Imatges de pÓgina
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ship of Pagods, of which there are several among them of incredible Riches.

The Serra or Gate, as the Natives call it, is a Ridge of Mountains running 200 Leagues from North to South, the South end whereof is inhabited by Christians, whocall themselves the Christians of St. Thomas, upon the account of their having first been converted to the Christian Faith by the Apostle of that Name. They have always, or at least for 1300 years, been under the Patriarch of Babylon, who, as their Meterane or Arch-Bishop died, took care to send them another, who resided still among them, and was had in great Reverence both by Christians and Infidels. As for the Doctrines and Customs of this Church, I shall referr the Reader to the Accounts he will meet with of them in the following History.

The first news of this ancient, but remote Church, was brought to Europe by Pedralvares Cabral, who putting into Cranganor in the year 1501. and meeting there with several of those Christians, he perswaded two of them, who were Brothers, to come along with him to Portugal, where the eldest, whose Name was Matthias, died at Lisbon; and the other, whose Name was Joseph, went first to Rome, and from thence to Venice, where, upon his information, a Tract was publishi'd in Latin of the State of the Church of Malabar, and is printed at the end of Fasciculus Temporura.

The

The year following the Christians of St. Themas hearing of Don Vasco da Gama being at Cochim, with a considerable Fleet of Ships , fent fome of their Body to let him know, that understanding that he was a Subject of a Christian King, they beg'd the favour of him to take them under his Masters Protection, that so they might be defended against the Oppressions and Injuries which were done them daily by Infidel Princes, and for a lasting Testimony of their having put themselves under the King of Portugal, they fent his Majesty a Rod tipp'd at both ends with Silver, with three little Bells at the head of it, which had been the Sceptre of their Christian Kings, for such they are reported to have had formerly, tho' upon no very good grounds, so far as I can perceive.

The Admiral Vasco da Gama, not being in a condition at that time, to do any more for them, gave them a great many good words, promising them, in his Masters name, the favour and protection they had desired, and which he was senfible they stood in

In the year 1505 two Christians, who were famous for their great skill in casting great Guns, and whom, for that reason, Don Vasco da Gama had taken along with him to the Indies, ranover to the Samorim , and were the first that introduc'd the use of Artillery among the Malabars: For the Venetians foreseeing that their great Indian Trade would be utterly ruin’d, by the new Passage that was discover'd to the Indies by the

Cape

great need of.

a 2

Cape of Good Hope, if the Portugueze shou'd once get any footing in those parts are said to have sent those two Engineers, who were their natural born Subjects, into the Portugueze service, on purpose to go over to the Indians, to teach them the use of Great Guns, and other Fire-arms, that they might be the better able to oppose the Portu. guezes.

But after this forementioned Complement of the Admiral, we hear no more of these Christians, till about the Year 1545, the Portuguezes being all that while too busie in making new Conquests, and the Friars, who were sent thither, too much employed in building and providing commodious Seats for their Convents, to attend to any foreign Business, of what nature soever.

This 40 Years neglect of a Christianity, which was just under their Noses, puts me in mind of what a Minister of State faid of the Portugueze Zeal in the Indies.

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Senor It is a vain conceit, if Speaking to Philip it please your Majesty , “ ĮV.) la Opinion que ({peaking to Philip iv.)

entre Nationes tudas that the World has enter“ tienen Portuguezes de tain'd of the Zeal of the

Religiosos por las con- Portuguezesupon account “ versiones Orientales; oftheConversions that have

Aquilas conquistas las been made by them in the “ Emprendio la codi. Indies, for it was Cove“cia, no la Religion, tousness and not;Zeal that “ las conversiones se engaged them to make all

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“ mas que

“ Hizieron por obra those Conquests. The Con.

divina y charidad de versions that have been

personas religiosas par- made there were perform“ticulares, el commun ed by the Divine Power,

y direction de la co- and the Charity of a fero rona attendio a de- particular Friars, the Gopredar Reynos y Ci- vernment and Crown ha.

dades, alli avia mas ving no other aim therein, “ dilatados conversio- but the robbing of King

a donde avia doms and Cities; and

hartar la co- there were still 16: great“ dicia, y alla eran est Conversions where there “hombres obstinados, was most to gratify their “ donde no avia que Covetonsness. But where “robar , concluding: y' there was nothing to be “ cesla Religion quan- had, there the People were “ do no se lique la co. Obdurate, and not to be “ dicia, y que no en- wrought upon. And so we "tran en el cielo to- see their Zeal expired “ dos los, que dizen fe- quickly in all places, where 66 por abrid nos.

it was not animated by Covetousness, and homo they who had nothing else to say but, Lozd open unto us, were not thought fit to enter into Heaven.

Manuel de Faria also in the Third Tome of þis Afia Portuguesa, after having reckoned up the Errors (as he calls them) of the Christians of St. Thomas, makes the following Reflection a 3

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upon his Countrymen's having been so long in reducing them to the Roman Church.

" Gran lastima es oir It is a shameful thing que uviesle esto in (faith he) that this “ frente de los Portu. Church should continue an

gueses en la India a Hundred Years in the “ los cien annos de su Neighbourhood of the “ aslistancia en ella ; y Portuguezes without bes lo que es mas a los ing reduced to the Ro“ mesmos oios de pre- man Faith, and which

lados en Goa. La makes it still the worse, “ verdad es que destos 'under the Eye of the Bi

eran los Mercadores shops of Goa; but the

que Christo hallo en truth is, those Merchants “el Templo y echo del whom Christ whipp'd out açote.

of the Temple, were such

as these. Tho' after all, the Portuguezes Negligence in this matter was nothing so scandalous as the Violences they afterwards made use of in the reducing of them.

In the Year 1544. the Cross and other Reliques of St. Thomas, which have since made such a Noise in the World, were found at Meliapor, the Legend whereof in short is, That the Portuguezes as they were pulling down an old Chappel in order to rebuild it, met with a vast Stone Some Foot underground, which having lifted up with great ease, they found all ile Earth under it stain'd deep with Blood, that appear’d very fresh, and thereon a Crofs excel

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