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Title: History Of The Missions Of The American Board Of Commissioners For Foreign Missions To The Oriental Churches, Volume I.
Author: Anderson, Rufus, 1796-1880
Language: English
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HISTORY
OF
THE MISSIONS
OF THE
AMERICAN BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS FOR FOREIGN MISSIONS
TO THE
ORIENTAL CHURCHES.

BY RUFUS ANDERSON, D.D., LL.D.,
LATE FOREIGN SECRETARY OF THE BOARD.

IN TWO VOLUMES.

VOL. I.

BOSTON:
CONGREGATIONAL PUBLISHING SOCIETY.
1872.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1872, by
THE AMERICAN BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS FOR FOREIGN MISSIONS,
in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

RIVERSIDE, CAMBRIDGE:
STEREOTYPED AND PRINTED BY H. 0. HOUGHTON AND COMPANY.



PREFACE.


Missions to the Oriental Churches occupy a large space in the
forty-nine volumes of the Missionary Herald, and in as many Annual
Reports of the Board; and in view of the multitude of facts, from
which selections must be made to do justice to the several missions,
it will readily be seen, that their history cannot be compressed
into a single volume. The Missions may be regarded as seven or eight
in number; considering the Palestine and Syria missions as really
but one, and the several Armenian missions as also one. The history
of the Syria mission, in its connection with the American Board,
covers a period of fifty-one years; that of the Nestorian,
thirty-seven; that of the Greek mission, forty-three; of the
Assyrian (as a separate mission), ten; of the Armenian mission, to
the present time, forty; and of the Bulgarian, twelve. The mission
to the Jews, extending through thirty years, was so intimately
connected with these, as to demand a place in the series; and the
facts scattered through half a century, illustrating the influence
exerted on the Mohammedans, are such as to require a separate
embodiment.

In writing the history, one of three methods was to be adopted;
either to embrace all the missions in one continuous narrative; or
to carry forward the narrative of each mission, separately and
continuously, through its entire period; or, rejecting both these
plans, to keep the narratives of the several missions distinct, but,
by suitable alternations from one to another, to secure for the
whole the substantial advantages of a contemporaneous history. The
first could not be done satisfactorily, so long as the several
missions have a separate existence in the minds of so many readers,
and while so many feel a strong personal interest in what is said or
omitted. Even on the plan adopted, so much must necessarily be
omitted, or stated very briefly, as to endanger a feeling, that
injustice has been done to some excellent missionaries. As for the
second, the author had not the courage to undertake consecutive
journeys through so many long periods; and he believed not a few of
his readers would sympathize with him. If, however, any desire to
read the history of any one mission through in course, the table of
contents will make that easy. Each of the histories is complete, so
far as it goes.

No attempt has been made to write a philosophical history of
missions. The book of the Acts of the Apostles is not such a
history, nor has one yet been written. The time has not come for
that. There are not the necessary materials. The directors of
missions, and missionaries themselves, have not yet come to a full
practical agreement as to the principles that underlie the working
of missions, nor as to the results to be accomplished by them; and
it must be left to competent writers in the future,--when the whole
subject shall be more generally and better understood,--after
patiently examining the proceedings of missionary societies in
America, England, Scotland, and Germany, to state and apply the
principles that may be thus evolved. The most that can now be done,
is to record the facts in their natural connections, together with
the more obvious teachings of experience. If the author has been
successful in doing this, his end is gained.

In the present state of religious opinion respecting divine
Providence among a portion of the reading community, it may be
proper to state the author's strong conviction, that the promise of
the Lord Jesus, to be with his missionaries, pledges the divine
interposition in their behalf; and that "whoso is wise, and will
observe these things, even they shall understand the loving-kindness
of the Lord." In the work of missions, "God is our refuge and
strength, a very present help in trouble." The history before us
often presents cases, in which there is no more reason to doubt the
divine agency, than the human; and no intelligent missionary would
labor hopefully and cheerfully, after becoming a disbeliever in a
particular providence.

Nearly all the early laborers in the fields here presented, have
finished their work on earth. Parsons and Fisk were the only ones,
with whom the writer had not a personal acquaintance. Of not a few
others,--and of some who, like himself, still linger here,--he has
many pleasant personal recollections that sweeten anticipations of
the heavenly world. He is thankful in being allowed to commemorate
their labors and virtues, and only regrets the want of space and
ability to do it better. His constant endeavor has been to present
the missions to the reader as their imprint is left on his own mind.
More biographical notices would have been gladly inserted, had there
been room. The details of persecution are sufficient to furnish
glimpses of the severe ordeal, through which it has pleased the Head
of the Church to bring the infant churches of those fields.

The Syria and Nestorian missions passed under the direction of the
Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions in the year 1870, and our
history of them closes at that time. Up to that date, the
Congregational and New School Presbyterian Churches (the Old School
Presbyterians also up to the year 1837, and the Reformed Dutch
Church for many years) sustained an equal relation to all these
missions. The mission to the Jews in Turkey was relinquished in
1856, out of regard to Scotch and English brethren, who had
undertaken to cultivate that field. The communities in Turkey among
whom our missionaries now labor, are the Armenians, Greeks,
Bulgarians, Mohammedans, and the Arabic-speaking Christians of
Eastern Turkey.

The Board has ever acted on the belief, that its labors should not
be restricted to pagan nations.1 The word "heathen" in the preamble
of its charter, is descriptive and not restrictive. It is not in the
Constitution of the Board, which was adopted at its first meeting
only a few weeks after its organization. The second article of the
Constitution declares it to be the object of the Board, "to devise,
adopt, and prosecute ways and means for propagating the Gospel among
those who are destitute of the knowledge of Christianity." This of
course includes Mohammedans and Jews; and those who carefully
consider the statements embodied in the Introduction to the History,
will see that it embraces, also, the Oriental Churches, as they were
fifty years ago.

1 These remarks were suggested by a speech at the Annual Meeting of
the Board in Salem, by the Rev. S. B. Treat, Home Secretary of the
Board.

In November, 1812, the year in which the first missionaries sailed
for Calcutta, a committee, appointed by the Board to appeal to its
constituency, used this emphatic language: "It is worthy of
consideration, that the Board is not confined in its operations to
any part of the world, but may direct its attention to Africa, North
or South America, or the Isles of the Sea, as well as to Asia." At
the Annual Meeting in 1813, it was voted: "That the Prudential
Committee be directed to make inquiry respecting the settlement of a
mission at San Salvador, in Brazil, at Port Louis, in the Isle of
France, or on the island of Madagascar." In the latter part of 1818,
it was resolved to commence a mission in Western Asia. The
Prudential Committee said, in their Report for 1819: "In Palestine,
Syria, the provinces of Asia Minor, Armenia, Georgia, and Persia,
though Mohammedan countries, there are many thousands of Jews, and
many thousands of Christians, at least in name. But the whole
mingled population is in a state of deplorable ignorance and
degradation,--destitute of the means of divine knowledge, and
bewildered with vain imaginations and strong delusions." In that
year Pliny Fisk and Levi Parsons embarked for this field.

This historical review makes it clear, that those who organized the
Board and directed its early labors, regarded not only Pagans, but
Mohammedans, Jews, and nominal Christians, as within the sphere of
its labors; and such has been the practical construction for nearly
sixty years.

The reader is referred to the close of the second volume for an
Index; also, for a detailed statement of the Publications issued by
the several missions, which must impress any one with the amount,
value, and influence of the intellectual labor there embodied. Had
these statements been given at length in the History, they would
have embarrassed its progress. A list is also appended of the
Missionaries, male and female, giving the time during which they
were severally connected with the missions.

Thankful acknowledgments are due to the Rev. Thomas Laurie, D.D.,
the writer of a number of valuable and popular works, and to the
Rev. Isaac R. Worcester, well known as the Editor of the Missionary
Herald, for their kind and careful revision of the work.

This History of the Missions of the Board to the Oriental Churches,
is respectfully dedicated to the friends of those missions; and the
author, who has no pecuniary interest in the work, will be amply
rewarded, should he be regarded as having given a true and faithful
account of the agency of the Board in the Republication of the
Gospel in Bible Lands.

Boston, 1872.



CONTENTS.


MISSIONS TO THE ORIENTAL CHURCHES.

INTRODUCTION.

CHAPTER I. PALESTINE.--1819-1824.

The First Missionaries.--Their Instructions.--Reception by other
Missionaries.--The Seven Churches.--Temporary Separation.--Mr.
Parsons at Jerusalem.--Disturbing Influence from the Greek
Revolution.--Returns to Smyrna.--Their Voyage to Alexandria.--Death
and Character of Mr. Parsons.--Mr. Fisk goes to Malta.--Printing
Establishment.--Rev. Jonas King becomes Mr. Fisk's Associate.--Rev.
Joseph Wolff.--The Missionaries in Egypt.--Crossing the Desert.--At
Jerusalem.--Beirût and Lebanon.--The Emir Beshir.--An interesting
Convocation.--Journals and Labors.--Jerusalem revisited.--Arrest of
Messrs. Fisk and Bird.--Visit to Hebron.--Sale of Scriptures.
--Return to Beirût.--Communion of Saints.--Journey to Damascus and
Aleppo.

CHAPTER II. PALESTINE.--1824-1843.

Proclamation of the Grand Seignior.--Jerusalem again visited.
--Absurd Reports.--Disturbed State of the Country.--Mr. King's
Farewell Letter.--He visits Smyrna and Constantinople.
--Contributions in France and England.--Agency among the Churches.
--Sickness and Death of Mr. Fisk.--His Character.--Jerusalem
reoccupied.--Danger to the Mission Families.--Death of Mrs.
Thomson.--New Missionaries.--Death of Dr. Dodge.--The Cholera.
--Station at Jerusalem suspended.--Opinion of Dr. Hawes.--Burying
Ground on Mount Zion.

CHAPTER III. SYRIA.--1823-1828.

Origin of the Mission to Syria.--Beirût.--Studies of the
Missionaries.--Native Helpers.--Papal Opposition.--Hopeful View.
--Education.--First Acquaintance with Asaad Shidiak.--Greek
Invasion.--Providential Interposition.--Pious Natives.--Dionysius at
Jerusalem.--A Prayer-meeting.--The Mission Church.--Works in the
Native Languages.--Persecution of Mr. Bird.--Apprehension of War.
--Suspension of the Mission.--Parting Scene.

CHAPTER IV. SYRIA.--THE MARTYR OF LEBANON.--1826-1830.

Significance of the Narrative.--Early History of Asaad.--Becomes
known to the Missionaries.--Employed by Mr. King.--Prepares an
Answer to Mr. King's "Farewell Letter."--His Conversion.--Employed
by the Mission.--Stands on Protestant Ground.--His Constitutional
Weakness.--Puts Himself in the Patriarch's Power.--His Boldness.
--His Escape.--His Account of his Experiences.--First Effort to
Recapture him.--Second and successful Effort.--Is taken to the
Patriarch.--Imprisoned and in Chains.--The Family relent.--Barbarous
Treatment.--Increased Cruelty.--Time and Manner of his Death.--A
Martyr.--Exploration by an English Merchant.--Remarks on the
Narrative.

CHAPTER V. THE PRESS AT MALTA.--1822-1833.

Why at Malta.--Successful Publications.--Publication of the
Armeno-Turkish New Testament.--Extent of the Publications.--Singular
Use of Alphabets and Languages.--Preaching at Malta.--Missionary
Fellowship.--The Press removed to Smyrna.

CHAPTER VI. PRELIMINARY EXPLORATIONS.--1828-1831.

Need of Information.--The Author's Visit to the Mediterranean.
--Results of Malta Conferences.--Explorers of Armenia.--Preparations
for the Tour.--The Route.--Sojourn at Shoosha.--German Colonies.
--Sufferings from Illness.--Kindness of the English Embassy in
Persia.--The Nestorians of Former Ages.--How Attention was first
drawn to the Nestorians.--A Week among the Nestorians.--The
Published Researches.--Religious Condition of the Armenians.

CHAPTER VII. THE ARMENIANS.--1827-1835.

Effect of Mr. King's "Farewell Letter."--School of Peshtimaljian.
--Its Influence on the Priesthood.--The Erasmus of the Armenians.--A
Preparedness for Reformation.--Commencement of the Mission.
--Splendid Scenery.--Destructive Conflagration.--Schools for the
Greeks.--The Armenian Patriarch.--Accessions to the Mission.--Outset
of the Mission characterized.--Unexpected Obstacles.--Remarkable
Converts.--Removal of the Press.--Supply of School-books.--High
School.--New Missionaries.--New Stations.

CHAPTER VIII. THE ARMENIANS.--1836-1840.

Trebizond.--Favoring Circumstances.--Improvement in the Publishing
Department.--Progressive Civilization among the Turks.--Papal
Opposition.--Signs of Progress.--Education of Women.--Active
Usefulness of Der Kevoork.--Death of Peshtimaljian.--Deaths by the
Plague.--Missionary Convocation.--Remarkable Occurrence.--Serope at
Broosa.--Vertanes and Haritûn.--Year of Persecution.--Causes of the
Persecution.--The Sultan enlisted.--Deposition of the Patriarch
Stepan.--Banishment of Hohannes.--Zeal of the Persecutors.
--Coöperation of the Greek Synod.--An Imperial Firman.--Efforts to
Expel the Missionaries.--Divine Providence effectually interposes.
--The Power of the Persecution broken.--Hohannes recalled.--The
Persecutors brought low.--Stepan restored to Office.

CHAPTER IX. THE ARMENIANS.--1840-1844.

Pledges of the New Sultan.--Boarding School at Bebek.--Station
commenced at Erzroom.--Interest at Nicomedia.--The Gospel introduced
into Adabazar.--Danger from the Papacy.--Favorable Reaction.--New
Missionaries.--Publications.--Scripture Translations.--Education.
--Signs of Progress.--Visit of Vertanes to Nicomedia.--Awakening at
Adabazar.--New Missionaries.--An Anxious Sinner seeking Rest.
--Unexpected Opposition.--Hohannes goes to the United States.--A
Native Mission.--Prayer Meetings.--Publications.--Preaching to
Women.--A Turkish Execution.--Efforts of Sir Stratford Canning.--A
Second Execution.--The Ambassador's Demand on the Sultan.--The Death
Penalty no more to be Inflicted.--Importance of the Pledge.
--Sufferings from Persecution.--Changes in the Mission.--Case of Mr.
Temple.--Death of Mrs. Van Lennep.

CHAPTER X. GREECE AND THE GREEKS.--1824-1844.

The Greek Mind as affected by Circumstances.--Death of Mr. Gridley.
--Education of Greek Youth.--Result of Experience.--Marriage of Mr.
King.--His School in Poros.--He removes to Athens.--Change in the
Government.--A New Missionary.--High Schools.--Station at Argos.
--Power of the Hierarchy.--Free Circulation of the New Testament.
--Opposition to the Old Testament.--Intrigues against the Mission.
--Success notwithstanding.--Station on Scio.--Argos relinquished.
--Removal from Scio to Ariopolis.--Serious Embarrassments.--Death of
Mrs. Houston.--Religious Toleration and Political Parties.--Growth
of Intolerance.--The Station abandoned.--The Retiring Missionaries.
--Station among the Greeks of Cyprus.--Explorations.--Ignorance of
the People.--Insalubrious Climate.--Friendly Disposition of the
People.--Death of Mr. Pease.--Relinquishment of the Station.--Athens
the only Station retained in Greece.--Preaching and the Press.
--Labors among the Greeks of Turkey.--Why in great measure
Discontinued.--Valuable Results.

CHAPTER XI. THE NESTORIANS.--1833-1836.

Commencement of the Mission.--Instructions to the Missionary.--Rise
of the Nestorians.--Their Missions.--Destroyed by the Mohammedans.
--The Overland Journey of Mr. and Mrs. Perkins.--Hardships endured
in Russia.--Kindness of the British Embassy in Persia.--Remarkable
Escape.--Friends in Need.--The Field to be Occupied.--Preliminary
Measures.--Additional Laborers.--The Province of Oroomiah.--Dr.
Grant's Medical Practice.--Recollections of Dr. Grant.--When a
Missionary Physician is most valuable.--A Nestorian Wedding.
--Reducing the Language to Writing.--Rise of the Seminary for
Males.--School for Moslem Youths.--Sickness in the Mission.

CHAPTER XII. THE NESTORIANS.--1836-1840.

Escape from Assassination.--New Missionaries.--First Impressions.
--Too much Pecuniary Aid given to the People.--Native Helpers.
--Eminent Qualities of Mrs. Grant.--She commences the Female
Seminary.--Her Death.--Priest Dunka.--Robert Glen.--Schools.
--Scarcity of Scriptures in Ancient Syriac.--Dr. Grant's Desire to
enter Koordistan from the East.--Authorized to enter from the West.
--An Arduous Journey.--Battle of Nizib.--Consequent Anarchy at
Diarbekir.--Mr. Homes.--Dr. Grant goes to Mosul.--Starts for
Koordistan.--Is challenged from the Rocks.--Welcomed by the
Mountaineers.--Boldly enters Tiary.--Pleasing Meditations.--His
Reception there.--A Learned Priest.--How Received by Mar Shimon.
--The Patriarch described.--Old Parchment Copy of the New
Testament.--Visits Nûrûllah Bey.--His return to Oroomiah.--New
Missionaries.--Arrival of Press and Type.--Bold Inroad of Jesuits.
--Counteractive Influences.--Demand for Preaching.--What was the
Calamity of the Nestorians.

CHAPTER XIII. THE MOUNTAIN NESTORIANS.--1840-1844.

Invitations from the Patriarch.--Dr. Grant resolves to return Home
through the Mountains.--Ten Days at Julamerk.--Womanly Forethought.
--Arrival at Boston.--Work on the Ten Tribes of Israel.
--Missionaries for Koordistan.--Dr. Grant returns through Van.
--Again with the Patriarch.--Painful Tidings.--Hastens to Mosul.
--Journey of the New Missionaries.--Death of Mr. Mitchell.
--Sufferings and Death of Mrs. Mitchell.--Seasonable Arrival of Dr.
Grant.--Reflections.--Reception by the Jacobites.--A Syrian Priest
from India.--The Koords making War on the Nestorians.--Bishop
Athanasius.--Dr. Grant again visits Oroomiah.--A Third Time enters
the Mountains.--Guest of Mar Shimon.--The Patriarch's Coöperation.
--Mr. Hinsdale.--Papal Missionaries.--Dr. Grant visits Nûrûllah
Bey.--Returns to Mosul.--Death of Mr. Hinsdale.--Influence of Mr.
Ainsworth and Mr. Badger on the Patriarch.--Letter from Mar Shimon
to English Bishops.--Dr. Grant's Last Visit with Mr. Laurie to the
Patriarch.--Visits Bader Khan Bey.--Subjugation of the Mountain
Nestorians.--Escape of Dr. Grant.--Destruction of Tiary.--The
Patriarch flees to Mosul.--Destruction of Life.--Death of Mrs.
Laurie.--Arrival of Dr. Azariah Smith.--Death of Dr. Grant.
--Reflections on his Life and Character.--Tiary again explored.
--Discontinuance of the Western Branch of the Mission.--Disposal of
the Missionaries.

CHAPTER XIV. SYRIA.--1830-1838.

The Station at Beirût resumed.--Gregory Wortabet.--His Conversion.
--Accompanies the Missionaries to Malta.--Returns to Syria.--Active
in the Christian Life.--Respected by all Classes.--His Death.
--Disturbing Influences.--Conquest of Syria by Ibrahim Pasha.--Mr.
Bird's Letters in the Arabic Language.--Arabic Press at Beirût.
--Explorations in the Hauran.--Journal of the Tour lost in a
Shipwreck.--Presses in Syria.--Influence of the Mission.--National
Protection.--Schools.--Retirement of Mr. and Mrs. Bird.--Accessions
to the Mission.--Improvements in the High School.--Great
Improvements in Arabic Type.--Death of Mrs. Smith.--Biblical
Researches.

CHAPTER XV. THE DRUZES, AND THE WARS OF LEBANON.--1835-1842.

The Druzes.--Hope of introducing the Gospel among them.--Disposition
to Hear.--Their Leading Motive.--Subdued by Ibrahim Pasha.
--Increased Tendency towards a Nominal Christianity.--A Hopeful
Druze Convert.--His Firmness under Persecution.--Admitted to the
Church.--Striking Illustration of an Apparent Religious Interest.
--Papal Opposition and its Effect.--Treatment of Papal Druzes.
--Causes of Declining Interest.--Changes in the Mission.--Evidence
of Progress.--Connection between Religious and Political Events.
--Consequent Warlike Proceedings.--Remarkable Preservation of
Mission Property.--The persecuting Emir Beshir deposed.--Changes in
the Seminary.--The Mission Reassembled.--Inroad of French Jesuits.
--Mistaken Policy of English Officials.--The Patriarch's Effort to
expel the Americans.--English Officers better informed.--Mistake of
the American Minister.--Renewed Interest among the Druzes.--Proffer
of Friendly Aid.--An Unfortunate Interposition.--The Patriarch makes
War to his own Ruin.--Deliverance of the Mission.--Its Favorable
Prospects.--The Success of the Mission proportioned to its Efforts.
--Value of the Results.--A Sudden and Disastrous Revolution.

CHAPTER XVI. SYRIA.--1842-1846.

Experiences of the Mission.--Missionary Convention.--The People all
of one Race.--The most Hopeful Districts.--When to form Churches.
--Qualifications for Church membership not to be relaxed.--Practical
Errors.--Counteracting Agencies.--Call for Preaching at Hasbeiya.--A
Secession from the Greek Church.--Attention given to the Gospel.
--Needed Explanations.--Affecting Scene.--Arrival of Persecutors.
--Seasonable Intervention.--The Protestants obliged to flee.--Their
Return.--Interference of the Russian Consul General.--Partial
Success of the Enemy.--The Jerusalem Station suspended.--The
Seminary revived.--Death of Yakob Agha.--Another War between Druzes
and Maronites.--Its Results.--Friendly Services of the
Missionaries.--Reflections on the Patriarch's Death.--After the War.

CHAPTER XVII. DR. JONAS KING AND THE GREEK HIERARCHY.--1845-1847.

Importance of this Struggle.--The Accusations against Dr. King.--His
Response.--Increased Violence of the Opposition.--His Examination by
a Judge.--His Book denounced at Constantinople.--The Courts against
him.--Goes to the Criminal Court at Syra.--A Dangerous Gathering.
--Returns to Athens.--Is offered British Protection.--Again cited
for Trial at Syra.--The Citation recalled.--Alleviations.--Renewal
of the Storm.--Extraordinary Accusations.--Call from the Governor of
Attica.--A Guard of Soldiers.--Advice from the King.--Offer of Sir
Edmund Lyons.--Retires to Geneva.--More Slanderous Accusations.--His
House protected.--Subsequent Proceedings of the Government.--Goes to
Malta.--Editions of his "Farewell Letter."

CHAPTER XVIII. DR. JONAS KING AND THE GREEK HIERARCHY.--1847-1869.

Returns to Athens.--His Reasons.--The Reception.--Resumes his
Labors.--His Chief Accuser discredited.--Cheering Incident.--The
Greek Synod demands his Prosecution.--An Outbreak.--Quelled by
raising the United States Flag.--Answers to a Judge.--Effect of a
New Publication.--Allegations for a New Trial.--The Trial at
Athens.--Decides to go to the Court-room openly and on foot.
--Extraordinary Sources of Proof.--His Condemnation.--Ground of the
Condemnation.--Is imprisoned.--Appeals to the Areopagus.--Which
confirms the Sentence.--Greek Lawyers dissent from the Courts.
--Appeal to the United States Government.--The Rights of
Missionaries.--The Appeal responded to.--Opinion of the President.
--Justice partially rendered.--Sentence of Banishment revoked.
--Opinion of the American Minister.--Favorable Change in the Popular
Sentiment.--Temporary Outbreak of the Old Enmity.--Unexpected
Citation.--The Judges decide not to proceed.--Coöperation of other
Missionaries.--A Revolution in the Government.--Disgrace of Old
Persecutors.--New King and Constitution.--Association of Editors.
--An Act of Public Justice.--Visit to the United States.--Return to
Greece.--Zealous Native Labors.--Conference with the President of
the Synod.--Death of Dr. King.--General Reflections.

CHAPTER XIX. THE NESTORIANS.--1841-1848.

Visit of Dr. and Mrs. Perkins to the United States.--Accompanied by
Mar Yohannan.--Schools and the Press.--Improved Type.--Health
Station.--New Missionaries.--Dr. Perkins's History of the Mission.
--His Return.--Version of the Scriptures.--Religious Influences.
--The Jesuits and French Government.--Counteracting Influences.--The
Patriarchal Family.--Hostility of the Patriarch.--Dismission of the
Schools.--Female Seminary revived.--Boys' Seminary reorganized.--On
employing the Higher Clergy.--Mr. Merrick's Connection with the
Mission.--Ordinations.--Protection for Native Christians.--The First
Revival.--Its First Fruits.--Brother of the Patriarch.--Interest at
Geog Tapa.--Interest in the Boys' Seminary.--Estimated Number of
Converts.--Modern Syriac New Testament.--Translation of the Old
Testament.--Nestorian Hymn Book.--New Missionaries.--Devastation by
the Cholera.--Dr. Wright's Visit to Bader Khan Bey.--Wonderful
Change in the Mountains.--Homeward Route.--Mar Shimon invited to
Constantinople.--Flees to Oroomiah.--Conflicting Influences upon
him.--His Apparent Friendship.--Throws off the Mask.--His Power
circumscribed.--His Unfriendly Acts.--The Government interposes.
--His Combination with the Jesuits.--Prejudicial to Both.--Death of
the King.--Providential Interpositions.--Persecution of Deacon
Tamo.--Deposition of the Great Koordish Chieftains.

CHAPTER XX. THE NESTORIANS.--1848-1852.

Mr. Stoddard Visits the United States.--Death of Mrs. Stoddard.
--State of the Schools.--Mar Shimon returns to the Mountains.--A
Visit to Mosul.--A Second Revival.--Deacon Guwergis.--Third
Revival.--Deacon John.--Deacon Jeremiah.--Various Tours.--The
Mission Enlarged.--Advance in Female Education.--Village Schools.
--Sabbath-schools.--The Monthly Concert.--Preaching Tours.--Deacon
Isaac.--Station at Gawar.--A Remarkable Youth.--Adverse Influences.
--Persecution of Deacon Tamo.--Intervention of Lieut.-Col.
Williams.--Powerful Friends.--Release of Tamo.--Favorable Results.
--Modern Syriac Bible.

CHAPTER XXI. SYRIA.--1845-1856.

Good News from the North.--Mr. Thomson Visits Aleppo.--The People
characterized.--Greek Catholic Archbishop.--Visit to Hasbeiya.--Mr.
Laurie's Return Home.--Unsuccessful Appeal for Laborers.--Relation
of the Druzes to Mohammedanism.--Successful Appeal of the Hasbeiyans
to the Turkish Government.--Desperate Resort of the Greek
Patriarch.--Formation of a Purely Native Church.--Translation of the
Scriptures into the Arabic.--Station of Aleppo.--Visit to Northern
Lebanon.--Death of Bedros.--Intelligent Men affected by the Truth.
--Another Visit to Hasbeiya.--English Protection.--Seminary at
Abeih.--Improved Arabic Type.--The Native Church.--Outrages at
Aleppo.--Effect of the Proceedings.--Pupils in the Seminary.--The
Church at Hasbeiya.--John Wortabet.--Drs. Bacon and Robinson.
--Female Boarding School.--Native Church at Abeih.--Experience in
Different Localities.--An Interesting Conversion.--Hopeful
Developments.--Opposition and its Effect.--A Church built at
Hasbeiya.--Progress of the Arabic Translation of the Scriptures.
--The Gospel at Ain Zehalty.--Northern Syria transferred to the
Armenian Mission.--Accessions and Bereavements.--General View.

CHAPTER XXII. THE ARMENIANS.--1845-1846.

The Grand Crisis.--The Persecuting Patriarch.--Mention of Bishop
Southgate.--The Patriarch's Mode of Proceeding.--His Treatment of
Bedros Vartabed.--Priest Vertanes.--The Chief Persecutors.
--Persecution at Erzroom.--Its Effect.--Central Position of
Erzroom.--Progress at Trebizond.--Persecutions.--The Patriarch
resorts to Excommunication.--Temporal Penalties enforced.--The
Patriarch and the First Protestant Pastor.--Appeals of the
Persecuted.--Charitable Aid.--Good Resulting from Evil.
--Intervention of the Government.--The Patriarch's Subterfuge.--Case
of Priest Haritûn.--A Temporary Triumph.--Cruelties at Adabazar and
Trebizond.--A British Consul interposes.--Effect of the
Persecutions.--Barbarities at Erzroom.

CHAPTER XXIII. THE ARMENIANS.--1846-1848.

Continued Persecutions.--Interposition of the English Ambassador.
--Designation of "Protestants."--A Vizierial Letter.--The
Patriarch's Hostility to the Seminary.--Its Effect.--Seminary for
Young Ladies.--Perpetual Excommunication of the Protestants.
--Consequent Organization of an Evangelical Church at
Constantinople.--Choice of Officers.--Ordination of a Pastor.
--Public Declaration of Faith.--Other Churches formed.--Early Death
of the Pastor.--The Pastor's Wife.--Der Haritûn.--Reformation at
Aintab.--Visit of Mr. Van Lennep.--Visit of Mr. Johnston.--Arrival
of Dr. Azariah Smith.--Mr. Schneider's Visit.--Trying Situation of
the Protestants.--Power of the Patriarch reduced.--Number of the
Protestants.--The Churches.--Additional Native Pastors.--Revivals of
Religion.



INTRODUCTION.


We may not hope for the conversion of the Mohammedans, unless true
Christianity be exemplified before them by the Oriental Churches. To
them the native Christians represent the Christian religion, and
they see that these are no better than themselves. They think them
worse; and therefore the Moslem believes the Koran to be more
excellent than the Bible.

It is vain to say, that the native Christians have so far departed
from the truth that they do not feel the power of the Gospel, and
that therefore the immorality of their lives is not to be attributed
to its influence. The Mohammedan has seen no other effect of it, and
he cannot be persuaded to read the Bible to correct the evidence of
his observation, and perhaps also of his own painful experience.

Hence a wise plan for the conversion of the Mohammedans of Western
Asia necessarily involved, first, a mission to the Oriental
Churches. It was needful that the lights of the Gospel should once
more burn on those candlesticks, that everywhere there should be
living examples of the religion of Jesus Christ, that Christianity
should no longer be associated in the Moslem mind with all that is
sordid and base.

The continued existence of large bodies of nominal Christians among
these Mohammedans, is a remarkable fact. They constitute more than a
third part of the population of Constantinople, and are found in all
the provinces of the empire, as, also, in Persia, and are supposed
to number at least twelve millions. Being so numerous and so widely
dispersed, should spiritual life be revived among them a flood of
light would illumine the Turkish empire, and shine far up into
Central Asia. The followers of Mohammed would look on with wonder,
and perhaps, at first, with hatred and persecution; but new views of
the Gospel would thus be forced upon them, and no longer would they
be able to boast of the superiority of their own religion.

It is true of the Oriental Churches, that they have lost nearly all
the essential principles of the Gospel; at least that those
principles have, in great measure, ceased to have a practical
influence.1 Their views of the Trinity, and of the divine and human
natures of Christ, are not unscriptural; but their views of the way
of salvation through the Son, and of the work of the Holy Spirit,
are sadly perverted. The efficacy of Christ's death for the pardon
of sin, is secured to the sinner, they suppose, by baptism and
penance. The belief is universal, that baptism cancels guilt, and is
regeneration. They also believe baptism to be the instrumental cause
of justification. Hence faith is practically regarded as no more
than a general assent of the understanding to the creeds of their
churches. Of the doctrine of a justifying faith of the heart,--the
distinguishing doctrine of the Gospel,--the people of the Oriental
Churches are believed to have been wholly ignorant, before the
arrival of Protestant missionaries among them.

1 This brief description of the religion of the Oriental Churches,
is condensed from a statement by that eminent missionary, Dr. Eli
Smith, in a sermon published in 1833, but now accessible to very
few. I often use his words, as best adapted to convey the true idea.
Subsequent observations, so far as I know, have never called for any
modification in his statement.

Being thus freed from the condemning power of original sin, and
regenerated by baptism, men were expected to work their way to
heaven by observing the laws of God and the rites of the church.
These rites were fasting, masses, saying of prayers, pilgrimages,
and the like, and in practice crowded the moral law out of mind. The
race of merit was hindered by daily sins, but not stopped, provided
the sins were of a class denominated venial. These could be canceled
by the rites of the church, the most important of which was the
mass, or the consecration and oblation of the elements of the Lord's
Supper. That ordinance is to be observed in remembrance of Christ,
but the people of the Oriental Churches are taught to look upon it
as a renewal of his death. On the priest's pronouncing the words,
"This is my body," the elements are believed to be changed from
bread and wine, and thenceforth to contain the body and blood, the
soul and divinity, of Christ; so that He is crucified afresh, and
made an expiatory sacrifice for sin, every time the consecration is
performed; which, in most churches, is almost every morning in the
year. Its merit attaches not only to the offerer and the partaker,
but to all the faithful, living and dead; especially to those who,
by paying the priest, or by some other service, have their names
mentioned in the prayers that form a part of the ceremony.

Thus a ministry to offer sacrifices is substituted for a ministry to
feed the flock of God with sound doctrine, and the spiritual worship
of God is converted into the formal adoration of a wafer. Preaching
is nowhere regarded as the leading duty of the clergy, but to say
mass. By exalting the eucharist into an expiatory sacrifice, the
partaking of the elements by the people came to be considered quite
unessential, and is generally neglected. They need not understand,
nor even hear the language of the officiating priest. It is enough,
if they see and adore. A bell warns them when to make the needful
genuflections and crosses. Nor can there be a reasonable doubt, that
the adoration of the host (which is required on pain of
excommunication in the Romish Church) is the grossest species of
idolatry.

But there are deadly, as well as venial, sins; and these expose the
soul to eternal punishment. When these are committed after baptism,
they can be remitted only by auricular confession, or the sacrifice
of penance, of which confession forms an essential part. To the
efficacy of this ceremony, contrition of heart is supposed, in
theory, to be essential; but its necessity is rarely taught, and the
great mass of the community go away from the confessional fully
satisfied that their sins are canceled by the mere external form.

Pardon by the priest is not, however, absolute. Grace is restored,
and eternal punishment remitted, but there must be a temporary
punishment,--certain penances, such as fasting, alms-giving, saying
prayers, and the like. The fasts are merely the substituting of a
less for a more palatable and nutritious diet. Alms are more for the
spiritual benefit of the giver, than for the relief of the receiver.
The supposed efficacy of prayer has no connection with the sincerity
of the offerer. For in none of the Oriental Churches, excepting the
Arabic branch of the Greek Church, are the prayers in a language
understood by the people.

They believe that all who die before baptism, or after baptism with
deadly sins unconfessed, are lost forever; but if one die after
confession, and while his penance is incomplete, he cannot be sent
to hell, neither is he prepared for heaven. He must first complete
his penance in a temporary state of misery. This state the papists
call purgatory; and though the other churches reject the name, they
cleave tenaciously to the thing. As all believe that the sufferings
of the departed may be shortened by the merit of good works
performed by surviving relatives and imputed to them, prayers for
the dead are frequent in churches and over graves, and masses are
celebrated in their name.

Though the Nestorians renounced auricular confession, they no more
looked to the redemption of Christ for pardon, than did their
neighbors, and they knew of no other regeneration than baptism.

There is no need of entering here on the practical influence of such
a religion on the lives of the people. That will appear in the
progress of our history. Enough has been said to justify the
American churches in laboring to restore to the degenerate churches
of the East the Gospel they had lost, especially as an indispensable
means of Christianizing the Moslems of Turkey and Persia.

The Oriental communities within the range of this history, are the
following:--

The GREEKS;
The ARMENIANS;
The NESTORIANS;
The JACOBITES;
The BULGARIANS;
The ROMAN CATHOLICS OF TURKEY;
The JEWS OF TURKEY; and
The MOHAMMEDANS.

The Missions are as follows:--

The PALESTINE Mission;
The SYRIA Mission;
The GREEK Mission;
The ARMENIAN Mission;
The NESTORIAN Mission;
The ASSYRIAN Mission;
The MISSION TO THE JEWS; and that to
The MOHAMMEDANS.


MISSIONS TO THE ORIENTAL CHURCHES.



CHAPTER I.

PALESTINE.

1819--1824.


American missions in Bible lands, like their apostolic predecessors,
had a beginning at Jerusalem. The first missionaries from this
country to the Oriental Churches were Pliny Fisk and Levi Parsons.
On the 23d of September, 1818, they were appointed to labor in
Palestine. But as, at that early period, there was special need of
making the churches acquainted with the work, and foreign
missionaries were less common than now, they were detained to labor
at home until November of the following year, when they embarked at
Boston for Smyrna, in the ship _Sally Ann_, Captain Edes. They were
both interesting men, and the impressive public services connected
with their departure were long remembered in Boston. A single
extract from the official instructions of Dr. Worcester, the
Corresponding Secretary of the Board, will give at once a glimpse of
that remarkable man, and a view of the object of the mission.

"From the heights of the Holy Land, and from Zion, you will take an
extended view of the wide-spread desolations and variegated scenes
presenting themselves on every side to Christian sensibility; and
will survey with earnest attention the various tribes and classes
who dwell in that land, and in the surrounding countries. The two
grand inquiries ever present to your minds will be, WHAT GOOD CAN BE
DONE? and BY WHAT MEANS? What can be done for Jews? What for Pagans?
What for Mohammedans? What for Christians? What for the people in
Palestine? What for those in Egypt, in Syria, in Persia, in Armenia,
in other countries to which your inquiries may be extended?"

The vessel touched at Malta, thus giving opportunity, so far as the
quarantines of those times would allow, for personal intercourse
with the Rev. William Jowett, of the Church Missionary Society, and
afterwards one of its secretaries. He received his American brethren
in that catholic spirit, which has ever characterized that society
and its agents, and gave them all the aid in his power. They also
received kindness from the Rev. Mr. Wilson, of the London Missionary
Society, then resident in Malta, and from Dr. Naudi, a native of the
island and interested in Protestant missions, though then a Roman
Catholic.

The brethren reached Smyrna at the opening of the year 1820, and
took lodgings in a Swiss family, where French, Italian, Modern
Greek, and some Turkish were spoken, but no English. American and
English residents treated them kindly, and they were specially
indebted to the Messrs. Van Lennep, Dutch merchants, to whom they
were introduced by Captain Edes.

In May they repaired to the Greek College in Scio, for the purpose
of studying the Modern Hellenic, and there they made the
acquaintance of Professor Bambas, a Greek gentleman of talent and
learning, who entered into their plans with an intelligent and
heartfelt interest.

It was my privilege, eight years after this, to make the
acquaintance of Professor Bambas at Corfu, in the Ionian Islands,
where he was connected with the University, instructing in logic,
metaphysics, and practical theology, and presiding over the
theological seminary connected with the University. An intelligent
and judicious friend, well acquainted with him, expressed a decided
opinion in favor of his piety and preaching. Bambas appeared then to
be about fifty years old; and his sweet countenance enlivened by a
quick eye, and the deliberation, judgment, and kindness, with which
he replied to inquiries, made a most favorable impression, which
subsequent intercourse fully sustained.

With such a specimen of a Greek before them, we cannot wonder that
Messrs. Fisk and Parsons cherished strong hopes as to the future of
the nation. They remained in Scio five months, and availed
themselves of every opportunity to revive among the Greeks a
knowledge of the Gospel. In November, they made a tour of about
three hundred miles, visiting the places where once stood the Seven
Churches of Asia, everywhere acquiring and imparting information.

After mature deliberation they decided, that the object of their
mission would be most effectually promoted by their temporary
separation; and that Mr. Parsons should proceed at once to
Jerusalem, preliminary to its permanent occupation, while Mr. Fisk
should prosecute his studies at Smyrna, under the hospitable roof of
Mr. Van Lennep. The war of the Greek revolution began in the
following spring, and Mr. Fisk's journal makes frequent mention of
cruel atrocities committed by the Turks on their opponents in the
streets of Smyrna. Prudence required him to live much in retirement.
In a few short excursions, however, he distributed Bibles,
Testaments, and tracts; and, during a part of the year, he supplied
the place of British chaplain.

Mr. Parsons arrived at Jerusalem on the 17th of February, 1821, and
was the first Protestant missionary ever resident there, with the
intention of making it a permanent field of labor. His first object
was to reach the multitude of pilgrims then about to congregate in
the Holy City. He took with him the Scriptures in nine languages,
and four or five thousand religious tracts. He had letters to
Procopius, an assistant of the Greek Patriarch of Jerusalem,
president of the Greek monasteries, and agent of the British and
Foreign Bible Society. Convenient rooms were assigned him near the
so-called holy sepulchre. During the spring he visited the principal
places of interest in Jerusalem and its vicinity, including the
Jordan and Dead Sea, and had reason to believe that his labors were
not fruitless. As he supposed it not safe to pass the hot months of
the year at Jerusalem, he resolved to spend the summer on Mount
Lebanon, but civil commotions obliged him to relinquish the idea. He
then turned his attention to Bethlehem, but the influence of the
Greek revolt had reached Palestine, and was putting the Greeks in
constant fear of their lives. His only resort was to return to
Smyrna. On the voyage he first saw the new Greek flag, and was
informed, by the captain of a Greek vessel of war, that the college
at Scio was closed, and that Professor Bambas had saved his life
only by flight. He found a temporary home at Syra, under the
protection of the British consul. There he had an attack of fever,
from which he recovered so far as to reach Smyrna in December.

As Mr. Parsons did not regain his health at Smyrna, the two brethren
proceeded to Alexandria in Egypt, hoping much from a change of
climate, and trusting that they should be able to reach Jerusalem in
the spring. But such was not the will of their Heavenly Father. Mr.
Parsons' disease assumed a dangerous form soon after their arrival
at Alexandria, and he died early in the morning of February 10,
1822. His last words, when parting with his beloved associate, late
in the evening, were, "The angel of the Lord encampeth round about
them that fear him."

The character of Mr. Parsons was transparent and lovely. Few of
those distinguished for piety leave a name so spotless. Though
scarcely thirty years of age, such was the impression he had made on
the Christian community at home, that his death was widely lamented;
the more, doubtless, because of the intimate association of his name
with Jerusalem, Zion, Gethsemane, and the scenes of the crucifixion.
His disposition, demeanor, and general intelligence inspired
confidence, and gave him access to the most cultivated society. He
united uncommon zeal with the meekness of wisdom. His powers were
happily balanced, and his consecration to the service of his Divine
Master was entire. Mr. Fisk's account of the closing scene was
beautiful and touching in its simplicity.1

1 See _Missionary Herald_ for 1822, p. 218.

Mr. Fisk went to Cairo soon after the death of his associate,
intending to proceed to Jerusalem through the desert. But
hearing that the Rev. Daniel Temple had arrived at Malta as a
fellow-laborer, he deemed it prudent to confer with him, before
venturing upon the then very disturbed state of Palestine. He
arrived at Malta on the 13th of April. How natural, after the
privations of his journeys by land and sea, the seclusion from
Christian society, the scenes of plague and massacre he had
witnessed, and especially after the sickness and death of his
beloved colleague, that he should feel the need of Christian
friends, with whom to renew his strength.

Mr. Temple and his wife had embarked at Boston on the 2d of January,
1822. He had brought with him a printing-press, designed for the
mission at Malta, types had been ordered at Paris, and his
connection with this establishment prevented his accompanying Mr.
Fisk.

An associate was provided, however, in an unexpected quarter. The
Rev. Jonas King had been elected Professor of Oriental Languages in
Amherst College, and was then pursuing the study of Arabic in Paris,
under the celebrated orientalist De Sacy. Mr. Fisk lost no time in
requesting him to become his associate. On receiving the letter, Mr.
King wrote at once to the American Board, tendering his services for
three years, and they were accepted. There were then neither
steamers nor telegraphs, and the response of the Prudential
Committee could not be received until after the favorable season for
oriental traveling would have passed. Mr. King's friends in Paris
and in some other European cities, therefore, advanced the needful
funds to enable him to start at once, and he landed at Malta early
in November. A few days later, the celebrated Joseph Wolff also
arrived, for the purpose of going with Mr. Fisk to Jerusalem. The
three started January 3, 1823, to go by way of Alexandria, Cairo,
and the desert. During the three weeks spent in Egypt they ascended
the Nile as far as Thebes, distributing Bibles and tracts at most of
the villages along the river. They were able to communicate
religious truths in several languages, and sold more than six
hundred copies of the Bible, or parts of it. The whole number of
copies distributed was eight hundred, in twelve languages, besides
more than two thousand tracts.

They left Cairo without waiting for a caravan, but were joined by
Turks, Arabs, Greeks, and Armenians, before entering the desert,
until they numbered seventy-four persons, with forty-four camels,
and fifty-seven asses.

This being their first visit to Jerusalem, it was full of interest.
Here God had been pleased to dwell visibly in his temple. For many
ages it was the earthly home of the Church. Here the chosen tribes
came to worship. Here David tuned his harp to praise Jehovah, and
Isaiah obtained enraptured visions of the future Church. Above all,
here the Lord of the world became incarnate, and wrought out
redemption for man. During the two months of their sojourn, they
visited many places of interest to the Christian and to the Biblical
student.1 For greater usefulness, they occupied separate rooms in
the Greek Convent, where they received all who came unto them,
preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which
concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man
forbidding them. Mr. Wolff had a room on the side of Mount Zion,
near the residence of the Jews, with whom he labored almost
incessantly. Impressions as to the unhealthiness of Jerusalem in
summer were stronger, at that time, than subsequent experience
justified, and the brethren decided, like Mr. Parsons, to pass the
hot months on the heights of Lebanon. Accordingly they left the Holy
City on the 27th of June, going by way of Jaffa and the coast to
Beirût, where they arrived on the 10th of July. The southern portion
of Lebanon, largely occupied by Druses, was then governed by the
Emir Beshîr, who was called Prince of the Druses, though himself a
Maronite. Not long before, having offended the Sultan, he had fled
into Egypt, and there became acquainted with the missionaries.
Having made his peace with the Sultan and returned to Deir el-Kamr,
his capital, the brethren visited him there, and were hospitably
entertained, and furnished with a firmân for travelling in all parts
of his dominions.

1 See _Missionary Herald_, 1824, pp. 65-71, 97-101.

Mr. King took up his residence there in order to study the Arabic
language. Mr. Fisk spent the summer with Mr. Way, of the London
Jews' Society, in a building erected for a Jesuits' College at
Aintûra, which that gentleman had hired for the use of missionaries
in Palestine. In August, Mr. Wolff arrived from Jerusalem. Early in
the autumn, Messrs. Fisk, Lewis of the Jews' Society, Wolff, Jowett
and King, all met at Aintûra, for the friendly discussion of some
practical questions relating to missions, which were soon arranged
to mutual satisfaction. How many dark and troubled ages had passed,
since there was such a company of Christian ministers assembled on
that goodly mountain! The journals of Mr. King, here and elsewhere,
have a singularly dramatic interest, and were eagerly read, as they
appeared in the "Missionary Herald." Those of Mr. Fisk are also rich
in the information they contain. He was able to preach in both the
Italian and Modern Greek. Mr. King's labors were chiefly in the
Arabic language, in which he preached the Gospel with the utmost
plainness. Yet he appears to have secured in a remarkable degree the
good-will of the people. He thus describes the scene connected with
his departure from Deir el-Kamr, on the 22d of September:--

"A little before I left, the family appeared very sorrowful, and
some of them wept. The mother wept much, and a priest with whom I
had often conversed came in and wept like a child. I improved this
occasion by telling him of his duty as a shepherd, and spoke to him
of the great day of account, and the responsibility that rested upon
him, and his duty to search the Scriptures. The family I exhorted to
love the Lord Jesus Christ, to read the Word of God, and to be
careful to keep all his commandments.

"It was truly an interesting scene; and I was surprised to see the
feeling exhibited by the Arabs on my departure. As I left the house,
they loaded me with blessings, and, as I passed through the street,
many commended me to the care and protection of the Lord."1

1 Report for 1824, p. 121.

In October, Messrs. Fisk and King rode to Tripoli, supposed then to
contain fifteen thousand inhabitants. From thence they proceeded to
the Maronite Convent of Mâr Antonius Khoshiah, situated on the brow
of an almost perpendicular mountain, where was a printing-press.
Nearly all the inhabitants of that part of Lebanon are Maronites,
acknowledging allegiance to the Pope. Thence they visited the Cedars
of Lebanon; and then crossed the rich plain of Coelo-Syria to
Baalbek, at the foot of Anti-Lebanon. Several of the places visited
in this tour will come more properly into notice in the subsequent
history.

Mr. Fisk returned to Jerusalem in the autumn with Mr. Jowett. Just
before leaving Beirût, they had the joy of welcoming the Rev.
Messrs. William Goodell and Isaac Bird, and their wives, who arrived
on the 16th of October. In January, Messrs. King and Bird also went
to Jerusalem.

The year 1824 was one of much activity. In February, Messrs. Fisk
and Bird were the only missionaries at Jerusalem, Mr. King having
gone to Jaffa. While successfully employed in selling the Scriptures
to Armenian pilgrims in the city, they were apprehended, at the
instigation of the Latins, and brought before Moslem judges on the
strange charge of distributing books that were neither Mohammedan,
Jewish, nor Christian. Holding up a copy of Genesis, the judge
declared it to be among the unchristian books denounced by the
Latins. Meanwhile their rooms were searched, and a crier was sent
out into the city, forbidding all persons to receive their books,
and ordering all that had been received to be delivered up. Their
papers were examined, and some of them retained by the government.
In a few days, however, through the prompt interference of the
English Consul at Jaffa, their papers were all restored, and they
were set at liberty. These proceedings becoming widely known, the
result was, on the whole, favorable. Mr. Abbott, English Consul at
Beirût, learning of the occurrence, wrote to the Pasha at Damascus,
and the governor and judge at Jerusalem received an official order
to restore to the missionaries whatever had been taken from them,
and to secure for them protection and respectful treatment. The
governor was shortly after superseded, for what cause was not
certainly known; but many people, both Mussulmans and Christians,
believed it was in consequence of his ill treatment of Messrs. Fisk
and Bird.

Mr. Damiani, son of the English Consul at Jaffa, had come to
Jerusalem on their behalf, with a letter from his father to the
governor. In company with this young gentleman, the missionaries
visited Hebron in February, going by way of Bethlehem. About three
miles south of Bethlehem, they came to what are called the Cisterns
of Solomon, three in number, of large dimensions, on the side of a
hill. Mr. Fisk was informed, that Jerusalem was supplied in part by
an aqueduct, which carried its waters from those fountains.1

1 Dr. Robinson says that the modern aqueduct was mostly laid with
tubes of pottery; but, northeast of Rachel's tomb, he saw "the
traces of an ancient aqueduct which was carried _up the slope of the
hill_ by means of tubes, or perforated blocks of stone, fitted
together with sockets and tenons, and originally cemented." This was
in 1842. Dr. Eli Smith drew my attention in 1845 to the same thing.
Such stones are said to be seen nowhere else in that region.

The visit to Hebron had no important results. During the five months
spent at Jerusalem, seven hundred copies of Scripture were sold. In
the last six weeks, Mr. Fisk suffered from an attack of fever, with
headache, restlessness, and tendency to delirium, and had no medical
adviser. On the 22d of April, the two brethren went to Jaffa, from
whence they proceeded, with Mr. King, to Beirût, where they arrived
on the 4th of May. With Messrs. King, Bird, and Goodell around him,
Mr. Fisk thus gives expression to his feelings: "These days of busy,
friendly, joyous intercourse have greatly served to revive the
spirits that drooped, to refresh the body that was weary, and to
invigorate the mind that began to flag. I came here tired of study,
and tired of journeying, but I begin to feel already desirous to
reopen my books, or resume my journeys. We have united in praising
God for bringing us to this land. I suppose we are as cheerful,
contented, and happy, as any little circle of friends in our favored
country. Dear brother Parsons! how would his affectionate heart have
rejoiced to welcome such a company of fellow laborers to this land!
But he is happier in union with the blessed above."

On the 22d of June, 1824, Messrs. Fisk and King set out for
Damascus, where they expected to find peculiar facilities for Arabic
studies. Aleppo being still more advantageous for them, they
proceeded to that city in July, with a caravan, notwithstanding the
intense heat of midsummer. On the 19th, they suffered much from
exposure to the heated air, filled with sand and dust. On the 25th,
they encamped at Sheikhoon, a dirty Mussulman village of a thousand
inhabitants. There was neither tree nor rock to shade them. The
strong wind was almost as hot as if it came from a furnace, and they
had nothing to eat but curdled milk, called _leben_, and bread that
had been dried and hardened by the heat of eight or ten days. Yet it
was the Sabbath, and they declared themselves to be happy. In the
last day of their journey, which was July 28, they were joined by a
large caravan from Latakia, much to their satisfaction, as that
day's journey was considered the most dangerous.

On the 25th of October the brethren started on their return to
Beirût, going by way of Antioch, Latakia, and Tripoli, a journey of
nineteen days. While traveling across the mountains, often in sight
of the ruined old Roman road to Antioch, they were repeatedly
drenched by the great rains of that season. No wonder the brethren
of Mr. Fisk at Beirût were not a little anxious about him, amid such
exposures, but his usual health seems to have returned with the cold
season.



CHAPTER II.

PALESTINE.

1824-1843.


In February, 1824, the Grand Seignior, influenced, as it would
appear, by Rome, issued a proclamation to the Pashas throughout
Western Asia, forbidding the distribution of the Christian
Scriptures, and commanding those who had received copies to deliver
them to the public authorities to be burnt. The copies remaining in
the hands of the distributors were to be sealed up till they could
be sent back to Europe. But few copies were obtained from the
people, and the Turks seemed to take very little interest in the
matter.

Messrs. Fisk and King made their third and last visit to Jerusalem
in the spring of 1825, arriving there on the 29th of March. On their
way, they had stopped a few weeks in Jaffa, where their labors gave
rise to some very absurd reports, which yet appeared credible to the
superstitious people. Some said, that the missionaries bought people
with money; that the price for common people was ten piastres, and
that those ten piastres always remained with the man who received
them, however much he might spend from them. Others said, that the
picture of professed converts was taken in a book, and that the
missionaries would shoot the picture, should the man go back to his
former religion, and he would of course die. A Moslem, having heard
that men were hired to worship the devil, asked if it were true,
saying that he would come, and bring a hundred others with him.
"What," said his friend, "would you worship the devil?" "Yes," said
he, "if I was paid for it."

The brethren were cordially received by their acquaintances at
Jerusalem. Two days afterwards, the pasha of Damascus sat down
before the city, with three thousand soldiers, to collect his annual
tribute. The amount to be paid by each community was determined
solely by his own caprice, and what he could not be induced to remit
was extorted by arrest, imprisonment, and the bastinado. Many of the
inhabitants fled, and the rest lived in constant terror and
distress. So great was the confusion and insecurity within and
around the city, that the brethren decided to return to Beirût,
where they arrived on the 18th of May. From 1822 to 1825 they and
their associates had distributed nearly four thousand copies of the
Scriptures, and parts thereof, in different languages, and about
twenty thousand tracts. After staying a month at Beirût, Mr. King
passed six weeks at Deir el-Kamr in the study of Syriac, with Asaad
el-Shidiak for his teacher, a remarkable young Maronite, who will
have a prominent place in this history. On returning to Beirût, Mr.
King wrote a farewell letter to his friends in Palestine and Syria,
which Asaad translated into excellent Arabic, and afterwards
multiplied copies for distribution. It was a tract destined to exert
an important influence.

Mr. King's term of service had now expired; and on the 26th of
August, 1825, after three years of active and very useful missionary
labors, he left Syria homeward bound. He went first to Tarsus by
ship, and thence, by what proved a tedious land journey, to Smyrna.
His clothes, books, papers, and several valuable manuscripts were
sent by a vessel, that was taken by a Greek cruiser, and only a part
of them were returned. On his arrival at Smyrna, December 4, he
received the painful intelligence of the death of his beloved
associate at Beirût.

Mr. King remained several months at Smyrna, waiting the recovery of
his effects, making good progress, meanwhile, in the modern Greek
language, and doing much service for the Greeks. He then visited
Constantinople with the Rev. Mr. Hartley, of the Church Missionary
Society, where he was received by several high Greek ecclesiastics
with a kindness similar to that he had received from the Greeks of
Egypt, Palestine, Syria, and Asia Minor. It was after his departure,
that a copy of his Farewell Letter found its way into the hands of
Armenians, who brought it before a council convened for the purpose,
as will be related hereafter. He returned to France just four years
from the time of his departure to enter upon his mission. Pious
people were everywhere exceedingly eager to hear his statements.
Enough was contributed by friends in Paris, to purchase a font of
Armenian type for the press at Malta, which he ordered before
leaving the metropolis. When in England he obtained funds for Arabic
types, and left orders for a font in London. Mrs. Hannah More, then
at an advanced age, was among the contributors. He returned home at
the close of the summer of 1827, and soon after the annual meeting
of the Board made a tour as agent through the Southern and Middle
States, which occupied him till April of the following year. The
Rev. Edward N. Kirk (now Dr. Kirk of Boston) was associated with him
in this agency.

Mr. Fisk had a good constitution, and would probably have endured
the climate of Syria for many years, with no more strain upon it in
the way of travel, than subsequent experience warranted. The reader
of the preceding pages will be prepared to apprehend special danger
from his return to Beirût in a season, that was sickly beyond the
recollection of the oldest of the Franks. He first spoke of being
ill on Tuesday, October 11, having had a restless night. His
experience was similar on several succeeding nights, but during the
day he seemed tolerably comfortable, enjoyed conversation, and
frequently desired the Scriptures to be read, remarking on the
importance of the subjects, and the preciousness of the promises.
His devotional feelings were awakened and his spirits revived by the
reading or singing of hymns, such as he suggested. On the 19th his
mind was somewhat affected, and he fainted while preparations were
being made for removing him to his bed. The next day, according to a
request he had made some time before, he was informed of the
probable issue of his sickness. He heard it with composure;
remarking that he believed the commanding object of his life, for
the seventeen years past, had been the glory of Christ and the good
of the Church. During the day he dictated letters to his father, and
to his missionary brethren King and Temple. On Thursday he asked for
the reading of that portion of Mrs. Graham's "Provision for Passing
over Jordan," where it is said, "To be where Thou art, to see Thee
as Thou art, to be made like Thee, the last sinful motion forever
past,"--he anticipated the conclusion, and said, with an expressive
emphasis, "That's Heaven." As the evening approached, he was very
peaceful, and in the midst he spoke out, saying: "I know not what
this is, but it seems to me like the silence that precedes the
dissolution of nature." Becoming conscious that the fever was
returning, he said, "What the Lord intends to do with me, I cannot
tell, but my impression is, that this is my last night." The fever,
however, was lighter than usual, and the next forenoon there was
some hope that it might be overcome. Yet it returned in the
afternoon, with all its alarming symptoms. At six o'clock he had
greatly altered, and the hand of death seemed really upon him. At
eight a physician, who had been sent for, arrived from Sidon, but
Mr. Fisk was insensible. Though the physician expressed little hope
of saving him, he ordered appliances which arrested the paroxysm of
fever, and restored him temporarily to consciousness. He was quiet
during Saturday, the 22d, and there were no alarming appearances at
sunset. But before midnight all hope had fled. "We hastened to his
bedside," say his brethren, "found him panting for breath, and
evidently sinking into the arms of death. The physician immediately
left him, and retired to rest. We sat down, conversed, prayed, wept,
and watched the progress of his dissolution, until, at precisely
three o'clock on the Lord's day morning, October 23, 1825, the soul,
which had been so long waiting for deliverance, was quietly
released. It rose, like its great Deliverer, very early on the first
day of the week, triumphant over death, and entered, as we believe,
on that Sabbath, of eternal rest, which remaineth for the people of
God."

His age was thirty-three. As soon as the fact of his death became
known, all the flags of the different consuls were seen at
half-mast. The funeral was attended at four P. M., in the presence
of a more numerous and orderly concourse of people, than had been
witnessed there on a similar occasion.

Mr. Fisk had a strong affinity, in the constitution of his mind and
the character of his piety, to the late Miss Fidelia Fiske, of the
Nestorian mission, who was his cousin, and whose praise is in all
the churches. He was an uncommon man. With a vigorous constitution,
and great capacity for labor, he possessed a discriminating
judgment, an ardent spirit of enterprise, intrepidity, decision,
perseverance, entire devotion to the service of his Master, facility
in the acquisition of languages, and an equipoise of his faculties,
which made it easy to accommodate himself to times, places, and
companies. He was highly esteemed as a preacher before leaving home.
"And who," said a weeping Arab, on hearing of his death, smiting on
his breast, "who will now present the Gospel to us? I have heard no
one explain God's word like him!" Aptness to teach was the prominent
trait in his ministerial character, and in a land of strangers, he
was esteemed, reverenced, and lamented.

