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mained to make our doors, and do other work for us.
These three men
say they do trust and believe in Christ, and last night they made their first prayer in the name of Christ. We have invited them into our morning prayer, and shall have it in Burmese for the benefit of these people. My adopted son Henry will conduct the service.
"Saturday night the three carpenters came to me and requested baptism. They pray, and sometimes after midnight they are still reading the life of Christ. They are very happy when the gong strikes for our family prayers. They wash themselves and change their clothes, and we can hardly recognise them as the men of last month. We have long urged them to build the boys' dormitory in December, and have postponed their request for baptism till they return. They will go back to their heathen friends, and if they have the root of the truth in them they will not backslide. They took many books with them, and came back from the boat twice to say good-bye. Two men were baptized yesterday in this place, one woman at Lao, and three in another place.
"Oo Shaw Mot goes out at daylight and does not return till 12. The heathen look at him with wonder. When he left the Buddhist Priesthood, some surmised that he threw off his robes in order to obtain a wife, but when they see him unmarried, and so given up to the work of preaching Christ, they are astonished.
"Last week the railway preacher gave out 1,000 tracts and the boat preacher 700. Some of the pupils from this school profess the new faith. Our people have been greatly touched with the poor sufferers of the other coast, and some of the heathen joined us in the contributions for the famine-stricken,
"Oct. 12.-I have had a short visit from one of England's daughters. Miss N. T- is from Mrs. Pennefather's Home. She is to be married to Mr. Adams, of the China Inland Mission, who lives at Bhamo. She comes out full of zeal, and I believe will prove a good representative from Mildmay. She told me of the May Meetings, a little foretaste of heaven. Since I began these notes I have received a magic lantern from Mrs. Weitbrecht, the gift of many friends. My thanks to the kind contributors. The hall of our house is well suited for such exhibitions. We have all our night services in this hall, and I may call this the 'evening hall.' Our Society in America sent me 5007. for the house, and some friends, in memory of my dear friend Mrs. Ladd, have sent me 50l. towards the windows, and perhaps I shall use some of your fund for the hall.
With Christian love to each of my kind friends,
M. B. INGALLS.
IN reference to our frontispiece of the Pyramidal Mountains of Koordistan, the residence of the mountain section of the Nestorian Christians, a pamphlet has lately reached us containing the report of a journey undertaken by desire of His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury and His Grace the Archbishop of York, to those Assyrian Christians-1st, to convey the assurance of their sympathy with the Patriarch of the Eastern and Ancient Church over which he presides; 2nd, to reply to their request for aid from the Church of England--and to ask for the suggestion of some definite plan for improving and extending the education of the people, for which the Archbishops might be able to ask the assistance of English Churchmen.
It is now nearly 50 years ago since noble and self-denying Missionaries from AMERICA began to make the same journey to this venerable land, teeming with sacred associations-the land of Cyrus and Darius, of Daniel and Mordecai, and Esther, with the same intent; and the first ten volumes of our periodical teemed with interesting particulars concerning the success of these missions of our Anglo-Saxon descendants, the modern "People of the Book" of God to the ancient Syriac "CHURCH of the Book." We also gave details of the work of 17 Biblewomen, who at that time were selected from the pupils of the Christian seminaries which at once arose for the instruction and elevation of the Nestorian women, amongst whom not one could read except the sister of the Patriarch; while in their spoken or vulgar language, the Syro-Chaldaic, there were no words for wife or home, woman and house being the nearest approach thereto.
We remember with deep interest our first introduction to Dr. Perkins, whose name must for ever live as the Pioneer of Modern Missions in the fair Vales of Persia, and the Mountains of Koordistan; it was after a lecture delivered at Cheltenham, in 1861, in which he tried to interest English Christians generally, in the revival of the ancient Nestorian Episcopal Church in Persia. He had then been shut away from the civilized world for 27 years, and described his work as that of scattering the
handful of corn on the top of the mountains (Ps. lxxii., i.e. in an unpromising soil), as humble in its origin, unpretending in its means, silent in its progress, but rapid and successful in its results.
In 1834, three American missionaries, Dr. Dwight, Dr. Goodell, and Dr. Schauffler held a Concert for prayer in their upper room at Constantinople-then the only place of Protestant worship in all that city-and in the first month of the same year two young Armenians came to their door inquiring after the truth. In 1861, all Turkey was dotted with Protestant Mission stations, and there were 53 Protestant churches in Asiatic Turkey. Their first branch of labour among the Nestorians had been educational, and there were now three or four thousand readers in the seventy or eighty schools that had been established; also two training colleges, one for young men and the other for young women; and there had gone forth from the one, sixty able, faithful, well-instructed teachers of the Gospel; and from the other, more than one hundred pious young women, exercising a marked influence in the relations of mothers, wives, and teachers among their people.
