Page images
PDF
EPUB

bite Church into the Romish pale ; “ Baron Von Wrede has written a and, 3dly, The Latin Church. memoir on the subject of these ChrisSt. Thome, or Facobite Christians.

tians which appeared in the seventh " These people, who still retain volume of the Asiatic Researches, their ancient creed and usages, con- and which has the merit of calling sider themselves as the descendants

our attention to these people ; theagh of the flock established by St. Thom. it is no better than a lame trasisas, who is generally esteemed the cript of information, which may be Apostle of the East. Their ances. fully and satisfactorily obtained in tors emigrated from Syria ; and the

La Croze's book, from whence every Syrio-Chaldaic is the language in material part of that memoir is obviwhich their church service is still ously taken : indeed, wherever the performed. They admit no images Baron departs from his author, he within their churches, but a figure of becomes less interesting, or misthe Virgin Mary with the child Jesus leads his reader. That the Chris. in her arms, which is considered tians in Malabar were early taught merely as an ornament, and not a

the tenets of Nestorius, is proved by subject for idolatrous worship. They La Croze, on the direct authority of are generally denominated by the Cosmas, an Egyptian merchant, country people, Nazaranee Mapilles. (himself a Nestorian) who published Nazaranee is obviously derived from his voyage to India in the year 547. Nazareth : but the origin of the word It seems, however, not improbable Mapillah is variously accounted for; that Christians had been planted in by some it is ingeniously supposed to these shores long before the time of refer to the Virgin and child, the Nestorius ; and, I am inclined to re. only image admitted within their gard the tradition of its having spread churches; as Ma implies Mother, in hither in the age of the Apostles, as various languages, derived from the very far from fabulous. Sungscrit ; and Pillah, Child. Oth. “With respect to their religious ers again, construe the term to inditenets, writers may and will disa. cate the rank originally conferred on gree : upon such subjects human these Christians by the sovereign of reason avails nothing. The disputes Malabar. Poolah signifies a class, in which on these points have agitated a state synonymous with our secre.

the world, are in general no better taries. Ma or Maha signifies great than the perverse offspring of verbal or superior.

The term Mapillah is differences. indiscriminately applied to Jews and “The following is a version of the Musselmen as to these Christians, present creed of these people, being distinguisbing each by the prefix of a written communication from the the Jew, Syrian, or Nazaranee, or Metropolitan to the Resident at TraMusselman.

Vancore : “ It is certain that grants of hon

“In the name of the Father, Son, our and emolument were formerly and Holy Ghost, We, the Christians, possessed by these Christians, given bežievers in the religion of Jesus to them by a king of Malabar, named Christ, subject to the jurisdiction of Peremaul, engraven on copper, five

Mar Ignatius, patriarch of Antioch, of which engravings are still in exis. being loyalt Jacobians, hold the full tence; a fac-simile of which 'I have lowing creed : seen in the possession of the Resident of Travancore.

* Eusebius informs us, that there It has been long believed, that were Christians in India as early as ckr these Christians held the tenets of year 189, who had the Gospel of St. the Nestorian heresy, and that they Matthew in Hebrew, which they declared were obliged to leave their own was received from Saint Bartholomen. country in consequence of persecu. | Eustern Christians, who renounce tion : however, it appears that the the communion of the Greeé church, creed which they now follow denies who differ from it both in doctrise ced that heresy, and seems to coincide worship, may be comprehended under in several points with the creed of two distinct classes. To the former St. Athanasius, but without its dam- belong the Monophysites, or Facobites, natory clauses.

so called from Jacob élbardai, wło dePerhaps Fulian, Bishop of Hali im, vol. iv. section xi. page 257. Vol. III: No. 11.

en.

« We believe in the Father, Son, " We do not believe as Mawney and Holy Ghost, three Persons in and* Marcianus said, that the body one God, neither confounding the per- of Christ was sent down from heave sons, nor dividing the substance, one in three and three in one.

