Mile-stones of progress - Gerald F. Dale, Jr., Memorial Sunday School Hall - Missionaries' sons -Bereavement - Another furlough.
THE history of the Dale Memorial Sunday-School Hall in Beirut is a beautiful illustration of the working of the divine Providence to secure a blessing to the children of Syria.
Rev. Gerald F. Dale, Jr., had been for seven years an honoured and beloved missionary in Zahleh, Syria, when I went to America in 1878. Gerald was a family name in the Dale family of Philadelphia. His brother Henry in New York, and his wife, Dora Stokes, named their first-born and only son for the brother in Syria and the father in Philadelphia, Gerald F. Dale, Jr.
In July, 1878, I spent a Sunday in Orange, N. J., and was the guest of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Dale on Orange Mountain. On Sabbath P. M., July 20th, their little son Gerald came running to me and sat on my knee, and I told him about his uncle in Syria. He looked up in my face and asked, "Are you a minister?" "Yes," said I. "That's right," said he. "My Uncle Gerald is a minister. My father ought to be a minister. Every man ought to be a minister. I am going to be Rev. Dr. Dale and be a minister." Scarcely four years old, he was devoted to the Sunday-school and went Sunday afternoon with his nurse to the little chapel on the mountain in the rear of the premises near the present residence of Mrs. John Crosby Brown, to attend the Sunday-school. He was a beautiful boy and completely won my heart.
Seven Months after, in February, 1879, I saw in a New York morning paper, "Died of scarlet fever Gerald F. Dale, Jr., aged four years." The anguish of those doting parents can only be known by those who have drunk the same bitter cup.
A fortnight later they invited me to call, and told me they had heard of our need of a Sunday-school hall in Beirut and they would like to give the $2,500, which had been set apart for Gerald, to build such a hall as his memorial. We began at once to make plans and I visited Philadelphia with him to see the Bethany Sunday-school and other buildings.
On reaching Beirut in November, 1879, we began the work of construction. I was greatly aided by Mr. Charles Smith, a British merchant and a fine architect, and also by Mr. Jules Loytved then connected with the British Syrian Schools. The cornerstone was laid February, 1880. The roof is supported by six stone arches and slender graceful columns and the class rooms on the two sides are separated by sliding glass doors. Within, it is bright and cheerful. Dr. Thain Davidson of London pronounced it the most beautiful Sunday-school hall he had ever seen. On December 19, 1880, the Memorial Hall was dedicated. More than 1,200 children and adults were present at the dedication and many were unable to obtain admission. Eight different Sunday-schools were represented and addresses were made by Rev. Gerald F. Dale, Jr., uncle of the little boy, Rev. Dr. W. W. Eddy and myself. Tears fell from many eyes when I told them the story of little Gerald's faith and his desire to be a minister. The singing and responsive reading of the Scriptures were not the least interesting part of the services. One of the German Lutheran deaconesses brought twenty of her orphan pupils who sang a German hymn very sweetly. The Anglo-American Sunday-school of English and American children came in force and sang "Whiter than snow." Miss Jessie Taylor's Moslem girls were present with their snow-white veils and the Syrian Sunday school children numbered nearly 900. The Sunday-schools appointed a committee to prepare a letter of thanks to Mr. and
Mrs. Henry Dale. A marble tablet over the door bears the inscription,
"Suffer little children to come unto Me." Memorial Sunday - School Hall. A memorial of
Gerald F. Dale, Jr.
Born August 1, 1875.
Died February 1O, 1879, aged three and a half years.
Erected by his parents Henry Dale and Dora Stokes Dale his wife. 1880.
In January, 1881, another missionary's son, Rev. George A. Ford, joined the Sidon station of the mission, after an absence of sixteen years in America, studying and acting as pastor of the church at Ramapo. Up to the present time (1906) six sons of Syria missionaries have entered on the work of the Presbyterian Mission work in Syria. These are: Rev. Wm. Bird, Rev. W. K. Eddy, Rev. C. Wm. Calhoun, M. D., Rev. Geo. A. Ford D. D., Rev. Wm. Jessup, D. D., and Prof. Stuart D. Jessup; while Rev. Howard S. Bliss, D. D., is president of the Syrian Protestant College. Their knowledge of Arabic and acquaintance with the Syrian people have made their labours most acceptable and effective for good. [Other sons of Syria missionaries are missionaries in other countries; Mr. Edward Ford in West Africa, Rev. Frederick N. Jessup in Tabriz, Persia, Bertram Post, M. D., in Robert College, Constantinople, Wilfred Post, M. D., in Turkey, Arthur March in China.]
Thirteen daughters of the mission have returned to work in Syria after completing their studies in America. Emily Calhoun Danforth, Emilia Thomson, Harriette M. Eddy (Hoskins), Mary Lyons, Mary Bliss (Dale), Emily Bird, Susan 11. Calhoun (Ransom), Sarah Ford, Alice Bird (Greenlee), Mary P. Eddy, M. D., Fanny M. Jessup (Swain), Amy C. Jessup (Erdman), Elsie Harris, M. D. Six of these continue now in the work, three have died, and four have left Syria. Other missionary daughters living in Syria, not under official appointment, have rendered services as teachers in the mission schools: Misses Lizzie Van Dyck, Anna H. Jessup, Carrie Hardin (Post), and especially Miss Effie S. Hardin, who for years has given her efficient help in the boys' school in Suk el Gharb.
The year 1881 was marked by the visit of scores of eminent men in the Church in America and England, many of whom occupied the pulpit of the Anglo-American Congregation on Sunday. Among them were Dr. A. Erdman, Dr. Theodore Cuyler, and Canon H. B. Tristram. Dr. Dennis returned in December from a six months' health trip to America. The theological class was continued through the academic year.
In January, 1882, Mrs. Ford, mother of Rev. Geo. A. Ford, having returned from America, was stationed, as was Miss Bessie M. Nelson (daughter of Dr. Henry A. Nelson) in Sidon, and the Sidon Girls' Seminary was carried on by Misses Eddy and Nelson.
In April a theological seminary building was begun on the college campus through the generous aid of Mr. A. L. Dennis of Newark, N. J., the ground having been given to the Board of Missions by the college trustees. The building was dedicated December 18, 1883, and continued to be occupied by the mission theological seminary for ten years, when it was sold to the college, and named Morris K. Jesup Hall. The theological class was transferred as a summer school to Suk el Gharb, Mount Lebanon, where it continued until 1905, when it was reopened in Beirut on the new mission premises adjoining Date Memorial Hall.
In December the mission voted to organize three presbyteries, in Sidon, Tripoli, and Lebanon with Beirut. These three presbyteries have proved a success, but they have no organic connection with the General Assembly in America. When the time comes, there may be a General Assembly in Syria and Egypt. After twenty-four years of experience the Syrian pastors and elders have proved themselves competent to transact business and to stimulate each other in the matter of self-support.
In the spring of this year the Lord's hand was heavy upon our household. The season was cold and stormy. Three of the children had been ill for some weeks with influenza and fever and their mother was ceaseless in her watch over them and was soon attacked with the same malady. On the evening of March 19th, Mr. George Muller, of Bristol, who had made several addresses to old and young in our Beirut church, held a meeting at the house of Mrs. A. Mentor Mott. I attended it and came home at 9 P. M., to find the dear one suffering from inflammation of the throat. She soon got relief but it developed into pleurisy and after apparent recovery, she suddenly suffered collapse on the evening of April 5th, and passed away so quickly that her sister, Mrs. Hardin, our guest, could hardly reach her bedside before she was gone.
The shock was like paralysis to me. Friends were never more loving, sympathetic, and kind. The five younger children, the oldest only twelve, were like little angels around me. Dear Dr. Eddy, my colleague, took the little ones to his house and was like a brother. My little son Stuart spoke such words of comfort to me that I seemed uplifted and sustained. One day he said, "Perhaps we loved mamma too much and idolized her." Brother Samuel and Mr. Hardin came down from Tripoli.
On the 25th a missionary conference of eighty missionaries and native helpers was held in the Memorial Hall, and being asked to preside my thoughts were fully occupied for a week. Meantime four of the children had measles, requiring careful nursing, but all made a speedy recovery.
The members of the mission advised my going at once to America, and after much prayer and consultation, I reluctantly decided to go; and after many sad parting scenes and strenuous labours in handing over my work of editing, proof-reading, and teaching, and preaching to Drs. Eddy and Van Dyck, we sailed June 15th for Marseilles.
Before our departure, a missionary meeting was held in Beirut at which Rev. Gerald F. Dale, Jr., was present. Mr. Dale had at his disposal a fund of $10,000 which he offered to the Syrian Protestant College as a scholarship fund on condition that $20,000 additional be raised. I was requested by the college to raise that sum and I did it while in America.
Rumours had reached Syria of the Arabi Pasha Rebellion in Egypt, and on our arrival in Port Said on the 17th we had start ling evidence of its reality. An Austrian steamer was in port en route from Alexandria to Beirut with 2,200 refugees going to Syria for safety. The decks were so thickly packed that men could scarcely lie down. Three infants had been born in the night. The captain said to a man who called to him from a shore boat, "The Lord deliver us from fire." I heard afterwards that they reached Beirut in safety, where both Moslems and Christians united in providing food and lodging for them.
