« 前へ次へ »
authors of all their miseries. I allude chiefly to emigrants from the Mysore, the Mahratta States, and the territories of the Nizam. Many of them found a welcome reception in the woods of our Poligars, whose animosity towards us was at least as furious as their own, and with infinitely
They had been cruelly persecuted during the Nabob's administra: iun, and that of the Company had increased their sufferings. They had been pillaged by the rapacity of those whose duty it was to have protected them ; and having, by such proceedings, and others of a like disgraceful atrocity, been forced into rebellion, thousands perished by the sword; others were banished from their native homes, and many of their chiefs terminated their existence on the gallows.
• These people listened with every attention to the tales related by their new guests, with whom they made a common cause; and, uniting with the discontented people of the Carnatic, their countrymen and fellow-subjects, gave way to their thirst for revenge. Many of those Poligars were serving in our battalions, where they associated with men professing the same religion with themselves ; and the rest, the Mahomedans, w re alike adverse towards us ; and similar arts and persuasions were employed to corrupt both parties. It was intended by the confederates, that all who could be seduced to insurrection, should act upon a concerted plan, which was partly delineated in a placard, that had been, some years previously, written and inlustriously circulated by one of the M rawa chiefs. And, as necessary auxiliaries to such a measure, their emissaries and incendiaries from other quarters, some of them Frenchmen in the disguise of Fakeers and Saniassis, spread themselves over the coast ; every where loading us with abuse, as usurpers and tyrants, and as guilty of every act of cruelty and oppre Ind in this combination may be found the primary cause of the Vellore mutiny. But to render it still more complete, we will superadd to it the consideration, that the sons of Tinpoo, and their adherents, resided within the walls of that fortress, and that they had collected round them an unusual concourse of strangers, whom they maina tained from the superfluity of that abundance which the mistaken munificence of our government had assigned to them. They took a
active and decided part in the bloody transaction. You thought so once yourself ; but now you
it believe them innocent of the charge !” The evidence, however, that has been given of their guilt, puts the matter beyond a doubt.
( The General Orders, relative to the dress and appearance of the native
troops when on duty, are to be regarded as an incidental cause, and probably would not have produced any serious effect, or, possibly, from what has since transpired, a single murmur, had not the minds of these dea luded people been predisposed to the most horrid acts against us. But thus disposed, and left to the operation of their own judgment, without the means of consulting their leaders, they thought the opportunity which those general orders offered, too favourable to be neglected, and therefore began, on the spur of the moment, before all things were ready for an explosion. And it is my firm belief, that, had not the mutiny burst forth when it did, India would at this day have been nearly, if not entirely, wrested from our hands. pp. 14, 15, &c.
As to one circumstance in this representation, the assertion
that an extensive and systematic conspiracy existed, the general explosion of which was prevented by the premature fury
of the troops at Vellore, we acknowledge ourselves ignorant of the evidence by which it is to be sustained; there are not facts before the public, we apprehend, to authorize such an assertion; and it should not have been made without the most formal proof.
In speaking of the notion that, on being invaded by the missionaries, the natives of India will be dreadfully apprehensive they shall be denied an option between their superstition and Christianity, and that they must be convinced these missionaries are agents of the government, our author shows, in a' spirited manner, how incvitable it is for them to be smitten with this apprehension, through the palpable evidence of the facts before them.
- You bear testimony that even the people, which I must suppose, from what I have already remarked, must mean a few of the inhabitants of some little villages, have such an option, [that of allowing or not allowing the missionaries to continue and preach among them] and that they have occasionally carried its use to its extremity : for what other construction can be given to the following passages : • The converts are few, from the dregs of the people, and when they appear, even in the presence of the *missionaries, they are reviled, threatened, and abused by the inhabitants," who had in one village tied up a convert and fed him with cow-dung; in another they obliged a missionary to cancel an agreement he had made to purchase a piece of ground for a school; and at a third, a considerable number of them mocked the rites of Baptism at the moment of their cele. bration; yet the missionaries used no violence."-And when the people -find that they can thus scoff and insult the missionaries and the most sacred rites of their religion with impunity, is the idea to be suffered that they can be alarmed at seeing those missionaries in their country? Men are not af aid of others v hom they know they can disgrace and trample on at their pleasure. And who will credit your assertions that such men, with such poweiful conviction to the contrary, can believe, or possibly imagine, that government ever harboured any intention of compelling them to embrace Christian ty? and particularly when they have a perfect knowledge that the missionaries “ were driven out of Dacca by the chief magistrate and the collector of that place,” two of the principal servants of the govern. ment? You would have the government shew by their actions, not by their words, that they have no intention to compel the people to Christianity; and pray what other act than that which we have just contemplated, can be more decisive ?''p. 33.
