Interesting Historical Events, by J.Z. Holwell, Esq.

That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.

Re: Interesting Historical Events, by J.Z. Holwell, Esq.

Postby admin » Wed Oct 28, 2020 8:35 am

Chap. VII. Of the Gentoo Fasts, and Festivals, &c.

[From the Chatah and Aughtorrah Bhade Shastahs.]

Introduction.


As the Gentoo year begins the first of April, we will trace their holy days as they fall in turn from that day, premising that the word Ouposs signifies a fast, Purrup a feast, and Poojah worship, but when accompanied with an offering, it is then called Birto Poojah. -- Poojah is also sometimes used to signify the altar on which they offer.

The Gentoo holy days are guided by the course and age of the moon, and generally take their donomination from that, or from the religious duties that are enjoined on those particular days, and sometimes from both.

Their offerings consist of fruits, some particular sacred plants and flowers, powdered sugar, salt, meal, and different kinds of grain.

First Holy Day. Ouposs.

Okhuij Tertea, falls on the third day of the new moon in April, and is dedicated to the giving alms and benefactions to the Bramins, as the word Okhuij imports. -- This day is also ordained for making the Gentoo pickle called Kossundee, made only on this day, by the wives of the Bramins; it is composed of green mangos, tamarind, mustard seed, and fresh mustard seed oil; it is deemed a holy pickle, and the only one the Gentoos use with their food.

Second. Ouposs.

Poornemee, [Poorah, full] falls on the full moon in April, and is strictly ordained for washing and purifying in the river Ganges, and for distributing charity.

Third. Ouposs Poojah -- Purrup.

Orun [Orun, the morning star, often used to express the dawn of day.] Sustee, falls on the sixth day of the new moon in May, and is dedicated to the goddess Sustee, the goddess of generation, who is worshipped when the morning star appears, or at dawn of day, for the propagation of children, and to remove barrenness. -- On this day presents are usually made by the parents to their sons in law, and the day ends with a purrup or feast.

Fourth. Purrup, at night Poojah.

Dussarrah, as the word imports, falls on the tenth day of the new moon in May; it is dedicated to the God Gunga, the God of the Ganges, who is fabled to have arrived on earth on this day of the moon, and in this month -- it is also dedicated to the Goddess Moonshee Tagooran, [Tagooran, priestess, sometimes goddess.] Goddess of snakes, and fabulous daughter of Sieb.

Fifth. Ouposs-Poojah.

Poornemee falls on the full moon in May, and is dedicated to Jaggernaut, (synonymous with Bistnoo.) This day is otherwise called from the duty enjoined on it, the Sinan, [Sinan, bathing.] Jattra, [Jattra, literally signifies a dance of many.] or general washing in the Ganges -- and it is almost incredible to think the immense multitude of every age and sex that appears on both sides of the river, throughout it's whole course, at one and the same time.

Sixth. Ouposs-Purrup.

Rhutt Jattra, falls on the second day of the new moon in June; it is dedicated to Jaggernaut and Bistnoo. -- On this day the Rhutt, or triumphal car of Jaggernaut, is carried forth about a mile, rests, and is returned on the ninth day of the moon. -- From the seventh day of the moon to the tenth, both inclusive, is the UMBOOBISSEE; during which space, the earth is left to her purgations, and neither plough, spade, or any other instrument of tillage, permitted to molest her. -- The term UMBOOBISSEE, which needs no further explanation, is applied to women under the same circumstances.

Seventh. Ouposs.

Syon [Syon, sleep, repose.] Ekkadussee, as the last word imports, falls on the eleventh day of the new moon in June, and is a solemn fast. Jaggernaut (or Bistnoo) is fabled to sleep for four months: -- which only signifies that the rainy season about this time setting in for four months, the care of Bistnoo (the preserver) is suspended, as immaterial, the rains securing their crops of grain.

Eighth. Ouposs.

Poornemee, as the word imports, falls on the full moon in June, and is dedicated to washing in the Ganges, and charity to the Bramins.

Ninth. Ouposs.

Duadussee, as the word signifies, falls on the twelfth day of the new moon in July, and is devoted to washing in the Ganges, and giving alms.

Tenth. Ouposs-Purrup.

Ekkadussee, Teradussee, Chowtadussee and Poornemee, the eleventh, thirteenth, fourteenth, of the new moon in July, to the Poornemee or full inclusive, are dedicated to the Joolna Jattra of Kissen Tagoor; but these are not directed by the Shastah, and are only observed by the Gentoos of the Kettery tribe.

Eleventh. Ouposs.

Jurmo [Jurmo, nativity.] Oostoomee falls on the eighth day after the full, or twenty-third day of the moon in July, and is dedicated to the birth of Kissen Tagoor, who is fabled to have then descended for the destruction of Kunksoo Rajah, a famous Ossoor and tyrant. It is observed as a solemn fast.

Twelfth. Purrup.

Lukee [Lukee, plenty, affluence.] Poojah falls on the first Thursday in the month of August; she is the Gentoo Goddess of all kinds of grain, and is fabled to be the wife of Bistnoo, the preserver; she is worshipped at this time on the coming in the Paddy, the name given to rice in the husk. -- The day concludes with a feast.

Thirteenth. Purrup.

Unnunto Birto, falls on the fourteenth day of the moon in August, and is dedicated to Bistnoo with the epithet of Unnunto, or the unknown; an offering of grain is made to him, and the day concludes with a feast.

Fourteenth. Ouposs.

Arundah Poojah falls on the thirtieth day of August, and is dedicated to Moonshee Tagooran (the feminine of Tagoor) Goddess of snakes. -- The precise interpretation of Arundah we have lost, and will not impose on our readers. -- Although this day is a fast, it ends in a feast of the new rice, boiled early, and eaten cold; to which essential circumstance we think the word Arundah, given to this Poojah, alludes; but we are not positive.

Fifteenth. Purrup.

Drugah Poojah falls on the seventh day of the new moon in September, and continues the eighth and ninth. The eighth is observed as a fast by those who have no children. -- This is the grand general feast of the Gentoos, usually visited by all Europeans, (by invitation) who are treated by the proprietor of the feast with the fruits and flowers in season, and are entertained every evening whilst the feast lasts, with bands of singers and dancers. -- This Goddess is the first in rank an ddignity, and the most active of all the fabulous deities of the Aughtorrah Bhade, and is styled the wife of Sieb, the destroyer, the third of the three primary created beings. She is as often styled Bowannee, [Persevering.] as Drugah; [Virtue.] and frequently Bowannee Drugah: the cause of her descent is thus derived: -- God having appointed Endeer [Goodness.] and his descendants universal Rajahs of the world, the appointment was illy brooked by Moisasoor; [Evil.] he thereupon drew together his adherents, and waged war against Endeer and his descendants, who were at last in the Duapaar Jogue obliged to fly, and leave the government of the world to Moisasoor; which proved the source of ravages, murders, and confusion. -- Endeer, and his few adherents, were confined to a small portion of the world, from whence, in compassion to mankind, they with piety and humility petitioned the three primary created beings to implore the ETERNAL ONE to redress the grievances resulting from the usurped power of Moisasoor. -- The three beings interceded, and obtained permission that bowannee Drugah should descend on the earth, for the destruction of Moisasoor and his adherents, which the Gentoos are taught to believe she will in the end effect, and finally restore the government of the world to Endeer and his descendants, according to the first intention of the ETERNAL ONE. Hence was the Drugah Poojah instituted, during which the Supreme Being is invoked, through her meditation, to hasten that wished-for period. -- The allegory in the foregoing recital is so plan by a reference to the marginal notes, that we will not affront the understanding of our readers by offering an explanation, although we shall illustrated it further when we give a particular interpretation of the plate No. 2.

Sixteenth. Purrup.

Dussumee, or the tenth day of the new moon in September, when the image of Drugah is cast into the Ganges, with the universal acclamations of the people, and is said to be returned to her husband Sieb. Purification by washing in the Ganges on this day is strictly enjoined.

Seventeenth. Ouposs.

Lukee Poojah falls on the full moon in September, on which she is worshipped all night, during which nothing is drank but the water of the coco nut.

Eighteenth. Ouposs.

Kalleka, Kalkee or Kallee Poojah, (for they are synonymous) falls on the last day of the moon in September. This goddess is worshipped all the night of that day universally, but in a more particular manner at Kallee Ghat, about three miles south of Calcutta; an ancient Pagoda dedicated to her there, stands close to a small brook, which is by the Bramins deemed to be the original course of the Ganges. -- The parts of the Gentoo Goddess (like the parts of some modern saints) are worshipped in various parts of Indostan, her eyes at Kallee Ghat, her head at Banaras, her hand at Bindoobund; but where the remains of her are distributed has escaped our memory. [Plat No. 3.] -- She takes her name from her usual habiliment, which is black, and is frequently called the black Goddess; Kallee is the common name for ink. -- She is fabled to have sprung, completely armed, from the eye of Drugah, at a time when she was hard pressed in battle by the tyrants of the earth. [The various heads which appear scattered over the plate, signify the many tyrants and monsters she flew in conjunction with Drugah.] -- On this fast, worship and offerings are paid to the manes of deceased ancestors. Besides the last mentioned annual custom, every Gentoo keeps the anniversary of their father's death, in fasting and worship to his manes, which is called Baap ka Surraad. [Sacred to the father.] -- It is worthy remark (by the bye) that in all Devonshire, the word Kallee expresses black or smut; why the same combination of letters should convey the same ideal to people so far removed from each other, we leave the curious to account for.

Nineteenth. Purrup.

Raas [A circle.] Jattra, falls on the full moon in October, and is continued to seventeenth of the moon; it is dedicated to Kissen Tagoor Kettry. -- This feast is universally observed, but in a most extraordinary manner celebrated at Bindoobund, in commemoration of a marvelous event which is fabled to have happened in the neighborhood of that place. -- A number of virgins met to celebrate, in mirth and sports, the descent of Kissen: [Plate No. 4.] in the heighth of their joy, the God appeared amongst them, and proposed to them a dance, to which they objected, as they were many, and he but one; to obviate this objection, he divided himself into as many Kissens as there were virgins, who immediately entered into a circular dance with them, as represented in the plate No. 4. In the center circle he is represented standing in a disengaged attitude, attended by the nymphs Nundee and Bringhee (joys and sports) who are making him offerings of flowers and fruits.

Twentieth. Ouposs.

Kartik Poojah falls on the last day of the moon in October. -- This divinity is fabled to be the youngest son of Moisoor (or Sieb) and Drugah; he is worshipped on this day by those who have not been blessed with children, and man and woman are enjoined a strict fast. -- The word Kartik, strictly means consecration, hence this divinity is said to be the invisible guardian, and superintendant of the Gentoo Pagodas. The word also sometimes signifies holiness. The month of October takes its name from him, because in this month the Pagodas are generally consecrated.

Twenty-first. Purrup.

Novono [New rice.] is celebrated on the first lucky Thursday in November, on the first coming in of the new grain of the second crop; the lucky Thursday is fixed in a consultation of Bramins, and is a general feast.

Twenty-second. Ouposs-Purrap.

Lukkee Poojah falls on the first Thursday in the month of December, on getting in all the new harvest, when this favorite Goddess of the Gentoos receives a solemn thanksgiving for all the blessings of the year; the day is passed in fasting, worship, washing and purifying in the Ganges; at night they feast.

Twenty-third. Purrup.

Lukee Poojah Sankrantee [Sunkrantee signifies the last day in every month.] falls on the last day in December, when this Goddess is again worshipped as on the last mentioned holy-day, excepting the fast. On this day bread is distributed in alms, according to every one's ability.

Twenty-fourth. Purrup.

Seeree Punchemee falls on the fifth day of the new moon in January, and is dedicated to Sursuttee, [Invention, contrivance, ingenuity, genius. ], the Gentoo Goddess of arts, and letters. -- She is fabled to be the daughter of Birmah and Birmaanee. The Koyt Caste, or tribe of writers, are prohibited the use of pen and ink on this festival, which are consecrated to her for the day, and a cessation is put to business of every kind. -- Seeree signifies fortune, success, and is the first word of every epistolary correspondence in the Gentoo language.

Twenty-fifth. Birto.

Orun Oodee, [Rising of the dawn.] Suptimee, falls on the seventh day of the new moon in January, and is called Soorjee Poojah, or worship to the sun; to whom offerings are made of peculiar flowers in the Ganges.

Twenty-sixth. Ouposs.

Bhim Ekadussee falls on the eleventh day of the new moon in January; the day is dedicated to Kissen, and commemorates the abstinence of Bhim, a voracious Eater, who fasted on this day; he is called the brother of Judisteen. Bhim is the common name of reproach for a Glutton, but who this Judisteen is, or what the occult meaning and real signification of this fast, has slipped our memory, and we will not substitute any interpretation that is not warranted by our materials, or from our certain and clear knowledge.

Twenty-seventh. Ouposs.

Poornemee, or the full moon in January, is dedicated to Bistnoo, the cherisher. -- Fasting, washing and alms.

Twenty-eighth. Ouposs.

Siebrateer, Chowturdussee, or the fourteenth after the full, falls on the twenty-ninth day of the moon in January, and is dedicated to Sieb, the destroyer, who is worshipped with fasting, offerings, and prayer all the night, as the additional rateer annexted to the title of this holy day imports.

Twenty-ninth. Ouposs.

Govindussee falls on the twelfth day of the moon in February, and is dedicated to Bistnoo the comforter, as the word Govin, or Govindu signifies, and is one of the many appellatives given to the second of the three primary created persons, and he is worshipped on this day with fasting, prayer, &c.

Thirtieth. Purrup.

Dole [Dole, a drum.] Jattra falls on the Poornemee or full moon in February, and is sacred to Kissen Tagoor. On this feast day it is that the Gentoos cast the powder of a certain red flower, called Faag, on all they meet; but whence this custom, or for what cause this feast was first instituted, has escaped us.

Thirty-first. Ouposs.

Barranee Jattra, or Modoo Kistna [Kisen, Kistna, are synonymous with Bistnoo, but allude to different attributes.] Tiradussee (the thirteenth after the full) falls on the twenty-eighth day of the moon in February: if this falls on a Saturday, it is called Barranee, and if the star Satoo Bissah is then on the meridian, it is called Mahah Barranee; and again, if the star Soobo Jogue is in conjunction with Satoo Bissah, it is then called [Most great.] Mahah Mahah Barranee. -- These conjunctions are uncertain, but when they happen, it is deemed a most holy day, and is observed by universal purification in the Ganges, and worship and offerings to Soorjee, or the sun. It fell out last on the twenty-eighth of February, 1759. -- As we have lost the precise meaning and etymology of the word Barranee, and confess ourselves ignorant of the astronomy of the Bramins, we will not attempt an explanation of this fast.

Thirty-two. Ouposs-Purrup.

Lukee Poojah falls on the first Thursday in March, when this goddess is worshipped universally, and thanked for all the productions of hte earth, all being brought forth by this time.

Thirty-second. Purrup.

Durgah Poojah, and Bhasuntee [The end, final, conclusive, alluding to this being the last feast of the year, preceding the Gentoo Lent.] Poojah, falls on the seventh day of the new moon in March, and continues the eighth, ninth and tenth -- on the last, her image is cast into the Ganges. This feast is instituted for the same purposes as the other grand one, but not with that parade and universality.

Thirty-third. Ouposs.

Sieb, or Sunnias [Penitents.] Poojah, is from the first to the thirtieth of March, with only a short suspension during the term of the Durgah Poojah above-mentioned -- The Sunnias Poojah, is the Gentoo Lent; their penances, mortifications, and self corporal punishments, have been so often described, we will not particularize any of them. The Churruck [Literally signifies a Wheel -- but the circle which the penitent describes in swinging round has given it this appellation.], or day of swinging, falls on the thirtieth. From this penance the three castes, or tribes, of Bramins, Bydees, [Bydees, the tribe that profess the practice of physick.] and Koyts, are exempted by the Aughtorrah Bhade; and, in fact, none but the very lowest of the people go through any of the public penances; but, every caste fasts and worships the twenty-ninth, the day preceding the Churruck. -- This solemn fast is dedicated to Sieb, or Moideb, or Moisoor, the Mutilator, and averter of evil; through whom, at this season, the ETERNAL ONE is invoked, to defend them from the influence of Moisasoor and his adherents, and avert the final doom pronounced against the delinquent Debtah.

There is a festival instituted to Rhaam, the protector, which is entitled the Rhaam Jattra, but the precise time of its celebration we have utterly forgot. -- Rhaam is another of the multitude of names, or rather attributes, given to Bistnoo, the preserver.

How far the origin of the fasts, festivals, terms, &c. of the Egyptians, Greeks and Latins, may be traced from the Chatah and Aughtorrah Bhade Shastahs, we submit and recommend to the elucidation of our learned readers, who will be the better enabled to make such an enquiry from what follows.
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Re: Interesting Historical Events, by J.Z. Holwell, Esq.

Postby admin » Wed Oct 28, 2020 8:36 am

Explanation of the Plate or Representation of the Gentoos' Grand Feast of the Drugah.

Plate No. 2.


The representation of the Drama in this grand Gentoo feast will, we doubt not, appear genuine to many thousands now in England, as it is a sight that few who have visited Bengall have not indulged themselves with; and we may take the liberty of saying, that but very few amongst the multitude who have seen it could form the smallest judgment of its intention or signification; to these, therefore, we flatter ourselves it will afford some pleasure, the having a subject explained to them, on which they have often looked with pity and amazement! because they did not understand it. -- The intention of this feast we have already given in its proper place, to which the reader may advert, under the title of Drugah Poojah No. 15. and shall now proceed to the explanation of the chief personages in the plate.

The center and principal figure is Drugah or Virtue; she is represented, with ten arms, descending on a dragon -- mystically showing the power and irresistible force of virtue, when exerted with vigor. -- She is crowned, one of her hands is armed with a spear, and she is environed with a snake -- with another hand she binds Moisasoor (or Evil) with a snake, and kills him by thrusting her spear through his heart, thereby implying that Virtue's safest and surest guard against vice or evil is wisdom, of which the snake, as before observed, is the symbol. -- The battles [Vide Drugah Poojah, fifteenth.] said to have been fought between Endeer, [Good.] and Moisasoor, [Evil.] in which the latter generally proved victorious, without the assistance of Drugah Bowannee, or persevering virtue, implies that moral evil can only be successfully combated therewith. -- The ravages, murders, and confusion, which are said to be the consequences in the world of the flight of Endeer and victory of moisasoor, [Vide Drugah Poojah.] emblematically signify the fatal and natural effects of vice or evil triumphant, which must necessarily be attended with destructive scenes of violence. -- Hence, Moisasoor is fabled to have transformed himself, after his victory, into a mad buffola, a symbol of ungovernable rage, whose head is seen in the annexed plate lying at the feet of Drugah. -- Although Moisasoor in the plate appears to be slain by Drugah, yet this act is only a prophetic representation of the death and destruction he will in the end suffer by her hand, when Endeer shall be restored, and Good be predominant in the world again and triumph over Moisasoor or Evil. -- Endeer being appointed by God universal Rajah of the world, mystically points out his benevolent intentions, that it should be governed by goodness and piety, and the allegory is as obvious where Moisasoor is said illy to brook the appointment. [Vide Drugah Poojah.]

On the right of Drugah are represented the figures of Sieb, her husband, and of Lukee, the goddess of grain. -- Sieb is sitting on a white bull, the symbol of purity and dominion; he is environed with a snake, holding in one hand a Dumboor, [A small drum.] and in the other a Singee, [A musical horn.] musical instruments in use at all the Gentoo festivals; allegorically pointing out that Wisdom is the most effectual averter of evil, and that mirth, joy and gladness, are the natural effects of its being averted from us.

The goddess Lukee is represented standing in an easy attitude; she is crowned with ears of grain, and is encircled by a plant bearing fruit, which passes through both her hands, the root of which is under her feet; she (as all the superior Gentoo divinities are) is environed by a snake. -- The meaning conveyed by this figure is so obvious it needs no explanation.

