PROGRESS AND REVIVAL

Ishoc es Shemmaa - Locusts - A native pastor - The meteoric shower of 1866 - Elias Saadeh.

RETURNING to 1866, it must be noted that in March the Yusef Keram rebellion was still raging in the northern part of Lebanon, and we were straining every energy to complete the new girls' school building and to raise funds for the new church edifice. The French government had joined the other European Powers (England, Germany, Russia, Austria, and Italy) in aiding the Turkish government to suppress the Keram rebellion of priests and monks, Metawileh highwaymen and uncouth peasants. On April 29th, Rev. Khalil Maghubghub was ordained native pastor in Ain Zehalteh, Mount Lebanon. He was converted in 1846 by reading a Bible stolen in a Druse raid on a Christian village in the civil war of 1845.

Just at that time we heard the sad and stunning news of the sudden death of our colleague, Rev. J. Edwards Ford, in Geneseo, Ill., U. S. A. He rode out on horseback Sunday morning, March 25th, six miles across the prairie, to preach. It was bright, mild morning and he wore no overcoat. On his return fierce northwest blizzard began and before he reached home it had literally congealed his blood; double pneumonia set in, and in nine days, April 3d, he passed away.

The mission was thus deprived of one who was one of its strongest, ablest, and most efficient men. Mr. Ford was a master of the Arabic, a clear and cogent preacher, of commanding personality, sagacious in counsel, calm and patient and greatly beloved by the people. He was eminently a man of prayer. No one could be in his society or communicate with him in any way without being impressed with this fact. He was a wise counsellor. His judgment was sober, calm and clear, and his opinions, though modestly expressed, were well weighed and of great value.

In missionary labour he was indefatigable, of an iron frame, and with great physical vigour he endured what few other missionaries could. He seemed capable of doing anything without fatigue. He was thought to be the strongest man in the Syria Mission. [Rev. Joshua Edward Ford, born in 1825, graduated at Williams College 1844, graduated Union Seminary 1847, reached Syria March 8, 1848, reached Aleppo April 19, 1848, removed to Beirut November 11, 1855, removed to Sidon August 1, 1859.]

On May 1, 1866, Rev. S. H. Calhoun took his elder children to America for education, and returned January, 1867.

In March a young silk dealer from Hums, a member of the church, named Ishoc es Shemmaa, gave up his business and announced his purpose to give up his life to preaching the Gospel. Preparatory to entering a course of training under Mr. Calhoun in Abeih, he went on a preaching tour in the mountains west of Hamath. His life history is full of thrilling incidents. His grandfather, also named Ishoc, a Greek of the Orthodox Church, was a wild, fearless youth in league with the robbers and murderers of Hums. His weapon was a sharp sickle and night was his day. He was a famous swordsman and once put to flight a body of men with a walnut pipe stick. Being arrested for crime, he was taken out of the city by the governor and troops, to be hung. The governor said, "Ishoc, turn Moslem, and we will save your life and make you a governor, for you are a worthy man." He replied, "Impossible. I have been a man of blood and it will go hard with me. I cannot deny what religion I have. Whatever you wish to do, do it." Then he Sprang and attacked the commander of the guard but was seized and hung to a tree. The Greeks canonized him and said that a star appeared over his grave. Ishoc's father was even worse than the grandfather, and added to the sharp sickle swords, pistols, daggers, and guns, and became a notorious highway robber. He once dispersed fifty armed men. He was famous in the use of the sword, the club, and the spear, and an expert player on the harp, lute, and cymbals. A large number of enemies attacked him one night by the river Orontes. Some of them he cast into the river, others he killed and others he wounded. He too was a man of blood. Ishoc's account is now given in his own words: "As I grew up he used to beat me and threaten to butcher me so as to teach me to be bold and fight. He also taught me to sing vile songs and to play the stringed instruments. He took me to every haunt of immorality and crime and the people applauded my singing.

In 1860 I began to think about religion. I had persecuted the Protestants and mobbed them. I bought a Testament to read about the miracles of Christ, and see how great a man He was. A man asked me, 'I Have you heard this new Gospel?' I read the Testament, was troubled, saw my error and sin. My father said, 'What is this book ? Are you becoming Angliz?' He took a sword and rushed to kill me. Neighbours crowded in. I said, 'Blessed are ye when men persecute you.' Father said 'That is the talk of the Angliz.' I said it is the Word of Christ, Again he tried to kill me and watched his chance. At night he would say to my mother, 'Let me rise and butcher Ishoc while he sleeps, and be rid of such an iniquitous son.' Mother told him to wait a little and I would return to the Greek Church. So he waited and watched me. When I read the Gospel I seemed to be in the very days of Christ and the years of the apostles. Then all the family and town arose upon me and took my book. I fled, fearing that father would kill me. When I returned he asked me to read from the book. God opened his heart, he believed and rejoiced, went out to preach and was mobbed. People said, 'We thought that he would convince his son, but his son convinced him.' Yet all feared him. He testified for Christ. And when the people saw that he would not sing vile songs for money, nor drink arak, nor lie, they said, 'Truly they are Protestants.' He died trusting and rejoicing in Jesus and was persecuted even after his death, for his grave was insulted and dishonoured, but he was with Jesus." Ishoc afterwards laboured for thirty years as a faithful colporteur and evangelist in Beirut, Lebanon, and Latakia, where he is still at work.

In March, 1866, the locusts again appeared and the entire male population of Beirut was ordered out to the pines to gather them. full grown the body of each female locust is a me of eggs. Each man is required to gather six pounds of the eggs, i.e., the bodies of the locusts. Poor Syria! The land seems to be the victim of successive plagues: cholera, cattle murrain, civil war, locusts come one after the other or all together, so the people hardly recover from one before they are smitten with another. These, with the exactions and cruel extortions of the merciless tax-gatherers almost drive the people to desperation.

Dr. Thomson returned in March from England, having completed arrangements for publishing "The Land and the Book," and having helped Dr. Bliss in securing substantial aid for the college. By April our sorrow and anxiety about the failure of funds to complete the girls' school building were turned into JOY. In one week came a draft for 100 pounds from Mr. Henry Farnum then in Paris; 4240 from Mr. William A. Booth; and 50 pounds from Robert Arthitigton, 4390 in all. Dr. Thomson, Mr. Calhoun, Mr. Eddy, and Mr. Bird were all in Beirut when the news came and we had a service of thanksgiving and praise to God. On that very day Mr. Tod of Alexandria was in Beirut. His wife gave money for the first girls' school building for Mrs. Eli Smith in 1834, and he said he wished to contribute 100 pounds towards this second edifice.

April 3d - I wrote to Dr. H. B. Tristram, "As soon as the college gets settled in a permanent building, we hope to establish a Biblical museum of all the plants, birds, animals, minerals, and implements, etc., mentioned in the Bible, for the use of the pupils and the conservation of many things now rapidly going out of use. It is astonishing to see how rapidly the West is encroaching on the East."

At this time one hundred and ten new families came out as Protestants in Hums. The Emir Soleyman Harfoosh was poisoned in Damascus by a dose of "soleymany" (corrosive sublimate), given to him in coffee in the Damascus prison. The people exclaimed at the correspondence between his name and his bane.

In May the son of an American millionaire came to Lebanon for the summer. He held a nominal political office in Egypt and brought with him a Moslem Nubian servant, who was dressed in Parisian style with a gold-headed cane and high boots. The American did not have any religion to boast of but had evidently a vein of humour in his nature. One day he asked the American consul to inform Mr. Calhoun that his valet Ali was ready to be baptized, as he had become a Christian. The consul said, "What proof have you that he is a Christian?" The millionaire replied, "Tell Mr. Calhoun that he eats pork and gets drunk, and that proves that he is not Moslem, so he must be Christian." Alas, his master also used to get drunk, but neither of them were considered fit subjects for baptism.

June 9th - There are rumours of cholera at Tiberias. No wonder many of the Jews of Tiberias have made a vow that they will not change their clothes until the kingdom is restored to Israel; a convenient vow for such a lazy, unwashed rabble, but bad for their neighbours in cholera times.

The ever-recurring question of a Syrian pastor for the Beirut church was most pressing at this time when the foreign missionary force was so depleted and feeble. We were constantly criticized by neighbouring missions at the north and by Board officials at home for not having a native pastor in Beirut. No one regretted our failure more than I did. As acting pastor I urged upon them their duty to have a native pastor. We tried every educated native preacher but none would accept the place. We trained men for the ministry but they were tempted away by the higher salaries paid by other missions. In a letter to Dr. Clark of the American Board, I poured out my soul as follows: "The prospect of securing a native pastor for the Beirut church is as remote as ever. I cannot see a man among the young Protestants in Syria who seems to promise anything like what is needed in a pastor for this church. The central position of Beirut will

require the presence of an American missionary for some time to come, and it is not easy to satisfy the people with a native pastor while a foreign missionary is within reach. For this reason we steadily refused to send an American missionary to Hums. At length they were brought to the necessity of calling Sulleeba,

their present pastor. While Hums was in this transition state we had to do our best to prevent any other foreign missionary going there, a point which we could not forcibly carry in Beirut, should we abandon the native church in order to oblige, them to get a native pastor. I would like to see the experiment made, were it not that the English or Scotch would be only too glad of an excuse for introducing an Episcopal or other foreign missionary.

This is the great bane in this holy land. It is the carcase for all the missionary eagles, and it seems doubtful whether any foreign mission could settle native pastors over native churches and then pull up stakes and leave entirely, without simply opening the way for the entrance of another foreign mission. Yet our duty is not modified by this state of things. We have two native pastors and hope for more. We will preach and pray and print books as long as the Lord allows us to labour here. I believe Syria will yet be evangelized and in the simple gospel way, and true churches be formed on every side.

We feel the pressure as perhaps few missions do. Alas, how many bright hopes have been blasted on this and Syrian soil. How many young men of whom we had hopes that they would preach the Gospel have been tempted away by commerce or by higher pay in other missions, or become dragomen to travelers, or entered purely secular business. All missionaries feel that commercial centres and European communities in foreign lands are not favourable sites for the development of native independence in any sphere. The inland stations seem to assume more readily the principle of self-support and to demand a native ministry. I served the Beirut church nearly thirty tears as acting pastor.

In June, 1867, 1 endeavoured to persuade Rev. John Wortabet, M. D., recently called to a medical professorship in the Beirut college, to accept the pastorship of the Beirut church, but he absolutely refused. Mr. Williams of Mardin assailed me by almost every post insisting that I leave the church to itself until it found a native pastor. [When in New York, January 20, 1879, I was invited by Dr. H. Crosby to attend the New York ministers' Monday meeting at the Fourth Avenue Church, as the subject was to be, "How can foreign missions best honour the Holy Spirit by promoting the independence of the native churches and ministry?" I went and Dr. Clark called on me to explain why the Beirut church had not a native pastor. I explained, and gave a history of my agonizing efforts in this direction and how the church was contributing almost enough for the pastor's salary, and that we should throw the burden on them as soon as the right man should be found. Dr. Clark replied that there was altogether too much suppression of the native element in foreign lands. Then, one of the brethren, I think Dr. W. Phraner, called out, "And I would like to ask Dr. Crosby why it is that this Fourth Avenue Church has been for years suppressing the independence of its mission chapel in ---- Street, and reporting its members as of the 1,300 members of the Fourth Avenue Church and ignoring the mission chapel which ought now to be independent and self-supporting." There was loud applause at Dr. Clark's having found himself in the same box as myself.] The church consented to raise a sum annually equivalent to a pastor's salary and continued on this basis until 1890, when, after a very plain talk by Dr. Arthur Mitchell they called Rev. Yusef Bedr to be their pastor. During that twenty years we were training native preachers but the mere mention of the Beirut church terrified them. "There was Mr. So and So," and so many high and lofty characters, each one of whom claimed to be the greatest, that young preachers refused to preach to them lest they be repressed and humiliated.

