Page images

Swedish University of Lund. The universities of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands, have entirely the same organization as the universities of Germany, and many of the professors have received part of their education at the German institutions, and their literary productions are frequently published by them not only in their native languages, but also in that of Germany. They are frequent contributors to the scientific periodicals of Germany, which, of course, give to their ideas a wider circulation than the periodicals of their own countries. Dr. Wadstein's article first gives a full statement of the religious views of the Stoics, and compares them with Christianity. He next examines the relation existing between Stoicism and the religio-philosophical tenets of the early heresies which troubled the infancy of the Christian Church when theological speculations within the Church had hardly begun. The author of all these early heresies was, according to Irenæus, Simon Magus, a Samaritan Jew, whose doctrine was probably systematized by his disciples, and is fully set forth in the Philosophoumena of Origen. His fundamental ideas are undoubtedly of Stoic origin. The author of the Philosophoumena asserts that Simon derived the principles of his system from Heraclitus, which is so far correct as we know that the Stoics themselves made use of that source. The theory of the Naassenes, which is likewise fully explained in the Philosophoumena, is closely similar to that of Simon. The theories of the Perates, of the Sethians, and of Justin do not greatly differ from that of the Naassenes, although in their conception of matter they appear chiefly to follow Plato. Pythagorean admixtures are discovered in the speculations which are ascribed to Monoïmus Arabs. In all the systems referred to we find the Stoic view of God as a fire, which is both the primitive force and the primitive matter of existence, and which is developed itself by the life of the world. The doctrines of the Docetae are largely under the influence of the speculations of Valentinus, and distinguish fundamentally between matter or darkness and the divine light of ideas which pours into them from above; but at the bottom of the Valentinian ideas a Stoic foundation will be discovered. Basilides, next to Valentinus the most prominent of the Gnostics, excels his predecessors by greater originality and by greater perfection in system

atizing. The Stoic element in his system is also very apparent; it is oddly and ingeniously blended with Christian elements, and the latter occupy a much more prominent place in this system than in those mentioned before, although for its develop ment Platonism and Orientalism have furnished very considerable contributions. All these systems, from Simon down to Basilides, were agreed in endeavoring to develop a Christianity freed from Jewish elements, and leaning on Greek philosophy or the religious ideas of the East. In direct opposition to them the Elkesaites, who belonged to the Jewish Christian sect of the Ebionites, identified true Christianity with true and primitive Judaism, and they hoped to restore the latter by removing all foreign elements from the former. They were, however, unable to accomplish this task, as they adopted the theosophy of the Essenes, and besides admitted into their system several pagan ideas, especially some of Oriental origin. Thus, although they had a different aim in view, they were drawn into contact with the Gnostics as soon as they became acquainted with them. The influence of Gnostic systems upon their views is especially found in the Clementine Homilies. Dr. Baur, in his work on “ Apollonius of Tyana and Christ,” and Dr. Schwegler, in his work on "The Post-Apostolic Age," have traced the influence of Pythagorean views on the theology of the Clementines; but, as Dr. Uhlhorn says, in his work on “The Homilies and Recognitions of Clemens Romanus,” (Göttingen, 1854,) “ The atmosphere in which this work lives, the cement which keeps the different elements together, is the Stoic philosophy.” After following up the Stoic element in all the heresies of the early Christian Church, Dr. Wadstein next undertakes to show that even the Apologists of the first centuries, in their polemic works against pagans, Jews, and heretics, show unmistakable marks of being influenced by Stoic views. He examines in succession the works and systems of Justin, Athenagoras, Melito, Clement of Alexandria, and especially of Tertullian, whom he calls “the most noteworthy in the whole series of the celebrated Fathers of the ancient Church."


CHRISTIANITY IN INDIA. A new work on India, by Emil Schlagintweit, which is now in the course of publication, (Indien in Wort und Bild, Leipsig,) contains very full information on the history of Christianity in that country, Three brothers of the author, Hermann, Adolf, and Robert, are well known for their extensive and successful geographical explorations in the Himalaya Mountains. Emil Schlagintweit is the author of several works on the history of India, and his frequent contributions to German papers on the present affairs of India are highly valued. A few extracts from his new work, relating to Christianity in India, will be of interest to all readers of the Quarterly.

No other province in India is so closely connected with the history of Christianity as Madras and the Malabar coast. Very near to the Christians, Jews were living from the remotest times. According to a native tradition, Saint Thomas, one of the apostles, landed in India, in the year 52. A German missionary, Germann, has written a volume of 800 pages on the Church of the Christians of Saint Thomas, in which he undertakes to prove that the apostle entered India near the mouth of the Indus, and labored at first in what is now the Punjab, among Dshats, before he set out to search in the south a more promising field. He sailed from Cranganor, on the Malabar coast, to Cochin. Here on the coast the apostle founded the first Christian congregations. Until recently a stone column was shown, near Quilon, wbich the apostle was said to have set up. Now it has been swallowed up by the sea. By the most frequented commercial road of those times he traveled into the interior of the country, established a congregation at Nellakul, which lies at the foot of the highest peak of the mountain, crossed the mountain, and advanced as far as the eastern coast. In Mailapoor, now called Little Mount, and situated within the territory of the city of Madras, the apostle settled. He labored here for about ten years, and is said to have finally been killed by the arrow of a hunter while he was absorbed in prayer. In the third century his bones were carried over to Edessa, the modern Arfa on the Euphrates. The traditions on the origin of the Indian Church vary; but in view of the fact that Roman writers were well acquainted with the coast and the political affairs of Coromandel, and that the existence of an active trade between Rome and South India is proved by the numerous coins belonging to the period of the first emperors which were found here, it is by no means impossible that South India was visited in the first century by a Christian apostle. The strong attachment to Little Mount Saint Thomas, which bas been exhibited by the Indian Christians at all times, also indicated that there events of great importance for Christianity must have taken place.

