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mythology and many parts of the Hindoo anity. He is well acquainted with the lanhistory, which were intimately connected guage of the country, and with the history of with that mythology.
the island; and his professional pursuits When the province was, in the seven
afforded him a particular knowledge of its teenth century, conquered by the Dutch, present state, so that his comunications are they were as zealous in circulating in it truly valuable.
"It will be scarcely believed in England, the principles of the Protestant, as the Por
that there are here Protestant Churches, tuguese had been those of the Catholic
under the King's government, which are religion; and for that purpose, as soon as without ministers. In the time of Baldæus, they were established in the country, em
the Dutch preacher and historian, there ployed in it, amongst other active clergy- were thirty-two Christian Churches in the men, the Rev. Dr. Baldæus, who, in the province of Jaffna alone. Most of those best history ever written of the province handsome Churches, of which views are and the people, gives a very detailed and a given in the plates of Baldæus's History, are very interesting account of the several now in ruins.-Even in the town and fort of churches and schools, of the number of Jaffna, where there is a spacious edifice for christians of all ages and both sexes, in
Divine worship, and a respectable society of each and of the several measures which
English and Dutch inhabitants, no clergyman
has been yet appointed. the Dutch government adopted for instruct
“ The Dutch ministers, who formely offiing the natives of the country, and keeping ciated in the province of Jaffnapatam, have up permanently amongst them the Chris
gone to Batavia or Europe. The whole distian religion. The celebrated Sivartz, in
trict is now in the hands of the Romish 1760, while the province was still under the priests, from the college of Goa ; who, perDutch, came from the peninsula, and visited ceiving the indifference of the English nation some of the principal churches in it, parti- to their own religion, have assumed quiet cularly that of Point Pedro, and the Old and undisturbed possession of the land. Tamarind Tree in front of it, under which
And the English Government, justly preBaldæus used frequently to instruct three ferring the Romish superstitions, to the worthousand native children in all the elemen- ship of the idol Budhu, thinks it right to
countenance the Catholic religion in Ceylon. tary principles of the christian religion.
But when our Church shall direct her attenWhen the province first came into the
tion to the promotion of Christianity in the possession of the English government in
East, I know of no place which is more 1795, the churches and schools, and the
worthy of her labour than the old Protestant cause of christianity in general, was not so vineyard of Jaffnapatam. The Scriptures much attended to as was desirable, for the are already prepared in the Tamul Language, reasons stated in the following letter written " &c. &c. &c. from Jaffna by the late Dr. Buchanan in Sir Alexander Johnston, in consequence 1806, when on the tour which he made of his communication with Dr. Buchanan, under the authority of Lord Wellesley, for in 1806, and in consequence of the local the purpose of ascertaining the state of circumstances of the province of Jaffna, christianity throughout British India, and determined not only to revive the spirit of the measures which might be necessary for christianity in that province, but, by estasecuring a due observance of its doctrines blishing a system of good education and throughout the country :
good government amongst the native
christians in it, to make them a bright “ Jaffnapatam in Ceylon, Sept. 27, 1806.
example to the rest of India, of the manner “From the Hindoo Temple of Ramisseram, in which the standard of morals may I crossed over to Ceylon, keeping close to be raised amongst the natives of India, Adam's Bridge. I was surprised to find that by introducing christianity amongst them, all the boatmen were Christians of Ceylon, and by rendering them capable, by a sciI asked the helmsman what religion the entific education, and by extending to English professed, who now governed the them the rights and privileges of a free conisland: he said he could not tell; but that stitution, of exercising the highest functions they were neither of the Portuguese nor Dutch religion ! I was not so much surprised and benefit to their countrymen; and with
of government with credit to themselves at his ignorance afterwards, as I was at the
this view Sir A. Johnston proposed to his time.
