that suffering' woman. As might be sup- head, who was to be worshipped as the posed, the common sense of justice led the source of all that is pure-of the redemption company unanimously to assert, that no of the world by the son of a virgin, who punishment whatever ought to attach to her died to atone for the sins of the human race, —that the woman was the mere victim to and who, through his death, procured for the brutality of the man; but that he who them a happy resurrection. From this is had been guilty of the act, deserved the has been supposed, that at that time chris highest punishment the law could inflict.- tianity was introduced among its inhabi, When this public decision had been pro- tants. Others have supposed, and probably nounced, the lady replied, “I am the woman, with more truth, that this was merely a and there sits the man to whom I owe my Brahminical sect, the features of whose faith dishonor. I pray you," she continued "take thus closely resembled the doctrines of revemy life, that the shame of having suffered so lation. infamous a wrong may not stain other and The first well attested account of the inhappier women; that one degraded as I am troduction of Christianity into Japan, is that may not be found among living men." under the labors of St. F. Xavier, A. D.

Solemnly did those present renonstrate 1549, wļo with the true zeal of the Jesuit, against such an idea, and her husband ad

d her husband ad desired' to see the whole world brought ded his kind assurance of unabated affection.

under subjection to the Papal sce. Here he But the unhappy wife could not be reconcil.

labored for two years and a half; and though ed to her condition. Her purity was stained,

he had but little success in his labors, he yet

succeeded in laying the foundation of an exand her desire of life was gone. "Will no la

tensive community of Christians. For many one” she enquired “punish my dishonor.”—

years after its introduction, the Christian re"Then must I,” she added, “do it myselt,

ligion, as expounded by the Jesuits and and only pray and enjoin you to avenge

others, flourished in the empire. Indeed it me.” As she uttered these words she cast

may be questioned whether in so short a herself headlong from the housetop, and im

period, any mission conld be reported as mediately perished. Instantly did her friends

| being 50 successful as that in this nation. endeavor to avenge her wrongs and her

Not only were the missionaries treated with death, in the destruction of her lover; but he i

the utmost civility, and permitted without and his friends had already reached the

restraint to preach to the people; but they street, and as the mangled body lay before

could boast, that in the brief space of thirtybim, he laid violent hands upon himself and

six years, at least 200,000 persons had emperished with her.

braced the Christian faith, while 250 charches We cannot, in justice to our own feelings, dotted the land. And amongst this host close our article without adverting to an- were numbered nobles, generals, courtiers other topic, which, to us, is of great interest and even princes. The reiguing tempora) That the Japanese need the tranquilizing in- monarch looked approvingly toward it, and fluence of the christian faith, every judicious cultivated a friendship with its teachers. and reflecting mind will admit. They need He had even gone so far as to exclude pait, among other reasons, in order that they ganism from a city he had Dewly founded. may have a better governmental basis; they | So strongly did the popular will run in their need it in order that they may possess a bet- favor, that the Jesuits anticipated their reter civil code, and a purer civilization. Iligion would so far supersede that of the

It is related upon good authority, that nation, as to become the established faith. about A. D. 50, there was introduced into But by degrees, and from different causes, the this nation, a sect, which inculcated the doc- hold it bad gained upon the mind of the tripes of a trinity of persons in one god- reigning Ziogoon became weakened; his

jealousy was excited, and his suspicions revolted province, were the first sufferers, and of the ulterior designs of the missionaries then, with an energy not to be resisted, with Fereawakened. In 1587 he ordered every a fury not to be appeased, the work of death foreign teacher to leave the country, and im- went forward. In order to strike terror to peratively demanded the return of the na- the minds of all, the most refined species of tive converts to the religion of their fathers. torture were called into requisition. The Though the flames of persecution were

test of abjuration was the trampling upon he first kindled, they did not effectually

the effigy of the Virgin Mary, and the infant deck the progress of the rival faith. Many

