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on our catalogue, of which alone 760 copies were last year sold ; and secondly, to the printer who executed for us the edition of the Armenian New Testament having taken the opportunity of throwing off an additional number on his own account, which he has been selling at a price below the moderate one of our magazine.
Within the last few days I have also been taking measures with a respectable priest attached to the patriarch of Jerusalem for the supply of a part of Asia Minor, of which he is a native. The chief place of this district, and the residence of the archbishop, is called by the Greeks Chaldæa, and by the Turks Ghiumush Khané, or Place of Silver, from its being the seat of a silver mine. It is three days' journey from Trebisond, in the direction of Erzerum. The Greek inhabitants of this district are for the most part miners, and under the direction of the Turkish government not only work the mine in their own neighbourhood, but the great silver mine of Capan Matani, on the Euphrates, and the equally considerable copper mine of Argani Matani, on the Tigris, besides being employed in the same service in the other more distant mines of Asia Minor. Chaldæa, the residence of the archbishop, (who is always a native of the diocese, and, according to its peculiar 'ecclesiastical customs, never tastes animal food,) has about twenty villages dependant on it. The language spoken is Modern Greek, though a good deal corrupted. Our Modern Greek Testament will, however, without much difficulty be understood; and I have, therefore, put fifty copies of it, and five of the Ancient and Modern one, into the hands of the priest mentioned above, who, in a few days, will send thein, with some other books, direct to Trebisond, to be forwarded to Chaldæa. As the people are extremely poor, I have consented that they should be gratuitously distributed ; particularly as a gratuitous distribution is often in the first instance desirable for its making the work more generally known, and exciting a subsequent desire of possessing it in others.
LETTERS FROM MR. BENJAMIN BARKER.
Aleppo, March 11, 1824. On the 30th of January last, just before I quitted Smyrna, I had the satisfaction to address you. I am now happy in informing you of my safe arrival at Aleppo, after a short but boisterous passage from Smyrna to Lattakia.
The day I embarked on board a French store-ship on my departure from Smyrna, I received the thanks of the captain and officers for the present of a French Bible made to each. They said, that they were the more indebted to me for that book, as it was a work which they had long wished to possess. I learned at Lattakia, that about 112 volumes of the Holy Scriptures, in Armenian, which I had transmitted from Smyrna, had been disposed of.
The only place of any note between Lattakia and Aleppo is Gissershoghn, a small town situated on the Orontes. This place was entirely destroyed by the late earthquakes; a few huts only are now to be seen on its ruins. A Greek, who lost in the dreadful night of the 13th August, 1822, all his family, consisting of his mother, wife, and three children, reminded me of my promise to give him an Arabic New Testament. Although the earthquakes have not entirely ceased in this neighbourhood, yet the shocks are much slighter, so that the inhabitants of Aleppo have taken courage, and nearly all reentered the city. I am arranging a room in a ruined house, for the purpose of establishing a depot of the Holy Scriptures. I am very sanguine in my expectations of success in the disposal of copies of the Sacred Volume here, for I have already had many applications for them, and I am waiting with anxiety for the arrival of the cases which were to follow me to Syria. As soon as the depôt here shall have been established with a proper person to attend it, I shall set out for the coast of Syria, to visit the different towns where the Holy Scriptures have been left for distribution.
A few days back I received a visit from a Syrian bishop, who came to Aleppo from Merdeen on his way to Damascus and Jerusalem. This prelate assured me, that at Merdeen, Nisibin, Mousal, in short throughout all Mesopotamia, the Holy Scriptures in the Carshun language (Arabic with Syriac characters) would prove a most acceptable gift to the Christians. I must not omit relating an interesting fact, tending to prove the utility of distributing the Holy Scriptures. The Syrian bishop above mentioned was accompanied by a member of his church, who observed, that he had purchased from me an Arabic New Testament, which proved a real consolation to his brother, long confined to his bed by an illness which has deprived him of the use of his limbs. He said—“My brother has read the New Testament again and again, and has found in it things of which he was before wholly ignorant."
