Page images
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][ocr errors]

be that people, who can bow down and worship stones, and contemptible figures l.ke these !

THE EYE OF AN INDIAN IDOL.

GUADAMA, AN INDIAN IDOL. GUADAMA, the celebrated Burmese divinity, is represented in our engraving. Temples to his honour, and images, like that which we here give, were found in every part of the country visited by the troops of the British army in the late war. Guadaina is said to have been, many ages ago, a teacher annong that people : but he was deified on account of his merits.

The Baptists have a prosperous mission in Burmah; and the labours of Mr. Judson, from America, were carried on under difficulties and sufferings of the most painful kind : the “ Memoirs of Mrs. Judson,” the wife of that devoted missionary, are well worthy of the perusal of all our readers. Several of the idols above represented, may be seen, we understand, at the Mission House, No. 6, Fen Court, Fenchurch Street, London.

While writing this, we have lying on the table be. fore us an alabaster image of Guadama, as given above. It was brought to England only a few months ago, by a medical friend: the height of it about 14 inches ; but it is rudely carved. How shockingly debased must

Vol. I.

Dining a few days ago with a gentleman engaged in the service of the East India Company, after the cloth was removed, we were gratified by a sight of some silver idols. Two especially interested us in a high degree: they were representations of Guadama, as in our cut. The sight of them led to conversation on the degrading genius of idolatry, the horrid customs attending it, and the immense treasures which were lavished upon the images and temples. A medical gentleman referred to “Brand's Manual of Chemistry,” as containing a remarkable illustration of the extravagance of idolatry, in the “ Eye of an Indian Idol.” We give it for the edification of our readers.“ Among the crown jewels of Russia is a magnificent diamond, weighing 195 carats. It is the size of a small pigeon's egg, and was formerly the eye of a Brahmi. nical idol, whence it was purloined by a French soldier; it passed through several hauds, and was ultimately purchased by the Empress Catharine for the sum of 90,0001, in ready money, and an annuity of 4,0001.!”

P

have a being to worship: but corrupt in heart, and IDOLATRY.

blinded in mind, he could not worship an Almighty, a NATURE OF IDOLATRY. - Idolatry is the worship which holy God; disquieted with terrors, and a prey tu sua rational being pays to a senseless image, instead of perstition-man sunk into idolatry! God his Almighty Creator! However lightly we may Hear the origin of idolatry, as declared by the apos. regard this practice, on account of its known preva- tle. Man could not be an Atheist while possessing the lence, surely nothing can present man in a condition faculty of rationality. “Because that which may be more truly degrading to his nature; nothing can be known of Gud is manifest in them (men), for God hath more insulting to the glorious Majesty of Heaven, or showed it unto them. For the invisible things of in itself more highly criminal! The intelligent Chris- him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, tian philosopher and philanthropist may well weep for being understood by the things that are made, even his fallen, debased human nature, while he beholds his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without fellow-man-endued with reason, acute and penetrat- excuse,” in not acknowledging himn. Rom. i, 19, 20. ing in ordinary transactions, a skilful mechanic, and And even as they did not like to retain God in their versed in various sciences --- yet bowing down in reli- knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, gious veneration to a bit of metal, a block of wood, or to do those things which are not convenient, being a senseless stone !

filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness," Nations the most populous on earth, and celebrated &c., ver. 28, 29. “When they knew God, they glorified for ingenuity, civilization, and refinement, are still sunk him not as God, neither were thankful; but became in this most shocking delusion, and practise idolatry vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was as their dearest custom- expending in it their richest darkened. Professing,” &c., ver. 22, 23. “Wherefore God treasures, and sacrificing in it even their lives! Mon- also gave them up to uncleanness. Who changed the strous indeed is the impious practice: yet men take truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the of “the trees of the forest," the cedur, the cypress, creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for the oak, the ash, for domestic, culinary, and sacred ever. Amen." Ver. 25. purposes at the same tine! The inspired portraiture From Gen. vi, 5, compared with Rom. i, 23, there is of idolatry in Isaiah xliv, was drawn from the life, and reason to believe that idolatry was practised before the its counterpart still exists! “He burneth part thereof Deluge; and this conjecture seems confirmed by the in the fire: with part thereof he eateth flesh; he roast- apostle Jude (ver. 4), who describes certain men iú his eth roast, and is satisfied; yea, he warmeth himself, days as denying the only Lord God,” and adds in and saith, Aha! I am warm, I have seen the fire : and ver. 11, “ Woe unto them, for they have gone in the the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven way of Cain :" from which it seems natural to infer, image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, that Cain and his descendants were the first who threr and prayeth unto it, and saith, Deliver me ; for thou off the sense of a God, and worshipped the creature inart my god.”

