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ASIA DESC RIBED.
WITH ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS
THE AUTIIOR OF THE PEEP OF DAY.'
PRINTED BY STRANGEWAYS AND SONS,
Tower Street, Upper St. Martin's Lane.
INTRODUCTION TO NEW EDITION.
MIAN'S first home was a garden, a glorious
garden where the Lord Himself condescended
to walk. But Adam fell and was driven out
of Eden. Instead of dressing and keeping
the garden, he had to till the ground, which
brought forth thorns and thistles.
Yet still, even in this 'present evil world,'
there is much which may remind us of a
garden. In spite of the weeds, we see lovely
flowers; in spite of all the sin, we see great
beauty and constant variety; and as in a
garden, some trees flourish while others
decay, and even the same trees, which at
one time burst into leaf and bloom, at
another time look bare and drear, just so is
Vi INTRODUCTION TO NEW EDITION.
it in our world, which is full of changes,
one following another.
Many great changes and many important
events have taken place in our world since Far
Off was first written. The dear writer felt
this herself. Her great oak table groaned
under piles of books, which she wanted to
study and to digest, and which yet remained
untouched, for strength failed her to do as
she desired. Formerly, with elastic step,
she loved to climb the neighboring hills,
where she could enjoy the sweet sea breezes;
but later it was with difficulty that she dragged
her weary feet round her own cottage garden.
She still liked to see her flowers; but she did
not appear to notice how the borders were
invaded by overgrown shrubs. At last she
could no longer mount even the few steps
leading to her favourite nook, with its distant
prospect of sea and sail. She could no longer
even sit in her familiar bower, and hold converse
with those she loved. 'My next journey will
be a long one,' she often said, and earnestly
she desired to set out upon it. Her wish was
INTRODUCTION TO NEW EDITION. V11
granted. She departed in her sleep, without a
sigh; and brain, and hand, and foot, all once
so active, and afterwards all so weary, are now
at rest. She bequeathed to younger hands the
task of preparing a new edition of her Geo-
graphy. Her other works speak of God, and
of His words and works, which remain without
change, like the everlasting hills; but her
geography books speak of man, and of his
works and place in this dying world, which is
full of change.
It was with reverent affection that her
nieces accepted her last bequest. Brought up,
upon her knees, and taught to regard her as
a second mother, they approached her writings
with respect, and ventured on their task with
the greatest care. Feeling deeply their own
insufficiency, they invoked the assistance of
many kind and able friends, personally ac-
quainted with the present condition of all the
countries described, and willing to supply the
The task was arduous, yet it was a labour
of love. Nothing lightened it so much as
Viii INTRODUCTION TO NEW EDITION.
the conviction it brought that all the mighty
events and recent changes of modern times
are opening the door for the circulation of
the Scriptures, and thus preparing the way
for the coming of the Lord, when the wilder-
ness and the solitary place shall be glad, and
the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the
rose. (Isa. xxxv. 1.)
L. C. MEYER.
1 RODNEY PLACE, CLIFTON,
March 1, 1882.
PREFACE TO FIRST EDITION.
Tiis little work pleads for the notice of parents
and teachers on the same ground as its prede-
cessor, Near lHone.'
Its plea is not completeness, nor comprehen-
siveness, nor depth of research, nor splendour of
description; but the very reverse,-its simple,
superficial, desultory character, as better adapted
to the volatile beings for whom it is designed.
Too long have their immortal minds been
captivated by the adventures and achievements
of knights and princesses, of fairies and magi-
cians; it is time to excite their interest in real
persons, and real events. In childhood that
taste is formed which leads the youth to delight
in novels and romances; a taste which has
become so general, that every town has its
circulating library, and every shelf in that
library-its works of fiction.
While these fascinating inventions are in
course of perusal, many a Bible is unopened,
or, if opened, hastily skimmed; many a seat
in church is unoccupied, or, if occupied, the
service and the sermon disregarded--so intense
X PREFACE TO FIRST EDITION.
is the sympathy of the novel reader with his
hero, or his heroine.
And what is the effect of the perusal?*
Many a young mind, inflated with a desire
for admiration and adventure, grows tired of
home, impatient of restraint, indifferent to
simple pleasures, and averse from sacred in-
structions. How important, therefore, early
to endeavour to prevent a taste for FICTION,
by cherishing a taste for FACTS !
But this is not the only aim of the present
work; it seeks also to excite an interest in those
facts which ought most. to interest immortal
beings-facts relative to souls, and their eternal
happiness-to God, and His infinite glory.
THESE are the facts which engage the atten-
tion of the inhabitants of heaven. We know
not whether the birth of princes, and the
coronations of monarchs, are noticed by the
angelic hosts; but we do know that the
repentance of a sinner, be he Hindu or
Hottentot, is celebrated by their melodious
voices in rapturous symphonies.
Therefore 'cFar Off' desires to interest its
little readers in the labours of missionaries,-
men despised and maligned by the world, but
honoured and beloved by the Saviour of the
See an illustration of this effect in the Life of President
Garfield, by W. M. Thayer, page 125.
PREFACE TO FIRST EDITION. Xi
world. An account of the scenery and natives
of various countries is calculated to prepare the
young mind for reading with intelligence those
little Missionary Magazines, which appear every
month, written in so attractive a style, and
adorned with such beautiful illustrations."
Parents have no longer reason to complain of
the difficulty of finding sacred entertainment
for their children on Sunday, for these pleasing
messengers,-if carefully dealt out,-one or
two on each Sabbath, would afford a never-
To form great and good characters, the
mind must be trained to delight in TRUTH,--
not in comic rhymes, in sentimental tales, and
sceptical poetry. The truths revealed in God's
Holy Word should constitute the firm basis of
education; add the works of Creation and Pro-
vidence-the superstructure, while the Divine
blessing can alone rear and cement the edifice.
Parents, train up yoar children to serve
God, and to enjoy His presence for, ever; and
if there be amongst them-an EXTRAORDINARY
child, train him up with extraordinary care,
"* The titles of some of the principal are,-
Church M1issionary Juvenile Instructor.
At Home and Abroad.
"Church Missionary Gleaner.
Illustrated Missionary News, Suitable also for adults.
by Grattan Guinness.
Xii PREFACE TO FIRST EDITION.
lest instead of doing extraordinary good, he
should do extraordinary evil, and be plunged
into extraordinary misery.
Train up-the child of imagination-not to
dazzle, like Byron, but to enlighten, like
the child of wit-not to create profane
mirth, like Voltaire, but to promote holy
joy, like Bunyan:
the child of reflection-not to weave danger-
ous sophistries, like Hume, but to wield
powerful arguments, like Chalmers:
the child of sagacity-not to gain advantages
for himself, like Cromwell, but for his
country, like Washington:
the child of eloquence-not to astonish the
multitude, like Sheridan, but to plead for
the miserable, like Wilberforce:
the child of ardour-not to be the herald of
delusions, like Swedenborg, but to be the
champion of truth, like Luther:
the child of enterprise-not to devastate a
Continent, like the Emperor Napoleon,
but to scatter blessings over an ocean,
like the missionary Williams:-
and if the child be.a prince,-train him up
not to reign in pomp and pride, like the
fourteenth Louis, but to rule in the fear
of God, like our own great ALFRED.
THE HOLY LAND 1
The Dead Sea 11
Mount Sinai. 32
TURKEY IN ASIA 41
The Ganges 1.59
The Thus 170
A Hindu Baby 173
The Hindu Women 174
The English in India 194
Chief Cities 197
The Sepoys .204
The Rebels of Meerut 207
The Martyr of Delhi 209
The Captives of Lucknow 219
The Captives of Cawnpore 243
The Princess of Punna 255
TURKESTAN IN CENTRAL ASIA 274
The Caspian Sea 287
The Sea of Aral 287
Bokhara in Turkestan 291
The Turkoman Tartars 299
BunMAH .. 382
The Karens 407
The Missionary's Babe 413
The Christian School Girls 448
The Samoyedes 460
The Banished Russians 463
Rivers and Cities 467
The Lake Baikal 468
The Ural Mountains 468
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
Church of the Holy Sepulchre 7
Mount of Olives .. 9
River Jordan 11
Head-dress such as a Druse Woman used to wear 17
Cedars of Lebanon 18
Mrs. Thompson's Institution at Beyrout 23
Seleemie Syongue 24
Arab Tent 28
Mount Sinai 32
Convent of Mount Sinai 35
The Archbishop or Patriarch of Armenia 53
Old Roman Bridge over the Tigris at Diarbekir 67
Eastern woman with coins 68
King of Persia sitting on his heels 79
The Tea Plant 85
Chinese Lady's Foot 87
Treading the Fire 95
Temple of Five Hundred Gods in Canton 99
Buddhist Priest 100
Chinese Family worshipping 102
Chinese Dragon 106
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. XvI
A Chinese Sedan chair 110
Tower of Nankin .. 112
View of Victoria, Hong Kog 113
Criminal in a Collar 120
Chinese Lady 123
Chinese Missionary Travelling 126
Wong Kiu-taik and his wife Lydia .130
Sheep laden with Goods 141
Goddess Kali 142
Hindu Family going to Sacrifice 144
Banyan Tree 148
A Saniyasi .163
Serpent Worship 165
Feeding Kites 166
Worshipping the Peacock 167
A Hindu Gentleman 176
A Rani, or Rajah's Wife 177
Verandah of a Zenana 192
The famous Stone Bull of Benares. 199
Sepoys out of Uniform 204
Street in Delhi 211
Fatima's dead Baby 218
The Residency, Lucknow 224
Room where Sir Henry Lawrence died 229
The English entering Lucknow .. 232
Memorial at Cawnpore 253
Circassian Guest-house 258
A Circassian Maiden 261
Circassian Lion, Guz Beg 265
Tartar Tent. .281
Tartars leaving the Camp 285
Turkoman Girl 301
A Picture in one of the houses of the Lamas 307
Xv711 LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
Contents of a Prayer-Cylinder'. 309
Mountain Pass in Tibet 316
A Tibetan 331
A Visit from Spies .334
The Regent.. 335
Ki-chang giving charge to the Soldiers 352
Parting of Ly with his Wife 353
Hermit of the Mountain 358
Family travelling in Tibet 359
Dost Mohammed Khan, Amir of Kabul 375
Yakoob Khan 376
Burmese Pagoda 392
Burmese Priest preaching 394
Burmese Gentleman in a Bullock-carriage 406
Mrs. Judson's Grave 424
Siamese Lady 427
Talipot Palm 480
Buddha's Tooth 487
The Case in which the Tooth is kept 487
Dyak with Heads 501
Head House 502
Head of a Dyak .503
House of Sea Dyaks .. 506
Stotsu-Bashi, the last Taikun, in his Court Dress 528
Stotsu-Bashi, the last Taikun, in everyday Dress 529
Japanese Lacquer Artist 534
Coolie in his Straw Rain Coat and Straw Shoes 535
Japanese Tailor 536
Campanile and Bell. 539
Japanese Temple at Kamakura 541
LIST OF FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS.
