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since extended their operations to various other parts of the empire. In 1816 they founded an establishment at Calcutta, where for some years they met with very little success; but having in 1823 formed a settlement at Kidderpore in the vicinity of the capital, they saw themselves in the centre of a circle of villages, which showed a much greater disposition to embrace the gospel than had appeared in any other district. In 1826 an idol was removed from a Hindoo temple, and the building converted into a place of Christian worship. The society have even succeeded in forming a small native church in Calcutta. The Church Missionary Society, instituted in 1800, directed their first exertions to the civilization of Africa, and particularly to the settlement at Sierra Leone. It was not till about 1812 that they began to employ agents in Calcutta and Madras. These establishments have since been very greatly enlarged, so as to render this one of the chief theatres of their pious exertions. They have particularly sought to promote their object by the erection of schools, in which a communication of the superior knowledge possessed by Europeans accompanies, or prepares for initiation into sound religious views. This society have now stations, with catechists and native assistants, at Calcutta, Dum-dum, Culna, and Burdwan (large towns in the west of Bengal), Buxar, Benares, Allahabad, Gooracpore, Cawnpore, Bareilly, Agra, Meerut, Canoul. In Western India they have one at Bandora, seven miles from Bombay; in the south, at Tellicherry, Cochin, Cottayam, and Allepie (about thirty miles south-east of Cochin), Palamcotta, Mayaveram (160 miles south-south-west of Madras), Madras, and Pulicate. The Scottish Missionary Society have some stations at Bombay. A fund has also been recently established under the superintendence of the Church of Scotland, for the promotion of this important object. The managers have sent out several missionaries to Calcutta, and founded schools there.*
* Ambrican Missions.—As the authors of this history have not deemed it necessary to advert to the existence of missions maintained in British India by American Christians, it is considered but just that in an American edition the successful exertions of the American Board of Foreign Missions and the BapUst Board of Foreign Missions should be properly noticed. The first missionaries were sent from this country to India in 1812. The operations of the former board are confined to Ceylon GENEKAL EFFECT OF MISSIONS. 317
The result produced by the missions under these different societies in the various parts of India, is extremely similar. The natives have everywhere become secure from the ap prehension of any violent attempt to overturn their religious belief and observances. This confidence, instead of being shaken, seems confirmed by the presence and activity of the missionaries, when they see government at the same time maintaining the strictest neutrality. They have even overcome all fear arising from the intercourse of foreigners with themselves or their families. They are fond of meeting and entering into argument with them: they send their children to their schools, and even allow them to be catechised and instructed in the doctrines of Christianity. Yet with all this, the examples of conversion are so extremely few, that in a national sense they may be considered as nothing. Omitting all consideration of the manner in which the Hindoo religion is interwoven with the habits of life, with the splendour of its festivals, and the zeal of its votaries, the single institution of caste opposes a most formidable obstacle, though one which is sensibly diminishing, through the continued communication with the English, and particularly the missionaries. The circumstance, too, that every particular of the creed and worship is contained
and Bombay, and by their latest periodical accounts it appears that their missions have been successfully prosecuted. They have thirteen stations; twenty-live American missionaries; at least six churches; and more than ninety schools, numbering three thousand five hundred and sixty scholars. In addition, they have several presses, and have distributed large quantities of Bibles, tracts, and other books, with the express sanction of the civil government.
American Baptist missions in India are confined chiefly to that part of Kurmah which has been annexed to British India within the last five years. Dr. Judson entered the country in 1813, and has remained there ever since. Previous to the subjugation of a part of the country by the British arms, the mission was repeatedly almost annihilated by the despotismof the government. Since, however, they have enjoyed protection, the mission has prospered in a high degree. The translation of the Bible into the native language is nearly complete. There are now four presses employed in printing the Scriptures, tracts, and other elementary works. They have established six churches, and have eighteen American missionaries on the spot and on the way there, and more soon to Bail. There are schools at Toway, Mulmein, and Rangoon. About 400 natives have been baptized on a profession of their faith since the mission was established. The British government have realized important aid from the missionaries, who have repeatedly acted as interpreters 1q their negotiations.
