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extension of His kingdom.
In the depths of the forests of Smaland, in a country barren and poor, His Word has been richly dispensed for years gone by. He had greatly endowed the person who began it and so faithfully carried it on for more than
forty years. May He richly bless those whom He has raised up around her to continue her work! When the Lord comes, may He find that barren desert blossoming like the rose.
A RELIGIOUS LITERATURE FOR ITALY.
To the Editor of Evangelical Christendom. Sir,-Subjoined is a circular which I have printed in the hope of interesting the Christian public in behalf of a society founded last winter at Nice for the publication of religious works in Italian, and which I beg that you will insert in your journal. The great interest awakened at present by everything concerning Italy leads me to hope that you will be so kind as to receive subscriptions at your office.-I remain, Sir, very faithfully yours,
F. FITZROY HAMILTON.
"Of all the fields of labour in which Christian missionaries are engaged, Italy is undoubtedly at present the most important, both on account of the promise of success which the circumstances of that country hold out, and of the immense influence its evangelisation would exercise upon the moral condition of the world at large. And yet of all civilised countries, where it is possible to preach the Gospel, Italy is that which possesses the smallest number of missions, and where the work of the missionary is beset with the greatest number of obstacles.
"Christian friends! Many of these obstacles can only be raised by God's blessing and by time, but there is one, and one of the greatest, which it is to a great extent in your power to remove-we mean the total want of an Italian Religious Literature. "There are, we believe, few modern languages that do not possess an abundant store of Christian works to which the minister of the Gospel may recur for his own preparation, and which he will find a valuable ally in the discharge of his work; but in Italian there are none. . . . A large number of books have, indeed, been published, but they are chiefly intended for uneducated persons and children, and as to
that description of works which might prove an assistance to the missionaries in operating upon the more cultivated classes, and even in some measure make up for the smallness of their number, so few have been published that we may almost say the class does not exist.
"With a view to remedying this evil and preparing the means of operating upon the millions of souls to whom access appeared about to be gained, a society was established at Nice during the past winter for the publication of standard religious works in the Italian language. A small sum of money having been collected, the committee, conscious of the superiority of original compositions over translations, offered a prize for the best work on the necessity for, and means of effecting a religious reformation in Italy.†
"This competition is to remain open till the 1st March next, and we have every reason to believe that it will lead to the publication of a work which will prove a valuable acquisition to the Italian language. But one book is not enough.
"The call for standard works, the want of which has been rendered so painfully manifest by the experience of the last ten years in Sardinia, has, we rejoice to acknowledge, been nobly responded to by those friends of the cause who have so liberally aided the Tract Society of Turin. That want, now that the whole peninsula appears about to be thrown open, becomes doubly pressing. May we not hope that the Christian public will again come forward and assist us to contribute in some measure to the moral regeneration of a country which for centuries has groaned under the iron yoke of superstition and tyranny?
"Christian friends, our work is not one of those missionary enterprises that only concern the country where they are carried on.
Should any one read this and ask, “Who was Mrs. Petersen ?" we refer them to Evangelical Christendom, May, 1853.
† Vide Record, April 27; Archives du Christianisme, May 10; Buona Novella, April 15; Evangelical Christendon, June.
"The evangelisation of Italy has a claim upon Christians of all nations, for, apart from the deep interest every disciple of the Saviour must take in the glorious work of proclaiming the good news of salvation to twenty-one millions of human beings who are living without God in the world, the evangelisation of Italy, being a direct attack upon the great stronghold of error,
will, as we said above, be felt to the remotest corners of the earth, and produce an influence which it surpasses human intelligence to foresee.
"Christian friends, assist us; we rely upon your support.
"F. FITZROY HAMILTON, Hon. Sec. "July, 1859."
Rev. Mr. Morgan, of Antioch, writes: "The Armenian priest of the village next to Bitias, though very bold and defiant among his own people, dares not attack one of the Protestants who can open' the Book' and give him an answer; still he thought he might easily triumph over the poor shepherd, Gabriel, and, taking him on the subject of abstaining from meat, said, Does not the apostle Paul say-It is good neither to eat flesh or drink wine?' Now Gabriel, who knew nothing of scope or context, yet knew that the priest of the village eat more meat than the shepherd of the mountain, replied, 'Do you mean to say that you eat less meat in the course of the year than I do?' 'No,' said the priest, but I have proper times for eating and not eating.' 'Well,' said Gabriel, show me the authority for that in the Bible, and I will do so too.' This the priest could not do, and has not sought a second controversy with the shepherd.