The following tribute to his memory is from the pen of Mr. Bird:--

"The breach his death has made in the mission, is one which years
will not probably repair. The length of time which our dear brother
had spent in the missionary field, the extensive tours he had taken,
the acquaintances and connections he had formed, and the knowledge
he had acquired of the state of men and things in all the Levant,
had well qualified him to act as our counselor and guide; while his
personal endowments gave him a weight of character, sensibly felt by
the natives. His knowledge of languages, considering his well-known
active habits, has often been to us a subject of surprise and
thanksgiving. All men who could comprehend French, Italian, or
Greek, were accessible by his powerful admonitions. In the
first-mentioned language he conversed with ease, and in the last
two, performed with perfect fluency the common public services of a
preacher of the Gospel. Even the Arabic he had so far mastered, as
to commence in it a regular Sabbath service with a few of the
natives. At the time of his death, besides preaching weekly in
Arabic, and also in English in his turn, and besides his grammatical
studies under an Arabic master, he had just commenced a work, to
which, with the advice of us all, he was directing, for the time,
his main attention. Having in a manner completed the tour of
Palestine and Syria, and having become quite at home in Arabic
grammar, he felt more than ever the need of a dictionary to
introduce the missionary to the spoken language of the country. The
ponderous folios of Richardson are for Persia; Golius, and the
smaller work of Willmet, explain only the written language. We were
therefore of the unanimous opinion, that a lexicon like the one in
contemplation by Mr. Fisk, was needed, not only by ourselves, but by
the missionaries who should succeed us. Our dear brother had written
the catalogue of English words according to Johnson, and had just
finished the catalogue (incomplete of course) of the corresponding
Arabic, when disease arrested him. Had he lived, he hoped to visit
his native country, and probably publish some account of his
Christian researches in the Levant.

"Such were some of the plans and employments of our brother and
companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus
Christ, when he was called off from all his labors of love among
men. He is gone, but his memory lives. Never till called to sleep by
his side, shall we forget the noble example of patience, faith, and
zeal, which he has set us; and the churches at home will not forget
him, till they shall have forgotten their duty to spread the
Gospel."1

1 _Missionary Herald_ for 1827, pp. 101, 102.

The station at Jerusalem was suspended for nearly nine years, when
unsuccessful efforts were made to revive it. The Rev. William M.
Thomson, and Asa Dodge, M. D., were sent for that purpose. Mr.
Thomson was the first to remove his family to Jerusalem, which he
did in April, 1834. Mr. and Mrs. Nicholayson, of the London Jews
Society, went with them to commence a mission among the Jews.
Everything looked promising for a few weeks, and Mr. Thomson went
down to Jaffa to bring up his furniture. During his absence, the
Fellâhîn, roused by an order to draft every fifth man into the army,
rose against Mohammed Ali, the then ruler of Syria. Jerusalem was
the centre of this sudden rebellion; and Mr. Thomson, for nearly two
months, found it impossible even to communicate with his family, so
closely was the city besieged by the rebels. The first sense of
personal danger to the mission families, arose from an earthquake of
unusual severity, which extended to the coast and shook their old
stone habitation so roughly that they were compelled to flee into
the garden, and sleep there. Here they were exposed to the balls
from the muskets of the Fellâhîn outside the walls. At length the
rebels within the city somehow let in their friends outside, and it
was an hour of terror when they took possession of the mission
house, which was near the castle, dug loopholes through its walls,
and began to fire on the soldiers of the fortress. The fire was of
course returned, and the building, already shattered by the
earthquake, was torn by the Egyptian cannon; while both it and the
garden were filled with a multitude of lawless and angry rebels. The
families found refuge in a lower room of the house, where the walls
were thick, and there listened to the cannon balls as they whistled
above them. The arrival of Ibrahim Pasha at length quieted the city.

Able to return to his family on the 11th of July, Mr. Thomson found
his wife suffering from ophthalmia, with high inflammatory fever.
Two days afterwards, Mr. Nicholayson was attacked with a fever, and
the children were all sick. The case of Mrs. Thomson baffled all
their skill. Convinced herself that she would not recover, the
thought did not alarm her. For many weeks, she had been in the
clearer regions of faith, enjoying greater nearness to God in prayer
than ever before, with greater assurance of her interest in the
covenant of grace through the Redeemer. She had indeed cherished the
hope of laboring longer to bring some of the degraded daughters of
Jerusalem to the Saviour; but the Lord knew best, and to His will
she cheerfully submitted. She died peacefully on the 22d of July,
1834. The bereaved husband was apprehensive of difficulty in
obtaining a suitable place for her burial; but the Greek bishop gave
permission, and took the whole charge of preparing the grave.

Mr. Thomson now visited Beirût to confer with his brethren, and was
advised to remove to that place. The Rev. George B. Whiting and wife
and Dr. and Mrs. Dodge, were to occupy the station thus vacated,
aided by Miss Betsey Tilden. Dr. Dodge accompanied Mr. Thomson on
his return, and assisted him in removing his babe and his effects to
Beirût; and on the 22d of October he and Mr. Whiting were on their
way with their families to Jerusalem.

Early in the winter, Dr. Dodge was called to Beirût to prescribe for
Mrs. Bird, who was dangerously sick. Mr. Nicholayson returned with
him to Jerusalem, arriving there on the 3d of January, 1835, cold,
wet, and exhausted with fatigue, having traveled on horseback nearly
seventeen hours the last day. The peril of such an exposure in that
climate was not realized at the time. Both were soon taken sick, and
Dr. Dodge rapidly sunk, though a physician from one of the western
States of America arrived at the critical moment, and remained with
him to the last. He died on the 28th of January, and Mrs. Dodge
removed to Beirût. The arrival of Rev. John F. Lanneau in the spring
of 1836, furnished an associate for Mr. Whiting. A school was
opened, and numerous books were sold to the pilgrims. Early in the
next year, Tannûs Kerem of Safet was engaged as a native assistant.
He was born and educated in the Latin Church, but in thought and
feeling was with the mission, and enlarged their personal
acquaintance and influence. In the summer the cholera appeared, and
swept off four hundred victims in a month. Mr. Homes, of the mission
to Turkey, was there at the time, and all devoted themselves to the
gratuitous service of the sick, a thing unknown before in that
region. They gave medical aid to many, nearly all of whom recovered,
and thus gained many friends. Preaching was commenced in September
to a small but attentive congregation. Mrs. Whiting and Miss Tilden
had an interesting school, composed chiefly of Mohammedan girls.
There was also a school for boys under a Greek teacher, with
twenty-four pupils. In 1838, Mr. Whiting was obliged, by the
protracted sickness of his wife, to visit the United States, and Mr.
Lanneau was alone at Jerusalem, with Tannûs Kerem, and suffering
from extreme weakness of the eyes; but was encouraged by the arrival
of Rev. Charles S. Sherman and wife in the autumn of 1839. The new
missionary expressed his surprise at finding the different classes
so little affected by the prejudices of sect in their intercourse
with members of the mission. The illness of Mr. Lanneau became at
length so distressing, as to require his absence from the field for
nearly two years. Before his return to the East, which was early in
1843, the Committee had expressed an opinion, that it was expedient
to suspend further efforts at Jerusalem. Mr. Lanneau, however,
resumed his abode there until the visit of the writer, with Dr.
Hawes, in the spring of 1844, This was after there had been a
protracted conference with the mission at Beirût, at which nothing
appeared to affect the decision of the Prudential Committee, and Mr.
Lanneau removed with his family to Beirût. Writing of Jerusalem to
the Committee, Dr. Hawes says: "In regard to this city, viewed as a
field for missionary labor, I saw nothing which should give it a
special claim on our attention. It has indeed a considerable
population, amounting perhaps to seventeen or eighteen thousand. But
it is such a population as seemed to me to bear a near resemblance
to the contents of the sheet which Peter saw let down from heaven by
the four corners. It is composed of well-nigh all nations and of all
religions, who are distinguished for nothing so much as for jealousy
and hatred of each other. As to the crowds of pilgrims who annually
visit the Holy City,--a gross misnomer, by the way, as it now
is,--they are certainly no very hopeful subjects of missionary
effort; drawn thither, as they are, chiefly by the spirit of
superstition; and during the brief time they remain there, kept
continually under the excitement of lying vanities, which without
number are addressed to their eyes, and poured in at their ears."

The burying-ground belonging to the Board, on a central part of
Mount Zion, near the so-called "Tomb of David," and not far from the
city, inclosed by a stone wall, was reserved for a Protestant
burying-place, to be for the use of all sects of Protestant
Christians.



CHAPTER III.

SYRIA.

1823-1828.


The civil and social condition of Jerusalem and Palestine was such,
on the arrival of Messrs. Bird and Goodell in 1823, that their
brethren advised them to make Beirût the centre of their operations.
The advice was followed; and this was the commencement of what took
the name of the Syria Mission.

The ancient name of Beirût was Berytus. The city is pleasantly
situated on the western side of a large bay, and has a fertile soil,
with a supply of good water, sufficient in ordinary seasons, from
springs flowing out of the adjacent hills. Its population and wealth
have greatly increased of late. The anchorage for ships is at the
eastern extremity of the bay, two miles from the city. Lebanon rises
at no great distance on the east, stretches far toward the north and
the south, and is a healthful and pleasant resort for Franks in
summer. There is a large and beautiful plain on the south, abounding
in olive, palm, orange, lemon, pine, and mulberry trees. Damascus
was then distant three days, but less time is required now, by
reason of the new macadamized road. Sidon might be reached in one
day, Tyre in two, and Tripoli in three. An additional motive, in
those troublous times, for making Beirût a central station, was the
protection afforded by Mr. Abbott, a friendly English Consul.

The two brethren landed, with their wives, October 16th. During the
nine mouths of their sojourn at Malta, they had made considerable
progress in the Italian language, which was spoken extensively in
the Levant; and now, without wholly neglecting the Italian, they
applied themselves to the languages of Syria.

Mr. Bird made the Arabic--spoken by the Maronites and Syrian Roman
Catholics--his chief study; and Mr. Goodell the Armeno-Turkish,
--Turkish written with the Armenian alphabet,--which was the
language of the Armenians.

Going to Sidon for aid in his linguistic studies, Mr. Goodell formed
the acquaintance of Yakob Agha, an Armenian ecclesiastic, who had
dared to marry, a privilege not allowed to him as a bishop. That he
might be able to defend his course, he began the study of the New
Testament, and thus became impressed with the wickedness around him.
He was at that time acting British agent at Sidon. Mr. Goodell also
became acquainted with Dionysius, another Armenian bishop, who had
committed a similar offense, and engaged him as a teacher; giving
him the name of Carabet, the "Forerunner." He was a native of
Constantinople, and had lived thirty-six years in the Armenian
convent at Jerusalem. During the last nine of these years, he was a
bishop. On account of his age, his services and acquirements, he was
regarded as having the standing of an archbishop. Though in darkness
on many points, and giving no satisfactory evidence of piety, he
made himself useful as a teacher and interpreter, and in his
intercourse with the people.

Several English missionaries were added to the Protestant force at
that time, and the Papal Church became thoroughly alarmed. Letters
were addressed from Rome to the Patriarchal Vicar of Mount Lebanon,
the Maronite Patriarch, and the Vicar of Syria and Palestine, urging
them to render ineffectual, in every possible manner, the impious
undertaking of those missionaries. These letters were dated in the
first month of 1824, and the firman against the circulation of the
Scriptures was issued by the Grand Seignior very soon after. Though
feebly enforced by the Turkish authorities this gave weight and
influence, for a time, to the "anathemas," of the Maronite and
Syrian Patriarchs against the "Bible men." Peter Ignatius Giarve,
the Syrian Patriarch, some years before, while Archbishop of
Jerusalem, had visited England, and there obtained, under false
pretenses, a considerable sum of money from Protestant Christians,
to print the Holy Scriptures according to the text of his own
Church. He now issued a manifesto, first defending himself from the
charge of deception, and then warning his flock "not to receive the
Holy Scriptures, nor any other books printed and circulated by the
Bible-men, even though given gratis, and according to the edition
printed by the Propaganda under ecclesiastical authority."
Notwithstanding all this, the brethren took a hopeful view of their
prospects. "To get a firm footing," they say, "among a people of a
strange speech and a hard language; to inspire confidence in some,
and weaken prejudice in others; to ascertain who are our avowed
enemies, and who are such in disguise; to become acquainted with the
mode of thinking and feeling, with the springs of action, and with
the way of access to the heart; to begin publicly to discuss
controversial subjects with the dignitaries of the Church, and to
commence giving religious instruction to the common people; to be
allowed to have a hand in directing the studies and in controlling
the education of the young; and to begin to exert an influence,
however circumscribed at first, yet constantly extending and
increasingly salutary,--all this, though it be not 'life from the
dead,' nor the song of salvation, yet is to be regarded as truly
important in the work of missions."

In the year 1824, the schools were commenced at Beirût, which have
since grown into an influential system. The first was a mere class
of six Arab children, taught daily by the wives of the missionaries.
Soon an Arab teacher was engaged, and before the end of the year the
pupils had increased to fifty. In 1826 the average attendance in the
free schools of Beirût and vicinity, was more than three hundred; in
the following year it was six hundred in thirteen schools, and more
than one hundred of these pupils were girls. The Arabs were thought
to have less quickness than the Greeks, to be less studious and
ambitious, and more trifling, inconstant, and proud of little
things; but many of them were lively and promising, and did
themselves honor by their punctuality and application. The Romish
ecclesiastics were very hostile to all these schools.

It was in the summer of 1825, that Asaad el-Shidiak became first
personally known to the mission, as the instructor of Mr. King in
the Syriac language. His case soon acquired an extraordinary
interest, and will occupy a separate chapter.

In March, 1826, several Greek vessels entered the port of Beirût,
and landed five hundred men. They were unable to scale the walls,
but plundered the houses of natives on the outside. The wild
Bedawîn, whom the Pasha of Acre sent to drive them away, were worse
than the Greeks. They plundered without making any distinctions, and
among other houses the one occupied by Mr. Goodell, but Consul
Abbott obliged the Pasha to pay for what they took from the
missionaries. It was afterwards ascertained, that the Maronite
bishop, having learned that the leases of the missionaries would
soon expire, came to Beirût just before this invasion, with an
excommunication for every Maronite who should permit his house to be
hired by a missionary; and prepared by bribery and intrigue to bring
also the Greek bishop and the Moslem rulers to act in concert with
himself, in driving Protestant missionaries from the country. The
sudden landing of the Greeks obliged him to flee in the night,
leaving his wicked devices unaccomplished, while the Maronites were
glad to place their best houses in the hands of the missionaries.

In 1827, the missionaries hoped that about twenty of those among
whom they labored, had been created anew in Christ Jesus. Among them
were Asaad and Phares Shidiak, from the Maronite Church; a lady from
the Latin Church; Dionysius, Gregory Wortabet, Jacob, and the wife
of Dionysius, of the Armenian Church; the wife of Wortabet and
Yooseph Leflufy, of the Greek Catholic Church; and Asaad Jacob and
Tannûs el-Haddad, of the Greek Church. Leflufy was described as a
youth of great boldness and decision, and as thoroughly convinced of
the errors of his Church. In April of this year, Dionysius revisited
Jerusalem, as the interpreter of German missionaries. The Armenian
Convent owed him a sum of money, which it refused to pay, and
forbade any Armenian in the city to speak to him. The Greeks, on the
other hand, treated him with attention, and so did the Moslem
governor. He returned to Beirût in company with three hundred of the
Armenian pilgrims, who were no sooner out of Jerusalem than they
began to treat him with kindness and respect, while they were full
of inquiries as to what he and the Protestants believed, what
ordinances they had, and how they observed them, with many more such
questions. He was engaged in conversation with them day and night,
and had full opportunity to explain his religious views, and to show
them the difference between the Christianity of the New Testament,
and that of the Oriental Churches; and they expressed much
astonishment at his statements. Some of them were persons of
respectability and influence, and declared their indignation at the
treatment he had received from the convent. It is probable that
these conversations had some connection with the spirit of
reform among the Armenians, which not long after appeared at
Constantinople.

The Rev. Eli Smith reached Beirût early in 1827. At the monthly
concert in March, kept as a day of fasting and prayer, and closed
with the Lord's Supper, sixteen persons were present, who were all
regarded as hopefully pious. They were from America, Europe, Asia,
and Africa, and were members of nine churches,--Congregational,
Episcopal, Lutheran, Reformed Lutheran, Moravian, Latin, Armenian,
Greek Catholic, and Abyssinian. Dionysius Carabet, Gregory Wortabet,
and their wives were then received into the mission church, as was
also the wife of Mr. Abbott, the English Consul, a native of Italy.
This admission of converts into a church, without regard to their
previous ecclesiastical relations, was a practical ignoring of the
old church organizations in that region. It was so understood, and
the spirit of opposition and persecution was roused to the utmost.
In the Maronite and Greek Catholic churches, severe denunciations
were uttered against the missionaries, and all who should render
them any service.

Messrs. Goodell and Bird gave more or less time, with the help of
their native assistants, to preparing useful works in the native
languages. These, with Mr. King's "Farewell Letter," were copied by
the pen, and were eagerly sought and gladly transcribed, and the
need of a printing-press on the ground began to be felt.

Beirût was visited by the plague in the spring of 1827, but the
deaths were not numerous. In August Mr. Bird, finding it needful to
take his family to the mountains, ascended to Ehden by way of
Tripoli, from which Ehden was distant seven hours. He went by
special permission of the Emir Beshir, and was received in the most
friendly manner by the Sheikh Latoof, and his son Naanui. The
"Patriarch of Antioch and all the East," who resided at Cannobeen,
hearing of this, proceeded at once to excommunicate the sheikh and
his family, who had dared to associate "with that deceived man, and
deceiver of men, Bird, the Bible-man." An infernal spirit appears in
the excommunications of the Romish Church. This of Latoof and family
ran thus: "They are accursed, cut off from all the Christian
communion; and let the curse envelope them as a robe, and spread
through all their members like oil, and break them in pieces like a
potter's vessel, and wither them like the fig tree cursed by the
mouth of the Lord himself; and let the evil angel reign over them,
to torment them by day and night, asleep and awake, and in whatever
circumstances they may be found. We permit no one to visit them, or
employ them, or do them a favor, or give them a salutation, or
converse with them in any form; but let them be avoided as a putrid
member, and as hellish dragons. Beware, yea, beware of the wrath of
God." With regard to Mr. Bird and his family, the Patriarch said:
"We grant no permission to any one to receive them; but, on the
contrary, we, by the word of the Lord of almighty authority, require
and command all, in the firmest manner, that not one visit them, nor
do them any sort of service, or furnish them any sort of assistance
whatever, to protract their stay in these parts or any other. Let no
one receive them into his house, or into any place whatever that
belongs to him, but let all avoid them, in every way, in all things
temporal as well as spiritual. And whoever, in his stubbornness,
shall dare to act in opposition to this our order with regard to
Bird, and his children, and his whole family, shall fall, _ipso
facto_, under the great excommunication, whose absolution is
reserved to ourself alone."

A copy of this document was furnished to Mr. Bird, by the Bishop of
Ehden; who, though feeble in health, was second to no prelate of his
sect in knowledge, prudence, and evangelical sentiment. On hearing
the Patriarch's proclamation read in church, he is said to have
fainted, and did not recover his health for weeks afterwards. As a
consequence of this proclamation of the Patriarch, a rival sheikh
was encouraged to make a violent assault upon Latoof, in which the
latter received a severe contusion on the head, and his wife's
mother had her wrist broken. Being warned of a still more determined
effort to drive the missionary away, Mr. Bird thought it due to his
friend to leave the place; which he did, accompanied by Naanui,
leaving his wife and children, and descending to the Greek convent
of Hantûra, and from thence to Tripoli. Thither the Patriarch
followed him with his maledictions. He however obtained a quiet
residence at Bawhyta, under Moslem protection, where he was rejoined
by his family, and afterwards in the convent of Belmont. Naanui was
his faithful companion through all his wanderings and sojourning on
the mountains.

Mr. Bird returned to Beirût on the 22d of December, and was received
by his Maronite acquaintances with unwonted cordiality.

The battle of Navarino was not the immediate cause of the suspension
of the mission; but, in all the ensuing five months, there was
constant apprehension of war between Turkey and the allies engaged
in that battle, which was so destructive to the naval power of the
Turks. The British Consulate was closed, and Mr. Abbott, their
friend and protector, was obliged to withdraw privately. No reliance
could be placed on the Pasha; and the Prince of the mountains had
sent word, that no Frank refugees would be received in his
dominions, in case of war. In the utter stagnation of trade, the
missionaries could obtain no money for their bills, and no European
or American vessels of war visited the port. Messrs. Goodell, Bird
and Smith, in view of all these facts, thought it their duty to
avail themselves of the opportunity afforded by an Austrian vessel
to remove, for a season, to Malta.

They accordingly embarked on the 2d of May, 1828, taking with them
Carabet, Wortabet, and their wives, and arrived at Malta on the
29th. No opposition was made. "The parting scene at our leaving, was
more tender and affecting than we could have expected, and afforded
a comforting evidence that, whatever may be the impression we have
left on the general population, there are _some_ hearts in Syria,
which are sincerely attached to us. Many, as we passed them, prayed
that God would protect us on our voyage. And others, notwithstanding
the plague, came to our houses to bid us farewell. One thoughtful
youth, who was with us daily, belonging to one of the first Greek
families, was full of grief, and earnestly begged us to take him
with us, though contrary to the will of his parents."



CHAPTER IV.

SYRIA.

THE MARTYR OF LEBANON.

1826-1830.


The conversion, life, and martyrdom of Asaad Shidiak,1 so very early
in the history of this mission, is a significant and encouraging
fact. He not only belonged to the Arab race, but to a portion of it
that had long been held in slavish subjection to Rome. His fine mind
and heart opened to the truths of the Gospel almost as soon as they
were presented; and when once embraced, they were held through years
of suffering, which terminated in a martyr's death. With freedom to
act, he would have gone forth an apostle to his countrymen. The
Arab-speaking race is estimated at sixty millions, and they must
receive the gospel mainly from those to whom the language is
vernacular. It will tend greatly to strengthen the faith of
Christians as to this result, to contemplate the grace of God as
seen in the case of this early convert. Space cannot be afforded to
do full justice to the facts, which were chiefly recorded by the
Rev. Isaac Bird, but the reader is referred in the margin to more
ample sources of information.2

1 Written also Asaad el-Shidiak, and Asaad esh-Shidiak.

2 See _Missionary Herald_ for 1827, pp. 68, 71-76, 97-101, 129-136,
169-177, 268-271, 369-372; for 1828, pp. 16-19, 115-119, 165, 373,
375; for 1829, pp. 15, 47, 111, 115; and _The Martyr of Lebanon_, by
Rev. Isaac Bird, Boston, 1864, pp. 208.

Asaad Shidiak was the fourth son of a respectable Maronite, and was
born about the year 1797, at Hadet, a small village a few miles from
Beirût. His early training was among the Maronites. Such was his
ability and fondness for learning, that his family aided him in
preparing for the Maronite college at Ain Warka, the most noted
seminary on the mountains. He entered the college at the age of
sixteen, and remained nearly three years, applying himself
diligently to rhetoric, and to natural and theological science, all
of which were taught in the Arabic and Syriac languages.

Having completed his college course with the highest honor, he
became a teacher, first of a common village school, and then of
theology and general science in a convent. Occasionally he was
permitted to deliver public lectures. His text-book in the
instruction of the monks, was the theological treatise of St.
Anthony of Padua, translated into Arabic; of which he made an
abridgment, that is still used among the Maronites.

From about the year 1820 to 1824, Asaad was successively in the
employ of the Maronite bishop of Beirût, and of several Arab chiefs.
These frequent changes were apparently not for his advantage.

He next made application in person to his old college instructor,
who had been elevated to the Patriarchal chair. His holiness gave
him a cool reception, and reproached him for having preferred the
service of sheikhs and princes to that of his bishop. Yet so
valuable were his services, that he remained a while with the
Patriarch, copying, illustrating, and arranging certain important
documents of the Patriarchate, and making out from them a convenient
code of church-laws for the Maronite nation, which has since been
adopted for general use. But for some reason Asaad felt himself
unwelcome, and returned home dissatisfied.

At this time the Maronite priesthood began to be alarmed by the
distribution of the Scriptures, and the spread of Protestantism. The
Patriarch issued a proclamation against the missionaries, and they
replied. Asaad set himself to answer their reply. It was in this
connection that his name first became known to the missionaries, to
whom he was reported as a man of talent and high education. The
dignitaries of the church did not see fit to allow his essay to be
published.

In March, 1825, a well-dressed young man, of easy manners and sedate
countenance, came to Beirût and asked to be employed by the mission
as a teacher of Arabic. As soon as he gave his name, he was
recognized as the man who was to have answered their reply to the
Patriarch. He took no pains to conceal his agency in the matter, and
even frankly begged the liberty of examining the original book,
containing one of the most important quotations in the reply by the
mission.

There was then no special need of another teacher; and though his
very gentlemanly appearance and apparent frankness, and his good
sense pleaded in his favor, it was thought prudent to decline his
proposal. Little did those excellent brethren think, as this young
man turned to go away, how soon they would welcome him to their
hearts and homes, and how many thousands of Christian people, even
across the ocean, would thrill in sympathy with his sufferings as a
martyr for Christ.

Providence so ordered it, that Mr. King arrived from Jerusalem just
in time to secure the services of Asaad before he went elsewhere. He
was for several weeks Mr. King's instructor in Syriac. The two were
well met, and in their frequent discussions, on the differences
between the doctrines of the Gospel and those of the Papacy, Mr.
King found him one of the most intelligent and skillful reasoners in
all the mountains. He was shrewd, sensible, and inquisitive, candid
and self-possessed, and was always as ready to hear as to speak. His
age was then twenty-nine. There is no good reason to believe that
Asaad was actuated, at this time, by higher than worldly motives.

At the close of his connection with Mr. King, he made another effort
to secure employment from his Patriarch. Not succeeding, he became
Arabic teacher to Mr. Fisk; at the same time assisting Mr. King,
then about leaving the country, in preparing his celebrated
"Farewell Letter" to his Arab friends. After having put this into
neat Arabic style, he made a large number of copies, to be sent to
different parts of the country.

On the day of Mr. King's departure from Beirût, Asaad, at the
request of the mission, commenced an Arabic grammar-school for
native boys. His leisure hours were devoted to composing a
refutation of the doctrines contained in Mr. King's "Farewell
Letter." This is his own account: "When I was copying the first
rough draught of my reply, and had arrived at the last of the
reasons, which, he said, prevented his becoming a member of the
Roman Catholic Church; namely, their teaching it to be wrong for the
commom people to possess or to read the Word of God, I observed that
the writer brought a proof against the doctrine from the prophet
Isaiah; namely, that if they spoke not according to the law and to
the testimony, it was because there was no light in them.

"While I was endeavoring to explain this passage according to the
views of the Roman Catholic Church, with no other object than the
praise of men and other worldly motives, I chanced to read the
twenty-ninth chapter of Isaiah from the fifteenth verse to the end.
I read and was afraid. I meditated upon the chapter a long while,
and feared that I was doing what I did with a motive far different
from the only proper one,--the glory and pleasure of God. I
therefore threw my paper by without finishing the copy, and applied
myself to the reading of Isaiah.

"I had wished to find in the prophet some plain and incontrovertible
proofs of the Messiahship of Christ, to use against Moslems and
Jews. While thus searching, I found various passages that would
_bear_ an explanation according to my views, and read on till I came
to the fifty-second chapter, and fourteenth verse, and onward to the
end of the next chapter.

"On finding this testimony, my heart rejoiced and was exceeding
glad, for it removed many dark doubts from my own mind. From that
time, my desire to read the New Testament was greatly increased,
that I might discover the best means of acting according to the
doctrines of Jesus. I endeavored to divest myself of all selfish
bias, and loved more and more to inquire into religious subjects. I
saw, as I still see, many doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church,
that I could not believe, and which I found opposed to the truths of
the Gospel, and I wished much to find some of her best teachers to
explain them to me, that I might see how they proved them from the
Holy Scriptures. As I was reading an appendix to a Bible printed at
Rome by the Propaganda, and searching out the passages referred to
for proving the duty of worshipping saints, and the like, I found
that these proofs failed altogether of establishing these doctrines,
and that to infer them from such Scripture texts was even
ridiculous. Among other things, I found in this appendix the very
horrible Neronian doctrine, 'that it is our duty to destroy
heretics.' Now every one knows, that whoever does not believe that
the Pope is infallible, is, in the Pope's estimation, a heretic. And
this doctrine is not merely that it is allowable to kill heretics,
but that we are in duty bound to do it.

"From this I was the more established in my convictions against the
doctrines of the Papacy, and saw that they were the doctrines of the
ravenous beast, and not of the gentle lamb. After I had read this, I
asked one of the priests in Beirût about this doctrine, and he
assured me that it was even as I had read. I then wished to go even
to some distant country, that I might find a Roman Catholic
sufficiently learned to prove the doctrine above alluded to."

Receiving two letters from the Patriarch, requiring him to leave the
missionaries on pain of the greater excommunication, and promising
to provide him a situation, he went to his friends at Hadet. But his
thoughts were drawn to the subject of religion, and finding nothing
in which he could take delight, he returned to Beirût, and engaged
himself to Mr. Bird for a year. This was in December, 1825. For
greater security, a consular protection was now obtained for him
from Mr. Abbott, which ensured him, while in the employ of the
mission, all the liberty and safety of an English resident. There
was no American Consul in the country at that time. He now applied
himself to searching the Scriptures, and discussing religious
doctrines. Discarding all unwritten traditions, the Apocryphal
books, and all implied dependence on the fathers and councils, he
found himself standing, in respect to his rule of faith, on
Protestant ground.

With all his strong points of character, Asaad had the
constitutional weakness of being artless and confiding. In January,
1826, the Patriarch sent his own brother, as a special messenger,
inviting Asaad to an interview, and making him flattering promises.
The consultation with the priest was private, but it soon appeared,
that Asaad was disposed to comply with the patriarchal invitation.
It was suggested to him, that the Patriarch was meditating evil
against him; but his reply was that he had little fear of it, that
the Maronites were not accustomed to take life, or to imprison men,
on account of religion. So confident was he that good would result
from the visit, that the brethren in the mission ceased to urge
their objections. On reaching the Patriarch's convent, he thus
wrote:--

"I am now at the convent of Alma, and God be thanked, I arrived in
good health. As yet, however, I have not seen his blessedness.

"I pray God, the Father, and his only Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,
that He will establish me in his love, and that I may never exchange
it for any created thing; that neither death, nor life, nor things
present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor riches, nor
honor, nor dignity, nor office, nor anything in creation, shall
separate me from this love. I beg you to pray to God for me, which
request I make, also, to all the believers."

Several weeks brought no farther direct intelligence, and there were
conflicting reports, which awakened apprehension as to his safety.
In the latter part of February, a messenger was sent to obtain
accurate knowledge of his situation. The man saw him at the convent
of Alma, and had a short private interview. Asaad said, that three
things were before him; either to be regarded as mad, or to commit
sin, or to offer up his life; but he was ready, he said, to go to
prison, or to death. He was engaged in daily controversy with the
Patriarch, the Bishop, and others. The main topics on which he
insisted, were the necessity of a spiritual religion in distinction
from mere forms, the sufficiency of Scripture, and the absurdity of
holding the Pope to be infallible. The Patriarch was highly
displeased with these bold sentiments, and gave utterance to cruel
threats, though at other times offering promotion and money.

Asaad objected to the plan of rescuing him by consular authority, as
it might endanger his life. He thought it best to await some
providential opening for his escape. One soon occurred. After a
week, he left the convent at midnight. The mountain paths were
narrow, stony, and crooked, and he often found himself astray,
stumbling over rocks and hedges, wading in brooks, or miring in mud.
Reaching the sea-shore, he found a shelter under which he rested for
a while, and then walked on to Beirût, where he was received most
joyfully. The Patriarch and his train were engaged in morning
prayers when Asaad's escape was announced. There was great
excitement. One man among them, who had sympathized with Asaad,
ventured to speak out in his justification. "You had reason," he
said, "to expect nothing else. Why should he stay with you here?
What had he here to do? What had he to enjoy? Books he had none;
friendly society none; conversation against religion abundant;
insults upon his opinions and feelings abundant. Why should he not
leave you?" Messengers were sent in quest of him in every direction,
but in vain.

Asaad's written account of his experiences during his absence on the
mountains, is very interesting, but there is not room for even an
abridgment of it.1 A few of the incidents may be noted. The chief
object of the Patriarch was to induce him to say, that his faith was
like that of the Romish Church. This he declined doing, as it would
be a falsehood. The Patriarch offered to absolve him from the sin of
falsehood, to which Asaad replied, "What the law of nature condemns,
no man can make lawful." Accompanied by a priest, he visited his own
college of Ain Warka, but gained no light; and the same was true of
his visit to the superior of the convent of Bzummár, who desired to
see him. It is a suggestive fact, that the infallibility of the
Pope, even then, was everywhere a controverted point between him and
the priesthood. The weakness of the reasoning on the papal side was
everywhere so apparent to him, as greatly to strengthen his
evangelical faith. In one of his interviews with the Patriarch he
said: "I would ask of you the favor to send from your priests two
faithful men to preach the Gospel through the country; and I am
ready, if necessary, to sell all I possess and give it towards their
wages." He afterwards offered to go himself and preach the Gospel.
But neither of these proposals was accepted.

1 See _Missionary Herald_ for 1827, pp. 71-76, 97-101.

He was at length deprived of his books, and severely threatened by
the Patriarch. "Fearing," he says, "that I should be found among the
fearful (Rev. xxi. 8), I turned, and said to him, 'I will hold fast
the religion of Jesus Christ, and I am ready, for the sake of it, to
shed my blood; and though you should all become infidels, yet will
not I;' and so left the room."

Asaad says, in his narrative: "A friend told me, that the Patriarch
wondered how I should pretend that I held to the Christian religion,
and still converse in such abusive terms against it. And I also
wondered, after he saw this, that he should not be willing so much
as to ask me, in mildness and forbearance, for what reasons I was
unwilling to receive the doctrines of the Pope, or to say, that I
believed as he did. But, so far from this, he laid every person, and
even his own brother under excommunication, should they presume to
dispute or converse with me on the subject of religion. Entirely
bereft of books, and shut out from all persons who might instruct
me, from what quarter could I get the evidence necessary to persuade
me to accept the Patriarch's opinions?

"Another cause I had of wonder was, that not one of all with whom I
conversed, when he thought me heretical, advised me to use the only
means of becoming strong in the faith, namely, prayer to God Most
High, and searching his Holy Word, which a child may understand. I
wondered, too, that they should ridicule and report me abroad as
insane, and after all this, be afraid to engage in a dispute with
the madman, lest he should turn them away from the truth."

As the Patriarch, and the Bishop of Beirût, whose diocese included
Hadet, were determined to shut him out from the people, and even
threatened his life, Asaad resolved on escaping to Beirût, which he
accomplished, as already stated, on the morning of Thursday, March
2, 1826.

Asaad's statement was forthwith copied and sent in various
directions through the mountains, and afterwards it had a much wider
circulation in a printed form.

The Patriarch's first effort to recapture the fugitive, was by means
of a Turkish sheriff, and it failed. On the following Monday, an
uncle and the two elder brothers of Asaad came to see what they
could do; and they were followed by another brother, and then by the
mother and her youngest son. The older brothers were loud and
violent in their denunciations. All these the persecuted young
Christian met with a calm firmness, but he was at one time almost
overcome by the distress of his mother. She was at length pacified
by the declarations, that he was not a follower of the English, that
he derived not his creed from them, that he believed in the Trinity,
that Jesus was God, and that Mary was his mother. Phares, the
youngest brother, consented to receive a New Testament, and was
evidently affected and softened by the interview.

On the 16th of March, Asaad received a kind and fatherly epistle
from the Patriarch, begging him to return home, and relieve the
anxieties of his mother and family, and giving him full assurance,
that he need not fear being interfered with in his freedom. He was
thus approached on his weak side. Too confiding, he really believed
this insidious letter, and that he might now go home and live there
with his religion unshackled. He wrote a favorable reply. The family
was doubtless urged to make sure of the victim before anything
occurred to change his mind, and the very next day four of his
relations, including Phares, came to escort him to Hadet. The
missionaries all believed it perilous, and so he thought himself,
but he believed, also, that there was now a door opened for him
prudently to preach the Gospel. At Beirût, he said, he could only
use his pen, "but who is there in this country," he asked, "that
reads?" One of the sisters of the mission said, as she took him by
the hand, that she expected never to see him again in this world. He
smiled at what he regarded her extravagant apprehension, returned
some quiet answer, and proceeded on his way, never to return.

Asaad was treated harshly by his older brothers, and had reason to
regard his life as imperiled: "I am in a sort of imprisonment," he
said, "enemies within, and enemies without," Towards the last of
March, twenty or more of his relations assembled, to take him to the
Patriarch by force. He expostulated with Tannûs, the eldest of the
family except one, as the chief manager in the affair, and besought
him to desist from a step so inconsistent with their fraternal
relations. The unnatural brother turned from him in cold
indifference, which so affected Asaad that he went aside, and prayed
and wept.

In the evening, he at one time addressed the whole assembled company
in this manner: "If I had not read the Gospel, I should have been
astonished at this movement of yours; but now I see through it all.
It is just what the Gospel has told me to expect; 'The brother shall
deliver up the brother to death, and a man's foes shall be they of
his own household.' Here you see it is just so. You have assembled
together here to fulfill this prophecy of the Gospel. What have I
done against you? What is my crime, that it should have called
together such an assemblage? Be it that I take the blessed Bible as
my only guide to heaven, does that injure you? Is it a crime that
renders me worthy of being taken as a malefactor, and sent into
confinement?"

Surrounded, as he was, by men insensible to pity, the mother's heart
was deeply moved seeing him arrested and borne away as if he had
been a murderer. She wept, and Asaad sympathized with her, and
turned his back on the home of his childhood, weeping and praying
aloud.

He was first taken to the convent of Alma, and then to Canobeen.
That convent, where he was destined to wear out the miserable
remainder of his life, was in one of the wildest and least
accessible recesses of Lebanon.

More than a mouth passed without intelligence, when the Mission
received reliable information, that Asaad was in prison, and in
chains, and that he was beaten a certain number of stripes daily. A
cousin was afterwards permitted to visit him, and reported that he
found him sitting on the bare floor, his bed having been taken from
him, with a heavy chain around his neck, the other end of which was
fastened to the wall. He had also been deprived of all his books and
writing utensils. Fruitless efforts were made to effect his
deliverance, and his family at last relented, and joined in the
efforts. The mother accompanied one of the older sons to Canobeen,
and found him in chains, which she had not been willing to believe
till she saw it for herself. So decided were the two younger
brothers in their movements on his behalf, that they had to consult
their own safety in flight. Once they almost succeeded. Asaad
himself, under the pressure of his sufferings, made several attempts
to flee, but not knowing the way, he was easily apprehended, and the
only effect was an aggravation of his misery. A priest gives the
following account of his treatment, after one of these failures. "On
his arrival at the convent, the Patriarch gave immediate orders for
his punishment; and they fell upon him with reproaches, caning him,
and smiting him with their hands; yet as often as they struck him on
one cheek, he turned to them the other. 'This,' said he, 'is a
joyful day to me. My blessed Lord and Master has said, Bless them
that curse you; and if they strike you on the right cheek, turn to
them the other also. This I have been enabled to do; and I am ready
to suffer even more than this for Him who was beaten, and spit upon,
and led as a sheep to the slaughter on our account.' When they heard
this, they fell to beating him anew, saying, 'Have we need of your
preaching, you deceiver? Of what avail are such pretensions as
yours, who are in the broad road to perdition?' He replied, 'He that
believeth that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, hath eternal life.'
'Ah,' said they, 'this is the way you are blinded. Your salvation is
by faith alone in Christ; thus you cast contempt on his mother, and
on his saints. You believe not in the presence of his holy body on
the earth.' And they threw him on the ground, and overwhelmed him
with the multitude of their blows."

For three successive days he was subjected to the bastinado, by
order of the Patriarch. Remaining firm to his belief, he was again
put in chains, the door barred upon him, and his food given him in
short allowance. Compassionate persons interceded, and his condition
was alleviated for a time, but no one was allowed to converse with
him. After some days, aided, it is supposed, by relatives, he again
fled from the convent, but was arrested by soldiers sent out in
search of him by the Emeer Abdallah, and delivered to the Patriarch.
"On his arrival," says a priest who was with him at Canobeen, "he
was loaded with chains, cast into a dark, filthy room, and
bastinadoed every day for eight days, sometimes fainting under the
operation, until he was near death. He was then left in his misery,
his bed a thin flag mat, his covering his common clothes. The door
of his prison was filled up with stones and mortar, and his food was
six thin cakes of bread a day, and a cup of water."

To this dungeon there was no access or outlet whatever except a
small loop-hole, through which they passed him his food. Here he lay
several days, and its ever-increasing loathsomeness need not be
described. No wonder he cried: "Love ye the Lord Jesus Christ
according as He hath loved us, and given himself to die for us.
Think of me, O ye that pass by; have pity upon me, and deliver me
from these sufferings."

A certain priest, who had been a former friend of Asaad, was touched
with compassion, and by perseverance succeeded in once more opening
his prison doors, and taking off his chains. But he also became
suspected in consequence of his kindness to Asaad, and it is not
known how long the sufferer was allowed this partial freedom. One of
his brothers visited him in 1828, and found him inclosed within four
solid stone walls, as in a sepulchre "full of all uncleanness." In
1829, there appears not to have been any mitigation of his
sufferings. For three years or more, the priestly despot had him
under his heel, and inflicted upon him the greatest amount of
suffering compatible with the continuance of life.

His death is supposed to have occurred in October, 1830. Public
opinion was divided as to the cause and manner of it. The Patriarch
said it was by fever. There is the same uncertainty as to the manner
of his burial. But though thrown down into the ravine and covered
with stones, as was alleged, his dust will ever be precious in the
eyes of the Lord.

Asaad maintained his Christian profession to the last, and he must
ever have an honorable place among the Christian martyrs of modern
times.

Soon after the capture of Acre by Ibrahim Pasha, in 1832, Mr. Tod,
an English merchant, accompanied by Wortabet, obtained an audience
with him, and made known the case of Asaad. The Pasha directed the
Emir Beshir to furnish ten soldiers to Mr. Tod, with authority to
search the convent of Canobeen by force, if necessary. He was
received by the Patriarch and priests of the convent with dismay.
They asserted that Asaad had died two years before, pointed out his
grave, and offered to open it. The convent was thoroughly searched,
but he was not found, and Mr. Tod was convinced that he was really
dead.1

1 _Missionary Herald_ for 1833, pp. 51-57.

When it is considered how severely and in how many ways Asaad was
tried, his faith and constancy appear admirable. His pride of
intellect and authorship, and his reputation for consistency, were
opposed, at the outset, to any change in his religious opinions.
Then all his reverence for his ecclesiastical superiors and his
former tutors, some of whom were naturally mild in their tempers,
and his previous habits of thought, withstood his yielding to the
convictions of conscience and the authority of Scripture. Next, the
anathemas of the Church, the tears of a mother appalled by the
infamy of having an apostate son, the furious menaces of brothers,
and the bitter hatred of masses stirred up by an influential
priesthood, combined to hold him back from the truth. All these
things were preparatory to being seized by indignant relatives,
chained to his prison walls, deprived of the New Testament and other
books, and of every means of recreation, refused even those bodily
comforts which nature renders indispensable; in such a forlorn
condition, exposed to the insults of a bigoted populace and the
revilings of a tyrannical priesthood, beaten till his body became a
mass of disease, and held in this variety of grief for years,
without one ray of hope, save through the portals of the tomb, who
expected that he would endure steadfastly to the end?

On the other hand, if he would only recant, promotion awaited him,
and wealth, indeed everything that could be offered to prevent a
dreaded defection. How many are there, with all our knowledge and
strength of religious principle, who, in his situation, would like
him be faithful unto death?



CHAPTER V.

THE PRESS AT MALTA.

1822-1833.


The location of the press at Malta, was not the result of design,
but because printing could not be done safely, if at all, either at
Smyrna or at Beirût. Its operations were begun under the impression
of a more extended taste for reading and reflection in the several
communities of the Levant, than really existed; and it is doubtful
whether the larger part of the earlier publications were well suited
to the apprehension of the Oriental mind. However this may be, it
was decided, in the year 1829, to make it a leading object, for a
time, to furnish books for elementary schools; making them, as far
as possible, the vehicles of moral and religious truth. The wisdom
of this course was seen among the Greeks. A first book for schools
of sixty pages, called the Alphabetarion, went into extensive use.
Twenty-seven thousand copies were called for in Greece before the
year 1831.

There had been more or less of printing since 1822; but it was not
until the close of 1826, that the arrival of Mr. Homan Hallock
furnished a regular and competent printer. In the year following,
Mr. Temple was bereaved of his excellent wife and of two children,
and at the invitation of the Prudential Committee he visited the
United States. Meanwhile the presence of Messrs. Bird, Goodell,
Smith, and Hallock kept the press in operation. Mr. Temple returned
in 1830.

The establishment consisted of three presses, with fonts of type in
English, Italian, Modern Greek, Greco-Turkish, Armenian,
Armeno-Turkish, and Arabic, but the greater part of the printing was
in the Italian, the Modern Greek, and Armeno-Turkish. The most
important work was the translation of the New Testament in the
Armeno-Turkish, which was printed at the expense of the British and
Foreign Bible Society. It was prepared from two translations, one by
Mr. Goodell, with the efficient aid of Bishop Carabet, the other by
an Armenian priest at Constantinople, in the employ of Mr. Leeves,
agent of the British and Foreign Bible Society. Mr. Goodell's
version was made conformable to the original Greek, and the last
sheet was printed in January, 1831. During that year, there were
printed seventy-eight thousand copies of fourteen works, amounting
to nearly five millions of pages, all in modern Greek. The whole
amount of printing at Malta, from the establishment of the press in
July, 1822, to December, 1833, the time of its removal to Smyrna,
was about three hundred and fifty thousand volumes, containing
twenty-one millions of pages. Nearly the whole were put in
circulation, and additional supplies of some of the books were
urgently demanded. The Roman Catholics opposed this work from the
first, and anathematized the books issued.

The labor and expense were increased by the singular use of
alphabets in the Levantine regions. The Maronites and Syrians spoke
the Arabic language, but employed the Syriac alphabet in writing.
The Armenians, to a large extent, spoke the Turkish language, but
wrote it with the Armenian alphabet. The Greeks in Asia generally
spoke the Turkish language, but used the Greek alphabet. The Grecian
Jews spoke the Grecian language, the Spanish Jews the Spanish, the
Barbary Jews the Arabic, but all three used the Hebrew alphabet.
Then, too, the worship of the Syrians, Greeks, and Armenians was in
the ancient languages of those nations, which were for the most part
unintelligible to the common people.

Mr. Temple began preaching in Italian early in 1826, and during his
whole residence on the island he preached every Sabbath, either in
Italian or English. The rule he prescribed for himself, whether
preaching to Gentiles or Jews, was to preach the great truths of the
Bible plainly and faithfully, appealing as little as possible to
Fathers, Councils, or Rabbins. Contemporary with him were Mr.
Jowett, of the Church Missionary Society, Mr. Wilson, of the London
Missionary Society, and Mr. Keeling, of the English Wesleyan
Society, and all were on the best terms of Christian fellowship.

In December, 1833, Messrs. Temple and Hallock removed to Smyrna,
with the printing establishment, and Dionysius Carabet accompanied
them as a translator. Wortabet had previously returned to Syria.



CHAPTER VI.

PRELIMINARY EXPLORATIONS.

1828-1831.


Enough was known, in the year 1828, to encourage the belief, that
Greece and Western Asia would soon demand a more extensive
prosecution of the missionary work; but more specific information
was indispensable to an intelligent enlargement. The temporary
suspension of the Syrian mission had brought the whole of the
missionary force of the Board in that part of the world to Malta
(except that Mr. Temple was on a visit to the United States), thus
making consultation easy. Other reasons called for a more free and
extended official intercourse than could be held by letter.
Accordingly the author, then Assistant Secretary of the Board, was
sent to Malta at the close of 1828, with instructions to confer with
the brethren, and afterwards to visit Greece and other parts of the
Levant. The conferences at Malta occupied two months, and aided much
in determining subsequent measures. When these were over, the
author, in company with the Rev. Eli Smith, afterward so favorably
and widely known in the Christian world, visited the Ionian Islands,
the Morea, and the Grecian Archipelago. Count John A. Capodistrias
was then President of Greece, and had his residence on the island of
Ægina. Athens was still held by the Turks. It was made incumbent on
the author to propose inquiries to the President on certain points,
and this was rendered easy by his urbanity and his frank and
explicit answers. The inquiries were mainly for gaining the needed
information; and they elicited some facts which deterred the
Committee from a class of expenditures, that would have been in
accordance with the popular feeling at that time, but might have
proved a fruitful source of disappointment. Mr. King was then in
Greece as a philhellene, in charge of supplies sent by ladies in New
York to be distributed among the impoverished people. Perhaps the
most important result of this negotiation with the Greek government,
besides facilitating Mr. King's protracted and useful connection
with the Greek mission, was a written assurance by the chief ruler
of the nation, that among the books to be used in the schools of
Greece should be the Bible, the New Testament, and the Psalms, all
translated and printed in modern Greek.

Among the results of the consultations at Malta, was Mr. Bird's
visit to Tripoli and Tunis on the African coast, for which he was
specially qualified by his free use of the Arabic language. He had
opportunities at Tripoli for conversing with Jews, Moslems, Papists,
and persons of no religion. His books and tracts were chiefly in the
Hebrew and Arabic languages. At Tunis, he distributed copies of the
Scriptures, but in neither place did there seem to be a sufficient
opening for instituting a mission.

Another result of the Malta conferences was the distribution of the
mission forces; Mr. Bird to Syria, Mr. Goodell to Constantinople,
and Mr. Smith for an exploring tour among the Armenians of Turkey.
Soon after the return of the Assistant Secretary, the Rev. H. G. O.
Dwight was designated to accompany Mr. Smith in his proposed tour of
exploration, and the Rev. George B. Whiting as the companion of Mr.
Bird on his return to Syria. Mrs. Dwight was to remain at Malta
during her husband's absence.

The two explorers sailed for Smyrna in March, 1830, in the same
vessel which had brought Mr. Dwight from Boston. After some days at
Smyrna, in the family of Mr. Brewer, who had returned to that place
in connection with a society of ladies in New Haven, they went
overland to Constantinople. This was a journey of eight days, and
was made necessary by the long detention, to which sailing vessels
were liable from north winds at the mouth of the Dardanelles. The
time for steamers had not yet come in these regions.

The departure from Constantinople was near the close of May, in the
most charming season of the year. As in the journey from Smyrna,
they put themselves under a Tartar, who, for their greater security,
had set his seal to a written contract in presence of the Tartar
aghasy. The government became thus responsible for their persons and
property. Instead of trunks, they had two large bags, two
saddle-bags, and two valises, all of thick Russian leather, fastened
with padlocks, and impermeable to water. Instead of mattresses, each
had a carpet and coverlet rolled in painted canvas, that served as a
floor at night, when it was their lot to lie on the ground. Each had
an ample Turkish pelisse, lined with the fur of the Caucasian fox.
Four copper pans, a mill for grinding coffee, a pot, cups, and a
knife, fork, and spoon for each, were their utensils for cooking and
eating. A circular piece of leather served for a table when spread
upon the ground, and when drawn together like a lady's reticule, and
suspended from the saddle, it formed a bag to carry their bread and
cheese. The whole was so compact as to require, on ordinary
occasions, but a single extra horse. As the Turkish post furnished
only horses, they were obliged to add saddles and bridles to their
other accoutrements; and to their saddles, as was usual, were
attached holsters, to deter from hostile attacks upon them. To avoid
unnecessary notice, expense, and trouble, if not insult, they wore
loose Turkish robes, the Oriental turban, and the enormous Tartar
stockings and boots. Of course they had also the needful firmans,
passports, and letters of introduction.

Their route lay along what at that time might be called, for the
most part, the high road to Tabriz, and passed through Tokat,
Erzroom, Kars, Tiflis, Shoosha, Nakhchevan, Echmiadzin, and Khoy, a
distance of more than fifteen hundred miles. At Tokat, the
travellers visited the grave of Henry Martyn, who died there in
1812. On the 13th of June, they entered Erzroom, then in possession
of an invading army of Russians; which soon retired, and was
accompanied by a large portion of the Armenian population in that
district. The Turks of Erzroom found it hard to comprehend from what
country the travellers came. Kars, Tiflis, Shoosha, and Echmiadzin
had been subjected to Russian rule. Tiflis was the capital of
Georgia. Shoosha, where they arrived about the middle of August,
worn down by fatigue in descending the insalubrious valley of the
Koor, or Cyrus, was then the seat of a German mission, which gave a
cordial reception to their American brethren. The cholera prevailed
in all that region, and it was estimated that as many as seventy
thousand people died of it, during the two months and a half our
travellers spent in Shoosha. They gave an interesting account of the
German colonies in Georgia, which had their origin in extravagant
views concerning the millennium. "Previous to 1817, several popular
and ardent ministers in the kingdom of Würtemberg maintained, in
commentaries on the Apocalypse and other publications, that the
wished-for period would commence in 1836, and would be preceded by a
dreadful apostasy and great persecutions. These views, in addition
to the fascinating interest always connected with prophetical
theories, being enforced with much pious feeling, acquired so great
credit as to be adopted by nearly all the religious people in the
kingdom, and by many others. At the same time, the advocates of the
neological system, being the predominant party in the clergy,
succeeded in effecting some alterations in the prayers and hymns of
the Church in accommodation to their errors. This grieved
exceedingly all who were attached to evangelical principles, and was
taken to be the apostasy they expected. Their prophetical teachers
had intimated that, as in the destruction of Jerusalem the
Christians found a place of refuge, so would there be one now, and
that, somewhere in the vicinity of the Caspian Sea. Many, therefore,
of the common people determined to seek the wished-for asylum, that
they and their children (for whom the better sort were particularly
anxious) might escape the impending storm, and also be able to form
an independent ecclesiastical establishment according to their own
notions. To these were joined others desirous of change, or in
straitened circumstances, who though not at heart pious, professed
for the time to be influenced by the same principles and motives. In
fact the latter became the most numerous. The company, when it left
Würtemberg, consisted of fifteen hundred families. But no adequate
arrangement having been made for the journey, and the sinister
motives of the majority contributing to create disorder, they
suffered exceedingly on the way, and before they reached Odessa, two
thirds had died."1 The number of the colonists, in 1832, was about
two thousand, but their enterprise had not been successful.

1 _Missionary Researches in Armenia_, vol. i. p. 264.

On the way from Echmiadzin to Tabriz, a distance of nearly two
hundred and fifty miles, Mr. Smith suffered greatly from illness.
When seventy miles from that city, his strength gave out entirely,
so that he could go no farther with the conveyances then at command.
His life was probably saved by Mr. Dwight's sending a messenger to
the gentlemen of the English embassy at Tabriz, requesting the aid
of a takhtirewán, the only native carriage known to the Persians. It
resembles a sedan-chair, except in being borne by two mules or
horses, and closed from the external air, and in requiring a lying
posture. The vehicle soon arrived; but was preceded by Dr. McNeill,
the physician and first assistant of the embassy, who then commenced
those acts of kindness which ever endeared him to the Nestorian
mission. Colonel McDonald, the ambassador, had lately died, and Dr.
McNeill was soon obliged to leave for Teherán. Dr. Cormick, who had
healed Henry Martyn of a similar disease, then took the medical
charge of Mr. Smith. After their long experience of filthy stables,
the comfortable, well-furnished apartments provided for them at
Tabriz, through the generous hospitality of Major Willock, former
commander of the English forces in Persia, and Captain Campbell, the
acting Envoy, were more grateful to the weary travellers than can
well be conceived. Mr. Nisbit, an officer in the commissariat
department, together with his wife, entered fully into their
feelings as missionaries, and sympathized with them in their views
of the spiritual wants of the country.

Messrs. Smith and Dwight were required by their instructions, to
investigate and report on the condition of the Nestorians inhabiting
the northwestern province of Persia. In former ages, this people had
been distinguished beyond any other Christian people--except
perhaps, their contemporaries in Ireland--for missionary zeal and
enterprise. From the seventh to the thirteenth centuries, they had
missions both in central and eastern Asia. Previous to the overthrow
of the Califate, A. D. 1258, their churches were scattered over the
region forming modern Persia, and were numerous in Armenia,
Mesopotamia, and Arabia. They had churches in Syria; on the island
of Cyprus; among the mountains of Malabar; and in the extended
regions of Tartary, from the Caspian Sea to Mount Imaus, and beyond
through the greater part of what is now known as Chinese Tartary,
and even in China itself. The names of twenty-five metropolitan sees
are on record, embracing of course a far greater number of
bishoprics, and still more numerous congregations.

These facts, though known to learned historians, had fallen out of
the popular mind. Indeed, they were not in the recollection of the
executive officers of the American Board, when the author drew up
the instructions to Messrs. Smith and Dwight. But while preparing
them, his attention was incidentally drawn to a brief article in a
Virginia publication, from the pen of Dr. Walsh, British chaplain at
Constantinople, entitled "Chaldees in Persia;" and it was the
impression made by that article, which led to a positive direction
to visit that people, should it be found practicable, and see
whether the churches in this western world had any duty to perform
to them. The English at Tabriz confessed to an almost entire
ignorance of the religious doctrines and character of the
Nestorians. The only important fact our brethren could learn there
was, that a considerable body of them were accessible in the
provinces of Oroomiah and Salmas, at the distance of somewhat more
than a hundred miles.

Our travellers remained at Tabriz from the 18th of December to
March, 1831, when restored health and the opening season permitted
them to resume their journey. In Salmas, they first came in contact
with the Chaldeans, as those Nestorians were called who had been won
over by Roman Catholic missionaries since the year 1681. The name
means no more than papal Syrians, or papal Armenians. Some of their
bishops and priests had been educated in the college of the
Propaganda at Rome, and spoke Italian fluently. The Chaldeans were
reported, at that time, as a neglected and declining sect.

Passing from Salmas into the province of Oroomiah, the travellers
were received by the Nestorians in the most friendly and
confidential manner, and the week passed among them was intensely
interesting. While showing very clearly the need the people were in
of religious instruction, they gave as additional considerations in
favor of sending missionaries to them, their extreme liberality
towards other sects, their ideas of open communion, and their entire
rejection of auricular confession.

The return of Messrs. Smith and Dwight was by way of Erzroom and
Trebizond, thence by sea to Constantinople and Malta, at which last
place they arrived on the 2d of July, 1831, after an absence of
fifteen months and a half. In this time, their land travel exceeded
two thousand and five hundred miles.

The results of their inquiries were embodied by Mr. Smith, during a
visit to his native land, under the title of "Researches in Armenia,
including a Journey through Asia Minor and into Georgia and Persia,
with a Visit to the Nestorian and Chaldean Christians," and were
published in two volumes in Boston, and republished in London.
Though nearly forty years have since elapsed, there is still a
freshness of interest in the entire work, which makes it matter of
regret that it is now out of print. The religious condition of the
Armenians at that time, is comprehensively stated in the following
paragraphs:--

"The slightest acquaintance with ecclesiastical history may convince
one, that before the commencement of the fourth century,
Christianity had extensively degenerated from its original purity as
a religion of the heart, into a mere profession of theoretical
dogmas, and the observance of external rites. Such, it is natural to
suspect, was the form of it to which the Armenians were at that
period converted; and the circumstances of the event, if national
tradition has correctly preserved them, confirm the suspicion, that
they have from the beginning known extremely little of true
conversion. We are told that immediately upon King Durtád's
embracing the faith, the nation followed his example in a body, and
were baptized. To say nothing of the doubtfulness of all national
conversions, the very hastiness of this proceeding, by allowing no
time for competent instruction, shows that the Armenians could not
have been enlightened converts; the fact that the Scriptures were
not translated into their language until a century afterward, is an
additional indication of the scantiness of their religious
knowledge; and the confessed backsliding of many of the nobility
into the most scandalous immoralities and the blackest crimes, even
during the lifetime of Durtád, proves how superficial was their
conversion.

