please God, he must of course have been incapable of displeasing him; for where no law is, there is no transgression. The consequence is, he can never be sorry at heart for having displeased him; and as there would be but little if any ground for repentance towards God, so there would be but little if any need of faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ. If in a state of unregeneracy he were under no obligation to do any thing pleasing to God, and were so far rendered incapable of doing any thing to displease him, so far he must be sinless, and therefore stand in no need of a Saviour. Where there is no obligation, there can be no offence; and where there is no offence, there needs no forgiveness. Thus the notions of this declaimer, who, I suppose, would be thought very evangelical, will be found subversive of the first principles of the gospel.


An old man who travelled the country as a philosophical lecturer, was one evening entertaining his audience, which consisted chiefly of young people, by attempting to account for that famous pile of stones near Salisbury, commonly called Stone Henge. He supposed it might have been a temple: whether Saxon, Roman, or British, he did not say. Indeed his ideas seem to have gone far beyond every period of history with which we are acquainted. The principal thing on which he insisted was, its being used for viewing the heavenly bodies; and from this part of his hypothesis he drew some very singular conclusions. The structure, he supposed, originally faced the south; but that the points themselves, in a great number of years, change their positions; and as Stone

Henge did not now face the south, he concluded it was owing to this cause, and that from hence we might calculate how long it had been erected. By the mode of calculation which he adopted, it was easy to perceive, that in his account it must have existed two hundred and seventy thousand years! It is true, he did not proceed so far as to draw the conclusion, as that might have excited prejudices against what he had farther to advance; but the thing itself was plainly understood by the company.

In his course of lectures he also made mention of some very ancient writings, found in the Shanscrit language, and brought to light by Sir William Jones, in which mention was made of this country, as a kind of sacred place, to which pilgrimages were made in those very early ages; and if I am accurate in my recollection, he supposed Stone Henge might be a place of such resort.

Lately, looking into vol. iii. of the Asiatic Dissertations, I found something which reminded me of the old lecturer's assertion. It was in a dissertation of Lieut. Wilford's, 'On Egypt and the Nile, from the ancient books of the Hindoos.' I here found that the Puranas, or historie poems of the Hindoos, made mention of the sacred western islands,' as a place to which pilgrims in those early ages had been used to resort. Many brahmans indeed assert (adds Lieut. Wilford) that a great intercourse anciently subsisted between India and countries in the west; and as far as I have examined their sacred books, to which they appeal as their evidence, I strongly incline to believe their assertion.'

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Thus far the supposition of our philosopher seems to be confirmed. The reader may suppose that I now felt a desire to ascertain, if possible, the antiquity of the Puranas. Surely, thought I, they are not two hundred and seventy thousand years old! On enquiry, I soon perceived that they must have been written since the time of the flood, by the manifest reference which they make to Noah and his three sons. The following translation by Sir William Jones, and which he declares to be minutely

exact, though in the hands of the readers of the Asiatic Dissertations, may be new to many others, and will serve to show that Indian literature, instead of weakening the authority of scripture, tends rather to confirm it.

From the Padma Puran.

"To Satyavarman, that sovereign of the whole earth, were born three sons: the eldest Sherma, then C'harma, and thirdly, Jyapeti by name. They were all men of good morals, excellent in virtue and virtuous deeds; skilled in the use of weapons to strike with, or to be thrown; brave men, eager for victory in battle. But Satyavarman being continually delighted with devout meditation, and seeing his sons fit for dominion, laid upon them the burden of government. Whilst he remained honouring and satisfying the gods, and priests, and kine, one day, by the act of destiny, the king having drunk mead, became senseless, and lay asleep naked. Then was he seen by C'harma, and by him were his two brothers called-To whom he said: what has now befallen? In what state is this our


By those two was he hidden with clothes, and called to his senses again and again.

Having recovered his intellect, and perfectly knowing what had passed, he cursed C'harma, saying, Thou shalt be the servant of servants. And since thou wast a laugher in their presence, from laughter shalt thou acquire a * Then he gave to Sherma the wide domain on the south of the snowy mountains. And to Jyapeti he gave all the north of the snowy mountains; but he by the power of religious contemplation attained supreme bliss."+


* They say he was nicknamed Hásyasila, or the Laugher; and his descendants were called, from him, Hásyasilas. By the descendants of C'harma, they understood, says Lieut. Wilford, the African Negroes. Asiatic Diss. vol. iii, pp. 90, 91.

+ Asiatic Dissertations, vol. iii. p. 262.

I will only add a part of the Eulogium on the life and writings of Sir William Jones, by the Hon. Lord Teignmouth, in his address to the Asiatic Society.

"He professed his conviction of the truth of the christian religion, and justly deemed it no inconsiderable advantage that his researches had corroborated the multiplied evidences of revelation, by confirming the Mosaic account of the primitive world. We all recollect, and can refer to the following sentiments in his eighth anniversary discourse :-Theological enquiries are no part of my present subject; but I cannot refrain from adding, that the collection of tracts which we call, from their excellence, the Scriptures, contain, independently of a divine origin, more true sublimity, more important history, and finer strains both of poetry and eloquence, than could be collected within the same compass, from all other books that were ever composed in any age, or in any language. The two parts of which the scriptures consist, are connected by a chain of compositions, which bear no resemblance in form or stile to any that can be produced from the stores of Grecian, Italian, Persian, or even Arabic learning. The antiquity of those compositions no man doubts, and the unrestrained application of them to events long subsequent to their publication, is a solid ground of belief, that they were genuine predictions, and consequently inspired.""

The old lecturer's desire of introducing the Asiatic Researches, in a way unfriendly to the scriptures, reminds us of the wish of a certain jealous king, and of his dealing with the wise men of the east,' in order to obtain it. The wise men of the east, it seems, are not to be drawn into such measures. Their business is to do homage to the Messiah, and not to join with his murderers.


And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the Lord, and said, I will persuade him. And the Lord said unto him, wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do Now therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil concerning thee. 1 Kings xxii. 21–23.


WHEN Ahab sent for Micaiah, there was evidently no sincerity in his request. Like many others, who ask counsel of their friends, and even seek direction of God, not with a view to be influenced, but in hope of being countenanced by it, he was determined to go against Ramoth-gilead, let Micaiah say what he might. The messenger sent to call Micaiah, seems to have been furnished with a secret message; and tried what he could do at tampering with the prophet. From hence it appears evident, that Ahab did not desire to know the mind of God, but chose delusion. Micaiah came, and Ahab thus accosted him. 'Micaiah, shall we go against Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall we forbear?' Micaiah answered in a strain of irony (which might be very evident from his tone and manner of delivery) 'Go and prosper. The Lord will doubtless deliver it into the hand of the king:' for who can hesitate on the truth of that which has the testimony of four hundred prophets to confirm it!

Ahab felt the irony, and conjured him to be serious. Micaiah then assumed another tone, and told him the truth without reserve; and which amounted to nothing less than that he should lose his life in the battle. Ahab,' full of rancour, appealed to Jehoshaphat, that he had told him beforehand what would be the effect of sending

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