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“As I leave, he presses me warmly by the hand, and says, 'If we both live in the faith of the Gospel, we will meet again in heaven.' He seemed to be a man of excellent liberal spirit for a chief ecclesiastic in the Armenian Church.
"We afterward visited the school under his direction, and found a class of larger boys translating the Bible from the ancient to the modern language, which they can understand. The teacher says that ours is a correct translation, and does not differ from the ancient version. Thus the Bible is penetrating among the Armenians in their schools and, families, and we trust will soon bring them from the darkness and deadness of superstition to the light and life of the Gospel of Christ. I was much interested in the experience of one of the native preachers. He first obtained a copy of the ancient Armenian Bible at Aleppo: with this he retired to a cave for two years, and fasted and prayed. Then Christ revealed himself to him, and told him to go forth and preach repentance, and keep the Sabbath day holy. In obedience to this command he would hold up a serpent, and in the name of the Lord beseech all men to repent. At that time he suffered much persecution; now, these old things have passed away, and all things become new. He is an earnest and devoted preacher of the Gospel in all the towns and villages around, and,
from his faithfulness and zeal, is called 'the Apos tle to the Gentiles.' I was greatly pleased to find the Bible work of so much interest and importance at Arabkir, on the borders of the ancient Cappadocia.
"The next day we set out upon our journey, escorted on the way by one of the missionaries and several of the native brethren. We passed through a finely cultivated country, abounding in ploughed fields and growing grain, and in six hours came down to the river Euphrates, one of the four rivers that flowed from the garden of Eden. It here runs with a swift current through a rugged gorge, winding among the mountains. Crossing the stream in a primitive scow, with a long rudder that sweeps through the current, we reached the town of Maden, picturesquely situated on the opposite bank. Here a little church of Protestants is gathered through the labors of the American missionaries, and they have a small dépôt for Bibles and Testaments in one corner of their chapel. It was the evening for their social prayer meeting, and they soon all came in to bid us welcome. Then their native preacher conducted the service, reading from the Scriptures and offering prayer. And afterward we addressed them in behalf of the Bible and Mission Cause. They listened with deep interest, and seemed greatly encouraged to feel that Christians in Eng
land and America received with them the same pure Bible and Gospel of Salvation.
"It was a peculiar delight to join in the worship of God with these brethren on the banks of the river Euphrates.
"In the morning early we rode over the mountains filled with silver ore, and came to a fine hill country abounding in springs of water, and villages perched upon the hillsides. Thence crossing a fertile plain, and ascending the steep hillside, we reached the fortress-built town of Kharpoot, that overlooks the whole plain and the hundreds of Armenian villages around. The view was most beautiful, as we arrived at the hour of sunset and twilight in the East.
Kharpoot is one of the more recent missionary stations of the American Board, and is in the centre of a large Armenian population. There are thirty cities within this field, and 366 villages on the plain, containing 100,000 Armenians, 20,000 Koords, and 5,000 Kuzelbash, all accessible to missionary effort. The city is the seat of the pashalic, and a mart of traffic from all parts of Asia Minor. I was glad to find the Scriptures kept publicly for sale, in various languages, near the principal business bazaar: here Turks, Armenians, and Koords from the mountains, come to purchase the Bible. There have been sold, during the last year, twenty-two modern Armenian
Bibles and seventy-one Testaments; five Ancient Armenian and two Turkish Testaments; eight Koordish Gospels; fifty Armenian and five Turkish Psalms; and four English, one Arabic, and one French Testament; making 169 copies of the Scriptures. I visited the two Protestant schools, numbering thirty-three pupils, in which the Scriptures are daily taught. Their system is to commit verses of Scripture, and repeat them on the Sabbath. One little boy, five years old, recited for me nearly the whole of the first chapter of Matthew correctly and well. Also a blind boy seemed quite in advance of the rest in his knowledge of the Scriptures. It was interesting to know that the Bible is likewise taught to the blind in this far off land. Thus the children are instructed to meet and overthrow the corrupt doctrines of the Oriental churches, and defend a pure faith from the Word of God. It is worthy of remark, that the Bible is always made the standard of appeal in every discussion among the common people. In the evening we attended the examination of candidates preparatory to organiz ing the first Protestant church at Kharpoot. Ten presented themselves for admission. I was much pleased to find all not only sound in doctrine, but also spiritually acquainted with the Scriptures.
"The next day was the Sabbath. In the morning we attended service in the new chapel near
Castle Rock. It was filled with a large and attentive congregation; and after sermon, I briefly addressed them in relation to the Bible Cause, enforcing upon them the duty of circulating the Bible and preaching the Gospel in all the towns and villages around. In the afternoon a still larger audience assembled in the Mission Chapel, to witness the formation of the first evangelical church in the city. The ten candidates then came forward, gave their assent to the confession of faith, and were all baptized and received into membership of the Church of Christ. Among the number was a converted Armenian priest, who became convinced of the truth by studying the Bible, and now received the Gospel anew, in full sincerity and simplicity of heart. Afterward the Rev. Mr. Jones and myself administered to them the communion of the Lord's Supper; and it was a peculiar delight to sit down for the first time with these elect ones around the table of Christ, and partake of the emblems of his death and atonement for the sins of the world. We trust and pray that this may be the beginning of kindling again the pure light of the Gospel of salvation in all this land. In the evening a Turkish effendi, wearing a large white turban, called to see us. He said, 'I have a Testament, and am reading it with much interest; but I cannot understand the doctrine of the Trinity.' We said to him, that
ORGANIZING A CHURCH.