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Observer, April 15, '76.
Channel that some of the sails were converted into rags; the helm was also much injured. There were only six passengers on board. On account of the bad weather, the rolling of the ship, and other obstacles, I preached only four times during the voyage; but I endeavoured to make known God's great love in a private way to the passengers, officers and crew. We sighted New Zealand on the morning of Jan. 11th, and anchored at the heads on the afternoon of the same day. Next morning we were towed into Port Chalmers, where I was welcomed by a dear brother in the Lord and two of my natural sisters. After remaining there an hour or two, we went on the train to Dunedin, a distance of nine miles. I received a hearty welcome from the brethren, and also from my parents and relatives. The church here has more than doubled its membership since I left. We now number about three hundred, and are receiving additions every week. I was highly gratified to find this prosperity. Our much-esteemed Bro. M. W. Green, from Melbourne, has been here eight or ten weeks. His faithful, earnest labours have been greatly blessed, to the salvation of many sinners, and to the edification and comfort of the Lord's people. About forty persons have been added to the Church since his arrival. He leaves for Melbourne next week. He is much beloved by the brethren here. May the blessing of the Lord follow him in all his future labours! I shall ever remember with gratitude the kindness and hospitality which so many English and Scotch brethren showed me during the time that I was travelling in strange lands. I am enjoying excellent health. Hoping and praying that the richest blessing of our heavenly Father may rest upon you, and all the brethren in Great Britain, in all your efforts to make known the Gospel of Christ in its primitive purity, I remain, in the one hope, your affectionate brother in the Lord, THOMAS H. JENNINGS.
DUNEDIN (New Zealand).-A social tea meeting of members and friends was held in the chapel, Great King Street, on Friday evening last, to bid farewell to our respected Bro. Green, of Victoria, who has been labouring with us for the past three months, relieving Bro. Bates, who has been on a visit to his aged parent and friends in Adelaide. The building was crowded to the doors, and during the evening speeches were delivered by Brn. Evans, Buttars, Balsille, Henderson, Jennings and Green, interspersed with anthems very pleasingly rendered by a few of the members of the choir. Altogether a very enjoyable evening was spent. During the visit of Bro. Green forty-five persons have been added to the church, and we expect more fruit from the labours of Bro. Bates, who will resume here shortly. Many are inquiring for the good old paths, and we trust ere long to see many more added to the number of the saved.
BEDLINGTON.-Continuation of services in connection with opening new chapel. On Lord's-day morning, March 19, one who had given her heart to the Lord was immersed and received into membership. In the afternoon, Mr. D. King gave a Bible reading to a large assembly. In the evening, he preached to an audience, filling both chapel and schoolroom. Monday evening, Mr. Abercrombie
preached to a good meeting; Mr. King lecturing in a neighbouring village, where he had a crowded house. Tuesday evening, D. K. delivered a lecture on, How to Read and Study the Bible;" audience large, and deeply interested. Wednesday evening, Gospel addresses by C. A. and D. K. Thursday, we had to part from our beloved, as Bro. King left for Newcastle, on his way to Birmingham. C. Abercrombie preached in the evening. On Lord's-day evening, our new chapel was filled to hear Mr. Abercrombie. Since that time services have been held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, as well. Meetings on the whole encouraging. Yesterday morning there was an extra large turn out of the brethren. In the evening, our singers went to the street and sung a large company from the street into our chapel. On Saturday evening there were two immersed, who were added to the church on Lord'sday morning, on which occasion Mr. Metcalf presided. To the Lord be all the glory. C. A.
ANNAN. Since January report fifteen have been added to our number by confessing the Lord Jesus, and two have been restored; making a total increase of twenty-seven since November last. We have reason to thank the Lord for. His goodness, giving Him all the glory. W. Hindle resumed his labours in the beginning of February, and continued with us six Lord's Days, during which time many meetings have been held in town and neighbourhood, followed up by daily visitation. Considerable interest has been awakened; and we feel sure that, if the services of some efficient brother could be had, much more fruit could be gathered into the fold. Since W. Hindle left us we have been favoured with the valuable services of Bro. Murray, from Glasgow. He has baptized five in the river (of Annan), causing great consternation in the town. This makes more evident the necessity of a new meeting house. We have long felt the need of a place to which we could invite strangers; and we have also sent a circular to the churches with which we are associated, asking their sympathy and help. Should this notice meet the eye of any brother or sister living where there is no church, we will be glad to receive the smallest sum towards the object. Contributions should be addressed to T. Forsyth, Butt Street, Annan. T. F.
SAUGHALL.-We held our Sunday School Review last Lord's-day afternoon, in the presence of a goodly number of members of the church. The children were questioned on the International Lessons of the preceding quarter, and their answers reflected credit both upon themselves and their teachers. look after the young. It was while men slept that the enemy sowed tares. On the morning of the same day we received into the church two men who had, in baptism, given themselves to the Lord; making upwards of twenty additions within but a recent period. We are glad for the truth's sake. And may every soul added to the saved become a centre of gracious influence for Christ.
