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foundations of their religion*.” And such is the spotless consistency of those gentlemen who madly vociferate against the innocent for pretended breaches of faith !-Well might I exclaim, in my turn, risum teneatis ?—This forcibly reminds me of the case of a rich man who thus addresses his poorer neighbours : “ Friends, some I know have been trying experiments on your lives, which are dear unto you : far from me be such a thought. My only wish is to promote your health and happiness; and as the best proof I can afford of my good wishes, here is a rich repast spread out before you. Come, partake, and make yourselves merry.” The poor deluded men joyfully obey the invitation : they do partake, and soon find to their ruin that the artful entertainer had mingled ingredients in the fare that seriously affect the health of some, and endanger the lives of others. Pray, Sir, would you style this the perfection of fair-dealing? And yet to one and another of those, who, with one hand, pretend to uphold the Hindoo religion, and with the other supply that which they know must destroy it, I might appositely apply the language of the Roman poet, Nomine mutato, de te fabula narratur. Not that I intend to insinuate that Hindooism is spiritual life, but the Hindoos think so; and the advocates of “education without reli. gion” tolerate the idea in wordst, while in acts they do all they can to efface it. Well said the Divine Author of Christianity : “ Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to cast the mote out of thy brother's eye.”
Again, you limit the term “ dangerous” to the "conduct" of Missionaries, in so far as it has led some Hindoo parents “to withdraw their children from certain places of public education.” This may be true; but is it the whole truth? I trow not. Have you been ten years in Calcutta, and have you never heard of children being removed from “certain places of public education," on account of causes totally unconnected with Missionary conduct? Have you never heard of the panic struck into the minds of the native community by the liberal, but certainly not religious, proceedings of the late Mr. Derozio ? Have you never heard of the numbers of with.
* I might bere go farther and state, that you not only know what effects must be produced by the instruction yon are the means of communicating, but even make these effects a matter for glorying. Look at your own Reports, and say, whether you do not freqnently boast of the intiuence of your measures in dispelling the darkness of Hindoo superstition, &c. And what you denominate superstition is, with the Hindoos, Religion. Yea, can you deny, that some of your number sometimes boastingly declare that they are the pioneers of Missionaries ? - that they are employed in sweeping away the accumulated rubbish of ages, and so clearing a ground on which Missionaries may successfully rear the beauteous structure of Christianity?
† I cannot here refrain from quoting the words of one, whose personal experience of the School Society and Hindoo College system entitles his testimony to a weight, that is superior to a thousand speculations. In the Inquirer of the 26th instant, Baboo Krishna Mohun Bannerjea thus writes : “ The object of the College is one in reality, and another in profession. For while it is told abroad that it leaves Hindooism un touched, the pupils are perhaps telling their astronomical lessons within, and learning to consider their great Soorjo Deb,—whom their priests, and such of themselves as are Brahmun boys, daily pray to in the morning, -as nothing but a round bright_ inanimate body, called, in English, “ the San,” lying at rest and supported by what Juvans and Melechas (contemptuous appellations of Europeans) term laws of motion. What a treachery this must be, to delude Hindoo parents with the idea that their children shall pot be taught principles contrary to their religion, while in reality it is intended to sap its foundations, and directly inculcate lessons which inflict deathblows upon it."
“ But how dreadfully miserable the issue! Young men dragged from the gloomy wastes of Hivdooism, only to be plunged into the dark abyss of general infidelity! And for the accomplishment of this ohject lakhs of rupees are lavished by persons bearing the name of Christian! The Missionaries are at least exempt from this fool blot on the Christian name If they succeed in destroying Hindooism, it is only in order that they may substitute the divine system of Christianity, with its refreshing streams of grace."
