« AnteriorContinuar »
Proceedings and Entelligence.
DEPARTURE OF THE BISHOP OF CAL
CUTTA FOR INDIA.
THE Consecration of the Rev. Dr. Heber to the Episcopal Office took place in the Chapel of Lambeth Palace, on Sunday the 1st of June.
His Lordship was present at the monthly meeting of the Committee of the Church Missionary Society, held on Monday the 9th of June; and stated that he wished to return his thanks to the Committee for the confidence reposed in him, by placing at his disposal the sum of 1000l., which had been voted to Bishop's College for 1822: he had reason to believe that the sum might be most advantageously applied, in placing the Printing Department of the College on an efficient footing; but, on his arrival at Calcutta, he would confer on the best appropriation of this sum with the Society's Corresponding Committee, and would hereafter point out what might appear to be the most promising way in which the Society could promote the objects of the College: he entirely approved the principles on which the Society's Missions in the East had been conducted, and was proceeding to his destination with the most cordial disposition to render them every assistance in his power. His Lordship, on leaving the Committee, was assured by the Chairman, Major-General Charles Neville, of the lively interest which the Members felt in his welfare, and of their desire to concur in any measures which he might suggest for advancing the Society's designs in India, and that their earnest prayers would be offered for his continued health and for the Divine Blessing on his important labours. The Bishop replied, that he was much gratified by this ex
pressión of the feelings of the Committee, and that he was deeply I conscious of the value of their prayers in reference to the arduous duties of the Station to which Divine Providence had been pleased to call him.
On Thursday the 12th of June, his Lordship preached the Annual Sermon, at St. Paul's Cathedral, at the Meeting of the Charity Children of the Metropolis, from that part of our Lord's message to John-To the Poor, the Gospel is preached.
On Friday the 13th, at a Special Meeting of the Christian Knowledge Society, His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Chair, a Valedictory Address to the Bishop of Calcutta was delivered, on behalf of the Society, by the Bishop of Bristol, in which his Lordship adverted to the circumstances under which Bishop Middleton had been addressed some years before-took a brief view of his measures, and of their beneficial results-congratulated the Society on the improved state of the Europeans in India, and on the rapid decay of the influence of Caste among the Hindoos-expressed the satisfaction of the Society at Dr. Heber's appointment-commended its affairs in India to his protection-and anticipated from the character and zeal of Bishop Heber, the consolidation and enlargement of Bishop Middleton's plans for the promotion of Christianity in India. The Bishop, in reply, expressed his acknowledgments for the kind manner in which the sentiments of the Society toward him had been conveyed_ stated his intention of steadily prosecuting those important plans of his predecessor, which had so deservedly obtained the public approbation-assured the Society of his cordial desire to promote its objects in India-and solicited the prayers
of its Members for support in the difficult labours which lay before
His Lordship embarked, with Mrs. Heber, on board the Company's Ship" Thomas Grenville," Captain W. Manning, at the Lower Hope, on the 16th of June, and sailed the same day. Our Readers are acquainted with Captain Manning, as an affectionate friend of the Missionaries whom he has frequently carried to India. He will feel it his happiness and his honour, to do all in his power to render the voyage pleasant to his distinguished passengers.
By the Bishop of Calcutta. THE following Hymn was composed by Dr. Heber, to be sung at Whittington Church, near Oswestry, on occasion of his preaching there for the Church Missionary Society, in April 1820. It may very appropriately follow the preceding article.
From Greenland's icy mountains,
Roll down their golden sand;
Their land from error's chain.
The gifts of God are strewn;
Bow down to wood and stone.
The joyful sound proclaim,
Has learnt Messiah's Name.
It spreads from pole to pole;
Against the Burning of Hindoo Widows. AT a Public Meeting of the Gentry, Clergy, and other Inhabitants of the County of Bedford, convened by the High Sheriff pursuant to a Requisition, and held in the County Hall at Bedford on the 28th of April, it was unanimously resolved, on the motion of the Rev. T. S. Grimshaw, seconded by John Foster, Esq., to present the following Petition to the House of Commons, for the prohibition of the practice of burning Hindoo Widows alive on the Funeral Piles of their Husbands:
To the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, in Parliament assembled:
The humble Petition of the Gentry, Clergy, and other Inhabitants of the County of Bedford, here undersigned, SHEWETH,
That your Petitioners contemplate, with extreme concern, the practice existing in British India, of Immolating Widows alive on the Funeral Pile of their Husbands. That, from Official Returns, now before the public, it appears that the number so immolated, in the Presidency of Calcutta alone, in the years 1817 and 1818, amounted to upward of 1500. That, assuming this calculation to be a standard whereby to judge of the extent of the practice throughout the whole of Hindoostan, the total number may be computed at upward of 2000 in every year.