SHEFFIELD.-I commenced work in connection with the small church here, Feb. 14; since which we have been encouraged by four additions; two by immersion and two by restoration. J. PITTMAN.
A LOST CHILD.
AFTER the terrible massacre in Damascus in 1860, thousands of Greek and Greek Catholic families migrated to Beirut, and among them was a man named Khalil Ferah, who escaped the fire and sword with his wife and his little daughter, Zahidy. I remember well how we were startled one evening in 1861, by hearing a crier going through the streets, "Child lost! girl lost!" The next day he came around again, "Child lost!" There was great excitement about it. The poor father and mother went almost frantic. Little Zahidy, who was then about six years old, was coming home from school with other girls in the afternoon, and they said a man came along with a sack on his back, and told Zahidy that her mother had sent him to buy her some sugar plums and then take her home, and she went away with him. It is supposed that he carried her off to the Arabs or the gipsies.
The father left no means untried to find her. He wrote to Damascus, Alexandria, and Aleppo, describing the child, and begged his friends everywhere to watch for her. There was one mark on the child, which he said would be certain to distinguish her. When she was a baby and nursing at her mother's breast, her mother upset a little cup of scalding hot coffee upon the child's breast, which burned it to a blister, leaving a scar which could not be removed.
Nine years had passed away, and the Beirut people had almost forgotten the story of the lost Damascene girl. Your uncle S. and your aunt A. were sitting in their house one day, in Tripoli, when the boy brought word that a man and woman from Beirut wished to see them. They came in and introduced themselves. They were Khalil, the father of the little lost girl, and his sister, who had heard that Zahidy was in Tripoli, and had come to search for her.
The mother was not able to leave home.
It seems that a native physician in Tripoli, named Shiek Aiub el Hashim, was an old friend of the father, and had known the family and all the circumstances of the little girl's disappearance, and for years he had been looking for her. At length he was called one day to attend a sick servant girl in the family of a Moslem, named Syed Abdullah. The poor girl was ill from having been beaten in a cruel manner by the Moslem. Her face and arms were tattooed in the Bedouin style, and she told them she was a Bedouin girl, and had been living here some years, and her name was Khodra. While examining the bruises on her body, he observed a peculiar scar on her breast. He was startled. He looked again. It was precisely the scar, which his friend had described to him. From her age, her features, her complexion and all, he felt sure that that she was the lost child. He said nothing, but went home and wrote all about it to the father in Beirut. He hastened to Tripoli, bringing his sister with him, as he, being a man, could not be admitted to a Moslem harem. the question arose how should the sister see the girl! They came and talked with your uncle, and went to Yanni and the other vice-consuls, and at length they found out that the women of that Moslem family
Observer, April 15, '76.
were skilful in making silk and gold embroidery, which they sold. So his sister determined to go and order some embroidered work, and see the girl. She talked with the Moslem women, and with their Bedouin servant girl, and made errands for the women to bring her specimens of their work, improving the opportunity to talk with the servant. She saw the scar, and satisfied herself from the striking resemblance of the girl to her mother, that she was the long lost Zahidy.
The father now took measures to secure his daughter. The American, Prussian, English, and French Vice-Consuls sent a united demand to the Turkish Pasha, that the girl be brought to court to meet her father, and that the case be tried in the city council. The Moslems were greatly excited. They knew that there were no less than twenty girls in their families who had been stolen in this way; and if one could be declared, perhaps the rest might, so they resolved to resist. They brought Bedouin Arabs, and hired them to swear falsely. When the girl was brought in, the father was overcome. He could see the features of his dear child, but she was so disfigured with the Bedouin tattooing and the brutal treatment of the Moslems, that his heart sank within him. Yet he examined her, and took his oath that this was his daughter. The Bedawin men and women were now brought in. One swore that he was the father of the girl, and a woman swore that she was her mother. Then several swore that they were her uncles, but it was proved that they were in no way related to the one who said he was her father. Other witnesses were called, but they contradicted one another. They then asked the girl. Poor thing, she had been so long neglected and abused, that she had forgotten her father, and the Moslem women had threatened to kill her if she said she was his daughter; so she declared she was born among the Bedouins, and was a Moslem in religion. Money had been given to certain of the Mejlis, and they finally decided that the girl should go to Moslem house of Derwish Effendi to wait the final decision.
The poor father now went to the Consuls. They made out a statement of the case and sent it to the Counsel General in Beirut, who sent a joint dispatch to the Waly of all Syria, who lives in Damascus, demanding that as the case could not be fairly tried in Tripoli, the girl be brought to Beirut to be examined by a Special Commission. The Waly telegraphed at once to Tripoli, to have the girl sent on by the first steamer to Beirut. The Moslem women now told the girl that orders had come to have her killed, and that she was to be taken on a steamer as if to go to Beirut, but that really they were going to throw her into the sea, and that if she reached Beirut alive they would cut her and burn her! So the poor child went on the steamer in perfect terror, and she reached Beirut in a state of exhaustion. When she was rested, a Commission was formed, consisting of the Moslem Kadi of Beirut, who was acting governor, the political agent, Delenda Effendi, the Greek Catholic bishop Agabius, the Maronite priest Yusef, and the agent of the Greek bishop, together with all the members of the executive council.
