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by a teacher, at the public expense, of his own persuasion.
“The subjects you have proposed for the work which shall obtain your prize, are all of them judiciously chosen, and if properly treated (as my love for my Alma Mater persuades me they will be) may probably turn the thoughts of the legislature towards the measure you recommend.
“The Salutaris Lux Evangelii, by Fabricius, published at Hamburgh, in one thousand, seven hundred and thirty-one, will be of great use to the candidates for your prize; and his Index Geographin cus Episcopatuum Orbis Christiani, subjoined to that work, might, if accompanied with proper notes, afford à very satisfactory elucidation of
“God in his providence, hath so ordered things, that America, which three hundred years ago was peopled by none but pagans, has now many millions of Christians in it; and will not, probably, three hundred years hence, have a single pagan in it, but be occupied by more Christians, and more enlightened Christians than now exist in Europe.
“Africa is not now worse fitted for the reception of christianity than America was, when it was first visited by Europeans; and Asia is much better fitted for it, In as much as Asia enjoys a considerable (legree of civilization; and some degree of it is necessary to the successful introduction of Christianity. The commerce and colonization of Christian states have civilized Ainerica, and they will, in process of time, civilize and christianize the whole earth. Whether it be a Christian duty to attempt, by lenient, methods, to propagate the Christian religion among pagans and mahomedans, can be doubted, I think, by few; but whether any attempt will be attended with much success, till christianity is purified from its corruptions, and the lives of Christians are rendered correspondent to their Christian profession, may be doubted by many: but there certainly never was a more promising opportunity of trying the experiment of subverting paganism in India, than that which has for some years been offered to the government of Great Britain.
“The morality of our holy religion is so salutary to civil society, its promises of a future state so consolatory to individuals, its precepts so suited to the deductions of the most improved reason, that it must finally prevail throughout the world. Some have thought that christianity is losing ground in Christendom. I am of a different opinion. Some ascititious doctrines, derived from Rome and Geneva, are losing ground amongst learned men; some unchristian practices springing from ignorance, bi. gotry, intolerance, selfsufficiency of opinion, with uncharitableness of judgment, are losing ground among all sober minded men; but a belief in Jesus Christ, as the Savior of the world, as the medium through whom eternal life will be given to all who obey his gospel, is more and more confirmed every day in the minds of men of eminence and erudition, not only in this, but in every other christian country. From this praise I am not diposed to exclude even France itself, notwithstanding the temporary apostacy of some of its philosophers from every degree of religious faith. I cannot but hope well of that country, when I see its national institute proposing for public discussion the following subject; * What has been the influence of the reformation of Luther, on the political situation of the different states of Europe, and on the progress of knowledge?” especially when I see the subject treated by Mr. Villers, in a manner which would have derived hon. or to the most liberal protestant in the freest state in Europe.
“It is not to be denied, that the morals of Chris. tians in general fall far short of the standard of Christian perfection, and have ever done so, scarce.
ly excepting the latter end of the first century. Yet, notwithstanding this concession, it is a certain fact, that the Christian religion has always operated to the production of piety, benevolence, self-government, and the love of virtue amongst indivia duals, in every country where it has been received; and it will every where operate more powerfully, as it is received with more firm assurance of its truth; and it will be every where received with more firm assurances of its truth, as it is better understood; for when it is properly understood, it will be freed from the pollutions of superstition and fanaticism among the hearers, and from ambition, domination, and secularity among the teachers.
“Your publication has given us in England a great insight into the state of christianity in India, as well as into the general state of learning amongst you; and it has excited in me the warmest wishes for the prosperity of the College of Fort-William. It is an institution which would have done honor to the wisdom of Solon or Lycurgus. I have no knowledge personally of the marquis Wellesley, but I shall think of him and his coadjutors in this undertaking, with the highest respect and admiration, as long as I live.
"I cannot enter into any particulars relative to an ecclesiastical establishment in India; nor would it perhaps, be proper to press government to take the matter into their consideration, till this country is freed from the danger which threatens it: but I have that opinion of his majesty's ministers, that they will, not only from policy, but from a serious sense of religious duty, be disposed to treat the subject, whenever it comes before them, with great judgment and liberality. May God direct their counsels!
“Our empire in India,' said Mr. Hastings, 'has been acquired by the sword, and must be maintained by the sword. I cannot agree with him in the sentiment. All empires have been originally ac
quired by violence, but they are best established by moderation and justice. There was a time when we shewed ourselves to the inhabitants of India in the character of tyrants and robbers; that time, I trust, is
The wisdom of British policy, the equity of its jurisprudence, the impartiality of its laws, the humanity of its penal code, and above all, the incorrupt administration of public justice, will, when they are well understood, make the Indians our willing subjects, and induce them to adopt a religion attended with such consequences to the dearest interests of the human mind. They will rejoice in having exchanged the tyranny of Pagan superstition, and the despotism of their native princes, for the mild mandates of christianity, and the stable authority of equitable laws. The difference between such different states of civil society, as to the production of human happiness, is infinite; and the attainment of happiness is the ultimate aim of all individuals in all nations. I am, reverend sir, your obliged and faithful servant,
R. LLANDAFF." T. Rev. Dr. Buchanan, Vice-Provost of the
College of Fort-William, Calcutta.
In the progress of these researches the author has found his mind frequently drawn to consider the extraordinary difference of opinion, which exists among men of learning, in regard to the importance and obligation of communicating religious knowledge to our fellow-creatures. And he has often heard the question asked by others, What can be the ganse of this discrepancy of opinion? For that such a difference does exist is most evident; and is exemplified at this moment in some of the most illustri. ous characters for rank and learning, in the nation. This is a problem of a very interesting character at this day, and worthy of a distinct and ample discussion, particularly at the seats of learning. The problem may be thus expressed: "What power is that, which produces in the minds of some persons a real interest and concern in the welfare of their fellowcreatures; extending not only to the comfort of their existence in this world, but to their felicity hereafter; while other men who are apparently in similar circumstances as to learning and information, do not feel inclined to move one step for the promotion of such objects?” The latter, it may be, can speculate on the philosophy of the human mind, on its great powers and high dignity, on the sublime virtue of universal benevolence, on the tyranny of superstition, and the slavery of ignorance; and will sometimes quote the verse of the poet,
Homo sum: humani nil a me alienum puto:”
but they leave it to others, and generally to the Christians in humble life, to exercise the spirit of that noble verse.
This is a very difficult problem; and it has been alleged by some that it cannot be solved on any known principles of philosophy. The following relation will probably lead to principles by which we may arrive at a solution.
There was once a king in the east, whose empire extended over the known world, and his dominion "was to the end of the earth.” During the former part of his reign, his heart was filled with pride: he knew not the God of heaven: ánd he viewed with the utmost indifference the nations over whom he ruled, worshipping idols of wood and stone. But it pleased the King of Kings to dethrone this haughty monarch, to cast him down from his high estate and to abase him in the dust. And after he had been for a time in the furnace of affliction, and his proud heart was humbled, God graciously revealed himself to him in his true name and character, and then restored him to his former prosperity and power. The