"Thus the Armenian Church was a soil well adapted to the rapid
growth of all the corruptions, which from that time sprang up, in
such speedy succession, in different parts of the Christian world.
Even those which then existed were, it would seem, not sparingly
introduced by St. Gregory. For, by the immediate consecration of
four hundred bishops, and a countless number of priests, he betrayed
a disposition to multiply an idle and unqualified priesthood; and by
the construction of convents and nunneries, and spending the last of
his days in a solitary cave, he showed that he was ready to foster
the monastic spirit of his age. So deeply, indeed, was the taste for
monkhood implanted, that his fifth successor is said to have built
two thousand convents.

"Of the rites and dogmas subsequently adopted by other bodies of
Christians, there was a free importation for the two centuries that
the Armenians formed a regular branch of the General Church. A
special messenger was sent to Jerusalem for the ceremonies observed
in that church, and brought thence eight canons regulating the
sacraments and other rites. For a similar object, a correspondence
was carried on with the Bishop of Nisibis. One Catholicos, who had
been educated at Constantinople in the influence of all the secular
ideas and regulations introduced into the Church under the patronage
of Constantine and his successors, brought from thence 'various
observances, which, like precious stones, he inlaid into the old.'
And several who followed him distinguished themselves by their
_improvements_ in the services and laws of the Church. So that when,
by rejecting the Council of Chalcedon, A. D. 491, the Armenians cut
themselves off from the communion of the great body of Christians,
they were doubtless in possession of all the legendary dogmas and
observances which had then been adopted by the Christian world."1

1 _Researches in Armenia_, Amer. Edition, vol. ii. pp. 290-292.



CHAPTER VII.

THE ARMENIANS.

1827-1835.


Mr. King's "Farewell Letter to his Friends in Syria and Palestine"
was translated into the Armenian language by Bishop Dionysius, and a
manuscript copy was sent by him, in the year 1827, to some of the
more influential Armenians in Constantinople. Its effect was
extraordinary. A meeting was called in the Armenian patriarchal
church, at which the letter was read, and the marginal references to
Scripture were verified. It was then agreed, by common consent, that
the Church needed reform. The famous school of Peshtimaljian grew
out of this meeting, at which it was decided, that no person should
be ordained in the capital to the priest's office, who had not
completed a regular course of study at this school. In the year
1833, the missionaries were invited to be present at the ordination
of fifteen Armenian priests in the patriarchal church; and they were
then informed, that no one had received ordination in the metropolis
since the adoption of the rule above stated, and that only such as
had received a regular education at that school were regarded as
eligible for ordination. As the result of this, nearly all the
candidates were comparatively well-educated men, and one of them,
hereafter to be more specially noted, had a high reputation for
learning.

Peshtimaljian, the head of the school, was an uncommon man. His
inquisitive mind was ever gaining knowledge, and what he acquired
his memory retained. He was a critical and accurate scholar in the
language and literature of his nation, and made himself familiar
with the theology and history of the Eastern and Romish Churches,
and with the general history of the Church from the earliest ages.
He was able to quote from the Scriptures with wonderful facility and
accuracy. His confidence in the Bible, as the true Word of God and
the only standard of faith, had indeed been shaken for a while by
his disgust with the superstitions of his Church, and by the low
character of many of its clergy, but he had recovered from this.
Though timid and cautious to a fault, like Erasmus, and sometimes
open to the charge of time-serving, he gradually led his pupils into
new paths of inquiry, until they came to believe that the Church not
only may err, but that it had actually erred in many of its
teachings.

Peshtimaljian became convinced at length, that his pupils were
consistently carrying out the principles they had learned from him,
and he strongly, though still privately, encouraged them in their
labors for the spiritual good of their countrymen. Until his death,
which occurred in 1837, he was the friend of the missionaries, and
had much intercourse with them; though he never acquired the courage
distinctly to avow himself an evangelical man. Up to that time,
however, there had been no open persecution of the followers of
Christ, and consequently no formal separation of the evangelical
brethren from the Armenian community. All the first converts in
Constantinople, and many of the later ones, were from his school.

There can be no doubt that, owing to these and other less apparent
causes, there was a preparation in the Armenian mind of Turkey for
the reception of divine truth, before the arrival of the American
missionaries. Though more evident at the capital than in the
provinces, there seems to have been some degree of this preparation
wherever Armenians were found. In this respect, there was a marked
difference among that people, as compared with Jews and Greeks. The
common people, where not intimidated by the clergy, almost
everywhere heard the Word with gladness; and it was so with many of
the parochial priests, when not dreading the wrath of their
superiors. In all this we should gratefully acknowledge an
overruling Providence in the ordering of events, and the divine
agency of the Holy Spirit, making it apparent that the "fullness of
time" had come for the entering in of evangelical missionaries.

Messrs. Smith and Dwight, before leaving Constantinople on their
eastern tour, earnestly recommended the forming of a station at the
metropolis, with special reference to the Armenians. In April, 1831,
Mr. Goodell, then at Malta, received instructions from the
Prudential Committee to remove to that city. This he did, after
having carried the Armeno-Turkish New Testament through the press.

The splendid scene which opened to Mr. Goodell as he drew near the
city on the 9th of June, he thus describes: "As we approached
Constantinople, the most enchanting prospect opened to view. In the
country, on our left, were fields rich in cultivation and
fruitfulness. On our right, were the little isles of the Sea of
Marmora; and beyond, the high lands of Broosa, with Olympus rearing
its head above the clouds and covered with eternal snow. In the
city, mosques, domes, and hundreds of lofty minarets, were starting
up amidst the more humble abodes of men, all embosomed in groves of
dark cypresses, which in some instances seemed almost like a forest;
while before, behind, and around us, were (besides many boats of the
country) more than twenty square-rigged vessels, bearing the flags
of different nations, all under full sail, with a light but
favorable breeze,--all converging to one point, and that
CONSTANTINOPLE. When we first caught a glimpse of Top-Hana, Galata,
and Pera, stretching from the water's edge to the summit of the
hill, and began to sweep round Seraglio Point, the view became most
beautiful and sublime. It greatly surpassed all that I had ever
conceived of it. We had been sailing along what I should call the
south side of the city for four or five miles, and were now entering
the Bosphorus, with the city on our left, and Scutari on our right.
The mosque of St. Sophia, with the palaces and gardens of the Sultan
Mahmoud, were before us in all their majesty and loveliness.
Numerous boats were shooting rapidly by us in all directions, giving
to the scene the appearance of life and business. The vessels before
us had been retarded, and those behind had been speeded, and we were
sweeping round the Golden Horn in almost as rapid succession as was
possible,--every captain apparently using all his skill to prevent
coming in contact with his neighbor, or being carried away by the
current; and every passenger apparently, like ourselves, gazing with
admiration on the numerous objects of wonder on every hand."

Mr. Goodell took a house in Pera, one of the suburbs of
Constantinople, where the European ambassadors and most of the
foreign Christians resided. Scarcely two months elapsed, before that
populous section of the metropolis was almost wholly destroyed by
fire. The missionary lost house, furniture, library, papers, and
nearly all the clothing of himself and family; and was obliged to
remove fifteen miles up the Bosphorus, to Buyuk-Dereh, and to remain
there the rest of the year.

The fire had separated the missionary almost entirely from the
Armenians, and being thrown into the midst of the Greeks, he
established several Greek Lancasterian schools, with the New
Testament for a class-book. In most instances the copies were
purchased by the parents. To furnish himself with competent
instructors, he made arrangements for a normal school among the
Greeks of Galata, a central place in which many children were
begging for instruction, and he was evidently encouraged by the
smiles of heaven upon his labors.

Not long after, he called upon the Armenian Patriarch, a man of
dignified manners and venerable appearance, and asked his
coöperation in establishing schools among his people on an improved
plan. The Patriarch declared, with even more than Oriental
politeness, that he loved Mr. Goodell and his country so much, that
if Mr. G. had not come to visit him, he must needs have gone to
America. After numerous inquiries, he assented to the introduction
of the new system of instruction, and promised to furnish suitable
persons to learn it; which promise, however, he failed to remember.

Mr. Dwight joined Mr. Goodell, with his family, on the 5th of June,
1832, intending to devote himself wholly to the Armenians, and to
labor for them chiefly through the Armenian language, though he
afterwards acquired also the Turkish. The Rev. William G. Schauffler
arrived in the following month, as a missionary to the Jews.

The Armenians at Constantinople were estimated at one hundred
thousand. As a body, they were intelligent, ingenuous, and frank;
and many were found who regarded the ritual of their Church as
encumbered with burdensome ceremonies, unsustained by the
Scriptures, and of no practical advantage. The outset of the
Armenian mission was in some respects unlike that to the Maronites
of Syria, among whom the converts were at once excommunicated, and
treated as outlaws. The object of the missionaries was not to break
down the Armenian Church, but, if possible, by reviving the
knowledge and spirit of the Gospel, to reform it. They were content
that the ecclesiastical organization remain, provided the spirit of
the Gospel could be revived under it. They regarded the ceremonies
of the Church as mere outworks, not necessarily removed before
reaching the citadel; and believed that assaults upon these would
awaken more general opposition, than if made upon the citadel
itself, and that, the citadel once taken, the outworks would fall of
course. They felt, therefore, that as foreigners their main business
was to set forth the fundamental doctrines and duties of the Gospel,
derived directly from the Holy Scriptures.

This early position of the mission is stated merely as historical
truth. When their converts were excommunicated, after some years,
the case became changed, and of course their methods of proceeding
were greatly modified, so far as the hierarchy was concerned.

Obstacles soon arose that had not been anticipated. First, the
plague, with terrific violence, then, the cholera; and lastly, the
Egyptian civil war, which shook the capital, and endangered the
throne. There could be little intercourse with the people in these
circumstances; and during the latter part of 1832, the missionaries
were employed chiefly in their own houses, studying the languages,
and preparing elementary cards and books for the schools.

It would seem from the Epistles of the Apostle Paul, that his
affections were early drawn to certain favored individuals among
those first awakened by the Holy Spirit. It was so with the brethren
at Constantinople. Among the earliest students of Peshtimaljian, was
Hohannes Sahakian, who had been fond of books from childhood, and
for some time had longed to see his countrymen better furnished with
the means of education. Before entering the school, which he did in
1829, he had commenced reading the New Testament, a cheap copy of
which his father had purchased, and he was delighted to find his
preceptor so ready to sympathize with his views, and to aid him in
his investigations. In 1830, he began to converse on religious
subjects with his friend Senekerim, the teacher of a school in the
Patriarch's palace. Senekerim was startled on hearing sentiments
avowed, that were not taught in their churches; but his mind became
gradually enlightened, and they both painfully saw how much their
nation needed to be brought to a knowledge of the Gospel. They had
no funds for establishing schools and publishing tracts and books.
As their zeal and fervor increased, they made a formal consecration
of everything pertaining to them to the Lord Jesus Christ, declaring
their purpose to execute his will. One day Senekerim made a
discovery of the words, "If two of you shall agree on earth, as
touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of
my Father which is in heaven." Rejoicing over this, they both
prayed: "O God, we agree to ask, that our nation may awake, may know
the Gospel, and may understand that it is the blood of Jesus Christ
alone which purgeth away sin." Yet neither of them was at this time
fully aware of the great doctrine of salvation by grace, nor did
they know of the existence of any nation having a knowledge of the
pure Gospel. In this isolation they continued their prayerful study
of God's Word, making gradual progress in knowledge of the Gospel.

At length it became noised abroad, that two Americans were residing
in a village on the Bosphorus, ostensibly for a good purpose, but
really to spread infidelity. The young men heard the report, and
their curiosity was awakened. Hohannes visited them alone at first,
and afterwards with his friend, to find out what kind of persons
they were. They soon perceived, that the great object of their
pursuit was attained, and earnestly requested to be taken under the
care and instruction of the mission. As a means of support,
Senekerim was to open an Armenian school at Pera, to which place the
missionaries intended to remove, and Hohannes was to translate the
Psalms from ancient into modern Armenian. These were labors for only
part of each day, and the remainder was devoted to the study of the
English language and of the Bible. As they gained an insight into
the nature of true religion, they had fears lest they were building
on a wrong foundation; but by the grace of God they were soon
brought into the clear light of the Gospel, and led joyfully to
trust in Jesus Christ as the all-sufficient Saviour.

An Armenian jeweler of wealth and influence was wrought up to a
state of great alarm in reference to the course of these two young
men, by the secret insinuations of a Romish priest. Having persuaded
Peshtimaljian to summon the delinquents, he severely charged them
with violating their obligations to the Church, and dishonoring God.
They were about to vindicate themselves, when Peshtimaljian took the
business wholly out of their hands, and poured a flood of light from
Scripture and history upon the astonished jeweler; and when the
young men afterwards spoke for themselves, Peshtimaljian aided them
in their references to the Scriptures. The result was, that the
jeweler became himself an open and strong advocate of the
evangelical doctrines.

The conversion of Sarkis Vartabed, teacher of grammar in the school
of Peshtimaljian, may be dated from this period. He was in high
repute as a scholar in the ancient language of the Armenians, had
many amiable and valuable qualities, and became highly useful as a
translator in connection with the mission.

Among the fifteen alumni from the school of Peshtimaljian, who were
ordained as priests in the autumn of 1833, was one highly respected
for learning. His appearance was peculiarly devout, and when the
missionary brethren called upon him, some days afterwards, in one of
the cloisters of the patriarchate, he was deeply impressed by what
they said to him as to the responsibilities of office-bearing in the
Church of Christ. This was Der Kevork,1 whose subsequent influence
in promoting the reformation was by no means unimportant.

1 _Der_ means Priest.

The removal of the press from Malta to Smyrna, at the close of 1833,
was eminently seasonable. The importance of the measure was well
understood by the enemy, and a combination of Roman and Armenian
influences induced the Pasha to order Mr. Temple's departure from
Smyrna, with only ten days' notice. The Romanists opposed, because
of their settled hostility to Protestantism, and a free Protestant
press. The Armenians were specially scandalized by the presence of
Bishop Dionysius as a Protestant, after he had broken the rules of
the Church by taking a wife. The opposition was increased by an
ex-patriarch of the Armenians then residing at Smyrna, who was a
personal enemy of Dionysius, and took part in these proceedings. The
Pasha had acted under misapprehension, and revoked his order, on
hearing the explanations of the American consul; but it was thought
best for the bishop to return to his former home at Beirût.

The Armenians were found to be well supplied with spelling-books,
reading-books, arithmetics, and grammars in the modern language,
also with works on geometry and trigonometry. There was, therefore,
much less preparatory work to be done for them in the way of
education, than was supposed. A geography was needed, and the part
relating to ancient Armenia was prepared by Peshtimaljian. A high
school for the Armenians was opened at Pera in October, 1834, under
the superintendence of Mr. Paspati, a native of Scio, who had been
educated in America, and was regarded as well fitted for the post.
The next year, however, he went to Paris to study medicine, and
Hohannes was appointed his successor. The school had its full number
of scholars, which was thirty. There were classes in the English,
French, Italian, Armenian, Turkish, Ancient Greek, and Hebrew
languages, and lectures on various branches of natural science,
illustrated by apparatus.

In 1834, the Rev. Messrs. John B. Adger, Benjamin Schneider, and
Thomas P. Johnston, and their wives, joined the mission; the first
taking up his abode at Smyrna, the second at Broosa, and the third
at Trebizond. In the following year the Rev. Philander O. Powers
joined Mr. Schneider, and the Rev. Henry A. Homes arrived at
Constantinople. Such was the beginning of missionary efforts among
the Armenians of Asia Minor. Broosa is situated in Bithyniâ, at the
western base of Mount Olympus, and was the capital of the Turkish
empire for one hundred and thirty years previous to the taking of
Constantinople. Trebizond is situated on the southeastern shore of
the Black Sea, and competes with Constantinople on the score of
natural scenery. The author retains a vivid impression of it, as
seen in the winter of 1844. The city, half surrounded by verdant
trees, had cultivated fields rising gently behind it, and beyond
were forest-clad hills, looking green as in midsummer. And back of
all, far in the distance, rose a lofty range of snow-clad mountains,
as if to guard this earthly paradise, stretching from sea to sea,
and forming a magnificent amphitheatre.



CHAPTER VIII.

THE ARMENIANS.

1836-1840.


The first visit of Mr. Johnston to Trebizond was in 1834. Through
priestly interference, he failed in three successive attempts to
procure a house, and at last secured a contract for one only on
condition of obtaining a firman from Constantinople. The United
States Minister at the Porte procured a vizierial letter, directing
that Mr. Johnston suffer no further molestation, and he removed his
family thither in the spring of 1835. The breaking out of the plague
prevented him for a time from having much intercourse with the
people. In August of the next year, he had the pleasure of welcoming
the Rev. William C. Jackson and wife as associates.

The Patriarch of the Armenian Church at this time was Stepan, who
was averse to severe measures; and Boghos, his vicar, though
inclined to oppose the spreading reformation, thought it prudent to
do nothing openly. Several high ecclesiastics were on terms of
intimacy with the missionaries, and some of them seemed on the point
of yielding to the influence of the truth. But generally they were
without fixed religious principles, and were ready to follow the
lead of the men most able to favor their own advancement in office
or emolument. Matteos, the newly appointed bishop of Broosa, was one
of these. While residing on the Bosphorus, he was a professed friend
of the mission; and after his removal to Broosa, he expressed by
letter the most friendly sentiments, and assured Mr. Schneider of
his approbation of the school then recently established in that
city. But this school, after a few months, was entirely broken up
through the agency of this same prelate, who also sought in other
ways to weaken and destroy the influence of the missionaries.
Somewhat later, having been elevated to the Patriarchate, he became
a reckless persecutor of the Protestants of Turkey, as will appear
in its proper place.

The beautiful type used by the Catholic-Armenians at Venice, made it
necessary for the mission to procure new fonts of type adapted to
the taste of the Armenians. The monks of Venice refusing to sell to
the mission, Mr. Hallock, the printer, visited the United States,
and superintended the cutting of the needful punches. The Prudential
Committee, appreciating the new demands, authorized an expenditure
of five thousand dollars for punches and types in the Armenian,
Greek, and Hebrew languages, and for foundries of types and
stereotype plates. After Mr. Hallock's departure, the mission
succeeded in procuring two Armenian fonts of great beauty from
Vienna.

Meanwhile the Turks were making some advance in civilization.
Lancasterian schools were established by them in the barracks of
Dolma Baktche and Scutari, which were carried on with remarkable
success. The missionaries being present by invitation at a public
examination, Azim Bey publicly declared, that the Turks were
indebted to them for everything of the kind. Travellers were no
longer obliged to depend on slow sailing vessels, since steamers ran
every week from Constantinople to Smyrna and Trebizond, and every
fortnight to Galatz on the Danube. A road for carriages was
constructed from Scutari to Nicomedia, a distance of sixty miles;
and as a means of arresting the ravages of the plague, the European
style of quarantine was extensively introduced.

The most determined opposers of the mission at this time were the
Papists, who spared no pains in exciting prejudice among the
Armenians. The Papal Armenians were estimated at from fifteen to
twenty thousand, and according to usage in Turkey they had a
Patriarch of their own. This functionary came out with a public
denunciation of all Protestant books, including the New Testament.
He even forbade the receiving of copies of the Armenian Scriptures
in the ancient language, which had been printed at their own press
in Venice, and were purchased, several years before, by the British
and Foreign Bible Society for sale at a reduced price or gratuitous
circulation.

There was so much desire for religious instruction among the
Armenians, that two weekly meetings, in the Turkish language, were
established in Constantinople, one conducted by Mr. Goodell, the
other by Mr. Schauffler. Their houses were frequented by
ecclesiastics as well as by laymen, and some of the former seemed to
be sincere inquirers after the truth. One of them, attached to the
patriarchal church, proposed that they publish a revised edition of
the modern Armenian New Testament; and offered to subscribe five
hundred piastres, or somewhat more than twenty dollars, towards the
object, and also to procure aid from others. It was a favorable
sign, that bishops and vartabeds began now to give instructions from
the sacred Scriptures, instead of the legends of the saints. It
subsequently appeared, indeed, that most of them were influenced in
this more by public opinion, than by personal interest in the
subject. They probably had exaggerated notions as to the actual
prevalence of evangelical sentiments.

Female education, which had been almost entirely neglected, began
now to receive attention, both at Constantinople and at Smyrna. No
regular school, indeed, had as yet been opened for females in the
former place, but a few parents were providing means for the
instruction of their daughters, and one of the evangelical brethren
had a class of twelve Armenian girls. In Smyrna, a school for
Armenian girls was opened by the mission in a commodious room, with
desks, benches, and cards, and was commenced with the express
approval of influential men in the community. More than forty girls
attended it the first week. But an influential Armenian made such an
appeal to the national pride of his countrymen, that the community
assumed the charge of the school, and refunded what the mission had
expended on it.

At Constantinople, Der Kevork, the most learned of the fifteen
priests ordained in 1833, was at the head of a school of four
hundred boys, supported by his countrymen and having no connection
with the mission. Kevork boldly introduced the custom of daily
reading and explaining the Scriptures. He also selected twenty of
his most promising scholars for the critical study of the New
Testament.

The learned and amiable Peshtimaljian died in the year 1837. In the
same year, Mrs. Dwight and one of her children became victims of the
plague. Her husband escaped the contagion, though of course greatly
exposed. This terrible disease had been almost an annual visitation
at Constantinople, and was believed to be imported from Egypt. As
soon as it made its appearance, schools must be closed, public
worship suspended, and the giving and receiving of visits in great
measure interrupted. The quarantine appears to have been an
effectual preventive.

In the course of this year, the missionaries had a meeting at
Smyrna, at which Messrs. King, Temple, Goodell, Bird, Adger, and
Houston were present. Its results were important and interesting.
During the sessions, Mr. King preached two sermons to a Greek
audience in the chapel of the Dutch Consulate. This was seven years
after the commencement of his mission in Greece. Mr. Bird was there,
on his way from Syria to his native land, and wrote, on hearing Mr.
King preach and seeing the apparent effect, that he became quite
reconciled to his laboring among the Greeks, rather than the Arabs.

In the same year Boghos, vicar of the Patriarch, encouraged by
certain bankers, resolved to break up the mission High School for
Armenians in Pera, of which Hohannes was the principal. In
preparation for this, a College had been built at Scutari, some
months before, on an extended scale; and the public school in Has
Keuy, superintended by Kevork, had been committed to the general
supervision of one of the great bankers residing there, that it
might be remodeled according to his own wishes, and made a
first-rate school. This was deemed a needful preliminary to shutting
up the mission High School. Early in the year, the parents were
summoned before the vicar, and ordered to withdraw their sons from
that school. The plan of the opposing party was, in this case, after
breaking up the school, to procure from the Turkish government the
banishment of Hohannes. But they had misapprehended the banker, and
great was their astonishment when they heard that Hohannes was no
sooner released, by their own act, from his connection with the
mission school, than he was engaged by the banker of Has Keuy to
take the superintendence of the national school they had placed in
his hands. In vain they remonstrated. To their assertion, that it
was the American system he had adopted he replied, that he knew
nothing of the Americans, but had adopted the system because it was
good. To their objection, that the principal was evangelical, he
responded, "So am I." He at length declared, that unless they
permitted him to manage the school in his own way, he would withdraw
from the Armenian community. They could not afford to lose one of
the leading bankers; and one of the principal opposers, finding it
necessary, in a business transaction, to throw himself on his
clemency, opposition ceased for a time, and a school of six hundred
scholars went into successful operation, with Hohannes for its
superintendent, and Der Kevork, the active priest, for one of its
principal teachers.

It is worthy of special note, that up to this time, the banker was
wholly unknown to the missionaries, and to the evangelical brethren
generally. He was evidently raised up by divine Providence for the
occasion. Not only did the Has Keuy school greatly exceed the
mission school at Pera in the number of its pupils, but it was
formally adopted as the school of the nation, and Hohannes was
appointed its principal by the Armenian Synod. Having liberty of
action, he devoted an hour each day to giving special religious
instruction to a select class of sixty of the more advanced pupils,
besides his more general teaching, and the daily good influence
exerted by Der Kevork and himself. The course of study was liberal,
the philosophical apparatus of the mission was purchased by the
directors, lectures were given on the natural sciences, and the
school obtained a temporary popularity.

Yet there were secret opposing influences too powerful to allow this
state of things long to continue. In the middle of the year 1838,
the distinguished patron understood, not only that there was a
growing dissatisfaction among the leading Armenians with the school,
and especially with its principal, but that his munificence was
attracting the attention of the Turks; and he deemed it prudent to
withdraw his patronage. Before the close of the year, the teachers
were dismissed, and the school was reduced to its former footing.
The leading men of Has Keuy sent a delegation to the Patriarch
deprecating the disaster, but obtained only fair promises. Hohannes
now renewed his connection with the mission, and was placed in
charge of the book distribution. Der Kevork spent much time in going
from house to house, reading the Scriptures to the people, and
exhorting them to obey the Gospel.

At Broosa, the number of visitors at the house of the missionaries
was increasing, and among them were two young teachers in the
Armenian public school, who were specially interested in the subject
of personal religion. They were among the first to make the
acquaintance of Mr. Powers, on his coming to take up his residence
in their quarter of the city. One of these young men, named Serope,
had the sole charge of about fifty of the most advanced scholars,
whom he instructed daily in the Word of God. The principal men in
the Armenian community at Broosa soon decided to place a select
class of boys under his instruction, to be trained for the priest's
office, and eight were thus set apart. Before the end of the year
both of these teachers gave hopeful evidence of piety.

Very interesting cases of conversion occurred at Nicodemia, at the
head of the gulf bearing that name. Mr. Goodell, when passing
through this place in 1832, gave several tracts to some Armenian
boys. One of these, a translation of the "Dairyman's Daughter," came
into the hands of a priest, whom Mr. Goodell did not see. This led
him to study the Word of God. A brother priest, on intimate terms
with him, was induced to join in the study, and the result was the
hopeful conversion of both. Their united efforts were now directed
to the conversion of their flock, and a spirit of inquiry was
awakened. In the spring of 1838, Mr. Dwight found sixteen at
Nicomedia, who appeared to be truly converted men. He was surprised
at the seriousness and intelligence with which they conversed on the
great truths of the Gospel. The Holy Spirit had evidently been their
teacher, and the doctrine of justification by grace through faith
alone, was the foundation of their hopes. The joy with which they
greeted the missionary of the cross for the first time, was most
gratifying to him, as was the earnest attention they gave to his
instructions. Compared with their countrymen in the same place, they
might be called intelligent men, and some of them were in very easy
circumstances. The two converted priests, Der Vertanes and Der
Haritûn, became afterwards well known in the mission. Of their own
accord they removed to Constantinople, and were placed together in
charge of a village church on the Bosphorus; and the Patriarch
Stepan, being an old acquaintance, spent several weeks with them,
and generally assented to the views advanced by them in their free
conversations.

We now enter the year 1839, which was a year of severe persecution.
Of this persecution, in which the Porte itself became a party, I am
now to give a brief account.

The missionary force at Constantinople had become unusually small.
Mr. Dwight was absent until September, on a visit to the United
States. Mr. Schauffler left in May for Vienna, to superintend the
printing of the Hebrew Spanish Old Testament. He went by way of
Odessa, and both there, and among the German churches in that part
of Russia, he did much to sustain a religious revival that had been
long in progress. Mr. Homes left in the spring to join Dr. Grant in
exploring Kurdistan. Mr. Hamlin arrived early in the year, but was
occupied in the study of the language. Mr. Goodell was, therefore,
almost alone in this trying season.

The extent and violence of the persecution were convincing proof of
the progress of the reformation. A corrupt priesthood dreaded its
tendency to deprive them of their sinful gains. Certain persons no
longer enjoyed a monopoly of Armenian printing. Education ceased to
be exclusively in the hands of a few bankers. And the popularity of
Hohannes and Boghos Fizika was thought to operate against the great
Armenian college at Scutari. Nor were the members of the Romish
Church idle.

The patriarchs were elected by the primates, who were chiefly
bankers, and were in an important sense their creatures. The bankers
were divested of much of their power in 1839, by the rise of three
men of the artisan class, who suddenly stood before the nation as
its guides and dictators, and more especially as extirpators of
heresy. These were the two chief architects of the Sultan, and the
superintendent of the government powder works. The two first, being
employed in erecting the most splendid of all the imperial palaces,
were often in contact with the Sultan. The expulsion of
Protestantism lay near their hearts, and they resolved to make use
of the strong arm of Mahmood to effect it. What were the
representations made to him is not known; but it is known that the
three favorites were authorized to call on the civil power to aid
them in extirpating the dangerous heresy.

The first thing was to get the tolerant Patriarch out of the way.
For some reason they did not at once remove him from office, but
procured from the interior a man named Hagopos, notorious for his
bigotry and sternness, whom they appointed Assistant Patriarch. A
month later, Stepan was deposed, and permitted to retire to his
convent near Nicomedia, and Hagopos was installed in his place.
Before this, Hohannes had been thrown into the patriarchal prison,
without even the form of an accusation; but every one knew that his
crime consisted in following the Bible, rather than the Church.
Boghos Fizika was arrested, and cast into the same prison; and four
days after, they were both banished by an imperial firman. Their
place of exile was a convent near Cesarea, four hundred miles
distant. Stepan took leave of them with tears, well knowing the deep
injustice of the act. This was in the month of February, and the
Turkish police-officer sent back word from Scutari, that Boghos,
being an invalid, was too feeble to bear the fatigues and exposures
of such a journey in that inclement season; but positive orders were
returned to carry him to Cesarea, either dead or alive. Nicomedia
lay on their route; and the brethren of that place hastened in a
body to the post-house, and had a season of prayer with the exiles,
which greatly comforted them. This intercourse was kept up during a
delay of several days authorized by the Nicomedia primate. When the
Armenians of Cesarea were told, on their arrival at that place, that
their banishment was for receiving the Bible as the only infallible
guide in religious matters, they said the Patriarch might as well
banish them all, for they were all of that opinion.

It was reported in Constantinople, that the Patriarch had a list of
five hundred persons suspected of heresy, and that among them were
bishops, priests, and bankers, some of whom were to be banished
immediately. Few dared to visit the missionaries, and those only
under cover of the night. A proclamation was issued by Hagopos,
forbidding the reading of books printed or circulated by the
missionaries, and all who had such books were required to deliver
them up without delay. On the 14th of March, Der Kevork was arrested
and thrown into prison; and when respectable Armenians of Has Keuy
made application for his release, they were rudely told to mind
their own business. After lying in prison for more than a month, he
and several others were banished into the interior. A rich banker,
who had long been on friendly terms with the missionaries, was
arrested and imprisoned in a hospital as an insane person,--a method
of persecution not unfrequently resorted to in Turkey. He was
released after a week's confinement, on paying a large sum for the
college at Scutari.

Nor were the Greek ecclesiastics behind the Armenian in hostility to
the reformation. The Greek Synod and Patriarch issued a decree,
excommunicating all who should buy, sell, or read the books of the
"Luthero-Calvinists;" and condemning in like manner the writings of
Korai, the illustrious restorer of learning among the Greeks, and of
the learned Bambas, the friend of Fisk and Parsons. An imperial
firman was also published, authorizing, and even requiring, the
several Patriarchs to look well to their several communions, and to
guard them from infidelity and foreign influence; thus connecting
the Porte itself with the persecution.

A strong effort was made to procure the expulsion of the
missionaries. Multitudes were active, from diverse motives, to
secure this end. One of the most conspicuous of these was a renegade
Jew, once baptized by an English missionary, but now an infidel who
seemed to have satanic aid in the invention of slanders against
Protestants and Protestantism. Another was a disappointed infidel
teacher, whose malice and bitterness made him a fit ally for the
Jew. The enemy seemed to be having everything in his own way, and
strong was his confidence of success.

At this crisis, Divine Providence interposed. The army of the
Egyptians was on the march towards Constantinople, and the Sultan
deemed it necessary to call upon all the Patriarchs and the chief
Rabbi of the Jews, each to furnish several thousand men for his
army. It was an unprecedented demand, and occasioned great
consternation, but must be obeyed. The army was raised, and was
estimated at eighty thousand. It encountered an Egyptian army of
about the same number on the plains of Nezib near Aleppo, on the
24th of June, and the Turkish troops were scattered in all
directions. The tidings of this disaster never reached Mahmood, as
he died in his palace on the first day of July. A few days after,
the Capudan Pasha surrendered the Turkish fleet to Mohammed Ali; and
on the 11th of July, Abdûl Medjid, a boy of seventeen, was placed
upon the throne. The news of the entire loss of his army and navy
arrived in a few days, and the empire seemed on the verge of
dissolution. It was saved by the intervention of the great powers of
Europe. The apostate Jew, to avoid punishment for various crimes,
professed himself a Mohammedan; and for crimes subsequently
committed, he was strangled by the Turks, and thrown into the
Bosphorus. On the 12th of August, between three and four thousand
houses in Pera were consumed by fire, with the loss of several lives
and an immense amount of property.

The persecution had extended to Broosa and Trebizond; and at
Erzroom, in ancient Armenia, where Mr. Jackson had commenced a new
station, a letter was read from the patriarchate, warning the people
against the Americans, and their schools and books.

The Egyptian war and its consequences broke the power of the
persecution. The Armenian Synod voted to recall all the exiles,
except Hohannes, whom they adjudged to perpetual banishment as the
ringleader of the "Evangelicals." At length an English physician, of
humane feelings, being informed as to the facts in the case, stated
them to one of the sisters of the late Sultan. The result was that,
on the fourteenth of November, an imperial _request_ for Hohannes's
release was sent to the Patriarch. He resorted to various devices,
first to procure the reversal, and then to delay the execution of
the order, which was addressed by the Turkish minister of foreign
affairs to the governor of Cesarea, and had on it the Sultan's
sign-manual, and the seals of several high offices of state. Not
daring to delay longer, on the tenth of February, 1840, he placed
the imperial requisition in the hands of the father of Hohannes, by
whom it was immediately forwarded to Cesarea, and Hohannes arrived
at Constantinople on the twenty-fourth of May.

The persecutors, one after another, were brought low. A change was
made, about this time, in the mode of collecting the revenue of the
empire, rendering the board of Armenian government bankers useless,
and they were directed to settle up their accounts and close their
offices. This reduced some of them to poverty, and stripped them all
of a great part of their power. The Greek Patriarch was deposed, on
complaint by the British Ambassador of his interference with matters
in the Ionian Islands; and the Armenian Patriarch found himself in
trouble with his own people. He was too overbearing, and was
obliged, in November, 1840, to resign his office, to avoid a
forcible deposition; and it was a significant sign of the times,
that Stepan, who had been ejected from office on account of his
forbearance towards the Protestants, was now re-elected; first, by
the vote of the principal bankers, and afterwards by acclamation in
an immense popular assembly convened for the purpose. He was
immediately recognized by the Turkish government.



CHAPTER IX.

THE ARMENIANS.

1840-1844.


The young Sultan, soon after coming to the throne, pledged himself;
in the presence of all the foreign ambassadors, to guard the
liberty, property, and honor of his subjects equally, whatever their
religious creed. No one was to be condemned without trial, and none
were to suffer the penalty of death without the sanction of the
Sultan himself. No person at all conversant with Turkey, would
expect such a change in the administration of the government to be
effected at once, nor indeed for a long course of years. Yet this
was the beginning of changes, which were momentous in their
influence on the Christian and Jewish population of Turkey.

There was now such a number of Armenian boys and young men around
the mission thirsting for knowledge, both religious and secular,
that a boarding-school for such could no longer be properly delayed.
Mr. Hamlin accordingly opened such a school at Bebek, on the
European side of the Bosphorus, six miles above Constantinople.

Mr. Jackson commenced a station at Erzroom in 1840. At first he was
almost disheartened when he saw how confidently the people rested
their hopes of heaven on saint-worship, and the rigor of their
fasts; but he soon saw reason to expect a better state of things.

Messrs. Dwight and Hamlin made a visit, about this time, to
Nicomedia. Their intercourse with the native brethren there was
generally private because of persecutors, but it was in the highest
degree satisfactory. The first meeting was on the Sabbath, in a
retired garden, where they sat four successive hours, in the middle
of a circle of hungry souls, expounding to them the Gospel. After
partaking of some refreshment, they sat three hours more in an
adjacent house. Later in the day, they spent three hours in the same
manner, in another garden; making in all ten hours of preaching and
conversation in the course of one Sabbath; besides an hour more in
their own room, with transient visitors from abroad. Many of the
questions asked were of a highly practical nature. During this
visit, a stranger called upon them, whose curiosity had been excited
by the Patriarch's letter of warning against the American
missionaries. He, in common with many of his brethren, was anxious
to know more about this new way. Considerable time was spent with
him in needful explanations, and with these, and a copy of the New
Testament in modern Armenian and several tracts, he departed highly
delighted. It was thus that a knowledge of the Gospel was first
carried to Adabazar where this man resided, twenty-seven miles east
of Nicomedia.

The papists took advantage of the religious interest awakened in the
Armenian Church; and there was reason to apprehend, that dark,
dissatisfied minds, if not made acquainted with the Gospel, were in
danger of falling into the iron embrace of the Romish Church. The
papal missions had been roused to activity in all the Levant, and
their numerous adherents enabled them to come extensively into
contact with the native mind. Nor were they scrupulous as to their
manner of exciting the jealousies of the people against Protestant
missionaries. There is evidence also, that, after the Greek
revolution, they took advantage of the fact that nearly all the
dragomen of foreign ministers at the Turkish court were Roman
Catholics.

The obstacles in the way of preaching the Gospel at Broosa, became
so great as to make it a question whether the preachers ought not to
go elsewhere. Just then there began to be indications of the
presence of the Holy Spirit. Individuals came to Mr. Schneider,
almost every Sabbath, deeply affected by the truth, and there were
several hopeful conversions. Not only there, but elsewhere and
especially at Constantinople, during the year commencing May, 1840,
there was a manifest reaction, caused by the persecutions of 1839,
which became more and more decided during the year. Minds were
awakened, which, but for the banishments, anathemas, burning of
books, and shutting up of schools, might have been aroused only by
the angel of death. Some of these became hopeful converts, and one a
preacher of the faith he had endeavored to destroy. The spirit of
freedom and Christian boldness was increased. Priest Kevork and
Priest Vertanes were more active than ever. Attempts to break up the
mission seminary failed, because neither scholars nor parents would
obey the mandate of the vakeel to withdraw from connection with the
missionaries.

The Rev. Henry J. Van Lennep and wife joined the mission in April,
1840, and were stationed at Smyrna. Mrs. Van Lennep lived only till
the following September. The Rev. Josiah Peabody and wife became the
associates of Mr. and Mrs. Jackson, at Erzroom, in the following
year; and in that year Mr. Ladd was transferred from Cyprus to
Broosa. Mr. Hallock, the missionary printer at Smyrna, returned to
the United States, but continued to manufacture Arabic and Syriac
types for the printing establishments in the Syrian and Nestorian
missions. The printing at Smyrna, during this year, was equivalent
to 10,843,704 pages duodecimo; and the pages printed at that
establishment from the beginning, had been 51,910,260. Two
printing-presses and seven fonts of native type were in use. An
"Armenian Magazine" was edited by Mr. Adger; and a Greek "Monthly
Magazine" by Mr. Temple, with the efficient aid of Mr. Petrokokino.
In November, Mr. Goodell completed the translation of the Old
Testament into Armeno-Turkish, and immediately commenced revising
the New Testament, which he finished in a few months. The Old
Testament had now been translated into Armeno-Turkish from the
Hebrew, and the New Testament from the Greek. The Armenians had,
also, Zohrab's popular translation of the New Testament in their
modern tongue, revised by Mr. Adger, and published under his
superintendence, at the expense of the British and Foreign Bible
Society. The ancient Armenian translation, which is said to be a
good one, and to be much valued by the people, was made about
fourteen hundred years ago.

Mr. Dwight began a course of lectures on systematic theology,
commencing with a class of three Armenians, one of them a priest.
The Armenian college at Scutari was closed by the bankers in
October, after having been in operation three years, at great
expense to the community. But the seminary at Bebek was so full of
promise, that grants were made to place it on a broader and firmer
basis.

The change in the Armenian community, in the course of five or six
years, had been very encouraging. At the beginning of that time,
some were truly interested in the things of religion, and the
missionaries had religious conversation with many. But by far the
greater part then came for the purpose of general inquiry, or to see
the philosophical apparatus, or hear a lecture on the sciences; and
it was matter of joy, if mere human knowledge could be made the
entering wedge to their minds for the knowledge which is divine. How
marked the change! They now came in large numbers, drawn by the
power of the truth of God alone, not to inquire about electricity,
or galvanism, as before, but about the eternal destiny of the soul,
and the way by which it might be saved. There had been, also, a
favorable change in the general style of preaching at the capital;
and among the people there was a growing disposition to compare
every doctrine and practice with the Scriptures. This the vartabeds,
or preachers, could not disregard. It was not an uncommon thing to
hear of sermons on Repentance, the Sabbath, the Judgment-day, etc.;
and sometimes the preachers were largely indebted for their
materials to the publications of the mission. Indeed, one of the
most respectable vartabeds in Constantinople made repeated
applications to the missionaries to furnish mutter for his sermons.
Instances of pungent convictions of sin became more common. Some who
had been drunkards, gamblers, adulterers, and downright infidels,
were thoroughly converted, and exhibited that humility, purity,
spirituality, and Christian zeal, which are the fruits of the Spirit
alone. The older converts, also, appeared to grow in the knowledge
of Christ, and one striking characteristic was an active zeal for
the salvation of others.

Vertanes was full of hope and activity. It is mentioned by Mr.
Dwight, in his excellent "History of Christianity in Turkey," that a
report reached Constantinople, in the spring of 1841, that a
considerable number of Armenians in Nicomedia, members of the old
Church, had become disaffected, and were about going over to the
Jesuits; and that the Patriarch commissioned this same Vertanes to
go thither with all speed, and endeavor to bring them back to their
Mother Church. He was successful in the object of his visit; and
while he heartily and faithfully obeyed the Patriarch, and
endeavored to persuade men not to suffer themselves to fall into the
snares of Rome, he also labored zealously to bring them to a sense
of their sins against God, and to a hearty reception of Christ alone
as the Saviour of their souls. His visit was very comforting and
useful to the brethren in Nicomedia.

The intelligence received from Adabazar early in this year, was most
cheering. An attempt had been made to raise a storm of persecution,
and one of the brethren was thrown into prison, but he was soon
liberated by a powerful friend, and afterwards the truth spread more
rapidly. Meetings for prayer and reading the Scriptures were held
every Sabbath, at which from twenty-five to fifty were present, and
one of the priests seemed to have become obedient to the faith. No
missionary had yet been among these brethren, and the issues from
the press were almost the only instrumentality employed among them
by the Holy Spirit. One year previously, it is believed, not a
single soul could have been found among the four thousand
inhabitants of Adabazar, who was not groping in the deepest
spiritual darkness. Now, some forty or more were convinced of the
errors of their Church, and ready to take the Bible as their only
religious guide, of whom several appeared to be truly converted men,
and even willing to lay down their lives for Christ. It was not
until the autumn of 1841, that a missionary was able to visit them.
Mr. Schneider, of Broosa, was then hailed with joy by all the
evangelical brethren, and returned with the most delightful and
cheering impressions. A spirit of inquiry had extended into many of
the neighboring villages.

The Rev. George W. Wood1 was transferred to this mission from
Singapore in 1842, and was associated with Mr. Hamlin in the
Seminary. The Rev. Simeon H. Calhoun, for some time resident at
Smyrna as agent of the American Bible Society, received now an
appointment as a missionary of the Board; the Rev. Edwin E. Bliss,
designated to the mountain Nestorians, having been refused a firman
to go thither by the Turkish government, was associated with Mr.
Johnston at Trebizond; and Mr. Schauffler devoted himself to the
Jews. Mr. Homes had the special charge of the book distribution at
Constantinople.

1 Afterwards one of the Corresponding Secretaries of the Board.

There being so little to impart peace to a really awakened
conscience in either the Roman or the Oriental Churches, individuals
were often found wandering to and fro, as in pagan India, vainly
seeking for rest. One of the most noted cases of this kind was that
of an Armenian. To pacify the clamors of conscience, he became an
inmate of a monastery far in the interior, where he undertook to
perform the most menial services for the monks. Failing to find
peace in this, he penetrated into the depths of a wilderness,
clothed himself in sackcloth, and lived on the coarsest fare, away
from the abodes of man. Here also he was disappointed. Returning to
Constantinople, he united himself to the papal Armenians, hoping in
their communion to find the relief he sought. He became chief singer
in one of the churches near the capital, and endeavored to derive
comfort, but found nothing to impart peace in the strictest forms of
papal worship. A friend now advised him to visit the American
missionaries. He had heard of them only as heretics and enemies of
the Christian faith, but was at length persuaded to accompany some
friends to Mr. Hamlin's house. Taking a seat as near the door as
possible, he listened in silence; then proposed some objections; but
gradually became interested, and drew his chair nearer and nearer to
his newly found teacher; until at length he seated himself on the
floor, literally at the very feet of Mr. Hamlin, and there drank in,
with mute astonishment, those divine truths which he had never heard
before, but which revealed to him the only sure foundation for peace
of mind. There was an instantaneous change in his whole character;
and we hear of him twelve years afterwards, as a living witness of
the truth, and a faithful laborer in the kingdom of Jesus Christ.1

1 Dwight's _Christianity Revived in the East_, p.118.

In October of this year, it was deemed advisable to suspend the
preaching service at Constantinople for a few Sabbaths, in
consequence of violent opposition on the part of some Armenians,
formerly reckoned as brethren. This unexpected and painful change
was owing to their forming an acquaintance with individuals who had
imbibed the errors, which threaten the unity of the Episcopal
Churches of England and America. Just before the outbreaking of this
opposition, Mr. Dwight thus gives utterance to his feelings: "How
wonderful are the ways of Providence in regard to the Armenians! In
one way or another, men are continually brought from distant places
to the capital, and here they become acquainted for the first time
with the Gospel; and returning to their homes, they spread abroad
that which they have seen and heard. There is something quite
wonderful in the state of the Armenian mind at the present time."
The persecuting spirit above noted was directed more especially
towards Hohannes, and this induced him to go to the United States to
prepare himself for preaching the Gospel.

In the early part of this year, the Armenian brethren met in a
retired part of the hills adjacent to the capital, and there, after
united prayer, agreed to send one of their own number, at their own
expense, on a missionary tour among their countrymen in the interior
of Asia Minor. Of their own accord they also agreed to set apart the
first Tuesday in each month, for special prayer to God in behalf of
their nation, and for his blessing on the means used for their
spiritual illumination. Not unfrequently they remained after Mr.
Dwight's preaching, to have a prayer meeting by themselves for the
outpouring of the Holy Spirit; and if there was any one present at
the meeting who was particularly anxious about his soul, they kept
him with them, and talked and prayed with him. It is recorded also,
that at one time as many as thirty Armenian men were present at the
monthly concert for prayer, which was necessarily held in the middle
of the day, and that some of them prayed as if they felt true
longings of heart for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

About forty different works, and more than forty-four thousand
volumes and tracts, were issued from the Smyrna depôt during the
year 1842. Eight or ten booksellers at the capital were kept
constantly supplied, and the products of the press were sent into
almost every part of the interior.

It is worthy of note that Mr. Dwight's first formal sermon to
Armenian women, was in May, 1843. It was in Pera, and four of them
had walked not less than three miles to attend the service. One was
forty-five or fifty years old, and her sentiments were decidedly
evangelical. The religion of the Gospel shone beautifully in some of
the Armenian families. Mr. Hamlin had an interesting experience at
Bebek. On the 13th of August, on returning from Constantinople, he
found nine women and one man waiting his return to preach to them
the Gospel. On the 21st, sixteen listened with breathless attention
to a sermon on the unsearchable riches of Christ, and nine of these
were women. On the 25th, another company of men and women called.
Mr. Hamlin was at work upon some philosophical apparatus, when one
of the men put his head through the door, and said, "Good-morning,
reverend sir, come here, and preach to us the Gospel." September
22d, a company of Armenian men and women, four of them from
Nicomedia, came and asked him "to teach them out of the Gospel." On
the 24th eight, besides the students, were present at the services,
forenoon and afternoon; two from Galata, one from Constantinople,
three from Nicomedia, and two from Adabazar. On the day following,
thirteen were present, most of whom had heard the maledictions of
the Armenian Patriarch pronounced, the day before, on all who should
visit the missionaries. On a day in December devoted to family
visitations, Mr. Dwight preached the Gospel to more than thirty
women.

It was not the missionaries alone, who labored in word and doctrine.
Several priests were "obedient to the faith," and preached it more
or less formally; and intelligent lay brethren,--scattered abroad,
some by persecution, some in the prosecution of their worldly
business,--like the primitive disciples, preached the Word; that is,
they took such opportunities as they could get, to make known the
truth to those of their countrymen who were disposed to hear it.
Vertanes, who had suffered imprisonment and banishment for the sake
of Christ, made an extensive missionary tour through Armenia.

In the summer of 1843, a body of Turkish police was seen conducting
a young man, under twenty years of age, in the European dress,
through the streets of Constantinople. His face was pale, and his
arms were pinioned behind him. Arriving at a place of public
concourse, they suddenly halted, the prisoner kneeled, and a blow of
the yatagan severed his head from the body. His crime was apostasy
from the Mohammedan faith. He was an obscure Armenian, and while
under the influence of alcohol had abjured the faith of his fathers,
and declared himself a Mohammedan. He had not submitted, however, to
the rite of circumcision before he repented of his rashness. The
penalty of apostasy being death, he fled to Greece. In about a year,
impatient to see his widowed mother, he returned in a Frank dress,
but was soon recognized, imprisoned, tortured to induce him to
reabandon his original belief, and even paraded through the streets
with his hands tied behind his back, as if for execution; but upon
his proclaiming aloud his firm belief in Christianity, he was
sentenced to decapitation. The British ambassador, Sir Stratford
Canning, impelled by motives of humanity, made an earnest effort to
procure his release, and the Grand Vizier promised that the young
man should not be beheaded. On learning that he had been, the
ambassador declared it to be an insult to the Established Religion
of England, as well as to all Europe, and insisted that no similar
act of fanaticism should ever again occur. In this he was said to be
warmly seconded both by the French and Prussian ministers. The Grand
Vizier, as before, was ready to give a verbal pledge; but soon a
second act of treachery was discovered. A Greek, in the interior of
Asia Minor, had declared himself it Mohammedan, and afterwards
refused to perform the rites of that religion, and the Turkish
minister was preparing the death-warrant for him, at the very time
when he was making these promises to the ambassador. Sir Stratford
now very peremptorily demanded, that a written pledge be given by
the Sultan himself (as his ministers could no longer be trusted),
that no person embracing the Moslem religion and afterwards
returning to Christianity, should on that account be put to death;
and the Earl of Aberdeen, on the part of the home government,
instructed him in a noble letter not to recede from the demand. The
Prussian and French governments were equally decided; and after some
hesitancy, even Russia threw the weight of her influence into the
scale. After a struggle of some weeks the required pledge was given,
signed by the Sultan himself, that henceforth NO PERSON SHOULD BE
PERSECUTED FOR HIS RELIGIOUS OPINIONS IN TURKEY. The British
ambassador distinctly acknowledged the finger of God in this
transaction, which he said seemed little less than a miracle.

It will hereafter appear, that the pledge had a wider range, than
was thought of at the time by the governments of Europe, by their
representatives, or even by the Turks. God was setting up a
spiritual kingdom, and his people must have freedom to worship Him
in his appointed way. The battle for religious freedom in Turkey was
fought over the mutilated remains of the Armenian renegade, and the
Sultan's pledge secured to the Protestant native Christians the full
enjoyment of their civil rites, while openly practicing their own
religion.1

1 This brief statement is compiled from the _Correspondence relating
to Executions in Turkey for Apostasy from Islamism_, published by
the British Parliament in 1844, occupying forty folio pages. The
correspondence is highly honorable to the great men who were then
controlling the political affairs of Europe, and to a large extent
also of Western Asia.

But before this comprehensive meaning of the pledge could be
understood, and the benefit of it actually enjoyed by the people of
God, they were subjected to more grievous sufferings for their faith
than any yet endured. From 1843 to 1846, there was no long respite
from persecution; yet in all this time the spirit of inquiry
wonderfully spread, and believers were the more added to the Lord.

In 1843, Priest Vertanes was rudely deposed from office, and thrown
into prison. Finding he could not be induced to sign a paper of
recantation, drawn up for him by the Patriarch, he was hurried by
the Patriarch's beadles, with great violence, into an open
sail-boat, without opportunity to obtain even an outer garment from
his house, although it was midwinter, and sent across the sea of
Marmora to the monastery of Ahmah, near Nicomedia.

The Foreign Secretary of the Board spent eleven weeks in this
mission, in the winter of 1843-44, accompanied by Dr. Joel Hawes, of
Hartford. At that time it was arranged by the mission, in full
accordance with the views of their visiting brethren, to discontinue
the Greek department, to give distinct names as missions to the
Jewish department and to the work among the Armenians, to open a
female high school at Constantinople, and to associate Mr. Wood with
Mr. Hamlin in the seminary at Bebek. It was also decided, that
Messrs. Riggs and Ladd, turning from the Greeks to the Armenians,
should acquire the use of the languages spoken by the latter people;
that Mr. Calhoun should be authorized to visit Syria, with a view to
an opening for him in connection with the projected seminary on
Mount Lebanon; that Mr. Temple, then too old to learn either the
Armenian or Turkish languages, ought to be authorized, in view of
the discontinuance of the Greek department, to return to the
churches whose faithful messenger he had been so long; and that the
native Armenian agency should be put upon a footing on which it
would be more likely to be sustained ultimately by the people.

There was reason afterwards to believe, that it would have been
better for Mr. Temple to remain in Turkey, in the exercise of his
eminently apostolic influence upon his brother missionaries and the
native Protestant community, Greek and Armenian. Yet his own opinion
was in favor of the course he pursued. "I am too old," he said, "to
think for a moment of learning a new language, and no opening
invites me here in any language I can command." After a farewell
visit to his brethren in Constantinople, he set his face homeward,
and arrived in Boston in the summer of 1844. He was usefully
employed as an agent of the Board, or in the pastoral relation,
until his health broke down. In January, 1851, through the kindness
of a friend, he made a voyage to Chagres, and another to Liverpool.
But he returned from the last of these voyages enfeebled by the
roughness of the passage; and his strength gradually declined, until
the 9th of August, 1851, seven years after his return to America,
when he died at Reading, Massachusetts, his native place, in the
sixty-second year of his age. It may be truly said, that few men
have borne more distinctively than he, the impress of the Saviour's
image.1

1 See _Life and Letters of Rev. Daniel Temple_, for twenty-three
years a Missionary in Western Asia. By his son, Rev. Daniel H.
Temple, Boston, 1855.

A daughter of Dr. Hawes accompanied him on his voyage to Smyrna as
the wife of Mr. Van Lennep, but was permitted only to enter upon the
work to which she had devoted herself in Asia. She died at
Constantinople of fever, within less than a year from the time of
her embarkation. The health of Mrs. Benjamin was such as to oblige
her and her husband to return home. A similar cause occasioned also
the return of Mr. and Mrs. Jackson.



CHAPTER X.

GREECE AND THE GREEKS.

1824-1844.


When the missions to the Oriental Churches were commenced, Greece
was suffering under the oppression of the Turks, and the people were
glad of sympathy from any quarter. In the department of education,
they seemed even to welcome Protestant missionaries. They compared
favorably with the Roman Catholics, in their reception of the
Scriptures, and in the matter of religious toleration. But an
unfavorable change came over them after they had achieved their
national independence.

Mr. Gridley was the first missionary to labor among the Greeks of
Turkey, though he was not sent with special reference to them. He
arrived at Smyrna in December, 1826. After acquiring the modern
Greek, he visited Cesarea, four hundred miles to the eastward,
hoping for better advantages in acquiring the Greco-Turkish
language, and also to learn the condition of the Greeks in the
interior. He was accompanied by Abraham, his teacher, a
well-informed native of Cappadocia, and for two months applied
himself to his studies, until admonished of danger by the frequent
recurrence of headaches. Finding that these yielded to exercise, he
deemed it prudent to execute a purpose he had long cherished of
ascending Mount Argeus, from the top of which, according to Strabo,
the Black and Mediterranean Seas might both be discerned in a clear
day. Outstripping his attendants, Mr. Gridley mounted with great
agility till he reached an elevation within three or four hundred
feet of the highest summit, when he was prevented from advancing
farther by the steepness of the ascent. There, in the region of
perpetual snow, he remained a quarter of an hour, but could not
discover the objects he had specially in view. The height of the
mountain he estimated at thirteen thousand feet. Descending rapidly,
he was overpowered with fatigue when he reached his companions, and
they were soon after exposed to a violent storm of hail and rain.
The headache soon returned with increasing violence, and was
followed by fever, so insidious in its progress as at no time to
suggest to him his danger. His death occurred on the 27th of
September, fifteen days after the ascent, and a year after leaving
his native land.

Thus he fell at the age of thirty-one, and at the very commencement
of his career. The predominant characteristics of Mr. Gridley were
resolution, promptness, and generosity. In all the duties of a
Christian missionary, he was indefatigable in no ordinary degree,
and his early removal was very trying.

The cause of education naturally became prominent at the outset of a
mission among the Greeks. Scio was the seat of their most favored
college, and when the people of that ill-fated island fled from the
murderous sword of the Turks, some of the families sought refuge in
Malta. There were bright youths among them, and six of these, and
two from other Greek islands, so interested Messrs. Fisk and Temple,
that they obtained permission to send them home, to be educated
chiefly at the expense of the Board. This was before the results of
the Foreign Mission School at Cornwall had become manifest. Three
others arrived in 1826, and one in 1828; and nearly all received a
liberal education, either at Amherst or Yale. Evangelinos Sophocles,
from Thessaly, who came last, has long held the honorable position
of a Professor in Harvard University. Four others,--Anastatius
Karavelles, Nicholas Petrokokino, Alexander G. Paspati, and Gregory
Perdicaris, were useful to the mission at different times after
their return to the East. Several young men from the Armenian nation
were likewise educated in the United States, and one of these,
Hohannes, was until his death, a useful minister of the gospel among
his countrymen. But the conclusion on the whole, to which the Board
came, both in respect to Greeks and Armenians, was that a native
agency must be trained in the country where it is to be employed.

The return of Mr. King to Greece, in 1829, has been mentioned.
During the visit of Mr. Smith and myself to the island of Poros, in
July of that year, he was united in marriage to a young Smyrniote
lady, whose acquaintance he had formed some years before, while
detained there on his return from Syria. Though Tenos was one of the
more bigoted of the Greek islands, nearly every person of standing
in the place called upon the newly married couple. A Greek priest
sent a pair of doves, and soon followed with his blessing. It was
this marriage which, in the providence of God, kept Mr. King in
Greece until the close of his long and useful life.

Mr. King opened a school for girls in Poros, and the chief men sent
their daughters to it. The town was noted for a modern church,
called the Evangelistria, which, though built during the revolution,
was the most showy edifice in Greece. It was the annual resort of
hundreds of pilgrims, chiefly the lame, sick, and lunatic, who were
brought there to be cured. It was the centre of modern Grecian
superstition; as Delos, in full view of the church, had been in
ancient times.

After some months, the trustees of the church became alarmed for
their craft, and made vigorous efforts to destroy the school. Some
of the scholars were withdrawn, one of the teachers was compelled to
leave, and the school-books were denounced as heretical. Through the
whole commotion Mr. King held on his way with characteristic
calmness, teaching and praying in the school as aforetime, and
freely expounding the Scriptures, every Lord's day, to more than
fifty of his pupils and a number of their friends. Two of the most
prominent inhabitants espoused his cause; and, just in the crisis of
the difficulty, he received a box of ancient Greek books from the
government, as a present to the school. Soon after, there appeared
in the government gazette a commendation of the school and of its
course of instruction. From that time, opposition from members of
the Greek Church seems to have ceased. A handsome donation of
school-books, slates, and pencils was made by the Greek School
Committee in New York, and forwarded to the President of Greece,
through the American Board. It was gratefully acknowledged by the
government.

In the autumn of 1830, Mr. King, anticipating the evacuation of
Athens by the Turks, made a visit to that city, then a ruin, and
arranged for his future residence. In April of the next year, having
resumed his connection with the American Board, he made a second
visit, and opened a Lancasterian school for both sexes; placing a
Greek, named Nikotoplos, at the head of it, who was author of an
epitome of the Gospels. The school was soon filled. He purchased
from a Turk, with private funds and at a nominal cost, the ruins of
a stone edifice with a garden, and there built himself a home, to
which he removed his family. He also purchased for a few hundred
dollars, while the city was still in Turkish hands, about an acre of
land delightfully situated, on which he subsequently erected a
building for a young ladies' school of a high order.

