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BRAHMINICAL HAUGHTINESS, IGNORANCE produces superstition in the lofty mind of man; and superstition degrades him below the dignity of a rational being. Priests, in all ages, have taken advantage of the ignorance of mankind; and, by cherishing the consequent superstition, have trampled. upon the reason and honour of their fellow creatures, while they have elevated themselves as a kind of divinities.
The Engraving above represents a HINDOO PROSTRATING HIMSELF at the feet of his spiritual teacher, a Brahman. The Brahmans, or Bramins, are the priests of Hindostan; who are regarded by the deluded Pagans as a kind of divinities! The Hindoo writers affirm that the Brahmans proceeded from the mouth of Brahma, their supreme god. Agreeably to this fable, none but persons of this caste are admitted to the priesthood, or have any thing to do with inaking laws; and they have taken care to turn this privilege to their own account. No Brahman can be put to death, by their law, for any crime whatever; while, on the other hand, to kill a Brahman is one of the greatest sins that can be committed; and every offence committed against them is to be punished with rigorous severity." "To drink the water into which a Brahman's toe has been dipped, is considered a very great privilege. Persons may be frequently seen carrying water in a cup, and intreating the first Brahman they meet to put his toe into it; after which they drink the water, and prostrate themselves before the Brahman, who bestows his blessing on them. Others are to be found who endeavour to collect the dust from the feet of a lack (100,000) of
Brahmans; one mode of doing which is, by spreading a cloth before the door of a house where many are assembled at a feast; as'each Brahman comes out, he shakes the dust from his feet upon this cloth. Many miraculous cures are said to have been performed on persons swallowing this dust."-Bapt. Miss. Papers.
From these passages an idea may be formed of the degradation of the common people in India, and of the despotic influence of the priests. How unlike the jealous piety and the genuine benevolence of Christianity, as seen in its chief ministers, the Apostles of Christ! To Cornelius, about to do him homage, Peter said, "Stand up; I myself also am a man.' "Acts x, 26. And Paul with Silas at Lystra, when, their miracles having demonstrated their divine mission, the priest of Jupiter astonished, "with the people would have done sacrifice," "rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, and saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God." Chap. xiv, 13, 14, 15.
Lord Teignmouth, President of the British and Foreign Bible Society, formerly occupied an official station in India, and having mentioned some horrid practices encouraged by the Brahmans, says, "It may perhaps seem strange to some, who have been taught to consider the Bramins as a sect of saints, venerable for learning and piety, to find them denounced by the British Government in Bengal, as the author of inhuman practices; but the truth is, that many of the Bramins in Hindostan are as grossly ignorant and uneducated as the meanest peasant in England."
CAIN AND ABEL.
The Trial, Sentence, and Punishment of Cain. CAIN, having perpetrated the dreadful deed, could find no peace. His guilty mind was tormented with the most piercing reflections. Already he felt within his awakened bosom, the gnawings of "the worm that never dieth," and the burnings of that "fire which is never quenched." No witness appears to announce the horrible deed to his parents. No human sound is heard, except the groans of raving anguish, which burst forth from the miserable murderer himself. But blood has a voice-every drop of innocent blood shed by violence has a tongue-it cries aloud-it reaches heaven-it penetrates the ears of God, the righteous Judge of all the earth, and it cries for Divine vengeance! No cry pierces heaven like that of blood-and how powerful must be the voice of the blood of an innocent, a pious, a murdered brother!
The eye of Omniscience beheld every part of this diabolical procedure, and marked the accumulations of its increasing guilt. Some pains were probably taken by the wicked wretch, to prevent the eye of man from discovering the mangled remains of his righteous brother's corpse; stupidly forgetting, that "all things are naked and open unto the eyes of Him, with whom we have to do." But a righteous judgment soon overtakes the abandoned transgressor. The inhuman culprit is summoned by a voice from heaven, and he must appear at the tribunal of divine justice. "And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother?"
This demand was sufficient to strike through the inmost soul of the most hardened criminal, and to produce "a certain fearful looking-for of judgment and fiery indignation," if not of penitential humiliation. But the influence of the evil spirit, to whom he had yielded up his mind, rendered the heart of Cain almost as impenetrable as a stone. In stubborn sullenness, and shameless insensibility, he dared to tempt the wrath of the Almighty, by uttering a direct falsehood to the face of his Maker! "And he said, I know not." His conscience being "seared as with a hot iron," he farther insults the LORD God, by asking, Am I my bro
How shocking the reply! How full of the grossest hypocrisy and iniquity! Surely the wickedness of a human being never appeared with such dreadful aggravations! He even reflects upon God himself, as if He had failed in his care of Abel! He is dead to every feeling of shame. He feels no remorse for his own atrocious crimes. He grieves not for the injury done to his parents. He regrets not his murderous passion. He fears not the vengeance of the Almighty, whom he had so daringly provoked.
