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´╗┐Title: Brazilian Sketches
Author: Ray, T. B. (T. Bronson), 1868-1934
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Brazilian Sketches" ***

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Brazilian Sketches

By

Rev. T. B. Ray, D.D.


Educational Secretary of the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern
Baptist Convention.

TO MY WIFE WHO SHARED THE JOURNEY WITH ME



CONTENTS

     I. THE COUNTRY
    II. THE CAPITAL, RIO DE JANEIRO
   III. A VISIT TO A COUNTRY CHURCH
    IV. TWO PRESIDENTS
     V. THE GOSPEL WITHHELD
    VI. SAINT WORSHIP
   VII. PENANCE AND PRIEST
  VIII. THE GOSPEL TRIUMPHANT
    IX. JOSE BARRETTO
     X. CAPTAIN EGYDIO
    XI. FELICIDADE (Felicity)
   XII. PERSECUTION
  XIII. THE BIBLE AS A MISSIONARY FACTOR
   XIV. THE METTLE OF THE NATIVE CHRISTIAN
    XV. THE TESTING OF THE MISSIONARY
   XVI. THE URGENT CALL
  XVII. THE LAST STAND OF THE LATIN RACE
        APPENDIX



FOREWORD.


I was dining one day with a very successful business man who, although
his business had extensive relations in many lands, was meagerly
informed about the work of missions. I thought I might interest him by
telling him something of the effects of missions upon commerce. So I
told him about how the civilizing presence of missionary effort creates
new demands which in turn increases trade. He listened comprehendingly
for a while and then remarked: "What you say is interesting, but what I
wish to know is not whether missions increase business--we have
business enough and have methods of increasing the volume--What I want
to know is whether the missionary is making good and whether
Christianity is making good in meeting the spiritual needs of the
heathen. If ever I should become greatly interested in missions it
would be because I should feel that Christianity could solve the
spiritual problem for the heathen better than anything else. What are
the facts about that phase of missions?"

These words made a profound impression on me, and since then I have
spent little time in setting forth the by-products of missions,
tremendously important and interesting though they are. I place the
main emphasis on how gloriously Christianity, through the efforts of
the missionary, meets the aching spiritual hunger of the heathen heart
and transforms his life into spiritual efficiency.

Since this is my conception of what the burden of the message
concerning missions should be, it should not surprise anyone to find
the following pages filled with concrete statements of actual gospel
triumphs. I have endeavored to draw a picture of the religious
situation in Brazil by reciting facts. I have described some of the
work of others done in former years and I have recorded some wonderful
manifestations of the triumphant power of the gospel which I was
privileged to see with my own eyes. These pages record testimony which
thing, I take it, most people desire concerning the missionary
enterprise. More arguments might have been stated and more conclusions
might have been expressed, but I have left the reader to make his own
deductions from the facts I have tried faithfully to record.

No attempt has been made to follow in detail the itinerary taken by my
wife and myself which carried us into Brazil, Argentina and Chili in
South America, and Portugal and Spain in Europe. It is sufficient to
know that we reached the places mentioned and can vouch for the truth
of the facts stated.

I have confined myself to sketches about Brazil because I did not
desire to write a book of travel, but to show how the gospel succeeds
in a Catholic field as being an example of the manner in which it is
succeeding in other similar lands where it is being preached vigorously.

I wish to say also that I have drawn the materials from the experiences
of my own denomination more largely because I know it better and
therefore could bear more reliable testimony. It should be borne in
mind that the successes of this one denomination are typical of the
work of several other Protestant bodies now laboring in Brazil.

The missionaries and other friends made it possible wherever we went to
observe conditions at close range and under favorable auspices. To
these dear friends who received us so cordially and labored so
untiringly for our comfort and to make our visit most helpful we would
express here our heartfelt gratitude. We record their experiences and
ours in the hope that the knowledge of them may bring to the reader a
better appreciation of the missionary and the great cause for which the
missionary labors so self-sacrificingly.

Richmond, Va.



CHAPTER I.

THE COUNTRY.


We had sailed in a southeasternly direction from New York twelve days
when we rounded Cape St. Roque, the easternmost point of South America.
A line drawn due north from this point would pass through the Atlantic
midway between Europe and America. If we had sailed directly south we
should have touched the western instead of the eastern coast, for the
reason that practically the entire continent of South America lies east
of the parallel of longitude which passes through New York.

After sighting land we sailed along the coast three days before we cast
anchor at Bahia, our first landing place. Two days more were required
to reach Rio de Janeiro. When we afterwards sailed from Rio to Buenos
Aires, Argentina, we spent three and one-half days skirting along the
shore of Brazil. For eight and one-half days we sailed in sight of
Brazilian territory, and had we been close enough to shore north of
Cape St. Roque, we should have added three days more to our survey of
these far-stretching shores. Brazil lies broadside to the Atlantic
Ocean with a coast line almost as long as the Pacific and Atlantic
seaboards of the United States combined. Its ocean frontage is about
4,000 miles in length.

This coast line, however, is not all the water front of Brazil. She
boasts of the Amazon, the mightiest river in the world. This stream is
navigable by ships of large draught for 2,700 miles from its mouth. It
has eight tributaries from 700 to 1,200 miles and four from 1,500 to
2,000 miles in length. One of these, the Madeira, empties as much water
into the larger stream as does the Mississippi into the Gulf. No other
river system drains vaster or richer territory. It drains one million
square miles more than does the Mississippi, and in all it has 27,000
miles of navigable waters.

The land connections of Brazil are also extensive. All the other
countries on the continent, save Chili and Ecuador, border on Brazil.
The Guianas and Venezuela, on the north; Colombia and Peru on the west;
Bolivia, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay on the south--eight countries
in all.

It is indeed a vast territory. The United States could be placed within
its borders and still there would be left enough Brazilian territory to
make a State as large as Texas.

Almost from the time we sighted land until we rounded the cape near
Montevideo, we could see the mountains along the shore. The mountains
extend far interior and up and down the length of the country. The
climate of the tropical Amazon Valley is, of course, very hot, but as
soon as the mountains are reached on the way south the climate even in
the tropical section is modified. The section south of Rio, on account
of the mountains and other forces of nature, has a temperate climate,
delightful for the habitation of man. Each of these great zones, the
tropical, the subtropical and the temperate, is marked more by its
distinctive leading products than by climate. Each of these sections
yields a product in which Brazil leads the world. The largest and most
inexhaustible rubber supply in the world is found in the Amazon Valley
region. The central section raises so much cocoa that it gives Brazil
first rank in the production of this commodity. The great temperate
region produces three-fourths of all the coffee used in the world. Of
course, there is much overlapping in the distribution of these
products. Other products, such as cotton, farinha, beans, peas,
tobacco, sugar, bananas, are raised in large quantities and could be
far more extensively produced if the people would utilize the best
methods and implements of modern agriculture. The mountains are full of
ores and the forests of the finest timber, and the great interior has
riches unknown to man. It has the most extensive unexplored region on
earth. What the future holds for this marvelously endowed country, when
her resources are revealed and brought to market, no one would dare
predict. Few countries in the world would venture a claim to such
immense riches.



CHAPTER II.

THE CAPITAL, RIO DE JANEIRO.


The city of Rio is the center of life in Brazil. We entered the Bay of
Rio after nightfall on the sixth of June. The miles and miles of lights
in the city of Rio on the one side, and of Nietheroy on the other, gave
us the impression that we were in some gigantic fair grounds.
Missionaries Entzminger, Shepard, Maddox and Mrs. Entzminger came
aboard to welcome us and bring us ashore. We were taken to the Rio
Baptist College and Seminary, where we were entertained in good old
Tennessee style by the Shepards. This school building was built in 1849
by Dom Pedro II. for a school which was known as the "Boarding School
of Dom Pedro II." It accommodated two hundred students. The Emperor
supported the school. In 1887 the school was moved to larger quarters.
Dr. Shepard is renting the property for our college, but our school
like Dom Pedro's has outgrown these quarters and we are compelled to
rent additional buildings some distance away to accommodate the
increasing number of students. There are about three hundred students
in all departments.

As we studied the situation at close range, we had it driven in upon us
that one of the greatest needs in Brazil is the one Dr. Shepard and his
co-laborers are trying to meet in this school. Three-fourths of the
population of Brazil cannot read. We need, above all things now,
educated leaders. What a call is there for trained native pastors and
evangelists! Some of the Seminary students have been preaching as many
as twenty-one times a month in addition to carrying their studies in
the school. Dr. Shepard has been forced to stop them from some of this
preaching because it was preventing successful work in the class room.
The need is so great that it is very difficult to keep the students
from such work.

I must not go too far afield from the subject of this chapter, but I
must take the time to say that nothing breaks down prejudice against
the gospel more effectively than do the schools conducted by the
various mission boards. One day a Methodist colporter entered a town in
the interior of the State of Minas Geraes and began to preach and offer
his Bibles for sale in the public square. Soon a fanatical mob was
howling around him and his life was in imminent peril. Just as the
excitement was at the highest two young men belonging to one of the
best families in the place pressed through the crowd and, ascertaining
that the man was a minister of the gospel, took charge of him and drove
off the mob. They led the colporter to their home, which was the best
in the town, and showed him generous hospitality. They invited the
people in to hear him preach, and thus through their kindness the man
and his message received a favorable hearing. It should be remembered,
too, that these young men belonged to a very devout Roman Catholic
family.

What was the secret of their actions? They had rescued, entertained and
enabled to preach a man who was endeavoring to propagate a faith that
was very much opposed to their own. The explanation is that they had
attended Granberry College, that great Methodist school at Juiz de
Fora. They had not accepted Protestant Christianity, but the school had
given them such a vision and appreciation of the gospel that they could
never again be the intolerant bigots their fellow townsmen were. The
college had made them friends and that was a tremendous service. First
we must have friends, then followers. Nothing more surely and more
extensively makes friends for our cause than the schools, and it must
be said also that they are wonderfully effective in the work of direct
evangelization.

The First Baptist Church commissioned Deacon Theodore Teixeira and Dr.
Shepard to pilot us over the city. The church provided us with an
automobile and our splendid guides magnified their office. It is a
MAGNIFICENT city, indeed. The strip of land between the mountains and
the seashore is not wide. In some places, in fact, the mountains come
quite down to the water. The city, in the most beautiful and
picturesque way, avails itself of all possible space, even in many
places climbing high on the mountain sides and pressing itself deep
into the coves. Perhaps no city in the world has a more picturesque
combination of mountain and water with which to make a beautiful
location. It has about a million inhabitants, and being the federal
capital, is the greatest and most influential city in Brazil.

Most of its streets are narrow and tortuous and until recently were
considered unhealthy. A few years ago the magnificent Avenida Central
was cut through the heart of the city and one of the most beautiful
avenues in the world was built. Twelve million dollars' worth of
property was condemned to make way for this splendid street. It cuts
across a peninsula through the heart of the city from shore to shore,
and is magnificent, indeed, with its sidewalks wrought in beautiful
geometrical designs, with its ornate street lamps, with its generous
width appearing broader by contrast with other narrow streets, with its
modern buildings.

There is another street, however, which is dearer to the Brazilian than
the Avenida. He takes great pride in the Avenida, but he has peculiar
affection for the Rua d'Ouvidor. Down the Ouvidor flows a human tide
such as is found nowhere else in Brazil. No one attempts to keep on the
pavement. The street is given over entirely to pedestrians. No vehicle
ever passes down it until after midnight. In this narrow street, with
its attractive shops filled with the highest-priced goods in the world,
you can soon find anyone you wish to meet, because before long everyone
who can reach it will pass through. In this street the happy, jesting,
jostling crowd is in one continuous "festa".

In passing through the city one is greatly impressed by the number of
parks and beautiful public squares, and in particular with the
wonderful Beiramar, which is a combination of promenades, driveways and
park effects that stretches for miles along the shore of the bay. What
a thing of beauty this last-named park is! There is nothing comparable
to it anywhere. When Rio wishes to go on a grand "passeio" (promenade)
nothing but the grand Beiramar will suffice.

One cannot help being impressed also by the prevalence of
coffee-drinking stands and stores--especially if he meets many friends.
These friends will insist upon taking him into a coffee stand and
engaging him in conversation while they sip coffee. On many corners are
little round or octagonal pagoda-like structures in which coffee and
cakes are sold. The coffee-drinking places are everywhere and most of
them are usually filled. The practice of taking coffee with one's
friends must lessen materially the amount of strong drink consumed by
the Brazilian. Nevertheless, that amount of strong drink is, alas,
altogether too great.

The greatest nuisance on the streets of Rio, or any other city of
Brazil, is the lottery ticket seller. These venders are more numerous
and more insistent than are the newsboys in the United States. There
are all sorts of superstitions about lotteries. Certain images in one's
dreams at night are said to correspond to certain lucky numbers. Dogs,
cats, horses, cows and many other animals have certain numbers
corresponding to them. For instance, if one should dream tonight about
a dog, he would try tomorrow to find a lottery ticket to correspond in
number with a dog. Say the dog number was thirty-seven. This man would
try to find a ticket whose number ends in thirty-seven. Such a ticket
would be considered lucky. The ticket sellers often call out as they
pass along the street the last two numbers on the tickets they have to
sell, and if a man hears the number called which corresponds to the
animal he dreamed about last night, he will consider it lucky and buy.
There are also many shops where only lottery tickets are sold. No evil
has more tenaciously and universally fastened upon the people than has
the evil of gambling in lotteries. There are 310 Federal lotteries,
besides many others run by the various States. These 310 lotteries
receive in premiums the enormous sum of $19,399,200 every month--about
one dollar for every individual in Brazil. A portion of the profits
amassed by the lottery companies is devoted to charity, a portion to
Roman Catholic churches and a portion goes to the government. Even
after these amounts are taken out, there is ample left for the
enrichment of the companies' coffers to the impoverishment of many very
needy working people.

It is difficult to write temperately of Rio de Janeiro. There is such a
rare combination here of the primitive and the progressive, of the
oriental and occidental, that one is inclined to go off into
exclamation points. On the Avenida Central one sees numbers of street
venders carrying all kinds of wares on their heads and pulling all
sorts of carts, making their way in and out among the automobiles, and
handsome victorias PULLED BY MULES. We note also all types of people.
The Latin features predominate, but the negro is in evidence, the
Indian features are often recognized, and mingled with these are seen
faces representing all nations. One is impressed with the dress of the
people. Who is that handsomely-groomed, gentleman passing? From his
fine clothes you think he must be a man of wealth and influence. Who is
he? He is a barber. That one over there is a clerk. But why these fine
clothes? Ah! thereby hangs the tale. Appearance is worshiped. Parade
runs through everything, even in the prevailing religion, which, alas,
is little more than form--parade. Don't get the idea that everybody is
finely dressed and that every handsomely-dressed man is a barber. Many
are able to afford such clothes and are cultured gentlemen. One notices
most the dress of the lower classes, the most striking article of which
is the wooden-bottom sandals into which they thrust their toes and go
flapping along in imminent peril of losing the slippers every moment.
The remainder of the clothing worn by these beslippered people consists
often of only two thin garments. Certainly this is a place of great
contrasts. But somehow these contrasts do not impress one as being
incongruous. They are in perfect keeping with their surroundings. Rio
is really a cosmopolitan city and is a pleasant blending of the old and
the new.

There are several places from which splendid views of the city can be
had, but none of them is comparable to the panorama which stretches out
before one when he stands on the top of Mt. Corcovado. The scene which
greets one from this mountain is indescribable. The Bay of Rio de
Janeiro, with its eighty islands, Sugar Loaf Mountain, a bare rock
standing at the entrance, the city winding its tortuous way in and out
between the mountains and spreading itself over many hills, the open
sea in the distance and the wild mountain scenery to the back of us,
constitute a panorama surpassingly beautiful.

Nictheroy lies just across the bay. We went over there one night and
spoke in the rented hall where our church worships, and spent the night
in the delightful home of the Entzmingers. The next morning, before
breakfast, Dr. Entzminger showed me over the city. Nictheroy has forty
thousand inhabitants and is the capital of the State of Rio de Janeiro.
It is a beautiful city and offers a wide field for missionary work. Its
importance is apparent.

We have a church in the populous suburb of Engenho de Dentro. We were
present there at a great celebration when the church cleared off the
remainder of its debt and burned the notes. The building was crowded to
its utmost capacity. The people stood in the aisles from the rear to
the pulpit. They filled the little rooms behind the pulpit and occupied
space about the windows. There are about seventy members of the church.
A far greater progress should be made now that the debt as well as
other encumbrances have been removed.

There are in Rio the First, Engenho de Dentro, Governors Island and
Santa Cruz churches, and twelve preaching places, four of which are in
rented halls. Missionary Maddox utilizes many members of the churches
in providing preaching at these missions. There are only a very few
paid evangelists in this mission, but a great many church members are
glad to go to these stations and tell the gospel story.

Besides our Baptist work, the Southern Methodists are conducting a very
prosperous mission. They have several churches and a station for
settlement work. The Presbyterians and the Congregationalists have some
excellent churches and the YMCA is one of the most flourishing in South
America.



CHAPTER III.

A VISIT TO A COUNTRY CHURCH.


That I may give you a glimpse of the country life in Brazil, and also
some impression of country mission work, I invite you to take a trip
with Missionary Maddox and myself to the little hamlet of Parahyba do
Sul, in the interior of the State of Rio.

On Monday, June 13th, we boarded a six AM train for Parahyba do Sul,
which we reached about ten o'clock. It is a charming town situated on
the river by the same name. This river reminds one of the French Broad,
though the mountains are not so high and precipitous as the North
Carolina mountains. The mountains, too, in this section are not covered
with trees, but with a tall grass, which, being in bloom, gave a
beautiful purple color to the landscape. The railroad climbs up the
mountain sides from Rio in a very picturesque manner.

