Imágenes de páginas

58. Lord Montfort, 1741. Non inferiora secutus· "Not following inferior things."

59. Lord Chedworth, 1741. Justus et propositi tenax “Just and determined of purpose."

60. Lord Anson, 1747. Nil desperandum · spairing of nothing."


61. Lord Ravensworth, 1747. Unus et idem-" One and the same.”

62. Lord Feversham, 1747. Deo, rege, patria "For God, the king, and our country."

63. Lord Archer, 1747. Sola bona quæ honesta · "Those only are good things which are honourable.”



OBSERVERS the most careless, with little knowledge of anatomy, are frequently struck with astonishment at the wonderful formation of the human frame. But men of piety, scientifically acquainted with that mysterious mechanism, have cherished the rational piety of the devout Psalmist, and adopted his language.

"O LORD, I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!"

Dr. Paley, in his "Natural Theology," has done much to exhibit the illustrations of the infinite wisdom of God in the mysterious mechanism of the human body. Galen, the most celebrated physician of the second century, is said to have been converted from Atheism by a contemplation of the human frame: and indeed no machine, however complicated and extensive, will bear a comparison with this mystery of nature. Nor could the most skilful engineer, after the most careful study of anatomy, suggest the least improvement in any respect contributing to its greater perfection.

But if the perishable body be so wonderful in its formation, how much more so must be that immortal spirit by which it is inhabited! The capacious understanding, the powerful will, the retentive memory, the judicial conscience, and various affections! Who can fully describe, or even comprehend, himself? Who can compute the worth of his never-dying soul? And who can estimate the preciousness of that provision of Sovereign mercy, by which it has been redeemed, and led to anticipate salvation and eternal glory by the mediation, suretyship, and death of the incarnate Son of God? By faith in the immutable promises of the Eternal, which are all " yea and amen in Christ Jesus," the pious servant of God, surveying the wonders of his nature and the sad catastrophe of death, he anticipates a glorious resurrection, and a world of immortal bliss. Inspired by the gospel of his salvation, he can say

"When ev'n at last the solemn hour shall come,
And wing my mystic flight to future worlds,
I cheerful will obey. There with new powers,

Will rising wonders sing. I cannot go
Where universal love not smiles around,
Sustaining all yon orbs, and all their suns,

From seeming evil still educing good,

And better thence again, and better still,

In infinite progression. But I lose


Come, then, expressive Silence, muse His praise,

Who died, and rose, and reigns, th' INCARNATE GOD."


Dr. Dick, in his "Improvement of Society by the Diffusion of Knowledge," makes the following observations on the wonders of the human frame.

