« PrécédentContinuer »
resulting from the labours of Protestant missionaries, that above three thousand natives now living have made an open profession of Christianity. To this number is to be added (by necessary inference from the Abbé's statement) many thousands more of such as died, having previously professed the Christian faith.
But I abstain from further allusions to stations with which I am not personally acquainted. I humbly trust that the candid and judicious reader will be of decided opinion, that the success of missionary efforts, in Bengal alone, is abundantly sufficient to refute the Abbé's unfounded representation, that the cause of Christian missions to India is hopeless.
I now, therefore, close my statement of the labours and success of Protestant missionaries, as connected more particularly with Bengal; referring my reader, desirous of full information upon the subject, as connected with all India, to the various works and publications specified near the commencement of this chapter. Should he wish an epitome of such a copious subject, I would refer him to the Church Missionary Register, which has, since its commencement in 1813, recorded in its monthly numbers the leading facts connected with the efforts made in India by Protestants of all denominations.
Should he wish particular information upon
points connected with the south of India, adverted to by the Abbé in his letters in question, but not noticed in this Reply, I beg to refer him to another Reply to the Abbé Dubois, just published, by the Rev. James Hough, one of the Honorable the Company's chaplains, on the Madras establishment, a work containing a fund of very interesting and valuable information, and abundantly sufficient to repel the Abbé's uncalled for attack upon Christian Missions in India.
Before concluding this chapter, what the Abbé has said, respecting the Moravian missionaries, seems to demand some notice.
In one part of his book he thus writes: "Besides the Lutheran sect, the Moravian brethren sent also missionaries to India, about seventy years ago, to make proselytes to their own persuasion. But on their first arrival in the country, they were so much amazed and appalled at the insurmountable difficulties to be met with every where, and so satisfied of the impossibility of making true converts to Christianity, among a people circumstanced as the Hindoos were, that very wisely they dropped their design, without even making the attempt." (p. 20.)
With the above, let the passage already given in the commencement of this chapter be, for the purpose of comparison, again brought forward. "Ask them," (says the Abbé, speaking of the
Moravians) how many converts they have made in India, during a stay of about seventy years, by preaching the gospel in all its naked simplicity." (p. 25.)
How, it may be demanded, can these two statements be reconciled ?—The one representing the Moravian missionaries as not even making an effort to convert the Hindoos; the other exhibiting them as having made the best possible effort to convert them, namely, that of preaching to them the gospel "in all its naked simplicity."
It now devolves upon the reader, taking into consideration the facts and references contained in this chapter, to pass his judgment, whether the Abbé is borne out in his assertion, that all Protestant missionaries "have experienced nothing but the most distressing disappointments in all their pursuits, and all their labours have terminated in nothing."
Further notice of the Abbe's opinion, That the Hindoos cannot embrace Christianity, because of the persecutions to which they would be exposed. -Also, Remarks on his assertions, that the Hindoos are inaccessible—that they are incapable of acquiring new Ideas—and that they are in a state of Reprobation.
FROM what has been submitted to the reader in the preceding chapters, respecting the actual success attending missionary exertions, the error of several of the sentiments advanced by the author will be rendered manifest.
First, I may refer to his opinion, that the Hindoos can never be induced to embrace Christianity, on account of the persecutions to which they would thereby be exposed.
In a previous chapter it was shewn, that this sentiment, so strenuously maintained by the Abbé, is at perfect variance with the principle, that God's grace is sufficient to enable a believer
in the Lord Jesus Christ to undergo all kinds and degrees of suffering, for righteousness' sake, not excepting death. By subsequent chapters, especially the last, it appears that the sentiment is as much at variance with matter of fact, as it is with scriptural principle; for a great number of Hindoos have renounced their idolatry and caste, and made an open and persevering profession of attachment to the Redeemer's cause; and have endured the persecutions, be they more or be they less, which the Abbé asserts to be an insuperable impediment to the success of the gospel.
I would only add, that owing to the impartial conduct of the British government in India, the sufferings of the native converts, from the persecutions of their countrymen, are very materially mitigated; and this hindrance to the spread of the gospel in India is thus, to a very great extent, removed.
I proceed to notice another sentiment, equally repugnant with the preceding, both to sound principle and positive fact. I refer to the author's assertion, that the Hindoos are inaccessible for the purpose of communicating to them a knowledge of the gospel.-"The crafty Brahmins," he states, "(in order that the system of imposture that establishes their unmolested superiority over the other tribes, and brings the latter under their uncontroled bondage, might in no way be disco