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several hours. They also tore to pieces all the papers, and the copy of the testament, which they found in Fotiek's house. A relation of these persecutors being dead, they did not molest Hawnye and Ram Kaunt; but the townsfolk would not hear about the gospel: they only insulted them for becoming christians.
I now suspect that some whom we baptized, joined us from mercenary motives: hence their conduct is marked with irregularities. However, I trust, we have a good number who are really changed. Indeed, when one of our Hindoo friends, whose temper, &c. has given us a good deal of uneasiness, had his mind greatly alienated from us for a season, he never abandoned his belief in Christ, but kept up family prayer, &c. constantly. Old Petumber, Krishno Presaud, and Ram Rotton appear to walk most steadily; and the two former have a good knowledge of divine things. Petumber has read the testament over again and again. Krishno Presaud has read it over twice, I think, in a regular way. Next to these in rank, are Bydenaut, Rama Kaunt, Hawnye, Ramanund, Ram Mohun, Sheetaram, Koobeer, &c. Of several others we have good hopes; of some we have many fears; and others, though not yet excluded, give us much sorrow.
None of our native brethren are learned: Petumber is the best. Krishno is our Bengalee hymn-maker. Young Fernandez is the life of our Bengalee singing: the rest of us cannot sing Bengalee hymn-tunes worth a straw; and Bengalee hymns to English metres will not do; they cannot learn them well. The person who makes a Bengalee hymn, makes the tune also.
MR. CHAMBERLAIN TO MR. MORRIS.
Cutwa, Oclocer 13th, 1804." This is a time of great confusion and disorder. The Hindoos are mad upon their idols, and are now worshipping the wicked Doorga. I was engaged all the afternoon of yesterday in disputation with several Hindoos, about their idols and their poojahs. After exposing the infamous character of Doorga, and Gonga, by a reference to their history, I assured an old bralimin, who waxed warm in the debate, that were such characters now living, they would certainly be hanged; yea, verily, all of them, without exception! The altercation being ended, I had much conversation with him respecting the gospel; and he said that he had never heard such things before. I gave him some tracts, and he came again yesterday. I read to him the narrative of our Lord's feeding the five thousand, and of his walking on the sea ;
and the old man confessed that these were the works of God. I then rehearsed the ten commandments, which he highly approved, but objected to the killing of animals, especially the cow. The Hindoos often mention this as an instance of great cruelty, though they can speak of burning a woman alive as an act of superior holiness!
October 15th. Yesterday morning I saw a man gathering flowers for the idol; and as several brahmins were present, I said to him, Has your idol any eyes; can it see? Has it a mouth; can it eat? Why then do you bow down to it, and spread rice and flowers before it? Worship Him who made the heavens and the earth, and forsake these lying vanities. Did he not make these flowers; and can you show him one that he does not see? Reproach not your Maker with such idle vanities. The brahmins heard attentively, took some papers, and professed to believe, that there is but one God. At worship, an aged woman, with her two grandsons, came to hear the word. She paid great attention, and expressed her joy with many tears, much in the fol. lowing words. “ Oh what happiness to hear such good words ! I gained much instruction by hearing yesterday. I am ignorant; I am wicked; I know nothing; I will stay, and hear these good words; Oh what happiness; to-morrow I will bathe in that tank, and will go to Gonga no more!"
I wish that I could inform you of the turning of many of these poor Hindoos to the true and living God; yet it affords me unspeakable satisfaction to be able to speak to them of the things which belong to their everlasting peace. I feel, however, such a want of love and compassion to the souls of men, in all I say and do, as fills me with confusion and astonishment. Alas, missionary sins are no common sins! and who can tell how awful is his doom, who, while preaching life to others, himself is lost! Pray for me, that I may find mercy of the Lord in that day! J. C.
A BRAHMIN'S REASONS FOR BECOMING A CHRISTIAK. Taken from a small work lately issued from the missionary press, at
Serampore, near Calcutta.
QUESTION AND ANSWER.
Q. But why should you be afraid of sin?
A.' Alas! sin is most dreadful! it is against Cod and man; one sin is enough to send a man to eternal hell.
Q: Sin seems to terrify you.
A. And well it may; I have seen that I am full of sin, that sin has brought me and all mankind under the curse of God; and that coming in and going out, lying down and rising up, in all be has, and in all he does, the transgressor is cursed. If I die under this curse I shall fall into eternal hell.
Q. But if you bathe in Gonga* will not your sins go away?
A. No! No! If I repeat the name of every debtah,t obey my goroo,t wash in Conga, or go into the wilderness,g still I can do nothing but sin!
Q. How then can you be saved ?
A. He has obeyed God's law for sinners, suffered the pains of hell for them, and is appointed of God to be the Saviour of all them who believe.
