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My object however is not to argue. I seek information and if you can give it I doubt not that you will oblige others as well as
J. N. P. S. I ought to say that my orthography for the foregoing proper names is not pretended to be the most correct. I wrote them as seemed best at the moment.
Ludiana, Feb. 20, 1838.
3.- INFLUENCE OF GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS.
To the Editors of the Calcutta Christian Observer. GENTLEMEN,
Pray can you or any of your numerous correspondents furnish the public with correct information, as to the working of the various Government colleges which have recently been established, in different parts of the country, in aid of the cause of native education and can you also furnish us with any data from which we may judge as to the influence which they are likely hereafter to exert upon British interests in India ? It is a well known fact that some years ago the government was extremly averse to Missionaries entering the country. It was their opinion that the labours of Missionaries would excite a spirit of discontent amongst the people, that religious discussion would provoke hostility, and endanger the safety of the state. Long experience however has shown us that these fears were groundless, and so far from any danger being now apprehended from this source, it is generally believed that Missionary operations, if they are con. ducted with wisdom and prudence, will ultimately prove the bulwarks of our authority and the best preservatives of our power in every part of our Indian possessions; and have we not,
Gentlemen, sufficient reason to believe that this sentiment is correct ? For in every instance in which a native is brought to embrace Christianity in sincerity, British interests are proportionately strengthened. The convert is forth with detached from his former associations, his native friends discard him, and he has hence. forward no community of interests with them. His every feeling in future life is associated with the religious principles, and the permanent power of the persons to whom he has united himself; personal safety prompts him to cleave to them and induces him to uphold their rule, because the per. petuation of that rule is the only guarantee which he has for the security of all that is dear to him on earth. The more converts therefore the Mission. aries make the better, provided they are sincere ; every individual in. stance of conversion may be received as so much political gain, as an addition to British authority and power, and consequently as a proportion. ate guarantee for the security and peace of our eastern possessions.
But can thus much be said, Gentlemen, of the working and tendency of the present colleges ystem? It has been remarked rather, and I think very justly, that government have every reason to apprehend, that that evil will ultia mately result from their colleges which they formerly apprehended would result from Missonary labours, – in plain language that these colleges will ere long subvert the authority of great Britain in the east.' If the object of these colleges were merely to give the natives a good common education, the danger would be less; by correcting their ideas on geography, teaching them the elements of history, &c. we should confer a benefit on them ; but seeing the great mass of the people are in such a state of mental imbeci. lity, we cannot, we confess, see the propriety of making a favoured few, philosophers, mathematiciang, metaphysicians, and introducing them all at once into so many branches of the recondite sciences. They are going too far ahead of their countrymen, and the funds thus expended would be much better applied if they were available for the purposes of general education on a more extended scale. The aphorism which says 'that know. ledge is power' is strictly true, and we shall one day prove it to our cost if the present system be persevered in. The Hindus far outstrip us in power of one kind already ; viz. the power which arises from numerical superiority: Only give them the power which is derived from knowledge, and it will speedily act like a lever on the former and bring it into action for purposes which we tremble to contemplate. It is not to be supposed that they will bear our yoke when they find that they have at their command means by which they can get rid of it. With these means we are furnishing them, and when the equipment is complete, the means will surely be called into requisition to effect their emancipation. There is only one way to avoid this evil ; let the government with the knowledge which they impart to the natives, also give them principle by which to regulate it. A profusion of sail with little or no ballast endangers the safety of the vessel, and if government keep hoisting the sail of knowledge whilst they withhold the ballast of principle, they will sooner or later upset their political bark. By principle, I mean of course those principles which are derived from Christian sources and which the word of God supplies. Let these be brought to bear with a divine power upon the heart, and they will at once neutralise the evil tendency of mere abstract knowledge. Let the Hindus be brought under the influence of these principles and we are safe. Con. science will be bound by these, evil will be restrained, and though they may then perceive that they are possessed of power sufficient to dislodge us, yet they will not, under the guidance of these principles, venture to use it for such a purpose, but rather submit to our sway and cleave to us as their friends and best benefactors.
