Billeder på siden

live; he meant no more than that his natural life should be preserved, Jer. xxxviii. 17. The Psalmist also, to express his hope in the resurrection of the body, says, God will redeem my soul from the grave (Heb. Sheo!), Psl. xlix. 15. Nay more, in scripture a living soul means a living person, Gen. ii. 7.; i. 30*; and a dead soul, a dead body, Num. vi. 6*. I hope the reader is now convinced that there is nothing so uncommon about the language, the souls of those that were beheaded, and their coming to life, as to force us to desert the literal in order to seek for a spiritual meaning.

But the martyrdom and resurrection of the two witnesses mentioned, Rev. xi. is supposed to be an example of a spiritual resurrection, in confor mity to which the passage in hand is to be interpreted. I am quite ready to admit that the resurrection there is figurative, if your correspondent, with all the commentators to whom he alludes, will grant that the martyrdom was figurative; but as no one ever fancied the beheading, spoken of in the twentieth chapter, to be any thing else than a literal martyrdom, I am loathe to put off these faithful witnesses for Christ who resisted even to blood, with a figurative resurrection. I have no objection, however, to figure and allegory, when they are fairly brought in according to the laws of sound criticism, and I willingly grant that John the Baptist is called Elijah; Christ, David; Rome, Babylon; and the glorious habitation of the saints, Jerusalem. Indeed we do not need to go beyond the first rudiments of our English Grammar to learn, that a great mathematician may be called a Newton. I suppose we would all understand what was meant, and recognize it as a common figure, if any one should say, Paul has appeared again among us. But if instead of that, to express the same idea, he should say, Paul, who was beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, has appeared among us, we would be disgusted with the silliness and bombast of such a speech. Figures cannot descend into particulars. A general resemblance is all that exists; to descend to particulars, where there is no resemblance, spoils all the beauty of the metaphor. Can we then suppose a writer, whose sublimity and beauty of description have been praised by all, to be guilty of such a solecism as to introduce the circumstance of beheading, if he meant to describe the followers of Christ during the millennium; for if there be one point more than another in which there will be no resemblance between them, and their predecessors under the reign of Antichrist, it will be in this,-that they will suffer no persecution when all the enemies of Christ are put under his feet, and Satan bound all the thousand years.

V. What of argument remains under the fourth head, and what is farther advanced under the fifth, will all be easily answered, if the reader will bear in mind the remarks made under the first head, on the scriptural use of the words day and hour, as applied to the advent of our Lord.

VI. Ón the sixth head also, relating to the restoration of the Jews, the rebuilding of Jerusalem, &c. which are doctrines no way peculiar to Millenarians, as your correspondent confesses, I must be excused from entering at large. I would only ask your correspondent, and your readers in general, to consider attentively, Jer. xxxi. 31-40," Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. The city shall be built to the Lord from the tower of Hananeel, to the gate of the corner; it shall be holy to the Lord, and shall not be plucked up nor thrown down any more forever." From the way this pasage is quoted in the 8th Chapter of Hebrews, it is certain that no part of this prophecy was fulfilled before the time of our Saviour, nor the new covenant previously proposed to the Jews. It is certain also that Jerusalem has not since been rebuilt and consecrated to the Lord, but is still

See Note, p. 186.

trodden down of the Gentiles. It is certain that the Jerusalem here spoken of cannot be a figurative Jerusalem; the particularizing places close to the literal Jerusalem excludes all figure. It is certain, the Jerusalem built after the return from Babylon was entirely thrown down. But I forbear; indeed your correspondent himself begins to stagger at his own conclusions, when he advances to this head. On him and all your readers I would urge the reconsideration of the whole subject. I know full well the ridicule and scorn attached, in this age of liberality, to the embracing of such opinions as those I have attempted to defend ; but I know also that we must suffer with Christ, if we would reign with him. In conclusion, if it really be so that the judgments written are now about being poured out on the popish and infidel nations of Europe, and that the next grand scene which is to open upon us after that, is the appearing of the Son of Man in the clouds of heaven, is it not highly incumbent on all to gird up the loins of their minds, and watch and be sober, and be like men waiting for the coming of their Lord? A STUDENT OF PROPHECY.


V.-On Extravagance in Dress.

To the Editors of the Calcutta Christian Observer.

In your No. for August, 1834, I observe a notice of Missionary efforts by Quakers, in which it is stated to be the opinion of that respectable body" that the good effected (by the Missionaries in the South Seas) has been injured, if not destroyed in some instances, by the extravagance of their wives in the article of dress; so they (the Quakers) are going to set a plainer example, and teach a more excellent way.'