The Parahyba do Sul Church is three miles over the mountains from the
station, in the house of Mrs. Manoela Rosa Rodrigues. The house is
constructed with mud walls and a thatched roof. The floors are the bare
ground, which is packed hard and smooth. There are two rooms, with a
narrow hall between them and a sort of "lean to" kitchen. The largest
room, which is about fifteen feet square, is devoted to the church. The
most prominent piece of furniture in the house is the pulpit, which
stands in this room. This pulpit is large out of all proportion to
everything else about the place. It was covered over with a beautifully
embroidered altar piece. The two chairs placed for Brother Maddox and
myself were also entirely covered with crocheted Brazilian lace. I
hesitated to occupy such a daintily decorated seat.

This church of forty-six members maintains three Sunday schools in the
adjoining country and six preaching stations, members of the church
doing the preaching. Every member gives to the college in Rio 200 reis
(six cents) a month, and to missions, etc., 300 reis (nine cents) per
month. This is munificent liberality when we take into consideration
their exhausting poverty.

Our coming was a great event with them. We were met at the station by a
member of the church, who mounted us on a gray pony apiece and soon had
us on our way. He walked, and with his pacing sort of stride he easily
kept up with us. His feet were innocent of shoes. He says he does not
like shoes because they interfere with his walking. Underneath that
dilapidated hat and those somewhat seedy clothes we found a
warm-hearted Christian, who serves the Lord with passionate devotion.
He often preaches, though he has very little learning. He is mighty in
the Scriptures, having committed to memory large sections of them, and
has a genuine experience of grace to which he bears testimony with
great power.

We arrived at the church about eleven o'clock. We were received with
expressions of great joy. Mrs. Manoela was so happy over our coming
that she embraced us in true Brazilian style. We were shown into our
room, where we refreshed ourselves by brushing off the dust and
bathing. How spick and span clean was everything in that room, even to
the dirt floor!

Before we had completed our ablutions, the good woman of the house
called Maddox out and asked what she could cook for me. She thought I
could not eat Brazilian dishes. He told her, to her great relief, that
I could eat anything he could. Quite right he was, too, for we had been
traveling all the morning on the sustenance furnished by a cup of
coffee which we had taken at the Rio station a little before six
o'clock. We were in possession of an appetite by this time that would
have raised very few questions about any article of food.

Soon we were seated at the breakfast table, which was placed in the
church room with benches around it for seats. I was honored by being
placed at one end of the table. What a meal it was! Not only had Mrs.
Manoela taxed her own larder, but the other members, who by this time
had arrived in large numbers, had brought in many good things. I cannot
tell what the dishes were, for the reason that I do not know. It is
sufficient to say that every one was good--perhaps our appetite helped
out our appreciation of some of them. There were as many as eight
dishes the like of which I had never tasted before. How do you suppose
I managed it when they served some delicious cane molasses, and,
instead of bread to go with it, they served cream cheese? I asked
Maddox how I should work this combination. He replied by cutting up his
cheese into his plate of molasses and eating the mixture. I did the
same thing, and I bear testimony that it was fine. By the time the
breakfast was concluded, I had scored a point with our good friends,
for they thought that a stranger who could render such a good account
of himself at a Brazilian breakfast must be very much like themselves.
(Let us explain about Brazilian meals: They take coffee in the early
morning. Bread and butter is served with the coffee. Breakfast, which
is a very substantial meal, is served about eleven o'clock. Dinner,
which is the chief meal of the day, is served about five o'clock in the
afternoon. At bedtime light refreshments are served, which are often
substantial enough to make another meal).

After breakfast was over, and it was some time before it was over, for
the crowd had to be fed, we assembled for worship. The congregation was
too large for the little room, so the men built a beautiful arbor out
of bamboo cane. When Maddox told me we were to hold services under an
arbor I was dissappointed, for somehow there had come over me a great
desire to speak from that large pulpit in the little room. My
dissappointment was short-lived, however, for when we reached the arbor
there were the pulpit and the lace-covered chairs! It was a gracious
service. The Spirit of the Lord was upon us. The sermon lost none of
its effect from the fact that it had to be interpreted, because Maddox
interpreted it with sympathy and power.

After preaching, four were received for baptism. They were not
converted at this service, but had been expecting to come for some
time. Maddox baptized them in the spring branch, which had been
deepened by a temporary dam being thrown across it. One of those
baptized was a woman ninety years of age.

Our time was growing short now. Maddox changed his clothes in a hurry.
We had to catch the four o'clock train. We did stop long enough to
drink a cup of Brazilian coffee. Such coffee! I will not attempt to
describe it, because our friends in the States can not understand.
There is nothing like it in this country. We took time, too, to say
good-bye. The whole crowd lined up and we went the length of the line,
bidding everyone a hearty godspeed. The Brazilian not only shakes hands
with you, but he embraces you heartily. Yes, some of the good matrons
embraced us. It was a novel experience for me, but a mere custom with
them, and the act was performed with such modest restraint that any
possible objectionable features were eliminated. Having said good-bye
to them all we mounted our gray ponies, and, led by our barefooted
friend, rode away with thanks-giving in our hearts for the good
fellowship with the saints of Parahyba do Sul.

The tie of love for a common Lord had bound our affections to them.
Their simple-hearted sincerity and devotion had helped us. Their zeal
had contributed to our faith. One incident touched me especially. Just
before breakfast a little girl about four years of age, led by her
mother, brought to us a package containing some Brazilian cakes. When
we opened the package there lay on top a piece of folded paper on Which
was written: "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that
bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace, that bringeth good
tidings of good, that publisheth salvation, that saith unto Zion, thy
God reigneth' '(Isa. 52:7). Presented to our brother pastors, Maddox
and Ray by Archimina Nunes." Instantly there arose in my heart the
prayer that God would speed the day when his swift-footed messengers
shall publish the good tidings of peace to all this vast and needy land.



CHAPTER IV.

TWO PRESIDENTS.


It was our good fortune while in Rio to be received by the President of
the Republic, Dr. Nilo Pecanha. Missionaries Shepard, Langston and
Ginsburg and Dr. Nogueira Paranagua escorted me. When we started I
suggested that we take a street car. Not so those Brazilians! We must
go in an automobile. We were very careful to wear our Prince Albert
coats, too; for, above all things, the Brazilian is a master in
punctilious ceremonies. We were ushered into the waiting room by a
doorkeeper, a finely-liveried mulatto with a large chain around his
shoulders to indicate his authority. The waiting room was full of
people, but we were not kept waiting long. We sent in our cards and
soon we heard our names announced and we were led into the presence of
the private secretary. After a few words of explanation by Dr.
Paranagua, the secretary retired to ask the President if he would see
us. He returned presently and showed us into the audience chamber,
which was a large and tastefully decorated room. Around the walls were
several groups of chairs, placed in true Brazilian style somewhat as
follows: A cane-bottomed divan was set with its back to the wall, then
several cane-bottomed chairs were placed at right angles to it in two
rows facing each other, usually four in a row. The President guided me
between these chairs and took a seat on the divan and motioned me to a
seat by his side. He is a man of slight build, with a mild expression
which wins confidence. He was most informal in his speech and spoke in
a candid and unreserved manner which quickly put us at ease.

I told him, through an interpreter, that we had come from a visit to
the Minister of the Interior, with whom we had been in conference about
the status of Brazilian schools. The President expressed his great
pleasure over our coming to see him and said that he had personal
knowledge of what our denomination is doing and of some of the workers.
He was satisfied that our object was altruistic and for the good of the
country and people; that so far as depended upon him, he was ready to
give us the full benefit of his official position. As proof of his wish
to see absolute religious freedom, he cited an instance of how he had
protected some monks in the Amazon Valley recently. These men were in
straits and he had sent soldiers to liberate them, and then turning
with a smile to Ginsburg, he said that he also never abandoned his
friend Solomon when he was attacked. He refreshed our minds upon the
fact that lately, when certain priests in the city of Rio had attempted
to resist the government over a disputed piece of property which had
been granted them under the old regime, he gave them to understand that
if they did not behave themselves, the door was open and they could
leave the country. They soon came to terms. As to his successor, the
President said that the incoming President was of the same party and
would carry out the same policies, ideas and ideals. These policies
meant absolute liberty of thought, conscience and speech, which is
guaranteed by the constitution. Before the interview closed, he again
expressed his pleasure at receiving a representative of an American
institution, convinced as he was that the propaganda of our schools,
morals and ideals would draw the two nations closer together, and that
he was ready to encourage us to that end. "We are following the ideals
of the United States," he said, "which we recognize as our elder
sister." He expressed peculiar pleasure over the prospect of our
establishing a college and he assured us that the Brazilian government
would put no obstacle in the way of our purpose, but that it would do
all in its power, on the other hand, to encourage us.

While we are meeting Presidents, I would like to introduce you to
another one upon whom the salvation of Brazil depends more largely than
it does upon any occupant of the chair of chief magistrate. It is
possible for the man who has been elevated by the ballots of his people
to serve in a large way the moral good of his people and we thank God
for all rulers who rule with justice and liberality in the interest of
liberty and the common good. But far greater and far more serviceable
than these are those choice spirits who, by embracing the gospel of
Christ, give themselves devoutly to bringing in His reign in the hearts
of men. Such spirits, by the sheer force of their characters, wield a
far more abiding influence for the help of their fellows. The man I
wish to introduce is Dr. Nogueira Paranagua, the President of the
Brazilian Baptist Convention.

He belongs to one of the oldest and most aristocratic families of the
State of Piauhy. He was Governor of his state at the time of the
institution of the Republic. After the establishment of the Republic,
he was elected to the National Congress for a term of four years. Then
he was elected to the Senate and served nine years. He is a skilled
physician and is married to a Swiss lady of fine family. His family
connections occupy one quarter of the State of Piauhy. He is, at the
present time, Treasurer of the National Printing Concern, which does
not occupy all of his time. The remainder of his time he devotes to the
practice of his profession and to the preaching of the gospel. He is a
deacon in the First church in Rio. He is not an ordained minister--he
is simply an humble man of God. He is an ardent patriot who believes
that the salvation of Brazil can be realized only through the gospel of
Christ, to which he gives his life and all.

Now I, for one, believe that the theory of Dr. Nogueira is the one that
will finally lead Brazil into the fullness of life and power it is
capable of attaining. It is well to have written in the constitution
the guarantee of religious and political liberty. It is well to have
Presidents who courageously carry into effect the provisions of this
constitution, but the highest good is not attained until behind all
documentary guarantees is a personal righteousness in the people. Dr.
Nogueira's insistent advocacy of Christ for Brazil is the one thing
that gives assurance of a genuine righteousness that will exalt the
nation.

He is the President of a remarkable body. It was our privilege to
attend the Brazilian Baptist Convention which met in Sao Paulo, June,
1910. It was composed of sixty delegates, about one third of whom were
missionaries. The remainder were natives. They came from all parts of
Brazil. One man from the Madeira Valley traveled three weeks on his
journey to Sao Paulo. They represented 109 churches, which had a total
membership of 7,000. These churches increased by baptism twenty-five
per cent, last year. They maintain a boys' school and a theological
school at Pernambuco, a school for boys and girls at Bahia, a boys'
school at Nova Friburgo, a girls' school at Sao Paulo and the crown of
the school system, the Rio Baptist College and Seminary in the capital.
They have a Publication Board to produce Sunday School and other
literature, a Home Mission Board to develop the missionary work in the
bounds of Brazil, and a Foreign Mission Board, which conducts foreign
mission operations in Chill and Portugal. While their country is so
needy, they believe in the principle of foreign missions so thoroughly
that they gave last year for foreign missions as much per capita as did
the churches in the bounds of the Southern Baptist Convention. One
night during the Convention, I addressed them upon the subject of
foreign missions, and after I had finished speaking one of the
missionaries came forward and said he had thought that in as much as he
had given his life to foreign mission work, he was not under any
special obligation to contribute money to this cause, but now he saw
his error and proposed to give as a means of grace and in order to
discharge his duty to the larger cause.

What a privilege it was to attend this Convention! All of us took our
meals at the Girls' College and by this arrangement we had a most
delightful time socially. It is a fine body full of good cheer, hope,
faith, courage, consecration. To come to know them--missionaries and
native Christians alike--is to enter into fellowship with some of the
choicest and most indomitable spirits that have ever adorned the
Kingdom of our Lord.



CHAPTER V.

THE GOSPEL WITHHELD.


When I went to South America I decided that I would spend little time
upon the material aspects of the trip, but would, on the other hand,
attempt to arrive at an understanding of the religious conditions and
needs of the people. I consider that the religious needs are the
abiding and vital interests of any people.

I knew also that Brazil is counted as being a Roman Catholic country
and the consideration at once arose in connection with this fact as to
whether this religion affected the life and thought of the people
sufficiently to satisfy their religious needs. If it does, then let us
be honest enough to recognize it, and if it does not, let us be
courageous enough to assume our responsibility towards it for we must
hold that the great justification for missionary effort is the
evangelical and not the polemical one. If there is no greater reason
for our entering a country than for the purpose of fighting the
Catholics, then I, for one, am frank to say that I do not think we
ought to spend our energies in any such field. The question for us to
settle is whether there is a real call for the preaching of the gospel
in a given country. That question can be answered only by a candid
consideration of the facts in the case and not by the bigoted notion
that all who do not agree with us are to be driven from the face of the
earth.

What is the religious status of Brazil? Is there any call for
Protestant effort? I answer after giving serious study to this
question, and after personal observation of the effects of the
religious practices upon the people, that there is the same imperative
call for missionary effort in Brazil that comes from China or any other
heathen country, viz., the gospel is not preached to the people.

The priests hold services, to be sure, in the churches, but there are
many churches in Brazil in which there has been no pretense of
preaching a sermon within five years. The priests do not preach. They
say mass, read prayers and sing songs in Latin, a language which is not
understood by the people. Occasionally, a Catholic fraternity will
invite a special orator to preach a sermon upon some great feast day.
This visiting brother does not preach. His theme upon such an occasion
would either be a discussion of the special saint whose day is being
celebrated, or he would speak upon some civic question which had more
or less to do with the moral or political life of the people. In the
interior these special occasions occur only once every two to five
years, so that even this semblance of a sermon comes rarely. In the
cities these special addresses are made on one saint's day each year or
on some special anniversary, or when some dignitary is making a visit.
Usually this dignitary will say a mass and not preach. When one of
these special days occurs the preaching is not heard very extensively
for the reason that the noise and commotion about the stalls for
gambling, drinking and other attractions is sufficient to drown the
voice of the speaker. These side-show attractions fill all available
space about the building, giving it the appearance of a circus more
than anything else. They are run by individuals who pay a tax to the
church for the privilege. The preaching is not the feature of the day,
the chief object seeming to be to furnish amusement for the people and
money for the church. It cannot be said that on such days the gospel
can possibly be preached successfully.

Occasionally there is held in the church what is called a special
mission. This is conducted by visiting monks. We would expect that on
such occasions the gospel would be preached, but such is not the case.
They hear confessions in the morning. A special premium is placed upon
the celebration of marriages during the mission, because these visiting
monks will make a cheaper rate than the resident priests. For this
reason the majority of the priests do not like to have these monks come
in for special missions, and would not conduct them but for the fact
that the bishop compels them to do so. The addresses delivered by the
monks in these special missions are not sermons. They either upbraid
the Protestants, speak against civil marriage (the only legal marriage
in Brazil is that performed by a civil officer), inveigh against the
Republic, discourse upon the lives of the saints, assail Luther and
other reformers, or urge confession, penance and submission to the Pope.

Furthermore, the Bible is withheld from the people. The circulation of
no book is so bitterly opposed as that of the Bible. It is true that
the Franciscan monks are trying to introduce an edition of the New
Testament which contains special comments attacking Protestants. These
special editions are very expensive and difficult to secure. The person
who wishes to buy one of these Bibles must get permission from the
vicar of his parish, and if the would-be purchaser is inclined towards
Protestantism, the vicar will refuse to grant permission. The priests
are not very much in sympathy with the idea of circulating even this
annotated edition of the New Testament.

In Armagoza, near Bahia, the Franciscan monks held, three or four years
ago, a mission and sold about 1,000 of these Catholic Scriptures. It
seems that the Protestants had also been circulating a Testament which
had the same general appearance as that sold by the Franciscan monks.
When the monks had sold out their supplies, they heard of what the
Protestants had done and inasmuch as the people could not distinguish
between the true book and the false, they ordered the people to bring
back all of the books to the monks, under the promise that they would
examine them, eliminate the Protestant book and return to the owners
the authorized Bible. The people brought back their books in good
faith. The monks took them, but never returned them. Neither did they
return the money.

On the 22nd of February, 1903, there occurred a public burning of
Bibles in Pernambuco. This was done in defiance of the Protestant work
with the evident purpose of intimidating the Protestant workers and
arousing a public sentiment against them.

But having failed in this, their first effort, they decided to try
another even more ostentatious.

Although it is illegal to burn any religious document publicly, yet the
first burning passed unnoticed by the officials of the law. But not so
the second.

Having incurred the censure and ill-will of many of the most thoughtful
and liberal-minded, even of the Catholics themselves, by the disgrace
of February 22nd, the directors of the Anti-Protestant League decided
to make a grand rally on the occasion of the league's first
anniversary, September 27th. And to realize this, they published about
two weeks beforehand a very extensive program. The program said that
"there will be burned 26 Bibles, 42 Testaments, 45 copies of the Gospel
of Matthew, Luke 9, John 12, Mark 4 and Acts 9", besides a great many
other useful books. In the list also there were some three hundred
copies of different religious Protestant papers.

According to the program the bishop was to preside. The public burning,
however, was not performed. Such pressure was brought to bear upon the
officials that they interfered. It was even discussed in the National
House of Congress. But in spite of all opposition, not to be completely
defeated, they burned the Bibles in the back yard of the church.

These examples are sufficient to demonstrate the attitude of the
priests towards the Scriptures, and we must concede that any church or
set of men who by such methods withhold from the people the Word of God
cannot be said to preach the gospel. He is an enemy of the gospel who
puts any restraint upon the circulation of the Scriptures. It is wise
indeed for the sake of their cause that these opponents of
Protestantism should oppose the circulation of the Scriptures, for we
shall cite numerous instances of how the Bible unaided has broken down
Romish superstition and turned men from dark error into the light of
the glorious gospel of Jesus.



CHAPTER VI.

SAINT WORSHIP.


