Page images

(i. e. chaste, so they are called,) or it was their dustoor (i. e, custom) from whether she be either' forced by others, time immemorial; and that we Europeans urged by poverty, or having been intoxi- viewed it with abhorrence, and attached cated, had such a decision extorted from guilt to do it only because it was not “our her in that state. If all prove satisfactory way" to do ille like. They became very to the officer, a license to burn is made anxions to remove me, and repeatedly out, on obiaiving possession of which, and urged my departure. I called for the paying the necessary fees, the pile is license to burn; it (or a copy of it) was raised and the sacrifice is accomplished. broglit and read to me. I now made a The preliminary ceremonials are-bathing last effort to save her. And when I was in the sacred stream of Gunga, i. e. the told that the woman acted freely, and Ganges, bidding adieu to life by breaking chose to burn, I assented to the fact, but the armlets and bracelets from her arms, insisted that they had first deceived her, smearing her over with turmeric, &c. and and that therefore their guilt was the dressing her hair with combs, flowers, fionr, deeper. All proving unavailing, I at last &c. The victim is then supported in one left the fatal spot, le-crossed the stream, or more circuits round the pile, then as. and joined my friend on the opposite bauk, cends, blesses the people, lies down beside where a high projection gave us a full the corpse, the fame is approached, and view of the furiher proceedings. The instantly arises amidst the horrid shonts widow was now led up from the river, and hurri-bal* of the infatuated and supported by her own sons, (who were heartless multitude.

both grown up,) around the pile, amidst When I reached the bank of the river, great outcries from the multitnde. She (a streamlet running into the Hoeghly; ascended it, and ding, raised her the magistrate's official had been there hands to bless the people, and then and taken his answers from the poor stretched herself beside the corpse of her widow, who was a Brahmini, or wife of a husband. The attendants instantly raised Brahmin, abont forty years of age, of" over the bodies, or rather on them, a fair olive complexion, not bandsome, but considerable pile of brushwood, thien large and corpulent. My friend had been laid two long bamboos, one at the head, there some time, and had used every ex- the other at the feet, over the whole, the hortation in vain, and had even offered ends of which were pressed to the ground to support the poor creature with four by four men, so as to keep all tight; the rupees a month, with a house or hut. fire was then approached, and in an inJust as I arrived, she had been carried to stant, amidst terrific shouting, the whole the river, and was then in the act of was in tiames! I took out my watch, and bathing ; officiously assisted by three or found that ten minutes only elapsed, till fonx Brahmins. The crowd was great. I the flame had ceased, except beneath the pushed my way close to the water's edge, bier, and was then revived by heaving within a yard of the victim, then preparing logs of wood, and flinging shee (clarified for the blazing altar! She was not in the butter in a liquid staie) on the ignited least intoxicated, but there was a pecu- heap. At fifteen minutes, I left the spot; liarity in her aspect expressive of inde- and the only consolation or relief w the finable feelings of mind. She was quite mind was, that not more than three, or unmoved, betrayed no passion, was unata certainly five minutes elapsed, before life fected by any argument or entreaty ; said must have been extinct in the poor victim, her only desire was to go to her husband; The exclusion of the air by the incum. and when urged to think of her daughters, bent pile, and the extending of the first (she had two) replied that her son (an dense smoke through the pile, must adult) would take care of them. She did alone 'have been sufficient to suffocate not wish for money; rejected an offer her. made her of eight rupees a month, to put Such is the burning of a widow on the herself under my protection, and finally pile of her husband in Bengal! I consi. baffled every effort to rescue her. Lad- der it my duty to go and see it, that I dressed the Brahmins in their own tongue, might testify, as an eye-witness, not pressed upon them the guilt of deceivers merely as a reporter for others, of the horand murderers,and unfolded, as I was able, rors of brahminism. the terrors of retribution. Their reply The greatest evil in this business is, that was one beyond which none is ever at- it is not the result of superstition, how, tempted : that it was the precept of their ever gross, merely; but rather the super-, shasters, (or sacred books;) and added, that stition lias been contrived to meet the

most detestable views, A Hindoo widow * i. e., cry ont to Hurri, (or Vishnu) may not contract a second marriage, con. one of the Hindoo Triad.