A few months ago an elderly English lady, very deaf and decrepit, took lodgings at the Bellevue Hotel in Beirut. She had come on to the Holy Land to witness the winding-up of the Present dispensation. She prophesied a great earthquake in March which should destroy both London and Paris, and then Louis Napoleon would come to Beirut on a white horse leading the Jews back to the Holy Land. She laboured with some of us in the kindness of her heart and tried to persuade us to be ready for the coming of the Lord. We did all we could to answer her in Christian gentleness and printed some Arabic one-page tracts for her, containing Scripture texts about the certainty of death and similar themes. March came, but the earthquake did not, nor did Napoleon, nor the white horse, nor the Jews, and she paid her passage back to England in bitter disappointment.

In November, Dr. Post came to Beirut and was the guest of Dr. and Mrs. Bliss in Beit Kamad in the eastern quarter of Beirut. Here he had a severe attack of brain fever and his life was despaired of. On the night of November 11th, I watched with him, and the delirium of fever was very alarming.

Dr. Post recovered, and took a trip up the Nile, where, owing to the bitterly cold desert winds at night, he had an attack of pneumonia, but was mercifully restored. His physicians and brethren now said to him, "Doctor, no man can carry two watermelons in one hand. You are carrying two professions, that of preacher and itinerant missionary, and that of surgeon and physician. You must drop the one or the other."

The claims of the college were then so pressing that he withdrew the following year from the mission and entered the service of the Syrian Protestant College. He then had one watermelon in his hand, but, none the less, he could not relinquish the other, and has done what the Arabic proverb declares impossible. He has been not only the most skillful surgeon of the Orient, but a preacher, teacher and the author of an Arabic zoology, concordance of the Bible, surgery, Bible dictionary, and the Flora of Syria and Palestine.

Drs. Van Dyck and Wortabet were also elected professors in the medical college by the trustees in New York, and it began under the most favourable auspices.

In the fall of 1866, our former mission printer, Mr. G. C. Hurter, brought out for Boston merchants a cargo of kerosene oil and pine lumber. He introduced kerosene oil into Syria and thus conferred an untold blessing on the people. Before that time olive oil was the only oil used in lamps and it was becoming very expensive.

The sale of the American Press to private parties was seriously urged by some members of the mission, but, providentially, it was never effected. As long as matters continue as they are in the East, it would not be wise to subject the whole matter of printing the Bible to the whims of local censors and policemen. It remains American property and will remain so for many years to come; the very stronghold of truth and the fountain for sending out tens of millions of pages of God's Word every year in the future.

In October I had correspondence with Rev. Benjamin Davies, of Regents' Park College, London, about obtaining a manuscript copy of the "Kerm Sedde Kamus," a famous Arabic lexicon. A priest was engaged to copy it and another priest to copy the marginal notes, and the work required infinite pains in sending messengers, receiving the sheets and mailing them as they were received.

Just as I had finished the girls' school building and installed the teachers in it I began to purchase stone and lime for the new church. Mr. William A. Booth, of New York, always our staunch and wise friend, sent out an architect's plan which was adopted, and we made preparations to carry on the work. Dr. Thomson and his son-in-law, Mr. James Black, took much of the burden, and Mr. Black's labours have been commemorated in a memorial baptismal font of white marble which adorns the church.

Professor Morse, inventor of the telegraph, Mr. Geo. D. Phelps, of New York, and Mr. Henry Farnum, all residing in Paris, each sent $500 towards the building of the Beirut church.

This year (1866) a Scotch lady, Miss Jessie Taylor, came to Beirut and began work among the Moslem girls and women in the Bashura quarter of the city. By loving words and acts, caring for the and hungry and orphaned, she gained the confidence of the public. Then she took a few needy girls into her own house as boarders and the work extended for forty years during which she trained hundreds of girls in her home boarding-school. She was a woman of strong faith and courage and her pure, holy life exerted a powerful influence upon the community at large. In March, 1869,she had seventy-five Mohammedan girls.

The illness of Dr. Post, the removal of Rev. Samuel Jessup from Tripoli to Sidon, and the absence of Mr. Sulleeba Jerawan, left the whole northern part of the mission field without supervision, but the good seed grew and the church in Hums continued to prosper.

The meteoric showers of November 11th and 14th were notable events in Syrian history. My old college friend, Professor Newton, of Yale, had predicted a return of the periodic meteors or Leonids of 1833 in November 11th to 14th, 1866. In order to draw the attention of the people to the subject, we published in the weekly Arabic journal a request to the public to watch during the nights of the 13th and 14th of November for a grand display of falling stars. The notice was read with wonder by some and ridicule by others. The venerable Sheikh Nasif el Yazigy, the greatest modern Arabic poet, and the assistant of Dr. Eli Smith in the translation of the Bible, declared that he would not believe it until he saw it, and that it was a piece of Western assumption to claim to know the future. On the morning of Sunday, November 11th, a little after midnight, some young men saw what they described as a rain of fire, the stars seeming to have got loose, and to be running about the sky in disorder. A few minutes after a terrific thunder-storm set in; there was almost continuous thunder and lightning. On the two succeeding nights nothing was seen, as it was cloudy and rainy. I was watching in the sick-room of Dr. Post, and although I looked out every hour in the night, I could see nothing in the shape of meteors. On the morning of the 14th, at three o'clock, I was roused from a deep sleep by the voice of one of our young men calling: "The stars are all coming down." I arose immediately, called our guests, Dr. Budington and Mr. E. P. Hammond, and we spent the rest of the night on the flat roof of the house watching the wonderful display. The meteors poured down like a rain of fire. Many of them were large and vari-coloured and left behind them a long train of fire. One immense green meteor came down over Lebanon seeming as large as the moon, and exploded with a loud noise, leaving a green pillar of light in its train. It was vain to attempt to count them and the display continued until the dawn when their light was obscured by the King of Day. The alarm was first given by a native watchman of the preparatory department of the Syrian Protestant College, who had heard of the expected display and was on the lookout. The Mohammedans gave the call to prayer from the minarets, and the common people were in terror. [On November 27, 1872, there was a similar fall of Leonids, which continued from sunset till past midnight. The display was brilliant in the extreme.] 

1867 - On Monday, January 7th, the Johanniter Hospital of the Knights of St. John of Berlin was inaugurated at 2 P. M. The German addresses were made by Count Wurtens Leben and Pastor Ebel, and the Arabic address by H. H. Jessup. Thus was begun a noble charity, which has continued for these forty-one years, a blessing to thousands of natives and hundreds of foreigners. In 1871 the medical management was entrusted to the American medical professors of the Syrian Protestant College.

January 26th I wrote to Dr. Holdich of the American Bible Society, asking permission to reprint the minim edition of the Arabic New Testament, as Dr. Van Dyck was then in New York and it would be long before that small edition could be electrotyped. I also stated that Ishoc, the colporteur, had visited 200 villages and been severely beaten by a robber hired for the purpose by a Greek priest. The Protestants of Safita were persecuted almost to death by the Greek priests and feudal chiefs. A Moslem sheikh, owning two lots at each extremity of the village, sold out his land and all the land lying between to a Greek scribe in the village. Owing to bribery he got a deed of nearly every house in the village, and proceeded to eject the Protestants from the houses for which they had legal titles. For two years the persecution went on. One day the entire body, men, women, and children, were seized by armed soldiers, and shut up in a small room where damp straw was set on fire, filling the room with dense smoke so that they Were almost suffocated. Then, at midnight, they were driven out In a driving storm to sleep among the volcanic rocks on the mountainside. Through the interposition of the British Consul-General Eldridge, Kamil Pasha of Beirut sent stringent orders which gave the brethren peace for the time being. The Syrian ecclesiastics, with rare exceptions, have been bitter enemies of the Gospel; using stripes, imprisonment, torture, and cruel oppression without compunction. But the Gospel has moved steadily on, and now in. that district between Tripoli and Hums are prosperous churches, among the largest in Syria.


REVIVAL INCIDENTS

My first Arabic teacher in Tripoli in 1856 was Yusef Diad, who had sixteen years before been Mr. Calhoun's teacher in Bhamdoun. He knew no grammar, but was a voluble talker and story-teller, and helped me greatly in enlarging my vocabulary. But I soon had need of a grammatical teacher and found one, Elias Saadeh, among the crowd of young men who used to throng our houses on feast days and Sundays. He had studied Arabic grammar and logic with the learned Moslem sheikh, Owad, and regarded himself as a champion among the Greeks. He was a special favourite with the Greek bishop who saw in him a hopeful candidate for the priesthood. He respected our civilization and could not conceal his wonder at our libraries, but regarded our religion as little better than Islam. He often said to the Greeks, "Far better turn Moslem than Protestant; these Protestants have no priests, nor sacrifice, nor saints, not Virgin Mary. They are heretics."

He consented to teach for the sake of the money. Month by month he taught us. We read the Arabic Testament with him from beginning to end. He attended our family prayers and listened with respect, yet with no more apparent feeling than a stone, He was a fine penman and when I commenced writing Arabic sermons he copied them all out in a clear, legible hand and I read them in the pulpit; but after writing a dozen sermons, I began to preach untrammelled by manuscript, using only brief notes in Arabic and English.

Elias continued to teach Mr. Lyons and myself until 1860, the dreadful massacre year, when I removed to Beirut. Up to that time he seemed unimpressed and unimpressible on the subject of personal religion. He had given up saint worship and picture worship as beneath the dignity of an enlightened man, and seeing that they were essential parts of the Greek Orthodoxy, he gave up all religion and became an open scoffing infidel. Among the young men of Tripoli he taught that Christ was an impostor, and the Bible a lie. He had stifled the promptings of conscience and seemed given over to hardness of heart. He then taught a grammar school for the Greeks in a village near Tripoli, and when Rev. Samuel Jessup and Dr. George E. Post began work in Tripoli in 1863-64, he taught them Arabic and continued through the cholera season of 1865. Previous to this he had spent some time in Hums where he became acquainted with Asaad, and Miriam, his sister, who were apparently the only fruit thus far of the faithful labours of Rev. D. M. Wilson and wife for five years. Asaad and Miriam were persecuted, and she was dragged through the streets by the hair of her head because she would not worship the pictures (the ikons) of the Greek Church. Elias married her and in 1866 removed to Beirut and taught a boys' day-school for us. He was still proud and conceited, quoting Arabic poetry, and displaying his knowledge of grammar and logic among the young men, but utterly without feeling on the subject of religion. We had prayed with him and for him and all seemingly to no effect. The missionaries in Tripoli regarded him as intellectually a Protestant, but in fact an infidel. Miriam taught their little son Manna to pray, but Elias would not allow it to be done in his presence. He used the New Testament in the school, but had no appreciation of its spirit and its saving truths. He was always at church on Sunday and sat with the college students because he thought it respect able to be among students, but he seemed hardened in heart and I began to doubt whether we had done right in bringing him to Beirut to teach. But I continued to pray for him without ceasing.

On Monday P. M., November 12, 1866, Elias Saddeh called at my house, knocked at the door, came into my room and sat down on the divan (mukod) by the door in silence, his face buried in his hands. At length I said to him, "What is the matter, Elias?" He looked up and said, "I know that you are my friend. I am in trouble, great trouble, and I don't know what to do. I have never felt so before in my life. What is the matter I cannot tell. I went to church yesterday afternoon and when I came out my hair stood on end and I trembled from head to foot. As I passed through the gate it seemed as if the ground were opening beneath my feet and I could feel the fires of hell. Just then a voice came from above saying, 'You are a lost man I you are a lost man!' And then, as I went on towards my house I could see those Arabic sermons which I copied for you and Mr. Lyons ten years ago, written as with a pen of fire on the sky. I shut my eyes but there they were. When I reached home I could hear nothing else, see nothing else. I could eat no supper. Miriam said to me, 'What is the matter, Elias?' I replied, 'Nothing only I do not feel very well.' At bedtime I took little Hanna to put him to bed and he looked up in my face and said, 'Ya abi laish ma b'tsully mithel Imme kobl en noum?' 'Father, why don't you pray with me as mother does before sleeping?' It seemed as if God had raised up my little child to rebuke me and remind me of my sin. And so it was all night long. I could not sleep; that voice was ringing in my cars, 'You are a lost man.' This morning I went to school, but I could near nothing and see nothing, and so it has been all day and if it keeps on much longer I shall lose my reason. Sir, what shall I do? I have never felt so before in my life. What does it mean?" All this time he sat trembling and spoke with a faltering voice. I said to him, "Elias, you do not know how glad I am to hear these words from you. You do not know how many prayers have been offered for you during the last ten years, and now you ought to fall down and thank God that He has sent His Holy Spirit to show you your sins. You will never see the sweetness of Christ until you first feel the bitterness of sin. I hope you will feel your sins even more than you have and cast yourself upon Christ for mercy. Elias, have you prayed?" "Prayed?" said he. "A man like me pray to Christ when I have so grossly insulted Him? When I have called Him an impostor and His word a lie? Never." I then said, "Would you like to have me pray?" "Yes," said he, "if you think it will do any good." We knelt in prayer, but I could hardly control my feelings so as to speak audibly. When we arose he bade me "good-evening" and left the room.

