« ForrigeFortsæt »
injured. A very singular coincidence, to say the least, is the fact that the earthquake came at the very moment when the criers were in the minarets of the mosques, calling to prayer and proclaiming that Mohamed is the prophet of God. About fifty minarets fell, and many of the criers were killed or wounded. In all, sixty-five mosques were seriously injured. Our own buildings have some ugly cracks, but none of them are dangerous, and we thank God for preservation of both life and property. I myself was, at the moment of the earthquake, with some archæological gentlemen, in a ruined tower on the city wall, in black darkness and with no means of exit save a tunnel, through which one at a time could crawl out on hands and knees, by a route thirty feet in length. The experience was awful beyond description, for the walls gave out fearful groans, and the noise of the falling masses of masonry outside was like thunder. But we all most unexpectedly lived through it, and feel that God has given us back our lives for special work for Him. This calamity opens many doors for access to the people, and the hearts of irreligious and even vicious people are, for the moment, melted."
Writing later, our correspondent says: "Many thanks for your sympathy and aid for the persecuted Protestants. The people of Ordou, both Greeks and Protestants, have a habit of going into the mountains, at the back of the city, for two or three months in summer, leaving the town vacant. This year they have hastened their departure, and I suppose that no further outbreaks against the Protestants have occurred. I hope you will not fail to take up the case of the Fatsu brethren, which is, in some respects, a more simple one than that at Ordou. After ten years' use of the building as a place of worship, it is scarcely right or decent to close the Protestant chapel on the pretence that a new law affects the old-established right to the extent of extinguishing it. Surely it ought to be a principle that no existing Protestant chapel may be summarily closed in this way."
In a later communication, the same correspondent writes gratefully and hopefully with reference to recent action taken by the British or some other embassies at Constantinople, in connexion with the Ordou case, where the Protestants have had their place of meeting for worship closed through the instigation of the Greeks. The native pastor, writing from that town, says that the Protestants have applied for a firman, and hope to build a new church, but, at the very moment of the initial steps, the cholera broke out in a neighbouring town, and all the Government officials at Ordou, together with the Greeks and everybody else, fled to the mountains. The Government seems to be practically suspended, and, at the same time, the persecution is also suspended.
It is gratifying to be able to report that her Majesty's Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs has given attention to this matter, and has made representations to the Porte in favour of the Protestants being allowed to meet freely for public worship.
Again the Western Turkey Mission has been sorely afflicted in the death, on April 9, of Mrs. Isabella S., wife of the Rev. Henry O. Dwight, of Constantinople. Mrs. Dwight was the daughter of the Rev. Edwin E. Bliss, D.D., so long a missionary in Western Turkey, and was born in Constantinople, August 11, 1858, where she made her confession of faith in Christ in 1872. After finishing her studies in the United States she was married to Mr. Dwight, February 18, 1887, and returned with her husband the same year to take up missionary work at the Turkish capital. Her health has never been firm and she was unable to take part in some branches of labour toward which her heart turned, yet she exerted a strong influence on all about her and inspired others to the doing of what she herself could not undertake. Those who knew her speak of her as "a wise counsellor, a gentle wife and mother, a humble, prayerful follower of Jesus Christ, a consecrated Christian worker, labouring beyond her strength for all within her reach." She bore her physical weakness and sufferings, which at the last were very severe, with utmost patience. Always cheerful and self-forgetful, she was loved and admired by everyone. The
sympathies not only of missionary associates, but of a wide circle of friends on both sides of the Atlantic will go out toward the afflicted husband and children, and especially toward the aged mother, who, after a long life of missionary service, waits submissively for the call to come to her to join the circle of her kindred who are on the other shore.—Missionary Herald, Boston.
