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my mind the skippers of Padron and their religious disputations."
We have room only for a few of the more interesting scenes and events of Mr. Borrow's tour.
"So it came to pass that one night I found myself in the ancient town of Oviedo, in a very large, scantily furnished, and remote room in an ancient posada, formerly a palace of the counts of Santa Cruz. It was past ten, and the rain was descending in torrents. I was writing, but suddenly ceased on hearing numerous footsteps ascending the creaking stairs which led to my apartment. The door was flung open, and in walked nine men of tall stature, marshaled by a little hunch-backed personage. They were all muffled in the long cloaks of Spain, but I instantly knew by their demeanor that they were caballeros, or gentlemen. They placed themselves in a rank before the table where I was sitting. Suddenly and simultaneously they all flung back their cloaks, and I perceived that every one bore a book in his hand; a book which I knew full well. After a pause, which I was unable to break, for I sat lost in astonishment, and almost conceived myself visited by apparitions, the hunchback, advancing somewhat before the rest, said in soft silvery tones, "Senor Cavalier, was it you who brought this book to the Asturias?" I now supposed that they were the civil authorities of the place, come to take me into custody, and, rising from my seat, I exclaimed, "It certainly was I, and it was my glory to have done so; the book is the New Testament of God: I wish it was in my power to bring a million." "I heartily wish so too," said the little personage with a sigh. "Be under no apprehension, Sir Cavalier, these gentlemen are my friends; we have just purchased these books in the shop where you placed them for sale, and have taken the liberty of calling upon you, in order to return our thanks for the treasure you have brought us. I hope you can furnish us with the Old Testament also." I replied, that I was sorry to inform him that at present it was entirely out of my power to comply with his wish, as I had no Old Testaments in my possession, but did not despair of procuring some speedily from England. He then asked me a great many questions concerning my biblical travels in Spain, and my success, and the views entertained by the society with respect to Spain, adding, that he hoped we should pay particular attention to the Asturias, which he assured me was the best ground in the peninsula for our labor. After about half an hour's conversation, he suddenly said,
in the English language, "Good night, sir," wrapped his cloak around him, and walked out as he had come. His companions, who had hitherto not uttered a word, all repeated, "Good night, sir;" and, adjusting their cloaks, followed him."
Having returned to Madrid, Mr. B. thus expresses his gratitude.
"Well, we reached Burgos in safety; we reached Valladolid in safety; we passed the Guadarama in safety; and were at length safely housed in Madrid. People said we had been very lucky; Antonio said, "It was so written;" but I say, Glory be to the Lord for his mercies vouchsafed to us.'
The following extracts unfold his subsequent operations.
"The first step which I took after my return to Madrid, toward circulating the Scriptures, was a very bold one. It was neither more nor less than the establishment of a shop for the sale of Testaments. This shop was situated in the Calle del Principe, a respectable and well frequented street in the neighborhood of the square of Cervantes. I furnished it handsomely with glass cases, and chandeliers, and procured an acute Gallegan of the name of Pepe Calzado, to superintend the business, who gave me weekly a faithful account of the copies sold.
"How strangely times alter,' said I, the second day subsequent to the opening of my establishment, as I stood on the opposite side of the street, leaning against the wall with folded arms, surveying my shop, on the windows of which were painted in large yellow characters, Despacho de la Sociedad Biblica y Estrongera; how strangely times alter; here have I been during the last eight months running about old popish Spain, distributing Testaments, as agent of what the papists call an heretical society, and have neither been stoned nor burnt; and here am I now in the capital, doing that which one would think were enough to cause all the dead inquisitors and officials buried within the circuit of the walls to rise from their graves and cry abomination; and yet no one interferes with me. Pope of Rome! Pope of Rome! look to thyself. That shop may be closed, but oh! what a sign of the times, that it has been permitted to exist for one day. It appears to me, my father, that the days of your sway are numbered in Spain; that you will not be permitted much longer to plunder her, to scoff at her, and to Scourge her with scorpions, as in by-gone periods. See I not the hand on the wall? See I not in yonder letters, a 'Mene,
Mene, Tekel, Upharsin? Look to thy self, Batuschca.'
"A short time after the establishment of the despacho at Madrid, I once more mounted the saddle, and, attended by Antonio, rode over to Toledo, for the purpose of circulating the Scriptures, sending beforehand by a muleteer a cargo of one hundred Testaments. I instantly addressed myself to the principal bookseller of the place, whom, from the circumstance of his living in a town so abounding with canons, priests, and exfriars, as Toledo, I expected to find a Carlist, or a servile at least. I was never
more mistaken in my life: on entering the shop, which was very large and commodious, I beheld a stout athletic man, dressed in a kind of cavalry uniform, with a helmet on his head and an immense sabre in his hand: this was the bookseller himself, who I soon found was an officer in the national cavalry. Upon learning who I was, he shook me heartily by the hand, and said that nothing would give him greater pleasure than taking charge of the books, which he would endeavor to circulate to the utmost of his ability."
