« הקודםהמשך »
as the place of rendezvous. He found about 500 people, men, women, and
Friend, pray who are all those people, and whence come they??-- We are
Anurd pointed to the name of Jesus, and asked · Who is that?'_“That is God; he gave us this book.' Anund. Where did you obtain it?-An angel from heaven gave it me at Hurdwar-Fair.'-- Anund.' An angel!— Yes: to us he was God's angel; but he was a man—a learned Pundit.' (Doubtless, these translated Gospels must have been the books distributed five or six years ago at Hurdwar by the missionary.) “The written copies we wrote ourselves, having no other means of obtaining the Blessed Word. —These books,' said Anund, 'teach the religion of the European Sabibs. It is their book ; and they printed it in our language for our use. :— Ah, no ;' replied the stranger, that cannot be, for they eat flesh.'— Jesus Christ,' said Anund,teaches that it does not signify what a man eats or drinks. Eating is nothing before God; and not that which entereth into a man's mouth defileth him; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man: for vile things come forth from the heart; and out of the heart proceedeth evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, &c.: these are the things that defile. -_That is true; but how can it be the European book, when we believe that it was God's gift to us at Hurdwar-Fair?'—Anund. “God gave it long ago to the Sabibs, and they sent it to us.' I find, from Anund, that these Testaments were circulated at Hurdwar (I believe, by Mr. Chamberlain,) and falling into the hands of different people, resident in different but neighbouring villages, they were found to be interesting records, and well worth the attention of the people.
A public reader appears to have been selected by themselves in each of the villages, for the express purpose of reading the miraculous book; and their evenings have been habitually spent in this blessed employment; crowds gathering together to hear God's book. The ignorance and simplicity of many was very striking. Never having heard of a printed book before, its very appearance was to them miraculous.
A great stir was created by the gradually increasing information 'hourly obtained ; and all united to acknowledge the superiority of the doctrine of the Holy Book to every thing they had hitherto heard or known. An indifference to the distinction of caste soon manifested itself; and the interference and tyrannical authority of their Brahmins became more offensive and contemptible. At last, it was determined to separate themselves from the rest of their Hindoo brethren, and establish a party of their own, choosing out four or five who could read the best, to be public teachers from this newly acquired book. The numbers daily and rapidly increased, especially amongst the poor; which at last suggested the idea of convoking a public meeting of all their congenial associates, to ascertain how many accepted their new doctrine. The large grove near Delhi seemed a convenient spot, and this interesting group had now all met for this very purpose when Anund's visit took place.
They seemed to have no particular form of congregational worship; but each individual made daily and diligent use of the Lord's Prayer. Anund asked them why they were all dressed in white.—The people of God should wear white garments,' was the reply, 'as a sign that they are clean, and rid of their sins.? Anund observed, • You ought to be baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Come to M. ; there is a Christian padree there, and he will show you what you ought to do.' They answered, "Now we must go home to the harvest; but as we mean to meet once a year, perhaps the next year we may come to M.'
In consequence of this, I have deemed it advisable to send Anund to make all possible inquiry respecting these promising blossoms of hope, and trust to be enabled ere long to give you still more gratifying information.
A few days after writing the above Mr. Fisher received the following letter from Anund Messee, dated Delli, May 12, 1817.
“ Oh! Father of my religion! reverend Sahib! may Anund Messee's respectful salutation reach your presence! The account of my proceedings is as follows:
“ With the blessing of God, I arrived among those people to whom your commands sent me; but did not meet with the whole of them, as they were principally scattered about in different directions, having returned to their res-, pective occupations of trade, &c. But I succeeded in finding about twenty or thirty; and, in several of the villages in which these few resided, I preached to them the word of the blessed Christ: and they, on hearing this word of Jesus, were filled with joy, as having found God. They all shewed me great love, and exclaimed, “You must always stay with us, and dwell in our villages; teaching us the worship of Jesus; and we will learn.' I shewed them Mr. Corrie's Translation of the Church Liturgy, which some of them copied ; and they told me that after the rain, in the cold weather, they intended again to assemble at Delhi. I explained to them the nature of Sacrament and of Baptism : in answer to which they replied, We are willing to be baptized, but we will never take the Sacrament. "To all the other customs of Christians we are willing to conform, but not to the Sacrament, because the Europeans eat cows' flesh, and this will never do for us.' To this I answered, “This WORD is of God, and not of men; and when he makes your hearts to understand, then you will PROPERLY comprehend it.' They replied, “If all our country will receive this Sacrament, then will we.' I then observed, "The time is at hand when all the countries will receive this word! They replied, • True!
