Overworked - The High - Anglican Church hostility - An English Moslem - Religious cranks - The first railroad - Educational missions - The Armenian massacres.
THE year 1891 was a strenuous one for me. For a large part of the time I was alone as I was in 1866-1867. Dr. Samuel Jessup and Dr. Eddy were in America and Dr. Dennis was called home on account of his father's death. Dr. Van Dyck was in feeble health, and I had the management of the press with all its accounts, business correspondence, examining of manuscripts, reading proofs, editing the Neshrah and the
Mulhoc, helping the native pastor, taking my turn in preaching in the church and in the college, and giving regular instruction in the theological class, besides doing the custom-house business. In my diary I find that my average weekly letters in English and Arabic numbered from thirty to forty, some of them of considerable length.
We had our usual struggle with the custom-house authorities, who freely granted immunities to all nationalities but the Americans.
Two more Mohammedan converts appeared, one of whom has persevered and become a faithful and exemplary man in his profession. The other, from Samaria, stated that before he was born his mother had vowed that if she had a son she would have him baptized by a Greek priest and taught the Greek catechism and creed. He grew up and went to school. Not liking the picture worship and saint worship of the Greeks, he became a Protestant with his mother's consent. He remained some time with Mr. Hardin and then disappeared, presumably having gone with a company of emigrants to America.
A cyclone of great violence swept over Lebanon in March. The Damascus diligence with six mules, and carrying passengers, near the summit of Mount Lebanon beyond Sowfar, was hurled, mules and all, about 200 feet from the road and landed in a field below. The mules were killed, but the passengers and driver escaped with slight bruises. A few days after I passed that point in the diligence going east and saw the dead mules lying in the field where they fell. A gaunt wolf stood by them devouring the flesh. A French engineer on the diligence sprang down, levelled his revolver, and fired. The wolf turned his head and kept on with his meal. He fired again and the wolf limped away. He fired a third shot and the wolf staggered somewhat and disappeared down the mountain slope. Some days after, on my return, I asked at Sowfar station whether anything had been heard of the wolf. "Yes," they said, "his dead body was found that day at the foot of the cliff."
The struggle between High Church Anglicanism and the truly evangelical missionaries of the Church Missionary Society in Palestine came to a crisis, with the appointment of Bishop Blyth as Anglican bishop in Jerusalem. As all the missionaries in Palestine are decidedly Low Church, it was expected that on the occurrence of a vacancy in the English Episcopate, the appointing power would send a man in sympathy with the missionary clergy. But what occurred was exactly the reverse. The Right Reverend G. F. Popham Blyth, D. D., was appointed. Before his day, Anglican bishops such as Gobat and Barclay, with deans, canons, archdeacons, and rectors had visited Beirut and officiated in our mission church at the English service and conducted the communion service which we all attended. But on the arrival of Bishop Blyth, up went the bars. At his first service in Beirut, we Americans, in our simplicity, Dr. Bliss, Dr. Dennis, Dr. Samuel Jessup and myself attended. We communed. The good bishop's holy soul must have writhed in agony at the thought of such uncircumcised Presbyterians taking the communion at his hands. But he atoned for it the next Sunday by setting up a barbed wire fence around the communion table. In language some thing like this: "Hereafter any one of this flock wishing to commune with Catholics, Greeks, or Presbyterians must first obtain permission from the bishop's chaplain in charge of this church. And any Catholic, Greek, or Presbyterian wishing to commune here must first obtain permission from the bishop's chaplain." That was a fence intended to be an offense, and the little exclusive fold has not been invaded since by Presbyterian, nor even by the Evangelical Church of England missionaries in this part of Syria. He tried the threat of excommunication against two eminent English missionary ladies and received a reply that if he persisted in his course they would complain of him to the Archbishop of Canterbury. I have said enough in a previous chapter (on the Greek Church) with regard to the corruption of the Oriental churches.
My little booklet, "The Greek Church and Protestant Missions," which was published by the Christian Literature Society in New York and reprinted in two editions in England, contains all I have to say further on this subject.
It is a special delight of these high Anglicans to hobnob with the Greek monks, bishops, and priests and to do all in their power to antagonize the Syrian evangelical churches. Any attempt on the part of Maronites, Catholics, or Greeks to break away from the Mariolatry and picture worship of their old churches and from the grinding tyranny of their priests, as our fathers did in the time of the Reformation, will be frowned upon by the Anglican clergy and every possible means be used to drive them back into spiritual bondage.
In 1850, Archbishop Sumner, in an agreement with Baron Bunsen about the Jerusalem bishopric, said that when men in the Oriental churches become "emancipated from the fetters of a corrupt faith, we have no right to turn our backs upon the liberated captive and bid him return to his slavery or seek aid elsewhere."
In 1907, the Anglican bishop in Jerusalem "requested his Haifa Chaplain Archdeacon Dowling to write to the Greek patriarch of Jerusalem asking his approval of opening negotiations, saying, 'The terms on which the Anglican Church can negotiate with the Orthodox Greek Church are formal recognition between the two churches of the validity of Holy Baptism and Holy Orders.'" The patriarch replied that "the Eastern Church cannot accept the baptism or the orders of the Anglican Church, and only - the entire Eastern Orthodox Church and the entire Anglican Church" are competent to determine this question.
One little specimen of animated millinery tried to prohibit Rev. H. E. Fox of London from preaching in our church in Beirut. Finding that he was going to preach at 11 A. M., he withdrew an invitation to him to officiate in the Anglican evening service! Mr. Fox wrote him a letter in reply which contained some fatherly counsel and severe rebuke to the little usurper which he will not soon forget. Mr. Fox sent me a copy of his letter which I have on file. The Church Missionary Society, true to its evangelical principles, will not allow its churches and chapels on missionary ground to be consecrated by a bishop, and they freely invite missionaries of other churches to preach in them. I would recommend to the Anglican clergy who are so keen upon fraternizing with the higher clergy of the Orthodox Church in Jerusalem, especially the "Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre," to read a book published by the Orthodox Russian bishop of Moscow about the year 1885 after spending a year in Jerusalem. He exposes the shocking immoralities of these clergy and says that no one can hear what he heard and know what he knows without blushing for the good name of Christianity. He enters into details with regard to the numerous progeny of these holy celibate monks, who are sent to Cyprus and trained in their turn to be monks. A prominent Greek gentleman in Beirut, connected with the Russian consulate-general, gave me a copy of the book.
An English traveller who visited Beirut April 16, 1891, wrote out the Wowing questions to Dr. Van Dyck, which I give in brief with the doctor's replies
"1. Can Bishop Blyth and the Church Missionary Society be reconciled? Ans: No."
"2. Can the Anglican and Greek Churches be affiliated? Ans. Yes, by all Englishmen being rebaptized and the clergy reordained, and receiving Holy Chrism with a mixture cooked over a fire made of rotten and filthy pictures of the saints which have been worn out by being kissed for years."
"3. Can the American missions and the British Syrian Schools evangelize Syria? Ans. Yes, in time."
"4. Is a theological school, endowed in England and manned by natives, needed? Ans. No, the East is pauperized enough now."
While the American Mission was holding its semiannual meeting in August in Suk el Gharb, news came of the death in the neighbouring village of Shemlan of Mrs. E. H. Watson, an English missionary aged eighty-seven. She had laboured in Christian education for more than thirty years. Before coming to Syria, she had taught school in Ireland, in Brooklyn, in Crete, in Valparaiso, in Athens, in Smyrna, and lastly in Beirut, Shemlan, Sidon, and Ain Zehalteh. For sixty-two years she was a teacher. In stature she was diminutive and her physique was that of a child, but her life was one of constant toil and self-sacrifice. She crossed seas and oceans at her own charges and here in Syria erected buildings, founded schools, and aided in Christian work with the greatest zeal and patience. She built and presented to our mission the house in Deir Mimas and the church in Shemlan. The Training-School for Girls in Shemlan was founded by her, and its edifice reared and deeded by her to a British Female Education Society and by that society finally given to the British Syrian Mission. In some other enterprises she suffered grievous disappointment, but this alone is her monument.
The following week, Dr. and Mrs. Hoskins' infant son Horace E. Hoskins died in Suk. On August 31st, Syria suffered a great loss in the death of Mrs. Augusta Mentor Mott, long the directress of the British Syrian Schools and Bible Mission. These schools were founded by the late Mrs. J. Bowen Thompson, then conducted by her sisters, the late Mrs. Henry Smith and Mrs. Mott. They were a remarkable trio of sisters, and with the admirable corps of teachers associated with them, have done a work of the highest value in the education of the daughters of Syria. Thoroughly spiritual in their religious character, liberal and broad minded, using their fortunes and their sympathies in the work, they have left their mark on Syrian family life and done this people immortal service. Although belonging to the Church of England, they would have nothing to do with the ritualistic Romanizing party and cooperated with our own mission and the Irish Presbyterian Mission in Damascus, and their teachers and converted pupils were communicants in the American Mission churches.
Before her death Mrs. Mott sent for me to come and pray with her, and stated that she wished the British Syrian Schools to be conducted in the future on the same basis as before and to continue in cordial cooperation with the American Mission.
In October and December, 1891, death again invaded the mission circle. Little Geraldine Dale, daughter of the late Rev. Gerald F. Dale of Zahleh, died after a brief illness, a severe affliction to her already afflicted and widowed mother. This beautiful child was laid beside her father and sister in the mission cemetery. Then followed in two months the sudden death of Mrs. Dr. Wm. Schauffler, after childbirth, and on the day before Christmas I baptized little William Gray Schauffler over his mother's coffin. She was the daughter of my old Hebrew teacher in Union Seminary, Rev. Dr. Theron F. Hawkes, and the father was the grandson of the distinguished Dr. Schauffler, one of the Bible translators of Constantinople.
On September 3oth, Rev. Asaad Abdullah was ordained in Ain Zehalteh and has continued steadfast in the ministry and is now, after fifteen years, the useful pastor of the Beirut Evangelical Church.
About this time, one Quilliam, an Englishman in Liverpool, embraced Islam. He was invited to Constantinople and honoured and received the name of Mohammed Quilliam. The Moslem papers of the East rejoiced with great joy that now Mohammed Webb, who had collapsed in New York, was to be succeeded by a genuine English convert. Quilliam received money in aid of his scheme to convert England from Turkey, Egypt, and India. In 1903, the Moslem sheikh, Abdul Kerim Effendi Marat, of Medina, the Holy City of Islam (where Mohammed was buried), having heard of the great English Moslem, visited England and became the guest of Quilliam of Liverpool. He was surprised, shocked, disgusted. He wrote long letters to the Moslem Arabic journal Thomrat, No. 1,058, of Beirut, in which he described his feelings, on being met at the station by a dog-cart driven by a handsome young lady, daughter of Abdullah Quilliam, who wore a fancy hat, without a veil (God forbid!). She was one of the converts to Islam. The mosque was his house, the minaret, a balcony on the street. The prayer room war, fitted with seats like a church and at the time of prayer, Quilliam went up to the balcony and, 'Istughfur Allah!' (God forgive!) repeated in English a call to prayer. Then this unveiled girl sat down to a small organ and played the tunes, while the handful of men and boys sang out of books hymns such as the Christians use, with the name of Christ omitted! I was amazed. Then Quilliam said a few words, and they prayed, not in the required kneelings and bowings, but in a free and easy way shocking to the true believer. I found that he knew no Arabic, that he read The Koran in English (!) and that the women go unveiled like Christian women. He knows nothing about the principles and practice of Islam, but whenever he hears of men converted in Africa or India, he announces it to his subscribers in India or Turkey as the result of the labours of his missionaries. When the Emir of Afghanistan visited England, he gave Quilliam twenty-five hundred pounds, and the Prince of Lagos, West Africa, gave him one thousand pounds, supposing that he is printing Moslem books and leading the English people into Islam. He asked me to preach and I did. I told the whole truth. I told him that if, after being in Protestant schools twenty years, he really wished to serve the cause of Islam, he would have studied The Koran and Islamic books by bringing a learned sheikh here to teach Arabic and The Koran, whereas now he asks them to enter a religion of which he knows nothing.
"In leaving him, after thanking him for his hospitality, I said, 'I advise you at once to bring three learned Moslem sheikhs with the funds you receive from India and Turkey, and let them teach Arabic and the holy faith and publish a journal.' I also said, 'You must command your women and girls to veil their faces and never let any man but their fathers and husbands see them.' I reminded him that when six hundred negroes in Lagos with their emir had accepted Islam through agents we sent from the Hejaz in Arabia, he took my report of the same, and sent it to the Sheikh ul Islam in Constantinople claiming that these were converts of his agents whom he had sent to West Africa! I rebuked him for this barefaced lying in order to raise money. The fact is he knows nothing about Islam."
This is a literal translation of Sheikh Abdul Kerim's letter.
During this year, two itinerant evangelists, whom we will call X and Z, came to Syria. They held Bible readings and preached in chapels in Beirut and vicinity. They agreed on one point, and that was their suspicion and, jealousy of each other. X came to Dr. Mackie of the Anglo-American Church in Beirut and said, "I want to warn you against Z. He cannot be trusted. He will pry into the secrets of your families and then blaze them abroad in the pulpit. Look out for him." A few days later Z came to Dr. Mackie and said, "I hear you have asked X to preach in your pulpit - a great mistake, sir. He cannot be relied on. Those X's, even the bishop, are all a little off; beware of him." One of them afterwards asked permission to lecture on the Second Coming. It was known that be held radical arithmetical views on the subject. So a pledge was taken from him that he would not fix the day nor the year for the Second Coming of Christ. He solemnly promised that he would avoid that aspect of the subject. A learned elder of the Arabic Church acted as interpreter. After a time his arithmetic got the better of his conscience and he solemnly declared that "as sure as the Word of God is true, the times of the Gentiles will end in 1910, and Christ's reign on earth will begin. There will be no king, emperor, president, or sultan, and the Turkish Empire will come to an end!" The interpreter was terrified. There might be present a Turkish policeman or spy, and the interpreter and all his brethren be arrested as enemies of the Sultan. So he adroitly generalized the language and perhaps saved us from having our Sunday-school closed by the police!
After the meeting I confronted the man with his violation of his solemn pledge, - he did not seem to regret what he had done, but met my protest with "a smile that was bland."
It is often difficult to know what is duty when strangers come and ask permission to address the Sunday-school, the girls' boarding-school or the college.
It is generally necessary, however, to warn the eager speaker to avoid absolutely all flattering remarks about the "beautiful bright eyes of the girls," and the "intelligent faces" or "high promise" of the boys. I have often been obliged, when translating for a tourist speaker, to use my own discretion as to the amount of "soft soap" proper to be administered to the hearers.
One speaker in the college told the students that if they ever came to America he would be glad to see them in his home in -----. Out came the notebooks and within the next two years the quiet country study of this good man was invaded, to his dismay, by a number of eager youths, expecting that he would find them work in their adopted country. He had no means of furnishing them employment. They had taken him at his word. He had forgotten it, but they had not, and they were disappointed.
In several instances professors, pastors, and teachers have given high recommendations to young men for the foreign missionary work, and afterwards, when the men found they Were out of place and had to give up the work, those who recommended them admitted that they did it "with misgivings," as one seminary professor stated. The result was the expense of outfit, thousands of miles out and back, a disappointed labourer, a disappointed mission, and the loss of much money. I felt at the time that the man who had the "misgivings should now try to make amends for his imprudence by liberal givings" to make up the loss.
In August a Boston man bearing a familiar name wrote to me asking information about the Arabic language, and added the extraordinary "hope that you will not in your missionary work be guilty of indiscretion in disturbing the good-will of Ishmael." I wrote him that I was unable to grasp his meaning. According to Genesis 16:12, "Ishmael will be a wild man. His hand will be against every man and every man's hand will be against him." The Bedawin and the people of Arabia are the Ishmaelites of to-day. It is difficult to see how a foreigner can secure the "good-will" of such a body of robbers and murderers. They live by constant forays and cowardly midnight "ghazus" upon each others' camps.
The famous Mohammed Smair, the Bedawy emir who visited Beirut, told me that a Christian teacher or khotib might live among his tribe if he had a good horse and would migrate with the tribe in their nomadic life and live as they live, but he would have to help in the "ghazu" against other tribes. Our Boston friend might say that such a course would be justified if thereby we secure the "good-will" of the Arabs. The true way to secure the permanent good-will of these poor Ishmaelites would be to compel them to abandon their nomad life and internecine wars, settle down, and cultivate the soil and live in peace. This will come when there is a strong and honest government in Syria, Palestine, and Mesopotamia.
If the Boston scholar meant that the Gospel is not to be preached to the Arabs because they are Moslems, lest their "good-will" be disturbed, I will suggest that he read Matthew 10: 34, "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace but a sword." This is the teaching of the "Prince of Peace." Light dissipates darkness. Truth antagonizes error. Ahab charged Elijah with "troubling Israel." Elijah replied that the trouble came from Ahab and his idolatrous abandonment of God. In every mission field the "Gospel of Peace" stirs up strife and hostility. "Bonds and imprisonment" awaited Paul in every city. In our day in every heathen and Mohammedan land, sons are persecuted by fathers and fathers by sons. I have known an ignorant Maronite mother to poison her own son, a worthy and lovable man. Moslems hang or shoot or poison apostates and glory in their shame. Christ has bidden us to go and preach the Gospel. He says be "wise as serpents and harmless as doves," but He also says, "go and teach all nations" that is "evangelize them, give them the pure Gospel," because they are sinners and need it, and without Christ they are lost.
In a land like this, every year yields its crop of cranks. Sometimes singly and sometimes in organized companies. The careful chronicle of all the religious, political, and ethical cranks who have ravaged the Holy Land during the past fifty years would furnish a fruitful theme for psychological research.
Here is one of them. In July, 1891, an archaeological friend wrote from Jerusalem that he had been playing "Halma" at the house of the British consul with the "Forerunner." Some time after, this "forerunner" appeared at Hasbeiya under Mount Hermon and put up at the school of an English lady. He was in sorry plight, his clothes ragged and dirty and no change of raiment; a package of dried plants about all he possessed. He was obliged to go to bed to have his garments washed and the good hostess was horrified to find that the guest-room had become infested with vermin of the third plague of Egypt.
He stated solemnly that be was the "'Forerunner" and that he was going to the summit of Hermon to meet the Lord and that then they were going to London to resurrect Dean Stanley!
