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the place where I then intended to build my school house, and on which is inscribed in Greek, Philadelphia, (Brotherly love.)
It so happened in 1832 thnt the marble wag put up over the gate, the 4th of July, and it so happened now, that the gate of the court of this building, was finished on the 4th of July, the same day, and 1 believe the same hour of the day—and just seven years from the time of its having been put up over the other gate. So that I may gay it has been as long in building as Solomon's Temple was, and you know I said to you, in a letter some months since, thnt it would be nbout so long, though I did not think that it would then take so long to finish it as it has.
1 did not employ many workmen at the same time, because they could not work to advantage, and I wished to expend the fund in as economical a niauner as possible. I do not know precisely how much I have spent in finishing the building, but I know, that I have spent considerably more than the one thousand dollars which you sent me—probably one hundred and fifty more. It is a great joy to me to have such a place for public worship, and in all probability, many more will attend than would have attended in my own private house.
During the lust six months, I have sold and distributed gratis, upwards of twenty-seven thousand copies of the Scriptures, school books and religious tracts; more, I believe, than 1 have ever before distributed in the same space of time, since I came to Greece. Baxter's Saints' Jiest is now printing in Modern Greek, and will, I trust, be finished this month. It is about two-thirds printed. A wide door is opened here for printing the tracts and books of the American Tract Society, and I hope you will give us large means.
There are now several of your authorized books and tracts which ought to be reprinted in Modern Greek, but which we cannot think of doing unless you give us aid. I might mention the Mother at Home, Rewards of Drunkenness, Scripture Histories, Little Ann, Ten Commandments, &c, of which we need to print at least five thousand copies of each. Books, you see, are called for. Twenty-seteu thousand copies in six months is no small matter, and the depot must be replenished, or it will soon be empty. We have a very good mill, and plenty of grain; hut the wheels will not turn without water: and I am waiting for you to hoist the gate and give us a good stream, so that many huugry, starving souls may be fed with the bread of life.
With best regards to Mrs. H. I remain, as ever,
18.—Obligation To Preach To The Heathen. Our speculations regarding the final destiny of the heathen ought never to influence our conduct towards them, in any way tending to render us less zealous for their salvation. Were we even sure that they would occupy thrones in heaven, or pass, by an imperceptible transition, from a state of consciousness into the calmest sleep of oblivion, it would be just as much our duty to labour for their conversion as of those who see in every pagan the subject of an inevitable condemnation. The recognition of the moral righteousness of God, exalted, as it is, by the atonement of the cross, by a Christian catechumen in a pagan country, one prayer of faith offered to the Supreme Being, through the merits of Christ, by such an individual, is of infinitely more value than all our theories as to the final destiny of those who live and die in involuntary ignorance; as practical charity transcends subtle and ingenious speculation.—Steele.
I.—Wei-Tsang too sheih, or .Tibet in a series of maps and descriptions : four volumes. Reviewed by a Correspondent.
The following intelligent and interesting article on Tibet has been selected from the Chinese Repository for May, 1840. The amount of information it contains in reference to a country with the history and manners of which we are so imperfectly acquainted and concerning which so few amongst us are capable of affording such accurate information, will be an ample apology for inserting an extract of such length in the pages of the Observer.—ED.
Considering that Klaproth, the indefatigable critic, has already passed his opinion upon the above work, and that moreover the voluminous priest Hyacinth, late of Peking, amongst his herculean labours, has translated the whole, a poor pigmy writer has very little chance of saying any thing new. A Transylvanian has ransacked the literary treasures of that secluded country, and a gigantic German has carried several camel-loads of manuscript to Russia and Prussia, so that the world has enough upon the subject of Tibet, even if the above production had never been written. As for ourselves, though little versed in the art of decrying the labors of others, we nevertheless really think, that there would no serious loss have been occasioned, if the present essay had been burnt, before it was printed. Being, however, nolens volens, put to the task, we shall try to enter the territory of the great lama with a light heart, and, with our guide in our hands, look a little about us, to cull here and there a flower, and say as much as our ignorance will permit. This is to be the preface to our review of the work in question.
Now we should on the very outset take the bull by the horns and begin to detail the topography, ethnology, and statistics, of the said country; unfortunately, however, all this has already been written, and we must hold ourselves responsible to say something new. We therefore commence with the most striking natural object that this country contains. It is, according to Buffon's and Cuvier's classification, a non-descript,. there existing only one other of its species, at the city Miako, in Japan. It is a biped, the characteristics of which are sulky arrogance, sloth,
sensuality, bigotry, deceit, craftiness, perverseness, stupidity in manj respects, &c. We are fully aware that this descriptiou falls short of tbi original, and that it is by no means technical; but the reader must take this for want of a better one, our limited capacities not allowing- farther exploration. We do not know the name naturalists have given to it, but common people call it the dalai" lama.