Capodistrias, the President, was assassinated about this time by two
men belonging to one of the first families in Greece. The protecting
powers required that his successor be a king, and a Bavarian prince
named Otho was put upon the throne of the new kingdom in 1833. The
Acropolis of Athens was soon after delivered up to its rightful
owners, and that event consummated the emancipation of Greece from
Turkish rule. A cabinet was formed, of which Tricoupis, a Greek
gentleman of patriotic and enlightened views, was the president.
Athens became the seat of government in 1834.

The Rev. Elias Riggs arrived as a missionary, with his wife, in
January, 1833, and was cordially welcomed not only by his associate,
but also by the brethren of the American Episcopal mission. Mr.
Riggs had paid much attention to the modern Greek, and was pleased
with Dr. King's manner of preaching on the Sabbath, and with his
familiar exposition of the Scriptures in his flourishing Hellenic
school.1 There were now two schools, called the "Elementary School"
and the "Gymnasium;" the latter having a well-arranged course of
study for four years, corresponding, as far as circumstances would
permit, with the studies of a New England college. The subsequent
removal of the government gymnasium from Ægina to Athens,
necessarily interfered with this, but until that removal it was a
popular institution, with sixty scholars. An examination was held in
1834 for three days in Ancient Greek, Geography, History, Geometry,
Algebra, the Philosophy of Language, and the Holy Scriptures; the
King and the bishop of the city being among the persons present.

1 Nassau College, in Princeton, N. J., had conferred the degree of
D. D. on Mr. King.

Mr. Riggs, after visiting the more important places in the
Peloponnesus, decided upon commencing a station at Argos, which he
did in 1834. The great body of the Greek people at that time, were
kindly disposed toward the missionaries and their efforts; but it
was becoming evident, that the jealousy of the clergy was on the
increase, and that the hierarchy had great facilities for exerting
an adverse influence. The Church in Greece, no longer subject to the
Greek Patriarch at Constantinople, was under the government of the
"Holy Council of the kingdom of Greece;" which was required to guard
the clergy and schools against heresy, and report to the government
any attempt at proselyting. No school could be established without
permission from the government, nor without such permission could
any teacher instruct, even in private families. No books could be
sold or given away in any place, without obtaining a license for
that place, and strong guards were thrown around the press. But
whatever the restrictions on schools and the press, the way was open
for circulating the Scriptures, and for enforcing repentance towards
God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. In the three years from 1834
to 1836, Dr. King sold and gratuitously distributed nearly nine
thousand New Testaments in modern Greek, and eighty-seven thousand
school-books and religious tracts.

The "Holy Council" now took decided ground against the version of
the Old Testament from the Hebrew, declaring that the Septuagint
alone was to be regarded as the canonical translation, to be read in
the churches and used for religious instruction. This did not forbid
nor prevent the free circulation of the Old Testament in modern
Greek among individuals for their private use.

Dark intrigues were employed to arouse the popular feeling. A letter
against "the Americans," as all missionaries were called, purporting
to have been written from Syra, was printed in pamphlet form at
Paris and sent to Greece, where it attracted much attention. This
was followed by repeated attacks from a newspaper edited by one
Germanos. Pretended revelations and miracles at Naxos inflamed the
zeal of the ignorant and superstitious. Professed eye-witnesses
circulated absurd stories, of girls in the school at Syra being made
"Americans" by sealing them on the arm; that one of them refused to
be sealed, and two horns grew out of her head; and of a boy taken
into a dark room to catechize him, where he saw the devil, and was
frightened out of his senses. It was said, moreover, that the object
of the missionaries was to change the religion of the country, while
they hypocritically professed the contrary; though neither word nor
deed of any missionary of the Board was made the pretext for any of
these accusations. By such means mobs were raised, and the schools
of Syra were, for a time, broken up. Yet the local authorities were
generally prompt in putting down riots, and Germanos was arrested,
and sent to a distant monastery. Dr. King's congregation on the
Sabbath, gradually increased, and there was never a time when he
disposed of more New Testaments, school-books, and tracts.

In 1835, a station was commenced by the Rev. Samuel R. Houston on
the island of Scio. He found the people friendly, and the island
slowly recovering from its ruins. Professor Bambas subsequently
expressed the opinion to Dr. King, that Samos was a more desirable
place, since the better class of Sciotes would never return to Scio
to live under Turkish rule. The station was not continued. In 1837,
Mr. Houston, with the Rev. George W. Leyburn, who had been sent out
to join him, made a tour of observation in Máne, the ancient Sparta,
to see if a station ought not to be formed there, in compliance with
repeated solicitations from Petron Bey, the hereditary chief in that
region. Indeed, in view of causes beyond the control of missionary
societies, the Prudential Committee began to feel themselves
compelled to pass by the Grecian Islands in great measure, and
concentrate their efforts on the main lands.

The station at Argos was strengthened in 1836, by the arrival of
Rev. Nathan Benjamin and wife. The two girls' schools in that place
contained from seventy to one hundred pupils. In the following year,
as Argos was declining in population and intelligence in consequence
of the removal of the seat of government from Napoli, it was decided
that Mr. Benjamin should remove to Athens, and Mr. Riggs to Smyrna.

The district, which the brethren from Scio had specially in view,
was exceedingly uninviting to an observer from the sea; where it
seemed to be only a mass of rocky cliffs and mountains, gradually
rising from the sea to St. Elias, the highest peak of Taygetus. Yet
among these rocks were upwards of a hundred villages, containing
from thirty to forty thousand souls. Many of these were probably of
true Spartan descent, and they had always maintained a degree of
independence. The old Bey of Máne had prepared the way for the two
brethren by letters from Athens, where he then resided, and they
were gladly received, and soon decided on removing their families to
Ariopolis; situated on the western slope of the mountain ridge, and
the chief town of the province of Laconia. The two families arrived
in May, 1837, and were soon joined by Dr. Gallatti, who had been a
faithful friend and helper at Scio. A large house was immediately
erected for a Lancasterian school; but no teacher for such a school
could be found, since no one was allowed to teach in Greece, except
in Ancient Greek, without a diploma from the government; and all was
under the superintendent of public schools, who would allow no one
to serve the mission. Yet there were hundreds of boys playing about
in the streets, who at a moment's notice would have rushed in for
instruction, and whose parents would have rejoiced to see them
there. A teacher was not obtained until October, 1839, and then only
with the aid of Mr. Perdicaris, the American consul; but before the
end of the year, the pupils numbered one hundred and seventy,
filling the house. Among them was a youth named Kalopothakes, a
native of the place, who afterwards became the bold friend and
efficient helper of Dr. King. A school for teaching ancient Greek
with thirty scholars, had been in operation a year or more. King
Otho visited the place early in 1838, and commended the school. The
descendants of the ancient Spartans boasted that he was the first
monarch they had ever permitted to tread their soil.

Mrs. Houston being threatened with consumption, her husband took her
to Alexandria, and afterwards to Cairo, where she died peacefully,
on the 24th of November, 1839. After depositing her remains in the
Protestant burying-ground at Alexandria, the bereaved husband and
father returned, with his child, to his station in Greece, and in
the following year visited his native land.

The Greek mission was always affected more or less by the changes of
political parties. The missionaries carefully refrained from
intermeddling with politics, but every political party had more or
less of a religious basis, having something to do with the question,
whether a religious reform should be permitted. Early in 1840 the
government discovered the existence of a secret association, called
the "Philorthodox," one object of which was to preserve unchanged
all the formality and superstition which had crept into the Greek
Church. It had both a civil and a military head, and was believed to
be hostile to the existing government, and on the eve of attempting
a religious revolution, by which all reform should be excluded.
Several of the leaders were arrested; and the Russian Ambassador and
Russian Secretary of Legation were both recalled, because of their
connection with it. The leaders were brought to trial, but the
society had influence enough to procure their acquittal. Its civil
head was banished, and its military head was sent to Ægina for a
military trial. The king then changed most of the members of the
Synod, and more liberal ideas seemed to be gaining the ascendency.1

1 Tracy's _History_, p. 414.

This reform was only partial and temporary. An order was issued by
the government in the next year, requiring the Catechism of the
Greek Church to be taught in all the Hellenic schools, and Mr.
Leyburn was informed that this order applied to his school. The
catechism inculcates the worship of pictures and similar practices,
and the missionary decided, that he could not teach it himself, nor
allow others to teach it in his school. A long negotiation followed,
principally conducted by Dr. King. It was proposed that the
government employ catechists to teach the catechism to the pupils in
the church. The government assented on condition, that no religious
instruction should be given in the school, meaning thereby to
exclude even the reading of the New Testament; but the missionaries
would neither consent to teach what they did not believe, nor to
maintain a school from which religious instruction must be excluded.
The school was therefore closed, and the station abandoned. It
should be noted, that the school was not supported by the
government, but by the friends of Greece in the United States, and
that no impropriety was alleged on the part of the resident
missionary.

As Mr. Leyburn must now leave Greece, and had not health to learn
one of the languages of Western Asia, he returned home, with the
consent of the Prudential Committee. His former associate, Mr.
Houston, was then preparing to join the mission to the Nestorians in
Persia, but the sudden failure of his wife's health prevented, and
the two brethren afterwards became successful ministers of the
Gospel in the Southern States, from which they had gone forth.

A station was commenced among the Greeks on the island of Cyprus in
1834, a year earlier than that on Scio. The Greek population of the
island was reckoned at sixty thousand, and the pioneer missionary
was the Rev. Lorenzo W. Pease, who arrived, with his wife, in the
last month of the year. As it was proposed to make this a branch of
the Syrian mission, Mr. Thomson came over from Beirût, and with Mr.
Pease explored the island. They found no serious obstacles in the
way of distributing the Scriptures and diffusing a knowledge of the
Gospel, except in the unhealthiness of the climate. The most
healthful location seemed to be Lapithos, a large village on the
northwestern shore, two days' journey from Larnica. The village had
a charming location, rising from the base of the mountain, and
ascending the steep declivity a thousand feet. From thence
perpendicular precipices arose, which sheltered it from the hot
south winds. The coast of Caramania was in full view on the north,
and refreshing breezes crossed the narrow channel which separated
Cyprus from the main land. A magnificent fountain burst from the
precipices above, the stream from which foamed through the village,
and found its way across the narrow but fertile plain to the sea.
This stream turned a number of mills in its descent, and a portion
of it was distributed through the gardens, and there, tumbling from
terrace to terrace, formed numerous beautiful and refreshing
cascades.1

1 For the extended journal of Messrs. Thomson and Pease, see
_Missionary Herald_ for 1835, pp. 398-408, 446-452.

The Archbishop of Cyprus being independent of the Patriarch of
Constantinople, the encyclical letter against Protestant missions
known to have been received from the metropolis, produced no decided
hostility. The mission was reinforced in 1836 by the arrival of Rev.
Daniel Ladd and wife, and Rev. James L. Thompson. A Lancasterian
school had been opened at Larnica with seventy pupils, and a school
for educating teachers with fourteen. There was very great need of
schools, it being ascertained that, in thirty-six villages between
Larnica and Limasol, containing more than a thousand families and a
population of more than five thousand, only sixty-seven, besides the
priests, could read at all, and the priests not fluently. Among the
reasons assigned for this were the burdensome taxes imposed upon the
people, and especially on boys at the early age of twelve years, and
the general poverty of the parents, constraining them to employ
their sons on their farms, or in their oil-mills or wine-presses.
Considering that not a place had yet been found, which was
salubrious all the year round, and that the people were scattered in
eight or nine villages, the missionaries began to despair of a
vigorous concentration of their labors, and came to the conclusion,
in the year 1837, that it was expedient to go to some more
manageable field. The opposition from Constantinople made it
expedient to disconnect the schools from the mission. There was,
however, from the beginning, a friendly intercourse between the
people, including the ecclesiastics, and the missionaries and books
and tracts were received without hesitation. This with other
considerations induced the missionaries to delay their departure.
The funeral of a child of Mr. Pease was attended in one of the Greek
churches, and the Greek priests led the way in the procession,
chanting the funeral dirge, in which there was nothing exceptionable;
leaving at home, out of deference to the father, the cross, the
cherubim, and the incense.

In August, 1839, in consequence of remaining too long at Larnica,
Mr. Pease was suddenly prostrated by fever, and soon closed his
earthly career, at the early age of twenty-nine. He had made great
proficiency in the modern Greek language, and looked forward with
delight to its use in proclaiming the Gospel to the Greek people.
Every month had raised him in the estimation of his brethren, and
given new promise of his usefulness. Mrs. Pease returned to the
United States, with her two children, in the spring of 1841. Mr.
Thompson also returned at the close of the same year. Mr. and Mrs.
Ladd were transferred to Broosa, in Turkey, where a large number of
people spoke the Greek language.

Dr. King and Mr. Benjamin were the only remaining members of the
mission in Greece in 1842, and they were residing at Athens. Though
for some time without schools, the missionaries were usefully
employed. The former preached regularly to a congregation of from
thirty to one hundred attentive hearers, with a ready command of the
Greek language, and in the manner of the most effective preaching in
this country. He preached, also, by the wayside, at the same time
distributing books and tracts. Writing in 1843, after stating that
fifteen hundred young men, from all parts of Greece and Turkey, were
in the schools and university of Athens, Dr. King adds: "And yet
God, in his wonderful providence, has permitted me to stand here,
and preach in the plainest manner, even to the present hour, without
let or hindrance, and that, too, in the midst of a dreadful strife
of tongues. I have heard it remarked by Greeks, how truly wonderful
it is that my preaching should never have been attacked. I see many
students and others, and converse with the greatest plainness, and I
think some are persuaded of the truth." Mr. Benjamin was also doing
much good in the department of Christian literature. The books
prepared by himself and Dr. King were printed at Athens, and were
more acceptable and influential for that reason, than if printed
elsewhere and by mission presses. The number of copies printed
previous to 1843, was 118,465, and of pages, 6,525,500.

The relinquishment of the station at Ariopolis was regarded by the
Greeks as a public testimony against the errors of the Greek Church,
and as an honest and consistent movement. Mr. Benjamin took the
place of Dr. King in his absence, as a preacher, and found
unexpected facility in so doing. It was a tribute to the Greek mind,
that Mr. Benjamin commenced translating Butler's "Analogy" into the
modern language.

In Turkey, Mr. Temple, Mr. Schneider, Mr. Riggs, and Mr. Ladd
continued to labor mainly in the modern Greek language. Mr. Temple
had charge of the press, with the efficient aid of Mr. Riggs in the
Greek and Greco-Turkish. Mr. Van Lennep divided his time between the
Greek and the Turkish. Mr. Temple edited the Greek "Monthly
Magazine," aided by Mr. Petrokokino, one of the young men educated
by the Board, to whose taste, talent, and zeal much of its
popularity and usefulness were to be attributed. The periodical
nearly paid for itself. The amount of printing in modern Greek will
be fully stated at the close of these histories. In 1843, it was one
million five hundred and fifty-six thousand pages. Several of the
schools in Western Turkey were more or less open to Greek youth of
both sexes. Mr. Schneider was able to preach with great facility and
propriety in the modern language.

In the year 1844, the author made an official visit to Athens,
accompanied by Dr. Joel Hawes, and a week was spent by them in free
conference with Messrs. King and Benjamin. The conclusion was
reached, that Mr. Benjamin should seek a wider sphere of usefulness
among the Armenians of Turkey.

As the result of subsequent discussions with the missionaries
residing at Smyrna, Broosa, and Constantinople, it was decided to
cease in great measure from labor among the Greeks; but that Dr.
King ought to remain at Athens, his position and relations being
peculiar, as will appear in the subsequent history. From that time,
Dr. King was the only missionary of the Board in Greece, until his
lamented death in the year 1869.1 Messrs. Temple, Riggs, and Calhoun
at Smyrna, and Messrs. Schneider and Ladd at Broosa, had made the
Greek language their principal medium of intercourse with the
people. Mr. Riggs having a rare aptitude for acquiring languages,
had begun to edit works in the Bulgarian, Armenian, and Turkish
languages.

1 During nearly the whole of Dr. King's life in Athens, Dr. Hill, an
American Episcopal missionary, was resident there.

The American Baptist Missionary Union placed two missionaries at
Patras, on the Gulf of Corinth, in 1838. That station was
discontinued in 1845, when Mr. Buel removed to the Piræus, the port
of Athens, where he labored, in the most friendly relations with Dr.
King, until 1855 or 1856, when the unsatisfactory results of the
mission led to its discontinuance.

A like result had been practically reached by both the London and
Church Missionary Societies of England. A deplorable change had come
over the Greeks, both in Greece and Turkey, since the freedom of
Greece from Turkish rule; and money, time, and labor could be more
profitably expended on other equally needy populations in that part
of the world. The old ambition for the recovery of Constantinople
and the restoration of the Eastern Empire, had been quickened into
life; and the unity of the Greek Church as a means to this end, was
craftily kept before the minds of the people by Russian agency, and
had a wonderful influence, especially among the higher classes. The
national pride of the Greeks had also created an aversion to
foreigners, and made it difficult for such to gain their confidence,
or awaken their gratitude by acts of benevolence. Then there were
the arrogant assumptions of the Greek Church, more exclusive than
the Roman, claiming for her clergy the only apostolical succession,
and that her trine immersion, performed by her clergy, was the only
baptism, while all not thus baptized were beyond the hope of
salvation. Of course all Protestant preachers, whether episcopal or
non-episcopal, were regarded by the Greeks as unbaptized heretics.
The Greek Church held the worst errors of Popery, such as
transubstantiation, worshipping the Virgin Mary, praying to saints,
baptismal regeneration, and the inherent efficacy of ordinances to
save the soul. The power of excommunication in the hands of the
priests, was regarded by the people with extreme dread, as sealing
the soul over to perdition; and believing, as they did, that
salvation is certain in the Church, and nowhere else, they regarded
every attempt at innovation as an attack upon their dearest
interests, and resisted it with persecution, or turned away with
disgust and scorn. There were persons both among the ecclesiastics
and laymen, to whom this would not apply; but the inflexible
opposition of the hierarchy, as a body, to all efforts for
propagating the evangelical religion, was matter for profound
lamentation.

Yet labors in Greece had not been expended in vain. There had been
very few hopeful conversions; but as many as two hundred thousand
copies of the New Testament and parts of the Old had been put in
circulation in the modern Greek language; a million copies of books
and tracts had been scattered, by different missionary societies,
broad-cast over the Greek community; perhaps a score of Greek young
men had been liberally educated by benevolent societies and
individuals in America and England; and more than ten thousand Greek
youths had received instruction in Greece and Turkey, at the schools
of various missions. Of the good seed thus sown, though not often on
good ground, there may yet be a harvest to gladden future
generations. The labor had not been fruitless. The Greek government
was not what it would have been, and the same may be said of the
social state. Nor were the same old ideas prevalent among the people
as to the authority of councils and of the ancient fathers, and the
authority of God's Word stood higher than before. The same low
estimate was no longer put upon knowledge and education, nor upon
religious tolerance, nor were there the same impressions concerning
Protestantism, and Protestant nations, and the Christian world at
large. In all these respects, there had been progress. Infidelity
had received a check, and so had its influence on surrounding
peoples. The Word of God, printed in the spoken language, was in
very many habitations of the people; and the elements of their
intellectual, moral, and social being were not, and can never again
be, as if missionaries had not been among them.

The efforts made by Dr. King in Greece, for nearly a quarter of a
century after this time, to secure freedom in the worship of God and
in the preaching of the Gospel, will form the subject of future
chapters. And in the histories of the Syrian and Armenian missions,
the reader will occasionally notice hopeful outbreaks of the spirit
of religious inquiry among the people bearing the Grecian name.



CHAPTER XI.

THE NESTORIANS.

1833-1836.


The facts brought to light by Messrs. Smith and Dwight respecting
the Nestorians, made it the duty of the American Board to commence a
mission among them. Accordingly in January, 1833, the Rev. Justin
Perkins, then a tutor in Amherst College, was appointed the first
missionary to that people; and Mr. Smith, being ready to return to
the Mediterranean, having published his "Researches in Armenia and
Persia," it was decided that Mr. Perkins should accompany him as far
as Malta. They received their official instructions together, in the
chapel of the Theological Seminary at Andover, on a Sabbath evening
in September, and the two brethren embarked, with their wives, on
the 21st of that month. Mr. Perkins, in the interval, had been
prostrated by a fever, but it was deemed safe for him to proceed,
and his recovery was so rapid that he was soon able to administer to
the comfort of his associates at sea.

"Your first duty among the Nestorians," said the Prudential
Committee in their instructions to Mr. Perkins, "will be to
cultivate an intimate acquaintance with the religious opinions and
sentiments of the Nestorians. You are aware that, excepting the
information collected by Messrs. Smith and Dwight, during the few
days they were at Oroomiah, almost all we know concerning that sect
in modern times, is derived from papal writers. The learned
investigations of some of these entitle them to high honor, and may
be of great use to you, in the way of furnishing topics for inquiry,
but the Committee wish the information which you communicate
concerning the present state of the Nestorian Church, to be the
result of your own personal investigations; at least to be thus
corroborated. The churches of this country ought to be accurately
informed as to the number of the Nestorians, their places of
residence, their doctrines, rites, morals, education, etc. Whether
you will be able at present, with a due regard for personal safety,
to penetrate the Koordish mountains, and visit the Nestorian
Patriarch, is very doubtful. But the journey should be performed as
soon as may be, lest interested and perverse men should prejudice
his mind against you."

After stating that they should take pains to show the Nestorians,
that they had no intention of subjecting them to any foreign
ecclesiastial power; and showing that the acknowledgment of the New
Testament, as the only authoritative standard of religious truth,
made them stand on common ground with the people to whom they were
sent; it was stated, that their main object would be to enable the
Nestorian Church, through the grace of God, to exert a commanding
influence in the regeneration of Asia.

"Concentrated effort," it was added, "is effective effort. There is
such a thing as attempting too much. Many a missionary has attempted
such great things, and so many, in a new field, that he has
accomplished little, and perhaps nothing as he ought. Your surveys
may extend over a great surface; but a richer and speedier harvest
will crown your labors, if your cultivation is applied to a single
field."

The Nestorians are a branch of the ancient Christian Church, and
derive their name from Nestorius, a native of Syria and Bishop of
Constantinople, who was excommunicated by the third General Council
at Ephesus, in the year 431. The cause of his condemnation was
probably the desire to humble the occupant of the see of
Constantinople, which had begun to eclipse its sister patriarchates,
rather than any real doctrinal errors. He was banished to Arabia
Petræa, then to Libya, and finally died in Upper Egypt. But his
cause was the cause of his countrymen, and he had influential
friends in the patriarchate of Antioch, who denied the fairness of
his trial and the justice of his condemnation. His case was ardently
espoused by many young men from Persia in the famous school of
Edessa (now Oorfa), and though these were expelled, and the school
itself was destroyed in the year 489, by order of the Emperor Zeno,
the banished youths carried home with them a warm sympathy for
Nestorius, and various causes combined to extend it among the
Persian ecclesiastics. In the year 498, the sect had so multiplied,
as to have the appointment of the Archbishop of Seleucia and
Ctesiphon, who then declared himself Patriarch of the East.

"This sect continued to flourish, though occasionally persecuted,
under the Persians, the Saracens, and the Tartars. They had
celebrated schools for theology and general education. For centuries
they maintained missions in Tartary, China, and other eastern
regions. Their churches were scattered from Syria and Cyprus to
Pekin, and from the coast of Malabar and Ceylon to the borders of
Siberia. Early in the eleventh century, Unkh Khan, a Tartar prince
on the northern borders of China, invited Nestorian missionaries
among his people, and himself became the famous Prester John. Gengis
Khan and several of his sons and grandsons, who conquered China and
almost all Asia and a part of Europe, were connected with Prester
John by marriage. Several of them had Christian wives, and one of
them at least professed himself a Christian. Under some of this
dynasty, Central Asia was comparatively a civilized country; and
Christian travellers passed with safety from the banks of the
Euphrates to Samarcand and Pekin. Some of the Chinese emperors
favored Christianity, and ordered the erection of numerous churches.
Meanwhile the sword of Moslem fanaticism was advancing eastward.
Bagdad fell before it, and all the country on the Euphrates; then
Persia, then Cabul, and the regions of the north. The Nestorian
Church being thus crushed at home, its missions languished. And
finally, about the year 1400, Tamerlane, who has been called 'the
greatest of conquerors,' swept like a whirlwind over the remains of
Nestorian Christianity, prostrating everything in his course."1

1 Tracey's _History_, p. 312. See also _Missionary Herald_ for 1838,
pp. 289-298. Narses on being expelled from Edessa, opened a school
at Nisibis, A. D. 490, which became celebrated. About the same time,
Acacius, also from Edessa, established a school at Seleucia. It was
revived in 530, and was in existence as late as 605. A school was
established at Dorkena, A. D. 585. At Bagdad were two schools in
832, and two others were in its neighborhood. Schools existed at
Terhana, Mahuza, Maraga, and Adiabene, in Assyria, and at Maraga, in
Aderbijan. There were also schools in Elam, Persia, Korassan, and
Arabia. The school at Nisibis had a three years' course of study.
The studies to a great extent were theological; but to the study of
the Bible, they added, in the schools generally, the study of
grammar, rhetoric, poetry, dialetics, arithmetic, geometry, music,
astronomy, medicine, etc.

From Malta, Mr. and Mrs. Perkins proceeded to Constantinople, where
they were cordially welcomed by Messrs. Goodell and Dwight, near the
close of the year. After a sojourn of five months, awaiting the
proper season for travelling, they took passage, in an English
vessel, for Trebizond; and there they commenced their long land
travel of seven hundred miles to Oroomiah.

Mrs. Perkins was the first American lady to visit Trebizond, and the
inhabitants thronged the streets to gaze upon her as she passed
through the city. On the day of their entrance into Erzroom, they
crossed the Euphrates, which is there only a few rods wide, and
easily forded on horseback. The city is on an elevated plain,
cultivated through almost its whole extent, with numerous villages
everywhere in sight.

They were now in one of the oldest cities in the world, founded, as
tradition says, by a grandson of Noah, and had gone over a third of
the distance to Tabriz, and the most difficult part of the journey.
Here they were detained nearly a month by the incursions of Koordish
robbers along the direct road to Tabriz. The Pasha having gone with
his troops to drive back the marauders, Mr. Perkins resumed his
journey on the 15th of July. Next day he overtook the Pasha, who
assured him that he could not safely go in advance of his army. The
only alternative was to return to Erzroom for several weeks, or take
a circuitous route through the Russian provinces. He thought it best
to choose the latter course, and the Pasha kindly furnished him with
a guard of horsemen as far as the frontier. On the 22d they crossed
into Georgia, and soon found themselves subjected to a most annoying
quarantine of fourteen days. The laws of the empire in that province
were very oppressive, particularly in their operation upon
travellers. The ukase of the Emperor Alexander, favoring the
introduction of foreign goods for ten years subsequent to 1822, had
expired. Consequently Mr. Perkins was not allowed to take any of his
baggage with him, except wearing apparel, not even medicines; he was
required to send all back into Turkey. Resuming his journey on the
7th of August, Mr. Perkins passed on rapidly to the Arras, which
divides Georgia from Persia. Here he was needlessly and wantonly
detained six days, for his passports. The hardships resulting from
such treatment, with other causes, had now brought Mrs. Perkins into
a very critical state of health. As a last resort, Mr. Perkins
addressed a letter to Sir John Campbell, British ambassador at
Tabriz, describing their situation, and enclosing his letters of
introduction to that gentleman. Scarcely had he crossed into Persia,
three days after, although his distance from Tabriz was not less
than a hundred miles, when he was met by a courier from the
ambassador, with a letter written in the kindest terms, and the
duplicate of another which he had procured from the Russian
ambassador to the officials on the frontier, with a view to put an
immediate stop to Mr. Perkins' detention. The kindness of the same
gentleman led him to send a takhtrawan for Mrs. Perkins, together
with delicacies for her comfort on the way.

A providential escape occurred during the first night after crossing
the Arras. Their road led up a high mountain. As they were ascending
it, the forward mule of the takhtrawan became obstinate, and
suddenly ran back, forcing the one behind upon the very brink of the
precipice, along which the road ran; and had not divine mercy stayed
them just there, takhtrawan, bearers, and occupant would have been
dashed down the precipice together.

The following day, they had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Riach,
physician of the embassy, whom they had seen at Constantinople, and
who had come, with a Russian travelling passport, determined to
cross the frontier, if necessary, and remain with them until their
liberation. The medical skill of Dr. Riach did much to aid Mrs.
Perkins in completing the journey to Tabriz, where they arrived on
the 23d of August, seventy-four days after their departure from
Trebizond. Three days after, Mrs. Perkins became the mother of a
daughter, of whose existence she was unconscious for several days.
Her life was probably saved, under God, through the combined skill
and kind attentions of three English physicians, who were then
providentially at Tabriz. The Ambassador was exceedingly kind; so
were Mr. and Mrs. Nesbit, who have been already introduced to the
reader. Dr. Riach, afterwards at the head of the embassy, stayed
five days and nights with Mrs. Perkins, not retiring from the house
till he saw some hope of her recovery. "The treatment we received
from them on our first arrival," writes the missionary nine years
after, "is but a specimen of their kindness to us from that period
to the present."


The field about to be occupied was of limited extent. The Nestorians
numbered not more than one hundred and fifty thousand souls. Their
territory extended from Lake Oroomiah three hundred miles westward
to the Tigris, and two hundred miles from north to south, embracing
some most rugged mountain ranges, and several very beautiful and
fertile plains, the largest of which formed the district of
Oroomiah. Education was then at the lowest ebb among the people,
hardly a score of men being intelligent readers, while only one
woman, the sister of Mar. Shimon, was able to read at all. They had
no printed books, and but very few manuscripts of even portions of
the Bible, and these were in the ancient Syriac, which was an
unknown tongue to almost all of them. Their spoken language was an
unwritten dialect of the Syriac. Still deeper was their moral
degradation, almost every command of the decalogue being
transgressed without compunction, or even shame when detected. Yet
they were entirely accessible to the Protestant missionary, and were
more Scriptural in their doctrines and ritual, with far less of
bigotry, than any other Oriental sect; so much so, indeed, that the
Nestorians were sometimes called the "Protestants of Asia."

Mr. Perkins wisely determined upon acquiring a knowledge of the
Syriac before going to reside among them. To obtain a teacher, he
visited Oroomiah in October, accompanied by the Rev. Mr. Haas, of
the Basle Missionary Society, then residing at Tabriz. The manner in
which he was everywhere received by the Nestorians was exceedingly
encouraging, and he obtained the services of Mar Yohannan, one of
their most intelligent bishops, as a teacher, who brought with him a
young priest, scarcely less promising than the bishop himself.

Asahel Grant, M. D., and wife, left Trebizond for Persia September
17, 1835, accompanied by Rev. James L. Merrick, who was to commence
a mission to the Mohammedans of Persia. Mr. Perkins met them at
Erzroom, to assist on their journey through the inhospitable region
of the Koords.

The province called Oroomiah is situated in the northwestern part of
modern Persia. It is the northwestern part of ancient Media. A
beautiful lake, eighty miles long and thirty broad, and four
thousand feet above the level of the sea, is its boundary on the
east, and a chain of snow-covered mountains bounds it on the west.
The water of the lake is so salt and bituminous that fish cannot
live in it, while its shores are enlivened by numerous water-fowl,
of which the beautiful flamingo is most conspicuous.1 The plain
contains about three hundred villages and hamlets, and is covered
with fields, gardens, and vineyards, which are irrigated by streams
from the mountains. The landscape is one of the most lovely in the
East, and its effect is heightened by its contrast with the adjacent
heights, on which not a solitary tree is to be seen. Along the
water-courses are willows, poplars, and sycamores; and the peach,
apricot, pear, plum, and other fruits impart to large sections the
appearance of a forest. Near the centre of the plain, four hundred
feet above the lake, stands the city of Oroomiah. It dates from a
remote antiquity, and claims to be the birthplace of Zoroaster. It
is built chiefly of unburnt brick, is surrounded by a high mud wall
and a ditch, and has a population of twenty-five thousand, of whom
the larger part are Mohammedans. The Nestorians of the plain were
estimated at twenty thousand.

1 An analysis of the water of the lake is said to have proved it to
be highly charged with sulphureted hydrogen.

Dr. Grant left Tabriz six days in advance of his associates, to
prepare for their coming. But so tardy had been the carpenters, that
Mr. Perkins and the ladies found things in a very sorry condition.
It was late in November, and after facing a driving rain all day,
they had to content themselves with unfinished and unfurnished
rooms; and as the muleteers did not arrive with their baggage, they
had neither bedding, nor a change of clothing. But they had a
blazing fire, and provisions from the market, with a sharpened
appetite, and slept comfortably on piles of shavings, covered with
the clothes they had dried by the fire.

Dr. Grant awakened great interest as a physician. He was continually
thronged with patients sick with all manner of diseases, real and
imaginary. Moslems and Nestorians came together. Children brought
their aged parents, and mothers their little ones. Those blinded by
ophthalmia were led by the hand. Those relieved from suffering were
ready to kiss his feet, or even his shoes at the door. But it was a
laborious and trying position. A thousand silly questions must be
answered. Nor was there any certainty that the prescriptions would
be followed, even if understood; and every Nestorian, though
suffering under the most alarming disease, would sooner die than
touch a spoonful of chicken-broth during a fast. Dr. Grant gained
great repute by the removal of cataracts, and the consequent
restoration of sight. There were patients from great distances.
Nestorians came from the mountains, Koordish chiefs from the regions
beyond, and some from the distant borders of Georgia. Among the
multitudes, were the governor of the province, two princes of the
royal family, and many of the Persian nobles. His services were
gratuitous, he made no show to attract customers, and being ready to
aid the native physicians with both medicine and instruction he gave
them no offense.

Dr. Grant possessed a rare fitness for the position. I have a vivid
recollection of him at the time of the annual meeting of the Board
at Utica in 1834, when he presented himself, one stormy evening, to
offer his services as a physician for the mission to the Nestorians.
What specially impressed me was his commanding form and mien, joined
with calm decision and courage, qualities eminently fitting him for
a life in Koordistan. The impressions made by that brief personal
interview, were sustained and strengthened through a most intimate
correspondence till his death.

It is in the early stage of a mission, that the value of a pious
physician is most apparent. With the exaggerated conceptions usually
entertained of the temporal blessings he is able to confer, he is
welcomed by all classes from the first. Every door is opened, every
man and woman is accessible. The good-will thus awakened is more or
less shared by his fellow missionaries, and is thus likely to be all
the sooner confirmed by a spiritual appreciation of the Gospel.

Soon after their arrival, the missionaries were invited to attend a
wedding at Geog-tapa, a large Nestorian village five miles distant.
As they approached, a multitude came out to meet them, with trumpets
and drums, and shouts of "welcome, welcome." The pupils of an
English school, which priest Abraham had opened, saluted them with
"good morning." They found a fat buffalo just knocked down before
the bridegroom's house, and the bride was standing, like a veiled
statue, in the farther corner of a large room, which was soon filled
by the rushing multitude. It was customary to have the marriage
ceremony in the church, commencing at least an hour before day
because of its length, and because all parties, even the officiating
priests, were obliged to fast till it was over; but out of regard to
the strangers, it was deferred till their arrival, and was in the
dwelling of the bridegroom's family. Priest Abraham officiated,
assisted by two other priests and by several deacons, in reading the
prayers and Scripture selections, all in the ancient Syriac. After
an hour's reading, the time came for joining hands. Several women
caught hold of the veiled bride, and pulled her by main force half
across the room toward her intended husband. Several men at the same
time seized the bridegroom, who, after a modest resistance, yielded
and advanced towards the bride. He was not able to secure her hand,
however, without a struggle, but at length succeeded; and then both
took a submissive stand near the officiating clergy. After reading
another hour or more, the bishops, priests, and missionaries, with
the multitude, advanced and kissed the married pair.

Mr. Perkins engaged Mar Gabriel, a bishop, fair in form, but of a
restless spirit, to reside with him as his teacher in Syriac; and
the year did not close before this indefatigable missionary
commenced reducing the modern Syriac to writing, with the aid of
priest Abraham, who wrote a beautiful hand. His first translation
was the Lord's Prayer. The Nestorians were much interested, having
never heard reading in their spoken language. Even the sober priest
could not refrain from immoderate laughter, as he repeated line
after line of his own writing.

What soon became a seminary for males was commenced on the 18th of
January, 1836, with seven boys from the city, and the number was
soon increased to fifty by accessions from the surrounding region,
among whom were three deacons and one priest. Manuscript cards
prepared by Mr. Perkins supplied the place of books. They read in
the ancient Syriac, and the cards in the modern dialect, and in
English, and also wrote with their fingers in sand-boxes, and made
some progress in arithmetic. There were several free schools, but
only a very small proportion of the hundred pupils were females.
Several of the clergy resided with the mission, and conducted
worship once on each Sabbath in their own language. At this service
a portion of Scripture was read, which they had previously studied
with Mr. Perkins, and its meaning was explained and enforced. It is
a singular fact, that Dr. Grant was obliged to teach a Mohammedan
school during a small part of each day, to quiet the Mussulmans, who
were jealous of these favors to their despised Christian subjects,
and resentfully inquired, "Are we to be passed by?"

Experience showed that the families had been removed to Oroomiah too
soon; for it took place during cold weather, and the new mud used in
repairing the walls of their chambers had not been sufficiently
dried. This predisposed them to disease during the hot, malarious
summer, when all were more or less affected with illness. A bilious
fever brought Mr. Perkins to the borders of the grave; and while he
lay thus sick, and at one time insensible, Dr. and Mrs. Grant were
seized with fever and ague. Missionary labors were of course
suspended. The Nestorians sympathized deeply, and rendered all the
aid in their power, and Mohammedans also manifested much concern.



CHAPTER XII.

THE NESTORIANS.

1836-1840.


The two missionaries and priest Abraham narrowly escaped
assassination by ruffians of a class called Lootee, while on a visit
to the village of Mar Joseph. Walking quietly through the village
they encountered three of these fellows, in a narrow path lined by a
hedge, with a horse placed across to obstruct their progress. Priest
Abraham stepped forward, and was mildly requesting them to allow his
party to pass, when one raised his dagger to strike him. Seeing the
defenseless priest in peril, Mr. Perkins instinctively sprang
forward, and the assassin turned upon him. Nothing but his fall at
the moment the weapon struck him, saved him from instant death. As
it was, the dagger cut through his clothes, and punctured his side.
Seeing his associates thus hard beset, Dr. Grant, who was behind,
ran up and brought his riding whip with such force across the
villain's eyes, as to confuse him for the moment, and in the
confusion the party ran into a house and barred the doors. The
priest received a cut in the head, but Mr. Perkins was not seriously
wounded. Through the efforts of the British ambassador, the Lootee
received so severe a chastisement from the Persian authorities, as
made them careful, ever after, how they injured any member of the
mission.

A printing establishment was much needed; and a press was sent with
the Rev. Albert L. Holliday and Mr. William R. Stocking, who sailed
from Boston in January, 1837. At Trebizond, the press was found too
unwieldy to be carried overland, and was accordingly sent back to
Constantinople and sold to the Armenians, for their high-school at
Scutari. The new missionaries were met at Erzroom by Mr. Perkins and
Mar Yohannan, and reached their destination in June. Mr. Holliday
found the encouragement to labor quite as great as had been
represented by the brethren first in the field.

The extreme poverty of the Nestorians had the same effect on the
first missionaries, that like causes have had in some other portions
of the unevangelized world. It caused the whole expense of schools
and of the agency employed to be thrown upon the Christian public at
home. The board of the fifty scholars in the seminary was paid by
the mission, and people in the villages thought they could not
afford to send their children to the village schools, unless each of
them was paid two or three cents a day to buy their bread. They said
their children could earn as much by weeding the cotton, or driving
the oxen; and the brethren naturally rejoiced in being able to
afford this aid. Among the students of the seminary at this time,
were two bishops, three priests, and four deacons, who of course
were adults. Pupils in the first rudiments of their own language
received twelve and a half cents a week for their support, and the
more advanced received twenty-five cents. Experience was as needful
to discover the best methods of missionary labor, as of any other
untried undertaking.

The mission now had eight native helpers, among whom were three
bishops and two priests, all, except one, residing with the mission.
That one was the venerable Mar Elias, the oldest bishop in the
province, who superintended one of the schools. He had adopted the
practice of translating portions of the Epistles, which he read
statedly in his church. Some of the people were much delighted with
the innovation; but others, and a profligate priest among them,
complained that he annoyed them with the precepts of "Paul, Paul,
Paul," of whom they had scarcely ever heard before. But the good
bishop did not regard the opposition.

Mrs. Grant was the first member of the mission, called away by
death. She had been thoroughly educated, and the two bishops in her
family wondered to see a woman learning Syriac through the Latin
language. Nor was their wonder less when she turned to the Greek for
the meaning of some difficult passage in the New Testament. Finding
the prejudices of the people too strong to permit her to begin a
girls' school at once, she taught her own female domestics to read,
and then sought to interest mothers in the education of their
daughters. At length she succeeded in collecting a small school of
girls, of which she was the first teacher. When too sick to leave
her chamber, she had the pupils assemble there. This was the
beginning of the Female Seminary, which afterwards became so noted
under Miss Fiske. It was commenced March 12, 1838, with four pupils,
but the number soon increased, and Mrs. Perkins rendered valuable
aid. Mrs. Grant readily learned to speak the Turkish, and to read
the ancient Syriac. The modern Syriac she was able both to read and
write, and the French she could speak before leaving home. But,
cultured and refined as she was, she declared the time spent in the
mission field among that rude people, to have been the happiest part
of her life. The aid she rendered her husband in his medical
practice, added not a little to her usefulness. She had great
aptness and skill in the sick chamber, and like her divine Master
went about doing good; yet without neglecting her household affairs.
Her death occurred on the 14th of January, 1839, at the age of
twenty-five. She was greatly lamented by the Nestorians. The bishops
said to the afflicted husband, "We will bury her in the church,
where none but holy men are buried;" and her death produced a
subdued and tender spirit throughout the large circle of her
acquaintance. This better state of feeling continued through the
year, especially in the seminary.

Priest Dunka, from one of the independent tribes, gave indications
of piety. He had learned the alphabet in his childhood, while
tending his father's flocks on the mountains, and became a reader
without farther instruction. At Oroomiah he was now both a learner
and helper. Three months of the summer he spent among his native
mountains, preaching the Gospel in the villages around his home.
Little of the truth had been heard there for ages, except in the
unknown language of the liturgy, but the people were eager to
listen.

In September, Robert Glen, son of the Rev. William Glen of Tabriz, was
hopefully converted while at Oroomiah on a visit. He was born at
Astrakhan, where his father labored seventeen years as a missionary,
and was now employed as a teacher in a small school of Moslem young
men. The mission at this time had twelve schools in as many villages,
containing two hundred and seventy-two males, with twenty-two females;
and seventeen pupils in the female boarding-school, and fifty-five in
the seminary, which was taught by a priest and deacon, under the
supervision of Mr. Stocking.

The scarcity of copies of the Holy Scriptures among the Nestorian
people would be remarkable, in view of their receiving them as their
rule of faith and practice, if we did not remember how sorely they
had been persecuted in the past, and how much they still suffered
from Moslem oppression. Excepting the Psalms, which entered largely
into the prescribed form of worship, they had but one copy of the
Old Testament, and that was in a number of volumes, the property of
several individuals. The British and Foreign Bible Society had
printed the Gospels in the Nestorian character; but they had
scarcely more than a single copy of the Acts of the Apostles and the
Epistles, and none of the Book of Revelation, in their own
character. Of course all was in the ancient language.

Dr. Grant had been suffering for some time before the death of his
wife, from the climate of the plain; and he was now instructed by
his Committee to commence a station, if possible, among the
Nestorians on the western side of the Koordish mountains. Incapable
of fear, he had vainly sought the consent of his brethren to
penetrate the mountains directly from the plain. It was the belief
of the Committee that, with his medical skill and his courage and
address, he could do this with safety; but the brethren of the
mission had been so impressed by the murder of Mr. Schultz, on that
route, that they could not consent; and the opinions of brethren on
the ground were not to be disregarded. He was, however, authorized
to enter the mountains from the west, in the belief that, once
established there, he would soon find his way opened on every side.

On the first of April, 1839, Dr. Grant left Oroomiah, expecting to
meet Mr. Homes at Erzroom, who had been appointed to accompany him.
An unusually late fall of snow made the journey perilous. For more
than two hundred miles, it was from two to four feet deep; and for
twenty miles, in the mountains beyond Ararat, there was not a single
human habitation. In descending, the only way he could know when he
was out of the path, was by the depth to which he sank in the snow.
In the pass of Dahar, near the sources of the Euphrates, where
Messrs. Smith and Dwight had well-nigh perished, the guide lost the
path in a snow-storm, and declared it impossible to go on. The snow
was too deep for the horses. Turning back was out of the question,
as their tracks were obliterated by the wind, which would then be in
their faces. Though benumbed and feeble, the courage of Dr. Grant
did not fail. He could not tell how deliverance would come, but had
a sweet assurance that God would send it, and encouraged his
companions to new effort. Just then four mountaineers came tramping
over the snow before them, and one of them consenting to turn back,
they passed safely on foot, the man breaking down the drifts for the
horses, and exploring the path by thrusting his long staff deep into
the snow. He reached Erzroom on the seventeenth, and rested with his
kind friend Dr. Riach, who had retired from Teheran, because of
impending war between England and Persia. Dr. Grant's health had
improved amid all his hardships.

Learning that Mr. Homes was detained at Constantinople, he started
for Trebizond on the eighteenth, with no attendant except the
surijee from the post-house, and there took a steamer for
Constantinople. Mr. Homes not being yet able to accompany him, he
returned alone to Erzroom, and proceeded thence to Diarbekir, where
he arrived May 30. He found the city waiting in suspense for news
from the battle of Nizib, between the forces of Mohammed Ali and the
Sultan. The defeat of the latter was soon manifest in the arrival of
hundreds of fugitives, completely stripped by the Koords. Anarchy
reigned from that moment, and the city was filled with robbery and
murder. The people ascribed their defeat to Frank innovations in
military tactics; and when Mr. Homes arrived, the brethren not only
heard curses against themselves in the streets, but an openly
expressed purpose to kill every European in the place. The
thermometer was then 98 in the shade, and their danger from both
climate and people induced them to leave for Mardin, which they did
with an escort of thirty horsemen. Such was their personal danger
even at Mardin, only a few days after their arrival, that the
governor offered them a guard. This they declined, not thinking it
best to manifest any alarm, and the excitement soon apparently died
away. But, two months later, a mob killed the governor in his palace
in open day, and also several leading men, and then sought the
lodgings of the missionaries, intending to kill them. Providentially
they had ridden out farther than usual that morning, in a vain
search for a caravan, and before their return, the Koords had shut
the gates, to prevent the entrance of government troops. That saved
the lives of our brethren, who retired to the convent of the Syrian
Patriarch, a few miles distant, which their enemies did not dare to
attack.

In the midst of so much peril, and with so little hope of
usefulness, Mr. Homes, by the advice of brethren at Constantinople
and Smyrna, resolved to return, and Dr. Grant did not withhold his
consent. "Within the ruined walls of an ancient church," he writes,
"in a lonely ravine, overlooked by the town, I exchanged the parting
embrace with my brother and companion in tribulation. On account of
the anarchy around us, we had travelled together barely two days,
but on a bed of sickness, and surrounded by men of blood, I had
learned to prize the company of a Christian friend. Yet, while
Providence called him back to Constantinople, to me it seemed to
cry, 'Onward to the mountains!'"

Dr. Grant resolved to go to Mosul. Disguised in an Oriental dress,
he returned to Mardin to prepare for his journey, and while there,
his safety was insured by the surrender of the town to the Pasha of
Mosul. On his way, he was favored with the company of Captain
Conolly, the bearer of despatches for India, whose sad fate on the
banks of the Oxus afterwards occasioned the journey of Dr. Wolff to
Bokhara. The distance was nearly two hundred miles, and they arrived
at Mosul on the 20th of September.

Fully resolved to penetrate the fastnesses of Koordistan, and
trusting in the protecting power of his gracious Lord, Dr. Grant
left Mosul on the 7th of October, with two Nestorians from Persia, a
Koordish muleteer, and a kavass from the Pasha. Crossing the bridge
of twenty-one boats, which spans the Tigris, he was amid the ruins
of Nineveh, and soon reached a Yezidee village, where he was
hospitably received. On the 15th, as he approached Duree, near the
borders of Tiary, deep Syriac gutturals from stentorian voices in
the rocks above him demanded who he was, where he was going, and
what he wanted. Had he been a Papist, he would have been robbed; as
it was, the frightened kavass lost all courage, and begged
permission to return.

When the people heard him speak their own language, they gathered
around, and welcomed him to their mountain home. His fame as a
physician had preceded him, and they came for medicine from all
directions. The venerable bishop, with a long white beard, took him
into their ancient church, which was a cave high up on the mountain
side, with heavy masonry in front, and dark within. Here the bishop
slept, to be in readiness for early morning prayers, and he was
pleased with the gift of a box of matches to light his lamp.

A loftier range still separated Dr. Grant from Tiary, the "munition
of rocks," which he describes as "an amphitheatre of mountains
broken with dark, deep defiles and narrow glens, that for ages had
been the secure abodes of this branch of the Christian Church." He
had been warned at Mosul, not to enter this region without an escort
from the Patriarch. But he could not afford the delay, and as the
bishop encouraged him, he resolved to go alone. Exchanging his
Turkish boots for the bishop's sandals, made of hair, to avoid a
fatal slip on the smooth, narrow ledges of the mountain, he set off
early on the 18th. An hour and a half brought him to the summit.
Retiring to a sequestered corner, where he could feast his eyes with
the prospect, his thoughts went back to the period when the
Nestorians traversed Asia, and, for more than a thousand years,
preached the Gospel in Tartary, Mongolia, and China. Though the
flame of vital piety was almost quenched on their altars, his faith
anticipated the day when those glens would reëcho the glad praises
of God; and down he sped, over cliffs and slippery ledges, to the
large village of Lezan, on the banks of the noisy Zab. Scarcely had
he entered it, when a young man, the only one he had ever seen from
this remote region, from whose eyes he had removed a cataract a year
before, came with a present of honey, and introduced him at once to
the confidence of the people. He became so thronged with the sick
from all the region, that he had to forbid more than three or four
coming forward at once.

Leaving Lezan, he went up to Ashita, where he became the guest of a
priest, reported to be the most learned of living Nestorians, who
had spent twenty years in copying, in beautiful style, the few works
of Nestorian literature; but even he had not an entire Bible. He was
electrified by Dr. Grant's account of the press, that could do his
twenty years' work in a less number of hours. At Kerme, where he
arrived on the twenty-fifth, almost exhausted by a walk of ten long
hours, he was soon recognized and welcomed by a Nestorian, who had
received medical aid from him two years before at Oroomiah. Starting
the next morning for the Patriarch's residence, he forded a river on
horseback, that was fifty or sixty yards across. He was now on the
caravan road from Salmas to Julamerk. In the more precipitous
places, the rock had been cut away and regular steps chiseled out.
He was received by the Patriarch with great cordiality, without the
extravagant compliments so common with the Persians. "And now," said
the Patriarch, "you will make my house your own, and regard me as
your older brother." Mar Shimon was thirty-eight years old, above
the middle stature, well-proportioned, with a pleasant, expressive,
and rather intelligent countenance; and his large flowing robes, his
Koordish turban, and his long gray beard, gave him a patriarchal and
venerable appearance, that was heightened by a uniformly dignified
demeanor. But for the fire in his eye and his activity, he would
have been thought nearer fifty than thirty-eight. Being the temporal
as well as spiritual head of his people, the difficulties of his
situation were assigned as the cause of his hoary hair and beard.

During the five weeks spent in the patriarchal mansion, Dr. Grant
had an opportunity to see Nestorians of intelligence and influence
from all parts of the mountains, and elicited from them information
such as he could not have gained in any other way. At parting, the
Patriarch presented him one of the ancient manuscripts of his
library. It was the New Testament, written on parchment, in the old
Estrangelo character, seven hundred and forty years before. It was
presented by Dr. Grant to the library of the American Board, and is
now there.

His next sojourn was in the castle of Nûrûllah Bey, chief of the
independent Hakary Koords, two days from the residence of the
Patriarch. The Bey was very sick; and becoming impatient under the
slow operation of the medicine given him by the doctor, he sent a
messenger for him at midnight. "The sentinels upon the ramparts,"
says Dr. Grant, "were sounding the watch-cry in the rough tones of
their native Koordish. We entered the outer court through wide,
iron-cased folding-doors. A second iron door opened into a long dark
alley, which conducted to the room where the chief was lying. It was
evident that he was becoming impatient; and as I looked upon the
swords, pistols, guns, spears, and daggers--the ordinary furniture
of a Koordish castle--which hung around the walls of the room, I
could not but think of the fate of the unfortunate Schultz, who had
fallen, as it is said, by the orders of this sanguinary chief. He
had the power of life and death in his hands. I knew I was entirely
at his mercy; but I felt that I was under the guardian care of One,
who had the hearts of kings in His keeping."

The chieftain recovered, and, in token of his gratitude, made his
benefactor the present of a horse. Dr. Grant describes him as a man
of noble bearing, fine open countenance, and about thirty years of
age. This important journey was completed on the 7th of December,
1839.

The Rev. Willard Jones and wife arrived in the month previous; and
the Rev. Austin H. Wright, M. D., and wife, in the following July,
to take Dr. Grant's place as missionary physician; and Mr. Edward
Breath, a printer, in November. A press, made for the mission, to be
taken to pieces and so rendered portable, came with the printer,
much to the satisfaction of the people. A font of Syro-Chaldaic type
had previously been received from London, through the kindness of
the Rev. Joseph Jowett, editorial superintendent of the British and
Foreign Bible Society's publications. The press was the more
seasonable, because the Jesuits had commenced their characteristic
and determined efforts to get possession of the field. The vain
young bishop, Mar Gabriel, imagining himself to have been slighted
by his clerical brethren, and being strongly assailed with
flatteries and offers of money, had, in an evil hour, encouraged
them to come among his people. On reflection he repented of his
rashness, called in the aid of his Protestant friends, and wrote to
Boré, the French Jesuit, warning him to keep aloof from his people.
Boré was enraged, and replied that, having a firman from the King of
Persia permitting him to open schools, he should open one at
Ardishai. But Gabriel and the mission had already opened a school
under one of the best teachers from the Seminary, and soon opened
another,--the two containing sixty scholars; while the Jesuit's
school, commencing with nine scholars, dwindled to four or five. One
of the first works of the press was to print a tract in the Syriac
language, entitled "Twenty-two Plain Reasons for not being a Roman
Catholic." The Nestorians were exceedingly interested by the array
of Scripture texts against the corrupt doctrines and practices of
that sect. This was followed by a thousand copies of the Psalms.

The gradual revival of preaching in this ancient Church, became now
apparent. At the earnest request of the people, a circuit was formed
of seven preaching stations, at all of which the missionaries were
aided by ecclesiastics, three of them bishops.

Thus, with the hearty approval of both bishops and priests, the
missionaries began to preach in the churches, and so great was the
demand for preaching that Mr. Stocking was ordained. The ordination
took place in one of the Nestorian churches. Mr. Perkins felt that
spiritual death, rather than theological error, was the calamity of
the Nestorians. Their liturgy was composed, in general, of
unexceptionable and excellent matter, and the charge of heresy on
the subject of Christ's character, he pronounces unjust. The Nicene
Creed, which they always repeat at the close of their worship,
accords very nearly with that venerable document, as it has been
handed down to us.1

1 Annual Report of the Board for 1841, p. 114.



CHAPTER XIII.

THE MOUNTAIN NESTORIANS.

1840-1844.


We paused in the history of the Nestorian mission at the return of
Dr. Grant to Oroomiah, after a successful exploration of the
mountains of Koordistan. He remained there till the 7th of May,
1840. During this time, two brothers of the Patriarch visited the
mission, and urged its extension into the mountains. Mar Shimon also
wrote, renewing his request for a visit in the spring. Dr. Grant had
but little prospect of recovering his health on the plain; and the
welfare of his two sons in the United States, children of his first
marriage, and the three children then with him at Oroomiah, seemed
to require that he revisit his native land. Two of these last
mentioned sickened and died in January. Having then only one son to
take with him, four years of age, he decided to return through the
mountains, and revisit the Patriarch on his way. It was a perilous
journey so early in the season, especially with so tender a
companion; but the brave little fellow appears to have endured the
snows and precipices of Koordistan as well as the father. The boy
was everywhere a favorite, both with Koords and Nestorians. One
night the snow was so deep near the summit of a mountain that they
were obliged to sleep under the open sky, with the thermometer below
zero; but the Patriarch's brothers had carpets enough to keep them
warm until three in the morning, when the light of the moon enabled
them to resume their journey. Mar Shimon was then a guest of
Suleiman Bey, in the castle of Julamerk, and with him they spent ten
days. Nûrûllah Bey had gone to Erzroom to negotiate for the
subjugation of the Independent Nestorians to the Turkish rule,
having already relinquished his own personal independence, and
become a Pasha of the empire. Suleiman Bey was a relative of the
Emir, and had been the leader of the party that murdered Mr.
Schultz. He showed special kindness to Dr. Grant. His mother and
sister, as also the sister and mother of the Patriarch, with womanly
forethought, loaded the Doctor with supplies for the inhospitable
road before them. He found the Emir at Van on his return home, and
discovered what had been the object of his journey to Erzroom. When
Dr. Grant arrived there, with clothes worn and ragged from the
roughness of the journey, he had the happiness of meeting Dr.
Wright, then on his way to Oroomiah. The two brethren called on the
gentlemen of the Persian embassy, then at Erzroom, and one of them,
observing Dr. Grant's erect and commanding person, remarked that a
good soldier was spoiled when that man became a missionary. At
Trebizond he gladly exchanged the saddle for the quiet of the
steamer, which took him to Constantinople, and he arrived at Boston
on the 3d of October.

Having embraced the theory, that the Nestorians are descendants of
the lost Ten Tribes of Israel, Dr. Grant, with characteristic
industry, employed such time as he could command during his
missionary travels and his homeward voyage, in preparing a volume in
support of these views. It was published both in this country and in
England, and attracted considerable attention. The celebrated Dr.
Edward Robinson deemed it deserving of an elaborate discussion in
the "American Biblical Repository," in which he makes a strong
argument against the theory.1

1 See _American Biblical Repository_, 1841, vol. vi. of new series,
pp. 454-482, and vol. vii. pp. 26-68.

In January, 1841, Dr. Grant had the pleasure of witnessing the
departure of the Rev. Messrs. Abel K. Hinsdale and Colby C.
Mitchell, and their wives, for the Mountain Nestorians. They went by
way of Aleppo and Mosul, that being the more practicable route for
females; but the Doctor, thinking to reach the mountains before
them, and prepare for their arrival, went himself by way of
Constantinople, Erzroom, and Van. He was at Constantinople May 14th,
and at Van on the first day of July. The journey from Erzroom to
that place was wearisome and perilous, famine, the plague, and
predatory Koords harassing him nearly all the way.

Van, with fourteen thousand Armenian population, though at that time
difficult of access, was even then regarded as an important place
for a missionary station, and preferable for residence to most
others in the interior. Being five thousand feet above the level of
the sea, it was not subject to oppressive heats. There were fruitful
gardens on the one hand, stretching for miles over the plain, and on
the other, the placid lake, and snow-capped mountains; altogether
forming a very striking landscape. A small Nestorian community had
formed a settlement on the mountains within three or four hours of
Van.

Dr. Grant reached the summer residence of the Patriarch on the 9th
of July, and was cordially received as before; and the same may be
said of his intercourse with the mountaineers. He mentions several
places in Koordistan as having strong claims for a missionary
station, but gives the preference to Asheta in Tiary.

While at Asheta, he received painful tidings of the death of Mr. and
Mrs. Mitchell, and the sickness of Mr. and Mrs. Hinsdale, and
immediately started for Mosul, though at much risk from Koords on
the frontier, and from roving Arabs near the Tigris. He reached
Mosul on the 25th of August, in time to minister successfully to Mr.
Hinsdale, whose life had been seriously endangered by a relapse of
fever.

Messrs. Hinsdale and Mitchell were forty-one days on their voyage to
Smyrna, from whence an Austrian steamer took them to Beirût. Mr. and
Mrs. Beadle accompanied them as far as Aleppo, to commence a new
station. Mr. Mitchell had a slight attack of fever and ague at
Aleppo, which detained him till the 28th of May. That was rather
late in the season, still all might have gone well, had they been
able to press on with the usual speed. The abundant green grass on
the plain, however, caused the muleteers to loiter, and, once on the
road, the company was entirely at their mercy. Still the journey, as
far as Mardin, where they arrived June 19th, was both pleasant and
prosperous. On the plain below the city Mr. Mitchell, in efforts to
keep their tent from being blown down in a storm, became wet and
chilled. This brought on another fit of ague, which was repeated
after three days. On the 25th, with scarcely any apparent disease,
he lost his reason, and from that time drooped, like the withering
of a plant, till he died on the morning of June 27th, 1841. The
Koordish villagers refused the Christian a grave, nor would they aid
in carrying the body a few miles to the Jacobite village Telabel,
The survivors had not strength themselves to carry it, but secured
its conveyance thither as best they could. There they buried the
mortal remains in the village cemetery, and two rude stones mark the
grave.

