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talis mentions Wineland, towards the end of the eleventh century, as one of the ultra-marine possessions of Norway; where we must recollect, that both Iceland and Greenland, after various political commotions, at last submitted to the dominion of the kings of Norway. But already before that political union, the bartering trade of the settlers had probably subsided; else it would certainly be unaccountable, how it happened that they were not better informed on that subject in the mother country. Besides, the cause of this event, must probably have arisen from the continued hostilities of the Esquimaux, to whom those small numbers of foreigners, who came over for the purpose of ma ng settlements on the coast, could not resist for any length of time. Thus, Thorfin Karlsefne himself saw the best of his intentions vanish; for although he arrived there with a numerous company, he was necessitated, after three years residence, to give up his hopes of settling on these shores,
The proximity of the Esquimaux to Greenland, became, in latter times, even perilous to the settlers of Iceland. In the annals of Greenland, quoted in the Saga library of Muller, it is reported, that the Esquimaux destroyed the possessions of that colony, in the year 1379. The Esquimaux, at that time, were probably attacked by the Mohawks and other tribes from the south, which caused them to take their direction to the north; of whom several parties penetrated perhaps into the eastern parts of Greenland, where their proximity was undoubtedly one of the causes of the destruction of the colony. Cranz and Egede mention a letter (bull) from the pope containing accounts of a hostile fleet, which is reported to have caused great devastation in Greenland, about the year 1418. At the same time, the plague made furious ravages in Iceland which probably propagated its desolating influence to Greenland. Some decennia after this unhappy occurrence, the polar ice, with its insurmountable walls shut up entirely the way to the eastern coast of Greenland, (Oester Roygt.)
It is generally known, in what succession, the above men. tioned causes prepared and consummated the r in of the colony in Greenland. The disturbances, which prevailed at the time in Scandinavia, when it was but feebly kept together, through the union of Calmar, were the causes which prevented the mother country from efficaciously supporting her distant colonies; and when it effectually took place, the peri. od of necessity had disappeared. Notwithstanding various very important expeditions, the most intrepid mariners could not penetrate through those huge masses of ice, behind which the once so splendid colony of Greenland laid intombed in amazing cold. In this manner, the knowledge of the passage from the northern parts of Europe to America was lost with its settlers, and this important discovery remained, like many other human things, for some time at rest; until at another period, and by another nation, it was prosecuted with redoubled zeal. But the names of the first discoverers of those distant countries, would have remained in eternal oblivion, if the northern Sagas had not carefully collected the memory of the great actions of her heroes.-F. Schmidt.
Art. II.-Description of the Character, Manners, and Cus.
toms of the people of India; and of their institutions, Religious and Civil. By the Abbe J. Dubois.
(Concluded.) The art of book making so well understood by those whose employment is literary, makes us diffident in giving credit to the many fables that are daily promulgated, under the specious names of histories and accounts of foreign lands, &c. we unhesitatingly, however, bestow upon the Abbe's an im. plicit faith, not only from its own intrinsic worth, but the decided approbation which it has received of the best oriental scholars.
Few objects have more engrossed the attention of the learned, than the religion of the Hindus. Veiled in almost
impenetrable fiction, the Brahmans, for some considerable time after the introduction of Europeans, imposed upon their credulity, and affected a mystery, which has at length been solved; and the abominable and idolatrous worship laid open in all its disgusting wickedness and deformity.