We reached Alexandria Sunday A. M., June 18th. The ships and steamers in the harbour were literally black with crowds of refugees; and lines of boats filled the port, carrying men, women, and children, pale with fright, to the sailing craft of every description. Six overloaded steamers left for Greece, Naples, Malta, and Marseilles. Three thousand Maltese had already gone to Malta. The panic was universal. Last Sunday, July 11th, was Black Sunday. Forty Europeans and 150 native Christians were killed by the Moslem mob in Alexandria. Admiral Seymour of the British fleet came on board our steamer to see our travelling companion, Mr. Berkeley, M. P., and told us of his narrow escape on Sunday. He was on shore with the French admiral paying calls. Suddenly the driver of their carriage stopped, jumped down, and ran back. A furious mob was rushing down the street with guns and clubs, killing every Christian. The consular janizary who was with them told them to get out and run for their lives, and down they went, the two admirals, double quick, and were just able to enter the iron gate of the port office and close the door, when the howling mob arrived. The port officer called a boat and off they went, glad to reach their floating castles alive. The riot was a general conspiracy and broke out in several places at once. All the American missionaries from Cairo, Assioot, and other places were on board the American frigate Galena, Captain Bachelor, where I went with my son Stuart to see them. They were awaiting passage to Malta and America. Seven trains a day were bringing down refugees from Cairo and Upper Egypt. Egypt was in a reign of terror.
Arabi Pasha was in command in Cairo, and his troops held the forts south of Alexandria harbour. The khedive with a loyal officer. Derwish Pasha, was in the Ras-el-Tin Palace on the north side of the harbour. Arabi, who professed to be advocating a patriotic work of "Egypt for the Egyptians" as against the Albanian dynasty of Mohammed Ali and his successors, raised the cry of "Ya Islam" and it was reported that in his excitement on entering a mosque he said that he would not rest till the streets of Cairo ran with Christian blood. At all events his followers tried it in Alexandria and provoked the intervention of England. England proposed to France a joint occupation and that Turkey denounce Arabi as a rebel and then send a detachment of troops to cooperate with the English army and navy. The Sultan declined to denounce Arabi and the French declined to send troops, so Admiral Seymour and Lord Wolsley were left to cope single handed with the rebellion. Arabi's troops went on entrenching in the forts south of the harbour, until at length the British fleet bombarded them, July 11th and 12th Arabi's troops withdrew from the city and there was another massacre of Europeans and the European quarter of the city burned. In September the English army entered the Suez Canal and occupied Port Said and Ismailiyeh. M. de Lesseps protested against the passage of the army but in vain. Arabi hastened towards Ismailiyeh and camped at Tel el Kebir. Here his sleeping army was surprised after midnight by Lord Wolsley's army, who, without warning, opened fire on the camp with shot and shell. Arabi's troops were panic stricken. A few fought bravely but all were soon in complete rout. Arabi and officers escaped to Cairo on a special train. An English cavalry officer with a small detachment galloped along the edge of the desert to Cairo, surprised the sentinel at the citadel and summoned the commander to surrender. The garrison laid down their arms and were bidden to disperse to their homes. On the arrival of Wolsley's army, September 14th, Arabi surrendered, was tried and sentenced to death, but the sentence was commuted to banishment to Ceylon. Lord Dufferin came to Egypt. The whole civil and police systems were readjusted and reformed. Law, order and justice soon put an end to the bastinado, extortion, cruel oppression and bribery, and Egypt entered upon a career of unexampled progress and prosperity.
June 21st we sailed from Alexandria, reached Naples June 24th and Marseilles the 26th. North of Corsica we saw twelve whales. Whales have often been seen in the Eastern Mediterranean and the caresses of two large ones were thrown up on the shore near Tyre. The skull of one of them is in the museum of the Syrian Protestant College in Beirut. We passed through Paris and spent July 4th in London. The day was made memorable by a drawing-room meeting at Mr. Stanley's, Lancaster Gate, Hyde Park, where my old friend, Canon H. B. Tristram of Durhatyi, presented to me, on behalf of the teachers and pupils of the British Syrian Schools in Syria, a beautiful silver inkstand with a suitable inscription. Many friends of the schools were present, and the occasion was very affecting to me and very comforting.
From the year 186o until now (1909), it has always been my delight to visit the British Syrian Schools, counsel and pray with the teachers, and address the pupils. From 1861 to 1892 1 was superintendent of the Beirut Sunday-school which was always attended by about one hundred girls of these schools.
I have always been a man of peace and have striven to keep all the missionary forces in Syria in full cooperation with each other, and was a warm friend of Mrs. J. Bowen Thompson and her three sisters, Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Mentor Mott, and Miss Lloyd, and their successors in the direction of the schools, especially Miss Caroline Thompson, the present(1907) capable and consecrated head of the schools in Syria, Sectarian discord has no right to enter missionary ground. We should seek out our common points of agreement and relegate our paltry denominational differences to oblivion. Foreign missionaries should work together. Mohammedans and heathen care nothing and understand little of our peculiar differences and are alienated and repelled by them. Protestant missionaries and the Syrian evangelical churches are
known throughout the land as "enjecliyeen" or gospel evangelicals. The exclusiveness and narrow sectarianism of certain ultra ritualists on the one hand and non-ritualists on the other, have confused the Oriental mind and given occasion to the enemies of the Gospel to rejoice. I have opposed introducing the word Presbyterian into the Arabic language and the Arabic Evangelical Chruch. We call our presbytery "El Mejmaa el Meshkhy," the Elders' Assembly. We do not need the Greek word for elder when we have the Arabic term sheikh used in the Acts and the Epistles. The Presbyterian order of government seems well adapted to the Syrians and they are proving themselves capable of managing their own church assemblies, but we desire that it be kept free from sectarian names and tendencies, as the simple Gospel is by far the best weapon and the best name in commending evangelical religion to the priest-ridden people of the Oriental Churches and the intensely ritualistic followers of Islam.
We rejoice in the cooperation of the managers and teachers of the British Syrian Mission, the Moslem and Druse Girls' School of Miss Jessie Taylor, the Church of Scotland Mission of Dr. Mackie and the German pastor and the deaconesses, the missionaries of the Church Missionary Society in Palestine, and the British and American Friends' Society in Brummana and Ramullah. Bishop Blyth, the Anglican bishop in Jerusalem, is trying to build Lip a wall between his constituency and all non-Episcopal Christians in Palestine and Syria, and to fraternize with the ecclesiastics of the Orthodox Greek "Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre" who annually and openly deceive thousands of pilgrims with the Satanic farce of the so-called "Holy Fire." Bishop Blyth is a genial and lovable man, and I cannot understand how he can fraternize with such a set of shameless impostors as the monks and bishops of the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre. I have spoken of this elsewhere in the chapter on the organization of the Syrian Evangelical Church.
Rev. Dr. Craig of the Religious Tract Society came to our lodgings and took my children to the British and South Kensington Museums and to the Zoo. We were all deeply touched by his kindness and his tender attentions to my flock of little ones. Mrs. Tristram also took charge of shopping for them and fitted them out for the Atlantic voyage.
July 6th we sailed on the City of Berlin for New York. We had a rough passage but I was able to preach on Sunday evening July 9th, and to lecture on Egypt July 14th. We reached New York Sunday P.M., July 16th. On the 18th we went through by the D. L. & W. R. R. to Montrose and were met at the station by the three older children, Anna, William and Henry, and soon reached the old homestead where mother was still living. She was then eighty-four years of age. How delightful to look on her face once more' and to see her sitting with her knitting work in her favourite armchair by the window, happy in being surrounded by so many of her children and grandchildren. I took the children to the lawn under the ancient apple trees, and to the old garret filled with so many quaint relics of the past, to the apple orchard and the garden, and from time to time to the blackberry patches the "High Rocks," to Jones Lake and Silver Lake, to Fall Brook and the Salt Springs. We roamed over the farm and at times brought milk, butter, and cream to the homestead. I lived over my childhood and had ample time to review my life of fifty years.
Relatives and friends were kind and sympathizing to the last degree, and the summer passed rapidly away. Calls for addresses poured in upon me and as the events passing in the Nile Valley engrossed public attention I was obliged to prepare an address on that subject which was finally published in the Foreign Missionary. On the 9th of August at the request of Dr. Ellinwood I attended the missionary convention of the Synod of New Jersey at Asbury Park, where I stayed at Dr. Ford's sanitarium and met
Dr. Nevius of China, Dr. H. A. Nelson, Dr. A. A. Hodge, and others. Dr. Nevins gave great umbrage to the ladies by saying that in foreign missions he knew no difference between work for men and work for women. Had he lived in lands where the women are secluded in hareems and zenanas, he would have probably appreciated better the need of women's work for women.
