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History Of The Missions Of The American Board Of Commissioners For Foreign Missions To The Oriental Churches, Volume II.
by Rufus Anderson
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HISTORY OF THE MISSIONS OF THE AMERICAN BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS FOR FOREIGN MISSIONS TO THE ORIENTAL CHURCHES.

BY RUFUS ANDERSON, D.D., LL.D., LATE FOREIGN SECRETARY OF THE BOARD.

IN TWO VOLUMES.

VOL. II.

BOSTON: CONGREGATIONAL PUBLISHING SOCIETY. 1872.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1872, by THE AMERICAN BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS FOR FOREIGN MISSIONS, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

RIVERSIDE, CAMBRIDGE: STEREOTYPED AND PRINTED BY H. O. HOUGHTON AND COMPANY.



CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XXIV. THE ARMENIANS.—1846-1855.

Agency of Sir Stratford Canning.—Of Lord Cowley.—Lord Palmerston's Instructions.—Action of the Porte.—The Chevalier Bunsen.—A Vizerial Letter.—Further Concessions.—The Firman.—Good Counsel from Sir Stratford to the Protestants.—Dilatoriness of the Turkish Government.—Still another Concession by the Sultan.—Agency of the American Minister.—Greatness of the Changes.—The Divine Agency recognized.—The Danger.—Why Persecution was continued.—New Missionaries.—Pera again ravaged by Fire.—The Aintab Station.—Native Zeal for the Spread of the Gospel.—Activity of the Mission.—The Patriarch deposed.—Native Pastors.—Death of Mrs. Hamlin.—Death and Character of Dr. Azariah Smith.—Mr. Dunmore joins the Mission.—Removal into Old Constantinople.—The First Ecclesiastical Council.—The Gospel introduced into Marsovan.—Visited by Mr. E. E. Bliss.—A Persecution that was needed.—Unexpected Relief.—Changes in the Mission.—Missions by Native Pastors.—Death of Mrs. Everett.—Death of Mr. Benjamin.

CHAPTER XXV. THE ARMENIANS.—1855-1860.

The Crimean War subservient to the Gospel.—Its Origin. —Providential Interposition.—Probable Consequences of Russian Success.—Effect of the Fall of Sebastopol.—The Mission in 1855.—Schools.—Church Organization.—Church Building.—The Printing.—Editions of the Scriptures.—The Book Depository.—Aid from Abroad.—Greek Students in Theology.—Licentiates.—Accession of Missionaries.—Death of Mr. Everett.—Miscellaneous Notices.—Renewed Agitation about the Death Penalty.—The Hatti Humaioun.—How regarded by the English Ambassador.—Includes the Death Penalty.—Is recognized in the Treaty of Paris.—How estimated by the Missionaries.—Indications of Progress.—Aintab.—Death of Mrs. Schneider.—Girls' School at Constantinople.—Seminary at Bebek.—Division of the Mission.—Turkish Missions Aid Society.—Visit of Dr. Dwight to England.—A Remarkable Convert.—Death of the second Mrs. Hamlin.—Arabkir.—Sivas and Tocat.—Harpoot.—Geghi.—Revivals of Religion.—Girls' School at Nicomedia.—Fire at Tocat.—Mr. Dunmore's Explorations.—Church at Cesarea.—A former Persecutor made Catholicos.—Death of Mrs. Beebee.

CHAPTER XXVI. THE ARMENIANS.—1860-1861.

A Result of the Crimean War.—Religious Opinion in Constantinople. —Change at Rodosto.—Outbreak at the Metropolis.—A Remarkable Native Helper.—Great Change in Marsovan.—Changes elsewhere. —Telegraphic Communication.—The Mission further divided.—First Native Pastor at Harpoot.—Rise of the Station.—Dr. Dwight's Second Tour in the East.—Changes since the First Tour.—Triumph of the Gospel at Marash.—Tribute to the Wives of Missionaries.—Change at Diarbekir.—Decline of Turkish Population.—Death and Character of Mr. Dunmore.—The Missionary Force.—Training School at Mardin.—Other Portions of the Field.—Scripture Translations. —Publications.

CHAPTER XXVII. THE ASSYRIA MISSION.—1849-1860.

Origin of the Mission.—Mosul reoccupied.—Why it had been relinquished.—Proposed American Episcopal Mission.—The Mission of the Board reinforced.—Dr. Bacon's Experience in the Koordish Mountains.—Punishment of the Robbers.—How the Gospel came to Diarbekir.—Church organized.—Arrival of Mr. Dunmore.—Tomas. —Persecutions.—Mr. Marsh's Visit to Mardin.—Dr. Lobdell's Experience at Aintab and Oorfa.—Outrage at Diarbekir.—Descent of the Tigris.—Diarbekir a Year later.—Congregational Singing at Mosul.—Dr. Lobdell as a Medical Missionary.—The Yazidees.—Dr. Lobdell's Visit to Oroomiah.—His Views of the Ecclesiastical Policy of the Mission.—Return to Mosul.—The Church at Diarbekir reorganized.—Strength out of Weakness.—Native Preacher at Haine.—The Gospel at Cutterbul.—Relief at Mosul.—A Special Danger growing out of the Crimean War.—Excessive Heat.—Death of Mrs. Williams.—Dr. Lobdell visits Bagdad.—His Sickness, Death, and Character.—Religious Services at Diarbekir.—The Gospels in Koordish.—New Station at Mardin.—Remarkable Case of Conversion. —New Station at Bitlis.—Death of Mrs. Marsh.—Return of Mrs. Lobdell with Mr. Marsh.—Difficulties in the way of occupying Mosul.—Great Prosperity at Diarbekir.—Close of the Assyria Mission.

CHAPTER XXVIII. THE NESTORIANS.—1851-1857.

Mr. Stoddard's Reception on his Return.—Death of Judith Perkins. —Progress in the Mountains.—Progress on the Plain.—The Seminaries.—A suggestive Case of Native Piety.—Scenes on a Tour.—Nazee, a Christian Girl, at her Mountain Home.—Elevations of Places.—A Russian Friend.—Mr. Stocking's Return Home.—A Robbery. —Another Revival.—Seminary Graduates.—Extraordinary Enthusiasm. —Books.—Death of Mr. Crane.—Audacity of Papal Missionaries. —English and Russian Protection.—Mr. Cochran at Kosrova.—Matter of Church Organization.—Death of Deacon Guwergis.—Hostility of the Persian Government.—A new Revival.—Gawar vacated for a time. —Discomfiture of the Enemy.—The Lord a Protector.—The Monthly Concert.—Mountain Tours.—Search for a Western Station.—An Interesting Event.—Violence of Government Agents.—How these Agents were removed out of the Way.

CHAPTER XXIX. THE NESTORIANS.—1857-1863.

Death of Mr. Stoddard.—His Character.—Death of his Daughter. —Retrospective View.—Death of Mrs. Rhea.—Decisive Indication of Progress.—A Winter in Western Koordistan.—Mosul and its Vicinity. —The Mountain Field.—An Appeal.—Failing Health.—New Missionaries.—Death of Mr. Thompson.—Failure of the Plan for a Western Station.—Failure of Mr. Cobb's Health.—The Nestorian Helpers.—Tenth Revival in the Seminary.—Literary Treasures of the Nestorians.—Marriage of Mar Yohanan.—Advance towards Church Organization.—Death of the Patriarch.—Extraordinary Outburst of Liberality.—Dr. Dwight's Visit to Oroomiah.—His Opinion of the Church Policy of the Mission.—Improvements.—Appearance of the Native Preachers.—Death of Mr. Breath.—Apprehended Aggressions from Russian Ecclesiastics.—More Revivals.—Death of Mar Elias.—His Character.—Armenians on the Plain of Oroomiah.—Manual for the Reformed Church.—Retrospect of the Mission.—Miss Rice in sole Charge of the Female Seminary.—Care of the English Government for the Nestorians.

CHAPTER XXX. THIRTY YEARS AMONG THE JEWS.—1826-1856.

The First Missionaries.—Arrival of Mr. Schauffler at Constantinople.—Jews in that City.—Baptism of a German Jew.—Religious Excitements.—Visit to Odessa.—The Psalms in Hebrew-Spanish.—Printing of the Old Testament at Vienna.—Whole Bible in Hebrew-Spanish.—Unsuccessful Opposition.—Generous Aid from Scotland.—Demand for the Scriptures.—The Grand Difficulty. —Present Duty of Christian Churches.—The German Jews.—Interest of Protestant Armenians in the Mission.—The Italian Jews.—Service for the Germans.—Why so much Preparatory Work.—New Editions of the Scriptures.—Important Testimony.—Change of Relations to Constantinople Jews.—Attention turned to the Jews in Salonica.—The Jewish Population there.—Missionaries to Salonica.—The Zoharites. —Relations of the Jews to Christ's Kingdom.—The Practical Inference.—Death of Mr. Maynard.—New Missionary.—The People without Education.—Their Capacity for Self-righteousness.—Literary Labors of Mr. Schauffler.—A New Missionary.—Insalubrity of the Climate.—Dangerous Sickness.—Death of Mrs. Morgan.—Removal to Constantinople.—Salonica partially reoccupied.—Labors among the Smyrna Jews.—Labors of Mr. Schauffler.—Why the Mission was relinquished.—Mr. Schauffler turns to the Moslems.

