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attention to the Abbé's representation, either for or against the measure under consideration; seeing that one or other of his opinions must of necessity either have been formed without reflection, or have been uttered without sincerity. I would then beg to cite the opinion of the late Charles Grant, Esq.; one possessed of long and intimate acquaintance with the natives of India, and more particularly of those among whom the Suttee is principally practised-one whose judgment was as sound as his heart was benevolent. In his Observation on the Manners of the Natives of British India,' he adverts to this custom, and intimates, that to say we should continue to allow of these great disorders, in "all time to "would be "too daring a conclusion."
I may here with propriety introduce a further extract from the report of the British magistrate of Hooghly, already alluded to, wherein he plainly avows his opinion that the Suttee may be abolished with perfect safety.
"I do not hesitate in offering my opinion," he says, speaking of the practice in question, "that a law for its abolition would only be objected to by the heirs, who derive worldly profit from the custom; by Brahmins, who partly exist by it; and by those whose depraved nature leads them to look on so horrid a sacrifice as a highly agreeable and entertaining show."
I may also state, that the native who instructed me in the Bengalee language, who was a Brahmin of more than ordinary intelligence, frequently expressed his surprise to me that government did not issue an order that no more Suttees should be permitted, intimating his conviction that no commotion whatever would ensue.
But last of all, and above all, I would lay stress upon the unseen, but not on that account the less effectual, aid and blessing of Him who holds all hearts in his hands, who "stilleth the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the people."
In discussing a great moral question like the present, there is one important axiom which should never, I conceive, be lost sight of,—that the path of duty is the path of safety. If God approve the conduct of the British rulers of the Indian empire in their effort to purify the land of blood-guiltiness, they need not fear, though a host should encamp against them; for if God be for them, no one can oppose them with success.
If the question be asked, Is it according to the revealed will of God, the duty of the British Government in India to interpose their authority, and forcibly put an end to the practice of consigning widows to the flames? I would quote one passage, out of many, from the Sacred Scriptures, and a part of the commentary made upon it by
that great and justly esteemed divine, the late Rev. Thomas Scott, rector of Aston Sandford.
In the thirty-fifth chapter of the book of Numbers, are the following words, "So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are for blood it defileth the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it." (v. 33.)
Upon this the above-mentioned distinguished clergyman thus comments:" The connivance of our government in the burning of widows, and in human sacrifices, and in other species of murder, committed in our East Indian dominions, under the pretext of an idolatrous religion, is wholly unjustifiable, and burdens our land, and all connected with those distant regions, with the guilt of blood not expiated by that of those who shed it."
Such was the opinion of one, who for sobriety of mind and solidity of judgment in expounding that sacred Book, which contains the revelation of God's will to man, has in no era of the church been surpassed, or perhaps equalled.
As a warm friend to India, and by duty, interest, and gratitude, cordially attached to the British rulers, whom Providence has placed over the principal part of that vast empire, my humble prayer is to Him, "at whose command nations and empires rise and fall, flourish and decay,"
that He would guide those who hold the reins of Indian government, into the adoption of such measures as shall tend to the preservation of their own authority, the happiness of their Hindoo subjects, and the glory of Almighty God.
Consideration of the Abbé's disbelief of the intimation contained in the Sacred Scriptures, that the Gospel will ultimately prevail throughout the earth.
THE author of the Letters in question, makes no secret of his disbelief of the consoling doctrine, that the day will come when ignorance, idolatry, superstition and wickedness, shall everywhere be overthrown, and the holy and happy reign of the Prince of Peace extend throughout the earth.
His words are as follows:-" The Christian religion has been announced to the natives of India, without intermission during the last three or four centuries, at the beginning with some faint hopes of success, but at present with no effect. In the mean time, the oracle of the Gospel has been fulfilled with respect to the Hindoos. The Divine Founder of our religion has, it is true, announced that his gospel should