I met one singular character, Mangasarian, a protege of Dr. A. A. Hodge, who in a flaming address professed great desire to go to Turkey to preach to the Mohammedan Turks' yet when after the session Dr. Hodge assured him there were re many Armenian Protestant Churches in Asia Minor which would be glad to welcome him as their pastor, he declared that be could not and would not go, as the Turks would surely kill him. He afterwards became a freethinker, derided Orthodox Christianity and the Bible, and forsook the Christian faith. Dr. Hodge told me in November that this Mangasarian wrote and begged him to obtain for him pulpits to supply as he was in great need. "So," said Dr. Hodge, "I commended him to Mr. Alexander in a New Jersey town. He went there, and on Monday I received a letter from Mr. Alexander as follows: 'Dear Dr. Hodge: If you have no better men than this Mangasarian please send us no more preachers. He abused the Board of Missions and Princeton Seminary, and declared that all the professors were stupid dolts.' So I wrote to Mangasarian and insisted that he come to me at once. He came and I read him Mr. Alexander's letter and rebuked him severely and said, 'How dare you abuse your own professors?' He blandly replied, 'Why, doctor, I didn't say much. I only said what all the students say!''' On this Dr. Hodge laughed heartily and said to me, "You can do nothing with such a man. Hereafter I shall let him alone to shift for himself."
His career should be a lesson to theological faculties in America not to admit foreign adventurers as students without proper testimonials as to their character and religious history.
During the summer Messrs. W. A. Booth and D. Stuart Dodge, trustees of the Syrian Protestant College' invited me to remove to New York and undertake the raising of the twenty thousand dollar scholarship hip fund in order to secure the fund of $10,000 conditionally offered by Rev. G. F. Dale, Jr. of Zahleh.
Before visiting the Synods of Indiana. New Jersey and Pennsylvania, I removed the younger children tinder the care of my eldest daughter, October 4th, to New York. On December 10th my son Stuart and my daughter Mary united with the Church of the Covenant, pastor Dr. Marvin R. Vincent.
That winter was a strenuous one to me. Lectures, addresses, sleeping-car travelling, meeting theological students in Union, Auburn, Princeton and Allegheny, preparing matter for the Foreign Missionary Magazine and interviewing individuals with reference to the scholarship fund, kept me under a constant strain. November 7th I attended the reception given by the Board of Foreign Missions in Centre Street to Sir Richard Temple, formerly a provincial governor in India. As our Board, with its intensely conservative traditional policy, had neither stenographer, nor typewriter, I took pencil notes of Sir Richard's address which were afterwards published. After the interview I accompanied him to call on ex-Secretary of State Evarts, then to the Cooper Institute and the Windsor Hotel. As he was to sail immediately, I sent to his hotel the report of his address. He took it with him on the steamer, corrected the manuscript and returned it by mail for publication.
The reluctance of those wise brethren at 23 Centre Street to allow typewriters, stenographers, etc., nearly sacrificed the life of Dr. Ellinwood and gave a wrench to my nervous system such as I have never known. On December 2d Dr. Ellinwood, by his physician's order, sailed on the Britannic for England, and I was appointed to take his place during his absence. I consented, and from nine to four worked daily at the office and generally took great packages of unanswered letters home with me, to work over them into the small hours of the night. I had no conception until that time of the labours of a foreign missionary secretary. You enter your office at 8:30 or 9 A. M., and find twenty or more letters and documents from home and foreign correspondents. There are mission votes requiring immediate attention of the Board; long missionary journals, from which portions are to be selected for publication; letters from pastors, 100 or 200 miles away, asking for a rousing sermon next Sunday, as it is foreign missions annual collection; and also a talk to a children's meeting; confidential letters from young men and women in seminaries, asking numerous questions about enlistment in the work; suggestions from pastors as to needed improvements in the Monthly Missionary Magazine; requests for leaflets and missionary literature, etc., etc. You arrange these letters and are preparing to consult the venerable secretaries about the foreign documents when in comes a theological student anxious to have full and free talk about going abroad, selection of fields, special preparation, etc.; then comes a pastor full of zeal and suggestions; then a book agent gets by Treasurer Rankin's door and up-stairs and literally bombards you with his torrent of eloquence and you curtly refer him to the business agent in the basement; then a telegram proposing a missionary convention in a Western state four weeks hence and asking the address of returned missionaries; then another telegram that good Brother A. of the B. mission is on board the steamer coming up the harbour with a sick wife and his children, and asking that he may be met and advised where to go on his arrival; then a young lady from a well-known college comes to have a good talk about the propriety of taking a medical course before going abroad, etc., etc., until twelve o'clock comes. The other officers are starting out for lunch. You go with them and after a too hasty meal return to find another mail has come in. You bend to your work, write a dozen letters and telegrams, copy your letters in the screw copying-press, fold them, direct them, stamp them, and as it is growing dark, gather up your documents and papers, hurry to the ferry, take the Princeton train, address the students in the evening, and return on the earliest morning train to go through the treadmill again. I asked the older officials why they did not have stenographers and typewriters. They thought it a needless expense. "Such things never have been used and why use the Lord's money for them now?" I went to see Mr. Booth and other members of the Board. I felt that this grinding system had nearly killed Dr. Ellinwood and Mr. Booth agreed with me. I wrote to Dr. Ellinwood not to consent to go on with his arduous work on his return unless he was supplied with a stenographer and typewriter. The point was carried after his return.
During November and December I visited Wilkesbarre where Mr. J. W. Hollenback gave me $1,200 for a college scholarship; Orange, where Mr. L. P. Stone and Egbert Staff each gave two scholarships; Pittsburg, where I addressed the Allegheny students and dined with that blessed steward of the Lord, William Thaw. He gave me $2,400 for two scholarships, with that beautiful smile that lighted up his face when doing a kind act. He thanked me for coming and said that he felt it to be a privilege to have part in the Lord's work in Syria.
I went thence to Cincinnati and Lane Seminary, attended a missionary convention, and spent Sunday with Dr. Nelson at Geneva, N. Y.; visited Auburn, met several missionary candidates and called on Dr. Willard, another of God's stewards, who, like Mr. Dodge and Mr. Thaw, abounded in good works.
On the morning of December 20, 1882, as I entered the mission house Mr. W. Rankin said to me, "When do you leave for Persia?" I replied, "Never, that I know of. If I live to cross the sea again it will be for my Syrian home and work." He then asked me, "Have you read the morning papers?" I replied that for a wonder I had not. Handing me the New York Tribune he said, "Read that!" I read, "President Arthur has appointed Rev. Henry H. Jessup, D. D., of Syria. to be first United States Minister to Persia, and sent the nomination to the Senate." I said to Mr. Rankin, "Whose work was that? Who sent my name to President Arthur?" He said he could think of no more likely person than Dr. Irenaeus Prime of the New York Observer, who was a warm personal friend of President Arthur. I went up to my office and shut the door and prayed for wisdom that I might get out of this complication before it went any further.
I thought it over. Yes, I had met Dr. Prime at Chi Alpha recently, and he very incidentally asked me if I spoke Persian, to which I replied in the negative. I made haste, by the City Hall, down to the Observer office. Dr. Prime was out. Dr. Stoddard explained that Dr. Prime had written to President Arthur about the Persian Legation and used my name. I went back to the mission house, wrote to Dr. Prime, stated that I could not accept it, that I was not qualified for a diplomatic post and that I would not give up preaching the Gospel. I also telegraphed to Secretary of State F. T. Frelinghuysen, as follows: "Please tender to President Arthur my cordial thanks for the high honour conferred upon me by the nomination to the Persian court, but it is impossible for me to accept." Dr. Prime wrote to the chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, explaining why I declined. He received at once an answer, "Please send Dr. Jessup on to Washington. The committee would like to see a man who does not regard himself as qualified for an office. We have never seen, one." I did not go, either to Washington or Teheran, but in 1903 was glad to send my youngest son Frederick to Tabriz, in Persia, as Christ's ambassador to that dark empire
I have not ceased to be thankful that I declined that post. A missionary's son, Mr. Benjamin, the well-known writer, received the appointment and after serving his country efficiently, published a valuable book on Persia.
In January, 1883, in addition to the office work in Centre Street, I visited Chicago, Wilmington, Hartford, and Brooklyn. On the 7th of February Dr. Ellinwood returned much refreshed by his journey by sea and land. On Thursday evening, the 8th, I lectured in the chapel of Dr. Cuthbert Hall's First Church in Brooklyn on the Egyptian crisis. Before going to Brooklyn I called on Mr. Wm. E. Dodge, who was somewhat indisposed. Immediately on my return to 35th Street at 9 A. M., I hastened to Mr. Dodge's house only two blocks away and to my surprise was met at the door, by Edward, the faithful family servant, with the words, "Dr. Jessup, Mr. Dodge is dead! " He had died suddenly of heart disease. I found his sons Stuart, Charles, and Arthur, and several relatives. To me the shock was stunning. I went to my room and by 2 P. M. had a sinking sensation which alarmed the children. The doctor came and pronounced it nervous prostration. I was ordered to bed and to absolute quiet for a long period. I had numerous appointments to speak in Baltimore and other cities but the doctor ordered them all cancelled.
Mr. Dodge's funeral was February 12th, within a block of my lodgings, and Dr. Vincent had asked me to assist at the exercises, but I could not leave my bed. The throng was very great and at its close Dr. Ellinwood, Dr. H. M. Field, and Drs. Clark and A. C. Thompson of the American Board called to see me.
The death of Mr. Dodge was a public calamity. He was so eminent as a Christian merchant, patriot, and philanthropist, that no New Yorker was more widely known. He was a lifelong friend of missions, home and foreign, a champion of temperance, of commanding presence, an eloquent speaker, and the simple piety of his family life, his family altar, his strict Sabbath observance, and his lovely winning manner made him such a father and husband and friend as few homes can boast.