Cain exhibits to us the most affecting example of an Infidel matured in his unbelief, and lost to all sense of religion, of honour, and of humanity.
The gentleness of divine mercy having no beneficial effect upon his impenitent heart, the LORD God proceeds to penetrate and awaken his hardened mind with the piercing arrows of conviction. "And he said, What hast thou done?" Ah! what indeed! This was sufficient to harrow up his soul. This question had been put to Eve, after eating the forbidden fruit; and it will sooner or later be addressed to every transgressor-by whom it must be answered fully, and with the testimony of a quickened conscience.
Cain refuses to speak: but innocent blood has already uttered its voice to be heard at the judgment seat of God! The LORD therefore added, "The voice of thy brother's blood crieth_unto me from the ground. And now thou art cursed from the earth, which hath
opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand. When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth." Gen. iv, 11, 12.
How astonishing, that God did not strike him with a thunderbolt, and overwhelm his malevolent, guilty soul into hell! But the earth is to be the executioner of the Divine sentence. Nature herself rises against the sanguinary violator of the tenderest fraternal ties. The earth hardens herself against the wretch, who could take away a brother's life. Divine vengeance pursues the abandoned monster, and the ground which he cultivates receives another malediction.
Cain has no hope of interest in the mercy of God. How miserable the guilty creature, terrified with the stings of an accusing conscience, and a prey to the terrors of an affrighted imagination. O, what a lesson to the young, to beware of the first risings of a revengeful spirit, to watch against the beginnings of envy; lest, under the beguiling influence of their watchful enemy Satan, they be deluded to forget their Maker, and to commit the most dreadful acts of iniquity. "So wicked Cain was hurried on
Till he had killed his brother."
Under the oppressive weight of his guilt, and feeling unquenchable fire burning in his troubled soul, he cried out in his anguish. The tremendous sentence necessitates the murderer to speak: but it is the language of sullen desperation. Cain exclaims, "My punishment is greater than I can bear." This is the expression of indignation. He makes no acknowledg ment of his crime, nor of the enormity of his guilt. Instead of justifying God, in his righteous sentence, he condemus him. He manifests no sorrow for sin - he is not humbled by genuine repentance-nor does he supplicate, in a single petition, the pardoning mercy of God. Such is the universal conduct of the wicked. They complain of their miseries, and curse their misfortunes; but do not implore the sovereign mercy of God to sanctify their unholy natures. How different the expression of a penitent, as exhibited in the fiftyfirst Psalm. In that instructive piece, the evil deplored is sin, in its unspeakable offensiveness to the holiness of God;-in Cain, it is only the complaint of its punish
The voice of Cain is once more lifted up to Godbut not in prayer. "Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me," ver. 14. How natural was it for Cain to be filled with fear: for being a mur derer, he had forfeited the privileges of social life, and even of life itself. He is justly apprehensive that the hand of every man would be raised against him, to avenge the innocent blood of righteous Abel, his brother!
The goodness of God still appears in the measure of relief afforded to this wretched outcast. "Vengeance is mine: I will repay, saith the LORD." "And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him." This appears to have been done, not only to warn every one against touching him; but as a token of disgrace, to distinguish him from the rest of mankind, and to exhibit him to all as the cruel murderer of his own, his younger, his religious brother!
Cursed of God, whom he now regarded as his enemy, "Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden," ver. 15. What a picture of a wicked man! In impenitent des pair, "he willingly renounced God and religion, and was content to forego its privileges, so that he might not be under its precepts. He forsook Adam's family
and altar, and cast off all pretensions to the fear of
Our young readers may desire to know more of the land of Nod. To them it is to be observed, that the word Nod, in the Hebrew language, signifies vagabond, or restlessness; and the meaning is, that Cain led a restless, wandering life, in the east country, a prey to the terrors of an accusing, a guilty conscience.
They may also desire to be informed, what the mark was, which God set upon Cain: to which we reply, it is not possible for us to ascertain; and as it does not concern our edification to know, God has not been pleased to direct Moses to gratify our curiosity.
Some infidel cavillers have asked, How could Cain be afraid of being killed, by any man finding him, when there was no man besides Adam, his father, living? Our young friends should regard such an objection as betraying extreme ignorance: for Adam had many sons and daughters. Gen. v, 4. Now, as Cain was about one hundred and thirty years of age, and as many being born soon after him and Abel, supposing them to marry at the age of twenty, the family of Adam must have increased in several generations, to many-it is calculated by learned men, from the increase of the Israelites in Egypt, to one hundred thousand inhabitants, at the time of this awful affair. Cain might therefore reasonably utter such an expression of fear.
