Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

impositions they have so long practiced, and of the oppressions which by prescription, they hare inflicted on the inferior castes. The reverential regard reaching

actual adoration, with which these inferior castes treated the Brahmins, is very much lessened. We think we see the fetters of caste very much weakened, and Ke do cheerfuily hope that the whole series of the link of this cruel chain will te furerer broken, under the commendable moderation and prudence of an enLghie Ded government, and especially by the blessing of God on the efforts of pru. deat christian ministers and inissionaries, who wbile they preach the gospel, extubit a scriptural temper and conduct towards each other, towards the European inhabitants, and towards the heathen population, and who are also zealously enmed in superintending the education of the young of both sexes, in writing, prioting, and distributing useful books, especially the scriptures to so very great an extent. Vol. III, p. 173.

After leaving Calcutta, the deputation spent nine months in visiting the various missionary stations in South India, during which they traveled between three and four thousand miles. This is one of the richest and most populous portions of the eastern world, and presents great encouragement for missionary exertions. They were enabled to accomplish many objects of great importance in relation to the future operations of the missionaries, and left the stations in prosperous circumstances. Though these are more numerous and generally more prosperous than in North India, there yet remains much land to be possessed. The deputation returning to Madras, and speaking of a part of their journey, say,

Its entire extent was about 3,000 miles, traveled, sometimes by day under a burning sun; at other times by night, exposed to the chills and dews; the whole of it through a heathen land, unprotected, often sleeping in our palanquins on the open roads, or in the streets; when we rested it was often in dirty and inconTenient chowltries; we passed through dense jungles, exposed to wild beasts and ferers, often subsisting on poor fare ;-yet, () the goodness of God! always in perfect health, enjoying a large share of happiness, meeting with the greatest possible hospitality at every station where we found our countrymen. · In addition to all this, we have the pleasing hope that our journey has been of some service to the best of causes, and the means of promoting the prosperity of ali the diferent missions, and the interests of pure and undefiled religion. But here it becomes us to be silent, and only to say, “ Not unto us, not unto us, o Lord, but to thy name be all the glory!Vol. III, p. 217.

Having finished their official business in India, they sailed next for Mauritius, where they arrived Nov. 24, 1827. This island is represented as the most unpromising field for missionary labor they had ever visited, it being almost entirely under the influence of heathen delusion and Mahommedan error in their worst forms. St. Louis, the capital, contains a mongrel population of twenty thousand, consisting of French, English, Portuguese, Dutch, Italians, Danes, Norwegians, Hindoos, Malays, Bengalese, Africans, and “half castes of all these in every possible form of admixture.”

There not being what they deemed a fit time or opportunity to proceed to Madagascar till June 29, 1828, the deputation spent their time in collecting information respecting these two islands,

with which, occupying as it does nearly sixty pages, they have much enriched their Journal. So full and interesting an account of these islands, we do not recollect elsewhere to have seen.

At length they took passage on board of a bullock vessel to Tamatave in Madagascar, and set out immediately on a visit to the missionaries, King, &c. at Tananarivo, the capital, distant three hundred miles in the interior; where, “ after a toilsome, painful, and occasionally dangerous journey, by land and water, across lakes and rivers, through forests and jungles, over mountains and plains, including every variety of inland scenery, from the wildest to the most cultivated that a country emerging from barbarism could present,”—they arrived on the 21st of July. Nine days after this, Mr. Tyerman died suddenly of the apoplexy, three days after the death of Radama, king of the island. These two events spread universal gloom and terror around. A sudden revolution ensued in the government; a number of the chiess, and members of the royal family, were speared ; and there was, in other ways, considerable bloodshed. The funeral of the king was attended with more expense, probably, than any other on record, it being estimated at not less than sirty thousand pounds sterling.

Mr. Bennet returned to Mauritius in September, and soon sailed for the Cape of Good Hope. After staying there four months and visiting many of the missionary stations in the interior, he departed for England, where he arrived June 6, 1829.

Thus was accomplished one of the most remarkable, and, considering its moral results, one of the most important and interesting voyages ever undertaken,—the deputation having traversed nearly two thirds of the globe. It was “nothing less than a circumnavigation of heaven-born charity,” and the whole christian world have occasion to felicitate themselves on the publication of these volumes. The brief outline we have presented, is by no means a full index to their value and interest.

As a faithful record of missionary operations throughout a great portion of the world,-a full and vivid picture of the condition, manners, customs, and religion of heathen and pagan nations,-a monument to show the power and perfect adaptation of the gospel to regenerate the world, and bring in civilization with all its attendant blessings—and a manual of historical, geographical, and scientific information respecting the countries visited, these volumes, we are confident in saying, are not surpassed by any thing that has ever been published. They will, we doubt not, have a rapid and extensive circulation; and cannot fail to inspire the friends of missions with new confidence and zeal, and stimulate them to increased exertions towards evangelizing the world.

The experiment of converting the heathen has been tried in erery part of the world, and with the most triumphant success. The simple, faithful, affectionate preaching of the gospel, accompanied with holy living, is a moral engine of irresistible power, wherever used, before which the strong holds of satan must soon fall. Let this engine be plied with redoubled energy and zeal, both at home and abroad, and ere long shall we hear it proclaimed, "the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ.”

ART. II.-On Revivals.

