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call Abel's Tomb. All these names were given many ages before the introduction of Christianity from Europe. - The Cinnamon trees love a sandy soil. The surface of the ground appeared to be entirely sand. I thought it wonderful that the most valuable of all trees should grow in luxuriance in such an arid soil without human culture. I compared them in my mind to the Ceylon Christians in their present state, who are left to flourish by themselves, under the blessing of heaven, without those external and rational aids which have been divinely appointed to nourish the Church of Christ.'
Columbo, 11th March, 1808.
I have conversed with intelligent persons on the means of translating the Scriptures into the Cingalese language. The whole of the New Testament has been. translated, but only three books of the Old Testament. But even this portion has been translated almost in vain; for there is no supply of books for the use of the people. I reflected with astonishment on the fact, that there are, by computation, 500,000 natives in Ceylon professing Christianity, and that there should not be one complete copy of the Holy Scriptures in the vernacular tongue. Samuel Tolfrey, Esq. head of a civil department in Columbo, is a good Cingalese scholar, and is now engaged in compiling a Cingalese dictionary. I proposed to him to undertake the completion of the Cingalese Version; which is easily practicable, as there are many learned Cingalese Christians in Columbo. He professed himself ready to engage in the work, provided he should receive the sanction of the government. I mentioned to him what had passed in my conversation with General Maitland, and his Excellency's favourable sentiments on the subject; and added that a correspondence would be immediately commenced with him from Calcutta, concerning the work, and funds apportioned for the execution of it.Alexander Johnstone, Esq. who is now in Columbo, has furnished me with his sentiments on the best means of reviving and maintaining the Protestant interest in Ceylon. Did his professional avocations permit, Mr. Johnstone is himself the fit person to superintend the translation and printing of the Scriptures. It is a proof of the interest which this gentleman takes in the progress of Christian knowledge, that he has caused Bishop Porteus’s Evidences of Christianity to be translated into the Cingalese tongue, for distribution among the natives,'
A NEW empire has been added to Great Britain in the East, which may be called her Malay Empire. The extensive dominion of the Dutch in the Indian Ocean, is devolving upon the English ; and it may be expected that Britain will soon be mistress of the whole of the
MALAYAN ARCHIPELAGO. But as we increase our territories, we increase our obligations. Our dụties to our Hindoo Empire have been long enough the subject of discussion: let us now turn our attention to the obligations which we owe to our Malay Empire. We are now about to take possession of islands, peopled by numbers of Protestant Christians. : For in every island where the Dutch established their government, they endeavoured to convert the natives to Christianity, and they were successful. Those amongst us who would recommend that the evangelization of barbarous nations should be deferred,“ till a more convenient season,” will have no opportunity of offering this advice in regard to some of these islands : for, behold, the natives are Christians already. They profess the religion of the Bible. Let it be our endeavour, then, to do more justice to these our new Protestant subjects than we have done to the Christians of Ceylon. We have less excuse in the present instance, for the Malay Scriptures are already translated to our hands. What a noble field here opens to the view of the “Society “ for promoting Christian Knowledge,” and of the Bible Society! Here there is ample room for a praise-worthy emulation, and for the ut. most exercise of their benevolent exertions. One
hundred thousand Malay Bibles will not suffice to supply the Malay Christians.
The Sacred Scriptures were translated by the Dutch into the Eastern Malay;* for that is the general language of their extensive dominions in the Indian Sea. But the Eastern Malay is different from the Western Malay, or that of Sumatra. In the College of Fort-William, Thomas Jarrett, Esq. of the Honourable Company's Civil Service, was preparing a version of the Scriptures in the Western Malay'; for which undertaking he was well qualified, having resided twelve years in Sumatra. When the progress of the Biblical translations was interrupted in the College, Mr. Jarrett prosecuted the work, after his return to Madras. He has had, as an assistant in the design, a learned Malay, of the rank of Rajah in his own country, who came from Sumatra for the purpose. Mr. Jarrett has also made considerable progress in compiling a copious Malay Dictionary, which he commenced before he left the island. His labour, it is to be hoped, will not be lost to the public; for
* A complete version of the Malay Bible was published in the Arabic character at Batavia, 5 vols. 8vo, in 1758, under the direction of Jacob Mossel, Governor. General of the Dutch possessions in the East Indies.
the Malay language is daily increasing in its importance to the British nation.
Prince of Wales's Island, or, as it is called by the natives, Penang, or Pulo-Penang, that is, the Island Penang, is the capital of our Malay territories, and is the proper place for the cultivation of the Malay language, being situated close to the main land of Malacca. As there is a Cola lege in Bengal for instructing the English in the languages of the continent of Hindostan, it is. equally expedient that there should be an Instition in Penang for the cultivation of the Malay tongue, and of the various dialects of our insular possessions. The Dutch attended to this object in the very infancy of their empire. Besides, it is probable that Penang will, in the progress of Eastern civilization, become the great emporium of Asiatic. Commerce. Its sudden eleva, tion, is a prognostic of its future celebrity. It is situated on what may be called, "the highway,” in which ships sail from either hemisphere; and is the very centre of British navigation in the East. The author resided on this island for about a month, and was greatly surprised at the variety of languages which are spoken, and at the different races of men who present themselves to view in this infant settlement. The merchants are chiefly of the Malay, and