stead of the Creator. Idolatry prevails in every part of the world, and Paganism includes myriads of mediators and interamong all people who have not the precious treasures cessors : from which it is manifest that its most ancient of God's holy word. All mankind are thus debased, forma originated in primitive tradition, the purity of in a greater or less degree, who are destitute of “thé which soon became lost, and superstitions were added, glorious Gospel of the blessed God :" and to extir- according to the caprice or dread of the worshippers. pate this greatest of evils, “the Scriptures of truth”

Dr. Prideaux, in his " Letter to Deists,” gives the are the only means, by reading and preaching, diffus- following account of the origin of the various idolatries. ing "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God “When mankind began to increase after the flood, and in the face of Jesus Christ."

they were taught from their forefather Noah, thus to Mankind are still worshipping all the creatures of worship God through hope in a Mediator; as the knowGod, as were the ancient Pagaps. They worshipped ledge of those Divine truths began to decay, and superuniversal nature, the soul of the world, angels, demons, stition to increase among them, they began to deterand the spirits of men departed, either separate or in mine themselves to such inediators as their own imagiunion with some star or other body. They adored the natiou led them to fancy; and some chose angels, and luminaries of heaven, the sun, moon, planets, and stars, others men deceased, for this office; and, in process of the atmosphere and the passing meteors, the earth, the time, erected temples and images to them, and honoured mountains and rivers, the heasts of the field, the fowls them with Divine worship, in order to render them of the air, the fishes of the sea, and the reptiles of more helpful and beneficial unto them.” the ground. They worshipped men both living and dead, and in them the faculties of the human soul. In short, they worshipped the images of animals, even the

ON TIME. most terrible and hateful, as serpents, dragons, croco

Why sit'st thou by that ruined hall, diles, and flies; they even adored inanimate things of Thou aged carl, so stern and gray ? the most humble kind, herbs and plants, every variety Dost thou its former pride recal, of vegetable !

Or ponder how it passed away?" ORIGIN OF IDOLATRY. - Archbishop Tennison, the

“Know'st thou not me?” the Deep Voice cried, learned Jacob Bryant, and many others, have written

So long enjoyed, so oft misused profoundly on this subject. But none of them have

Alternate, in thy fickle pride, treated the matter so simply, forcibly, and accurately

Desired, neglected, and abused ? as the Apostle Paul in the first chapter of Romans.

“ Before any breath, like blazing flax He traces the origin of idolatry to the blind depravity

Man and his marvels pass away; of the human heart. Endued toith reason, man could And changing empires wane and wax, not be an Atheist : the works of God in creation de

Are founded, flourish, and decay. monstrate his existence and divinity, as surely as Redeem my hours — the space is brief the prints upon the sand would show the tread of the While in my glass the sand-grains shiver, human foot, but infinitely inore strongly. Guilty, And measureless thy joy or grief, fearful, and apprehensive of judgment, man must When Time and Thou shall part for ever.”

STATISTICS OF LONDON.

public institutions, formed by the voluntary benevoLONDON, the metropolis of the British Empire, is rea

lence of professed believers in Jesus Christ, to nourish sonably believed to be the largest and most populous

the fatherless orphan- to support the friendless widow city in the world. London has been called the MODERN

- to educate the wretched deaf and dumb and to relieve BABYLON, on account of its great extent and populous

human misery in every visible form; as well as to lead ness. _ It is generally reckoned about seven miles long,

the ignorant and careless, both at home and abroad, to from Poplar to Hyde Park Corner; and about five miles

seek the blessings of salvation and eternal glory through

the mediation of Jesus Christ. wide, from Islington to Camberwell: but these boundaries are too narrow, so greatly has the population in

On the other hand, we see offices of the magistracy, creased.

and the courts of justice, besides TEN PUBLIC PRISONS The British metropolis includes within its gigantic

in London, humiliating indications of human depravity. bounds the two ancient cities of London and Westmin

