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JAPAN, of one of whose sacred temples the above is a representation, is a large and powerful empire near to China. It consists of three principal islands, with a number of smaller ones, lying between the east coast of Asia and the west coast of America. Japan has been said to resemble the British isles for situation and magnitude; and were South Britain divided from the North by a channel, Japan might be fitly compared to England, Scotland, and Ireland, with their islands, peninsulas, bays, and channels. The population is estimated at more than 40,000,000, being about double that of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland; but the people are sunk in the most degrading ignorance and superstition.
Japan is the European name of this empire; but the inhabitants call it Niphon, from the largest island belonging to it: the Chinese call it Chiphon, from its eastern situation, a name signifying the Foundation of the Sun. Niphon is about 850 miles long, and averaging rather more than 100 in breath. Jeddo, the capital, is said to be 60 miles in circuit; and Miaco, the second city, is said to contain 1,000,000 of inhabitants. Some of their mountains are enriched with mines of gold, silver, and excellent copper, besides tin, lead, iron, and various other minerals and fossils; whilst others abound with several sorts of marble and precious stones. Of these mountains, some may justly be
ranked among the natural rarities of this country; one in particular, in the great island of Niphon, is of such prodigious height as to be easily seen 120 miles off at sea, though its distance from the shore is about 44 miles. Some authors think it exceeds the Peak of Teneriffe, which is more than 12,000 feet above the level of the sea.
The vast quantities of sulphur with which most of the Japan islands abound, makes them subject to frequent and dreadful earthquakes. The inhabitants are so accustomed to them, that they are scarcely alarmed, unless they lay whole towns in ruins, which often proves the case. On these occasions they have recourse to extraordinary sacrifices and acts of worship to their deities or demons, according to the different notions of each sect, and sometimes they even proceed to offer human victims: but in this case they take only the vilest and most abandoned, because they are sacrificed to the malevolent deities.
The Japanese are very ingenious in most handicraft trades, and excel the Chinese in several manufactures, particularly in the beauty, goodness, and variety of their silks, cottons, and other stuffs, and in their Japan and porcelain wares.
The women are subjected to a most wretched state of degradation. A husband may put his wives to a more or less severe death, if they give the least cause of jealousy, by being seen barely to converse with another man, or suffering one to come into their apartment.
The religion of the Japanese throughout the empire. is paganism, including several sects, who live together in harmony, each having its own temples and priests. The spiritual emperor, Dairi, is the chief of their religion: though they acknowledge one Supreme Being. Dr. Humbey saw two temples of "the god of gods' of a majestic height. The idol that represented this divinity was of gilded wood, and of so prodigious a size, that upon his hands six persons might sit in the Japanese fashion. In the other temple, the infinite power of this god was represented by little gods to the number of 33,333, all standing round the great idol, which represented the Supreme Being. The priests, who are numerous in every temple, have nothing to do but to clean the pavement, light the lamps, and dress the idols with flowers. The temples are open to every one, even to the Dutch; and if they are in want of a lodging, when they go to the court of Jeddo, they are entertained with hospitality in these temples.
In Miaco there are multitudes of temples; and one in particular, has no less than three thousand idols in it. In the middle of the temple there is a gigantic figure of an idol, whose head is bald, and his ears bored through, but without a beard. On each side of his throne there are statues of armed men, moors dancing, witches, magicians, and devils. There are likewise several representations of thunder, winds, and rain, with all sorts of stones. Each idol has thirty hands, with seven heads on his breast, all made of solid gold, and all the decorations of the temple are made of the same precious materials. Near this idol is another of a most gigantic size, with forty-six arms and hands, attended by the figures of sixteen black devils. A row of idols is placed at a considerable distance, each of which has several arms, all of which are intended to signify the power they have over the affairs of this lower world. Their heads are adorned with rays of glory, and some of them have shepherds' crooks in their hands, to intimate their being guardians of mankind against all the machinations of evil spirits.
The Temple of Apes, represented in our engraving (see Carpenter's Scripture Nat. Hist.) is magnificent; richly adorned with many figures of that grotesque animal. Apes and monkeys, with a variety of other creatures, are reverently worshipped in their pagods; and each of these sapient brutes is considered as emblematical of some of the operations of nature or providence. All the attitudes in which these creatures are placed, afford subjects for the priests to enlarge on in their sermons to the people: should we with a smile gay, "for their instruction or amusement?"
The doctrine of metempsychosis, or the transmigration of souls, is firmly held by the Japanese, as it is by many of the Hindoos and Chinese; and which, while it strips death of much of its terror, destroys the tenderest feelings of humanity, causing them to set scarcely any value on human life, even of their own parents.
