Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

them, and then returned. When walking over the sands of the Mahanuddi river, I said to brethren Ram Chundra, Doitaree, and Jagannath, “Listen! I shall break caste, for there is no truth whatever in caste. If all are the sons of Adam, then whence came all these various castes ? That Christ came into the world, died, and rose again, my mind fully believes. But Soondara Das Bábájee says, 'I am Christ's incarnation. This I do not believe. Will Christ die a second time, or be born again ?" Then my companions gave various replies, and for the time silenced me; but I kept my thoughts to myself; and each returned to his own house.

(To be continued.)

THE BIBLE AT THE FRENCH

EXHIBITION. The following interesting letter is taken

from a recent number of the Bible Society's Monthly Reporter.It was addressed to the Society in London by Mr. G. T. Edwards, the gentleman who had the charge of the Bible depôt

at the Paris Exhibition. I am happy to say, that, on returning here from my short absence in England, I found that our work in connection with the Exhibition had not suffered in any way, but was still going on prosperously, and, I trust, with tokens of the Divine blessing. Our issues last week were 5,554 copies, while, up to the present time, they amount to about 65,000 copies, of which about 12,000 copies have been sold. In addition, nearly a thousand copies of the New Testament in French and English, and French and German, have been placed in the Hôtels and Pensions of Paris, and already many have spoken with joy of finding the Word of God when entering their bedrooms in this gay and pleasure-loving city. The military and police still come flocking to our depôt in the Park in large numbers; and the eagerness with which they receive the sacred volume, often commencing to read it ere they depart, shows that our large and liberal grants to them are duly appreciated. Strange to say, the number of priests coming to us, so far from diminishing, has of late consider ably increased ; and I must record, to the credit of many of them, that they have expressed warm sympathy with our

object. They see that we do not carry on our work controversially, but give the simple text of the Sacred Scriptures; and though they would, of course, prefer to see them accompanied with annotations, yet they see that if our books contain no notes in favour of their Church, they contain none against it. Sometimes a priest, on entering our depôt, has said, “Ah! Protestant propagandism !" To which I have replied, “If you search all through those hundreds of volumes you will not find the word Protestant; and if the reading of the simple text of Holy Scripture makes people Protestants, it is rather an awkward admission for you to make." Sometimes the reply is made, “ But the Bible is a very difficult book : how can you expect the peasants to understand it ?” The saying of one of old meets this objection, that “ In the Bible there are depths where elephants might swim, but there are shallows where lambs may wade;" and, at any rate, I have told our clerical friends who make the objection, that the best way to cause the Bible to be understood by the people is to gather them in the churches, and preach from it, and explain it to them ; for one intelligent priest did not hesitate to express his regret, that in bis church 80 many appeals were constantly made to the eyes and the senses, so few to the intellect and the heart. One question I have often found soften an objector : “Whether do you think it is better for the French people to read Voltaire and Renan, or the Word of God ?" for, as a Paris priest said to me, “I believe, though you have many Protestant sects in England, yet they almost all believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ and in the inspiration of the Bible, but too many in our country believe nothing, for France is full of scepticism." True, the priests of this country belong to two very diffferent schools, quite as sharply defined as “High Church” and “Low Church" in England : and our work is just the thing to bring this out. The Gallican priest, intelligent, courteous, and often learned, looks on the Bible with a friendly eye, and is often anxious to receive it; while the ultramontane, fierce, bigoted, and full of rage against heretics, treats the sacred volume with scorn and contempt, not unfrequently destroying it. Standing one day at the door of our depôt, I saw a priest passing who had ob. tained the Gospel of St. John at a neigh

bouring place, which he was busily tearing to pieces. I could not help following him to remonstrate with him on his wicked act, leaving him with the assurance that one day he would have to answer for it before the judgment-seat of Christ. He seemed to be struck dumb at the unexpected appeal, for he made no reply.