These receptacles are occupied by practical infidels, ster, the borough town of Southwark, and many adja

whom conscience, honour, or regard to the future cent villages. There are comprised in the “Bills of

tribunal of God, cannot influence to abstain from inMortality” (the lists of those dying) 147 parishes ; of

juring their neighbours, and to walk in the paths o

virtue. which 97 are within the city walls," 17 in the liberties without the walls, 23 out parishes in Middlesex and

We have been informed, that public officers, mosi Surrey, and 10 in the city and Jiberties of Westminster.

capable of forining a correct opinion, calculate, that in Such an aggregate, with the British court and palaces

London there are 30,000 persons, who are supported of the sovereign,- the houses of the senate,- the seat

by various kinds of depredations on the public! There of government,- the chief courts of law and equity

are computed to be 15,000 boys in the metropolis, chilthe residences of the nobility, the grand emporium of

dren of the poor, who are trained to every variety of commerce for all nations, the source and centre of

vice! We forbear to enumerate further the several descience and art to the empire and the whole world,

praved classes of society in London, except the report must necessarily present an immense variety of subjects,

of Mr. Wontner, the excellent governor of Newgate, which might be rendered exceedingly interesting, even

for the year 1826, by which it appears, there were comto the Christian reader. Our limits, and the plan of

mitted to that one gaol — our work will allow us to embrace but a few of them, Males under 21 years

of
age.

1227 and upon those our remarks must be brief.

Females under 21 years of age....

442 Males above 21 years of age.....

1096 Females above 21 years of age....

166

THE POPULATION OF LONDON.

[blocks in formation]

Within the Bills of Mortality....

746,953 855,6:26 1,011,951 1,180,075 Five western parishes, St.

Marylebone, St. Pancras, Paddington, St. Luke Chelsea, Kensington

117,802 155,714 215,642 273,587
Environs of London with-
in 10 miles, including
22 parishes in Middle
sex, 9 in Essex, 14 in

Kent, & 28 in Surrey. 201,188 253,920 300,708 351,925
Total Population of the
Metropolis of Greai
Britain .....

./1,065,943 1,265,240|1,528,301 1,805,587

There is great difficulty,” says Mr. Blackburn, in
his “ Discourse on the Moral and Spiritual Claims of
the Metropolis,” and which we strongly recommend,“ in
obtaining an accurate return of the various places of
worship in this vast city, yet the following statement
will, I believe, approach very near the truth :-

Episcopal churches and chapels...... .. 200
Independent chapels
Wesleyan Methodist chapels..

36 Baptist chapels.......

32 Calvinistic Methodist chapels.....

30 Presbyterian (Scotch and Unitarian) chapels... 16 Roman Catholic chapels.....

14 Quakers' meetings......

6

66

MORAL AND RELIGIOUS CHARACTER OF LONDON. London and its immediate vicinity, we thus find, contaius a population of nearly two MILLIONS of immortal souls !! Their character, and their eternal destiny, must force itself upon the consideration of every believer in the immortality of the soul, and the doctrine of future rewards and punishments-especially upon the mind of every intelligent Christian.

We have abundant reason to believe, that London contains men of every shade of character, many of the most eininent saints — persons of the most exalted sanctity; and many who are like incarnate fiends-wretches of the most malignant disposition—beings, sunk as low as human nature is capable of being degraded on earth. We know that London contains many, the very element of whose holy life is love to God and active benevolence to man ;-while it is evident, that there are many, whose minds cherish a deeply-rooted enmity against every thing which bears the lovely impress of the ever-blessed God our Creator, and whose whole mental powers are exercised in devising evil against their fellow men !

On the one hand, we behold in London the monumeats of Christian mercy, MORE THAN THREE HUNDRED

400 “ If we calculate that the average attendance at each place is 500 persons, which is certainly the greatest extent we can allow, and add 250 more for the fluctuating hearers at the several services of each Sabbath, it will give a result of 300,000 persons. Now the population of this wide-spread metropolis is estimated, by the last census (1821) at 1,274,800 souls ; from which subtract the feeble minority above, and we find NINE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-FOUR THOUSAND persons neglecting the public worship of God. And though considerable de. ductions are to be made for young children, sick persons, and the aged and infirm, yet, after all, the multitude, without even the forms of religion around us, is most appalling.” The following statement will illustrate the occupations of the Sabbath :-" It appears, that of the papers at present published in London on the Sun. day, there are circulated, on the lowest estimate, 45,000 copies; and that, upon the most inoderate computation, between 2 and 300,000 readers of these papers are to be found in the metropolis alone; while the great num. ber of pressmen, distributors, inaster-venders, hawkera,

and subordinate agents of both sexes, and of all ages, of wonder, admiration, gratitude; and shall not the who are necessarily employed on the Sabbath, all tend great and infinite God be allowed to surpass all the to the most flagrant breach of the day of rest.”