What is the real religion of the Brazilians? It is more a saint worship
than anything else. Saint worship is at its core. Mary is the chief
saint. All prayers are made to her. She is the intercessor. The Litany
is all addressed to Mary. It runs, "Oh Mary, hear us, etc." She is
worshiped under different aspects--Mary of the Sailors, Mary of the
Conception, Mary of the Candles, Mary of the Rosary, ad infinitum. Even
Christ is worshiped as a saint. The patron saint of Campos, for
instance, is called Sao Salvador (St. Savior). The city of Bahia is
called Sao Salvador. Its patron saint is Jesus.

A saint is an intercessor between man and God. Because of his holiness,
he has favor with God, and therefore the people pray to him. Very few
consider the saint lower than God. They offer sacrifices, make prayers
and burn candles to the saint.

St. Anthony of Padua is a very hard-worked saint. He has placed upon
him the double duty of furnishing suitors for all the young women and
of leading the armies of the Republic to victory. No wonder this
overworked saint gets into trouble. Young women place him in their
rooms, burn candles and offer prayers before him. He is dressed up in
the finest toggery and is given great honor. If, however, after awhile
he does not bring along the suitor, he is given a sound beating, or he
may be hung head downwards in a well or stood on his head under a
table. These indignities are heaped upon him in order to force him to
produce the suitor which the young lady very much desires. He is also
the military saint. In the time of the Empire, he was carried at the
head of the army and had the rank of a colonel. Even after the Empire
was abolished, he retained his rank for many years and received from
the government the salary of a colonel. Such an idol was in Bahia and
his salary was discontinued only five years ago. The money went, of
course, to the priest in the church where the image was kept.

Every town, village and country seat has its protecting saint. In time
of drouth they in many places carry the saint through the streets in
procession. He is taken from his place in the church to some hut,
maybe, where he is placed beneath the altar. This is done in order to
cause him to bring rain. After the rain comes he is taken out and with
great distinction is replaced in his original niche. They do this
sometimes in the case of a scourge of insects or disease.

Late one evening, after Missionary Ginsburg and I had returned from a
trip into the interior of the State of Bahia, we arrived in the city of
Nazareth. It is a town of about 10,000 inhabitants. We were to wait
here until the following morning for the boat which was to take us to
Bahia.

As we went down the street we saw a great throng of people surging
about an image which was being carried upon the shoulders of some men.
Two priests walked in front to direct the movements of the procession.
More than half of the people in the city must have been in the
procession. They paraded far out into the country, crossed to the
opposite side of the river, wound themselves back and forth through the
narrow streets until a late hour at night. At eleven o'clock just
before we retired, we stood for some time watching the procession pass
the hotel where we were stopping. It was a miserably ugly little image,
gaudily decorated. It was being paraded through the streets for the
purpose of staying the plague of smallpox, which at that time was
scourging the town. When we saw the procession last it had been
augmented by such numbers that it appeared as if the entire city was
following this image. They seemed to believe that it could really charm
away the smallpox.

This is not an isolated case. It is typical. Every patron saint has
laid upon him at times the responsibility of breaking a drouth or the
effects of a dreadful scourge which may be afflicting the people. It is
the veriest sort of idolatry.

One of the most pitiful exhibitions of superstition to be found in
Brazil is that in connection with the many shrines to which pilgrimages
are made by thousands of people and at which places great miracles are
supposed to be performed. In Bahia there is a famous shrine called Bom
Fim (Good End). It is located on a hill in the suburbs of the city.
Years ago tradition has it, the image of San Salvador was found on the
summit of this hill. A priest took charge of the image and removed it
to a church. On the following morning the image was missing, and upon
going to the spot where he first found it, he discovered the image.
Again he took it to the church, and again on the following day, he
found the image at the original place. The tradition was, therefore,
started that the image had fallen from Heaven to the top of the hill,
and every time it was removed from this spot it, of itself, returned.
So it was taken for granted that the image desired its shrine built on
this spot. At first there was a little shrine constructed, and
afterward was built the magnificent edifice which now shelters the
image.

To this place the thousands go annually upon pilgrimages. One of the
most gruesome spectacles to be found anywhere is in a side room near
the altar. From the ceiling are suspended wax and plaster of paris
reproductions called ex-votos of literally every portion of the
body--feet, hands, limbs, heads, all portions--the ceiling space is
completely covered with these uncanny figures. The wall is hung with
pictures, which portray all sorts of scenes, such as a man in
shipwreck, a carpenter falling down a ladder, a child falling out of a
second-story window, death chambers of various people, etc. These
figures and pictures are intended to represent miracles. When these
people were in their afflictions they prayed to the image of the Good
End and made a promise that if they should recover they would bring one
of these votive offerings of the part affected, whether of man or
beast, to the shrine. Some of them came before the cure was effected,
and with a prayer, left the image behind and the cures of their disease
or afflictions were attributed to the image of Bom Fim. It is said that
when this church is given its annual cleaning, just before the
celebration of the saint's day, thousands of people congregate here,
roll in the waters which are used to wash out the building, and drink
the filthy stuff, deeming it to be holy. There is hardly a more
revolting scene to be found anywhere, and all in the name of religion.
Until recently, when the police put an end to it, a most disgusting
species of holy dance was observed on this annual day in which the most
sensual practices were indulged.

Perhaps the most famous shrine in all Brazil is in the far interior of
the State of Bahia on the San Francisco River. It is the famous Lapa.
The image has its shrine in a cave in a very remarkable geological
formation. One hundred thousand people make pilgrimages to this shrine
every year from all of the States in Brazil. The last Emperor himself
made a visit to this shrine. From June to August of last year $20,000
was collected from the pilgrims. Our missionary, Jackson, met a man who
had been on the way six months. It required him a year to make this
trip. The same missionary saw a family from the State of Alagoas which
had been on the journey six weeks. Dr. Z. C. Taylor says he passed
through sections that had been almost depopulated because the men had
sold out their homes, horses and cattle in order to seek a miracle in
their favor at this same shrine. Fire destroyed the image in 1902.
Protestants were accused of setting fire to it because a missionary was
near at the time. (He was forty miles away.) In the controversy that
arose the missionary noted that, inasmuch as the new image was sent by
freight and not by ticket, it must be an idol and not a saint. Suffice
it to say, that a new image was placed and the people are worshiping it
with the same zeal with which they worshiped the old, even though the
new one came by freight and the old one was supposed to have fallen
from Heaven. It is believed to have miracle working power and to give
great merit to one who makes the pilgrimage to it.

In the daily paper called the "Provinca," published in Pernambuco,
there was printed on August 23, 1910, the following telegram from the
city of Rio, the capital of the Republic.

"The Seculo (Century) of today announces that on St. Leopold street in
Andarahy (a suburb of Rio) there was discovered a fountain of water in
a hollow rock, in which a plebian found an image of a saint.

"This image," adds the Seculo, "although in water, did not present the
least vestige of humidity. The news of this curious discovery was
immediately circulated, and there was a great pilgrimage, including a
reporter of the Seculo, to this miraculous fountain in Andarahy."

It is very probable that this telegram heralds the advent of a new
shrine, because it is in this fashion that these so-called
miracle-working shrines are brought into existence.

Not all of these shrines are canonized, but nevertheless they have
power over the people. As we were making a trip into the interior of
the State of Pernambuco we passed a station called Severino. Near the
station we could see a splendid church building which had been
constructed in honor of St. Severino. This saint is not in the
calendar, not recognized by the church nor the bishop, yet it is
popular all over Brazil. Many people are named after him, and to this
shrine are brought many of the same sort of things as were described in
connection with the shrine of the Good End. This idol is stuffed with
sugar-cane pith. The head of it was found in the woods some time ago. A
tradition was started that an image had fallen from Heaven. The
superstitious people believed the report and soon a shrine was in full
operation, which today, even though it be not canonized, is exerting a
far-reaching influence. The owner of the shrine gave up his farming and
lives handsomely on the offerings the deluded bring to his private
shrine.

In one of the most magnificent churches in Bahia is an image of a negro
saint. This holy being won his canonization as a reward for stealing
money from his master to contribute to the church. That is it: Do
anything you please, provided you share the spoils with the church.

Across the breast of the Virgin's image in the church of Our Lady of
Penha in Pernambuco, before which church the Bibles were burned in
1903, are written the following words: "One hundred days' indulgence to
the person who will kiss the holy foot of the Holy Virgin." This
pitifully expresses, perhaps, the thought behind saint worship. It is
the hope that the aching of the sinful heart may find some assuagement
through the worship of these gilded, gaudy images. It is claimed by the
priests and some of the more intelligent that the image worshiped is
only a concrete representation of the saint, and it contains
symbolically the spirit of the saint. To be sure! This is exactly the
reason the more intelligent fetish worshiper in Africa assigns for
worshiping his hand-made god. The etone or piece of wood is a
representative of God and to a degree contains His spirit. Such worship
is condemned as being idolatry in the African. The thing which is
idolatry in the African must be idolatry in the Catholic. Even the
Catholics will condemn the idol worship of the heathen, and yet this
same Catholic church has in scores of places in South America and in
other heathen lands, taken the identical images worshiped by the
heathen and converted them into Catholic saints.

In the city of Braga, in Portugal, is a temple which centuries ago was
devoted to Jupiter. It was afterward converted into a Catholic church
and dedicated to St. Peter. The idol Jupiter, with two keys in his
hand, was consecrated into St. Peter. In another part of the same city
is a temple devoted to Janus in Roman times, which was turned into a
temple dedicated to St. John. The idol which formerly was worshiped as
Janus is being now worshiped as St. John. In the same temple there is
an image now consecrated as St. Mark which was formerly the god Mars.
The saint worship in Brazil is just as heathenish. In China Buddhist
idols were renamed Jehosaphat by the Jesuits and worshiped. Their
practices in Brazil are in keeping with their methods in other lands.

What is the difference between a worshiper who thus seeks indulgence
through the worship of an image in Brazil and a like worshiper with a
like soul need bowing before a similar wooden image in Africa or China?



CHAPTER VII.

PENANCE AND PRIEST.


Confession and penance play a large part in the religious life of the
common people. The priests exercise great ingenuity to preserve the
confessional. The better educated classes have long ago deserted the
confessional, but it still holds sway over the common people and hangs
like a dark shadow over the immoral deeds of the priests. Along with it
flourishes the performance of penance. These two hand-maidens in
wrong-doing often thrive in an absurd way.

In Penedo, the capital of the State of Alagoas, a new wharf was being
built and the money granted by the Government was not sufficient to
complete the work. The contractors approached the two monks who were to
hold a mission in the city during February, 1904, and offered to pay
them $500 if they would instruct the people to, in penance, carry
across the city the stones which had been brought from the interior. A
large quantity of building material had been brought down by rail and
needed to be transported across to the wharf. The monks agreed, gave
instructions accordingly, and in one week the people carried these
stones across the town to the wharf. The transfer of these stones would
have cost $2,500. At least 10,000 people engaged in this colossal act
of penance. They came from two counties. Thus the contractors, by a
little skillful manipulation, made penance save them considerable money.

In some of these penances the people wear crowns of thorns on their
heads and cords about their necks and go barefooted through the streets
of the city in their pilgrimages to the church. All, that through these
means they may find some ease for the conscience which accuses them of
evil.

What shall I say of the priests? I believe I will say nothing. I
declined steadily to soil the pages of my note book with the records of
the immoral deeds of these men. I will let speak for me an educated
Brazilian, a teacher in an excellent school in Pernambuco, who is not a
professing Christian, but who, like a great many of his class, admires
Christianity very sincerely. When Mr. Colton, International Secretary
of the Young Men's Christian Association, passed through Pernambuco in
June, 1910, he was given a banquet by some of the leading men, which
event offended so grievously the Catholic authorities that they
published in the "Religious Tribune," their organ, a bitter diatribe on
the Young Men's Christian Association. The professor, to whom I
referred, who is now one of the leading judges in the state, published
the following answer to this attack. He is in far better position to
speak authoritatively about the Brazilian priests than I am. His
article ran as follows:


"FURY UNBRIDLED."

"The official organ of the diocese of Olinda could not on this occasion
control its great animus. It threw aside its old worn-out mantle of
hypocrisy, it precipitated itself furiously and insolently against the
Y.M.C.A. It not only does not forgive, but does not fear to
excommunicate the local and State authorities who appeared at the
banquet nor the directory of the Portuguese reading rooms who lent
their hall to said Y.M.C.A.

"After affirming that the evangelization of Brazil means its
unchristianizing the clerical organ begins to call the members of the
Association and Protestants in general wolves in sheep's clothing.

"But we ask, to whom does this epithet apply better? To us who dress as
the generality of men, thus leaving no doubt as to our sex and freeing
our consciences from the ignominious Roman yoke, direct ourselves by
that straight and narrow way which leads to salvation; or to this black
band which secretly and maliciously makes of a man its prey from the
moment in which he sees the light of day until the moment in which he
goes to rest in the bosom of the earth? To us, Who having no thirst for
dominion, seek to cultivate in man all the noble attributes given by
the Creator, to us who teach clearly and without sophistry and gross
superstitions the plan of salvation as it is found in the word of God;
or to this legion of corrupt and hypocritical parasites, corruptors of
youth, whose character they seek to debase and villify by means of the
confessional?

"The only object of the wolf in dressing himself as a sheep is to
devour the sheep. And these shaven heads know perfectly well why we
cite the chronicles of the convents; they know from personal knowledge
who are responsible for the greater part of the illegitimate children,
and they have no doubt about the permanency and progress of
prostitution.

"But they have effrontery, these priests!

"What has the priesthood done in Brazil in about 400 years? The answer
is found in facts that prove the absence of all initiative of will, of
strength, of energy and of activity. Brazil has only been a field for
torpid exploitation by these gain-hunting libertines. And what of the
attacks against private and public fortunes?

"Happily, for some years, the public conscience has been awakening and
the people are beginning to know that a priest, even the best of them,
is worthless.

"Freed from an official religion, the Brazilian people have really made
progress in spite of the hopelessness of Romanism that perverts all
things and resorts to ail sorts of schemes to preserve its former easy
position.

"We, pirates? Ah! deceivers. Then we, who present ourselves loyally
without subterfuge, proclaiming the divine truths, speaking logically,
without artifices or superstitions, are pirates? You noble priests are
noble specimens of Christian culture, I must confess! You are such good
things that France has already horsewhipped you out of the country, and
Spain, whose knightly race is regaining the noble attributes
obliterated by the iron yoke of Romanism, is about ready to apply to
you the same punishment.

"There is no doubt that the priest is losing ground every day. All
their manifestations of hate and satanic fury are easily explained.

"One easily recognizes the true value of the explosion of vicious
egotism found in the official organ of the diocese of Olinda. The
priest this time lost his calmness and let escape certain rude phrases
as if he were yet in the good old times when he could imprison and burn
at his pleasure. Console yourselves, reverend lord priests, everything
comes to an end, and the ancient period of darkness and obscurity
exists no more in Brazil."


What is the net result of such religious life as we have been
portraying? The common and more ignorant people accept without very
much questioning the teachings and practices which we have explained.
The better educated people, especially the men, have lost confidence in
the priesthood. Scarcely an educated man can be found who believes in
the moral uprightness of the priest. The chief hold the Church has upon
the better classes is a social and not a religious one. Births,
marriages, deaths, alike are great social events, and upon such
occasions, because it is custom to have a priest, the better classes of
people even call in the services of the priests, in whom they have no
confidence. The effect upon the beliefs of these better classes is most
distressing. Spiritism, materialism and atheism are rampant, and one
could well believe that these people set adrift without spiritual
guides are in a worse condition than if they were still devout
believers in the ancient practices of the Roman church. They are far
more difficult to reach because they have imbibed the philosophies of
spiritism, materialism and atheism. An atheist in South America is just
as difficult to approach as he is anywhere. The devout Catholics are
easier to reach with the gospel. The devout Catholic has at least one
element which must always be reckoned with in dealing helpfully with an
immortal soul. He has reverence, which thing many of those people who
have been swung away from their faith have not. I take no comfort in
the fact that the people in large numbers are deserting the Roman
Catholic church and are being set adrift without any form of religion.
One could wish that they might be held to their old beliefs until we
could reach them with the virile truths of the gospel of Jesus.

We come back to it--the gospel is not preached in Brazil except as it
is preached by the Protestant missionary. The need is just as great for
gospel preaching in this country as it is in China.

One day after I had finished speaking to a congregation in Castello,
back in the interior from Campos, an old English woman came up to me
and expressed her great pleasure over having the privilege of hearing
once more the gospel preached in English. I had spoken in English, and
the missionary had interpreted what I had to say into Portuguese. She
had heard the sermon twice. She had been in Brazil thirty-odd years.
She and her husband had lived in the far interior. They had recently
moved down to Castello that they might be near the little church where
they could have the opportunity of worshiping God. She told me that
back in the town in which they had lived they had left two sons who
were engaged in business for themselves. These two sons had been born
in Brazil, and yet in all their lives THEY HAD NEVER HEARD A GOSPEL
SERMON. Yes, these people are without the gospel and this is our
justification for carrying to them the message of life. For them Christ
died, and to them, because they have not heard, He has sent us that we
might bring His precious message of eternal salvation, for "How shall
they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they
hear without a preacher?"



CHAPTER VIII.

THE GOSPEL TRIUMPHANT.


It is often claimed that the progress of the gospel is slower and more
difficult in Catholic countries than in outright heathen lands. Such
statements can be answered only by an appeal to the facts in the case.
What are the facts? The Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist
Convention has been conducting operations in Brazil for about thirty
years. It has been doing work in China for more than sixty years.
During all the time since work--was opened in Brazil, the Board has had
about three times as many missionaries in China as it had in Brazil,
with the result that at the present time we have 9,939 members of our
churches in Brazil, as against 9,990 members of our churches in China.
We have worked less than half as long in Brazil and with one-third of
the missionary force. Last year with a missionary force one-third as
large in Brazil as it was in China, there were 635 more baptisms in
Brazil than there were in China. There were 1,534 baptisms in China and
2,169 in Brazil. The same sort of comparison between our work in Italy
and Japan would make the same showing. This is not to make a
prejudicial statement concerning the work in any field. We make it
simply to show that the gospel does succeed remarkably in the Catholic
countries. The fact is, the rate of progress is far greater in the
Catholic country than it is in the heathen land. The gospel does
succeed in Catholic countries. What is said here of the work of this
one Board can be said just as truly of the others.