Underneath the figure of Sieb is represented the divinity named Ghunnis. [Purity, or sincerity of heart.] -- He has no peculiar day of worship instituted in honor of him, for this manifest reason, because all the addresses, offerings and worship, which are made to the supreme, and superior beings, are preferred through his mediation, and promoted by a prior offering and worship paid to him; so that he may be properly styled the God of offerings. -- He is fabled to be the first born of Moisoor (or Sieb) and Drugah; all worship and offerings being made through him, mystically signifies that purity and sincerity of heart must be the source from whence the Deity is invoked. -- He is represented with four arms, sitting on an altar, environed with a snake, and with the head of a white elephant, the symbols of purity, riches and dominion or strength, which, the Gentoos say, includes every blessing, and cannot be justly and properly acquired but by pure and sincere acts of devotion to God, and good works to man and his fellow creatures. -- His four arms are only representative of the power, force and efficacy of sincerity in worship and prayer.

On the left of Drugah is represented the figure of Sursuttee, the Gentoo Goddess of arts, letters and eloquence, so fully described under the feast called Seeree Punchumee (twenty-fourth.) In the plate, she appears environed with a snake, standing in a careless, disengaged posture, holding in her hands a reed, of which the writing pens are usually made.

On the left of Sursuttee is represented the idol of Rhaam, the protector of empires, states, and property, already explained. [Vide explanation of the Tirtah Jogue, or second age, chap. 4.] -- In the plate, he is figured crowned, encircled with a snake, and riding upon a monkey; in his left hand he holds a bow, and is represented in the attitude of having just discharged an arrow from it. To understand this representation, a short historical recital becomes necessary. -- Rhaaboon, [Lawless violence.] the subvertor of empires, states and property, is ever contrasted with Rhaam in the course of the Aughtorrah Bhade Shastah -- This prime agent of Moisasoor is fabled to have run away with Sithee, [Literally, property.] the wife of Rhaam; and for the recovery of her, that book exhibits a long detail of furious battles fought between Rhaam and Rhaaboon with various success; mystically painting the contentions that ever have subsisted in the world touching empires and property, in general. Under these the ancient history of Indostan and its Rajahs is obscurely couched. -- In one of the most bloody of these battles, Rhaam being sore pressed, was obliged to call in as an auxiliary, Hoonmhon Prince of the monkeys, by whose assistance he routed Rhaaboon and recovered his wife -- Sithee; implying only that lawless force, must be sometimes combated with craft, policy, and stratagem, of which the monkey throughout Indostan is the known emblem. -- The last mentioned battle is represented in the plate number 5. where Rhaam appears engaged with Rhaaboon, and the attitude of Rhaam (in the plate of the Drugah) as having discharged the fatal arrows from the back of the monkey, alludes to that battle: in the plate No. 5. Rhaam is supported by his brother Lukkon, or fortitude, each encircled with snakes; and Rhaaboon (as he generally is) is represented with ten arms, and as many heads of monsters, which intimate the force of lawless tyranny and power. -- Although the emblematic sense of the monkey is so obvious, yet the crafty Bramins have established a belief that Rhaam transformed himself into, and is always present under that form; the people swallowed the delusion in a literal sense, and it is upon this principle, that numerous colleges of Bramins are supported by the people for the maintenance of those animals, near the groves where they usually resort; one of them is at Amboah in the neighborhood of Culna, on the Ganges. -- In the time of the Rhaam Jattra the Bramins exhibit a kind of theatrical masque, wherein the many flights, and escapes of Sithee, and the various stratagems of Rhaaboon to retain her, and of Rhaam to recover her, with the final battle, which gave him the repossession of her, are all thrown into action, and the dialogue taken from the Aughtorrah Bhade Shastah. We have been frequently present at this theatrical exhibition, and received much pleasure and amusement; one circumstance at the conclusion is worth mentioning -- when Rhaam had recovered his wife Sithee, he refuses to cohabit with her, until she has given some signal proof, that she had suffered no contamination, or violation, during her abode with Rhaaboon; on which (by an ingenious piece of machinery) she passes thro' a fire, comes out unhurt, and then Rhaam with raptures, receivers her to his arms.

Below the idol of Rhaam on the plate of the Drugah is that of Kartik; for the explanation of this fast, see number twenty-four. -- He is represented, armed at all points for war, and riding on a peacock, the Gentoo symbol of pride and ostentation, intimating that those qualities and vices of the mind must be subdued, as being previously necessary to the approach and admission into their Pagodas; he is armed as a guardian, capable of defending from violation the divinity within, wherever there is a congregation of idols, in a Tagoor Bharree, [Literally a house for divinities.] his idol is placed at the door. -- A gnetoo had within our memory an only son dangerously ill of a fever, he paid solemn worship, vows and offerings, for his recovery, not only to the goddess of fevers, but to all the other Gods, and Goddesses besides -- His son died -- the father, frantic with grief and despair, sallied out before day, broke open a Tagoor Bharree in a buzaar south of the town of Calcutta, where Kartik being off his guard and mingled with the other divinities -- he cut all their heads off; his intention was to have proceeded round the town (as he confessed on examination) and to have decollated every God in all the Tagoor bharries of the places, but the second he came to, Kartik was upon his guard at the door, and presenting his dart at him, brought him to his senses, and providentially saved the rest of his brother divinites.

Below the figures of Lukee and Sursuttee stand the representation of two divine nymphs, Nundee joy, and Bringee sports; they are both encircled by snakes, implying, that joy and sports at all their festivals, should be circumscribed by prudence and wisdom.

On the right between Sieb and Ghunnis, is represented a boat, in which Nundee and Bringee are carrying Drugah to her husband Sieb, after she had been cast into the Ganges; and in the copartment opposite between the figures of Rhaam and Kartik, are represented two nymphs in a kind of threatening posture, advising him to take better care of his wife another time, and keep her at home.

In the center of the arch is represented Sursuttee and four female attendants, one rpesenting to her the palmiral leaf, the original paper, another a piece of wax, the third an ink stand, the fourth a pen, the use of which are all interdicted on her festival, and made an offering to her. -- The two end copartments Kallee and Druga, each engaged with two giant tyrants of the earth. -- The other division of the arch, allude to different passages of the Aughtorrah Bhade, which have escaped our memory.

End of the Explanation of Plate No. 2.
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Re: Interesting Historical Events, by J.Z. Holwell, Esq.

Postby admin » Wed Oct 28, 2020 8:37 am

Conclusion

As we reserve the eighth chapter or general head, namely, "the dissertation on the metempsychosis," for a third and last part of this work, there remains nothing more to close this chapter, but to add a short recital of the genealogy of the Gentoo divinities, on which subject, as our materials are few, we shall not, we fear, afford any great satisfaction to the curious, as we are confined to the progeny of Birmah and Birmanee only. The fabulous legend of the Aughtorrah Bhade says,

That God created three females, or associates, for the three primary created Beingts. To Birmah he gave Birmaanee, to Bistnoo Lukee, and to Sieb Bowannee Drugah.

That to Birmah and Birmangee were born two sons, the eldest named Kussiebmunnoo, the youngest Sookee Rajah; the eldest was governed by a pious and laudable spirit, the youngest by a vicious and turbulent one.

Dookee Rajah had a daughter (but how he came by her the legend sayeth not) named Dithee, whom he married to his brother Kussiebmunnoo, and she brought him a son, whom he called Endeer; he and his descendants, after the example of their father Kussiebmunnoo, were truly virtuous, and observant of the laws of God, communicated to them by Birmah and Birmaanee.

Dookee Rajah had a second daughter, whom he called Odithee, who was also married to Kussiebmunnoo, and she likewise brought him a son, who was named Moisasoor; he and his descendants, after the example of their grandfather Dookee Rajah, slighting the precepts of Birmah and Birmaanee, became abandoned to every vice, and condemners of the laws of God.

All the benefit that accrues from the foregoing short recital of the progeny of Birmah and Birmaanee, is, that thus we find in Endeer, and Moisasoor, the roots from whence the doctrine of two contending principles in nature, Good and Evil, sprung; that this was the groundwork of all the doctrines of the Bramins, after they had lost sight of the simple and sublime theology of the Chartah Bhade of Bramah, is beyond all controversy; as the whole tendency of the two later Bhades, exemplify the natural history of those two contending principles in the human mind, and the concomitant effects, they will have on it, and on the government of the world, as they alternately happed to preside. -- Hence the unceasing struggles and conflicts for superiority between Endeer and Moisasoor and their adherents, which say the Bramins subsist to this day; so well founded, was the conjecture of the learned and ingenious Mr. Bayle, touching the great antiquity of the origin of the Manichaean doctrine -- nor is it at all improbable, that arch heretic Manes might have received some notions of this doctrine from the tenets of the Bramins, which he perverted to the worst and most dangerous purposes and opinions: -- on the contrary the simplicity, with which the doctrine is professed by the Gentoos, has in its self (but otherwise in its consequences) no such manifest tendency; although by their adherence to it, they seem utterly to forget the consideration of their original existence and delinquency, and the merciful cause of the establishment, in the eight Boboons of punishment and probation, as well as the laws and injunctions of their prophet Bramah, who obviously rests the restoration and salvation of the offending Debtah, upon two simple and plain conditions, a sincere penitent impression of their original delinquency; and an atonement by good works, according to the powers of exertion, which God annexed to their animal forms. -- But it is not at all to be wondered at, that they should thus lose sight of their original sin and defection, as well as the means laid down for their salvation; when the very spirit of the fasts and festivals, and whole conduct of the drama of the Chatah, and Aughtorrah Bhades, are relative only to the averting the evils of their present existence, without the smallest retrospect to their first transgression, or the means of atoning for it. -- This is the situation of the bulk of the people of Indostan, as well as the modern Bramins; amongst the latter, if we except one in a thousand, we give them over measure; the consequence from these premises are obvious -- the Gentoos in general, are as degenerate, crafty, superstitious, litigious and wicked a people, as any race of beings in the known world, if not eminently more so, especially the common run of the Bramins; and we can truly aver, that during almost five years, that we presided in the judical cutcherry court of Calcutta, never any murder, or other atrocious crime, came before us, but it was proved in the end, a Bramin was at the bottom of it: but then, the remnant of Bramins (whom we have before excepted) who seclude themselves from the communications of the busy world, in a philosophic and religious retirement, and strictly pursue the tenets and true spirit of the Chartah Bhade of Bramah, we may with equal trust and justice pronounce, are the purest models of genuine piety that now exist, or can be found on the face of the earth. -- And now, my friends, and most respectable readers, we will, with your permission, adopt one custom of the Gentoos, and make an offering, from some time at least, of our pen, ink, and paper, to the goddess Sursuttee.

The End of the Second Part.

Beenham House, Berks,
the 1st of Aug. 1766.

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Re: Interesting Historical Events, by J.Z. Holwell, Esq.

Postby admin » Wed Oct 28, 2020 8:38 am

Interesting Historical Events, Relative to the Provinces of Bengal, and the Empire of Indostan. With a Seasonable Hint and Persuasive to the Honourable The Court of Directors of the East India Company. As Also The Mythology and Cosmogony, Fasts and Festivals of the Gentoo's, Followers of the Shastah. And a Dissertation on the Metempsychosis, commonly, though erroneously, called the Pythagorean Doctrine
Part III.  
by J.Z. Holwell, Esq.
1771

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TO THE MOST NOBLE
THE DUKE OF NORTHUMBERLAND,
NOT MORE CONSPICUOUS
FROM
THE SPLENDOR OF HIS TITLES,
THAN
DISTINGUISHED BY THE LUSTRE OF HIS MERITS,
BELOVED FOR HIS AMIABLE QUALITIES,
REVERED FOR HIS PUBLIC AND PRIVATE VIRTUES,
THE LOVER OF ARTS, THE FRIEND OF LEARNING,
THE PATRON OF SCIENCE,
THIS ESSAY
(INTENDED TO RESCUE FROM ERROR AND
OBLIVION THE ANCIENT RELIGION OF INDOSTAN)
IS DEDICATED,
BY (A LOVER OF TRUTH, AND AN ADMIRER OF
HIS GRACE'S EXALTED CHARACTER)

-- J. Z. HOLWELL.
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Re: Interesting Historical Events, by J.Z. Holwell, Esq.

Postby admin » Wed Oct 28, 2020 8:42 am

CHAP. VIII. A Dissertation on the Metempsychosis of the Bramins, or Transmigrations of the fallen Angelic Spirits; with a Defense of the Original Scriptures of Bramah, and an occasional comparison between them and the Christian Doctrines.

INTRODUCTION.

PART I.


We have hitherto floated upon the materials which the wreck of Calcutta in the year 1765 afforded us, and now for the first time, launch out into the ocean of hypothesis and speculation upon our own bottom. Difficult and hazardous as our course is, we will hope our voyage may not be unprosperous. We invoke no aid to lead us on our way, but that POWER ALONE, which can ALONE ENLIGHTEN; that POWER! which in every age (but more particularly in some) has graciously been pleased to convey a divine revelation to the HEART OF MAN.

2. Various soils and climates, as they influence the constitutions, so they do in part the dispositions of mankind; and this it is, that may have made it necessary to dispense different modes of revealing the WILL OF GOD to the different parts of this (and possibly every other) habitable globe; and as the minds of societies, and even nations, are subject, with all things else, to revolution and change; it may also have been necessary to vary the mode of revelation to the same people, at different periods of time, as the immoral state, or imperfections of mankind may have indicated. The history of the world is pregnant with many instances in support of these probably conclusions, besides that of the double revelation to the Hebrews, the Mosaic, and the Christian: the minds of men are impressed by, and open to conviction, and the acceptance of TRUTH, under one peculiar form, which they will reject under another. How deeply then ought we to adore and reverence that supreme Being, who thus condescends to model his commands, and inspire his chosen writers, in conformity to the weakness, and failings of his creatures?

3. It is an allowed truth, that there never was yet any system of theology broached to mankind, whose first professors and propagators did not announce its descent from GOD; and GOD forbid, we should doubt of, or impeach the divine origin, of any of them; for such eulogium they possibly all merited in their primitive purity, could they be traced up to that state, notwithstanding many learned pens have labored to prove, that such a claim was generally a political imposition only; a suggestion that we think has not much contributed to the advancement of either the piety, or morals of mankind, and therefore better had it been suppressed, and kept from their knowledge, as we hope to make appear presently. -- Various as we may observe the religious systems scattered throughout the world, and singular as our following opinion, and our reasoning thereon may appear to be; we shall not hesitate to lay it down as a principle, That -- howsoever mankind, either of Europe, Asia, Africa or America, may differ in the exterior modes of worship paid to the DEITY, according to their various genius; yet, that there are some fundamental points of every system, wherein all agree and profess unanimous faith; as may be gathered, either from their express doctrines, or evidently implied, from their modes, or ceremonials of worship, howsoever differing in manner and form, from each other.

4. The fundamental points of religion above alluded to, we choose to distinguish by the title of PRIMITIVE TRUTHS, truths! which forceably struck, and impressed the human heart at the period of man's creation, and although from an original unhappy taint, he in succeeding times, strangely deviated from them, yet he never had, nor ever will be able, wholly to obliterate and efface them, however he may sometimes for a greater, or lesser space, utterly lose sight of them. -- We will enumerate the principal of these primitive truths -- 1st, The being of a GOD, eternal, creator and conservator of all things, animate and inanimate; -- 2ndly, The existence of three prime created celestial beings, either confounded with the Deity, or exclusive of, and subordinate to him; -- 3rdly, The creation of angelic beings; -- 4thly, A defection, or rebellion of a portion of those beings; -- 5thly, Their expulsion from the heavenly regions; -- 6thly, The immortality of the human soul; -- 7thly, A future state of rewards and punishments of the human soul; -- 8thly, That man is here in a state of punishment and probation, for a transgression committed in a prior state of existence against his Creator; -- 9thly, That there exists a Being, who instigated the revolt of the angelic spirits, and still continues the enemy and deceiver of mankind; -- 10thly, The necessity of a mediator, or mediators, between GOD and man, over and above repentance and good works, for the expiation of sin, and obtaining a restoration to a state, from which he now stands expelled; -- 11thly, That there is an intermediate state of punishment and purification between death and the perfect restoration of the human soul; -- 12thly, The existence of a golden age; -- 13thly, That there existed a period when mankind was sustained by, and subsisted only on the fruits of the earth; -- and lastly, The doctrine of the ministration of angels, in human affairs. These were the primitive truths revealed by a gracious GOD to man, in the early days of his creation, at a time when it may be reasonably presumed he retained a lively sense of his soul's former transgression; as well as of the grace then offered to him. That these are the only primitive truths necessary to man's salvation, and restoration, appears from hence, that they have, from the earliest records of time to this day, remained more or less the stock upon which the blindness, or wickedness of man has engrafted very extravagant, unprofitable, as well as unintelligible doctrines, to delude their fellow creatures, and seduce them from a strict adherence to, and reliance on, those primitive truths only.

5. This being the case, how much is it to be lamented, that our learned divines, some of whom are the greatest ornaments of our church and profession, have not taken the advantage of the concurring testimony of all mankind, touching these fundamental principles, to enforce their relative duties, in their preaching and writings? in place of which, moved by a vain ostentation, and show of deep learning, the rubbish of antiquity is raked up, and sifted, to prove that nations, and individuals amongst the ancients, and some of the wisest and best of mankind, were infidels with respect to any sincere faith in religion at all; and that the fable of religion was invented by lawgivers, purely to keep the populace in awe: and we are told by these profound researchers, that the great Socrates was the only one amongst the ancient philosophers, who believed what he taught, the unity of the Godhead, the immortality of the soul, and a future state of rewards and punishments: -- a strange mode this, of enlightening modern times! to record and circulate such sentiments in the mother tongue of a Christian people, although on supposition only, that such principles ever existed in any country or age whatsoever.

6. We are aware that the motives and plea urged in defense of the publication of the infidel opinions of the ancient philosophers are, the reputation of modern atheists, deists, and free-thinkers: vain pretense, and no less vain the attempt, where the slightest review of the bent and genius of man would have convinced them, that when once a writer, can so far get the better of shame and decorum, as to dare publish opinions, not only contrary to, but subversive of all religious faith, that man is incorrigible, and beyond the reach of conviction. To reason with writers of that stamp, carries as much propriety with it, as if our divines would go and display their oratory upon the miserable inhabitants of Bedlam; and their endeavors would be as salutary. The same may be said of fanatics in every religion; as the one believes nothing at all, these believe too much, and both have always thrived, and acquired strength from disputation and persecution.

7. Religious controversy never yet did, nor ever will do good to the cause of true religion, for this plain and cogent reason; conviction on either side cannot follow, because the nature of the subject matter in dispute cannot, like a proposition in Euclid, admit of demonstration; -- besides another mischievous consequence results from the canvassing and laying open the opinions of the ancient philosophers touching sacred matters, for it puts weapons into the hands of the modern enemies of religion, which probably they would otherwise never have been in possession of; and it must be the height of glory to infidels and free-thinkers, to find themselves classed with the Platos, Plutarch, Ciceros, &c. of antiquity. -- A similar mode of reputation possessed the primitive fathers of the church, which, added to an inflamed mistaken zeal and doctrines never dictated by their divine master, laid the foundation of those schism, and heretical evils, which have ever since distracted and divided the Christian states, so that they may with more propriety be styled the destroyers, than the fathers of it.

8. For how long a space man after his creation retained a lively sense of the special grace offered to him by his Creator, or benefited himself by a strict adherence to, and observance of the divine primitive truths, then revealed to him, are circumstances not determinable; but we may we reason conclude, that a long series of time passed away, before he possibly could, from the nature of things lose sight of them. All nations have by tradition a conception that there once existed a golden or comparative age of innocence; and if there ever did exist such a period (which we think highly probable at least) it should appear to have been the space just above hinted at, between man's creation, and the time when first he began to set at nought the saving precepts which had been graciously delivered to him. Although mankind differ so widely respecting the epocha of the creation of the universe and man, yet they are generally agreed, that they were coeval; the enlightened Moses did not venture to say when, nor is it very material to us, so we believe that GOD made it for wise and necessary purposes, subsequently to be considered in a new point of view.

9. When we attentively peruse Moses's detail of the creation and fall of man, we find it clogged with too many incomprehensible difficulties to gain our belief, that that consummate legislator ever intended it should be understood in a literal sense; and as a part of the law of Moses was "typical to the Jews of the coming of their Messiah, and calculated to prepare them for it," (as has been proved by the Author of the Divine Legation) so we hope to prove that his detail of the fall of man was typical only of the angelic fall; to which, we doubt not, but Moses believed (and had good grounds for that belief) that man had a much nearer relation than is commonly imagined.

