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2-GOVERNMENT CONFIRMATION of its SANCTION TO THE IDOLATRIES OF
INDIA !!! It is with the deepest and most unfeigned sorrow we announce it is reported, that the Court of Directors have forwarded an answer to the prayer of the memorial forwarded by the Venerable Corrie and his friends at Madras, that the customary salutes and other Government sanctions to Native religious festivals might be dispensed with. Will it be believed that this prayer has been coldly negatived? The Government, after mature deliberation, continue their sanction alike to Hindu and Musalmán superstitions, and not only continue it, but oblige their conscientious servants to bend to Baal whenever the priests of either Káli or Muhamad shall de. termine to be devout ! This is a singular kind of neutrality and only strengthens what we have penned on this subject in another page. The arrival of this intelligence has induced us to recommend that which we hesitated to do before from a fear of being thought premature ; viz. that all interested in the subject should convene a public meeting in Calcutta, for the purpose of forwarding to the advocates of humanity in Britain an address urging them to take up and press the subject on the attention of the Parliament and Court of Directors.
3.- METROPOLITAN RELIGIOUS ANNIVERSARIES. The season for holding the Anniversaries of the various religious and Charitable Societies in Calcutta is almost past. The reflections induced by the retrospect of the various engagements is of the most pleasing and exhilarating kind. The meeting together of so many good people, and of the Ministers and Missionaries of different persuasions, is refreshing ; and seeing such large assemblies gathered for the support of the active agents of the different Societies, we could not help exclaiming, behold how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity, and could not but hope that the Saviour's prayer for the unity of his church would have speedy fulfilment. The anniversary of the Auxiliary Bible Society was held on 19th of December, 1837, the Bishop presided. The Report, read by the Rev. R. B. Boswell, was marked by fidelity and deep-toned piety. The exertions during the past year have been extensive and calculated to be permanently useful.-The Annual Meeting of the Bible Association was held in the same place on the evenning of January the 5th. The Archdeacon Dealtry presided. The principal feature of interest in the Report : was the continued craving of Native intelligent youth for copies of the Holy Scriptures.—The Anniversary of the Bengal Auxiliary Dissionary Society was held in the Union Chapel on the 18th of October J. W. Alexander, Esq. in the chair. The Report, a notice of which appears in this month's number, was listened to with interest.The supporters of the Calcutta Seamen's Friend Society held their Annual Meeting in the Union Chapel on the evening of January 3rd, J. W. Alexonder Esq. in the chair. We have copied the brief report of the institution into our pages entire, as it may interest some of our Mufassal friends in the affairs of our too long neglected Seamen.-The Ladies Association to the Bengal Auxiliary was held in the Vestry of Union Chapel on Wednesday the 17th January ; Rev. T. Boaz presided. The object of this Association is to raise funds in aid of the local expenditure of the Society. The Anniversary of the Cooly Buzur Association to the Bengal Auxliary was held on Friday evening the 16th of January. The Meeting was ad. dressed by Messrs. Lacroiz, Morton and Boaz. The annual examination of the general Assembly's Institution is noticed at length in another paper.
The most interesting meeting of the season was that of theUnitedChurches in Calcutta, for special prayer and humiliation, on the first Monday in the new year. The services of the day opened with prayer and reading the sacred scriptures by the Rev.W. Yates. Short addresses were then delivered on the following topics, by the respected brethren whose names are attached. Rev. W. Morton, “ Importance of the soul's Salvation.” Rev: A. Stronach,“ Personal exertion on behalf of sinners.” Rev. A. Sutton " the Misery of the soul with. out Christ." Rev. W. Robinson, “ Necessity of divine influence.” At the close of these various exercises, the Lord's Supper was administered to the assembled Churches. The interest of the services, though extending to three hours, was kept up even to the last. The place of worship though large was filled with Christians of all denominations. In the evening the usual monthly Missionary prayer-meeting was held in the Loll Bazar Chapel. The address, delivered by the Rev. J. Penney, was calculated to excite deep interest in the minds of all Christians towards the Mission work. The attendance, notwithstanding the protracted meeting of the morning, was unusually large. In fact, the attendance and the spirit pervading both the meetings, and the general tone of the addresses, were such as to lead us “to thank God and take courage.” One or two instances of a desira to be devoted to God have come to our notice since the occasion referred to; also some instances of renewed exertion and liberality, which are not only cheering but indicative of better days. We can true say
“ We have been there, and still would go,
4.-New Penal Code. The first portion of the Indian Law Commissioners' new code for India, has just issued from the press. Of its general merits we are incompetent to judge ; our only satisfaction is that the ecclesiastical section and that relating to marriage, are not yet bona fide law. We hope to have some remarks on these in our next ; for if the following clause have any meaning, most of our brethren who employ any gesticulation or energy, are likely ere long, either to find a place at Allipore, or be privileged with a voyage to some of the eastern settlements.