It was our privilege to witness some remarkable demonstrations of the
power of the gospel while we were in Brazil. About 3:30 o'clock one
afternoon we arrived in Genipapo in the interior of the State of Bahia,
after having ridden since early morning upon the railroad train through
a mountainous country which, with its tropical vegetation, held our
keenest interest. We were met at the station by some members of our
church, who escorted us to the home of Polycarpo Nogueira. Mrs Nogueira
is a very devout Christian. Some years ago she learned that her mother
had embraced Christianity. Mrs. Nogueira set out upon a journey of 130
miles on muleback to her mother's home for the purpose of taking out of
her mother's heart her belief in the gospel. She succeeded in shaking
her mother's faith and also the faith of her brother. She now
determined to prepare herself to combat this Baptist teaching which was
spreading over the country. She marked passages of Scripture which she
proposed to use against the Baptists. But when she used them she grew
ashamed because she became conscious of the fact that she had
misapplied the Word which she then gave deeper study. The Word of God
took hold of her own heart and she in turn was converted. Her first
thought was concerning her mother and brother 130 miles away. Again she
took the long journey on muleback in order to lead her loved ones to
Christ. She was able to re-establish her mother's faith, but to this
day her deep regret is that her brother does not believe.

We had a great service at the church that night. The crowd was so large
that we held the services out in the open. Seven stood to confess their
surrender to Christ. The good deacon of the church was so thoroughly in
the spirit of the occasion and in such sympathy with me that he
declared he could understand my English. He really seemed to catch it
before the missionary could interpret it.

On the following day we reached St. Inez, the station at the end of the
railway, and spent the night in a poor excuse of a lodging house called
the Commercial Hotel.

At 7 o'clock on the following morning, which was Sunday, we started on
horseback for Arroz Novo, an excellent country church fifteen miles
away. A young brother named John Laringeiro (John Orangetree) had
brought horses for us. Before his conversion he was an arch persecutor,
and since he has become a Christian he has been called upon to suffer
even more bitter persecution than he ever inflicted upon others. He is
struggling to care for his mother, and as the pastor of the church at
Rio Preto, he is a most acceptable gospel preacher.

It was a fine ride into the country, over hill and mountain and
deeply-shaded valley. After we had ridden about half the length of our
journey several brethren from Arroz Novo (New Rice) met us to escort us
to the church. A mile or two further we were met by another company,
who swelled the number of our dashing cavalcade to about twenty-five.
It was dashing, too, for they were hard riders. It was a very joyous
and cordial reception committee. Finally we rode into sight of the
church, winch is located on a high hill commanding a grand panorama of
the mountains. As we approached we saw two long lines of people
standing facing each other in front of the church. The men were on one
side and the women on the other--about 600 of them. As we rode up the
congregation sang a hymn to give us welcome. We dismounted when we
reached the end of the two lines and walked down between them to the
church. Now it is the custom in Brazil upon festal occasions to strew
the meeting place with oleander and cinnamon leaves and to throw rose
petals and confetti upon those they wish to honor. These good people
observed this custom generously that day. A wide space of the ground in
front of the church was strewed with leaves, and they showered such
quantities of rose petals and confetti upon us that we were beautiful
sights by the time we reached the door.

We entered the very creditable church building into which the people
now poured until every foot of space was occupied. There was hardly
room left for me to make gestures as I spoke. It was ten o'clock. The
people had been present since four engaged in a prayer meeting. We
began the service immediately. The Spirit of the Lord was upon us to
preach the gospel. Afterward we called for those who wished to make
confession of their faith in Christ. We pushed back the people a little
bit in the front and the space thus made vacant was immediately filled
with those who wished to confess their Lord and Savior. We saw that
others wanted to come, so we asked them to stand where they were. All
through the audience they rose. Then began the examination of these
candidates. Numerous questions were put to them by the missionary and
the pastor of the church. Sometimes as many as twenty-five or even more
questions would be asked an individual so great was the care exercised
in examining those who wished to become members of the church, and what
impressed me most was the fact that after every question they could
think of had been asked, they would ask if anyone present could endorse
him. Whereupon someone, if he could recommend the candidate would,
after a brief speech of endorsement, make a motion to receive him.

Over to my right rose a young woman who was the most beautiful woman I
saw in Brazil. Her name was Elvira Leal. She had been favorable to the
gospel for some time and had suffered cruel persecution from her
father. The tears streamed down her face as she spoke, saying, "You
know my story and what I have been called upon to endure for the
gospel's sake, but this morning I must confess the Lord. I cannot
resist the Spirit longer." I learned that her father, in order to force
her to give up her faith, had dragged her across the floor by her hair.
He had brandished his dagger over her heart, threatening to take her
life; he had forced her to break her engagement to be married to the
young preacher, John Larinjeiro, who had brought the horses for us; he
had declared he would kill both of them rather than to allow them to
marry, and at the time we were there she was compelled to live in the
home of a neighbor, so violent had become her father in his opposition
to her adherence to the gospel. That morning, however, she said though
she knew it involved suffering, she would follow her Savior at whatever
cost.

By the time the missionary had finished examining this woman, a man had
crowded near to the front and indicated that he wished to say
something. It was John Larinjeiro's brother. He said that for two years
he had been impressed with the gospel, but because of the persecution
in his own home he had held back. When years ago his mother had been
converted, he went to persuade her to give up her religion. Persuasion
failing, he persecuted her severely. She finally told him that his
efforts were of no avail because she could not give up her faith in
Christ, yet if he would take the Bible and show her where she was
wrong, she would give it up. He secured a gospel circulated by the
priest and also "The Manual of Instructions for Holding Missions" and
both of these confirmed his mother's faith, and he had no more to say.
The Word impressed itself upon his heart and he became sympathetic to
the gospel. Then trouble arose. His father-in-law, he said, had
threatened to take his wife and children from him and to put him out of
his own home. His wife had persecuted him and declared she would leave
him if he made the confession he desired to make. He said that he did
not know what to do, but had come forward to ask us to pray for him.
Then the congregation fell upon its face, as far as such a thing was
possible, and prayed. I could not understand all they said in the
prayers because they were spoken in Portuguese, but so mighty was the
presence of the Spirit and so irresistible was the appeal sent up to
the throne of Grace that I knew before the prayers ended what the
result would be. As soon as the prayers were concluded, the man stood
up and said, "News travels quickly in this country. It may be that when
I reach home I shall find my wife and children gone, but whatever may
be the cost, I cannot resist the Spirit today. I must confess my Lord
and ask for membership in the church." Of course, he was received. A
letter received from the missionary some months later informed me that
the father-in-law had carried out his threat and did take away the wife
and children.

Numerous others stood to make confession, and the examination continued
far past one o'clock, 'till twenty-one were received for baptism. This
marvelous outpouring of the Spirit of Christ enabled us to see with our
own eyes the power of the gospel demonstrated in the saving of souls in
Brazil.

After the service we went to breakfast in a house near by. The crowd,
according to custom, came into the dining room, as many of them as
could, to hear the conversation while we sat about the table. The walls
of the building were made of mud, the floor was the bare ground, in the
corner of the room, surrounded by a mud puddle, stood a water jar,
around which the chickens were picking. I kicked a pig out of my way,
accidentally stepped on a dog, but nothing daunted, fell to with good
will and ate, asking no questions.

After a few hours' ride, upon our return journey in the afternoon, we
reached the town of Olhos d'Agua (Fountains of Water) through which we
had passed upon our outward journey in the early morning. There is a
very good church at this place which has suffered cruel persecution.
Upon the doors of every Protestant house in the town have been painted
black crosses. They were placed there at night by the Catholics to keep
the Devil from coming out. The black cross of derision has become a
mark of honor in that community. We were greeted by a splendid audience
that night and the gospel again was honored. More than a dozen people
accepted Christ and made confession of Him.

I was greatly interested in Brother Raymundo, who is the leading member
of this church. Formerly he was a great persecutor. He was an enemy to
Antonio Barros, who is now a leading member in the church at Arroz
Novo. Barros was converted at Lage, and when he met Raymundo he greeted
him, at which Raymundo was greatly surprised. Barros explained his
action by saying that he had found Christ and wanted to live at peace
with all men. The fact that his enemy should embrace him and beg his
pardon greatly impressed Raymundo. Upon the invitation of Barros,
Raymundo attended the meeting that night. He was touched by the gospel
and was converted. He now had to experience the same persecution he had
inflicted upon others. His enemies wrote to the merchants in Bahia and
told them that he was out of his mind. So persistent was their
persecution that he was compelled to give up his business. His credit
was destroyed by these reports. He moved away from Olhos d'Agua, but
when the native pastor left the place recently Raymundo returned in
order to hold the work together. He now makes his meager living by
trading, and through great sacrifice leads the congregation in a very
acceptable service.

We returned to St. Ignez by ten o'clock that night, tired and happy
over what our eyes had seen and our hearts had felt. It had been a day
of triumph for the gospel.

On Monday we started on our journey for Santo Antonio. When we passed
through Genipapo we found Brother Polycarpo Nogueira at the station. He
had come to ask about a passage of Scripture I had pointed out to him
on the night when we stayed in his home We had urged him to accept the
gospel and he hesitated. I quoted to him, "Everyone, therefore, who
shall confess me before men, him will I confess before my Father in
Heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him, will I deny before
my Father who is in Heaven." Mat. 10:32, 33. He told us about a
wonderful meeting held in the church on Sunday, in which one had been
converted and many others were deeply interested. He himself was
evidently moved upon by the Spirit. May the word we gave him lead him
to Christ.

Some hours further on we passed through Vargem Grande, where we have
another church. Several people boarded the train to accompany us to
Santo Antonio. One of them was Fausto de Almeida. When the ex-priest,
Ottoni, visited Vargem Guande some years ago to preach the gospel this
man Almeida, with a great crowd of boys equipped with tin cans, met him
at the station. This troupe escorted Ottoni to the church and stood
outside making as much noise as possible. He offered the ex-priest a
loaded cigar, which Ottoni declined with kindly thanks. The minister's
conduct was so gentle and kind that Fausto, when he bethought himself,
went home in a rage, became intoxicated, and in order to vent his
wrath, went out into his back yard and fired his pistols. A little
later one of his sisters was converted, and by her good testimony not
long after that when she died, he was greatly impressed. Another sister
was converted and gave him a Bible, which he read and in which he found
the message of Christ. He obeyed his Lord, and in spite of violent
opposition on the part of his wife, is today in a faithful and
effective way, building up the church at Vargem, Grande.



CHAPTER IX.

JOSE BARRETTO.


When we reached Santo Antonio de Jesus at two p. m. we found a throng
at the station to meet us. They gave us a royal welcome, receiving us
literally with open arms. After this hearty greeting we formed a
procession and marched two and two through the streets of the city to
the church. They wished us to take the lead in the procession, but we
declined the honor and finally took position about the middle of the
line. They seemed to march through every street in the city, so eager
were they to impress the population that there was somebody else in the
world besides their religious persecutors. When we arrived at the
church they showered us once more with rose petals and confetti. After
prayer we were taken to the home of Jose Barretto to be entertained.

Now, this same Jose Barretto is a very remarkable character. He was
formerly Superintendent of the Manganese mines near by and very active
in politics. If any questionable work needed to be done in order to
influence an election Jose was called upon to do it. He is a great,
strong fellow, more than six feet in height and weighs, perhaps, 250
pounds. He was a violent man, fearless and desperate. I noted many
scars on his face which were evidences of many dangerous encounters. He
did not deign to steal the ballots, but would take possession of the
ballot box, extract from it the proper number of votes, destroy them,
seal the box and allow the count to be made. No one dared withstand
him. He was just as violent in his opposition to the Protestants. He
declared that he would beat any Protestant who should ever come into
his house.

Well, one day his own brother-in-law came to see him. This
brother-in-law was blind and also a Christian. After a while Jose and
his wife were commiserating the brother over his blindness when he
said, that though his eyes were clouded, his soul saw the light of
life. His sister said to him, "You must be a Protestant." He replied,
"Yes, thank God, I know Jesus Christ." She was so frightened that she
fainted, because she had visions of her burly husband pouncing upon her
blind brother and beating him to death. Her husband resuscitated her
and soothed her by saying, "I know I have said all of these things
about what I would do to the Protestants, but I hope I am not mean
enough to strike a blind man and certainly I would not injure your
brother." That night the brother asked them to read the Scriptures.
They had no Bible, but did possess a book of Bible stories, one of
which the sister read, and then the brother asked permission to pray.
Jose Barretto had always been reverential, and so he knelt in prayer.
So earnest and childlike was the praying of the blind brother and so
fully did he express the real heart hunger of the great, strong man
that when the prayer was finished, Jose Barretto said very sincerely,
"Amen." He became deeply interested in the gospel.

When the brother left, the Spirit of God so impressed Jose that he felt
he must look up a New Testament which he had taken from an employee
some time ago. He had looked at this book which he had taken from the
employee's hands, and finding no saints' pictures in it, concluded that
it was that hated Protestant Bible the priests were trying to keep from
being circulated, and had thrown it into a box in the corner of his
office. Now he went to this box, fished out the New Testament, brushed
the dust from its pages and read from it the word of life. The blind
brother, in the meantime, had gone to Santo Antonio and told what had
happened. The chief of police of the city, who was a Christian and the
President of the Baptist Young People's Union, declared that he was
going out to see Jose. "I have been afraid to go," he said, "because
Jose has been so violently opposed to the gospel."

He went and found the strong man poring over the pages of the book in
his effort to find the way of life. He explained the gospel and
Barretto was soon converted, as was also his sister. His wife held on
to her old faith. She would pray, but would use the Crucifix. Finally
the husband and sister decided they would burn the idol, which they
accordingly did. When the wife saw that no dreadful calamity befell the
house she concluded that the idol was a powerless thing and gave her
heart to Christ.

The life of Jose Barretto since that time has been a burning light. He
has been as zealous in following Christ as he ever was in following
evil, though not so violent. His witness has been honored amongst his
own family and relations especially. They have been forced to realize
that there is something in Christianity which can produce such a
remarkable change in the life of such a violent man. When we were in
his home we learned of a family of twenty-one, some distance out in the
country, who were ready to make confession of their faith and be
baptized. They were anxious for the missionary to come and baptize them
and to organize a church in one of their homes. These people were the
relatives of Jose Barretto. It is marvelous how the witness of his life
is bearing fruit. He lost his position as Superintendent by his
acceptance of Christ, but is now making a living as a coffee merchant.

We had a remarkable service at the church that night. A great throng
pressed into the building, and Jose Barretto was the chief usher. I
have never seen a man who could crowd more people into a building than
could he. After the house had been packed there still remained on the
outside a crowd as large as that sandwiched into the building. I
preached the gospel once more, speaking, of course, in all of these
services through an interpreter. When I called for those who would
confess Christ I did not ask them to come forward because there was no
room for them. They stood here and there over the audience until more
than twenty expressed themselves as having accepted Christ and desiring
membership in the church. When one man stood amongst this number I
noticed that Jose Barretto was very deeply moved. His great frame shook
with emotion. I learned afterwards that the man who stood was a police
sergeant, who in the old days had been Jose's confederate in his
political crookedness. That night this man stood acknowledging his sins
and asking for membership in the church. Jose's faithfulness had won
him. Once more we witnessed a marvelous victory of the gospel.

On the very day on which we visited Santo Antonio and were entertained
in the home of our good brother Jose Barretto, this great stalwart
fellow who had been such a violent opposer of Christianity and who had
previously lived such a desperate life, was met on the street by one of
his former schoolmates. His schoolmate chided him for becoming a
Christian and insinuated that Jose's conversion was an act of weakness
and also that he would not hold out very long. He went further to say
many severe things in criticism of the cause of Protestant
Christianity. Jose Barretto replied, "You ought to be ashamed of
yourself for finding fault with the thing which has produced such a
change in my life. You know the kind of character I have been in this
community. You know how violent and sinful I have been and you know at
this time how I am living. A religion which can produce such a change
as this does not deserve ridicule." The man turned and slunk away. In
the meantime, there had gathered around them a number of people,
because they knew how serious a matter it was for anyone to oppose him,
and they expected to see something violent take place that day. Being
emboldened by the mild answer which he gave to his persecutor, others
began to ask questions. Finally one of them asked him this question:
"Suppose someone should strike you in the face in persecution, what
would you do?" And then the great, strong violent man who had been made
meek and humble by his acceptance of Jesus gave an answer which showed
him to be genuinely converted to the Spirit of Jesus. He said: "I am
not afraid of such a thing as that happening, for the reason that I
propose to live in this community such a life for the help of my
brothers that no one will ever desire to strike me in the face," and
these others turned shame-stricken away from him. He threw down before
that community the challenge of his life, and that is the thing that
not only in Brazil, but here in our own land, must finally win for our
King the triumph which is His due.



CHAPTER X.

CAPTAIN EGYDIO.


What brought about the readiness of this territory in the interior of
the State of Bahia for the acceptance of the gospel? Perhaps the brand
of burning which did more than any other to shed light through the
entire section over which we passed, was the person of Captain Egydio
Pereira de Almeida. He was one of several brothers of a good country
family which owned large possessions in the interior 150 miles from the
city of Bahia. He was an intense Catholic, but never a persecutor. At
one time he was Captain in the National Guards. He was political boss
of his community and protector for a small tribe of Indians. He was a
hard-working, law-abiding citizen.

In order to know the story we must go back a little. In 1892 Solomon
Ginsburg sold a Bible to Guilhermino de Almeida on the train when he
was going to Armagoza. Ginsburg had only one Bible left and felt
constrained to offer it to the stranger across the aisle. The man said
he had no money and did not care to buy. The missionary pressed him and
finally sold him for fifty cents a Bible worth four times that amount.
That night his fellow passenger heard the missionary speak in the
theater in Armagoza and seemed to enjoy especially the hymns the
preacher sang. The missionary marked for him the Ten Commandments and
other passages in the Bible.