The Major had reprobated the proposal of establishing freeschools in India, as a foolish and pernicious modern device for converting the natives, observing that in 1793 the Court of Directors were prepared to petition against the adoption of a clause, proposed for that purpose in parliament by Mr. Wilberforce, had it not been withdrawn. The writer before us
states that the institution of free-schools, for teaching English, was proposed and adopted in India so early as 1785, or 1786, when the English resident at the court of Tanjore zealously and successfully exerted himself to induce the Rajahs of Tanjore and the Great and Little Marawa to establish such schools in their capitals, that the Court of Directors expressed their high approbation of these proceedings of their agent, conferring an annual donation of 250 pagodas on each of these schools, with an assurance of a similar sum to -any other schools that should be established for the sanie purpose, and that this measure, instead of having any tendency to "arm all India against us,” caused not the least uneasiness to the natives. He adds,
• The people of India are inquisitive after knowledge ; and I am persuaded the higher orders of them, both Hindoos and Mahomedans, would cheerfully and thankfully send their children to our schools, if they were in situations they could reach, and under those regulations that they should fully understand They would not require “ compulsion," a measure that those who sanction such schools held in abhorrence.” p. 48.
Acknowledging the bigoted attachment of the Hindoos to their superstitious customs, he observes that this attachment cannot well be stronger than that which was once felt to other forms of paganism by the ancestors of nations that now em. brace Christianity; and he proceeds,
"I will here cursorily remark that you rate the attachment of the Hindoos to their local custonis rather too high. They are not what they were forty years ago. We have since that time violated some of their local customs-and yet they remained passive. It was a violence, it is true, that humanity led to; yet it still was a violence. I allude to the horrid custom of burning women to death on the funeral piles of their deceased husbands, Formerly a Brahmin would not approach the door of a gentleman's house when he was at dinner, lest he should be contaminated by the effluvium of the meats on his table; now he will, if permitted, sit down in the same room with the utmost indifference. At the period alluded to they shewed a disinclination to enter on the topic of their religion; now they discuss it freely, and will candidly acknowledge a number of its gross absurdities.'
Too slight a notice has been taken, in this controversy, of the number and condition of the Outcasts, and of their value as men, and as subjects for the efforts and influences of Christianity. For the enemies of that religion, in:leed, it is perfectly in character to hold in contempt the class of the people which is held in contempt by the superior ranks : call them dregs of the people," and no more need be said about them. This is strongly contrasted with the just and generous sentiments of our author.
• The missionaries both of the Catholic and Protestant pers uasion, have, to my own knowledge, made numerous converts in all parts of India ; and they have the greatest facilities open to them for making many more ; but then,you insist that they must be outcasts and from the dregs of the people such as the Hallachores, and those who associate with them. For a moment I will coincide with you; and then we will consider who these people are. The Hallachores are of the lowest description of the Aborigines, and “perform every menial office ;” and I know the Hindoos will no more unite with them than they will with the Europeans: consequently, there can be no objection to the converting of these. But there is nothing said against their moral character, and their numbers are very considerable. As to outcasts, or those who have suffered a kind of perpetual excommunication, they may, notwithstanding the stigma thus affixed by the society to which they once belonged, be men of good morals; as we are told by you that a Brahmin, merely for having had a little cow-broth forced down his throat, became an outcast, and all
the influence of the Government of Bengal could not obtain his reinstatement. If then, we should be able to convert such men, so situated, do you not imagine it would be an ample compensation for all the trouble we should take, and the trifling sums we should disburse to that end ?-But we will consider the whole of those people to be as depraved in their morals as they are debased by their situation : they would still be men; and to render them moral men, by giving to them the lights of Christianity, and prevailing upon them to sin no more," would be the most acceptable offering that could be made to God, the Maker of us all, and in whose eye all men are equal, unless distinguished by their acts.' p. 68.