With regard to the press. The spoken language of the Nestorians had never been reduced to writing; but having acomplished this, the American missionaries had translated the Scripture into the modern Syro-Chaldaic, and had besides provided for the people about 80,000 instructive and useful volumes. They had also expended on the preaching of the Word the best of their strength, and eleven or twelve intensely interesting Revivals had occurred during the last 20 years-revivals of as genuine and pure a character as any ever known, in which the number converted of all classes and ages, was counted by hundreds, which was proved, both by the fervour of their prayers, the remarkable answers that followed, and the wonderful transformations of character witnessed in their train.
Regarding the Ancient Nestorian Church as they found it, Dr. Perkins made very interesting statements. He alluded to Dr. Grant's well-known and published view that these people are a portion of the descendants of the Ten exiled tribes of ISRAEL still resident in the very districts to which they were
transferred from Samaria, the ecclesiastical Language being the old Syriac, and many of their customs those of that Ancient Chosen People to this day. The Jews, who hate them, but dwell among them, say that the Nestorians (or as they call themselves, the Nazarenes, and the Beni-Israel) apostatized from Judaism in the times of the Apostles.
Without committing himself to this view, Dr. Perkins dilated on their being a remnant of a once great, and influential, and active Missionary Church, the oldest of the Christian sects, which in their prosperous days spread from Cyprus, through India, Tartary, Thibet, over Asia, into China. Their ancestors, as they hold, were converted to Christianity by the Apostle Thomas; and their settlements extended far and wide, till the rise and progress of the Mohammedan system at length swept it away from the vast regions of Asia, so that it hardly continued to exist, except in the fastnesses of the Koordish mountains. No memory of this great missionary character of the Nestorian Church might have remained, but for an ancient porphyry Tablet, found in China,* written in Chinese, and accompanied by an inscription in their ancient Syriac language, stating that they had preached the Gospel in China.
After the lapse of eighteen centuries, alas! this missionary people could chant some of the words of Holy Writ, but without knowing their meaning. Their ancient Church was now found to be not a living Church, but a petrified skeleton-nice in its distinctions, punctilious in some of its observances, but vital Christianity entirely wanting. With regard to their temporal condition, they were ground down to the dust by their Mohammedan rulers and masters, whom they naturally felt to be sore oppressors, luxuriating in idleness and voluptuousness on the fruits of their own severe and unrequited toil. They had contracted many of the prevalent vices of their hated oppressors falsehood among these nominal Christians was nearly universal; the Sabbath was a day of business, trade, and recreation, and almost every one of the Commandments, except
*There are 66 Rubbings" from this Chinese Tablet as from an ancient Brass. It has also been photographed, and the Stone itself ought certainly to be in the possession of the British Museum. It is called the Tablet of Seg-nan-foo.
the seventh, was habitually violated without shame. The oppressed Christians were nearly on a level with the corrupt Mohammedans around them. Nevertheless, acknowledging the Bible, at least in theory, to be the only authoritative rule of faith and practice, rejecting image and picture worship, the doctrine of purgatory, and confession to priests, with hearty indignation, they might still, excepting a portion of them who have been seduced by the wiles of Romanizing teachers (and whom the Pope has distinguished by another of their very ancient names, Chaldean Christians), be truly called, "The Protestants of Asia."
Dr. Perkins added that the Reformation had taken a strong hold of the Nestorian clergy. Some thirty or forty who were Priests when he went there had been converted, and three Bishops also, two of whom were still living, and were labouring actively for Christ. One of them in particular, who was now nearly eighty years old, was a really apostolic man, and had been instrumental in bringing forward many youths to be educated for the ministry.
Under the teaching of many a holy American minister, there arose in this Church noble native travelling evangelists, with the Word of Life ever in their hands and on their lips, such as the indefatigable Deacon Gewergis, always journeying on foot, over the mountains, amid perils of robbers, with his well-worn staff, and his New Testament and a few morsels of dry bread slung over his shoulder in a shepherd's bag—a heavenly serenity lighting up his benignant countenance, and the rocks and the valleys echoing to his songs of praise.
But since 1861 some eighteen years have passed, and pastors and pupils of that day are gone to their rest, though Dr. Perkins afterwards continued his labours till he had completed thirtyfive years in his Persian mission.
The new Church of England deputation to this same Ancient Church professes to aim first at the "Chaldean Christians" in the plain of Gawar, a station now abandoned by the Americans, but whose buildings, which they erected for a Mission House and School, consisting of about thirty rooms, built in native style, still remain, and can be had by purchase.