Her father, mother, and aunt were now brought in, and sat near her. She refused to recognize them, and
Observer, April 15, '76.
was in constant fear of being injured. The Kadi then turned to her and said, "Do not fear my child. You are among friends. Do not be afraid of people who have threatened you. No one shall harm you." The Moslem Kadi, the Greek priests, and others having thus spoken kindly to her, the father and mother stated the history of how the little girl was lost nine years ago, and that she had a scar on her breast. The scar was examined, and all began to feel that she was really their own daughter. The girl began to feel more calm, and the Kadi told her that her own mother wanted to ask her a few questions. Her mother went up to her and said, My child, don't you remember me?" Said she, "No, I do not." Don't you remember that your name was once Zahidy, and I used to call you, and you lived in a house with a little yard and flowers before the door, and that you went with the little girls to school, and came home at night, and that one day a man came and offered you sugar plums and led you away, and carried you off to the Arabs? "Don't you know me, my own daughter?" The poor girl trembled; her lips quivered, and she said, "Yes, I did have another name. I was Zahidy. I did go with other girls. Oh, ya imme! ny mother! you are my mother," and she sprang into her arms and wept, and the mother wept and laughed, and the Moslem Kadi and the Mufti, and the priests, and the Bishops, and the Effendis, and the great crowd of spectators wiped their eyes, and bowed their heads, and there was a great silence.
After a little the Kadi said, "It is enough. This girl is the daughter of Khalil Ferah. Sir, take your child." The father wiped the tears away, and said, "Your Excellency, you see this poor girl all tattooed and disfigured. You see how ignorant and feeble she is. If she were not my child, there is nothing about her to make me wish to take her. But she is my own darling child, and with all her faults and infirmities, I love her." The whole Council then arose and congratulated the father and mother, and a great crowd accompanied them home.
I can hardly think over this story, even now, without shedding tears; for I think how glad I should have been to get back again a child of mine if it had been lost. And I have another thought, too, about this little lost girl. If that father loved his daughter so as to search and seek for her, and expend money, and travel by land and sea for years, in trying to find her, and when at length he found her, so forlorn and wretched and degraded, but he loved her still because she was his daughter, do you not think that Jesus loves us even more? We are lost and wretched and forlorn. A worse being than Bedouin gipsies has put his mark on our hearts and our natures. We have wandered far, far away. We have served the world, and forgotten our dear Heavenly Father. We have even refused to receive Him when He has come near us. Yet Jesus came to seek and save us. And when He found us so degraded and sinful and disfigured, He loved us still, because we are His own children. Don't you think that the little lost Damascene girl was thankful when she reached her home, and was loved and kindly treated by father and mother and friends?. And ought we not to be very thankful when Jesus brings us home, and calls us "dear children," and opens the gates of Heaven for us?-Women of the Arabs.
THE weaver at his loom is sitting,
How the weaver makes them go!
As the weaver makes his shuttle,
In the grand result will show!
Observer, April 15, '76.
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Happiness from Within....
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Vicar of St. Barnabas...
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WHEN an unclean animal eats up another, equally unclean, and then preys upon society as its predecessor had done there is not much gained in the way of safety and public good. From several quarters correspondents write after this manner:-"I am sorry to say that SPIRITUALISM is spreading in this neighbourhood. Dr. Sexton is going about disseminating it under the supposed authority of the Bible, connecting it with Christianity. He says it settles the question of a future life and has converted him from scepticism. I should be glad if you would deal with the thing in the E.O. for the information of many who need it." When some seven years ago we visited places near to Newcastle-on-Tyne (as Bedlington), Secularism was exceedingly active, noisy in reference to its organizations, and likely to progress. On our recent visit Secularism was nowhere, and believers deemed it entirely unnecessary to disturb its repose-its activity was looked upon as a thing of the past. But the outcry was not small as to Spiritualism, which was raising its head in the place of the old monster. We put it thus because looking at Spiritualism where it has spread most, been longest tried, and had largest opportunity to develop its fruit, we find precisely the same bitter and immoral results
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Secularist and Spiritualist flounder in the same cesspool.
Spiritualists generally, and its prominent leaders particularly, are avowedly anti-christian, and not a few are openly anti-moral. There are, however, a few called Christian Spiritualists, who keep themselves pure from the grosser evils of the system. But the Bible has nothing but condemnation for the whole thing, and no one committed to Spiritualism has any right or title to rank with Christians.
At the close of a recent lecture in Newcastle, where we had a large meeting and a number of Spiritualists, one of them read from Mark xvi. :
These signs shall follow them that believe; in my name shall they cast out devils; and they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." He inquired whether our churches could show these signs, and was informed we could not. He then asked whether they did follow in the Primitive Church, and was told that they did. Then he would know why not now as well as then. He was told that according to the New Testament they were to be done away when certain ends had been attained, which had long since been realized.