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to extend the trade to India, for fear population is quite' perceptible in the of losing all the gold and silver which very insignificant value which labour we can collect, it must be impolitic bears in that country, compared with to continue any trade with it at all, the price which it will bring in the and the Company ought instantly, and market of Europe : and this circumfor ever, to have abandoned all its stance must for ever remain a complete commercial undertakings.
bar to the emigration of the lower or. It was stated with great confidence, ders, that is, to an emigration of any that the private merchants would be importance. Odly, The climate, lanunable to conduct their trade in India guage, laws, religion, and manners, without the assistance of a military of the Hindoos, are as utterly unlike force at the various factories, which those of the people of this country as they might find it convenient to esta- it is possible to conceive ; and this again blish ; because, forsooth, it is impos- must add prodigious strength to the sible to conduct trade of any kind in barrier by which the inhabitants of the India but at the point of the bayonet. two countries must remain separated. The experience which suggested this 4thly, The immense distance of India piece of reasoning did not seem very from England, and the consequent exhonourable to the commercial charac. pense of emigration, would effectually ter of the East India Company. prevent the lower orders from emigra
The dangers of colonization were ting to India, even if no other obstacle strongly insisted upon by those who opposed itself to such a project. 5thly, wished to perpetuate the monopoly. Without large and constant emigraFrom colonization was anticipated the tions of the lower orders, on whose introduction of the European spirit; co-operation their more active and turthe discussion of popular rights; and, bulent leaders must ever depend for finally, the subversion of the local go the success of their projects, it is ex. vernment. All the weaker passions tremely improbable that there should were set in motion ; all the most ab- be numerous emigrations even of the surd prejudices were alarmed on this latter class, whose removal to India branch of the subject.
was the object of affected dread. 6thly, But if there be any country in the But even on the supposition that all world to which there is but little chance the preceding views were erroneous, of a considerable emigration from Great and that emigration were gradually and Britain, that country is India ; and slowly to take place, an indefinite peevery person of common understand. riod must elapse before the European ing must be inevitably led to this con- settlers could bear an assignable proclusion by a variety of considerations. portion to the natives, over whom it First of all, India contains a popula- was assumed that they were speedily tion which may fairly be considered as to exercise a degree of influence, which, having for a period, beyond which we in spite of all the respect naturally paid have no record, been absolutely redun- to government, and in defiance of all dant, and, of course, must for ever con- the power which that government tinue to afford the most slender temp- could employ for repressing it, was, tations toemigrants of all classes. What with rapid progress, to drive the nacould induce the laborious population tives into a state of insubordination of England to select India as a place and rebellion. of exile, where there is no room either An obstinate, and unfortunately a for their skill or industry? 2dly, The successful, resistance was made to the natural consequence of an overflowing opening of the China trade. The old
story was repeated about the impru. The trade, however, was opened to dence of private traders, who were, of competition only in those branches course, to exasperate the Chinese, a from which the Company always desingular and irritable race of men. But clared that no profit, but a sensible it was justly remarked, that if we were loss, accrued to them. These branches, actually to be excluded from the ports therefore, they had no motive to carry of China, we should not be deprived on, other than that of public spirit, of an intercourse with that country so and their financial condition ought to long as we have numerous stations, beimproved by the transference of them whither the Chinese would most wil. to other hands. The trade to China, lingly repair to carry on their trade by which the Company still gained with us. The Americans
never insult- considerably, was preserved to them. ed and exasperated the Chinese so as The consideration of this affair octo forfeit the benefits of the China cupied a greater portion of the time trade ; and the private traders of Ame. and attention of parliament, than any rica carried on their trade to China to other subject which was agitated du. such purpose, that they were enabled ring the present session. A great part to sell their teas at Boston and New of that labour was very idly employed. York for less than one-half of the prices Long examinations took place to ascharged by the company to the people certain whether the situation and ac. of England.
commodation of the out-ports would Such were the views which were ge. admit of India goods being imported nerally taken of the commercial branch into them with perfect security to the of this great question ; and, it may be revenue. The most decided protest added, that these views, to a great ex. ought to have been offered against entent, received the sanction of govern. tering into any such enquiry. It is a ment. It will now be proper to give most alarming circumstance, that the some account of the measures adopted principle should at all be admitted of by parliament, and of the more impor. subjecting commerce to restraint and tant limitations under which the char. monopoly for the purpose of render ter of the Company was renewed. ing it more easy to collect the taxes.
