Page images
PDF
EPUB

themselves the responsibility of so im- telligence of the Catarar of Neranam, portant a step. At present they are ex who answered most of them without pending their time and strength in pre- hesitation; and also of the ignorance of paring the people's minds for the re the rest, very few of whom could anception of truth; content to show them swer more than one or two, and those the light by degrees, as they appear few replied to no more than five or six. ready to receive it.

It ought, however, to be mentioned, and It may be further observed, that the fact will tend to confirm the wisdom, many, if not all the Catanars' prayers, and justify the pains and expense, of to the translation of which tlie metropo- sending missionaries to these interesting litan would object, are such as it would people, (if indeed the measure required even he desirable to preserve in Syriac; justification, that the Catanar of Nerafor they are addressed chiefly to the nam derived his information from one Virgin Mary, and would tend to confirm of your missionaries, Mr. Norton, of the people in error, rather than enlight- Allepie, with whom, I afterward learnen their minds and brighten the flame ed, he lived for a twelvemonth. What of true devotion.

then may we not anticipate, some few After this interview with the metro- years hence, from the residence and politan, Messrs. Bailey and Baker ac united labours of three other good and companied me on an excursion into the active men in the midst of the Syrian interior, in which we visited five Syrian churches ! churches; viz. Neranam, Chenganoor, The morals of the Catanars are as Callucherry, Puttengave, and Maveli- low as their knowledge. This was to cary. We held long, and, in more cases be expected froin their ignorance of the than one, interesting conversations with Divine commandments, and also of the the Catanars, of whom there are five or motives to holiness with which the gossix to each church. The generality of pel abounds. Their worst passions, bethem are ignorant of the most remark. ing thereby without any moral restraint, able historic facts recorded in the sa were, in consequence of the celibacy of cred volume, and much more so of the the Catanars, but too easily inflamed. plainest doctrines of the Christian faith. Colonel Munro saw the evil tendency They evinced, however, a most docile of this custom; and, since it is not contemper; and submitted to be catechise trary to the canons of the Syrian church ed, with the humility of children, for for the Catanars to marry, he endeaupwards of an hour together.

voured to remove the fruitful cause of One of the Catanars at the first church their immoralities, by encouraging some which we visited, Neranam, is an intel- of them to enter the matrimonial state: ligent, and, from what we could learn, he succeeded in a few instances; and a good man. He answered every ques- the missionaries are adopting the same zion asked him, the last of which was, plan with increasing success, and that * Is it enough to say that we have faith with the entire concurrence of the mein the Lord Jesus Christ?” His answer tropolitan, who, to encourage the

prac. to his question was remarkable, consi- tice, has done some of the Catanars the dering the general character of the Ca- honour of performing the marriage cetanars for ignorance, and the recluse remony himself. Many other vices preregions which they inhabit“No: our vail among the Catanars, as well as the Works must show our faith to be true.” people; but, with all their faults, they On hearing this, we looked at one ano confess their conduct to be sinful, and ther with the smile of satisfaction, to acknowledge the broad distinction befind so correct a knowledge of this fun tween good and evil. This is quite an damental article of Christianity illa- anomaly in this idolatrous land, and mining these romantic but benighted may well encourage the best hopes of abodes.

the friends of the Syrian church in MaBy looking over the rest of the ques- labar. We desired to see the wives af tions proposed, the committee will be the married Catanars, for the purpose able to forw a better idea than could be of showing our approbation of the step given them in any other way, of the in- which they had taken: some of them

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

came to the church, and others waited sity of prayer, with tears in his eyes. at home to receive us. And, here again This fact needs no comment from me. was observable a striking difference be At Cochin there is much to interest tween the Syrians and their heathen the devout and benevolent mind, and neighbours; the houses of the Syrians the place would furnish full employment being neat and clean, while those of the for one or even two active missionaries. heathen are always dirty, and to all The missionaries at Cotym come over appearance comfortless.

alternately every week; but it may be The missionaries are establishing questioned whether the little which they schools wherever they can, and we are enabled to do during their short looked at what there were; but every stay, compensates for the interruption thing is as yet in its infancy. The Sy- which their visit hither occasions to rians themselves will lend scarcely any their important labours among the Syo pecuniary aid, even to this laudable and rians. The Jews alone would occupy beneficial object: they are willing, how much of a minister's time and attenever, to assist in any other way, and tion; while the Dutch inhabitants,many appear to be thankful for the instruc- of whom understand English, and the tions offered them.

