Imatges de pÓgina

are twelve festivals, celebrated periodically; two of able share of manufacture for itself, so much as its these are grand festivals, viz. the one which happens neighbourhood. Besides the common long-cloths, &c. in the month of June, and is held in commemoration manufactured by the Kykolar weavers, used for the of the birth of the god; and the other in the month dress of the common people, reed-mats are made by of October, commemorating his nuptials : these are Moormen or lubbays, and ihe puttay arrack is distilled usually solemnised in all the Shiven temples ; on by the Elavers, who are also the venders of that article : those two occasions five cars are highly decorated, and they also carry on a small manufacture of cloths. There drawn in procession through the streets of the town. are two paper-mills for the manufacture of coarse The expense on these occasions for the latter is 1554

brown paper, which, in texture and colour, is much rupees, and for the former 1550. At the season of inferior to that made at Madura. In no country to the festivities the large muntapums on the east gate of the southward are there more carts known to be emthe temple are decorated for the reception of the idols, ployed than in Tinnevelly; they afford employment to when they are taken out in solemn train through the a great number of the inhabitants in conveying grain, principal streets that surround the pagoda. The ex- cotton, cloths, straw, tobacco, and especially firewood, penses of the other festivals are defrayed by govern- bamboo, and timber, &c. &c., from the hills, which ment, and vary from 74 to 375 rupees for each : on are situated from forty to fifty iniles on the west. the whole, the expenses for the great Shiven temple annually amount to 17,871 rupees, 9 annas, and 1 pice.

JOY AT THE SAVIOUR'S BIRTH: The festivals for Permaul, or Vistnu, happen twice a-year, in the months of September and March, when

A Sermon cars are drawn equal to the 'expeuse allowed them, which must not exceed 210 rupees. Independently of

For Christmas-Day, these, there are 21 lesser temples within the precincts By tur. Rev. Francis Join STAINFORTII, M.A. of the town; to each of which an allowance of one

Assistant Minister of Camden Chapel, Camberwell. rupee per diem is conferred to defray the expenses of their respective establishments, &c. There are besides

LUKE, ii, 10-14. several substantial edifices, built of granite, dedicated

“ Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of to the use of the idols; and here food is usually served great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto out to a limited number of Bramins alone, by funds you is born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, arising from donations, and other charitable offerings : which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a besides the muntapums, there are muddums appropri- sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped ated for the dwelling of sanniassies, and chuttrums for in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And the reception of Bramin travellers. In Tinnevelly suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of there are no less than 60 private schools, chiefly the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory Tamil, and a few Sanscrit, Hindoostanee, Arabic,

to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good &c. In these schools an average of from 30 to 40

will toward men.” pupils each gives 2100 children that receive educa

The birth of a child is, under any circumiion. Besides these, four mission schools were opened in the year 1817, by the Reverend J. Hough. The stances, an event of the highest interest. missionaries have a meeting of the school-boys on Expectation has at length given place to every Wednesday evening, in the town, where the reality ; another being has come into the Hindus, both men and women, often give their at

world, to fill our place when we are gone, tendance, to hear a portion of Scripture read and explained. Of Mahomedan places of worship there

and to run his course of joy or suffering, till are ten principal mosques, four of which are design he is called on in his turn to make room for nated by the term Musjeeds, and fourteen Pu'ly was- those beneath him. At such a season every sils or lesser ones, together with several other inferior

heart beats high with expectation, and every kinds, known by the name of Fakeers Faikal: the whole of these are supported by mohins, or small

countenance is lighted up with pleasure. sums in money conferred by government, according The cheerful tones of congratulation, the to the former usages of these institutions. There are light step of innocent gladness, the pressure two Romish churches, and a few chapels: the one at of the friendly hand, are there, till the father's Palliapetray is the largest, where a Goa priest resides ; and the other is on the north side of the town, called

heart is softened with the consciousness of Candiapary, built in the year 1786. The tassildar his happiness, and the mother feels her pangs holds his cutcherry in the outward apartment of the requited for joy that a man is born into the great pagoda, so as to give access to the lower classes

world. We gaze on the new-born infant, as of the inhabitants in general. The police administration of the Talooks and Zemin

he sleeps all careless of the interest he has daries is vested in the tassildars, aince the office of excited; and hope, with fond credulity, will darogahs was abolished in 1820.' A commissioner's image forth many a scene of usefulness and court is held here for the recovery of small debts ; the

delight in which he may live to share. Yet former under the control of the magistrate, and the latter subject to the authority of the judge at Madura.