I saw him no more until the next afternoon at four o'clock, when he came in again, his face beaming with a light almost unnatural. I never saw a human countenance so changed. Every feature seemed softened and luminous. He almost sprang towards me and seizing my hand with a grasp which I can never forget, he exclaimed, "Oh, Mr. Jessup, is it not wonderful? Was there ever such love? Last night I took up the Testament to see if I could find anything to relieve my despair when the first passage I saw was this in the first epistle of John, 'The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.' Why, sir, if that word 'all' had not been there I should have had no hope. But there it was, 'all sin.' That meant mine too. The words seemed to glow with light. They stood out on the page. I looked and wept. 'Can it be,' I said, 'can it be that Jesus whom I have reviled will cleanse my sin? Is He so merciful as that?' And then I looked up and said, 'Oh, Thou blessed Jesus Christ, if Thou wilt accept of me. Thy blood can cleanse my sin. Then I am Thine forever.' Oh, sir, it seems to me as if heaven had begun on earth. I called Miriam and told her, and we wept and prayed together. It seemed so natural to pray then. I could not help it. Mr. Jessup, is it not wonderful? Is it not wonderful that He has spared me until now? Why did He not cut me off ten years ago in my sins? Why did He not smite me when I was reviling His name? What shall I do? What can I do? There are young men in Tripoli whom I taught that the Bible is a lie and some of them are dead now. Oh, that I could call them back and tell them of the Saviour's love. Do you not think that I had better go at once to Tripoli by the first steamer and speak to those young men? Oh, if I could but be the means of saving one soul I should be perfectly happy." I said to him, "Elias, would you like to pray now?" "Yes, indeed," said he, and he prayed such a prayer as I had not heard for many months. We spent that hour in prayer and praise. Now and then he would burst out in some new expression of wondering love. Said he, "When I read the Bible now the name of Jesus seems so new and so sweet that I can hardly contain myself." I asked him if he had never seen that verse in 1 John 1:7 before, "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." He said, "I copied a sermon on that text, but I did not know its meaning then, but now I do."

I saw that he needed something to do now for Christ, and as he could not well leave for Tripoli I urged him to labour for some of the young men in Beirut whom he knew. Said he, "I know a few and I will try to do them good."

On Wednesday afternoon he came in again bringing with him another young man, Beshara Haddad. I had known him for years. He was the first Protestant child baptized in Syria, and his aged father, a saintly man, was one of the first who came out on the Lord's side long years ago and went through the fires of persecution which raged so violently in the days of Jonas King, Isaac Bird, and the martyr Asaad es Shidiak from 1826 to 1830. The good old man died a few years previous, mourning that his first-born Beshara had not yet found the Saviour. Beshara had been trained under Mr. Calhoun in Abeih Seminary and was now teaching in the preparatory department of the Syrian Protestant College.

After a few words of salutation I turned and said, "Beshara, what brought you here to-day?" He said, "I think God brought me here. I had long known the truth, but I had hardened my heart and at length came to the conclusion that I had committed the unpardonable sin. But a few Sabbaths ago I heard you preach on that subject, and you said that if any one had a desire to be free from sin it was a proof that he had not committed the unpardonable sin. Well, I thought I did desire to be free from sin, and I thought it over more and more, and last Sabbath I determined that this week I would begin to think of my soul's salvation. Yesterday I decided to give up the hour after eight in the evening to this subject, as my school duties would be over and I could be alone. So I went to my room at eight o'clock and shut the door. Very soon there was a knock. I hesitated, then opened the door. In came Mr. Elias Saadeh. My heart sank within me. I thought, 'Why has he come to take my time? He is the last man in Beirut I would wish just now to see. He has come to jest about religious things and all my good resolutions will be lost. 'But to my surprise Elias stepped up to me and seized my hand and said with a trembling voice, 'Beshara, the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.' I could not guess what he meant, and thought he was quoting Scripture to ridicule it; but be held my hand tight in his and said again, 'Beshara, it is so, and it has cleansed me and I have come to tell you about it.' If the very stones in the floor had cried out I could not have been more astonished. I fell on his neck and wept. We wept together; we prayed together. I believe that God sent him there at that very hour to bring me to Christ. The Saviour Himself seemed to be present. Oh, sir, such an hour I have never known I Well, after we had prayed a while I told Elias, 'There is Ibrahim Nasif Aatiyeh in the next room; let us call him in and see if he too does not want a Saviour.' So we called him and prayed with him and today he thinks he has found the Saviour, and he will be here very soon.

I listened to Beshara's words with the most intense interest, the tears flowing unbidden and unrestrained. Soon Ibrahim came in and we spent an hour such as I had never spent before in Syria. The Saviour Himself seemed to be with us.

The young brethren wanted something to do and they found it. The city was divided into districts, and they went around two and two holding evening meetings, praying and singing, and reading the Scriptures in families where the voice of prayer and praise had not been heard before. The prayer-meetings of the brethren of the church were more numerously attended and ere long eleven young persons stood up in the great congregation a and professed their faith in Christ.

When the church session were assembled to examine candidates for admission to the church, there came among them a rough, rustic youth about sixteen years of age, an entire stranger to us all. Deacon Fuaz proposed that he be informed of the nature of the meeting and be asked to retire, but we decided at length to allow him to stay and listen, hoping that he might receive some benefit. Late in the evening, when the examination was concluded and we were about to close with prayer, I turned to the young man and said to him, "What is your name?" "Hanna Bedr." "Where are you from?" "From Shweir, Mount Lebanon " "What are you doing in Beirut?" "Working in the stone quarries." "Why did you come here to- night?" "I came because you gave notice in the church that all who wished to confess Christ before men should come here tonight and I wish to confess Christ, so I came." "Well, Hanna, when did you first learn about Christ?" "Not long ago. You see my brother Yusef is in the Abeih Seminary and when I was in the mountains last summer he came home for a vacation, and said to me, 'Hanna, it will never do for you to live on in this way. You must trust in Christ and follow Him or you will be lost forever. You must read the Gospel and there you will find it all plain.' I told him I could not read. Then he said he would teach me, and be taught me the alphabet and I began,' and when I returned to the quarries I began to read at noon and at night and I found it all just as Yusef said. Then I came to the mission church and heard the preaching and it was all the same, all about Christ, and I knew it was true. One day as I was reading I found these words, 'Come unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest' That, I thought, is the Saviour for me. So I said to Him, 'Jesus, if you will give me rest, then I will be yours.'"

Said I to him, "Do not the quarrymen persecute you?" Yes," said he, "they stone me and curse me." "Do you then curse them again?" "How can I? I only wish they knew what I know; they know no better." "Well, Hanna, do you ever pray?" "Yes, sometimes I say, 'Our Father,' and then I pray a little prayer of my own. I say, 'Oh, Lord Jesus, I'm poor Hanna Bedr. I don't know much. I am a sinner. You said, "Come unto Me" and so I come to you. Amen.' Is that right?" 

"Yes," said I," Hanna, that is right. But what do you mean by confessing Christ?" "Why, I mean that if the Lord has done so much for me, I am not ashamed to tell the world of it."

The old deacon turned to me and said, "This poor, rough boy whom we were going to turn away has passed as satisfactory an examination as any one to-night."

Elias soon after left for Tripoli and laboured in the villages and city, teaching the missionaries, proclaiming the Saviour whom he once despised and preaching the faith which he once destroyed. He became the Arabic teacher of nine successive missionaries in Tripoli. His son Najib, after receiving his theological diploma in June 1888, preached with great acceptance until his untimely death in February, 1893. Several years later, Elias with his wife joined his children, who were in business in New York and he was chosen pastor of the Syrian Evangelical Congregation there, and won all hearts, not only by his polished Arabic sermons, but by his godly exemplary life. One Sunday in November 1902, when on his way from Brooklyn to New York to preach, he dropped dead in the street, and went to see his glorified Redeemer. He had the sermon he was to preach in his pocket, from the text job 4:5: "But it is come upon thee and thou faintest; it toucheth thee and thou art troubled." It was a remarkable providence that Rev. Geo. E. Post landed in New York the very day of the funeral and made the funeral address in Arabic to a large assembly of Syrians in the Old First Presbyterian Church on Fifth Avenue.

Beshara soon after went to Latakia to labour with the Reformed Presbyterian Mission for the pagan Nusairiyeh and laboured faithfully for many years. He died December 21, 1873.

Mr. Beshara el Haddad, eldest son of Tannoos el Haddad, a name memorable in the early annals of the Syrian Mission, died recently a triumphant Christian death, glorying in the Cross of Christ. He was educated in the Abeih Seminary, and when a boy, although not of brilliant intellectual abilities, was of an amiable and upright disposition. In 1866 he was engaged in teaching in Mr. Bistany's high school, which was then the preparatory school for the Syrian Protestant College, in Beirut. In November the Spirit of God visited us and a number of young men were converted, among them Moallim Beshara. His conviction of sin was deep and thorough and he was driven to the very verge of despair, almost believing that he had committed the unpardonable sin. At length light dawned upon his mind and he took a decided stand as a Christian, and has now for five years been teaching in the mission high school in Latakia, having for his pupils youth from the pagan Nusairiyeh. Two months since he came to Beirut suffering from a cancerous affection, and on Sunday, December 21st, entered into his rest. He said, a few hours before his death, "Jesus is my Friend. I know He is my Saviour." He called his widowed mother, his wife, and his two sons, Rashid and Tannoos, and his sister Sara, and laying his hands on the heads of the little boys, bade them all a loving farewell, rejoicing that he would so soon be with Christ his Saviour. He was peculiarly grateful to those who had been the means of his conversion, and one day he exclaimed, "Welcome, dear brother, you led me to Christ, you led me to Christ."

Ibrahim Aatiyeh is still living, having been a successful teacher and faithful evangelist under the charge of the British Syrian Mission among the pastoral Arabs of the coast, and among the soldiers and gendarmes of the Lebanon government.

Hanna Bedr, after serving as a volunteer in the Lebanon infantry, resigned and went to Abeih to study to fit himself to preach to the Bedawin Arabs; but in the summer of 1871 was prostrated with quick consumption and after a religious experience which made his sick-room luminous and attractive, he passed away in triumph to meet his Lord and Saviour.

Prof. E. D. Cope of Philadelphia wrote asking me to send him a barrel of snakes and fish in alcohol. I hired a deaf and dumb Druse named Hassan, a snake charmer, to bring me snakes. One day on returning home I saw him standing in the court with a leather bag full of snakes. In order to exhibit his goods he loosened the string and let the whole squirming mass out upon the floor. I made good my escape up-stairs, shutting the door behind me, and motioning to him to gather them up. Looking down from the flat roof I saw him seize the last one, and when I went down he emptied them into the cask of spirits. His sign language and mimicry in describing how he caught these snakes were extremely amusing. I was relieved when the cask was full, headed up and shipped to Professor Cope. The entire cost of snakes, alcohol, small animals, and barrel was twenty dollars.

On the 21St of March we had a visit from what seemed an apparition. I had read when a boy of General Jackson's administration and of his postmaster- general, as though characters of ancient history. When Amos Kendall was announced, I thought it must be his grandson, but it was the veritable venerable Amos with his son-in-law, Mr. Stickney, his wife, and son. It seemed as if Andrew Jackson had risen from the dead and was visiting this ancient land of shadows. It was interesting to see a man of seventy-eight years, General Jackson's old postmaster-general, riding on a Syrian horse through the Holy Land with no more fatigue than his grandson. He has climbed Vesuvius, the dome of St. Peter's, and in Beirut declined the offer of a cane, as it was an encumbrance. He was a devout man, a Baptist. He showed the greatest interest in the girls' school and the college with its sixteen freshmen and eighty preparatory students.

