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reign settlements which is inconsiderable, India is the most remote, as it is by far the most important dependency of the crown of Great Britain. Lying 15,000 miles east, more than half of the globe must be crossed ere supplies from us can be conveyed to its distant shores. Such, likewise, is the rapidity of Asiatic conquest, that the country might be lost before even the news of invasion could reach the chief seat of government. Shall we then confide its safety to our succours ? Must we not look for its best defence to the internal resources of that country itself; to the number, the attachment, the increasing energies of its inhabitants ? And how can these resources be so powerfully augmented, as by hastening to conciliate the affections of the natives, and promote their best interests by every plan which wisdom, or goodness can devise and execute ?
This subject has relations even of higher interest, to which we may appeal. Feelings of an enlarged philanthropy, as well as views of a wise policy; the impulses of a liberal philosophy, not less than the refutation of an invidious spirit of detraction ; the solemn sanctions and the glorious advantages of our holy religion *, concur with the genero
Farther and sity of the British spirit, the honours of the British name, and the security of the British empire, to prompt this inquiry into the means of civilising and enlightening Hindostan and the East. Few objects can be conceived more noble than those which it presents. Of all speculations, such as tend to ameliorate the condition, and exalt the character of mankind, are the most interesting and important *. And, according to every just estimate, these must appear to rise in proportion to the extent and excellence of the objects they embrace. How grand, how inviting, then, that investigation, which includes at once the temporal and eternal interests of a large portion of mankind ! which may contribute to exalt human nature, where it is greatly debased by superstition and slavery ; to rescue many millions of our race from a most abject state of civil, intellectual, moral, and religious degradation; and to bless them with an increase of the comforts of life, with a participation of the liberties and laws of Britons, and, above all, with the knowledge of the “ word of life,” and the enjoyment of the blessings of salvation.
* Vide note D.
tion in its various references, is not disposed to ask ardently with the benevolent Cowper,
Is India free? And does she wear her plum'd
And what consideration is there, most interesting to us as men, as Britons, as Christians, which does not stimulate us to inquire, What are the best means of civilising the subjects of the British empire in India ; and of diffusing the light of the Christian religion throughout the eastern world ?
This inquiry obviously divides itself into two parts: First, Division of
the subject, What are the best means of civilising the subjects of the British empire in India ? and, Secondly, How may the light of the gospel be diffused throughout the eastern world ?
These parts of the inquiry are intimately connected. The one is essentially necessary to promote, or to perfect the other. Without civilisation, Christianity could not be so successfully propagated ; and without the influence of Chris- and arrangetianity, civilisation cannot be carried to its utmost height.
* Task, book iv.
They are also arranged in an ascending order. The inquiry concerning the means of civilising the Hindoos is antecedent in idea, as well as inferior in excellence, to the other; and, accordingly, from the consideration of the former, we shall be naturally led up to the investigation of the latter, which will carry our views forward to the last and best state of our world and of our race, when, according to the intimation of holy writ, the “ whole earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord.”
OF THE BEST MEANS OF CIVILISING THE SUBJECTS OF
THE BRITISH EMPIRE IN INDIA.
Civilisation, being a complex term, is liable to be used in a vague sense; and, that we may hold a precise point in view, it will be proper, before we proceed farther in our inquiry, that we determine its meaning. In popular use, it denotes that humanity gentleness and complaisance, which, as contrasted with the cruelty rudeness and ferocity of the savage state, usually distinguish mankind in an advanced stage of society. No nation, on the face of the earth, are, in this sense, more civilised than the Hindoos; for, though several districts of India be infested by hordes of robbers, and the people in general, by reason of their almost total