[From Colonial Church Chronicle and Missionary Journal, Vol. III (No. XXXII) (February, 1850), pages 287-292; (No. XXXIII) (March, 1850), pages 330-333; Vol. IV (No. XXXVII) (July, 1850), pages 12-20; (No. XXXIX) (September, 1850), pages 89-95; (No. XLI) (November, 1850), pages 166-173; (No. XLIV) (February, 1851), pages 290-293; (No. XLV) (March, 1851), pages 329-333.]
 [The above interesting narrative is compiled (from the papers in the possession of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel), by the Rev. J. P. Fletcher, who accompanied the Rev. G. P. Badger to Mosul in 1842. This Mission was conducted under the auspices of the two great Societies, for Promoting Christian Know1edge, and for the Propagation of the Gospel, and received the entire approval of the late Primate, and of the Bishop of London. Ed.]
FOR fourteen hundred years the greater portion of the Eastern Christians have been alienated from Western Christendom, as well as from the Orthodox Eastern Church. During this period of separation, the English Church has had few [287/288] opportunities of making herself acquainted with the real sentiments of these communities, interesting as much for their antiquity as for the tenacity with which they have preserved the Christian faith, though surrounded by the followers of the false prophet. All that was known of them latterly, was derived chiefly from the representations of their enemies, from the report of the emissaries of that Church, whose grand aim and object has been to denounce as heretical or schismatical all those who have refused to pay homage to her usurped supremacy. It was, therefore, but an act of fairness and Christian charity, that measures should be taken to ascertain what these Oriental Communities really did teach, and whether they still maintained or had either openly or tacitly abandoned the errors, which in early ages separated them from the communion of the Catholic Church.
A step in advance had been taken by the Episcopal Church in America, which sent out the Rev. Horatio Southgate, on a mission of inquiry to the Eastern Churches. The interesting records of the intercourse which passed between him and several Chaldean and Jacobite Syrian Prelates and Priests, made known the fact, that the Orientals were disposed to look with earnest hope and kindly feeling towards the Reformed Churches of England and America. Letters were addressed to various members of the English Church, entreating the sympathy of English Christians for the oppressed and suffering professors of the same faith. The wishes and desires of Oriental Bishops were represented as favourable to the renewal of an intercourse, so long suspended between Eastern and Western Christendom. The two great Societies, therefore, of the English Church, could scarcely do less than respond in some mode or other, to the amicable expressions of the Oriental Christians, and to the frequently repeated desires that measures might be taken to open friendly communication with them.
In the year 1840, Messrs. Ainsworth and Rassam, who were then engaged in the service of the Royal Geographical Society, were requested by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, to visit and report on the state of the Christians in Kurdistan. The following extracts from the report forwarded by those gentlemen to the Society, will perhaps be interesting to our readers, and will show the feelings of the Chaldean Christians towards the Church of England. Messrs. Ainsworth and Rassam began their investigations at Amadiyeh, a border town of the Kurdish frontier.
"From Amadiyeh, we sent a messenger to Ishiyah, metropolitan of Berrawi, to inform him of our arrival, and of our intention to pay our respects to him.
 As soon as an answer came, which was after two days, we started for the pass, and ascending the mountain, we soon made a brief descent into a cheerful and wooded valley to the Chaldean village of Haiys, where we found the Bishop, who, although an old man, had walked from Duri, a distance of nine miles, to meet us.
Welcoming us in the most urbane manner, he held his hand to be kissed--a custom common in this country--and accompanied it by expressions of civility and regard. The Bishop wished to walk back, but we mounted him upon one of our mules, while the Chaplain, with a hooked stick, and Kasha Mandu walked before.
Nothing could be more gratifying to us, after a prolonged residence amidst proud Mohammedans and servile Christians, than to observe on this our little procession, the peasants running from the villages, even a mile distant, and flocking to kiss the hand of the benevolent white-haired dignitary. This was also done with the head bare, a practice unknown among the Christians of Turkey in Asia, and so great was the anxiety to perform this act of kindly reverence, that little children were held up in the arms of their fathers to partake in it. The priest, Kasha Mandu, also came in for his share of congratulations and welcomings. We need scarcely remark that these simple, kind cordial habits of the people, and the immediate conviction of the benefit which the influence of a Christianity, more simple, more pure, and more effective than in the plains, had been able to effect among these mountaineers; and the impression thus received at the very onset was corroborated afterwards by everything that we saw of them.