I am of those who think a good advice ought to be taken by whomsoever given, and that, 'fas est et ab hoste doceri.' I have long observed with evil forebodings the progress of extravagance and fashion in the article of female dress. Let me, without offence to any, ask,--do Christian women "abstain from all appearance of" this overwhelming "evil?" I fear not. I am myself a Minister and a Missionary, and both experience and observation satisfy me, that there is not a clear and marked line of separation between the world and the Church, as in some other prevailing habits, so in the fashion and expensiveness of dress, chiefly of female dress. I contend that our wives and daughters ought not to be undistinguishable from the vain " daughters of men," who live in gaiety, and pleasure, and display, and so are truly "dead while they live." Christians must 66 come out from among them and be separate." Modesty and shamefacedness should distinguish "women professing godliness," "whose adorning, let it not be that outward adorning of wearing of gold and of plaiting the hair and of putting on of apparel, but let it be the hidden man of the heart in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price; for so in old time the holy women who trusted in God, adorned themselves." How opposite to all this are those ever-varying modes, those outré fashions, that toilsome alteration of habit, which occasion so deplorable a consumption of time and thought, and care and cost, in the adornment of the perishable body! Can the soul prosper amid these things? Must there not be a deadness, and coldness, and languor in the spiritual and domestic affections, or at least partial negli gence of household cares and virtues?"Where your treasure is," saith our Lord, "there will your hearts be also." And "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." Hence the insipid gossip and chit-chat too often indulged by even Christian women; the never-failing topic of remark, dress, millinery, and fashion. Alas! it may be feared, the daughters too often imbibe from the mothers, that passion for personal adornment which is the characteristic vice of the day. And how should it be otherwise, when

[ocr errors]

before the Christian mother's child can well lisp a prayer, she is taught, a positively taught by precept and example too, to value dress highly, to consult its form and colour and arrangement! Instead of the check to vanirty, that like rank weeds will spring apace spontaneously, which corrupt nature demands from the maternal care, it is actually called into premature exuberance by that very being who should most anxiously train up her le immortal offspring "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord!" And then how grotesque, absurd, and revolting are most modern fashions! How are the fair proportions of nature, modelled by the nice hand of omnipotent wisdom, the source of all harmony and elegance, violated and distorted! Rendering beauty deformed, loveliness ridiculous, and feminine charms disgusting! Not so our Milton's Eve," E'en then when unadorned adorned the most." Did even women of the world, whose whole aim is to allure, and by display to win attention, admiration, and love-did even these, I say, rightly understand the secret of gaining the hearts of the other sex, they would assuredly alter their modes of dress and exhibition. But what excuse can be offered for Christian women, who imitate their folly and vanity? What, above all, for the wives and daughters of ministers? How shall we preach against the vanity of the world, if the world be entered into our own families, and into our churches? Would not the attempt to fulfil our solemn duty in this respect, ensure self-reproach, as well as the ridicule and contempt of the world around? How much of charity, and domestic harmony, and mental quiet, and spiritual happiness, and close devotion, and consequent growth in grace, is it not to be feared, is sacrificed to the all-absorbing love of dress among all classes of women? Are not Christian ministers guilty of a failure in the use of legitimate household authority, who suffer their wives and daughters, to restrain their own pens and tongues, to cast discredit on true religion, and to overstep the barriers between the Church of Christ and the world? Christians! fathers, wives, and mothers! "let your moderation then be known unto all men.' Let it be known that you are "dead to the world," that you have left "the synagogue of Satan," and are of those who have" washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Be ensamples to others, and adorn, not yourselves with external decoration, but "the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things !"— I beg to quote the judicious Mr. Scott, in support of my views on this subject, who says—

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

"Nor let it be thought that the Lord disregards the conduct of those females who are chiefly remarkable for their vanity and dissipation. He watches over, and registers, all their thoughts and words, and every wanton look; and all their affected and ostentatious delicacy, the expression of their pride and self-admiration. Especially, he notes with abhorrence such wantonness and haughtiness in the daughters of Zion, in women professing the gospel. He does not deem these indifferent or trivial matters, as many speak of them; but he, as it were, keeps an inventory of all their ornaments; and by his prophets and servants, protests against that fondness for external show, and that desire of being admired and flattered, and of becoming temptations to others, which are the sources of this vanity. The profuse expense also of money, and still more of precious time, to the neglect of piety, charity, and even justice, to the ruin of families, and the subversion of all distinction of rank in society, meets his most decided disapprobation. The occasion, which these vanities afford for temptations to still further crimes, in order