Savior, and those who refused were imme& the missionaries remained, in opposition

diately put to death. So deeply implanted

in the affections of the native christians, was to the imperial mandate ; and many acces

their religion, that, out of the vast number soos to the christian ranks, continued to be

who had embraced it, but few, comparative made Accordingly, we find that, at the

ly, were found to take the test. commencement of the 17th century, there yere nearls half a million who had turned. The storm of persecution so beat upon that tom the native superstition, and become

host, that, in a few years after, not one rodristians.

mained. They had melted away before the

devouring tempest. Their sufferings and afIn the year 1615, a usurper ascended the ficti

flictions were unparalleled. We have been throne, and in the contest which had ren-|

accustomed to look back to the days when dal him successful, he had encountered the Roman tyrants sought the overthrow of the opposition of the Jesuits and the native the religion of Messiah, as days without a auvets, who, either from necessity or of

parallel in the christian era ; and when we dem had espoused the cause of the weaker

read the page which records the calamities puty. With the spirit and temper of the of the infant church, we turn from its perudejot, we may form some conception of the sal with an instinctive shudder. But greater

Lys be would entertain towards them calamities were endured by the christians of and their religion. As he regarded it hos-1.

It hos- Japan ; and the time will undoubtedly arle to himself and his government, he leter- rive when

le ceter, rive, when the thrilling history of their sufuned upon its extinction. Those who had ferings and martyrdom, will be familiar to

braced it were required to recant; and every general reader. e quinary edicts were enacted for the de

With its martyrs, fell the entire christian setion of those who refused compliance.- fabric, and the echo of its overthrow struck These Edicts, bowever, were not ebiorced to terror throughout papal and protestant chris the extent we might presume they would tendom.. bare been ; and it is not improbable, that, if | From that period, there has existed, on the e strictly judicious course had, from that time part of the Japanese, a deep-rooted pational mward, been pursued by the adherents to hatred to the christian faith. And in order Garistianity, and the Europeans, that tolera-) that it may be effectually excluded from bon, at least in some form, might have been amongst them, and this hatred be perpetuaextended to the new religion.

| ted, the trampling upon the picture of the A rebellion breaking out in 1637, in a Virgin and her Son is instituted as an annur province where the christians were most nu- al ceremony. So necessary is it considered berous, rekindled all the rancor and ani- to participate in this ceremony, that even moeity which had, for a short interval, becn diseased invalids and tender infants are partially slumbering. The policy then deci- made to place their feet upon it, and, if pose ded upa, was the immediate proscription sible, are required to be present. ad expulsion of foreigners, and the extirpa. We were long accustomed to consider Chie Een of christianity. The vanquished in thel na amongst the most, if not altogether the

[ocr errors]

most, inaccessible portion of the globe, in son that it is considered to be antagonistie which to introduce the gospel. But time and to the christian religion. experience have shown us that its introdue-1 The third system is designated as Sintoo ; tion was not an impossibility. How it will but it is rather understood to be a pbilosophmake its ingress into Japan, is, we confess, to ic than & religious system. Its adherents us a problem far from being susceptible of are found mostly in the higher orders. All, an easy solution-only as we turn to Him however, adhere to which of the two they who ruleth in the heavens, and subdueth the may, are, at least in name, Sintoos. “nations before Him."

As our remarks have been extended far The existing religion of the nation is pa. I beyond what we anticipated, we will close ganism under a three-fold form, or more with expressing our desire, that the day may, properly speaking, there exist three distinct] be much nearer than we now have reason to religions.

anticipate, when, through the influence of The national religion is known as Sinsyu,

the christian faith, the same social and politand its adherents are known as Sintoos, or

ical blessings which accrue to other nations, Zintoos. They believe in a one Supreme may be enjoyed by the millions of Japane Being, and hold not only to the immortality of the soul, but to future rewards and pun

For the Literary Miscellany, ishments. The virtuous are considered to THE REPUBLICANISM OF LITERAenter, at death, the place inhabited by the

TURE. mediatory spirits; while the wicked are

BY ALFRED G. OTIS. driven into hell. In order that the soul may become pure, it is enjoined that there be

