« VorigeDoorgaan »
Unitarianism in the East.
united labours of a dozen of dogmatical
missionaries, who, in fact, are propoundTo the Editor of the Christian Reformer.
ing nothing but riddles to the unconBayswater, Mar. 21, 1848. vinced natives, who look on HindooSir,The Committee of the British
a more respectable system ; as and Foreign Unitarian Association beg they rationally laugh at those who teach to place at your disposal a second most the doctrine of the real presence, whom interesting letter, just received, from they call God - eaters, and disbelieve their recent correspondent in British original and hereditary sin, together India. I hope that it will attract, and with the demoralizing doctrines of elecif it does, I doubt not that it will tion and reprobation. The miracle, mysfix, the attention of your readers. Its tery and dogma which some denominavaried and striking contents appear to
tional missionaries associate with Chrisus of singular interest and importance, tianity, can never produce any thing beopening a new and noble field of ob- yond interested conformity. They can servation and reflection to the more certainly boast of numerical strength, and earnest and devout portion of our Uni
so could the Abbé Dubois, Roman Cathotarian public.
lic missionary in the Mysore country, EDWARD TAGART, Hon. Sec. 60,000 of whose professors were led into
captivity by that militant apostle Tippoo, Secunderabad, Jan. 18, 1818. all of whom submitted to the rite of cir. Rev. Sir, I acknowledge the receipt cumcision to save their lives. The reof your kind and encouraging letter of spectable natives call our native Trinitathe 15th Oct. 1847, with the enclosed bill rian converts Rice-christians ! of fifty rupees, which has been duly ho. When I first introduced the subject of noured; and I assure you I feel in want the Divine Unity to some artillery solof adequate langnage to express my sin. diers at this station, they seemed actually cere thanks, both to you and the Com- frightened. The words Arian, Socinian mittee for this confidential token of your and Unitarian, have been for a number of approbation and favour, which I shall en- years so successfully held up as religious deavour to strengthen by every possible scarecrows, and the prejudice of an excluexertion of mine to promote the spread sive education has shut out free inquiry of Unitarian Christianity at Secunderabad. to such an extent, that few or none of I trust you will believe me when I assure your works have been read, at least by you I shall undertake nothing towards the illiterate portion of Athanasians. To the realization of your object in British return to my subject. I was not daunted India without the full consent of Chiniah, by the imaginary fears of the soldiers, and if I except my own private correspondence told them I felt the same unaccountable on the subject with some literary charac symptoms, at one time, myself. I also ters in her Majesty's service. I beg leave told them, as they belonged to the Anglito inform you, that I have at last suc- can Church, that they could not blame ceeded in stirring up a spirit of free in Romanists for not inquiring, as they acted quiry amongst the European soldiery of on the same principle themselves. This the Calvinistic faith at this Presidency, to had some effect, and they at last agreed to an extent that I am really surprised at a conference. We held these conferences their admissions and concessions, in every evening for some months, by way of every communication addressed to me, re- question and answer, and the result was, lative to the sole, undivided and absolute that eight soldiers have already embraced unity of God, even the Father.
Unitarian Christianity. Chiniah and Mr. I have commenced my labours here W. Roberts can vouch for this. I am some months past, and send two letters not ashamed to assert that not a sin. monthly to the Madras Crescent, which gle Trinitarian missionary in India has is sent to me regularly by Malcom Lewin, made one sincere European convert for Esq., Provisional Member of Council. the last twelve years. had to answer All my letters are addressed, under en- all their questions and state my objec. velope, to the care of Mr. Wm. Roberts. tions, in writing, to their arguments. But This paper has extensive circulation ; and I think it was your pamphlets—I wish I I have little doubt but the free discussion had more of them did all; for if they of the Divine Unity through this channel refused reading them, there could be will be productive of more good than the little hope of advancing beyond spe
cnlative doubt. All these are men of or- the other in an Arminian sense. As I am dinary education, have a good knowledge acquainted with Odell's system of Stenoof the Bible, and they are now busy in gruphy, I take notes of their sermons, and sowing the good seed amongst others. I find there is a wonderful disagreement Nothiog surprises them more than their relative to the sense of these Articles. former blindness — a circumstance that The venerable Vincent Strickland, their surprises myself, as I was an enthu.