He next appeared at the beautiful cottage home of Mr. and Mrs. Bird, in Abeih, Mount Lebanon, and asked for a lodging. Mrs. Bird, who is a model of the New England housewife, was no less horrified than was the Hasbeiya lady to see this unkempt, ragged, and unsavoury tramp entering her neat and spotless house. Here also he left vestiges. The family were amazed at his refined language and his knowledge of botanical science, yet none the less relieved when he took his departure. Soon after, Dr. George E. Post, of the college in Beirut, found a tramp asleep on the porch of his house, and ordered him to decamp. He begged for food, and promised to work, if the doctor would give him passage money to Alexandria. Dr. Post, who is a distinguished botanist, soon found out that the "pack" of this straggler contained dried plants and flowers. One thing led to another. The man said his name was S-----, from Boston. He had tramped on foot from the Suez Canal to Gaza and Jerusalem and thence through the land to Beirut, living on the people. The doctor agreed to pay his fare if he would write out a journal of his trip from Egypt to Beirut. He did so. It was written in elegant phrase, a model of Addisonian diction, humorous, keen in observation, and with a decided scientific turn. It was impossible to say whether the man was a scholar with a crazy streak of mental hallucination, or whether the "Forerunner" was assumed as a disguise to account for his unwashed person and filthy rags, and to enable him to beg his way through the tramp-trodden Holy Land.
This summer I had a visit from a tramp of quite another stamp. When at my desk in the press, Sheikh Mohammed Hassan, one of the keepers of the Sacred Haram of Mecca, was announced. He was not of the unwashed. He bad gone through all the ablutions of the orthodox Sunni Moslems from his youth up. His flowing robe and immaculate white turban, with his mellifluous Arabic, excited my admiration as it had done at about this time of the year for several years. He was on his annual round to gather in the spare copper and silver of the faithful. On his first visit he received a finely-bound Bible for the sherif of Mecca, which he afterwards reported as having been received with thanks. This time he descanted volubly on the noble generosity of the Americans and how they love all men and help all laudable enterprises. He then produced from under the folds of his robe a box of Mecca dates and a bottle of water from the Bir Zem Zem in Mecca. I accepted the dates with profuse thanks, but took pains to see that the Zem Zem bottle was well sealed, as the water is reputed to have more microbes to the ounce than any water on earth. It would have been preposterous to give a small present to such a distinguished and learned mendicant. I got off with two dollars and an Arabic book.
Several other "forerunners" have appeared in Palestine in latter years, leading all decent and sane people to wish that the wardens of insane hospitals in Europe and America would keep their lunatics at home.
The American diplomatic representatives at this time were Hon. S. Hirsch, United States Minister at the Porte and Mr. Erhard Bissinger, consul in Beirut, both of whom were efficient and conscientious men and an honour to their country. The American Mission in Syria sent to each of them letters of thanks and high appreciation of their efforts to promote American educational and benevolent interests in Turkey, as well as in the interests of our commerce.
As a rule, our representatives have been able men and efficient. In these fifty-one years I have known ten consuls in Beirut, and not more than three of them left Syria unregretted. Six were total abstinence men. Over a few, I would draw the veil. Up to the year 1906, their salaries were quite inadequate, and they were not able without great self-denial to maintain adequately the dignity of their country. The new consular regulations will insure the appointment of efficient men with sufficient support to make it worth the while of first-class men to enter the foreign consular service.
1892 - The year 1892 was marked by the death of Kamil in Bussorah, of Mr. R. Konawaty, an aged disciple of eighty in Beirut, and of Wassa Pasha, Governor of Mount Lebanon, June 29th, and the arrival of his successor, Naoom Pasha, September 4th.
Dr. and Mrs. S. Jessup, Rev. and Mrs. W. K. Eddy, and Dr. and Mrs. Daniel Bliss arrived from furloughs.
In April Dr. Van Dyck received the honorary degree of L.H.D. from the University of Edinburgh and on December 23rd, his friends, native and foreign, congratulated him and Mrs. Van Dyck on their golden wedding and presented him with a beautiful English cathedral clock.
On March 10th another Moslem convert, Mustafa from Damascus, passed through Beirut en route for the land of liberty. A young Moslem woman educated in a Christian school was summoned before the Maktubji, with her parents, and charged with being a Christian. She said, "Yes, I am a Christian: I trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour and I am not afraid to confess Him before men. Do with me what you please. I belong to Jesus Christ and do not fear." The man threatened her but she was so calm and firm that he decided to let her alone. And she is as firm to-day (1909) as then.
On August 28th the first locomotive reached Jerusalem, and December 8th ground was broken in Beirut for the Beirut Damascus Railway. A great company of invited guests assembled on the spot, and while the Nakib el Ashraf Abdurahman Effendi Nahass offered an eloquent prayer, twelve sheep were sacrificed in front of him and the meat given to the poor. The sacrifice of sheep is a constant custom in Turkey on laying the cornerstone of any new building, or opening any new enterprise.
A division occurred in Beirut church and the seceding portion called a pastor of their own. It was a sad experience to all concerned, but the new native churches have to learn by experience, and the trials through which they pass may yet prove to be the means of greater ultimate success and progress. The only practical gain was the fact that the new church thus formed paid its own way without expense to the mission. Time is a great healer and the good men who have been temporarily separated will no doubt eventually come together again. I shall give no details of this church dissension, as it is clear that all parties would prefer that it be forgotten.
In January the zealous censor of the press expunged from our weekly Neshrah an account of the oppression of the Israelites by Pharaoh. He said that Egypt is under the Sultan and oppression of the Jews could not occur in Egypt. We were so stupefied by this display of learning and loyalty that we tamely submitted. The rebellion of Absalom was also forbidden to be mentioned, although taken verbatim from the Scriptures. In most cases we might appeal to the Waly, and the Walys are generally men of sense and experience and would overrule the decision of a petty press censor, but when your type is on the press and your hour of publication is at hand you have no time to draw up a formal protest on stamped paper stating your grievances. In the fall of that same year, we printed a collection of eulogiums of the Bible by eminent men. These were all stricken out as implying that The Koran was not the only divine book in the world, and our paper threatened with suppression if we repeated such language!
Swarms of locusts again appeared in Syria. In Aleppo the Waly ordered every man in the district to bring one oke (three pounds) to the government inspectors, to be destroyed. Four million okes were brought according to the official journal, or about 5,500 tons. These flights of locusts are terrific. They darken the sky and lighting down, destroy every green thing. I have seen them three or four inches deep on the ground. A tailor in Beirut when ordered out with the rest of the crowd to gather a sack full of locusts, brought back his sack after sunset and locked it up in his shop. Each locust's body contains about ninety eggs like the spawn of a fish. The tailor was taken down with a fever that night and did not return for a month. On his return, he opened the door and a swarm of young "gowgahs" came jumping out like gigantic fleas, black imps with heads like horses. The eggs had hatched out and for his two thousand locusts, he had 18o,ooo, completely covering his shop and ruining his stock of goods.
An event of the year greatly regretted by the mission was the resignation of Dr. James S. Dennis.
Owing to a quarrel in the Orthodox Greek Church in Damascus, three hundred Greeks declared themselves Protestants and attended the Protestant church. The missionaries welcomed them and gave them daily evangelical instruction, but felt assured from the outset that it was only the "morning cloud and early dew," and was only meant as a menace to the other party to yield and in a short time the whole three hundred who had marched up the hill marched down again and resumed their prayers to the holy pictures and the Virgin.
A new mosque having been built in Tripoli, Syria, it was dedicated June 17th, by the arrival of three hairs from the beard of Mohammed, from Constantinople. Thousands of Moslems went down to the seaport to greet the casket, and half-naked men danced in the procession and cut themselves with knives amid the jubilation of the populace. In the addresses made on the occasion, according to the Moslem journals, there was no explanation as to what special virtue came from these relics. It has been supposed that the Moslems borrowed the custom from the Christian crusaders who carried off shiploads of relics from the Holy Land to Europe. The conduct of the ignorant populace can be explained, as it can in the Orthodox Greek orgies at the fraudulent Greek fire at Easter in Jerusalem, and the worshipping of bones and hairs and other relics of reputed saints in almost every papal church in Europe; but the winking of Greek and Roman bishops and Moslem effendis and kadis at such puerile superstition, and giving them the sanction of their presence and cooperation cannot be too severely condemned.
In April, I wrote to Dr. Dennis in New York pleading by order of the mission for reinforcements. It was urged that "Dr. Van Dyck is seventy-two, Dr. Eddy sixty-four, H. H. Jessup sixty, S. Jessup fifty-nine, Dr. Daniel Bliss at the college sixty-nine, and Mr. Bird sixty-nine. You may get 'bottom out of such venerable steeds, but you cannot expect much I speed.' I am feeling somewhat the burdens of this year, and the confusing secularities of running a printinghouse, in addition to my preaching and teaching duties with my voluminous correspondence, sometimes make my head swim. I don't think I could carry this load another year. We must have one or two first-rate young men in training to take our places before we break down."
I now add to the above, sixteen years later, that Dr. Van Dyck, Dr. Eddy, Mr. Bird and W. K. Eddy have gone to their reward, Dr. Dennis and Mr. Watson resigned, a loss of six men, and only five, Messrs. Doolittle, Erdman, S. D. Jessup, Nicol and Brown, have come in their place, so that the mission is numerically weaker in 1909 than in 1892, and I am seventy-six and a half, and my brother seventy-five and a half.
Dr. R. Anderson, in giving his consent to the establishment of the Syrian Protestant College, expressed the fear that its teaching English would result in denationalizing the Syrians, making them restless, and unfitting them for the work of humble pastors and preachers in their own country. He instanced the results of English teaching in India as disastrous to the training of a native ministry.
It is not easy now to say what would have been the effect of making English the language of instruction in the college, had all things remained as they were. But the discovery of America by certain Syrian merchants in 1876, and the British occupation of Egypt in 1882 put a new phase on the future of Syrian youth. The demand for English-speaking and English-trained doctors, lawyers, surveyors, and engineers, clerks and accountants in the Anglo-Egyptian military and civil service, tempted the best trained youth of Syria to go to Egypt. Then the opening El Dorado for Syrian dealers in Oriental wares and fabrics in North and South America, Mexico, and Australia sent, first, hundreds and then thousands of Syrians, men, women, and children, to seek their fortune beyond the seas. Many sent back thousands of dollars, and the rumour of their success spread over the land. Then steamer agents and emigrant agency runners visited the towns and villages and sounded the praises of America, Brazil and Argentine, etc., until every steamer to Naples and Marseilles went crowded with hopeful Syrians. Was the teaching in the college and boys' boarding-schools responsible for this phenomenal exodus? The answer must be affirmative with regard to Egypt. The Egyptian and Sudanese governments want bright, intelligent young Syrians, well up in English, and with a sound moral training, and this class largely goes to Egypt. But the rank and file of the tens of thousands of emigrants know no language but Arabic and literally "go forth not knowing whither they are going." Not a few college men are in the United States, but I was surprised on examining the Syrian Protestant College catalogue for 1906 to find that only fifty-eight college graduates are now in the United States, and eighty-seven in Egypt, or a hundred and forty-five in all, out of one thousand three hundred and eighty-seven graduates in all departments.
It is perhaps true that a knowledge of English has increased the number of emigrants, but their number is small as compared with the whole, number of emigrants. Professor Lucius Miller of Princeton, who was for three years tutor in the Beirut College, spent a year in collecting statistics of the Syrian Colony in New, York for the New York Federation of Churches, and he found the Protestant Syrians comprise fewer illiterate, and more educated men and women in proportion to their whole number than those of any other Syrian sect in New York.
The figures are as follows:
Able to read and write Arabic
Protestant . .. . 6o.1.% Maronite…. 39.4%
Greek . . . . 44. % Catholic . . . 33.7%
Able to read and write English
Protestant . . . 60. 1 % Maronite . . . 19.1%
Greek ....25.8% Catholic . . . 13.1%
This ratio would hold good with regard to the Protestant sect in the whole Turkish Empire as compared with other sects. It is the best educated of all the sects owing chiefly to the American schools. The priest-ridden district of Maronite Northern Lebanon stands among the lowest. The Maronite higher clergy and the hordes of lazy worthless monks have gradually seized upon the best landed property and roll in wealth leaving the children and youth uneducated. Of late years a few, like the late Archbishop Dibbs of Beirut, have opened high schools, but the villages are left in ignorance. Emigration, however, is beginning to break up this monotone of ignorance and illiteracy. Many of the emigrants have returned with liberal ideas and will not submit to priestly tyranny and are demanding schools under American and English auspices. The next twenty-five years will see a great change in the power and influence of this proud and tyrannical hierarchy.
During this year, the Protestant missionaries in Constantinople drew up, signed, and forwarded to all the Protestant ambassadors an appeal protesting against the attempted suppression of Bible sale and colportage in the empire. The result was, after long delay, a new order forbidding interference with Bible work.
In the Hatti Humayoun of February, 1856, it is said that It each community inhabiting a distinct quarter shall have equal power to repair and improve its churches, hospitals, schools, and cemeteries. The Sublime Porte will "insure to each sect, whatever be the number of its adherents, entire freedom in the exercise of its religion." Yet there is constant obstruction of every effort to build churches or open schools.
The Presbyterian church in Plainfield (New Jersey), Dr. W. R. Richards, pastor, sent out this year as a gift to the mission a new Walter Scott printing machine, made, in Plainfield, and it arrived in May. On reaching the custom-house, the appraisers valued it at about double its real worth and I insisted that if they held their ground, they must "take their pay in kind." They then summoned several proprietors of presses in the city to aid in the appraisal and it was fixed at $800, on which we paid eight per cent. duty, or $64. We had also to pay moderate bucksheesh to boatmen, porters, inspectors, appraisers, clerks, scribes, copyists, overseers, doorkeepers, and watchmen for facilitating the egress of the machine. It was set up by means of a winch and tackle blocks by Mr. R. Somerville. This machine added greatly to the efficiency of our press, and is a memorial of the liberality of the Crescent Avenue Church.
We were at that time shipping books by mule and donkey to the Lebanon villages and the cities of Syria and Palestine; by post to Hamadan, Ispahan and Tabriz in Persia; by sea, to Constantinople, Mogador, Tangier, Algiers, Tunis, Egypt and Zanzibar. Egypt was and is still our best customer. We send also to Aden in Arabia, to Bombay and other parts of India, and to Bussorah and Bushire on the Persian Gulf, and also to Rio Janeiro, San Paolo (Brazil), and to New York, Chicago, Toledo, Philadelphia, Lawrence, Mass., and other Syrian colonies in America. In concluding my letter of acknowledgment to the Plainfield friends, I said, "The labour is ours, the results are God's. It is a privilege to preach the Gospel and to print and scatter God's Word throughout the world. May the Holy Spirit attend our teaching and preaching and our printing with His own mighty power from on high. The Lord raise up missionaries from your church in Plainfield and send them forth to the whitening harvest field! I can testify after thirty-six years of service in Syria that the missionary work is a blessed work indeed and can commend it to your young Christians as a happy and glorious work. It was instituted by the command and is crowned with the promised blessing of the Son of God."
In September, at the request of Dr. Arthur Pierson of the Missionary Review, I sent him an article on Educational Missions, of which the following is the substance:
We have given much of time and strength to mission schools but not to the detriment and neglect of other departments of the work. Schools have been looked upon as vital to missionary success, and yet only as a means to an end, not as the end itself. Schools were called "entering wedges" and such they really were, introducing the Gospel in many districts where otherwise, as far as could be seen, neither Bible nor missionary would have been allowed to enter.
Education is only a means to an end in Christian missions, and that end is to lead men to Christ and teach them to become Christian peoples and nations. When it goes beyond this and claims to be in itself an end; that mere intellectual and scientific eminence are objects worthy of the Christian missionary, that it is worth while for consecrated missionaries and missionary societies to aim to have the best astronomers, geologists, botanists, surgeons, and physicians in the realm for the sake of the scientific prestige and the world-wide reputation; then we do not hesitate to say that such a mission has stepped out of the Christian and missionary sphere into one purely secular, scientific, and worldly. Such a work might be done by a, Heidelberg or a Cambridge, a Harvard or a Sheffield, but not by a missionary society labouring for purely spiritual ends. The Syria Mission has had wide experience in the matter of education. The missionaries have had a larger proportion of literary and educational work thrown upon them than is common in Asiatic and African missions.
The Syrian people differ from the "Nature" tribes of Africa, and the settled communities of Central and Eastern Asia, in having been engaged for centuries in the conflict between the corrupt forms of Christianity, the religion of Islam, and the sects of semi-Paganism. There being no political parties in the empire, the inborn love of political dissent finds its vent in the religious sects. A man's religion is his politics, that is, his sect takes the place occupied in other countries by the political party. To separate any Syrian from his religious sect is to throw him out of his endeared political party with all its traditions and prejudices.
A Christian missionary must steer clear of all these racial and sectarian political jealousies and try to teach loyalty to the "powers that be," the common brotherhood of man, and offer to all a common Saviour. The Holy Spirit is indeed omnipotent, and can make men of these hostile sects one in Christ "by the word of His power," just as He can place a Tammany ward politician side by side with a negro Republican at the Lord's table.
But as human nature is, it generally requires early Christian training to break down these ancient sectarian antipathies. Men and women converted in adult years from various sects find it hard to forget their former differences and on slight occasions the old political lines define themselves with perilous vividness. It is different with youths of different sects when educated together, and the brightest examples of mutual love and confidence have been found among the young men and women trained for years together in Christian schools.
The present educational work of the Syria Mission has been a gradual growth. The 119 common schools were as a rule located in places where previously there were no schools. In not a few cases high schools have been opened in the same towns by native sects, who, as experience shows, would close their schools at once were the evangelical schools withdrawn.
The total of pupils in 1891 was 7,117. If we add to this at least an equal number in the schools of other Protestant missions in Syria and Palestine, we have a total of about 15,000 children under evangelical instruction in the land.
This is a work of large extent and influence, and it is of the first importance to know whether these schools are helping in the work of evangelization. To aid in a correct estimate on this point, we should remember that:
1. The Bible is a text-book in all of them. These thousands of children are taught the Old and New Testaments, "Line upon Line," "Life of St. Paul," the catechisms, and the advanced pupils the "Bible Hand Book," Scripture history and geography. The Bible tests at the foundation of them all.
2. As far as possible, none but Christian teachers, communicants in the churches, are employed in these schools. The common schools are thus Bible schools, and where the teachers are truly godly men, their prayers and example give a strong religious influence to their teaching, and in the high schools daily religious instruction is given in the most thorough manner.
3. Sometimes a school has been maintained for years in a village without any apparent spiritual result, either among the children or their parents, and yet there are numerous instances in which the school has been the means of the establishment of a church and a decided religious reformation.
4. The mission schools in Turkey have had one important effect and that is that the Protestant community has for its size less illiteracy than any other community in the empire, more readers than any other, and is in consequence more intelligent.
In the towns and cities where the high schools are situate, the majority of the additions to the churches come from the children and the youth trained in the schools.
6. It is the unanimous testimony of intelligent natives of all sects that the intellectual awakening of modern Syria is due, in the first instance, to the schools of the American missions. They were the first and have continued for over sixty years, and the most of the institutions now in existence in Syria, native and foreign, have grown out of them or have been directly occasioned by them.