In every human breast there dwells a soul obedience rendered to the dietates of rea

a miniature of the great God Eternal. From son, and likewise to the law; and that the

the hour of its birth it is a monarch. Over heart and body may be made pure, it is required that there be an abstinence from

the physical and material organism which

surrounds it, its sway is unceasing. It whatever defiles. Impurity is contracted,

knows no decay, and when time shall crumamong other means, by hearing gross lan

ble the walls of its palace, and turn to dust guage of any kind, and especially by com-.

its sceptre and its throne, it will only go ing in contact with the dead. In former

forth to hold sweet and ceaseless converse days, it was, customary to consume the

with the great brotherhood of kindred spirbuilding wherein death had occurred; but lits. Though shut in and partially restrainnow, the kindling of a large fire in front of

tomed through human life, it still is ever seekit, and the casting into the flames certain

|ing its freedom, asserting its omnipotenco,and kinds of oils and spices, answer every pur

symbolizing in time the attributes and actions pose. It was also, heretofore, required, that

which will mark it in eternity. at the burial of a master, all his servants

The material and spiritual, how diverse in should be buried alive; but now, we are

properties and powers. The one passive and gratified to learn, they are buried in effigy

un emgy inert, the other self-active, sleepless and merely. The Mikado, or Dairi, is the spir-changeless in character as the God who gave itual head of this system.

it birth. And we see it with this self-active, Brahminism, which is far more idolatrous ity, ever groping among hidden mysteries than the other, has, many ages since, found and seeking for unrevealed principles. There its way to this nation, and has numerous ad- | is a tendency in our thinking, sentient exist herents, chiefly, however, amongst the lower ence, to search out truth, and in the search, orders. It is looked upon with an eye of to act without coercion, and without rem, approbation by the government, for the rea-straint. There is a tendency in our nature

towards freedom-absolute, endless free- becomes the spirit of miyd collective and dom; a freedom which permits homage to universal. Thought is free; it kindles a love God, only because his power and attributes of its own freedom. Genius scales the batdemand it with a monarch's voice—which tlements of earth, and with its every footinffers obedience to laws and institutions of fall, it wakes a longing for its own glittering earth, only as they are absolute in charac- and glorious pathway; a longing which ter, and essential to social existence. steals over the whole spirit of man, and ren

Here we come in contact with all forms of ders doubly irksome all political restraints oppression, social or political ; and here is unsanctioned by reason, and unsupported revealed most clearly the puerile weakness by right. This, then, is the free tendency of physical force in collision with moral of literature—its power to jar off old prejutruth. Go look over the chequered path of dices, to divest the mind of local associa. human history! what are the scenes that tions, to turn it, for the time, from all ideas kteet us on every hand ? Man, immortal of social position, or of an overruling politiman, striving to bind the spiritual with the cal power, and induce it to think freely, orimaterial And how prospors this novelginally, consecutively, and profoundly. In work? Where is the age or clime in which such a tendency, there is and must be repubhe could weave the chaplet of victory I licanism. Literature is republican in its oriWhere lights the morning a mountain or a ginn . desert where man has forgotten his humanity) Again, let us notice its political influence, and become the brute? Where dwells the resultant from its universality. In an unrace so prostrate and so oppressed, that civilized nation, political power is at first dreams of a brighter future, a future glorious ever merged in military; until, as time goes and free, have never floated on their memo-lon, some master minds are called to being ries, like visions of the night? History is who seek to develop the hidden principles silent for she has naught of this upon her of political science, and place the nation on scroll. The inner lights of the soul have the road to political equality. In all such never gone out. And the tortured slave, the social changes, literature is the messenger to prisoned captive, and the martyr at the stake, the masses, explaining and impressing the when the death-dew gathered over them, new discovered truths. It steals to every have looked calmly onward to an existence corner in a nation's domain ; but is it satis when empires cease, and worlds shall shrink fied with this? Does it fear the boundaries like a scroll

