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duce as many barrels. The whole was unfortunately wrecked whilst coast abounds besides with hair and pursuing a profitable traffic on the fur seals; the trade in which, either coast. She was the only English vesfor the London or China markets, sel remembered there, although about might be worth attention.

twenty ships annually resort thither, The ship, from the crew of which a few of them French, but the greater this information has been obtained, number Americans.


À DISCOURSE ON MISSIONS, BY JOHN FOSTER. In the first part of this most elo- imagined scene of real conflict; and they shall quent and powerful composition, the feel a proud elation in rising from the stale Preacher observes, that there is a cer

and sleepy notion of a spiritual warfare, to tain principle of correspondence to re

the magnificence of the combats which are ligion throughout the economy of the displayed in fire and blood to the eyes, and world. Things bearing an apparent shall follow some magnanimous mortal, of

in thunder to the ears. The imagination analogy to its truths, sometimes more history or fiction, through scenes of tumult, prominently, sometimes more abstract- and terror, and noble daring, and shall ly, present themselves on all sides to a adore him as beheld exulting unhurt in vic. thoughtful mind. This lofty view of tory, or breathing out his soul as a hero God and nature, he illustrates with a should die. The enthusiast while sitting splendour and magnificence of thought still and abstracted, may at moments be and language, perhaps beyond the almost beguiled in fancy into a personation reach of any other writer of our day- destruction, thus fervidly imagined, shall

of this favourite hero. And the scenes of exhibiting all things as a great sys- really be deemed the sublimest exhibitions tem of emblems, reflecting or shadow of man, in which human energy approaches ing the will of the Almighty, and the nearest to a rivalry with the immortals, “ religion standing up in grand paral- his mind, perhaps, silently pronouncing lel to an infinity of objects, receiving this very term, conformably to that last pertheir testimony and homage, and versity of human madness by which an speaking with a voice which is echoed epithet expressing negation of all relation to by the creation.”

death, has been selected in special preferIn many parts of this sermon we

ence to be applied to men whose very busi

ness has been to deal in death, both as are strongly reminded of our Chalmers and we know of none but state of the mind, the idea were again pre

givers and receivers. If, in this enflamed “ these brethren in power,” who could sented of the Christian warfare, of a conhave written the passages we are now test against principalities and powers, and about to quote. Mr Foster is enforc- spiritual wickedness, it would be repelled ing on our minds this great truth, with disdain of the impertinence or arro. that in the character of servants of gance which could assume for such matters God, we are all placed under the ne

any of the lofty terms belonging, and, (it cessity of an intense moral warfare would be proudly said), deservedly applied,

to the transactions of Trafalgar and Water. against the powers of evil, as real and loo. This contempt may be inspired by the palpable as ever were encountered in imagination alone of the glories of war, but the field of battle.

it would be felt in a still stronger degree by It is striking to observe, at the same most of the men who have actually witnesstime, in what manner many of the persons ed and shared the terrors and triumphs of who are thus tired to loathing of these martial exploit, if it could happen that they images in their moral and spiritual appli- should hear the figurative language in quescation, shall be all energy when the same tion, and lend for a moment attention forms of thought come in literal representa- enough to understand what it should mean. tion of war. Most of the excitable ani- In short, between distaste for its insipidity, mated class of spirits, whether in youth or and almost resentful scorn of its impertimuch more advanced in life, can be kindled nence of pretension, the metaphor would to enthusiasm by the grand imagery of be, by the greatest number of men of spibattles and heroic achievements. Those rit and imagination, flung back on the weak, very terms of martial metaphor, under the and dreaming religionists, as an idle fancy spiritual import of which they are begin- just fit for their jargon. Let these wars, ning, perhaps amidst some religious service, enemies, and heroes of vapour, they would to sink in dulness, may relieve them by a say, busy the feeble souls to which they can sudden diversion of the mind away to some

have the effect of realities.

" Printed for Josiah Conder, St Paul's Church Yard, London.

