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worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; for in him we live, and move, and have our being.
Psalm xcv. 3, 4. The Lord is a great God, and a great
Dan. iv. 25. The Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.
Eccles. xii. 14. God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil.
Matt. xii. 36. Every idle word that men shall speak,
they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. Acts xvii. 31. He (i. e. God) hath appointeth a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained.
According to this high character which God sustains, he is to be honoured and exclusively worshipped, in opposition to the claims of all false gods, whose worship he has declared is an abomination to him, and has therefore forbidden it.
Deut. vi. 4. Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
Exod. xx. 4. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them.
Isa. xlii. 8. I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.
Matt. iv. 10. Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Deut. vii. 25. The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, for it is an abomination to the Lord thy God; neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it; but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it, for it is a cursed thing.
The holiness of God, his hatred to sin, and the purity of worship which he requires from all his creatures, is fully stated in the following passages.
Psalm cxlv. 17. The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.
Exod. xv. 11. Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?
HIS HATRED TO SIN.
Jer. xliv. 4. Oh, do not this abominable thing that I hate.
Hab. i. 12. O Lord, thou hast ordained them for judgment, and O mighty God, thou hast established them for correction. Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity.
THE SPIRITUALITY OF WORSHIP WHICH HE REQUIRES.
Lev. x. 3. I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. Psalm lxxxix. 7. God is greatly to be feared in the as⚫sembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.
John iv. 24. God is a Spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
By quoting these passages from the Bible, I have made the Bible speak for itself; and the account of the character and attributes of God, and the honour which is here, as well as in various other Scriptures, described as due to him, are, beyond all doubt, strong internal marks of its truth. This account is in short so reasonable, and must commend itself so forcibly to the judgment of every can.
did man, that he cannot with any degree of propriety dispute the divine authority of the book which contains it. In order, therefore, to shew the strong probable evidence which is derived from it, that the Bible is the exclusive revelation which God has given, I shall proceed to shew in the following section the reasonableness of this account, and its superiority to what is contained on the same subject in the Shasters of the Hindoos.
The contradictory Account of the Divine Character and Government which is contained in the Shasters of the Hindoos, and its Opposition to the afore stated Principles. In some of the Hindoo Shasters, the existence of one supreme and self-existent God is clearly recognized*, and a departure from his service represented as foolish and vain; yet the duty of exclusively worshipping and honouring him, according to the high and exalted character which he sustains, as Creator, Preserver, and Governor of the universe, is not universally inculcated in any of those Shasters. On the contrary, by a variety of false gods+ and dumb idols being set up in opposition to him, he is greatly dishonoured, and generally neglected; and to
* যোমা” সৰ্ব্বেষু ভূতেষু সন্ত মাত্মান মীশ্বরং হিত্বাচা, ভজতে মৌচ্যাৎ ভস্মন্যে জুহোতি সঃ ।
কাচ্চলোষ্ট্রেষু মূর্খানা, মুক্তস্যাত্মনি দেবতা ।
মৃচ্ছিল। বাতু দাক্বাদি যুর্ভাবীশ্বর বুদ্ধয়ঃ । ক্লিশ্যন্তি তপসা মূঢ়া: পরা শান্তি ন যান্তি তে ।
+ ন পূজয়তি যে। মোহা দেবী দুর্গা মহোৎসবে। দম্ভাদ্বা পাথৰণ লস্যাৎ কাহানিষ্টান্নিহন্তি বৈ। মূদ্রস্ম গোশকৃৎ পিগুৈস্তথা বালুয়া পিবা। কৃত্বা লিঙ্গ সংপূজ্য বসে কল্পাযুক্ত• দিবি? বরং প্রানপরিত্যাগঃ শিরসোবাপি কৰ্ত্তন । নত্বনভাে ভুঞ্জীত ভগবন্তমবৌফজ' । শিবলিঙ্গপুতিষ্ঠাতা বসেৎ কল্পাযুক্ত দিবি । বিষ্ণুপূজা বিন! যোহি ভুক্তে বিপ্রো দিনে ২। অভক্ষ্য, ভক্ষয়েরিতা যতো চণ্ডালতা বুজে ! কাঞ্চনী প্রতিমা কৃত্ব। নানা রত্নময়ী• শুভা• পূজয়ে দাত্তু বিধিন। সযাতি পরম পদ । রাজতী তাম্রময়ী, বাপি মাহেয়ী- বাপি ভাবিনীং কৃত্বা মূৰ্ত্তিময়ী দেবীর পূজয়িত্বা বিধানত ইহলোকে সুখেস্থিত্বা পরে মোক্ষ যথাপুয়ান তত্র গ্রামে দুর্ভিক্ষ, না মারী পুৱৰ্ত্ততে। শুদ্ধয়ারাধিতা যত্ৰ পতিমা চ গৃহে সদা ।
these dumb idols and fictitious deities men are commanded to pay their adorations, to the total disregard of Him from whom they have received life, and breath, and all things.