of kingdoms? Is there a wall of partition The inner truths back of all reason, the that shuts up nationalities, even as hermits great principles of right, seem universal in are prisoned to their cells? The voice of their influence, and the creature, alike with ages answers, no! There is and must be the Creator, bas learned to honor, reverence, eternally a bond of sympathy, a oneness of and obey them. But here let us briefly an interest, in all discoveries, moral or materialyze the influences which are received and al, amid all the empires that partition up given forth in the associations of individual the world. The scholar and the statesman mind with its kindred. Whatever thoughts, will never learn to pause with the learning feelings, and volitions it may possess, it has of their own realm, or their own era. There the power to impart and infuse. The medi-, is a universality in literature, which every am for this intercourse is language, and the rolling age makes more universal still. Natransfer, in this channel, of the most import- tions diverse in character, are becoming uniant and precious of our thoughts and feel- ted; political organizations more permanent ings, is the literature of nations. Through and more extended ; languages fewer in numthis medium, the spirit which prompts the ber, but more prominent, and more widely few choses, highly gifted individual minds, diffused. A more intimate international in

tercourse is freeing thought and feeling from is silent; she has no tale to tell. The prophlocal prejudice, and making genius and tal-et's voice of inspiration foretold its coming ; ent the common birthright of mankind. - but mat has seen it not. The footfall of the Statesinen, philosophers, and antiquaries future sounds, as she hurries nations from hold converse, though continents lie between. life and light, and she only seems to whis International literature is softening the feel- per, the morning of that golden age is nigten ings of nations towards each other, by an in- when man shall everywhere get up on the fluence and action, silent, but ceaseless-un-platform of a common humanity-when the noticed, but ever increasing-unassuming,and network of international thought shall be top yet universal as the sunlight that falls from strong for the ambition of warriors--when the windows of heaven to symbolize the Christianity, and commerce, and literature, love of God.

sball together cry Peace with a voice that Between general literature and political statesmen may neither jeer at,nor disobey science, we may also trace the existence of The morning of that golden age is nich. God an intimate relation. Material wealth and speed its coming, and may its years be numphysical power have lost the ascendency they bered only when the world shall be weary once held over the hearts of men. Moral in its course,and the old age of time has filled influences are usurping their place, and these out all its cycles. must statesmen analyze, or the sceptre of ANN ARBOR, Jap. 1st, 1852. empire will be wrested from their grasp.

Thought printed and dis zeminated from A THRILLING SKETCH-HUNGARY mind educated and heaven-inspired, is get-1 . ' AND KOSSUTH. ting down to the very sub-stratum of social existence, and waking, among prostrate

BY B. F. TEFT, D, D. 'masses, feelings and aspirations which must and will be felt in the legislation of nations. “Having made all his arrangements with Statesmen may make laws; but if those the Russians, and with a sufficient number laws collide with these universal feelings, of his own minions, Arthur Gorgey, as Dia they will be as idle as the wind. Monarchs tator of the Hungarian nation, on the 13th muy refuse reforms, and bind down closer of August, 1849, at the village of Boros Jetheir subjects; but the bar of public opinion near Vilagos, surrendered his person, his arwill try them without fear or favor. There my, and the liberty and independence of is no hope for absolutism, but to stop this his country into the bands of those, who for ceaseless intercourse, through written lan- three hundred years, had been bent on ao guage, of mind with mind.

complishing its destruction. This idea of political equality, literature “The scene of the surrender beggars all will one day make universal; and may we description. An eye-witness, giving some not call that erà its true golden age? Na account of it to the Allgemeine Zeitung, the tions have heretofore bad their golden ages. great German paper, exhausts the exuberant Rome had it when the voice of her orators vocabulary of his language in the fruitless broke from the halls of the Cesars ; Egypt effort: “After I wound my way along,' says had it when the tall old pyramids looked the writer, 'with a great deal of trouble, I down upon the armies of the Ptolemies; reached a small straw-roofed building, the Arabia had it when the Crescent banner of only inn in the place. As soon as I entered the Prophet was streaming from the golden I saw the Russian commander-in-chief and battlements of Bagdad and Ispahan, Kufa Gorgey, who, for forty-eight hours, had been and Damascus ; but when, oh! when bas Dictator of Hungary. He was dressed in that complex nationality, that unit world, his simple but romantic costume, which dir: had its golden age of literature? The past fered very much from that of his general

« VorigeDoorgaan »