Several of his sons and grandsons caught his spirit and are, like him, a blessing to the world. Mrs. Dodge was no less eminent in all purely evangelical and philanthropic work and survived him long, beloved and honoured.
Syrian letters from Drs. Dennis, S. Jessup, and W. W. Eddy gave full particulars of the death of our promising young missionary physician, Charles William Calhoun. Dr. Dennis said, "He was born in Syria, son of Rev. Simeon Howard Calhoun and was thirty-three years of age at the time of his death. He had the advantages of the early training of his honoured father, and was educated at Williams College, the Union Theological Seminary, and the University Medical School of New York. He came to Syria in the fullness of his strength and with a hearty consecration to the- service of Christ in the land of his birth. He was connected with the Tripoli station for four years; and such years of enthusiastic work and abounding services, both to the souls and bodies of the people of that wide Northern field!
"His death occurred at Shwifat near Beirut, June 22, 1883. He had recently returned from a long tour in Northern Syria and the Zahleh field with Mr. Dale and seemed to have contracted a malarial fever of a malignant type which proved fatal. His mother entered the sick-room early in the morning soon after the watcher for the night had left, and thinking him to be asleep, sat for sometime in the presence of death, without knowing the true cause of the patient's strange stillness. She finally approached him and was stunned by the painful discovery that his spirit had taken its flight homeward. He was 'the only son of his mother and she a widow.' The only sign that his spirit left to give a hint of the final scene was a placid and heavenly expression on his face as if he had met death with a smile, as he passed into rest. The funeral services were held in Shwifat and the next day in Beirut."
Dr. Samuel Jessup said, "When his medical practice had greatly increased and his surgical skill had attracted attention, he was in 1882 obliged by the government through the intrigues of a rival physician to leave Tripoli. He spent the time in touring, and visited Constantinople where he obtained an imperial Turkish diploma that gave him the right to practice anywhere in the empire. He returned to Tripoli and seemed entering on a career of great usefulness when he was prostrated by fever."
He was genial, courteous, full of good humour, a most skillful surgeon, familiar with the Arabic colloquial from his childhood. These traits made him very popular. He could sleep anywhere, on a mat or on the ground, and eat the coarsest and most unpalatable Arab food with a relish.
His consistent Christian walk and self-denying labours exemplified the religion he professed and preached.
DEATH OF MUALLIM BUTRUS EL BISTANY
The Syrian Evangelical Church and the Syrian people of all classes suffered a great loss in the death of Mr. Butrus el Bistany, May 1, 1883. He was the most learned, industrious, and successful as well as the most influential man of modern Syria.
He was born in Dibbiyeh, Mount Lebanon, nine miles northeast of Sidon' of Maronite parentage, and studied the Arabic and Syriac under a Maronite priest, Michaiel Bistany, during the rule of the famous Emir Bushir. He afterwards entered the patriarchal clerical school at the monastery of Ain Wurka where he studied Arabic grammar, rhetoric, logic, history, with Latin, Syriac, and Italian.
About the year 1840 he found, in reading the Syriac Testament, the doctrine of justification by faith, and leaving his monastic retreat, fled to Beirut, where he entered the house of Dr. Eli Smith for protection. For two years he was a prisoner, not venturing outside the gates, lest he be shot by spies of the Maronite patriarch. From that time he became an invaluable helper to the American missionaries, and in 1846 began to help Dr. Van Dyck in the newly founded Abeih Seminary. During this period he prepared a school arithmetic which is still a standard work in Arabic. He then removed to Beirut and became dragoman (interpreter and clerk) to the American consulate and assistant to Dr. Eli Smith in the translation of the Bible, continuing on this work until the death of Dr. Smith in 1857. He then published two Arabic dictionaries, the "Muhit el Muhit," a comprehensive work in two octavo volumes of 1,200 pages each, and the "Kotr el Muhit" an abridgment of the former, which were finished in 1869.
In 1860 after the massacres, when thousands of refugees were crowded into Beirut, he published a weekly sheet of advice (the Nefeer) to the Syrian people, calling them to union and cooperation in reconstructing their distracted and almost ruined country.
In 1862 he founded the "Madriset el Wataniyet" or National School on his own premises, receiving aid from English and American friends. The school continued for about fifteen years and trained a large number of youth of all sects and from all parts of the land.
The Sultan Abdul Hamid II, on receiving copies of his dictionary, sent him a present of two. hundred and fifty pounds sterling and a decoration of the third class of the Medjidiyeh and another decoration in view of his founding the "National School." He also founded the Jenan, a fortnightly literary magazine which his son Selim Effendi edited and also the Jenneh, a semi-weekly journal and the Jeneineh, a daily which continued three years.
In 1875 he began his great literary work, the "Daierat el Maarif," an Arabic encyclopedia, in twelve volumes, of which six were finished at the time of his death, May 1st, 1883, and four more were finished by his sons, but unfortunately it has never been completed. It is a compilation and translation of the best French, English, and American encyclopedias' and the geographical and historical parts are enriched from the best works of the most eminent Arabic authors. The illustrations were furnished by Messrs. Appleton & Co. of New York and the book as far as printed is a monument of industry and literary ability. The Viceroy of Egypt subscribed for 500 sets of this encyclopedia and his list of Syrian subscribers embraced pashas, patriarchs, bishops, priests, mudirs, muftis, kadis, sheikhs, merchants, farmers, teachers, students, monks, and the foreign missionaries throughout Syria and India, as well as learned scholars in Germany, France, England, and America.
He also published works on bookkeeping, Arabic grammar, and translated into Arabic the "Pilgrim's Progress," "D'Aubigne's Reformation," "Edward's History of Redemption," and, "Robinson Crusoe."
He was one of the original members of the Beirut church, and an elder for thirty-five years. He was also for twenty years president of the Native Evangelical Society. For years he aided in the preaching and in the Sunday-school, and was looked to for addresses on all important occasions. In 1882 he preached twice on "I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord," and "Fear not, little flock."
His wife Raheel Ata, a pupil of Mrs. Sarah Huntington Smith, was the first girl taught to read in Syria, and her home until her death was known as a model Christian home.
He died suddenly May 1, 1883 of heart disease, pen in hand, surrounded by his books and manuscripts.
The funeral was conducted in the American Mission Church by the missionaries and the crowd was almost unprecedented.
Remarkable tributes were paid to his memory. When he first came to Beirut the Maronite patriarch set a price on his head When he died Gregorius, Papal Greek Patriarch of Antioch Alexandria, and Jerusalem, wrote to his son a most affectionate letter stating that "the whole nation mourns your father's death. Literature, education, learning, and every good cause laments his departure. He was a dear friend and a brother to us all, and but for the hope that you his son will fill his place and complete his work, we would be inconsolable."
Truly the world moves and bigotry loses its power.
His son Selim Effendi only survived him a few months, having died suddenly in September, 1884.
The publication of the encyclopedia was then continued by his son Najib Effendi until ten volumes had been printed. Since then the want of funds, and the rigorous press laws which require two copies in manuscript of every book to be printed to be sent to Constantinople for sanction have prevented the completion of the book. To make two copies of a book of 1,000 pages and then wait months and perhaps years for their return, is enough to discourage authors and publishers. The book may yet be completed in Egypt.
In September I had interviews with Ira Harris, M. D., on the train to New York, and he decided to go to Syria to take up the work of the lamented Dr. Chas. W. Calhoun who died in June; and with Miss M. C. Holmes who was preparing to go to the school in Tripoli. I also met during the summer Mr. Hoskins, Mr. R. H. West, and Dr. Kay, all preparing to go to the Syrian Protestant College in Beirut.
October 2d I set out on a four weeks' tour to the Synods of Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, and Ohio. At Topeka I found Mr. Howard S. Bliss, son of our college president and my old comrade for thirty years, little thinking that at this time (1906) he would have succeeded his revered father in the Syrian Protestant College. I visited Emporia, Topeka, Park College, St. Joseph, Atchison, Kansas City, St. Louis, Alton, Springfield, Mo., Clinton, Ia., Bloomington and Joliet, Oxford, O., Wooster and Ann Arbor Universities, and was so refreshed by meeting so many consecrated and noble Christian men and women that I forgot the fatigues of the journey.
At the Synod of Missouri at Springfield, I laid before the people the loud call just received for missionaries to begin a mission to Korea, which the Board had asked me to present to the churches. I saw in the congregation the apostle of home missions, Rev. Dr. Timothy Hill, who had founded more churches in the West and South than any living man. At the close of my remarks he stepped up to the pulpit and handing me a twenty dollar gold piece, said, "Here is from home missions to foreign missions! Let that go to the mission in Korea!" I took it on to New York and it was the first gift, or among the first, for that mission which is a crown of rejoicing in the missionary world to-day.
Truly the missionary spirit is one at home and abroad! I had travelled 5,333 miles without a detention or accident and on my return to the old homestead found the children well.
In November I visited South Hadley College and Wellesley College, called on my sons, William and Henry, at Princeton College, and returned to Montrose to fix up the old homestead for winter quarters, as it sometimes happens that in that high beech woods region they have ninety continuous days of snow.
