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London, a contrary course of discipline, their GENTLEMEN,
May 1, 1822. minds would have been enlightened I . !
glorious Revolution lately accom- Free Press is, however, what is most plished at Goa. The prominent part wanted to accelerate their advancewhich you have acted on the interest- ment, because the grand instrument ing occasion, induces me to offer to for the improvement of the mind is your consideration some remarks on the publication of truth, and, for prothe advantages of establishing in that pagating truth, discussion. By the city a Free Press. I am aware that collision of prejudices, where mind enthere existed a Press at Goa soon after counters mind, truth must be elicited. the era of Printing, but it was free In this contest, Government should only to serve the purposes of despot- observe neutrality; for truth will most ism, and to issue the rigorous man- Aourish where, like commerce, it is dates of a barbarous Inquisition. On left unrestrained. When the great this subject it must not be forgotten Colbert proposed to interfere with that the settlements of Portugal for. trade, even by protecting regulations, merly extended along the coast of the merchants wisely answered, “ LaisAfrica and Asia nearly from the Cape sez nous faire.” of Good Hope to the Sea of China, History teaches, that a reformation and also comprehended most of the in the religion of the Hindoos could islands in the Malayan Archipelago, not be effected by the intolerant Maand that in all these places the Portu- homedan; nor by the Inquisition, guese language is still spoken, and with its synods and censors, and their thus offers the most favourable medium impious decrees; nor even by the of communicating knowledge, which, preaching of pious Missionaries. It by the resistless aid of a Free Press, cannot fail, however, to be produced, may at length diffuse itself through as in Europe, by the influence of free the extensive regions of the East. discussion. No religion probably ever
It has been well said, that in the in- deviated more from just principles vention of Printing is contained the than that professed by Christians durembryo which, in its maturity, willing the dark ages, till the era of the annihilate the slavery of the human Reformation. The vices of Popery, race. Hence I shall endeavour to the restoration of learning, and the prove, that a Free Press, co-operating invention of Printing, by which learnwith a good system of general educa- ing was diffused, united to produce tion, must in the issue destroy bigotry that event. “Man awoke from the and despotism in Indostan.
lethargy in which for ages he had slept, There are three principal sources to contemplate the beauties of truth, from whence the Hindoo society is and to exercise his reason.” Luther susceptible of improvement: these was the first who opposed the profitaare, justice, education and discussion. ble traffic in indulgencies. The Pope The political, civil and criminal laws threatened his person, and condemned of the Hindoos and Mahomedans are his writings to the flames. Succeedinterwoven with their theology, and ing Popes went farther than Leo. the union of their divine and human They rightly judged that a Free Press codes has a direct tendency to intro- was incompatible with the support of duce and to perpetuate despotism. their superstition -- their oblations, The introduction of a pure worship, penances, pilgrimages, mortifications, and a just and equitable code of laws, indulgencies, and other buffooneries. is therefore essential to their welfare. “We must put down the Press,” said The great mass of the Hindoos have, Wolsey, or it will put us down." from time immemorial, received the All their efforts were therefore directrudiments of education. They have ed to this object, but the Press tribeen instructed in the fabulous tales of umphed. The Popes proscribed all their gods-their cruelties, their im- heretical works, and excommunicated moralities, and their abominations. all who read them. They caused the Thus a vicious education has effectu- ancient ecclesiastical writings to be ally tended to perpetuate the errors of mangled and interpolated; passages bigotry and oppression; whereas, by to be erased, and others inserted. An
Index Expurgatorius, or catalogue of lar results be fairly expected to appear prohibited books, was published at in Indostan, through the medium of Madrid under the sanction of the In- Education, of a Free Press, and the quisition. It consisted of 900 pages preachings of Missionaries and native closely printed. The framers of the Reformers ? Index' condemned, either wholly or in Be it asserted that Pagan Christipart, not only works on religion, but anity has no resemblance to the superthose relating to polite literature and stition that now prevails in Indostan. science. of all translations of the I contend, on the contrary, that all Bible, whether printed or in manu- superstitions resemble each other in script, they forbade the use. On the their origin and influence. They are works of reputed heretics, and on all all founded in error, and promote dethey might in future compose, was spotism. Whereas the prominent fezpassed the same unqualified censure. tures of most religions resemble each Some of Erasmus's writings, however, other as being founded in reason—in these gloomy persecutors allowed to the belief of God, and the inculcation be published, with the words “ Erasmi of virtue, which is the essence of liRoterodami, auctoris damnati,” in- berty. The Hindoo religion, in its scribed in the title-page, annexing the uncorrupted