Gogerly, Daniel John

Gogerly, Daniel John, a Wesleysan Methodist missionary and scholar, was born in London in August 1792, and at fourteen united with the Wesleyan Methodist Society. He showed signs of remarkable talent, and at an early age becane a local preacher. In 1818 he was sent to Ceylon to take charge of the Wesleyan mission press at Colombo. In 1822 he entered the regular missionary service, and was one of the first misnionaries to preach extempore in Cingalese. He devoted himself earnestly to the study of the languages of the country, especially the Páli, which is, to the Buddhist, what Sanscrit is to the Brahmin. He was the first Euroean who gave any critical or scientific study to the dialect. In 1834 he was stationed at Msadura, where he bad special opportunities to study Paeli under learned native priests. Re arranged about 15,000 words for a dictionary, and succeeded in having copies made of all the sacred books, with their glosses. This copy is now in the possession of the Wesleyan mission. In 1838 Mr. Gogerly became chairman of the mission, and afterwards general superintendent. The government appointed him one of the Central School Commission of Ceylon. In 1822 he had become one of the translators for the British and Foreign Bible Society, and the Cingalese version is largely due to his labors. Every word of all the editions of the Bible printed by the society passed under his eye as editor and corrector. Among his most important literary labors were contributions to the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, and to other periodicals, in illustration of the Páli literature of Buddhism. He was vice-president of the Ceylon branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. As a polemic work against Buddhism, he published Christiani Praynyapti; the Evidences and Doctrines of the Christian Religion: in Cingalese (Colombo, Wesleyan Mission Press, 1862). A native gentleman offered fifty dollars for a Buddhist refutation of this work, but it never has appeared. Mr. Gogerly died September 6, 1862. Both in England and France, he was recognized as the master of Pali literature. His writings on the subject are to be collected, it is said, and published in Paris. — London Quarterly Review, April, 1863, art. 5.

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