Perhaps it will be said that Government are pledged to neutrality, and cannot interfere with the religious prejudices of the people. True, but every lesson they give the natives on geography and astronomy, is as much an interference with their religious prejudices, as a lesson on theological subjects would be : their neutrality, therefore is only in name, or in other words it amounts to nothing more or less than this-a gratuitous determina. tion to keep back Christian principles, or rather secretly to oppose them. It is a well known fact, that many of the teachers in their colleges are men of sceptical principles ; in many instances they are decidedly hostile to Christianity, and carry their hostility so far that, if in the course of their historical reading the students meet with a passage which refers to Christia. nity and ask for an explanation, it is refused and they are told that it relates to a subject with which they have nothing to do!' If Government more. over are pledged to be strictly neutral, why do their teachers and accredited agents circulate infidel books amongst the boys ? Infidelity strikes at the root of all revealed religion, and therefore is as much opposed to Hinduism as it is to Christianity. Their agents therefore are endeavour. ing to upset Hinduism ; this surely does not accord with their principles of professed neutrality, for the consequence is that the boys, in most of these colleges, (if they stay long enough,) usually become infidels to every system of religion, and are not unfrequently very prond of the name of " Deist," Our system of education therefore, if not a neutral, is at least a neutralis. ing one. We neutralise Hinduism and give them nothing in its place ; whereas we ought to give them Christianity as a substitute ; and if Go. vernment are so pledged that they cannot do this, then they had better withdraw from the system altogether, and leave it in the hands of indivi. duals who are not so restricted. By depriving the Hindus of the former and withholding the latter, we are inflicting a doop moral injury upon them, and a still deeper political one upon ourselves. If the British Government be a blessing to the people, which I am persuaded it is in every point of view, and that its removal would be the very worst calamity that could befal them, then is it desirable both for them and for ourselves that we forthwith retrace our steps before the injury becomes irreparable.
I am, &c.
4.-HINDU THEORIES. DEAR MESSRS. Epitons, ..
I beg to send you a short account of the various theories of the Hindus to account for the dark spots on the face of the moon, in the hope that it may prove interesting to some of your readers. The source from whence I draw them is the Rámáyan of Tulsi Dás, Lanká kánd and 14th Adhyáya. To give a view of the connection of the story, Rám the great hero, is on his way to Lanká, to attack Rávana, and recover his wife who had been basely carried away from him by that monster; he has nearly reached the place of his destination when, sitting out to enjoy the evening air, the moon shining brightly at the time, he amuses himself, by asking of his most learned associates, their individual opinions as to the nature and cause of the spots on the moon. The first replies, that they are caused by the shadow of the earth.
2. The second, that they are the scars of the wounds inflicted by the monster Ráhu, as a punishment on the moon for having informed against him at the time of the churning of the ocean, when he assumed the form of a dewtah to obtain a portion of the amrit or water of immortality, and the moon, knowing his design, communicated the circumstance to Vishnu, who, in a rage, cut off his head with his chakr-it flew to heaven, and now spends its time in persecuting the moon.
3. The third said, that when Bramhá had formed the design to create Rati or the Indian Venus, he took from each of the gods a portion of his excellency and particularly extracted largely from the moon; in consequence of which great holes were produced in her, which are said to penetrate through, so that the ákásh, which is of a dark blue colour, is seen through them.
4. The fourth, that when the gods were engaged in churning the ocean to obtain the amrit, they continued agitating the elements so long, that at length a virulent poison issued from the mass, which threatened to destroy the universe. In these circumstances the chivalrous Mahádeo, to save his brother gods, resolved to drink it up, but he did not allow it to pass lower down than to the middle of his throat. However such was its virulence, that even in these circumstances, the god was overpowered. And though nursed in the lap of his spouse Párvati, he found no rest till the moon, the giver of amrit, took her place on his brows, and allayed the fever of his brain. However her kindness was the source of some injury to herself; for, in the opinion of the fourth speaker, the exhalations of tho black poison lodging on her face have produced those indelibly dark impressions which we now see in her.
5. The fifth speaker, more of a courtier than a philosopher said, that as the moon was Rám's servant, it acts the part of mirror to display his beauties, and having once received his beautifully black impression, it for ever retains it! This last was Hanumán's opinion, at which the great Rám was inexpressibly delighted. Banáras.
5.-THOUGHTS ON THE FAMINE NOW RAGING IN THE DOAB AND N. W. PROVINCES FOUNDED ON DEUTERONOMY, CHAP. XV. VERSE 11.
“ For the poor shall never cease ont of the land." The laws given by Moses are intermixed with prophecies which denounce the displeasure of the Almighty upon the disobedient, and promise blessings to those that obey them. Interspersed with these are reasons why certain commands were enjoined. As a reason for the cultivation of benevolence the divine law-giver asserts that the poor shall never cease out of the land. This declaration is remarkable, because referring to a land of which Moses said “the Lord thy God careth for it; the eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it from the beginning of the year even unto the end of
If in such a land there should be an inequality between the people, so that the poor should never cease out of it, we may infer that this would be the case to a still greater extent in lands and countries less favoured than Judea. That this has been the case generally throughout the world, history places beyond a doubt; that it is the case now, the dis. tresses in the north-western provinces too painfully illustrate ;-and we may perhaps not err in supposing that future ages, not even excepting that of the millenium, will witness inequalities in the condition and circum. stances of men ; that some will be exalted, others be brought low: some rise into opulence and others sink into poverty :--and that the time will never arrive in which the poor shall cease out of the land.