“ We do not believe, as Julianust “The Father generator,—the Son said, that Christ was only man. generated, -and the Holy Ghost “ We do not hold, as Nestorius, proceeding

the doctrine of two natures, and two “ None is before nor after other in substances in the Messiah. majesty, honour, might, and power ; “ We do not believe, as the Chal. co-equal, unity in trinity, and trinity Cedonians said, that there are two in unity.

natures in the Messiah. “We do not believe with Arius and “ But we believe, by the doctrine Eunomius, that there are three dif- of the Trinity, that the Son is coferent and separate substances. equal with the Father, without be

“We do not believe, as Sabellius ginning or end ; that, in the appointbelieves, by confusion of substance. ed time, through the disposition of

“ We do not believe, as Macedoni. the Father and Holy Ghost, without us said, that the Holy Ghost is less disjoining from the right side of the than the Father and Son.

Father, he appeared on earth for the salvation of mankind; that he was

born of the Virgin Mary, through clare it as their opinion that, in the the means of the Holy Ghost, and Saviour of the world, there is only one was incarnate, God and Man. So nature ; while the latter comprehends that in the union of the divine and the followers of Nestorius, frequently human nature, there was one nature called Chaldeans, from the country and one substance. So we believe.” where they principally reside, and who « The service in their church is suppose that there are two distinct per- performed very nearly after the mansons or natures in the Son of God. ner of the church of England ; and The Monophysites are subdivided into when the Metropolitan was told that two sects or parties, the one African, it was hoped that one day an union and the other Asiatic. At the head of might take place between the two the Asiatics is the patriarch of Antioch, churches, he seemed pleased at the who resides for the most part in the suggestion. 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 preposses. other 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 adminis. the country, with the character of tration of the pontificate is given to a being violent in his temper, and not kind of colleugue, 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 arc said ed, will be prevented from ever takto be adopted by the eastern church be- ing charge of this precious remnant yond the Tigria. This primate used of a pure and valuable people. formerly to reside at Tauris, a city on

“The Metropolitan has several the frontiers of Armenia; but his pre- archdeacons and deacons under him, sent habitation is the monastry of St. who act as Vicar-Generals. They Matthew, which is in the neighbour- have fifty-five churches; and the hood of Mousul, a city of Mesopotamia. It is farther observable, that all

These I suppose might be Manes the patriarchs of the Facobites assume and Marcian. the denomination of Ignatius. ---Moshe

carnassus.

$ ss

number of their people, as given in to “ To unite them to the church of the Resident, is estimated at 23,000. England, would, in my opinion, be a

“ The residence of their Metropo- most noble work, and it is most de. Litan is at Candenatte, twelve or four voutly to be wished for, that those teen miles inland from Cochin. In who have been driven into the Roman some of their churches divine service pale might be recalled to their an. is performed in the Syrian and Latin cient church ; a measure which it ritual alternately, by the priests of would not, I imagine, be difficult to the Christians of St. Thome, who accomplish, as the country governhave adhered to their ancient rights, ments would, it is supposed, second and those who have been united to any efforts to that purpose. the church of Rome.* When the “ Their occupations are various as latter have celebrated mass, they those of other Christians; but they carry away the images from the are chiefly cultivators and artizans; church before the others enter. and some of them possess a comfort.

“The character of these people is able, if not a spendid independence. 'marked by a striking superiority over Their clergy marry in the same man. the Heathens in every moral excel. ner as Protestants. Their residence lence ; and they are remarkable for is entirely inland. their veracity and plain dealing. They are extremely attentive to their Syrian Roman Cat holics. religious duties ; and abide by the “These people, as stated abore, decision of their Priests and Metro. were constrained to join the Latin politan in all cases, whether in spir- church, after a long struggle for the itual

, or, as I heard, in temporal af power of maintaining their purity and fairs. They are respected very high. independence ; and still appear a ly by the Nairs, who do not consider people perfectly distinct from the themselves defiled by associating with Latin church, being allowed to chant them, though it is well known that and perform all the services of the the Nairs are the most particular of church of Rome in the Syrio-Chalda. all the Hindoos in this respect; and ic language by a dispensation from the Rajahs of Travancore and Cochin,. the Pope. They live under the auadmit them to rank next to Nairs. thority of the Metropolitan of CranTheir numbers, it is conjectured, are ganore and the Bishop of Verapoli, under-rated in the statement given to and dress differently from other the Resident, as it is generally sup- priests. They wear a white surplice, posed that they may be estimated while the priests of the Latin com at 70 or 80,000. They are not per. munion wear black gowns, like the secuted; but they are not permitted Capuchin Friars of Madras. The to make converts, by the governments Roman Catholic Syrians, it is thought, under which they reside; and it is are much more numerous than the supposed, that many respectable members of the original church. Hindoos would be happy to join their Their clergy are spread through the sect, were it not for this circumstance: ancient churches, and, by retaining but at present they suffer, as far as I their language, and acting under the can learn, no other hardship.

