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they had heard of the Elohim of revelation in the first chapter of Genesis, “Let us make
Gen. i. 26. 2. The doctrine of the INCARNATION of the Deity. The Hindoos believe that one of the persons in their Trinity (and that too the second person) was “manifested in the flesh.” Hence their fables of the Avatars, or Incarnations of Vishnoo. And this doctrine is found over almost the whole of Asia. Whence then originated this idea “ that God should become man and take our nature upon him ? The Hindoos do not consider that it was an Angel merely that became man (like some Philosophers in
* It certainly cannot be proved that the Triad at Elephanta is older than the Christian era. And if it be, we are yet to consider that the Mosaic records brought down the notion of a Trinity from the earliest ages. The modern Jews contend against this fact, that they may not seem to countenance an argument for the truth of Christianity ; but if they will read their own Targums, they will see that their forefathers confessed it ; as in the following instance. Come and behold the mystery of " the word ELOHIM. There are three degrees, and each de"gree is sole. Notwithstanding they are One ; and are uni" ted into one ; nor is one of them divided from another."
R. SIMEON BEN JOCHAI, In Zohar ad sext. Levit, sectionem.
Europe) but God himself. Can there be any doubt that the fabulous Incarnations of the eastern mythology are derived from the real Incarnation of the Son of God, or from the prophecies that went before it ? Jesus the Mes, siah is the true AVATAR.
3. The doctrine of a vicarious ATONEMENT for sin, by the shedding of blood.---To this day in Hindooștan, the people bring the goat or kid to the Temple, and the Priest sheds the blood of the innocent victim.* Nor is this peculiar
* The inhabitants of Calcutta have a frequent opportunity of seeing the headless and bloody kid carried on the shoulders of the offerer through the streets, after having been sacrificed at the Temple of Kalee, at Kalee Ghaut. Kalee is the goddess of destruction, black in visage, and having a necklace composed of the sculls of men.
It was a custom for the chief magistrate of police, in Calcutta, (an English officer) to go out of the city in procession with the Hindoos, on a certain day every year, to Kalee Ghaut. The author will not assert, that he went out “ to make an “ offering to the Goddess or her Priests, in the name of the English government,” because he never witnessed it. Nor will be say more on the subject. He has not heard whether it is a custom. It is unjust that the character of the present government, should suffer from the latitude in religious notions of some of the first governors
It was also the custom for many of the English in Calcutta
to Hindoostan, throughout the whole East, the doctrine of a sacrifice for sin seems to exist in one form or other. Ever since “ Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain:'' ever since Noah, the father of the new world, so offered burnt offerings on the altar," sacrifices have been offered up in almost every nation, as
to accept of invitations from the Hindoos, to be present at the Nautch, or dance, at the Festival of the Doorga Poojah, celebrated in honour of their God DOORGA. At these Nautches, the Idol, gorgeously arrayed, is placed on his throne, and every body is supposed to bow in passing the throne. Groups of dancing girls dance before the God, accompanied by various music, and sing songs and hymns to his honour and glory. The Bnglish are accommodated with seats, to look on. We would not insinuate that any of the English bow to the Idol ; and we shall suppose that those who attend the ceremony, do it without thought, being merely swayed by the fashion of the place, and unconcious of any thing wrong. But we would suggest a doubt whether the custom of accepting such invitations (which are generally on printed cards) should be continued at the seat of the supreme Government. Such liberties might be very innocent if the Christian Religion were not true. But it is the duty of a Christian peopledwelling amongst Idolaters to beware lest their actions should be misinterpreted; for it is very possible that their polite acquiescence in being ceremoniously seated in the presence of the God, and witnessing the honours paid to him, may be considered by some of the ignorant Hin. doos, as a tacit approbation of their worship.
if for a constant memorial to mankind that “ without shedding of blood, there is no remiso sion of sin." Heb. ix. 22.
4. The influence of the Divine SPIRIT on the minds of men. In the most ancient writings of the Hindoos, some of which have been published, it is asserted that “ the divine spirit or light of holy knowledge” influenced the minds of men. And the man who is the subject of such influence is called “the man twice born.”. Many chapters are devoted to the duties, character, and virtues of “the man twice born."
Other doctrines might be illustrated by similar analogies. The characters of the Mosaic ceremonial law pervade the whole system of the Hindoo ritual and worship. Now, if these analogies were merely partial or accidental, they would be less important: but they are not accidental, as every man who is erudite in the holy Scriptures, and in oriental mythology, well knows. They are general and systematic. Has it ever been alleged that the Light of Nature could teach such doctrines as those which we have above enumerated. Some of them are contrary to the Light of Nature. Every where in the East there appears to be a counterfeit of the true doctrine. The inhabitants have lost sight of the only true God, and they apply their tradi
tional notions, to false Gods. These doctrines are unquestionably relics of the first faith of the earth; they bear the strong characters of God's primary revelation to man, which neither the power of man, nor time itself, hath been able to destroy: but which have endured from age to age, like the works of nature, the moon and stars, which God hath created, incorruptible.
BEFORE the Author left India, he published a“ Memoir of the Expediency of an Ecclesias“ tical Establishment for our Empire in the East.” The design of that work was first suggested to him by Dr. Porteus, late Bishop of London, who had attentively surveyed the state of our dominions in Asia; and he was encouraged by subsequent communications, with the Marquis