The Fifty-third Annual Meeting of the Western Turkey Mission was recently held at the Bible House, Constantinople. The attendance of delegates this year was unusually small. Cholera at Sivas, with eleven days quarantine for all who leave the city, held back the delegates from that station, and the uncertainties of travel at this time are of a nature to excuse ladies from undertaking the long overland journey from the more distant stations of the Mission. As is commonly the case, the business occupying the largest share of time, was the consideration of estimates for the ensuing year. The dulness in business circles in America has had its effect upon the receipts of Missionary Societies in reducing their funds. The reiteration of the cry for retrenchment in this Mission field paralyzes all extension of operations. Were it not for the manly way in which the native Churches are taking up, little by little, the support of schools and pastors, this cry would mean disaster to the whole existing organisation. The reduction of funds, which had to be faced this year by the Western Turkey Mission, amounted to about 14 per cent. of the sum used last year in its general work. In view of this state of affairs the Mission unanimously voted to decline to accept certain increases of the personal allowance of Missionaries which had been urged upon them by the Society.
The constantly increasing earnestness of the call for Christian and stimulating books was felt to demand serious attention and the increase of funds for publication was strongly recommended.
The view of the Mission Field presented in the Station reports is made up as any picture is which is to interest the beholder, of light balanced off against dark portions. The report of Cesarea, always full of new evidence that the kingdom of Christ is making progress, was this year governed by a dominant note of sadness. Political disquiet has been a hindrance to spiritual life. In the report from Sivas, on the other hand, there was a jubilant sound, long lacking in the reports from that field. Beginning with the week of prayer in January of this year, there has been a wonderful revival of religious interest, which brought numbers of strangers to the Chapel services, and which culminated in a general turning to the Lord of the Girls in the Boarding School, and in an increase of the numbers attending the Bible Classes on Sunday afternoons to six hundred, simply choking the Chapel with eager enquirers into the lessons of the Word of God.
The same remarkable interest in the study of the Bible appears in several other places. At Marsovan, for instance, there are nine different Bible-class gatherings each Sunday in different parts of the city, the largest of these bringing together over 200 non-Protestants. Every missionary returns from the annual meeting with the knowledge that cholera and famine are perhaps the least of the troubles in the midst of which they must work. Yet this year, in a special degree, the outlook gave to all a new courage to go back and work on patiently and hopefully in the simple line of preaching the Gospel to every creature. For it is more than ever before clear, that the people generally are beginning to find in the Gospel message the supply of a felt need.
ORDINATION OF AN ARMENIAN PASTOR.
At the recent meeting of the Evangelical Synod of Bythinia, about thirty delegates were present from the various churches in this region. One afternoon of the session was devoted to the examination for ordination of Mr. Arakel Bedikan, the preacher of the Langa Evangelical Church. The ordination service was held at the Bible House, various members of the Synod having been delegated to perform this office. Professor H. Djedjizian preached a thoroughly inspiring sermon on the uplifting power of the Gospel from St. Matthew xvi. 15. The Rev. Stepan Utudjian offered the ordaining prayer, the members of the Synod gathering about the
candidate, who was kneeling in the midst, for the laying on of hands. The Rev. A. Constantine gave the right hand of fellowship to the newly-ordained pastor. The Rev. Ghazaros Garabedian, of Brussa, gave the charge to the people. The services were of a deeply interesting and solemn character, and the great audience of between 400 and 500 persons gave marked attention throughout the whole service, which occupied about two hours.
THE Rev. Homer B. Hulbert, Missionary of the Methodist Episcopal Church, writing from Seoul to the New York Independent says:
These are stirring times in Korea. The state of things to-day in the city of Pyeng Yang, in northern Korea, is a refutation of the statement sometimes made that the age of martyrs is past. Pyeng Yang is the Moscow of Korea. It casts a shadow 3,016 years long, for it was in 1122 B.C. that Ki Ja, the Chinese Miles Standish, found there his Plymouth Rock. Pyeng Yang is known in Korea as the well-less city. Within its walls is not a single well, and all the water of the city is carried up by watermen from the river which washes its southern wall.
Pyeng Yang is to-day, in some sense, a frontier city, for it is the nearest place to which lumbermen, miners, trappers and ginseng hunters can resort to waste in a few days of revelry the hard-won earnings of a season. For this reason it is filled with bad men and worse women, and we naturally look to Pyeng Yang as the fitting place for strong opposition to break out. Vice and crime are not the mere concomitants of life in Pyeng Yang, they are the staple, the backbone of industry; and any influence that would seek to lessen them touches the heathen of that city in his most sensitive spot, his purse. Pyeng Yang people have the unenviable reputation throughout the rest of the peninsula of being stone-throwers. This most cowardly of all methods of attack is typical of their whole attitude and life.
