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into an image made like unto corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. It depraves the reason and judgment of those who are its votaries ; fills their imagination with impure thoughts ; and permits them, in many cases, to practise sin with impunity. It shuts their eyes to the view of their moral misery, and deceives them with false and unworthy hopes of salvation."
As a controversialist we must do Mr. W. the justice to observe, that he has treated his opponent with all due respect ; has written in a serious, candid, and rational manner; has substantiated his objections to Hindooism by quotations from the Shastras; and has shown that Christianity has infinitely the advantage, both as it regards the life that now is, as well as that which is to come. We can therefore confidently recommend the work to all who are interested in the subversion of Hindooism.
There are many daring and profane statements, made by his opponent, of which Mr. W. has taken little or no notice; we suppose, from the conviction that the bare perusal of them will sink them into deeper degradation than the most elaborate answer. That we may not however be accused of misrepresenting the defenders of idolatry, we shall here quote one or two of these declarations :
“ Krishna's committing theft with the cowherds, and playing the adul. terer with their wives,Shiva's spreading death and destruction by his curses, and behaving indecently with Parwatí,-Bramha's looking on his own daughter with the eye of a paramour, and making a most filthy disclosure of his lust,:-Ráma's crying out, · Sítá, Sítá,' and embracing the trees in a fit of frenzy, -Pareshara's cohabiting with a fisherman's daugh. ter ;-such abominable transactions as these, too bad to be even mentioned -Are these, you will say, what you adduce and place on a level with the good acts of Christ ?"_" These deeds, when narrowly considered, are even far better than those virtuous actions of Christ's that you mention."
They are incomparably better and far more replete with merit than the actions of Jesus Christ,
Such assertions may lead to the conclusion, that idolatry not only pollutes the heart, but sadly impairs the intellect. Little do the defenders of idolatry think that, by thus confound all distinctions between right and wrong, and making vice superior to virtue, they are striking a fatal blow at the very root of that system which they advocate. For every one must surely see, that that system is fit only for infernal spirits, which maintains that it is better to violate than to obey the commands of God. Yet such are the awfully profane declarations of the individual at Bombay, who has come forward to defend idolatry against the attacks of the Scottish Missionaries.
OBITUARY NOTICE OF MISS MARIA DOUGLASS.
To the Editors of the Calcutta Christian Observer. GENTLEMEN,
Should you conceive the following Obituary [Notice of Miss Maria Douglass, who died on the 11th of June last, aged 16 years, to be of sufficient interest to warrant its pab. lication, it is quite at your service. It is extracted from an account drawn up by a relative, and read by the Rev. Mr. Yates, on whose ministry she attended, after a sermon lately preached by him, on the occasion of her death, at the Circular Road Chapel.
BETA. MARIA Dooglass lost her mother, I be. I am at present.' So saying, she kissed him, lieve, in her infancy, when she was but three and repeated the following lines : years and four months of age ; since which For me my elder brethren stay, time she has been almost entirely under And Angels beckon me away, the care of her grand-mother, Mrs. G.
And Jesus bids me come.' Maria improved wonderfully, considering She then told her brother, that he must the limited means of instruction she en- sing this Hymn and read a chapter to her joyed. As religion is the chief concern to that evening, after the Doctor was gone. attend to, her grandmother ever pressed She was very anxious for her brother Ro. upon Maria's mind the advantages result- bert's future welfare;be having been brought ing from it: and the issue of her efforts up with her under Mrs. G.'s care from their ought to be an encouragement to relatives infancy; and told some of their friends to to take every seasonable opportunity of look after and love him as they had loved instilling into the minds of children the ber. She spoke with great propriety to seeds of piety at an early age.
almost all around, putting every one into Mrs. G. seems to think Maria's conver- tears. While she was thus giving a word sion began about nine years ago, when she of exhortation to her brothers and others, was about seven years of age. At this pe- Mrs. G. who was at that time in the adnod, Mrs.G. used to go by water to her son's joining room, drew near ; when Maria said factory, when she always took the children to her, I am not going to die now, (that with her; and whenever they arrived at was ten days before her death,) but I shall any ghat, she used to tell her grand- linger and die by degrees. But don't daughter to return thanks for their pro- cry. You will follow me soon.' On her tection so far on their way. She being a grand-mother observing, she could not but child, the first thing she did ou getting on mourn, she replied, 'Yes, but we should not shore was not to return thanks, but like a mourn as those who have no hope. She little lambkin to skip and bound for joy, then told me and a friend standing near to that she was once more on shore. For comfort her grand-mother. this Mrs. G. gently chid her twice ; but on The next day, being the last Saturday the third occasion, the child said, she had but one before her death, she asked her not as hitherto forgotten to return thanks- step-mother to sing that Hymngiving, because she had before prayed that • When I can read my title clear, she might not again do so.
