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scriptures themselves have condemned the folly of him who should begin to build without counting the cost, and not be able to finish." p. 24:
We are always sorry when we see benevolence receiving laws from pride. The sentence we have quoted seems to say, that England, being a very great and famous nation, must form all her schemes on a very great scale, corresponding to her national magnificence, the display and the honour of which are always to be the leading consideration; and therefore, if she has not the means for supporting a vast system of operations for Christianizing India, she should, in the spirit of national dignity, disdain to do good in a smaller way that would confess the deficiency of her power. When will mankind, at least the professedly Christian part of inankind, attain the true dignity of being so intent on a benevolent object for its own sake, as to forget to be always considering and calculating about the honour of the agent that is to accomplish it? If we were fortunate enough to be, for a little while, divested of our personal and national self-importance; and actuated to do good by pure Christian benevolence, and zeal for the service of the Almighty, instead of continually dwelling on gaudy images of splendid undertakings and great establishments, as the means of gaining eclat to schemes of philanthropy and piety when we adopt them, we should be earnest to accomplish the beneficent purpose in any smaller measure, and by any humbler means, which might be within our power, though we could not afford to employ such a magnificent apparatus. In the affair before us, there is nothing analogous to our Lord's illustrative case of the man that began to build and could not finish; nor to that partial and unsound adoption of Christianity, against which he introduced this figure as a warning. They were cases in which, unless a whole were attained, a part must be necessarily useless: there was no use in laying the foundation of a tower, if the superstructure were not reared. But in prosecuting schemes for enlightening and converting human beings, every single mean, and every single success, has its own independent value. If but ten faithful missionaries, or but five, can be sent into a country, shall we refuse to do it because we cannot send five hundred ? The five or ten will explain the evidence and doctrines of the true religion to a small number of heathens, as clearly, and with as much effect, as the five hundred could to a proportionable number. Unless therefore we place the value of our scheme, not so much in the benefits imparted to individual human beings converted to Christianity, as in the splendour and self-gratulation that may arise to us from the magnitude of the aggregate of such conversions as effected by our means, we have the same reason exactly for sending
the five, or ten, that we have for wishing we could send five hundred. On what principle can we pretend to wish, for the Indian children, the sound instruction of a thousand schools,but that each one school, taken separately from all the rest, would be beneficial to its pupils? But, for this reason, one school, if only one could be instituted, would as much deserve to be instituted as if there were about to be 999 more. The same may be said of the smaller practicable extent of means and agency, as contrasted with the greater desirable one, in all the other departments and expedients of the scheme.
While the Doctor was admitting that the whole national resources of England and India might prove inadequate to put in force the best expedients for instructing the people of the latter in Christianity, and was prescribing a sudden and entire abandonment of the design in the event of their so proving; it is probable he really might not know how far the possibility of bringing into extensive action one of the greatest of these expedients, that which specifically formed the appointed subject of his sermon-had already been carried beyond this state of uncertainty and dubious experiment, withcut any of those aids from the chief national authority which he seems to assume as indispensable to the support of the design from first to last.*
The learned preacher points out certain things, in the situation and character of the several classes of the Hindoes respectively, which he thinks may contribute in some degree to incline them to a favourable reception of Christianity; anticipates considerable facilitation from points of apparent analogy between the true religion and the Indian mythology; and incidentally intimates somewhat of the nature of his own theology in this sentence; Christianity will teach them that at all times and in all places men are essentially equal to each other; and equally intitled, if they endeavour to deserve them, to the favour and blessings of the great Creator, Governor, and Judge of the world. p. 17.
It is reluctantly, and from the constraint of duty, that we notice the following passages.
This may be a proper place to correct an error in our last number, in which we find we somewhat exaggerated the pecuniary supplies obtained by the missionary translators in the East, even in the very act of stating that those supplies for the vast and expensive undertaking were solely derived from the liberality of the religious public, and their own labours, of which they devote all the fruits. We mentioned their having received a very liberal donation from the British and Foreign Bible Society; we now understand, that some private unauthorized interference has prevented their receiving any advantage hitherto from the generous vote to which we alluded.
I would have the doctrines to be taught perfectly uniform and consistent, at all times and in all places the same Missionaries of various interests and parties, ignorantly or wilfully differing in their comments, their opinions, and their designs, should not be suffered to appear amongst those whom we wish to convert. If indeed we permit the ministers of various sects and denominations, Lutherans and Calvinists, Arminians and Baptists, to inculcate their respective tenets without restraint, the unlettered Indian will not be able to determine, what that Christianity is, which we would persuade him to embrace; and the more learned, con vinced that the doctrines of all our teachers cannot be equally true, may be led to conclude that all are equally false. If one preacher be of Paul, and another of Apollos, no convert may be of Christ. The missionaries from Rome and from other Churches appear to have had very little success; at least to have made very few sincere and steady converts. Without inquiring minutely or invidiously into the causes of these failures, I would recommend one uniform and general attempt, to the exclusion of all others, where we have the power to exclude them, to be made by the ministers of the national church, under the authority and regulations of an act of the legislature.' p. 13.
