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dulgence, in the sound of music, and in the sight of an immense treasure of gold and silver talents, of gems and kingly ornaments, he set the chamber in flames. His empire perished with him."
The moment of the picture is the march of Sardanapalus to the pile. The wrath of Heaven is combining with the fury of the inundation, and the assault of the enemy. Lightning is darting on the lofty towers, and places of idol worship in the extreme distance. In front of these, circling the wall, and forcing their way through the breaches, are the Median and Babylonish troops routing the Assyrians. Chariots and cavalry, elephants and myriads of spearmen, are rolled upon each other. In the centre of the scene rises the gigantic wall, a hundred feet high, and on which three chariots could run abreast. It is seen broken down by the river, which spreads through the picture, covered with war galleys. Beneath the eye, in the centre of the foreground, is the grand group, of Sardanapalus, with his women and slaves. They are standing on a terrace which overlooks the battle, and heads a long descent of marble steps,
at the foot of which rises the funeral pile, a vaststructure of golden couches, tables, images, embroidered apparel, and everything at once costly and combustible. In the midst of the pile is the entrance to the chamber of death, overhung with huge festoons of firecoloured silk, a mighty veil to fall and shut the revellers from the world. The groups on the terrace are singularly animated, various, and splendid. Martin's former pictures were careless of the human figure. But he has now felt its value; and making allowance for the size and crisis, the one of which renders some confusion almost inevitable, and the other at least prohibits no violence of attitude, the figures are singularly adapted to the scene. Jewels, superb robes, and mystic emblems, are flung round the groups, with the habitual lavishness of a painter whose hand
"Showers on his kings barbaric pearl and gold."
The picture has faults of colour, and perhaps of conception; but the whole effect is powerful and brilliant in a degree unrivalled, and capable of being rivalled by Martin alone.
HARK! 'Tis the pig, that, for her supper squeaking,
"There came a little pedlar and his name was Stout,"Be quiet, or I'll shake your plague of a life out.
Now, my little honey, worth a mint of money
66 Johnny Bo-peep has lost his sheep,' Be good this instant, go to sleep. (1)
Oh, Inspiration, tell me, why
Is't that the pig, with pensive eye, surveys
THE extent to which the efforts of the great societies now established in every Protestant kingdom, have urged their missions for the conversion of the heathen, and for the instruction of the careless, the ignorant, and the infidel, among themselves, raises them into one of the grand features of our time, or perhaps even into that characteristic by which all others are to be thrown into the shade. If the fifteenth century was the age of natural and scientific discovery, the eighteenth the age of infidelity and revolution, the nineteenth may yet bear the illustrious name of the age of Christian labours for the enlightening and happiness of mankind.
To bring all these labours into one point of light, with the double purpose of shewing us what we have done, and what we have still to do, would be to render a public service to the Christian community. But it requires time and details which are at present beyond our power, and we must reluctantly content ourselves with a rapid view.
The general population of Europe is estimated by Humboldt at 198 millions, of whom 103 millions are Roman Catholics, 52 Protestants, 38 followers of the Greek ritual, and 5 Mahometans.
To begin at the northern extremity of Europe,-Lapland, a space of 150,000 miles, or about the extent of France or Germany: In a population perhaps the thinnest in the world-one to every four square miles-Lapland has at present thirteen principal and ten filial churches. Three translations of the bible have been printed. The Swedish bible society of Stock
holm has directed its attention to this desolate kingdom, and twelve young men are constantly educated at the king's expense, for preachers among the Laplanders. The Russian bible societies are also exerting themselves in this direction; and, so early as 1815, had distributed 7000 bibles.
