Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

then, shall we be told, that under such circumstances the exasperated feelings of a whole people thus goaded and spurred on to clamor and resistance, were excited by the poor and feeble influence of the Begums ?-. When we hear the description of the paroxysm, fever, and delirium, into which despair had thrown the natives, when on the banks of ihe polluted Ganges, panting for death, they tore more widely open the lips of their gaping wounds, to accelerate their dissolution; and while their blood was issuing, presented their ghasily eyes to heaven, breathing their last and fervent praver, that the dry earth inight not be suffered to diinki Their blood, but that it mighi rise up to the throne of God, and rouse the eternal Providence to avenge the wrongs of their country.

• The counsel, in recommending attention to the public in preference to the private letters, had remarked, in particular, that one letter should not be laken as evi. dence, because it was manifestly and abstractedly privale, as it contained in one part the anxieties of Mr. Middleton for the illness of his son. This was a sin. gular argument indeed; and the circumstance, in his mind, merited strict observation, though not in the view in which it was placed by the counsel. It went lo show that some at least of those concerned in these transactions, felt the force of those lies, which their efforis were directed to lear asunder; that those who could ridicule che respective attachment of a mother and a son ; who would prohibit the reverence of the son to the mother who had given him life ;--who could deny lo maternal dihilily the protection which filial lenders ness should afford ;-were yet sensible of ihe straining of those chords by which they were united. There was somoihing connected with this transaction so horrible and so loathsome, as to excite the most contemptious disglisl. If it were not a part of his duty, it would be superfluouis to speak of the sacredness of the lies which those aliens to feeling-those apostates to hu. manity had thus divided. In such an assembly as that which I have the honor of addressing, there is not an ere but must dart reproof at this conduct;. not a heart but must anticipate its condemnation. “ Filial Piety!" It is the primal bond of society, it is that instinctive principle, which, panting for its proper good, soothes, unbidden, each sense and sensibility of man-it now quivers on every lip!-il now beams from every eye! - it is an emanation of that gratitude, which softening under i he sense of recollected good, is eager to own the vast countless debt it ne'er, alas! can pay, for so many long years of unceasing soliciludes, honorable self-denials. life-preserving cares it is that part of our practice, where duty drops its awewhere reverence refines into love it asks no aid of memory it needs not the deductions of reason !-pre-existing, paramount over all, whether law, or hurnan rule, few arguments can increase, and none can diminish it!

it is the sacrament of our nature not only the du. ty but the indulgence of man-it is his first great pri. vilegeit is amongst his last most endearing delights'

it causes the bo:om lo glow with reverberated love!

it requites the visitations of nature, and returns the blessings that have been received it fires emotion into vital principle-il renders habituated instinct into a master-passion-sways all the sweetest energies of man-hangs over each vicissitude of all that must pass away-aids the melancholy virtues in their last sad tasks of life, to cheer the langour of decrepitude and age-explores the thought-elucidates the aching ere! --and breathes sweet consolation eren in the awful iroment of dissolution !

A Speech delivered at Chellenham, on the 7th Oct. I$19.

al the Fourth Annirersary of the Gloucester Mission ary Society.

MR. CHAIRMAN—After the eloquence with which so many gentlemen have gratified and delighted this most respectable assembly, and after the almost inspired address of one of them, I feel ashamed of having acce. ded to the wishes of the committee by proposing the resolution which I have the honor to subinit. I should apologize, sir, for even the few moments intrusion which I mean to make upon this meeting, did I not feel ; that I had no right to consider myself as quite a stran"ger; did I not feel that the subject unites us all into

one great social family, and gives to the merest so

journer the claim of a brother and a friend. At a time · like this, perhaps, when the infidel is abroad, and the

atheist and disbeliever triumph in their blasphe· mv, it behoves the humblest Christian to range him

self beneath the banners of his faith, and attest, even - by his martyrdom, the sincerity of his allegiance. - When I consider the source from whence Christianity sprung-the humility of its origin—the poverty of its disciples—the miracles of its creation-the mighty sway it has acquired, not only over the civilized world, but which your missions are hourly extending over lawless, mindless, and imbruted regions-I own the awful presence of the Godhead-nothing less thali a Divinity could have done it! The powers, the prejudices, the superstition of the earth, were all in arms against it; it had nor sword nor sceptre—its founder was in rags. its apostles were lowly fishermen-its inspired prophets,

lowly and uneducated-ils cradle was à manger-its " home a dungeon-its earthly diadem a crown of thorns !