On Recirals. By JONATHAN FARR. Tract No. 10, second series. Printed for

the Ainerican Unitarian Association. Boston : Gray & Bowen.

THERE are still in this country many persons who avow their disbelief in Revivals of Religion, and profess to regard them as a work of evil origin; some bringing against them the vague charges of delusion and enthusiasm, and some going so far, as boldly to pronounce them a work of the deril! Among these objectors are not only individuals, of whatsoever character,“wise men after the fleshi,” “ disputers of this world,”—but some religious bodies also; many in the sacred office; and one entire denomination especially, who not only do not believe in any agency of the Holy Spirit in revivals, but have not “ so much as heard (except from the errors of orthodoxy,) whether there be any Holy Ghost."

To all such persons we wish to submit two plain arguments on this subject, one derived from the effects of rerirals, and the other from the character of those who promote them.

The former of these arguments is the same which Christ employed against the Pharisees, when they accounted for the wonders which he wrought, by treating them as a work of the devil. " If satan cast out satan, he is divided against himself, how then shall his kingdom stand.” Matth. xii. 22. The ground taken by the Pharisees was obviously absurd, for the whole effect of the gospel was to destroy the works of the devil. But if they relinquished that position, then the other, with its consequences, followed—that Christ was the anointed of God, and they were bound to receive him as such, and obey his gospel; “ but if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you." The dilemma was obvious. There was no alternative between their believing the grossest absurdities on the one hand, and their acknowledging the claims of Christ on the other, and their consequent guilt in rejecting him.

Vol. IV.

Ja applying this reasoning to the case before us, we may state the matter to the opponents of revivals thus:

One of these two positions must be true: either revivals of relizion are a work of eril origin and a delusion, or else they result from the outpouring of the Spirit of God. If you take the format position, then you must go all lengths in admitting the conseqpiences into which its adoption will lead you. But if you cannot do this, then the latter position is forced upon you, and revivals of religion as a work of the Spirit of God, are what you cannot, without the deepest guilt, treat with either opposition or indifference.

What then are the fruits of revivals. Let their opposers answer the question, not with conjectures or confident assertions, but by an appeal to facts. Let them not reason from insulated cases, but examine their general influence for the last forty years, as exhibited in many hundreds of the towns and villages of NewEngland and the middle States. Will any candid man say that they have commonly left a place more vain or vicious in its morals than they found it, or more averse to the institutions, doctrines and duties of religion? On the contrary, is it not the testimony of universal experience, that the ordinary effects of revivals are such as these?

They have diffused a general sobriety of manners, where levity had previously prevailed.

They have greatly increased the disposition to attend on public worship, so that churches which before were nearly vacant,-from the numbers of Sunday loungers and strollers,-have been crowded with reverent hearers of the word of God.

Many who were thoughtless, vain, and worldly, have been affected with a seriousness of mind which appears to have resulted in their sincere conversion to Christ.

Numbers of openly profane and vicious persons have been permanently reformed, and from being nuisances to society, have come to be reckoned among its ornaments and blessings.

They have had a manifest effect to elevate the general mind in respect to intellectual and moral improvement. They have introduced, in many instances, a taste for reading, especially for moral and religious reading, putting in circulation a multitude of relirious newspapers, magazines, tracts, and books.

They have given an impulse both to Sunday school and common school instruction.

They have been the means of originating and forming the religious character of many individuals who, by their talents and inMuence, have benefited society both in public and private stations. Particularly, they have supplied many churches with faithful pas

of God

tors, a large proportion of whom, but for revivals, would probably either never have been educated, or would have gone into other professions.

The churches are indebted also for a large proportion of their members, many of them for their existence, to the same cause. The great majority of professing christians of the various orthodox denominations, (at least in New England,) are the subjects of revivals. Read the records of all our churches, and you will find that by far the largest accessions to them have been made in those companies of converts which have come forward to profess Christ in these seasons of religious awakening.

Most of the philanthropic enterprises of the age owe their origin* and continued efficiency, in a great degree, to the spirit of revivals.

The moral effect of revivals might be made to appear, by comparing those countries, and periods of time, in which they have most prevailed, with others in which they have been unfrequent or unknown. For example, Scotland and New England; in which revivals have more prevailed for the last two hundred years than in any other country; and the moral character of these two countries is proverbial.

From these general views of the influence of revivals on communities, we might descend to a more minute survey, and find their claims still more happily sustained in their effect on domestic and private character. We should find, that in the case of a great variety of individuals who were living, some in spiritual apathy, some in “excess of riot,” and all “ having no hope, and without God in the world,” they have been the occasion of awakening and recalling them from their levity, their worldliness, their indifference or opposition to religion, and caused them to become, in the judgment of common charity, consistent followers of Christ. We should find that households, which before lived in the most prayerless and thoughtless manner, now find delight in bowing together daily around the family altar; and that families which before were idle and improvident, and perhaps ill-natured and quarrelsome, are now diligent, thriving, and peaceful. We should find that parents, who before were negligent of the moral welfare of their children, or were educating them only for the present world, have now dedicated them to God, and are training them up for his service here and his enjoyment hereafter. The more minutely the survey is made, the more striking will the effects ap

* This is susceptible of some interesting proof from history, which it would be aside from our object to introduce here.

« EdellinenJatka »