drawals from the Hindoo College in consequence of these proceedings ? But this, though a satisfactory instance, is not the only one. Causes of a more general and permanent nature are actively at work. A liberal education and pure Hindooism, as it is called, cannot possibly co-exist. This, the principal advocates of "education without religion" must have all along known: the Hindoos, as a body, certainly did not. Accordingly, whenever the latter begin to make the important discovery, many of the more bigoted of them immediately withdraw their children from the Hindoo College and the School Society's Schools :-and the severest censures have been poured on the heads of those who deluded them by the ensnaring profession : “We do not wish to interfere in any degree with your religion.” Instances of this description are numerous. But not to go farther ; have you not read the statement inserted in the Chundrica, and translated in the Durpun, by your late client, the father of the persecuted boy, Brijonauth Ghose? If not, for your edification, I shall here insert it. It is as follows : "I sent my son to the Hindoo College to study English, and when he had risen to the fourth class, I thought he had made some progress in English knowledge. I therefore forbade his going to the College ; for I have heard that the students in the higher classes of the College become Nastiks* (i. e. infidels, or unbelievers in Hindooism)." Now I ask, who are responsible for this system of instruction, which leading, as it does, to the renunciation of Hindooism, induces parents to act like your client, and remove their children from the Hindoo College and School Society's Schools ? Plainly, not the Missionaries, but the advocates of “education apart from religion.” Now, as the gentlemen of the bar are often celebrated for their subtilty and acuteness, I cannot do better than apply your reasoning against the conduct of the Missionaries to a case exactly parallel. Put into the simple form of a syllogism, it runs thus :
That “conduct” on the part of individuals which leads natives to withdraw their children from certain places of public education must be denounced as dangerous."
The “conduct” of the advocates of “education apart from religion," in encouraging and supporting a system of liberal European instruction, has, in many instances, led to the withdrawal of boys from certain places of public education.
Therefore, the "conduct" of the advocates of “education apart from religion” must be denounced as dangerous."
This application of legal logic is mine: to you, Sir, belongs the sole credit of its conclusiveness.
I come now to your last and most aggravated charge. You dare, with unblushing effrontery, to stigmatize the conduct of the Missionaries as “ flagitious.” It is well, Sir, for you, that you have limited the application of this term as to the offence, and generalized it as to the offenders, else might you in your turn be summoned to the bar of the Supreme Court for li. belt. And even now know not how far an individual is at liberty to employ a libellous expression, and, when called to task for the use of it, to mince and explain it away to such a degree that it is made to convey a meaning
* It matters little whether this was the true cause of the boy's removal from the College. The point of real importance is that the father here states the prevalent opinion among the Hindoo community-an opinion on which many parents and friends are known to have acted.
+ I am aware that that is not unusually reckoned libellous which may be written in a private note. But the case is very much different when the expression is written in explanation of words publicly uttered : and still more, when permission is granted to make the explanation public.
totally different from what it bears in standard works and common discourse. But, not to dwell on this, I think I can perceive vacillation in your own mind as to the proper bearing of the infamous term. In letter second, you appear to confine it simply to what you designate“ an invasion of the rights of Hindoo parents.” In letter third, you seem to have thought that what even you represent as an invasion of rights was not sufficiently “ wicked, atrocious, and vile*,” to merit the application of the epithet “flagitious ;" you therefore purposely restrict it to “ cases similar to that which you brought before the Supreme Court.” Does not this vacillation seem to in. dicate something of the confusion of guilt ? Besides, I might maintain, without fear of contradiction, that the very case to which you have appeal. ed, and it is the worst which you could adduce, is not of such a nature as to deserve the appellation "flagitious.” Neither reason, nor law, nor “ the usages of the world,” entitled you to apply to it so villainous a term. But not to insist any farther on this point, I now come forward, and, in my own name, and that of the Calcutta Missionaries generally, DENY, DENY UTTERLY, that there are any other cases in existence similar to that which you brought before the Supreme Court. And I call upon you, as in the presence of the Om. niscient God, to come forward and substantiate your charge, or be accounted for ever the utterer and the writer of the basest untruth. There is no other alter. native, unless indeed you retract your words, and apologize ;-in which case, we are ready, with all our heart and soul, to forgive you.
Think not that you will escape the indignant censure of an impartial public by taking refuge under the cloak of professional duty—as if the word profession were of the nature of a magical charm, sufficiently potent to charm into silence the voice of the injured and the oppressed,- or, as if it conferred a sort of royal privilege to slander and abuse with impunity. If, as a professional mant, you cannot adduce“ the names of parties,” or enter
* This is the common definition of the word “ fagitious."