Dr. W. J. Hall, of the Methorlist Mission, having been appointed to open a mission station in that city, went thither by boat with his wife and infant child, about two weeks ago. Since his arrival there our news from him has been only what can be inferred from telegraphic despatches which he has sent us. It appears that immediately upon his arrival most violent hostility was manifested on the part of the populace and the officials alike. The provincial governor himself, whose yamen is in that city, seemed to be in the combination; but this can hardly be proved as yet, for the people of that city govern him rather than otherwise. First Dr. Hall's servants were seized and brutally beaten, after which they were "put into the inner prison and their feet made fast in the stocks." They were put into the death cell and tortured. Also some of the native Christians were seized and beaten, one of them before the very eyes of the doctor. Next the water carriers were ordered to carry no more water to his house, and there he was with his family a long way from the river, without a servant and compelled to leave his wife and child while he went to bring water through streets filled with scowling faces and the possibility of death at every step. By night his house was stoned by the mob, and only the substantial quality of the Korean house saved them, under the providence of God, from being killed. Nor did he omit any measures which might tend to make the position of his family less alarming. He sent repeatedly to the Governor explaining that he was a British subject (Canadian) and entitled to protection. This was refused. He telegraphed to the British Consul here, and through him the Government telegraphed instructions to release all prisoners and grant full protection. The Governor claimed that he did not understand the telegram, charged the doctor with being a member of the Tong Hak (a rebellious faction in the southern provinces who give themselves this name, which means Eastern religion), and said he would appeal to the Queen. The significance of this last remark is not lost upon those who know how Government patronage is at present distributed in Korea, but I dare not enlarge upon here. Suffice it that we are beginning to learn where to look for signs of danger.
Recently a call was sent out for a general prayer-meeting to be held at the house of Dr. Underwood, for the purpose of claiming God's promise. Hardly a member of any of the American missions was absent. Prayers were offered such as
I have never heard before, and were they answered? Yea verily, for two telegrams arrived within an hour of each other. The first of them, the most alarming that had been received, must have been dictated in Pyeng Yang before our meeting began, and the next, an hour later, told that the prisoner had been released and protection granted by the Governor. It also told us that the native helper, who had been tortured and beaten, was very severely injured; and no one who knows what Korean punishment is like will wonder.
FORMOSA. Dr. Mackay, of Formosa, is home on furlough. The Canadian Presbyterian Record refers to the man and his work in the following way: "In appearance little changed from that of thirteen years ago, our pioneer missionary to Formosa is with us again, thrilling crowded gatherings with the story of the Lord's doings in that land. Summed up, it means, on the one hand, twenty-three years of toil, hardship, opposition, persecution, and perils even nigh unto death, among a heathen community intensely bigoted against the foreigner and his religion; and, on the other, a hospital, college, girls' school, sixty churches or chapels (each with its native preacher), dotting the whole plain country of Northern Formosa, a communion roll of 1,800, besides 400 who have died in faith, and a people everywhere friendly, even those who once bitterly opposed and are not yet Christians vying with each other in doing him honour when he was leaving them for a time a few months ago."
INDIA. Here is a hopeful view of our missionary prospects: "India is reproducing, with startling identity, the phases of the fall of Roman heathenism in the first three centuries. The weakening of traditional faiths, the cry that the Ganges has lost its power to cleanse from sin, the pathetic wail over the growing influence of Christianity, the attempts at compromise such as that of the Brahmo Somaj, the repeated defection of Brahmin and Mohammedan leaders, the universal demand for education-these are some of the elements in the bewildering and intricate problem of India's future destiny. Every quarter of Africa, from its coast-line to its central regions, opened up and parcelled out with confusing rapidity, presents fresh fields for missionary effort which call for immediate occupation."
MARÉ. A correspondent at Sydney writes: "I hear that affairs on the island of Maré are peaceful at present, though thirteen of the Protestant church members, including a pastor and several deacons, are kept in exile by the French Government, where they had been already four years separated from their homes and families for the crime (!) of engaging in religious work. No other charge is brought against them than that they conducted their service without first getting the permission of the authorities."