Aleppo, April 26, 1824. On the 11th of March I had the pleasure to inform you
safe arrival at Aleppo, and being now on the eve of my departure for the coast of Syria, the Mountain of the Druses, Damascus, and Jerusalem, I take up the pen again to inform you of what has occurred since my last communication. Ten days ago I received three cases of the Holy Scriptures, which, with the exception of about 20 Armenian New Testaments and two Bibles, proved to be all Syriac New Testaments. The Syriac Scriptures are not required in this city, but will, I hope, be serviceable to the inhabitants of the mountain, called by the natives Gebel Tor, (the mount of the Bull,) near Merdeen, which I presume to be Mount Masius. My attention will be directed that way as soon as I shall have terminated my tour along the coast of Syria, for I find that Mount Tor is peopled with a numerous sect of Syrians, who, sequestered from the rest of their fellow Christians, with little or no intercourse with the Turks, have retained their language as well as their religious rites and opinions. «
The few Armenian New Testaments I received were bought up immediately at six piastres each by the servants of the Europeans of this city, and demands are daily made for more. I shall soon have the satisfaction to supply the pressing wants of the Armenians and other Christians, for I have just received the pleasing news, that the cases of Holy Scriptures which I had prepared at Smyrna for Syria are safely arrived at Beyrout.
The Armenian bishop of Aleppo having learned that I had received some Armenian Bibles and Testaments, expressed a wish to possess a copy of each ; this was communicated to me, and I immediately sent them to him. Shortly after receiving the present the bishop sent two priests to thank me; and the next day I went to pay him a visit. I was received by that prelate in a most friendly manner, and he repeated to me how thankful he was for the Bible and Testament I had sent him.
He assured me his prayers should not be wanting henceforward for the prosperity of the English, and for my health and welfare. I formed, a few days back, the acquaintance of the archbishop of the famous Armenian convent of Sis, near Adana, who was passing through Aleppo on his way to Jerusalem. We formed plans for the transmission of the Holy Scriptures to Sis and its environs. I received four days ago a letter from my correspondents at Tocat; they urgently request more Bibles and Testaments.
Beyrout, June 29, 1924. I HAVE established a depôt here, and have sent the Holy Scriptures to Jerusalem, Tyre, Sidon, Tripoli, Aleppo, and am now preparing two cases to take with me to Damascus. To Acre and other places the Holy Scriptures have been sent by the English and American missionaries. I was agreeably surprised to find at Beyrout three respectable missionaries. These gentlemen, who have been residing in Syria for several months, have, by their united exertions, distributed a considerable number of the Holy Scriptures, for account of the Bible Society at Malta.
Close to the Greek church here, is a public school; I went to see it, and found about eighty ragged boys squatted indiscriminately on the ground, and two masters, with rods in their hands, trying to keep them in awe. Most of the boys had no books, but single leaves from old Psalters, printed in Castravan. Two of the boys only had copies of the Society's Psalters, and I asked the rest why they did not all buy those books? “ Because we cannot afford to give one piastre,” was the answer. I told them, that if they came to the Society's depôt, and brought each ten paras, they should have every one a Psalter. When they heard this, they set up such a clamour for joy, that neither the rod, nor the rough Arab voice of the masters could bring them to obedience; they were calling out, “And will you really sell us a Psalter each if we bring every one that suin ? and when shall we call for them?”. I desired them to come to the Society's warehouse early next morning, before they went to school, and they should have what they wished.
The following morning, seventy-eight boys, most of them not more than eight or nine years old, and some much younger, crowded into the Society's depot, like so many bees, each holding his ten paras in his hand, for which a Psalter was given them. Four of the eldest boys bought each an Arabic New Testament. In this school nothing but Arabic is taught.