Then, again, an excellent priest in the provinces, who wrote to us for a Hebrew New Testament, which he had sent to him by post, when acknowledging it, said that he honoured the Word of God quite as much as Protestants, and was the more anxious to make this known, as some of his brethren, curés in Brittany, had deprived some country-people there of Bibles which they had obtained at the Exhibition, and trodden them under foot. The good man concludes bis letter with the words_" Pray receive my Christian and priestly salutation, and may the Lord (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) be with you and remain with you for ever." Two priests of the Propaganda, going out to the East as missionaries, came to the depôt and asked for copies in Arabic, Sanskrit, and Chinese, which they received, with the expression of a hope on the part of the donor that they would preach the truths contained in those books, and which were preached at first by the Apostles of the Lord.

A few days ago an English Roman Catholic priest came and asked for an English Bible, which he received, his friend, a French priest, receiving another in his language ; and thus it is that those who profess to belong to the only true Church come to those whom they have been taught to regard as heretics, to obtain that which their own Church does not supply, and without which there can be no true Church at all. Roman Catholic priests, doubtless, may have the Vulgate, the only authorized version of their church ; but for vernacular translations they must look elsewhere, for their Church does not encourage them, and we never hear of Roman Catholic missionaries in any part of the world translating the Word of God. I am glad, therefore, that so many have visited our depôt, and seen how different is the course pursued by Protestant christians. The whole work carried on here has doubtless impressed the minds of many of them. As a priest said to me lately, "I must confess that your zeal is greater

than ours," for, strange to say, while the Scriptures and religious tracts are being circulated in the Park of the Exhibition by thousands of copies, the Church of Rome has met this by no counter movement, and, here at least, has certainly made no use of the printing-press. The only thing they have in the Park is a little bijou chapel full of images, altars and ecclesiastical furniture, and it is not a little interesting that the four men in charge of this place have all visited the Bible Society's depôt, and purchased the Word of God. Thus I trust the idea is being dissipated, wbich the Papal Church has industriously circulated, that Protestantism is a mere negation, without life or missionary zeal to propagate itself, and that something is being done to remove misapprehensions which have stood in the way of Romanists receiving the blessed truths of the Gospel of Christ. Priests surely will scarcely be so ready in future to charge us with circulating mutilated Bibles, after coming into our depôl, and, as many of them have done, turning to the list of books prefixed to our Bibles and Testaments, and finding that the number corresponded with what they acknowledge, excepting the Apocrypha, books pot found in the Hebrew text, or in the Canon acknowledged by the Jews of Palestine. Even a priest of considerable learning in one of the colleges of Paris, on taking up one of our Bibles, said, “I suppose you do not ad. mit the Epistle of St. James;" on which I asked him to go through the hundreds of volumes before him, and try to find one where it was omitted. He knew that the Epistle had been questioned by Luther, who styled it “a right strawy Epistle" (though the great Reformer is said to have retracted this expression), and thought we should all implicitly follow him; though he might have remembered, that not only Luther, but Erasmus and Cardinal Cajetan, of his own Church, also objected to the same Epistle. I told him, however, that we did not make a Pope of Luther or any other man, or allow him to fix for as the Canon of Scripture.

I feel glad, therefore, in being able to say, that, up to this time, nearly four hundred* Roman Catholic priests have received the word of God from us, and, on the whole, those who have come to

* In a letter received since the above was in print, Mr. Edwards puts this number at 560.

us have been far from showing an un- LADIES' WORK FOR THE friendly feeling. As far as the metropo

