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trymen, who live at the other Presidencies, have an opportunity of seeing great numbers of native Christians, and cannot urge the argument of impracticability; but the objection of these generally is, That the Christians they do see are very ignorant Christians. This, indeed, we acknowledge to be the case with most of them and they must continue to remain ignorant Christians, until the British Parliament shall be graciously pleased to afford them the advantage of Christian superintendance and instruction.
Church and State dismembered in India.
An important consideration, in a political point of view, is, whether, in the final establishment of our Indian Empire, Church and State should remain longer dismembered. It will hardly be alleged, that there is any Church in India, any more than in Jamaica. The Church, in the sense we now allude to, is part of our constitution, and forms a chief portion of the respectability of our country. In the present circumstances of India, the most eminent men in the State, both civil and military, who are most likely to do honour to their country and to be useful to India, appear among the natives for a short time, and then pass out of view for ever. It is evident to the inhabi
tants, that they have no personal interest in the country. And thus it has come to pass, That, notwithstanding the beautiful system of law, justice, and humanity, which emanates from our Christian code, the whole scheme of our government and superintendance has, in their view, a mercenary character.
But if the Church were established in India, something would be permanent. Some portion of British interest and respectability would remain, and be identified with the people and the country. In the old Romish Settlements, even where the political power is gone, the Bishop is generally found on the spot, acting as representative of the people, and as correspondent with the Government at home, his establishment having survived political revolutions: for it is agreeable to Asiatic principle, to respect religious men, and religious endowments.
It must appear evident, we think, even to those who are not much acquainted with local circumstances, That the establishment of our Church in India would be a constant source of respectability to the national character; would supply a useful correspondence with the mother country; and would establish a new ground of attachment and respect on the part of the natives.
AN appeal to the justice or humanity of this nation, has seldom been made in vain. But it has always been necessary, that the public mind should be first fully informed on the subject, regarding which the appeal has been made. The question of the Slave Trade was before Parliament for a considerable time, while the nation was procuring evidence of the unjust and inhuman nature of the traffic; and the cause of the long delay of the abolition seems to have been, that it did not decidedly appear to some persons, that it was inhuman. They even attempted to shew, that, in the result, it might have a beneficial tendency.-Such an attempt will hardly be made, in regard to those practices which are to be the subject of the present appeal.
It is well known, that our native subjects in India are addicted to certain customs, which, though sanctioned by their superstition, are revolting to the feeling and reason of men. Some of them, indeed, are of a character too unnatural to be even sanctioned by their own superstition. The entire abolition of these practices can only be ex
pected from the influence of the mild and benign spirit of Christianity. And it is gratifying to know, that, in the degree in which that religion has prevailed in any Province, it has produced that effect. But there are some sanguinary practices, which affect human life, and demand the early interference of a humane Legislature. It is right, indeed, to look forward to the future benign effects of our religion; but human lives are taken away, while we wait for the promulgation of Christianity. The delay of another year will seal the death of thousands; the premature death of thousands of British subjects !~Of these baneful customs (some of which inflict death, and others tend to death), we shall notice two; viz. the Murder of Infant Children, and the Burning of Women.
The Murder of Children.
Among the Hindoo tribes, called the Jarejahs, now subject to the British dominion in the West of India, it is a custom to destroy female infants. The number thus sacrificed, in the Provinces of Cutch and Guzerat alone, is stated, in an official report, to have amounted, at the lowest computation, to "three thousand annually."
This atrocity was chiefly investigated and brought to light by the benevolent exertions of the late Jonathan Duncan, Esq. Governor of Bombay.
Mr. Duncan had instructed Colonel Walker, Political Resident at Guzerat, to inform himself of the nature and extent of Infanticide in that Province, and, in the name of the British Government, to endeavour to effect its abolition. The Bombay Government has now transmitted to the Court of Directors, the official Report of that Officer, dated the 15th of March, 1808; the whole of which has been recently given to the public in a volume entitled Hindu Infanticide *. This disclosure seems to have been directed by Providence at this time, to aid the counsels of the British Parliament, when deliberating on the moral obligations due from a Christian nation to a heathen people whom it has subjected to its power.
The inhabitants of Guzerat, in their correspondence with Colonel Walker, defended the practice of murdering their female children, on the ground of ancient custom, and the alleged inferiority of women. But that officer clearly perceived, that the practice was perpetuated chiefly by avarice
Published by Edward Moor, Esq. F. R. S.