Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

"The taste for knowledge, which would return to them (the Highlanders) with this best knowledge, would do much to revive and preserve their national character. How far this last is calculated to make them good soldiers, good subjects, affectionate relatives, and faithful adherents, I leave the patient and candid reader of these pages to judge."

this instrument, were intended for the abbreviation of Clement Rome.

To the Editor of the Christian Observer.

In the Christian Observer for January, page 27, you have inserted a paper, entitled, "The Pope's Curse, Bell, Book, and Candle, on a Heretic at Hampreston." It requires very little knowledge of the style of the Court of Rome, to pronounce the paper in question to be a clumsy forgery. The author of it, having observed in some old Court Calendar, that Clement XIII. was elected Pope on the 6th of July, in the year 1758, has dated his instrument "the tenth day of August, in the year of our Lord Christ, one thousand seven hundred and fifty-eight, and in the first year of our pontificate." He has allowed about two months for the transportation of his document from Rome to Dorsetshire, and has added the notification of three several proclamations of it by the priest, on the 8th, 15th, and 22d of October, in the same year. In this respect also, he has been correct; as the 8th, 15th, and 22d of October, in the year 1758, were Sundays. This information he might easily derive from the tables prefixed to the Book of Common Prayer.

The author was aware that English bishops adopt, for their signature, their Christian names prefixed to the names of their sees. As the Pope is Bishop of Rome, he very naturally supposed that the signature of the Pope, as well as of the Arch bishop of Canterbury, consisted of his own name prefixed to the name of bis see. I make no doubt that the letters C. R, which conclude

The instrument itself is exactly such an imitation of a papal bull as would be made by a person who had never seen one. The Pope's bulls are written in Latin, but this paper bears all the marks of an English original. In the third line, the author talks of "the Holy Saints;" an expression which cannot be converted into Latin. Immediately afterwards, mention is made of "the Devil of Hell.” "The Holy Saints" are brought in three times more before the conclusion of the piece. I shall not trouble you with a minute examination of the paper in question. Every person who is conversant even with our own ecclesiastical law, will at once perceive that it is not genuine. I am somewhat surprised at observing, that your correspondent, who appears by his letter to be a clergyman of the Church of England, applies the appellation, "original document," to a paper which, if it were genuine in other respects, can only be a translation of an original document. The title of it, which appears to be copied from the manuscript, shews that the paper was written by a Protestant,

This paper is also inserted in the Antijacobin Review for February, page 193, as a communication "just received from the Rector of Hampreston, in Dorsetshire." The letter of the real or pretended rector, which appears in your publication, is copied verbatim, except that the words "in the Christian Observer, if you think it worth observing," are altered to," in the Antijacobin Review, if you think proper." A neater alteration would have been, "In the Antijacobin Review, if you think it worth reviewing."

Allow me to add a few words on another subject. The Bishop of Lincoln, in his Refutation of Calvinism, page 155, inserts the following words in a note, as one of the canons of the Council of Trent :

Si quis dixerit justificati homi

1

nis opera bona non vere mereri vis tam æternam, anathema sit."

this purpose, Dr. Carey was employed by the officers of the college, he being the fittest person for such a service, from his accurate know. ledge of the language and customs of the Hindoos, and from his having made a calculation on the subject, for his private satisfaction, the year before. He accordingly engaged ten persons, of the Hindoo cast, who were stationed, during a period of

I will venture to assert, without the smallest apprehension of being contradicted, that no such canon is to be found among the decrees of the Council of Trent. The Bishop has copied it, perhaps at twentieth hand, from some controversial writer whose zeal was superior to his integrity. Something to the same effect may be found in the thirty-six months, at different places within second canon, "de Justificatione," but in very different words, and with qualifying expressions, which the author of the Bishop of Lincoln's canon thought proper to suppress. What should we think of a Roman Catholic writer, who should invent a set of articles for our own church, for the purpose of refuting them? I am, &c.

PHILALETHES.

BURNING OF WOMEN IN BENGAL.

As this subject has of late much interested the public mind, we publish the following particulars, which have been communicated to us by a respectable authority. They will serve to obviate the doubts which the representations of some Anglo-Indians may have caused with respect to the existence and extent of this practice.

The report of the women burned in the vicinity of Calcutta, in 1804, which was afterwards published in Dr. Buchanan's Memoir, was made by the Rev. Dr. Carey, professor of the Shanscrit and Bengalee lan guages in the college of Fort William. When the officers of the college were investigating, in the books of the Hindoos, the circumstances of the female sacrifice, in regard to its antiquity and its au thority, it became necessary to ascertain the actual extent of the practice, in order to obtain an authentic record for the information of go vernment and of the public, pre paratory to urging its abolition. For

thirty miles round Calcutta; that is, in a diameter of sixty miles in every direction. They sent in their re turns, written in the Bengalee language, every month; and the Professor delivered them regularly tó the vice-provost of the college; and every person who wished it, was at liberty to see them. The subject, at the time, very much engaged the minds of those who were interested in the promotion of Christianity, and in the suppression of inhuman and idolatrous rites. But other persons paid little attention to what was passing in the college; they did not even know that the Scriptures were translating into Oriental languages.

