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cause of an eclipse of the sun was in the moon being in a direct line between the earth and the sun, thus the sun became overshadowed; so also an eclipse of the moon was owing to the earth itself being between it and the sun, thus the earth overshadowed it. The eclipse might thus be part or full. But my explanations were like a pot of fresh water poured into the sea, it also became salt, and my instruction had no result.

Moreover, the Chinese have a notion that there is à dog in the sky, which is chained; but when it gets loose, it sets off to eat the moon. Again, half of the Siamese say that the sun is being married to the moon, but the latter dislikes the junction, and so runs away, and the sun after her, and as he snatches her it becomes dark. The Hindoos say a snake swallows it. Each race thus has its notion and peculiar absurdity."

Abdulla was no doubt well coached up in the wonders of Europe, though he never was there. It is amusing to read his account of them, as he had learned from hearsay. After all, seeing is believing. Under the circumstances, it must have indeed been a very difficult puzzle to select what to believe and what not to believe. To tell a native that the English candles burnt without wicks would indeed be a greater wonder to them than the bird which carried people up into the air. In the latter, I think he alludes to the flying machine-a scheme of an enthusiastic aeronaut, which at that time had woodcuts representing it in all the papers. This machine had somewhat the form of a bird with spread out wings worked by steam! But immense progress has taken place since the days of Abdulla. Steam by sea and rail, with the electric telegraph, while favouring

intercourse, has dispelled much ignorance. What he means by the patong I cannot make out-there may be some miscopying in the manuscript.

The sphericity of the world was always a favourite topic with Abdulla-the more so as he had apprehended the theory, a thing not concurred in by his countrymen. His account of the native fears of, and then clamours at, eclipses is correct, as I have myself witnessed. He appears to have been well instructed in this subject by the missionaries, whose principle had been to break down native superstition by illustrating the true operations of nature. The spiritists of Europe and America would now seem to require the same curriculum, or is there a reaction against modern materialism? Ignorance, however, will always be a match for science, there being so many vested interests in it, whether religious or philosophical.



"THERE now came a letter from Mr. Coolie from Malacca, telling me that Mr. Kite had sailed for Europe, and that he himself had married in the place, and Mr. Hughes was expected to come, so that I was wanted immediately, as there was a great deal of work at the college. I wrote, in reply, that I was very much engaged at Singapore, but when Mr. Hughes had come I would be with them. At Malacca in this year great numbers of children of all races died. This was from small-pox. Thousands died of this disease. It is true that the Government ordered them to be inoculated, which many availed themselves of, but because of its not being properly done, the disease on many fell the heavier-all dying. Numbers would not be inoculated, as it had never been done by their ancestors, and they asked, Did not the sickness make the sickness? Of these also numbers died. Others, again, did not believe in inoculation, saying, that if the children had arrived at their time they would die whether or not. Thus mankind are divided by their various opinions, one saying this way, the other the other way. But to my notion it is not right for mankind to forsake the doctrine of free will, for God made free will incumbent on His people to hold it. Also, each thing is made by God, as of one for

another. God made the sickness. But he also made an antidote; so when one fell sick it became incumbent on that one to use his free will-that is, to seek medicine, or some other mode of obtaining a cure. Now, supposing one had fallen sick, and he does nothing because he says God had brought the sickness, so He can cure him; does not this person forsake his free will, and thus surely destroy himself and mankind by his conduct and views ? At that time every house in Malacca was wailing because of its children or grandchildren.

After a while news came to Singapore that Mr. Coolie was very sick at Malacca, and six days after this further news arrived that he had sailed for Singapore for change of air, but that he had died between Moar Hill and Batu Pahat: again, that the vessel had been becalmed for three or four days, so that they had to throw his body overboard."

This translation enunciates doctrines that are at least popularly supposed to be contrary to one of the main features of Mahomedanism, viz. the belief in fate, or predestination, but it will be seen that there are differences of opinion on this point amongst Mahomedans, as well as amongst other creeds. I can fancy Abdulla having many a tough argument with Miss the Calvinistic missionary lady in the far East, on this subject, when he brought out views on free will so much opposed to hers, as well as to those of the majority of his own creed. This lady remained several years instructing Malay girls in the language, literature, and accomplishments of the Scotch, till her ducklings took to the water, got beyond her control, and misbehaved themselves. They had been educated above their station, and so despised their countrymen.

The doctrine of fate, as opposed to free will, takes various forms, according to the position and bias of the person. If a Malay is to be hung, he will bear the punishment with equanimity, because it was his fate. If a Calvinist sees a man devoured, he will remark, that it was to be, God had fore-ordained it; if a man is shot, a Lutheran will also say that "every bullet has its billet."

Lane* on this subject remarks, that "the belief in fate and destiny exercises a most powerful influence upon the actions and character of the Muslims." "Fate respects the decrees of God in a general sense; destiny, the particular application of those decrees;" "but they are divided as to whether these are absolute and unchangeable, or admitting of alteration." He continues: "Many doctors have argued that destiny only respects the final state of a certain portion of men (believers and unbelievers), and that in general man is endowed with free will, which he should exercise according to the laws of God and his own conscience and judgment, praying to God for blessing on his endeavours, or imploring the intercession of the Prophet, or of any of the saints in his favour, and propitiating them by offering alms or sacrifices in their names." Again, the doctrine of the Koran, and the traditions respecting the decrees of God, or fate and destiny, appears, however, to be that they are altogether absolute and unchangeable, written in the beginning of the Creation on the preserved Tablet in heaven, that God predestined every event and action, evil as well as good." Again, "But still it must be held that He hath not predestined the will, though he sometimes inclines it to good, and the devil sometimes inclines it to evil." Again, "Evil actions or intentions only increase our misery, if we are unbelievers or irreligious, for the Muslim holds that he is to be admitted into


*Modern Egyptians.

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