A Burmese Lady To face Title-page
Esther, the little Jewess To face page 8
Druse Woman, as now seen, 1882 ,, 17
Mosque and Minaret ,, 41
Buddha ,, 97
Bohea Hills, where the black tea is grown,
in province of Fuhlien ,, 128
Vishnu ,, 151
Indian Devotees ,, 162
The Monkey Temple at Benares ,, 166
Benares ,, 198
Place from which the Boats were launched ,, 248
Women of Little Tibet ,, 362
Kye Lang ,, 364
Missionaries and Tibetans, one of them
holding a Prayer Cylinder ,, 365
Burmese Dancing Girl ,, 397
Bos Gaurus and Cervus Frontalis .,, 403
Specimen of Burmese Writing .,, 425
Mangroves ,, 445
Group of Ostyaks on the river Obi, with
their birch-bark Tent ,, 455
Samoyedes ,, 460
Russian Prisoner ,, 466
Central Prison at Alexandreffky ,, 471
Devil-dancer's Mask .,, 482
Kandian Chief 488
Devil-dancers, Ceylon ,, 494
Tidal Wave, such as once destroyed Simoda ,, 516
Image of Daibutz, or Great Buddha ,, 542
IN the picture of Esther, page 8, may be
seen an English lady who went to live upon
Mount Sion, to teach little Jewesses and little
Mohammedans to know the Saviour. That
lady has led three of her young scholars to
a plain just beyond the gates of Jerusalem,
and while two of them are playing together,
she is listening to little Esther, a Jewess of
eight years old. The child is fond of sitting
by her friend, and of hearing about the Son
of David. She has just been singing,-
SGlory, honour, praise, and power,
Be unto the Lamb for ever:
Jesus Christ is our Redeemer,
Hallelujah, praise the Lord;'
and now she is saying, 'Oh, ma'am, that's
sweet! Jesus Christ is our Redeemer! our
Redeemer! No iman can redeem his brother,
no money,-nothing,- but only the precious
Blood of Christ!'
OF all the quarters of the world-Asia is the
There the first man was created.
There the Son of God became a man.
There the apostles first preached.
There nearly the whole Bible was written.
Yet now there are very few Christians in
Asia, compared with the number of heathens.
There are more people in Asia than in any
other quarter of the globe.
THE HOLY LAND.
OF all the countries in the world, which would
you rather see ?
Would it not be the land where Jesus lived ?
Hie was the Son of God: He loved us and
died for us.
What is the land called where He lived?
OF all the quarters of the world-Asia is the
There the first man was created.
There the Son of God became a man.
There the apostles first preached.
There nearly the whole Bible was written.
Yet now there are very few Christians in
Asia, compared with the number of heathens.
There are more people in Asia than in any
other quarter of the globe.
THE HOLY LAND.
OF all the countries in the world, which would
you rather see ?
Would it not be the land where Jesus lived ?
Hie was the Son of God: He loved us and
died for us.
What is the land called where He lived?
Canaan was once its name: but now Palestine,
or the Holy Land.
Who lives there now ?
Alas! alas! The Jews who once lived there
are cast out of it. There are, indeed, some
Jews there still; but they are only strangers
and foreigners. The Turks are the lords over
the land. You know the Turks believe in the
false prophet Mohammed.
What place in the Holy Land do you wish
most to visit ?
Some children will reply, Bethlehem, because
Jesus was born there; another will answer,
Nazareth, because Jesus was brought up there;
and another will say Jerusalem, because He
I will take you first to Bethlehem.
A good mini ;ter visited this place, accom-
panied by a train of servants, and camels, and
It used not to be easy to travel in Palestine,
for wheels were never seen there, because the
paths were too steep, and rough, and narrow
for carriages; but now several roads have been
made for carriages.
Bethlehem is on a steep hill, and a white
road of chalk leads up to the gate. The tra-
veller found the streets narrow and dirty.
He lodged in a convent kept by Spanish
monks. He was shown into a large room
with carpets and cushions on the floor. There
he was to sleep. He was led up to the roof
of the house to see the prospect. He looked,
and beheld the fields below where the shep-
herds once watched their flocks by night: and
far off he saw the rocky mountains where
David once hid himself from Saul.
But the monks soon showed him a more
curious sight. They have a church which
they believe was built by Helena, a Christian
lady of Britain. They took him into this
church, and then down some narrow stone
steps into a round room beneath. Here,'
said they, 'Jesus was born.' The floor was of
white marble, and silver lamps were burning
in it. In one corner, close to the wall, was a
marble trough, lined with blue satin. 'There,'
said the monks, 'is the manger where Jesus
was laid.' 'Ah!' thought the traveller, 'it
was not in such a manger that my Saviour
rested his infant head: but in a far meaner
These monks have an image of a baby,
which they call Jesus. On Christmas Day they
dress it in swaddling-clothes and lay it in the
manger, and then fall down and worship it.
Instead of having family prayers, most of the
people of Bethlehem go to this church and kiss
the stones of the manger before they begin
their day's work.
The next day, as the traveller was ready to
mount his camel, the people of Bethlehem
came with little articles which they had made.
Bt he would not buy them, because they
were images of the Virgin Mary and her holy
child, and little white crosses of mother-o'-pearl.
They were very pretty: but they were idols,
and God hates idols. Some of these crosses are
made by the girls of Bethlehem. These girls
wear long white veils and brilliant dresses,
made, like Joseph's coat, of many colours.
Here our Lord was crucified.
Is there any child who does not wish to hear
The children of Jerusalem once loved the
Lord, and sang His praises in the temple. Their
young voices pleased their Saviour, though not
half so sweet as angels' songs.
^ --nJeru-r al-- -
Which is the place where the temple stool ?
It is the Mount Moriah. There is a splendid
building now on that Mount.
Is it the temple ? Oh, no, that was burned
many hundreds of years ago. It is the Mosque
of Omar; one of the most beautiful mosques in
the world. It stands in a great square. Inside
is a great bare sloping rock, which is said to
be the top of the mountain where Araunah
threshed his corn, and where Solomon built
the temple. There is a great cave underneath,
where the blood of the sacrifices used to flow
down a long passage into the king's gardens,
and make them rich and beautiful. It was in
the Temple which once stood there, that the
Son of God taught the people. Yet for hundreds
of years no Jew or Christian might see the
spot. Now travellers are allowed to visit it;
and the Sultan has ordered that all the money
pilgrims give to the mosque should be spent in
restoring the Temple.
Every Friday evening a very touching scene
takes place near this mosque. There are some
large old stones there, ard the Jews say they
are part of their old temple wall: so they come
at the beginning of their Sabbath (which is on
Friday evening) and sit in a row opposite the
stones. There they read their Hebrew Old
Testaments, then kneel low in the dust, and
repeat their prayers with their mouths close
to the old stones: because they think that all
prayers whispered between the cracks and
crevices of these stones will be heard by God.
Some Jewesses come, wrapped from head to
foot in long white veils, and they gently moan
and softly sigh over Jerusalem in ruins.
What Jesus said has come to pass, 'Behold,
your house is left unto you desolate.' The
thought of this sad day made Jesus weep, and
now the sight of it makes the Jews weep.
But there is a place still dearer to our hearts
than Mount Moriah. It is Calvary. There is
a church on Calvary: but such a church! a
church full of images and crosses. Roman
Catholics worship there-and Greeks too: and
they often fight in it, for they hate one another,
and have fierce quarrels. The Church is called
"The Church of the Holy Sepulchre.' It is
pretended that Christ's tomb or sepulchre is
in it. Does it not seem very sad that the
Turks have to keep the keys of the church, to
prevent the Christians from quarrelling about
When they enter, what do they see ?
In one corner a stone seat. 'There,' say
the monks,' Jesus sat when He was crowned
with thorns.' In another part there is a stone
pillar. 'There,' say the monks, 'He was
scourged.' There is a high place in the middle
of the church with stairs leading up to it.
When you stand there the monks say, This is
the top of Calvary, where the cross stood.' But
we know that this cannot be the spot, for the
Romans destroyed Jerusalem soon after Christ's
crucifixion, and no one knows the very place
where He suffered.
On Good Friday night the church is crowded
by thousands of people, all pushing one an-
other, and making a noise, whilst Turkish
soldiers try and keep order. What is the
cause of all this? It is because the monks
then carry all round the church an image of
the Saviour as large as life, and they fasten it
upon a cross, and take it down again, and put
it in the sepulchre. They take it out again
on Easter Sunday. How foolish and how
wrong are these customs It was not in this
way the Apostles showed their love to Christ,
but by preaching His word.
Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
MIount Zion is the place where David brought
the ark with songs and music. On that Mount
there is a church where the Gospel is preached
and prayers are offered up in Hebrew (the Jews'
language). The minister is called the Bishop of
Jerusalem. He is a Protestant. A few Jews
come to the church at Mount Zion, and some
have believed in the Lord Jesus.
I must tell you of a school there where a
Christian lady taught little Jews and Jewesses
about Christ. In the evening, after school, she
took them out to play on the green grass near
the city. A little Jewess once much pleased
this kind teacher, as she was sitting on a stone
looking at the children playing. Little Esther
repeated the verse,--
Glory, honour, praise, and power,
Be unto the Lamb for ever;
Jesus Christ is our Redeemer.
Hallelujah, praise the Lord!
And then she said very earnestly, 'Oh, ma'am,
how sweet to think that Jesus is our Redeemer!
No man can redeem his brother: no money-
no money can do it-only the precious blood
of Jesus Christ.' Little Esther seemed as if
she loved Jesus, as those children did who
sang His praises in the temple so many years
But there is another place-very sad but
very sweet-where you must come. Go down
that valley-in winter you will sometimes
have to cross a small stream---(there is a nar-
row bridge). See those low stone walls-enter :
it is the- Garden of Gethsemane. Eight aged
olive-trees are still standing there; but Jesus
comes there no more with His beloved dis-
ciples. What a night was that when He
wept and prayed-when the angel comforted
Him-and Judas betrayed Him !
T--IiJ- -' !-
Esthzer, the little Jewess, sayti-ng, Jdesus Christ is ouit Redeemer.'
The mountain just above Gethsemane is the
Mount of VOlives. Beautiful olive-trees are
growing there still. There is a winding path
leading to the top. The Saviour trod upon that
Mount just before He was caught up into
heaven. His feet shall stand there again, and
every eye shall see the Saviour in His glory.
But will every eye be glad to see Him?
Oh no; there will be bitter tears then flowing
from many eves!
Mount of Olives.
And what kind of a city is Jerusalem ?
It is a sad and silent city. The houses are
dark and.dirty, the streets are narrow, and the
pavement rough. There are a great many
very old Jews there. Jews come from all
countries when they are old to Jerusalem, that
they may die and be buried there. Their
reason is that they think that all Jews who
are buried in their burial-ground at Jerusalem
will be raised first at the last day, and will be
happy for ever. Most of the old Jews are
very poor: though money is sent to them every
year from the Jews in Europe.
There are also a great many sick Jews in
Jerusalem, because of their bad unhealthy
habits, and because of the horrible smells near
their houses. They are beginning to improve,
and are now building some new houses outside
the town. Good English Christians have sent
a doctor to Jerusalem to cure the poor sick
people. One little girl of eleven years old
came among the rest-all in rags and with
bare feet: she was an orphan, and she lived
with a Jewish washerwoman. The doctor went
to see the child in her home. Where was it ?
It was near the mosque, and the way to it was
down a narrow, dark passage, leading to a
small close yard. The old woman lived in one
room with her grandchildren and the orphan:
there was a divan at each end-that is, the
floor was raised for people to sleep on. The
orphan was not allowed to sleep on the divans,,
but she had a heap of rags for her bed in
another part. The child's eyes glistened with
delight at the sight of her kind friend the
doctor. He asked her whether she went to
school. This question made the whole family
laugh: for no one in Jerusalem used then to
teach girls to read except the kind Christian
lady I told you of. Now many follow her good
THE DEAD SEA.
