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than those must prepare themselves to pay, who meditate rendering the best services to society by disabusing it of cherished superstitions.

In 1816, Rammohun Roy published a translation of the Cena Upanishad, one of the chapters of the Sama Veda; according to the gloss of the celebrated Shancaracharya : establishing the unity and the sole omnipolence of the Supreme Bring; and that He alone is the object of worship. The following extract from the preface explains the purpose for which this and his other translations were prepared.

"It is with no ordinary feeling of satisfaction that I have already seen many respectable persons of my countrymen, to the great disappointment of their interested spiritual guides, rise superior to their original prejudices, and enquire into the truths of religion. As many European gentlemen, especially those who interest themselves in the improvement of their fellow creatures, may be gratified with a view of the doctrines of the original work, it appeared to me, that I might best contribute to that gratification, by translating a few chapters of the Véd into the English language, which I have accordingly done, and now submit them to their candid judgment. Such benevolent people will, perhaps, rise from a perusal of them, with the conviction, that in the most ancient times the inhabitants of this part of the globe (at least the more intelligent class) were not upacquainted with metaphysical subjects; that allegorical language, or description, was very frequently employed, to represent the attributes of the Creator, which were sometimes designated as independent existences; and that, however suitable this method might be to the refined understandings of men of learning, it had the most mischievous effect, when literature and philosophy decayed, producing all those absurdities and idolatrous notions, which have checked, or rather destroyed, every mark of reason, and darkened every beam of understanding.

• The Véd, from which all Hindoo literature is derived, is, in the opinion of the Hindoos, an inspired work, coeval with the existence of the world. It is divided into four parts, viz. Rig, Yajur, Sam, and Atharva, these are again divided into several branches, and these last are subdivided into chapters. It is the general characteristic of each Véd, that the primary chapters of each branch treat of astronomy, medicine, arms, and other arts and sciences. They also exhibit allegorical representations of the attributes of the Supreme Being, by means of earthly objects, animate or inanimate, whose shapes or properties are analogous to the nature of those attributes, and pointing out the modes of their worship, immediately, or through the medium of fire. In the subsequent chapters, the unity of the Supreme Being, as the sole Ruler of the Universe, is plainly inculcated, and the mode of worshipping him particularly directed. The doctrine of a plurality of Gods and Goddesses laid down in the pre


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ceding chapters, is not only controverted, but reasons assigned for its introduction; for instance, that the worship of the Sun and Fire, together with the whole allegorical system, were only inculcated for the sake of those, whose limited understandings rendered them incapable of comprehending and adoring the invisible Supreme Being; so that such persons might not remain in a brutified state, destitute of all religious principles.'

This publication led to some remarks printed in Madras and Calcutta, to which Rammohun Roy replied in a defence of Hindoo Theism in reply to the attack of an advocate for idolatry, at Madras; and a second defence of the Monotheistical system of the Véds, in reply to an apology for the present state of Hindoo worship. These writings occupy a narrow ground of controversy. The Madras Advocate admits, that the worship of the all-pervading and Supreme Being is the original doctrine founded on the Védas, Purans, &c.' and that the Vedas, Purans, &c. say that this Being is infinite, eternal, self-intelligent, indivisible, inconsumable, pervading, universal, inconceivable, invisible, unalterable and almighty;' but maintains that the worship of his attributes, uoder various representations, by means of consecrated objects, is prescribed by the scripture to the human race by way of mental exercise, wbo, owing to the waving nature of their minds, cannot, without assistance, fix their thoughts on the incomprehensible and Almighty Being.' In like manner the Calcutta Apologist allows, that faith in the Supreme Being when united with moral works, leads men to eternal happiness, yet argues that the worship of a favoured deity and that of an image, are also considered to be acts of morality;' that 'the adoration of 330,000,000 deities, especially the principal ones, such as Siva, Vishnu, Kali, Gunesh, the Sun and others, through their several images, has been enjoined by the Shastras,' and that “to those it is enjoined, who from a defective understanding, do not perceive that God exists in every thing, that they should worship him through the medium of some created object.' Rammohun Roy, on the other hand, maintains that he has proved by their [the Shastras,] own authority, that this [idol worship) was merely a concession made to the limited faculties of the vulgar, with the view of remedying in some degree, the misfortune of their being incapable of comprehending and adopting the spiritual worship of the true God.' He denies that the different religious acts prescribed by the Shastras to the different classes of Hindoos respectively, are necessary to attain divine faith, or that they are indispensable accompaniments of holy knowledge;' and cannot admit that the worship of thesc attributes under various representations by means of consecrated objects, has been prescribed by New SeriesVol. V.


the Ved to the human race, as this kind of worship of consecrated objects is enjoined by the Shastras to those only, who are incapable of raising their minds to the notion of an invisible Supreme Being.' To establish this point he makes copious citations from the Hindoo sacred books, and incidentally remarks with equal spirit and good sense upon the absurdity and mischiefs of idolatry.

