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indeed be an important and happy day to the earta, when this final erasure shall take place; but the period of such an event is nearer, I apprehend, in Europe and America, than it is in Asia; and its termination in Asia depends as much on Great Britain as on Portugal. And shall not Great Britain do her part to hasten this desirable time? Do we wait, as if to see whether the power of infidelity will abolish the other inquisitions of the earth? Shall not we, in the mean while, attempt to do something, on Christian principles, for the honor of God and of humanity? Do we dread even to express a sentiment on the subject in our legislative assemblies, or to notice it in our treaties? It is surely our duty to declare our wishes, at least, for the abolition of these inhuman tribunals, (since we take an active part in promoting the welfare of other nations, and to deliver our testimony against them in the presence of Europe.
This case is not unlike that of the immolation of females; with this aggravation in regard to the latter, that the rite is perpetrated in our own territories. Our humanity revolts at the occasional description of the enormity; but the matter comes not to our own business and bosoms, and fail even to insinuate our disapprobation of the deed. It may be concluded then, that while we remain silent and unmoved spectators of the flames of the widow's pile, there is no hope that we shall be justly affected by the reported horrors of the inquisition.
TRANSLATION OF THE SCRIPTURES
FOR THE ROMISH CHRISTIANS.
The principal language spoken by the Romish Christians in India are giese four: the Tamul, the Malabar, the Ceylonese, and the Portuguese. The author has already had occasion to notice the three first. The Tamul version has been long since com
pleted by the protestant missionaries, and the Malabar and Ceylonese are in course of publication. It is now proper to explain, that excellent effects may be expected from the diffusion of the Portuguese scriptures in India. The Portuguese language prevails wherever there are, or have been, settlements of that nation. Their descendants people the coasts from the vicinity of the Cape of Good Hope to the sea of China; beginning from Sofala, Mocoranga, Mosambique, (where there is a bishop,) Zinzebar, and Melinda, (where there are many churches,) on the east of Africa; and extending round by Babelmandel, Diu, Surat, Daman, Bombay, Goa, Calicut, Cochin, Angengo, Tutecorin, Negapatam, Jaffnapatam, Columbo, Point de Galle, Tranquebar, Tanjore, Tritchinopoly, Porto Novo, Pondicherry, Sadras, Madrass, Masulipatam, Calcutta, Chinsurah, Bandel, Chittagong, Macao, and Canton; and almost all the islands of the Malayan Archipelago, which were first conquered by the Portuguese. The greater part of the Portuguese in India are now subjects of the British empire. The author visited most of the places above enumerated; and in many of them he could not hear of a single copy of the Portuguese scriptures. There is a Portuguese press at Tranquebar, and another at Vespery, near Madrass; and pecuniary aid only is wanted from Europe to multiply copies, and to circulate them round the coasts of Asia. The Portuguese language is certainly a most favorable medium for diffusing the true religion in the maritime provinces of the east.
THE COLLEGES AT GOA.
Goa will probably remain the theological school to a great part of India, for a long period to come. It is of vast importance to the interest of christianity in the east, that this source of instruction should be
purified. The appointed instrument for effecting In this, is the Bible. This is "the salt which must be thrown into the fountain to heal the waters."* There are upwards of three thousand priests belonging to Savio Goa, who are resident at the place, or stationed with Mary their cures at a distance. Let us send the holy sians scriptures to illuminate the priests at Goa.
1 distinctly expressed to the author, by several authorities, that they would gladly receive copies of the tish Isl Latin and Portuguese Vulgate Bible from the hands amily i of the English nation.
earth, a: THE PERSIANS.
pation The Christian religion flourished very generally and love in Persia till about A. D. 651; when, the Persians lion: ** being subdued by the Saracens, Mahomedanism
gospel gradually acquired the predominance.. Constantine bis als the great, addressed a letter to Sapor, king of Persia, which is preserved to this day, recommending the Christian churches in his dominions to his protec- de gosp tion; and a bishop from Persia was present at the council of Nice in A. D. 325. It
also that there was a translation of some portion of the script thousand tures into the Persion language at that period; for we are informed by Chrysostom that, "the Persians, having translated the doctrines of the gospel into their own tongue, had learned, though barbarians, the true philosophy;" and it is stated by another author in the following century, "That the Hebrew writings were not only translated into the Greek, but into the Latin, Ethiopian, Persian, Indian, Armenian, Scythian, and Sarmatin languages.”