"In the human body there are 245 bones, each of them having forty distinct scopes or intentions; and 446 muscles, each having ten several intentions; so that the system of bones and muscles alone includes above 14,200 varieties, or different intentions and adaptations. But besides the bones and muscles, there are hundreds of tendons and ligaments, for the purpose of connecting them together; hundreds of nerves ramified over the whole body, to convey sensation to all its parts; thousands of arteries to convey the blood to the remotest extremities, and thousands of veins to bring it back to the heart; thousands of lacteal and lymphatic vessels to absorb nutriment from the food; thousands of glands to secrete humours from the blood, and of emunctories to throw them off from the system; and, besides many other parts of this variegated system, and functions with which we are unacquainted, there are more than sixteen hundred millions of membraneous cells or vesicles connected with the lungs, more than two hundred thousand millions of pores in the skin through which the perspiration is incessantly flowing, and above a thousand millions of scales, which, according to Leuwenhoeck, Baker, and others, compose the cuticle or outward covering of the body. We have also to take into the account the compound organs of life, the numerous parts of which they consist, and the diversified functions they perform; such as the brain, with its infinite number of fibres and numerous functions; the heart, with its auricles and ventricles; the stomach, with its juices and muscular coats; the liver, with its lobes and glands; the spleen, with its infinity of cells and membranes; the pancreas, with its juice and numerous glands; the kidneys, with their fine capillary tubes; the intestines, with all their turnings and convolutions; the organs of sense, with their multifarious connections; the mesentery, the gall-bladder, the ureters, the pylorus, the duodenum, the blood, the bile, the lymph, the saliva, the chyle, the hair, the nails, and numerous other parts and substances, every one of which has diversified functions to perform. We have also to take into consideration the number of ideas included in the arrangement and connection of all these parts, and in the manner in which they are compacted into one system of small dimensions, so as to afford free scope for all the intended functions. If, then, for the sake of a rude calculation, we were to suppose, in addition to the 14,200 adaptations stated above, that there are 10,000 veins great and small, 10,000 arteries, 10,000 nerves*, 1,000 ligaments, 4,000 lacteals and lymphatics, 100,000 glands, 1,600,000,000 vesicles in the lungs, 1,000,000,000 scales, and 200,000,000,000 of pores, the amount would be 202,600,149,200 different parts and adaptations in the human body; and if all the other species were supposed to be differently organized, and to consist of a similar number of parts, this number multiplied by 300,000, the supposed number of species, the product would amount to 60,780,044,760,000,000, or above sixty thousand billions -the number of distinct ideas, conceptions, or contrivances, in relation to the animal world — a number of which we can have no precise conception, and which,

*The amazing extent of the ramifications of the veins and nerves may be judged of from this circumstance, that neither the point of the smallest needle, nor the infinitely finer lance of a gnat, can pierce any part without drawing blood and causing an uneasy sensation, consequently without wounding, by so small a puncture, both a nerve and a vein; and therefore the number of these vessels here assumed may be considered as far below the truth.

to limited minds like ours, seems to approxima.e to something like infinity; but it may tend to convey a rude idea of the endless multiplicity of conceptions which pervade the Eternal Mind.”



O youth! on whom are fix'd the anxious eyes
Of friends on earth, and spirits in the skies *:
Nor these alone, benevolent and kind,
Suggesting the rich culture of thy mind,
By frequent inspiration pure and wise,
To sanctify thy soul, and bid it rise

By faith, and hope, and love, and every grace,
To seek with them in heaven a resting-place.
But enemies malignant will conspire,

T' inflame thy breast with their unhallow'd fire;
To turn thy feet astray, corrupt thy ways,
And stamp dishonour on thy early days.

to be sing'lar dare

Be watchful, sober,
In Christian virtue's path,

for light as air

Are all objections to the laws of truth,
By which the "King of glory" governs youth,
Who seek his favour, as in every age

It has been sought, by PATRIOT, SAINT, and SAGE.
Make God thy friend: familiar with his Word,
In daily prayers acknowledge Him thy Lord :
Constant both morn and eve impress thy heart
With sense of obligation, and the part
To which thy duty calls:- be active, then,
That thy own conscience may approve, and men
Of worth and honour cannot disapprove,
For lovely virtue must command their love.

Act thus: and whether few or many years

Shall be thy portion in this vale of tears,

Thy father will have joy in thee his son,

While here on earth, and near th' eternal throne. Lewisham.


Sister, mother, grandmother: -- many think they are not only observers, but ministering spirits.

[blocks in formation]


By Thomas Wood, of Jewin Street Chapel, London. 18mo. cloth, pp. 216. London, Book Society. "Systematic divinity" has always been prized by those who have made much progress in religious knowledge. It may be abused, we readily admit, and occasion a Christian to measure the Word of God by his narrow and imperfect platform of doctrine: but no abuse can possibly furnish a valid argument against a formulary of divine truth; because by the same mode of reasoning we might be compelled to abandon even the necessary blessings of providence. Few, especially members of the Church of England, will feel objection to a platform of Christian doctrine, as that would be opposing every Confession of Faith, the "Creed," and Catechisms. Brief and comprehensive outlines of scriptural truth are exceedingly valuable, especially to young persons; and we give our cordial recommendation of Mr. Wood's Essays, as peculiarly suitable for inquirers after divine doctrine, and as presents for villages and the poor. We consider them worthy of a place with the standard "Essays" of the late judicious and excellent Commen tator, Mr. Scott.


