Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

sound the trumpet of so blessed a jubilee, making known to all in every place the name of the Lord Jesus? Glory be to His name, a wide door has been opened in Turkey for the proclamation of the Gospel. The Gospel may now be preached to the vast masses of the Mohammedan population in that country. It seems as if God were saying to us, as of old to the Church of Philadelphia, “ Behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it.” During the past year, 13,000 copies of the Scriptures have been bought by native Moslems. Who can tell how many miserable captives may obtain deliverance, and be brought to the family home by this proclamation of Peace on earth, and the good-will of God to men?

Oh, for praying hearts, to plead with God that greater marvels of success and victory may mark this new era of Peace.

TURKEY IN ASIA.

HOPEFOL APPEARANCES. THE late Mr. Everett, American missionary, recently wrote as follows, in regard to his visit to Nicomedia and Baghchajuk:

“ The Spirit's influence is seen, also, in waking up multitudes to read the Scriptures, and of those who must first learn to read, both Armenians and Protestants. There are nearly thirty women now learning to read, taught by a boy of fourteen years of age, who receives for his winter services, a pair of shoes. The spelling-book has been in great demand. The coffee-shops are like school-rooms.

“ Three women wished to learn to read, but they were too poor to buy a spelling-book for 100 paras, (8 cents,) 80 they joined together and collected 95 paras, and came with great entreaty that they might have the book at that price. It was given. A remarkable evidence of the power of truth happened a few days before my visit there. An Armenian had purchased a spelling-book, and was learning to read; he came to this sentence, which he read, spelling out the words, • Jesus Christ came into the world, to save sinners.' He was overwhelmed with emotion at the thought, and burst into tears, and for a long time could not suppress his weeping,—such was the power of this great central truth, as it beamed for the first time upon the mind of a man of forty years. Though he had always attended church, he had never seen the light before. We can with difficulty comprehend the ignorance of the common people. One day the native preacher was conversing with a woman about pictures. * What!' she exclaimed, are they not gods ?' Another man, now a very marked case of conversion, told me that in youth he believed the pictures to be gods. This man was just recovering from a long fit of illness, prolonged by the desertion of his wife; and he would have perished for the necessaries of life, had it not been for the brethren. This man for years strove to follow the Gospel in secret ; but it was as a fire shut up in his bones. He now told me that his heart was full of joy, and all he suffered from persecution was as nothing for the love he had for Christ. The work of our colporteur, Amorga, is intensely interesting. He carries his books with all boldness into the marketplaces and coffee-shops, crying, ' Holy Book !' and 'Turk. ish Book that will not liel' This last expression he cried one day as he happened to be near the room where a Turkish judge from Nicomedia was sitting. The judge sent to have the man called. He came. As he entered, he left the basket of books at the door. • Bring them, bring them,' said the judge, 'I wish to see the Book that will not lie.' He showed him an Armenian Bible, and read to him in the Turkish language from it. The judge inquired if he had any such in Turkish. He said that he had, at the magazine. "Go, bring it,' said the judge. He ran with great joy and brought it. They read together the first chapter of Genesis, and a chapter from the New Testament. The judge then purchased a Bible, and two of his attendants each a Testament, and this in the presence of many Armenian opposers of the Gospel, to their no small chagrin, at witnessing the curiosity and desire of the Turks for this Book, which they despise, and despise because it does not lie, or rather does not confirm them in their lying vanities. The enemy, alarmed at the desire of the people for the Scriptures, went to the Turkish moodir of the village, to persuade him to bid the colporteur to remain in his shop and sell his books. The colporteur, on being called before the moodir, and questioned, replied, “Sir, you know men are lazy and careless, and will perish if some one does not look after them. It is the command of Christ, and I must obey it, or they will be lost; and I shall obey it, and urge them to receive the Gospel.' Upon this he was let off, and has not been troubled since. He has sold, since October last, more than 1000 piastres' worth of books in the village ; mostly last

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

year,-60 Bibles and 100 Testaments. The great desire is for the Scriptures. His joy was almost unbounded as two boxes of books arrived while I was there ; and his face beamed with delight as he came in the morning I left, and said he had sold three Bibles that morning. I am sorry to inform you that the teacher of the school and deacon of the church has been obliged to give up his charge, on account of illness; he has been a useful helper, and the school is flourishing, and the door for labour wide open.