"I have had the pleasure to meet here Majesty's government, that in order to keep with Alexander Johnston, Esq. (now Sir up the discipline of the church of England Alexander Johnston, Chief Justice of Ceylon,) amongst those who professed christianity in of the Supreme Court of Judicature, who is Ceylon, as
a bishop should be on the circuit; a man of large and liberal appointed for British India, his jurisdicviews, the friend of learning and of christi- tion should extend over Ceylon; that an
archdeacon should reside on the island, men, to natives of every cast and religious and that an English clergyman of eminence persuasion in the province of Jaffna, as should be constantly stationed at Jaffna,- well as to the natives of every other part that as the British government could not of Ceylon,-the first time such right was afford to have a sufficient number of regu- ever extended to any native of India : and lar English clergymen stationed in the dif. measures were taken for placing Ceylon, ferent parishes in the interior of the pro- when a bishop was appointed to Calcutta, vince of Jaffna, that a sufficient number of under his jurisdiction, for having an arch. Wesleyan missionaries should be invited deacon on Ceylon, and for permanently from England, to establish themselves, and establishing an English clergyman a sufficient number of schoolmasters, and a Jaffna. Dr. Coke, the worthy successor printing press in those parishes; that in of Wesley, at the same time determined, order to have a sufficient supply of Old on the suggestion of Sir A. Johnston, after and New Testaments for the use of the much communication on the subject with natives, a Bible Society should, under the Sir A. Johnston and Mr. Wilberforce, to authority of the Bible Society in England, establish a Wesleyan mission on Ceylon, be established in Ceylon, which, amongst and send out a sufficient number of misother vocations, should print, in the Ta- sionaries to meet the views of Sir A. Johnmul language, and circulate through the ston, with respect to Jaffna ; and, it being province of Jaffna, as many Bibles as may the first instance in which a Wesleyan mission be required for the use of all the natives of was ever established in any part of British the country ; that in order to make the
India, the Doctor determined, notwithnatives familiar with the history of the Old standing he was sixty-eight years old, to and New Testament, the Bishop of Lon- accompany the mission himself to Ceylon, don's “ Evidences of Christianity” should and, when he arrived there, to proceed along be translated into Tamul, and circulated with Sir Alexander Johnston, and, on the amongst them, and that Tamul translations spot, make all the arrangements which Sir of Miss Hannah More's sacred dramas Alexander had proposed with respect should be represented before them in the to that province. The Bible Society also same manner as the sacred dramas of the
at the same time, on the suggestion of Sir Jesuits were represented before them in the Alexander Johnston, authorised him to time of the Portuguese ; and that in order to establish a Bible Society, the first ever estamake the people appreciate the value of a blished in India, on the island of Ceylon, good character, by making them consider giving him at the same time a great many it as the sure passport to political privileges Bibles in various languages, to circulate in and public honours, the right of sitting that island, and a sufficient quantity of upon juries, and that of being tried by printing - paper, and pecuniary aid, to juries of their countrymen, be extended to enable the Society on Ceylon to print such every native of the country, and that the versions of the Bible in Tamul, as might be character for integrity, independence, and best understood by the natives of Jaffna. talents acquired by them during the exer- Miss H. More also, at the same time hearcise of these rights be considered by ing from Sir Alex. Johnston, of his plan of government as the criterion of their fitness having sacred dramas translated, for reprefor, and their being deserving of, all sentation amongst the natives, into Tamul, appointments in the gift of his Majesty's and other native languages, not only government.
arranged some of her published dramas Sir Alexander Johnston, in 1809, as one for the purpose, but in communication with of his Majesty's members of council on Sir Alex. Johnston determined to compose Ceylon, came to England at the request of a great many similar dramas for the same the governor and council of that island, for
purpose. the purpose of explaining to his Majesty's Sir Alexander Johnston having returned ministers the nature and bearings of all the again to Ceylon in the latter end of 1811, different measures which he proposed for as Chief Justice and President of his the improvement of the island, and Majesty's Council on that island, extended, amongst others proposed to his Majesty's according to the provisions of the royal ministers the adoption of the plan he had charter, which he brought out with him, formed with respect to Jaffna, which hav- the right of sitting upon juries, and being ing met with the approbation of the late tried by juries of their own countrymen, Lord Londonderry, then Secretary of State to all the natives of the island, estafor the Colonies, a royal charter was passed, blished a Bible Society at Colombo, and extending the right of sitting upon juries, and took measures for having translations made being tried by juries of their own country- of the Bible into the Cingalese and Tamul
languages: the first, the language of the which has been held by the Supreme Court natives of the south ; the second, that of at Jaffna, since the appointment to that place the nations of the north of ihe island; had of a Colonial Chaplain, it was the first time also translations made into Tamul of that the inhabitants of the Province have had Bishop Porteus's Evidences of Christianity,
an opportunity of seeing the Judges of the and two of Miss Hannah More's sacred Supreme Court attend Divine Service and dramas,
receive the Sacrament on the first day of the A bishop was soon afterwards
Criminal Session. appointed to Calcutta by his Majesty.