CHAPTER XXXI. THE BULGARIANS OF EUROPEAN TURKEY.—1857-1862.

The Geographical Position.—Moslem Population.—The Bulgarians. —Their Origin and Early History.—Their Conversion to Christianity.—Their Ecclesiastical Relations.—Their Aversion to the Greek Hierarchy.—Danger from the Papacy.—Seasonable Intervention of Protestantism.—Their Struggle with the Greek Patriarch.—First Exploration of Roumelia, and Dr. Hamlin's Report.—The Result.—Division of the Bulgarian Field between Methodist Missionaries and those of the American Board.—Friendly Cooeperation.—Report of a Tour by Mr. Bliss.—Commencement of the Bulgarian Mission.—Papal Opposition.—The Mission enlarged.—The Accessible Population.—Desire for Education.—Readiness to receive the New Testament.—Church formed at Adrianople.—Labors of Mr. Meriam.

CHAPTER XXXII. THE BULGARIANS OF EUROPEAN TURKEY.—1862-1871.

Brigandage in Bulgaria.—Mr. Meriam murdered by Brigands. —Distressing Circumstances and Death of Mrs. Meriam.—Successful Efforts to Punish the Assassins.—Check to the Brigandage.—Further Enlargement of the Mission.—School for Girls.—New Station at Samokov.—Results of a General Missionary Conference.—The Great Obstacle.—Signs of Progress.—Unexpected Hindrance.—Popularity of the Schools.—The People not accessible to Preaching.—Awakened Interest.—Girl's School at Eski Zagra.—Cases of Domestic Persecution.—A Serious Loss.—Effect of False Reports.—A Successful Intervention.—Public Celebration of the Lord's Supper.—Its Significance.—New Missionaries.—Death of Mr. Ball.—Death of Miss Reynolds.—The Connection with the Armenian Mission dissolved.—The Mission as thus constituted.—The Bulgarians Ecclesiastically Free.—First Effect of this Freedom.—Promising Events.—Death of Miss Norcross.—Removal of the School from Eski Zagra to Samokov.—A Church organized at Bansko.—Translation of the Bible into the Spoken Language.—The Mission in its Preliminary Stage, but ready for an Onward Movement.

CHAPTER XXXIII. THE ARMENIANS.—1861-1863.

Dr. Dwight's Visit to the United States.—His Sudden Death.—His Life and Character.—His Views of Missionary Policy.—The Actual Call for Missionaries, and the Discretion awarded to them.—Bebek Seminary to be removed into the Interior.—Its History.—Removal of Boarding School for Girls.—Its Usefulness.—Exploration of the Taurus Mountains.—A Beautiful Scene.—A Barbarous Expulsion from Hadjin.—Murder of Mr. Coffing.—Successful Efforts to apprehend the Murderers.—One of them executed.—The Result.—Mrs. Coffing remains in the Mission.—Dr. Goodell's Estimate of Progress in the Central Mission.—Progress at Aintab.—At Oorfa.—At Harpoot.—Theological School.—A Native Preacher.—Mosul.—Ordination of a Native Pastor at Diarbekir.—Contrasted with an Oriental Ordination.—Disturbing Efforts of Garabed.—Progress at Bitlis.—The Church at Erzroom. —Progress at Arabkir.—Sojourn of Dr. Wood at Constantinople. —Accessions to the Mission.—Ordination of Native Pastors.

CHAPTER XXXIV. THE ARMENIANS.—1864-1865.

A Reaction.—The Apparent Cause.—Consequent Movements.—Results. —Position of the Entire Field.—Obstacles to be surmounted. —Painful Experience at Marsovan.—Accessions to the Mission. —Working Force at the Metropolis.—Robert College and Bebek.—An unsuccessful Disorganizing Movement.—Great Fire at Broosa.—New Missionary Station.—Influence of the American War at Adana. —Diminished Force in Central Turkey.—Evangelical Progress at Aintab.—Two Churches formed.—Girls' Boarding School.—High School.—Graduating Class at Harpoot.—Singular Method of Opposition.—Progress of Self-support and the Evangelical Spirit in the Churches.—Death of Mrs. Williams.—General View of the Eastern Mission.—Methods of Opposition.—Liberal Support of the Gospel. —Prosperity at Diarbekir.—Death of Mr. Dodd.—Death of Mr. Morgan.—Death of Hohannes.—Interesting Ordinations.—Reception of Mr. and Mrs. Walker.—A Native Church in the Absence of both Missionary and Pastor.—Death of a Native Helper.

CHAPTER XXXV. THE ARMENIANS—1865-1867.

Harpoot Evangelical Union.—Other Similar Associations.—Their Utility.—A Poor Church enriched.—John Concordance, the Blind Preacher.—His Sermon on Tithes, and his Wide Influence.—Meeting of the Harpoot Union.—Death of Mrs. Adams.—New Missionaries. —Multiplication of Newspapers.—The Avedaper, or "Messenger."—The Reformed Church and Prayer-Book.—Consequent Excitement. —Bible-women.—Eleven Years at Harpoot.—Week of Prayer at Harpoot, and Bitlis.—Revival at Bitlis.—Broosa after Seventeen Years. —First Evangelical Greek Church.—Death of Mr. Walker.—His Character.—Return Home of Mrs. Walker.—Contrast at Choonkoosh. —A Foreign Mission resolved upon.—New Revival at Harpoot.—The Past and Present.—Injurious Effect of Prosperity in a Church.—The Recovery.

CHAPTER XXXVI. THE NESTORIANS.—1864-1868.

Death and Character of Deacon Isaac.—Death and Character of Miss Fiske.—Death of Deacon Joseph.—Mountain Tours.—The Mountain Work.—Visit to the Young Patriarch.—The Seminary for Girls.—Great Usefulness of Dr. Wright.—His Death.—Death of Mr. Ambrose. —Nestorian Vagrancy.—Death and Character of Mr. Rhea.—Hostility of Mar Shimon.—Friendly Agency of the English Ambassador.—Royal Donation.—Success of the Girls' School.—Male Seminary.—A Private School.—Death of Priest Eshoo.—New Medical Missionary.—Estimates of Population.—Interesting Armenian Colony.—The Patriarch thwarted in his Hostility.—Favoring Indications.

CHAPTER XXXVII. THE NESTORIANS.—1867-1870.

Convention of Nestorian Churches.—Ordination of a Nestorian Missionary.—A Satisfactory Tour.—Movement towards Self-supporting Churches.—Progress of the Reformation.—Retirement of Missionaries.—What Dr. Perkins had seen accomplished.—Rekindling of the Ancient Missionary Spirit.—Foreign Missions become a Necessity.—The Reviving Missionary Spirit illustrated.—Death of Priest Abraham.—Failure of the Original Plan of Church Organization.—Mar Yohanan.—Erratic Proceedings of Priest John.—The best People stand firm.—The Past not to be condemned. —Separate Churches become a Necessity.—Signs of Revival.—The Foreign Missionary Field for the Nestorians.—The Missionaries. —Assignments of Fields.—Transfer of the Mission to the Presbyterian Board.—Death and Character of Dr. Perkins.

CHAPTER XXXVIII. SYRIA.—1857-1860.

Death of Dr. Eli Smith.—The Work performed by him.—Dr. Van Dyck succeeds him as Translator.—The Missionaries.—Death of Dr. De Forest.—The Schools.—Progress in Fifteen Years.—Ain Zehalty. —Church at Hasbeiya.—Attitude of the Maronite Clergy.—B'hamdun. —Kefr Shema.—A High-minded Christian.—Religious Toleration. —Prospect of a Native Ministry.—A New Call for the Gospel.—Church at Alma.—Successful Ministry at Cana.—First completed Protestant Church Building in Syria.—The Missionary's Wife at Cana. —Persecution.—The Women at Alma.—Training of Helpers.—Ain Zehalty again.—Struggles in the Department of Education. —Accessions to the Churches.—New Protestant Community at Deir Mimas.—A Cheering Annual Meeting.—Friendly Aid from United States Ambassador.—Arabic New Testament published.

CHAPTER XXXIX. SYRIA.—1860-1863.

Another Civil War in Syria.—The Missionaries Safe.—Massacre near Sidon.—Mr. Bird at Deir el-Komr.—Destruction of Zahleh.—Massacre at Hasbeiya.—Massacre at Damascus.—Relief for Suffering Thousands.—Remarkable Escape of Missionaries and Native Protestants.—Foreign Interposition.—Effects of the War.—Arabic New Testament published.—Cooperation of American and English Bible Societies.—Importance of the Version.—Sales of the Scriptures.—A Voweled Arabic New Testament.—The Field Brightening.—A Good Governor.—Further Evidences of Progress.—Persecution.—A Significant Event.—Evidence of Divine Agency.—Changes in the Mission.—Growth of Beirut.—Demand for Education.—Proposal for a Protestant College.—What hindered a more Rapid Progress in the Mission.

CHAPTER XL. SYRIA.—1863-1869.

