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little animals might lodge in it, birds would perch upon it, and pick out the grain.
Merciful and Beneficent Father! may all those who behold a field of wheat, and contemplate with pleasure the waving corn, may they experience all the sentiments of love and admiration which thy gaodness ought naturally to excite.
Summer furnishes us with images of death. A FEW weeks ago our gardens afforded us cheerful pleasing scenes, where every thing inspired serene delight. But now the prospect becomes daily less agreeable and less varied. Most of the flowers which adorned our gardens are gone, and a few oply remain, which but recal to us the charming scene we enjoyed some months ago. These revolutions in nature are instructive lessons for us. There is a time of life, in which we have all the charms of spring; we are admired and loved, and excellent fruit is expected from us. But how often is this expectation disappointed? The blossoms drop off even before they are blown; a fit of sickness robs us of all our charms, and a premature death puts an end to all hopes. . We observe the spring-flowers, which last till summer wither them, and are gone in a few hours. A striking emblem of death. It is true, that from habit we become almost indifferent to the death of so many of our fellow-citizens as are suddenly cut off. But it is not the less true, that “the days of man are as the grass of the field. In the morning it is green, and groweth up, but in the evening it is cut down, dried up, and wi- | thered.” . We are now. in a season when we endeavour to avoid the heat of the sun, and seek the cool shade of the forests. 1
But are not these retreats calculated to make us reflect on he silence and darkness of the grave? It is there that we hall find rest after the fatigue and heat of the day. The nower prepares to mow his corn. The scythe cuts down he wheat on every side, and leaves desert and empty fields ehind. This reminds us of our own lot. All flesh is as grass, and the whole duration of this life, with all its glory, s but as the flower of the field. Man flourishes for a little, ind is then cut down, when the Great Ruler of the harvest ordains it. · The very bees proclaim this truth. When we reflect on the activity and industry with which they gather and prepare their honey, we learn to lay up early treasures of wisdom and virtue, which may be a comfort to us in our old age, and in the hour of death.
The farmers will soon unite in gathering the fruits of the earth to lay them up in their barns, These days of harvest are the most important of the whole year. But, o God! how solemn will be that great day in which the Creator himself will be the reaper! that in which all the dead shall rise from the grave, and the Supreme Judge shall say to his angels, “Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles, to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barn!"
MORE DEPLORABLE EFFECTS OF
HEATHENİSH SUPERSTITION, IN the Extracts from Dr. BUCHANAN, which appeared in some of our preceding numbers, we have a deplorable picture of what man can do, when left to himself, unguided. by the benign precepts of the gospel; but we have not yet communicated to our readers the wbole truth; for those deluded votaries of heathenish superstition, may, in more
respects than by committing, what they are taught to believe meritorious acts of suicide, be said to live in a region of darkness and of the shadow of death.
The horrid enormities of the modern Moloch's children are not confined to their prostrations before the wheels of the monstrous idol, when their feelings are wrought up to the highest pitch of superstitious phrenzy at the motion of the huge machine, and the loud acclamations of the multitude, but deprived, as they are, of the humanizing light of christianity, and hardened by the most preposterous usages and customs, these -poor deluded followers of the blind guides of Brama, seem lost to every tender tie and sympathy of nature, and strangers to the soothing charities of life.
In these regions of mental darkness, young men approach with unaverted face, and put the flaming torch to the pile which is to consume the tenderest of parents; and mothers, inverting the laws of nature, make no scruple to become executioners of their own offspring.. .
The following instance corroborating the first of these mournful truths, and so fully descriptive of the ceremonies which attend the dreadful sacrifice, as related by an eye witness, appeared some years ago in one of our periodical publications, and must be interesting to many of our readers. at the present moment.
