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with the venerable Society for promoting Christian Knowledge, a detailed account, up to the latest period, is given in its annual reports; an abstract of which was compiled, a few years since, by the present Archdeacon of London, in a very interesting octavo volume.
Within the last twenty or thirty years, the annual reports, and other official publications of the Baptist Missionary Society, the Church Missionary Society, the London Missionary Society, the Wesleyan Missionary Society, the American Board of Missions, and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, all now amounting to a great number of volumes, contain a great mass of information relative to the condition of the natives, the duty of attempting their rescue from that state, the means to be pursued, the effects already produced, the good in progress, and the happy prospects of the future.
To the above publications may be added, as being to a great extent corroborative of their contents, the writings of Buchanan, the lives of that eminent man, of Brown, and of Martyn; Ward's History of the Hindoos; not forgetting an affecting quarto, by the Abbé Dubois himself, together with a great number and variety of works of a similar description.
The substantial truth (so far as relates to the point under consideration) of all these various
volumes, the Abbé has the hardihood virtually to call in question; and to attempt, in effect, to overthrow. Volumes, many of them vouched for and issued by large and respectable bodies of Christians in Europe and America; and all of them having their origin in the testimony of eye-witnesses. These witnesses comprising a multitude of devoted missionaries of various denominations, and of impartial spectators in India, friends to the cause of the missions in question, from what they themselves have heard and seen. A celebrated sceptic is reported to have said, that what twelve men (meaning the apostles) have built up, one man (meaning himself) would pull down. But it was vox et preterea nihil, and the rash saying came to nought. The Abbé's bold attack upon the impregnable accumulation of evidence, which has been amassed from all classes and quarters, in favour of Christian missions to Hindostan, must in like manner prove abortive. Magna est veritus et prevalebit.
Before I proceed to add my mite of testimony to the general fund, it may be necessary, for the information of such as are not particularly conversant with the subject, to premise, that a missionary's labour in India has a two-fold object, namely, Europeans and Natives. The well-informed friends to missions are aware of the importance of nominal Christians in India being
changed into real Christians; not merely with a reference to the final salvation of such persons themselves, but to the furtherance of the cause among the heathen.
On this subject the Abbé thus writes :-“I will refrain from entering into details on the low state of Christianity among the Europeans living in this country, as this part of the subject is your province rather than mine. I will content myself with saying, that if their public and national virtues are a subject of praise and adıniration to all the castes of Hindoos, the barefaced immorality, the bad examples and disregard of every sense of religion exhibited by a great many amongst them, are not the least among the many obstacles which oppose the progress of their religion in this country, by increasing the prejudices of the natives against it, and rendering it particularly odious to them, when they see it so ill observed by those who were educated in her bosom, and who come from countries where this religion alone is publicly professed. They think that there can be no advantage in embracing a religion which seems to have so little influence on the conduct of those who profess it; nay, a great many among them, judging from outward appearances, question whether the Europeans living among them have any religion whatever. I have been many times challenged to bear testimony
on this fact, and very seriously asked by thein, whether the Frangy (Europeans) acknowledged and worshipped a god.” (pp. 83, 84.)
The conversion of unholy professors of the truth, to a holy and consistent life, is obviously the removal of a great stumbling-block out of the way of the heathen, and a preliminary step to their conversion, harmonizing with the divine purposes and operations. In the prophecies of Ezekiel are these remarkable words, expressive of the sentiment in question : “ But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went. Therefore say thus unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God, I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went; and I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.” (Chap. xxxvi. 21-23.)
In stating what the different societies have accoinplished, I shall deem it proper, in harmony with the above remarks, to allude to their efforts, as well among the Europeans resident in
India, as among the original inhabitants of the country.
It may be proper to state here, as closely connected with the subject, that the Episcopal Church of the United Kingdom has of late years greatly and very advantageously increased its attention to this important body. The multiplication of chaplains--the growth of piety and zeal among them
+the exertions of the Christian Knowledge Society, in behalf of the Europeans and othersand the manifest good effects which have followed these exertions—all these things are to be noticed with gratitude, as indicating a state of manifest improvement in India.
I would also add, that another venerable society in the Church of England, though it has but lately entered into the field, and has not yet commenced active operations, has been the means of procuring the stamp of royal, and even national sanction, to the duty and practicability of communicating the blessings of Christianity to our Indian empire: for which sincere Christians of all denominations will be truly grateful, while they see so many ready to seize on the statements of our aged missionary as an excuse or pretext for dropping the work in despair. The King's letter in behalf of the society in reference to its intended exertions in India; the noble sub