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will be perused with particular pleasure by the members of the Society, and by all who appreciate the claims of the Syrian Church on the benevolence of the Protestant Churches of Europe; whose deliverance from the spiritual tyranny of the Romish Church was effected by the Providence of ALMIGHTY GOD, at a period nearly coincident with the subjugation to that baneful power of their Syrian brethren in India. The rapacity and intolerance of those foreign oppressors roused a spirit of resistance among a portion of its victims, ere little more than half a century had elapsed; and a remnant of the people succeeded, amidst every possible discouragement and difficulty, in accomplishing their deliverance from the bondage in which they had been held. That remnant has succeeded in maintaining to this day the separation then effected, notwithstanding continual endeavour on the part of the Romish Ecclesiastical Authorities of the country, to bring them again under their power. The connexion with the Romish Church, during a period of sixty years, had, however, introduced a lamentable declension in the religious principles and mode of worship, and in the habits of most of the Clergy of the Syrian Church; and the morals of the people experienced a correspondent deterioration. These evils unhappily survived the union with the Romish Church, from which they had chiefly proceeded. Political degradation accompanied the decay of religion and social virtue; and, in this state of general depression they have continued, until attention was lately excited to their situation."
MR. HOUGH thus describes their worship" I reached Cotym on Saturday evening, December 9, 1820; and attended the Syrian worship, the next morning, in the College Chapel. Here I could expect nothing to gratify me; but I was not prepared to witness so much superstition in their service: had I not known the contrary, I should certainly have supposed myself in a Roman Catholic Chapel, and have mistaken their service for the celebration of Mass. The incense, the adoration of the host, and the frequent crossings and prostrations before the crucifix, struck me as being the same, or closely resembling the forms observed in the Church of Rome. The Syriac language, in which the prayers were read, is as unintelligible to the people as Latin is to the major part of Roman Catholics. But, notwithstanding this, one part of the service darted, like a beam of light, through the gloom that overhung the rest; and inspired the hope, that a brighter day was dawning on this an
cient, but much degenerated Church a portion of St. Matthew's Gospel was read in Malayalim, the vernacular tongue of the congregation. It seemed like the lamp of GoD still enlightening the temple; and elicited the involuntary prayer, that, ere long, it might burn with a brighter and more steady flame! There was no discourse at the conclusion of the prayers.
"In the evening, I attended our Church service in Malayalim, performed by MR. BAILEY in one of the Syrian Churches: about ten Catanars and one hundred and fifty Syrians were present; and they appeared to be very attentive, particularly to the sermon. It was singular to see the person, who, in the morning, officiated as Priest at the Syrian altar, now performing the office of Clerk to MR. BAILEY: this was the Head Malpan of the College; who expresses his admiration of most of our prayers, and will permit no one else to read the responses.
"Next morning I had an interview, at MR. BAILEY'S request, with the learned native whom he is employing in the translation of the Testament into Malayalim. He is well acquainted with Tamul; and the object of my conversation with him was, to ascertain whether he sufficiently understood the Tamul Version of the Testament to make use of it in his translation. MR. BAILEY is too judicious a man, and too deeply interested in his work, to leave any thing to the Moonshee, or to follow any Version: nevertheless, the Tamul affords as much assistance to the Moonshee as the English can do to MR. BAILEY; and he seemed to know how to use it with advantage. From what I could learn of the portion of the Testament already finished, there is every prospect of their possessing, ere long, a good Malayalim translation of the Sacred Book.
"MR. FENN next took me to the College, where I spent the remainder of the day in examining the Students. At present, the institution has more the appearance of a School than of a College; but the plan, which the Missionaries are about to adopt, of establishing three Grammar-Schools at the most eligible stations, from which the most promising youths are to be selected for the College, must have the effect of raising its character. But even now, the progress of several of the students does credit to themselves and their teachers. A few of them discovered a degree of intelligence that surprised me; and one, in particular, who has begun Latin, parsed what he read as accurately as an English scholar could have done,
and was well acquainted with the leading facts and doctrines of Scripture. This was one of those young Catanars who have passed through five Initiatory Ordinations; and if the establishment succeeds in supplying the Syriac churches with a few such Priests as this lad promises to be, it will amply remunerate all the labour and funds expended upon it.
"In the evening, the Malpan waited upon us, and we conversed together on
sacred subjects. He spoke with great animation and considerable intelligence, for the space of two hours; quoting the Syriac Testament, which lay before him, in confirmation of all that he advanced. I was amazed at the extent of his acquaintance with Scripture, his shrewd remarks, and his striking illustrations; little anticipating so much information and good sense among the wilds of Malabar."
