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The other point in the preceding passage which we are anxious to point out as worthy of peculiar regard, is the avowal that the Mahomedan conquerors did make proselytes to their religion among the Hindus, and that by so doing they strengthened their power---contrary to the pertinacious assertions of those confident persons, who inform us that by attempting to gain proselytes, we should only get " kicked out” of the country. Yet the Mahomedans, we are told; made their proselytes by force, as well as persuasion; and those who recommend the propagation of Christianity, are so far from thinking of force, that they advise every possible means to be employed, for setting the minds of the people at rest, and convincing them that their religion shall be as effectually protected from force, as that of the persons who propose to them the adoption of another. Persuasion, we are told, will alarm them. What then might not be expected from persuasion and force together? Yet Sir John Malcolm expressly declares that the Mahoinedan conquerors added to their strength by making proselytes through the double means of persuasion and force. Those on whom reason and experience are calculated to have any effect, will not fail to give these proofs the attention they deserve.
The vast extent of territory and population over which the arms and tenets of the Sikhs have spread themselves, Colonel Malcolm informs us, reaches from latitude 28° 40' to beyond latitude 32° N., and includes all the Penjab, a small part of Multau, and most of that tract of country which lies between the Juinna and the Sutledge, the finest portion of the once great empire of the house of Taimur.' “A general estimate,'
of the value of the country possessed by the Sikhs may be formed, when it is stated, that it contains, besides other countries, the whole of the province of Lahore ; which, agreeable to Mr. Bernier, produced in the reign of Aurengzebe, two hundred and forty-six lacs and ninety-five thousand rupees ; or two millions four hundred and sixty-nine thousand five hundred pounds sterling.' Theirs was, then, no slight revolt from the faith of Brahma. To all the persevering asseverations that the religion of the Hindus is unchangeable, it is enough to answer, --the Sikhs !
• Guru Govind,' says our author, gave a new character to the religion of his followers-not by making any material alteration in the tenets of Nanac, but by establishing institutions and usages, which not only separated them from other Hindus, but which, by the complete abolition of all distinction of casts, destroyed at one blow a system of civil polity, that, from being interwoven with the religion of colm, and avowed by thousands among the rich and powerful of our countrymen, is altogether out of the reach of dispute.
a weak and bigotted race, fixed the rule of its priests upon a basis that had withstood the shock of ages. Though the code of the Hindus was calculated to preserve a vast community in tranquillity and obedience to its rulers, it had the natural effect of mak ng the country, in which it was established, an easy conquest to every powerful foreign invader; and it appears to have been the contemplation of this effect that made Guru Govind resolve on thé abolition of cast, as a necessary and indispensable prelude to any attempt to arin the original na. tive population of India against their foreign tyrants.'
Are no lessons to British statesmen taught by a passage like this? Is there no danger lest the example of Guru Govind should teach another reformer the necessity of breaking down the distinctions of caste for a similar attempt. Is any security against this danger, we again ask, equal to the propagation of Christianity ?-the only chance we possess of retaining any power over the minds of the people at that important juncture, which sooner or later will arrive, and which the example of the Sikhs assures us may be at no great distance, when the distinction of castes, and with it the fabric of Hindu superstition, is ripe for dissolution. We may shut our eyes, if we please, and anticipate danger from every quarter but the real one : We may see the mountain rolling towards us with careless vacant expectation : but shall we gain any thing by this wilful delusion?
We cannot enlarge this article so far as to give any thing like a detailed account of the institutions and situation of the Sikhs. The information indeed as yet afforded us respecting their dodomestic habits or political rules and institutions is rather scanty: nor is it
easy, from the imperfect acconnts which we have as yet received, to form a very true conception of their polity. At first they were pretty well combined under a religious chief or leader. But after a few successions of such leaders, they ceased to acknowledge any person in that capacity; and the country over which they extended, then became divided into a great number of little independencies. Almost every head man of a village became a species of sovereign; and governed his people by his own authority. There remained, however, a sort of federal union, though poorly organized, and badly observed, The different chiefs meet in great emergencies in a sort of national congress, and regulate the affairs in which they are jointly interested, and there is a species of nominal chief; but he acts only as the servant of this khalsa or congress.
Únder this system, the lower orders of the Sikhs are represented as happy!
They are protected,' says our author, from the tyranny and violence of the chiefs, under whom they kive, by the precepts of their common religion (not much we should fear, by that], and by the condition of their country, which enables them to abandon, whenever they choose, a leader whom they dislike; and the distance of a few miles generally places them under the protection of his rival and enemy? This last is a very important circumstance, and often, in a state of comparative rudeness bestows a far greater share of happiness upon the subject portion of mankind, that is, the majority, than in times of greater civilization.
Ć It is from this cause,' says Colonel Malcolm, that the lowest Sikh horseman all soldiers are horsemen) usually assumes a very independent style, and the highest chief treats his military followers with attention and conciliation ;'---a fact well worthy of being studied by those governing persons, who, in a civilized country, say that men can be tained in military obedience, only when treated worse than slaves !
In the collection of the revenue in the Penjab,
• it is stated to be a general rule, that the chiefs to whom the territories belong, should receive one half of the produce, and the farmer the other; but the chief never levies the whole of his share: and in no country, perhaps, is the cultivator treated with more indulgence.'
Their mode of administering justice is thus described. Trifling disputes about property are settled by the heads of the village, by arbitration, or by the chiefs. The former mode is called penchayat, a court of five; the general number of arbitrators chosen to adjust differences and disputes It is usual to assemble some such court of arbitration, in every part of India under a native government; and, as it is always chosen from men of the best reputation in the place where they meet, the court has a high character for justice. The decision in either of the above inodes, is final; and the parties must agree to one or other. If a theft occurs, the property is
recovered, and the party punished by the person from whom it was stolen, who is aided on such occasions by the inhabitants of his village or his chief. The punishment, however, is never capital. Amidst numerous absurdities, an enlightened people may sometimes gather instruction from the institutions of the rudest.