FOREIGN MISSION. lis is concerned, this is doubtless, in a

We are glad to find the appeal in aid of great measure, owing to the liberal and

the poor christians and schools connected enlightened sentiments of the Arch

with our Mission in Orissa has been bishop of Paris, who, in his last charge,

responded to, and that some of our urges men to study God's three great books—Nature, Conscience, and Reve

churches are busily employed. We

hope that others from whom we have lation; and who, I believe, is far from

received no communication are also looking with disfavour on the work of Bible distribution in France. There

labouring for the same object. would be some hope for the Church of

It is unlikely that Mrs. Miller will

take the box, as first intended, the charge Rome if her prelates more generally fol

being so heavy for luggage overland. lowed the enlightened policy of Arch

She is sending her own baggage round the bishop Darboy; but alas! too many

Cape. As the goods are delayed for the are committed to that fatal Ultramontanism which is sinking the Romish

present we trust our friends will work

in right good earnest that a greater system deeper and deeper in apostacy and ruin. Meanwhile, may the Lord

number of articles may be contributed. the Spirit bless the Word of Truth to

Signed, the priests who have received it, that many, as of old, may become obedient

J. E. WILKINS, S. to the faith!

Derby, Dec. 17, 1867.

[ocr errors]

Foreign Letters Received.

BERHAMPORE–G. Taylor, October 17.
CUTTACK-T. Bailey, October 15, 30.

Contributions

RECEIVED ON ACCOUNT OF THE GENERAL BAPTIST MISSIONÁRY SOCIETY,

FROM NOVEMBER 20th To DECEMBER 20th, 1867.

BATH.

1 COALVILLE & WHITWICK. I LEICESTER, Friar Lane.

£ s. d. Major Farran ... ... 1 0 0 Publica

£ s. d.

£ s. d
"Public Collections ... 5 15 11 Mrs. Case, for Orphan 2 10 0
BEESTON.
COVENTRY.

MACCLESFIELD.
Collections and Sub-
Collections and Sub-

Collections and Sub-
scriptions ... ... ... 15 10 2 scriptions ... ... ... 5 9 10 scriptions ... ... ... 12 11 8
BRADFORD.
HOUGHTON, Hunts.

SHORE.
Collections and Sub | Potto Brown, Esq. ... 7 10 o/Public Collections ... 3 10 7
scriptions ... ... ... 10 11 0
ILKESTON, SMALLEY, NEW-|

STALYBRIDGE.
THORPE & HEANOR.
CARDIFF.

Collections and Sub-
Collections and Sub-

scriptions ... ... ... 30 9 8 Share of Collection at

scriptions ... ... ... 18 10 Baptist Union Mis

4|

SCOTLAND. sionary Meeting ... 5 5 0 LEAKE & WYMESWOLD.

General Campbell
Miss Campbell ...

... 2 10 0 CAVERSHAM, near Reading. A friend, for Famine Or

Miss F. Campbell... ... 2 100

phans, by Rev. W. E. West, Esq. ... ... 50 01 Bailey ... ... ... ... 10 ol

10 00

Subscriptions and Donations in aid of the General Baptist Missionary Society will be thankfully received by T. HILL, Esq., Baker Street, Nottingham, Treasurer; and by the Rev. J. C. PIKE and the Rev. H. WILKINSON, Secretaries, Leicester, from whom also Missionary Boxes, Collecting Books, and Cards may be obtained.

THE

GENERAL BAPTIST MAGAZINE.

FEBRUARY, 1868.

THEORIES OF CREATION.

BY THE REV. GILES HESTER, SHEFFIELD.

In all ages of the world, the works glorious orb of day? Whence came of God in Creation have attracted the silvery moon and the shining the attention of thoughtful and in- stars? Whence came the innuquiring minds. The very appear- merable organisms which meet us in ance of nature is adapted to awaken every part of the globe? Whence curiosity, and engage the faculties of came man with his wonderful faculthe mind in ardent investigation. ties and ever expanding capacities ? The world, with its innumerable These questions have been asked by objects of beauty and sublimity, and all civilized nations, and their menthe canopy which overarches it with tal struggles can be traced in the such splendour and magnificence, are memorials of their civilisation which evidently fitted to make impressions they have left behind. Some of the on the most barren natures. Some- more daring and speculative spirits times this canopy has the appearance have endeavoured to answer these of a sapphire dome inlaid with golden inquiries. Both eastern nations fires. Sometimes it is partially and western nations have had their covered with floating fleecy clouds. cosmogonies. They have all had At one time it is filled with stream- their own peculiar theories in which ing light flowing from the great orb they accounted for the origin and of day—at another time this vault existence of the universe. is lit up with the rays of the silvery In speaking of the theories of moon and the fainter splendours of creation as developed in heathen the twinkling stars. The creation, nations it is necessary to bear in in all its aspects and in all its details, mind that most probably many of is calculated to arrest the attention them have been coloured and modiand call out the imagination of every fied by the Divine Revelation given observing mind.