7. If the question be raised, as to the comparative cost of educational and non-educational missions, it is doubtless true that the educational are the most costly.
The Syrian Protestant College is an endowed institution separate from the Board of Missions, and its expensive edifices, which are an honour to American Christianity and an ornament to the city, were erected without cost to the Board of Missions.
Since coming under the Presbyterian Board of Missions in 1870, the mission has introduced the English language in addition to the Arabic into its boys' and girls' boarding-schools, and many of its day-schools. The English and Scotch schools all teach the English language. In this way many thousands of Syrian youths have learned English, and the Romish and Greek schools are also teaching it in addition to French and Arabic.
The question now arises, "Cui bono?" Has twenty-five years' experience in teaching English justified the hopes and expectations of the American missionaries? We reply that it has, and that beyond all question. The limited scope of Arabic literature, though greatly extended during the past thirty years by the Christian Press, makes it impossible for one to attain a thorough education without the use of a foreign language.
One needs but to turn the pages of the catalogue of the Syrian Protestant College and of the Protestant girls' boarding-schools to see the names of men and women who are now the leaders in every good and elevating enterprise, authors, editors, physicians, preachers, teachers, and business men who owe their success and influence to their broad and thorough education. They are scattered throughout Syria, Palestine, Egypt, North Africa, and North and South America.
The advocates of a purely vernacular system sometimes point to another side of the question which is plain to every candid observer, namely, that the English-speaking youth of both sexes are leaving the country and emigrating to Egypt and America. This is true and to such an extent as to be phenomenal. The Christian youth of Syria, Protestant and Catholic, Greek and Armenian, are emigrating by thousands. The promised land is not now east and west of the Jordan, but cast and west of the Mississippi and the Rio de la Plata. And the same passion for emigration prevails in Asia Minor, Eastern Turkey, Mesopotamia. It is a striking if not a startling providential fact. The Christian element in Turkey is seeking a freer and fairer field for development. The ruling power is Moslem. Its motto has become "This is a Moslem land and Moslems must rule it."
The Chicago Fair fanned the emigration fever to a flame. It has taken hold of all classes, and farmers, planters, mechanics, merchants, doctors, teachers, preachers, young men and women, boys and girls, even old men and women, are setting out in crowds for the El Dorado of the West. A company of plain peasants will pay high wages for an English-speaking boy or girl to go with them as interpreter. There is thus a premium on the English language. The English occupation of Egypt and Cyprus has acted in the same direction by opening new avenues of employment.
On the other hand ignorance of English does not deter the people from emigrating. It is a deep-seated popular impulse, wide-spread and irresistible, and it is equally strong in Eastern Turkey where little has been done in teaching the English language. The land is too narrow for its people, at least under the present regime. The Moslems cannot get away, and few have gone. It cannot be claimed that the teaching of English alone has produced this great movement, for the masses of emigrants do not know a word of English. The reason is a desire to better their condition, "to buy and sell and get gain," and in some cases, a longing to live under a Christian government. Whether the Syrians, like the Chinese, will return to their own land, is a problem as yet unsolved.
The residence of Americans here for sixty years, the great numbers of American tourists who yearly pass through Syria and Palestine, the teaching of geography in the schools, the general spread of light, the news published in the Arabic journals, and the increase of population with no corresponding openings for earning a living, these and many other causes have now culminated in this emigration movement which is sending a Semitic wave across seas and continents. Let us hope and pray that those who do at length return to the East will return better and broader and more useful men and women than if they had never left their native land.
It must be that there is a divine plan and meaning in it all, and that the result will be great moral gain to Western Asia in the future. The suspension of the mission schools in Syria would be a disaster. These thousands of children would be left untaught, or at least deprived of Bible instruction We do not see cause for modifying our system of Christian education. Its great mission is yet to be performed. These schools in which the Bible is taught are doing a gradual, leavening work among thousands who, thus far, do not accept the Word of God.
There will yet be a new Phoenicia, a new Syria, better cultivated, better governed, with a wider diffusion of Christian truth, a nobler sphere for women, happier homes for the people, and that contentment which grows out of faith in God and man.
The schools will help on this consummation. The press will hasten it. The Christian pulpit will prepare the way for it. The churches and congregations now existing and yet to be formed will lay the foundations for it, and the distribution of the Bible will confirm it and make it enduring. We believe in Christian mission schools. With all the drawbacks in expense and toil, and at times the semi-secularization of the missionary labourer, they are a blessing to any land. They let in the light. They teach the Bible to the children. They conciliate the parents, remove prejudice, root up old superstition, brighten and cheer the hearts of the little ones and the houses of their parents and lead many to a true knowledge of salvation through faith in Christ.
They are a means to an end, and that end is the salvation of souls and the glory of God.
1893 - The chief events in the mission in 1893 were the resolution recommending the founding of an industrial orphanage in Sidon, the resignation of Miss Rebecca M. Brown from the Sidon Girls' Seminary, the baptism of another Mohammedan, Andraus, the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Doolittle for Sidon, the transfer of Mrs. Dale to Sidon for the year, and the arrival in Beirut of Dr. Mary Pierson Eddy from New York and Constantinople, having obtained, November 22, 1893, the first official permit granted to a woman to practice medicine in the Turkish Empire on the same terms as have been previously granted to men only. The learned professors in the Imperial Medical College were for a long time incredulous as to the competency of a woman to master medical science, but when they finally consented to give her a medical examination and she passed triumphantly, they were warm in their congratulations and gave her not only the legal diploma, but also letters of introduction to the different Turkish authorities in Syria.
She has attained a wide reputation and her hospital clinics at Maamiltein and her itinerant camps are crowded with patients.
Among the prominent visitors to Syria this year were exSecretary of State John W. Foster and wife, and Dr. F. E. Clark, founder of the Christian Endeavour Society. Both of these eminent men made addresses in Beirut full of Christian wisdom and earnestness.
In May I prepared two papers for the World's Congress of Religions and Missions in Chicago, one on "The Religious Mission of the English-speaking Nations," and the other on "Triumphs of the Gospel in the Ottoman Empire." As both of these papers were published in the volume of Reports, I need not allude to them in detail. I had no fear of ill effects from that congress.
Two tragic events occurred during the year. The first was the sinking of the splendid British battle-ship Victoria off Tripoli harbour, june 22d, by collision with the Camperdown, in which 375 officers and men lost their lives. The fleet had been five days off Beirut, and Admiral Sir George Tryon and his officers bad been entertained in a garden party on the grounds of Colonel Trotter, H. B. M. consul-general. The admiral was most affable. He spoke to Dr. Bliss and myself of Mr. Andrew Carnegie's recent plea for an alliance of the Anglo-Saxon nations. We remarked to him that on the recent visit of the French fleet the ships went to Tripoli, and in the evening as a cloud hung over Tripoli, the gleam of the search-lights could be seen herein Beirut forty miles distant. He said, "On Friday evening you will see the search-lights of our fleet at Tripoli." Alas, on Friday evening the admiral and his good ship and 375 men were at the bottom of the sea! The ships left Beirut Friday morning in two parallel lines far apart. They kept far out beyond the Tripoli islands and were to make a great curve around to the north and then turn inward and backward and deploy on another parallel line inside the double line of sailing. As they turned, the viceadmiral signalled, inquiring if they were not too near to make that curve. The answer of the admiral was, "Go ahead!" They went ahead and as they turned inward, the Caynperdown struck the Victoria back of the starboard bow, crushing in the solid armour and letting in the sea in a mighty stream. Rapid signals were interchanged, and there was for a moment danger that the other huge floating castles would collide, but they were managed with marvellous skill. The boats were lowered and hastened to rescue their comrades who had flung themselves into the sea. Then as the Victoria sank bows foremost, the engines still moving and the screw revolving in the air, there was a fearful explosion and hundreds of men were sucked down to the depths in eighty fathoms of water. Two hundred and sixty-three men were rescued and 375 were lost.
Dr. Ira Harris, missionary in Tripoli, was on the shore and saw the Victoria disappear. Dr. M---- a Syrian physician, a graduate of the Syrian Protestant College, saw the Victoria go down and remarked to Dr. Harris, "One of them has gone down -it is one of those submarines. Watch and we shall see it come up again." Soon after, the boats came ashore and officers telegraphed to the consul-general in Beirut of the awful disaster. As they sat on the shore, they recited the full details of the dreadful event and Dr. Harris took notes. No officer was allowed to write or telegraph to the British public the details. When the cablegram reached England of the bare fact, "Victoria sunk," and thence to New York, the New York World, finding that Dr. Harris was their only subscriber in Syria, cabled him to telegraph them full details. With all the facts now in his possession he obtained the use of the telegraph office and sent off a detailed account of hundreds of words as he had heard it from the officers on the wharf. That telegram was printed in New York, repeated to London, and published by the New York World in London before any reliable report had been given to the British public. The search for the bodies of the dead men was long and thorough, on the spot, and on the adjacent shores, but few were ever found. Six bodies were brought ashore and buried in a plot given by the Sultan, adjoining the American Mission cemetery. Fragments of furniture floated up on the coast of Akkar and were collected by the peasants. Owing to the great depth, no divers could be employed, and that colossal steel coffin lies on the bottom, never to be touched by man, safer than the famous porphyry sarcophagus of Ashmunazer, Phoenician King of Sidon, who inscribed a curse upon any one who should disturb his tomb, and yet that tomb is now in the Louvre in Paris. The reason of Admiral Tryon's failing to heed the warning signal will never be known. It was understood that he said to the officer who stood by him on the bridge, when he saw that the ships were colliding, "I only am to blame," and he went down, holding to the railing of the bridge.
A part of the fleet remained on the coast for some weeks. Ex-Admiral Sir George Wellesley, a nephew of the Duke of Wellington, was at this time visiting his daughter, Mrs. Colonel Trotter, and accepted the invitation of his old subaltern officer, Captain Benham of the Camperdown, to be his guest on this cruise along the Syrian coast. He was on the deck of the Camperdown when the collision occurred and saw the awful scene in all its heartrending details. He returned to Beirut on a dispatch boat the next day, but was so heart-broken that be could not speak. After four days I called upon him with my brother Samuel, and it was most pathetic to witness his manly grief over the loss of his friend Sir George Tryon and so many brave men.
Another event which deeply affected the Mohammedan, populace, and might have led to another massacre, was the burning of the famous Mosque of Amweh in Damascus, October 19th. A Jewish tinman had been soldering the leaden plates on the roof and left his hand furnace while he went to his noon meal. A high wind sprang up which fanned the fire to a flame, the lead melted, the boards and timbers beneath took fire, and owing to the great height and the want of fire engines, the whole roof was destroyed, as well as many treasures within the building. At first ill-disposed persons charged it on the Christians and a panic fell on the city. But the pasha published the facts and the excitement subsided. But the Arabic and Turkish journals were prohibited from alluding to it in any way, and months after, when subscriptions were made up by wealthy Moslems, the mosque was not mentioned, but the gifts were acknowledged " for the sake of religious objects This mosque was originally the "House of Rimmon," then the Cathedral Church of St. John the Baptist, then half of it was made into a mosque by Khalid, the "Sword of Mohammed" and finally the whole was seized by Welid, who himself destroyed the attar.
When the Sultan decided to order it rebuilt, the Waly of Damascus telegraphed the Sultan that "the city of Damascus will alone rebuild it." This produced great indignation, as the Damascenes wished it rebuilt in magnificent style with the aid of the Sultan himself. In December, Mohammed Said Pasha, manager of the Hajj pilgrim caravan, subscribed one thousand Turkish pounds, Yusef Pasha three hundred and fifty, and Beit Odham seven hundred and fifty. Contributions of poplar and walnut timbers were made by the villagers and brought into the city with music and shouts of joy. Plans were decided on, and quarrymen, stone carvers, carpenters, decorators, and gilders employed, and the work of construction was carried on for thirteen years. Presents of costly and beautiful rugs of great size were sent from all parts of the empire and Egypt. Today the work is about complete, and the tomb of John the Baptist in the midst is elegantly adorned.
The pilgrimage to Mecca this year was unprecedently large owing to the "Wakfat," or standing on Mount Arafat, coming on Friday. This is regarded as a most auspicious concurrence, and the throng was immense. Unfortunately the cholera broke out among them and there were a thousand deaths a day. A Beirut sailor, Hassan, who was there, told me that as the procession started from Mecca out to Jebel Arafat, the men kept dropping dead by the way and the bodies were left in the field, and on reaching the place of sacrifice, the great trenches, dug by the Turkish soldiers for burying the offal of the tens of thousands of slaughtered sheep, were filled with the bodies of dead pilgrims. Hassan said he felt no fear at the time but the sight was horrible. All good Moslems regard it as a special blessing to be able to die in the Holy City of Mecca or near it.
Just at this time Mohammed Webb was parading his newfledged Islamism in the Chicago World's Congress. He stated that "Woman under Islam is the mistress of the home." The Interior asked him, "Which one of her? As she is in the plural number, anywhere from two to twenty? Will Mr. Webb tell us which one of the twenty is mistress?"
I sent to Sir William Muir a second Arabic manuscript by the author of the "Bakurat," called "Minar ul Hoc," which Dr. Van Dyck pronounced superior in argument even to the "Bakurat." Sir William was greatly impressed by it, and after numerous letters had been interchanged by us, he obtained its publication in Arabic and also a clear translation of it into English, to which he wrote a preface, in which he says, "I am unhesitatingly of opinion that, taken as a whole, no apology of the Christian faith, carrying similar weight and urgency, has ever been addressed to the Mohammedan world, and I look upon it as the duty of the Church, should this opinion be concurred in, to take measures for the translation of 'Minar ul Hoc' into the vernacular of every land inhabited by those professing the Moslem faith, and to see that all missionaries in these lands have the means of becoming familiar with its contents."
In November, 1893, Rev. J. Phillips of Damascus was returning from Ireland to Syria, and had in his baggage a number of maps. They were nearly all confiscated. A large valuable map of Europe happened to have on the east end a strip of Asia with the word, "Armenia." For that ill-omened word the map was confiscated. A map of "Palestine under the kingdoms of Judah and Israel" was destroyed, as "the Sultan Abdul Hamid cannot acknowledge any kingdoms of Judah and Israel in his empire." Mr. Phillips remarked that this referred to a period many centuries before Christ. The triumphant reply was, "But this map was not made then. Judah and Israel did not know how to make maps." That is, all ancient maps showing the historic empire of the past are to be suppressed as dangerous to the integrity of the Ottoman Empire.
Really the Sultan ought to know what a set of ignorant blunderers are appointed censors over the literature of his realm. There are intelligent, educated young men enough to fill honourably this office, but they are not generally worth enough to buy official position.
The death of Rev. Dr. Arthur Mitchell, secretary of our Board of Missions, was to me a personal affliction. He was not only an accomplished scholar, of great literary ability and a powerful pen, but personally of winning and attractive sweetness of character. He had strong faith and a tender, sympathetic nature. I shall never forget his address at a public meeting in Beirut, describing his feelings as he sailed. up the great rivers of China at night. The steamer passed city after city of 20,000, 50,000, 100,000, and so on, and he asked how many missionaries were here and there? None none, none, was the awful reply-no light here ---- all heathen darkness! And he said that such a feeling of awe and horror and sorrow came over him in thinking of Christ's command and of His Church's neglect and the blackness of darkness resting like a pall on these millions, that he was quite overcome.
The most notable events in the history of the Syria Mission in 1894 were the deaths of two octogenarian members of the mission, Rev. William M. Thomson, D. D., aged eighty-nine, who died at the house of his daughter, Mrs. Walker, in Denver, Colorado, April 8th; and Mr. George C. Hurter, for twenty years (from 1841 to 1861) printer for the American Mission Press, who died in Hyde Park, Mass., December 29th, aged eighty years. Of Dr. Thomson's life-work, full account has been even in a previous chapter.
Mr. Hurter was born in Malta, May 10, 1813, his father being Swiss and his mother a native of England. He worked first in Corfu on a Greek and Latin lexicon. Then he lived in Leghorn and Marseilles and went to the United States in 1838, where, in Xenia, Ohio, he printed a newspaper for two years. In 1839 he married Miss Elizabeth Grozier of Roxbury, and in 1841 was appointed by the A. B. C. F. M. to the mission press in Syria. Returning to America in 1861 for family reasons, he laboured at his trade and did business with Beirut, being the first to introduce petroleum oil and lamps into Syria. He was a man of simple, childlike faith, a lover of prayer, and a student of God's Word. His pressmen in Beirut loved him. His life was pure and blameless. His pastor, Rev. Mr. Davis, of Hyde Park, said at his funeral, "He was for twenty years my parishioner, and I loved and admired him exceedingly. I think he came the nearest to being a perfect man of any that I have, ever known." He celebrated his golden wedding in 1889 and survived his wife by one year.
On being presented with an encyclopedia a year before his death, he was asked what part of it he would enjoy the most, and his characteristic reply was, "Finding the typographical mistakes."
Would that all lay missionaries had his patience, gentleness, fidelity, perseverence, and brotherly kindness. His prayers were most touching and edifying. Men like Dr. Eli Smith and Dr. rliomson, and some of us lesser lights as well, always enjoyed a prayer-meeting led by Mr. Hurter.
This year the theological class was again opened in Mount Lebanon, this time at Suk el Gharb, May 16th, as a summer school. The instructors were Dr. W. W. Eddy, Dr. Samuel Jessup, Mr. Hardin, and Mr. B. Barudi. This plan continued with intervals until 1905, when it was resumed in the newly' purchased Misk house adjoining the church in Beirut.
In February of this year, another professed convert from Islam to Christianity came to Beirut. His name is Ibmbim Effendi from Bagdad - a man about thirty-five years of age, of scholarly bearing, refined and courteous. He said he was the brother of the wife of Abbas Effendi, the new Babi religious head, who last year succeeded Beha Allah in Acre. Threatened three years ago in Bagdad because he would not become a Babi, he fled to Deir on the Euphrates and practiced pharmacy, and from there came to Beirut. He was looking for a place where he could work for Moslems without restriction from the government. I wrote to Mr. Zwemer at Bahrain about him, and on reaching Alexandria, April 28th, I found him there an attendant on the religious services of Rev. Dr. Ewing.
I left Syria on furlough with Mrs. Jessup and my daughters, Anna and Amy, April 25th, for needed rest, or rather for a change of work in the intense life of America. We arrived in New York May 28th, and by December 31st I had delivered seventy-four addresses and sermons and had travelled many hundreds of miles, from Boston to St. Paul, Minn.
