« ForrigeFortsæt »
rendezvous of thieves, where they arrange more by moral than physical means. Let their plans of rapine, and the meeting- local clergymen labour unceasingly to instil places of men who appoint the Lord's-day right principles into the minds of their to settle disputes by fighting. Cocking- parishioners, by plain and comprehensive matches and dog-fights may also frequently sermons upon the broad and general maxims be seen. For the truth of this assertion, I of religion, rather than by sectarian doctrine need only mention the meadows in the or learned dissertations upon the more reneighbourhood of Copenhagen-house, and condite parts of theology. Let them strive Maiden-lane, Bethnal Green, the fields and to reach the hearts as well as the heads of plots of ground about Hoxton and the their hearers ; and, whilst they essay to conCity-road, &c. These unlawful and un- vince the understanding, let their discourses holy congregations do not appear to be be calculated to touch the feelings. Let often interrupted by parochial or police au- the MORAL education of the rising generathority.
tion receive more particular attention, and 7. Very many persons, especially of the let not worldly vanities be suffered to usurp lower classes, anticipate the Sabbath merely that place in ihe youthful mind which ought as the day when they are to be released for to be occupied by more sterling and meria while from their labour, and to put on a torious acquirements.
Let the trumpet clean shirt. They pass the time in a weary voice' of warning be upraised on high listlessness, and lamentable vacuity of throughout the land. Shew unto the people mind, and wish for the close of a day, only of England the manifestations of the power remarkable to them for its dulness; for of God; shew them the desolating and there are persons who feel a sufficient moral terror-marked course of pestilence through restraint io prevent them from plunging kingdoms and empires, until its giant strides into any decidedly loose habits on the Sun- have reached our own shores; shew them day, but yet have not sufficient sense of the political convulsions of nations; shew christian duties to pass it in a becoming them the iron hand of oppression trium
phant for a time over a prostrate and bleed8. Every resident in or near town ing, but gallant people, who have fought has, of course, observed the acquisition of with the exhilaration of hope, and still fight passengers which the short stages gain on with the reckless fury of despair, to preserve Sunday, especially in the summer, and that their birthrights and liberties from the grasp the roads leading to all villages, within a of their colossal antagonist. Shew unto moderate distance of London, are lined with Englishmen their corn destroyed by the equestrians, pedestrians, and wayfarers of flames of incendiarism; point out the proevery description, who are eagerly emerg- gress of rapine and murder in their native ing from an unwholesome atmosphere to land, and the internal turbulence and combreezes of a purer nature. The river is motion of the kingdom. Shew them these also covered with pleasure-boats.
things, and bid them banish all false philo-9. The indecorous absence of many sophy, in tracing them to their proper individuals, of all classes, from places of source; and let them not, in the shortsightpublic worship on various pretences. edness of worldly wisdom, ascribe to mere
The instances thus adduced, of the abstract or political causes, what, in reality, manner in which the Lord's-day is neg- must emanate from the Great First Cause of lected or profaned, by various grades of all; or apply the theory of chances to the society, added to those mentioned in the workings of Providence. former essay on the same subject, create an In scripture history, read we not numberalarming conviction in the mind of a re- less instances of the signal effects of Divine flecting Christian, that there is a manifest displeasure at the wickedness of individuals, deterioration in the morals of our dense of tribes, and of nations ? Ananias and metropolitan population; but we cannot Sapphira were struck dead by the hand of wonder, when crimes, hitherto unknown to the Lord. He also “rained upon Sodom humanity, stalk abroad, when the ingenuity and Gomorrah brimstone and fire out of of man seems directed to the invention and heaven.” Egypt was afflicted by plagues, refinement of wickedness, rather than vir- and the chosen people of God were severely tue, and when sin, as well as learning, seems punished at various times for their relapses advancing to the acme of perfection, that a into sin and idolatry. All these, with many due observance of religious duties should others, are allowed to be marks of the retrograde in proportion.
justice and vengeance of an offended Deity All good inen should join heart and hand upon a sinful people; and why do we hein endeavouring to stop the tremendous sitate to ascribe the calamities of the preprogress of evil, and this is to be effected sent period to the same source ?
