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said, " It shall be as dear to me as life itself.” Some years ago a native officer under Government met me in a village and invited me to his cottage : he showed me his little library, and to my surprise I saw, among other books, Scott's Commentary on the Bible; he assured me that he read in it every day. Young Hindoos who have received an English education are establishing English schools in their own villages: and thus render themselves useful to their countrymen. Rich zemindars pay them a small salary, and the parents of the scholars contribute their share for their support. Such a teacher, whom I met on a mission tour, requested me to examine his scholars : and seeing that books were wanted for the reading classes, I offered to supply a number of New Testaments: the offer was gladly accepted, and the books were immediately distributed among the boys of the first and second classes." -(p. 309.)
He then adds"As you may see from a feather where the wind is blowing, so are facts of this kind sure and pleasing signs of a thorough and wide-spreading change in the character and mind of the Hindoos.
“ Though those worldly men who never took the trouble to enter the premises of a mission establishment, have returned from India, and said there was little or nothing doing by missionaries, yet the Hindoos themselves know better how to appreciate our labours.
“ The following letter inserted by a young man in a Bengalee newspaper, is a remarkable proof of it. it was addressed to an association called the Dhurma Subha, formed in Calcutta for the protection of Hindnoism. He writes,
Oh, holy mon, boast no more that you are Hindoos! Do you think that your children will remain faithful to the religion of their fathers ? Give up all such vain hopes; the padres (or missionaries) who have come from Europe, are wandering in whole bands through every street and lane of Calcutta, in order to destroy the Hindoo religion; and greedy boys, like hungry fishes, are allured and caught by the hook of their sorcery: Many boys have given up their family, caste, and religion, have entered the family of Jesus, and have been initiated into the mysteries of the Bible. Last week another silly boy lifted up his wing and flew to the tree of the love of Jesus Christ. We are more afraid of the padres, than of either cholera, fever, or snakebites; for these may be healed by charms and by medicines; but for the disease which the missionaries inflict, neither charm or medicine will avail anything.. We cannot find great fault with these men, for it is the glory of their religion, that they have crossed seven oceans and thirteen rivers, (a saying common among the Hindoos) to come into this country, and they are now spending immense sums in order to convert the Hindoos. Our religion, having no means of defending itself, is dying, and is going to its home; that is to say, to the house of Yama, (the infernal regions, a very proper place for their religion to go to,) and the holy men of the Dhuma Subha will not even once apply the medicine of their own endeavours, for the restoration of their dying religion."-(pp. 310, 311.)
The fact is, as Mr. W. observes, the Brahmins see the impending storm approaching, and use every effort to turn its course.
"• The missionaries,' say they, ‘have baptized but a small number, yet they turn the heads of the people, and poison the minds of our youth by their teaching.' You missionaries must succeed,' said a tradesman to me in the Bazaar of Burdwan, one day, “because you are so indefatigable in preaching.' 'We, said another, ' are too old to change our religion : but our children will all become Christians.' Many Brahmins say, 'Whenever Christianity obtains a paramount influence, we shall join your ranks lik wise.' This sort of conversion is certainly not the one we desire and aim at :
nevertheless, expressions like these clearly show the deep impression which the labours of missionaries have produced among the bulk of the people. I one day asked a respectable Hindoo at Burdwan, why he withdrew his son from our English school ? 'Because,' he replied, 'as soon as the boys know how to read and write, they are Christians in heart. I rejoined, 'What a poor thing must your religion be, which cannot stand the least examination : and what a powerful principle of truth must Christianity contain, laying hold as it does of the affections, and approving itself to the intellect of people as soon as they are made acquainted with it.' 'For this very reason,' replied the father, I will take good care to keep my boy away from Christian influence.'"-(pp. 312, 313.)
It is stated in a note,“We have just heard the gratifying news that a wealthy Brahmin, in the city of Benares, has lately given up his son into the hands of one of our missionaries, with these remarkable words: 'I feel convinced, sir, after reading your holy Shasters, that they contain the true religion. I have not the power to come up to the purity of its precepts, but here is my son, take him as your child, feed him at your table, and bring him up a Christian. At the same time he made over the sum of ten thousand rupees (£1000) into the hands of the missionary, to defray the expense of his son's education. This event is a new era in the history of our North Indian missions : the effect of it will be incalculable upon the minds of the Hindoos at Benares; a greater blow has never been inflicted upon that stronghold of idolatry."—(pp. 315, 316.)