petty communications of man, in the mysteries of his We are by no means disposed to make the worst re- will, in the importance of his commands, in the depths presentation of the moral condition of London. We of his mercy, and in the correspondent emotions of are aware of the commendable activity of the Christian fear, love, faith, hope, grateful joy, affiance, awakened Instruction Society, in its various and beneficial opera- in the heart? What do we allow, that in the displays tions, and of the zealous excrtions of several kindred of glory and beauty in the works of creation, the nainstitutions. But if virtue and vice are realities - if the tural perfections of God may be contemplated and Christian Scriptures are true - if the soul of man is im- known, and become to the pious and duly prepared mortal - if death, and judgment, and our individual mind, the sources of internal peace, thanksgiving, appearance at the tribunal of God are certain -- the prayer, admiration, obedience, resignation; and shali state of the inhabitants of our metropolis is indeed most we not admit, that men may see the moral perfections truly appalling! The energetic language of a clergy- of God in the gospel? Shall all his merey, and wisman of ihe established church, as quoted by Mr. Black- dom, and infinite contrivance in redemption have no burn, is highly appropriate :

effect upon the soul? Shall the stupendous fact of the “ Such a nine of heathenism, and consequent profli- incarnation be received with a tame indifference? gacy and danger, under the very meridian, as it is sup- What! do men allow, that tidings of joy and deliverposed, of Christian illumination, and accumulated ance in human things, should call up proportionate afaround the very centre and heart of British prosperity, fections, and that he would be thought a monster of liberty, and civilization, cannot be contemplated without ingratitude, who should receive with apathy the news terror by any real and rational friend of our established of an immense act of royal clemency extended to him government, and is surely sufficient to awaken the an- when condemned to death; and shall we not allow, xious attention of every true patriot, every enlightened that the glorious and unexpected tidings of redemption statesman, every sincere advocate of suffering humanity, froin eternal death, should awaken all the gratitude of every intelligent and faithful Christian !”

the soul? Shall not pardon, and life, and adoption, and the hope of heaven, overwhelm the heart with cor

respondent perceptions and emotions? CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCE RATIONAL.

Yet, it is most reasonable, that if there be such a

thing as a Revelation from the great God, comprising No. II.

such amazing discoveries as the Gospel, affecting such INFIDELS have ridiculed spiritual religion, as professed all-important interests, promising such mighty aids of by Christians. Why should this excite our astonish- the Holy Spirit, laying down such grounds of faith, and ment? They do not understand its nature: they boast love, and hope in Christ Jesus, delivering, man from of reason, but in the neglect of worshipping their

such complicated misery, and exalting him to such Creator, they sacrifice their just claim to rationality. heights of holy peace and joy; it is most reasonable, “What can be so truly becoming a dependent state," that there should be such a thing as perceiving the says an elegant writer, as to pay our adoring homage excellency and glory of it, as feeling its efficacy, as to the Author of all perfection, and profess our devoted having an inward witness of its fulfilment and operaallegiance to the Supreme, Almighty Governor of the tion in our own breasts. There is nothing to astonish universe ? Can there be a more sublime pleasure, than us in such effects: the matter of astonishment would to dwell in fixed contemplation on the beauties of the be, if Christianity did not assert, and Christians not Eternal Mind? Can there be a more advantageous

experience them." employ, than to present our requests to the Father of Mercies?" But infidels are alienated from the life of God,

WHAT IS LIFE? through the ignorance that is in them, because of the I ask'd a man of sorrow and of tears, blindness of their hearts.” With all their presumed Whose corrugated cheek proclaim'd his years ; loftiness of understanding, such are merely natural, He mus'd awhile, and then distinctly said, atheistical men—and we know well that “the natural

“ Life is a burthen— would that I were dead!” man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them,

I ask'd a Christian, who had early stray'd because they are spiritually discerned." I Cor. ii, 14.