Personal.—Boarding Schools.—Printing.—Completion of the Arabic Translation of the Scriptures.—Multiplication of Copies.—Improved Government of Lebanon.—The Native Ministry.—Druze High School. —Value of Druze Protection.—Death of Tannus el-Haddad.—Native Pastor at Hums.—Remarkable Awakening at Safeeta.—Remarkable Persecution.—Firmness of the persecuted People.—The Persecution closed.—Decline and Recovery of the Church at Hums.—Native Missions.—Administration of Daoud Pasha.—Accessions to the Mission.—Books published.—The Publishing Department strengthened.

CHAPTER XLI. SYRIA.—1869-1870.

But few Students in Theology.—Institution of a Theological Seminary.—Female Boarding Schools.—THE SYRIAN PROTESTANT COLLEGE. —Demand for a College.—Its Objects.—Range of its Studies.—Why an Independent Institution.—Its Location and Government.—Its Endowment.—Its Students.—The Religious Influences.—First Graduating Class.—The College Edifices.—Transfer of the Mission to the Presbyterian Board.—Feeling awakened by the Transfer.—RESULTS OF THE PAST.

CHAPTER XLII. THE ARMENIANS.—1867-1869.

New Missionaries.—Revival at Marash.—Revival at Mardin.—Oosee, a Native Candidate for a Foreign Mission.—Church organized at Mardin.—Wife of Oosee.—Struggle with the People of Zeitoon. —Deadly Assault on a Missionary.—The Rescue.—The Gospel gains a Footing in Zeitoon.—Coast of the Black Sea.—Death of Dr. William Goodell.—His Life and Character.—Prolonged Tour in Eastern Turkey.—Meeting of the Evangelical Union at Diarbekir.—Mardin. —Remarkable Church and Pastor at Sert.—Bitlis.—Extreme Poverty on the Plain of Moosh.—Oppression by the Priesthood.—Death of Mrs. H. S. Barnum.—District of Erzroom.—Diarbekir.—Native Mission to Koordistan.—Native Mission to Moosh.—Seminaries at Harpoot.—Cruel Persecution at Mardin.—Revival at Oorfa.—Apprehended Doctrinal Errors.—Reception of Mr. Wheeler on his Return to Harpoot. —Progress of Civilization at Aleppo.—Death of John Concordance. —Aintab after Twenty Years.

CHAPTER XLIII. THE ARMENIANS.—1869-1872.

Another Revival at Marash.—Another at Bitlis.—New Church and Pastor at Havadoric.—Great Change in Hadjin.—The Marsovan Seminary.—Angora.—Erzingan.—Crisis in the Koordistan Native Mission.—Mr. Wheeler's Visit to it, and Mr. Pond's Visit to Sert. —Mosul.—Death of Dr. Williams.—His Character.—Women in the Region of Cesarea.—Missionary Visit to Van.—Death of a Native Pastor.—Dr. Clarke's Impressions of Cilicia.

CHAPTER XLIV. THE ARMENIANS.—EDUCATION.—1872.

Common Schools a Necessity.—The Four Seminaries.—The Female Boarding Schools.—Tabular View of the Higher Schools.—Marsovan Seminary.—Harpoot Seminaries.—Marash Seminary.—Mardin Seminaries.—Training School at Tocat.—High School at Aintab. —Marsovan Female Seminary.—Harpoot Female Seminary.—Female Boarding School at Aintab.—Marash Female High School.—The ROBERT COLLEGE.—Its Origin.—Obstacles to be overcome.—To be a Christian Institution.—The Founder.—Fully established.—How Obstacles were surmounted.—The College Self-supporting.—Gifts by the Founder. —The Demand for Liberal Education.—Proposed College in the Interior.—How the Idea originated.—Interesting Statement from Aintab.—To be located in Aintab.

CHAPTER XLV. THE ARMENIANS.—PRESENT CONDITION.—1872.

Unreasonable Demands on Foreign Missions.—How the Millennium is made possible.—The Evangelizing Progress.—Changes in the Metropolis of Turkey.—National Progress.—Influence of the Protestant Faith.—Reform in Worship.—The Missionaries Hopeful. —The Degree of Progress.—Illustrations.—The Harpoot Community. —General Statements.—The Result.

CHAPTER XLVI. THE MOHAMMEDANS.

The Mohammedans to be approached through the Oriental Churches. —Largely of Christian Origin.—Degree of Security for Moslem Converts.—Mohammedan Susceptibility to Christian Influence illustrated.—General Character of the Illustrations.—The Gospel yet in its Incipient Stage of Influence among them.—Why so little Direct Effort hitherto.—Demand for Laborers of the same Race. —Experience favors the Plan hitherto pursued.—The Probable Future.—The Relations of the Missionary to the Moslems.—The Turks not an Unhopeful Race.



MISSIONS

TO THE

ORIENTAL CHURCHES.



CHAPTER XXIV.

THE ARMENIANS.

1846-1855.

Several European governments, and especially England, performed an important part in securing civil and religious freedom to the Protestant Armenians.[1]

[1] This is impressively set forth in the Correspondence respecting the Condition of Protestants in Turkey, published by order of Parliament in 1851, pp. 154 folio.

In March, 1846, Sir Stratford Canning, English Ambassador at Constantinople, reported to his government thirty-six evangelical Armenians as persecuted by the Patriarch. To this he added personal efforts to meliorate their condition, which resulted in promises from Turkish officials and the Patriarch of better treatment, promises that were by no means fulfilled.

Upon learning that the Armenian Protestants had been organized into a church, he transmitted to Lord Palmerston, the Foreign Secretary, their declaration of reasons for so doing, and their confession of faith.

The Hon. H. R. Wellesley, better known as Lord Cowley, on taking, the place of Sir Stratford during his visit to England, cordially took up the unfinished work of his predecessor, and urged upon Lord Palmerston the importance of procuring from the Porte a recognition of the Protestant Armenians as an independent community. He showed that, in spite of the liberal assurances extorted from the Patriarch, they were exposed to daily injury and insult, and would continue to be so until recognized by the Porte as a distinct community among its Christian subjects. At the same time, he forwarded a copy of an able declaration by the American missionaries of their objects in coming to Turkey, which they had made to the Porte through Mr. Carr, the American Minister. Lord Cowley was instructed by Lord Palmerston, "to bring the situation of these people earnestly under the consideration of the Porte, and urgently to press the Turkish government to acknowledge them as a separate religious sect." In December the Porte freed the Protestant Armenians from the rule of the Armenian Patriarch, so far as regarded their commercial and temporal affairs, and allowed them to appoint an agent, who should manage their affairs with the government; and also to keep separate registers of marriages, births, and deaths. The Chevalier Bunsen, the well known Prussian Ambassador in Paris, now entered into the work, and recommended, that their recognition be as durable and complete as that of the other Christian nationalities. To this proposal Lord Palmerston cordially assented; but the Turkish officials were, as usual, disinclined to go forward.

On the 19th of November, 1847, Lord Cowley had the satisfaction of announcing, that the Grand Vizier, wishing, as he said, to do something that he knew would be agreeable to his lordship, before he should leave the country, had obtained the Sultan's permission to issue a vizierial letter in his Majesty's name, which would establish their independence at once.[1]

[1] This letter may be found in Missionary Herald for 1848, p. 98.

At the suggestion of Lord Cowley, the Porte promised to send letters to five different pashalics where there were Protestants, requiring them to act in accordance with the letter; in which was granted the privilege of toleration to all Protestant subjects alike, whether from the Armenian, Greek, Syrian, or Roman Catholic Churches, or from the Jews.

This letter was of great importance under the existing circumstances; but the privileges it conferred might all be taken away on a change of ministry. Accordingly Sir Stratford Canning, on his return to Constantinople in 1850, lost no time in commencing negotiations for a more stable basis of protection, and succeeded in obtaining an Imperial Firman with the autograph of the Sultan, in behalf of his Protestant subjects; giving to their civil organization all the stability and permanency that the older Christian communities enjoyed in Turkey. It was issued in November, 1850; and translated into English, reads as follows:—

"To my Vizier, Mohammed Pasha, Prefect of the Police in Constantinople, the honorable Minister and glorious Councillor, the model of the world, and regulator of the affairs of the community; who, directing the public interests with sublime prudence, consolidating the structure of the empire with wisdom, and strengthening the columns of its prosperity and glory, is the recipient of every grace from the Most High. May God prolong his glory!

"When this sublime and august mandate reaches you, let it be known, that hitherto those of my Christian subjects who have embraced the Protestant faith, in consequence of their not being under any specially appointed superintendence, and in consequence of the patriarchs and primates of their former sects, which they have renounced, naturally not being able to attend to their affairs, have suffered much inconvenience and distress. But in necessary accordance with my imperial compassion, which is the support of all, and which is manifested to all classes of my subjects, it is contrary to my imperial pleasure that any one class of them should be exposed to suffering.

"As, therefore, by reason of their faith, the above mentioned are already a separate community, it is my royal compassionate will, that, for the facilitating the conducting of their affairs, and that they may obtain ease and quiet and safety, a faithful and trustworthy person from among themselves, and by their own selection, should be appointed, with the title of 'Agent of the Protestants,' and that he should be in relations with the Prefecture of the Police.

"It shall be the duty of the Agent to have in charge the register of the male members of the community, which shall be kept at the police; and the Agent shall cause to be registered therein all births and deaths in the community. And all applications for passports and marriage licenses, and all petitions on affairs concerning the community that are to be presented to the Sublime Porte, or to any other department, must be given in under the official seal of the Agent.

