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Woman's Indebtedness to the Bible.
We will now visit the Wat. The Siamese spare no labor or expense in building and adorning their temples ; in laying out the grounds and walks around them, and ornamenting them with the most beautiful flowering shrubs and trees. Many a poor soul fancies he has purchased a speedy release from the intermediate state of misery, to which he supposes all are doomed, by such meritorious acts.
There is generally one large central building, with a smaller one on each side. The doors are of ebony, richly gilded; some are of ebony, inlaid with pearl ; and the floor of a small room in one of the king's wats, is covered with silver. Treasures of gold and siver, pearls and ebony are lavished on these buildings. Under one now in progress, further up the river, it is said twenty-five thousand ticals, or about fifteen thousand dollars, have been buried.
Let us go into one of the side buildings. It consists of one large room, at the upper end of which, upon a throne, a huge idol is seated a la Turk, with the figures of elephants, monkeys, &c., in the attitude of worship around him. Before the idol is a beautiful frame suited to accommodate the high priest when performing his devotions. In front of this a mat is spread upon the already matted floor, with a handsome pillow for the same personage to recline upon while attending to the Bali reading. The sides of the room are separated by pillars from the centre. In these alcoves, several priests are lounging on their mats, with their Bali books placed on frames before them ; whether to accommodate the indolence of the readers, or their sacred regard for Bali, I am unable to say. Let us look at some of the smaller buildings around these temples. They serve as the abode of richly gilded idols, or as reading rooms, dormitories, &c., of the numerous priests and néns who crowd them. In a recess, on one side of a small pagoda, a gorgeous coffin reclines against the wall, from which protrudes a gilded foot, with toes of equal length. Having fingers and toes of equal length is one of Boodh's
excellencies. Before this foot, gilded images of priests, as large as life, are represented as bowing in worship, with the hands met and elevated before the face. In another recess is a long row of idols in golden robes; but we need go no further. At these temples, amid these gods, are the male children of the nation educated, and they are taught to regard with great veneration the priests who minister at these altars of sin. And what is the character of the priest, or his qualifications for his office of the priesthood ? It is true that certain qualifications are required; but it is equally true, that any man of any character, may assume the priestly garb, and receive the homage of the people, laying it aside again at his option until he has done it three times; the third time he must be a priest for life. It is said that an African, who came here some time ago from Caffraria, was sentenced by the Prah Klang, an officer of high rank, to be whipped. The wily African heard of it, went to a wat, had his head shaved, and put on the sacred yellow robes. The next morning he presented himself before the Prah Klang, who was obliged to bow in homage before him, nor could he touch him while in that garb for past offences.
A law of the kingdom obliges every priest to go out in the morning and receive his food from the people, who will willingly dispense with the calls of hunger in themselves, to feed the priests, as they believe that by so doing they lay up a store of merit in heaven. Thus the indolent, and very often the vicious, are provided at the expense of a population famishing for the bread of life.
[The special application of the facts contained in this letter, to the subject of “woman's indebtedness to the Bible," must be deferred till the next number.]
Depend upon it, the hope of the church, both at home and abroad, lingers around our Sabbath schools. If these are well cultivated, a good return of precious fruit will be yielded to the glory and praise of our Lord Jesus Christ.—Rev. J. Burns.
OT ANNUAL MEETING.J The Annual Meeting of the MASSACHUSETTS Sabbath School Society, for the choice of officers, &c., will be held in this city, on Thursday, the 28th inst. The time and place of meeting will hereafter be given in the weekly papers.
(From the Religious Herald, Hartford, Conn.)
Olympia Morata. This was one of the stars which cheered the gloom of Papacy in Italy toward the middle of the sixteenth century. She was one of those gifted souls before whom great, learned men, lose their self-esteem, and feel reminded of what they may owe to the wit of their mothers; one of those courageous, pious souls, whose presence at the discourse of great reformers comforts them, as though God had sent one of his holy messengers to approbate their words. Olympia Morata was a Protestant lady, “ born in the year 1526, in the city of Ferrara on the Po, at that time one of the most magnificent cities of northern Italy, the rival of Florence, and the centre of attraction to philosophers, artists, and poets.” The history of a lady who was the ornament of the court of Ferrara at that day; who was, in the days of Ariosto and Tasso, the admiration of the literary world ; whose Greek verses and Latin theses made her name as familiar as Sappho's to the schools of Italy and Germany; and who at the same time was taught of the spirit of God in the things of the kingdom of Christ, and who could, at the sacrifice of all worldly ease, boldly, and consistently espouse the cause of Christ against the Papal power in Italy, at the dawn of the Reformation, is surely a history to be studied through all time. Will our young friends, hopefully aspiring to be ornaments of society, please obtain the little work entitled " LIFE AND Times of OLYMPIA"-published by the Massachusetts Sabbath School Society, and to be found at Mr. Hosmer's. It will teach them how every social accomplishment, and all treasures of learning may be made available to do good ; how much the love of Christ is better than all learning and honor; and, we trust, guide them to what Olympia termed “the land of clear and beautiful light," through a death like hers“all gladness."
The work is edited by Rev. Robert Turnbull of this city, who deserves well of us for the manner of his labor, and its aptness to the times.
"Independence Offering." Great interest was manifested, the past year, by a large number of our Sabbath schools and by many individual youth, in the "Independence Offering;" and a very strong desire has been generally expressed, to adopt the same plan for making collections, on the coming Fourth of July. Only some 120 or 130 schools, last year, made an “ Independence Offering The whole amount collected by the Society, from this plan, was some over eight hundred dollars !
May we not expect that most, if not all, of our five or six hundred schools, will, the present year, enter into this plan? Many failed, the last year, by not beginning their arrangements in season. As the application for libraries are so numerous, and as the Spring is the time they are most needed, it is hoped that no schools or individuals, will defer remitting any funds they may have on hand for the object, for the sake of presenting them as an “Independence Offering."
Is published monthly at No. 13 CORNHILL, Boston. Terms, fifty cents per annum, in advance. When ordered from the Depository, to one address, every ninth copy gratis.
THE WELL-SPRING Is published weekly, at No. 13 Cornhill, Boston. Terms at the Depository.—Single copy, 35 cents; three copies to one address, $1; ten to one address, $3; twenty, or upwards, to one address, 25 cents a copy. From these terms there is no variation,-payable in all cases in advance.
Agents must make their payments within six months, for both works, or they will be discontinued at the discretion of the Publisher. Payments to be made to C. C. DEAN, Treasurer.
AGENTS FOR THE VISITER.
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Manchester, Asa O. Colby, Ashby, Jonas Patch,
Nashua, J. Buffum,
, St. Johnsbury, A. G. Chadwick,
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, Windsor, Bishop & Tracy. Greenfield, Wm. Elliot,
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