. And you will elevate your times. It may take years—it maytake a century—to fit India for selfgovernment, but it is a thing worth doing, and a thing that may be done. * It is a distinct and intelligible Indian policy for England to pursue-a way for both countries out of the embarrassments of their twisted destinies. Then set it before you. Believe in it. Hope for it. Work up to it in all your public acts and votes, and conversations with your fellow-men. And ever remember that there is but one way by which it can be reached. There is but one principle which has the life in it to regenerate a Pagan nation, by regenerating its atoms. That way, that principle, is Christianity. Till India is leavened with Christianity she will be unfit for freedom. When India is leavened with Christianity, she will be unfit for any form of slavery, however mild. England may then leave her; with an overthrown idolatry, and a true faith built up; with developed resources; and with an enlightened and awakened people, no longer isolated in the East, but linked with the civilized races of the West.
* The “Talookdåree system,” not only of revenue, but police and judicial powers and rights, which has, by a kind of necessity, been stumbled upon in reconstructing the province of Oudh (which, as a natural consequence, had to be extended to the Punjab, and must inevitably be demanded and obtained ultimately by all India), is nothing short of a political revolution, though apparently attracting little notice. It is the first step, and a long one, towards the self-government of India. But how infinitely does this, that we have done already, add to the necessity of preparing the Indian people, as well as chiefs, for sound self-government, by beginning at the beginning of national strength—a true faith and pure religion, capable of regenerating individuals! If this be not done, and we pursue the ignis fatuus of secular education in a pagan land destitute of other light, then we English will lose India, without those Indians gaining any future.
Yes ! England may leave her-keeping nothing but that commerce which she found so small, and has made so vast. England may leave her;-freely, frankly, gladly, proudly
;leave the stately daughter she has reared, to walk the Future with a free imperial step.
The world, with all its brilliant histories, would never have seen so truly great a close to a great national career.
I believe firmly, this is what God meant England to do with India, and God grant that she may do it!