Though it is perfectly just to ascribe sufferings and calamities to the effects of sin, we may not with equal propriety attribute the difference between the rich and the poor, to the same source ; because happiness is not always produced by riches nor suffering by poverty ; for a man's life (that is his happiness) consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. The terms rich and poor, high and low, master and servant, king and subject might, for aught we know to the contrary, have com. ported with a state of innocence; for different degrees exist in heaven, where certainly there is no sin. We read of principalities and powers, cherubim and seraphim, angels and archangels. If there be a doubt whether principalities be superior to powers, there cannot we suppose be any doubt that angels are inferior to archangels. This inequality will also exist among the risen saints," when they that turn many to righteonsness shall shine as stars in the firmament of heaven: for one star differeth from another star in glory: so also shall it be in the resurrection of the just.
The glory of Abraham may exceed that of the twelve Patriarchs, the condition of Moses excel that of the elders on whom he placed his hands, and the crown of the Apostle Paul be brighter than of the other Apostles, and theirs more splendid than those of believers in general : but this difference between the risen saints as well as that among the elect angels, eannot be ascribed to sin: neither ought the inequalities among men to be attributed to the same cause, but assigned to the true one, viz. the sove. reignty of God -" Even so Father, for so it seemeth good in thy sight." Although diligence and industry carry with them their own reward, and though it be said that idleness shall be clothed with rags, yet the Sovereign Disposer of events causes riches sometimes to flow into the bosom of him who has never laboured for them, and poverty to attend the man who toils inces. santly, Were the circumstances of all men balanced to-day in equilibrio, tomorrow the equilibrium would be distributed without either injustice or violence, but of necessity. To suppose a continuance of an equality in the affairs of men, under the present arrangement of divine providence would involve an equality in skill, wisdom, prudence and industry ; in musculat strength, stature, courage, and fortitude,-that the wants of
every parent must be equal; his family neither smaller nor larger, older nor younger than that of his neighbour; that there must be equality in appetite, consumption, qualification and enjoyment; that his fields, plantation or estate must be equally fruitful with those around him ; that countries must be equally fertile, and climates equally salubrious; an equality in every accidental circumstance that can befal man in this changing world ad infinitum : which supposition would be absurd.
The system of creation is one of dependance, all mutually depending on each other and the whole upon God. While the planets depend on the sun for their light, he by their gravity is balanced in his orbit. Thus among men, while the throne is the source of honor and distinctions, itself is supported by the allegiance of the people ; and descending from the greater to the less, it will be apparent that the child must depend on its parent, the lame on those who have feet, the weak upon the strong, the blind on those who have sight, and the poor upon the rich. The ancients ascribed imperfections and malformations of the body to sin either of the child in a former birth or of the parents. The Hindus not only do so, but attribute accidents, poverty and distress to the same source. That this is erroneous appears from John ix. 2. « Jesus answered (in the case of the blind man) neither hath this man sinned nor his parents, but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” Therefore the different grades among men, the sufferings of one and the calamities of another, how modified or augmented soever by sin, are not always.produced by it. May we not suppose that they are ordained to display the mercy of God in raising up, deliverance for them? and if so, " the poor shall never cease out of the land."
The argument that if sin be not the cause of poverty, blindness and wretchedness, God is unrighteous, is founded in error; namely, in the hypothesis that God as a Sovereign has not a right to do as he will with his own. No one enters this world as the creditor of the Almighty, but as a. pensioner on His bounty who divideth to every one severally as he pleaseth. This is illustrated in Matt. xx. 1-15 where they who had laboured but one hour, received equally with those who had toiled all the day. In this instance however those who had toiled all the day were entitled to their wages ; but in that which we are considering all that men receive is of pure benevolence. So that where there is no claim, if one man do not. receive the same as another, he suffers no injustice : and we do injustice to God, when in common parlance, we speak of his having denied sight to the blind, or riches to the poor; the latter have no title to wealth, the former no claim to sight. When a subject has been knighted others do not say we bave been denied the honors of knighthood, neither does the knight say, I have been denied the honors of a duke ; for here there is no claim there can be no injustice, and God is not unjust who has dispensed his bounty as he pleaseth. His reasons for so doing are founded in infinite rectitude, wisdom and benevolence: what then are those reasons ? Shall we err in sopposing that, as God is the source of all excellence and felicity, so crea. tion rose into existence to imbibe his goodness and as a mirror to reflect his image then in proportion as his creatures are assimilated to that image will they be excellent and happy. Amidst the attributes of Deity, if one more than another displays his glory, that one is benevolence, for God is love ; but as the light of the sun, if poured out into the infinity of space without a world to illuminate, would have been created in vain; so without beings to feel and taste his goodness, Jehovah would have possessed the attribute of benevolence in vain. Therefore, to partake of divine good. ness and to enjoy divine favour, by the word of God, the heavens and the earth were created : and had not sin marred the work of God men like