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“ CONSTANTINOPLE, Jan. 1, 1855. “ MY DEAR MOTHER,—I wish you a happy New Year from the far east, my oriental home.
The skies are bright and sunny here, and the air mild and genial, as I fondly trust they may be in the distant west, where the loved ones abide. I have much enjoyed the day. In our American chapel we had a union meeting of Christians of every denomination in the city—the evangelical alliance of Constantinople. It was to me a delightful occasion, coming as I did directly from the seat and sound of war, and all the marshaling to arms and military excitement of the camp at Sebastopol, to enjoy this scene of peace here, where we met together in the name of the Prince of Peace, to hold sweet communion and fellowship with our Saviour and our God, and sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. It was indeed good to be there, with our devoted missionary friends and excellent English Christians, forgetting the distinctions of church and country, and becoming one in Christ Jesus our Lord. I was called upon to address the meeting, and though without preparation I felt strengthened in mind and spirit to give expression to the emotions which the time and place inspired. It seemed peculiarly appropriate to hold such a meeting at the opening of a new year, when the wheels of God's providence are rolling forward with mighty power in the East, preparing the way for the spread of the Bible, and preaching the gospel to the ends of the world. This calls for renewed consecration to our Master's work at the beginning of the year. Another voice, too, spake to us in solemn tones. Just as the last year was coming to its close, the hand of death entered our little missionary circle, and suddenly took from us one who was beloved
by all who knew her (Mrs Everett), leaving a bereaved husband and tender, sorrowing family to mourn her loss. The little children only whisper her name, 'Mamma's gone, mamma's gone to heaven !' Her voice spake to us that day, ‘Be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh.'
“CONSTANTINOPLE, Feb. 4, 1855. “MY DEAR MOTHER,—In my last I wrote you of our union meeting of English and American residents here, on New-Year's day, which we all enjoyed so much in its spirit and influence. The next day was a full meeting of our Bible committee, which was of equal, if not greater interest to me. The next week there was also a meeting of all the evangelical of the city, which I enjoyed very much; a Prussian presided, and the services were conducted in French, but there was one Lord and the same Spirit. There, too, we have such excellent preaching on the Sabbath in our American chapel, from all the good missionaries in their turn. They have kindly included me among their number, and I enjoy all, both the preaching and hearing, more than ever before. They are not only good men, but men of rare talent and ability at this station; and it is a delight and honour to be associated with them, and labour side by side with them in the same great cause. I likewise much enjoy our social family and singing meetings; they remind me of those we occasionally had at home, which linger still in mind with pleasantest memory. What is more delightful than the sound of familiar, home-like music in a strange land ?
“But I have just come from a meeting which has suggested to me this train of thought. It is the Sabbath
a mild and lovely day, and we have heard to-day a discourse on the occasion of the recent death of one of our missionary circle, the Rev. N. Benjamin. The text selected was from John xiv. 2, 3, 'In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you,' &c., and the subject was the preparation of the mansion for the disciple, and the disciple for the mansion. Both were done by Christ and through Christ. He was all, and in all, and above all, God blessed for ever. The preacher vividly portrayed the glory of the divinely-fitted mansion, and the still greater glory of the entrance of the redeemed soul within it, clothed with the righteousness and immortality of Christ. It was indeed a scene which every Christian should anticipate with rapture, and long to enjoy ; desiring rather to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.”
CONSTANTINOPLE, April 29, 1855. "MY DEAR FATHER,— It is the Sabbath, and my thoughts from this Moslem land are turned toward home, and those I love across the waters. Mingled with thoughts of home are likewise those of heaven, our home above; where I trust redeemed, purified, sanctified, glorified, in the image of Christ, we shall all meet in our Father's house, around His throne, where sin, sorrow, and sighing never enter, and parting shall be known no more for ever.
This thought alone can sustain and cheer the soul, as separated from each other in distant lands we labour on, each in our own sphere, doing our appointed work, till our Divine Master call us home, having overcome, 'to sit down with Him on His throne, even as He
THOUGHTS OF HOME.
also overcame, and is set down with His Father on His throne.'
My meditations were divided thus as I sat down to write you this afternoon, and also such thoughts and questions as these passed through my mind. Winter has passed, and gladsome spring has come—the season of life, and bloom, and beauty. How have father and mother enjoyed the winter? how are they at this returning spring? True, I have their open portraits before me, with lineaments and feature unchanged since I left (which I value above price); yet these are not sufficient to satisfy the fulness of the heart. I would know more. Have they grown old at all since I have gone? have the infirmities of age begun to gather upon them? Oh that I could visit home but for one short hour, to see and speak a word with each, and feel assured that all were well as when I left! I could then return and press forward in earnest duty, with a firmer step and warmer heart. But why should I distrust? Do I not daily commend them all to the guardian care and loving-kindness of Him who is omnipotent and omnipresent, who doeth all things well, and whose tender mercies are over all His works ?”
VISIT TO A RUINED CITY.
THE following interesting account of a ruined city was sent to the New York Observer, with which he corresponded from the East :
“BROOSA, June 27, 1855. “ MESSRS EDITORS,—In company with the Rev. Dr Hamlin, I came yesterday to visit Broosa, the scene of the recent earthquake in the Orient. We left Constantinople in the early morning, on board of a Turkish steamer, and sailed out upon the Sea of Marmora, past the Princes Isles; and coasting along the shores of Asia, crowned with cypresses, myrtles, and pines, in six hours we came to Moudania, a small Greek town on the Gulf of Nicea. Here we landed, and took horses for a ride of six hours more in the interior. Our horses were equipped in the oriental style. Mine was mounted with a saddle of blue cloth, and wore a band of coloured beads, and cloth worked with sea-shells, about his neck, and dangling brass orna
his bridle. "Upon leaving the town, we rode a short distance along the water side, and then through the rich vineyards and olive groves of the country. Ascending the hill, we had a lovely view of the valley before us—covered with green