The Shasters of the Hindoos, as evidently appears from the passages quoted, contain the most glaring contradictions. In one part, departure from the worship of God is censured as the fruit of ignorance and folly: in another, departure from Him to the worship of fictitious deities is inculcated, and the punishment of hell threatened to them who despise the idols. These contradictions, therefore, evidently prove that the authors of these Shasters, instead of being guided by the unerring Spirit of God, wrote merely according to their own blinded judgment and conception, and are a standing proof that the claims of these Shasters to divine authority are false, and without foundation.
I know the Hindoos will say, in reply to this observation, that the worship of the debtas and idols, and the worship of the supreme God, are substantially the same, because he receives through them the worship of his creatures. This explanation, however, is by no means satisfactory. Allow me to ask the advocates of this heterogeneous system the following question:-Suppose your servant, instead of attending at your house to do the work proper to his situation, goes to the river side, makes an image of clay, calls the image he has thus made his master, and waits diligently upon it, by placing rice before it, screening it from the sun, pouring water upon it, &c. Suppose he comes to you in the evening, and when you charge him with having neglected your service, he denies it, and explains himself by telling you what he has been doing-will you, I ask, admit of this explanation, and allow the reality of his professed service? And suppose he continues this practice during the whole month, will you at the month's end pay him his wages? No; instead of doing this, you will look upon him as disordered in his intellect, and send him about his business. Applying, therefore, this illustration to the advocates of idolatry, allow me
* পুতিযায়া• শিলাবুদ্ধিং কুর্রাণো নরকং বুজে
to tell them, that however they may think to get to hea ven by it, they will find themselves at last, like the servant who came for his wages, wofully disappointed; for instead of heaven, hell will undoubtedly be their portion.
Again the Hindoos themselves allow these debtas, whom they call the representatives of the Deity, to have been exceedingly wicked; and the Shasters, which record their histories, state them to have been addicted to every vice which can disgrace human nature*. Can we then suppose that the Shasters, which state such polluted beings to be the representatives and vicegerents of the Deity, to be true? Can we suppose that the infinitely pure and ever blessed God, who hates all sin, will hold intercourse with, or condescend to be worshipped through the medium of those who on all hands are allowed to have been so notoriously wicked? Impossible: it is the highest dishonour that can be offered to God, to associate him in any way with so much impurity: it is opposed to reason; it contradicts the universally prevailing laws and customs of mankind in civil affairs, and is a strong mark of the falsehood of those Shasters which contain such inconsistent and contradictory statements. How different is this from the account of the divine Being, which is contained in the Bible! There he is represented as saying: “My glory will I not give to another, nor my praise to graven images."
In order, therefore, to enable the reader to judge whether the account of God which is contained in the Bible, or whether that of the Hindoo Shasters is most likely to be true, I shall here introduce two easy and familiar illustrations, the first applying to the worship of the debtas, and the second to the worship of idols.
* In the history of these gods, we are informed, that Brahma was inflamed by lust towards his own daughter; and it was only through the intervention of Shonok and other Rishees, that he was prevented from committing the most unnatural crime. Indro and Chondro eloped, and lived in adultery with their Gooroos' wives. Christno carried on an illicit intercourse with an endless number of milk-maids, stole their clothes whilst bathing, and wantonly amused himself by jesting with their nakedness. And the story of Sheeb, from which the worship of the Linga originates, is of so horrid and monstrous a nature, that it is an insult to common decency to repeat it.