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most frequently recurring ; bat it is only of the simplest of these that they can explain the meaning, and few can construe a single sentence from beginning to end. Those who can read intelligently our simplest tracts form a very small minority ;-perhaps not more than one in fifty among the vllagers; though in the city the proportion of such readers is considerably larger.
Preaching by the living voice indispensable. It will be at once seen how much need there is, in sueh a population, for the employment of the living voice in making known the truths of the Gospel. We may write and print and distribute as many books as we please ; but, after all, the great proportion of the people will remain in entire ignorance of everything but the mere name of Christianity, unless we preach to them. In no other way can we expect to make known the joyful news to the bulk of the present, and probably of many subsequent, generations of the Chinese, than in that adopted by the Apostles, “ preaching publicly, and from house to house." It is only in this way that the female sex can be made acquainted with saving truth; for scarcely a single woman is to be met with who can make the slightest use of a book. Nor is the rising generation of either sex at all likely to be better off in this respect than the present; the proportion of boys who are sent to school, or who are allowed to continue there so long as to enable them to derive advantage from it, being very small, and no effort whatever being made to instruct the girls
Horrible extent of infanticide. As to the moral condition of the people, its degradation may be conceived when we call to mind that female infanticide not only extensively prevails, but is looked upon as à matter of utter insignificance. It is principally in the villages that we meet with this gross violation both of human laws and natural feeling. In every village we visit, we make inquiries on this subject, questioning in succession the various groups who cluster round us to listen to our addresses. In several villages it was admitted that there are always some female infants destroyed as soon as born, but the proportion was not stated; in others it was allowed that only half were suffered to live ; while in others it was confessed, without any feeling of shame, that seven in ten were at once deprived of life. It is most melancholy to mark the indifference with which mothers, when questioned on the subject, give utterance to the statement that they do not want female children, and that they can make no use of them ; seeming to think they have as perfect a right to destroy a new-born daughter as they have to drown a kitten. Viewed as a moral question, the subject seemed to many of them entirely new; and they vented to each other their astonishment at hearing foreigners expressing sorrow at a state of things, in regard to which their hearts or consciences had never felt a single pang of regret.
Chinese vindication of infanticide. Nothing can be more distressing than to be compelled to breathe, even for a short time, the moral atmosphere of these pleasant and sometimes beautiful villages, and to think that the women who throng around us, and seem such interested and attentive listeners to our remarks, would not scruple to murder the sweet babes to which they give birth, simply because they have the misfortune to be of the same sex with themselves. Of course the principal reason assigned for this disgraceful practice is poverty the impossibility of finding sustenance for girls who can do nothing to earn a livelihood ;-a mode of reasoning, which was followed up (of course by a philosopher of the male sex) by the equally excellent argument, that the women were so wicked, the fewer they had of them the better. It is only proper to mention, after the exhibition of so much that is dismal, that we have met with mothers in some villages who seemed to love their daughters as well as their sops, and whose fervent embrace of the sweet little
girls that nestled in their bosom, when questioned if they had ever destroyed female infants, was the best answer that could be desired, in the negative. But how wretched the moral condition of a community where such cases form not the rule, but the exception !
Power of native superstition. - Vide Engraving, page 41. The more we become acquainted with the people, the more evidently we perceive the powerful influence exercised over them by the reigning superstition, and by the dread of appearing singular in opposing it. To the vast majority of the lower orders, the simple fact that idolatry has descended to them from remote antiquity, and has been invariably practised from generation to generation, stands in room of all proof, and completely supersedes the necessity, of investigation. If, however, such proof were at all necessary, they think it is abundantly supplied, even to the present generation. As for instance: it is a very common practice for the Chinese, before engaging in any transaction of importance, to ask counsel of an idol. This is done in various ways, one of which is, by throwing up in presence of the idol, two pieces of bamboo root, each having two sides, one flat and the other rounded. If both pieces, on falling, present the rounded side, the response is unfavourable; if both present the flat side, it is not so much so, but still not satisfactory ; if one presents the rounded, and the other the flat side, the response is in all respects favourable. Now, as it often happens that the transaction in regard to which an answer is thus given-it is supposed by the idol itself-turns out as the votary wishes, what more natural for him than to attribute the result to the effective energy of the deity whose aid was invoked ?