Another of what seemed to be periodical panics among the Christians of Damascus broke out early in March. The pasha, in order to raise funds to help the suffering Moslems of Crete, whose villages had been plundered by the Greeks and many of them killed, issued an inflammatory placard asking for help; calling on the Moslems "to remember the blood of their martyred brethren who had been killed by those beasts, the Greeks," etc. The Damascus Moslems were greatly excited and began to threaten the Christians who fled by hundreds to the mountains and Beirut, fearing a repetition of the massacre of 1860. The consuls remonstrated with the pasha, who saw his error, and ordered all the placards to be removed and soldiers to be stationed in the Christian quarter, but it was a long time before confidence could be restored. We say, "A burnt child dreads the fire." The Arab proverb has it, "One bitten by a snake is frightened by the shaking of a rope."

There is something about the fanaticism of a Moslem rabble which is akin to frenzy. The elderly and graver Moslem sheikhs dread an uprising as it will bring disaster upon themselves and their property, but they are equally intolerant with the lowest class and to all of them, all non-Moslems are infidels and enemies.

A beautiful incident occurred recently in Northern Syria. A few weeks since, the colporteur, Ishoc, of the American Bible Society, visited a dark Maronite village where he had heard there was a man who had a Testament. On knocking at the door he was met by a man over sixty years of age, with only one eye and wearing glasses. He had a Testament in his hand, and when Ishoc told him he was a brother in the Gospel, who was going about to preach and sell Scriptures, he burst into tears, embraced him, and wept aloud. He had never before seen a missionary, nor had he seen the Old Testament, and his joy was intense. He called in his friends and neighbours to rejoice with him, and an old man of ninety blessed God he had seen the whole Bible before he died. Some twelve men in that village have become enlightened through that one Testament, without ever seeing a missionary. They are now undergoing severe persecution, and some of them have been driven from their homes by the violence of the papal priests.

An extraordinary document reached Beirut April 3d, addressed to the United States consul, from fifty-three Persians in Bagdad, petitioning the United States Congress for the release of their leader, Beha Allah, the Babite Persian reformer, who appeared in 1843, and was followed by thousands, 30,000 of whom were killed by the Shah of Persia. He was arrested in Bagdad by the Turkish government, and is now (1867) in prison in Adrianople, European Turkey. His particular doctrine is "the universal brotherhood of man." The petitioners claim that they number 40,000. A German traveller writes from Bagdad enclosing the petition and speaks admiringly of the reformer, and asks for his release on the ground of religious liberty, which is now granted by the Sultan to all his subjects. One of the documents appended to the petition is signed with a Free Masonic Seal.

Ishoc Shemmaa, the colporteur of the American Bible Society, was reading the Bible in the public square of Beirut when a great crowd of some 200 people assembled to listen. Some street boys began to shout and make a disturbance and Ishoc rose to leave, the crowd following. Kamil Pasha, governor of the city, was standing near by in a shop door and called to Ishoc, and asked him what he was doing to create such a crowd. Ishoc, holding up a Bible, said, "Your Excellency, I am selling God's Word and the people wished to hear it read; this is the cause of the crowd, and some have made a disturbance." The pasha said, "It is a good book," and sent his guard to disperse the disturbers of the peace. [This was our first knowledge of the "Bab." In June, 1901, I published in the Outlook an account of these Babites, and my interview at Haifa, with Abbas Effendi, son of Beha Allah, and present head of the Babites. His doctrines are a mixture of Sufism, Islam, and Christianity. His followers believe him to be a divine incarnation.]

This pasha afterwards became grand vizier, and held the office for twelve years, and is now in his old age Waly of Smyrna. He was a level-headed, liberal man, and loved to see fair play, and hated the persecuting spirit of the Oriental church ecclesiastics. He once said to me when I remarked that all hoped he would one day become grand vizier (prime minister), "I have no ambition that way. That is the summit, and beyond that there is only descent." (1909 - He was made grand vizier under the new constitutional government.)

In May I received a visit from one of the most saintly women I have ever known, Mrs. Walter Baker, of Dorchester, Mass., and with her were two young men, choice spirits, Edward G. Porter, and Isaac N. Cochran. Mrs. Baker was my guest together with Dr. and Mrs. Post, and the young men were at the hotel. Mrs. Baker insisted upon my going as her guest to Damascus, Baalbec, and the Barak Cedars, and I was afterwards her guest in Paris and Dorchester. She became the steadfast friend of our girls' boarding-school and the mission. She paid the whole sup. port of Miss Eliza D. Everett, the first American teacher in the Beirut school, for two years, until the school was taken up by the Woman's Board of the Presbyterian Church.

What made her friendship especially charming to me was the fact that she was the warm friend of my two very dear college classmates, Dr. Theodore T. Munger and Dr. James G. Vose. Dr. Munger in his early ministry was called to the Dorchester church, and Mrs. Baker invited him to spend Sunday with her. He accepted and remained with her for seven years, reminding one of Dr. Watts who lived with Sir Thomas Abney for thirty-six years.

On my way to America in November, 1867, she introduced me to Dr. Jonas King of Athens, and the French Protestant pastors, as I have elsewhere narrated.

On June 5th the corner-stone of the new Beirut church was laid, with religious services. Mrs. W. M. Thomson laid the corner-stone. The northeast corner had been left open to receive it as more than half the walls were built. In the cornerstone were placed an Arabic Bible, the constitution of the native church, list of American missionaries from the beginning, list of the Anglo-American Congregation, Arabic journals of Beirut, Constantinople, Damascus, and B'teddin, list of publications of the American Press, and a list of Protestant institutions in Beirut in 1867. The church was dedicated March 28, 1869, after my return from America. Before sailing from America for Syria in October, 1868, with my family, I had shipped a fine bell, the gift of the Scranton people, and a $1,200 tower clock, given by the Madison Square Church in New York. But the building funds were exhausted when the tower was but half finished, and neither clock nor bell could be set up. The citizens of Beirut, Moslems, Christians, and Jews, were so anxious to see and hear a clock whose striking could be heard throughout the city, that a local subscription was raised, through the influence of James Black, Esq., and the tower was completed. Thus the Mohammedans who abominate bells, and the Jews who dislike Christian churches, contributed to the erection of a Christian bell-tower. And when the clock was finally in place and began to strike the hours, crowds of people gathered in the streets to hear the marvellous sound. Since then, five different tower clocks have been set up in Beirut, one of them near our churuch at the Turkish barracks, and others at the Syrian Protestant College, the railroad station, the Jesuit College, and the French Hospital. Thus in this, as in many other matters, Me Americans set the pace and others followed their example. The funds have been contributed thus far by the American Board of Missions, the Kirk of Scotland, friends in England and America, the Native Evangelical Church, and the Anglo-American Congregation, representing at least seven different denominations, thus presenting a united and harmonious front to the many enemies of the gospel faith in Syria and proving that Christian union in worship and service is possible. Upon the advent of the ritualistic Bishop Blyth of Jerusalem, however, most of the Church of England people withdrew, and set up a schismatic chapel of their own. I use the word "schismatic," as it is a word the " Anglicans " love to apply to all outside their own sect. [When I was visiting Canon Tristram in December, 1864, he preached in Hartlepool one evening and took me with him. Passing along the street, he pointed to a plain building, saying , "That is Schism corner," referring to the Methodist chapel. Years afterwards we were walking together in Beirut, and as we neared the Church of England chapel, I said to him, "That is Schism corner !". He saw the point and enjoyed having the tables turned upon him.]

At this time, Mr. Calhoun, in addition to his school duties in Abeih, was teaching a theological class of five young men, four of whom were M. Yusef Bedr, M. Yusef Aatiyeh, M. Yusef Shaheen, and M. Abdullah Rasi.

H. E. Daud Pasha, at the last Easter, was called upon by the magistrates of the town of Deir el Komr including the Catholic bishops and priests. In reply to their congratulations he said that he had one criticism to make upon them as the spiritual guides of the people. "And what is that?" they exclaimed. "It is that all the shops of your parishioners are kept open on Sunday and business goes on as usual, greatly to the detriment of the people." The priests replied, "Your Excellency, this greatly grieves us, but really we have not the power to stop this evil. The people will not obey us." "Then," said the pasha, "I will help you, and next Sunday any man who opens his shop will be imprisoned." The order was issued, and, after a few arrests, the nuisance was abated, and this notorious stronghold of papal intolerance had externally a well-kept Sunday every week.

At this time, the Sultan Abdul Aim went to the Paris Exposition taking gifts to the Empress Eugenie to the value of $300,000. As an offset, new taxes, grievous to be borne, are being levied on the people of the empire.

Rev. Samuel S. Mitchell and wife arrived in Beirut in June, as recruits for our missionary force. His wife (Lucy Wright) was born in Persia, daughter of a missionary, and they both gave promise of a life of usefulness, but feeble health soon compelled their withdrawal. Mrs. Mitchell afterwards studied the "History of Art," lectured in Florence and Berlin, and published a book (Dodd Mead, New York), which has become a standard work on art. Mr. Mitchell attained some celebrity as a landscape painter.

On June 22d the annual examination of the girls' school was held. Seventy-five girls were examined in three languages for four days, and no such examination had ever before been held in Syria. Knuri Jebara, a Greek priest who was present, delivered a very excellent Arabic address highly eulogistic of the American missionaries and their work in Syria. Such an address had never before been heard in Syria. He publicly thanked the missionaries for the Arabic Bible and other good books and for their schools and seminaries. This same priest purchased sixty copies of Edwards' "History of Redemption" in Arabic and gave them to his people.

In August, I bought a snow-white mare of a native friend by recommendation from my reliable friend, Dr. Daniel Bliss. It was a beautiful creature with a pedigree, and I bought it "unsight unseen," as it was in Lebanon in Abeih, and I was in Beirut. The owner, hearing that I was in Aleih, at Dr. Post's house, sent the mare over there. Mrs. Post was at a loss what to do with such a fiery creature. A young missionary who was her guest finally consented to ride her to Beirut, although he had no experience in riding. She went quietly enough the mile to the Damascus carriage road, but there, alas, she saw a white canvas-topped cart for the first time in her life, and then another, and the noisy train came rattling and thundering along, until she was beside herself, and she sprang forward over the broad macadamized road Beirut-wards. Her rider, paralyzed with fright, dropped the reins and seized the saddle pommel with both hands. The mare flew ahead on a dead run, past the sixteenth kilometer stone, then the fifteenth and on to the fifth and fourth, but just at the second near the Beirut pine grove, a blockade of camels stopped her. The rider slipped off and let her go and she went on arching her neck and snuffing at her first glimpse of a Syrian city. He walked on, lame, bruised, and demoralized. About 3 P. M. I heard a knock at my door. There stood Mr. Post. He called out in a faint voice, "Has the mare got here?" "What mare?" I replied. "Why, your new white mare." He then told the story, and I found that if he had not broken his neck he had broken all records of Syrian horse-racing. I then told him I had never seen the mare and that she had never been in Beirut and how should she know my house? I called Assaf, my trusty servant, and sent him at once to the public "Place de Canon" or "Burj" where the Damascus Road enters the city. In half an hour he brought her drenched and heated to her new home. But she was too aristocratic for me. She danced and pranced, with curved neck and flying mane and wanted to gallop through the streets. It exhausted my strength to hold her in, and at length I sold her to Consul Lorenzo Johnson whom she threw over her head three times on the sand-dunes and as this did not comport with consular dignity he sold her to a Lebanon sheikh.

In a letter to the eccentric but sensible Mr. Williams, of Mardin, I alluded to interference with our schools by other societies, who virtually bribed the children to go to their schools, and said, "I am not willing to surrender to the fruits of the American Mission's thirty years' toil. My rule is never to fight but if you are forced to fight, fight it out on a straight line. The Arabs say, 'The camel never falls down but when he does fall he never gets up again.' The Syrians are an independent race, but they have been demoralized by having too much done for them and some of them see it and feel it. We must now try to remoralize them. They cannot manage to support first-class institutions as yet, but everything else they ought to support."

In August, 1867, Dr. Thomson returned from England much improved in health. On September 30th, Dr. Post and family sailed for America, and on his arrival he resigned his connection with the American Board, having been appointed Professor of Surgery in the Syrian Protestant College.

