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cat and its environs. The Wahabies have lately conquered the tribe of Outab, who are celebrated for their skill in the art of ship-building, and of navigation, and have already commenced to form a maritime force. Whenever they have effected this point, they will soon be masters of Bussora: after which, they will easily capture Bagdad: and I have no doubt, but that in a few years, they will be at the gates of Constantinople. They have lately had the assurance to write to both the Turkish emperor and the king of Persia, inviting them to embrace their religion. “The following is a copy of the letter of their general, or vicegerent, to the king of Persia. “We fly unto God for refuge against the accursed Satan. In the name of God, the compassionate —the merciful. “‘ From Abd al Aziz, chief of the Mussulmans, to Futteh Aly Shah, king of Persia. “Since the death of the prophet Mohammed, son of Abd Allah, polytheism and idolatry have been promulgated amongst his followers. For instance; at Nejif and Kerbela, the people fall down and worship the tombs and shrines, which are made of earth and stone, and address their supplications and prayers to the persons contained therein. As it is evident to me, the least of the servants of God, that such practices cannot be agreeable to our lords, Aly and Hussein, I have used every exertion to purify our holy religion from these vile superstitions, and, by the blessing of God, have long since eradicated these pollutions from the territory of Nejid, and the greater part of Arabia; but
the attendants on the mausolea, and
their deserts. If the people of Persia are addicted to these superstitions, let them quickly repent; for whosoever is guilty of idolatry and polytheism shall, in like manner, be punished.
“Peace be to him who obeys this direction.’”
-To the Editor of the Christian Observer.
I take the liberty to send you the following lines, either for insertion in your work, or to be made such use of as you may think most proper. I have exercised my ministry in my present situation almost thirty years, amidst evil report and good report, with, I hope, some degree of firmness, consistency, and conscientious diligence. During that time I have received a considerable num
ber of expostulatory and even very
abusive letters, for the most part anonymous, (and have often had postage to pay), from sectaries, Jacobins, infidels, &c. &c. Very lately I had the postage to pay for the following, which was dated from a large town at the distance of fourteen miles. “Rev. Sir, Having been in your church, at a time when you took the liberty of speaking to one of your hearers in a very unbecoming manner as a clergyman, I send you the inclosed, that you may know how the law operates against such illtempered (should be) public instructors; and that, at the same time, it may be a warning to you to be more cautious in future, and not be the only man in your parish to encourage dissentions amongst your hitherto peaceable parishioners. “A Female Communicant.” Enclosed was the following paragraph, cut from a newspaper: ** B RAW LING IN THE CHURCH. “Consistory Court of London, Doctor's Commons. * Cox v. Goo DAY. “ In this case, which was a criminal proceeding, at the instance
of Miss Cox, against the Rev. W. Sooday, officiating minister at Terling in Essex, for a disturbance in the church, &c. &c. The learned judge (Sir W. Scott) then, in a very impressive manner, addressing himself to the Rev. Gentleman, delivered his judgment: he observed, that the of. fence charged against him, was that of having wantonly interrupted the erformance of religious ceremony in his own church, by addressing Miss Cox in the midst of the service, in the language of uncalled-for reproof, mixed with a considerable degree of intemperate warmth; he reminded him, that it was the duty of the churchwardens, and not of the minister, to repress any indecorum that manifested itself in the church; and that his thoughts ought to be otherwise occupied,” &c. &c. Now I am not conscious of having been guilty of what is thus pertly laid to my charge, and can form no conjecture about what may have been the circumstance which is referred to. I do not recollect having addressed myself personally to any individual, much less in a very unbecoming manner as a clergyman; though I must confess, I have at many times given general reproofs; and on some occasions, when I have seen it necessary, have introduced them into my sermon, leaving it to the consciences of the offenders to make the application. Of late years, it is not very cornmon to see much indecent behaviour in my congregation, except at what is called the Wakes; which in this country is a season of disorder and excess, that would disgrace a country of professed heathens. On that Sunday it is usual for the scum of the surrounding places and parishes, to come to the church, without the smallest idea of reverence or common decency. On such occasions. I have frequently requested the strangers, either to conduct themselves with proper decorum, or to keep themselves away; and have asked them what right they have to come and disturb me and my congregation, in our own church From the irritation discovered, it is proChrist. Observ. No. 1 14,
bable the writer of the above letter may have been one of this number. Sir W. Scott reminded the Rev. Mr. Gooday, that it was the duty of the churchwardens, and not of the minister, to repress any indecorum that manifested itself in the church, and that his thoughts ought to be otherwise occupied, &c. It must be granted, that, during public prayers, if the minister is devoutly employed, he cannot be at liberty to observe any indecorum, unless it be very flagrant indeed. But when he is in the pulpit, it is quite otherwise, unless he not only quite confines himself to notes, but reads them like a droning schoolboy saying his lesson. In mine, or in any other large congregation, there may be many instances of indecorum, in different parts of the church, of which the churchwardens cannot be witnesses; but the whole is under the minister's eye. And must the minister in such cases consider himself as a mere cipher? Is he by office a reprover as well as an instructor, and is it illegal to administer a serious reproof (I am not pleading for intemperate warmth), when in his presence, and in the immediate presenge of the great God, any persons can allow themselves to be guilty of the daring wickedness of behaving indecorously. and disturbing the attention and the devotion of all around them Must he, instead of giving a gentle admonition, call to the churchwardens, and point out to them the guilty of fenders ? Would not this much more resemble brawling in the church, and increase the disturbance 2–In the last summer, I attended public worship at a church in a certain English city. Two ladies in a pew near me, were conversing together, in rather more than a whisper, after the officiating minister was come into the reading-desk; and he immediately (I thought with great propriety) pointed towards them, saying, Hush! Was this to be deemed brawling in the church 2–I know various chapels where there never have been any wardens; and in my own place, 3 B
