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the globe, which are covered with the darkness and delusions of Popery.-The popish religion retains indeed the name of Christian; but it retains little else. There is, as it seems to me, little of the spirit or form of Christianity about it. The Scriptures are locked up from the common people; prayers are offered in an unknown tongue; and the instruction which is given is often no better, if it be not worse, than none. The cardinal duties enjoined are an obsequious subjection to the Pope and his minions, with a scrupulous observance of needless useless rites; while the ground of hope proposed is, not directly the mediation of Christ, but the merits of some renowned saint, or the intercession of the virgin Mary.*-To this species of delusion, multitudes of the human family are still in bondage. In Europe, the Pope wields an uncontrolled sceptre over Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Naples, Sicily, and a large part of Germany. He also claims, as his spiritual dominion, the immense regions of South America, with the exception of such parts as belong to the natives; the Southern provinces of North America; and a considerable portion of the Canadas. And besides all these, he has numerous adherents, and possesses a mighty influence, among the unnumbered millions of Asia.Large tracts of the habitable globe are therefore covered with the darkness of Popery-a darkness nearJy as gross, and vastly more inexcusable, than that which broods over the regions of Paganism.

Among the dark portions of the earth, we may notice, in the next place, those which are subject to

* This is a description of Popery, not as it appears in particu. lar individuals of distinguished excellence, who retain a connection with the Roman Catholic Church, but as it is exhibited in the Canons of that Church, and is reduced to practice in the "Most Catholic" countries.

the Mahometan imposture.-The Koran, which contains the pretended revelations of Mahomet, and is the Bible and rule of all his followers, may be described as a heterogeneous mixture of Judaism, Paganism, and Christianity. It is an artfully written performance; and the religion it inculcates was propagated with the sword. Mahomet was the greatest warrior of his age; and the nations he conquered had no alternative, but to receive him as their prophet, or perish by his arms. The influence of such an argument was irresistible; the religion he enforced was embraced by multitudes; and for many centuries has spread itself over some of the fairest portions of the globe. It reigns at present, by its dark and desolating influence, over Turkey, Palestine, Persia, Egypt, Arabia, and all the Northern States of Africa. The classick ground, where Demosthenes thundered and Plato taught, and the Holy land where prophets preached and the Saviour bled, have long been numbered alike among "the dark places of the earth."

Again; those parts of the globe are emphatically dark, which are under the influence of Paganism or idolatry.—Soon after the fall, mankind began to discover an unaccountable predilection for idolatry. There can be little doubt that there were idols before the flood. At any rate, we have certain knowledge of them among the early posterity of Noah. At the confusion of tongues, idolatry was dispersed over all the earth. It was a principal object of the call of Abraham, and the institutions in Israel, to preserve one family among the nations free from the general contagion of idolatry. The Egyptians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Persians, Greeks, Romans, and indeed, with the exception of Israel, all the enligtened and


powerful nations of antiquity, were idolaters. And though the propagation of Christianity gave a check to this vile superstition; still, vast multitudes ever have been, and are now, the worshippers of idols. Asia with its hundreds of millions, the interior of Africa, the unexplored wilds of North and South America, and most of the islands of the sea, are in a sense filled with the objects and the monuments of a stupid and debasing idol worship.-How true then it is, my brethren, that darkness still covers the earth, and gross darkness the people? In what deep and widely extended delusions the benighted children of men are involved? And how much there remains to be accomplished, before the Sun of righteousness will have illumined every land, and the knowledge of the Lord filled all the earth, as the waters do the seas ?

But these "dark places of the earth," says the volume of inspiration," are full of the habitations of cruelty." This leads me to mention,

II. Several species of cruelty which are practised in them. On this part of the subject it would be easy to write volumes. My limits oblige me to be very general and brief.

1. Murder is a species of cruelty which to a great extent abounds in the dark places of the earth. There are several descriptions of murder, which, in these regions of crime, are customarily perpetrated and even publicly licensed.

One of these is the murder of infants.-The an-cient Arabs considered female infants a burthen, and often "buried them alive as soon as they were born."

The lower classes among the Chinese frequently "drown their daughters in a vessel of water, at the moment of their birth."-"Hundreds of helpless

children," says Mr. Kingsbury, "have been inhumanly murdered by their parents among the Choctaws. Sometimes the mother digs a grave, and buries the babe alive soon after it is born. Sometimes she puts it to death by stamping on its breast, by strangling it, or by knocking it on the head." A particular tribe of the Hindoos, denominated Rajpoots have long been in the practice of murdering all their female children. "Not one survives. The boys marry in the tribe next in rank to them." Other classes among the Hindoos sometimes sacrifice their helpless infants to the gods; sometimes suspend them in baskets from the limbs of trees, to perish with hunger, or to be devoured by birds of prey; sometimes they drown them in the sacred rivers; and sometimes they cast them to the monsters of thedeep, and willingly remain to be witnesses of their destruction.-A crime similar to those of this class was common among the ancient idolaters; who consumed their children in fire, as a sacrifice to Moloch.

Another specics of murder which is practised among the heathen, is that of their aged and helpless parents. The Greenlanders are represented as destroying their aged mothers, by burying them alive. The natives of some of the Asiatic Islands not only put their parents to death, but even eat them. It is said also of the Chinese, that when their parents become old and helpless, they frequently confine them in solitary places, and leave them to perish with hunger.

Still another description of murder which is found among the heathen, is that of persons suspected of witchcraft. It is stated by Crantz, in his history of Greenland, that upon the occurrence of any unusual or very unpleasant event among the natives, some

harmless woman is almost sure to be stoned, drowned, or cut in pieces, for the supposed crime of witcheraft. Murders of this character have formerly been common, among several tribes of the American Indians.

Other nations of heathens are in the habit of murdering nearly all their friends, when they believe them exposed to great worldly calamities. An instance of this occurred recently on our own conti nent; when, as Lewis and Clarke inform us, a tribe of Indians put to death many of their women and children, to save them from the ravages of a contagious disease.

2. Suicide is a species of cruelty, which is not only practised, but commended and enjoined, in the dark and benighted regions of the earth. Thousands in India, have put an end to their existence, by retiring into dens and forests, and exposing themselves to all manner of sufferings, in the hope, as they pretend, of obtaining deliverance from the debasing influence of matter, and of becoming absorbed in the spiritual substance of the Deity. Other thousands have prostrated themselves under the wheels of their Idols, and been instantly crushed. Others have drowned themselves in the sacred waters. Others have consented and even chosen, from various reasons, to be entombed alive. While a host of others have ascended the funeral pile of their husbands, and been burnt to death. It has been estimated by Dr. Ward, that more than two thousand widows are annually con sumed in this way in British India As many as six every day in the British possessions alone are, as he expresses it," roasted alive."-If it should be questioned in respect to these, whether their death is the more properly suicide or murder; I feel satisfied that

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