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our Saviour, and probably to the time of HOMER, we know very certainly; yet the celebrated poem, entitled Dbágavat, which contains a prolix account of his life, is filled with narratives of a most extraordinary kind, but strangely variegated and intermixed with poetical decorations : the incarnate deity of the Sanscrit romance was cradled, as it informs us, among Herdfinen, but it adds, that he was educated among them, and passed his youth in playing with a party of milkmaids ; a tyrant, at the time of his birth, ordered all new-born males to be slain, yet this wonderful babe was preserved by biting the breast, instead of fucking the poisoned nipple, of a nurse commissioned to kill him; he performed amazing, but ridiculous, miracles in his infancy, and, at the age of seven years, held

up a mountain on the tip of his little finger : he faved multitudes partly by his arms and partly by his miraculous powers ; he raised the dead by descending for that purpose to the lowest regions; he was the meekest and best-tempered of beings, washed the feet of the Brébmans, and preached very nobly, indeed, and sublimely, but always in their favour; he was pure and chaste in reality, but exhibited an appearance of excessive libertinism, and had wives or mistresses too numerous to be counted; lastly, he was benevolent and tender, yet fo

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mented and conducted a terrible war. This motley story must induce an opinion that the spurious Gospels, which abounded in the first age of Christianity, had been brought to India, and the wildest parts of them repeated to the Hindus, who ingrafted them on the old fable of CE'SAVA, the APOLLO of Greece.

As to the general extension of our pure faith in Hindustán, there are at present many fad obstacles to it. The Muselmáns are already a fort of heterodox Christians : they are Christians, if Locke reasons justly, because they firmly believe the immaculate conception, divine character, and miracles of the MESSIAH; but they are heterodox, in denying vehemently his character of Son, and his equality, as God, with the Father, of whose unity and attributes they entertain and express the most awful ideas ; while they consider our doctrine as perfect blasphemy, and insist, that our copies of the Scriptures have been corrupted both by Jews and Christians. It will be inexpressibly difficult to undeceive them, and scarce possible to diminish their veneration for MOHAMMED and Ali, who were both very extraordinary men, and the second, a man of unexceptionable morals: the Koran shines, indeed, with a borrowed light, since nost of its beauties are taken from our Scrip

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tures; but it has great beauties, and the Muselmans will not be convinced that they were borrowed. The Hindus on the other hand would readily admit the truth of the Gospel ; but they contend, that it is perfectly consistent with their Sústras: the deity, they say, has appeared innumerable times, in many parts of this world and of all worlds, for the salvation of his creatures; and though we adore him in one appearance, and they in others, yet we adore, they say, the same God, to whom our several worships, though different in form, are equally acceptable, if they be sincere in substance. We may assure ourselves, that neither Muselmans nor Hindus will ever be converted by any million from the Church of Rome, or from any other church ; and the only human mode, perhaps, cf causing so great a revolution will be to tranflate into Sanfcrit and Persian such chapters of the Prophets, particularly of Is AIAH, as are indisputably Evangelical, together with one of the Gospels, and a plain prefatory discourse containing full evidence of the

in which the predictions themselves, and the history of the divine person predicted, were severally made publick; and then quietly to disperse the work among the well-educated natives; with whom if in due time it failed of producing very falutary fruit by its natural influence, we could only lament more than ever the strength of prejudice, and the weakness of unaffifted reason.

very diftant

ages,

END OF THE FIRST VOLUME.

Printed by T. DAVISON,

Whitefriars.

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