and in many others, the churchwar
dens do not always come to church, on both parts of the day. What is to be done in such cases Must the minister, without taking any notice, permit every kind of indecency, levity, and even insulting behaviour, or be liable to be worried with a vexatious prosecution?–Formerly, it was very common here (though it is not so now) for the attendants at funerals, with disgusting inconsideration, to be talking, and even quite noisy, about the grave, while I have been reading the burial service. I think there are very few clergymen who would scruple to act as I have done in such cases, viz, request them to be silent, and to reflect on the solemn providence which brought them thither. Is this to be construed into brawling in the churchyard ” It sometimes falls out that a minister cannot perform the marriage ceremony, without having to exercise his authority in repressing disorder and indecorum. I have seen not only some of the company, but the bridegroom, come into the church laughing, and during the ceremony manifesting the most indecent and profane levity. Is a minister to permit such shameful disorder to proceed And must a grave admonition be accounted brawling in the church 2 I should be much gratified by your observations, or those of some of your correspondents, on the above inquiries. I think it is much to be regretted that the two late decisions in the Ecclesiastical Court should have taken place. In the case of the Rev. Mr. Wicks, though I cannot approve his conduct, I can as little approve the decision it has occasioned. The rubric requires baptism to be performed by a lawful minister, i. e. most undoubtedly, as I think, one that has been regularly ordained, according to the constitution of the church. If therefore the burial service is perforumed
over a child which has been baptized by a minister not thus ordained, or by a methodist lay preacher, it must be considered as a boon granted. This is, however, a boon which I have never been inclined to refuse. Whenever a child has been brought for interment, it has been my rule never to inquire who baptized it. Indeed, if I was to follow the example of Mr. Wicks, I must refuse to bury several of my own communicants, who having been bred and brought up dissenters, can have had no other than dissenting baptism. But of much more serious consequence is the decision in the case of Mr. Gooday, as hereby encouragement is held out to hardened scoffers, to treat with more contempt than ever, those of the established clergy, whö pay any serious regard to their office; and it may not be thought strange, if through Sir W. Scott's overstraining of the statute in his address to Mr. Gooday, persons of that description should come to church on purpose to disturb and insult them. Every conscientious and consistent clergyman thus falls under additional discouragements; though there were abundance of these before. The consideration hereof must hold out a powerful temptation to pious young men under preparation for the ministry, to desert the established church (unless they possess a very strong invincible predilection for it), and to attach themselves to the dissenters, It must be owned, that the situation of the Rev. Mr. Gooday (since the late decision), is far from being enviable, unless (which can scarcely be hoped in any situation), there is only one profane scorner in his parish and neighbourhood, and that one will do him the favour to keep away from church. A COUNTRY CLERGYMAN, ANI). CONst A Nt neald E.R.
IBuchanaN's Discourses and Christian Researches in Asia.
(Concluded from p. 320.)
The reader, who has followed us through the former part of this Review, will not be surprised to find that Dr. Buchanan should have been led, by a consideration of all the circumstances relating to the Syrian church in Asia, to cherish the hope that it might one day be united with the church of England. He conversed at great length on this important subject with the Syrian bishop , and some of the clergy. The bishop, after conferring with his clergy, returned, in writing, an answer to the following effect; “that an union with the English church, or, at least, such a connection as should appear to both churches practicable and expedient, would be a happy event, and favourable to the advancement of religion in India.” In making this communi-cation, he used his official designation, “ Mar Dyonisius, Metropolitan of Malabar.” From Cande-nad the residence of this venerable bishop, Dr. Buchanan returned to the sea-coast, to visit Colonel Macaulay, the British Resident in Travancore, from whom he states himself to have derived much valuable information, and whom he represents as the warm friend of Christianity. After residing with this officer a few days, they proceeded together to Udiamper, formerly the residence of Beliarte, king of the Christians, and the place at which, in 1599, the ArchBishop of Goa convened the synod of the Syrian clergy, when he burned the Syrian and Chaldaic books. From Udiamper they went to Cande-nad, to confer again with the Syrian bishop, and found that he had commenced the translation of the Scriptures into the language of
Malayala. They then visited Cranganore, the seat of a Romish archbishopric, to which 45 churches are subject. Not far from Cranganore is the town of Paroor, where there is an ancient Syrian church, bearing the name of St. Thomas, and supposed to be the oldest in Malabar. Dr. Buchanan took a drawing of it. At Verapoli, the residence of Bishop Raymondo, the Pope's apostolical vicar in Malabar, there is a college for the sacerdotal office, where the students are taught the Latin and Syriac languages. The apostolical vicar superintends 64 churches, exclusive both of the 45 already mentioned, and of the large dioceses of Cochin and Quilon, whose churches extend to Cape Comorin, and are visible from the sea.
