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ligious design to the few shining particles of true theology and pure morality discoverable in the Indian literature, always take care to tell us what a load of base materials is to be examined and washed and sifted in order to get a sight of this slender proportion of gold dust? Why do they not recollect to notice how nugatory, in point of enlightening and salutary influence, must be this diminutive quantum of truth intermixed and buried in heaps of absurdity and pollution? And why will they not, or can they not, perceive, that when a noble idea, perhaps concerning the divine nature, or virtue, does present itself in these revered literary import ations from Benares, it is hardly allowed to continue noble for an instant? Scarcely has the reader begun to admire it, and to wonder at finding it in a heathen page, when suddenly it sinks into baseness, or shoots into a monster, or is dispersed in smoke. It is connected, in the very same or the next sentence, with some puerile conceit or vile superstition; the figure that seemed to begin with the face of an Adonis or Apollo, ends with the tail of a snake. No transformation of an object from great to despicable in one of our dreams, can be more whimsical, more sudden, or more devoid of rational process. Mr. Dudley has, for instance, read and quoted the Geeta, which is celebrated in a preface to Wilkins's translation by that eminent Christian divine Mr. Warren Hastings, as a performance of a sublimity of conception, reasoning, and diction, almost unequalled and a single exception, among all the known religions of mankind, of a theology accurately corresponding with that of the Christian dispensation, and most powerfully illustrating its fundamental doctrines. But, unless awed and dazzled by the authority of this great theologian, Mr. Dudley must have observed, in this production of Hindoo illumination, many instances of what we have described, of a just and striking theological or moral thought lapsing instantly into some inexpressibly silly phantasm, or some grossness of superstition, or into a mystical inanitý, under a diction that glimmers of philosophical abstraction, but is in fact a more exquisitely perfect nonsense than Jacob Behmen ever even dreamed.
A considerable portion of the sermon is occupied with a plausible and sufficiently probable view of the progress of deterioration, by which the Indian theology may be conjectured to have passed from the primeval belief and worship of one supreme Spirit, down to the ultimate fictions and adorations of millions of devtas. At the conclusion of the sketch, he represents the progressive degradation by the following ingenious comparison,
The religion of Bralima, in its earliest state, may be said to have
resembled a vast and spacious temple, simply majestic and nobly grand; built, perhaps, not exactly after the plan of the truest patriarchal models, yet differing from them only in a few particulars, and therefore not wholly unworthy of the true and only God. Fanciful distinctions, made by successive mystagogues, concerning the powers and attributes of that God, led his erring votaries to divide the spacious and noble fane into three compartments, for the purpose, as was imagined or pretended, of a more convenient worship, and more effectual use. The same principle led to a farther subdivision into eight parts, and again into others, which it is now become difficult to enumerate and impossible to trace. By the very first alteration, the form of the original temple was destroyed; the next rendered it difficult to perceive what it had been, and succeeding alterations multiplied the perplexity and confirmed the confusion. By these, moreover, the whole was formed into such a number of labyrinthical mazes, winding up and down through halls, and chambers, and vaults, that to find the way to the original, and once the only, altar, became a task which few were competent to undertake, and still fewer likely to accomplish. But farther, these endless subdivisions and alterations, made usually at random, at the suggestions of caprice, or from the designs of self interest, not only disfigured, but rendered great part of the original temple useless, and even noxious; for great part of it became converted into lonely chambers and foul recesses, the abodes of owls and doleful creatures;' other parts became dreary dungeons, dark and dank, never cheered by any sunny ray, or purified by the sweet breath of heaven; fit, therefore, indeed, and only fit, for their horrid inhabitants, the grizly phantoms of superstition, the hissing writhing dragons of death.' p. 15.
This may have been the process; but it is a strange leniency to heathenism to say, as in the succeeding paragraph, a vast host of deities, who, notwithstanding they have been embodied into a multitudinous variety of strange forms, or signified by uncouth or extraordinary symbols, are yet but one God; and that, though scarcely known, is yet no other than the true God.' We cannot but regard this as a mischievous kind of representation. It is just nothing to say, that with sufficient records, research, and acuteness, these abominations might be traced back, through long succession of ages, and of corruptions of the human understanding, to the original worship of the true God; for the same may probably be said of all modes of idolatry and superstition whatever, and therefore the entire infernal assemblage of demons and idols, over all the earth, and all time, may, in this gentle evangelical method of philosophising, be courteously denominated the true God. There is no trace of this kind of courtesy in the language of Ezekiel. By a very curious mode of interpreting his text, however, (Acts xvii. 22, 23.) our preacher has made the Apostle Paul exhibit this complaisance at Athens. In the expression, 'whom therefore ye ignorantly worship,' Paul is made to
refer, not specifically to the unknown God,' whose altar he singles out exclusively, but to all the gods together that the Athenians worshipped.
