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profligate Sanyassee, but feels indignant at the abuse of some of the best and strongest feelings of our nature? I am not, as you know, among those who either extravagantly praise or extravagantly condemn the Hindûs or their religion. It is enough that the latter is false, to wish it exchanged for a better; but the Hindûs are men, and moved by human motives and by human passions, and never, never will a conversion be wrought among them by the present system of the missionaries. They must be bad judges indeed of human nature, who can suppose, that millions of men are, without a miracle, to be converted by a few hundreds of preachers, who go among them, ignorant of their language and philosophy, and even the religion they would combat. Moses, the lawgiver of the Jews, was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and consequently could sooth or elude the prejudices of the people who were born in the land of Misraim. St. Paul, the Apostle of the Gentiles, was versed in the philosophy of Rome and of Athens, and wielded against their superstitions, the very doctrines and forms of their own sages. But we, with ample means of learning, send inexperienced youths, virtuous indeed in their own lives, and skilled in their own doctrines, but ignorant of the science of the East, and above all, ignorant of the motives and passions of human

nature, and the art of leading men's minds."Whom ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you," were the words of St. Paul to the people of Athens. He turned not to the temples crowded with images to expose the follies and vices of Jupiter, or to falsify the predictions of Apollo, but he seized upon the simple altar of the wisest of men, to the unknown God, and thence beginning his exposition of divine truths, he, without irritating the passions of his hearers by open defiance calling on them to defend their deities, announced the pure faith of Christ, "That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Forasmuch, then, as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent."

Such were the arguments of the model of preachers before the most enlightened people, of ancient times. Why, then, are we harshly to denounce to the Hindû condemnation and contempt? Should not his greater ignorance de

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mand greater tenderness? And if his poets, too, abound with precepts of piety and morality, why should they not also be called in aid of the doctrine we wish to preach? But the enthu siasm and the courage which are requisite to carry men through great undertakings, the learning which should baffle error, and the calmness which should refute it, are so seldom joined with that deep insight into human cha racter, necessary to produce important moral changes, under the existing circumstances of the world, that it is vain to expect much from the exertions of individuals who can be paid for those exertions, and still less could be hoped from the interference of the legislature, as it would only excite that tenacity of opinion which all men feel when their belief is rudely attacked, and that spirit of resistance which now lies hap pily dormant. Perhaps were the church establishment in India better supported, and the English residents more disposed to shew respect to it both by purity of morals and decorum of manners, the natives of India might respect it also, at least they could not despise it. And if, in process of time, by the encouragement of native schools, the widening of the circle of commerce, and the consequently increasing intercourse between the natives and the Europeans, some few respectable Hindûs should be induced

to join the Christian community, they would escape the contempt into which proselytes now fall, and perhaps might attract new converts, instead of, as now, standing a melancholy warn ing against a change of faith, which in this world renders them miserable and ridiculous. Far be it from me to oppose the conversion of the Hindus; but I cannot but grieve that the means employed are so inadequate to the end proposed, and whether, as happens in the physical world, doing little and unskilfully in a deeprooted disorder, be worse than leaving nature to her own quiet operations, is to me not doubtful. Sooner or later these will take effect: once excite the hopes of gain, the desire of advancement, place knowledge within the reach of those not unwilling to know, they will conquer difficulties to attain their wishes, they will feel, with the conscious superiority which a vanquished obsta cle inspires, courage and ambition to overcome anew, the fetters of opinion will be broken, and the Hindû, as he rises in the scale of beings, will shake off the superstitions, with the lethargy of slavery, and the long desired object of good men will be obtained by a creature worthy of enjoying it.

All this you will say is visionary: alas! I am compelled to acknowledge, that without some of those extraordinary occurrences that have oc


casionally changed the belief with the destiny of nations, centuries must elapse before these things can come to pass; and I can only excuse myself by saying, that certain as I am of the impossibility of the present and sudden conversion of the Hindûs, I have no resource but to build my hopes on the silent operation of ages, and the certain though remote effects of moral causes on the mind of man.



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I FANCY I shall exercise your patience as much in the Letter I am now beginning as I have ever done in any I have written on the same subject, for I have to speak much of ceremonies, which to us are tedious and unmeaning, but they influence greatly the private life of the Hindûs, which passes among the higher castes in complete indolence, when not engaged in superstitious observances. The existence of the lower classes is an alternation of the greatest bodily labours, with perfect idleness; but among all, there is discernible a portion of that ingenuity which, in times of remote antiquity, rendered India the nurse if not the mother of arts

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