The Japanese are so fully persuaded of the passing of human souls from their purgatorial prison in hell, into the bodies of vile creatures on earth, such as serpents, toads, insects, birds, fishes, and quadrupeds, and from them again into human bodies after a season of suffering, that they have hospitals for beasts, which are fed and supported as if they were human beings. And what is more remarkable, there is a convent near Jeddo, in which a vast number of priests reside, whose time is employed in feeding these irrational brute creatures !
British Christians cannot but mourn over such a miserable, superstitious, and degraded population. Sympathetic piety will lead the man of God to pray, "Have respect unto the covenant, for the dark places of the carth are full of the habitations of cruelty." Psal. lxxiv, 20.
Christianity, however, or rather popery, had once a considerable number of converts in Japan: but the mission was productive of little good. Many reckon it to have been pernicious, as it terminated in the most dreadful massacre of all who professed the Christian name, through the pride and the rapacity of the Jesuits, and their conspiracies against the government.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF BISHOP WARBURTON.
BISHOP WARBURTON was, as Mr. Grainger, in his "Biographical History" observes, "an English prelate of gigantic abilities." We introduce this great man to the contemplation of our young readers, as a worthy example of persevering and successful diligence in the paths of learning. We especially propose him as an inducement to study and application, because, as a highly respectable clergyman remarks, "Bishop Warburton, the greatest master of human learning that in modern times has adorned the English episcopacy, went to no university. The author of the Divine Legation of Moses' began life as an attorney's clerk, and continued in the legal profession till he was twentyfive years of age."
The subject of this biographical sketch was born at Newark, December the 24th, 1698. He was first put to school there under a Mr. Twells, but had the chief part of his education at Oakham in Rutlandshire, where he continued till the beginning of 1714, when his cousin being made head-master of the school at Newark, he returned to his native place, and was for a very short time under the care of that learned and respectable relation. In April that year, he was put out clerk to Mr. Kirke, an eminent attorney of Great Markham, in Nottinghamshire; and continued with that gentleman till 1719. He then returned to his family at Newark; devoting a considerable portion of his time to study, and became usher in a school. Having expressed a strong inclination for the church, he was ordained deacon, December the 22d, 1723, and priest, March the 1st, 1727. His first work appeared in 1724, under the title of "Miscellaneous Translations in Prose and Verse, from Roman Poets, Orators, and Historians," 12mo. The volume was dedicated to Sir Robert Sutton, and seems to have laid the foundation of his first ecclesiastical preferment. In 1727 his second work, entitled "A Critical and Philosophical Inquiry into the Causes of Prodigies and Miracles, as related by Historians," &c., was published in 12mo., and was also dedicated to Sir R. Sutton. Majesty's visit to Cambridge, Mr. Warburton had the honour of being in the King's list of Masters of Arts, created in consequence of the royal visit to that university. In June, the same year, he was presented by Sir Robert Sutton to the rectory of Brand Broughton, in the diocese of Lincoln, which he retained till his death, and where he spent a considerable part of his middle life in a studious retirement, devoted entirely to letters. In 1736 he published a pamphlet, which rendered him famous, entitled "The Alliance between Church and State; or the Necessity and Equity of an Established Religion and a Test Law; demonstrated from the Essence and End of Civil Society, upon the fundamental Principles of the Law of Nature and Nations." But the work, which especially has immortalized the name of Warburton, is, "The Divine Legation of Moses demonstrated on the Principles of a religious Deist, from the Omission of the Doctrine of Rewards and Punishments in the Jewish Dispensation."
This work raised up a host of opponents; because, while it vindicated the claims of Moses as a Messenger
from God, it surrendered to the enemies some of his capital doctrines: but its display of prodigious learning secured him many friends. We cannot follow him through his several stages of honour and dignity, as chaplain to the king,-prebend of Durham,-D. Ď.,— dean of Bristol,-and bishop of Gloucester. Toward the close of his life, Bishop Warburton transferred five hundred pounds to Lord Mansfield, Sir Eardley Wilmot, and Mr. Charles Yorke, upon trust, to found a lecture, in the form of a course of sermons, to prove the truth of revealed religion in general, and of the Christian in particular, from the completion of the prophecies of the Old and New Testament which relate to the Christian church, especially to the apostacy of Papal Rome. To this foundation we owe the admirable Introductory Lectures of Hurd, and the welladapted Continuation of Halifax and Bagot. Bishop Warburton died in June 1779, in the eighty-first year of his age, leaving the character for learning which we have quoted.
THE REV. GEORGE BURDER.