When the man reached his home at Vargem Grande a few days afterward he
told his brother Marciano de Almeida of his encounter with the
missionary, of how he had bought the Bible which he did not want and of
the Ten Commandments the missionary had marked for him. He very
willingly gave his Bible to his brother. Marciano read the book and was
particularly impressed with the Ten Commandments.

Now, we must introduce into this narrative another character in the
person of good Brother Madeiros. Some time before this, having become
interested in the gospel, he had gone to Bahia and had been instructed
by Missionary Z. C. Taylor in the truth to such good purpose that he
gave himself to the Lord. His neighbors at Valenca, his native town, on
learning of his having accepted Christ, drove him out, and he moved to
Vargem Grande. But he found no rest in his new home, for his fellow
townsmen so persecuted him that he was compelled to live in the
outskirts of the town. He was the first believer in Vargem Grande. When
Marciano de Almeida became interested in the Scriptures he went to see
Madeiros and was instructed by him in the gospel. He told the
persecuted saint that he would stand by him from now on, for Marciano
had experienced a marvelous conversion.

On learning that his images were idols, Marciano collected all
immediately and burnt them, greatly to the disgust of his family and
the whole town. He began at once to declare the Word of God, and though
he was as gentle as a lamb, he was also as bold as a lion in defending
the gospel.

When his brother, Captain Egydio de Almeida, who lived sixty miles
away, learned that Marciano had become converted, he made the journey
to take out of his brother's heart the false teaching which he had
imbibed. He pitied his brother, thinking that Marciano's mind had
become unbalanced. When Captain Egydio arrived at his brother's in
Vargem Grande, being a very positive man, he set about the business of
straightening out his brother with dispatch and determination. He
failed in his purpose, and then called in a priest. When he returned
with the priest Marciano asked the two to be seated. Immediately the
priest inquired, "What is this I am hearing about you, Marciano?" He
replied, "Mr. Priest, I am thirty-five years old and you never gave me
the Bible, God's Holy Law and as God ordered it. I came by it through
the Protestants whom you have always abused. You have taken my money
all these years for mass, saying you would take the souls of our kin
out of a purgatory that does not exist. You taught me to worship idols
which God's Word condemns. You sprinkle my children for money, marry
them for money, and when they die you still demand money to save their
souls from an imaginary purgatory. The Bible teaches me, on the other
hand, that God offers me a free salvation through Jesus Christ." The
priest rose and said good-bye without offering a word of explanation.
Seeing the priest thus defeated, Captain Egydio turned to old Brother
Madeiros, who happened to be present, and said: "If you continue to put
these false doctrines in my brother's head I will send a couple of
Indians here to take off your head." "Yes," replied Madeiros, "you may
cut off my head, but you cannot cut off my soul from God." Captain
Egydio returned home breathing out plagues upon himself and his family.
He drank heavily at every grog shop on his way and scattered abroad the
news about his family's disgrace. He was a man of a kind heart, and
though he did not embrace the truths of his brother's religion, he did
show his brother great consideration and, being a political leader for
that district, became his brother's protector.

When his wrath had cooled down somewhat he began to recall many things
Marciano had told him about the Bible, and as he looked upon his many
expensive idols set here and there in niches about his home, he said to
himself: "Well, did Marciano say these images do nothing. They neither
draw water, cut wood nor pick coffee. They do not teach school, they do
not protect our home, for there is one covered with soot. There is
another the rats have gnawed, and recently another fell and was broken.
How powerless they are." Then he remembered the Bible which a believer
had given him years before. He began to examine it in a closed room. Ag
he read he prayed, "Oh, God, if this religion of Marciano be right,
show it to me."

He seemed to be making good progress. But about this time he received
word that his brother and the missionary R. E Neighbor were coming to
see him. The priest had also heard of the approaching visit and had
sent a letter to Captain Egydio's son warning him against the coming
men, saying that they were emissaries of the United States and wished
to lead the Almeidas astray. The letter bearer was instructed to
deliver the letter to the son and not let the father know anything
about it, but he said, "I cannot do that because I must be true to my
old captain," so he gave the letter to Captain Egydio. He wag greatly
disturbed over the warnings the priest had given and tried to induce
his children to give up the reading of the pamphlets and Scriptures he
had given to them, which thing they refused to do.

His brother and the missionary came according to agreement and Captain
Egydio, true to his word, went with them to the town of Areia to
protect them while they were engaged in conducting a gospel service in
the public square. The priest of the town sent the police to prevent
the Protestants from conducting the meeting. The sergeant, who had been
under Captain Egydio when he was Captain in the National Guards, was
one of the detail sent to suppress the meeting. He declared that he
would stand by his old Captain, for the men knew that under the
Constitution the missionary had a perfect right to hold the meeting.
The meeting was held, but under such unfavorable circumstances that the
Captain stood forth and said: "I have not declared myself a Protestant,
but from this time I shall be a Protestant and propose to give my life
to the spread of this faith."

It happened that one day he was called to visit a boy who had been
shot. As he rode along through the open fields he was burdened with
prayer to God. Suddenly he felt a strange feeling and he seemed to hear
a voice saying, "You are saved." Immediately he knew that the Lord had
visited him with His blessed salvation. He shouted as he rode along the
way, "Glory to God. I am redeemed." He rode on in this state to the
home of the boy. Seeing the boy could not live, he began to exhort him
to look to Christ for salvation, and just before the boy's spirit
passed out from him, he made confession of his Lord. The Captain
returned to his home overflowing with joy. He galloped his horse up to
the door, shouting, "Glory, hallelujah, I am saved." He embraced his
wife and children and all stood back staring at him. Finally the mother
cried: "Poor man! Children, your father is mad. Get the scissors and
let us cut off his hair; let us rub some liniment on his head." "All
right," he said, "only do not cut it too close," and he suffered them
to rub the liniment also upon his head. Seeing that there was no change
in him, they also administered to him one of their homely medicines, a
small portion of which he was willing to take to pacify them. Their
opinion of his sanity was not changed.

Not only his family, but his neighbors suspected him. As he engaged in
business--and he was a very busy man--people were watching him to see
if something was not dreadfully wrong. Finally all realized that a
great and beneficent change had taken place. He never became a
preacher, but he did not allow to pass an opportunity to tell the story
of his newly-found Savior. His Bible was constantly in his hands, and
he read the marvelous news to all. His family soon became interested in
the gospel and they, even to his son-in-law, became as crazy upon the
subject as he. Thirteen of them were baptized at one time.

For activity in evangelization his equal was scarcely ever met. He kept
for distribution boxes of Bibles and tracts. While at business he
witnessed for the gospel. He traveled extensively. Some of his bosom
friends became his worst enemies, but many of them he led to Christ, or
at least to a friendship, for the gospel. He did not preach, but
invited many preachers to come to his community and was always ready to
accompany them whenever they needed his presence. His life was the
greatest sermon he could preach to the people. They had known him once
in the old days when one of his sons fell sick he promised to carry his
weight of beeswax to the miracle working saint of the Lapa shrine, 100
miles away on the San Francisco River. The son recovered and the father
kept his word. Now they saw him discard his old superstitions for the
truth in Jesus. The gospel that could produce such a marvelous change
as this had its effect upon his neighbors. He organized a church upon
his own fazenda and it held its meetings in his own house at Casca.

He became deeply interested in the subject of education. He said one
day to Dr. Z. C. Taylor, our missionary at Bahia: "While I was a
Catholic I had no desire to educate my children, but now I would give
all of this farm to see them educated." Dr. Taylor told him of some of
his own plans concerning a school, and Captain Egydio contributed the
first money for the school, which Dr. Taylor afterward established,
Captain Egydio's gift of a thousand dollars making it possible for this
school to be organized.

Of the trials and persecutions which he endured for the gospel, we can
cite only one or two.

A priest paid two men sixty dollars to go and take the Captain's life.
They appeared one night at his door and asked for employment. He
invited them in, saying he had plenty of work he could give them to do.
The time soon arrived for family prayers and the men were invited to be
present. The Captain afterward told the family that while he was
praying he received a distinct impression that the men had come to do
him bodily injury and that in the prayer he had committed himself
absolutely to the protection of God. The next day he took the two men
out into the field to show them what to do. In the meantime he had been
telling them of the love of Jesus and how He had come to save to the
uttermost those who would believe on Him. One lingered behind to shoot,
but his hand trembled too much. The other did not have the courage to
do the man of God any injury. That night they said they would not stay
longer. He paid them for the day's work, bade them godspeed and they
departed.

But he did not always escape suffering so easily. One afternoon as he
was passing by the priest's home the priest accosted him and said:
"Captain, why is it you do not stop with me any more? You used to do
so, but of late you have passed me by." He urged the Captain so
strongly that he decided to stay all night. They offered him wine to
drink, which he refused. Then they gave him coffee. That night he
suffered agony and was sick for some time after reaching home. He was
sure he had been poisoned.

He suffered many persecutions from unsympathetic neighbors, not only
from criticism, but sometimes from bodily injuries and from painful
abuse, all of which he bore with an equanimity of spirit which would do
credit to any martyr to the cause of Christ.

Dr. Z. C. Taylor relates a trying experience through which he and
Captain Egydio passed together.

"The Captain and I were together one day returning home from a
preaching tour by a near cut, passing the door of our greatest
persecutor, Captain Bernadino, who on seeing us, seized a stick, and
running to us, beat back our hordes, crying, 'Back, back, you cannot
pass my house.' A plunge of my horse caused my hat to fall off, which
he handed me and continued to force our retreat. We returned by way of
the home of his son-in-law, who was a baptized believer, and while this
brother was piloting us down a hill to another way home Captain
Bernadino, jumping from behind a bush, caught my horse by the bridle.
He had an assassin at his heels, with axe in hand, asking every minute
what he should do. Captain Bernadino wore out his stick on my horse,
planting the last stroke across my loins; then he struck me about a
dozen times in the breast with his fist. I said to him, 'Captain, why
are you beating me, I believe in God; do not you also?' Stopping and
panting he said, 'Do you believe in God, you rascal?' 'Yes,' I said,
'and Jesus also who came to save us sinners.' 'Don't let up, don't let
up, hit him, hit him,' cried his wife and children. He pulled the
bridle from my hands, led my horse into a pond close by, and gathering
mud, pelted me from foot to shoulder. Then leaving my horse, he went
after Captain Egydio, who was guarded by another assassin. On passing
his son-in-law, kneeling, he struck him on the head, saying, 'Get up,
you fool!' Leading the Captain's horse into the water, he covered him
with mud from foot to head. Then, putting our bridles up, he beat our
horses and told us to go, never to be seen in those parts any more. My
bridle reins he crossed, which fact caused me when I passed his wife,
who stood with a long stick upraised, to strike me, to turn my horse
upon her instead of away from her, and the horse came near running over
her. She struck and fell back, the stick falling across my horse's
neck. Such a pandemonium of mad voices, cursing and shouting as we left
I never heard. It took us till night to reach home. The family took it
as an honor, and smiling and laughing, we were spending the evening
merrily, when at nine or ten o'clock a rap at the door caused us all to
suspend our hilarity. It was that son-in-law of the persecutor,
bringing his wife, asking to be baptized. She had witnessed the
persecution her father gave us, and on her husband's return to the
house, she told him the scene made her think of the Apostles and that
now she was determined to be baptized. At first I thought of bloodshed,
for her father had threatened to kill her, her mother, Captain Egydio
and the man who baptized her. But I had always taught them to obey
Christ and leave results with Him, so we heard her experience and at
midnight I baptized her.

Captain Egydio did not complain of our treatment nor did I ever mention
it to our Consul.

When he gave his heart to Christ he gave his life and all. He followed
where his conscience led. Before his conversion he was a great smoker.
The missionary asked him one day if he smoked for the glory of God. He
took the cigarette from his mouth, threw it away and never smoked
again. This was characteristic of his determination and his unfaltering
devotion to what he esteemed to be right.

The end came swiftly one night. He had an attack apparently of
indigestion which carried him speedily away. The symptoms seemed to
indicate that he had been poisoned. All that night he spent in prayer
and in singing hymns. He died leaving his benediction upon his family
and upon those Brazilians who would give their hearts and their
services to Jesus Christ.

He was buried upon his own farm. As his family did not erect a cross
over his grave, one of his neighbors who had persecuted Captain Egydio
violently many times thought he would correct him in his grave, and so
he set up a large cross over him. One night soon after, this cross was
cut down. The violent neighbor instituted a suit for the violation of
the law in tearing down a symbol of the Roman Catholic church. He also
came with great pomp, accompanied by soldiers, and set up another
cross. The law suit finally wore itself out and both parties were glad
to drop it, each party sharing an equal amount of the costs.

The persecution has been so bitter that the church which Captain Egydio
organized in his own house was removed to Pe da Serra, three miles
away, and from there it was driven by persecution to Rio Preto, where
today it flourishes with a membership of about fifty people and is in a
hopeful condition. The widow and her children have been compelled to
move into the city of Bahia. A recent letter informs me of the
conversion of the two youngest girls.

The witness of Captain Egydio has not been lost. It is marvelous how
much he accomplished in his short career. He was converted October,
1894, baptized February 4, 1895, and died March 30th, 1898, at fifty
years of age. In these few years he sowed the country down with the
gospel truth. We visited Vargem Grande, Santo Antonio, Areia and
Genipapo churches, all of which had grown very largely out of the
influence of this one man, and had we been permitted to go further, we
might have visited several other churches for whose beginning the life
of this valiant servant of God was in a great measure responsible. "He,
being dead, yet speaketh."



CHAPTER XI.

FELICIDADE.


One of the most fascinating phases of mission study is the tracing of
the lines along which the gospel spreads. This is true because it
brings us into touch with the native Christian who is one of the
greatest agencies for the spread of the gospel. As it was in the first
century, so it is now--"they that were scattered abroad went everywhere
preaching the gospel." The history of those Apostolic times repeats
itself in every mission land. He who personally observes the work in
Brazil or any other mission field will have a keener appreciation and
understanding of the Acts of the Apostles written by Luke. The native
Christians must either witness for their Lord or else betray Him. There
is no middle ground. A large percentage of the churches in Brazil grew
out of the fact that a believer moved into a community and began to
tell the story of the love of Jesus to his neighbors. He may have
entered this community by choice or may have been driven into it by
persecution. However, that may be, the truth is that many a poor,
despised, often persecuted believer, has started a movement in a
community which gathered to itself a large company of believers, and
formed the nucleus of another one of those most wonderful institutions
in all the world--a church of Jesus Christ.

When I had entered the First Baptist Church in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and
stood for a moment looking about me, I heard someone exclaim, "Oh,
there he is! There he is!" and presently I found myself locked in the
affectionate embrace of an apparently very happy old woman. She was
about seventy years of age. She was the janitress of the church. She
had looked forward to our coming with joyful pleasure, and gave to us
as hearty a welcome as did anyone in Brazil. Her name was Felicidade,
which being translated means "Felicity."

Several years ago she had come from Pernambuco, in which city and State
she had labored with great success for many years in behalf of the
gospel.

When a girl of ten or twelve years of age she heard her father talk
about a book he had seen in the court-house upon which the Judge had
laid his hand as he administered the oath. She had the greatest desire
to see this book. She was married in her thirteenth year and her
husband died when she was eighteen. After his death she went from the
country to the city of Pernambuco, where she met some members of the
Congregational Church and was led by them to attend the services. She
saw the Bible and heard a sermon preached from the text, "Blessed are
they that hunger and thirst," and soon afterward she gave obedience to
Jesus.

From that time forth her whole conversation was upon the gospel and
upon the subject of bringing other people to Christ. One time when Mrs.
Entzminger was away from the city of Pernambuco she left her children
in charge of Felicidade. While Felicidade was passing along the street
with the children one day she was met by Mrs. Maria Motta and her
daughter, who stopped to admire the beautiful children. Felicidade told
who the children were and urged her new acquaintances to attend the
church services. They accepted her invitation and soon became
interested in the gospel, and before long were converted to faith in
Jesus Christ.

Then their persecution began. They lost all their friends and endured
many other hardships. They came from one of the best families in the
city, and therefore felt the persecution more bitterly than might have
some others. The girl, Augusta, secured work in the English store. Her
mother took in fine ironing, and thus the two made their support.
Afterward Augusta married Augusto Santiago, who at the present time is
the pastor of our thriving church in the city of Nazareth. She has been
to him one of the greatest blessings in that she has done much to help
him in his effort to prepare himself better for his work. When we
visited Nazareth we were entertained in the delightful home of Augusto
Santiago and found it to be charming in every respect.

When Felicidade lived in Pernambuco it was her custom to sell fruit for
six months to make money enough to live upon for the remainder of the
year. She would then go into the interior with tracts and Bibles, sell
them and in every way try to lead people to Christ. One year she made
it her aim to lead not less than twelve to her Lord, and she was able
to accomplish her purpose. Her education is limited, but she knows any
number of Scripture verses, which she is able to quote with remarkable
aptness.

Upon one of her visits into the interior she was found at Nazareth by
Innocencio Barbosa, a farmer who resided in the district of Ilheitas.
He lived about thirty miles from Nazareth. He took Felicidade home with
him in order that she might teach the gospel to his family. Meanwhile,
his friend, Hermenigildo, who lived in a distant neighborhood, bought a
Bible in Limoeiro and told his friend Innocencio of what he had done.
Innocencio told him of the presence of Felicidade and suggested that
his friend might take her home with him that she might explain the
gospel to his family also. Felicidade accordingly went into this other
home and soon the entire family, including a son-in-law and some
relatives, were led to Jesus, and a church of about fifty members was
organized in Hermenigildo's house.

Thus the faithful witnessing of this humble, consecrated woman was so
honored of the Holy Spirit that scores were led into the light of the
gospel of Jesus. Out of her efforts grew churches which the violence of
the oppressor could not destroy, because the work she did became
immortal when it passed over into the hands of the Lord of Hosts,
against whose church not even the gates of Hell can prevail.



CHAPTER XII.

PERSECUTION.