“ For by 2D. SERIES, NO. 16.-VOL. II.
160,- VOL. XIV.
fire and by his sword will the Lord plead greater in magnitude. “One crime leads with all fesh, and the slain of the Lord on to another," and few men plunge into shall be many," Isa. lxvi. 16.
the darkest and deepest recesses of iniquity It is true, that actual communion with at one leap. The mind must become the Almighty is now no longer permitted, hardened by degrees, as it grows familiar nor does he make himself personally or with the successive strata which line the visibly manifest in the affairs of men ; but dark abyss of guilt, until it gradually arrives is he one jot less the primary Creator of all at a callosity which fits it for the perpetrathings? Is there any the less a ruling tion of those deeds which disgrace our Providence? If the great Jehovah no lon- nature. ger displays miraculous and superhuman With regard, however, to the observance instances of his power, are the bolts of his of the Lord's day in particular, I have bevengeance the less unerring? No. He fore mentioned some of the imperfect jusmakes man himself the instrument of His tifications which have been offered by perjudgments upon man, and launches His sons in business for following their avocaarrows through the medium of human vices. tions, and shall now proceed to lay before Vices are their own scourge, and end in the reader the thesis which has been laid their own discomfiture; and the reign of down by individuals, in palliation of Sabgeneral immorality and impiety is, in itself, bath - breaking for objects of pleasure, its own punishment, from the calamities namely, which, in the prescribed order of causes That the evident intention of the Aland effects, it must necessarily heap upon mighty, in commanding a respite from nations and individuals.
labour on the seventh day was, to give his Although, in respect to the appalling people an opportunity of enjoying all those increase of crime, we have observed that pleasures from which they have been despiritual means are more calculated to arrest barred during the other six by their indisits baneful progress than mere temporal pensable occupations ! ones, yet, in so Herculean a labour as the A single moment's clear and unprejureformation of the moral state of a whole diced reflection, will shew this purposenation, the clergy absolutely require the serving theory to be at once paltry, unactive co-operation and assistance of the grounded, short-sighted, and wicked : for, secular authorities. The haunts of iniquity were there no particular and express day must be rooted out, and pursued from place set apart for the service of God, the natural to place with unrelenting vigour by the consequence must necessarily be a decline, strong arm of the law. Public houses, the and ultimately a disuse, of religious exercises bane of the lower orders, ought to be put altogether, as the general duty of a people; under more severe restrictions, and not al- the further consequence of which would lowed to open their doors on Sundays at evidently be anarchy, confusion, confirmed all for the purpose of disseminating intoxi- atheism, the total annihilation of every cating liquors amongst those weak-minded moral and good feeling amongst men, and persons who have not fortitude sufficient to finally perdition! Thus may the most resist their allurements; and if the details terrible effects spring from causes, we are of human institutes were, as they ought to too apt to regard as trifling and unimportbe, formed according to the spirit of Divine ant; but let us remember, that the moral law, this measure would have been long organization of man is vast, complicated, ago adopted.
