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had been no one to care for them. Their parents, how- sion as vivid as possible. So we generally read a passage ever much they might wish it, could not instruct them, from one of the gospels,—sometimes a parable,- and for they were as ignorant as their children.

then it had to be explained in two ways. First, it was Each of these boys, no doubt, could at need harness a necessary to make my little hearers understand the difhorse, and split wood, and help at the plough, and run ferent points of the story; then, secondly, to try and and climb at pleasure ; but that is not all we need. bring it all to bear on their hearts and lives, interspersThe time of temptation would come for them, and finding this part with questions. One can hardly imagine them powerless to resist; and, falling, there would be no how very difficult it is to bring Christian truths near to hope and no power to rise again.

the hearts of children in a land where ignorance is so So on Sunday we had the table and benches placed gross, where even in the schools religion is only taught under the lime-trees, and the children, in their bright in a dry, theoretical fashion by those who, for the most holiday clothes, and with well-oiled hair, took their places part, trouble theniselves but little about practising what full of expectation. Several women, too, appeared from they teach. In Russia, religion is the temple, with its the village, and established themselves close by. One holy splendour; while life is the great street outside, could see by their faces that they expected to hear of God with its dust and manifold pollutions. As the dust is and serious things. I began with a short prayer, during shaken off in entering the temple, so its sacred impreswhich the children often crossed themselves, and bowed sions are left behind when returning to daily life. But their heads. Before each child, who could make the the gold and the dust must intermingle if life is to beleast use of it, we placed a New Testament. But where come godly, and how to accomplish that is the great were we to begin ? I had only ten Sundays before me, problem, which is only solved by learning the lessons of and it seemed as if nothing could result from such a God's Word. Somewhat of this interpenetration could short time of instruction. Yet there were the children, soon be traced in the hearts and lives of these children. with their bright faces looking at me so trustfully! Oh, The Monday's lessons always began by going over what joy it would be if I could awaken their young souls what they had heard on Sunday. Then we saw how to an interest in divine things, and could point them to they had grasped what they had heard, and viewing it the way that leadeth unto life!

in their own fashion, and according to their own cus“Dear children,” I said, “I should like that you all toms, applied it to their daily life. They would tell of should be good, brave boys, and grow up to be good, the wealthy farmer who had made a great feast at his honest men. I would like to help you to be this, and to homestead, and invited the Lord to it. Or it was the show you the only means by which you can become such. parable of the sower which they would relate, tacking Shall I do so ?” “Yes,” they all called out. “I see,” on to it little particulars out of their own experience. I continued,“ that unhappily on Sundays your drinking- Or it was the story of the lost son, which was an espeshops are open, and filled from early morning, and that cially difficult one to them. The elder brother in the by the evening poor miserable drunkards are lying help-parable was the one who attracted all their sympathy less in the dust in all directions, objects of contempt to and interest, while they applied the very harshest eren the youngest of you. Now, I am very anxious that epithets at their command to the younger. “You may all of you should shun the drinking-shop, and all idle, say what you like,” exclaimed Jacob, “but that father bad ways, and that in the life of poverty and toil to was a most wrong-headed man; he should just have which you must look forward, you should still be happy, driven away that ne'er-do-well, who did nothing but and respected in your families and village." Little bring himself to rags and beggary, while the elder Jacob here raised his voice, and exclaimed with much brother had done all the work.” “That's it," said self-confidence, “I am determined I will never be a several who were of an age to help their fathers in the drunkard. My father does not drink, and my brother toilsome field-work, and would by no means give in to does not drink, though he has been coachman for a year the preference for the younger brother. Jacob was past in Moscow. It is only fools that drink!" But rather of an argumentative disposition, and exceedingly another boy answered, “ Are there so few of these fools self-satisfied, but still a kindly boy, full of gentleness then ? But that is not the question, it is with ourselves with his younger brother and sister. This younger we have to do." “ Yes,” I said, “ it is of yourselves the brother was the one who solved the riddle as to the question is. It is not enough to have a father that father's treatment of his wandering son. The little does not drink, in order that we should ourselves keep | fellow turned his expressive black eyes on his brother clear of the evil, but I will tell you what will really help and said, “ You don't understand it; the father had pity us,-it is if we learn to know God, and to love and obey on his son, just because he was so miserable !” It was him. Of this God, who loves us and takes care of us, then easy for us to add, “So has God had pity on us !" we shall talk together every Sunday. Would you like Thus our Sunday and week-day school went on, the that?" Certainly,” they cried; "speak on.” And children made progress, and their example drew others of what did I speak to them? The great thing was to to us, so that we soon counted thirty scholars. The leave on these young hearts an impression of the person school-room became too small, so we had to hold our and the work of our Saviour, and to leave that impres- / school in the open air. The alphabets were fastened on

soon.