Catechetically explained, with References to the Holy
Scriptures. By the author of the "Twin Sisters,"
"Jewish Boy," &c. 24mo. cloth, pp. 88. London,
Hamilton and Adams.

MANY mothers and governesses require their children to learn the Collect for the day, every Sunday. To those who require a "help" in catechising their pupils on what they have thus learnt, the little volume above we recommend as truly valuable.


Superstition and priesteraft dread the light of divine truth; and scarcely any thing in history will afford a more striking illustration of this than the alarm and confusion of the Popish Clergy on the wonderful invention of Printing. The first Latin Bible was printed in 1450, and thus laid open to the people. Complaints were carried to the pope, as Bishop Kennet states, in these terms: "That his Holiness could not be igno rant what effects the invention of printing had produced; for men now began to call in question the present faith and tenets of the churck, and to examine how far religion hai departed from its primitive institution. What was particularly to be lamented, they had ea horted the laity even to read the Scriptures, and to pray in their vulgar tongue. That if these things were suffered, the common people might at last believe that there was not so much need of the clergy; for if men were once persuaded they could make their own way to God, and that prayers in their ordinary language might pierce heaven as well as those in Latin; how much would the authority of the Mass fall? and how prejudicial might this prove to all ecclesiastical orders?

[blocks in formation]


N° 79.

DECEMBER 7, 1833.



[graphic][merged small]

SYRIAN CHRISTIANS OF ST. THOMAS. INDIA presents immense and populous regions for the operations of Christian benevolence; and since the entrance of the Baptist Missionaries, in 1793, on that field of labour, incalculable good has already been done, and preparations for infinitely more by the different denominations of British Christians.

Our engraving representing the Syrian College at Cotym, in Travancore (for which we are indebted to the kindness of the Church Missionary Society), renders necessary an account of the Syrian Christians, for whose benefit it was erected, principally by the exertions of Col. Monro, late British resident in the court of the Rannea, or Queen, to whom the province nominally belongs.

Lord William Bentinck, Governor of Madras, in 1806, was desirous of procuring accurate information concerning the "First Introduction of Christianity into India-of the arrival of the different sects who have been, or may be in existence, of their general history, and of the persecutions to which they may have been exposed, of their success in making proselytes,-of their church establishment, and of the source from which they are maintained," &c. For this purpose an order in council was issued to Dr. Kerr, senior chapVOL. II.

lain of Fort St. George; and Dr. Buchanan was commissioned from the government of Bengal for a similar purpose. The very interesting reports of these two clergymen, will be found by our readers in the Evangelical Magazine for 1807, p. 473-486.

The following account was drawn up by a distinguished literary gentleman of the India House, for the Gentleman's Magazine.

"The most ancient body of Christians in India is the primitive Church of MALAY ALA, or SYRIAN CHRISTIANS of the AFOSTLE THOMAS. The tomb of this apostle, at Maliapoor on the coast of Malabar, has been, according to various accounts, as much venerated in the East, from the first dawn of Christianity, as that of St. Peter in the West; and many interesting particulars of the Christian church founded by St. Thomas in India, are still preserved there.