there are sadder thoughts which crowd into (Now it is subject to the auxiliary court.]

the reflecting mind in spite of all its efforts. The zillah of Tinnevelly was established in the year Is he indeed destined to survive the perils of 1808, when the court of Ramnad was incorporated infancy, and the adventurous rashness of with Madura. This court was abolished in August youth? Will he be one of those whom good 1822, and annexed to the zillah of Madura. court-house and its dependent buildings are sur

men delight to honour, serviceable in his rounded by a high wall, on the south side of the generation, and leaving a bright example to temple; since the appointment of James Munro, Esq. all who follow him ? or will he be one whose collector, in June 1823, this building was devoted to the establishment of the Huzzoor cutcherry. [An

track is stained with guilt, and whose end is auxiliary court was established in Tinnevelly in 1827.] pointed at by shame ?

pointed at by shame? What hardships and Tinnevelly (the town) cannot claim any consider trials, what buffetings and afflictions, may be

the lot of this unconscious slumberer! What I of love. But will God indeed dwell with furious passions may one day tear this help- men—with men benighted in ignorance and less bosom! What vain hopes, and ardent depraved by sin ? Behold, the heaven of projects, and bitter disappcintments, may heavens cannot contain him; and how shall disturb his peace! And will he repay our he stoop to enter this the meanest and most present anxiety by soothing the infirmity of polluted region of his unmeasured dominions ? our declining years ? or will he bring our Or, if he come among us, in what guise grey hairs in sorrow to the grave ? Alas, shall he appear that is suited to his dignity? we cannot tell. Years may pass away before With what awful terrors might we expect his character and destiny are determined ; him to come armed, the heavens bowed beand we niay never live to see the result, to neath his feet, the earth shrinking from his comfort him in his troubles, or to rejoice in presence, the guilty sons of men calling on his success.

the rocks to fall on them, and the mountains And then Christianity, where it exists at to cover them from his wrath.

Fear not, all, will always give birth to a new train of brethren; for God sent not his Son into the sentiments. We see before us a heir of immor- world to condemn the world, but that the tality, a candidate for heaven, one whom God world through him might be saved. He has loved, one for whom Christ has died, one came, not to plague us for our offences, but to whom the Holy Spirit will not be denied, to help our infirmities ; not to call us to our one whom we are privileged to bring to the account, but to provide a remedy for our holy font of baptism, and dedicate with sins. He came to make a way of reconciliagrateful hearts to the service of his Maker. tion with his Father; to sacrifice his life as Yet will he rightly improve these means of man, that men might live immortally; that, grace? Will he pursue these hopes of glory by virtue of his sufferings, we might be rewith all the fervour and perseverance which leased from the fears and penalties of guilt; they merit? Will the life he has derived that, through his intercession, our prayers from us prove ultimately a blessing or a might be heard on high ; that, by his doctrine, curse ? for on the right use of it depends the our nature might be purified, and our feet be happiness or misery of an immortal soul. guided into the way of peace ; that, by his It is not the mere fleeting existence of a pattern, we might be modelled to every creature that is crushed before the moth; Christian virtue, and adorned for his eternal but the beginning of an endless life, with all society and love. When the light of heaven the responsibilities of those whom God has first shines into our hearts, like the shepherds called to a knowledge of his truth, and who of old, we are sore afraid ; but the voice of have the awful alternative of heaven or hell mercy still cries to us, Fear not; for, behold, set before them in the Gospel. Well may I bring you glad tidings of great joy. Glad the parent tremble for the fate of his new- tidings of great joy indeed, that God has not found treasure, and pray that that God who cast off his people, but has remembered the has been the guide and support of his own promise that he made to the forefathers of pilgrimage, may continue to vouchsafe un- our faith, to Abraham and his seed for ever. diminished mercy to the children that are Glad tidings of great joy indeed, that unto given him.

