Page images

In 1852, Rev. John Wortabet commenced preaching in Hasbeiya, as pastor of the church, and remained until 1859. In 1854, a beautiful chureh edifice was completed, with rooms beneath for schools and prayer-meetings.

The Massacre of 1860. On the 2d of June, 1860, the Druzes attacked Hasbeiya. The civil war between the Druzes and Maronites had been raging for a week, and the Turkish officer, in command of the castle of Hasbeiya, threw open the gates, and offered to the entire Christian population protection against the Druzes if they would deliver up their arms. The unsuspecting Christians fell victims to this treacherous invitation. After they had been confined nine days in the castle, and were almost starving, the traitorous Turk opened the gates, and admitted the Druze army, who, with imprecations and savage yells, rushed upon the unarmed crowd, and literally hewed in pieces, with axes and swords, more than a thousand helpless and defenseless victims. One of the Protestant brethren, Shahin Abú Barakat, after exhorting his fellow-sufferers to commit themselves to Christ, sank under the Druze axes while on his knees in prayer. Twenty-six villages in the vicinity were burned, and the whole province laid desolate. The widows and orphans fled to Beirut and Sidon, where some of them still remain. The Protestant church edifice was plundered, the bell broken to fragments, and the wood-work carried off.

Most of the men who survived the massacre have now returned and rebuilt their houses, but the greater part of the town is still in ruins. The church is rebuilt, the school reopened, and services maintained every Lord's-day. The good deacon Kozta, who was rescued from the massacre by a Druze princess, the Sit Naiefeh, (probably through sinister motives, in order to shield herself from punishment,) is now the teacher and native preacher.

The large building at the foot of the hill, in the immediate foreground of the picture [B], is the Greek church; the large square building above it, with windows in the side [A], is the Protestant church; the high building to the right of the Protestant church, and adjoining a garden with cypress-trees [D], is the palace of the Druze Sit Naiefeh; the vast pile of buildings on the extreme right [C], is the Castle, where the bloody massacre occurred. The ruined building, from the Saracenic window of which the sketch was taken, was the former residence of the pastor, Rev. John Wortabet.

The ruined houses and tottering walls of that formerly thriving town present a most melancholy picture. Some portions of the town are quite deserted. In August, 1867, a young woman, living on the heights in the upper part of the town, apologized to the missionary for not coming down to the evening meeting, because the hyenas from Hermon were prowling among the ruined houses every night, making it unsafe to venture out after sunset.

May all who see this picture offer the prayer, that the little flock of believers in Hasbeiya may be sanctified through their sufferings, strengthened in faith, and used as the instruments of leading all the hard-hearted and darkened tribes who dwell under the shadow of Hermon, to the knowledge of the Saviour.


Five millions of evangelical Christians solemnly pledged to live and labor for Christ; forty thousand ministers of the gospel consecrated to his special service, - one to less than a thousand of the population of the country; hundreds of benevolent organizations, general and local, coöperating with the churches to reach every form of human want and misery; numerous societies for the diffusion of a Christian literature; religious newspapers that may reach every village and household in the land ; institutions of learning of every grade, with open doors, inviting all who will to come and partake freely, or at a trifling cost, of the blessings of knowledge and culture ; — and yet there is so much to do at home !” Yes, to sustain the institutions of the gospel, and to extend their benign influence into all our waste places, into every neighborhood, and to every individual that now neglects his opportunities. This is the local work devolved upon our churches, in which all the five millions of Christians may share.

But other countries have been given to Christ; other countries are teeming with immortal souls, capable, through the gospel, of goodness and greatness. Africa, India, China, are to be Christ's. It is only a question of time. How much to do in them? How much in Africa, where the millions tremble before the horrors of their superstitious rites, and the inhumanity of man to man crushes out almost the last remnants of the divine image? How much in India, where, despite all that has been achieved, the professed followers of Christ are in the minority of one to three thousand heathen, and where, upon an even distribution, each foreign missionary would be called upon to provide for the spiritual wants of three hundred thousand souls? How much in China, where hundreds of cities have not yet seen the face of a Christian teacher, or so much as heard whether there be any Christ, or Holy Ghost ? How much to do in these countries, where the institutions of the gospel, churches, benevolent organizations, a Christian literature, educational institutions - all the varied appliances of Christian culture are yet in great measure to be begun ? Shall we excuse ourselves from going into these harvest fields, which God, in his wonderful providence, has now thrown open, on the plea that there is “so much to do at home ?” Shall any Christian man or woman, if unable to go in person, withhold prayer and aid to support those who can go, on any such plea ?

This country is evangelized; Africa, India, China, are not. No man here need fail of a knowledge of the gospel ; the multitudes in heathen lands perish in ignorance. How can they help it?