That it further appears, by the Regulations passed in India in the year 1815, that an attempt was made to dimi ́nish the frequency of this ceremony, by restricting its use within the limits prescribed by the Shaster, which limits had, in a variety of instances, been exceeded; but that, so far from having the desired effect, this act of interference had contributed to increase the practice, by giving to it a character of legality, in all cases specified by the Shaster. That your Petitioners would respectfully submit, that to allow a Custom in any form or under any modification whatever, which may be justly chargeable with the crime of murder, is to violate the principles on which all Civil Law can alone be founded and maintained; and no less
involves a breach of those laws of God, which demand respect from every country professing Christianity.
That, under these circumstances, your Petitioners earnestly implore your Honourable House to adopt such measures as may be deemed most expedient and effectual for putting an end to a practice, which, so long as it is suffered to continue, cannot but be considered as an Anomaly in the administration of Civil Law, authorising a wasteful expenditure of human life, and highly injurious to that character of humanity and of veneration for the laws of God, which they trust will ever distinguish the Government and People of this country. Safety and Policy of the Abolition of
It would, perhaps, be said, that the whole subject resolved itself into a question of Policy; and that the legitimate object of inquiry was, how far an act of interference with customs originating in law, and consecrated by the lapse of ages, could be committed without involving consequences fatal to the repose and security of our Indian Empire. But the argument was founded on a false assumption: the practice did not originate in law. In the Institutes of Menu, the Father of Indian Legislation, there was no reference whatsoever to the ceremony -no provision for its observance : its existence was to be traced to later ages; and the authority of law could not be pleaded in its confirmation. The Shaster, too, did not ENJOIN, it only PERMITTED the act: it inflicted no sentence of degradation on those who refused compliance; but merely prescribed certain rites and ablutions, after which the Widow was restored to the privileges of society. The origin of the custom was to be sought, therefore, in other motives-in Brahminical cupidity and avarice, and in the selfish views of interested relatives. The struggle, then, was not against the law, but against the
practice; and it thus became stripped of one of its most potent weapons.
Having thus, he trusted, disposed of the question of Religious Law and Observances, that of Policy still remained, so far as the practice was interwoven with prejudices, strengthened by time and by custom. Here, too, he cherished the persuasion, that the consideration of Policy was as capable of being met; as he was sure that all sound argument and all right feeling were unequivocally ranged against the practice of Immolation.
He then adverted to the suppression of Infanticide, or the sacrifice of children, by Marquis Wellesley, in the year 1802; and to the benevolent efforts of Governor Duncan and Col. Walker, in Bombay, in restraining the same barbarous usage, and its discontinuance without exciting commotion, or giving rise to a spirit of resistance. The name of Col. Walker was still endeared to Hindoostan: so far from being visited with the effects of their indignation for his active interference, the Mothers were accustomed to present their children to tor of themselves and of their preserved his arms, and to hail him as the benefacoffspring. Nature was always finally true to those instinctive feelings, which were engraven on the heart by the finger of God himself. We had only to enlist in the great cause of humanity, and to plead its dictates; and the triumph sooner or later was sure to be equal to our most sanguine expectations. Among the Jogee Tribes, the Widows were accustomed to be buried alive with their deceased Husbands: this practice had been abolished by the British Government in India, in the year 1815, without resistance. The law, too, had been revoked, which exempted Brahmins from punishment: and now the Brahmin, who was supposed to be an incarnation of the Divinity itself, who was treated with all the homage of the most profound reverence, was made amenable to the laws, wherever he dared to violate them: and scarcely a year elapsed without some of them paying the forfeit of their lives, without any attempt to rescue them. But more remarkable instances of interference even than these might still be enumerated. If the Priests of Hindooism are the objects of awe and veneration, what must be their Gods?-what must be the degree of reverence felt for their temples, for the offerings deposited on their shrines, and
for the lands and revenues appropriated to the support of their religious worship? And yet all these were under the controul of the British Government in India. Their lands and revenues were sequestered to British use-their offerings transferred to a British treasury -and their temple of Juggernaut, thus deprived of its original means of maintaining its eastern pomp and splendour, was supported by British funds, at an annual expense, according to Official Returns, of 87021.
