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«f some of our European, historians, with respect to the honesty, innocence, and simplicity of this people, must be false. Many go even so far as to assert, that the Indians were a cultivated, polished, devising, and skilful people. They speak much of their solid judgment, as well as the docility and wisdom of the brain ins (who are a set of priests among them^; and jthey know not that these bramins and pandarains (begging monks) are the worst of men, the most intolerable sluggards, and tormentors of .mankind. These, by their artifices, perfectly understand how to defraud the credulous people of their •goods and money; hut never give themselves; the trouble to .entertain a single thought either in natural or moral philosophy, much less to make any physical or moral discoveries, or to write books upon such subjects. What then is the employment of the bramins and paudarams? .Numbers herd toge•ther in one place; and lie from the rising of the sun to the setting thereof, idly on their bellies, under the shade of their tents. It is a particular rule and maxim among those of the higher class to do nothing; and it is held, among the men, a shame to work.
"We find it, by calculation, true, that in all India, within the space of 500 years (that is, since the Mahometan Moors came into the country) not a single book has been written by -any of the natives. AH those books, of which a few are seen here and there, are older than the above date. "Now and then," said Mr. Schwartz to me," may be found a bcamin who possesses a tolerable share of common sense; but there cannot be one found who is altogether free from Heathen passions or prejudices. He who is in possession of common understanding, uses it not for the welfare of the public; and, by reason of the strong arm of Heathen government and power, Understanding, Reason, and Justice dare not come to light. Were you to endeavour to persuade them that the Moon is, almost as large, and the Sun 1000 times larger than this earth, they would answer, that a simpleton could only believe this. They can calculate pretty nearly the time of the eclipse of the Moon; but as to the cause of it, they say that a great panibush serpent creeps into it, which occasion's the eclipse of that.orb; and in this manner they account for this phenomenon.
"Most of the Christians in this country are very poor; and the English seem little disposed to take ihetn into their service, either as clerks, domestics, cooks, or stewards. But were the government and the linglish people to take Christians into 4^teir employment, according to their several abilities and capacities, it would remove many hindrance* out of the way for promoting tk<t Christian Religion."
THE CHRISTIAN PHILOSOPHER.
In the centre of the planetary system to which our earth belongs is the Sun, round which, at different distances, all the planets perform their revolutions. The proportional magnitude of the Sun to the earth.is as 1,3S0,000 to one. By the help of the telescope, spots are discovered on the Sun's disk, or face: they appear in various forms and numbers, the larger ones sometimes exceeding the bulk of the earth. Though these spots are generally to-be seen, there have been periods of more thau seven years, in which none have been observed; at other times, their number has been so great as almost to obscure the brightness of the Sun. "For several days together, in the year 1547, the Sun appeared little brighter than the Moon in her total eclipse, from this cause." (Mather, p. 27.) All the •pots have an apparent motion from west to east; which proves that the Sun revolves on his own axis in this direction. The period of his revolution is observed to be about twenty-five days. From the line in which the spots move, it is discovered that his axis makes an angle with the ecliptic of about seven degrees. "Sir Isaac Newton supposed the Sun to be a mighty earth, vehemently hot, and that the heat was preserved by the amazing size of the hotly, and the mutual action and reaction of that and the light emitted from it." (Mather, p.a6.)
Dr. Hersehell conjectures that the Sun is surrounded with a transparent atmosphere, like the earth; that this is again encompassed by a kind of shell, which he calls the Lucid Atmosphere, from whence light proceeds to the whole system, and from which the Sun also, through its transparent atmosphere, is enlightened with a perpetual day. The appearance of spots, he thinks, to be occasioned by a small part of the lucid atmosphere being, by some means or other, removed. That these spots are not the smoke, or the opaque matter, thrown up from volcanoes, as some have imagined; but real cavities, are evident, from their appearance through a large telescope; first one side of the cavity presents itself to a spectator; as the sun revolves round its axes, he sees down into the cavity, and, when it has advanced still farther, the other side becomes visible. Whatever theory of the Sun the ingenuity of man may invent, we know from experience, that " truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun."
Were we to be shut up for a short time in total darkness, ire should doubtless perceive a greater force in this observation of the w ise king of Israel, than we can now imagine. A faithful sufferer in the cause of God and truth, who had been kept in a dark dungeon in the inquisition in Portugal, when brought forth to be martyred, on beholding the light of the Sun, w hich he had not seen for many years, could not forbear exclaiming, — " W ho that has reason in him could worship any but the Maker of that glorious creature?" His inhnman persecutors gagged him immediately, and hurried him on to the stake*. It is our mercy that, uninterrupted by the iron hand of Persecution, w e can behold the Sun, and contemplate that display which it affords of the beneficence, power, wisdom, and glory of Him who made " the greater light to rule hy day ;" and who. seems to have designed this glorious luminary as, in some degree, an emblem of his own splendor and majesty.
The promised Messiah was spoken of as the Sun of Righteousness, that should arise with beating in his beams. He is-, indeed, the Sun of that new world which the Spirit of his grace has created, — a Sun w ithout a spot, " the express image of his Father's person, and the brightness of his glory." Seated in the centie, he diffuses light, life, vigour, and joy, throughout evtry part of the spiritual system.
