« AnteriorContinua »
Lord Metcalfe cited above, no valid and the Rajahs of Jheend and Nabha, right to name an heir without the the principal chiefs of the Cis-Sutlej consent of that Government. We
For, as they were forinerly called, should not, however, have felt dis- the “ Protected ” Sikh states. Fifty posed, had the adoption taken place, years ago, those states were on the to scan too nicely our right to con- verge of being swallowed up by the cede or to refuse it. It is better voracious maw of Runjeet Singh, policy, on the whole, to err on the then in an early stage of his career side of generosity; and we repeat, of conquest and usurpation. The therefore, our hope that among the British power in India would not rights of the native princes hence- suffer the absorption of these petty forth never to be violated, the ancient states ; and so they survived, and in and dearly cherished right of adop- increasing prosperity, under the protion will be one.
tection of the Company's governAlthough we have ever had a deep, ment, until the great rebellion in and, under the progress of time and Upper India found them with rethe enlargement of our experience, a sources at their command which they deepening conviction that the people were eager to employ in the support of India are happier and more pros- of their old protector. They gave perous under British than under na- all that they could give, unstintingtive rule, we have never been of the ly; they did all that they could do, number of those who have insisted, unflinchingly. They furnished us therefore, upon the duty of neglecting with men, with munitions of war, no plausible opportunity for the as- with money, with supplies, with the sertion of the right of the paramount means of transport. For half a cenState to act the part of appropriator- tury we had thought little of these general in cases of lapse, or of forfeit- chiefs but as humble clients and ure by misconduct. The out-and-out protegés. They were invariably annexation policy of some thorough- associated in our minds and in our going writers, with one or two no- discourses with the word " petty. table exceptions of the anonymous But the lion was in the toils; and class, we have ever held to be scarcely the “ petty,” animal, which he might less foolish than wicked. But recent any day have crushed with one events have given some new and blow of his paw, was in a crisis peculiar aspects to the question. It “ mighty to save. Our policy has become more clearly and unmis- from the beginning, towards these takably our duty – it has become Sikh states, was undeniably right. more clearly and unmistakably our We do not say that it was anypolicy-to maintain in their integrity thing more than policy. We claim the few remaining native states of for the conduct of the British GovIndia. That which has made the ernment half a century ago no one, has clearly demonstrated the higher motive than that of self-inother. We are now bound to the terest. But our duty and our policy native states of India alike by grati- were in accord ; and the states which tude and by self-interest. They stood we protected, well satisfied with the by us in the hour of need, and to fact, did not trouble themselves about turn against them in the day of our the motive. They found themselves, restored prosperity, would be as fatal indeed, bound to the British Governto our empire as to our reputation. ment by common ties of self-interest; Humanly speaking, that empire was and what ties, as this world unhapenved by the fidelity of the native pily goes, are more enduring? We #tatos of India. Had the total an- are not to suppose that these Sikh nienationists had their way some or Jat chieftains have any pure abyouts nyo, the English in India, in stract love for the British Governthat you orinis from which we have ment. They knew that if, at any kacaronly yot recovered, would have time during the last half-century, bonne samopit into the sea.
the Government had been swept Thomas informe great lessons to be away, they would have been swept Home and thin, ok, for exam- away with it. They knew that their What it than onduct, thronghout the security, their very existence, deArabad
, In the land of Puteealah, pended upon the permanence of Brit
ish rule; and they looked upon any princes of Puteealah, of Jheend, and calamity that could shake our power of Nabha. It is no secret that the as the heaviest blow that could fall reward which the Guicowar most upon themselves. They rejoiced in covets is the remission of the annual our strength, and were true to us payment of three lakhs of rupees for because we had been true to them. the support of the Guzerat Irregular They knew that we had no thought Horse ; and it is believed that this of absorbing them ourselves, and will not be grudged to him. What that, if they were threatened by is to be done for the Nizam, it is less others, they could rely upon our pro- easy to determine. We owe everytection. Doing their best to save thing to bis Highness's able and rightus, they knew that they were put-minded minister, Salar Jung. But ting forth all their strength to save for his exertions the Nizam himself themselves. And this is the feel- would in all probability have been ing—not even now peculiar, be it led astray by evil counsellers, and said, to these petty states—that we cast in his lot with the enemy. should henceforth do all in our power But Salar Jung is only a servant; to keep alive in the breasts of all and a substantial proof of the grathe remaining princes and chiefs of titude of the British Government India.
would excite jealousies which in To engender this feeling of secu- all probability would tend to his rity the Proclamation is designed. downfall. To be rewarded to his That it has not hitherto universally advantage, he must, in some way or existed, we are bound to admit. other, be rewarded through the Every now and then the native Nizam. We do not believe that he courts have been thrown into pa- is an ambitious or self-seeking man, roxysms of restlessness and fever by but that, on the contrary, his wishes vague reports, perhaps ignorantly, are very much bound up with the perhaps maliciously circulated, of public interests; and that anything new annexations. It was reported contributing to advance the welfare at one time that the British Gov- and dignity of the State would be a ernment intended to absorb the greater boon to him than any perdominions of the Guicowar; at an- sonal advancement. The existing other, that they intended to annex arrangements with respect to the the ancient Rajpoot states. These Hyderabad assigned districts” are reports were very rife after the known to be a source of continual andexation of Oude ; and it is vexation to the minister, and nowonderful, all things considered, thing, it is believed, is so near his that the native states have been heart as some modification or reso true to us in the hour of peril. adjustment of them that will place Holkar, Scindiah, the Nizam, and the them on a footing more honourable to Guicowar, have all, to the best of the Nizam. The unconditional retheir ability, and with more or less storation of the districts is not, we success, supported the British Gov- believe, sought; neither, if sought, ernment. The great Rajpoot chiefs are we, in the present state of our have been true to their allegiance. information, prepared to counsel it ; The time is coming-nay, is now but it is possible that some new arcome-when we should testify our rangement might be made with renational gratitude by substantial re- spect to them, which, whilst not wards to our allies. Fortunately, we tending to weaken our administrahave the means of doing this without tive tenure of the districts, would giving back to the native princes give to the Nizam something more territory which has been for any of a nominal sovereignty over them, time, or at least for any length of and so render the compact less obtime, under British rule. We have noxious to himself, and less degradqualified the expression, because it ing to him in the eyes of others. might be advisable to give Jhansi to We have neither time nor space in Scindiah. The defection of the ruler which to pursue the subject; nor, inof Jhujjur and other small chiefships deed, have we the necessary amount in Upper India has opportunely of information. We have abundant afforded the means of rewarding the faith, however, in the generous intentions of the Secretary of State for nies and dependencies of the Crown? India in council, and we fcel assured for the Christian residents in India, that the claims of not one of the indeed, the Queen is bound to proprinces and chiefs who have ren- vide places of worship and ministers dered us good service in the day of of religion ; and the obligation is pracour trouble will be eventually disre- tically admitted. But is sbe bound to garded. In the fulfilment of the pro- the natives of her Indian territories to mises of the Proclamation will be provide them with places of worship their ulterior reward. The words of and ministers of religion according the manifesto may be vague ; but to their popular faith? What she of the spirit which animates it there conceives that she is bound to do is can be no doubt. Virtually, indeed, set forth in the next clause of the there is an end of annexation. Proclamation. “Firmly relying ourEvents, as we have said, have proved selves on the truth of Christianity, it to be our policy, and have made it and acknowledging with gratitude our duty, to maintain the indepen- the solace of religion, we disclaim dence of those states who have ren- alike the right and the desire to imdered us such good service against a pose our convictions on any of our powerful internal enemy; nay, who, subjects. We declare it to be our humanly speaking, have been the royal will and pleasure that none be salvation of our empire. Henceforth in any wise favoured, none molested we are bound to each other by com- or disquieted, by reason of their relimunity of interests; the safety of gious faith or observances, but that each is depeudent on the mainte- all shall alike enjoy the equal and nance of the other.