Mystery, especially in matters of religion, is a betraying symptom of unsoundness, the refuge only of the guilty; the clear and undisguised evidence of the Christian worship, so far from seeking to conceal its doctrines, is widely and openly disseminated, and its invaluable privileges offered to the acceptance of the meanest individual: partakers in common of its blessings, we are able to judge for ourselves of the value of what it is designed to teach, and the simple grandeur of its style impresses the mind with a conviction of its truth; accepted as a standard of faith by all classes of Christians, the worship of the one true God, simplifies its doctrines; and it proudly disdains all attempt at concealment. Widely different are the Vedas, and the other religious books of the Hindus; written in the true hyperboli. cal style of the east; abounding in fiction and metaphor, they seek rather to hide the perniciousness of their doctrines, than to open the sources of religious contemplation and comfort to their deluded believers; occasional bursts of elegance of style, and sublimity of diction have induced many learned men to admire the profound skill displayed in their construction; but they sink into insignificance, when put in compari. son with the institutes of Moses, * and the moral law of the Gospel. Unlike the teachers of the divine word, in the Christian church, the Brahmans conceal from the eyes and understandings of their followers, the fundamental principles of their religion; and by constantly appealing to their passions, by which they are entirely governed, contrive to delude them into a belief of their sanctity, and sometimes even arrogate to themselves divinity: thus, in the Hindu law, it is stated. If a Sudra (the lowest of the four casts) reads the Vedas to any of the other three casts, or listens to them, heated oil, wax and inelted tin, shall be poured into his ears: if he gets them by heart, he shall be put to death: if he spits on a Brahmin, his lips shall be cut off. In fact the Eleusinian games of the Greeks, and the temples erected to Venus and Minerva, were not more celebrated for their debaucheries and lasciviousness, than are those of the Hiadus.
* See Priestley's comparison between the religion of Moses and the Hindus.
The progress of knowledge, especially that kind which elevates the mind to the contemplation of divinity, is a desideratum with every good and pious Christian, and in proportion to its increase will the moral and physical happiness be improved. The striking effects of early tuition, on the morals and disposition of a people, are too obvious in the present day, not to desire a more diffused and extended circulation of the blessings and benefits of instruction; and never can it be better employed, than in seeking to disseminate it among a people, who are so absolutely sunk in ignorance and superstition, as to resign even the distinguishing attribute of men, and submit to be led, like brutes, to the commission of every breach of morality and common decency, under the sacred name of religion.
India was celebrated for its learning, and the wisdom of its philosophers, long before the eruption of Alexander the great into Asia. His astonishment was excited by the power and riches of its kings, the grandeur of their palaces, and the magnificence of their regal state.
The inhabitants however were, with regard to religious knowledge, wholly resigned to idolatry.
The conquests of the Ottoman princes brought with them the religion of Mahoniet; but notwithstanding oppresions and cruelties, of every description, exercised upon this inoffensive race, they pertinaciously adhered to their original belief, and are, at this day, the same, in every respect, as they were
centuries ago. Such constancy and perseverance would be a subject of admiration, were they exerted in a good cause, not that the change from Hinduism to Mahometanism would have produced any beneficial result, but the same spirit exists at this time, and renders them utterly regardless of the divine truths, so meritoriously attempted to be taught them. Nor can we be much surprised, that they should be unwilling to desert a worship, which indulges and ministers to their sensual appetites. A religion which has for its basis the severest morality, and abstinence from unlawful gratifications, will find a natural bar to the wide dissemination of its gospel, until the gross ignorance, in which they are involved, shall be dispelled, by placing, in their own power, the means of ascertaining the truth by intellectual improvements.
The existence of a first cause, seems to be a principle imbibed with our entry into life. The savage, from the light of nature alone, sees that some being, superior to himself, governs his actions, and causes the various beauties of nature to exhibit themselves in all their glory; the revolving day and night excite his astonishment; he looks around and admires the hues of his native forests, and rejoices in the protection they afford; the effulgence of the sun and the milder light of the moon attract his notice, and, under their vivifying influence, he sees the earth spontaneously bring forth her productions, which supply him with his daily food; his limited intellect, naturally imputes all the benefits he receives to what his vision tells him, has been derived from that source; and he falls prostrate before those objects, that are more immediately presented to his view as the great parents of nature, and the most visible administration to his wants. Such has been the origin of religious observances in every barbarous age, and the natural results of unassisted and unsophisticated reason; and such we find to have been the early practice of