Imágenes de página

from the book, and which the translator must either modify or omit altogether, to make the Essay of any practical use.

"Let the reader look at Paul's description of human nature." "Such writers as Wet3teim and Leland." "Having the Bible in our hand." "In the days of Luther, men admitted facts, but denied the inferences." "Such a history as Xenophon has given of the youth of Cyrus " " The Essenes, the representatives of the mystics and ascetics of the middle ages." We cannot help thinking, that the writer sometimes forgets his antagonist, hitting hard some European heterodoxy, instead of Hinduism. The author has introduced a goodly number of Greek and Latin terms into the text, and in the foot notes; are they to be transferred into the translation? The parties for whose benefit the translation is made, are supposed to be ignorant of both Greek and Latin. Then those terms must be omitted, or else written in the native characters, to no purpose whatever.

In this brief notice, we had no intention of attacking any of the author's positions, but if the following extraordinary assertion were left unnoticed, we feel that we would be guilty of dereliction of duty, and exhibit a singular degree of ignorance, as it regards both ancient and modern systems of idolatry.

"The religion of the Bible, it must be remembered, is the only one founded on properly miraculous evidence. The systems of heathenism submit no such credentials."

We have always understood, that if there be genuine revelation given to men, there would be also counterfeits, and if the credibility of the truebe supported by miracles, so would the false. Let us suppose that Dr. Angus's book is translated, and circulated among learned Hindus, they will perceive at once, that the object of the book is to prove that Christ is a true incarnation, and the miracles of Christ are adduced to prove it; they will then proceed to compare Christ with the incarnations of Vishnu, and from the Puranas prove that the Hindu incarnations performed miracles as numerous, and as stupendous, as those of Christ, and some of them are of a benevolent character. Krishna held a mountain on his little finger, like an umbrella, to shelter the cow-pens, from a deluge of rain sent by Indra ; killed numerous demons that were a curse to the human race; exempted a flower-seller and his descendants, from all the infirmities of the human family, as long as the sun endures ; made a crooked girl straight. Sandipani requested Krishna to give him back his dead son, drowned in the sea of Prabhasa, which Krishna did in his former person. Dr. Angus may assert that Christ performed miracles in order to prove his divinity. So did Krishna ; his associates regarded him simply as a lively boy, full of fun and frolic, until he encountered the demon-snake, conquered it, and ordered it to pack up his traps, and to be off to the sea with his whole family. By this celebrated exploit the divinity of Krishna was recognized and acknowledged.

We do not know whether, by the phrase adapted to Missionary purposes," the Essay is intended as a sort of hand-book for Missionaries, if so, it looks very much like a libel upon an intelligent body of men, because throughout the Essay we have not been able to find the shadow of an attempt to solve, or to remove one of the numerous difficulties that continually press upon the Missionary.

Catalogue of the Arabic, Persian and Hindustani Manuscripts in the Libraries of the King of Oudh. By A. Sprenger, M. J)., Calcutta, 1854. Vol.]. Persian and Hindustani Poetry.

This work, involving an immense amount of research and German perseverance, was compiled under the orders of the Government of India. Dr. Sprenger is doing for the past of Literature what James Prinsep did for the past of History, and those labors of Dr. Sprenger, independent of their antiquarian and linguistic bearings, have a very important educational one,—they show that if the Indian languages have been used so powerfully as an instrument for light and merely amusing books, they can be also applied to the noble object of conveying European and Christian knowledge. When we consider the amount of mind and energy which have been thrown into the 10,000 oriental volumes Dr. Sprenger has consulted for this work of his, we see the native power that may be applied to good. By the directions of Lord Hardinge in 1847, Dr. Sprenger undertook cataloguing the Lucknow Libraries—and he devoted eighteen months to the work—his own acquirements in Semitic bibliography pointed him out as the fittest man in Asia for the task—it is to be regretted that ill health has caused a temporary suspension of the work. The late Sir H. Elliot gave it every encouragement in his power; though himself engaged indefatigably in making known the ancient historians of India, yet he felt the great importance of a knowledge of Indian literature as a key to the national mind. Dr. Sprenger gives a list of 1,400 writers of Urdu poetry. The title of each Persian work is given in the original, with notices of the contents of the work, and a brief account of the author. One of the most important services the Government can render to the cause of indigenous education, is the publication of such catalogues as these, which give us a clue to what natives are doing, and rouse us to be active in the cause of a sound literature. The ensuing volumes promise to be very interesting. Notices of Persian Prose and Philological Works— Urdu Works—translations from the Sanskrit and Hindi into Persian and Urdu—Biographies and writings of Arabic Philologers, Literati and Poets—Musulman sciences—Biographies and works of Sophies and Moslem Mystics. The Moslem in India have had little attention paid to them by the authorities or private individuals. Europeans are ignorant of their state of mind; we trust the publication of this work will tend to rouse attention to this class, and

b that Dr. Sprenger's catalogue will convince people that the Moslem mind in India has much rich ore, which by a proper smelting process, may yield a valuable material.

Rajniti, a collection of Hindu Apologues in the Brij Bhdshd language. Allahabad, 1854.

