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EXPLANATION OF THE PRECEDING ENGRAVINGs.

The Monthly Paper, No. 2, for May, contains three engravings, representing the three principal gods of the Hindoos, Brumbu, Vishnu and Siva; not in their incarnate, but in their original state, as they were produced by the ener

gies of the eternal Brumha.

The ten engravings on the preceding page, re

present the ten great avatars, or incarnations, of Vishnu. A brief account of

the object of these will now be given.

It should however be remarked, that

the Hindoo shasters contain so many different and conflicting accounts of these incarnations, that it is difficult, and perhaps impossible, to give a history, which would correspond with the faith of bramhins in different sections of the

country,

Vishnu is generally represented in Hindoo paintings, as a black, or rather

indigo-colored man, with four arms and hands.

another a shell, in the third, a chuckru wheel) and in the fourth, a water-lilly.

I. Fish Aratar. At one of the periodical dissolutions of the universe, a number of which are supposed to have taken place, the Wades, or sacred books, had been stolen by some demon, and buried in the ocean. }. books being necessary for the instruction of Brumhu, in new creating the world, Vishnu was appointed to make search. In doing this he assumed the form of a fish, and brought up the sacred books from the bottom of the ocean. II. Tortoise Avatar. In a certain war between the gods and demons, the latter were victorious, and wantonly cast the celestial treasures into the ocean. At the close of the war, the gods consulted how they might obtain the lost treasures. The lan devised was to churn the ocean. hey tore . a mighty mountain for the churning stick, and took the divine serpent Wasookee for a rope, which they wound around the mountain. But in this churning process, the earth began to tremble and sink.--Whereupon, Vishnu assumed the form of a tortoise, and on his broad back sustained the tottering earth. To this hour, the Hindoos believe the earth is supported on the back of a tortoise. III. Hog Aratar. A celebrated demon, by his religious austerities, had acquired such power, that he actually sunk the earth in the great abyss. Vishnu, the preserver, assuming the form of a mighty boar, drew up the sinking earth with his tusks, and slew the demon. - IV. Lion Aratar. A certain impious giant, who greatly afflicted the world by his oppressions, had a pious son named Prulhard. The father greatly, persecuted the son, and tried, in vain, to kill him... After various fruitless attempts, to kill his son, the father, in great rage, , exclaimed, “Where does your preserver dwell?” “He is every where,” meekly, replied the son. “Is he then in this pillar?” “Yes,” said the son. “Then I will insult him;” and gave the pillar, a blow with his club, Vishnu instantly bursting from the pillar, in the

In one, he holds a club, in (an instrument of destruction, like a

monstrous form of a Ner-singh, or mail. lion, tore out the entrails of the atheistical father. From this time many o to worship Vishnu, under the form he had now assumed. V. Ducarf Aratar. The giant Bullee, terrible in his wars with the gods, having accomplished the sacrifice of an hundred white horses, by which he became invinci. ble in arms, contemplated universal to struction. To prevent this catastrophe, Vishna became incarnate, in the form of a pigmy brahmin; presenting himself before the giant king, requested as a favor so much territory as he could measure wo three footsteps. The favor was granted, and the promise ratified. The dwarf then resuming his godlike form, with one step, covered the earth, with the second, lo overshadowed the firmament, and demand. ed room for the third. In this way, he de|. the giant of his kingdom and forever eld him a debtor. VI. Purushop-Ram Aratar. The object of this incarnation was to destroy a thor sand-handed giant, who had become * ceedingly insolent, and greatly oppre the worshippers of the gods. Twenty." assaults, the giant sustained, but in twenty-second, he was overcoine, VII. Ram Aratar. The giant Rayum, king of Lunka, (Ceylon) stole the wilo' Ram. To obtain the stolen wife, Ram col. lected an army of monkies, under the go" Hun-nu-man. This army of monkies, us. der their divine leader, made a bridg." rocks from the continent to Ceylon. remains of which, are to this day, call Adam's bridge.) The way being thus M. pared, the army of Ram invaded the gia" and obtained the stolen lady. VIII. Kishnu orator. The object of th: incarnation was to destroy Pru-lum-bu on other impious giants in his childhood.” youth, he lived in obscurity, amusing him. self and his companions, by his various plays and petty thefts. When he beco. a man, he exhibited plenary evidence

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tual and moral deterioration, the Hindoos
imagine, will continue and increase to some
indefinite, future period, when they expect
another incarnation, which will complete
the grand drama,
X. Kulkee Aratar. This is still future.
According to the most popular shasters, and
the expectations of many of the brahmins,
infidelity in the Hindoo religion, will in-
crease, till all hope of reviving it will per-
ish from among men. A few faithful wor-
shippers of the gods will, however, remain,
lingering almost in despair around the sa-
cred places. Then will Vishnu descend
from heaven on a white, winged horse;—
placing himself at the head of the faith-
ful few, he will do away infidelity, and
convert this iron, into a golden age.

Every thing is necessarily degenerate and deteriorating. This physical, intellec

GENERAL REMARKS.