you is born a Saviour. We looked for anger, These I suppose are thoughts which must and behold mercy; for vengeance, and bebe familiar to all at least who have rejoiced hold forgiveness. The Judge himself has in the name of a husband and a father ; stepped from off his throne to suffer for us, for these are such as the first sight of our and has resumed it to pronounce our acquittal. offspring is always calculated to excite. But This amazing tenderness towards his creawe are met together now to celebrate the tures, this earnest and intense desire for their birth of an Infant to whom we may all claim recovery to his likeness and his favour, shews relationship ; of that auspicious Babe on that we can never apply to him in vain, or whose appearance our eternal interests de- vainly seek the benefits of his redemption ; pended. In the fulness of time God sent shews, in fact, that we cannot be more anxihis Son into the world in form and fashion ous to receive salvation than he is anxious to as a man, and made under the law, that we bestow it. Thanks be to God, then, for this might be redeemed from its curse. This was unspeakable gift. Thanks for that surpass. the greatest event the world had ever wit- ing love which in fear, and in sickness, and nessed, the object for which all other events in grief, still points to the place where the had been directed by an overruling Provi- young Child lay, and gives us a comfortable dence. Prophets and righteous men had assurance that, as he did not abhor the virdesired in vain to see it ; nor could the very gin's womb, so he will not disdain to make angels of heaven anticipate the accomplish- his abode in the humble and contrite heart. ment of this mysterious act of wisdom and " And, behold, I bring you glad tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” | tain men clave unto him, and believed ; Though the message of mercy was first de among the which was Dionysius the Areolivered to the shepherds, they were not to pagite, and a woman named Damaris, and entertain the selfish notion that they had many others.” And why, amongst many any exclusive interest in it; nor, on the other others, should Dionysius the Areopagite, hand, to be saddened by the thought that and a woman named Damaris, be specified ? any of God's creatures were overlooked in Why, but to bid you mark that the doctrine this visitation of his love. He would have of the apostle was such as no learning would us know that his goodness is as unlimited in be disparaged by confessing, and no feebleits operation as it is wonderful in its nature. ness of intellect should be incapable of reNot, alas, that we may hope that all will ceiving. Unto you, then, whatever be your profit by it; on the contrary, we have too age, or sex, or rank, the enormity or conmuch reason to believe that many will find tinuance of your guilt, the weakness of your their condemnation aggravated by the abuse nature, or the pressure of your temptationsof those privileges which were intended for upto you, we proclaim good tidings of great their blessing To such we cannot say, joy, that there was this day born unto you a Fear not; for there is every thing for them Saviour. to dread. We cannot say that we bring And this Saviour is here called Christ the them good tidings of great joy, while they are Lord, that is, the anointed Lord,-a title immersed in worldly pleasures ; for we are which, you may remember, is frequently bound to proclaim that danger overhangs applied to our Redeemer both in the Old them, and "a fearful looking for of wrath and New Testaments: and this is not withand fiery indignation." We cannot speak out a meaning. There were three classes of thus to such as are hasting to be rich ; for to men whom it was customary to anoint when the poor is the Gospel preached, and hardly they were consecrated to their respective shall the rich man enter into the kingdom of offices, viz. prophets, priests, and kings; and God. We cannot speak thus to such as are in each of these relations does the blessed climbing the heights of ambition, and panting Jesus stand to all his true disciples. He is after the honours of the world ; for our lan- our Prophet; for he came to teach us the guage is, Except ye become as little children, things that belong to our peace; and without except ye become as this little child, ye shall his teaching we can know nothing as we in nowise enter into the kingdom of heaven. ought to know it. He has taught us our But the gift is spoken of according to the origin--that the body of man was formed out effects it is properly calculated to produces of the dust, and the spirit was an emanation It is justly called good tidings of great joy from God himself. He has taught us our to all people, that unto them is born a Sa- fallen condition — our first parents having viour, if they will but close with his gracious offended their Creator, and transmitted an offer, and accept the salvation he came down evil nature to all their children, which renfrom heaven to bestow. There is no dis- ders them prone to sin, and liable to continction of persons in his system ; high and demnation. He has taught us the mode by low, rich and poor, ignorant and learned, are which we may become reconciled to God by equally invited and equally welcome. See looking to Him that bore our sins in his own how from the first he called around his cradle body on the tree, and humbly, yet faithfully, men of opposite kinds--the poor shepherds claiming the promised imputation of his from the quiet innocence of their pas- merits. He has taught us to expect his tures, and the wise men from their studies Spirit to cleanse and sanctify our hearts, in the east ; and dear to him was the and to make us meet for that inheritance of simple homage of those rustics, who seemed glory which is prepared for them that love to typify him that came to seek the sheep him. And whence had this Man such knowthat were lost, and lead them to the green ledge to impart to us, but that he was that pastures and living waters of his love ; and anointed Prophet by whom the Father would dear to him was the high-born adoration of unfold the great mysteries of godliness? One those magi, as they cast their crowns before of his titles is “the Word.” This is the name his feet, and poured into his lap the abun- so often given him by St. John at the opening dance of their offering. Could any thing of his Gospel : “In the beginning was the better teach us that no situation in life is so Word, and the Word was with God, and the exalted but what religion claims its defer- Word was God." And he was so called in. ence, and none so humble but what religion the opinion of the Fathers, because he was proffers to it the riches and honours of im- the mode of communication from God to mortality? It is precisely in a similar spirit man ; because he was the Messenger and the that you are told of the result of Paul's message, the Prophet and the truth, whom preaching to the Athenians. “Howbeit cer- Love had sent for our salvation. And this

