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168

INTERESTING CONVERSATION.

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made a visit to the native Armenian school. The teacher received me very politely, said he had the Bible and gospel in the Armenian language, which he taught daily to his pupils; and also that he desired an additional supply.

“We afterwards enjoyed a very interesting visit with a sheik or chief of a sect of dervishes (Mohammedan monks), who have a convent near Marsovan, to which many pilgrims resort. He received us very politely in his library room, and first presented his little boy to us, in token of mutual friendship. He says he has the Bible and Testament, and has carefully read and studied both. He himself copied the Gospel of Matthew in manuscript several years since. He borrowed it by night from a friendly Turk in the seraglio, wrote it as he could, and returned it in the day-time for fear of discovery. I asked him, 'What is your opinion of the Bible ?' Said he, 'It would take me two days to tell you.

The Word of God is everlasting. You cannot cut it, cannot burn it, cannot destroy it. It is in the world for ever. It teaches Christ, the gospel of love—love to God and love to man. In Jesus we love one another as brothers. There are three kinds of love—first, common friendship; second, to lay down one's life for his friends; third, to love your enemies. All these are taught in the Bible. There is a hidden treasure in the gospel that will be brought to light more and more in coming time, till it is known and prized by all the world.' I told him that many Mussulmans in Constantinople are at present seeking for the Bible and valuing it much, and we hope soon all will have it. He replied, 'I must not speak publicly my sentiments now, or my head will be taken off at once.' It was most gratifying to find him so enlightened and imbued with the spirit

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and love of the gospel. He says, “I love the Gospel of John, the beloved disciple, who fully unfolds the tender love of Jesus. That iron yonder is cold, but when you

. put it in the fire it becomes warm and heated. So when we come together we may be strangers at first, but our hearts soon grow warm with the love of Christ.' And as we came to separate he embraced and kissed us affectionately, and with tears in his eyes expressed the hope that we might meet in heaven. He is but one of a large class of Mussulmans in the East who are becoming enlightened by studying the Scriptures, but are kept from embracing Christianity through fear of persecution and death.

“In a town named Soungoloo, twenty hours distant from Marsovan, a hojah, or Turkish teacher, not long since became possessed of a copy of the Scriptures. He continued to study it with much interest, and then began to explain it to others; and now, it is said, as many as one thousand are interested in seeking after the truth. As we left Marsovan, the pastor, the children, and the native brethren accompanied us some distance on our journey, and then took leave of us with much thankfulness and gratitude for our visit in behalf of the gospel and the Bible cause.

We arrived the same day at Amasia. Here I called upon the Armenian archbishop, and stated to him the object of my mission to furnish all who desire it with the Word of God, without note or comment. He received me with great politeness, but said that all his people were supplied with the Scriptures.

“ In two days more we reached Tocat, and were again welcomed by a delegation of the missionaries and the native brethren an hour before our arrival in the city. This is in many respects the most important interior

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station of the mission. The Rev. Mr Van Lennep has here a theological seminary, in which ten pious young men are preparing to preach the gospel. In vacations they go out into all the towns and villages round about and labour as Bible colporteurs and Scripture readers among the native population. In a city ten hours distant they remained up all night, on one occasion, in arguing from the Scriptures and establishing the truth by the Word of God.

“The next day is the Sabbath, and I was much interested in attending their native services in Armenian and Turkish. In the evening a special meeting was called, and I explained to them the object of my visit, and the desire of the American Bible Society to aid in supplying the Scriptures in all the languages of the East. I also gave them an account of my visit to the soldiers in the Crimea, to the Copts in Egypt, and of my journey in Palestine and Syria. They were deeply interested, and desired me to thank that great and good society for remembering also the Armenians in Asia Minor.' The Protestant church numbers twenty-five members, and the congregation usually from forty to sixty. There is also a Sabbath school and day school, in which the Scriptures are taught to the children. The next day I visited the Bible depôt, a large room in the principal street of the city. There have been sold during the last year ninety-seven copies of the Scriptures and parts of Scriptures in Armenian, Greek, and Turkish. One hundred and ninety-three copies have also been distributed by the colporteurs in the city, and the towns and villages around. Here, likewise, the demand is increasing: two hundred additional copies have just been ordered from Constantinople to supply the depository.

GRAVE OF HENRY MARTIN.

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* In the afternoon I made a visit to the grave

of Henry Martin, who died at Tocat, in 1812. It was most interesting to stand beside the tomb of that devoted missionary, who ‘laboured so many years in the East, and translated the Holy Scriptures into Hindostanee and Persian.' The East India Company are about to erect an elegant monument to his memory, in the grounds of the American mission, where his remains will be removed and deposited. I have just held an interview, this evening, with a converted Mussulman from Aintab. He obtained a copy of the New Testament at Beyrout some years ago, became convinced of the truth of the gospel, and has since distributed more than one hundred copies among the Kuzul Bashis, Koords, and Turks around Arabkir. He has changed his name from Mohammed to Kreker, or Gregory, and gone into all the towns and villages of that region, everywhere preaching the Word. I inquired his opinion of the Bible. “I believe it to be the Word of God,' said he; 'and Christ is the Son of God, who took upon Himself our nature to save sinners. This he did by His atonement and resurrection, and afterwards he sent His Holy Spirit to renew us unto newness of life. I asked him whence he obtained this knowledge? He replied, “By studying the Scriptures alone. Such is the power of the simple Word of God, to make even a follower of the false prophet wise unto everlasting salvation.

“He is now on his way to Constantinople, to be baptized and fully embrace the Christian religion.-Faithfully and affectionately yours,

“C. N. RIGHTER.”

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In a letter to his mother, he speaks of his visit to the grave of Henry Martin, in a manner which shews that he

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LETTER TO HIS MOTHER.

was not unprepared in thought to find an early grave near this precious dust. There is something deeply touching and almost prophetic in the thoughts which he expressed on visiting this spot.

“Tocat, October 2, 1856. “I am now upon a journey to the interior stations of the Armenian Missions in Asia Minor, and have time this morning only to write a hasty note from this most interesting place. Here Henry Martin lies buried—that devoted missionary in the East, who in India translated the Holy Scriptures into Hindostanee and Persian, and died with fever at Tocat, on his journey to Constantinople. I have this afternoon made a visit to his grave. It was just at the hour of sunset. A mild and mellow light was shed over the scene, and I could not but feel my devotion quickened and faith strengthened beside the last restingplace of this man of God, cut off in early manhood, in the midst of his active labours, in a far distant land. Again a voice came to me—What thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.'

“Tocat is beautifully situated at the head of a fertile valley, abounding in gardens, vineyards, and fruit-trees of most luxuriant growth. The missionary brethren came out to welcome us in the name of Christ; and after we had spent a few days with them in delightful Christian intercourse, sent us on our way rejoicing. My travelling companion is the Rev. Henry Jones, secretary of the Turkish Missions Aid Society,—a man of devoted piety, and an excellent Christian gentleman. Our object is to visit all the missionary stations in Asia Minor, to witness the work of the Lord in connexion with the Bible cause,

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