trees ; those who were furthest advanced sat at the table,

“Both die soon ! how do you know that?" while the little ones squatted on the turf. When the “That is our feeling,” stammered out Paracha, much lessons were over, they carried in the benches and seats moved;" we were a numerous family, not so long ago either, for ns, asking, in their simplicity, to which kitchen they and all our brothers and sisters have died.” “You live should take them,-to that one where the cook lived, or all alone in your cottage ; it must be very lonely in the to the kitchen where we lived ourselves. The cook's winter?” “Very lonely indeed,” said Paracha, and both kitchen was by much the more interesting room to them, of them took up the corners of their aprons to wipe for there they saw the knives and spoons, the samovar the tears from their eyes. “We knit stockings in (tea-kettle), the bright copper pans, which, with the winter, but it would be so much better if one of us earthen pots and the bowls of varnished wood, were the could read the gospels while the other knits.” “But constant objects of their admiration. Their own dwell- then the distance,” I said, "and your field-work-the ing-rooms were indeed the kitchens of their pocr huts, busy time is coming on." "Oh, as to the distance," with the great stove, the rough furniture, and all the said Eudoxia, the younger, “in summer that is of no donjestic creatures crowded in together. As soon as consequence; and as to the work, I can manage all that onr boys could spell out a little, it was their delight to is necessary alone. I am the stronger, my sister is the take their book with them to the village, and there, cleverer, she will learn with you, while I work for both; surrounded by a circle of boys who could not read at all, and when she can read she will teach me.” Of course to show off their wonderful attainments. The fable of we accepted them as scholars, and they set off bome the grasshopper, which was in our lesson books, gave with faces beaming with pleasure, while we determined the little auditors much matter for laughter. Very to do our very utmost for them. And, indeed, these patient these audiences were, and never interrupted the two sisters were our most tractable, attentive, and inreader.

dustrious pupils. They had immense difficulties to But our school brought forth better fruit. One day overcome. Their thick stumpy fingers were long before four boys ran up to us, evidently full of some dispute they could bend pliably to hold a pencil, and their that had occurred among them. “Madame," cried little memories almost refused to retain the letters of the Guerassimus (Jacob's brother), as soon as he had got alphabet. But their eagerness and perseverance were within hearing of us—“Madame, we have found a beauti- such that at the end of three months they had attained ful penknife, does it belong to you ?” and he showed us their goal, and could read that Word of God, for love of his precious find. “No, my child, it is not mine." which they had begun their difficult task and kept “Now,” said the little fellow, “these boys say we should steady at it. Every Monday they repeated, with touchkeep it, and draw lots as to who shall have it; but I say ing exactness, what they had learned on Sunday, and that is not what we have learned on Sundays, and that never forgot to thank God for permitting them to learn we should try and find its owner. What do you say ?” his Word. As yet there is no appearance of their foreIt is easily imagined what the answer was, and what bodings being realized ; they live on in the old way, but our joy was at this first evidence of practical results ever thanking God for having seen their sorrows, and from our teaching.

comforted them. Among our scholars were some young girls. Two of Among the girls who came to our school was one them, pretty well grown up, appeared among us in a indescribably poor and miserable little thing, named very interesting way. They were two sisters, who lived Douniacha. She had a bad sore on her arm, which in a distant village, and came to us first one Sunday. nothing would heal, for she was compelled to knit