“The view of this assemblage of Christian congregations,” observes Dr. "Buchanan, “excited in my mind mingled sensatious of pleasure and regret; of pleasure to think that so inany of the Hindoos had been rescued from the idolatry of Brahma, and its criminal worship; and of regret when I reflected that there was not to be found among the whole body, oue copy of the Holy Bible.
“The Apostolic Vicar is an Italian, and corresponds with the Society de propaganda Fide.' He is a man of liberal man. ners, and gave me free access to the archives of Verapoli, which are upwards of two centuries old. In the library I found many volumes marked ‘Liber hereticus prohibitus.” Every step I take in Christian India, I meet with a memento of the Inquisition. The Apostolical Vicar, however, does not acknowledge its authority, and places himself under British protection. He spoke of the Inquisition with just indignation, and, in the presence of the British Resident, called it ‘a horrid tribunal.’ I asked him whether he thought I might with safety visit the Inquisition, when I sailed past Goa; there being at this time a British force in its vicinity. It asserted a personal jurisdiction over natives who were now British subjects; and it was proper the English government should know something of its present state. The Bishop answered, “I is
not know what you might do, under the protection of a British force; but I should not like (smiling, and pressing his capacious sides,) to trust my body in their hands.’ “We then had some conversation on the subject of giving the Scriptures to the native Roman Catholics. I had heard before, that the Bishop was by no means hostile to the measure. I told him that I should probably find the means of translating the Scriptures into the Malabar language, and wished to know whether he had any objection to this mode of illuminating the ignorant minds of the native Christians. He said he had none. I visited the Bishop two or three times afterwards. At our last interview he said, ‘I have been thinking of the good gift you are meditating for the native Christians; but believe me, the Inquisition will endeavour to counteract your purposes by every means in their power.” I afterwards conversed with an intelligent native priest, who was well acquainted with the state and character of the Christians, and asked him whether he thought they would be happy to obtain the Scriptures – Yes,' answered he, “ those who have heard of them.’ I asked if he had got a Bible himself?—“No,' he said; “but he had seen one at Goa.” pp. 226, 227. The account of the Syriac manuscripts, which Dr. Buchanan succeeded in obtaining, and of the ancient tablets, on which are recorded the rights and privileges granted to the Christians, supposed to have been lost, but lately recovered by the exertions of Colonel Macaulay, has been, in some measure, anticipated in our volume for 1807. Most of these manuscripts, together with copper-plate fac-similes of the tablets, are deposited in the public library of the university of Cambridge. The translation of the Scriptures into the Malayalim, which was set on foot, as we have seen, at Dr. Buchanan's suggestion, was prosecuted by the Bishop without intermission. In the following year Dr. Buchanan visited Travancore a second time, and carried the manuscript version of the New Testament to Bombay to be printed, learned natives being sent from Travancore to superintend the press. It is intended to continue the translation until the whole Bible is completed. The
British and Foreign Bible Society have voted a large supply of paper
in aid of the design. Dr. Buchanan
likewise urges the printing of an edition of the Syriac Scriptures for distribution in Malayala, and also in Mesopotamia. We trust that the Bible Society will not be inattentive to this important object. In the course of his travels through different parts of the East, the author had an opportunity of witnessing the degrading effects produced by the papal corruptions. On one occasion he beheld the tower of Juggernaut employed to celebrate a Christian festival. While the author reviewed these corruptions, he was always referred to the Inquisition at Goa, as the fountain head. This determined him, if possible, to visit Goa before he left India. He had learnt, from every quarter, that this tribunal was still in operation, though restricted as to the publicity of its proceedings; and that its power extended to the extreme boundary of Hindostan.
“That, in the present civilized state of Christian nations in Europe, an inquisition should exist at all under their authority, appeared strange; but that a papal tribunal of this character should exist under the implied toleration and countenance of the British government; that Christians, being subjects of the British empire, and inhabiting the British territories, should be amena. ble to its power and jurisdiction, was a statement which seemed to be scarcely credible; but, if true, a fact which demanded the most public and solemn representation." p. 240.
Dr. Buchanan accordingly adopted the resolution of visiting Goa, and, after overcoming difficulties which would have deterred any man less bold than himself, we find him lodged in the convent of the Augustinians, in that city, under the especial protection of Josephus a Doloribus, one of the inquisitors, The whole of Dr. Buchanan's journal, while he remained at Goa, would prove, in the highest degree, interesting to our readers; but our limits oblige us to be content with a single extract, We are per