To mausions in the skies ;' During her long, continued sickness,
and as long as she could walk, she used at Jesus, I love thy charming name.' stated times to go into my room, and pray
About three days before her death, her alone ; and during that period, twice read father asked her if she was willing to die. through Doddridge's Rise and Progress, She replied, 'Yes, Papa, I am quite wille and Christ's famous Titles, besides read ing, I have not the least fear. I know I ing other books.
shall be happy! A few days before her death, she called The day before her death, in reply to ber sister, put her arms round her neck, Mrs. G.'s question, she said, that the prokissed her, and told her not to cry, that mises all crowded upon her mind ; and she was going to die ; that Miss I. who then, speaking to herself, said, 'Lord! how was then in the house, would be a sister long? to her, and love her as she herself did. On one occasion, seeing her grand-moShe then called ber younger brother, kiss- ther in tears, she said, “Why do you cry?: ed him, and told him to read his Bible. Mrs. G. replied, To see her in such pain, She then called her
elder brother (younger and suffering so much. Maria then said, than herself), and said, “Don't cry, I am Jesus can make a dying pillow sweet.' going to Christ. Kiss me, and love grand- Mrs. G. observed, Then you find it so; on mother as I have, and be always obedient which Maria replied in the affirmative. to her. Read your Bible. Keep Jesus She did indeed appear in body to suffer in your mind, and you will be as happy as much ; but her long continued sickness she seemed to bear with great patience I have read of happy deaths, but reading and fortitude.
and seeing are two different things. Who Last Sabbath night, a little before twelve could have told Maria, that Jesus would o'clock, she seemed to be in a dying state. make a dying, pillow sweet? She might Mrs. G. then said, Do you find Jesus pre- have been told so, but could only know it cious ? The natural answer to such a from experience. Who could have taken question, if I may so say, when a person away the fear of death, and told her she could hardly speak, would be, Yes; but in should be happy? Would it not appear, the hour of death, (how do I say? nay, it under all the circumstances of the case, was in the very moment of death,) she re- that she was during her sickness greatly plied, “ Jesus my life, my love, (and tanght of God ? She was indeed a tender, looking up to Heaven, she added,) my all,” lovely flower, and now, no doubt, flourishes and immediately, without a sigh, groan, or where all the plants of glory bloom. struggle, expired.
June 15th, 1833.
THE PROPHET JONAH.
Indignant at the thought
The city's dust he spurn'd :
Without the walls a spot
Of shade his eye discern'd; “ Woe to the minaret !
Then laid him down the Lord “ Woe to the tow'r and hall !
Forgave his phrenzied grief ; “ Ere forty suns are set
And o'er him raised a gourd, “ Proud Nineveh shall fall.”
Most fair in fruit and leaf.
With morn the east wind blew
The day was still but new-
The gourd's brief life was o'er. The Monarch in his pride
Uncheck'd the sunbeam's fireWax'd pale upon his throne
Unscreen'd the Prophet's headHe turn'd to every side,
"Twixt mingled grief and ire, But comforter was none.
“ 'Twere better die,” he said. His pomp he straight laid down,
“ Frail mortal ! proud as frail," He bow'd before the Lord;
Thus spake th' eternal King ; His head with ashes strewn,
“ Shalt thou a weed bewail Remission he implor'd.
“ Insensate, worthless thing? His subjects with him wove
“ And shall not God, the Lord, The penitential pray’r :-
“ Th' immortal myriads spare Unworthy of thy love,
“Who contritely implor'd “ Yet spare, Jehovah, spare."