"I now entered upon the year 1838, perhaps the most eventful of all those which I passed in Spain. The despacho still continued open, with a somewhat increasing sale. Having at this time little of particular moment with which to occupy myself, I committed to the press two works, which for some time past had been in the course of preparation. These were the Gospel of St. Luke in the Span ish Gipsy, and the Euscarra languages.'
"About the middle of January a swoop was made upon me by my enemies, in the shape of a peremptory prohibition from the political governor of Madrid, to sell any more New Testainents. This measure by no means took me by sur prise, as I had for some time previously been expecting something of the kind, on account of the political sentiments of the ministers then in power. I forthwith paid a visit to Sir George Villiers, informing him of what had occurred."
"Throughout this affair, I can not find words sufficiently strong to do justice to the zeal and interest which Sir George Villiers displayed in the cause of the Testament. He had various interviews with Ofalia on the subject, and in these he expressed to him his sense of the injustice and tyranny which had been practiced in this instance toward his countryman."
"At length the Gospel of St. Luke in the Gipsy language was in a state of readiness. I therefore deposited a certain number of copies in the despacho, and announced them for sale. The Basque, which was by this time also
printed, was likewise advertised. For this last work there was little demand. Not so, however, for the Gipsy Luke, of which I could have easily disposed of the whole edition in less than a fortnight. Long, however, before this period had expired, the clergy were up in arms. Sorcery!' said one bishop. There is more in this than we can dive into,' exclaimed a second. He will convert all Spain by means of the Gipsy language,' cried a third."
The result of this excitement, was the imprisonment of Mr. B. in the prison of Madrid, from which he was soon released in a manner very humiliating to his persecutors.
"I remained about three weeks in the prison of Madrid, and then left it. If I had possessed any pride, or harbored any rancor against the party who had consigned me to durance, the manner in which I was restored to liberty would no doubt have been highly gratifying to those evil passions; the government hav ing acknowledged, by a document transmitted to Sir George, that I had been incarcerated on insufficient grounds, and that no stigma attached itself to me from the imprisonment 1 had undergone; at the same time agreeing to defray all the expenses to which I had been subjected throughout the progress of this affair."
"It is useless tarrying,' said I; noth ing, however, can be done in Madrid, I can not sell the work at the despacho, and I have just received intelligence that all the copies exposed for sale in the libraries in the different parts of Spain which I visited, have been sequestrated by order of the government. My resolution is taken: I shall mount my horses, which are neighing in the stable, and betake myself to the villages and plains of dusty Spain.'"
Mr. Borrow now commenced his
second tour among the villages of Spain. We must confine our extracts to the narrative of his labors Juan Lopez, the husband of his in Villa Seca, where he found in hostess in Madrid, a most efficient coadjutor.
"The grand work of Scripture circulation soon commenced in the Sagra. Notwithstanding the heat of the weather, I rode about in all directions." "I had an excellent assistant in Antonio, who, disregarding the heat like myself, and afraid of nothing, visited several villages with remarkable success. • Mon maître,' said he, 'I wish to show you that noth
ing is beyond my capacity.' But he who put the labors of us both to shame, was my host, Juan Lopez, whom it had pleased the Lord to render favorable to the cause. 'Don Jorge,' said he, io quiero engancharme con usted, (I wish to enlist with you;) I am liberal, and a foe to superstition; I will take the field, and, if necessary, will follow you to the end of the world: Viva Ingalaterra: viva el Evangelio. Thus saying, he put a large bundle of Testaments into a satchel, and springing upon the crupper of his gray donkey, he cried ‘Arrhe burra,' and hastened away. I sat down to my journal.
"Ere I had finished writing, 1 heard the voice of the burra in the court-yard, and going out, I found my host returned. He had disposed of his whole cargo of twenty Testaments at the village of Vargas, distant from Villa Seca about a league.'
"The news of the arrival of the book of life soon spread like wild fire through the villages of the Sagra of Toledo, and wherever my people and myself directed our course, we found the inhabitants disposed to receive our merchandise; it was even called for where not exhibited."
