"NOT A CHRISTIAN"!
[From the Indian Spectator.]
BEFORE entering upon the main
question that compels me to ask you kindly to accord me space in your esteemed
paper, will you inform me as to the nature of that newly-born infant prodigy
which calls itself The Bombay Review? Is it a bigoted, sectarian
organ of the Christians, or an impartial journal, fair to all, and unprejudiced
as every respectable paper styling itself "Review" ought to
be, especially in a place like Bombay, where such a diversity of religious
opinions is to be found? The two paragraphs in the number of February 22nd,
which so honour the Theosophical Society by a double notice of its American
members, would force me to incline toward the former opinion. Both the editorial
which attacks my esteemed friend, Miss Bates, and the apocalyptic vision
of the modern Ezekiel, alias "Anthropologist," who shoots
his rather blunt arrows at Col. Olcott, require an answer, if it were but
to show the advisability of using sharper darts against Theosophists. Leaving
the seer to his prophetic dream of langoutis and cow-dung, I will simply
review the editorial of this Review which tries to be at the same
time satirical and severe and succeeds only in being nonsensical. Quoting
from another paper a sentence relating to Miss Bates, which describes her
as "not a Christian," it remarks in that bitter and selfish
spirit of arrogance and would-be superiority, which so characterizes Christian
The public might have been spared the sight of the italicized
What "public" may I ask? The majority of the intelligent and
reading publicespecially of native papersin Bombay as throughout
India is, we believe, composed of non-Christiansof Parsîs, Hindûs,
etc. And this public instead of resenting such "wanton aggressiveness,"
as the writer pleases to call it, can but rejoice to find at least one European
lady, who, at the same time that she is not a Christian, is quite
ready, as a Theosophist, to call any respectable "heathen" her
brother, and regard him with at least as much sympathy as she does a Christian.
But this unfortunate thrust at Theosophy is explained by what follows:
In the young ladys own interest the insult ought not to
have been flung into the teeth of the Christian public.
Without taking into consideration the old and wise axiom, that honesty
is the best policy, we can only regret for our Christian opponents that
they should so soon "unveil" their cunning policy. While in the
eyes of every honest "heathen" Theosophist, there can be no higher
recommendation for a person than to have the reputation of being truthful
even at the expense of his or her "interest," our Christian Review
unwittingly exposes the concealed rope of the mission machinery, by
admitting that it is in the interest of every person here, at leastto
appear a Christian or a possible convert, if he is not one de
facto. We feel really very, very grateful to the Review for
such a timely and generous confession. The writers defence of the
public" for which it speaks as one having authority is no less
vague and unsatisfactory, as we all know that among the 240,000,000 of native
population in India, Christians count but as a drop in an ocean. Or is it
possible that no other public but the Christian is held worthy of the name
or even of consideration? Had converted Brâhmans arrived here instead
of Theosophists, and one of these announced his profession of faith by italicizing
the words, not a heathen, we doubt whether the fear of hurting
the feelings of many millions of Hindus would have ever entered the mind
of our caustic paragraphist!
Nor do we find the sentence, "India owes too much to Christianity,"
anything but arrogant and presumptuous talk. India owes much and everything
to the British Government, which protects its heathen subjects equally with
those of English birth, and would no more allow the one class to insult
the other than it would revive the Inquisition. India owes to Great Britain
its educational system, its slow but sure progress, and its security from
the aggression of other nations; to Christianity it owes nothing. And yet
perhaps I am mistaken, and ought to have made one exception. India owes
to Christianity its mutiny of 1857, which threw it back for a century. This
we assert on the authority of general opinion and of Sir John Kay, who declares,
in his Sepoy War, that the mutiny resulted from the intolerance of
the crusading missions and the silly talk of the Friend of India.
I have done; adding but one more word of advice to the Review.
In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, when the latest international
revision of the Biblethat infallible and revealed Word
of God!reveals 64,000 mistranslations and other mistakes, it is not
the Theosophistsa large number of whose members are English patriots
and men of learningbut rather the Christians who ought to beware of
"wanton aggressiveness" against people of other creeds. Their
boomerangs may fly back from some unexpected parabola and hit the throwers.
H. P. BLAVATSKY.
Bombay, Feb. 25th, 1879.
"No Religion Higher Than Truth"
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