The writer intimates an intention of resuming the subject. He certainly owes all the aid that his knowledge of India can afford; to a good cause; we only wish he may be cautious in his assertions, and somewhat more attentive to connexion and accuracy of composition.
Mr. Fuller's intimate acquaintance with the missionary system, acquired in the execution of his office of secretary to the Society maintaining the principal mission to India, has given good scope for the exercise of his well known acuteness. The Apology contains some strong general observations, but its main purpose is to refute, in a series of particulars, the notions and falshoods of Messrs. Twining and Scott Waring; and to do justice to the manner in which this purpose is effected, we must quote, as in the preceding article, some pages in the writer's own words. Perhaps the most remarkable thing in this controversy is the new and liberal doctrine of toleration so zealously preached by the new party of philanthropists; it is therefore one of the first objects of Mr. Fuller's notice.
· Mr. Twining “ hopes our native subjects in India will be permitted quietly to follow their own religious opinions.” We hope so too; but if this gentleman's wishes could be realized, we should not be permitted to
follow ours, nor to recommend what we believe to be of eternal importance to our fellow-men, and fellow-subjects. Yet this is all we desire. If missionaries, or any other persons on their behalf, should so far forget the principles of the gospel as to aim at any thing beyond it, I trust the government will always possess wisdom and justice sufficient to counteract them. The question, Sir, which Mr. Twining proposes to submit to a general court of proprietors, whatever be the terms in which it may be couched, will not be, Whether the natives of India shall continue to enjoy the most perfect toleration, but whether that toleration shall be exm tended to Christian missionaries.
• I have observed with pain, Sir, of late years, a notion of toleration entertained, even by some who would be thought its firmest advocates, which tends not only to abridge, but to subvert it. They have no ob. jection to Christians of any denomination, enjoying their own opinions, and it may be their own worship; but they must not be allowed to make proselytes. Such appear to be the notions of Mr. Twining and his friends.
They do not propose to persecute the Christians in India, provided they would keep their Christianity to themselves ; but those who attempt to convert others are to be exterminated. Sir, I need not say to you that this is not toleration but persecution. Toleration is a legal permission not only to enjoy our own principles unmolested, but to make use of all the fair means of persuasion to recommend them to others. The former is but little more than might be enjoyed in countries the most distinguished by persecution ; for few would wish to interrupt men so long as they kept their religion to themselves. Yet this is the whole of what some would wish to allow, both in the East and West Indies. In former times unbelievers felt the need of toleration for themselves, and then they generally advocated it on behalf of others; but of late, owing perhaps to the increase of their numbers, they have assumed a loftier tone. Now, though for political reasons, all men must be allowed to follow their own religion, yet they must not aim at making proselytes. p. 5.
May I not take it for granted, Sir, that a British Government cannot refuse to tolerate protestant missionaries ; that a Protestant Government cannot forbid the free circulation of the Scriptures ; that a Christian Government cannot exclude Christianity from any part of its territories ; and that if, in addition to this, the measures which have of late years, been pursued in India, without the least inconvenience arising from them, can be proved to be safe and wist', they will be protected rather than suppressed ? I trust I may.' p. 23.
Here it would not be impertinent to repeat the sentiment avowed by the advocates of liberty in better times, that even the very term toleration, as applied to religious freedom, involves a gross error, as implying that the authority of government extends to religion, which in truth is a concern entirely without its province. We invariably entertain this sentiment; and cannot deem it to be within the competence of any government even to deliberate whether Christianity, or any other religion, or any possible inodification of any of them, so long as they stop short of such actions as would in themselves,