Eight hours brought them in sight of the Tigris, at Beshabor. The
next day they crossed on rafts supported by inflated goat-skins,
and, on the 30th, rode six and a half hours to a Yezidee village.
Next morning, after riding an hour, Mrs. Mitchell became too ill to
proceed, and she lay four days in a mud hovel, among Arabs so rude
that they could not be kept from the sick room, where they laid
their hands on whatever they fancied. To remain there was out of the
question, so Mr. Hinsdale constructed a litter, and at exorbitant
prices obtained men from a distant village to carry it. She had to
be repeatedly laid upon the ground, while he rode far and near to
find four men willing to perform the degrading service of carrying a
woman. At length the sun became so hot, that they could travel only
by night. Their troubles were somewhat relieved by the services of a
man, whom Mr. Rassam had kindly sent to meet them. On the 7th of
July, they entered Mosul, and were cordially welcomed by Mr. and
Mrs. Rassam. Mrs. Mitchell's disease then assumed a new form, and
from that time till her death, on the 12th, her reason was
dethroned. Mr. Hinsdale was taken violently ill before the death of
Mrs. Mitchell, and Mrs. Hinsdale was unable to render any assistance
to her husband. It was in these trying circumstances, that Dr. Grant
so opportunely arrived.

There was ample evidence in the subsequent experience of the
mission, that these fatal results were not owing to any peculiar
hazard in the journey itself, though they may have resulted from the
lateness of the season. All the way from Aleppo to Mosul, they had
the assistance of Mr. Kotschy, who, in addition to his medical
knowledge, had travelled seven years in Western Asia and Africa. The
route, moreover, had been, and is still, one of the great highways
of nations.

No doubt Divine Providence is always consistent with itself, and
with the Saviour's promise; and so would it always appear to us,
could we see, as God sees, the end from the beginning. To the
devoted missionary, who dies at the outset of his career, all is
satisfactory, however painful the circumstances, as soon as he
passes the dark portal. Then, too, in contemplating the reverses
which were now beginning to thicken upon the mission, we should bear
in mind, that the divine plan for the Mountain Nestorian mission, as
afterwards appeared, was not that it be prosecuted from the western
side of the mountains, but from Oroomiah, the position first taken
by the mission; where, as we shall soon see, Gospel influences were
gathering a peculiar and most needful strength.

As soon as Mr. Hinsdale was able to travel, he accompanied Dr. Grant
on a tour among the Yezidee and Nestorian villages lying near to
Mosul.1

1 For an account of this tour, see _Missionary Herald_, 1842, pp.
310-320.

The Jacobites are a branch of the venerable Church of Antioch, and
were then painfully struggling to repel the inroads of the Papacy.
As soon as they learned the adherence of the American missionaries
to the Bible, and their opposition to Papal innovations, they began
to welcome them as friends. Having been duped by the plausible
pretenses of the Papists, they were at first cautious in their
advances; but a priest from the Syrian Christians in India, named
Joseph Matthew, on his way to be ordained metropolitan by the Syrian
Patriarch at Mardin, did much to dispel their fears, and promote
friendly relations with the missionaries. He was a graduate of the
English college at Cotayam, was evangelical in his views, spoke
English with propriety, and at once gave the right hand of
fellowship to the missionaries, and bespoke for them the confidence
of the people. Early in the following year, he returned from Mardin
as Bishop Athanasius, and consented to remain and preach among the
Jacobites during Dr. Grant's absence in the summer.

Nûrûllah Bey had now commenced making war on the mountain
Nestorians, with the aid of the Turks; and the Nestorians, split
into hostile parties, were incapable of combined resistance.
Suleiman Bey, being opposed to an alliance with Turkey, had seized
the reins of government in the absence of the Emir; and since the
object of the Osmanlis was to subjugate the Nestorians, as well as
the Koords, the Patriarch naturally, but as it proved unhappily,
sided with Suleiman.1

1 _Dr. Grant and the Mountain Nestorians_, p. 203.

Dr. Grant believed it would now be easier to enter the mountains
from the east, than from the west. Accordingly he set out for
Oroomiah, on the 6th of June, 1842, going the southern route by way
of Ravandooz. Mr. Hinsdale and Bishop Athanasius accompanied him the
first day. When about to return, the bishop offered prayer in the
English language, and thus they parted, not all to meet again.
Athanasius wrote a letter to Dr. Grant from Malabar, but with a date
nearly a year subsequent to Dr. Grant's death, in which he stated,
that his people had welcomed him with great joy, and gladly received
the Word of God.1

1 _Dr. Grant and the Mountain Nestorians_, p. 219.

Dr. Grant crossed the plain of Arbela, where Alexander conquered
Persia, and in ten days arrived at Oroomiah. Being impatient to get
into the mountains, the mission assembled immediately, and delegated
Mr. Stocking to accompany him. Dr. Wright said of him, at this time,
that "his spirits were buoyant, his step elastic, and his energy
untiring." Two Nestorians went with them, and they had letters from
the governor and some Persian nobles to the Persian Khan and the
Emir of the Hakary Koords. At Khosrawa, Mr. Stocking was constrained
by sickness to return; and both the native assistants were so
alarmed by the warlike aspect of things, that they declined going
farther. The now solitary traveller succeeded, at the last moment,
in getting the brave bishop Mar Yûsûf to be his companion.

The Emir had now broken his treaty with the Sultan, formed two years
before in the hope of immediate aid to subdue the Nestorians; and
had sworn perpetual allegiance to the Shah, who promised him support
against the Sultan. Dr. Grant found Yahya Khan and the Emir at the
castle of Charreh, on the summit of an isolated rock near the river
of the same name. The tents of more than a dozen chiefs dotted the
green banks of the stream. Nûrûllah Bey still professed to regard
Dr. Grant as his physician and friend, and in the presence of the
Khan promised to protect him and his associates, and permit them to
erect buildings in Tiary for themselves and their schools.

The Khan, to whose friendly agency with the Emir Dr. Grant was
specially indebted, had a good reputation for integrity. He was a
Persian subject, then governor of Salmas, and also chief of a branch
of the Hakary tribe. He had married a sister of the Emir, and given
him one of his own in return, and another was in the harem of the
Shah. He assured his missionary guest of the Emir's personal
friendship, and interested himself for his future safety.

After sundry adventures among precipitous mountains and savage
Koords, Dr. Grant was once more the guest of Mar Shimon, who kindly
received the New Testament, the Psalms, and other books from the
mission press. The Doctor was himself suffering from the effects of
exposure in a wet dormitory the previous night; but the bracing air
of that elevated region renewed his strength, and he was glad to
resume his journey towards Asheta, which he had proposed as the site
of his first mountain station. On this part of the way he had the
company of Mar Shimon, who had then decided not to join the Koords
and Persians against the Turks, having discovered that the strife
between them was for the supremacy over his own people. Of the two
he preferred the Turks. He was, however, advised by Dr. Grant to
cultivate the friendship of the Emir. Further than this Dr. Grant
would not interfere, being, fully resolved not to meddle with their
political relations. A secret correspondence of the Patriarch with
the Turkish Pasha, when discovered, cost him the favor of the Emir;
and it soon became apparent that the Turks, whatever their
pretensions, were resolved upon nothing short of the complete
subjugation of his people. It was but too evident, also, to his
missionary friend, that the Patriarch was himself more concerned for
their political, than for their religious and moral condition.

Amadia, on the western frontier of the Nestorians, had now
surrendered to the Turks; and the war on that side of the mountains
being ended, Mr. Hinsdale left Mosul on the last day of September,
and in eight days was at Asheta. The prospect from the summit on the
western side of the valley was of singular beauty. The village of
Asheta extended below him for a mile and a half, with numerous plats
of grain and vegetables interspersed, the whole diversified with
shade trees of various kinds. A short distance above the village was
a deep ravine, from which the snow never disappeared. The spot
selected for the mission house, was on the summit of a hill, near
the centre of the village.

Soon after the arrival of Mr. Hinsdale, the papal bishop of Elkosh
and an Italian priest found their way to Asheta. They stated to the
Patriarch, that many boxes of presents were on their way from
Diarbekir, and requested permission to remain till they arrived. The
following Sabbath the Patriarch, with Mar Yûsûf and several priests,
held a public discussion with them on the prominent errors of the
Papacy. The result was not favorable to their object, and the next
day their presents were returned, and they had permission to leave
the country. They left during the week, but not till they had taken
much pains, though apparently without success, to shake the
Patriarch's confidence in the American missionaries. Soon after,
early in November, Mr. Hinsdale returned to Mosul.

Up to this time, Mar Yûsûf had been fearless and tolerably patient,
but he had now become heartily tired of the mountains, and longed
for his peaceful home on the plain. It was the first time in a life
of fifty years, that he had been ill when far from home. Yet he had
been faithful in imparting religious instruction, and the missionary
regretted his departure. Near the close of November, Dr. Grant
received a letter from Nûrûllah Bey, requesting his professional
services at Julamerk. His Nestorian friends strongly objected to his
going, as they were apprehensive of treachery, and not without some
reason; but he went, committing his way unto the Lord. He found the
chief sick of fever, from which he recovered, through the blessing
of God on the remedies employed. There was now opportunity to
counteract reports intended to enlist the Emir in measures to
destroy the mission. He became convinced that Dr. Grant was neither
building a castle at Asheta, nor a bazaar to draw away the trade.
Elsewhere, as will appear in the sequel, these reports had a more
serious effect.

Dr. Grant had already heard of the arrival of the Rev. Thomas Laurie
and wife at Mosul; and two days after, returning from Julamerk, he
received the painful intelligence that Mr. Hinsdale was dangerously
sick. He at once hastened to his relief, but he was too late. The
devoted missionary rested from his labors on the 26th of December,
at the age of thirty-five, after a sickness of twenty-four days. His
disease was typhus fever. Mr. Hinsdale was a native of Torrington,
Connecticut, and received his education at Yale College, and the
Auburn Theological Seminary. "On the night of his decease," says Dr.
Grant, "while his deeply afflicted wife and Mr. Laurie were sitting
by him, he was heard to say, amid the wanderings of his disordered
intellect; 'I should love to have the will of my Heavenly Father
done!' It was his 'ruling passion strong in death.' Desiring to have
the will of God done in all the earth, he had toiled to fit himself
for the missionary work, and then, regardless of sacrifices, he had
come to a field rich in promise, but full of hardships. His daily
spirit, as evinced in all his actions, made me feel that he was just
the man for this portion of the Lord's vineyard."

The Papists were, to say the least, not the main cause of Mar
Shimon's alienation from his American friends. In 1840, after Dr.
Grant had passed through the mountains the second time, on his
return to America, the Patriarch was visited by Mr. Ainsworth,
travelling at the expense of the Society for Promoting Christian
Knowledge and the Royal Geographical Society. The statements of this
gentleman and of his companion, Mr. Rassam, to Mar Shimon, so
resembled those made by the Papists, that the Patriarch suspected
them of being Jesuits in disguise, and they actually left the
mountains without removing that suspicion. Nor was it creditable to
them, that they passed through Oroomiah without even calling on the
American missionaries there.1

1 See _Dr. Grant and the Mountain Nestorians_, pp. 151-154. For Mr.
Ainsworth's account of this visit, see _Travels and Researches in
Asia Minor_, _etc_., vol. i. p. 1, and vol. ii. pp. 243-255. It is
not necessary here to correct the erroneous statements in the
passage referred to.

Had the interference gone no further, not much harm might have
ensued. But Mr. Ainsworth's report induced the Christian Knowledge
and Gospel Propagation Societies, in 1842, to send the Rev. George
Percy Badger as a missionary to the Mountain Nestorians, or rather
to the Patriarch and his clergy in the mountains. This was nine
years after the commencement of the mission to the Nestorians at
Oroomiah, eight years after the republication in England of the
Researches of Messrs. Smith and Dwight among the Nestorians, and a
year after the publication there of Dr. Grant's work, entitled "The
Nestorians, or the Lost Tribes." Nor was there ever a time when the
attention of the English nation was more directed to Western Asia.

How much the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London
actually knew of the American mission, before officially and
strongly commending Mr. Badger to the confidence of the Nestorian
Patriarch, is not known. They make no reference whatever to that
mission, and write as if they looked upon the field as entirely
unoccupied, and open to a mission from the Church of England.

Mr. Badger spent the winter of 1842-43 in Mosul; and, early in the
spring, before the mountain roads were open, and while Dr. Grant and
Mr. Laurie were preparing at Mosul to visit Asheta, he hastened to
the Patriarch, with letters and presents from the dignitaries of the
Church of England. The civil relations of the Patriarch to the
Koords, the Persians, and the Turks were such at that time, as to
make him extremely anxious for the intervention of some foreign
power; and he had been frankly told, by the American missionaries,
that they could assure him of no such intervention. Coming with
letters commendatory from the Primate of all England, the Lord
Bishop of London, and the Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem, and with
offers of schools, his power for good or evil must have been great.
It cannot be that the patrons of Mr. Badger anticipated the attitude
he would assume with regard to the American mission. The speedy
close of his mission, may be assumed as proof that they did not. But
while this is cheerfully admitted, the disastrous consequences of
this interference should be distinctly stated. Mr. Badger gives the
following account of his proceedings, in his report to the Committee
of the Gospel Propagation Society, dated March 30, 1843. After
stating the pains he took to explain the character, teaching, and
discipline of his own Church, and how well his proposals to
establish schools were received by Mar Shimon, he says, "The
proceedings of the American Dissenters here necessarily formed a
leading topic of our discourse. Through the influence of Nûrûllah
Bey, they have been permitted to settle in the mountains, and two
large establishments, one at Asheta and the other at Leezan, a
village one day distant, are at present in course of being built.
They have also a school in actual existence at Asheta, the expenses
of which are defrayed by the Board, and, if I am rightly informed,
another at Leezan. .... I did not fail to acquaint the Patriarch how
far we are removed, in doctrine and discipline, from the American
Independent missionaries. I showed him, moreover, that it would be
injudicious, and would by no means satisfy us, to have schools among
his people by the side of theirs, and pressed upon him to decide
what plan he would pursue under existing circumstances. I think the
Patriarch expressed his real sentiments on the peculiar doctrines of
the Independents, when he said, 'I hold them as cheap as an onion;'
but there are other considerations, which have more influence in
inclining him to keep on friendly terms with the missionaries. In
the first place, Dr. Grant has gained the _apparent_ good will of
Nûrûllah Bey, and the Patriarch may fear that, if he manifests any
alteration in his conduct towards the American missionaries, the
Emir might revenge it. Secondly, although I am fully convinced, that
there is hardly a Nestorian in the mountains, who sympathizes with
the doctrine or discipline of the Dissenters, whenever these differ
from their own, yet I am persuaded, that, from the Patriarch to the
poorest peasant, all value the important services of a good
physician; and besides this, they highly prize the money which the
missionaries have already expended, and are still expending among
them with no niggardly hand, in presents, buildings, schools, etc."1

1 _Nestorians and their Rituals_, vol. i. pp. 248, 249.

The reader need not be told, that Congregationalists and
Presbyterians are neither Dissenters nor Independents; and these two
large bodies of Christians founded the mission.

The object of Mr. Badger was to alienate the Patriarch from the
American mission; and he appears to have succeeded. Mar Shimon, in a
letter addressed to the Archbishop and Bishops of the English
Church, in August, 1843, speaks thus of the missionaries, with whom
he was on confidential and somewhat intimate terms before the visit
of Mr. Badger.

"Such was our condition, remaining in our own country in perfect
peace and security, when, about three years since, persons came to
us from the new world called America, and represented themselves as
true Catholic Christians; but when we became acquainted with their
way, we found that they held several errors, since they deny the
order of the Priesthood committed to us by our Lord, nor do they
receive the oecumenical councils of the Church, nor the true
traditions of the holy Fathers, nor the efficacy of the sacraments
of salvation, which Christ hath bequeathed to his Church, namely,
Baptism, and the holy Eucharist; on which account we must beware of
their working among us. But when your messenger, the pious presbyter
George, came to us, and delivered into our hands your letters, we
were filled with joy when we read their contents, and learned
therefrom your spiritual and temporal prosperity. And we have now
given up all others, that we may be united with you, in brotherhood
and true Christian love."1

1 _Nestorians and their Rituals_, vol. i. p. 273.

Five months before the date of this letter, and after the return of
Mr. Badger to Mosul, Dr. Grant received a letter from Mar Shimon,
filled with Oriental protestations of undiminished attachment, and
with urgent invitations to revisit the mountains. He went,
accompanied by Mr. Laurie. They were kindly received as before, and
spent several weeks with him, but found the Nestorians in constant
dread of attacks from the Koords.

Meanwhile the reports, which had been put in circulation with regard
to Dr. Grant's operations at Asheta, in the way of building, were
communicated by the Pasha of Mosul to the Pasha of Erzroom, and by
him to Constantinople. It is not probable that the reports were
believed anywhere; but as the government was then intent upon
subjugating that portion of the empire, they were unwilling to have
the mountaineers enlightened and elevated. Accordingly they refused
firmans to Dr. Azariah Smith and Rev. Edwin E. Bliss, in case they
were going as missionaries to the Nestorians, for these would pledge
to them the protection of the government; though they would grant
them passports to go where they pleased. The Turkish minister even
declared to Mr. Brown, our Charge d'affaires at the Porte, that they
did not wish schools to be opened in the mountains.

In June, Dr. Grant, by special invitation, visited Bader Khan Bey,
the most powerful chief in Koordistan. The journey occupied him five
days, by way of Zakhu and Jezireh. The castle of the chief lay
sixteen or eighteen miles northeast of Jezireh, in a pass among the
mountains. He found there his old friend, of Koordish sincerity,
Nûrûllah Bey, who had come to engage the Buhtan chief in the
subjugation of the Nestorians. The fearless missionary spent ten
days with these "deceitful and bloody" men. They made no concealment
of their designs upon the Nestorians, but promised safety and
protection to the mission-house and property at Asheta.

The successful attack soon after made on the hitherto independent
Nestorians, appears to have had its origin in the Turkish
government. Only unity of action could now save the Nestorians, and
that unity was wanting. The Buhtan Koords came upon them from the
northwest, and the Hakary tribes from the northeast and east. On the
south was a Turkish army from the Pasha of Mosul, while the
Ravandooz Koords are said to have been ready for an onset from the
southeast. Diss, the district in which the Patriarch resided, and
Tiary were soon laid waste by the combined force of the Buhtan and
Hakary Koords. Many were slain, and among them the Patriarch's
mother, a brother, and a fine youth who was regarded as the probable
successor to the Patriarch. The valuable patriarchal library of
manuscripts was destroyed. When the work of destruction began, Dr.
Grant was in the southeast part of Tiary. From thence, without
returning to Asheta, where the Patriarch then was, he hastened, by
way of Lezan and Amadia, to Mosul, where great fears had been
entertained for his safety. He reached Mosul on the morning of July
14, 1843, much fatigued with his journey, but in tolerably good
health.

In the first invasion, Asheta and three other large villages in
Tiary were spared the general destruction. Previous to November,
however, the Nestorians of these villages rose upon the Koordish
governor, and wounded him; and this occasioned the destruction of
these villages, and the massacre of their inhabitants. Nothing was
spared except the house Dr. Grant had erected, and that was
converted into a fortress. Of the seventy-four priests in Tiary,
twenty-four were killed, whose names were known. The districts east
of Diss and Tiary were not destroyed. The tribes of Tehoma, Bass,
and Jelu suffered comparatively little in either of the invasions,
except in the loss of their property and their independence. After
the disasters of Tiary and Diss, each of the remaining tribes sent
in its submission. The Patriarch fled to Mosul. Several of his
brothers fled to Oroomiah, and there threw themselves on the
hospitality of the mission, which in their destitute circumstances
could not be refused. Many were sold into slavery. Of the fifty
thousand mountain Nestorians, the estimated number before the war,
one fifth part were numbered with the slain.

Mrs. Laurie was called on the 16th of December, to rest from her
labors. "In her last hours," writes Dr. Grant, "she was mercifully
delivered alike from bodily pain and from mental anxieties. A noble
testimony of Christian devotedness had been given in her
consecration to one of the most difficult and trying fields in
modern missions; and death to her was but the Saviour's welcome to
mansions of undisturbed repose."

It has been stated that the Turkish government had refused a firman
to Dr. Azariah Smith, in case he were a missionary to the Nestorians
of Koordistan. He accordingly remained in the Armenian mission,
where he found useful occupation till the arrival of the Foreign
Secretary; when it was arranged that he should proceed to Mosul by
way of Beirut and Aleppo, and either remain permanently connected
with the mission, or return to the Armenians as a missionary
physician. A firman was now given him, and he reached Mosul in
safety on the 29th of March. Little did any one think that his first
duty would be to smooth Dr. Grant's descent to the grave, yet an
all-wise Providence had so ordained. A typhoid fever, which had
carried off many of the refugee Nestorians in Mosul, seized their
beloved physician on the 5th of April. He was delirious from the
moment it assumed a threatening character, and died on the 24th of
April, 1844.

While the author was at Constantinople, he received a letter from
Dr. Grant, stating how much his presence was needed, for a time, by
his children at home. The case being urgent, he was encouraged to
return and was preparing for this, when his gracious Lord called him
into his presence above. The tidings of his dangerous sickness
awakened much interest in Mosul. People of every rank, men of all
sects and religions, watched the progress of his disease with the
most earnest anxiety. The French Consul visited him almost daily.
The Turkish authorities sent to inquire for him, and some came in
person. One, who arrived immediately after his decease, could not
refrain from tears when he heard of it. A leading Jacobite remarked,
that all Mosul was weeping. The poor Patriarch, roused to a sense of
his loss, exclaimed, "My country and my people are gone! Nothing
remains to me but God!"

Those who have attentively read the preceding history will need
nothing more to set forth the character of this eminent servant of
Christ. His courage, his calmness and yet firmness of purpose, his
skill in the healing art, his devotion to the cause of his Saviour,
his tact in winning the confidence even of those who never before
trusted their own friends, his fearlessness in the presence of
unscrupulous and cruel men and his ascendency over them, his lively
faith under appalling discouragements, and his unyielding
perseverance, form an array of excellence rarely combined in one
man. Like the holy Apostle, he was "in journeyings often, in perils
of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils in the city, in perils in
the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false
brethren, in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in
hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness." Yet
was he not cast down by these things. He regarded them as incidental
to his calling of God in Christ Jesus; and in the pursuit of this
heavenly calling, he was more happy in the savage wilds of
Koordistan, than he would have been in the most favored portions of
his native land.

Mr. Laurie and Dr. Smith, the surviving brethren at Mosul, entered
the mountains in the summer of 1844, explored the district of Tiary,
and visited Nûrûllah Bey at Birchullah above Julamerk. Wherever they
went among the Nestorians, they found a painful scene of desolation.
On their return to Mosul, they forwarded their journal and a summary
view of the facts, and asked the Committee to decide whether to
continue the effort to approach the Nestorians from the west, and
the Committee now forwarded definite instructions to discontinue
this branch of the mission.1 They proceeded to Beirût in Syria,
accompanied by Mrs. Hinsdale, who had been bereaved of her only
child. Mr. Laurie became a member of the Syrian mission, and Dr.
Smith of the Armenian; and Mrs. Hinsdale was for some time employed
in the instruction of missionary children at Constantinople.

1 _Missionary Herald_, 1845, pp. 116-125.



CHAPTER XIV.

SYRIA.

1830-1838.


Syria was not in a condition for a return of the missionaries until
after two years. Messrs. Bird and Whiting left Malta for Beirût on
the 1st of May, 1830. Mr. Abbott, the English Consul, had already
returned, and gave them a cordial welcome. The members of the Greek
Church greeted them in a friendly manner, and were ready to read the
Scriptures with them; but the Maronite priests, faithful to the
Church of Rome, forbad their people all intercourse with the "Bible
men," whom they described as "followers of the devil." Among those
who received them gladly were a few young men, over whom the
missionaries had rejoiced in former years, and who had remained
steadfast in the faith, and had honored the Gospel by their lives.

Gregory Wortabet, one of the two Armenian ecclesiastics who early
became connected with the mission, is already somewhat known to the
reader. He belonged to the monastic priesthood in the Armenian
Church, and there is an interesting autobiography of him in the
"Missionary Herald" for 1828. His career up to that time, as
described by himself, shows him to have been an uncommon character;
and his personal sufferings, both for good and evil doing, prepared
him to receive benefit from his converse with the missionaries at
Beirût, which began in 1826, when he was twenty-six years of age. He
was then ignorant of the Gospel, with his mind in great darkness and
confusion. His first ray of light was from the good example of his
missionary friends. Comparing their lives with their preaching, he
admired the consistency of the two. He then compared both with the
Scriptures, reading through the entire New Testament. At length day
dawned upon his darkness. He became fully satisfied, that the
Scriptures were from God, and committed himself to their divine
teaching. Renouncing his self-righteousness, and all dependence on
the absolutions of the Church, he trusted for salvation only in the
blood of the Lord Jesus. Having adopted the opinion, that his
monastic vows were unscriptural and therefore void, he married a
discreet woman, who not long after gave good evidence of piety.

Wortabet accompanied the missionaries to Malta, as did also
Dionysius, the other ecclesiastic. This change in their
circumstances was at their own earnest request, but it was a great
change. The author saw them at Malta, and did not wonder at some
dissatisfaction on the part of the younger of the two, which helped
to bring a cloud, for a time, over his Christian character. But his
morals were irreproachable in the view of the world, and on his
return to Syria in 1830, which was mainly in consequence of the
failure of his eyes, the sun shone forth again, and continued to do
so till his death. He went back to Beirût with the intention of
supporting himself by manual labor, but the return of ophthalmia
interrupted his plans, and reduced him to poverty. Mr. Bird visited
him in May, 1831, at his residence near Sidon, and found him and his
wife destitute indeed of the good things of this life, but contented
and cheerful, and Wortabet warning all around him, night and day.
Much of his conversation was spiritual, and he was listened to with
deference. He was respected by the principal inhabitants of the
place, and his wife was regarded as a model of humility and piety.
Two or three were thought to have received saving impressions from
his conversation. He obtained his support, such as it was, by means
of a small shop, and was rigidly conscientious in his dealings.
Respectable men of all classes came frequently to converse with him
on religious subjects, and so gave him an opportunity to circulate
the Bible, and to recommend its religion to Druses, Armenians,
Papists, and Jews. Even Moslems sometimes listened with attention.

Having been drawn into a written controversy by a zealous Maronite,
Wortabet called in the aid of Taunûs el Haddad, not being himself at
home in the Arabic, and with important aid from the written
discussions of Messrs. King, Bird, Goodell, and the lamented Asaad,
he came out with a full exposition of the points at issue between
Protestants and the Church of Rome, which attracted much attention.
An answer was repeatedly promised, but none ever appeared, and it
was thought the Maronite was himself half convinced of his error.
Wortabet's weight of character, and his perfect knowledge of the
people, made his influence at Sidon exceedingly valuable, and it was
increasing and extending. But on the 10th of September, 1832, a
short illness, supposed to be the cholera, terminated his earthly
labors. From the first attack, he regarded the disease as fatal, and
met death with a calm reliance on the Saviour.

The operations of the mission in 1832, were disturbed by plague,
cholera, and war. The ravages of the plague were not great, but
cholera occasioned intense alarm. It swept over Armenia and along
the western borders of Persia, cut off one third of the pilgrims
from Beirût to Mecca, was exceedingly fatal at Cairo and Alexandria,
and made approaches to the seat of the mission as near as Aleppo,
Damascus, Tiberias, and Acre; but from this terrible judgment the
inhabitants of Beirût were providentially shielded. They suffered
much, however, from the rapacity of the Pasha of Acre, until his
power was broken by the invading army of the Viceroy of Egypt, under
Ibrahim Pasha. With the aid of ten or fifteen thousand men from
Mount Lebanon, under the Emir Beshir, Ibrahim Pasha took Acre; then
pushing his conquests to Damascus, established the dominion of Egypt
over Palestine and all Syria.

The papal bishop of Beirût having published an answer to Mr. King's
"Farewell Letter," Mr. Bird made a reply in thirteen letters,
containing many extracts from the Fathers and Roman Catholic doctors
against the bishop's opinions and expositions of Scripture.
Preparatory to this, the mission library was furnished with the more
important works of the ancient Fathers; and what was wanting to
complete the polemic department of the library, was munificently
supplied by Mr. Parnell, of the Bagdad mission; who also presented
the mission with a lithographic press for printing in the Arabic and
Syriac languages. About this time, Mr. Temple was instructed to send
the Arabic portion of the Malta establishment to Beirût, where Mr.
Smith, who returned from the United States in 1834, was to have the
charge of it.

Mr. Smith had been instructed by the Prudential Committee, to
explore the country eastward of the Jordan, and also that bordering
on the eastern range of Lebanon. Accordingly, soon after his
arrival, he and Dr. Dodge visited Damascus, and then went into the
Hauran, which was never before explored by Protestant missionaries,
and until the publication of Burckhard's travels, twelve years
before, was almost unknown in modern times. The Bozrah of the
Scriptures was the limit of their travels southeastward, and marks
the limit of habitation towards the great desert. Thence they
traversed the region of Bashan to the southwest, as far as the river
Jabbok, now called Zerka, beyond which the country is surrendered to
the wild Bedawîn. Turning to the north, they crossed the Jordan not
far from the lake of Tiberias, ascended the western shore, visited
the numerous Greek Christians on the west of Mount Hermon, and
returned to Damascus. The health of the mission now called Dr. Dodge
back to Beirût, and Mr. Smith completed the survey of Anti-Libanus
alone; visited a village of Jacobite Syrians in the desert towards
Palmyra; passed through Homs, and as far north as Hamah, or "Hamath
the great;" then, bending his course homeward, he crossed Lebanon in
the region of the Ansaireea, through Tripoli to Beirût. Of this
whole deeply interesting tour Mr. Smith, as was his custom, kept an
accurate journal, which he intended to elaborate for publication as
soon as he should have opportunity. The learned world heard with
deep regret, in the year 1836, of the loss of this valuable
manuscript in the shipwreck of Mr. and Mrs. Smith on their voyage to
Smyrna. The Arabic press arrived in 1834, and passed without
objection through the customhouse. Indeed, there were at that time
no less than six presses in Syria and the Holy Land, belonging to
Jews and Papists, and no one of them was subjected to hindrance,
censorship, or taxation.

It could not truly be said, that any material change had taken place
in the character and condition of the people at large, as a
consequence of Protestant missions. But this at least was true, that
the impression given by the Jesuits, that Protestants had no
religion, no priesthood, and no churches, had been extensively
removed. The missionaries unite in their testimony, that the
circulation of the Scriptures is not alone sufficient to regenerate
a people. A very considerable number of copies had been put in
circulation from Aleppo to Hebron and Gaza, and many of them had
been in the hands of the people for more than ten years. It is not
known indeed how much they had been used; but where there had been
no personal intercourse with missionaries, not a single radical
conversion of the soul unto God had come to the knowledge of the
missionaries.

Commodore Patterson visited Beirût during the summer with the U. S.
ship _Delaware_ and schooner _Shark_; principally, as he said, to do
honor to the mission, and to convince the people that it had
powerful friends.

Ten interesting young men placed themselves under the tuition of Dr.
Dodge to learn English, and Mr. Smith gave them lessons in geography
and astronomy, of which they knew almost as little as of English. A
school taught by Taunûs el Haddad was converted into a girls'
school. A female school was also opened by the ladies of the
mission, assisted by the widow of Wortabet, for which a house was
erected by the subscriptions of foreign residents. The school
contained twenty-nine pupils, of whom three were Moslem children,
and one a Druse, and no opposition was made to it. Religious
instruction was given, of course, and the scholars made good
progress in reading, sewing, knitting, and behavior. The whole
number in the schools exceeded a hundred. Mr. Abbott, the early and
valued friend of the mission, died during this year.

In 1835, Mr. Bird was compelled, by the declining health of his
wife, to visit Smyrna. After remaining there nearly a year, and not
receiving the benefit they expected, they came to the United States,
and were never able to return to Syria. Their removal was for a time
an irreparable loss to the mission, and was a severe disappointment
to themselves. In subsequent years, they gladly gave two of their
children to the missionary work in Western Asia. Miss Rebecca W.
Williams arrived this year as a teacher; and in the next year the
Rev. Messrs. Story Hebard and John F. Lanneau, and Miss Betsey
Tilden. In 1835, Mr. William M. Thomson was married to Mrs. Abbott,
the widow of the late English Consul, who, from an early period in
the mission, had given decisive evidence of attachment to the
kingdom of Christ.

The high school, commenced in 1835, took a more substantial form in
the following year. It was wisely decided, that the pupils should
lodge, eat, and dress in the style of the country; and the annual
expenses of each scholar for boarding, clothing, etc., was only from
thirty-five to forty dollars. The course of study embraced the
Arabic language for the whole period, the English language,
geography and astronomy, civil and ecclesiastical history, with
chronology, mathematics, rhetoric,--in the Arab sense, a popular
study,--natural and moral philosophy, composition and translation,
natural theology, and sacred music. The Bible was studied
constantly. In all these departments there was a great deficiency of
books; in some it was entire.

Mr. Hebard and Miss Williams were united in marriage in October,
1836. Mr. Hebard had then the care of the seminary, and the girls'
school was taught by Mrs. Hebard and Mrs. Dodge. The latter was
subsequently married to the Rev. J. D. Paxton, a clergyman from the
United States, then on a visit to Syria.

The mission, as early as 1836, became sensible of a serious
deficiency in their Arabic type. As it did not conform to the most
approved standard of Arabic caligraphy, it did not meet the popular
taste. Mr. Smith therefore took pains to collect models of the
characters in the best manuscripts. These were lost in his
shipwreck, but he afterwards replaced them at Constantinople, to the
number of two hundred; so varied, that the punches formed for them
would make not far from a thousand matrices. These he placed in the
hands of Mr. Hallock, the missionary printer at Smyrna, who
possessed great mechanical ingenuity, and was entirely successful in
cutting the punches. The type was cast at Leipzig by Tauchnitz. Thus
a really great and important work, without which the press could not
have been domesticated among the many millions to whom the Arabic is
vernacular, was brought to a successful issue.

The disastrous shipwreck of Mr. and Mrs. Smith on their way from
Beirût to Smyrna, has been already mentioned. The voyage was
undertaken chiefly for the benefit of Mrs. Smith's health; but the
exposures consequent on the shipwreck, extending through
twenty-eight days until their arrival at Smyrna, aggravated her
consumptive tendencies, and hastened her passage to the grave. She
died on the thirtieth of September, 1836, at the age of thirty-four.
The closing scene is described by her husband. "Involuntary groans
were occasionally muttered in her convulsions. These, as we were
listening to them with painful sympathy, once, to our surprise,
melted away into musical notes; and for a moment, our ears were
charmed with the full, clear tones of the sweetest melody. No words
were articulated, and she was evidentally unconscious of everything
about her. It seemed as if her soul was already joining in the songs
of heaven, while it was yet so connected with the body as to command
its unconscious sympathy. Not long after, she again opened her eyes
in a state of consciousness. A smile of perfect happiness lighted up
her emaciated features. She looked deliberately around upon
different objects in the room, and then fixed upon me a look of the
tenderest affection. .... Her frequent prayers that the Saviour
would meet her in the dark valley, have already been mentioned. By
her smile, she undoubtedly intended to assure us that she had found
him. Words she could not utter to express what she felt. Life
continued to struggle with its last enemy until twenty minutes
before eight o'clock; when her affectionate heart gradually ceased
to beat, and her soul took its final departure to be forever with
the Lord."1

1 _A Memoir of Mrs. Sarah Lanman Smith_ was given to the public by
her brother, Edward W. Hooker, D. D., in 1837, pp. 407.

In the winter and spring of 1838, an opportunity was afforded Mr.
Smith to perform a very useful service as the associate of Dr.
Edward Robinson, in his celebrated "Biblical Researches in Palestine
and the Adjacent Regions."1 The aid was essential to the full
success of the enterprise, from Mr. Smith's acquaintance with the
Arabs and their language, and it was cheerfully rendered by the
missionary, and assented to by the mission and by the officers of
the Board at home. Mr. Smith had been hopeful of being able to visit
the Hauran, and to recover the more important facts lost in the
shipwreck, but the troubled state of the country prevented. Joining
Dr. Robinson in Egypt, he travelled with him from Cairo to Suez;
thence to Sinai and Jerusalem, by way of Akabah; then to Bethel, the
Dead Sea, and the valley of the Jordan. At Jerusalem, they attended
the annual meeting of the Syria mission.

1 Mr. Smith rendered a similar service, during a part of Dr.
Robinson's second tour in 1852, in a portion of the same regions.

The Rev. Messrs. Elias R. Beadle and Charles S. Sherman, and their
wives, joined the mission this year.



CHAPTER XV.

SYRIA.

THE DRUZES, AND THE WARS OF LEBANON.

1835-1842.


We now enter upon a period of some special difficulty in the
prosecution of the missionary work. Turkey, Egypt, and several great
European powers, conflicting for secular objects, brought the Druzes
into very singular and as it proved unfortunate, relations to the
mission.

The Druzes are found chiefly on the mountains of Lebanon, and in the
country called the Hauran, south of Damascus, and number sixty or
seventy thousand souls. The sect originated with Hakem, a Caliph of
Egypt, but derived its name from El Drusi, a zealous disciple of the
Caliph. They believe Hakem to be the tenth, last, and most important
incarnation of God, and render him divine honors. They have ever
taken great pains to conceal their tenets, which seem to be
compounded from Mohammedanism and Paganism, and it is only a portion
of themselves that know what the tenets are. Those are called the
Akkâl, or _initiated_; the others are the Jebal, or _uninitiated_.
Four centuries and a half after the death of the founder of the
sect, it became powerful under a single chief. Inhabiting the rugged
mountains of Lebanon, they maintained for many ages a free and
independent spirit in the midst of despotism, and were a
semi-independent people within the Turkish dominions down to the
summer of 1835, when they were subdued by Ibrahim Pasha.

As early as 1831, a hope was awakened in the mission, that the
Gospel might be successfully introduced among that people. A Druze
woman was in the habit of coming daily to listen to the reading of
the Scriptures and to religious conversation, and would often say,
"That's the truth," with her face bathed in tears. Her visits were
continued until she fell a victim to the plague. An old man, also,
who was one of the "initiated," came, and, after much disputation,
professed to receive the Gospel. In proof of his sincerity, he
brought one of the secret books of his religion, and gave it to the
missionaries. Mr. Smith, moreover, when on the mountains, was
invited to attend one of their stated meetings, and, at its close,
was requested to read and expound a portion of the word of God.

The prospects became more favorable in 1835. Mr. Bird and others
spent the hot months of summer at Aaleih, a Druze village on
Lebanon. Mrs. Dodge gathered a school of girls there, and Mr. Bird
had ten or fifteen Druzes present at his Arabic preaching every
Sabbath, and among them the young sheiks of the village, with their
servants. Many of the people listened with attention, and received
and read the New Testament and other religious books, with apparent
eagerness. They readily acknowledged that neither repentance,
alms-giving, prayers, nor any works of their own, were sufficient to
insure the pardon of sin; and when pointed to the great atonement of
the Lord Jesus, it seemed to commend itself to their understanding
and conscience. Though nominally the disciples of the Koran, they
did not cry out "blasphemy," as did the Moslems, when told that
Jesus is the Son of God, thus partaking of the divine nature; but
they seemed to feel that this character was necessary for one who
should undertake to be a Saviour for a world of sinners.

Mr. Bird coming down from the mountains to accompany his sick wife
to Smyrna, Mr. Smith took his place, and visited eight or nine
villages, with every opportunity afforded him for preaching the
Gospel; and he was everywhere listened to with respectful attention.
Though aware of the deceitfulness of the people, he could not but
see how open they then were to this species of missionary labor. Yet
he could not find among them any real spirit of inquiry, and his
only hope was in the influences of the Holy Spirit, giving efficacy
to the truth. The Druzes, though wrapped up in hypocrisy, and
apparently without one spiritual thought, were of the same race with
all other men, and the preaching of the word might be expected, in
the end, to have the same effect upon them.

There was reason to believe, that this movement among the Druzes
grew mainly out of their recent subjugation by the Egyptians, and
their apprehension of a military conscription. They had always
professed Mohammedanism hypocritically, to escape the oppressions
which Christians suffered under Moslem rule; but now the Christians
fared better than the Moslems, in that they were not liable to be
drafted into the army, to which as Moslems the Druzes were exposed.
They had very painful apprehensions of such a levy, and the reason
having ceased that had led them to profess Mohammedanism, they were
disposed to renounce that religion; and some among the uninitiated
seemed ready to renounce the Druze religion also. Their great object
was to enjoy equal rights with the Christians, and especially to
escape the military conscription.

A levy had been demanded of the Druzes before this visit of the
brethren to the mountains, and had been refused, with an urgent
request to Mohammed Ali that he would not impose upon them so odious
a burden. Nothing was heard in reply until the fourth day after Mr.
Smith's return to Beirût, when Ibrahim Pasha presented himself at
Deir el-Kamr, at the head of eighteen thousand men. Taken by
surprise, no opposition was made. Both Druzes and Christians were at
once disarmed, and officers were left to collect recruits.

With the dreaded evil thus strongly upon them, there was a more
general disposition to throw off the Druze religion. Applications
came from individuals and from families in different and distant
villages. Among them were some of the higher ranks. One whole family
connection of eighty individuals declared their readiness to pledge
their property as security that they would never apostatize from the
Christian faith; and had it been in the power of the mission to
secure to them the political standing of Christian sects, and had
the brethren been disposed to favor a national conversion, after the
example of the early and middle ages, it is probable that the whole
body of the Jebal Druzes, at least, would have become nominal
Protestants. Of course the missionaries explained to them how
inconsistent with the spirituality of our religion would be such a
mere profession of Christianity. For a few Sabbaths, the Arab
congregation was composed chiefly of Druzes; and Mr. Smith threw
open his doors to them at the time of family prayers, and had the
opportunity of reading and explaining the Gospel to from ten to
fifteen for two months; but without finding evidence, with perhaps a
single exception, of a sincere desire to know the truth.

That exception was in the case of a Druze named Kasim. Mr. Smith saw
him first in October, 1835. Residing in the mountains, Kasim had two
of his sons already baptized by the Maronites, and had openly
professed himself to be no longer a Druze, but a Christian. He had
not himself received baptism, for fear of his relatives, who had
once gone in a body and beaten him. He now removed into the
immediate neighborhood of the missionary, where he hoped for
protection, and he and his family became regular attendants upon
Christian worship. He professed a strong attachment to the Saviour,
as did also his wife, and they both made evident progress in
religious knowledge. Both openly declared themselves Protestants,
and were anxious for baptism. The officer of the Emir Beshir,
finding in his hands a testimonial from Mr. Smith, that he was a
Christian, respected him in this character, while he was seizing all
his Druze neighbors for soldiers; but he had not then been admitted
to the church, for want of sufficient evidence of true conversion.

Kasim was at length apprehended by the governor of Beirût, beaten to
make him confess that he was a Moslem, and cast into prison. Mr.
Smith visited him, and urged him to make the profession he intended
to abide by, that the mission might know what to do. In the presence
of a dozen Moslems, he professed himself a Christian, and declared
that he would die a Christian, if they burned him at the stake. The
governor, on hearing this, ordered him to be thrust into the inner
prison, and loaded with chains. Here his persecutors renewed their
promises and threats, but his firmness remained unshaken, and they
left him in prison. Such a confession had never been made in Beirût
before, and it attracted much attention. The poor man in his
dungeon, aware of the danger of his situation, spent much of his
time in prayer, and was often heard by his fellow-prisoners, in the
watches of the night, calling upon Jesus Christ to help him. He even
sent directions to a friend respecting the disposal of a few
effects, in case he should be martyred, thereby showing his
expectation of persevering unto death.

As the best thing that could be done, the American Consul at Beirût,
who took a deep interest in the case, addressed a letter to Soleiman
Pasha, next in power to Ibrahim, who was then at Sidon on his way to
Beirût. This was favorably received, and the Pasha expressed his
wish that the family would send a petition to him, that he might be
ready to judge the case when he should arrive at Beirût. This was
accordingly done, and the requisite evidence was made ready. The
poor man received his food daily from his missionary friend, with
messages of cheer, and he never wavered.

On the arrival of the Pasha, the prisoner's wife immediately sought
access to him, and this she did day after day; but the governor of
Beirût threw every obstacle in her way. The Pasha wished to set him
free, without seeming to yield to Frank dictation, or stirring up
Moslem fanaticism. At length the governor, threatened by the agent
of the European consuls with deposition, presented himself in person
at the door of the prison, and told Kasim to go free.

Thus terminated, after an imprisonment of seventeen days, the first
case of a converted Druze called to confess Jesus Christ before a
Moslem tribunal. This was in the early part of the year 1836.

Kasim was kept by the mission two years on probation, but on the
first Sabbath in 1838 he and his wife were admitted to the church,
and were baptized, with their six children, receiving Christian
names at their own request. Mr. Thomson took occasion to preach on
the subject of baptism, explaining the true meaning and intention of
the ordinance. The congregation was larger than usual, and there was
more solemn attention than had ever been witnessed in the chapel.
Much anxiety was felt for Kasim, but he was not molested. His
brother and his brother's wife also made a very importunate request
for baptism, and the mission not long after complied with it.

As these converts were not molested after their baptism, the Druzes
resorted more and more to the mission for instruction. Mr. Thomson
was invited to visit their villages, and open among them schools and
places of worship. They applied for the admission of their sons to
the seminary, and a young sheik was received, his friends paying the
expense. Some of them corresponded with Mr. Thomson by letter, and
some came to reside at Beirût. The Papists assailed them with
promises, flatteries, and threats of vengeance from the Emir Beshir;
but the Druzes declared they would never join the Church of Rome.
While the mission was aware that in all this the Druzes were greatly
influenced by political changes, past and expected, they could not
avoid the hope that an increasing number were really desirous of
knowing and obeying the truth. Indeed it was impossible to avoid
this conclusion with the facts before them, some of which Mr.
Thomson embodied thus in his journal:--

"_August_ 13, 1838. This morning Kasim brought a leading Druze to
see me. He is from Shweifat, and desires to become an English
Christian. His conversation was very satisfactory, so far as
sensible and even pious remarks are concerned. He makes the most
solemn appeals to the Searcher of Hearts to bear witness to his
sincerity; asks neither for protection, employment, or money; but
says, that his only object is to secure the salvation of his soul.
He asks for nothing but Christian instruction, which I of course was
most happy to afford to the extent of my abilities. Alas! that long
experience with people here, and especially with the Druzes, compels
me to receive with hesitation their most solemn protestations.

"_Sept_. 5. M., the ruling sheik of A., came down from the mountains
to request Christian instruction and baptism for himself and family.
He is very earnest and rational, for a Druze, and thinks that nearly
all his villages will unite with him. In a conversation, protracted
to more than half a day, I endeavored to place before him, with all
possible plainness, our views of what true religion is. He is not so
ignorant on this subject as most Druzes, having been acquainted with
us for many years, and frequently present at our Arabic worship.

"_Sept_. 6. Sheik S., from the heart of Lebanon, came to-day with
the same request for Christian instruction, not only for himself,
but for his father and four brothers, leading sheiks of the
mountains. He asks not for protection, money, or temporal advantage
in any way, but solely for religious instruction; and declares, with
apparent sincerity, that his only desire is to secure the salvation
of his soul. He says concerning their own superstition, that he
knows it is utterly false and pernicious; and that, having for three
years read the Bible, and compared the various sects with it, he is
persuaded that they have forsaken the word of God, and imposed upon
men many human inventions, designed not for the good of the people,
but to augment the power and wealth of the priesthood. He mentioned
with special abhorrence auricular confession, and forgiveness of sin
by the priest; also, their long fasts, their prayers to saints, and
their worship of images and pictures; showing that he was well
acquainted with the leading differences between us and them; and
proving, by his pertinent quotations from the Bible, that he had
read it with attention and understanding.

"Sheik S. intends to remain several days for the purpose of
receiving more instruction. He appears to have no fears of
persecution, but to be resolved to persevere whatever may happen.

"_Sept_. 12. Went to B.'T., and spent the day in conversing with the
large family of sheiks there. These sheiks govern, under the Emir,
all this part of Lebanon. The greater part of them appear resolved
to become Christians at all hazards. Alas! how little do they know
of that religion, which they profess to be so anxious to embrace.
The mother of the sheiks in A. is married to the most powerful sheik
in B.'T., and she sent word to her children, encouraging them to
become Christians, and approving also of their plan to place the
youngest boys in our seminary.

"I had no time to converse with the common people in B.'T., but one
of our Christian Druzes who accompanied me, spent the day with them,
and tells me, that a great many of the villagers wished to join us.
Here also the Papists are busy as bees, both with arguments and
terrors. What the end will be, is known only to God."

Two days later, several sheiks camp down from the mountains, with an
apparent determination to take houses, and receive religious
instruction; declaring their wish not to return to the mountains
until they had been both instructed and baptized. The same day, two
Druzes came as agents from a large clan of their people residing in
Anti-Lebanon, three days from Beirût, professing to treat in behalf
of their whole community. In the evening, several leading Druzes
came from Andara, the highest habitable part of Lebanon, professing
to act in the name of their whole village, and earnestly requesting
the mission to open schools, build a church, and baptize them all
forthwith. The missionary preached to them till a late hour, and
they promised to come again after a few days. They kept their
promise, and stated that they had made arrangements with the people
of several villages to unite together, and all declare themselves
Christians at the same time; hoping that the Emir, when he saw so
many of them of one mind, would not venture to execute the plans of
cruel persecution, with which they were threatened. Mr. Thomson now
found it necessary to call in the aid of Mr. Hebard and Mr. Lanneau.

The Emir Beshir, urged on by the Papal priests, now sent for the
young Druze sheiks, and threatened them with the full measure of his
wrath. This occasioned a division among them, some through fear
siding with the Emir. The father of several young sheiks,--a
venerable old man, with rank and talents to give him extensive
influence,--being at Beirût, declared in oriental style his
attachment to the Gospel, and his intended adherence to it.

The excitement among the Druzes continued, and visitors from all
parts of Lebanon thronged the house of the missionary, till winter
rendered communication with the mountains difficult.

Near the close of November, a number of Druzes, who had become Greek
Papists, were seized by order of the Pasha, and cast into prison,
whence five of them were drafted into the army. The rest were
allowed to return to their homes. It was understood that the Pasha
would not disturb the Protestant converts; but he had shown that he
was not disposed to tolerate the conversion of the Druzes to
Christianity. Kasim and his associates appeared resolved to go not
only to prison, but to death, rather than deny Christ.

At the close of the year, the severity of the Emir, in connection
with the snows of winter, greatly diminished the attendance of
Druzes at the meetings. The knowledge, also, that they could not be
baptized till they had given evidence of being truly converted,
helped to repress the movement. Still, some of the more hopeful
persons continued to show their interest in the Gospel.

Syria was now within the jurisdiction of Egypt, and hence the
mission was not affected by the persecutions, for which the year
1839 was so distinguished in Turkey. But the missionary force was
much reduced, Messrs. Bird, Smith, and Whiting being in the United
States. The Rev. Elias R. Beadle and Charles S. Sherman arrived as
missionaries, with their wives, in the autumn of that year; and
Messrs. Samuel Wolcott, Nathaniel A. Keyes, and Leander Thompson,
with their wives, and Dr. C. V. A. Van Dyck, in April 1840. They had
the language to learn, and the press lay idle during the year, for
want of a printer and funds. Mrs. Hebard died in February.

Yet there was progress. A large and convenient chapel had been
obtained, where were held two stated Arabic services on the Sabbath;
and on the evening of the Sabbath, the natives had a prayer meeting
by themselves. In the free schools there were eighty scholars; the
seminary for boys had twenty boarders; and the distribution of books
and tracts continued. In this work a blind old man of the Greek
Church named Aboo Yusoof was an efficient helper. Though stooping
with age, he went about the country with a donkey loaded with books,
and a little boy to lead him, doing what he could. In a district
northeast of Tripoli, he was encouraged in his work by the
approbation of the Greek bishop Zacharias.

The political and religious events then occurring were intimately
connected. The conquest of Syria by Mohammed Ali, was the apparent
cause of the religious movement among the Druzes already described.
The defeat of the Sultan's army at Nisib, in 1839, and the feelings
of jealousy towards France and Egypt, then intimately allied, led to
the determination of England, Russia, Prussia, and Austria to
restore Syria and the Turkish fleet to the Porte. The consequent
armed intervention made Beirût the seat of war. An English fleet
bombarded the city, and the English officers, by a singular
miscalculation, treated the Papal Maronites as their friends, and
the Druzes as their enemies. Missionary operations were suspended.
Mr. Lanneau, whose eyes had failed him, left on a visit to the
United States. Messrs. Beadle, Keyes, and Leander Thompson spent the
summer and autumn at Jerusalem, and Dr. Van Dyck joined them there.
Messrs. W. M. Thomson and Wolcott remained at Beirût until the
bombardment, when Captain Latimer, of the United States corvette
_Cyane_, who had come to Beirût to look after their welfare, kindly
took them and their families to Cyprus.

In the presence of such mighty forces, the mission could only wait
the course of events. The brethren, before leaving Beirût, had done
all they could for the protection of their houses, furniture, the
Arabic press, and the library and philosophical apparatus. They did
this by hoisting over their houses the American flag and placing
guards in them, and by an understanding with the admiral. The pupils
in the boarding-school were sent to their friends. Mr. Wolcott
visited Beirût during the contest, and found the Egyptian forces
evacuating the town, and the British troops taking possession. He
met the American consul there surveying the ruins of his house,
which had been battered by the great guns and plundered by the
pasha's soldiers; but the magazine beneath it, which contained most
of the property of Messrs. Beadle and Keyes, had not been opened.
Making his way through the ruins of the city to the mission houses,
he saw the American flags still floating over them, and the guards
on the ground. Soldiers had encamped in his garden, but had
abstained from pillage. A few bombs had burst in the yard, and
several cannon balls had penetrated the walls. The furniture, the
library, the philosophical apparatus were uninjured. The native
chapel in Mr. Thomson's house had been filled with goods, brought
thither for safety by the natives, and these had not been molested.
The field around Mr. Smith's house had been plowed by cannon balls,
and he expected to find the new Arabic types converted into bullets,
but not a type had been touched. Even the orange and lemon trees,
within his inclosure, were bending with their load of fruit. All
this was remarkable; and the goodness of Providence was gratefully
acknowledged at the time, by the missionaries and by their patrons
at home.

The persecuting Emir Beshir surrendered, and was sent to Malta, and
a relative of the same name, but with small capacity for governing,
was appointed Prince of the Mountains. The mission families returned
from Cyprus before the end of the year, and the seminary was
resumed; but those students who had been taught enough of English to
make themselves intelligible as interpreters, had all been drawn
away by the high wages which British officers paid for such
services. The place of Tannûs, Arabic teacher in the seminary, who
was sick, was supplied by Butrus el-Bistany, from the Maronite
College at Ain Warka. He had written a treatise against the
corruptions of Popery and the supremacy of the Pope, and the enraged
Patriarch had tried to get him into his power, but without success.

The brethren all reassembled at Beirût early in the year 1841, and
Mr. Beadle, with a native assistant, commenced a station at Aleppo,
but it was not long continued. The press resumed its operations with
the new type, under the management of Mr. George Hurter, a printer
just arrived from America. The declining health of Mr. Hebard
compelled him to suspend missionary labors, and he died at Malta,
June 30, on his way to the United States, greatly and deservedly
lamented. About the same time, Mr. Smith arrived at Beirût, on his
return to Syria, with his wife. Four months later, Mrs. Wolcott was
called away, after a distressing illness of three days, but in sure
and certain hope of a blessed immortality.

The allied powers had settled the affairs of the East in a manner
not agreeable to France, and that government seems to have sought
redress through the Jesuits. In the first month of 1841, three
French Jesuits arrived at Beirût, with an ample supply of money;
and, at the same time, the Maronite Patriarch received large sums
from France and Austria, ostensibly for the relief of sufferers in
the late war, but never expended for such a purpose. The Maronites
had been the chief movers in favor of the Sultan and the English,
and the English agent in negotiating with them was a Roman Catholic.
On account of their services in that war, the Maronites stood high
in favor with the English officers and with the Turkish government;
and the Patriarch received important additions to his power, till he
thought himself strong enough to expel the American missionaries and
crush the Druzes. The local authorities having no power to drive the
missionaries away, he petitioned the Sultan to do this. The Sultan
laid the subject before Commodore Porter, then American Minister at
the Porte, who said he was not authorized by his government to
protect men thus employed. This fact coming in some way to the
knowledge of the Patriarch, he made proclamation through the
mountains, that the American missionaries were denounced by their
own government as troublesome, mischief-making proselyters, and
would not be protected.1

1 This mistaken opinion of the Minister was made the subject of
correspondence with the United States Government, and the favorable
response by Mr. Webster, Secretary of State, is quoted in chapter
xviii.

Meanwhile, the English officers had obtained a more correct
understanding of the relations of parties in Lebanon; and they saw
at once that it was for the interest of England that the Druzes
should be encouraged to become Protestants. They therefore held
consultations with the Druze sheiks, and the results were
communicated to the British government. As a natural consequence,
the Druze sheiks expected support from England, and some at least of
the British officers were in favor of such support, should the
Druzes put themselves under the instruction of the American
missionaries. It is certain, at any rate, that the Druze sheiks
confidently expected this. With such expectations, they made a
definite agreement with the mission, that a school for the sons of
the ruling class should be established at Deir el-Kamr, and other
schools as fast as practicable in their villages, and that the
missionaries should be welcomed as religious teachers among all
their people.

A school was at once opened at Deir el-Kamr by Messrs. Wolcott and
Van Dyck, and Mr. Thomson removed to 'Ain Anab to superintend the
schools for the common people, of which there were three opened in
the vicinity. Mr. Smith, on arriving at Beirût, was so much
interested that he did not stop to open his house, but went up at
once to Deir el-Kamr.

In this same month, the Rev. Mr. Gobat, a German in the service of
the Church Missionary Society, arrived from Malta. He had long been
known as a missionary in Egypt and Abyssinia, and was a personal
friend of the older members of the mission. His object was to see if
he could make arrangements by which evangelical missionaries of the
English Church could advantageously share in the labors for
converting the Druzes.

In September, despatches arrived from Lord Palmerston, which were
reported to contain an order for taking the Druzes under British
protection; and with them came from England the Rev. Mr.
Nicholayson,--originally a Baptist, and at this time an Episcopalian
and zealous high-churchman--with instructions, it was said, to
assist in carrying out that arrangement. He did not agree with Mr.
Gobat in respect to the treatment due to the American missionaries;
and when the Druzes inquired of him what support they might expect
from England, the answers they received led them to the conclusion,
that England would not protect them unless they renounced the
American missionaries, and put themselves under the exclusive
instruction of clergymen from the English Church. This they were not
ready to do. Mr. Gobat retired, in a spirit of catholicity. Neither
did Mr. Nicholayson prosecute his mission, being disheartened, it
may be, by the civil war which shortly arose between the Maronites
and Druzes. His intervention was unfortunate, and I find it referred
to, thirty years afterwards, by a venerable member of the mission,
as a warning against similar intrusions.

The Patriarch now deemed himself strong enough to enter upon his
project of crushing the Druzes. His power in the mountains being in
the ascendant, he ordered the Druze sheiks to assemble at Deir
el-Kamr. They came armed, and, as they approached Deir el-Kamr, were
required to send away their followers and lay aside their arms. They
refused. A battle ensued, and the Maronites were defeated. The
Patriarch then proclaimed a crusade against them, ordered his
bishops to take arms, and marched his forces towards the Druze
territory. But the Druzes seized the mountain passes, and defeated
every attempt to enter. Though greatly inferior in numbers, they
went desperately to work to exterminate or expel every Maronite from
their part of the mountains. Not a convent, and scarce a village or
hamlet belonging to the Maronites, was left standing. They then
descended and dispersed the main army of the Maronites; and were
ready to march northward into Kesrawan, and attack the Patriarch in
his stronghold, but were persuaded by British officers to suspend
their march. The Turkish army, which might have prevented the
conflict, now took the field, and separated the combatants.1

1 Tracy's _History_, pp. 417, 440. Report for 1842, pp. 117-124.
_Missionary Herald_, 1842, pp. 196, 229, 362.

This was very properly regarded as a providential deliverance for
the mission, which had never been threatened with so formidable an
opposition as at the beginning of the year. It now entered into a
correspondence with nearly all the principal Druze sheiks, who felt
that they had, by their swords, won the right to schools. The
prospects were at that time very hopeful. The country never seemed
more open to evangelical labors. For a year there had been no
opposition to the schools, except two or three among the Druzes. The
press was in operation without censorship, sending forth thousands
of copies each year, and there was an increasing demand for books.
The mission bookstore, in the centre of the town, was visited by all
classes, including very many high officers of government, and even
by the Seraskier himself, and there was no complaint against it. No
one had been persecuted for a long time for professing the religion
of the Bible, and Protestantism seemed to have gained a tacit
toleration.

