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dans chiefly inhabit the shores, and the Pagans the interior parts of the islands. The barbarism of the interior nations in Sumatra, Borneo, and the other islands almost exceeds belief. Marsden, in his history of Sumatra, had informed us that it was usual with the natives of the interior, called the Batta tribes, to kill and eat their criminals and prisoners of war; but the researches of Dr. Leyden have led to the discovery that they sometimes sacrifice their own relations. “They themselves declare," says he, “that they frequently eat their own relations when aged and infirm: and that, not so much to gratify their appetite as to perform a pious ceremony. Thus, when a man becomes infirm and weary of the world, he is said to invite his own children to eat him in the season when salt and limes are cheapest. He then ascends a tree, round which his friends and offspring assemble, and as they shake the tree, join in a funeral dirge, the import of which is, 'The season is come, the fruit is ripe, and it must descend.' The victim descends, and those that are nearest and dearest to him deprive him of life, and devour his remains in a solemn banquet.
These cannibals inhabit the interior of the island of Sumatra, on the shores of which is the English settlement, Bencoolen, or Fort Marlborough. We have been settled there for a long period, and trade with the inhabitants for their species. In return for the pepper which the natives give us, it would well become our character as a Christian nation, were we now at length, to offer them the New Testament.
Another description of Barbarians in the eastern isles, are the Haraforas, called by the Dutch, the Alfoers. They are to be found in almost all the larger islands. “In their manners, says Dr. Leyden, the most singular feature is the necessity imposed on every person of, sometime in his life, imbruing his hands in human blood: and in general, among all
Asiatic Researches, vol. X. p. 203..
their tribes, no person is permitted to marry, tillhe can shew the skull of a man whom he has slaughtered. They eat the flesh of their enemies like the Battas, and drink out of their skulls; and the ornaments of their houses are human skulls and teeth.”+ When the author was at Pulo Penang, he himself saw a chief of the Malay tribe who had a staff, on the head of which was a bushy lock of human hair; which he said he had cut from the head of his enemy whom he had killed
The author has mentioned the foregoing circumstances to shew what Paganism is in its natural state, and to awaken some desire of civilizing a people who are now so accessible to us. Soine philosophers of the school of Voltaire and Gibbon, have been extrav. agant in their eulogium of man in a state of nature, or in some other state devoid of christianity; and it is to be lamented that some Christian writers have tried of late to draw the same picture. But Paganism in its best estate, is well described by one line of the poet:
Monstrum, horrendum, informe, ingens cui LUMEN ademptum-Virg.
No quarter of the globe promises to be more auspicious to Christian missions than the Malayan Archipelago. In regard to the probable success of our endeavors, the Dutch have already shewn wňat is practicable. The natives are of different casts, and are a divided people. The communication is easy from island to island; our own ships are continually plying on their shores. The China Aeets pass through twice or oftener every year; and with most of the islands we have intercourse by what is called in India,
country trade. And now there will be, of course, an English government established in each of the conquered islands in lieu of the Dutch.
The Mahomedans found it easy to translate the koran into the languages of Java, and of the Cele
Asiatic Researches, vol. I. p. 217.
bes; but the sacred scriptures are not yet translated into either of these languages. The proper language of Java is different from the Malay of the city of Batavia. The language of the Celebes is called the Bugis, or Bouguese.* The natives of Celebes are distinguished for their vigor of mind and strength of body; and are acknowledged to be the first of tbe Orange Timor, or eastern men. Literature was formerly cultivated among them. Dr. Leyden enumerates fifty three different volumes. “Their songs, says he, "and romances are famous among all the islands of the east.” Their language extends to other islands; for they formerly carried their conquests beyond the Moluccas. The man who shall first translate the bible into the language of the Celebes, will probably be read by as many islanders as have read the translation of Wickliffe. Let us consider how long these nations have waited for Christian instruction, and contemplate the words of the prophecy, “The isles shall wait for his law.”—Is. xlii, 4.