But while this is their feeling, what shall but a faint and inadequate comparison for we think of the state of their perception representing that other invasion, which is Alas for the condition of the senses of the made upon the spirits of all mankind, that souls that have so little cognisance of a invasion of which, indeed, all these horrors most fearful reality which exists on every are themselves but a few of the exterior cir. side and presses upon them ! How de- cumstances and results. And yet creatures plorable to see men exercising their facul. assailed and in danger of destruction by this ties, in observation, and interest, and cau. more awful calamity, surveying in imagition, on the elements and agents around nation, and shuddering while they survey, them, and yet scarcely apprehending the these furies and miseries of remote times or presence of the worst of them all, and, ex- regions, shall bless their good fortune that cepting the Divinity, the mightiest ; and to they are not exposed to any agency of evil a see them "sporting themselves with their thousandth part so formidable ! own deceivings,” while they are turning In following in thought those perpetrators away with slight or scorn from the repre- of devastation and carnage, we have the sentations by which divine or human admo- consolation of foreseeing its end. The nition is attempting to alarm them to a Cæsars and Attilas were as mortal as the sense of their danger from this grand ene millions who expired to give them fame. my,

Moral Evil. And then to observe that of Timour, the language of the Historian among creatures so insensible there is, the kindling into poetry, relates that, “ he while, a quick and ardent recognition of pitched his last camp at Otrar, where he enemies, a martial spirit, and all the pomp was expected by the Angel of Death." . But and pride of wars, battles, victories! Truly the power that wages war immediately on it is a spectacle for the most malignant in the souls of men, the power of delusion and telligences in the creation to exult over, depravity, has continued to live and destroy that such creatures should be seeking glory while all these renowned exterminators have in destructive conflicts with one another, yielded to the decree that sent them after while their most dreadful foe is invading their victims. It is perpetually invigorated them all. It is a spectacle of still darker by the very destruction which it works ; as character than that which would have been if it fed upon the slain to strengthen itself presented by opposed armed parties or le- for new slaughter, immortal by the very gions, gallantly maintaining battle on the means of death. For the operations of sin yet uncovered spaces of ground, while the on human beings are of a nature to faciliuniversal deluge was rising.

tate its renewed and prolonged operations.

The effects are continually reflected back on He soon afterwards proceeds still

the cause, with which they unite, and immore eloquently in the same strain.

part an indefinite augmentation to its force ; Sometimes we contemplate, perhaps, the the main principle of its strength, all the mighty progress of destruction, as carried while, being in the natural aptitude

of its over a large tract of the earth by some of unhappy subjects to receive the mischief the memorable instruments of the divine which it applies. The beings therefore unwrath, such as Attila, Zingis Khan, or Tider the predominant power of sin are bea We behold a wide spreading terror

coming, without intermission, more and preceding, to be soon followed by the realisa

more absolutely sinners ; so that each step tion of every dreadful presage in resistless in the advance

gives stronger assurance of ravage and extermination. The doomed But what an awful scene is a world with a

their maintaining that character in the next countless multitudes crowd tumultuously on our view, in all the forms of dismay,

vast multitude of inhabitants of whom the and vain effort, and suffering, and death ; a

great majority are incessantly growing world of ghastly countenances, desperate evil might not such a race attain but for

worse !

And to what dreadful perfection of struggles, lamentable cries, streaming blood, and expiring agonies ; with the correspond death, that cuts the term of individuals so ing circumstances of fury and triumph, and short, and but for the Spirit of God, that the appropriate scenery of habitations burn

converts some, and puts a degree of res

traint on the rest. ing and the land made a desert. The fancied forms of individual sufferers, in

And now, if there is really thus in action, cessantly marked forth from the confused against the souls of our race, such an eneaggregate, and presented to the mind in my as all these epithets and images can but momentary glimpses, preserve the vividness faintly represent, can a professed servant of of our perception of the misery, unconfound.

