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ing of a different group of figures, says, “ The singam or lion, is by no means a likeness of that animal, wanting the peculiar characteristic, the mane ; something intended to represent this is indeed visible, which has more the effect of spots. appears evident the sculptor was by no means so well acquainted with the figure of the lion as with that of the elephant and monkey." The sculptors could not, I think, have come from any country where the lion was well known. Both the lion and the elephant stand up to the belly in sand, and a few yards from them, where the sand has been drifted much higher, the head and back of a bull are visible : a Native who pointed him out to me, said that a gentleman who had visited that place a few months ago, had the sand dug away and found the animal entire ; but that since that time the sand had gradually fallen in again, and only left visible the parts above mentioned.
The temple, which is unfinished in the accompanying sketch, is sculptured similarly to the other three; but has been left in its present unfinished state, in order to shew more clearly the fissure which is in it. One of the writers already mentioned seems to have thought that nothing less than an earthquake could have split this sculptured rock, as represented in the sketch : but with all deference to that gentleman's judgment, I think differently; for in many parts of the hills there are larger pieces of unsculptured rock split in a similar manner, as is represented in the drawing, No. 3, and more clearly in two others which I have by me: but no one ever thought that they could not be so broken but by an earthquake. There is a disposition in the stones to split, and I saw workmen engaged in two or three parts splitting off long pieces for steps, pillars, &c. which they accomplished with great facility, by the use of small iron wedges and hammers*.
The hills or rocks represented in the sketch, No. 3, stand almost in a line between the temples just mentioned and the pagoda on the shore. The figures seen on the surface of one of them, are sculptures in bass relief; there are many such, and all illustrative of the popular stories of Hindoo mythology. Some of the figures are much larger than life and others are much smaller, in other respects they appear to have been well done ; but many of them are now very much defaced, and it does not appear that any of them ever possessed those fine delicate touches, which grace the Grecian and Roman sculptures.
In several parts of the same rock, rooms have been excavated, and rows of granite pillars left for the purpose of supporting the massy roofs; the sides and floors are adorned with a variety of fi
* The reader in his reference to the two plates, will be pleased to observe, that the drawing of the hills is on a scale of about one fourth smaller than that of the sculptured temples ; had it been on the same scale, it could not have been so conveniently inserted in the “ Observer.”
gures in bass relief, and of the same mythological character as those on the outside of the rocks.
When, or by whom these sculptures were performed, or why they are left in their present unfinished state, is not known. There is a tradition amongst the inhabitants that “ a northern prince, about 1000 years ago, was desirous of having a great work executed, bnt the Hindoo sculptors and masons refused to execute it on the terms he offered. Attempting force they, in number about 4000, filed with their effects from his country hither, where they resided four or five years, and in this interval executed these magnificent works. The prince, at length discovering them, prevailed on them to return, which they did, leaving the works unfinished as they appear at present."
Having heard of the fame of the place, I naturally expected to find an immense population, instead of which nothing but a few scattered huts of the most miserable kind appeared. A brahmun, from long usage accustomed to the task, has become a tolerably good guide: he felt no interest in the objects of curiosity, and was only stimulated by the hope of gaining a small sum of money. The fact that the place possesses no sanctity among the natives of southern India, together with the existence of some object of worship not common in that part of the continent, seems to favour the presumption that the place owes its origin to some northern race of Hindoos.
The name of the place is evidently of Sanscrit derivation, whose formatives are easily traceable to their original. The Tamul word*, it may be presumed, would be found in Sanscrit written arrafat, (Mohabalipoor,) which signifies the city or country of the great Bali ; the difference in the orthoepy arises from the dissimilarity in sound of the letters in the two languages, and the present pronunciation is as near as the Tamulians can come to the original, owing to the defectiveness of their alphabet. The first word of the compound Maha, is ordinarily so pronounced by the Tamul people ; but it very frequently loses its second syllable when united with another word in composition. From this etymological consideration of the name given to this place, we may conclude that either some one of the name of Bali was connected with its origin; or, as Bali is the name of one of the sons of Indra, it is equally probable that the account given of its origin by the Natives may be fabulous, and that the name of this mythological person has been adopted for the purpose of giving fame to the
story. The reader will find much interesting matter on this subject in the first and fifth volumes of the Asiatic Researches and in Maurice's Indian Antiquities, as well as a copy of some inscriptions in a singular character on the temples represented in the accompanying drawing.
