« السابقةمتابعة »
penses of the depository for the sale of their books, and the committee have voted that they be requested to grant the sum of £50, as their proportion of the expense of the institution for the present year. I have already written to the American Bible Society upon the subject. Thus a new and most important agency is established for the spread of the Bible in this great metropolis, and incidentally to the various cities and towns of the Ottoman empire.”
In the same letter he makes mention of the remarkable spirit of inquiry after the Word which had sprung up among the Turks :
“In my last two letters I have spoken of the remarkable interest the Turks are beginning to manifest in the Bible. This is increasing. Three Turks recently came to the depository at Stamboul, and bought each a Bible, saying that they regarded it as a treasure above price;' and two others, upon receiving the Bible, kissed it devoutly, and pressed it to their bosom, to express their love for it as the only true revelation from God, and opening to them the only true way of salvation. And another, as he bought the Bible, remarked that, it was a very excellent book, but it came from the Turks.' They still persist in believing that nothing good can come from the
Christians. Said he, “Many hundred years ago, when we conquered the city, we found this book here in one of the magazines, and we did not value it very much. A short time afterwards an English traveller came along, and we sold it to him for a trifle. He took it home, and translated it into English. And this is the same Bible in Turkish, which you Christians have brought to us. It is our book, and we prize it highly.'
“ Also another Turk has, of his own accord, proposed to open a shop for the sale of Turkish Bibles and Testaments in the midst of the other bazaars of the city, which would attract the attention of all. This is surely very wonderful, when we remember that, according to the Mohammedan law, for a Mussulman to receive the Bible and become a Christian, is still punishable with death, which penalty has been executed within the last year at Adrianople, only three days' distant from the capital.
“A few days since I called upon Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, English Ambassador at the Sublime Porte, who has always been the firm friend of the Bible Cause and Protestantism in the East, and expressed to him the acknowledgments of our Society for the aid his protection and influence have always afforded us in publishing and distributing the Bible in the Ottoman empire. He received me very kindly, and re
AN AGED TURK.
plied: "Our cause and interest are the same. We are always glad to protect Americans and American missionaries where our consular authority extends, and yours does not. The American missionaries are most excellent men.' Said he, To what church do you belong ?' I said that 'I was a Presbyterian, but that our Society embraced all evangelical denominations.' 'I wish,' said he, that we could all adopt the Apostles' 'creed,' and have no further divisions into churches and sects.' I replied, "That was precisely the creed and spirit of the American Bible Society.""
Under a later date he writes :
"The Turks still continue to manifest a remarkable interest in the Bible and New Testament, and are calling for these at our magazines. As I was sitting in the depository a few days since, my attention was attracted to an old Turk with a long beard, who was reading very intently in the open Bible through the window. He afterward came in and asked to have one showed to him, saying, 'Eyi, chok eyi' (Good, very good).
“ Also a Softa, one of the readers of the Koran at the mosques, came and begged that a Bible might be given him, which was accordingly done, with the prayer that his eyes might thereby be
ORDERS FOR BIBLES.
opened, and he be led to renounce the corrupt system of the false prophet, and embrace the truth as it is in Jesus."
The same inquiry came from various parts of the Turkish empire, and from various tribes and tongues. In a letter, dated in April, he says:
The old depository in Stamboul has also sent increased supplies to the interior. I will mention one order for Kharput in Asia Minor, where Mr. Dunmore has recently been stationed. 182 Armenian Bibles and Testaments, 73 Psalms in Ancient and Modern Armenian, 32 Turkish Testaments and Psalms, 36 English Bibles and Testamento,
6 Italian Bibles,
365 Scriptures in different languages, and 1,462 various religious books, making together 1,828 volumes. Similar orders have likewise been received from Trebizond, Erzroom, Marsovan, and Tocat; all of which proves that the Word of God is beginning to run very swiftly through this land.”
Under date of May 22 he writes :
“I have been attending the annual meeting of the Armenian Mission at Constantinople, during the last week, for the purpose of becoming acquainted with the missionaries from the interior, and enlisting their interest in the Bible Cause. They report an increased demand for the Scriptures at their various stations, and many interesting incidents of the great influence in some instances of even a single Bible or Testament in their fields of labor. I will mention one from the report of Rev. Mr. Clark, of Arabkir, respecting one of the stations in his field.
"The Turkish Governor of the city obtained from us a copy of the Scriptures, which he is said to read openly, and discuss its truths with Turks, Koords, and Armenians. And his banker, an Armenian, the teacher of the Armenian school, and some others petitioned us some time since to establish a regular Protestant service on the Sabbath.
"Light has also spread in the villages around and in the region beyond, among the wild Koords of the mountains. A copy of the New Testament which found its way into these wilds some four or five years since, having fallen into the hands of a Koordish chief, he has made it the law of his tribe. All matters are tried by the rules of the Gospel. Not only this, they seem to have received the Word in its spirit. They be