THE Maltese term their island "the flower of the world." To the patriot, his first best country is always home but I have gazed on the Malta landscapes till I have really thought them pretty. Sea-views they ought rather to be terined, for the dark blue Mediterranean, calmly sleeping in its bays, or dashing furiously over the rocks, generally meets the eye wherever it is turned.
This little barren rock, in the midst of the ocean, with no fresh water but that which falls from heaven, no indigenous production but a few jujube trees, and no soil but what is brought from afar, has by the hand of man been covered with magnificent edifices, almost impregnable fortifications, and by the prowess of its brave knights its name has been enrolled high in the annals of glory.
The name of La Valette alone would be enough to consecrate this spot in the imaginations of all to whom valour and mental courage are dear; but it has higher claims to interest, for in holy writ, under the name of Melita, it is famed for the shipwreck of St. Paul, and for his sojourn of three months. The bay which was the scene of his escape is still pointed out and retains his name; and there is also shown the spot where "he shook off the viper and felt no harm," since which time it is said neither snake nor venomous animal has dared to enter Malta.
The celebrated order of the Knights of Malta, derived its origin from the charity of some rich citizens of Italy, who in 1050, by presents to the caliph of Egypt, obtained his permission to erect a church and two hospitals at Jerusalem, which were originally supported by alms and contributions. Godfrey (a Norman conqueror) endowed them with an estate in Brabant, and many of his brethren devoted themselves to the perpetual service of way-worn pilgrims. As the association acquired importance, the brethren took a religious habit, and in the twelfth century, the friars first became soldiers, and the great men of Europe sent their sons to Jerusalem to be trained up in religion, and in knightly discipline and feats of arms.
In the year 1260, the order was divided into the seven principal languages of Europe; and in the reign. of Henry I, the Hospitallers (as the knights were then
termed) came into this country, and their first priory was erected at Clerkenwell, and burnt by the rebels in 1381. On the expulsion of the knights from Rhodes by the Turks, Charles V presented Malta to the Grand Master of the order of Jerusalem, and they then assumed the name of Knights of Malta, which their brave acts have rendered illustrious in the page of history.
But, alas! for them, where are they now? Well might Burke exclaim, "The days of chivalry are over!" Of them whose deeds once kept the world alive with lustre and with noise, nought remains but splendid tombs and stupendous fortifications, to tell us such men once existed.
The Maltese, though they have lost the barbarity, have not lost the hospitality for which they are famed in holy writ; they indeed showed us no little kindness, and for courtesy to strangers their island richly deserves to be termed " the flower of the world."
To those, however, who are anxious for the spread of Christianity, this little barren insulated rock, which is said to have been colonized by the Phoenicians 1500 years before Christ, is in many points of view particularly interesting, being the head-quarters of the Missionary labours in the Mediterranean. The excellent and highly respected Mr. Jowett, was then (1827) on the station, and labouring most earnestly in his vocation; and we procured some Arabic spelling books of him, which we subsequently distributed to some of the wild Arabs we met with in our journey.
REMARKABLE ATTACHMENT OF A DOG.
A FEW days before the overthrow of the dreadful Robespierre, a revolutionary tribunal in the north of France had condemned to death a Mr. R., an ancient magistrate and most amiable man, on a pretended conspiracy. He had at that time a spaniel about twelve years old, which had been brought up by him, and had scarcely ever quitted his side. This faithful dog was with him when he was first seized, but was refused admittance into the prison. Every day however the dog returned to the door of the prison, which was still shut against him. Such ceaseless fidelity at last won the heart of the keeper, and the dog was allowed to enter: his joy at the sight of his master was unbounded, and it became difficult to separate them; but the jailor fearing for himself, carried the dog out of prison, and he returned to his place of retreat. For some weeks his visit was daily repeated, and admission as regularly granted. When the day of receiving sentence arrived, the dog forced his way into the hall, and couched himself between the legs of the unhappy man, whom he was about to lose for ever. At the fatal hour of execution, this faithful animal alone, dared, even under the eye of a tyrant, to own a dying friend; and when the body was interred, he spread himself upon the grave; on that cold pillow he passed the two first days, but a neighbour of his deceased master's, who had sheltered him during the imprisonment, caressed him, and by kindness induced him to eat; three months passed away, during which the mourner went every morning to the house of his protector, merely to receive his food, and then returned to the grave. Means were at length essayed to wean him; he was first tied, and then chained; but what manacle is there that can ultimately triumph over nature? He escaped from his bonds and returned to the sepulchre, which he never again quitted. It was in vain that all kind measures were used once more to bring him back; he could not even be induced to eat; each day he became more meagre and more languishing, till at length his attached and generous heart gave way, his whole frame became convulsed, and he breathed out his last gasp upon the grave of his lamented master.