"For the execution of my will, this my imperial sublime mandate and august command has been especially issued and given from my sublime chancery.

"Hence thou, who art the minister above named, according as it has been explained above, wilt execute to the letter the preceding ordinance; only, as the collection of the capitation tax and the delivery of passports are subject to particular regulations, you will not do anything contrary to those regulations. You will not permit anything to be required of them, in the name of fee, or on other pretences, for marriage licenses, or registration. You will see to it that, like the other communities of the empire, in all their affairs, such as procuring cemeteries and places of worship, they should have every facility and every needed assistance. You will not permit that any of the other communities shall in any way interfere with their edifices, or with their worldly matters or concerns, or, in short, with any of their affairs, either secular or religious, that thus they may be free to exercise the usages of their faith.

"And it is enjoined upon you not to allow them to be molested an iota in these particulars, or in any others; and that all attention and perseverance be put in requisition to maintain them in quiet and security. And, in case of necessity, they shall be free to make representations regarding their affairs through their Agent to the Sublime Porte.

"When this my imperial will shall be brought to your knowledge and appreciation, you will have this august decree registered in the necessary departments, and then give it over to remain in the hands of these my subjects. And see you to it, that its requirements be always in future performed in their full import.

"Thus know thou, and respect my sacred signet! Written in the holy month of Moharrem, 1267 (November, 1850).

"Given in the well guarded city Constantiniyeh."

At the request of Sir Stratford Canning, thirteen of the leading Protestants called upon him, on the occasion of his procuring this charter of rights; and for nearly an hour he addressed them on their duties and responsibilities, in their present position in the empire. He told them that they ought to thank God that they were the first to be relieved from the shackles of superstition, and made acquainted with the pure Gospel of Christ. He told them that many eyes were upon them, and that they ought to excel all others in the land in faithful obedience to the government, in a brotherly deportment to those of other religious opinions, and an example of uprightness in every relation. Again and again did he exhort them to act, in all things, according to the principles and doctrines of the Gospel.

Three years after this, on the 6th of December, 1853, on his return to Constantinople as Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, the same noble friend of religious freedom, wrote to the Earl of Clarendon, that he had endeavored in vain to obtain the official transmission of the firman to the Pashas throughout the empire. This was strikingly characteristic of Turkish procrastination. But he was then able to state, that the Porte, "out of consideration for his repeated representations," had officially transmitted the firman to all Pashas where a Protestant society was known to exist.

In 1854, his lordship obtained the concession from the Turkish government, that Christian evidence, in matters of criminal jurisdiction, should stand on the same footing everywhere in Turkey as the testimony of Mohammedans; thus removing a great wrong, under which the rayahs of the empire had labored for centuries.

While gratefully acknowledging our obligations to the representatives of other nations, I should also record, that our brethren, both in the Armenian and Syria missions, were under continued obligation to Mr. Carr, our Minister at the Porte, for personal protection as American citizens. He acted with decision whenever their rights were invaded. In the repeated efforts made to remove them from the country, his reply to the formal demands of the Porte was, that he had power to protect the missionaries as American citizens, but not to remove them; and furthermore, that while papal missionaries from France and Italy were permitted to reside in Turkey, Protestant missionaries from America must also have the same privilege.

Here we may properly pause, and consider what God had wrought, not alone through the agency of the churches, but with the cooeperation of the great powers of the earth. Twenty years before, Messrs. Smith and Dwight did not find a single clear case of conversion in their extended travels through the Turkish empire. How many and great the subsequent changes! First came the national charter of rights, given by the Sultan in 1840; which, among its other results, destroyed the persecuting power of the Armenian aristocracy. Next came the abolition of the death penalty, in 1843, and the Sultan's pledge, that men should no more be persecuted for their religious opinions. Then, after three years, came the unthought of application of this pledge to the Armenian Protestants, when persecuted by their own hierarchy. In the next year followed the recognition of the Protestants as an independent community. Finally, in 1850, came the charter, signed by the Grand Sultan himself, placing the Protestants on the same national basis with the other Christian communities of the empire.

How wonderful this progression of events! So far as the central government was concerned, missionaries might print, gather schools, form churches, ordain pastors, and send forth other laborers, wherever they pleased. Attention had been awakened, and there was a disposition to inquire, renounce errors, and embrace gospel truths. There was a progressive change in fundamental ideas; a gradual reconstruction of the social system; a spiritual reformation. At least fifty places were known, scattered over Asiatic Turkey, in all of which souls had been converted through the truth, and where churches might be gathered. Ten churches had been formed already, and in part supplied with pastors. Aintab, scarcely known by name five years before, numbered more Protestants than even the metropolis, and was becoming one of the most interesting missionary stations in the world.

In this remarkable series of results we recognize the hand of God, who makes all earthly agencies subservient to the great work of redemption; so that secular agencies come as legitimately into the history of the republication of the Gospel in Bible lands, as do the labors of the missionaries. They were among the ordained means; and the leading agents cannot fail to command our grateful admiration.

The danger at this time was, that the reformation so auspiciously begun, would pass its grand crisis before the central lights had grown bright enough, and a knowledge of the Gospel been sufficiently diffused in the empire. There was everywhere a curiosity to know what Protestantism was, and to hear what the missionaries had to say; but this curiosity, regarded as a national feeling, was in danger of dying out. In the year 1851, the President of the National Council of the Armenians said to Mr. Dwight: "Now is the time for you to work for the Armenian people. Such an opportunity as you now enjoy may soon pass away, and never more return. You should greatly enlarge your operations. Where you have one missionary, you should have ten; and where you have one book, you should put ten in circulation." Constantinople, Smyrna, Broosa, Trebizond, Erzroom, and Aintab, were already occupied as stations. It was proposed at once to occupy Sivas, Arabkir, Diarbekir, and Aleppo. Mr. Adger, after a laborious and most useful service in the literary department of the mission, was constrained, by his health, in 1847, to retire from the field.

The statement of Lord Stratford, that three years were allowed to pass before the Sultan's firman was transmitted to the provinces, will account in part for the fact that persecution did not cease. In general, whenever evangelical views entered for the first time into a place, a battle was to be fought, and the first recipients of these views were sure to suffer more or less from the hands of their former co-religionists. But relief was almost sure to come on an appeal to the capital; and thus there was a gradual progress towards the full protection of the Protestants as a distinct community.

The accession of missionaries during the time now under review, was as follows: Joel S. Everett, in 1845; Isaac G. Bliss, in 1847; Oliver Crane, in 1849; Joseph W. Sutphen, in 1852—who died before the close of the year; Wilson A. Farnsworth, William Clark, Andrew T. Pratt, M. D.; George B. Nutting, Fayette Jewett, M. D., and Jasper N. Ball, in 1853; Albert G. Beebe, George A. Perkins, Sanford Richardson, Edwin Goodell, and Benjamin Parsons, in 1854; and Alexander R. Plumer, and Ira T. Pettibone, in 1855. All these were married men, except Mr. Pettibone. Mary and Isabella, daughters of Dr. Goodell, returned to the mission within the last two years.

In June, 1848, Pera was again ravaged by fire, and Messrs. Dwight, Homes, and Schauffler lost their houses, and most of their effects.

In October of the same year, seven persons were added to the church at Aintab, five of whom were women. In this month, Dr. Azariah Smith returned to that station with his wife, and made it his permanent abode.

The church at Aintab had a commendable zeal for the spread of the Gospel in the surrounding villages; but their colporters were never suffered to remain long in a place, the Armenian magnates persuading the Turkish authorities to send them away as vagabonds. They now resorted to an ingenious expedient for protecting themselves with the authority of law. Five men, who had trades, went forth to different towns, with their tools in one hand and the Bible in the other. Wherever they went they worked at their trades, and at the same time preached Christ to the people. The experiment succeeded wonderfully. They could no longer be treated as vagabonds, and the spirit of religious inquiry spread in all directions. The congregation in Aintab became so large that two houses were opened for worship at the same time, and urgent appeals came from Killis, Marash, Oorfa, Diarbekir, Malatia, Harpoot, Arabkir, and other places near and remote.

Mr. Crane succeeded Mr. Schneider at Broosa. Mr. Benjamin made a missionary tour from Smyrna to the interior of Asia Minor; Mr. Schneider made one to Aintab, on a temporary mission; Messrs. Goodell and Everett to Nicomedia and Adabazar; Mr. Peabody into the province of Geghi; Mr. Homes to Nicomedia; and Mr. Johnston to Tocat. The building occupied by the Seminary at Bebek became now the property of the Board. The printing at Smyrna, in Armenian, Armeno-Turkish, Hebrew-Spanish, and Modern Greek, amounted to twenty-one thousand copies, and five million five hundred and eighty-two thousand pages. There was printing done at Constantinople, but the amount was not reported. Among the works in process of publication was D'Aubigne's "History of the Reformation."

The persecuting Matteos had now finished his career as Patriarch. Before the close of 1848, he was convicted of frauds upon the public treasury, and of forgery, and was degraded, and passed into retirement on the shores of the Bosphorus.[1]

[1] Missionary Herald, 1849, p. 42; Report, 1849, p. 115.

