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appears to me to act the part of the foolish traveller who, on reaching every new river, instead of availing himself of the established ferry-boat that awaited his arrival, would prefer lingering on the banks in order to construct a new one for himself, in which to cross to the other side.
7. The substitution is expedient, as thereby a prodigious amount of expense will be saved to the community.
It is a fact, that, from the intricacy—the complexity of most of the Indian characters, it is utterly impossible to reduce them to so small a size as the Roman may be, without rendering them altogether indistinct, or even illegible. In this
twice the quantity of typal matter, twice thc quantity of paper, and nearly twice the quantity of binding materials and labour, must be lavished for nought. Now, considering that we have to provide books for a hundred millions of people, this surely is a consideration of too grave and important a nature to be overlooked.
On the whole, 1 conclude from principle and not from prejudice, in favour of Mr. Trevelyan's scheme. And not until the preceding facts are proven to be untrue, and the inferences unsound, shall I cease to advocate the posibility, the practicability, and the expediency of substituting the Roman, instead of the Indian Alphabets.
ALPHA. P. S. To render this paper complete, a representation of the Nagari and Persian alphabets, (the two principal ones used in India) in Roman characters may be given in the next number of the Observer.
V.-The Address of a private Soldier to his Companions in the
near prospect of death. To the Editors of the Calcutta Christian Observer. GENTLEMEN,
-As your valuable miscellany has in view the diffusion of spiritual knowledge, I feel assured, that the following extracts from letters addressed by a private soldier, when afflicted in hospital, to his fellow-soldiers, who made a profession of Christianity, will not prove unacceptable to you. Although the language and composition is in some instances imper, fect, the spirit of genuine Christianity which the letters breathe cannot fail to interest the Christian.*
Your's, &c. J. W. “ Worldly men will be true to their principles, and if we are true to ours, sits between the two parties will be short and seldom !” Newton.
“ Now brethren, it has been a matter of pain to me, stretched as I am upon the couch of affliction, to learn, that this beautiful maxim of Mr. Newton's has not been altogether adhered to by you. But cogent and beautiful as I esteem the language of Mr. N. I would with greater earnestness call your attention to the language of heaven, . Come out from among them
The communication is very creditable indeed to the head and hear of the author. Our worthy correspondent J. W. should forward to us the other pieces of which he makes mention in his note.-ED.
and be ye separate, saith the Lord,' &c. It cannot be possible, that he who feels in his heart the transforming influence of the love of Christ, can feel pleasure in the company of the drunkard, the blasphemer, and the hater of God's people; as well might we expect to see the sun shining in darkness. I have always felt impressed with the fact, that there was a Judas amongst the twelve Apostles ; and that a Demas deceived an injured Paul. I solemnly call upon you, by all the solemnities of death, and all the terrors of judgment; by all the glories of heaven, and all the attractions of a Saviour's cross, to examine yourselves, lest there be a Judas or a Demas amongst you. Recollect the day is coming, when the hypocrite in all his hideous forms shall be unmasked—when the false garb, with which he has clothed himself, in order to deceive men, shall be burnt up by the fiery test of judgment. But, you who have kept your garments clean, I would urge to consider your exalted privileges, as sons of God, and as expectants of everlasting glory. You are not of the world, even as the Captain of your salvation is not of this world ; therefore, consider the exalted station which you hold, and bid an eternal farewell to the deceitful pleasures of time. Consider that you are through endless ages to contemplate, with ceaseless rapture and adoring delight, the unveiled glories of your exalted Saviour—that you are to stand on the banks of that river, where grows the tree of life, and where blossoms the plant of renown—that you are to participate in that river of everlasting love, the stream of which makes glad the city ofour God—that you are to sit at the marriage supper of the Lamb, and feast on redeeming love that you are to stand nearer the throne of Heaven, than the highest archangel, yea, and to sing a song that angels cannot sing,' to Him who redeemed us with his blood,'—and that you are to be clothed in the immaculate robe of the Saviour's righteousness.
• Angels have not a robe like this,
A robe like Jesus' righteousness. “Oh! neglect not your privileges as soldiers of the cross. You are not to get to heaven on a bed of roses ; no cross, no crown; no trial, no victory ; no victory, no reward. Put on the whole armour of God. Read much the 4th chapter of Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians ; there, the apostle compares the Christian to a soldier, fully accoutred for the field of battle, contending with 'principalities and powers, the rulers of darkness. You have had as yet but little trial: stand, I beseech you, to your post : forget not the watch-word, . Who comes there !'Should this affliction terminate my earthly career,
how it will rejoice my soul in the day of judgment, to see you clothed in the robes of a Saviour's righteousness, and shouting the everlasting victory through the blood of the Lamb,
* And when our files are all complete,
NOTICES OF BOOKS, &c.
1.--India's Cries to British Humanity relative to Infanticide
British Connection with Idolatry-Ghaut Murders-Suttee, Slavery—and Colonization in India. By James Peggs, late Missionary at Cuttack, Orissa.
We have been favoured by the author with a copy of this work. It is the third edition, revised and enlarged, of an invaluable publication.
As a brief but comprehensive collection of facts and authoritative evidence on the various important subjects which it embraces, it stands without a rival in the English language. By his zealous and indefatigable labours, in bringing to light, in a form that defies contradiction, the horrid cruelties and consequent miseries under which India groans, the author has laid every friend of humanity under a lasting debt of obligation.
Happily for India, some of the atrocities here exposed to public view no longer exist. Thanks be to God who has over-ruled the exertions of his servants, the murderous abomination of Suttee is only heard of as “ a thing that was.”
a thing that was.” And it is the success with which the abolition of this inhuman rite has been achieved, that ought to arouse the energies of the philanthropist, and suffer him not to relax one single effort, till all the odious and destructive practices of a wicked superstition be “ buried midst the wreck of things that were."