On Viewing a Relic of Old St. Dunstan's Church, Fleet
Street, London, which was recently pulled down.
Thou to dust art crumbling now,
That thy growth we cannot note.
Since thou wast fix'd within its wall,
Though time hath worn both wood and stone,
Deep would the warning be, but vain,
'Twere vain to seek, since record none
And some who heard have passed away ‡,
But none so lov'd shall charm these eyes;
Than all the future pile can be.
ADVENTURES OF A POUND OF COTTON. "LABOUR is wealth," is an axiom which may be admirably illustrated by the "adventures of a pound of cotton," while in the most instructive manner it shows the importance of trade to Great Britain. India furnished the wool, and from the interior, perhaps a distance of 500 miles, it was brought to Calcutta; from that port it was conveyed by ship to London; from London it went to Lancashire, where it was manufactured into yarn; from Manchester it was sent to Paisley, where it was woven; next it was sent to Ayrshire, where it was tamboured; afterwards it was conveyed to Dumbarton, where it was hand-sewed; and then returned to Paisley, whence it was sent to a distant part of the county of Renfrew to be bleached, and again returned to Paisley; whence it was sent to Glasgow, and was finished; and from Glasgow it was forwarded to London. It is diffi cult to ascertain precisely the time taken to bring this article to market; but it may be pretty near the truth to reckon it three years, from the time it must have been packed in India, until in a finished state it arrived at the merchant's warehouse in London, whither it must have been conveyed at least 10,000 miles by sea, 1,000 by land, and contributed to reward no less than 150 people, whose services were necessary in the carriage and manufacture of this small quantity of cotton, and by which the value has been advanced 2,000 per cent.
METHOD OF STUDYING THE HOLY SCRIP. TURES.
We must place ourselves in the point of view from which the Bible contemplates surrounding objects, that we may see all things in the clear light of revelation. We must feel as well as think with the inspired writers; and, entering into their sentiments and reasonings, be carried along with the main stream of their argument, till we arrive at all their conclusions, and find their thoughts possessing our minds, and their very words arising to our lips. Thus shall we be cast into the mould of Divine Revelation, and take the stamp of its godlike and immortal image. In taking the Bible to be our guide to sacred truth, we may enter with equal clearness into the Divine thoughts, and make it the standard of our judgment and feeling, even in things remotely connected with Revelation; bearing it3 tone of sentiment upon our hearts, like a strain of music, which blends with the imagination long after the instrument is silent.-Douglas's Errors of Religion.
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THE TADMOR OF KING SOLOMON,
RUINS OF PALMYRA.
PALMYRA, whose magnificent ruins now strike every traveller with astonishinent, was a noble city of Syria, about ten miles in circumference, on the borders of Arabia Deserta. Historians of the highest authority agree that it was one of the store cities which Solomon built for the purpose of carrying on his surprising commerce with India; I Kings x, 14-29; 2 Chron ix, 1328. Its Syrian name, Tadmor, 1 Kings ix, 18; 2 Chron. viii, 3, 4, and its Greek one, Palmyra, are both descriptive of its situation in a spot abounding with palm
Tadmor was originally a water station, in the desert between Syria and Mesopotamia, at a convenient distance between the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea; it was frequented by the caravans which at that period conveyed the rich cominodities of India to Western Asia and Europe. It was situated in a most delightful spot, surrounded by a vast sandy desert, and enclosed with mountains on the east, north, and west sides.
Josephus, speaking of Solomon, says, "When he had therefore built this city, and encompassed it with very strong walls, he gave it the name of Tadmor; and that VOL. I.
is the name it is still called by at this day among the Syrians; but the Greeks name it Palmyra "
Dr. Robertson, in his "Historical Disquisitions concerning Ancient India," says, "Its happy position at the distance of 85 miles from the river Euphrates, and about 117 miles from the nearest coast of the Mediterranean, induced its inhabitants to enter with ardour into the trade of conveying commodities from one of those to the other. As the most valuable productions of India brought up the Persian Gulf, are of such small bulk as to bear the expense of a long land carriage, this trade soon became so considerable, that the opulence and power of Palmyra increased rapidly."
Towards the close of the seventeenth century, as Dr. Robertson remarks, "some gentlemen of the English factory at Aleppo, incited by what they heard in the East concerning the wonderful ruins of Palmyra, ventured, notwithstanding the fatigue and danger of a journey through the desert, to visit them. To their astonishment they beheld a fertile spot, of some miles in extent, arising like an island out of a vast plain of sand, covered with the remains of temples, porticoes, aqueducts, and other public works, which in magnificence were not unworthy of Athens or Rome in their most prosperous state. Allured by their description of thein, about sixty years thereafter, a party of more enlightened tra