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me, in coming, notwithstanding the very necessary as a matter of duty to every one advanced period of your lives, from so who may be intrusted with the administration great a distance as you have done, to take of justiceamong you, or with the superintendleave of me and my family, and to presentence of the government of your country. to me, in your own name, and in that of “ The rules which the intended code all the priests of your order, and all the contains, are so short and so clear, that the Budhists within your jurisdiction, an ad- inhabitants will have little or no difficulty, dress that cannot be otherwise than grati. either in understanding or applying them. fying to my feelings.
I have, as you know, spared neither pains “The number of the priests of Budhoo, nor expense for the last sixteen years of and the influence which they exercise over my life, in acquiring the most intimate the minds of their followers, from being knowledge of the wants and interests of the ministers of their religion and instruct- every class of people in Ceylon; it was ors of their youth, have, for many years, solely with a view of ascertaining, in a way made their religion, their books, their laws, more satisfactory than I otherwise could and their institutions, a subject of my have done, the degree of caution and im. serious inquiry. In arranging the Code partiality with which the natives of the of Laws which, in obedience to His Ma- island, if admitted to the right of sitting jesty's commands, I have compiled for the upon juries, would discharge the duties of use of the native inhabitants of Ceylon, it jurymen, in cases in which their own counbecame my duty to compare such of the trymen are concerned, that I advised the codes as are the most approved in Europe colonial government, in 1806, to refer a and Asia, with such of the usages and certain description of cases for trial, to that customs as are the best authenticated on committee of priests at Matura, of which this island ; and to adopt such parts only you were the principal members.
The of those codes as are clearly applicable to very judicious manner in which that comthe state of the country, and as may, there- mittee investigated those cases, and the fore, be expected to attain the ends of soundness of the principles on which the justice, without militating against the habits members of it relied in framing their deciand prejudices of the people.
sions, satisfied me not only as to the policy “ In performing this duty, I have had but as to the perfect safety of intrusting the frequent communications with you, and natives of Ceylon with the right of sitting with the other learned men of your order, upon juries. After this experiment had and it is with pleasure I take the present been tried with success, but not before, opportunity to return you and them my I felt myself authorized to proceed to public thanks for the alacrity with which England, and to propose to his Majesty's you have at all times afforded me the Government, the unlimited introduction of information required, and for the unlimited trial by jury into Ceylon, and the formafreedom with which you have permitted tion of a simple code of laws for the use me to consult the books in your temples, of its inhabitants. The care and attention to which I have had occasion to refer; the with which all the worshippers of Budhoo, translations into English which you have as well as all the natives of other religious enabled me to procure of the three most persuasions, have discharged the duties of celebrated histories of your country and jurymen, shew that they not only underyour religion, the Mahawanscie, Ragawalle, stand the nature of that mode of trial, but and the Rajaratnakarre, and the numerous also that they are fully competent to enjoy extracts which you have made for me from the privileges which it gives them, with all your other Sanscrit, Palee, and Cingalese credit to themselves, and with advantage books, together with the different works I to their countrymen. The experience have since obtained from the Bramins of which you have bad for seven years, of the Jaffna, and those of the southern peninsula practical effects of that establishment, and of India, form a most valuable collection the information you have derived from the of materials for any person who may have supreme court, as well as from the book the desire and the leisure to write a general upon trial by jury, which I have caused history of your country, and to explain, at to be translated into Cingalese and Tamul, length, the origin and peculiarities of the have naturally impressed you with the several casts, customs, and usages which highest respect for that simple and much prevail amongst you, and which are so admired mode of trial. My observations, intimately connected with your prosperity aided by that of some persons who are the and comfort, as to render an accurate best qualified to form an opinion upon the knowledge of them not only desirable as a subject, have suggested to my mind several matter of literary curiosity, but absolutely improvements in the present system of administering justice amongst the natives of when properly treated, upon all questions Ceylon; should bis Majesty's Government, of religion ; and I reflect with satisfaction while I am in England, be pleased to on the ready assistance which I received command me to submit to them my opi- from many of the most rigid of the wornion upon the subject, I shall be happy to shippers of Budhoo in the translation to point out for their consideration, such alte- which I have alluded. The zeal with rations as I am aware, from my communi, which the two priests of Dodanduwae have cations with you, are desired by the inha. insisted upon accompanying me to Engbitants, and will be highly beneficial to the land, under circumstances which to most interest of the island.