five or six English gentlemen resident Upon the whole, then, low as the there, would compose a respectable Syrians are sunk in ignorance and vice, congregation: about fifty were at church --and the fact cannot be denied, and the Sunday I was at Cochin. But ought not to be concealed—they never the more appropriate spbere of action theless present a more promising field for a missionary would be, the native for missionary labour than any other and country-born Portuguese populacaste of Indians : for, in their sense of tion, both of which classes are very nuright and wrong, their confession of ig merous. The missionaries have estabnorance, and avowed desire for instruc- lished an English school in Jew-Town, tion, their reverence for the word of and a Malabar school in the fort, which God, and implicit acquiescence in its must be as much as they can attend to. authority, the missionary finds a soil to

But what are they among so many? work upon, which perhaps in this coun. There is another English school in the try is no where else to be had.

fort, established by the late chaplain, It is happy for the present Syrians, and handsomely endowed by charitable that they have three such men as Meg contributions. Once, this was a good sieurs Bailey, Fenn, and Baker, among school; but it is now going to ruin for them; and not a few seem capable of want of an active superintendant: were appreciating the blessing. They appear an English missionary stationed here, to have won the confidence and love of there is little doubt but that it would be the metropolitan, malpan, and all about placed under his care. When I say, an them; and I will venture to say, from English missionary, I mean a clergyman what Í saw and heard, that the commit- of our church; for even the Dutch intee may place entire confidence in their habitants would prefer him to a minis. wisdom and discretion, to use with ad- ter of their own country: and it should vantage the influence they possess. be borne in mind, that it would be inex.

After a pleasant, and, I trust, a pro- pedient to send any missionary to Trafitable week spent at Cotym and its vi vancore who has not received episcopal cinity, I set out, in company with Mr. ordination: the Syrians, indeed, would Fenn, for Cochin.

not recognize him as a minister : and But I cannot take leave of the metro- they carry their objections so far as to politan without noticing his parting re- deny the legitimacy of the baptism quest. Pressing my hand with paternal which such an one administers. affection, he desired, with apparent Mr. Fenn accompanied me to Alemotion, that I would remember him in lepie, where we found not a little to in my prayers. And on mentioning this to terest us. Mr. Norton is active and zealone of the missionaries, he informed ous in the discharge of his important me, that the metropolitan often spoke duties, and appears to have the prospex with them on the importange and neces- rity of the mission at heart. Considera VOL, VIJ:

6

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

CE

ing that he has laboured the major part vancore; and there can be no doubt of of his time alone, and that, before the her extending her encouragement to arrival of the gentlemen, at Cotym, his every missionary who shall behave with attention was frequently divided be- becoming prudence. tween the Syrians, Cochin, and Alle In this report, I suspect you will pie, it was gratifying to see how much find no information in addition to had been done. He has built a neat what you already possess through the and spacious church; and there is good missionaries residing in Travancore. prospect of a respectable congregation But, as I have mentioned only what I assembling, ere long, within its walls. heard and saw, it may be satisfactory to Ile baptized, on the 10th of December, the committee to find the statements six adults, and eleven children, which which they have formerly received , corwere the first fruits of his labours. He roborated by the observations of a visi. has three services every Sunday, one in tor to the missions.

The pleasure English, and two in Malayalim : at the which I experienced on the spot was English, he has from 20 to 30 hearers, beyond what I had anticipated: for and at the Malayalim, between 60 and though, as stated above, the Syrians are 70. He is studying Portuguese also, greatly degenerated, yet the efforts so for the benefit of the native Portuguese liberally, judiciously, and, in some inpopulation, which is extensive; and stances, already successfully making, many of them are desirous of having to raise this ancient church from the divine service performed in their own dust, and the disposition which many of language. There are two schools; in the people manifest for improvement in one of which are taught English and every respect, are surely encouraging Malayalim, and in the other Tamul. signs, and gratifying to the best feelings Hitherto Mr. Norton has not been suc of the Christian heart. cessful in his English master; but he has an active and intelligent young man State of the Mission at the close of 1821. with him now, who has, in a very short Mr. Hough's report gives a view of time, greatly improved the school; and the mission at the end of 1820. The when he takes charge of it altogether, following extracts of an animated letter no doubt it will assume à still more re- from Mr. Fenn to the secretary, prespectable appearance. Mr. Fenn er. sent an encouraging picture of its state amined the Malayalim scholars, and at the close of last year :gave me a favourable report of their The mission is settling, and I think progress; while I exercised the Tamul solidly. All our plans are going on, boys, and thought their proficiency as though much slower than we could wish. great as could be expected, considering Mr. Baker has increased the number of the short time they have been at school. schools considerably. The college keeps Mr. Norton intends to increase the up its numbers; and, I am thankful to number of native schools; and, as his say, that the desire of learning by no attention will in future be less divided means decreases. I allude principally than formerly, he will be able to exe to the younger students, such as have cute his plans without interruption. been admitted since I came: they all

