[ocr errors]

" And be it further cnacted and

We are extremely concerned to ördained, by the authority afore- find that the above severe and unsaid, that no person or persons just restrictions are laid on the whatsoever, being; so as aforesaid, friends of religion in Jamaica, licenced and permitted, shall we where their zealous efforts were much public worship in any of the said needed. We are assured, from the places within this city and parish, best authority, that the persons which may be so licenced as afore- who are thus prevented from meet, said, earlier than the hour of six in ing to worship God, conducted the inorning, or later than sun-set themselves in a peaceable and or. in the evening, under the penalty of derly manner, and gave no offence such punishment by fine, not ex- but by their opposition to sin. This ceeding 1001. or imprisonment, not perhaps was the grand cause of the exceeding the space of three months, restriction; for, among numbers of or both, as shall be in that respect persons who have lately become adjutged.

serious, were many young women * And be it further enacted and of colour, and who; consequently, ordained, by the authority afore. could nat be persuaded to those safd, that from and after the said illicit connections with the whites Ist day of July next, in case any which had generally prevailed. owner, possessor or occupier of any These wicked men were alarmed house, out-house, yard, or other lest their mistresses should desert place whatsoever, shall permit any them, and lest they should not be jueeting of any description of per- able to accomplish their designs in sons, for the purpose of hearing or the seduction of others. We have joining in any such pretended icach.

reason to believe that this is a priding, preaching, praying, or singing cipal cause of tsis legal persecution ; of psalms as aforesaid, such owner, but we trust that the royal authooccupier, or possessor, being a

rity, which has interfered in some white person,

shall incur and suffer foriner cases of a similar kind, will such punishment by fine, not ex- again be interposed, to prevent the ceeding 1007. or, by imprisonment continuation of a law so hostile to in the common jail, not exceeding the tolerant spirit of the British three months, or both; or, if

Constitution. son of colour or black, of free con

Such is the hatred manifested by dition, by fine, not exceeding 1001. certain persons against religion, or confinement in the workhouse that, a few days before the passing for any space not exceeding three of this ordinance, a poor black man months; or, if a slave, by confine

was taken up and put into the ment and hard labour in the work.

Guard - housc, for no other crime house, for any space not exceeding than that of praying too loud in his six months, or by whipping, not ex

own house. ceeding 39 stripes, or both, as shall

By this cruel law, the religious in these respective cases be ad

services of the morning, from 5 to judged.

6, before the negroes went to work, « Passed the common council and after sun-set, when they had this 15th day of June, 1807.

done work, are now prohibited; Daniel Moore, Recorder. which amounts, indeed, to a total Vera Copia Extur.

prohibition, as they can have no Thomas Dennis, City-Clerk.” other opportunities of hearing.

a per

I N D I A. A LETTER has been received from the Rev. Mr. Ringeltaube to the Secretary, dated Palamcotta, Feb. 7, 1807. He has acquired the lauguage so as to write it correctly, and speaks it with but litile hesitation. He infuras us, that Mr. Vo), of Ceylon, has lost his new-born son; and that Mr. Errhardt was in daily expectation of the birth of a child.

Mr. Ringeltaube has also sent his Journal, fruin Sept. 12, 1806, to Feb. 8, 1907. He mentions that. Dr. Buchanan had requested the loan of bis Bible in the Tamul language, as he was about to commence the Malay. alm translation of the Scriptures immediately, there being 200,000 Christians in Maleyalam, who are ready to receive it. Even the Romish bishop, it is said, siguified his consent to the circulation of the Scriptures among his people. The Doctor observes, in his lutter to Mr. Ringeltaube, that he has had singular success in obtaining ancient maouscripts, in Hebrew, Syriac, &c. Mr. R. greatly rejoiced at this good news; and sent him his only copy of that Bible without delay.

A Leiter has been received from Mr. Loveless, dated Madras, March 4, 1807. He appears to be going on well in the school; and preaches every Sunday and Wednesday evening in the Black Towi, to about 60 or 70 people. He has heard from Brothers Cran and Desgranges, at Vizagapafam, who are going on prosperously. Their school-house is nearly completed; and the gentlemeu of the setilement continue to shew them kindness,


[We have been favoured, by a respectable Correspondent in India, with a Copy of a Report, presented by a pious Clergyınan, at the request of the Governor of Madras, concerning the State of the Ancient Christians in Cochin and Travancore, This Report is so curious and so interesting, that we shall give the whole of it to our readers, assured that they will esteem it, as we do, a most valuable and important document. It is followed by an Account of the Rev. Dr. Buchanan's Discoveries. ] REPORT of the Scnior Chaplain of Fort St. George, to the Right Honour.

able Lord William Bentinck, Governor of Madras, on the State of the Christians inhabiting the Kingdoms of Cochin and Travancore; with an Article of interesting Literary Intelligence, containing an Account of the Discoveries made by the Rev. Dr. BUCHANAN, in the Course of his Inves. vigations undertaken by Order of the Supreme Government in Bengal.

