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would be unreasonable to doubt. Who can questi
Crist. fleet propitious winds ? The same kind of sino
ed to possessed by the worshippers of Bacchus, of cury. But, will it hence follow, that a sincer prostitute, or a sincere drunkard, is quite as
cholar, al character, as he, who, with integrity o
coadthe God and Father of our Lord Jesus CL
sbject IV. From the representation now giv
much to and gods of the ancient heathen, we per had good reason for charging the ge Having no hope, and without God in the w
"It may be justly said,” observes their sacrifices were not offered to Go
Iraha, they might use the name God, the in
il the of, not by the name, but by the men such a being as the Eternal, Unori tor, and Ruler of the world, they
the For this reason, they are not without the knowledge, and conse ship of him, who alone is GOD. It appears, indeed, that, when
lices such a Being, hostility to his ch
clasDr. Leland, in his Westministe
inigods. lowing very important informati
earth, could not accomplish by the sw
river, fect by the force of impious lan madness, with which they were
at are ed rewards and honors to such as should write most, wit and
their differne god; on a ar, to a third at Brimha, Vishbear the same rehe Hindoos attach to another; and the three." What ideas these gods, may be con• They say, that these diight; that, during the batstars fell from the firmatid those the most authentic, racter of Hindoo gods is ab
of the dead, is a great article is mentioned, we are told, in al.tutes of Mence. ons, whose religions bear some doos, are polytheists. The Siaof a deity is limited to a certain ich, he sinks into eternal repose, in the government of the universe. vas, before the christian era, a sect
denominated Sammanes. These be the same with those, who are in Siberia. In the tenets and pracsaith he, we may see a faint outline Lindoos. They believe in one God, ; but they think, that he pays no atmen, leaving the government of the
would be unreasonable to doubt. Who can question, that, when the king of Moab took his eldest son, that should have reigned after him, and offered him for a burnt offering, he really believed, that by such a sacrifice, he should obtain divine aid against Israel? who can doubt, that when the Greeks were urgent with Agamemnon to immolate his daughter, they sincerely believed, that this sacrifice would procure for their fleet propitious winds ? The same kind of sincerity might be possessed by the worshippers of Bacchus, of Venus, or Mercury. But, will it hence follow, that a sincere thief, a sincere prostitute, or a sincere drunkard, is quite as deserving a moral character, as he, who, with integrity of heart, worships the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
IV. From the representation now given of the worship and gods of the ancient heathen, we perceive, that St. Paul had good reason for charging the gentiles with atheism. Having no hope, and without God in the world.
“It may be justly said,” observes Dr. Campbell, “ that their sacrifices were not offered to God; for, however much they might use the name God, the intention is to be judged of, not by the name, but by the meaning affixed to it. Now, such a being as the Eternal, Unoriginated, Immutable Creator, and Ruler of the world, they had not in all their system. For this reason, they are not unjustly called atsoi, i. e. without the knowledge, and consequently, the belief and worship of him, who alone is GOD."
It appears, indeed, that, when Christianity made known such a Being, hostility 10 his character was openly avowed. Dr. Leland, in his Westminister Lectures, gives us the following very important information. 6 Whatever the Greeks could not accomplish by the sword, they endeavored to effect by the force of impious language. And such was the madness, with which they were inflamed, that they proposed rewards and honors to such of their poets and sophists, as should write most, wit and elegance, in opposition to the
Chris. Obs. Feb. 1811.
one, true, and incorruptible God, from whom descended to mankind the gift of eternal happiness by Jesus Christ.”
. I close the present lecture with a single remark, relating not to the ancient gentiles, but directly to ourselves, while professing to know God, may we not in works deny him; being disobedient and to every good work reprobate ?
The Necessity of Revelation as it appears from the gods and worship of modern Pagans.
In the preceding lecture, were considered the character of the heathen gods, and the moral tendency of that worship, which they received.
As the facts, which were then stated, were chiefly such, as occured among the Greeks and Romans, the most learned and refined nations of antiquity, it is to be presumed, that should our investigations extend to modern pagans, far inferior to them in mental cultivation, appearances would not be more favorable. Inquiries of this kind will constitute the present lecture. They will relate,
1. To the gods;
II. To the worship and religious ceremonies of modern pagans.
1. We are to inquire concerning the gods, worshipped if those nations, where revealed religion is not enjoyed.
As the Hindoo religion is not confined to the vast country of Hindostan, but spreads itself in some form or other, over several divisions of the eastern continent, (Tibet, Birman Empire, Siam,) it is peculiarly entitled to our attention. It appears, likewise, to be a religion of very great antiquity. Sir Wm. Jones, as quoted by Dr. Priestly, considers the institutions of Mence, one of their sacred books, as having been written about twelve hundred years before Christ. Their other sacred writings, called the Vedas, are said to have been written three centuries earlier.
Through the indefatigable labor of that illustrious scholar, whose name has been mentioned, and many learned coadjutors in India, the information, which we have on the subject of the Hindoo religion, is somewhat extensive, and much to be relied on.
They believe on a Supreme God, who created the world, though not all things pertaining to it.* This Supreme Being is said to have created a goddess, called Bawaney, who was the mother of three subaltern deities. Brimha, or Bramha, Vishnou, and Sheevah. Brimha was endued with the power of creating the things of this world; Vishnou, with the power of cherishing them; and Sheevah, with the power of restraining and correcting them. Thus Brimha became the creator of man; and, in this character, he formed four casts or classes, which are so distinctly preserved among the Hindoos. Besides these deities, they acknowledge a great number of gods and goddesses, whose characters and offices correspond considerably with the most noted deities of classic mythology. They have likewise numerous demigods, who are supposed to inhabit the air, the water, and the earth, and, in short, the whole world, so that every mountain, river, wood, town, village, &c. has one of these tutelary deities. By nature these demigods are subject to death; but are supposed to obtain immortality by the use of certain drink. Encycl. vol. viii. Art. Hindoos.
* Corries Ser. 26.