In reply to the objection, that the mission had been long
established, and yet the conversions had been very few, Mr. Smith
wrote thus: "I ask, what labor? Has it, after all, been so
disproportioned to the results? The instrumentality highest on the
scale of efficiency for the conversion of souls in every country, is
oral instruction, especially formal preaching. Now how much of this
has there been in Syria? Before Mr. Bird could engage in it, Mr.
Fisk was called away by death. I had hardly been preaching in Arabic
a year, when Mr. Bird left for America. Mr. Thomson had but just
preached his first sermon when my family was broken up, and I became
a wanderer. Since then, we have both been here together but a few
months at a time, until the last year. And these are all the Arabic
preachers we have had at our station. In the mean time we have all
been away, once for nearly two years at Malta, and again for a while
at Cyprus. And when here, so many other cares have we had, that a
single sermon on the Sabbath has been, for most of the time, all the
formal preaching that has been done. Add to this a weekly
prayermeeting for six or seven months in the year."

Again he says: "The labor of years has been accomplished in gaining
experience, forming favorable acquaintances, doing away with
prejudice, disseminating evangelical truth, the successful
commencement of printing operations, etc. All this labor is in the
language of a vast nation of Mohammedans, the sacred language of the
whole sect, the language of their prophet. And when their power
falls, it will be so much done towards their conversion. Instead of
being alarmed and discouraged by the revolutions that are occurring
around me, I am interested in them as forerunners of that great
event."

The political changes have generally been very sudden in Syria. In
April, 1842, Omar Pasha imprisoned the leading Druze sheiks, and
Albanian soldiers were arriving daily, as if to disarm the Druzes.
And so it proved. The Turks decided to take the matter into their
own hands. An army was marched into Lebanon, accompanied by Moslem
sheiks and teachers, and the whole Druze nation was compelled to
appear, outwardly at least, as Moslem.1 The motives of the
government in this were chiefly political, but partly religious.
They wished to be able to draw recruits from this brave people for
the army, which could not be done should they become Protestant
Christians; and also, to retain a strong party in Lebanon, to be
used, as they afterwards were used, against the large nominally
Christian majority of its inhabitants. They expected thus to control
the mountains, and keep down the influence of foreign Christian
powers.

1 These statements are made on the authority of a document received
from the mission in the year 1869.

In this manner were the operations for educating and Christianizing
the Druzes suddenly arrested. In working out their policy, the Turks
necessarily resorted to measures intended to place the Druzes in
bitter antagonism to all the native Christians. In the atrocious
massacre of 1860, which, for the time, threw the Druzes far from all
Christian sympathy, that unfortunate people were used as tools by
the Turks to work out their own policy. Events such as these, are
among the deep mysteries of Providence. Nor is this mystery yet
solved; though, from facts that will appear in the sequel, we shall
see enough to authorize the hope of a renewal at some time, of the
former pleasing relations between the Druzes and Christian
missionaries.



CHAPTER XVI.

SYRIA.

1842-1846.


The mission was strengthened, early in 1842, by the arrival of Dr.
Henry A. DeForest and wife; and suffered a new bereavement in the
death of the second Mrs. Smith, but little more than a year after
her arrival. Some months later, Mr. and Mrs. Sherman retired from
the field, in consequence of failing health. Messrs, Beadle,
Wolcott, and Leander Thompson, and Miss Tilden, also returned home
soon after. Mr. Lanneau rejoined the mission, with his wife, early
in 1843.

The Foreign Secretary and Dr. Hawes, visited the mission in the
early part of 1844, and assisted in a meeting of the missionaries,
which continued several days. Facts and principles were freely
discussed, and the results were embodied in written reports, drawn
up by committees appointed for the purpose. There is space for only
a concise statement of a few of these results.

It was recognized as a fact of fundamental importance, that the
people within the bounds of the mission were Arabs, whether called
Greeks, Greek Catholics, Druzes, or Maronites, and that the divers
religious sects really constituted one race. There were believed to
be advantages, in the fact, that these sects were intermingled in
the several villages, since the population was less inclined to
oppose, and more easily accessible, than where the villages were
exclusively of one sect. The most hopeful parts of Lebanon were the
southern districts, inhabited by a people social in their habits,
owners of the soil, shrewd, inquisitive, industrious, and capable of
devising and executing with tact and efficiency.

There was much discussion as to the best manner of cultivating the
field, but all agreed that wherever small companies were ready to
make a credible profession of piety, they were entitled to be
recognized as churches, and had a right to such a native ministry as
could be given them. The reformed churches might combine persons
from several, and perhaps from all, the various sects; and the
method of church organization should be such as to throw the
greatest responsibility on the individual members.

The question was raised, whether the marked disposition in the
mountain communities to place themselves collectively under the
instruction of the mission, would justify a lowering of the
qualifications for church-membership, especially with reference to
the baptism of children. It was believed that no good would result
from this; especially, as the people are so bent on regarding
baptism as a renewing ordinance. To form churches in this way, would
only be to multiply communities of merely nominal Christians.

The brethren admitted, that their labors had been too little
adapted, hitherto, to awaken religious feeling among the people. The
reasons assigned for this were, the absorbing demands of the press
and of education; the habits of preaching and laboring formed under
past unfavorable states of the field; and finally, a painful
impression of the suffering that converts must endure, with no civil
power to interpose between them and their persecutors.

To counteract the first of these causes, it was decided to suspend
the printing for a year; and the seminary was revived, which had
been suspended in 1842, to counteract the second. The remedy for the
last two, was a more perfect reliance on the Holy Spirit and the
divine energy of the Gospel. It was the general opinion, that
education in all its parts should bear a fixed proportion to the
frequency, spirituality, and power of the more formal preaching. Nor
was it less clear, that the press should be kept strictly
subservient to the pulpit.

The most remarkable call for preaching, at this time, was at
Hasbeiya, a village of four or five thousand inhabitants, situated
at the foot of Mount Hermon.1 Druzes and members of the Greek Church
made up the population, with some Greek Catholics, Moslems, and
Jews. The village lay about fifty miles southeast of Beirût,
bordering on the country of the Bedawîn, with whom was its principal
trade. As the result of this, the people had much personal
independence, with a tendency to segregation; features which Mr.
Smith noticed as specially predominant among other native Christians
similarly situated, especially in the Hauran.

1 The _New York Observer_, from July 18th to August 29th, 1846, has
an instructive series of articles on Hasbeiya, from the pen of Dr.
Eli Smith.

Early in the year 1844, a considerable body of the Hasbeiyans
seceded from the Greek Church, declared themselves Protestants, and
made a formal application to the mission for religious instruction.
About fifty men came at one time to Beirût for that purpose, and
asked for ministers to teach them. Their dissatisfaction with their
Church was not of recent date, but had been increasing for years. It
had arisen from the selfishness and worldliness of their clergy, and
their consequent neglect of the flock. These men had some
acquaintance with the mission, Hasbeiya having been visited by more
than one of the native book agents. It was evident, however, that
concern for the salvation of the soul was not the cause of their
coming. What they sought had reference solely to the present life.
Appropriate instruction was given, and they were advised to go home,
pay their taxes (which they had not done), and do what they could to
live in peace with their townsmen, and then to write to the mission.
A letter was received after a few days, stating that they had done
as they were advised, and urging the visit of a missionary. In this
request they were earnestly seconded by the two brethren from the
United States, who arrived at Beirût, just before the letter came.
The mission sent two of their native helpers; but these had not left
Beirût before a second delegation arrived, more urgent than the
first. The native helpers were followed in May by Messrs. Smith and
Whiting, who soon saw that they had been too backward to credit the
sincerity of these men. The hope of political advantage had been
abandoned, but their decision and their numbers had steadily
increased. The men were about one hundred and fifty, and among them
were some of the most respectable inhabitants, and a large
proportion of enterprising men. Their love of peace, as well as
their decision, had secured for them general respect. Some had made
considerable progress in Christian knowledge, and the neighbors
acknowledged that the profane among them had left off swearing, and
the drunkard had abandoned his cups. The Sabbath, moreover, was
carefully observed; the old church fasts were given up; prayers to
saints and to the virgin had ceased; pictures for adoration had
disappeared from their houses; and it was remarkable that in these
changes the women were more zealous than the men. Still their
knowledge in all cases was very imperfect, and it was uncertain how
well they would endure persecution. Nearly all the members of the
mission were there at different times; as also Tannûs el Haddad, and
Butrus el-Bistany, of the native helpers.

Meanwhile the spirit of persecution was rising. The Greek Patriarch
at Damascus became alarmed, and tidings were received that a company
of horsemen was coming from Zahleh, a large nominally Christian town
at the eastern foot of Lebanon, to force a recantation from the
Protestants of Hasbeiya. Mr. Smith and Butrus were there at the
time. The stony-ground hearers had fallen off; yet fifty adults were
present at the preaching, and gave close attention. Of women a
larger number than usual were present, and seemed to be waking up to
the idea, that religion was a thing for them. From twelve to fifteen
women attended a daily afternoon prayermeeting. It was affecting to
think how lately these were blind devotees of the virgin and the
saints, and profaning the name of God a hundred times a day. "Going
to the afternoon service," says Mr. Smith, "where Butrus addressed
the people, I found the children of the congregation assembled in
the court, and engaged in repeating the Assembly's Catechism. Their
order was perfect, their attention solemn, and their answers
generally given with correctness, while the teacher showed his own
improvement by the explanations he gave them. Their parents and
friends stood around, and listened with evident gratification, while
curiosity had drawn the members of a neighboring Greek family to
their windows, and they too were quietly looking on. To appreciate
its interest you must have been present, and heard the shouts rising
at the same time from an opposite quarter, where the boys of the
town were assembled in belligerent array, and making a mimic (or
rather real) war, by throwing stones at each other, to see which
would gain the victory. The little company before me, when I first
came to the place, scarcely two months ago, were as fully carried
away as any of them with these wild sports, and even parental
authority could not, for a Sabbath or two, bring them to break off
for an hour to learn the word of God. Now, what a change! It was as
if the devil had been cast out of them, and they were sitting in
their right minds. Such are missionary triumphs, and the joy that
springs from them is what the world can neither give nor take away."

Some members of the community not being satisfied with the
strictness of the mission in regard to baptism and the Lord's
Supper, the two brethren went into a thorough explanation of the
subject. This led to a long and earnest conversation. The next day,
July 4, the people gave in their reply; which was, that they would
yield entirely to the judgment of the missionaries, who might admit
them to the rites of the church when they thought them qualified.

On Sabbath, July 14, it being certain that the people of Zahleh were
coming, the Protestants assembled in the house of the missionary, to
enter into a solemn covenant to stand by each other to the last.
After the service, they drew up an engagement in the following
terms: "We, whose names are hereto subscribed, do covenant together
before God and this assembly, and pledge ourselves upon the holy
Gospel, that we will remain leagued together in one faith; that we
will not forsake this faith, nor shall any separate us from each
other while we are in this world; and that we will be of one hand
and one heart in the worship of God, according to the doctrines of
the Gospel. In God is our help." The covenant was taken by them
separately, each one standing by the table, and laying his hand upon
the Bible as it was read to him. Sixty-eight names were subscribed
on the spot; and the number was increased next day to seventy-six,
all of them adult males.

"The affecting solemnity of this scene," writes Mr. Smith, "I leave
you to imagine. I have been many years a missionary, and have
witnessed a great variety of heart-thrilling events, but this is one
of the last that I shall ever forget. Would that that chamber, as
then crowded with those hardy mountaineers, in the interesting
attitude of that moment, could have been thrown upon the painter's
canvas! At some future day, when the Gospel shall have triumphed
here, it would be cherished and admired as the first declaration of
independence against ecclesiastical tyranny and traditionary
superstition."

About thirty horsemen arrived the next day from Zahleh, to quarter
themselves on the Protestant families until they yielded, or were
impoverished; but the people, foreseeing their intentions, had
closed their houses, and assembled elsewhere. The storm seemed now
ready to burst upon them. At this moment two Druzes, one the leading
feudal sheik of the province, the other a man of unequaled personal
bravery, made their way through the excited crowd; seated themselves
by the side of the Emir; protested in the strongest language against
the treatment the Protestants were receiving from their townsmen;
warned all against treating them as men who had no friends to take
their part; and called upon the Emir to stand forth in their
defense, promising to support him if he did. This decided
interference checked a little the progress of events.

The people of Zahleh had been accompanied by a number of Greek
priests, and in prosecuting their object employed entreaties,
threats, bribes, reproaches, and actual violence. They were
countenanced by the Emir, and backed up by a "Young Men's Party,"
which had grown into an organization under the political excitement
of the times. They returned home in consequence of an order obtained
from the Pasha of Damascus, but not until they had drawn away
perhaps twenty, old and young, some of whom soon after returned to
the instructions of Mr. Thomson and Tannûs, who had taken the place
of Mr. Smith and Butrus. While they were absent on the mountain to
recover from illness, the result of confinement, anxiety, and a
suffocating sirocco, the "Young Men" rose in arms, against the
Protestant brethren. They virtually took the government of the place
into their own hands, and the Protestant men fled to escape their
murderous violence. Returning to Hasbeiya, Mr. Thomson found only
the wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters of those who had fled;
some of them so poor as not to know how or where they could find
their daily bread, yet apparently without fear. He overtook the
fugitive people the next day, who were half perishing with hunger.
Abeih was their place of refuge; and there they remained till
October, zealously attending upon religious instruction.

In that month, one of the two Druze skeiks [sic] arrived, who had
interposed on their behalf on the fifteenth of July, bringing with
him a document from the Pasha of Damascus, procured, it was said, by
Mr. Wood, English Consul there, directing their return and
guaranteeing their entire security. The guaranty proved to be
illusive, though probably not intended to be so. Strong, unfriendly
influences were subsequently brought to bear on the Pasha.1 They
were accompanied by Butrus, and it was intended that one of the
missionaries should soon follow. The party reached Hasbeiya on the
fourteenth of October, and found those who had remained there in
great fear. The Patriarch having arrived the same day, to inflame
the passions of their enemies, intimidate the governor, and weaken
the hands of the Druze sheiks. Butrus wrote, advising that no
missionary come there until the Patriarch was gone, and things had
become more quiet. He was succeeded by Tannûs, in October, and he,
in the following month, by Elias el-Fuaz. The friendly governor was
at length set aside for one more in sympathy with their persecutors.
On the two following Sabbaths, the Bible-men were stoned in the
streets, and Elias el-Fuaz was seriously wounded; while the governor
made only a sham resistance, that emboldened the evil-doers, as he
intended it should, till the native preacher was driven from the
place, and some of the Protestants fled to Lebanon. Others, wearied
with persecutions to which they could see no end, complied so far
with the demands of the Patriarch, as to visit the Greek church,
though they took no part in the services, and openly spoke against
its idolatries. This very partial compliance relieved them from
persecution, but inwardly set them more firmly against an
organization that resorted to such measures to retain them.

1 Not only the influence of the Patriarch of Damascus, but also of
the Russian Consul-general of Syria, who wrote to the Pasha as
follows, on learning that Mr. Wood had privately secured permission
for the Protestants to return home:--

"However, I may desire to address your Excellency on this subject in
a friendly manner, I must remind you, that I am serving the
magnificent Emperor of Russia, and that _we have the right of
protecting the Greek Church in the Ottoman dominions_. I should
greatly regret, if I were compelled to change my language and
protest against every proceeding which may lead to the humiliation
of the Greek Church at Hasbeiya, and the encouragement of pretended
Protestants, especially as _the Sublime Porte does not recognize
among her subjects such a community_."

I give this on the authority of the Rev. J. L. Porter, English
missionary at Damascus, a man every way competent to give testimony
in this case.

The station at Jerusalem was suspended in this year, and Mr. Lanneau
removed to Beirût. Mr. and Mrs. Keyes, in consequence of a failure
of health, returned to the United States.

The seminary was now revived, not at Beirût, but at Abeih, fifteen
hundred feet above the sea-level, in a temperate atmosphere, and
with a magnificent prospect of land and sea. The experience gained
in the former seminary was of use in reconstructing the new one. Its
primary object was to train up an efficient native ministry. None
were to be received to its charity foundation, except such as had
promising talents and were believed to be truly pious. The education
was to be essentially Arabic, the clothing, boarding, and lodging
strictly in the native style, and the students were to be kept as
far as possible in sympathy with their own people.

A chapel for public worship was fitted up, and here, as also at
Beirût, there was preaching every Sabbath in the Arabic language,
with an interesting Sabbath-school between the services. Mr. Calhoun
having joined the mission, coming from Smyrna, the charge of the new
seminary was committed to him. The Rev. Thomas Laurie arrived from
Mosul the same year.

Yakob Agha died in the year 1845. The evidence he gave of piety had
never been wholly satisfactory, but for the last six years he was a
communicant in the church. In this time he appeared to be a changed
man, and his missionary brethren hoped that, with all his failings,
he was a sincere believer and died in the Lord.

In the spring of this year war broke out afresh between the Druzes
and Maronites, and Lebanon was again purged by fire. It was in no
sense a religious war, but a desperate struggle for political
ascendency. The Maronite clergy in the Druze part of the mountain
had been rapidly recovering power, and were as rapidly rising in
their opposition to the mission. The result of this war, as
aforetime, was the destruction of their villages and their power;
and the Patriarch sank under the disappointment and died. Moreover
the party in Hasbeiya, which stoned the Protestants and their
teachers, were driven out of the place by the Druzes, and great
numbers of them killed, so that the "Young Men's" party seemed to be
broken to pieces.1

1 There was a special enmity of the Druzes against the Christians of
Hasbeiya. The most celebrated sacred place of the Druzes is on the
top of a hill just above Hasbeiya, called Khûlwat el Biyâd. In their
revolt against Ibrahim Pasha in 1838, he was aided by the
Christians, and when the Druzes were defeated in a battle near this
place, their sacred place was entered, and several chests of books,
setting forth their tenets, were scattered through the land. The
Christians paid dearly for their trespass. The leader of the Hauran
rebellion became, for a time, the governor of Hasbeiya, and for this
loss imposed exorbitant indemnities on every one, who had been known
to take a book. The consequent enmity between the parties doubtless
had much to do with the events described above.

Abeih, now a missionary station, was inhabited by both Druzes and
Maronites, and the conflict began there on the 9th of May. Our
brethren were all along assured by both parties, that neither they
nor their property would be molested, whichever was victorious. The
Druzes early had the advantage, and the Maronite part of the village
was speedily in flames, and more than three hundred and fifty
Maronites were obliged to take refuge in a strong palace belonging
to one of the Shehab Emirs. About two hundred more, and among them
several of the most obnoxious, found an asylum in the houses of the
missionaries, and in the house of a native helper of the mission,
which, being in the centre of the Maronite quarter, was crowded with
refugees. Mr. Thomson ventured out in the midst of the tumult, and
succeeded in getting a guard of Druzes and Greeks whom he could
trust, placed around this house, and thus the people with their
goods were secured. The palace was in danger of being taken by
storm, and the people within it all massacred; when the leaders of
the Druzes, to avoid this, requested Mr. Thomson to carry a flag of
truce, with offers of safety and permission to retire whenever they
might choose. This was done at some risk, as the battle was still
raging. After the surrender, Dr. Van Dyck dressed the wounded
Maronites in the palace, and brought several of them to his own
house. He also performed like services for the wounded Druzes. This
he did not without peril to himself; for, returning alone from the
neighboring village, where he had gone on this professional errand,
a Druze warrior mistook him for a Maronite, and was so enraged that
one in an Arab dress and with an Arab tongue should pretend to be an
American, that, but for the providential coming up of one who knew
the Doctor, he would have killed him on the spot. Meanwhile Mr.
Laurie had come safely from Beirût, attended by only two
janissaries, and passing through hordes of the victorious Druzes.
Finding, on his arrival, a half-burned corpse of the Italian padre
lying in the street, he buried it under the pavement of his chapel.

The Maronites being in a starving condition, the missionaries baked
for them all the flour they had on hand, and sent express by night
to Beirût for more. Fearing, too, that the Maronites might be
massacred by the Druzes on their way down to Beirût, notwithstanding
their Turkish escort, they sent an express to Colonel Rose, the
English Consul-general, which brought him up immediately with his
most efficient protection. It should be added, that on the day the
Maronites left Abeih, a strong proclamation came out from the
Maronite and Greek Catholic bishops at Beirût to all their people,
requiring them to protect all the members of the American mission.

The reflections of Mr. Smith on the death of the persecuting
Patriarch, are just and impressive. "What a lesson," he says, "does
that event, in such circumstances, teach us! After having martyred
that faithful witness Asaad Shidiak, caused the Bible often to be
burned, had missionaries insulted and stoned, and boasted that he
had at last left no spot open for them to enter the mountains, he
finds himself stripped of all his power; missionaries established
permanently in the midst of his flock, and his own favorite bishop
constrained to give orders for their protection; his people once and
again ravaged and ruined in wars, which his own measures have
hastened, if they have not originated; and finally he sinks himself
under his disappointment and dies. How signally has the blood of the
martyred Asaad been avenged upon him even in this life."

The war broke up the schools in the mountains; but in the following
year there were ten schools in charge of the station at Abeih, with
four hundred and thirty-six pupils. One hundred and forty-four of
these were girls, and one hundred and ninety-seven Druzes. Connected
with the Beirût station, were four schools for boys and girls, and
one for girls alone. In Suk el-Ghûrb, a village four miles from
Abeih, a Protestant secession from the Greek Church was in progress,
embracing fourteen families, and religious services were held with
them every Sabbath. At Bhamdûn, the summer residence for the
brethren of the Beirût station, there were a number of decided
Protestants, who declared that they found persons to sympathize with
them wherever they went. Even in Zahleh, the hot-bed of fanaticism,
there were men who openly argued from the Gospel against the
prevailing errors. Mr. Smith wrote of a village on Mount Hermon,
that sixty men were known to be standing ready to follow the example
of Hasbeiya, as soon as the Protestants in that place had made good
their position. He also declared the movement in Hasbeiya the
beginning of what would doubtless have been a great revolution, had
persecution been delayed.

Mr. Lanneau's health constrained him to retire from the field in
1846. In the same year, Dr. Van Dyck, having acquired an
extraordinary facility in the use of the Arabic language, was
ordained to the work of the Gospel ministry.



CHAPTER XVII.

GREECE.

DR. JONAS KING AND THE GREEK HIERARCHY.

1845-1847.


The struggle of Dr. Jonas King with the Greek Hierarchy, deserves a
permanent record. The point at issue between them was, freedom to
worship God and to preach the Gospel in Greece. The conflict was not
waged by Dr. King as a Greek citizen, for such he never claimed to
be, though he was a property-owner in Athens, and married to a Greek
lady, who retained her nominal connection with the Greek Church.

These facts were helpful to him, as was also his American
citizenship. A mere citizen of Greece could not have maintained his
ground after the persecuting hierarchy had overawed the courts of
justice and the officers of state. His courage resembled that of
Martin Luther. He was a sturdy Puritan, which no Greek at that time
could have been; and he had strong resemblances to the great
Reformer, as will abundantly appear in the sequel. Yet the fact of
his foreign origin made him to be no more than the forerunner of a
Grecian Luther. His labors and sufferings only prepared the way for
a national reformation, which it may be hoped is yet to come.

Early in 1845, a public accusation was made against Dr. King, that
he had uttered impious language respecting the Virgin Mary. In
reply, he quoted from Epiphanius, Bishop of Cyprus, one of the
Fathers of the Eastern Church, who says: "Let the Father, and the
Son, and the Holy Ghost be worshipped; Mary, let no one worship."
Such a defense, as the writer anticipated, only increased the
excitement. The most abusive epithets were heaped upon him. Among
other things, he was accused of falsifying the testimony of the
Fathers. He published a "Defense," in a small volume of about two
hundred pages; embracing a history of the controversy from the
beginning, and proving his teachings to be, as he affirmed,
doctrines of the Greek Church. This he did by freely quoting from
Epiphanius, Chrysostom, Clemens, and others. The book was sent to
the most prominent men, civil and ecclesiastical, in Greece and
Turkey, and produced a powerful impression. Several persons of
distinction confessed that it was true.

It was not to be expected, however, that such a publication would
escape the condemnation of the more bigoted members of the Greek
Church. The opposition became furious, with threats of personal
violence. In August, the "Holy Synod of the kingdom of Greece"
formally denounced the book and its author. Dr. King was
characterized as a hypocrite, imposter, deceiver, as impious and
abominable, and a vessel of Satan; and after a confused and lame
attempt at an answer, every orthodox Christian was forbidden to read
it, and required to deliver it to the flames. The writer was
pronounced "an outlaw, whom no one might salute or greet in the
street," and all were forbidden to enter his dwelling, or to eat or
drink with him, on pain of the most severe ecclesiastical penalty.
The Synod also requested the government to institute a criminal
prosecution. In view of all this, Dr. King consoles himself with the
Saviour's words (Luke vi. 22, 23), "Blessed are ye when men shall
hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and
shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of
man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy."

In September, officers of justice entered the house of the
missionary, and seized all the copies of his book they could find,
ninety-seven in number. About nine hundred had been previously
distributed. He was then summoned to appear before one of the judges
to be examined. I give his own characteristic statement.

"My examination and answers were as follows:--

_Question_. What is your name?

_Answer_. Jonas King.

_Q_. Your country?

_A_. The United States of America.

_Q_. Of what city?

_A_. Hawley, a country town.

_Q_. What is your age?

_A_. Fifty-three.

_Q_. What is your profession?

_A_. I am an evangelist, that is, a preacher of the Word of God.

_Q_. What is your religion?

_A_. What God teaches in His Word; I am a Christian, most orthodox.

_Q_. Did you publish this book, entitled "Jonas King's Defense,
etc.?"

_A_. I did, and distributed it here and elsewhere. I gave it to all
the professors in the University, and to others.

"The Judge then read to me my accusation as follows: 'You are
accused of having in your book reviled the Mother of God, the holy
images, the liturgy of Chrysostom and Basil, the seven oecumenical
councils, and the transformation of the bread and wine into the body
and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ in the fearful mystery of the
communion. Have you any defense to make?'

"_A_. Those things in my book with regard to Mary, with regard to
transubstantiation, and with regard to images, I did not say; but
the most brilliant luminaries of the Eastern Church, St. Epiphanius,
St. Chrysostom, the great St. Basil, St. Irenæus, Clemens, and
Eusebius Pamphyli, say them.

_Q_. Have you anything to add?

_A_. Nothing.

_Q_. Do you know how to write?

_A_. Enough to write my name.

"I was then directed to subscribe my name to the examination, which
I did, and went away."

In October, intelligence came of the "excommunication" of the book
and its author by the "Great Church" at Constantinople. They
assigned the publicity which the "Defense" had obtained in Turkey as
the reason for this act; and this was doubtless the reason why the
synodical accusation was sent extensively to be read in the Greek
churches of the East.

The case went to trial, and was decided against Dr. King in three
successive courts, the last of which was the Areopagus, or highest
court of appeal. This was in April, 1846. In this latter court, he
was well defended by two Greek lawyers, and permission was granted
him, at his request, to address the court. But after about twenty
minutes and repeated interruptions by the President, he was silenced
altogether; not having the freedom which the Pagan Areopagus of
ancient times gave to the first missionary to Greece. The effect of
these decisions was to declare the offenses charged against Dr. King
to be criminal in law, and to refer the case, for trial as to the
truth of the charges and the infliction of punishment, to the
criminal court. If condemned, he must suffer imprisonment. The trial
was to take place at Syra in July. An inflammatory pamphlet was
secretly printed by a priest, named Callistratus, for distribution
at the place of trial among judges, jurors, and the populace. It was
industriously circulated among the lowest class, with the avowed
sanction of the high priest of the Cyclades. Dr. King soon
ascertained that a conspiracy was formed there against his life,
similar to the one which endangered the life of the great Apostle on
his last visit to Jerusalem. Three Greek lawyers were engaged for
his defense at Syra, of whom one was Mr. Stephen Galatti, who had
been educated by the Board in America, and two of these accompanied
him in the steamer. At least a thousand people awaited his landing.
Such was the excitement, that even the lawyers dreaded to go among
them, and the governor of the island confessed his inability to give
effectual protection. The king's attorney decided, that he could not
be legally compelled to submit to a trial on that day. His lawyers
therefore advised him to return in the steamer to Athens, which he
did. Learning, soon after his arrival, through his wife, of a
combination there to take his life, he acquainted Sir Edmund Lyons,
the British Ambassador, with the fact, and that gentleman kindly
offered him British protection in case of need.

It would be charitable to suppose, that the government had not
entered into this prosecution willingly, but were urged on by the
hierarchy. Certain it is, that the whole subject was allowed to rest
for nearly a year. But on the 4th of June, 1847, the missionary
received a citation from the officers of government to appear in
person for trial before the criminal court at Syra. As a similar
court was at that moment holding a session in Athens, he could
regard the motive of the citation as not very different from that
which led the Jews to demand the transfer of St. Paul's trial from
Cæsarea to Jerusalem. It was subsequently affirmed, that this
proceeding had been without the knowledge of the Prime Minister and
the Minister of Justice; and the King's attorney soon after recalled
the citation. The British Ambassador again proffered his kind
offices, and there were friends among the Greeks themselves. But the
great body of the people were hostile, and Dr. King concludes one of
his letters thus: "I feel that my Lord and Master has called me to
this combat, and though it seems to be waxing hotter and hotter, so
long as my Captain and Leader lives, I have nothing to fear." He was
somewhat cheered by the assurance of a Greek of standing, that his
book, though the cause of much suffering to the author, had given a
turn to public opinion.

After this Dr. King ventured out into the city with considerable
freedom, and conversed with such as he met on the subject of
religion. Many, even some of the priests, saluted him in the
streets, though contrary to the commands of the Holy Synod. A member
of the Synod, who had subscribed the excommunication, on meeting him
returned his salutation.

There was only a lull in the storm. In July of the same year, a
series of articles appeared in a leading newspaper of Athens called
the "Age," designed to excite the prejudices of the Greeks against
our missionary, and to urge them to put a stop to the scandal of his
preaching. The last and most extraordinary of these was avowedly
from Simonides, and was fitted to produce an excitement in the Greek
community. Its statements were improbable in the highest degree, and
there could not have been a more affecting proof of the superstition
and bigotry of the people of Athens, than the general credence given
to this gross fabrication.

The article was called "The Orgies," and was under the headings of
"Mystery of Marriage," and "Mystery of Baptism;" and a translation
of it may be found in the "Missionary Herald" for 1847.1

1 See _Missionary Herald_ for 1847, pp. 366-368.

It was subsequently ascertained, that Simonides was materially aided
by two priests; who were elevated, not long after, one to an
archdeaconry, the other to an archbishopric, under the "Great
Church" at Constantinople. What immediately followed, will be
described by Dr. King himself.

"While reading the article in my family, the Governor of Attica, Mr.
Soutzos, came in and desired to speak with me alone. He informed me
that he had come to say to me from the Minister of the Interior,
that, on the one hand, they wished to give me protection, and that,
a week before, there was no reason for suspecting any difficulty,
unless it were from my own conscience; but that they desired me to
put a stop to the scandal of my preaching. He had also to say to me
from the Minister of Religion, that I must do so, or the government
would take some measures against me.

"To this I replied, that I considered it an insult, on the part of
the Minister of the Interior, to say that I had no reason for fear
except from my own conscience, as I had reason to fear from the
threats I had heard from various quarters; that my conscience was
perfectly clear, inasmuch as I had done nothing but my duty; that as
to my preaching, I considered myself free to preach the Gospel in my
own house. 'Yes,' said he, 'but not to admit others of the Greek
religion.' I replied, that I considered myself as having the same
right, which is enjoyed by the Roman Catholics, by the English, by
the King's chaplain, and by the Queen's, to hold my service with
open doors; that the government did not demand of any person of any
other rite to close his doors against such as might wish to come,
and that, should I do this, I might be justly suspected of doing
something improper; that I had a right to preach in my own house,
and that the constitution protected me in this right; that I
intended to preach, and with open doors, and whosoever wished might
come; that what had appeared in the "Age" with regard to my
religious service, called the "Orgies," and with regard to
proselytes, was all false; and that it was folly for the government
to found an accusation, or take any measures against me, on the
ground of such abominable falsehoods. But if they chose to prevent
Greeks from coming to my service, they had the power so to do.

"The governor said that this was the last advice the Minister of
Religion had to give me, and it would be followed by severe
measures.

"During the greater part of this conversation, my wife was present,
and added remarks vindicating my right to do as I pleased in my own
house, and declaring the accusations, which had appeared in the
'Age' of the preceding day, to be false."

One of the two Greek lawyers already mentioned, on being consulted
with regard to an article in the Penal Code, to which the Governor
had referred, said that it had no reference whatever to the case of
Dr. King, but only to secret societies. In the evening, the
missionary observed three soldiers guarding his house, and was told
that they were placed there for that purpose.

Hearing that the Swedish Minister desired an interview, Dr. King
called, and was informed that the King had expressed a wish that he
should "economize" the present difficulty by taking a journey, as in
protecting him there might be bloodshed; that the people were much
exasperated, and the Parliament being about to assemble, many sought
to throw everything into confusion; that they might feel obliged to
order him away, which they did not wish to do, as then, in order to
return, he must have a permit, which it might be difficult to
obtain; whereas, if he went away voluntarily, he could return
whenever he pleased.

It seemed wise to comply with these suggestions, and Dr. King
resolved to take the Austrian steamer, then soon to leave the Piræus
for Trieste. Sir Edmund Lyons secured for him a passport, and
assured him that he would take special care of his family during his
absence. At the Piræus he was most hospitably entertained by Mr. and
Mrs. Buel, of the American Baptist Mission in that place. He arrived
at Geneva on the 25th of August, where he met with Christian
sympathy and a hearty welcome.

Simonides subsequently published other articles in the same
newspaper, entitled "The Mysteries of Jonas King," and "Teaching of
Jonas King against the honorable and life-giving Cross;" and still
another, entitled "He is sent away;" all designed, and some of them
well adapted, to exasperate the multitude. An extract from the last
may find a place in this history.

"The false apostle, Jonas King, is out of the Greek commonwealth.
His nation-corrupting and Satanic congregation of strange doctrine,
already bearing date of fifteen years, has now been destroyed. The
terrible progress of the great common scandal of religious strange
doctrine, has been smitten on the head. In giving this important
news we congratulate Greece, being persuaded that every other
important question of the day holds, in respect to this, a second
place. It concerned religious sentiments, from which flows the Greek
existence, the national personality; and the corruption of these
religious sentiments, or even the simple disturbance of them,
effected especially in the female race, would overturn from the
foundation everything which holds together the strong links of
Grecian nationality and liberty.

"Of all the foreign holy apostles, of various religions and various
heresies, unhappily for Greece, heaped together from every quarter,
no one became more to be feared, and more destructive, than the
imposter and deceiver, Jonas King. A man of much speech, of powerful
sophistry, of infinite subtlety, of hypocrisy incarnate, uniting in
himself, also, boldness and great pecuniary means, he was able to
proceed to such lengths, profiting for many years from the double
indifference of the political and ecclesiastical authorities, as to
proclaim publicly, that the act of the holy Synod against him of the
5th of August (19th, N. S.), was unjust and false."

There can be no doubt that a withdrawal from Greece, just at that
time, was the only judicious course to be pursued; and perhaps the
proceedings of the government, in view of the uncontrollable
excitement of the people, were all that could have been reasonably
expected. For a week after the departure of Dr. King, a guard of ten
or twelve soldiers was kept at his house, to protect it from the
mob.

Subsequently, the government went into a protracted examination of
the case, for which no satisfactory reason has been assigned. It had
the effect to delay the return of Dr. King, and it may have been
designed for that end. And perhaps they hoped, by eliciting the
truth, to allay public excitement.

Dr. King proceeded to Malta in November, that he might be nearer
Athens, and Mrs. King joined him there in February. About that time,
by advice of his counsel, he petitioned the Greek government to
bring the examination to a speedy close. While in Malta, he printed
his "Farewell Letter"1 in French and Italian, and the edition was
distributed in Malta, Sicily, Rome, Tuscany, and other places. An
edition of two thousand copies is said to have been printed in
Sicily in 1849, of which nine hundred copies were distributed in one
night, and seven hundred in another, apparently with good effect.

1 This letter is mentioned repeatedly in the second, third, and
seventh chapters. The reader, who is curious to see precisely what
it was, will find the translation of a large portion of it in the
_Missionary Herald_ for 1828, pp. 141-145.



CHAPTER XVIII.

DR. JONAS KING AND THE GREEK HIERARCHY.

1847-1869.


Impatient of longer delay, Dr. King boldly resolved upon returning
to Athens, and he arrived there on the 20th of June, 1848. He
assigns his reason for this in a letter to his Secretary: "I thought
it best," he writes, "to wait no longer, but to throw myself
suddenly into the midst of the people, and take whatever might come.
No one ever took a castle by remaining quietly outside. He may lose
his life, and he may take the castle. At any rate, here I am. I
believed it my duty to come, and to come now, and I returned with my
mind perfectly tranquil. I know that a sparrow shall not fall to the
ground without my Father, and that the very hairs of my head are all
numbered."

The newspapers were silent. The editor of the "Age," who printed the
"Orgies," gave him his hand, and welcomed him back to Greece.
Simonides tried to revive the excitement, but did not succeed.
Calling on most of the King's Ministers, as a matter of civility, he
was generally received with cordiality.

It was not thought prudent, however, to resume his preaching at
once, but his book depository was opened, and Bibles, Testaments,
and other religious books were again in demand. Within six months
after his return, he printed over five hundred thousand pages of
religious books; and the opening of the year 1849 found him
preaching publicly on the Sabbath, with a Scripture exposition
Thursday evening, and several young men much impressed by these
ministrations. The disturbed political condition of Europe at that
time, had a tendency, no doubt, to divert the public attention. One
fact deserves mention. Just as a new paper was about to be published
at Athens, with the special design of holding up Protestant missions
to popular indignation, a British fleet appeared in the offing, and
public attention was diverted from the undertaking. In August,
several students from the University attended the Sabbath and
Thursday evening services, and called at other times for
conversation, and two Greeks of hopeful piety were accustomed to
take part in reading the Scriptures and extempore prayer at a
Sabbath evening prayermeeting. The devoted missionary felt himself
called on to work while the day lasted.

It is worthy of note that Simonides, whose inflammatory writings had
led to the withdrawal of our missionary brother from Athens,
pretended about this time to have discovered certain Greek
manuscripts of Homer, Hesiod, etc., which he claimed to be more
ancient than any others, and some men of learning thought them to be
genuine; but when they were discovered to be forgeries, the people
regarded him as a deceiver and liar.

Nearly three years elapsed after Dr. King's return to Athens, and he
began to be more encouraged in his work. He speaks of a call from an
abbot of a convent, who embraced him as a brother on leaving, and
whom he regarded as indeed a brother in the Lord. But early in the
spring of 1851, indications of public uneasiness began again to
appear. The Synod represented to the Minister of Ecclesiastical
Affairs "the scandalous attacks of the American, King, on the Holy
and Orthodox Church," and demanded prompt redress according to law.

The first outbreak of the popular feeling was in Dr. King's own
house, on the 23d of March, by evil-minded persons assembled at the
usual preaching service on the Sabbath. Entering the room, he found
it crowded with more than one hundred persons. The strictest
attention was given to the sermon, but a student of theology in the
University began to put questions immediately after the benediction,
and a tumult soon arose. The audience was composed of friends and
foes, the former endeavoring to prevent a disturbance, while the
latter reviled them. Finding remonstrance unavailing, Dr. King
unfurled at the door the flag of the United States, which the absent
Consul had committed to his care, and at the sight of this the crowd
immediately withdrew.

On the 15th of May, 1851, he was called to appear before a judge to
answer to the charge of proselyting. The first ten or twelve
questions and answers were similar to those in the examination six
years before. The remainder is here reported:--

_Question_. What do you preach?

_Answer_. The Word of God; that is, the Scriptures contained in the
Old and New Testament, which are recognized by all Christian
Churches as being the Word of God. This word I hold in my hand, and
endeavor to draw the attention of those present to what it contains,
saying, "Thus saith the Lord," and pointing out to them the book,
chapter, and verse, where what I state is to be found.

_Q_. Have you any other service?

_A_. In the afternoon I have sometimes a service, which consists in
reading the Word of God, and in prayer and some remarks, the object
of which is to draw the attention of those present to what Christ
teaches.

_Q_. Do many attend this service in the afternoon?

_A_. Very few.

_Q_. Do you invite people to come to your preaching, or do they come
of their own accord?

_A_. In general they come of their own accord. If any ask me if it
is permitted to them to come, I always tell them that my house is
open, and any one who wishes is free to come. When I first commenced
this service, in the time of Capodistria, I invited his particular
friend, old Mr. Konstantas, and others.

_Q_. Our questions relate principally to the last two years.

_A_. During that time, and since the great opposition to my
preaching commenced, I have been particularly careful, in general,
to avoid inviting people.

_Q_. You are accused of having, this year and the last, expressed
things to the offense of others, and of having expressed principles,
sentiments, and opinions, which attack in general the foundations of
religion, and are otherwise injurious. Have you anything to say by
way of defense?

_A_. What religion is meant? If it be that of Mohammed, I may be
guilty.

_Q_. The religion of the Oriental Orthodox Church?

_A_. I have already said that my preaching consists in teaching what
is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, that
is, the Word of God, which all the most distinguished early Fathers
in the Eastern Church, especially Chrysostom and Athanasius,
declared to be the only school of godliness, the fountain at which
all Christians ought to drink; and if the Eastern Church
acknowledges these sacred Scriptures as the foundations of its
religion, I cannot be guilty of the charge, for I have said nothing
against those bases. As to the superstructure, what has at various
times been built up on these foundations, I have nothing to say at
this time. That is quite another question, and one which the
accusation does not touch. But against the foundations themselves,
as already explained, I can have said nothing, because I preach that
Word, which contains them. And besides, I consider it a sin for any
one to preach anything of his own, and that it is the duty of every
one to preach only what is contained in the Word of God."

The judge then said, "The examination is ended."1

1 _Missionary Herald_, 1851, p. 268.

Dr. King, sometime before, had prepared an "Exposition of an
Apostolical Church," founded entirely on the Word of God, which was
printed in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This was extensively
distributed, and was denounced by the Greek hierarchy in
Constantinople, Smyrna, and Thessalonica. In September, the Council
of Judges in the criminal court of Athens, a sort of grand jury,
presented him for trial in that court upon the allegations, that for
two years he had "preached within his house in this place publicly,
in the exposition of the sacred Scriptures, that baptism is no other
than a simple symbol, and consequently it is indifferent whether men
are sprinkled or immersed; that those who eat a little bread, and
drink a little wine, are foolish in thinking that they will be saved
by this communion; that the most holy mother of God is not ever
virgin; that those who worship her, as also the other divine images,
are idolaters; that he does not accept the sacred Councils, and the
things ordained by them in religion, and handed down by tradition to
the orthodox Christians in later times; that the fathers and the
saints of the orthodox Oriental Church of Christ were deceivers, and
as a consequence of this, they brought in divers heresies; that holy
baptism is no other than an external sign for Christians;" etc.

There were successive appeals, as in the former case, up to the
Areopagus; but with similar results, except that the highest court
decided that the penal law did not apply to one half of the
allegations. It was hoped that the matter would end here, but a
trial was ordered for the 5th of March, 1852.

Great pains were taken, by the evil-disposed, to excite a tumult
when Dr. King was brought before the court; and the head of police,
while giving assurance of protection, advised him to go to the
court-house in a carriage. This he declined. After a prayer with his
family, he took his little son by the hand, and, in company with an
American friend, walked first to the house of Mr. Pellicas, one of
his lawyers. There he was told, that the King's attorney, in view of
the excitement among the people, desired him to wait till he could
enter the court with some hope of safety. But Dr. King did not wish
a postponement on account of the excitement, of which there would
always be more or less, and so they set out again on foot for the
court-room. It was with difficulty they pressed through the crowd,
in which the peculiar hats of many priests were to be seen on all
sides. Our missionary declares, that he felt very happy, though not
indifferent to his position, in the full belief, that the result
would be good.

The charge of reviling the dogmas of the Eastern Church, which was
now their only dependence, was not proved. So the King's attorney
had recourse to the "Exposition of an Apostolical Church," printed
in the United States, to the "Defense," printed in 1845, and to the
"Farewell Letter," printed twenty-seven years before, which formed
no part of the indictments, on the assumption that he must have
preached the sentiments they contained. But even so, his preaching
would be no more a reviling of the dogmas of the Greek Church, than
any other exposition of the doctrines held by the millions of
Protestants in Europe and America. His lawyers made an able defense,
though embarrassed by the evident bias of the President of the
court. After a trial of six hours, Dr. King was adjudged to be
guilty, and was condemned to fifteen days' imprisonment, to pay the
costs of court, and then to be banished from the Kingdom of Greece.

The court-house was soon cleared by the soldiers, but such a crowd
awaited Dr. King without, that the military officer in charge
proposed to call a carriage, and the King's attorney consented to
his returning to his own house for the night, rather than going
immediately to prison. He went out through a back door, and the
officer ordered two or three soldiers to mount the carriage before
and behind. Just as they entered the carriage, a rush was made by
the crowd, but the soldiers drove them back with their bayonets.

He had been arraigned for violating the seventeenth and eighteenth
articles of the Penal Code; yet the attorney failed to prove the
"reviling," contemplated in the seventeenth article, and the
Areopagus had decided that the eighteenth did not apply to the case.
So that Dr. King was adjudged to be deserving of imprisonment and
banishment, simply for preaching the Gospel in his own house, as
held by all evangelical Christians. Yet the government claimed to be
tolerant of all religions.

On the 9th of March, Dr. King entered the prison of Athens, where
were one hundred and twenty-five prisoners, occupying eleven small
rooms, eight of which were ten or eleven feet square, with from
eight to twelve prisoners in each, the other three being larger.

"My heart is not sorrowful," he writes on the same day, "but full of
joy. I consider this as one of the brightest days of my life. With
my whole heart I thank the Lord Jesus Christ, that I am counted
worthy to suffer shame for his name, and for the truths which he has
taught. The morning before I came to the prison, I read with great
interest, yea, I may say with tears of joy, Hebrews xi., xii., and
xiii.; and I felt constrained to render to the Most High ascriptions
of praise for mercies, rather than to seek freedom from trials. My
principal petition to God, during all these days of excitement and
triumph of the enemy, has been, that the name of the Lord may be
glorified in me, and that the cause of truth may finally prevail."

On the 10th, having appealed to the Areopagus, he was removed to the
police office, where he was treated kindly, and his friends had
liberty to call upon him freely. Three days later, becoming ill of a
fever, he was removed to his own house, where he remained, under a
guard provided for the purpose, till the decision of the Areopagus
was announced on the 25th. The sentence of the Criminal Court was
confirmed.

By the more intelligent in the community, whether native or foreign,
and by several of the ablest journals, the proceedings of the court
were strongly condemned. Twelve Greek lawyers, several of whom had
held the highest offices in Greece and were among the most
distinguished of their profession, signed their names to a letter,
declaring their entire dissent from its proceedings.1

1 See _Annual Report_ for 1852, p. 55, and _Missionary Herald_ for
1852, p. 239.

Execution of the sentence of banishment was delayed by a protest
from Dr. King, in the name of the United States Government,
indicating his intention to appeal to that government. The time had
now fully come for extending to him the protection due to
missionaries in their just rights and privileges. There can be no
doubt, that missionaries have equal claims to protection with their
fellow-citizens, in the lawful pursuit of their profession as
preachers of the Gospel.1 In 1842, Daniel Webster, being then
Secretary of State, instructed Commodore Porter, Minister Resident
at Constantinople, "to omit no occasion, where his interference in
behalf of American missionaries might become necessary or useful,
and to extend to them the proper succor and attentions of which they
might stand in need, in the same manner that he would to other
citizens of the United States, who as merchants should visit or
reside in Turkey."2 Happily Mr. Webster was again in the same high
office. Twenty-nine years before, while the Greeks were fighting for
their independence, he had eloquently pleaded their cause in the
House of Representatives of the United States, and procured their
recognition as a nation by our government. An appeal now came to him
from an American citizen of the highest respectability, suffering
oppression by that very nation which he had so befriended. There
being no diplomatic agent of the United States in Greece, the Hon.
George P. Marsh, the learned and able Minister Resident at
Constantinople, was instructed to proceed to Athens in one of the
ships of war, and inquire into the case, with one or more of the
national vessels in that neighborhood subject to his order. Having a
competent knowledge of the Greek language, Mr. Marsh entered upon
his delicate mission in August, 1852, and prosecuted it till the
arrival of his successor in the Constantinople embassy, late in
1853. During this time, Mr. Webster died, and was succeeded by
Edward Everett; and he again by Mr. Marcy, on the accession of
President Pierce. Mr. Webster's letter of instruction, dated April
29, 1852, states the case clearly, as it does also the rights of
missionaries. Mr. Everett's letter, dated February 5, 1853, gives
the opinion of President Fillmore, based on Mr. Marsh's report of
the case. "Although the forms of the law may in general have been
observed," Mr. Everett writes, "it is quite plain, that Dr. King was
not tried for any offense clearly defined by the law of Greece; that
his trial was in many respects unfairly and illegally conducted;
that the constitution and laws of Greece guarantee a full toleration
of all religious opinions; and that there is no proof that Dr. King
has exceeded the just limits of the liberty of speech implied in
such toleration." "Either the sound and safe maxims of criminal
jurisprudence," he adds, "which prevail in this country, are unknown
to the jurisprudence of Greece, or her tribunals were presided over
by persons who entertained very false notions of the judicial
character, or there are prejudices against Dr. King, which, in this
case at least, corrupted the fountains of justice. It may have been
in part produced by all three, and there is reason to suppose that
such is the case. This state of things unavoidably destroys all
confidence in the Greek courts, as far as Dr. King is concerned, and
compels the President to regard their decision in this case as
unjust and oppressive."3 He repeats the declaration of Mr. Webster,
that missionaries are entitled to all the protection, which the Law
of Nations allows to be extended to citizens who reside in foreign
countries in the pursuit of their lawful business. Mr. Marsh was to
communicate to the government of Greece the decided opinion of the
President, "that Dr. King did not have a fair trial, and that
consequently the sentence of banishment ought immediately to be
revoked."

1 See _Proceedings at the Annual Meeting of the Board_ in 1841, pp.
36-39.

2 See _Memorial Volume of the First Fifty Years of the A. B. C. F.
M._, p. 201.

3 _Congressional Documents_, No. 9, Senate, 1854, p. 6.

The piece of ground in Athens purchased by Dr. King in 1829, was at
that time little prized by Turks or Greeks. But after the capital
became permanently fixed there, the land had become a most desirable
part of the city, as it commanded an unobstructed view of many of
the finest ancient monuments and interesting localities of Athens.
For this reason it was early selected by the government as the site
of a national church. The law required the value of all land thus
taken, to be paid for before it was put to use. Years passed, and
the government neither made use of it, nor allowed the owner to
build upon it, and yet refused all compensation. This act of gross
injustice--so gross that it even subjected the government to the
suspicion of sinister aims in the prosecution of Dr. King,1--was
one of the points referred to the President of the United States,
and he declared his conviction, that compensation ought immediately
to be made by the government of Greece.

1 _Senate Documents_, p, 184.

After some delay, this was done, but I know not to what extent. Mr.
Paicos, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, objected, on purely
technical grounds, to reversing the judgment founded on the charge
of reviling the dogmas of the Greek Church; and as Dr. King very
properly refused to receive a pardon, that judgment remained in
force. It was never revived, however, and Mr. Pellicas, one of the
counsel for the defense, having become Minister of Justice, a royal
order was issued, revoking the sentence of banishment.

"Dr. King and his creed," writes Mr. Marsh to the Secretary of
State, "have served as a convenient scape-goat, to bear maledictions
intended for other teachers and other doctrines, as well as for
himself and his faith; or perhaps as an experiment, to test how far
the Greek government would sustain, or foreign powers permit, the
encroachments of an intolerant priesthood upon the guarantees of the
independence of Greece, and the solemn sanction of the constitution
and laws."

A manifest change now took place in the popular sentiment towards
the persecuted missionary. Many who had been bitterly opposed,
became cordial. The preaching service had forty or fifty hearers,
who were generally attentive. The "Exposition of an Apostolical
Church" continued to attract notice. Dr. Barth's "Ecclesiastical
History," translated by Dr. King, was extensively read; and the
American Bible Society responded to an application for a new grant
of ten thousand copies of the New Testament for the schools. Near
the close of 1854, Dr. King placed at the disposal of the Minister
of Ecclesiastical Affairs and Public Instruction for the use of
schools, a thousand copies of "Chrysostom on Reading the
Scriptures," printed with the sanction of the American Tract
Society. The Minister replied, thanking him for the books, and
sending him a copy of a circular he had addressed to the teachers
strongly recommending the reading by the pupils, not only of
Chrysostom, but of the Scriptures also. Several young men appeared
truly converted, and a class in theology was formed, made up of two
young men from Athens and four from Constantinople. These had been
in the Greek department of the Bebek Seminary, and were sent to
study with Dr. King in consequence of the death of Mr. Benjamin.
After a year and a half he still had this class. To aid them he
wrote a little work in modern Greek, combating the idea, prevalent
with many, that nothing in the Word of God can be understood, except
by those who have been enlightened by the study of the Fathers. In
January, 1857, he finished correcting the fifth volume of the
American Tract Society's publications in modern Greek. The first
volume he printed in 1853, the second and third in 1854, the fourth
in 1855. The five volumes contained more than two thousand five
hundred pages, and were in an eligible form; but they were found to
be in advance of the national taste for religious reading.

The old enmity in Greece burst forth, once more, with violence, in
forgeries and fictions of an extraordinary character. It was then
regretted by many patrons of the mission, that the veteran
missionary sustained consular relations to the United States, which
prevented him from meeting this crisis in the simple character of a
missionary; and such may have been the feeling of Dr. King himself,
but he found it difficult to change his relations while the storm
was raging. The public excitement, however, soon subsided, and he
went on with his work unmolested.

In September, 1859, Dr. King was most unexpectedly cited to appear
before the judicial authorities, to answer to charges brought
against him, two years and a half before, by a Greek named Kephalas.
After an examination of two hours, the accusation was read to him.
Its import was not clear; but it implied an apprehension, that he
was secretly endeavoring to form a Christian Church,--an exclusive
body, with members, meetings, rules, and occupations, and a religion
not recognized by the government.

After nearly a year, the Council of Judges decided not to proceed
then with the proscution, [sic] and it was never resumed. Dr. King
now printed, at private expense, five volumes of his own writings;
one in French, and four in modern Greek. Two of the volumes in
modern Greek are supposed to have been made up of forty-eight of his
sermons, and one of miscellaneous documents. Among them were his
Farewell Letter; his Defense; Speech before the Areopagus in 1846;
Exposition of an Apostolic Church; Religious Rites of an Apostolical
Church; Canons for the Interpretation of the Scriptures; Orgies of
Simonides; Answer to the Greek Synod; The Opinion of Twelve Lawyers;
Letter of the Hon. George P. Marsh to the Greek Government; etc.

In the great work of giving the Word of God to the people of Greece,
Dr. King fully acknowledges the hearty coöperation of the Episcopal
and Baptist missionaries, and of Bible agents both British and
American.

In the autumn of 1862, King Otho and his queen were constrained to
fly from Greece. In the midst of the consequent revolution, the head
of police sent a company of soldiers to protect the house of the
missionary, but Mrs. King told him they were not afraid, and the
soldiers went away. The editors of the "Age" and of the "Hope," his
most bitter persecutors in years past, now fell into deep disgrace,
and were in peril of their lives. Prince Alfred, of Protestant
England, was elected king by an almost unanimous vote. Not obtaining
him, they elected a king from Protestant Denmark. George I. arrived
in October, 1863, and was received by the people with much joy. The
form of government is a constitutional monarchy. There are neither
titles nor privileged classes among the people. The only
qualification for voting is that of a prescribed age, and all
citizens are eligible to the offices of the state, who possess the
required mental qualifications. Unfortunately for Greece, the
article of the constitution of 1843 is retained, which, while it
grants toleration, prohibits proselytism from the Established
Church, which it declares to be a crime punishable by the penal
code. It will be well for Greece, if this be dropped from the
constitution in the revision to be made in 1875. In March of the
year following, twenty-six editors of newspapers at Athens formed a
society, "to discuss subjects connected with the good of the
country," and, by a large majority, chose Dr. Kalopothakes, editor
of the "Star of the East," for their President. In May, the
venerable missionary was invited by the king to administer the
Lord's Supper in the palace; which was no more than an act of public
justice towards one of the oldest, most disinterested, and
self-sacrificing of the friends of the Greek nation.

Dr. King's health was now much impaired, and required a change; and
in July, 1864, he left Athens, with Mrs. King, and reached the
United States in August, where they remained three years. Their
return to Greece was in the autumn of 1867, and the missionary was
happy to find some of his former pupils actively engaged in labors
not very dissimilar to his own. Two were preachers of the Gospel;
Mr. Kalopothakes, from the New York Union Theological Seminary,
ordained by a Presbytery; and Mr. Constantine, from Amherst College
and Andover Seminary, and ordained by a Congregational body. A
third, Mr. Sakellarius, a printer, studied for a while in the
Baptist Seminary at Newton, and had charge of the office of the
"Star." All three had their Bible classes and Sunday-schools. Dr.
King wisely avoided interfering by a separate service of his own.
Sometime before his return, a mob, excited by the report that
"Puritanism" was taught in these schools, nearly forced its way into
the house of Dr. Kalopothakes; but an officer of the police passed
at the moment, and arrested some of the ringleaders. The Cretan
refugees were then there, and about twelve hundred of these were in
their day and Sabbath-schools.

In April, 1868, a distinguished Professor in the University arranged
for an interview between Dr. King and the President of the "Holy
Synod." This man in 1863 signed the accusation against Dr. King, in
consequence of which, after his return to Greece, he was a third
time cited before the Criminal Court, though without any result. The
interview was altogether pleasant, and was a striking illustration
of the progress of public opinion. "A considerable degree of
religious liberty has been gained," writes the missionary, "and a
foundation has been laid, on which, I trust, will one day arise a
beautiful superstructure."

Dr. King finished his course at Athens on the 22d of May, 1869, in
the seventy-seventh year of his age.

The characteristics of this remarkable man are everywhere apparent
in the preceding narrative. He was evidently designed by Providence
to be a reformer; and though he lived not to witness anything that
could be called a reformation among the Greek people, the battle he
fought through so many years with the bigotry and intolerance of the
Greek hierarchy, will be held in perpetual remembrance. A
reformation has begun, and Dr. King, more than any other Protestant,
was the instrument of Providence in bringing it about. To him is it
owing, preëminently, that the Scriptures, since the year 1831, have
been so extensively used in the schools, and that, in Greece, "the
Word of God is not bound." It is not forgotten, that others labored
with him, and not in vain; but it is mainly to the preaching of Dr.
King, during his protracted residence in Greece, in connection with
his persistent and triumphant struggle with the Greek hierarchy,
that we owe, under God, the visible decline of prejudice against
evangelical truth and religious liberty.



CHAPTER XIX.

THE NESTORIANS.

1841-1848.


Mr. and Mrs. Perkins, finding a sea voyage necessary for the
recovery of her health, left Oroomiah July 5, 1841, and arrived at
New York on the 11th of January, just in time to be present at the
special meeting of the Board in that city. Their passage from Smyrna
had been prolonged to one hundred and nine days, and much solicitude
was felt for their safety. They were accompanied by Mar Yohannan,
who desired so earnestly to see the new world, that he could not be
dissuaded from coming. As the early friend and constant helper of
the mission, and as representing one of the most interesting
branches of the ancient Church of Christ, he was received by the
Board and the religious community with Christian affection, and his
visits to different parts of the country with Mr. Perkins were both
pleasant and useful.