Public Department. To the Rev. Dr. Kerr, Senior Chaplain of Fort St. George. « Rererend Sir,

The Right Honourable the Governor in Council being desirous of availing himself of your vicinity to the Malabar Coast, to obtain every possible information in regard to the Establishment, &c. of the Christian Religion in that part of the Peninsula, I am directed by his Lordship in Council, to desire that 80 soon as the state of your health and the season will permit, you will proceed to the provinces on that coast ; and you will forward to me, for the information of Government, such Accounts us you may be able to collect, of the First Introduction of Christianity into India, - of the Arrival of the different Sects who have been, or may be in existence, of their General History, and of the Persecutions to which they may have been exposed, of their Success in making Proselytes, of their Church Establishment, and of thc Source from which they are maintained, and with all other circumstances connected with this important subject.

I have the honour to be, Rev. Sir,

your most obedieni humble Servant, Fort St. George,


G. G. KEBLE, June 28, 1806.

Sec. to Government.

To the Right Honourable Lord William C. Bentinck, Governor in Council, &c. &e;

My Lord,

“ When at Mysore, I was honoured by the receipt of Mr. Secretary Keble's Letter, dated the 28th of June last; and fiuding my general health much improved, I resolved to proceed to the Malabar coast in search of the information required by your Lordship in Council, regarding the Christians inhabiting that part of the peninsula:- an investigation which I have found as interesting as it is important, whether it regards humanity at large, or as it is connected, io a po. litical view, with the British interests in this country.

“To view the extensive field pointed out for my enquiries minutely, would require much more of my time than could be well spared from my other public avocations, and as I learned that the Reverend Dr. Buchapan was nominated by the government of Bengal, to travel over the same ground for purposes some what similar, I did not thiok it incumbent on me to take up more than a general view of the subject, and I directed my attention accordingly, not so much to details as to matters of comprehensive importo.

“ The first object to which the orders of government refer is, to An Account of the Introduction of Christianity into this Country.

“ There can be no doubt whatever, that the St. Thomé Christians settled on the Malabar coast at a very early period of the Christian church; from whence they, at one time, spread in various directions as far even as Mileapoor and St. Thomas's Mount: - but to derive authentic information as to the time of their arrival, is at present no easy task.

“ From the confusion arising from the imperfection of Hindoo chronology, from tbe desire which these Christians have to derive their origin from the earliest possible times (which may perhaps have introduced false traditions amongst them) and as all their authentic records are reported to have been destroyed during the persecutions of the church of Rome; from all these circumstances, whether we refer to the Hindoo accounts, to the St. Thomê Christian's themselves, or to their persecutors, the Roman Catbolics, we are not likely to arrive at any certain conclusion as to the exact time of their establishment in Malabar. Some circumstances, however, may be collected from undoubted author rity, by which it may be inferred, that they have been for nearly fifteen centuries established India; for we find, in Ecclesiastical History, that at the first council at Nice, in the year 325, a bishop from India was amongst the number composing that memorable synod; and, in the creeds and doctrines of the Christians of Malabar, internal evidence exists of their being a primitive church; for the supremacy of the Pope is denied, and the doctrine of Transubstantiation never has been held by them; and they regarded, and still regard the worship of images as idolatrous, and the doctrine of Purgatory to be fabulous ; - moreover, they never admitted as sacraments, extreme unction, marriage, or confirmation: all which facts may be substantiated on reference to the acts of the Synod established by Don Alexis de Meneses, Archbishop of Goa, at Udiamper, in the year 1599.

“ The history of this council will be found most ably detailed in a work pripted in French, and entitled, “ The History of Christianity in India,” published at the Hague, in the year 1724, by La Croze, the celebrated Librarian to the King of Prussia,

“ The object of this work was to deduce, from authentic materials, the rise, progress, and establishment of Christianity in the east; and to hold up to dis. grace, and to merited indignation, the bigotted, and unworthy conduct of the Roman Catholic Church, in the persecution set on foot by her emissaries, under her avowed sanction, against the primitive Christians, who were found settled on the coast of Malabar ; and La Croze seems to have discharged his duty ta the public in a most faithful, interesting, and able manner.