In December I attended a missionary convention in Chicago of 800 medical students, young men and women, which lasted two days. We had the help of Mr. Wishard, Dr. Henry M. Scudder, Mr. Farwell, Mr. Blatchford, and Dr. Dowkontt.
Thence I went to a missionary convention at Parsons College, Fairfield, Iowa, and returned via Buffalo and Binghamton to Montrose. In Syria various changes had taken place. Dr. Ira Harris and Miss Holmes reached Tripoli to take the places of Dr. Calhoun who died June 22d in Shwifat, and Miss Cundall. Mr. March was transferred from Zahleh to Tripoli and Dr. Samuel Jessup from Tripoli to Beirut. When Dr. Samuel Jessup of Tripoli announced to his friends there that he was about to remove to Beirut where he would have charge of the press and be relieved from the long horseback rides of the wide Tripoli field, the leading Moslems, Greeks, and Maronites proposed to unite in a petition to the missionary authorities to have him retained among them. When told that he could not longer bear the work of itineracy they replied, "Then let him stay here and just sit, and let us come and look at him. That will be enough." Dr. Arthur Mitchell, in alluding to this incident, said, "His faithful service of twenty years had proved a living evangel known and read of all men." Messrs. West and Hoskins joined the teaching staff of the Syrian Protestant College, Miss Sarah A. Ford was stationed in Sidon and Mr. Greenlee in Zahleh with Mr. Dale. On December 6th Mr. Michaiel Araman died in Beirut. He was for thirty years a teacher and a preacher - a translator and an officer of the church. For years he taught in Abeih and then in the girls' boarding-school in Beirut. He was a faithful teacher, a kind father, and an exemplary Christian.
December 16, 1883, W. Carslaw, M. D., of Shweir, of the Free Church of Scotland, was ordained by the presbytery as an evangelist. The new theological hall on the college campus was dedicated and occupied December 18th. In April, 1884, Rev. Gerald F. Dale and family left for America and he and his wife were called to suffer the trial of burying their infant daughter Lizzie, May 3d, in Alexandria.
January 31, 1884, a missionary convention was held in Binghamton. Dr. Ellinwood and Dr. Arthur Mitchell, who had just accepted the position of secretary of the Board of Foreign Missions were present. In spite of a severe rain and snow-storm the attendance was good. Mrs. Laiya Barakat spoke at the women's meeting. I attended the meeting and sat in the rear of the church, partly behind a pillar, and as I listened to her earnest words, recalled the time twelve years before, when as a sewing girl she used to come to me in Abeih, her native village, and repeat from memory Arab nursery rhymes by the score. The emigration and scattering of the youth of Syria fills me with astonishment, and the query often arises, What does it all mean? Time will reveal the mystery.
February 3d I preached in the "coloured" Zion church in Montrose. The negroes have a strong church, and their pastor, George Washington, asked me to preach and remain for the prayer-meeting afterwards. I knew most of the congregation and a book might be written about their eccentric ways. They once had a meeting "to decide what colour they should whitewash the meetin' house." In front of the pulpit was the most extraordinary character of all, Old Booey. He was short and heavy, with large eyes and a mouth of vast size, seeming to extend almost from ear to ear. He was a man of great power and voice in prayer, and his original sayings became proverbial in the town. He drove a "one hoss" rickety wagon around the county collecting bones, which he "toted" to the railroad station and when he had enough, shipped them by the carload to Philadelphia. One day he drove up to a lone farmhouse, hobbled up to the door and knocked. The farmer's wife came to the door and looked on his glaring eyes and he exclaimed, "I've come for your bones!" She thought her time had surely come, and slammed the door in his face. She locked it and watched him from the window as he went around the back yard gathering up old bones which he threw into his wagon and drove away.
I had known Booey for many years. He listened to my sermon on the Gadarene demoniac and the description of the Sea of Galilee, and as a fellow preacher, nodded patronizingly. After the sermon, the pastor called on the brethren to pray. Booey stepped forward into the aisle, kneeled down, and began in a weird sepulchral voice that seemed to send the cold chills through me, and at length said, "Oh, Lord, keep us all dis night, but if it should please Thee that Thy humble servant should never see another day, but this night should be his last and I should enter into Thy great glory, oh, Lord, won't Satan be disappointed of his great expectations!" "Amen! Amen!" shouted the brethren and I joined with them, "Amen!"
That prayer was solemn and pathetic, and some years after, the good man entered into glory and Satan lost his victim.
In March I visited Baltimore, spoke in Brown Memorial Church and lectured before the students of Johns Hopkins by invitation of my friend, Dr. Daniel Gilman.
I then went to Washington and on March 22d called, by appointment, Dr. Stuart Dodge, Hon. W. Walter Phelps, and judge William Strong, on President Arthur and Secretary of State F. T. Frelinghuysen with reference to certain outrages upon American citizens in Asia Minor.
On Sunday I preached twice in the New York Avenue Church and met many old friends.
Owing to the death of Rev. Dr. Hatfield, retiring moderator of the General Assembly, the stated clerk requested me to preach the opening sermon of the General Assembly at Saratoga in May.
As I went back to Syria in 1879 without preaching the sermon the following year, it was only fair that I fill the breach this year. The sermon was preached May 15, 1884, on the texts:
"Fear not, for I am with thee; I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, give up, and to the south, keep not back; bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth" (Isa. 43: 5, 6).
"Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world" (Matt. 28 : 19,20).
The following extracts are true now as they were then.
The Messianic Prophet and the Christ of all the prophets here unite their voices in calling the whole Church to the rescue of the whole world. The four quarters of the globe are summoned. The Lord's sons and daughters are to be gathered from the ends of the earth. This is the high, the supreme mission of the Church of Christ. This will remain its supreme mission until "every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
The whole Church as a church needs a higher consecration, a consecration all along the line, of person and property, of life and service, of ourselves and our children, to Him who has bought us with His own blood. Water will not rise higher that its fountainhead. A church will not rise higher than the consecration of its individual members.
We need to go out of ourselves, to look upon our church machinery as only a means to an end, and that end the glory of Christ in saving men everywhere.
A living orthodoxy is a chain binding the Church to the living Christ, and insuring growth and progress. A dead orthodoxy is a splendid seal set upon a sepulchre. The modes of preaching the Gospel are various, but the Gospel to be preached is one. If missionaries open schools and teach, the Bible and the Christian faith must be the foundation of all their teaching. Dana, Dawson, and Guyot are illustrations of teaching the profoundest and purest science in the reverent spirit of Christian faith. Teaching medicine and science, for the sake of medicine and science, is not the work of the missionary; but he may teach both in a Christian spirit, and with thorough instruction in the Bible, and thus train Christian physicians and scholars who will be pillars of the Church in their native land. Type casting and book making are mechanical arts, but when done to give the Bible to a nation, as was done by Eli Smith, Van Dyck, Graham, Carey, Marshman, Morrison, and Dyer, in giving the Bible to the Arabs, the Hindus, and the Chinese, they become a noble form and mode of preaching the Gospel. Livingstone was teaching when traversing Africa with his Makololo companions. Eli Smith was teaching when he spent weary months in the type foundries of Germany with Hallock, making the metallic punches and matrices for the new so-called American font of Arabic type in which the Bible was to be printed for sixty millions of Arabic-speaking people. Hamlin was teaching when training the persecuted Armenians to bake bread for the British Crimean army. Dr. Peter Parker when surrounded by thousands of patients in Canton. Dr. Pratt when travelling in the Taurus Mountains. Dr. Azariah Smith when organizing the Christians of Aintab into a self-supporting community, the Constantinople missionaries, Hamlin and Trowbridge, when caring for hundreds of cholera patients. Dr. Grant, when journeying from village to village among the robber Kurds. Whiting, in sacrificing his life to save the famine-stricken Chinese. Calhoun, confided in and trusted by both Druses and Maronites in the midst of their fierce civil war, when both parties alternately brought their gold and jewels to his unprotected house for safe-keeping. the Syria missionaries during the massacres of 1860, when for months they fed and clothed the twenty thousand refugees from Damascus and Lebanon. Dr. Van Dyck, in translating the Bible and treating thousands of sufferers from the virulent eastern ophthalmia. Dr. Post, in performing marvellous surgical operations, and in the intervals of leisure making a concordance of the Arabic Bible which cost him and his assistants 15,000 hours of labour. Dr. West, who disarmed the bitter hostility of Armenian ecclesiastics and Turkish pashas, and won them to friendship by the patient and skillful use of his high medical knowledge. Dr. Osgood, in delivering hundreds of despairing victims from the opium curse in China. Miss Dr. Howard, in successfully treating the wife of Li Hung Chang. Bishop Patteson and his colleagues, in teaching the South Sea Islanders the simplest arts of decency in clothing and of comfort in building their houses. These and multitudes of others in Asia, Africa, Europe, America, and the far-off isles, have truly obeyed the Saviour's last command, in teaching the Gospel, by living the Gospel and exhibiting its precious fruits amid famine and pestilence, want and nakedness, cannibalism, savage ferocity, wars and massacres, relieving suffering, heating disease, instructing ignorance and guiding lost men to a Saviour.
