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EXPLANATION OF THE VIGNETTE IN THE TITLE PAGE. The four figures in the Vignette are intended to represent the chief PROTESTANT REFORMERS : Luther in the centre, Cranmer on bis right hand, Knox on his left, and Calvin on his extreme right: each holding in his hand a manuscript or printed copy of the Word of God. The Rock ou which they are standing, is intended to denote the Truth of the doctrine of the Divine Oracles; on wbich, as on an immutable Rock, the Reformers rested all their claims, in labouring to restore pure Christianity. Around the Rock or Truth, the waves of Error and Superstition are seen dashing.
LUTHER, Calvin, CRANMER, and Knox, have laid Europe and the whole world under the greatest obligations to them, by their courageous, indefatigable, and successful labours ; overthrowing the Priestcraft of Popery, that blasphemous “Man or Sin," and “ MYSTERY OF INIQUITY," 2 Thess. ii. ; and restoring to the people the Holy Scriptures, as their only infallible directory in matters of Religion.
Although we have adorned our Periodical with the effigies of those illustrious men, we are not prepared to call either of them “ Master.” We esteem One infinitely more worthy, to whom alone we are directed by their imperishable writings : “ One is our Master, even Christ, and all these are brethren." Our principles are those for which the Martyrs, especially the British Martyrs, shed their blood; and their united testimony declares, in the language of Chillingworth, “The BIBLE—THE BIBLE ONLY—Is the Religion of PROTESTANTS ;" or, in the words of the Protestant clergy in Ireland, recently adopted as their noble maxim-“ THE BIBLE—THE WHOLE BIBLE-AND NOTHING BUT THE BIBLE."
RELIGION_ITS ORIGIN AND CORRUPTION / tion, requires that every man should search the holy -INDIAN MYTHOLOGIES,
Scriptures for his own instruction and salvation.
Among the various forms of corrupt religion, proRELIGION has ever been acknowledged, by sages, bably the greatest extravagancies are found to exist, legislators, and patriots of all nations and ages, as and most debasing customs are practised, among the the true and only basis of national, social, and indi. deluded people of India and China. British India, vidual happiness. Man has, therefore, been called and the prodigiously increasing intercourse with
a religious animal,” to whom some forms of belief that vast colony, render the regions of the east still and worship are indispensably necessary.
more a subject of inquiry by all classes of the comReligion, however, as prescribed by the only wise munity. Missionary operations, more especially, by God originally, to our great ancestors, Adam, the their diffusion of the light of the glorious gospel of father of our race, and Noah its restorer, and since Christ, call the attention of Christians in Britain, to revealed “at sundry times and divers manners," has that populous region of the globe; and some illustrabeen grossly corrupted by ambitious and designing tion of their sacred superstitions, therefore, will be priests in every age, deluding the mass of mankind. peculiarly seasonable, especially as by this means, &
Christianity appeals to the understanding and the variety of infidel objections will be met and silenced heart of every man, and claims to be divine and ex- by the majesty, simplicity, and holiness, of Divine clusive. Protestantism, whose grand principle is the truth as contained in the holy Scriptures. sole and exclusire authority of the Dirinc Revela- The Rev. Thomas Maurice, m his splendid work
on "Indian Antiquities," has contributed largely to raise up creatures by an emanation from his own confirm and illustrate the sacred writings, especially essence, he first created the waters, and impressed the venerable details in the first ten chapters of the them with the power of motion ; by that power was book of Genesis. In prosecuting his learned inqui- produced a GOLDEN EGG, blazing like a thousand ries, Mr. Maurice was led, like other most profound stars, in which was born Brahma, the great parent antiquarians, to this conclusion, " That all the lan- of all rational beings, that which is, the invisible guages of the earth are derired from one grand cause, self-existing, but unperceived ! That divinity primeral alphabet, which was once general, like its having dwelt in the egg through revolving years, religion, till, like that religion, in its progress to HIMSELF meditating upon himself, divided it into remote countries, and to distant generations, its two equal parts: and from those halves he formed original simplicity and purity were debased and the heavens and the earth, placing in the midst the corrupted by mankind."
subtil ether, the eight points of the world, and the India possesses in the Vedas, or sacred books, permanent receptacle of waters," written in the venerable Sanscrit language, some of THE MUNDANE EGG is a common symbol among the the most extraordinary traditions relative to the crea- ancient Egyptians. Of the elder Taut or Hermes, tion of the world and the formation of man, that ever prime minister and counsellor of Osiris, the renowned have been offered to human belief; and in this place invader of India, a fabulous divinity, held, as an it cannot fail to be gratifying if we present some of established maxim, that the world was oviform ; and them to our readers, as they will lead them to prize hence the oval figure of many of the oldest temples more dearly the divine instructions on these great
of Egypt: subjects contained in the holy Scriptures.
