Page images
PDF
EPUB

and solemn. The stupid and the wicked are coming out of their hiding-places, and all classes are accessible. Sinners in Zion are afraid.' This was my text last Sabbath. We are laboring to persuade all to flee to the 'strong hold,' — to trust in the 'Rock' that cannot be shaken, and not to though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea'; which is now a literal and visible fact with us.

6

"Last Sabbath was our communion season. Thirteen were received to the church on profession of faith-making 47 during the past month.

"Since writing the above, I have seen two notes from Kau, stating that all is consternation and ruin in the central and

western parts or from Waiahinu to Kahuku; that all the villages along the shore were destroyed; that sixty-seven persons had been killed; that there was not, probably, a sound house left in Kau; and that the people were about to go to Kona, hoping to escape to Oahu.

"Our earthquakes still continue, but they are not heavy. As the lavas are flowing above ground in Kau, we trust that relief is near. We trust in Him who 'looketh on the earth and it trembleth, who toucheth the hills and they smoke.""

[ocr errors]

LETTER FROM MR. PARIS, OF SOUTH KONA.

THE district of Hilo, Mr. Coan's field, is on the east side of the island of Hawaii. Kona is on the west, and Kau on the south of the island. Mr. Paris, of South Kona, near to the district of Kau, wrote from Honolulu, April 13th. A few sentences from his letter will be given here, in addition to Mr. Coan's account.

"God, in his all-wise providence, has removed us from the field of our labors, we hope only for a little season. His hand has been heavy indeed on the southeastern portion of our island-the district of Kau. Almost the entire district has been desolated. The earth has been shaken and rent as it were in pieces, and almost every thing on the surface is in ruins. The houses of worship are all prostrate, the house of Brother Pogue, at Waiohinu, is

a wreck, and so are the houses of all the foreigners in the district. All the native villages along the sea-shore, for the distance of fifteen or twenty miles, have been destroyed by the tidal wave and the upheaving of molten lava. It is said that more than one hundred natives have lost their lives. Some were buried alive, some swept off by the tidal wave, and others suffocated by the smoke and gases. No estimate can now be made of the number of cattle and the amount of property destroyed."

Madura Mission — Southern Endía.

LETTER FROM MR. TAYLOR, February 28, 1868.

Impressions on Returning to India. Mr. Taylor returned, not long since, from a visit to the United States. He was not yet prepared to resume his residence at his own station, but wrote from Madura, some of his "first impressions," which, he says, “are pleasant ones," on returning to the mission work. After noting, first, that he “feels at home" in India, more than he did in America, he states:

"Another impression is, one of progress in these parts. I hear the brethren generally remarking, that the open and direct withstanding of the gospel by the people is less common than formerly. It strikes me thus, as I observe them in different places; and as I visited Mandapasalie for the first time, and again the second, the people did seem to be unfeignedly glad of our return; and I include in this statement the heathen as well as our own people. It is plain that Christianity has made an impression on the general mind of the community, and that impression is a favorable one. For some years I have had on the front wall of our house a writing, in large letters, that all might read. It begins with setting forth love as the fountain principle; God as the author of all good; sin as the cause of all evil; Christ as the Saviour; and closes with the resurrection, and the judgment, with its unchangeable results. I found it there on my return; and as I approached the place in the night, a heathen young man repeated to me those words, in their

4

order, and with perfect accuracy. To my inquiries, he answered that no one had taught him, but that he had himself studied them, and fixed them in his memory. He helped me on my way, and offered to do any thing for me in his power. It was one of many incidents showing a change. My helpers also spoke of the general cessation of open opposition, and the favorable position accorded to the gospel system."

DINDIGUL.

(38 miles N. N. W. of Madura.) LETTER FROM MR. CHESTER, March 10, 1868.

