Page images
PDF
EPUB

666

should use the power which He gives us, for our own support, and then look to Him for the blessing.'

Suppose,' I said, “your sick relative knowing there was a doctor here, yet remained in his own house, believing that God would take care of him, would he have got better? No; instead of that, you see, he walked a great distance, then came to the Dispensary, took the medicine, and now, by God's blessing, is better. It is just the same with regard to our daily support, we must work with the means that God gives us, and not depend upon others.' She admitted that my word was true. I then asked her who the God was she continually worshipped, and if by so doing she hoped to be saved. She said it was Krishnu Lananee, and she hoped that he would give her heaven.

6 I then asked her what Krishnu had done, in order to save her? Finding that she was at a loss for a reply, I told her that so far from Krishnu having done anything to save sinners, he was himself (according to their own books) one of the greatest sinners; and I then asked her how could she, a sinner, hope to be saved by a greater sinner than herself. Would it be wise for one blind man to trust to another blind man to lead him, would they not both be in danger of falling into a ditch ? She was struck with astonishment at these words.

Amma,' she said, “What kind of words do you speak ? I nerer heard such words before. I confess my blindness hitherto. I see, then, that Krishnu cannot save me, and it is of no use worshipping him; but, then, who will save me? Who?' she asked with earnestness, the tears running down her cheeks.

“ Then I began to tell her of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour of sinners; how IIe came into the world, lived a life of holiness, went about doing good, healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, raising the dead, and at last offered Himself up on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins, then arose from the dead and went up to heaven, where He now lives at the right hand of God, able and willing to save all those who put their trust in Him. I then asked her whether Krishnu had ever done anything like this to save sinners, and earnestly entreated her to renounce her faith in false gods, and to throw herself into the

666

arms of Jesus Christ for salvation. Since then we have often met, and had long and interesting conversations together; but want of space and time forbids my enlarging. Her relative has gone away cured of his painful disease ; but she frequently comes for the express purpose of hearing me read the Holy Scriptures, and explaining more fully the way of salvation by Jesus Christ. We had told her that we held Divine Service every Sunday morning at 10.30. At the time she did not take much notice of our invitation to join us, but one Sunday morning she came to us and said she wanted to be present at our service. She had come without taking any food. We gave her what was needful for her food, and some fuel to cook it. She excused herself from taking anything at first, but afterwards thankfully took what we gave her. Throughout the service she sat absorbed in silence and deep attention. Never before had she witnessed Christian worship. She has committed to memory the word (Yeysoo Christoo), and tells me she always meditates on that blessed name night and day, and has left off worshipping her former god, Krishnu Lananee. Oh that the Holy Spirit (without whose help all our efforts are vain) may

bless the seed that has thus been sown in the heart of this interesting and anxious inquirer !

66 MARY WESLEY." There is another account of an aged woman, who rejoiced to relinquish idol worship and become a follower of Jesus ; but the details of her conversion must be deferred for the present.

Since our last report, three months ago, Mary Wesley has visited two towns and three villages ; she has read the Holy Scriptures in many houses, and has thus brought the great truths of Christianity to bear upon the minds of upwards of 700 Hindu females.

Martha has visited thirteen villages, held Mothers' Meetings with native Christian women, and conversed at different times with upwards of 300 Hindu women.

Marion, the Bible-woman employed at Coimbatore, under the superintendence of Mrs. Joss, has also visited many villages in that neighbourhood, and conversed with a goodly number of women and girls.

With such an agency at work amongst a class of Hindu women inaccessible by any other means, may we not hope that many who have hitherto been worshippers of idols may be led to see their folly, and rejoice to find in the “ Bible-woman who can give a satisfactory answer to the agonized inquiry of many an anxious soul, “ Who, then, can save me? Who?

one

THE BIBLE IN TURKEY SINCE 1853.

case.

(Continued from page 18.) THERE was some fear at the close of the Crimean war, that when the foreign troops departed, and the orthodox Mohammedan reaction began, the pride of the Turkish nation would rise in opposition to the Bible, as before ; but this was not the

There was a political reaction in favour of Islamism at the court, but a continually increasing circulation of the Scriptures was reported by the American missionaries. Many a Turkish soul was silently taught of God to search their precious pages.

