Page images



heaven : even now the account of those head a little water out of a bottle, which whom they have sent there is sufficiently she keeps concealed in her long wide large to draw forth the gratitude and the sleeve." They give some returns, from admiration of our faith.” Of children their Eastern missions, as to the number cast out to perish in China, a missionary of infants on whom this profane mimicry writes, “ Not being able to save the life of the rite of baptism is annually pracof these little children, I have sought to tised, which show the prodigious extent procure the saving of their souls. Two to which they carry this superstition. well-trained men, having some knowledge of medicine, whom I have employed for the last eight months, have baptized In this country, in which the Lutheran 680 of them, of whom more than 500 has long been the established religion, have already gone to heaven. The mission of Su-Tchuen continues its work

dissent was, until recently, altogether of baptizing children in danger of death. proscribed. A few months back à law In 1844 there were baptized 24,381; of received the royal sanction, by which all

was adopted by the legislature, and has whom 16,763 winged their flight a short religious denominations without exceptime afterwards, to everlasting bliss. These happy souls, thus regenerated by Dissenters are exempted from the pay;

tion are free to celebrate public worship. us in the waters of baptism, can they forget us? We pay some Christians,

ment of personal taxes for ecclesiastical men and women, to go seek out, and abolished. Tithes and some other dues

purposes; and sacramental tests are baptize those infants whom they find to be in danger. It is easy to meet them, arising from the soil are retained. particularly on fair days: when on the roads, or at the gates, or in the streets, poor people without number are crowded Every thing of the nature of public together; so attenuated by hunger, as to oppression or popular outrage against have nothing but skin and bone. The this people--separated from all others women carry on their back children, re- by their religion--as it is utterly opposed duced to the same extremity. Our bap- to the spirit of Christianity, so its only tising men and baptising women accost tendency must be to confirm them in them in the gentle accents of compas- their obdurate infidelity. It is theresion, offer them, gratis, pills for these fore equally gratifying to observe any little expiring creatures, and give often christian state coming to reason and to the parents a few farthings. For these right feeling in their treatment of poor creatures it is a sight of transport Jews, and mortifying to hear of the almost unheard of. They willingly al- continuance of wanton outrage against low our people to examine into the state them in other places. A letter from of the child, and spill on its forehead Wiemar, the capital of one of the Grand some drops of water, which they declare Duchies of Germany, states that the to be good for it, while at the same time governor has just published an order, they pronounce the sacramental words. abolishing the exceptional taxes which Our christian baptisers are divided into still pressed upon the Jews; namely, two classes. Some are travellers, and those paid for protection, for liberty to go to a great distance to look for dying reside, and for liberty to hire a place of children ; others, being attached to cer- residence. The same ordonnance remits tain stations in the town and large vil- such sums as are at present due by lages, devote themselves to the same oc- the Jewish inhabitants for those taxes. cupation in their neighbourhood. In a The same obnoxious and degrading village of Cochin-China, there exists a taxes are still in force in other states house of nuns, whom his Lordship sends of Germany, A deputation of the out in different directions to look for Jews in England, headed by Sir Moses these hapless children. They go gene- Monetefiore, has set out for St Perally two by two-an old and a young tersburg, for the purpose of intercedone; and while the elder enters into ing with the Emperor of Russia on beconversation, the other, who in good half of the Russian and Polish Jews; manners should leave her to speak, for whose removal from their ordinary draws near the mother who is holding settlements to other parts of the empire, the sick child, or sits down near the mat various decrees have been recently issued. on which it is left. She fondles it, takes In Bavaria an occurrence took place a it in her arms; and whilst she caresses short time ago, which forms a humbling it, she succeeds in dropping on its fore- illustration of the wanton malignity





