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be calculated almost exactly by the number of its holydays, for the more the mind is enslaved by it, the more voluminous will be its ritual, and more frequent its ceremonial of observance.
2. In the Hindoo calender there are upwards of an hundred holydays;* and of these, government re-, cognizes officially a certain number. In addition to the native holydays, the fifty-two Christian holydays, or fifty-two Sundays in the year, are (on Christian principles) generally allowed to natives employed in the public service. During those Hindoo holydays which are officially recognized, the public offices are shut up, on account of the festival (as it is termed) of Doora Puja, of Churruck Puja, of Rutt Jattra, or of some other. But great detriment to the public service arising from the frequent recurrence of these Saturnalia, government resolved some years ago to reduce the number, which was done accordingly. It now appears that on the same principle that a few of them were cut off, we might have refused our official recognition of any; the Pundits having unanimously declared that these holydays are not enjoined by their sacred books.
3. It may be proper to permit the people in general to be as idle as the circumstances of individuals will permit: but their religious law does not require us to recognize one of their holydays officially. To those natives employed in the public service, the fifty-two Sundays are sufficient for rest from bodily labour.t To give them more holydays is to nurse their superstitions, and to promote the influx of religious mendicants into industrious communities. In what other country would it be considered a means of promoting the happiness of the common people, to grant them so great a portion of the year to spend in idleness and dissipation? The indulgence
The Brahmins observe two hundred and upwards. No people require fewer days of rest than the Hindoos; for they know nothing of that corporal exertion and fatigue from labour, which in ozbor countries render regular repose so grateful to the body and spirits.
See Appendix E.
operates here as it would in any other country; it encourages extravagance, licentious habits, and neglect of business among themselves; and it very seriously impedes the business of the state, and deranges commercial negociation.
OF THE PROGRESS ALREADY MADE IN CIVILI
ZING THE NATIVES OF INDIA.
of the extension of Christianity in India under the in
fluence of episcopal jurisdiction.
1. A sentiment has for some time prevailed in England very unfavorable to the measure of attempting the improvement of the Hindoos. It has been said that their prejudices are invincible; and that the Brahmins cannot receive the Christian religion. If the same assertion had been made of our forefathers in Britain; and of the Druids their priests, it would not have been more contrary to truth. It is now time to disclose to the English nation some facts respecting the prevalence of the Christian religion in India, which certainly will not be received with indifference.
2. The religion of Christ has been professed by Hindoos in India from time immemorial; and thousands of Brahmins have been converted to the Christian faith. At this time there are upwards of one hundred and fifty thousand natives in one district alone, on the coast of Malabar, who profess that religion, and who live under a regular canonical discipline, occupying one hundred and nineteen churches.
3. It is probable that the Christian faith has been known in India since the time of the Apostles. *
* Eusebius relates that Pantænus, of Alexandria, visited India about the year 189; and there found Christians who had the gospel of St Matthew in Hebrew, which they informed him they had received from St. Bartholomew. He carried a copy of it to Alexandria, where it existed in the time of Jerome. At the council of Nice in the year 325 the primate of India was present, and subscribed his name. In the year following Frumentius was consecrated primate of India by Athanasius at Alexandria. Frumentius resided in Hindostan for a long period, and founded many churches. He acquired great influence among the natives and was appointed guardian of one of their kings during his minority. See Eusebius, Aist. Eccl. I, 3, c. l--Sozomenes, 1, 2, c. 24; and Socrates, His et Ecclri. 1, c. 29.
But we have authentie historical record for the following particulars. In the fifth century a Christian bishop from Antioch, accompanied by a small colony of Syrians, arrived in India, and preached the gospel in Malabar. “They made at first some proselytes among the Brahmins and Nairs, and were, on that account, much respected by the native prin
4. When the Portuguese first arrived in India, they were agreeably surprised to find a hundred Christian churches on the coast of Malabar. But when they had become acquainted with the purity and simplicity of their doctine, they were offended. They were yet more indignant when they found that these Hindoo, Christians maintained the order and discipline of a regular church under episcopal jurisdic. tion; and that for thirteen hundred years past, they had enjoyed a succession of bishops appointed by the patriarchal see of Antioch. Mar Joseph was the bishop, who filled the Hindoo see of Malabar at that period. The Portuguese used every art to persuade him to acknowledge the supremacy of the pope; but in vain. He was a man of singular piety and fortitude, and declaimed with great energy against the errors of the Remish church.
But when the power of the Portuguese became sufficient for their purpose, they invaded his bishopric, and sent the bishop bound to Lisbon. A synod was convened at Diamper in Malabar, on the 26th June, 1599, at which one hundred and fifty of the clergy of his diocese appeared. They were accused of the following opinions which were by their adversaries accounted heretical; “That they had married wives; that they
In the year 530 cosmus the Egyptian merchant, who had travelled through the greatest part of the Indian peninsula, found in the Dekhun and in Ceylon, a great many churches and several bishops.
*" Many of them to this day preserve the manners and mode of life of the Brahmins, as to the cleanliness, and abstaining from animal food.” Asiat. Res. vir, page 368. «The bulk of the St. Thome Christians consist mostly of converts from the Brahmins and Shondren cast, and not as new Christians, or proselytes made by the Portuguese missionaries, of the lowest tribes." Asiat. Res. Vol. VII. page 381.
owned but two sacraments, baptism and the Lord's supper; that they denied transubstantiation; that they neither invoked saints nor believed in purgatory; and that they had no other orders or names of dignity in the church than bishop and deacon.'
These tenets they were called on to abjure, or to suffer instant suspension from all church benefices. It was also decreed that all the Syrian and Chaldean books in their churches, and all records in the episcopal palace, should be burnt; in order, said the inquisitors, “that no pretended apostolical monuments may remain."*
5. Notwithstanding these violent measures, a great body of the Indian Christians resolutely defended their faith, and finally triumphed over all opposition. Some shew of union with the Romish church was at first pretended, through terror of the inquisition; but a congress was held by them on the twenty-se. cond of May, sixteen hundred fifty three, at Alangatta; when they forınally separated from that communion. They compose at this day the thirty-two schismatic churches of Malabar; so called by the Roman Catholics as resembling the protestant schism in Europe. At this time their number is about fifty thousand.
These churches soon 'afterwards addressed a letter to the Patriarch of Antioch, which was forwarded by means of the Dutch government, and published at Leyden in seventeen
hundred and fourteen; in which they request that a spiritual guide may be sent, together with such men as are versed in interpreting the holy scriptures.”+ But no spiritual guide was ever sent.
*See Appendix K. Annales Mission page 193. I Malabarian Conferences, 1719. Preface. Qin the year 1752, some bishops were sent from Antioch to consecrate by episcopal ordination, a native priest, one of their number. The old man, i hear, is yet alive. The episcopal residence is at Naraatto, ten miles inland from Porca.