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and good faith of the English, they applied to Mr. Swartz; “Sir, if you send a person to us, send a person who has learned all your Ten Commandments."
7. Some of the English think that we ought not to disturb the faith of the Hindoos! After the apostolic Swartz had labored for fifty years in evangelizing the Hindoos, so sensible were they of the blessing, that his death was considered as a public calamity. An innumerable multitude attended the funeral. The Hindoo Rajah "shed a flood of tears over the body, and covered it with a gold cloth." His memory is still blessed among the people. The king of Tanjore has lately written to the bishops of the English, church requesting that a monument of marble may be sent to him "in order," he adds, "that it may be erected in the church which is in my capital, to perpetuate the memory of the rev. Mr. Swartz, and manifest the esteem I have for the character of that great and good man, and the gratitude I owe to him, my father and my friend.”
8. But whence was this Swartz? and under what sanction did he and his predecessors exersise their ministry as Christian preachers to the heathen?
The first person appointed to superintend a protestant mission in India was Bartholomew Ziegenbalgius a man of considerable learning and of emient piety, educated at the university of Haile in Germany. Having been ordained by the learned Bur. manus, bishop of Zealand, in his twenty-third year, he sailed for India in one thousand seven hundredí and five. A complete century will have revolved in October of this year, since the mission in India be gan. Immediately on his arrival, he applied himself to the study of the language of the country, and with such success, that in a few years he obtained a classical knowledge of it; and the colloquial tongue became as familliar to him as his own. His fluent orations addressed to the native, and his frequent.con
ferences with the Brahmins,* were attended with almost immediate success; and a Christian church was founded in the second year of his ministry, which has been extending its limits to the present time.
9. During his residence in India, he maintained a correspondence with the king of England and other prices, and with many of the learned men op the continent. In the year seventeen hundred and fourteen, he returned to Europe for a few months on the affairs of the mission. On this occasion he was honored with an audience by his Majesty George the First. He was also invited to attend a sitting of the Bishops in the "Society for promoting Christian knowledge;" where he was received with an eloquent address in the Latin language; to which he answered in the Tamul tongue; and then delivered a copy of his speech translated into Latin.
10. The grand work to which the King and English bishops had been long directing his attention, was a translation of the scriptures into the Tamul or Malabarian language.
This indeed was the grand work; for wherever the scriptures are translated into the vernacular tongue, and are open and common to all, inviting enquiry and causing discussion, they cannot remain a dead letter; they produce fruit of themselves, even without a teacher. When a heathen views the word of God in all its parts, and hears it addressing him in his own familiar tongue, his conscience responds,“this is the word of God.” The learned man who produces a translation of the Bible into a new language, is a greater benefactor to mankind than the prince who founds an empire. The "incorruptable seed of the word of God" can never die. After ages have revolved, it is still producing new accessions to truth and human happiness.
So diligent in his studies was this eminent missionary, that before the year seventeen hundred and
A volume ef these conferences was published in London in 1719, $vo.
nineteen, he had completed a translation of the whole scriptures in the Tamul tongue; and had also composed a grammar and dictionary of the same language, which remain with us to this day.
11. The peculiar interest taken by King George the first in this primary endeavour to evangelize the Hindoos, will appear from the following letters addressed to the missionaries by his Majesty.
"George, by the grace of God, King of Great Britain,
France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &C. To the reverend and learned Bartholomew Ziegenbalgius and yohn Ernest Grundlerus, missionaries at Tranquebur in the East Indies.
"REVEREND AND BELOVED, "Your letters dated the twentieth of January, of the present year, were most welcome to us; not only because the work undertaken by you of converting the heathen to the Christian faith, doth by the grace of God prosper, but also because that in this our kingdom such a laudable zeal for the promotion of the gospel prevails. “We
pray you may be endued with health and strength of body, that you may long continue to fulfil your ministry with good success; of which, as we shall be rejoiced to hear, so you will always find us ready to succour you in whatever may tend to promote your work and to excite
We assure you of the continuance of our royal favour." Given at our palace of Hampton Court, the twenty
third of August, A. D. seventeen hundred and seventeen, in the fourth year of our reign.
12. The king continued to cherish with much solicitude the interests of the mission after the death of Ziegenbalgius; and in ten years from the date of
the foregoing letter, a second was addressed to the members of the mission, by his Majesty.
REVEREND AND BELOVED.
“From your letters, dated Tranquebar, the 12th September, seventeen hundred and twenty-five, which sometime since came to hand, we received much pleasure; since by them we are informed not only of your zealous exertions in the prosecution of the work committed to you, but also of the happy success which has hitherto attended it, and which hath been graciously given of God.
“We return you thanks for these accounts, and it will be acceptable to us, if you continue to communicate whatever shall occur in the progress of your mission.
“In the mean time we pray you may enjoy strength of body and mind for the long continuance of your labours in this good work, to the glory of God and the promotion of Christianity among the heathens; that its perpetuity may not fail in generations to come."* Given at our palace, at St. James's, the twenty-third
of February, seventeen hundred and twenty-seden, in the thirteenth year of our reign.
13. The English nation will receive these letters (now sent back in the name of the Hindoos) with that reverence and affectionate regard, which are due to the memory of the royal author, considering them as a memorial of the nation's past concern for the welfare of the natives, and a pledge of our future care.
Providence hath been pleased to grant the prayer of the king, "that the work might not fail in genera. tions to come.” After the first missionary Ziegen
Niecampius, page 28+.
baigius had finished his course; he was succeeded bring other learned and zealous men; and lastly, by the apostle of the east, the venerable Swartz, who during the period of half a century,* has fulfilled a luborious ministry among the natives of different provinces, and illuminated many a dark region with the light of the gospel.
14. The pious exertions of the king for the diffusion of religious blessings among the natives of India, seem to have been rewarded by heaven in temporal blessings to his own subjects in their intercourse with the east; by leading them onward in a continued course of prosperity and glory, and by granting to them at length the entire domonion of the peninsula of India.
16. But these royal epistles are not the only evangelic document of high authority in the hands of the Hindoos. They are in possession of letters written by the Archbishop of Canterbury, of the same reign;f who supported the interest of the mission with unexampled liberality, affection and zeal. These letters which are many in number, are all written in the latin language. The following is a translation of his grace's first letter; which appears to have been written by him as president of the "society for promoting Christian knowledge.” "To Bartholomew Ziegenbalgiris and Fohn Ernest
Grundlerus, preachers of the Christian faith, on 'the coast of Coromandel.
“As often as I behold your letters, reverend bretha ren, addressed to the venerable society instituted for the promotion of the gospel, whose chief honour and ornament ye are; and as often as I contemplate the light of the gospel either now first rising on the Indian nations, or after the intermission of some ages again revived, and as it were restored to its in
From 1749 LO 1800.