Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

mythology, to which he has sev eral allusions, and a good acquaintance with the nature and history of man. But his principal aim is to illustrate the truths, and inculcate the duties of morality and religion. On these subjects his knowledge appears to be extensive, and his sentiments correct. These are the topics, he professes to have been most interested in and devoted to from early life. He developes the origin of several foibles and vices, greatly prevalent in society; describes their ruinous tendency; and points out the means of correcting them. He inculcates contentment, and resignation to Providence, by showing, that the evils, incident to man in this world, are necessary for the trial of his virtue, and, if rightly regarded, will augment rather than diminish the sum of human happiness in the present state.

This poem is presented, as the substance of what passed in a visionary scene of its author with the spectre of a venerable Grecian. We were at first surprised at finding the Christian religion eulogized, illustrated and enforc

Religious Intelligence.

UNITED STATES. EXTRACT OF A LETTER FROM MIDDLEBURY, VERMONT, July 30, 1806. Dear Sir,

You may have heard of an attention to religion in this, and some of the neighbouring towns. There has been an awakening in Middlebury about a year, and 94 persons have, in consequence, been added to the church. The attention still continues in some parts of the town. There is

ed with so much zeal and emphasis by a heathen philosopher;. and were in doubt, whether to attribute it to an oversight in the author, or to an undue use of poetic licence. But, on further reflection, neither of these suppositions appeared necessary. The human mind being supposed capable of endless progression in knowledge and virtue, it requires no stretch of imagination to conceive, nor of credulity to admit, that the venerable shade, sublimated and improved by inter course with immortals for more than two thousand years, must possess other stores of knowledge, than those which it received from Pythagoras, or communicated to Aristotle, while inhabiting its ancient tenement of clay.

We are glad to see proposals for a second edition of this poem. We think it calculated to do good. Though it may not stand on the shelves of the critic or the virtuoso, it will find its way to a numerous class of readers, among whom it will be neither less useful nor acceptable for the plainness and simplicity of its appearance.

also considerable attention in Coruwall, under the preaching of the Rev Mr. Bushnell. The Lord has done much for us in this part of the country, and to him be the glory. There is more than usual attention to religion at this time, in the towns of New Haven, Weybridge, Salisbury, and Shoreham. The attention has also int some degree reached the college.

We may hope that God will uphold his cause, notwithstanding the woful apostacy of many. What reason have we to be thankful, that we may trust

the interests of our own souls, and those of the church in the hands of the great God, even our Saviour Jesus Christ.

We are happy to learn, that the College in Middlebury is in a prosperous state for an infant seminary in a newly settled country. The present number of students, we understand, is about sixty, of whom a greater proportion than is usual in colleges are serious. The religious interests of Vermont are thought to be intimately connected with the success of this Institution, which is accordingly patronized by the body of the clergy in the western division of the State, who yet faithfully adhere to the doc. trines of the reformation.

MISSIONS IN INDIA. THE Rev. Charles Buchanan, A. M. Vice Provost of the college of Fort William, has lately published' a memoir concerning ecclesiastical establishments in India, which contains much curious and valuable information. The subject is no less than that of giving Christianity, and with it civilization, to myriads of human beings, now sunk in the grossest ignorance, and abased by the most atrocious superstitions. For the promotion of this object, Mr. B. divides his tract into three principal parts; the first relates to the care and preserva

min Wickes, dated

Extract of a Letter from Capt. Benja- tion of the Christian faith among his own countrymen settled in India: the second treats of the practicability of civilizing and converting the natives; and the third states the progress already made in that civilization, and in the planting of Christianity. Under each of these heads is contained many articles which deserve the atten tion of every person anxious to promote the progress of the Redeemer's kingdom; and which furnish motives for encouragement for missionaries to proceed in their labours.

The following facts are stated in the dedication:

In Northampton, (Mass.) a very pleasing and general attention to religion prevails, and is extending to several of the neighbouring towns. Numbers in these towns, particularly in Northampton, have been added to the church, we hope of such as shall be saved.