* And, oh! when they in God's presence stand
With you, at that great day,
When every native, of every land,
To judgment is called away;-
Say, say, can you stand in God's presence then,
And remember that cry, * O come, -
We are dying; we know no Saviour's name!'
Can you plead the excuse, will it not be vain ?
Will it weigh with God, though it did with men ?

There is so much to do at home !"
Does any one believe that the home work would really suffer if a hundredi
young men, connected with the various religious denominations, were this year

[ocr errors]

to go abroad, to preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ? Would it not stir the heart of the church from Maine to California ? Would not such a recognition of the worth of the gospel, and such consecration to the cause of Christ, be an unanswerable argument to thousands now indifferent, and careless of the claims of the gospel ? Let us not be misled by the plea — “50 much to do at home,” in our efforts to advance the kingdom of Christ; which 's not for one nation or country, but for the world.


It was mentioned in the last number of the Herald, that the death of Mr. Johnson, of the Sandwich Islands' mission, was reported by telegraph. Particulars have since been received. He died on board the Morning Star, while on a visit, as delegate from the Hawaiian Board, to the Micronesian mission, on the 1st of September last.

Mr. Johnson was born at Hollis, New Hampshire, in the year 1813. In 1833, when he was twenty years of age, “the wretched condition of the heathen, and the consideration that but few go to their relief,” as he stated, led him to consecrate himself to labors for their salvation. He did not receive a collegiate education, but was sent to the Islands as a teacher, sailing from Boston December 14, 1836, with his wife (Lois S. Hoyt, of Warner, N. H., to whom he was married the previous month) and quite a number of other missionary laborers. They arrived, after a short passage, on the 10th of April, 1837. An obituary notice in the Honolulu Friend states :

“ Waioli, on Kauai, was the station assigned to Mr. Johnson, and there he continued to reside, with his family, during the entire period of his missionary life — thirty years. The early part of that life he spent as a teacher, being associated with the Rev. Mr. Alexander. In consequence of changes and removals, it was deemed advisable that he should be ordained as the pastor of Waioli church. Such were his qualifications for the ministerial work, that he has officiated for many years with great usefulness, having been assisted by the efficient coöperation of his excellent wife, who survives, with a family of five daughters and one son, to mourn his loss. The unexpectedness of the death of Mr. Johnson renders the blow most distressing to his sorrowing family and parish. If he had died at home, bereaved and sorrowing friends and people would have borne him to his grave; but his remains repose on the lone island of Ebon, far, far away. For many years Mr. Johnson has been one of the pillars of the churches on the Island of Kauai. Not originally educated for the ministry, he has evinced traits which have admirably fitted him for usefulness among Hawaiians. “ As one after another of the early missionaries to the Islands passes away, vacancy is made;

but it is matter of rejoicing, that in so many instances native Hawaiians are prepared, by education and other qualifications, to carry forward the work of the gospel. Indeed, no higher praise could be bestowed upon the departing and dying missionaries, and no better proof of the soundness

a sad

of their teachings could be adduced, than that afforded by the fact, that native Hawaiians are now successfully officiating in our Ísland churches, and going forth as foreign missionaries to the Marquesas and Micronesian Islands. Man may die, but the church lives ; and when man has faithfully finished his work, it matters little where the body may rest.”


to talk about the truth and sing and pray Central Turkey Mission.

together. If you know Mrs. Schneider, AINTAB.

you can imagine how she, with her Turk

ish Bible, and Mrs. Perry with her Turk(About 90 miles E. N. E. from Scanderoon.) ish Hymn-hook, together find the bome LETTER FROM MR. PERRY, January 9, 1868. of every inquirer, and never find it shut

against them.” MR. PERRY reports that land for the In a letter to his parents, dated Decemsecond church building at Aintab has ber 8, from which extracts are permitted, been bought; that “they hope to get per- Mr. Perry wrote: “ One of the native mission to build upon it next summer"; brethren, according to appointment, called and that “the division of the 1st and 2d for me after tea, and we went together to churches is again effected, much to the bold a little meeting in the borders of the joy of the missionaries,” the congregations city, in the house of a poor man and a baving worshiped together during the past Protestant. Most of those who attended year. Some statements in this letter, and the meeting were Armenians in religion. in one of earlier date to family friends, re- Such gatherings are very common now, specting the week of prayer, and personal all about among the people, although Christian effort at Aintab, are of interest. there is no special religious interest.

