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would be unreasonable to doubt. Who can questi
Arist. fleet propitious winds? The same kind of sin
Fad to possessed by the worshippers of Bacchus, of cury. But, will it hence follow, that a since prostitute, or a sincere drunkard, is quite a
coadal character, as he, who, with integrity the God and Father of our Lord Jesus (
2 shject IV. From the representation now gi
wch to and gods of the ancient heathen, we pe: had good reason for charging the
2. 2 vorld, Ilaving no hope, and without God in the .
3 Being " It may be justly said,” observe their sacrifices were not offered to (.
: Iraha, they might use the name God, the
fu the of, not by the name, but by the mi such a being as the Eternal, Uno tor, and Ruler of the world, they
the For this reason, they are not
casts without the knowledge, and cons
the ship of him, who alone is GOD.
tai great It appears, indeed, that, whe
ices such a Being, hostility to his c!
das. Dr. Leland, in his Westminist
zigods, lowing very important informa:
122 earth, could not accomplish by the su
Дnver, fect by the force of impious la
-: 22 des. madness, with which they wer
are ed rewards and honors to suc as should write most, wit and
Chris. Obs. Feb. 1811.
their differ ne god; on a jar, to a third. at Brimha, Vishi bear the same re'he Hindoos attach to another; and the three." What ideas hese gods, may be con• They say, that these dight; that, during the batstars fell from the firmaid those the most authentic, racter of Hindoo gods is ab
of the dead, is a great article is mentioned, we are told, in allutes of Mence. ons, whose religions bear some ·loos, are polytheists. The Siaof a deity is limited to a certain ich, he sinks into eternal repose, in the government of the universe. vas, before the christian era, a sect , denominated Sammanes. These , be the same with those, who are in Siberia. In the tenets and pracsaith he, we may see a faint outline indoos. They believe in one God, ; but they think, that he pays no atmen, leaving the government of the
would be unreasonable to doubt. Who can question, that, when the king of Moab took his eldest son, that should have reigned after him, and offered him for a burnt offering, he real. ly believed, that hy such a sacrifice, he should obtain divine aid against Israel? who can doubt, that when the Greeks were urgent with Agamemnon to immolate his daughter, they sincerely believed, that this sacrifice would procure for their fleet propitious winds? The same kind of sincerity might be possessed by the worshippers of Bacchus, of Venus, or Mercury. But, will it hence follow, that a sincere thief, a sincere prostitute, or a sincere drunkard, is quite as deserving a moral character, as he, who, with integrity of heart, worships the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
IV. From the representation now given of the worship and gods of the ancient heathen, we perceive, that St. Paul had good reason for charging the gentiles with atheism. liaving no hope, and without God in the world.
" It may be justly said,” observes Dr. Campbell,“ that their sacrifices were not offered to God; for, however much they might use the name God, the intention is to be judged of, not by the name, but by the meaning affixed to it. Now, such a being as the Eternal, Unoriginated, Immutable Creator, and Ruler of the world, they had not in all their system. For this reason, they are not unjustly called atɛ01, i. e. without the knowledge, and consequently, the belief and worship of him, who alone is GOD.”
It appears, indeed, that, when Christianity made known such a Being, hostility to his character was openly avowed. Dr. Leland, in his Westminister Lectures, gives us the following very important information. “Whatever the Greeks could not accomplish by the sword, they endeavored to effect by the force of impious language. And such was the madness, with which they were inflamed, that they proposed rewards and honors to such of their poets and sophists, as should write most, wit and elegance, in opposition to the
Chris. Obs. Feb. 1811.
one, true, and incorruptible God, from whom descended to mankind the gift of eternal happiness by Jesus Christ.” . I close the present lecture with a single remark, relating not to the ancient gentiles, but directly to ourselves, while professing to know God, may we not in works deny him; being disobedient and to every good work reprobate ?
The Necessity of Revelations as it appears from the gods and worship of modern Pagans.
In the preceding lecture, were considered the character of the heathen gods, and the moral tendency of that worship, which they received.
As the facts, which were then stated, were chiefly such, as occured among the Greeks and Romans, the most learned and refined nations of antiquity, it is to be presumed, that should our investigations extend to modern pagans, far inferior to them in mental cultivation, appearances would not be more favorable. Inquiries of this kind will constitute the present lecture. They will relate,
1. To the gods;
II. To the worship and religious ceremonies of modern pagans.
1. We are to inquire concerning the gods, worshipped in those nations, where revealed religion is not enjoyed
As the Hindoo religion is not confined to the vast country of Hindostan, but spreads itself in some form or other, over several divisions of the eastern continent, (Tibet, Birman Empire, Siam,) it is peculiarly entitled to our attention. It appears, likewise, to be a religion of very great antiquity. Sir Wm. Jones, as quoted by Dr. Priestly, considers the institutions of Mence, one of their sacred books, as having been written about twelve hundred years before Christ. Their other sacred writings, called the Vedas, are said to have been written three centuries earlier.
Through the indefatigable labor of that illustrious scholar, whose name has been mentioned, and many learned coadjutors in India, the information, which we have on the subject of the Hindoo religion, is somewhat extensive, and much to be relied on.
They believe on a Supreme God, who created the world, though not all things pertaining to it.* This Supreme Being is said to have created a goddess, called Bawaney, who was the mother of three subaltern deities. Brimha, or Bramha, Vishnou, and Sheevah. Brimha was endued with the power of creating the things of this world; Vishnou, with the power of cherishing them; and Sheevah, with the power of
; restraining and correcting them. Thus Brimha became the creator of man; and, in this character, he formed four casts or classes, which are so distinctly preserved among the Hindoos. Besides these deities, they acknowledge a great number of gods and goddesses, whose characters and offices correspond considerably with the most noted deities of classic mythology They have likewise numerous demigods, who are supposed to inhabit the air, the water, and the earth, and, in short, the whole world, so that every mountain, river, wood, town, village, &c. has one of these tutelary deities. By nature these demigods are subject to death ; but are supposed to obtain immortality by the use of certain drink. Encycl. vol. viii. Art. Hindoos.
* Corries Ser. 26.