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"I have been attending the annual meeting of the Armenian Mission at Constantinople, during the last week, for the purpose of becoming acquainted with the missionaries from the interior, and enlisting their interest in the Bible Cause. They report an increased demand for the Scriptures at their various stations, and many interesting incidents of the great influence in some instances of even a single Bible or Testament in their fields of labor. I will mention one from the report of Rev. Mr. Clark, of Arabkir, respecting one of the stations in his field.
"The Turkish Governor of the city obtained from us a copy of the Scriptures, which he is said to read openly, and discuss its truths with Turks, Koords, and Armenians. And his banker, an Armenian, the teacher of the Armenian school, and some others petitioned us some time since to establish a regular Protestant service on the Sabbath.
"Light has also spread in the villages around and in the region beyond, among the wild Koords of the mountains. A copy of the New Testament which found its way into these wilds some four or five years since, having fallen into the hands of a Koordish chief, he has made it the law of his tribe. All matters are tried by the rules of the Gospel. Not only this, they seem to have received the Word in its spirit. They be
lieve in Christ; have a kind of church organization, and celebrate the Lord's Supper in commemoration of his sufferings and death.'
"Mr. Clark also says: 'There is a large population in our field of Turks, called Ruzzel-bash. They seem to be a distinct party or tribe, and constitute the majority of Mussulmans in all this region. They are all ready to receive the Gospel; they believe in Christ; they observe not the great fast of the Mohammedans, neither do they use their forms of prayer, or practise their various washings. They pray extempore; they meet together once a year, make bread, and eat it, and say this is for Christ.
"Two copies of the New Testament in Turkish, not long since, were carried to one of their villages. They were eagerly read and listened to. The villagers were amazed at the wonderful truths, and many joyfully received them. At length the villagers became divided among themselves, and many separated from their Mollah, and declared they would receive the truth at all hazards. And these men have already been subjected to much persecution for the Gospel's sake, one of them at the same time being the chief man of the village.
"In another village, eight hours from Arabkir, a Ruzzel-bash has a Testament which he reads and preaches to his people; and he also is suffer
BIBLES FOR TURKS.
ing much persecution. He is a Turk of some influence. 'It is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes.'"
"Thus are the Bible and the Gospel spreading among the Turks throughout the empire.
"We have received the following order for Scriptures from the Jewish station at Salonica: 100 Hebrew Bibles, 25 Spanish Bibles, 100 Hebrew Psalms, 100 Hebrew Pentateuch; indicating that a good work is also springing up amongst the Jews. And from Adrianople comes a call for 25 Turkish Testaments, and. 80 Hebrew Psalms. May the Lord yet more abundantly bless His Word at all these stations, and in all these lands."
Some extracts are made from his correspondence, showing what an inviting field the camps and hospitals of the allied nations at Constantinople presented for the distribution of the Scriptures and how readily it was occupied.
"1,176 Bibles and Testaments have been sent to the English army in the Crimea. Lady Canning has generously purchased 200 Bibles and 500 Testaments, to be distributed among the British soldiers and sailors in the hospitals at Constantinople. Seventeen Russian prisoners have been supplied with Testaments. The visits of our colporteur were
prevented for a time by authority of a sub-official who had charge of the prisoners; but he applied at once to Lord William Paulet, commander-inchief of the forces of this station, and received the following order:
666 SCUTARI, March 31, 1855. "Mr. William Sellers has permission to have access to the Russian prisoners of war confined at the Turkish arsenal, for the purpose of supplying them with books.
"T. W. PAULET,
"B. General Com'g Troops.""
The French soldiers seemed no less anxious than the English to obtain the Scriptures. He writes from Constantinople, May 22:
"The twenty thousand French soldiers encamped upon the heights above the Bosphorus, a few miles from the city, have furnished an interesting field for the distribution of the Scriptures during the last month. We had just begun fully to obtain access to them, however, as they were all ordered to the Crimea for the war; yet many will carry their little Testaments not only in the camp but also on the field of battle, and will find these their only consolation at the hour of death.
"I visited the camp a few days since, in company with a son of the Rev. Mr. Schauffler, for
the purpose of obtaining a general authorization from the commander-in-chief, to distribute Bibles and Testaments among the soldiers. On the way we stopped at a shop of refreshments kept by a Protestant Armenian, where a few Testaments had previously been deposited, and inquired if he had any remaining on hand. 'Not one,' said he. 'Soon as the men found that New Testaments could be had here, they came and called earnestly for them, and my little supply was gone almost at once. I could distribute hundreds, if I gave them to all who wished. A commanding officer called here yesterday,' said he, 'and asked where these Testaments came from. I told him, a benevolent society had sent them.' He replied, 'Present my thanks to that society for so good a work.'
"This store, however, was not within the lines, and, according to camp regulation, the sentinels will allow no one to pass without a written order to that effect. And I wished a general permission for distributing the Bible to the soldiers in their tents, where a kind word might also be spoken accompanying the Word of Scripture.
"We called at head-quarters, but unfortunately found the General absent at Constantinople. On our return through the camp, however, we gained the following written permission from a colonel, stamped with his seal, freely to enter the lines of