The most gloomy and horrible place in the
Holy Land is the Dead Sea. In that place
there once stood four wicked cities, and God
destroyed them with fire and brimstone.
You have heard of Sodom and Gomorrah.
A clergyman who went to visit the Dead Sea
rode on horseback, and was accompanied by men
to guard him on the way, as there are robbers
hidden among the rocks. He took some of the
water of the Dead Sea in his mouth, that h e might
taste it, and he found it salt and bitter; but he
would not swallow it, nor would he bathe in it.
He went next to look at the river Jordan.
The River Jordan, not far from the Lake of Gennesareth.
How different a place from the dreary, desolate
Dead Sea! Beautiful trees grow on the banks,
and the ends of the branches dip into the stream.
The minister chose a part quite covered with
branches and bathed there, and as the waters
went over his head he thought, 'My Saviour
was baptized in this river.' But he did not
By permission from The Land and the Book.
think (as many pilgrims do who come here
every year) that his sins were washed away by
the water: no, he well knew that Christ's blood
alone cleanses from sin. There is a place where
the Roman Catholics bathe, and another where
the Greeks bathe every year: they would not
on any account bathe in the same part, because
they disagree so much.
After drinking some of the sweet soft water
of Jordan, the minister travelled from Jericho
to Jerusalem. He went the very same way
that the good Samaritan travelled, who once
found a poor Jew lying half killed by thieves.
Even to this day thieves often attack travellers
in these parts; because the way is so lonely,
and so rugged, and so full of places where
thieves can hide themselves.
A horse must be a very good climber to carry
a traveller along the steep, rough, and narrow
paths; and a traveller must he a bold man to
venture to go to the edge of the precipices, and
near the robbers' caves.
In the midst of Palestine is the well where
the Lord spoke so kindly to the woman of
Samaria. In the midst of a beautiful valley
there is a heap of rough stones: underneath is
the well. But it is not easy to drink water out
of this well. For the stone on the top is so
heavy, that it requires many people to remove it;
and then the well is deep, and a very long rope
is necessary to reach the water. The clergyman
(of whom I have spoken so often) had nothing
to draw with; therefore, even if he could have
removed the stone, he could not have drunk of
the water. The water must be very cool and
refreshing, because it lies so far away from the
heat. That was the reason the Samaritan
woman came so far to draw it: for there were
other streams nearer the city, but there was no
water like the water of Jacob's well.
The city where that woman lived was called
Sychar. It is still to be seen, and it is still full
of people. You remember that the men of that
city listened to the words of Jesus, and perhaps
that is the reason it has not been destroyed.
The country around is the most fruitful in all
Canaan; there are.such gardens of melons and
cucumbers, and such groves of mulberry-trees.
How different from Sychar is Capernaum!
That was the city where Jesus lived for a long
while, where He preached and did miracles.
It was on the borders of the lake'of Genne-
sareth. The traveller inquired of the people
near the lake, where Capernaum once stood;
but no one knew of such a place: it is utterly
destroyed. Jesus once said, 'Woe unto Caper-
naum.' Why ? Because it repented not.,
Tares are still seen amongst the tall wheat on the
plain. These tares are a kind of grass, and look exactly
like the corn when they are young, but they must be weeded
out before the harvest, because they are poisonous.
The lake of Gennesareth looked smooth as
glass when the traveller saw it; but he heard
that dreadful storms sometimes ruffled those
smooth waters. It was a sweet and lovely
spot; not gloomy and horrible, like the Dead
Sea. The shepherds were there leading their
flocks among the green hills, where once the
multitude sat down while Jesus fed them.
Not very far off is the city where Jesus lived
when He was a boy.
NAZARETH.-All around are rugged, rocky
hills. In old times it was considered a wicked
city; perhaps it got this bad name from wicked
people coming here to hide themselves: and it
seems just fit for a hiding-place. From the
top of one of the high crags the Nazarenes
once attempted to hurl the blessed Saviour.
There is a Roman Catholic convent there,
where the minister lodged. He was much dis-
turbed all day by the noise in the town; not
the noise of carts and waggons, for there are
none in Canaan, but of screaming children,
braying asses, and grunting camels. One of
his servants came to him complaining that he
had lost his purse with all his wages. He had
left it in his cell, and when he came back it
was gone. Who could have taken it ? It was
clear one of the servants of the convent must
have stolen it, for one of them had the key of
the room. The travellers went to the judge of
the town to complain; but the judge, who was
a Turk, was asleep, and no one was allowed to
awake him. In the evening, when he did
awake, he would not see justice done, because
he said he had nothing to do with the servants
at the convent, as they were Christians. Na-
zareth, you see, is still a wicked city, where
robbery is committed and not punished.
The poor girls of Nazareth learn foolish,
wicked songs from their mothers, which they
sometimes sing in the streets and at weddings.
All their idea of religion is going to church at
Easter very handsomely dressed and kissing
the pictures and the priests' hands.
There is much to make the traveller sad as
he wanders about the Holy Land.
That land was once fruitfid, but now it is
barren. It is not surprising that no one plants
and sows in the fields, because the Turks would
take away the harvest.
Once it was a peaceful land, but now there
are so many enemies that every man carries a
gun to defend himself.
Once it was a holy land, but now Mohammed
is honoured, and not the God of Israel.
When shall it again be fruitful, and peace-
ful, and holy? When the Jews shall repent
of their sins and turn to the Lord. Then, says
the prophet Ezekiel (xxxvi. 35), 'They shall
say, This land that was desolate is become
like the garden of Eden.'
Every year many Jews return to Palestine.
They have now building societies that they
may settle there in their own houses."
Taken chiefly from A Pastor's Memorial, by the Rev.
George Fisk; a work of the deepest interest, abounding in
rich descriptions, striking narratives, and touching reflec-
Revised by Rev. Naser Odeh of Syria.
THOSE who love the Holy Land will like to
hear about Syria also : for Abraham lived there
before he came into Caaaan. Therefore the
Israelites were taught to say, when. they offered
a basket of fruit to God, 'A Syrian was my
father.' It was a heathen land in old times;
and it is now a Mohammedan land; though
there are a few Christians there, but very
ignorant Christians, who know nothing of the
Syria is a beautiful land, and famous for its
grand mountains, called Lebanon. The same
clergyman who travelled through the Holy
Land went to Lebanon also. He had to
climb up very steep places on horseback, and
slide down some, as slanting as the roof of a
house. But the Syrian horses are very sure-
footed. It is the custom for the colts from a
month old to follow their mothers; and so
when a rider mounts the back of the colt's
mother, the young creature follows, and it
learns to scramble up steep places, and to slide
down: even through the towns the colt trots
after its mother, and soon becomes accustomed
to all kinds of sights and sounds: so that
Syrian horses neither shy nor stumble.
The traveller was much surprised at the
dress of the women of Lebanon: for on their
heads they wear silver horns sticking out from
under their veils, the strangest head-dress that
can be imagined.
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IDruse women have left off wearing horns. They hold their
veil over their face sO as to hide it all but one eye.
In Lebanon there are some people called
Druzes, who believe in a prophet of their own
as well as Mohammed.
Head-dress of Druze Woman.
There are sweet flowers growing on the sides
of Lebanon; but at the top there are ice and
The traveller ate some ice, and gave some to
the horses; and the poor beasts devoured it
eagerly, and seemed quite refreshed by their
The snow of Lebanon is spoken of in the
Bible as very pure and refreshing. Will a
man leave the snow of Lebanon which cometh
from the rock of the field ?'-Jer. xviii. 14.
The traveller earnestly desired to behold the
cedars of Lebanon: for a great deal is said
about them in the Bible; indeed the temple of
Solomon was built of those cedars. It was not
easy to get close to them; for there were craggy
rocks all round: but at last the traveller
reached them, and stood beneath their shade.
There were twelve very large old trees, and
their boughs met at the top, and kept off the
heat of the sun. These trees might be com-
pared to holy men, grown old in the service of
God: for this is God's promise to his servants,
-' The righteous shall flourish like the palm-
tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.'-
Ps. xcii. 12.
Cedars of Lebanon.
This is the capital of Syria.
It is perhaps the most ancient city in the
world. Even in the time of Abraham, Da-
mascus was a city; for his servant Eliezer
came from it.
But Damascus is most famous on account of
a great event which once happened near it. A
man going towards that city suddenly saw in
the heavens a light brighter than the sun, and
heard a voice from on high, calling him by his
name. Beautiful as the city was, he saw not
its beauty as he entered it, for he had been
struck blind by the great light. That man
was the great apostle Paul.'
Who can help thinking of him among the
gardens of fruit-trees surrounding Damascus ?
The damask rose is one of the beauties of
Damascus. There is one spot quite covered
with this lovely red rose.
I will now give an account of a visit a
stranger paid to a rich man in Damascus. He
went through dull and narrow streets, with
no windows looking into them. He stopped
before a low door, and was shown into a large
court behind the house. There was a fountain
in the midst of the court, and flower-pots all
round. The visitor was then led into a room
with a marble floor, but with no furniture ex-
cept scarlet cushions. To refresh him after his
journey, he was taken to the bath. There a
man covered him with a lather of soap and
water, then dashed a quantity of hot water
over him, and then rubbed him till he was
quite dry and warm.
"* You can walk or ride down the long street Straight,
and see the old window in the wall where Paul was let down
in a basket.
When he came out of the bath two servants
brought him some sherbet. It is a cooling
drink, made of lemon-juice and grape-juice
mixed with water.
The master of the house received the stranger
very politely: he not only shook hands with
him, but afterwards he kissed his own hand, as
a mark of respect to his guest. The servants
after kissed the visitor's hand.
The dinner lasted a long while, for only one
dish was brought up at a time. Of course there
were no ladies at the dinner, for in Mohamme-
dan countries they are always hidden. There
were two lads there, who were nephews of
the master. The stranger was surprised to
observe that they did not sit down to dinner
with the company; but that they stood near
their uncle, directing the servants what to
bring him; and now and then presenting a cup
of wine to him or his guests. But it is the
custom in Syria for young people to wait
upon their elders; however, they may speak
to the company while they are waiting upon
Damascus used to be famous for its swords;
but now the principal things made there are
stuffs embroidered with silver, and boxes of
curious woods, as well as red and yellow slip-
pers. The Syrians always wear yellow slippers,
and when they walk out they put on red
slippers over the yellow. The women wear
very high clogs. If you want to buy any
of the curious works of Damascus, you must
go to the bazaars in the middle of the town;
there the sellers sit as in the market-place,
and display their goods.
ScHOOLS.-It used not to be the custom in
Syria for girls to learn to read. But at last a
good Syrian, named Assaad, opened a school
for little girls as well as for boys.
It was easy to get the little boys to come;
but the mothers did not like to send their little
girls. They laughed, and said, 'Who ever
heard of a girl going to school? Girls need
not learn to read.' The first girl who attended
Assaad's school was named Angoul, which
means 'Angel.' Where is the child that
deserves such a name ? Nowhere; for 'there
is none righteous ; no, not one.' Angoul
belonged not to Mohammedan parents, but
to those called Christians; yet the Chris-
tians in Syria are almost as ignorant as
Angoul had been taught to spin silk; for
her father had a garden of mulberry-trees, and
a quantity of silk-worms. She was of so much
use in spinning, that her mother did not like
to spare her: but the little maid promised, that
if she might go to school, she would spin faster
than ever when she came home. How happy
she was when she obtained leave to go! See
her when the sun has just risen, about six
o'clock, tripping to school. She is twelve years
old. Her eyes are dark, but her hair is light.
