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Martin, B. A. chaplain in Bengal;* the Malabar, by Mar Dionysius, bishop of the Syrian Christians in Travancore; both of which translations will be noticed more particularly hereafter; and the Telinga, by Ananda Rayer, à Telinga Brahmin, by birth a Mahratta, under the superintendance of Mr. Augustus Desgranges at Vizagapatam, a missionary belonging to the London Society.
Ananda Rayer, a Brahmin of high cast, was lately converted to the Christian faith, and has given undoubted proofs of the serious impression of its principles on his heart. It is remarkable that versions of the scriptures should be now preparing for the Mahomedans and Hindoos, by their own converted countrymen; namely, the Persian and Arabic versions, by Sabat the Arabian; and the Telinga version by Ananda Rayer, the Telinga Brahmin. The latter has translated the four Gospels, and the Acts of the
! It was before mentioned that the gaspels were translated into Hindostanee, and part of them printed in the college of Fort William). Another version has since been published by the Baptist missionaries. The Hindostanee being spokan over such extensive regions, varies much in its dialects.
+ The account of Ananda Rayer's conversion is given by the rev. Dr. John, the aged missionary at Tranquebar,'in a letter to Mr. Desgranges. This Brahmin applied (as many Brahmins and other Hindoos constantly do) to an older Brahmin of some fame for sanctity, to know what he should do that he might be saved?” The old Brahmin told him that "he must repeat a certain prayer four lack of times:" that is, 400,000 times. This he performed in a Pagoda, in six months; and added many painful ceremonies But finding no comfort or peace from these external rites, he went to a Romish priest, and asked him if he knew what was the true religion? The priest gave him some Christian books in the Telinga language; and, after a long investigation of christianity, the inquiring Hindoo had no doubt remaining on his mind, that "Christ was the sam viour of the world." But be was not satisfied with the Romish worship in many points: he disliked the adoration of images, and other superstitions: and having heard from the priests themselves, that the Protestant Christians at Tanjore and Tranquebar, professed to have a purer faith, and had got the bible translated, and worshipped no images; he visited Dr. John, and the other missionaries at Tranquebar, where he remained four months, conversing, says Dr. John, "almost every day with me," and examining the holy scriptures. He soon acquired the Tamul language (which has affinity with the Talinga) that he might read the Tamul translation; and he finally became a member of the Protestant church.
The missionaries at Vizagapatam being in want of a learned Telinga scholar, fo assist them in a translation of the scriptures into the Telinga language, Dr. John recommended Ananda Rayer; "for he was averse, says he, to undertake any worldly employment, and had a great desire to be useful to his brethren of the Telinga nation.” The reverend missionary concludes thus: “What Jesus Christ hath required of bis followers, this man hath literally done; be hath left father, mother, sisters and brothers, and houses and lands for the gospel's sake.”
See Dr. John's letter, dated 29th January,; 1808, communicated to the Bible Society, by the rey. Mr. Brown.
Apostles. The progress of Sabat in his translations will be noticed hereafter.
In the island of Ceylon, the population under the British government amounts, according to the best authorities, to upwards of a million and a half; and one third is supposed to profess christianity. This population was divided by the Dutch, while they had possession of the island, into 240 church-ships, and three native schoolmasters were appointed to each church ship. The Dutch government never gave an official appointment to any native who was not a Christian; a distinction which was ever considered by them as a wise policy, as well as a Christian duty, and which is continued by his majesty's government in Ceylon. Perhaps it is not generally known in England that our Bengal and Madras governments do not patronize the native Christians. They give official appointments to Mahomedans and Hindoos generally, in preference to natives professing christianity. The chief argument for the retention of this system is precedent. It was the practice of the first settlers. But it has been often observed that what might be proper or necessary in a factory, may not be tolerable in a great empire. It is certain that this system confirms prejudice, exposes our religion to contempt in the e; -s of the naiives, and precludes every ray of hope of the future prevalence of christianity at the seats of government.
"Yaffna-patam, in Ceylon, Sept. 27, 1806. “From the Hindoo temple of Ramisseram, I crossed over to Ceylon, keeping close to Adam's bridge. I was surprised to find that all the boatmen were Christians of Ceylon. I asked the helmsinan what religion the English professed, who now governed
the island. He said he could not tell, only that they were not of the Portuguese or Dutch religion. I was not so much surprised at his ignorance afterwards, as I was at the time.