archdeacon, was here lately on a tour of siast in Calvinism, and suffered persecu- Confirmation. He was inducted in Nov. tion for it; but the defective impressions 1846, at Madras. He is a very clever preachof a Trinitarian education will solve er, and was once an oflicer in the army. the mystery. Would to God all would The native Unitarians have divine serinquire ! A general order has been read vice performed every Lord's-day at Chito us lately, púrporting that soldiers are niah's chapel, next to his dwelling-house. allowed to attend their respective places The service is conducted decently, and of worship. But I think the preamble with the strictest regard to piety and ferneutralizes the indulgence, as there must vour. The simplicity of this worship is be an officiating clergyman at those places. the best comment on these words of the I request, Rev. Sir, you would send me, Acts —“ And they continued steadfastly if convenient, some late Act of Parliament in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, sheving the full extent to which Unitari- praising God and having favour with all ans can go in maintaining liberty of con. the people." Most of them can read, science. If I had this, there would be a and, whenever they have leisure, they emrespectable congregation of Unitarians at ploy themselves in realing the Scriptures. Secunderabad.
I have no hesitation in saying that the With regard to the religious commu- most bigoted Tripitarian would give them nities here, there is a priest of the Goa the highest character for simplicity of Church who officiates for the Portu- manners, inquiring minds, genuine piety, guese, The Romanists reckon this church and for the observance of that charity that schismatical, as the Goa hierarchy re- thinketh no evil. Chinial is a very pions cognize the Sovereign of Portugal, in man, and in high repute with all classes. place of the Pope, as the visible Head of I shall now, Rev. Sir, give you a brief their Church. It is deplorable to witness sketch of the result of my observations the intermixture of Paganism with Chrig- and inquiries it this country, and would tianity in the Portuguese Church in this be very happy to answer a series of quescountry. The systems of Braminism and tions put by the Committee from time to Islamism are far superior. There are two time. I am convinced I have a better secular priests and one regular priest of opportunity of knowing the domestic hathe Church of Rome here, and a Roman bits of the Hindoos and Mussulmen than Catholic bishop is to be located here in a any missionary, simply because the proshort time. They are building a Roman fession of a soldier in the Native army is Catholic chapel by subscription. Their a military caste, and the European solcongregation is very numerous. It consists dier is admitted into their dwellings principally of soldiers and some black de- and into their confidence. scendants of the Portuguese. They are therefore, obtain a thorough knowledge very active men in the missionary depart- of their immemorial customs. The Comment, and one of them is an old school- mander-in-chief or Governor-general of fellow of mine. But the native Christians India knows nothing of the natives beof their denomination are illiterate, and yond official communication, or the inattend all the idolatrous processions and structions drawn up for his guidance by festivals of their unconverted neighbours. his predecessor in office. Our native inThe Anglican or law Church has a full fantry regiments are generally composed and respectable attendance three times of Hindoos, and our artillery and cavalry å week. A chaplain and curate are sta- of Moslems. A commanding officer in a tioned here, who have respectable salaries native regiment, or a doctor, could do a and hold negative military rank. The great deal towards conversion. Every Roman Catholic priest has also a small Christian missionary in India should salary from the local government. The possess some knowledge of medicine. clergymen of the Church of England are There is no person so much respected very pious men. I have had some serious by the natives as a physician. Agreeably conferences with them relative to the plu- to the constitution of the native army, few rality of the Elohim. But their respecta- or no native Christians have commissions, ble salaries cause them to uphold the unless a few whom we denominate ComBook of Common Prayer and the Thirty- pany's Christians. This is the policy of nine Articles-one in a Calvinistic and our rulers, who generally act on the non
