18 JANUARY 1879, Page 20


The Brahma Year-Book, No. IIL, for 1878. Brief Records of Work and Life in the Theistic Churches of India. Edited by Sophia Dobson Collet. (Williams and Norgate.)—This is a number of unusual interest, as it contains all the materials for forming an impartial judgment on the schism in the Brahmo-Somaj caused by Keshub Chunder Sen's marriage of his daughter, while still under the age which he himself had laid down as the minimum age for marriage, to the young Maharajah of Kooch Behar, with rites which, if not actually idolatrous, undoubtedly savoured of the idolatrous, and were not pure Theistic rites. The rupture caused in the Brahmo Church by this act of Keshub Chunder Sen's has been a serious one, nor do we hesitate for a moment in pronouncing that in his eager- ness for a match which he at the time sincerely believed likely to spread the Theistic faith far and wide in India, Keshub Chunder Sen allowed himself to make light of great moral principles to which he had previously attached, and taught others to attach, the greatest pos- sible importance. It is not the first time that great religious teachers have done, for the glory of God, as they sincerely held, what they would probably have condemned others for doing, and would, in the case of others, have shown to be dishonouring to God. But while we condemn Keshub Chunder Sen's coarse, we think the language in which he has been assailed has often been far too bitter. We believe he has made a great moral mistake, but not one which has been so clear to his own mind as to render it impossible for others still to follow his lead,—if he would but still play the leader,—in cases in which they can approve his lead. Miss Collet's account of the whole transaction is very clear, impartial, and complete. Pro- bably she agrees somewhat more with those who think that Keshub Chunder Sen has for ever forfeited his position in the Theistic move- ment in India than we should. But she gives all the pleas on both sides very clearly, as well as the further developments to which the schism has led.