Page images
PDF
EPUB

with fine lakes of excellent water, and bordered with stately forests, which occasionally resemble orchards and groves planted by the hand of man. The lakes, which contain abundance of fish, are of various dimensions, from one to six miles in circumference, with fine outlets, which meander through the surrounding country. Generally speaking, the country is open, but it is studded with oaks and hickory, and the forests contain every variety of timber. In summer, the prairies are covered with flowers of the richest hue, varying from the white lily to the imperial purple, rich orange, crimson, and pink.

We have derived much information and some pleasure from Mr. Schoolcraft's book. Science owes much to his labours; and our praise would have been unmixed with the slightest reproof, if our taste had not been perpetually offended with the affected and ambitious phraseology which, we find from other specimens that have fallen under our notice, is at present the besetting sin of Trans-atlantic writers.

Art. II. I. Queries and Replies respecting the present State of the Protestant Missions in the Bengal Presidency. The Queries by Henry Ware, D.D. Hollis Professor of Divinity in Harvard College, Camb. Massachusetts, U.S.; and the Replies by William Adam. 8vo. pp. 90. Calcutta. 1824.

2. Correspondence relative to the Prospects of Christianity and the Means of promoting its Reception in India. 8vo. pp. 138. bridge, U.S. 1824.

Cam

WHILE our good friends on the other side of the Tweed have been ingeniously endeavouring to prove, that the practice of the Bible Society for the last fifteen years has been at variance with the injunctions of God's word, and the con-duct of its Committee a violation of integrity,-our neighbours on the other side of the Channel have discovered, that ⚫ the total failure of the Bible Society is a matter of history.' The Institution is thus attacked at once in flank and rear. We have the Presbyterians of Edinburgh and the Papists of Dublin both denouncing it, though on different grounds, as not entitled to the support of the Christian world, the one charging it with heterodoxy, the other with imposture and fraud. The following extract is taken from a letter addressed by a Priest in Carlow to Dr. Singer, Trinity College, Dublin, which has appeared in a Dublin newspaper.

In the Oriental Herald, a correspondence between the Rev. Mr. Adam, missionary in Calcutta, Professor Ware, of Harvard College, Cambridge, U. S., and the famous Rammohun Roy, a convert to Christianity, is published. This work every where bears the marks of great care in examining facts, and great candour in drawing in

[ocr errors]

ferences. It was first published in the country of which it treats, fearlessly challenging contradiction from those who were on the spot, ready and willing to refute its errors, if they existed. From this correspondence, from these authorities, all Protestants and Biblicals, it appears: First, the three most active and distinguished Missionary Societies have made eleven converts. Secondly, that these eleven converts were of the lowest and most immoral of the country. Thirdly, that the conversion of these eleven converts was more than doubtful, for they were bribed with money. I have not heard how many of these Eleven Converts were Unitarians, Socinians, Anabaptists, Wesleyans, Calvinists, Jumpers, Arians, Aronians, Sabatans, or Cowardites. Fourthly, the pious Missionaries so enriched themselves that they got forty thousand pounds from the Christian public, to circulate the Scriptures in the Oriental dialects. That in these Reports-they mention, that they published the Scriptures in a language which did not exist. Fifthly, that they pocketed the money. From these well attested facts, I draw the following conclusions: First, that the total failure of the Bible Society is a matter of history; secondly, that your brethren deceive and rob the public.'

[ocr errors]

But

This very distinct and pithy bill of indictment against all the Societies therein described, is of the same tenor as the charges brought forward at greater length in the volume published a short time ago by that most veracious and learned personage, the Abbé Dubois. In reviewing his publication, we intimated our suspicion,* that the poor old priest had been spirited up to abuse the Bible Society and the Serampore • Missionaries by some of the Qui-hies of Calcutta.' We had no doubt, that the plan and substance of his work had been concocted in the country of which it treats,'-aware at the same time, that between the anti-missionary party in this country and the enemies of religion in the Indian capital, there exists an entire sympathy and good understanding. we were not aware of what turns out to be the fact, that the malignant calumnies of the Romish priest were founded on information supplied by Unitarian coadjutors. This appears, not only from the above extract, but from the manner in which the Unitarians in this country have adopted and improved upon the Abbé's calumnies. Were less important interests involved, it would be truly amusing to see how the worthy confederates play into each other's hands; how Mr. Fox, the Unitarian, who joins with the Carlow priest in accusing the Missionary Societies of practising a systematic delusion on the public,'-gravely refers to the authority of the Abbé Dubois, while the Papists of Ireland refer us back to the Protestant authority of Mr. Fox's colleague, the Rev. Mr. Adam.

Eclectic Review, N.S. Vol. XX. p. 291. (Oct. 1823.)