In addition to these ten great incarnations, the popular shasters teach, that there have been a great multitude of other incarnations of Vishnu, and of other gods and godesses. The prevalent opinion is, that there are many incarnations at the present day, hidden from common observation, but will, by and by, show themselves to be divine, and obtain a place on the catalogue of the gods. In speaking of the number of their gods, the Hindoos are in the habit of saying, there are 330,000,000. By which, it is supposed, they mean to say, that they are innumerable, using a definite for an indefinite number. These gods are not represented as acting, in concert. They frequently invade each others' territories, and interfere with each others' plans; hence they are unceasingly engaged in disputes and quarrels. To describe their various dispositions and exploits, their wars, conquests and defeats, is a task no less than a rehearsal of the whole fable and mythology of the poorans. No sins can be named, that have not been committed by this great family of gods; and yet they are represented as sinless, because they are gods, and therefore above moral obligation. - One of the most consoling doctrines of the Christian scriptures is, that of the holy, wise and merciful providence of Jehovah. This, to a mind rightly affected, stills every murmur, and produces contentment and happiness, in all the vicissitudes of human life. But from what part of the pagan system can be derived comfort in adversity? To which of the 330,000,000 of gods, can they torn? The Eternal, if indeed there be an Eternal, is insensible to every thing that transpires! The inferior gods, for aught the worshippers can know, may be engaged in contests with each other. In seasons of adversity, the poor pagan has no consolation—in death, he has no hope. He must steel his heart with insensibility in the hour of affliction, and comfort himself, that he is born to an evil destiny and cannot help himself. In death, hear him uttering his sorrowful conjectures in some such language as this—“Where am I going— into what reptile form shall I pass?—If I lose the human existence, I must pass through sixty millions of births among the brute or insect tribes, e're I can become man again! O when will these endless transmigrations cease!—O Gunga receive me!—Ram, Ram; Narayun, have mercy on me!”. Amidst all this doubt, and painful anxiety, he groans and dies! Now fables dissipate, and eternity, with all its dread realities, is disclosed to his astonished view. Christian reader, your British and Saxon ancestors were worshippers of Wodin and Thor, and a numerous rabble of pagan gods, as cruel and obscene as are the gods of the Hindoos. Your ancestors were delivered from their abominations, by the instrumentality of Christian missionaries. It is to their labors, under God, that you owe all your religious and social privileges in this life, your peace in death, and your hope of future blessedness in heaven, “Freely ye have received, freely give.” Give your prayers, your property and your influence to the great and benevolent cause of Christian missions to the heathem. Tell them, their idols are vanity and a lie—tell them of the Former of their bodies and the Father of their spirits—tell them of the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ for their redemption—O tell them the terms of salvation through his mediation, that they too may cast away their idols, and with you enjoy the privileges and cherish the hopes which the gospel inspires.

Christian missionaries have gone forth into various parts of the pagan world. And from every place where they have gone, they have sent back the same descriptions of ignorance, idolatry, wretchedness and crime; showing us that the pagans are without hope and without God in the world. Missionaries have translated the scriptures, they have established schools, they have preachedth: gospel. Most cheering success has attended their labors. New, extensive and promising fields of missionary labor, are opening from time to time. Pious young men are, every year, coming forward and offering themselves as laborers, entreating the churches to furnish them with the means of going to the distant heathen, that they may preach to them the gospel.

But O how small a part of the pagan world has yet been visited by the her. alds of the gospel' There are, at least, 500,000,000 of our race, who to this hour, remain in ignorance of Jesus Christ. In this state of ignorance and guilt, they will live and die, till they are visited by the missionaries of the cross They are rapidly passing into eternity;-from 15 to 20 millions are every year leaving this world of probation, where they have abused the light of reason, and disregarded the voice of conscience, for a world of righteous retribution, and know not that salvation is provided, or the terms on which it may be obtained

Now, Christian reader, do you ask, how you can extend to these dying Pagans the knowledge and blessings of the gospel? God has, in his providento, opened the way before you. The work is brought nigh, even to your door-l it, every man and woman and child may engage, with the fairest prospect." success. Opportunities are afforded you, many times in a year, of contributing your money, as the Lord prospers you, into his treasury. Every cent that is thus contributed is duly accounted for, and appropriated to the specific object to which it is designated. O be entreated, as you regard the last command of your blessed Savior—and as you would gain his approbation—as you value the present and eternal happiness of the heathen—and, above all, as you to gard the glory of your Father in heaven, engage heartily in the cause of Christian missions. . By your uniform and growing contributions, by your Christian self-denial in this cause, and by your fervent and persevering prayers for its success, evince the genuineness of your Christian discipleship. Among all the active duties of the Christian life, there is none that more assimilates the soul to Christ, and imparts purer enjoyment and brighter hopes, than pious and "t" directed exertions to enlighten and evangelize the heathem. Look around so for the brightest examples of Christian enjoyment and purity of life, and yout eye will rest on the friends of missions. These are the ornaments of the church—the salt of the earth—the light of the world. Oh then as you would be imitators of the Lord Jesus Christ, as you would be fellow-laborers with ho holy apostles, as you would be sharers in the joys of those, who have turned many to righteousness, and as you would meet, in heaven, pagans ransomed by the blood of Christ, cherish the cause of missions! Be not weary in well doing!

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AMERICAN BOARD OF commissionERS FOR FOREIGN MISSIONS.

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