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progress, and in a way that he deemed more likely than others to affect their minds, should surely have been received with conciliatory encouragement; and perceiving—as his previous writings showed—that he had a mind open to truth, it would have been wise calmly to present to him the means of greater light, and to await its effects, without attempting to thwart or to oppose his progress. But his reception by the Missionaries "surprised and disappointed” him; and he appears to have had some reason to complain of a want of candour and liberality towards him.* The attack had, however, a highly beneficial effect: it led him to mature his views of christian truth; and to discern, by close examination of the Scriptures, what are the real doctrines of Christ and his Apostles. His first and second Appeals especially, (and also, though more directly critical, and more influenced by English controversial works, his final Appeal,) present the extraordinary efforts, and most important researches, of a mind faithfully seeking for light, and coming to the Scriptures with no other prepossessions than those which arose from views respecting the Supreme Being which Christianity had only to extend and establish. In addition to a remarkable critical skill, they display the sagacity of a clear and acute understanding, guided by the love of truth and duty, and illuminated by devotion, and by sentiments respecting the character and dispensations of the supreme and universal Parent which perfectly harmonized with all the spontaneous dictates of his pious and benevolent spirit.—I persuade

* See, however, Dr. Marshman's answer to the complaint, in his Defence of the Deity and Atonement of Christ, in reply to Rammohun Roy.-London, 1822.

myself that the reasonings and representations of the Brahmin will yet lead many Christians to review their own conclusions; and assist them to discern that the faith required for the benefits of the Gospel, is perfectly accordant with the dictates of a sound understanding: while, at the same time, the beautiful manifestations of his charity, humility, and benevolence, may contribute to improve them in the spirit which the Gospel requires.

The promotion of human welfare, and especially the improvement of his own countrymen, was the habit of his life. This rested, without a doubt, on the consciousness of power to aid in the great work ; and it was influenced by a strong conviction of responsibility for the use of that power. No selfish narrow purposes influenced him; and if he sometimes yieided too much to the kindly dispositions of his nature, and if he always pursued his course with cautious prudence, he ever manifested fortitude and unyielding firmness when any great and benevolent object required exertion, and exposed him to calumny and persecution.

Such was the course he pursued for abolishing the horrid and too frequent practice of burning the living widow of a Brahmin with the corpse of her husband. This he laboured in various ways to accomplish ; and in this he had a great and acknowledged influence, which should make him regarded as the friend of his country, of the female sex, and of the human race. His enlarged and benignant spirit, the tenderness and purity of his own heart, the maternal love which he had experienced, and the influences of that soothing kindness which he had received from the women of Thibet when he was separated from the endearments of home, aided (I repeat it) to produce in his mind those sentiments of respect for woman in her domestic and social and moral relations, which entirely raised him above the narrow and degrading views entertained of the female sex by his countrymen in general; and which led him to contribute, in various ways, to the just appreciation of them, and to their protection from the sordid purposes and superstitious zeal of those who degraded them by debasing rites and practices, and .condemned them to self-immolation. He regarded woman, whether considered as an intellectual or as a spiritual being, as fitted, by natural powers and capabilities, to be the companion, the friend, and the helper of man.* In all this his sentiments admirably coincided with the genius of the Gospel, and with the spirit and conduct of its benevolent Author ; and it is no unreasonable supposition, that the perception of this characteristic of the christian system contributed to his interest in our Scriptures, which record the most affecting instances of the reverential attachment of devout women to the Saviour, and their devoted faithfulness when even his disciples deserted him; and which present various indications of the readiness of the female sex to receive his heavenly truths, and to labour for the diffusion of them among mankind.

The success of the benevolent Hindoo in his exertions to rescue the women of his country from the sacrifice of them on the funeral pile, was such as must have excited delightful and thankful emotions, whenever he reflected

* See Appendix (J).

on the good achieved. There is no doubt that it was greatly through his firmness, his enlightened reasonings, and his persevering efforts, that the Government of Bengal at last thought themselves enabled to interdict the immolation of widows. His arguments, and his appeals to ancient authorities held sacred by the Brahmins, enlightened the minds of many of them; and made the merciful interpositition of Lord William Bentinck and his Council, no longer regarded by them, and by persons connected with the East India Company at home, as an interference with the religion of the Hindoos. When the interested and superstitious, as their last effort, appealed against the edict of the Government of India to the King in Council, Rammohun Roy was here to oppose the appeal ; and his unwearied efforts were given in aid of that result which finally annihilated the dreadful sacrifice of the living widow, and filled his heart, and the hearts of numbers of his countrymen, with joy and gratitude. Had he lived, he would have had the deserved honour to present to our Sovereign a grateful address from many persons of high respectability in Calcutta and its neighbourhood, which is on its way to our country. This reward he did not enjoy : but he had one much higher, in seeing that the object of his earnest efforts was accomplished.

His labours for his country had, however, a much wider scope. He took an intense interest in whatever contributed, or appeared to him likely to contribute to its welfare ; and his communications to our Legislature show with what closeness of observation, soundness of judgment, and comprehensiveness of views, he had considered the various circumstances which interfered with its improvement, or which, on the other hand, tended to promote it. They shew him to be at once the philosopher and the patriot. They are full of practical wisdom; and there is reason to believe that they were highly valued by our Government, and that they aided in the formation of the new system, by which the wellbeing of our vast dependencies in India must be so greatly affected for good or for ill;-a system which it requires little acquaintance with the causes of the welfare of nations to perceive, must, after the transition is fully made, essentially promote all the sources of prosperity to that immense population whom our nation is bound by every consideration of justice, as well as of philanthropy and wise policy, to raise and enlighten.* Long, however, before the means were presented to him of thus publicly aiding in the political amelioration of his country, he was promoting by example and cooperation, and by the decided expression of his convictions, that means of improvement which is essential to the permanent efficacy of all others, and from which the greatest benefits may be expected in relation to social welfare, and to the reception of the Gospel — the judicious education of the young.

He saw that the communication of the knowledge contained in our language, and the training to our modes of thought and reasoning, was the only sure and general way " of improving the understandings of his countrymen, and of ultimately ameliorating their hearts"; and with the assistance of two or three friends, he himself supported a school for

* See the Rajah's Exposition of the Practical Operation of the Judicial and Revenue System of India, &c. The last portion, beginning at p. 101, is so thorougly characteristic of his style in conversation, that, while reading it, one seems to hear him uttering the words.

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