Angoul has not been scorched, by the sun, like
many Syrian girls, because she has sat in-doors
at her wheel during the heat of the day. She
is dressed in a loose red gown, and scarlet cap
with a yellow handkerchief twisted round it like
At school Angoul is very attentive, both
while she is reading in her Testament, and
while she is writing on her tin slate with a
reed dipped in ink. She returns home at noon
through the burning sun, and comes to school
again to stay till five. Then it is cool and
pleasant, and Angoul spins by her mother's
side in the lovely garden of fruit-trees before
the house. Has she not learned to sing many
a sweet verse about the garden above and the
heavenly Husbandman ? As she watches the
budding vine, she can think now of Him who
said, 'I am the true vine.' As she sits beneath the
olive-tree, she can call to mind the words, 'I am
like a green olive-tree in the house of my God.'
Angoul is growing like an angel, if she takes
delight in meditating on the word of God.*
In 1860 the Christians of Syria were attacked
by the Druzes and Mohammedans. Thousands
were killed-children of seven and old men
of seventy-and the poor women were driven
from their blood-stained, burning homes.
An English lady, Mrs. Thompson, heard of
this. Once she lived in Syria with her hus-
band. Now she was herself a widow, and she
longed to comfort these poor Syrian widows.
People told her it would be dangerous to go
to Syria. She replied, 'I am not afraid, for
God is my strength.' When she reached
Syria, people told her it would be dangerous
"* Extracted chiefly from the Rev. George Fisk's Pastor's
Menwrial, and Kinnear's Travels.
to talk to these poor women about Jesus. She
replied, 'I am not afraid, for I know the only
balm for a broken heart is the love of Jesus.'
Soon two hundred women came to her to be
taught. They were so miserable and ignorant,
they said themselves, they knew no more than
cows. But when they listened to the Bible
they exclaimed, We never heard such words
before! Are they meant for us womenen'
Mrs. Thonzmpson's Normal gTraining I:nstitution at Beyrout,
How changed these poor women were now!
They became so industrious, they learned to
make themselves clothes, to wash for our brave
sailors, and even to mend the roads.
"When Mrs. Thompson first came she was
grieved to see them tear their hair for sorrow
as they thought of their murdered husbands
and relations, and she was still more grieved
to see them thirst for revenge.
One day a lady drew from her bosom her
son's cap and his locks of hair, all stained with
his blood. She cried for vengeance on the
cruel men who killed him before her eyes.
Seleemie Syongue, a Syrian Girl in the Training
Institution, Beyrout, aged eleven.
Another day, a little Druze princess, named
Feridi, came to Mrs. Thompson. She knew
Feridi's father had been very cruel to the
Christians, but she led her by the hand into
the infant school, and asked the children to
be kind to her.
'No!' they all cried. 'We won't love
her; we hate her!'
I know you will be glad to hear they learned
to be kind to Feridi. They did more.
They gave a farthing each to send a Christian
teacher to the Druzes.
"r Are you surprised ? I will tell you some-
thing still more wonderful. One woman said,
'Send me to teach them. Once I wished for
revenge, because they killed my brothers on
my knees. Now I want to be like Jesus and
Ten years Mrs. Thompson laboured in Syria.
Then she went to be with her Saviour. Her
sisters go on with her work. Three thousand
Mohammedan and Christian children now learn
side by side in their schools. Four hundred
Mohammedan women come regularly to read
the Bible. They are so fond of their class they
do not even mind getting wet, for women do not
use umbrellas in Syria, but only meni. Many of
these women have not only learned to read the
Bible, but have left off using bad words, and de-
light in singing hymns, such as' Here we suffer
grief and pain,' and 'I lay my sins on Jesus.'
Some kind people sent a box of Christmas
rewards to the Syrian children. What they
liked best of all were the dolls. Their bright
eyes sparkled with joy as they kissed them, yet
some eyes filled with tears, for there were not
dolls enough for all of them; even the boys
longed for them, instead of their slates and balls.
One little Jewess had no doll. Why ? Of her
own accord she gave hers to a Mohammedan
school-fellow, who had set her heart upon
Is she not an example to English children ?P
Kindly revised by Mrs. Thompson's sister, Mrs. Smith.
See Daughters of Syria and the Report of the British Syrian
THIS is the land in which the Israelites
wandered for forty years. You have heard
what a dry, dreary, desert place the wilderness
was. There is still a wilderness in Arabia,
and there are still wanderers in it; not
Israelites, but Arabs. The men live in tents,
and go from place to place with their large
flocks of sheep and goats. But there are
other Arabs who live in towns as we do.
Do you know who is the father of the
The same man who is the father of the Jews.
What! was Abraham their father ?
Yes, he was.
Do you remember Abraham's ungodly son,
He was cast out of his father's house for
mocking his little brother Isaac, and he went
And what sort of people are the Arabs ?
Wild and fierce people.
Travellers are afraid of passing through
Arabia, lest the Arabs should rob and murder
them; and no one has ever been able to conquer
the Arabs. The Arabs are very proud, and
will not bear the least affront. Sometimes one
man says to another, The wrong side of your
turban is out.' This speech is considered an
affront never to be forgotten. The Arabs are
so unforgiving and revengeful that they will
seek to kill a man year after year. One man
was observed to carry about a small dagger.
He said his reason was, he was hoping some
day to meet his enemy and kill him.
Of what religion are this revengeful people ?
Mohammed was an Arab. It is thought a
great honour to be descended from him. Those
men who say Mohammed is their father wear a
green turban, and very proud they are of their
green turbans, even though they may only be
THE ARABIAN WOMEN.-They are shut up
like the women in Syria when they live in
towns, but the women who live in tents are
obliged to walk about. The wives of the
Sheikhs wear a thick veil over their face, with
small holes for their eyes to peep out.
The poor women wear a long shirt of white
or blue; but the rich women wrap themselves
in magnificent shawls. To make themselves
handsome, they blacken their eyelids, paint
their nails red, and wear gold rings in their
ears and noses. They delight in fine furniture.
A room lined with looking-glasses, and with
a ceiling of looking-glasses, is thought charm-
ARAB TENTS.-They are black, being made of
the hair of black goats. Some of them are so
large that they are divided into three rooms, one
for the cattle, one for the men, and one for the
ARAB CUSTOMS.-The Arabs sit on the ground,
resting on their heels, and for tables they have
low stools. A large dish of rice and minced
mutton is placed on the table, and immediately
every hand is thrust into it; and in a moment
it is empty. Then another dish is brought, and
another; and sometimes fourteen dishes of rice,
one after the other, till all the company are
satisfied. They eat very fast, and each retires
from dinner as soon as he likes, without wait-
ing for the rest. After dinner they drink
water, and a small cup of coffee without
milk or sugar. Then they smoke for many
The Arabs do not indulge in eating or drink-
ing too much, and this is one of the best parts
of their character.
Thee three Evils of Arabia.
The first evil is want of water. There is no
river in Arabia: and the small streams are
often dried up by the heat.
The second evil is many locusts, which come
in countless swarms and devour every green
The third evil is the burning wind. When
a traveller feels it coming, he throws himself
on the ground, covering his face with his cloak
lest the hot sand should be blown up his
nostrils. Sometimes the men and horses are
choked by this sand.
These are the three great evils; but there is
a still greater-the religion of Mohammed: for
this injures the soul; the other evils only hurt
The three Animals of Arabia.
The animals for which Arabia is famous are.
animals to ride upon,
Two of them are often seen in England; but
the third animal is never used in England.
These three animals are the ass, the horse, and
the camel. Most English boys have ridden
upon an ass. In Arabia the ass is used to carry
burdens. It is generally treated worse than
it is in England, except in one place in the
Persian Gulf, where a strong ass is thought a
valuable creature. The horse is strong and
swift, and yet obedient and gentle. The
camel is just suited to Arabia. His feet are
fit to tread upon the burning sands; because
the soles are more like india-rubber than like
flesh; his hard mouth, lined with horn, is not
hurt by the prickly plants of the desert; and
his hump, full of fat, is as good to him as a
bag of provisions: for on a journey the fat
helps to support him, and enables him to do
with very little food. Besides all this, his
inside is so made that he can live without
water for three days.
A dromedary is a swifter kind of camel, and
is just as much superior to a camel as a riding%-
horse is to a cart-horse.
The three Productions of Arabia.
These are coffee, dates, and gums.
For these Arabia is famous.
The coffee plants are shrubs. The hills are
covered with them; the white blossoms look
beautiful among the dark green leaves, and so
do the red berries.
The dates grow on the palm-trees; and they
are the chief food of the Arabs. The Arabs
despise those countries where there are no
dates. They say, 'How can people live with-
out dates ?'
There are various sweet-smelling gums that
flow from Arabian trees.
The three Parts of Arabia.
You see from what I have just said that
there are plants and trees in Arabia. Then it
is clear that the whole land is not a desert.
Arabia may be divided into three parts.
1. The land in the middle, which is high and
flat. 2. The desert, which is broadest at .the
south, where it is nothing but a vast sea of
reddish sand. 3. The coasts with mountains all
round, where green slopes and fruitful valleys
may be seen. The best harbour in Arabia be-
longs to the English. It is called Aden.
The three Cities qo Arabia.
Arabia has long been famous for three cities,
called Mecca, Medina, and Mocha.
lMecca is considered the holiest city in the
world. And why ? Because the false prophet
Mohammed was born there. On that account
Mohammedans come from all parts of the world
to worship in the great temple there. Some-
times Mecca is as full of people as a hive is full
Of all the cities in the East, Mecca is the
gayest, because the houses have windows look-
ing .into the streets. In these houses are
lodgings for the pilgrims.
And what is it the pilgrims worship ?
A great black stone which they say the angel
Gabriel brought down from heaven as a founda-
tion for Mohammed's house. They kiss it seven
times, and after each kiss they walk round it.
Then they bathe in a well, which they say
is the well the angel showed to Hagar in the
desert, and they think the water of this well
can wash away all their sins. Alas! they know
not of the blood which can wash away all sin.
M2ledina contains the tomb of Mohammed: yet
it is not thought so much of as Mecca. Perhaps
the Mohammedans do not like to be reminded
that M3ohammed died like any other man, and
never rose again.
3CIoca.--This city has given its name to the
very fine coffee which is sent to Europe.
Tra('re7s iln te Desert.
Of all places in Arabia, which would you
desire most to see: Would it not be Mount
Sinai? Our great and glorious God once spoke
from the top of that mountain.
The same clergyman who visited Canaan
went to Sinai also. As he knew there were
many robbers on the way, he hired an Arab
sheikh to take care of him. A sheikh is a
chief, or captain. Suleiman was a fine-looking
man, dressed in a red shirt, with a shawl
twisted round his waist, a purple cloak, and a
red cap. His feet and legs were bare. His
eyes were bright, his skin was brown, and his
beard black. To his girdle were fastened a
huge knife and pistols, and by his side hung a
sword. This man brought a band of Arabs
with him to defend the travellers from the
robbers in the desert.