interference principle with regard to con- their founder, Nanac. They have another version, and leave the interference principle lawgiver, Vir-gooroo Gooind, their apostle to the missionaries. I think, Rev. Sir, if militant. The images of Budh, like the you witnessed the degraded form of Chris- large naked stone-statues of the Jains, are tianity observed by native soldiers, who either in a sitting or recumbent posture. are the dregs of society and depraved in But Hauraman, or the monkey-god, is the morals, you would raise few objections to commonest image all over India. It is a this policy, though repugnant, in its main flat perpendicular stone, on whose surface scope, to Christianity. I admit, if it was there is an image of a monkey painted only partially observed, it would open a red. All sectaries pay their reverence to channel of reformation to the native this image. According to my humble opiChristians, who certainly observe outward nion, the way to convert the natives of our decency of manners in a proportionate Anglo-Indian empire, is, in the first place, ratio to their advancement in the social to prove, by the Bible, the superiority of scale both of respectability and responsi- the Christian code above the codes of the bility. There is no conversion allowed several lawgivers of India. But to think within the pale of the Braminical Church of initiating them in mystery and miracle There are establishments of Bramins, is impracticable. They certainly can be dancing-girls, barbers, cooks, sweepers, convinced of the miracles of the New Teswashermen and other attendants, attach- tament, by shewing their moral and phy, ed to every Hindoo pagoda, all of whom sical utility in connection with the abare supported by the revenues of the State. surdity of their own miracles. The Tri. The Bramins are all metaphysicians, and nitarian missionary may give up the task lead lives of voluptuous indolence. Some of conversion as impracticable. You will of them are, on the other hand, practical admit there may be belief and conformity moralists, and observe the precepts of without conversion. The Christian mistheir legislator, Menu, so carefully, that sionary should tell the Hindoos that their practices are a good comment on there was a cause for Christ's miracles, the words of the missionary of Tarsus : to remove the obstinacy of the Jews; yet “For when the Gentiles, which have not they should be no test of a prophet, for the law, do by nature the things contained the Baptist performed no miracles. I am in the law, these, having not the law, are sorry to say that the doctrine of the Tria law.unto themselves; which shew the nity is the greatest impediment to native work of the law written in their hearts, conversion. I am of opinion that the their conscience also bearing witness, blind professors who first preached this and their thoughts the meanwhile accus- human dogma were the authors of all the iug, or else excusing, one another.” blood shed by the Moslem scimitar. Je
The Jains of India are sectaries who sus Christ still cries out from heaven to have separated from the Braminical reli- every Trinitarian professor, “Saul, Saul, gion. They are very numerous, and their why persecutest thou me?" There is a priests carry a broom in their hands, as great deal of vanity attached to some of an emblem of their faith, to brush away our missionary gentlemen in lording it insects, as they are supposed neither to over the poor natives. They seem to act kill or eat any thing that breathes the on the maxim of Juvenal-Pulchrum est breath of life; yet the microscope would monstrari digito et dicier hic est. convince them of the animalculæ destroyed No form of Christianity will answer the daily by their dobies, or washermen, as well natives but the simplest. I have studied as in cooking their rice. The Parsees, or all, for the last twenty years, and have fire-worshipers, are the most respectable come to the deliberate conclusion that class in British India. They are generally Unitarianism alone is the best adapted to shipbuilders, shopkeepers and merchants. their conceptions. It comprehends the They are suict disciples of their legislator, simple oneness of the Deity, together with Zoroaster, and afford no converted mem- faith, repentance and obedience. There bers to Christianity. The Budhists are are so many clashing forms forced on also sectaries, and are spread over China, their notice, that it renders the system Ceylon, India and the Birman empire. contemptible; and they are completely They worship Guadma, the image of puzzled which to embrace. Their Vedas, Budh, who they suppose will appear in. Shasters and Visnu Poorans, are partial carnate again. But as their notion of to the Unity of God, at least all of them existence terminates in annihilation, they that came within my notice, translated by may be copsidered as Atheists. The Ame. Sir W. Jones, Professor Wilson and others. rican missionaries are very snccessful in Their 330 millions of gods are merely the Birman empire. The Sikhs of the energies or fractional portions of the Punjab are Unitarians, and followers of great Brama incarnate. But the missionaries attempt to persuade them in the Annual Meeting of the Trustees of Man. belief of a triad of Deity from the circum
