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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 66 only to be seen on
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.
Notice of the Abbé's representation, that no genuine Converts have been made from among the Hindoos.
In the very first page of his book, the Abbé begins to develop the scepticism of his mind, as to the sincerity of Hindoo converts, by the manner in which he proposes his primary question. "Is there a possibility," says he, "of making real converts to Christianity among the natives in India ?"
In the third page of the work, he represents the Catholic missionary, Xavier, as disheartened by the "apparent impossibility of making real converts," and consequently "leaving the country in disgust."
He afterwards thus enlarges on the subject:"From this short general sketch of the several missions in the Peninsula, you will perceive that
the number of Neophites, although reduced to no more than a third of what it was about seventy years ago, is yet considerable; and it would afford some consolation, if at least a due proportion amongst them were real and unfeigned Christians. But, alas! this is far from being the case; the greater, the by far greater number exhibit nothing but a vain phantom, an empty shade of Christianity. In fact, during a period of twentyfive years that I have familiarly conversed with them, lived among them, as their religious teacher and spiritual guide, I would hardly dare to affirm that I have any where met a sincere and undisguised Christian." (pp. 62, 63.)
The preceding paragraphs, and other passages in the Abbé's book of a corresponding complexion, are plainly written for the purpose of exciting a doubt in the reader's mind, whether any genuine converts have been made among the Hindoos.
To counteract the evil tendency of the author's representation, I would in the first place remark, that he, being a Roman Catholic, has of necessity moved principally among those of his own communion; and to them I apprehend he particularly refers. Now the Protestant reader will not be greatly surprised if, after the representations the Abbé himself has given of the