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,