Immagini della pagina
PDF
[ocr errors]

In the year 1820, a Tract appeared in Calcutta, in the Bengalee Language, written by a Native, since deceased, Brajamohan Majmoodar, a Native of Bengal and a friend of Rammohun Roy, against the prevailing System of Hindoo Idolatry, which may be allowed to put an end to all doubt in reference to the enormities of the Gods, the Worship, the Priest, and the People of India. A translation of this Tract into English was published, last year, at the expense of Rammohun Roy. Of this Tract, it is justly said, in “The Friend of India," published in Quarterly Numbers at Serampore, that it contains “a masterly exposure of the absurdities of the present Hindoo System.” It is well added, “If indeed we needed any thing, to demonstrate the invariable tendency of Idolatry to plunge every succeeding age deeper in immorality, and with what ease the most offensive rites and the most degrading practices may be engrafted on its corrupt stock, we might find it in this work.” The mind of the author, in exact accordance with the leading principles of this Sermon, seems to have been deeply impressed by the dishonour done to the True God, and the misery of his Countrymen, through their deplorable superstitions; the consequences of which he scruples not, contrary to the chilling refinements of modern candour, to extend even to eternity 1 “How can we feel any affection for you,” he asks (p. 65), “while you reproach Him, whom we consider as the holy, omnipresent, indestructible, supreme God, by saying that he was born, or that he died; and by accusing him of adultery, theft, revengefulness, voluptuousness, anger, and other sinful passions !”—“miserable, ignorant persons, whose gods are earth, stone, wood, and metal; and whose objects of worship are monkeys, bears, kites, jackals, and such like creatures” (p. 68). Their Religious Rites, in many instances, he speaks of as “ such things,” that if they “were done" on common occasions, “ in the presence even of the most profligate, it would excite a feeling of shame in them" (p.26): and the necessary tendency and moral effect of their system, generally, he thus describes—“Your system of worship through sensible objects pollutes the mind, and encourages the perpetration of sins”—“It excites only sinful lusts in the mind, and pollutes the soul"(p. 45).--"The soul is polluted thereby, and it proves, consequently, an impediment in coming to the supreme God” (p. 52). The expression of the author's feelings toward the people is, throughout his book, that of the liveliest “pity, but not of hatred," scarcely restrained oftentines from deep contempt. Toward their Pundits and Gooroos he manifests strong indignation—“those impostors," he says of the Pundits, “who, by exciting you to the worship of images, extort money from you, and make you miserable in the present world, and in that which is to come !" (p. 58)—and “ your Gooroos, proud, imperious persons, who are full of pride, the worst of all crimes, and given to sin and deceit" (p. 66). At the same time, it is not a little remarkable, that, in further contradiction to the sentiments of many among ourselves, he pronounces his people, miserable as he deems them even to Eternity, to be yet without excuse. The whole Tract is, indeed, a surprising illustration of the views and arguments of St. Paul, in the First Chapter to the Romans; and is highly worthy the attention of all the friends of Missions to the Heathen, and particularly of all who may have had any doubt on the urgency of the call for Missionaries in India.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

RE PORT
&c. &c.

Is reporting the Proceedings of the Society during its Twenty-second Year, your Committee are thankful that they can state, both an increase in its Funds and an extension of its labours. For the still steady growth of the

FUNDS,

the Committee have again to express the obligations of the Society to many friends, to whose exertions their productive state is chiefly to be attributed.

EXERTIONS OF THE society's Fai ENDs.

The Secretary has attended various Meetings of Associations in and near the Metropolis: but the great pressure of the Society's business, and more par- . ticularly the charge of the different Publications connected with its proceedings, have prevented him from assisting, during the year, at the Anniversary of any Association distant from London, except that of Cambridge.

After attending the Cambridge Anniversary and Meetings at Harrow, Hackney, and Edmonton, in May and June, the Assistant Secretary proceeded, at the end of June, to the West of England, and spent a fortnight in visiting the Yeovil, Devon and Exeter, PlymouthDock and Stonehouse, Weymouth and Melcomb Regis, and Wellington Associations, and the formation of an Association at Taunton, for Taunton and West Somersetshire. He was present at the Anniversary of the Guildford Association in the middle of July; and preached in various Churches in Norfolk, from the

D

« IndietroContinua »