As in previous visits to America, the most refreshing and comforting feature of that year was revisiting my childhood's home, meeting brothers and sisters and their children, walking with brother William, the judge, over the old farm, seeing the stock, gathering blackberries and raspberries in the "clearings." Fishing in the old trout brooks, and in Jones Lake, Heart Lake, and Silver Lake, entering the old church and seeing the new generation of rosy, bright children in the Sunday-school, meeting the elders and deacons, a very few of whom I knew way back in 1855 and of whom I had read in the village paper all these years; attending the County Agricultural Fair, and addressing the farmers in the grove; meeting on the street men and women whose face and names had long been familiar; and breathing the clear, fresh air of that beautiful village, my native place, Montrose, with its broad streets, shaded by maple trees and its village green and lawns, with its wide view over the forest clad hills of Susquehanna County; the very thought of these, as I write among the oaks: and olive trees and vine-clad terraces of Mount Lebanon, brings joy and comfort to my heart of hearts.
During the latter months of 1894 and the early part of 1895, I found myself beset with letters, interviews, and questions for lectures and addresses on the Armenian question, which at that time was exciting the whole civilized world. I found it necessary to be "wise as a serpent" that I might be "harmless as a dove." Having lived thirty-eight years (at that time) in the Turkish Empire, and expecting to return, it would not have been I wise of me, as one of a body of some two hundred and fifty American missionaries, to tell all I knew or express all I felt with regard to those infamous massacres. I had no patience with Armenian revolutionists, who, at a safe distance, were stirring up their coreligionists in the interior of a Moslem Empire to revolt. It was on the face of it a hopeless and cruel policy. Were the Armenians all concentrated in one province, with one language and religion, they might reasonably have appealed to Europe - I give them equal privileges with Bulgaria, under the suzerainty of the Sultan. But they are scattered over an immense territory, intermingled with an overwhelming majority of Moslems, so that a general uprising was only a signal for punishment by the government. But on the other hand, nothing can justify any government on earth in punishing a handful of revolutionists by a wholesale massacre of men, women, and children. No civilized government could do it, or would do it. The real rebels could have been arrested and punished with ease, without annihilating the whole population.
I found it difficult therefore to speak on the subject and was careful to avoid the ubiquitous newspaper interviewers. Alas for the unwary, who fall into their snares, especially if the one visiting you be a cultivated lady. What can you do? If you turn your back and refuse to speak, they will invent an interview and saddle upon you utterances which when in print make your hair stand on end.
One interviewer made me say that there were three millions of Moslem converts to Christianity in Syria. Others have fathered upon me statements which must have led the public to regard me as recently escaped from a lunatic asylum. Much as we writhe under the inane censorship of the press in Syria, I felt when in America, on reading the curious and inexplicable blunders made in reports of my own language, that a moderate censorship of the unbridled statements of the reporters would not be an unmixed evil.
When in Chicago, October 22, 1894, Dr. Hillis kindly invited me to attend the ministers' meeting in Association Hall. They begged me to speak on the Armenian question. I consented on condition that no report of my remarks be published without being first submitted to we for correction. Mr. Ford, of the Chicago News, was the reporter, and agreed to write out the remarks verbatim and bring them to me. He met me at the "Big Four" railroad station the next morning as I was leaving with Mrs. Jessup for Indianapolis and handed me the report. It was admirably done, and after making a few corrections in proper names and figures, I returned it to him. Some of the Armenians in New York afterwards called on me and objected to my allusions to the "Revolutionary Committee" which was working from Russian soil to inflame the minds of the Armenian peasantry in Turkey. I replied that the wisest thing the Armenians in America could do was to dissuade those misguided Armenians in Russia from occasioning disaster and ruin to the poor Armenians in Turkey.
The working force in Syria was weakened this year by the departure of Miss M. C. Holmes, on account of the feeble health of her mother, and of Miss Mary T. M. Ford, another faithful labourer. Both of them are now (1909) on the field again, though doing work independent of our mission-excellent work which needs no praise from me. Miss Holmes has a school in Jebail half-way between Beirut and Tripoli, a town never before occupied by a missionary, and Miss Ford is doing brave pioneer work among the neglected tribes of Upper Galilee and the Hauran.
Among the returning missionaries after absence in America were Dr. George A. Ford and his mother, Miss E. Thomson and Prof. A. Day, Miss C. H. Brown and Mrs. Dr. George E. Post.
In the fall, I stopped one day on 12th Street near Broadway, where men were blasting for a foundation and had thrown out beautiful glistening slabs of mica slate. Having made friends with a good-natured labourer, I made several trips to the mission house on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 12th Street, carrying fine specimens of this rock which I packed in a box and shipped to the museum of the Syrian Protestant College in Beirut. My father used to say in my youthful days that I had the "stone fever." I have it still.
September 19th I preached in Binghamton the ordination sermon of our nephew, Rev. Wm. J. Leverett, under appointment as missionary to Hainan, China.
During the fall I was searching the country over to find a Christian layman to become secular agent for the Syria Mission. For years, since 1861, the management of the press, the financial, custom-house, post-office, and shipping business had been done by us ordained missionaries, and the mission decided that it was high time to call in some deacon to "serve tables" and let us devote ourselves to the "ministry of the Word." Before the end of the year, we had found Mr. E. G. Freyer, who had been for nine years in the United States Navy on the China station and now desired to enter upon Christian business work in some foreign mission. When in Washington, December 6th, I received from Lieutenant Ranney of the United States Navy a warm testimonial to the character and ability of Mr. Freyer, and he was appointed lay missionary, sailing in the winter for Beirut.
1895 - The six months of my stay in America from January to July were filled with intense activity. When not prostrated with grippe, I was travelling incessantly. I was authorized by the Board to raise $8,000 for the Sidon Industrial School, and secured it all; lectured before the Quill Club in New York on the World's Peace; before Union College; at the Evangelical Alliance, New York; at First Church, New York, for a collection for home missions; prepared a memorial to President Cleveland asking that the Hon. Oscar Straus be sent as a special commissioner to Constantinople to negotiate a naturalization treaty; before the alumni of Union Seminary at the St. Denis' on the crisis in Turkey; and before the students and faculty of Union Seminary. In New York I received a call from Mr. Reugh, a zealous young student of Union Seminary who was impatient to go to East Africa as a pioneer missionary before completing his course. He knew nothing of the climate or the country, did not know to what port he should sail. He said he had no support but should go on faith. I warned him by the experience of several persons I had known and begged him if he should go to go first to Cairo and study the Arabic language and take advice of Drs. Watson and Harvey as to his field. But he did not need nor heed advice. I told him of the seven young men and the seven young women who went as a "Band" to Japan without money or hardly a change of clothing, and found themselves soon in a starving condition and had to be taken care of by the missionaries and residents. They had been misled by some ignorant enthusiast and came to grief. But Mr. Reugh would not be advised. He went to East Africa and died May 23, 1896.
I also spoke at Elmira College; several times at the Inter Seminary Missionary Alliance at Colgate University, New York, when we were literally snowed under and one delegation was snowbound in Delaware county and prevented from coming to the meeting; at Pittsburg in the church of Dr. Holmes; at Wooster University. At Lakewood I met the beloved Mrs. Dr. De Forest who had taught the first girls' boarding-school in Syria from 1843 to 185 3. At Washington, by invitation of Mr. Everett Hayden, I lectured on the Turkish Empire before the American Geographical Society in Columbian University. I attended Lackawanna Presbytery; then addressed a women's meeting in the Missionary House, Boston; called on the beloved Dr. N. G. Clark, retired from active service by ill health; visited the Arabic library of Harvard University with my friend and correspondent, Mr. John Orne; met on the train the venerable Dr. I A. C. Thompson of Roxbury who was at our farewell meeting December 11, 1855, and found him to be en route to lecture on missions before the Hartford Theological Seminary; then gave the annual address before the students and alumni of Auburn Theological Seminary, and renewed my acquaintance, alas, for the last time, with that gifted Christian scholar and gentleman, Dr. Henry M. Booth ; then to the church of Dr. Frank Hodge at Wilkesbarre; to the General Assembly at Pittsburg with Mrs. Jessup and my brother William. We were the guests of one of the Lord's noblemen, Dr. Cyrus W. King of Allegheny. By invitation of Dr. Holland, we visited the university and met Mr. Brashear, the noted maker of astronomical instruments. He showed us in his workshop a row of glass lenses of all sizes from three inches in diameter to one foot, and told us that the molecular structure of the glass is so peculiar that sometimes a vibration in the air or in the building will cause a lens to explode and fly into a thousand fragments. He constructed the spectroscope and the visual and photographic object glasses attached to the twelve Inch refracting telescope in the Syrian Protestant College in Beirut. One day I went as a member of the delegation to salute the United Presbyterian Assembly in East Liberty. General Beaver was chairman, and the committee were my classmate Wm. W. Cleveland' brother of President Cleveland, Dr. Howard Agnew Johnston, judge Hibbard, and Mr. Landon. We were astonished at the splendour of that beautiful edifice, the gift of one of the Pittsburg magnates. Thinking of the past of the old Scotch Covenanters, I told the audience that I almost anticipated finding them huddled in a cave through fear of persecution, but when I looked, up at that marvellous roof, the superb organ, and the matchless hues of the stained glass windows, it seemed as if Iliad suddenly been ushered into heaven! General Beaver asked the moderator about a dozen questions from the Shorter Catechism, answering them himself and saying after each one "Mr. Moderator, do you believe that?" He answered, "Yes." And that? and that ? Why then we believe alike, we are one in faith, why not be one in fact?
On Sunday I preached to the Syrians in the Italian quarter in Pittsburg.
In June I attended the International Missionary Conference of Foreign Missionaries at Clifton, a meeting of spiritual uplifting and fraternal communion. Ever blessed be the memory of Dr Foster and his wife who founded this conference and whose free hospitality makes it possible from year to year. After hasty visits to the old Montrose home, to the hospitable home of the venerable Wm. A. Booth, and to the charming mansion of Mrs. Elbert B. Monroe at Tarrytown, we sailed. Mrs. Jessup, my daughters, Anna and Amy, my niece, Fanny M. Jessup, and I, once more for our Syrian home, on July 20th, reaching Beirut August 12th, twenty-three days from New York.
In the opening of this year Dr. and Mrs. Harris and children returned from America to Syria. Mr. E. G. Freyer arrived February 11th, and soon took up the work of manager of the press and treasurer of the mission, and on December 3d was married in Cairo to Miss S. A. French, formerly a teacher for the Methodist Board in Japan.
Miss Everett was obliged to resign from the work in Beirut Seminary and left for America June 25th.
We arrived August 17th, and in four days I resumed instruction in the theological seminary in Suk el Gharb, thus relieving my brother who had been teaching during my absence. In October his daughter Fanny went to Tripoli to assist Miss La Grange in the girls' seminary.
On Saturday, October 12th, Mr. John R. Mott and Mrs. Mott with Mrs. Livingston Taylor reached Beirut. As the college term had just begun, Mr. Mott was asked to address the students, which he did morning and evening, speaking on "Bible study for personal growth." I took copious notes, then translated both addresses into Arabic, and published them in our weekly Neshrah journal.
On Monday, October 14th, we rose early to take the seven o'clock train as they were going to Damascus and I to Aleih. It was a bright, clear morning. The whole eastern horizon over the range of Lebanon was cloudless in a glow with the rising sun. To the west and southwest the sea horizon was a clear-cut line of blue. But on the northwest was a mountainous pyramid of cumulous clouds, the blackness of darkness at the base, but on the top tinged with purple and gold. A deep calm rested on the sea. I called the attention of Dr. Bliss, at whose house I had been staying, to this extraordinary isolated cloud which loomed like an island of amethyst. At its base it grew blacker and blacker, and as we drove the mile to the railroad station, it seemed to be moving towards Beirut. As the train began the slow ascent over the cogged railway up the mountain, we could see the scouts of the moving column approaching Beirut, and farther up at Jumhur, we saw the lofty summit of Lebanon covered with scurrying masses of black cloud through which the lightning flashed, while deep thunders rolled through the mountain gorges and reverberated from the cliffs. We bad hardly reached my door in Aleih when the cloud burst upon us. Lebanon was flooded, and the mountain torrents swollen. Five inches of rain fell in Beirut within two hours. There is no proper sewerage and the water rolled in rivers through the streets. The filth from cesspools which is usually cleared out in August and spread over the ground among the houses, polluting the air, was now washed into the streets and spread over the highways, when suddenly the cloud monster passed and disappeared, leaving the streets coated over with this fever-breeding slime. And to make the peril complete, from that time for two weeks the sky was as brass and the heat intense. All this filth was dried and pulverized, and driving hot north winds blew the fine dust in clouds into the houses, over the meat, vegetables, and bread in the markets and into the throats of the people. Within a month there were between seven hundred and a thousand cases of typhoid fever and it was estimated that at least three hundred of the children and youth of the city died. Some estimated it still higher. Various theories were put forth to explain it. One was that the discharges from typhoid patients in a Lebanon village above the aqueduct had been washed down by the cloudburst and thus infected the city water, but in that case the whole city would have suffered, whereas, the most numerous and worst cases were along the line of the streets and highways which received the wash of the surface drainage. Others ascribed it to the fact that the vegetables raised in the truck gardens were washed by the gardeners in pools of foul water, and thus the lettuce, radishes, add cabbages carried the infection among the population.
It was a grievous affliction and the city was in sorrow and distress. Early in November the blow began to fall on our mission. Our. Nestor, the veteran of fifty-five years, Dr. Cornelius V. A. Van Dyck, whose strength was already depleted by previous illness, was attacked by the dread typhoid, and on November 13th breathed his last. The whole city felt his death as a personal bereavement, and his funeral was attended by men of all sects and nationalities. By his special request, no address was made at his funeral. A simple service was conducted in Arabic and English. But under instructions from my missionary brethren, I delivered on Sunday, the 17th, a memorial discourse in English and on Wednesday, the 20th, the same discourse in Arabic, with the text, John 12 :24, "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone, but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." This sermon was afterwards by request repeated in Arabic in Tripoli, Sidon, Zahleh, Suk el Gharb and Abeih, and in all these places men of all sects, Oriental Christians, Moslems and Druses were among the hearers. Dr. Van Dyck was seventy-seven years of age. We have already sketched his life and work on a previous page. A gloom seemed settling over Beirut.
Rumours of the Armenian massacres multiplied. On the 25th, letters from Constantinople told Of 20,000 massacred in the region of Bitlis, Sivas, and Erzeroom, etc. A war broke out between the Druses and Bedawin Arabs at Mejdel Shems and other towns south of Mount Hermon and the two Protestant churches of Mejdel Shems and Ain Kuryeh were plundered and destroyed, When in Tripoli, I met my old friend, Sheikh Ali Rashid, who expressed great sorrow at the death of Dr. Van Dyck. He said that he had recently preached in the Great Mosque on the text from the Fatiha, "Rabbi-ul-Ahlameen," "Lord of the Worlds" -in which he taught that Allah is not the God of the Moslem world only, but also of the Christian world, and that all men are brothers. I could well believe this, as his aged father, Sheikh Rashid, during the Crimean War in 1855, when the Moslem rabble were threatening to kill the Greek Christians of Tripoli for sympathizing with Russia, went through the streets and quelled the mob, sending them to their homes.
Then came news of cholera in Damascus, and, without previous notice, a cordon was put on against passengers by the railroad. Mrs. Dr. George E. Post and Dr. Mary P. Eddy who had taken the train from Aleih to Beirut found themselves at sunset ordered to the quarantine outside of Beirut, where they were told they must spend the night in an empty room whose floor was covered with filth, without a morsel of food. However, Dr. Post, hearing of the situation, sent down beds from the city and everything needed to make the place comfortable for the night. The dirt had to be shovelled out. And this was for first-class passengers on the railroad. Fortunately the quarantine did not last more than twenty-four hours.
On December 5th the United States ship, San Francisco, Admiral Selfridge, reached Beirut. He had come out to look after American interests while the massacres were going on. The Moslem rabble in Mersina, Alexandretta, Latakia, Tripoli, and Beirut, and other seaports, hold such a ship in high respect, and such an admiral speaks plain English to Turkish officials and local sheikhs along the coast.
But another blow was to fall, to fill up the measure of our grief. The theological class had closed in Lebanon and we had all moved down to Beirut, when, on December 11th, "Aunt Annie" my brother Samuel's wife, was stricken down with apoplexy. He lived in the lower story and I in the upper of the same house. Samuel returned from the press before sunset, and went to his study as usual. Soon after he looked for his wife and found her lying unconscious on the floor of her room. We were called, doctors were summoned, but all in vain. Consciousness never returned, and as Dr. William Van Dyck stood with us by the bedside, she passed away. The only son was in America and the only daughter, Fanny (now Mrs. Rev. James R. Swain), was forty miles away up the coast in Tripoli. The next morning through the aid of a beloved niece, then a visitor, and a namesake of "Aunt Annie" the little coasting steamer, Prince George, was chartered, and Dr. W. G. Schauffler and my daughter Mary volunteered to go and bring the absent one. Consul Gibson and Dr. Van Dyck went down to the wharf at 6 P. m. to meet them and the rest of the friends sat waiting. But we sat four long hours that dark night waiting in suspense, not knowing what might have befallen that frail, unsteady craft on the troubled sea, but at ten o'clock they all arrived in safety. The funeral the next day was largely attended by a loving and sympathetic community. The exercises were conducted by Drs. Bliss, Post, Ford, and Porter, and Messrs. March and Hardin. On the Sunday following, Dr. Post, who was the seminary classmate of my brother, his fellow chaplain in the army of the Potomac, 1861-1863, and his colleague in Tripoli for three years, delivered a most touching and beautiful discourse on her life and character. She was known by the whole Anglo-American community as "Aunt Annie." Full of hospitality, with a lovely face, cheerful and winning in her manner, her home attracted old and young.
One week later, a little boy, Edgar Rosedale, the son of a transient resident physician, died after a remarkable religious experience. He was twelve years old, but during the last two days of his life, his language was thrilling. He said to me as I was about to offer prayer, "I am going to meet Christ. When you pray tell Jesus I am coming, so He can tell the angels and they can recognize me. I will give your love to all your friends when I get there. I see Jesus." He bade good-bye to all his friends, a notorious scoffer being near came in and would not leave his bedside, saying, "Now I know that Christ is a real Saviour."
A young student of the college was ill with typhoid fever. His professors urged the family who lived in a crowded tenement house to remove him to the hospital. They declined. I went often to see him. He lay on a pallet in the middle of the floor and the room was crowded with a noisy company of men, women, and children, talking and walking about, while the poor lad tossed in a delirium. The people made their remarks about the patient, and literally gave him no rest. I expostulated with the mother and tried to drive out the crowd, telling them that they would kill the young man, but to no avail, and in a few hours he died. The people have an unaccountable dread of a hospital' although the service of the trained German deaconesses, who are nurses in the German hospital in Beirut, is better than any possible service in a Syrian house. Several members of our family have been nursed through typhoid in that beautiful hospital' and we lose no opportunity to commend it to the people.
On the 26th of December I baptized a young Mohammedan convert from near Acre. He gave good evidence of being an intelligent and sincere Christian. His Christian name was Naanet Ullah Abdul Messiah.