THE following extracts from the REV. S. MARSDEN'S Journal of his third visit to New Zealand, afford further illustration of the superstitions of the Natives.
Dread of Divine Anger prevalent among the Natives, and their fulse notions of a Material God.
MR. MARSDEN gives an instance, in the case of TEMMARANGHA, of the fearful hold which Superstition has on the minds of the people. The circumstance occurred while he was at the river Thames.
"After we had returned on board the Coromandel, TEMMARANGHA came to me in great agitation. I requested to know the cause. He informed me, that, when he was at the Thames on a former occasion, a Chief had given him a Maree, one of their war instruments, to sell for him for an axe: it was made of a material which they value very highly TEMMARANGHA obtained only a small tomahawk for it, which he conceived was by no means equal to its value. The Chief was very angry with TEMMARANGHA, and sent him word that, if he did not procure him an axe, he would employ one of their Priests to kill him by incantation. TEMMARANGHA assured me that he should surely die, if the Chief put his threat into execution, and requested me to give him an axe to save his life. I endeavoured to convince him of the absurdity of such a threat; but to no purpose: he still persisted that he should die, and that the Priest possessed that power; and began to draw the lines of incantation on the ship's deck, in order to convince me how the operation was performed. He said that the messenger was waiting alongside, in a canoe, for his answer. Finding it of no use to argue with him, I gave him an axe, which he joyfully received, and delivered to the messenger with a request that the Chief would be satisfied and not proceed against him. In such strong chains of superstition, does the Prince of the World bind the dark minds of these poor Heathens!
“What an infinite blessing will Divine Revelation be to the inhabitants of New Zealand, when once its glorious light breaks in upon them! At present
their minds are tormented with the most painful fears, on the slightest occurrence which they suppose will offend their God; and their bodies suffer very severely from their strict observance of their ceremonial pollutions. From the influence which the Great Enemy has on their minds, they are driven to the opposite extremes, of religious superstition and crime. A Native once told me that his God would kill him, in consequence of my having taken a little fire from his to light mine with, without any intention on my part to hurt his mind; and I am persuaded, from his great agitation, that he believed this would be his fate: at the same time, it is more than probable, that this very man would kill and eat his fellowcreature withont remorse.
"I have never met with one New Zealander, who has not considered God as a vindictive Being, at all times ready to punish them for any ceremonial neglect, even with death. Hence they labour, by every mortification and selfdenial, to avert his anger. A Chief, with whom I am well acquainted, burnt his house which had been built very neatly and had much carving about it, in the hope of appeasing the anger of his God: a short time ago, I went to pay him a visit, and stayed with him all night; and admired the neatness of his house when I went again, there was not a vestige of it remaining; and, on inquiring the cause, I was told that he had burnt it to pacify his God!"
In his visits to the western coast of the island, MR. MARSDEN found the minds of the Natives harassed by the same superstitious dread of divine anger. Of a discussion with MOODEPANGA and other Chiefs, he says
"Superstition had a wonderful influence over the minds of the people whom I was now with. The trees, and old stumps of trees, and every kind of rubbish, as well as their fires and huts, were all tabooed. They were afraid lest any
part of my provisions, dressed or undressed, should touch any of their tabooed things; and assured me that they should die if it did, for their God would kill them. The Chiefs and their wives were also tabooed. They could not touch a potatoe, or any other provisions which they wanted to eat, with their hands; but, if no person were near to serve them, they lay down on the ground and gathered up their food with their
"I asked them if they knew any thing of the God of Kiperro, or had any communication with him. They replied that they often heard him whistle, with a low note. I asked MOODEEAKOW if he, as their Priest, had any communication with their God. He also said that he had heard him whistle, and he sounded the notes which he had heard. I replied that I could not credit what they all said, unless I heard him myself. They all asserted that what they had said was true; and that all the inhabitants in New Zealand knew it to be true. I still doubted, and told the Priest, that unless I heard the Atua myself, I could not believe that either he or any other person ever heard him; and that I wished to accompany him to any place where I could hear the communication between him and the Atua. He said that the Atua was in the bush, and I could not hear him. I replied, that I would accompany him into the bush to him. When he came to be very closely pressed, he said that they had no God at Kiperro. He had heard that there was a God at Shukeangha, but they had none; and he requested me to give him one of my gods, and be would put him in a box that he might have him always with him. I had never
seen any idol god, nor had I ever heard before that the New Zealanders had any idea of a material God. In answer to his request, I told him that there was only One True and Living God, who had made the world and all things therein; and that, if I should make him a god, he would be of wood or some other substance, which could easily be burnt or destroyed. They all smiled at the idea of burning a God; and evidently saw the absurdity of a material idol.