One day the whole party set out mounted on
camels. After going some distance, a number
of children were seen scampering among the
rocks, and looking like brown monkeys. These
were the children of the Arabs who accom-
panied the Englishman. The wild little crea-
tures ran to their fathers and saluted them in
the respectful manner that Arab children are
At last a herd of goats was seen with a fine
boy of twelve years old leading them. He was
the son of Suleiman. The father seemed to take
great delight in this boy, and introduced him to
the traveller. The kind gentleman, riding on a
camel, put down his hand to the boy. The little
fellow, after touching the traveller's hand, kissed
his own, according to the Arabian manner.
The way to Mount Sinai was very rough:
indeed, the traveller was sometimes obliged to
get off his camel, and to climb among the crags
on hands and knees. How glad he was when
the Arabs pointed to a mountain, and said,
'That is Mount Sinai.' With what fear and
reverence he gazed upon it! Here it was that
the voice of the great God was once heard
speaking out of the midst of the smoke, and
clouds, and darkness.
How strange it must be to see in this lonely,
gloomy spot, a great building! Yet there is
one at the foot of the mountain. What can it
be ? A convent. See-those high walls around.
It is necessary to have high walls, because all
around are bands of fierce robbers. It is even
unsafe to have a door near the ground. There
is a door quite high up in the wall; but what
use can it be of, when there are no steps by
which to reach it ? Can you guess how people
get in by this door ? A rope is let down from
the door to draw the people up. One by one
they are drawn up. In the inside of the walls
there are steps bywhich travellers go down
into the convent below. The monks who live
there belong to the Greek church.
The clergyman was lodged in a small cell
spread with carpets and cushions, and he was
waited upon by the monks.
These monks think that they lead a very holy
life in the desert. They eat no meat, and they
rise in the night to pray in their chapel. But
God does not care for such service as this. He
never commanded men to shut themselves up
in a desert, but rather to do good in the world.
Convent of Mount Sinai._
One day the monks told the traveller they
would show him the place where the burning
bush once stood. How could they know the
place ? However, they pretended to know it.
They led the way to the chapel, then taking off
their shoes, they went down some stone steps
till they came to a round room.under ground,
with three lamps burning in the midst.
' There,' said the monks,' is the very spot
where the burning bush once stood.'
There were two things the traveller enjoyed
while in the convent, the beautiful garden full
of thick trees a.nd sweet flowers, and the cool
pure water. from the well. Such water and
such a garden in the midst of a desert were
w This convent is named after the martyr Catherine,
who was placed on four wheels with sharp spikes. The
fire-works called Catherine wheels are named after her.
with thre lams bunin in he titt
'Thee,'sai th moks, is he erysS
The Arabs, who accompanied the traveller,
enjoyed much the plentiful meals provided at
the convent; for the monks bought sheep from
the shepherds around, to feed their guests.
After leaving the convent, Suleiman was taken
ill, in consequence of having eaten too much
while there. The clergyman gave him medi-
cine, which cured him. The Arabs were very
fond of their chief, and were so grateful to
the stranger for giving him medicine, that
they called him 'the good physician.' Suleiman
himself showed his gratitude by bringing his
own black coffee-pot into the tent of the
stranger, and asking him to drink coffee with
him; for such is the pride of an Arab chief
that he thinks it is a very great honour indeed
for a stranger to share his meal.
But the traveller soon found that it is dan-
gerous to pass through a desert. Why ? Not
on account of wild beasts, but of wild men.
There was a tribe of Arabs very angry with
Suleiman, because he was conducting the
travellers through their part of the desert.
They wanted to be the guides through that
part, in hopes of getting rewarded by a good
sum of money. You see how covetous they
were. 'The love of money is the root of all
These angry Arabs were hidden among the
rocks and hills; and every now and then they
came suddenly out of their hiding-places, and
with a loud voice threatened to punish Sulei-
How much alarmed the travellers were! but
none more than Suleiman himself. He re-
quested the clergyman to travel during the
whole night, in order the sooner to get out of
the reach of the enemy. The clergyman pro-
mised to go as far as he was able. What a
journey it was! No one durst speak aloud to
his companions, lest the enemies should be
hidden among the rocks close by, and should
overhear them. At midnight the whole com-
pany pitched their tents by the coast of the
Red Sea. Early in the morning the minister
went alone to bathe in its smooth waters. After
he had bathed, and when he was just going to
return to the tents, he was startled by hearing
the sound of a gun. The sound came from the
midst of a small grove of palm-trees close by.
Alarmed, he ran back quickly to the tents:
again he heard the report of a gun: and again
a third time. The travellers, Arabs and all,
were gathered together, expecting an enemy
to rush out of the grove. But where was
Suleiman? He had gone some time before
into the grove of palm-trees to talk to the
Presently the traveller saw about forty
Arabs leave the grove and go far away. But
Suleiman came not. So the minister went
into the grove to search for him, and there he
found-not Suleiman-but his dead body!
There it lay on the ground covered with
blood. The minister gazed upon the dark coun-
tenance once so joyful, and he thought it looked
as if the poor Arab had died in great agony.
It was frightful to observe the number of his
wounds. Three balls had been shot into his
body by the gun which went off three times.
Three great cuts had been made in his head;
his neck was almost cut off from his body, and
his hand from his arm!
How suddenly was the proud Arab laid low
in the dust! All his delights were perished
for ever. Suleiman had been promised a new
dress of gay colours at the end of the journey:
but he would never more gird a shawl round
his active frame, nor fold a turban round his
The Arabs wrapped their beloved master in
a loose garment, and placing him on his
beautiful camel, they went in deep grief to a
hill at a little distance. There they buried
him. They dug no grave; but they made a
square tomb of large loose stones, and laid the
dead body in the midst, and then covered it
with more stones.
There Suleiman sleeps in the desert. But
the day shall come when the earth shall dis-
close her blood, and shall no more cover her
slain:' and then shall the blood of Suleiman
and his slain body be uncovered, and his
murderer brought to judgment.,
I must now tell you what a great treasure
was found about twenty years ago in the
Convent of Mount Sinai. It was discovered
there by Dr. Tischendorff, a very good and a
very clever man.
He had been trying for many years to
Extracted chiefly from The Pastor's Memorial, by the
Rev. G. Fisk.
find a very ancient copy of the New Testa-
ment, which he felt sure had been written in
Greek long before people had learnt how to
He took a great deal of trouble to find
it. He went to many different countries, and
looked through many libraries where books
were kept, that were so old and dusty that
it was difficult to read what was written in
At last he came to the Convent of Mount
Sinai. He went into the library. There, in
the middle of the great hall, he saw a large
wide basket full of old parchments (people
used to write on parchment, which is made
from the skins of animals, and which is much
stronger and thicker than paper). The man
who took care of the books said to Dr. Tis-
chendorff, These papers are so old and
mouldy, we have been burning a great many
of them.' Dr. Tischendorff looked amongst
them, and found some parts of the Old Testa-
ment, which had been copied a great many
years ago. He told the monks to take great
care of them, and not to burn them. Still
he had not found what he wanted, so he
went on seeking.
Several years afterwards he went to the
convent again. One afternoon he took a
walk with a monk, and they talked together
about the Bible. As the sun was setting,
the monk said, Will you come with me into
my cell, and have some food ?' They went in
together, and went on talking. The monk
said,' I will show you the Bible I have read.'
He then went into a corner of the room; and
fetched a large bundle of parchments wrapped
up in a red cloth, and laid it down before
Dr. Tischendorff unrolled the cover and
looked at the parchments. Oh, how great
was his delight to find amongst them the
New Testament he had so long been seeking.
He was allowed to borrow it. He set to work
copying it. This was very difficult, for the
ink had faded, and the letters were very
difficult to make out. It took him a long
time, for there were a hundred and ten thou-
sand lines to copy; but it was delightful work
The New Testament Dr. Tischendorff found
is called the Si-na-it-ic Mfan-u-script. Manu-
script means what is not printed, but written
by hand. The manuscript was called Sinaitic
because it was found in the convent of Mount
Dr. Tischendorff persuaded the monks to
allow him to give it to the Emperor of Russia,
to keep quite safely.
An aged friend of Dr. Tischendorff said to
him,' I would rather have discovered the
Sinaitic Manuscript than the Koh-i-noor of
the Queen of England.'
"* Extracted from When were our Gospels Written ?
Tischendorff. Published by the Religious Tract Society.
-- -- -- --_
ioq 11e and11 i et. p 4
III ad ; i i 1
illosue an l'ia ret P 4
TURKEY IN ASIA.
Is there a Turkey in Asia as well as a
Turkey in Europe? Yes, there is; and
Turkey in Asia is now larger than Turkey
Both have the same Sultan; both have the
same sort of people, made up of different
nations. They live together, but they are
very unlike. There are many more Turks in
Turkey in Asia than there are in Turkey in
Europe. All Turks are Mohammedans.
You may know a Mohammedan city at a
distance. When we look at a Christian city
we see the steeples and spires of churches; but
when we look at a Mohammedan city we see,
rising above the houses and trees, the domes
and minarets of mosques.
What are domes and minarets ?
A dome is the round top of a mosque: and
the minarets are the tall slender towers. A
minaret is of great use to the Mohammedans.*
Do you see the little narrow gallery outside
the minaret ? There is a man standing there.
He is calling people to say their prayers. He
calls so loud that all the people below can
hear, and the sounds he utters are like sweet
music. But would it not make you sad to
hear them when you remembered what he was
telling people to do? To pray to the God of
"i The Turks believe that the ringing of bells calls down
evil spirits, and therefore they forbid bells.
42 TURKEY IN ASIA.
Mohammed. Not to the God and Father of the
Lord Jesus Christ.* This man goes up the dark
narrow stairs winding inside the minaret five
times a-day; first he goes as soon as the sun
rises, then at noon, next in the afternoon,
then at sunset, and last of all in the night.
Ascending and descending those steep stairs
is all his business, and it is hard work, and
fatigues him very much.
In the court of the mosque there is a foun-
tain. There every one washes before he goes
into the mosque to repeat his prayers, thinking
to please God by clean hands instead of a
clean heart. Inside the mosque there are no
pews or benches, but only mats and carpets
spread on the floor. There the worshippers
kneel and touch the ground with their fore-
heads. All turn towards M3ecca when they
pray. The minister of the mosque is called
the Imam. He repeats prayers, but he is not
The sheikh, or chief man of the town,
preaches: not on Sunday, but on Friday.
He sits on a high place and talks to the
people-not about pardon and peace, and
heaven and holiness-but about the duty of
washing their hands before prayers, and of
bowing down to the ground, and such vain
These are his words: 'God is Almighty! God is
Almighty! I testify by God, that there is no God but God,
and I testify that Mohammed is the Apostle of God. Come
to prayer, come to worship; God is Almighty! God is
Almighty there is no God but God!'
TURKEY IN ASIA. 43
In the mosque there are two rows of very
large wax candles, much higher than a man,
and as thick as his arm, and they are lighted
It is considered right to go to the mosque
for prayers five times a-day; but very few
Mohammedans go so often. Wherever people
may be, they are expected to kneel down and
repeat their prayers, whether in the house or
in the street. While they pray, Mohammedans
look about all the time, and in the midst speak
to any one, and then go on again; for their
hearts are not in their prayers; they do not
worship in spirit and in truth.
There are no images or pictures in the
mosques, because Mohammed forbade his fol-
lowers to worship idols. There are Korans on
reading-stands in various parts of the mosque,
for any one to read who pleases.