and wonderful, and its laws are connected Thus far have we diverged from the im- by essential, but perhaps invisible links, mediate subject before us, for the purpose which render them relative to, and dependof noticing crimes of a blacker dye than ent upon, each other, and that the derangethat at present occupying our attention, and ment of the minuter parts of the system repeat the assertion, that the declension of will endanger the safety of the whole. Sabbath observances, and religious duties To argue, therefore, that the non-observ. of comparatively minor importance, can ance of the Sabbath can be in any way exscarcely be marvelled at, when sios of such cused is fallacious, and grounded in a moral fearful nature lord it supremely over so error, to which nothing but prejudice, and great a portion of mankind. At the same humanly constituted custom and convenience time we would observe, that, while such a could render us blind. In fact, that men general laxity in the performance of these should even attempt to palliate the breach smaller, as they are termed, Christian of a divine law, so express as the present one, duties, is prevalent and permitted, such the tenor of which is so remarkably explicit, laxity cannot fail of paving the way for the for venal or sensual motives, is a lamententrance into the human heart of crime far able perversion of the powers of reasoning
with which God has gifted us, and of the “ He that turneth away his ear from hearbest and noblest attributes of humanity. ing the law, even his prayer shall be abo
The desire of enjoyment and recreation, mination," Prov. xxviii. 9. He who aton the day set apart from labour, is reason- tends the temple of his Maker from merely able and natural enough, and the only dif- the impulse of habit and custom, or from ficulty is, to choose and arrange pleasures any worldly motive, commits a greater sin which are compatible with moral duty, and than he who, conscious of his deficiency in yet answer the desired purpose. The good religious spirit, abstains from it altogether; man's inclination at once points out the for to enter into the sacred place with a proper course, and he cheerfully follows it. corrupt heart, is a mockery and an abomiDoes it consist in a formal morning call nation in the sight of the Lord. upon one's acquaintance, or an empty con- Is it too much to assert, that in versation, uninstructive to the head and the present age, the warm feelings of the uninteresting to the heart, where the good- heart have in a great measure given place ness of God is unthought and unspoken of, to apathy, and that the glorious enthusiasm where the grand subject of religion is never of religion, which prompted the “noble broached, unless for the purpose of dispu- army of martyrs” to bleed for the church tation on points of doctrine ?-does it con- of Christ, even unto the death, has fled for sist in feasting and conviviality, or in any ever, or degenerated (as in a present insensual gratification ?-does it consist in stance) into the grossest and wildest fanagambling and vice ?-does it consist in ticism? Indeed, few, very few, seem now yawning through the day in a state of both to be possessed by that heart-felt spirit of mental and bodily idleness, without per- piety, that devoted and reverent love of haps committing any active sin, but, in God, which inspired the psalmist, when neglect of duty, a decidedly passive one?- he broke into the sublime and impassioned does it consist in framing excuses for ab. expression-"Whom have I in heaven but sence from church, or, if worship be attend- thee? and there is none upon earth that I ed for the sake of preserving appearance, desire beside thee,” Psa. Ixxiii. 23. in inattention to the service, and impatiently There is little doubt that an outcry will counting the weary moments, to its con- be raised by many, against the sentiments clusion? Or does it consist in pursuing expressed in this paper, and the writer will earthly pleasure unremittingly, during the be decried, either as an Utopian dreamer, whole Sabbath, with no ultimatum but or as an harsh disciplinarian, who would the temporary enjoyment of the fleeting abridge the comforts of man, especially of hours, and with thoughts entirely abstracted the poorer classes. Both charges, however, from the bountiful Giver of those very I at once deny, and I take my ground for blessings of which we are at the time par- the verity of what I advance, on the law taking ? To all these the reply of the Chris- of God, and the confirmation of it by Jesus tian must be an unqualified and decided Christ. To all arguments on the inconvenegative. Man entertains strange, false nience or difficulty, of adapting the law notions of that too often misnamed thing, strictly to the existing manners of society, pleasure ; but can any action be truly so I reply, that such inconvenience and difficalled, of which the effects are painful, or culty, together with these existing manners, which leaves the sting of remorse and self- are of human origin and human formation; reproach behind ?
