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first appear; for space exists only in the conception of the mind. As time does nothing, so space does nothing. As time is possessed of no qualities, so space is possessed of none. Should a prayer be offered up to time or space, could they hear, or understand, or make a reply? They have no knowledge and no power. They cannot do good, neither is it in them to do evil. Why, then, should they be worshipped? and why should breath be spent in making supplication to them?
It is moreover laid down, as a certain truth, in the bráhmanical scriptures, that space originates wind, and has for its distinguishing quality sound. European philosophers have a method of emptying a vessel of the air which it contains. After the exhaustion has been effected, the space in the vessel remains the same as before. If, then, space originates wind, how happens it that the vessel is not replenished with that substance ?Again, a bell, having been placed in the vessel before the operation of exhaustion is commenced, is found to ring as long as the vessel retains air, but to be incapable of emitting any sound when the air is exhausted. But how could this be, if sound were an inherent quality of space? Between air and sound there is a connexion; but between space and sound there is no connexion whatever. But of this the writers of the bráhmanical scriptures were profoundly ignorant.
It may be remarked that, were the elements gods, they would not contend with each other. But we know that there exists such an antipathy between fire and water, that they cannot remain together in the same place.
These things being so, the worship of the elements may be fairly regarded as a mark of insanity. Is not the man, who can now defile and tear open and tread upon a thing, and now worship it as a divinity; who can insult a thing with filth and rotten carcasses at one time, and honour it with rich and delicate offerings at another; who can this moment eat and drink a thing, and the next pray to it for pardon and salvation; is not the man, who can do this, really insane?
The elements are both very beneficial and very destructive; and this is the reason why the people in this part of the world regard them both with gratitude and fear. But both these feelings are in this instance quite misplaced. The elements are, no doubt, endowed with such qualities that when ever these qualities are brought to bear upon a particular object, that object is accomplished; but it is not the elements themselves which accomplish it. They do not select some particular object for accomplishment, and designedly set about it, and complete it. Whether they are conferring benefits or working destruction, they know not: whether they are doing something or doing nothing, they are likewise ignorant. Why, then, should they be regarded with gratitude or awe? He, who made them, who gave them the qualities they possess, and applies those qualities to work weal or wo,-He is to be thanked and praised-He is to be feared. My watch, in showing me the hours and minutes of the day, is very beneficial to me. Yet I never thank it for its kindness, nor pray to it for a continuance of its valuable favours. The watch-maker, who formed it and gave it to me in a present, is the person whom I thank and praise. He it was who inserted the springs of motion in the watch ;-the indication of the hours and minutes of the day was the result of his contrivance and his determination. This whole world, in like manner, is a watch of which God is the maker and mover. If the things of the world prove beneficial, let him be praised: if they prove destructive, let him be feared.
The elements, it may be said, are a part of the Divine institution, and therefore to worship them is to worship God himself, and, if so, how can such worship be displeasing to him? We answer, that the elements are
not a part of the constitution of the Divine Being, but merely a part of his creation; and as in the case formerly adduced, I must thank and praise the watch-maker for the watch with which he has presented me, so must I thank and praise God for his creating the elements, and his giving them to me for my use and comfort. And, as I should excite the displeasure of the watch-maker by regarding the watch and not himself, so do men bring upon themselves the displeasure of God by having respect to his works and to his gifts, and not to himself.
To this some may reply, that they have respect to, and worship, both. But the watch-maker, it may be rejoined, will not share with the watch in the gratitude and respect which he naturally looks for; and neither will God share with his creatures in the worship he demands. The master of a house will not tell his wife to share her love and attentions equally be tween himself and his slave, or even to give the slave a less, and himself a greater, portion; and neither will God give a share of his worship to any one, nor take a share of the worship that is rendered to any one. The master of the house just mentioned is the only husband of the woman; and he only has a right to hold that relation, and all its attendant prerogatives and privileges; and God, in like manner, is our only Creator, Preserver, and Saviour; and he only has a right to hold that relation, with all its attendant prerogatives and privileges.
Some illustrate and defend the worship of the elements in the following manner. There was a certain devotee, who, when he went out to perform his ablutions, used to leave his sandals in a particular place. The people were accustomed to bow to these sandals in his absence; and this when brought to his notice, instead of exciting his displeasure, gave him great delight. Now the aggregate of the elements may be justly represented as the covering of the Almighty's feet; and how can he but be delighted when men fall down and worship it? In reference to this we askwhether, if any one had addressed the devotee's sandals in the following manner-"O ye sandals, bestow on me your blessing,-point out to me the path of wisdom,—and grant me a portion of your merit"-whether, I say, in case of such a transaction on the part of any one, he would have been delighted to hear of it. "The man is mad," would be his natural exclamation: "instead of asking a blessing, and wisdom, and merit, of me, he hies him to my sandals, and asks these benefits of them!" Men, in like manner, instead of asking the pardon of their sins, and the knowledge of God, and the sanctification of their heart, of God himself, run away to earth, and water, and fire, and make the petition of them!-Besides, if the devotee and his sandals were in one and the same place, every one would bow to the former, and a thought of bowing to the latter would never once be entertained. Now God is at all times every where present, and to worship any one but him is to do him high despite and dishonour.