10. It is pretty manifest, that the golden age of innocence and truth was not a consequent of Moses's supposed creation; for, excepting a very few individuals, mankind by his own showing were far gone in wickedness, almost as soon as created, therefore, we must look higher for it, which we will do in good time, for we cannot relinquish the fact, that there was a period of time, in which such an age really existed.

11. We find that mankind throve and grew in vice until GOD, perceiving the measure of their wickedness was full, thought it necessary to bring about a stupendous change on the face of this habitable globe, by which we are told the whole race of animated beings, saving a remnant of each, were destroyed; and of these, that the human species scarcely emerged dripping from the deluge, than they were again drowned in sin; and from the earliest accounts which can be depended upon, free from fable, we learn that the supposed most ancient inhabitants in the world, to wit, the Chaldeans, Egyptians, Hebrews, Phoenicians, &c. were all profoundly sunk in rank idolatries, and every species of wickedness; and we find, that the so much boasted and celebrated wisdom of Egypt, consisted only in their superior art and cunning in political legislation; whereby they were better enabled to deceive and enslave the unhappy people, who fell under their government: thus we see that all the benefit we gain by our deep and learned researched into the antiquities of those nations, is, to be ascertained that men were as bad in the most early known times as they well could be; a piece of knowledge for which we need not have traveled farther than our own scriptures. If the Egyptians must have the honor of being the most wise of the ancients, they have undoubtedly the honor also of being the most wicked and superstitious, not excepting the ancient possessors of the land of Canaan. This part of their character we will not contest with the learned explorers of their tenets; but we think ourselves well warranted to dispute, both the superiority of their wisdom and antiquity. [Vid. Introduction to Part II. from page 23 to 29.] Indeed, the contest respecting the wisdom of the Egyptians, as well as the Persian Magi, and the whole tribe of the Grecian and Roman philosophers, who copied from them (Socrates alone excepted) may be reduced into a very narrow compass; for the whole total of it, upon summing up in the evidence produced by the advocates in its favor, amounts to FOLLY; and folly of so egregious a nature, that nothing less than the wit of a Lucian is equal to the exposing it in a just point of ridicule. -- Of what utility is that kind of wisdom (howsoever profound) either to the possessors, or to mankind, which leads to the establishment of laws, doctrines, and worship, most unworthy the conceptions we ought to harbor of the Divine Nature, and his attributes? -- Such was the wisdom of the Egyptians, &c. and yet these men acquired the venerable titles of Sages and Philosophers, to the utter violation of the true spirit and meaning of the words; for every species of what is commonly called wisdom, that does not lead us into just ideas of GOD, and of ourselves, is folly. -- It is said -- they were the first who cultivated the arts and sciences: suppose it granted, were they the better men for it? It is proved they were not, but rather worse, by those very pens who labored to demonstrate that prior claim. -- Indeed the history of mankind affords us this melancholy truth, that the most enlightened ages, in the kind of spurious and useless wisdom we have been speaking of, have been the most wicked, and we could wish the application did not reach the present age.

12. That the Egyptians were an ancient race we do not deny, and yet modern times have brought us to the knowledge of an empire of people, who, from the most probable concurring circumstances, were a potent and numerous nation in the earliest known times, although from causes peculiar to themselves, which we have before recited in our second Part, they were little known to the world. Our readers will not be at a loss to guess, that we here mean the people of Indostan, a people that existed a separate and unmixed nation, without any intercommunity of manners or religious worship, from the period of the first migrations of the inhabitants of the earth; -- (a period, which his hid, as well from our knowledge, as our conceptions) and so continue to this day, notwithstanding they groan under Mahomedan tyranny: a strong presumption, almost amounting to proof, of this people being, as a nation, more ancient than any other. -- Such a separation was the great aim of the inspired Legislator of the Hebrews, although he was never able to accomplish it: he was able to separate their bodies, but their souls still languished for the flesh-pots of Egypt, and their infamous idolatries, until captivity had softened their hearts, and made them look (when it was too late) towards their ONE GOD, and King. -- The difference between the cases of the Gentoos and the Hebrews was, that whereas the former for a deviation from their primitive truths were enslaved at home, and the latter were driven for deviating from the law into captivity in a foreign land; as a greater punishment (we may rationally suppose) for the greater crime. For,

13. Although the Gentoos had offended by raising an idolatrous superstructure upon the primitive truths of Bramah, (which they had held sacred and inviolate for the space of a thousand years, as elsewhere shown) yet, his fundamentals, viz. the unity of the Godhead, the Metempsychosis, and its concomitant essential doctrines, the angelic origin, and immortality of the human soul, and its present and future state of rewards and punishments, &c. still kept their ground; and remained, as they do to this day, the basis of their faith and worship.

14. The angelic fall, and the doctrine of the Metempsychosis, the one the crime, the other the punishment of those unhappy free-agents, being the sine qua non of the Gentoo system, it is incumbent upon us to prove from reason and the nature of things, that the latter was the original growth of Indostan, and not borrowed by them from the Egyptians, as has been more than once insinuated by that learned casuist and divine, the Author of the Divine Legation of Moses, and investigator of the Eleusinian mysteries. -- When his Lordship, with great strength of argument, labors to refute the supposition that the Egyptians borrowed any of their superstitions from the Hebrews, he urges with great propriety, "the utter improbability of a potent, and powerful nation, borrowing any part of their religious worship from a people, who was then in a state of slavery to them, and held by them in the highest detestation;" or words to this effect; -- now, surely it is much more improbable to conceive, that a potent, and powerful nation (for such Indostan was found to be at the first known intercourse with them) should borrow a fundamental, on which the whole system of their most ancient worship hinged, from a few straggling Egyptians. -- If we grant that it is probable the rest of hte world adopted the doctrine of the Metempsychosis from the Egyptians, after they had stolen it from the Gentoo Bramins, and imposed it as their own, we grant a circumstance which is not clearly proved; -- but another circumstance is pretty evident, and will be subsequently proved, that, at the time they stole this doctrine, they also purloined other fundamentals of the Chartah Bhade Shastah, namely, the unity of the Godhead, the immortality of the soul, a general and particular Providence, and a future state of rewards and punishments.

15. As a proof of the boasted wisdom of the Egyptian Magi, we shall see the use they nobly made of the above fundamentals: -- they instituted rites to their two principal fabulous divinities Isis and Osiris, of which (amongst others, truly diabolical, of their own invention) those fundamentals, and the doctrine of the Metempsychosis, were the chief, and grand mysteries; to which (as the learned investigator has shown) none were admitted but Kings, Princes, Lawgivers, and Heroes, and that admission not granted, but under the most solemn oaths and ties of secrecy; for "these were truths of too important nature to be entrusted with the people, who, it was supposed, were better kept in subjection by a belief in their titulary, and local Deities." -- Thus these detestable race of Governors kept the knowledge of the TRUE GOD from their people, as well as those other important truths, so necessary for their salvation, in which those Magi had been instructed by the Bramins. -- But how are we moved to a mixture of laughter and compassion, when we are ultimately told, (by the same learned inquirer into ancient Theology) that not one of the Egyptian Magi, and all of the Grecian or Roman legislators, or philosophers (Socrates excepted) really believed in ONE GOD, or the immortality of the soul, or a future state of rewards and punishments (whether they themselves believed them or not), they assuredly quitted the fastest hold they had upon the obedience of rational minds, on whom such principles, if firmly rooted, must operate more powerfully, in securing subjection to government, than any others, which the wit or wisdom of man could possibly devise. It will probably be urged against us, that these doctrines are seen to lose their influence in states where they are professed, and form a part of their religious code. -- If man is incorrigible we cannot help it; but we should rather think, that in these cases -- they are not firmly rooted.

16. But suffer us, candid reader, to change the unpleasing scene, and, in contrast to Egyptian wisdom, to turn our eyes towards the great Legislator, prince, and High-priest of the Gentoos, who, in his scriptures, taught not only the four great fundamentals, of the unity of the Godhead, his providence, the immortality of the soul, and a future state of rewards and punishments, but also every other divine and primitive truth, necessary for man's knowledge in his present state of miserable existence; and these he taught (as elsewhere we had occasion to remark), not as mysteries confined to a select few, but as public religious tenets, known and received as such by all; -- and so forcible and efficacious was the influence of these doctrines upon the people, that they adhered strictly to them, and kept them inviolate for the space of one thousand years (as before remarked), and until they were perverted by their own priests, and led to new modes of worship, before unknown to themselves and their forefathers. In these innovations on their original pure scriptures, we will not dispute but that the Bramins might have taken some hints for reducing the people under sacerdotal dominion from the infamous political systems of their brethren the Egyptian Magi, who, it is more than probable, did, about this period, first straggle into Indostan (i.e. at the promulgation of the Chatah Bhade).

17. Here we cannot help observing, that the learned author of the Divine Legation labored unwittingly under two other mistakes, in supposing the Hebrews were the only nation in the ancient world who worshiped one God, and in whose government religion and the magistracy were united; for by these the Gentoos were eminently distinguished in the most early known times: but of this his Lordship was ignorant, and therefore stands not accountable. The labored apologies his Lordship makes for the imperfect mission of Moses may require our future notice, we shall only remark here, the difficulty the mind has to encounter in comprehending, how any mission dictated by God himself can possibly be imperfect? If the mission of Moses contained a spiritual, as well as temporal allusion to the salvation of the Hebrews, and the spiritual sense was hidden from them, it was then indeed imperfect, and the Gentoos should seem to have been the chosen people of God, in place of the Israelites; for to them was revealed by Bramah, with God's permission, not only the real state and condition of man, but his doctrines also taught, the existence of One Eternal God, and temporal as well as future rewards and punishments. This being the case, although we admit, with his Lordship, that "the mystery of life and immortality, and a future state; which had been hid for ages, and from generation to generation; was then made manifest to the saints" in the gospel-dispensation; yet, at the same time, we think we have undoubted authority for saying, that these mysteries, as before shown, were taught, and universally professed some thousands of years antecedent to that period, by a distant, distinct, and numerous nation, with whom indeed his Lordship was not acquainted; which is to be the more lamented, because with his profound abilities, unwearied application, and consummate learning, he would have been enabled, by a knowledge of the original tenets of Bramah, highly to have illustrated his subject, and his performance, we conceive, would have borne a very different aspect. For

18. We cannot help again regretting, that so much learned pains has been taken to prove, that there ever existed any nation of people, who did not profess, or really believe in, a future state of rewards and punishments. Facts of this nature, which have so manifest and dangerous a tendency to influence the minds and manners of mankind, cannot be hid from the learned; but they might easily have been obscured to the bulk of the species, by all controversy relative to them being confined to, and carried on in the original dead languages; whereas the contrary practice of every nation in Europe for the last century, by bringing these dangerous subjects home to us, as we may say, into our native tongues, unavoidably confounds, and raises doubts in the soul, and leads it into a train of thinking, which otherwise, most probably, would never have struck the imagination.

19. Infidelity treads close upon the heels of scepticism; and notwithstanding so much has been said to justify the wise purposes of Moses, "in studiously rejecting the doctrine of a future state in his law to the Hebrews;" yet the event showed, and the fact is confirmed by the greatest part of their history, that they remained without any check upon their hearts or conduct. In the belief of a future state they were not instructed, and therefore, they naturally doubted, and could not be brought to adhere for any time together in the belief of One Eternal God; nor could it be rationally thought they would, when the one so absolutely and mutually depended on the other. The "wise provision" (as it is styled) made by Moses to supply the want of this doctrine of a future state, to wit, the menace of "God's visiting the sins and disobedience of the fathers upon the children, until the third and fourth generation," we have seen had none effect upon either; and he must be very little acquainted with the original, and continued depravity of the human soul, who thinks it can be restrained from evil by any other check than that of a confirmed belief, and expectation of a temporal as well as a future state of rewards and punishments. which brings the matter home to the breast of every individual.

20. We shall now proceed with our Dissertation on the Doctrine of the Metempsychosis, as a consequent of the angelic fall; and we hope in the course of it, to point out, and elucidate upon a rational hypothesis, many important truths; and account for, and explain some appearances in this state of human and animal existence, which are, we conceive, utterly unaccountable, and inexplicable, without the assistance of that ancient doctrine.
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Re: Interesting Historical Events, by J.Z. Holwell, Esq.

Postby admin » Wed Oct 28, 2020 11:59 pm

A DISSERTATION, &c.

21. The prophets, philosophers, moralists, and sages of all ages; whether, moved by the inspiration of GOD himself, or by other intelligent agents; or actuated by the mere force of their own rational powers; howsoever they may have differed in other speculative points, yet agree unanimously in this important, and interesting one; namely, that the human soul carries the stamp of original depravity, and is naturally prone to evil. -- Deplorable as this sort of humanity is, it is rendered much more so, by that almost universal propensity in the species, either to a total dissipation of their time and talents; or, employing both, in fruitless studies, in place of devoting all his intellectual powers, to pry into, and examine the real state of his own existence, for which he discovers an unaccountable aversion, and backwardness.

22. It has been wisely said, that the summit of human wisdom is comprised, in this short adage, MAN KNOW THY SELF; but, instead of dedicating all his researches to this essential pursuit, Man knows everything but himself; -- he goes on, from age to age, and from day to day, in cultivating the arts and sciences, with a view only to the better accommodation and enjoyment of his present sojourn. With this unhappy delusion, and with these non-essential acquirements, he rests perfectly easy, and satisfied; here he pitches his tent, as if he was never to decamp. -- Man knows not who he is, what he is, how he came by his existence in this world, nor for what real purposes he was brought originally into it; nor does he seem much to concern himself about it, so long as he passes smoothly, and supinely, through it.

23. The doubts and difficulties which man encounters, and labors under, in forming any precise judgment respecting the nature and obligations of his present existence, we conceive to have always been the great impeding causes, that have ever withheld him from deep reflection, and a proper retrospect into himself; could therefore, that nature, and these obligations, be clearly ascertained to him, the relative duties of his destination would be also clear and positive; and mankind would no longer inseparably attach themselves to the transient considerations, and enjoyments of this life only.

24. How far the doctrines of the Metempsychosis tend, upon a cool and unprejudiced hearing, to clear up the doubts and difficulties above alluded to, is the important subject of our inquiry. In this disquisition we shall not hesitate to assert, that the doctrine is far from being new in this our hemisphere; it was professed by our ancestors, when the sage druids led and governed their faith and politics, as the most learned records of our ancient history vouch, although it does not appear from their showing, that it was taught by the ancient Britons (for the first Britons we know nothing of) in that simple purity, and extent, as it was originally by the bramins of Indostan.

25. Tender consciences have no cause of alarm from our reviving the consideration of a doctrine, which in the most early known ages was followed by at least four-fifths of the inhabitants of the earth; the more especially as we hope to prove, that this doctrine is not repugnant to the doctrines of Christianity.

26. Communications between the Deity and man, either personally, or by his angels or prophets, was, in early times, no uncommon event: these recorded facts we must believe, or reject and set at nought our own scriptures; and shall we suppose the children of the East to have been less the care of God, than the children of Israel? or that the whole of his creatures, howsoever dispersed and separated from each other, were not equally the unhappy objects of his benevolence and attention? -- Such a supposition would arraign his justice and impartial dispensations to all his creatures: it is not becoming us to doubt the authority and divinity of any original religious system, unless it evidently is repugnant to the idea of a just and omnipotent GOD.

27. To bring our Essay to method and perspicuity, we must again have a short retrospect to the several essential concomitant parts of the doctrine of the Metempsychosis, as promulged by Bramah; and we shall proceed to the discussion of each, reduced, as follows, under five general heads, viz.

FIRST GENERAL HEAD.

The existence of angelic beings.
Their rebellion, or fall.
Their expulsion from the heavenly regions.
Their punishments.

SECOND GENERAL HEAD.

The universe formed by God, for the residence, sustenance, and imprisonment of the apostate angels.

THIRD GENERAL HEAD.

Mortal organized bodies formed for their more immediate, or closer confinement.

Their transmigrations through those mortal forms.

Those transmigrations: their state of purgation as well as punishment.

The human form their chief state of trial and probation.

FOURTH GENERAL HEAD.

Liberty given to the apostate angels to pervade the universe.

Permission given to the faithful angelic beings to counteract them.


FIFTH GENERAL HEAD.

The seven regions of purification, wherein the fallen angels cease from their mortal transmigrations.

The dissolution of the universe, or material worlds.

28. Before we enter upon the discussion of these five general heads, we beg leave to be indulged in a few preparatory reflections: first, that it is obvious, from the above particulars collectively considered, one general conclusion may be formed as the basis of this ancient doctrine of the metempsychosis, viz. The the souls, or spirits, of every human or other organized mortal body, inhabiting this globe, and all the regions of the material universe, are precisely the remainder of the unpurified angels, who fell from their obedience in heaven, and that still stand out in contempt of their Creator.

29. Strange as this system may appear in these our days, and howsoever seemingly clogged with difficulties, it is worth consideration, how far it will elucidate, and account for, many theological mysteries, and other phenomena that are annexed to this our present state of existence; and which are, we conceive, otherwise unaccountable, as before hinted. -- If, in the course of our inquiry, we advance no opinions contrary to our own pure original scriptures (to which we profess ourself, an unworthy, although zealous subscriber) nor endeavor to propagate any system, but what may coincide with every religious Creed, that has been, or is now professed throughout the known world, we are then void of offence, both to GOD and man. -- Endless have been the disputes about religion, whilst we see the chief contention is, Who shall the least practice its precepts: -- therefore how laudable is the pursuit of that man, who labors to point out one universal faith, that would infallibly reconcile all jarring principles, and unite all mankind in the bands of mutual love and benevolence. We write not to this, or that sect, or to this, or that nation, but to mankind in general; who seem not to advert to, or be in any degree acquainted, either with the real dignity of their original nature, or the relation in which they stand, to their GOD, to their brethren, or to the rest of the animal creation. -- "let us read, let us mediate, let us reason, let us dispute; but all for the sake of TRUTH, which is the great property of mankind, constitutes all our happiness, and therefore our common interest to pursue."
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Re: Interesting Historical Events, by J.Z. Holwell, Esq.

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Part 1 of 2

FIRST GENERAL HEAD

30. In our remarks, p. 36, of our second part, we have given our conceptions of the sublime causes assigned by Bramah for the creation and existence of angels; nor need we dwell long on a fact, the firm belief of which has been received by all mankind, a single inconsiderable sect amongst the Jews alone excepted. -- There must undoubtedly, and consequently have subsisted, some striking evidence of this great truth in the early and later times exhibited to man, that should influence and determine him to this general belief, and the propagation of it to his posterity; which evidence (for causes best known to GOD himself) he is now, and has been for near eighteen centuries back, deprived of.

31. On recollection, we find we have been too hasty in our conclusion touching this truth; -- a modern philosopher, more remarkable and famed for genius, and the sprightly irony of his wit, than for solidity of argument, or sound philosophy, and who has all his life endeavored to laugh religion out of countenance, has been bold enough to ridicule the existence of angels, as beings purely ideal, and an invention of the poets; and alleges the silence of Moses in proof, who, he says, in his law to the Jews, nowhere mentions their existence; and urges also his silence touching their fall, which he insinuates is equally fabulous as their existence.

32. To say nothing of the inconsistency of this merry philosopher's drawing his negative proofs and conclusions from a book he puts no faith in, nor allows to be of any authority, we will consider the force of his reasoning; for should we subscribe this author's assertion touching the silence of Moses in the law to the Jews, it by no means amounts even to a negative proof of the non-existence of angelic beings, nor of their fall being only fabulous.

33. Whatsoever may have been the opinion of Moses on those subjects, it would have been more extraordinary had he made mention of them, than his silence can possibly appear to be; as it is most evident, that these were matters that lay utterly out of his way, commissioned, as he only seems to be, to preach the unity of the Godhead to the Jews; a people under the sole protection of the Deity, their King and Governor, a situation wherein the introduction of angelic beings would have been impertinent, and not in point to the law he was dictating to them. -- After all, that Moses did believe the existence of angels, although he makes no mention of them in the law, is obvious from his 24th verse of the 3rd chapter of Genesis: "So he (God) drove out the man; and he placed cherubims at the east end of the garden of Eden," &c. And that Moses was also as well acquainted with the angelic fall, we doubt not our being able to prove, in a subsequent part of our Dissertation, notwithstanding the insinuations of our modern Democritus; who, it is no wonder, should discountenance the notion of the existence of angels, when he owns that the gospel-dispensation is founded on their fall.