From virtue's path; this was the answer made“ What, we ask" (says the Rev. Daniel Wilson, now

“ Life is a precious boou to mortals given, Bishop of Calcutta, in his View of the Evidences of

Which, if well spent, will be received in heaven.” Christianity), “is there in these internal perceptions I ask'd an infidel, whose partiug breath of life and consolation and strength, derived from the Was faintly struggling with the tyrant Death ; doctrines of Christianity, which should excite our as- My life,” he cried, has hurled me down to helltonishment? Would not the wonder be, if there were I priz'd it not-and now it says farewell.” no such feelings, no such inward witness to the soul?

I ask'd a youth, whose cheerfulness of mien What! are there excellencies in human knowledge;

Bespoke him happy in this active scene; and shall there be none in divine? What! is an intel.

He told me 'twas “ a poet's golden dream;" ligent, well-educated man allowed to have powers of

And leaving me, rush'd forward with the stream. expression, and means of exciting our surprise and pleasure, beyond those of a child; and shall not the

I question'd age- it heav'd a heavy sigh language of apostles and prophets, and the discoveries l'xpressing volumes; this was its reply

“ Life is, at best, but a tempestuous sea, concerning God, and the soul, and eternity, be admitted to awaken emotions beyond the mere trifles of

That fast rolls onward to eternity.” human knowledge and instruction? What! are men of I ask'd myself—a voice appear'd to say, uncominon endowments, as Bacon, Pascal, Newton, “ Beware you value it while yet you may; allowed to rise above those of ordinary talents; and 'Tis a rich gift thy God bestow'd on thee. are they expected to take wider views, and make more Abuse it not 'twere better not to be.” important communications, and excite varmer feelings

Rev. Jos. MARSDEN.

[graphic][ocr errors]

HOUSES IN SUMATRA. SUMATRA is an island of Asia, the most western of the Sunda islands, and constituting on that side the boundary of the Eastern Archipelago. It is about 1000 miles in length, and alınost 200 in breadth. Sumatra is inhabited by various tribes, which by Mr. Marsden, who published a history of the country, are divided into Malays, Achenese, Battas, Lainpons, and Rejangs : each of whom has peculiar manners and customs.

Prisoners that are taken in war, the Battas greedily devour, and hang up their skulls in their houses, as trophies of their valour. Marsden says, that the idea of eating human flesh is so natural, that the natives wonder it is not the custom of the Europeans. He affirms that they prefer this kind of food to all others, an1 that the soles of the feet and the palms of the hands are accounted peculiarly delicious.

Christian missionaries, by a gracious Providence, have been labouring in this large island, and the above cut is given by one of thein to represent the native houses. They are erected, as is here seen, on posts driven into the ground. For this there are two reasons — earthquakes are very frequent, and wild beasts, bears, tigers, and elephants, are numerous,

- so that the people would not feel secure, unless their slight wooden houses were thus built. One of our missionaries who travelled through a part of the country, relates, that, at night, they were

obliged to keep a strict watch, and discharge their muskets to frighten away the elephants, lest they should overturn the house altogether. It is said, that on one occasion, an elephant of uncommon size, when passing under one of these houses, not having room sufficient for his huge body, actually lifted up the whole building, and bore it away by main force !

WATERS OF THE RIVER NILE. “ The water of Egypt,” says the Abbe Mascrier, “ is so delicious, that one would not wish the heat to be less, or to be delivered from the sensation of thirst. The Turks find it so exquisite, that they excite them. selves to drink of it by eating salt. It is a common saying among them, that if Mahommed had drank of it, he would have besought God that he might never die, in order_to have had this continual gratification. When the Egyptians undertake the pilgrimage of Mecca, or go out of their country on any other account, they speak of nothing but the pleasure they shall have, at their return, in drinking the waters of the Nile. There is no gratification to be compared to this : it surpasses, in their esteem, that of seeing their relations and families. All those who have tasted of this water, allow that they never met with the like in any other place. When a person drinks of it for the first time, he can scarcely be persuaded that it is not a water prepared by art; for it has something in it inexpressibly agreeable and pleasing to the taste; and it should have the same rank among waters, that champagne has among wines. But its most valuable quality is, that it is exceedingly salutary. It never incommodes, let it be drank in what quantity it may: this is so true, that it is no uncommon thing to see some persons drink three buckets of it in a day, without the least inconvenience. Wher. I pass such encomiums on the water of Egypt, it is right to observe, that I speak only of that of the Nile, which indeed is the only water drinkable, for their well-water is detestable and unwholesome. Fountains are so rare, that they are a kind of prodigy in that country; and as to rain water, that is out of the question, as scarcely any falls in Egypt."

« PreviousContinue »