« ПредишнаНапред »
thus distributed, in order to govern and retain the country. If, then, a clergyman be not appointed to each of these stations, the inhabitants of it must remain destitute of religious instruction ; for there is, probably, no place within reach whither they can go to obtain it*.
But it may be asked, If these 30,000 English are diffused over the country in such a manner, how are they supplied with medical aid ?- This aid, however, is supplied most abundantly; and, we may add, most humanely, and in a manner reflecting the highest honour on the East-India Company. An English surgeon is appointed to almost every small society of English, military or civil, throughout the immense empire of Hindostan; although some of the stations are nearly 3000 miles asunder. A civil magistrate or commercial resident in Bengal, for example, if he live at a place remote from the chief towns, and
* In the parish of St. Mary-le-bone, in London, there are 50,000 inhabitants (adults) and the churches will contain only 20,000. In this case, the 30,000 who cannot be accommodated in their own parish, may go into the parishes in the vicinity. But the 30,000 in India cannot go to parishes in their vicinity. The British soldier may wander abroad indeed on the Sunday morning, and may possibly meet a Hindoo procession; but he will not be likely to find a Christian church,
have only a few English families near him, will apply to Government for a surgeon.
And he would, no doubt, apply for a chaplain also, if he could hope to obtain the advantage of such an instructor for his small society.
There are, at this time, on the India Establishment, according to the printed Lists of the East-India Company for 1813, four hundred and cighty-eight surgeons and assistant surgeons; exclusive of those belonging to the King's troops. The number of chaplains, in the same Lists, is thirty-five.
Disaffection of the Troops in India.
The disaffection of the British troops in India is a moral phenomenon, to account for which, two bodies of writers in the nation are in array against each other. The fact itself is notorious. There has existed disturbance among the British soldiery (officers and privates) in India, when scarcely an instance of it is to be heard of any where else.—The following statement is submitted on this subject.
The military in India are under very peculiar circumstances. They have scarcely any religious advantages. Whatever aid, therefore, religion may afford to loyalty and subordination (and who will deny that its aid is great?), they certainly possess it not.
Further, their habits of thinking suffer a great change by long residence in a country so different from their own. After being many years absent from their native shores, which they never expect to revisit; living, moreover, in a state of comparative luxury and ease; seldom, perhaps never, witnessing the solemnities of the Christian Religion, yet daily beholding the superstitious rites of the natives ; they degenerate into a state of mind, which it is difficult for their countrymen at home to understand. One general effect is a spirit of independence, and indifference to the opinion of the world.
The Christian Education of the Persons sent to
govern India rarely perfected.
Those of our countrymen, who administer the government of India in its civil and military departments, are sent forth, in general, to that country, at so early an age, that their religious principles are by no means fixed.
And if, during the first years of their residence, they have not the advantage of parental counsel or religious instruction, they are in danger of yielding to sentiments of scepticism; or, at least, of degenerating into a state of absolute indifference about the Christian Religion. Under such circumstances, can the English nation be surprised, if the majority of persons who have had their education in India (where a Christian education is so rarely perfected), should vote against our offering Christianity to that country? Their prejudice is not properly their own fault, but the fault of their education, and of their country; which will send forth a number of young men, in constant annual succession, to govern a great empire, and then leave the pliant minds at the mercy of Brahminical morals and theology, of licentiousness and infidelity. The establishment of the College of Fort William has certainly arrested, in a degree, the progress of this evil; but that institution is but the commencement of a
system of amelioration for British India, which, it is hoped, the National Legislature will now complete. The establishment of Hertford College, in England, . promises also to be instrumental in the civilization of India; it having already sent forth young men, whose proficiency in Oriental learning has been accompanied by principles which will sustain the honour of Christianity. This indeed was to be expected from an Institution, the professed object of which was not only to inform the student in classical and Oriental literature, but to fix his principles of religion, and to fortify his mind with solid arguments and sound reasoning (imparted by a regular course of instruction), by means of which he should be enabled to repel the sophistry of scepticism and infidelity.
Some of those persons, who have passed most of their lives in India, say, that they think it impracticable to convert a Hindoo; and they really mean what they say. Living the whole period, while their principles were forming, in the midst of heathen domestics, and in a place where perhaps not a single act of Christian worship ever presented itself to their view, they considered it as impossible that a Hindoo should become a Christian, as that they themselves should live to preach the Gospel. And when they come home, and are assailed by their friends for having been so indifferent to the instruction of the natives, it becomes an easy and short defence to allege, in one word—impracticability.
But this objection can only be made by those, who, having resided but in a certain part of India-for example, Bengal-have never seen a Hindoo Christian in their lives. Those of our coun