282. " Whoever, with the deliberate intention of wounding the religious feel. ings of any person, utters any word, or makes any sound in the hearing of that per. son, or makes any gesture in the sight of that person, or places any object in the sight of that person, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or fine, or both !!!
5.- DEPARTURES. The number of old Indians proceeding to Europe this season is almost unprecedented; and not only old Indians, but many of them those that have taken an active share in all that concerns the educational, moral, and reli. gious interests of the Indian community. The Honorable T. B. Macaulay has left the shores of India ; but if the reprobation of the contemporary press and the absence of every expression of kindly feeling, be indicative that he cannot rank amongst the best friends of India, that indication is as strong as it can be ; and whatever hauteur a man may exhibit, it is impos. sible that he can be insensible to a silence so general after filling such a post in the councils of India. With Mr. Macaulay as a politician we have nothing to do; nor do we profess to be entitled to feel his strictures on the literature of the country, as our object is utility and not. research; but we confess that it does appear strange that an individual filling such a post, and drawing so princely a revenue from the resources of India, should not (whatever his estimate of the talent of the country might be) have joined in the efforts of the Asiatic, Horticultural or other useful institutions for benefitting the land. We must acknowledge that we feel some disappointment and regret at the total silence manifested on the departure of another individual who, though united to Mr. Macaulay by matrimonial alliance, does not deserve to pass from a theatre on which he has played so conspicuous a part, without some notice from the friends of India. We refer to C. E. Trevelyan, Esq.; for although we have felt it a conscientious duty to oppose some of the plans of Mr. T., we have always given him credit for the best intentions in prosecuting every scheme which he believed to be for the welfare of the country. His ability, learning, and indefatigable exertion for the good of the youth of India, deserve the best thanks of the intelligent public ; as his private worth and social excellence will ensure for him the unimpaired respect of all such as had the privilege of his acquaintance. He, in common with many others either gone or about to depart, has our best wishes and most fervent prayers that he may be preserveil, and returned in health, to conti. nue his exertions for the interests of British India.
6.—THE SAilor's HOME. From a new edition of the pamphlet detailing the operations of the Sailor's Home, we learn, that that excellent institution is very prosperous ; the funds have steadily kept up, and the total number of men shipped, &c. is as follows:
Officers, since the 3rd July, 1837.-Admitted 25, Shipped 23, Berths ashore 1, Remain 1. Petty Officers admitted 15, Shipped 12, Dead 1, Reinain 2.
Men admitted into the Home and Refuge.- Admitted 263, Shipped 219, Berths ashore 4, Expelled 14, Left 5, Dead 4, Remain 17.-Total number of officers and men admitted 303.
The Governor General and Sir Charles Metcalfe are amongst the donors to the institution.
7.- EXPORTATION OF NATIVES. A vessel, sailed during the past month laden with coolies for Deme. RARA !!! Another is now equipping for that purpose, and will sail shortly. We understand the agent for shipping these poor unfortunate people has stated that he is authorized to ship 10,000 !!! They are to supply the place of those negroes, who will not work under the blessings of the apprena ticeship act. We advise the friends of the natives to read the horrify. ing details of the working of that system-infinitely worse is it, than the old regime-and then we would ask whether it is able that Bengálí labourers will be more able to bear up either under the influence of the climate or the oppression of the slave driver ? The original inhabitants of the western islands, a much more robust race than the Bengalis, fell a sacrifice to the excessive toil attendant on sugar labour. It was our in. tention to have replied to an easily answerable letter on this topic which appeared in the Englishman a few days after our last ; we only await the most accurate information from the best sources, in order to place the whole mystery of the Mauritius colonization system in its true light : it is a sufficient answer for the present to say, that the last advices from Mauritius represent the coolies in revolt.- How happy must they be who revolt !
8.- New School-Book SOCIETY AT AGRA. The long projected School-Book Society for the North Western Provinces, has at length been formed, and is now uniting its efforts with other similar Societies for the welfare of India. We wish it every success.
9.-Human SACRIFICES. Certain mysterious doings, in the neighbourhood of Burdwan, have lately excited strong suspicions that priestly influence has been reviving the horrid practice of human sacrifices. The Friend of India, in calling atten. tion to the circumstance, has excited the righteous indignation of the conductors of the Chundrika, who most manfully nd stoutly deny even the imputntion of the crime--Oh happy change ! But our contemporary should not allow his indignation to entomb his recollection ; at least, he should remember that it will not be the case with his fellow-mortals ; for they will suspect deeds of darkness from those who could abet and advocate infanticide, suttee, and ghat murders. If it be not deemed irreverent to offer, from the Christian Oracle, advice which the editor of the Chundrika might tender to his brethren, we would say, if they would shun the reproaches not of Christians only but of the humane and intelligent of every creed, avoid the appearance of evil.
