Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

daily life and conduct? The examina- | quite attentive and interested. We hope tion being over, the members of the that many of them will not be found on church, four men and one woman, were the left side, but among the sheep of his requested to remain, and it was de- flock, when the great Shepherd comes to cided that these six individuals should divide the sheep from the goats. Some be admitted to the church on the follow Armenians were there, who have not ing day. We were surprised then to been accustomed to attend, and we trust hear, that Baron IIohannes did not desire it may have been a profitable occasion to to join at this time. On inquiring the many. We certainly felt, that it was reason, we found that he feared he was good to be there. not worthy, that he might not be a re

e- Another meeting was held in our room newed man. He was called in, and we in the evening, when even more were had further conversation with him, from present than on the previous evening. It which we could not infer that he made was a very interesting occasion, and we up his mind to come forward at this time, were especially interested in three quite although he had a desire to join the peo- intelligent looking young men, who are ple of God. The confession of faith and not yet Protestants, but who seem to be covenant were read, and the meeting in an inquiring state of mind. After the was closed with prayer.

meeting, in conversation, they proposed

several questions respecting difficulties Their Admission.

in their own minds, as to the difference On the next day, the Sabbath, the mission

between their religion and that of the aries were called, after the morning service at Protestants, which our brethren seemed the chapel, to attend the funeral of a Protest to answer very readily. Some of the ant child. In the afternoon, they again met brethren said that these men were half the people at the chapel.

Protestants. May they soon be brought, After the usual services, and a sermon to a full knowledge of the truth as it is from Mr. Richardson on the subject of in Jesus Christ our Lord. the Lord's supper, the six individuals who were examined on the previous evening, arose in their places, listened

Syria Mission. to the reading of the confession of faith

STATION REPORTS. and the covenant, and were admitted to the church in a manner similar to that

SOME report of the Abeih station, for the which is observed in America on such year 1856, was given in the Herald for April, occasions. Baron Hohannes, who hes

From all the other stations of this mission itated on the previous evening to come

reports have been received, abstracts of which

will be now presented. forward, on account of his unworthiness, not only came with the others, but brought his child also for baptism. His The year at this station, it is said, was not wife, who is not a Protestant, and is said marked by many events which call for special to oppose him in these things, was also record; but “a most painful circumstance

was the continued ill health of Mr. Smith, present. Another young child, Baron

who was obliged to leave Syria early in the Abgar's, was also brought forward for

summer, to try the effect of a cooler climate." baptism, and then the sacrament of the

The experiment was not attended with such Lord's supper was administered to this advantages as had been hoped for, and with little church of eleven, six men and five

the exception of a few weeks at the beginning women; an interesting band of disciples,

of the year, his invaluable labors in the trans

lation and publishing of the Scriptures were who were seated together on one side of

entirely suspended. That great work-re The congregation, who filled mains in nearly the same state as at the close the room almost to overflowing, remained of the last year.” " The departments,

Beirut,

[ocr errors]

the room.

were

- The

preaching, and general missionary labor, also | blessing of God, we can have no reason suffered greatly from the illness of Mr. Smith.

to doubt that it will resume its former His voice has not been heard from the pulpit, and but little in the Bible class, nor has he high position of efficiency and usefulhad strength to receive many visits. We

ness, and exert a mighty influence in have been chiefly aided by his counsels and moulding the character and destiny of his prayers."

the still benighted females of this land. The various public and pastoral labors of

The number of pages printed during the the station thus devolved entirely upon the

year was 1,449,290, of which 192,000 were junior missionary, but they were carried on

pages of Scripture. Three thousand eight much as heretofore, without interruption.

hundred and twenty-three volumes During the summer months, the same ser

bound, and seven thousand nine hundred and vices were maintained as during the winter,

eighteen copies of volumes and tracts have Mana there was much encouragement to do

been issued from the depository to various this in the comparatively full attendance at

missionary stations, besides those distributed all times. The average congregation on the

at and around Beirut. Sabbath has not exceeded fifty.” Bible class and Sabbath school have been

Homs. continued with interest, though with a small

At the beginning of the year, Mr. and Mrs. number in attendance.