Q. How do you know this?
A. Yes! in my own heart. When I heard of Christ's love to sinners, my fear of death and hell went away, and now I hate all sin.
Q. Have you forsaken sin then? Nobody forsakes sin among the Hindoos.it
A. I hope I have forsaken all sin; I desire to do so, and to be holy like the true God!
Q. But was it not wicked to forsake your cast and your goroo?
A. No, having found water of life in the blood of Christ, I cast away Gonga water: having found freedom in Christ, I broke the chain of the cast; having found the true Goroo, who has taught me the true shaster, and who died to save me from hell, I cast away the goroo of this world, and instead of being the son of Brumah,t! I am become the son of the living and true God.
† A common name of Hindoo gods. A village teacher, who is always a brahmin. 9 A prey to tygers. ** Book of religious information.
#t Ask a Hindoo why he tells lies, he answers, it is the custom of the country.
| Brumah or Birmah is one of the chief gods of the Hindoos.
Q. But have you broken your Poitoo?t
A. Yes, I want it no longer. I will wear the name of Jesus Christ as a mallaf of sweetest flowers, or costly jewels. I would tell all the world of this dear Saviour..
FROM THE CHRISTIAN OBSERVER,
As I understand one part of your plan is the solution of difficulties, that occur to the mind of the sincere inquirer after truth, especially those that relate at all to the scriptures, or to our holy religion, I beg leave to propose, for that purpose, one with which I have sometimes been puzzled, and which I have never yet been able to get satisfactorily resolved. It respects the account of time, called Anno Domini, or the year of our Lord, which (though so called) is said not to commence till four years after the birth of our blessed Saviour. To this agree the dates in the margin of the Bibles, at least all such as I have examined. The birth of Christ is said to be four years before the common account. When our Lord is said to be twelve years of age,
it is marked in the margin A. D. 8, when he was baptized, A. D. 27, which seems to be the time when St. Luke says, he “began to be about thirty years of age.” But when he was crucified, &c. A. D.33. This makes him thirty-six years of age at the time of his death, reckoning him to have been thirty at his baptism, or thirty-seven, supposing him to have been born (as it is said) four years before the common account; whereas I have always understood him to have been no more than thirty-three, his ministry having continued three years, or a little more.
I observe that Dr. Prideaux, the learned dean of Norwich, gives an account agreeing with the dates in the margin of our Bibles, except that he makes John begin his ministry A. D. 26, which he supposes continued three years and a half, and our Lord A. D. 29, which continued three years and a half also, making in the whole seven complete years.
Now, Mr. Editor, am I to consider these two sources of information, which I should have supposed were sufficient authorities, as erroneous; or was our Lord, both at the commencement and at the completion of his ministry, really of the age which these accounts would make him?
† The poitoo is a thread worn by the bralımans across the shoulder, and under the arm, and is the distinguishing badge of their cast.
I was for some time at a loss for the reason why our account, called anno Domini, did not commence till four years after the birth of our Lord, and had inquired of many persons who seemed likely to inform me, without obtaining any satisfaction upon the subject. But recollecting that I had formerly seen the reason given, in some work that I had read, I at length looked again into Prideaux's Connexion of the Old and New Testament, and found in the second page of the preface the following words: “ The difference that is between the true year of our Saviour's incarnation, and that of the vulgar æra of it, proceeded from hence, that it was not till the 527th year of that æra that it was first brought into use. Dionysius Exiguus, a Scythian by birth, and then a Roman abbot, was the first author of it; and Beda our country man, taking it from him, used it in all his writings, and the recommendation which he gave it thereby hath made it of common use among christians ever since, especially in these western parts. Had all christians calculated their time by it from the beginning of the church of Christ (as it could be wished they had) there could then have been no mistake in it. But it being 527 years after Christ's incarnation before this æra of it was ever used, no wonder, that after so great a distance of time a mistake was made in the fixing of the first year of it.”
Should any of your readers be in the same predicament in which the writer of this was for a time, they will not be displeased to see this reference in your useful miscellany. And if either you yourself, or any of your correpondents, will have the goodness to solve the difficulty stated above, it will much oblige
C. 0. T.
AN EXTRACT From St. Basrl’s* Funeral Oration on the martyr Julitta, in which
he takes occasion to enforce the duty of continual firayer and fraise.
When thou sittest down to table, offer up thy prayers. When thou partakest food, pour out thy thanks to him, from whom that food proceeded. If thou callest in the aid of wine, to sustain
• St. Basil, surnamed the Great, was born in Cappadocia, A. D. 329, and was made bishop of Cæsaria, in the same province, A. D. 369, and died in 379. He wrote with great elegance and purity. His style is ma. jestic, his reasonings profound, and his erudition extensive. He is alJowed to be one of the most eloquent of the primitive fathers.