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college differ, that they will not so much as worship or eat with each other. The Brahmins in general cannot read their sacred books. Their ignorance of writing and of the geogarphy of the country is such that there is no general communication among them, political or religious.
11. The natives of Hindostan are a divided people. They have no common interest. To disseminate new principles among them is not difficult. They are no less tenacious of opiniou chan of custom. In no other country has there been such a variety of opinions on religious subjects, for many ages past, as in Hindostan. The aborigines of the country, denominated Hindoos or Gentoos, were not all followers of Brahma. Some were worshippers of the deity Boodh. The numerous nation of the Sieks, which is a secession of Hinduism, forms another great class. The inhabitants of the hills to the south and north of the peninsula, (according to some, the oldest race,) are again different from the former, and from each other. All these different sects have their respective subdivisions, schisms, and contrarieties in opinion and in practice. And from all of them the Mahomedans, who are now spread over all Hindostan, are entirely distinct; and from these again, differ the various ramifications of the Christian faith. The sea coasts, for several centuries past, have been peopled by Portuguese, Armenian, Greek or Nestorian Christians; and now the protestant religion flourishes wherever it is taught. In no other country is there such a variety of religions, or so little concern about what true religion is, as in British India. A man may worship any thing or nothing. When one native meets another on the road, he seldom expects to find that he is of the same cast with himself. It has been calculated that there are an hundred casts of religion in India. Hence the Hindoo maxim, so grateful to the philoshers, that the Deity is pleased with the variety, I that every religion, or no religion, is right.
To disseminate the principles of the Christian religion and morals throughout the provinces under our dominion, is certainly very practicable. *
On the policy of civilizing the natives.
1. In governing conquered kingdoms, a Christian policy may be exercised, or a Roman policy.
A Roman policy sacrifices religion to every other consideration in the administration of the new empire, The religion of the native is considered as an accident or peculiarity, like that of his colour or form of body, and as being natural rather than acquired; and therefore no attempt is made to change it. And this is correct reasoning, on the principle that all religions are human and equal. The policy therefore founded on this principle, professes to cultivate the intellectual powers of the native in every branch of knowledge, except religion.
It is evident that the administration of India during the last forty years, has been conducted on the principles of the Roman policy. The religion of the natives continuing the same, they have been properly governed by their own laws.
2. A Christian policy embraces all the just principles of the Roman policy, but extends its aims of utility further by endeavoring' to improve the mind of the native in religious knowledge, as soon as the practicability of the attempt shall appear obvious, The practicability will of course be retarded in some conquered heathen states, by particular circumstan
But a Christian policy ever looks to the Christian religion for the perpetuity of empire, and con
* See Appendix E.
siders that the knowledge of Christian principles can alone enable the natives to comprehend or to appreciate the spirit of Christian government. Our religion is therefore inculcated for the following reasons generally:
1st. Because its civilizing and benign influence is certain and undeniable. We have seen that it has dispensed knowledge and happiness to every people, who have embraced it.
2dly. Because it attaches the governed to their governors; and facilitates our intercourse with the natives. There can never be confidence, freedom and affection between the people and their sovereign, where there exists a difference in religion.
3dly. The Christian religion is inculcated on account of its eternal sanctions; and the solemn obligation of Christians to proclaim them, whenever an opportunity shall be afforded by providence of doing it with probable success; it being by no means submitted to our judgment, or to our notions of policy, whether we shall embrace the means of imparting Christian knowledge to our subjects or not; any more than it is submitted to a Christian father, whether he shall choose to instruct his family or mot.
These motives will acquire additional weight, if, first the natives be subject to an immoral or inhuman superstition; and, secondly, if we voluntarily exercise dominion over them, and be benefitted by that dominion.
3. The question of policy, regarding the instruction of our native subjects, the Mahomedans and Hindoos, is to be determined by the consideration of their moral state.
The Mahometans profess a religion, which has ever been characterised by political bigotry and intemperate zeal. In this country that religion still retains the character of its bloody origin ; particularly among the higher classes. Whenever the Maho
metan feels his religion touched, he grasps his dagger. This spirit was seen in full operation under T'ippoo's government; and it is not now extinguished. What was 'the cause of the alarm which seized the English families in Bengal after the late massacre of our countrymen at Benares, by the Mahometan chiefs ? There was certainly no ground for apprehension; but it plainly manifested our opinion of the people. We have consolidated our Indian empire by our power; and it is now impregnable; but will the Mahometan ever bend humbly to Christian dominion ? Never, while he is a Mahometan.
4. Is it then good policy to cherish a vindicitive religion in the bosom of the empire forever? Would it not accord with the dictates of the soundest wisdom to allow Christian schools to be established, where the children of poor Mahometans might learn another temper; the good effects of which would be felt before one generation pass away? The adult Hindoo will hardly depart from his idol, or the Mac' homedan from his prophet, in his old age; but their children when lèft destitute, may be brought up Christians, if the British parliament please. But as matters now stand, the followers of Mahomet imagines that we consider it as a point of honour to reverence his faith and despise our own.
For he, every day, meets with Europeans, who would more readily speak with disrespect of their own religion, than of his. No where is the bigotry of this intoltrant faith nursed with more tenderness than in British India. While it is suffering concussion in every other part of the world, even to Mecca, its centre, (as by a concurring providence, towards its final abolition,) here it is fostered in the peaceful lap of Christian liberality.
5. A wise policy seems to demand that we should use every means of coercing this contemptuous spirit of our native subjects. Is there not more danger of losing this country, in the revolution of ages, (for
an empire without a religious establishment cannot stand forever,) by leaving the dispositions and prejudices of the people in their present state, than by any change that Christian knowledge and an improved state of civil society, would produce in them?And would not Christianity, more effectually than any thing else, disunite and segregate our subjects from the neighboring states, who are now of the same religion with themselves; and between whom there must ever be, as there ever has been, a constant disposition to confederacy and to the support of a common interest? At present there is no natural bond of union between us and theme. There is nothing common in laws, language, or religion, in interest, colour or country. And what is chiefly worthy of notice, we can approach them in no other way than by the means of our religion.*
6. The moral state of the Hindoos is represented as being still worse than that of the Mahometans. Those who have had the best opportunities of knowing them and who have known them for the longest time, concur in declaring that neither truth nor honesty, honour, gratitude, nor charity, is to be found pure in the breast of a Hindoo. How can it be other. wise? The Hindoo children have no moral instruction. If the inhabitants of the British Isles had no moral instruction, would they be moral? The Hindoos have no moral books. What branch of their mythology has not more of falsehood and vice in it, than of truth and virtue? They have no moral gods.
"Then wly converted Christians on the coast of Malabar are the chief support of the Dutch East India Company at Cochin; and are always ready to take up arms in their defence. The Pagans and Mahometans are naturally enemies to the Europeans, because they have no similarity to them either in their external appearance, or in regard to their manners, their religion, or their in
If the English therefore do not endeavour to secure the friendship of the Christians in India, on whom can they de pend? How can they hope to preserve their possessions in that remote country?-- in the above observations may be found one of the reasons why neither Hyder Ali nor Tippo Sultan could maintain their gr ind against the English and the king of Travancore on the past of Malabar. The great namber of Christians residing there, whom Hyder and bis son every where persecuted, always took part with the English » See Bartolorneo's Voyage, page 207, and note.
- Ten thousand native Christians lost their lives during that war," Ibid. 148.