The world needs the Gospel and the Gospel needs labourers of every kind; and the Gospel needed is the Gospel in its purity and entirety; the pure word of God with its converting and sanctifying power; not a Gospel diluted and attenuated to suit an enfeebled sentiment, nor a mutilated Gospel, but the Gospel of salvation by faith in an atoning Saviour.
The world is groaning under the burden of sin. It is full of colossal systems of creature worship, of propitiatory sacrifices, of self-torture, of pilgrimages, of bloody rites, of burnt offerings of human victims, which men, in the dark groping of their unrest, have invented, or amid the wreck of ancient traditions have clutched at with the grip of despair, to satisfy the sense of deserved retribution for sin. It is an insult to the moral yearnings of man's nature to offer him such a stone, when he is dying of hunger for bread. Of what use is it to tell the pagan or the Mohammedan, the "Barbarian and the Scythian" that we have crossed seas and continents burning with zeal to teach them the glorious Gospel of uncertainty; to enlist recruits in the army of mighty doubters; to assure them that there is nothing sure; to tell them to cultivate their consciousness, if perchance they may evolve from it a system of faith which will stand the test of the microscope and the crucible.
When human hearts are aching and bleeding over sorrow and sickness, over the bereavements, the broken hopes and racking anxieties of life, and struggling with sin and evil, not knowing whence they came nor whither they are going, what mockery to raise their hopes of relief and comfort, and then drive them to a deeper misery by offering such a diet of despair!
On Wednesday evening, May 21, 1884, I presided by request of Dr. Ellinwood at the annual foreign mission rally. Four missionaries were to speak. A programme was given to me with the directions, "no speaker to exceed ten minutes." When Dr. Imbrie of Japan arose he said it was rather hard to have an ex-moderator who had preached an hour limit us, his brethren, to ten minutes. It was hard, but the rule was inexorable and the speakers succeeded admirably in crowding so much into the brief allotted time.
On the 23d of July, 1884, ! was married by Rev. Dr. G. F. Nichols of Binghamton to Miss Theodosia Davenport Lockwood, daughter of the late Rev. Peter Lockwood. We visited Southampton, L.I., our ancestral home, met many relatives, and saw the houses where my father and grandfather were born. The old graveyard is one of the historic spots of ancient Long Island. It was a privilege to speak in the old Southampton church and meet the Fosters, Posts, and Harrises. We drove to North Sea and picked up shells on the beach; just such shells as mother used to show to our admiring eyes in childhood's days. Aunt Harriet Harris gave me my Grandfather Henry Harris's family Bible, a portly volume of the olden time, and we visited his grave in that quaint, quiet old country village. How it carried me back to the early days, when father and mother used to tell us stories of the "Island," the Shinnecock Indians, the return of the whale-ships, and the capture of whales off the Southampton beach!
The summer was spent in visiting churches in New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, and preparing for the journey to Syria, after this protracted furlough.
In August, Gabriel, the negro man-of-all-work of my brother, judge William II. Jessup, told us that he had met an old man named Safford, a carpenter, who told him that when a young man he worked on building father's law office, and father came in, stood by him at the work-bench, and prayed for his salvation, and he was thus led to begin a Christian life.
On Sunday, October 5th, my youngest son Frederick Nevins aged eight years and ten months united with the old church in Montrose, thus completing the number of my eight children who are members of the Church of Christ. It was a joyous day to us all.
October 9th we all, Mrs. Jessup, my six children and my brother William's daughter May who accompanied us to Syria, left for New York and at the St. Stephen's Hotel met throngs of old friends. One New York pastor, a dear friend of mine, who six months before had sent me his check for 1,000, said to me, "Call on me if you need anything." The kindness and affection of relatives and friends quite overcame me. I went once more to speak to the students of Union Seminary, in company with my brother William and Dr. Arthur Mitchell. My two older sons William and Henry came on from Princeton to bid us good-bye.
Saturday, October 11th , we sailed on the Britannic for Liverpool, arriving on the 19th. Mr. A. Balfour of Liverpool met us and invited us to his house in Rosset. Four of the party accepted his invitation and went out for the night. We visited Chester Cathedral and met Dean Howson, who once preached for us in Beirut. Mr. and Mrs. Balfour were most abounding in their kind hospitality. Being engaged in trade with Valparaiso, he was a warm friend of Dr. Trumbull, the American missionary, and was a liberal supporter of the missionary work of our church. Mr. Balfour died in June, 1886, greatly lamented and honoured.
On reaching London, we found that, owing to cholera in Southern France, we could not take steamer from Marseilles, so we were obliged to take the Orient Express from Paris to Varna on the Black Sea. We were quarantined in the Austrian steamer Flora, five days at Kavak in the Bosphorus in a cold rainstorm. We were met and welcomed to the houses of the missionaries in Scutari, Drs. Wood, Isaac G. Bliss, and Elias Riggs. Our stay in Constantinople was only forty-eight hours and it rained constantly. Yet I was able to visit the Bible House, Robert College, and the Girls' College in Scutari. On leaving our anchorage, November 13th, at 5:30 P. M., the rudder chain broke, east of Seraglio Point and the steamer was driven by the swift current directly towards the rocks. There was great excitement on board but by a merciful Providence the chain was mended and the ship got under control when' apparently, not 200 feet from the rocks.
In Smyrna we called on the missionaries, Mr. and Mrs. Bartlett, Miss Page, Miss Lord, and Mr. and Mrs. Constantine.
November 21St we reached Beirut at sunrise and were met by brother Samuel, his son and daughter, and Drs. Bliss, Eddy, Post, Dennis, and a crowd of Syrian friends. It was indeed "home again from a foreign shore." The harness was soon buckled on and my ordinary work in preaching and theological teaching resumed. November 30th I preached in Arabic and Bishop Hannington of Uganda in English, and at the Sunday school in the afternoon I translated his address to the Sunday school children.
The annual meeting in December was attended by Rev. Dr. H. A. Nelson and his son William. His daughter Bessie was at that time connected with the Syria Mission and his son William joined it in August 1888. It may be helpful to take a glance at the personnel of the mission at this time; the beginning of what might be called the new era in the mission and college.
In Beirut were Dr. C. V. A. Van Dyck, Dr. W. W. Eddy, Dr. H. H. Jessup, Dr. S. Jessup, Dr. J. S. Dennis and their wives; Rev. S. Jessup had charge of the mission press, accounts, and custom-house work. The others had their portion of teaching the theological class, editing, literary and. evangelistic work. The female seminary was in charge of Miss Everett, Miss Jackson's resignation having taken effect in July previous.
The instruction in the theological class was given as follows: Natural Theology and Old Testament Exegesis, Dr. C. V. A. Van Dyck; Systematic Theology, Dr. J. S. Dennis; New Testament Exegesis, Dr. W. W. Eddy; Church History, Homiletics, and Pastoral Theology, Dr. H. H. Jessup; Scripture Interpretation, Mr. Rizzuk Berbari.
The instruction was in Arabic. It had been hoped that enough college graduates and others familiar with the English language would be found to warrant using only English text-books. This was tried with one class of five, but three of them left for America, and were lost to the work in Syria for which they were trained. Since that time the instruction has been almost entirely in Arabic.
In Abeih station were Rev. Messrs. Bird (Abeih), Pond (Shemlan) and their wives, with Miss Bird; and Mrs. and Miss Calhoun in Shwifat, working among the women and conducting a girls' day-school.
In Sidon station were Rev. W. K. Eddy, Rev. George A. Ford and his mother. In the Sidon Seminary were Misses Harriette Eddy' Bessie Nelson and Sarah Ford.
In Zahleh station, Mr. Greenlee; Rev. and Mrs. Gerald F. Dale being in America on furlough.
In Tripoli station were Rev. Messrs. March and Hardin and their wives, and Dr. Harris. Miss La Grange and Miss Holmes had charge of the Tripoli Girls' School.
In the Syrian Protestant College were Drs. Daniel Bliss, Post, Porter, Kay, Dight, Fisher, Messrs. West, Martin, and Giroux; Mr. Hoskins, who afterwards entered the mission, was principal of the preparatory department.
In February, 1885, Dr. and Mrs. Harris and daughter Elsie returned from America. April 20th Dr. H. A. Nelson married his daughter Bessie to Rev. Wm. K. Eddy and immediately sailed for America with Mrs. Calhoun, her daughter Susan, her granddaughters Agnes and Helen Danforth and Mrs. Ford and her daughter Sarah.
Four young men graduated from the theological class at the commencement in June.
April 16th Col. Elliott F. Shepard of New York came to Beirut and asked that Dr. Van Dyck accompany him to Damascus and Jerusalem. As Dr. Van Dyck was unable to travel he referred him to me. I did not see how I could be absent so long' but after he reached Damascus he telegraphed me that he had hired animals, a dragoman, tents, and a palanquin, for Mrs. Jessup and myself to accompany him April 23d on a tour via Sidon, Tyre, and Nazareth to Jerusalem! The brethren advised us to go and we went, and had a most prosperous and instructive journey. Colonel Shepard was a delightful companion and it was a pleasure to tell him of the sacred sites we visited. At every town where there was an international telegraph office he telegraphed to hi family in Switzerland.