"The Armenians of Yoghoon Olook are exceedingly devoted to Church services. They met Gabriel one day, upbraided him for being a Protestant, and told him that his religion was good for nothing, saying, You only go to meeting once or twice during the week and two or three times on the Sabbath; whereas we go to church every morning and evening, and say long prayers: can you compare your religion with ours?" Gabriel answered, 'You often see the clouds coming up from the sca in great masses, covering the fields and mountains and overshadowing the plains as far as you can see, and yet there is no rain. But again a small black cloud comes up, and it pours down the rain till the whole earth is watered. Now that is the difference between your religion and ours.'"
Rev. Dr. Schneider, of Aintab, writes:"There have been some very interesting public discussions between the old Arme
nians and the Protestants of Aintab, which appear to bear happily and importantly upon missionary work here. The effect of this is an unusually awakened state of the public mind, and never since the Gospel began first to be preached has there been such anxious inquiry among the Armenian population, or so much research after truth-reading and examining the Scriptures, conversation and discussion, having become quite common, and one marked result has been a large addition to our Sabbath audience. As a whole, the state of things is very hopefully progressing."
Rev. Mr. Barnum, writes from Broosa :"The work has received a new and remarkable impulse. The members of the Church are more active than ever, and in the book-store and market they find a large number of eager listeners; and in all parts of our mission continued reports are made of increased congregations, great spirit of prayer, and great attention to the subject of true religion. Never before has the prospect of reaching the Turks appeared so encouraging as it does at the present time.
"Lately, at Constantinople, the Grand Vizier himself came to our book-store to purchase a Bible (though our bookseller did not recognise him at the time), but, unfortu nately, not a copy of the Turkish Scriptures could be found."
The same writer gives the following account from Demir-Desh :
"Five or six of the members of this Church are Greeks, living across the Broosa plain about eight miles distant, at the village of Demir-Desh. Pastor Solepan visits them occasionally, and three or four times a year they are able to come here to church at the administration of the Lord's Supper. From all that I have seen of them I have been very much interested in them, both from the unaffected simplicity of their
Christian character and from their history. | the customary salutations, I inquired how
It is a very striking fact that while these Grecks, as a race, have been so inaccessible to direct missionary labour, these brethren were awakened by an Armenian cobbler, who, having learned something of the truth in Broosa, went to Demir-Desh, and as he sat in the street mending old shoes, expounded and discussed the truth which he had learned, and convinced several Greek families of the unsoundness of their system, though he himself afterwards returned to the Armenian Church.
"The village is inhabited only by Grecks, and when these brethren declared themselves Protestants, they were assailed by the most determined persecution. In the middle of winter, and at the dead of night, they were assailed by a mob and driven in their night clothes out into the pelting storm. Though scattered in the darkness, and ignorant of each other's fate, by a common impulse they turned their steps toward Broosa, where they arrived at daybreak the next morning. One of the Protestants who went from here the next day, accompanied by a Turkish cavass, in order to learn the true state of affairs, was met by the mob this side of the village, pulled from his horse, violently beaten, and thrown into the mud, and his cavass was bribed to carry back the report that his injuries resulted from falling from his horse. They were compelled to remain here for several days before they could receive sufficient guaranty of protection from the Pacha to allow them to return to their homes. For a long time they were greatly annoyed by their enemies, but at last they have outlived all persecution and are permitted to worship God according to the simplicity of His Word."
The Rev. J. L. Lyons, of Tripoli, writes: "The Maronites are the most ignorant and bigoted of all the so-called Christian Churches in Syria. Like the Roman Catholics, they believe in the Pope, make supplications to the Virgin Mary and the saints, hang up pictures and crucifixes on their church walls, and cling with great tenacity to all the long catalogue of Popish rites and superstitions.
"While travelling on Mount Lebanon, I entered a large Maronite village called Tamaurin. In the village I observed a great group of persons assembled under a large walnut tree; and, approaching the group, I was courteously received. Having seated myself among them, and exchanged
many families there were in the village, their religion, and whether they had any schools; they answered that they had no schools, and that in religion they were Christians, and inquired, What are you?' 'I also am a Christian,' I replied, for I believe in Christ and trust in Him alone for salvation.' Taking this for my text, I began to preach to them on the necessity of true faith in Christ. As I preached, my audience rapidly increased, curious to see the stranger who had so suddenly appeared among them.