“Of the various systems of the cosmogony," Mr. Mr. Maurice is a great admirer of the Hindoo Maurice remarks, “according to the Hindoo writers, mythology; yet he states, “ That mysterious and scarcely any one has been hitherto exhibited to the frequently impenetrable gloom, in which fable and public in all the various accounts from India, which superstition have united to veil the periods of the does not mention the importance of the egg in the history of all nations, in a peculiar manner clouds production of creation. In the Ayeen Akbeny,
the the annals of ANCIENT India. In fact, the primeval conjunction of Brahma and Terll is said to have prohistories of all the ancient empires of the earth, duced an egg, which Mahadeo divided into two parts: amount to little more than the romantic dreams of of one half the Dewtahs, or all celestial beings, were astronomical mythology. This is particularly evi- j formed; of the remaining half, all terrestrial beings. dent in Hindostan, from the two great and most The idea of the golden sphere above-mentioned, proancient rajah families being denominated SURYA- bably took its rise from the same source ; and even BANS, and CHAUDRA-BANS, or children of the sun and the great triple divinity Brahma, Veeshnu, and
Seeva, are, in other Hindoo treatises of the cosmo“ The personages who are said to have flourished
gony, said to have been formed from three eggs, 80 many thousand years in the earliest ages, were of dropped from the womb of Bhavin, the first created celestial, not terrestrial origin; their empire was the woman, and consort of Seeva, the last person in the empire of imagination in the skies, not of real power divine triad. It is Eusebius, in the third chapter of on this globe of earth : the day and year of Brahma, his Evangelical Preparation, who acquaints us and the day and year of mortals, are of a nature that the Egyptians considered an egg as the apt widely different; that the whole jargon of the Yugs, symbol of the world, and from them this doctrine, or grand periods, and consequently all those pre- together with many eastern superstitions, was by sumptuous assertions of the Brahmins, relative to Orpheus, in succeeding ages, introduced into Greece. the earth's antiquity, have no foundation but in the Hence the Orphic egg became a subject of great great solar and lunar cycles, or planetary revolutions ; celebrity among both poets and philosophers. and CHALDEA, and not India, was the parent country “This doctrine of the primeval egg, however, was of mankind. In proof of this last assertion, a few neither peculiar to the Egyptians, nor to the Indians, remarkable instances are produced, upon the autho- for the Phenicians believed their Zophasemin, or the rity of Sir William Jones, which evince the primitive heavenly intelligences, which were the objects of languages of Chaldea and India not to be greatly their adoration, to be oriform, and according to Pludissimilar; that the name Adam may be traced to tarch, worshipped an egg in the orgies of Bacchus, the Sanscrit root, Adim, or the first ; that in the as an image of the world. Many other nations also prophetic and regal title of MENŲ of India, may be supported the propriety of the allegory; comparing recognized the patriarch Nuh, or Noah; that their the pure white shell to the fair expanse of heaven; great hero Bali, an appellative synonymous with the the fluid transparent white to the circumambient Bel, or Baal of their neighbours, is no other than air; and the more solid yolk to the central earth. Belus; and that all the prodigies of valour and wisdom “As Brahma, the first person in the Hindoo triad fabled of the renowned DIONYSIUS of India, if true, of deity, was produced from an egg, so it is not a little are only true of Rama, the son of Cush, a deified remarkable that the very same kind of origin, in the hero, adored at this day by that very name through hymns attributed to Orpheus, is allotted to the first. the whole extent of that country.”
