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churches, one for every province, and land. No improvements are made. two in the Province of Syracuse. Plows and other implements of agriThere are about twenty stations where culture are like those used centuries the Gospel is preached more or less ago. The country in many places is regularly. Nothing would be easier practically abandoned, and, while than to increase their number, be- Sicily under the Romans was the cause the Waldensian Board of Evan- granary of Italy, now the wheat gelization often receives petitions grown in the island is not sufficient signed by fifty or sixty people from for the needs of the population. various localities asking for an evan- Food is not cheaper than in the gelist. Two petitions are now in the United States and salaries are very hands of the writer, but owing to the low. A man who works for eleven lack of means those who ask for help hours per day will get twenty cents, must wait. The work is carried on
one-quarter of a gallon of light wine by six ordained pastors and by five and two pounds of boiled beans seaevangelists. There are also five day
soned with olive oil. He must buy schools with twenty-four teachers,
his own bread. It is not surprising with more than one thousand chil
that so many emigrate to North and clren.
South America. In some towns oneChristian work in Sicily is difficult
third of the population has left and for several reasons.
There are some flourishing cities, such as Palermo,
many more are eager to leave.
A second plague of the country is Messina, Catania ; but in the small
usury. towns the greatest poverty prevails.
A man who lends his money The land, instead of being in the
at 8 or 10 per cent. per year is conhands of many small proprietors, be
sidered very honest; many get as longs to a few landowners who are
much as 50, 60, 70, even 250 per "absentees," like the landlords of Ire- cent.
THE EVANGELICAL WALDENSIAN CIRCH OF PACHINO, SICILY
The Sicilians have some very fine to the ground!). When a man is lyqualities. They are temperate, al- ing in the dust he is helpless and it tho Sicily is a wine-growing coun- is easy to rob him of all his belongtry. They are warm-hearted, intelli- ings. The people are nevertheless gent; the family ties are very strong ; very religious in their own way and but they use too freely their kniyes every murderer is a devotee of some and their guns. When a man has particular saint. The Virgin Mary is committed a murder he can not take a great favorite with many of them. to the woods, because the forests The Patron Saint of Palermo is have been cut down, but he takes to Santa Prosalia, who lived long, long the fields. Owing to the state of in- ago. Do not dishonor Santa Rosalia security in which unprotected people before a Palermitan if you hold are, the inhabitants live in towns, so your life dear. Every year in the that it is easy for a brigand to re- month of July it is the habit to ormain unmolested. When spurred by ganize a grand procession in honor necessity for food he swoops down on of the saint. Her statue, made of those who are compelled to go from solid silver, is carried through the town to town in order to attend to streets by the corporation of the their business. In America a robber masons. The statue leaves the cawill enter a car, level his revolver thedral at 10 p. m. and should return and say: "Ilands up!" In Sicily a by 5 or 6 in the morning. Last year robber says: “Faccia a terra!" (Face the masons who had in charge the
statue were all drunk before the
Now usual round was finished, and they church buildings are open to the left it alone in a street, and the mu- public, often in the principal thornicipality was obliged to send the oughfare and unmolested. Now we firemen to carry the statue back to can worship God in spirit and in the cathedral.
truth. The influence of the Gospel The Sicilians are poor, but instead has been felt at large. Last year the of going to work when they can find Sindaco, or major, of a town of employment they prefer to gamble. 25.000 inhabitants was ready to give We have still in Italy, at the begin- is free of cost and furnished the ning of the twentieth century, the school rooms if only the Board of public lottery which is the monopoly Evangelization would supply
supply the of the government.
Five numbers teachers and pay their salaries. The out of 90 are drawn every Saturday teachers were at liberty to speak to in seven different towns. A man will the children about Christ and His gain in proportion to the numbers he Word. Not long ago our children has guessed and in proportion to the were boycotted in the municipal amount he has paid. But generally schools. They were insulted both by he loses. Too many chances are in
teachers and children; now in many favor of the government, which re- places our own teachers, well known ceives in that way a profit of $20,- for their religious principles, have 000,000 a year. On Friday the rooms been enrolled by the municipal auwhere the employees of the lottery thorities. We can preach in the pubreceive the money of the deluded lic squares; our evangelists are often people are a sad sight; they are invited to speak at public meetings. crowded with men and women of the When going from place to place they lower classes who bring there their distribute tracts and portions of the last cents. They lose and will begin Gospel. The work accomplished has again the following week.
been greatly blessed. If all those With so many difficulties barring who are fully convinced that the the way, it is not surprising if the Gospel is the truth had the courage progress of the Gospel has not been to come forward and make a public greater, but we have no reason to be profession of faith our church memdisheartened; our churches with their bership would be at least ten times membership full of enthusiasm, ou more numerous. How many, like Sabbath-schools, our day schools are Nicodemus, come to Jesus at night! there to testify that the work has not One is afraid to lose his situation, been in vain and that the Word of another that his relatives will abanGod has not returned to Him void. don him, a third that it will be imNotice the advance made outside possible for him
possible for him to get marriet . the regular congregations. Religious What we need is a new Pentecost, an liberty is now a fact. At the begin- abundant outpouring of the Holy ning of the mission our pastors were Spirit. Let the Christian people bear stoned, the evangelicals were perse- us on their hearts and pray God to cuted, and public worship was held in bless the efforts of His people.
