« PreviousContinue »
ed so down to our times.” This king- habitants of which speak entirely difdom, founded by Chosru, continued ferent languages. Alhaucali says,
and to the time of the Mohammedans, Ankar positively assures us, that there when the prince, with his subjects are in this mountain many kingdoms, at length were converted to Christi- among which are the wide extended anity.
dominions of Shirwan Shah, to which Besides these cities, Yacuti men- belong many towns, villages, districts, tions two others; one is called Kaba- and cultivated places, and the consilah, of which he says, that it is an old derable kingdom of Alkakar, which city, lies near Derbend, i. e. Albab and possesses villages and cultivated ground, Alabwab, and belongs to the provin- and is inhabited by a powerful infidel ces of Armenia ; the other, he calls people, who live independent. There Filan, and says, that it is a city and are, moreover, the kingdom of Alaidan district near Bab Alabwab in the re- Shah, that of Almuninah, Arrudeinah gions of the Chazarians. Its king is (the inhabitants of which are the worst called Filanshah, the inhabitants are people in the world), Tabustan, Hidan, Christians, and havea peculiar language. Atik, Daznakwan, Algandek, (to which Masadi says that Filanshah is the pe- belong, as is reported, 1200 villages), culiar name of the king of Assarir, he Allania, Alangas, Alchazrih, Alsathcha being called Filan from the district of (which is inhabited by a powerful, Assarir.
cruel, and independent people), AldThere were then two ways of com- harih, Shaki, which lies by itself at munication between the countries of the end of these mountains, Alsaghathe south and those of the north in the lik, and lastly, the kingdom of Kasdirection of the Caspian sea, namely, chak. No where are found handsomer over the sea itself, or over Mount Cau- men and women than here, no where
These two remarkable ways more beautiful and voluptuous girls, must be a little more accurately ex &c.' plained. Mount Caucasus is thus de Before we leave the subject of Causcribed by Yacuti in his Lexicon: casus, we must enter a little more “ Caucasus is a mountain, which bor- into detail concerning that remarkable ders
upon Bab-al-abwab and the coun- people the Alani, which at that time try of the Alani, and is the ex- dwelt upon the northern or northtreme boundary of Armenia. Ibn western side of the mountain, near the Alfakih says, that seventy-two lan source of the Kur, of whom no traces guages are spoken in Mount Caucasus, appear now to be in existence. Yaso that frequently one person cannot cuti, in his geographical dictionary, understand another without an inter- speaks of them in the following manpreter. The length of the mountain ner, under the article Alan : “ The is said to be five hundred parasangs, Alans possess a large country, and are for it extends to the country of Al a powerful people. They have terriroum, and to the limits of the Chaza- tories which border upon Darinait, on rians and Alani. It is said to be the Mount Caucasus. Here is no large or same chain of mountains, of which the celebrated city. Some of the Alani mountain Alarach, between Mecca and are Mohammedans, but the greater Medina, is a part, which extends to part are Christians. They have no Syria, until it unites itself with Leba- king who is obeyed by all, but over non, in the land of Hems, and on the every distinct race there is an emir, road from Damascus, then joins the who is cruel and hard-hearted, and mountains of Antioch and Samsath, shews no mark of mildness. Ben Cadi and is there called Allakam. It thence Balatis has informed, me, that one of stretches itself to Malathia, Samsath, their principal men once fell sick, and and Kalikala, and as far as the Cas- asked some one who was by, concernpian sea, where Bab-al-abwab is si- ing the sickness, &c. (The story imtuated."
