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respects the inference from the Abbé's efforts having proved abortive), whether the course which he pursued was scriptural, and calculated to procure the approbation and blessing of God. For, if it shall appear to have been of a contrary nature, and adapted to provoke the frown of Heaven upon his efforts, then their fruitlessness is a necessary result, and forms no ground either of wonder or discouragement.
In prosecuting our inquiry into the principles. by which the Abbé was guided in his missionary undertaking, let us commence by noticing the account he gives of the conduct pursued by his official predecessors: "They at their first outset," says he, "announced themselves as European Brahmins, come from a distance of five thousand leagues from the western parts of the Djamboody, for the double purpose of imparting to, and receiving knowledge from, their brother Brahmins in India."
"After announcing themselves as Brahmins, they made it their study to imitate that tribe: they put on a Hindoo dress of cavy, or yellow colour, the same as that used by the Indian religious teachers and penitents; they made frequent ablutions; whenever they shewed themselves in public, they applied to their forehead paste, made of sandal wood, as used by the Brahmins. They scrupulously abstained from every kind of animal
food, as well as from intoxicating liquors, entirely faring like Brahmins on vegetables and milk; in a word, after the example of St. Paul (1 Cor. ix. 20, 21.) "Unto the Jews they became as Jews, that they might gain the Jews; to them that were without law, as without law. They were made all things to all men, that they might by all means save some." (pp. 5, 6.)
It appears, by the above representation, that the Jesuit missionaries, who preceded the Abbé Dubois in office, were guilty of positive falsehood and deception, avowing themselves to be European Brahmins, come to visit their brother Brahmins in India! and then subsequently adopting a variety of the usages of the Brahmins, the better to keep up the deception.
How far the Abbé has walked in the steps of his predecessors, is a question of importance, as bearing upon the title his book has to the attention of the Christian public.
To assist the reader in forming his judgment upon this point, the writer feels it his duty to remark, that the Abbé seems to approve the conduct of his predecessors, as above set forth, comparing it to the conduct even of St. Paul himself!
But we proceed to notice the Abbé's description of the mode he himself actually pursued :"For my part," he states, "I cannot boast of
my successes in this holy career, during a period of twenty-five years that I have laboured to promote the interests of the Christian religion. The restraints and privations under which I have lived, by conforming myself to the usages of the country, embracing in many respects the prejudices of the natives, living like them, and becoming almost a Hindoo myself; in short, by 'being made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some,'-all this has proved of no avail to me to make proselytes." (pp. 133-4.)
The Abbé here plainly declares, that he became almost a Hindoo, and then introduces that same passage of Scripture, in vindication of his conduct, which he has employed for the purpose of justifying the conduct of his predecessors.
There is now a passage from the author's quarto work (entitled, 'A Description of the Character, Manners, and Customs of the People of India,') which may. with propriety be introduced as throwing yet further light upon the question before us.
Having sometimes in my travels," he states, "come up to a temple where a multitude of the people were assembled for the exercise of their worship, I have stopped for a while to look on; and the Brahmins, who direct the ceremonies, have come out; and, upon learning who I was, and my manner of living, have
invited me to go in, and join them in the temple; an honour, for which I always thanked them unfeignedly, as became a person of my profession to do." (p. 183.)
By the above paragraph, the Abbé's conduct appears to have been of such a nature, that, in his travels, the Brahmins actually invited him to join them in the temple, whilst engaged in the worship of the idol; which shews, that they deemed his conduct a sufficient warrant to justify the expectation, either that he would comply with their invitation, or at least be gratified by it.
We return to the author's Book of Letters, and find yet further statements, materially bearing upon the point at issue." My censures, proceeds the Abbé, in the book now under review, are also directed against the enormities of the monstrous worship prevailing in the country, to which it has at all times been impossible for me to reconcile myself. However, if it were in our power, through fair means, to take off from the religion of the country several monstrosities, which are truly a disgrace to human nature, I would forgive them all that is only extravagant in their worship." "I have just hinted, that if it were in our power, through fair means, to take off from the religion of the Hindoos its enormities, we ought, perhaps, to stop there, and overlook all that is only extravagant in their
worship; because the minds of these people are composed of such materials, that they cannot be roused, except by extravagance." (pp. 169, 170.)
We here find the Abbé avowing, that he would forgive the Hindoos all that is only extravagant in their worship, if they would but part with what is monstrous; thereby virtually intimating, that the Hindoo religion ought to be suffered to remain undisturbed, if pruned of its enormities.
Is the writer mistaken, or is not the Abbé hereby actually advocating the perpetuity of real and substantial idolatry? Alas! has he not but too truly described himself as having become almost a Hindoo !
The reader, taking the preceding quotations and remarks into consideration, will not, it is apprehended, need any further evidence; but be satisfied that, considering the line of conduct the Abbé pursued, and the principles by which he was actuated, the circumstance of his having obtained no real converts from Hindooism to Christianity, is no matter of either marvel or dejection.