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some truth in it, or it may not. The evil-minded persons referred to in the proclamation, who appear to have availed themselves of the mutiny to increase the alarm, might be disaffected natives, or they might be Europeans, who, from aversion to Christianity, and a desire to get the scriptures suppressed and the Missionaries recalled, suggested such things to the Seapoys as might accomplish their end. It is remarkable, that in the very passage in which this writer speaks in so positive a strain of “the disaffected men of the Carnatic and the Mysore" having taking advantage of our folly, and excited the troops to mutiny; he exonerates the sons of Tippoo Sultaun, whom he had before, with equal positivity, condemned. "We know," he had said in his Observations, "that the mutiny was excited by the sons of Tippoo Sultaun, whose emissaries insinuated that the change which we wished to adopt in the dress of the Seapoys, was only a preparatory step towards the accomplishment of our great object, which was to compel them to embrace Christianity," (p. 8.) But in preface, (p. x.) he says, "From later information I have reason to believe, that the sons of Tippoo Sultaun are innocent of the charge preferred against them but the disaffected men of the Carnatic and the Mysore did take advantage of our folly; and that they excited the troops to a religious mutiny is beyond a doubt." If this gentleman's knowledge be thus unfounded, though so very minute and particular that he would almost seem to have been an ear-witness, what is to be thought of his conjectures? and what to make of this last account more than conjecture, I cannot tell. His eagerness to charge the disaffected natives looks as if some other people were suspected. Let us hear the other side.
Mr. Carey says, "India swarms with Deists; and Deists are in my opinion, the most intolerant of mankind. Their great desire is to exterminate true religion from the earth. I consider the alarms which have been spread through India as the fabrications of these men. The concurrence of two or three circumstances, in point of time; namely, the massacre at Vellore, the rebellious disposition of the inhabitants in some part of Mysore, and the public advertisements for subscriptions to the oriental translations,
have furnished them with occasion to represent the introduction of Christianity among the natives as dangerous."
Dr. Kerr's Report, dated Madras, July 23, 1807, twelve months after the mutiny, confirms Mr. Carey's statement. He clearly shows that, in his opinion, the evil-minded persons, who industri. ously circulated reports nearly allied to the above, were not natives, but Europeans, hostile to religion and its interests. “Various reports," says he, "have been industriously circulated by evil-minded persons, hostile to religion and its interests, that the natives would be alarmed were Missionaries allowed to come out to India; but I feel myself authorized, by a near acquaintance with many of the Protestant Missionaries now in India, and a perfect knowledge of the respect which is entertained for them by all descriptions of the natives, to repeat what I have formerly stated to government, that these men are, and always have been, more beloved by the natives than any other class of Europeans; and it is to be accounted for on the most rational grounds—that is, they learn their language intimately; they associate with them in a peaceable, humble manner, and do them every act of kindness in their power; while, at the same time, the example of their Christian lives produces the very highest respect among heathens, unaccustomed to behold such excellence amongst each other. The lives of such men in India have always been a blessing to the country, and I heartily wish that all such characters may be encoura ged to come amongst us."
The above statements from Mr. Carey, and Dr. Kerr; I may venture to place against the anonymous accounts of men of sense, observation, and character; and if they be true, they not only furnish an exposition to the labours of Messrs. Twining, Scott Waring, and Co. but fully account for those apprehensions which, it is said, "existed as late as March, 1807, three months after the date of the proclamation; and which induced the British officers attached to the native corps, constantly to sleep wih loaded pistols under their pillows." (p: xi.) An event so tragical as that at Vellore, would itself, indeed, suggest the necessity of such a precaution, and that for a considerable time after it; and still more so, when the flame was fanned by evil-minded persons. Yes, reader,
if these statements be true, it follows, that the enemies of Christianity, after having themselves excited these alarms, are now actually attempting to transfer the responsibility for their consequences to the Missionaries.
We ask, lastly, Let these misrepresentations have been fabricated when, and by whom they might, Is it JUST or WISE, to recall those persons who are acknowledged to have had no concern in them, or to suppress the circulation of the holy scriptures on that account.