against the Jews which still exists in the footing with the Romanists, enjoying popular mind, and of the readiness with by law equal religious liberty, though which the most groundless imputations not perhaps with equal security. It is reagainst that people continue to be be- ported that a great number of conversions lieved, and made the pretext for barba- from Romanism to Protestantism have rous outrages. Near a village of that recently taken place. Some nobility and country, a little girl playing by the road. members of religious orders are said to side, was seen to be decoyed into a car- be among the converts. Formerly, from riage which was passing; and which 800 to 1000 protestants entered the started off with her at' full gallop. Romish church every year; but since the The alarm was immediately spread ; law granting toleration, things proceed and the conviction at once adopted, differently; 900 conversions to Protesthat it must be the carriage of a Jew, tantism taking place in the proportion who had carried off the child for the of 35 to Romanism. purpose of murdering her, and mixing her blood with the unleavened bread of the passover. The populace mustered; and, armed with stones, flails and pitchforks, proceeded to attack the country mansion of a respectable Jewish physician in the neighbourhood, whom some reported to be the abductor of the girl. ABOUT the end of February, a depuThe gentleman, whom they found tran- tation from our church, consisting of quilly reading in his garden, having Drs Eadie and Harper and the Rev. remonstrated with them, offered himself Alexander M‘Ewen, proceeded to the to pursue the culprit, and bring him to Continent, by appointment of the Comjustice: and mounting his horse, he mittee of Foreign Missions, with a view shortly came up with the carriage, which to make inquiry into the state of religion had been stopt by an accident; found in Germany and Switzerland, and espethe young girl safe, and gave the young cially to ascertain, on the spot, the prinman, who had carried her off, into cus-cipal facts regarding the “ new reformatody. When brought to trial, her abductor tion movement” in Germany, and the gave his name as a Jew, and with great secession from the national church in coolness avowed that he had intended to the Canton de Vaud. The members of murder the girl, and prepare with her the deputation have returned, after havblood the bread of the passover: and at ing, in terms of their appointment, visited every examination persisted in the same various places on the Continent where story. The inquiries instituted by the the German catholic movement obtains, magistrate, however, discovered that he and where the best opportunities were was not a Jew, nor had any knowledge to be enjoyed for ascertaining its characof the Jewish religion ; but was a person ter and tendency. We can at present do of some fortune from Brunn in Austria, no more than put our readers in posand a Roman Catholic. Finding himself session of results. A full report of the detected, he now declared that hatred to proceedings of the deputation, and of wards the Jews had been the real motive the information procured by them, will for his carrying off the girl, hoping thereby of course be laid before the United Asto excite the people of Bavaria to exter- sociate Synod at its meeting in May. minate the Jews. Satisfactory evidence We may state, in general, that the dewas given of his sanity; and that no reli- putation's inquiries will tend to show gious fanaticism or motives of a personal that the German movement is not likely nature could have influenced him. He to realise the expectations which the was therefore found guilty of abducting friends of truth were at first led to ena child, and of an attempt to excite tertain. There is, indeed, an agitation hatred and ill-will against a portion of of a most eventful character in progress his Majesty's subjects; and condemned throughout the states of Germany, leadto the highest penalty, two years' impri- ing tens of thousands to throw off the sonment with hard labour.

yoke of Antichrist, and to form themselves into societies in open antagonism

to the Roman catholic church; but it is In this country the Roman Catholic reli- now beyond dispute that the great body gion is predominant; but toleration is of dissidents from popery, with Ronge, established in so complete a form, that their celebrated leader, disown the disthe other Christians are on an equal tinctive doctrines of evangelical Chris



tianity. The depravity of man, the suppression was issued on the 2d Decemdivinity and atonement of Christ, the ber, 1845,-notifying that, if religious personality and special influences of the meetings without the pale of the national Holy Spirit, are treated by them as idle church should continue to be held, they tales, altogether unfit for the “mental would be dissolved by the police; and development” of the nineteenth century. that, if necessary, force would be employIn short, if there is to a great extent a ed for their dispersion. Since then Laurevolt from popery, there is also—though sanne and some parts of the country have not to an equal extent—a rejection of been under the infliction of this act against the yoke of Christ. A small party, ad- conventicles. In defiance of such inhering to the doctrines of the cross, have sufferable tyranny, the seceding, body separated from the main movement, and have been in the practice of meeting in have been formed into a church, under small parties in private houses, liable of the denomination of “ Apostolical Ger- course, to be interrupted by the police, and man Catholic.” Of this body, there are they have, accordingly, been frequently congregations at Berlin, Thorn, and broken up when discovered. The atroBromberg. It was at one time expected city of such proceedings drew from the that the apostolicals would have num- president of Zurich an indignant censure bered among them John Czerski, Ger- in a public address, of which the Vaudois man catholic pastor at Schneidemuhl, government complained to the council of whose name is familiar in this country that canton. While this affair was pendas a reputed champion of evangelical ing, a relaxation took place at Lausanne, truth, and a self-denying sufferer in the in the search for conventicles. A few