The statement so often made that there are no converts from Islam is easily refuted. The facts cannot be published at the time, lest the ignorant and fanatical populace, incited by their sheikhs, take the lives of the converts. I have baptized no less than thirty males and females. Some are unmolested, but the majority had to flee from the country. The whole number of converts of whom I have knowledge is between forty and fifty.
1896 - This year opened in gloom. New massacres of Armenians in Oorfa and Eastern Turkey, a desperate rebellion of the Druses in Hauran, who killed hundreds of Turkish regulars, the excitement of the Moslem populace on being obliged to send their brothers, husbands, and sons as reserves to the war, and the continuance of the typhoid epidemic in Beirut, filling the city with mourning; all these combined to depress the public mind. Ships of war from England, France, and the United States restored confidence to the seaport provinces, but the apathy of the Christian powers with regard to the murder of 50,000 men, women, and children in the interior was inexplicable. But it was asserted by British residents in the East that a British fleet was ordered to the Dardanelles, and to force an entrance to the Bosphorus as a protest against the massacres, but just at that moment President Cleveland's raising of a critical question with England with regard to Venezuela occasioned the instant withdrawal of the fleet, and thus the opportunity was lost. On January 4, 1896, I received a cable from a daughter of our dear friend Mr. William A. Booth, announcing his death, January 2d, aged ninety-one. The departure of this patriarch of the missionary Board and supporter and friend of every good cause was a loss to the whole Church. His breadth of view and grasp of all details and bearings of important questions and his imperturbable serenity and sweetness of disposition made him a man to be sought for as counsellor and friend. His sons and daughters have followed his example. The whole Church mourned his departure. With Hon. Wm. E. Dodge, his fellow elder in the old 14th Street Church, he was one of the original trustees of the Syrian Protestant College, and having visited Syria, he was wise in counsel and fertile in resources for the good of this institution.
During the summer, brother Samuel Jessup and his daughter were afflicted with whooping-cough, and soon after I took it from them. As both Samuel and I had had it in childhood, we concluded that we had it every sixty years. It was quite severe and played such havoc with my voice that in November the physicians enjoined upon me absolute silence and a change of air. This led to my going to Helouan, thirteen miles southeast of Cairo. Here a dry, clear, cloudless atmosphere, cool, bracing desert air at night, and opportunity for walks and donkey rides to the adjacent hills and mountains, with quiet, cool rooms at Heltgel's Hotel, wrought wonders in the way of restoration, and after a month I was able to return to my work in Beirut. On my return I brought about five hundred pounds of geological specimens of fossil wood and shells from the "drift" at Helouan and from the Mukottam mountains east of Cairo. The customhouse inspectors in Beirut were full of amazement at my bringing so many stones. They said, "Are there no stones in Syria?" I might have reminded them that the old Phoenician emperors, and the Greeks and Romans, brought granite and porphyry columns to Syria from Assowan in Upper Egypt.
At the annual meeting of the mission on February 4th, my brother Samuel was stationed in Sidon, whither he removed in October and Mr. Doolittle removed from Sidon to Deir el Komr, the old capital of Lebanon.
Miss Mary Lyons, who was born in Beirut in 1855 and taught for a season in Sidon Seminary, died in Montrose, Pa., the home of her father, June 12th.
March 2d Messrs. John Wanamaker, John W. Parsons, and W. W. Crapo arrived on the Furst Bismarck. Mr. Wanamaker gave a stirring talk to the college students and gave a substantial contribution towards a new professorship.
Mrs. H. A. De Forest died in Lakewood April 3, 1896. It was hard to understand why the blessed work of Dr. and Mrs. De Forest was so prematurely interrupted in 1854, when their mastery of the Arabic language, their intellectual culture and unusual gifts and graces of personal character had fitted them to mould a whole generation of Syrian youth.
The Russian consul in Beirut, the Prince Gargarin, who is superintendent of the Russian Schools in Syria, ordered our Arabic Scriptures to be put in all the Russian Schools. They purchased in one year some 7,000 copies, and thus thousands of children of the Orthodox Greek sect will be taught to read the Word of God. After the siege of Zeitoon in Asia Minor by Turkish troops, when the hardy Armenian mountaineers defeated the Turkish regulars in battle after battle, a surrender was arranged through the interposition and guarantees of the British consul in Aleppo. But owing to want of food, exposure, and cold, a pestilence broke out among the people, attended by famine. The Red Cross Society telegraped to Beirut for doctors and medicines, and April 4th, Dr. Ira Harris of Tripoli left for Zeitoon accompanied by two faithful doctors, Dr. Faris Sahyun and Dr. Amin Maloof, graduates of the Beirut Medical College. After encountering great difficulties from the local governors along the road who feared that this deputation might in some way "aid or abet" the Armenian revolt, they reached Zeitoon and found famine, fever, and dysentery raging and at once opened a soup kitchen and fed the half-starved people, treated them for disease, cleaned the town of filth unspeakable and finally the plague was stayed.
In April, the United States minister in Constantinople left on a visit to America., He was a man of much energy, and in language more forcible than Scriptural had threatened the Porte, in case any American should be killed in the massacres, with dire consequences. Orden actually went out from the Porte that all American missionaries be ordered to leave the empire at once.
Nothing was known of this among the foreigners in Constantinople until Saturday P. m., March 28th, when Sir Philip Currie, British ambassador, received a telegram from the British consul in Moosh that the Waly there informed him that he had received such an irade and had ordered the American missionaries in Bitlis and Van to leave in forty-eight hours. Sir Philip drove at once to the house of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and demanded an explanation. The minister denied that such an order had been issued, but the next morning, Sunday, when Mr. Block was sent by Sir Philip to demand an explanation, he admitted it but that it was not his work. Sir Philip then sent word to Mr. Riddle, United States Charge d'affaires, in the absence of judge Turrell, and they went together to the grand vizier and the Minister of Foreign Affairs. They both admitted it had been sent. Sir Philip then in the joint name of England and the United States, demanded that the order be revoked within twenty-four hours and that a copy of its revocation be given them.
The Turkish official retraction of the imperial irade or order for the expulsion of the American missionaries I copy from the Beirut Arabic journal, Lisan el Hal.
REPROVAL OF AMBIGUITY
April 11, 1896
The imperial government issued orders to the Walys of Anatolio (Asia Minor) to expel from the kingdoms preserved of God all foreigners who had bad a hand in disturbing the public tranquility. The Waly of Bitlis supposed that these orders referred to the American missionaries living in his district. This has obliged the imperial government to remove the ambiguity. It has therefore issued other orders enjoining the protection of the aforesaid rnissionaries, and that they continue to carry on their work as usual, and that they enjoy what they have enjoyed and still continue to enjoy, of rest, security and liberty, in their religious works.
This was done, and thus the intrigues of the Russian agents who instigated the Turk to this action were thwarted. Hopkinson Smith's theory of American responsibility for the massacres was about as logical as that the Bible was to blame for the massacre of St. Bartholemew, or the Spanish Inquisition, or that the English Magna Charta was responsible for the horrors of the French Revolution.
It was an important element in the case that owing to the fact that the American missionaries were acting as disbursing agents of British charity to the Armenian widows and orphans, Sir Philip Currie regarded them as so far under British protection, and thus Mr. Riddle could act jointly with him in all representations at the Porte. Had judge Turrell been at his post, he might, with his Texan independence, have declined to join with Sir Philip in the forcible protest to the Sultan, and thus the representation failed of its immediate object. As it was, the dual intrigue of the Cossack and Tartar was thwarted by the joint action of the Anglo-Saxon representatives.
Hopkinson Smith stated to the American journals that judge Turrell told him that "the missionaries are to blame for the massacres and that they have fomented rebellion, sedition," etc. judge Turrell utterly denied this statement of the American artist.
Mr. Smith seemed incapable of appreciating the great work done in Turkey by his countrymen in founding schools, colleges, seminaries, printing-presses, and hospitals during the previous seventy years.
On May 2d I went aboard the French steamer to see Rev. Geo. Knapp, an American missionary from Bitlis, who informed me that he was forcibly arrested and expelled from the city, leaving his mother, wife, and two children behind him. False charges were made against him and he only consented to come away, as a massacre was threatened if he did not. At Diarbekir they refused to let him send a telegram to his minister in Constantinople and he was expelled in midwinter. They offered to release him in Aleppo if he would sign a pledge not to return to Bitlis. Of course he refused. They endorsed his passport "expelled from Turkey." At Alexandretta they refused to give him up to the American vice-consul, Mr. Walker. Mr. Walker telegraphed to Consul Gibson in Beirut who at once telegraphed Captain Jewell of the United States ship Marblehead to go to Alexandretta. The Turks heard of this telegram and on Friday released Mr. Knapp, who went at once to Mr. Walker's. The Marblehead arrived Sunday, April 26th, and Captain Jewell sent his boat and took Mr. Knapp to the French steamship bound for Constantinople via Beirut. He went to Constantinople to demand a fair trial there. The British consul in Bitlis declared the charges against him to be utterly unfounded.
Senator Sherman in the Independent of April 3oth, replying to Prof. A. D. F. Hamlin, makes the announcement that "if our citizens go to a far distant country, semi-civilized and bitterly opposed to them, we cannot follow them there and protect them," etc.
This is an astonishing statement. Can it be that Mr. Sherman never heard of Daniel Webster's letter to the United States minister in Constantinople in 1841 that "an American citizen will be protected as an American citizen always and everywhere no matter what his business or occupation." Fortunately, Senator Sherman did not voice the policy of our government. It would be well if our public men, especially the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, could take a journey around the world and see something more of the world than their own states and districts, and perhaps enjoy the privilege of being kicked out of the "semi-civilized" lands by men who have no fear that America will protect her sons. He seems to think that a "declaration of war" is the only way of protecting our citizens. But surely England' France, Germany, and Italy protect their citizens without declaring war, because they know how to speak in plain language.
Should Mr. Sherman's views be adopted by the American government, it would be wise for our citizens in the interior of Turkey, Persia, and China to put themselves under the protection of the British consuls who would protect them against all comers.
The 18th of April was a memorable day for the suffering people of Syria. The executive committee of the "Lebanon Hospital for the Insane" was organized in Beirut.
In May, the scarlet fever appeared in Beirut for the first time and many children fell victims to it. It was thought to have been brought in the baggage of emigrants returning from America, as it also appeared among them in Zahleh.
In June the Presbytery of Mount Lebanon and Beirut was organized in Zahleh, and has continued an efficient working body until the present time.
In October Miss Bernice Hunting arrived from America as colleague with Miss La Grange in the Tripoli Girls' School.
September 20th, to the great regret of the entire American community and all the Europeans and natives who knew him, our excellent consul, Thomas R. Gibson, of Georgia, died of smallpox in the hospital of the Knights of St. John in Beirut.
Mrs. Gerald F. Dale, having written from America resigning her connection with the mission, the members in attendance at the semi-annual meeting in June embodied in a minute their deep regret at this sundering of our official connections and commending her to the care and guidance of the Great Head of the Church. She has endeared herself to not only her fellow labourers, but to the women and girls in many towns and villages in Syria. She is now (1908) superintendent of the Maria DeWitt Jesup hospitals for women and children and trainingschool for nurses in the-Syrian Protestant College in Beirut.
In July a now rebellion broke out in Hauran and the Druses surprised and massacred two battalions of Turkish troops and tore up the railroad tracks and the telegraph wires. Twenty-five hundred troops were brought on from Macedonia to quell the insurrection. Only last winter the Druses were defeated, crushed, and nominally brought into subjection. The Lebanon Druses claim that the reason of the present outbreak is the outrages committed by the Turkish troops on their women and girls.
The Turkish government with great military sagacity have now (1906) opened three railway lines of approach to the Druse strongholds, the two roads from Damascus to Mezeirib from the north, and the Haifa railroad from the west, so that a future Druse rebellion in Hauran is well-nigh impossible.
During this year the Zahleh manse was erected but not completed. Mr. Hoskins sailed for America in September, having ably superintended the work of construction. But the funds were exhausted and the building was roofless, and in peril from the coming winter rains and snows. I went over September 18th and with my son William contracted with Omar, the head carpenter, to put on the tiles at once, raising the necessary funds from private sources.
It has been the policy of the mission not to erect residences for missionaries where suitable dry native houses can be leased. But years of leaky roofs and vermin-infested ceilings and walls in Zahleh and the large amount expended annually in rents, convinced the mission and the Board that Zahleh was an exception to the rule. Hence through the liberality of intelligent friends in New York, Pittsburg, and other places, the funds were provided, and the members of the station have a dry, clean, comfortable house.
1897 - In January I was at Helouan, the desert city southeast of Cairo, trying to recover my voice lost by whooping-cough.
In February, the mission having again changed its mind as to the desirability of conducting theological education in Beirut, voted to sell the fine edifice known as the "Theological Building" on the college grounds to the college trustees' the same being changed to "Morris K. Jesup Hall" in honour of the donor of the purchase money. The fund received was retained by the Board for use in case of future need for theological education.
Our, Argus-eyed friends, the censors, suppressed our Arabic geography, which the government had officially approved in several editions, as the word "Armenia" was used to describe that province in Eastern Turkey which has been known by that name since the days of the kings of Israel; and Arabia was spoken of as an independent province.
They also struck out of the book, "The Right Road," the verse quoted from Titus 1 :5, "For this cause left I thee in Crete that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting and ordain elders in every city." The censor argued, "Crete is tinder the Sultan, and who dares assert that anything can be wanting, in his imperial domains?" So they struck out the disloyal passage, although every verse in the Bible has the official sanction of His Imperial Majesty's government!
Alas, protest is useless. Were His Majesty cognizant of the lack of brains in his press censors, he would probably order them to be put on a diet of fish and phosphorous. When a jealous general complained sanctimoniously to President Lincoln that General Grant, the captor of Vicksburg, drank whiskey, the President replied, "Is that so? If you can tell me what brand of whiskey General Grant uses, I will order a supply for all the generals, as he seems to he the only one who does things." It would be well if educated men could be put in charge of the department of public instruction. We have had censors in Syria who knew neither geography nor history, and who pronounced on books whose language they did not understand.
In March we were favoured with another visit from my dear friend, the venerable Canon H. B. Tristram, who was travelling with Miss Kennaway, daughter of Sir John Kennaway of the Church Missionary Society. We drove together to the Dog River and examined again the locality of bone breccia which he discovered thirty-three years before, and from which I had quarried a camel load for him and his English scientific friends. He viewed with interest the great progress made in all the Protestant missionary institutions, and spoke as a scientific botanist with the highest appreciation of the great work of Dr. Geo. E. Post on the "Flora of Syria and Palestine."
We. were grieved to learn afterwards from Jerusalem that he was kicked by a horse at Bethany and had his leg broken.
The friendship of such men as Canon Tristram and Sir William Muir I greatly prize. They both were fine specimens of the learned class in England, who are at the same time earnest Protestant evangelical Christians, in warm sympathy with Christian missions as well as with the progress of learning. Canon Tristram had no sympathy with those mimics of popery in the Church of England, who repudiate the name Protestant, nor had he any sympathy with the attempts to fraternize with the ikon worshipping and Mariolatrous Oriental Church.
During the month of April I was visiting the well-known Mohammed Effendi B--- of Beirut during Ramadan and the conversation turned to the subject of fasting. He remarked that some of the Christian ecclesiastics who compel their people to fast in Lent are not very scrupulous themselves about fasting. He said that he was once invited during Lent to dine with a company of officials at the house of a Christian bishop. The bishop was fasting and had special dishes prepared for him and his priests. The rest of the food consisted of meat and chicken and the usual courses. He sat next the bishop around the Oriental table and each one was helping himself with his hands from the dish before him. In the midst of the meal the light went out, and they were left in darkness. While the servant went for another lamp they continued eating, and as he extended his hand to help himself to chicken, he grasped the hand of the bishop in the platter of chicken! There was mutual laughter and the matter passed as a capital joke, One can imagine the effect produced upon the mind of this intelligent Moslem by the insincerity of his ecclesiastical friend. When he told it to me, he added, "We have Moslems who cat in Ramadan on the sly." This is notorious. The back room of a well-known druggist in Beirut is frequented in Ramadan by young Moslems who lunch there unseen by the public. Not a few Turkish officials lunch openly during Ramadan at the hotels and restaurants.
The summer of 1897 was a season of sorrow and anxiety throughout mission circles in Syria.
On the 6th of June Rev. Archibald Stuart, of the Irish Presbyterian Church in Damascus, died of typhoid fever. His friend, Dr. McKinnon, brought him in from Nebk to the Victoria Hospital in Damascus, but he sank rapidly and passed away. He was probably the most promising young missionary in Western Asia, of great intellectual and spiritual gifts, a preacher of power and unction and beloved by the people. He gave a series of sermons to the college students in Beirut in February, and won the hearts of all. On the same day, Miss James, recently directress of the British Syrian Schools, died in England, greatly lamented. Her influence while in Syria was profoundly spiritual and uplifting.
The week previous, Rev. David Metheny, M. D., the veteran missionary of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Mersina, the port of Tarsus, died of heart failure. He was a man of great medical and surgical skill, a good Arabic preacher, of extra-ordinary energy, tender hearted and self-denying, generous and sympathetic with the poor. He was on the point of sailing for America with his family, when heart disease, which had kept him long in expectation of sudden death, culminated in instant release from pain and suffering. I loved the good brother. We differed on the subject of hymn singing, but he was a great lover of good music. In 1886 we sang together the old Negro melodies and he accompanied on the violin, as Mrs. Jessup and I sang the words. We taught him "Old Black Joe," whose pathetic weirdness seemed to touch a tender spot in his refined nature. But at family prayers nothing but the psalms could be used. And we did not discuss the hymn question. I used to tell him that we have one advantage. "You can only sing psalms. We also sing psalms, and hymns besides." He would sing hymns as musical practice in off hours, but never in public or private worship. His successors are good and true men and I long for the day when we can all meet in religious conferences and sit together at the table of our common Lord.
After his removal from Latakia to Mersina, he purchased land on the seashore near the port and proceeded to erect a mission house. The Waly at Adana ordered him to stop, after the house was nearing completion. He did not stop. The Waly then sent word that he would come down on the railroad with troops and force him to stop and tear down the building. Before the train arrived, a telegram reached the doctor, "The United States ship Marblehead will be in Mersina to-morrow."
Just then the train came in, and the troops began their march with the Waly at their head. The doctor gave-the telegram to his teacher and said, "Take this to the Waly wherever he is, on the street, and ask him to appoint a suitable officer to escort the American admiral to-morrow to the American premises!" The Waly read the telegram, gave new orders, and the troops wheeled and after marching around the city, brought up at the railroad station headed for Adana. The doctor was not molested after that episode.