men would have been discouraging, is at “ The ultimate effect which any system once a mark of the confidence which your of laws is calculated to produce in a coun- body repose in me, and of the spirit of try depends, in a great degree, upon the inquiry and of the desire of information state of society, and upon the systems of which has arisen amongst them. These religion and morals which prevail in that young men will, no doubt, from the knowcountry. As it has always been my wish to ledge which they possess of your literature see the same effect produced in this coun- and religion, and the variety of their other try, as is produced'invariably in England acquirements, be of considerable use to by an independent and well-administered me in translating into Cingalese the code system of justice, it has been my endea- which I am about to submit to His Ma. vour always to approximate, as much as jesty's Government in England, and will circumstances would permit, the state of have the best opportunity, that could have society and the systems of religion and occurred to them, of becoming acquainted morals which prevail in Ceylon, to those with the real effect which the principles of which prevail in England : with a view to our religion unquestionably have had in the state of society in Ceylon, I have, since enlightening the understanding, and im1806, left no means untried to encourage proving the morals of the inhabitants of that the proprietors of domestic slaves, to adopt most celebrated country. such a resolution as they at my suggestion “ I have the honour to be, &c.
"ALEX. JOHNSTON." unanimously adopted in July 1816; and it is a subject of sincere congratulation to all
It is scarcely possible for any one to the friends of humanity in Ceylon, whether peruse these official documents, without they profess the faith of Budhoo, or that of being convinced that the prejudices of the Mahomet or Brahma, that the unanimity natives are not invincible, and that the with which that resolution was passed, was
obstacles to the diffusion of Christianity are so great as to leave no doubt of its being by no means insurmountable. By a judithe sense of the people on this island, that cious management, they have been given to the system of domestic slavery is equally understand, that the laws introduced for destructive to the morals of the slave, as it their government, and the liberality disis to those of the master and his children. played in every department, are intimately
With a view to the different systems of connected with the principles of the chrisreligion and morals in Ceylon, I, twelve tian religion; and hence they are taught, years'ago, after much consultation upon without coercion, to estimate its worth by the subject with some of the most enlight- the effects it has already produced. If such ened of the Budhists, caused the summary
methods were adopted by all the exalted of the evidences of Christianity which was
officers of the British government throughdrawn up by one of the ablest of our
out continental India, and such fostering divines, the late Bishop of London, to be care were extended to the missionaries, as translated into Cingalese, in order that you the bright example of Sir Alexander Johnyourselves might have a fair opportunity of ston exhibits, they would speedily have less comparing the evidence upon which we reason than at present to complain, that form our belief in Christianity, with that “all day long they have stretched forth upon which you form your belief in Bud- their hands to a disobedient and gainsaying hism; the conversations which many of people.” you have frequently had with me upon those points, as well as upon the beneficial effects which may finally be expected from Death is an object at all times painful to the general extension of Christianity, both contemplate, even when it approaches a upon the present and the rising generation fellow-being to whom we are unallied by of the people, have afforded me an ample, the ties of blood, and unconnected even opportunity of becoming acquainted with by the slighter obligations of life. The very the liberal sentiments which you entertain, associations that are inseparable from its
REFLECTIONS ON THE DEATH OF A FRIEND,
idea ; the solemn'appendages of the funeral perfect nudity of its social condition, being procession; the suppressed, but yet almost divested of its wonted support, the tender vocal grief of the attendant mourners; the sympathy, the consoling influence of affeccold and dismal appearance of the recep- tionate advice, and the radiant smile which tacle prepared for the body, surrounded on true and unfeigned attachment, to one all sides by innumerable green hillocks, whom we have loved with all the enthuthe sole vestiges of the departed of other siasm sincere passion diffuses; when that times ; the audible and sonorous voice of which mitigated our pangs, solaced our the minister, performing the last rites of cares, and calmed our perturbations, is religion ; together with the falling soil pro- sunk' like some refulgent star below the miscuously thrown in, producing a startling horizon of time, to rise in the vista of sound, as it suddenly rebounds on the eternity. The recollection that those whom coffin-lid, are gloomy and appalling to the we loved with the tenderest and most mind; from which it gladly makes its ardent affection, who were once the comescape to (gayer occupations, and livelier panions of our walks, the friends of our realities. But how much more so, how bosom, and the centre of our daily delights, inexpressibly heightened, how immeasur- are snatched away from our fond embrace, ably aggravated, are these melancholy sen- are separated by an awful boundary from sations, when the object of our solicitude the region where we dwell, and have is endeared by the closer bonds of love passed “ that bourne from whence no traand affection, that have insensibly entwined veller ever yet returned,” is calculated themselves around the tenderest fibres of almost to overwhelm us with unutterable the heart, and are absolutely necessary to 'mental anguish. When we have formed a give a zest to the enjoyment of life. Then connexion with a pleasing object, in whom it is we feel a vacuity which sublunary our affections are concentrated, during the comforts cannot replace, the complete de- ingenuous season of youth, they are invested solateness of an existence, deprived of that with a tenderness and warmth, which solace which was wont to animate our flames kindled at a later period of life hopes, and infuse fresh vigour into our never equal in intensity and force; and souls, as we came into contact with the when divided, the wound produces the being on whom we delighted to gaze; then most painful feeling, the most pungent indeed it is, to use the language of scrip- sorrow, and is the severest infliction to ture, that “ the heart knoweth its own which the heart can be exposed while in bitterness."
