Page images

world, the Bible found an asylum in grants, which they kept in their own the mountains of Malayala ; where it custody: and that these were exwas revered and freely read by up

bibited to the Romish Archbishop, wards of 100 churches; and that it Menezes, at the church of Terelecar, has been handed down to the present near the mountains, in 1599, the intime under circumstances so bighly habitants having first exacted an oath favourable to accurate preservation, from the Archbishop, that he would as may justly entitle it to respect, in not remove them. Since that period, the collation of doubtful readings of little has been heard of the tablets. the sacred text.

Though they are often referred to in There are many old Syriac manu- the Syrian writings, the translation itscripts besides the Bible, which have self has been lost. It has been said, been well preserved : for the Synod that they were seen about 40 years of Uliamper destroyed no volumes ago ; but Adrian Moens, a governor but those which treated of religious of Cochin, in 1770, who published doctrine or church supremacy. Two some account of the Jews of Malabar, different characters of writing appear informs us, that he used every means ever to have been in use among the in his power, for many years, to obSyrian Christians, the common Sy- tain a sight of the Christian Plates ; riac and the Estrangelo. Tlie oldest and was at length satisfied they were manuscripts are in the Estrangelo. irrecoverably lost; or rather, he adds,

“But there are other ancient docu. that they never existed. ments in Malayala, not less interest. “ The learned world will be grati. ing than the Syrian manuscripts. fied, to know that all these ancient The old Portuguese historians relate, tablets, not only the three last menthat soon after the arrival of their tioned exhibited in 1599, but those countrymen in India, about 300 years also, (as is supposed) delivered by ago, the Syrian Archbishop of Anga. the Syrian Archbishop to the Pora malee, by name Mar Jacob, cleposited tugnese, on their arrival in India, in the fort of Cochin, for safe custo. which are the most ancient, haye dy, certain tablets of brass ; on which been recently recovered by the exerwere engraved Rights of Nobility and tions of Lieut. Col. Macaulay, the other privileges, granted to the British Resident in Travancore ; and Christians by a prince of a former are now officially deposited with that age ; and that while these tablets officer. were under the charge of the Portu- “ The plates are six in number. gucse, they had been unaccountably They are composed of a mixed metal. lost, and had never after been heard The engraved page on the largest of. The loss of the tablets was plate is 13 inches long, by about 4 deeply regretted by the Christians ; broad. They are closely written; and the Portuguese writer, Gouvea, four of them on both sides of the plate, ascribes their subsequent oppressions making in all 11 pages. On the plate by the native powers, to the circum- reputed to be the oldest, there is stance of their being no longer able to writing perspicuously engraved in produce their charter. It is not nail-headed, or triangular-headed let. generally known that, at a former ters, resembling the Persepolitan or period, the Christians possessed re- Babylonish. On the same plate there gal power in Malayala. The name is writing in another ciraracter, which of their last king was Beliarte. He has no affinity with any existing chadied without issue ; and his kingdom racter in Hindostan. The grant on descended, by the custom of the this plate appears to be witnessed by country, to the king of Cochin. When four Jews of rank, whose names are Vasco de Gama was at Cochin, in distinctly written in an old Hebrew 1503, he saw the sceptre of the Chris. character, resembling the alphabet tian king:

called The Palmyrene ; and to each “It is further recorded by the name is prefixed the title of Magen ; same historians, that besides the that is, Chief. documents deposited with the Por. “ It may be doubted whether there tuguese, the Christians possessed exits in the world another document three other tablets, containing ancient of equal antiquity, which is, at the

same time, of so great a length, and Jews, situated at Tritooa, Paroor, in such faultless preservation as the Chenotta, and Maleh ; the last of Christian Tablets in Malayala. The which places is near the mountains. Jews of Cochin, indeed, contest the Amongst these writings are some of palm of antiquity and of preservation; great length, in Rabbinical Hebrew ; for they also produce tablets, contain- but in so ancient and uncommon a ing, privileges granted at a remote character, that it will require much period. The Jewish tablets are two time aud labour to ascertain their in number. The Jews were long in contents. There is one manuscript possession of a third plate, which now written in a character resembling the appears to be the property of the Palmyrene Hebrew on the brass Christians. The Jews commonly plates: but it is in a decayed show an ancient Hebrew translation state; and the leaves adhere so of their plates. Dr. Leyden made closely to each other, that it is another translation, which differs doubtful whether it will be possible from the Hebrew: and there has to unfold them, and preserve the lately been found among the old Dutch reading. It is sufficiently establishrecords at Cochin, a third translation, ed by the concurring evidence of which approaches nearer to Dr. Ley- written record and Jewish tradition, den's than to the Hebrew. In a He- that the Black Jews had colonized on brew manuscript, which will shortly the coasts of India, long before the be published, it is recorded, that a

