THE NESTORIANS - LETTER
TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES.
Sir,– The Nestorians are a very ancient Christian population who once abounded over Persia, Chaldaea, Mesopotamia, Syria, Arabia, and Egypt.
They were frequently appointed by the Caliphs to the
government of cities, towns, and provinces, and also at
Court they often held the situation of scribes and physicians
to the Caliphs, which gave them great influence, and enabled them to extend to their friends a very powerful protection.
These Nestorians were the first Protestant Christians,
and took their origin from Nestorus, Patriarch of Constantinople under Heraclius, A.D. 431; but of course they
are not identical in all respects with the Protestants of the
Church of England.
A remnant of these people, numbering trom 20,000 to
30,000, leading a pastoral life, inhabit the plains and mountains of Oroomiah in the north of Persia.
They are a very deserving race, and have avoided the
superstitous opinions and practices that have infected other
churches in the East.
His Majesty Nasir-ud-Deen Shah, at the suggestion of
Mr. Alison, Her Majesty’s representative at the Court of
Persia, has granted to his Nestorian subjects a site for the
erection of a ohurch, and has also inscribed his Royal name at the head of a subscription list for 100l. sterling towards that object. The Persian Ministers and principle merchants, the British, the French, the Russian, and Turkish ministers at the Court of Persia have all subscribed.
This liberality and condescension of His Majesty the Shah of Persia ought to be widely made know among the Powers of Christendom, for their association in such a course would not only be a courteous recogniton of His Majesty’s enlightened liberality, but would, moreover, be attended with results of great benefit to all the Christian communities of the East.
I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
London, Dec. 10. J. R. L D.