"Anderson Village." This letter is to the former Secretary of the Board, and mentions "a little incident" which will interest many, connected with a Christian village named for that Secretary. The writer states:

4

"Last week our tent [in itinerating] was pitched on the road side, hardly two hundred feet from the little school-house, or prayer-house, of Anderson patti.' Did you know we had a new Christian village in our Dindigul station by this name? It is not two years old yet, but it is already on the government records. Every householder has renounced heathenism; and no one who has not done so is allowed to build a house or live there. They were going to call their village Suizsersha patti,' or 'Gospel village,' but when I proposed Anderson patti'- a name which does very well in Tamil-every face beamed a hearty response. The catechist of the village remembers you well, as do a number of the congregation.

"

6

man whom God has raised up as a true friend to this little congregation, who built this school-house, so well adapted to the present wants of the congregation, entirely at his own expense.

"But the incident I wished to state was one connected with the little schoolhouse, in which the congregation meet on the Sabbath, and in fact hold all their meetings. We met-the Dindigul native pastor, the five catechists engaged in the itineracy, the catechist of the village, a few friendly heathen men, the men and women of the congregation, and the writer -one evening last week, and dedicated, with heartfelt gratitude and solemn prayer, this little mud-walled, thatched schoolhouse. And we prayed for the heathen

"And another pleasant feature about Anderson patti' is, that in no part of my station have I more real encouragement. There are four congregations within as many miles of the village. The school in the village, though just commenced, numbers 16 scholars! I was visiting villages, with the pastor and one of the catechists, one afternoon last week, in this very region, and came to one where there are a number of high-caste heathen men, very friendly to us. We found one, an old man, of venerable appearance and most kind and cordial address, sitting near the entrance of his house. I knew him well, for I have seen him two or three times in his village, and he has been once to my dispensary. We told him we had come to preach, and as he seemed most willing to have us do so we sang a Tamil lyric, and a company of thirty or more, mostly women, gathered around. We preached of Christ as the only Saviour of sinners in every land. The old man listened well, and made me promise to stop on my way back from another village and drink some milk in his house. This I did, and greatly enjoyed it, but far more to hear these words from the old man, so near the end of his earthly pilgrimage: 'Since I came back from your dispensary I have stopped praying "Siva, Siva help me," and now pray to the God to whom you Christians pray. But now I shall say - O Jesus, Saviour, help me a poor sinner.""

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors]

poisoned by a native Papist; and all might have died but for the mad haste of the wholesale murderer, which led to the paper of arsenic being thrown into their pot of soup in lumps, without being pul verized. It was thus prevented from being fully mixed with the food. The desperate and successful efforts of the French priests to shield the fiendish culprit from any punishment, is but a sample of the spirit and policy that govern their entire course in this country — their deeds being evil and only evil, and that continually. How literally and emphatically do they compass sea and land to make proselytes; and when made, are they not, as a rule, twofold more the children of hell than themselves? Indeed, they here select individuals of notoriously bad characterwith the promise to shield them in their wickedness through French influence as the objects of their proselytism, that they may use them as tools afterwards, to oppress and worry the defenseless Nestorians, and if possible, thus to compel them to become Papists, for protection. Does the gospel require us to draw the curtain of charity over such a system and its enormities, because, forsooth, it arrogates to itself the exclusive claim to the Christian name? Especially when this Antichrist is becoming more and more fierce and bloody, perhaps under the unwilling consciousness that its days are numbered!

"The iron oppression of the Mohammedans, and in some cases, their brutal outrages on the Nestorians, also divert the minds of the people, and sorely try our helpers and ourselves, and compel us to build the Lord's house in troublous times; yet its walls are steadily rising."

had been admitted in any single previous year. This number embraces accessions which were the fruits of precious revivals in several villages on the plain of Oroomiah, and in our two seminaries, and also individuals scattered through the Koordish mountains.