Three additional pastors were ordained during the year which closed with May, 1849; Baron Mugurdich, at Trebizond, Baron Hohannes Sahakian, at Adabazar, and Baron Avedis, as co-pastor at Constantinople. The reader is aware that Hohannes received the greater part of his education in the United States. He possessed a delightful spirit, and developed far more talent than he was commonly credited with in America, where he could communicate his thoughts only through the medium of a strange language.

The mission suffered a painful bereavement on the 14th of November, 1850, in the death of Mrs. Hamlin, at Rhodes, whither she had gone with her husband in the hope of relief.[1]

[1] See an account of her last sickness in Missionary Herald, for 1851, p. 82; also in her Memoir, Light in the Dark River, by Mrs. Lawrence.

Another bereavement occurred at Aintab in the death on the 3d of June, 1851, of the Rev. Azariah Smith, M. D. Such was his peculiar adaptation to different fields, that he had labored in many places, but had a special attachment for Aintab. The uncommonly rapid development of the active Christian graces at that station was largely owing, under God, to his skillful efforts, and he wished there to spend the remainder of his days. In this he was gratified. He returned from laboring at Diarbekir greatly in need of quiet. But finding so much to be done in the absence of Mr. Schneider at the annual meeting in Constantinople, he allowed himself no relaxation. His labors for the last six weeks of his life were incessant. A violent fever did its work in a fortnight. At the outset he gave specific directions as to the treatment of his case, feeling that soon he would be unable to prescribe for himself; and expressed a wish that no native physician should be employed, as there was no competent one to be had at Aintab. While in full possession of reason, he spoke of his departure with the composure of one on a short journey, and soon to return. As the native brethren came in one by one and in companies, he reminded them how often he had preached to them salvation through Christ alone. "In his lucid intervals," says his missionary brother, "and even in his delirium, his soul seemed intent on measures for the good of this people. At last he appeared to be at the gate of heaven. When no longer able to articulate words, he would utter faint syllables expressive of his growing rapture. Then he would move his lips as if in prayer; and, again, for minutes together, he would attempt to sing. It was a blessed privilege to be by his side." Mr. Dunmore was present at the funeral, and says: "The chapel was crowded, and the roofs of the surrounding buildings were covered. There was abundant proof of the presence of grief-stricken hearts in gushing tears, and sobs were heard throughout the assembly. There were six or seven hundred present, and nearly as many accompanied us to the grave. I scarcely ever saw in America a more quiet and solemn procession. In the Protestant burying ground, by the side of his only child, lie the remains of our dear departed brother."

The Rev. George W. Dunmore and wife had joined the mission early in 1851, and proceeded to Diarbekir by way of Aintab. Broosa was now left for a time, as Nicomedia and Adabazar had been, to the care of a native pastor, under the superintendence of the Constantinople station; and useful evangelical tours were performed by different brethren.[1]

[1] See Missionary Herald for 1851, pp. 24-32, 78-81, 160-162, 232-236.

The law forbidding the residence of foreigners in Constantinople proper having become a dead letter, two of the brethren took up their abode near the "Seven Towers," amid an Armenian population, and a third evangelical church was formed in February, 1852, in the suburb of Has-Keuy.

Among the miscellaneous labors of the brethren at the capitol, was the distribution of letters received at the mission post-office from the European mails. Not less than fifteen hundred letters were thus disposed of in the year 1851, as the Turks had no arrangements for distributing letters that came by steamers. There was also much other secular labor for the brethren at this central station.

Difficulties in the church at Trebizond occasioned the calling of an ecclesiastical council,—the first one convened in the Turkish empire. Pastor Simon was present from the first church in Constantinople, pastor Hohannes from Adabazar, and Mr. Dwight from the mission. Pastor Hohannes was chosen moderator, and pastor Simon scribe; and Mr. Dwight describes them as managing the case with admirable tact and prudence. The results were satisfactory.

Marsovan began now to claim special attention. It stands in one corner of a lovely plain hemmed in by mountains, and then contained eight hundred Armenian houses, with twice that number of Turkish families. The story of the entrance of the Gospel into this place is so interesting that it deserves to be recorded. Pastor Simon visited it in September, 1851, on his return from the council at Trebizond, and learned that, eighteen years before, a respectable inhabitant made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and bought in Beirut a few Armeno-Turkish tracts, not knowing what they were, only that they were written in his own native tongue. He read them carefully on his way home, and liked them so well that he retained them; but not until Protestants and Protestant books were anathematized in the churches did he learn their origin. They had been printed in Malta under the supervision of Mr. Goodell. Soon after this, Der Vartanes, on a missionary tour through Armenia, spent a night at the convent in Marsovan. This man was present in the evening, and recognized the similarity between the teachings of the stranger and his favorite tracts, but did not dare to speak out before the Vartabed. He managed, however, to see the good priest alone, and with great difficulty they contrived to unite in prayer under a tree in the garden. This was the only evangelical prayer he ever heard till Mr. Powers visited the place in March, 1851. We need not say how cordially he was received by the owner of the tracts; nor by him alone, for the missionary could scarcely get a moment to himself day or night. No wonder Mr. Powers felt that God had good things in store for this people. When he returned in July, he was disappointed in not being met by his friend, till he learned that six weeks before he had been dragged from his bed at midnight, and sent a prisoner with four others to Amasia, a town twenty-four miles distant. There for two weeks they were shut up with the vilest criminals, and one day they were chained together, two and two. The charge brought against them by the governor and council of Marsovan was, that they had made a violent assault upon the court. Nor would the Pasha of Amasia, who, according to Turkish custom, had "eaten" a large bribe, listen to any denial of the preposterous accusation.

The outrages which they suffered at length produced such an excitement at Marsovan, that the primates hastened to give an order for their release. The spirit of religious inquiry now greatly increased, and a large number signed a petition to be set off from the Armenian Church as Protestants.

Mr. E. E. Bliss visited Marsovan in October, and was there three months. His presence was greatly needed. There had been a decline of piety, and only a small number of the Protestants retained their interest in spiritual things. Conversation turned not so much on the truths of the Gospel as on the errors of the Armenian Church; nor so much on these as on the corruption of their priesthood and the exactions of the government. All were convinced of the truth of Protestantism, but its particular charm was in its promise of good for the life that now is. There was an obvious need of more persecution.

During the first month, Mr. Bliss preached every evening in the week, and twice on the Sabbath. The audiences ranged from fifty to two hundred and fifty, and there were increasing evidences of interest in the preaching. Then came tribulation because of the word. The power of wealth and political influence was enlisted against the truth. The taxes of those who had joined the Protestant community were more than doubled, and those who could not or would not pay them, were thrown into prison. Indeed, former scenes in Constantinople were now repeated in Marsovan. No mercy was shown, except on the one condition of leaving the Protestant meetings. When day after day passed and brought no relief, the feeble began to yield. One by one they made their submission to the Vartabed, and received his blessing. Only four stood firm.

But now the Lord sent a partial deliverance, in an unexpected way. An authoritative copy of the Sultan's firman was sent from Constantinople, by a brother who was ignorant of the circumstances. No such copy had before reached that part of the interior, so that any official who pleased could ignore its existence. The news of its arrival brought out the affrighted Protestants from their hiding-places. Many whose sympathies were with them, were as joyful as themselves. Before night five or six, who had submitted to the Vartabed, bore to him a written recantation of what they had done; and he, having heard of the firman, received the recantation and was silent. After that there was comparative peace, and the number attending on the preaching of the missionary increased.

I have dwelt on these developments at Marsovan, as an illustration of what, in various degrees, was experienced in other places at this stage in the reformation; as in Marash, Kessab, Demirdesh, and Adana.

Mr. Wood, of this mission, being detained in the United States by the failure of his wife's health, was elected, in 1852, a Corresponding Secretary of the Board, to reside in the city of New York. The widow of Dr. Azariah Smith had remained in active labors at Aintab, but disease now obliged her to retire from the field. Miss Maria A. West took charge, with Mrs. Everett, of the girls' boarding-school at Constantinople; and Miss Melvina Haynes, a sister of Mrs. Everett, gave herself to a species of labor among Armenian females, which has since risen to importance in the missionary field. Mrs. George B. Nutting died at Aintab, July 9, 1854.

In the Reports of the Prudential Committee to the Board for 1852 and 1853, a hundred important towns and villages are named, into which the reformation had gained entrance.

Pastor Simon, of the first church in Constantinople, spent a summer at Aintab; but his absence was the occasion of serious injury to his own charge; and so it was at Adabazar. Pastor Hohannes, of that church, with teacher Simon, of Nicomedia, devoted eight months to a missionary tour through Asia Minor. Their course was by way of Smyrna and Beirut, to Kessab, Aleppo, Killis, Aintab, Marash, Oorfa, Albestan, Cesarea, Marsovan, and Samsun; thence by steamer to Trebizond; thence to Erzroom, Khanoos, Moosh, Van, Bitlis, and back again through Diarbekir, Harpoot, Arabkir, Egin, Divrik, Sivas, Tokat, Amasia, Marsovan, and Samsun. An inspection of the map will show that these brethren traversed Asia Minor by three lines, visiting all its most important places. They spent a considerable time in many of them, and everywhere found ready listeners to their message. In numerous places there were inquirers, who needed only leaders to withstand the fire of persecution.