On October 20th Dr. Van Dyck and family arrived from the United States. He brought with him duplicate electrotype plates of the vowelled Bible. Mr. Samuel Hallock came with him as electrotyper and mechanical superintendent of the press.

In November, Rev. Isaac N. Lowry and wife arrived from America and were stationed with Mr. and Mrs. S. Mitchell in Tripoli. As Mr. Mitchell left the mission in the summer of 1868, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Jessup were again transferred from Sidon to Tripoli.

The excursion steamship Quaker City, Captain Duncan, arrived with Mr. Moses S. Beach and "Mark Twain" on board, on September 10th. I had engaged for a party of them a dragoman for Baalbec and Damascus, and went on board. By order of the mission I presented to each one a gilt copy of the Arabic New Testament. Thirty of them visited the girls' school and Dr. Beach gave two hundred dollars for the school and the new church.

Owing to the return of Drs. Thomson and Van Dyck, and the fact that Dr. Wortabet was also to be in Beirut, the brethren of the mission and the secretaries of the American Board in Boston insisted on my going this fall to America, as I was nervously broken down, and a sufferer from acute insomnia. I was the more willing to go as my absence would facilitate the securing of a native pastor for the Beirut church. Yet the ties which bound me to the Syrian people old and young were not easily broken and I dreaded the parting scenes. I handed over all the lines and threads of work to Dr. Thomson.

Miss Rufka Gregory, the Syrian lady who taught in the Beirut Syrian Girls' School for five years, and who was the ablest Syrian teacher of modern times, was quite broken in health in July, 1867, and We gave her a six months' furlough to visit friends in Egypt.

While there she made the acquaintance of Rev. Mr. Muir, of Melbourne bourne, Australia, married him and went to Melbourne to live , where, after his early death, she conducted a successful school for girls for many years.

With her departure it became necessary to secure an American teacher. I count it one of the providential reasons of my being sent to America in October, 1867, that I was able to find Miss Eliza D. Everett, the accomplished and consecrated lady who came to Beirut with me in October, 1868, and laboured in Syria for twenty-five years in the Beirut Female Seminary with remarkable acceptance and success.

I sailed from Beirut October 22d, and arrived in Paris November 5th. In Paris I found my friends, Mr. Frederic Marquand and Mrs. Baker, Mrs. Baker insisted on my being her guest in the Rue St. Arnaud, and Rev. Edward Porter obtained a permit and took me to see the Paris Exposition which had been closed to the public for six days. We spent five hours there and I saw the missionary exhibit and a set of the Arabic books of our Beirut Press. Returning we called on Dr. Jonas King and Mrs. King of Athens. He returned the call and brought me an invitation from Count Laborde to speak at the missionary reception to be given the next day by the Paris Evangelical Society to Dr. King whom they sent as their missionary to Syria in October, 1822. That night I was very ill but recovered so as to attend the meeting at the Salle Evangelique at 4 P. M. M.Grandpierre presided. Dr. King spoke in French of his life in Syria and Greece I spoke of the present state of the work in Syria and Pastor Fische interpreted. Among those present were Pressense, De Casalis and Monod.

Taking the midnight train to Brest, I embarked November 9th on the St. Laurent. The ship was crowded. We had two hundred and sixty in the second class in the bows of the ship. The voyage was terrific and the ship rolled violently, but I was perfectly well and clear headed every hour of the passage.

I found congenial company in Rev. Dr. Washburn of Calvary Church and the Hon. David Dudley Field.

Mr. Stuart Dodge met me on landing November 20th, and I spent the night at his father's house, and the next day with joyful anticipation took the train for Montrose. Mr. Dodge and Stuart took me to the ferry. At Scranton two sisters and others met me. At 8 P. M. I entered the dear old home. Father, mother, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews and my dear child Anna greeted me and we sat around the open fireplace until a late hour, recounting the mercies of the past, and closed with family prayers. On November 25th brother Huntting brought my son William, then five years old, from Branchport.

We had a happy Thanksgiving November 28th, and twenty-six of the family sat at one long table at the dinner. We wrote a union family letter to brother Samuel in Syria, and after dinner we spent an hour in family singing.

On my arrival Mr. Treat of the American Board wrote me enjoining my taking complete rest. What Mr. Treat meant by "rest" appears from his telegram six days later, instructing me to go to Yale College for December 8th. I went, and was the guest of that beloved man of God, President Woolsey. The weather was severe, mercury ten degrees below zero with a cutting northwest wind.

On Sunday I spoke in Vale Chapel and in Dr. Eustis' Church. On Monday, I spoke to the theological students and met Charles Smith, son of Dr. Eli Smith, whom I brought from Syria to America in 1857. That evening I spoke to the Hartford theological students. The next day I went to Boston in a beautiful snow-storm and was the guest of Mr. Charles Stoddard and the next day visited the missionary house. I also visited my classmate Munger at Haverhill and my sick colleague Mr. J. L. Lyons at South Berwick. On December 17th I met the Prudential Committee of the American Board and after full consideration they agreed to appoint a teacher for the Beirut Girls' School in case her support could be secured. This was pledged by Mrs. Baker and resulted months later in the selection of Miss Everett. I also met President Mark Hopkins of Williams College, president of the Board, a man of giant intellect and heart aflame with love for Christ and His kingdom.

The next day I visited South Hadley to inquire about a possible candidate for the Beirut school, but failed to find one with the requisite qualifications who was willing to go.

December 20th I went with Dr. Clark to Andover Theological Seminary and thence to Cambridgeport as the guest of my college friend, the brilliant Rev. Kinsley Twining. Sunday was a most unpropitious day, a foot of snow and water making the streets well-nigh impassable, but at the Shepherd Church in the evening the Harvard students came out in crowds. Dr. Peabody of Harvard presided, prayer was offered by Dr. Mackenzie, and Mr. Treat and I both spoke. Dr. Peabody offered the closing prayer full of evangelical missionary aspiration and inspiration and closed "in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." I thanked God for such a missionary meeting in old Harvard. It was one of the surprises of my life to find Dr. Peabody so cordially interested in the foreign missionary work.

On Monday, December 23d, I went to New York and in crossing the Connecticut River the ferry-boat stuck in the mud at low tide for three hours. In New York I was the guest of Prof. Alfred C. Post and found there our Dr. Post and his brother-in-law, Rev. Arthur Mitchell. Mr. Mitchell went with me to the ferry next morning and told me that there was a Mr. Dennis in Newark who ought to go to Syria.

1868 - In January I went to Newark and had full conversation with Mr. James S. Dennis and he virtually decided to go to Syria. I met old friends and spoke twice in the Sunday-school of the First Church and in Dr. Poor's church. In New York I addressed the Union Seminary students and had private conversation with individuals in Gardner's room.

After various visits I accepted the invitation of my seminary friend, Rev. J. B. Bonar of the American Presbyterian Church and went to Montreal January 22d, where I was the guest of Mr. P. D. Browne. I remained five days, spoke six times, once to a union children's meeting, then to the French Canadian Missionary Society and in the church.

Returning to New York via Springfield I found on the train at Springfield President Woolsey and a New England pastor and we had two hours of delightful conversation. At length the pastor, a well-known person, said to me, "Jessup, you must come to my church. We have there, a former missionary and he has done much harm to the cause by his folly. If you or some other decent man does not come to us soon it is all up with foreign missions in-."

Then followed visits to Branchport and Penn Van, Prattsburg and Susquehanna and then to Rochester on invitation of District Secretary Rev. Chas. P. Bush, who was the means of my hearing of Miss Everett. I spoke in Rochester nine times to old and young, and on Tuesday, March 3d, went to Clinton as the guest of Mrs. Dr. Gallup of Houghton Seminary. The snow was drifted over the fences, and the driver of the sleigh from New Hartford to Clinton dumped me at eight o'clock on a dark night in a snow-drift before a girls' seminary, and drove off I waded through the drifts to the door and was told that this was the "Liberal Institute" and the "Houghton" was some distance up the street. So I trudged through the deep drifts dragging my heavy satchel behind me and finally reached the door of the "Houghton." Mrs. Gallup gave me a cordial welcome and after hearing the object of my visit, brought in Miss Everett and I explained at length the situation in the Beirut Girls' School, giving them all the facts and documents in my possession. Miss Everett received the proposition favourably, but could not give a definite answer until after consulting her parents in Painesville, Ohio. Her acceptance of the position put new life into the school, and her long connection with it was a blessing to the daughters of Syria.

The next day I called on the pastor, Rev. Albert Erdman, and saw Mrs. Erdman and the children, little thinking that one day his son Paul would marry my daughter Amy. I addressed the Hamilton College students and the church in the evening, although the day was bitterly cold and blustering. In Utica I called on Ellis H. Roberts, a Vale friend, a prominent editor and afterwards controller of the United States Treasury. We recalled the day when he a junior in 1849 stood up in the college chapel and professed his faith in Christ.

In New York I met the Beirut College trustees, Messrs Booth, W. E. Dodge, Hoadley, Kingman, and A. C. Post. Dr. Geo. Post and I were present and plans were made for a public meeting in behalf of the college. News had just come of the falling of a stone arch in the new Beirut church, and the trip of Mr. Stuart Dodge and Frederic A. Church, the artist, to Petra. [Mr. Dodge afterwards told me in Beirut of how their dragoman, M. Hani, overawed the Bedawin cameleers. The party left Hebron and camped six miles further south. In the morning after the loads had been roped and ready for loading, the Arabs refused to load saying that the loads were too heavy, etc. Argument proved unavailing. Threats did no good. Then Hani yelled at the top of his voice to the Arabs, "Unbind that box." They sprang forward and took off the ropes. He then unlocked the canteen took out a dinner plate and raising it over his head dashed it to fragments on a rock. Then he took another and smashed that, to the amazement of the Arabs. Then said be, "Thus shall I smash all these hundreds of plates and then the Queen of England will come here with an army and make you pay a pound for every plate and put you all in prison." The Arabs rushed forward and stopped him saying, "Dukhalak (we beg you), don't break another. We'll put on the loads." And they did, and the travellers had no more trouble. The genius of Hani was equal to the occasion.]

In New York the mission rooms were in the Bible House and in charge of Dr. Geo. W. Wood and Mr. Merwin. Here I met returned missionaries and theological students and was always welcomed by the genial Dr. Wood.

In Scranton I spoke several times and was the guest of my dear sister, Harriet A. Post, visited the ironworks and the coal mines and gathered specimens to take to Syria. Next to Montrose Scranton contained the largest number I of my family relatives. Here also were noble men who had founded the town and the church, - Col. Geo. Scranton and Selden Scranton, Messrs. Platt, Archbald, Blair, Hand, Boies, Fuller and Post and others. These good men gave me the money to buy the bell for the Beirut church which has been ringing and striking the hours for thirty-nine years.

In March I spent a Sunday in Williamstown and was the guest of Prof. Mark Hopkins and met his brother, Prof. Albert Hopkins' "par nobile fratrum." One of our Syrian boys, C. William Calhoun, took me to the Mission Haystack, the birthplace - of the American Board. We had a rousing union meeting Sunday evening. Dr. Clark and Mr. Treat, secretaries, were present. The sight of that company of college students in that historic spot with such a leader as Mark Hopkins was most inspiring and enough to make any man eloquent.

I then visited New Haven and called on President Woolsey and Professors Dana and Marsh, with whom I had a talk about the geology of Syria. I also met Daniel C. Gilman and id my beloved tutor, Rev. Win. H. Goodrich, who was brutally attacked by a Southern student in our freshman year and never fully recovered from the effects of the blow on his head.

In New York I was the guest of Hon. Wm. E. Dodge. Dr. Geo. E. Post was then in New York and we had frequent interviews with Messrs. Dodge and W. A. Booth with regard to funds for the Beirut College. Dr. Hallock of the American Tract Society gave me a selection of electro cuts for our Arabic journal.

On April 4th I was invited to attend the Chi Alpha Society. There were present a noble body of men: Drs. S. H. Cox, W. Adams, Burchard, H. B. Smith, Prentiss, Bidwell, Cuyler, Schaff, John, Hall, Eastman, Hallock, Hastings, Ganse, Hatfield, Bonar, Kittredge, Hutton, Skinner, Murray, Wood, Crosby, Shedd, and others. Only four are living now (1906). In all my subsequent visits to the United States this society has bidden me welcome, and I owe its members a great debt of gratitude.