impartial protection of the law; and We have dwelt upon the subject we do strictly charge and enjoin all of the Native States at greater those who may be in authority under length than we had intended, or us, that they abstain from all interthan, we fear, is consistent with the ference with the religious belief or more general requirements of such a worship of any of our subjects, on commentary as this, but still in a pain of our highest displeasure.” manner incommensurate with its im- There is no passage in the Proclamaportance. We must turn now to the tion which has been more discussed, other prominent topics of the Pro- or which is still likely to be more clamation. “We hold ourselves discussed, than that which contains bound,” says the Queen, “to the the above important words. natives of our Indian territories by In framing this part of the Prothe same obligations of Duty which clamation, her Majesty's Governbind us to all our other subjects; and ment, aware of the existence of a those obligations, by the blessing of mighty conflict of opinion agitating Almighty God, we shall_faithfully the educated classes of English soand conscientiously fulfil." Unless the ciety, had no common difficulties to paragraph next in order is intended grapple with -no common task to to explain and to qualify this, it must perform. They had, in the selection be taken as a more general profession of words to be employed, to reconcile, of the benevolent designs of VICTORIA as far as possible, widely discordant Beatrix. It is not to be scanned sentiments ; and, if not to win gentoo nicely, or too strictly interpret- eral consent to the declaration of ed, without raising a question as to policy, at all events to avoid giving whether a Christian sovereign is such offence to any party as would bound by “ the same obligations of elicit strong expressions of disapproduty” to her Christian and to her bation. And we cannot help thinkheathen subjects. Is it not one of ing that they have shown very great the first duties of a Christian sov- sagacity in the selection of the words ereign to provide religious instruc- of the Proclamation. These words tion for the people of a Christian are sufficiently distinct for the purcountry, according to the popular pose, and yet they leave much room faith ? And is it not held that the for private interpretation. Knotty same obligation exists with regard to questions may, at some future time, those subjects who quit the mother arise, as to the practical application country to reside in the distant colo- of some of these words ; but there
can be no doubt of the spirit in wbich play; but when truth prevails by the entire passage is conceived. What argument alone, its victory is comwe have said in the early part of this plete. They are not, therefore, perarticle, about the advantage, in such mitted to bribe heathens to profess State papers, of a certain studied faith in Christ by the offer of office, vagueness of expression, is peculiarly or by attaching any honour or emoluapplicable to this passage. As it ments to that profession ; for this stands, whatever a inan's opinions may create hypocrites, but cannot may be, he need not possess a very make men Christians. They should elastic conscience to reconcile him to not tax the Hindoos for the purpose the declaration. There is nothing of maintaining Christian preachers, more in it than has, time after time, because this, by extorting their money been declared and enjoined by the for the purpose of destroying their East India Company. The doctrine faith, would exasperate them rather is that of an open, fearless manifesta- than convert them to Christ; nor are tion of our own Christianity, with the they called, as Christians, to pass any fullest toleration of the different reli- laws for the promotion of Christiangions of the country. It has long been ity, nor to make any grants of money a settled point that we may openly as- for this object, nor to employ any sert our own religion, without offence missionaries; for this work is not to the natives, or danger to ourselves. their office, nor are they fitted to At one time we were afraid of building discharge it. But it is their duty to churches, of appointing bishops, of confess Christ, and to serve him both licensing missionaries, of distributing as individual Christians aud as a Bibles; but all these groundless ap- Government."* prehensions have been worn away by Is this the accepted language of the attrition of experience. Neither evangelical Christendom? Speaking Hindoos nor Mohammedans have in with no great knowledge of the inany way resented the assertion of our tricacies of English sectarianism, we national faith ; and if they did, we should say that Mr Baptist Noel has should be bound to assert it in every as good a right to be heard as the way not savouring of aggression. But mouthpiece of Exeter Hall as any here the duties of the Christian Go- other Christian minister in the coun. vernment end. They are not called try. We devoutly hope that such is upon-we are glad now to use the the case, and that these really are words of Mr Baptist Noel, who at all the views of Exeter Hall ; for nuevents upon the subject of toleration thing can be more moderate-nothing, will be considered an important au- on the whole, more sensible. Exthority—“They are not called upon pressing, we believe, the sentiments to persecute Mohammedans or Hin- of the majority of educated gentledoos, because it is the will of Christ men in Great Britain, we should say, that His religion should be extended however, that Mr Baptist Noel, in by instruction, reasoning, and per- giving up altogether, as one of the suasion, and because man is answer- means of asserting our Christianity able for his belief to God alone ; so in India, the avowed obligation on that no man may interfere with an- the part of the State to provide other man's creed, as long as he does Christian instruction for its Chrisnot violate his neighbour's rights, or tian subjects, has erred on the side offend against public decency. They of excessive toleration, and conmust not, as Christians, prohibit ceded more to the opposite party heathen worship, nor interfere with than would be generally thought its advocates when they preach or necessary or wise. Perhaps the secret write in its behalf; because truth is of this is to be found in the peculiar always the strongest, when it is left views of the writer with respect to to contend with falsehood by it- ecclesiastical endowments, and the self. If error is silenced by autho- maintenance of a State Church. It is rity, its advocates may always say impossible to close one's eyes to the that it would have conquered by faire apparent injustice to the natives of
England and India : An Essay on the duty of Englishmen towards the Hindoos. By BAPTIST WRIOTHESLEY NOEL, M.A. Nisbet, 1859.
