Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

gies are rather under than over the known and acknowledged by the Musmiddle stature, and very active when- sulmen Malays of Banjar Massio, that ever an object is presented to their several of their princes have crusaded, minds adequate to stimulate exertion. or rather crescented, against the AboTheir complexion is copper-colour, rigines, for the purpose of forcibly cirbut many of their women approach to cumcising and converting them, though a tawny-white. Much diversity of not hitherto with much success. The feature is found among them, from Aborigines appear to be a mild, intelthe aqueline and Roman to the flat and ligent race, and I therefore believe Tartarian, though the latter predo- that such practices would easily fall minates. Their religious ceremonies before the religion of universal' broconsist in praying to å species of kite; therly love. They have feasts at the (the same bird which is held in vene- beginning and end of seed-time and ration by the Hindoos ;) they believe harvest, when they intoxicate themit to be the carrier of their prayers to selves with palm wine, having mix. the spiritual beings whom they sup- tures of inebriating substances infused pose to superintend the weather and in it. Polygamy is barely suffered the affairs of men. They judge of among them, and of course is rather the responses by the mode and direc- rare and is not reckoned honourable. tion of light used by the bird when Their women enjoy considerable libernext seen; and by such indications ty, and are not kept in such a wretched they are guided, and undertake or de- state as is usually found to be their fer journeys, expeditions, &c., accord- lot among savages. They have some ingly. At the death of a notable per- confused notions of a Supreme Being, son they sacrifice, by beheading, one but they generally consider him as or more of his slaves or prisoners, for being too great to take cognizance . the purpose of providing him with at- of their ordinary actions. However, tendants in the other world, believing hardly any two of them agree in their that the good and great (according tenets on this point. On asking them, to their ideas of those qualities) are How do you believe or suppose this waited on in the next world by the visible world to have been first formed wieked and the slaves. At the mar- or produced, and continually held up riage of distinguished individuals, as you see? They answer, How can human head must be brought by the we tell? We know nothing about it, bridegroom to the bride at the door but we would be glad to know. They of her house; she receives it into her have no letters, and tradition is quite lap, and carrying it into the house, she faint, puerile and uncertain among has it put into a cage and affixed over them. The Malays and Javanese are the door-way. A buffalo and pig are, Mussulmen, but little bigoted howhowever, substituted in both these ever, and extremely ignorant, even of rites in many instances. The heads the Koran. Little difficulty would be for this purpose are mostly obtained found in establishing the Christian in the following manner :-A number religion among, both classes, if its of the comrades of the bridegroom, professors practised its morality, and sufficient to constitute a strong boat's preached only its genuine, simple and crew, associate with him, and go to unadulterated doctrines. The Trinithe mouths of the rivers, &c., inhabit- tarian-Antichristian religion, which ared by the Mussulmen, and there hid- rogates to itself alone the sacred name ing themselves among the mangrove of Christian, will inost assuredly never woods, they watch for travellers or succeed in converting Mussulmen of fishermen, whom, when they espy in any nation to its absurd tenets. Soliparties not strong enough to resist tary individuals of an unusually mystic them, they dart out on, and spearing or benevolent turn, may here and there the people, instantly decapitate them embrace its deformity for the sake of and retreat with all expedition to their its beauties; but those are and will own country. Probably, the injuries always be too few to be of any mocommitted by them on each other oc- ment as to a general change. An incasioned the introduction of these telligent native with whom I had some bloody customs, and the villainous conversation on this subject, was surproceedings of the Mussulmen towards prised to learn that there were any them contribute to keep it up. It is Christians who asserted the proper