It is not necessary to recite the particular concurring testimony of all antiquity to the supposed existence of angels, when we have so much greater authorities to support us; the Old Testament, throughout the whole historic parts, and the gospel of Christ, affords us so many striking instances of these beings employed occasionally by GOD, either as active instruments against the wickedness of man, or as agents, saviors and comforters to the just and good, that we may with equal propriety, when we are about it, as well deny the existence of God himself, as of his angels.

35. A belief of ministering angels under corporeal forms, suffers no impeachment from their spiritual nature; for, as they are endued by an omnipotent GOD with all powers necessary for the execution of their respective commissions, it is no great marvel, if we conceive them capable of assuming every shape and form needful for those ends and purposes for which they are delegated; and, notwithstanding they are in their own nature and essence spiritual and immaterial, yet it is no great strain of faith to conclude they can occasionally assume corporeal forms, functions, and faculties, and divest themselves of them again at pleasure, as in the instances of those that sojourned with Abraham, and Lot; and thus CHRIST manifested himself after his resurrection. -- But more of this, when we come to discuss this subject in its proper place, under our fourth general head.

36. On this fundamental doctrine of existence of angels, and their rebellion, expulsion, and punishment, rests not only the Metempsychosis, but the whole religion of the ancient, as well as modern Bramins; the text of Bramah says, that "the ETERNAL ONE, in the fulness of time, first created BIRMAH, Bistnoo, and Sieb, then Moisasoor, and all the Debtah-Logue, and divided the Debtah into different bands and ranks, and placed a leader, or chief, over each: he gave preeminence to BIRMAH, and appointed Moisasoor chief of the first angelic band, &c." -- These original tenets and principles are confirmed by our own similar Christian doctrines and belief, with the difference of names only: thus the creation and existence of angels stand manifested beyond controversy, by two of the greatest authorities of ancient and modern times.

38. Respecting the fall of these beings, the text of Bramah further says, "That envy and jealousy taking possession of the hearts of Moisasoor, and Rhaboon (the next in dignity to him), and of other leaders of the angelic bands, they stood, in contempt of the commands of their Creator, threw off their allegiance, and drew with them into disobedience a large portion of their angelic brethren." The text also adds, "that before the expulsion of the rebels from the heavenly regions, the three prime created beings, BIRMAH, Bistnoo, and Sieb, were sent to admonish them, but that they continued in contempt."

38. As the gospel-dispensation is allowed by our most learned divines to be founded upon the angelic fall, great is the degree of veneration which every Christian owes to the Gentoo scriptures, which taught minutely circumstances of that fall, more than three thousand years a priori. -- The gospel-dispensation, being undoubtedly the most perfect, sublime, yet plan system of divinity and morals hitherto promulged to man (when divested of the dreams and reveries of its early and latter professors), we cannot too highly prize the great rudiments it conveys to us, of the love of GOD, repentance for sin, mutual love from man to man, and a proper faith and reverence for that divine being, who was delegated from the presence of his GOD to preach these great primitive truths as necessary, not only for man's happiness here, but hereafter.

39. Yet, divine and essential as these doctrines are, and necessary to our salvation, permit us to ask, How can this gospel-dispensation, which so nearly affects man, be said with any propriety to be founded upon the angelic fall? -- unless there is a nearer relation between man and angel, than appears to have hitherto been imagines or adverted to by the professors of Christianity? -- if man has not this nearer relationship, what has he to do with their fall? -- or how can that fall serve as a foundation for a doctrine on which his future salvation depends? -- This (otherwise) incomprehensible difficulty is solved only by the doctrine of the Bramins, which teaches, that the apostate angelic and human souls are one and the same spirit; nor can we, upon any other rational principle, conceive how the gospel-dispensation can be founded upon the angelic fall.

40. An ingenious, speculative, and learned divine of our church, published, in the year 1762, a treatise, entitled, "A Preexistent Lapse of Human Souls [Printed for Whiston and White in Fleet-Street, and for Kearsly, Ludgate-Street, -- By Capel Berrow, A.M.], &c." This truly valuable performance relieves us from much labor in the prosecution of our work, as it confirms, from our own scriptures, many leading and essential points of the Metempsychosis, as, the existence of angels, their rebellion, their expulsion from their blessed abodes, the coeval creation of the angelic and human spirits, and the association of the latter with the former in their apostasy; that their situation on earth is a state of degradation and probation for that lapse, and that original sin is not that which is erroneously imputed to us from Adam, but springs from a much higher source, viz. the pre-existent lapse of the (human) spirit from its primeval purity.

41. In support of this hypothesis, the Rev. Author exhibits many clear, striking, and convincing texts of scripture, as well as the opinions of the most ancient and modern philosophers and theologians. The authorities quoted by this writer, and his subsequent reasoning on his subject are so full and conclusive, that nothing can be added by us to illustrate it. Therefore we beg leave to refer our readers to the book itself, (and particularly to his last chapter, in refutation of the strongest objections that can be raised against his system), which contains every proof and confirmation from our own scriptures which we stand in need of to support the Gentoo doctrine of our first general head, namely, The existence of angels, their fall, their expulsion, and their punishments.

42. In the year 1729, an Essay was published, dedicated to the then Lord Mayor, bearing the title of an Oration, by one Mr. J. Ilive, under four general heads, viz. endeavoring to prove, 1st, The plurality of worlds. 2ndly, That this earth is the only hell. 3rdly, That the souls of men are the apostate angels. 4thly, That the fire, which will punish those who shall be confined to this globe at the day of judgment, will be immaterial. -- We just mention this extraordinary oration here, but we shall subsequently have occasion to notice it farther.

Ilive delivered at Brewers' Hall on 10 September 1733, and at Joiners' Hall two weeks later, an Oration on the plurality of worlds and against the doctrine of eternal punishment. He hired Carpenters' Hall, London Wall, and lectured there on the natural religion. In 1738 he brought out another Oration, for which the venue was Trinity Hall, in Aldersgate Street, on 9 January 1738; it was directed against Henry Felton's True Discourses, on personal identity in the resurrection of the dead.

In 1751 Ilive printed anonymously the Book of Jasher, a purported translation. It was reissued with additions by Rev. Charles Rogers Bond, Bristol, 1829. Behind unconvincing stories of its origin, the book contained naturalistic explanations of Old Testament miracles.

The Book of Jasher, also called Pseudo-Jasher, is an eighteenth-century literary forgery by Jacob Ilive. It purports to be an English translation by Flaccus Albinus Alcuinus of the lost Book of Jasher. It is sometimes called Pseudo-Jasher to distinguish it from the midrashic Sefer haYashar (Book of the Upright, Naples, 1552), which incorporates genuine Jewish legend.

Published in November 1750, the title page of the book says: "translated into English by Flaccus Albinus Alcuinus, of Britain, Abbot of Canterbury, who went on a pilgrimage into the Holy Land and Persia, where he discovered this volume in the city of Gazna." The book claims to be written by Jasher, son of Caleb, one of Moses's lieutenants, who later judged Israel at Shiloh. The book covers biblical history from the creation down to Jasher's own day and was represented as the Lost Book of Jasher mentioned in the Bible.


The provenance of the text was immediately suspect: the eighth-century cleric Alcuin could not have produced a translation in the English of the King James Bible. There is an introductory account by Alcuin of his discovery of the manuscript in Persia and its history since the time of Jasher, and a commendation by John Wycliffe.

The supposed lost book was declared an obvious hoax by the Monthly Review in the December of the year of publication, and the printer Jacob Ilive was sentenced in 1756 to three years in jail for this fraud and for his radical anti-religious pamphlets.

In 1829, a slightly revised and enlarged edition was published in Bristol, provoking attacks against it. Photographic reproduction of this 1829 edition was published in 1934 by the Rosicrucians in San Jose, California, who declared it an inspired work.

-- Book of Jasher (Pseudo-Jasher), by Wikipedia


On 20 June 1756 Ilive was sentenced to three years' imprisonment with hard labour in the House of Correction at Clerkenwell, for writing, printing, and publishing an anonymous pamphlet in 1754. Aimed at Thomas Sherlock, it was entitled Some Remarks on the excellent Discourses lately published by a very worthy Prelate by a Searcher after Religious Truth. It was rewritten and enlarged as Remarks on the two Volumes of excellent Discourses lately published by the Bishop of London, 1755. It was declared to be "a most blasphemous book" denying the divinity of Jesus Christ as well as revealed religion.

He remained in gaol until 10 June 1758, spending time writing.

The sceptical line Ilive took towards the Genesis creation myth had something in common with ideas found earlier in Charles Blount and Charles Gildon. A strong influence came from the writings of William Derham, in particular Astro-Theology (1715).

--Jacob Ilive [John Ilive], by Wikipedia


43. Before we take leave of this part of our subject, we will remind our readers of what we advanced in our 4th paragraph, where, enumerating the sundry primitive truths which had forcibly been impressed on the mind of man, in the beginning; one of the most important was, the notion of three prime created celestial beings, either confounded with, or exclusive of, and subordinate to the Deity; thus the Bramins have their Birman, Bistnoo, and Sieb; the Persians their Oromtazes, Mythra, and Mythras; the Egyptians their Osyris, Isis, and Orus; the ancient Arabs their Allat, Al. Uzza, and Manah, or the Goddesses; the Pheonicians and Tyrians, their Belus, Urania, and Adonis; the Greeks and Romans their Jupiter Olympus, Minerva, and Apollo; the Christians their Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; the Americans their Otkon, Messou, and Atahauta, &c. &c. And we doubt not but a similar doctrine might be traced amongst all the different nations of the earth, had we authentic records of their primitive religious institutes; it was a principle adopted by all the ancient western world, probably introduced by the Phoenicians, and confirmed to them by the Romans. Vide Herodotus, Plutarch, Cicero, on the nature of the Gods; the Abbe Banier's Mythology of the Ancients; Warburton's Divine Legation of Moses; the Chevalier Ramsay's Discourse on the Theology and Mythology of the Pagans, &c.

44. To a notion so universal in the first times, we think ourselves warranted in giving the title of a primitive truth; which must have had unerring fact, and a divine revelation for its source and foundation, as well as the other primitive truths of the rebellion, fall, and punishment of part of the angelic host, under the instigation and leading of an arch apostate of the first rank; hence, the Moisasoor of the Bramins; the Arimanius of the Persians; the Typhon of the Egyptians, Greeks, &c. and the Satan of the Christians. -- And that other great truth, the necessity of a mediator, or mediators, employed either in imploring the divine mercy in behalf of the delinquent angels, or in combating or counteracting the wiles and influence of the arch apostate, and his prime adherents; -- hence the Birmah, &c. of the Bramins; the Mythras of the Persians; the Orus of the Egyptians; the Adonis of the Tyrians; the Apollo of the Greeks, &c. and the Messiah of the Christians, whose glorious and voluntary task it is, to work out the restoration of the golden age, by the subduction of the first author of evil.

45. From hence it is manifest, that the notion of a golden age, so frequently mentioned, and minutely described by all the ancient philosophers and poets, was purely ideal, respecting either any part of this material world, or any period of time subsequent to its creation; but obviously could only be allusive to that state of beatitude and harmony which reigned in the heavenly abodes until the fall of the angelic inhabitants; for, notwithstanding the variety and confusion of opinions touching the origin of evil, we may confidently say it never had existence, until (from the gracious root of freedom) it first sprang up, in the bosom of the first grand traitor. -- As the remembrance of this celestial golden age of the first creation of beings, must have been strongly impressed on the minds of the delinquents at their fall, it was hence by a tradition easily conceived, handed down to later times, and lost in the ideal conceit of a golden age in this terrestrial globe.

46. We have already been accused of partiality to the doctrines of Bramah, but that shall not deter us from asserting, what before we only hinted at, namely, that that prophet and divine legislator first taught, by written precepts, the pure theology of the unity of the Godhead, the three prime created beings, the creation of angelic intelligents, their fall, and the rest of the primitive truths that were followed by all the ancient world. From this conviction it was, that in the foregoing paragraphs, where we had occasion to mention the theology of the ancients, we have given precedence to that of the Bramins; and that we are not singular in our opinion, we could cite many authorities, but a few shall suffice: the Chevalier Ramsay, who has, with great strength of genius, and accuracy, labored to elucidate this subject, in the 88th page of his Discourse on the Theology of the Pagans, speaking of the atheistical tenets of Anaximander, says, "Pythagoras, Anaxagoras, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and all the great men of Greece, opposed to the impious doctrine, and endeavored to reestablish the ancient theology of the orientals." Page 135 of his Discourse on the Pagan Mythology, he has this conclusion, that, "as the doctrine of the Persians is only the sequel of the Indian Bramins, we must consult the one, to put the other in a clear light." Again, p. 39, speaking of Pythagoras, he says, "This philosopher taught nothing to the Greeks, but what he learnt from the Gymnosophists." -- To these we will just add the sentiments of the very ingenious and learned Mr. James Howell, in the 11th Letter of his 2nd vol. where he reports, from Diodorus Siculus, "That the Egyptians had Kings 18,000 years since, yet, for the matter of Philosophy and Science, he (the Egyptian) had it from the Chaldean, and he from the Gymnosophists and Brachmans of India." -- Which country, as it is the next neighbor to the rising Sun, so the beams of Learning (and consequently of Religion) did first enlighten her. Thus we have shown, that we are not singular in believing that the religion of Bramah is the most ancient, and consequently most pure. For

47. It has been well remarked, that the nearer we approach to the origin of nations, the more pure we shall find their Theology, and the reason of things speaks the justness of the remark; because the period when the angelic spirits were doomed to take upon them mortal forms, was doubtless the origin of all nations; and at that time, as the nature of their transgression and the terms of their restoration, were fresh upon their memories, their Theology was pure, universal and unerring; professing one universal faith, which they had as we say from the mouth of GOD himself. -- Surely there must have been a time, when all nations had but one system of Theology, or else it is impossible to assign a cause for the uniform concurrence of all people touching the primitive truths, we have so often had occasion to mention; but here the cause is found in the rational supposition of one faith at the origin of all nations; -- and we may without deserving the imputation of too great presumption boldly pronounce, that until that is again the case, there will be neither pure uninterrupted joy in heaven, nor peace on earth. -- If the notion of a terrestrial golden age has any foundation, it can be only applicable to that season, which we rather think ought to be styled, the age of repentance and sorrow, and possibly is the only short period and pure piety since the creation of the universe.

48. This leads us naturally to another remark; namely, that the farther any system of Theology flows from its source, the more its pure pellucid stream is vitiated, disturbed and rendered muddy, and unintelligible. This is verified by the ecclesiastic history of all nations, but none with more striking evidence than in that of the ancient Bramins, unless we except our own. -- When we compare the original, august, although simple doctrines of the unity of the Godhead, and the three subordinate celestial personages, &c. of Bramah, with the later doctrines of his successors in the priesthood, how amazingly do we behold the sublimity and purity of them mutilated and lost! The Text of Bramah says, "God is one, Creator of all that is. -- The eternal One first made Birmah, then Bistnoo and Sieb, then Moisasoor and the rest of the angelic host; he made his first created Birmah, Prince of the angelic bands, and his occasional vice-gerent, destined him to acts of power, glory, dominion; and appointed the two next created beings Bistnoo and Sieb his coadjutors:" and when in process of time (by the defection and rebellion of Moisasoor) God in his mercy resolved to form the material universe, these three Divine Beings became the active representatives and executors of his three supreme attributes; his power to create, his power to preserve, and his power to change or destroy, as their names signify.

49. Here the people were presented with a doctrine plain, comprehensible, and suited to the capacity of every intelligent being, although imprisoned under a material form; the successors of Bramah did not indeed confound the three divine personages with the Godhead, but they at length did every thing else to cloud and obscure every other of his primitive truths, until they became as deeply plunged in idolatry, and in what we may call the useless parade of religion, as any people upon earth, and so continue to this day: thus the mission of Bramah was rendered fruitless, but the pure spring-head of his doctrines( that is, the first great primitive truths now under our consideration) were more sullied by the priests of other nations, who formed monstrous copies from the sublime original of Bramah.

50. The Persian Magi were the first who confounded the three prime created, subordinate celestial beings of the ancient Bramins with the godhead, to hide him from the vulgar; and not satisfied with this, they gave the eternal One a wife in the second person. In this domestic economy they were followed by the Egyptians, Chaldeans, Tyrians, Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans; and as the Egyptian Magi exceeded the Persian in rendering these original primitive truths incomprehensible, so these were surpassed by the Tyrians, and they again by the Greeks, and the Romans outwent them all. These instances afford a striking proof of the remark we made above, that the farther any divine system of Theology flows from its original source, the more it suffers and is corrupted.

51. Thus we see the two first most essential primitive truths, to wit, the unity of the Godhead, and the creation of the three superior Divine Beings subordinate to him, as originally taught by Bramah, were first loaded with superstitious and idolatrous rites by his successors, after it had subsisted inviolate for the long space of a thousand years, and the sublime spirit of it utterly evaporated and lost in the various systems of the Persian and Egyptian Magi and their followers, and sunk at last into incomprehensible jargon; as any one who has leisure and curiosity may convince himself, by consulting the authors who have exhibited the religious tenets of these nations.

52. Would to heaven, that that confounding incomprehensible spirit had stopped, and vanished with the heathen priesthood! and that we ourselves had not, by dividing that supreme adoration, which is due alone to the ONE ETERNAL GOD, given rise to a schism in Christianity, that has sapped the very root of its simple, exalted and divine doctrines, and proved the source of a thousand heresies, as well as one of the great stumbling blocks, to the universal propagation of a religion, that speaks the finger of God in every sentence, without one single glance at a Trinity in Unity, or Unity in Trinity, an unintelligible dogma, in which the heathen leaven prevailed, and raised a fermentation in the church of Christ that probably will never subside, until God himself is pleased to exert and manifest once more his own supremacy in power and vengeance, for the daily repeated blasphemies uttered against his awful name; for the spirit of man will neither regard the words of God himself, not those of his Christ. For,

53. "God spake these words, and said, I am the Lord thy God, Thou shalt have none other Gods but me," and the congregation replies, "Lord have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law," although they know they shall egregiously break it more than once in the course of the liturgy: and God himself, speaking of the Messiah, which he purposed sending into the world, to promulge a new revelation of his will, says unto Moses, "I will raise them up a PROPHET from among their brethren, LIKE UNTO THEE, and will put my words into his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all things I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words, which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him."

54. When we consider the many and various declarations which dropped from the mouth of Christ, so strongly expressive of his own dependent state and subordination to the will of God, how can we account for that degree of infatuation which first moved the heart of man to utter and propagate the blasphemous doctrine of his co-equality, and co-eternity with God? although the same extravagant rhapsody of faith, pronounces him begotten of the Father, and consequently both created and made, if words have any meaning. Where religion is shrouded under the disguise of mysteries, symbols, allegories, hieroglyphics, and fable; they are sure and infallible criterions of that religion being spurious, and not of divine origin. These, as before remarked, were the inventions of the ancient priesthood and lawgivers, to cover, obscure, and hide the TRUE GOD from the PEOPLE; and indeed they could not have concerted a more effectual and iniquitous system. That religion which speaks not to the level of every degree of human understanding, as well as to the heart, we will pronounce, never came from God; the reason is obvious, for high and low, learned and unlearned, rich and poor, are all equal objects of his care and providence, and equally interested in the event of salvation, which is the sole aim of the Most High in every divine revelation of his will.