India, of“ extorting their money for facto meaning were attached to it, the purpose of destroying their what a world of contention there faith." But this is only a part of would be ! As it is, time and circumthe gigantic anomaly of Indian gov- stance must supply the interpretaernment. Do we not extort their tion. For the present, let every one money, not by thousands, but by interpret it in his own way, and be millions, for the purpose of destroy- satisfied that the meaning is what he ing their independence? If the one would desire to attach to it. Practiexasperates them, why not the cally, it will be found that the prohiother? Does not the larger part of bition extends only to official interthe revenues of India go towards ference. We know how difficult it the support of the military estab- is in India to separate the acts of the lishment, which is maintained for individual from those of the public the purpose of extinguishing the functionary; but it must be left for liberties of the people, and holding every man to draw, by his own conthem in perpetual subjection to å duct, the line of demarcation; and foreign power? These things will not if he be found wanting in discretion bear looking at too closely. Mean- he must answer to Government for while we may be satisfied with the the error he has committed. We fact, that the natives of India do trust that no servant of Government not resent the payment of a few will ever be denied the common thousands a-year for the support of Christian privilege of contributing to the Christian Church in India ; and the support of efforts for the diffusion that, on the whole, the least offen- of the gospel ; and that nothing that sive manner of asserting our Chris- he does, in furtherance of this great tianity, is by maintaining the dignity object, will ever be considered an of a Government Church Establish- official offence, so long as he abstains ment. We might maintain a Na- from investing what he does with the tional Church by national subscrip- prestige of authority, and does notion ; but the very chapter of Mr thing to alarm or to irritate the pubNoel's book from which the above lic mind. We are convinced that as passage is taken, is headed “The
soon as such a prohibition is autho. Confession of Christ by the East ritatively issued, a considerable numIndian Government." But the Gov- ber of the servants of the State-inernment, as a Government, can very cluding some of the best and ablest inadequately assert its Christianity, of them—will refuse to serve under if it does not support a Govern- so ungodly a Government, and retire, ment Church. Nothing makes Chris with ruined hopes, into the Christian tianity in the eyes of the people more liberty of private life. respectable than this Government But it does not appear to us that support; and nothing at the same Christianity calls for any active “intime that can be devised for the terference” on the part of the servants same purpose is less calculated to of the State, or that any public officer irritate and to alarm them.
can do violence to his conscience by Whilst we thus proudly assert our aiding missionary efforts in a man. own blessed religion, we are, says the ner only that can give no offence to Proclamation, to leave the natives of the Government or to the people of the country in the undisturbed posses- the country. To every man there is sion of their ancestral faiths; and an appointed duty; and it is not the the servants of the Government are duty of the judge of a district, or the strictly charged and enjoined "to colonel of a regiment, to take any abstain from all interference with active part in the evangelisation of the religions, belief, or worship,” of Mohammedans or Hindoos. We may any of her Majesty's subjects. The feel perfectly assured that, if money actual ineaning of the word “inter- is abundant, labour will not be ference,” in this manifesto, who wanting. Let the judge or the knows s But how much better that colonel give his money-the more no one should know. If it were freely the better-and leave the work known, or if-for probably not even to be done by the missionary. If, the writer of the Proclamation knows however, either judge or colonel feel what was really meant-an ex post that he is especially called to gird