" When the Portuguese first arrived in this country, in the beginning of the 16th century, they found a Christian church using the Syrio-Chaldaic language, established in the neighbourhood of Cranganore; and, though it was published to the worli many centuries before that period that such a church existed, yet we find their ignorance expressed in the wonder which it excited.

6. These Christians met the Portuguese as natural friends and allies, and rejoiced at their coming; ---but the Portuguese were much disappointed at finding the St. "homê Christians firmly fixed in the tenets of a primitive church; and soon

adopted plans for drawing away from their pure faith this innocent, ingenuous, änd respectable people: however, after using for nearly a century, all the customary arts and abominable persecutions of the church of Rome to no purpose, Don Alexis de Meneses, the Archbishop of Goa, appeared amongst them; and, by his commanding influence, his zeal, and his learniug, and on the authority of what he called the Council of Udiamper, forced the Syrian Metropolitan, his priests, and people into the Roman pale. The Archbishop, however, had not long quitted the scene of this triumph of bigotry, ere the people sighed for their old religion, and cherished it in private ; but on the 22d of May, 1653, they held a congress at Alingatte, and great numbers, headed by their Metropolitan, revolted publicly from the Romish communion ; nor has all the influence of the Roman Pontiff, and the Kings of Portugal, been able to draw them away again from their old faith.

Leaving the history of this interesting people, which is affectingly delineated in La Croze's book, I shall, in this Report, confine myself more particularly to the existing state of Christianity in Malabar; and, in order that yonr Lordship may have the subject clearly before you, I shall consider each sect of Christians by itself, under the head of, ist, St. Thomê, or Jacobite Christians ; 2dly, The Syrian Catholics, who have been forced from the Jacobite Church into the Romish pale; and, 3dly, The Latin Church,

St. Thomé, or Jacobite Christians. “These people, who still retain their ancient creed and usages, consider themselves as the descendants of the flock established by St. Thomas, who is generally esteemed the Apostle of the East. Their ancestors emigrated from Syria, and the Syrio-Chaldaic is the language in which their church service is still performed. They admit no images within their churches, but a figure of the Virgin Mary with the child Jesus in her arms, which is considered merely as an ornamen!, and not a subject for idolatrous worship. They are generally denominated by the country people, Nazaranee Mapilles. Nazaranee is obviously derived from Nazareth ; but the origin of the word Mapillah is variously accounted for; -by some, it is ingeniously supposed to refer to the Virgin and Child, the only image admitted within their churches ; as Ma implies Mother, in various languages, derived from the Sungscrit; and Pillah, Child. Others again, construe the term to indicate the rank originally conferred on these Christians by the sovereign of Malabar. Pooluh signifies a class, in a state synonimous with our secretaries. Ma or Maha, signifies great or superior. The term Mapillah is indiseriminately applied to Jews and Musselmen as to these Christians, distin. guishing each by the prefix of the Jew, Syrian, or Nazaranee, or Musselman.

“ It is certain that grants of honour and emolument were formerly possessed by these Christians, given to them by a King of Malabar, named Pereinaul, engraven on copper, five of which engravings are still in existence; a fac-simile of which I have seen in the possession of the Resident of Travancore.

" It has been long believed, that these Christians held the tenets of the Nesa torian heresy, and that they were obliged to leave their own country in consequence of persecution : however, it appears that the creed which they now fola low denies that heresy, and seems to coincide in several points with the creed of St. Athanasius, but without its damnatory clauses.

" Baron Von Wrede has written a memoir on the subject of these Christians, which appeared in the 7th volume of the Asiatic Researches, and which has the merit of calling our attention to these people; though it is no better than a lame transcript of information, which may be fully and satisfactorily obtained in La Croze's book, from whence every material part of that memoir is obviously taken: indece, wherever the Baron departs from his author, he becomes less interesting, or nrisleads his reader. That the Christians in Malabar were early taught the tenets of Nestorius, is proved by La Croze, on the direct authority of Cosmas, an Egyptian merchant (himself a Nestorian) who published his voyage to lodia in the year 547. It seems, however, not improbable that Christians had been planted in these shores long before the time of Nestorius ; and, I an ioclined to regard the tradition of its having spread hither in the age of the A postles, as very far from fabulous *.