The number of pupils in the seminary at the close of 1841 was
forty-six; there were also eighteen in the boarding-school for
girls, and there were twenty free schools in as many villages, all
taught by Nestorian priests. The free schools contained four hundred
and seventy pupils, of whom forty were girls; making the whole
number in the schools five hundred and sixteen. The press, during
its first year, sent forth sixteen hundred volumes, and three
thousand six hundred tracts, containing in all five hundred and ten
thousand pages. Under the superintendence of Mr. Perkins, Mr. Homan
Hallock cut and cast a new font of type, modeled on the best Syriac
manuscripts. This was in the year 1841. Three years later, Mr.
Breath, the printer at Oroomiah, with the help of a native
assistant, cut and prepared two sets of type after the most approved
forms of Syriac calligraphy. The natives pronounced these types
perfect. The two sets resembled each other, the only difference
being that in one the stroke was larger and the letter more open.
Mr. Breath afterwards prepared a third set, of a medium size
compared with the other two.

While the plain of Oroomiah is perhaps one of the most fertile and
beautiful in the world, its luxuriant vegetation occasions fevers at
certain seasons, and ophthalmia is prevalent. To escape fevers, the
missionaries built dormitories on the tops of their flat-roofed
houses. This preventive not being found sufficient, a health-station
was formed in the elevated village of Seir, about six miles from
Oroomiah, where dwellings were provided for two families, which were
surrounded by a strong stone wall, to serve as a defense against any
sudden incursion of the Koords.

Mr. and Mrs. Perkins and Mar Yohannan embarked at Boston on their
return in March, 1843. They were accompanied by the Rev. David T.
Stoddard and wife, and by Misses Catherine E. Myers and Fidelia
Fiske, who went to promote the education of their own sex among the
Nestorians. They reached Oroomiah on the 14th of June, and were
received by the Nestorians with great manifestations of joy. Mr.
Perkins, while at home, prepared for the press an octavo volume of
five hundred pages, entitled "A Residence of Eight Years among the
Nestorian Christians." It is in the form of a journal, is
illustrated by a map and plates, and is a history of the mission
during that time.

The ancient Syriac version of the Scriptures was held in such
veneration by the people, that there were strong reasons for making
it the basis of the proposed version in the modern language. The
case was referred to the Prudential Committee, who decided that the
only proper course was to translate from the original Hebrew and
Greek, and the translation was made accordingly.

The female seminary at Oroomiah now came under the efficient
superintendence of Miss Fiske, and soon assumed a very interesting
religious character. The whole number under instruction in the two
seminaries, and in the forty-four village free schools, was eleven
hundred and forty-two. The call for preaching tasked the capacity of
the mission. The missionaries were free to preach in the Nestorian
churches, and generally found attentive congregations, and they were
aided in the ministry of the word by five intelligent native
preachers. Dr. Perkins thus speaks of a congregation at Ardishai:
"The church was crowded to overflowing. It would have been difficult
for half a dozen more to press themselves into it. Priest Abraham
read the first chapter of the Epistle of James, which we expounded
for more than an hour, to the great satisfaction of the people, who
did not suppress their audible Amen, and ejaculatory comments of
approbation. Priest Abraham spoke very appropriately and feelingly
on the subject of temptations, applying it to his hearers, who are
now so sorely beset by the Jesuits. That crowd of eager listeners
presented a thrilling spectacle. I could not help thanking God for
the privilege of addressing them on the things that pertain to their
everlasting well being."

The efforts of the Jesuits among the Nestorians began in 1838. In
1842, they pushed their proselyting measures so recklessly among the
Armenians of Ispahan and Tabriz, as to lead the Persian King, at the
instance of the Russian Ambassador, to send them out of the kingdom.
A "permanent order" was at the same time adopted, probably on
Russian suggestion, growing out of repugnance to the political
influence of the Jesuits, that no native Christian should be
proselyted from one Christian sect to another. The French
government, after some delay, sent an envoy to Persia to effect, if
possible, the return of the Jesuits; but before his arrival, they
had covertly made their way to Oroomiah, run another race of
proselytism among the Nestorians, and been a second time expelled.
The French agent therefore took cognizance of both expulsions, and
gave the greater prominence to the more recent one, since it had
just occurred, and was fresh in mind, and since the Jesuits were
just then specially intent on adding the Nestorians to their sect.
His demand, however, that they should have leave to return, was
refused. He then required the expulsion of the American
missionaries, as being obnoxious to the same law. The Russian
Ambassador, whose protection the mission had enjoyed since the
departure of the English embassy in 1839, denied that it was the
object of the mission to proselyte in the sense contemplated by the
law. The French envoy then demanded an investigation, and to this
the Ambassador and the Persian government readily assented. Two
Mohammedan meerzas were sent from Tabriz to Oroomiah to make the
investigation. These fell under the papal influence at Oroomiah, and
made a report so strongly prejudiced against the mission, that it
was thought necessary to send a committee to the capital to
counteract their misrepresentations. Messrs. Perkins and Stocking
were sent accordingly. Riding rapidly on horseback, many hundred
miles, over cold regions just as winter was setting in, and sleeping
on the ground at night without beds, with other similar discomforts,
seemed to them not the least trial of this undertaking. On their
arrival at Teheran, the importance of their errand was very obvious.
They found the report of the meerzas bearing manifest traces of
Jesuit influence. It made but few tangible charges, yet contained
many serious and unjust insinuations. They were able to meet it with
satisfactory explanations, and thus the storm passed by, without
inflicting the injury which the mission feared. I am not aware that
the "permanent order" against proselyting ever proved any serious
embarrassment to the mission. The banishment of the Jesuits had not
been requested by the Nestorians, nor by the missionaries. The
Russian Ambassador assumed the whole responsibility, saying that the
business was his own, that he was authorized to protect the
Christians in Persia, which could not be done while these papal
disturbers remained in the country. An attempt by the Jesuits to
wrest from the Nestorians one of their ancient and favorite
churches, appears to have been the immediate cause of the decisive
measures last mentioned. Of course these papal emissaries returned
again, but with a somewhat diminished arrogance.1

1 Manuscript letter from Rev. Justin Perkins, D. D., dated Oroomiah,
Persia, March 28, 1844.

There were also embarrassments of a serious nature within the
Nestorian community. In the subjugation of the mountain Nestorians,
while the Patriarch fled to Mosul, several of his brothers escaped
to Oroomiah, and threw themselves on the hospitality of the mission,
which of necessity fell short of their wishes. They demanded money
of the mission, on the ground that they were the ecclesiastical
heads of the people. In this they were unhappily countenanced by the
Patriarch, upon whom an influence hostile to the mission had been
successfully exerted; who wrote a letter, calling upon the
ecclesiastics and people of Oroomiah to oppose the mission and its
schools. The people, as a body, had sense enough to refuse
obedience. In view of the attitude thus assumed by the patriarchal
family, and the questionable conduct of some of the bishops, a
thorough reconstruction of the school system was rendered necessary.
The seminary for boys and the village schools were accordingly
dismissed, and finally the female boarding-school under Miss Fiske.
"When this last result was announced to the pupils," writes one of
the mission, "there was a general burst of grief. Their tears and
sobs told, more expressively than language, the bitterness of their
hearts. Nor did they weep alone. And who would not weep at such a
scene? Here were those, whom we had hoped to train up for immortal
blessedness, about to be sent back to a darkness almost like that of
heathenism. The stoutest Nestorians who were standing by were
melted. After these tender lambs had been commended to the gracious
Shepherd of Israel, they began to make their preparations for
leaving us. The most trying thing was the parting, of the pupils
from each other, and from those who had been to them as parents.
They threw their arms around the neck of their teacher, and said
again and again, 'We shall never more hear the words of God.'"

Nearly all the pupils of this seminary returned of their own accord,
and after the hostility of the patriarchal family had become known
to their parents. Miss Fiske was aided in the instruction by a pious
Nestorian deacon. Besides the ordinary instruction, the pupils were
taught several useful arts, of which their less favored mothers knew
little or nothing; among which were knitting and sewing, and these
branches many of the mothers were eager to learn from their
children. Moreover they were taught industry, self-denial,
benevolence, and the preciousness of time. The boys' seminary was
reorganized in the following spring, under the superintendence of
Mr. Stoddard; who received a number of promising boys into his
family as an experiment, with the understanding that the pupils
would reside wholly on the mission premises.

There was still enough of vacillation among the bishops, and of
dissatisfaction among the Patriarch's brothers, to raise a question
which the mission submitted to the judgment of the Prudential
Committee, as to how far it was proper to employ the higher
ecclesiastics on wages. The Committee approved of the course which
had been pursued in relation to the four bishops on the plain of
Oroomiah, Mar Yohannan, Mar Elias, Mar Joseph, and Mar Gabriel; but
intimated, while deprecating sudden changes, that the services of
the bishops, should they prove troublesome helpers, might be
dispensed with gradually. What the Committee feared was, that
putting them forward in a manner which had seemed proper in time
past, might now give them too much control of the reformation that
was believed not to be far off. The fundamental principle was, to
pay only for services rendered, and for none more than their fair
and true value. It was also recommended, that care be taken to
preserve the independence of the mission; the evangelical character
of its influence upon the people; its unquestioned right to prepare
for the expected religious awakening; and when it came, to pursue
the appropriate measures according to their own better informed
judgments.

The mission to the Mohammedans of Persia, of which an account is
given elsewhere, having been discontinued, the Rev. James L. Merrick
and wife joined the Nestorian mission in 1842. In 1844, the health
of Mrs. Merrick made it necessary for her to visit England, her
native land. She was followed by her husband in the next year, and
he, soon after his arrival at Boston, was released from his
connection with the Board. Mr. Jones retired from the mission in
1844.

John and Moses, two young Nestorians of hopeful piety, were ordained
deacons by Mar Elias and Mar Yohannan. John was a native of Geog
Tapa, the largest Nestorian village in the province, and one which
always took the lead, whether for good or for evil. Abraham, the
well-known priest, and the two newly ordained preachers, divided the
village into districts for visiting and preaching. Mr. Stocking, and
after him Dr. Perkins, found there abundant evidence of unusual
religious interest. Scores of persons called on the native preachers
almost every evening, after the toils of the day, and many lingered
to a late hour. There were cases of special interest, and none but a
skeptic could doubt the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.

In May, 1845, the Shah, at the instance of the English and Russian
Ambassadors, appointed Dawood Khan, of Tabriz, an Armenian from
Georgia and an officer of the army, Governor of the Nestorians. The
object was to protect the Christians from the oppressions they had
long suffered from the Moslem nobles residing in the district.

We have now entered on an auspicious period in the history of the
mission. Geog Tapa became the radiant centre of spiritual life. The
preceding year had been one of apprehension, but the brethren now
learned not to despond every time the heavens gathered blackness,
for in the darkest hour the sun may break forth and change the whole
scene. We have come to the beginning of that series of revivals,
with which the mission was so remarkably blessed.

The first revival was in the year 1846, and the first hopeful
conversions were in the female seminary in January. Both seminaries
were moved. A number in each came to their teachers with the
inquiry, "What shall I do to be saved?" The religious concern
rapidly increased. The 23d of January was set apart by the mission
as a day for private fasting and prayer. On the preceding evening,
as the people were assembling for a religious service, Mr. Stoddard
observed signs of deep feeling in different groups, and was
convinced that a revival had begun. After service, the people came
in crowds to his study, and he, with unutterable delight, unfolded
the Gospel of Christ to one company after another, until near
midnight. On the 25th, Tamo, a deacon from the mountains, was
overwhelmed with a sense of his sinfulness. At the same meeting,
priest Eshoo sat with his face buried in his handkerchief, and when
spoken to wept, but said nothing. On the day following, he led the
devotions in the male seminary, in a prayer so humble and earnest,
so in contrast with his former sing-song tone and thoughtless
manner, that Mr. Stoddard could not refrain from tears. He had
evidently learned how to pray, and his knowledge, his stable
character, and his important position would enable him, if truly
converted, to do much good among his people. Though every room about
the premises, that could possibly be spared from other uses, had
been opened for retirement, so numerous were the awakened that they
could not find places in which to pour out their souls to God. Such
was the natural excitability of the people, that it was difficult to
keep their expressions of feeling within proper bounds. On the 26th,
deacon John came to Mr. Stoddard, saying that the boys were weeping
violently in one of their rooms, and desired that he would go to
them. John added, that he had been looking at them with amazement,
having never before seen anything of the kind, and he knew not what
to do. Mr. Stoddard entered the room with Dr. Wright, and they found
fifteen or twenty boys lying on the floor, weeping, groaning, and in
broken sentences praying for mercy, presenting a scene of great
confusion. Some older people were standing around in silent wonder,
thinking that an angel had visited the school. Measures were
immediately taken for checking this disorder. The pupils all
promised that no two of them would again pray aloud at the same
time. The school was still the next day, but with no diminution of
solemnity.

Miss Fiske had often ten or fifteen women, relatives of her pupils,
to pass the night with her, making it necessary to collect together
all the spare pillows, cushions, and quilts in the house, and make
the sitting-room one great dormitory. She frequently conversed with
them till midnight, and then she heard them from her room, praying
most of the night.

Priest Eshoo called his neighbors together, and told them of the
great change in his feelings. So upright had he been as a priest,
that a confession of his need of salvation through the blood of
Christ made a strong impression. It became more and more evident
that he was truly a child of God. On the 5th of February, he
announced his great joy that his oldest daughter, a member of Miss
Fiske's school, was hopefully born again, and he thought she knew
the way to the cross better than himself.

The name of this daughter was Sarah. She was the first in the
revival to ask the way to heaven, the first to find the way, and the
first to enter it. Sarah was a tall, dark-eyed girl ten years old
when she entered the school. There were then but few books in the
school except the Bible, and she became very familiar with its
pages. She first learned that she was a sinner in January, 1846, and
she lived only five months after that time. Her father loved to have
her pray with him, and so remarkable was her Christian experience,
that Mr. Stocking had great pleasure and profit in conversing with
her. Miss Fiske also felt it to be a delightful privilege to watch
over her as she was nearing heaven. They would sit for an hour at a
time, and talk of the home of the blest, while Sarah would sing, "It
will be good to be there." She had a rare anxiety to be the means of
saving souls. The girls, and the women too, loved to have her tell
them "the way, for" as they said, "we can see it when she tells us."
Her health was not good at the time of her conversion, and as early
as March the sentence of death was visible on her countenance. But
she clung to her school till May, and continued to attend the
meetings, even when it was necessary for some one to aid her in
reaching the chapel. The "Dairyman's Daughter" was a favorite book
with the girls of the school, and young disciples were sometimes
heard to say, as Sarah took her seat in the house of God, "Have we
not an Elizabeth Wallbridge among us?" She lingered till June, and
was often found with her open Bible and several women by her side,
whom she was leading to Christ. Her praying companions often had
meetings in her room. Her last words were, "Lord Jesus, receive----"
Here her voice ceased.1

1 _Life of Fidelia Fiske_, p. 173.

On the 13th of February, Deacon Isaac,--one of the Patriarch's
brothers, and to a considerable extent his representative in the
district, respected moreover among the people for his force of
character, as well as for his official station,--made Mr. Stoddard a
visit. His manner showed that he wished to converse on the subject
of religion, and Mr. Stoddard commenced by asking him, if he
rejoiced in what the Lord was doing for his people. He replied,
"None but Satan can help rejoicing. I do certainly rejoice. But I am
like a man that stands on the shore of a lake, and seeing a
beautiful country on the other side is gladdened by the prospect,
but has no means of reaching that country himself. Would that I were
a child, that I might repent too! But no, it cannot be. My heart is
ice. There is no such sinner among the people as I am. I do not
believe it is possible for me to be saved." He was reminded of the
freeness of Christ's love, and his willingness to receive the vilest
sinner that will come to him. After some hesitation, he admitted
that it was so. "But," said he, "the great obstacle is myself. My
heart is perfectly dead. You may cut and thrust me with a sword, but
I am insensible to the stroke. And if you kindly pour ointment on my
wounds, it is all the same. I choose sin. I love sin. The wild
beasts in the mountains are enticed by the hunters, and seize the
bait, not knowing what they do. But I take this world with my eyes
open, knowing that I am choosing destruction, and eating death. It
is a shame for me to remain in such a miserable condition, while
these boys are weeping over their sins, and I am ashamed. But such
is the fact, and I expect to die as I have lived, and go to hell."
He seemed to speak with sincerity, and Mr. Stoddard learned that he
conversed with his people in a similar manner.

On the 16th of February, Mr. Stocking went to Geog Tapa, accompanied
by Miss Fiske and John. Miss Fiske found herself surrounded by a
company of females at the house of priest Abraham; and again, at the
close of a meeting in the church, about fifty of the women present
met her in the school-room, for conversation and prayer. A
considerable number of them were evidently awakened, and a few gave
evidence of real conversion. Yet there were opposers at Geog Tapa,
who said, "Why all this ado? Must all we have done for salvation go
for nothing? Have all our fathers gone to hell?"

Several of the converts in the seminary for boys having rooms near
Mr. Stoddard's study, he could hear their voices from morning till
night, as they pleaded in prayer, and their petitions came evidently
from the depths of the soul. Their natural love for vivid metaphor,
combined with much ardor, gave great vividness to their prayers.
They begged that the dog might have a single crumb from the table of
his master; at another time, they were smiting their breasts by the
side of the publican; at another, they were prodigals, hungry,
naked, and far from their father's house; again, they sink in the
sea, and cry out, "Lord save me, I perish;" again, poor, diseased,
outcast lepers, they came to the great Physician for a cure. Those
who had given themselves to Christ, now built their house on the
Rock of Ages, while the waters were roaring around them; now they
washed the feet of their Redeemer with tears, and wiped them with
the hairs of their head; and now, having become soldiers of the
cross, they planted the blood-stained banner in the inner citadel of
their souls.

Before the end of May, the boys' seminary was removed to Seir, to
obviate the necessity of a long vacation, which might be injurious
to the pupils in their peculiar state of feeling. Mr. Stoddard was
often delighted, in walking about the mountains, to find pupils
praying in secluded spots. A Mussulman once fell in with a pupil
thus engaged, and having never before seen a Nestorian praying in
secret, he stopped in silent wonder. The young man, on being asked
what he was doing, commenced teaching the Mussulman how to pray, and
so deeply interested him, that they kneeled down together, and the
prayer was renewed in the Turkish language, that it might be
intelligible to the stranger.

The estimated number of converts in the two seminaries, at the close
of 1846, was fifty. The general aspect of Geog Tapa, containing a
population of about a thousand, was much changed. Almost every one
who had come to years of discretion, gave good attention to the
preaching of the Gospel, and as many as fifty seemed to be true
disciples. Cases of hopeful conversion were found in eight or ten
other villages on the plain. Nor was the awakening restricted to the
plain. Of one hundred and fifty hopeful converts, twelve were at
Hakkie, and ten at Gawar, fifty miles further west, and both
mountain villages.

An edition of the New Testament, with the ancient and modern Syriac
in parallel columns, was printed near the close of 1846. The value
to the Nestorians of having the Scriptures in their spoken language,
cannot be estimated. The translation was made by Dr. Perkins from
the original Greek, and the type was that made by Mr. Breath. Dr.
Perkins entered at once upon a translation of the Old Testament from
the Hebrew. Among the books that had been recently printed, was a
new and enlarged edition of the Nestorian Hymn-book. The hymns were
sung in all the social religious meetings of the Nestorians, and in
some of their churches, and with most happy effect. The sentiments
of the hymns, and much of their language, entered largely into the
prayers of the people. The hymns were also committed to memory by
not a few, who were unable to read.

Ill health obliged Mr. and Mrs. Holladay to visit their native land
in the spring of this year, and they were not able to resume their
connection with the mission. The Rev. Joseph G. Cochran and wife,
and Miss Mary Susan Rice, embarked for Oroomiah in June, 1847.

The cholera, in its progress from the east, reached the plain of
Oroomiah in the autumn of 1846, and about two thousand persons died
in the city. An interesting account of the pestilence by Dr. Wright,
as it came under his observation, may be found in the "Missionary
Herald" for 1847.1

1 _Missionary Herald_, 1847, pp. 154-157.

Among the noticeable occurrences of the year 1847, was the visit of
Dr. Wright, to Bader Khan Bey, on the same errand which took Dr.
Grant to him three years before. The request came through Nûrûllah
Bey and the governor of Oroomiah, and the mission advised him to go,
as such a visit might open the way for the Gospel into the
mountains. Mr. Breath was requested to accompany him. They took with
them deacon Tamo, who was a subject of the recent revival, and
deacon Yoosuph, an assistant in the medical department. Leaving
Oroomiah on the 4th of May, they reached Julamerk, the home of
Nûrûllah Bey, in five days; and in his absence, were cordially
welcomed by his nephew, Suleiman Bey, and other relatives. They were
detained there thirteen days by a report, that the mountains beyond
were covered with snow. The Emir was at home the last three days,
and soon became familiar and kind. Two days from Julamerk, they were
refreshed by a bath in a hot sulphur spring, admirably suited for
the purpose. Four days more brought them to the residence of Bader
Khan Bey. There had been a wonderful change in the mountains since
Dr. Grant's first entrance. Our travellers crossed the wild central
regions of Koordistan with no fear of robbers. The principal reason
for this was doubtless the character and energy of Bader Khan Bey's
government; which extended from the Persian line to Mesopotamia, and
from the neighborhood of Diarbekir to that of Mosul. Nearly all the
chiefs in northern Koordistan came to pay their respects to him
while the missionaries were there, bringing valuable presents. Even
the Hakkary Bey, though higher in rank, and once more powerful than
he, seemed to feel himself honored in his presence. In the wildest
parts of Koordistan, our travellers often slept in the open air,
their horses let loose to graze around them during the night, and
their luggage without a guard; yet nothing was stolen. In most parts
of Turkey and Persia, such a course would not have been safe.

They spent four weeks with the chief. During the last two, the
Hakkary chief was there also, and the demeanor of both was kind and
respectful from first to last. Dr. Wright was every day engaged
professionally among the sick in the Khan's family and retinue. He
also introduced the vaccine matter, of which they had never heard
before. Nûrûllah Bey was unwilling, for some reason, that they
should return through Tiary and Tehoma. They therefore took a
northern route by Bashkallah, a fortress about thirty miles
northeast of Julamerk, and reached Oroomiah, July 3, after an
absence of two months.

The Nestorians within the range of their observations manifested
simplicity and readiness to receive instruction, but were in danger
from the inroads of Rome.

It appears to have been the intention of the Turkish government in
1847, doubtless through the influence of the English Ambassador at
Constantinople, to restore the Nestorian Patriarch to his native
regions, and constitute him the civil head of his people; and while
at Mosul, he was invited to the seat of government for that purpose.
Distrusting the motives of the Porte, he fled to Oroomiah, where he
arrived in June. It was a kind Providence that delayed his coming
until there were no longer grounds for dissatisfaction arising from
members of his family being in the employ of the mission. There were
indeed ill disposed Nestorians, who were always ready to fill the
ears of the Patriarch with insinuations against the mission. Among
these were two of his own brothers, the least respectable portion of
his family. But there were others who were watchful to correct
misrepresentations, and to give him right views of the results of
the mission, and of its doctrines. Among these were two of his
brothers, deacon Isaac and deacon Dunka, whom he held in high
esteem.

"These brothers," writes Mr. Stocking in July, 1847, "have appeared
truly friendly for two years, and disposed, to the full extent of
their influence, to aid us in our work. Both have been regular
attendants on our preaching; and, though not pious, they maintain
decidedly evangelical views in regard to the doctrines of grace.
Deacon Isaac especially, one of the most talented of the Nestorians,
is always ready, before the Patriarch and all others, boldly to
advocate the doctrine of justification by faith through grace alone.
He has studied critically, and appears to understand, as well as an
unconverted man can, the book of Romans; without the study of which,
he has been heard to remark, no one can understand what Christianity
really is. We have been interested to learn, through our native
helpers, that these brothers have voluntarily acted in concert, one
or both never failing to be with the Patriarch whenever there was
any one present to assail us and our work, ready to confront them to
their faces, and repel all false charges."

The Patriarch received priests Eshoo, Dunka, Abraham, and John, who
called to obtain his coöperation, with apparent cordiality, and gave
his full consent to their preaching in all the dioceses. He told
them that his letter from Mosul, forbidding preaching and schools,
was written through the importunity of Mr. Rassam. He spent a month
at Seir, where he had much friendly intercourse with the
missionaries. He even invited Dr. Perkins to preach in his tent, and
Messrs. Wright and Stoddard led in prayer, before and after the
sermon, while the Patriarch himself pronounced the benediction at
the close. The hymns sung on this occasion were from the new
Nestorian Hymnbook.

The Patriarch's friendly deportment continued till some time in
April, 1848, when he threw off the mask, if he had worn one, and
took the stand of open and decided opposition. This was not wholly
unexpected, and while it was matter for regret, it did not occasion
much alarm. His power to do harm had been greatly circumscribed by
the providential embarrassments of his civil and ecclesiastical
relations; by the extensive prevalence of evangelical truth among
the Nestorians; by their friendliness, and the good will of the
Persian government towards the mission; and by the number, standing,
and influence of the religious among his people. His first
unfriendly act he concealed from our brethren, but it was made known
to them by the British Consul at Tabriz. It was a formal
communication to the Russian Consul at that place, designed to
prejudice him against the American missionaries, of whom his Embassy
was the nominal protector. The Consul made no response to this. The
first open attack was on the seminary under the care of Mr.
Stoddard. The Patriarch next endeavored to withdraw the native
assistants from the missionaries; at one time calling into exercise
all his powers of persuasion, and at another uttering the severest
threats. Though his people were deriving great advantages, in many
ways, from the educational system introduced by the mission, he
recklessly determined to deprive them of it, without providing
anything to supply its place. He ordered the leading men of Geog
Tapa to break up the schools in that village, and received a
respectful but decided refusal. The priest of Charbush was ordered
to suspend his school, but declined. The Patriarch came to that
village soon after, and his servants, meeting the priest in the
street, beat him severely and wounded him. Those same servants
returning to the city intoxicated, entered the mission premises, and
fell to beating Mar Yohannan and his brother Joseph, and priest
Dunka, who happened to be sitting within the gate. The Governor at
once interfered. At that juncture, an order arrived from the Heir
Apparent, the ruler of Azerbijan, directing the Mohammedan
authorities to allow no one to molest the missionaries, or any one
in their employment. In September, the Patriarch sought the
intervention of the chief Doctor of the Mohammedan law against the
mission. It so happened that the missionaries were paying their
respects to the Moolah, at the very time when the Patriarch called,
with a large retinue of Nestorians, on this business. The Moslem
doctor made him a public and mortifying reply: "These gentlemen," he
said, "are peaceable men; the Mohammedans respect them, and are
pleased with them. Why are you falling out with them? You, who are
Christians, ought to respect them even more than the Mohammedans."
For a time the Patriarch and the Jesuits, both aiming at the
overthrow of the mission, were in practical combination. As a
necessary means to this end, both wished to expel from office Dawood
Khan, the Christian Governor and civil protector of the Nestorians
of that province; and the Mohammedan nobles were in sympathy with
them in this, as that dignitary stood in the way of their exactions.

But this political alliance, though at first promising success both
to the Patriarch and the Jesuits, in the end led to the signal
overthrow of both. It was stated to the mission by Mr. Stevens, the
English Consul, as a well ascertained fact, that Mar Shimon had
united his interests with the French Jesuits, and that they had
strong hope of making use of him to cast their net over his people.1
Up to this time, the mission had not applied to any European
functionary for interference in their troubles with Mar Shimon. Nor
did they now; but Mr. Stevens, hearing of his persecuting course,
took up the matter of his own accord, gave the information as above
stated, and befriended the missionaries in various ways. The
Patriarch having declared, that he had the countenance and support
of the Russian Consul, that official wrote sharply rebuked him for
so doing. The four bishops of Oroomiah and nearly all the priests
and deacons, with many of the leading Nestorians in the province,
now united in a representation to the Persian Government, highly
commending the character, objects, and labors of the mission. It is
recorded, that the converted Nestorians also, with scarce an
exception, stood firmly by the mission, in the face of trials and
reproaches; and the same was true of many who made no pretensions to
piety.

1 _Missionary Herald_, 1849, p. 30.

News of the death of the King arrived at Oroomiah on the 14th of
September. He was succeeded by his eldest son, a young man of twenty
years, who for the last year had been Prince Governor of Azerbijan.
In Persia, the death of the King interrupts for a time the regular
transaction of public business.

An immediate effect of the news was to displace the Governor of
Oroomiah, Yahyah Khan, with whom Mar Shimon had been forming an
alliance, to strengthen him in his persecutions.

Through the friendly, but unsolicited agency of the English Consul,
five of the most prominent of Mar Shimon's coadjutors were put under
heavy bonds in no way to aid or abet him again in similar
proceedings. Should they violate their written engagements to the
authorities, they would expose themselves to severe corporal
punishment and heavy fines.

Another requisition from the government was, that the two servants
who had entered the mission premises, and beaten and insulted
several of the ecclesiastics, should be taken to that same
inclosure, and be bastinadoed to the satisfaction of the mission.
Only one of the two could be found. He was brought thither, and laid
upon the pavement with his feet tied to a pole, and a large bunch of
rods by his side; and the missionaries were requested to come and
see that due punishment was inflicted. But they, greatly to the
satisfaction of the crowd of Nestorians who had assembled to witness
the punishment, complied with the earnest entreaties of the culprit
to excuse the crime he had committed, and he was at once released.

The repeated mention of Suleiman Bey's friendly attentions to Dr.
Grant, must have interested the reader in his behalf. But we are now
obliged to place him among the persecutors of the Lord's people.
Tamo was teacher in the male seminary for about ten years, and
became hopefully pious in the revival of 1846. He accompanied Dr.
Wright and Mr. Breath in their visit to Bader Khan. His family
resided in the mountain district of Gawar, within the limits of
Turkey. Being fleet, athletic, and capable of great endurance, he
was well fitted for a mountain evangelist. After an extended
preaching tour in the summer of 1848, he spent some time at his
mountain home. The Bishop of Gawar had received a charge from Mar
Shimon to ruin him, and made complaint against him to Suleiman Bey.
He was seized by that chief, heavily fined, and his life threatened.
But Suleiman Bey was taken, meanwhile, a prisoner by the Turks.
Afterwards, Tamo, while on his return to Oroomiah with two of his
brothers and a nephew, all members of the seminary, was attacked in
the night by a party of ruffian Koords, also incited by the
Patriarch, who beat all the company with clubs, and called to each
other to "kill them." Friendly Koords came to their rescue, but not
until they had been stripped of nearly all their clothing and
suffered cruelly from the hands of the barbarians.

In the year 1848, Bader Khan Bey, failing in one of his favorite
night attacks on the Turkish army, was taken prisoner in his own
castle of Dergooleh, and placed, as such, on one of the islands of
the Grecian Archipelago.

Nûrûllah Bey, also, some time in 1849, was driven from his
stronghold at Julamerk, and fled from castle to castle, till he also
was taken captive by the Turks, whom he had aided to destroy the
Nestorians, and went into captivity, far from the scenes of his
former power. Suleiman Bey, as already stated, was taken captive
while cruelly persecuting deacon Tamo, and died at Erzroom, while on
his way to Constantinople.1

1 _Missionary Herald_, 1850, p. 96.



CHAPTER XX.

THE NESTORIANS.

1848-1852.


The health of Mr. Stoddard became so prostrated, early in the summer
of 1848, as to leave no hope of his recovery without a change of
climate. At Trebizond, on his way home, he and his family were
subjected to a quarantine of eight days. His wife and children were
then in good health, and they had no reason to apprehend cholera
there, as it passed beyond that place westward. But it returned, and
Mrs. Stoddard was one of its victims. The death of this excellent
woman was a grievous loss, not only to her husband and infant
children, but to the mission. The nurse also sickened of the same
disease, while on the voyage to Constantinople, and died soon after
her arrival; and it was a remarkable Providence that spared the
enfeebled and overtasked husband and father. But he lived to serve
Christ in his native land, and afterwards again among the
Nestorians. The Rev. George W. Coan and wife joined the mission in
the autumn of 1849.

Mr. Cochran succeeded Mr. Stoddard in charge of the male seminary.
Twelve had gone from the institution, and most of them were exerting
a good Christian influence. The new scholars, as a consequence of
these village schools, were older and more advanced than their
predecessors had been. The thirty-two schools contained five hundred
and ninety-eight pupils, of whom one hundred and twenty-five were
girls. Twelve of the teachers were priests, and about half of them
would have been welcomed into New England churches. The female
seminary, a most valuable institution, was under the care of Misses
Fiske and Rice.

Mar Shimon returned to the mountains early in 1849, though not
without apprehension of being sent into exile, as the Koordish
chieftains had been.

Hearing that the good seed sown by Dr. Grant and his associates at
Mosul was giving promise of a harvest, the mission deemed it
expedient for Dr. Perkins and Mr. Stocking to visit that city,
preaching the Gospel as they went. Mar Yohannan and deacons Isaac
and Tamo went with them.1 They were hospitably entertained by Mr.
Rassam, the English Consul at Mosul, during the eleven days of their
visit. Many of the Mosulians were thought to have come under
evangelical influences. Some of them were much enlightened, and a
few were regarded as truly pious. All would gladly have welcomed a
Protestant missionary to reside among them. These were chiefly
Jacobites, but a few were Papists. The mountain districts were found
to be accessible to the Gospel; though everywhere they heard of
messengers and letters from the Patriarch, warning the people
against them as deceivers, and particularly against deacon Isaac,
his brother, who, he said, had become "English." Nevertheless they
were treated in all places with kindness, and found attentive
listeners to their preaching.

1 For a full account of this tour by Dr. Perkins, see _Missionary
Herald_ for 1850, pp. 53-61, and 83-97.

The first revival of religion, already described, was in 1846; the
second was in 1849; and there was a third in 1850. The severe trials
of the years 1847 and 1848 seem to have produced in the mission a
subdued feeling, and unusual earnestness in prayer. This resulted in
the revival of 1849.

In the seminary for boys, the converts of the previous revival were,
for two or three days after this began, the subjects of intense
heart-searchings, and of piercing compunctions for their
backslidings. This was not less true of the more devoted Christians,
than of others. The irreligious members of the seminary were also
deeply moved; and there was a similar experience in the girls'
seminary. Geog Tapa again shared largely in the spiritual blessings
of a revived religious feeling. In the village of Seir, hardly a
person was unaffected. In Degala, Charbush, Ardeshai, and other
places, there were large and attentive congregations, and many gave
delightful evidence of having passed from death unto life. A
vacation occurred in the male seminary, and pious students labored
with great zeal and success in the houses of the people. Deacon
Isaac had been known for many years as an evangelical man and a
friend of the mission, but now he gave good evidence of conversion,
and the pious natives beheld the change in him with wonder and
thanksgiving. Mar Yohannan had never before given satisfactory
evidence of a thorough change of heart. He now made full confession
of his sins as a man, and of his unfaithfulness as a bishop. The
revival was marked by a deep sense of the lost condition of men by
nature, by a vivid sense of the evil of sin, by an intelligent and
cordial embrace of salvation as the gift of sovereign grace, by a
hearty self-consecration to the service of Christ, by earnest
desires for the salvation of others, and by a remarkable quickening
of the moral and intellectual powers.

One of the most noted among the native evangelists at this time, was
deacon Guwergis of Tergawar. Before conversion in 1846, he was as
wild and wicked as a Koord. In the autumn of 1845, he brought his
eldest daughter, then twelve years of age, to Oroomiah, and begged
Miss Fiske to receive her into the seminary. She consented
reluctantly, being painfully impressed by the gross avarice and
selfishness of the father, who even asked permission to take away
with him the clothes she had on. He came again in February, with his
belt of ammunition, his dagger at his side, and his gun thrown over
his shoulder. Many of the pupils were then weeping over their sins,
among them his own daughter, and the teacher felt that the wolf had
come into the fold. Guwergis ridiculed the anxiety of the girls for
their souls till his daughter, distressed by his conduct, asked him
to go alone with her to pray. He went and repeated his form in
ancient Syriac, while she, in her native tongue, poured forth her
soul in earnest prayer, first for herself, and then for her father.
When he heard her say, "Save, O save my father, going down to
destruction," as he afterwards confessed, he raised his hand to
strike her. Sabbath morning found him toiling to prevent others from
coming to Christ. At noon, Miss Fiske went to his room, and was
received with sullen rudeness, but he broke down under her
affectionate and faithful appeals, and retired to pray. He soon
entered the place of worship. His gun and his dagger had been laid
aside, and he sank into the nearest seat, and laid his head upon the
desk. That night Mr. Stocking took him to his study, and the recent
blasphemer cried out in agony, "My sins, my sins, they are higher
than the mountains of Jeloo!" Next morning, Mr. Stoddard found him
subdued and humbled. All Guwergis could say was, "My great sins, my
great Saviour." Before noon, he left for his mountain home, saying,
as he left, "I must tell my friends and neighbors of sin and of
Jesus."

Nothing was heard from him for two weeks, when priest Eshoo was sent
to his village to look after him, and found him in his own house,
surrounded by his friends, and discoursing to them on these very
topics,--of sin and of Jesus. The deacon accompanied priest Eshoo to
Oroomiah, and his relations of Christian fellowship with the members
of the mission were at once firmly and forever established.1 His
conversion and his self-consecration to the service of the Lord
Jesus were entire. He became known as the "mountain evangelist," and
was faithful unto death. He rested from his labors on the 12th of
March, 1856.

1 _Woman and her Saviour in Persia_, pp. 87-93.

The revival scenes of 1849, were renewed in the first month of 1850.
The awakening commenced on the same day in each of the seminaries,
without any communication between them, though they were six miles
apart. The first manifestation of deep feeling in the male seminary,
was at the evening prayer-meeting. While deacon Tamo was speaking of
the need of preparation for death, the school gave signs of deep
feeling. The emotion was increased when Dr. Perkins came in, and
took up the same strain, until the weeping became so loud and
general that he feared the result of further excitement, and
requested the pupils to repair to their closets. There were similar
indications the next morning.

The strength of feeling was as intense in the girls' school, but was
manifested in a different manner. The devout among them were
disposed to spend much time in prayer, while at the same time they
were very active in efforts for the conversion of their associates,
as well as of the members of their families that visited the school.
For two months, until the close of the term, there was no diminution
of interest. The regular attendance on preaching at Oroomiah, Seir,
Degala, Geog Tapa, and Ardishai, was greater than ever before. The
same may be said of numerous other villages, where meetings were
occasionally held. Divine truth seemed to reach and affect the mass
of the people. Geog Tapa was specially favored. The people were
affected, not as in former years with the overwhelming convictions
of the law, but with a deep and intelligent persuasion of the claims
of truth.

Perhaps the most distinguished among the Nestorian laborers, at this
time, next to priest Abraham, was deacon John. He is described as
unwearied in the work, often preaching three times a day during the
week, and performing other arduous labors. The missionaries admired
the grace of God, as developed in his active piety, discreet zeal,
and indomitable perseverance.1

1 Mr. Stocking gives the following description of the study of
deacon John at that time. "His study is a small chamber about five
feet by eight, entered by a ladder, built of mud, and plastered on
the inside with the same material mixed with straw. It has two small
windows covered with paper instead of glass, to let in the light. On
the floor is a coarse woolen rug, but as yet no chair. His library
is neatly arranged on a high shelf, reaching from one side to the
other, and protected from the loose earth and dust of the roof by a
paper ceiling. It consists of a copy of the Syriac, the Hebrew, and
the English Bibles, the Comprehensive Commentary, the Scripture
Manual, a Dictionary, and a few other choice books, lent or given
him by friends. Through these books and his knowledge of the English
language, he derives much assistance in preparation for his pastoral
duties. When his friends in the village heard that a table was
needed to complete the furniture, they made at once a voluntary
contribution to procure one. This is the first study of the first
Nestorian pastor, and is likely to introduce a new idea into the
minds of Nestorian ecclesiastics in regard to their appropriate
calling."

Among the interesting converts was deacon Jeremiah, who came with
Messrs. Perkins and Stocking from Mosul. He was formerly in a papal
monastery near Elkoosh. Becoming disgusted with the abominations of
the place, he at last, after many attempts, effected his escape. His
convictions of sin were very deep, and seemed to result in his full
consecration to the service of Christ. He returned to Mosul on the
reëstablishment of a mission in that city.

The year 1850 was one of great activity. Deacon Jeremiah visited
Bootan in the spring, at the invitation of some of the leading
Nestorians in that region.1 Yonan and Khamis, native helpers, made a
preaching tour through a part of Koordistan.2 Deacons Syad and
Mosheil encountered many hardships and dangers in a visit to
Bootan.3 In July, Messrs. Wright and Cochran accompanied by deacons
John, Tamo, and Guwergis, made a tour in the mountains by way of
Bashkallah, Kochanis, Julamerk, and Asheta.4 Messrs. Perkins,
Stocking and Coan, went in the autumn to Gawar and beyond, and the
results were interesting and satisfactory.5

1 _Missionary Herald_, 1851, p. 90.

2 _Ibid_. 1851, pp. 91-97.

3 _Ibid_. 1851, p. 139.

4 _Ibid_. 1851, pp. 54-58.

5 _Ibid_. 1851, pp. 61-63.

The mission was much strengthened in the year 1851, by the return of
Mr. Stoddard, accompanied by Mrs. Stoddard, and by the accession of
the Rev. Samuel A. Rhea. In this year, through the efforts of Mr.
Stevens, British Consul at Tabriz, and Colonel Shiel the Ambassador,
the Persian government promulgated an edict of toleration, granting
equal protection to all its Christian subjects, including the right
of proselyting, following in this the example of Turkey. The mission
was now received again under British protection, and the Persian
government notified the authorities at Oroomiah of the change.

The advance of public sentiment in respect to the education of
women, is worthy of special notice. Only a few years had elapsed
since it was deemed disgraceful to instruct that sex. Now, an
examination of the female seminary drew together all the principal
men and women of the Nestorian community, who listened with
unwearied interest for two days. The examinations of both seminaries
were highly satisfactory, Mar Yohannan, who had been present on
similar occasions at colleges in the United States, and had desired
to see the same things in his own country, was greatly delighted.
Mr. Stoddard doubted whether he had ever attended an examination of
greater excellence than that of the seminary for girls. "The
pupils," he says, "were thoroughly acquainted with all their secular
studies, and their familiarity with the Scriptures was truly
wonderful." Three-fourths of the forty in the male seminary were
also in the school of Christ, and there was the same prevalence of
piety in the female seminary. Dr. Perkins regarded the latter school
as unsurpassed by any in America in system, studiousness, good
conduct, and rapid improvement.

The fifty-eight village schools contained a thousand and
twenty-three pupils, and were generally under evangelical teachers.
On the Sabbath, these schools took the form of Sabbath-schools, and
many of the parents came in to hear their children, or to take part
with them. The Sabbath-school in Geog Tapa numbered more than two
hundred. Every school was a place for preaching, and when there was
no one to preach, a meeting was sustained by the teacher. An
increasing interest was felt by the Nestorians in the monthly
concert of prayer for the conversion of the world. At Geog Tapa
three or four hundred were present at the concert, and they joined
contributions with their prayers.

The labors of the mission were widely extended. Mr. Cochran and
deacon Moses preached in villages along the southern border of
Oroomiah, and found the people there eager to hear the word of life.
Messrs. Stocking and Coan, and Misses Fiske and Rice, with several
native helpers, spent a month in Gawar, preparing the way for a
station there. That place is seventy miles from Oroomiah, and within
the Turkish dominions.1

1 _Missionary Herald_, 1852, p. 67.

Mr. Coan went from here with some Nestorian helpers through the
mountains beyond Tiary, till their way was hedged up by hostile
Koords. They met with great encouragement in their proclamation of
the gospel.1 Mention has been made of the preaching of deacons Syad
and Mosheil in Bootan, in the summer of 1850. The next winter was
spent by deacons Murad Khan and Mosheil in the same region; and
their journal affords evidence of singular talent for the labors of
an evangelist. They were gone six months.2

1 _Ibid_. 1852, p. 71.

2 _Missionary Herald_, 1852, pp. 257-262.

Among the native helpers, who accompanied Mr. Stocking to Gawar, was
deacon Isaac. After spending a few days with Mr. Stocking, he
proceeded to Kochanis, the residence of his brother, whither his
family had previously gone on a visit. The influence of this deacon
and his amiable wife was the probable cause of the unusual conduct
of the Patriarch in a visit he shortly afterwards made to Gawar,
when he received the missionary and his native helpers with the
greatest apparent cordiality in the presence of a large number of
ecclesiastics, and charged the people to see that they were treated
with the regard due to good men.

This was in the summer of 1851. The station was commenced by Messrs.
Coan and Rhea in the autumn of that year. The plain of Gawar is
large and beautiful, and is hemmed in by some of the wildest of the
Koordish mountains. The village of Memikan, selected for the
station, lay on the southwest base of the great Jeloo mountains.
That village was preferred to the larger ones, as having received
much religious instruction from deacon Tamo. It was also central.
The rigors of a severe climate cut them off three mouths from
communication with the plain of Oroomiah, and these rigors were to
be encountered in native huts. But they enjoyed comfortable health,
and were happy and successful in their work. The Bishop of Gawar
sent orders to the villagers not to attend their services, nor to
send children to their schools; but the order produced only a
momentary effect. Mrs. Coan had a school for the mothers and
daughters of the village, who came barefooted through the snow day
after day, the mothers bringing their children on their backs. All
the young men and all the boys of suitable age learned to read the
gospel, and the fathers came to the school-room every Saturday, to
listen while the scholars were learning their Sabbath-school
lessons. Thirty or forty were accustomed to assemble every night to
hear the Word of God expounded, and all attended on the services of
the Sabbath. Deacon Tamo preached in the surrounding villages.
Though threatened at times, he encountered no active opposition.

The year was distinguished by the death of a youth of seventeen
years of age, of whom Dr. Perkins speaks as being a remarkable
instance of the triumph of faith. His name was Guwergis. He was a
nephew of deacon Tamo, and a member of the seminary. Guwergis came a
rude mountain boy from Memikan, and was one of the converts of 1849.
His convictions of sin were pungent, and his interest in the welfare
of souls was engrossing. His prayerfulness was unequaled. During the
period of greatest interest in the revivals, he would occasionally
pray for nearly the whole night. Quite frequently he would rise at
midnight, and repair to his cold and dark closet, which he ever
found warm with a Saviour's love, and radiant with his presence. He
was often known to spend two hours in prayer, and as might be
supposed, in this exercise he soon excelled many of his superiors.

His sickness was very severe. Mr. Coan, after relating an
interesting conversation with the dying youth, speaks of him in the
following manner: "He then closed his eyes, and offered one of the
most touching prayers I ever heard. It were vain for me to attempt
repeating it. He began by expressing a desire to die, and be with
Christ; but he checked himself by saying, 'Not my will, but thine be
done.' He then proceeded in a most humble and penitent strain, to
speak of his own vileness, and to adore the sovereign love of God in
calling him to be an heir of his grace.

"His humble confession of sin, his strong confidence in the efficacy
of the atonement, even for him sinful as he was, his entire
renunciation of all dependence on anything save the grace of God in
Christ, were deeply affecting. He ceased, and on opening his eyes he
saw us weeping. 'Why do you weep?' said he. 'If it is the will of
God that I die, my heart is burning to see Christ in his glory.'
Surely, this is far more than a return for all that has been
expended by the Church in the work of missions."

"I have been happy during his sickness," wrote Dr. Perkins, "to try
to alleviate his bodily pains; but I have also been greatly
refreshed in spirit; and I have been instructed and comforted in
watching the remarkable exercises of his mind, and the ardent
longing of his soul after Christ and heaven. Since the death of Mrs.
Grant, more than twelve years ago, I have been present at no such
rapturous deathbed, nor have I ever beheld any more wonderful."

The Rev. Edward H. Crane and wife, and Miss Martha A. Harris, were
added to the mission in the year 1852.

Among the adverse influences of the year, was the conscription of a
regiment of Christian soldiers by the Persian government. This was
made in that arbitrary and oppressive manner, in which Moslems deal
with their Christian subjects. The Romanists, also, taking advantage
of the edict of toleration, and relying on French protection, became
very unscrupulous and troublesome. Mar Shimon, having been
recognized by the Turkish government as the civil head of the
mountain Nestorians, became intent on driving the missionaries from
Gawar, and the Turkish authorities were only too willing to unite
with him in this effort.

Among the extreme measures of the Turkish rulers, under such an
influence, was the arrest of deacon Tamo, with his two brothers, and
several of the chief villagers, on the strange charge of murdering a
Turkish soldier, who was spending the night near the house of the
deacon, and was shot by a company of marauders. Deacon Tamo was
arrested as the chief offender, and along with the others was taken
to Bashkallah, the residence of the local Pasha. They were there
chained together, made to work in brick under taskmasters, and
thrown at night into a vile prison. It so happened, that
Lieutenant-colonel W. F. Williams, the British Commissioner for
settling the boundary between Turkey and Persia, was in that
district at the time of this outrage. On learning it, his generous
nature was aroused, and he immediately proceeded to Bashkallah, a
distance of twenty hours. The Pasha was absent, and not securing the
release of the prisoners, he continued his journey to Van, three
days further, to see the Pasha of Koordistan. He made him many fair
promises, but forgot them on the departure of Colonel Williams. He
however had the prisoners removed in October to Van, and there,
after the form of a trial, dismissed all except deacon Tamo to their
homes. To him the Pasha said, "I shall exact from you thirty
thousand piastres, and retain you a prisoner three years." He had
promised Colonel Williams, that both the fine and the imprisonment
of Tamo should be merely nominal. No one believed the deacon to be
guilty. And it is interesting to note the persons, who put forth
efforts through a whole year from this time, to effect his release.
Colonel Williams went to Constantinople, and laid the case before
Colonel Rose, H. B. M. Chargé d'Affairs, and Mr. Brown, the American
Chargé. Mr. Brant, English Consul at Erzroom, and Mr. Stevens,
English Consul at Tabriz, cooperated with Colonel Williams; and
finally Sir Stratford de Redcliffe, British Ambassador at the Porte,
made a decisive and successful appeal; and deacon Tamo once more
appeared among his friends at Memikan, exhibiting a truly Christian
spirit towards his enemies.

The interposition of such powerful friends in behalf of this
persecuted Nestorian Christian, exerted a favorable influence upon
the local authorities. Kamil Pasha sent reiterated friendly
assurances from Bashkallah to Messrs. Coan and Rhea. He also removed
from office the Moodir of Gawar, who had been one of the chief
causes of the trouble, and put one of his own household in his
place; and the restriction upon building at Memikan was so far
modified, that their accommodations were tolerable before the
arrival of winter, when the thermometer sometimes sank fifteen,
twenty, and twenty-five degrees below zero.

In this year Dr. Perkins completed his translation of the Old
Testament into the modern Syriac, and the whole Bible was given to
the people in their spoken language.



CHAPTER XXI.

SYRIA.

1845-1856.


Good tidings were received in 1845 concerning Aintab, in Northern
Syria, communicated by Dr. Kerns, of the London Jews Society, and by
Bedros, an Armenian vartabed, who had been banished from
Constantinople by the Patriarch Matteos.1 His banishment was to the
Armenian monastery at Jerusalem, but he turned aside from Beirût to
Northern Syria. Letters came also from prominent men in Aintab,
written in behalf of a large number of families in that place who
had heard the gospel from Bedros, and were resolved to abandon the
errors of their Church. They asked for a missionary to instruct
them, and said their need of aid was the greater, as they were
violently persecuted by their bishop.

1 See chapter xxii.

Mr. Thomson was instructed by the mission to visit Aleppo and
Aintab. He went by way of Antioch, and reached Aleppo in August.
Bedros was there, having been driven from Aintab, and Mr. Thomson
concluded it was not prudent for him to proceed farther. He
accordingly wrote to the Protestants of Aintab, requesting more
information as to their condition and wishes. The distance was two
long days' ride from Aleppo, and on the fifth day an answer came,
that eighteen of their number, including two priests, were coming to
see him. A message arrived soon after, stating that they had
prepared to come, but fearing the commotion it would produce, they
had concluded to abandon the visit and write. Their letter contained
a very earnest appeal for a missionary, with strong affirmations of
attachment to the gospel, and their determination to adhere to it at
all hazards. Mr. Thomson stated, in his reply, why a missionary
could not be sent from Beirût, and that he would forward their
letters, and those of Bedros, to the missionaries at Constantinople,
with a request, that a missionary might be sent who could preach
both in Turkish and Armenian; or at least an experienced Armenian
preacher, to assist Bedros in this important work. Just before
leaving Aleppo, Mr. Thomson received from them another letter,
declaring their satisfaction with this arrangement, and their
gratitude for his interest in their welfare. "We are the fish in the
great sea," they said, "and wait for you to spread the gospel net
for us."

Mr. Thomson estimated the nominally Christian population of Aleppo
at twenty thousand, and the whole number of inhabitants at sixty
thousand. The most promising were the Armenians, though at that time
they were kept aloof by the excommunication of Bedros and all
associated with him. The Protestant Armenians in that city were
thought to be about fifty. The orthodox Greeks were not numerous.
Their bishop was in poor health, but received the missionary with
much cordiality, and appeared quite pleased with the prospect of a
missionary in Aleppo. The Greek Catholics were by far the largest
body of Christians. To this body belonged Athanasius, the Archbishop
of Tripoli, so called, but residing at Aleppo. He was not forty
years old, and had been two years in England, and two in Malta. Mr.
Thomson had much intercourse with this man, and spoke of him as the
most learned theologian of his sect, and the most promising
ecclesiastic he had seen in Syria. He seemed to be serious and
earnest, evangelical in sentiment, desirous of reforming his
countrymen, and enlightened enough to take a comprehensive view of
the work to be done, and make a rational estimate of the obstacles
to be overcome. He was highly respected by all classes; and though
his Protestant sentiments were well-known, there was said to be no
power in his Church to depose him.1

1 _Missionary Herald_, 1846, p. 418.

Mr. Calhoun visited Hasbeiya in February, 1846, accompanied by
Tannûs, and was there eighteen days. The congregations were smaller,
but made up mainly of those who sought to know the way of life;
while their townsmen, softened by last year's war, were not disposed
to persecute, as before. Mr. Whiting, Mr. Hurter, and Butrus were
there in June. The spirit of the congregation is thus described by
the missionary. "They like to hear a good long exposition, and then
to stay and hear and converse, after prayer, as long as we are able
to sit up. Some are coming in during the day at all hours, so that
we scarcely cease teaching and preaching from morning until
bed-time." Some of the declared Protestants, and even some new
inquirers, took a bold stand under persecution by the Governor; and
many, who did not venture to call upon the missionary, were in an
inquiring state of mind.

Mr. Laurie's health suffered at Mosul, and also in Syria, so that he
was obliged to return home in the autumn of this year, and to
relinquish the idea of resuming the foreign service. His subsequent
labors through the press, have endeared him to a large number of the
friends of missions.1

1 See his works: "_Dr. Grant and the Mountain Nestorians_." Boston,
1853; and "_Woman and her Saviour in Persia_." Boston, 1865.

The year 1847 opened with an earnest and eloquent appeal from the
missionaries for an increase to their number.1 And there is nothing
more painful in the retrospect of this mission, than the numerous
and often unexpected and surprising openings for usefulness, that
were so often effectually closed, solely, as it would seem, because
there were not missionaries to enter and take possession. There is
space for only a single extract from this appeal. Addressing the
Prudential Committee, they say:

1 See _Missionary Herald_, 1847, pp. 185-193.

"We tell you, with all earnestness, that there is great danger, that
the work may languish almost to lifelessness, even at the two posts
which you now occupy in Syria, before your new messengers can be
found, cross the ocean, and pass through the primary process
indispensable to fit them to prophesy upon the slain. Yes, we must
make you understand with unmistakable explicitness, that unless you
hasten the work, and quicken the flight of those who have the
everlasting gospel to preach, the voice may cease to sound, even in
the valleys and over the goodly hills of Lebanon! Your infant
seminary for training native preachers may droop, or disband; your
congregations on the mountains, and on the plain, may be left
without any one to break to them the bread of life; and your press
may cease to drop those leaves, which are for the healing of the
nations. All this may, yes, must occur, by a necessity as inexorable
as the decree that commands all back to dust, unless you hasten to
renew the vitality of our mission, by throwing into it the young
life of a new generation of laborers."

The appeal was published; but it continued painfully true, that the
harvest was plenteous, while the laborers were few.

Among the interesting events of the year, were the accession of nine
persons to the church at Abeih; and a "fetwa" of the mufti, or
Moslem judge, at Beirût, deciding that the Druzes stand in the same
relation to the Mohammedan community and law with the Jews, or any
Christian sect; _i.e_. as "_infidels_;" and, consequently, that a
Druze was not subject to prosecution in the Turkish courts, in case
of his embracing Christianity. Mr. and Mrs. Benton joined the
mission in the latter part of the year.

In the spring of 1847, the Protestants of Hasbeiya sent one of their
number to Constantinople, to lay their grievances before the Sultan.
The agent was informed, that the Pasha of Damascus had been
instructed to protect the Protestants. The British Ambassador
afterwards made inquiries, and received a copy of the document,
which proved satisfactory. The Pasha sent a strong order to the Emir
at Hasbeiya in 1848, for their protection; and he, though extremely
reluctant to obey, sent word to the Protestants, that they might
meet and worship together as Protestants, and he publicly forbade
all parties to interfere with them.

When the Greek Patriarch saw that the Turkish government had
recognized the principle of toleration, and acknowledged the
Protestants as a Christian sect, he resolved to try the effect of a
bull of excommunication. The form of these missives is similar in
the Latin and the Oriental Churches, and the reader will recall some
of the specimens already given.1 The consequence at Hasbeiya, for a
time, was that no Protestant could buy, sell, or transact any
business, except with his fellow Protestants, and many of the poorer
ones were at once thrown out of productive employment, and cut off
from the means of living. They were compelled to pay their debts,
but could collect nothing due to them, and no redress could they get
from the Governor. Many suffered for the necessaries of life. But
the faith of the brethren, with a single exception, did not fail.
The Druzes and other sects remonstrated against the whole
proceeding, and the rigor of the excommunication began at length to
fail, and in December it had lost its force.

1 See in the case of Dr. King, chapter xvii.; and Mr. Bird, chapter
iii.

The most important event in the year 1848, was the formation of a
purely native church at Beirût. Hitherto the native converts had
joined the mission church, formed at an early period of the mission,
which was composed mostly of the missionaries and their families.
Circumstances had made it seem inexpedient, hitherto, to form a
church exclusively of native converts. Whether the brethren were
right in this, it is not needful now to inquire. The new church
originated in the best manner. At the annual meeting of the mission,
a petition was presented from the native Protestants at Beirût to
the American missionaries, asking that they might be organized into
a church, according to certain principles and rules embodied in
their petition. The whole originated with the native brethren. The
principles proposed for the constitution and discipline of the
church were afterwards modified somewhat, at the suggestion of the
mission, in order to a closer conformity with the organization
adopted by the Protestant Armenians in another part of the empire.
For some special reasons, they were advised to delay the election of
a native pastor.

The great work of translating the Scriptures into Arabic, was now
committed to Mr. Smith; and he was assisted by Butrus el-Bistany and
Nasif el-Yasijee.

Messrs. Ford and Benton removed to Aleppo, with a view to a
permanent station. They were accompanied by Mr. Smith, Butrus, and
Wortabet, the latter of whom remained there until his services were
required at Hasbeiya. Mr. Smith visited on his return, the
Nusairiyeh in Antioch, Suwaidiyeh, and around Ladikiyeh, and then
both them and the Ismailiyeh in their mountain fastnesses back of
Ladikiyeh. He found them a rude people in a rough country.

The Rev. Horace Foot and wife arrived in Beirût in August, 1848, and
were associated with Mr. Wilson at Tripoli. Bedros Vartabed, whose
labors were so much blessed at Aintab, died after a very short
illness at Aleppo, on the 13th of November, 1848. His last hours
were spent in fervent prayer, and his last words were expressive of
his gratitude to God. His life had been characterized by visible
progress in the way of holiness, by habitual prayerfulness, and by
zeal in the work of urging upon men the claims of the gospel.

