« ForrigeFortsett »
deavours to produce in the minds of bave doomed their infants to destructhe various tribes in that part of the tion without compunction, should country, a conviction of the guilt now glory in their preservation, and and cruelty of this horrid practice. doat on them with fondness*." It The answer, however, which in is added, that, as the visit was pre1807 was made by the principal meditated, several officers and gencbiesiains of the tribe in wbich this tlemen assembled to witness so exdreadful practice subsisted, was suf- traordinary a scene. The Jarejah ficiently discouraging. They alleg- fathers, who but a short time back ed, that for 4900 years they had would not have listened to any probeen in the habit of killing their posal which should have been made daughters; and that none of the to them for the preservation of their great powers which from time to daughters, now exhibited them with time had been sovereigns of Hin- pride and fondness. Their mothers dostan, had ever interfered with and nurses also attended on this inthem; nay. hints were thrown out teresting occasion. The emotions in some of the letters which would of nature here exhibited, were exbave been enough to intimidate a tremely moving. The mothers placed man of less firmness as well as sagaci- their infants in the hands of Colonel ty than Colonel Walker; still he per- Walker, calling upon him and their severed, and his conduct, with the gods to protect wbat he alone had effects of it, affords an useful lesson taught them to preserve. These into those who, in their endeavours to fants they emphatically called “his diffuse the light of Christian truth in children.” And it is likely that this India, may tremble at the first symp- distinction will continue to exist for tom of opposition from the Brah- some years in Guzerat. mins.
He persevered, and it is Doubtless if any of those who scarcely credible, but it is never have argued against all endeavours theless indisputably true, that within to enlighten, and I had almost said twelve months of the date of the to humanize, those who have been very answer above-mentioned, the for so many hundred years given writers of it themselves formally over to a dark and depraving superabjured the practice of infanticide, stition, had been consulted beforeand with their wives, families, and de- hand on the practicability and expendents, declared themselves happy pediency of effecting the abolition in entering into an arrangement for of the above horrid practice of intanthis purpose. I should greatly wrong ticide, they would have pronounced you if I were not to go on to the attempt at once utterly hopeless ; state what passed, when, about two nav, highly dangerous ; yei in the or three years after, Colonel Walker short space of two or three years was visited that part of the country. I this detestablecustom voluntarily abanwill quote Colonel Walker's own doned. And here, in order to guard words: “ I had all those infants in against misrepresentation, it may not the immediate neighbourhood who be improper to state, that, of course, were capable of attending" (the fe. it must be intended, that only the male infants who had been rescued methods of reason and argument and from death by his humane exertions) persuasion should be used. Not only " brought to my tent; many were no force, but no influence, beyond ton young to be brought to any dis- this should be ercrted. Perhaps the tance. It was extremely gratilying band of Government should not be on this occasion to observe the seen on the occasion.
Happily it triumph of nature, feeling, and pa- has at length become an established rental affection, over prejudice, and opinion, though it is a truth which a horrid superstition; and that those, was so long undiscovered, that perwho, but a short period before, • See Moor's Hindoo Infanticide, towould, as many of them had done, ,wards the end of the volume.
secution in all its forms only serves a revelation from God, should shew to diffuse the opinions which it en- themselves indifferent respecting the deavours to extirpate. It is need- continuance of an exclusion of a less, however, for me here to go still more important kind, the exinto particulars, probably even the clusion of Christian light and moral legislature itself will thiok it best 10 improvement. Truly, might it be leave these to the judgment and in that case said, our blessed Saprudence of the friends of religion viour's remark is here exemplified, on the spot; acting, as they will that "the children of this world are have to act, under the constant su- wiser in their generation than the perintendence and controul of the children of light.” It is likewise a executive government. The vary- consideration well worthy of being ing circumstances of different pro- remarked, that while every other vinces, and probably the progres- religion in India is left to its own sive changes which may be expected undisturbed operation; while the to take place during a course of various classes and sects (for they years, will suggest suitable, but pro- are very numerous) of the Hindoos, bably different, modes of proceed with all the other varieties of Paing. I will only state, that I look ganism, are left to their own free with the fondest hopes to the diffu. unobstructed course, difficulties and sion of the holy Scriptures in the obstacles have been interposed in different native languages, and pro- the way of Christianity alone: and bably to the education of the native ever let it be kept in mind, that all youih, any offers of which would which is desired is, that Christianity most likely be accepted with thank- and its teachers may be tolerated. fulness.