The first knowledge of this creature was, if we mistake not, conveyed by some Franciscan, during the middle ages, to Europe, and created there a great sensation, so that many began to believe that it was tks identical Prester John, of glorious memory. On nearer examination however, it proved to be something particular in itself, and an after acquaintance with the language of Han gave us a clearer insight into the nature of this wonderful being, which is said never to die.
During the administration of the celebrated Hastings, the raja of Baton, from some whim or other, considered a tract of land, which separate* his territory from that of the English company, as a just object of spoil, and therefore occupied a part of the same. Though this tract wa* of no use, being not only an unhealthy spot, but likewise very sterile, still th« governor would not permit a dangerous precedent of encroachment to pass unnoticed, and therefore sent a small detachment of sipahia te drive away the Butanese borderers. In this attempt they completely succeeded, but their ranks were thinned by the pestilential climate of those regions, and they were glad to retreat. In the meanwhile the teshoo lama, the regent for the dalai lair.a, becoming alarmed for the safety of his territory, dispatched, in 1774, a letter to the governor. This is a document in which the oriental modes of expression are so little retained, that we much suspect the translator's having improved upon the original. Still we shall quote a few passages of this letter, to give the reader some idea of the sentiments that actuate the grand laraa, whom we have thus unceremoniously introduced to his notice.
"The affairs of this quarter flourish in every respect. I am night and day employed in prayers for the increase of your happiness and prosperity. Having been informed, by travellers from your country, of your exalted fame and reputation, my heart, like the blossoms of spring, abounds with satisfaction, gladness, and joy. Neither to molest, nor per. secute, is my aim; it is even the characteristic of our sect to deprive ourselves of the necessary refreshment of sleep, should an injury be done to a single individual; but injustice and humanity, 1 am informed you far surpass us. I have been repeatedly informed, that you have engaged in hostilities against the Deh Terria (the Butan chief, who committed the outrages on the frontiers). It is as evident as the sun, that your army has been victorious; and that if you had been desirous of it, you might, in the space of two days, have entirely extirpated him, for he had no power to resist your efforts. But 1 now take upon me to be his media. tor; therefore from a regard to our religion and customs, I request you will cease from all hostilities against him, and it will be necessary, that you treat him with compassion and clemency. As to my part, I am but a fakeer, and it is the custom of my sect, with the rosary in our hands, to pray for the welfare of all mankind, mid especially for the peace and happiness of the inhabitants of this country."
The council, considering the contiguity of Tibet to China, hoped to open, by entering into an alliance with the former, a new outlet for trade to the celestial empire, by a route not obviously liable to the same suspicions as those with which Chinese policy had armed itself against all consequences of a foreign access by sea. The grand plan to be executed, therefore, was, to cross the Himalaya mountains, then traverse the inhospitable regions of Tibet, afterward to wend the way, according to circwmstances, either through the mountainous districts of Kokonor, or the desert of Kobi, in order to reach the central empire, without suspicion! This is certainly one of the most magnificent, we may add elevated plans, ever conceived by any council, that sat to deliberate about commercial affairs.
A n envoy wns, therefore, immediately dispatched to Desheripgay and
Teshoo Lomboo, to the said teshoo lama. The gentleman employed in
this important mission was of great suavity of manners, and so ingrati.
sited himself with that high personage, that he even trusted him with a
considerable remittance in money, for the purpose of building a temple
find dwelling-house, for the accommodation of the lama's votaries, on the
banks of the Ganges; and a piece of ground was accordingly bought and
appropriated for this purpose. The lama's letter to the governor remark.
ed, that, although in the different periods of his reviviscense be had
chosen many regions for the places of his birth, yet Bengal was the only
country in which he had been born twice; for which reason he had a
predilection for it beyond any other, and was desirous of making it a
place of abode, apparently esteeming the sanctity of the Ganges, as a
consideration of inferior importance. This being a very considerate
request, gave rise to the most buoyant hopes, that the grand object of
this correspondence might soon be realized. Mr. Bogle, the former
envoy, finally obtained, 1779, a promise frrom the lama, that he would
procure for him a passport from the great emperor, and that he might
then go round by sea to Canton, and subsequently join him at Peking.