It It would appear that, from some expression in my second letter the terms of which must have been overlooked, Mr. Clarke has strangely concluded that I wanted no informa. tion at all respecting the complainants and their complaints. To undeceive him and others in this matter I crave the attention of readers to the following representation :
Having made special inquiry respecting the intercourse between Barristers and Hine doos, the result has been that not a single Barrister of Calcutta, except Mr. Clarke himself, appears to have ever been consulted by a Hindoo parent relative to the conduct of Missionaries. Now this, to say the least, is a singular fact, if we bear in mind that Mr. Clarke's professional business among the natives of India, is not so exten. sive as that of some other members of the Calcutta Bar, that might easily be pamed. Bat, waiving this view of the matter, it would be some extenuation of Mr. Clarke's conduct, if he could have adduced some proof of the statement which he has publicly made, viz. that he has been often consulted on the subject. The proof that he was often consalted would of course, have established nothing to substantiate the charges preferred : because it would still remain to be proven whether the complaints of Natives as to " Bagitions" cases, were well or ill-founded. But such proof would have exculpated Mr. Clarke, so far as the fact of grievous complaints having often been made to him, was concerned. He did, however, object to give any information on the subject; and he screened himself behind the plea of “professional confidence." Well, giving him due credit for the purity of the motive that suggested the plea, I shall now endeavour to point out how he might have cleared himself of part of the imputation under which he now lies, without any breach of “ professional confidence." And as he refused to remove even that part of the stigma that now attaches to him, which it was perfectly consistent with his honour to have done, the al. ternative as to his conduct must be inevitable.
Supposing Mr. Clarke to have kept copies of his“ opinions" on the varions cases tajd be. fore him, he might have shewn them with their dates and the facts upon which they were formed, either to myself, or to some other individual mutually approved of,—the names of Mr. Clarke's clients having been previously erased. If he had not kept copies of these opinions, he could surely have had no objection to give the names of the solicitors through whom he was consulted. If no solicitors were present, which I ought scarcely to anti. cipate, as I understaud that strict professional etiquette requires a solicitor to be the
into “ details of circumstances," I must hold your informants answerable for the calumny, and they ought to be called upon to make good their accusation. And if you knew that neither yourself nor your informants would or could publicly substantiate charges so heinous, I must ever maintain, Sir, that, by the laws of honour and of charity, by the laws of God and of man, you were forbidden to bring them forward publicly at all.
For the present I have done. If I am wrong, I pray God to forgive me. If you are wrong, as I cannot but believe you are, I pray God to forgive you. Let us remember that “it is a small matter to be judged of man's judgment.” There is a God in heaven that “ searcheth the heart and trieth the reins of the children of men.” We may deceive ourselves, we may deceive others, but we cannot elude the glance of his all-seeing eyes And you and I must one day stand before his dread tribunal. Little, oh little will it avail us there, what may have been our subtilty, our reputation, or our triumphs on earth. Now life is very short and very uncertain ; and surely it is a solemn thing to die, as after death cometh the judgment. Let us prepare then to meet our God. These things you may call dreams. I call them sober realities. And my best wish for you is, that you may understand them in time, and so become a genuine child of God; that you may be privileged to sit and reign with him for ever in the realms of glory.
TO THE REV. ALEXANDER DUFF. MY DEAR PADREE,So long a time had elapsed since you obtained my permission to give publicity to our correspondence, that I was beginning & believe that some wiser man than the Rev. Alexander Duff had induced him to consign our letters to oblivion. I had supposed, that some prudent Missionary might have suggested to his Christian brother, that it would be better not to point the public attention to the fact, that one who Mr. Duff in his complimentary moments described to be “ a gentleman of high legal reputation, had, in the presence of the Supreme Court of this land, announced, that the rights of Hindoo parents were too often invaded by the Missionaries of Calcutta.” But it appears, my good Sir, that I was mistaken, and although it be true, that delay is one of the indications of prudence, I was wrong in supposing that even reflection could make you wise.