Many towns might be pointed out in have the idea that they must spend seTravancore as eligible missionary sta- veral years in study, and acquire real tions, had you missionaries to send: learning; and are pleased with the but Trevandrum appeared to me as thought. standing next in importance to Cochin. The capabilities of the mission are Within a circumference of nine miles, great-very great. Under efficient suthe inhabitants are estimated at fifty perintendence, the college would, in a thousand; and the gentlemen there, of year or two, attain great and deserved whom there are generally nine or ten, celebrity. would be glad of a clergyman. The Do not say that I am sanguine in my Rannee, who resides at Trevandrum, expectations. Consider, my dear Sir, has uniformly acted with great liberality how the matter stands. There are toward the different missions in Tra. thirty schools and upward; containing

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

more than 800 youths. There are, be there is not a man, woman, or child, sides, a grammar school containing 40 but would come to Cotym on being dimore, and the college. Among such a rected so to do. It is a miracle, and the riumber, it is reasonable to expect that most astonishing one that I have met there will be some of more than ordi- with. Do, pray do, afford them the nary talent; and we, who are on the help which they need, and which they spot, could with ease point out twenty, deserve. who would'do credit to any tutor and Mr. Bailey, and Mr. Baker, are both any instructions. We fancy to see out visiting the churches. We enjoy those among our pupils, who discover a delightful peace, and holy and constant likely talent for mathematics : we are communion, and do anticipate the glomore confident of others having a pe- ries of heaven. My colleagues are full euliar talent for the acquisition of lan- of zeal, and seem to receive every day guages : : and we can still more confi- fresh ability for their work, and rejoice dently answer for their docility of cha- in it more and more. racter and thirst of knowledge.

Besides, is it not remarkable, that Letter of the Syrian Metropolitan to such a close and apparently indissolu

the Society. ble union should subšist between us and

A letter has been addressed, by the the metropolitan-a man of remarkable metropolitan of the Syrian church, to wisdom, dignity, judgment, and humi- the president and members of the solity!

ciety. Extracts from this very interest With regard to the Hebrew, Arabic, ing document here follow, from a transand Syriac languages, with proper as

lation of it, out of Syriac, by professor sistance they would be soon obtained. Lee:With the verbiage and idiom of the Sy May this letter come in peace and riac, some are admirably well acquaint- safety to lord Gambier, head of the soed: in its etymology and grammatical ciety which is in the church of Engniceties, lies their deficiency. There is land, from the school of Cotym! a remarkable desire among all the mal

JAH, pans to study Hebrew; and they are In the name of the eternal and ne receiving instrucțion from Moses Sar- cessary existence, the Almighty. phati. "The way to the acquisition of Mar Dionysius, metropolitan of the Sanscrit 'is now open, and many are Jacobite Syrians in Malabar, subject to plodding it, and some, if it so please the authority of our father, Mar Igna. God, will succeed most honourably. tius, patriarch, who presides in the

You know, my dear Sir, that the col. apostolic see of Antioch of Syria, helege has fallen more immediately to my loved of the Messiah. Love from Christ, share. No'man is permitted to crimi- and from the people of all the churches, náte himself; and, therefore, perhaps, I to lord Gambier, the illustrious, honourshall be excused saying more than that able, and renowned president; and to if the committee send out a person pro- our brother, Mar Henry, the honoured perly qualified, they will, in a year or bishop of the city of Gloucester ; and two, hear of a change which will at to the priests, and deacons, and true once delight and astonish them. Christians, great and small, in the