LONDON, April 2, 1806. "We are going from London to Calcutta; two missionaries with their wives are going with us from the Baptist Society, and a young woman espoused to a missionary already in Bengal, from the London society, and

there to be married.

proposed that we should join together. in prayer and praise, which was read. ily agreed to, although the Jews had not heretofore seen such a thing, and perhaps such a thing had not taken place since the time of the apostles. Fled in the exercise, the missionary followed, and the Jew minister concluded. When the exercise was over, the Jews took us by our hands with such expressions of love and brotherly affection, as was truly gratifying." Assemb. Mag.

One evening last week, I went with one of the missionaries who is going with me, with two or three others, to drink tea with the Jew minister, [Mr. Frey. While we were at tea, there came in two Jews that were awaken. ed under that sermon, which you heard me speak of hearing him preach last fall, which was the first-fruit of his labours. Those took tea with us, and after tea was over, there came in three other Jews, the fruit of his ministry. When they had sat down, I counted our number, and found there were an equal numnber of Jews and Gentiles, six of each; on which I observed, that there was a remarkable instance before our eyes, of the partition wall between the Jews and Gentiles being broken down, and

"New sources of information on all Oriental subjects, have been opened by the college of Fort William in Bengal. Those persons who have held official situations in that institution during the last four years, have had constant opportunities of observ ing the conduct, and of learning the opinions, of the most intelligent 13tives. There are attached to the college, at this time, upwards of one hundred learned men, who have arriv ed from different parts of India, Persia, and Arabia. In such an assem blage, the manners and customs of

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

remote regions are distinctly described; and their varying sentiments, religious and political, may be accurately investigated and compared.

"Of the learned Hindoos who have been employed as teachers, there were lately two from the Decan, who profess the Christian faith; and comport themselves according to Christian manners. Two Protestant missionaries have also been attached to the institution; one of whom is lecturer in the Bengalee and Shanscrit department; and has been for many years employed in preaching in the Bengalee language to the natives in the North of Hindoostan. The other is a teacher of the Tamul or Malabar language; and has been long attached to a mission in the South of the Peninsula.

"More desirable means of obtaining accurate and original intelligence could not have been presented to any one, who wished to investigate the state of the natives of India, with a view to their moral and religious im. provement.

"Under the auspices of Marquis Wellesley, who, by favour of Providence, now presides in the govern. ment of India, a version of the holy Scriptures may be expected, not in one language alone, but in sev en of the Oriental tongues; in the Hindoostanee, Persian, Chinese, and Malay; Orissa, Mahratta, and Bengalese; of which the four former are the primary and popular languages of the continent and isles of Asia.

"In the centre of the pagan world, & at the chief seat of superstition and idolatry, these works are carried on; and the unconverted natives assist in the translations. The Gospels have already been translated into the Persian, Hindoostanee, Mahratta, Orissa, and Malay languages; and the whole Scriptures have been translated into the Bengalce language. One edition of the Bengalee Bible has been distributed amongst the natives; and a second is in the press for their use. A version of the Scriptures in the Chinese language (the language of three hundred millions of men) has also been undertaken; and a portion of the work is already printed off." The second division of this memoir, treating of the practicability of civilizing and christianizing the natives Vol. II. No. 4. A A

of Hindostan, will be read with increasing interest. The following are some of his observations on the subject.

"To civilize the Hindoos will be considered by most men our duty; but is it practicable? and if practicable, would it be consistent with a wise policy? It has been alleged by some, that no direct means ought to be used for the moral improvement of the natives; and it is not considered liberal or politic to disturb their superstitions.

"Whether we use direct means or not, their superstitions will be dis-" turbed under the influence of British civilization. But we ought first to observe, that there are multitudes, who have no faith at all. Neither Hindoos nor Mussulmans, outcasts from every faith; they are of themselves fit objects for our beneficence. Subjects of the British empire, they seek a cast and a religion, and claim from a just government the franchise of a human creature.

