Imatges de pÓgina

bite Church into the Romish pale; and, 3dly, The Latin Church.

St. Thome, or Jacobite Christians. "These people, who still retain their ancient creed and usages, consider themselves as the descendants of the flock established by St. Thom. as, who is generally esteemed the Apostle of the East. Their ances. tors 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 ornament, 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. Poolah signifies a class, in a state synonymous with our secretaries. Ma or Maha signifies great or superior. The term Mapillah is indiscriminately applied to Jews and Musselmen as to these Christians, distinguishing 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 Peremaul, engraven on copper, five of which engravings are still in exis. tence; 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 Nestorian heresy, and that they were obliged to leave their own country in consequence of persecu tion: however, it appears that the creed which they now follow 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 seventh 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 trans cript 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: indeed, wherever the Baron departs from his author, he becomes less interesting, or misThat the Chrisleads his reader. tians 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 India 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 am inclined to regard the tradition of its having spread hither in the age of the Apostles, 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 points have agitated the world, are in general no better than the perverse offspring 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 Tra

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"We believe in the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, three Persons in one God, neither confounding the persons, nor dividing the substance, one in three and 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; co-equal, unity in trinity, and trinity in unity.

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

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

"We do not believe, as Macedoni. us said, that the Holy Ghost is less than the Father and Son.

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"We do not believe, as Julianust 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 Son is 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 incarnate, God and Man. that in the union of the divine and human nature, there was one nature and one substance. So we believe."


"The service in their church is performed very nearly after the manner of the church of England; 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.

clare it as their opinion that, in the Saviour of the world, there is only one nature; while the latter comprehends the followers of Nestorius, frequently called Chaldeans, from the country where they principally reside, and who suppose that there are two distinct persons or natures in the Son of God. The Monophysites are subdivided into two sects or parties, the one African, and the other Asiatic. At the head of the Asiatics is the patriarch of Antioch, who resides for the most part in the monastry of St. Ananias, which is "The present Metropolitan, Mar situated near the city of Merdin, and Dionysius, is now old and infirm, sometimes at Merdin, his episcopal but a very respectable character, and seat; as also at Amida, Aleppo, and of the most venerable and prepossesother Syrian cities. The government sing appearance. A person has been of this prelate is too extensive, and the sent from Mousul, a city in Mesochurches over which he presides too nu- potamia, to succeed to his station in merous, to admit of his performing the event of his decease; but this himself all the duties of his high office; stranger, ignorant of the language of and, therefore, a part of the admiristhe country, with the character of tration of the pontificate is given to a being violent in his temper, and not kind of colleague, who is called the averse, as it is supposed, to the views Maphrian, or Primate of the East, and of the Romish church, it is to be hopwhose doctrines and discipline are said ed, will be prevented from ever takto be adopted by the eastern church being charge of this precious remnant yond the Tigris. This primate used of a pure and valuable people. formerly to reside at Tauris, a city on the frontiers of Armenia; but his present habitation is the monastry of St. Matthew, which is in the neighbourhood of Mousul, a city of Mesopotamia. It is farther observable, that all the patriarchs of the Facobites assume the denomination of Ignatius.→→Mosheim, vol. iv. section xi. page 257. Vol. III. No. 11.


"The Metropolitan has several archdeacons and deacons under him, who act as Vicar-Generals. They have fifty-five churches; and the

• These I suppose might be Manes and Marcian.

† Perhaps Julian, Bishop of Hali


number 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 performed in the Syrian and Latin ritual alternately, by the priests of the Christians of St. Thome, who have adhered to their ancient rights, and those who have been united to the church of Rome.* When the latter have celebrated mass, they carry away the images from the church before the others enter.

"The character of these people is 'marked by a striking superiority over the Heathens in every moral excellence; and they are remarkable for their veracity and plain dealing. They are extremely attentive to their religious duties; and abide by the decision of their Priests and Metropolitan in all cases, whether in spir. itual, or, as I heard, in temporal affairs. They are respected very highly by the Nairs, who do not consider themselves defiled by associating with them, though it is well known that the Nairs are the most particular of all the Hindoos in this respect; and the Rajahs of Travancore and Cochin, admit them to rank next to Nairs. Their numbers, it is conjectured, are under-rated in the statement given to the Resident, as it is generally supposed that they may be estimated at 70 or 80,000. They are not persecuted; but they are not permitted to make converts, by the governments under which they reside; and it is supposed, that many respectable Hindoos would be happy to join their sect, were it not for this circumstance: but at present they suffer, as far as I can learn, no other hardship.

