Images de page

Hindoo children, recently opened. They sent for the schoolmaster, and told him that they wished him to teach the Gospels to the children of his school. He said, 'I am a Hindoo, how can I with propriety teach your Gospels?' They replied, 'Have you ever read them?' He answered, 'No.' Then how can you be a competent judge of the propriety or impropriety of teaching them? Here, take the Gospels home with you, read them attentively, and then come back and tell us further what you think.'


The schoolmaster accordingly took the books, and some days after returned, saying, 'I have read the Gospels you gave me. Well, and what is your view of them now?' He said, 'There is one feature in them which has much struck me; it is, that whilst in my own Shasters the lives of my gods are marked by a long list of crimes, I read in the history of your Jesus Christ, the life of one who was perfectly free from sin.'-' Have you then any objection to teach so good a book to the children under your charge?' He replied, 'None;' and instructed them in the Gospels from that day forward.

When we see the Scriptures thus taught to Hindoo children in schools, and impressing Hindoo adults in a manner so well calculated to promote the reception and diffusion of Christianity,

I apprehend every candid person will acknowledge that the Indian versions ought not to be decried, even if the triumphant reply from Mr. Ward to the Abbe's hostile interrogatories could not have been given.

There is also a variety of other advantages resulting from the Indian versions, which must readily present themselves to every reflecting mind; such as the furnishing the great weapon of spiritual warfare to the missionary, who otherwise would resemble a soldier without a sword-the furnishing the pagan convert with the great means of full acquaintance with, and establishment in, the truths of the gospel-the enabling the Hindoo enquirer to search into the doctrines, duties, and truth of Sacred Writ, leisurely and fully, at his own abode, prior to making an open profession of Christianity. These, and a multitude of minor and corresponding advantages, all stamp an amazing importance upon the Scriptures in India, as they do upon the Scriptures in England, or other Christian lands.

In the work, therefore, of translating the word of God in due time into every dialect of India, of using vigorous means for improving such translations till they attain perfection, and of distributing this bread of life among the perishing millions of India, I confidently anticipate that a

benevolent and enlightened Christian public will say, Be always abounding in this part of the work of the Lord; and, notwithstanding the opposition and discouragement you may meet with, Go Forward.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]


The Author's argument against Missions in India, founded on supposed ill success, examined.

IN the preceding chapters, the author's two positions, on the strength of which he commences his attack upon Christian missions in Hindostan, have been considered, and, it is trusted, their want of solidity has been rendered sufficiently apparent. We have now to enter upon a third subject of consideration, which his book suggests ;-that relating to the success attending the labours of Missionaries in India.

[ocr errors]

This subject may be divided into two parts, the first referring to the argument itself; the second referring to the facts on which the argument is founded. The inquiry into the facts involved in this particular subject,-that is, what actual success has attended the labours of Missionaries in India, will be entered into in the progress of the reply. It is now proposed to

consider the argument itself; and which, it is apprehended, will, as soon as examined, appear unsound and inconclusive.

Let us then suppose (for it is unfounded in point of fact) that the author be able to prove that no Hindoos have been converted-say, not one Hindoo in all Hindostan : this would in no wise prove the impossibility of the future conversion of the inhabitants of India,-for this plain reason, that God is able to render the efforts of his servants to convert them successful, whenever he sees fit. Let a passage from the author's own book be quoted, in which he points out the conduct proper for unsuccessful missionaries to pursue; namely, that they ought "to look up with calmness and resignation to Him who holds in his hands the hearts of men, changes them when he pleases, and is able even of stones to raise up children to Abraham, when the time appointed by him for the purpose arrives."

"In these deplorable times," adds the author, "in which scepticism and immorality threaten to overwhelm every nation and every condition, it only remains to us to weep between the porch and the altar over the iniquities of the people; to water the sanctuary with our tears; to bewail, like Jeremiah, the general corruption; to edify the people by our lessons and examples; to look to the Father of mercies; to pray to him to bring

« PrécédentContinuer »