The Zahleh station was severely smitten. My son William was ill with typhoid fever for forty days and during his illness, when too weak to know what was transpiring, his infant son
Henry, died of cholera infantum. I was there at the time, at midnight left Zahleh in a carriage with an aunt of the dear child and drove to Beirut, bearing the little casket for burial ill the old mission cemetery. That midnight drive over the heights of Lebanon, with that little dead grandchild, was one of those solemn scents which can never be effaced from human memory.
The father was not informed of his death for two weeks, when fever had ceased and his strength began to return. The Lord gave him strength to bear it patiently but it was a bitter trial.
While William was at the most critical stage of the fever, a fire broke out in the flue of the kitchen fireplace. The walls were of sun-dried brick and the chimney was simply a hole between the outer and inner walls made of clay and cut straw or tibn. The tibn had ignited and when the cook discovered the fire at 3 P. m. the entire chimney up to the roof was a glowing coal of fire. A terrific wind was blowing at the time and the only available water was a few jars in the house brought from the river a quarter of a mile distant. I went up a ladder to the roof and gave the alarm to the neighbours. Owing to the gale we could hardly stand on the roof and as jar after jar of water was brought by the kind neighbours, we poured it down the chimney. For a full hour we fought the fire and finally thought we had subdued it. The tiled roof which adjoined the chimney was made of timber dry as tinder and extended over the court and over the room of the sick one. Had the cook not discovered the fire just as he did, the flame which had already licked the ends of the beams of the tiled roof would have swept over the whole house and blocked all exit from the sick-room. Before sunset the watchman whom we had left on the roof shouted that the fire had broken out afresh and we had another half hour's struggle, using all the water in the vicinity until at length the whole wall was water soaked and the house was saved. It was one of those providential deliverances which fill the heart with gratitude and praise to Him who careth for us. I cannot think of that hour of peril without a shudder.
Later in the season, his daughter Elizabeth was prostrated with typhoid and December 18th, Mrs. William Jessup, the mother, perceiving symptoms of the same malady, took the train for Beirut and entered the St. John's Hospital, where, under the care of Dr. Graham and the German deaconesses as nurses, she came through safely. Meantime, a lovely English girl, Miss Kitty Dray, teaching-in the British Syrian School in Zahleh, died of the same fell disease and was brought to Beirut for burial.
Our hearts were gladdened by the arrival of my son Frederick, who, after graduating at Princeton, had come to serve a three years' course as tutor in the Syrian Protestant College in Beirut.
At this time came a staggering blow from the West. The Board of Missions, in view of financial stress, cut off at one stroke fifteen thousand dollars from the annual appropriation to the mission. That is, more than one-fourth of the allowance for the foreign and native labourers, the seminaries, schools, itineracy, publication, and hospital work. The bitter pill was sugar coated with fraternal assurances of great regret and sympathy with us in our distress. The mission was called together and the surgeon knife of vivisection had to do its work. About forty village schools were closed, about one-half of which were kindly taken up by the British Syrian Mission.
Many teachers, trained and experienced, were discharged others resigned and entered the employment of other societies with our full approbation. Who could blame a man with a wife and nine children for resigning when his salary was reduced from thirty to twenty dollars a month?
Every department took its share of the "cut." The native churches and congregations were urged to assume more of their expenses. The missionaries gave of their scanty means to relieve the pressure. Owing to the extraordinary rise in the cost of living, hardly a missionary in Syria can live on his salary, and but for private resources would have to resign and go home.
We have had frequent "cuts," as they are called, but this was the most unkindest cut of all, not because of any conceivable unkindness on the part of the Board or the Church at home, but from its placing us in the position of discriminating in our own favour, when applying the excision to others. It would be a happy day for missions if they could be carried on without money; and the most trying feature of the work is making the foreign missionary an employer and the native labourers employees. In a great press like that in Beirut, we have nearly fifty male and female employees, but the press manager, fortunately now a layman, pays all the wages. When Dr. Van Dyck, myself, Dr. Samuel Jessup, and Dr. Eddy, in turn and for years had the management of the press, and at the same time were preaching to the people and doing pastoral work among them, our souls were vexed beyond measure with begging letters and begging visits, asking for employment or for increase in wages, or complaining of each other, and, in case of disappointment, threatening to leave the church and accusing us of partiality or severity.
Alas, that although we have transferred this odious business relation in the press to the broad shoulders of Mr. Freyer, whose nine years in the United States Navy enable him to carry on the business like clockwork, and whose "Savings Bank" system has won the admiration and secured the loyalty of all his employees, we still have to act as school superintendents and paymasters to a small army of helpers and teachers allover the land. Happy the missions, like Korea and Uganda, where the people support their own mission churches and schools, and glad will be the day when Syria follows in their train.
This mission began years ago by giving everything gratis and hiring men to teach and preach. Many "false brethren" were thus foisted upon the mission "unawares" who afterwards denied the faith and went back worse than before." And when in the period between 1860 and 1870 the question of paying for education and church support was raised, the missionaries were openly charged with robbing the natives of money intended for them.
The news of the severe retrenchment of our work was accompanied by a letter suggesting a contribution from every missionary of the Board towards paying the debt of the Board. The letter implied that some have already given to the extent of their ability to relieve the work in the field from the cut. This was true of us all. Yet we were willing to do and did even more.
I received from England a contribution which touched me much. Miss Mary P. Bailey, one of the secretaries of the British Syrian Mission, wrote me as follows:
British Syrian Mission, Wimbledon, England, July 7, 1897.
DEAR DR. JESSUP:
I was very much touched yesterday, by receiving from an officer's servant a gift of two shillings six pence for the American Missions in Syria. So I forward it at once to you in English stamps.
The man's address I enclose. The gift is small but it comes from a man of prayer, and I believe God will use it as a lever to raise a large sum of money to supply your need. He has used small, weak things before. He still uses them. This man (although only an officer's groom gives six pence every month for the British Syrian Mission. Writing to him the other day, I told him of the sad sorrow you were in and asked him to pray that your helpful, beautiful work might not be reduced for want of funds.
We cannot spare one of your stations in Syria. May the Lord increase you more and more.
A little boy was once present in a church in London, when one of out missionary societies was in terrible need, and the cause was being earnestly pleaded. When this child got home, he said to his mother,
"Mother, did you hear what the minister asked for, so very much money? I am only a little boy, but I would like to give him my silver mug for the missionaries: may I?" The mother said, "I am not quite sure, my boy, if your father will like you to do that, but we will ask him." The father gladly agreed and the mug was sent to Mr. Bickersteth and sold. He told the story of the child's love to his congregation next I Sunday, and in the two following Sundays the whole of the necessary money was raised. "A little child shall lead them." That child is now a missionary in India.
May this be so with you, and may your hearts be gladdened by your treasury being filled, and your work extended. I well remember our prayer-meetings in Beirut in your drawing-room and long to join you again one day. Till then, and while my Lord keeps me working at home, Believe me.
Yours in the hope of His speedy coming,
MARY P. BAILEY.
Deputation Secretary British Syrian Mission
The gifts of the poor, transfigured by prayer, and winged with love, will surely stir up the more favoured members of our churches to give liberally and upbraid not.
There will be a good deal of heart searching and new dedication of all to Christ awakened by this movement of a universal offering of the seven hundred missionaries of the Board! There will be much giving out of straits and distress, but none the less it will be a joyous offering.
For many years, the smaller missions in Syria, Palestine, and Egypt, and the irrepressible "independent" one-man and one-woman missions, having few native agents, and having no better principles about self-support than we had fifty years ago, would offer higher salaries than we with our 120 native agents could possibly pay, and hence our best trained young men and women, naturally desirous of improving their condition, would suddenly resign and leave us in the lurch. "Served you right," our Korean missionary brethren would say to us. "You set the pace and now they're only following your example." "'Tis true 'tis pity, and pity 'tis 'tis true."
But the experience of this year, 1897, has helped to forward the cause of self-support and now, in 1909, owing to the increasing self-respect of the Syrian brethren, and the fact that many who have emigrated to America, Brazil, and Australia are either returning with ample means or sending money to pay for the education of their kindred, the native contributions show a constant and hopeful increase.
In response to a request of the Board, I prepared an article for the Church at Home and Abroad on "From whence does the Church derive its Missionary Inspiration?" and argued that it is not from our church standards which have only remote allusions to the subject, nor from spasmodic appeals in public meetings. The then recent Lambeth Conference admitted that "the Thirty-nine Articles do not allude to the Church's duty to the heathen world." That conference of 194 bishops in its encyclical letter declared that "The cause of missions is the cause of our Lord Jesus Christ. For some centuries, it may be said, we have slumbered. The Book of Common Prayer contains very few prayers for missionary work." Why did not these good men add some new missionary prayers to their prayer-book? And why does not the Presbyterian Church inject a missionary spirit into its Confession of Faith?
The only conclusion is that we must depend for our "inspiration" upon the Word of God, the commands of Christ, and the example of the apostles. [Since this was written, the Presbyterian Confession has been 11 revised," and a better showing given to the work of missions.]
Two epidemics scourged Beirut in the fall, in addition to the typhoid, malignant black smallpox and rabies among the dogs, Scores died of the smallpox and patients walked the streets and rode unmolested by the police in the public carriages. It is not safe for any foreigner, tourist or scholar, to come to this land without revaccination, for smallpox lurks everywhere and numerous tourists have taken it while here or soon after leaving.
A young German was taken ill in Beirut with smallpox and removed to the pest-house of St. John's Hospital where he was attended by Dr. Graham and the deaconesses. Delirium set in and his whole body was black with the virulent disease. One day Dr. Graham entered the room and found the patient a raving maniac, having stripped off all his clothing. He sprang like a tiger upon Dr. Graham, caught him by the throat and hurled him to the floor. Then followed a terrific struggle, and the doctor succeeded at length in throwing him off, and calling for help. He was smeared with blood but made out to bind the poor sufferer, who soon expired. The doctor's account of that loathsome wrestling match almost curdles one's blood. He did not contract the disease, however, and his example must have had a wholesome influence upon his medical pupils who were cognizant of the facts.
The epidemic of rabies among the street dogs, for the first time in my knowledge, alarmed the Moslems. They dread to kill a dog. Dogs are the scavengers, living in colonies in the streets and making night hideous with their howling. But several Moslems were bitten by a rabid dog and were hurried to the Pasteur Institute in Constantinople. Other dogs had been bitten. Something must be done. The example of the English in Alexandria, who had annihilated the whole dog population, was resorted to. The edict went forth and in one week 1,300 dogs were poisoned or shot, and were buried a mile distant in the sands. For once, Beirut was quiet at night. The Moslems felt lonely. Two years after, they sent to Sidon and Tripoli and imported two slooploads of "curs of low degree" and repopulated the deserted streets, and now the dogs own the city once more, and are increasing with fearful rapidity.
A Moslem convert, Naamet Ullah, who was converted in 1895, came to Beirut in the spring. He was arrested, thrown into the army and wrote me a letter from the military barracks. He was taken with his regiment to Hauran where he deserted' reappeared in Beirut, thence to Tripoli, where he took ship to Egypt and disappeared from view.
Three Maronite priests and one Coptic monk called at different times and offered to become Protestants on condition that their expenses be paid to America. They were treated kindly but we informed them that we were not an emigration agency, and tried to convince them of the sin of such a hypocritical profession. It is to be taken for granted that the most hopeless, spiritually, of all the Orientals are the priests and monks. Their consciences seem seared as if with a hot iron.
In November I mailed to America the manuscript of the life of Kamil to which allusion has already been made. I cannot but regret that the dear young man requested me to return to him the original of all his A rabic journals and the correspondence with his father. Providentially I had translated them all into English, and it would be possible to retranslate them into the original Arabic, but the aroma of his beautiful style could not be reproduced.
A those manuscripts fell into the hands of the Turkish soldiers in Bussorah and whether they were kept or destroyed cannot be ascertained.
In August Naoom Pasha, Governor of Lebanon, was reappointed for five years. He was a good governor. A deputation of five members of our mission called upon him and congratulated him on his reappointment. He was most courteous and showed us through all the apartments of the B'teddin palace.
In October I received a letter from Chicago inquiring about Mr. Ibrahim Khairullah, the Syrian, who was attempting to propagate Babism in the United States. I sent to Mr. Stowella "Life of Mr. Ibrahim Khairullah," written by his relative and intimate friend in Beirut. I give here a copy of my letter, but the "Memoir" is not of sufficient value to be reproduced. His temporary success in the occult art business is only another instance of the gullibility of human nature. Three years later I visited Abbas Effendi in Haifa and an account of the interview was published in the Outlook of June 22, 1901. A recent book by M. H. Phelps of New York, 1904, gives a very fair account of this Persian bubble, showing that it is nothing new in religious history but a revamp of ancient Pantheistic theories. Mr. Phelps' summary of Abbas Effendi's teaching as "Love to God and Man" shows it to be as old as Christ and Moses. It is the essence of New Testament ethics, and there are millions of Christians to-day living according to this standard as far as they can by the aid of divine grace. Abbas Effendi is almost a Christian. But his latitudinarian views that all men, pagans, idolaters, and all are accepted of God, would seem to make any attempt to propagate Babism a work of supererogation.
The letter to Mr. Stowell is as follows:
I received yours of September 24th in due time, and last week sent your letter to a reliable person in Beirut who is a relative of the man you mention. It is evident that the man has been at his wit's end to know how to make a living and is now trying a new religion. The enclosed brief chronicle you can rely upon as being correct.
"The book you speak of as 'Bab el Din,' Revelation from the East, is either that mongrel mass of stuff written by the Greek priest, Christofory Jebara, for the World's Parliament of Religions, in which the author would bring about a union between Christianity and Islam by our all becoming Moslems; or some new rehash of Professor Browne of Cambridge, England, on the 'Episode of the Bab,' the Persian delusion whose head man, Beha-ullah in Acre claimed to be an incarnation of God and on his death a few years ago his son, Abbas Effendi, succeeded him and is running the 'incarnation' fraud for all that it is worth, and that is worth a good deal, as pilgrims constantly come from the Babite sect in Persia and bring their offerings of money with great liberality.
"Such men as Jebara and the Babites of Persia turn up now and then in the East, 'go up like a rocket and down like the stick.' The priest Jebara made no converts as far as I can learn, unless Mr. Khairullah be one. The fact is there was nothing to be converted to. You can't love or pray to a mere negation.
"The Babite movement in Persia started out as an attempt at a reform of Islam and ended by the leader claiming to be divine and invulnerable in battle, but when he died, another was found ready to succeed to his pretensions.
"They teach a strange mixture of truth and error, of extreme liberality and unscrupulous persecution of those obnoxious to them. I had a friend a few years ago, a learned Mohammedan of Bagdad, who was feeling his way to Christianity. His father, a wealthy man. died when he was young, and his uncle, a Babite, determined to train up the lad as a Babite. But the boy as he grew up refused to accept Babism. The uncle then robbed him of his property and drove him out of Bagdad. A few years ago he came here, professed Christianity, and was baptized in Alexandria, Egypt. While here, he went down to Acre to visit one of the Babites whom he had formerly known. After remaining there a few days he found out that his uncle had written to Acre about him and one night he received word that his life was in danger if he stayed through the night and he escaped to Beirut in great terror.
"Some months ago, an elderly Persian Babite called at our press in Beirut, and some time after brought a beautiful gilt motto on a large wall card which he gave us. He said he prayed to that motto for twelve years, and now, after reading the Bible, he has decided to give up such folly. (On the card was written in Arabic 'O glory of the most glorious,' the mystic prayer of the Babites.)
"The Greek Jebara wants the Moslem lion and the Christian lamb to lie down together, only the lamb must be inside the lion.
"The Babites want all to become lambs, even if they have to use force to make them so. Their blasphemous claim aim that the Acre sheikh is God is quite enough to condemn them.
"I earnestly pray that Mr. Khairullah may be led by God's Spirit back to the pure faith of his youth when he covenanted to take the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour.
"It is easy to be specious and plausible but secret religious sects are dangerous and secret propagandism which you say is his method, is a confession of weakness. Truth loves the light and if the 'Bab el Din' is afraid of the light and of open discussion, it should be avoided by every God-fearing man and woman.
"We have two secret religions in Syria, that of the Druses and the Nusairiyeh, both bound to secrecy by awful oaths and imprecations. Our divine Lord in the third chapter of John says, 'Men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil.' 'But he that doeth truth cometh to the light that his deeds may be manifest that they are wrought in God.'
"If a Druse or Nusairy leaves his sect, his life is regarded as forfeited. American Christians believe that Christ is the Light of the World. The Lord deliver them from the delirious blasphemies of the Asiastics who claim to be God Himself!"
In reply to a letter from Dr. Paul Carus, I wrote the following: "I owe you an apology for so long delaying in acknowledging the receipt of the 'edition de luxe' of the secretary's report on the Religious Parliament Extension. You request an expression 'of your views of the outlook of the religious life as it appears to you both in your own sphere and the world at large.'
"The Parliament had little influence on the public mind in Western Asia. No Mohammedan from this part of the globe attended it, and the Greek archimandrite who read a paper, represented no-one but himself in advocating a union of Christianity and Islam by surrendering the cardinal doctrines of the former.
"The Mohammedans would not go and had they gone they would have been prohibited from publishing any report on their return.
"Liberty of the press on religious questions is unknown in this empire, and any journal which should criticize Islam or The Koran would be summarily suppressed.
"The events of the past two years, whatsoever their cause, have brought out into bold relief the worst features of an exclusive and uncompromising religious system.
"Murders, robberies, rapes, spoliation, the abduction of women and girls, and enforced apostasy from Christianity have been sanctioned not only by the officials of the dominant faith, but by a responsive awakening of popular fanaticism.
"Thoughtful men who are restless under the suppression of free thought are compelled to be silent and cry to God for relief. There is no such thing as public opinion. The press simply echoes the views of the local censor, and the censor, the views of the central authority.
"With regard to the Maronite, Orthodox Greek, and Papal Greek sects of Syria, there is little to hope for from the higher ecclesiastics. One prominent patriarch purchased his chair by bribes, amounting, it is publicly asserted, to ten thousand pounds. A notable exception to the simony intrigue and avarice of the higher ecclesiastics is the Orthodox Greek Bishop of Hums (the ancient Emesa), who has placed the Bible in all his schools where twelve hundred children are taught and is labouring efficiently to enlighten and elevate his people.
"The influence of Protestant education and literature on the rank and file of the people is palpable on every side. The rising generation of all sects is better informed, more liberal and tolerant, than the past. Schools which have been founded to keep out the light have let it in. Public sentiment with regard to the honour and dignity of woman has undergone a wonderful change. The veil continues and the hareem seclusion continues, but the veiled and secluded have begun to think for themselves. Mohammedan young men will no longer consent to marry girls they have never seen, but now in Beirut, visit them and drive out with them on the public highways with the mothers as chaperones.
