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British Hindostan was, at that moment, surrounded by strong and formidable enemies, who where putting themselves in the attitude of the tiger," as a Vakeel of Tippoo expressed it, "to leap upon the prey.” And this service that great statesman achieved under Divine Providence, first, by destroying the Mysorean empire, under Tippoo Sultaun, and thereby distinguishing the Mahoinedan power in Hindostan; secondly, by overwhelming the hitherto invincible Maharattas; and lastly, by forming on the frontier a league of strength, which like a wall of iron, has saved the country from native invasion ever since; notwithstanding its subsequent critical and exposed state, in consequence of frequent changes of the supreme government, and of dissentions in our army. The services which that nobleman performed for our empire in the east were very ill understood at the time: his views were so comprehensive, that few men could embrace them: They are more generally acknowledged now: but it is to be apprehended that some years must yet elapse before all the beneficial consequences of his administration, will be fully made known to his country.
It has been a subject of wonder to many in Eng. land, that our army should at any time betray symptoms of disaffection in India, when no instance of 10 occurs elsewhere. But the surprise will cease, when the circumstances before mentioned shall have been duly weighed. Of the individuals engaged in the late disturbances at Madras, there were perhaps some who had not witnessed the service of Christian wor. ship for twenty years; whose minds were impressed by the daily view of the rites of the Hindoo religion, and had lost almost all memory of their own. It is morally impossible to live long in such circumstances without being in some degree ailected by them. That loyalty is but little to be depended on, whether abroad or at home, which has lost the basis of religion.
The true spring of the irregular, proceeding, contemptuous remonstance and ultimate disaffection of the military in India, is this: large bodies of troops at a great distance from Britian, which they never expect to see again, begin, after a long absence, to feel more sensibly their own independence, while their affection for their native country gradually diminishes. And if, under such circumstance, they have not the restraints of religion, (for what is obedience to the powers that be" but the restrain of religion?) and if they have not the frequent view of Christian worship to recal their minds, by associations of ideas, to the sacred ordinances and principles of their country, it is impossible to foresee to what degrees of rebellion or infatuation they may proceed. It is unjust to ascribe these proceedings to the casual acts of the governor for the time being. Indiscreet measures on his part may form the pretext: but the true cause lies much deeper. The company's officers in India are as honorable a body of military men as are to be found in the world, the author knows them, but they are in peculiar circumstances; and if any other description of troops were in their stead, passing a whole life in such unchristianizing service, the same causes would still produce the same effects.
The most alarming consideration, while things remain in their present state, is this, that, in proportion as our empire encreases, and our force in India grows stronger, the danger arising from the foregoing causes, becomes the greater. These are obvious truths, on which it is not necessary to dilate. But there is another subject allied to this, which the atithor thinks it a solemn duty to bring before the public.
Not only are our troops denied suitable religious instruction, when they arrive in India, but they are destitute of it, during their long voyage to that country. The voyage is, on an average, six months.--Now, provision ought certainly to be made for divine worship, and for spiritual consolation to the soldiers, during that period; for it is sometimes a period of great sickness, and of frequent death. Îndeed there ought to be a chaplain on board of every India ship.*
They who profess to believe in the Christian religion, ought also to believe in the superintending providence of God: ought to believe that the divine blessing will accompany those designs which are undertaken in his name, and conducted in his fear. If we were a heathen nation, then might we send forth our fleets without a prayer, and commit them, for a safe voyage, "to goddess fortune and fair winds." But we are a Christian nation, though not a superstitious one; and, however individuals
consider it, it is certain that our countrymen in general, view the performance of the offices of religion with great respect; and that, in particular circumstances on board ship, no duty is more acceptable, none more interesting, none more salutary and consoling. Such scenes the author himself has witnessed; and from those persons who have witnessed such scenes, he has never heard but one opinion as to the propriety of having a clergyman to form one of the great family in a ship, in these long, sickly, and perilous voyages.
When the news arrived in England last year of the loss of the seven India-men in a distant ocean,
* The East-India company requires the commander or purser of every ship to read prayers on Sunday, when the weather permits. The service is performed, in many cases, in a serious and truly impressive manner; and the acknowledged good effects in such cases, convey the strongest recommendation of the measure which has been proposed. One important duty of the chaplain of an India-man might be, to superintend the studies of the young writers and cadets proceeding to India; who, for want of some direction of this kind, generally pass the long voyage in idleness, lounging on the quarter.deck, or gambling in the cuddy. So important bas this subject been considered, that during the administration of marquis Wellesley, a detailed plan for carrying th proposed measure into efiect was actually transmitted to a member of the court of directors, to lay before the court. If it were made an indispensable qualification of the chaplain, that he should understand the rudiments of the Persian and Mindostanee languages, and the common el ments of geometry and navigation, for the instruction of the midshipmen, his services would be truly importani, merely in his secular character. Every truly respectable commander in the company's service, must be happy to have an exemplary clergyman on board his ship.
how gratifying would it have been to surviving friends, if they could have been assured that the offices of religion and the consolation of its ministers, had been afforded to those who perished, during their last days!* These events have a warning voice; and it is not unbecoming a great and respectable body of men, like the East-India company, to attend to it. The author has already remarked, that the legislature has not neglected a subject of this importance. It is required that every ship of the line should have a chaplain; and we have lately seen some of our most renowned admirals, both before and after battle, causing the prayers and thanksgivings of the feet to ascend to the God of heaven.
There still remains one topic more, to which the author would advert. It may be presumed to be the wish of the r ajor part of this nation, that whenever a missionary of exemplary character and of respectable recommendation, applies to the EastIndia Company for a passage to our Eastern shores, his request might be treated with indulgence. In him we export a blessing (as he may prove to be) to thousands of our fellow-creatures ; and his example, and instructions and prayers, will do no harm to the ship in which he sails. While the East-India) Company retain the sole privilege of conveyance to India, the nation would be pleased to see this condescension shewn to persons in humble circumstances, whose designs are of a public character, and acknowledged by all men to be pious and praiser worthy. The author will conclude these observations with a paragraph which he has found in a manuscript of the Rev. Mr. Kohloff, of Tanjore, the successor of Mr. Swartz, which has been just transmitted for publication :
“ It is a remarkable fact, that since the foundation of our mission, which is now one hundred years,
* The rev. Paul Limrick was a passenger on board one of these ships. Mr. Limrick was second chaplain at the presidency of Fort-William; an amiable, benevolent and respectable man whose loss will be heard with deep regret by & large body of the inhabitants of Calcutta, and of his friends in Europe.
and during which period upwards of fifty missionaries have arrived from Europe ; among the many ships that have been lost, there never perished one vessel, which had a missionary on board."*
The following letter, written by doctor Watson, bishop of Llandaff, on the subject of an ecclesiastical establishment for British India, was published in Calcutta, in the year 1807:
Calgarth-Park, Kendale, 14th May, 1806. REVEREND SIR,
“ Some weeks ago I received your memoir of the expediency of an ecclesiastical establishment for British India; for which obliging attention I now return you my best thanks. I hesitated for some time whether I ought to interrupt your speculations with my acknowledgments for so valuable a present; but on being informed of the noble premium, by which you purpose to exercise the talents of
graduates in the university of Cambridge, I determined to express to you my admiration of
disinterest edness and zeal in the cause of Christianity.
“Twenty years and more have now elapsed since, in a sermon before the house of lords, I hinted to the then government; the propriety of paying regard to the propagation of Christianity in India; and I have since then, as fit occasions offered, privately, but unsuccessfully, pressed the matter on the consideration of those in power.
voice or opinion can, in future, be of any weight with the king's ministers, I shall be most ready to exert myself in forwarding any prudent meaure for promoting a liberal ecclesiastical establishment in British India; it is not without consideration that I say a liberal establishment, because I heartily wish that every Christian should be at liberty to worship God according to his conscience, and be assisted therein
*MS materials for the life of Swartz.