“Do you feel lonely at home when the Week of Prayer Christian Labors. evenings come, and send a thought and a “ The special meetings, during this week prayer towards Aintab? If so, think of of prayer, are fully attended. I hear theme as calling from house to house, lantern tread of feet upon the pavements the in hand, in company with some Christian first sound that greets my ears in the brother, and doing what I can to assist morning an hour before sunrise, and, him in the work of presenting the gospel rising, follow the throng to the place from family to fainily, among the streets of prayer. Strange as it may seem, the of a crowded city. The churches have people prefer that hour to any other. I appointed about thirty of their best men, do not know how many attend, but am to take each a division of streets, and call safe in saying that both audiences may be on and converse with those who will hear numbered by hundreds. There is great the word. In company with these men I readiness to hear the truth on the part of am spending nearly all my evenings this the Armenians, and we are doing what we winter. Have been out in this way every can to reach them with the gospel. Visite evening but one this week. ors are appointed for the different sections “Can I give you a description of our of the city, who are often called upon for meeting this evening? Go with us along their reports; Mrs. Schneider and Mrs. the dark, winding, narrow streets of AinPerry go out almost every day, to make tab. After a half-hour's walk we come to calls among the women; and I expound a door within which a meeting had been Scripture among the Armenians some- appointed. We knock; it is opened. where, every evening, and then leave the We pass into a yard surrounded by people, and the brethren who go with me, walls, and from the yard into the room

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

of a family. The room we entered to- States, furnishes, in this letter to a Secre-
night was the home of a poor man ; so tary of the Board, statements of so much
look in with us upon such a home. Even interest and value respecting that station,
among the poor of Boston you can have as a field for missionary effort, that they
but a meagre idea of what poverty is; but should find a place in the Herald. May
you would find it in any city of Turkey. it not be hoped, that they will at least aid
The father of a large family can earn but in leading some young men to give them-
a few piasters (each about cents) per selves to the foreign work ?
day, and most of that must go to pay taxes
and rents. Where then is the money

Situation - Climate. “ Erzroom is situ-
coming from, needful to give bread and ated at, or near, the south-eastern extrem-
clothing to his children ? We entered a ity of a high plateau, or plain, more than
low dark room. A small tin cup, with oil 6,000 feet above the level of the sea. It
and wick in it, was giving a faint relief is therefore a pretty cold region, about
from total darkness. In the centre of the like Vermont, though much more healthy,
room was a box, say a foot and a balf high as the changes of temperature are less
and two feet square, covered with a thick violent avd sudden, and the air is pure,
blanket of goat's hair. Imagine eight half- dry, and bracing. The brilliancy of the
clothed children sitting on the floor, all heavenly bodies, in such a pure atmos-
putting their bare limbs under that blan- phere, is very striking; and on a clear,
ket, to get warmth from the pan of coals sunny day in winter, the spangles of frost
which it covers. This is all the fire they which fill the air flash like so many dia-
bave for the coldest of the weather. Every monds.
thing about the room indicated poverty. “The health of the natives is quite re-
Even the father pulled bis outer blanket- markable. They rarely die except from
coat about him to cover his


old age, or from neglect in childhood. “They prepared a nice place for me to Fever and ague prevail to some extent, sit at the end of the room - the place of typhoid is very rare, and consumption, or honor — by making a carpet of the best other chronic pulmonary difficulty, quite blankets in the house. As usual, I left my unknown. At least, for the time I was boots at the door and took my seat - the there, I did not meet, or hear of, a case brother who conducted the meeting be- among the natives. side me.

The mother was still young in years, I should judge; but she told me Population - Towns and Villages. “Erzthat her family of children numbered room contains not less than 60,000 inhabeight. Soon others came in and filled itants, from 15,000 to 20,000 of whom are the room.

A chapter was read and ex- Armenians. In the Erzroom plain, which pounded - the ulth of Hebrews; and all is from 15 to 20 miles wide by 30 to 40 were almost too free in talking about the long, there are probably not less than a examples of faith. They sang twice, had hundred villages, ranging in size from 30 several prayers; and we two came away, to 100 houses each, - a few exceeding 100 leaving the company praying and singing houses, - which gives a population rangand reading the Scriptures."

ing from 200 to 1,000 in each, sometimes
1,200, and possibly a few would reach
1,500. These villages are smaller and

more scattered than those in the Harpoot
Eastern Turkey Mission.

field, and of course, there would be some ERZROOM.

difference in the results attained. And

yet they may be as brilliant as those that (150 miles S. E. of Trebizond.)

have been attained in the Harpoot villages. LETTER FROM MR. PARMELEE, February 20, We certainly have few if any villages so 1868.

sparsely populated, or so poor, as Shepik ; The Erzroom Field. Mr. Parmelee, of none in a more hopeless condition than the Erzroom station, now in the United was that village two or three years ago

« PreviousContinue »