Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub
[graphic]

steady principle of our countrymen! And that it may be, let us strengthen our respect, our reverence for oaths, by all the combined powers of education, law, opinion, and, above all, religious observance. To contribute somewhat to this great effect, is in the power of every individual in this country, whatever his fortune or bis poverty, bis rank or his humble situation may be: for the poorest man in the land may shew his respect for an oath, and support that respect by his example, as well as the richest: he has temptations which the rich have not; he has opportunities which the rich have seldom ; his evidence for or against his neighbour, is, in this country and these times, frequently called for. Much rests upon a poor man's oath.

The violation, the invasion of an oath, is, if possible, more criminal, more disgraceful, the better the education; the higher the means of information, the greater, the safer the opportunities of fraud enjoyed by the individual. Let this consciousness press, in public and private, strongly upon those, in whatever rank of life, who are called upon to take what are called oaths of office-custom-house oaths -oaths of form even. Let all consider, that mental reservation in taking an oath, is fraud to man and falsehood to God ;--that it is in vain that they try to excuse themselves in this sacrifice of principle to interest : their conscience will upbraid them—the small, still voice will be heard. In vain they screen themselves from the temporal obloquy, by a quibble, or the construction of words-by pleading custom, or looking to numbers who share and countenance the guilt. There must be no paltering with an oath. The example of the strictness of integrity, in taking and abiding by oaths of office, would in every country-in this country of Ireland-- be of more efficacy, more real advantage to the good order and prosperity of the kingdom, than any who are accustomed to merely fiscal calculations, than all who are not habituated to large moral and political views, can possibly believe or comprehend.

But it is not only those who take oaths-rich or poor, high or low-whom we should most anxiously adjure upon this important subject : when we spoke of guarding our reverence for oaths by law and institution, we looked to those who formed the institutions and who frame the laws of our country. Let them consider well the importance of their task, the responsibility of their situation. Instead of multiplying restriction upon restriction-penalty upon

penalty-oath upon oath, let them so legislate as to avoid, as far as possible, holding out to the poor the temptation, the opportunity, for erasion or fraud. Let them consider, that multiplying oaths is multiplying, certainly, the possibility, and too frequently the probability, of perjury. Let them consider, that the respect for an oath is necessarily diminished by their frequency; that their power is inversely as 'their number; that their solemnity is lost if they are brought down from the high to the low concerns of life, and that it is well worthy of the legislator and the moralist-perhaps also of the financier and the politician-to sacrifice even excise to morality, and revenue to religion.

The Confession of an Unitarian.

(Rom. x. 9; 1 John iv. 15.) I BELIEVE in one God, the Father almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, the Son of Man and Son of God; who was born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried : the third day God raised him from the dead; he afterwards ascended into heaven, and now sitteth on the right hand of God, the Father of glory. I believe in the sleep of death, in the resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust, in a day of judgment, and in a future state of retribution according to the deeds done in the body,

R. W. W Hay, Brecknockshire, October 16, 1826.

Scriptural Prayers and Sermons.
The prayer of David, 1 Chron. xvii. 16.

of Solomon, 1 Kings viii. 22.
of Hezekiah, 2 Kings xix, 15.
of Ezra, ch. ix. 5.
of Nehemiah, ch. i. 4.
of Jeremiah, ch. xxxii. 16.
of Daniel, ch. ix. 16.
of Jesus Christ, John xvii:

of the Apostles, Acts iv. 23.
Christ's sermon on the Mount, Matt. v. vi. vii.
Peter's sermon to the Jews, Acts ii. 22.
Peter's sermon to Cornelius, x. 34.
Paul's sermon at Ephesus, xiii. 16.
Paul's sermon at Athens, xvii. 22.

[graphic]

The Character of Alla Bhye. (Taken from Sir John Malcolm's account of Central India, by a

gentleman, one of the Society of Friends, residing at Bristol.)

AMONG the portraits with which he (Sir John Malcolm) has presented us, one of the most pleasing as well as most remarkable, is that of Alla Bhye, who married into the Holker family, and on the death of her husband, ascended the throne, in 1766, and reigned for the long period of 30 years.

Sir John Malcolm dwells on the character of this illustrious lady, as a model of all that is just, magnanimous, and wise, and her conduct, as he represents it, seems fully to justify his eulogium. Her reign was the commencement of a new and brilliant era, of prosperity and peace, it was a gleam of happiness, such as had seldom shone on that ill-fated country, over which her good genius was now to preside, with such felicity and glory.

