صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني
[blocks in formation]

toiled up the steep hillside late in the evening, and find the large gate shut. We rap at the gate, and they hail us from the wall to inquire who we are, and where we came from. Our cavass replies, that he is Achmet Effendi, the Pasha's man, and a distinguished party had arrived. They, however, had heard our guns of salute fired and suspect us of being a party of robber Koords, fifteen in number. The cavass says we have come from the Pasha, and have a firman from the Sultan. The capugi replies, I do not know who you are; and thus we are kept waiting an hour in the cold and dark. At length the Moodir and several of his principal men came with lanterns, and the gates were opened with great carefulness and display. How great was our delight when our good friend Shemmas Jeremiah of Mosul, embraced us, and bid us welcome. The Moodir also extended both hands, and bid us welcome. He had walked down from his palace to receive us, and his suite accompanied us to the Serai. There his largest room fitted for our reception, and a warm fire made us most comfortable. Immediately he ordered an oriental dinner of six or eight courses, rice, chickens, mutton, cakes, preserves, etc., and closes up with chibouk, coffee, and sherbet. He gives us also a warm cloak of fur. Our room is hung round with various arms, swords, pistols, guns, for impressive effect.

[blocks in formation]

“SATURDAY, 22. “A beautiful, clear morning of pure air. The Dr. has many patients, the Moodir's wife's sister, the Usbashi (Major), etc. One of them says he is not sick, but wishes to get fat like the Moodir. Go to see three full length sculptures of kings, cut in the rock outside the wall, very ancient, now much broken and defaced. Then we make a call upon the Usbashi (Major), at the barracks. The Pasha's commissioners are there. They rise as we approach, and receive us upon carpets and cushions in the open air. The sky is pure, and the air delightful, and the view of the mountain ranges, the valley and villages, and the whole panorama around is magnificent.

“The priest from Deirra, a Nestorian village, one hour distant, calls to see us, population fifty. Six can read, have the Bible in the church, and have Testaments in the village; wishes all to have the Testament. He preaches when they have the sacrament, twenty or thirty times a year. He preaches repentance, has a congregation of forty; has prayers every day, morning and evening, and two services on Sunday.

Just now band of the Moodir's Koordish soldiers return from one of the mountain districts, armed with guns and swords, on foot and on horseback, with the music of drums, in great style. They had been out to gather taxes from the villages around.

a

[blocks in formation]

Then we call upon the Moodir and Commissioners, in his reception room, and have an audience with them; very pleasant. In the evening Shemmas Jeremiah relates his history and experience. He was a Catholic Nestorian or Chaldean monk, in a convent near Elkosh. He was directed to the 1st of Timothy, 4th chapter, first three verses. He reflected upon this, went to the missionaries at Mosul, Dr. Perkins and Mr. Stocking; from Oroomeah. He went with them and taught in their schools, and there embraced the truth. Amadich has a population of 2,500, of whom 2000 are Moslems, 350 Syrians, 100 Nestorians, and 50 Jews; formerly it contained 14,000, and was the residence of the Sultan.

“SUNDAY, 23. “This morning the brother of Osman Bey, Abuzed Bey, the Koordish chief, calls to see us. We then receive a call from the Moodir. He offers us his horse to ride out and visit the Nestorians in Dare. We descend the steep hill-side without the walls. On the right is a beautiful valley, planted with trees and gardens. In a few minutes the priest, on horseback, and a number of his people come out to meet us, and escort us to their village. We climb a steep hill and then come down to Dare, a beautiful little village under the high mountain rock. A pure spring of water

a

INTERESTING PEOPLE.

275

gushes out and flows down the valley. Trees and fertile gardens with nuts, pomegranates, figs, and grapes are in front. We visit the church, a large stone building with three arched rooms. They have cotton, nuts, onions, and various fruit offer ings given to support the church. We send to call the people, and they assemble, old men, women, and children, priest and deacon, thirty in number, when we all preach to them the Gospel of salvation, through faith in Christ. They listen with much interest and reverence, and respond frequently to the word of everlasting life.

“Then we sit out with them in the open air, they gather around on their knees in a circle, and say they will put a chain upon us to keep us long with them. The summer retreat of the Mosul missionaries is here.

“ There are no pictures in the church but a small cross, which they say they kiss from love to Christ. Then they bring us a lunch of pomegranates, honey, nuts, eggs, and bread, which we eat in the shade, and much enjoy it together. After which we talk further of Christ and his cross, etc., and then ride down to Komani, past fields of rice, cotton, wheat, tobacco, and gardens of various fruit trees. Komani has a new, neat church, and contains a population of 300, all Nestorians. The people are delighted to see us, and salute us with much respect and reverence. We

[blocks in formation]

called them into the church, and spoke to them of their sins, Christ, repentance, and eternal salvation. They listened with intense interest and frequently responded, and seemed greatly to enjoy the truth. They desire much to have an American missionary to come and live among them, to teach them the Bible and to preach to them the Gospel of salvation. Eight in the village can read and they have no Bible. It was a Sabbath of great interest among the mountain Nestorians. They are a simple-hearted, pure-minded people, and entirely ready to receive the Gospel.

66 We also visited the house where Dr. Grant lived in Amadia. There he spent some time in the midst of his labors of love and mercy to this people. The owner of the house, a venerable old man, lived with him. He says since the days of Adam in the flesh, there was never such a man. He prayed much, read his Bible, and preached the Gospel to all. The Holy Ghost was with him in all that he said and did.

“MONDAY, 24. “This morning the Moodir calls upon us, and the Usbashi, or commander of the fortress, and a number of patients came for medicine. Then a Moslem sheik and the Usbashi, or Major of the troops. Afterward the Commissioners of the Pasha came in to smoke a chibouk and take cof

« السابقةمتابعة »