FULL of days, and beloved by all denominations of Christians, this venerable man finished his mortal course, at the house of his son, Dr. Burder, in Brunswick Square, May the 29th, 1832. He had attained the eightieth year of his age; and for more than half that period, we believe, he had been minister of Fetter Lane Chapel. His literary labours were considerable and useful; and "The Village Sermons," which have been translated into many languages, will immortalize the name of George Burder. His services to the public, in promoting the cause of the Redeemer, cannot on earth be estimated; as he was for many years the able Secretary to the London Missionary Society, and the intelligent, candid Editor of the Evangelical Magazine. This excellent man has left a treasure to the world, in his eminent and honoured sons; and we rejoice that his sorrowing church is blessed with the oversight of a minister so qualified as the Rev. Caleb Morris, who for several years had been co-pastor with our departed friend. May the spirit of Elijah rest upon Elisha!
BY J. MONTGOMERY. Through shades and solitudes profound The fainting traveller winds his way; Bewildering meteors glare around,
And tempt his wandering feet astray. Welcome, thrice welcome, to his eye, The sudden moon's inspiring light, When forth she sallies through the sky, The guardian angel of the night! Thus mortals, blind and weak, below Pursue the phantom Bliss, in vain ; The world's a wilderness of woe,
And life a pilgrimage of pain! Till mild Religion, from above, Descends, a sweet engaging form, The messenger of heavenly love,
The bow of promise in a storm! Then guilty passions wing their flight, Sorrow, remorse, affliction cease; Religion's yoke is soft and light,
And all her paths are paths of peace. Ambition, pride, revenge depart, And folly flies her chastening rod; She makes the humble contrite heart A temple of the living God.
Beyond the narrow vale of time,
Where bright celestial ages roll, To scenes eternal, scenes sublime, She points the way, and leads the soul. At her approach the Grave appears
The Gate of Paradise restor'd; Her voice the watching Cherub hears, And drops his double flaming sword. Baptiz'd with her renewing fire
May we the crown of glory gain; Rise when the host of heaven expire, And reign with God-for ever reign!
A RICH INFIDEL REFLECTING ON HUMAN LIFE.
MELANCHOLY gloom or licentious gaiety pervades the mind of even the most favoured infidel. Voltaire was rich, and honoured by the great; yet, amid his boasting, and the worship of his admirers, he was the victim of the bitterest vexation, even when in his glory; and deliberately he could record, "I WISH I HAD NEVER
"Who,” says this prince of infidelity, "can, without horror, consider the whole world as the empire of destruction? It abounds with wonders; it also abounds with victims. It is a vast field of carnage and contagion. Every species is without pity pursued and torn to pieces through the earth, and air, and water. In man there is more wretchedness than in all the other animals put together. He loves life, and yet he knows he must die. If he enjoys a transient good, he suffers various evils, and is at last devoured by worms. knowledge is his fatal prerogative; other animals have it not. He spends the transient moments of his existence in diffusing the miseries which he suffers; in cutting the throats of his fellow-creatures for pay; in cheating and being cheated; in robbing and being robbed; in serving that he might command, and in repenting of all he does. The bulk of mankind are nothing more than a crowd of wretches, equally criminal and unfortunate; and the globe contains rather carcasses than men. I tremble at the review of this dreadful picture to find that it contains a complaint against Providence; and I WISH I HAD NEVER BEEN
BOOKS OF STERLING MERIT.
IN our Prospectus of the "Christian's Penny Magazine," we declared our intention of noticing, among other things, "New Books of Sterling Merit." Our limits will not allow us to give an extended review of any but we intend to point out some of those works, which are best suited to form an economical, but valuable library for that class of readers, whose time and money render such direction indispensable; and think we cannot do better than commence with the
COMPANION TO THE BIBLE, Intended for Bible Classes, Families, and Young Persons in General.
This little Work, price only three shillings, illustrated with three coloured Maps of Biblical Geography, has been pronounced one of the most instructive and valuable, on the best and greatest of subjects, that have ever issued from the British press. It contains a condensed mass of information, connected with almost every subject relating to the history, inspiration, and design of the Bible. Every young person ought to possess this work, to fortify his faith against the daring
and insinuating attacks of the various classes of Infidels. A specimen of the style and manner of the work, we have given in the chapter on the “ Antiquity of the Bible."
VISIT OF THE DUKE OF YORK TO MILTON. DR. SYMONDS, in his Life of Milton, produces "many effusions of malevolence of which Milton was the object during his life-time; and which fully justify his complaints, and our execration of the malignity of party.