In accomplishing an end so glorious, we cannot doubt that the present work is destined to continue, as it has already been, no mean instrument. Its circulation at home seems to be immense. One gentleman alone has subscribed for 20 copies of the new edition ; a second, for fifty; and a third, for one hundred and fifty. And we say nothing beyond the genuine merits of the work, when we express our conviction that no friend of humanity in India ought to be without a copy. A considerahle supply, we have understood, has reached Calcutta ; and a copy may be had at a very moderate charge, by applying at the Baptist Mission Press.
2.- Scripture Geography, containing an account of the various
places, mentioned in the Old and New Testament, alphabetically arranged. By Herry Bowser, Head Master of the Military Orphan School, Allipore.
In his preface, Mr. Bowser truly remarks, that Palestine is associated in the mind of the Christian with all that is dear,-all that is holy: or, as Dr. Russell observes, every part of its varied
territory, its mountains—its lakes—and even its deserts, are consecrated in his eyes, as the scene of some mighty event.
As the title indicates, Mr. B.'s work is not a systematic treatise on Sacred Geography, which can be studied separately by itself : it is in the form of a small Dictionary, which is designed to be a companion to the Bible. The plan is thought by the author to be original. Wherein the originality consists, we cannot well perceive. But this does not detract in the least from the merits of a work, whose excellence must chiefly dependon the judiciousness with which its materials are selected and arranged under the different heads.
The work is intended more especially for young persons ; and we think the author has succeeded in producing a little volume, acceptable and useful. The names of all places are divided and accented, in order to enable the mere English scholar to pronounce them accurately. The account given of every town, district, &c. seems proportioned to the relative importance of each. Occasionally, such observations are appended as have been naturally suggested by the subject, and are likely to prove interesting to the young. In connection with particular places, such as Babylon, Egypt, &c. care has been taken to point out the astonishing fulfilment of prophecy. The chronological part of the book exhibits the most important events recorded in Sacred and Church history. Altogether, the letter-press and scripture references must include nearly all the leading facts and circumstances detailed or alluded to in the Sacred Oracles. And the author has evidently spared no pains in putting himself in possession of the most accurate information, as his varied references abundantly testify.
On the whole, we conceive the work to be one of considerable merit, and well calculated to be useful in Bible classes and private families.
The work we perceive is dedicated to Captain Young, the Deputy Governor of the Military Orphan Society :—and to no one could it be dedicated more appropriately, if assiduous persevering attention to the laborious and unpaid duties connected with the management of a great public charity, entitle a man to the respect of the community which he voluntarily serves. We observe also, in the preface, what we deem a well-merited tribute of affectionate gratitude to the late excellent Chaplain and Secretary of the Military Orphan Institution, the Reverend Walter Hovenden-than whom we knew not one more deservedly beloved when living, nor more sincerely regretted when numbered with the dead.
3.- A Lecture on the Vendidad Sade of the Parsis, delivered at Bombay on the 19th and 26th June, 1833. By the Rev. John Wilson, of the Scottish Mission.
This lecture forms part of a short series of discourses which the author delivered on the Parsi religion. And it is published in compliance with the expressed wish of a number of respectable individuals who are attached to that faith, in the hope that it may
contribute, in some degree, to lead them into such inquiry as may issue in the rejection of error and the embracement of truth.
The Vendidad Sade, Mr. Wilson imforms us, is the work to which the Parsis attribute most importance. It exists in the original Zend language. Part of it has been translated into Sanscrit. All of it exists in Gujarathi, though it has not been published in that tongue. It was translated into French by Anquetil du Perron, and along with the other works forming the Zend-Avesta, was published by him in 1771.
Our Author shews in a concise and satisfactory manner that the Vendidad Sade, has no claim to be considered as a divine revelation.
1. There are no proofs either of its authenticity, genuineness, or credibility. It is ascribed to Zoroaster, who is said to have flourished in the reign of Darius Hystaspes, but there is no proof even of its existence long after his day. And whether it be the same as when originally composed, no man can tell. Its narratives, which refer to the early peopling of the world, are entirely destitute of that sobriety and consistency which are the characteristics of truth. All that those who profess to believe in them, can allege in their favour is, that they have heard them from their parents, or have read them in books.
2. As a rule of Faith the Vendidad Sade is very defective. Though alleged by its reputed author to be “unalterable,” the greatest part of the Avesta is lost. And the Vendidad Sade is a mere fragment of the work.
3. The Vendidad Sade robs God of all his glory. Zorwan, or the first cause of all things, is spoken of as “time without bounds,” and as wholly absorbed in his own excellence.” He is in fact represented as wholly inactive, as disregardful of the concerns of the universe, and as having surrendered the administration of affairs to Hormazd, the chief of the Amshaspands, or Archangels.
4. It gives a highly irrational account of the origin and operations of natural good and evil. Hormazd was opposed by Ahriman, “the chief of death-the chief of the Dews, or devils, in all his works. When Hormazd created the Eriene Viejo, Ahriman produced in the river the great adder or winter : when he created Saghdo, abundant in flocks and men, Ahriman created flies, which spread mortality among the flocks: when he created Bakdi, pure and brilliant in its colours, Ahriman created a multitude of ants which destroyed its pavilions ; when he created any thing good, Ahriman was sure to create something evil.
5. The Vendidad teaches and recognizes the deification of the elements, and other inanimate objects. Now besides the idolatrous delusions which such deification tends to encourage, it originates such absurdities as the following: “ Zoroaster asked, Does the water destroy man when he is drowned ? Hormazd replied: It is not water which destroys man, the Dew Astoniad binds him