and, as was before observed, no mortal That the Sabbath duty is not fulfilled by reasons can possibly preponderate the scale either neglect of duty, or commission of against an ordinance of the Eternal One. sin, there of course needs no argument to The desire of Sunday recreation to those prove ; but to those persons (and they are who are closely confined to business, has not few) who seem to conceive that all been allowed to be natural, and, with prorequired is performed by a mere compli- per restriction, the gratification may doubtance with outward forms, and a decent less be considered as lawful. We will abstinence from glaring impropriety, I suppose a man to be chained to some would address a few brief sentences. Re- sedentary, and perhaps unwholesome, emmember, that God will be served in sin- ployment, with but little intermission durcerity, and that when christian observances ing six days. By such a one, Sunday are accorded with reluctance and toil, and morning is hailed with joy, as bringing him when the words uttered by the lips are not a temporary cessation from work; and, by prompted by the devout feelings of the the advantage of early rising, he gains seheart, they cannot be actuated by the spirit veral hours, which he can employ in wholeof piety, and are loathsome in his sight. some exercise for the body. Let him then Remember also the words of Solomon, attend the public worship of his God, and
offer up thanksgiving for all his terrestrial spirit are offered up in a closet or a field, blessings, prayers for their continuance, they are equally heard by the Being to and hear the word of the Lord expounded whom they are addressed. So far, thereby his ministers. After service, he may fore, from considering close confinement to again resume his walk, and perhaps take be the indispensable obligation of the the opportunity of visiting his friends, but day, I affirm, that when exercise is neceslet not the subject of his thoughts and sary for the health, it not only is allowable, words be worldly vanity-let his conver- but actually borders upon a duty. At the sation be adapted to the sacred character same time, we would again deeply impress of the day; for it is impossible to descant upon all men, the necessity of forbearance upon the excellent goodness of the Deity, from worldly or immoral pleasures, and without feeling an elevation of the soul into insist, that outward forms are mockery prayer and thankfulness; and thus we when the heart is uninterested. involuntarily render up an acceptable ser- your hearts, and not your garments.” “The vice to Him. The church ought then to sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a be again attended, and the remainder of broken and contrite heart,” God will not the evening spent in meditation, self-exa- despise. mination, and the perusal of the Holy If you require pleasure and relaxation on Scriptures.
the Sabbath of the Lord, be mindful that With regard to those persons whose heb- in no sensual or creature enjoyment is to domadal occupation, being laborious, ren- be found the sublime and exalted consoladers them rather inclined to repose than to tions of religion. Walk then, I would say, bodily exertion on the Sabbath, I would abroad ; refresh your wearied and depressed suggest that the intervals between divine physical powers with the balmy breezes service might be well employed in the which the Almighty dispenses for your study of the Bible, the perusal of sound benefit; but give not up yourself to mere theological works, or in profitable and in human enjoyment. “Keep holy the Sabstructive discourse on serious subjects, with bath day.” Meditate upon the infinite their families. If the individual be a father, goodness and mercy of your Creator--pour what occupation can be more delightful forth your soul in mental prayer and thanksthan training up his children in the “way giving to Him who breathed into your of the Lord,” and instilling into their ten- nostrils the breath of life, and keep your der minds the “knowledge and love of heart and mind in the knowledge and love God." That is a Sunday employment at of God, and of his Son, our Saviour Jesus once pleasurable to the paternal heart, and Christ: then will you be gladdened by the acceptable in the sight of Omnipotence. approval of conscience, which is the voice
I have met with persons so extremely of God himself speaking within you; then rigid in their ideas of the proper observ- may you pass through the ordeal of selfance of the Sabbath, that they consider it a examination unreproached by that terrible breach of divine law, even to walk out into monitor, and enjoy the sweet repose prothe country, and imagine that the whole duced by a consciousness of having cheerday should be passed in seclusion from the fully and pleasurably fulfilled your duty. world, except when in attendance at church
London, January 1832. or chapel. I cannot however, carry my sentiments so far. Bodily exercise, and the enjoyment of pure air, are necessarily
CONCILIATION, CHRISTIANITY, AND CIVIconducive to health, and self-preservation is a moral duty. I humbly conceive, In page 115, &c. of our preceding number, therefore, that when the sincere worship of an article was introduced under the above God is the first and grand object, these comprehensive title, from which we learn blessings may be enjoyed without impiety. the judicious methods adopted by Sir The service of the Lord is delight, and not Alexander Johnston, to promote these deslavery : a forced self-restraint is not reli- sirable objects, and the friendly manner in gion : the forced observance of a self-im- which his endeavours were received by the posed rule, to the injury of health, or per- natives. When about to leave Ceylon, on haps endangering it, cannot be required by his return to England in 1817, an address a beneficent Creator ; besides, whilst walk- was presented to him by the Bramins and ing amidst the beauties of nature, and con- other inhabitants, professing the Hindoo templating the wonderful works of Provi- religion. To this the following answer dence, additional matter for reflection and was returned ; and, from a perusal of its thankfulness is afforded to the Christian; contents, we may perceive in miniature, and whether the outpourings of a grateful those liberal and enlightened plans, which,
LIZATION IN CEYLON.