“ Our chief missionaries among the Mohammedans are our New Testaments,” says Dr. Schauffler. “It has come to our knowledge that clerks in the Chancery of the Grand Vizier are reading and examining the Scriptures, and it is quite true that even women buy and read the Bible. Many of them learn to read from old schoolmasters, who travel from house to house to teach. There is a great dearth of appropriate books for them, hence the better opening for the Bible. All the mass of humanity in European and Asiatic Turkey is fermenting and pressing on towards a new state of things, and numerous social reforms are desired and hoped for.” Thus it was written in the

year 1857. Let us now survey afresh the area of those “BIBLE LANDS." They were the birthplace of the human race, also the scene of its redemption, and of the earliest civilization. They comprise not only Turkey in Europe, but Turkey in Asia (Asia Minor, as it is called), that long peninsula, jutting out from the continent of Asia, and divided only from the continent of Europe by straits so narrow that it seems connected as

much with one as the other. At that very point of junction stands Constantinople, so central in its site, that with its new privileges of religious freedom it can become the storehouse of supplies of the Holy Scriptures, as Egypt of old was for grain for the famishing nations--a storehouse of the bread of life for thirty-seven millions of souls, either lying in Mohammedan darkness, or under the bondage of corrupted forms of Christianity, but yet not unwilling to receive the Word of the Lord, prepared for them by tens of thousands of copies, not only in Turkish, and in Arabic, Hebrew, Greek, and various Judeo versions, but in Armenian, Bulgarian, Wallachian, Servian, and Albanian translations! And how important that they should receive the word of truth itself, beset as they are by emissaries of the Roman and Greek forms of idolatry, so falsely representing the simplicity of the New Testament faith.

“ TURKEY IN EUROPE,” says Dr. Schauffler, “is the noblest portion of the empire, blest in its climate, its rivers, its seashore, having thousands of miles of accessible coast, upon the Danube, the Black Sea, the Bosphorus, Marmora, Dardanelles, and Mediterranean. It is inhabited by more than sixteen millions of an industrious population, and must ultimately decide the destiny of the whole empire.

“ But let no one underrate the importance of Asia MINOR. American Missions were providentially first established there, as the Lord directed us, when neither we nor others saw the vast promise of that field of labour. He has influenced the excellent Evangelical spirit in England, which reached forth the hand of Christian co-operation to America, in the institution of the TURKISH MISSIONS AID SOCIETY'*--not to supersede or rival us, but to help us to train a NATIVE AGENCY, with a view to the ultimate creation of Native Self-supporting Evangelical Churches, thus strengthening the cords of brotherly love between Christians of the two hemispheres, in a way that cannot be over-estimated.

“ In Asia Minor Churches were planted and souls saved, long before any country now called Protestant had received a Gospel ray. Called into being and nurtured by the visits and letters of

* Formed during the Crimean War.

inspired apostles, these ancient Churches were the cradle of our Scriptures; yet they had long fallen into decay and error; and it is very remarkable, says Dr. Hamlin, another American missionary, that God has visibly honoured most in these lands the approach to those who wished to teach WITH THE WORD OF GOD ALONE, summoning them to its high tribunal, and retiring ourselves behind the simple majesty of Divine truth. Thus the Lord has honoured His own Word. It has had a transforming power in the last few years, to bring the Armenian, the Greek, the Jew, and even the Mohammedan, into fellowship as brethren in Christ."

Yes ; it is surely Turkey, rather than any other mission field on the face of the earth, that has shown us the power of what may be emphatically called BIBLE Missions. The American missionaries belong to five distinct religious denominations, but it has never been their aim to establish the peculiarities of any one of them. The organization of the infant Protestant Churches, and their Confession of Faith, has been carried just as far as they were unanimously convinced that they had the clear warrant of Scripture. These Missions have been prominently THE MISSIONS OF THE BOOK.

Could the beloved Apostle Paul return to earth at this period, and look abroad over Turkey in Europe and Asia, he might retrace his comparatively slow and toilsome journeys, to plant his Master's gospel, from Jerusalem to Tarsus, to Ephesus and Corinth, Thessalonica and Philippi, to Macedonia, to Galatia, and Phrygia. He would remember his voyage home to Rome in three successive ships, carefully sailing within sight of the coast without a compass, his advice to the captain being to winter in the Fair Havens of Crete by the way; and then how would he perceive and contrast the speedy work of the Lord as now accomplishing in these lands, and wonder and praise God exceedingly.

Since St. Paul's era, the web of the False Prophet has been spun by Satan for the Arabic-speaking nations, ensnaring them for more than a thousand years. A false book has been accepted by 100,000,000 of men, generation after generation, accepted so implicitly, that they have refused to live in neigh

« PreviousContinue »