Imatges de pÓgina
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lently well cut, after the fashion of that of the Mi. litary Order of Aviz in Portugal, and over it a Dove or Peacock (for the learned are not agreed which 'twas ) and above that a bloody Dagger. There was also an Inscription on the Stone, but in Letters that no Body knew what to make of. There was a Cross of the Same Saint, and found much after the same manner by the Portuguezes in Meliapor in the Year 1522. with this Inscription : at the time when Thomas founded this Temple, the King of Meliapor made him a Grant of the Customs of all the Merchandizes that were brought into that Port, which Duty was the Tenth part of the õuds. With this Crofs were also found the Bones of St. Thomas, which were reckoned by all the World before to have been lodged at Edessa. There was also found an ancient Record of St. Thomas's having converted ihe King of Meliapor (who it's like was the Prince that gave him the forementioned Grant) by drawing a great piece of Timber ashore, which the King and St.

Thomas both pretended a right to, after all the King's Elephants, and all the Wit of Man' were not able so much as to wag it. A Prophecy of St. Thomas was also found in the same Treasure, declaring that whenever the Sea sbou'd come up to Meliapor, which was then Twelve Leagues from it, a Nation shou'd come from the Wet, which shou'st preach the very same Faith that he had preached.

And to put all this Indian Treasure together, for it is pity any of it should be loft, the Bones of the Three Kings were found in the same a 4

Grave

Grave with those of the Apostle, which were known to be theirs, by an ancient MS. which gave the following account of them. The King of Nubia and Arabia was Melchior, Baltasar was King of Goli and Saba, Gaspar was King of Tursi, Insula, and Grisola or Malabar, where the Body of St. Thomas lieth, by whom they were all three consecrated Bishops, and were afterwards martyr'd with him. I leave the Examination of the truth of this MS. to the City of Cologne, whose concern it is.

Among other things there was a Copper plate found, with the following Donation engraved upun it: This is the Testimony of Alms, by which Paradise is acquired, and which all the following Kings, who shall distribute the said Alms, shall certainly obtain: Whereas they that shall refuse to give them, shall be Six Thousand Tears with Worms in Hell. This Imprecation is literally used by the ancicnt Kings of Spain in most of their charitable Donations ; but whether the Spanish Kings had it from the Indian, or the Indian from the Spaniard, is not certainly known.

la the Year 1645. Dom Joan Dalbuquerque the first Arch. Bishop of Goa, being alhamed, it's like, of their talking so much in Europe, and doing so little in India in the matters of Religion, sends one Vincent, a Franciscan Friar, of which Order the Arch-Bishop himself was, to Cranganor, to try what he could do towards the reducing of those Christians to the obedience of the Roman Church. The Labours of this single Friar are so strangely magnified by the Portuguezes, that it looks as if it were done on purpose to excuse their not employing of more Hands in a Work, which here in Europe they pretended was their chief Business in the In. dies. For he is said not only to have preached daily in their Churches, which were built after the fashion of the Pagod Temples, but also to have built several Churches among them after the Latin way; and at last, by the order of the Vice-Roy and Archbishop, upon his having inform’d them of the small success that his preach. ing had had among them, to have erected a College at Cranganor in the Year 1546. in order to the instructing of their Sons in the Learning and Usages of the Latin Church.

By the way, It is somewhat strange how Friar Vincent, who is not said to have had the gift of Tongues, no more than the Jesuite Xavier, who himself complained, That for want of it he was forc'd to prattle more like a Child, than preach like an Apostle among the Infidels, shou'd commence so powerful a Preacher among the Malabars, the very first Year of his being in the Indies ; a Year being a very short time for a Man to make himself so far Master of a strange Language, as to be able to Preach therein to any purpose.

But tho'the Christians of St. Thomas did not deny to send their Sons to this College, several of whom, after their having been taught Latin, were Ordained Priests, according to the Roman Rites: Yet this had little or no effect as to the reducing of that Church to the Papal Obedience, to which they still continued fo averse, that they treated those Natives with the same disregard that they did the other Latin Priests.

Thus matters continued with the Church of Malabar till the Year 1587. when the Jesuits imagining the reason why this Christianity was so little benefitted by having several of their Sons bred in the College at Cranganor, was their not being taught Chaldee or Syriack, which is the Language all their Offices are in, did thereupon erect a new College, which was built at the sole charge of Antonio Guedes Morales , at a place called Chanota, or Vaipicotta, a Village inha. bited by those Christians, and which is about a League from Cranganor.

But notwithstanding the Jesuits, by educating several of the Malabars in the Chaldee Tongue, and instructing them thorowly in the Latin Faith, did qualify them to serve the Roman Church in her Pretensions. Yet all this signified very little, none that had been educated by thein daring so much as to mutter the least Word against any of their ancient Doctrines, or in favour of the Roman, or to alter any thing in their Offices, or forbear praying for the Bishop of Babylon as their Patriarch, in the Mass.

Wherefore the Portuguezes finding that these Christians were not by any thing that Friars could fay or do to them, to be perswaded out of their ancient Faith, or to forsake their pre

sent

fent Bishop to submit themselves to the Pope, against whom they were so possessed, that they cau'd not endure so much as to hear him named, resolved, at last, to try other methods with them, that is, to try what Violence would do, the Method to which Popery, where-ever it is, owes both its Propagation and Establishment.

And that they did not betake themselves to this course sooner, we are not to imagine was in the least owing to their temper, or to any disposition that was in them, to try first what fair and gentle means would do ; for they must know nothing of the Spirit of Popery, that can

imagine it to be capable of any such thing, but i it was owing purely to the circumstances of their

Affairs; for that before their Government had spread it self, and taken a good root in those Parts, it would not have been safe for them to have made use of those rude and boisterous Methods for the redu&tion of these Christians, which we shall see they did afterwards, when they had in a manner gotten that whole Countrey into their own Power : In pursuance of the forementioned Resolution, the Portuguezes determined to have their Bishop, to whose presence among them they attributed their constancy in their ancient Faith, seized in order to send him to Rome, which was executed accordingly.

Their Bishop at that time (for they had but one of that Order ainong them) was one Mar Joseph, who, according to ancient Custom, had been sent thither by Mar Audixa, Patriarch of

Babylon.

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