“I was last September an eye witness to a: Gentoo woman burning with her husband; and as I stood by all the time, and took notes of all that passed, you may depend upon the following narration to be strictly. true ; I mean the ceremonies that were used by these people, who had always got their bread by their labour, and indeed were so very poor, that their son was obliged to go from house to house to beg fire-wood to burn them with : the richer people are more curious, and have their piles made of a sweet-scented
vood-called Sandal, and much larger than the people I am peaking of can possibly afford. Wit
As soon as her husband was given over by the doctor, ibe sent for a Bramin, and declared her intentions to burn jerself, son and daughter (which was the whole of the amily) together, which some neighbours endeavoured as nuch as possible to dissuade her from, but all to 'no purpose, and from that time refused eating any thing, except a few plantains and betel-nuts. She sent for all her friends, who staid with her all night, and with whom she was very merry. In the morning the man died, and his son came to me to ask leave to burn his father and mother in the Bazaar (or market-place), as it belongs to the plantation, and is close to my house. I told him very well; but that I should take care no force was used to make her burn against her will. He told me he was so far from forcing, that he had offered her two rupees a month for life;* but yet
* Dow, in his History of Hindostan, wishes to impress the belief that this custom was never considered as a religious duty, and that it had fallen for the most part into desuetude; but, if there is a text in the Bedas wherein it is said, “ The woman, in sbort, who dies with ber busband shall enjoy life eternal in heaven,” and the people are fostered in their belief that this is to be understood in a literal sense, by the priests of their religion, it does not signity what was, its original intention, and our surprise must cease that there are so many martyrs to the murderous dogma; and how far the Colovel is correct in his latter statement may be learned from the following
“REPORT of the number of women who were burned alive on the funeral pile of their husbands, within thirty miles round Cal. rutta, from the beginning of Bysakh (15th April) to the end of Aswin (isth October) 1804.
:... - Women burned
alive. From Gurria to Barrypore ; at eleven different places - 18 From Tolly's Nulla mouth to Gurria ; at seventeen,
different places • • • • • • 36 . From Barrypore to Buhipore ; at seven places . II ... From Seebpore to Baleea ; at five places
could not help saying it would - reflect an honour on bi family for his mother to burn. The man was scarce cold before he and his wife were carried upon men's shoulders she sitting by him ; and having provided herself with some
From Baleea to Bydyabattee ; at three places . ..
places - - - - - . - misa From Burahnugur to Chanok (or Barrackpore ;) at six
places - Trom Chanok to Káchrapara ; at four places • •
Total of women burned alive in six months, .'.
near Calcutta • • . : its " By an account taken in 1803, the number of women sacrificed during that year, within thirty miles round Calcutta, was two hundred and seventy-five.
• In the foregoing Report of six months, in 1804, it will be per. ceived that no account was taken of burnings in a district to the west of Calcutta, nor farther than twenty miles in some other directions: so that the whole number of burnings within thirty miles round Cal. cutta must have been considerably greater than is here stated.”
Tuesday, June 22nd, 1813. Mr WilberFORCE read in the House of Commons many documents to prove that the custom of women burning themselves, or rather of their being compelled to burn themselves, had grown to such'a pitch, that 10,000 had been burnt in che year in the Bengal provinces alone!
London Courier: A Report has been lately received in this country, printed at the Missionary Press, in Serampore, containing the names of places in a particular part of Bengal, (viz. that ying between Cossimbazar and the mouth of the Hooghly) where, no less then 70 unfortunate females have been sacrificed to this horrid system, in the short space of two months, May and June, 1812, leaving one hundred and eigberfour Orphans to bewail their loss.
At one place, we observe that 12 women were burnt along with one man, being the survivors of 25 wives, which in his life time he hari married, leaving behind them no less than 30 children. - It is also stated, that a person of the same cast, a Koolenna Brahmun nf con siderable property died some years ago, a few miles from Serampore, who had married more than 40 women, all of whom died before him except 18, arid to make room for these, a fire extending ten or twelve yards in length was prepared, into which the unfortunate victims threw themselves, leaving more than forty children, many of whom are still living.