Some of the severest persecutions the saints have ever endured in
Pernambuco broke upon this new congregation in the Ilheitas district.
The houses of the believers were broken into and everything destroyed,
some of the buildings were burned. The believers asked for police
protection, but the police sent to protect them being under the
domination of the priest, who was the political boss of that district,
persecuted the believers even more than their neighbors had done. They
drove the believers about, beating them with their swords, forcing them
to drink whisky and in many ingenious ways heaped indignities upon
them. After the success of the great persecution in Bom Jardim, of
which we will speak later, the priest organized a large force of men to
destroy everything belonging to the Protestants in the Ilheitas
district and to drive them away. They burned all of the church
furniture, as well as the household furniture belonging to
Hermenigildo, who was forced to flee for his life. They cut the cord to
the hammock in which was lying his young baby. The fall broke the neck
of the child. The mother was driven unclothed between two lines of
soldiers and severely beaten. The other believers were so harrassed
that most of them were compelled to leave the neighborhood.
Hermenigildo stayed away five months, when a change in police chiefs in
Pernambuco made it possible for him to return. The church was
reorganized the following year. A new building was constructed on
Hermenigildo's farm and today, with a membership of 103, it is in a
most prosperous condition.

In the little city of Nazareth the fury of persecution has been felt.
Not a great while after the church had been organized by Dr. Entzminger
the farmers in the community and the priest combined to drive the
Protestants out of town. Dr. Entzminger heard of their purpose and went
up to Nazareth, accompanied by a number of soldiers whom the Government
had put at his disposal. A great throng was collected at the station to
do violence to the missionary on his arrival, but when they saw the
soldiers they took to their heels, and many came that night to the
service to show that they were not in the mob. A year or two later
another mob broke into the church, poured oil over the furniture and
burned practically everything. The police saved the building. Once
after this, when Missionary Ginsburg was to hold an open-air meeting in
this same town, a soldier was hired to take his life. The officers of
the law left town in order that the deed might be done without
hindrance. The soldier drank whisky in order to brace himself for the
deed, and fortunately imbibed too much and became so intoxicated that
he fell asleep. When he awoke the meeting had been held and he had
missed his chance. These facts were confessed by the soldier to Dr.
Entzminger after the soldier had been converted a year later.

At the railway station at Nazareth we met Primo da Fonseca, who had,
for the sake of the gospel, lost all in a great persecution at Bom
Jardim, which is not a great distance from Nazareth. He was a reader of
evangelical literature and preached the gospel all over that country,
though he had not been baptized. A native missionary went into that
region, began preaching and soon afterward gathered a congregation and
organized a church in Fonseca's home. The political boss of the
community planned with the Catholics to take 800 men into Bom Jardim on
the night of April 15th, 1900, for the purpose of killing all the
Protestants who were in prayer at Fonseca's house. The mob divided into
two parties. One party was to approach the house from the front and the
other from the opposite side. A gun was to be fired as a signal for the
attack. The first party approached the house, which was near the
theater. Now in the theater at that time was gathered a great throng of
people. When the news came to them of the approach of the mob the women
thought it was a part of the band of bandits led by Antonio Silvino,
who is perhaps the most famous outlaw of Brazil. All were greatly
frightened. The Mayor went out to see if he could not do something to
persuade the mob to leave the town. After some parleying they said that
inasmuch as the Mayor asks, we will turn back. Someone at that time
fired a shot and shouted, "Viva Santa Anna" in honor of the patron
saint of that city. This signal brought up the supporting party at
once, who mistook their comrades for the believers and fired into them.
In the melee twenty people were killed and about fifty wounded. All
night they were carrying the dead away to burial in order that they
might cover up the deed as far as possible. The Municipal Judge made
out a case that the Protestants had fired on the Catholics. He
pronounced nineteen as being implicated. Several escaped, six were
finally brought to trial. Dr. Entzminger in Pernambuco sent lawyers and
gave such assistance as he could. After about two years, Missionary
Ginsburg having come also to help in the meantime, the men on trial
were set free. Fonseca lost all he had in this law suit, he being one
of those arrested. He was in jail four months. He has been deserted by
his family. When the disturbance occurred he was Marshal of his town.
Today he lives in Nazareth, poor, deserted, faithful. But what cares he
for this suffering, poverty and desertion as he contemplates the fact
that he has set a torch of eternal light in his community. The church
which he finally established will bear faithful witness in spite of
hardships long after all persecution has ceased, and he, himself, has
gone home to God.

It was our good fortune to visit the little town of Cabo (which means
Cape), two hours' ride from Pernambuco, where we have a small church,
organized about two years ago. We were entertained in the home of a
mechanic who superintends the bridge construction along the railroad
which passes through the town. He takes his Bible with him when he goes
to work, and wherever he is he preaches the gospel. He told us of two
station agents along the line who had recently accepted Christ through
his personal efforts.

We had a delightful service that night in the church, a great throng of
people being present, six of whom made public profession of their faith
in Jesus. After we had returned from the church we sat in the little
dining room in the rear part of this man's house until a late hour.
Some of those who had suffered for the cause of the gospel came in to
see us, and as we sat there in the dim light of the flickering candle,
they told us of some of their sufferings for the gospel's sake. The
scene reminded me of what must have taken place often in many a dark
room in the early centuries when the Christians gathered together for
the sake of comforting each other in their trials.

Amongst those who were present in this little room was brother Honofre,
through whose efforts the church at Cabo had been founded. Several
years ago he began to read a Bible which had been presented to him by a
man who was not interested in it. He became converted along with his
household. There was a Catholic family living opposite to him which he
determined to reach with the gospel. After awhile this family accepted
Christ and the two families began to hold worship in their homes. Soon
they rented a hall, with the aid of a few others, and sent to
Pernambuco for a missionary to come and organize them into a church.
This man has endured cruel hardships. He had to abandon his business as
a street merchant because the people boycotted him. He rented a house,
built an oven and began to bake bread. Not long after that he was put
out of this house. Again and yet again he had the same experience until
recently he has rented a house from the same man who provided for our
church building. He can now make a living.

The church has had experience similar to that of its founder. It was
put out of three rented buildings at the instance of the Vicar, who
either forced the owners to eject or he, himself, bought the property.
Finally a man who is not a believer, but whose mother is, bought the
present building and sold it to me church. He is permitting the church
to pay for the building in installments of small sums. At last the
church has a place upon which it can rest the sole of its feet and in
two years has grown from ten to fifty members. On the occasion of our
visit six more made public confession of Christ before a large audience
and were received for baptism.

Out on the cape is a fine lighthouse which we had admired as we came up
the coast on the ship. May it be a symbol of the lighthouse which this
church may become to the storm tossed in that section of Brazil.

Of course, persecution is a painful thing for those who are called upon
to endure it, but wherever I found those who had passed through
afflictions they counted it all joy to suffer for the cause of Christ,
and whenever I attempted to comfort them because of their hardships, I
came away more comforted than they, for the reason that their joyous
willingness to suffer for His sake strengthened my own faith and
assured me of the ultimate triumph of the gospel through the labors of
such heroic people. Persecution, while it may temporarily suspend work
in a certain place, always defeats its own purpose, and instead of
preventing the spread of the gospel, is one of the most helpful
agencies in the growth of the truth.

A most encouraging illustration of this fact occurred in Pernambuco in
1904. There had been a bitter persecution at Cortez, a village not far
from Pernambuco. The chief instigator of the trouble was the parish
priest. The believers were driven out of the town and their lives
threatened. The missionary went and was also driven out, but returned
under the protection of some soldiers and conducted gospel services
through a whole week in order to give courage to the believers and to
demonstrate that the Protestants could not be driven out. A news
account of this persecution was published in a daily paper in
Pernambuco. A boy cut this article out and gave it to his teacher, a
priest in the Silesian College. The teacher read the article and wrote
a letter to Missionary Cannada and asked him to come to the college at
midnight to explain the gospel. Two letters were passed before the
missionary finally went at midnight to hold a conference. The priest
came out and discussed the gospel with the missionary and then returned
to the college, taking with him a copy of the New Testament. After a
month the missionary went again at midnight to the college and the
priest came away with him once for all. The priest went to the home of
the missionary and for two months studied the Bible, after which time
he was converted. He at once began to preach the gospel to his friends
as he would meet them on the streets. He also made a public declaration
of his conversion in print. The President of the college from which he
had gone obtained an interview with him and offered him every
inducement to return. His parents disinherited him and many other
trials came to him, but through all, he stood firm. He has just
graduated from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, taking the
Th. D. degree and has been appointed to teach in the Baptist College
and Theological Seminary in Rio. His name is Piani. About a year after
Piani's conversion he induced another priest to leave the same college.
This man spent a month in the missionary's house studying the Bible,
but was enticed back by the priests and hurried away to New York in
order that he might escape the influence of Piani. Three months after
reaching New York he was converted and joined the Fifth Avenue Baptist
Church and is today a pastor of a Baptist church in Massachusetts.

In no place where our people have endured persecution, even though it
may have been severe enough to cost the lives of some, has the work
been abandoned, but in every place the weak, struggling congregation
which faced obliteration at the fury of its enemy, has in the end
increased, and today enjoys the blessing of growth in numbers and in
the sympathy of the people. Persecution is a good agency in the spread
of the gospel.



CHAPTER XIII.

THE BIBLE AS A MISSIONARY FACTOR.


The Bible is a mighty factor in the spread of the gospel in Brazil. In
1889 there came down to Bahia a man named Queiroz from two hundred and
fifty miles in the interior. He came seeking baptism at the hands of
Dr. Z. C. Taylor. It appears that some six or eight years previous to
that time an agent of a Bible society had entered this man's community,
preached the gospel and left behind him some copies of the Scriptures.
One of these Bibles was found afterwards by Queiroz, who studied it and
was impressed with its truth. He began to bring the message of the Word
to the attention of his large circle of friends and kindred. Having
preached in several places, he was finally asked by the district judge
to come to his house where he was given opportunity to meet a number of
friends. The friends of Queiroz, however, began to ask him whether it
was right for him to be preaching thus before he had been baptized,
whereupon he resolved to go to Bahia to seek baptism. He made the
journey and was baptized. A week after he had returned he wrote to Dr.
Taylor, saying he had preached at Deer Forks and had baptized eight.
During the next two weeks similar letters were sent, which gave the
number he had baptized. The church at Bahia was apprized of conditions,
and it decided to send Queiroz an invitation to come and receive
ordination. He came with great humility and joy and was ordained, but
before the ordination had taken place he had already baptized
fifty-five people. The church, at Bahia, after the ordination of
Queiroz, legalized the baptisms.

Five years after the baptism of this man Dr. Taylor was finally able to
make the journey to Conquista, where he found the church well
organized, with a house of worship built at its own expense and with
the pastor's home erected near by. The missionary says, "I now
understand why God never permitted me to visit Conquista during these
five years. I believe it was for the purpose of showing me that the
native Christians can and will take care of themselves and the gospel
if we will only confide in them. I wonder how many churches in the
United States have built their own house and pastorium and sustained
themselves from the start? Not a cent from the Board has been spent on
the church and the evangelization done by Brother Queiroz."

Another example of the power of the Bible in spreading the gospel is
found in the way the gospel came to Guandu, State of Rio, and the
country round about. One night in Campos in 1894, after the missionary
had finished his sermon, a young woman approached him and said, "My
father has been teaching us out of that same book you used. Would you
not like to go out in the country to visit him?" The missionary replied
that he would, and then the girl explained how the Bible came to this
community.

One evening a colporteur approached her father's door and asked for
entertainment, saying he had been refused by several families along the
way. To the host's inquiry as to why he had been refused entertainment
for the night the colporteur said: "They declined because I am a
Protestant." The man replied. "Come in and welcome." After the dinner
Mr. Vidal (for that was the farmer's name) asked what this
Protestantism meant. The colporteur explained and preached the gospel
to the best of his ability.

When the time came to retire the colporteur said, "It is my custom to
read the Scriptures and to pray before I retire. If you have no
objection I would like to do so tonight." Mr. Vidal answered, "I shall
be glad for you to do so." The colporteur read and there in the dining
hall before the curious onlookers knelt and poured out his heart to his
Heavenly Father. He called down the blessing and the favor of God upon
the family. The tears poured down his cheeks as he lifted his soul in
this prayer. After he finished praying Mr. Vidal said, "I have never
heard prayer like that. Teach me how to do it. I have heard Latin
prayers repeated, but they did not grip me like that." The colporteur
replied by explaining that prayer must be from the heart. He then took
out a Bible and said, "I want to make you a present of this book. You
have been kind to me. Read it, for it has in it the Word of Life." He
went away the following morning. We do not know who he was--only the
record on high will discover his person to us.

The book left behind became a great light for Mr. Vidal. He read it and
was so impressed with its teachings that he taught the Word to his
family and neighbors. His house became a house of prayer and teaching.
When Missionary Ginsburg went out there, preached the Word and
explained about Christ, he asked those who wished to follow the Lord to
stand. Practically the whole company stood. They had been prepared, by
Mr. Vidal The missionary went back a few times and soon a church of
about forty members was organized and was called the Church of Guandu.

The Word spread up the country first amongst Mr. Vidal's relatives and
friends. At Santa Barbara the station master, Carlos Mendonca, was
converted, who is now pastor of our church at Cantagallo. He first
moved to Rio Bonito and founded a church there, the truth spread, in
other directions also and so the light which the unknown colporteur
left with this farmer has shed its rays of blessings upon a whole
county. Twenty-one years ago, a Bible which belonged to a Catholic
priest, or rather a part of a Catholic Bible, fell into the hands of
the old man, Joaquim Borges. Through the reading of this Bible, he
abandoned idolatry and other practices of Rome and put his trust solely
in the Lord Jesus for his salvation. For sixteen years he resisted all
attempts of priests and others to turn him back to Rome, always giving
a clear and firm testimony to the truth of the gospel. During all this
time he never met with another believer. Hearing of him, E. A. Jackson
wrote him to meet him in Pilao Arcado. He came 120 miles and waited
twelve days for the arrival of the missionary. As Jackson had through
passage to Santa Rita, he asked the captain to hold the steamer while
he baptized Mr. Borges. Before administering baptism Jackson preached
to the great crowd on the river bank and on the decks of the steamer.
It was a solemn and beautiful sight to behold this man, seventy-seven
years of age, following his Lord in baptism at his first meeting with a
minister of the gospel and before a multitude which had never witnessed
such a scene. Dripping from the river, Jackson welcomed him into the
ranks of God's children. The missionary embarked on the steamer and Mr.
Borges went back to work among his neighbors. Up till the present time
not even a native minister has visited him, for the lack of workers and
funds to send them. Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor hath it
entered into the heart to conceive the glorious things God has prepared
for the man who will go to work for Him among the neglected people of
the interior of Brazil.

In the State of Sao Paulo is a boy, Ramiro by name, now about thirteen
years of age, the only son of parents who do not know a letter of the
alphabet. Indeed, he is the only one in a large connection that has
been taught to read.

The family lives about twenty miles from their market town, Mogy das
Cruzes, to which they go to sell the meager fruits of their labors on
the little farm. In this town they have some acquaintances, among whom
is a believer whose faith had come through reading the Bible. This
believer one day came into possession of a Bible which he didn't need,
and so he gave it to Ramiro, who was then about nine or ten years of
age and was beginning to learn to read. The little fellow trudged home,
twenty miles away, carrying his priceless present, and showed it
joyously to his parents. This was the first book that ever entered
their humble home, excepting, of course, Ramiro's little school book.
Curious to know what the book contained, the father put Ramiro to
deciphering some of its pages. Guided, no doubt, by the Holy Spirit, he
fell upon the New Testament and laboriously read on and on for months
and months The neighbors--all ignorant alike--would come and listen to
Ramiro spell out sentence after sentence, he becoming more expert as
the days went by. He would read, they would listen and discuss, the
Holy Spirit, in the meantime, fixing the sacred truth in their hearts.
This persistent reading of the Word went on for two or three years to a
time when the Lord opened to Dr. J. J. Taylor, of Sao Paulo, a door of
opportunity in Mogy das Cruzes. He found twelve people ready to follow
on in the Lord's ordinance.

Since that time even more abundant fruit has been gathered. Dr. Taylor
at first baptized three of Ramiro's cousins who hail from the same
village twenty miles away and recently he baptized the uncle, aunt,
some more cousins and Ramiro himself. Ramiro taught the words of many
hymns to his family and neighbors. Through him and his book his aged
grandparents, ninety years old and bedridden, rejoice in the Savior.

How great must be the might of the Word of God which can convert to
salvation strong men through the faltering lips of a child And yet,
after all, is not this the combination which alone is powerful in
spreading the gospel--a simple, child-like heart, through which the
Word may speak forth? "A little child shall lead them," because it can
be artless enough to give simple utterance to the Word of God. Oh, for
more in all lands who will give unaffected voice to the Word of God!
That message has power in it if it can get sincere expression.

We need to realize more than we do the transcendent importance of
giving wide circulation to the Bible in foreign lands. The
illustrations given here of the wonderful success of the Book should
help us to reach a better appreciation of the value of the Word of God
in mission endeavor. Certainly, there is marvelous power in it. Its
enemies fear its might; therefore, they fight desperately to prevent
the circulation of it. Would that we could have as keen a realization
of the vitality of this Book as do its enemies. Surely then, we would
do far more for the sowing of the Scriptures beside all waters.



CHAPTER XIV.

THE METTLE OF THE NATIVE CHRISTIAN.


In 1894, Francisco da Silva, soon after his conversion in Bahia, went
to Victoria in the State of Espirito Santo to live. He went into the
interior with some surveyors, and in addition to the work he was called
upon to do, he found time to tell the story of Jesus. Eight people were
converted and he wrote Dr. Z. C. Taylor to come and baptize them.

Dr. Taylor was not able to go immediately, and one of the men secured
his baptism in a very unique way. He asked Francisco to baptize him
Francisco replied that he could not because he was not ordained. The
man returned home and examined his Bible and came back a few days later
and demanded again that Francisco baptize him. Francisco replied that
in order to baptize, one must be ordained. "No," said the man, "I have
looked in the Bible and I do not find it necessary for one to be
ordained in order to baptize." So catching hold of Francisco, he pulled
him along to a river near by, Francisco through it all holding back the
best he could and arguing with the man that he could not baptize him.
But the man constrained him and forced him into the river. Francisco
seeing his zeal, performed the ceremony. Some question afterward was
raised about the validity of this baptism, and the man was baptized
regularly by the same Francisco, who had in the meantime received
ordination.