"Presently, one, interrupting me, inquired, 'Do you believe in the Pope?' I replied, 'I believe the Pope to be a man and the head of the Papal Church.' 'But don't you trust in him?' 'No; for, seeing that he is a man like ourselves, he must, like ourselves, die. How, then, can he aid us in the salvation of our souls?' 'But you ought to trust in the place of Christ.' point. Whom do you
him, for he stands in 'Let us examine that call the first Pope?'
The Apostle Peter.' 'Very well; but Peter said that there was salvation in none but Christ; he declares that "there is none other name given under heaven among men whereby we must be saved." Now, if Peter, whom you call the first Pope, desires that I trust for salvation in Christ alone, and you say, I must trust in the Pope, whose word must I accept-yours or the Apostle Peter's? Whose declaration has the greater authority-Peter's or the Pope's?'
Upon this, several persons who were standing near me, exchanged ominous glances and whispered among themselves, This man is a heretic; we must not hear him.' And immediately a large portion of my audience withdrew. I begged them not to be displeased, and informed them that I had a small musical instrument with me which I thought would entertain them, and taking out a small accordion which I frequently take with me when travelling, and use for the purpose of calling people together when I wish to preach to them. After playing a few tunes, which had the effect of greatly increasing my audience, I resumed my discourse, when one in the crowd asked, 'What do you think of the Virgin Mary?' I think she was a good, pious woman, and went to heaven.' don't you pray to her?' 'No; I pray to God only. When Peter was sinking in the sea, he cried, saying, "Lord, save me." Now, if the Pope did not pray to the
Virgin, why should I?' 'But we should go to the Virgin Mary to intercede for us.' Yet Jesus Christ says, "Come unto me." He does not say, Go to my mother or some one else. Now, if Christ says, I must go to him, and you say, I must go to the Virgin Mary, whom should I heed-you or Christ?'
"Upon this, some of my hearers shook their heads, and began to move off, but
singing one or two hymns, and playing on
Turkish Missions Aid Society,
THE HATTI SHERIFF.
[A writer in the New York Independent, | being admitted in court against a Moslem; who is evidently conversant with the sub- while it is well known that such testimony ject, sends to that journal some important is openly rejected as heretofore. I might strictures on the comparative inefficacy of mention instances of the murder of Christhe late decree of the Sultan in favour of tians by Turks, in which proof was clear liberty, both civil and religious, from and abundant; but for want of two Moslems which we lay the following before our to testify that they saw the deed committed, readers.-EDS.] the whole evidence was set aside, and the plaintiff dismissed with contempt by the Court! Nor are such cases by any means of rare occurrence. Christians are constantly abused, fleeced, imprisoned, beaten, and compelled to pay taxes of which the Porte has no cognisance, by pachas and their accomplices; and the helpless Christians can only pocket their injuries and toil on to lay in a fresh store for Turkish plunder. And since the right of interference was virtually signed away in the Treaty, consular agents who are not in league with Turks (as it must be confessed quite too many are) can only write long despatches to their Governments, and then folding their hands, sit down to the mortifying assurance from head-quarters that they must get on as quietly and peaceably as possible with these Turkish officials, for nothing else can now be done. Formerly, the English Ambassador at the Porte could, on the strength of consular complaints against pachas, procure their removal, at least from their posts, if not from office; which, though it failed to reform, was a constant check on their villainous course of corruption; while now these Turkish officials, secure in their nest, can accomplish wholesale robberies, and even murders, without let or hindrance; and ecclesiastics, by playing into the hands of corrupt Turks, betraying and sacrificing their helpless flocks to their own cupidity, share with their confederates the unrighteous plunder. This is no exaggeration. We speak what we do know, and testify that we have seen; and if any are inclined to question our testimony, we invite them to come and see for themselves.