And yet, forth it went-thai lowly, humble, persecuted spirit-and the idols of the heathen sell, and the thrones of the mighty trembled ; and paganism saw her peasants and her princes kneel down and worship the unarmed conqueror! If this be not the work of the Divinity, then I yield to the replile ambition of the - athiest. I see no God above-I see no governineni below; and I yield my consciousness of an iinmortal soul to his boasted fraternity with the worm that per

ishes ! But, sir, even when I thus concede to him the ? divine origin of our Christian faith, I arrest him upon

worldly principles--I desire him 10 produce from all the wisdom of the earth, so pure a system of practical moralily—a code of ethics more sublime in its conceplion-more simple in its means—more happy and more rowerful in its operation : and if he cannot do so, I then say to him, Oh! in the name of your own darling policy, filch nol its guide from youth, its shield from manhood, and its crutch from age! Though the light I follow may lead me astray, still I ihink it is light from Heaven! The good, and great, and wise, are my companions—my delightful hope is harmless, if not holy ; and wake me not to a disappointment, which in your tomb of annihilation, I shall not taste hereafter! To propagate the sacred creed-to teach the ignorant

to enrich the poor-to illumine this world with the splendors of the next-to make men happy you have never seen-and to redeem millions vou can never know-rou have sent your hallowed missionaries forward ; and never did a holier vision rise, ihan that of this celestial and glorious embassy. Methinks I see the band of willing exiles bidding farewell perhaps forever, to their native country; foregoing home, and friends and luxury-to tempt the savage sea, or men more savage than the raging element-to dare the polar tempest, and the tropic fire, and often doomed by the forfeit of Their lives to give their precepts a proof and an expiation. It is quite delightful to read over their reports, and see the blessed products of their la. bors. They leave no clime unvisited, no peril unencountered. In the South Sea Islands they found the population almost eradicated by the murder of idolatry. “It was God Almighty," says the royal convert of Otaheite, “who sent your mission to the remainder of my people!I do not wish to shock your Christian ears with the cruelties from which you have redeemed these islands. Will you believe it, that they had been educated in such cannibal ferocity, as to excavate the earth, and form an oven of burning stones, into which they literally threw their l::ing infants, and gorged their infernal appetites with the flesh! Will you believe it. that they thought inurder grateful to the God of

Mercy and the blood of his creatures as their best libation! In nine of these islands those abominations are extinct-infanticide is abolished-their prisoners are exchanged-society is now cemented by the bond of brotherhood, and the accursed shrines that streamed with human gore, and blazed with human unction, now echo the songs of peace, and the sweet strains of piety. In India, too, where Providence for some special purpose, permits these little insular specks to hold above one hundred millions in subjection-phenomena scarcely to be paralleled in history—the spell of Brahma is dissolving—the chains of Caste are falling off—the wheels of Juggernaut are scarce ensanguined

the horrid custom of self-immolation is daily disappearing—and the sacred stream of Jordan mingles - with the Gangeș. Even the rude soldier, 'mid the din of arms, and the license of the camp, “makes," says our missionary, “the Bible the inmate of his knapsack, and the companion of his pillow." Such has been he success of your missions in that country, that one of your own judges has publicly avowed, that those who left India some years ago can form no just idea of what now exists there. Turn from these lands to that of Africa, a name I now can mention without horror. In sixteen of their towns and many of their Islands, we • see the sun of Christianity arising, and as it rises, the · whole spectral train of superstition vanishing in air. Agriculture and civilization are busy in the desert, and the poor Hottentot kneeling at the altar, implores his God to remember not the slave trade. If any thing, sir, could add to the satisfaction that I feel, it is the consciousness that knowledge and Christianity are adadvancing, hand in hand, and that wherever I see your missionaries journeying, I see schools rising up, as it were, the landmark of their progress. And who can tell what the consequences of this may be in after ages? Who can tell whether those remote regions may not hereafter become the rivals of European improvement? Who shall place a ban upon the intellect derived from the Almighty? Who shall say that the

« AnteriorContinuar »