God look round and felicitate himself on ed in the view of its immensity, while that having an extremely easy test of his fideliimmensity throws over all the more dis- ty? Where does he find his privileged tinct impressions a general character of hor. ground of immunity

and indulgence, while ror.

this mighty force of evil drives and sweeps When a man of ardent imagination has and rages, against God and truth, against dwelt upon such a scene til it almost goodness and happiness, and his own spiglows into reality in his view, let him be rit and all men's spirits, as really as an inassured (it is the language of truth and fernal legion could do? In seeking such soberness that affirms this spectacle to form

. Gibbon


exemption he must abandon all the objects friends of religion seem to have reand interests against which this hostility is garded those dreadful maladies of the directed ; must therefore, in effect, co-ope- moral world, the delusions and abomirate with the enemy. Let him consider nations of paganism, with a sort of subwhat scheme it is possible to conceive of true service to the King of heaven in this missive awe, as if almost they had esbad world which should not commit him tablished a prescriptive right to their in conflict, at every point of its execution. place on earth—“as if they were an Against every good he can think of he will unchangeable, uncontroulable part of find an appropriate antagonist evil already the great system of things, like the in full action, an action that will not remit destructive climates of certain portions and sink into quiet when he approaches to of the globe, and the liability of others effect the intended good. Nay, indeed, in to the terrors of earthquakes." what way is it that the servant of God the

Within a later period, however, most promptly apprehends the nature of his within that chiefly which has shewn, vocation but in that of seeing what it is against ? And when he puts the matter to

on so vast a scale, the availableness of experimental proof, does he ever find that human agency for overturning things those apprehended adversaries are nothing of ancient, and wide, and commanding but menacing shadows ? Let him that has establishment in the world, Mr Fosmade the most determined, protracted, and ter remarks, that men have begun to extensive trial, tell whether it is idle com- regard, with less prostration of feelmon-place and extravagance when we say, ing, those gigantic dominations which that all Christian exhortation is in truth a

have for so many ages held so many summons to war."

nations in the debasement of superstiMr Foster then remarks, that there tion. Indeed what man who has been are many powers and agencies of the a philosophical observer of the events grand enemy, Moral Evil, which press of modern history, would dare to afso immediately on a man's own per- firm what must be the durability of any sonal economy, that a habitual conflict human establishments? Even truth, with them is an essential condition of righteousness, and wisdom are not imthe Christian character. But others mortal on earth; and shall it be asagain there are of great power and serted, without awakening, in all hatefulness, which do not so directly thoughtful hearts, indignation and force themselves into the question of his scorn, that any system, formed, built, being a Christian or not. The sphere of and cemented by the most hideous sutheir malignant operation lies, perhaps, perstition, must of necessity be everat a greater distance, and they may lasting on the land which it darkens ? seem from their magnitude and conso

It is somewhat singular that those perlidated establishment, to bid defiance sons who first argued against all atto the efforts of individuals. Mr Fos- tempts to christianize India, on the ter accordingly admits freely, that the ground of the essential immortality of exhortation to a Christian, to exert a the Hindoo Superstition, were those share of his force in this direction, who, in an especial manner, arrogated may be considered as partly an appeal to themselves the title of philosophers, to those higher sentiments of the re- while they were thus advancing a ligious spirit, which aspire to the full proposition which was belied by all magnanimity and zeal of the Christian history, both sacred and profane. character. “ It is an incitement to While they tried to cover, with their ambition, that it may never ridicule and shame, the ignorance and again be said, with respect to any part the fanaticism of all missionaries of the operations of God against evil they themselves were standing on among men, that he trod the wine- ground which shelved away, and crumpress alone, and that of the people bled beneath their feet. They were the there was none with him.”

ignorant fanatics of a false philosophy, When animated to this high and and scoffingly preaching in their darkenterprising spirit, a good man may ness to those who were walking in the wonder that the heathenism prevailing sunshine. So little did they know of over large tracts of the world, should so human nature, that they believed the little, in this country, or other pro- fetters of fear to be stronger than the testant nations, till a comparatively links of love; and that the human recent time, have been accounted as soul would cling, with more inseparacomprehended within the sphere of ble passion, to the grim idols unto required Christian exertion. The whose worship it approached through VOL. V

