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The province of Malabar now forms part of the British dominions; and divine providence hath placed these churches under our government.
6. The manners of these Christians are truly simple and primitive. Every traveller who has visited the churches in the mountains takes pleasure in de-' scribing the chaste and innocent lives of the native Christians. The congregations support each other, and form a kind of Christian republic. The clergy and elders settle all disputes among members of the community; and the discipline, for the preservation of pure morals, is very correct, and would do honor to any protestant church in Europe.*
7. The climate of Malabar is delightful; and the face of the country, which is verdant and picturesque, is adorned by the numerous churches of the Christians. Their churches are not, in general, so sma as the country parish churches in England. Many of them are sumptuous buildings, and some of them are visible from the sca. This latter cirs cumstance is noticed incidentally by a writer who lately visited the country:
“Having kept as close to the land as possible, the whole coast of Malabar appeared before us in the form of a green ampitheatre. At one time we discovered a district entirely covered with cocoa-nut trees; and immediately after, a river winding through a delightful vale, at the bottom of which
At certain seasons, the agasa or love feasts ar celebrated, as in primitive times. on such occasions they prepare delicious cakes, called Appar, made of bananas, honey, and rice.dotr. The people assembly in the church yard, ani, arranging the inselres in rows, each spreads before him a plaintain leaf. Ww this is done, the clergymen, standing in the churcb door, pronounces the benediction; and the overseers oi the church, walking through between the rows, gives to each his porrion. "Jets cedrainly an affecting scene, and capable of elevating tbe heart, to behold six or seven thousand persons, of both sexes and of all ages, assembled and rereiving together, with the utmost reverence and derntien, their Appam, the pledge of inutual union and love." Bartolomeo, puge 421
Compare the amiable lives and characser of these Christian Mindoos with the rites o!ibeir uncontroverted countrymen in Bengal described in Appendix B.
fIn the year 1799 Tippoo the Mahometan, destroyed a great number of the Christian cow.cises, and a general conflagration of the Christian villages marked the progress of hių deseroying host. Ten thousand Christians!ostiheirlives suring the war, Bartolomeo, pag. 149.
it discharged itself into the sea.
In one place appeared a multitude of people employed in fishing; in another, a snow white church bursting forth to the view from amidst the thick-leaved trees. While we were enjoying these delightful scenes with the early morning, a gentle breeze, which blew from the shore, perfumed the air around us with the agreeable smell wafted from the cardamon, pepper, beetel, and other aromatic herbs and plants.”+
A snow white church bursting on the view from amidst the trees! Can this be a scene in the land of the Hindoos; where eyen a church for Europeans is so rarely found? And can the persons repairing to these snow white churches be Hindoos; that peculiar people who are supposed to be incapable of receiving the Christian raligion or its civilizing principles? Yes, they are Hindoos, and now a "peculiar people," some of them formerly Brahmins of Malabar; who, before means were used for their conversion, may have possessed as invincible prejudices against the religion of Christ as the Brahmins of Benares, or off Juggernaut. Whatever good effects have been produced by the Christian religion in Malabar, may also be produced in Bengal, and in every other province of Hindos
Of the extension of Christianity in India by the labors
of Protestant Missionaries.
1. In the bill brought into Parliament in seventeen hundred and ninety-three for communicating Christian instruction to our Asiatic subjects, there
Bartoloraco, D. 485.
was a clause for an “Establishment of Missionaries and Schoolmasters.” Such an establishment (if it ever should be necessary) might seem more proper. ly to follow, than to precede, the recognition of our national church in Hindostan. It is probable however, that the proposition for sending missionaries was less favorably received on account of the reigning prejudice against the name and character of "missionary." In England it is not professional in church or state. No honour or emolument is attatched to it. The character and purpose of it are doubtful, and the scene of action remote. Even the propriety of sending missionaries any where has been called into question.
2. It is not, however, those who send missionaries, but those to whom they are sent, who have a right to give an opinion in this matter.
