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the reach of metaphysical perversion, and intelligible alike to learned and unlearned. This simple code of religion and morality is so well fitted to regulate the conduct of the human race, in the discharge of their various duties to God and society; it is so admirably calculated to elevate their minds to high and liberal ideas of One God, who has equally subjected all living creatures to disappointment, pain, and death, without distinction of caste, rank, or wealth, and equally admitted all as partakers of the bountiful mercies he has lavished over nature, that I cannot but hope the best effects from its promulgation in the present form.”
Doubtless seed scattered from such friendly motives will produce good fruit in the great harvest-field of the future. But during the life-time of Rammohun Roy his suppression of the miracles, and the reasons assigned for it, involved him in protracted controversies with Christian missionaries, and occasioned, as he says, "much coolness toward him in the demeanour of some whose friendship he held very dear.” At the same time, his high estimate of the Christian religion rendered him an object of persecution to his own countrymen. They instituted legal proceedings to deprive him of caste; but he was enabled to defeat them by his profound knowledge of Hindoo law.
In 1833 he was induced to visit England; and on that distant shore his great soul departed from its earthly habitation. When he found himself dangerously ill, he deemed it prudent to guard against further attacks on his property and the caste of his children. He therefore called his Hindoo servant and charged him to observe well all his words and actions, that on his return to India he might testify he had never changed his religion or forfeited his caste. For the same reasons, he expressed a wish not to be buried in a Christian cemetery. His remains were accordingly placed in a grove belonging to the house where he died.
The followers of the Braminical religion are computed at over one hundred and fifty millions.
"The faculty of reverence is inherent in all men, and its natural exer cise is always to be sympathized with, irrespective of its objects. I did not wait till I went to Egypt, to become aware that every permanent reverential observance has some great idea at the bottom of it; and that it is our business not to deride, or be shocked at the method of manifestation, but to endeavour to apprehend the idea concerned."—H. MARTINEAU.
HISTORY and poetry have preserved traditions of an extraordinary race of men, called Ethiopians. The name is from Greek words signifying burnt faces; and the an. cients appear to have applied it to people browned by the sun, whether their complexions were black, or merely dark. According to a map made to represent the ideas of Herodotus concerning the world, as expressed in his History, about four hundred years before our era, there were two nations of Ethiopians; one in Asia, on the banks of the Indus, another in the northern portion of Africa. There is evidence that these people were powerful and illustrious, as far back as the Trojan war, about one thousand one hundred and eighty-four years before our era. Memnon then reigned over them, and it is recorded that he assisted Priam, king of Troy, against the invasion of the Greeks. Homer calls them “the blameless men;" and relates that Jupiter, at certain seasons of the year, left Olympus and went to spend twelve days in that pious and hospitable region. Egyptian annals are full of allusions to them. Persia, and other old Asiatic nations, mingle Ethiopian legends with songs composed in honour of their own heroes. Herodotus says they worshipped the gods with extremest veneration. The ancient historian, Diodorus Siculus, declares that they were the religious parents
of the Egyptians, the inventors of pompe, sacrifices, and solemn assemblies. The Hebrew poets generally mention Ethiopia in connection with Egypt. Isaiah speaks of "the labour of Egypt, and the merchandise of Ethiopia." Jeremiah describes the mighty men, Ethiopians and Libyans, that handle the shield,” as coming forth with the Egyptians to battle. Ezekiel says: “Great pain shall be in Ethiopia, when the slain shall fall in Egypt.” It is recorded that Meroë was the capital of the ancient Ethiopia in Africa. Current tradition declared that Thoth, whom Greeks called Hermes, founded this state, more than five thousand two hundred years ago ; and the date is said to be authenticated by a very old astronomical observation. Traditions handed down by the Egyptian priesthood agreed that in Meroë was laid the foundation of the most ancient states of Egypt. Thebes, the first civilized state of Egypt, is believed to have been founded by a colony from thence. The obscurity which rests on this part of history has been somewhat enlightened within the last century, by the discovery of the site of ancient Meroë, in the country now called Sennaar, and comprised within African Ethiopia on the map marked according to Herodotus. Many small pyramids were found there, which, from their number, are supposed to indicate a burial-place. They are constructed like the Hindoo pyramids, fronting the east, and the four sides facing the four cardinal points. They have external marks of greater age than the huge pyramids at Memphis. Herodotus says: “The only gods worshipped in Meroë are Ammon and Osiris. They have also an oracle of Ammon, and undertake their expeditions when and how the god commands." The temple where these oracles were delivered is recorded to have been in the desert, at a little distance from the city. Modern travellers have discovered the ruins of a temple in the desert, near the collection of small pyramids. Rams' horns are sculptured in many places on the stones; and the ram is well known to have been an emblem sacred to Ammon, and the distinguishing mark of his temples. In the inmost sanctuary of these temples was a Sacred Ship, enclosed in a shrine, and screened by a veil. When the oracle was to be consulted, a procession of priests carried about this Ship, in its portable sanctuary, placed on poles, which they rested on their shoulders. From certain movements of the ship, during their religious ceremonies, omens were gathered, according to which the High Priest delivered the oracle.