sequently, especially if young, the family

of the parties, on the husband's demise, opinion of its authenticity and contents.
are solicitons to prevent the possibility of Many copies of it, he says, have been cir-
any stain of disgrace attaching to them culared in the country, which leads me to
tion any after incontinence in the sar- fear that the Roman Catholics are very
viving widow; so that they are of course active in their endeavours to propagate
disposed to nrge her becoining a snittee, theirt delusions. O may the Spirit of God
(or chaste) by mounting the pile. 2dly, counteract these efforts of the Man of Sin,
The property of a deceased Hindoo, i. e. and may Protestants 'speedily become
his personal property, belongs by right to more united “in heart and in way," and
his widow; her death therefore throws it be more strennons in their endeavours to
into the hands of other relatives, and thus, fill the world with the truth as it is in Je-
love of money holds a brand tú light the sus. The man has been a regular and at-
pile! Again: the Brahmins do nothing un- tentive attendant on me when preaching,
paid, and every suttee adds to their fees, which is certainly a very singular circum-
and at the same time maintains their credit stance ;'may it be to his everlasting good.
with, and influence over, the inthralled I am inclined to think, that for some time
people. It is impossible to give you an past he has relinquished his Roman Ca-
adequate idea of the extreme eagerness

tholic notions. I have written him the
and cold insensibility with which the Brah- following reply :-
mins go about this dreadful business, evi-
dently exulting in it, and only anxious to

To a Native Roman Cathoiic, in Answer to
expedite the conclusion of it.

his Inquiry as to the authenticity of a
It is the firm conviction of intelligent

Letter circulated in the East Indies, pre-
native gentlemen themselves, that goveru-

tended to have been written by our Sa.

ment could at once, withont any difficulty,
and without exciting a single murmur, “Dear Sir, – As you have asked my
prohibit these murderous sacrifices; and opinion respecting a letter said to have
their belief is outborne by the fact, that been written by our blessed Lord and
infanticide has been wholly prohibited, and Saviour Jesus Christ,' I readily comply
not a murmur was ever heard against it. with your request, and shall state it can-
() for the dawn of the day of Christ on didly.
this dark land! I am fully persuaded, “ It appears to me to be altogether a
the magistrates might effect much in many forgery, for the following among other
cases, and even bring the thing into
disrepute in the course of time, it, while "1. We have no evidence of its having
they acted within the existing enactments been written by our Savioor but the asser-
of government, they would personally and tion in the letter itself: so that the only
generally exert themselves on the spot, in- way by which we can best judge of its au-
"stead of sending, as in this case, a native "thenticity, is carefully to examine its con-
official, himself a Brahmin, and of course tents, and compare them with the Sacred
interested in encouraging the delusion, Scriptures. The circumstance of its having
· and pepetuating the practice.

been placed under a stone, is so like a trick
can do, is to see and bear witness pub- of a cunning, impostor, that it renders
licly and loudly against these enormities. suspicious every thing connected with it.
By-and-by, the public mind' will be ir. “ 2. The way in which it is said to have
resistibly directed to their suppression, been revealed, is altogether unlike the
and, as in the case of the horrid traffic of way in which God is said to have commu-
human flesh-patient, resolute, and per- nicated his will to his servants the pro-
severing efforts will at length prevail, and phets and apostles, &c. in the Sacred
the piles of the widows of Bengal be ex. Scriptures. When you consider that the
tinguished for ever ;-“a consummation," apostles were employed by Christ to com-
O how "devoutly to be wished !”

municate his will to mankind, and to write
the New Testament, and that the Apostle

John was alive at the time, and for some
Extract from the Journal of the Rev. M. T. years after it is said to have been found,

and lived and died not far distant from
Adam, Missionary at Benares.