Yet (the very statement of the proHappily several occurrences have position will shock every reader lately taken place, and many consi- who believes Christianity to be a derations might be urged, besides Revelation from Heaven) there have those which are suggested by the not been wanting those who in plain iwo instances already stated, which terms have called on the British Gomay justly excite the delighiful ex. veroment to exert its power, in orpectation, that, if our countrymen der to bar out every scattered ray do at length proceed to wipe away of that religious and moral light, the reproach which has been so which, through the endeavours of often expressly cast on them by the any charitable individual among us, Roman Catholic writers, that we might otherwise shine on the inhaProtestants have ever shewn our- bitants of that benighted land. Exselves indifferent about the conver- cuse the importunate earnestness sion of the benighted Pagans, their with which I press this most imporendeavours will not be in vain. But tant topic; and let me once more surely it would fix this stigma upon repeat' the declaration, that if we us in deep and indelible characters, admit the divine authority of the it now, when, throughout the whole Scriptures, and the doctrine of a island of Great Britain, the mer- superintending Providence, so excantile and manufacturing classes plicitly inculcated, and so fully ilare calling on the House of Com- lustrated by innumerable examples mons, as it were with one voice, to in the word of God; still farther, if put an end to the commercial mo- we believe that the decline and fall nopoly, and to exclude them no of states are the judicial inflictions longer from the benefits of a free of a Divine hand; that national trade with India, The Christian misfortunes and miseries are God's world of all denominations, all who, punishments of guilty nations; let however differing in circumstantials, Great Britain beware lest she pro"name the name of Christ," and voke the Divine displeasure by conprofess to believe bis religion to be tinuing to take idolatry, with alluts guilt, into her special patronage, the natives (let it again be observed, and endeavouring to shut out all by such safe and prudent means as knowledge of the God of Christians; shall not in any degree disturb the I bad almost said, to bar out all ac- public peace) the blessings of true cess to the Almighty.
religious truth, and moral and soBut let every individual in this cial reformation. It was justly recountry beware also that he do not marked by one of the abiest and incur, by his negligence, only the most active of the writers who have next inferior degree of guilt, by opposed all attempts at conserting silently conniving at the continue the natives of India, that the guilt, ance of such a system, and by not if any, of having, wholly abstained plainly and publicly, though respect- from such endeavours, was not justly fully, declaring to the two Houses chargeable on the East-India Comof Parliament, the deep interest pany's Directors, nor yet on the which he feels on this great occa- Board of Controul, but on the Lesion ; by forbearing, in short, to gislature, which prescribed to both express his conviction, that any Act the principles on which the governof Parliament which shall lay down ment was to be conducted. The the future system of government for Legislature, on its part, if it should India, ougbi to prescribe some regu- be censured for neglecting these lations for communicating to the most important of all interests, natives, or rather for preventing the would be able, with no less justice, door being barred against those who to shift the blame on the constituenc might wish to communicate to them body, if the people of England, bethe blessings of Christian light and ing thoroughly aware that on former moral improvement, thereby intro- occasions Parliament had shewn no ducing them by degrees to an in- concern about the religious intecreased measure of social and do- rests of the natives, should forbear mestic happiness.
expressing (as they never fail to do, We perfectly know, from ex- by petition to the two Houses, when perience, that the Directors of the any occasion worthy of notice reEast-India Company are, to speak . quires their interference), but more in the softest terms, not of them- especially to their own representaselves disposed to communicate to tives, the deep interest which they Hindostan the light of Christian in- take in the decision of this great quesstruction. We must also add, with tion. whatever pain, that hitherto that Let every one, who calls himself part of the executive government of a Christian, regulate bis conduct on Great Britain which superintends the present occasion by the golden and controuls the Court of Directors rule of doing to others as in similar has not shewn any disposition fa- circumstances we would have them vourable to this great objeet. Per- do to us; and the path of duty haps they might not feel them- will be clear before him, and I will selves warranted by the Act of add, the decision of the Legislature 1793, to promote the conversion of would scarcely be any longer doubtthe natives, however indirectly. ful. I am yours, &c. But under such circunstances, can the public be justified in giving over once more into their hands, for probably a fresh period of twenty. To the Editor of the Christian Observer. one years, that vast country, with HenrY SCOUGAL, the author of the all its immense population, without well-known treatise entitled
« The securing for such well-recommended Life of God in the Soul of Man," was persons as may wish to engage in one of the brightest ornaments of 90 benevolent a work, the right of the Protestant Episcopat Church of endeavouring to communicate to Scotland; and I flatter myself that
the following account of his life and ness or sullenness (for his disposiwritings will not be unacceptable to tion was cheerful and social), but your readers.
from a strong sense of the value of Your &c.
time, a superior relish for reading, A COUNTRY VICAR. meditation, and prayer, and a predia It is observed by Dr. Kippis, in lection for the society and converse his Life of Doddridge, that • Scot
of those by whose wisdom and expe
rience he could profit. His leisure Jand, in the middle of the 17th century, produced some divines who had time, at school, was much employed imbibed, in a wonderful manner, the in perusing the Bible; and he aca genuine spirit of devotion, and the companied the reading of the sacred gennine spirit of Christianity." To oracles with frequent and fervent which observation he adds, « The supplication to the great Fountain name of Scougal will occur to every might be opened to behold wondrous
of light and wisdom, "that his eyes one who is tolerably acquainted, either with the history of theology, things out of God's law.” The piety
of or with compositions of a practical
young Scougal was neither disa nature.”
figured by superstition, nor overThis truly primitive divine was
heated by enthusiasm, but the result born in 1650, at Salton, in East- of a serious conviction that the sal
vation of the soul is the grand conLothian, of which parish bis father, Patrick Scougal*, was minister. The
cern of every human being; a conseeds of religion and virtue were
viction which he was not ashamed sown in his mind at the earliest period, by the pious care of his excel.
