A Question of Substance. (1658).

Michael de Fonseka, the earliest recorded ‘de Fonseka’ raised the most acute question ever asked by anyone from the Dutch Priest by the name of Baldaeus, who accompanied the Dutch expedition to Jaffna in 1658. The answer to this is as perplexing as the question itself. 


Michael de Fonseka, the earliest known ‘de Fonseka’ led part of the local militia (under his father-in-law Manuel D’Andrado) to Jaffna in the expedition by the Dutch to capture the Fort of Jaffnapatnum from the Portuguese. The Dutch Priest by the name of Baldaeus who accompanied this expedition recorded the events in a famous book about Ceylon. Further on in this book Baldaeus mentions about a most acute question ever asked by anyone from him, and goes on to describe the locals as ingenious.

The questions was raised by Don Michael de Fonseka. He asked  ‘When John baptized Christ, whether he baptized him in the Name of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost’, and being answered ‘Yes’, he reply’d that thus Jesus Christ was baptized in his own Name.

The answer to this is as perplexing as the question itself, the author goes on to explain the complexity to Michael de Fonseka, who could not comprehend. See if you too can see the light.

‘I told him, there was not the least Absurdity in the matter, since Jesus Christ  was not baptized upon his own account, or as being endowed both with the Divine and Human Nature. That the Son of God  could not be baptized otherwise but in the Name of God; and that under the Word God , was not only comprehended the Father , but also the Son and Holy Ghost ; that Jesus Christ   was the same in essence with the Father and the Holy Ghost; and that there were no degrees in the Deity , for tho the Father   was the first yet were the Son as well and truly God  as the Father  and Holy Ghost; wherewith he was well satisfy’d. For the Indians  being generally very ingenious, they will ask many acute Questions, as concerning the Creation and End of the World , the Immortality of the Soul , Hell,  and such like. ‘