ports, that he had the hypochondria, Cazwini gives, under the article and that, in order to see the cause of Bab and Alabwab, the following ac his sickness with his own eyes, he cut count of this celebrated mountain : a hole in his own body, took out the “ The mountain Alfatach, of which spleen, and examined it; but he died we have before spoken, is vast and under the operation of getting it rehigh. Abul Hasan Almasudi thinks placed.). The kings of the Alani emthat it contains 800 districts, the in- braced the Christian religion after the
promulgation of Islamism, during the vated, and furnished with towns and time of the Abbassidæ, having been fortresses; and it is extremely propreviously idolaters, (in the same state bable, that the inhabitants carried on of ignorance as the Arabians were before no inconsiderable internal commerce, the time of Mohammed, älak! j); partly by means of the rivers Kur and but after 320 years they forsook Chris- chesnuts, wax, wine, silver and the tianity, and persecuted the bishops and inferior metals, tame and wild anipriests that the Greek emperors had
mals: it may yet be doubted, whether sent to them. Between the kingdom of the Alani and Mount Caucasus from south to north, or conversely, to
caravans travelled through the country there is a fortress, and a bridge across a large river : the fortress is called the convey merchandise from and to southcastle of the gate of Alania, and was
ern Asia (which is not the case at built by one of the old Persian kings, The route over the mountain was te
present), and that for several reasons : who was called Sendobad, son of dious and difficult; the caravans would Borchtasef, son of Lohrasef. I have seen men there preventing the Alani frequently be exposed to be plundered
by the surrounding mountaineers; a from approaching Mount Caucasus; and the passage by the bridge is pre, small states, each of which had like
journey through a vast number of cluded from them, being commanded wise its peculiar language, would have by the fortress above it, which could been attended with great difficulties; not be reduced without a siege. A spring of fresh water issues from the and, lastly, the way by the Caspian higher part of the rock on which the Sea would have been infinitely more
convenient. fortress stands. This fortress is one of that was carried on from east to west,
With regard to the trade the most celebrated in the world. it is certain that it was very considerSalame Ben Abdolmelek came to this able, from the most ancient times, place, took possession of the fortress, until the passage to India by sea was and stationed in it some Arabians, for discovered. In the earliest times it the purpose of guarding it. The means of their subsistence were brought from middle ages by the Byzantines, and,
was carried on by the Greeks, in the Teflis. Between this fortress and Tanis there is a journey of some days. by the Genoese, who had seven silver
for the period they were in the Crimea, If one man only went into this moun
works on Mount Caucasus, of which tain fastness, he could prevent all the there still remain traces; and in more kings of the earth from taking it, as it modern times that commerce has not hangs in the air, and impends over the
entirely ceased. There is still carried road, the bridge, and the river.” What Cazwini says is of import
on, as formerly, a considerable com" The land of the Alani is
merce in inland productions, which
are conveyed down the river Rhion widely extended and cultivated. Its
(Phasis) to the Black Sea. most celebrated city is Bardah, a large
(To be continued.) place, and abounding in the necessaries of life. Here are the best cultivated lands in the world ; here are castles, gardens, enchanting scenery, fruits, dates, hazel-nuts, and chesnuts, which are nowhere surpassed in respect of taste or quantity, and are therefore That it is the duty of every Chrisexported to the east and to the west. tian to do whatever in him lies, in Besides these, there is found here order that they who“ sit in darkalzighan, which is a sort of ambergris, ness” may see the light, is acknowand is unequalled. This city lies upon ledged as a general position by all who the river Kur, and has a gate called have studied those scriptures wherein Alakra, ) and a market-place called Christians profess to see and reverence Alkuraki, which is three miles in ex- the rule of their conduct. The oblitent.”
