« PoprzedniaDalej »
of men; but being unable to revoke his promise to Soma, he sent them to Par. vathi, who contrived a means to extricate them from their distress. By her creative skill was produced "a wondrous being, with four arms and the head of an elephant," who should divert men's minds from a visit to Somanath, enticing and deluding them by prosperity in life, “the allurement of wives, children, possessions, and wealth.”
The smaller objects, in the foreground of the picture, are votive offerings to the god, various images of stone, an elephant or two, some diminutive Pillaiars, and several other small idols, with the Naga, or fabulous serpent, of five heads, or seven heads, or nine heads, arching over them.
REV. ANDREW T. PRATT, M. D.
Not the members of the Western Turkey mission only, with which he was connected at the time of his death, but those of the mission to Central Turkey, in connection with which he had spent most of his missionary life, and indeed those of all the missions in the Turkish Empire, have felt, and will long feel, that they have experienced a sore bereavement in the death of this excellent man, on the 5th of December last. Dr. Wood wrote, from Constantinople, December 11th :
“The removal of this dear brother is a loss to us, and to the missionary work, greater than can be easily expressed. He has long been in feeble health, and while not anticipating death, he has evidently been ripening for a transfer from the soil of earth to the heavenly garden in which he will grow forever, as a choice fruit of grace, to the glory of Him who has nurtured it for himself. What our dear brother was as a man, a Christian, and a missionary, you well know. How often he has been spoken of, in the years of his more vigorous health, as a model servant of his Lord, in the two professions of a physician and a minister, in the field where his more active labors were performed! Of late years he has been called especially to the experience of suffering; and having been brought, by the unanimous voice of his mission and all others concerned, to undertake the work of revision, or rather, new translation of the Scriptures into the Turkish language, he has, during the term of his residence here, been obliged to seclude himself much from other employments, that he might give himself to this. But he has done much in quiet ways to assist his brethren, and by his warm sympathy, and the outgushings of his affectionate heart, has endeared himself greatly, even when, as sometimes was the case, he differed in his views of what was expedient in regard to particular measures, in the very trying circumstances encompassing the missionary work in the capital. Rare excellences of character and manners, accompanying high attainments, gave him no common power of usefulness; and he laid all as a tribute at the feet of Him who was his soul's supreme delight. We rejoice in what we cannot doubt to be his unspeakable gain ; but we deeply mourn our loss and that of the cause which he served ; and sympathize tenderly with his bereaved family and friends. By a singularly kind ordering of Providence, his aged, widowed mother was brought hither, to be with him for a few weeks and see him die. The faithfulness of her loving Saviour, in giving peace and comfort under such a sorrow as her's, is very strikingly attested.”
Dr. Schneider, from Broosa, now in the United States, writes :
“How great a loss to the missionary work is the death of Dr. Pratt! Such will be the language of all his brethren in the field. The sorrow felt is all the more deep in view of the qualifications he possessed for the missionary work. From the outset he bent all his energies to the acquisition of the language. As we went out to meet him on his first approach to Aintab, I noticed a Turkish book in his pocket, which had evidently been used as he was riding along. His progress was not only satisfactory, but very rapid. I remember how correctly and readily he interpreted Dr. Anderson's remarks to the congregation of Aintab, in 1855, though he had been on missionary ground comparatively a short time.
“He had not only an aptness in general for acquiring languages, but he conceived a special love for the Turkish. Often have I heard him expatiate on its beauties and power. His mind seemed to delight in its peculiar idioms and forms; bis utterance in it was always marked by a very pleasing flow of words. It is, therefore, not surprising that he became one of the very best Turkish scholars in the field. His Grammar of the Turkish, partly a translation of a work by two Turkish gentlemen, and partly his own, is proof of this. His mission committed to him the revision of the Armeno-Turkish Bible, and on this work he was engaged when death ended his career. The last sheets of the New Testament must have been in the press when he passed away.
“ He possessed a very active mind, and ranked high as a scholar, with extensive general information. His judgment was remarkably sound. In the vari. ous and often perplexing questions which came before the mission, his opinion was always eagerly sought, and generally commended itself to all his brethren. He was fond of music, and had not a little of poetic taste. This qualified him to be an excellent hymnologist, and he wrote some original hymns, and translated more from the English. Many of the best hymns in the Armeno-Turkish Hymn Book are from his pen; and when a hymn became necessary for some special occasion, he was expected to furnish it. While he is quietly sleeping in the dust, how many will be cheered and quickened, generation after generation, by the strains of his sweet hymns !