April 9th we had a public meeting in behalf of the Syrian Protestant College with addresses by the Rev. Willard Parker, Dr. Win. H. Thomson, Dr. Post, Prof. R. D. Hitchcock, and myself. The object was to raise an endowment for the medical department.

I also visited Auburn, speaking in the First and Second Churches and to the students; and then visited Painesville, Cleveland, Elmira, Providence, R. I., and Stonington.

On the 6th of May, I became engaged to Miss Harriet Elizabeth Dodge, daughter of Dr. David Stuart Dodge of Hartford and niece of Hon. Wm. E. Dodge. We were married October 1st by Dr. Wm. Adams, and sailed for Syria October 17th, taking with us my daughter Anna, and Misses Everett and Carruth for the Beirut Female Seminary.

May 23d I spoke in the General Assembly in Harrisburg, Pa. During that assembly at a morning devotional meeting the son of an eminent deceased pastor, who had been a warm friend of my father, made a fervent appeal for foreign missions. A little later his widowed mother came to me and said, "Do urge my son J----- to enter the foreign mission service. It would be my highest joy to have a 'missionary son.'" I went at once to him and said, "Your remarks this morning show that you have the missionary spirit and ought to be a missionary." "Yes," said he, "that is true; but I have a widowed mother to care for and I cannot leave her." I then told him what his mother had said and how earnestly she desired that he become a missionary. He was much affected and said at length, "I would go gladly, but I cannot leave my mother in her dependent circumstances." He has been useful at home.

A week later I spoke at the Boston anniversaries, and May 30th addressed the yearly missionary meeting of the Orthodox Friends in New York.

June 7th I met Dr. N. G. Clark of the American Board at Clinton and we held meetings in Dr. Erdman's church, in Hamilton College, and in Houghton Seminary. Miss Everett decided definitely to go to Syria.

In Boston, July 1st, I called on Father Cleveland aged ninety-six. The Sunday before as city missionary he had preached twice!

Reaching home July 3d I found father much more feeble, being unable to speak.

In Pittsburg, July 13th, Mr. Wm. Thaw gave me $500 for the Beirut church building.

In July I attended Yale commencement. In New York Mr. J. S. Dennis announced his decision to go to Syria, and Mr. Frank Wood of the Astor Library called to consult with reference to going to Syria.

August 20th - In Montrose father's mind became clear and he spoke with animation of the missionary work and the Church and was delighted to hear of the progress towards the reunion of the two Presbyterian churches, but he could not remember secular affairs, On September 11th, I was on the Erie railroad train returning from Branchport when the conductor handed me a telegram of the death of dear father. He died with his staff in his hand, like a pilgrim ready for the long journey before him, falling asleep in Christ. We laid the palm branches brought from Syria upon his coffin, a token of triumph through Christ. On the 14th I wrote to brother Samuel in Syria:

"The long-expected and sad event has at length transpired. Our beloved and honoured father fell quietly asleep on Friday last at ten o'clock, His death was as serene and peaceful as his life had been, and he has attained the victory through the blood of the Lamb. For him we have no tears to shed. He has long waited for his Lord to come and now his triumph is complete. Such a life as his few men have lived. 'The memory of the just is blessed.' What a legacy of piety and virtue and Christian beneficence he has left behind to his family and country! May his mantle fall on us his children who owe so much to his example, his counsel, and his prayers."

September 23d I gave the charge at the ordination of Rev. Jas. S. Dennis as missionary to Syria and his mother then told me of his boyhood resolution to be a missionary.

October 1st I was married to Harriet Elizabeth Dodge, and we went on to the meeting of the American Board at Norwich. At that meeting I met seven former Syria missionaries, Mrs. Whiting Mrs. Eli Smith, Mrs. De Forest, Dr. Laurie, Mr. Sherman, Dr. Beadle, and Dr. Wolcott.

October 17th we sailed for Syria via Liverpool, Paris, and Marseilles, myself, wife, daughter Anna and Misses. Everett and Carruth. At Messina, Sicily, we were joined by my old friend Dr. David Torrey and his two nieces Ada and Carrie. Dr. Torrely had arranged by correspondence to board our ship at Messina. On our arriving there, November 12th, his courier came on board with a note from Dr. Torrey stating that his party had been so exhausted by crossing from Naples in a small steamer that they had abandoned the trip to the Holy Land. As our steamer was to stay only a few hours I saw that vigorous action must be taken. I hastened ashore with the courier, went up to Dr. Torrey's room, knocked at the door and shouted to him to get up at once and rouse his nieces and come on board. Hot coffee was ordered and in spite of some feeble protests from the next room, I soon had them ready and they came with me on board and added greatly to our pleasure on the voyage to Beirut. Thence they went through Palestine and Egypt where one of the accomplished nieces married Dr. Grant, the eminent physician and Egyptologist of Cairo. Neither Dr. Torrey nor Mrs. Grant ever regretted my boisterous knock on his door at the Messina Hotel!

We reached Beirut November 22d and received a hearty welcome from our friends native and foreign. On my return I found that my brother Samuel had again been transferred from Sidon to Tripoli, being his third removal to Tripoli. Rev. S. Mitchell had returned invalided to America,. Rev. I. N. Lowry and wife, both in infirm health, had been located in Tripoli, but after two years they both returned to America where both died of consumption within two years. This and similar cases in other fields led the Board of Missions to require all missionary candidates to pass a strict medical examination before appointment. It used to be allowable to send candidates with weak lungs to warm climates in the hope of their recovery, but that plan has wisely been abandoned. It was hoped that Mr. S. Jessup's removal to Tripoli would be permanent, as the Tripoli people had reason to think that the chief end of the American missionary is to move in, rent houses in advance and then move out again. In thirteen years they had seen this done by eight missionaries.

My home was reconstructed, two of my children, Anna and Henry, being with me, the third, William, remaining with his grandparents in western New York, where he grew up with a robust vigorous frame and became fitted to join me afterwards as a missionary colleague in Syria.

The American Board had decided that I was in no case to return to the acting pastorate of the Beirut church. The only native-born Syrian preacher qualified for the Beirut pastorate was Rev. John Wortabet, son of an Armenian convert and ordained in 1853 as pastor of the Hasbeiya church, and later missionary of a Scotch society in Aleppo, now instructor in the Syrian Protestant College. But he absolutely declined the post. He was receiving a salary equal to, if not greater, than that of Dr. Thomson, Dr. Post, or myself, and could not expect as much from the native church, yet this was probably not the chief reason for declining the office. So the work of preaching was thrown back again upon the missionaries resident in Beirut. I was to leave Beirut and teach in the theological seminary in Abeih, Mount Lebanon, in connection with Mr. Calhoun.

I wrote to Dr. N. G. Clark: "I shall enter upon the work of theological teaching with all fervour. It will be necessary in the first place to find out what my own theology is, for I have not had time to decide thus far, but I suppose that if I follow Hodge, Henry B. Smith, Park and Taylor and stick to the Bible and catechism, I shall be considered orthodox all around. You must come out and see me ere long and set my theology right."

The mission agreed with me that the Beirut church must have a native pastor but were not clear as to the best location for a theological seminary.

On the 10th of February, Rev. Jas. S. Dennis arrived from America and was stationed in Sidon to aid Dr. Eddy who was appointed teacher in the Abeih theological class. The literary labours of Dr. Dennis in preparing in Arabic a treatise on Theology based largely on Dr. Hodge's volumes, a work on Scripture Interpretation and another on the Evidences of Christianity were a noble contribution to Arabic Christian literature. For years he was at the head of the theological seminary after its removal to Beirut in 1873 until his resignation in 1891.

On his arrival in Syria, owing to the fact that his name had an unpleasant significance in Arabic, he received and accepted the name of Ennis which means affable or polite and endured the self-denial of ignoring his own name among native friends for twenty-two years of his residence in Syria.

It was finally decided to begin a theological class in Abeih on the 3d of May, 1869, with Messrs. Calhoun, W. W. Eddy, and H. H. Jessup as teachers. We had a class of eight men, all of whom had already had experience as teachers and helpers, and four of whom became ordained pastors, Messrs. S. Jerawan, Y. Bedr, S. Hakim, and K. Zarub. We carried on the class until November 1st and resumed it the following May.

The question of a native ministry was so urgent in 1868 and 1869 that we called a meeting of the Beirut church to give them notice that they must have a pastor and support him. They met and voted, 1st, that it was their duty to have a pastor; 2d, to support him; 3d, that as there is no pastor in view that they will raise annually a sum equal to a pastor's salary and when he is secured devote it to his support; 4th, that 20,000 piastres be raised this year. One said, "I am ashamed to sit in the chapel and hear preaching from the American missionaries for which I pay nothing." Others used strong language and all seemed to feel that self-respect compelled them to pay their own ministry.

In opening a theological class in Abeih, Mount Lebanon, as a summer school from May 1st to November 1st the mission gave the best proof of its determination to train a native ministry. And since that time the class has had varied experiences, being transferred to Beirut in 1873 as a winter school from October to June until 1891, then, from 1894 to 1901 as a summer school in Suk el Gharb, Lebanon; and lastly reopened in Beirut, October, 1905, as a winter school.

The teachers have been Rev. Messrs. Calhoun, W. W. Eddy, H. H. Jessup, J. S. Dennis, C. V. A. Van' Dyck, G. A. Ford, Mr. Ibrahim Haurany, Mr. Rezzuk Berbari, Rev. Beshara Barudi, 0. J. Hardin, S. Jessup, F. W. March, F. E. Hoskins, and A. Abdullah.

But it was not until 1890 that we finally succeeded in ordaining a native pastor, Rev. Yusef Bedr, over the Beirut church. Since that time the native pastorate has continued.

March 28, 1869, the new church edifice in Beirut was formally dedicated. I preached the Arabic dedication sermon at 9 A. M., and Dr. Lindsay Alexander of Edinburgh the English sermon at eleven o'clock. In the afternoon Mr. Calhoun preached in Arabic. The congregations were large and there was great rejoicing at entering such a spacious edifice after worshipping in the low crowded arched rooms of the old mission house,


THE CHURCH CURTAIN

When the new church was finished the question arose, Shall the old red broadcloth curtain of time-honoured use in the old chapel for thirty years be hung in the new church to separate the women from the men? We missionaries declined to settle the question and left it to the native brethren. After long and serious discussion they decided that if the curtain were not hung in the new church no Moslem woman would ever enter it and many Christian women would not, and parents of the schoolgirls might object to their being stared at by men and boys. So the curtain was hung with hooks on an iron rod extending from the front pew back to the organ. It hung there for several years and was finally removed by the Syrians themselves without our knowledge and presented to a church in the interior which is still under the sway of old Oriental customs.

The church bell and clock had arrived from New York, but the tower was not finished and so eager were the people of Beirut to see and hear the striking of the clock that with one accord Moslems, Jews, Greeks, and Maronites contributed liberally and the work was completed. By an agreement with the Jewish Mission's Committee of the Church of Scotland the missionaries of that church have maintained the English preaching at 11 A. M. On Sunday from that time until the present, thirty-nine years. Rev. Dr. Jas. Robertson and Rev. Dr. G. M. Mackie have been the incumbents with other temporary supplies and their Catholic spirit and faithful labours have been and are a blessing to the entire Anglo-American community.

On the 2d of April Theodore Booth, son of Wm. A. Booth of New York, died at Hotel Bellevue in Beirut. Owing to the warm friendship of Mr. Booth and family for many members of the mission we all felt deeply the death of this lovely young man cut off in the spring time of his life.

His remains were embalmed and taken to America. His brother Frederick, who was summoned from Jerusalem, was detained by a storm in Jaffa and unable to come to the funeral.

Mr. Booth founded, as a memorial of his son, the "Theodore Fund" of the Syrian Protestant College, the income of which was to be used for the publication of works needed in the course of instruction, and Mrs. Booth gave the chandeliers for the new church also as a memorial of her son.

