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all things are possible, and that the weapons of the missionary's warfare are mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds, casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God"whilst this simple proposition is abundantly sufficient to overthrow that part of the author's argument discussed in this chapter, and upon which he appears materially to have relied, it also furnishes a complete refutation of several other statements which he has made, bearing similar marks of having their origin in a forgetfulness of the power and efficacy of divine grace. Some of these will be considered in the succeeding chapter.
Reply to the following representations contained in the Author's Letters; viz. That it is impossible to convert the Hindoos to Christianity, because of the persecutions to which they would become exposed-because they are a people SUI GENERIS --and because the time for effecting their conversion has passed away.-That the successes reported by Missionaries have not really taken place.—That because the Roman Catholic Missionaries have failed, Protestant Missionaries must necessarily fail likewise, and-That the proposal made by the Rev. Mr. Ward to use means for the instruction of Hindoo Females was absurd.
IN the preceding chapter it was intimated, that several representations contained in the Letters under consideration are proved to be incorrect, by the simple truth, that the blessing of heaven accompanying the efforts of Christian Missionaries, is abundantly sufficient to render those efforts successful, however great the difficulties found standing in the way.
In the present chapter, some of the statements alluded to will be brought forward, and their inaccuracy rendered apparent, by the application of the plain proposition to which allusion has been made.
The writer will begin by noticing the author's representation, that the Hindoos will never be prevailed upon to embrace the Gospel, on account of the great persecution to which they would become exposed, were they to profess the Christian faith. "In fact," says he, "how can our holy religion prosper amidst so many insurmountable obstacles? A person who embraces it becomes a proscribed and outlawed man; he loses at once all that can attach him to life. A husband, a father is forthwith forsaken and deserted by his own wife and children, who obstinately refuse to have any further intercourse with their degraded relative. A son is unmercifully driven out of his paternal mansion, and entirely deserted by those who gave him birth.
By embracing the Christian religion, therefore, a Hindoo loses his all. Relations, kindred, friends all desert him. Goods, possessions,
inheritance, all disappear!
"Where is the man, furnished with a sufficient stock of cynical fortitude, to be able to bear such severe trials?”—(pp. 13, 14.)
In the above quotation, it seems as though the
author had entirely forgotten the existence of God's power and grace, and the ample sufficiency of His blessing to render the greatest privations and inflictions supportable; and then not finding in human nature enough of cynical fortitude to administer adequate support under such appalling trials, he deems it impossible for any man to submit to them.
I apprehend it will be plain to every Christian reader, that the author here, as well as in other parts of his book, is maintaining an argument utterly at variance with the principle alluded to. The Lord Jesus Christ said to his servant Paul, "My grace is sufficient for thee, for my strength is made perfect in weakness,” and Paul wrote in consequence to the Corinthian Church, "Most gladly, therefore, will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak then am I strong."
The well-informed reader will not require me to consume his time or my own, by a long detail of the vast number of agonizing martyrdoms submitted to by multitudes of persons, influenced and supported by the grace of God. One quotation from the inspired volume may suffice. "Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that
they might obtain a better resurrection; and others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonments. They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheep-skins and goat-skins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented, (of whom the world was not worthy). They wandered in deserts and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth."
I apprehend that no further note or comment will be requisite to show how very far the Abbé has departed from the principle which is laid down in the Sacred Scriptures, and which in its operation, effectually supported the Apostle Paul and the flock of Christ in times of persecution and martyrdom. The reader will plainly perceive the futility of the argument, drawn from the inadequacy of cynical fortitude, when there is such ample provision in the blessing and grace of God.
The author of the Letters states that the Hindoos are dissimilar to any other nation now existing or that ever did exist, and consequently, that from the conversion of any other people whatever, we cannot infer the possibility of converting the Hindoos. He devotes many pages to this view of the subject. The substance of his argument is contained in the following quotations:
"In no country was the struggle so desperate; in none had it to deal with a people so completely