“I am rejoiced to learn that Mr. Henry and Mr. John are coming to Delhi. May my respectful salutations reach your presence! If you come to Delhi you will see these people.”
A letter to the Secretary of the Society is just arrived from Mr. Thomason, dated Calcutta, July 19, 1817, inclosing an extract of a letter from Lieutenant Macdonald, dated Delhi, June 20, written in answer to Mr. Thomason's inquiries respecting these people.
This extract follows:
“I have conversed with Anund Messee on the subject of the interesting meeting in the Tope, near Delhi. At this season of the year you must be aware that it must be next to an impracticability for me to travel to the respective villages of these people for the purpose of making such investigation as would enable me to speak decisively on the subject. Without such a personal inquiry you will be furtiver aware how utterly incompetent I must be to judge what progress they have made in the knowledge and understanding of the Word of God.
“Several of these people came to Delhi in the course of last month, for the purpose of laying a complaint before the Resident, respecting some acts of oppression under which they had been suffering. Anund Messee brought them to us. Lieutenant Tompkins and I conversed with them; but their minds were so full of grievances, that at first they could speak of nothing else. We discovered however, after some more conversation, that they were eagerly desirous of instruction, and had already heard some tidings of good. This was the impression left on my mind by their visit. I regret that I omitted to make any memorạnda of the exact particulars of our conversation ; but such as above said was the impression left on my mind, viz. that they had seen and had heard the Gospel, and are willing to receive further instruction.
“ Évery inquiry shall be made. Mr. Fisher will accompany us on a tour which we purpose to make to the different villages, about the termination of the raing: meanwhile I will endeavour to prevail on some of the people to risit Delhi, and will acquaint you with the result.”
DESCRIPTION BY A MAHOMETAN OF A SATI, OB BURNING OF À WIDOW.
From the Asialic Register. The circumstance recently took place near Commillah. A niece of the late Rajah of Tipperah was the object in question. About four o'clock in the evening I went to the place pointed out for the sacrifice; soon after which the procession made its appearance to the sound of martial music; upon a cot (such as in general is made use of by Europeans) appeared the corpse at full length, elegantly dressed in the finest muslin, having his face painted after the manner of the Rajputs, and a star made of numerous coloured threads and small thin pieces of bamboo, about the size of a thick darning needle, attached to his ears. Upon the same cot, in a reclining posture, was his wife, most superbly dressed in muslin and fine clothes; her hair was loose and encircled in various wreaths of yellow flowers, having rings of pure gold in her ears and nose, and upon her wrists and ancles were rings of pure silver. Numerous attempts were made by her relations, and by myself, to dissuade her from the rash step she was about to make, but all to no purpose. At length, the night fast approaching, various culis were employed to dig a hole in the ground, which was made in the form of a cross ; during the making of which she repeatedly made inquiries as to its exactness. Having satisfied herself upon this subject, she then observed that there was not a sufficiency of wood to keep up a large fire till day-light, and then directed ber confessor (a Brahmin) to get for her seven Supari trees; which being brought, she then expressed a wish to bave the ceremony commenced;she then descended from the cot, placed a number of cowries in a cloth, which she distributed only to her own caste, repeating a short sentence from the Vedas, and receiving for answer the words Ram, Hori, Ram, Krishno, Hori. She was then bathed, and walked round the funeral pile (which was about six feet long and four broad) three times, and was again bathed; she then distributed her wear: ing apparel, but retained all her ornaments; again walked four times in all seven) round the pile, and was again bathed; she then advanced to the pile and spoke to her female relations, recommending their following her example, (as I was afterwards told,) desired a Brahmin to give bra a black pigeon, and resolutely stepped upon the pile. The corpse of her deceased husband was then brought and placed close to her, which she clasped in her arms and kissed ; then desired the friends to make no delay, and retired to rest—to rest, I may safely say, as upon feeling her pulse before the fire was communicated, I could not perceive the least motion in it. Fire was then communicated to the pile amidst loud shouts from the spectators, the music playing the whole time; and although the flame was very bright, yet for a time it was completely hidden from the sight by showers of short bamboos which were thrown into it by the by-standers, both Hindoos and Mussulmen. The Sati was à most beautiful woman, very fair, and having a countenance somewhat resembling the Chinese. Suffice it to say, that
I retired filled with sensations of a nature not the most enviable.
Mirza KAZEEM. Tipperah, 30th December, 1816.