Passing on to the north-east-Russian Asia, a space of four millions of square miles, with a population of about nine millions, is still almost totally heathen. The Edinburgh missionary society so far back as 1803 sent two ministers to preach in Tartary. In 1815, they renewed their attempt at Astracan. Three missionaries of the London missionary soeiety, have been for some years stationed at Selinginsk, about 160 miles from Irkutz, where the Emperor Alexander gave them an estate and money for building. A printing press of the Mongolian has been erected there. They have made extensive journeys towards the south and the Chinese frontier; but the poverty of the soil, the inclemency of the climate, and the roving nature of the tribes, offer the most formidable obstacles to the diffusion of religious knowledge.
To the south lies one of the most remarkable regions of the world,-Tibet, the Switzerland of Asia, an immense succession of hill, valley, dells of exhaustless fertility, and mountains towering almost twice the height of Mont Blanc. The top of the Dwawalaghiri rises 26,000 feet above the level of the ocean. But the civil constitution is still more extraordinary. The nation is one great convent, with a multitude
of lay brethren to labour for the monks. It is the centre of Lamaism, a religion spreading from the Volga to Japan. Its tenets are a compound of Christianity-probably learned from the Nestorian missionaries of the early ages-and of the original superstitions of Asia. The Tibetians hold the unity and trinity of a Supreme Being; the existence and perpetual opposition of an evil principle; and an incarnation which they aver to be a thousand years before that of the founder of our faith; but later corruptions, probably introduced by the Jesuits in 1624, diversify this mixture of creeds. They be lieve in purgatory, in the efficacy of prayer for the dead; they have holy water, a rosary, and extreme unction. They have priestly robes, a dress for the nuns, three orders of initiation into the priesthood, superior priests, equivalent to cardinals, six grand lamas or patriarchs, presiding over the three divisions of Tibet Proper, and the three of the southern provinces, or Bootan, and at the head of all a great Supreme, the declared "vicegerent of omnipotence," the Teshoo Lama, who 66 never dies;" an infant born on the day of his apparent decease being appointed to his throne, and receiving his spirit thus transmitted into a new form. Hence this Pope of the Himmalaya is named "Lama Kaku," the eternal father. The convents are as numerous and as fully peopled as might be presumed, under this holy oligarchy. The high convent of Te shoo Lumba contains 3700 priests.
The Capucins in 1707 sent out missions, which, like those of their more vigorous predecessors, the sons of Loyola, failed of making converts. Yet they were enabled to found two houses of their order, which lasted during a century. A Protestant missionary, Schroter, unfortunately died when, in 1820, he was preparing himself, at Calcutta, for translating and propagating the scriptures among this extraordinary people.
At the extremity of the east, Japan exhibits the most determined resistance to every attempt at conversion. The country has reached that precise rank of civilization which makes a nation jealous of foreign knowledge, without the power of adding to its own. The spiritual and temporal authorities are distinct and defined, and both repulsive of European inter
course in the strongest degree. The lower orders are idolators, but some of the leading sects reject every species of image worship, and probably many among the higher orders, and philosophers, for they have an affectation of metaphysics,- -are scoffers at every idea of the acknowledgement of a divine being. But the superstitious are deeply superstitious; they make pilgrimages, they have convents, and their rules would do honour to a Trappist or a Carthusian.
In the early part of the 17th century, Rome established some missions in Japan. But the popular indignation was armed against them, and the missionaries were expelled, after a residence of almost a century, during which they perpetually sent pompous accounts of conversions to Europe, but seem to have done little more than trade, offend the national prejudices by their ill-directed efforts, and degrade Christianity by the example of their lives and doctrines. In 1715, the Abbe Juidott attempted to renew the Roman mission. His fate is not known. Jesuits and monks of other orders followed and failed, and since 1748 Japan has been rendered nearly inaccessible, by a severe strictness that has had no parallel in the world.