These expectations have been weeks ago, however, the Zurichers, by a grievously disappointed. At a conference majority of voices, determined that the with pastors and elders of the apostolical censure pronounced by their president party, Czerski subscribed certain articles should be held as conveying his indivias a basis of fellowship, but next morning dual sentiments, and that they should retracted his assent, and tore the docu- disclaim any intention to interfere with ment through all the articles of union the affairs of Vaud. Tidings of this redown to his signature, in token of his sult were the signal for renewed activity repudiation of the alliance proposed. at Lausanne, against the dissident party. This proof of the value of Czerski's ortho-On a Lord's day, which the deputation doxy—the identical document thus can- passed at Lausanne, some six or seven celled—the members of the deputation private meetings for worship were broken had submitted to their inspection. Sub- up by the police. It is a state crime in sequently to this, viz. on the 7th February Vaud for “two or three” to meet together last, Czerski, after having denounced in Christ's name to sing his praise. The Rongé as an enemy of God's truth, re- members of the deputation were eyenewed his connexion, and formally rati- witnesses of this abominable outrage on fied a union with him and his rationalistic the rights of man, and on the very first followers, on the ground that dogmatical principles of religious liberty. One of the differences should be no cause of separa- meetings was at nine in the morning, tion, and that the German catholics should presided over by Professor Chapuys. keep together in the bond of charity. After praise and prayer he commenced These are facts which it is painful to an exposition on a portion of scripture, communicate; at the same time, there with which he had not proceeded many are not wanting proofs, that among the minutes, when two gens d'armes apmaltitudes who follow the Rongé banner, peared, bearing a summons to the meetthere are individuals who “ feel after” a ing, immediately to separate. Leave was better state of things, and who may be asked to conclude with prayer. Without viewed as waiting for some one to guide waiting for an answer, the minister prothem.

ceeded. Twice, during the solemn exCanton de Vaud. It was part of the ercise, he was interrupted, in an impadeputation's duty to visit this interesting tient and imperious tone, with an order, country, with a view to ascertain the “ Have done if you please.” He was merits of the very remarkable ecclesiasti- obliged to stop in the middle of a sencal crisis of which it is now the theatre. On tence, and the assembly to scatter withthe disruption of the national church in out time for the benediction. The paNovember last, the seceders held meet- tience with which the brethren“ posings for worship by themselves. These sessed their souls,” under this blood-boilwere pronounced illegal by the govern- ing outrage, and the unruffled composure ment, and a peremptory order for their of the female part of the audience, who

formed the larger portion of it, filled stricted to that being. The term is emthe minds of the deputation with admir-ployed to denote all the numerous idols ing sympathy. Another of the meetings which they worship, the spirits of the broken up, had assembled in the evening deceased, the reigning sovereign of the to be addressed by Professor Vinet. The country, and any phenomenon in nature, gens d'armes appeared with the usual sum- or curiosity in manufactures, beyond their mons. A female worshipper, whose spirit comprehension. was stirred by these repeated indignities, In instituting a parallel between the called out,

“ You pass by the wine religion of the Bechuanas and that of shops, where there is nothing but noise, the Malagash we shall find throughout a and put down our meetings, which dis strong resemblance in the general outturb nobody." Ah! what treason ! Forthwith the valorous myrmidons of in the minor details ; of these, perhaps,

line, though there are some differences President Drouey seized the offender, the principal is, that while both people and marched her off to the police office, between two gens d'armes.

are in the habit of using charms of The charge has been repeatedly brought amulets in predicting future events and against the seceding ministers of the Can-averting calamities, the Malagash alone ton de Vaud, that their demission was

convert these charms into idols, and prompted by political motives, their de- worship them as deities. sign being to embarrass and overturn the

It has been already mentioned that radical government of February 1845, to both these nations apply the word god to which they were opposed. Ať present, the spirits of their ancestors ; and the we shall only state, that this allegation resemblance holds good in the worship was a main subject of investigation by they pay to these deities. The Bechuanas the deputation, and that the result was offer their sacrifices at the graves of the an entire conviction, on their part, of the deceased, when they immolate a black groundlessness of the charge. Again, heifer, a custom which bears a resemwe must refer our readers to the forth- blance to the sacrifices offered by the coming report for details and documents. ancients to the gods of Tartarus,

“ and for the dead A CONCISE VIEW OF THE RELIGION OF “ Two sable sheep around his hearse be led." THE BECHUANAS.*

Dryden's l'ir. The simplest notion which the human Of the Malagash it is stated, that they mind is capable of forming of God, is usually offer their worship at the tombs that of superior power. We see on every of their ancestors ; that great respect is hand a thousand phenomena continually paid to the manes supposed to be in them; occurring, whose action is beyond our while much dread of incurring their discontrol and even our comprehension, and pleasure is entertained ; and that their hence, the barbarian readily forms the worship consists chiefly in sacrificing conception of some supernatural and in- cattle and presenting offerings to their visible agency; this is to him God. The gods. word he employs is, however, never con- In connexion with their religious creed, fined to one supreme being; it usually there exists in both nations a class of becomes a generic term for whatever privileged individuals, who pretend to act object his superstitious mind may investas mediators between the deities and with a superstitious power.

their worshippers, -who present the prayThusamong the Bechuanas there seems ers of the latter, and profess to give the to exist a vague indefinite belief in a responses of the god. supreme being whom they call Morimo ; Among the Bechuanas, these people but the word seems to be also applied to unite the offices of priests and sorcerers the souls of their ancestors, called Ba- or diviners ; but in Madagascar, the rimos, which is the plural form of Morimo, diviners are a distinct class from the and the adoration of which forms the immediate attendants on the idols. subject of the succeeding paper.