Mr. Dudley allows, that in later ages the Hindoo superstition, with its inseparable system of moral principles and ordinances, is become inexpressibly abominable. Well, the Hindoos take their character, with astonishing correctness, from their superstition; and yet, in the face of this his own position, and in contradiction to every, yes every, respectable authority, he describes these Hindoos as distinguished by their 'fidelity,' punctuality,' 'filial obedience,' (as for instance, in burning their mothers) gentleness and mildness of temper,'elegant manners,' and amiable dispositions,'' and adorned by many virtues, which shine with an endearing brightness through every shade of either fault or vice.' p. 4. We might quite as well stop here: and we shall only notice, that the preacher disapproves of employing missionaries; the bible is to be translated, to get into the hands of the learned Hindoos, to convince them, and then all the rest of the people will follow. How it is to find its way to each of these learned persons, and excite their attention, we are not told. But at all events, the gospel must not, as in the beginning of its beneficent and victorious career, be 'preached to the poor:' it must not begin its labours and successes in India, as it has in other countries, among the lower orders of the people. If that cause ever triumph in India, it must owe its success to arguments which may convince the head, not to contrivances for securing the foot; the Brahmen must be gained, before the Sudra will be turned. To begin with attempting the conversion of the lower classes, would in all probability be injurious to the general success of the Christian cause: for the proud Brahmen, offended by observing the men he has been accustomed to lead, anticipating him in the reception of the faith of the Gospel, would be apt to maintain, from prejudice, an obstinate persuasion that the religion of the Christian is fit only for the basest of mankind, and wholly unworthy the regard of men of higher birth, of nobler natural powers, and the more especial favourites of Heaven.' p. 19. Let the learned Brahmin be convinced, and declare for Christianity, and the reverential multitude, our preacher thinks, must naturally be awed into the same faith. He forgets the trivial circumstance, that the moment the Brahmin does this, he will lose his caste, and sink to a class that even the Sudra beholds with contempt.
In point of composition the sermon is respectable; and we could not hesitate to apply the same epithet to the intel
lectual ability which it displays, if, in estimating it, we could detach ourselves from the disgust unavoidably excited by hearing a Christian preacher maintain, before a learned Christian university, so many opinions, which probably every reader of these pages will agree with us in thinking are equally pernicious, antiscriptural, and absurd.
Our specific comments on the sermons preached at Oxford must be reserved for the following number.
Art, VIII. The Doctrine of Interest and Annuities analytically investigated and explained; together with several useful tables connected with the Subject. By Francis Baily, of the Stock Exchange. 4to. pp. xiv. 206. Price 15s. boards. Richardson, 1808.
THERE is no country in the world in which the benefits
of mathematical investigations are so fully experienced or so readily acknowledged, and in which the study of the mathematics is at the same time so little encouraged, as in England. The utility of the modern analysis in perfecting the lunar theory, and consequently in simplifying the rules for the determination of the longitude at sea, is known by nearly all the seamen of our immense navy, as well as by. that numerous and respectable class of society which is engaged in the extension of our foreign commerce. The value also of another fruit of mathematical inquiry, we mean that which relates to Interest and Annuities, the doctrine of Reversions, Assurances on Lives, &c., has been better appreciated here than in any other country; and no person who reflects on the advantages that have accrued, and that may accrue, from the formation of societies for the granting of annuities and assurances, when regulated (as all the best known societies of that kind are) on sound principles and accurate computations, will ever venture to insinuate the inutility of mathematical pursuits. That particular department, which is the subject of the treatise before us, was, in the seventeenth century, entirely uncultivated and unknown: yet in the course of the eighteenth, having occupied the attention successively of five or six of the ablest mathematicians, it has attained an eminence, a perfection, and a degree of usefulness, superior perhaps, or at least equal, to that of any other branch of mathematical or physical science, The store of knowledge, acquired by the labours of ingenious men, in relation to this important topic, lies scattered about in a variety of distinct places; so that the student, who would avoid the fatigue of new investigation by availing himself of what had been done by others, has been compelled to search
*See Ecl. Rev. Vol. IV. p. 943.
volume after volume of the Transactions of different learned societies, to turn over ponderous quartos of collections of mathematical disquisitions, or to hunt up some little obscure book where, as he might learn from other quarters, a single problem had been well discussed. To collect these scattered fragments, and reduce them to one connected regular mass; to exhibit this department of science as others have been exhibited, so that its various parts should have their situation and magnitude duly adjusted, and the whole should rest firmly on the basis of demonstration, was therefore a very laudable attempt, and deserves a measure of commendation modified only by a regard to the judgement displayed in the execu tion. Such has been the attempt of Mr. Baily; his plan, and the contents of his book, are described in the following
• My object has been to accommodate the work as much as possible to those who are acquainted with the first principles only of Algebra and I apprehend that such as can readily solve a Simple Equation, and have a thorough knowledge of the nature and use of Logarithms and the Method of Series, will find little or no difficulty in their progress through the work. The more expert analyst, however, may Occasionally consult it with advantage to himself; as he will not only find some points that are new, but also, that the various theorems here given will afford him an easy reference for the solution of most cases which may engage his attention. I have chiefly aimed at clearness and perspicuity; being well persuaded that the true ends of science are only retarded by an affectation of profundity and brevity.
In the first and four following chapters (the superstructure of all the rest). I have entered into a full investigation of the doctrine of Interest, both Simple and Compound; and have shown the various results which arise according to the periods at which such interest is payable. The next six chapters contain the principles of the doctrine of Annuities, with their several affections, not only according to the times of the payment of interest, but also according to the periods at which the annuity itself becomes due and is payable. The twelfth and thirteenth chapters contain a full exposition of the doctrine of Reversions and of the Renewal of Leases; together with several useful tables for calculating the value of the Fines which ought to be paid for the renewal of leases held under Corporations and Colleges. The four subsequent chapters contain an investigation of several useful and curious points which could not properly be classed under the preceding heads; and which are indeed of sufficient importance to form distinct sections of themselves. The last chapter is devoted principally to the application of this doctrine to various subjects in Finance and in this part I have inserted several new formulæ, which I think may be very convenient and useful to such persons as have directed their attention to these studies.' pp. xi.-xiii.
We certainly think this work, on the whole, a respectable performance: it indicates a mathematical taste formed on very good models, and a considerable proficiency in the