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of this regulation was completely effected: not a murmur was heard on the subject, nor has any attempt of the kind come to our knowledge since.” This will certainly reflect the greatest honour on the humanity of that nobleman to the latest posterity. And if the same energetic measures were adopted, the horrid and abominable practice of burning women alive at the death of their husbands, in the British dominions, would cease forever.
By other gentlemen of respectability, and undoubted veracity, who have resided in India many years, I have been informed, that the missionaries sent from this country to convert the natives to christianity, have at certain times had conferences with the chief men among them who reside in the British dominions. They have set forth the beauty of the religion of Christ, and the whole plan of salvation; which, when they have patiently heard, they answer thus : You have set forth, in a very engaging manner, the superiority of the religion you profess, but we do not see that the professors of the religion of Christ, who reside among us, prove by their lives and conversation, that these things are true. When we go into our temples, we take off our shoes, and appear
before our God with that reverence which is due to him who fills the universe with his presence. When our worship is ended, we return to our homes, considering we have been paying our vows, not to the stones of which our altar is built, but to the invisible God: we injure none, nor do we condemn others for thinking differently on these subjects. But when your people go into your temples, though you inform us that they believe God to be present, yet they conduct themselves as though they were in a place of amusement. When your worship is ended, they go to riot and drunkenness, making use of every possible means to deceive
others, and to gratify their unconquered inclinations, though it be the ruin of the unfortunate sufferers, who unhappily fall in their way. With these proofs of the lamentable conduct of the professors of your religion before our eyes, we do not see that we should gain any thing by changing our sentiments : there is no inducement for us to forsake the ancient profession of our venerable fathers.
When the missionaries inform them, that there are two descriptions of professors among christians, viz. those who worship God in sincerity, with a pure devotion, and those who are careless concerning this matter; They repły, that it would not be pleasing to God, should they meet before him and worship in sincerity, in the company of others, who, to their certain knowledge, were living in open violation of the precepts of morality, and blaspheming the very God, whom they pretended to worship. I shall here extract a paragraph from the Rev. Dr. Buchanan's Christian Researches in India, which justifies the above remarks. Page 50, he says, - the missionaries told me that religion had suffered much in Tranquebar of late years, from European infidelity, which was, therefore, hostile to the conversion of the Hindoos. It flourishes more among the natives of Tanjore, and in other provinces where there are few Europeans, for we find that European example, in the large towns, is the bane of christian instruction."
But there are other nations, in the more interior part of India, who worship idols literally. The idol Juggernaut is worshipped by immense numbers, who make a pilgrimage at their various feasts to the town of Juggernaut. On the 18th of June, at 12 o'clock, the idol is brought forth on a car sixty feet in height, amidst the acclamations of hundreds of thousands of deluded
worshippers, who have resorted thither from various parts of the British dominions; so infatuated are these people,
of them think it an honour to sacrifice themselves to this idol. This is said to be done in the presence of the company's servants, the country being under their jurisdiction. They have levied a tax* on this deluded people, which amounts to a great sum annually, sanctioning the worship of this idol, and permitting them to offer human sacrifices. Surely, the just judgment of God will fall on the heads of those, who are the authors and sharers of this bloody Molochian plunder.
THE WORSHIP OF THE ANCIENT AFRICANS.
It has been supposed by some writers, that the descendants of Japhet peopled Europe; some might settle in this part of the world, though we have no satisfactory proof that this was so. But it will appear, if we consult the Hebrew scriptures, that a great part of his posterity were the first settlers in Africa.
The sons of Japhet, were Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras. Gen. x. 2. The grandsons of Japhet are also mentioned, who, with these, gave their names to their posterity, forming different nations, each preserving the name of their progenitor. We are then informed in the fifth verse, as it stands in the translation, that, “by these were the isles of the Gentiles divided; in their lands,
* This tax was levied, according to Dr. Buchanan, p. 32, by the Bengal government, under “A regulation for levying a tax on pilgrims resorting to the temple of Juggernaut, and for the superintendance and management of the temple." Passed April 3, 1806,
every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.” But the word which is rendered Gentiles, should be translated nations ; and the word Jyel, which is translated isles, cannot be confined to such a signification. It means countries, which are far remote beyond the sea, and these countries may be either islands, or continents. Jer. xxv. 22. and the kings of the Jyee, COUNTRIES which are beyond the sea. But the countries of Europe are not beyond, or divided by the sea from the land of Canaan where the patriarchs resided; therefore Europe cannot be meant by the word Jyee, countries, which are beyond the sea.
The descendants of Ham settled in the country of Palestine, including Babylon; the descendants of Shem in the most eastern part, including Persia, Arabia, India; and as Africa is divided by the Mediterranean sea, and the Red sea, from Europe, and the land of Canaan which joins Egypt, it must be allowed that the descendants of Japhet were the first settlers in Africa. This is confirmed by the prophet Ezekiel, xxxii. 26. where Meshech, and Tubal, the sons of Japhet, whose names distinguished their descendants as nations, are mentioned as being a considerable people in Africa, when Pharaoh was threatened with destruction.
Mitzråim, the second son of Ham, was also the father of a mighty nation. His descendants settled in Egypt, which in Hebrew is called by his name, Mitsraim, and not Egypt. It is also said, from him came the Caphtorim. The word means to interpret-the solution of difficult things ; properly the priests of the most ancient order. The priests of Apollo were so called, from the pretended oracular predictions, and prophetic qualifications of their god of wisdom. Bochart, y. i. p. 666. This will account for the representative worship of the
Egyptians. For as the descendants of Ham introduced the worship of their progenitor, who established the order of the Antediluvian worship, when it had sunk into idolatry, but which, in its pure state, was sacredly figurative, and representative; so Mitzraim his son would naturally fall into that kind of worship, which was observed in Egypt at the time of Moses.
The descendants of Japhet then, it appears unquestionably, were the first settlers in Africa, which land was well known, before the flood, to the patriarch Noah, who, on account of its proximity to the land of Canaan, assigned these divisions to his posterity. From which we are authorized to draw this conclusion : that, as Japhet worshipped the true God so he inust have established this worship among his descendants in Africa, exclusive of Egypt, where Mitzraim established the worship of Ham. The worship of the ancient Ethiopians appears to have been retained in its purity longer than in any of the other nations of Africa. For when the queen went to visit Solomon, they had the knowledge of the true God; they used most of the Mosaic ceremonies, many of which were like those of the first patriarchs; and the eunuch of queen Candace was acquainted with the Hebrew scriptures in the days of the apostles. The Christian religion flourished in Africa, at the time of the council of Nice in the fourth century: but at this day, agreeably to the best information, ignorance and superstition have spread their baneful influence over the greatest part of this once enlightened country.