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of their old religion, and the intrinsic truth of that which is offered them instead, are at all times incalculably rare and few. Every thinker whose mind has sufficient philosophy in its composition to understand how much of assumption and hereditary innate prejudice lies at the root of all creeds, will be conscious that this must be so. Then, again,-and this it is peculiarly important to bear in mind,-every religion partakes to some extent of the character of the soil in which it is sown. It is pure or impure, noble or degrading, an elevated faith or an abject superstition, just according to the nature of the men who adopt or profess it. If by some strong act of force, or by some command from authority, or some external contrivance, the whole of Hindostan could be brought to declare itself Christian, and to be baptised, what would have been gained by the nominal change? Would the native mind have been metamorphosed by the tergiversation? Wherein would the new superstition differ from the old? The old ignorance, the old impurities, the old senseless fanaticism, the old low morality, would still exist in the artificial convert; and would be simply imported by him into his new creed, instead of being eradicated by it. Let those who doubt this look at Europe and look at history. Christianity, we all feel, is a pure, a noble, a mild, a rational, an elevating faith, acceptable to the finest minds, fitted to raise man to the grandest heights. Is it such among all nations? Has it been such at all times? In what nation and in what age do we find it such? All Europe is Christian: all Europe was Christian in the middle ages. Compare, then, the Christianity of England with the Christianity of Russia or of Spain. Compare the Christianity of Fenelon and Hooker with the Christianity of Cortez or of Bonner, of Philip or of Alva. Compare the Christianity of Wesley with the Christianity which expressed itself in the Massacre of St. Bartholomew. No, it is useless to pour new wine into old bottles; the bottles will burst, and the wine be spilled. If you wish to plant in Hindostan any genuine Christianity, you must be content to prepare the soil by the painful and judicious husbandry of generations. It is only men of much egotism, or of little faith, who are in a mischievous and ineffective hurry to propagate the Word. God has an eternity before Him for the accomplishment of His purposes; they never fail, and are never imperfectly performed. We are hasty and impetuous, because we have only "this narrow sand and shoal of Time" whereon to work-because we want to see the harvest as well as to sow the seed-because too often, also, we are anxious to inscribe our names upon the mite which we cast into the treasury of the Most High. "La Providence (says Guizot) a ses aises dans le temps: elle ne s'inquiète pas de tirer aujourd'hui
la conséquence du principe qu'elle a posé hier; elle la tirera dans des siècles, quand l'heure sera venue; mais pour raisonner lentement selon nous, sa logique n'est pas moins sûre."
In this case, as in most others, the fairest and most righteous mode of attaining our end is also the speediest, the surest, and the safest. We are bound to give to the inhabitants of India the best education, direct and indirect, that circumstances permit, and that their nature will enable them to receive. We are bound, so far as may be, to make them participators in our knowledge, to open to them the sciences and discoveries of Europe, and, in the way of ascertained facts, to teach them no error, and as much truth as we can. In a word, we are bound to extend and improve the secular instruction of all classes among them. We have accepted this responsibility, and prepared to act upon it. We have established universities at the three presidencies, where the English language and English sciences are taught; and we have established schools and inspectors of schools all over our dominions. The system as yet is new, and of course partial and imperfect; but its operation is steadily extending, and will soon bear fruit. The Hindoo systems of religion and of caste are so blended with error and ignorance on physical matters, that a purely scientific and secular education is the most formidable enemy we can send into the field against them. In Lower Bengal it has already proved so. By the time we have fairly imbued two generations of Hindoos with sound notions of geography, astronomy, and chemistry; when for a few years we have explained to them the operation of the electric telegraph; when for half a century we have rattled them across the country on the railway at the rate of thirty miles an hour, and shaken Brahmin and Pariah together in the same car,—we shall have effectually undermined the foundations of their own creed, and produced that intermediate period of scepticism which is often, though not always, the necessary step towards the introduction. of a purer faith. Throughout a considerable portion of Lower Bengal, by the instrumentality of our schools and intercourse with us, this stage has been produced already. All that is ambitious and sacerdotal among the higher class of natives sees this menacing result, and will move heaven and earth to hinder it. But if we simply persevere, abstain from the slightest attack on, or disrespect towards, their beliefs, but continue quietly to teach those dry scientific facts with which their beliefs cannot co-exist, we shall have secured at no distant day an object really worth a struggle—the formation, that is, of a national intellect, in which a pure and not a superstitious, a genuine and not a nominal, a deep and not a superficial, Christianity can more easily take root and flourish.
Two questions of considerable difficulty remain, on neither of which do we feel disposed to dogmatise,-the question of native and European equality before the law; and the question of the employment of native agency in the more important functions of administration.