The resolutions respecting the re- If we begin on such principles, where newal of the East India Company's are we to stop? If India goods are to charter, originally proposed by Lord be confined to particular ports, why Castlereagh, were, after long examina. are not wines and sugar to be confined tion and ciscussion, ultimately agreed for the same reason ? There is no doubt, to, with little alteration. The plan that if all articles subject to taxation tbus adopted continued to the com- were to be introduced at one single pany the sovereignty of India. The port only, the revenue upon them would influence of the crown, in regard to the be collected much more easily, more nomination of governors-general, re- efficaciously, and more cheaply ; por ceived an increase, though it may be would any bad consequence follow, doubted if full provision be yet made except the rapid decay of all these to obviate the embarrassment arising branches of trade. There is, in fact, from the exercise of so high a function. much less pretence for such a measure But if, in regard to political power, in the case of India than of almost any the Company obtained nearly all that other goods. The length of the voy. they could demand, the same favour age, and the tempestuous seas through was not shewn to their pretensions still which it is made, render necessary the 10 monopolise the commerce of India employment of very large vessels, touch
urger than are requisite for carrying on legislature to interfere, in order to prehe European or American trade. The vent them from acting in opposition to, irge size of vessels materially obstructs it. Should the executive government ay illicit traffic, because such vessels of this country think proper to employ annot approach sufficiently near to the any part of the public funds for comje coast for such traffic, and because mercial purposes, it would be the ineir motions are much more easily ob- dispensable duty of parliament to in. Tved. Besides, as tea was already ex. terfere, and put a stop to any such chi. epted, none of the other articles afford merical speculation. The same course revenue so considerable as that any may, with equal propriety, be held toach violent measures should be neces- wards a company, the sovereign of an ary to prevent a small defalcation. empire, far more extensive than that of Better would it be if any trifling loss the British islands. It is impossible
sustained, to compensate it by an in- that the Company should suffer by such reased duty on the same, or on any a prohibition. Since the trade was a ther articles, than thus to cramp the losing one to them when they enjoyed inews of national industry. Why the monopoly of it, what must it be hould piece.goods be introduced only when they have to maintain it against ato the port of London and why the active and watchful competition of hould the rest of the trade be confined private interest ? o certain of the out-ports ? these, too, Much as the attention of the public o be fixed by an arbitrary decision of 'was attracted by the political and comhe privy council.—The nature of the mercial arrangements, an interest no rade secured the employment of large less deep was excited by the ecclesias. ressels; the regulation, then, which re. tical regulations which were adopted quires them to be 350 tons is superflu. for British India. The present age is 30s, and may become oppressive. Why, remarkably distinguished by the exin short, when the East India trade is traordinary concern felt for the case of less exposed to smuggling than any those nations who have not yet recei. other, should it be made liable to re- ved the light of the gospel.' It is of strictions, from which every other is high importance to give this propenexempted? Since it was determined sity a just direction, and to restrain its that the trade should be laid open, exuberance. The measures which were there was surely no reason why it should adopted on the present occasion, may bot be placed on the very same footing be considered in two lights,-as they with all other trades.
furnished a provision for
religious worIn the course of these debates, a new ship to the European residents in In. and important proposal was made- dia, and as they had in view the conthat the Company should not only be version of the natives. deprived of the exclusive trade to their
It was now proposed, for the first ladian territories, but that they should time, to found an ecclesiastical estabe prohibited from carrying on any blishment for British subjects resident trade whatever. If it be an obvious in India. There can scarcely be a doubt principle, it was remarked, that com. as to the high expediency of such a merce ought to be free, it is no less measure. It has universally been concertain that it can never, with any ad. sidered as a duty of government to pro. vantage, be carried on by a sovereign. vide gratuitously for its subjects some Sovereigns, however, have not always kind of religious instruction, and to been sensible of this truth; and it may give to the establishments for that pur. often be necessary for an enlightened pose the lustre and support which they
CHAP. may derive from the sanction of public. that blessing from a large portion of authority. No reason appears why this the human race; and since that power common privilege should be denied to does it, it is done certainly for wise a class of men now become 80 numer- purposes. Instructions to preach the ous, and who must often stand in need gospel are, in scripture, given only to both of instruction and consolation. the chosen instruments ; no such ex. Care is doubtless to be taken not to ex- hortations are addressed to Christians cite jealousy or irritation in the natives; in general. On the other hand, there but provided they are left to follow can be no doubt that Providence, to actheir own religious observances with complish its beneficent purposes, makes out molestation, it were too much to use of human means; and when a fair expect that the British should not also opportunity presents itself of spreadexercise the same privilege. But the ing the light of Christianity, it is launatives of India are, as is well known, dable, and even incumbent, on Chrisscrupulously observant of all the cere- tians to avail themselves of it. The monies of their own religion. They do question is, whether the present state not expect or wish that this religion of India can be considered as affording should be ours; they consider it as an such an opportunity? inheritance of their own ; the difference There is a wide difference between awakens no enmity or disappointment. the preaching of the apostles, and that Yet they are struck with horror when of those who now attempt by the same they see the British observing no forms means to effect the conversion of the whatever ; living the life of absolute heathen world. The former, endowed atheists, which is that led by almost by Heaven with supernatural powers, all the military, and by many of the could present to every unbiassed mind civil servants of the crown. It will an incontestable proof of the authority raise us in their estimation when they under which they acted ; but the mosee us observing some form of religion, dern missionary, who goes into a reeven though it were one much less mote country, with only his solitary pure than that which will actually be voice to raise in behalf of the doctrine established.