The people leave their red slippers at the
door, keeping on their yellow boots only;
but they do not uncover their heads as
Was Christ ever known in this Moham-
medan land ? Yes, long before he was known
in England. Turkey in Asia used to be called
Asia Minor (or Asia the Less), and there it was
that Paul the Apostle was born, and there he
preached and turned many to Christ. But at
last the Christians began to worship images,
and the fierce Turks came and turned the
churches into mosques. This was the punish-
ment God sent the Christians for breaking
His law. In some of the mosques you may
44 TURKEY IN ASIA.
see the marks of the pictures which the
Christians painted on the walls, and which the
Turks nearly scraped off.*
How dreadful it would be if our churches
should ever be turned into mosques! May God
never send us this heavy punishment!
Many of the people in Turkey in Asia are
not Turks. Some are Jews. Many are Arme-
nians, who call themselves Christians. Some
of the Armenian ladies wear their rich dresses
trailing on the ground, before as well as behind.
It is very difficult for them to walk; they can
only step a few inches at a time, and they
must turn their feet in all the time.
If you go to see them, however bright the
moon may be, you must have a lantern.
When you arrive, preserved rose-leaves, or
some scented sweetmeats, are brought on a
tray. If one of the visitors is a gentleman,
they are handed to him first. He takes a
teaspoonful, and then a sip of water. Every
one bows to him, and says, 'May it be sweet
to you;' and then he bows very low in return.
(Ground-kssi8ng is the Armenian word for
worship.) Coffee without sugar is brought
next in tiny cups, and the fine grounds float
on the top instead of cream.
One day, a visitor finding herself seated by
a rosy bride, began to talk to her. She was
much surprised to receive no answer but
smiles and nods. At last an old Armenian
In the mosque of St. Sophia, at Constantinople, the
outline of the picture of the Virgin is still to be seen over
the place where the high altar once stood.
TURKEY IN ASIA. 45
of the company saw her astonishment, and
said, 'Don't you know why she can't speak ?
There sits her mother-in-law, and she must
not speak in her presence till she has given
The visitor asked, 'How long must she wait
for leave ?'
'Sometimes for many years,' replied the
A lady, travelling in Asia Minor, found, when
the sun rose, that her bedstead had been set in
a nest of red ants. Their sharp stings burned
like coals of fire. Riding on, she saw pinks,
peonies, verbena, and heliotrope, all growing
wild; the ground was blue with larkspurs."
In the evening she stopped at a wretched
khan, where howling dogs prevented her from
sleeping. Next day the road lay amongst
wild rocks and precipices, where robbers had
been seen just before. Afterwards she came
upon strings of oxen drawing waggons. Long
before she saw them she heard them. Such
a noise, creaking, and groaning of the wheels!
In order to cheer them on, the camels on the
opposite side of the country wear enormous
bells, one inside the other. Sometimes one
camel wears twenty bells of different sizes, and
some of them inside the others.
How glad our traveller was to arrive at
the house of her friends, and to go with them
on the Sabbath to the house of God!
"* In some places there are acres of beautiful flowers in
the spring, but after the first of June they wither away,
because there is no rain.
46 TURKEY IN ASIA.
The grape-gathering is a very happy time.
Old men, women, and children pick the beau-
tiful-bunches, and pack them in huge baskets
on the backs of horses and donkeys. Bells
jingle merrily round their necks as they go,
whilst the drivers fill the air with their songs
and shouts. Sometimes three or four boys
mount between the great baskets, and sing at
the top of their voices.
The people sweeten their food with grape-
juice, which they boil, and call pekmez. They
also make a kind of sugar, by mixing this
pekmez with flour, and beating it till it becomes
light yellow. Sweetmeats they make by string-
ing nuts and dipping them into pekmez till
they are as big as cucumbers.
For weeks after the grapes are gathered,
the women work night and day, slapping and
beating the pekmez into sugar. Men and
boys tread the grapes in great wooden troughs
to make wine.
'Though the climate is beautiful, a gentle rain
often causes horrible smells in the streets, for
the people do not yet study the art of house
building. Their mud houses have very low
doors. Formerly a Turk would ride his horse
into the house of a Christian, and desire him to
give him anything he fancied. To prevent
this, the Christians built their doors so low.
Take care to stoop as you enter, or you will
knock your head. Instead of glass, the win-
dows are often made of oiled paper. There is
no fire-place, only a pan of coals in winter
time; yet in winter there is ice enough to
TURKEY IN ASIA. 47
make the bare feet of the little children bleed
on their way to school.
If you go into a Greek village, you may
see the boys poring over Xenophon and
Homer, and the children scampering with
their dogs over the roofs of the houses, which
are half under ground.
If you go into a Turkish village, you may
see numbers of storks watching about, or
perched on deserted chimneys.
If you go into a Circassian village, you may
see the men in their high shaggy black hats
and long blue coats; their belts bristling with
Will you visit the small dark inner room of
the travellers' khan ? A man prepares it for
you, by driving out clouds of dust, and spread-
ing a dirty mat and carpet.
A traveller once asked a man the name of
such a khan. He answered, by drawing a
knife across his throat, 'Cut-throat Khan.' An
executioner had built it close to the spot where
some famous robbers had been put to death.
It was in this country that Julius Caesar
once said, 'I came; I saw; I conquered.'
It was in this country that Henry Martyn
laid down his life, at a place called Tokat.
Tokat has beautiful sights. A castle on the
very top of a towering rock, and many terraces
covered with trees and shrubs, whilst sparkling
water gushes from a marble basin; roses per-
fume the air, and birds fill it with song. But
look beneath the branches of that weeping
willow! There is the grave of the great
48 TURKEY IN ASIA.
English missionary, Henry Martyn. It seemed
a place forgotten, and the very stone with his
name rudely cut in Latin, was covered with
earth. But the story of his life had reached
distant lands. A missionary from America
came to Tokat, and succeeded in digging out
the tombstone, and in persuading the East
India Company to put up a handsome monu-
ment. He loved Henry Martyn so much, that
he called his own eldest boy after him, Henry
Martyn; and he had the happiness of seeing
his little son become a baby missionary. When
he was only five or six years old, he did all
he could to help the Armenians to love his
Saviour, and then he, too, was laid in a little
grave close by.
A great many beautiful and curious things
have lately been dug up in Asia Minor. They
were discovered by a very persevering ex-
plorer, called Dr. Schliemann. He felt sure
that if he could dig where the city of Troy
once stood, he should find the foundations of
this famous city. He has not been disap-
pointed. He employed more than a hundred
men, and he promised the English, as a reward
for helping him, that he would bring them
some of these curiosities. He promised the
Turks to give half of the things he found to
the museum at Constantinople.
One of the most ancient cities in Asia Minor
is Smyrna. It is near the sea, and is always
crowded with people of different nations. It
is famous for figs, raisins, and melons. People
say Alexander the Great built Smyrna because
TURKEY IN ASIA, 49
of a dream he had after he had been hunting.
In Revelation ii. we read that the Lord sent a
message to His people at Smyrna not to fear
what they would have to suffer. Soon after-
wards their dear aged Bishop, Polycarp, was
seized and commanded to deny Christ. 'I have
served him eighty-six years,' he replied, 'and
He never did me any harm, but much good.
How then can I deny my Saviour ?' Polycarp
was therefore condemned to die, and bound to
the stake. As the flames leapt up round him
he poured out his heart in prayer to God.
You may see the very spot where this happened
on the slope of the hill outside the town.
It is easy to go by rail from Smyrna to the
ruins of another famous city-Ephesus. Here
Paul preached, and here the people cried 'Great
is Diana of the Ephesians!' You have read
the story in Apostles Preachincg, chapter xlii.
Now you see nothing but ruins clustering
round a hill. For a long time no one knew
where Diana's temple stood. At last, deep
down under heaps of rubbish, a gentleman
discovered part of the portico. It was made
of white marble, and beautifully sculptured,
and is now to be seen in the British Museum.
There are a great many snakes at Ephesus
among the ruins of the old theatre. As a lady
was seeking shelter from the sun under a large
block of marble which lay on the ground, she
was startled by a strange sound, and looking
up saw a large snake hissing at her. I wonder
if you would have been as much frightened as
50 TURKEY IN ASIA.,
Two beautiful animals come from Angora,
in Asia Minor. One is the Angora cat, often
seen and admired in England. The other is
the Angora goat, which loves a warmer
climate than ours. It has snowy white hair,
hanging almost to the ground, and looking
like waved floss silk, smooth and glossy, as if
it had been carefully combed. The Turks clip
off this hair (called mohair), and sell it to the
Christians, and they sell it to the English.
Some of it goes to Bradford, where it is made
into dresses, and some to Norwich, where it is
made into braid.
Meat at Angora costs less than a penny a
pound, and bread costs less than a halfpenny a
pound. Fine grapes are a halfpenny a pound.
Some of the Greek merchants there have
beautiful country-houses, adorned with trellised
vines and marble fountains. Their young
ladies all speak Turkish. They have a strange
custom of making their waists big, instead of
small, by binding round them many yards of
If the Turks will take the advice of the
English in their government, Asia Minor will
be a much happier country than it is. The
Sultan has lent the island of Cyprus to the
English, who have soldiers there now.
One corner of Turkey in Asia is called
Armenia. There are many high mountains
in. Armenia, and one of them you would like
to see very much. It is the mountain on
which Noah's Ark rested after the flood. I
It is a very high mountain, with two
peaks; and its highest peak is always covered
with snow. People used to say that no
one ever climbed to the top of that peak.f
I should think Noah's ark rested on a
lower part of the mountain between the
two peaks, for it would have been very
cold for Noah's family on the snow-covered
peak, and it would have been very difficult
for them to get down. How pleasant it
must be to stand on the side of Ararat, and
to think, Here my great father Noah stood,
and my great mother, N.oah's wife; here they
saw the earth in all its greenness, just washed
with the waters of the flood; and here they
rejoiced and praised God!' Near the foot of
the mountain there is an Armenian village,
called Nahchevan, which mearis 'The place of
descent.' The people think it was there that
It is remarkable that this mountain lies close to the
point where three great empires meet, namely, Russia
Persia, and Turkey. The mountain itself now belongs to
t But two or three travellers have succeeded in reaching
the top. Professor James Bryce climbed up to the summit
alone in 1877.
Noah and his family came down from the
I am glad to say that the Armenians are
not Mohammedans. They are Christians; but,
alas! they know very little about Christ,
except His name. I will tell you a short
anecdote to show you how ignorant they are.
Once a traveller went to see an old church
in Armenia, called the Church of Forty Steps,
because there are forty steps to reach it: for it
is built on the steep banks of a river.
The traveller found the churchyard full of
boys. The churchyard was their school-room.
And what were their books? The grave-
stones that lay flat upon the ground. Four
priests were teaching the boys. These priests
wore black turbans; while Turkish Imams
wear white turbans. One of these Armenian
priests led the traveller to an upper room,
telling him he had something very wonderful
to show him. What could it be ? The priest
went to a niche in the wall and took out of it a
bundle; then untied a silk handkerchief, and
then another-and then another-till he had
untied twenty-five silk handkerchiefs. What
was the precious thing so carefully wrapped
up? It was a New Testament.
It is a precious book indeed: but it ought
to be read, and not wrapped up. The priest
praised it, saying, 'This is'a wonderful book;
it has often been laid upon sick persons, and
has cured them.' Then a poor old man, bent
and tottering, pressed forward to kiss the
book, and to rub his hoary head against it.
This was worshipping the book, instead of Him
who wrote it.