:

"And as to those, who have a faith, that faith, we aver, will be disturbed, whether we wish it or not, under the influence of British princi ples this is a truth confirmed by experience. Their prejudices weaken daily in every European settlement. Their sanguinary rites cannot now bear the noonday of English observation; and the intelligent among them are ashamed to confess the absurd principles of their own casts. As for extreme delicacy towards the superstitions of the Hindoos, they understand it not. Their ignorance and apathy are so extreme, that no means of instruction will give them serious offence, except positive violence."

"The moral state of the Hindoos is represented as being still worse than that of the Mahometans. Those, who have had the best opportunities

The Christian missionary is always followed by crowds of the common people, who listen with great pleasure to the disputation between him and the Brahmins; and are not a little amused when the Brahmins depart, and appoint another day for the discussion. The people sometimes bring back the Brahmins by constraint, and urge them to the contest again."

of knowing them, and who have known them for the longest time, concur in declaring that neither truth, nor honesty, honour, gratitude, nor charity, is to be found pure in the breast of a Hindoo. How can it be otherwise? The Hindoo children have no moral instruction. If the inhabitants of the British isles had no moral instruction, would they be moral? The Hindoos have no moral books. What branch of their mythology has not more of falsehood and vice in it, than of truth and virtue? They have no moral gods. The robber and the prostitute lift up their hands with the infant and the priest, before an horrible idol of clay painted red, deformed and disgusting as the vices, which are practised before it.*

"You will sometimes hear it said, that the Hindoos are a mild and pas sive people. They have apathy rather than mildness; their habitude of mind is, perhaps, their chief negative virtue. They are a race of men of weak bodily frame, and they have a mind conformed to it, timid and abject in the extreme. They are passive enough to receive any vicious impression. The English government found it necessary late. ly to enact law against parents sacrificing their own children. In the course of the last six months,

a

one hundred and sixteen women were burnt alive, with the bodies of

their deceased husbands within thirty miles round Calcutta, the most

[ocr errors]

civilized quarter of Bengals But independently of their supersti tious practices, they are described by competent judges as being of a spirit vindictive and merciless; exhibiting itself at times in a rage and infatuation, which is without example among any other people.¶

"The Hindoo superstition has been denominated lascivious and bloody. That it is bloody, is manifest, from the daily instances of the female sacrifice, and of the commission of sanguinary or painful rites. The ground of the former epithet may be discovered in the description of their religious ceremonies : There is in most sects a right-handed or decent path; and a left-handed or indecent mode of worship?

"See Essay on the Religious Ceremonies of the Brahmins, by H. T. Colebrooke, Esq. Asiat. Res. vol. vii. p. 281. That such a principle should have been admittel as systematic into any religion on earth, may be considered as the last effort of mental depravity in the invention of a superstition to blind the understanding, and to corrupt the

heart.

§ From April to October, 1804.

dent of the Asiatic Society in Bengal, "Lord Teignmouth, while Presidelivered a discourse, in which he illus trated the revengeful and pitiless spirit of the Hindoos, by instances which had come within his own knowledge while resident at Benares.

"In 1791, Soodishter Meer, a Brahmin, having refused to obey a summons issued by a civil officer, a force was sent them, or to satiate a spirit of revenge to compel obedience. To intimidate in himself, he sacrificed one of his own house, he cut off the head of his deceas On their approaching his ed son's widow and threw it out.

"In 1793, a Brahmin, named Bal loo, had a quarrel with a man about a field, and by way of revenging himself on this man, he killed his own daugh ter. I became angry, said he, and enraged at his forbidding me to plough daughter Apmunya, who was only a the field, and bringing my own little year and a half old, I killed her with

my sword.'