Thus we do not fear to punish, when necessary, their priests with death, to commit an act of spoliation upon their temples, and to sequester the revenues attached to their worship: and yet, notwithstanding all these several acts of profanation, India still exists as a British Dependancy, the source of wealth, and the grand emporium of European Commerce; while there are some, who confidently venture to predict, that, if we interfere in rescuing the poor Hindoo Widow from the devouring flame, it will be the signal for revolt, and shake our Indian Empire to its foundations.
It is thus that men ACT, when their INTERESTS are at stake-it is thus that they REASON, when the question only concerns their PRINCIPLES and their
Here then were abundant instances
of positive interference! Here was what ALARMISTS might call an attack on the religious feelings of the Natives; and the result sufficiently proved with what facility the immolation of Females might be prevented.
But the practicability of the measure was no longer a matter of speculation. The experiment itself had been made: for the Mahomedan and Portuguese Governments in India had succeeded in putting down the practice. They would not tolerate this outrage upon humanity. Even an Infidel Power, untaught in the mercy of the Gospel, felt that it was a stain on its character to permit a crime of so atrocious a nature. To be thus outstripped in the race of benevolence by an Infidel Government, was somewhat humbling to our humanity; and gave a very questionable character to our Christian Zeal, and to our title to Christian Orthodoxy. They were competent, no doubt, like ourselves, to consider the bearings of this act on their political interests; notwithstanding which they had decided on the
measure, and the issue evinced the wisdom of their decision.
And yet Great Britain, a distinguished and mighty nation, in possession of an ampler power, and enjoying all the influence which superiority in arms and science and the terror of our name could impart, was filled with anxious dread, lest the rescuing of the poor Hindoo Widow should involve us in ruin and dismay! Let us at least, however, be consistent in our proceedings. Let us not fearlessly invade their rights and their superstitions, when prompted by interest; but exhibit a trembling and reluctant policy when principles only are concerned: and if the followers of Mahomet can see no risk in uniting their notions of policy with their sense of duty, let not the followers of Christ, with higher claims and a far more exalted standard, be surpassed by an Infi. del Power in this noble career of humanity and moral duty.
CHURCH MISSIONARY SOCIETY.
PROCEEDINGS OF ASSOCIATIONS.
Ir will be seen by the following report of the visit lately paid, by the Assistant Secretary and various friends, to the Associations in several of the Midland and Northern Counties, that, in addition to the friends mentioned at p. 228 of our last Number, the Rev. T. S. Grimshaw assisted at different Anniversaries in Yorkshire; and that it was not, as there stated, the Rev.G.W.Phillips, who assisted in the latter part of the Journey, but the Rev. E. T. M. Phillipps, Chancellor of the Diocese of Gloucester.
Seventh Anniversary of the Derbyshire,
Anniversaries of its Branches.
The Meeting of the Ashbourne Branch was held on Friday, the 9th of May, in the Chancel of the Parish Church; Sir Matthew Blakiston, Bart. in the Chair. Sermons were preached on Sunday the 11th, at Ashbourne and Parwich, by the Rev.E. T. M. Phillipps.
The Meeting of the Staunton Branch was held on Monday, the 12th, in the Club Room; the Rev. J. G. Howard, the Vicar, in the Chair.. Sermons had been preached on the preceding Sunday,
by the Assistant Secretary, at Stapleford, Gresley and Ilpeston.
The Meeting of the County Association was held on Tuesday, the 13th, in the Old Assembly Room, Derby; Sir Matthew Blakiston, Bart. in the Chair. Sermons had been preached, on the previous Sunday-at Chesterfield, by the Rev. James Hough, and the Rev. T. Cotterill-at Matlock, by the Rev. J. Hough-and at St. Werburgh's and St. Michael's, Derby, and at Spondon, by the Rev. Professor Farish.
Movers and Seconders.
Rev. Edward Unwin, and the Assistant Secretary -Rev. J. G. Howard, and Rev. H. Sim-Rev. James Hough, and Rev. Walter Shirley-Rev. Professor Farish, and Rev. Philip Gell-and Rev.