PERSIA. The Persian Government have given notice to the Christian missionaries in that country that the privilege of remaining in Persia must be on the condition that they will not attempt to evangelise the Mohammedans. It is well known that the efforts of these missionaries have been hitherto, almost of necessity, confined to the non-Moslem population. Though there have been conversions to Christ from among the Mohammedans, yet the social persecution that has invariably followed has been sufficient to prevent many of them from leaving their old faith. It is a new step for the government officials to forbid any efforts to evangelise them. In view of this prohibition the proper selection of Scripture is the Second Psalm.
PORTUGAL.-A Christian lady writes from Portugal: "We are deeply indebted to the British & Foreign Bible Society for their very kind and continued help to us during the past year. By the aid of the grants so generously made to us from time to time, we have been able to place a copy of the Bible or New Testament in the hands of each of the children in our schools, as well as providing the adults in our night-school with the Word of God as a reading-book. Most of the parents of our school children are too poor to afford the cost of a Bible, so that were
it not for the kind gifts afforded us by the Bible Society- they would probably never have possessed a copy of their own. We are thankful to see an ever-increasing desire among the people everywhere to read the Word of God, and we have faith to believe that the knowledge of the Scriptures will go on spreading more and more. May the Holy Spirit's power accompany the reading of the Word and make it the means of bringing many souls to Christ."
JEWS IN INDIA.-" Of the Jews and their religion," says the blue book on the census of India, 1891, "little need be said here. Apart from the modern immigration to the chief commercial cities, such as Bombay and Calcutta, there are two colonies of these both on the West coast. It seems probable that both arrived by sea, and, though the date of their anabasis is not known, there is no doubt that they are of very considerable antiquity. In both cases are there two sections in the community; one, called the white, and the other that of the black. The former justify their title by the tradition that they have kept aloof from intermarriage with the daughters of the land, whilst the others, like the Arya, have fallen victims to native alliances. In addition to these, though not strictly speaking within India, we find a colony of traders of this race in the settlement of Aden. These being nearer to their native country are of purer race, and less tainted with local custom in their religion. They speak, too, a nothern dialect of Arabic. The whole of the number, including these last, is only about 17,200, and of these, 10,500 are found in Bombay; 2,800 in Aden; 1,300 in Cochin; and 1,450 in Calcutta. The rest are scattered over India, both in trading centres, and, in the case of the Bombay coasts colonists, in the ranks of the native army. These last, whilst maintaining the principles of their faith, have adopted the language and much of the social customs of the Maratha population, by whom they are surrounded. It is much the same with the Israelites of Cochin."-Jewish Missionary Intelligencer.
TUNBRIDGE WELLS CONFERENCE.
As already announced, the Annual Conference of the Evangelical Alliance will take place this year (D.V.) at Tunbridge Wells. All the meetings will be held in the Great Hall.
This is the first occasion on which the Conference has been held in Kent; and, Tunbridge Wells having so many attractions of its own as a health resort, it is earnestly hoped that a large number of members and friends of the Alliance will assemble from all parts of the United Kingdom, and especially from the south of England. A cordial welcome is offered to all friends of Christian union, whether members of the Alliance or not.
The Council earnestly desire that this opportunity for Christian fellowship may, by God's blessing, prove to be a time of spiritual refreshing; and it is to hoped that those who are unable to attend, will remember the Conference in their prayers.
A special committee has been formed to make the necessary local arrangements. Hospitality will be provided as far as possible; and those who wish to avail themselves of it are requested to communicate with the Secretary of the Evangelical Alliance, in London (7 Adam Street, Strand), as early as possible, but not later than September 10.
The following is the programme :—
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25.
CONVERSAZIONE (Tea and Coffee served from 6.30 to 7.15 p.m.). PUBLIC MEETING, 7.30 p.m., the Very Rev. the DEAN OF CANTERBURY, D.D., to preside. A brief Address of Welcome on behalf of the Tunbridge Wells Branch will be delivered by the Hon. P. Carteret Hill, D.C.L. (President). Responsive words will be spoken by representative visitors, including Admiral Grant, c.B., John Paton, Esq. (New York), and others. Brief sketch of some of The Practical Results of the Evangelical Alliance, by Mr. A. J. Arnold (General Secretary).