to support the expense of them; the violation of his holy day resulting from them; and the abominable practice of coming to places of worship, as to a theatre, on which to exhibit their vain decorations, whilst those, who should be worshipping, or hearing the word of God, are employed in admiring, envying, or making remarks on their finery: all these, and innumerable more evils arise from this contagious folly, which is far too generally tolerated in our congregations, but which will eventually eat out the life of godliness, where not opposed and protested against, as inconsistent with the word of God. Without all doubt, the more care people take to have their souls" beautified with salvation ;" and to do good to their poor brethren, the less time and money will they waste in this manner. If, indeed, Christians are bound to "redeem their time," improve their talents, refuse conformity to the world, and "to do all things to the glory of God," surely some regard should be paid to the scriptural examples and exhortations on this subject, and "women professing godliness" should be an entire contrast to these wanton daughters of Zion, in their deportment and apparel! If any despise, or be offended by admonitions of this kind; perhaps the Lord may in this world visit them with such disease, poverty, and calamity, as may convince them of their sin and folly. Death, however, will soon strip the poor body of all its ornaments, and bereave it of all its comeliness; then, indeed, there will be a stench instead of a perfume; and all that taste and elegance, which have been for a moment admired, will be changed for the cold grave, for putrefaction, and the consuming worm! And what will such ornaments and distinctions avail at the resurrection, and the day of judgment; when every one, without respect of rank or sex, must give an account of the things done in the body, whether good or evil? May every reader henceforth renounce such childish vanities, as well as more gross iniquities, and seek that beauty, and that adorning, which will endure, brighten, and purify for ever; which at the hour of death will render the soul meet for the company of holy angels, and will ensure to the body a glorious resurrection, in the image. and likeness of our exalted Redeemer, "to be with him for ever, in his heavenly kingdom!" Scott's Comment on Isaiah iii. 16.

"The influence of the clergy, in a moral and religious point of view, is very considerable; and the satisfaction which men of the world seem to derive, when they would set their consciences at rest in some doubtful matter, or respecting some object which they are unwilling to give up, in pleading the example and sanction of a clergyman or clergyman's family, may serve to intimate, not only how caution hould be

in their own conduct, and the regul

also how important it is for

whatever is evil."-Lond


VI.-Hindu Worship of the Elements exposed.

[Concluded from page 128.]

Wind (बायु).

We have the following authorized examples of the worship of the wind: वायवायाहि दर्शते मे सोमाऽरंकृताः तेषां पाहि शुधो हवं

ऋग्वेदसंहितायां १ चष्टके १ अध्याये ३४ वर्गयोः

"Come, O fair wind; these moon-plants have been diligently prepared; drink of them, listen to our invitation."-(Rig-veda Sanhita, 1 Ashtaka, 1 Adhaya, 3-1 Par.)

चनवद्येरभिधुभिर्मखः महस्वदर्चति गणैरिंद्रस्य काम्यैः

ऋ १ अष्टके ९ अध्याये ११- १२ वर्गयोः

"This sacrifice is an act of worship to the mighty Indra, together with Indra's faultless, heavenly, lovely, hosts."-(Do, 11-12 Par.)

मरुतः पिबतऋतुना पाचाद्यचं पुनीतन यूयं हि ठा सुदानवः

पव १ अष्टके २ अध्याये २८-२९ वर्गयेाः

"Drink, O winds, with the season, from the hands of the officiating priest; purify the sacrifice; for bestowers of excellent gifts are ye."— (Do. 28 and 29 Par.)

इंद्रवायू मनाजवा विप्रा हवंत ऊतये सहखाज्ञा धियती

ऋग्वेदसंहितायां १ अटके २ अध्याय ८- १२ वर्गषु

“Indra and Wayu, quick as thought, possessed of a thousand eyes, and lords of sacred rites, the bráhmans invite for the sake of protection."(Rig-veda Sanhitá, 1 Ashtaka, 2 Adháya, 8-12 Par.)

विश्वान् देवान् हवामहे मयतः मोम पीतये उग्रा हि पृश्निमातरः

इस्काराद्विद्यतः पर्यते । जाताऽच्यवंतु नः मरुतो मृलयंतु नः पूर्व कं


"We invite all the Divine Winds to our banquet of moon-plant juice; for the sons of mother Earth have become rampant."

"Let the Winds, produced from every part of the resplendent, dazzling sky, protect us and bless us.”

Wind possesses a character no less vile than Water and Fire. He attempted the chastity of the hundred daughters of Kushnabha, and broke their backs, because they would not yield to his embrace. By fraud he possessed himself of the person of Anjaná, the wife of the monkey Kesari, and by her became the father of Maruti. His own daughters did not escape the violence of his lust; even them he did not scruple to put to


In addition to these crimes, with which he is charged, he is represented as being so powerless, that Indra cut him into forty-nine pieces-Daksha made him crooked, and the giant Táraka put him in confinement.

It is naturally to be expected, that one so weak and worthless would be regarded and treated by men accordingly. We do not wonder, therefore, when we see them daily eating and defiling him. But it is verily wonderful that the self-same persons, who do so, should count him a god and pay him divine honours.

Space (I).

As Shiva and Nárayana are worshipped by the formulas-" Salutation to Shiva," "Salutation to Nárayana," so is Space worshipped by the formula "Salutation to Space."

It is stated in the brahmanical scriptures, that Space is derived from self-consciousness. In this observation there is more truth than may at

« ForrigeFortsæt »