"About the same time, an act of matricide was perpetrated by two Brak mins, Beechuk and Adher. These two men conceiving themselves to have been injured by some persons in a certain village, they brought their mother to an adjacent rivulet, and calling aloud to the people of the village, 'Beechuk drew his scymetar, and, at one stroke, severed his mother's head from the body; with the professed view, as avowed both by parent and son, that the mother's spirit might forever haunt those who had injured them! Asiaț. Res. vol. iv. p. 337.

r

Would not the principles of the Christian religion be a good substitute for the principles of these Brahmins of the province of Benares?

:

"It will, perhaps, be observed, that these are but individual instances. True but they prove all that is required. Is there any other barbarous nation on earth which can exhibit such instances?"

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

"No truth has been more clearly demonstrated than this, that the communication of Christian instruction to the natives of India is easy; and that the benefits of that instruction, civil as well as moral, will be inestimable; whether we consider the happiness diffused among so many millions, or their consequent attachment to our government, or the advantages resulting from the introduction of the civilized arts. Every thing that can brighten the hope or animate the policy of a virtuous people organiz. ing a new empire, and seeking the most rational means, under the favour of Heaven, to ensure its perpetuity; every consideration, we aver, would persuade us to diffuse the blessings of Christian knowledge among our Indian subjects."

[ocr errors]

Assembly's Mag.

GREAT BRITAIN.

SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE.

[ocr errors]

The annual report of this society has lately been published. It thence appears that the number of children

at school under their patronage is 7,108; that 8,360 Bibles, 11,044 New Testaments and Psalters, 15,418 Common Prayers, 19,856 other bound books, and 108,776 small tracts have been dispersed by the society, and that 163 subscribing members have been added to their list since the last report, making the whole numher upwards of 2,700. Ch. Ob.

EAST INDIA COLLEGE.

The plan of this establishment comprehends a ScHoot, into which boys may be admitted at an early age; and a COLLEGE, for the recep. tion of students at the age of 15, to remain till they are 18. As the School will be rendered introductory to the College, those who shall have passed through both institutions will enjoy the advantage of a uniform system of education, begun in early youth, and continued till their departure for the duties of their public stations. The college is exclusively appropriated to persons designed for the civil service of the Company abroad; the School will be open to the public at large.

The Rev. M. H. LUSCOMBE, M.A. is appointed Head Master of the School, to whom each scholar is to pay 70 guineas per annum; which sum will

Literary Intelligence.

[ocr errors]

“น

PRISONERS OF WAR. Considerable exertions are making to improve the opportunity of con municating religious knowledge to the French, Spanish and Dutch soldiers and sailors, who are prisoners of war in this country, which is afforded by their unfortunate situation. A minister, well acquainted with the French language, preaches on Sunday to the French on board the prison ships at Portsmouth. Tracts have been printed in French, Spanish, and Dutch, and distributed among the prisoners of those nations; and the New Testament, in Spanish, is now printing with a view to the same ob. ject. The prisoners are said to receive the tracts gladly. Ch. Ob

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

include Classical Instruction, French, Writing, Arithmetic, Mathematics, Drawing, and Dancing.

The College is to be under the direction and authority of a Principal and several Professors, according to the following arrangement: Principals the Rev. SAMUEL HENLEY, D. D. Professors of Mathematics and Natu ral Philosophy; Rev. B. BRIDGE, M. A. and Rev. W. DEALTRY, M.A, Professors of Humanity and Philology: Rev. E. LEWTON, M. A. and J. H. BATTEN, Esq. M. A.-Professor of History and Political Economy; Rev. T. R. MALTHUs, M. A.-Professor of General Polity, and the Laws of England, E. CHRISTIAN, Esq. M. A. Professor of Oriental Literature; J. GILCHRIST, Esq. LL.D., To the College will be attached a French Master, a Drawing Master, a Fencing Master, and other proper Instructors. The annual charge to the

« VorigeDoorgaan »