The mission suffered a sore bereavement in the death of Mrs. Everett at Constantinople, in December, 1854. She possessed a transparent and beautiful character, with eminent capacity for usefulness.[1] Mr. Benjamin also died at Constantinople, the next year, at the age of forty-four. He was nine years in the mission to Greece. His labors in the Armenian Mission,—first at Smyrna, and then at Constantinople,—were mainly through the press, in which he was eminently useful. He had a clear conviction, in devoting his life to giving the Armenians an evangelical literature, that he was doing the work to which his Master called him. Nor did he overrate the importance of this branch of the work. His missionary experience in another field was of much value in guarding him against mistakes. At Pera, in addition to his literary labors, he preached statedly in modern Greek to a small congregation.[2]

[1] See The Missionary Sisters,—Mrs. Everett and Mrs. Hamlin, —written by Mrs. Benjamin.

[2] See an obituary notice of Mr. Benjamin in the Missionary Herald for 1855, pp. 142-147.



CHAPTER XXV.

THE ARMENIANS.

1855-1860.

There are times when the movements of armies are evidently made subservient, in divine Providence, to the progress of the Gospel; and the history of missions to the Oriental Churches would be imperfect without some notice of the Crimean war of 1854 and 1855. The historian of that war has shown, that it originated in the desire of Nicholas, Czar of Russia, to secure certain rights in the "holy places" at Jerusalem (in which he was opposed by the Roman Catholic government of France), and to obtain a formal recognition of himself as protector of the millions in Turkey professing the Greek religion.[1] But for the seasonable return to Constantinople of Lord Stratford de Redcliffe in 1853, there is reason to fear, that the extraordinary persistence of the Czar might have been successful, and that the protectorate would have been used to destroy the evangelical missions.[2]

[1] See volume first of Kinglake's Invasion of the Crimea. He describes very minutely how the English nation was drawn into the war; but it is not necessary to go into that subject here. The nation was doubtless much influenced by its desire to uphold the Turkish government in order to keep open its communication with India.

[2] Some idea of the spirit in which such a protectorate might have been exercised, may be obtained from two out of a number of kindred articles of the Russian Penal Law:

"Article 206. Whoever is found guilty of having induced others to secede from the Greek Orthodox Confession, and to join another Christian Church, will be condemned to the loss of the rights of his social position, to transportation to Tobolsk or Tomsk (Siberia), or to the punishment of the lash, and one or two years of imprisonment in the house of correction.

"Article 207. Whoever endeavors, by preaching or writing, to seduce members of the Orthodox Church to join any other Christian community, will be punished the first time, with the loss of some of his special rights, and imprisonment for one or two years in a house of correction; the second time, with imprisonment in a fortress from four to six years; the third time, with the loss of all his personal and social civil rights and status, and transportation for life to Tobolsk or Tomsk (Siberia), with imprisonment of one or two years." —New York Observer for August, 1871.

The author was in the interior of Asia Minor a short time while the Crimean war was in progress, and heard of reports among the people,—circulated, as was believed, by Russian agents,—that if Nicholas were victorious, he would secure the withdrawal from Turkey of Protestant missionaries. Exasperation caused by the failure of his negotiations with the Sultan, brought on the war; and the fall of Sebastopol was a more direct benefit to the missions, than it was to the nations that fought against it. But for the result then obtained, at vast expense of treasure and life, very different might have been the prospect of a successful republication of the Gospel in Bible lands.

The number of missionaries in the Armenian Mission in 1855, was twenty-six. One of these was an ordained physician, and there was a physician unordained. There were twenty-eight female assistant missionaries, three of whom were unmarried. Of the Armenian helpers, thirteen were pastors and preachers, and sixty-four were lay-helpers. The stations,—called such because missionaries resided at them,—were fourteen. Twelve of these were north of the Taurus, and two were south of that range.

Constantinople, Tocat, and Aintab had each a training-school for native preachers and helpers, and there was also a girls' boarding-school at Constantinople; and thirty-eight free schools were scattered over the field. Nine years after the organization of the first evangelical church, the number of churches was twenty-three. The church at Aintab was the largest, containing one hundred and forty-one members. Kessab, a long day's journey south of Antioch, where no missionary had ever resided, had a church of forty-one members. The first edifice for Christian worship in the Ottoman Empire, erected on a new site, was the stone church at Aintab. Prior to this, Christians had only been allowed to repair their old churches, and to rebuild on the old sites. The obtaining of this new indulgence was probably owing, in a measure, to the influence of the Crimean war. The dedication service, early in 1855, was attended by more than twelve hundred persons, and more than eleven hundred were present on the following Sabbath.

The printing reported for this year amounted to thirty-five thousand volumes, and nearly five millions of pages, in the Armenian, Armeno-Turkish, Greek, Greco-Turkish, and Hebrew-Spanish, but chiefly in Armenian. A religious periodical was issued every two months called the "Avedaper," or "Messenger." Dr. Dwight was editor of this, but the general supervision of the press, after the decease of Mr. Benjamin, devolved on Dr. Riggs.

Octavo and duodecimo editions of the Armenian Bible were going through the press, as was also an octavo Bible in Greco-Turkish. The New Testament had been issued in the ancient Armenian, in the Ararat dialect or Eastern Armenian, in the Ararat and Ancient Armenian in parallel columns, in the Greco-Turkish, and in the Armeno-Turkish. The Gospel of Matthew was issued in the Koordish language, and the Psalms in the Bulgarian. A demand for the Bible in the Turkish language came from almost every part of the empire.

The book depository was removed from Pera across the Golden Horn into the old city of Constantinople, and the Moslems made no objection. More than twenty boxes of books were sent to a single place in the interior within the space of a year and a half. At one time two boxes were ready for Diarbekir, one for Cesarea, one for Aintab, and another for Jerusalem.

In this work the mission was liberally aided by the American, and the British and Foreign Bible Societies, by the London Religious Tract Society, the American Tract Society, and more recently by the Turkish Missions Aid Society. Mr. Barker, agent of the British and Foreign Bible Society, and the Rev. C. N. Righter, of the American Bible Society (who died not long after at Diarbekir), did much to promote the work of Bible distribution in the countries around the Mediterranean and Black Seas; and the Constantinople Bible Society employed a French and English colporter among the soldiers of the allied powers. More Bibles and religious books went into the hands of Mohammedans from the depository of the mission during the years 1854 and 1855, than in all the previous years of its existence. Twenty thousand copies of the Bible were scattered through Turkey in that space of time.

The transfer of Dr. Riggs to the department of the Press made it necessary to suspend the Greek department in the Seminary at Bebek, and four of the six Greek pupils were sent to Dr. King at Athens.[1] Another became a teacher in Demirdesh, and another went to the United States to complete his professional studies.

[1] The author regrets being obliged to say, that these all disappointed the expectations of their benefactors.

Five Armenian students had been licensed to preach, and sent to Adrianople, Cesarea, Sivas, Diarbekir, and Kessab. Another, having the ministry in prospect, was a teacher in the new training-school at Tocat, under Mr. Van Lennep. A similar school existed at Aintab.

The accession of missionaries from 1855 to 1860 was as follows: In 1855, Orson P. Allen; in 1856, George A. Pollard, Tillman C. Trowbridge, and Misses Mary E. Tenney and Sarah E. West; in 1857, Crosby H. Wheeler, Charles F. Morse, Oliver W. Winchester, Jackson G. Coffing, George H. White, and Julius Y. Leonard; in 1858, Theodore Byington, George Washburn, and William Hutchinson; and Herman N. Barnum, who, being at Constantinople as a traveller, made an offer of his services, which was accepted in this year; in 1859, William W. Meriam, Joseph K. Greene, James F. Clarke, George F. Herrick, and Henry S. West, M. D., and Miss Myra A. Proctor; in 1860, Alvan B. Goodale, M. D., William F. Arms, Zenas Goss, William W. Livingston, and Lysander T. Burbank. Messrs. Washburn, Trowbridge, Pettibone, Barnum, Herrick, and Goss came to the mission unmarried; Mr. Washburn afterwards married a daughter of Dr. Hamlin, Mr. Barnum a daughter of Dr. Goodell, and Mr. Trowbridge a daughter of Dr. Riggs.

Mr. Everett, a devoted servant of Christ, was called to his rest on the 5th of March, 1856, after a sickness of a few days. His orphan children returned to the United States in charge of Miss Haynes, the sister of their mother. Messrs. Isaac G. Bliss and Edwin Goodell, in consequence of the failure of health, were released from their connection with the Board. The former afterwards recovered his health, and returned to Turkey as agent of the American Bible Society, in which capacity he has rendered very valuable service. Antioch and Aleppo were transferred from the Syrian to the Armenian Mission. At Erzroom the war drove away, not only the church-members, but most of those who were interested in the truth. Mr. Richardson removed to Arabkir to supply the place of Mr. Clark, who had been called to the seminary at Bebek; left without a teacher by the death of Mr. Everett and the temporary absence of Dr. Hamlin. At Marash, in consequence of the war and the proximity of the rough mountaineers of Zeitoon, the missionaries were at one time in no small danger.

