Imatges de pÓgina

once more.

and a habit of ceremony made of hempen cloth, and without armorial bearings. The outside of the house is hung with white stuffs; for the palaces of the great, and the places at which they stop by the way when going to or returning from Yedo, are hung with coloured stuffs on which their arms are embroidered,-a privilege enjoyed also by the Dutch envoy. As soon as the order of the court has been communicated to the culprit, he invites his intimate friends for the appointed day, and regales them wijh zakki. After they have drunken together some time, he takes leave of them; and the order of the court is then read to him

Among the great, this reading takes place in presence of their secretary and the inspector: the person who performs the principal part in this tragic scene, then addresses a speech or compliment to the company; after which, he inclines his head towards the mat, draws his sabre, and cuts himself with it across the belly, penetrating to the bowels. One of his confidential servants, who takes his place behind him, then strikes off his head. Such as wish to display superior courage, after the cross cut, inflict a second longitudinally, and then a third in the throat. No disgrace is attached to such a death, and the soni suc. ceeds to the father's place...... When a person is conscious of having committed some crime, and apprehessive of being thereby disgraced, he puts an end to his own life, to spare his family the ruinous conséquences of judicial proceedings. This practice is so common, that scarcely any notice is taken of such an event. The sons of all people of quality exercise themselves in their youth, for five or six years, with a view that they may perform the operation, in case of need, with gracefulness and dexterity; and they take as much pains to acquire this accomplishment as youth among us do to become elegant dancers, or skilful horsemen. Hence, the profound contempt of death which they imbibe even in their earliest years. This disregard of death, which they prefer to the slightest disgráce, extends to the very lowest classes among ihe Japanese.'

The · feasts and ceremonies' of the Japanese are extremely numerous, and are observed by the court with great regularity and pomp. Among these, are five grand festivals, which are celebrated with unusual pomp, and considered as fortunate and privileged days. The first seems to be commemorated chiefly by partaking of a certain vegetable pottage. The second, usually termed by Europeans the feast of dolls, is distinguished by the parade of a number of small puppets, and of miniature representations of temples, houses, furniture, and culinary apparatus; it is appropriated to girls, and known among the natives as the Women's festival. The third has a military cast, and is designed to foster in the youth of the male sex, a love

of noble daring, and a horror of cowardice.' The fourth is in honour of certain constellations, and its peculiar observances are, the offering of incense, and the composition of poetry. Of the fifth, the principal rite consists in making large potations of zakļi. In addition to these, the Japanese annually observe the. well known feast of lanterns.'

The second part of the volume is chiefly occupied with a rather uninteresting detail of the marriage and funeral ceremonies of this singular nation. They are of course not susceptible of abridgement; we shall therefore content ourselves with this general reference, and with a brief notice of a peculiarity in the mode of interment. Instead of the long and narrow coffin of the Europeans, the Japanese are accustomed to thrust the corpse into a sort of tub, three feet high, two feet and a half in diameter at the top, and two feet only at the base. As the rigidity of the dead body seems to oppose an insuperaç. ble obstacle to this violent compression, it has excited considerable curiosity to ascertain the means by which the natives overcome the resistance. M. Titsingh was informed, that it is effected by the introduction of the Dosia powder into the ears, nostrils, and mouth of the deceased. In 1783, he had an opportunity of witnessing a positive trial of its efficacy, on the body of a young Dutchman, which, though previously as • hard as a piece of wood,' became perfectly flexible on the ap: plication of this medicament by one of the native interpreters. Either,

however, there was some slight-of-hand in the business, or M. T. subsequently failed in procuring the proper drug; for when M. Charpentier Cossigny examined and applied it in every possible way, it seemed entirely inefficacious. It would not effervesce with acids, nor fuse in the focus of a burning glass; it is tasteless, inodorous ; and M. C. could produce no relaxing effect by its application to the stiffened corpse. He supposes, and with great probability, that its virtues as a medicine are connected with some superstitious notions cherished by the Japanese, as its composition is a secret, and its preparation confined to one family.

The plates which illustrate the marriage ceremonies are very satisfactory imitations of Japanese drawings, and interesting illustrations of manners, dress, and the interior of dwellings. The bird's-eye views of buildings are distinct; but the long representations of funeral processions are very indifferent in all respects.


Art, IV. I. The Unitarian Christian's Apology for seceding from the Com

munion and Worship of Trinitarian Churches, a Discourse of which the substance was delivered in Lewin's Mead Chapel, Bristol. By S.C. Fripp, B. A. Jate of Qucen's College, Cambridge. 8vo. Lon

don, 1822. 2. Reflections upon the History of the Creation in the Book of Genesis,

A Discourse, &c. By Thomas Belsham, Minister of the Chapel in

Essex street. 8vo. London. 1821. 3. The Character of Jesus Christ, an Evidence of his Divine Mission,

A Sermon. By Robert Aspland. Pastor of the Unitarian Church, Hackney, 12mo. London. 1821. 4. An Attempt to ascertain the Import of the Title, Son of Man,"com.

monly assumed by our Lord. A Sermon. By Robert Aspland: 12mo. London. 1821. THE THE first of these publications is the only one which pos

sesses much interest. It contains a statement of the grounds on which the Author has been led conscientiously to secede from the National Church, in whose bosom he has been fostered, and in whose schools he has been trained and disciplined. Such a secession, under all the circumstances of the case, we cannot view without regret. We attach no other importance to it, however, than such as belongs to the subject involved in Mr. Fripp's Apology, and to the causes which ap-. pear to have occasioned his taking this honourable step. For our own'parts, we participate not in that sensitive alarm which the boldness and bustle of a few Unitarian writers have sufficed to spread, chiefly by means of desultory pamphlet attacks, among some of our orthodox brethren. We know that Unitarianism is not spreading among the Dissenters, whatever may be the case in the Establishment. We believe that it is not likely to spread, since its tenets possess neither the moral force of truth, nor the captivation of popular error. We are, therefore, perfectly free from disquietude as to the result of its utmost efforts, except as they bear on the character and happiness of individuals. Nothing could make Unitarianism thrive, but persecution.