There can now be little doubt where the Abbé obtained his instructions. The immediate object of his personal attack, our readers will recollect, was the late estimable William Ward, one of Mr. Adam's former colleagues; and the apparently unprovoked as well as malignant character of the attempt to fasten the charge of calumnious misrepresentation on that excellent individual, struck us at the time, and no doubt struck many others, as a most singular circumstance; more especially as the Abbé did not appear to have had any personal ground of complaint against the Serampore Missionaries. Although his accusations are couched in general terms, so as to include all the Protestant missionaries who have been sent out to India, it is the Baptist Mission of Serampore against which he levels his chief accusations and invectives. Of even the existence of the London Missionary Society, he appears to have been ignorant, noticing in succession, the Lutheran Mission, the Moravian Brethren, the Nestorians in Travancore, and the Baptists of Serampore as alike unsuccessful. Now, of the state of things in the Mysore, where the Abbé was stationed, he might be supposed to know something; but all that he pretends to know about the state of the Bengal Missions, must be derived from hearsay. How comes it then, that he fastened on the Serampore Mission, of which he knew nothing, rather than on the Travancore Mission and on the other stations within the Peninsula? The fact is, that, after residing for twenty-five years in India, the learned Missionary knew little more about the real state of the Protestant Missions, or the state of India in general, than before he left Europe, till he went to Calcutta. He had become, in that time, very learned in the learning of the Hindoos; and his " Description "of the People of India," though superseded in great measure by Mr. Ward's larger work, still forms a valuable document. But ample proofs were adduced, in reviewing his "Letters," of his consummate ignorance on other subjects; and the Rev. Mr. Hough has shewn, that he was as ill informed respecting the Tamul and Malayalim versions, which he erroneously ascribes to the Serampore Missionaries and the agents of the Bible Society, as of any of the twenty-four Serampore versions, on not one of which he is competent to give a critical opinion. Yet, of all the soi-disant translations' of the Scriptures circulated in India by the Bible Society, did he write to his friend J. S., that they were fit for nothing but waste paper. That letter, the Abbé tells us, he wrote at the request of his Calcutta friend, we may now guess upon what information. The Abbé could not disguise the distressing feelings of indignation excited in his mind by seeing the

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Word of God so basely, so shamefully, so sacrilegiously defaced and perverted; and Mr. Fox echoes the Abbé by predicting, that the Bible will become, unless the Unitarians interfere, the Joe Miller of India.' All that the Abbé professes to adduce as evidence, is, one chapter of an unrevised, unpublished version. Mr. Fox has nothing to offer but a secondhand criticism on two or three texts in the Bengalee version. On grounds such as this, neither of these worthy coadjutors would have had the effrontery, one would think, to bring forward such scandalous charges. But they have both derived the chief part of their information, apparently, from one common source; and when pushed for his authority, Mr. Fox admits that the materials of his false accusations have been supplied by Mr. William Adam, formerly in connexion with the Serampore Missionaries, but now the Unitarian Minister at Calcutta. This is the Protestant ally claimed by the Dublin Anti-biblicals, the nature and value of whose testimony we shall now proceed to examine. In more respects than one, Mr. Adam deserves well of the Papists, for he has spoken handsomely of them, even of their Missions. • From such authentic information as I have received,' he says, (query, from the Abbé Dubois ?) I am inclined to think that, not⚫ withstanding the paralyzing influence of the changes that ' have taken place in European Catholic countries since the period of the French Revolution, they are doing more, in a • quiet and unostentatious way, than I have observed Protestants in India on some occasions willing to admit.' Next to the Papists, the Unitarians, we are told, have been the most successful, if the respectability, wealth, and learning of those who openly encourage Unitarianism be taken into the account. Within two years, that is, the two years following Mr. Adam's embracing the Unitarian misbelief, Unitarianism in Calcutta has most prodigiously flourished and increased. It is impossible to calculate the loss which the Bible Society and the Serampore Missionaries have sustained by the defection of a person so very successful, according to his own account, in promoting the interests of the party to which he has attached himself. But to this point we shall advert hereafter.

[ocr errors]

The queries and replies in the publication before us, were, it seems, drawn up by Dr. Ware, the Unitarian Divinity Professor of Harvard College, in consequence of a letter addressed by Mr. Adam to Dr. Channing, with a view to open a friendly correspondence between Unitarian Christians in that country and the professors of that denomination in the United States of America.' The queries were as follows:

[ocr errors]

1. What is the real success of the great exertions which are now making for the conversion of the natives of India to Christianity? 2. What the number and character of Converts?

3. Are those Hindoos who profess Christianity respectable for their understanding, their morals, and their condition in life? 4. Of what cast are they generally? And what effect has their profession of Christianity upon their standing?

5. Are they Christians from inquiry and conviction, or from other motives?

" 6. Of what denomination of Christians have the Missionaries been most successful; Catholic, Protestant, Episcopalian, Baptist, Trinitarian, Unitarian?

7. What is the number of Unitarian Christians? And are they chiefly natives or Europeans?

8. How are they regarded and treated by other Christians? Is it with any peculiar hostility?

9. What are the chief causes that have prevented, and that continue to prevent, the reception of Christianity by the natives of India? May much of the want of success be reasonably attributed to the form in which the religion is presented to them?

10. Are any of the causes of failure of such a nature, that it may be in the power of Unitarian Christians to remove them?

11. Are there any reasons for believing that Christianity, as it is held by Unitarians, would be more readily received by intelligent Hindoos, than as it is held by Trinitarians?

12. Can any aid be given by Unitarians to the cause of Christianity in India with a reasonable prospect of success? If any can be given, of what kind,-in what way,-by what means?

13. Would it be of any use to send Unitarian Missionaries with a view to their preaching Christianity for the purpose of converting adult natives?

14. Would it be useful to establish Unitarian Missionary schools for the instruction of the children of natives in the rudiments of a European education, in the English language, in Christian morality, mingling with it very little instruction relative to the doctrines of Christianity; leaving them chiefly or wholly out of view, to be learnt afterwards from our books, and our example?

15. Are there many intelligent natives who are willing to learn the languages of Europe, to cultivate its literature, to make themselves acquainted with our religion as it is found in our books, and to examine the evidence of its truth and divine origin?

16. Are there many respectable natives who are willing to have their children educated in the English language, and in English. learning and arts?

17. What benefits have arisen, or are likely to arise, from the translation of the Scriptures into the languages of the East? Are they read by any who are not already Christians? And are they likely to be read generally even by those who are? This question is suggested by the representations which have been made, that con

« PreviousContinue »