Iconium, it is very odd, if it really did
Ang. Oth, 1823.-Yesterday I received exist at that time, that he should not have
a note from a Roman Catholic, accompa- seep it, and made mention of it in his
inied with a copy of a letter,” said to writings ; or that it should not have been
have been " written by our blessed Lord communicated to him in preference to any
and Saviour Jesus Christ, and found 84 other way.
miles from the city of Iconium, 60 years 3. My strongest reasons for believing
after our Saviour's crucifixion," asking my it a forgery, arise from the nature of its


All we



[ocr errors]

contents. The very manner in which I know nothing of the history of the Christ is represented as expressing him- letter referred to, though I have a faint self, is quite unlike the dignified manner recollection of having heard that such a in which he delivered his instructions thing existed. To it was attached what is whilst residing on the earth. Supposing called “ King Agrippa's letter to Christ,". that the Saviour had wished his people, and “Christ's answer,” and “ Tertullus' in all future agos, to fast five Fridays in account of the person of Christ, in a letter every year, is it at all likely that he would to the Roman senate."* have communicated his will to this effect in the manuer in which this letter is said to have been communicated, when, at that very time, he was communicating his will, Extracts of a Letter from Rev. William for the direction of the church in all fu

Howell, Missionary at Cuddupah, duted

Ist of January 1225 ; addressed to the ture ages, by means of the writings of the

Treasurer and Secretary. Apostle John? The only day that is represented in the New Testament as kept holy I come 'now to state the detail of by Christians during the apostolical age, is the mission, which I would do under a the Sabbath-day, and we have no certain deep sense of gratitude and praise to evidence that any other day was so obser- our Heavenly Father, for his merciful ved by them till several ages after, when visitation to the poor heathen at this the church was greatly corrupted by the place, (who were for a long senson“ sitting introduction of human rites and ceremo- in the region and shadow of death, to nies. The promise of forgiveness of sin them the light is now sprung up,”) from that is made to persons who will publish' among whom the Lord has been pleased the letter, is quite contrary to the manner to call a few to know his name, and to of obtaining turgiveness that is revealed declare to bis people, that their prayers in the Sacred Scriptures. In them, it is are heard and answered, and that the set offered as a gift of infinite mercy through time to favour Zion is come, by the outfaith in the Saviour; but in the letter, it pouring of his spirit on these dry bones,' is promised to our works. The power of that they might live to him, as will appear warding off diseases, &c. that is ascribed by the following statement. to it, points out in the clearest manner, in my opinion, that it was written by some

Native Converis. impostor, for superstitions purposes; just In my last communication, I stated my like the charms which the Hindoos keep intention to baptize two or three adalts, about them. God no where in the Sacred

but since then, the Lord has so disposed Scriptures makes use of such motives to

the hearts of the people, (who, it would urge mankind to receive and believe bis word. Is it then at all likely that he would between two opinions”) as to cause house

appear, were for a long season “halting do so to lead us to receive this letter? holds to forsake their lying vanities, by If such a power was really possessed by turning from darkness to light, and from his word, is it not a great deal more likely the kingdom of Satan, into the kingdom of that it would be possessed by the Bible God's dear Son, as will appear by the list than by this letter? But the real state of of baptisms, which I have the pleasure to the case is this ; the mere possession of transmit for the information of the Directhe word of God can do us no good ; if we

tors, whose hearts at this intelligence do not believe it, or do not improve it, it will, I know, rejoice with thanksgiving will only add to our greater condemnation. and praise ! The number baptized by me, Our only safety lies in having an interest is seventy-four men, twenty-five women, in the Saviour ; and our only consolation forty boys, and twenty-one girls; those in sickness, in danger, and death, flows baptized previous to my coming here, are from the communication of his grace, and twenty-six persons, making the total numthe assurance of his love to our souls, by the Holy Spirit. Let me exhort yoni, if you are really concerned for the salvation * I have lately learned that the person of your soul, to pay no regard to such to whom the above letter was sent, has superstitious stories. Believe the Bible, sent copies of it to some of his friends. read it daily, and implore the blessing of It may possibly do good, ihough I did not God on it to your soul, and you will find intend it for circulation. If any friend of that the law of the Lord is perfect, con- the Society, or of Protestantism, would verting the soul; the testimony of the send out a copy of “ The Protestant," for Lord sure, making wise the simple.' the library connected with this mission, it “I am, yours truly,

would be a most acceptable addition, and (Signed) "M. T. ADAM." be most thankfully received.