this sublunary state. It has been often remarked, but perhaps To take a retrospect of past days, that not so often remembered, that we know were once spent in happiness, and the hilanot the intrinsic value of what we possess, rity of social converse, and to feel a silent till we are deprived of its aid, for then only presentiment in the breast, that they are can we clearly ascertain its adaptation to gone, irretrievably gone, that none like our exact circumstances and present con- them will ever return, so vivid and so exdition. When the conviction strikes the quisite, is productive of a species of memind with its full force and dreary cer- lancholy, it must be allowed sombre in its tainty, that we are perpetually secluded hue, but salutary in its effect. We feel from the pleasure of their society, the ad- convinced, that they are the true types of vantages of unembarrassed intercourse, all pleasure that is earthly in its origin, and their accumulated stores of experi- which invariably resembles the meteor's mental wisdom ; then it is, that we learn flash, that irradiates surrounding objects more properly how to estimate the loss we for a little while, and then retires, leaving have sustained, to appreciate the solid and a gloom more profound, and a darkness genuine ore of their intellectual or moral more intense. qualities, which enwrapped them as in an Man, while here below, is exposed to appropriate robe, chaste with purity, and innumerable evils; varied are his sorrows, resplendent with light, that raised them at and diversified his trials; and all these ils once to an eminence of dignity and of in view of an event so solemn as death, grandeur; and are conscious of the little are strengthened by the pangs of remorse, benefit we have derived, to what we might arising from reflections that we have not have secured, from the precepts they deli- fulfilled our utmost duty to the dear friends, vered, the maxims they uttered, and the who are suddenly removed from the present virtuous example they presented.
and inferior stage of being, to a future and The weakness of human nature, at such a higher state of existence. There is a a crisis, appears in its true colours, exhi- consolation to be derived in the thought, biting the poverty of its resources, and the that we have attended them on their death
Which wait the revolution in our hearts?
bed, with all that assiduity of kindness sists in keeping it within proper bounds, which affection could dictate, sympathy and in refraining from an undue excess, employ, or love suggest. There is a me- so as not to interfere with the duties of our lancholy, yet assuasively tender satisfaction, station, or intercept the enjoyment of bealth. to be derived from knowing that we offered Then it should be regarded, not with a every alleviation in our power, and that pusillanimous dejection, or a superstitious we stood by their side with eyes bedimmed awe, but with a humble resignation, a with tears, and a countenance pallid with pious reverence, and a serious recollection, frequent midnight watchings, and that we that were present in the last and greatest exi
Are angels sent on errands full of love; gence of the human condition.
For us they languish, and for us they die: But far different are their feelings on the
And shall they languish, shall they die, in vain ?
Ungrateful, shall we grieve their hovering shades, retrospect, to whom it has come unexpect
Shall we disdain their silent soft address, edly, and who were unavoidably absent at Their posthumous advice, and pious prayer ?" a time so important, at a crisis so mo
Young. mentous ; their regrets at such an event, O death! how rich are thy spoils, how and under such circumstances, will be numerous are thy conquests, and how wide pungent, though they may be profitless, is thy domain ! no age, nor sex, nor rank, and their sorrow will be severe, though it is secure from thy inroads. Thou deprivest may be useless.
In performing the last us of the most essential supports that once sad offices of human sympathy to a valued imparted strength, to enable us with fortifriend, even the most trivial are calculated tude to bear the burden of existence, within to make an indelible impression on the a few revolving cycles, and it is thou that mind, for who does not remember having quenchest the last light which formerly been employed in wiping away with cau- guilded our prospects, and brightened our tion the cold dew-drops of expiring nature, path. But still we discern, in thy dark in smoothing the bed of affliction, in dis. territories, one gleam of consolation shot pensing the medicine, or offering the cor- athwart the gloom of being ; it is “ the daydial; and having been anxious to prevent star of hope," which directs the bereaved any sudden noise that might disturb their to the sanctuary of religion, and penetrates repose, or molest their slumbers ; until the even the dark valley where thy shadows lamp of life feebly glimmered in its socket, obscure the meridian sun. It is true, thou and the vital spark had vacated its earthly art the conclusion of the first drama of tenement, and escaped from the thraldom human life, but thou art also the gate which of the flesh.