China, with its two hundred mil lions of people, and variety of tribes, is at present, perhaps, in the state which must precede the reception of Christianity in an Asiatic empire. Its religion is broken up by furious sects, which alternately assume the character of spiritual disputants and rebels in arms. The "Pelinkin," or enemies of foreign religions," agitate the north. The" Kedufis," or 66 Heaven and earth one," a race of levellers, proclaim equality of men and community of property in the west and south; and the " society of the three powers, heaven, earth, and man," makes war against all authority what
The Jesuits planted their missions in China in the middle of the sixteenth century. Multitudes of nominal Christians were made; but the suspicious spirit of the government appears to have nearly extinguished their advance. So late as 1815, an imperial ordinance commanded that the introducers of Christianity should be put to death. The Protestant missionaries are prohibited from going beyond Canton.
But this prohibition may have been fortunate, in its compelling the mis sionaries to attend to perhaps the only way of impressing the mind of China. It has led them to prepare tracts and versions of the Scriptures in the lan guage of the country. Doctors Morrison and Milne made a translation of the Old and New Testaments; and Morrison's great Chinese Dictionary and Grammar have laid open the language to the European student for all time to come. An Anglo-Chinese col lege has been established at Malacca, with some Chinese schools. But the circulation of the Scriptures in China is at present rendered extremely difficult by the Government, which, disturbed by fear of insurrection, and unable to distinguish between political and religious change, has prohibited at once all religious meetings, and all books of Christianity.
Hindostan, the finest portion of Asia, called by its people, "The Garden of God," a territory of a million of square miles, and with a population of a hundred and twenty millions, is kept in awe by twenty thousand British troops, and governed by three thousand British functionaries, at a distance of eight thousand miles from home, the most singular instance of possession in the history of empire.
The renewal of the Company's charter, in 1813, gave some hope of making a solid religious impression on India. An English bishop was sent to Cal eutta, where a college was erected in 1821. Schools are supported through the provinces; many English, Protestant, and Lutheran Missions are located, and a striking spirit of improve ment is displaying itself, in the efforts of some of the Rajahs and men of high caste, to acquire European literature; in the gradual inclination for European intercourse, and the extinction of some cruelties and many prejudices. But actual Christianity has hitherto made but a slight impression. The habits of the people, their natural reluctance to the religion of strangers, their ignorance of our language, and the fatal distinction of castes, raise formidable obstacles against the effective progress of religion.
In Persia, the Jesuits had attempt ed but little, which forms a ground for the Protestant missionaries to hope for much. The popular belief of the VOL. XXIV.
people, one of the most tasteful and ingenious of the East, is a loose Islamism. But among the higher ranks are thousands who disdain the religion of the vulgar, or all religion, and are called Suffees, or Freethinkers.
The Russian invasion has laid open the northern frontier, and from the facility with which the people of the conquered districts have adopted the tenets of the Greek Church, it may be augured that Islamism would still more readily give way to the intelligent zeal, and pure doctrines, of the missionaries of England, an ally bearing the Scripture.
The immense Archipelago of the Indian isles is almost wholly untouched by missionary labours. The final conquest of Ceylon, in 1815, put into our hands the Sacred Island" of India, the original seat of Buddhism, with a population of 300,000. Schools have been established, and the forms of British government and laws introduced. In this spot the conversion of the Archipelago may be prepared.
Africa is still a blot upon civilization and religion. The characteristics of its nations are deep ignorance, savage superstition, furious passions of every kind, and a reckless love of blood. Everything is done for plunder, and done in slaughter. From Abyssinia, down the immense eastern coast, almost the whole territory is Pagan, brutish, and hostile alike to European life and knowledge.
The conquest of the Cape by the British, in 1805, opened a field for the missions. The subsequent emigrations from England have afforded a still higher opportunity, by acquainting the natives with the peaceable and intelligent character of the English peo ple. They are no longer insulted, robbed, and shot, as in the time of the Dutch; a fair trade is carried on with them; their children are frequently educated in the Cape schools, and a series of humane and equitable regulations are adopted for the commerce of the colony with the Hottentots and Caffres. On the faith of this mutual good understanding, the missionaries are penetrating the country, and some of them have advanced even seven hundred miles among tribes, who, a few years ago, could not have been approached but with the certainty of death."