gation which is thus admitted to lie Although it will appear evident, on every Christian must, ex facie, be from what has been adduced, that held to attach no less to every society Mount Caucasus and the surrounding of Christians—to every nation at least country was well peopled and culti- in whose laws and institutions, and
OBSERVATIONS ON THE ENGLISH
whole system of government, the pre- must attend any interference with the siding and directing authority of the religion of their native dependants, Christian faith is expressly and une seems completely to have confounded quivocally recognised. This national their elsewhere indefatigable energies. obligation has not merely been ac The errors in which their listlessness knowledged theoretically: it has re- has rendered them so largely partakers ceived additional sanction from the abroad, are defended by them at home actual conduct of every Christian na- from vanity, and with much ignorance. tion in the world, excepting one. Since Whenever the subject of converting Christianity was first adopted as the the Hindoos is mentioned in presence established religion of the Roman em of one who has sojourned in Hindospire, no Christian government what- tan, you are sure to hear an obstinate ever has hesitated to avow itself, wher- repetition of old and weakly sillinesses, ever its influence could be exerted a faded strain, mingled throughout with over infidel subjects, a proselytising begging of the question, confusion of government. The work of conversion the premises, and every other bluna was in the earlier ages of Christian der whereof logicians can be guilty. history carried on, not, as in the case It is to be hoped, that the arguments of the Mohammedans, by any one in- of such reasoners, either in or out of defatigable tribe, but by every tribe Parliament, will not long be suffered in succession, as it embraced the truth. to exert any influence upon the pubThe flame spread broadly and bright- lic opinion of our country. ly, and every thing which came with Many circumstances have come within its reach was converted, not only in our own knowledge, which, if
purinto the subject of immediate, but in- sued into their consequences by rato the instrument of ulterior triumph. tional men, could not, we think, fail With whatever follies and tyrannies to prove how largely the difficulties of it may have been mingled, the zeal of Christianizing Hindostan have been the more polished nations of modern exaggerated by the fears, or at least Christendom has in like manner been the coldness, of our dogmatising Asiaexerted wherever opportunity has been tics. These circumstances are very afforded. It is strange, that the only different in kind and in importance ; great and remarkable exception to this but we shall make no apology for rule has been found in the case of that beginning with the following. With a nation whose opportunities have been very few exceptions, the whole Sepoys the most splendid, the only Christian of the army which we lately transnation which has been called upon byported from the Continent of India to the arrangements of Providence to find Java, abandoned, during their absence itself invested with the political rule from their native soil, those superstiof a mighty population, of reading, tious observances which are most scruwriting, and philosophising heathens. pulously, and, to all appearance, most
The neglect with which England has fervently adhered to by them on the been chargeable in regard to the Chris- Banks of the Ganges. The full imtianizing of her empire in Hindostan, port of this fact, which we are in no is not merely acknowledged, but de- fear of seeing contradicted, will be fended by those of our countrymen appreciated by every person of underwho have contemplated with their own standing at home. It will find, we eyes, or who have at least possessed venture to say, easy belief among most the opportunity of contemplating, the of those gentlemen who have at any debasing influences and disgusting ef- period of their lives served in India'; fects of the dark superstitions which for we challenge any one of these gena prevail throughout that mighty region. tlemen to assert that he has not found The success, the almost miraculous his Hindoo attendants willing to dissuccess of our measures of external pense in private with many of the polity, is proof sufficient that there most sacred parts of their superstition, is no want of power or of knowledge to perform a thousand times, when not among the higher classes of English seen by other Hindoos, not only readily, residents in India. The difficulties but cheerfully, services, one single pubwhich they must have met with in lic performance of which would be more every other portion of their undertak- than sufficient for ever to degrade and ing, have not appalled them ; but the ruin them. It is at least clear, that first and inost obvious difficulty which these men are not at heart what they
pretend to be. It seems to be almost produced among our countrymen in as clear, that what each will do in pri- Bengal, by the appearance of a reformvate, all would do in public, were er of the religion of Hindostan in the that charm once dissolved which at person of a learned and acute Brahmin, present prevents any one man from by name RAMMOHun Roy. This percommunicating his indifference to his son, to use his own words, “afterspendneighbour. This charm was dissolved ing several years in the endeavour to at Java. There the whole army bes convince his countrymen of the true came accomplices in the plot, and meaning of the sacred books,” has more threw off their hypocrisy for a season. lately published several tracts, written They resumed it on relanding in In- by himself in excellent English, for dia, because there they were necessarily the purpose “ of proving to his Eudispersed, and as necessarily exposed. ropean friends, that the superstitious But who can doubt the willingness of practices which deform the Hindoo those Brahmins and Raj-poots to re- religion have nothing to do with the turn once more, were they but fa- pure spirit of its dictates." voured with an equally convenient “ I have observed,” says he, “ that, both season, to all the offences, both of in their writings and conversation, many eating and of drinking, both of omis- Europeans feel a wish to palliate and soften sion and of commission, from which the features of Hindoo Idolatry; and are they seemed to derive so much plea- ship are considered by their votaries as em
inclined to inculcate, that all objects of worsure in their Batavian cantonments ?