“While he was a good physician, and was very useful as such to natives, and especially to the missionary families, after a few years practice, he gradually gave less time to the medical profession, though not wholly abandoning it. It tended to absorb far more time than he, with his ardent desires to benefit the souls of men, was willing to divert from more spiritual labors. But he trained five or six native Armenians, as physicians; and they are all now usefully employed in the medical profession.
“As a Christian he was earnest and active. His sermons, though not marked by peculiar strains of eloquence, were always full of instruction, and listened to with much interest and profit. He shrank from no self-denial in labors to spread the truth; and so anxious was he to be useful, that as soon as he could command language sufficient to make himself understood, he began to persuade men to turn to the Lord. His heart was fully set on being useful. "Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord.'”
Dr. Pratt was the son of pious parents, born at Black Rock, near Buffalo, N. Y., February 22d, 1826. The family removed from that place in 1828, and in 1836 were living at Berlin, Conn., where Andrew, in that year, when he was but ten years of age, became hopefully pious. In 1837 he united with the Congregational church there. His “ desire to become a minister of the gospel," as he states in memoranda left at the Missionary House, led him to commence study, at the academy in Berlin, with reference to a liberal education. He graduated at Yale College in 1847, was then one year at the Theological Seminary in New York and two in the Seminary at New Haven ; and also pursued medical studies at the New York College of Physicians and Surgeons.
His final decision to give himself to the foreign missionary work was made "soon after graduation”; but he was led to think of this work by his mother, soon after his conversion, and “had it in view ever after." He was ordained at New Haven on the 8th of August, 1852, was married the same day to Miss Sarah Frances Goodyear, and sailed with her, from Boston, December 22d of the same year, for his mission field in Turkey. His first station was at Aintab, but he removed to Aleppo in 1856, and to Marash in 1859. In 1868, he was transferred to the Western Turkey mission and removed to Constantinople ; but to be connected with the literary department for the three Armenian missions, and engaged, especially, with Dr. Riggs, upon the great work of translation and revision of the Scriptures, in the hope of " securing a correct and uniform translation of the Word of Life in three of the languages of the Turkish Empire."
THE WORK IN NOMINALLY CHRISTIAN LANDS.
After a year's careful study of the situation, and the location of a few missionaries at important centers, the time has come for the more vigorous prosecution of this new enterprise. A few men of superior ability and scholarly attainment, of broad views and generous aspirations, of sound practical judgment, refined by years of experience in the pastorate or as teachers in our higher institutions of learning; men who are believers in the gospel of Christ as mightier than all the forms of superstition and error, however deeply intrenched in the human heart or defended by the subtlest of human philosophies, - as the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth, of whatever race, or age, or culture, — a few such men, full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, are needed to aid those already in the field, and will find ample scope for their best powers.
The call is for a few men only, from this country, since the great work should be done by native evangelists whom these few may be the means of raising up and putting into the field. This policy, found to be the only wise one in other fields of the Board, is believed to be especially applicable to the work in papal lands. Grants in aid will be made to a limited extent, to churches and to evangelists, as may be found expedient, but there is need, above all, of the thorough indoctrination of these churches and laborers, and of the future ministry, in a sound evangelical faith -- sound in practice as well as in theory. This can only be effected by thoroughly competent men, who shall command respect and con
fidence, and be able to infuse the best spirit of our Christian institutions into the new evangelical agencies that may be developed.
With tеn additional men - five for the Austrian Empire, where we have a clear field and one of the greatest promise ; two for Spain, and two for Mexico, with special reference to training-schools; and one more for Italy, to assist in the establishment of a Biblical training institution, and in the superintendence of churches and evangelists who may receive grants in aid — the work of the American Board in nominally Christian lands will be well in hand, and the limits reached within which it is now proposed to labor — subject always to the leadings of Divine Providence.
This statement will at once show the churches for whom the Board is acting, the general plan of action, and what is necessary, in the way of men and means, to carry it out. The field has just been enlarged by the unexpected withdrawal of the American and Foreign Christian Union from Italy, — creating a necessity for rendering immediate assistance to the churches and evangelists that had been receiving aid from the Union, to prevent serious injury to the evangelical
As the inability of the American and Foreign Christian Union to continue its aid is due, in great measure, to the withdrawal of a part of its constitaency, , that they might act through the American Board, it is specially fitting that the latter body should take at least an equivalent part in the evangelization of Italy — from which it had abstained, out of courtesy to the Union and the desire to avoid any possible complications in the field. The Board can now properly accede to the wishes of many of its constituency at home, and to the repeated requests of the friends of evangelization in Italy, to include this interesting country in the scope of its efforts in behalf of nominally Christian lands.
