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gun with a skill that would astonish the field,' and we have seen him swallow draughts of undiluted spirits enough to destroy the strongest frame. And the gun and new rum will soon finish what civilization, without Christianity, has begun.
The Macoosie tribe is, as we have seen, the most numerous ; on the open Savanahs (or plains), formed by the frequent overflowing waters of the Rupununi and the Parima, or at the foot of the Pacaraima and Conuka mountains, they are generally to be met with. None of this tribe, we believe, have ever been brought under the influence of Christianity, although some most devoted men of the Church Missionary Society have laboured amongst them amidst unparalleled toils and privations with apostolic zeal and simplicity. This one tribe alone prepares the fatal wouralli poison; and in its preparation and use there is such a mixture of savageness and sublimity that it reads like a nightmarepoem more than plain unvarnished fact. The conjurers or priests (if they who have no form of worship can be said to have such) alone prepare it. They collect the root of a bitter, poisonous vine, called
hai-arry,' which is bruised and steeped in water; to this is added two black venomous ants of the largest size that can be found, and one red ant that inhabits decayed trees; into this mixture a quantity of Cayenne pepper is put; the forest is then searched for two of the deadliest snakes that infest these solitudes, the Labarri and the dreaded · Bushmaster;' these being caught, their fangs are added to the already Macbeth-witch preparation. The conjurer then retires into a hut built on purpose; no woman is allowed to come near him while he prepares this poison ; he fasts rigidly the whole time, and when it is concocted, the hut is immediately destroyed by fire, and the conjurer remains secluded from his tribe for a week. We had some small arrows tipped with this wouralli poison, which we brought home from South America ; having been done some time, we tried upon a mouse whether the poison was still as deadly as ever; we had scarcely pricked him in the thigh before he rolled over and died-certainly much more humane than giving him to a cat.
All the tribes have retained the secret of preparing a most intoxicating liquor, called • Piwarri,' from the bitter cassada. The cassada root is bruised, strained, and its powder baked into cakes. These cakes are then moistened with water, and the women of the tribe are assembled to prepare the drink. The cakes of cassada are slowly chewed, and, by their acridity, excite the salivary glands to an incredible extent; into a hollow trough prepared from the common cotton tree (the bombax ceiba), this saliva is discharged until many gallons of this disgustingly prepared liquor are ready. Fermentation is allowed to take place, and then the Piwarri is fit for use. Intoxication, and orgies of a bacchanal character, succeed its use, and after the night of its introduction the remainder is carefully preserved for the men of the tribe. The European who goes amongst the Indians is compelled to drink this Piwarri : it is the sine qud non of intercourse and safety ; after that he is a guest, and the inviolable laws of hospitality are over him by night and by day.
One of the most deadly weapons used by the Indian is his blowpipe. This extraordinary tube of death is one of the greatest natural curiosities of British Guiana. It is not known, so jealously is the secret kept from Europeans (even Sir R. Scomburgh, in his long residence among the Indians, failed to discover it), where this reed grows. The one in our possession is nine feet long; it is perfectly smooth and straight, and there is no knot or joint in it; another reed of the same kind, but smaller, is introduced through the whole length to strengthen it; towards the end, two teeth of the Acouri are fixed on most curiously, which serve the Indian for his sight' in taking aim; and with this weapon of death, and his .ourah-ourah' arrows laden at the end with a small knob of silk cotton, the Indian steals through the woods with the silence of an unbroken whisper; sees his prey, man, beast, or bird, collects his breath, and at one hundred yards distance never fails to blow his death-bearing arrow with fatal certainty. He takes no immediate trouble about securing his prey; he marks a notch or two on a neighbouring tree to point out the whereabouts, and when his day is ended returns secure to find in the immediate neighbourhood the victims of his blow-pipe and wouralli.
Our space is exhausted at present. We shall hope, hereafter, to show what Christianity has accomplished for some of these extraordinary people; what the woodcutter up the rivers and the government settlements have failed to accomplish, a few missionaries have, to some extent, realized. One of them, a clergyman of the Church of England, writes thus :— The Government of British Guiana, in 1844, voted 10,000 dollars for the civilization of the Indians. Such a plan betrays great ignorance of the Indian's character and habits; and it will be found a moral impossibility that it should succeed. We may as well expect to “gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles.” In spite of the taunts and sneers of men, I maintain my humble opinion that if the Indians are to be saved, it must be in a way that Scripture and reason alike recommend. Christianize them first, and civilization, really deserving the name, is sure to follow.'
At present we add only the following comment; it is wise and well spoken :
Oh, woe for those who trample on the mind,
Recent Progress of Romanism in Great Britaiu.
We are glad to take advantage of the publication of the Catholic Directory' for the present year, to lay before our readers the present position of the Roman Catholic Church in Great Britain. In commenting, about twelve months since, on the history of this Church in England, we took occasion to remark that we apprehended no real danger to the Protestant faith from the then recent re-establishment of a Romish hierarchy in this country. We are confirmed in this conviction by the following comparative statement of the progress of Romanism in 1851 :
Number of Churches and Chapels in England and Wales.
