Зображення сторінки

hibiting sin in its most odious and disgusting forms-by presenting to our observation men whose intellectual powers might have assimilated them to angels, but whose corrupt passions have actually degraded them below the brutes; spectacles such as these cannot fail to impress and instruct.

These are some of the reasons, which are obvious to us; and without doubt in so vast a system as that of the universe, there are many reasons which we cannot comprehend, why bad men should be continued in society. But even from those consider ations which have been advanced, we think no man can regard it as a subject of disquietude or complaint that the virtuous are not indulged with uninterrupted prosperity, or that speedy and summary justice is not inflicted on the workers of iniquity.

If, however, it shall be af, firmed that there are occurrences which cannot be accounted for on any of the prin ciples which have been advanced, yet the scriptures refer us to an event that will completely vindicate the moral government of God. Let not the righteous repine under the parental chastisements of God, nor distress themselves on account of the prosperity of evil doers; and let the wicked also remember that their triumphing is short; for behold the day of the Lord will come when the apparent inequalities of the present life will be adjusted, and men shall receive according to their deeds. For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, that every one may receive according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. A.


We frequently find in the annals of literature instances of longevity. Whoever wishes to display his erudition may name a considerable number. We however shall at present confine ourselves to the Tuscan Macrobius of our own day, viz. Sig. Domenico Moria Manni, a Florentine Scholar, incomparable and excellent on account of his study, manners and religion. He was born at Florence April 8th, 1690. His parents were Joseph Manni and Calerina daughter of Gio. Bootispa Patriarchi, some particular

friends admirers of his talents, assisted to instruct him in the Belles Lettres. However he was wont to call Casotti his master. Being the son of a Printer, he was obliged early to employ himself in that profession. His cultivation and assiduity perhaps, would have made him respectable in this art, equal to the Guinti, the Torrentini or the Gioliti; but the rigorous treatment of his father, in exacting from him labour and gain superior to his age, checked him. was therefore imperceptibly led into the way of the literati


[ocr errors][ocr errors]

and by force of genius particularly devoted to the study of antiquity, history and his mother tongue. By the want of patrimonial inheritance, he had much difficulty to support his studies and so much the more, being inclined to settle; he married, at the age of 39, Calerina, daughter of Baccio Cappelli, by whom he had 18 children. Notwithstanding partly by frugality and partly industry, he was enabled not only to live reputably and educate his family, but even to purchase some lands, amongst which was a little villa with an estate near Impruneta in which he took great delight. His chief dependence was printing and some employments. An Author who prints on his own account in Italy supports the printer and bookseller, but generally does not promote his own interest. In Manni, however this circumstance was not verified; because being thoroughly ac quainted from education, with the typographic economy, he was able to make considerable profit, further augmented by a skilful choice of generous patrons. His principal occupation was a place among the officers of the General Archive at Florence which he held from 1750 to 1784. The putting in order of the writings of the Archive of the Morte Comune, intrusted to him and punctually executed in 1744, led him to this office. An employment of this nature did not divert him from his favourite studies, but rather confirmed them. Moreover the Vol. VI. No. 8. 30

Professorship of the Tuscan tongue in the seminary at Florence and the direction of the celebrated library strozziana, lately purchased by his Royal Highness, placed him more immediately in the class of the literati. He had these two posts given him in the same year, 1736; the first by the Archbishop Martelli the second by Carlo Tommaso Strozzi; whose choice was fully justified by the publication of his Lectures and putting in order and illustrating the library. It would be now, time to speak of his writings, the editions he procured for the Republic of Letters, and in short, of all the acquisitions he made for it, but who would wish to undertake the task of writing his eulogium? His works were SO many, that whoever would wish to comprehend them all, would scarcely be able to mention their titles It is sufficient to say, he employed the whole time of his long life, excepting the engagements of the necessary charge and care of his family, in composing, copying and making annotations. He laid aside the pen, when the chill of constitution warned him of its approaching dissolution. There is a necessary death, which Bacon calls aridity; this was his case on the 30th Nov. 1788, when inexorable fate envied him near 17 months to compleat a century. He left six children, 4 sons and 2 daughters to survive him; but the works he has published will much longer survive. We pass over the

[ocr errors]

honours he acquired in his country, in the different magistracies, delegations and mayoralties he served; the patents he received from the most eminent Academies of Italy; a work dedicated to him by Bali Tommaso Farset ti, a noble Venetian and a Brief of Clemente, 14 addressed to him, in confirmation of his friendship whenhe was a monk. That which more immediate ly concerns us at present, is his character. We often look for practical philosophy where it ought to be, rather than where it really is. Here we 'find it in a man of learning who never received the principles of science in the University. Manni united to a copious erudition and knowledge of the Tuscan language, the humblest opinion of himself, great moderation, and a consummate delicacy in point of honour. He was affable with every one, whether in prosperous or adverse circumstances, sincere, respectful, ready to forgive, cheerful, scarcely ever dejected. He reckoned amongst his domestic troubles, the severities of his father; his sister who was confined to her bed from seven years old to the age of seventy-seven; his eldest son became foolish from a fright; his wife from the like accident, was rendered infirm and incapable of the affairs of the family for many years before