The government of Meroë was in the hands of a caste of priests, who, guided by the oracle, selected one of their own order for king. When this choice was announced to the people, they fell down and adored him, as the representative of their god Ammon, who had appointed him to rule over them. He was obliged to live and govern according to laws prescribed by the priests. When the oracle indicated that a change of rulers was necessary, the High Priest sent a messenger that the god commanded him to die, and that mortals must not seek to evade divine decrees.
Whence did this powerful priesthood come? Many learned men maintain that they came from that part of Ethiopia said to be on the banks of the Indus; that is, from Indus-stan, which we call Hindostan. The points of resemblance between the opinions and customs of India and Egypt are too numerous and too obvious to be overlooked by any one who even glances at the subject. Some scholars, with less probability on their side, maintain that Egypt is the oldest, and that Hindostan was settled by colonies from thence. One thing is certain and undisputed, namely, that a very ancient and very intimate relation existed between the two countries. Meroë, by its location, was the centre of a great caravan trade known to have been carried on in very early ages, between India and Egypt and Arabia. It has been already stated that the Pouranas of Hindostan contain records of two remarkable emigrations from that country to Egypt, at a very remote period. The first were the “Yadavas, or sacred race," who fled from the oppressions of Cansa, the same tyrant who caused so many children to be slaughtered when he was seeking the life of Crishna The date they assign to this event agrees very well with the date which tradition ascribes to the first settlement at Meroë; and the Yadavas are conspicuous in the history of Crishna. The other emigration recorded in the Pouranas is that of powerfal tribes, called Pali, or Shepherds, who governed from Indus to Ganges, and enlarged their empire by conquests in Misrastahn [their word for the Land of Egypt), where one of their princes became so wealthy that “he raised three mountains, one of gold, one of silver, and one of gems." This is supposed by some to describe the three great Pyramids, at Memphis, one of which was originally overlaid with white marble, another with yellow marble, and the third with spotted marble, of fine grain, susceptible of exquisite polish. Many scholars consider the Pali identical with the powerful tribes of Asiatic Ethiopians, described by Herodotus, and supposed to dwell on the banks of the Indus. Others conjecture they were Assyrians, or Phoenicians. Manetho, who was High Priest at Heliopolis in Egypt, about three hundred and four years before the Christian era, wrote a history of Egypt from the earliest times, in the Greek language. He professed to have taken it from inscriptions engraved by Thoth, or Hermes, on stone pillars, in the sacred characters. These he declares were afterward written in books, and laid up in the inmost recesses of the temples, to which he, of course, had access. A few fragments of Manetho's History have been handed down to us. In these it is stated that Egypt was overrun “by a race of Shepherds from the East," in the reign of their king Timæus; which some computations place four thousand two hundred and sixty years ago, and others much earlier. He informs us that some said these invaders were Arabians.