Your letter is now before me, and from that I can learn the cause of your procrastination,--for how strongly does that letter pourtray the struggle between bad passions and Christian habits, and announce that it requir. ed ten days before the nature of the man could break through the meekness which Christianity had taught her pastor. medium of communication with the Barrister, it might have been in Mr. Clarke's power, on the supposition of the cases, or any one of them having been brought before the Supreme Court, without any breach of professional confidence" to give us the clue to find them, as well as the decisions of the judges thereupon. Should it have turned out that none of the cases were brought before that tribunal for judgment, might we not very paturally ask why were they not brought before the court? The language of Mr. Clarke in the Supreme Court, and throughout his correspondence, has been too plain and unequivocal for any one to mistake the " opinion” which he would have given if a similar case to that of Brijonauth Ghose had been laid before him. That the " Hindoo parents" were aoxious to avail themselves of any legal remedy within their reach cannot for a moment be doubted, as they are said to have applied expressly to Mr. Clarke for his opinion, as a lawyer, on the subject of their grievances. I need scarcely add, therefore, that, as Mr. Clarke declined giving even the sort of information which has now been suga gested, and which he must have known would not trespass on the limits of “professional contideace," his conduct cannot fail to give rise to fresh suspicions, and the untoward nature of his attack on the Missionaries, become shrouded in thicker darkness than ever.)
You have occupied nearly six columns of a newspaper in discussing a question which might have been disposed of in twice as many lines ; my charge was this, " that the rights of Hindoo parents were too often invaded by the Missionaries of Calcutta.” This induced you to call for an explanation, which I have given, and this explanation you now term a subterfuge, and not satisfied with that term, you proceed to employ other expressions, which will lead the friends of your cause to deplore the imprudence of their champion.
But let me examine how far you are correct in accusing me of subter. fuge. I have described the nature of the right which I say has been invaded, namely, “the right which every father possesses of rearing up his child in the faith in which he himself conscientiously believes.” This surely is intelligible enough ; there is no subterfuge here, no concealment of my meaning. There may be no such parental right in existence, but that is a matter of argument, an argument in which I fear I should fail to convince you, at least until some Moollah circumcises your son, or marries your daughter as his fourth wife, and thus brings the case home to your. self by infringing on your own parental rights.
I have then told you in what the INVASION of the right consists, namely, " in the Missionaries' instructing the child in a religion different from his father's, while he is yet of that early age that the right of instruction is in the father." Is there any subterfuge here? I call it a concise and clear statement, and I believe that “the most thinking people” (as Cobbett termed the public) will be very nearly of the same opinion.
If there be no subterfuge in these explanations, then where is it to be Prund ? It can be found alone in my withholding the names of the per. sons who have complained, and the particulars of their complaint ; yet this you do not require, and have implicity admitted that I ought not to give them. I quote your own words, Mr. Duff, “ Now I have no desire to act the part of an inquisitor to search officiously for the names of parties, or to pry into the details of specific cases.” If you do not want the names of the parties, or the details of the specific cases, what is it, Mr. Duff, that you do want? Surely on every other matter but these, (which you yourself have excepted,). I have been as candid and specific as any man can be, who has no opinion to conceal, nor any anger to vent. But, Mr. Duff, you did want something else, and that, my good Sir, was to vent your anger. Mr. Duff
, you accuse me of unblushing effrontery, and vacillation, and the instance which you give is vastly amusing. You tell me that in my second letter I confine the term “ flagitious" simply to what I designate an invasion of the rights of Hindoo parents, but then in my third letter, I restrict the term to cases similar to what I had brought before the Supreme Court. Now, Mr. Duff, had you quoted my letters fairly and fully, it would have appeared that I had not been guilty of any vacillation, nor introduced any new restriction in my third letter, inasmuch as that very restriction was in my first letter ; the words of my first letter are these, “ Complaints of conduct as flagitious and dangerous as that which it became my duty to submit to the Supreme Court.” You will tell me that the words
as that do not mean “similar”—critically they may not, in common par. lance they do—in that species of common parlance at least, which is employed by men who write
as I told you I did,-on the spur of the moment. To whom now, Mr. Duff, ought the term “unblushing effrontery” be applied? Perhaps not to you, for you may be in the habits of blushing some times ; but if you are not, let me secure for our Calcutta Drury the benefits which will accrue from your first performance in this line. Consent, dear Sir, to front the audience, and read this letter before them, and I will answer for your blushing, and my friend Philip shall perform as an overture,