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bable that one of you, in company with one or more of your brethren now in the field, may find it conducive to your great design, to spend every winter, for many years to come, in exploring tours. Egypt now presents a very inviting aspect to inquiries of this sort; and is favoured with a more enlightened government, than any other country under the domination of Mahomedan Rulers. The Press is there beginning to exert its influence; and a favourable prospect appears of introducing Schools, on an extensive plan. While travellers are ransacking the most remote corners of this ancient seat of the arts from motives of curiosity or of gain, shall not the Church have her agents employed?-not to rake out, from the dust of thirty centuries, the remains of dead men; but to impart to men dead in sin that eternal life, which is brought to light in the Gospel.
Political Troubles not to retard Chris
It may be thought, that the present troubles in the Turkish Empire will interpose a serious obstacle to Missionary Efforts. Suffer not your minds to be discouraged by this apprehension. The precise issue of the present political commotions, in that part of the world, we do not pretend to foresee; but it is the opinion of men best informed on the subject, that the result will be, and at no distant period, favourable to the dissemination of knowledge and religion. But suppose it were otherwise; and, to the view of the mere politician, nothing appeared in prospect but interminable ages of cruel oppression, of bloody superstition and relentless massacre-is the opinion of the mere politician to be the rule of duty for the Christian Church, in regard to her operations for the diffusion of light and life in the regions of darkness and moral death? Is she to remain inactive and inglorious, and to defer her spiritual conquests, till the God of this World is willing to surrender his dominion and to release his victims? Is she never to read the plain command of her Saviour, written as with a sunbeam, till, through the glass of worldly wisdom, she can see plainly enough to spell out the ambiguous indications of political changes? The Church is to enlighten the World; and not to wait till the darkness, which broods over the nations, shall dissipate
itself. The principles of the Gospel are
Spirit to be cultivated by Mediterranean
In whatever department of your labours you may be employed, let it be always your endeavour to discharge with vigour and fidelity the duties of each day. Whether you are occupied in preparatory studies, or in superintending the press; whether you are travelling in the passage-boat of an Egyptian Canal, or pitching your tent on the east of the Red Sea, or spending your summers at the foot of Mount Lebanon; whether you read the Scriptures with pilgrims in the Holy City, or issue from its gates with Bibles and Tracts to be distributed in Armenia-whether in the house or
by the way, in the city or the field, remember that you are the Servants of Christ.
A delightful part of your duty will be to cultivate the most endearing union among those, who are embarked in the same cause; not only with your Brethren, attached to the same Mission, but with the Missionaries of other Societies, the agents for distributing Bibles and Tracts, travellers who wish to promote the progress of Christianity, and all who love your Saviour and wait for His appearing. The hearty co-operation of men belonging to different communions and engaged in different employments, you will endeavour to secure for the extension of our common Gospel.
Let it be an object with you to discover new modes of access to the minds of the people where you may be, and the speediest and most efficacious method of bringing Divine Truth into contact with the conscience and the heart. Probably, great improvements are yet to be made, in both these respects. St. Paul declares it to be a characteristic of Pagan Nations, that they are inventers of evil things; and it should be a prominent trait in the character of those, who aim to subvert paganism and every false religion, that they are inventers of good things. Do not suffer yourselves, however, to be led astray by crude speculations or hasty conclusions. In regard to any measures for the prosecution of your work, examine faithfully, judge deliberately, and act perseveringly.
Situation of Malta, favourable for the
Diffusion of Christianity. The spirit of the age is at work in many countries. Stupendous results must be expected. Happy they, who are engaged in turning every change, in the circumstances of men, to some good account in their Divine Master's cause.
Malta is a place eminently favourable to the diffusion of knowledge, and to Missionary Enterprise. That indefatigable labourer, Mr. Jowett, has written to the Society, under whose direction he acts, that he could find abundant employment there, for twenty able and faithful Missionaries; and that, by the time these were fairly engaged in their work or fitted for active service in other countries, there would be room for twenty more. It is in a high degree probable, that this will be a radiating point, whence light will be sent forth into all the surrounding countries, for many years to come. The salubrity of its climate, the security afforded by the present government, the free communication which is thence maintained with all the ports of the Mediterranean, and the fact that so many foreigners resort thither from distant regions, afford great facilities for the accomplishment of benevolent designs.
