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LITTLE DISTRIBUTORS.

75

teurs to enter the camp wherever this would admit them ; and they thus distributed 300 Testaments to the soldiers, who manifested the greatest thankfulness at receiving them. Also, at the point of embarkation, on the following day, another was stationed to place in the hands of all whom he could reach, at this last moment, the Word of Life, the way of everlasting salvation. Likewise, as they came from camp to Pera, a gratuitous supply was furnished them from our depository; and those who received Testaments sent their friends for the same bon livre, and when others went to Bebek, there they received them by the roadside from the hands of Mr Hamlin's little daughters, replying, with much gratitude, ‘Merci, mademoiselle, merci beaucoup, c'est bon'- Thank you, miss, thank you much, it is good.'

“More than a thousand Testaments have by these means, within a few days, been distributed to the troops. Thus, during their short encampment here, much good seed has been sown amongst them, which, we trust, will not fail to spring up and bring forth fruit an hundredfold in the hearts of these poor soldiers, hurried away to die, in a foreign land, upon the field of battle. And we hope to gain still greater facilities for supplying with the same divine treasure the twenty-five thousand other troops now on their way from France to occupy this camp. ”

The seed thus sown will produce its fruit. Many of these soldiers died before leaving the Crimea, but many returned to France, bringing the Bible with them.

CHAPTER XI.

LETTERS HOME.

66

CRIMEA, Dec. 25, 1854. “ MY DEAR FATHER,—I wish you 'merry, merry

Christmas,' from the shores of the Black Sea. Here I am at the seat and centre of war, within the roar of the enemy's cannon, and in the midst of all the martial excitement and display of the camp, yet my thoughts and remembrance to-day fondly turn to those I love in the far off western land. I am reminded of the many happy Christmas days I have spent at home, around our own fireside, and in our little family circle; I am reminded of the last we enjoyed together, when we were all gathered home, and mingled in delightful social intercourse. My mind suadenly runs back through all the past years. I remember a father's kindness, tenderness, and love, ever ready to grant my every wish and supply my every want; all this comes gushing up in mind to-day, and from the fulness of my heart I thank you for it all. None but he that feels it knows the gladness of such memories to a stranger in a strange land.

“But you will ask how I am spending Christmas here. First, we have excellent accommodation on board a transport ship in the harbour of Balaklava, the place of

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landing English stores for the army. We have roast goose, roast turkey, roast beef, and pork for dinner, and right good cheer at the social table. As this is the first day (except Sabbath) that we have spent in the Crimea, we go up to Captain Fraser's battery upon the heights, above the town, to have a view of the camp—and it is indeed a brilliant scene. There are the Highland tents upon the highest hill; then a company of French Zouaves; then the Turks and English, and so on, for miles through the valleys; and along the hillside stretches the encampment, far as the eye can reach. At intervals the batteries are placed with sentinels to guard them, and a strong line of entrenchments the entire distance; and far in front are stationed the pickets on horseback, to give the alarm at the first approach of the enemy; just opposite, too, we see the Russian outposts, and they themselves, fifty thousand strong, are a few rods behind the hill. And here are foraging parties coming across the plainFrench, Turks, and English, infantry and cavalry, on foot and on horseback, nobleman and commoner, prince and peasant, officers and soldiers alike, mounted on horses, mules, donkeys, and dromedaries, driving carts, ambulance and artillery waggons, bringing down the sick, and marching up the new recruits; meeting and passing, shouting and hurrying each other forward; sticking fast in the mud, and again moving on, all to the sound of martial music-fife, drum, and band. This forms the first picture, and gives us the first impression of all the ' pomp and circumstance of glorious war.' But I must close. Farewell, dear father. Your affectionate son,

“ CHESTER.”

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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

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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

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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

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