These publications were followed in 1818 by a Translation of an abridgment of the Vedant, or resolution of all the Veds; the most celebrated and revered work of Brahminical Theology; establishing the Unity of the Supreme Being ; and that he alone is the object of propitiation and worship; in 1819, by a translation of the Moonduk-Opunishud; and at a date not given, but more recentas we find by the preface) by a translation of the Kuth-Opunishud, chapters of the Veda. The great point urged by Rammohun Roy, that the theology of the Vedas is the doctrine of one self-existent, omnipotent God, may be regarded as established, since, as we have seen, it is conceded by his opponents; but we are by no means equally satisfied, that the idolatry of the Hindoos has not abundant authority in the more modern at least of their sacred books. The truth seems to be that their religion only differs from those of other nations, which have pursued for ages the downward path of heathenism, in still retaining in its records some of the materials which were furnished by the pure theology of a primitive antiquity. The Hindoos, like other nations, from fanciful personifications advanced to actual deification of the attributes of God, and from aiding their conceptions of him by means of images, came to make these images the ultimate object of their religious regard. The errors with which the mind infatuates and perverts itself when once it has entered on this course, make up the entire systems of other Pagans who possess no records of a high antiquity; and the later Hindoo religious books, at least, are also deeply tinctured with them. But such conceptions as the following savour of a source more remote and pure.

• No vision can approach him; no language can describe bim; no intellectual power can compass or determine him.

We know nothing of how the Supreme Being should be explained: He is beyond all that is within the reach of comprehension, and also beyond nature, which is above conception. Our ancient spiritual pa

" rents have thus explained him to us..

He alone, who has never been described by language, and who directs language to its meaning, is the Supreme Being; and not any specified thing which men worship: Know Thou this.

"He alone, whom understanding cannot comprehend, and who, as said by learned men, knows the real nature of understanding, is the

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Supreme Being; and not any specified thing which men worship: Know Thou this;

• He alone, whom no man can conceive by vision, and by whose superintendance every one perceives the objects of vision, is the Supreme Being; and not any specified thing which men worship.'

He from whom the universal world proceeds, who is the Lord of the universe, and he whose work is the universe, is the Supreme Being.

Breath, the intellectual power, all the internal and external senses, the void space, air, light, water and the extensive earth, proceeded from the Supreme Being.

God is indeed one, and has no second.' . There is none but the Supreme Being possessed of universal knowledge. "He, who is without any figure, and beyond the limit of description, is the Supreme Being

That true Being was before all.' • The Supreme Being has no feet, but extends every where; has no hands, yet holds every thing; has no eyes, yet sees all that is; has no ears, yet hears every thing that passes.' "His existence had no cause.'

"None but the Supreme Being is to be worshipped; nothing excepting him should be adored by a wise man.'

To God we should approach, of him we should hear, of him we should think, and to him we should attempt to approximate.'

• That Supreme Being who is the subject of the superior learning is beyond the apprehension of the senses, and out of the reach of the corporeal organs of action; and is without origin, colour or magnitude; and has neither eye nor ear, nor has he hand or foot. He is everlasting, all pervading, omnipresent, absolutely incorporeal, unchangeable; and it is he whom wise men consider as the origin of the universe.'

• He is immortal and without form or figure, omnipresent, pervading external and internal objects, unborn, without breath or individual mind, pure and superior to eminently exalted nature.

From him the first sensitive particle or the seed of the universe, individual intellect, all the senses and their objecís, also vacuum, air, light, water and the earth which contains all things, proceed.

God as being resplendent and most proximate " to all creatures," is styled the operator in the heart; he is great and all sustaining; for on him rest all existences, such as those that move, those that breathe, those that twinkle and those that do not. Such is God. You all contemplate him, as the support of all objects visible and invisible, the chief end of human pursuit. He surpasses

all human understanding and is the most pre-eminent.' 6

Consider the soul as à rider, the body as a car, the intellect its driver, the mind as its rein: The external senses are called the horses, restrained hy the mind; external objects are the roads : So


wise men believe the soul united with the body, the senses and the mind, to be the partaker of the consequences of good or evil acts.

If that intellect, which is represented as the driver, be indiscreet, and the rein of the mind loose, all the senses under the authority of the intellectual power become unmanageable; like wicked horses under the control of an unfit driver.

• If the intellect be discreet and the rein of the mind firm, all the senses prove steady and manageable; like good horses under an excellent driver.

• He, who has not á prudent intellect and steady mind, and who consequently lives always impure, cannot arrive at the divine glory, but descends to the world. i "He who has a prudent intellect and steady mind, and consequently lives always pure, attains that glory from whence he never will descend.'

Some of the works which we have mentioned, were gratuitously distributed by Rammohun Roy among his countrymen, in Hindoostanee and Bengalee translations. The following extract from the preface to the last of them contains some information as to the effect which they produced, as well as to the state of his own mind at the latest period before he appears to have given particular attention to christianity.

A great body of my countrymen possessed of good understandings, and not much fettered with prejudices, being perfectly satisfied with the truth of the doctrines contained in this and in other works already laid by me before them, and of the gross errors of the puerile system of idol worship which they were led to follow, have altered their religious conduct in a manner becoming the dignity of human beings; while the advocates of idolatry and their misguided followers, over whose opinions prejudice and obstinacy prevail more than good sense and judgment, prefer custom and fashion to the authorities of their Scriptures; and therefore continue under the form of religious devotion, to practise a system, which destroys, to the utmost degree, the natural texture of society, and prescribes crimes of the most heinous nature, which even the most savage nations would blush to commit, unless compelled, by the most urgent necessity. I am however not without a sanguine hope that through divine Providence and human exertions, they will sooner or later avail themselves of that true system of Religion, which leads its observers to a knowledge and love of God and to a friendly inclination towards their fellow-creatures; impressing their hearts at the same time, with humility and charity, accompanied by independence of mind and pure sincerity. Contrary to the code of idolatry, this system defines sins as evil thoughts proceeding from the heart, quite unconnected with observances as to diet and other matters of form. At any rate it seems to me that I cannot better employ my time than in an endeavour to illustrate and maintain truth, and to render ser

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