Wilson were alone at Homs. About the first The state of the church, it is said, has been

of May, they were joined by Mr. and Mrs. for the most part satisfactory, so far as har

Aiken, but within a few weeks Mrs. Aiken mony and good feeling are concerned.” Two

was called away from earthly labors, and the petsons, both females, were admitted by pro

connection of Mr. Aiken with the station fession, and several others were on the eve of

soon virtually ceased. Mr. Wilson has also being admitted at the close of the year.

been constrained, by the illness of his wife, None of the members had been removed, by

to leave the place for a time, so that, from death or otherwise.

about the first of August, Homs has been

left without a resident missionary. Of course Schools - Printing.

but little of what was designed has been

accomplished there, and for the surrounding In the schools, some progress has been

district, of which that place is the centre of made during the year towards a state of trade and influence. While Mr. Wilson was greater efficiency. The pressure for there, a preaching exercise and a Bible class admission to the girls' school was so

were kept up on the Sabbath, but the number great, that we procured the services of a

attending was small. A school was estab

lished in February, “which, though feeble second teacher, and enlarged the school

in its beginnings, gradually increased till the to more than fifty scholars near the close

number of children reached thirty-nine, when, The boys in the two owing to a fierce opposition from the Greek schools have numbered about sixty, and Bishop, it was reduced to ten or twelve.” Yet those of the higher school have made the attempt to break up the school has siggood progress in arithmetic, geography,

nally failed. The first pupils were mostly and grammar, as well as in Scripture their Bishop, and since that time the majority

Syrians. These were soon forced to leave by knowledge. The plan of holding public have been from among the Greeks—a few examinations semi-annually has been only coming from the papal Greeks. "The tried; and thus far with very manifest school is not what it should be, not indeed benefit to pupils and teachers as well as

what it would be under a thorough supervisparents. We may mention, as connected

ion, yet it is an entering wedge, and we feel

thankful that amid the untoward events of with our station for the present, the fe

the year it has been permitted to exist in the male' seminary, which has been re-opened face of so much and so bitter opposition. under the sole superintendence of Miss The teacher has been twice in prison, he has Cheney. A promising class of eight been threatened, and tempted with the offer girls, mostly from Protestant families, has

of higher wages, but the result is that the been received. The arrangements of

school is rising in favor. The Greek Bishop the institution are such as promise to

is shamed before his own people, and his

curses are losing much of their power over give great satisfaction; and, with the l the people of his charge.”

the year.

Mr. Wilson still considers the station an important one; one which should be fully manned and vigorously worked.”

here, and try to preach by conversation to those whom we cannot reach on the Sabbath.

Deir el Komr.

The

Schools. This station, occupied by Mr. Bird, was established in the latter part of the year 1855, The schools have been our most pros. and is, consequently, still in its infancy. The

perous department of labor.

A year missionary says: “Our residence here has not been without clouds and sunshine, the

ago, we had but one in the whole disusual lot on missionary ground,” but “we

trict, containing not twenty scholars. cannot be too grateful for the uniform good Now there are seven schools, with more health we have enjoyed, while other stations than two hundred pupils. In this place, have been sorely stricken.”

we have opened a girls' school, and en

larged that for the boys. Four teachers Sabbath Services.