BY REV. JOHN VAN ESS, BUSRAH, TURKISH ARABIA
Missionary of the Reformed Church in America If you look at the map of Meso- the boat is an easier prey for the pipotamia you will see an inverted tri- rate, The traveler who is seen to angle formed on the one side by the be unarmed or insufficiently armed Tigris, on the other by the Eu- finds himself suddenly pelted by a phrates, and having as its irregular hail of Martini bullets, and, before base the Shatt-el-Hai.
he can collect his thoughts, stripped and years British river steamers have of all his belongings, thankful if life skirted this triangle on the Tigris is mercifully left him. Dead men side, and the well-dressed European tell no tales. sitting on the decks has always car- Such Arabs inhabit this triangle ried away as his strongest impres- of country-cutthroats, every one. sion of this river trip the hordes of They are called Ma’dan or, by savage Arabs which, in the fall, some, Beni Ma'ad, and are held in crowd the banks, screaming after the such contempt that to call a Munship, fighting with one another for tefik Arab from Nasariyeh a Ma'eidi the dates and bread thrown to them is to invite a brawl. No white man as alms, and performing grotesque has ever penetrated their country, dances for the amusement of the and for a Turk to attempt it would passengers.
be suicidal. The Euphrates side of the triangle Why, then, did I try it? is too shallow for steam traffic, yet 1. Because I believe the Cross can hundreds of native craft yearly ply and should always precede the Flag. its waters as far up as old Kufa. For two years past rumors have been No day passes without its tale of rife of an attempt to make the cut robbery and bloodshed, for the tri- from Amara to Shattra by foreign angle Arabs, finding sailboats an exploring parties. Eight months ago easier prey than the “smoke-boat, one party tried and failed. Three do not hesitate to take a heavy toll months ago the French made the in plunder and blood. For a stretch same trial and were stopped by the of eighty miles, from Gurna on, the Turks. . With pardonable pride we Euphrates is especially dangerous, can know that the Stars and Stripes for, through the wanton neglect of tried and went through, and with it the Turkish government, it has run and over it the banner of the Cross. into a huge marsh, the channel be- 2. With life so short and such a ing marked only by a narrow path large section entirely on my shoulthrough the high reeds. In the ders and conscience; with high waspring, when the water is high, the ter, cool weather, good health, now, Arabs lurk in the reeds, ten, twenty if ever, was the chance. and thirty canoes together, each that an unarmed Gospel can go farholding five men. When
ther than an armed government, I comes skimming along, if under full took the chance. sail, the mast is deftly shot away, 3. Six months ago I had the privand in the confusion that follows ilege of traveling to Bombay with the canoes dart out, plunder and kill, Sir W. Willcocks, one of the foreif need be, and swiftly retire into most British irrigation engineers, the marsh, whither none can or dare who had been prospecting as far up follow. If there be no wind, or if as Bagdad for an irrigation syndithe wind be contrary and the sailors cate. Partly at his request, and partly are lazily rowing or punting along, to satisfy my own curiosity, I de
* Condensed from Neglected Arabia, the quarterly letters of the Arabian Mission,
termined to collect as many data as ing Vasariyeh a friendly Turk had possible which might have a scientific pressed a 44-caliber Smith-Wesson value.
revolver into my hand. Why I took On the 1st of May, 1905, it I don't know, but there it was, started from Vasariyeh, our out- and at the captain's head. Thus perstation on the Euphrates, where I suaded, he called the sailors and had been spending a month. The
crept out to the shore, lashing the party consisted of
a captain, two bow firmly around his waist. The sailors, myself and cook, a Syrian wind was howling fiercely, peal on Jacobite. The first day up the Shatt- peal of thunder crashed through the el-Ilai was uneventful, along a route sky, the rain fell in torrents, and well traveled and safe. Unfortu- there in the bow of the boat nately, owing to a dam, our boat crouched your missionary, with raingrounded about a mile down the soaked khakis, keeping the sailors streani. With the sun already low, at their posts with a revolver. It I did not relish the idea of spending was incongruous, and I laughed in the night in that wild plain, so the black night, for I imagined how pushed on afoot to persuade the I would have looked in an American keepers of the dam to open long pulpit in that attitude.
And so we enough to give my boat sufficient waited drearily till morning, when water to pull up. There were two we crossed and settled in the khan. of them, armed with rifles, and al- After a few days I broached the ready in an ugly temper owing to subject of crossing the triangle to two boats of Turks who had been the local governor, but was met with jollying for a
for three a blunt refusal. He avowed that four hours past. At last, by duly impress- regiments of soldiers could not pass ing upon them my friendship with that way, that I would be summarily the pasha at Nasariyeh, and after butchered, etc. All he could do was many a threat and some scuffling, to give me a guard to Hataman, a with an oath they broke away a cor- small trading-post twenty miles inner of the mud dam.
After two land. So I concluded to take that hours the boat love in sight
and trust to fortune to get away At Sunrise the dam was entirely from Hataman. The guard, howdemolished, and we proceeded to ever, did not come, and secretly glad Shattra, a large and thriving town, to be free of their scrutiny, in the and a center of trade with the Arabs. early morning of May 6 we floated
Utterly fatigued, we made the boat past the governor's house and a few fast and fell asleep. At midnight I miles down entered the Beda, was awakened by a loud clap of small stream leading inland. For thunder. The wind had veered, and eight hours we followed its devious was blowing a hurricane, and the course, until it led into a large inboat madly tossing about. From land lake, at this time of the year the peculiar motion I could feel that deep, and fully four miles wide. the stern had become loosened and At four in the afternoon we that in a few minutes the bow, too, reached Hataman, a village of mud would give way, and we miglit be huts, governed by a mudir.
He is driven to the other side, probably to a fatherly old Arab, a Bagdadi by be upset or crushed by collision with birth, and proberbially hospitable. the boats on the opposite shore. I When I stated my errand he frowned called loudly to the captain to get and called a council of the leading up and tie fast, but he was already Arabs to consider the proposal.
The awake, shivering with fear, and his unanimous verdict was that the lightonly reply was to lie whining and haired Franjy would be too marked calling on Allah for help. On leav- a specimen even in native dress, and