We are aware that the structure of Oriental society, and the clumsy machinery of government, forbid the possibility of sudden changes or of rapid improvements of any sort; and we have never cherished the chimerical idea that a revolution in Turkish jurisprudence (pardon the abuse of the word) would be accomplished within two or three years after the promulgation of the Hatti Sheriff; but after the lapse of more than three years, we may reasonably demand that there be some palpable signs of a beginning, and some indications at least of the promised reform in Turkey, before the present generation shall have passed away. Doubtless many imagine that the condition of Christian subjects is improved throughout the empire since the creation of this new instrument; but it is a mistaken notion. The "Geauour" is a "Geauour" still. Indeed, Christians tell us that before the war Turks called us "Geauour;" but now, not satisfied with that, they add "Kafir Geauour;" and such has been the result in many parts of these dark dominions, while in some others the fruits of the late war may have been in a measure favourable to the cause of freedom and justice. But I doubt if the "Magna Charta" can be said, with any degree of truth or propriety, to have begun to accomplish the great change for which it was designed and framed by the Allied Powers. After having been in a dozen Pachaliks of Asiatic Turkey since the signing of the Treaty of Paris and the promulgation of the Hatti Sheriff, I have yet to learn of the first instance of a Christian's testimony
A poor Christian, for instance, enters
the employ of a trader as business agent, and after serving him three or four years, he demands a settlement and the residue of his stipulated salary. The employer, finding it more convenient to receive than to pay out money, without a settlement, brings a charge of embezzlement against the employé of twice the amount actually due to the latter, and by corruption gets the Turkish Court to sanction his claim, and throw the poor man into prison, without the shadow of justice or investigation; while a Vizieral order from the Porte is entirely disregarded, and the true claimant must linger in a Turkish prison, or pay over to his employer the amount actually due to himself. This is a case of at least two years' lingering, and is now apparently as far from adjustment as ever. A representative of a Christian community, who, by order of the Sultan, is entitled to a seat in the Turkish Mejlis, is rudely expelled because he refuses to put his name and seal to a paper which he knows to be false; and he may reckon himself exceedingly lucky if he does not have to reflect in exile, as he has already in prison, on the misfortune of being an honest man.
Many cases might be cited, more aggravated, and myriads as annoying and unjust to the poor, who have no means of redress, and can only submit and endure. Whatever the condition of things may be at the capital, it cannot be denied that throughout the empire corruption is more rife since "the Magna Charta" has been promulgated; and by change in tactics, the wily Turks often employ it to shield them while dividing the spoils of a feeble and decaying Government. Indeed, what else can be hoped for? A Government founded on a lie will be fortified and upheld by lies and intrigue, and villainy and oppression, so long as it exists. The thing itself is an abuse. Nor is it possible, by isolated facts or language at all, to represent the true state of affairs in Turkey to the mind of
one who has never lived in Turkey as an eye-witness to the wrongs and outrages known only to those who live in the midst of them. And to this I may add the testimony of a very intelligent and observing English gentleman, who, having been several years connected with the Embassy at the Porte, with the best possible opportunity to become acquainted with Turkish jurisprudence, and the condition of things throughout the empire, and fancied that he had actually succeeded, too, after a few years' residence in the country, not only admits that he knew almost nothing about Turkey before, but now despairs of making his Government, or even the Embassy, acquainted with it, by writing. He regards it as a practical impossibility, and the Turkish Government a hopeless subject for reform.
While Russia is freeing her serfs, outstripping our own boasted land of freedom, and vying with the civilised and religious nations of the earth in improvements and deeds of righteousness, Turkey, after hoisting her proud banner with the dazzling inscription "Hatti Sheriff" under the crescent, is fast sinking under the weight of her own imbecility, her lies, and her treachery.
I am neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but I read history and the signs of the times in vain, if the Hatti Heumayoun is destined to accomplish the end for which the Allied Powers brought it into being, at the expense of such vast treasure and blood, and by which so many bright hopes have been awakened in the Christian world; unless, indeed, it be executed at the point of Christian bayonets and the cannon's mouth. Let no one flatter himself that his prayers have been answered, and he has only to sit down, witness the results of a great achievement, and enjoy the peaceful fruits of a glorious victory. The hard fighting is yet to come; the victory is yet to be achieved.
EVANGELICAL CHRISTENDOM"-DEATH OF THE BISHOP-CHRISTIAN UNION. To the Editor of Evangelical Christendom. | the Christian kindness of some unknown Sierra Leone, June 16, 1859.
Dear Sir,-Together with several of my brethren in this mission, I have, through
friend or friends, been in receipt of the Evangelical Christendom for several years; and I can no longer forbear expressing my