Their round, expressionless faces did not promise gloves constantly, which sold well in Moscow ; she thus much for them as pupils, but what was my surprise obtained food for her family. Her father was a terrible when, at the end of the hour, one of them said with a drunkard ; so she had to go on with her ceaseless work, soft voice full of emotion, “God bless you for teaching in spite of the pain it gave her, and in the coldest us these good things.” When I came to inquire about weather she still went about shoeless. them I found they were two orphans, who lived alone in One can easily imagine such wretched children looking the little hut where their parents had died, and worked on death as a release from suffering. When the story of for small wages on the fields of their neighbours. They the raising of the son of the widow of Nain was taken had come to beg us to teach them to read. " You will up in our class, I asked the children whether they would find it a difficult matter to learn at your age,” I said. like to die. A young voice replied, in the most touching “Indeed,” they replied, “it will not be easy, but if you tone of sadness, “Yes, I would gladly die." But it was will only make the attempt, we will take great pains.” not Douniacha’s voice, but that of George, a lad of thir“And why are you so anxious to learn to read ?” “That teen, who only came to us on Sundays, because he could we may read the gospels,” they said ; "we only wish to read already. “Why would you like to die?" I asked. read the gospels." Still more astonished, I asked Because we have no bread, and life is so sorrowful!” further, “Why are you so very anxious to read the At that moment a laugh broke forth amongst our gospels ?” They hesitated, but at last the elder of the scholars. It was not caused by George's answer, as I two said, blushing deeply, “ Because we shall both die soon saw. A big boy had come in, whose face betekened

him an idiot, his shirt hanging in tatters, and his bair | poor indeed, they never asked anything for themof the last degree of wildness. He sat down at the foot selves. of a tree, and the children continued to make sport of Effime soon had occasion to find the benefit of having him. “Who is this boy?" I asked. “Nikita, the fool," learned to read. One day in bathing he hurt his foot, came from many lips, uttered with pitiless voices. and lost a great deal of blood. His companions brought “What !” I said, "is he a poor idiot; and do you laugh him to us pale and exhausted, having bound up his foot at that ?" "Ah!" they cried, “but he is very wicked, in a most unskilful manner; and when his father came and very strong too: he throws stones big enough to with a little cart to carry him home, he was nearly knock out our brains.” “I don't at all wonder at that, swooning. We recommended him to keep quiet, and when you fall on him like a pack of hounds, and make rest his foot. That was easy enough for the first day, game of him in that way. Are his parents alive ?” as he slept most of it; the next day we found him sur“Yes, he has a drunken father, and a cruel stepmother; rounded by his little brothers and sisters, to whom he and even on the highest feast-days he never bas on a was reading a story, and the poor little neighbour was better shirt than the one you see.” “But do you really there too, with a big piece of bread in his hand. Effime's think all this is matter for laughter? Should you not mother had kept her word, and received the neglected rather pity the poor boy?” “But he is so stupid, and child. cannot even speak right.” Then I told them the story The last days of August were come, and from morning of the prophet Elisha, and the punishment of those who to night the ripe ears of corn fell beneath the reaper's mocked at him, and they promised that henceforth they sickle. It was an especially good harvest, and hope would leave the poor idiot in peace, or be kind to him. brightened every face. Only in the hut of Douniacha, and All this passed in his presence, and we did not know if a few others who possessed no land, the common joy did he could understand anything we were saying. But not enter. The two sisters also still won their bread next morning, to our astonishment, he appeared with with difficulty, by hard labour on the fields of others. a happy face, bringing a plateful of wild strawberries, set Teachers and scholars now felt that they must soon part, it on the table, and stammered out, “I will bring more, and zeal and diligence were redoubled. The parents, many more," then ran away. We made him a new too, showed themselves very grateful for our trouble. shirt, of which he was so proud that it gave him the They brought us presents of mushrooms, which they desire to wash himself, and comb his hair. His step- consider a dainty, and begged us to be godmothers to mother, when she found he was so noticed, changed her their new-born infants. treatment of him. He came every Sunday to our As we walked about we were constantly followed by school, and during the week brought us strawberries and some of our scholars, especially the idiot Nikita, whose nuts.