“I have had the pleasure to meet here with Alexander Johnstone, Esq.* of the Supreme Court of Judicature, who is on the circuit; a man of large and liberal views, the friend of learning, and of christianity. He is well acquainted with the language of the country, and with the history of the island; and his professional pursuits affords him a particular knowledge of its present state; so that his communications are truly valuable. It will be scarcely believed in England, that there are here protestant churches under the king's government, which are without ministers. In the time of Baldæus, the Dutch preacher and historian, there were thirty-two Christian churches in the province of Jaffna alone. At this time there is not one protes. tant European minister in the whole province. I ought to except Mr. Palm, a solitary missionary, who has been sent out by the London society, and receives some stipend from the British government. I visited Mr. Palm, at his residence a few miles from the town of Jaffna. He is prosecuting the study of the Tamul language; for that is the language of this part of Ceylon, from its proximity to the Tamul continent. Mrs. Palm has made as great progress in the language as her husband, and is extremely active in the instruction of the native wo. inen and children. I asked her if she had no wish to return to Europe, after living so long among the uncivilized Cingalese. No, she said; she was all the day long happy in the communication of knowledge.' Mr. Palm has taken possession of the old protestant church of Tilly-Pally. By reference to the history, I found it was the church in which Bal
# Now Sir Alexander Johnstone, Chief Justice of Ceylon.
dæus himself preached (as he himself mentions) to a congregation of two-thousand natives; for a view of the church is given in his work. Most of those handsome churches, of which views are given in the plates of Baldæus's history, are now in ruins. Even in the town and fort of Jaffna, where there is a spacious edifice for divine worship, and a respectable society of English and Dutch inhabitants, no clergyman has been yet appointed. The only protestant preacher in the town of Jaffna is Christian David, a Hindoo catechist, sent over by the mission of Tranquebar. His chief ministrations are in the Tamul tongue; but he sometimes preaches in the English language, which he speaks with tolerable propriety; and the Dutch and English resort to him. I went with the rest of his church, when he delivered extempore a very excellent discourse, which his present majesty George the Third would not have disdained to hear. And this Hindoo supports the interests of the English church in the province of Jaffna. The Dutch ministers who formerly officiated here, have gone to Batavia or to Europe. The whole district is now in the hands of the Romish priests from the college of Goa; who perceiving the indifference of the English nation to their own religion, have assumed quiet and undisturbed possession of the land. And the English government justly preferring the Romish superstition to the worship of the idol Boodha, thinks it right to countenance the catholic religion in Ceylon. But whenever our church shall direct her attention to the promotion of christianity in the East, I know of no place which is more worthy of her labor, than the old protestant vineyard of Jaffna-Patam. The scriptures are already prepared in the Tamul language. The language of the rest of Ceylon is the Cingalese, or Ceylonese."
Columbo, in Ceylon, 10th March, 1808. "I find that the south part of the island is in much the same state as the north, in regard to
Christian instruction. There are but two English clergymen in the whole island. "What wonder' (said a Romish priest to me) 'that your nation should be so little interested about the conversion of the pagans to christianity, when it does not even give teachers to its own subjects who are already Christians! I was not surprised to hear that great numbers of the protestants every year go back to idolatry. Being destitute of a Head to take cognizance of their state, they apostatize to Boodha, as the Israelites turned to Baal and Ashteroth. It is perhaps true that the religion of Christ has never been so disgraced in any age of the church, as it has been lately, by our official neglect of the protestant church in Ceylon.
"I passed the day at Mount Lavinia, the country residence of General Maitland, the governor of Ceylon; and had some conversation with his excels lency on the religious state of the country. He desired I would commit to writing, and leave with him a memorandum of inquiries which I wished should be made on subjects relating to the former prevalence of the protestant religion in the island, and the means of reviving and establishing it once more. His excellency expressed his conviction that some ecclesiastical establishment ought to be given to Ceylon; as had been given to other colonies of his majesty in America and the West Indies. He asked what was the cause of the delay in giving an ecclesiastical establishment to the continent of India. I told him I supposed the chief cause was the mixed government of our Indian empire. It was said to be a question at home, who ought to originate it. Had there been no revolution in Europe to distract the attention of the nation, and had Mr. Pitt lived, many things of a grand and arduous character would have been done which are yet left nindone. There are now three missionaries of the London society established in three different parts of the island.
It gave me great pleasure to find