are employed, and the daily attendance The Sabbath services have been regu is between eighty and ninety. larly maintained from the first, three boys' schools, when a fair proportion are Sabbaths only excepted, when I was present, contain from forty to forty-five necessarily absent from my post. There pupils. Of these, only about fifteen is a Bible class in the morning, and belong to the “high school," yet they preaching in the afternoon. The audi- give a reputation to our teaching in Deir ences are quite variable, but the average el Komr. They study grammar, arithnumber of adults present, (including metic, geography, English, and the children capable of understanding,) has Scriptures. In Scripture studies, the for been about twenty-five. There is not, ward class have gone through the Penta as yet, much to encourage us in this teuch and the Gospel of Matthew. They department. We cast our bread upon have also committed much of a general the waters, hoping to find it after many character from the “ Guide to the Study days. The congregation has decreased of the Bible.” They have been required for the past six months, and those who to enumerate all the miracles and para now attend are almost entirely persons bles of Christ, which are on record, and in some way employed by us, or pupils also the most important events of his from our schools, with their parents and life. Besides this, they have committed friends. Were it not for the schools, we the subjects treated of in the Gospel of should have scarcely any present. Those Matthew, chapter by chapter, from the who came from curiosity are curious no beginning to the end of the book. longer, and respectable.men of the high In the month of October, we had er classes, who at first came to show us general examination of the male depart their good will, and to give countenance ment of the Deir el Komr schools. One to our cause, have not found this a suffi- of our friends, knowing that we had no cient motive to allure them, for any suitable place for such an occasion, very length of time, from the pleasures of kindly offered us the use of his spacious visiting, from card-playing, and from the covered court, which will accommodate coffee-house. If they attend regularly several hundred. Though the day was on the means of grace, they must excuse a very rainy one, we had an attendance themselves from Sabbath guests, must of one hundred and fifty spectators, and incur the charge of incivility and Protes among them the Turkish governor. The tantism, and must suffer various kinds of exercises passed off well, and persecution. May the time not be far best of satisfaction. distant, when many of them will rejoice

It may be well to state, that to be counted worthy to suffer shame for department flourishes in spite of riya! his name.' We see much of the people schools, and the displeasure of the clergy,

gave

the

our male

[ocr errors]

The Maronites have a high school, re To the inquiry, "Watchman, what of cently made free, in which grammar and the night ? " I may truly reply, 6. It is French are taught by an excellent mas dark, very dark.”

But if the morning ter, the brother of the bishop elect of has not yet begun perceptibly to dawn, the diocese, and yet we continue to pros we may rejoice in the fact, that it is

per. In the female department we com approaching. Many of the offspring of menced with a dozen pupils, less than a bigotry and superstition, as spiritual wild year

ago. Before the lapse of six beasts, beginning to retire to their lairs months, we had an attendance of over and dens, indicate the coming of the

fifty, and needed the services of a second Sun of Righteousness. teacher. This school is one of our sun Sone fifteen years ago, the missionary mest spots. For a while, there was a could hardly purchase here the necessaHval-school kept up by the Greek Cath- ries of life ; (none had leave to buy and olics, but ours at length made way with sell, “ save those who had the mark of it as Moses' rod did with those of the the Beast!”) and when he left, he was Egyptian magicians. Many of the pu- followed by stones and execrations.

pils' are far from being little girls, not a Now, he is welcomed and honored. few being considered already marriage- Then, fear kept even his friends from able and having reached the stature of venturing to visit him ; now, priests and full-grown women. They attend, though, even a bishop are ashamed not to return at their age, it is by many considered his calls. Then, the Protestant sect contrary to the (oriental) rules of pro- could not be vilified enough ; now, it is priety.

spoken of with favor in public and in Mr. Bird mentions several other points of high places. much interest connected with this school and

The old Emir Bshir, the former persethen adds:

cutor and terror of Protestants, has When we came here, I do not know passed away, and his decaying and dilapthat six females could be found in the idated palace is used as barracks for - nominal Christian population who could Turkish soldiery! His prime minister, read. Now, half the pupils in our girls' adviser, or secretary, who did much ichool can read their Bibles. Geogra- injury to the cause of evangelical reliphy, and arithmetic were, to the sex, gion, and whose mansion was, as it like the hieroglyphics of Egypt. Now, were, the strong hold of the enemy, is the school girls, though mere beginners, no more. What remains of this Ahithare a wonder to their generation. And ophel's house is the abode of the misthe progress of the pupils appears still sionary, and furnishes apartments for more commendable, when it is consid-“scriptural” schools, and a Protestant ered, that the afternoon is devoted to the chapel. His sons-in-law were leaders in use of the needle, and only half a day to the movement which brought us to Deir study.