“ His grace with tears and pray'r ?" Then ceas'd the Lord to frown
“ That gourd no dew of thine, The Prophet's task was o'er :
“No glowing sunbeam fed ; Peace beam'd benignly down
“ To bid it spring was mine, Where menac'd wrath before.
“ Or rank it with the dead. The Seer it pleas'd not now
“Work thy capricious will Jehovah should relent;
With aught that is thine own : Gloom gather'd on his brow
“ The task to save or kill He murmur'd discontent :
“ Jehovah's is alone. “ Oh! why should Justice fail
Were grace to those who spare “ Her insults to avenge ?
“ Death to the pitiless, " Or why th’ Immutable
“ Th' unchanging doom, which ne'er “ His purpose lightly change ?
“Admits recal, redress" God's nerveless arm and aim
“ By the stern human creed “ The ungodly will defy ;
“Were God a man like thee And peal the false Seer's name
Oh, where should be thy meed ? “ In laughter to the sky.”
Oh, what should be thy plea ?"
T. 0. D.
Missionary and Keligious Intelligence,
RUTH JATRA, POOREE.
(From a Correspondent.) THE Ruth Jatra, which is celebrated at Pooree every year, commenced on the 19th of June, with all the uproar and bustle attendant on a Hindoo festival. The Jalra, which usually takes place at the end of June, and sometimes even so late as the middle of July, was this year celebrated unusually early ; on account of which, and the probability there was of the rainy season not commencing so soon, it was likely there would be a much larger assembly of people than what took place during the former year. The roads leading to Juggurnath, for some days previous to the Jatra, were thickly strewed with pilgrims, anxious to get a sight of Maha Probhoo (Juggurnath). Some were seen moving gently on, riding in native carriages of all descriptions, and others on tattoos of all dimensions; but by far the greater part of these worshippers of the far-famed idol of Pooree were humble pedestrians, of all ages and descriptions, who after many a long coss through sand and sun were bending their footsteps to what they were ught to consider the presence of Deity, the place of salvation.
At about three o'clock, on the 19th, Juggurnath, Subuddra, and Bulbuddra, the three idols, who were drawn in the cars prepared for their reception, were taken from their habitations. This is a part of the ceremony not much calculated to impress the European beholder with much veneration for this imagined divinity: the noise, the confusion, swearing, shuffling, and sometimes fighting, which usually attend his godship’s first appearance for the year, assume the most ludicrous, and at the same time, disgusting appearance that can well be conceived of by the mind of man-any thing but what appears to us to be proper for a religious ceremony. The idols, after being placed upon the ruths, remain for a time till towards evening, when an immense multitude of men commence dragging the ruths, amidst a horrid dissonance of native music and shouting from the vast concourse of people present. The cars are immense masses of wood, clumsily put together, united to immense ropes for the purpose of drawing. On the sides were carved various figures, supposed to represent different Hindoo deities and different parts of Hindoo Mythology. These were of the most unfinished description, painted over with paint of different colours. The cars are lofty, and in every part crowded by people, apparently of the respectable classes, who consider it no small honour to ride with Juggurnath. Not less than hundreds of these people were thus riding upon each of the ruths. The plainness of the lower part of these machines is amply made up by the magnificence of the canopies, which were composed of English broad cloth. Juggurnath’s canopy was yellow, and tinselled with gold and silver ; that of Bulbuddra was purple and scarlet, each tinselled with gold and silver, but not so splendid as the first. Round the body of the canopies were Indian silks, with various figures.
The ropes by which the whole are drawn are as big as the cables of our ships of war ; they are perhaps from a hundred to a hundred and fifty yards in length. The writer only gives a rough guess; for an exact admeasurement in the midst of such an uproar, is seldom thought of by any person. Some thousands of men, of the farmer caste, are retained for the purpose of drawing these famed divinities in their stately cars, if not to the edification yet much to the amusement of the vast assembled multitudes. These people are rewarded for their pious exertions with pieces of land, rent and taxes free, or at very reduced rates. This was contradicted rather smartly by a Calcutta Journal last year, but for public information it may be now said, that on the spot every one says it is so, and nobody says it is not so. It may therefore be presumed, that the statement stands on some tolerable foundation, nowithstanding the gratuitous denial referred to. How far the close connection of a Christian Government, with the filthy and vile pollutions of Pooree idolatry, is just, or even moral, I shall leave others to judge ; the object of these lines is simply to narrate a few of the precious scenes at the Jatra.
