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our Lord,-who left us an example that we should walk in his steps, the solemn duty, in all the great and important purposés of our lives, with an ap, plication of our minds and hearts, proportioned to the magnitude of the object which interests us, to seek the guidance, and to cast ourselves on the disposal of God! It is a rich indulgence to the Christian student, to compre hend, as exactly as he can, the actual situation of our Lord as he is described by the Evangelists; the characters of those whom he addressed; the precise meaning of his expressions; and every circumstance which has a connexion with his character and his instructions. But let it never be forgotten, that the end of a Christian's knowledge should be, the improvement of

his own practice. Nor will it be useless to have ascertained, that it was to a proseucha, or to a house of prayer upon a mountain, that Jesus retired for a night, before he made his elec tion of his twelve apostles, if, in dwelling for a few moments upon the place of which he availed himself for a night of prayerin entering with him the enelosure in which he had secreted himself we feel, as perhaps the association may aid us to feel, more deeply the obligation of his example, and are more powerfully excited to go and do likewise.

[Joseph Medes' works, p. 6567. Lardner, v. 1. p. 110-112. Lewis' Orig. Heb. B. 3. c. 9. Prideaux, Connect. P. 1. B. 6. v. 2. p. 556.]

EFFECTS OF THE MICROSCOPE ON THE MIND OF A BRAHMIN.

DEAR SIR,

I SEND to you the following anecdote, from a review of Forbes' Oriental Memoirs. It will interest those who read only to be entertained. It will much more deeply interest all, whose Christian sympathies are excited by the debased condition of the heathen world; and are accustomed to indulge their thoughts upon the practicability, or are already convinced of the duty, of extending the light which we enjoy, to those who are in darkness.

"A Brahmin, far beyond his brethren both in powers of mind and extent of knowledge, lived in

No. 2. Vol. IV.

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To the Editor of the Christian Disciple. habits of great intimacy with an Englishman, who was fond of natural and experimental philosophy: The Brahmin, who had learned English, read the books of his friend, searched the Cyclopedia, and profited by his philosophical instruments. It happened that the Englishman received a good solar microscope from Europe. He displayed its wonders with delight, to the astonishment of the Brahmin; and convinced him, by the undeniable evidence of his senses, that he and his countrymen, who abstained so serupulously from tasting any

thing which had life, devoured shall have some satisfaction in innumerable animalculæ upon ev-kuowing, that I alone feel those

ery vegetable which they ate. The Brahmin, instead of being delighted as his friend had expected, became unusually thoughtful, and at length retired in si lence. On his next visit, he requested that the gentleman would sell him the microscope. To this it was replied, that it was a present from Europe, and not to be replaced. The Brahmin howev. er was not discouraged by the refusal. He offered a very large sum of money, or an Indian commodity of equal value; and at length his friend, weary of his importunities, or unwilling longer to resist him, gave him the microscope. The eyes of the Hindoo flashed with joy. He seized the instrument, hastened away, eanght up a large stone, and in an instant smashed it in pieces. Having done this, he said in reply to the angry reproaches of his friend, that when he was cool he would pay him a visit, and explain his reasons. Upon that visit he thus addressed his friend: ❝ that I had remained in that happy state of ignorance, in which you found me! Yet I confess, that as my knowledge increased, so did my pleasure, till I beheld the wonders of the microscope. From that moment, I have been tormented by doubts. I am miserable, and must continue to be so, till I enter upon another state of existence. I am a solitary individual among fifty millions of people, all brought up in the same belief as myself, and all happy in their ignorance. I will keep the secret within my own bosom. It will destroy my peace; but I

doubts, which, had I not destroyed the instrument, might have been communicated to others, and rendered thousands wretched. Forgive me, my friend; and bring here no more implements of knowledge."

And could a microscope alone shake the faith of a Brahmin, even to its deepest foundations? Did he feel the whole fabric of the superstition, in which his soul had taken up its quiet residence, falling into ruins about him, by the acquisition of so very smail a portion of the knowledge, which an enlightened philosophy conveys? What then may we not hope from intelligent, well directed, and persevering zeal in that mighty empire, in the parts of which in subjection to the British government, there is computed to be a population of sixty million souls! The lesson of the broken microscope will not have been given in vain. Its wonders will be exhibited, and the progress of general knowledge advanced; and the fall of superstition will be the triumph of the gospel.

I cannot refrain from the remark, although it will probably be suggested to the minds of many of your readers, that while the genius of the religion of an East Indian, shrinks appalled even from one ray of light, and retains its reverence and exercises its power, only because it is shrouded in darkness, and acts, unseen, the religion of Christians, blessed be God, after being exposed to the broad day of all the enlightened periods of eighteen

age.

centuries, after being ten thousand times ten thousand weighed in the balance of reason and learning, it has been received with the fullest conviction, and the warmest devotion, by the most improved minds in every The progress of knowledge in society, is one of the great preparations for the progress of Christianity. It is peculiarly the religion of civilized man; and if the exertions which are now made in the cause, are continued, in proportion to the advancement of true civilization, with the blessing of God, will be the ad

vancement of our most holy faith. I have lately read "the substance of two specahes, delivered by Mr. Wilberforce in the House of Commons, in 1813," on the subject of improving the condition of the natives of india. It contains much valuable information, on the state of the Indian character, and the impor tauce of extending to them the means of better instruction. Will it be agreeable to you to receive a compressed view of this subject, for your very useful publica tion* Yours with great respect.

ALFRED THE GREAT.

cession to the throne as a matter of regret rather than of triumph.