"The accounts of his arrival on the Peninsula, which are generally credited, state, that after he had established Christianity in Arabia Felix, and in the island of Socotra, he came to India, A. D. 51, and landed at Cranganore on the Malabar coast, which was then the residence of a powerful sovereign. In that neighbourhood he found a colony of Jews (a circumstance which corroborates the claim of the black Jews to high au 3 D

tiquity), and to them he preached the Gospel, converting and baptizing several of them. The seed thus sown he continued to cultivate successfully; so that the Christian religion spread into the town of Cranganore, to Paroor, a city of the interior, and to Quilon, then a considerable city on the coast, as well as into many of the small states of that part of India. Both Jews and Brahmins are stated to have embraced Christianity, and united in church fellowship, adopting the language of Syria in their public worship. Having first given to the congregations thus formed, rules of fellowship, and a form of church government, the apostle proceeded to Maliapoor, then a great and flourishing city, the residence of a sovereign prince, and the resort of Hindoo pilgrims, who came from all parts of India to worship at the numerous and splendid temples which were within its walls. St. Thomas nevertheless preached the Gospel in this city openly, and the king became a convert to the Christian faith, and was baptized; after which the apostle, in the further prosecution of his ministerial labours, exposed himself to the fury of the heathen populace, by whom he was stoned to death on a mount near to the city, which still retains the name of St. Thomas's Mount.

"This mount, as well as the ancient city or town, to which also the Christian inhabitants have given the name of St. Thomé, are now, and have been for several centuries, places of pilgrimage and annual resort of Christians, who come from all parts of India, the interior of Armenia, and Syria, crowding to the town, and covering the mount, in order that they may kiss the spot where the apostle suffered martyrdom; there also depositing their offerings, and praying over the place of his sepulture, which they are represented as holding in such high veneration, that they carry away with them small portions of the red earth, and, conceiving it to possess miraculous properties, administer it with great solemnity to the sick and dying.

"The yet unpublished history of the Syrian Christians, from the age of the apostle, would be one of high interest. They suffered persecution from heathen rulers during the three first centuries. Early in the fourth century, they obtained aid from Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, who is represented as having come to their succour, and appointed a bishop to rule over and protect them.


In the year 345, Mar Thomas assumed charge of them, under the authority of Eustathius, bishop of Antioch, and introduced amongst them several bishops and priests, as also many Christian men, women, and children, from foreign countries.' This man, Thomas Cama, or Mar Thomas, was an Armenian merchant, in creed an Arian, who first came to India with commercial views only; but being a virtuous and upright man, and having amassed great wealth, he obtained the friendship of the kings of Cranganore and Cochin, at the same time enjoying the veneration and respect of the Christians of St. Thomas; for whom he is stated to have built many churches, to have established seminaries for the education of their clergy, and to have founded a town called Maha Devapatam, in the neighbourhood of the city of Cranganore, wherein he planted the foreign colony of Christians he had inported.

"He also, assisted by Syrian teachers, introduced the Syro-Chaldeac ritual, and successfully exerted his influence with the native princes to obtain for the Christians on the Malabar coast exclusive privileges; such as independence of the native judges, except in criminal cases, and a rank in the country equal to nobility, by which they were placed on a level with the superior castes. These privileges were ostensibly granted to the Christians, in consideration of their

virtues, and they were enjoyed uninterruptedly through several succeeding centuries, having been confirmed by formal grants in different and now unknown languages, engraven on tablets composed of a mixed metal. The inscription on the plate supposed to contain the oldest grant, is in the nail-headed or Persepolitan character. Another is in a character which has no affinity with any existing language in Hindostan. These tablets were lost during several centuries, and were recovered a few years since by the exertions of Colonel Macaulay, the British resident in Travancore, to the great joy of the Syrian churches; by whom they were deposited, and are still preserved in the Syrian college, which has been erected at Cattayam.

"In settling the ecclesiastical constitution of the Syrian churches, it was determined that the right to rule over them should vest in those families only out of which the apostle had himself ordained priests. The offices of bishop, archdeacon, and priest, were accordingly, for many years, confined to these families, and persons were chosen from them who were recog nized as the natural judges in all civil and ecclesiastical causes, and as having authority over all temporal as well as ecclesiastical affairs.