If to facts of this kind we add—the crumbling of idol-temples -colleges of Hindoo learning deserted—the general abatement of prejudice against Christianity—the gradual influence of our missions, &c., upon the Hindoo mind-the growing hunger after knowledge—the increasing number of pious Europeans in India the rapidly-increasing congregations of Hindoo Christians (6,800 converts, as the bishop of Oxford observed at the recent anniversary, brought to the light by means of the Church Missionary Society alone, in one district, during the past year): if facts like these are carefully considered in connexion with our recent victories and extension of territory, together with the wise, statesmanlike, and Christian measures of the Governor-General touching education and the standing of Hindoo converts,-it is not surprising that there should be “ a strong impression very prevalent” in India, as the Rev. J. Sargeant observes, “ that Christianity will eventually be the religion of the country.” “I have very little doubt,” writes another eye-witness, “ that in a short time the whole population of Tinnevelly will renounce heathenism, and come over to Christianity. In this district alone the number of persons brought out of heathenism and placed under Christian instruction, was 23,868, in January, 1845 ; while, in January, 1846, it was 30,698. The Bishop of Madras has lately visited the Tinnevelly mission, and confirmed between three and four thousand native Christians. His Lordship writes—" In four years and a-half the Christian community in Tinnevelly has doubled
itself. Our want of missionaries is greater than ever : and there appears no reason to doubt, that any missionary would collect around him a congregation of 1000 or 1500 souls in a few months, in every part of the yet unoccupied field of Tinnevelly.” “ My friends," writes Mr. Weitbrecht--(we cannot omit, though somewhat long, this important passage)
" My friends, if my fellow-labourers in Bengal are agreed on any important point respecting mission-work generally, it is in this, that there is no heathen land on the whole earth, in the present day, more interesting and so well prepared for the reception of Christianity as India. It is true, the Chinese empire has nearly three times the number of inhabitants : but China is comparatively a terra incognita, a new field, hardly yet trodden by the feet of the missionary. In New Zealand, it is true, half of the inhabitants are Christianized : but New Zealand counts not as many thousands, as India numbers millions.
“ Hear what an experienced and most zealous missionary, who has been labouring twenty years in Bengal, says on this subject, in a public speech made two years since :
“ The Israelites travelled only when they saw the cloud and the pillar. In the same manner, Christians who are anxious for the conversion of the world, should consult the will of God in the particular spheres which they should first occupy. The apostles paid very great attention to the leading of the Lord in this respect. Now it is a fact that many events which prepared the Western nations for the first reception of the gospel, have, in our days, occurred in India, evidently with the gracious design that the gospel should be introduced there.
". At the time of our Lord's coming, the whole of the habitable globe had been conquered by the Romans, a circumstance which greatly facilitated the intercourse of the nations who composed the empire. We see the same has been done by the conquest of the British, who have united under one sovereignty innumerable tribes of nations who were formerly at war with each other,-a rule so far professedly a Christian one, that it affords full and entire liberty to the missionaries to go wherever they wish in the land, and prosecute their labours with perfect security. Then take the general expectation which had been raised about the time when the Messiah appeared, that a great King would appear in Judea, whose sway would be universal, which expectation was accompanied with the idea of great moral revolutions, and the overthrow of the existing religious systems,--well, the same is to be found in India at the present time. The Hindoos, one and all, owing especially to an ancient prophecy in their holy books, are fully expecting the entire overthrow of their religion, and that a totally new order of things will prevail. All the efforts of the missionaries have tended to convey to the na. tives the impression that this new order of things is at hand. As the Jews settled down in all parts of the Roman empire, exhibited to the surrounding nations a purer worship, so Europeans, instead of Jews, have settled everywhere in India; there are churches and chapels where the natives see a purer worship; there are copies of the Holy Scriptures, books and tracts widely disseminated, which are favourably operating upon the people, and probably far more favourably than the same causes did upon the Roman empire. Again, when heathenism was about to fall in that empire, you are aware that the remaining adherents of it sought the aid of the Platonic philosophy to strengthen it, to render beathenism more palatable to the refined taste of the age. And, would you believe it?-the very same system is now being resorted to in India. There are many Brahmins, and among them the followers of Rammohun Roy, who, despairing of keeping up the Hindoo system of religion in its ancient form, are now endeavouring to engraft a more refined system upon it, chiefly taken from the most unexceptionable parts of the Vedas: the adherents of it discard the grosser parts of idolatry, and worship only the God of nature, without any sensible representation. The young Hindoo philosophers actually declare that this is the only means of impeding the progress of Christianity, which they say is fearfully rapid.'.
“In conclusion, my friends, I appeal to you, then, whether from the north pole to the south pole, there is a single nation which is so visibly opened of The Lord for the reception of the gospel, as India ? And if, as I apprehend, none can be named, is it not the imperative duty of British Christians now to take the work energetically in hand? Would you entertain a doubt as to what it was your duty to do, if you had heard a voice from heaven commanding you to carry forth the gospel with power and strength to India ? You know you would not. Without extravagance I may declare, that such a voice has been heard. The extraordinary display of so many striking facts, which show such a promising state of preparation in India, is the voice of Providence, as distinguishable as if it had been heard from heaven.