"Whether Satan is permitted to practise any oral deception in support of his spiritual dominion, (for he is the God of this World,) and in maintenance of those dark superstitions which universally pervade the mind of these poor Heathens, I cannot tell. I have met with no New Zealander, even among the most enlightened of them, who does not firmly believe that their Priests have communication with their God; and many, both of their Priests and others, have told me that they have heard their God. This is a subject of such a mysterious nature, that I cannot make up my mind either to believe or disbelieve what is so universally credited in New Zealand. do not pretend to know how far the agency of Satan may extend in a barbarous and uncivilized nation, where there is no human or divine law to check or restrain men's corrupt passions; but of this I am fully convinced, that, in all regular civil governments, where wholesome laws lay the necessary restraints on men's turbulent passions, the secret agency of Satan,-that spirit which worketh in the children of disobedience, is greatly restrained, and the force of his wicked instigations weakened and counteracted by those laws."
BAPTIST MISSIONARY SOCIETY.-From the Report of this Society, just published, we have the pleasure to make the following Extracts, relative to its important Missions in India.
"CONTINENT OF INDIA. From the station at Dinagepour the accounts in the past year have been very satisfactory. Considerable additions have been made to the church, now consisting of seventytwo members, and others were expected shortly to join it. The whole number of persons who had renounced cast, was 167. MR. FERNANDEZ thinks that idolatry is visibly declining among the natives at large in that district, and states, in support of his opinion, that many large temples, built by the former Rajahs, are hastening to ruin, and that the pecuniary allowance allotted for their support by the native government, has
disposed to listen on the great theme of eternal salvation. Four Hindoos have been baptized; and the number of villages, visited by the joyful sound, in the course of two months only, is stated to exceed one hundred and fifty. That, in their daily journeys, these humble itinerants should often have but three or four to converse with, will not appear surprising: nor should this labour,' as our Serampore brethren remark, be deemed idle and fruitless. It was probably from house to house, as they could find auditors, that the first promulgators of the Gospel made it known; and if the divine blessing be given on a conversation with even a few, the Gospel will be gradually planted in this part of the country."
"At Dacca, MR. LEONARD has been visited with a very serious and alarming illness, from which, however, it pleased GOD mercifully to restore him. A late examination of the Bengalee and Persian schools under his superintendance, afforded very gratifying proof of the progress of the pupils; and a degree of interest has been excited in their minds which can scarcely fail to produce highly beneficial effects.
"An incident mentioned by MR. LEONARD, will show that a desire for information is not confined to the youth training in the schools. At the celebration of one of the Hindoo idolatrous festivals, when it was computed that nearly two hundred thousand persons were assembled, some members of MR. LEONARD'S family (he being absent at the time) ventured to commence the distribution of tracts, which, it would appear, had not been attempted on such an occasion before. No sooner was this known, than thousands assembled about the gate, filled the garden and the house, and would not depart till each had received a book. The distribution occupied five successive days, on the first of which alone, more than three thousand individuals were supplied.
"The communications which have been received from MR. SUTTON, at Moorshedabad, clearly prove that, to use an expression of his own, the work in which he is engaged is the work of his heart.' In one of his journals, he speaks of some Musselmen by whom he had been visited, and whose apparent anxiety for instruction excited his hopes; but, generally speaking, little progress has been made among the natives in the last year. On the other hand, the church at Berhampore, which he regularly supplies without interfering with his constant and laborious Missionary engagements, has continued to flourish, and a new brick
chapel has been erected for the better accommodation of the increasing auditory, at the expense of £200, defrayed by subscriptions on the spot. Aware of the importance of itinerating, he has undertaken several journeys to a considerable distance from Moorshedabad; and while at home, he embraces every opportunity of bearing his testimony for GoD in the streets and markets of that populous city. Large quantities of tracts have been distributed by him; and about two hundred children are receiving instruction in the schools under his direction. It is pleasing to add, that the native preachers associated with him continue steadfast, and afford him much assistance in their various labours.
"We would commence our notice of the station at Serampore, so long and so honourably distinguished in our Missionary annals, by gratefully reporting that MR. WARD and his companions, who left this country just before our last Annual Meeting, arrived in safety at Calcutta in the month of October last.
