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corrupt, and selfish, to subdue and melt them. This being the first Society of the kind in this realm, and being based upon such sacred principles, I trust that it will increase and do much good to our country. A new place of Protestant worship is opened in the most populous part of the town. The church is more than filled with congregations, and the inquirers who apply to the missionaries for instruction are many,
“ SELIM KESSAB." Beyrout, May 28.
N.B.—This Association is now regularly organized under the truly Oriental name of the SUN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.
May this Sun indeed arise with healing on its wings, and lighten the darkness which hangs over our dear Land of Syria.
The young men have just had a large gathering in the house of their kind friend Mr. Mott. Mrs. Mott is now in England, and may be addressed Morden College, Blackheath.
MOTHERS' CLASSES IN PARIS.
A LETTER FROM MADAME DE PRESSENSE,
Paris, May, 1872. “ DEAR MADAM,
“A mutual friend has requested me to furnish you with some account of the work we commenced in November last among the families of the prisoners living in the quarter next to ours in this city.
“Some Scotch Christians having sent us by their minister a sum of money to be spent in endeavouring to evangelize our unhappy Paris, we determined to institute Sewing Meetings, analogous to Mothers' Meetings, which have done so much good in your country. One of our friends, Mademoiselle de Gordonne, left her family and came to reside near us to assist in our work, or rather that we might aid her in hers, for being able to
devote the whole of her time to it she has taken the most active part.
“ We knew no one in the quarter in which we began to work, but the first family we called upon directed us to others, and after a short time we visited a hundred, and when we commenced our sewing and reading meetings, the requests for admission became numerous, so that in order to receive all who applied we were obliged to hold four meetings a week.
“ We soon added an evening school, many of our poor women not being able to read. The Sunday-school also prospered. We had fifty children, and should have had many more if the friars and the sisters of charity who teach in the day schools did not forbid their attendance.
“We are about to open a library to which each family may come on Thursday evenings to borrow books, and not being able to find work for all the unhappy women whose husbands are dead or in prison, we give out every week that which they may take home to do, and this is not our least difficulty. But we think that help given in this manner is better than bestowing alms, and in the greater number of cases the question is simply how best to prevent the poor families from dying of hunger.
“ This is, however, but the temporal aspect of our work. We have many reasons to hope that some at least of the poor bitterly mourning souls have been relieved, and led to the source of true consolation.
By the end of April we were obliged to change the character of our Meetings, and to say to our needlewomen that we could not provide them with more material for work, but that we should be happy to meet them as before, to read to them and speak to them of the Gospel. We had great fear that they would abandon our Meetings when they found that they could gain no material profit by them, and that they might consider it as a loss of time.
“Still the two rooms are full, and the women never feel the evening tedious. They are especially fond of singing the hymns, and several among them have learnt to sing well. On Sunday morning some of the fathers and mothers come regularly to the school and listen with great attention. The men
we know are generally returned pontoniers (men from the hulks), their health is broke down, they can find no work, and are often an additional burden to their families, who have to sustain them. Many have been prisoners during long months there ; they have been set at liberty without trial and acquittal. Irritation and hatred are but natural in these cases, but I believe that the kindness and sympathy shown to their wives and children triumph readily over these seeds of wrath.
“ I wish I was able to tell you of all the proofs of disinterestedness, of generosity, the courage to suffer without complaining, that we have seen among these people whose conscience is but little enlightened, but whose hearts are so grateful. The children are full of intelligence, confiding, anxious to learn. It is very easy to gain their affections and to obtain great influence over them. These people have suffered so much lately that they are like prepared land ready to receive the seed.
The greater number, the men especially, are quite detached from Romanism. We never introduce any controversial subjects-never speak to them of Catholicism or of Protestantism, but of the Gospel only.
“A working man, visited by an evangelist, said to him, • Don't talk to me about religion ; I detest all religions.' • Then,' replied the visitor, “I will speak to you only about Jesus Christ.' * All right,' said the artisan, tell me about Him!' This man was a thorough Republican. He listened with attention to all that was said, and asked his visitor to call again.