direction of the church of Rome, they “If good men from Syria could be leave no means unessayed to draw obtained, not as parish priests, but over their primitive brethren to the to superintend and regulate their Latin communion. It appears to me, concerns, I conceive it would be a that they are allowed to use their great blessing to these good people. original language, and to frequent

“The direct protection of the the original church, entirely with British government has been already this view ; and, as far as I can learn, extended to them; but as they do their numbers are gaining ground. not reside within the British territo. There are said to be eighty-six par. ries, I am somewhat doubtful how far ishes of Roman Catholic Syrians it may be of use to them.

subject to the dioceses of Cranganore

and Verapoli. Their priests, to the This shows a spirit of toleration number of four hundred, are styled and Christian liberality, very different Catanars, which is a Syrian appel. from the bigotry of the Romish church. lation; their congregations are re

ported at 90,000, (old and young in- tugal, after the following manner :cluded) agreeably to the last return Three names are sent, (when either transmitted to Rome. There is an of these sees become vacant) by the inferior order of priests, who are sovereign of Portugal to the Pope ; called Chiamas, in number about 120. and the Roman Pontiff is bound to The Hindoos have, as far as 1 can select the name that stands first, and learn, a much greater respect for the to issue his brevet or patent accordChristians of the original church, ingly. than for the converts of the Latin " They are subject in all spiritual communion ; which may be account. concerns to the primate of God; who ed for by their not associating with has power also, during a vacancy, of the lower orders of people. Attach- sending from Goa a locum tenens, ed to each church is a convent, where who is styled Padre Governador. Both the Catanars reside in community, sees are at this mon eni filled by such. there being three, four, or five to “ The titular bishop, who resides each church. The service is per. at the college of Verapoli, is appointformed weekly, in rotation. There is ed directly by the Pope, and is suba seminary at the college of Verapo. ject to no jurisdiction but that of his li for the education of the Syrio Ro. holiness, or the propaganda at Rome. man Catholics, and also one for the This mission, being more susceptible Latin church. The Syrio Roman of control and regulation than tlfe Catholics are chiefly engaged, as al others, has been countenanced by ready mentioned, in drawing their the honourable company, as the fol. ancient brethren within the Romish lowing copy of a proclamation issued pale ; but it appears that some of by the government of Bombay will them have been employed former- show. ly in extending the general object

“ PROCLAMATION. of conversion over the peninsu, “ The honourable the Court of Di. la. I saw one of their churches at rectors of the honourable English a village near Pillambaddy, about East-India company, having been thirty miles on the Madras side of pleased to order that the ecclesiastiTrichinopoly ; and I heard of several cal jurisdiction of the Roman Cathothers. They had at this village olic churches under this government, adopted the use of a sawmy coach, shall be withdrawn from the Arch. like that of the Heathens, with the bishop of Goa, and restored to the crucifix and the Virgin Mary in it, Carmelite Bishop of the apostolic instead of the Hindoo sawmy. mission, the President in Council Their church was much out of re. has accordingly resolved, that the pair: and the ignorance of the few said restitution shall take place on Christians remaining in charge of it the first of the ensuing month; from is striking: the letters I, N, R, I, which time he hereby enjoins all the over the figure of our Saviour on the Catholic inhabitants in Bombay, as cross, being absolutely inverted ; nor well as the several factories and setdid the priest who visits them ever tlements subordinate thereto, to pay notice the circumstance. They read due obedience in spiritual matters to prayers in Malabar, according to the the said bishops, on pain of incur. ritual of the church of Rome. Their ring the severe displeasure of gov. church appears to have been once ernment. respectable, but is now fallen into By order of the Honourable the Goddecay.

ernor in Council,

(Signed) WILLIAM PAGE, Latin Roman Catholics.