“ Previous to opening the Session, the Ceylon was included in his diocese.
Chief Justice, accompanied by His Majesty's An archdeacon was nominated for that
Advocate Fiscal, and all the Officers of the island, and an English clergyman was per- Court, proceeded in his robes and on foot manently stationed in the town of Jaffna. from the Court House to the Church, where The Wesleyan missionaries, though Dr. Divine Service was performed, and an excelCoke, their chief, had died on the pas- lent Sermon preached by the Reverend Mr. sage, reached Ceylon in safety, and a cer. Glenie; His Lordship and His Majesty's tain number were stationed in different Advocate Fiscal, after having taken the parts of the province of Jaffna, and opened Sacrament, returned back to the Court House schools for the instruction of the natives :
and the Session was immediately opened. all these arrangements having been made,
“ His Lordship, before he proceeded to Sir Alexander Johnston, in pursuance of
the Church, fully explained to all the Bra
mins, and to the other Hindoo Jurors of his original plan, mentioned to Dr. Bu
the Province, the nature and the object of chanan in 1806, held a Criminal Session
the Ceremony which was about to take place; of the Supreme Court at Jaffna, for the
and informed them that, according to the express purpose of shewing to the natives Principles of the Christian Religion, all perof the country, now that they were admitted sons who possess any portion of power, either to a considerable share in the system of as Judges or as Jurymen, ought to be administering justice to their countrymen, strongly and awfully impressed with an idea by having been admitted to the rights of that they act in trust, and that they are to jurymen, that, according to the institution account in the Supreme Being for their conof Great Britain, every man who
duct to that trust; and that therefore it was entrusted with so important a charge, was
customary for the Judges, just before the understood to execute that trust under the
commencement of a Criminal Session, to
attend Divine Service, and to take the Sacraawe of religious feelings, caused, imme
ment, as the most solemn and most certain diately before they proceeded into court to
mode of impressing that idea on their open the session, the sacrament to be
minds, and enabling them to discharge their administered to himself and to all the
duties according to the true meaning of the officers of the court, who were christians, in Oath which they take before God, at the time the great church at Jaffna, and in the pre- they are appointed to their Office. sence of all the natives who attended as " As all the Bramins and other Hindoo jurymen. As this was the first instance of Jurymen expressed an anxiety to be present such a religious form under such circum- at the Ceremony, the whole of them were
allowed to attend stances ever having been observed by the
at the Church during Supreme Court in Ceylon, it excited great
Divine Service, and the Chief of the interest amongst the natives of the country,
Bramins, as well as the Chiefs, were per
mitted to remain in the Church while the and was known to have had a great effect
Lord's Supper was administered. As none amongst them, from its having convinced
of the Hindoo Jurymen had ever been in a them of the high respect which European Protestant Church before, and as they seemed functionaries were bound to pay to the reli. very desirous to understand the nature of gion which they professed, and of the feel
every part of the Service which they had ings which that religion was calculated to heard, the Head Bramin of the ancient produce upon those who were vested with Pagoda of Candaswamy, at Nellore, who is the highest powers in the administration of one of the best Sanscrit and Tamul scholars justice. We shall insert the account given
on the Island, is about to make a translation
into Sanscrit and Tamul of the of this ceremony in the Appendix to the abridged edition of Baldæus's History of
which the Reverend Mr. Glenie preached Jaffna, published by the Wesleyan Mis- upon the occasion, a copy which will be
given to each of the Bramin and other Hinsionaries on Ceylon, in 1816.
doo Jurymen of the Province of Jaffna for " Extract from the Ceylon Government Ga- their information.".
zette, of Wednesday, the 19th of July, 1815. “ This Sermon has since been translated
“ The Session for the Province of Jaffna into Sanscrit and Tamul, by the Head was opened at Jaffna on the 22nd.