The moonlight ride down the mountain to the Sea of Galilee and the sail on the sea on April 30th, were events not to be forgotten. We were seven hours on the Lake of Tiberias and the heat was intense. Near Capernaum we saw a Bedawy wading among the great stones near the shore and catching fish with his hands. Colonel Shepard at once bought the fish. Daud the dragoman kindled a fire and we broiled them on the coals and ate them for our lunch. The Colonel was much affected by the thought that near this very spot our Lord provided a similar repast for His disciples. Colonel Shepard was a thoroughly religious man, a careful Bible student, and a strict observer of the Sabbath. We spent a Sunday at Tyre. Dr. Ford, an old fellow worker with the Colonel in New York City mission work, after preaching in the village of Alma in the morning, rode down to Tyre, about four hours in the saddle, to aid in the evening service. Colonel Shepard quite took him to task for Sunday travel, and he was hardly satisfied with our explanation of the need of Dr. Ford's help in the union meeting in Tyre. He was a genial companion, of generous impulses and large liberality. Seeing the utterly meagre furniture of Dr. Ford's room in Tyre, he ordered Daud the dragoman to go to the furniture shop and buy chairs, tables, bureau, and bookcase, etc. We all told the Colonel that in this abject town of Tyre there were no furniture shops and not a chair for sale. But he insisted, and Daud went to the private house of a Tyrian merchant and bought out his stock of furniture without regard to expense, at which the Colonel was greatly gratified.
Nazareth, Samaria, Bethel, Jerusalem, and Bethlehem were full of interest. Dr. Merrill, our consul in Jerusalem, was most attentive and gave us valuable instruction on the sacred sites. We parted with the Colonel with sincere regrets and returned to Beirut May 13th.
On his way to Beirut he had visited Tarsus and resolved to found an institute there as a memorial to St. Paul. While in Paris, on his way home, he learned that the sum of $6,000 bad been cut off from the usual appropriation to the Syria Mission, whereupon he at once sent his check for that amount, filling the hearts of the missionaries and Syrian helpers with joy and gratitude and a suitable letter of thanks was sent him by the mission. At a later day, we informed him that the Misk property adjoining the American Mission Church in Beirut was for sale and he promptly sent on September 8, 1887, his check for $7,000, by which aid, after waiting seventeen years, we have been able to buy that land and thus complete the mission property in Beirut in the most satisfactory manner and furnish a convenient manse for the native Syrian pastor.
In 1886 he consummated his scheme for a St. Paul's Institute in Tarsus and in his will endowed it with $100,000. It is doing a truly Pauline work in Cilicia. His name will never be forgotten in Syria. The bronze tablet sent out by Mrs. Shepard now shows the passer-by, The Elliott F. Shepard Manse "as one of the permanent Protestant buildings in Beirut."
October 7, 1885, Rev. and Mrs. G. F. Dale, Misses Alice S. Barber, and Rebecca and Charlotte Brown reached Beirut harbour and spent six days in quarantine before landing. Miss Barber entered the Beirut Girls' School and the Misses Brown the school in Sidon.
November 27th there was a brilliant meteoric shower of Leonids lasting from 6 to 12 P. M.; almost equal to the marvellous display of November 14, 1866. The ignorant part of the native population, especially the Moslems, were filled with terror.
The year 1886 brought a threefold sorrow to the mission in Syria, in the death of Mr. Rizzuk Berbari and Mr. John Effendi Abcarius in Beirut and Rev. Gerald F. Date in Zahleh.
Mr. Berbari, known as Muallim Rizzuk, was fifty years old and had been a teacher thirty-three years in Abeih with Mr. Calhoun, and in Beirut with Dr. Dennis. He was a thoughtful, scholarly, industrious, and faithful man. His home was a model Christian home and his children prove the value of the godly training of their father and mother. His great modesty only prevented his becoming the pastor of the Beirut church. He was the translator and editor of various useful Arabic books. He died February 16th, greatly lamented.
Mr. John Abcarius was the finest specimen of a refined Christian gentleman I have known in Syria. He was the son of an Armenian Protestant, was trained in the mission schools, engaged in business in Egypt, and served as dragoman of H. B. M. consulgeneral in Beirut for years. Having acquired wealth, he was the most liberal giver in the Protestant community. His word was never questioned. His sterling integrity was an example and a proverb among the people. He was sound in judgment and in the trying times in the Beirut church he never flinched in his devotion to the cause of order and discipline. Had he lived a few years longer it is probable that the sad schism in the Beirut church would never have taken place. He translated various works into Arabic and prepared an English-Arabic dictionary which is the standard work of that character for both Syria and Egypt. His memory is very precious to me.
But to us the most bitter affliction of 1886 was the death in Zahleh, October 6th, of Rev. Gerald F. Dale, Jr., after fourteen years of labour in Syria.
He was a rare and beautiful character. Dr. Hodge of Princeton described him as "the model gentleman, the model Christian and the model scholar of Princeton." And he became the model missionary, courteous, kind, patient, prayerful, studious, progressive, a church organizer, and a church builder, and beloved by the people. During the cholera epidemic in Sughbin in July, 1875, he went to the village, took medicines to the sick, and administered them, cheered the despondent, taught the native preacher how to use the "Hamlin Mixture" and the plague was stayed. His name is revered throughout the Zahleh and Baalbec field to this day and his death in October, 1886 was one of those sudden and paralyzing blows of the Father's afflictive rod which baffles our feeble understanding.
April 16, 1879, he was married in Beirut to Miss Mary Bliss, only daughter of Rev. Dr. Bliss, president of the Syrian Protestant College. For seven years he kept bachelor's hall in Zahleh, and for seven years had a happy married life in a home brightened with domestic love and abounding in loving hospitality. In preaching, teaching, organizing churches, counselling the people, and settling their quarrels he was an acknowledged leader in Zahleh and the whole region of the Bookaa from Mount Hermon to Ras Baalbec.
He was a remarkable man. He at the same time enforced your respect by his lofty motives and high character, won your love by his gentle and winning ways, and awakened your astonishment at his extraordinary zeal and capacity for work. The first text which flashed on my mind when the sad telegram reached us was "the zeal of thy house hath eaten me up." He was literally on fire with burning zeal. His name was a watchword on every side. Corrupt government officials feared his stern integrity, the poor and oppressed loved him, and scores of young men and women whom he selected and put in the way of acquiring an education looked upon him as a benefactor. He could go into a Turkish court and defend the rights of the persecuted and oppressed and the wily officials would quail before him. And he would take a little child by the hand, pat her on the head, ask her name, and win her little heart. He was a fine preacher in Arabic, a true and trusty friend, a loving and beloved brother, and won the confidence and esteem of the natives all over Syria where he was known.
Dr. Eddy wrote: "He was a beloved and honoured Christian brother, a most untiring Christian worker, an enthusiastic missionary having faith in man and large hopes in the results of labour; fertile in resources, genial in intercourse with all men, conciliatory in manner, making friends and keeping them."
Dr. Dennis wrote: "He was a strong and earnest missionary, and he loved his field with a perfect passion. Through summer heat and winter cold, in rain and mud, in snow and sleet, in withering siroccos as well as in the bright and glorious sunshine of that fair garden of Caele-Syria, he was in the saddle visiting his parish and watching over his spiritual charge."
Dr. George Ford wrote: "I am touched by the sorrowful exclamations of our Syrian brethren. Even those who knew him but slightly declare, 'He was wonderful. Never have we seen such untiring devotion and holy zeal as his.' In our devotional meetings his words were always aflame with holy fire, and his prayers those of one eminently a man of God, or to use his own favourite expression, 'waiting upon God.'"
"He was most sincere, yet most sanguine. He was no less remarkable for gentleness than for energy, for superb push than for conspicuous modesty. His severity was always kind, and his friendliness always dignified."
The cause of his death was a malignant pustule whose nature was not understood until too late. On the day before his death, Dr. Bliss left Zahleh for Beirut and stopped at the house of Dr. Dennis in Aleih to rest. He reported Mr. Dale about the same, and Mrs. Dale confined to her room with an infant daughter, Geraldine, three days old. That very evening came a telegram from Zahleh of Mr. Dale's critical condition. A similar telegram was sent to Dr. Post in Beirut but owing to the inefficiency of the telegraph employees it was twelve hours in going twenty-seven miles. Dr. Post and Dr. Bliss set out at midnight and rode over Lebanon as fast as their horses could go, but reached Zahleh just too late. He had fallen asleep at 4: 30 A. M. They wired us and we joined them at the Aleih junction, and as the last rays of the setting sun gilded the tops of the cypresses we laid him to rest in the old mission cemetery in Beirut, where his little daughter Carrie Lyon was laid beside him only six days after.
At the first meeting of the Syrian Mission held after his death February 10, 1887, the Mission Memorial Minute expressed their profound sorrow at the death of a fellow missionary so greatly beloved and so eminently useful. Mr. Dale had been identified with the Zahleh station during his whole missionary life of fourteen years. He was a man of prayer, of great zeal and earnestness, fully consecrated to the work. He had impressed his spirit on many of those brought under his influence, and his memory throughout the mission is blessed. He had strong faith, was buoyant and sanguine, cheerful and hopeful even amid the hours of great difficulty and trial. "His death is a loss to us as a mission and as individuals."
I often recall my visits to him in his bachelor days in Zahleh. Once it was midwinter. The narrow streets were piled high with snow shovelled from the roofs and it was bitterly cold. He did not feel the cold and had only a small stove in one room of his house. His dining-room was open on one side and I sat at the table in my overcoat and shawl with the mercury at freezing point, and while I shivered with the cold he did not seem to notice it.