851 Westminster 47
Churches and Chapels in Scotland. Aberdeenshire 10 Kirkcudbrightshire
4 Argyleshire 3 Lanarkshire
12 Ayrshire 3 Linlithgowshire
1 Banffshire 10 Morayshire
2 Buteshire 1 Peeblesshire .
2 Caithnesshire 1 Perthshire
4 Dumbartonshire 2 Renfrewshire
5 Edinburghshire. 5 Rosshire
1 Forfarshire 4 Roxburghshire
1 Invernesshire 19 Stirlingshire .
2 Total number of churches and chapels in Scotland 98 Last year the total number amounted to
97 Increase (!)
1 Besides the above, we are informed that new churches or chapels are being built at Woodchester, Hammersmith, Poplar, Glasgow, Mortlake, Coughton Court, Studley, Carmarthen, and Bayswater; in all, nine places of worship, which it is expected will be completed in the course of the present year.
The 'grand total,' however, of churches and chapels in Great Britain
at the present time, is 708, making an increase of 12 in the number reported last year. This need not alarm us !
Priests in England and Wales. Diocese of Westminster
113 Diocese of Clifton Southwark
47 23 53 122 27
58 Northern District
29 St. Mary's College
The conversions come next in order. One would suppose from the frightened attitude of the Evangelical section of the Established Church, that these would have been alarmingly numerous. On pages 184, 185, of the work now before us, is a list of the principal converts. From this we gather that the total number of clergymen who have seceded during the year, is THIRTY-TWO. Of lay converts,' it is said, 'these are numerous as usual, and from all classes of the community,' yet the names of only forty-seven are given. As a set off to these we might allude to the fact of twenty-seven members of the Catholic Church in Bermondsey having lately renounced their connexion with that church; and we might also refer to the statement alluded to in another article in our present number concerning the aggressions on Romanism in the West of Ireland. These circumstances indicate that the gain? is not all on one side, and we think they should allay the groundless fears of the weak in faith' that the increase of Romanism is greatly disproportionate to the increase in other sects. What, after all, is its utmost gain during the past year? Twelve chapels, sixty priests, and some four or five score converts !' In church-building power, with all its wealth, dignity, titles, and foreign aid, it cannot compete with the single denomination of Congregationalists. Its priests,' many of whom have been imported from Ireland and the continent, are a manufactured article—just as much so as the · Brummagem ware' of our celebrated manufacturing town—a ware, by the bye, which it resembles in more than this one respect. Its conversions, it must be acknowledged by all, are a clear gain to Protestantism. Not one of the thirty-two clergymen who have seceded from the Puseyite-Episcopal Church of this country, was ever a Protestant at heart; not one has ever done anything to advance pure Protestant interests in this country. Where is our loss in ‘losing' such as these?
So far, therefore, from feeling discouraged at these statistics, we think there is every reason for cherishing a contrary feeling. Their result, when compared with the pompous announcement of the present Pope, in the celebrated · Letters Apostolic,' of the very large and everywhere increasing number of Catholics in England,' is ludicrously insignificant. Even the small figures we have quoted, overstate rather than understate the case. In scores of places where there are chapels and priests, there are either no attendants at all at the public ceremonies of religion, or the congregations are of the barest possible description. What, we should like to ask, is the attendance at East End, near Lymington?' What at Bangor?-what at the majority of the churches opened during the last four or five years? In some districts Romanism is heard of only as a tradition. In all Bedfordshire there is only one church. In Cambridge and Nottinghamshire only three ; in the whole of Wales only eleven. From Anglesea, Merionethshire, and Montgomeryshire, this book contains the brief report, .No chapel ! No mission-house! No school-house! No mission-fund! No missioner!' These are the hosts which were to conquer Protestantism ! But the day of Rome's glory is departed. She still sits on the seven hills, but only as the galvanized remains of her former self. “Fine linen and purple' clothe her withered limbs, but the gorgeous vestments are put on only to conceal her weakness and deformity. The spirit of modern civilization is arrayed against her. Her former wisdom has deserted her. The only governments that will now ally themselves with her are governments based upon tyranny and the sword, and with tyranny and the sword she will fall.
Land and Priestism.
[The following is extracted, by the kind permission of the author, from a lecture lately delivered at Islington (ante, p. 64), by the Rev. G. B. Thomas, pastor of the Islington Green Baptist Chapel. The lecture has not been printed, but having been present at its delivery we subsequently requested the use of the manuscript for this purpose. Our readers, we think, will agree with us that the sentiments expressed by the talented lecturer are peculiarily well-timed, and call for our very earnest consideration.-ED. CHRISTIAN SPECTATOR.]
Strange reflections crowd upon the mind as we read such an account. We ask what envenomed power could that be which was, as it were, coiled round this man's heart, that poisoned the very sources of thought and action, and rendered him a spectacle of hideous bloatedness and foul spiritual disease ? What was it that made him twist the pure precepts of Christianity into a knotty scourge with which to lacerate both body and soul of each unfortunate delinquent, giving to cruelty a fierceness which the perversion of no other religion could have stimulated? We have but one reply--it was the activity of selflove. And it has always been the same. Exalt onc above the rest-let him