"If good men from Syria could be obtained, not as parish priests, but to superintend and regulate their concerns, I conceive it would be a great blessing to these good people. "The direct protection of the British government has been already extended to them; but as they do not reside within the British territories, I am somewhat doubtful how far it may be of use to them.

This shows a spirit of toleration and Christian liberality, very different from the bigotry of the Romish church.

"To unite them to the church of England, would, in my opinion, be a most noble work; and it is most devoutly to be wished for, that those who have been driven into the Roman pale might be recalled to their ancient church; a measure which it would not, I imagine, be difficult to accomplish, as the country governments would, it is supposed, second any efforts to that purpose.

"Their occupations are various as those of other Christians; but they are chiefly cultivators and artizans; and some of them possess a comfortable, if not a spendid independence. Their clergy marry in the same manner as Protestants. Their residence is entirely inland.

Syrian Roman Catholics.

"THESE people, as stated above, were constrained to join the Latin church, after a long struggle for the power of maintaining their purity and independence; and still appear a people perfectly distinct from the Latin church, being allowed to chant and perform all the services of the church of Rome in the Syrio-Chaldaic language by a dispensation from the Pope. They live under the authority of the Metropolitan of Cranganore and the Bishop of Verapoli, and dress differently from other priests. They wear a white surplice, while the priests of the Latin communion wear black gowns, like the Capuchin Friars of Madras. The Roman Catholic Syrians, it is thought, are much more numerous than the members of the original church. Their clergy are spread through the ancient churches, and, by retaining their language, and acting under the direction of the church of Rome, they leave no means unessayed to draw over their primitive brethren to the Latin communion. It appears to me, that they are allowed to use their original language, and to frequent the original church, entirely with this view; and, as far as I can learn, their numbers are gaining ground. There are said to be eighty-six par. ishes of Roman Catholic Syrians subject to the dioceses of Cranganore and Verapoli. Their priests, to the number of four hundred, are styled Catanars, which is a Syrian appellation; their congregations are re

ported at 90,000, (old and young included) agreeably to the last return transmitted to Rome. There is an inferior order of priests, who are called Chiamas, in number about 120. The Hindoos have, as far as 1 can learn, a much greater respect for the Christians of the original church, than for the converts of the Latin communion; which may be accounted for by their not associating with the lower orders of people. Attached to each church is a convent, where the Catanars reside in community, there being three, four, or five to each church. The service is per formed weekly, in rotation. There is a seminary at the college of Verapoli for the education of the Syrio Roman Catholics, and also one for the Latin church. The Syrio Roman Catholics are chiefly engaged, as already mentioned, in drawing their ancient brethren within the Romish pale; but it appears that some of them have been employed formerly in extending the general object of conversion over the peninsu, la. I saw one of their churches at a village near Pillambaddy, about thirty miles on the Madras side of Trichinopoly; and I heard of several others. They had at this village adopted the use of a sawmy coach, like that of the Heathens, with the crucifix and the Virgin Mary in it, instead of the Hindoo sawmy. Their church was much out of repair and the ignorance of the few Christians remaining in charge of it is striking the letters I, N, R, I, over the figure of our Saviour on the cross, being absolutely inverted; nor did the priest who visits them ever notice the circumstance. They read prayers in Malabar, according to the ritual of the church of Rome. Their church appears to have been once respectable, but is now fallen into decay.


Latin Roman Catholics. "WITHIN the provinces of Travancore and Cochin there are one archbishop and two bishops :-the archbishop of Cranganore, and the bishops of Cochin and Verapoli.

"The two former have sees, the latter is titular. The archbishops of Cranganore and the Bishop of Cochin are nominated by the queen of Por

tugal, after the following manner :Three names are sent, (when either of these sees become vacant) by the sovereign of Portugal to the Pope; and the Roman Pontiff is bound to select the name that stands first, and to issue his brevet or patent accordingly.

"They are subject in all spiritual concerns to the primate of Goa; who has power also, during a vacancy, of sending from Goa a locum tenens, who is styled Padre Governador. Both sees are at this moment filled by such.