strong arm was often a welcome aid against dogs or wild Soon after this the boys gave us an opportunity of cattle. One evening, as we were standing admiring the making another present of a shirt. They brought in wonderful colours of a brilliant sunset, a waggon laden one morning as a prisoner a pale, wretched-looking boy, with sheaves passed us, an old peasant following it. He shivering with cold, whom they had captured on the greeted us respectfully, and said, with a voice full of road. He had been found among the bushes by the emotion, “God bless you for teaching our children!” roadside, where the poor, half-naked child, hardly seven “Have you children among our scholars ?” “I have years old, bad passed the night. “ He has a still worse no family,” the old man replied; "but it is all the same, stepmother than the idiot,” said his young protectors; it is to our children you have done good.” "he often bas to spend the night in a barn, or in the Before the day of our departure came we made a feast open air; nobody at home takes any care of him. Will for the children, and gave them tea under the limeyou make him a shirt too ?” The poor child showed trees. They came long before the time, of course, and evident traces of the ill-treatment he met with. He sat while the preparations were making, dispersed through there stupified, looking at no one, patiently waiting to the park. Then we remembered that we had neglected see what would be done with him. It was well for this to invite two little boys, the two smallest of all, who poor fellow that he lived close by a fine brave boy called lived with their widowed mother in a rather distant Effime, whose parents lived in more than usual comfort; | village. To reach school they had each morning to cross for the father did not drink, and the mother was one of a great wood, and pass by the forester's dogs; but they the best women in the village-industrious, gentle, and had come regularly till wolves began to appear in the pitiful. "Her house was the constant resort of poor rela- neighbourhood, and here and there a sheep or a calf had tions and neighbours, who came to the roomy, comfort- been torn by them. Then their mother would not let the able abode for a little refreshment, or to borrow of her. boys come any longer. When we told the children how

This good woman undertook to receive the unhappy sorry we were we had not these boys with us at the child, who of course got the new shirt. It pleased us much feast, some said, “It is a long way off," and so on; but to see our boys thus seeking out the poorest, and most little Guerassimus called out," I will go and fetch then," miserable of their acquaintance, that they might be and off he set at once as hard as he could run. There helped; while, though there were many of them very was time enough, for the sun was high in the heavens.

By-and-by, when the tea-kettle was steaming on the art going away; but the Saviour will remain among us." table, and the cakes had been cut, and all was ready, we It was the voice of that same George who had wished heard a rushing of feet, and saw blue and red shirts to die because life was so sorrowful. gleaming through the trees, and the two little boys were Two days after, when the carriage was at the door to brought in, breathless and laughing, and the feast began. take us to the railway station, we were surrounded by As long as there was water in the kettle they (Russian the children, who shook our hands heartily in parting. like) wished tea, and ever more tea. “Sophinka, give But little Guerassimus was not there. Some one said he me some more, please," was the constant call to my had gone into the house. I sought him through the danghter, who poured it out.

deserted rooms, and at last found him in the kitchen, When I was speaking to them on the last Sunday we beside the empty hearth, weeping bitterly with his face had together, and, while thinking of my work now to be in his hands. God keep the little one through his own broken off, longed for something to comfort me in part- name! God bless the little flock! He is the true ing from them, a shy little voice broke in with, “Thou | Shepherd.

B. W

Syrian Missions.

BY REV. WILLIAM WRIGHT, DAMASCUS.

II.
MISSIONARY TOUR TO RASHEIYA, ON MOUNT HERMON.
IN the 14th of March 1873, we com- and the brown dogs, having driven back their

menced the missionary campaign of speckled enemies, pursued us for several hundred
the year by a tour to Rasheiya. My yards; whereupon a deputation of black dogs

companion was Mr. Harper, an Aus- assumed the responsibility of seeing us out of tralian graduate and Scotch licentiate, fresh from town. the experiences of college life in Edinburgh and These much abused creatures fight as desperBerlin. He had spent the winter in Damascus ately for the right of conveying strangers through studying Arabic, having caught an enthusiasm their quarter as the Arabs do for the right of for the study of Oriental languages from Pro- escorting travellers through their territory; and, fessor Davidson, who is still remembered in Syria just as the Arabs fall desperately on any neighas the wonderful man who knew Arabic better bouring tribe attempting to lead strangers through than the natives, but could not speak it.” We their part of the desert-at the same time leaving were also accompanied by Mousa Dawoud, the the strangers uninjured--so do the dogs of one chief of the Protestant community in Rasheiya. quarter of Damascus resent with all their powers