The first foreigner who preached in India after Saint Thomas was Pantaenus, the learned head of the celebrated school of Alexandria. He landed, about 200, near the modern Bombay, and preached in the Gujerate as well as on the Indus. The Manicheans also tried to come into contact with the Indian Christians. The name Manigrama, which is found in the oldest document of a land grant to Christians, and which is interpreted as "village of Manes," is adduced as an argument that even Manes himself visited India. In 338 the Emperor Constantine sent the Indian Theophilus, a native of the island of Diu, which now belongs to Portugal, to Diu to gain the Indian Christians for Arianism. His efforts were neutralized by the Bishop of Edessa, but they prove that the Indian congregations at that time must have been both numerous and important, and that the bishop who signed his name in the minutes of the Council of Nice as “John, Bishop of Persia and Great India,” must have actually exercised episcopal jurisdiction in India.

The first bishop who resided in India was Italoho, or Abatalla. About 345, a merchant of Jerusalem, Thomas, led, by order of Bishop Eustathius of Edessa, a colony of Syrians to India, and settled with them near Cranganor. Mar Thomas, as he is called in the annals of Malabar, became a man of great influence, who gave to the Indian Church a permanent constitution. A peculiar feature in this constitution was that the high ecclesiastical dignity next to the bishop, who was a foreigner, was that of an archdeacon, which was hereditary in the family Palakonmatta, which is designated by tradition as the first family converted by the Apostle Thomas. The Syrian language was introduced as the language of divine service, and has remained so up to the present day. These innovations led to a split between the old and the new Christians. After the death of Mar Thomas, this split even threatened the very existence of the Indian Church; but its ruin was averted by the arrival of the Nestorians. The early presence of the Nestorians in Southern India is proved by peculiar inscriptions on crosses and tablets, which are written in Pehlevi characters. When Roman Catholic missionaries, at the beginning of the fourteenth century, established a mission in India, they found the Indian Christians highly esteemed and in possession of lands and of the right of levying tolls. The rights of the Christians had been engraved, in 825, in the Old Tameel language, which was first deciphered by the German missionary, Grundert. The Portuguese were astonished to find in South India large congregations of Christians, especially on the coasts of Malabar and Coromandel. The number of Indian Christians at that time was estimated at 200,000; the number of parishes at 1,500. For some time religious peace prevailed between the new-comers and the old Christians, but this came to an end when the Jesuits arrived, and, in 1541, established in Goa the seminary of the Holy Faith, which was subsequently called a university, and was visited by large numbers of natives. The Jesuits, aided by the power of Portugal and the Inquisition, made great efforts to subject the native Christian population to the rule of the Pope; but they resisted until 1599, when

the Archbishop Aleixo de Menezes, of Goa, at the Synod of Diamper, or Udiamper, prevailed upon about three fourths of the Nestorians to join the Church of Rome and adopt the Latin rite. Tbe adherents of the old faith were cruelly persecuted, their priests were deprived of an opportunity to receive an education; they became very ignorant, and the laity became indifferent. In 1664 the Roman Catholic Church numbered eighty-four congregations, while thirty-two Old Syrian congregations kept aloof from a union with Rome. In 1653 the archdeacon of the family of Palokommata placed himself at the head of an agitation for repealing the act of union, and he applicd to the Patriarch of Antioch, who resided in the Convent of Saphran, near Mardin, for sending him a bishop. In 1665 the Syrian bishop, Mar Gregory, landed in Malabar; but as the Patriarch of Antioch was a Jacobite, not a Nestorian, the Indian Christians became likewise Jacobites. The peace which in 1662 was concluded between Holland and Portugal put an end to the power of the Portuguese in India and to the influence of the Jesuits. Among the native Jacobites the archdeacon received the position of bishop. According to the census of 1872 the total number of Christians on the Malabar coast exceeded 600,000; among these are 64,000 United Syrians and 400,000 Independent Jacobites; the Protestant missionaries claim 20.300 converts; the Roman Catholics about 200,000. In the two native States of Cochin (601,114 inhabitants) and Travancore (2,311,379 inhabitants) every fifth inhabitant is a Christian. This shows a larger percentage of Christian population than the Roman Empire had at the time of the conversion of the Emperor Constantine, when their number was estimated at one tenth of the total population. The social position of the Christians is also very high. They equal in rank the Brahmans, and the contempt with which they treat some lower classes of the people as slaves has frequently been rebuked by the missionaries. They are chiefly employed in agriculture and commerce; as merchants they are highly esteemed for their honesty. Like the Christians of Kurdistan, they called. themselves Nazareni. The Hindus add contemptuously Mophla, (Mapilla,) the name of a Mohammedan sect on the coast of Malabar, and in the census of Madras they have been returned as Mohammedan Christians. The priests are called Kassanar, from the Syrian word Quasis, Presbyter, and the Malabar word Nair, which signifies a prominent man; the deacons are called Shamshana; the native bishop, Mar Athanasius, who holds this position since 1844, is still a member of the old family of Palakommatta. Formerly all the priests were upmarried, but since their income, which was formerly altogether insufficient, has been greatly improved owing to the efforts of the English authorities, a large percentage of the village priests are married, and many scandals which used to arise from the immoralities of the celibate priest have now ceased. Education is making progress; in 1878 the village schools had 27,000 scholars and an ecclesiastical seminary provides for the education of priests. In their prayers, they begin more and more to substitute for the Old Syrian language, which is not understood by the laity, the lan

« PreviousContinue »