chester New College. stance of worshiping Brama, Visnu and Unusual interest attached itself to Siva—the creating, preserving, and de. this meeting, which took place at Manstroying or restoring powers. However, chester, March 16th, as it was known the worship of these gods is divided, and that the advocates of University Hall conveys no idea of a Trinity in the popu. would muster and attempt to effect the lar acceptation of the word. A close ob- removal of the institution to London. server in India requires no scriptural There was an unprecedentedly large commentary, for the customs and man. attendance, about 70 Trustees being ners of the people illustrate all the seem
present. Amongst the lay gentlemen ingly obscure passages of the Bible. *
present we noticed Robert Philips, If you read Ezekiel xxiii. you will find Esq., of Heybridge, James Heywood, the regal ornaments that decorate the Esq., M. P., Mark Philips, Esq., R. head and neck of Indian statues, the Scott, Esq., R. N. Philips, Esq., John zones round the waist, and the saffron Taylor, Esq., T. E. Lee, Esq., Edward and vermilion with which the Hindoo Grundy, Esq., J. A. Turner, Esq., S. marks his forehead, faithfully depicted. D. Darbishire, Esq., R. Worthington, The vision of the cavern temple in Ezek. Esq., S. Alcock, Esq., John Alcock, viii., which represents the abominations Esq., R. Scott Taylor, Esq., R. V. that Israel borrowed from Chaldea, Egypt Yates, Esq. ;-and amongst the minisand Persia, has a close analogy with our ters, Rev. W. Turner, Rev. John Kencare-temples in Elora, Elephanta, Salsette tish, Rev. Dr. Hutton, Rev. E. Kell, and Carli. In Matt. vii. 13, 14, there is Rev. E. Tagart, Rev. C. Wicksteed, an allusion to the popular notion of the Rev. James Whitehead, Rev. Samuel two astronomical gates, the celestial and Bache, Rev. F. Baker, Rev. E. Talbot, terrestrial, which is still believed in India. Rev. B. T. Stannus, nearly all the mi
In my next communication I shall seud nisters of Manchester and its immediate you the result of further observations. I neighbourhood, and many others. read all the missionary reports, and am a In consequence of the absence, strict observer of what is being transacted through illness, of Mr. Tottie, the Presiaround me. In the mean time I shall dent, the chair was taken by Robert devote myself, head, heart and hand, to Philips, Esq., of Heybridge, one of the the advancement of your cause. ChiVice-Presidents. niab has a great many battles to fight, The Treasurer's report was, in the but he is a trustworthy servant, and gene. absence of that gentleman through rally comes off victorious. It is no flat. illness, read by Mr. Richard Aspden. tery to say he is one of the most devoted It stated the receipts to have been servants the Association has in this coun- £1852. Os. 4d., and the expenditure try. We can now exclaim-Cedite, scrip- £1764. 88. 2d. tores Romani; cedite, Graii.--I shall ac. A letter from Mr. Tottie was read, knowledge the receipt of the books and expressing a desire not to be re-elected stationery as soon as they reach me. I President; but, after some considerahave no more to add, but beg to assure tion, his re-election was unanimously you I shall labour day and night, late and agreed to. The death of two of the early, in every honest way, to promote the Vice-Presidents was reported, Rev. Dr. interest of Unitarian Christianity in Bri- Shepherd and Peter Finch Martineau, tish India.
Esq. In the place of the former, the I beg leave to subscribe myself, with election fell on Rev. Chas. Wellbeloved, best feelings for the interest of the Asso. and of the latter on J. Ashton Yates, ciation, your very obedient, humble ser. Esq. Three vacancies of the Comvant,
mittee had to be filled up. On the Gunner, B. Company, 1 Batt. Artillery. recommendation of the Committee,
Messrs. Ewart, Nicholls and Carver, of P.S. I will date the beginning of my Manchester, were proposed. Mr. R. services for the Association from Jan. 1, Worthington stated that, as a friend of 1848.-It is now determined by the Go- University Hall, he found himself in vernment of India that the Hindoo esta- the College Committee in a small miblishments must in future support them- nority, and with a view of remedying selves.- I am writing a Scriptural Cate. this he would propose as an amendchism for the use of Unitarian catechu- ment the names of Rev. C. Wicksteed, mens here.
