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away sin by the sacrifice of himself,' and I advise you to obtain the New Testament and read his history." I mentioned that his brethren in other places, and even a few in Constantinople were beginning to believe in this Saviour. 6 Those in the bagnio," he answered instantly; he had heard of them, and "all the nation knew of them.” In the course of our conversation he enquired whence we came, and appeared to take kindly our serious admonitions. Af- ter we had left him, he continued gazing at us, apparently lost in astonishment at having heard the name of Jesus of Nazareth proclaimed in that retired spot amidst the sepulchres of his brethren. · The evening before I sailed I walked down the hill towards the place where our brethren are confined, and spent an hour in musing upon their painful lot. Now that their paternal friend and counsellor, Mr. Leeves has been necessitated to withdraw, it is difficult to know in what manner their wants will be supplied. Nor have they any reason to hope for an improvement in their condition until some decided change shall take place in the country and the government. When twenty thousand Armenian Catholics, backed by all their own wealth and the influence of the Austrian Ambassador have no other alternative but a renunciation of their faith or banishment, it is not likely that these obscure and helpless men while differing still more widely from their Jewish brethren will be set at liberty. A return to the profession of Judaism seems at present the only thing which will set open the long closed doors of their prison. By the latest accounts received from them here, they still continue firm, notwithstanding all the efforts which have been made to shake their
purpose. At an interview which the father of John had with them just before my departure, he said " If you will renounce this faith, in eight days I will procure your discharge.” “Why do you talk with us thus ?" was the reply. “Why do you not rather send us the Rabbies and let us reason together, that we may convince one another of the truth?” Indeed from their first entry into the prison, they have showed the same readiness to give a reason of the hope that was in them.” When urged by the Greeks and Armenians to join their respective churches, they replied 6 Convince us that your way is right and we will follow it.” The apostate Peter who is still in prison, when asked lately why he had turned back from following Christ, made no other reply than “Do not ask me,” being evidently much ashamed.
Such then is the condition in which are left these Christian heroes-martyrs I had almost called them. Strong indeed must be their conviction of truth and love of the Saviour to enable them through so many wearisome months to endure the horrors of a Turkish prison. Yet He who is ever present with his people in the most thorny path of their pilgrimage, is able so to make all grace abound unto them and by them, that they and others from their example shall rejoice and glorify God on account of these fiery trials. To this end may“ prayer be made without ceasing of the church unto God for them.” .
A short time previously to the date of the above letter the two Christian Jews and the Armenian were most unexpectedly set at liberty. This was effected through the influence of some of the countrymen of the latter, to whose care they had been confided by Mr. Leeves. One of them tbus describes the event.
66 On Thursday, March 15, at four o'clock in the evening, by order of his majesty the Grand Seignor, the poor Christian-Jews and the Armenian, Bagtasar, were liberated from the bagnio. Bagtasar went to his own house, and the two others were sent to our patriarch, who received them with great pleasure, and with paternal affection. On Friday morning I had the honor of going to see them, and of clothing them in their new clothes with my own hands. I consider it as a favor of Almighty God to have seen and ministered to the wants of these persons, and I thank him for that moment.
“You will learn more at length from the Wortabet Joseph the circumstances of the liberation of these now happy men. With how many trials has the good God proved them. His holy will be praised !"
The unhappy Peter was suffered by the Armenians to remain in prison, but through the exertions of his Jewish brethren he was after a while released. The interest attached to the history of those who 6 endured unto the end,” will justify the following quotation from a letter of Mr. Hartley. Speaking of John Baptist, who had been with him at Smyrna for a few weeks, he says
“He has great zeal for the conversion of his countrymen and of others, and has already been rendered useful to several persons. There are from eight to twelve Jews at Constantinople, who thirst for an opportunity of being baptised. To one of them, in particular, I wish to direct your attention : be is a young man, eighteen years old, of a very rich family, and relat
ed by marriage to a late distinguished Jew at Constantinople : after John Baptist's release from prison, he came to visit him, in order to hold controversies with him: the issue has been, that he has become a believer in Jesus Christ, and is exceedingly eager to be baptized: he professes himself willing to lose all the wealth of his family, and to part with father, mother, and friends, for the sake of Jesus Christ : nay, what is the most extraordinary, undeterred by the sufferings from which our two young friends have so recently escaped, he expresses a willingness to prove all the horrors of the prison, and of death itself, if God should call him to that trial.
66 John Baptist has been treated with much kindness by the Armenians, nor am I aware that they have ex. acted from him any observance inconsistent with a good conscience : he partook daily at the table of the Armenian Bishop, and has also been furnished by him with lodgings.
It has been customary for later writers to estimate the number of Jews in European Turkey at 300,000. I cannot persuade myself, however, there are more than 200,000. In Seres there are said to be 5 or 6000. In Philippopoli 200, in Tartar Bazargik, 300. Some thousands should perhaps be reckoned for Yassy, Bucharest, Adrianople, Rodosto, and the lesser towns in Moldavia, Wallachia, and Romania. If to these be added the highest estimates of Constantinople and Salonica, they will still fall short of the number 1 have stated.
JEWS OF ASIA.
Smyrna-Visits to Jewish families—Uproar in the Synagogue
Aged females-Schools—The Passover-Asia Minor-SyriaPalestine-Jerusalem-Missionary labors in Greece-Reasons for returning to America-Memorials of missionary brethrenWhole number of Jews in the world— The ten tribes Return of the Jews to Palestine--Different sects-Efforts for their im. provement.
Smyrna, Jan. 17, 1827. Many of the principal Greeks, both teachers and priests have called on us, and we daily read the Scriptures with some young men in Greek and Italian. I wish I could speak as favorably of the Jews, but longer time will be necessary to overcome the shyness which most of them manifest. As in other places, my first visits here have been to their synagogues and burying ground. On one occasion we were invited by a respectable Jew who is in the employment of a Frank merchant, to accompany him to his house. A part of the room in which we were received was one or two feet above the other. This was carpeted and furnished with cushions on which the lady of ihe house was sitting richly dressed and surrounded by a large company of sons and daughters. We were treated with sweetmeats and coffee, and the children gathered around me to read from the Hebrew Psalter. They told me also their names of Abraham, Sarah, Benjamin, &c., to which I at