55. The religions which manifestly carry the divine stamp of God, are, first, that which Bramah was appointed to declare to the ancient Hindoos; secondly, that law which Moses was destined to deliver to the ancient Hebrews; and thirdly, that which Christ was delegated to preach to the latter Jews and Gentiles, or the Pagan world. These, and these only, bear the signature of divine origin; for the precepts they contain, are plain, simple, and positive, not disguised by mysteries, allegories, &c. but adapted to every capacity of understanding, although the last is so utterly mutilated and defaced since the ascension, that Christ himself, when he descends again on earth, will disown it, and know it not to be his; and in Christian charity we wish he may not also disown those unhappy beings who have been instrumental, from time to time, in the adulteration of it, by introducing mysteries to be received as matter of faith necessary to salvation, which he never dictated, preached, or enjoined to his followers; as the Creed of Athanasius, &c. But, for the present, we will drop a Creed, which we believe every pious rational Christian wishes was struck out of the Liturgy (as well as some other articles, which also have proved obstructions to the early universal propagation of the gospel), and attend to what Christ himself says to these subjects, whom we think ourselves well warranted in believing, in preference to any equivocal expressions or sentiments, or reveries of either his apostles or disciples, or of those who are too liberally styled the saints, and fathers of the church, whose dissentions, dreams, and doctrines, have been wrested by Satan and his disciples for a lasting foundation to build their extensive kingdom upon.

56. We are here under some apprehension, that we may be charged with stepping out of our way, and with stumbling against what lies not in our path. To obviate which, we say, that as our view is to revive and re-establish the primitive truths which constituted the groundwork of the first universal religion, at the period of the creation of the material worlds and man, it became necessary to strip them of all disguise, mystery, and fable: in order to that, we found ourselves under a necessity, occasionally to analyze in part the three divine systems noted in our last paragraph, not under the guise in which they now appear before us, but as they really were at their first promulgation; for of all the theologic systems that have been broached to mankind, we think we are well supported in marking these alone as true originals; but our benevolent view extends still farther, and we flatter ourselves (however chimerical it may appear) mankind may be restored again to that one unerring original faith, from which, by undue influence in every age of the world, they have unhappily swerved: we are convinced, if they consulted their present and future felicity, they would fly to embrace a rational hypothesis, that leads to such a blessed issue. And here we cannot help deeply regretting the want of that stupendous gift of tongues, that our system might thereby be conveyed to every corner of the habitable globe. Vain regret! says the sceptic. Vain as it is, it is the vanity of doing good, which is the most pardonable of all vanities. Having thus, we hope, guarded against any imputation of wantonly deviating from our subject, we will resume the track of our inquiries.

57. It is our purpose to trace our divine Mediator through every text of the four Gospels successively, wherein he expressly declares and maintains the unity and supremacy of God, and his own subordination; and that in such terms as leaves it beyond a possibility of being misunderstood. Indeed, it appears every where, that he was most anxiously solicitous that mankind should be quite clear in a doctrine so essential; and that his apostles and disciples, who were to preach and propagate his Gospel, should not be liable to error in a matter of such importance to Heaven and earth; and this wise precaution became the more necessary, as they themselves were but just emerged from, and surrounded with, infidelity and Paganism.

58. We will begin with St. Matthew, chap. xix. vers. 17. where Christ replies to the man who asked him the interesting question -- "Good Master, what good thing shall I do to attain eternal life?" -- he said unto him, "Why callest thou me good? there is none good but ONE, that is GOD." Chap. xx. vers. 23. when the mother of Zebedee's children petitioned Christ that her two sons should sit, the one on his right hand, the other on his left, in his kingdom, he said unto her, "To sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to those for whom it is prepared of my Father." And verse 28th of the same chapter, recommending humility to his disciples, he saith, "Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister." Again, chap. xxiv. vers. 36. speaking of the day of judgment, he says, -- "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no not the angels of heaven, but the Father only." And chap. xxvii. vers. 46. in the extremity of his passion on the cross, he cried with a loud voice, "My God! my God! why hast thou forsaken me?" than which, as nothing could more powerfully denote the last influence of his human nature, so nothing could more forceably imply his absolute and avowed dependence on his God.

59. We shall consider next the declarations of Christ, as they stand recorded in his Gospel according to St. Mark, chap. xii. vers. 29. when the Scribe asked him which was the first of all the commandments? Jesus answered and said, "The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord;" and the Scribe answered and said, vers. 32. "Well, Master, thou hast said the truth, for there is One God, and there is none other but HE;" and when he subjoins, vers. 33. that "the love of that One God, and his neighbor, is more than all burnt-offerings and sacrifice." Jesus applauds his answering discreetly, by telling him, vers. 34. "Thou art not far from the kingdom of God," thereby confirming him in his belief of One God only. Chap. xiii. vers. 32. Jesus, speaking of the day of judgment, is more particular than stands recorded in St. Matthew, for here he declares, that "of that day and hour knoweth no man, no not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father." Hence it appears, by Christ's own showing, that one most important secret was hid from him, therefore not omniscient, and consequently not God, but a distinct created being. Indeed, howsoever conscious he appears to be of his own divine origin, yet he in no wise arrogates worship as due to himself, but directs it all to his God and Father.
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Re: Interesting Historical Events, by J.Z. Holwell, Esq.

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Part 2 of 2

60. The course of our inquiry leads us next to the Gospel according to St. Luke, chap. iv. vers. 43. where Jesus being pressed by the people not to depart from them, says unto them, "I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities, for therefore was I sent." Chap. x. vers. 16. Jesus tells his apostles, "He that despiseth you, despiseth me, and he that despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me." Vers. 21. Christ, after gently rebuking the seventh disciples for having expressed, with too much joy and exultation, their success in casting out devils or evil spirits in his name, breaks forth in the following pathetic strain of submissive devotion, the poetic and inspired evangelis, opening the verse with this short exordium, "In that hour Jesus rejoined in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and has revealed them to babes; even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight." He then proceeds, vers. 22. to declare to them his delegated powers from his God. "All things are delivered to me of my Father; and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him." Chap. xi. vers. 2. when one of his disciples besought him to teach them to pray, he said unto them, "When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come, thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth, &c." Here it is worthy remark, that in so very essential and interesting a matter as a proper address in prayer, Christ directs the followers of his Gospel to point their supplications and praises to God alone. Chap. xviii. vers. 19. records the same rebuke that we have already quoted from St. Matthew, with a small variation of expression -- "Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, GOD." Chap. xxii. vers. 42. when Christ had separated himself from his disciples on the mount of Olives, he kneeled down and prayed, "Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done."

61. We come now to the Gospel of our divine Mediator and Savior, according to St. John, which exhibits more numerous and striking declarations of Christ, in support of the unity and supremacy of God, and his own subordination to his will, than all the other three put together. Chap. iv. vers. 34. Jesus, in answer to his disciples, touching his eating, says, "My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work." Chap. v. vers. 19. Jesus, in answer to the Jews, who accused him of breaking the Sabbath by healing the man at the pool of Bethesda, says, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do; for what things soever he doeth, these things doth the Son likewise." Vers. 20. "For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth him all things that himself doeth, and he will show him greater wonders than those, that ye may marvel." Vers. 22. "For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment to the Son." Vers. 23. "That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father, for he that honoreth not the Son, honoreth not the Father which hath sent him." Vers. 26 to the same Jews Jesus saith, "For as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself." Again, vers. 30. I can of myself do nothing: as I hear I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father, who sent me.} Chap. vii. vers. 16. when Christ preached in the temple, the Jews marveled, saying, "How knoweth this man letters, having never learnt?" Jesus answered them, and said, "My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me." Chap. viii. vers. 28. "Then said Jesus unto them, When you have lift up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself, but as the Father has taught me:" and vers. 42. Jesus said unto them, "If God were your Father, ye would love me, for I proceed forth, and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me." Chap. x. vers. 17. Christ, speaking of the sacrifice of his life, says, "No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. This commandment I have received of my Father." Chap. xi. vers. 41. Jesus, after the act of restoring Lazarus, addresses God in these words, "Father, I thank thee, that thou hast heard me." Chap. xii. vers. 27. Christ, after having declared to his disciples the hour was come in which the Son of man should be glorified, breaks out into this doubtful interrogation with himself, "Now is my soul troubled, and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour! -- but for this cause, came I unto this hour." Christ, after declaring to the Jews he came not to judge the world, but to save it, subjoins, vers. 49. "For I have not spoke of myself, but the Father which sent me, he gave me commandment what I should say." Vers. 50. "And I know that his commandment is life everlasting; whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak." Chap. xiv. vers. 28. Christ, speaking to his disciples, "Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you; if you loved me, you would rejoice, because I said unto you, I go to the Father, FOR MY FATHER IS GREATER THAN I." Chap. xvii. vers. 3. Christ, in the most solemn invocation to the Deity, says, "And this is life eternal, that they may know THEE, THE ONLY TRUE GOD, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent." He proceeds, vers. 5. "And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee, before the world was." Chap. xx vers. 17. in his short discourse with Mary Magdalen, after his resurrection, Christ said unto her, "Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend to my Father, and your Father, to my God, and your God." The divine scribe closes this chapter with these words, "But these things were written, that ye might believe, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life everlasting." And God of his mercy and spiritual grace forbid, that any of us should believe otherwise.

62. We are not ignorant of the reveries of St. Paul, nor of the few texts in the first chapter of St. John's Gospel, which seem to countenance the unintelligible and Pagan rhapsodies of the Athanasian Creed; but we think ourselves well justified in deeming them of little estimation, when contrasted with the numerous ipse dixits of Christ, recorded in all the four Gospels, and more particularly by the same Evangelist, all of which are expressly repugnant to such a doctrine; and if those texts are to be understood in the sense usually applied to them, then this Evangelist witnesseth against himself, in the many texts quoted from him in our last paragraph; and he must either stand self-condemned of recording contrary doctrines, or we must conclude his sense of "THE WORD" has been misunderstood and misapplied; the last is the most favorable sentence that can be passed upon his inspired writer, and is worth examining below.

63. We purposely avoid a recital of the many philosophical arguments, and logical discussions, that have been urged both in the early days of Christianity, and more modern times, by a multitude of learned pens, in refutation of the doctrine of a Trinity in Unity, and Unity in Trinity, as being not suited to every common understanding; and therefore have strictly confined ourselves to the lights that every one may receive from the plain dictates of Christ, who powerfully and expressly enforces to his followers the belief of ONE GOD, the belief of his own mission, and divine, although inferior, origin, as proceeding from God; and the belief of the Holy Ghost, as the divine attribute, Spirit, or Essence of God, operating upon all things, and on all beings, in the proportion he is pleased to infuse or shed upon them, and by which Christ himself, in proof of his divine mission, wrought his stupendous miracles, always directing the objects of them, "To give the glory to God alone" by the puissance of whose Holy Spirit he was enabled to accomplish them. These doctrines are sublime, yet plain, simple, and intelligible; they bear not the semblance of mystery, but are open to a ready faith: Christ neither deifies himself, nor the Holy Ghost; the making an attribute of the Deity a God, bears a glaring stamp of Heathenism: no rational being would say, in an absolute and literal sense, that the fortitude, or chastity, or any other virtue of a King, was the King himself, although it is, in a relative sense, a part or quality of him; nor would any man in his senses aver, that the son is the father, and the father the son, as one individual, when he knows the son must have proceeded from the father, and that the father must have preceded the son, and that therefore they cannot be ONE; the contrary belief would be a confounding of all ideas and things, as well as causes and effects, and must necessarily shock all rational faith. Therefore, when Christ says, "I am in the Father, and the Father in me; -- I and my Father are one," *c. he can be only understood in a relative sense, to be consistent with himself; for he ever appears particularly anxious in marking his character, as a distinct being from God, in the relation of a son to a father; and, at a most interesting period, he declares to those who were soon after to be entrusted with the propagation of his gospel, "My Father is greater than I."

64. Therefore, since God has told us, "I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt have none other gods but me," and as Christ has also told us, there is only one God, and one Son, which is Christ, and one Holy Ghost; let us abide by, and entrench ourselves under this strong evidence, and for the sake of God, let us, with one accord, strike out, not only the Athanasian Creed, but every other part of our Liturgy, which so palpably gives the lie both to God and Christ. We are aware we shall be told that we utterly mistake the thing, for that the same Creed teaches, that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, those three Gods, and no three Gods, those three Substances under one Essence, those three Incomprehensibles, Co-almighties, Co-equals, and Co-eternals, are but one Incomprehensible, &c.; and to be worshipped as ONE GOD. If, after all, this is the case, to what end those incomprehensible, contradictory jumble of words and ideas, that have only served for so many centuries to confound, perplex, and puzzle, every common as well as uncommon understanding, and stagger the faith of every well-disposed Christian? not adverting, that this sense of that Creed flatly contradicts the solemn declaration of Christ, recited at the close of our last paragraph; for if God the Father be (as he assures us) greater than God the Son, then God the Son cannot be co-equal, nor have been co-eternal with him: the Holy Ghost may with propriety be said to have been co-eternal with God, as being the essence of the Deity, inseparable from him, but not co-equal, because every attribute of God is subordinate to, and dependent on his will.

65. "Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;" to this we say, Amen: but let us not, like the misguided church of Rome, forget God, by transferring that worship and adoration t Christ, and the chosen vessel of his incarnation, which are only due to him, and to his Holy Spirit, his first and great attribute, to which Christ eminently gives pre-eminence over himself, Matth. xii. 31, 32. "Wherefore I say unto you, all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come." And in this place we cannot do better, than to endeavor to clear the Evangelist St. John from the charge of contradiction, by urging, with all humble deference, the conception which leads us to imagine his term or phrase "THE WORD" has been misunderstood, and consequently misapplied; and that his record, to be consistent with itself, must allude to the Holy Ghost: and we submit it to the candor of every Christian, who, with unprejudiced heart and attention, peruses the first chapter of St. John's Gospel, whether or not every text of that chapter, which has been usually applied to Christ, may not be more justly applied to signify the Holy Ghost. And thus the Gospel of this inspired writer will stand unimpeached, which otherwise remains a witness against itself, as shown in our 62nd paragraph.

66. The other various contradictions and evil tendency of the Creed now under consideration (first established by persecution, fire, and sword), are so obvious they call for no further comment; its origin only wants to be accounted for, which is no very difficult task. SATAN, finding his kingdom on earth must fall, and come to an end, if the pure doctrines of the gospel obtained universally, had no means left to guard against, and prevent a catastrophe so fatal to his power, but exerting his influence to vitiate its pure stream at the fountain head: in order to this he most effectually attached himself and his emissaries to the primitive Christian disputants, and the reverent saints and fathers of the church, as they are called: these he well knew had not thoroughly shook off from their hearts the impressions of the Grecian and Roman mythology and Polytheism; on this knowledge he founded his hopes, and by the event showed he was no bad politician, for his success was answerable to the most sanguine wishes of his bad soul, and he soon had the malicious joy of beholding three gods start up in the Christian system, in violation of the doctrine of their divine Leader, who had so often preached to his followers there was but ONE. It is well known the advantages Stan and Mahomet, and his successors, took of the Polytheism introduced into the Christian faith, not only to the downfall and destruction of the seven churches of Asia, and the empire of the Romans, but also to the obstructing the universal progress of Christianity; and we may, with just boldness say, that had it not been for that opening given to that enterprising enemy of our faith, neither Mahommed as a prophet, nor the Koran as a religion, would ever have had existence, but the pure doctrines of Christ would have overshadowed the face of the earth, and its inhabitants probably, at this day, have been of one only universal church, unmixed with schisms, sects, or separations, to the saving of millions of souls, and deluges of blood. The groundwork of Mahommed's scriptures was the pure unity of the Godhead. (Koran, chap. iv.) "Surely God will not pardon the giving him an equal; but will pardon any other sin, except that, to whom he pleaseth: and whoso giveth a companion unto God, hath devised a great wickedness." Again, "Say not there are three gods; forbear this, it will be better for you; God is but ONE GOD." And upon the efficacy of this divine principle we may conceive, that God permitted the so amazing and rapid, as well as extensive progress, of Mahommed's Koran.

67. Another stumbling-block to the universal propagation of Christ's gospel, is the supposed supernatural mode of his conception and incarnation; which supposition has afforded a handle to the enemies of Christianity, to stamp it with the imputation of priestcraft, the fact being only recorded by two of the evangelists, Mark and John being entirely silent on the subject; and Christ himself, in all that stands recorded of him, gives not the smallest intimation of his miraculous or supernatural conception. Herein our free-thinkers outdo Mahommed; for, in the xixth chapter of his Koran, he accedes to the fact, and condemns the Jews for their disbelief; but we imagine the objectors might, somehow or other, have arrived at the knowledge, that the miraculous conception of a virgin was a very ancient piece of Pagan priestcraft; it was first introduced by the adulterers of Bramahs Shastah, and afterwards adopted by the compilers of the Veda, in the person of their Vistnoo; and from this origin might possibly descend to later times. Be this as it may, it is most certain, that the stupendous example, life, miracles, and doctrines of Christ stood in no need of a mystery of this nature to prop and give it weight and evidence; and therefore, by adding an incumbrance it did not want, rather weakened, than strengthened the whole fabric of Christianity. Had this mystery been a necessary article of faith to salvation, most assuredly Christ himself would have given some intimation of it to his followers: we do not find the mission of Elijah (who was invested by God with powers on earth near equal with Christ), nor any other of the inspired prophets stand impeached, because his or their conceptions were according to the natural course of generation, then why should that of Christ? So that the objectors gain nothing in the contest, supposing we should give up the argument to them: although the conception and birth of Christ may in one indisputable sense be truly termed miraculous! when we see such an abundant portion of the spiritual essence of God in Christ, was thereby subjected by his permission to the flesh, for the salvation of mankind; but we trust we shall not offend, when we say, the event would not have been less miraculous, nor efficacious, had it happened according to the usual course of nature.

68. God forbid it should be thought, from the tenor of these our disquisitions, that, with Hobbes, Tindal, Bolingbroke, and others, our intent is to sap the foundation, or injure the root of Christianity, Candor and benevolence avert from us so uncharitable and ill-grounded an imputation! On the contrary, our sole aim is to restore its purity and vigor, by having those luxuriant injurious branches and shoots lopped off and pruned, which have so obviously obstructed, stinted, and prevented its natural, universal growth and progress; and as we have assumed to ourselves the title of the reformed church, by judiciously and piously abjuring some of the impious, idolatrous extravagancies and tenets of the church of Rome, let us boldly, in the cause of God and his supremacy, uniformly deserve the character we have assumed.

69. From all that has hitherto been advanced (supported with what will occasionally follow), three most important truths may be clearly gathered. Imprimis, that the FIRST and LAST revelation of God's will, that is to say, the Hindoo and the Christian dispensation, are the most perfect that have been promulged to offending man; secondly, that the FIRST was to a moral certainty the original doctrines, and terms of restoration, delivered from God himself by the mouth of his first created BIRMAH to mankind at his first creation in the form of man; and that, after many successive ages in sin, and every kind of wickedness, GOD, in his tender mercy, reminded mankind of their true state and nature, of their original sin; and by the descent of BRAMAH, gave to the Hindoos the first written manifestation of his will, which (by the common fate of all oral traditions), had most probably, from various causes, been effaced from their minds and memories: Thirdly, that every intermediate system of religion in the world between that of BRAMAH and CHRIST are corruptly branched from the former, as is to demonstration evident, from their being founded on, and partaking of, with more or less purity those primitive truths. Vide 3d and 4th paragraphs.