Let it be our business
to furnish them with what we have so long enjoyed, and what will be not only of inestimable value, but of primary necessity in their church, with a universal rule of conduct, and a fixed standard of truth, to which appeals in doubt and controversy may always be made; with a criterion by which in all times to come the errors of ignorance may be corrected, and the extravagances of enthusiasm restrained; by which the pretensions of the hypocrite may be tried and proved; and by which peace and uniformity may be preserved in faith and worship, principle and practice.' p. 14,
We have already had occasion to refer to Mr. Fuller's -pointed and conclusive observations on what we have here extracted; and we shall willingly excuse ourselves from saying -more than a very few words. In making one or two obvious remarks, we may surely put it to the candour of our readers what opinion impartial critics must inevitably entertain of the principles held forth in these extracts. Apply the familiar rule of judging by reversing the case, as far as in the present instance the case admits of being reversed. Suppose a company of disinterested, pious, and indefatigable men, connected with the establishment, had been exerting themselves to the very utmost of their faculties for a course of years, in India, to make the natives acquainted with the divine Revelation, and what are regarded by the general agreement of Christians as its grand doctrines; occupying but an exceedingly diminutive portion of their own time, or that of those they wished to enlighten, about any of the little distinctive points of their profession as members of the English establishment; and never uttering a word of disrespect toward the zealous labourers of other Christian denominations. Suppose next, that some of the denominations separating from the establishment had be..
gun to regard it as their duty to make an effort for the religious illumination of Hindoos; and that, in the first public representation on this subject, they had complained of it as a serious, an intolerable grievance, that a number of missionaries of the established church were already making themselves busy in India, that the labours of these men would mischievously interfere with those of the sectarian missions, and that it was very much to be lamented that the sectaries had not the power to exclude' these obnoxious missionaries. Every reader, even before the sentence is finished, has a lively conception of the universal indignation that would have burst forth at the exhibition of such a spirit.
Now, we wish the reason to be shewn why an equally indignant sentiment should not be expressed, when such principles are avowed by Dr. Barrow, and other persons on the same side. He and they will alledge, that they are of the authorized national church, the church established by law; and that that gives them a right to insist on the exclusion of these separatist missionaries, as a preliminary to their undertaking. And why, we would ask, are you of that national church? The answer must necessarily be, Because our judgements approve of it, both in doctrines and constitution. And why, we would again ask, are those separatist missionaries, and the class of Christians who have contributed the most to aid their exertions, not of that national church, united to which, they might have enjoyed so much more privilege, and incurred so much less obloquy? The answer would be, plainly, that their judgements approve a different mode of worship and Christian ordinances. We would then ask the Doctor, and those who concur in his propositions for 'exclusion,' whether they have some infallible authority, some direct testimony from heaven, in evidence of the absolute rectitude of the ecclesiastical institution to which they adhere, and, therefore, of the error of all who may have adopted any different one. If they admit that they have not, and that their preference of one particular form of institution to those that differ from it is simply a matter of opinion, in which they have been determined by the free exercise of their understanding; we may then confidently demand, by what right they can assume to exclude from a field of benevolent Christian exertion, and from that part of the field too which their own toils may have in a measure cultivated, such virtuous and intelligent men, as have been led, by the very same free exercise of understanding, to approve a differently modified administration of religion. If the opposite convictions and preferences of two classes of mankind are purely and equally those of opinion, no infallible authority intervening to
decide between them, then there can be in either class no right to prohibit the other to teach its doctrines, except power constitute such a right: in Dr. Barrow's view it probably did constitute the essence of that right, when he proposed the 'exclusion of all others, where we have the power to exclude them."
When we ask for the infallible authority, which at the least ought to be at hand, with the most luminous manifestations, when men are assuming to impose silence on their fellow mortals, we do not mean to admit that even an extraordinary testimony from heaven, to the absolute purity of the forms of faith and worship adopted by a class of men, would give those men a right authoritatively to interdict, and forcibly to restrain other men, from teaching doctrines and observances differing from this infallible standard.
Dismissing all abstract questions of the rights of conscience, we may be permitted to say a word on the benevolence and justice of the Doctor's requisition, as affecting the missionaries at present in India; we particularly refer to those of the Baptist denomination, as the most numerous, and as having been rendered, by various circumstances, the most conspicuous. These men have parted from their friends in England; have made a voyage which itself absorbs what men, anxious to be doing good, regard as no inconsiderable portion of a life; have become seasoned to the climate, which must always be fatal to a considerable portion of the northern Europeans going to reside there; have acquired a perfect command of the most extensively prevailing vernacular language of Hindoostan, a large acquaintance with those less extensively in use, and a deep knowledge of the learned language of that country; they are become familiarised, probably beyond all other men in the world, with the business of translation, have furnished themselves with the apparatus of printing, and have poured out multitudes of bibles, and portions of bibles, in many languages; they have, during the same space of time, addressed innumerable discourses to the inhabitants in explanation and enforcement of the Christian religion, have become intimately acquainted with the manner of thinking among these people, and accustomed to meet their objections with dexterity and their abuse with self-command: all this they have done, not only without the prospect of any temporal reward whatever, but with the certainty of realising none. In the doctrines they have taught, they have coincided substantially with many of the most venerable and illustrious men the church of England ever had to boast, and with the opinions, which beyond all question its founders meant to express in its articles. All this is a trifle with Dr. Barrow; as if such men, and such proceedings, were but an