When he had finished with one party of surveyors another wanted to
employ him, and they went to the first party to find out about him. The
men said: "He has fine qualifications for the position, but there is
one objection to him--he is a Protestant." "Ah," said the second party,
"can't we with a little money get that out of him?" "No," replied the
first, "it seems to be grown into him." He was taken by the second
party, the chief of which and all his family soon became devoted
Christians.

The desire to tell the story of Jesus burned in Francisco's heart so
warmly that he gave up his lucrative employment with the surveying
party, bought a mule and other necessities for his journey and started
out to proclaim the unsearchable riches of Christ to the people of that
State. He was remarkably successful and soon gathered about him a
little band of believers, who, because of their faithfulness to Christ,
were called upon to suffer severe persecution. They were compelled to
flee into the distant mountains where Missionary Jackson afterward
found them, organized them into a church and baptized seventy-five
converts. Later they were able to return to their homes, due to the
fact that a more lenient administration was inaugurated in Victoria.
Very soon afterward our faithful missionary, L. M. Reno, was sent to
this State, and the work from this good beginning has had remarkable
prosperity. The pioneer missionary, da Silva, after having gained the
title of Apostle to the State of Espirito Santo, was called in 1910 to
his reward.

From what we have been saying, you have no doubt made many inferences
about the kind of Christians these Brazilians make. If you had seen
them face to face, you would have been, as I was, impressed with their
appearance. They were the best-looking people I saw. Their countenances
were clearer and there was a hopeful, resourceful look upon them that
was not noticeable upon the non-believers. Sin and fear always break
the spirit of men, and though there may be a brave look assumed, yet
there always hangs a cloud over the countenance of the sin-stained and
fear-driven man, be he a religionist or atheist. This change in
appearance is produced by a change in their way of living. When they
are converted they cease drinking, gambling, Sabbath-breaking, and
often the men give up smoking and the women cease taking snuff. The
fact is they sometimes are extreme upon this subject. I heard of one
church that made the giving up of tobacco and another the laying aside
of jewelry the test of fellowship. These people coming out from under
the domination of a religion of fear into the light and liberty of the
gospel are changed from glory to glory, having upon them the light of
God's countenance.

They are liberal givers. There is a much larger proportion of tithers
among them than among the Christians in the States. Here, too, they
often go to extremes. More than one church in Brazil makes tithing
obligatory upon its members. Last year the Brazilian Baptists gave as
much per capita for foreign missions as did the Baptists in our
Southern States. They have set their aim this year higher than the
Southern Baptists have. They sustain foreign mission work in Chili and
Portugal. They engage in this foreign mission endeavor because the
leaders think that the foreign mission principle is vital to the life
and development of the churches. This giving to foreign missions is not
to the neglect of their home enterprises. They have Home and State
Mission Boards which they support liberally. They have am Education
Board to which they gave forty cents per capita last year and all of
this giving out of such grinding poverty!

Here and there are people of larger means who are munificent in their
gifts. It was the generous offer of $5,000 by Captain Egydio that made
possible the founding of the Collegio Americano Egydio, which school
was established by the Taylors in Bahia. He paid $650 the first
installment upon the furniture, but his sudden taking off prevented the
college from realizing the whole amount promised, because the family
lost so heavily by persecution after the father had been taken away.
Col Benj. Nogueira Paranagua, a rich cattleman, built a church, school
and library building at Corrente in the State of Piauhy at his own
expense and afterward paid the salary of a teacher for the school. When
the church in San Fidelis, which was established in the face of trying
persecution, was considering how it could possibly build a meeting
house, a coffee farmer, who was not yet a member, rose and said: "I am
old and useless, but I want to do something for Jesus and His church.
I, therefore, offer to erect the church building and the church may pay
me six per cent. annually until I die, and then the building will
belong to the church as a legacy which I intend to leave." As the work
on the house progressed he signified his desire to be the first one to
be baptized in the baptistry. This was granted gladly and his thought
of charging six per cent on the building until his death disappeared in
the watery grave and he made the church a present outright of the
beautiful chapel. Not only this chapel has been built by an individual,
but others have been built in the same way. Usually, however, the
churches are built out of the sacrificial offerings of the people. So
well has this church building movement progressed that now about
one-third of the 142 Baptist Churches organized in Brazil worship in
their own buildings, and with a few exceptions, these buildings have
been erected by the gifts of the people and not by the gifts of the
Foreign Mission Board. The Presbyterians show a better proportion of
buildings than this and the Methodists quite as good.

The subject of self-support is a live one. There has been good progress
made in this matter, but, of course, it will require many years to
teach the churches their full duty in this regard. Many churches have
reached the point where they take care of all local expenses. Some of
the missionaries go so far as to advocate not organizing any more
churches until the congregations can be self-supporting. The South
Brazilian Mission, in its recent meeting, adopted the rule that no
church should be organized hereafter until it could pay at last 60 per
cent of its own expenses--these expenses to include the care of the
house, the salary of the native pastor, etc.

I have already cited instances of personal work. I wish to say more
particularly that the great success which has attended the work in
Brazil must be in a large measure attributed to the fact that those who
have been led to Christ have been zealous in witnessing personally to
others of the grace which had been bestowed upon them.

One of the greatest laymen in Brazil is our Brother Thomaz L. da Costa.
He is the Superintendent of a very considerable business firm in Bahia.
He is a deacon in the First Baptist Church, one of the moving spirits
upon the Brazilian Foreign Mission Board and practically superintends
the work of the State Mission Board of Bahia.

Years ago he was converted in Rio through the agency of his
washerwoman. This faithful woman is a member of the First Baptist
Church. She decided she would attempt to lead Thomaz to Christ. So on
Saturday when she would bring his laundry she would invite him to come
to her house on the following day for dinner. I might say by way of
parenthesis, that there is not a steam laundry in Brazil. All of the
laundry work is done by hand. Sometimes there is quite a considerable
firm which employs many laundresses. Thomaz, after declining the good
woman's invitation many times, finally one day decided he would accept
it.

On Sunday he appeared at her house for dinner. After the dinner was
over she suggested that they, in company with several of her children,
should take a stroll through some of the parks. They passed through the
great park in the center of the city, and after a while they found
themselves in front of a building in which they heard singing. The good
woman suggested that they go upstairs into the hall from which
proceeded the sounds of the music. They went in, Thomaz not knowing
what sort of place it was. Dr. Bagby, the first missionary of our board
to Brazil, was conducting a service and soon began a sermon which
impressed Thomaz very greatly. The sermon drew such a picture of his
life that he accused the woman of having told Dr. Bagby about him. She
had not done so, she declared, and this fact impressed Thomaz even more.

Next Saturday, when she brought his laundry, she invited him to take
dinner with her again on Sunday, but he was too shrewd for her and
declined, saying that he understood her purpose. The message which he
had heard in the sermon, however, stayed with him. On the following
Saturday the good woman again invited him to take dinner with her on
Sunday. He declined. When the third Saturday came, before she had time
to extend her usual invitation, he said: "I am coming to dinner with
you tomorrow." He went according to promise, and after the meal had
been finished, they did not take a round-about course, but went
directly to the church, and there the man listened to the gospel again
and gave himself to Christ. He has not missed a service since unless
providentially hindered. I asked him if he was sorry of the step he had
taken and he replied: "No, indeed. It is as Paul says, 'A salvation not
to be repented of.'"

There can be but one inevitable result to such faithful witnessing as
this. One of the most hopeful signs in connection with the work in
Brazil is the fact that a large percentage of the members of the
churches endeavor to lead others to Christ in a personal way. A large
percentage of them will conduct public services wherever the
opportunity can be found. In the First Baptist Church in Rio there are
more than twenty men who will go out and conduct public services. They
are not skilled preachers. They may have very limited education, but
they can take the Book, read it, explain its message through the light
of their own individual experiences, and by this means of witnessing to
the power of the saving grace of God in their own lives, they are able
to lead many to Jesus. Is not this after all the kind of preaching our
Lord has sent us into the world to do?

The severest persecution which these Brazilian Christians are called
upon to endure is not that which comes to them when they are stoned, or
when their property may be destroyed or when their business may be
taken away from them through boycotts or when they may be turned into
the streets through the bitter hatred of hard-hearted priests, but the
most trying persecution is that which comes from the insinuating
remark, the sneer of the supercilious and the doubt of the envious. The
taunt of hypocrisy is often thrown into the teeth of native Christians.
Their motives are frequently impugned. I was profoundly impressed with
the answer they usually give to such persecutions. They reply by
saying: "See how we live. Note the difference between our careers now
and our careers before we became Christians." And this challenge of the
life is the one which will finally answer the ridicule and doubt of all
who assail them.



CHAPTER XV.

THE TESTING OF THE MISSIONARY.


In thinking of the missionary, most of us dwell upon the heroic
self-denial he practices and the bravery with which he faces the
gravest dangers. Certainly, the missionary in Brazil is due a good
share of such appreciation. He has been called upon to endure shameful
indignities, painful personal dangers and the enervating perils of a
hostile climate. Our own missionaries have been beaten, stoned, thrown
into streams, arrested and haled before courts, shot at and in many
instances saved only by the most signal dispensations of Providence.
Dr. Bagby, our first missionary, in spite of stoning and arrest when he
was baptizing converts in Bahia, kept fearlessly on in his endeavor to
lead the people to Christ. Dr. Z. C. Taylor traveled through the
interior of Bahia State in perils of robbers, in perils of fanatics, in
perils of infuriated priests and in perils of bloodthirsty persecutors
without fear or shrinking. In the spring of 1910 Solomon Ginsburg was
set upon by a mob at Itabopoana, which opened fire with such perilous
directness that one bullet flattened upon the wall a few inches above
his head.

This same missionary in 1894 endured bitter persecutions when he
attempted to open the work at San Fidelis in the interior of the State
of Rio de Janeiro. A mob of a thousand people threw stones, grass, corn
and a great miscellany of other objects at him and his little band of
worshipers. The howling of the mob prevented him from preaching. The
best that could be done was to sing songs. Finally, a stone having
struck a girl in the congregation, he carried her out through the
infuriated mob to a drug store across the street, where she was
resuscitated, and he returned to his service of song.

Next morning he was called to the police headquarters and the officer
forbade him to preach. He asked what the missionary was doing there, to
which he replied, "To preach the gospel." The missionary was then
prohibited from preaching in the province. He replied that he was sorry
he could not obey, for he had superior orders. He could not accept
orders from the police, nor the Governor, nor even from the President
of the Republic. The officer asked who this superior authority was. The
missionary replied it was God. God had told him to go preach the gospel
in all the world to every creature; some of God's creatures were in San
Fidelis and he was there to preach according to the command of his
Lord. The police officer, after plying him with insulting epithets,
kept him a prisoner of the State as a disturber of the peace. On the
following day he was sent to the State prison at Nictheroy, where he
was confined for ten days. Friends, through the solicitation of Mrs.
Ginsburg, brought pressure to bear upon the Government and the
missionary was released. He was requested then as a personal favor not
to return until after the naval revolt, which was then in progress,
should be suppressed and a degree of quiet could be restored to the
State. Being thus requested, he remained away from San Fidelis awhile.

When the revolt was suppressed he returned to San Fidelis and
persecution arose again. He appealed to the chief officer of the State
and fifty soldiers were sent to his relief. In choosing these fifty
soldiers the officer asked for believers to volunteer. Twenty-five
responded. He asked then for sympathizers and twenty-five more
volunteered. These were put under the command of the missionary, who
instructed them not to appear armed at the church. They came unarmed,
but when the mob began to thrown stones again and refused to respect
the soldiers, they pounced upon the evil doers and there was a rough
and tumble fight. Several were bruised considerably and a number of
limbs were broken, but after this conflict the persecution ceased.

We relate these incidents for the purpose of making it clear that our
missionaries have been called upon to suffer greatly for the cause of
Christ. Every missionary who has been in Brazil any length of time has
felt the weight of personal, physical persecution, and all in the
gravest dangers have conducted themselves as became the heroic
character with which they are so splendidly endowed. And this
suffering, we are sorry to say, is not yet over. For many years to come
the desperate and despotic hand of Rome, which could in the name of
religion invent the horrible inquisition and organize the bloodthirsty
order of Jesuits, has not changed its attitude completely and will
resist desperately to the last the inevitable progress of Protestantism
in Brazil.

Let me hasten, however, to say that it is very easy to get the wrong
impression of what the heroism of the missionary consists. It is easy
for us to think it consists in his willingness to face personal danger.
If such an idea should obtain amongst us permanently and alas, it has
persisted altogether too long; it will rob the story of missions of its
true interest and hazard appreciation of the enterprise upon the
ability of the historian to find thrilling tales of adventure to
gratify the appetite of the sensation-loving public.

The most trying thing to the missionary is not the imminence of
personal danger, but the ever-present chilling, benumbing indifference
of the people to the gospel. Even though here and there we find large
numbers of people who are ready to accept the gospel, let us not
deceive ourselves into the belief that all Brazil is eagerly seeking to
enter the Kingdom of God. The Macedonian call to Paul did not come from
a whole nation which was ready to accept his teaching, but from one man
in a nation. Most all Macedonian calls are like that. The few,
comparatively speaking, rise to utter such calls and these few are the
keys of opportunity which may be used to unlock whole Empires. The
great body of the people in Brazil (and this is especially true of the
educated classes) are as indifferent to the gospel as people are most
anywhere else. It is the weight of this stolid indifference which tries
the endurance of the missionary. It fills the very atmosphere he
breathes and hangs a dark cloud over his horizon, which only his faith
in God and the winning of occasional converts graciously tinge with a
silver lining. It is indifference, slowly yielding indifference that
tests the temper of the missionary character. There are times when a
bit of physical persecution would afford a positive relief to the
fatigue of his exacting career.

The days of the pioneer missionary, with their personal dangers, have
in a measure passed. The yeans of the persecutor in the face of an
increasingly more enlightened civilization are numbered. The
probability of personal perils is growing steadily less. The missionary
must now fight for a hearing before a public which is too often willing
to let him alone. In many places it does not care enough for his
message to persecute him for bringing it. It is ready to patronize him
with an assumed air of liberality and resist the message which burns in
his heart and upon his lips. They are willing for him to speak, but not
willing to listen to what he has to say. He must fight for a hearing
with this patronizing indifference. It is this that tries his spirit.
It is this that bleeds his heart of its strength. It is this that calls
out the heroic in him as never does the dart of the savage, the weapon
of the fanatic or the fury of the mob. To hold on true to his purpose
in the face of such soul-harrowing indifference is the crowning act of
heroism upon the part of our missionaries. No one of them has ever
drawn back and given up his work for fear of death at the hands of his
persecutors, but it must be said for the sake of the truth that some
have succumbed before the rigors of blasting indifference. The saints
at home ought to support valiantly with their prayers our missionaries
who at the front are engaged in a battle even unto death with
indifferent souls unwilling to accept their message.

There is another count in this subject of indifference to which we at
home should give more prayerful consideration. It is the failure of the
churches at home to send out an adequate number of missionaries to
reinforce the workers at the front and make it possible for them to
take advantage of the opportunities that have come to them already.
What could take the spirit out of a man more quickly than the feeling
that those who had sent him out do not care enough about him to give
him support and reinforcements for his work? It is a shame upon us that
we at home add another burden to our missionaries by failing to loyally
support them. What must be a man's thoughts after he has toiled and
sacrificed on a field for years and has unceasingly begged for a mere
tithe of the helpers he really needs and which we fail to send?

When that brave garrison of English soldiers were shut up in Lady
Smith, South Africa, during the Boer War their courage to hold out
against overwhelming odds and on insufficient rations through many
weeks was kept up by the assurance that the patriotic English nation
was doing its utmost to send relief, though the relief was long
delayed. If the thought that their home people were not trying to send
succor to them had ever taken possession of their minds, they would
have surrendered forthwith. Their line of communication was cut, but
they knew help was coming, and so they held out with grim determination
until relief came.

How is it with our missionaries in Brazil? Their lines of communication
are intact. They know their people at home are able to supply them with
the help they need and yet the help does not come. What must be the
conclusion forced upon, them and what must be the effect upon them?
Either the churches, though able, will not give the means to send out
missionaries, or the men for reinforcement will not volunteer. It may
be that both causes are at work. What is the matter when a pulpit
committee of a prominent church can have sixty names suggested to it of
men who might become its pastor, and a good percentage (save the mark)
of these direct applications, when our small missionary force in Brazil
is pleading for only ten men to be sent out to relieve them in their
strain? Whatever explanation we may have to offer for these things, the
fact remains that our indifference to the call of our men at the front
adds an additional weight to their already too heavy load, and yet, in
spite of it all, they are standing with unflinching heroism at their
posts.

Something must be done to relieve this situation. Counting all
denominations, there are in Brazil fewer missionaries today in
proportion to the population than there are either in India or China.
Why this disparity of workers in Brazil? Is it because the work is not
successful there? The facts show that, taking into consideration the
number of workers, it is one of the most fruitful of all mission
fields. Is it because there is less need of the gospel? I believe I
have shown that these people are bereft of the gospel, and because of
their sin and idolatry are as needy as are to be found anywhere. No,
there is no excuse to be offered. Our workers at the front need help.
We are trying their brave spirits by withholding the relief they have a
right to expect, and yet we repeat they are holding on with a courage
that stamps them as heroes of the finest type. God help us to see our
obligation to send out recruits in sufficiently large numbers to
relieve these brave soldiers and transform them from a besieged
garrison into an aggressive army of conquerors.