state, approacbes to : following note : Opera omnia Erasmi, systein of pure theism. The most caute legenda, tam multa enim insunt learned Brahmins are Unitarians, accorrectione digna, ut vix omnia expur- cording to the doctrine of Kreeshda; gari possuit." Here, then, was a sys- but they so far comply with the pretematic attempt to perpetuate igno- judices of the vulgar as outwardly to rance and superstition, to corrupt the perform all the ceremonies preseribed sources of truth, and to disseminate by the Vieds. The great bulk of the error and falsehood. Should it be Hindoos, on the contrary, are smink asked, Why now declaim against the into gross superstition, and, instead of Inquisition? It may be answered, limiting their belief“ to one unknown, Because its frightful decrees substan- true Being, the Creator, Preserver tially exist in every country where the and Destroyer of the universe,” they Press is still under any restrictions have enlisted Three Hundred and not essential to the maintenance of Thirty Millions of Gods into their sercivil liberty; and because twelve mil- vice. Mahomedanism is a compound lions of my fellow-subjects in the Ma- of Judaism and Christianity, joined to dras Presidency are actually under a the belief of certain absurd tales and Censor of Heretical Pravity. This pretensions added by Mahomet. The officer has lately prevented the print- Wahaubees have overrun Arabia, Sying in Tamul of the Prayer-Book of ria, and Persia, for the purpose of rethe Unitarians—a sect of all others storing the simple Unitarianism of the the most likely to introduce Christi- Koran. We are, in fact, obliged to anity in the East. In like manner, the Mahomedans for the destruction Censor Wood might suppress the reli- of Idolatry and Paganism in many gious works of the Roman Catholics, parts of the world. Their great crime the Methodists, Presbyterians, or other is that of endeavouring to enforce sects differing with that infallible judge their creed by the sword. Mahmoud of orthodoxy.
vowed to convert by force of arms the The Reformation vindicated politi- whole Hindoo race to Mahomedencal as well as religious rights, because ism. In twenty years he invaded Init destroyed superstition, which is the dostan twelve times, and spared neither root of despotism. A militia of age nor sex. Tippoo boasts that he 600,000 highly-disciplined priests, threw down 8000 idol temples. He backed by myriads of bigots, were subdued Coorg, and drove 70,000 of baffled by a monk and the asserters of its inhabitants like cattle to Seringa reason. The Press enabled the first patam, forced them to profess MahoReformers to give a wide circulation medanism, and then sent them back to to their thoughts; which, but for such serve as slaves under his Zemindars. an advantage, bad been confined to This was not a course calculated to the place where their principles had reform or to convert the Hindoos, been first inculcated. May not simi, who, for upivards of three thousand years, had preserved their religi- of liberty. Nor have the exertions of on.
unassuming Missionaries, unaided by The numerous followers of Confu- a Free Press, been more successful cius have, no less than the Hindoos, than those of the intolerant Mahomedeviated from the pure worship of the dans and Portuguese. They have, founders of their faith. The religion however, done no wrong, and much professed by literary persons and men good, by their charities, by diffusing of rank in China, consists in a deep, education, and by the example of their inward veneration of God. “Live," virtuous lives. Yet Abbé Dubois, who says Confucius, “as, dying, you would sacrificed more than thirty years of his have lived; and do unto your neigh- life to promote the conversion of the bour as you would he should do unto Hindoos, has declared the measure you.”
.” “This sect," says Lord Kaimes, hopeless; and that he never knew a “ have neither priests nor temples, single instance of a Hindoo becoming and their religion is perhaps the most a genuine convert to Christianity. refined system ever practised by men. It is not to be denied, but proudly It has been objected to as not fitted asserted, that a Free Press must at for the human race.” Thus we per- length produce in Asia one of the ceive that the doctrines of the Hindoo, greatest revolutions that ever appeared the Mahomedan, and the Confucian in the world. The government of the religions, all assimilate in the belief of Hindoos is a theocracy. Their manone, and only one, God; and that all ners, customs, and mode of thinking of them, in the progress of ignorance, their castes, their laws, their dedegenerate into gross and cruel super- spotism-all rest upon this superstistition, accompanied by despotism. tion, which cannot song prevail if exThe only means of reforming them, posed to collision with a Free Press. and restoring among them a pure wor- This engine must destroy bigotry, and ship, is by the light of reason. In tear up despotism by the roots. It further confirmation of this argument, may be said, that such a revolution is a noble author has observed, “ that dangerous. If so, it follows that the as unity in the Deity was not esta- conversion of the Hindoos to Christi. blished in the countries where the anity would be equally dangerous ; Cbristian religion was first promul- for by no arts could it be effected gated, Christianity could not fail to without a total subversion of the preprevail over Paganism ; for improve- sent state of society. I deny, how, ment in the mental faculties leads by ever, that a free discussion, regulated sure steps, though slow, to one God.” by wholesome laws, is dangerous.