'Whilst one of the ruths was moving slowly along, a stream of people, resembling a current going in an opposite direction, were seen running, each person carrying a green bough to meet the other car, which soon began to follow in the same way. All the idols are taken to a small temple, about a coss distant, where they are taken down, and after remaining nine days, they return again to the greater temple, and are again lodged in the former habitation. Amongst the people, we saw several elephants, surmounted by European ladies and gentlemen. The Hindoos seem much flattered by these attentions of the saheb-lok coming to give their salam to Juggurnath; and when they are told that this is all curiosity, they say ; Why should they often come, if it be not to Puja kurree, and Durshon kurree, (to worship and obtain a sight of the image ?)
Amongst the multitudes, two European Missionaries and some native assistants were seen at different periods of the Jatra, distributing tracts and the Scriptures, and denouncing idolatry. They as being opposed to the reigning superstition were looked upon with less favourable eyes, and received in many places but a moderate reception. The people usually received the books with much eagerness, but many were remarked making but a sorry use of them. Several were torn up in the presence of the Missionaries with manifest scorn and contempt. It is however to be hoped, that many of these silent messengers of salvation will be read; and that they may be blessed to the readers, is the ardent wish and prayer of him who writes these lines :--that instead of Juggurnath, they may worship Him who is the sinner's friend, the hope of salvation. There were but few cases of Cholera, perhaps not more than from fifty to a hundred. The vultures and dogs found but little prey during the first days of the Jatra. It is horribly disgusting to see these filthy creatures gnawing mangled bodies scattered over the sand; it operates powerfully upon the nerves. At the best of times Pooree at the Jatra is a stinking and filthy place, but it is so more or less in proportion to the mortality and number of people present. The writer heard from the Missionaries who were there at the Jatra of 1825, so famous for the destruction of life, that one of the tanks at the entrance of the town was completely stuffed with bodies dead of Cholera ; and such was the horrid stench from the putrid carcases, that it was almost insufferable. The wea. ther during the first four days of this Jatra was dry, which enabled most of the people to leave the town. This is the reason for the diminished number of deaths amongst the pilgrims. Very many of these deluded people will, however, be overtaken
by the disease, before they reach home; and many, very many will fall to rise no more, till the solemn hour of judgment shall awake the sleeping nations. The addresses delivered from the cars to an assembly of about 100,000 were represented as the most filthy and polluted, such as none can write or read, whose mind is not earthly, sensual, and devilish. This language is delivered in the presence of the Deity! How debased must a people be, where such language could be delivered with impunity; to say nothing of the religious ceremony: and how liberal or rather how indifferent alike to decency and morality must they be, who can deliberately plead for supporting such an enormous mass of abomination. The pilgrim tax is said to amount this year to about forty or fifty thousand rupees; this, if correctly stated, is a small sum. About the second day of the Jatra, an opulent Hindoo gave 700 rupees for the benefit of those who were waiting at the gate, unable to pay the tax. The number thus waiting and thus admitted was about 10,000, who were in the environs of the town. This munificent gift, well applied, might have been of the greatest use; it will give the man indeed a name amongsi his people, and this perhaps was the motive ; for of what use could be a sight of these blocks of wood or this visit to a filthy place like Pooree !!!
Rather an interesting looking young Bengalee, speaking good English, who had been four years in the Hindoo College, appeared amongst the people ; he seemed anxious to say a word for Juggurnath; he commenced disputing with an Oryah Missionary, and seemed determined to plead for Hindooism, as it was. The manner of the young man was rather suspicious; for upon being pressed to answer the question, whether that idol was the creator of the world, he laugbed heartily and ran off. He abused Ram Mohun Roy, and praised Mr. DeRozio : he said that he had read the Bible and other English books; he appeared to be far gone in infidelity: but what he was it is not easy to say ; this is certain, he was not much the better, for what he had learnt at College. May this idolatry soon have an end, and here in this place of pollution may His name and worship be acknowledged, “who gave himself for us, to redeem from all iniquity, and to purify unto himself a peculiar people zealous of good works."