Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

placed on a table before the image; the money, of course, is at the disposal of the priests. A dagobah, or mausoleum, is erected within a few feet of most Budhuist temples ; and the worshippers are made to believe that these contain some part of the real body of Budhu : they are, therefore, frequently the objects of adoration. An entire tooth of Budhu is affirmed to be preserved in the principal temple at Kandy.

• « The tooth of Budhu,” remarks Dr. Davy, “ is, by the Budhuists, considered as the most precious thing in the world, and the palladium of the country; the whole of which is dedicated to it. It was brought by the daughter and nephew of the king of Kalingoonratte, when in danger of falling into the hands of a neighbouring monarch, who made war for the express purpose of seizing it.” In the rebellion in 1817, this sacred relic having been clandestinely obtained by the insurgents, it became a mighty instrument in forward. ing their nefarious plans, and in inspiring their adherents with confidence of the ultimate success of their cause. Its subsequent recovery by our government naturally produced an opposite effect on their minds. From the author of the preceding observations, the following description of the relic is inserted. Through the kind ness of the governor, I had an opportunity (enjoyed by few Europeans) of seeing this celebrated relic, when it was recovered towards the conclusion of the rebellion. It was of a dirty yellow colour, except towards its truncated base, where it was brownish. Judging from its appearance, at the distance of two, three or four feet, (for nope but the chief priests were privileged to touch it,) it was artificial, and of ivory, discoloured by age. Never was a relic more preciously enshrined. Wrapped in pure sheet gold, it was placed in a case just large enough to receive it, of gold, covered externally with emeralds, diamonds, and rubies, tastefully arranged. This beautiful and very valuable bijou was put into a very small gold karandua, (a kind of dome or casket,) richly ornamented with rubies, diamonds, and emeralds : this was enclosed in a larger one, also of gold, and very prettily decorated with rubies: this second, surrounded with tinsel, was placed in a third, which was wrapped in muslin; and this in a fourth, which was similarly wrapped ; both these were of gold, beautifully wrought, and richly studded with jewels : lastly, the fourth karandua, about a foot and a half high, was deposited in the great karandua. Here it may be remarked, that when the relic was taken, the effect of its capture was astonishing, and almost beyond the comprehension of the enlightened. Now, the people said, the English are indeed masters of the country; for they who possess the relic, have a right to govern four kingdoms ; this for 2000 years, is the first time the relic was ever taken from us. And the first adikar observed, That, whatever the English might think of the consequence of having taken Kappitípola, Pilime Talawe, and Madugallé, (the three principal rebel chiefs,) in his opinion, and in the opinion of the people in general, the taking of the relic was of infinitely' more moment."

The reverence paid by the natives to an image of Budhu, may be judged of from a circumstance mentioned by Mr. Ilar

vard. A Kandian adikar, or noble, on discovering one on a side-board in the Governor's drawing-room in Colombo, arose from his chair with great discomposure, and refused to resume his seat until the idol had been removed to another apartment. This is not atheism, at least in any other sense than all polytheism virtually amounts to atheism, since every system which admits of a plurality of deities, dissociates the idea of God from that of the Creator. If the Budhuistical creed excludes a Creator, so does the religion of the Pantheon. Jupiter, the father of gods and men, had himself a parent and a beginning. We must, therefore, distinguish between the dogma, that the world never had a beginning, and consequently liad not a Creator, and the denial of any Supreme Being. Under no form of polytheism is the Creator worshipped. Bramha, to whom that title is given in the Hindoo theology, was himself produced from a lotus; and it is remarkable, that he has no temples, nor is his image ever worshipped in India. The idea of creation is too sublime to be entertained by a mind that can take up with the notion of a multiplicity of deities; and thus, when the act of creation is attributed to any of those deities, it means nothing more than an operation of skill or ingenuity in constructing the present world out of pre-existing materials, such as any god out of the 30,000, might have exerted if he pleased. Creator is, therefore, with them an empty title. The God who made the heavens and all things visible and invisible, himself before all things, and from everlasting, is to them an unknown God. We are inclined to think that Budhuism is not more nearly allied to atheism, than any other species of idolatry.