which he teaches, has no means of proGovernment, however, had not this ducing a rational conviction. He can object alone to attend to. They had work no miracles himself ; and he canalso to consider how they should act not carry along with him that chain of in reference to that ardent zeal with historical evidence, by which we are aswhich numerous bodies of Christians sured that miracles were once wrought. in this country are animated, to com- From these considerations, reasonable municate to the Indian world the bless- and sober-minded men are seldom disings of revelation. Thus a question posed to engage in such undertakings; arose, which the circumstances of In- not to mention that they are generally dia, and the character of its inhabitants, attached to a more regular and esta. rendered one of peculiar delicacy, and blished life. Hence it is only by the which, therefore, merited an attentive emissaries of fanatical sects that conconsideration.
versions have been made. The Jesuits, To preach the gospel to the heathen of all missionaries the most successful, world cannot be considered as a duty obtained their end partly by the pomp binding upon Christians at all times, of their worship, and partly by preand in all circumstances. The same tending to the power of working mipower which at first bestowed Chris- racles, which they never scrupled to ijanity on the world, now withholds claim. Among protestants, the Bap
| tists and Moravians have taken the lead The inefficacy of missionary preachin the pious work of converting the ing in past times would be a minor heathen ; few of the soberer classes, consideration, if there were no dangers even of dissenters, have thought of attending it, for there could then be interfering. The effects produced no objection to making a fair trial of by exertions of this description have what it might effect in future. But seldom been great ; they have ne. it seems impossible to deny, that the ver been durable. Of the wonderful danger is very considerable. The emlabours of the Jesuits scarcely does a pire of force, exercised by twenty or vestige now remain ; they have been thirty thousand men over an hundred driven from China, from Japan, from millions, must always be somewhat all the kingdoms of the East. The precarious. Not only are the natives same fate has attended them among to be kept in subjection, but they are the natives of America, with the ex- to be kept in subjection by the Inception of the missions of Paraguay, dians ; for the Sepoy force, it is well which are preserved merely because a known, constitutes the greater part species of empire, of which they were of that which is maintained in the the sovereigns, had been established colonies by the British government. in that region. Such a mode of conver. Great Britain, therefore, can never exsion, however, could not be admitted pect to maintain her ground without in the present instance ; and little good much accommodation to the ideas, can therefore be expected from mis- and prejudices, and even to the groundsionary preaching. The religion of less apprehensions, of this numerous India, firmly rooted in the habits, people, who seem to dread that com.
ideas, and observances of the people, pulsory measures may be employed 7 and which has resisted every change to make them embrace Christianity. : for thousands of years, will not form The catastrophe at Vellore, may not,
an exception to a rule hitherto found as was at first reported, have arisen universal. The number of Indian con- from the misconduct of the comFersions accordingly appears to be ex. mander-in-chief, or from any measures ceedingly small, many persons had shocking the religious prejudices of
; spent a life-time in India without hear. the people ; but it seems unquestioning of a single instance. The few able, that the dread of such measures which took place were of the most dis- excited them to such direful extremi. graceful character, the converts ha- ties. The Brahmins, who form the ving, in periods of dearth, embraced first class in the nation, and who pos. Christianity on condition of receiving sess over the minds of the people an a supply of the necessaries of life, and, influence almost supreme, cannot fail on the return of plenty, having imme. to view with the utmost jealousy, both diately relapsed into their former idola- . the missionaries, and the government try. The propagators of Christianity under whose auspices they are introought to be reminded not only that duced.As it thus appears
that little such conversions have no merit, but good and much evil may arise from that a man who thus quits a religion missionary preaching, and as governwhich he believes, to profess another ment retains in its own hands the which he does not believe, commits a power of granting licences, it should crime, the guilt of which is little dimi- be very cautious in selecting the pernished by the circumstance that the sons to whom such licences are grant. former is a false, and the latter the ed. It is still more important, that true religion.
in India, government should avoid all