It is no wonder that- this Bible was only
kissed, for it could not be read. The Bible
used always to be in old Armenian, which is
a language very few people can understand.
The Archbishop or Patriarch of Armenia.
An American lady, visiting an Armenian boys'
54 ARM ENIA.
-school, was pleased to see a fine, airy school-
room, and asked to hear the boys read. She
felt amused when the teacher called out :
' Number 81 Number 100 Brethren!
Beloved! Brother Moses! Brother Abraham,
David, Daniel, Aaron, Shadrach, Solomon,
Isaiah, and Abed Nego.'
Then brother Paul stepped forward, bowed
gracefully, and began to read in a loud voice.
'Does he understand what he reads?' asked
the lady. 'Not much!' Have you no dic-
tionary?' 'Nothing of the kind.' 'But,
surely, the teacher explains what is read?'
Alas! the teacher never explained.
The boys never understood. But then, as
one of the teachers said, The school was good
for one thing-it taught the boys who after-
wards became priests.'
Is it wonderful that scholars who cannot
understand become teachers who cannot ex-
plain; yet the Armenians have a beautiful
name for the Bible, 'the breath of God.'
The lady next visited the infant-school.
The little ones were huddled together on the
floor, and a teacher walked about with a rod
constantly touching them up with it..
Then she was taken to see the girls' school.
It was low and dark, and filled with smoke.
A very old man sat in one corner smoking,
and before him a little girl of six knelt by
a wooden box. How much this kind lady
pitied the hundred little girls who had no
teacher but this trembling old. man! She
begged leave to tell them a story, and when
all their eyes were fixed on her, she told them
of the dear Saviour's words, 'Suffer the little
children to come unto Me, and forbid them
This lady belonged to the band of American
Missionaries now working in Armenia. The
first went out in 1830. Everywhere they
teach both men and women the blessed Bible
in their own modern Armenian language.
Twelve hundred women are now able to read
in one town, where, fifty years ago, not a
single woman knew how to read. In one
village the people were so anxious to get a
Bible they sent men across the hills to get one.
Great was their joy to see them return with a
large one. They begged their priest to read it
aloud in church, but he refused, saying he
could only read the old Armenian and not the
modern. When they heard this, they said they
felt they must hear it, and so they built a large
room, put the Bible in. it, and gave it to the
Bible. They desired a lawyer to write a paper
saying the room belonged to the Bible, and
they constantly met in the room to read it.
The priest did not approve of this, so he and
they, went to the Turkish governor to decide
what was to be done. The Governor said the
room now belonged to the Bible and to no one
else, and could not be taken away. The con-
sequence was the people went on with their
reading, and soon they were all enlightened.
A missionary was one day visiting the Arme
nians in a town on the slope of a steep hill, where
the houses are built in steps, so that the flat roof
of one house makes the front yard of the next.
Armenian shops open by letting down a shutter,
which makes a kind of platform in front. The
master of one of these shops invited the mis-
sionary to come out of the street and sit on his
platform with him, and then asked him where
his book was. So the Bible was brought out,
and the people soon gathered round to listen.
One man, however, instead of joining the rest,
kept on walking up and down with his hands
behind him, and looking very angry. At last
he stopped in front of the missionary and said,
' You dishonour the Word of God. You read
it in the streets and the shops, and in every
dirty place. We,' said he, honour it, for when
our priest has read it in the church, he holds it
out for us to kiss.' The missionary asked, 'Do
you know where our Saviour's words were first
spoken ?' 'No,' said he, 'I am not a great
scholar.' The missionary replied, We have
only to look at the very chapter we have been
reading and we shall find the Lord spoke them
to his disciples in the streets, in the fields, and
wherever people would come and listen.'
In that part of the country known as Ancient
Armenia, a village looks like a number of
mole-hills: for the dwellings are holes dug in
the ground with low stone walls round the
holes; the roof is made of branches of trees
and heaps of earth. There are generally two
rooms in the hole-one for the family, and one
for the cattle.
A traveller arrived one evening at such a
village; and he was pleased to see fruit-trees
overshadowing the hovels, and women, with-
out veils, spinning cotton under their shadow.
But he was not pleased with the room where
he was to sleep. !I The way lay through a long
dark passage under ground; and the room was
filled with cattle: there was no window nor
chimney, How dark and hot it was! Yet
the air was too damp for him to sleep out of
doors, because a large lake was near; there-
fore he wrapped his cloak around him, and
lay upon the ground; but he could not sleep
because of the stinging of insects and the
trampling of cattle: and glad he was in the
morning to breathe again the fresh air.
Rich Armenians in Constantinople and in
cities by the sea-coast, have fine houses. Once
a traveller dined with a rich Armenian. The
dinner was served up in a tray, and placed on
a low stool, while the company sat on the
ground. One dish after another was served up
till the traveller was tired of tasting them.
But there was not only too much to eat; there
was also too much to drink. Rakee, a kind of
brandy, was handed about; and afterwards a
musician came in and played and sang to
amuse the company. The Turks think them-
selves much better than Christians. For'
say they, 'we drink less and pray more.' They
do not know that real Christians are not fond
of drinking, and are fond of praying; only
they pray more in secret, and the Turks more
Before you leave Armenia, you will like to
visit an infant-school. Near the door is a
great heap of the children's shoes, which they
took off before they went in. Eighty little boys
and girls sit in rows on the floor in Turkish
fashion. Some of then are fair, one has blue
eyes. A little boy of eight is monitor, and
seats the rest. The children have very strange
names: Resurrection, Ascension, Martyr,
Cross-giver, Beautiful, Cleanly, Oil-bringer,
Queen, Venus, Kinnamon. One is called
'Answer,' and one The-son-of-the-man-who-
never-ate-cheese.' Besides having such names,
the children are called the carpenter's son, or
the son of Jesse or Jonas, or whatever their
father is called.
One Sunday these children were all repeat-
ing the hymn, 'Lord, teach a little child to
pray,' when a little boy of five years old
refused to learn. His mother was much dis-
tressed, and punished her little Mehran. As
he was still naughty, she talked to him gently,
and then put him into a room alone. After
remaining there quietly about two hours, he
became quite obedient.
'What were you doing there so long,
Mehran?' his mother asked.
'I prayed to Jesus.'
A few days after this, the dear little fellow
was taken very ill and died. In his great
pain he was most patient, and was often heard
praying to the dear Lord Jesus.
I have heard of another little Armenian boy,
who refused to repeat his lesson, though it was
not a difficult one-A, B, C. Aip (A), Pen (B),
Kim (C). When his teacher tried to persuade
him to say Aip he answered, 'If I say Aip, I
shall have to say Pen, and if I say Pen, I shall
have to say Kim, so I am afraid of saying Aip.'
Perhaps we might all be more careful how
we begin things if we thought more of what
would come next.
Kurdistan, or Koordistan, lies between Persia
and the River Tigris. It is a wild country,
full of high snow-covered mountains.
The fiercest of all the people in Turkey in
Asia are the Kurds.
They are the terror of all who live near
them, with their spears and their kettle-
drums. Long before you come to a village you
can hear these kettle-drums.
can hear these kettle-drums.
Their dwellings are in the mountains; there
some live in villages, and some in black tents,
and some in strong castles. At night they
rush down from the mountains upon the people
in the valleys, uttering a wild yell, and bran-
dishing their swords. They enter the houses,
and begin to pack up the things they find, and
to place them on the backs of their mules and
asses, while they drive away the cattle of the
poor people; and as the Armenians are not
allowed to have arms they cannot resist them.
You may imagine in what terror the poor vil-
lagers live in the valleys. They keep a man
to watch all night, as well as large dogs; and
they build a strong tower in the midst of the
village, where they run to hide themselves
when they are afraid.
The Armenians in Kurdistan make their
houses underground, because they hope the
Kurds may not find out where they are.
When the frost comes, the Kurds come down
into the plains; but in early spring they go
back to the mountains.
The little ones are carried up on their mothers'
backs, packed in their cradles. The old ones
are put into large sacks, and slung across
oxen, often with lambs to balance them. The
children's heads may be seen peeping out of
As the weather grows warmer, the Kurds
mount higher, till they reach the snow, where
they spend the summer.
None of the Kurds can read; they have no
schools and no books, but the missionaries have
translated one book into their language--the
Would you like to visit a Kurdish villager?
If you offer him one of the gospels, though he
cannot read it, he will very likely accept it,
and welcome you to his house. A hole in the
roof lets in light and lets out smoke. The
mother sits under it, near a pan of coals making
bread. She rolls oat a flat cake, and bakes it
on an iron plate on the coals. As soon as it is
brown, she takes a wooden spade and slaps the
cake on the great pile or on the floor by her.
The grandmother spins, the daughter makes
carpets at a loom. They all wear gold and
silver necklaces and bracelets.
In another place you may see women churn
butter in a goatskin, with the hairy side turned
in. They hang the skin between two poles, and
push it backwards and forwards like a swing.
Those Kurds, who live in tents often move
from place to place. The black tents are folded
up and placed on the backs of mules; and a
large kettle is slung upon the end of the tent-
pole. The men always ride on horseback, and
leave the women to drive the herds and flocks
on foot, while the children and the chickens
ride upon the cows.
The Kurds have thin, dark faces, hooked
noses, and black eyes, with a fierce and mali-
cious look. They wear an enormous turban,
which is generally a shawl.*
A Kurd of rank winds a number of bright gaily-coloured
silk handkerchiefs round his head. A very great man often
wears as many as twenty-five silk handkerchiefs at a time.
They call themselves Mohammedans.
Amongst the Kurds live some people called
Nestorians. Though they live in the same
country as the Kurds, they are very unlike
them. The Nestorians speak another lan-
guage, and they call themselves Christians.
They say that their fathers were descended
from the ten tribes, and that they were
converted by the Apostle Peter.
The Nestorians are living where Israel was
placed by the king of Assyria in Hoshea's
time. (2 Kings, xvii. 6.) They and the Jews
around them speak almost the same language
that the Lord spoke when He was upon earth.
The American Missionaries have preached
the Gospel to fierce Kurds, as well as to
the Nestorians, and many thousand Nestorians
have learned to know and love the Saviour.
This country is part of Turkey in Asia. It
lies between two very famous rivers, the Tigris
and the Euphrates, often spoken of in the
Bible. The word Mesopotamia means be-
tween rivers.' It was between these rivers
that faithful Abraham lived when God first
called him to be His friend. The name of the
place was Ur of the Chaldees. Many people
think this is the very place which is now
called Oorfa, and they honour Oorfa very
much for Abraham's sake. The Moham-
means call Abraham th/e friend of God, and
they have built a mosque on the very spot
where they say he was born. Near the
mosque is some clear water, full of fishes,
which are so tame that they follow you along
the banks. Round Oorfa, hundreds of tombs
have been cut out of the solid rock. Some of
them are very small, but some are large
enough to hold twelve or fourteen people;
some have a very curious door, a stone as big
as a man, and which moves in a deep stone
trough. A strong man can roll it a little on
one side, but the moment he lets it go, it will
roll back of itself, and cover up the tomb
again. These great stones must have been
cut just where they are now. A traveller
who describes them, says they reminded him
of the tomb in Joseph's garden. Some of the
poor people in Oorfa live in the tombs, which
are warm and dry.
Ever since Abraham's time, a few of the
people have kept up the custom of wearing
nose rings; boys only till fourteen or fifteen,
and women till they have one child. When
they leave them off, you can see a little hole
left in their nostrils.