On Early Piety. There is nothing so indispensably necessary to the establishment of future happiness, whether eartbly or heavenly, as early impressions of piety; for as religion is the sole source of human welfare and peace, so habits of religious reflection, in the spring of life, are the only means of arriving at the due sense of the impor, tance of divine concerns in age, except by the bitter and hazardous roads of repentance and remorse. To ensure you, my young friends, as far as precept can ensure you, from horrors like these in your last moments, I would, through the blessing of the Divine Being, induce you to reflect on the importance of your duties to God and to your own souls.
The contrast between the lives of the good and the wicked man, affords such convincing arguments in support of the excellence of religion, that even those infidels who have dared to assert their disbelief of the doctrine of revelation, have confessed, that in a political point of view, if in no other, it ought to be maintained. Compare the peaceful and collected course of the virtuous and pious man with the turbulent irregularity and violence of him who neglects his soul for the allurements of vice, and judge for yourselves of the policy of the conduct of each even in this world: Whose pleasures are the most exquisite? whose delights the most lasting? whose state is the most enviable ? His, who barters his hopes of eternal welfare for a few fleeting moments of brutal gratifications ; or his, who, while he keeps a future state alone in his view, finds happiness in the conscientious performance of bis du: ties, and the scrupulous fulfilment of the end of his sojourn bere?
Believe me, my friends, there is no comparison between them. The joys of the infatuated mortal, who sacrifices his soul to his sensualities, are mixed with bitterness and anguish : the voice of conscience rises distinctly to his ear, amid the shouts of intemperance and the sallies of obstreperous mirth. In the hour of rejoicing she whispers her appalling monitions to him, and his heart sinks within bim; the smile of triumphant villany is then converted into the ghastly grin of horror and hopelessness. But oh! in the languid intervals of intemperance, in the dead hour of the night, when all is solitude and silence when the soul is driven to commune with itself-and the voice of remorse, whose whispers were before half drowned in the noise of riot, rises dreadfully distinct, what-what are his emotions? who can paint his agonies, his lamentations, his despair?
Let that man lose again in the vortex of fashion, and folly, and rice, the remembrance of his horrors ; let him smile, let him laugh and be merry; believe me, my dear readers, he cannot be happy; he is not careless, he is not the jovial being he appears to be; his heart is heavy within him, he cannot stifle the reflections which assail him, even in the very moment of enjoyment; but strip the painted veil from his bosom, lay aside the trappings of folly, and that man is miserable ; and not only so, but he has purchased that misery at the expense of eternal torment.
Let us oppose to this awful picture the life of the good man; of him, who with cheerfulness rises in the morning to praise his Creator for all the good he hath bestowed upon him, and to perform with studious exactness the duties of his station, and who lays himself down on his pillow in the evening in the sweet consciousness of the applause of his own heart: place this man on the stormy seas of misfortune and sorrow-press him with the afflictive dispensations of Providence-separate him for ever from all he loves and holds dear on earth, and leave him isolated and an outcast in the world; he is calm-he is composed-he is grateful—he weeps, but he still preserves his composure-he still looks up to the Giver of all good with thankfulness and praise, and perseveres with calmness and fortitude in the paths of righteousness. His disappointments cannot overwhelm him, for his chief hopes were placed far, very far, beyond the reach of human vicissitude. “ He hath chosen that good part which none can take away from him."
Here then lies the great excellence of religion and piety: they not only lead to eternal happiness, but to the happiness of this world ; they not only ensure everlasting bliss, but they are the sole means of arriving at that degree of felicity which this dark and stormy being is capable of, and they are the sole supports in the hour of adversity and affliction. How infatuated then must that man be who can wilfully shut his eyes to his own welfare, and deviate from the paths of righteousness which lead to bliss. Even allowing him to entertain the erroneous notion that religion does not lead to happiness in this life, his conduct is incompatible with every idea of a reasonable being.
H. KIRKE WHITE.
AMERICAN COLONIZATION SOCIETY. Address of the Synod of Tennessee to the Society for the Coloniza
tion of the free people of colour in the United States. To the Hon. Bushrod Washington, Esq., President, &c.
RESPECTED SIR,—Through you the Synod of Tennessee embrace with lively pleasure an early opportunity of congratulating the society formed at the capital of our nation, and consisting of so many of our distinguished statesmen and fellow-citizens, for the colonization of the free people of colour among us who may accede to their plan. We congratulate you on the noble and important object for which you are associated
on the providential signs of our