her death; lastly the charge of a numerous family. At the age of 90, he used to say that he seemed then to enjoy life. The article of Divine Providence was so evident to him that he could not by any means bear the least distrust of it in others; as he used to say, he had seen the clearest proofs of it in his own house. He thanked God for having given him genius for application and study, by which he had found great relief in his afflictions. He only feared he had not directed his labours to the glory of God; therefore he often rectified his intentions, that they might be approved. He felt with regret, the commendations bestowed on him by others, saying, he was not worthy of it. Thus to a correspondent, a nobleman of the Venetian state, who sought his acquaintance, in order to compile his life, he answered with great energy, that the seed of ambition is too much cherished in the breast of men of learning, which he had always endeavoured to stifle, therefore it appeared to him an indiscretion, when he was near the end of his days to foment it. One might with truth affix to his tomb this epitaph: He lived many days for the benefit of learning, his family and country.-Abridged from the Italian Mercury: June, 1789.


In this abominable book human sacrifices are held to be a right inherent in the Princes, to whom they are a source of wealth, the cause of victory and other temporal blessings.". Christ. Obs. Sept. 1817, p. 583.

The Kalikapurana is one of the Sacred Books of the Hindoos. The account of it was given by Abbe Dubois in his "Description of the Characters, Manners and Customs of the People of India." Human sacrifices are mentioned among the abominations practised by the Hindoos; and the Book which authorizes these sacrifices is denounced as an abominable Book."

[ocr errors]

The Hindoos have several customs of offering human sacrifices-as falling prostrate to be crushed to death by the wheels of the carriage on which their idol is moved, and the burning of women on the funeral piles of their deceased husbands. In other instances

parents sacrifice a a child by

casting it into the Ganges, and, from the account before us, it appears that rulers are considered as having a right to sacrifice subjects. These sacrifices are made as religious offerings-as means of propitiating the Deity and procuring his favor. This beThis being the case, it is very justly inferred by Christians that the Hindoos must have very unworthy conceptions of God, and that they impute to him`a bloody and odious character. On the ground of these bar. barous sacrifices Christians

are urged to exert their influence and to do all they can to save the Hindoos from these fatal delusions, and to give them more just and noble conceptions of the Supreme Being.

As the Hindoos received these customs by tradition and education, and as they are enjoined in Books which are by them deemed sacred, it is found difficult to persuade them to abandon what has been so long regarded as essential to their welfare. Instances of conversion however have occurred through the instru mentality of missionaries; and no exertions are deemed too great to effect the abolition of such horrible sacrifices. Accordingly the most impressive appeals are made to excite the sympathy and compassion of Christians, and to persuade them to unite for the noble and beneficent object of converting the Hindoos from the error of their bloody ways. Shall we discountenance such humane and benevolent efforts? God forbid !

Some questions, however, cccur of a very important nature, and which seem to deAs serve serious attention. the object is to convert Hindoos and other pagans to Christianity-this question occurs "Are we better than they ?" The answer will readily be given By nature we are not.' The next question is-Are Christians better than Hindoos by practice?-Have Christians no custom of offer

ing human sacrifices which is as bad or worse than those which we wish to reform in the Hindoos? Are there no professed Christians who persuade themselves and who try to persuade others, that human sacrifices are permitted and required by our Sacred Book-the Gospel of peace? And is this Book also such an "abominable Book ?"


Do not a great majority of Christians admit that the "human sacrifices" made by war are a right inherent in the Princes" or other Rulers "to whom they are a source of wealth, the cause of victory and other temporal blessings?" Do not many Christians try to prove that rulers have this right, and that it is the duty of subjects to consent to be thus sacrificed when ever the Ruler says the word? and that too without inquiring, why, or wherefore? Now if our sacred Book is of this abominable character-if it reálly teaches that rulers have a right whenever they please to sacrifice their subjects, by calling them into a field of battle-What is our Sacred Book better than the Kalikapurana?

As to the mode of offering human sacrifices, Christian rulers have certainly no advantage of the Hindoo princes; for it is not less horrible or inhuman to offer such sacrifices by murderous combat, and with hatred, malignity and revenge, than to offer them as a religious sacrifice, unaccompanied with these odious passions. In Christendom we do not see people prostrate them

[ocr errors]

selves before the idol Juggernaut to be crushed to death; but we see them prostrate before the idols Ambition, Avarice and Revenge, to be slaughtered by thousands and tens of thousands. We do not behold parents casting their children alive into the Ganges to be destroyed by sharks; but we see parents educate their children for war and slaughter, and tamely resign them to sharks in human form, whose avarice and ambition will swallow whole provinces, but never say, "it is enough." And what is still worse, these destroyers of men are often idolized and praised by Christians as Saviors. The Hindoo bows his knee to an idol which can do him neither good nor harm; the Christian is too often seen paying homage and adoration to men who have acquired preeminence by doing mischief. And as though it were their delight to pour contempt on the character of the Messiah, Christians are seen extolling as Gods or Demi-Gods those who came not to save men's lives, but to destroy them.

In respect to the character imputed to God by the differ ent customs of offering human sacrifices-that which is imputed by the custom of Christians is much more abhorrent than that suggested by the practice of the Hindoos. In both cases it is imagined that God approves the sacrifice. Are we then shocked to find the Hindoo imputing to God a character to be pleased with suicide, or with the offer

« НазадПродовжити »