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The station, you know, has been chosen not so much on account of its own most bigoted people, as a safe and convenient centre, for operations of the press on the Mediterranean countries.
These missionaries of four different societies, together with a few other residents, are very harmoniously and efficiently associated in the Malta Bible, and Jews' committees. Dr. Naudi, a Maltese gentleman, is secretary of the latter.
The general reader will excuse the following additional notices of the present date, (1829,) for the benefit of those, who are particularly interested in protestant missions to the Mediterranean.
Mr. Jowett at the close of a second seven years' residence, has again returned for a twelve month, with his family to England. Rev. Mr. Shlienz, who had previously joined the mission, is chiefly engaged upon Arabic, and the languages of Abyssinia. Five other German missionaries, viz. Rev. Messrs. Gobat, Kruse, Kugler, Lieder and Mueller, in the service of the same society, still continue their labors in Egypt. Two of them regard Abyssinia as their ultimate destination, while the others have directed their attention more to the condition of the Coptic churches. Rev. Messrs. Hildner and Major, also from Germany, are stationed in the Ionian Islands. Rev. Mr. Hartley and Dr. Korck, the former from England, and the latter from Germany, but both likewise of the Church Missionary Society, are laboring in Smyrna and the Archipelago. Rev. Mr. Lowndes, the associate of Mr. Wilson, is engaged in various publications at Corfu, in the Ionian Islands. Besides a lexicon and tracts in modVol. I.
ern Greek, he has published for the Bible Society, the New Testament in Albanian. Mr. Rule had removed from the Mediterranean to the West Indies. Rev. Mr. Croggon and Dr. Bialloblotzk, likewise of the Methodist Society, are stationed in the Ionian Islands; and Rev. Dr. Macpherson, in Egypt. The missionaries of this society carry forward no printing operations. Their labors, whether at Gibraltar, Malta, Zante, or Alexandria, are directed more especially to the British soldiers and residents.
Rev. Mr. Temple, who had been called within short intervals of each other, to part with his wife and two children, is now on a visit to this country. Rev. Messrs. Goodell, Bird and Smith, have left Syria, in consequence of the unsettled state of the country, and reestablished themselves at Malta. In addition to Italian and Greek, printing in Armenian, Arabic and Turkish, is now executed at the American press.
Rev. Mr. King after travelling extensively in Palestine and the East, is now laboring in Greece under the patronage of a society of ladies in the city of New York. The author of this volume, with one or more female assistants, expects shortly to resume his labors there, in the service of the New Haven Ladies' Greek Association.
In the same country also, Rev. Mr. Robertson is performing an exploring tour, with the view of establishing a mission under the direction of the (American) Protestant Episcopal Missionary Society. Rev. Mr. Anderson, assistant secretary of the American Board of Missions, is absent on a like tour. Rev. Messrs. Dwight and Whiting, have recently been ordained by the same Board, with reference to the Mediterranean mission.
Rev. Messrs. Wolff, Lewis, Neat, Nicolayson, and Dr. Clarke, are in the service of the London Jews Society; the former at Jerusalem, and most of the others for the time being in the south of Italy.
Rev. Mr. Leeves, the agent of the British and Foreign Bible Society, has left Constantinople, and lately returned to England, but Mr. Barker still maintains his post at Smyrna.
Thus it appears, that more than thirty protestant missionaries and “ Bible men” have within the last few years, entered on their labors in the Mediterranean countries. They have been sent forth from different nations, and by societies following different modes of worship. All however agree in the fundamental principle, that “the Bible, and the Bible only, is the rule of faith and practice ;” and all, it is to be hoped, are bound together by the ties of Christian affection. May Christians of every name not cease to pray,
66 that it may please God to illuminate them, with true knowledge and understanding of his word; and that both by their preaching and living, they may set it forth and shew it accordingly.”
Some changes for the better during the interval of my first and last visit, had taken place in the condition of Malta. A new coinage had been issued, instead of the troublesome currency of the knights. The jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Bishop's court, has been restricted to causes, purely ecclesiastical; and in various other particulars, a curb put upon the arrogance of the priests. The business of the courts, and of the government generally, is required to be transacted in the English language, though the government gazette is still published in both Italian and English.
Public begging had also been prohibited, while by the introduction of the cochineal insect, the cultivation of silk, and in other ways, the government were endeavoring to provide employment for the poor. Malta as well as Gibraltar, is a free port, but the decline of its commerce within the last few
has compelled thousands of the Maltese to emigrate to the Barbary States, Smyrna, Constantinople, and the lonian Islands. Thus far, this people have derived little benefit from their connexion with the English ; but a new era seems to be dawning. Messrs. Wilson and Keeling are about to establish schools, with the countenance of government, for the instruction of the Maltese children, and Mr. Jowett is publishing in England, the entire New Testament in their language. There is in Malta a Catholic College of ancient date, in which Dr. Naudi is professor of chemistry. His brother conducts a school of mutual instruction, of more than three hundred pupils. It is patronized by the British and Foreign School Society, An enlightened catholic priest, has also a flourishing school in one of the villages. In general however, very few of the Maltese, children or adults, are able to read.
In common with the English missionaries, our countrymen are subject to some restrictions in the conduct of the press. They are not at liberty to publish any book or tract, without the express sanction of the authorities, nor to circulate on the island those, which have been published there. Mr. King's farewell let. ter, and a few other works only, bearing directly on the Roman catholic religion, have as yet been refused publication.
Malta, on the whole, may be regarded as not insalubrious, though it seems desirable, that those who resort thither from colder climates, should occasionally change their place of residence. This is practised, not only by merchants and missionaries, but the government find it for their interest, to pursue the same course with their soldiers. During the
mercury ranges for the most part, between 88° and 95°, and in winter, is seldom lower than 14°. Alternate and sudden changes from heat to cold, are not unfrequent. During the prevalence of one of the southerly winds, we found the heat oppressive in December, and the inhabitants close their doors and windows, to guard against its effects.
Provisions, clothing* and labor, are comparatively cheap, but fuel is very dear. Sheep, goats, mules, asses, poultry, fish, fruits and vegetables, are abundant; cattle are mostly brought from Tripoli.
Malta is centrally and conveniently situated with reference to the countries, which the press is designed to benefit. Still some of the missionaries of the three different nations, and particularly those who have visited Malta, Turkey and Greece, have for some time past been of the opinion, that too great a part of the disposable force, was stationed among a people, who seem at present little accessible to their instructions. The British and Foreign Bible Society have for several years been printing the scriptures very advan
* We suggested to our brethren, the expediency of sending back a particular statement of such articles, as it was desirable to bring from America. The remark is worthy the attention of missionaries elsewhere.