The following incident deserves
to be recorded as a pleasing specilent father, who had the satisfaction of seeing those blossoms ex
men of early piety. Having retirpand which afterwards produced
ed for the purpose of seriously consuch abundant fruit.
sidering what course of life would
• be most conducive to his happiness, He was educated in the
grammarschool of his native parish, where temporal and eternal; after much he endeared himself to all who knew musing, he took up his Bible, and him, by the suavity of bis temper practice of making a lottery of the
though he was always averse to the and the gentleness of his manners.
e seldom betrayed any freaks of holy Scriptures, yet the following childish levity; and the little jea- made a strong impression on his
words, which first caught his eye, lousies and envious competitions, mind : Wherewithal shall a young which are so common among
schoolboys, seemed to have no place in his man cleanse his way? By taking bşeast. He took no pleasure in those
heed thereto according to thy word." diversions which usually occupy the
His relaxations from the business vacant hours at school; a peculiarity To borrow a passage from the ser
of school were manly and dignified. which did not proceed from sour
mon preached at his funeral by Dr. • Не на
was a venerable character. He be- Gairden, “ the diversions he was came bishop of Aberdeen in 1664, and re- then most taken with, did speak out mained in that see until his death in 1682. the greatness of his mind and spirit; He was married to Margaret Wemyss, daugh- and he seemed to act all the granter of a gentle man in Fifeshire, by whom deur of this world, while a child ; he had three sons and two daughters; Johu, for when, in learning, the Latin commissary of Aberdeen; Henry, the subject of this memoir; James, a senator of the Col: tongue, he began to understand the lege of Justice, by the title of Lord White. Roman story, be retired, usually, hilt; Catherine, married to Alexander with the most ingenious of his fela Scrogie, bishop of Argyle ; and Jean, mar loss, composed little orations, and ried to Patrick Sibbald, one of the ministers acted the parts of the Roman senaof Aberdeen,
tors." His memory, which was yast
and retentive, was united with a dowments and good inclinations in judgment uncommonly sound; inso- that tender age, which will bring much that,when a very young school. forth much fruit in their riper years; boy, he not only digested well those and with how much reason the Wise parts of Scripture which were daily Man bids us • Train up a child in the read at home; but could recapitu. way he should go, and when he is old late, in a clear and connected man- he will not depart from it.'." ner, the discourses which he heard The early indications which Scoufrom the pulpit. His literary attain- gal gave of genuine piety, together ments were far superior to the usual with his uncommon capacity for standard of his years. Before he learning, encouraged his father to arrived at the age of fourteen, he devote him to the service of the al. was a master of the Latin language, tar; with which view he was admitwherein he had attained the art of ted, at the age of fifteen, a student composing with singular elegance. of King's College, in the university He had also, at the same early pe- of Aberdeen; of which see his fariod, made considerable progress in ther was now bishop. His conduct the Greek, as well as in the Hebrew while an under graduate, and his and other oriental languages, besides progress in every branch of science, being well versed in history and the established his moral and literary elementary branches of mathematic character upon a firm foundation ; cal learning-nay, so clear was his and the early dawnings of piety apprehension, and so mature were which appeared in the schoolboy, his powers of reasoning, that only now shone forth with brighter lustre in consequence of overhearing a coni- in the academic. To borrow a beauversation between a party of young tiful simile from holy writ, his path academics, he acquired an insight was like the shining light, which shininto the nature of a syllogism, and eth more and more unto the perfect duy. could readily form one upon any The scholastic philosophy which subject, before he had heard lectures then obtained in our universities, upon dialectics from the professional was by no means to his taste. His chair. “ Though children,” says penetrating and capacious mind, Dr. Gairden, “ generally love only which thirsted for solid and useful the society of their fellows, or such truth, led him to view that philoso. as can entertain them with silly and phy in its genuine light, namely, as foolish stories, yet such was the having no better tendency than to seriousness of his spirit, and the puzzle and perplex the intellectual love he then had for knowledge and faculties, and to beget habits of good men, that when he had the mere verbal wrangling. In fact, he opportunity of hearing serious and had acquired a relish for that new reverend persons, who used to resort mode of philosophizing in physics to his father's house, he was careful and metaphysics which became curto attend to them, and listen to their rent in England after the Restoration wise and pious discourses.” “Such," of Charles the Second; and which continues the same writer, “were the example and influence of Mr. his attainments, and such was the Scougal had no small share in introtemper of his spirit, in that early pe- ducing at Aberdeen. He valued riod of his life, which others for the speculative trutbs in proportion as most part spend in vanity and folly, they tended to establish morality and begin to repent of when they upon a solid and permanent base, come to think themselves men; and and to promote just views of religion. we may see how much a prudent fa- During his academical career, he ther's wise and pious care, when it composed ethical treatises fraught meets with a fit' temper and dispo- with ingenuity and eloquence, besition in a child, may contribute to sides some devotional pieces, which plant the seeds of those virtuous en breathed a spirit of piety worthy of