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tents of the Sástras present, when viewed in their moral and religious aspect. The points here discussed are the character of the Hindu gods as exhibited in the Puránas, and some of the doctrines of the philosophical schools, which appear to be such as we should not expect to find in a revelation coming from the Author of nature and Governor of the universe.
Though the language in which the Tract is written (Sanskrit) is intelligible only to the learned, I have aimed at nothing more than a popular exposition of the argument. The line of reasoning adopted will seem familiar and natural to the Christian reader. It will however appear in a different light to learned Hindus, who are not accustomed to see such rules and principles applied to test the credibility of traditionally-received histories, and the merits of theological doctrines. Many general principles which are familiar to the European thinker, may, when abstractly stated, be far from intelligible to a learned Hindu, whose knowledge, however extensive and recondite, belongs to a domain of thought widely different from the practical philosophy of the West. It is necessary, therefore, that in arguing with such persons, the principles which we assume as the basis of the discussion should be clearly expounded, and illustrated by examples which may make their application cle ar and obvious.
In conducting such controversies, too, the canon prescribed by Horace as essential to the spirit of epic poetry,
(Nec gemino bellum Trojanum orditur ab ovo,
must be reversed; and we must begin ab oro, not presupposing in the reader any previous acquaintance with our subject, and not hurrying at once in medias res, but proceeding gradually through the preliminary topics into the heart of the theme, and so advancing to the conclusion at which we aim.
And it should not only be the endeavour of the Christian disputant thus to adapt his instructions in a specific manner to the mental character and habits of those whom he seeks to convince he is also bound both as a matter of prudence and of Christian charity to conciliate their good will by every means in his power. However deadly and abominable he may believe the errors, or the objects of worship, which he is assailing, to be, he should recollect that they have been through life objects of habitual veneration to those whom he is seeking to convert to a holier faith. This consideration, duly weighed, will lead him to see that he must not violently vituperate the doctrines or the deities of the Sástras, but intimate with caution and gentleness how unworthy they are of the reverence accorded by their votaries.
In this Tract, it has been my endeavour to act upon these principles; to unfold the argument clearly, simply, and with all the requisite explanations, throughout its dif. ferent stages; and to abstain from all harsh and irritating expressions.
I have said the Tract is of a popular character. I have not attempted to argue with the Pandits in the technical language of their philosophical systems, a task which could
their scholastic terminology. It is however very much to be desired that the argument should be placed before them in the technical shape in which they are accustomed to discuss such topics of religious and metaphysical controversy. And it is to be hoped that the translations and expositions of the different systems of Hindu religious philosophy which are now in course of publication by Dr. J. R. Ballantyne will lead the way to the preparation of such a scholastic and scientific confutation of Hinduism in all its branches, as I refer to. Such a treatise, of solid material, skilfully fused, and cast in the technical mould of Hindu thought, could scarcely fail to attract the attention of the deepest Brahmanical thinkers.
This naturally leads me to glance at the important effects which a more extensive and profound study of Sanskrit learning and particularly of the original sources of the Vedánta, Nyáya and other Darsanas by missionaries might, humanly speaking, be expected to produce on the progress of Christianity. I would not be understood as advocating the expediency of all missionaries without exception directing their energies to this department of labour, but only as suggesting that a sufficient number should do so. It is obvious that Missionary activity may be usefully directed into a great variety of channels, which in each case may be best determined by the particular taste, temperament, or talents of each individual. Some, as in Calcutta, and at the other Presidencies, may be best employed in imparting to intelligent youths a thorough English education ; others in the various tasks of translation and composition
others, (would they were a thousand fold more numer ous!) in preaching the gospel to the dense population of cities, and rural districts.*
But I think that a certain number of other Missionaries, (and they should be men of the highest ability), ought also to be employed at such seats of Native learning as Benares and Delhi, in mastering the religion and philosophy both of the Hindus and of the Mohammedans, in scientifically confuting the errors of those two systems, and in recommending Christianity to the more learned portion of their respective adherents.
And in fact it is a question which well deserves to be seriously asked, whether Missionaries, and in fact all ministers of the gospel, should not aim at a higher standard of qualification than that with which they have hitherto contented themselves.† Science is advancing in every de
The Kayeths and other classes of Hindus in the Central and Western provinces are a class who do not seem to have yet received so much attention from missionaries as they deserve. It is to be presumed that their knowledge of the more popular branches of Persian literature and their general intelligence would render them more open to Christian influences than other Hindus who are acquainted only with the writings of Brahmanical authors. A set of treatises, both on Hinduism and Christianity, superior to the generality of those which have yet appeared in Urdu, should be written in that dialect or in Persian for the class of persons now referred to.
The Rev. Dr. Vaughan's work entitled "The modern Pulpit, viewed in its relation to the state of Society" is recommended to the perusal of those who take an interest in this
partment of human affairs; it has been beneficially applied to the discovery of more effective methods of education; and its legitimate extension even to the domain of theology has been admitted by the most able as well as truly pious divines. It is true that a false science has sometimes dealt with the divine truths of revelation in a rash and unhallowed spirit; but the application of a true and reverent science to theology is an absolute want of an advanced stage of moral and intellectual culture, like that of the present times. And does not science also admit of an application to pastoral theology, and to the propagation of the gospel among unbelievers? Cannot science, (which is nothing else than the systematised result of the most mature experience and the profoundest wisdom), teach us more skilful methods of stating and marshalling our arguments, and supply us with more cogent instruments of persuasion, more effective means (so far as mere human means are effectual), of reaching and affecting the heart?*
* In an article in the British Quarterly Review (the organ of the Congregational Dissenters) for May last, the following remarks occur on this subject: "We have long felt depressed by two conspicuous facts belonging to the history of missions among Protestants, and especially of late years. The one is, that our missionaries produce comparatively no impression on the civilized heathen the other is, that scarcely any where is the impression made upon the barbarous of such a nature as to raise them to the self-reliance of civilized men. Is it ever to be thus? If not, what are the changes necessary to give existence to better results? We suspect that these are questions