“The first week of the present year was observed, generally, among the evangelical Nestorians, as a week of prayer; and indications of blessing attended the observance in our two seminaries and several villages. This interest has continued in a greater or less degree, but has not resulted in those pervading visitations of grace which we hoped and longed to see. In a few places, however, there has been deep interest. One such place is the village of Shirâbăd, where blessings clustered especially around a prayer-meeting of young men, commencing with only three individuals and increasing till it embraced nearly twenty. The pious young men waxed warm and earnest as it progressed, each one selecting an individual from without as a subject of special prayer and personal effort. One very hardened young man was thus drawn into the meetings, but only to ridicule and make sport for a time. At length his opposition called forth prayers so earnest in his behalf, in a meeting where he was present, that he could resist no longer, but rose and confessed his sin in the course he had pursued, his belief that the things which he saw and heard were the mighty power of God, and his purpose to yield himself a willing subject of that power.

"The annual fast for colleges and seminaries was observed in Oroomiah, and at Seir and some other places, with encouraging tokens of deepening religious interest, especially in the female seminary.

Opposition. "The past few weeks have been marked here by unusual opposition of the enemy. Foremost among the foes of the gospel here are the Papists. Their malevolence is unparalleled, even in corrupt, Mohammedan Persia. As a sample of their evil doings, a whole Armenian family, in the village of Supergân, some of whose members were known to be interested on the subject of religion, were

Colporters-Mohammedan Converts. It is stated that the mission is now doing a good deal in distributing the Scriptures and other books, by colporters, "among Papal Nestorians in the valley of the Tigris, in the region of Mosul," "in the south of Persia," at Ispahan," etc. At the last named place, the case of two Mohammedans, who profess to have embraced Christianity, is noticed as of special interest; and Mr. Perkins adds: "These cases, occurring in the ancient capital of Persia, in

66

a despotic Mohammedan land, where the death penalty for conversion to Christianity is still in force,* need little comment. We know not whence those Persians obtained copies of the Scriptures; possibly from our colporters on a former journey. At any rate, such facts will indicate colportage as a branch of our work. They also illustrate the power and the fruits of a steady Christian light, such as has been shining here for more than thirty years, far beyond its immediate neighborhood, or the enrolled list of its converts. We have all, probably, yet to learn more fully, the import and the power of patient continuance in well doing.

The Koordish Mountains. "Our last monthly report from the Koordish mountains contained much that is encouraging in several places; in a few instances, souls awakened and hopefully converted. Mar Yoseph, our helper in Bootan, on the Tigris, writes that he has held his first reformed communion in that distant region, on which occasion seven souls came around the table of the Lord. He had apprehended serious opposition in this observance of the ordinance there, but none occurred, the Lord being better to him than his fears."

The press is spoken of as largely engaged in printing Mr. Perkins's Notes on Genesis, (he has nearly completed the preparation of similar notes on Exodus,) and the death of "a very promising helper in Salmas, Deacon Hashaba," is noticed.

Central Turkey Mission.

STATION REPORTS.

THE Central Turkey mission held its annual meeting at Aintab early in April. Reports of the different stations have been sent to the Missionary House, and a few items gathered from some of them will be presented here.

At Aintab, two serious obstacles have

"The Government had already laid its bloody hand upon one of these men, who was rescued by English engineers, who happened to be at Ispahan."

interfered with the prosperity of the work the want of a house of worship for the Second Church, and the want of a pastor for the First, - but there has been progress. Seventeen members have been added to the two churches, and the number of Protestants has increased, in all, 189. There has been considerable religious interest in the female boarding-school, ten of the pupils having indulged a hope in Christ; and there is a remarkable degree of readiness among Armenians to attend the Protestant services and listen to the truth. Neighborhood meetings, held by Mrs. Schneider among the women, have proved very useful, and many Armenian women have requested meetings at their houses. Many of the church members, and some others in the congregations, now adopt the principle of giving tithes for religious and benevolent purposes; contributions to various objects for the year amounted to $939 in gold; the First Church has been self-supporting for some years, the Second will now be so, and self-support is progressing at the out-stations.