On August 17th Dr. and Mrs. Post were greatly afflicted in the death of their infant son Robert, in the Saracenic building in Baalbec. Dr. Bliss and Mr. Stuart Dodge hastened thither, riding all night and returned with the sorrowing parents to Beirut and Mr. Calhoun went down by night to Beirut to conduct the funeral.

In October with the aid of Dr. Eddy's son William I made a collection of the specimens of the rocks in all the strata from the summit of the Metaiyyar Mountain above Abeih to the bottom of the valley below, measuring each stratum and recording its thickness and wrapping the specimens in cloth bags made for the purpose. These were presented to the cabinet of the Beirut College.

The theological class closed in Abeih October 30th and the students went to their fields of labour for the winter. Mr. Calhoun had the chair of Theology; Mr. Eddy Bible Exegesis, and I had Church History, Homiletics, and Evidences of Christianity. It became necessary to prepare lectures at once in Arabic in the two former and for the latter we used Alexander's Evidences. As my preference has always been for preaching, this settling down and preparing lectures was a new and difficult task, but I have kept it up to this day (1907) and have had the satisfaction of aiding in the training of about ninety young men for the ministry.

We decided to teach the theological students English. It was felt that Syria cannot be kept to the standard of Eastern Turkey. The land is full of European Jesuits and European infidel literature. Our young brethren will be derided unless they are able to cope with the arguments of Voltaire and defend even the text of the Holy Scriptures. Even in Hums books are in circulation which few men in a Christian land could satisfactorily answer. And the young men of that church and community have spent weeks trying to answer the old objections of Celsus, Arius, Voltaire, flume, and Renan, revamped and eloquently stated in the recent Arabic Mohammedan book entitled "Izhar el Hoc."

But recently (1904) this book has been triumphantly answered in an Arabic work (the "Hedaiyet") written and printed in Cairo. But none the less the Arabic pastors of this generation need a good knowledge of English.

We returned to Beirut where I once more took my turn with Dr. Thomson in the Arabic preaching. The Scotch preaching service was conducted by Rev. Mr. Fenwick.

On November 14th Mrs. J. Bowen Thompson died in London and on Sunday, November 28th, I preached funeral sermons in English and Arabic commemorative of her nearly nine years of faithful service for the women and girls of Syria.

She was a woman of earnest piety, great courage and resolution, undaunted by obstacles, a good organizer, and in the few years of her life in Syria had founded a system of day-schools for girls in about ten towns in Syria, and a Central Training Institutetion in Beirut. With her sisters Mrs. Mott, and Mrs. Smith and Miss Lloyd, who succeeded her, she worked in entire harmony with the American missionaries, and her teachers and pupils were received to the communion in our native churches. In this she had to resist repeated overtures from the high church party in England, but although a member of the Church of England she would not consent to bring about a schism in the native Evangelical Church. We of the American Mission acted as pastors for her Christian teachers and pupils, and from the day of her arrival in October, 1860, I extended to her a warm welcome and stood by her when not an English resident in Beirut would recognize her. Their conduct was, to my mind, based on misrepresentations, and I saw in her a strong and consecrated character, capable of great usefulness and in the end she won the confidence and cooperation of all.

In February a deputation from the village of Mezraat Yeshua near the Dog River came to Beirut stating that sixty families of Maronites had "turned" Protestants, or, as they say, wished to "nuklub Protestant" and wanted a preacher. After long questioning and sifting their stories we learned that there was it deadly feud between two families in the village, that one man had been killed but that the government had settled the quarrel. Nukhly, one of my two guests, wanted to be made priest and the other party opposed it. We had little confidence in the sincerity of the men but it seemed a call of God to enter in while the door was open and preach the Gospel. The result, however, was the same as in another case I have instanced at length.

Near this village on the mountainside there was formerly a stone statue of Diana or Artemis. The Arabic name is Artameesli. The monks ages ago built a monastery and called it the Monastery of St. Tameesh, so they are praying to Diana. Higher up is the convent of Bellona, sister of Mars, the goddess of war. She is reputed a saint by the people and offerings are made at her shrine in the convent. There are nearly fifty convents within fifty miles along the coast of Lebanon and some 2,000 monks live on the fat of the land. By terrors of purgatory the priests and monks have for ages extorted from the dying their houses and lands until nearly all the fine fountains, rich arable land, forest groves, and fruit trees belong to the monks and the poor fellahin or farmers are mere tenants at will. And those not tenants have generally borrowed money from the monks and priests so that they are held by a grip of iron. This state of things has made the Kesrawan district of Lebanon a byword and a hissing throughout Syria. The people are in a state of physical and ecclesiastical bondage.

I mention this incident as one characteristic of the Maronites of Lebanon and of some other sects. I have known of about a dozen villages in which from fifty to 500 people have declared themselves Protestants and continued so for weeks and months and then suddenly all gone back except perhaps two or three, and that without a blush or sense of shame. Such movements took place in Aindara, Ain er Rummaneh, Deraun, and many other places. They had expected foreign consular protection and when that failed they slipped back in their socket like dislocated bones. The threat to turn Protestants or Jews or Moslems is a with which the people threaten their priests common weapon without any thought of a sincere change of faith. An honest movement to evengelical Christianity in masses is unknown in Syria. It is different among the Armenians. The popular movement in Aintab and Marash in 1851 arose from a sincere desire to know God's Word and to follow its teachings, and as a result stable evangelical churches of true, honest men and women were speedily organized and have continued to this day. In Syria the popular conscience has been so warped and corrupted by the confessional and the easy condoning of sin, that men can profess to change their religion with no idea of a real change and with only a sinister object. As a consequence, the Protestant movement in Syria has been chiefly that of individuals, one here and another there, so that the organization of churches has been a slow work and the want of a large membership rendered self-support impossible in the early decades of the mission.

In Safita, Northern Syria, 300 Greeks and Nusairiyeh declared themselves Protestants in 1866, and only a dozen held out to the end. In Wadi Shahroor 250 came out as Protestants in 1876 and not one proved to be sincere. In B'teddin-el-Luksh 150 declared themselves Protestants in 1861 and had a preacher for a year, and all then turned back again. If all the people who have "turned" Protestants in Syria had remained steadfast, the land would soon be Protestant. In the most of these cases, the so-called Protestants present a petition, signed with their seals, declaring that they will live and die Protestants, calling God to witness their sincerity. And yet in a few weeks they violate the pledge without the least compunction, assured that their priests will condone their perjury.

Every man in Syria has a seal with his name and title engraved on brass or agate or carnelian, and even his signature is of little account without his seal. Placing one's seal on a document is equivalent to an oath and is regarded as sacred.

Mezraat Yeshua was a specimen of the way in which popular movements in Syria towards Protestantism collapse. Such a thing as a village asking for the truth in the love of it has not been heard of in modern times. They generally ask for a preacher to spite somebody or get even with the tyrannical priesthood.

It often happens that when a man is at law, and the priests and bishops take sides with his adversary, he will turn Protestant as a menace, and thus bring over the clergy to his own side, and then drop his Protestantism. So many suspicious characters come to us offering themselves as pillars to the cause of the Gospel, that I not unfrequently ask a man, as the first question after the usual salutations, "Have you committed robbery or murder, or are you in a quarrel with your family or priests, or do you wish to marry a person forbidden by your religion, or what is the reason of your coming to me? Did you ever hear of a man's leaving his religion without a cause? Now tell me plainly, what have you done?" Sometimes it turns out that a man really wants instruction, but the case is generally otherwise. If fifty men turned Protestants in a village, one ordinarily counts upon about ten as likely to stand, but every movement of the kind loosens the grasp of the priesthood and prepares the way for a more thorough work in the future.

In 1835-1836 members of all the Druse feudal families of sheikhs in Lebanon declared themselves Protestant Christians and asked for preachers and teachers. For a time they were steadfast, some of them even going to prison, but the missionaries felt that they were not sincere and when the hope of political protection was cut off they politely bowed the missionaries and teachers out of their villages. On the other hand, the Protestant churches in Syria have grown up gradually from individuals or small bodies of men who have endured persecution from priests and sheikhs, suffering social ostracism and political disabilities, yet standing firm in their faith.

One of the first Protestants, Asaad es Shidiak, suffered martyrdom rather than yield to the patriarch and return to Mariolatry and creature worship, and every little church throughout the land has originated with men who have suffered for Christ's sake. A full account of some of these men would make a valuable chapter in modern church history.

Up to the present time about ninety-five young men have been taught in the theological class, of whom fourteen have been ordained (1908). The poverty of the churches has greatly hindered the ordination of native preachers as the mission first, and afterwards the presbytery, decided to ordain no one unless at least half his salary was paid by his church.

I am almost amazed at the extent to which evangelical light pervades the nominally Christian communities here. The Greek Church in Beirut will go over some day to Protestantism en masse, if the light continues to spread in the future as it has in the past ten years. A prominent Greek said a few days ago, "You Protestants need not trouble yourselves about converting Syria. Our children are all going to be Protestants whether you will or not. The Bible is doing the work."

Another Greek was visited recently by a priest who came to receive the confession of the family, previous to the sacrament. The priest said, "My son, I have come to hear you confess."

"All right, your reverence, I have a big score to confess today." - "Go on, my son." "Well. I do not believe in the worship of pictures." (This is a cardinal point in the Greek Church) "No matter about that, as long as you are an Orthodox Greek."

"But I do not believe in the invocation of the Virgin and the saints." - "Ah I you do not? Well, that is a small matter. Go on." - "Nor do I believe in transubstantiation." – "No matter about that, it is a question for the theologians." - "Nor do I believe in priestly absolution." - "Very well, between you and me there is room for objection to that, so no matter as long as you confess." - "But I do not believe in confession to a priest." Here the priest became somewhat confused, but finally smoothed the matter over, and said, "No matter about that." The man then replied, "What business have I then in a Greek church? Good-morning, your reverence. I have done with the traditions of men."

The growing enlightenment of the people is greatly alarming the priesthood of all sects, and they are setting themselves and taking counsel together how to check the growth of Protestantism. Every species of annoyance and petty private persecution is resorted to, but where the truth has taken root nothing will avail to check it. Were there entire liberty of conscience here and were the power of persecution and oppression taken out of the hands of the clergy, there would be an astonishing movement towards Protestant Christianity.

Two young men, of good families in Beirut, and both of the Greek sect, have been turned out of their houses within a fortnight by their own parents for attending our church and prayer meetings but they both stand firm and have now been asked to return home again. One of them brought his father to church last Sunday and his sister to the Sabbath-school.

At a recent meeting of our church session, a letter was sent in, written by a young man who was suspected a year ago of a gross sin and had persistently denied it, but in this letter he acknowledged his sin in bitter anguish of repentance, and begged the church to watch over him and help him in his efforts to live a new life for Christ.

But not all who call upon us as inquirers can be implicitly trusted. A German Jew turned up recently who wished aid, stating that he was inquiring and was therefore entitled to pecuniary aid. He is still here, having been baptized in another part of the country, and says he will be content with six piastres for working half a day as he wishes to study the other half.

An old Maronite papal priest called, about sixty-five years old, and "pressed great interest in the truth." Suspecting that something was wrong, I asked him to tell me the whole story in the outset, and then we could get on better together. So he said his wife had died and that he had two grown up daughters who were about to be married and the patriarch was about to divide the large family property between the daughters. "Now," said he, "I wish to marry again and raise up sons, who will be my heirs and preserve my name, but the patriarch forbids my remarrying, so I threatened to turn Protestant. He imprisoned me in Deir Meifuk but I escaped and fled to Beirut. I want protection from your government to enable me to marry again."

I gave him some books, explained the Gospel to him and advised him to go home and live in peace with his daughters and let the marriage question alone.

Five men called one day from a distant Maronite village, deeply interested in the truth, profoundly impressed, as they said, and they wanted a preacher and a school. After an hour's crossquestioning and probing, I learned that they were deeply in debt, and wished us to buy their heavily mortgaged property and build a boarding-school so that they could pay their debts or use us as a shield in repudiating their debts.

Another aged priest came and offered to become Protestant, if I would guarantee him a salary of twelve dollars a month with or without work.