His death left such a burden of responsibility upon Mr. Greenlee, who had been but three years on the field and who was nervously worn out by excessive night study, that Mr. J. R. Jewett, a student of the Semitic languages in Beirut, was invited to assist him, and on Mr. Greenlee's leaving for America in 1997,
Dr. Dennis and Mr. March took charge of the station assisted by Mr. Ford. During Mr. Dale's term of service church edifices bad been erected in Zahleh, Moallaka, Kefr Zebed, Baalbec, Sughbin, Aitaneet, and Meshghara. He had also planned a boys' boarding-school, and was preparing to open it when he was stung by that poisonous fly which cost him his life.
In 1888 Rev. F. E. Hoskins was stationed in Zahleh, having married Miss H. M. Eddy of the Sidon Girls' School, and in November, 1890, they were joined by Rev. William Jessup and Mrs. Jessup. On the transfer of Mr. Hoskins, October, 1900, to Beirut, Rev. George C. Doolittle was called to Zahleh from Deir el Komr.
Misses R. Brown and Emily Bird gave instruction in the Tripoli Girls' School in the absence on furlough of Miss La Grange. Mrs. H. H. Jessup was absent five months in America having attended the dying bed of her mother. D. Stuart Dodge Jessup went with her to America to pursue his studies.
At this time the repressive measures of the imperial authorities against Protestant schools, hospitals, and churches, became so pronounced and open that seventy-one missionaries and teachers petitioned the ambassadors to obtain a suspension of this official persecution of Protestantism.
The facts were recited in a pamphlet of twenty-one pages, and the different forms of aggression were classified under, 1st, Interference with the personal work of the missionaries themselves; 2d, Interference with the building of the churches; 3d, With the rights of religious worship; 4th, With schools; 5th, With hospital work; 6th, A virtual prohibition of the right of petition.
After long conference between the ambassadors and H. E. Munif Pasha, Minister of Public Instruction, His Excellency issued orders recognizing all existing schools and forbidding interference with them. But the animus of the authorities towards all foreign institutions is that of suspicion and obstruction. Formerly this suspicion was confined to those of the European Powers as America was known to have no political designs on Turkey, but latterly it has assumed an anti-Christian phase which is far more dangerous not only to religious liberty but also to the peace of society.
In December 1886, the Suk el Gharb church edifice was dedicated to the worship of, God. The devotional services were conducted by Messrs. Bird and Pond, and the sermon was preached by H. H. Jessup. Since the growth of the Suk Boys' Boarding-School, this church has been crowded for nine months of the year, and as Rev. Beshara Barudi is its ordained pastor, it occupies a centre of great influence in Lebanon.
In November we were horrified by the news that a Moslem woman of the family of Aitany in our quarter of Beirut had killed herself because she gave birth to a girl after having had five sons. A few years before a man of the same sect committed suicide because of the birth of his seventh daughter. This feeling is common among the Moslems and among Asiatics generally. The birth of a girl is a calamity and even among the Maronites they say "the threshold weeps forty days when a girl is born."
In December there was a new outburst of official interference with the Arabic Scriptures. Seven boxes of vowelled Arabic Scriptures were sent to the custom-house to be shipped to the British and Foreign Bible Society in London. We usually had no difficulty in shipping books. All books entering the empire were examined by the censor, and if objected to were either confiscated or sent back to Europe or America. But the shipping of books out of the empire, especially as all our publications had the stamp of the imperial approval, met with no opposition. But these seven boxes were seized and the mudir declared that their export was forbidden. For ten days we were kept running to the pasha and the American consul, until finally by telegraphing to Constantinople we secured orders for the shipment of the boxes. This act was one of thousands of similar cases in which petty officials try to extort bribes and blackmail from all who fall into their hands.
The prohibition of certain books, as e. g., those on Turkey, Syria, Mohammed, Islam, the Sultan, etc., amounts to nothing, as any book on any subject can be imported by the British, French, German, or Austrian mails. Several times the Turkish censor, after ordering a certain book to be reshipped to England or America, has asked me to order that same book to be imported
for him through the British post. But for these foreign postoffices, all Europeans would be virtually cut off from news of the outside world, as letters and papers would be opened and read and in many cases destroyed. As it is, Europeans or Americans in the interior can get few, if any, foreign newspapers. Some of the Turkish officials, who desire universal reform, are trying to improve the system, but as long as suspicion and espionage continue, the European governments will not surrender their postoffices.
In February, in compliance with orders from the Waly of Daniascus, we sent samples of all our Arabic publications to Damascus for examination and approval by the Mudir el Maarif, or director of public instruction. Some months after, the mudir came to our press and asked to see all our publications. They were all laid out on tables and he examined them and placed on every one the seal of approbation. Since that time we have had to send to Constantinople two manuscript copies of every book to be printed. After correction and sometimes mutilation by the imperial Mejlis, one copy is returned to us for printing. After printing and before publication a printed copy must be mailed to Constantinople for comparison and woe to the press that varies in printing from the corrected copy! This same precautionary process must be gone through with by every daily, weekly, and monthly journal, a proof being sent to the local censor for examination.
In February when on a visit to Sidon, Mr. W. K. Eddy told me of the brisk business carried on in Sidon in the manufacture of fraudulent Phoenician inscriptions, statuettes, vases, lamps, etc., made in the city and sent to the villages to be buried in the earth and then dug up and brought in for sale by cameleers hired for the purpose and fully in the secret. Innocent travellers are accosted by these impostors on the highways and pay high prices for the wonderful antiques. They are so well made as to deceive the very elect.
I went with Mr. Eddy to Mejdeluna and Jun for Sunday services and communion. We had good congregations. In the first village the house of the elder was built in the old-fashioned style. At one end of the room we could see the beads of the horned cattle eating from the manger, which was a trough extending along the sides of the room. The floor of the cattle-room was lower than the floor of the sitting-room, so that the heads of the cattle were in plain sight and they looked at us, eating their barley and straw with great calmness. One could see plainly how easy it was for Mary to lay the infant Jesus in such a manger, and Joseph no doubt kept the "horned oxen" back while Mary watched over her child.
In Jan we visited the ruined house and grave of Lady Hester Stanhope, whose eccentric career is described by Dr. Thomson in "The Land and the Book." The grave has-been plowed over again and again until it is hardly discernible.
In Sidon I addressed the girls of the boarding-school, returning the next day to Beirut.
On the 14th Of March a letter came from Mr. Eddy of a wonderful discovery in Sidon of ancient tombs, containing some white polished marble sarcophagi of exquisite beauty and marvellous sculpture. Mr. Eddy had been into the tombs hewn in the solid rock thirty feet below the surface and had measured and described all the sarcophagi of white and black marble with scientific exactness. On the 21st Dr. Eddy received from his son an elaborate report oil the discovery which was intended to be sent to his brother Dr. Condit Eddy in New Rochelle. I obtained permission to make a copy for transmission to Dr. William Wright of London, and sent it by mail the next day. Dr. Wright sent it to the London Times with a note in which he expressed the hope that the authorities of the British Museum would "take immediate measures to secure these treasures and prevent their falling into the hands of the vandal Turk."
The Times reached Constantinople. Now it happened that the department of antiquities at that time as now was under the charge of Hamdi Beg, a man educated in Paris, an artist, an engineer, and well up in archaeology. When he saw that article of Mr. Eddy's in the Times and Dr. Wright's letter, he said to himself (as he afterwards told us), "I'll show what the 'Turk' can do!"
He at once telegraphed to the Governor of Sidon to cordon of police around the tomb and allow no one to enter until he should arrive. On April 29th he came. He called Mr. Eddy and Dr. Ford and set about the removal of those priceless treasures of Greek and Phoenician sculpture, I like a common navvy in a blouse and heavy shoes, he superintended the cutting of a tunnel from the orange gardens floor of those subterranean rock-hewn rooms, built a tramway, rolled out the colossal sarcophagi to the gardens, and the his tramway down to the seashore where he constructed a on piles. He then brought a steamer from Constantinople, a large opening made in its side, floated the huge blocks, encased in wrappings and boxed, to the side of the steamer, drew them into the hold, and carried them away triumphant to Constantinople, where they remain in the museum, the admiration learned and unlearned tourists from all parts of the world. Of them is supposed to be the sarcophagus of Alexander the Great. Mr. W. K. Eddy deserves the credit of having firs them known, before the antiquity hunting vandals of Sid broken them to pieces. As it was, one of the exquisitely statuettes was broken and the fragments offered for sale was finally secured for Hamdi Beg.
A company of men and ladies from Beirut rode do horseback May 18th to Sidon, and Hamdi Beg was courteous in showing us the entire collection, those in the and those already in the gardens. One day his patience was greatly tried. One sarcophagus, when the lid was opened, contained a human body floating in perfect preservation peculiar fluid. The flesh was soft and perfect in for colour. But, alas, while Hamdi Beg was at lunch, the over-officious Arab workmen overturned it and spilled all the precious fluid on the sand. The beg's indignation knew no bounds, it was too late and the body could not be preserved, and the of the wonderful fluid was again hidden in the Sidon sand.