The superstitious and intolerant Por. During the administration of Warren tuguese were sure to fail in their work Hastings, the Press was free to licenof conversion. When Vasco de Gama tiousness. Now this was a period of arrived at Cochin, he found the Syrian extreme difficulty and hazard. EnChristians established there under a gland was at war with America and King. The Portuguese' immediately with all Europe. Bengal was threatclaimed the churches as belonging to cned by Boemsha ; Benares was in rethe Pope. The Syrian Christians re- volt; Oude convulsed, and the Seiks plied, “We never heard of the Pope, were plundering the Doab; Madras, and have for 1300 years had Bishops exhausted by famine, was invaded by appointed by the Patriarch of Antioch.” Hyder; and Bombay was engaged in The Portuguese Archbishop held a a contest with Scindia and Holkar. synod near Cochin, at which 150 Sy. Hastings was constantly outvoted by rian clergy appeared. His Holiness his Council;
and there was not a ruaccused them of having married wives, pee in the Treasury. The Supreme of rejecting purgatory, the invocation Court was appointed as a check to of saints, and the worship of images. misrule and oppression, and it set itThese heresies he commanded them to self in opposition to the Governor. abjure under pain of suspension ; while Not a judge was on speaking terms the Inquisition at Goa decreed that all with the Governor - General or his their sacred books should be burned. Council. Writers were sure of proFrom these persecutors the Syrian tection while they transgressed not the Christians filed to the forests on the law of libel. The Press was even so mountains-every where the asylum honest and indiscreet as to attack with
its poignant satire the Governor-gene- siderable time, I have not been able ral and “Lord Poolbundee,” the sooner to resume the task of making Chief-Justice. In short, British In- extracts.
I now send you, as prodia was threatened with ruin; the mised in my last, (Vol. XVII. 147,) Press was free, and it was saved. the Resolutions of the “ Provinciall
In farther proof of the passive and Synod at Preston” entire, with a few tolerant spirit of the Hindoos, and the extracts from the 31st and 32nd safety of discusion, I shall mention a Meetings of the Classis. W.J. reinarkable event that occurred some years since at Isbra, in the immediate
“By the Provinciall Synod assembled vicinity of Calcutta. While Jugger- continueinge unto Feb. the 70, Anno sa
at Preston, Novembre 14°, 1648, and naut's temple was there passing over a human victim in the presence of a
“The Synod propoundinge to hear and hundred thousand zealots, Christian resolre such difficult questions as the de Missionaries were preaching to them legates should bringe in from their sereunmolested, and distributing printed rall Classis for resolution, resolveth as papers expressly designed to expose followese. their cruel superstition. As another “1. That the discipline of the Church instance, I shall notice the work of is to bee extended in the exercise of it to Bruja Mahema, entitled “Strictures all persons professinge Christian religion on Hindoo Polytheism,” which has within our locall bounds, respectively, long been in wide circulation without that are not excommunicate, and the re
coverie of excommunicate persons is to producing the least alarm. Had this bee endeavoured by all Christians, espebook, which contains a satirical, argu- cially by the Church officers. mentative, and masterly exposure of “2. That the Ministers and ruleinge the absurdities of the present Hindoo Elders are to laboure accordinge to theire superstition, been submitted to a Cen- places, to bringe all theire people to the sor, it would have been suppressed, or knowledge of the Christian faith and rehave been published under the sanc- ligion. tion of Government. If suppressed,
“3. That Catachiseinge by way of there would have been an end to free question and answere is a Minister's
dutie. inquiry; if allowed, it would have gone forth with the mark of public province are required to hould a course of
“ 4. That all Ministers within this authority, and might have excited
publicke Catachiseinge. strong jealousies. We are not to ima
“ 5. That the Minister in everie place gine that the discussion of religious is to endeavoure dilligently to bringe in subjects is a novelty in Indostan. The all to be catachized by him, either pub. natives are exceedingly fond of discus- lickely or privately, and the assemblie's sion, and have been writing on the Catachisnes are recommended to this nature of the Divine essence and the doctrines of their faith for twenty
“6. That there is not onely one way centuries.
warranted or prescribed by the word of I shall now close this Letter by ex.
God for the Eldershippes satisfieing thempressing an anxious hope that a Free selves of the sufficiencie in point of know. Press may be established at Goa; that theire congregations, respectively, that
ledge of persons that are Members of from it may diverge a flood of light; they may be admitted to the Lord's Supand that your liberties may
“ 7. That it is not lawfull for the ElI have the honour,
dershipps to tye themselves to one way, Gentlemen,
as aforesaid (suppose it bee exanimation To subscribe myself, before them) when that one attaines pot Your most devoted Servant,
the end, and another probably way doe LEICESTER STANHOPE. it.