to Moses. In consequence of the It is quite natural, therefore, that migrations of the great races of the the important inquiry should often East the traditions of one age and present itself-Whence came these country have been removed and things ? Whence came the earth on transplanted in another. The theowhich we live? Whence came the ries of some oriental nations con

VOL. LXX.–NEW SERIES, No. 14.

tain seeds of truth mixed up with his predecessors. Instead of regardthe most extravagant errors and the ing some elementary form of matter wildest absurdities. Hindooism, as the origin of all things, he conBudhism, Parseeism, all have their ceived the existence of a supreme cosmogonies, or accounts of the and eternal mind as distinct from origin of the world and universe. matter, and by which the elements According to the traditions of the of nature, called chaos, had been Egyptians and Chinese water was reduced to form, order, and beauty. the earliest element. The Mexicans This universal mind or intelligence and Peruvians also call the first age he called Nous. This thoughtful of the world the age of water. philosopher was greatly persecuted

In the earlier ages of European for his opinions. He was ahead of civilisation Egypt was regarded as his age. It required all the elothe great school of philosophy and quence of Pericles to prevent his cradle of the arts. Geometry, sacrifice to popular rage. He was astronomy, mechanics, architecture, sentenced to pay a heavy fine and and the kindred sciences were cul quit Athens. He died at the age of tivated there. Moses was learned seventy-two. in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. These philosophers all belonged to Inquiring minds from the western the Ionic school of Grecian philosonations went into Egypt for instruc- phy. There was another school tion in science, philosophy, and art. called the Eleatic. It derived its The most distinguished of the Greek name from Elea or Velia, a Greek philosophers visited Egypt. : colony on the western coast of

Greek philosophy begins with southern Italy. This school of Thales. He lived about six hundred philosophy was founded by Xenoyears before the Christian era. The phanes, who fled to the Italian principal feature of his philosophical shores when his country was consystem was that water, or a fluid quered by the Persians. Xenosubstance, was the single or original phanes was a pantheist. He conelement from which everything came, ceived the whole of nature to be and into which everything returned. God, and denounced the Homeric Anaximander followed Thales, and description of the gods as abomiadopted his system of philosophy. nable. His system of philosophy He was distinguished for his know- appealed more to the senses than to ledge of astronomy and geography. the intellect, and it became popular. He is said to have been the first to It has had followers up to this day. have introduced the sun-dial into The celebrated Pythagoras beGreece.

longed to a third school of philosoAnaximines was the third in this phy. He had a great thirst for series of Greek philosophers. He knowledge, and travelled into the differed from his predecessors in East to have the vearnings of his accounting for the origin of the uni- soul gratified. He visited Egypt verse. He agreed with Thales and with the view of studying phiAnaximander that all things sprang losophy. It is a matter of uncerfrom a single element; but, accord- tainty what his notions were with ing to his theory, air was the source regard to the origin of the world. of all things.

The most distinguishing feature of The greatest of the earlier Grecian his philosophy was the belief in the philosophers was Anaxagoras. He transmigration of souls. His conlived about five hundred years before temporary Xenophanes relates that the coming of Christ. His mind Pythagoras seeing a dog beaten inwas not satisfied with the system of terceded for the poor animal, saying,

« AnteriorContinuar »