70. Let us next see how far the similitude of doctrines, preached first by Bramah, and afterwards by Christ, at the distinct period of above three thousand years, corroborate our conclusions; if they mutually support each other, it amounts to proof of the authenticity and divine origin of both. Bramah preached the existence of ONE ONLY, ETERNAL GOD, his first created angelic being, BIRMAH, Bistnoo, Sieb, and Moisasoor; the pure gospel-dispensation teaches ONE ONLY, ETERNAL GOD, his first begotten of the Father, CHRIST; the angelic beings, Gabriel, Michael, and Satan, all these corresponding under different names, minutely with each other, in their respective dignities, functions, and characters: Birmah is made prince and governor of all the angelic bands, and the occasional vicegerent of the Eternal One; Christ is invested with all power by the Father; Birmah is destined to works of power and glory, so is Christ; Bistnoo to acts of benevolence, so is Gabriel; Sieb to acts of terror and destruction, so is Michael; the Holy Ghost is expressly signified in Brum, the Spirit or Essence of GOD, abundantly displayed in all the operations and behests of the Eternal ONE. The Shastah of Bramah records the rebellion of a portion of the angelic host, and their expulsion from heaven; the fact is also inculcated by the gospel; Moisasoor is represented as a prime angel, and the instigator and leader of the revolt in heaven, so is the Satan of the gospel; ministering angels, or the interposition of the heavenly beings in human affairs, is a principle of Bramah's Shastah, so it is of the gospel-dispensation; the necessary duties of repentance, good works, universal love, and charity, are indispensably enjoined in the Shastah, so they are in the gospel institutes; but in a more forcible, elaborate, and eminent degree, as being the last and most perfect mission that God in his mercy delivered to man. The immortality of the soul, and its future state of rewards and punishments, are fundamentals of the Shastah, so they are of the gospel; that man is here in a state of purgation, punishment, and trial, is also a fundamental of the Shastah, so it is of the gospel, supported by the opinions of the most learned divines and philosophers. That man is doomed to this state, for an unhappy LAPSE in a PRE-EXISTENT ONE, is another fundamental of the Shastah, and is evidently implied in the gospel. See the Rev. Mr. Berrow's Treatise on that subject before alluded to in our 40th paragraph. The necessity of mediators between God and man, and voluntary sacrifices for the transgressions of the latter in the persons of Birmah, Bistnoo, and Sieb, and others of the faithful angelic host, are doctrines of the Shastah; and are all fully comprised in the gospel, by the sole voluntary sacrifice of CHRIST, our constant Mediator. That there is an intermediate state of punishment and purification between death and the perfect restoration of the human soul, is a positive tenet of the Shastah, and is countenanced by the gospel, notwithstanding the church of Rome makes so bad a use of the first, in their system of purgatory. God's general providence over his whole creation, is an express doctrine of the Shastah; and his particular providence over individuals is obviously implied, from its doctrine of the visible, or invisible ministration and interposition of the angelic beings in human affairs; these are also fundamental dogmas of the Christian system.

71. The comparison might be extended to a much greater length, but the above, we think, will suffice to prove, that the mission of Christ is the strongest confirmation of the authenticity and divine origin of the Chartah Bhade Shastah of Bramah; and that they both contain all the great primitive truths in their original purity that constituted the first and universal religion; and that the very ancient scriptures now under our consideration, exhibit also the strongest conviction of the truth of the celestial origin of Christ's mission. Yet the former is the system of divinity and ethics which the Critical Reviewers have indiscriminately (as a specimen of their candor, erudition, and penetration) stigmatised with the opprobrious epithets of "nonsense, rhapsodies, and absurdities;" and in proof of their profound judgment, they unfaithfully took the liberty of reprinting our second part, without the errata prefixed to the 1st page, by which designed omission, they indeed circulate nonsense enough of their own making; but, requesting our readers pardon for bestowing so many lines upon a matter so little worth our notice we will pursue our subject.

72. In two points of doctrine the Hindoo and the Christian system differ (but the one in mode only), 1st, The punishment of the damned, or those souls that shall remain reprobate at the dissolution of the universe, or expiration of their term of probation. 2ndly, The resurrection of the same body. Touching the first, the Shastah teaches, that those reprobate spirits shall be cast out, and languish for ever in intense darkness, in a particular region prepared for them; the Gospel, that they shall perish everlastingly in actual fire. Without discussing the point how, or by what mode of action fire will operate on spiritual beings; we will only say, that possibly the latter sentence may act more in terrorem, than in the other; not that we think there is a pin to choose between them, nor that the matter of difference is of much importance, whilst they both agree in the fundamental point, that those unhappy delinquents will be given over to everlasting punishment.

73. Touching the second, which is a matter of deeper concernment to be clear in, the Hindoo system teaches, that the corporeal part, or prison of the soul or spirit, being composed of the four elements, each again receives its part at the dissolution of the body, or death; and that the spirit, according to its merits or demerits, is either conveyed to the first region of purification, or punished for a space, and doomed to enter and animate another corporeal form, body, or prison, that shall be prepared for its reception. The Christian system, without giving us any lights touching the state or existence of the soul or spirit, during the long intermediate space between death and the day of judgment, says, that at that day the graves shall give up their dead, and that there shall be a resurrection of the same body, to which its soul shall be reunited, and both receive judgment. By both these systems the doctrines of future judgment, rewards and punishments, are clearly revealed to us, but with this difference, that the Hindoo dogma pronounces, as we may say, a daily judgment of the soul (for multitudes are subject to death each revolving sun), as well as a final one, and the Christian postpones it to the day of resurrection, leaving the soul during the intermediate state to exist -- the Lord knows where. The resurrection of the same body is a doctrine obviously repugnant to the Hindoo system.

74. The resurrection of Christ, or the reunion of his spirit to the body on the third day, is a stupendous proof of his divine mission, for he had before declared, "He had power to lay down his life, and had power to take it up again; for that commandment (or power) he had received from the Father." But his single instance, peculiar to Christ, does not, we conceive, countenance the general doctrine, as stated above, which is far from being universally believed or received; many learned pens have been drawn against it, and many texts of scripture urged in opposition, besides unsurmountable arguments and difficulties that we have to encounter, which stagger the strongest faith; such as the state and existence of the soul during the space above hinted at; the consideration that matter, of which the body is composed, being in its nature passive and inactive, cannot be the object of either rewards or punishment. But the spirit alone, which is the active, deserving, or offending part, can be the only object of judgment; the non-identity of the body (if we may be allowed the expression), which continues not the same body one hour together, will have its full force on every rational mind, notwithstanding the specious casuistry of a Liebnitz and Locke to invalidate the objection. How far the Metempsychosis of Bramah will solve these problems, and how far that doctrine will be supported by the gospel dispensation, will appear when we come closer to that main spring of all our movements.

75. From what has been advanced in our 70th, and part of our 71st paragraph, we find that Christianity is, bona fide, as old as the creation, although in a very different sense from that of the libertine freethinker, who published, some years since, a labored treatise to undermine the gospel-dispensation, under that title: yet, let us not, although it springs from a truly learned and pious zeal, pretend to prove, that "the want of universality is no objection to the Christian religion," by bringing a chain of events, taken upon trust, from a spurious eastern scripture, as applicable to the conception, birth, miracles, and death of Christ, that are utterly destitute of true chronology to support it, lest it should give a handle to freethinkers of the complexion just mentioned to say, that the Christian system is only a copy of an eastern fable, as one of the Popes of the church of Rome is recorded to have said, or something like it. That the circumstances attending the walk of Christ on earth have been transmitted to the East we do not dispute, but that they could stand recorded in an eastern scripture, which was compiled some thousands of years before Christ's appearance in Judea, is not possible: the facts could not be before they had existence. But the misfortune is, that in disquisitions of this nature we are generally too apt to prove too much, and thereby hurt the cause we are laboring to defend. Had the learned and revered supporter of Christianity whom we allude to above, extended his view, and been acquainted with, the original Chartah Bhade of Bramah, he would have found that it is a fundamental doctrine of that scripture, that the angelic beings, prior to the Kolee Jogue or age of corruption, frequently descended to the earth, and voluntarily subjected themselves to undergo the eighty-eight transmigrations to animate the form of man, thereby to guard him from a second seduction of Moisasoor or Satan; that even Birmah, Bistnoo, and Sieb, did not exempt themselves from those voluntary sacrifices.

76. This being premised, it is no violence to faith, if we believe that Birmah and Christ is one and the same individual celestial being, the first begotten of the Father, who has most probably appeared at different periods of time, in distant parts of the earth, under various mortal forms of humanity, and denominations: thus we may very rationally conceive, that it was by the mouth of Christ (styled Birmah by the easterns), that God delivered the great primitive truths to man at his creation, as infallible guides for his conduct and restoration: but the purity of these truths being effaced by time, and the industrious influence of Satan assisted by the natural unhappy bent of the human soul to evil, it became necessary that they should be given on record to a nation that was most probably at that period much more extensive than we can at present form any idea of; and it appears as near to demonstration as a circumstance of this nature can admit of, that it was owing to this divine revelation delivered to them, that this people acquired so justly that early reputation for wisdom and theology, which the whole learned world has ascribed to them: but this by the bye.

77. The same causes subsisting, the above truths soon lost again, their original purity and simplicity, and a multitude of different religious systems were propagated through the world, having more or less (as intimated paragraph 3rd) of these truths for a basis, according to the bent and genius of men, and talents of the first impostors that broached them, excited and furthered possibly, also, by the adventitious circumstances of air, soil, climate, situation, regimen, &c. By this deviation, wickedness continued to gather increase through every region of the earth, but still the mercy and forbearance of GOD was not exhausted; for in the fulness of time, as his last grace, he once more delegated his first begotten son, under the mortal form of JESUS, to restore these truths to their full primitive lustre, and pitched upon Judea as a proper center from whence the beams of the Sun of righteousness should be scattered, and spread over the face of the whole world.
How the universality of this intended stupendous blessing was prevented, we have already shown in part, and shall more fully hereafter; observing that the genuine scriptures of Bramah and Christ have shared the same fate, mutilated and betrayed by those who were appointed the guardians and supporters of them. We shall close this paragraph with a suggestion that appears to us most probable and rational, viz. that every individual of the angelic beings who have occasionally visited the earth, under the mortal form of humanity, either by special voluntary license, or special appointment of God, for the example, defense, admonition, comfort, and correction of mankind, have each assumed different forms and names, at different succeeding times, in different regions; in such wise as Elijah and St. John the Baptist is supposed by some to have been one and the same spirit, from the intimation of the prophet Malachi. (Vide part the second, pages 71 and 72.)

78. In our last paragraph we promised to show more fully how the blessings of the gospel were converted into a curse, as the prophetic spirit of Christ foretold it would be, from his observation of the general corruption and incorrigibility of the human soul; for otherwise it would not have been possible that his plain dictates could have been mistaken, or perverted to any other purposes than he benevolently designed them: but he had hardly left his followers to themselves, than religious dissensions took place, that blasted all his hopes, and rendered his mission of none effect; so that, within the space of a very few centuries, and almost as soon as they had assumed to themselves the general name of Christians, he saw, with heartfelt grief, his plain, simple, and divine doctrine split into more jarring sects and schisms than any religious system had suffered since the creation.

79. Christ had preached, as essential preliminaries to the salvation of his followers in a future life, peace, charity, and mutual love in this. But the differing sects of Christians thought it more available to whirl damnation at each other's head; and in place of those godlike virtues, to substitute hatred, revenge, and persecution; some construed particular texts of scripture literally, others allegorically, others symbolically, and some broached, as Christian doctrines, diabolical systems, which rashly favored of that Paganism from which they had been so lately reclaimed and converted; and each thought themselves warranted by those very scriptures of peace, to cut the throat, for God's sake, of every one who did not subscribe to their opinions: witness the ever memorable and bloody contests between the early bishops of the church about the establishment of the Athanasian Creed, and the contention for supremacy between the Greek and Latin churches, which came to a drawn battle at last, as also in later times, the unchristian and inhuman disputes between the Romanists and Protestants, each exerting their infernal spirit of persecution as power afforded them the means; a contest in which deluges of blood have been spilt, and are spilling to this hour, insomuch that we may justly aver, lamentable as the truth is, that there exists not upon the face of the Christian world, more than ONE SECT of mankind, who preserve any appearance of having a true claim to the title of Christians. Here our readers cannot be at a loss to know, that we mean that respectable body of people, commonly, although ludicrously, styled QUAKERS, a people that in their principles and practice do honor to primitive Christianity and humanity. But, to resume the thread of our subject, and analyze in few words (as necessary to our main view) the causes, nature, and progress of the last-mentioned contest between Christians (nominally so) originally of the same church, although an idolatrous and superstitious one:

80. After the separation of the Greek and Latin churches, the last supported her supremacy in the West for some ages; at length avarice and tyrannic exactions (and partial favor shown to one set of monks in the collection of those exactions), in the Pope; spiritual pride, resentment, revenge, and an affectation of singularity in the breasts of Luther and Calvin; and lust and wrath against the Pope in the heart of our Harry VIII. brought about a partial Reformation of the Christian church. Thus God sometimes works out his purposes of good, by most evil tools. This desertion gave a "perilous gash to the body of the church of Rome, and many a profitable limb was lopped off," and lost, never to be recovered. But Luther and Calvin, not according to the principles and modes of Reformation, became the leaders of two opposite religious Protestant factions, with about an equal number of proselytes, who soon began to harbor as mutual and cordial a hatred, and unchristian-like animosity against each other, as they both bore to their mother church of Rome: then bishops and no bishops proved the source of fresh, bloody, and cruel contests. Spiritual pride, joined to temporal political maxims, have kept alive an unceasing rancor in the hearts of those two Protestant sects, that must ever keep them asunder, although nothing is easier to be effected than a union, were it possible to bring them back to Christianity, from which they have both swerved in principle and practice; whilst Rome is not without her hopes from these divisions, and waits a favorable conjuncture to reunite them to the bosom of her church, either by force, or fraud, or both; an alarming event! which possibly may not be so far distant as some fondly imagine. But the feuds and differences between the Lutherans and Calvinists hurt the cause of Christ still more deeply; for many of each persuasion, observing the early success of those leaders, and how glorious and profitable it was to become the head, the primum mobile of a sect, deserted again their colors, and setting up for themselves, formed innumerable subdivisions of faith, under various independent denominations; and each leader had his followers. Thus old heresies were revived, and new ones instituted, and fanaticism of every absurd and extravagant species had a quick and dangerous growth; each sect audaciously affirming, from the same scriptures, that theirs, and theirs only, was the true orthodox faith, and the right road to salvation: yet, with such doctrines, they brought the head of a good, moral, and pious, but misguided Prince, to the block, and overturned the constitution of a kingdom.

81. Such is the whole present state of Christ's church militant here on this western earth; and the above, added to some before noted, are the reproachful fatal causes that have obstructed and utterly choked the universal growth and progress of the gospel; and hence we are urged, by a spirit of true benevolence to mankind, to promulge the following reflections:

82. During our non-age, we naturally receive and adopt the notions and principles instilled by our parents and teachers; but when man arrives at maturity, he will as naturally assert his great privilege of reason, and think for himself. But what must be the confusion and perplexity of his reflections and ideas, when he begins the necessary inquiry after TRUTH, in so essential a matter as the worship of his GOD? when he finds, we say (in what is vainly and fallaciously called a Christian country), every Christian church divided against itself, and the professors of Christianity pursuing each other with concealed or open execrations, malice, and all uncharitableness, that misguided zeal, temporal interested views, or enthusiastic rage can possibly dictate. Thus circumstances, a thinking being has no resource, but either totally to abjure Christianity, or to endeavor to work out his own salvation, according to the lights which pure scripture, and his own unbiased reason affords him, without adhering to any one Christian church or system whatsoever as now professed in any part of the world, as they have one and all proved defective, and inefficacious to cement the bands of mutual love, charity, forbearance, and peace amongst men; which relative duties are the quintessence, the sine qua non of the gospel dispensation. But -- as the different interpretations of the same scriptures have been the great, the mischievous cause of the numerous jarring sects of Christians (the leaders of each drawing a missive weapon from the same text); and as the fatal effects of these sects and schisms in Christianity have been truly diabolical in every inch of Europe (insomuch that a stander-by might be well excused if he was induced to think the Devil himself had been the author of it, in place of GOD), we must go farther, and utterly reject all that has been written by the apostles and disciples, and every paraphrase, exposition, and visionary doctrine that has been tortured from them, except the express declarations and doctrines which fell from the mouth of Christ himself, as they stand recorded in the four Gospels: by these let us abide, be these the standard of our faith, and sheet anchor of our hope, and these only. His language is plain, his words cannot be misinterpreted, nor perverted to different meanings; he speaks to the level of every understanding, as well as to the heart, and cannot be misunderstood. To this it may be objected by freethinkers, that herein we are still at no certainty that these gospels were penned after Christ's ascension; that possibly those his declarations and doctrines may not have been faithfully recorded; that we still take them upon trust, &c. To this we answer, and lay our appeal to the doctrines themselves; then let every one who doubts knock at his breast, and say, if he can, from the conviction of his own heart, that such doctrines, considered as a system of theology and ethics, are not of divine origin. Let this be the text, and sceptics will no longer have existence.

83. Oh Man! Oh Christian! Emperors, Kings, Princes, Potentates, and Powers; Rulers and Leaders, under whatsoever denomination of Christians you have continued to disgrace those originally respectable names, whether Papist or Protestant, Lutheran or Calvinist, &c. &c. no longer suffer to be severally applied to you that prediction which Christ applied to the hardened Jews, respecting his persecuted apostles, "Yeah, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you, will think he doeth God service;" -- no longer, we say, adopt such an impious doctrine and supposition (for herein you are worse than the Jews, for you pretend to believe in Christ and his doctrines, which they did not) but mutually labor to reestablish peace on earth, and harmony in heaven, by restoring once more the true spirit of those primitive truths, which were, as the first and last grace of GOD, delivered to you at your creation originally by BIRMAH, and subsequently by CHRIST, the one and the same individual, first begotten of the Father, as before suggested. Our candid reader will no see the necessity we were under of analyzing the modern Christian tenets and practice, and of exposing the fatal innovations that brought it first into disrepute, and that still continue to obstruct its universality: we are sensible that we hereby lay ourselves open to the censure of superficial thinkers, who will be ready enough, although unjustly, to accuse us of Deism, according to the common acceptation of the phrase; but as we think we have as indisputable a right as Dr. Clarke or others, to extend or give a new signification to the word Deist, so we pronounce, that a man may, with strict propriety, be an orthodox Christian Deist; that is, that he may, consistently, have a firm faith in the unity of the Godhead, and in the pure and original doctrines of Christ. In this sense alone we glory in avowing ourself -- A CHRISTIAN DEIST.

84. Having thus submitted to our intelligent readers all that we thought necessary to the elucidation of our First General Head, to wit, the existence, the rebellion, the expulsion and punishment of the apostate angels, according to the minute history of that great and fatal event, given in the Chartah Bhade of Bramah, from which all antiquity borrowed their conceptions of this essential piece of knowledge, and which also stands confirmed by the gospel-dispensation; and having likewise, occasionally, as we purposed, drawn some (we hope) useful and most necessary conclusions and doctrines, from the comparison between those two divine scriptures, the course of our pursuit leads us to the investigation of our Second General Head, "The creation of the universe, for the reception and residence of the expelled angels, after their emerging from the Onderah, or place of intense darkness, into which they had been precipitated, upon their expulsion from heaven."
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Re: Interesting Historical Events, by J.Z. Holwell, Esq.

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SECOND GENERAL HEAD.

85. The eternity, or non-eternity of matter (a question which exercised the brains of Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, and others of the ancients and moderns to little purpose), is a subject, the discussion of which would be foreign to our design; but the eternity of the world, which some philosophers have held as a principle deduced from the position of the eternity of matter, is surely one of the greatest, of the most daring, and inconsistent extravagancies of the ancients; a conclusion, that is neither supported by sound philosophy, reason, or probability. Nor is it less extravagant in man, to suppose, that this world, and all that is in it, was made for him; that is, if we consider him in the light in which he seems (by the whole tenor of his actions) to view himself, the mushroom of a day. And indeed it should also seem, that man, from his blind and thoughtless estimation of the world, was likewise perfectly convinced, that he himself was made only for it. With this groveling conception of his nature and origin, it is no wonder that his pursuits should be inadequate, and disgrace his intellectual faculties. Man is a free agent, and may say whatsoever he pleases to amuse himself; he may plume himself in asserting the immortality of his soul, his superior form, and intellectual powers, in comparison with the rest of the animal creation: he may also say, that he looks up to a life beyond this, a future life of rewards and punishments; -- but we maintain against him, that he neither believes the one or the other; facts stare him in the face and refute him, his daily practice contradict his words, and prove his attachments and views are solely limited to, and circumscribed by the solicitudes and sensual indulgences of this world, which, with all its annexed appurtenances, he arrogantly and presumptuously conceits was made for his use and -- abuse. Strange and irrational conceit, for a being thus circumstanced!

86. In combating and disavowing the possibility of man's firm faith in the primitive trusts just above specified; we think we pay the highest, the most favorable compliment and construction to his understanding and conduct, that is in our power; for if he really and truly believes, and seriously thinks himself entitled to hold that superior rank in the scale of terrestrial beings, by virtue of his superior intellectual powers and faculties, and still degrades and debases himself, by the perversion of those blessings, below the level of the brute; so much the more deplorable is his state: nonbelief affords some plea, as faith is not always within the compass of our reach; but to say we truly believe, and still persist in evil, leaves us without excuse: therefore we repeat, that our judgment is more favorable to man, when we pronounce, He does not believe, than to say he does; and the only apology that can be framed for him, either in the one case, or the other, is the ignorance he stands in of his real state on earth, and the nature of his relative obligations as man, which we now purpose to elucidate, for his present benefit, and his future felicity. In the prosecution of this our benevolent pursuit, we again invoke the assistance of that Being, WHO CAN ALONE ENLIGHTEN US.