Christian era. There was another grant on brass tablets was given to colony at Rajapoor, in the Mahratta the Jews, in A. D. 379.

territory, which is not yet extinct; “ As it is apprehended that there and there are at this time, Jewish may be some difficulty in obtaining soldiers and Jewish native officers in an accurate translation of all these the British service. That these are tablets, it is proposed to print a cop- a remnant of the Jews of the first per-plate fac simile of the whole, and dispersion at the Babylonish captivi. to transmit copies to the learned so- ty seems bighly probable. There cieties in Hindostan and in Europe ; are many other tribes settled in Perfor this purpose an engraver is now

sia, Arabia, Northern India, Tartary, employed on the plates at Cochin. and China, whose respective places of The Christian and" Jewish plates to. residence may be easily discovered. gether will make 14 pages.. A copy

The places which have been already has been sent, in the first instance, ascertained are 65 in number. These to the Pundits of the Shanscrit col- tribes have in general, (particularly lege, at Trichiur, by direction of the those who have passed the Indus) Rajah of Cochin.

assimilated much to the customs of “When the White Jews at Cochin the countries in which they live ; and were questioned respecting the an- may sometimes be seen by a travel. cient copies of their scriptures, they ler, without being recognised as Jews. answered, That it had been usual to The very imperfect resemblance of bury the old copy read in the syna

their countenance to the Jews of gogue, when decayed by time and Europe indicates that they have been use. This, however, does not appear detached from the parent stock in to have been the practice of the Black Judea, many ages before the race of Jews, who were the first settlers; Jews in the West. A fact corrobo. for in the record-chests of their syna. rative of this is, that certain of these gogues, old copies of the law have tribes do not call themselves Fews, been discovered; some of which are but Beni-Israel, or Israelites; for the coinplete, and, for the most part, name Few is derived from Judah ; legible. Neither could the Jews of whereas the ancestors of these tribes Cochin produce any historical man. were not subject to the kings of Ju. uscripts of consequence, their vicin. dah, but to the kings of Israel. They ity to the sea-coast having exposed have, in most places, the book of the their community to frequent revolu- Law, the book of Job, and the tion; but many old writings have Psalms; but know little of the prophbeen found at the remote synagogues

ets. Some of them have even lost of their ancient enemies, the black the book of the law; and only know


that they are Israelites from tradition, the north: and for the same reason and from their observance of peculiar that the Christian and Jewish records rites.

have been so well preserved; which “ A copy of the scriptures, belong- is, that the country of Travancore, ing to the Jews of the East, wlio defended by mountains, has nerer, might be supposed to have no com- according to tradition, been subjugat. munication with the Jews in the West, ed by invaders from the north of has been long a desideratum with Hindostan. Hebrew scholars. In the coffer of “The design of investigating the a synagogue of the Black Jews, in the history and literature of the Christians interior of Malayala, there has been and Jows in the East was submitted found an old copy of the law, written to the Marquis Wellesley, before he on a roll of leather.

The skins are left India. His lordship, judging it to sewed together, and the roll is about be of importance that the actual relafifty feet in length.

It is in some tion of the Syrian Christians to our places worn out, and the holes have own church should be ascertained, been patched with pieces of parch- and auguring something interesting

to the republic of letters, from the “ Some of the Jews suppose that investigation of the Syriac and Jewish this roll came originally from Senna, antiquities, was pleased to give or. in Arabia; others have heard that it ders that public aid should be afiord. was brought from Cashmir.

The ed to Dr. Buchanan, in the prosecu. Cabul Jews, who travel annually in. tion of his inquiries wherever it might to the interior of China, say, that in be practicable. To the operation some synagogues, the law is still of these orders it is owing that the found written on a roll of leather; not proposed researches, of which some on vellum, but on a soft flexible leath- slight notices are given above, hare er, made of goat skins, and dyed red; not been made in vain. which agrees with the description Cochin, January, 1807." of the roll abovementioned.

