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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.
Statement of the labours and success of Missionaries
of the Protestant persuasion.
In the preceding chapter, the Abbé’s objection to the continuation of missionary efforts in India, on the ground of ill success, was considered, so far as, relates to the efforts of missionaries connected with the church of Rome : the present chapter will be devoted to a review of the same objection, as applying to missionaries of the Protestant persuasion.
In the following quotation, the Abbé enters into a specification of different denominations of Protestant missionaries, and insinuates the failure of them all: “Behold the Lutheran mission, established in India more than a century ago ! Interrogate its missionaries, ask them what were their successes during so long a period, and through what means were gained over the few proselytes they made ? Ask them whether the
interests of their sect are improving, or whether they are gaining ground, or whether their small numbers are not rather dwindling away? Behold the truly industrious, the unaffected, and unassuming Moravian brethren! Ask them how many converts they have made in India, during a stay of about seventy years, by preaching the gospel in all its naked simplicity ? —They will candidly answer, ‘Not one! not a single man!'
“ Behold the Nestorians in Travancore! Interrogate them; ask them for an account of their success in the work of proselytism, in these modern times ? Ask them whether they are gaining ground, and whether the interests of their ancient mode of worship is improving? They will reply, that so far from this being the case, their congregations, once so flourishing, and amounting (according to Gibbon's account) to 200,000 souls, are now reduced to less than an eighth of this number, and are daily diminishing.
“ Behold the Baptist missionaries at Serampore! Inquire what are their spiritual successes on the shores of the Ganges ? Ask them whether they have the well-founded hope that their indefatigable labours, in endeavouring to get the Holy Scriptures translated into all the idioms of India, will increase their successes? Ask them whether those extremely incorrect versions, already obtained at an immense expense, have produced
the sincere conversion of a single pagan? And I am persuaded that, if they are asked an answer upon their honour and conscience, they will all reply in the negative.” (pp. 25, 26.)
In a further part of his book, the Abbé, in a sweeping clause, pronounces total failure to have followed the labours of all Protestant missionaries, without exception. The passage is as follows: “ The concerns of the Christian religion are in a quite desperate state; from a long period, all missionaries who are come to India for the purpose of making proselytes, have found themselves deceived on their arrival in the country, have experienced nothing but the most distressing disappointments in all their pursuits, and all their labours have terminated in nothing.” (p. 133.)
To meet the Abbé's objection, as it affects Protestants, all that is requisite is a correct statement of facts. These facts are detailed in many volumes, the greater part of which have appeared within the last twenty or thirty years. Before that period, the Protestant missions of India were almost exclusively confined to the south-eastern coast of the Peninsula. The authors who have narrated the earlier proceedings in the ancient Danish mission at Tranquebar, and the other Protestant missions on the coast, are enumerated in Fabricius's “ Lux Evangelii. Of that part of these missions which is connected