Secretary. “Within the provinces of Tra. Bombay Castle, 2d Aug. 1791." vancore and Cochin there are one archbishop and two bishops :—the “ The priests attached to the college archbishop of Cranganore, and the of Verapoli are all Carmelites, united bishops of Cochin and Verapoli. to the apostolic mission at Bombay,

“ The two former have sees, the but not subject to it. The jurisdic. latter is titular. The archbishops of tion of each is not marked by distinct Cranganore and the Bishop of Cochin bounds; the parishes and churches are nominated by the queen of Pore being so intermingled, that it is dif.

extent.

ficult to form a right notion of their government, which, in a moral and

The bishop of Cochin, how: political view, seem of the highest ever, may be said to have a control importance. It appears, from the over all the Romish churches situat- foregoing statement, that pure Chris. ed on the sea coast, immediately, tianity is far, very far, from being a (with few exceptions) from Cochin religion for which the highest cast of to Ramnad, and thence round the Hindoos have any disrespect; and whole island of Ceylon : the churches that it is the abuse of the Christian are numerous; but as they are in gen- name, under the form of the Romish eral poor, and are obliged to be sup- ' religion, to which they are averse. plied with priests from Goa, it would We have, my Lord, been sadly de. appear that one vicar holds, upon fective in what we owed to God and an average, five or six churches. man, since we have had a footing in this The number of Christians composing country, as well by departing most these churches must be great, as ai shamefully from our Christian proand every of the fishermen are Ro- fession ourselves, as in withholding man Catholics. The Bishop of Co. those sources of moral perfection chin usually resides at Quilon. There from the natives, which true Chrisare very few European clergy (not tianity alone can establish ; and, at above seven or eight) under the the same time, we bave allowed the three jurisdictions, and none of them Romanists to steal into our territomen of education ; and it cannot be ries, to occupy the ground we have expected that the native priests, who neglected to cultivate, and to bring have been educated at Goa, or at the an odium on our pure and honoura. seminary at Verapoli, should know ble name as Christians. The evil much beyond their missals and rituals. would be less, were it not well known The Latin communicants, in the di. that many of the Romish priests and ocese of Verapoli, are estimated their people, who have thus been al. at 35,000. The catechumen suffers lowed to grow numerous under our no persecution on account of his re- authority, are supposed to be far from ligion, when once converted; but well affected to the government on. the country governments are exces. der which they reside : indeed, in sively jealous upon this point, and do

many instances, the Roman clergy their utmost to discountenance any are the natural subjects of nations at conversion.

enmity with ourselves, at the same “ The converts are from various time that they are eminently qualificasts, viz. Chegas or Teers,-Muck- ed by their influence in their prowas and Pullers ; and there can be fession, to do us the greatest misno doubt but that many of higher chief, by spreading disaffection casts would be baptised, if they did throughout every part of the extend. not dread the displeasure of their ed country. The Roman Catholic governments.

religion, my Lord, I believe I may “ It is well known that the Roman say, without offence to truth or char. religion was introduced by the Por- ity, has almost always been made a tuguese, at the commencement of the political engine in the hands of its sixteenth century; the number con

governinents; and we must be blind. verted in each year, upon an average, ed indeed, by our own confidence, if reach to nearly 300: the number, of we do not calculate on its being so uscourse, naturally diminishes. The ed in this great and rich country, morality of the converts is very loose ; where it has established a footing and they are generally inferior in this amongst an ignorant people : espe. respect to the heathens of the country. cially when it is so well understood

that our eastern possessions bare GENERAL OBSERVATIONS. been a subject of the greatest jeal.

“ Reflecting on the whole subject, ousy to all the rival nations of Eu. several suggestions present them- rope. In my humble opinion, my selves to my mind; and I shall pot be Lord, the error has been in not hav. considered as deviating from the line ing long ago established free schools of my profession, or the intention of your lordship, in calling for my Re. • To give English morals to the na. port, by offering some opinions to tives in their purity, we must, I image

« PreviousContinue »