But pray, my dear Sir, remember church of England, who are devoted to that it is mind” which is most wanted: these things, and are mindful of them, a cultivated, sanctified, and directing who both assist and provide that we mind. Consider the expense of the should teach and preach the precepts of mission. Consider the colleges whence our Lord Jesus Christ

. Love from God, those men issued who visited these and grace from his only-begotten Son, shores some centuries ago. Consider and protection from the Holy Ghost, be the number and the respectability of the with you all evermore'! 'Amen, Christians, all of whom look to you. At Beloved, kind, and honoured brethren the lowest computation, I speak with in Christ, we would make known to great confidence, there are 15,000 fa you, in a few words, what has happened milics. Fifteen thousand FAMILIES! and to us froin the depth of our poverty:

[ocr errors]

We, who are called Syrian-Jacobites, And, as the Lord sent Moses and and reside in the land of Malabar, even Aaron, and delivered the children of from the times of Mar Thomas, the holy Israel from the house of bondage of apostle, until the wall of Cochin was Pharoah, king of Egypt; so the Lord taken in the reign of king Purgis, kept beheld our sorrows and afflictions; and the true faith according to the manner there have been sent to an illustrious of the Syrian-Jacobites, of real glory, leader, named Macaulay, and Mar Buwithout division or confusion. But, by chanan, the illustrious priest: and when the power

of the Franks, our Jacobite- they came to us, and saw our subjugaSyrian fathers and leaders were prohi- tion, and sorrow, and poverty, they bited from coming from Antioch: and, brought us forth' from the house of because we had no leader and head, we bondage, and consoled us with kind were like sheep without a shepherd; or, words, and assisted us with money. like orphans and widows, oppressed in After this, another illustrious leader spirit, without support or help. By the was sent to us, named Munro: and as power and dominion of the Franks, Joshua, the son of Nun, brought Israel moreover, and by the abundance of their to the land of promise, and put them in wealth, and the exertions of their lead- possession of Canaan, so did this illus ers, all our Syrian churches in Malabar trious, discerning, and prudent leader, were subdued, and turned to the faith of bring back and save us poor people the pope of Rome.

from the hand of violence; and he built In the year of our Lord 1653, came a school and one church for us, in the our spiritual father, Mar Ignatius, the place called Cotym; which he did with patriarch, from Antioch, to Malabar: great trouble, labour, and expense, in but, when the Franks knew this, they order that our eyes, made dim by the brought the holy man to the walls of depth of our poverty, may be opened by Cochin, imprisoned him in a cell, and the knowledge of the declarations of the gave no small money to the king of holy and divine books. All the dea Cochin. They then brought out the cons, moreover, and children, who are good man, and drowned him in the taught in the school of our place, are sea, and so put him to death. But, when cherished by the assistance of this illuswe knew this, all the Jacobite-Syrians trious leader. in Malabar assembled in the church of Again, the priest Benjamin,* the Mathancherry, which is in Cochin, and priest Joseph,t and the priest Henry, we swore a great oath, by the Father, our spiritual and temporal friends, bro Son, and Holy Ghost, that henceforth thers, and assistants, whom you have we would not adhere to the Franks, nor sent to us, that they may root out the accept the faith of the pope of Rome: thorns and tares from among the chilwe accordingly separated from them. dren of God, are anxiously seeking all A short time after this, some of our the requisites for the redemption of our people again joined them, and received souls, as well as constantly teaching all the faith of the pope.

the deacons and children of our place Again, in the year of our Lord 1753, the English language. came to us some holy Jacobite Syrian · The books of the New Testament fathers from Antioch, who turned us to which ye sent us, we divided, and gave our true ancient faith, and set up a high to the churches in Malabar; and, with priest for us.

great joy, does every man present his
We now have fifty-five Jacobite-Sy- prayer unto God for you; and we trust
rian churches in Malabar: and, as the in our Lord Jesus Christ, who is merci-
Franks are more powerful and rich ful to those who show mercy, that he
than we are, they are hourly laying the will give you a good reward in the day
trap of the pope for us, and endeavouring of judgment, even thirty, sixty, and a
to take us in it: and, from the power of hundred fold, for your work and labour
a kingdom filled with idols, the heathen for us, and that he will make us rejoice
have subdued us Jacobite Syrians, just with you. But we are unable to re-
as Pharoah, king of Egypt, subdued the
children of Israel, and had no pity.

• Mr. Bailey
† Mr. Fenn.

# Mr. Bokep

« PreviousContinue »