blematical representations of the Supreme The next circumstance to which we
Divinity !If this were indeed the case, I shall allude, is one of a very different might perhaps be led into some examinakind, and, we think, of very superior tion of the subject; but the truth is, the importance.
The necessities of our Hindoos of the present day have no such government and its functionaries have views of the subject, but firmly believe in
the real existence of innumerable Gods and now, for many years, demanded of a great and continually increasing num
Goddesses, who possess, in their own departe ber of native Hindoos, such an ac
ments, full and independent power ; and to
propitiate them, and not the true God, are quaintance with the English language, temples erected, and ceremonies performed. as implies no ordinary familiarity with There can be no doubt, however, and it is the literature of England. This is at my whole design to prove, that every rite last beginning to operate in a manner has its derivation from the allegorical adorathat might have been easily foreseen. tion of the true Deity ; but, at the present It has been said, absurdly enough, day, all this is for gotten, and among many that he who speaks two languages has
it is even heresy to mention it ! no country. But there is no absur
I hope it will not be presumed, that I dity in stating, that the Hindoo who faith over that of other men.
intend to establish the preference of my
The result of has made himselt completely master
controversy on such a subject, however mul. of English literature, cannot possibly tiplied, must be ever unsatisfactory ; for the be a slave to the more disgusting or reasoning faculty, which leads men to cerabsurd parts of his native superstition. tainty in things within its reach, produces Men who read Locke, and Johnson, no effect on questions beyond its comprehenand Milton, and Shakspeare, have lost siun. I do no more than assert, that, if corall capacity to believe in the horrible rect reasoning, and the dictates of common
sense, induce the belief of a wise, uncreated tenets which have produced the bloody
Being, who is the supporter and ruler of the spectacles of Guzerat avd Jaggernaut.
the boundless universe, we should also conThe salutary effects of such studies sider him the most powerful and supreme are becoming daily more visible. A existence-far surpassing our powers of comspirit of inquiry has been excited a prehension or description ! And although mong the learned Brahmins employed men of uncultivated minds, and even some in teaching the English youth at Čal- learned individuals (but in this one point cutta and Fort St George ; and this blinded by prejudice), readily choose, as the is all that is wanted in the first object of their adoration, any thing which place. There can be little reason to
they can always see, and which they pretend
to feed, the absurdity of such conduct is doubt where the spirit of inquiry thus
not thereby in the least degree diminished. excited will terminate. The examin
. My constant reflections on the inconation and purification of the Vedas will venient, or rather injurious rites, introduced prepare men for the reception of the by the peculiar practice of Hindoo Idolatry, Bible.
which, more than any other Pagan worship, A considerable sensation has been destroys the texture of society, together with Vol. IV.
compassion for my countrymen, have com cursory observer. It is not however pelled me to use every possible effort to
with these parts of our Brahmin's awaken them from their dream of error; and writings that we wish to trouble our by making them acquainted with their scrip. readers; we would rather direct the tures, enable them to contemplate, with true
attention of such of them as have devotion, the unity and omnipresence of na
never considered the nature and scope ture's God.
