Letter Selections by Lakshman Singh | Introductory Note and Notes by H.P.B.
[Note: for background, see The “Contradictions of the Bible” and The Rawal Pindi Mission School.]
We give room to this letter, under the distinct promise made in it that it will be the “last.” We sided and still side with the writer, were it but for the reason that in such quarrels between master and subordinate, the latter, whether right or wrong, is sure to have always the worst in the affray. Moreover, we adhere to our first opinion that the whole thing was an abuse of power.
I write this letter only to make myself free of the charges laid by the Rev. Missionary in The Theosophist for November. It will be my last letter. . . .
. . . I lead it to your readers to decide, whether the sentence: “And he also after threatening me and proving by every sophistry that the author of the book was a wicked and immoral man, made various excuses for not giving the book back to me,” is an exaggeration or a true fact; I have to add only the following:
When the second master had handed the book to the Rev. Missionary, the latter called me into his presence and angrily asked me “Why did you send for such a book?” Dare you see the Bible falsified?” etc. etc.1 . . .
1. And why should not a non-Christian hesitate to read or send for such a Bible—for which he cares as little as a Christian Missionary for the Shastras—even if falsified? Would the Rev. Mr. Newton feel any scruples to reading the Koran or the Bhagavad Gita in a caricature? Moreover, the “Self-contradictions of the Bible” does not contain one single word of comment or disrespect. It is quotations verbatim and literatim from the Bible. Is it any one’s fault if the various prophets (the alleged authors of the books) although inspired, have so unfortunately contradicted themselves in their statements?—Ed. [H.P.B.]
He then tried to convince me that its author was an immoral man as he had had ignoble reports about his conduct from a gentleman in America. I only replied that I had nothing to do with either the wickedness or the goodness of the author. The book would tell its own tale, and if it proved immoral I would touch it no more. I then asked for the book, but he said the book was poison, and he would let me have it together with an antidote whenever I would come again.2 . . .
2. In other words the Reverend gentleman called names the Bible itself, which is neither pious nor seemly, considering his profession. We say again, except on the title page and the headings of paras, there is no one word of comment in the pamphlet by the compiler—for its true authors are the apostles and Bible prophets. Why then “the antidote?” Can the Rev. Mr. Newton deny that which is printed black on white in every Bible?—Ed. [H.P.B.]
“The Rev. Missionary accuses me in his letter that I had always been buying anti-Christian works from a scholarship which I was getting from the school.” This refers to troubles in connection with the Rawal Pindi Mission School authorities. H. P. B. remarks:]
And where’s the offence even were the charge true? If, as every Missionary, the Rev. Mr. Newton had an eye to converting his heathen pupils to Christianity, he was himself, in honour bound, to furnish Lakshman Singh with means of ascertaining the real superiority and worth of the religion offered him as a substitute for that of his ancestors. How can a thing be proved good, unless both its outward and inward value are found?
Truth need fear no light. If Christianity be true, it ought to welcome the strictest and closest of investigations. Otherwise “conversion” becomes very much like selling damaged goods—in some dark back room of a shop.