The terror with which the natives Similar to these are the notions of the regard their deities, and the cruelty natives of Madagascar. They affirm that which their state of society causes them there is a god who created the world, and to attach to a superior power, is no doubt who resides somewhere far above in the origin of this class of mediators, and heaven ; but then the title is not re- these people are cunning enough to turn

* Communicated by the Rev. J. C. Brown, this terror to their own advantage. Cape Town.

The following scene witnessed by a

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Missionary* among the Bechuanas, fur- still some representation of him remains, nishes a specimen of their native diviners. and is in fact a ghost. The performer in this instance was a The Bechuanas, however, believe that woman.

the souls of the dead depart to another This foolish prophetess kept herself at region, where they anticipate far greater a distance from the rest, with both hands happiness than they enjoy in this life ; elevated, and her whole body twisted into though there seems no idea of reward or hideous contortions. At a certain sign, punishment in another world. This will understood by the natives, they all ap- appear from the expressions contained in proached her, and the Missionary was the “ Hymn of the Mourners," which informed that she was about to speak. the widows of the country are accustomed They stopped at about ten paces from to sing at the death of a friend. the sybil, who now, composing herself, The two first stanzas of this sorrowful spoke in a calm and sententious tone of poem may be thus expressed :voice, addressing the chief thus :- “We are still left in the world, “Upolou ! thou lovest obscurity.—Thy

We are left here in trouble, visions are the visions of darkness !-He

We are left here in despair,

This augments our evils.” (the Morimo) tells me that I should say

· May a refuge be prepared for us in heaven, to thee, Where is thy father? He is May there be prepared for us a pot and fire, dead of hunger! Upolou, he tells me

May a place in heaven be found for me ;

Oh! that I had wings, then would I fly that I should say unto thee-he is not

thither." dead.-Behold he is there in the shades of the thickets! He sees thee! Doest

This is sung in chorus, when the bethou not see him ? Doest thou not see

reaved widow chants the following

stanza :him ?-Upolou ! he tells me that I should

“Oh! foolish that I was. say to thee-When thou purifiest thyself,

When evening came I opened my window, call thy friends—when thou purifiest thy- I listened in the silence. I looked, self, sacrifice a red heifer; I say, sacrifice

I imagined that he was returning." also a black ewe.”

If the deceased has fallen in battle, his Here Upolou observed that he did not sister sings thus :possess a black ewe; but the oracle did

“ If women also went forth t war not reply, and the sybil continued- I would have gone, I would have thrown the “ Upolou, he tells me that I should dart by his side,

My brother should not have died, say to thee Why doest thou again com- The son of my mother should have returned plain of drought ? Do thou thyself cause in safety. the grain to spring up on the earth.”

He should not have hurt his foot against a

stone." This scene, though common, was looked upon in a serious light by the natives, and At the end all the women join with a was interesting to the Missionary, as loud voice in the following lines :affording some information of the part “ Alas! is he then really gone ! which the Barimos are supposed to exer

Has he indeed abandoned us !

But whither has he gone? cise in human affairs.

Will he never again return, With regard to the immortality of That he may once more see us ? the soul, the Bechuanas possess more

The shades! are they insatiable ! distinct ideas than the Malagash. The

Will they never be filled !" notions of the latter are confused and We may remark, that the word in the contradictory, They believe that there Bechuana language signifying to die, is a place somewhere in the country, means also to go. This is not peculiar to where all the deceased are assembled, them ; we know that both sacred and and are again exactly what they were profane writers employ it in this sense. before they died ; all pursue the same

The Saviour, predicting his approaching favourite employment they followed death, said to his disciples —“ The Son of while living, and possess the property man goeth as it is written of him.” It is they had previously enjoyed. But when a figure of speech apparently insinuating asked on the subject, a Malagash tells the idea of a new existence in a future you that at death there is an extinction state. of his being ; that he has no idea of any To go away”_" to depart”_" to hereafter ; that his body is to become enter the house of his fathers”—are the dust, and his life air or wind; though ordinary expressions employed by the

natives when speaking of death. * Mr Arbousset.

They suppose that no one dies young,

« PreviousContinue »