Priestly deception in the treatment of the sick. Vows, as among the ancient heathen nations, are frequently made in the prospect of a voyage or similar event; and the prosperity of the voyage is attributed to the power of the idol to whom the vow was made. A sick person has been long attended by medical practitioners, but all in vain-his friends feel anxious for him, and resolve to seek superior aid ; they invite a conjurer, or priest; an idol is brought from some well-frequented temple--gilt paper and incense are burnt before it; the sick man's case is humbly represented to the god by the priest; and medical assistance implored. All at once the priest appears as if inspired by the idol, leaps and dances about in a divine frenzy, and dictates the words of a prescription, which are written down and immediately complied with. Should the medicine prove effectual, the conclusion to the Chinese seems inevitable, that the deity has really inspired the priest. These conjurors, called here Tangki, Tang Chi, or Ki Tong, have habituated themselves to the endurance of extreme pain, in some parts of their bodies, and yet are able to refrain from any outward manifestation of it: they give themselves heavy blows, thrust sharp instruments into their cheeks and throats, and maintain they are not hurt, even though the blood flows. It is not wonderful, if the populace regard all this as demonstrative that a higher power is present than that of a mere mortal. Thus are " living wonders ” made to keep up the reputation of the idols, altogether with a view to the interest of the priests, who in this way earn their support.
HONG-KONG-BAPTISM OF CHINESE CONVERTS. The friends of Missions will rejoice to learn that God is manifesting the riches of his grace towards the Chinese at Hong-Kong. The following delightful intelligence has been received, under date of August, from Mr. Gillespie, who joined our Mission in that Island in 1844 :
On the 28th of June, we had the pleasure the Christian Church, by the ordinance of of receiving two Chinese into the bosom of Baptism. They are both grave elderly
men. Their desire to become Christians two men, Le-tseo-yung, and Choo-a-lo, as arose from a conviction of the vast supe- in the presence of God, that they henceriority of the Christian Faith above all forth abstain from all idol and ancestorother religious systems; and more espe- worship; that they forsake every false way, cially from its holding out a way of recon- and turn with sincere hearts to the service ciliation through the blood of atonement of the only true God, and of Jesus Christ, between guilty man and his justly-offended who had bought them with his blood ; and Maker. Their knowledge of the way of that, as his disciples, they be faithful unto salvation, and their acquaintance with death; so that through his abundant merits Scriptural Truth in general, from regularly they might be saved from the wrath to attending at the chapels, appeared highly come, and be exalted to the felicities of satisfactory.
heaven. Having signified their consent, It was not until they had undergone re- they were then baptized in the name of peated and searching examinations in the the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Brother presence of several Missionary Brethren, Stronach and I gave them the right hand and inquiries had likewise been made into of fellowship the integrity of their private character, that On the following Sabbath, Union Chapel it was resolved to admit them into the fel presented an interesting spectacle. Around lowship of the church. Chin-Seen preached the table of the Lord were met to celebrate from the words in Matt. xxviii. “Go ye, his dying love, two natives of India, from therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing Mr. Leitch's native church, Madras; seven them in the name of the Father, and of the natives of China; and about a dozen foSon, and of the Holy Ghost." From which reigners, English and American-men of he gave an account of the institution and various kindreds, colours, and tongues, Medesign of the initiatory ordinance. I then thodist, Baptist Independent, and Presbyteaddressed the people on the love of the Fa- rian-all forgetting national prejudices and ther in sending his Son to save us ; on the denominational distinctions, and uniting as compassion of Jesus in dying for us; on brethren in this one thing--gratitude to the our need of the good influence of the Divine Son of God, in whose redemption we trust. Spirit to regenerate our natures, to con- Truly it was good and pleasant to see brestitute us children of God, and faithful fol- thren thus dwelling together in unity! lowers of the Saviour. I then charged the
INDIA —THE MYSORE IDOL. In the following statement from Mr. Campbell, of Mysore, we find a striking in. stance of the power of Hindoo idolatry and superstition. By such facts we are reminded that the great adversary who, from age to age, has employed the the delusions of Hindooism to lead captive the native mind, is not yet bound ; and that the cry of perishing souls in India to the churches of our land, for succour and deliverance, has yet lost none of its force and urgency. Our brother, writing early in October last, observes :
At the very moment when I write this, a in state for the protection of the city, espesalate is being fired in the fort of Mysore, cially of the palace. Such processions give on account of a procession which takes us an opportunity of applying the words of place to day in honour of Chamoondie, the the Prophet, “ They must needs be borne, Rajah's tutelar goddess. There is a large because they cannot walk. Be not afraid temple erected to her on the top of the My- of them ; for they cannot do evil, neither sore hill, and that hill is called Chamoon- is it in them to do good.” die, after her name. Her car is drawn to- This morning, when I was preaching in day, so that it is a day of unhallowed joy in the Pettah, a man referred to Chamoondie's this city. She is supposed to be an incar- power to cure diseases, as a proof of her dination of Parmutee, the wife of Siva, and vinity. But having, perhaps, incautiously, adis said to have rendered great service to the mitted that it was desirable to make use of people in this neighbourhood at one time, medicine, as well as prayers to her, and that by killing a giant who was making great she performed no cures instantaneously, he ravages in the surrounding country.
