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the letters of the saint describing his missionary labours are published; that those labours are partly pourtrayed in the "Lettres Edifiantes ;" that an account of all St. Francis did and suffered may be found published in Latin by Turselin, in Italian by Bartoli and Maffei, in Spanish by Garcia, in Portuguese by Luzena, and that even our spirited publisher, Mr. Richardson, could have supplied him at a shilling a volume with "Butler's Lives of the Saints," in which he would have found it stated, vol. xii., p. 51, that, "in the beginning of the year 1548, he (St. Francis Xavier) landed at Ceylon, where he converted great numbers, with two kings.


Mr. Pridham weighs the coffee of Ceylon by the ounce, and calculates its cinnamon by the pound. There would be no use in trying to deceive him by any jumble about the official" and "the declared" value of articles; for in such a case his shrewdness would be on the alert, and his astuteness provoked to detect a fallacy and expose a falsehood; but where a Roman Catholic priest-a Jesuit, too!-is concerned, anything that may be said to his disparagement-even though he laid down his life, and endured years of martyrdom to save the souls of his fellow creatures-can be lightly said, willingly propagated, and readily believed! And why is this? Because Mr. Pridham is so blinded by a stupid, inane, and ferocious bigotry, that he-a gentleman, and a scholar, and a christian-can thus speak of a religion which a Newman, an Oakeley, and a crowd of illustrious men of his own creed, have recently adopted:

"It will readily be conceived, that any body of religionists connected with the Portuguese branch of the Romish church, and its off-shoot at Goa, are not likely to be distinguished for the purity and elevation of their faith. In the case of Ceylon, it is very questionable whether the tenets of Boodhism, divested of their idolatrous parasites, would not serve as a brighter beacon to light the path of morality, than the insensate and infinitely more debasing tenets of Rome."-vol. i. p. 349.

That an infidel could write thus would be intelligible; but for a Protestant, for one who believes in Christ, to do so, is only explicable on the ground that fanaticism, when it once takes possession of the reasoning faculties and excites the passions, will render devil-worship even preferable in the eyes of "the possessed," to that form of


faith which preaches peace on earth to men of goodwill." We cannot recollect, in all our reading, any sentiment used by a professing Christian like to that here quoted from the pages of Mr. Pridham, excepting that unchristian sentiment employed by the Zealand sailors in the year 1574, who, in proceeding from Rotterdam to relieve Leyden, wore crescents in their hats, with the motto, "The Turk rather than the Pope.

Mr. Pridham's facts are, however, of far more importance than his opinions. We have quoted enough of the latter to show, that no share of justice or of fair-play can be expected from him where the Roman Catholics and their religion are concerned; but still, and in despite of himself, when he comes to speak of the Roman Catholic church, and other creeds or professions of faith, as "a missionary church," he cannot conceal the success of the Roman Catholic, even though, from the year 1658 until 1806, it was a persecuted religion in Ceylon.

"Under the administration of the Dutch," says Mr. Pridham, "the Roman Catholic part of the population, whether of European or native extraction, was subject to various restraints and disabilities. They were not permitted to have a separate burialground, and were compelled to pay an extravagant sum for perInission to inter their dead in the protestant cemeteries. A tax was imposed on the marriage of Catholics, which almost amounted to a prohibition. Though persons professing that faith were very numerous in the European settlements, they were excluded from all civil offices."-vol. i. p. 438.

Did this merciless persecution obliterate the Catholic religion in Ceylon? Mr. Pridham shall answer this question. His first statement will be read by Catholics in a spirit far different from that in which he penned it-with tender and affectionate sympathy; his second cannot be perused by Catholics but with feelings of exultation.

(1.) "The remnant of a christian church was discovered some years ago in the interior. In their dress, colour, general appearance, and manners these people did not perceptibly differ from the rest of the Singhalese, holding nearly the same rank as the Goewanse, and being liable to the same services, though not strictly

* "Liever Turksch dan Pausch." Vaderlandsche Historie. Boek. xxiv. § 31, vol. vi. p. 488.

belonging to the caste. Their religion, there is every reason to believe, was in a very rude and degenerate state. Their only minister was called Sachristian, an ignorant man, who could not read, and who had only a few prayers by heart. They worshipped the Virgin Mary, and prayed before an image of Christ on the cross; they baptized their children, and married and buried according to the forms of the Roman Catholic church, conformably with whose doctrine they believed in purgatory. To what extent their faith was contaminated by the superstitions of the surrounding people, it is not very easy to determine."

And now let the reader mark the animus of Mr. Pridham, in referring to those poor abandoned Catholics holding on to the faith, through more than a century of persecution, and unvisited by a priest.

"It is reported, that they would occasionally visit the temples of Buddha, and make offerings of flowers at his shrine, which is credi ble enough, when we remember that their religion was not founded on judgment and reason, but on tradition and credulity—the basis of all superstition."-vol. i. p. 347.

