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of its principles on his heart.” It is remarkable that versions of the scriptures should be now
* The account of Ananda Rayer's conversion is given by the Rev. Dr. John, the aged Missionary at Tranquebar, in a letter to Mr. Desgranges.—This Brahman applied, (as many Brahmins and other Hindoos constantly do) to an older Brahmin of some fame for sanctity, to know, “what he should do “that he might be saved 7”. The old Brahmin told him, that “he must repeat a certain prayer four lack of times:” that is, 400,000 times. This he performed in a Pagoda, in six months; and added many painful ceremonies. But finding no comfort or peace from these external rites, he went to a Romish Priest, and asked him if he knew what was the true religion ? The Priest gave him some Christian books in the Telinga language, and, after along investigation of Christianity, the inquiring Hindoo had no doubt remaining on his mind, that “Christ was the “Saviour of the world.” But he was not satisfied with the Romish worship in many points : he disliked the adoration of images, and other superstitions; and having heard from the Priests themselves, that the Protestant Christians at Tanjore and Tranquebar, professed to have a purer faith, and had got the Bible translated, and worshipped no images; he visited Dr. John, and the other Missionaries at Tranquebar, where he remained four months, conversing, says Dr. John, “almost “every day with me,” and examining the Holy Scriptures. He soon acquired the Tamul language (which has affinity with the Telinga) that he might read the Tamul translation; and he finally became a member of the Protestant Church.
The Missionaries at Vizagapatam being in want of a learned Telinga scholar to assist them in a translation of the Scriptures into the Telinga language, Dr. John recommended Ananda Rayer; “for he was averse," says he, “to undertake any worldly
preparing for the Mahomedans and Hindoos, by their own converted countrymen; namely, the Persian and Arabic versions, by SABAT the Arabian; and the Telinga version by ANANDA RAYER, the Telinga Brahmin. The latter has translated the four Gospels, and the Acts of the Apostles. The progress of Sabat in his translations will be noticed hereafter.
In the island of Ceylon, the population under the British Government amounts, according to the best authorities, to upwards of a million and a half; and one third is supposed to profess Christianity. This population was divided by the Dutch, while they had possession of the island, into 240 church-ships, and three native
"employment, and had a great desire to be useful to his “ brethren of the Telinga nation." The reverend Missionary concludes thas: " What Jesus Christ hath required' of his “ followers, this man hath iterally done; he hath left father, “ mother, sisters, and brothers, and houses, and lands, for the " Gospel's sake."
See Dr. John's Letter, dated 29th January, 1808, com municated to the Bible Society, by the Rev. Mr. Brown.
schoolmasters were appointed to each churchship. The Dutch government never gave an official appointment to any native who was not a Christian; a distinction which was ever considered by them as a wise policy, as well as a Christian duty, and which is continued by his Majesty's Government in Ceylon. Perhaps it is not generally known in England that our Bengal and Madras Governments do not patronise the native Christians. They give official appointments to Mahomedans and Hindoos generally in preference to natives professing Christianity. The chief argument for the retention of this system is precedent. It was the practice of the first settlers. But it has been often observed that what might be proper or necessary in a factory, may not be tolerable in a great Empire. It is certain that this system confirms prejudice, exposes our religion to contempt . in the eyes of the natives, and precludes every ray of hope of the future prevalence of Christianity at the seats of government. .
• Jaffna-patam, in Ceylon, Sept. 27, 1806. * From the Hindoo. Temple of Ramisseram, I crossed
over to Ceylon,
Ceylon, keeping close to Adam's bridge. I was surprized to find, that all the boatmen were Christians of Ceylon. I asked the helmsman what religion the English professed who now governed the island. He said he could not tell, only that they were not of the Portuguese or Dutch religion. I was not so much surprized at his ignorance afterwards, as I was at the time.
I have had the pleasure to meet here with Alexander Johnstone, Esq.* of the Supreme Court of Judicature, who is on the circuit ; a man of large and liberal views, the friend of learning, and of Christianity.
Christianity. He is well acquainted with the language of the country, and with the history of the island ; and his professional pursuits afford him a particular knowledge of its present state ; so that his communications are truly valuable.--It will be scarcely believed in England, that there are here Protestant Churches under the King's government, which are without ministers. In the time of BALDÆUS, the Dutch preacher and historian, there were thirtytwo Christian Churches in the province of Jaffna alone, At this time there is not one Protestant European Minister in the whole province. I ought to except Mr. Palm, a solitary Missionary, who has been sent out by the London Society, and receives some stipend from the British government. I visited Mr. Palm, at his residence a few miles from the town of Jaffna. He is prosecuting the study of the Tamul language; for that is the language of this part of Ceylon, from its
* Now Sir Alexander Johnstone, Chief-Justice of Ceylon.
proximity to the Tamul continent. Mrs. Palm has
made as great progress in the language as her husband, and is extremely active in the instruction of the native women and children. I asked her if she had no wish to return to Europe, after living so long among the uncivilized Cingalese. No, she said; she was “all the day long happy in the communication of knowledge.’ Mr. Palm has taken possession of the old Protestant Church of Tilly-Pally. By reference to the history, I found it was the church in which Baldaeus himself preached (as he himself mentions) to a congregation of two thousand natives; for a view of the Church is given in his work. Most of those handsome Churches, of which views are given in the plates of Baldaeus’s history, are now in ruins. Even in the town and fort of Jaffna, where there is a spacious edifice for Divine Worship, and respectable society of English and Dutch inhabitants, no Clergyman has been yet appointed. The only Protestant preacher in the town of Jaffna is Christian David, a Hindoo Catechist sent over by the Mission of Tranquebar. His chief ministrations are in the Tamul Tongue; but he sometimes preaches in the English Language, which he speaks with tolerable propriety: and the Dutch and English resort to hear him. I went with the rest to his Church; when he delivered extempore a very excellent Discourse, which his present Majesty George the Third would not have disdained to hear. And this Hindoo supports the interests of the English Church in the province of Jaffna. The Dutch Ministers who formerly officiated here, have gone to Batavia or to Europe. The whole district is now in