صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

RUSSIAN PRISONERS.

63

them with the Bible. I found the officer himself was out, but his deputy was sitting behind the desk, and it seems he had received intimation that I was coming, for he asked immediately, “What is it you wish, sir ? Is it anything I can do as well? I rather think it is something in the missionary line, isn't it ?' I replied, “Yes ; I wished to see the Russian prisoners, and give them the Bible, if they desired it.' 'Well,' said he, 'I always like to help on the good cause, and will be glad to accompany you.

“We accordingly took with us an interpreter, and proceeded to the guard-house. The sentinels on duty demanded our business. He stepped forward and said, 'We wish to see the Russian prisoners. This man is a missionary: this is Mr Upton, and I am deputy-provost; and whatever is done well, or whatever is done ill, I will be answerable for it.' The sentinels immediately stood aside, and we entered the guard-room. Here were eleven prisoners, only one of whom could read; and upon asking him if he would like to receive a New Testament, he expressed great desire to have it, and when I gave it in his hand he manifested much thankfulness, and said he would not only read it himself, but would also read it aloud to the others, that the word of God might be multiplied. The officer insisted upon it that he must receive and value it as the Book of Salvation, and he replied with many expressions of gratitude for so precious a gift. And when I thanked the officer for his kind assistance in the matter, ‘Not at all,' said he, 'these things do me as much good as you. And I am happy to add that I have received the same generous aid, in furtherance of my Bible efforts, from all the English

64

RETURN TO CONSTANTINOPLE.

officers in every department of the service. I then obtained an order from the commissariat for a return passage, and in two days reached Constantinople, where I gave a full report of my visit before the committee of the Auxiliary Bible Society, which held its meeting on Tuesday last; and so great was the interest manifested, that it was at once voted that we jointly send a colporteur to labour in that important field. I have also written to Paris, to gain permission from the Emperor for a like work of Bible distribution among the French troops, which I doubt not will be readily granted.”

CONSTANTINOPLE, Jan. 4, 1855. “This morning I have sent a small supply of Bibles and Testaments to the chaplains at the Crimea for iminediate distribution, instructing that they be sold, in each instance, where the soldiers are willing to purchase, and only given in special cases of need. I find Mr Barker, agent of the British and Foreign Bible Society here, a most excellent and efficient man, with whom I can entirely harmonise and co-operate in all my Bible movements.

Yesterday I received a letter from Dr King, at Athens, giving an account of the terrible ravages of cholera there for the last two months, and fully approving the wisdom of my decision in coming directly to Constantinople, as, besides the great exposure of life, I could have accomplished absolutely nothing there.

He adds, moreover, that the work of issuing the modern Greek New Testament has been delayed at least two months by reason of the scourge. I deeply regret to announce the sudden death of Mrs Everett, of this mission, since I last wrote,

a

DEATH OF MRS EVERETT.

65

cordially beloved by all who knew her-taken from us in the midst of youth and active usefulness, and leaving a bereaved husband and tender, sorrowing family to mourn her loss. Such are the inscrutable

ways

of Providence to man. Yet we bow submissively to His afflictive hand, and feel to say, 'He doeth all things well ;' The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away ; blessed be the name of the Lord.'—Most sincerely yours, in the bonds of the Bible,

“ C. N. RIGHTER.”

E

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

a

MR RIGHTER reached Constantinople, on his return from the Crimea, on the last day of the year 1854. Besides attending to the distribution of the Scriptures in the hospitals and among the various classes in the city and vicinity, he commenced an effort to obtain a depository for Bibles and other religious books, which was soon successful. In a letter to the American Bible Society, dated April 19, 1855, he speaks of the opening and of the encouragements to the circulation of the Scriptures as follows :

“The principal feature of interest in connexion with the Bible cause at Constantinople, during the present month, is the opening of our new depository to the public, for the sale of Bibles in various languages, in Pera, the Frank quarter of the city. We have obtained a large magazine in the main street, and erected a sign over the door with Bible and Religious Book Depository' in large capitals upon it, and suspended another in front with five different languages, English, French, German, Turkish, and Greek, upon the two sides; and placed the open Bible in various tongues in the windows, announcing to the multitude of every nation, who throng this crowded street, that'here each in his own language can buy the Bible.' And it is most interesting to notice them stopping

[blocks in formation]

to read a moment in passing, and then coming in to buy the Word of God. A few days since four Bulgarians came and purchased the Psalms in Russian ; then came a Jew and bought a Spanish Bible, and another the Old Testament in Hebrew; then an Italian called for the Bible, and a Greek, and Armenian, and German, and several French officers, also wished for Bibles; and all freely gave their money in exchange for the Book of Life. We have likewise included other religious books, and connected a small reading-room with the establishment, in order to bring more in contact with the Scriptures, and thereby increase their sale ; and this has operated thus far most successfully.

“The whole is under the direction of a committee, of which Count de Zuylon Van Neyvelt, the ambassador of Holland, is president,-a man of most earnest and excellent Christian spirit.

We have received a letter from the British and Foreign Bible Society, expressing their willingness to pay a reasonable proportion of the expenses 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."

[ocr errors]

In the same letter he makes mention of the remarkable spirit of inquiry after the Word which had sprung up among the Turks :

« السابقةمتابعة »