In connection with the last topic, we shall extract some remarks from late communications of the Rev. Pliny Fisk to the Board. They respect more particularly, the
State of the Maltese.
The island contains about 25 lasals, or townships. A lasal includes a village and the surrounding country. The inhabitants are generally poor, and many of them live miserably. At least this is true, and most emphatically true, if we compare them with the people of the United States.
The great body of the people, and in the country almost all without exception, know no language but the Maltese. This is a dialect of the Arabic; but the Arabic Alphabet is totally unknown to the Maltese. In writing Letters, in their own dialect, they always use the Roman character. I have seen no books in their language, except a Popish Catechism, the Gospel of St. John, a Grammar, and a Dictionary. The Catechism was published by the Bishop, for the religious instruction of chil
dren; and is the only book, that is generally known among the common people. Of the labouring class, I am told, very few can read even this, though perhaps they may have learned it when boys. The Gospel of St. John dence of the Rev. Mr. Jowett, and was translated under the superintenprinted by the Church Missionary Society: this has but just begun to be
circulated; and the circulation of it will
probably be attended with difficulty: ful, both in a religious and literary it can, however, scarcely fail to be useview. The Gospel of St. Matthew is now in preparation.
There are Schools in the different
villages, in which children are taught the Catechism; often however by rote, without ever learning to read. Out of Valetta, such a thing is seldom heard of, as a woman being able to read. In Valetta, a great part of the inhabitants speak Italian, and the children of respectable families are taught to read and write it. In many families, French is also taught. Men of business sometimes speak English. A Newspaper is printed, twice a week, in English and rally speaking, the inhabitants of the Italian, by the Government.
island have neither means nor inclinasciences. tion for cultivating literature and the Should they continue permanently under the English Government, a most happy change in this respect may be anticipated.
In regard to Religion, I apprehend the Maltese must be considered among the most dutiful and devoted sons of the Church of Rome. In the Bishop's Catechism, in reply to the question "What do you believe ?" the child answers, "I believe all that which our Holy Mother Catholic Roman Church believes and teaches." Probably few of the Maltese could express their creed more correctly, or assign any better reason for it. My Arabic Master, who is a Priest, has told me, We ought to believe BLINDLY, whatever the Church says." The Pope, some time since, sent permission to relinquish a considerable number of the festivals, so far as to labour during the day, after attending mass in the morning: but the Maltese, whether excited to it by their Friests or not I cannot say, refused to comply with the new plan; and strictly observe all their festivals, as before.
The Ecclésiastics are very numerous: the streets seem always full of them. The whole number in Malta I have not been able to ascertain: some say 500; others, 1000; and others, not less than 3000. Only a small number of these are preachers: the others find employment in saying mass, hearing the confessions of the people, visiting the houses at certain seasons to bless them, administering the sacraments, &c. A certain course of study is requisite, as preparatory to the office; but, after being once ordained, study seems to be very generally neglected. I have sometimes asked the Maltese, why their Priests, since they are so numerous, do not establish Schools, and teach all the children and give them a good education: the answer generally is, either that they are too ignorant or too lazy.
India within the Ganges.