We heard with joy that the snow had dis- of teeth and tongue any similar encroachment on appeared from the paths, and made all prepara- their quarter, and yet I have never known them tions for an early start ; but the morning opened to bite a single individual. with black clouds, and heavy rain, and distant As we passed along we met several rosy-faced thunder, which made a ride over thirty miles of children going to our school, and they chirped country, without village or house, a questionable out as we passed, "God be with you." undertaking. My unacclimatized companion Pale-faced Moslems sat slip-shod in cafés, bubhaving, however, assumed all responsibility for bling at their nargilleys, or water-pipes, and starting on a wet morning, we left 21 Straight sipping little cups of coffee. They calmly conStreet at about eight o'clock. We rode down template us with fanatical eyes as we pass, mutthe street due west, accompanied by my servant tering inarticulate imprecations upon us; for they on a mule. For the first two hundred yards the still remember the day when no Christian dare Straight Street was uncovered and muddy, and ride a horse within the sacred walls of Damascus. the remainder of the street was covered over and when Ibrahim Pasha conquered Syria, he put alry. The black and white dogs of my quarter the Christians on a level with the Moslems; and followed us to the border-land of the brown dogs; when a deputation of Damascenes waited on the Egyptian to complain of the Christians riding as As we emerged from the gate of the city, the high as the believers in the streets of the city, keeper asked, and was refused, backshish,the conqueror answered, with a smile, that they and we were glad to find ourselves among the could still mount higher than the Christians by gardens. The apricots were all in bloom, and as mounting on camels. The Christians, when going the blossoms precede the leaves, the trees seem a journey, had their horses led out of town before sheeted in snow tinged with pink. The walnuts they mounted them, and they were not permitted had begun to unfold their fragrant leaves and to walk on the elevated footpath, but were obliged ebon catkins. The leaden evergreen olives served to plod along in the central gutter. It need not as a foil to set off the bright and various colours be wondered at, then, that fanatical words occa- of the trees around them; and the yellow willows sionally reach our ears; for we are mounted on and silver-stemmed poplars, by the streams, gave horses, and, worst of all, I have a lovely blood pleasing variety to the scene. The blossoming mare, of one of the famous races ridden by the beans on every side scented the air, and blackprophet.

birds and turtle-doves filled the trees with their It is better, however, and more philosophical, melody. Wherever an apple-tree appeared, it to take no notice of evil words, but only to look called to memory the words—“As the apple-tree at them who utter them in such a manner as will among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved make them conscious that you comprehended what among the sons.” There are few things more was said. They will probably start to their feet curious to me than the pains that have been taken in a little confusion, touch breast and brow in to prove that the apple-tree of Scripture is not token of love and esteem, and give you the the apple-tree. The usual method by which this salutation of the true believer, “Go with my feat is performed is by misrepresenting in English peace.”

characters the Hebrew spelling of the word; then Some of the people who had eating-stalls were misrepresenting the modern Arabic spelling of sticking bits of the intestines of animals on spits, the word; and then by bringing into play that to be held over charcoal fires, for their hungry awe-inspiring instrument—" higher criticism." customers as they came up. The spit is held Nevertheless, the modern Arabic name is the towards the customer, who draws the morsel off same in all essentials as the Hebrew; and the the iron with his fingers, and stands in the street tree itself, by its deeper green foliage, by the and eats it, and then reaches for another piece, symmetrical arrangement of its lovely and delidraws it off, pays his fare, and passes on, eating cately-scented blossoms,-- by its fruit, that exas he goes. The poor spend little time at their cels all others in beauty of tinge and sweet. meals; and to this day I have hardly ever seen fragrance,--and by its thickness of shade, at the one of our servants dining; but they all waste season when shade is needed, asserts its pre-emimuch time over their elaborate pipes, and the nence over all the trees of the field. custom of sitting long over their cups is also not An hour brought us to the end of the gardens, unfrequent.

and then we had to cross a level plain, partly Flocks of goats were being milked by grand cultivated, for another hour. Our route lay due looking Druzes, with great white turbans, at west to a low range of mountains; behind, and people's doors, and black slaves were waiting rising over the mountain, stood great Hermon, with empty vessels to receive the milk, and pre-sheeted to the feet. Our third hour was spent vent its being washed blue.

in crossing over this mountain, which has a pecuThe few Jews whom we saw seemed most liar yellow tinge. The stone is veined with red, ghastly after their debauch and victory over the takes a beautiful polish, and is by many DamaChristians in the feast Purim; for the Jews be- scenes preferred to marble. By ten o'clock, the lieve, as a Rabbi, who read the Book of Esther “morning cloud and the early dew” had passed with me, informed me, that " Ahashuerosh, and away. Flocks of goats streamed down from the Haman, and all the other enemies of the Jews in brow of the mountain, calling to mind the figure Shushan the palace, were Christians.”

-“Thy hair is as a flock of goats, that appear

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