The report of the burnings for six months, thus made by the Shanscrit Professor, was sent home to England for publication in Dr. Buchanan's Memoir; and when that work arrived in Calcutta, which was in 1806, a year and a half before Dr. Buchanan left India, the printed report was compared with the original vouchers, and found to be literally accurate. Copies of the Memoir were in the hands of the members of government: the subject was discussed in almost every company, and no exception was taken, in any public manner, to the accuracy of the report. Indeed, it was not possible to disprove its truths, but by the government instituting a public and official investigation of the same kind. But the government declined to repeat the bloody tale. For if, instead of a hundred burnings in half a year, it should prove that

only twenty were authenticated, even these few, it was perhaps thought, were too many for a Christian government to contemplate in an official manner.

The responsibility for the accuracy of the printed report lies, of course, with the Rev. Dr. Carey and the ten persons whom he employed. But he is still on the spot in the college of Fort William, and will be very happy to superintend another inquiry under the direction of the government. It was before observed, that Dr. Carey had made a calculation of the number of burnings for the whole of the previous year 1803. This calculation amounted to 275. On being asked how he accounted for a smaller number in 1804, he observed, that the year 1803 was remarkable for a mortality among the Hindoos, during the unhealthy season of the rains.

It is evident, that, until a new report be made officially by the Bengal government, the present report must supersede all others of a private kind; and the burden of proof lies with those who deny its accuracy. If the Bengal government, knowing the circumstances under which the printed report was made, and having it in their power to disprove it if it were not true, have not done so for seven years past; the conclusion is, that they admit it to be accurate, or, at least, sufficiently accurate for the purposes for which it was taken.

It will be worth while to notice another mode of suicide, mentioned by Dr. Buchanan, viz. self-immolation under the wheels of the Rutt, or Juggernaut's Tower.

The practice of self-devotement under the rutt, is very rare in the province of Bengal. But when we consider that there are upwards of an hundred rutts in the province (for almost every considerable village has one), and recollect the proneness of the people to meet death by what they think meritorious suicide, we need not wonder if

there be a few instances every year. But all transactions of this nature, which take place remote from the banks of the Ganges, are seldom, if ever, heard of by Europeans. When a Hindoo sheds his blood before the idol, there is nobody to mention it to a Christian. Even the burnings of women are chiefly discovered by the necessary circumstances of publicity; the flame and smoke, and din of drums; not by the voluntary report of the people.

Dr. Buchanan gives an account only of one of the rutts or towers in Bengal, namely, that which belongs to Juggernaut's temple at Ishera, near Calcutta ; and he states, that this tower has been often stained with human blood. On the other rutts in the province, he makes no remark. That the rutt at Ishera is not bloodless, he is warranted in asserting, from the well-known fact, that a considerable number of persons were crushed to death under the wheels of this tower some years ago, an account of which was recorded in the Calcutta papers at the time; only it became a question, whether so many deaths had taken place by religious phrensy or accident. In order, however, to prevent, if possible, the recurrence of such scenes, it was determined that persons, from the Calcutta police, should attend at the annual procession of Juggernaut's tower at Ishera; and when Dr. Buchanan visited the place in 1807, he saw the officers on the spot. It appears that an instance of self-immolation took place at the same festival; but Dr. Buchanan states, that he did not himself witness it. The fact was, he did not hear of it until after he had left the place, and had arrived in Calcutta. But that he might not notice, in the account which he intended to publish, a fact which might be thought doubtful, he requested the Rev. David Brown, senior chaplain of Calcutta, whose country-house is near to the spot where Juggernaut's temple stands, to endeavour to as

certain the truth of the occurrence; and the consequence was, that the fact was established as fully and certainly as any fact can be, which rests on Hindoo evidence.

The exact truth, in regard to the prevalence of this kind of self-devotement, cannot be ascertained, unless the Bengal government were to require every village, having a rutt, in Bengal and the adjoining provinces, to make a report of the number of suicides for the last twenty years.

But this particular atrocity is not that which needs to be chiefly insisted on. The chief enormity, for the immediate attention of a Christian administration, is the MURDER of children by their own parents; and the next in importance and in crime is the BURNING of women.

Yet didst thou not disdain awhile

An infant form to wear;
To bless thy mother with a smile,

And lisp thy falter'd prayer:

But, in thy Father's own abode,
With Israel's elders round,
In converse high with Israel's God,
Thy chiefest joy was found.

So may our youth adore thy name!
And, Teacher, deign to bless
With fostering grace the timid flame *
Of early holiness!

ANOTHER, ON THE SAME OCCASION.

BY cool Siloam's shady fountain,

How sweet the lily grows!

How sweet the breath on yonder mountain
Of Sharon's dewy rose !

Lo! such the Child whose young devotion
The paths of peace has trod;
Whose secret soul's instinctive motion
Tends upward to his God.

HYMNS APPROPRIATE TO THE SUNDAYS By cool Siloam's shady fountain

AND PRINCIPAL HOLIDAYS.

