« السابقةمتابعة »
ancient river that flowed from the paradise of our first parents.
Crossing the Euphrates, we spent the night at the town of Maden, on the opposite bank. Here also we joined in a social prayer meeting with the little Protestant church that has received the pure faith of the gospel through the labors of the American missionaries. They were delighted to be assured that we in England and America believed the same Bible and gospel with them, and that we could hold fellowship together in the name of a common Saviour.
“ The next morning we rode on our journey (we travel entirely on horseback in this land; there are no roads for carriages, only mountain foot and bridle paths), and came to Kharpoot, situated on a fortress rock that commands a splendid view over a wide extended plain. This is one of the more recent missionary stations, and no church had yet been formed. Our visit was considered a favor able occasion for organizing a church, and we were glad to assist in examining the candidates, and admitting them as members of the church of Christ. One of them was the father of a family, with his young daughter, and another a converted Armenian priest, who seemed to receive the truth anew with full simplicity and sincerity of heart.
“The next day we continued our journey over the plain, and across the rugged mountains, and
in three days reached Diarbekir, a large walled city, situated at the head waters of the Tigris, on the borders of the plains of Mesopotamia. We spent another delightful Sabbath with the native and missionary brethren here, and held sweet communion and fellowship together. One of the latter was an old friend of mine in college, and we enjoyed much our visit in the recollection of former scenes, and in relating our various experience since we separated.
“The climate is mild and genial at this season, and the scenery varied and picturesque. Through the kindness of the American Ambassador at Constantinople, I have a large firman from the Sultan, bearing his great seal, which secures us the particular attention and entertainment of all the Pashas and Governors on the way, so that we are exceedingly enjoying the tour. In addition to this, we are cheered in our visit and encouraged in our labors at each station, and thus go forward rejoicing in the Lord, and giving thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.
“On the following day we took our departure for Mosul. We are now mounted on a raft of a hundred inflated goat skins, and glide beautifully down the Tigris, the Hiddekel of the Scriptures, another of the four rivers that flowed from the Garden of Eden ; 'that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. A neat little house
of poplar poles covered with wax cloth, to protect us from the sun and rain, and fitted up with poplomans and lined within for our comfort. A guard of soldiers have volunteered to accompany us, free of expense, and sleep round us at night. Thus we float on with the current. It is the
perfection of travelling without the rattling of wheels, without dust, without steam even. The stream floats us on night and day, and at intervals we whirl past rocks, and dash swiftly down the rapids. The mountains and rocks rise in grandeur and sublimity on either side, as the noble river winds its way through.
"We spent the Sabbath at Hassankeefa, a city hewn out in the solid rocks like Petra in the land of Edom. It is now crumbling to ruins, and the miserable population live in the tombs of the former dwellers in the rock. Yesterday we passed the river Chabur, the ancient Chebar, that comes down from the mountains of Chaldea, and flows into the Tigris. Here the Prophet Ezekiel saw his sublime visions in the land of the Chaldeans, by the river Chebar, when the heavens were opened and Jehovah manifested to him his peculiar presence and glory. I enjoyed anew these spiritual scenes as we gazed long upon the banks of that ancient river.
Nov. 9.-To-day at noon we are in sight of the walls and minarets of Mosul, and Nelly
Yonas, the tomb of the Prophet Jonah, that covers the ruins of the ancient Nineveh, that great city of three days journey.'
" Thus the Lord has protected and prospered us on our way, and followed us with goodness in all our journey. In the words of the Psalmist we would exclaim, 'Bless the Lord, our soul: and all that is within us, bless his holy name.'
Yours, &c. C. N. R."
Below are given some of the incidents of the journey, communicated to the American Bible Society :
“ As we left Tocat, Hagop Agha, the head of the Protestant community, and all the students of the seminary, in a body, accompanied us on our way to a hillside that overlooks the city. They then gathered around us in a circle, and we commended them to God and the Bible as their rule of faith, and the Guide of their lives, and exhorted them to show forth the light of the Gospel of Christ in this dark land, and be faithful unto death, that they might receive the crown of life at his right hand. One of their number, in return, thanked us cordially for our visit, and our societies for sending them the Bible and the Gospel of salvation, and prayed that the peace of God might abide with us on the journey, and the blessing of heaven rest upon all our labors in the
East. We then traversed a rugged, mountainous region, and in two days reached Sivas, a second missionary station of the American Board. The brethren, as before, came out on horseback, one hour in advance, to welcome us in the name of Christ. The city is beautifully situated upon an elevated plain between two ranges of limestone hills, with a stream of pure water flowing through. It contains a population of nearly 50,000; of whom 36,000 are Turks, 12,000 Armenians, and 300 Greeks. The Scriptures are kept publicly for sale at four different points in the city, and a new depository is about to be opened in front of the principal bazaar. There have been sold during the last year: Armenian Bibles, twenty-three ; Testaments, thirty-five; Psalms, sixty-seven ; Turkish Testaments, twentythree; Græco-Turkish Testaments, ten; making 158 copies of Scriptures.
“ They likewise wished a large additional supply for the coming year. I then called upon the Armenian bishop at the monastery. He is an amiable, venerable-looking man, and received me with the greatest politeness: 'Safa guelduig; khos guelduig;—(You are welcome ; most welcome). I explained to him the object of the American Bible Society-to furnish the Bible in all the languages of the East; stating, that 'in America, every family who desires