Parliamentary Regulation of Ordination. AN Act received the Royal Assent on the 11th of July, which, among other enactments in reference to India, has the following important Clause:
And whereas doubts have arisen whether the Bishop of Calcutta, in conferring Holy Orders, is subject to the several Provisions and Limitations established by the Laws of this Realm, or Canons Ecclesiastical, as to the Titles of the Persons to be ordained, and as to the Oaths and Subscriptions to be by such Persons taken and made; be it further declared and enacted, That it shall and may be lawful for the Bishop of Calcutta for the Time being, to adnit into Holy Orders of Deacon and Priest, respectively, any Person whom he shall, upon Examination, deem duly qualified, specially for the Purpose of taking upon himself the Cure of Souls, or officiating in any Spiritual Capacity within the Limits of the said Diocese of Calcutta, and residing therein; and that a Declaration of such Purpose, and a written Engagement to perform the same, under the Hand of such Person, being deposited in the Hands of such Bishop, shall be held to be a sufficient Title with a View to such Ordination; and that, in every such Case, it shall be distinctly stated in the Letters of Ordination of every Person so admitted to
Holy Orders, that he has been ordained for the Cure of Souls within the Limits of the said Diocese of Calcutta only; and that unless such Person shall be a British Subject of or belonging to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, he shall not be required to take and make the Oaths and Subscriptions which Persons ordained in England are required to take and make: Provided always, that nothing herein contained shall be construed to repeal or affect the Provisions of an Act passed in the Fifty-third Year of the Reign of His late Majesty King George the Third, entitled "An Act for continuing in the East-India Company, for a further Term, the Possession of the British Territories in India, together with certain exclusive Privileges; for establishing further Regulations for the Government of the said Territories, and the better Administration of Justice within the same; and for regulating the Trade to and from the Places within the Limits of the said Company's Charter," or any Letters Patent issued by His late Majesty, or by His present Majesty, their Heirs and Successors, in virtue of the said Act of their lawful Prerogative.
expected and for taking in my way several parts, interesting in another view, of the Coast of Malabar.
Of this Journey, and of a Letter written by Mr. Mill from Agimeer, the Board thus speak
The Rev. Principal Mill availed him. self of the opportunity which the imperfect state of the College Buildings presented, of traversing some of the most interesting parts of the Peninsula, while the infancy of the establishment admitted of his absence; conceiving that the personal inspection of the several tribes of Native Christians would serve many useful purposes in the further progress of his duties.
His Letter contains so many interesting details on subjects nearly allied to the designs of the Society, that its publication cannot fail to be gratifying to those, to whom the diffusion of Christian Knowledge in the Indian Peninsula forms an object of high concern.
This Letter is dated July 29, 1822. We shall extract the most important information communicated therein.
We have laid many details relative to these Christians before our Readers; and they cannot fail to have been greatly interested in those given in our Number for March from a Military Officer (Major Mackworth): but as different persons view the same people under different associations, we shall quote most of what Mr. Mill says of them :
Being supplied with Letters from our late Bishop to Cochin, and to Archdeacon Barnes at Bombay, I embarked at the end of October last year (1821), and arrived at Cochin in November, with the intention of visiting the Christians of St. Thomas, as they have been generally called, in the interior.
I trust I shall not barely be excused, but considered as performing a duty to the Society, in enlarging a little on the subject of that singular communion. For a Church, subsisting like theirs, if not from the Apostolical age (a tradition justly suspected), at least from the ages immediately succeeding, whose members have been recognised as a distinct and respected class of the community, in the very heart of Hindooism, for more than
fifteen centuries, is a phenomenon which cannot but claim the attention of every one engaged in the Propagation of the Gospel in this country; and is, itself, a most satisfactory answer to the many who contend, that its permanent reception by any class of respectable Natives is an impossibility.
The Christians of St. Thomas, though evidently Indian themselves in origin, as in complexion and language (which is the Malayalim), have received their Orders, with their Liturgies and Ecclesiastical Traditions, from the more ancient Parent Church in Syria. Accordingly they resemble, in their Form of Government, every other Ancient Church of which we have any knowledge, by which Christianity has been planted
in the midst of idolaters: neither in the THREE Orders (to which they have superadded many of confessedly inferior authority) do they differ from the Western Church, except that the Deacons, exercise fewer of the proper functions of the Catanars or Presbyters, than custom has allowed them among us.
It were happy, if, with this apostolical regimen, of which they are most carefully tenacious, they had preserved uniformly unimpaired the fundamental Articles of the Christian Faith; but the
unhappy disputes respecting the Person and Natures of our Lord, which, beginning with verbal questions, ended with dividing the Oriental Churches into two opposite erroneous Confessions, have extended their evil influence to the Church in Malabar.