"A visit to the homes of educated Christian young women in Syria is an impressive object-lesson as to the value of a Christian education for girls. Their houses are well ordered, tidy, cheerful, and happy. The more attractive features of Oriental hospitality have a new charm in these enlightened Christian families. The general religious outlook in the empire is hopeful, not past withstanding the dreadful Armenian massacres of the two years. The healing touch of the divine hand and the awakening tones of the divine voice have brought life and thoughtfulness and spiritual quickening' whereas before the massacres all was apathy and death. God's judgments, instead of hardening, have softened men's hearts. In Anatolia the schools are crowded with pupils and the churches cannot contain the thronging worshippers. Old enemies have become friends of the Gospel. The very means used for the extermination of gospel light have ended in its wider dissemination. The Gregorian Armenian hierarchy have become the friends of the Protestant missionaries. As the massacres of 1860 in Syria broke up the fallow ground and prepared the way for the new sowing of the gospel seed, so the events of 1895-1896 are proving to have turned out for the furtherance of the Gospel.
"Taking a wider view of religious thought in the Eastern world, the truth is not lost and will not lose by the 'brotherly exchange of thought' that is now more and more pervading the world. Insincere and designing men may deceive all of their countrymen some of the time, and some of them all of the time; but they cannot cheat all men always.
"Truth is patient, God is patient. It can afford to be condescending though misunderstood, and generous though it be called weak, but it is never impatient for the harvest before the seed has had time to grow.
"Western Asia, India, China and Japan may be misled for a time by those who assure them in obscure and misty phrase that the citadel of Christian truth is fallen forever; but when the mists have cleared away, the shining battlements will 'look forth, bright as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.'
"In diplomacy, nothing baffles cunning like the frankness of simple truth, and in the sphere of religion, nothing defeats the sophistries of Asiatic heathenism and the assumption of Islam like the plain preaching of salvation through Christ and Him crucified."
The missionary statistics for the year 1897 were as follows:
The whole number of children in Protestant schools in Syria and Palestine is about 17,000, of whom at least 8,000 are girls.
Enrolled Protestants as a civil sect, 7,000.
American Press, Beirut
Number of publications on press catalogue 601
Publications issued in 1896 and 1997 . . . 782,000
Pages printed from the first . . . . . . 578,000,000
Syrian Protestant College, Beirut
1896-1897, whole number of students . . . . . . 309
Graduates to date, collegiate . . . . . . . . . 164
Graduates to date, medical……… 163
Graduates to date, pharmaceutical . . . . . . . 53
Number of professors and instructors……………..25
Protestant orphanages in Syria and Palestine. ………5
Protestant hospitals and dispensaries in Syria and Palestine, 36
Hospitals in Beirut
Protestant, St. John's.
Roman Catholic, St. Joseph's.
Orthodox Greek, St. George's.
Turkish military hospital.
Arabic Journals in Beirut
Orthodox Greek . . . . .…..2
Turkish official . . . .…….1
A New York gentleman wrote asking me to give him an account of all the missionary work and "societies of a political character " at work in Turkey. I replied, giving an account of the various missions but stated that, "I know of no political societies but the order Of Jesuits. All the Americans in Turkey, an empire of absolute despotism, keep entirely aloof from political questions. In our published books and periodicals we cannot mention politics. The censorship of the press is more severe than in Russia. Our object is to introduce light, to educate the young to care for the sick and suffering, publish good and useful books, and let the government alone."
In September, my daughter, Ethel Hyde Jessup, was married in Aleih, Mount Lebanon, to Franklin T. Moore, M.D., of the Syrian Protestant College. In October Miss Ellen Law was obliged to leave for America on account of her health and my daughter Anna took her place for a year and a half.
Rev. Messrs. Hoskins and Hardin returned from America, the former in October and the latter in December.
1898 - March 13th we had a visit from President Angell, United States Minister to Constantinople.
That visit was a benediction to us all, nationally, intellectually, and spiritually. He arrived with Mrs. Angell on Sunday morning, March 13th, on the steamship Aller, which had been lying at Jaffa, as its excursion tourists had gone up to Jerusalem. A protracted gale of wind had prevented the usual steamer from communication with Jaffa and consequently the volume of detained travellers who had returned from Jerusalem to Jaffa was very great, and all the hotels were crowded. Dr. Angell, Mr. Isidor Straus of New York, and about twenty others tried to catch English and Egyptian steamers which came to Jaffa to take them to Beirut' but in vain. At length the captain of the Alter having extra time on his hands, agreed to bring the party to Beirut for $1,000. They arrived on Sunday morning. I preached at the college in Arabic that morning at nine o'clock and just as the last bell was ringing for the service, and Dr. Bliss and I were entering the chapel door, the carriage drove by with Dr. and Mrs. Angell, and the kavass of the United States consul on the box. We bade them welcome.
I recalled the time when, at Dr. Angell's invitation, I addressed the students at Ann Arbor University. He was in excellent health and spirits. We found that Dr. and Mrs. Angell and their party were booked for Baalbec and Damascus the next morning, Monday, and must return and sail for Constantinople on Saturday.
At 3: 30 P. M. after seeing other parts of the work he came to the Arabic Sunday-school, accompanied by the United States consul and his kavasses, and made a brief address to the 250 children urging them to the study of God's word and to trust in Christ as their Saviour. It was delightful to hear his testimony to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
On Sunday evening Dr. Angell made an address to the college students on "Intellectual, Moral, and Spiritual Culture" which was a most impressive and beautiful address and will never be forgotten by those who heard it. I took careful notes and on Monday translated it all into Arabic. On Friday it was published in our weekly Neshrah and I had half a dozen copies struck off in gilt letters which I presented to him on Friday evening, when Mrs. Bliss gave a reception to all the American community for Dr. and Mrs. Angell.
On Saturday morning before leaving on the French steamer for Constantinople, he visited the press and went through all its departments and I then went down with him to the wharf. His visit was brief but he manifested the deepest interest in all departments of the work.
We said little to him about the United States claims against Turkey for indemnity for losses during the massacres. His hands are tied by the diversion of our government's attention to Spain and Cuba. England can carry on half a dozen wars in different parts of the world and grapple with the knottiest diplomatic questions all at one and the same time. Our government, with its frequent changes of administration and diplomatic officials, seems to be able to deal with only one question at a time. Dr. Angell evidently accepted this post at great sacrifice, in order to do what others had failed to do, and now finds himself unsupported. (Mr. McKinley evidently needs a Secretary of State able to deal with foreign questions with promptness and vigour.)
President Angell was succeeded by the Hon. Oscar Straus of New York whose great ability, loyal devotion to his country's honour, and conscientious attention to business gave him the confidence of his countrymen and great influence with the Sultan and his ministers.
Our consul, Colonel Doyle, was now removed and in his place President McKinley appointed Mr. G. Bie Ravendal who has proved himself an efficient business man and a loyal American in full sympathy with the work done by his fellow citizens in Syria. This consulate, having become in 1906 a consulate-general, will now have greater influence and do better work for American commercial interests in the East.
In April, Mr. A, Forder, an independent missionary, attempted to penetrate Arabia from the north by the way of Bashan and Moab. He secured seven hundred Arabic New Testaments from our press and had them bound in special red morocco binding, with broad flaps, in imitation of the Arab binding in Cairo and Damascus. The box was sent to Damascus and he set out from Jerusalem with his cameleers, intending to pick up the box in or near Damascus, so as not to give the Turks an idea that be was a military spy or correspondent, but unhappily he fell from his camel near Nablus and broke his leg. In May he was still detained there with his Danish companion until it was too late to undertake the trip that year. On a previous trip he was robbed so often that one wonders what he had left to live on in a region where, for two days, he found neither food nor water. No one could question his courage and pluck and some day Christian men may get into Central Arabia. But the new Mecca railroad, and the jealousy of all European influence in that great peninsula, will make it difficult for any one hereafter to enter Arabia from the north or west. The vulnerable sides are the east and south, and for the reason that where the spirit of British rule prevails there is liberty. And yet, there was once a foreign young woman of comely appearance, who seriously proposed making a trip to Arabia by that robber-infested route where every man claims the ancestral right to rob every stranger he meets, taking with her only a woman attendant and a cameleer. It was with great difficulty that we dissuaded her. Had she tried to do it, we should have felt called upon to ask the interposition of the consul. It is a pity that deep piety and personal loveliness should sometimes be linked to an utter want of common sense. Faith sometimes becomes spasmodic with high nervous exaltation. It then becomes unreasoning, harmful as serpents, and foolish as doves. Believing itself inspired, it will take no advice and will sacrifice all the capacity for usefulness attained by long years of preparation, study and spiritual equipment for the sake of making one grand leap into certain destruction with no possible thought of any corresponding or compensating good. I have often said to one of then "inspired" friends, "Be careful, protect your head from the son; if you take that journey, take at least some proper food and clothing." "Thank you," they would say, "we do not need these worldly wise precautions for we can trust in the Lord who has called us." So away they went. Not long after there was a funeral - a life thrown away that might have been a blessing to many. It only made others say, "What a fool not to take advice!" Dr. S. H. Cox, of Brooklyn, was told by a ranting Mormon apostle, "God does not need your learning!" He replied,"God does not need your ignorance!"
The news of war with Spain made a great stir in this land. The Moslems and Jews could not say enough in praise of America. They recalled the days of Ferdinand and Isabella, when Moslem power was crushed in Spain and when hundreds of thousands of Jews were expelled from Spain and found refuge in North Africa, Constantinople, Salonica, Smyrna, and Aleppo. And in the year 1906, the Jews are rejoicing that a granddaughter of a Jew has become Queen of Spain. [We may add that in T907, the Jews were again glad to hear that a Jew had been elected mayor of Rome.]
I recalled April, 1861, when we heard of the firing on Fort Sumter and the beginning of the Civil War, when we all felt like going home to defend the flag. The Cuban War was a smaller matter and we had no fear of the result, but we apprehended financial disorder and the crippling of the Board's resources.
Happily, the war was brief and the only effect from a missionary standpoint was opening the millions of Cuba, Porto Rico, and the Philippines to the enlightenment of Protestant Christianity.
On March 17th my very dear friend and classmate, Dr. Charles S. Robinson, of New York, arrived on the Alter. The ship only remained twelve hours. I went on board in a rough sea and a pouring rain to bring him ashore.
It seems to us residents in Syria a great shame that tourists in the Holy Land should be "hustled" through in such a hurry that they can only gain the most superficial idea of the land and its people.
On May 2d the Lebanon Presbytery met in Beirut; eight churches were represented by fifteen Syrian and seven American members. Nine subjects were discussed and it was the most thoroughly spiritual assembly we have ever known in Syria. A report was given by Dr' S. Jessup of the religious conference in February conducted by Dr. Elder Cumming and Rev. Messrs. Luce and Paynter, and one of the Syrian brethren gave an account of his visit to Mildmay and Keswick and the new apprehension he gained of the spiritual life. Meetings were held with the children, a social gathering for the local congregation, and a joint communion season. It was altogether a model meeting of presbytery, a minimum of ecclesiastical routine and a maximum of uplifting spiritual conference on religious and missionary subjects.
In May, our able and accomplished consul-general, Charles M. Dickinson, of Constantinople, visited Syria and Palestine and presented an elaborate report to the government at Washington of the so-called Spaffordite colony in Jerusalem. Any persons desirous of knowing the facts with regard to that phase of religious communism should consult the documents in the State Department.
Two somewhat remarkable Christian women passed away in the months of February and May, Mrs. Giles Montgomery, formerly of Central Turkey' and Mrs. Hannah Korany, a Syrian lady from Kefr Shima, near Beirut. Mrs. Montgomery came out with her husband in 1863 and laboured for thirty-five years in Marash and Adana. She was a woman of rare Christian character, one of those bright, radiant spirits who make the Christian life so attractive. She had long struggled with that fell disease, consumption, and was the guest and patient of Dr. and Mrs. Graham, who, felt it a benediction to have her in their home. It was touching to see a little Armenian girl laying white flowers on her grave - she was baptized by Mr. Montgomery and narrowly escaped being carried off by the Turks during the massacres and came here to our seminary as a refuge. Mrs. Montgomery was a missionary of the American Board, which supported the Syrian Mission until 1870, and four former missionaries of that Board, Dr. W. W. Eddy, Dr. Daniel Bliss, Rev. W. Bird, and Rev. H. H. Jessup conducted the funeral services.
Mrs. Korany was educated, as was her mother before her, in the Beirut Girls' Seminary, and, after teaching for a time, went with her husband to the Chicago World's Fair in 1893 and remained in America several years, engaged in the sale of Syrian fabrics and in lecturing on Syrian themes by invitation of a society of American ladies. The American climate prostrated her and she was obliged to flee to milder climes, struggling like Mrs. Montgomery with consumption. I met her at Cairo and Helouan in the winter of 1896-1897. Her mind seemed to grow brighter as her body grew weaker under the relentless progress of the disease. She had fine conversational powers and wrote English with great facility and force. At length she returned to her home, six miles from Beirut, where a loving father and mother watched over her. But such is the dread of the Syrian people of this malady that no one would come near the house. No woman would do washing or baking or any service for the family. The American ladies, her former teachers, and Miss C. Thompson of the British Syrian Mission were frequent in their visits and I was greatly comforted to hear her words of faith and hope as I sat by her dying bed.
She died May 6th, and the funeral was an impressive scene. It is the custom in Lebanon villages for the women to give themselves up to fanatical grief' wailing, screaming, and often throwing themselves upon the body and trying to prevent its removal. But in this Christian home there was perfect silence, the mother, Im Selim, showing a Christian resignation and quiet self-control which filled the village women with astonishment. It was an object-lesson which they will not soon forget.
About that time a remarkable conversion took place in the Syrian Protestant College. A Jewish student son of a prosperous Hebrew family, declared himself a Christian and began at once the most earnest and intense labours for the conversion of all his fellow students. He walked with them, talked with them, and prayed with them and spoke in the college prayer-meetings and in the church meetings in town. He was most fearless and resolute in trying to bring all around him to Christ. His friends were dismayed and his father threatened to disinherit him. He applied for baptism and communion in the Arabic Evangelical Church and a day was appointed to receive him. But he disappeared suddenly - we heard of him afterwards in Port Said and later as marching in the Salvation Army procession in London.
I have known several similar cases of sudden religious enthusiasm, great promise for usefulness, which have afterwards withered away, not having depth of root or stability. Yet this young man may have found his proper sphere in the Salvation Army.
Our good secretary, Dr. Brown, was convinced that the missionaries should do more itinerating work, and administered a gentle rebuke to the tendency among our number to yield to the claims of confining literary and educational work. As usual, the appeal wrought most powerfully upon those least able to respond to it. We all felt, even those of us tied down to one place by teaching and literary work, that more should be done to reach the outlying districts and to lead to a personal decision the hundreds of youths in our schools. One member of the mission, my good brother Samuel, of Sidon, was so wrought upon by the stirring appeal that he nearly sacrificed his life. He is never perfectly well, and hardly a week has passed in his thirty-five years of service in Syria but he has had turns of severe pain and prostration. The mission removed him from the "horseback" station of Tripoli to Beirut in 1882 to relieve him from the wear and tear of long journeys in the interior. And he removed to Sidon to engage in quiet educational work and the management of the station treasury. But that appeal was like fire in his bones. The latter part of May, true to his centrifugal instincts, he rose from his bed, hired a horse, and with his boy riding a mule with the bedding and a few cooking utensils, rode down the coast to Tyre and the next day to Bussah, east of Acre, wracked with headache. Preaching there and working among the crowds who gathered, he went on east over a frightful breakneck road to Dibl, where he had dreadful pains and sinking turns. Miles away from a doctor, he lay a whole day on the floor, faint, and rolling from pain and nausea, his host, a kind, elderly man, doing his best to help, but unable to relieve him. The next day he rode on horseback six hours to Tyre, almost falling from his saddle many times. On reaching Tyre, he could not walk to the Syrian pastor's house and fell prostrate. The next morning he rose at six and rode six and a half hours to Sidon. He now writes that he must "do more itinerating." He says the Cuban War reminds him of 1861-1862, when he was ill of typhoid fever at Drainsville, and then went through McClellan's Potomac Campaign ending at Malvern Hills. And now like a veteran cavalry horse at pasture, the bugle call sets him all on fire. If it be true that some of the best of men need urging, others, as truly, need restraining. It is my experience that most missionaries work up to the full extent of their ability and opportunity. When men get "views" about sitting still to see the salvation of the Lord, they need stirring up. I was once told the following story of Mr. Moody: Young George Barnes, the Kentucky evangelist, whose words were burning and inspiring, fell into that trap. Mr. Moody left him in Chicago to carry on the work. On his return, he could not find George. After inquiry, he was told, "Oh, he has joined the little circle of -ites, who are sitting down to await the coming of the Lord." Mr. Moody rushed to him and taking him by the collar, said, "George, out of this. The Lord calls you to go work in His vineyard. Out of this, or you are ruined." Mr. Moody was right. What became of George I do not know, but an able-bodied evangelist can make no greater mistake than "To sit down and wait" for something to turn up.
At the request of Consul Ravendal I prepared in July the following statistics of the Americans, their schools and property in Syria:
Number of Americans, old and young . . . 115
Number of American schools . . . . . . 150
Value of mission property in Beirut . . . . .$410,000
" " " " Lebanon field 36,108
" " " " Sidon 73,535
" " " " Tripoli 31,875
" " " " Zahleh 23,236
The only purely American hospital is that of Dr. Ira Harris in Tripoli. Dr. Mary P. Eddy does clinical medical work and itinerating camp work in different parts of Syria.
The American medical professors in the Syrian Protestant College are the physicians of the German Hospital of the Knights of St. John in Beirut which treated the past year 545 in-door patients, 11,816 polyclinic patients.
A conference of Christian workers from all parts of the empire was held in Brummana, Mount Lebanon, August 9th to 14th. The missionaries of different societies had long felt the need of such a conference to promote the spiritual life, fraternal cooperation, mutual help and counsel in our common work. A committee was formed in Beirut with officers for correspondence and preliminary arrangements, and a circular letter was sent to all the missions in Asia Minor, Syria, Palestine, and Egypt.
The conference met in Brummana August 9, 1898, and was opened by Rev. Dr. George A. Ford. One hundred and ninety six persons were present, of whom seventy-six were British, fifty-seven Americans, eight Germans, four Danes, twenty-three Syrians, eighteen not reported.
Eleven Protestant denominations were represented: Church of England, Established Church of Scotland, Free Church of Scotland, American Presbyterian, Irish Presbyterian, Reformed Presbyterian, Congregational, Lutheran, Friends, Baptists, Methodists.
Thirty-four papers were read and about twenty-five addresses given, besides remarks often of great interest offered by members of the conference. There was a half hour sunrise prayer-meeting every morning and a forty-five minutes' sunset service daily. The regular sessions were from 9:30 to 11:30 A.M., and from 2:30 to 4 P.M.