** With respect to their religious tenets, writers may, and will, disagree : upon such subjects human reason avails nothing. The disputes which on these

* Eusebius informs us, that there were Christians in India as early as the year 189, who had the Gospel of St. Matthew iu Hebrew, which they declared was received from Saint Bartholomew.

points have agita'ed the world, are in general no better than the perverse cffspring of verbal differences.

* The following is a version of the present creed of these people, being a written communication from the Metropolitan to the Resident at Travancore :

“ In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, We, the Christians, believers in the religion of Jesus Christ, subject to the jurisdiction of Mar Ignatius, patriarch of Antioch, being loyal s Jacobians, hold the following creed:

" We believe in the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Three Persons in one God, neither coufounding the persons, nor dividing the substance, One in Three, ani Three in One.

“ The Father Generator,-the Son generated,-and the Holy Ghost proceeding.

" None is before nor after other in majesty, honour, might, and power; coequal, unity in trinity, and trinity in unity.

“ We do not believe with Arius and Eunonimus, that there are three different and separate substances.

" We do not believe, as Sabellius believes, by confusion of substance,

“ We do not believe, as Macedonius said, that the Holy Ghost is less than the Father and Son.

“ We do not believe, as Mawney and Marcianus * said, that the body of Christ was sent down from Heaven.

“ We do not believe, as Julianus + said, that Christ was only man.

" We do not hold, as Nestorius, the doctrine of two natures, and two substances in the Messiah.

“ We do not believe, as the Chalcedonians said, that there are two natures in the Messiah.

“But we believe, by the doctrine of the Trinity, that the Sorris coequal with the Father, without beginning or end ; that, in the appointed time, through the disposition of the Father and Holy Ghost, without disjoining from the right side of the Father, he appeared on earth for the salvation of mankind, that he was born of the Virgin Mary, through the means of the Holy Ghost, and was incarrate, ( od and Man. Si that, in the union of the divine and human nature, there was one na ure and one substance. So we believe.”

“ The service in their church is performed very nearly after the manner of the Church of Irgland; and, when the Metropolitan was told that it was hoped that one day an union might take place between the two churches, he seemed pleased at the suggestion.

“ The present Metropolitan, Mar Dionysius, is now old and infirm, but a very respectable character, and of the most venerable and prepossessing appearance. A person has been sent from Mousul, a city in Mesopotamia, to succeed to his station in the event of his decease;- - but this stranger, ignorant of the language of the country, with the character of being violent in his temper, and not averse, as it is supposed, to the views of the Romish church, it is to be hoped, will be prevented from ever taking charge of this precious reinnant of a pure and valuable people.

66 The Metropolitan has several archdeacons and deacons under him, who act as Vicar-Generals. They have fifty-five churches ; and the bumber of their people, as given in to the Resident, is estimated at 23,000.

" The residence of their Metropolitan is at Candenatte, twelve or fourteen miles inland from Cochin. In some of their churches, divine service is per.

Eastern Christians, who renounce the communion of the Greek church, and differ from it both in doctrine and worship, may be comprehended under two distinct ciasses. To the former belong the Mon ply fres, or Jacobites, so called from Jacob Albardai, who declare it as their opinion that, in the Raviour of ik world there is only one nature; while the latter comprehends the followers of Nestorius, fequentiy called Chaldeans, fiom the country, where they principally reside, and who sup. pose that vie are two dtinct persons or natures in the Son of God. The Monoplysites are sub. divided into two sects or parties, the one African, and the other Asiatic. At the head of ihe Asiatics is the patriarch of Anuch, who resides for the most part in the monastery of St. Ananias, which is situated near ille city of Merdin, and sometimes at Merdin, his episcopal seat; as also at Amida, Aleppo, and other Syrian cities.

The government of this prelate is too extensive, and the churches over which he Presides too numerous, to adait of his performing himself all the doties of his high office; and, there. fore, a part of the administ'ation of the pontificate is given to a kind of colleague, who is called the Maphnaw, or Frimate of the East, and whose doctrines and discipline are said to be adopted by the eastern chuid beyond the Tigris. This primate used formerly to te ide at Tauris, a city on the frontiers of Armenia; but his present habitation is the monastery of St. Matthew, which is in the Deighbowhood of Mousul, a chly of Mesopotamia. It is farther observable, that all the patriarchs of she jalobises assume the denomination of Ignatius. -- Mosheim, vol. 4, Senior xi. page 2570

'l hese, I suppose, micht be lianes and Marcion, † Perhaps Julian, Bishop of Hailicarnassus.

« VorigeDoorgaan »