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Such are the instruments which Protestants employ, for the enlightening, the meliorating, the evangelizing of Hindoostan. Whether or no these, and the other means here'enumerated, are well adapted to the end in view, will be best ascertained by the successes that have hitherto attended them; and which I shall briefly enumerate in the next Section.
THE SUCCESS WHICH HAS ALREADY ATTENDED
THE MEANS USED BY PROTESTANTS, FOR
The Abbé Dubois, to shew that the “brilliant success” of the Serampore Missionaries,
translating the Scriptures, within the short period of nine or ten years, into no less than Twenty-four Asiatic Languages," “ has not in the least dazzled him, nor altered his opinion, nor diminished his scepticism on the entire inadequacy of such means to enlighten the Pagans and gain them over to Christianity,” adds, “I would not certainly
dare to warrant, that these twenty spurious Versions, with some of which I am acquainted, will, after the lapse of the same number of years, have operated the conversion oftwentyfour Pagans :” (p. 37.) This, we are to conclude, is the lowest estimate of good which he supposes likely to result from them. He thinks it is possible, then, that they may produce this number of conversions. I will venture to affirm, that if, at the expiration of twenty-four years, it shall appear that the same number of immortal souls have been actually converted through the perusal of those “ spurious Versions,” there are few Members of the Bible Society, who contributed towards their publication, but will feel grateful to Almighty God for this apparently small quantity of success. When the value of one soul is maturely considered, and it is remembered that such corruptible things as silver and gold were not of sufficient value to redeem it-that its ransom from sin and death cost “the precious blood of Christ!”– what labour, what expense, that men can bestow upon its conversion, can be more than equivalent? His objection, then, arising from the imperfect manner in which those Translations are executed, will be lighter than a feather, in the judgment of those who alone
have any right to complain--the Members of the Bible Society!
For the satisfaction of those Benevolent Individuals, we can enumerate many more than the given number of conversions, from the perusal of those “ spurious Versions” aloneand that within half of the allotted period ! The late Mr. Ward names several persons, whose conversion is to be traced to the perusal of the New Testament*. But Mr. Ward was one of the parties arraigned !--True. Well; any one who will take the trouble to look over the various Missionary Publications for the last ten years, will find several instances of the kind, from authority which to the Abbé Dubois at least, but to no one who knew that good man's character--may appear less questionable.
But, could it be proved that the simple perusal of the Scriptures had produced no effect in India-the translating and publishing of Twenty-five Versions of the Bible, if we consider only (upon the maxim of Horace, Dimidium facti &c.) the importance of making a commencement, and also the service which these Versions, how imperfect soever they may be, will render to future Translators, we may regard them as an
* Farewell Letters, p. 185, &c.
amount of success in which the Friends of Missions, and particularly the Members of the Bible Society, have cause to exult.
The success attending the Mission Schools, has far exceeded the most sanguine expectations of the best friends to the Missionary Cause.
The Abbé Dubois refers his readers to the Lutherans, Baptists, and others, for an account of “ their successes” in India ; evidently implying, however, that the result will disappoint any expectations that may have been raised : (p. 25, 26.) I have followed his directions -not, indeed, confining my inquiries to the Societies he names, but extending them to as many of the Societies now labouring in India as I could conveniently consult. The following is a rough Statement of the numbers in the Schools established by various Associations, for the instruction of Native Children in that country. The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge
3500 Baptist Missionary Society
* Since the material change introduced into the School System of Serampore, as detailed in the Third Report, no List of Schools or of Scholars bas been sent home. Indeed, the nature of that alteration is such, that the Schools can no longer be said to belong to the Baptist Missionary Society, though the Children derive
Church Missionary Society
perintendence of the Missionaries of
3000 2800 4000 1200 2000
Jay Narain's Seminary at Benares .
130 100 158
These numbers are given from the latest accounts received. From some Stations, no Returns have arrived in England these two, and from others these three, years past: and I hesitate not to affirm, that there are, at least, Fifty Thousand Children, the major part Heathen, now in the various Schools established by Protestants in India !
instruction through means of their Missionaries. In 1819, the Children in the Schools connected with Serampore alone amounted to 8000. They have since been increasing, in an accelerating ratio : and, perhaps, if I doubled that number, I should be within their present amount.