(Continued from Vol. for 1811, p. 698.)

FIRST SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY.
Luke ii.
ABASH'D be all the boast of age!
Be hoary Learning dumb!
Expounder of the mystic page,
Behold an Infant come!

Oh, Wisdom! whose coequal power

Before the Almighty stood,
To frame in Nature's carliest hour,
The land, the sky, the flood;

The lily must decay :

The rose that blooms on yonder mountain
Must shortly fade away.

A little while-the bitter morrow

Of man's maturer age

Will shake the soul with cank'ring sorrow,
And passion's stormy rage.

Oh Thou! whose every year, untainted,
In changeless virtue shone,
Preserve the flowers thy grace has planted,
And keep them still thine own!

D. R.

REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.

Two Sermons preached at the Visitation of the Reverend the Archdeacon, at Leicester, in the years 1805 and 1811: to which is added, a Sermon on the Salvation which is in Christ only. By the Rev. EDWARD THOMAS VAUGHAN, M.A. Vicar of St. Martin's and AllSaints in Leicester, Domestic Chaplain to the Right Hon. Lord St. John, and late Fellow of Tri

nity College, Cambridge. London: Hatchard. 1811.

VISITATION sermons have of late years been so generally occupied with controversial or other unprofitable discussions, that it is no small relief and gratification to us, occasionally to light upon some of a different order; which, like those now before us, have an evident tendency

While, therefore, we lament that in
too many instances this is far from
being the case, we rejoice when-
ever, as in the sermons now before
us, we see an example of able and
faithful conduct. From St. Paul's
declaration to the Corinthians, that
he preached not himself," but Christ
Jesus the Lord," Mr. Vaughan takes
occasion, in the first of his two visi-
tation sermons, to consider the ex-
cellency of the institution of preach-
ing-the best method of conducting
it and some reasons for the method
thus recommended. Under the first
of these divisions, what the Apostle
once styled the foolishness of
preaching," is ably vindicated as the
grand appointed instrument of in-
struction, conversion, and edifica-
tion in the church of God-on the
ground both of Scripture and expe-

preaching be without efficacy, we must fear
"If," observes the pious author, " out
it is not that word which has the promise,

[ocr errors]

to promote the important objects for
which such discourses were origi-
nally designed. Few things can be
more useful and laudable than the
institution which gives birth to
them, or can serve to place the
wisdom of our ecclesiastical polity
in a more striking point of view.
The mutual encouragement, sup-
port, and animation naturally to be
expected from the stated meetings
of a body of men, supposed at least
to be engaged in the same great work
-the countenance, the scrutiny, the
counsel, and sometimes the reproof,
proceeding from the superior, vest-
ed with visitatorial authority-the
instruction, admonition, quickening,
and comfort, to be derived from the
preaching of a brother, as Mr.
Vaughan well describes his charac-
ter," old enough to teach, yet still
a learner like themselves, the part-rience.
ner of their corruptions and infir-
mities, of their toils and expecta-
tions," cannot, one would imagine,
but be productive of the most im- it shall not return unto me void;' that we
portant and beneficial consequences. are not of those ministers to whom it is ex-
When we thus reflect on the admi- pressly declared, 'And lo! I am with you
rable order not only of visitations, always, even unto the end of the world.'—
but of every other part of our eccle- Let us inquire, my beloved brethren, whether
siastical establishment, as the whole we have been fully aware of the great im-
is set forth in the work of the importance of this part of our office? Does
mortal Hooker, we can scarcely help the institution of preaching, indeed, possess
exclaiming, concerning it, in the this efficacy? Then we must take heed how
words of the royal visitor of King
we preach. Every particular sermon which
we hear or utter has its share of the general
Solomon, "Happy are thy men, importance. To every particular sermon,
happy are these thy servants, which which we hear or utter, we are to look for a
stand continually before thee!"-saving efficacy. How should we watch unto
But, alas! how frequently is a
Christian observer compelled to con-
fess, when too often witnessing the
perversion, or the neglect, of the
most wise and salutary appointments
of our church, that, of ecclesiastical
as of civil governments, there is a
sense in which it may be justly as
serted, that "whate'er is best admi-
mister'd is best." In our own es-
tablishment, all that is required to
render it, what it is designed to be,
the instrument of defending, diffus-
ing, and cherishing real Christianity
throughout the land, is the faithful
and conscientious discharge of their
duties by all its public functionaries.

prayer whilst making our preparation! how
lift up our hearts whilst delivering the word!
how renew our supplications when we have
closed the book! How should we labour
and strive, how should we believe and hope,
desire and expect, that good may come."

After remarking, that it is not to
every kind of proposition, much less
to the mere moral disquisition, or to
the assertion even of scriptural doc-
trine, in a tame and lifeless manner,
that this energy belongs, Mr. Vau-
ghan proceeds to consider the best
method of conducting the institution
of preaching. Here, having laid
down from various apostolic testi-
monies, that the subject-matter of it,

1

« PoprzedniaDalej »