"In Villa Seca there was a school, in which fifty seven children were taught the first rudiments of education. One morning the schoolmaster, a tall slim figure of about sixty, bearing on his head one of the peaked hats of Andalusia, and wrapped, notwithstanding the excessive heat of the weather, in a long cloak, made his appearance, and having seated himself, requested to be shown one of our books. Having delivered it to him, he remained examining it for nearly half an hour, without uttering a word. At last he laid it down with a sigh, and said that he should be very happy to purchase some of these books for his school, but from their appearance, especially from the quality of the paper and the binding, he was apprehensive that to pay for them would exceed the means of the parents of his pupils, as they were almost destitute of money, being poor laborers. He then commenced blaming the government, which he said established schools without affording the necessary books, adding, that in his school there were but two books for the use of all his pupils, and these he confessed contained but little good. I asked him what he considered the Testaments were worth? He said, 'Senor Cavalier, to speak frankly, I have in other times paid twelve reals for books inferior to yours in every respect, but I assure you that my poor pupils would be utterly unable to pay the half of that sum.' I replied, 'I will sell you as many as you please for three reals each. I am acquainted with the poverty of the land, and my friends and myself,
in affording the people the means of spiritual instruction, have no wish to curtail their scanty bread.' He replied: 'Bendito sea Dios,' (blessed be God,) and could scarcely believe his ears. He instantly purchased a dozen, expending, as he said, all the money he possessed, with the exception of a few cuartos. The introduction of the word of God into the country schools of Spain is therefore begun, and I humbly hope that it will prove one of those events which the Bible Society, after the lapse of years, will have most reason to remember with joy and gratitude to the Almighty."
"In another village, on my showing a Testament to a woman, she said that she had a child at school for whom she should like to purchase one, but that she must first know whether the book was calculated to be of service to him. She then went away, and presently returned with the schoolmaster, followed by all the children under his care; she then, showing the schoolmaster a book, inquired if it would answer for her son. The schoolmaster called her a simpleton for asking such a question, and said that he knew the book well, and there was not its equal in the world, (no hay otro en el mundo.) He instantly purchased five copies for his pupils, regretting that he had no more money, for if I had,' said he, 'I would buy the whole cargo.' Upon hearing this, the woman purchased four copies, namely, one for her living son, another for her deceased husband, a third for herself, and a fourth for her brother, whom she said she was expecting home that night from Madrid."
I subsequently learned that our proceedings on the other side of Madrid having caused alarm among the heads of the clergy, they had made a formal complaint to the government, who immedi ately sent orders to all the alcaldes of the villages, great and small, in New Castile, to seize the New Testament wherever it might be exposed for sale; but at the same time enjoining them to be particu larly careful not to detain or maltreat the person or persons who might be attempt. ing to vend it."
"I was not much discouraged by this blow, which indeed did not come entirely unexpected. I, however, determined to change the sphere of action, and not expose the sacred volume to seizure at every step which I should take to circulate it." 66 My present plan was to abandon the rural districts, and to offer the sacred volume at Madrid, from house to house, at the same low price as in the country. This plan I forthwith put into execution.
me, among whom were five women. All these I supplied with Testaments, and then sent them forth to all the parishes in Madrid. The result of their efforts more than answered my expectations. In less than fifteen days after my return from Naval Carnero, nearly six hundred copies of the life and words of Him of Nazareth had been sold in the streets and alleys of Madrid: a fact which I may be permitted to mention with gladness and with decent triumph in the Lord."
"It was now that I turned to account a supply of Bibles which I had received from Barcelona, in sheets, at the commencement of the preceding year. The demand for the entire Scriptures was great; indeed far greater than I could answer, as the books were disposed of faster than they could be made by the man whom I employed for that purpose. Eight and twenty copies were bespoken and paid for before delivery. Many of these Bibles found their way into the best houses in Madrid. The Marquis of
had a large family, but every individual of it, old and young, was in possession of a Bible, and likewise a Testament, which, strange to say, were recommended by the chaplain of the house. One of my most zealous agents in the propagation of the Bible was an ecclesiastic. He never walked out without carrying one beneath his gown, which he offered to the first person he met whom he thought likely to purchase. Another excellent assistant was an elderly gentleman of Navarre, enormously rich, who was continually purchasing copies on his own account, which he, as I was told, sent into his native province, for distribution among his friends and the poor."
"It almost appeared to me at this time, that a religious reform was commencing in Spain; indeed, matters had of late come to my knowledge, which, had they been prophesied only a year before, I should have experienced much difficulty in believing.
"The reader will be surprised when I
state that in two churches of Madrid, the New Testament was regularly expounded every Sunday evening by the respective curates, to about twenty children who attended, and who were all provided with copies of the society's edition of Madrid, 1837."
"When I recollected the difficulties which had encompassed our path, I could sometimes hardly credit all that the Almighty had permitted us to accomplish within the last year. A large edition of the New Testament had been almost entirely disposed of in the very centre of Spain, in spite of the opposition and the furious cry of the sanguinary priesthood and the edicts of a deceitful government, and a spirit of religious inquiry excited,
which I had fervent hope would sooner or later lead to blessed and most important results. Till of late, the name most abhorred and dreaded in those parts of Spain, was that of Martin Luther, who was in general considered as a species of demon, a cousin-german to Belial and Beelzebub, who, under the disguise of a man, wrote and preached blasphemy against the Highest; yet now, strange to say, this once abominated personage was spoken of with no slight degree of respect. People with Bibles in their hands not unfrequently visited me, inquiring with much earnestness, and with no slight degree of simplicity, for the writings of the great Doctor Martin, whom, indeed, some supposed to be still alive.