"The titular bishop, who resides at the college of Verapoli, is appointed directly by the Pope, and is subject to no jurisdiction but that of his holiness, or the propaganda at Rome. This mission, being more susceptible of control and regulation than the others, has been countenanced by the honourable company, as the following copy of a proclamation issued by the government of Bombay will



"The honourable the Court of Directors of the honourable English East-India company, having been pleased to order that the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic churches under this government, shall be withdrawn from the Archbishop of Goa, and restored to the Carmelite Bishop of the apostolic mission, the President in Council has accordingly resolved, that the said restitution shall take place on the first of the ensuing month; from which time he hereby enjoins all the Catholic inhabitants in Bombay, as well as the several factories and settlements subordinate thereto, to pay due obedience in spiritual matters to the said bishops, on pain of incurring the severe displeasure of gov


"By order of the Honourable the Governor in Council,

(Signed) WILLIAM PAGE, Secretary. "Bombay Castle, 2d Aug. 1791."

"The priests attached to the college of Verapoli are all Carmelites, united to the apostolic mission at Bombay, but not subject to it. The jurisdiction of each is not marked by distinct bounds; the parishes and churches being so intermingled, that it is dif

ficult to form a right notion of their extent. The bishop of Cochin, how ever, may be said to have a control over all the Romish churches situated on the sea coast, immediately, (with few exceptions) from Cochin to Ramnad, and thence round the whole island of Ceylon: the churches are numerous; but as they are in general poor, and are obliged to be supplied with priests from Goa, it would appear that one vicar holds, upon an average, five or six churches. The number of Christians composing these churches must be great, as all and every of the fishermen are Roman Catholics. The Bishop of Cochin usually resides at Quilon. There are very few European clergy (not above seven or eight) under the three jurisdictions, and none of them men of education; and it cannot be expected that the native priests, who have been educated at Goa, or at the seminary at Verapoli, should know much beyond their missals and rituals. The Latin communicants, in the diocese of Verapoli, are estimated at 35,000. The catechumen suffers no persecution on account of his religion, when once converted; but the country governments are excessively jealous upon this point, and do their utmost to discountenance any conversion.

"The converts are from various casts, viz. Chegas or Teers,-Muckwas and Pullers; and there can be no doubt but that many of higher casts would be baptised, if they did not dread the displeasure of their governments.

"It is well known that the Roman religion was introduced by the Portuguese, at the commencement of the sixteenth century; the number converted in each year, upon an average, reach to nearly 300: the number, of course, naturally diminishes. morality of the converts is very loose; and they are generally inferior in this respect to the heathens of the country.



"Reflecting on the whole subject, several suggestions present themselves to my mind; and I shall not be considered as deviating from the line of my profession, or the intention of your lordship, in calling for my Report, by offering some opinions to

government, which, in a moral and political view, seem of the highest importance. It appears, from the foregoing statement, that pure Christianity is far, very far, from being a religion for which the highest cast of Hindoos have any disrespect; and that it is the abuse of the Christian name, under the form of the Romish religion, to which they are averse. We have, my Lord, been sadly defective in what we owed to God and man, since we have had a footing in this country, as well by departing most shamefully from our Christian profession ourselves, as in withholding those sources of moral perfection from the natives, which true Christianity alone can establish; and, at the same time, we have allowed the Romanists to steal into our territories, to occupy the ground we have neglected to cultivate, and to bring an odium on our pure and honourable name as Christians. The evil would be less, were it not well known that many of the Romish priests and their people, who have thus been allowed to grow numerous under our authority, are supposed to be far from well affected to the government ander which they reside indeed, in many instances, the Roman clergy are the natural subjects of nations at enmity with ourselves, at the same time that they are eminently qualifi ed by their influence in their profession, to do us the greatest mischief, by spreading disaffection throughout every part of the extended country. The Roman Catholic religion, my Lord, I believe I may say, without offence to truth or charity, has almost always been made a political engine in the hands of its governments; and we must be blinded indeed, by our own confidence, if we do not calculate on its being so used in this great and rich country, where it has established a footing amongst an ignorant people: especially when it is so well understood that our eastern possessions have been a subject of the greatest_jealousy to all the rival nations of Europe. In my humble opinion, my Lord, the error has been in not having long ago established free* schools

To give English morals to the natives in their purity, we must, I imag

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