ber of adults 119, and children sixty-seven. vice is conducted not only by myself, but Although all may not be savingly convert- Paul Burder, the catechist, takes an aced to God, yet I have been induced to bap- tive and useful part in it; he is now so far tize them, as having nominally embraced qualified for this duty, that I can safely Christianity, and I trust under the stated trust him in my absence. The silversmith preaching of the Gospel, and hy the power adult, of whom I formerly made mention, of the Holy Spirit, they will be savingly im. is now called Nathaniel Towuley; he pressed, and bronght to feel and know begins to pray with fluency, and sometheir real state, before admitted to the timnes engages in these services. I am Lord's Supper. A regular church from now preparing a few hymns in Teloogoo, among them has been formed, co isting from Dr. Watts's version, and when I of ten communicants or members, (six have them ready, shall introduce them

and four women.) I have ap- into our worship. pointed three respectable and pious natives to assist me as deacons, whose names

Native Schools. are Paul Burder, Paul Bogue, and Philip George, the former is also a catechist in

The schools still continne to be supmy employ, concerning whom, I have ported as before. The number is six.

The Malabar school is still kept by Paul, made mention in my Journal.

(who is now called Paul Bogne.) The Nativc Preaching.

Centre school, in which there are boys and At Mr. W.'s garden, there are three girls, lies close to my house ; it is kept by public services for the native Christians, The children of the nominal Christians

Murtin Luther, a Brahmin lately baptized. two on the Sabbath (forenoon and after

come to this school; the number that now noon,) and one on the Wednesday after

There is also a service on the Sab: attend, is about thirty; I expect, shortly, bath morning for the prisoners in the jail school, so soon as the Christians have re

sixty or eighty children to attend this here, where there are nearly 2,000 confined for civil and criminal cases; already

moved their houses close to me, which is

now in contemplation. The Pettah school, a few give me hope that my labours are

with the others, have made considerable not altogether in vain. I distribute gene progress during the last six months, and rally on these occasions a few Tracts, when examined lately, were able to rewhich are received with great eagerness by them. I have a place in the jail for distinctly to me, besides the catechisms,

peat seven chapters of Matthew's Gospel them to assemble in, which will hold about

prayers, &c. Mr. W. supports, on the two or three hundred hearers, while the

same principle, three schools in his own same number hear in a square outside. garden, one for girls, another for boys, in Besides these four services, I still continue Teloogoo, and one for Malomedans. to give Lectures to the heathen in the Pettah, twice a week, on Monday and Distribution of the Sacred Scriptures and Friday nights, which sometimes are very

Tracts. fully attended. On the Sabbath, after service at Mr. W.'s, a few of the other I have distributed, during the last six gentlemen here, and a pious lady, some- months, about sixty portions of the Telootimes attend, and they give these meetings goo Scriptures, and six copies of the Hintheir countenance and support, which car

doostannee Testament. Of tracts in Teloories much weight in the eyes of the natives. goo, 200 on a journey to Madras, and As the native congregation amounts to

100 in Malabar. Besides this, 100 tracts nearly 200 persons, it is in contempla

to the prisoners in the Cuddapah jail, and tion that a chapel should be erected for to natives calling at my house occathem, and the gentlemen here are willing sionally. to afford every assistance in their power.

Miscellaneous. Mr. W. has promised to do bis utmost towards it.

A Christian village is about to be

erected, for which a spot has already been Native Family Worship.

selected, that the native, Christians may In order to instruct the native nominal live close to each other, for the sake of Christians,

as well as to prepare those enjoying the advantages of Christian inwho are candidates for baptism, I have struction and worship, as well as for the commenced a Family worship for the na

benefit of their children's education. Mr. tives in Teloogoo, morning and evening, W. has kindly afforded me assistance in my house, (by reading the Gospels in for this purpose, in the way of procuring the morning, and the Epistles in the the grass and wood from the neighbouring evening worship) with prayer.

This ser- hills.