"A story I have seen in print (but by whom told, or on what authority, I know not), shall be inserted for the amusement of my readers. It bears some internal marks of authenticity, and exhibits very justly the gay and the gloomy malignity of the two royal bro. thers, Charles and James.
"The Duke of York, as it is reported, expressed one day to the King his brother, a great desire to see old Milton, of whom he had heard so much. The King replied, that he felt no objection to the Duke's satisfying his curiosity and accordingly, soon afterwards James went privately to Milton's house, where, after an introduction, which explained to the old republican the rank of his guest, a free conversation ensued between these very dissimilar and discordant characters. In the course, however, of the conversation, the Duke asked Milton, whether he did not regard the loss of his eyesight as a judgment inflicted on him for what he had written against the King. Milton's reply was to this effect; If your Highness thinks that the calamities which befal us here are indications of the wrath of Heaven, in what manner are we to account for the fate of the King, your father? The displeasure of Heaven must, upon this supposition, have been much greater against him than against me-for I have lost only my eyes, but he lost his head.'
"Much discomposed with this answer, the Duke soon took his leave and went away. On his return to court, the first words which he spoke to the King were,- Brother, you are greatly to blame that you don't have that old rogue Milton hanged.' Why,what is the matter, James?' said the King, you seem in a heat. What! have you seen Milton?' 'Yes,' answered the Duke, 'I have seen him.' Well,' said the King, In what condition did you find him?' Condition? why he is old and very poor.' 'Old and poor! Well, and he is blind too-is he not?'-'Yes, blind as a beetle.' Why then,' observed the King, 'you are a fool, James, to have him hanged as a punishment to hang him will be doing him a service; it will be taking him out of his miseries. No-if he is old, poor, and blind, he is miserable enough in all conscience: let him live!'"
A DEN OF RATTLESNAKES.
IN Flint's Geography and History of the United States, we have an account of an emigrant family who inadvertently fixed their cabin on the shelving declivity of a ledge, that proved a den of Rattlesnakes. Warmed by the first fire on the hearth of the cabin, the terrible reptiles issued in numbers, and of course in rage, by night, into the room where the whole family slept. As happens in those cases, some slept on the floor, and some in beds. The reptiles spread in every part of the room, and mounted on every bed. Children were stung in the arms of their parents, and in each other's arms. Imagination dares not dwell on the horrors of such a scene. Most of the family were bitten to death, and those who escaped, finding the whole cabin oc
cupied by these horrid tenants, hissing and shaking their rattles, fled from the house by beating off the covering of the roof, and escaping in that direction.
On the barren flank of a rock, says Humboldt, grows a tree with dry and leather-like leaves; its large woody roots can scarcely penetrate into the stony soil. For several months of the year not a single shower moistens its foliage. Its branches appear dead and dried; yet when the trunk is pierced there flows from it a sweet and nourishing milk. It is at sun-rise that this vegetable fountain is most abundant. The blacks and the natives are then to be seen hastening from all quarters, furnished with large bowls to receive the milk, which grows yellow and thickens at its surface. Some employ their bowls under the tree, while others carry home the juice for their children. This fine tree rises like the broad-leaved star-apple. Its oblong and pointed leaves, tough and alternate, are marked by lateral ribs some of them are ten inches long. We did not see the flower. The fruit is somewhat fleshy, and contains a nut, sometimes two. The milk obtained by incisions made in the trunk is glutinous, tolerably thick, free from all acrimony, and of an agreeable and balmy smell. It was offered to us in the shell of the tutuno or calabash tree. We drank a considerable quantity of it in the evening before we went to bed, and very early in the morning, without experiencing the slightest injurious effect. The viscosity of this milk alone renders it somewhat disagreeable. The negroes and free labourers drink it, dipping into it their maize or cassava bread. The butter tree of Bambarra, mentioned by Mungo Park, is suspected to be of the same genus as the Palo de vaca.-Modern Traveller, Columbia, 263.
SUCH is the First Number of "The Christian's Penny Magazine," which we have endeavoured to make not only" entertaining" and "useful," but conducive to the spread of Christian knowledge, the cultivation of genuine piety, and to the practice of that pure morality which can only spring from a heart governed by the principles of the Gospel. In what measure our efforts have been successful, we now leave to our Readers to pronounce. That our aim is approved by them we doubt not; and we therefore unhesitatingly claim their support, not merely as purchasers to keep the Work in existence; but especially to aid us by their talents in improving its character, and their influence in enlarging its sphere of usefulness. A ready and respectful attention will be paid to any suggestions for its improvement, and insertion given to whatever may be thought likely to promote its utility. And so we launch our bark with confidence, commending it to the blessing of Him who alone can give it a prosperous gale, and who we humbly trust will smile upon this attempt to promote his glory and the good of mankind.