“8. The choice of the manner of the
Eldershipp's satisfaction concerneinge a Account of the Establishment of Pres. person's sufficiencie in pointe of knowbyterianism in Manchester.
ledge for the Lord's Supper, is left to the No. IV.
Eldershippe. Provided that noe Minister
or other person or other persons of the Sir, Nov. 23, 1822.
Eldershippe take upon them to admitte VHROUGH a want of opportunity of anie person to that Ordinance, unlesse
sufficiency, and do consent to the said and if they persist to bee admonished, admission.
and if they persist to bee suspended, un“9. A congregationall Eldershippe lesse the reasons of the partie desertinge may trye and censure one of theire El. bee satisfactorie to the Eldershippe. ders.
“ 22. A new election of Elders may “ 10. A private Member of a Congre- bee made in a place where there is an gation may not refuse to be tryed before Eldershippe constituted, in case that the Eldershippe upon pretence they are a either anie of those chosen dye, or departie against him.
part the congregation, or lay downe theire “ 11. The Eldershippe is to observe office, or the number already chosen bee whether or noe the Communicants come incompentent to the congregation. constantly to the Lord's Supper.
“ 23. A Classis may take a view of, “ 12. It is left to the discretion of the and make enquirie into, the carriage of Eldershippe to use such meanes as they the severall Church oficers within its shall judge expedient to discover that lymitts, and may desire some able memconstancie, provided that noe meanes bebers of a neighboure Classis to be preused that hath beene found offensive. sent with, and afford theire counsell to
“ 13. A Minister and twoe Elders may them therein. suffice to constitute a congregationall “ 24. A dependent in anie cause is not Eldershippe.
to appeale from anie inferioure to a supe“ 14. Such as prcach within our rioure Presbiterie before a censure past bounds beinge unordaynd, and disclaime in the Presbiterie appealed from, save Classicall power, are first to bee dealt that a defendent may bee heard by the with by conferrence to refrain them, superiour Presbiterie complaineinge of an some beinge designed to conferre with unjust delay or neglect of hearinge in the them by the Classis, if they refuse to ap- inferioure. pear before the Classis.
“ 25. Anie scandall whatever contain“ 15. Delinquents in the late warres ed under the rules of the Ordinance of not to be received to the Lord's Supper Parliament of August 290, 1648, page 41 without giveing satisfaction to the Elder- and 42, ought to be proceeded against shippe of their repentance.
unto the censure of admonition, suspen“16 Ministers or Elders neglectinge to sion or excommunication as the case deobserve the Meetings of the severall Pres. biteries, are first to bee admonished by “ 26. Anie Minister or person that the Presbiters which they soe neglecte. sball make apie marriage without publi
“ 17. A Minister removeinge out of cation of the purpose of the said marriage one Classis into another shall bringe tes before accordinge to the directorie, or timonialls both from the Congregation shall baptize anie child privately, shall and Classicall Presbiteries from which, be censured by the Classis. And the Elto the Congregation and Classis untó dershippe shall be dilligent in enquireinge which hee removes, before hee bee ap- after, and bringinge to censure all such proved or admitted by them.
offenders. “18. A Minister officiateing in any of “ 27. Where there is a Congregation our assemblies for anie continuance with- destitute of a Ministrie, or of an Elderout applyinge himself to the Classis for shippe, by reason whereof the Lord's approbation, is to bee admonished, and Supper is not constantly administered, further proceeded against upon his per- any member thereof may repaire to the sistencie.
Eldershippe of anie neighbouringe congre. “ 19. If a Minister shall administer gation, and approveing himself to the the Lord's Supper to anie congregation said Eldershippe, may be adınitted to promiscuously, (that is, without sever- communicate in theire congregation. inge the ignorant and scandelouse,) so “ 28. A scandalouse fault committed farre as lyes in him, hee is after admoni. above a yeare sipce, and still remaininge tion to be suspended.
publickly scandalouse in any person, is to “ 20. The question whether the chil. come within the compass of the Elderdren of auie parents lyinge under the im- shippe's cognizance. putation of ignorance or scandall, yet “29. One ordained Minister by a Binot beinge cast out of the Church, may shoppe since the abolition of Episcopacie bee denyed baptisme. Resolved in the by the Parliament, may not bee admitted negative.
as a Minister to a place, without satisfac. “21. If anie Ministers or Elders that tion given for his acceptinge of the said have taken up the government desert the ordination. same in not executeinge theire dutie in “ 30. None are to bee approved by it, they are first to bee conferred with by anie Classis to a place of officiateing in the Eldershippe to which they belonge, preachinge, that refuse to be ordayoed