A great outrage has certainly been committed. What was the cause? According to Major Scott Waring, the Madras government acted absurdly; first, in changing so suddenly a native to an English administration, and then in imposing such alterations in the dress of the Seapoys as affected their religion. And when, in addition to this, they were told, by evil-minded persons, of the great increase of Missionaries, and the gratuitous circulation of the scriptures throughout the country, they believed government intended to compel them to become Christians; and though the thing was not true, yet it was by no means irrational for them to believe it. (pp. ix, x.) Supposing this account to be correct, where is the justice of punishing men for their numbers being magnified, and their labours misrepresented by others? If an atonement be necessary, why select them as victims? If, indeed, the evil-minded incendiaries, who misrepresented their designs, and those of government, could be detected, it might answer a good end to punish them; but if this cannot be accomplished, let not the innocent suffer.
Major Scott Waring seems, indeed, to give up the justice of the measure; but yet contends for it as of "absolute necessity, seeing the proclamation had not lulled the suspicions of the people." (p. xi.) Such are the Machiavelian politics of this gentleman. Could we suppose him to be sufficiently acquainted with the New Testament, we might suspect that he had taken up this opinion from Caiphas, the Jewish high-priest, who advised the crucifixion of our Lord, on the principle of its being "expedient that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not."*
John xi. 49, 50.
"It is necessary to convince the natives," says this writer, 'not only that we never did entertain the wild idea of compelling them to embrace Christianity, but that we have not a wish to convert them." (p. vi.) It cannot be necessary to convince the natives that Major Scott Waring, and all who are like-minded with him, have not a wish to convert them; and as to others, who may entertain the idea of converting them without compulsion, it deserves to be considered whether the recalling of them would not have a contrary effect to that which is pretended. The recall of the Missionaries, and the virtual suppression of the scriptures, would furnish the natives with an important subject of reflection. It would be a tacit acknowledgment on the part of government, that, till instructed by the Vellore mutiny, they had entertained "the wild idea of compelling them to embrace Christianity;" but that now they have become sober, and relinquished it! Whether such a measure would be attributed to respect or to fear, and what ef fects it would produce on the army and the country, let common sense determine.
As the main design of this preface was to excite "His Majesty's Ministers, the East India Company, and the Legislature," against the Missionaries and their labours, the author having improved the Vellore mutiny as far as he is able, proceeds to denounce these men, and all who have been in any way abettors of their dangerous designs. The British and Foreign Bible Society, who have aided them as translators; Mr. Brown and Dr. Buchanan, who have encouraged them; and Dr. Kerr, who is engaged in the same cause with them, all come in for a share of his censures.
"Dr. Buchanan conceives," says he, "that it is 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." (p. xxv.) The Major probably thinks this a very wild opinion: yet it only amounts to this, that God is greater than man, and that what respects the promotion of his kingdom in the earth, must not be rendered subservient to worldly interests. But this, he tells us, was precisely the doctrine of the Spaniards and Portuguese, when they discovered the new world; and they extirpated millions of unfortunate men, in prop
agating their doctrines by the sword." If there be any force in this remark (which seems to be a favourite one) it is because the persecuting conduct of these nations was the legitimate and necessary consequence of the doctrine in question. But why might they not have considered themselves as under indispensable obligation to impart the means of Christian knowledge, without being obliged to follow it with persecution? Does it follow, because they were not obliged to extend their religious principles by the sword, that we are not obliged to extend ours without the sword?
Many things are said on the impolicy of Dr. Buchanan's visit to the Syrian Christians, and that of Dr. Kerr to the Malabar coast. It seems to have given this writer serious offence, that the Governor of Madras should have given the epithet "important" to an inquiry relating to Christianity. (p. xxix.) He calls it" the most trifling of all possible subjects connected with the welfare of our oriental empire. (p. xxxiii.) He speaks of this empire as being "conquered by British valour." (p. xl.). God and religion, therefore, it should seem, can have nothing to do with it. No, let the Missionaries go to Africa, to the South Sea Islands, or to the wilds of America; but let them not come hither! O thou seer, go, flee thee away into the land of Judah, and there eat bread, and prophesy there but prophesy not again any more at Bethel : for it is the king's chapel, and it is the king's court. Yet this gentleman would be thought, after all, to be a Christian, and "trusts it will not be imputed to indifference for the eternal welfare of the people of India," that he advises what he does!
But as Dr. Buchanan, and Dr. Kerr, if they judge it necessary, are able to vindicate themselves, I shall confine my replies to those particulars which more immediately concern me. Many things are said against "the English, and especially the Baptist Missionaries." Such, indeed is the quantity of misrepresentation contained in these few pages, that to correct it, it is often ne·cessary to contradict every sentence. On this account, the reader must frequently dispense with the ordinary forms of quoting
Amos vii. 12, 13.