Should you not like to see Mesopotamia, the
country between the rivers ? It is now full of
ruins. The two most ancient cities in the world
were built on the Tigris and Euphrates.
Nineveh was on the Tigris.
What a city that was at the time Jonah
preached there! Its walls were so thick that
three chariots could go on the top all abreast.
But what is Nineveh now ? Look at those
green mounds. Under these heaps of rubbish
lies Nineveh. A traveller has been digging
among those mounds, and has found the very
throne of the king of Nineveh, and the images
of winged bulls and lions which adorned the
palace. God overthrew Nineveh, because it
was wicked. So the prophet Nahum declared
He would. (iii. 8.)
There is another ancient city lying in ruins
on the Euphrates-it is Babylon the Great.
There is nothing to be seen where once proud
Babylon stood but heaps of bricks. Where
are now the streets fifteen miles long ? Where
are the hanging gardens -gardens one above
the other, the wonder of the world ? Where is
now the temple of Belus (or of Babel, as some
think), with its golden statue? All, all are
now crumbled into rubbish. God has destroyed
Babylon, as He said by the prophet Jeremiah,
chap. L. 40.
There are dens of wild beasts among the
ruins. A traveller saw some bones of a sheep
in one,-the remains, he supposed, of a lion's
dinner; but he did not like to go farther into
the den to see who dwelt there. Owls and
bats fill all the dark places. But no men live
there, though human bones are often found
scattered about, and they turn into dust as
soon as they are touched.
There is now a great city in Mesopotamia,
called Bagdad. In Babylon no sound is heard
but the howlings of wild beasts; in Bagdad
men may be heard screaming and hallooing from
morning to night. The drivers of the camels
and the mules shout as they press through the
narrow, crooked streets, and even the ladies,
riding on white donkeys, and attended by black
slaves, scream and halloo.
In summer it is so hot in Bagdad that people
during the day live in rooms under ground, and
sleep on their flat roofs at night.
It is curious to see the people who have been
sleeping on the roof get up in the morning.
First, they roll up their mattresses, their cover-
lids, and pillows, and put them in the house.
The children cannot fold up theirs, but their
mothers or black slaves do it for them. The
men repeat their prayers, and then drink a cup
of coffee, which their wives present to them.
The wives kneel as they offer the cup to their
lords, and they stand with their hands crossed
while their lords are drinking, then kneel
down again to receive the cup, and to kiss their
lord's hand. Then the men take their pipes,
and lounge on their cushions, while the women
say their prayers. And when do the children
say their prayers? Never. They know only
of Mohammed; they know not the Saviour,
who said,' Suffer little children to come unto
Before the Missionaries came, when a
woman spoke of her husband, she always
called him her friend or her brother, but
never her husband; and the husband always
called his wife his sister, or the mother of his
son, even when he had no son. A gentleman
was much puzzled one day as he was travelling
along the road, to hear a man speak of his
" Ash-emptier.' At last he found this was his
name for his wife.
Men do not see their wives till after the
Long ago a man was so much displeased when
he saw his bride for the first time that with one
blow he laid her on the floor. Twenty years
of misery followed. Then this man heard the
Gospel, and the lion became a lamb. Was
the wife also converted ? Not at first. When
she found her husband was really changed, she
resolved that he should taste what she had
suffered. He bore all her unkindness meekly,
and only begged the Missionaries to speak to
Amongst the Christians, a wedding is a pretty
sight. Drums sound and torches burn as the
bridegroom enters the church. A wedding-
garment is thrown over him and his com-
panion. When he reaches the altar, he bends
his head till it touches his bride's head. If
she is a child, and not tall enough, a light
wooden horn is fastened under her pink veil.
Then a large silver cross is laid on both heads,
which are knocked together, and tied with a
handkerchief and a garland of flowers. All
the time the priest reads very fast.
Some Missionaries live in a town called Diar-
bekir, on the river Tigris. Diarbekir is so near
Kurdistan that it is a very dangerous place, in
spite of its great black walls, its huge towers,
and its Turkish soldiers.
The banks of the Tigris are very fruitful,
and yield most beautiful melons. Sometimes
they are so large that two of them are a load
for a horse. The people grow them in the
sand the river leaves behind when it overflows,
and which they manure with the droppings of
doves they keep on purpose. They build houses
on the banks of the river for these birds, which
are in such numbers that at a distance they look
like clouds. A gentleman walking one even-
ing by the river-side mistook them for clouds
till they came quite near. Then he remembered
the words of Isaiah (lx. 10), 'Who are these
that fly as a cloud, and as doves to their win-
dows ?' In some places the river is crossed on
a raft, which is fastened to numbers of goatskins
filled with air, to make them float. But here
there is the old Roman bridge, and here too
you may read on the wall Belshazzar's boast
that he had conquered the country three times.
The old Roman bridge over tihe Tigris at Diarbekir.
-;- --i------ ---. ,. -- -_
i --- --L--- ;.
It is not safe to stay on these green banks for
fear of robbers. If you wish to escape from the
close city, you can visit one of the villages near
with yellow clay walls and mud roofs. Acci-
dents often happen from people sleeping on
them without any rail or fence round them.
Eastern woman iwith coins.
It is the custom to wear many ornaments-
large thumb-rings, great silver clasps, and pre-
cious stones. The rich women have a kind of
helmet, studded with pearls, and edged with
gold coins. They hano gold coins from their
long braids of hair, and often border their silk
veils with them. A girl's veil is always
crimson. As soon as a daughter is born, her
mother puts by coins for her dowry--gold and
silver, and if she is very poor, copper. These
coins are her treasure. If she lose one, she
will seek diligently till she find it. No hus-
band can take away any of them, even to save
himself from prison.
But the Missionaries have brought with them
a treasure more precious than coins.
As soon as these Mesopotamian women heard
that money was wanted to build a new chapel
at Diarbekir, they cut precious coins from their
heads, and offered rings, earrings, and clasps,
with tears of joy. They taught their children
to do the same. It was wonderful to see a
hundred and twenty little ones eager to put
something into the bag. As one little boy
dropped in his money, he cried out, 'I earned
all that myself.' What a happy day it was
when the new chapel was finished, and when
five hundred joined in that town to worship
Is this country mentioned in the Bible ? Yes;
we read of Cyrus, the king of Persia. Isaiah
spoke of him before he was born, and called
him by his name. See chap. xlv.
Persia is now a Mohammedan country. The
Turks, you remember, are Mohammedans too.
Kindly revised by Rev. J. H. Briihl, and by Rev.
T. C. Trowbridge, LL.D., Principal of the College of Aintab.
See also Romanice of Missions. M. A. West. Nisbet.
Perhaps you think these two nations, the Turks
and the Persians, must agree well together, as
they are of the same religion. Far from it.
No nations hate one another more than Turks
and Persians do, though they both believe in
Mohammed. The reason is this. When Mo-
hammed died, he was succeeded by his two
fathers-in-law and by his two sons-in-law. Now
the Turks venerate all these four men; but the
Persians curse and hate three of them and care
only for the last. He was Mohammed's son-in-
law, and his name was All. They are very
fond of 1inm, and keep a day of mourning in
memory of his death. Yet the Turks think
that the Persians blaspheme, because they speak
against the others.*
But is this a reason why they should hate
one another so much ?
Even in their common customs the Persians
differ from the Turks. The Turks sit cross-
legged on the ground; the Persians sit upon
their heels. Which way of sitting should you
prefer ? I think you would find it more com-
fortable to sit like a Turk.
The Turks sit on sofas and lean against
cushions; the Persians sit on carpets and lean
against the wall. I know you would prefer
the Turkish fashion. The Turks drink coffee
without either milk or sugar; the Persians
drink tea with sugar, though without milk.
The Turks wear turbans; the Persians wear
high caps of black lamb's-wool.
"* The Turks are called Sunnies, and the Persians are
Not only are their customs different, but their
characters. The Turks are grave, and the Per-
sians lively. The Turks are silent, the Persians
talkative. The Turks are rude, the Persians
polite. Now I am sure you like the Persians
better than the Turks. But wait a little-the
Turks are very proud; the Persians are very
deceitful. An old Persian was heard to say,
'We all tell lies whenever we can.' The Per-
sians are not even ashamed when their false-
hoods are found out. When they sell they
ask too much; when they make promises they
break them. It is impossible to trust a Persian.
In short, the Persians seem to have no idea of
right and wrong. The judges do not give right
judgment, but take bribes.
Mohammed forbade men to drink wine. The
Persians generally keep this law, and drink
none. The people in the villages have no wine
to drink, for their priests do not allow them to
make any. But if it were found out that a
poor man had been drinking, or even that he-
had a bottle of wine, he would be punished.
The governor would nail his ear to a post in
the bazaar and leave him there all day.
Yet though the magistrates punish poor people
for drinking, they are great drunkards them-
selves. They drink from sunset till ten at
night, when they dine and go to bed. Will
you be surprised to hear that these rich men
who punish others for drinking whilst they
drink themselves-are very strict in saying
their prayers in public ? What good can such
prayers do ?
THE COUNTRY.--Persia is a high country and
a dry country. There are high mountains and
wide plains; but there are very few rivers and
running brooks, because there is so little rain.
Sheep find such a dry country very pleasant
and wholesome. The hills are covered over
with flocks, and the shepherds may be seen
leading their sheep and carrying the very
young lambs in their arms. This is a sight
which reminds us of the Good Shepherd: for
it is written of Jesus, He gathereth the lambs
in His arms.'
Great part of Persia is watered by canals,
called Kinauts. These canals are like the bur-
rows moles make, and they run sometimes for
miles underground. You know that moles
make heaps by throwing up the earth as they
go. So, when the Persians dig their canals,
every forty or fifty yards they make a hole up
to the earth overhead and throw up a heap.
Accidents often happen to travellers because of
these holes, which are very dangerous, for they
are left open without any parapet, just where-
ever they may happen to come-very often in
the middle of the street of a town.
Some Europeans were hunting one day near
Teheran when they suddenly missed one of
their party. They saw his horse, indeed, run-
ning away, but no rider on his back. In vain
they searched. Their companion was nowhere
to be seen. At last, after a long time they
found his hat near a very deep hole. It was
so deep they had to join seven stirrup-leathers
together before they could pull him up. He
appeared covered with mud and dirt, but-un-
hurt; and the first thing he did was to make
the ladies a low bow and beg their pardon for
keeping them waiting so long.
Persian cats are beautiful creatures, with fur
as soft as silk.
The best melons in the world grow in Persia.
The three chief materials for making clothes
are all to be found there in abundance. I mean
wool, cotton, and silk. You have heard already
of the Persian sheep; so you see there is wool.
Cotton-trees also abound. Women and children
may be seen picking the nuts which contain
the little pieces of cotton. There are mul-
berry-trees also, to feed the numerous silk-
PooR PEOPLE.--The villages where the poor
live are miserable places. The houses are
of mud, not placed in rows, but straggling
with dirty narrow paths winding between
In summer the poor people sleep on the
roofs; for the roofs are flat, and covered
with earth, with low walls on every side to
prevent the sleepers falling off. Here the
Persians spread their carpets to lie upon at
Great part of Persia is very high and moun-
tainous. It has lofty plains or plateaux from
six to eight thousand feet above the sea. There
the winter lasts for months, the cold is very
great, and there are heavy falls of snow.
Sometimes all Persia is covered with snow;
but though the winter may be very severe, it