London: Printed and Published by C. WOOD AND SON, Poppin's Court, Fleet Street, and may be had of all Booksellers and Newsmen.
Communications (post paid) to be addressed to the Editor, at the Publisher's.
PUBLISHED EVERY SATURDAY.
THE HOME MISSIONARY SOCIETY. THIS truly apostolical Society, consisting of churchmen and dissenters, was founded in 1819. Its design is the " evangelization of the unenlightened inhabitants of the towns and villages of Great Britain, by preaching the Gospel, the distribution of Religious Tracts, and the establishment of Prayer-Meetings and Sunday Schools, with every other Scriptural method for the accomplishment of this important object." The Report of the "Home Missionary Society," for the year ending March 1831, states, "the Society employs thirty-five missionaries; in addition to whom there are about twenty pastors and stated ministers, who devote a portion of their time to the objects of this Society. There are, in all, sixty agents, who employ every practicable mode of communicating religious instruction, by schools, by the distribution of tracts, and by regular preaching. They have 200 villages, and not fewer than 4,000 children under their care, in a population of nearly 200,000 souls. The treasurer has received during the past year 4,9091. 48., and paid 4,9007.; but the Society is still indebted not less than 7007.
That such a Society is founded on Scriptural principles, we need only refer to the New Testament, to read of the Home Missionary itinerant labours of our blessed Saviour and his Apostles. It corresponds with the operations of the servants of Christ in all ages of the church. We are rejoiced to know that the same system has been extensively acted upon in Ireland by the several denominations of protestants. We have heard that one of the prelates has declared his determination, not to ordain any candidate for holy orders, unless he can preach in the native Irish language. "The Irish Society," supported almost exclusively by the members of the Established Church, is formed upon the same principles of Home Missionary itinerating, and preaching the Gospel to the neglected villagers.
After much careful inquiry, we have not heard of a single instance of any individual connected with any of the Home Missionary stations, being found among the offenders against the law in the disturbed districts of our country, in the last several years. Such societies deserve universal support.
We sincerely rejoice in every effort to promote the
JUNE 16, 1832.
evangelization of our countrymen, assured that Scriptural knowledge will promote the general cultivation of the mind, secure the best moral habits, and prepare the soul for a blissful immortality.
HOME MISSIONARY LABOURS OF THE CLERGY.
"Those truly sound Discourses on Repentance," pub. lished in the third folio volume of the famous Mr. Perkins (of whom Bishop Hall speaks in terms of such high commendation), were preached out of doors, to several thousands of hearers at Stourbridge Fair. The title of them is, "A faithful and plain Exposition upon the two first verses of the second chapter of Zephaniah, by that late Reverend Preacher of God's Word, Mr. William Perkins, containing a powerful Exhortation to Repentance, &c. Preached at Stourbridge Fair, in the Field; taken from his mouth, and now published for the common good. London, 1631."
BISHOP LATIMER A HOME MISSIONARY.
It is recorded of the good old Martyr Latimer, who was for a time Bishop of Worcester, that he frequently preached out of doors in different parts of his own diocese. He carried his spectacles on one side of his girdle, and on the other his New Testament. Fox, the Martyrologist, says of him," that all King Edward's days, he travelled up and down, preaching for the most part twice every Sunday; and that he took little ease and care of sparing himself, to do the people good."
THE FRUITS OF CHRISTIANITY.
EVERY labourer, servant, or mechanic, cannot be supposed capable of examining all the variety of proofs by which the Christian religion is supported. But it is impossible that even the weakest should Le incapable of estimating its value and its character, by considering the rich fruit which it naturally produces in every part of the world.
Such, however, are the magnitude and diversity of its heavenly benefits to mankind, that it is difficult to make a representation of them by any means corresponding to their worth and importance.
The impure and brutalizing systems of idolatry have been abolished by the merely formal and national reception of Christianity. Christianity has clearly revealed the existence, the universal providence, and the infinite perfections of the only true and living God. Christianity has both published and illustrated the holy law of the divine Majesty, as the eternal rule of moral duty for all the intelligent creation. It proclaims a future judg.cent, and declares that all men shall be righteously rewarded in that day according to the deeds done in the body. It contemplates man as he evidently is in his present circumstances, a creature, fallen from his integrity-a transgressor, guilty in the sight of his Maker. It exhibits to his awakened mind, and brings to his terrified conscience the Divine provision for full forgiveness of sins and perfect justification by the substitution of an almightys urety. It regards the under