10.- BRITISH INDIA, OPIUM AND CHINA. The Chinese authorities appear quite determined to put down the con. traband traffic in opium. Such is the spirit with which they are pursuing their determination, that they have refused to negotiate with Captain Elliot, the Queen's representative at Canton, and he in consequence has struck the British flag and removed to Macao. The opium dealers, in the meantime, appear like men under the influence of a singular fatuity ; for at the moment when there is no market, but a declaredly contraband one for the drug, they are most eagerly cramming every clipper for the market. We fear for the speculators as indiVIDUALS; for inevitable ruin must await many who have risked their all in this daring speculation, if it should fail, which we fear it will ; for they are reckoning without their host, if they suppose that the Chinese are not looking in the present instance lower than the sur. face. We more than fear the issue, as it respects the government ; for that is. sue, if things progress as they have done for some months past, must be ei. ther a disgraceful ejection from the Chinese market, or war. Here we are with our Queen's representative disgraced, our flag dishonored and our government pledged, by its loans to the opium merchants, to protect the trade; while report has it that high authority declares “ the opium trade shall be pushed to the last.” What a position for proud and honorable Britain to assume, with a heathen nation in support of a contraband trade, and for a paltry annual revenue of two crores of rupees !
11.-New WORKS. We have been favored by our respected friends of the Baptist Mission Press with copies of three new works in the native languages. The one is a Life of Daniel in Bengali, accompanied by an English version on the opposite page. The translation is by the Rev. W'. Morton. It is in such style and idiom as, it is hoped, will render it popular with all classes, and yet not be beneath the perusal of the most erudite. It is printed under the patrouage of the American Sunday School Union, and reflects equal credit on their liberality and on the diligence and ability of the translator. We think the bubject is happily chosen, as there are many points in the history of Daniel which must have peculiar interest for orient youth. May they imitate his holy and decided example.
Another is a Romanized edition of the Rev. A. Bowley's Hindus. tání translation of the Pilgrim's Progress, with several beautifully executed engravings, sent out by the English Tract Society for the purpose of illus. trating similar translations of the entrancing vision of good juhu Bunyan.
The volume is altogether the most compact, elegant and cheap thing of the kind we have yet seen in a native language. It reflects the highest credit on our friends, the printers; and as they have printed it at their own risk, we hope the sale will be such as to induce them to follow it up by other works equally adapted, both from their substance and price, to be arailable and useful to the native community.
The third is a transla. tion of Bunyan into the Oriya language by the Rev. A. Sutton. It is in a clear type, compact form, and, we understand, simply and faithfully rendered. It is pleasing to reflect on the fact that we have this deservedly popular book translated into three of the principal languages of Northern India,
12.- REPRINTS. The following useful little tracts have been reprinted by the Baptist Mission Press. “ The Unity of the Church, a tract for the times,” an excellent little treatise on the importance of Christian Unity: we strongly recommend it to our friends in the Mufassal.—“ The Church Member's Guide"—this is a book of extracts made some years ago from Mr. James's larger work by the Rev. Js. Hill; it embraces the duties of Church Members to their pastor, fellow-members and the world. A copy of it may with advantage be put into the hands of every Christian.-It is proposed to reprint
Counsels to a newly-wedded pair,” by Dr. Morison of Chelsea, a little work which has had a very extensive and useful circulation in England and America. The subject may excite a smile, but we suspect oft is the time when those wishing well to newly-married people would wish some proper little treatise to put into their liands, which might be read in the calmer mo- ' ments of domestic life, and this especially in a country where the gordian knot is so frequently tied without that mature reflection which generally ushers persons into the connubial state in our own country. We hope our ministerial brethren will forward indents for the work, in order that they may have it at hand to present their friends on the occasion of their nuptials. The printers have studied elegance and economy in the getting up of the work.
13.-BENGALI' Classics. It has been suggested to us that an uniform edition of Bengali standard Forks is a desideratum. One of our esteemed correspondents, it will be seen in another paper, has offered to unilertake the collating and revi. sion of such a series, should a sufficient number of subscribers be found to cover the expence of printing, &c. It is supposed that the whole may be comprised in 8 or 10 volumes, at from 1 to 2 Rs. each volume. They will be printed on the best Europe paper, with clear types and from the most accurate and faithful texts; those accustomed to purchase and pore over native works, will at once perceive the immense advantage, every way, of such editions over the miserable Bazar ones, on vile paper and in still more wretched character from oft corrupted texts, swarming with errors of every kind. We shall be happy to receive the names of any disposed to encourage the undertaking.
14.-EDUCATION OF THE CHILDREN OF MISSIONARIES IN EUROPE. We are
sure it will afford our Missionary brethren, who have many olive branches around their tables, the highest satisfaction to learn that it is in contemplation to establish in the vicinity of London, a Seminary for the sons and daughters of Missionaries, in which economy will be combined with comfort and a strict regard to the moral and reli. gious welfare of the little ones. We wish the plan success, with all our hearts.