carried into effect, have been found so con- and feelings of the Hindoo inhabitants of ducive to their peace and welfare.
the province of Jaffna, convinced me that . "Gentlemen,
there was nothing in their character which " It affords me pleasure to learn, by the could prevent the Trial by Jury from beAddress which I have received from you, coming amongst them what it is amongst that the measures which I have adopted in all the European inhabitants of Great Brithe different offices I have held since I have tain, the best mode of trial that ever was been on this island, have met with your ap- invented by human wisdom-it is one probation. As I am convinced that it is which is so congenial to the constitution of impossible for any person to administer all human beings, of whatever cast they justice with proper effect, amongst the may be, that the establishment of it, in any inhabitants of any country in India, unless country, must inevitably improve the state he possesses a thorough knowledge of their of civilization, and the moral feelings of the customs, laws, habits, manners, and reli- people. I therefore recommended to his gion, I felt it to be an essential part of my Majesty's Government, to extend the right duty, from the moment I landed on this of sitting upon juries to all the Hindoo, as island, to endeavour, by all means in my well as to all the other native inhabitants power, to become intimately acquainted, of this island. It is now six years since not only with your laws and your customs, you have enjoyed that right; and it is from but also with every circumstance that was my own experience of your conduct, that I in any way connected with the security take upon myself to declare, that it is imand prosperity of your province. The possible for any class of people to execute collection of laws and usages to which you the duty of jurymen with more propriety allude, contains the most useful and the than you do ; and it may, perhaps, be most interesting information which can be flattering to your feelings to know, not procured respecting the inhabitants of only that you are the first Hindoo inhabitJaffna. At the first session I beld for ants that have ever had the right of sitting that province in 1806, a translation into upon juries, but also that the admirable English of this collection was, as you may manner in which you have discharged the remember, made by my direction; copies duties of jurymen, affords the strongest of it were then printed and circulated, both proof that can be given how well the native in English and Tamul, on olah, and on inhabitants of India deserve to be placed, paper, for your use, and for the information as to that right, upon the very same footing of all the inferior courts and magistrates ; as every European in the country. and by my advice, a regulation was passed “ The interest which I have always felt by government, enacting, that the provi- in studying the nature of those laws, cussions of this code should be strictly ob- toms, and religious principles which preserved in all cases, in which either the vail in the province of Jaffna, and the rights or the interests of any Hindoo inha- facility which the intimate knowledge I bitant of Jaffna might hereafter be con- possess of your language, has fortunately cerned. In order to clear up such doubts afforded me in obtaining information upon as had occurred to me relative to the au- the subject, have, as you may easily be. thenticity of some of those laws and usages, lieve, considering the frequent circuits I I took the opportunity that offered while I have gone through that province, made was last on the peninsula of India, of visit- me thoroughly acquainted with the state of ing all the different provinces from which your country and the interests of its inhathose laws and usages are supposed to be bitants; and I assure you that I shall derived ; and I conceive myself peculiarly always consider it to be, not only a pleafortunate in having been able to trace, with sure, but my duty, to forward, in every the assistance of the Bramins of Ramisse- way I can, the views and interests of so rum, Madura, Tanjore, Combeconum, and deserving and so numerous a body of his Mavelliporam, in a satisfactory manner, Majesty's subjects.” the origin, not only of the different casts Much about the same time, another which prevail
, but also of the different laws, address was presented to Sir Alexander customs, duties, ranks and privileges, which Johnston, by all the priests of other instihave been immemorially observed amongst tutions, professing the religion of Buddho; the Hindoo inhabitants of the province of and in the following reply, the same spirit
of friendly conciliation, is everywhere ap“Although the right of sitting upon juries parent. was never extended to the Hindoo inha
“ Gentlemen, bitants of any other part of India, a long “I feel highly gratified by the respect and careful consideration of the manners and esteem which you have shewn for