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message and this truth is not only made clear had received would make them hasten to to the understanding of his chosen followers, adore him; for the same grace that reveals but is so fixed in their hearts, and so inter- the Saviour tó us, creates the impulse to fly woven with their affections, that it exerts a to him without delay. Yet it is obvious that powerful and lasting influence on their lives,- the token with which they were furnished calling them with a winning voice, and leading would not enable them to find this wondrous them with a gentle band in the ways of holi- Babe, nor, perhaps, to distinguish him, when ness and peace.

As our Prophet, then, we found, from other children. I am inclined, are to listen to his gracious teaching, submit- therefore, to regard it as a sign given, not to ting our reason willingly to his guidance, not assist their discovery of the Infant, but to extarrying for fresh evidence, nor cavilling at plain the purpose of his advent, the nature of

what is granted, nor doubting that he will his intentions to mankind. The words were i accomplish all his promises and purposes of addressed, as you are aware, to a few poor love.

shepherds, who were watching over their Again ; he is our Priest, for he offered flocks in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem. once for all that invaluable sacrifice which Such persons might well feel alarmed at could take away the sins of a guilty world. being called on to approach so mysterious a “For their sakes," said he, " I sanctify my. Being. They might mistake the motive of self;” that is, as I understand the phrase, I his visit, and suppose, like the great body of consecrate myself to die as an atonement for their countrymen, that he was come to estatheir offences; which atonement he himself blish an earthly throne, and restore the kingoffered up as a sweet-smelling savour to the dom to forsaken Israel. They knew not as Father. And now he has an unchangeable yet that he came to undeceive mankind as to priesthood, having ventured into heaven to the value of prosperity, to disenchant them of plead the merits of bis obedience in our their attachment to wealth and power, and to behalf. He pleads that the homage he ren- teach them that happiness consists rather in dered to the Father in our nature makes suppressing our desires than multiplying our usurious amends for all that our rebellion enjoyments. They would think of him only had denied him. He meets the claims of as the deliverer of Israel, as the conqueror of justice with an appeal to the efficacy of his Judah, as the legislator of the people. They sufferings and intercession; so that God no would expect to find him in the schools of the more demands the satisfaction of his autho- learned, or in the palace of the governor, rity, and man no longer hates the law which where their humble condition might make spoke only to condemn him, nor shrinks from them unwelcome guests. And therefore the hand which is yet marked by those nails this was to be a sign unto them, that they with which compassion for our race had should find him a Babe wrapped in swaddling pierced it.

clothes, and lying in a manger ; that they Nor is he less our King ; for he exacts should find him in all the helplessness of dominion over

our hearts and lives, and infancy, and all the meanness of destitution. counts for revolted subjects all who will not | And this shall be a sign to you to the poor, yield him an exclusive and a willing obe and the afflicted, and the friendless, in all dience. His kingdom, indeed, is not of this ages ;-if tempted to murmur at the hardships world; and it seldom thrives or comes to you endure, think not they are marks of good when it is overlaid with the trappings of God's anger or neglect; but remember how human grandeur. But he loves to erect his lowly was the rank of Him who was this day throne in the pure and contrite spirit, and born into the world, that he might purchase seeks so to reign over our affections now, for you the hopes of everlasting life. Ye that we may find entrance into the courts of sons of penury and sorrow, behold how the his everlasting glory.