The spirit of moderation and justice, which ever ruled in her councils, quelled all opposition. She was regular in the dispatch of business, sat daily in the open court for the administration of justice, was naturally inclined to gentleness and clemency, and was only severe when just occasions required it. Order and economy reigned through every branch of the revenue department, and a great part of her income was expended in works of charity and religion. Her whole reign, indeed, presents one continued and striking illustration of the ascendancy of worth and wisdom among mankind. These were the main pillars of her throne, the true foundation of her power. It was not by her armies, but by the force of her character, that she ruled and preserved her dominions in peace, in a time of “ general confusion and trouble.

Sir John Malcolm, conversing with an intelligent Brahmin respecting the character of this Princess, ventured

[graphic]

to question the propriety of such a liberal expenditure on religious edifices; to which the latter replied by asking « whether Alla Bhye, by spending double the money on an army that she did on charity and good works, could have preserved her country in a state of profound peace, while she rendered her subjects happy and herself adored ? No person," he added, "doubts the sincerity of her piety; but if she had merely possessed worldly wisdom, she could have devised no means so admirably calculated to effect the object. I was," this person concluded, “in one of the Princess's offices at Poonah, during the last years of her administration, and know well what feelings were excited at the mere mention of her name. Among the princes of her own nation it would have been looked upon as sacrilege to have become her enemy, or indeed not to have defended her against any hostile attempt. She was considered by all in the same light. The Nizan of the Deckan, and Tipoo Sultan, granted her the same respect as the Paishwas; and Mahomedans joined with Hindoos in ers for her long life and prosperity."

Among her own subjects, Alla Bhye never experienced the slightest disturbance : there could not, indeed, be any opposition to an authority that was continually exercised in acts of beneficence and justice.

The fond object of her life," says Sir John Malcolm,

was to promote the prosperity of all around her. She rejoiced when she saw bankers, merchants, farmers and caltivators rise to affinence, and so far from deeming their increased wealth a ground of exaction, she considered it a legitimate claim to increased favour and protection."

Sir John Malcolm details several anecdotes in confirmation of the character of this distinguished Princess; and states that he collected bis information from all classes, who vied with each other in their veneration for her me. mory. Among others he mentions the domestic of Alla Bhye who attended her person.

He was at the time near and his reverence exceeded all bounds. Alla Bhye was tried by severe domestic afflictions, and we have a most affecting account of the death of her daughter, who voluntarily consigned herself to the flames, on the funeral pile of her deceased husband. This dreadful scene was witnessed by her mother, and was detailed to Sir John Malcolm in all its tragical particulars by numerous eye-witnesses.

90 years

of age,

[graphic]

Hymn. By John BOWRING, Esq. [From Ackermann's “ Forget Me Not, a Christmas and New Year's

Present for 1827.;" an elegant and valuable volume for presen-
tation. See Mon. Repos. for October, pp. 615, 616.]
I CANNOT always trace the way

Where Thou, Almighty One! dost move;
But I can always, always say,

That God is love.
When Fear her chilling mantle flings

O'er earth, my soul to heaven above,
As to her sanctuary, springs,

For God is love.
When Mystery clouds my darken'd path,

I'll check my dread, my doubts reprove ;
In this my soul sweet comfort hath,

That God is love.
The entanglement which restless thought,

Mistrust, and idle reasonings prove,
Are thus unravelled and unwrought-

For God is love.
Yes! God is love-a thought like this

Can every gloomier thought remove,
And turn all tears, all woes, to bliss

For God is love.

an

On Private and Family Prayer.
SIR,

October 23, 1826. The perusal of two excellent letters in your Christian Reformer, from Mr. R. Wright, to the Unitarians in the North-east District, on personal religion and family devotion, has induced me to commit to paper some thoughts which were first produced in my mind by hearing different persons allege as excuse for the neglect of private prayer, that the family, in which they resided assembled round the domestic altar and offered their united tribute of prayer and praise ; and from hearing others assert, that an attention to private devotion supersedes family worship. It appears to me, that these excuses for the neglect of one duty by the performance of another, imply a disrelish for these exercises of piety, or they arise from inattention to the subject altogether; for, according to my ideas, private and family devotion are separate duties, and peculiar ad.

« AnteriorContinuar »