We must now talk of more important matters. Though the lama
worship, or rather Shamanism, was never introduced into China as a
peculiar creed, it still existed on the frontiers of Szechuen, and Budhism
being a modification of the same, some relationship was kept up between
Tibet and China. The Mantchous, on conquering the country, had no
settled religious notions; but there appeared a leaning towards the
superstition of the Mongols. This was a signal for the lamas to revisit
the court of Peking, and as future circumstances led to a political union
between the two countries, they were the most favored priests. Even
during the enlightened reign of Kanghe, they numbered many warm
votaries amongst the highest personages of the court, and especially the
females, who on that account showed great aversion towards the Jesuits.
Perhaps it was also policy induced the government to favor these fana.
tics, in order to attach the Mongols by religious ties. Keenlung, renowned
in Europe as a warrior and poet, something in the way of Frederic the
Great of Prussia (though the latter fought the battles himself and gained
his own laurels) had also his weak hours. Having heard of the great
odour of sanctity in which the said teshoo lama stood, he invited him in
the most pressing manner to come to his oapital. This wonderful per.
sonage deferred, however, his journey, until the monarch assured him,
that he looked upon him as the first and most holy being on earth, and
that the only remaining wish he now felt was, to see him and to be
ranked amongst his disciples. Preparation had also been made to
receive him on his journey, and the letter that assured him of the most
magnificent treatment, was also accompanied by a present of a string of
pearls and one hundred pieces of silk. And thus flattered by the marked
attention of the first prince in Asia, the lama set forth on his journey in
1779, with about 1500 troops and followers. He did not travel as a mere
vassal, but as a sovereign prince. Wherever he halted on the road, a
platform was erected, covered with a rich brocade, and a cushion on
which he sat, whilst the people were admitted to the honor of touching
hit foot with their foreheads, Rs in Rome people kiss the pope's toe. The Kalmucks, who belong to the most enthusiastic followers of the lama, came to the number of five thousand to escort him to the capital, bringing with them rich presents, and showing to their religious chief the most unbounded veneration. At all the principal stations, the imperial troops were drawn out, and the honors shown to this poor mortal would have set the strongest mind swimming with pride and conceit. The greatest favor the lama could bestow was to imprint with his hands, dipped in saffron, some paper, which his yotaries brought to him for that purpose in great quantities. Part of the journey led him through the newly acquired territory of the Kalmucks, and his suffering on account of the severity of the climate seems to have been very great. But the lama was everywhere cheered by the most marked attention of the chiefs. Scarcely had the last commander of the Tartars left him, making him a present of 3000 horses, 70 mules, and 100 camels, when the emperor's own brother, who held the rank of king, was commissioned to receive him on the frontiers of Kansuh province, and his entrance into the celestial empire was marked by the most magnificent presents. Keenlung seems to have been exceedingly liberal, and a present of from 30,000 to 100,000 taels at the various stages was a mere trifle. His progress towards the capital was like that of a warrior, receiving the honors of a triumph from a grateful country. One of the princes of the blood met him half way, and another conducted him to Peking. Now mark the difference of reception from that experienced by any other barbarian. Along the whole line leading to the pleasure gardens of Jeho, soldiers had been posted, between whom the !. passed accompanied by the princes. The emperor met him at a distance, and immediately, stretching forth his hand and taking hold of the lama's, led him towards the throne, where, after many salutations and expressions of affection and pleasure on both sides, the in: was seated by the emperor upon the uppermost cushion, with himself, and at his right hand. Much conversation ensued, and the emperor was profuse in his questions and inquiries, respecting the lama's health, the circumstances of his journey, and the entertainment he had met with upon the road. After he had been presented with 100,000 taels of silver, and many hundred pieces of curious silk, these high personages separated. On the next day many princes and nobles were assembled, and the monarch seated the priest on his right hand, to evince to the whole court the great consideration in which he held his illustrious visitor. After some indifferent conversation, the emperor then communicated his wishes more at large, with respect to the desire he felt of being instructed in some mysteries of the lama's religion. They accordingly withdrew, in company with one of the teachers, to another part of the palace, where three seats were prepared ; the one in the centre was larger than , either of the others in extent, and was considerably higher ; upon this the lama seated himself, placing the emperor on the lower one, standing to the right, and the teacher on the left. The lama then bending his head towards the emperor, whispered in his ear for about a quarter of an hour, and then seating himself upright began to repeat aloud certain tenets, which the emperor and the teacher recited after him, and in this manner each sentence was spoken over and again, until both had caught the sound, This ceremony lasted about three hours, during which time, all the attendants were kept at a distance in the outer, apartments, whilst some devout men were occasionally called in at certain intervals, for the sake of performing ceremonies.