This outline of the administration of justice among his country, men was given,' says Colonel Malcolm, by a Sikh priest, who had been several years in Calcutta, He spoke of it with rapture; and insisted on its great superiority over the vexatious system of the English ; which was, he said, tedious, vexatious, and expensive, and advantageous only to clever rogues.'
We shall conclude with the following character which Sir John Malcolm draws of the Sikhs.
• The character of the Sikhs, or rather Singhs, which is the name by which the followers of Guru Govind, who are all devoted to arms, are distinguished, is very marked. They have, in general, the Hindu cast of countenance, somewhat altered by their long beards, and are
to the full as active as the Mahrattas, and much more robust, from their living farther, and enjoying a better and colder climate. Their courage is equal at all times to that of any natives of India, and when wrought upon by prejudice or religion, is quite desperate. They are all horsemen, and have no infantry in their own country, except for the defence of their forts and villages, though they genefally serve as infantry in foreign armies. They are boli, and rather rough in their address; which appears more to a stranger from their invariably speaking in a loud tone of voice.-The Sikhs have been reputed deceitful and cruel ; but I know no grounds upon which they can be considered more so than than the other tribes of India. They seemed to mę, from all the intercourse I had with them, to be more open and sincere than the Mahrattas, and less rude and savage than the Affghans. They have indeed become, from national success, too proud of their own strength, and too irritable in their tempers to have patience for the wiles of the former; and they retain, in spite of their change of manners and religion, too much of the character of their Hindı ancestors to have the constitutional ferocity of the latter. The Sikh soldier is, generally speaking, brave, active, and cheerful, without polish, but neither destitute of sincerity nor attachment; and if he often appears wanting in humanity, it is not so much to be attributed to his national character, as to the habits of a life, which, from the condition of the society in which he is born, is generally passed in scenes of violence and rapine.'
Upon the whole, we express our obligations to Sir John Malcolm, for this sensible performance, which, though his stay in the country was but short, and his means of information far from complete, makes an important addition to the imperfect hints we formerly possessed relative to the origin and character of this remarkable people.
Art. XI. Strictures on some of the Publications of the Rev. Herbert
Marsh, :D.D.; intended as a Reply to his Objections against the British and Foreign Bible Society. By the Rev. Isaac Milner, D. D. F. R. S. Dean of Carlisle, and President of Queen's Col. lege, Cambridge. 8vo. pp. viii. 419. Price 9s. Cadell and Da.
vies, Hatchard, &c. 1813. IN the earlier ages of the Church, when, as Jerome finely observes, the blood of Christ was yet warm in the breasts
of Christians, and the faith and spirit of religion were active and vigorous,' the grand efforts of those who had embraced the new religion were employed in delivering others from mental, moral, and bodily slavery, and bringing them to enjoy “ the liberty of the sons of God.” Of this the history of those times furnishes many striking instances. Thus, says Minutius Felix, when describing the circumstance which led to the celebrated conference between his two friends ;--- we were walking upon the sea shore, a kindly breeze fanning and refreshing our
limbs, the yielding sand gently submitting to our feet, render'ing the exercise still more delicious, when Cecilius on a sudden
espied the statue of Serapis, and, according to the manner of the vulgar superstition, raised his hand to his mouth, and paid his adoration in kisses; on which Octavius, addressing himnself to me, said, “ Is it well done, brother Marcus, thus to leave your inseparable companion in the depth of vulgar darkness, and to suffer him, in so clear a day, to stumble upon stones ? stones, it is true, of figure, anointed with oil and crowned; yet stones they are, notwithstanding. Can you be insensible that your permitting so gross an error in your friend,
redounds no less to your disgrace than his?”Animated by a like noble feeling to this of Octavius, there were many, as we are assured by Clement Romanus in his epistle to the Corinthians, who delivered themselves into bonds and slavery that they might restore others to liberty; many who let themselves
as servants to others, that by their wages they might feed and ! sustain those who wanted, and instruct those who were igno
rant.' St. Ambrose caused the communion plate of his church to be broken to pieces, for the redemption of Christians who had been taken captive. Serapion sold himself to a Gentile player, lived with him, and discharged the meanest offices, till he had converted him, his wife, and whole family, to Christianity. Nay, such was the importance attached to the conversion from error, and the saving of the soul, and so especially was zeal of this kind required of those who wished to enter upon the clerical functions, that, in canon 18 of the third Council of Carthage, it is ordained, that no man who has either heretics or infidels in his family, shall be admitted to the order of either bishop, presbyter, or deacon, till he has first converted those persons to the true Christian faith.'
To give the greater effect to the labours of the primitive teachers of Christianity, most astonishing exertions were made very early in the second century, and continued through the third and fourth, to translate and circulate the Scriptures (by manuscript, for there was then no other mode) in all known languages. Chrysostom assures us (Hom. 1. in Joan.) that, long before his time, the Syrians, the Egyptians, the Indians, the Persians, the Ethiopians, and a multitude of other nations, had the Scriptures translated into their own languages, by which means barbarians learned to be philosophers, and women and children with the greatest ease imbibed the doctrine of the Gospel.' Theodoret also affirms (Theod. de Curand. Græcor. Affect. Serm. 5. T. 4.) that every nation under heaven had the Scripture in its own tongue; and that even the Hebrew books were not only translated into Greek, but into the Roman, Egyptian, Persian, Indian, Armenian, Scythian, Sauromatic,