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found of great use in our Christian course. They will produce a uniformity of character, and constancy of self-enjoyment, which lie not within the province of the wisest systems of human agency.

(To be continued.)

Biography.

FROM THE LONDON METHODIST MAGAZINE.

An Account of the Life and Conversion from Heathenism to

Christianity, of George NADoris De Silva, Samara Maha NAYEKA, late a Budhist Priest in the Island of Ceylon.

(Continued from page 11.) Those who know the native character in its unconverted state, will easily suppose there was at this time some room for us to fear, that his departure from Colombo would prove to be final; his case being now advanced to such a crisis, and himself being so closely pressed, beyond the power of denial, to enter upon a change of situation, so momentous to him in its probable consequences. We confess we felt something of this fear: our hearts grieved, as we looked on him about to take his departure, and feared it would be our last interview with him : one of us said, “ Well, Rajagooroo, after your return to Dadalla, supposing one of us were to pay you a visit, would you allow us to preach in your temple about Jesus Christ and the true religion ?" He replied that he would, with much pleasure, and even pressed one of us to go down with him for that purpose. This, our situation prevented, and hence, anxious to embrace such an opportunity, we proposed to give him a letter of introduction to one of our southern brethren, and begged him to give the same invitation to him; explaining to him, that we were alike in doctrine, and affectionate desire for the salvation of the heathens. His answer was, that he had no doubt of the truth of what we said, but as he had not the same acquaintance with any other Missionaries as with us, he could not so freely give the invitation to others, in whom he had not so much confidence as in us. certainly felt peculiarly circumstanced. To be allowed to publish the gospel in a temple consecrated to idolatry ;-to correct, as it were, the moral stream at its source ;-to place Budhu and the Saviour in so fair a competition,-was not a light object, and the reader is by this time led to feel that it was an opportunity which ought not to have been neglected. We had the same feeling; but, notwithstanding our ardent desire, it appeared,

We

at the time, next to impossible to embrace the offer, consistently with our attending to the pressing duties of our own station.

The work of a Christian Missionary is, however, the work of God; if actuated by a right principle, or desirous of being so actuated, a Divine Providence will regulate all his affairs, and his desires of usefulness shall be fulfilled, though perhaps oftentimes in a way not previously anticipated. In a few weeks af. ter, the health of our whole family proved to be so seriously un dermined, as to render it necessary to relax, and to seek a change of air. We yielded to the exigency of the case, and the repeated peremptory letters of our affectionate brethren, to desisi from labour; our brethren at Galle sent us a pressing invitation to pay them a visit, and try the effects of the southern air; brother Squance likewise kindly offered to supply our circuit for us in the mean time.

Our way was thus opened, and we set out all together, brother Clough, and myself and family. I trust never to forget the feelings with which we set out on this journey. We were surrounded with so many mercies. We had such a strik. ing proof of the affection of our beloved brethren, and of the Divine goodness to us, that we often, while passing under the cocoa-nut trees, which line the road to Galle, sung aloud the song of praise and thanksgiving to God.

On our arrival at Galle, we were placed within a short distance of Rajagooroo's temple, and of course, one of our first thoughts was in reference to the promised treat of preaching there. What was our disappointment, to find that he had taken his departure for Colombo, not knowing of our coming to Galle, and that we had unknowingly passed each other on the road. In a few days we were, however, relieved from our regret, by a man coming from Rajagooroo, for whom he wished me to do some favour, and bearing a letter, which is as follows:

5. MY DEAR SIR,

Colombo, Jan. 17, 1816. “I came to Colombo with an intention to see you and the family; but I was greatly vexed; for I was not able to meet you, and I was informed you have gone to Galle; and in case, as I hope, you will go to my temple, and do what you please there, I have, by the bearer, written to the assistant priest in the temple, that you are going thither for preaching, and I hope they will be ready to receive you accordingly. The bearer, I have well instructed in the Cingalese knowledge, during his younger age, he being a proper worshipper of Budhu. And now I have dictated to him the knowledge of Christianity, so far as I have learnt from you; and I hope that you also will bring him into some further knowledge thereof.

“ But as he has a small business to get done by I hope you will have the goodness to do the favour of recommend.

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ing him to that gentleman, for the purpose ; as he is a person to whom I am bound to do any favour in my power. Dear Sir, I am, with the greatest desire of knowing how Mr. Clough and your family are at Galle, and offering my due respects and compliments, Your's, affectionately and sincerely,

RAJAGOOROO."

This letter, as may be supposed, was highly gratifying to us, and we resolved to accept so unequivocal an invitation. But how short-sighted is man! At the very place to which we journeyed for comfort, we met sorrow. It pleased God to afflict us sorely, by the death of our youngest son, a most engaging in. fant, eleven weeks old. His disorder was a catarrh, brought on by a violent cold. It was at Galle we became first acquainted with the poignant feelings of bereaved parents—may all our sufferings be sanctified! Amen. · Shortly after, Rajagooroo sent us another letter, one of condolence, on hearing of the loss of our child. It is copied as a curiously interesting document. It was a remarkable instance of a heathen chief priest, but a short time before a confirmed atheist, consoling a Christian missionary under severe affliction, by a reference to the Divine Will!

to

“MY DEAR SIR,

Colombo, Feb. 1, 1816. "I received your's on the 31st of January, and thank you much for your kindness of recommending

“I am extremely sorry to hear of the death of your charming infant; but I comfort myself through the great grievances attached to my mind thereof, as it is God's own will! I am very sorry indeed that I am not able to be at my temple on your arrival there ; but however, I have already written to the assistant head priest, and others, of your intention of going to the temple, and I hope and trust that they will be happy to receive you there.