The same spirit which sent missionaries to Britain in the fourth century will continue to send missionaries to the heathen world to the end of time, by the established church, or by her religious societies.
3. Wherever the Christian missionary comes, he is well received. Ignorance ever bows to learning: but if there be a desire to impart this learning, what barbarian will turn away? The priests will murmur when the Christian teacher speaks as one having authority; but "the common people will hear him gladly." Whether in the subterranean hut of frozen Greenland, or under the shade of a banian-tree in burning India, a Christian missionary surrounded by the listening natives, is an interesting sight; no less grateful to humanity than to Christian charity.
4. But who is this missionary? He is such as Swartz in India, or Brainerd in America, or the Moravian in Labrador; one who leaving his country and kindred, and renouncing honour and emolument, embraces a life of toit, difficulty and danger; and contented with the fame of instructing the igno
rant, "looks for the recompence of eternal reward."
There is a great difference between a civilizing mechanic and an apostolic missionary. A mechanic of decent morals is no doubt useful among barbarians. The few around him learn something of his morals with his trade. And it is the duty of civilized states to use such means for improving the barbarous portion of the human race.
But the apostolic missionary, who has studied the language and genius of the people, is a blessing of a higher order. His heavenly doctrine and its moral influence extend, like the light of the sun, over multitudes in a short time; giving life, peace, and joy, enlarging the conceptions; and giving birth to all the Christian charities. How shall we estimate the sum of human happiness produced by the voice of Swartz alone! Compared with him, as a dispenser of happiness, what are a thousand preachers of philosophy among a refined people!
5. Some of the English think that we ought not "to disturb the faith of the natives.” But some of the Hindoo Rajahs think differently. The king of Tanjore requested Mr. Swartz to disturb the faith of his wicked subjects by every means, and to make them, if possible, honest and industrious men. Mr. Swartz endeavored to do so, and his services were acknowledged by the English government at Madras* as well as by the king of Tanjore. In the year 1787 "the king of Tanjore made an appropriation forever, of land of the yearly income of five hundred pagodas, for the support of the Christian missionaries in his dominions."
6. In the debate in one thousand seven hundred and ninety-three, on the proposal for sending missionaries to India, some observation was made on Mr. Swartz, honourable to himself as a man, but un
By Lord Macartney and General Coote. + See account us Proceedings of Society for promoting Christian knowledge, for 1788.
favourable to his objects as a missionary. The paper containing this speech reached Mr. Swartz in India, and drew from him his famous Apology, published by the society for promoting Christian knowledge. Perhaps no Christian defence has appeared in these latter ages more characteristic of the apostolic simplicity and primitive energy of truth, than this apology of the venerable Swartz.
Withjut detailing the extraordinary success of himself and his brethren in converting thousands of the natives to the Christian religion, a blessing which some may not be able to appreciate; he notices other circumstances of its beneficial influence, which all must understand.
His fellow missionary, "Mr. Gericke; at the time the war broke out at Cuddalore, was the instrument in the hand of providence, by which Cuddalore was saved from plunder and bloodshed. He saved many English gentlemen from becoming prisoners to I lyder Ali; which Lord Macartney kindly acknowledged.”
Mr. Swartz twice saved the fort of Tanjore. When the credit of the English was lost, and when the credit of the Rajah was lost, on the view of an approaching enemy, the people of the country refused to supply the fort with provisions; and the streets were covered with the dead. But Mr. Swartz went forth and stood at the gate, and at his word they brought in a plentiful supply.
Mr. Swartz, at different times, aided the English government in the collection of revenues from the refractory districts. He was appointed guardian to the family of the deceased king of Tanjore; and he was employed repeatedly as mediator between the English government and the.country powers. On one occasion, when the natves doubted the purpose
* Serfosce Mario Tajar of Tanjore. See society proceedings for 1801, p 147 0:18 lil this art as the emblem of the whole liideo superstition benéjug to ne 'Iristian salida