H. Jenour, and the Assistant Secretary. Nearly 2601. was contributed. Derbyshire is now very high in the list of Associations: but such is the spirit that actuates the friends of the Society there, that when one of the speakers expressed a hope that the time would come when Derbyshire alone would raised 35,000. the present Income of the whole Society -the sentiment seemed to express the general feeling of the whole assembly.
Fifth Anniversary of the Lincoln. The Meeting was held in the Guildhall, on Wednesday, May the 14th; the Rev. R. W. Sibthorp in the Chair. Sermons were preached at Canwick, by the Rev. H. Clarke; and, at Navenby and Harmston, by the Rev. R. W. Sibthorp.
Movers and Seconders.
Rev. G. Quilter, and the Assistant SecretaryRev. T. Knowles, and Rev. Professor FarishRev. W. Mason, and Rev. James Hough-and Rev. J. D. Wawn, and the Assistant Secretary,'
Sixth Anniversary of the Gainsborough. The Meeting was held in the Town Hall, on Thursday, May the 15th; Gervas Woodhouse, Esq. in the Chair. The Vicar was appointed one of the Vice-Presidents.
Movers and Seconders. Rev. Joseph Cox, and the Assistant SecretaryRev. B. Dudding, and Rev. Professor FarishRev. David Llewellyn, and Rev. James Houghand Mr. Forest, and Mr. Fretwell. The Collections were about 50%. Second Anniversary of the Retford. The Meeting was held in the Town Hall, on Friday, May the 16th; H. Walker, Esq. in the Chair. One of the oldest inhabitants of the town said that the Room was fuller than he remembered ever to have seen it: 317. 48. 4d. was contributed..
Movers and Seconders.
H. C. Hutchinson, Esq. and the Assistant Secretary-Mr. Alderman Marshall, and Rev. Professor Farish-Rev. David Llewellyn, and Rev. W. B. Russell-Rev. R. Milne, and Mr. G. B. Blackleyand Rev. J.W. Brooks, and the Assistant Secretary.
Anniversary of the Bradford.
Sermons were preached-by the Rev. James Hough, on Sunday, the 18th of May, in the Parish Church; and, by the Rev. Professor Farish, and the Assistant Secretary, on Monday the 19th, in the Parish Church, and at Tong. The Meeting was held in the New Court House, on Monday the 19th; the Rev. H. Heap, Vicar, in the Chair. The Collections were nearly 50%.
Movers and Seconders.
Rev. W. Atkinson, and the Assistant SecretaryRev. James Knight, and Rev. H. Bailey-Rev. James Hough, and Rev. W. Bishop-Rev. Professor Farish, and Rev, James Cartwright-John Rand, Esq. and Rev. H. J. Maddock-and Rev. S. Redhead, and Rev. Solomon Howorth.
First Anniversary of the Halifax. Farish, on Sunday the 18th of May, at Sermons were preached-by Professor the Parish and Churches; and, on the Wednesday folTrinity and Coley lowing, at Sowerby Bridge. The Meeting was held in the Large Room at the Talbot; the Rev. W. Knight, Vicar, in
the Chair. It was more numerously attended than last year. Nearly 801. was collected.
Movers and Seconders. Rev. W. Wilmot, and the Assistant SecretaryRev. J. Knight, and Professor Farish-Rev. James Hough, and Rev. John Hope-and Mr. Norris, and Rev. John Watson.
Tenth Anniversary of the Huddersfield.
Sermons were preached-by the Assistant Secretary, on Sunday the 18th of May, at the Parish and Trinity Churches, and at Kirkheaton; and, on Wednesday the 21st, at Birstall: and by the Rev. James Knight, on Sunday the 18th, at Kirkburton, Almondbury, and Holmfirth. On Tuesday Evening, the 20th, the Rev. Professor Farish preached a Sermon in behalf of the New Seminary of the Society at Islington. The Meeting was held on Thursday the 22d, in the National School Room; W. W. Stables, Esq. in the Chair.
Movers and Seconders. The Assistant Secretary, and Rev. T. JacksonRev. James Knight, and 'Rev. L. Jones-Rev. James Hough, and Rev. E. Edwards-Dr. Walker, and Rev. Mr. Hughes-Rev. Professor Farish, and the Assistant Secretary-and B. H. Allen, Esq. and the Rev. H. J. Maddock.
A Meeting was held in Dewsbury School Roon-the Rev. John Buck