To that species of persecution which consists in vituperation and calumny, the small conquests of Unitarianism in the present and similar instances are, in fact, mainly attributable. The employment of such unhallowed weapons is enough to justify distrust of the best of causes, and to bring truth itself into suspicion. The “ reproach of Christ” was wont to be considered as the distinctive glory of the true Church, and as one evidence or sign by which she might be known. But when her doctors are found taking part in the persecution of the tongue,--applying the branding iron to the characters of men

on account of their religious errors, it must not be wondered at if some perplexity is produced in the minds of individuals not sufficiently informed, as to which party is on the side of truth-the calumniator or the alleged heretic. Heresy is, indeed, too honourable a term to be angrily bestowed on those whose tenets a Christian wishes to reprobate. In ecclesiastical history, it is a designation for the most part synonymous with saint and martyr, using those words in their genuine import. The Apostles were heretics; so were the first

Christians so were the Lollards; so were the Waldenses and Albigerses ; so were the Reformers. So, if we believe the Church of Rome, are all Protestants : so, if we believe the Church of England, are all Dissenters and Methodists. Let us not then cast away this honourable symbol of the world's hatred, by applying it to men whose errors we believe to have too fearful a bearing on their eternal interests, to claim a punitive visitátion, had we any right or power to inflict it, in this.

We have already protested, in noticing Dr. Carpenter's recent volume, against the unwarrantable language ignorantly (as we would hope) employed by certain modern advocates of orthodox theology. The impolicy and pernicious tendency of such language could not receive a more striking illustration than they do from the share which they have

evidently had in driving Mr. Fripp from the Establishment. In giving an account of the origin and progress of the change in his religious sentiments, he states, that a considerable impression was made on his mind four years ago, by a letter from Dr. Carpenter, which appeared in the “ Bristol Mirror.” This first awaked in his mind the persuasion, that a Socinian might be a good • man, though his doctrines were decidedly erroneous; and this persuasion, he adds, was considerably strengthened, and his first * doubts' as to the purity of the orthodox system, produced, • upon comparing the general spirit of the Rev. E. Vaughan's Defence of Calvinism with the spirit of Dr. C's letter. The Baptismal Regeneration controversy appears to have increased his dissatisfaction with the Established formularies. But it is evident from the whole tenor of the pamphlet, that the incautious or injurious statements of orthodox. writers, were the chief means of fortifying his incipient doubts and prejudices into a confirmed disbelief of the doctrines which they were employed to support.

We know nothing of Mr. Fripp, having never heard his name before the present discourse was put into our hands. But, taking the above as a veritable and ingenuous statement, which we have no doubt of its being, we cannot help remark ing on the extreme narrowness either of his previous informa

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tion or his educational prejudices, as implied in the fact, that he felt surprise at the discovery to which he was led by Dr. Carpenter's letter. It excited, it seems, a perfectly new train of ideas, to find a Socinian writing like an amiable man. Who that had ever read a line of Dr. Carpenter's writing, or had ever heard his name, could have doubted that he was entitled, as a member of society, to that honourable appellation? Who would affect to dispute, that Lardner and Priestley were, as members of the community, good men,-men to whom society is under the highest obligations ? Are such facts as these concealed or denied within the walls of Queen's College? If so, it is a most perilous artifice. But we should rather imagine that the blame of previous ignorance or prejudice must rest with the individual. Well, then; he next happened to take up an injudicious, and indeed highly exceptionable defence of Calvinism. Against the spirit of the volume to which we presume Mr. Fripp alludes, we entered, at the time of its appearance, our serious protest; and it would give us great pleasure to believe, that the present instance is the only one in which it had an effect the very reverse of what the reverend and facetious writer intended. We do not wonder at the disadvantageous comparison which Mr. Fripp was led to make: we marvel only at the conclusion he drew from it, which does more credit to his feelings than to his understanding. It seems to us, that he must have been, up to that time, strangely ignorant of the whole range of theological inquiry,--that he could never have given the subject a serious thought, if such a circumstance produced his first doubts' as to the purity of the doctrines he had so long held. Whatever were his attainments in mathematical science or classical erudition, we cannot con: ceive that he could have read or thought deeply on the subject of religion at all, never to have had a doubt before, or to have his first doubts awakened by the general spirit of a rash polemic. We wonder much less that the intestine controversy in his own Church, as to the meaning of a formula which he would be required, not only to subscribe to, but to employ, as a minister of that Church, every time he was called upon to baptize a child,-should make him seriously pause before he took on himself its vows and orders. And it is some small satisfaction to us, that the statements and representations which had so unhappy an influence in strengthening his determination to abandon, not merely the Establishment, but what we hold in common with the Established Church as Divine truth, proceeded, so far as appears, in every case, from the Church here self, or certain of her dignitaries and ministers, while they are such as by far the larger proportion of Dissenters would warmly disapprove. The exceptionable language of the Bishops of

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