“We strive to free ourselves from entertaining false impressions. We know well that we cannot search the hearts of our hearers, and that very often the land, ploughed and prepared as it may be, is still a very light soil ; but we must also accept all encouraging signs, and trust and hope to conduct our work wisely.
“ Mademoiselle de Gordone has returned home, and has obtained the consent of her mother to allow her to go to New Caledonia. She will be exposed to severe trials, and be separated from all family ties, to live among the unhappy victims of our civil war. Many of the families will go out to her when the country is ready to receive them. The women are nearly all decided to rejoin their husbands, and of course take their children with them. How many of them will reach the end of this long voyage in unbroken health is a question that makes one shudder, but their duty appears to us clear.
“I shall be very thankful if you will accord us your sympathy, and ask for us that of your friends and your readers.
“I know that you and your workers consecrate your lives to the suffering classes, and I am quite sure that the moral and material suffering of our unhappy people have an echo in your hearts.
Accept, Madam, the expression of my sympathy with my narrative.
“ ELISE DE PRESSENSE."
De Pressensé is indeed an honoured name, associated with the spread of four millions of copies of the Word of God during the last thirty-five years in France. We rejoice to acknowledge our sympathy with those who still hold that name, and give their hearts to Bible-work and Mothers' Classes in Paris.
THE WITNESS OF RACE, PLACE, AND LANGUAGE.
We have recently had our thoughts led by a report of the discussion in Rome to Peter--as a Syriac rather than a Roman Apostle-whose last years were connected not with Rome, but with Babylon, as the centre of the dispersions of Israel, which had taken place successively, and transferred God's ancient but rebellious people from their own country, Palestine, across the Syrian desert to the Eastern plains of Babylonia and Assyria.
There had been a partial return of the tribes of Judah, and Benjamin, and Levi, to Jerusalem, as we know, under Nehemiah and Ezra, but it was merely the return of a "remnant"-(see Neh. vii.) of 42,000 earnest men and their 7,000 servants. Whereas Judah alone had numbered 470,000 fighting men in former days. (1 Chron. xxi. 5.) The Greek historian, Strabo, speaks of " four or five millions of Jews as found in the province of Babylon alone.” Josephus, in his time, asserts that “there are but two tribes in Asia subject to the Romans, while the ten tribes are beyond the Euphrates until now, and are an immense multitude not to be estimated by numbers." We also know from St. Peter's own inspired letters, that it was needful for him to write to those of his nation who were as “strangers" scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia ; (passing on therefore with the stream of Teuton and Saxon emigration towards Europe through the districts of Asia Minor.) He writes of these strangers as “elect” (1 Pet. i. 2), “ redeemed with the precious blood of Jesus Christ (v. 18, 19), being born again of the incorruptible seed of the Word of God." Peter leaves them in no doubt as to CHRIST being the “chief corner stone"_" disallowed," indeed, of their national builders—a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence to the disobedient, but to these “strangers and pilgrims ” “ precious."
Assuming no superiority over them, this Cephas, or apostle of the stone, while telling of CHRIST as the corner-stone on which the Church was to be built, addressed his brethren likewise as lively or “living stones” of the “spiritual house " or Church, and reminds them that they are “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, called out of darkness into marvellous light.”
He bids them abstain from fleshly lusts that war against the soul, and further marks their nationality by exhorting them to have “their conversation honest among the Gentiles.” (1 Peter ii. 11, 12.)
Here is no intimation even of a Syriac primacy. He speaks to the elders among these Israelites, and says, “I also am an elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ.” He deprecates for any of them that they should be lords over God's heritage, and rather congratulates them on the lowliness and the afflictions at that time common to all their brethren, and he ends with a salutation to them from the Church at Babylon and from “Marcus my son."
The relation of Mark to Peter is a point of considerable interest. Ancient writers speak of the Evangelist Mark Eis