ALFRED, the boast of Britain, was born about the year 849 or 850. He was the son of the Anglo-Saxon king Ethelwolf, and grandson to Egbert. Ethelwolf had several sons; Alfred was the fourth, and the father's favorite. At six years of age he accompa nied his father to Rome, and continued there a year. The next year after his return to England, his father sent him again to Rome with a considerable retinue. He was noticed and anointed by pope Leo III. But the lot of Alfred was cast in a barbarous age and among a barbarous people. Tho' a prince, his education was much neglected till he was twelve years of age. His genius was then roused by hearing some Saxon poems; he soon learned to read, and obtained a knowledge of Latin. His thirst for learning and his devotion to study became so ardent, that he regarded his ac*To this question we ayswer in the affirmative. ED.

According to Mr. Hume, he be gan to reign in 871, at 22 years of age: Mr. Cottle says he was but 21 when his reign commenced. At that period the Danes were making terrible ravages in England. Alfred possessed great military talents, which he em ployed according to the custom of the age, in attempts to free his country from the Danish barbarians. But at one period the Danes were so successful that he was obliged to lay aside the ensigns of royalty, dismiss his servants, and disguise himself in a peasant's habit. The Danes pursued their work of destruc tion, but sought in vain for the king. He concealed himself till he found they had become remiss; then he availed himself of the opportunity to recover his kingdom and his dignity. He

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had great difficulties to encounter, but success finally crowned his efforts.

Considering the age in which he lived, the character of his enemies, and the havoc they had made of his coutrymen, he was remarkably humane in his treatment of them. When it was in his power to exterminate the army of the Danes under Guthrum, he not only spared their lives, but gave them a part of the country for settlement, and placed them on the ground of equality with his other subjects. This and other instances of humanity gave a lustre to his character, which far surpassed the glory of military conquests.

In the reign of Alfred, the people of Eugland were professedly Christians, but they had received Christianity in the papal form, and probably had no idea of any other, They were generally ignorant, having advanced but a little from the savage state. By frequent invasions and by a long course of savage warfare, they had become a mixed multitude-a ferocious, rapacious and blood-thirsty people. Violence and revenge, private wars, rob. bery and murder abounded in the land. To establish civil government and equitable laws among such a people was an arduous task, and one that required ex traordinary talents. Such talents were found in Alfred, in a degree which has perhaps never been surpassed among men.

That he might render the execution of justice strict and regular, and that he might effect a change in the habits of the people, he divided his kingdom in

to counties, the counties into hundreds, and the hundreds into tythings or tens. Ten householders made one tything, and ten tythings one hundred. Each tything had a head, called a ty thingman, who was made respon sible for the conduct of those under his care. The institution was so formed, that it became not only the duty but for the interest of every man to keep a watchful eye over the conduct of his neighbors. In cases of difficulty the tythingman called his whole class together to assist him in deciding. In affairs of great moment, appeals were allowed from the ty thing to the hundred, who assembled every month for the settlement of controversies, From the hundred, 12 men were chosen to sit with the presiding magistrate in deciding causes. Thus originated the present custom of trial by jury in England and in this country. The county court met twice in a year; in this a bishop presided, and from this an appeal was allowed to the king, But such was the incompetency of many of the judges, and such the confidence the people had in the superior wisdom and integ rity of the king, that appeals became so frequent as to be embarrassing. To remedy this evil, he exerted himself to have the nobility well instructed in letters, and in law; he was also careful to have men appointed as judg es who were most esteemed for knowledge and probity, and he severely punished malversation in office.

Such was the success of his legislation and efforts, that a re markable change was produced

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in the manners of the people. Robberies and other atrocious crimes were repressed, and a new aspect was given to the state of society. So exact was the police, that it is said, Alfred hung up golden bracelets near the highway as a test of the manners of the people, or of the efficacy of the laws, and no man dared to

touch them.

When he ascended the throne, such was the ignorance of all elasses of society, that he said he knew not one person south of the Thames, who could interpret the Latin service, or prayers used in the churches; and very few, he said, in the northern parts had attained that pitch of erudition. But he invited the most celebrated scholars from the various parts of Europe to settle in Englandestablished schools throughout his kingdom, and obliged parents to send their children to school.

But the most effectual means employed by Alfred for the encouragement of learning was his own example. He divided his days into three equal parts-one third he devoted to sleep, diet and exercise one third to the dispatch of business, and the other to study. That he might the more exactly divide his time, he made use of tapers of equal length, which he burned in lanthornsclocks and watches being then unknown. By such a careful distribution and employment of time, he acquired much knowledge, and wrote much for the benefit of oth

ers.

To convey moral instruction to his people, he employed apologues, parables, stories, and a. pophthegins, couched in poetry.

He did not think it beneath his dignity to act the part of a teacher among his people. Their moral improvement and happiness was an object dear to him, and for which he was willing to make many sacrifices.

The merit of this prince," says Mr. Hume, "both in private and public life, may with advantage be set in opposition to that of any monarch or citizen which the annals of any age or any nation can present to us. He knew how to reconcile the most enterprising spirit with the coolest delibera tion; the most obstinate perseverance with the easiest flexibility; the most severe justice with the gentlest lenity; the greatest vigor in commanding with the most perfect affability of deportment; the highest capacity and inclination for science with the most shining talents for action. Nature also had bestowed on him every bodily accomplishment, vigor of limbs, dignity of shape and air, with a pleasing, engaging and open countenance."

King Alfred died A. D. 901. A greater loss was perhaps neversustained in Britain by the death of one man. How happy it would have been for that nation, had all their kings been Alfreds! Altho he possessed great military talents, still it appears that he was of a pacific, humane character, and was far from delighting in warand blood. The title THE GREAT, was probably never before or since added to any man's name with greater propriety than to his. And if unwearied endeavors to advance the moral improvement and happiness of a nation, are evidences of goodness, he, in com

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