87. We have shown, that man cannot rationally or consistently flatter himself, that this world was made for him only, upon the footing of his commonly supposed existence. In truth, did not a vain pride and partiality obscure his reason and his optics, he would perceive, that the world was made for the fly, as much as for him; the former possessing every sensual enjoyment suited to his rank in the scale of beings, in as full perfection as mere man can boast of: but -- if he extends his prospect, looks higher, and conceives of himself, as he truly is (according to the scriptures of Bramah) one of those very identical celestial spirits that were banished from heaven, he may then erect his head, and without offence either to modesty or probability, think the world, and every comfortable production of it, was made for him, as most assuredly it was. Here we discover a most noble cause, worthy of THE ETERNAL ONE, for so stupendous a creation, as that of the universal planetary system: the angels had sinned, they were degraded, they were fallen; but -- still they were angels, and immortal! and had borne a glorious rank in heaven! and it affords the highest illustration of God's mercy, that when he was moved to mitigate their punishment, and give them an opportunity of regaining their lost seats in a state of probation; that he, with such infinite powers and wisdom should construct so wonderful an edifice as this world for their reception and residence, befitting a race of celestials, although in a state of degradation; for such undoubtedly was the face of the commonly called antediluvian earth, when a second defection made THE ETERNAL ONE justly determine it was too good for them; and was provoked to leave it at the deluge, or some other equally tremendous shock, as we now find it.

88. How the angelic beings, destined to inhabit the other regions or planets of the extended universe, continued to deserve this exalted grace of their Creator, or what changes they may have justly undergone, God only knows; but respecting this our globe, bad as it is, we may (without any breach of Christian charity) aver, it is still abundantly better than we merit; and should it grow worse and worse, and less comfortable, (which appears to have been the case for some centuries back in every region of the earth, by remarkable variations of seasons, frequency of earthquakes, storms, inundations, &c. &c.) still the justice of God stands unimpeached, by the increase of sin, and continuance of reprobation. After all, in this world of natural evils, rational man, if he looked up to his divine Origin, and moved consistently thereto, might spin out, in a very comfortable existence, his destined term of probation, and secure to himself felicity here and hereafter; so that in truth it is no bad world, but as we ourselves make it so; and blind, infatuated Man, as if he thought the natural evils of this world were not sufficient, seems resolved to exert those intellectual powers that were given him for very different purposes, to make up the deficiency by the addition of moral ones; thereby exceeding the measure of his punishments to a degree that God never intended he should suffer.
But to illustrate farther the tenor of our four last paragraphs by way of exposition on the text of Bramah.

89. Learned philosophers and divines have been deeply puzzled and perplexed, how to reconcile the justice of God with the creation of a rational being out of nothing, or from matter, yet subject to natural and moral evils; and apparently, from every consideration of his existence (from the cradle to the grave viewed under the most favorable aspect), placed here in a state of successive punishments which he cannot possibly as mere man have deserved, by any adequate transgression committed during his present state of existence; for his punishments commence with his birth, and pursue him through infancy, periods during which neither his corporeal or mental powers can be supposed capable of transgression or sin. Thus the justice of God must ever stand arraigned, if the positions rests there; but -- the very consideration that God is and must be just, tells us that cannot be the fact; and that therefore there must have been a prior, some anterior cause, for such (otherwise unmerited) punishments. But when? where? The answer is obvious and indisputable -- in some antecedent state of the soul's existence; this truth, natural reason and the laws of common justice convince us of, without the assistance of the many texts of scripture advanced by the ingenious Mr. Berrow, to prove the preexistent lapse of the human soul: to which we may add an argument drawn from the immortality of the soul; for if the soul is immortal, and necessarily exists in a separate state after the dissolution of the body, it must have necessarily existed somewhere before its union to it, unless we suppose God is employed in a daily, we may say hourly, creation of souls; an opinion not less extravagant than the supposed eternity of the world, an opinion that would still leave the justice of God in the same predicament liable to impeachment.

90. Although a preexistent state, and lapse of the human soul, are doctrines that have been avowed by all antiquity, and by many learned moderns, (see the authorities produced by the Reverend Mr. Berrow), yet a difficulty remained of what nature that state and lapse was? This embarrassment can only be accounted for by mankind having, in process of time, utterly lost the remembrance of those primitive truths, which clearly laid open to him his real state and nature, both in his present and preexistent state. Some have endeavored to solve the difficulty, by supposing that man was created to fill up the vacant seats in heaven, and that his lapse or crime was, his wickedly associating with the apostate angels, in place of aiming at the possession of their seats: but this round-about supposition leaves the difficulty just where it found it, and gives an opening still to arraign the justice of God. But Mr. George [Jacob/John?] Ilive came most certainly nearer the mark, howsoever he came to hit it, in pronouncing "that the souls or spirits of men are the identical apostate angels themselves," without knowing that he was supported in such a conclusion by the most ancient divine scripture that had been delivered to the inhabitants of this globe: here then we are to look up for the preexistent state and lapse of the human soul, the original sin in the angelic fall, typified by Moses in his history of the fall of man; and hence is every one "born in sin, the children of wrath," and hence only is the justice of God reconcilable with his creation of man at all; a creation, which by this hypothesis highly exalts and illustrates, not only his JUSTICE, but his MERCY.

91. And here, candid reader, suffer us, from the feelings of a general philanthropy that warms our bosom, to congratulate our fellow-creatures upon the restoration and recovery of this great, this essential, this divine truth, so long lost to our remembrance. A primitive truth, which enlightens mankind with the knowledge of their real state, the true relation in which they stand towards their God and Creator, and the relative duties which they owe to the species in general, from all which they have deeply and dangerously swerved for a series of ages past, from ignorance of their original divinity, original sin, and the nature and terms of their earthly sojourn: to that ignorance alone (and to the ready bent of the human soul to evil in consequence of it) must be ascribed the small efficacy which the preaching and doctrines of Christ has had upon the world; the seed was good, but sown in unprofitable ground, and although it was not possible to inculcate the necessary doctrines of the love of God, and of our neighbor as ourselves, in stronger terms than Christ enforced those duties; yet men still persevere in plundering, oppressing, persecuting, and butchering one another without mercy, in open violation of all that is good or holy. The truth is, man knew not himself, nor the relation he stood in to his God and neighbor, although, had he diligently searched the scriptures, he would therein have found full satisfaction in both, either expressly, or by plain and direct implication.
David seems to have been very clear in his conceptions touching his own preexistent state, as well as that of his Israelites, when he pathetically addresses his God in these words of his xcth psalm, "Lord, thou has been our refuge, from one generation to another before the mountains were brought forth, or even the earth and the world were made." Now, as all mankind are unanimous in opinion, that there was no creation of beings prior to the creation of the earth and world (or the universe) but that of the angels, so it is plain he could allude to no other; the inference is obvious -- David and the Israelites were the apostate angels. And in truth that most remarkable, and seemingly incomprehensible favor and partiality which God in a long series of events manifestly showed to that race of people, can be only accounted for, by their having been one of the least offending of the angelic tribes, drawn off from their allegiance, not by the pride and malice of the heart, but probably from the influence and impulses of a divine love and friendship for some of the other revolted tribes: thus the supposed partial favor of God to that people no longer remains a charge against our eternal IMPARTIAL JUDGE, nor that he should not have, from the same cause, his chosen and elect of other nations. And here we cannot help entering into a short expostulation with mankind upon their universal evil treatment of that once favorite people of God, the Jewish race, who are the common butt of oppression in all nations; we brand them with the epithets of fraudulent and infamous, whilst the cruel hardships every state imposes on them, lays them under a fatal necessity of perpetrating vices for their own defense and security, and to retaliate in some measure the injustice they everywhere labor under. -- Religion and humanity would think and say, it is enough that they are outcasts, and scattered over the face of the earth, without rule or domain; let us not therefore burden them with greater grievances than they can, or than God intended they should, bear: -- had those who professed themselves Christians, been truly so, it is more than probable there would not at this day be one Jew existing in the world. But what encouragement can any of that tribe have to forsake his errors, or enter into the fold of Christianity, when they see themselves from age to age oppressed, hunted, and their substance devoured by the Christian wolves of every state, in direct violation of the gospel they profess. -- Although God has been pleased to disperse them, we are told on good authority he has not abandoned them; and we know not how far the evil treatment of that people may have been, and still is, one (amongst many others) of the great causes of the calamitous signs of God's displeasure, in his signal visitations for a long series past to every Christian state under one tremendous form or other; for we think, respecting the evil usage of that forlorn unhappy race, no state in Christendom is exempt.

92. Having thus, we trust, successfully shown to the highest moral certainty, that the universe was constructed by God for the reception, residence, and sustenance of the apostate angelic tribes; and that mankind are the very identical remains of those unpurified spirits, who have not as yet regained their lost seats, we hasten to the conclusion of this our Second General Head, requesting only that our candid reader will accompany us in the contemplation of that sublime picture of the human species, as drawn by our great master of reason and nature, Shakespeare, from the mouth of his Hamlet -- "What a work is man! how noble in nature! how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how expressive and admirable! in act like an angel! in comprehension like a god!" -- Now say, reader, can such a being be aught less than angel? Surely no. -- Angel he must be, and an apostate one, or we pronounce he is -- nothing. Indeed there are many movements and emotions of the human soul, that are utterly inexplicable but upon this hypothesis, as sudden and instantaneous violent love, friendship, antipathy, dislike, hatred, &c. at first sight; which can only spring from a sympathetic sensation of the spirit's prior knowledge or intimacy in their angelic preexistent state. One of the great comforts of a departing soul in death, and of those that survive, who are mutually dear to each other, is the hope, that their spirits will soon be reunited, in a future state of lasting bliss, which here is only imperfect and transitory: but such hope is obviously ill-founded, unless built upon this hypothesis. We hope and pray for a restoration (Restore us, O Lord, that are penitent) -- What restoration? What can we be restored to, as man? what as mere man have we lost? -- Nothing; but as apostate angels, we have lost much indeed, and may with propriety both hope and pray for a restoration, otherwise we pray and hope for -- we know not what. We are told, "that there is more joy in heaven for one sinner that repenteth, than for ninety-nine that are just;" -- what relative concern can the angelic beings have for man, merely as such, that his repentance should occasion such an extraordinary effect? None surely that with propriety can be conceived; but -- when we look up to our hypothesis, and view the sinner in the light of one of their brethren restored, whom they had reason to fear was eternally lost to them, then the excess of joy is natural, and stands well accounted for. -- Respecting the various specious arguments that have been started against the preexistent state and lapse of the human soul, particularly that of the soul's not being conscious of such a state, we again refer our readers to the labors of the reverend and ingenious Mr. Berrow, who has fully refuted that, and every other objection that can be raised to that doctrine; to which we will just add, that the soul of every thinking being would be soon conscious of that great and essential truth, if man would be brought to reflection, and sink deeper into himself.
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Re: Interesting Historical Events, by J.Z. Holwell, Esq.

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Part 1 of 2

THIRD GENERAL HEAD.

93. We are now arrived at our Third General Head, the Metempsychosis of Bramah, from which we have been kept back by sundry, yet necessary digressions, and discussions of many interesting objects and points of doctrine, which started up upon us in our way, and retarded our speedier passage; although hereby we may appear to some deserving the censure of prolixity, yet we trust it will be acknowledged in the end, that without them our aim and endeavors would not have been attended with that general utility which we flatter ourselves they now assuredly will. -- Before we submit our own sentiments to the world on a doctrine so little attended to in modern times in this our hemisphere, it becomes necessary (to save our readers the trouble of turning back to our second part, p. 49, &c.) that we recite the texts of Bramah, who first, by divine authority, promulged that ancient system. -- "And THE ETERNAL ONE spake again unto Bistnoo, and said, I will form mortal bodies for each of the delinquent debtah (or angels), which shall for a space be their prison and habitation, in the confines of which they shall be subject to natural evils, in proportion to the degree of their original guilt. -- The bodies which I shall prepare for the reception of the rebellious debtah, shall be subject to change, decay, death, and renewals, from the principles wherewith I shall form them; and through these mortal bodies shall the delinquent debtah undergo alternately eighty-seven transmigrations, subject more or less to the consequences of natural and moral evils, in a just proportion to the degree of original guilt, and as their actions through those successive forms shall correspond with the limited powers which I shall annex to each; -- and this shall be their state of punishment and purgation. -- And it shall be -- that (after passing the eighty-eight transmigrations) the delinquent debtah, from my more abundant favor, shall animate the form of mhurd (man) -- and in this form, I will enlarge their intellectual powers, even as when I first made them free; -- and this shall be their chief state of TRIAL and PROBATION."

94. As the foregoing doctrine of Bramah seems glaringly to clash with Moses's history of the creation of man, it is previously necessary to account for this seemingly great difference; for they appear to agree only in one circumstance, namely, that man was the last work of the material and animal creation. By this discussion we purpose to avoid the imputation of slighting a scriptural detail that has for a succession of ages been received as orthodox by both Jews and Christians; a detail, that by being taken literally and misunderstood, has proved the source of many egregious and fatal errors, highly injurious to God's justice and clemency; the most enormous of which is, that infatuated belief, that a race of unoffending beings should stand accursed for the guilt and disobedience of one man and one woman.

95. The mission of Moses may without offence be considered as a very imperfect one, so designed by God himself; not only for that it was limited to one tribe of beings particularly favored of God, but also as it is totally silent upon all the primitive truths but one, viz. THE UNITY OF THE GODHEAD. This divine truth he was specially commissioned to declare to his people, as well to rescue them from the idolatrous superstitions of the land he led them from, as from those of the promised land he was leading them to. As Moses was allowed to be most profoundly skilled in all the learning of the Egyptians, and consequently in that of the Bramins (which had been perverted by those Magi, as before shown, to mysterious purposes), we cannot suppose him to have been ignorant that the other primitive truths had been already revealed, and that in fulness of time they would be confirmed to mankind; but he also knew that was a talk reserved for a more exalted being than himself; therefore we are not to wonder that he is utterly silent on those heads of salvation.

96. Respecting Moses's short narration of the creation and fall of man, it should seem, if taken literally, to be a matter sovereign to his commission; but on a nearer view, and considered as typical of the angelic fall, it carries a very different and essential aspect; and if not typical, it is most certainly laughable. We cannot, without violence to our conceptions of the wisdom of God, suppose, that he would propagate the human species by a horrid incestuous union, which pure human nature starts at, and which by his Holy Spirit stands condemned in his gospel dispensation; for thus mankind must have increased, if propagated according to the literal sense of Moses, from one man and one woman; so that it is self-evident he never intended it should be taken literally, but as typical of a prior and much greater event: nor have we the smallest doubt but that, in the days he penned it, the allegory was well and commonly understood by all; and we think we shall be able, without much difficulty, to prove to a demonstration, by analysing this allegory, that it affords the fullest confirmation of the truth of the Bramanical doctrines of the creation of man, that man can be no other than the apostate angels, and that the Metempsychosis is a well-founded truth, necessarily resulting from these premises; and we shall also show, that Moses was well acquainted with those doctrines; nay it is more than probable that he himself was the very identical spirit, selected and deputed in an earlier age, to deliver those truths free from allegory, until the style and title of Bramah, as before intimated. But to our proof, from Moses's narrative.

97. Eve is beguiled by the serpent, she eats, and tempts Adam to do the like, and thereby both become guilty of the sin of disobedience against an express law and order of their God and Creator: Satan is tempted by Evil, the associate of his bosom. The serpent represents the insidious arguments and wiles of Satan to engage the angelic tribes to become associates in his revolt and rebellion, which it may be very naturally supposed were similar to those made use of by the serpent to Eve. Paradise marks the beauty of the original earth, and the garden of Eden is the symbol of heaven; Adam and Eve for their disobedience are driven out of Eden, and Satan and his associates are banished from heaven for their rebellion. The gates of Eden are shut, and guarded on every side by angelic powers, to prevent the reentrance of Adam and Eve and their posterity; the heavenly regions are impervious to Satan and his confederates. The curse of sorrow, labor, and death, are entailed upon Adam and Even, and their posterity; wherein is figuratively shown the original sentence, doom, and punishment of the apostate angels in their mortal sojourn on earth. Moses introduces God cursing the ground for their sakes, allusive of the change brought about in this globe at the deluge, &c. occasioned by the second defection of the apostate angels in their state of probation. The brutes being the elder brothers of the creation, and prior to the formation of man (the doctrine both of Bramah and Moses), shows them to have been a preparatory creation for future purposes; and Moses tacitly coincides with Bramah as to the intended use of this prior animal creation; otherwise man, who is evidently superior in form and intellect, would, upon a rational supposition, have been the first object of all animal creation. God's being said by Moses to have breathed the breath of life into all his animal creation, is a happy figurative illustration of that passage in the Shastah (part 2. pag. 59), where "the ETERNAL ONE spake again, and said -- Do thou BIRMAH (the first created, the Christ), arrayed in my glory, and armed with my power, descend to the lowest boboon (region) of punishment and purgation, and make known to the rebellious debtah the words that I have uttered, and the decrees which I have pronounced against them, and see that they enter into the bodies that I have prepared for them. -- And Birmah stood before the throne and said, ETERNAL ONE, I have done as thou hast commanded. -- The delinquent debtah rejoice in thy mercy, confess the justice of thy decrees, avow their sorrow and repentance, [i]and have entered into the mortal bodies which thou hast prepared for them."

98. The personages which Moses calls by the names of Abel and Cain, said to be the immediate descendants of Adam and Eve, are obviously types of good and evil, or vice and virtue, that were to guide and govern the actions of the human species, in the course of their trial, from generation to generation. In the murder of Abel by Cain, Moses prophetically points out (what his knowledge of the race then made clear to him), that vice would totally subdue and destroy virtue; a prediction that is now, we fear, very near being accomplished, as she may be too truly said to be at the last gasp, and on the verge of expiring. By sin, our scriptures say, death entered into the world, that is by the sin of Satan, not of Adam (vide the Rev. Mr. Berrow), and as in Satan (not in Adam), all men die, that is, are subjected by sentence to death, so in Christ (destined to confirm to mankind the primitive truths of salvation) shall all be made alive, a consummation devoutly to be wished," but of which we have yet no signs or tokens. Why Moses has made woman the substitute of evil, is not very clear, unless from his profound wisdom and knowledge of human nature, we suppose he had observed, that no object had so powerful an influence to seduce man from his duty and allegiance, as woman; and from thence he possibly thought her the fittest symbol he could use on that occasion, without (we dare say) intending it should be taken as a general reflection upon the sex.

99. It is here worth noting, that the creation and propagation of the human form according to the scriptures of Bramah, are clogged with no difficulties, no ludicrous unintelligible circumstances or inconsistencies. GOD previously constructs mortal bodies of both sexes, for the reception of the angelic spirits proportioned to their number, which were to animate or give life to those as yet inanimate machines, and these were all doomed, without exception, to pass through many successive transmigrations in these mortal prisons, as a state of punishment and purgation, before they received the grace of animating the human form, which was to be their chief state of probation and trial; thus it is rationally supposed that multitudes of them might arrive at the same period to that superior degree; and that male and female forms, by the instantaneous fiat of the DEITY, were ready for their reception. Thus the propagation of the species went naturally on, as well as that of the other animal forms. Respecting the number of angelic beings first created by GOD, the scriptures of Bramah, the Old Testament, and Christ, are silent, confining themselves to the fact only; but if we form our calculation and judgment upon the multitude of organized mortal bodies in the world, we must conclude the original creation to have been amazingly immense! when we suppose, that only a portion of them rebelled, usually supposed (but upon what foundation we know not) to have been about one third. Be this as it may, it is a speculative point of little import to us, it being as easy to Omnipotence to create many hundred thousands of millions as one.

