Images de page

intermission, during the last three or four centuries. This is not the case; the great bulk of the Hindoos have to this day never had the gospel presented to their minds. It might be met also by the Abbé's subsequent "Vindication of the Hindoos, Male and Female," wherein he exhibits them in an amiable point of view, and is highly offended with those who have drawn their characters in

opposite colours. But the assertion is completely refuted by the cheering fact, that a great number of them, and even Brahmins among the number, have actually embraced the gospel, and that among these converts several have laboured diligently to disseminate the knowledge of salvation among their countrymen all around.



Answer to the Abbe's insinuation, that Protestant Missionaries, in the reports of their successes, have imposed upon the Public.

THERE is a passage in the Abbé's book, which, though I believe it is the only one of the kind, is yet of too grave a nature to be passed by without a distinct reply.

[ocr errors]

"Respecting the new missionaries of several sects who have of late years made their appearance in the country," says the Abbé, you may rest assured, as far as my information on the subject goes, that notwithstanding the pompous reports made by several among them, all their endeavours to make converts have till now proved abortive, and that their successes are only to be seen on paper." (p. 21.)

The Abbé here insinuates that the Protestant missionaries, who have arrived in India in recent

years, have sent home reports of successes which never existed, and thus been guilty of imposing upon the public.

In reply, I would notice that the Abbé, as it respects Bengal, does not speak as an eyewitness, whilst those to whose testimony he objects, report what they themselves have seen and heard, and transacted;-that the Abbé, if his testimony were of equal validity, is but one witness against many; and that his reputation for a conscientious adherence to truth, will not be deemed superior to that of Dr. Carey, Dr. Marshman, Mr. Ward, and many other missionaries, who are respected, both in India and England, as men of strict veracity.

Further, let the testimony of impartial and disinterested observers in Bengal be regarded, whereby the representations made by the missionaries will be found to be abundantly corroborated. I may commence by referring to the countenance vouchsafed by the Marquess of Hastings to the missionaries, both of the Baptist Society, and of the Society with which I stood more particularly connected. With respect to the former, he made them a donation of six thousand rupees, for the furtherance of native schools, and condescended to become the Patron of their native College at Serampore. With respect to the last-mentioned society, he allowed one of its missionaries a sum

of about six thousand rupees annually, also for the promotion of native schools.

Is such patronage as this, from the Governor General himself, consistent with the idea that these missionaries were men so devoid of common integrity as to be unworthy of public confidence? If it should be said, that his Excellency the Governor, from his elevated station, was unable to examine the actual state of missions in Bengal, and of comparing them with the reports transmitted by missionaries to England, it may be answered, that his country palace was on the banks of the river immediately opposite to Serampore, and that if fallacious representations had been made by the missionaries, it cannot be doubted that he would necessarily have become acquainted with the imposition, and withheld his countenance from those who practised it.

But I may proceed to remark, that the fact that great numbers of respectable Europeans of all ranks, in and out of the Honourable Company's service, actually subscribe, and that munificently, to the support of the several missionary societies in Bengal ;-this fact effectually refutes the Abbé's slanderous assertion of." pompous reports," and successes only to be seen on paper."

[ocr errors]

When I left the country, the British inhabitants in Calcutta, and other parts of Bengal,

were subscribing several hundred pounds a year to promote the missionary efforts of that society, under whose patronage I went out to India. Similar contributions are also made to the other missionary societies. Every one of these subscribers is an unexceptionable witness to the probity of the missionaries, whose efforts they thus generously and voluntarily assist, and to the substantial truth of the reports made by them to the British public in Europe.

« PrécédentContinuer »