"It will be as well here to observe, that of all the names connected with the reformation, that of Luther is the only one known in Spain; and let me add, that no controversial writings but his are likely to be esteemed as possessing the slighest weight or authority, however great their intrinsic merit may be. The common description of tracts, written with the view of exposing the errors of popery, are therefore not calculated to prove of much benefit in Spain, though it is probable that much good might be accomplished by well executed translations of judicions selections from the works of Luther."
A Residence of eight years in Persia, among the Nestorian Christians; with notices of the Mohammedans. By Rev. JUSTIN PERKINS. With a map and plates. Andover, 1843.
Ir is a gratification to us, that in the notice of this work we are not
introducing a stranger to our readers. Many of them are more intimately acquainted with the author than we ourselves are. To the Christian community generally, Mr. Perkins is well known, and wherever known, is respected and beloved. The present work will raise him still higher in public estimation. For ourselves, we have felt in passing with him through the vicissi tudes of his missionary life, a profound respect for the Christian courtesy and wise fidelity which he uniformly exercises, growing up within
our bosom into a kind of personal attachment to the author himself. We enjoy with peculiar satisfaction, therefore, the opportunity which we now have, of expressing our sentiments of respect and esteem before those who feel as we do. We do not write this article with the ordinary feelings of reviewers. The work needs not our commendation. We have no desire to animadvert upon the few defects which a minute criticism might discover. We enjoyed the book, and we know of no harm in writing sometimes out of the love of it, for no other object but to give utterance to our own feelings.
We like a man who loves his work, who is carried away with his whole soul into any good thing. We never think of pitying such a person. He has fixed his heart upon a great work to be done by himself, and when he is about to enter upon it, shall we interrupt the serenity and joy of his soul with our pitying of his case? We delight in the cheerfulness of a whole-souled man, who, unmindful of personal inconveniences, and looking out beyond his work, is unconsciously happy in doing it. A great work to be done, when it has fully entered and occupied the heart of the Christian, makes him of course calm and cheerful. How unshaking his faith in the, goodness of God! How quick to recognize a superintending Providence in the matters of daily life! And, in the feeling that he himself and all others around him are reposing upon the bosom of infinite love, how easy to bear with those whom God endures! These thoughts have repeatedly forced themselves upon us in reading this volume.
Mr. Perkins is a pleasant companion to travel with, and we have often caught ourselves unconsciously standing by his side. We could almost go unguided to the spot where with his wife he stood on the
summit of Bâs Tapá, as they were about to leave Trebizond on their solitary journey of seven hundred miles. It was in the after part of the day, "when the rain had ceased a little." They had climbed by a steep zigzag path, cut out into a stair-way from the solid rock, to the top of the lofty heights which towered above the city. There they stood alone; westward, looking down upon the waters of the Black Sea, which seemed to cut them off from the Christian world, while eastward, they saw before them a long interminable way, infested with robbers and frightful from pestilence. But trusting in the Lord, "they rejoiced to go forward." We will let Mr. Perkins describe the remainder of this afternoon journey.
"Our Turkish companions of the caravan passed cheerfully along, occasionally breaking the monotony of the bells on the horses," by singing a traveler's song or entertaining each other with marvelous narrations. How novel to our eyes and our ears were the scenes and the sounds of that afternoon, which have ever since been as familiar as the sight of the notes of the stage-coach horn, or the carriages, the sound of rattling wheels,
whistle of the rail-road car, to our friends in America. Among the Scripture allusions of which every incident and almost every step seemed a vivid illustration, none struck me more delightfully than the promise of a day approaching, when 'holiness to the Lord shall be written on the bells of the horses,' for we had the
grateful consciousness, that to hasten such a period was the object of our undertaking.
"Just before night, it again commenced raining; and we had started so late in the day, our progress also being much retarded by the muddy state of the road in consequence of the rain,-that to reach our stopping place we were obliged to ride some time in the evening. In darkness, rain and mud, we climbed precipices and again descended them, on the very brink of the river, until we were heartily glad to find a resting place and a shelter, even under a tent.
"We reached Javislik, a village six hours (about twenty miles) from Trebizond, near nine o'clock in the evening. Tak voor and our muleteer had preceded us, a few minutes, and were erecting our tent near the village, on the river bank, when we arrived. Unfortunately, from haste,