unity of God, and thereupon observed, ferent religions, and I am fully con-
that since we were agreed as to the vinced that they would embrace Chris-
Divine object of reverence, the only tianity ere they knew its name; and
difference which existed was the ques- when once it was established in a few
tion, Whether Jesus Christ was the villages, it would rapidly spread over
last of the prophets, the finisher of the country, with happiness and civili-
the dispensations of God to man, or zation in its train. Their present
merely the forerunner of Mahomet? state relative to political government,
To which I assented; and observed, has in it the rudiments of that best
that we could only come at the solu. form which mankind have yet devised,
tion of that question by comparing or at least bitherto put into execution.
their respective doctrines with the Their villages and districts are all in-
attributes of the One Universal Father dependent of each other, and the old-
of all; and that it could never be re- est men of the village select the chief,
conciled to unbounded love to all his who frequently is so selected from the
works, that he should authorize one same family successively; but that
man to destroy another for his (God's) forms no hereditary claim, personal
sake, he being abundantly able to do abilities alone deciding the choice.
that himself in an instant, and by so These chiefs lead the warriors to bat-,
doing avoid the evil which must be pro- tle, and exercise authority, or rather
duced by authorizing man to do that execute the law or rather custom, ac-
for him, the execution of which must cording to the decisions of the old
make the world a hell, and mankind men afore-mentioned. They are, in
devils incarnate. This reasoning ap- fact, such as the Highland chieftains
peared to startle him, and he acknow. were, previous to their contamination
ledged that it deserved consideration. With the Gothic institutions of feudal-
I never had an opportunity of seeing ism which were established among
hiin again. Several others whom I had their neighbours ; possessing power of
now and then a few words with on life and death by the general consent
these subjects, generally declined enter- of the heads of families, and not claim-
ing into an argument on it, assigning ing any individual right over the per-
their reason to be, that the first ques- sons, lands or property of the tribe
tion was not whether Mahomet or or district, his duty being to have a
Jesus was the prophet of God, but proper division made, and every thing
whether it was lawful to worship one executed for the general good. On
God, or three or more; and they look- occasions of quarrels with their neigh-
ed on my assertion that I believed in bours, they form associations of vil-
one only, as a mere bait to draw them lages more or less numerous according
into argument, and so declined it. to the nature of the attack by the ene-
Upon the whole, I apprehend Borneo my, or to the power of persuasion
offers a very favourable appearance possessed by those who are more im-
for the planting of the Christian reli-mediately attacked; and a principal
gion, which has not yet been preached object with the Mussulmen has been
in its land under any form, except to prevent such associations, which
some traditionary efforts of the early would resist their persevering, en-
Portuguese may be reckoned an ex- croachments, or, perhaps, overwhelm
ception. A missionary would proba- them entirely.
bly be most useful and successful

[To be concluded in the next Number.)
among the Aborigines ; he should on
his arrival among them, profess to be
come among them merely for the pur-

Birmingham, pose of teaching them the use of let. Sir,

Dec. 21, 1821. ters and the arts of life, both of which THE they are now anxious to acquire ing the Sunday-evening Lecture They would soon inquire about reli- in the room belonging to the Sundaygion, when I would propose that he schools of the Old Meeting-honse in should merely tell them what was be- this town, request your insertion of lieved, or thought to be respectively the following sketch of the origin of the systems held by the Mahometans their institution. They think it not and Christians, without, however, at improbable that some of your readers first mentioning the names of the dif. may be placed in similar circuin

[ocr errors][merged small]

stances, to whom it may suggest a and plan is approved by those who plan of mutual inprovement, and who publicly support the cause of virtue may not be disinclined to make use of and religion. the experience of a society already

GEORGE TYNDALL, existing, in carrying their views into

Secretary. effect. A Sunday-evening Lecture had

Edinburgh, been delivered at the Old Meeting- SIR,

Nov. 7, 1821. Rev. N note

of the congregation: when, upon bis to the tenets held in the latter part of removal to Monkwell Street, London, his life, by William Law, the excelthe Lecture was suspended, a number lent author of the “ Serious Call.” of the young men connected with the "The opinions which Law entertained Old and New Meeting congregations in the latter part of his life were these : and schools, feeling that it had been That all the attributes of the Almighty attended with important religious ad- are only modifications of his love, and vantages, formed a plan to continue a that when in Scripture his wrath, venSunday-evening Service until the regu- geance, &c., are spoken of, such exlar Lecture in the Old Meeting-house pressions are only used in condescenshould be resumed. The use of the sion to human weakness, by way of large room belonging to the Old Meet- adapting the subject of the mysterious ing Sunday-schools having been cheer- workings of God's providence to hufully granted, an evening service was man capacities. He held, therefore, immediately commenced. The ser- that God punishes no one. All evil, vice, selected from the most approved according to his creed, originates either liturgies and sermons, is read by one from matter or from the free will of of the members of the committee, or man; and if there be suffering, it is by some friend invited by the commit- not that God wills it, but that he tee to officiate; the sermon, which permits it for the sake of a greater any member may select for his ap- overbalance of good, that could not pointed evening, being submitted to otherwise possibly be produced, as the the approbation of the Committee. necessary consequence of an inert inThis regulation, however, of course strument like matter, and the impercannot take effect when any minister fection of creatures less pure than is invited to preach, and the society himself