Mr. Harvard has given in the Appendix a very interesting document: a sermon by Petrus Panditta Sekara, a converted priest, in which he gives an outline of the change which had taken place in his own sentiments. We must make room for an extract.

"" Beloved brethren, there are a great number of religions in the world, but of which one only can be the true religion, for all cannot be true. Therefore, that must be the true religion, which admits a Creator, and one only everlasting God. Now, if one, with a hope of saving his soul, turns his back upon the religion of this eternal God, and worships another, his labour may be compared to a famished foolish kid, that endeavours to suck the horns of its mother, instead of the teat Some religions deny the everlasting God, who created the world. But how, it must be asked, can a rational person believe them to be right ? No man can see the soul ; yet, from the motions, feelings, and other actions of the man, there can be no doubt of his having a soul. Therefore, my friends, cannot you be convinced, from this wonderful world, and the various parts of creation, namely, the heavens, earth, sea, sun, moon, stars, men, &c. and their regular organization, that there is a God, and all these are in bis works ; and likewise, can't we consider that these things cannot be made by themselves, and that it is impossible so to be?

• “ If the world was created by itself, and not created by God, how is it possible that the wonderful events thereof should remain invariably the same, without the interposition of God? Will ever a puddy field be ploughed properly, by the oxen alone, without a husbandman ? If the creation is of itself, there must be much changeableness in the world, and a want of regular system and order. As, for instance, the members of a nian, such as the nose, might come in the place of the ear, and the ear in place of the pose ; the chin in the place of the mouth, and the mouth in the place of the chin,

““ Friends, certainly God created the world, and the many things therein. He is an eternal Being ; he knows the events of the past, present, and the future times : he knows the thoughts of all the inhabitants of the world. If any one doubt that, it is nothing but the mere obscurity which is the cause of his heathenish faith. The chicken in the egg could not see the sun, moon, and the world, being covered with a shell, and its eyes not been open ; likewise, my brethren, you can't know and acknowledge the everlasting God, or believe in the Saviour, as you are covered with the shell of heathenish faith, and as you have not the light of understanding: Your eyes are not open : therefore we should rejoice and be thankful to God, and those preachers who lay before us such a just and cheerful religion of a Holy Trinity ; consisting of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. Who can be averse to embrace this religion, offered by those who have some efficient knowledge thereof? Surely none. The Apostle Paul says, in his Epistle to the Romans, chap. i. verse 16, “ I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation, to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.'

• “ Beloved brethren, I myself was one of the principal preachers of the Budhist religion, in this island of Ceylon; and during my priesthood,' I not only acquired some proficiency in the Palic, Sanscrit, and Singhalese science ; I also spent good part of my time in preaching, and learning the religious books of Budhu, and of some other religions. It is well known to you, that. I was much esteemed among the Budhists for my preaching: and was respected and re. warded by royal favours, and by chief ministers of state.; yet, I found in that religion, no Redeemer to save our souls from death; no CREATOR of the world, or a beginning to it. Consequently, I had some doubt always in my mind, as to its reality ; and had some suspicion that the world, with its thousands of wonderful parts, was the creation of an Almighty God. While I was reflecting on this, a conversation took place between me and the head priest of Saffragam district, called Attedassa Teronansey, of the temple of Kottembulwalle. He asked me, who could believe that a child

