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our own ;' alluding to the revolutions in Hindostan.. And yet,' said he, we have kept it, as some think, for pear a thousand years.'— I wish,' said I, 'that England may be able to keep it a thousand years.'-In looking over it, I find the very first proposed emendation of the Hebrew Text by Dr. Kennicott, (Gen. iv. 8.) in this manuscript; and, no doubt, it is the right reading. The disputed passage in 1 John v. 7, is not to be found in it; nor is this verse to be found in any copy of the Syrian Scriptures, which I have yet seen.* The view of these copies of the Scriptures, and of the Churches which
* Notwithstanding this omission, the author believes the passage to be genuine. The foundation on which he builds this opinion, is the following: Considering, as he does, that the learning and argument on both sides of the subject have been nearly equal, he would rest the genuineness of the verse on the answer to the following question: " Which is most likely to be true, That the Arians of the fifth century, in their fury against the Church should silently omit a testimony (in transcribing their copies) which, if true, destroyed their whole system ; or, That the general Church should directly forge and insert it ?"
That the general Church possessed it in the fifth century is proved frorn 400 Bishops having, on a public occasion, (when summoned by an Arian King, Hunneric, to defend their doctrine of the Trinity) referred to its authority. It is somewhat remarkable that that passage in the New Testament, whose esistence in the fifth century is now chiefly controverted, should be that identical passage whose existence at that period is best authenticated. For what other verse has the testimony of so many Bishops of the Catholic Church? Two arguments have been urged against this historic fact. First, " That it is not
prob.ible that all the Bishops had copies, or that all the copies
contain them, still continues to excite a pleasing astonishment in my mind : and I sometimes question myself, whether I am indeed in India, in the midst of the Hindoos, and not far from the equinoctial line. How wonderful it is, that during the dark ages of Europe, whilst ignorance and superstition, in a manner, denied the Scriptures to the rest of the world, the Bible should have found an asylum in the mountains of Malay-ala; where it was freely read by upwards of an hundred Churches ?
* But there are other ancient documents in Malabar, not less interesting than the Syrian Manuscripts. The. old Portuguese historians relate, that soon after the arrival of their countrymen in India, about 300 years ago, the Syrian Bishop of Angamalee (the place where I now am) deposited in the Fort of Cochin, for safe custody, certain tablets of brass, on which were engraved rights of nobility and other privileges, granted by a Prince
they had, contained the verse." This may be granted without detriment to the question. If a third of the Bishops had copies, and if a third of these copies accorded with Cyprian's copy in a remoter age, it suffices. But the Second argument is one which seems to be dictated by despair itself, and by a consciousness of the importance of the record to the affirmative proposition. It is this, and it certainly needs no reply: “That " the testimony of the volume which records the history, is « not to be received."
If it be admitted that the verse existed in many copies of the fifth century, I presume the question is decided.
This appears to the author to be the just mode of stating the point in dispute; but he has certainly no wish to awaken the controversy concerning this verse. If it be genuine it is only one of the hewn-stones of the temple. If it be not genuine, it is not a corner-stone.
of a former age ; and that while these Tablets were under the charge of the Portuguese, they had been unaccountably lost, and were never after heard of. Adrian Moens, a Governor of Cochin, in 1770, who published some account of the Jews of Malabar, informs us, that he used every means in his power, for many years, to obtain a sight of the famed Christian Plates ; and was at length satisfied that they were irrecoverably lost, or rather, he adds, that they never existed. The learned in general, and the Antiquarian in particular, will be glad to hear that these ancient Tablets have been recovered within this last month by the exertions of Colonel Macaulay, the British Resident in Travancore, and are now officially deposited with that officer.
The Christian Tablets are six in number. They are composed of a mixed metal. The engraving on the largest plate is thirteen inches long, by about four broad. They are closely written, four of them on both sides of the plate, making in all eleven pages. On the plate reputed to be the oldest, there is writing perspicuously engraved in nail-headed or triangular-headed letters, resembling the Persepolitan or Babylonish. On the same plate 'there is writing in another character, which is supposed to have no affinity with any existing character in Hindostan. The grant on this plate appears to be witnessed by four Jews of rank, whose names are distinctly engraved in an old Hebrew character, resembling the alphabet called the Palmyrene : and to each name is prefixed the title of “ Magen,' or Chief, as the Jews translated it. It may be doubted, whether there exists in the world any documents of so great length, which are of equal antiquity, and in such faultless preservation as the Christian Tablets of Malabar.--The Jews of Cochin indeed contest the palm of antiquity: for they also produce two Tablets, containing privileges granted at a remote period ; of which they presented to me a Hebrew translation. As no person can be found in this country who is able to translate the Christian Tablets, I have directed an engraver at Cochin to execute, on copper-plates, a fac simile of the whole, for the purpose of transmitting copies to the learned Societies in Asia and Europe. The Christian and Jewish plates together make fourteen pages. A copy was sent in the first instance to the Pundits of the Shanscrit College at Trichiur, by direction of the Rajah of Cochin ; but they could not read the character.*-From this place I proceed to Cande-nad, to visit the Bishop once more before I return to Bengal.'
THE MALABAR BIBLE.
AFTER the Author left Travancore, the Bishop prosecuted the translation of the Scriptures into the Malabar Language without intermission, until he had completed the Four Gospels. ' ' The year following, the Author visited Travancore a second time, and carried the Manuscript
* Most of the Manuscripts which I collected among the Syrian Christians, I have presented to the University of Cambridge: and they are now deposited in the Public Library of that University, together with the copper-plate fac-similes of the Christian and Jewish Tablets.
to Bombay to be printed, an excellent fount of Malabar types having been recently cast at that place. Learned natives went from Travancore to superintend the press; and it is probable that it is now nearly finished, as a copy of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark, beautifully printed, was received in England some time ago. This version of the Scriptures will be prosecuted until the whole Bible is completed, and copies circulated throughout the Christian regions of Malabar.
THE SYRIAC BIBLE.
It has been further in contemplation to print an edition of the Syriac Scriptures, if the public should countenance the design. This gift, it may be presumed, the English nation will be pleased to present to the Syrian Christians. We
* The Author received from the Syrian Christians the names of several Christian churches in Mesopotamia and Syria, with which they formerly had intercourse, and which constitute the remnant of the ancient church of Antioch. These have, for the most part, remained in a tranquil state under Mahomedan dominion, for several ages; and the Author promised the Syrian Bishop that he would visit them, if circumstances permitted. For this purpose he intended to have returned from India to Europe by a route over land, and he had proceeded as far as Bombay for that purpose ; but the French influence at the. Court of Persia at that time prevented him.