KT. Even at
* 2 Kings ii, 21.
I Theodoret, vol. iv, p. 555. We have entirely lost sight of some of these versions in the obscurity of Mahomedan darkness It is not even know what languages are intended by the Scythian, Indian, and Sarmatian The Christian church must now retrace her steps, and endeavor to recover a knowledge which she has lost.
reflecta In the beautiful homily of Chrysostom on Mary's ch must memorial, preached about A. D. 380, in which he ."* The enumerates those nations, who, in fulfilment of our longing Saviour's prophecy, had "spoken' of the deed of ioned w Mary for a memorial of her,” he mentions the Perthe hi sians first, and the isles of Britain last. “The Per1. It sians, Indians, Scythians, Thracians, Sarmatians, the eral aub race of the Moors, and the inhabitants of the Bribies oft tish Isles, celebrate a deed performed in a private the ha family in Judea by a woman that had been a harlot, *
pouring an alabaster box of spikenard on the head of Christ, thereby acknowledging him, while yet upon earth, as God's anointed king, and embalming his body, (as our Lord himself explained it) in antici
pation of his burial; concerning which act of faith genera and love he uttered the following prophetic declaraPersi tion: “Verily, I say unto you, Wheresoever this
gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, onstante this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a of Pers memorial of her;" Mark xiv. 9. The isles of Bri. ading is tain are now the first to restore this memorial, and is prote
" the gospel which recites it, to the Persians as well as -nt at w to other Mahomedan nations, who were to lose it also the generally, during the great prophetic period of one he scriu thousand two hundred and sixty years.
A version of the four gospels into the Persian language of former
age remains to this day. It is a pel iniy faithful translation, and seems to have been made barians immediately from the Syriac;t but the dialect and or, another thography are so ancient as to be scarcely intelligible febrer even at Isfahan. The Romish church has had several
; for e
* Αλλα και Περσαι και Ινδοι και Σκυθαι Θρακες Σαυρομαται και των Μαυρων γενος και
οι τας Βρετανικας Νησους οικουντες, Το εν γενομενον λαθρα, εν
οικια αρα γυναικος ωεπορνενμενης, Weigipe 806. -- Chrys. Hom. Ixxxi in Matth. The argument of Chrysostom is this, that nothing could have given so pormabent a celebrity to so private an occurrence, but the divine work of Him who
he supposes the woman to have been Mary Megdalene, but probably she was Mary, the sister of Martha.
+ This is the Version of Polyglot.
Missions in the kingdom of Persia for some centuries past. The Augustinian Mission from Goa commenced in the year one thousand six hundred and two, “and was permitted by Sultan Murad to build convents in all parts of the empire.”* But they went into Persia, as into other countries, not with the de. sign of instructing men in the holy scriptures, but of teaching them the tenets and ceremonies of Rome. To this day, they have not published, under all the advantages of toleration which they enjoyed, a translation of the Bible, or even of the New Testament, into the Persian language.
It is a reproach to Christians, that the only endeavor to produce a translation of the scriptures into the language of that extensive kingdom should have been made by the Persians themselves. The representative of the Christian churches in Europe, of every denomination, may well blush, when they read the following authentic relation of an attempt made by a Persian king to procure a knowledge of our religion.
"Towards the close of the year one thousand seven hundred and forty, Nadir Shah caused a translation of he four Evangelists to be made into Persian. The af. fair was put under the direction of Mirza Mehdee, a man of some learning, who, being vested with proper authority for the purpose, summoned several Armenian bishops, and priests, together with divers Missionaries of the Romish church, and Persian Mullahst to meet him at Isfahan. As to the latter, the Mahomedan priests, they could not be gainers, since the change of religion, if any, was to be in prejudice of Mahomedanism. Besides, Nadir's conduct towards them had been severe, to an extreme and unprecedented degree; many of them therefore gave Mirza Mehdee large bribes to excuse their absence. Among the Christians summoned on this occasion,
Fabricii Lux Eseng, p. 639.