(as it is said in the Christian religion) could be conceived in the womb of a virgin? To which I answered, If the world, and all its curious things, which we see about us, were created of themselves, it is no wonder that a child should have been conceived in the womb of a virgin. Upon which the priest was somewhat displeased with me. While I was in this condition, I happened, through the blessing of God Almighty, to speak with the pious Rev. Mr. Clough, since which, I have maintained a friendship with him, and have continued to attend and converse with him concerning the Christian religion. By this means, the obscurity and doubts which were over my mind, were perfectly cleared off, and the light of the Christian faith filled my mind in their stead, as easily as colours are received into fine white linen when painted; so I consented to be baptized. While I was in doubt, a large Mandowe was erected, in the place called Galwadogodde, at Galle, for the performance of a very great ceremony of Budhu's religion; there were assembled twenty-eight preachers, (or priests,) including myself, and an immense crowd of common people of both sexes. During that ceremony, I read over two chapters of the Gospel of St. Matthew before the multitude, and spoke to them upon that subject in a friendly manner. Some time afterwards, the people of Galle district, hearing that I was at the point of leaving the priesthood, and of being baptized, gathered into a large body, and spoke in such a manner against my intended baptism, that scarcely any man could have resisted them : in consequence of which, I was in a state of perplexity for some time, being strongly inclined to be baptized, on the one hand, and to comply with their request on the other. But after my arrival in Colombo, all the hesitations and agitations of my mind were completely done away, by the sweet and admirable advice I received from the Hon. and Rev. Thomas James Twisleton, the chief chaplain in this island. Just as darkness vanishes by the appearance of the sun, I was enlightened, and was actually baptized, without regarding the aversion and abuse I was likely to undergo from the people of the Budhu's relig: vw; giving up my relations and friends, the teachers of my former religion, and the situation I was in, and the lands and Uther property which I obtained from the Budhu priesthood. Thus I embraced Christianity, and became a member of Christ's church.

Petrus was chief priest of a temple in the neighbourhood of Galle. Such is the Budhuism of the Singhalese hierarchy; but, among the common people, very generally, the only object of religious fear is the devil, and the only object of religious homage, the priests.

• Budhuism of itself is evidently tottering, and were it not in league with devilism, I think that it would soon fall to the ground. But this is now actually the case. The priest of Budhu, while he denies the existence of an all-creating power, acknowledges the existence of innumerable demigods and demons. Houses called dewallas are erected, in which the, effigy or portrait of the devil, to whom the place is dedicated, is generally placed. A person, generally known by the name of Kapoorawla (the termination rawla is one of respect) pretends to have power over, or interest with the supposed devil. The priests of Budhu support the fraud, and these Kapooas support Budhuism.'.

Education is unquestionably the main engine which must, in the first instance, be brought to bear upon this mass of palpable darkness; and to the Christian schools, which are now in operation, we may confidently look, if they are carefully watched over, for the eventual extermination of both devil-worship and Budhuism in this long benighted island.

Art. VI. Mental Discipline ; or Hints on the Cultivation of Intel.

lectual and Moral Habits : addressed to Students in Theology and
Young Ministers. By Henry Forster Burder, M. A. Part the
Third. 8vo. pp. 108. Price 4s. London. 1823.
THE
HE former volume of this work, containing the First and

Second Parts, we most conscientiously recommended as a code of principles of the first importance to young persons desirous of doing that without which all technical education must be unavailing,-putting forth their own energies to confirm their mental improvement. More methodical and comprehensive than Locke's Conduct of the Understanding, more concise and pointed than Watts's Improvement of the Mind, that volume is adapted to answer the ends of both ; and it is more suited than either to the present more advanced state of society, and the immense improvements in intellectual culture which have been effected within the last half century. The Second Part of the book was more directly calculated to aid Students for the Christian ministry, and those who have not yet grown old in its labours, and inveterate in their own habits; by urging a never ceasing diligence in pursuing plans of improvement, by detailing the most necessary objects in a course of ulterior study, and by directing to the best method of composing sermons. The Third Part, now in our hands, is entirely occupied in directions and cautions upon the • cultivation of those Moral Habits which will facilitate the • honourable and successful discharge of Pastoral Duties.' This is the kind of advice which is usually addressed to Dissenting Ministers in that part of their Ordination Service which is called the Charge; a part to which there is nothing comparable as to utility or solid dignity in the splendid forms of episcopal ordination. There are few Dissenting pastors who would not wish to have always present

« ПредишнаНапред »