3 M



misery and blood, than it has ever circulation, have made all who take the been known to cling to the altar built least interest in the subject familiarly acby faith, and illuminated by revelation. quainted with

the prominent features of the What then was the advice given to heathenism of central Asia. For the atchristians by those philosophers who tainment of any thing like a complete believed in the invincible power of which faculty besides, if it might search the

knowledge it may defy all human faculty, wickedness and falsehood ? It was to universe for choice of subjects, could find leave the Hindoo Superstition to itself, nothing less worth its efforts for knowledge. for that it was a rock against which The system, if it is to be so called, is an the vain efforts of Christianity would be utter chaos, without top, or bottom, or cenflung back like the idle foam of the sea. re, or any dimension or proportion belongIt would not be difficult to shew ing either to matter or mind, and consisting

It gives that the philosophers of whom we of what deserves no better order. are now speaking, have not succeeded is not of the value of an atom.

one the idea of immensity filled with what

It is the in giving the solution of any one of most remarkable exemplification of the posthose moral problems, which, in our sibility of making the grandest ideas conown time, have been forced upon the temptible, for that of infinity is here comminds of men meditating on their bined with the very abstract of worthlessown grand and melancholy destinies.

They have uniformly shewn them- “ But, deserving of all contempt as it is, selves ignorant of the elements of hu-' regarded merely as a farrago of notions and man nature, and hence, in spite of all fantasies, it becomes a thing for detestation their powers of ratiocination, they practical light, as the governing scheme of

and earnest hostility when viewed in its have never arrived at the truth. We principles and rites to a large portion of our would not give such a man as Foster Consider that there is thus acting or Chalmers for them all; and, in say- upon them, as religion, a system which is ing so, we speak the sentiments of in nearly all its properties, that which the Britain, for while our modern philoso- true religion is not, and in many of them phers are talked of with that wavering the exact reverse. Look at your religion, and dubious admiration which mere

presented in its bright attributes before you, exhibitions of intellect excite, they, realise to your minds as far as you can, the

reflecting those of its Author; and then and others such as they, are partakers condition of so many millions of human of that deep, profound, affectionate, spirits receiving, without intermission, from and grateful reverence, with which infancy to the hour of death, the full inmen regard the wise and benign bene- fluence of the direct opposites to these difactors of their species.

vine principles,-a contrast of condition but While the philosophers have been faintly typified by that between the Israelsatisfied with the simple affirmation ites and the Egyptians in beholding, on the that Christianity can never be intro- different sides, the pillar in its appearance duced among the natives of India, the intellectual and moral systems under

Consider in comparison Foster has, in this discourse, entered which we and they are passing forward to into an examination of the causes con- another world. While ours has, as its sostituting the power and the weakness lar light and glory, the doctrine of One of their horrid superstition. Our Being in whom all perfections are united next extract shall be a long one, but and infinite, theirs scatters that which is the we do not fear to say that it is not most precious and vital sentiment of the hu. surpassed, either in eloquence or philo- man soul, and indeed of any created intellisophy, by any composition of our

gence, to an indefinite multitude and di.

versity of adored objects ; the one system time.

carrying the spirit downward to utter de“ There is much in the Hindoo system basement through that very element of feelthat is strikingly peculiar ; but as it is the ing in which it should be exalted, while substantial greatness of the evil, rather the other, when in full influence, bears it than its specific discriminations, that re- upward in spite of a thousand things comquires to be presented to the view of Chris- bining to degrade it. The relation subsisttian zeal, our brief notices will mainly place ing between man and the divinity, as unthe emphasis on qualities common to this folded to view in the true religion, is of a with the other principal modes of paganism. simple and solemn character ; whereas the Our object is rather to exhibit the system in Brahminical theory exhibits this relation in its strength of pernicious operation than in an infinitely confounded, fantastic, vexaany explanatory statement of its form and tious, and ludicrous complexity of forin. materials. There needs no great length of While in the Christian system the future description, since the communications of state of man is declared with the same dig. missionaries, and various works in common nified simplicity, the opposed paganism,