Shall the men and the means required be forthcoming ? Twenty men— ten in addition to those now in the field — and not less than $50,000 per annum, are needed for the vigorous prosecution of this work. Seminaries must be established, evangelists sustained, and feeble churches aided, till such time as selfsupporting Christian institutions shall be able to assume the work of evangelization without foreign aid. Shall we go forward ? The answer, if affirmative, must be supported by the offer of the suitable men— just as no church, college, or seminary will feel that it can possibly spare - and by greatly enlarged contributions to this cause.
PROF. SEELYE AT BOMBAY.
READERS of the “ Herald” are aware that Prof. J. H. Seelye, of Amherst College, has been away for some months, on a journey round the world, during which he expected to visit several mission fields, and to spend some weeks at least at Bombay and vicinity, in response to an earnest invitation from missionaries, addressing English-speaking congregations there in behalf of Christianity and the missionary work. After brief visits in Japan and China, at Calcutta, etc., Prof. S. reached Bombay near the last of November. His visit there has been noticed with much interest in the “Bombay Guardian," and readers will be glad to see his own statements, after he had been there two weeks. He wrote to the Secretary of the Board, December 13th ::
1 Mr. Alexander, who was on his way to Austria, is to remain in Italy.
“ I have now been in India nearly six weeks, a little more than two of which have been spent in Bombay. I remained in Calcutta longer than I originally designed, owing to a request of the Scotch missionaries that I should lecture to the English-speaking Hindoos there, and also preach. On my way from Calcutta I stopped at Benares and Allahabad, and from Allahabad I went north as far as Delhi, stopping also at Agra, to see the wonderful Taj and other monuments of Mohammedan art and Great Mogul splendor.
“The brethren think my arrival here was at the best time. A Calcutta Baboo a Brahmo missionary — had just completed a course of lectures in English in favor of Brahmoism, in the last of which he assumed an exceedingly bitter tone towards Christianity, and said, 'If their bishops' – referring to Colenso — “reject the Bible, how can they pretend to ask us to accept it?' The Brahmos were in high feather, and reported that no one dared answer the Baboo. Of course I had no tilt to run with him, but it was thought opport
that some Christian words could be spoken by a new voice just at this time. I have given, thus far, three lectures, to audiences numbering about three hundred at each time, mostly Hindoos, and as I am told, and should judge from their appearance, men of mark among their class. They have listened as attentively as I could desire, much more so than I expected. Besides these lectures, a goodly num. ber have called ; and last evening I met, hy invitation, fifty Brahmos, at the house of their leader. Last Sunday I met, by their invitation, the Englishspeaking students Hindoos of the Elphinstone Coilege, and am to repeat the interview to-morrow and next Sunday, 14th and 15th instant. This morning I received an invitation to lecture to-morrow night before a • United Students' Association, besides which I hear that other conferences like that of last night are on the carpet. I have also a lecture announced for next Tuesday, the 17th, and lest I should not have enough to do, the request comes, urgently and from many, that the lectures thus far given may be publsihed, which involves that I write them out, as I spoke from no notes.
" I do not know whether much good is done. I never had much hope of apparent results, as you know, from this attempt. I came because I felt that such was God's will, though the reason of it I never discerned. I have not attempted much in the way of intellectual subtleties, but have simply sought to preach Christ to men who need a Saviour. I am told that no such audiences of educated Hindoos ever assembled to hear the gospel in India before. I have real faith in the gospel, though not a particle in my power of presenting it; and if any good appears, it will be because Christ is, as ever, a living presence in his word.
" I shall stay as long as may seem best, but the particular time is uncertain. The brethren at Ahmednuggur have requested so urgently that I visit them, that I think I must do so."
Some pages from Dr. Seelye’s private journal at Bombay have also been sent to the Missionary House, and a few extracts, which it is believed may properly be given here, will serve to show more fully the hopeful character of his reception, and the apparent interest in his lectures.
“ December 4. The numbers present, and the interest shown at the lecture last night, were more than I had expected. There were between three and