"In the ninth century the Syrian Christians were much depressed, and sought the aid of the Nestorian patriarch, who commissioned two ecclesiastics of that church, Mar Saul and Mar Ambrose, to proceed to Malabar, and rule over them. These prelates, on their arrival at Quilon, were received by the Christians with great thankfulness. By their presence they soon commanded the respect of the native princes, who allowed them to make converts, and to erect churches wherever they pleased; for which also they obtained endowments from the noble and wealthy part of the community. From the Hindoo princes, they moreover obtained the formal renewal of ancient privileges by grants, which were engraven, as those of higher antiquity had been, on plates of metal. These grants are still preserved, and are in the languages of Malabar, of Canara, of Bisnagur, and in Tamul.

"The Syrian or Nestorian bishops, Mar Saul and Mar Ambrose, are still held in high veneration by the Syrian Christians, who mention them in their prayers, and dedicate churches to their memory.

"Between the ninth and fourteenth centuries these Christians are described as having attained to their highest state of external respectability, if not of purity. They were enlightened by the instructions of a succession of able teachers from Syria, who spread the blessings of the Gospel with zeal, integrity, and honour; receiving such only to their communion as could approach with unblemished character; and rejecting all and every one who could not appear with hands undefiled, and with minds thoroughly convinced of the abomination of heathen worship. All false miracles were then rejected, and the Christians were distinguished by intelligence and decency of manners, which recommended them to the native princes, by whom their teachers were invested with the first offices under the government. At length they entirely shook off the yoke of the Hindoo princes, and elected a chief or king of their own religion, raising one Baliarte to the throne, who assumed the title of King of the Christians of St. Thomas: but this state of independence did not long continue. The regal power, through default of succession, passed to the rajah of Cochin, and that chief, while he professedly respected their rights, persecuted them through hatred of their religion.

"In this state the Portuguese found them; encompassed on all sides by enemies, and bowed under the yoke of the Hindoo princes. The account which the Portuguese gave of them was, that they were in a state of

decadence, and amounted to about 200,000 Christians, the wreck of an unfortunate people who called themselves Christians of St. Thomas, and after the example of their ancestors, performed pilgrimages every year to the place where the apostle consummated his martyrdom; whose history and miracles, extracted from their annals, had been composed into a species of canticles translated into the language of the country, and sung by the inhabitants of the fishery (the Manaar pearl fishery), and of the coast of Malabar.'

"Their subsequent history is a good deal interwoven with that of the Roman Catholics in India, and will be here very briefly adverted to, as much information upon it is contained in the general histories of the Portuguese nation, and of the Church of Rome.

[ocr errors]

"It may suffice to observe, that when the Syrian Christians placed themselves under the direction of the Portuguese missionaries, and, as the latter assert, 'voluntarily requested that they might be adopted as good and faithful subjects of the king of Portugal,' they amounted to 1,500 Christian churches under the Syrian patriarch, retaining their martial character, and associating with the higher castes of Hindoos, who deemed themselves honoured by the association. On the part of the Syrian Churches it is stated, that they proposed their union with the Western church, having full confidence in its piety and truth, and no knowledge of its corruptions'-that in particular the sacraments of confirmation, of extreme unction, of auricular confession, and the worship of images, were unknown to them; that the title of Mother of God' was, when they heard it, disgusting to them, and that when her image was first presented to them, they rejected it with indignation, exclaiming, We are Christians, and not idolaters.' To induce the Syrians to conform to the idolatry of the Roman Catholic church, the missionaries resorted first to artifice and then to force. They founded colleges and schools for youth, whom they proposed to instruct in the rites of the Latin church, still employing the Syrian language, and it is believed that their schools did some service; but these measures not effecting their main object, which appears to have been the establishment of the pope's supremacy, together with the erroneous tenets, and particularly the idolatry of his religion, the missionaries resorted to the inquisition about the middle of the sixteenth century. Division, contention, and confusion were the natural consequences of this step in which state the churches continued till the year 1599, when a fresh attempt was made to effect a compromise between the Latin and Syrian Christians, at a conference called the synod of Udiamper, a town in the neighbourhood of Cochin. Here the parties met; but the Roman Catholic missionaries, the Jesuits, had bribed the civil power, which was in the hands of the Cochin Rajah, so effectually as to destroy the freedom of discussion, and eventually to obtain the means of subjecting the Syrian bishops to persecution, for their faithful adherence to the truth. Two of these confessors, Mar Symeon and Mar Ignatius, were embarked on board of Portuguese vessels for Lisbon, where they were treated as heretics, and never more heard of in India. In this state of depression and suffering under popish intolerance, the Syrian Christians continued more than sixty years, until the capture of Quilon by the Dutch in 1661. By that event the power of the Portuguese was destroyed, and the Christians of St. Thomas restored to liberty. In 1665 the Jesuits quitted India. From their expulsion to the year 1815,