between some inane dream of an aspiring of its devotees in a visible striking imagery, mysticism on the one hand, and the pal- which meets them on all sides. All their triest conceits of a reptile invention on the vanities of doctrine stand, as it were, einother, presents, we might say sports, this bodied before them, and occupy their facul. sublime doctrine and fact in the shapes of ties sooner than they can think, more whimsey and riddle. Ours is an economy constantly than they think, and in a according to which religion, considered as mode of possession stronger than mere in its human subjects, consists in a state of thought. Indeed it is a mode of possession the mind instead of exterior formalities; the which, (after faith has grown into the hainstitutes of the Hindoos make it chiefly bit of the mind), may be effectual on the consist in a miraculously multiplied and feelings though thought be wanting ; for ramified set of ritual fooleries. It is al. we may presume that in India, as in other most superfluous to notice in the compari- regions, when external forms and shows son, that while the one enjoins and pro- have been admitted as symbols of subjects motes a perfect morality, the other essen- of belief, they may preserve in the people tially favours, and even formally sanctions, much of the moral habitude appropriate to the worst vices. It may suffice to add, that belief, even at times when there is no that while the true religion knows nothing strictly intellectual apprehension of the of any precedence in the Divine estimate matter. The Hindoo is under the influence and regard, of one class of human creatures of this enchantment upon his senses, ał. before another, in virtue of nativity or any most wherever the Christian remonstrant mere natural distinction, the superstition against the dreams and rites of his supersti. we are describing has rested very much of tion can approach him, seeking access to its power upon a classification according to his reason and conscience. The man thus which one considerable proportion of the attempting may have read idle fictions of people are, by the very circumstance of magical spells, which obstruct the passing their birth, morally distinguished as holy of some line, or preclude entrance at a gate; and venerable, and another more numerous but here he may perceive a rcal intervening proportion, as base and contemptible, sprung magic, between the truth he brings, and from the feet of the creating god, that they the intellectual and moral faculties into might be slaves to the tribe which had which he wishes to introduce it. In his the luck and honour to spring from his missionary progress among the people, perhead.

haps he shall address them for the first “ Such is this aggregate of perversions of time where there is in sight some votive oball thought, and feeling, and practice. And ject, some consecrated relic, or the tomb of yet, the system, being religion, acts on its some revered impostor ; things which, consubjects with that kind of power which is nected, in their apprehension, as closely appropriate and peculiar to religion. The with religion as their garments are with sense which man, by the very constitution their persons, must needs be indicative that of his nature, has of the existence of some that which they belong to is there ; they super-human power, is one of the strongest are felt as pledges of it reality, and signs principles of that nature; whatever, there- of its authority impending over them. A fore, takes effectual hold of this sense will very firm association has not only the effect go far toward acquiring the regency of his of our being reminded by the less object of moral being. This conjunction of so many the greater, but of our having an aggradelusions does take possession of this sense

vated sense of the reality of that greater. in the minds of the Hindoos, with a “ His next address may be uttered in the mightier force than probably we see in any vicinity of a temple, which, if in ruins, other exhibition of the occupancy of reli- seems to tell but so much the more emphagion, on a wide scale, in the world. But tically, by that image and sign of antiquity, to the power which the superstition has in at what a remote and solemn distance of thus taking hold of the religious sense, is time that was the religion which is the relito be added that which it acquires by ano- gion still ; if undilapidated and continuing ther and a dreadful adaptation ; for it takes in its appropriate use, overawes their minds hold also, as with more numerous bands with the mysterious solemnities of its inthan those given to some of the deities, of violable sanctuary; while the sculptured all the corrupt principles of the heart shapes and actions of divinities, overspreadWhat an awful phenomenon, that among ing the exterior of the structure, have noa race of rational creatures a religion should thing in their impotent and monstrous debe mighty almost to omnipotence by means, vice and clumsy execution, to abate the rein a great measure, of its favourableness to verence of Hindoo devotion toward the obevil !

jects expressed in this visible language. “ Observe, again, the power possessed The missionary, if an acute observer, might by this stupendous delusion in having di. perceive how rays of malignant but imperarect hold on the Senses, in so many ways, iive influence strike from such objects upon even exclusively of the grosser means, (the the faculties of his auditors, to be as it were grossest possible, as you are apprised) of reflected in their looks of disbelief and diswhich it avails itself to please them. It dain upon the preacher of the new doctrine. comes out in manifestation upon the view What à strength of guardianship is thus ar

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