By taking the path which conscience and of the sacred books of the Hindoos, sincerity direct, i, born a Brahmin, have to some of those striking passages exposed myself to the complainings and re which he has selected in proof of proaches even of some of my relations, their adherence to what we all rewhose prejudices are strong, and whose tem- gard as the primary doctrine of all true poral advantage depends upon the present
religion. system. But these, however accumulated, I can tranquilly bear, trusting that a day have named above, commences thus :
The first of the tracts, which we will arrive when my humble endeavours will be viewed with justice-perhaps ac
“ The illustrious Byas,* in his celebrated knowledged with gratitude. At any rate, work, the Vedant, insinuates in the first whatever men may say, I cannot be depriv. text, that it is absolutely necessary for maned of this consolation : my motives are ac kind to acquire knowledge respecting the ceptable to that Being who beholds in se Supreme Being, who is the subject of discret, and compensates openly !"
course in all the Veds, and the Vedant, as The three principal English tracts
well as in the other Systems of Theology.
But he found, from the follow ig passages of Rammohun Roy which have come
of the Veds, that this inr viry is limited to into our hands are, 1st, “ A Transla
very narrow bounds :
“ 'The Supreme tion of an Ahridgement of the Vedant, Being is not comprehensible by vision, or or Resolution of all the Veds.” 2d,“ A by any other of the organs of sense ; nor Translation of the Cena Upanishad, one can he be conceived by means of devotion, of the Chapters of the Sáma Véda ; or virtuous practices !”
" He sees every according to the Gloss of Shancará- thing, though never seen ; hears every thing, chárya.” 3d, “ A Translation of the Is- though never directly heard of! He is neither hopanishad, one of the Chapters of the short, nor is he long ; inaccessible to the
reasoning faculty ; not to be compassed by Yajur Veda ;” according to the commentary of the same celebrated person, planation of the Ved, or of human concep
description ; beyond the limits of the ex. - Each of these, as he has assured us
tion !” Byas, also, from the result of vari. in his title pages,
ous arguments coinciding with the Vede, unity and incomprehensibility of the found, that the accurate and positive knowSupreme Being, and that his Worship ledge of the Supreme Being, is not within alone can lead to Eternal Beatitude.' the boundary of comprehension : i. e. that
Those who have never at all attends what, and how, the Supreme Being is, caned to the subject of Hindoo literature, therefore, in the second text, explained the
not be definitely ascertained. He has, will be astonished with the display of Supreme' Being by his effects and works, metaphysical acuteness in all and each without attempting to define his essence of these performances. The same mi« in like manner as we, not knowing the real nute controversies concerning the es nature of the Sun, explain him to be the sence and mode of the Supreme Being, cause of the succession of days and epochs. which occupy so much space in the “ He, by whom the birth, existence, and writings of the later Platonists, it will annihilation of the world is regulated, is here be seen, have perplexed the un
the Supreme Being !” We see the multi
farious, wonderful universe, as well as the derstandings of the most skilful commentators on the sacred books of the ferent parts ; hence, we naturally infer the
birth, existence, and annihilation, of its difHindoos. The same arguments, for existence of a being, who regulates the and against the adoration of beings in- whole, and call him the Supreme: in the ferior to the Supreme, which have same manner as from the sight of a pot, we been so hackneyed among the theolo- conclude the existence of its artificer. The gians of modern Europe, are, at this Ved in like manner declares the Supreme moment, employed in the most imposing and logical array, by Rammohun * The greatest of the Indian Theologists, Roy and his principal opponent Sen- Philosophers and Poets, was begotten by kara Sastri. Even in the most trivial the celebrated Purasur and Satyubutee : illustrations introduced into these vo Byas collected and divided the Veds into luminous controversies, the likeness to
certain Books and Chapters, he is therefore what we have seen before is such, that commonly called Vede Byas ; the word it cannot escape the notice of the most the verb uss to divide.
Byas is composed of the preposition bi and