found it difficult to show that she was any The hill on which the temple is built more than a “piece of silver.” The poor stands near to the city, and is between 900 man was himself in a diseased state of body, and 1,000 feet high. Many of the people but did not seem to have much faith in the go weekly to present offerings to the god- goddess to effect his own cure. He and dess; and, not very long ago, when the cho- those present were directed to a more ex. lera was raging, the idol was bronght down
ITINERANT LABOURS IN BENGAL. In connection with their more regular operations, the itinerant labours of our Missionary brethren in every part of India have long been found of eminent advantage in promulgating the truths of Christianity among the native population, especially in the more secluded districts and villages of this vast and interesting country. The Rev. A. F. Lacroix, of Calcutta, accompanied by a brother Missionary, employed a portion of his time, at the close of last year and the beginning of the present, in performing an extensive journey for this purpose among the native towns and villages on the banks of the Ganges, south of Calcutta, and its tributary streams; and, from the record of his labours and observations at that period, we are gratified in being able to present the following details. In these our readers will find an intelligent and impressive view of the obstacles which our devoted brethren have to encounter both from the followers of the False Prophet, and the worshippers of idols ; while they will also learn the kind and measure of success with which these itinerant labours are attended, with the hopes that may be cherished, through divine mercy, of more direct and animating results, Mr. Lacroix, and his companion, embarked at Calcutta, Dec. 29, and the following are mentioned among the earliest events of their journey :Mohammedan opposition both to idolatry, We told him that to worship one God and Christianity.
was so far well ; for it is written in the Dec. 3, 1845.- This morning we went Bible, “The Lord our God is one Lord;" on shore, and walked about a inile inland, but that we had one question to ask him, when we reached an extensive village. A viz., whether he kept the commandments of respectable Mohammedan, on seeing us pass that one God whom he boasted of worshipthrough the bazaar, invited us to make a ping? He was obliged to confess that he did halt under a widely-spreading banyan-tree, not do it as he ought. Upon this, we put and kindly sent to his dwelling for two him in mind of his greater sinfulness, that, seats which we gratefully accepted. In a knowing there was but one true God, he few minutes, a number of Hindoos drew did not obey him. Observing him a little near and seated themselves on the ground humbled, we further pointed out to him the around us, and listened attentively to our deficiency of the Koran in not providing a message. The Mohammedan, however, Saviour for sinners, or any adequate means who was very talkative, and appeared ex- of salvation. Here we had an opportunity tremely self-righteous, interrupted us ever offered to us, in a natural way, of preaching and anon. He said he perfectly agreed with Christ as God manifested in the flesh and us as to the sinfulness of idolatry; and he crucified for the salvation of sinners. These upbraided the poor Hindoos in no measured truths were to this self-righteous Mohamterms for worshipping so many gods. As medan a stumbling-block, even as they for himself, he said, he was not so stupid! were to the Jews of old, and are still to all He had been taught from the Koran to wor- in our days whose disposition of mind is ship only one God, and was, therefore, similar. greatly superior, both in knowledge and holiness, to the Hindoos.