We make no comment on such a sentence, but proceed to give the author's account of the results of the labours of the Roman Catholic, as a missionary, church.

(2.) "The Roman Catholics have now numerous chapels; the principal one is situated in the suburbs, and is called St. Lucia. The vicar-general resides there, and the annual conference is held in August, when the missionaries who belong to the congregation of the Order of St. Philip Neri, of Goa, are changed from one station to the other. The vast majority of the fishermen belong to this school. There is another and separate body of Roman Catholics under the control of a bishop, which numbers among its adherents the more wealthy and influential individuals. The whole number professing that religion in Ceylon is estimated at from 180,000 to 200,000 persons. By a recent bull the two Roman Catholic bishops are allotted distinct sees; the Bishop of Torona taking the northern, and the Bishop of Usula the southern division of the island."-vol. i. p. 439.

Thus far for the Roman Catholic as a missionary church. Let us now see what has been attempted, and what accomplished, by the Protestants of various nations and

*We pray the reader's attention to this sentence: its importance will be speedily shown.

manifold creeds. Mr. Pridham may on this point be relied upon as an unprejudiced guide: we pray the reader to attend to him.

"However purer the reformed faith, which was professed by the Dutch, might be, when compared with the semi-pagan and debasing superstitions of the Romish church, it cannot be predicated in their favour that they entered upon the task either with equal ardour or from similar motives to the Portuguese.......... What could avail the single-minded efforts of Baldæus and Valentyn against that tide of avarice and rapacity, now the characteristic of this people? .......By refusing employment to any but christian natives, they adopted a sure method of creating hypocrites, but they were far from giving the Singhalese a favourable impression of their religion. It ceases, therefore, to be a subject for astonishment, that, when they departed, their religion departed with them."- vol. i. p. 438.

So much for the Dutch Protestant, with its " purer reformed faith," as a missionary church. As to the Anglican church, much is promised for the future, although, as to the past, these are the words employed by Mr. Pridham:

"With respect to the Anglican church in Ceylon, little requires to be said. Until recently the number of its members was very limited, comprising chiefly the majority of persons of an official character, and a few native converts.”—vol. i. 440.


We have next an account given of the Protestant Church Mission:

"The results of the Church Mission have, as till lately have been the case with all the missions, with the exception of the American, been almost entirely of a negative character. Christianity itself has made but lee-way, yet its ministers have succeeded in sweeping away a vast mass of the prejudices which formerly confronted hem."-vol. i. pp. 440, 441.

As reference is made in such honourable terms to "the American Mission," we must describe its mode of conversion in the words of Mr. Pridham :

"The native church in Jaffna, so far as human instrumentality is concerned, is the offspring of the school establishment in the district, more especially of the boarding schools of the American mission. The boarding school was an asylum where its inmates were at peace in a new world. They had no occasion to care for what the

should eat, drink, or wear. They were pensioners on the bounty of christians in other lands, and were under the immediate superintendence of those who exercised more than a parental care over them."-vol. i. p. 441.

For such an elaborate and expensive mode of making converts as this, there is no precedent to be found but in Ireland-the land of precedents for all exceptional cases in every thing pertaining to law, polity, and religion. The Protestant American missionaries established gratuitous boarding-houses for pagans, as the Irish Protestant government erected "Charter Schools" for papists, and, fancied that in so doing, that with creature-comforts must inevitably come a reverence for the Thirty-nine Articles! It was as if the essence of protestantism lay, as the late Lord Farnham seemed to think it did lie, in good dinners, when he announced "a new reformation" in Ireland, because he had got several hundreds of his hungry Cavan Catholic tenantry to dine on bacon for several successive Fridays!

As the Protestant Charter Houses have vanished from the Irish soil, and left "not a wrack behind"-as Lord Farnham and his Friday-bacon-dinners and his new reformation are all now as unsubstantial as a drunkard's dream, so too, undoubtedly, will be found the labours of "the American Mission," and of all the other sects and shades of Protestantism in Ceylon. Whilst the Roman Catholic church has the hardy, laborious-working, independent native fishermen amongst its converts, neither the American Mission, nor any other Protestant mission, with its boarding-houses or with bribes, can cocker up a single Singhalese Buddhist into a sincere, disinterested, and devout Protestant. They have made caitiffs in abundance; but no Christians. Such is the account of their labours as afforded to us by Mr. Pridham.

Up to the hour of conversion of most natives, the all-absorbing inquiry has been, What shall I eat, and what shall I drink, and wherewithal shall I be clothed?' and these wants do not cease with his conversion."-vol. i. p. 441.

"One of the most disheartening obstacles to missionary success, is the almost unconquerable selfishness of the heathen, their view of the excellence of christianity depending on the number of rix-dollars received in their employment."-vol. i. pp. 442.

"A minute and careful examination of the native converts gene

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