We were received at the bishop's house upon the roof, the most agreeable place at this season of the year, and pleasantly overshadowed in the daytime by large mulberry trees. Men, women, and children came indiscriminately, to satisfy their curiosity by looking at the strangers, or to participate in the conversation. After evening prayers, meals were brought, and all retired to rest upon the same roof.
The next morning before daybreak, communion was given in Mar Kifoma, the little church on the cliff. The form and manner of administering the Holy Communion was very simple, and unlike that of other Oriental Churches, who exhibit much ostentation of embroidered towels and napkins, &c. In the present case, the first preparation consisted in purification by frankincense, a deacon holding the chafing dish, while each in succession exposed his hands to the smoke. The Bishop then took in his hands a copper vessel, which contained the consecrated [289/290] bread, while the priest held another copper cup, used instead of a chalice, to contain the consecrated wine--in the present case represented by the water of raisins. Each person approached the Bishop in succession, and received from him the bread, putting his hands one upon another lest any of the substance should fall upon the ground. After this he went to the priest and partook of the cup; then drawing back to make way for another, and putting his hand to his face, remained for some time in inward prayer and meditation. In the morning we visited the larger church of Duri. It presented to our examination, like almost all others, a simply constructed vaulted building of stone, into which light was admitted by very small apertures in the upper part of the west or rear gable end. The altar was a simple table of stone, and behind it was a recess for the communion-table, approached by a low door-place laterally.
This portion of the church is held as sacred. Upon the altar, or near to it, were the whole complements of the Church Service, consisting of manuscript copies of the New Testament and Liturgy, a brass cross, a bell to ring, an incense chafing dish, and two decent copper vessels for chalice and paten. It is to be observed, that generally the interior of their churches are lined with printed cottons, dresses, or other ornamental stuffs, but, since it was time of war, these were taken down for fear of plunder. The cross used by the Chaldeans is rather emblematic than figurative, of the instrument of Christ's suffering and our redemption. It is a simple cross, and not a crucifix; nor do they ever use crucifixes or crosses having images upon them. They have a more marked dislike to graven images in their churches, than even the Protestants of Europe. Here Protestant Churches have still a few remaining in some churches, although they neither bow, nor kneel, nor pray before them, nor kiss them, nor light lamps, nor offer incense before them; but the Chaldean has no pictures nor images, and regards such in the light of a most superstitious idolatry.
The ceremony of kissing sacred things is still in use in the Chaldean Church, but is confined to the cross on the door, the cross on the altar, the Holy Scriptures and Liturgy, and the bishop's or priest's hand. In many of the villages a cross is also sculptured on a stone at a prominent place, and is sometimes kissed by the devout in coming in or on going out. Most of the Chaldeans make the sign of the cross at prayer, but this is, perhaps, a form introduced, as the Patriarch was not seen to observe this ceremony, although he did not rebuke others for its performance.
There are no seats in the churches, and the men and women stand together; the females do not cover their faces as those of [290/291] other Christian Churches of the East, nor are they in any way prevented from having open communication with friends or with strangers. In conversations held between the Bishop and Mr. Rassam, the former asked many questions concerning the doctrine and government of the Church of England. Among the most interesting of these were his inquiries as to whether the priests of England put the consecrated bread into the mouths of the people, or communicate them with the bread only. Upon Mr. R. explaining that our forms were here similar, he was much pleased. He said he had thought there was no Church in the world which communicated as the Old Churches did. He asked concerning the penance of fasting. Mr. R. told him that fasting is enjoined in the Liturgies on many occasions, and is almost generally practised on certain particular days, but on other occasions it is kept by some, and disregarded by others. The Bishop said, 'We attach importance to the act of fasting, because our Lord said to the Jews concerning his disciples, "As long as the bridegroom is on earth they do not fast, but when he has ascended they will fast."' Mr. Rassam, on his part, made direct inquiries regarding the Sacraments of the Chaldean Church. The Metropolitan answered, 'Two Sacraments only are mentioned in our Liturgies, Baptism and the Eucharist, and so the fathers of our Church taught us; but the rest' (and he enumerated more than the Papists do, evidently considering the word Sacrament in its original light, 'holy thing or mystery,' and applying it to consecration of churches, &c.) 'are only holy ordinances, or forms of the Church.'
He remarked, that no layman can enter into the holy place in their churches; for if such an intrusion took place, the Bishop or Priest must consecrate it again.