On the first of these topics there is a good deal to be said on both sides. As long as no Englishman appeared or resided in India, except the civil and military employés of the Company, it was possible and reasonable enough to treat them all as belonging to the dominant race, and entitled to special privileges and exemptions. They were all in fact rulers; and as such, could with no propriety be subjected to the jurisdiction of, or even placed on a mere level with, the ruled. In the circumstance too, that they were all the agents and servants of the sovereign authority, could be found a certain security against the abuse of this peculiar and privileged position. They were at any time. liable to dismissal and punishment for any misconduct or oppression. But when the exclusive rights of the East India Company were broken down ; when thousands of Europeans flocked to India for the sole purpose of making money by industry or commerce; when many of these were adventurers of low habits and violent tempers and scandalous pretensions, over whom the authorities retained no summary or despotic power,-it is evident that to exempt such men from the jurisdiction of the native courts, or from enforced compliance with native rights and customs (where British courts of justice are so few and far between), would have been to issue to them a letter of license for unlimited iniquity and oppression. They were voluntary visitors or settlers, and as such, could not complain of being subject to the conditions of the community to which they went. Moreover, their numbers have been always small. The entire number of planters, merchants, settlers, and unofficial Europeans of all classes, does not exceed ten thousand in the whole of India. On the other hand, there can be no doubt that in a country where our safety depends so entirely on our moral influence-on the impression fixed in the native mind of the inherent superiority of the European race-it would have been most desirable, had it been possible, to uphold this superiority, and rivet this impression, by abstaining from ever placing an Englishman in any circumstance or manner under a Hindoo. But we apprehend that the practicability of maintaining this rule with any decency or justice was destroyed when free emigration to Hindostan was first permitted. The mistake, if it be one, was made in 1833. It is natural also, though perhaps not very reasonable, that the independent European residents in the interior should be angry at the privileges conceded, in deference to their religion, caste
notions, and hereditary rank, to certain native families and classes,*-privileges which, as Englishmen, they do not share simply because they have not the smallest traditional claim to them. Finally, we can largely sympathise with the indignation of English residents and merchants at finding themselves compelled to plead in civil matters before native judges, who often really do hate them and wish to drive them out of the country, and who are always supposed to do so; and in courts where it is notorious (and must be avowed with grief) that no justice can be obtained except by the most extensive and systematic bribery, applied to judges, officers, and witnesses alike. And we can well understand that the tendency of this system will be to discourage the better and more high-minded class of men from establishing themselves in India, and to confine the residents and planters to a more reckless and unscrupulous set, who will combat the natives with native weapons, and do much to degrade and dishonour the English character in native estimation. Still, we confess, we do not at present see our way out of the dilemma.
The other question,-as to the employment of native agency in influential and responsible departments,-seems to be very much one of degree, experience, and time. It is one in which the actual administration of the hour must feel its way. Few thoughtful or competent men will be inclined to lay down any fixed or general rules upon the subject. The Hindoo character, with some excellent qualities and capabilities, possesses also many deplorable and deeply-rooted defects. A better or more careful estimate of both cannot be found any where than that given by Elphinstone in the eleventh chapter of his History; and his description applies, though not in an equal degree, to those natives who retain their old faith and caste, as well as to those who have been converted to the purer creed of Mahomet. They are usually amiable when their fierce or fanatical passions are not aroused; they have strong and tenacious family affections, are capable of much tenderness, and are susceptible to kindness; and though indolent and timid, prefer death to what they deem dishonour; and, when inevitable, will encounter it with a calm and unostentatious stoicism worthy of all admiration. These are noble qualities, of which it would seem much might be made. But a vicious religion and a wretched education have perverted and nearly neutralised them all. Their notions of dishonour are strangely puerile and conventional; their entire morality is low and worldly; they have little regard for justice, and no regard for truth; in all judicial matters they are
* Some native families of rank are exempted from appearing personally in court, because such appearance, according to their caste notions, would be flagrantly dishonouring.
false, rapacious, and corrupt, to an almost incredible degree; and they seem utterly devoid of consideration for the rights of inferiors and of a sense of public duty. Even Mr. Cameron, who goes further than any other writer in his estimate of what the people may become, and ought to be made, says:
"The judges of all grades should be indiscriminately European and native; but this is a state of things which can only be approached by degrees, and by means of the highest education. I am not at all sure that we have not gone too far in the official employment of natives without preparing them by European training. . . . My anxiety for the improvement of the natives of India does not blind me to the marked distinctions which exist between them in their present moral condition and their European governors; and I think it highly important that such distinctions should not be neglected in constructing institutions for our Eastern possessions. I would not, for example, trust a native with power over his countrymen in any case in which pecuniary considerations do not prevent the employment of a European. Their general contempt for the rights of inferiors, and the abominable spirit. of caste, render them very unsafe depositaries of such a trust."
We have, we confess, a very strong conviction of the utter unfitness of the native Hindoos at present for any of the higher functions of administration; and we wish it were possible to supersede them more completely than we have done. That in the course of time, and by sedulous care in their education, they may become fit to assist us in governing their country, we hope and believe; but such is their actual inferiority (moral rather than intellectual) that we can only retain this hope and faith by constant comparison of Englishmen now with their ancestors in the dark ages. That our most energetic exertions should be directed towards preparing the natives for higher and more responsible positions than they can at present occupy with safety, does not, we think, admit of a doubt. Nor do we fear that the permanence of our Indian empire will be endangered thereby. Long before native agency can be so widely employed as to be dangerous, the native character must have been so far modified as to render it secure. By that time the blessings of our rule will have become so widely seen and so fully established, that no native intelligent enough to be employed by us will wish to overthrow us. But we think it should be our rule, only to advance to places of authority and influence such of the Hindoos as have received a European education, have imbibed European notions of morality, have lived enough among Europeans to have become impregnated with that sense of public duty without which no man can be fit to govern others, -such, in a word, as without having been thrown altogether out of harmony with their countrymen, shall have become qualified to guide and to control them. Even now