The Rajniti is a vernacular reflex into Brij Bhasha from that invaluable work the Hitopodesh, which has been translated into as many languages as the Pilgrim's Progress, and which, notwithstanding blemishes of expression, abounds with excellent moral remarks, shrewd aphorisms and admirable apologues, all suited to oriental taste. Professor Hall, the Editor, has improved the text of this edition, appended notes, and a glossary of rare words. We are glad to see that as a Professor in the Sanskrit College of Benares, he is making his Sanskrit acquirements to bear on the improvement of the Hindi, and its kindred dialects, which like the Bengali and Uriya, must ever look to Sanskrit as its great type and fountain of improvement. We should like to see issued from the Benares Sanskrit College a translation of that admirable Sanskrit work Vrihat Katha, a collection of tales of Budhist and olden Hindu days.

Ckikitsd Sar, Compendium of Medicine in Bengali. By Dr.


An admirable work giving an outline of Physiology and Anatomy —as also a Materia Medica and brief sketch of Surgery. This work ought to have a place in every mission station throughout the length and breadth of Bengal. It explains the common diseases, their symptoms, causes and remedies, and is particularly valuable in supplying lists of native medicines, both cheap and efficacious.

Aushudh Prastut Videa or Pharmacy. By Shib Chunder Kar

makar, 1854.

A Useful work—but it introduces too many English names, murdered in the spelling ; thus our old friend 'specific gravity,' is written ispisiphik grabhiti; Avoirdupois weight is ebhardipais oet. If the author wishes to have a good sale he must not charge four annas for nineteen pages.

Mdsik Patrika, Nos. 1. and 2. Monthly Magazine for Females.

A Noble attempt to write useful matter in language adapted to the capacity of the females in Bengal. The first number is on Shrads being of no use.—Account of female virtue in Lucretia.—Dialogue on teaching. As is the mother so is the son. The publication is edited by natives, and shows that educated babus are awaking to a sense of their duty to spread knowledge among the masses through their vernacular tongue. We heartily welcome this periodical, and wish it every success.

Udbhij Videa, or Simple Lessons on Plants.

A Work translated from the English, by educated natives, designed to impart elementary instruction on plants, their uses, structure, &c. is a translation, with adaptations, of a little work called the Child's Botany. In this country boys in country districts are very observant of the objects of nature, and particularly of all subjects relating to plants—hitherto they have had no means of gaining knowledge from books on these points. Botany has been called the science of ladies, we think it ought to be too the science of an educated rural population.

Luher Injil, Gospel of Luke in Musulman-Bengali, 1853.

Published by the Calcutta Bible Society for the use of Musulmans who cannot read pure Bengali, but who can understand a language half Urdu half Bengali—a most important class.

Muhammeder Jiban Charitra, or Life of Muhammed, founded on Arabic Authorities.

Gives a preliminary noticeof the History and Geography of Arabia, Muhammed's early years, intercourse with Christians, marriage, first converts, wars, &c,—the facts are based on the researches of Sprenger, Caussin de Perceval, Weil and Muir, and give not what Europeans think ought to be, but what has been, as admitted by Arab writers themselves. It is of vital consequence in discussions with the Moslems to state nothing about their founder which is not derived from facts drawn from Arab sources.

Adeds Anglo-Bengali Dictionary. 1854.

A Work valuable for natives studying English, or for Europeans learning to translate.

Memoir of the Rev. J. J. Weitbrecht. Nisbett, London, 1854.

The name of Weitbrecht will awaken affectionate and sorrowful recollections in the breasts of many that read it. It is so lately that he was amongst us ; he was so familiar, and so dear to very many, that we can scarcely feel it a reality that we have now before us a Memoir, compiled and published in England, of one who was living and moving in the midst of us here in Bengal, as it were, but yesterday.

Yet so it is : and the volume is a very substantial and respectable one, compiled evidently with considerable industry and care, and by no means deficient in the most lively interest, as far, at least, as a very rapid and partial perusal enables us as yet to form an opinion.

The work comes doubly recommended by a Preface from the pen of the Rev. Henry Venn, Honorary Clerical Secretary of the Church Missionary Society, with which Mr. Weitbrecht had been connected during his whole Indian life, and by a sort of Introduction from our friend the Rev. A. M. W. Christopher (some time Principal of La Martiniere Institution in Calcutta,) who had a principal hand in the editing of the Memoir, which was compiled by Mr. Weitbrecht's widow; ' But in truth it needs not, as appears to us, so much gentleman-ushering into the audience chamber of public attention. There is a manly strength of character, a straightforward frankness and honesty of purpose, a vigorous good sense, and a warm and solid piety about the subject of it, that appear in his very physiognomy,— of which, by the way, a good engraving adorns the volume,—and are quite sufficient of themselves to secure a reception with the reading public. Indeed, the popular verdict has already been pronounced intelligibly enough in the rapid sale of an impression of 3,000 copies, and the immediate demand for another, which is now in course of preparation, if not already published.

We had contemplated including in our present Number a somewhat more extended notice of this acceptable piece of Christian and Missionary Biography, coupled with a brief sketch of some of the leading features of the Society, with which its subject was so long connected, and which plays so conspicuous a part in the Missionary operations of India. Circumstances, however, beyond our control, have prevented the present fulfilment of our expectation: but we fully purpose to take it up in our next Issue; and in the meantime commend the Memoir itself to the regard of our readers.


« AnteriorContinuar »