Others may say, that they look to the elements merely as remembrances of God. If so, they do what is right and good. For this purpose did God make the whole world that we, seeing and recognizing the work of his hands, might know and acknowledge his wisdom and power and goodness and holiness. When we breathe his air, let us praise him: when we drink his water, let us praise him: when we promote our comfort by the use of his fire, let us praise him: when we walk on his earth, or sow seed therein, or reap crops therefrom, let us praise him.
This, Hindus, ye have not done: and therefore your guilt is great, and the anger of the Almighty lies heavy upon you. Ye have honoured the creature, and dishonoured the Creator. Ye have cast your Master behind your back, and, rejecting him with contempt, ye have exalted many other gods in his place. By so doing you have not only dishonoured God, but ruined yourselves. As long as you persist in your present conduct,
misery in this world, and dreadful everlasting torment in the next, can be your only portion. You are at present the enemies of God; and unless that hostility be converted into friendship before your death, it is a hos tility which must last for ever. And in your warfare with the Almighty, can it remain a question which shall prevail? Ah! how terrible to remain under his wrath and curse for ever, and to lie down in those fierce and inextinguishable burnings which, as his anger enkindles, so it continually feeds! Yet, if you die without turning to God, you must endure the fury of that anger, and dwell for ever with those burnings. From this fearful destiny there is but one way of escape.
The God who made the elements, the God who made you,-the God who made the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and all that is therein, has, in great love and condescension, looked down upon your sinful and miserable state, and opened up a way whereby you may be reconciled to him, and enjoy his pardoning, purifying, and bliss-conferring grace. You have long been rebels; but he wishes himself to be at peace with you, and you with him. You have long been miserable; but he wishes to make you happy. You have long been polluted with the foulest stains; but he wishes to wash you and make you clean. You have long been tantalized and tormented by evil passions, and hopes, and desires; but he wishes to soothe your spirits, and sweeten your dispositions, and correct your affections. You have long "worshipped and served the creature," and have experienced the disappointment, bitterness, and bondage, which such a worship and service entail; but he wishes to draw you to himself-he wishes you to worship and serve him—he wishes to have your affections placed where they will be fully repaid-he wishes you to adore himself as your God, and to enjoy himself as your portion.
With a view to this object, he has sent his well-beloved Son to make an atonement for sin, and to bring in everlasting righteousness-to propose a free pardon and the richest supplies of grace to every returning sinner. It is now upwards of eighteen hundred years since the Son of God came into the world, and accomplished all that has just been mentioned. It was in Judea, a country bordering on Arabia, to the north, that he made his appearance; and it was in the space of thirty-three years that he consummated his work. This he did by emptying himself of his glory-taking upon himself the office and form of a servant-assuming into personal union with himself the nature of man-submitting to the deepest humiliation-enduring the severest sufferings-and dying the most ignominious and agonizing death.
When he was with men he told them that he was the Son of God and the Saviour of the world; and to the truth of this declaration his whole history bears the fullest testimony.
He lived a blameless life. Not one of his words or actions ever deviated from the strictest propriety. Even his bitterest enemies could not convict him of one sin. He was "holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners." He, moreover, "went about continually doing good." His whole life was one of watching and prayer and labour and self-denial; and the entire aim of it was to do the will of his Father, and to promote the salvation and happiness of men.
He performed numberless miracles. The elements, which you worship, were completely subject to his control. The surface of the sea he trod as solid land-the mighty waves, with which it rolled, he stilled in a moment-the fierce winds, by which it was agitated, he hushed to silence by the simple utterance of his rebuke. A few loaves he so multiplied or enlarged in the hands of the consumers, that they were sufficient to satisfy the hunger of many thousands. He made the deaf to hear, the dumb to speak, the blind to see, the lame to walk, the maimed to be whole, the
leprous to be clean:"--he gave strength and vigour to the palsied and impotent; he gave health and freshness to the sick and fevered ;-he gave ease and comfort to the tormented ;-he gave life to the dead;— he gave soundness to the disordered mind, and peace to the guilty conscience, and purity to the polluted heart:-his enemies were struck with terror, and laid prostrate at his word;-and his disciples felt themselves constrained to follow him by a simple intimation of his will.-The angels of heaven ministered unto him; and the devils of hell quaked before him, and yielded up their long-retained possessions at his authoritative command.
