IO THE INHABITANTS OF THE PHILIPPINES
intricate subject, rendered more complex by the reluctance of the American Government to interfere in religious matters, even though they are so bound up with the politics of the Philippines that no pacification can be effected without following popular sentiment upon this point.
So far as the landed estates are concerned, the settlement could be arrived at by a commission with ample powers. In the meantime, no sale of these estates should be recognised.
The benefices held by the friars should be gradually bestowed upon the secular clergy, as suitable men can be found. The native clergy have always been badly used by the friars ; they have had to suffer abuse and ignominious treatment They have not been in a position to develop their dignity and self-respect.
I have spoken of them in general as leaving something to be desired as to decorous conduct, but they will doubtless improve when placed in positions of consideration and responsibility.
Amongst them are men of considerable learning ; some have passed brilliant examinations in theology and canon law.
As regards piety, Malays, whether heathen, Mahometan or Christian, take their religion lightly, and we must not expect too much. I daresay they are pious enough for the country and the climate.As regards piety, Malays, whether heathen, Mahometan or Christian, take their religion lightly, and we must not expect too much. I daresay they are pious enough for the country and the climate.