Brummana, the place of this remarkable conference, is three hours' drive by carriage from Beirut on a spur of the Lebanon range, 2,5 00 feet above the sea, seeming to overhang the seashore and looking directly down upon Beirut, its fertile plain and harbour. It has in summer a clear sky (there is no rain for five months), beautiful forests of the Lebanon pine, several good hotels and many private boarding-houses. The grounds and buildings of the Friends' Mission were offered freely to the conference and many of the members were given free board. Some had rooms at the hotels and others encamped in the pine groves.
The conference proved to be a blessing and a means of spiritual uplifting to all and it was agreed to hold another in 1901. One of the most interesting features was the presence of Miss C. Shattuck of Urfa, who held her post alone during the awful massacres of 1894-1895, when 8,000 were killed. She protected hundreds, gathered the widows and orphans, opened industrial work, until she had 1,800 women at work making laces and embroideries for the European markets. She brought affecting messages to the conference from nineteen of her widows and helpers, which brought tears to all eyes.
After the conference I baptized in Beirut another convert from Islam, a young baker from a Lebanon village, who had been long in Beirut attending night school and working in a public oven. I afterwards baptized his younger brother. He is now working in a print mill in Rhode Island and is helping the younger brother in his education.
During the summer, I was closely confined with literary work for the weekly Neshrah and correcting proof sheets.
The Syrian Protestant College had 375 pupils, a large increase on the previous year. The statistics of the theological seminary show that sixty young men have been trained for the ministry in this mission.
On the 9th of October, the Protestant Orphanage at Dar-es-Salam on the Sidon Industrial Farm was formally dedicated. It was the gift of Mrs. George Wood of New York who has placed the people of Syria and the missionary body under lasting obligations by her munificent gifts of buildings, land and endowment
On the 5th of November, His Imperial Majesty, William III, Emperor of Germany, with the Empress Augusta, reached Beirut from Haifa on the ship Hohenzollern. The city was decorated with triumphal arches, festoons, flags and greens, and the streets covered with sand. The whole population turned out to greet them. They did not land until the next day, Sunday, when they paid official visits, and visited the German Hospital of the Knights of St. John. A decoration was conferred upon Dr. Post, dean of the American College medical faculty.
At night the villages of Lebanon were ablaze with bonfires. No potentate in modern times has had such a regal reception in Syria. He had already visited Jerusalem and dedicated the new German Protestant cathedral, delivering a sermon full of high evangelical sentiment; had been to Bethlehem and Nazareth, and went from Beirut to Baalbec and Damascus. His journey had apparently a threefold object, religious, political, and commercial. His visit to Jerusalem was religious; to Damascus, commercial; to Constantinople, political. The promotion of German commerce was, no doubt a prime object. The Bagdad Railway, the opening of new markets for goods made in Germany, and securing special privileges for German subjects in business and archeological concessions, were all direct or indirect proofs of the Kaiser's friendship for the Sultan. Politically, no European power can compare in influence at -the Porte with Germany.
Religiously, his simple gospel sermon in the German church in Jerusalem was a truly missionary work. It was copied into all the Arabic journals and read all over the land. In his outspoken, evangelical sentiments, he witnessed for the great truths for which Martin Luther contended.
In preparation for his coming, we prepared a life of Luther and an Arabic translation of his famous Theses with illustrations, and published it on the occasion of the emperor's arrival. The Turkish censors made no objection. We published an edition of it in gilt letters, which was presented to the emperor on his return from Damascus and Baalbec, through Dr. Schroeder, the German consul-general.
At the official banquet in Damascus, which was worthy of the days of Haroun el Raschid, the Sheikh Abdullah greeted the Kaiser in the name of His Imperial Majesty, Abdul Hamid II, the caliph of three hundred millions of Mohammedans. (The actual numbers, according to the latest statistics, are nearly 200,000,000.) The Kaiser in reply quoted this number as if it were correct and since that time the Moslem journals, near and far, have quoted him as announcing that three hundred million Moslems look to the Sultan as caliph.
There was one curious feature in the entertainment of the emperor. Jowwad Pasha, who was sent down as the Sultan's representative to oversee the welcome to the Kaiser, was not allowed to come near him. The Germans said that as this pasha was governor of Crete at the time of the massacre of Christians and foreign troops, the Kaiser would not even allow him to come into his presence. Jowwad Pasha, after the departure of the Kaiser, visited the college in Beirut and spent a long time in the observatory with Professor West. He greatly enjoyed the large twelve-inch refractor and the Brashear spectroscope. He said that he had translated books on astronomy and taught it but had never seen a good telescope before,
Before leaving Damascus, the emperor placed a green wreath on the tomb of Saladin and promised to send one of bronze. Months afterwards, a German war-ship reached Beirut with high military officers, who went in state to Damascus and hung the beautiful bronze wreath on the marble tomb. Subsequently, a devout sheikh visited the tomb of Saladin, but stepped back in horror, pointing to the wreath, which had on it the Maltese cross of the Knights of St. John. He said, "Take that cross away! A Crusader's cross on the tomb of the Sultan Saladin! God forbid!" It was then removed and hung in a deep niche in the wall, facing the tomb, where it is greatly admired by tourists, but that cross costs the keeper of the place many moments of effort to explain its presence to die faithful.
There is another story connected with that tomb. When Dr. Crawford discovered it in the early '60s, I was in Damascus, and he took me to see it. Up to that time, it was virtually unknown, both to tourists and to the sheikhs of Damascus. Not long after, a Russian prince visited Damascus and the kavass of the Russian consul took him to see this tomb. At that time, it was badly neglected, covered with dust, and the floor piled with rubbish. But the tomb itself was encased in an exquisitely carved walnut sarcophagus of delicate tracery with the name of Saladin in ornamental Arabic and the date. It was dusty and neglected and the prince very shrewdly said to the sheikh through his interpreter, "It is a shame to leave the tomb of so great a hero in a perishable wooden case. Give me permission and I will put in its place a beautiful polished marble tomb." The sheikh eagerly accepted. The prince's servants took away the old walnut case and boxed it carefully and shipped it to Russia where it is considered a priceless treasure. The present marble tomb is beautiful, but the old was better.
In, Baalbec a memorial tablet was placed on the interior wall of the reputed Temple of the Sun commemorating the emperor's visit. But his visit will ever be memorable, not on account of that marble tablet, but from the fact that through his influence the German scholars at enormous expense cleared almost the entire temple area of the debris and rubbish of ages and brought to view the exact configuration of the interior, exposing the exquisite sculpture which had been before unknown. They identified the beautiful Temple of the Sun, so many of whose columns are standing, as the Temple of Bacchus, certainly not a very appropriate place for the tablet of a Christian emperor.
There must be a divine plan and purpose in giving this Protestant emperor such an extraordinary hold on the confidence and enthusiasm of the whole Moslem population of Turkey from the Sultan down through all the ranks and grades of military and civil officers to the common peasantry.
In one sense, his visit has already had its effect. It has diminished sensibly the prestige and influence of France in Syria and Palestine. The emperor not only dedicated a Protestant Church in Jerusalem on the anniversary of Luther's Theses at Wittemburg, October 31, 1517, but he has also taken all the German Catholic clergy, laymen, and institutions away from the French protectorate and put them under German control. French influence here has been identified with the worst phases of Jesuit intrigue and anything that weakens it is a public benefit. In 1906, the French government had almost ceased to aid the Roman Catholic orders in Syria owing to the open rupture between France and the papal curia.
During the entire period of the emperor's stay in Palestine and Syria, the sky was cloudless and the heat intense. On the plain of Caesarea south of Carmel fourteen horses of the cavalcade died of the heat. The whole country was dry and parched as not a drop of rain had fallen for six months. He sailed November 12th and on the 16th the windows of heaven were opened, a pouring rain refreshed the land and the mountain summits were frosted with fresh snow.
In December, Mrs. Gerald F. Dale, Jr., who had returned from America, entered the Beirut Girls' Boarding-School, owing to the absence of Miss Alice Barber who had been summoned to her home in Joliet by the infirmities of her aged parents.
RELIGIOUS FORCES AT WORK IN TURKEY IN 1898
The most striking historical event in Syria in the year 1898 was without question the visit of the Emperor and Empress of Germany and his address at the dedication in the German Protestant Church in Jerusalem.
Five great religious forces are now contending for religious supremacy in Syria and Palestine, the Jewish, the Mohammedan, the Papal, the Orthodox Greek, and the Protestant.
1. THE MODERN JEWISH ELEMENT, backed by the Rothschild colonization scheme and the Zionist movement, is striving to buy land, to erect buildings, and gradually get control of the ancient land of Israel. It is antagonized by the Ottoman government and by the fellahin of the rural districts of Palestine, who regard this influx of foreign Jews as a menace to their own rights and privileges. In the vicinity of Jerashm cast of the Jordan, where a small Jewish colony had been planted, the Moslem fellahin recently drove out the colonists, ruined their houses, and uprooted their trees. The rabbis, embittered by the fiery persecutions against the Jews in Russia and other parts of Europe, are extremely hostile to Christianity in every form and continually issue their anathemas against Christian missions. The recent Jewish immigrants are under the protection of the countries from which they have come, but no one foreign power stands forth as their champion.
2. THE MOHAMMEDANS, Who constitute about one-half of the population of Syria and Palestine, enjoy the special favour and protection of the Sultan and regard themselves as the lords of the land. Where they are in the large majority, as in Damascus, they do not trouble themselves to persecute the Christians and Jews, but look down upon them with a feeling of haughty superiority. Where they are in the minority, as in Beirut, the lower classes are insolent and offensive in their attitude towards Christians and are often allowed to use personal violence with little fear of punishment.
There has been of late a great resuscitation of Mohammedan esprit de corps. Their newspapers report news from all parts of the Mohammedan world and urge a Pan-Islamic Alliance. Just now they are especially earnest in advocating the recovery of the Sudan from the false teaching of the Mahdi and his Khalifa Abdullah el Taaishy. They are trying to stir up the Moslem world to emulate the English in founding the Gordon College in Khartoum, and found Moslem schools to save the poor Sudanese from being won to Christianity by the kindness and medical services of Christian medical missions.
The Moslems are using the press and schools for boys and girls as a means of keeping abreast of the age. And it is a striking fact that since the British occupation of Egypt the Turkish government has obliged the newspapers everywhere to abuse the English and never allow an article in praise of their just and successful administration of the affairs of Egypt. Up to 1878, the Turkish journalists could not say enough in praise of the English Since 1882 all is changed, and within the past few years all their love and sympathy has been transferred to Germany whose emperor was silent and sympathetic in 1896, when Armenian massacres were horrifying the world; active and auxiliary in 1897, during the Greek War, and most demonstrative and effusive in 1898 during his visit to this empire.
The Mohammedan official and unofficial journals have exhausted a vast vocabulary of adulation, for which the Arabic language is so famous, in praising the friend and ally of His Imperial Majesty the Sultan and they love to descant upon the magnificent German army and the rapidly growing navy. There must be a divine purpose in all this and we will speak of it before closing this chapter.
It is sometimes said that Islam has ceased to be aggressive in Turkey and is in a state of stagnation. This is not true. Not less than eighteen emirs of the princely family of Shehab in Mount Lebanon who have been Maronites and Greek Catholics for about one hundred years, have recently become Moslems and have been appointed to lucrative posts in the Turkish civil service. They were originally Moslems of the family of Koreish and the Turks are straining every nerve to bring them back to the fold of the prophet of Mecca, and we hear from various places of Oriental Christians won over to Islam by bribery and favouritism, while all Moslems becoming Christians are obliged to suffer persecution and generally to leave the country to save their lives.
3. The PAPAL FORCES in this is land are numerous, organized, and intensely aggressive. The Maronites of Lebanon are equal to the peasantry of Spain in their subjection to the priesthood and in ignorance and fanatical hostility to the Bible and the Protestant faith. The Jesuits and papal nuncio lead the van, followed by a host of patriarchs, bishops, priests, monks, and nuns. They glory in the protection of France, and the French consul-general is open and untiring in encouraging the papal campaign of conquest of the Holy Land. France expels the Jesuits from France and expends millions of francs yearly in supporting them as political agents, educators, and intriguers in Turkey. Whatever may be the strength of the Russo-French Alliance in France, it does not exist nor appear in these lands. It is Latin against Greek, French priests and nuns against Russian priests and nuns, jealousy and bitter ecclesiastical hatred. The Latins have exhaustless supplies of money, men, and women. They are buying land and erecting buildings in all the towns and many of the small villages throughout the land. Beirut is full of their fine establishments. One of their zealous propagandists remarked that they had orders to open schools in every place where Protestants are at work and if possible on land adjoining Protestant schools. They are following up the Greek schools in the same way.
France is their idol. On France they lean for protection and every blow aimed at France is felt to be aimed at Rome and the Church. Some of the Syrian Romanists are getting their eyes partly opened. One of their leading merchants in Beirut recently asked their bishop, "Why is it that Catholic countries are everywhere declining and Protestant countries rising in power? Why are Spain, France, Portugal, and Italy going down and England, Germany, and America really ruling the world?" The bishop replied, "It is true, but I do not understand the reason."
4. THE ORTHODOX GREEK element in these lands is like the conies, "a feeble folk." They are divided into three parties, the native Syrian Greeks, who are the rank and file of the Church; the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre, an Hellenic foreign Greek party of immense wealth in Jerusalem, enjoying the special favour of the Turks and engaged in constant intrigues to control the patriarchates and bishoprics; and thirdly, the Russian party backed by holy Russia, supported by its consuls and just now intesely active in resisting the aggressions of the Papists and Protestants on the Greek Church constituency.
The Russians have entered in earnest upon the work of saving the Greek Church in Syria and Palestine from disintegration. They have opened schools within a few years and are pushing this work on every hand. It is a saving feature in their work that they are introducing the Arabic Scriptures published at the American Press into all their schools.
They antagonize the monks of the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre and aim at securing Syrian bishops and patriarchs over the churches instead of the Hellenic monks.
The conflict is now waging in Damascus between the patriotic Greek bishops and the Hellenic party in trying to elect a patriarch. They have been in session nearly a year without coming to an election. The Russians support the native Greek bishops; and the Hellenes, through their influence and money power in Constantinople, are opposing them, as every Christian bishop's election must be ratified by the Sublime Porte.
It is a humiliating and painful spectacle and a scandal that the Mohammedan Turks should control the election of a Christian bishop.
In Palestine itself the Russians are active in buying land and erecting buildings and mingling political and religious considerations in all their operations, striving first of all to thwart the schemes and projects of Rome and of France, the tool of Rome in the East.
5. PROTESTANTISM in Syria and Palestine is represented by the American, English, Scotch, Irish, and German Missions, by a native evangelical community of nearly ten thousand adherents.
In former years, England stood forth as the great protector of Protestantism and of religious liberty. The word of a British consul made pashas tremble, and the persecuted looked to England for relief. This state of things still continues to some extent but consular interference is generally officious and not official.
Protestantism has become an established and recognized element in the empire and does not ordinarily suffer greater disabilities than the other Oriental sects.
The change of attitude on the part of the Turks towards England naturally threw a shadow over the Protestants all over the empire who are supposed to be in sympathy with England. But the most important Protestant literary institutions in the empire, being American, have kept steadily on their way, growing in number and influence, and there are more children and youths in Protestant schools than ever before. In some places the free tuition and books supplied by Jesuits or Russians have enticed children away from the Protestant schools but the more thorough teaching given generally brings them back again.
The Syrian Protestant College in Beirut has increased so rapidly in numbers that new buildings are imperatively needed. It has three hundred and seventy students in its halls this year, of whom seventy are in medicine and pharmacy, one hundred and four in the collegiate department, and one hundred and ninetysix in the preparatory department. It ought to have at once new buildings to accommodate two hundred additional pupils. Its language is English and the people of Asia Minor and Egypt, as well as those of Syria and Palestine, appreciate the importance of a thorough English education for their sons and the demand will increase in years to come.
It is not my purpose to give statistics with regard to the other societies labouring in Syria but they are all encouraged by the growing interest of the people in Protestant education. And their willingness to pay is a good proof of substantial interest. In the first year of the college there were sixteen pupils, all charity pupils. This year the college receipts from the students were 3,700 pounds. This is a remarkable fact and full of encouragement But this brief summary of the status of the five religious forces at work in Syria and Palestine would be incomplete without reference to the British Syrian Schools with fifty schools and four thousand pupils, Miss Taylor's school for Moslem and Druse girls, schools of the Church of Scotland, and the Free Church; of the Friends in Brummana, Miss Procter in Shwifat, of the Church Missionary Society in Palestine, the London Jews' Society, and lastly the extensive work carried on by the Germans in Beirut, Haifa, Jaffa, Jerusalem and Bethlehem, in hospitals, orphanages, boarding-schools, and industrial schools, as well as in their chapels for German colonists, they are doing a solid work for the sound training of the people, and the exhibition of the Spirit of the Master.
With all these religious forces and elements in view, the question is asked, What has been the effect of the German emperor's visit on the public mind?
1. It has brought Protestantism to the front and given it dignity in the eye of the Mohammedans, who look upon the emperor as the great exponent of the Protestant faith.
2. It has dealt a crushing blow to the French prestige in all this empire. Even among the French Catholics, Germany is praised on account of the liberal spirit shown by the emperor in buying and presenting a plot of ground in Jerusalem to the German Catholics and pledging the protection of Germany to all German Catholic subjects in the East.
3. It has no doubt drawn out the sympathy of the Turkish government, the army, and the common people towards a great Protestant power. With all due respect to the emperor, we cannot but feel that he made a mistake in his speech in Damascus. The Moslem sheikh who welcomed him spoke of the three hundred millions of Mohammedans in the world. The emperor in reply declared himself the friend of all these three hundred millions. As the most exact statistics make the highest estimate less than two hundred millions, it was a great mistake to echo the grandiloquent utterance of the sheikh and thus give sanction to a statement which has puffed up the Moslems to a new sense of their own importance in the world. I sent to the Beirut censor of the press an exact table of the census of Islam in the empires of the world (taken from the Missionary Review) with reference to publishing it in our Arabic journal and he prohibited the publication as it was not in accord with the emperor's Damascus address.
Whether the Mohammedan regard for the emperor will help Protestantism does not appear, It will certainly give the German ambassador at Constantinople and their consuls throughout the empire a mighty influence for good in insisting on liberty of conscience for all the, people.
And who knows but that the emperor has come to the throne for some great and good end in this empire? His influence is now unequalled. German commerce will thrive more than ever, and if the new hopes of near approach between England, Germany, and the United States are realized, we may yet see Teutonic and Anglo-Saxon influence displacing and effacing French and Russian influence throughout the land.
We do not put our trust in princes, but our God and King can use them as His own servants to accomplish His will on earth.
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