« ПредишнаНапред »
THE MONTHLY REPOSI'
AND LIBRARY OF
Entertaining Knowledge. VOL. I. JULY, 1830.
No. 2. JUGGERNAUT. The description given by Mr. Sutton of what he witnessed during the Rhut Jattra, in 1827, is striking and appalling. Approaching the cars when a storm was commencing, he observes-
« Just as I came within sight of the cars the storm came on violently—the thunder roared, the lightning flashed, and the rain poured down in torrents, as if the elements had conspired together to manifest their indignance at the insults offered to the Majesty of heaven. In about an hour the storm subsided, and the business of idolatry proceeded. The scattered multitude, which dispersed in every direction at the bursting of the storm, again assembled at the deafening sound of the tomtoms, and the discordant clanging of the barbarous trumpets. Here I beheld a promiscuous multitude prostrate before the allcommanding Mahamah (glory) of Juggernaut, unrestrained by the mud, or even the water, though knee deep, which the last soaking storm had left. There was seen a zealous mother bowing down her infant's head before i the idol, and thus early initiating her tender offspring into the degradation of idolatry. In another place was a group of men, women, and children, bowing down with profound reverence, so that they might touch with their foreheads the ropes of the different cars; and in some conspicuous spot, a devotee, eager to distinguish himself, advancing with clasped hands and steady eye towards the idol, till a clear space was afforded him, he threw himself flat on his face, and worshipped; he lay perhaps
a few moments, then half raising himself, stretches forth his hands towards the idol, mutters a repetition, and then prostrates himself afresh before his god. But suddenly the scene changes a shout is heard--a body, perhaps, of 2000 men, armed with sticks and boughs, rush forward to the cars; a louder shout is heard the people seize the huge ropes ;—the clanging of instruments sounds with a more vehement peal, and the car moves on, but it moves with a tardy pace: and to animate the draggers of the ponderous vehicle, one of Juggernaut's adorers stepped forward to the extreme front of the car, and practised the most licentious gestures that an impure imagination can conceive of; he then exerts his stentorian lungs in as abominable expressions ; and again he turned towards the god, and repeated his abomination. The god was pleased, the draggers were fired with fresh zeal, and the enormous load, as it rolled on its 16 wheels, grated harsh thunder, but they ran foul of a house, and crushed the falling ruins.
They still proceeded, women and men of all descriptions and casts, united to drag the ponderous wain. Presently two miserable wretches are seen, one with his shattered arm and another his writhing back, bleeding and torn by the destructive car, whether accidently or intentionally or unintentionally I know not. All seems infernal revelry; the wretches in the rhuts, with their obscenity; the wonder-gazing mob with their vocifera. tions; the crowds of women with their jarring hoot (a noise something like that made by a bird called an Eve Jar on a fine summer's evening in England, the indescribable noise of the harsh sounding instruments : the gay colors and long streamers of the cars; the ugly shape and great staring eyes of the idols; the mad enthusiasm of the vast multitude; and a thousand things which can scarce be described; all tend to impress one with the idea of a holiday in hell, with its blaspheming monarch riding in triumph through his fallen associates.
Oh idolatry! idolatry! thou destroyer of body and soul, when shall thy infernal influence be curtailed, and thy long-extended reign be brought to a close, and thy power to curse mankind be known no more? Ah Chris. tian, what should be thy prayer? but the shout is again heard, and again and again the scene is acted, till the three cars have reached the assigned distance for the night. I then went forth and distributed books to as many as could read, and bade farewell to the intoxicating throng for the night.”
THE ANCIENT AND MODERN HISTORY OF
ANCIENT SACRED HISTORY. The next period of this history begins from the government of the Israelites, in the year B. C. 1095, by kings, and continues to the end of the Babylonish captivity, which includes a space of five hundred and fiftynine years.
The principal fact that happened during the history of the kings, is the schism that happened in the reign of Rehoboam, when the people were divided into two parts, and thence into two distinct kingdoms, Judah and Israel. Three kings only reigned over Israel in its undivided state, viz. Saul, David, and Solomon, The ten tribes revolting from Rehoboam, made choice of Jeroboam for their king, consequently Rehoboam and his successors henceforth governed only the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin. From that time the kings of Judah are to be distinguished from those of Israel, to which the reader of the Old Testament should pay attention, if he would well understand the narrative. Of the kings of Judah the most remarkable in history were, Rehoboam, through whose weakness and folly the kingdom was divided ; Jehoiachim, who was conquered by Nebuchadnezzar, and carried into Babylonish captivity; and Zedekiah, under whom Jerusalem was taken and destroyed, and the rest of the Jews carried into captivity. Jerusalem was the capital and residence of the king's of Judah ; and Samaria the royal city of the monarchs of Israel.
The most celebrated among the kings of Israel were Jeroboam, the founder of the new kingdom; Ahab, known for his impiety and persecution of the prophets ; and Hosea, in whose reign the royal city of Samaria
was besieged and taken by the Assyrians, and the ten tribes carried away into captivity.
Under the first kings divine worship was confined to the ark and the tabernacle. But in the reign of Solomon, the temple, which was called after his name, was built, and became the place of religious worship. This has been called the prophetic æra, as more than thirty prophets flourished during this period. i
The Hebrews were much attached to, and skilful in the practice of agriculture, but are generally supposed to have neglected the liberal arts; architecture and navigation must, however, have been well understood by them, of which their foreign merchandize and the magnificence of Solomon's temple are sufficient proofs.
The fifth period of sacred history includes a space of time amounting to three hundred and seventy-two years, commencing from the end of the Babylonish captivity to the times of the Maccabees.
The Babylonish captivity lasted seventy years, at the end of which, Cyrus, King of Persia, permitted them to return to their own country, where they were governed, first, by Zerubbabel, by whom they had been conducted home, and who laid the foundation of the second temple ; and afterwards by Nehemiah, who inclosed Jerusalem with walls, and wrote a history of his own times. After the death of Nehemiah the su. preme power devolved upon the high priests. To Es. dras, a priest, we are indebted for the collection, revision, and transcript of the books of the Old Testament. In this period the Jews were subject to the Persians, and afterwards were under the dominion of the Greeks. Under the Persian monarchs they were treated with the greatest clemency, but endured the most rigorous oppressions while they were under the power of the Greeks, particularly in the reign of Ptolemy Lagus, who carried a hundred thousand Jews into slavery.
The Massorets, a set of grammarians held sacred among the Jews, arose in this period, by whose care and labors the sacred text has been preserved in the state in which we find it. The books of kings, Chron.