The facilities for civilizing the Malayan isles are certainly very great; and these facilities are our strongest encouragement to make the attempt. Both in our translation of the scriptures and in missions to the heathen, we should avoid as much as possible what may be called enterprise. Let us follow the path that is easy and secure, and make use of those means which are already afforded to us by Providence. Thus the most valuable and important trans
ion of the scriptures in the present circumstances, will be that for which a people are already prepared, such as the Malayalim, the Cingalese, and Malay. And the most judiciously planned missions will be those where there is a prospect of the personal security to the teachers; and where there are, judging
• Lord Minto notices in his speech to the college of Fort-William, that Thomas Raties, esq. secretary to the government in prince of Wales's Island, is employed ia compiling a code of Malax laws, in the Malay and Bouguese Languages.
from human probabilities, the greatest facilities for the conversion of the people.
THE SYRIAN CHRISTIANS IN INDIA.
The Syrian Christians inhabit the interior of Travancore and Malabar, in the south of India; and have been settled there from the early ages of christianity. The first notices of this ancient people in recent times are to be found in the Portuguese histories. When Vasco de Gama arrived at Cochin, on the coast of Malabar, in the year 1503, he saw the sceptre of the Christian king; for the Syrian Christians had formerly regal power in Malay-ala.* The name or title of their last king was Beliarte; and he dying without issue, the dominion devolved on the king of Cochin and Diamper.
When the Portuguese arrived, they were agreeably surprised to find upwards of a hundred Christian churches on the coast of Malabar. But when they became acquainted with the purity and simplicity of their worship, they were offended. “These churches," said the Portuguese "belong to the pope." "Who is the
pope," said the natives, “we never heard of him.” The European priests were yet more alarmed, when they found that these Hindoo Christians maintained the order and discipline of a regular church under episcopal jurisdiction: and that, for 1300 years past, they had enjoyed a succession of bishops appointed by the patriarch of Antioch. “We," said they, "are of the true faith, whatever you from the west may be; for we come from the place where the followers of Christ were first called Chris.' tians."
Malay-ala is the proper name for the whole country of Travancore and Malabar, comprehending the territory between the inountains and the sea, from cape Comorin to cape Ili or Dilly. The language of these extensive regions is called Malayaliin, and sometimes Malabar. we shall use the word Malabar, as being of easier pronounciation.
When the power of the Portuguese became sufficient for their purpose, they invaded these tranquil churches, seized some of the clergy, and devoted them to the death of heretics. Then the inhabitants heard for the first time that there was a place called the inquisition; and that its fires had been lately lighted at Goa, near their own land. But the Portuguese, finding that the people were resolute in de
fending their ancient faith, began to try more conci• liatory measures. They seized the Syrian bishop
Mar Joseph, and sent him prisoner to Lisbon: and then convened a Synod at one of the Syrian churches called Diamper, near Cochin, at which the Romish archbishop Menezes presided. At this compulsory synod, one hundred and fifty of the Syrian clergy appeared. They were accused of the following practices and opinions: “That they had married wives; that they owned but two sacraments, baptism and the Lord's supper; that they neither invoked saints; nor worshipped images, nor believed in purgatory: and that they had no other orders or names of dignity in the church than bishop, priest and deacon.”
These tenets they were called on to abjure, or to suffer suspension from all church benefices. It was also decreed that all the Syrian books on eccle-. siastical subjects that could be found, should be burned; "in order," said the inquisitors, “that no pretended apostolical monuments may remain.'
The churches on the sea-coast were thus compelled to acknowledge the supremacy of the pope: but they refused to pray in Latin, and insisted on retaining their own language and liturgy: This point they said they would only give up with their lives The pope compromised with them: Menezes purged their liturgy of its errors: and they retain their Sy. riac language, and have a Syriac college unto his day. These are called the Syro-Roman churches, and are principally situated on the sea-coast.