. Upon his system all beings bas already had the gratification of will finally be happy.' He utterly reengaging the services of its own mi- jects the doctrine of the atonement, nisters, who have thus given their and ridicules the idea that the offended sanction to the institution. That its justice of the one perfect Supreme plan is more generally approved, the Being required any satisfaction. He Committee are happy to infer from alleges that Paul, when he speaks of the increasing numbers of those who redemption, says, God was in Christ attend the service—the room, which reconciling the world to himself. Now is calculated to hold upwards of 300 he adds, had the Almighty required an persons, having been on some late atonement, the converse of this propoevenings even inconveniently filled. sition would have been the truth, and The use of the room having been the phrase would have been, reconciling granted to the society, the expenses himself to the world.” From this attending the service will be trifling, note it is probable that Law was an and a subscription of one shilling per Universalist, and approaching to Uniquarter it is estimated will be ade- tarianism. This is a name of which quate to the whole. A library for the any class of Christians may justly be use of the members has been esta- proud, and a man's last sentiments blished; and the Committee beg to add, should be regarded as his most mature that they shall feel grateful for any co- ones, except there be reason for bepies of Sermons that may from time to lieving that his faculties have been time be published, not only as form- impaired by age. The first sentence ing an addition to their library, but as 'of the above strongly resembles an affording an inference that their object expression of Rev. Philip Holland, that

[blocks in formation]

instead of saying God is just, wise and But permit me to remind yon, that, good, it would be better to say, God considering the amiable disposition is justly and wisely, good, which more and upright conduct of your son, and nearly coincides with the declaration with your views of the free and unpurof the Apostle, God is love.

chased “

grace of God which bringeth T. C. H.

salvation,” you can scarcely entertain

a doubt, that the change will for hiin Clifton,

be greatly for the better. A parent

who considered a high state of religiSIR,

Oct. 16, 1821. N ile discharge of a very painful few, and the application of the blood

ous feeling which can be attained by part of the duties of the ministry, of Christ

, through the influence of the I have often been led to lament the Spirit

, to the conscience of each indiwant of a work particularly adapted to vidual, as essential requisites for acbe put into the hands of Unitarian

ceptance with God, must be distressChristians under the various seasons of affliction. The four following Let- vation of his child while living, and

ed with perpetual anxiety for the salters are a humble attempt to supply must have the utmost dificulty in this want, and should they be thought persuading himself that it is well with likely to be acceptable to your readers, him when he is removed. But lookmay probably be followed by two or

ing to the goodness of the fruit as a three more on similar subjects. I trust no apology will be needed to and regarding religious conduct as

proof of the excellence of the tree, those to whom some of them were addressed, for my endeavouring to evincing the existence of religious

principle, nothing can deprive you of render them more extensively useful. That your work

the hope to which the heart clings in may continue to be consolatary as well as instructive

to a taken from you for a short time will

the hour of sorrow, that he who is large class of readers, is the earnest

be re-united to you under happier cirwish of

cumstances, where no second separaGEORGE KENRICK.

tion need be dreaded. Although one

has been employed only for a short The Unitarian Mourner comforted.

time in the vineyard, and the other

has borne the burthen and heat of the LETTER I.

day, yet both may hope to obtain the A Letter to a Friend, on the Death of same glorious reward.

his Son at the Age of Twenty. Many serious persons lay great MY DEAR SIR,

stress upon death-bed repentance and To express my sympathy with you faith, and the dying testimony of the in your late very severe loss, and to Christian to the excellence of religion. contribute towards the restoration of But opportunity for these is seldom your health and spirits, so anxiously afforded. And in what better way wished for by your friends, are my in- can the Christian express his sense of ducements in taking up my pen to the value of religion, than by the litaddress you.