Having entered the river Damoodah, and landed at Ampthah, Mr. Lacroix relates the particulars of their visit to a celebrated idol-temple in that town, which he concludes as follows :
Brahminical avarice and meanness. it, but could not see; ears, but could not As we were leaving the temple of Me- hear; a mouth, but could not speak. We lai Thakoorani, we were requested by the seemed to be well understood, and no priests to make an offering to this far- offence was taken at our plainness of famed idol; but this of course we decidedly speech, nor were we asked a second time refused, and said in reply, That we wor- to present a gift to the idol. The Brahmins shipped only the one true God, the Maker of the temple, however, put it on another of heaven and earth; and therefore could ground, and begged we would give them not show any respect to a mere block of something for their own use in the shape wood—which indeed had eyes painted on of a douceur. To this we could not con
sent either ; as we well knew onr compliance impulse, he makes them a present of one would be proclaimed about by these cun- or two rupees. No sooner, however, has ning men as a token of regard for the idol this been done, but the money is placed beitself. Europeans cannot be too careful fore the idol; and, in either case, it is inin this respect when they visit such places sidiously spread abroad, that the Christian through curiosity, or for the sake of infor- gentleman has presented an offering to the formation: many, without intending it, god or goddess worshipped at this shrine. confirm the Hindoos in their idolatry. Hence it is that we are often told by the Whenever an European visits a temple, he heathen, when exposing the sin of idolis immediately surrounded by a number of worship, that, if it were so wicked, Christian greedy Brahmins; and, to rid himself of gentlemen would not have made offerings their importunity, or from a more generous to their gods. A sad objection, truly !
On the following day our friends paid a second visit to Ampthah, and it was on this occasion the following conversation, relating to a subject of the last importance in the creed of Hindooism, was held :Refutation of the leading doctrines of Hin
what would you think of an individual who dooism.
spent much money and took great trouble Jan. 1, 1846.— When on the point of to build a house for his own residence and leaving the receipt of customs, a Brahmin, that of his family, and who, the moment who at first had remained silent, stepped the house was ready, would himself put fire forward and said he had an objection to to it and completely destroy it?” make which would invalidate all that we “I have never heard of such a man; but had stated; and that was the hacknied ob- if such an one ever existed, he must have jection among the Hindoos, (who, it is well been a madman; for who, but one deknown, are pantheists,) that God is the au- prived of his senses, could ever be guilty thor of sin, and that therefore men are not of such a foolish deed?" accountable for their actions. Thinking that “Well, Sir, consider whether you do not it might be beneficial to our crowded audi- ascribe to God an equal want of undertory to have the fallacy of this dreadful standing when you say, that He has given tenet exposed, I entered into a discussion laws to men to keep, and has prepared a with the Brahmin, pretty much in the fol- heaven for those who keep them ; but who lowing strain: I shall record it at length in himself prompts them to break those very order to give to my friends in Europe an laws, and thereby renders them liable to be idea of our mode of arguing with the na- consigned to the fire of hell ?” tives:
“You may say so to a certain degree."
“I have not done yet; for I wish, before The Hindoo dogma that God is the author of all these people, to sift the subject to the sin disproved.
bottom. Pray, do you hold that God is Missionary. – Pray, Brahmin! do you pure and holy; that is, that He loves that acknowledge that God is the Master not which is good and right, and hates murder, only of his irrational, but also of his ra- theft, adultery, injustice, ingratitude, and tional, creatures, and that He has given them such like things?” laws to keep?"
“Certainly I do." (Here the Brahmin Brahmin.-“Certainly He is their Master, quoted a Sanscrit passage from the Shasters, and has not only given them laws, but pre- showing that God is pure and holy.) pared a place of bliss for those who keep “Now, if God be pure and loves holiness them; and He has said, moreover, that those and hates sin, how is it possible that He who do not obey them shall be severely, would himself prompt men to do that which punished in this life, and also in the next. He hates? Would you, Brahmin! for in
“Very well! I am happy to hear you stance instigate a robber to plunder your say so; because it is truth. But I am very house, and to kill your wife and your sorry to hear you say that God is the author children?" of sin, because that is untrue, and I hope “ Not I! How could I instigate a man to to prove it to be go. Let me, therefore, do things which I so utterly abhor?” put this question to you ;— Is God possessed “Well, you see, as you yourself would of supreme wisdom or not?”
never think of prompting a man to do that “O, yes! God is supremely wise. Who which you hate and abhor, no more will ever doubted that?"
God ever induce men to commit sin, which “There is a man here present who not is so opposed to his nature, and which is only doubts whether God be wise; but who that abominable thing which He hateth." positively asserts that He is not. Who that " If you have anything more to say, say man is, you will soon ascertain. Tell me,