A very hopeful fact in the missions to Oriental Churches, has been
the number of able men affected by the truth. Eminently such was a
learned Greek Catholic of Damascus, named Michael Meshakah, who
became convinced of the errors of his Church, and openly declared
himself a Protestant in 1848. He had embraced infidel views to quiet
his conscience, but the reading of "Keith on the Prophecies" in
Arabic, and other books from the mission presses, especially the
Scriptures, led him to relinquish these, and personal intercourse
with missionaries, especially with Dr. Smith, induced him to take a
decided stand for Christ. He used no reserve in professing his
attachment to the gospel. This brought on a controversy between him
and his Patriarch, and as he was esteemed the most intelligent
native layman in the country, and the Patriarch the most learned
ecclesiastic, attention from all quarters was directed to their
debate. Having decided to publish the reasons of his secession from
the Catholic Church, and to prove the corruptness of the doctrines
and practices in that Church, he commenced a free and full
correspondence with Dr. Smith in Arabic. The result was a treatise,
which was published by the mission. After making the reader
acquainted with his own history, he disproved the supremacy of the
Pope, the existence of any priesthood but that of Christ, or of any
atonement but his. He then showed that there was no authority for
more than two grades of officers in the church, or for the doctrine
of transubstantiation. There were, also, chapters on justification
by faith and the new birth. Dr. Smith declares the treatise to have
been "well and thoroughly argued, sometimes most impressively
solemn, at others keenly sarcastic, and spirited and fearless
throughout."1

1 The _Bibliotheca Sacra_, for October, 1858, contains an account of
Dr. Meshakah by Dr. Thomas Laurie, and a translation of a treatise
by him on skepticism.

Michael Aramon took the place of Butrus in the seminary, and gave
the highest satisfaction both as to his literary and his religious
qualifications for the post. A Hasbeiyan brother, well informed,
upright, "a burning and shining light," taught a school among the
Druzes in the higher part of the mountains. Another, named Asaad
el-Maalûk, exercised a silent influence for good, in a school and
upon the people of another mountain village where he taught. Through
him, a priest in the Greek church of that village, named Elias,
became gradually enlightened. When Asaad began declaring the truths
of the gospel, the villagers appealed to priest Elias, and he
several times endeavored publicly to defend the doctrines and
ceremonies of his Church. Perceiving at length how much the Bible
was against him, and that he could not answer his opponent, he
became angry, and forbade all communication with Asaad. But the mild
and earnest manner of the native brother at length won his heart,
and he came to the conclusion, that nothing in his Church had any
authority, which was not derived from the Bible. This change in his
views he soon declared to his people, and absented himself from the
church. Once and again they forced him to go and say mass. Sometimes
he yielded, and sometimes refused; till, near the end of January,
1849, having performed mass, he went out with the people, locked the
door of the church, threw the key down before the door, and
declared, in the presence of them all, that he was a Protestant, and
could no more act against his conscience by officiating as a priest.
Various methods were tried to bring him back, but in vain.

In May, 1849, Mrs. Thomson and Mrs. De Forest accompanied their
husbands to Hasbeiya, and had delightful intercourse with the native
Protestant women, who had from the first gone hand in hand with the
men.

The brethren at Tripoli endeavored to secure a summer residence in
the Maronite village of Ehden, where Mr. Bird had been so rudely
assailed twenty years before, but were driven thence by similar acts
of violence. The English Consul at Beirût, without the knowledge of
the missionaries, laid the facts before the British Government, and
Lord Palmerston promptly administered a severe rebuke to the
Patriarch and Emir. The case was eventually settled by the offenders
paying seventy dollars, and by the governor of the mountains
furnishing the missionaries with an official guaranty in writing,
for their protection wherever they should be able to hire houses.
The American Ambassador also procured a strong vizieral letter to
the Pasha in the Tripoli district.

A fourth class was admitted to the seminary at Abeih in October,
1849. One member of the class was from the most influential family
in Hasbeiya, another was a Greek Catholic from Ain Zehalty, another
a Maronite from Kefr Shema, another from the Greek sect at El Hadet,
and the fifth was a young Druze emir of the Raslân family. Three
pupils had been expelled for bad conduct in the previous year, and
the discipline had a good effect on the school. Arabic was the
medium of instruction; English was taught only as a branch of
knowledge, and near the end of the course.

The printing in 1849 exceeded a million of pages. There were two
fonts of beautiful type, of different sizes, modeled on the best
Arabic calligraphy, and cut by Mr. Hallock at New York. The type
were cast in Syria under the supervision of Mr. Hurter.

Of the twenty-seven members in the native church at Beirut, up to
the close of 1849, ten were from the Greek Church, four were Greek
Catholics, four Maronites, five Armenians, three Druzes, and one a
Jacobite Syrian; showing how men of different sects may be made one
in Christ Jesus. These church members were widely dispersed, and
most of them exerted a salutary influence in the places where they
resided.

In the autumn of 1850, the Greeks and Greek Catholics of Aleppo were
subjected to terrible outrages by the Mohammedans. Their number was
from fifteen to twenty thousand, and they were more wealthy and
refined than their brethren in most eastern cities. They looked upon
themselves as the aristocracy of Syria. Instead of prudently
concealing their wealth, they made an ostentatious display of it in
furniture, dress, and costly decorations of their churches. Added to
this was an arrogant bearing, often even towards the Moslems,
rekindling their hereditary hate; while the recent efforts of the
Sultan to establish liberty throughout his dominions, both inflated
still more the pride of the Christians, and stirred up the
indignation of the Moslems.

The arrival of a government order for a military conscription, a
thing most unwelcome to the Moslems, occasioned a popular tumult.
They determined, while setting the Pasha at defiance, to gratify
their hatred of the Christians. The attacks on these commenced on
the 16th of October. Thousands of wild Arabs, along with ruffians
from the city, filled the houses and churches, and splendid
furniture, gorgeous dresses, and gold and silver hoarded for
generations, were suddenly transferred to the swarthy Arabs. All the
churches, save one, were rifled and then burnt or destroyed,
together with a large number of private houses. Not a few of the
Christians were murdered, or severely wounded. The Pasha, unequal to
the crisis, took refuge among the soldiers of the barracks, and
yielded to the demands of the populace until new orders should
arrive from the Sultan. There was a fortnight of anarchy, while the
Pasha was employed in collecting troops sufficient to regain his
authority. Then, having received explicit instructions from the
capital, he commenced a bloody attack upon the insurgents. These
were all Moslems, and such was their desperation that they suffered
more severely than had the Christians.

Until this outbreak, there had been a manifest change going on in
the feelings of the nominally Christian community towards the
Protestants. There was a growing respect among all classes for the
missionaries and their teachings, a readiness on the part of many to
acknowledge the truth, and a more easy access to the houses of the
people. All this the outbreak interrupted for a time, and the effect
was not good on the whole. There was a bloody feud between the two
great parties. Yet the bonds of superstition had been weakened;
especially the faith of the people in the miraculous virtue of the
pictures, which filled their churches and had been worshipped for
centuries. Some of these pictures were supposed to be so sacred,
that whoever touched them would have a withered hand. But they had
now seen them torn in pieces, trampled under foot, and burned by the
enemies of their religion.

Of the nineteen pupils in the seminary at Abeih in 1850, four were
Druzes, three were Greeks, four Maronites, four Greek Catholics, two
Protestants, one Syrian, and one Armenian; all on a level, eating at
the same table, mingling in the same sports, and meeting at the same
place of prayer.

The native brethren at Hasbeiya suffered considerably in their
spiritual interests, from the delay in organizing a native church
with a native pastor. A church of sixteen members was formed in
July, 1851, and the number of members, before the end of the year,
was increased to twenty-five. Mr. John Wortabet, son of the Armenian
convert of that name, had been their preacher four years, and
ultimately became their pastor. He inherited the abilities of his
father, and was an acceptable, courageous, and zealous preacher.1
There were occasional dissensions among his people, but the church
gradually increased in compactness, order, and efficiency. When
there was a call for discipline, it was carried through firmly and
wisely, without assistance from the mission.

1 He was educated in the first Seminary, in English and Arabic. When
that closed, he commenced the study of medicine and Latin under Dr.
Van Dyck, and completed his medical course under Dr. De Forest.
After practicing for a time in Tripoli, he commenced his theological
studies, Greek and Hebrew included, at Beirût, under the care of
Messrs. Smith, Whiting, and Thomson. These studies he prosecuted for
a time at Aleppo, and afterwards at Abeih. Upon the establishment of
the Hasbeiya station, in 1851, he took up his residence at Hasbeiya
as preacher, and was ordained at Beirût in the spring of 1853. The
honorary degree of Doctor of Medicine was conferred upon him by Yale
College, in view of an article from his pen on the fevers of Syria,
published in the _American Journal of Medical Science_.

The annual meeting of the mission, in 1851, was favored with the
valuable assistance of Dr. Leonard Bacon, and the meeting in 1852,
with that of Dr. Edward Robinson; both corporate members of the
Board.

A girls boarding-school had been commenced at Beirût, under the
general superintendence of Dr. and Mrs. De Forest, and the
instruction of Miss Whittlesey. The decease of the latter, in 1852,
was a check to its growth. The Rev. William Bird, son of one of the
pioneers in this mission, with his wife, and Miss Sarah Cheney,
arrived in the year 1853. Miss Cheney was to take the place of Miss
Whittlesey. The value of this school as a means of elevating women,
became more and more evident. The marriage of the senior teacher in
the seminary at Abeih with a young lady trained by Mrs. De Forest,
gave them a native family, which Mr. Calhoun says, "in its domestic
economy and religious order, would do no discredit to the best
portions of New England." In this year a native church was formed at
Abeih, and another at Aleppo.

The Rev. William W. Eddy and wife joined the mission in 1852, and
were designated to Aleppo. The political condition of Hasbeiya and
the surrounding region, now became so disordered as often to make it
inaccessible to missionaries, or their native assistants. Yet Mr.
Wortabet persevered in his labors during all these troubles, and was
afterwards ordained pastor of the church. Protestant communities at
Ibel near Hasbeiya, and at Rasheiya over the mountain, survived the
severe persecutions to which they were subjected by the combined
efforts of bishops, priests, and local governors; until the
governors, who had been the real cause of most of the difficulties,
were summoned to Damascus, through the agency of the English
Ambassador at Constantinople, to answer for their conduct.

At Sidon, there was an average congregation of thirty-live, and
persecution did not shake their constancy. In a dozen villages near
that city, there were persons in the habit of reading the
Scriptures, and visiting the missionaries. Mr. William Thomson, a
son of the missionary, rendered valuable service in this portion of
the field. Messrs. Foot and Wilson, on a visit to Hums and Hamath,
northward of Damascus, found the former place peculiarly accessible
to religious teaching, and that Dr. Meshakah of Damascus had sent
books to several persons in this place, and been in correspondence
with them. Dr. De Forest was much interested in what he saw in
villages along the coast, as far south as Carmel. Everywhere the
people were anxious to know more of the new way, which was
everywhere spoken against.

One of the persons received to the Abeih church, about this time,
had a somewhat singular experience. In the war with the Druzes, nine
years before, his party plundered a large village. In one of the
houses he saw a Bible, which he seized and carried home. Soon he
became intensely interested in reading it, and learned from it the
errors of his Church. He then sought the acquaintance of the
missionaries, and several of his relatives adopted his new views. He
was excommunicated, his house attacked, his property destroyed, and
his just dues were withheld. But he remained firm, and was admitted
to the church. His wife and other relatives became Protestants; and
by his judicious course, at once decided and conciliatory, he lived
down the persecution. A school which he opened, was attended mostly
by Druze pupils, but several of his former co-religionists intrusted
their children to his instruction.

In August, 1853, Dr. Smith had completed the translation of the Four
Gospels. His work was then suspended by the failure of his health.
He was afterward able to resume it, and in May, 1854, he had
translated the Acts, the Epistle to the Romans, and the greater part
of the Epistles to the Corinthians.

In 1853, interesting developments occurred in the southern portion
of the field, which was that year under the special charge of Dr.
Thomson. Yacob el-Hakim, interrupted in his school at Ibel by
opposers, made two extended medical tours, and preached the Gospel,
with another native helper, in villages to the south as far as
Nazareth. In one village, after visiting from house to house for
some time, he was invited to preach in the church on the Sabbath,
and there the entire community listened for two hours to the Word of
God. In consequence of these labors the whole village, with the
priest at their head, declared themselves Protestants, and went to
Nazareth to be enrolled with the Protestant community at that place,
under the care of the Episcopal brethren at Jerusalem. In his last
tour, Yacob reported fifty men in Rany, another village not far from
Nazareth, who had adopted the same course, and he met with great
encouragement in several other places. Indeed he became so much
interested in this work, that he did not wish to return to his
school. These tours were made wholly at his own expense, and he was
able to support himself by his medical practice.

Elias Yacobe, a native of Rashaiah, spent the summer at Abeih in the
study of theology, and was found to possess uncommon preaching
talents. He subsequently labored with success at his native place,
at Ibel, and especially at Khuraibeh. Wherever the native brethren
went, they reported an unusual desire among the people to hear the
Word of God. At Sidon the attention paid to the preaching of Mr.
Thomson and his helpers was marked and solemn. More than thirty were
in a Bible-class. It was somewhat remarkable that the whole class
found the study of Romans far more interesting than any other
portion of the New Testament. The powerful arguments of Paul, when
clearly opened to their comprehension, seemed to fall upon their
minds with the charm of novelty. And having clearly understood and
embraced the great fundamentals of Christian faith, there was good
reason to hope, they would never return again to the beggarly
elements of this world. What they learned in the class they made
known abroad. The surrounding country was awakened more or less to a
spirit of inquiry. At a village directly east of Sidon, several
families declared themselves Protestants. At Kanah, in the
neighborhood of Tyre, at Alma, higher up on the mountain, and at
Acre and Kaifeh, there were decided Protestants.

The clergy of the different sects became thoroughly alarmed, and for
a time worked in concert to arrest this spirit of inquiry. A strong
corps of women, under the general name of Sisters of Charity,
settled in Sidon, and opened large schools to which the parents were
commanded, by the clergy of the various sects, to send their
children; and strenuous exertions were made to break up the mission
school. Every possible measure was employed to intimidate the
people.

Nearly all the professed converts stood firm; though subjected to
want, cruel hatred, and banishment from their homes. There was an
advance in religious character; more decision, more intelligence,
more earnestness. The inquiry was, what is real religion, and how
can one become a partaker in its infinite blessings. Progress was
thus made towards organizing a church at Sidon.

The Protestants at Hasbeiya, under favor of the Druzes, who then had
the upper hand in all political matters, and under the successful
pastorate of Mr. Wortabet, now built a neat, substantial church,
forty-five feet by thirty-five, with a basement for schools and
prayer meetings.

Mr. and Mrs. Foot left the mission in the autumn of 1854, on account
of her illness, but too late to save her life. She died when near
the shores of her native land. The Rev. Jerre L. Lyons and wife
arrived at Beirût early in the following year. Dr. Smith had now
completed the translation of the New Testament; and in addition to
the Pentateuch, previously completed, he had gone through seven of
the Minor Prophets, and commenced upon Isaiah.

The author made his second visit to this mission in 1855, on his
return from India. During this visit he accompanied Dr. Smith to Ain
Zehalty, a place of difficult access in the heart of Lebanon, where
Mr. and Mrs. Lyons were residing, with no one to speak the English
language, in order the sooner to learn the Arabic. There, through
the teachings of a native brother from the church at Abeih, the
people had lost all confidence in the ceremonies and superstitions
of their Church. The priest, after making vain attempts to bring
them back, left the place in disgust, and begged the bishop to send
him elsewhere. He was obliged to return, however, and as his flock
would not support him, a salary was given him by the bishop, in the
hope of ultimately recovering them to his fold. The experiences of
this little community of Protestants will again claim our attention.

It was now agreed to leave Aleppo, and northern Syria from Kessab
northward, to be cultivated by the Armenian mission; since the
language in that region was chiefly the Turkish.

The Rev. Messrs. Edward Aiken, Daniel Bliss, and Henry H. Jessup,
and their wives, were added to the mission in this year. Mrs. Aiken
died at Hums before she had completed a residence in the field of
half a year. In November, one of the older missionaries, the Rev.
George B. Whiting, finished his course, after a devoted service as a
missionary through a fourth part of a century.1 Mrs. Whiting
returned, in poor health, to the United States.

1 For an obituary notice of Mr. Whiting by Mr. Calhoun, see
_Missionary Herald_ for 1856, pp. 129-133.

The Gospel was preached statedly at sixteen places. At four of
these--Beirût, Abeih, Sidon, and Hasbeiya--churches had been
organized. Fifteen members were added during the year 1856. The
number admitted from the beginning was one hundred and six, of whom
eighty were living and in regular standing. The average number of
hearers was about four hundred and twenty; but the whole number was
of course much larger. The sons-in-law of the old Emir Beshir, the
unrelenting persecutor no longer among the living, were among the
firmest friends of the mission, and his grandchildren were in its
schools. The anathemas of the Maronite clergy, once so terrific, had
lost their power. Light was spreading; and though there was not a
corresponding religious interest, yet the most influential
inhabitants were on friendly terms with the mission, and in favor of
education and good morals.



CHAPTER XXII.

THE ARMENIANS.

1845-1846.


We come now to the grand crisis, when the evangelical Armenians, who
claimed the right of worshipping God according to the teachings of
his Word, were on that account excommunicated, pronounced accursed,
and subjected to a protracted and most cruel persecution. But
inasmuch as this made it necessary to organize Protestant churches
all over the country, it was overruled, in God's providence, for the
furtherance of his kingdom.

Matteos, the leader of this persecution, became Patriarch of
Constantinople in the autumn of 1844. Peshtimaljian, the celebrated,
teacher, who knew him as one of his scholars, said of him, ten years
before, when he was on very friendly terms with the missionaries,
that he was a man of enlightened views, but without principle, and
always governed by what he considered the wishes of those who were
likely to promote his interests. His position as Patriarch was one
of great difficulty. The evangelical doctrines were spreading in all
directions, and their enemies demanded that they be rooted out. A
report was even started, that Matteos himself was a Protestant, and
his convictions were known to have been at one time in that
direction; but his interests and his ambition now led him to oppose.
He had attained the highest post in his nation, and was resolved to
keep it. As the evangelical brethren would not yield, he must, if
possible, put them down. He resolved to sacrifice the Protestants;
and all his powers, personal and official, were employed to
eradicate Protestantism from the land.1

1 Dr. Dwight, in his _Christianity Revived in the East_ is severe on
Bishop Horatio Southgate, of the American Episcopal mission in
Turkey, on the ground of his publicly declared sympathy with the
Patriarch Matteos, and the advice and countenance he was believed to
have given that cruel persecutor. How far the Patriarch was actually
influenced by Bishop Southgate, it is impossible to say; and I have
supposed that at this late day, the demands of history would be
satisfied with this brief allusion to the case. See _Christianity
Revived_, pp. 211-213.

He first secretly directed those among his own flock, who were
patrons or regular customers of the evangelical brethren, silently
to withdraw their patronage. Many of the Protestants thus suddenly
found themselves deprived of business, and that remonstrances
availed nothing, unless they pledged themselves to withdraw from the
preaching of the missionaries. A more decisive measure was, ordering
the priests to hand in to the Patriarch the names of those who did
not come to confession, and partake of the communion, in their
respective churches. All such were threatened with excommunication
and all its dreaded consequences.

As two or three vartabeds and some of the priests continued to
attend the preaching of the missionaries, and others were known to
be friendly, something must be done to operate upon those spiritual
guides of the people. Bedros Vartabed was the first to be made an
example. He was ordered to perform a mass, but declined on
conscientious grounds. He was then instructed to proceed forthwith
to a town on the Russian frontier, ostensibly to take charge of a
diocese, but really to get him where he could easily be conveyed as
a prisoner to the monastery of Echmiadzin. He politely declined to
go, and the Patriarch was not then prepared to resort to force.
After some delay, it was arranged that Bedros should go to the
monastery at Jerusalem. He proceeded no farther, however, than
Beirût, and from thence went to Aleppo and Aintab. His usefulness at
the latter place, and his Christian death at Aleppo, have been
already stated.1

1 See chapter xxi.

The Patriarch's attention was next turned to Priest Vertanes, who
was already in his hands as a prisoner at the monastery of Armash,
whither he had been sent by his predecessor. It was found that he
had been preaching to the monks salvation through the blood of
Christ alone, without the deeds of the law. It was represented to
Matteos, that if the Protestant priest was not removed, the inmates
of the monastery would soon become corrupted. An imperial firman was
therefore procured for his banishment to Cesarea, whither Hohannes
had been sent, six years before, for a like offense. On his way
there, in charge of a Turkish officer, and indeed after his arrival,
he ceased not to preach the Gospel for which he was in bonds. In the
same year the Sultan gave orders, on occasion of a great feast, to
have all the exiles in the country set at liberty, and Vertanes
returned to Constantinople. Letters came to the Patriarch from
Cesarea, soon after, saying that he had seduced many, and that had
he remained there much longer, all would have gone after him.1

1 _Christianity Revived_, p. 152. Authority for most of the
following statements concerning these persecutions, may be found in
the _Missionary Herald_ for 1846: pp. 193-203, 218-230, 263-273,
298-304, 397-406; and for 1847, pp. 16-22, 37-45, 75-83, 150,
193-199, 264-273, 298-301, 372-374. The account of them given by Dr.
H. G. O. Dwight, in his work entitled _Christianity Revived in the
East_, published in 1850, is so well written, that I cannot confer
upon the reader a greater favor than by a free, though much
abridged, use of his language.

At the metropolis there were restraints upon the hierarchy, that
were unfelt in the provinces. Ephrem, bishop of Erzroom, had once
acknowledged the errors of his Church, and had often strongly
expressed his desires for reform, though now among the most zealous
and persevering of the persecutors. The same was lamentably true of
Boghos, Vartabed of Trebizond. Ephrem and Boghos had actually
suffered persecution, on the charge of being Protestants. The change
in their conduct was owing to the change in their relations, and to
their loving the praise of men more than the praise of God.

The Bishop of Erzroom exceeded all others in bitterness against the
followers of the Gospel. He had spies in every part of the town, and
often upon the roofs of houses adjacent to the dwellings of the
missionaries, to observe who were their visitors. He never allowed
disobedience to his orders to go unpunished. The bastinado was
repeatedly applied under his own eye, merely for an expression
indicating reverence for the Word of God. Twenty blows were
inflicted on the bare feet of a young man, and he was thrown into
prison, because he had sold a copy of the Psalms in modern Armenian,
and called at the house of a missionary. A teacher of a country
school was severely bastinadoed for teaching the Gospel to the
villagers. A merchant, who had early embraced the truth, was cruelly
beaten in the bishop's own room, and the people were commanded to
spit in his face in the streets, merely because he visited the
missionary. A priest, for showing so much sympathy as to call upon
him, was summoned before the bishop and bastinadoed. Another, who
had called once at Mr. Peabody's house and procured some books, was
seized, put in irons, and thrown into prison, and his books were
burnt before his eyes. In most cases these violent measures
confirmed the individuals in their new ways; and the truth is said
never to have made so much progress among the permanent Armenian
residents of Erzroom, as during the period of these outrages.

One principal reason for the determination of the ecclesiastics to
uproot Bible religion from Erzroom, was the central and consequently
influential position of that city in the interior of Armenia. In the
district of Pasin, to the east, were nearly two hundred villages, in
which Mr. Peabody found both priests and people remarkably
accessible. In the nearer villages, a few were always found so much
awake to the truth as to pay little regard to the injunctions of
their spiritual rulers, who were opposed to Bible teachings. Not
unfrequently individuals from Egin, Diarbekir, and other distant
places, called on Messrs. Peabody and Smith for religious inquiry. A
tour of Haritûn of Nicomedia to Sivas, Erzroom, Egin, etc., brought
to light many encouraging facts in those places. In every important
place some inquirers were found, and only laborers seemed needful to
gather in an abundant harvest.

The author can bear witness to the increase of intelligence at
Trebizond. The quiet preaching of the word by Messrs. Johnston and
Bliss, and the distribution of the Scriptures and other evangelical
books, had, by the blessing of God, moved many minds, and taught the
difference between truth and error; and they gladly availed
themselves of every opportunity to come together for conference and
prayer. Not many, however, were willing to run much risk for the
truth's sake, and few gave satisfactory evidence of being "born
again."

A young man of superior attainments in Trebizond, belonging to the
Papal Armenians, died in the spring of 1844, giving the most
satisfactory evidence of conversion. His priest had made every
effort to reclaim him, but Mugurdich, for that was his name, was
very decided, and a few days before his death made a formal
renunciation of his Church in writing, and peacefully committed his
all to Christ. His body was not allowed a burial in the graveyard,
or with the usual religious ceremonies, but was carried out at a
late hour, in a dark stormy night, by common street porters, under
the direction of a Turkish police-officer, and buried in a waste
place about a mile out of the city. His priest had threatened to
bury him like a dog; but he told them, at the time, that they could
thus do him no harm, as they could not reach his soul.

The Vartabed in this city was not deemed sufficiently energetic as a
persecutor. But Boghos, his successor, was. On receiving
instructions from the Patriarch in the spring of 1845, he
immediately set the whole persecuting machinery in motion. And so
terrific did it become, that in the space of ten days about one half
of the Bible readers had recanted.

Just at this juncture, a highly respected evangelical inhabitant of
Trebizond, named Tateos, returned from a visit to Constantinople,
Smyrna, Broosa, Nicomedia, and Adabazar, whither he had been to make
the acquaintance of the missionaries and native brethren in those
places. Fearing the influence of such a man, the persecuting party
resolved to put him out of the way. He was accordingly decoyed on
board the steamer as it was leaving for Constantinople, thrust down
into the hold, and confined there by order of the Turkish Pasha.
Thus was he torn from his affectionate wife and children, and
carried off like a felon, they knew not whither, without even the
show of a trial. Arriving at the capital, he was taken to the
Armenian hospital, and shut up in the mad-house. Placed in a sitting
posture, he was fastened with two chains, one from his neck to the
wall, the other from his feet to the floor. Orders from the
Patriarchate were, that no one should have access to him, but some
of the native brethren discovered the place of his confinement, and
gained admittance. He was then removed to another place, where it
was believed he could not be found. On the Sabbath, the eighth day
of his imprisonment, while the Armenian congregation was engaged in
singing in the chapel at Pera, he entered, a free man! Much prayer
had been offered for him, and his sudden liberation reminded all of
Peter the Apostle. Sir Stratford Canning had been informed of his
case, and there was no doubt that the remonstrances of this
benevolent statesman had caused the Patriarch to loosen his grasp
upon this innocent victim of his oppression.

But whatever was the influence exerted to moderate the proceedings
of the Patriarch in this case, he was fully resolved not to fail of
success. In the beginning of 1846, he entered upon the more decisive
course of subjecting the evangelical Armenians to the pains and
penalties of excommunication. He began with Vertanes, who escaped
arrest only through the friendly agency of his landlord, (not a
Protestant,) and was concealed for several weeks in the house of a
friend. At the patriarchal church, after the morning service,
January 25th, the church was darkened by extinguishing the candles,
the great veil was drawn in front of the altar, and a bull of
anathema was solemnly read against Priest Vertanes; and, on the next
Sabbath, against all who were of his sentiments,--"followers," as
the instrument read, "of the corrupt new sect, who are accursed,
excommunicated, and anathematized." Vertanes was denounced in the
usual style of such documents, as "a contemptible wretch," "a
vagabond," "a seducer of the people," "a traitor and murderer of
Christ," "a child of the devil," "an offspring of Antichrist," and
"worse than an infidel or a heathen." "Wherefore," says the
Patriarch, "we expel him, and forbid him, as a devil and a child of
the devil, to enter into the company of our believers; we cut him
off from the priesthood, as an amputated member of the spiritual
body of Christ, and as a branch cut off from the vine, which is good
for nothing but to be cast into the fire. By this admonitory bull, I
therefore command and warn my beloved in every city far and near,
not to look upon his face, regarding it as the face of Belial, not
to receive him into your holy dwellings, for he is a house
destroying and ravening wolf; not to receive his salutation, but to
refuse it as a soul-destroying poison; and to beware, with all your
households, of the seducing and impious followers of the false
doctrine of modern sectarists, and to pray for them to the God who
remembereth not iniquity, if perchance, they may repent, and turn
from their wicked paths, and secure the salvation of their souls,
through the grace of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who is
blessed forever and ever. Amen."1

1 _Missionary Herald_, 1846, pp. 197, 198.

The Patriarch immediately issued orders to his clergy, to see that
the temporal penalties threatened in the anathema were all
inflicted. Most of the clergy obeyed these orders with good will,
but some reluctantly. The leading men in the different trade
corporations were required to deprive the persons anathematized, and
their families, of their employments and means of living, and they
evinced more pitiless zeal than did even the clergy. Many of the
brethren were forcibly driven from their houses and shops, and some
were expelled even from the paternal roof. A form of recantation was
drawn up, and a new creed, and these were sent throughout the
country for the signature of the Protestants. The evangelical
brethren were everywhere summoned before their ecclesiastical rulers
for this purpose. The creed contained the worst errors of Popery.
The recantation required was, in substance, a confession that "being
deceived by the enticements of Satan" they had "separated from the
spotless bosom of the holy Church," and had "lovingly joined the
impious New Sectaries," which they now saw to be "nothing else but
an invention of arrogance, a snare of Satan, a sect of confusion, a
broad road which leadeth to destruction." Wherefore repenting of
their "impious deeds," they "fled again to the bosom of the
immaculate and holy Armenian Church," and confessed that "her faith
is spotless, her sacraments divine, her rites of apostolic origin,
her ritual pious," and promised to receive "whatever this same holy
Church receiveth, whether it be a matter of faith or ceremony," and
to "reject with anathemas whatever doctrines she rejects."1

1 Appendix to _Christianity Revived in the East_, p. 272.

The persecutions designed to enforce this bold and cruel measure,
both at Constantinople and elsewhere, were too numerous to be fully
set forth in this history. It appears, from a statement drawn up by
the missionaries at Constantinople, that nearly forty persons, in
that city alone, had their shops closed and their licenses taken
away, and were thus debarred from laboring for an honest livelihood.
Nearly seventy were ejected from their own hired houses, and
sometimes from houses owned by themselves, and were thus exposed as
vagabonds, to be taken up by the patrol and committed to prison; and
could find shelter only in houses provided for the emergency at
Pera, or Galata, through the charity of Europeans or Americans. To
increase the distress, bakers were forbidden to furnish them with
bread, and water-carriers to supply them with water. Thirty or more
persons were exiled, imprisoned, or bastinadoed, on no other charge
than their faith. Many were compelled to dissolve partnerships, and
bring their accounts to a forced settlement, involving their utter
ruin. Where the agents of the Patriarch ascertained that debts were
due from the anathematized to faithful sons of the Church, the
latter, however reluctant, were compelled to urge an immediate
settlement.1

1 _Annual Report_ for 1846, p. 98.

Dr. Dwight gives us a glimpse of the working of the Anathema in the
following narrative: "At one time the Patriarch called before him
several of the leading Protestants, and sought to win them by
gentleness and argument. When he found that they could outreason
him, he said, rather petulantly, 'What is the use of your talking? I
only called you to sign this paper. If you cannot do it, you may go,
and next Sabbath you will all be anathematized.'

"One of the number he retained for a more private conversation. This
was Mr. Apisoghom Khachadûrian, who afterwards became the first
Protestant pastor. After those present had been sent away, the
Patriarch, with a great show of kindness, entreated our brother to
yield to the demands of the Church, for the sake of peace. 'Let me
know,' said he, 'how much you receive as a salary from those men
(meaning us), and I will pledge myself to secure more for you, if
you will only come over to our side.' Ap. Khachadûrian begged the
Patriarch not to pain his feelings again by addressing to him any
such motives, which, in a matter of such solemn moment, were worthy
of no consideration.

"The Patriarch then said: 'If you will only come back to us, you may
retain your own private opinions and nobody shall molest you; only
you must not speak of them to others. Why should you preach? You are
no priest.'

"_K_. 'I cannot return on any such conditions. It is every man's
duty to try to enlighten his neighbors in things pertaining to
salvation, so far as he understands the Gospel.'

"_Patriarch_. 'But, if the evangelical men are permitted to remain
in the Church on such conditions, the time is not distant when they
will make the whole Church evangelical.'

"_K_. 'And what if they should? Would it be a calamity to our people
to receive the Word of God as a body, and endeavor to follow it? You
well know that this is the true way. You know that you confessed
this to me some years ago. The course you are now pursuing will be
destructive to our nation. I well understand your motive. You have
been called a Protestant, and you seek to wipe this blot from your
name; but have you not already done enough? Surely everybody must be
convinced, by this time, that you are an Armenian, and no
Protestant. Desist, I beseech you, from this work; for your own
sake, I beseech you desist; otherwise it may result in something
very bad for you.'

"_Patriarch_. 'Why? what will they (meaning the missionaries) do
unto me?'

"_K_. 'They will do nothing to you, but your own nation will, if you
go on in this way.'

"This conversation continued for some time, and the Patriarch's
conscience seemed, for the moment, to be touched by our brother's
faithful appeals, and he looked very thoughtful. He requested Mr.
Khachadûrian to call again after two days, which he accordingly did,
but was not received. A vartabed was sent to say, that if he
continued of the same mind as before, the Patriarch did not wish to
see him; and on the following Sabbath he was publicly anathematized
in all the churches."1

1 _Christianity Revived_, pp. 199-201.

Soon after this anathema, the persecuted brethren addressed a letter
to the Patriarch, explaining their religious sentiments, and asking
to be relieved from their sufferings. This producing no effect, they
addressed themselves to the Primates of the Armenian community, but
no one of them was disposed to interfere in their behalf. At length
they presented a petition to Reschid Pasha, Turkish Minister of
Foreign Affairs. This petition was treated with respect; but, owing
to the influence of some of the Armenian Primates, it procured no
relief. Subsequently they carried their case before the English,
Prussian, and American Ministers, asking their intervention. These
gentlemen took the kindest interest in their case, and made repeated
efforts to procure redress. Still the persecution went on. The
Patriarch even ventured, within a month after the excommunication,
to send the names of thirteen leading Protestants to the Porte,
requesting their banishment. This was going a step too far. The
English Ambassador, Sir Stratford Canning, had called the attention
of the Turkish ministry to the pledge given, three years before, by
the Sultan, that "henceforth there should be no more persecution for
religious opinions in Turkey;" and it was now decided, in accordance
with this pledge, that the persecution of the evangelical Armenians
could not be allowed.

Scores of men, women, and children were wandering houseless, for the
faith of Jesus, in the streets of the great metropolis, but they
could not be left thus to suffer. Through the kindness of Mr. Allan,
missionary of the Free Church of Scotland to the Jews, twenty
individuals were comfortably lodged in a large building he had
secured for a chapel and mission house. For the rest, the
missionaries hired such tenements as could be found; at the same
time providing bread for those cut off from all means of procuring
their own subsistence. Nor was any time lost in appealing for aid to
evangelical Christians throughout the world; and responses were
received from the United States, from England, from every country in
Europe, and from India; and five hundred dollars were contributed by
foreign Protestant residents on the ground.

One good resulting from this evil should not be overlooked. The
evangelical brethren in Constantinople had lived scattered over a
territory eight or ten miles in diameter, so that they could rarely,
if ever, come together. But while driven from their homes, and
sheltered by the hand of Christian charity, they were, for many
weeks, almost in one neighborhood, with abundant opportunity to
cultivate each other's acquaintance. Most of their time, indeed, was
spent in social prayer and religious conference; the effects of
which were seen in a deeper interest felt for one another, and in a
stronger bond of union.1

1 _Christianity Revived_, p. 208.

Early in March, Reschid Pasha, the Minister of Foreign Affairs,
called up the Armenian Patriarch, and charged him to desist from his
present course. This was an important point gained. It was now
virtually decided, that the evangelical subjects of the Porte could
have a civil existence in Turkey, without being under the spiritual
dominion of the Patriarch.1

1 _Missionary Herald_, 1846, p. 218.

But freedom from the Patriarch's civil power they did not actually
attain until their full and formal recognition as a Protestant
community. In point of fact, there was no material relief from the
persecution; though the Patriarch issued a pamphlet, about this
time, utterly denying that there was any. He even proclaimed from
the pulpit, that religion was free in Turkey. There was no doubt a
change for the better in the Turkish government, and the Patriarch
was gradually learning that persecution for religious opinions was
not to be allowed. Therefore he felt constrained to use every
artifice, so that nothing should seem to be done contrary to law;
and, if possible, so that no ambassador should be able to prove upon
him an act of persecution. At that very time, however, thirty-four
shops were closed in Constantinople, and their former occupants were
forcibly kept from resuming their business, merely because they did
not subscribe to the Patriarch's creed. This was all, however, under
the pretense of law. The Patriarch was the civil head of the
Armenian community, and as such was responsible to the government
for every trade. No person could open a shop without a license, and
each trade was incorporated, and regulated by a small committee of
the most prominent persons in that business. The license came from
this committee; and each one taking out a license was required to
give two or more sureties for good conduct. Licenses were refused to
the evangelical Armenians; or if not, they were not accepted as
sureties for each other, and none others ventured to assume the
relation. Thus, until the slow moving Turk discovered the abuse, the
persecutor pursued his work with impunity under the broad shield of
the law.

It was specially so in the interior. One of the most trying cases of
persecution was that of Priest Haritûn at Nicomedia, whose
conversion was mentioned in connection with that of Vertanes, more
than twelve years before. When Der Vertanes was anathematized, the
bishop of Nicomedia required Haritûn to write a confession of his
faith, in order to show the people that he was a true son of the
Armenian Church. The document was far from being satisfactory, and
his letter appended to it was still less so, for in that he affirmed
the Holy Scriptures to be the only infallible rule of faith and
practice, and declared his willingness to receive whatever
punishment was prepared for him. He was naturally timid, but now he
was filled with the spirit of martyrdom. He was brought to the
church on the Sabbath, and the bishop, after reading his confession,
immediately pronounced him excommunicated and accursed. Two priests
then violently tore his clerical robes from his shoulders, and with
boisterous shouts, cried, "Drive the accursed one from the church."
The excited rabble now fell upon him, and with kicks and blows
thrust him into the street. All this he received with the greatest
meekness, and returned to his house exceeding glad that he was
counted worthy "to suffer for the name of Jesus."

The bishop then sent him a paper of recantation to sign. Refusing to
do this, he was by an easy artifice, thrown into prison. Finding
that he owed small sums to different individuals, the debts were all
bought up by a magnate of the place, and immediate payment was
required. Being unable to meet the demand, as it was well known he
would be, he was cast into prison. It was under sanction of the law.
After thirteen days, he was conducted by a soldier to the bishop's
palace, where the Patriarch's creed was offered for his signature.
When they could not persuade him to sign it, he was threatened with
the loss of his beard, which was considered the greatest indignity
to a priest. He replied, "For the wonderful name of Christ, I am,
God helping me, ready even to shed my blood." A barber was called
in, and not only his beard, but all the hair from his head was
shaved off. They then tore his clerical cap, and cast it into a
filthy corner of the street, together with the hair and beard. A mob
of boys now fastened the beard and the disfigured cap to the end of
a long pole, and paraded through all the wards of the city,
shouting, "Heads out! behold the cap of the accursed Haritûn." He
was afterwards sent back to prison, the soldiers leading him by a
circuitous route to prolong his sufferings, and the mob continually
following him with opprobrious language. "I entered the prison," he
wrote to a native brother, "with a joyful heart, committing myself
to God, and giving glory to Him, that He had enabled me to pass
through fire and sword, and brought me to a place of repose."

The Turkish governor of the prison, moved by pity, immediately
released the unoffending old man. Passing through a Turkish burying
ground, he reached his home unobserved. It was the Sabbath day, and
he says, "Being delivered from the hands of reckless men, I fell
down on my face about the eighth hour, with my wife alone, and gave
glory to God that He had accounted me worthy of such an honor, which
I formerly avoided, but now by his grace he has made me cheerfully
to receive, though I am altogether unworthy. He has kept me for such
a day."

Haritûn's inability to pay his debts subjected him to a second
imprisonment; but as his cup increased in bitterness, his resolve
was the more firmly fixed, never to deny his Lord and Saviour. His
spotless reputation, and his meekness in suffering, procured for him
many friends, even among the Mohammedans.1

1 _Missionary Herald_, 1846, pp. 219-223, 366.

It deserves to be recorded, that the magnate who secured his
imprisonment, was thrown from his horse, not long after, and
received a fracture of the skull, from which he died; and his
splendid mansion was subsequently consumed by fire.

After having thus cruelly treated Priest Haritûn, the bishop
summoned the evangelical brethren before him, as a body, and so
wrought upon their fears, that they all agreed to sign the paper of
recantation. Some of them, however, declared to the bishop, at the
time, that they should continue to read the Gospel, and come
together for prayer; and he assured them, that he merely wanted
their signatures as a matter of form, and that they should be left
at liberty to believe and act as they pleased. But they lost all
peace of mind from that moment, until they had abjured their
recantation, and publicly declared their determination to abide by
the doctrines of the Gospel, even unto death. This was in March,
1846. They were all soon after excommunicated.

At Adabazar, there was much suffering. Four of the brethren were
seized for debt, and thrown into prison. The Protestants were
assailed with hootings and curses. Fresh outrages were of daily
occurrence. A native brother, named Hagop, on his way from Adabazar
to a village an hour distant, was passed by one of the persecutors
on horseback, who turned upon him and cruelly beat him. Returning
home with eyes and forehead swollen and blackened, and his limbs
bloody from the blows he had received, he was taken by his friends
to the Turkish governor, and two Turks came in as witnesses; but the
governor refused to give him a hearing. Soon after, the houses of
the brethren were stoned, and some of them were imprisoned on false
pretenses, while the governor and judge, though perfectly aware of
these things, cared not for them. Emboldened thus, the chief ruler
of the Armenians headed a band of about fifty desperate fellows, and
went in the evening to the house of Hagop, who had been beaten a few
days before, broke down the door, rushed up-stairs, and, in the
presence of his family, beat him on his nose and mouth, and wherever
else the blows happened to fall, and threw him down stairs. They
there beat him again, pushed him into the street, and dragged him to
a place of confinement. Other brethren were subjected to similar
violence, until the mob became so outrageous that the governor and
judge were obliged to interfere.1

1 _Missionary Herald_, 1846, p. 270.

At Trebizond, a young man, refusing to sign the recantation, was
beaten on the soles of his feet, the vartabed aiding with his own
hands in inflicting the blows. He was afterwards thrown into a
miserable stable as a prison; water was plentifully poured upon the
cold, damp ground on which he stood with mangled feet; his hands
were tied behind him by the two thumbs; a rope was passed under his
shoulders and fastened to a beam over his head; and in this
torturing condition he was left to stand during the night. Orders
were also issued that no one should give him food. After being kept
here nearly two days, with some mitigations, and repeatedly
importuned to sign the recantation, with terrific threatenings in
case he did not, the sufferer was induced to yield. The
ecclesiastics were encouraged by this to bastinado and imprison all
who refused to comply. Those who could, fled to the house of the
missionary, and ten men were at one time lodged in the chapel, and
fed at his table.

This mode of proceeding could not continue. The British Consul
interposed and gave information to the Pasha, who arrested the
barbarous proceedings, and virtually advised the brethren to secede
from their persecuting Church. Mr. Powers thought the effect of
these sufferings had been salutary on all the brethren.1

1 _Missionary Herald_, 1806, [sic, 1846?] pp. 298-300.

Another case occurred at the remote station of Erzroom, and I
mention it because of the extreme violence of the persecutors,
though regretting that they partially gained their point. The man
was a recent convert, but his answers when interrogated, were so
judicious and decisive, and so sustained by Scripture proofs that
his adversaries were unable to reply. The main question was, whether
he would worship the sacred pictures. This he refused to do,
whereupon he was severely bastinadoed; and afterwards some of the
priests kicked him, spat in his face, and smote him on the face,
till the blood gushed from his nose and mouth. He was then put in
chains, and thrust into a cold prison, without being allowed water
to wash the blood from his face, though he earnestly requested it.

During the evening two priests went to his prison, and he begged
them to secure his removal to a stable. They called him a dog, and
told him he could receive no favor unless he submitted in
everything. This he said he could never do. He was afterwards
removed to a stable, and the next day was brought before his
persecutors and required to sign a creed they had drawn up. This he
did, after the most objectionable parts had been erased. Emboldened
by this, and by the refusal of the Pasha to protect the sufferer,
the ecclesiastics next Sabbath ordered the same man to appear before
them, and he was immediately thrust into prison. In the evening he
was taken into the church and brought before the altar, where, in
the presence of a great multitude, curses were heaped upon him
without measure. The vartabed who performed this service, used
language fitted to stir up the worst passions of the people; many of
whom being partially intoxicated, became so enraged that when the
brother was conducted to the vartabed's room they grossly abused
him, not only by words, but by blows and spitting in his face. They
crowded the door, declaring that he was worthy of death, and that
they were ready to shed his blood, even if for so doing, they should
have to shed their own, and it was with difficulty they were
prevented from rushing upon him. Indeed some actually entered and
kicked him on the head as he was seated on the floor, without one
word of rebuke from the ecclesiastics. Their object was to compel
him to sign a paper recently sent them by the Patriarch. He told
them he could never heartily sign such a paper. "No matter about
your _heart_," they exclaimed, "perform the outward act." In
consequence of this remark, and terrified by the mob, which seemed
panting to lay violent hands upon him, and into the midst of whom he
was to be thrust if he did not sign his name, he at length yielded,
and the next morning his sentence of excommunication was revoked.

A month later, this man much regretted having done so, even under
such a pressure, and had no thought of abandoning the new religious
life. He continued his efforts to enlighten the dark minds of those
to whom he had access, though by so doing, he exposed himself to new
trials.1

1 Mr. Peabody, in Missionary Herald, 1846, pp. 265-267.



CHAPTER XXIII.

THE ARMENIANS.

1846-1848.


We are now in the middle of the year 1846. Hitherto no one has
voluntarily separated himself from the Armenian community. The
so-called "schismatics" were made such by the exscinding act of the
Patriarch himself. For nearly six months anathemas had been dealt
out in the patriarchal church every Sabbath until many of the people
grew weary of them. Through ecclesiastical influence, bread and
water were still withheld from many Protestant families by the
dealers in those articles, and everything was done that could be
done with impunity to afflict those who remained steadfast in the
truth; nor did the Patriarch or the magnates give them any hope of
relief, except through unconditional submission to their demands.
Their only earthly hope was in the Protestant Ambassadors, and in
Reschid Pasha, the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Sir Stratford
Canning, the English Ambassador, whose noble efforts for religious
liberty in Turkey are worthy of all praise, did not cease urging the
government to secure to their Protestant subjects the right of
pursuing their lawful callings without molestation. As to sureties
for those who were excluded from their shops and business, he
represented that the demands of the law might be met by their
becoming sureties for one another. He at length succeeded, and
Reschid Pasha, who soon became Grand Vizier, gave orders that the
Protestants be permitted to resume their business on this condition.
A new officer was put in the place of the one who had turned a deaf
ear to their petitions. When summoned before him, they declared
themselves to be Armenians, and he told them it was "Protestants,"
whom he was to allow to open their shops. They had never adopted
that name, as it had been applied to them by their enemies by way of
reproach,--as probably the term "Christian" was to the disciples at
Antioch,--but called themselves the "Gospellers," or "Evangelists."
But now, whether they wished it or not, they were constrained to
adopt the designation of "Protestants."

A letter from the Grand Vizier, written at this time to the Pasha of
Erzroom, also recognized them as Protestants. It was the first
document issued by the Turkish government for their protection, and
began with stating, that certain Armenians at Erzroom, who had
embraced the Protestant faith, were represented to the government as
suffering various forms of persecution, from which they prayed to be
delivered. The Grand Vizier says that the same thing had occurred at
the capital, where the Protestants, having been anathematized by the
Patriarch, were cut off from both social and commercial intercourse
with their countrymen. While the Sultan would not interfere with the
spiritual duties of the Patriarch, he could not allow his Protestant
subjects to be hindered in their lawful pursuits. As the Armenian
Primate had converted the law, requiring every subject entering into
business to provide sureties for his good behavior, into an
instrument of oppression, by refusing to accept Protestants as
sureties for each other, the Pasha was to see that they had the same
liberty, in this respect, as was enjoyed by their countrymen. This
was their privilege at Constantinople, and the Grand Vizier hoped
the Pasha of Erzroom would secure the same for them in his province.

The Patriarch had left no means untried to break up the seminary at
Bebek, and succeeded in taking away seventeen out of the
twenty-seven students. But five of them soon returned, and ten
others speedily joined the institution. About half of the ten were
young men of good intellectual capacity and mature faith, who had
fallen under the anathema of the Patriarch. Shutting up their shops
had sent them to the seminary, where their minds would be
disciplined, and where, studying the history of the Church, and
comparing the past and present with God's Word, they would be
prepared to comprehend the Oriental Apostasy. Of the other five,
three were from anathematized families, and two were without
relatives. A lad, who had been expelled from his father's house
because he was a Protestant, was about to enter the seminary,
through the influence of a young man who had left it because of the
failure of his eyes. His father carried both to the patriarchate;
and the Patriarch, who had declared himself no persecutor, condemned
them to imprisonment, with hard labor and the wearing of a heavy
chain day and night. The father repented of his cruelty and implored
their release, but in vain. It was only when the Patriarch
understood that the father was carrying the case before the English
Ambassador, that he released the son. The other youth remained in
irons; and the reply of the Turkish authorities to repeated
petitions was, that he had been committed for crime. The
missionaries believed him entirely innocent, and truly pious. We are
obliged to leave this youth, after six weeks of labor begirt with a
chain, in the midst of ferocious and beastly criminals, refusing to
accept deliverance on condition of subscribing the Patriarch's
creed.

This persecution changed the seminary into a theological school.
More instruction was given in ecclesiastical history, especially, in
regard to the introduction of doctrinal errors, and more attention
was paid to the exposition of the written Word. A select class was
formed for the study of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, and care was taken
to have the pastors of the reformed churches men of faith and
prayer, strong in the Scriptures, and able to expose the
antichristian character of the nominal Churches round about them.

A seminary for young ladies had been opened in Pera, in the autumn
of 1845. Eight were then admitted, and five more some months later.
As the pupils came from evangelical families, most of them had
received some instruction at their homes. They could read in the New
Testament with more or less readiness when they entered, and they
made good proficiency in their studies. Several of them were
excommunicated by name, and nearly all belonged to excommunicated
families; so that the sympathies of all were enlisted on the side of
evangelical truth, though only two or three of the older ones were
regarded as hopefully pious. The school was under the charge of Mrs.
Everett and Miss Lovell.

On the 21st of June, 1846, a great feast day in the Armenian Church,
the Patriarch issued a new anathema against all who remained firm to
evangelical principles; and decreed that it be publicly read, at
each annual return of this festival, in all the Armenian churches
throughout the empire. The Protestants were thus cast out forever.
They had no power to organize themselves into a civil community; but
it was clearly their duty to secure for themselves and their
children, as far as they could, the spiritual privileges of the
Gospel. Nothing remained for them but to organize themselves into a
separate church, and this they resolved to do.

They made a written request to the missionaries for aid in this
matter, having themselves no experience. A meeting was accordingly
held in Constantinople of delegates from the different stations of
the Armenian mission. Messrs. Allan and Koenig, missionaries of the
Free Church of Scotland to the Jews, were present by invitation; and
also Dr. Pomroy, of Bangor in Maine, and Mr. Laurie, then on his way
home from Syria. Though the meeting was composed of two or three
different denominations of Christians, there was the most entire
harmony in the discussions, and a plan then drawn up for the
organization of the Evangelical Armenian church, was agreed to by a
unanimous vote.

The evangelical Armenians in Constantinople came together on the
first day of July for the public recognition of the church. After
the reading of the Scriptures and prayer, the plan of organization,
confession of faith, covenant, and rules of discipline, were read,
with such explanations as seemed necessary. Those present were then
requested to rise and give their assent to the articles of faith and
to the covenant. All rose, and the articles were again read, at the
end of which all audibly responded, "We do thus believe." In like
manner they audibly assented to the covenant. The missionaries and
others then rose, and, as the representatives of Protestant
Evangelical Churches, publicly acknowledged them as a true church of
Jesus Christ. Their names were then recorded, amounting to forty,
three of whom were women.

Thus was constituted the First Evangelical Armenian Church of
Constantinople. As soon as the names of members had been recorded,
they proceeded to the choice of a Pastor by ballot, and the
unanimous choice fell upon Apisoghom Khachadûrian, of whom honorable
mention was made in the preceding chapter. The other church officers
were then elected; and the church unanimously requested Mr. Dwight
to act as helper in the pastoral office, which he consented to do.

After one week, an Ecclesiastical Council, invited by the church,
assembled to ordain the pastor elect. It consisted of the
missionaries of the Board resident at Constantinople, and Mr. Allan,
missionary of the Free Church of Scotland. The candidate was
examined, in the presence of the church, as to his personal piety,
his views in entering the ministry, as to the doctrines of the
Gospel, church government, the sacraments, and the duties of
the pastoral office. He had been educated in the school of
Peshtimaljian, had for years been in constant intercourse with the
missionaries, had attended courses of exegetical and theological
lectures in the seminary, and had received much private instruction.
More than all, he possessed an experimental knowledge of religion,
and seemed eminently taught by the Holy Spirit. His clear perception
of evangelical truth, his power in argument, his impressive manner,
his superior judgment, his boldness, and his general weight of
character, plainly singled him out as the man, whom God had called
to that position.1

1 _Christianity Revived_, p. 231. _Missionary Herald_, 1846, pp.
317-320, 357.

The new church lost no time in setting forth to their countrymen a
declaration of their faith, and their reasons for the steps they had
taken; which they did in a pamphlet issued in the Armenian
language.1

1 See _Missionary Herald_, 1846, p, 356.

Churches on the same basis were formed at Nicomedia and Adabazar in
July, and at Trebizond early in the autumn. There were disturbances
at each of these places, but the Mohammedan authorities showed a
disposition to repress them promptly.1

1 See _Missionary Herald_, 1846, pp. 368-370.

The church at the metropolis was soon called to suffer affliction in
the death of its beloved pastor, on the 12th of March, 1847. His
disease was brain fever, occasioned by an exciting missionary visit
to Nicomedia, where the church was about calling his brother to be
their pastor. From the nature of the disease, he was mainly without
the use of his reason; but a few hours before his death, while Mr.
Dwight was present, the cloud passed from his mind, and they enjoyed
a most delightful interview. "There were present," says the
missionary, "besides his own relatives, his two deacons, and several
of the brethren and sisters of the church, and their joy was
unbounded when they heard their dying pastor, with restored reason,
giving such clear testimony of the all-sufficiency of Christ to
support him in that trying hour. At the end of every answer he gave
to my inquiries, they cried out all over the room, "Bless the Lord,"
"Glory to God," unable to restrain their gratitude that God had
given him grace and opportunity to bear such a testimony. I have
been present at many Christian death-beds of the people of God, but
I can truly say, that I never witnessed anything so deeply
affecting. I afterwards led in prayer. Our departing brother uttered
a loud _Amen_ at the end of every sentence, and his reason then left
him to return no more on earth."

I cannot refrain from quoting here the testimony of so judicious, an
observer as Mr. Dwight, concerning the wife of the pastor. "She is a
person every way fitted to be a pastor's wife. She is one of the
most intelligent, pious, and lovely women I have known in this
country. Indeed, in native intellectual power and in piety, she has
few superiors anywhere."

Der Haritûn had long been the spiritual leader at Nicomedia; but
when a church was formed, and there was need of one who should be
both a pastor and preacher, he as a priest, having never learned to
preach, and having almost reached the age of sixty, meekly gave
place to one who was better qualified to preach the Gospel with
power and effect, and now took the place of a deacon.

The reader will remember the manner in which the reformation arose
among the Armenians of Aintab, through the labors of Bedros
Vartabed.1 It is worthy of notice, that while the letter of Mr.
Thomson was on its way to Constantinople, and before his visit
became known to the Prudential Committee, they had directed the
Constantinople brethren to send Mr. Van Lennep on a visit to Aleppo
and Aintab. Mr. Van Lennep estimated the number of Armenian families
in the place at fifteen hundred. The people were rude and ignorant,
but they were residents, and not sojourners, as were most of the
Armenians at Aleppo. He had visitors from morning till night, and
the conversation was confined to the great subjects of salvation and
eternal life. All the people knew the reason of his coming, and
therefore were anxious for instruction on those great questions.
Meetings were well attended. About ten men appeared to have been
truly converted. The people were very anxious to have a missionary
reside among them, but this was not possible at that time.

1 See chapter xxi.

The next visit was by Mr. Johnston, who remained three months at
Aleppo, till the way was open to Aintab. Meanwhile three were chosen
from among the brethren to go and study the Scriptures with him at
Aleppo. Their names were Avedis, Sarkis, and Krikor, all under
thirty years of age. Mr. Johnston went to Aintab in September, and
was subjected to a quarantine of twelve days on his arrival. Bedros
accompanied him, and they called on the Governor. The Catholicos of
Sis, the spiritual head of the Church, arrived soon after to oppose
the missionary. Mr. Johnston was fully occupied, however, with the
numerous inquirers, and there was no way for the opposers but to
induce the Pasha to drive him from the place. In this they
succeeded, but not until the time that he himself had set for his
departure. He and his companions were followed, as they left the
town on the 14th of December, by attendants of the Catholicos
reviling and throwing stones. No reason was assigned by the Governor
for permitting this outrage, and he was shortly afterwards removed
from office. Remonstrances from the American Minister at the Porte,
were supposed to be among the causes of his removal.

Meanwhile Dr. Azariah Smith was traversing regions in eastern
Turkey, which have since become endeared to the friends of missions,
and reached Aintab just after Mr. Johnston left. A tumult was raised
at once, with the hope of driving him away also, but without
success. Having a firman, he refused to go without first seeing the
Governor, and his medical profession and practice were in his favor.
He remained until March, and before leaving gathered the hopeful
converts into a church, which has since proved to be one of the most
prosperous in Turkey. On his departure, a number of the brethren
accompanied him a considerable distance, and parted after uniting in
prayer for each other, and for the cause of their Redeemer and
Saviour. Bedros, however, whom he left behind to look after the
infant church, was soon expelled. Mr. Schneider labored there in the
summer and until some time in the autumn.

Still the position of the Protestants was everywhere one of trial.
They were separated from the Armenian community, but not united with
any other. The government, though determined to protect them from
persecution, did not know exactly what to do. The municipal
regulations of Constantinople forbad marriage, baptism, or burial
without the cognizance of the civil power. To obtain a permit for
marriage, it was necessary to present to the head of the police a
certificate from the Patriarch; and the Patriarch must report the
name of every baptized child to the same officer for enrolment.
Before every burial, permission must be obtained from the Board of
Health, and this also must be through the Patriarch. Then every
traveller must have a passport, which could not be obtained without
a voucher from the Patriarch. It had become quite obvious, that the
Patriarch could no longer act as their civil representative at the
Porte.1

1 _Christianity Revived_, p. 241.

In order to promote the internal peace of the empire, the Sultan
found it necessary to reduce the power of the Armenian Patriarch, by
appointing a council of laymen, for secular matters, and another of
ecclesiastics and laymen, for matters spiritual; the Patriarch not
being allowed to act without their sanction.

The number of Protestant Armenians, including men, women and
children, now separated from their former churches, was about one
thousand. Nearly three thousand more were known to entertain
Protestant sentiments, though still retaining a loose connection
with their former churches. Those who were more or less awakened to
a knowledge of their errors, and secretly desired the progress of
the reformation, must have amounted to several thousands more; but
of these no accurate estimate could be made.

The six churches formed previous to May, 1848, were as yet small,
the whole number of members being only one hundred and sixty-six.
Ninety-nine were at Constantinople, twenty-six at Nicomedia, twelve
at Adabazar, sixteen at Trebizond, five at Erzroom, and eight at
Aintab. But neither the number of church members, nor the size of
the congregations, nor the number of those who came to the
missionaries for religious conversation, told the whole story. There
was a deep movement going on in the Armenian community itself, which
might be expected to produce great changes in the whole body. In
some of the churches there were contentions, occasioned chiefly by
their inexperience in self-government, and their ignorance of the
proper modes of acting under their new circumstances. In Trebizond,
it became necessary to separate two of the church members by a
formal vote of excision. But this event, though exceedingly trying
to the infant community, as well as to the missionaries at the
station, was overruled for good. By the divine blessing on such
experiences, the self-governing power usually gains strength.

Baron Simon was ordained pastor of the bereaved church in
Constantinople, in place of his brother. Baron Haritûn Manasian was
ordained pastor of the churches in Nicomedia and Adabazar, and was
to spend one fourth of his time in the latter place. Both were from
the seminary at Bebek.

During the year ending May, 1848, the seminary containing
forty-seven scholars, and the school for girls containing
twenty-three, were both favored with what may be called a revival,
which added several from each of them to the church; and there was a
similar awakening in both institutions in the following year. The
work of the Holy Spirit was distinctly traceable also at Aintab,
Aleppo, Killis, Arabkir, and other places in the interior. The
houses of worship in Pera, and in the city proper, were crowded on
the Sabbath, and nearly every week new persons were present.


END OF VOLUME FIRST.





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