ing testimony which he affords in the It is the peculiar excellence of our conformity of his conduct to its dicreligion, that it is calculated to afford tates ? The best of us must be sensicomfort to the mourner; and it has ble of numerous imperfections in his always appeared to me to evince the conduct, and can claim nothing on truth and value of our peculiar views the ground of merit at the hands of an of it, that they embrace all the com- impartial Judge ; but it is not neces

sources of alleviation to our sary to ascribe perfection to our degriefs, and represent some of them in parted friends, in order to entertain a light peculiarly interesting and influ- the assured hope of their being merciential. "To have lost a son at so short fully received at the throne of grace. a warning and at a period of life when The heart in affliction naturally a parent begins to see, in nearer pros- turns to its Maker. And how delightspect, the future usefulness and re- ful to behold a Being dressed in no spectability of his offspring, is indeed terrible frowns, animated by no implaa heavy stroke.

cable resentment towards his erea

mon

sures

tures, but smiling with approbation of the efforts of your own mind to upon their humble efforts to please restore the tone of your spirits ; an him;--who, so far from needing to event so desirable for the sake of your have his favour towards them pur- own liealth and the comfort of your chased or his fury appeased, is ever family. must freely confess too, ready to betow upon them the richest that I am actuated by the hope, that of his gifts; and whose chastisements while I am endeavouring to administer are those of a father, intended for the comfort to another, I may be consolhighest good of his children! To be ing myself. the subject of hatred to a Being seated With respect to the removal of the on the throne of universal nature, must little girl from this world of trouble, indeed be a source of dreadful fore- which, to allude to a phrase employed bodings. Present sufferings might by the Jews, she seems rather to have then be regarded only as the prelude passed by'* than to have entered ; to more overwhelming afflictions to it is a happy circumstance for us, that come. But when we remember that although by their innocent looks and the Author of our sufferings is not at helpless condition, our infant children all more powerful than he is good, endear theinselves greatly to us while and that he that “maketh sore” also living, yet their loss is not felt in a de“bindeth up," and the same hand that gree to be at all compared to that in “woundeth, maketh whole," cheerful which we suffer on occasion of the serenity and composure take the place removal of those in whose company of gloomy despondency. Thus the we have tasted the rational pleasur character of the Deity is calculated to of social life. afford us inexhaustible sources of con- Yet as the parental heart cannot but solation, however varied and painful have formed some fond anticipations the afilictions of life may be. And in of the coming period, when the tongue proportion as our minds are imbued suspended in silence should acquire with a system of religious faith, in the faculty of expressing the varied which the mereifulness of his nature emotions of the soul, and the dormant shines without a cloud or shadow, may powers of the being made a little lower we hope to be cheered by it in the than the angels, should awake to all midst of the deepest sorrow.

the energy of life--sacred be the tear That you may experience much of which is shed over the infant's bier. the comfort arising from these and Let no proud philosophy censure it as other reflections with which your own vain and useless, no affected picty conmind will not fail to furnish you, is demn it as impious. Let nature speak the earnest wish of,

her own language. And let your grief, Dear Sir,

my friend, be only restrained within Yours, with sentiments of proper bounds by the reflection, thaç respect and friendship, he who created the infant object of

your tenderness, must at the time have willed its good; and, consequent

ly, will assuredly provide for it some LETTER II.

future scenes of rational existence and To a Friend, on the First Anniversary happiness, in which the end of its being of the Day of his Wife's Death, may be answered. Whether it be now and on the Loss of an Infant Daugh- the pupil of Abraham and Moses and ter, aged Eleven Months.

other ancient worthies, as the belief MY DEAR FRIEND,

of some persons may lead them to

imagine, or the unconscious associate When I lately saw you, you inti- of its ancestors, as others suppose, I mated what indeed no language was trust there is no presumption in the necessary to inform me, that the loss hope, that the parental relation which of your little infant, together with the has been painfully suspended here, return of the day on which you sustained the heavier loss of its mother, had produced a considerable effect in

* In the modern Jewish Prayer-Books, depressing your spirits. I now ada mention is made of those " who have dress you in the hope that the sug- passed by the world," by which they degestions of a friend may come in aid wote children still-boru.

« AnteriorContinuar »