“Such of the Syriac and Jewish manuscripts as may, on examination, be found to be valuable, will be de. To the foregoing intelligence, originally posited in the public libraries of the from the London Evangelical Maz. British universities.

azine, copied into the Panoplist from “ The princes of the Deccan have the Christian's Magazine, ihe Editora manifested a liberal regard for the ex- suljoin the following information or tension of Shanscrit learning by fur- the same subject, from the appendix nishing lists of books in their temples of Dr. Coiton Mather's Election for the college of Fort William, in Ben- sermon of May 29, 1700. gal. His excellency, the Rajah of Tanjore, was pleased to set the example, by The President of Harvard College giving the voluminous catalogue of in New England, having written to the ancient library of the kings of the learned Dr. Leusden, the He. Tanjore ; and his example has been brew Professor at Utrecht, a true followed by the Ranny of Ramnad, and brief account of what has been patroness of the celebrated temple of clone towards the gospellising our Ramisseram, near Adam's Bridge; American Indians; that letter was by his Highness, the Rajah of Tra- published not only in the Latin vancore, who has given lists of all Tongue, wherein it was written, but the books in the Travancore country; also in the French, the High Dutch, and by the Rajah of Cochin, patron the Hungarian, and other tongues ; of the ancient Shanscrit college at and gave much satisfaction to the the temple of Trichiur. It is under- churches of the reformation in many stood that a copy of any book in these nations. catalogues will be given when requir. On this occasion, (and because that ed. The Brahmins of Travancore letters had requested satisfaction in consirler that their manuscripts are this point) the Professor of Utrecht likely to have as just a claim to high has published an extract of diverse antiquity, or at least to accurate pre letters from credible and reverend servation, as those in the temples in persons in the East Indies relating


the success of the gospel, with piety. Religion flourishes here ; the which the Dutch Protestant minis. colleges also flourish : God is known, ters in those remote regions have and by the Pagans worshipped ; and seen their holy labours rewarded. abandoning the gods, which their A Seminary (or College) erected at ancestors worshipped, and taught Malabar, for the education of young them to do so, these once most silmen, to be made proponents and perstitious Amboinians not only pastors, is, it seems, of no little con. embrace the worship of the true sequence to the evangelical interest. God, but even the Mahometans also, But more particularly.

(which is wonderful!) desiring to be D. Hermannus Specht, mini ster baptised, most gladly give themselves in Colombo, writes,

up unto the Lord Jesus Christ, and In the kingdom of Jaffanapatnam, obey his laws.” there were found in the year, 1684,

[Amboina iv. 1d. Jan. 1686. one hundred and forty one thousand, Monsieur Jarieu adds hereupon, four hundred and fifty six of the na. Omnino nostrorum interest, ut hæc om. tives, converted unto the Christian nibus patefiant, et in publicum eoulreligion. And within four years gentur. more, there were forty thousand more added unto the number.”

D. Adrianus de Mey, minister of the gospel, and president of the college there erected, writes,

MR. Bower has made considerable “ The young men of Malabar, in the progress in a work which is intended college there erected, are diligent, to exhibit a complete delineation of and make notable progress in the the life of Luther, and of the effects Dutch tongue. In one year's time of that life upon the great revolution they learn to read and write. They to which he has given a name. Mr. know how to pray as the Christians Bower has explored the original and do ; and they can recite, by heart, voluminous documents respecting the questions in Borstius's little book, Luther, with which his own times, and translate them out of the Dutch and those immediately succeeding, tongue into that of Malabar. They abounded; he has carefully analysed also sing Psalms in our church. I the whole of Luther's writings: and hope God will bestow his grace upon is persuaded that the materials which them, and fill them with his Spirit, he has collected furnish much inthat so these young men may, in time, formation which has not hitherto been prove blessed instruments to propa- laid before the British public, respectgate the kingdom of Christ among ing the character and progress of this these Heathens."

extraordinary man, respecting the [Jaffanapatnam, Jan. 22, 1692. gradual formation of his mind during D. Franciscus Valentinus, minister the period of his education, the grad. of the gospel at Amboina, writes, ual expansion of his views during his

“ It hath pleased the most high efforts for the reformation of the God to send me unto the service of church; and the character which the the East India churches in Amboina, peculiarity of his mind stamped upon in the chief city whereof the Rey- the reformation itself. erend Cornelius Vander Sluys of Mr. G. Guttleib is preparing for Utrecht, fed about thirty thousand the press, an account of his travels in souls, preaching the word of God, North America, in the years 1806 and with singular alacrity and invincible 1807. The work will be illustrated labour, among the Pagans. God with a considerable number of wood hath given him to convert both Pa- cuts.