The beheading of a young Armenian, who had rashly declared himself a Mohammedan, and then repented of his rashness, and the consequent successful efforts of Sir Stratford Canning, in procuring a pledge from the Sultan that no person should be persecuted in Turkey for his religious opinions, were described in the first volume.[1] This was in 1843 and 1844. Ten or eleven years later, there was another beheading at Adrianople for a like cause, and another at Aleppo; and the same high-minded statesman was again aroused to effort, not only for a more effectual abrogation of the death penalty itself, but to obtain for the Protestant Christians freedom from persecution, and for the Christians generally the privileges that were enjoyed by their fellow-subjects of the Moslem religion. The eighty folio pages of documents on the subject, which were presented to both Houses of Parliament in 1856, form an important and interesting chapter in the history of those times. The principal writers, in addition to Lord Stratford de Redcliffe and the Earl of Clarendon, were the Earl of Shaftesbury, Lord Cowley, Sir Culling Eardley Eardley, President of the Turkish Missions Aid Society, the Rev. Cuthbert G. Young, its Secretary, and Mehemet Fuad.

[1] Vol. i. p. 135.

As the result of all, a Hatti Humaioun, or Imperial Firman, was issued by the Sultan in February, 1856. When read in public, the Sheik el Islam, the highest Moslem ecclesiastic, invoked the divine blessing on the Imperial Edict; but probably without an apprehension, either by himself or by his government, of the full significance of the instrument. By many of the Mohammedans it was regarded us opening the door for them to become Christians. Not a few of the Armenians and Greeks were displeased with it as favoring Protestantism; and this fact did not escape the sagacity of Mohammedans.

The Imperial Rescript, as translated from the French, is as follows:—

"Let it be done as herein set forth.

"To you, my Grand Vizier, Mehemed Emin Aali Pasha, decorated with my Imperial Order of the Medjidiye of the first class, and with the Order of Personal Merit; may God grant to you greatness, and increase your power!

"It has always been my most earnest desire to insure the happiness of all classes of the subjects whom divine Providence has placed under my imperial sceptre; and since my accession to the throne I have not ceased to direct all my efforts to the attainment of that end.

"Thanks to the Almighty, these unceasing efforts have already been productive of numerous useful results. From day to day the happiness of the nation and the wealth of my dominions go on augmenting.

"It being now my desire to renew and enlarge still more the new institutions, ordained with the view of establishing a state of things conformable with the dignity of my empire and the position which it occupies among civilized nations; and the rights of my empire having, by the fidelity and praiseworthy efforts of all my subjects, and by the kind and friendly assistance of the great powers, my noble Allies, received from abroad a confirmation which will be the commencement of a new era, it is my desire to augment its well-being and prosperity, to effect the happiness of all my subjects, who in my sight are all equal and equally dear to me, and who are united to each other by the cordial ties of patriotism, and to insure the means of daily increasing the prosperity of my empire. I have, therefore, resolved upon, and I order the execution of, the following measures.

"The guaranties promised on our part by the Hatti-Humaioun of Gul-Hane, and in conformity with the Tanzimat, to all the subjects of my empire, without distinction of classes or of religion, for the security of their persons and property and the preservation of their honor, are to-day confirmed and consolidated; and efficacious measures shall be taken in order that they may have their full and entire effect.

"All the privileges and spiritual immunities granted by my ancestors ab antiquo, and at subsequent dates, to all Christian communities or other non-Mussulman persuasions established in my empire under my protection, shall be confirmed and maintained.

"Every Christian or other non-Mussulman community shall be bound, within a fixed period, and with the concurrence of a commission composed ad hoc of members of its own body, to proceed, with my high approbation and under the inspection of my Sublime Porte, to examine into its actual immunities and privileges, and to discuss and submit to my Sublime Porte the reforms required by the progress of civilization and of the age. The powers conceded to the Christian Patriarchs and Bishops by the Sultan Mahomet II. and his successors, shall be made to harmonize with the new position which my generous and beneficent intentions insure to these communities.

"The principle of nominating the Patriarchs for life, after the revision of the rules of election now in force, shall be exactly carried out, conformably to the tenor of their firmans of investiture.

"The Patriarchs, Metropolitans, Archbishops, Bishops and Rabbins shall take an oath on their entrance into office, according to a form agreed upon in common by my Sublime Porte and the spiritual heads of the different religious communities. The ecclesiastical dues, of whatever sort or nature they be, shall be abolished, and replaced by fixed revenues for the Patriarchs and heads of communities, and by the allocation of allowances and salaries equitably proportioned to the importance of the rank, and the dignity of the different members of the clergy.

"The property, real or personal, of the different Christian ecclesiastics shall remain intact; the temporal administration of the Christian or other non-Mussulman communities shall, however, be placed under the safeguard of an assembly to be chosen from among the members, both ecclesiastics and laymen, of the said communities.

"In the towns, small boroughs, and villages, where the whole population is of the same religion, no obstacle shall be offered to the repair, according to their original plan, of buildings set apart for religious worship, for schools, for hospitals and for cemeteries.

"The plans of these different buildings, in case of their new erection, must, after having been approved by the Patriarchs or heads of communities, be submitted to my Sublime Porte, which will approve of them by my imperial order, or make known its observation upon them within a certain time.

"Each sect, in localities where there are no other religious denominations, shall be free from every species of restraint as regards the public exercise of its religion.

"In the towns, small boroughs, and villages, where different sects are mingled together, each community inhabiting a distinct quarter shall, by conforming to the above-mentioned ordinances, have equal power to repair and improve its churches, its hospitals, its schools, and its cemeteries. When there is question of the erection of new buildings, the necessary authority must be asked for, through the medium of the Patriarchs and heads of communities, from my Sublime Porte, which will pronounce a sovereign decision according to that authority, except in the case of administrative obstacles. The intervention of the administrative authority in all measures of this nature will be entirely gratuitous. My Sublime Porte will take energetic measures to insure to each sect, whatever be the number of its adherents, entire freedom in the exercise of its religion.

"Every distinction or designation tending to make any class whatever of the subjects of my empire inferior to another class, on account of their religion, language, or race, shall be forever effaced from the administrative protocol. The laws shall be put in force against the use of any injurious or offensive term, either among private individuals or on the part of the authorities.

"As all forms of religion are and shall be freely professed in my dominions, no subject of my empire shall be hindered in the exercise of the religion that he professes, nor shall be in any way annoyed on this account. No one shall be compelled to change their religion.

"The nomination and choice of all functionaries and other employes of my empire being wholly dependent upon my sovereign will, all the subjects of my empire, without distinction of nationality, shall be admissible to public employments, and qualified to fill them according to their capacity and merit, and conformably with rules to be generally applied.

"All the subjects of my empire, without distinction, shall be received into the civil and military schools of the government, if they otherwise satisfy the conditions as to age and examination which are specified in the organic regulations of the said schools. Moreover, every community is authorized to establish public schools of science, art, and industry. Only the method of instruction and the choice of professors in schools of this class shall be under the control of a mixed council of public instruction, the members of which shall be named by my sovereign command.

"All commercial, correctional, and criminal suits between Mussulmans and Christian or other non-Mussulman subjects, or between Christians or other non-Mussulmans of different sects, shall be referred to mixed tribunals.

"The proceedings of these tribunals shall be public; the parties shall be confronted, and shall produce their witnesses, whose testimony shall be received, without distinction, upon an oath taken according to the religious law of each sect.

"Suits relating to civil affairs shall continue to be publicly tried, according to the laws and regulations before the mixed provincial councils, in the presence of the governor and judge of the place. Special civil proceedings, such as those relating to successions or others of that kind, between subjects of the same Christian or other non-Mussulman faith, may, at the request of the parties, be sent before the councils of the Patriarchs or of the communities.

"Penal, correctional, and commercial laws, and rules of procedure for the mixed tribunals, shall be drawn up as soon as possible, and formed into a code. Translations of them shall be published in all the languages current in the empire.

"Proceedings shall be taken with as little delay as possible, for the reform of the penitentiary system as applied to houses of detention, punishment, or correction, and other establishments of like nature, so as to reconcile the rights of humanity with those of justice. Corporal punishment shall not be administered, even in the prisons, except in conformity with the disciplinary regulations established by my Sublime Porte; and everything that resembles torture shall be entirely abolished.

"Infractions of the law in this particular shall be severely repressed, and shall besides entail, as of right, the punishment, in conformity with the civil code, of the authorities who may order, and of the agents who may commit them.

"The organization of the police in the capital, in the provincial towns, and in the rural districts, shall be revised in such a manner as to give to all the peaceable subjects of my empire the strongest guaranties for the safety both of their persons and property.

"The equality of taxes entailing equality of burdens, as equality of duties entails that of rights, Christian subjects, and those of other non-Mussulman sects, as it has been already decided, shall, as well as Mussulmans, be subject to the obligations of the Law of Recruitment. The principle of obtaining substitutes, or of purchasing exemption, shall be admitted. A complete law shall be published, with as little delay as possible, respecting the admission into and service in the army of Christian and other non-Mussulman subjects.

"Proceedings shall be taken for a reform in the constitution of the provincial and communal councils, in order to insure fairness in the choice of the deputies of the Mussulman, Christian, and other communities, and freedom of voting in the councils. My Sublime Porte will take into consideration the adoption of the most effectual means for ascertaining exactly and for controlling the result of the deliberations of the decisions arrived at.