el Koms, and are among our firmest Schools under the direction of the station

friends. His grandchildren learn the are in operation in several other places, of folly of Popery by the instruction in the psual character of the mountain schools."

our schools. One recently commenced has more than Time was, when every one trembled natj pupils.

at the anathema of the clergy. Now, Encouraging Changes.

the latter dare not show their impotence

by pronouncing it. Some of the people to the prospects for the future of the missionary work at and around Deir el Komr,

would be glad to be thus dissevered from

a church and ceremonies which they cheating view, drawing a striking contrast abominate, for they would thus not only

, between the present and the past.

gain their end, but retain the sympathies

of many who would be otherwise arrayed | present. There have been regular Sabagainst them. Those who send their bath services under the charge of our children to our schools have been re native helper, Khalil. The audience has fused admission to the confessional and been on the increase, and is now not only the eucharist. The Maronite bishop, larger than that in Deir el Komr, but is however, has at length yielded the composed of more encouraging materipoint, and tries to win rather than force. als. Those who come desire instruction, Their high school, he has made free of and are regular attendants and open charge, and has promised to open also a Protestants. There are few places in girls' school. In the Greek Catholic the mission where so many Protestant communion, on the other hand, the men, families are gathered together every and some of the women, remain “sus Sabbath for religious instruction. Our pended ;” yet they are of good courage, helper improves in mind and spirit; and some glad of so excellent an excuse to giyes us great comfort. He has been, get rid of the confessional, and others for a few months, at Abeih, pursuing his incensed at the glaring injustice that theological studies; his place in Ain would admit the drunkard and the noto- Zhalty being supplied, meanwhile, by:& riously vicious, but exclude the respecta- graduate from the seminary.” ble and the moral. We have here the

Mr. Bird had been able to spend but one anomaly of those being thrust out of the

Sabbath at that interesting mountain village pale of the church, who are still its very during the year. “ Would that I could give pillars, its substantial supporters, whose them more time,” he says, and then adds, names are known, and whose influence thus closing his report: is felt, throughout the region.

I cannot hope, single-handed, to do There is certainly progress, and we

any justice to my field. It is impossible have reason to thank God and take cour

for one to study Arabic, preach, visit age. Still, we long to see a work more

superintend schools, write letters, receive purely spiritual. Light is being diffused, calls, and itinerate. The field is a wide but there is not the corresponding relig

one; the post the most important, on ious interest. The truth is viewed by Lebanon ; the minds to be dealt with of many as a beautiful theory, the heart re

superior order, the best of natural and maining a flint. We are called to regret acquired endowments being needed the fact that some of the best minds

the work abundant as well as arduous; in the place are tinged with skepticsm. the harvest great ; the laborers less than Thus we have, here, a foe even more

few. May the Lord speedily send forth formidable than the doctrines of the

efficient laborers into his harvest. Romish church. Happily, the most influential are, notwithstanding, our firm

Sidon. friends and supporters, and are in favor

Both of the missionaries occupying this of good education and good morals. It station, Messrs. Thompson and Van Dyck, may be, that they will not only assist us have been permitted to remain in the field, in overthrowing superstition, but in build not interrupted in their labors by sickness at ing up the truth.

their own station. During the latter part of

the year, however, one of them was much at Out-station Help Wanted.

Beirut, on account of Mr. Smith's illness.

“There has been preaching regularly, twice At Ain Zhalty, Mr. Bird says, the good on the Sabbath, Bible class twice a week, and work goes on slowly but surely.

a weekly prayer meeting of the members of “We now have there five church

the church. The congregation on the Sab

bath has somewhat increased in number the members. Every evening there is social

average attendance having been thirty adults. prayer and a sort of Bible class, at which

Two persons belonging to Sidon have been most of the community (Protestant) are added to the church during the year, one

« PoprzedniaDalej »