“ We are about to send one of the advanced students of the seminary to take charge of the school and visit the coffee-shops. There is one coffee shop in the hands of the brethren. It is crowded morning and evening with visitors; sometimes as many as forty assemble there. The Bible is constantly read and explained by some present. It is a preaching coffee-house; it answers the same purpose as 'the school of one Tyrannus.' I visited it twice, and testify of what I have seen. The enemies are making great efforts to shut the shop, or turn out the Protestants. The owner is an Armenian, and refuses to violate his contract. The unlawful efforts of his friends have nearly persuaded him to be a Protestant himself so far, that he attended the chapel twice while I was there. If they succeed, many others will be opened in its place. The man who threatened to poison his wife if she became a Protestant, came the other day and begged of the native preacher that he would teach him the Lord's Prayer. He learned the half at one sitting, and promised to come again." --News of the Churches.

one

6

FOR THE CONVERSION OF THE JEWS.
Oh! why should Israel's sons, once blest,

Still roam the scorning world around,
Disowned of Heaven, by man opprest,

Outcasts from Zion's hallowed ground?
O God of Israel, rend in twain

The veil which hides their Shiloh's light;
The sever'd olive branch again

To its own parent stock unite.
While Judah views his birthright gone,

With contrite shame his bosom move,
The Saviour he denied to own,

The Lord he crucified to love.
Haste, glorious day, expected long,

When Jew and Greek one prayer shall raise ;
With eager feet one temple throng,
One God with mutual rapture praise.

CHURCH OF SCOTLAND'S MISSIONS IN TURKEY.

[ocr errors]

We are sure our readers will hear with delight that, as one of the first fruits of our connection with Turkey in the late war, the Church of Scotland is preparing to take advantage of any opening which may occur of preaching the Gospel to the Jews in the dominions of the Sultan. Already we have occupied a missionary station at Salonica, lately vacated by the American missionaries, and are about to enter Smyrna too. We hope very soon to report the progress of our work there. Meanwhile we quote the following sentences from correspondence lately published in the News of the Churches, which will be read with interest :

“ You may be aware that the American mission to the Jews is now discontinued, and the missionaries transferred to labour among the Armenians or Turks. We are happy to add, that the places of these brethren at Salonica and Smyrna are now likely to be soon supplied by missionaries from the Established Church of Scotland. The missionaries have already reached this city. You are aware that in both of the above-mentioned cities there is a very large JudeoSpanish population; and it is greatly to be desired that, in a land the most free to missionary effort of any on the Continent, perhaps in the world, something more should be done for this interesting people.

“ The friends of the Gospel will naturally be desirous to learn whether the liberty of conscience, lately proclaimed to the Turks, is producing any effect. I can at least say that many copies of the New Testament and other parts of the Scriptures have been distributed to Turkish soldiers of late; and I have myself talked with parties who applied for Scriptures sometimes for themselves, and sometimes for the officer or doctor attached to their company. Let us labour and pray; for there can be no doubt that the day of Turkey's merciful visitation seems to be at hand.”

In regard to Salonica, Dr. Schauffler writes :

“I begin with Salonica, not to give the history of that station, but its present results. It was commenced in 1849. The labours of this station, hardly commenced, were re. peatedly and seriously interrupted by sickness and by

[ocr errors]

*

[ocr errors]

Vol. V, No. VII.

JOLY 1836,

death, so that but little of regular and continuous work could ever be done there. Its results are,-1. The Jews of Salonica, formerly the least accessible, are now the most accessible to missionary labour. The missionaries can go among them, and visit them in their families on Saturdays; they are then expected to introduce the subject of religion, and are treated with courtesy. Jews used to visit the missionaries in their houses. There have been listeners to preaching on Sundays. The only thing in which, till lately, they used to be unyielding, even more so than the Jews of any other place in Turkey, was the subject of schools. But now they beg for them for boys and girls. Some rabbis even promise to send their daughters. Some of the wealthiest and most influential families desire the means of educating their children. They say we might get one thousand children as soon as we pleased. This is doubtless strongly hyperbolical, but the Jewish mind in Salonica has undergone a great change on this subject, as it appears. And these schools for which they beg, are to be Christian schools. These are the latest statements of our missionary helper at Salonica, Mr. Rosenberg. Now all this was realised amid many inconveniences, and met with much opposition from time to time. The hardness of the Jewish nation was often painfully perceptible; and the rabbis did all they could to hinder the Gospel work. Still,-2. It is a fact that the chief colporteur of the Rev. Mr. Stern, missionary of the London Jews' Society here, is a Jew of Salonica, hope. fully converted there. He is a good and faithful man, his wife a single-hearted Christian woman; the family is a Christian family. Another young proselyte, connected with Mr. Stern's station, is from Salonica, having fled from there, and is now anxious to draw his wife after him. The native helper of the just disbanded Smyrna station is an interesting young rabbi from Salonica. He was baptised in January last by the missionaries at Smyrna. They consider his wife also in a very hopeful spiritual state, and will perhaps baptise her ere long. This family, also, is now a Christian family; for in both of these families there are children. A Turk of Salonica, with his wife, and a female relative, and the two eldest children, all were hopefully converted. This family is now a family of distinguished piety, and active in the service of the Lord. Some other Mohammedans of Salonica were brought near to the light of the Gospel, and probably the future will disclose still further what seed has been sown there. Before quitting Salonica I ought to acknowledge the labours of

74

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »