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The gentleman read it, and he who had sworn, owned “He was justly and properly reproved, and would in future be more guarded in his expressions."
For more instances, see p. 22 in this volume of Anecdotes.
parish of Sedgley, near Wolverhampton, having lost a considerable sum by a match at cock-fighting, to which practice he was notoriously addicted, swore, in the most horrid manner, that he would never fight another cock as long as he lived ; frequently calling upon God to damn his soul to all eternity if he did, and, with dreadful imprecations, wishing the devil might fetch him if ever he made another bet.
It is not to be wondered at if resolutions so impiously formed should be broken : for a while, however, they were observed ; but he continued to indulge himself in every other abomination to which his depraved heart inclined him. But, about two years afterwards Satan, whose willing servant he was, inspired him with a violent desire to attend a cocking at Wolverhampton ; and he complied with the temptation. When he came to the place, he stood up, as in defiance of heaven, and cried, “ I hold four to three on such a cock.” -“ Four what?” said one of his companions in iniquity. “ Four shillings,” replied he.-“I'll lay,” said the other. Upon which they confirmed the wager, and, as his custom was, he threw down his hat, and put his hand in his pocked for the money ; when awful to relate, he instantly fell a ghastly corpse to the ground. Terrified at his sudden death, some who were present, for ever after desisted from this infamous sport ; but others, hardened in iniquity, proceeded in the barbarous diversion, as soon as the dead body was removed from the spot.
This melancholy circumstance happened on a Thursday. On the Sabbath following, when a number of his relations and neighbours were conveying his body to the grave, a dog, that belonged to one of the company, happened to run under the coffin (which was carried, I suppose, underhand, by napkins, or on a bier), and was struck to all appearances dead : but being again recovered and let loose, ran a second time under the coffin, and was taken up actually dead, to the great astonishment of the company. Those who conveyed the corpse were so terrified, that they durst not, for the present, proceed to the church-yard, but proposed to leave the body on the spot : at length, however, resuming their courage, they conveyed him to the grave.
“ The fear of the wicked shall come upon him ;" and “ Who ever hardened himself against God, and prospered ?" By such signal interpositions of Divine Providence the Lord shews he hath not forsaken the earth.
May “many,” ” who read or “hear" these lines, “ fear, and turn to the Lord !"
SUPERSTITIOUS RITES, &c.
THE following accounts will afford us an idea of the au ful and miserable state of poor wretched heathens.
“ As I was returning from Calcutta,” says Mr. Carey, “ I saw the Sahamocon, or a wonian burning herself with the corpse of her husband, for the first time in my life. We were near the village of Noya Serai (Rennel, in his chart of the Hoogły river, spells it Niaserai.) As it was evering, we got out of the boat to walk, when we saw a number of people assembled on the river side. I asked them for what they were met, and they told me, to burn the body of a dead man. I enquired, whether his wife would die with him. They answered, 'Yes ;' and pointed to the wo
She was standing by the pile, which was made of large billets of wood, about two fect and à half high, four feet long, and two wide; on the top of which lay the dead body of her husband. Her nearest relation stood by her; and near her was a small basket of sweet meats, called Kivy. I asked them, whether this was the woman's choice, or whether she were brought to it by any improper influences. They answered, that it was perfectly voluntary. I talked till reasoning was of no use; and then began to exclaim, with all my might, against what they were doing ; telling them that it was a shocking murder! They told me, it was a great act of holiness; and added, in a very surly manner, that, if I did not like to see it, I might go farther off'; and desired me to go. I told them that I would not go; that I was determined to stay and see the murder; and that VOL. III.
I should certainly bear witness of it at the tribunal of God. I exhorted the woman not to throw away her life; to fear nothing, for no evil would follow her refusing to burn. But she, in the calmest manner mounted the pile, and danced on it, with her hands extended, as if in the utmost tranquillity of spirit. Previous to her mounting the pile, the relation, whose office it was to set fire to it, led her six times round it, at two intervals; that is, thrice at each circumambulation. As she went round, she scattered the sweetmeats abovementioned among the people, who picked them up, and ate them as very holy things. This being ended, and she having mounted the pile, and danced as abovementioned (which appeared only designed to shew us her contempt of death, and to prove to us that her dying was voluntary,) she then lay down by the corpse, and put one arm under its neck, and the other over it; when a quantity of dry cocoa leaves, and other substances, were heaped over them to a considerable height, and then ghee, or melted preserved butter, poured on the top. Two bamboos were then put over them, and held fast down, and fire put to the pile, which immediately blazed very fiercely, owing to the dry and combustible materials of which it was composed. No sooner was the fire kindled, than all the people set up a great shout, · Hurre Bol! Hurre Bol!' which is a common shout of joy, and an invocation of Hurree, the wife of Hur or Seeb. It was impossible to have heard the woman, had she groaned, or even cried aloud, on account of the mad noise of the people; and it was impossible for her to stir or struggle, on account of the bamboos,
of a press.
which are held down upon them like the levers
We made much objection to their using these bamboos, and insisted that it was using force to prevent the woman getting up when the fire burned her; but they declared it was only done to keep the pile from falling down. We could not bear to see more, but left them; exclaiming loudly against the murder, and full of horror at what we had seen."
What a dreadful custom ! yet it is said that thirty thousand of such victims perish annually in the East Iudies.
“ This evening,” says Mr. Ward, “ we went to see a man rise from his grave who had been buried a month! A great croud was collected and every one waiting with impatience to see the resurrection. Brother Carey had some conversation with one of the Musselmans, who asked, upon his denying the divine mission of Mahommed, what was to become of Musselmans and Hindoos. Brother Carey expressed his fears that they would all be lost. The man seemed as if he would have torn him to pieces. At length, when the new moon appeared, the top of the grave was opened, and the man came forth, apparently unaltered by his confinement. He bowed with his head to the ground several times at the foot of a plantain tree, which I suppose he had planted on going into the grave, and upon which he also poured water. It was necessary that he should see th: new moon immediately on coming forth from his confinement. Many crorded round him, and put out their hands for a gist, which all who asked obtained, and which, as far as I could see, consisted merely of particles of dust. Seve