Son of God has cast in his lot with yours; Such, then, was the Saviour, whose birth he made you the objects of his peculiar was announced this day to the humble shep- attention ; he chose his friends and ministers herds of Judea as “glad tidings of great joy, from your class ; he performed his miracles which should be to all people.” But, observe, on those of your order; he made it the very liis offices are proclaimed to us, in order to peculiarity of his Gospel, that it is eminently induce is to seek his presence. And there. preached to you ; he pronounced an emphatic fore it is added, " This shall be a sign unto blessing on your condition; he has bequeathed you; Ye shall find the Babe wrapped in your necessities to the care of his richer fol. swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger." lowers in all ages, and has mercifully declared The 'angels give no command to seek the that he will visit the neglect, and accept the new-born Monarch. They take for granted bounty, that is exercised towards you, even that as the vision faded gradually from the as if done unto himself. O, who would not view of the shepherds, the description they be the disciples of so gracious a Master ? Who can look without amazement on the love nite perfections, their admiration of a scheme which he has displayed in condescending to that blended all his attributes into one stuour low estate? Who can fail, during the pendous act of mercy, which extorted from high solemnities of the day, to catch from his them this strain of simple grandeur. And example some glow of generous sentiment; shall not we, who are so much more interested or hesitate, during the pauses of festive con- in the event, prolong the glorious thanksgivviviality, to offer louder praises to Almighty ing? Yes; it has been adopted by the Church God, and larger charity to his creatures? | in all ages; and hard must be the heart that It should be so in reason; but reason has lost will not this day echo back the sound. It is her influence, and man prefers to be the slave not enough that we yield ourselves to social of every criminal emotion, to that service mirth, and pile the hearth of hospitality, rewhich is perfect freedom. At the birth-time joicing in the friends that surround us, and of the Saviour there was no room for liim in thinking, not without hope, of those whom the inn; and such, alas, is his reception to we miss from amidst the circle. There are the present day. For, tell me, ye who know spiritual blessings which, without repressing the world, to what could I better compare the innocent delight, call also for acts of holier heart of man than to one of those common and more solemn gratitude, and bid us proreceptacles, where the guests come and go, claim glory to God in the highest, while we and are honoured in proportion to their equi- exult in the peace sent down to earth, and the page and expenditure. Travellers from far good will exhibited to man. Let the Godhead and near are welcome, so they bring with be adored as it exists supreme in undivided them the objects that we covet; and may unity ; let God have glory in that highest make us very drudges to their exactions, if place where, in his secret counsels, he planned they will but repay us for our toil. But the recovery of our race; let the heavens, there is no room for the Saviour in our busy and all the powers therein, give praise unto and crowded bosoms. We scorn his offer to him; let the wisdom be extolled which could lodge within us. Every corner of the heart reconcile earth and heaven, and magnify the is preoccupied or bespoken by the things of law, and save the sinner from its penalties; time and sense; and he is rudely turned out let the matchless love be glorified which for any casual thought, or mercenary object, could resolve to execute that purpose at so or coarse affection, that may chance to enter immense a cost; let the power be magnified there, But if the heart of man be cold, and which could effect the incarnation of such a his lips be dumb to this instance of divine Being, and thus prepare to slay the enmity compassion, there are not wanting those who that existed, and bridge the gulf that sepacould receive it with far other feelings. For, rated us from heaven. Glory to God, then, suddenly, “ there was with the angel a multi- in the highest; for he has sworn that he will tude of the heavenly host praising God, and by no means clear the guilty, and the truth of saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on his word remains unbroken.

Glory to God earth peace, good will toward men.” Now was in the highest; for his insulted majesty may revealed unto them that mysterious union of now be propitiated by One, who, being free holiness and mercy, which met together in the from sin, may lay down his life for sinners

. salvation of mankind; now they saw truth Glory to God in the highest; for his goodness and love, righteousness and peace, reconciled has devised means whereby his banished ones to each other ; now they might look once may be brought back again. Glory to God in more with affection on the children of Adam the highest, for love has turned the scales of being brought back again into covenant with justice, and wrenched the thunderbolts from their Maker. Yet, mark how it was not the the hand of vengeance. Glory to God in the mere fact that a Saviour was come into the highest; for the kingdom of Satan is overworld, not the mention of his exalted title, thrown, and death and hell shall be cast for not the name of the anointed Lord, which ever into the lake of fire. And equal glory be wrung from them their song of gratulation to thee, O thou Son of God, who didst thus But when they heard this last proof of his come to visit us in great humility. Glory to humiliation ; when they found Him whom thee for thy noble act of self-abasement; glory they had worshipped through eternal ages, to thee, for God hath highly exalted thee, and now pointed out as a babe, wrapped in given thee a name above every name, that swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger, every knee may bow to thee, and every tongue then burst forth from this heavenly host their confess thee Lord, to the glory of God the hallelujahs of uncontrollable delight. Yet he Father. was no Saviour to them ; he had not humbled Nor was it less a subject of congratulation himself for their sakes, for they had never that now there was peace on earth and good forfeited the favour of God, nor needed an will displayed towards man. It was not a atonement. It was their love of God's infi- matter of indifference among the blessed

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