Bramin; and a great many Copies of both “ As this was the first Criminal Session Translations have been made on palmyra
leaves, under the direction of the Honble. thanks to the American Board of CommisSir Alexander Johnston, for the purpose of sioners for Foreign Missions, moved by me, being distributed amongst
and unanimously adopted by the Meeting Jurors, of all the different castes in the Pro
at the last Anniversary of the Subscribers vince of Jaffna.
to the Oriental Translation Fund of Great Shortly after this, encouraged by the Britain and Ireland. cordial manner in which the Wesleyan “I availed myself of the favourable missionaries had, in consequence of Sir opportunity which your presence at that Alexander Johnston's advice, been patron. meeting, as Minister of the United States, ised by the government of the island, afforded me, to point out to the other disseven American missionaries, six of whom tinguished persons who attended, how much were married, arrived on Ceylon from Great Britain and her East Indian possesAmerica, and, on the advice of Sir Alex. sions are indebted to the Board, for keepJohnston, established themselves in the ing up, on the island of Ceylon, at their province of Jaffna. These missionaries
own expense, a mission, which, from its have, independent of their other avocations, local situation, and its admirable institudevoted themselves with such prudence, tions, is so well calculated to improve the ability, and zeal, to the formation of schools understanding, and raise the moral chafor females, as well as males, and to the
racter of the natives of that island, and of instruction of the natives, not only in the the opposite peninsula of India. elementary parts of knowledge, but even in “ The members of the mission have the higher departments of science; that acquired a thorough knowledge of the their influence has been felt in a most Tamul language, and of the religions, litebeneficial manner, not only in the island rature, and usages of the natives, and have of Ceylon, but in the southern peninsula of employed that knowledge for the purpose India, from whence many of the natives of instructing them in the English language, send their children to the American schools and in such of the arts and sciences of in the province of Jaffna. As these mission- Europe, as must make them acquainted aries, from the nature of the sciences which with some of the most remarkable discothey teach, that of the works which they veries of modern times, and gradually but translate, and that of the intimate know- effectually dispel from their minds many ledge which they acquire of the religion, lite- of those pernicious opinions and ancient rature, manners, and usages of the Hindoos, prejudices which are generally entertained are calculated to produce a gradual but a by them upon all subjects connected with certain change throughout the south of their religion, their morals, and their phiIndia, they become an object of interest to losophy. all those who direct their inquiries to the “I felt myself the more particularly called improvements which are taking place in
upon to move such a resolution, because I British India; we, therefore, insert the was Chief Justice and President of His two following letters, as they are intimately Majesty's Council in Ceylon at the time connected with the subject :--The first is the American Missionaries first reached one written by Sir Alexander Johnston to that island; and was the person who, from Mr.Vail, the American Minister in England, the high opinion I had formed of the on the occasion of sending to him a reso
nature of the mission, of the character of its lution which had, on the motion of Sir members, and of the advantages which the Alexander Johnston, been unanimously cause of religion and civilization would adopted at the Anniversary Meeting of the derive from its success, strongly urged the Members of the Oriental Translation Com. missionaries to fix their establishment in mittee, thanking the prudential committee the province of Jaffna, which, from its gecof missionaries in America, for the great graphical position, with respect to the assistance they had afforded the friends of peninsula of India, would enable them to Oriental literature, through the American direct their attention as well to the natives missionaries established in Jaffna.--The of that peninsula as to those of the island second is the answer from the prudential of Ceylon. committee to Sir Alexander Johnston,
“ The reports which they have from time acknowledging the receipt of the resolution, to time published of their proceedings, promising a continuance of their assistance, will shew you the rapid progress which and announcing the desire evinced by the they have made in their several objects
, present government of Ceylon to forward and the very important and beneficial their views.