born deity, denominated Phanes by the Greeks; and Creation is described with the most monstrous it should not be forgotten, that, in the Orphic mystefictions, by the Hindoo writers. Mr. Maurice gives ries, the egg was considered as the organ of generathe following as the substance of a passage description and fecundity ; whence it probably arose that tive of that grand event, literally translated by Sir the egg was also of principal importance in the sacriWilliam Jones, from the beginning of the Manava fices of Cybele, the fruitful mother of the gods. Sastra, in which MENU, the son of Brahma, addresses “In the manuscript translation of a curious PURAthe sages who consulted him upon the subject of the NA, or the Indian cosmogony, by Mr. Halhed, now formation of the universe. Menu informs his in- deposited in the British Museum, the order, by which quirers, “ that this world was all darkness, undis- the Deity proceeded in the production of all created cernible, undistinguishable, altogether as in a pro- beings, is somewhat varied. In this authentic Sanfound sleep: till the self-existent invisible God, scrit treatise, the independent Spirit, whose essence making it with five elements, and other glorious is eternal, sole, and self existent, is represented as, in forms, perfectly dispelled the gloom. Desiring to the first place, giving birth to a certain pure ethereal light, a light, not perceptible to the elementary forth from on high, and all the delusions of men and sense, but extracted from the all-comprehensive es- Satan be destroyed, and all flesh see the salvation of sence of his own perfection!' The Deity then as- God! suming a form apparently, but not really, masculine, for the Deity is properly of no sex, caused to emanate
EXPLANATION OF THE ENGRAVINGS. from himself an immeasurable torrent of water, and he preserved it suspended by his almighty power. THE BULL OF JAPAN BUTTING AGAINST THE MUN. By the same prolific energy, eggs without number, DANE EGG,
(See page 1.) bearing the shape of the primordial matter, were generated, and floated upon that mighty abyss. From
Sculptures and medals abound in the East, containthese eggs, denominated in Sancreet BRAHMANDEL, ing hieroglyphic symbols of the creation. "The most that is, coverings and integuments of the various ob remarkable, however," as Mr. Maurice remarks, "of jects of which the universe is composed, Brahma,
these symbolic devices is that erected, and at this day Veeshnu, and Seeva, and all the train of celestial to be seen, in one of the temples of Japan. The beings, sprang first into existence. Brahma is de temple itself, in which this fine monument of Orienscribed to be of a black, Veeshnu of a red, and Seeva tal genius is elevated, is called DAIBOD, and stands in of a white complexion.' The eight spheres, the resi. Meaco, a great and flourishing city of Japan. The dence of created beings, are then successively formed principal image in this design displays itself in the by Brahma, invested with the almighty power ;
form of a vast bull, the emblem of prolific heat creation is complete."
and the generative energy by which creation was
formed, butting with its horns against the EGG, MODERN HINDOO NOTIONS OF THE CREATION OF MAN.' which floated on the waters of the abyss. The statue
of the bull itself is formed of massy gold, with a Caste, in India, presents the most formidable diffi. culty in the way of human improvement, and operates great knob on its back, and a golden colar about in various ways to impede the progress of the gospel.
its neck, embossed with precious stones. The fore Nevertheless, this abominable imposition of priest
feet of the animal are represented as resting upon craft is, in many parts, giving way under the reno
that egg, and his hinder feet are immersed amidst vating influence of divine truth diffused by the circu
stone and earth mixed together, the symbol of a lation of the Holy Scriptures.
chaotic mass, under which and the egg appears a Mr. Maurice refers to a “concise, though whimsi.
considerable quantity of water kept in a hollow stone. cal, account of the original formation of man by the
The basis of the whole is a square altar, the foot of Pundeets, in the preface to the Code of the Gentoo
which is engraved with many ancient Japanese Laws. These venerable sages, when assembled at characters; and round that foot, in M. D'Hancarville's Calcutta in 1775, at the express desire of the Governor engraving, are two natives of that country prostrate, General, to compose, from authentic Sanscreet docu- and adoring it. I thought the whole so exceedingly ments, a system of laws for the future government of curious, especially as M. D'Hancarville's book is too Bengal, in which is included a considerable share of scarce and costly to be in every body's hands, that I that theological policy, which, springing throughout have had it engraved." from the same source, is inseparably blended with their jurisprudence, have thus accounted for the first origin of man. They assert that the principle of Truth, after having formed the earth, the heavens, the water, the fire, and the air, produced a being called BRAHMA, the Dewtab, for the creation of all beings: afterwards he created the BRAHMIN from his mouth, the KUETREE from his arms, the Bice from his thighs, and the Soover from his feet.
"The BRAHMIN, eldest born, and most favoured of Brahma, was created from his mouth, which implies the superior wisdom and eminence by which this caste was distinguished. The duty prescribed the Brahmin is to read, to pray, and to instruct. From his arms Brahma created the Khetree, or Katteri, endowing the latter with STRENGTH, as the former with wisdom; the office of the Katteri is therefore to draw the bow, to fight, and to govern. From his belly and thighs he produced the tribe of Bice, whose function in society is to procure NOURISHMENT, and to provide the necessaries of life, by the honourable occupation of agriculture, and by the lucrative pursuits of commerce. From his feet sprang the tribe of Sooder, whose duty is SUBJECTION, to labour, to serve, to travel. A fifth adventitious tribe called BURRUN SUNKES, was afterwards produced, and of this tribe the race of mechanics and petty dealers, who are esteemed of less account, as administering rather to the luxuries than to the necessities of life, are composed; THE EGG OP CREATION, ENCOMPASSED WITH THE forming as many separate castes as there are trades or AGATHODAIMON, OR Good GENIUS, occupations to be exercised by its members."
