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Xinkan Gewu qiongli lu bianlan 新刊格物窮理錄便覽. Símbolo de la Fe. [Gewu qiongli bianlan 格物窮理便覽. Jap-Sin I, 171]
AuthorMayor, Tomás [Thomas] 哆媽氏, d. 1612
Pub. LocationManilaPublisher---
Date1607Phys. Desc.dig.pdf [338 frames : color scans : ill.]
LocationDigital ArchivesCall NumberBX1966.M49 1607d
Gewu qiongli lu bianlan 格物窮理錄便覽 / Duomashi 哆媽氏 (Tomás Mayor).
Title in Spanish: Símbolo de la Fe, en lengua y letra China.
Adapted with added material from Introducción del Símbolo de la Fe (1583), by Luis de Granada (1505-1588). See CCT database (Link below)

N.B. Chan catalog title ends at lu 錄 and omits bianlan 便覽. Leiden OCLC and CCT record omit the character lu 錄. The cover is badly worn as to obscure a character, but the border doesn't appear to allow space for this. The running title on the first page indicates full title to be Xinkan gewu qiongli lu bianlan 新刊格物窮理錄便覽.

Jap-Sin I, 171
Xinkan gewu qiongli lu 新刊格物窮理錄 or Símbolo de la Fe.
By Duomashi 哆媽氏 (Tomás Mayor).
Manila (Binondoc), 1607. In bad condition.

The Latin catalogue gives: “Symbolum Fidei a Thoma Major O. Pr.”

This is another catechism written in Chinese by a Dominican. It was published in Manila in 1607. The author was a Spanish Dominican born in Jativa (Valencia) at the end of the sixteenth century. He was one of the founders of the Dominican mission in the Philippines. For some time he worked among the Chinese in Manila. According to Diego Aduarte (see preceding number), Mayor was a great minister to the Chinese and was well versed in their language. Around 1612 the bishop of Macao, Juan de la Piedad, when in Manila, asked several of the missioners who knew the Chinese language to help in the Chinese mission; Mayor was one of the men assigned. Owing to the strong opposition of the Jesuits in China they were not able to make their way to the interior and eventually Mayor returned to Spain. Besides the Símbolo de la Fe he wrote another book in Chinese with the title: De Rosario Deiparii Virginis.

There is a preface at the beginning of the book in which the author states that after a hard voyage of three years he had at last arrived in Luzon. He had been with the Chinese and had come to know something of their language. He loved them and tried to learn their customs. He then recalls how he and the other Dominican priests always tried to render them services. At length, after consulting his fellow priests, he wrote this book for them so that they might learn about the true God and his teaching.

Since this book was published only one year after the Memorial de la vida christiana (cf. Jap-Sin I, 170), and since it was written for the same Sangleys, the terms and the expressions used are very close to those in the previous book. Besides the term Liaoshi 僚氏 for God, the terms Tianzhu 天主, Tianshen 天神 and Tianren 天人 are also used.

The Chinese style of the book is rather clumsy and often hard to understand; in juan A, folio 74a, for instance, the Blessed Trinity is explained as follows:

予今再告汝等此俺本頭僚氏,實乃三別孫耶,第一名曰僚氏父;第二名曰僚氏子;第三名曰僚氏 挨氏卑尼廚山道。。。。為其僚氏實有三別孫耶,但僚氏則一而已, and the crucifixion: 咱本頭西士奇尼實道既被人鐙死在居律 [cruz] 上 . . . .

It is interesting to note that the last character of each half folio is repeated on the top of the following folio, a common practice in European books of the old days but very rarely used in Chinese books published by Europeans in China or elsewhere. At the end of the book there is:

1. A preface by Francisco de Herrera, November 1606 (badly damaged in our copy).
2. A note by Friar Miguel de S. Jacinto, prior and provincial, Manila, May 1607).
3. Another writing by Francisco de Herrera, Manila, 24 January 1607.
4. Another preface (the paper is so damaged that the name of the author cannot be verified).
5. Permission given for the publication of this book by the dean and the archdean of Manila, February 1607.
6. Permission for publication given by Diego de Leon, parish priest of the city, Manila, 22 December 1606.
7. Permission given for the publication of this book by the President and the magistrates of the audiences and by the Royal chancellery of the Philippine Islands.
8. A letter in which the author dedicates his book to Jesus Christ, our Redeemer and our Glorificator. It says in part: “Open the eyes of this people who possess such acute minds. Move their hearts which are so near to you. Incline their wills to the things of your divine faith which we here proposed to them, so that knowing you for their true God and Lord, they may seek you only. Amen . . .”

From the Latin inscription in Jap-Sin I, 171.a we learn that this book was suspended by the Dominicans because of its many errors, and that eventually whatever copies had been allowed to circulate, were totally suppressed.
Cf. Fang Hao and Van der Loon (pp. 31–37), see preceding number (i.e. Jap-Sin I, 170).

Source: Albert Chan, Chinese books and documents in the Jesuit Archives in Rome (2002), pp.229-230.

Reference: Ad Dudink & Nicolas Standaert, Chinese Christian Texts Database (CCT-Database)

Available online at ARSI Chinese books digitalized.
Local access dig.pdf. ARSI Jap-Sin I-IV folder {Jap-Sin I, 171]

Subject(s)Catechisms, Chinese--17th century
Christianity--China--History--16th-17th centuries--Sources
Catholic Church--China--Doctrines--17th century--Sources
Catholic Church--Catechisms--Chinese
Rec. TypeDigital Book (PDF)LanguageChinese, Spanish
CollectionRicci Institute LibraryRec. #19551