effects which their labours must ultimately “ Dear Sır,—I have the honour to en- produce upon the condition of the people, close to you a copy of the Resolution of and the state of the country. It must be a
matter of congratulation to the friends of the Resolution of the Subscribers to the religion and civilization in every part of the Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain world, to see the citizens of the United and Ireland, at their late anniversary; togeStates and the subjects of Great Britain, in
ther with the Letters of Sir Alexander Johnthe island of Ceylon, mutually recollecting,
ston and A. Vail, Esq.” under the immediate protection of the “ The next Annual Meeting of our Board, British government, their common origin, will be held in Philadelphia, in September. and their common sympathies, and mutu. Meanwhile, I beg your acceptance of a ally forgetting, under the peaceful influence copy of our last Annual Report, (the 23d,) of the christian religion, their former jea- which I send for you to the care of the lousies, and their national animosities, co- Rev. Wm. Ellis, Foreign Secretary of the operate with equal zeal and prudence in London Missionary Sociely, Austin Friars, spreading the English, their common lan- London : in that document you will learn guage, into every part of India, in instruct- the present state of our operations in difing the understandings and in improving ferent parts of the world. the moral and social feelings of the natives “A fact, however, which has afforded us of every caste and religious persuasion, and the greatest pleasure is not mentioned in in renderiug applicable and advantageous the report. It is, that Sir Robert Wilmot to their present situation all their moral and Horton, the Governor of Ceylon, has been political institutions, which, under various pleased to grant permission for new mismodifications and various denominations, sionaries to come from America, until have, in all ages and in all countries, when- reference can be made to England on the ever and wherever introduced with pru- subject, and has also promised to write in dence and moderation, invariably secured favour of the Mission to his Majesty's the liberty of the subject, the authority of Secretary of State, requesting an official the government, and the prosperity of the removal of the restrictions which have for nation. I have the honour to be, dear sir, so many years prevented the enlargement yours, very faithfully,
A. Johnston. of our operations in Ceylon; such an event “To the Honourable S.VAILE, &c., Acting Minister we confidently anticipated, whenever the
Plenipotentiary, from the United States of Ame- character of our mission should become rica, to Great Britain."
fully understood by the government; and Missionary Rooms, Boston,
we are grateful to the enlightened friends U.S. A. Jan. 23, 1833. who have taken so much pains to collect “ DEAR SIR.-In transmitting a copy of a and diffuse correct information on the subResolution you did us the honour to move ject. I am, dear sir, with great respect, at the annual meeting of the Subscribers to your obedient servant,—R. ANDERSON, the Oriental Translation Fund of Great “Foreign Secretary of the American Board of Britain and Ireland, Mr. Vail, our chargé Commissioners for Foreign Missions." d'affaires, was so kind as to forward also From the facts communicated in the a copy of the letter from yourself, which above article, there is surely ample enclosed the resolution to him. These ground to encourage the most sanguine documents having been laid before the hopes for the future. On the one hand, prudential Committee of the American the efficient and ready protection of the Board of Commissioners for Foreign Mis- English government, while it has already sions, I am instructed to communicate the been of such essential service to the cause following Resolutions in return, viz. of religion in Ceylon, holds out the most
“Resolved, — That the Prudential Com- gratifying prospects for the future. It may mittee, recognize with gratitude the honour- surely be taken as an indication of their able notice of the Board, taken by Sir Alex- anxiety to aid more private and individual ander Johnston at the last Annnal Meeting efforts to extend to every part of their of the Subscribers to the Oriental Transla- dependencies the light and blessings of the tion Fund of Great Britain and Ireland; as gospel, and those collateral advantages of well as his favourable opinion of the Ceylon civilization and morality which invariably Mission, and his lively interest in its welfare, follow in its train. We may also be perexpressed in a letter to A. Vail, Esq. dated
mitted to express a hope, that the noble, Sept. 22, 1832, and that he be assured that the important aid rendered by him to the zealous, and successful efforts of Sir AlexMission of the Board in Ceylon, while resid
ander Johnston may operate as a stimulus ing on that island, is thankfully remembered
and an example to his successors; and that by the patrons of the Mission in this
the time is not far distant when Christianity country.”
shall have found in Asia a lasting resting“ Resolved,—That the Secretaries submit place, and a theatre for the operation of to the Board, at its next Annual Meeting, its mightiest and happiest effects.