"They professed to have found the remains of St. Thomas the apostle and martyr; and a skull and bones, called his, were kept and worshipped in a church at Goa, dedicated to the blessed virgin, mother of God. One friar Emanuel is reported to have dug up these remains at the command of Don John, King of Portugal."

the Syrian churches continued a separate branch of the Indian community; although divided into sects, and impaired in energy and purity of doctrine, by their unhappy connection with the Roman missionaries.

"In 1815, on the demise of their patriarchs, they obtained the aid of the Company's government, exerted through Colonel Macaulay, the Company's resident in Travancore, who having recovered for them their ancient grants and evidences of nobility, assisted them to found a college at Cattayam for the education of a clergy, and of the Syrian youth generally. Colonel Macaulay effected several other arrangements for the general improvement of their condition. A considerable grant of land was obtained for the college, together with a donation of 20,000 Rupees from the rannee of Travancore, and three English missionaries were attached to the college at the instance of the resident." (To be continued.)


(Continued from p. 377.)

FRANCE, in thus overthrowing the intolerable usurpations and degrading superstitions of popery, plunged into all the extravagance, frenzy, and impurity of the grossest infidelity. There was, however, à method observed in all the prevailing madness; and the decemviral faction confirmed their influence over the minds of the populace, by making them fanatics in devotion to their newly-created divinity. Atheism was now publicly preached! This monstrous doctrine had hitherto been confined to the writings of a few speculative philosophers; and although it is a mournful fact, that many, if not most of the ancient philosophers, neither believed in the creation of the world, nor in a future state of rewards and punishments, and that some of them were even determined sceptics, yet they never ventured to make these principles the source and rule of popular belief. They held it to be absolutely necessary for the well-being of society, that the vulgar should believe in the existence of a Deity, or of many gods, and a state of future rewards and punishments, and durst not trust Atheism in the hands of the populace, but carefully confined it within the precincts of philosophy. The ingenious and sceptical Bayle, the father of modern infidels, was the first of the tribe who dared openly to throw off the mask, and boldly avow and defend the innocency of Atheism, that it was not destructive of the well-being of society, nor necessarily followed by a depravation of morals; and endeavoured to produce instances of whole nations living in a state of savagism and atheism, and yet living, as he pretended, virtuously and innocently, without either law or religion and lest it should be urged, that although Atheism might be consistent with a state of savagism, yet that it would not be tolerable in a state of civilization, but must be built upon its ruins; he, in order to meet this objection, very gravely maintains that civil society is not absolutely necessary for the preservation or well-being of mankind. That arch-infidel Roussean artfully unproved upon the paradox of his predecessor Bayle, and ventured boldly to assert that civil society was injurious to the happiness of man; that savagism was a state of supreme felicity; and that the naked savage of New Zealand, or the cannibal of the American woods, who roamed at large, and indulged without restraint and without remorse in the gratification of his ferocious and brutal propensities, was the only being that deserved the name of man; and that human nature appeared in all its true, majestic, and pristine dignity, only on the banks of the Oronooko or the Amazons, in the wilds of

« AnteriorContinuar »