“ India, and especially the great capital, Calcutta, the emporium of commerce and trade in the East, is evidently destined in God's providence, to become the central point for the regeneration of the vast continent of Asia; its political relations, its favourable geographical position, the great preparations which have been made, and which are in operation for the spread of the Redeemer's kingdom,--all these things clearly show that from that centrical spot the blessings of civilization and the light of revealed truth will extend their cheering rays over the nations of that immense continent. All the new discoveries of the hidden powers of nature, all the improvements in arts and sciences by the wisdom of man, which in our eventful times are advancing in such rapid strides, are destined to advance the great work of evangelization. Steamers now go in twenty days from Calcutta to China; and from Calcutta to Suez in about the same time. The great rivers of India, the Ganges, Indus, and Burhampooter, are ploughed by English steamers. A plan for constructing a railway from Calcutta to Allahabad, a distance of five hundred miles, has lately been projected by a skilful, ingenious officer, and proposed to the East Indian government. They are also speaking of a second grand railroad, which is to be constructed through Central India, from Calcutta to Bombay, a distance of about fifteen hundred miles. India is in peace, and the times are more favourable than ever for the execution of such great and important schemes. By these wonderful improvements new paths will be opened for the spread of divine truth in that great empire; distances will be surprisingly shortened, and the communications between the different provinces facilitated. Thus while the children of the world carry out their gigantic plans for improving commerce and amassing wealth, the missionary follows on, in these newly-opened tracts, and the light of the gospel penetrates more deeply into the remotest recesses of the darkest paganism.
“As to outward appearance, mission work in India has to wind its way through a chaos of hostile elements : conflicts will continue, and troubles will not cease; and therefore, he in whom the eyes of faith are not opened, is in danger of being confounded at the leadings of God's providence: but one thing is certain-the cause will eventually prove victorious. Amidst the powerful blows which fall from every side upon the old fabric of Hindooism, it must at last be crushed to pieces. If the Church of Christ will but act worthy of her high powers and destiny, no atheism, no other hostile infidel system, shall be erected on its ruins; no, a beautiful temple of the Lord shall be built up, in which he shall be worshipped in spirit and in truth, and India's millions of inhabitants shall rejoice with us in God their Saviour.
“ Some people believe that centuries will still elapse before heathenism is extirpated in every part of India, and before the whole country can be evangelized. I am not of their opinion, and feel no inclination to join the ranks of those who have nothing but difficulties to produce, and can fix their eyes nowhere but upon the darkest background of the picture. One great event is following another in our days in the political world, shaking whole nations and empires. And do we not perceive the same thing happening in the religious world, events of the greatest magnitude succeeding each other with increasing rapidity ?
“While the building of Solomon's temple was in progress, it is very probable that many came and looked on, who, seeing the preparations, were ready to say it was perfectly impossible that the magnificent structure contemplated could be finished within six or seven years; forasmuch as they could only perceive the foundation being laid, and the ground levelled; but they were little aware of what was going on in the marble quarries of Tyrus, and in the cedar-forests of Mount Lebanon. Thousands of labourers and artisans were there engaged in cutting the timbers, and preparing the marble blocks and framework of the noble edifice. Every part was made ready and received its polish there; and so perfect were the preparations, that it is expressly stated, ' And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone, made ready before it was brought thither, so that there was neither hammer, nor axe, nor any tool of iron, heard in the house while it was building.'
“In like manner there are, in the present day, thousands of hands, heathens, and Christian believers, and unbelievers, engaged in preparing the materials for the spiritual temple of God. They who know the Great Architect, have been permitted to look into his plan, and they can rejoice in hope, being assured that a glorious edifice will be raised, although they are not as yet acquainted with the details, nor how the several parts are to be joined together; they know quite well that the workmen engaged in his service, work, as it were, into each other's hands, and that the various materials are calculated in the nicest manner, to fit into their proper and destined places. Yes, they have a happy presentiment, grounded upon facts, that the whole will be finished much sooner than might be expected.
"Where,' says a pious and able writer on modern missions, in anticipation of that glorious period, ' Where is now Diana of the Ephesians ? Where are now Jupiter and the gods of Greece, and where is the whole Pantheon of Rome? The first Christians testified against them, and they vanished. Witnesses of Christ came to Britain, and where are now Woden and all the Saxon gods, with the sanguinary rites of the Druids?' Brethren, the idols we assail have long since been routed, and the sword we wield routed them.
“The gods of India are the same, under different names, which Italy and Greece adored; the sword of the Spirit chased them from the West, and shall it do less now in the East? Many of them are already fallen : Bel boweth down, and Nebo stoopeth.' And the Christian missionary approaching, and standing before the most crowded temple and the firmest throne idolatry boasts of, is divinely warranted in taking up a burden against it, by saying, “Thy days are numbered, and thine end draweth near.' Yes, if there be stability in a divine decree, if there be merit in the mediation of Christ, if any truth in the doctrine of his reign, and power in the agency of his Spirit, the prediction shall be fulfilled. The history of the world, to the latest period of time, is written already in his mind. Every province of idolatry and error has its limit and its date appointed there. The angel is already selected who shall eventually shout, Babylon is fallen, is fallen!' The chorus is appointed whose voices are to resound, · The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever!”-(pp. 332-341.)
It is not, then, without reason, in our opinion, that THE CONVERSION OF BRITISH INDIA, TO THE Faith of ChrIST DURING THE PRESENT GENERATION, is regarded as an object which may be