“ I let you know, Sir, that there will be about twelve priests in my temple, excepting the common people, and so you are requested to go and do your own wish as you please there. But I do not believe, that they will be able to call any strange priests on the day, as I am not there. I offer my utmost respects and compliments to your family and Mr. Clough. “I am, Sir, your's, ever faithfully,

RAJAGOOROO."

If this letter was acceptable and encouraging to us, it was rendered additionally so by a small slip of paper being inclosed, in Rajagooroo's own hand-writing; the leiters already referred to were dictated and signed by him, but there was a certain par

mon.

ticular which he wished to communicate to us, which he would entrust to no other pen than his own. It is so memorable, that I wish a fac-simile of it could be printed : I will enclose the original for that purpose, if it should be thought proper in England: it is literally, “Sir, I have a private to speak with you, but I cannot so much to write from English, because if I get to speak with you and Mr. Clough, then I will say to you that is my private ; and I am now very glad to the Christian religion."

The sense is, “ I have a secret to communicate to you, but am not perfect enough in my knowledge of English, to write relative to it. But if I can converse with

you

and Mr. Clough. then I will freely tell you the secret I refer to. I am now very desirous of embracing the Christian religion."— Poor Rajagooroo's heart was too full to conceal the secret; and hence the reader will perceive it in the last sentence of his note.

The second letter was brought to us by two inferior priests belonging to the temple, who brought the respects of their brethren, and requested us to fix a certain day for visiting them, which we did accordingly, previously to our naming the day for the ser.

Brother Erskine accompanied us : and we made our first visit, one of curiosity; our principal design being to see the temple and dwelling-house, which well paid us for our journey.

The temple stands on a rising ground, on the borders of the cinnamon garden of that district. It is surrounded by a wall, which leaves a space round it, of about twenty feet; on entering it, the first objects which strike the attention, are the hideous figures of the Brahminical deities, which are placed at the door, on either side, as the guardian angels of the place. Their numerous hands, each grasping some instrument of death, and their long tongues, curling out like mustaches at each corner of their mouth, are well adapted to impress with fearful awe, the ignorant mind of the worshipper. Against the back wall, is the principal image of Budhu, in a sleeping posture, but with his eyes open, and his head resting on his right hand;-this figure is very long, and is formed of clay, well varnished, and painted yellow; a table stands before it, on which the sweet-scented Howers are placed, which are furnished for that purpose by his various devotees. Crowds of deities are painted on the wall, over the place where he lies, descriptive of the honour and reverence paid to Budhu by the highest order of beings; he is also represented as sitting and standing in other parts of the temple. In the standing posture he appears as a preacher of morals: he sits as a legislator, in kingly state ; and as a deity, reposes to receive the honours of those who worship him.

The side and front walls, inside the temple, are covered by hieroglyphics of moral tales, which are explained by the priests to any one who makes the request. They are generally, I be

lieve, of a good tendency, inculcating, gentleness and benevolence, integrity and truth. Those in the temple of Rajagooroo are, I understand, perfectly unexceptionable ; I will endeavnur to prevail upon him to give me the stories, for our entertainment at home,

In some temples the future miseries of the wicked are figured in the most horrid form. I do not remember to have seen any ching of the kind in the one I am now describing ; but in one which we visited at Belligam, it was represented by a large iron tree, placed in the midst of an immense fire, and full of sprouting branches of the most exquisite sharpness.- The miserable sul ferers are represented as endeavouring to climb up this tree, id order to escape the fire ; in doing which their limbs become transfixed on the red-hot iron branches. Some had a branch piercing through their arm, some through their body, some through their head! while hovering devils, pursuing them with barbed spears, were ever employed in inflicting gashing wounds upon their broiling fugitives, and unceasingly tormenting them in various ways! I must confess it has impressed my mind with a more complete idea of corporal sufferings than any thing of which I had ever heard or read before.

The Dadalla temple, like most of the others on the coast of this island, is not constructed for the accommodation of the worshippers; these stand without, at the door, excepting in particular cases, from whence they can have a view of the principal image, and where they can make their obeisance to it; while the attendant priest receives their various offerings, and disposes of them according to the rubric of their religion.—Having formed our ideas of a principal temple, from our large religious edi. fices in England, we were a little disappointed in our visit 10 this place. The head priest informed us, that in the K. ndian country, there are temples capacious enough to accommodate from four to five hundred worshippers.

(To be Continued.)

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THOUGHTS ON THE FORĖ-KNOWLEDGE OF GOD, WITH REFERENCE

TO THOSE PASSAGES OF SCRIPTURE WHERE IT OCCURS.

(Concluded from page 14.) It is hoped that what has been said in the preceding number on the fore-knowledge of God, will be sufficient to convince the candid enquirer that this attribute of the Deity cannot be the cause of human volitions and actions; and, consequently, that Vol. II.

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