Such was the tenor of his conduct, and such were his wondrous works, while he lived-all bearing witness to the truth of his own declaration, that he was the Son of God and the Saviour of men. But this testimony did not cease with his earthly career. In the fulfilment of prophecy, and to the complete accomplishment of that atonement for sin which he came into the world to make, he died and was buried But, as he had power to lay down his life, he had equal power to take it again. He accordingly rose from the dead on the third day, and "showed himself alive by many infal lible proofs, being seen of his disciples forty days, and speaking to them of the things which pertain to the kingdom of God." After imparting these assurances and instructions, he gave them his farewell blessing, and, as he blessed them, he was, while they beheld, taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight. Before his ascension, he had promised to endow them with miraculous powers for the dissemination of his gospel, and the establishment of his kingdom. Ten days after his ascension, accordingly, they were all filled with the Holy Ghost. Through his almighty agency, they began to speak a variety of languages which they had never learned, and to perform many miraculous works in behalf of the lame, the sick, and the dead; and the same Spirit, which thus empowered the disciples, affected also the hearts of those whom they addressed. The gospel, thus supported and promoted, went forth conquering and to conquer; and, notwithstanding the opposition of magistrates, governors, kings, and emperors,— of poets, priests, philosophers, and statesmen; notwithstanding scorn, persecution, imprisonment, spoliation, and slaughter; notwithstanding the power and learning of its adversaries, and the weakness and illiterate rudeness of its friends; notwithstanding all these things bearing, and systematically brought to bear, upon it for two hundred and fifty years, it continued its bloodless, but victorious, course, and was at length owned to be the offspring and the gift of heaven by the greater part of Europe;kings, emperors, and nations acknowledged its claims, and professed allegiance to its cause.
Whether, therefore, you look to the Son of God while on earth, or to the Son of God after he had ascended to heaven, you see ample proof that he really was what he represented and declared himself to be. God, then, has, without a doubt, sent his Son into the world; and this he has done, not to condemn the world, but that the world through him may be saved. He has sent him to make an atonement adequate to the removal of all your sins, and to bring in everlasting righteousness; and he now offers you, through him, pardon, acceptance, and a title to everlasting life, and with these, the influences of his Holy Spirit to renew, sanctify, and perfeet you. This is the rich offer which God makes you; and he is sincere and earnest in making it. Will you refuse, or will you accept it? Will you be reconciled to God, or still remain his enemies? Will you throw down the weapons of your rebellion, or still wage war against him? Will you place your affections on him, where they may rest with delight, and enjoy the fullest satisfaction; or will you set them on created beings, which must disappoint your expectations, and leave you discontented and
unhappy? When he offers you his Son as your Saviour, will you ungrate fully reject him? When he offers you his Holy Spirit as your Sanctifier, will you foully bid him away from you? Would you rather remain guilty than receive a pardon? Would you rather remain depraved and abominable than receive a new and pure and lovely nature? Would you rather descend to hell than rise to heaven? Would you rather live under the everlasting wrath and curse of God than under the never-ceasing manifes tations of his favour and love? Would you rather live eternally wicked, degraded, and wretched, than eternally holy, glorious, and happy?
If you choose the latter rather than the former, your path is clear. You must go as helpless suppliants to the God of heaven; you must ask for that righteousness, which his Son, by becoming incarnate, suffering, and dying, for men, has wrought out; and, pleading that righteousness, you must ask also for the Holy Spirit of God. He will, then, come into your heart-will fix your affections upon God-will fill you with abhorrence of the worship of the elements, and of all other false gods,—and will implant within you a firm and permanent resolution to keep all the divine commandments.
We have, in what we have now said, referred to three persons, severally denominated Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. These three persons subsist in the one invisible Godhead. They are the same in substance, nature, and attributes; they are one in mind, will, and purpose; and they are equal in power and glory. The parts, which they severally transact in the scheme of redemption, have been noticed above; but this has been done in a manner so slight and sparing that those, who are desirous of obtaining more information on the subject, are earnestly recommended to apply for, and to peruse, other little books like this, which speak of God and of the plan of salvation at much greater length. The Missionaries at Bombay, Poonah, Naggur, and Nasik, will be happy to supply them.
VII.-Address of the Missionaries to Lord WILLIAM BENTINCK, on his departure from India.
To the Editors of the Calcutta Christian Observer.
The accompanying Address and Reply I beg to hand over to you for insertion in your ensuing number, should you think it expedient to give them a permanent existence therein as a published record. Upon the reply with which we were favoured, I presume to make no further remark than that, without touching certain questions to which there is reference, more or less direct, and which it was perhaps impossible the Governor General should not have adverted to, the Missionaries have every reason to be highly satisfied. Having been one of the deputation who had the honor of waiting upon Lord William with the Address of the Missionaries, I may be permitted, however, to notice the very kind and condescending manner in which His Lordship received and bade farewell at parting; at once highly gratifying in itself, and leaving upon our minds the most pleasing impression of His Lordship's cheerful affability and sincere good will both to us and to our sacred cause. The strong feeling which His Lordship evinced at one part of the reply was most affecting, and excited a corresponding emotion on our parts.