Ignorance, and its natural fruit, superstition, bind Mr. Maurice remarks, “That famous representation the nations of Asia in Caste, the ingenious contri- of the mundane egg, encompassed by the genial folds rance of priestcraft; and hence the obstructions to of the AGATHODAIMON, or Good Serpent, and sus. the progress of Christianity, by the labours of our pended aloft in the temple of Hercules at Tyre, is devoted missionaries. Mav the Spirit soon be poured well known to antiquaries."
illustrate and enforce the sentiments that should fill their minds at the opening of a new year.
1. Gratitude. It would befan endless task were I to attempt to enumerate the infinite variety of those blessings and favours, the bestowal of which renders such a return absolutely necessary. I might, with the utmost consistency, call upon you to be thankful for every law of nature, every return of the seasons, every vicissitude of day and night, and might bid you to bear in mind with what undeviating regularity our heavenly Father has conducted all these operations, the importauce of which to our individual happiness is immeasurably great. But I shall most probably secure my object with greater certainty, if I descend from the lofty theme of universal love, to those particular instances of its manifestation of which you have been the object. Let me, therefore, beg you to bear in mind that every breath you draw, every motion you make, every meal you eat, every comfort you enjoy, every blessing you possess, are the gifts of God, and ought to be regarded as such. Look back then on the year that is past, think of the dangers you have surmounted and the many happy hours you have spent, and learn to be grateful to your friend in heaven. Nor do I for one moment intend the sick or the suffering to suppose that they are exempted from the debt of gratitude. Equally with the apparently most prosperous and healthy they are bound to express their thankfulness. În the eye of God, the moral welfare of his creatures is the object of supreme value and importance, and so ought it to be in the eye of those creatures themselves. Most assuredly every moment of suffering that any of the
creatures of God are called on to endure, is intended THE MUNDANE EGG AT HELIOPOLIS.
for their eternal welfare. Therefore contemplate The Deus lunarụs ovatus Heliopolitanus, or the
your position as members of a kingdom that is
eternal-contemplate the moral efficacy of every divine egg with the lunar crescent, adored at Heliopolis, in Syria, is another relick' of this an
event in life to exalt and elevate you in that kingcient superstition too curious to be passed unnoticed.
dom, and then I am sure you will feel that boundless Christian readers, in surveying these emblems of
gratitude is due to that wise and gracious Being human weakness, folly, and sin, and reflecting upon
who, with sleepless watchfulness has followed your
step, and laboured with the sincerity and the power the rational, sublime, and truly instructive description of creation, as given in the Holy Scriptures, cannot
of real and eternal friendship to secure your virtue
and refrain from cherishing gratitude for so precious a
your final peace. boon from heaven, and pouring forth, a prayer that have you done? Oh discard self-love and self-compla
2. Humility. In return for all these favours what all the pagan nations may be brought to the knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus.
cency-pray to God to fix upon your mind the image of Jesus Christ, your divine and spotless example, and endeavour now to reflect with honesty and faith
fulness upon the real value of your services in the ON THE NEW YEAR.
sight of God. Many are the occasions upon which MANKIND are so constituted as to be very much you have committed absolutely bad actions, such as affected by the circumstances and scenes which sur- you would desire to have concealed from your fellow round them. It frequently happens that an impres- men, and most heartily wish you had never been so sion may be made by an event of no real importance, unwise as to do. More numerous still are the inwhen the exhortations of friendship, and of the most stances in which you have fallen-far, very far—short exalted reason, are unavailing. This is particularly even of an attempt to acquire resemblance to your the case with reference to the commencement of a Saviour. Your conversation, your temper, your petnew year. We all find ourselves in the habit of tishness, your pride, your slander, your injustice, resolving to make improvements and alterations your hastiness, your unkindness, all these and a when a new year is about to open on us; and if ever thousand more of the same description are failings we are brought to think of the lapse of time at all, that stand charged to a more or less degree upon it is on such an occasion as this, and all others in every day, every hour of your existence. You have which the solemn fact is forced upon our mind, that neglected many a duty the importance of which another year of existence has passed away for ever. you felt, and confessed you have derived less adIt becomes the Christian moralist to make use of vantage from those ordinances of religion upon such opportunities, and endeavour to fix the atten- which you have attended, than you might have done tion of those who are under the influence of his in- by a proper degree of diligence. You have sought structions, upon such views of the solemn subject, the honours of this world more eagerly than that as are calculated to awaken serious and profitable honour which cometh from God only, and you have reflections.
violated every law by some means or other. Think It is under these feelings that I'now proceed to of these things. I do not mention them by way of set before our readers, a few remarks calculated to reproach, but rather as subjects calculated to excite