Aleppo, November 24, 1824. A WEEK after my arrival at Aleppo, it pleased God to amict me with a dangerous fever, of which I was ill upwards of two months. I am now, by the Almighty's goodness, gradually recovering, although still weak, and really untit to write. The doctors declared, that my fever was of a bilious and inflammatory character, and that it was occasioned partly by the heat and fatigue of my journey, and partly by my having travelled in Syria and Palestine during the months which are reckoned unhealthy in those provinces. Although I was aware of the latter circumstance, yet I could not well do otherwise, for the winter and spring months are so wet in this country, that it is extremely difficult to make much progress in travelling.
Since my last statement from Beyrout to the Committee, there have been issued from the depôt within the space of two months 800 copies of the Scriptures, at a time when we supposed that 40 could not have been sold. I distributed about 500 in Anti-Lebanon among the poor villagers, and in the depôt here were sold adyantageously about 80 volumes, among which were 20 Hebrew Bibles, the whole stock.
LETTERS FROM THE REV. DR. PINKERTON.'
Falmouth, April 9, 1824. Having learned that there is only one Bible among upwards of thirty men, on board the packet in which I sail, I have judged it desirable to attempt supplying them by sale or gratuitous distribution; and have accordingly taken a supply from the depôt of the Falmouth society.
The signal gun has just fired, the wind is fair. I leave this in half an hour. Pray for me, that the Lord may direct, support, and comfort your friend and fellow-labourer.
Gibraltar, April 21, 1824. From Cadiz I wrote a few lines, informing you of
welfare. Judging from the observations I was enabled to make, during my short stay there, and from the information I obtained, I fear very little comparatively can be done for introducing the Holy Scriptures into Spain through that channel.
arrival in this place the day before yesterday in the morning, I lost no time in calling upon the individuals who form the Committee of Correspondence.
The Committee is augmented by one additional member, who, with the rest, promise to exert themselves to carry forward the good work of Bible distribution in this place.
Many, many demands are made by persons from different provinces of Spain for Spanish Bibles. Every copy has long since been disposed of.
Five hundred copies of the four select books of the Spanish Old Testament, and the like number of the neat pocket edition of the New Testament, would not be too many for a present supply, to which 250 or 300 copies of the small edition of Scio's version of the whole Bible should be added.
It is a most gratifying fact, that, during the short period of their operations, three or four individuals, united in Committee, have been instrumental in bringing 1000 Bibles and 2000 Testaments into circulation in Spain. In addition to these, about 400 Bibles and Testaments have been sold and gratuitously circulated in various other languages.
Falmouth, August 2, 1824. Through the gracious leadings of a merciful God, I find myself, where I never expected again to be, in my native land. Sickness has been the cause of my premature return; but the passage of six weeks from Malta has proved very beneficial to my health, though I am still in a weak state.
Stoke Newington, Sept. 20, 1824, To the information which I sent to you from Gibraltar, respecting our affairs at that important station, I have still a few particulars to subjoin; after which, I shall endeavour to give you a concise view of my visit to Malta, and of my twelve days' labour there, before I was attacked by the fever which ultimately proved the cause of my premature return to Britain.
I visited the Chaplain at Gibraltar, 'who informed me that an Auxiliary to the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge had been established there, which had raised about 900 dollars, and circulated nearly 300 Bibles and Testaments among the English population.
În Mrs. Nicklin I found a decided friend to our work, whose character, conversation, and occupation, put me in mind of “Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira." She keeps a shop in the street called Calle Real, No. 23, where she sells stuffs of various colours, dying materials and other small articles, school books, and Bibles. While I was conversing with her, at her counter, a Jew came in, with a youth, for whom he wished to purchase a Hebrew Bible. She told me, that many demands are made upon her for copies of the Spanish Bible, by persons from the interior of Spain ; that a few days before my arrival a countryman came, and was exceedingly anxious to procure a copy. He had come from a great distance, and did not wish to return without it. He said, that it was for a poor blind man, who was remarkable for his attachment to the Sacred Scriptures, and earnestly desired to possess a complete copy, in order to have them read to him: that he had learned the whole Psalter by rote, and also many other parts of Scripture.