"As the laws regulating the purchase, sale, and disposal of real property are common to all the subjects of my empire, it shall be lawful for foreigners to possess landed property in my dominions, conforming themselves to the laws and police regulations, and bearing the same charges as the native inhabitants, and after arrangements have been come to with foreign powers.

"The taxes are to be levied under the same denomination from all the subjects of my empire, without distinction of class or of religion. The most prompt and energetic means for remedying the abuses in collecting the taxes, and especially the tithes, shall be considered. The system of direct collection shall gradually, and as soon as possible, be substituted for the plan of farming, in all the branches of the revenues of the State. As long as the present system remains in force, all agents of the government and all members of the medjlis shall be forbidden, under the severest penalties, to become lessees of any farming contracts which are announced for public competition, or to have any beneficial interest in carrying them out. The local taxes shall, as far as possible, be so imposed as not to affect the sources of production, or to hinder the progress of internal commerce.

"Works of public utility shall receive a suitable endowment, part of which shall be raised from private and special taxes, levied in the provinces which shall have the benefit of the advantages arising from the establishment of ways of communication by land and sea.

"A special law having been already passed, which declares that the budget of the revenue and expenditure of the state shall be drawn up and made known every year, the said law shall be most scrupulously observed. Proceedings shall be taken for revising the emoluments attached to each office.

"The heads of each community and a delegate, designated by my Sublime Porte, shall be summoned to take part in the deliberations of the Supreme Council of Justice on all occasions which might interest the generality of the subjects of my empire. They shall be summoned specially for this purpose by my Grand Vizier. The delegates shall hold office for one year; they shall be sworn on entering upon their duties. All the members of the council, at the ordinary and extraordinary meetings, shall freely give their opinions and their votes, and no one shall ever annoy them on this account.

"The laws against corruption, extortion, or malversation, shall apply, according to the legal forms, to all the subjects of my empire, whatever may be their class and the nature of their duties.

"Steps shall be taken for the formation of banks and other similar institutions, so as to effect a reform in the monetary and financial system, as well as to create funds to be employed in augmenting the sources of the material wealth of my empire.

"Steps shall also be taken for the formation of roads and canals to increase the facilities of communication and increase the sources of the wealth of the country. Everything that can impede commerce or agriculture shall be abolished. To accomplish these objects, means shall be sought to profit by the science, the art, and the funds of Europe, and thus gradually to execute them.

"Such being my wishes and my commands, you, who are my Grand Vizier, will, according to custom, cause this Imperial Firman to be published in my capital, and in all parts of my empire; and you will watch attentively and take all the necessary measures that all the orders which it contains be henceforth carried out with the most rigorous punctuality."

Lord Stratford, in replying to a congratulatory address from the missionaries, declared his agreement with them in the opinion, that something great had been gained; though he believed the principles involved would require persevering efforts to carry them into practice. He said that he was himself but an humble instrument in the hands of divine Providence, and that he had never felt the hand of God so sensibly in any other measure he had carried through, as in this, which, after he had given it up for lost, had succeeded all at once, in a way that filled him with astonishment.[1]

[1] That the Hatti Humaioun was really intended to include the death penalty, is made exceedingly probable by the official correspondence which preceded it, and which was in fact its procuring cause. Only a few brief extracts can be given in this note.

Referring to the punishment of death as applied to apostates from Islamism, the Earl of Clarendon, English Minister of Foreign Affairs, writes thus to Lord Stratford de Redcliffe: "As the Turkish empire is, by treaty stipulations, to be declared part and parcel of the European system, it is quite impossible for the powers of Europe to acquiesce in the continuance in Turkey of a law, and a practice, which is a standing insult to every other nation in Europe."

Again, on the 17th of September, 1853, the Earl of Clarendon writes thus to Lord Stratford: "Her Majesty's Government distinctly demands that no punishment whatever shall attach to the Mohammedan who becomes a Christian, whether originally a Mohammedan, or originally a Christian, any more than any punishment attaches to a Christian who embraces Mohammedanism. In all such cases the movements of human conscience must be left free, and the temporal arm must not interfere to coerce the spiritual decision."

Referring to the Imperial Rescript, February 12, 1856, Lord Stratford says, writing to the Earl:—

"If no one is to be molested on account of the religion he professes, and no one to be punished as a renegade, whatever form of faith he denies, I do not see what room there can possibly be for any practical persecutions in future within the limits of the Sultan's empire." See Correspondence respecting Christian Privileges in Turkey, in Parliamentary Papers for 1856, pp. 15, 24, 25, 33, 55, 60, 66, 67, 77-80.

The plenipotentiaries of Great Britain, Austria, France, Russia, Sardinia, and Turkey, assembled in February, 1856, at the close of the Crimean war, to negotiate what is known as the Treaty of Paris. It is evident from the Protocols of their Conference, that, having the Earl of Clarendon and Lord Cowley among them, they were intent on giving weight and perpetuity to this firman of the Sultan, by a formal recognition of it in the treaty. This was done in article ninth, after much deliberation, and with the full concurrence of all the plenipotentiaries, including the representative of the Sultan.[1]

[1] "NINTH ARTICLE. His Imperial Majesty the Sultan, having, in his constant solicitude for the welfare of his subjects, issued a firman, which, while, ameliorating their condition without distinction of religion or race, records his generous intentions towards the Christian population of his empire, and wishing to give a further proof of his sentiments in that respect, has resolved to communicate to the Contracting Parties the said firman, emanating spontaneously from his sovereign will.

"The Contracting Powers recognize the high value of this communication. It is clearly understood, that it cannot, in any case, give to said Powers the right to interfere, either collectively or separately, in the relations of his Majesty, the Sultan, with his subjects, nor in the internal administration of his Empire." See Treaty of Paris, March 30, 1856, in Parliamentary State Papers, vol. lxi. p. 20. Also, appended, Protocols of Conferences, pp. 8, 13, 51, 57, 58.

The Hatti Humaioun of 1855 was much more than a confirmation of the Imperial Firman of 1850, nor was it a dead letter. A year afterwards Dr. Jewett, while admitting that it was inefficient in certain respects, declared it to have been in an important sense, a quickening spirit. "Never," he says, "within the same space of time, has there been as much religious discussion with the Mussulmans as since the issue of the late firman, and never before, I think, has there been such a spirit of religious inquiry among Mohammedans, and readiness to discuss the merits of the Christian religion, as has been evident during the past year. It has awakened hope of a good day even for the Moslems." A few years later, Dr. Goodell, speaking of it says: "To the Protestant communities here, and to all who live godly in Christ Jesus, this Hatti Humaioun is a boon of priceless value. Heretofore its principal use was to secure us from the molestation of these corrupt churches, but we have now begun to test its importance with reference to the Mohammedans themselves. Only a few years since, the headless bodies of apostates from the Mohammedan faith might be seen lying in the streets of the great city. But now such apostates may be seen at all hours of the day walking these same streets without any apparent danger, urging the claims of Christianity even in the very courts of the royal mosques, and teaching and preaching in the chapel, in the private circle, and sometimes even in the palaces of the great, that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. And all this wonderful security is, under God, owing entirely to the Hatti Humaioun." He adds, "It is said that the Turkish government is sometimes guilty of violating some of the great principles of that document. And who that knows anything of human nature, or of the history of our race, ever supposed they would not be guilty of it? To suppose the contrary would be to suppose the Turk advanced very much farther towards perfection than any other nation on the face of the earth."

A correspondence arose, about this time, in the old Armenian Church, between those who inclined towards the Papal Church and those who were opposed, and it was gratifying to see that the principal Armenian newspaper, published under the sanction of the Patriarch, drew its arguments almost wholly from the Scriptures, scarcely anything being said of the Councils, or of the Fathers.

The out-stations of Nicomedia, Adabazar, Rodosto, Baghchejuk, and Broosa were prosperous. A Protestant Greek community at Demirdesh stood firm under persecution, though without a spiritual guide. The Pasha did little for their protection, but divine Providence had other instruments for their deliverance. The French Vice Consul, having to feed immense herds of cattle for the French army, selected the principal Greek Protestant of the place as the most competent overseer, and empowered him to employ the needful agents. This brought to his feet some who had beaten him and even threatened him with death. He freely employed them and paid them honestly, thus returning good for evil.

The training-school at Tocat was composed of pious young men who made considerable progress in their studies. A footing was gained at Tarsus and Bitias, south of the Taurus range, and a native pastor was ordained at Kessab. Here was a Protestant community of more than four hundred.

At Aintab and in its neighboring villages, after only nine years of labor, there were twelve stated religious services, nearly half of them conducted by native preachers, two thousand Protestants, old and young, two hundred and sixty-eight church-members, a large congregation on the Sabbath, three promising young men in the pastoral office, and two more prepared for that office. The year 1856 was one of unbroken prosperity in all temporal concerns at Aintab. The influence of this prosperity, however, had its usual effect in developing a love of the world, and a feeling of self-consequence, resulting in some perplexities within the church. Such results are known in much older communities, and ought to be expected in the early religious life of such a people. Between the pastor Kara Krikor and his people there was all that could be expected of mutual confidence and harmony, and his monthly salary was paid with a promptness unusual in such cases.

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