It is evident, from the accounts that La Croze has detailed with his usual candour and sagacity, that, at the time when the Portuguese were forcing the Romish Usurpation, with all its novelties, upon them, they were, like the See of Babylon to which they adhered, Nestorian. And it is evident also, that those Bishops and Priests from Syria, by whose assistance, half a century after, they were enabled, for the greater part, to throw off that usurpation, and recover their ancient ecclesiastical independence, were from the See of Antioch, the most opposed to that heresy, being Jacobites: and this is, accordingly, the creed of all the independent part of the Syro-Malabaric Church at this day, who are under a Metropolitan Bishop of their own nation: these correspond with the Church in Antioch; like them, have the anti-catholic EXPRESSION (to say the
least) in use, of the two natures forming ONE NATURE; and unanimously hold the Nestorian duality of persons in the utmost detestation. The other great division of this Church, who remain under that forced subjection to the See of Rome, though they have still Priests of their own nation, and their Liturgy in Syriac, printed at Rome for their use, have all their superior governors sent to them from Europe, and are in a singular state of schism-the Portuguese Archbishop of Cranganore, a suffragan of Goa, still claiming them as his charge; while this right is denied by the Propaganda Society at Rome, who have constantly sent out Italian Vicars Apostolic, and now latterly an Irish Bishop, residing at Verapoli, to rule them: these unfortunate Churches, still sufficiently proud of their ancient character to feel their present degradation, yet under the terror of the exclusive pretensions to catholicism and infallibility, submit partly to the one, partly to the other, of these opposite claimants.
It is the former and happier division of this singular people, to whom we look with the greatest interest and hope; as those whose recovery and rise to their early primitive character will, as we may confidently expect, bring with it the emancipation of the rest. From their venerable Metropolitan, Mar Dionysius, who is exerting himself in various ways for the improvement of his Clergy and People, I had the happiness of hearing very warm expressions of re spect and attachment to the Church of England, and our late regretted Bishop; whose interviews with himself, and mutual presents, he evidently remembered with great satisfaction. I received, both from him and several of his Clergy, copies of the New Testament, and other works in Syriac, which I hope, at no distant time, to deposit in our College
Mr.Mill thus speaks of the Church Missionaries stationed among the Syrians:
The persons to whom I was chiefly indebted for my intercourse both with the Priests and Laity of this extraordinary people (of whose Indian Language I was wholly ignorant), were three Clergymen of the Church of England resident at Cotym, in Travancore; and actively employed in superintending the College and the Parochial Schools; the former of
which, by the grant of the Heathen Government of that country, the latter, by the desire and contribution of these Christians themselves, have been recently established in their community. Singular as such superintendence may appear, and almost unprecedented, there is nothing in it, as exercised by these Clergymen, which opposes the order, either of that Episcopal Church which they visit, or, as far as I am capable of judging, of that to which they themselves belong.
Of the considerate and candid spirit maintained towards the Syrian Church by the Missionaries, Mr. Mill thus speaks:
They do nothing but by the express sanction of the Metropolitan consulting and employing them: their use of the Anglican Service for themselves and families at one of his Chapels, is agreeable to the catholic practice of these Christians (who allowed the same 250 years ago to the Portuguese Priests, as to persons rightly and canonically ordained, even while they were resisting their usurpations), and is totally unconnected with any purpose of obtruding even that Liturgy upon the Syrian Church: while their conduct with respect to those parts of the Syrian Ritual and Practice, which all Protestants must condemn, is that of silence; which, without the appearance of approval, leaves it to the gradual influence of the knowledge now disseminating itself. to undermine, and at length by regular authority to remove them.
Along the whole of this coast, from Cape Comorin to Calicut, there exists another class of Christians, totally distinct from either of the two divisions of the former Church; though Europeans, who do not visit the interior, too frequently confound them, to the great injury of the Syrians. These are all per
sons of the fishermen's caste (which, further north, is Pagan), whom the Portuguese, on their first landing, found little difficulty in persuading to submit to be baptized, and embrace their modes of worship. These poor people live in great ignorance; repeating the Latin Ritual, like others of the same class in the south of Europe; and are subject to the Portuguese Bishop of Cochin.
Far beyond the regions which contain these, from Mangalore northward to the