Then a monk came and said that he loved me very much and loved the Gospel, and wanted to know if I would advance to him the sum of 6,000 piastres ($240) on a note he held which had no date nor witnesses. He said that in case he could get the money, he and his abbot could buy the control of a better monastery than their present one and have a good opportunity to preach the Gospel! The man had some light and had read many of our books, but lacked the simplicity of the Gospel. I told him that we never dealt in mercantile affairs and he had better sell his note to the brokers.

Such cases as these are constantly occurring, but never discourage us, for we always anticipate a certain percentage of similar cases, and take it for granted that every professed inquirer has some sinister design unless we have previous knowledge of the person, or he gives proof of honest intentions.

Two of my missionary correspondents at this time were prodding the Syria Mission for not having native pastors, and several in America were insisting on our forming at once a presbytery. Mr. Williams of Mardin declared that we were putting education in the place of evangelization. Dr. Lansing of Egypt urged, that we go ahead and form a presbytery. The New School Presbyterian Foreign Mission Committee in New York, which was then connected with the American Board, insisted that the Presbyterian missionaries in Syria under the American Board "have something to show in the shape of presbyteries on mission ground after all these years of labour."

Now I would yield to no one as to the importance of a living native church with its own native pastors, and this has been the aim of the Syria Mission, amid difficulties innumerable, for sixty years. But although I am a Presbyterian by birth and conviction, I cannot put Presbyterian polity above the interests of the native churches in the mission. A presbytery consists of the pastors and elders of churches in a given district. Foreign missionaries are not pastors and should not be. A presbytery in Syria composed of foreign missionaries only, would not be a legal presbytery. Nor is it desirable that a presbytery in Syria should be composed of mixed American and Syrian pastors and Syrian elders. We therefore postponed the organization of a presbytery in, Syria until 1883 when Sidon Presbytery was formed and afterwards the Presbyteries of Mount Lebanon and Tripoli. The missionaries here all retain their connection with their home presbyteries in America, and sit as corresponding members of the three presbyteries in Syria; that of Sidon, Beirut and Mount Lebanon, and Tripoli. We decline to vote, but the Syrian brethren entreat us to sit with them and at times even to accept the office of moderator. The twelve ordained missionaries in Syria would, if legal members of the native presbyteries, be able to override and outvote their Syrian brethren.

In the three Syrian presbyteries, where the churches have no pastors, the licensed preacher, if acting as supply, has a, seat in presbytery with his elder. This enables the presbytery to cover the field and these young preachers are trained to transact business and to enter into spiritual sympathy with their fellow workers throughout the land. After long discussion and full study and consideration, all the presbyteries have adopted the form of government of the Presbyterian Church.

There has thus far been no attempt to unite in one body the American Presbyterian Mission, the Irish Presbyterian Mission of Damascus, the Scotch United Free Mission in Tiberias, and the Reformed Presbyterian or Covenanter Mission of Latakia, Cyprus, and Mersine. When these three branches of the Pres. byterian Church at home unite, the missionaries on the foreign field will no doubt respond with enthusiasm. At present I understand that there is not material enough in the way of ordained pastors and organized churches to warrant the formation of a presbytery in either of these three missions. The close communion principles of some of these churches make it difficult to have even a union evangelistic service. One rather exceptionally radical devotee of psalm singing in Northern Syria requested the Brummana Conference of some 120 Christian workers from all parts of Syria, Palestine, and Asia Minor, to forego hymn singing and to sing only psalms in order to enable him to come. The secretary, Dr. Mackie, replied kindly to this assumption by suggesting that he could refrain from singing altogether and yet enjoy the benefit of a conference led by the saintly Rev. F. B. Meyer. But he refused to come. The non-possumus of a pope could not be more unfraternal.

In November, 1869, Dr. Norman McLeod of Scotland passed through Cairo on his return from India. Meeting Rev. Dr. Barnett, a stiff United Presbyterian of the American Mission, Dr. McLeod asked him what he thought of all Christians uniting in foreign fields to form an evangelical church on the basis of the New Testament.

"Not at all," he replied, "as long as so many of these churches will follow 'will worship' in singing human productions (meaning hymns)." "What," said Dr. McLeod, "do you mean to say that you would make a schism in the Church of Christ for such a reason?" "Yes," said Dr. Barnett. "Then," said Dr. McLeod, "I wish your whole church was in the bottomless pit."

That was severe language and too strong and too much like bringing fire from heaven as James and John wished to do, but Dr. McLeod was a man of broad sympathies and strong convictions and could not bear intolerance. We were at that time corresponding with all the missions in Asia Minor, Syria, Palestine, and Egypt with regard to holding I Union Missionary Conference in March, 1870, and we had strong hopes of a delegation of the United Presbyterian brethren in Egypt, but none came, and the Covenanter brethren of the North did not even answer the circular invitation. Since that time a much broader and more fraternal spirit has prevailed and we exchange pulpits with our saintly brethren in Egypt and our "mutual love is fervent."

We can explain to the people the difference between presbytery and prelacy, but I have not been able to make an Arab understand why missionaries labouring to lead pagans and Moslems to Christ should refuse to commune with other missionaries because in their church service they sing "Jesus, Lover of my Soul" and other inspiring Christian hymns of prayer and praise.

In writing on this subject to dear Dr. Lansing in December, 1868, I said, "Really, should our two branches of the church at home unite to-morrow on a basis allowing the singing of both psalms and hymns at pleasure, I don't believe that your mission would refuse to enter into the union."

In those days I found great comfort and inspiration in reading, every night before retiring, from George Bowen's "Meditations." It is the most pithy, terse, and sententious book of devotional reading I have ever read. The author was once a New York infidel lawyer, was converted, studied in Union Seminary, went to Western India as a missionary, where he supported himself by teaching and conducting a journal. He was a remarkable man and has written a remarkable book.

In January, 1869, the mission thanked God and took courage. The Bible had been printed in various attractive editions; thousands of people have heard the Gospel message; numerous deputations had come from different villages asking for teachers; towns and villages long scaled against us are now open and asking for missionary labour; baptisms have begun to take place among the Druses; even the Mohammedans are sending their children to our schools; several Christian churches have been organized; and the mission has now set apart three of its members to the work of training a native ministry, while in the department of higher education, the college and girls' boarding-school in Beirut will accomplish all that Syria will need for many years to come.

Yet we had not a single self-supporting church or school. This money question is the bane of all missions. The whole system of paying native Christian teachers and preachers out of foreign funds is an unmixed evil. The "Native Element," as it is called in educational institutions, is important, but only most effective when paid by natives. Every cent of foreign money paid to natives is misunderstood by the native population, puts the employees thus paid in the attitude of hirelings, injures their character for sincerity (and most of them are truly sincere), and weakens the self-respect of the people. It tends to demoralize them.

The Emir Mohammed Smair Ibn ed Dukhy of the Anazeh Arabs said once to me while on a visit to Beirut, "Yes, we would like to have a teacher come to our tribe, but he must be willing to live as we do, travel as we travel, and eat as we eat." Once a Bedawy sheikh, after hearing the Sermon on the Mount, exclaimed, "That command to turn the 'other cheek' may do for you dwellers in towns, but it will never do for us Arabs. We must punish offenders and retaliate for outrages, or we could not live." The fact is that the old Ishmaelitic spirit is wrought into the very fibre of their being, "his hand shall be against every man and every man's hand shall be against him." Though professedly Moslems they waylay and plunder and kill the Moslem pilgrims en route from Jeddah to Mecca. While in one sense they are simple-minded, hospitable, true children of nature, they show that they are also the children of Adam, superstitious, suspicious, and revengeful to the last degree. The system of "do ghazu," or midnight raids upon hostile camps, is a part of their very being, and is as cowardly as it is cruel. When Kamil and Jedaan spent a summer among the Anazeh in 18go, they read and preached to them for two months, and since then Jedaan has induced a body of young sheikhs to agree to give up the 'gliazu." Some day, when the present political and military barrier is removed, the Gospel will again reach the Arabs as it did in the early Christian centuries.

In 1864 the Arab Orthodox Greeks of Deir Mimas, west of Mount Hermon, quarrelled about their ecclesiastical revenues. The income from the Church estates was vastly in excess of former years, and the whole village was rent with violent struggles on the part of the people to secure their share of the prize after giving the Greek priest a meagre portion. They cast about them for an agent to whom they could entrust the care of the funds. They could not trust the priest nor the sheikh nor any one of the old men, and at length by unanimous consent they requested the Rev. J. A. Ford (father of Dr. George A. Ford), the American missionary, to take charge of the revenues of the Greek Church.

This confidence of the Syrian people in the American missionaries has appeared strikingly since the emigration to North America and Brazil began. Prosperous Syrian emigrants in those lands have sent thousands of pounds in drafts and postal orders to the missionaries in Sidon, Beirut, Tripoli, and Zahleh, to be cashed by them and the money to be given to the friends of the senders in various parts of Syria. Men of various sects, many of whom the missionaries have never known, send drafts of large sums payable to the order of the missionary, with perfect confidence that the money will be honestly delivered. One of the missionaries had at one time thousands of dollars in his care, which the owners preferred that he retain and invest for them.

With regard to the material gains to Syria through the missionaries, it is worthy of note that Rev. Isaac Bird introduced the potato in 1827 to Ehden, Northern Lebanon, and it has now become a universal article of food throughout Syria.

Mr. Hurter, our printer, introduced kerosene oil and lamps in 1865 into Syria so that by 1870 it had quite supplanted olive oil for illuminating purposes. Previous to that time olive oil was the only illuminating oil in use in the East. Americans also introduced the first steam printing-press in 1867, photographic camera in 1856, iron building beams in 1871, wire nails, sewing machines, parlour organs in 1854, mimeographs, typewriters, dentistry in 1854, and agricultural machinery; Dr. Hamlin, of Robert College, Constantinople, introduced the Morse telegraph apparatus, and now the empire is netted over with telegraph wires. Telephones have not yet been allowed, owing to some peculiar fear that they might be used to concoct "treasons, stratagems, and spoils," but as electric railways are now constructed in Damascus and Beirut we may hope that the telephone restriction may ere long be removed.

In September, 1869, I wrote to a missionary in Mardin who seemed disposed to denounce the Arabic language as if it were a great sinner in having such rough gutturals and difficult idioms: "I judge from Brother W------'s letter that none of you are very fond of the Arabic language. It is a burden at first, but the Master, while He does not require us to love the burden, does tell us to love to bear it. Every missionary ought to try most earnestly to love the language through which he is to preach the Gospel of Christ to his fellow men, and that, in order that he may learn it well and be able to use it as not abusing it. The perfection of art is to conceal art, and the perfection of preaching in a language is to preach so that the people will not think how you say it but what you say. Correct pronunciation of Arabic is the prime necessity."

By mispronunciation a Greek bishop prayed that the Lord would create a clean dog (kelb, instead of kolb, heart) in each of His people. A missionary lady told her servant to put more donkeys in the bread (using "hameer " instead of "khameer," leaven). A missionary calling on the local governor and wishing to thank him for some act of his, said, "I am crazy to Your Excellency" (using – "mejnoon" instead of "memnoon," obliged). Similar instances might be multiplied indefinitely - notably Dr. Dennis' funeral sermon in which by a mispronunciation of K, he confused "trials" with "roosters" to the mystification of the mourners.

In October brother Samuel made a horseback forty days' tour of 400 miles in Northern Syria, preaching, encouraging all, and rejoicing in signs of progress. He went through historic regions, the land mentioned in Genesis as the land of the "Arkites, the Arvadites, the Sinites, the Hamathites" and when last heard from, he seemed to think that the Nusairi people of that region were very largely "Sinites."

The type of the Beirut Press is becoming more and more widely regarded as the best Arabic type in the world. The distinguished Arabic scholars in Germany, who have hitherto printed the Koran and many other Arabic books in the type made in Germany, have recently written to Dr. Van Dyck asking for specifications as to the price of the various fonts of type, as they have decided to use only the Beirut type hereafter. The Dominican monks of Mosul have purchased $600 worth of type from our press for their Arabic printing work in that city.

Mr. Poole of the British Museum recently visited our press and remarked that this press is the only one in the world which does good Arabic printing. Such testimony confirms the wisdom of Dr. Eli Smith and his coadjutors in basing the Beirut types on the best specimens of Arabic calligraphy.

Since that time the Jesuit Press of Beirut has done admirable work. 

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