[ocr errors]


the east of ns, and has about sixty scholars Extract of a Letter front the Rev. Grif

under tuition. We have furnished him fiths, to the Rev. John Le Brun, Mis

with the catechism, and portions of the sionary at the Mauritius; dated Tanana

Scriptures translated, as we have also Mr.

Canham and Mr. Rowland. rivou, 3d Sept. 1824.

Mr. Canbam is settled at a village in a I have the pleasure to inform you, that populons district, about twelve miles to this Mission has never worn a more promise the west of us, and has about 110 scholars ing aspect, than it has since last May, under tuition, besides the superintendence The King continues his protection to of his apprentices to carry on his trade. us, and gives us encouragement to labour Mr. Rowland is settled about fifteen miles with assiduity. We bave twenty two to the sontlıward, in another populous schools established since last April, under village, and has more than 100 scholars, his Majesty's patronage, wherein inore together with a few apprentices to teach than 2000 children are instructed. Our first his trade. scholars who teach at the different vil- As to the translation of the Scriptures, lages, are much more capable of teaching I have translated the book of Esodns, and than I expected; their ardent pursuit after the Gospels by Mark and Luke, and also knowledge, and their unceasing assiduity of the Psalms, as far as the 60th, and the in communicating instruction to others, three first chapters of the Episile to the afford us great satisfaction and encourage- Romans. I have also prepared a course ment. Those villages that have above of plain discourses on the Ten Commandeighty seliolars have four teachers, two to ments, on the Birth and Sufferings of teach every other week by turns, while Jesus Christ, &c. the Day of Judgment, the other two are learning in town; so and on the future state of the righteous that they are one week learning and the and the wicked; and I am forming & other teaching. The scholars both in course of plain discoluses on prayer, &C. town and the country have learnt almost Mr. Jones has finished translating the the whole of a large catechism of Dr. book of Genesis, and the Gospel by MarBrown's, which I have translated, and thew, and is far advanced with the Gospel formed for the use of the schools, and to by John, and the Acts, and with the first which I have added several questions and book of Samuel, &c. He has prepared a replies concerning the Cieation, the series of discourses on the Work of CreaMoraľ Law, the Savionr, and the future tion, and is also preparing discourses on state. The progress of our pupils is very the Divine Attributes. You see by all encouraging, in the knowledge of the this, that we stand in the greatest need Word of Salvation.

of a printer and a printing-press. Mr. I have a chapel built annexed to my Chick' is busily employed every Sunday in house, with a gallery' u hich will contain catechising the children, and every day more than 1,000 hearers. Mr. Jones and busily evgaged in his trade. Every thing myself preacii by turns when we are in is going on at present in vnion and peace. town, one in English, and the other in

Notwithstanding, however, the pleasing Malagash. About two months ago, Mr. aspert the Mission wears, we have great Jones and I commenced visiting the vil. prejudices and superstitions to encounter, lages where schools are established, to The tenacity of the natives to rank and preach and catechise; we go by turns Caste, and the manners and customs of every Sunday. We have thrunged con- their forefathers; their pumerous idols, gregations on the Sabbath ; our chapel in which we did not know much of till lately, town is crowded, and the doors and win- when we began to preach against them; dows lined. We have three or four, and their mode of sacrificing to obtain good, sometimes 5,000 hearers in town, and and take away evil, all these prejudices and often 2 or 3,000 in the country, besides enperstitions, (though the youths who are the assembling of three or four schools. instructed lauglı at ihem,) present formiWe catechise them first, and then we sing dable obstacles to our efforts. We are and pray, and preach, often in the open convinced more and more of the necessity air. We ask them to repeat what they re- there is of divine infinence, to bring sinmember of the sermon, and we propose ners to the knowledge of the truth as it is to them any question that may occnr to us. in Jesus. May the breath come,

and The talents they display on these occa- breathe upon these slain, that they may sions would put many a one in England, live.* who has been hearing the gospel of twenty years standing to the blush.

* The Directors have determined to Mr. Jeffreys is settled at a village in a send ont a printing-press, &c., for this populous district, about twenty miles to Mission.

« PreviousContinue »