At Marash, the Protestant community increased more than 100 during the year. The average increase for five years has been 100 per year, the whole present number being 1,706. The two churches at the station have worked together harmoniously, managing their own affairs. Thirty-five members were added, by profession, to the First Church, and thirteen to the Second. The two now number 424. Contributions amounted to $1,196.91. When the girls' high-school, under Mrs. Coffing, was commenced, three years ago, it was only by much effort, and entreaty from house to house, that 10 scholars could be secured. During the past year, Mrs. Coffing has charged a small tuition, yet the whole number of pupils The school "has quite exhas been 38. ceeded expectations." In the mission training-school there were thirty-one pupils, and the "student-helpers," spending the vacation in the villages of the field, are heard gladly by the common people, and have done an important work, espe cially in the mountain regions of Zeitoon and vicinity, where "the presence and power of the Holy Spirit are being felt."

It is said, "The importance of these vacation labors can hardly be estimated."

At Adana, prospects have much improved during the year. The congregation has more than doubled — for the past few months has averaged about 260-and the church "seems greatly revived." In the out-station Tarsus, also, "the spiritual aspect of the work is encouraging."

Western Turkey Mission.

SIVAS.

(About 400 miles S. of E. from Constantinople.) LETTER FROM MR. LIVINGSTON, March 21,

1868.

Visit to Zara. In a letter published in the Herald for June, Mr. Livingston reported a visit at Gurun. He now states, that since his return, he learns that favorable indications continue at that place; and he reports a visit to another out-station, Zara, 36 miles northeast from Sivas, the residence of the Governor of the district, containing "some 600 houses, about 200 of which are Armenian." The road there, from Sivas, is a very pleasant one in the summer, but he writes: now, "Owing to the great quantity of snow which has fallen the past winter, and a violent storm both while going and returning, I not only found the journey uncomfortable, but even dangerous. We at one time lost our road, and wandered about an hour or more in the snow, in the midst of so fierce a storm that we were unable to distinguish objects two yards in advance of us. It is difficult for those unacquainted with the roads in this country to form any adequate idea of the danger to which we are exposed in traveling, in places where the snow falls so deep and storms are so sudden and violent as on the high table-lands about Sivas.

[ocr errors][merged small]

there has not been a preacher there more than a fourth of the time. And in the autumn, when I took a helper there, I found the people so much discouraged, and seemingl indifferent to every thing good, that I left them with a heavier heart than I have words to describe. But mark the change in four months and a half! Last week, there were 78 pupils, 11 of them women from 25 to 50 years of age. All these women are making good progress, and several are already able to read fluently in the Bible. With one or two exceptions, of old and infirm persons, all the Protestants are now able to read. The Armenians, too, are taking steps to make their schools more efficient, and already have a large number of girls under instruction. They see that their girls will learn to read, whether they wish it or not; and so it has become a matter of policy to encourage them to go to their own schools. There were 50 at the Saturday evening prayer-meeting, though the evening was a very unpleasant one. On Sunday there were 150 in the chapel-a room 13 by 26 feet. On Monday there was an examination of the school, at which all the scholars, together with many of their parents and other friends, were present. The pupils all acquitted themselves with great credit. One class was examined in Genesis and the Acts of the Apostles, and exhibited a familiarity with the contents of these books that would do honor to the members of any theological school. Indeed I have heard theological students pass a much poorer examination on the same subjects.

A Promising Pupil. "The helper said. of one young man, who stood up to read, 'It seems a miracle, the way this man has learned. A month ago he did not know a letter of the alphabet.' And so it seemed to me, as I heard him read in a full, clear voice, from the most difficult parts of the Epistles of Paul. This man, too, had not been a regular attendant at school, but had learned to read while working at his trade as a baker. He is a Greek by birth, and expresses great desire to acquire an education, that he may become a preacher to his own people. I have hope that he

« PreviousContinue »