H. P. * See the plate.
II.—Concluding Observations on the Comparative Effects of
Christianity and Polytheism upon Human Happiness, with
regard to temporal concerns alone. [In the early numbers of the Christian Observer appeared a series of able
papers under the general head of, “ An Investigation of the comparative effects of Christianity and Polytheism upon human happiness, with regard to temporal concerns alone.” The excellent Author has subsequently been induced to re-publish these articles in the form of a separate pamphlet, entitled, “ Christianity and Polytheism contrasted, in their respective effects upon the temporal condition of Mankind.” As in this re-publication several new remarks are added at the close, it is but due to our readers that these should be inserted here, in order that they may thereby be put in possession of the entire Essay.—Ed.]
If there be, then, this intimate connection* between the establishment of Christianity and the temporal welfare of mankind, surely all those who possess the means of disseminating or recommending that creed, are under solemn obligations, on the score of natural religion alone, to seek, through the medium of the Gospel, “ the greatest good, of the greatest number.” There are departments enough in this work of benevolence to afford room for the exertions of every individual who is really willing to forward it: there is one field, at any rate, in which all,—the humblest as well as the most talented of those who desire to promote the happiness of their fellow-creatures,-may labour side by side, whilst it cannot be neglected without the most active prejudice to the cause. I mean, of course, example : I mean that practical illustration of the beneficial effects of Christianity upon the character and conduct of those who profess it, which alone can render mere arguments really cogent, and constrain attention to the claims of the Bible. There are millions upon millions in this land, altogether impassive, in their present condition, to the most powerful weapons of abstract reasoning; but every man, however ignorant, can appreciate the silent eloquence of the visit to “ the fatherless and widows in their affliction," and of the pure, upright, and conscientious tenor of a life“ unspotted” by the world. Whatever men's practice, whatever even their false opinions in regard to the nature of virtue and vice, happiness and misery, there is still so much of a sympathy between the human mind, and “whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, and whatsoever things are of good report,” in the conduct of others, as to constrain admiration and respect, and, not unfrequently, to generate a desire of imitation. The cause of Christianity throughout Asia depends more, humanly speaking, upon the example set by those who already profess that creed, than upon all the self-devoted labours of Missionaries, and all the triumphs
* Shown in the earlier numbers of the Christian Observer.
of that mighty pioneer, -education. There is no sermon in any country comparable to the life of a righteous man, striving, however feebly and imperfectly, to discharge his obligations to his Creator and his fellow-creatures ; and abundant reasons must suggest themselves to every reflecting mind, why the principle of human nature, which renders this position universally true, should operate with peculiar intensity upon those who are placed, in this heathen land, within the sphere of Christian example. The converse of the proposition holds good, of course, to at least an equal extent : and with this aggravation, arising out of the circumstances of situation alluded to above, that the misconduct or immorality of any person who calls himself a Christian, will be productive of the same sort of mischievous consequences, as are brought about, in lands where the religion of Jesus is generally professed, by the apostacy or gross criminality of an individual asserting an especial intimacy with its doctrines, and respect for its commandments. As secular education performs its allotted task, in opening the eyes of the Native community, and disabusing them of their prejudices and delusions, their sharpened intellects will naturally turn, in the first instance, to canvass the value of Christianity in its effect upon the conduct of its alleged votaries. This, assuredly, is not the standard by which the merits of the creed should be determined; for moral truth is self-dependent, and can in no wise be affected by the inconsistencies of those who pretend to reverence, but really do their utmost to belie it. Nevertheless, to this criterion the Gospel will be brought by thousands, and awful, indeed,—if there be a God, —will be the responsibility of those, who “cause the way of truth to be evil spoken of.” In this state of things,—at this crisis,-a corrupt, lying, unjust Christian, a drunken Christian, an adulterous Christian, a Christian who labours in the diabolical vocation of adding recruits to the ranks of prostitution, is manifestly a curse both to India and Britain of incalculable magnitude. I need not invoke those who are Christians indeed; but let all who profess philanthropical principles, let all who wish well to the great family of mankind, let all those, I repeat, who would promote, with the illustrious Bentham, “the greatest happiness of the greatest number," be careful that they do not neglect to lay the foundation stone of the edifice of social happiness, on behalf of the Natives of this noble dependency upon our “ father-land,” in a high tone of public and private morals, and such a course of conduct and conversation as may demonstrate to the most sceptical observer that their avowed belief is something far more practically operative than a mere empty denomination.
Further, let those Hindoos who are happily emancipated in any degree from the shackles of idolatry, give due weight to the conclusions deducible from the remarkable fact, that Christianity is