"The circle where my passions move,
"The centre ot 'my soul." Watts.
From the day that God said, " Let there he light," the Sun has continued to shine with undiminished lustre. He has sent forth oceans of light for thousands of years, and his-glory is not impaiied; as a giant refreshed, he eometh forth from the chambeis of the east, and rejoiceth to run his daily course.— "Even so. ihe Sun of Righteousness is the same yesterday, today, and lor ever." His power is unexhausted, notwithstanding the wonders he has wrought, and his grace Undiminished, notwithstanding the vast displays he has made of its unsearchable riches. But all emblems fail, when divine things are the objects they' are intended to illustrate. The time will come when the Suu shall be blotted out; but the period will never arrive when the Spiritual Suu shall lose his lustre;
M Grew dim with age, and sink in years I"
Thou alone art worthy for ever to be adored, and for ever to ?hi££! O! thou Maker of that glorious cieature! when my .eyesshall be forever closed, and never more behold the brightnesfrof the day, grant, O my Saviour, that I may, through thy grace, live in abetter world, and be found amongst those who shall shine as the Suu! K
(. • Limborch's History of the Inquisition.
STRIKING INSTANCE OF CONVERTING GRACE.
In one of our county-towns resided a respectable family, the master of which professed serious religion; but his lady, though religiously educated, was a stranger and an enemy to vital godliness. A pious young man, who lived in the same town, an attorney, frequently visited at this house, and spent his Sunday evenings there. He often lamented, in secret, that want of evangelical piety which he perceived in the lady; and, whenevei he saw her enter the chapel, jised to lift up his heart to God for her conversion. Once, in her hearing, he said to
her husband," i\Jr. T , you want nothing to complete your
happiness but the conversion of Mrs. T On which she
rallied him in a jocular way, as she often had done before, on liis very great piety; and added, — " but, Mr. B——, as you seem so much to desire my conversion, do you think you should be willing to die, if that could effect it r-' To which he replied, in the most serious manner, " I think I should be willing."
The next day, which was Monday, he took his tea with this family, and while in the house, was seized by the symptoms of a violent fever. On account of some particular circumstances, he could not return to his apartments in the town, but continued at the house of his friend, where, notwithstanding every attention suited to his case, he died on the Thursday following.
Mysterious Providence! this was to be the means, in the hand of the Holy Spirit, of effecting the desired purpose, and to answer the many prayers of the voung man. The composure of his mind under his heavy affliction, in the near prospect of death and eternity, with the many weighty and useful sentiments uttered by his dying lips, made a happy impression
on the mind of Mrs.T . She began to perceive that there
was a sacred reality in the religion of Jesus Christ, of which she had never duly conceived: which impression was deepened, and issued in a hopeful conversion to God, by the funeral-sermon preached in the same chapel by Mr. B——, of London, under which also several other persons appeared to be called by grace. Mrs.T— continued under deep concern of soul for several months; but there was reason to conclude that a real and gracious change took place in her heart; since which she has become an advocate for the cause of Christ, discovering as much zeal for evangelical religion as she had formerly manifested against it.
Mr. W. a merchant at Boston, in America, according to his wonted liberality, sent a present of chocolate, sugar, &c. to the Rev. Dr. B. with a billet, desiring his acceptance of it as a comment on Gal. vi. 6, “ Let him that is taught in the word, communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.” The Doctor, who was then 'confined by sickness, returned his compliments to Mr. W. thanked him for his excellent family erpositor; and wished Mr. W. to give him a practical exposition of Mat. xxv. 36, “ I was sick, and ye visited me."
A pious minister, conceiving that all bis labours among the people of his charge were wholly in vain, was so extremely grieved and dejected, that he determnined to leave bis flock, and to preach his farewell-sermon; but he was suddenly struck with those words of our Lord :—“If the Son of Peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it; but if not, it shall turn unto you again." He felt as if the Lord had addressed him thus: “Ungrateful servant! art thou not satisfied with my promise, that my despised peace shall relurn to you again? Go on then to proclain Peace;" which accordingly he did, with renewed vigour and zeal.
Wilh mo him thr you ao peace s
again 2 promise, thaingrateful Sertelt as it
LAMENTABLE IGNORANCE." A CLERGYMAN being sent for to a place called MarshCommon, in the county of Gloucester, to pray with a farmer's wife, he, in order to reconcile his parishioner to her dying situation, expatiated largely upon the happiness which all good people would enjoy, after death, at the right hand of God. During this discourse, the poor woman manifested strong symptoins of impatience. The good minister, however, pursued his edifying conversation; and enlarged on the glory of Heaven, until interrupted by the dying woman, who exclaimed, “ Don't tell me a long tale of the glory of Heaven, Old England and the Marsh-Common for me!"
i Is it not to be feared, that thousands, who have no relish for 'the pleasures of Heaven, or heart to seek God on earth, may be, met with, in our Christian land, of this poor woman's opinion?
A young man, who was awakened to a deep sense of religion, was observed by his neighbours to resort very frequently to his parish-church, not only on Sundays, but on prayer-days also : ihe remark they made on this was,“ He will certainly become a Methodist, be goes so often to church !!!"