opens into the trackless and boundless The death of a friend, besides forming regions of eternity. It is in this view that an eventful epoch in the private history of thy approach has often been attended with an individual, is intended to answer many forms of terror to serious and reflecting salutary purposes ; to shew us the insta- minds in every age, who consider thembility of human enjoyments, 'to arrest pre- selves as accountable beings, and that, after sumptuous folly in its career, to restrain thy awful mandate has passed, their final the ardour of immoderate ambition in its account is to be given. pursuit, and for the great end of warning But to those who have died in the faith us to be habitually prepared for that awful of Christ, trusting in his mediation, and moment which awaits us, (we know not all-prevailing intercession, in him, who has how soon,) where we must act the same secured for them an inheritance, even a distinguished part, and other spectators celestial mansion, thy aspect, o death! will surround our couch, to watch the retains no longer the tyrant's frown, but quivering lip, to witness the last struggle, thou art changed into the benign messen. and hear the final groan.
ger, who comest on an errand of grace and Sorrow at such afflictive dispensations of clemency, of love and mercy. They are divine providence, the weakness of our enabled to triumph over thee, by the bright nature compels us to feel, when the sluices and cheering prospect of eternal felicity; of the heart are opened ; and a moderate by that delightful thought, and blissful cerdegree of anguish, the great Author of our tainty which good men have, of a re-upion religion does not condemn. For he who of kindred spirits and congenial natures knoweth our infirmities, and who wept at in the heavenly fruition ; when they have the grave of Lazarus, surely would not in- emerged from the ruins of the tomb, and terdict his children, at such seasons, from the deeper ruins of the fall, not only uningiving vent to their grief, and prevent them jured, but refined and perfected; with from tasting, as some have done, the luxury every tear wiped from their eyes;" through of delicious tears. But the difficulty con- Him who conquered the fierce adversary 20. SERIES, no. 16.-vol. II.
of man, and hath now suspended from his a classification of the vegetables formed,
inclined planes of strata, each of which Leicester, Feb. 21, 1832.
consists of dissimilar substances, appear
escarpments, and also at their adjoining
present, in succession, the contents of the
strata themselves, for the use of man, and Having noted, in the two preceding the nourishment of vegetation. And as the essays, the first part, in the order of line of surface which each of these occupies creation, during the third day, we proceed upon its appearance is short, therefore, in to the second.
passing over a few miles of any given “ And God said, Let the earth bring district, we pass over several of these forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and strata, and frequently even in one mile. the fruit-tree yielding fruit after his kind, Thus we pass on and pass over every whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and substance of this sphere. it was so. And the earth brought forth The incessant action of the atmosphere grass, and herb yielding seed after his during wet and dry, cold and hot, frost kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose and sunshine, dissevers certain portions of seed was in itself, after his kind : and God these strata from their exposed ends and saw that it was good. And the evening elevated planes, and, impregnating them and the morning were the third day, with the active vapours and gases of the Gen. i. 11–13. Or, as it may be ren- atmosphere, dissolves them into minute dered, Elohim pronounced, Let the earth particles, and thus forms them into a germinate in tender grass, the herb yielding mould calculated to receive the seed, and, seed, and the tree of fruit yielding fruit by giving out its substance, vegetate it to according to their varieties, containing seed maturity, even to this day; because, as within themselves, upon the earth. And it vegetation wastes this mould perpetually, was established. The earth germinated in by appropriating to plants its very subtender grass, the herb yielding seed, and stance, there exists a continual necessity for the tree yielding fruit according to their a repletion in vegetable mould during every varieties, containing seed within themselves. age of time. Hence, amidst all agricultural And Elohim surveyed the whole; and, processes, unceasing attention must be paid behold, it was beautifully perfect. The to pulverization and manure. But if these evening was, and the morning was, the created agents of Elohim can and do third day.
reproduce and renovate vegetable earth or In the first part of this day's labour, we prolific mould, and impregnate it with were introduced to moist and dry - seas active gases and vapours from age to age, and land. A review of the stratification we can conceive it to be quite a work of and consequent drainage of this sphere, so course with the Omnipotent, by His created as to clear the surface of the earth from the agents, at once to cover the ends and overflowing of its waters, and the several planes of these strata, in the first instance, substances of it, with the order in which with gaseous products of their own debris, they are placed in the crust of the earth, on the announcement of His will. This resulted from the consideration of this part. He performed ; and, as vegetables are difThe second part is now before us; and it ferent in their natures, and require different contains a narrative of the formation of food, these strata would and did provide vegetable earth or prolific mould, the vegetable mould or food genial to every parent of vegetation, and of vegetation variety which He created. Thus was the itself, upon the most extensive scale; with foundation of vegetable food laid before the