Rev. F. Baker, and Mr. Alderman To the Rev. E. Tagart, &c.
Potter.-Rev. R, B. Aspland, as one of
the Secretaries, stated that the names side alone. I must be permitted to of the three gentlemen recommended think that it would be wrong to exby the Committee had been selected not change what is actual and substantial only irrespectively, but in entire igno. for what is ideal. I do agree with the rance, of their opinions on the merits Committee in that part of the address of University Hall. After some discus, in which the Committee say they are sion, in which several gentlemen took called upon to speak respecting an unpart, a division was called for, and the tried experiment. Some arrangements original motion was carried.
have been made by the Council of On the motion of Mr. DARBISHIRE, University Hall, and an appointment seconded by Mr. Kentish, the time for has been made; but they are not such holding the annual meeting was altered as I could agree to. I would not lightly from March to January, and the sub- risk what is practical and beneficial scriptions made due on the 1st of for what is ideal and mere matter of January.
experiment. Before I conclude, I beg Rev. R. B. ASPLAND then proceeded to suggest that, to the theological stuto read the Address of the Committee dents of our College, this vicinity is of to the Trustees, which will be found particular importance. I know that in another part of our publication. students who have recently left the
The Rev. John KENTIS: (Vice-Presi- College do entertain the most lively dent) rose to propose that the Address recollections, not merely of the valuable be received and confirmed, and spoke instruction they received from the Pronearly as follows :--The address now
fessors and the kindness of the Com. read speaks completely to my judg. mittee, but of the benefit they derived ment, feeling and experience. The here from one another. There are in luminousness, candour and courtesy their minds most lively recollections of which it breathes, well entitle it to
this kind. Valuable moral and spiritual our acceptance. I, for one, do concur influences have been here experienced with the Committee in what they state those which passed from student to as their opinion and recommendation. student. This, too, is a neighbourhood I feel individually and personally greatly in which are many congregations of indebted to them for the care they have
the old stock of Nonconformists; their bestowed upon this report. After what ministers are so able and so exemplary, you have heard in that document itself, as men and as pastors, that the benefits it is unnecessary for me to say that Í are of no common kind which the stufully concur in the propriety of the dents can receive from their example, extension of the theological course.
For one, while God grants me life and I come now to the other important sub- health, nothing shall be done on my ject upon which the address is so very part to diminish my zeal towards, or full, the proposed removal of the Col- to lessen my support of the Manchester lege to London. To the removal of College. I have had ample opportuManchester College to any other place, nities of knowing what it is. I know I as an individual should feel strong of no institution that has for so long a objection; still, respecting the opinions period maintained so well substantial of others, which may differ from mine, discipline and solid learning. I trust, I think that Manchester has strong then, its friends will pause before they claims, founded upon the basis of solid make any rash experiment; that they usefulness and satisfactory experiment will give the question now raised a full I do not particularly object to a removal and impartial discussion (an amicable to the Metropolis as such. The Metro- one I am sure it will be), before they polis, I am not unwilling to admit, has resolve to take a step which possibly its peculiar advantages, but it presents they may, when too late, repent of as peculiar temptations. I humbly think long as they live. that here we have the advantages with- The Rev. W. TURNER (Visitor) seout the temptations. I believe that no conded the motion. substantial advantage would ultimately Mark PAILIPs, Esq., said that he had be derived in a Metropolitan College heard the expression of the opinions of which has not been attained in Man, their venerable friend Mr. Kentish with chester. I cannot but think it undesi- the greatest pleasure, though he differed rable to consider this as a question from his conclusions. He liked to see which admits, on one side at least, of a man hold to opinions that are part of no difficulty. There are difficulties con- himself. It was through friends like nected with it, but they are not on one him that this institution had been able