"It was scarcely to be expected, after so full and circumstantial account as we were enabled to give in our last Report, that any new information could be presented respecting the progress of the Translations. A brief notice, however, on this subject, occurs in a letter from DR. CAREY, dated in September last, which must not be overlooked. His words are,
Several versions of the New Testament have lately been printed off, which had not before been published; and several more are approaching to a conclusion.' By a reference to the last Memoir, it will be seen, that in December, 1820, there were six versions of the New Testament more than half through the press,' in addition to fifteen then completed, and that about ten months more were computed as necessary to finish them. This calculation coincides so nearly with the date of the letter just quoted, as to justify the conclusion, that those six versions are alluded to, and that, consequently, soon after that letter was written they had all been finished at press. It is, at least, reasonable to conclude that, unless some unexpected impediment has occurred, this portion of the vast undertaking has been accomplished ere now; and that twentyone of the dialects of India, and those by far the most extensive and important, have been enriched by the publication of the New Testament.
"Several additions appear to have been made to the church in the course of the past year. Referring to this subject, ir a letter written soon after his return, MR. WARD observes, The increase of
the native Christians since I left has been great, and a number appear to be added, every month, in one part of India or another. A similar account is given by DR. CAREY, who, in a communication dated about the same time, indulges a spirit of grateful complacency in contrasting the present state of India, with that in which he found it. It is now,' said he, twenty-eight years, within a few days, since I first landed. There was then no sanctification of the Sabbath, and a very thin attendance on the only preacher of the gospel in this Presidency. Infidelity was the general open profession, and it would have been reckoned a gross violation of decorum, to introduce the subject of religion in any company whatever. Now, the whole body of society has assumed a comparatively religious aspect, and not a few in every station are decidedly pious.'
"At Calcutta, a variety of events have occurred in the past year; some of a pleasing, others of a very painful nature. The new chapel, for English worship, was opened in March, 1821; the expense, about £3000, had been nearly defrayed by subscriptions on the spot. A new station has also been occupied at Howrah, a very populous suburb of Calcutta, in which reside many Englishmen, and
thousands of natives, who were all previously destitute of the means of grace.
"MR. THOMPSON, whose most usual residence is the imperial city of Delhi, has been engaged, as in former years, in extensive journeys to the N. and N. E. of that place. In these excursions, he distributed large quantities of the Scriptures, and religious tracts, in various languages; and many little occurrences, recorded in his journals, tend to show that this method of scattering the seed of the kingdom is likely to prove, ultimately, far more beneficial than may at first be imagined. A fact noted in one of his latest communications, deserves attention. I found,' he remarks, that of all who came to hear me, such as were most remote from the British provinces were the readiest and most unreserved in receiving our Scriptures. I know not how it is, but the western nations certainly possess a thirst for knowledge above those in Hindostan.' This circumstance induces him to wish to penetrate still farther into the regions beyond him. I think,' says he, the Nepalese are in a favourable state for improvement, and I would gladly endure every hardship, to make a missionary journey, with the Divine Word, into those parts.'"
LONDON MISSIONARY SOCIETY.-From the deputation to the South Sea Islands, the scenes of Missionary triumphs so interesting, we give another affecting letter.
Extract of a Letter from the REV. D. TYERMAN, to a Lady in England, dated Takeite, Nov. 24, 1821.
ALL our brethren, the Missionaries, received us with the most cordial affection, while the natives were not backward in giving us every proof of their joy on our arrival. The power and wisdom of GOD, as displayed in the structure of this wonderful island, can only be exceeded by that stupendous and marvellous change which has taken place among its inhabitants, a change which fills me with incessant astonishment and joy. Had I opportunity and leisure to describe the former moral condition of this people, it would be unnecessary that I should do it to you: suffice it to observe that it was peculiarly the place where Satan's seat was, and if ever that awful being were allowed an incarnation, it was here. The details of this wickedness, given us by the Missionaries since we have been here, are enough to fill us with horror. How many human victims almost daily bled upon their cruel altars! Two-thirds of the infants born were instantly mur
dered by the hands of their own mothers. I saw one woman the other day, who had destroyed eight of her own offspring; I have heard of another who killed nine, another seventeen, another twenty!!! The god of thieves, for there was such a god here, was faithfully served, while crimes of other kinds, too horrible to be named, every where defiled this beautiful land. All the worst passions of human nature were indulged in the utmost possible extent. But, where sin abounded, Grace much more abounds!
GOD has done great things for this people. The faithful and holy exertions of his servants are most amply rewarded. The prayers of the British churches are indeed heard; and all the expenses which have been incurred are now fully repaid. O that you and all whose hearts are engaged in doing good to the heathen, could but witness what I have already seen; it would fill your soul with amazement and gratitude.