[Anthology. gans and Mahometans (for here are many Mahometans) and bring into subjection unto Christ, those that were miserably perishing in their er- A REPORT of the trial of Aaron

An hundred infants at a time Burr, late Vice President of the U. are sometimes here baptised, who, States. By David Robertson, Esq. as they grow up, give notable proofs There are two reports of this inter. of their diligence, and ingenuity, and


esting trial. This is the edition


printed under the superintendence of Russia. A translation of this work the reporter, by Hopkins & Earle of by Samuel Mackay, A. M. is now Philadelphia. The character and a- completed. To those who feel any bilities of the reporter are well known interest in the fate of modern Europe, to the American public. The coun. this work will be highly interesting ; cil on both sides have given the pref- it comprises biographical sketches of erence to this edition, and we believe all the principal personages employed have, without exception, given certif- by the great contending powers ; it icates to this effect. The work will gives a minute detail of erery battle, be comprised in two vols. 8vo at six and an abridgment of the history of dollars. The subscribers in the east- the battles and sieges, wbich bare ern states are requested to call at taken place in the seven years' war, Farrand, Mallory, and Co. Suffolk on the identical spots where the Buildings, in Boston, for their sets as French armies have lately signalized advertised.

their arms.

The talents of the transBonaparte's last Campaigns in lator are so well known in the literary Prussia, Saxony, Poland, &c. orna- world, that any comments on his style mented with engravings exhibiting of writing would be superfluous. It is the likeness of Bonaparte, King and now in the press of Farrard, Mallory, Queen of Prussia, and Emperor of & Co. and will be published shortly.

List of Dew Publications.

A SERMON, preached at Lee, De- ification for the ministerial office. A cember 20th, 1807, being the next Sermon, preached at the ordination of Lord's day after the interment of Mr. the Rev. Avery Williams, to the pas. Jonathan Thacher, who died Decem- toral care of the Congregational ber 14, 1807, aged 27 years, and of church and Society in Lexington, Mrs. Mary Ingersol, who died the Dec. 30, 1807. By Samuel Kendal, day following, aged 44 years. By D. D. minister of the CongregationAlvan Hyde, A. M. pastor of the al church and society in Weston. church in Lee.

Boston. Munroe & Francis. A Discourse on the present state Hymns, selected from the most apof education in Maryland, delivered proved authors, for the use of Trinibefore the Hon. the General Assem. ty church. Boston. Munroe & Francis. bly, on Thursday, Dec. 31, 1807. By A summary view of the evidence Samuel Knox, A. M. principal of Bal. and practical importance of the timore college, price 25 cents. Christian revelation ; in a series of

The question of War with Great discourses to young persons. By Britain, examined upon Moral and Thomas Belsham. Boston. MunChristian principles; a sermon. Bos- roe, Francis & Parker. ton, Snelling & Simons.

Hartley on the truth of the Chris. 14, price 12 1-2 cts.

tian religion. Boston. Munroe, FranAn Oration, delivered before the cis & Parker. Medical Society of South Carolina, Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual at their anniversary meeting, Decem- Songs; selected and designed for the ber 24, 1807, and published at their use of the church universal, in public request. By Joseph Johnson, M. D. and private devotion. With an apPresident of the Medical Society of pendix, containing the original hymns, South Carolina.

omitted in a former edition. Boston. A Sermon, preached at Trinity Munroe, Francis & Parker. church, in Boston, on Fast day, April Ruin, or Separation from Anti7, 1808. By J. S. J. Gardiner, A. M. Christ. A Sermon preached in By. rector of Trinity church. Boston. field, April 7, 1808, on the annual Fast Munroe & Francis."

in the Commonwealth of Massachu. Steadfast adherence to the oracles seris. By Elijah Parish, D. d. Min. of God, as the only rule of Christian ister of Byfield. Newburyport. faith and duty, an indispensable qual. E. W. & W. B. Allen.

8vo. pp.


« PreviousContinue »