100. We now flatter ourselves that we have fully proved, to the conviction and satisfaction of our intelligent and unprejudiced reader, that Moses's history of the creation and fall of man, was purely typical of the angelic fall, and made use of by him figuratively to denote that great and prior event with its fatal consequences; and at the same time to point out the second defection of those unhappy delinquents, after they had been placed by the grace and favor of GOD in a sufferable probationary state, beyond their merits or just expectation: also to give a useful and necessary admonition to his people, that temptation was no plea for sin and disobedience. As to the actors Moses employs, under the denominations of Adam, Eve, Cain, and Abel, it is plain they never had any real personal existence; it is therefore evident that the creation of man, according to the scriptures of Bramah, is the only real and original one; and that man was not, as some have advanced coeval with the angelic creation, but subsequent to their fall. Moses appears to us to have had an under plot (if we may be allowed the expression), in the circumstantial history he gives of the descendants of his supposed Adam and Eve; he politically saw, that for the preservation of the religion and morals of his people, it was absolutely necessary to keep them a separate nation as much as possible: to effect this he thought nothing would more powerfully conduce than raising the ideas of their own dignity, put in comparison with the nations around them; they already had stupendous proofs of their being a chosen race peculiarly favored of GOD, and Moses traces their genealogy to as distant a root as possible, and carries it up to his typical creation of the first man and woman: those who know what influence this vanity of the antiquity of nations has in modern times, will applaud the sagacity of Moses. And here we cannot help regretting that he has not left us his opinion of the age of the universe; he has left it pretty clear, that the creation of that and man were nearly coeval, but there he has left both to exercise our fruitless guesses. On this subject we will only add, that the ancients may have exaggerated, but he that dreams with the moderns, that the world is not yet six thousand years old, may very easily acquire faith sufficient to believe the grossest of absurdities, or, with some of the ancient philosophers, that the heavens are made of brass or iron. Having fulfilled our engagement respecting that ancient typical Mosaic history of the creation and fall of man, we proceed with our subject.

101. We have seen a noble and exalted cause for the formation of the material universe, in which we behold man placed in the supreme degree over all animated mortal beings; but -- still we observe many myriads of those beings, formed with no less stupendous wisdom and art, and endued (although in an inferior proportion) with the same rational intelligent faculties as himself, concerning whom we seem to be utterly at a loss; nor is there any abstruse point, in which the learned of all ages have been more divided than touching the state and nature of the brute creation. The pride of man shudders at classing them with himself, yet his conscious reason, on reflection, in spite of himself, checks his presumption. Thus the inimitable and philosophic Prior sweetly sings to our purpose:

"By what immediate cause they are inclin'd,
In many acts, 'tis hard I own to find;
I see in others, or I think I see,
That strong their principles and ours agree:
Evil, like us they shun, and covet good,
Abhor the poison, and receive the food;
Like us they love or hate, like us they know,
To joy the friend, or grapple with the foe;
With seeming thought, their actions they intend,
And use the means proportion'd to the end;
Then vainly the philosopher avers,
That reason guides our deeds, and instinct theirs;
How can we justly different causes frame?
When the effects entirely are the same;
Instinct and reason how can we divide? --
'Tis the fool's ignorance, and the pedant's pride."


102. It is amusing to trace the different and bewildered sentiments of mankind on this subject; but if it was otherwise, yet it is necessary to the execution of our plan. -- The Cartesians maintain that brutes have no intelligent soul, but are mere machines, and unfeeling pieces of clockwork; and indeed, by the treatment they receive in the world, it should seem that mankind in general were disciples to that inhuman and stupid doctrine: -- However Mess. Yvon and Bouillet refute the Cartesian hypothesis, by masterly indisputable philosophic arguments, and prove that brutes have a rational intelligent soul, and then -- leave that soul to perish with the body. Some have imagined the souls of brutes to be material; flat nonsense in terms, as well as in philosophy. Aristotle, who supposed the souls of brutes to be substantial forms, is not a whit more intelligible. Cicero, who, great as he was, possessed a portion of that pride and vanity which flesh is heir to, made no small concession, when he says, "In every essence that is not simple, but compounded of parts, there must be some predominant quality; in man 'tis reason, in brutes it is -- something like it." A late performance, said to be a translation from the French, makes all animal life, not man excepted, a Jeu D'Esprit, or an amusement of the Deity, and for no other end or purpose. Thus brutes reason upon brutes, says Voltaire. Another well-intended and ingenious late performance gives to the souls of brutes immortality, and a future life of rewards and punishments, and takes its proofs from scripture, but is utterly at a loss to account for the predicament in which they stand on earth, liable as they are to misery, without the authors being able to conceive by what mode of transgression they could possibly deserve it; touching which we hope to satisfy his doubts and curiosity. Another divine, in a late treatise upon the general deluge, boldly cuts the matter short at one stroke, as Alexander did the Gordian knot. He supposes, "that as the brute creation was made solely for man's use, and that when they could be of no further service to him, they became useless in the creation, and suffered as matter in the general deluge, and it became requisite they should perish together -- as it cannot be supposed they were punished on their own account." -- Here, reader, you have a choice specimen of close reasoning exhibited to you; and a striking instance of God's justice and clemency! delivered by a servant of the MOST HIGH! -- Montaigne thinks more honorably of the brute creation; "What kind of sufficiency," says he, "is there in us, which we do not observe in the operations of the animals?" To which he ascribes deliberation, thought, and conclusion; and from thence gives the superiority to beasts over man, insomuch as the works of nature excel those of art. He goes further, and pronounces the animals free agents, as well as mankind; -- "I say therefore, that there is no appearance of reason to suppose that the beasts should, by a natural and forced inclination (instinct), do the same things that we do by our choice and endeavor; we ought from like effects to conclude like faculties, and from richer effects, richer faculties; and by consequence to confess, that this same reason, this same method by which we operate, is common also to the animals, or some other that is better." The whole reasoning on this subject of that acute but irregular writer, is worth perusal, as it lies scattered through his apology for his learned friend Raymond de Sobonde. This industrious author seems quite clear as to the preexistent state of the human soul: "Death," says he, "is the beginning of another life; so did we weep, and so much did it cost us, to enter into this; and so did we put off our former veil, when we entered the present state." And by the course of his reasoning just above referred to, it should also seem, that he favored the same opinion of the brute soul, as well as the doctrine of the Metempsychosis. -- Our learned and philosophic Baxter (in his Treatise of the Nature of the Soul), after proving that the soul necessarily lives after its separation from the body, proceeds and adds, -- "As man is a being compounded of spirit and matter, the last an impeding and obstructing cause on the activity and perfection of reasoning in the first, as the ministering organs of the last may happen to be maimed, defective, or disordered; and as a separation of the union leaves the first disengaged and at liberty, it is a rational supposition, that either the soul is in an absolute state of separation from all matter, or (when it shall please our infinitely wise Creator) reunited to matter of a more favorable kind, that shall be less obstructive to our immaterial powers. -- Omnipotence admits of no limitation, souls may be united to systems of matter, according to the purposes of infinite wisdom, that will be vastly more advantageous, and the union with them more pleasing, than with our present bodies; our present union being equally inconceivable, although we cannot but be conscious of the fact, however, unaccountable by our limited conceptions." -- Again, "Men who hold the immateriality of the soul, need not be embarrassed how to dispose of the immaterial souls of brutes, or be concerned what powers they may have after the dissolution of their bodies, but leave all to the Being that made them." -- "It is to be observed, that the activity of the human soul is of two kinds, that which is exerted in the spontaneous moving the limbs, and that power whereby we turn back our perceptive capacity to our past perceptions, so as to compare them together: the perceptivity also of it is twofold, for it is percipient of the action of matter upon itself, and percipient of its own internal operation in thinking. Brutes have the first of these powers, but want the second altogether, which constitutes the distinction between man and beast; they who run the parallel between the human soul and that of the brutes farther, suppose still the same powers in both. But surely rationality must be found in some powers which the brutes as such have not. This argument therefore does not prove the activity of the brute soul when separated -- although, if any one could prove it, he would do no disservice perhaps to philosophy." Again, "It is self-evident, that the wide-extended universe, though stretched beyond imagination, with all the wonders of wisdom and power in it, is solely designed for the sake of intelligent beings, to train them up for a rational eternity." -- That the general sentiments of this truly pious and learned divine support the probable doctrine of the Metempsychosis is so plain, it hardly needs pointing out to the observing reader; therefore we shall only add, that if the act of dreaming proves (as he asserts it does) the separate existence and active percipient powers of the human soul, after the dissolution of the body, it equally proves the brute souls to be endued with the same powers -- for undoubtedly -- they dream. Unwilling as we are upon any occasion to dissent from the reasoning of this truly great and good man, yet we find ourselves under that necessity, when he says, "the human soul is form'd at first without knowledge or experience, but hath the power of attaining both. -- Brutes are incapable of improvement, finished in their specific perfection all at once." So strange a position as the foregoing, could proceed only from non-attention to the progress of the intelligent faculties in both species from their state of infancy, or -- from those feelings of human pride that will spring up in the best heart, when the supposed dignity of his superior nature is brought into competition. -- The sentiments of the ingenious Mr. Berrow (so often referred to) upon the brute creation, may be clearly gathered from his own words, which we shall present to our readers, as a curious and uncommon specimen of unprejudiced reasoning in a Christian divine. -- "If it should be urged, that the assigning souls to one part of the brute creation, will reduce us to the necessity of supposing the like to actuate the most minute species of vital nature also; I shall only remind the speculative and philosophic part of mankind, that there is discernible, by the microscopic eye, as exquisite a due proportioned disposition of organs, fibres, &c. (the more amazing in proportion as they are more minute) in the one as in the other -- That, again, the soul has the power of self-contradiction, to an infinitessimal degree, as well as that of self-dilatation -- That supposing, in the next place, every organized body, as well in the brute as in the ration, to be an allotted temporary prison for a pre-delinquent soul (an hypothesis, than which there cannot I think be one more rational), it is easy to conceive how and why some may be made here prisoners more at large as we say, and entrusted with privileges and faculties more numerous, extensive, and exalted than others: and that, lastly, it is impossible to say into how many different kinds of vehicles a soul may transmigrate, ere its plastic faculty be refined enough to inform one, wherein to perform the functions of an intelligent and rational life." -- Here we see a learned divine to the honor of the church of England, scruples not to avouch, without reserve, one most material part of Bramah's doctrine of the Metempsychosis; and it is a pity he was not further enlightened; he then would not (with many others of the learned) have been drove to the subterfuge of making a new creation to animate and actuate all mortal forms, when there were a race of angelic delinquent beings ready made to his hands. -- Having thus thrown together, under one paragraph, the different sentiments of mankind touching the state and nature of the brute creation, we will next proceed to consider their use, and the intent of their creation; a matter in which we shall not find mankind so much divided, but on the contrary (the bulk of them at least) pretty unanimous.

103. Man's presumption in supposing the brute creation was intended solely for his use, may be ascribed to two causes: the first his pride, or natural unbounded thirst of power; an intellectual faculty he picked not up here, but brought with him from above, from his preexistent angelic state: there it had proved his bane, and here, having not immediately the governing powers of heaven to combat against, to keep his ruling passion in action, he exercises it, not only on the unoffending brute creation, but on his own species. -- The second cause we consider as a plea and sanction taken from the 26th verse of the first chapter of Genesis, where Moses says, that "God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." -- To combat the first cause, would prove a labor truly Herculean, without the smallest chance of victory, and therefore we avoid the battle; and touching the second, we might avail ourselves of the demonstrative proofs already stated, that the Mosaic history of the creation of terrestrial animals was purely typical; but we will wave that just privilege, and examine the fact, as it literally stands; premising, that man has no right to choose his texts, but if he thinks to benefit himself by one, he ought to acknowledge the force and efficacy of another, and abide with equal strictness by both; that he has not preserved this equity towards a more express dictate of this scripture is certain; for, verse 29th of the same chapter, "God said (to man), Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree, yielding seed: to you it shall be for meat." Which words convey a palpable although tacit interdiction of all other food: but more of this hereafter, when we have no doubt of proving indisputably that the breach of this positive injunction, or rather this first law of nature, has been one of the great, if not chief source of physical as well as moral evil. We now return to our more immediate subject.

104. That the brute creation was designed to be subservient to, or made for the use of man, is a conceit incompatible not only with the justice of God, but also his wisdom; and that, therefore, the usurped sense of the phrase, "Let them have dominion," (on which so much stress has been laid) is not well-founded, and implies only, Let them have pre-eminence, predominance, superiority, in intellectual faculties over the rest of the animal creation. Thus Bramah, "And in this form I will enlarge their intellectual powers, even as when I first made them free." In this sense only can the above phrase be possibly understood, for the following reasons: first, Moses nowhere intimates, that the brute creation was made for the use of man. Secondly, the very small proportion of the whole he has been able to reduce under his dominion, and even that modicum not subdued, but by the exertion, or rather perversion of those superior intellectual faculties into craft and violence, which were most certainly given him for very different pursuits. Thirdly, that, so far from there being the smallest appearance that the animal creation was subjected either to the dominion or service of man, according to the sense that he has wantonly and cruelly assumed, that the majority of them, almost to an infinite degree, are obnoxious to him, and at enmity with him, and in no wife, shape, or form, under his rule and dominion. On the contrary, it may be justly said, that "men are more slaves to man, than beasts to him." Fourthly, can it possibly be conceived, without doing violence to the justice, goodness, and wisdom of God, that he would invest man with a dominion to drive out, at his caprice and pleasure, that breath of life, which he had for his wise purposes so bountifully breathed into all his animal creation? for although Moses particularly applies this sublime sentence to Adam alone in the 7th verse of his 2nd chapter, in these words. "And the Lord God created man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul;" yet it is self-evident, that this operation and divine infusion of a living soul or spirit, must have been a priori, general to the whole animal creation. Fifthly, what idea must we form of the wisdom and designs of GOD, if we suppose that, after his blessing his animal creation, and laying a positive injunction upon them to increase and multiply and replenish the earth, he should, at the same time, give to man dominion and power to counteract his purposes, by decreasing, diminishing, and destroying them?

105. Having shown above, that we cannot without violence to God and nature conclude, that the brute creation was made for the use of man, it follows, that his pretended right of dominion is an usurpation over a race of intelligent beings, innocent, at least, respecting him; whose lot in this world is sufficiently painful and miserable, without any additional load from man. Here we will once more give our readers the sentiments of the Rev. Mr. Berrow, as strongly expressive of our own, and apt to our subject. After a pathetic and truly Christian-like apostrophe on that noble animal the horse, which is equally applicable to every other animal under man's tyranny, he subjoins, -- "But wherefore all this wretchedness? -- wherefore all these agonizing pains and miseries heaped on an helpless offspring of divine providence? are they not flesh and blood?" (Have they not their REAL grievances and apprehensions?) "Do they not, as well as we, know what sorrow means? were they brought into a sensible existence for nothing but the service, or rather to gratify the pride, the wantonness, the cruelty of man? shall one being be created, even under the bare possibility of being made miserable, solely for the use or pleasure of another? -- Lord, what is man? or rather, what are not brutes?" -- "The Indians ask, if brutes have not souls? if not, then, say they, matter thinks. Cicero says, "That God himself is the soul of brutes;" therefore, says the Indian, shall they be found suffering without a CAUSE, or without a recompence?" -- Surely no; the doctrine of the Metempsychosis alone points out the cause for their suffering natural evils, and at the same time shows the promised recompence.

106. Notwithstanding all that has been said, we see it will be still objected to us, that Moses, in the controverted phrase before us ("Let them have dominion"), must have meant thereby absolute dominion and unaccountable rule, or he would not, in his law to the Hebrews, have devoted the animal creation to the subjection of man, in the various sacrifices of them instituted by the law. To which we say, that those cruel sacrifices were subsequently condemned and discountenanced, as barbarous and inefficacious, both by GOD and CHRIST; and we may fairly lay it down as an incontestable principle, that any act which GOD and CHRIST have at any one time pronounced evil, could never have been good; and therefore, that Moses, in that institute, deviated from the commission he had received from GOD, as he did unwarily in other particulars, which drew on him the displeasure of his Creator, and deprived him of the promised felicity of settling his people in the land to which he was appointed to conduct them. Nor does it at all appear difficult to point out the causes that led Moses into this error: he knew that their appetites had for a long series of ages been vitiated by the taste of animal food; he hoped to reclaim them from it, by showing them, in the 29th verse of the first chapter of Genesis before recited, that that was not their originally destined meat, and that by the use of animal food they had digressed from their primitive nature, and had transgressed against the very first law of their Maker; but -- very soon finding every admonition of the kind was lost upon them, he weakly thought it might prove in some sort an extenuation of these common murders, and a kind of sanctification of them, by introducing them as part of their religious worship. To this he probably had a further interesting and pious motive; he could not but remark the depravity of, and the strong bent in his people towards the superstitious worship, sacrifices and idolatries of the Egyptians, Chaldeans, Tyrians, Canaanites, &c. amongst whom he knew that human sacrifices were as common as those of the brute creation; therefore, to guard his people against a greater evil, he instituted, as he vainly imagined, a less; not adverting that it belonged TO GOD ALONE, to permit evil, that good may come of it. The vision of St. Peter may also be objected against us, and that Christ himself winked at these murderous practices, and even partook of them. To this we answer, that Christ knew too well the total and confirmed depravity of man to combat so long-established an enormity; therefore the chief aim of his mission was, first to correct his morals, and, if possible, bring him to a state of sensibility and repentance; that once obtained, the abolition of that, and many other enormities, he knew, would follow of course.

107. Let us now hear the words of GOD himself on this subject by the mouth of his inspired Bramah: -- "The mortal forms, wherewith I shall encompass the delinquent debtah, are the work of my hand; they shall not be destroyed, but left to their natural decay; therefore whichsoever of the debtah shall be designed violence bring about the dissolution of the mortal forms animated by their delinquent brethren -- thou, Sieb, shalt plunge the offending spirit into the onderah for a space, and he shall be doomed to pass again the eighty-nine transmigrations, whatsoever stage he may be arrived to at the time of such his offence."

108. Having thus, in a regular series, discussed the several events of the creation and existence of angels, their rebellion and fall; and having shown that the material universe was constructed for their habitation and sustenance, and that mortal bodies were formed for their more immediate punishment and imprisonment; and having also made it sufficiently clear, that man can possibly be no other than those identical fallen angels; and lastly, that the brute creation could not have been made subject to him, nor destined for his use and service in the sense he has erroneously, not to say wickedly, converted them to; it follows that we next take it into consideration to what other use or purpose were they brought into existence? -- The ancient doctrine of the Metempsychosis of Bramah, at once answers the matter in question, and would afford full satisfaction to a Gentoo, a Tartar, or a Chinese, but not to a Christian. (Here by-the-bye it is proper to note, that although the Tartars and Chinese believe in the transmigration of the soul, yet they seem, as well as our ancient druids, to have totally lost sight of the source, the root, the original principle from whence the doctrine of the Metempsychosis sprung, viz. the angelic fall and doom, which has been retained in its primitive purity only by the Gentoos.) -- The case standing thus, it remains to examine whether the state and predicament in which the brute creation appear and exist, can be accounted for upon any other rational system. In order to which it will be necessary to consider them under two points of view; first, as intelligent, rational beings, and free agents; and secondly, as beings subjected to misery.

109. The man who asserts his own rational intellectual faculties and free agency, and denies them to the brutes, either thinks not at all, or is actuated by pride and self-sufficient pre-eminence, or has been very deficient in his observations and reflections upon that numerous creation. -- When we see a race of beings endued with the passions of rage, revenge, dominion, ungovernable lust, jealousy, hatred, envy, and every other vice similar to our own, except ingratitude; and when we behold them endued with the virtues (we had almost said the Christian virtues) of love, fidelity, gratitude, friendship, courage, parental tenderness, filial affection, patience, submission, innocence and meekness, all in as high perfection, if not higher, than in ourselves; and when we further observe them invested with the powers of happiness, misery, reflection, recollection, foresight, forecast, prodigies of art, without rule, line, square, or compass; sagacious in contriving, political in government; the amazing beauty of some, and stupendous construction and animal economy of all! -- All which vices, virtues, powers and properties, are exemplified in the various species of the animal creation. -- When we daily see, or may see, all this verified, and still appropriate cogitation and reason to man alone, we see with the eyes of folly and prejudice.
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