Let us bear in mind that what is said about indifference both on the
foreign field and among the churches at home is spoken of the people in
the large. Thank God, the light is breaking in many places at home and
abroad. Many individuals and churches are today seeing the larger
vision and are assuming their larger responsibility in the support of
the foreign mission cause. Many are saying: "We will faithfully
strengthen the hands of our brothers who toil so courageously at the
front." In Brazil (and in other mission fields, too,) there is in many
places a marvelous breaking away from the old attitude of indifference.
The little handful of missionaries we have on the field are straining
every nerve to meet the opportunities that are pressing upon them. They
are not discouraged. They are as busy as life trying to meet the
increasing demands. They are looking to the future with the largest
hope. They are a band of the most incurable optimists you ever saw.



CHAPTER XVI.

THE URGENT CALL.


This very breaking away in some places is piling up additional burdens
and the pitifully inadequate force is called upon to meet demands that
twice their number could hardly satisfy. If we had the same
distribution of Baptist ministers in our Southern country that we have
in Brazil there would be only four ministers in Texas, two in Virginia,
three in Georgia and other States in like proportion. Think of E. A.
Nelson, the only representative of our board in the Amazon region,
trying to spread himself over four States which comprise a territory
five times as large as Texas. Passing down the coast, five days
journey, we would find D. L. Hamilton and H. H. Muirhead, who have
faced dangers as fearlessly as have any brave spirits who have enriched
the annals of missionary history with courageous service. They, along
with Miss Voorheis, are our sole representatives in the State of
Pernambuco and in the adjoining State of Alagoas. C. F. Stapp, Solomon
Ginsburg and E. A. Jackson are attempting to carry forward the work in
the vast States of Piauhy, Goyaz, a part of Minas Geraes, and Bahia,
which last named State has in it one city as large as New Orleans. E.
A. Jackson is located far in the interior of the State, three weeks'
journey from Bahia; all of the energies of Stapp are consumed in caring
for the school; Ginsburg is forced to give his attention to the
nurturing of the thirty-five churches and of evangelizing as far as his
strength will go. In the State beyond them, going down the coast,
stands L. M. Reno, in the State of Espirito Santo. In the populous
State of Rio, in which is located the capital city with its 1,000,000
inhabitants, we have Entzminger, Shepard, Langston, Maddox, Cannada,
Christie, Taylor and Crosland. Entzminger, in addition to conducting
the publishing house, must also conduct the mission operations in
Nictheroy, a city of 40,000; Shepard, Taylor and Langston have placed
upon their shoulders the tremendous responsibility of conducting the
college and seminary; Cannada must give his energies to the Flumenense
School for Boys, leaving only Maddox, Christie and Crosland at liberty
to do the wider evangelistic work and care for the many churches which
the success of their labors have thrust upon them. Crosland has been
transferred recently to Bello Horizonte, in the great State of Minas
Geraes. Farther South, in Sao Paulo, the richest and most progressive
State in the country, are Bagby, Deter and Edwards, Misses Carroll,
Thomas and Grove. Bagby and wife and the young ladies just mentioned
devote their time to the school, leaving only two to man a field which,
because of its splendid railroad facilities, has in it scores of
inviting locations for successful work. In Paranagua in the next State
to the South, have been located recently R. E. Pettigrew and wife. Far
down to the South in Rio Grande do Sul, a State as large as Tennessee
and Kentucky combined, stands a single sentinel in the person of A. L.
Dunstan. What a battle line for twenty men to maintain! It is more than
4,000 miles in length. If you should place these men in line across our
Southern territory, locating the first one in Baltimore, you would
travel 100 miles before you reach the second, 100 miles before you
reach the third, 100 miles to the fourth, and in going toward the
Southwest, you would reach the twentieth man in El Paso, Tex. Whereas,
if you were to draw up the Baptist ministers enrolled in the Southern
Baptist Convention territory along the same line and pass down it to
make the count, by the time you had reached El Paso you would have
passed 8,000 men, for they would have been placed just one-fourth of a
mile apart.

Why do we need 400 ministers in this country to one in Brazil? Is it
possible that we will grudgingly cling to our 8,000 ministers and
decline to give even eight to reinforce our little handful in Brazil?
Such a division of forces can neither be fair nor faithful.

In drawing this picture I have practically stated the situation for the
other denominations. The Presbyterians occupy the same general
territory as do the Baptists with an equal number of missionaries. The
Methodists have somewhat more compactly stationed about the same number
of missionaries as each of the other two, while the Episcopalians, the
Congregationalists and the Evangelical Mission of South America
combined add a number about equal to each of the three larger
denominations. A total of less than 100 ordained missionaries scattered
over a territory larger than the United States of North America, which
allows about four missionaries to each Brazilian State. Add to this
number the wives of the missionaries, the thirty-seven unmarried women
and the 125 native workers and the entire missionary body, foreign and
native, barely totals 300. How utterly inadequate is such a force in
the presence of such vast needs! Because this situation has in it a
call so apparent and so inexpressibly urgent it is impossible to
portray it in words.

The ripeness of the State of Piauhy for evangelization will illustrate
the urgency of the opportunity all over Brazil. As far back as 1893 Dr.
Nogueira Paranagua, who was at that time National Senator from his
State, urged Dr. Z. C. Taylor to send a man into Piauhy and promised to
help pay the expenses. Two years later Col. Benj. Nogueira, the brother
of the Senator, gave a similar invitation, making a promise that he
would sustain a missionary. It was not until 1901 that E. A. Jackson
was able to reach Col. Benjamin's home. He preached the gospel in this
good man's house and also in Corrente, the town near by. Persecution,
bitter and determined, arose. There were three attempts to take
Jackson's life in one day. Once Col. Benjamin stepped in between the
assassin and the missionary and thus saved the missionary's life. Some
months later, upon the return of the missionary, Col. Benjamin, who had
been for so many years a friend to the gospel, gave himself to it and
was baptized. In January, 1904, the new house of worship at Corrente
was dedicated. It was built by Col. Benjamin at his own expense. He
also built a school building and library, and afterward when the
missionary was able to secure a teacher, this generous man paid all the
charges.

When we reached Brazil last summer I received a message from Judge
Julio Nogueira Paranagua, a nephew of Col. Benjamin, who is one of the
Circuit Judges in the State of Piauhy and who after a short while is to
be retired upon his pension, according to the Brazilian law. As soon as
this takes place he expects to give himself entirely to the work of
evangelizing his own people. The message ran: "The State of Piauhy is
open to the gospel. There is a fight on between the priests and the
better classes. The better educated people, disgusted with Romanism and
priesthood, are drifting into materialism and atheism, but if a
competent man could be situated at Therezina, the capital, the whole
State could easily be won to the gospel."

His uncle, who is President of our Brazilian Convention, as we have
already stated, whose family embraces in its immediate connection over
a thousand people, in a letter written me after I left Rio, reinforces
this appeal. He says:

"I come to call your attention to the State of Piauhy, the field in
Brazil at present which seems to me to be the best prepared for
evangelization. Many things have contributed to bring this about. The
Masons, on the one hand, have done the most they possibly could against
Romanism; on the other hand, the propaganda sincere and fervent of a
small church founded in the southern part of the State, which happily
is receiving the greatest blessing from Almighty God, is greatly
contributing to the reception of the gospel throughout the State. My
brother, Col. Benj. Nogueira, the founder of that church, has passed
away, but he has left sons who are spiritual and who continue to work.
With the work developed there it will spread beneficently. In the
adjoining townships there exist many believers, and a church will be
founded soon in Paranagua, a town situated on the beautiful lake by the
same name. In the cities of Jerumenha and Floriano there are already
small churches, which united to the others in assiduous labors, will
powerfully contribute to the evangelization of the State, which is one
of the most promising of Northern Brazil. My friend, Senator Gervazio
de Britto Passo, strongly desires that a minister of the gospel come to
the section where he is most influential. This Senator greatly
sympathizes with our cause and is convinced that his numerous and
influential friends as soon as enlightened by a pastor as to what the
religion of the Baptists is, will unite with them, becoming
evangelical. The best moment to move in that State is the present one,
when so many causes concur for our evangelical development. The
population of Piauhy, which is over 500,000, will increase considerably
as well as its economic wealth.

"I hope that you will not leave this field without pastors, where the
gospel is being received as the greatest benefit to which the people
can aspire for their civilization."

It was my good fortune to meet the present Senator from the State of
Piauhy aboard the ship as he went up the coast, and he, while not a
Protestant, urged upon me the importance of our heeding the call of
this Nogueira family and personally assured me that he would do his
utmost to see that such a missionary would have the widest opportunity
to preach the gospel to the people. This must be a Macedonian call,
which we hope to soon be able to heed.



CHAPTER XVII.

THE LAST STAND OP THE LATIN RACE.


There was a time in the life of the Anglo-Saxon race When it became
necessary for at least a portion of it to go out into a new country in
order that it might achieve the larger destiny it was to fulfill in the
world. God was behind that exodus as truly as he was behind the
transplanting of Abraham into a new environment. Here in our country,
unfettered by despotic traditions and precedents, the Anglo-Saxon
achieved religious and political liberty with a rapidity and
thoroughness that could not have been possible in the old Continent of
Europe.

Likewise also did God separate the Latin race from continental
oppression that it might grow a better manhood in the freer atmosphere
of the Western World. It is true that the Latin movement was not
prompted by the same motive that impelled the Anglo-Saxon. Instead of
the love of liberty, he was led out by the lure of gold. Nevertheless,
we must believe the final result will be the same or else disbelieve in
the ultimate triumph of the guidance of God. We should not despair of
the success of this providential movement.

In South America is to be witnessed the last stand of the Latin race.
There God has given him one last chance to achieve a religious
character which will honor his Lord. It is the duty of his Northern
brother to sympathize with him and to believe in his ability to build
up a character worthy of himself and God. If we cannot bring ourselves
to such a belief it is useless for us to expect to be helpful, and it
is unfaithful in us to expend money upon a people when we are confident
it will be wasted.

We must not forget that these people are the descendants of the
Caesars, of Seneca, Napoleon--the race that ruled the world for fifteen
centuries. They surely have not lost all of their virility. It must be
a case of wasted strength. We believe that this race has in it the
possibility of rejuvenation. Lavaleye, the great Belgian political
economist, very probably spoke the truth when he said that the Latin
race is equal to the Anglo-Saxon, the only difference being the gospel
which the Protestants preach and live.

We shall be helpful in our effort to give him the proper sympathy if we
remember the handicaps under which he has labored. He was satisfied
with his old fossilized religion, which had taught him to believe that
despotism is a virtue. He did not, therefore, come to America for
liberty. The early settlers were the veriest adventurers of whom the
gold lust made paragons of cruelty and crime. They brought with them
the intriguing priest who would corrupt the Kingdom of Heaven in order
to maintain his power. There was no intentional break with their old
life. The light that guided them to America was the yellow light of
gold and not the white light of righteousness. The first result was
that there developed in the untrammeled West the most unreasoning
despotism, the most unblushing robbery and the most shamelessly corrupt
priestcraft. So this whole transplanted mass of the worst intolerance,
most insatiable greed and the most corrupt priesthood that Europe has
ever produced, had to be taught from the beginning on the new soil, the
elements of the higher manhood they so desperately needed. They had
learned no first lesson in Europe, and therefore their first lesson in
America was to unlearn the very things that constituted their central
life and thought in Europe.

What progress has this providential teaching of the Latins in the New
World made? So swiftly did they learn the lessons of liberty that
hardly had the conflict which won complete freedom for the United
States closed before the inevitable struggle for the same priceless
heritage was in full swing in all Latin-America. And be it said to
their everlasting credit that this sacred cause, in spite of
revolutions and reactions, which at times hazarded the whole scheme,
has made steady advance, all critics to the contrary, notwithstanding.
Political liberty is potentially at least achieved in South America. It
is written in the Constitutions of the Republics and in the purposes of
the people. While many battles will be fought to establish it in
detail, yet the principle is so well established that it will never be
uprooted, provided we give the moral and educational aid we should
render at this critical hour.

We have come upon a time when we must give to our South American
brothers unstinted support. They have attained political freedom, but
they have not yet gained religious freedom. Nothing can be more
anomalous than a State with political freedom fostering a State
religion that is desperately and unscrupulously intolerant. No genuine
Republic can support a State religion. The two will not live together.
One or the other must go, as the history of France will abundantly
substantiate. One result is inevitable--the people will eventually
repudiate the despotic religion and drift into atheism and infidelity.
Indeed, such a thing is happening in South America today. The better
educated classes are being set hopelessly adrift religiously and the
more ignorant, the common people, are following idolatry. Neither have
the gospel preached to them. The Bible is withheld. Such a state of
affairs is a loud call to us.

If these people are left without a vital, character building religion
they will, because of their volatile natures, degenerate into the
grossest perversions of morality. In such an event the Monroe Doctrine
itself would become a menace. Unless we give these people the gospel it
will be far better to annul the Monroe Doctrine and permit the stronger
nations of Europe to enter for the sake of good government and
morality. We must either carry to our Latin brothers the regenerating,
uplifting, energizing gospel of Jesus, or step out of the way and let
England and Germany interpose their strong arms to prevent one of the
most colossal catastrophes of all time in the moral collapse of the
70,000,000 Latin-Americans. Surely, this must be the time when we, if
we ever intend to do so, must reinforce our Latin brothers. They have
done well, they have made progress, but they have gone about as far as
they can in the struggle upon the moral resources at their command.
Their very progress in education and civilization is widening the
breach between them and their former religious teachers. A new life
must come in, even the power of the gospel. This alone can save
Latin-America from inglorious failure.

We should not deceive ourselves into believing this prevailing religion
has lost its power, even though it is losing its religious hold upon
the better classes. It still retains its social influence over these
same educated classes, who despise its priests. This social power is a
bulwark of strength that we shall experience great difficulty in
breaking. Then, too, we may be sure these Latin lands will have
reinforcement from the Spanish priesthood, which fact assures a most
astute clerical leadership. The Spanish priest is today the most
resourceful, alert and capable priest on the earth. I believe he is to
be the last strong defender of the Roman Catholic organization. It is
no accident that Merry de Val, the Pope's prime minister, is a
Spaniard. His appointment to that office is a just recognition of the
most virile priesthood in the Roman realm. I was profoundly impressed
with the Spanish priest. He looks you in the eye. He is on the street,
"hail fellow well met" with the people. It is evident that he is
conscious of power and possesses the gift of leadership which he is
eager to use. Latin-America will feel the force of his capable
leadership.

The situation in Brazil is complicated furthermore by the turn affairs
have taken in Portugal. There were riots in Rio and public
demonstrations against the local priests and against the exiled
Portuguese priests that would probably enter Brazil after the
establishment of the Portuguese Republic. But it appears that these
Portuguese clerics are to be admitted. This increases the gravity of
the situation. We shall be forced to take account of these men. They
are a part of the religious problem of South America. Whether we wish
to antagonize them or not, we shall be cognizant of their power. They
will not let us alone. They will not give up South America to
Protestantism without a bitter struggle.

Now I do not say all of these things of the Catholic phase of the
religious problem in Latin-America for the purpose of recommending that
we should gird ourselves for a polemical mission to these countries. We
should look the situation squarely in the face that we may be able to
estimate properly every force with which we shall have to do. I think
that if the sole purpose in conducting these missions is to fight the
Catholics, then we can find work to engage us more worthily. Let us
evermore keep before us the fact that the Latin races have a real need
of the gospel and the gospel is not being preached to them by the
priests. If this is true, our duty is clear and our call is imperative.
We must go and preach a positive, soul-saving gospel, avoiding conflict
as far as possible and by satisfying the heart-hunger of the people
with the Bread of Life, win them to Christ and a new life in Him.

I want to enter a plea for these, our brothers to the South of us. God
has separated them from their old soul-dwarfing environment in Europe,
and set them in this Western World that they might learn of Him.
Whether they realize it or not, they are making the last fight for
salvation and character their race is ever to engage in. They have a
need of the gospel as distressing as that of the grossest heathen.
Their religion itself is leading them further and further from their
saving Lord. Their teachers, who should show them the light of life,
are a beclouding hindrance. The little band of missionaries we have
sent are hopelessly inadequate to the task and plead for reinforcements
with a pathos that almost breaks our hearts. Oh, do not some of us, as
we have followed the portrayal of the needs of South America, like
Isaiah of old, hear the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send and who will go
for us?" God grant that some of us may respond as he did, "Lord, here
am I. Send me."

The same deep longing for salvation that is in our hearts is in the
Latin heart. One day in the interior of Brazil I stood with a
missionary speaking with a man who had ridden to the railroad station
to talk with us a few moments while the train was stopping. As we
conversed a boy twelve years of age drew near to hear us. He was
pitifully disfigured with leprosy. So moved was the missionary by the
sight that he turned and said: "Why do you not go somewhere and be
treated." There flashed instantly in the boy's eye a hope that had long
since died, and he quickly inquired, "Where can I go?" The missionary
could not tell him, and I watched the last ray of hope flicker for a
second and then die out forever! Ever since that day I have been
hearing that pathetic question, "Where can I go?" I seem to hear all
Latin-Americans ask it out of depths of sin. And we know to whom they
must go for healing and salvation. Shall we tell them? "Lord to whom
shall we go--thou hast the words of eternal life." To whom shall
Latin-America go? Only Christ has for them the word of life which
blessed truth they will never know unless we carry it to them.


THE END.



APPENDIX.

SUMMARY OF SOUTHERN BAPTIST WORK IN BRAZIL.

I. MISSIONARIES--
  1. Foreign, 44.
    (1) Men, 21.
    (2) Women, 23.

  2. Native, 117.

II. CHURCH STATISTICS--
  1. Churches, 142.
  2. Membership, 9,939.
  3. Church Buildings, 44.
  4. Outstations, 497.
  5. Sunday Schools, 138.
  6. Sunday School Scholars, 4,438.

III. SCHOOLS--
  1. Primary Schools, 9.
  2. Bagby School for Girls in Sao Paulo.
  3. Fluminense School for Boys in Nova Friburgo.
  4. School for Boys and Girls in Bahia.
  5. School for Boys and Girls in Pernambuco.
  6. Rio Baptist College and Seminary in Rio.
  7. Total number of students, 869.
  8. Theological Departments in connection
     with Rio and Pernambuco schools.

IV. GENERAL--
  1. Work begun in 1882.
  2. Publishing House in Rio.





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