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Abbé, holding the sentiments he does, and acting. the part he did, could have come home reporting that signal success had attended his labours, my faith in some of the most vital principles of the Christian religion would have received -a very painful shock. In the outline he gives above of the manner in which he prosecuted his labours, we read of his conforming to the Hindoos in their manners, customs, modes of dress, diet, and the like; of his watering the soil of India with his sweat, and with his tears, and of his being ready to water it with his blood also; but we do not read a single sentence bearing the most remote practical allusion to the great principle advocated in this chapter, and in the preceding, and laid down in these words of Scripture, “ Not by power nor by might, but BY MY SPIRIT, saith the Lord.”
I may notice, that the introduction of the correct principle defeats the author's à priori argument against the practicability of establishing female schools. He thus expresses his sentiments on the subject :-" That author,” (referring to the Rev. Mr. Ward, of Serampore,) “ finishes his address to the ladies of Liverpool by a kind of Don Quixote appeal to their sensibility and compassion, for the purpose of soliciting their support and assistance towards the establishment of schools to enlighten the female Hindoos.
“ The ladies of Liverpool are not aware, I suppose, that such a project is merely visionary and altogether impracticable, the most deeply rooted prejudices of the country being decidedly hostile to its execution.
“ The ladies of Liverpool are not aware, that even should not the prejudices of the country oppose an almost insurmountable bar to the establishment of schools for females in India, the state of poverty of the latter, and their numerous avocations, would not allow them to attend those schools.
“ The ladies of Liverpool are not aware, that at least five-sixths of the Hindoo females live in such distressed circumstances, that from the age of eight or ten years to the end of their lives, they are obliged to labour without intermission, from morning till evening, and that, notwithstanding their incessant labours, they are hardly capable of saving enough to purchase a coarse cloth, of the value of five or six shillings, to cover themselves.”--(pp. 205, 206.)
It so happens, that since the author wrote the above paragraphs, the proposal made by Mr. Ward has been adopted, and the experiment has not only been tried, but actually succeeded. A short time before I left Calcutta, I visited some of the Hindoo girls' schools established by Mrs. Wilson, (then Miss Cooke); and knowing, as
* the Abbé does, the immense difficulties which
stood in the way of female education, and perceiving to how great an extent they had been surmounted*, I could not but consider it as " the finger of God.”
But what I am anxious for at this moment is, not to triumph over the Abbé's à priori objection, on the ground of success having followed the adoption of Mr. Ward's proposal, and the fact of seven hundreds of Hindoo females having been actually obtained as scholars; but to triumph over it on the strength of solid principle. The possibility of instructing Hindoo females would have remained the same had the efforts made by Mrs. Wilson failed. Her failure, had it taken place, would only have proved, that God at that time was not pleased to interpose; and such failure, instead of producing despair of ultimate success, should only have been construed into an indication, that faith, patience, and prayer, must be called into further exercise.
The above specimens are, it is presumed, sufficient to shew how much the forgetfulness of an
* Efforts similar to those of Mrs. Wilson have been made by other individuals, connected with different Societies in various parts of Bengal, and with the most encouraging success. So much so, that in the month of November last, above seven hundred Hindoo girls had entered the various schools opened for their instruction, and enrolled their names as scholars.
important principle--a principle establisbed both by scripture and by fact—has impregnated the whole of the author's book with error; and the reader will be prepared to apply the principle, that God's blessing on the labours of his servants is sufficient to render them successful in India as well as elsewhere, to such other parts of the author's work as are in like manner thereby proved to be erroneous.
Review of the Author's objection to the circulation
of the Holy Scriptures among the Hindoos.
The second point of importance to which the Abbé refers, respects the translation of the Holy Scriptures into the different dialects of India. On the question concerning their adaptation to promote the conversion of the natives, he thus states his opinion. --- “ The translation of the Holy Scriptures circulated among them, so far from conducing to this end, will, on the contrary, increase the prejudices of the natives against the Christian religion, and prove, in many respects, detrimental to it.” (p. 2.)
The grounds of his opposition to the circulation of the Scriptures among the Hindoos appear to be threefold.-He disapproves of the principle itself.—He objects to the existing versions as badly executed. And he asserts that these versions have produced no actual converts.