in voluminous writings, all believed to be of Divine origin, renders it almost impossible to make any impression. However unable they may be to defend any of their dogmas, the simple remark at the close of the conference, that "It is in the Shastras, or the Vedas," banishes every impression of doubt. These facts continue to inspire the Hindoos with a great confidence on the subject of conversion. They imagine that they can with perfect safety amuse themselves with disputation, and send their children to the schools with a view to their improvement or worldly advantage. Nor do they scruple to appear in the character of what is called inquirers, and amuse their instructers with deceptive hopes of their embracing Christianity. We incline, however, to think with Mr. Deerr, that this confidence may be in a great measure unfounded. Moral revolutions among every people, even after long and apparently ineffectual exertions to produce it, in general break forth suddenly at last. The Crusades, the Reformation, the French Revolution, the greatest changes of modern times,are all illustrations of this remark. That there is such a silent preparation in the Indian mind appears evident from the prevalence, among a numerous and influential class, of English habits and ideas, and the growing disposition to form themselves upon a European model. Although the British government wisely and rigidly abstain from all interference with the religious tenets or observances of their Indian subjects, a different course has been pursued wherever these involve a violation of the first principles of moral obligation. Such, in many instances, is the case with the dark code of superstition which holds sway among them; its unhappy votaries being taught, that to destroy their own life, or the life of those dearest to them, is the path to Divine favour and immortal felicity. Nearly thirty years ago, the Marquis Wellesley issued an ordinance prohibiting the sacrifice by parents of their infant offspring to the Ganges; and, contrary to what was by many expected and predicted, this step was not only acquiesced in, but warmly applauded by a number of the natives. The suttee, or the burning of widows on the funeral-pile of their husbands, was a practice held so sacred, and so deeply rooted in all the feelings of the Hindoos, that it was long considered hazardous to touch it. Yet the company, in com
ABOLITION OF SUTTEES.
pliance with the stronglyexpressed opinion of many pious and enlightened persons at home, at length authorized Lord William Bentinck to issue an order for its discontinuance. The appearance of this document produced a very strong sensation in India, and strikingly displayed the different views of the two classes into which its population is now divided. An address was presented from a body of Hindoos, respectable by their numbers, and still more by their wealth and intelligence, highly applauding the measure, and declaring that the practice thereby prohibited formed no essential part of their system. But a number of individuals at Calcutta, earnestly devoted to the ancient system, have formed themselves into a society, called the Dharma Subha, for the purpose of procuring the restoration of this sacred rite, which they say has been continued for millions of years under the successive eras of the satya, treta, dwapar, and cali yugs. They have organized themselves on the model of the religious societies in England, with a president, secretary, subscription-papers, and corresponding branches; and, having called upon every holy Hindoo to contribute his mite to the pious work, have raised considerable sums to promote the objects of the institution, while they have renounced all social intercourse with those of their countrymen who follow an opposite course. The other party, however, who are called the Brama Subha, considering the Shastras in their favour, treat these violent proceedings with indifference, and continue steadily to support the humane views of the British government. Another arrangement with regard to the native religion has been reasonably called in question. With whatever pain the worship paid in the idol temples may be viewed, government, on the principles of toleration, are bound to leave it unmolested. But they go further; they levy a tax from each pilgrim, and receive the offerings presented on the altar. Out of these they keep the temple in repair, and also pay salaries to the requisite number of officiating priests and Bramins: the balance, it appears, goes into their own exchequer. Mr. Poynder, in a speech at the India House, charged the company with having in seventeen years drawn a million sterling from the four principal temples of Juggernaut, Allahabad, Gaya, and Tripetty. Dr. Short, on the other hand, maintains that the raising of this tax is a measure which will ultimately prove hostile to idolatry; while Mr. Poynder rejoins, that were it not for the sanction thus afforded by the company, and the excellent order in which the temples are kept, there would be a rapid decline of the whole system. Considerable doubt hangs on this question; but we cannot hesitate to express our opinion, that the directors ought to keep themselves pure from every transaction of this nature, and to throw the idol temples altogether into the hands of their blinded votaries. CHAPTER X. Industry and Commerce of India. Prevalent Ideas of Indian Wealth—In a great degree fallacious—State of Agriculture—Poverty of the Cultivator—Rice—Cotton—OpiumSilk—Sugar—Tobacco—Indigo—Pepper—Manufactures of Cotton— Silk—Working in Gold. &.C.—Decline, of Manufactures—Commerce— Commodities—Mode of conductingthe Trade—The Company—Effects of Free Trade—Tables of Exports and Imports.
Extravagant ideas respecting the wealth of India and its people long prevailed in the Western World. The pomp which surrounded its sovereigns, the precious commodities furnished by its commerce, gave the idea of a country in which the most profuse abundance reigned. A more extensive acquaintance has proved this impression to be extremely fallacious; the opulence being confined to the princes and high officers, or to a few merchants and moneyed men in the great cities. The labouring class, by whom the splendid wares are produced, are sunk in the deepest poverty. An intelligent writer, in the Friend of India, believes that the rent generally paid by the ryot in the rich province of Bengal does not amount to 40 rupees annually. Sir Thomas Munro states the same sum as the average payment of that district in the Carnatic which he minutely surveyed, and is of opinion that there was not a single cultivator worth 500/. As the rent in India exceeds a third of the gross produce, a farm can yield only a very small income; which, however, enables the tenants to keep.