The aged dignitary expressed at length his feelings of deep regret at the corruption and apostasy which had found their way into this Church, a Church which, he enthusiastically said, had stood from the earliest times of Christianity, amid all kinds of difficulties, reverses, and persecutions. Often had they seen their brethren sold as slaves, their churches pillaged, and their books destroyed, 'yet,' he continued, 'thank God, we are still as we are, only it is a great pity there should be apostates among us.'
The Bishop expressed his anxiety to write to his Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury, to return thanks for the interest felt in the Chaldean Church, but we considered it best to delay this till after seeing the Patriarch. After thus spending a day and a half with this worthy prelate, we left for the Tiyari country, accompanied by two of the Bishop's relatives, whom he sent with us as guides, and as a further introduction.
 On arriving at Lízín the people came out to meet us, and led us to the roof of a house in the village. As they kept assembling in large numbers, we repaired to the less exposed and shady yard of Mar-yurgio, or St. George's Church, situated on the banks of the Zab, about half a mile from the village."
(To be continued.)  MISSION TO KURDISTAN IN 1842.* [Continued from page 292.]
"HERE we were soon joined by the Melík and the priest of Lízín, a tall intelligent-looking man, who wore spectacles, a rare thing in the East, and which added to his naturally rather studious and thoughtful aspect. Our visitors thought at first that we were Franks and Papists; but when Mr. Rassam explained to them that we were English and Protestants, they eagerly asked for information regarding the forms of our Church, and our feelings upon the errors of the Pope and Papists. They expressed themselves highly delighted with the result of the explanations given, and even said that it was highly dangerous for a Papist to come into the country; a manner of speaking common on all occasions in the mountains, where they are very fond, Christians and Kurds, of reminding you that it is only by favour that your appearance there is tolerated. Mr. Rassam spent the evening in reading the Scriptures and Liturgies in Chaldean, and also commented upon one of the Epistles of St. Paul. During conversation, they said they had heard about the English, but that they had not heard of their Church or doctrines. They only knew that the doctrines of Europe were good in former times, but that they had many councils, and had become corrupted from the original The priest of Lízín, Kasha Kena, spoke much against confession, which he said was the invention of man. He quoted St. James, and added, Christ wishes us to repent in the heart, and not to make an illusion with our mouth.and acting as civil governor. We accordingly stopped in a neighbouring village, and sent a messenger to announce our arrival, and to place ourselves at his disposal. We did this because we knew that much jealousy existed among the Kurds with regard to any foreign relations that might be entertained [330/331] by the Patriarch, and still more especially if they were Christians; and thus he might wish to see us privately. Our conjectures were correct; for our messengers brought the request of the Patriarch that we would go that evening to a small Armenian village called Pagi, and where we were received by his brother Yuhánná, or John.
The Patriarch himself came early the next morning, and after the usual compliments, inquiries regarding our journey, &c., he requested information as to our objects in visiting this secluded country. Mr. Rassam mentioned to him briefly and simply the chief of these objects, and the wishes of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. He was evidently quite unacquainted with the doctrines of the Church of England, and consequently at first alarmed at the proposal to establish amicable relations with what might differ from him in principle or practice. 'The Pope,' he said, 'has sent people from Rome who have seduced part of our Church. His doctrine is new, but ours is old; we never changed our forms of worship, but we keep to, and abide by, what was delivered to us by the Apostles and our fathers; therefore you must know that we never change our doctrine nor our forms of worship.' Mr. Rassam immediately explained that it was not the wish of the Society to make the Chaldean Church subject to the Church of England, as the Pope does those Churches he enters into relation with subject to the Church of Rome; but to help them, by educating the youths, by printing books, and by endeavouring to restore to its primitive purity the knowledge and civilization possessed by the followers of the Chaldean Church; that the Church of England would be very sorry to interfere in the modes of worship in the old Church; that it labours not to increase the power of any particular Church or bishop, but to unite the Church all over the world in brotherly love and sound doctrine; that it is not their wish to make them abandon their rites for ours, but to induce them to free and amicable relations, in order that if they have errors, these may be rectified by themselves; but more especially, in order that by the assistance given in teaching and printing, the truths of the Gospel may be more generally diffused, and the advantage of sound moral and religions education may gradually make itself felt throughout the country
That we had, further, much pleasure in informing him upon another point, in proof that we came to succour and help, and not to produce disunion, viz. that the Chaldean Church and the Church of England agree in most of their doctrines. The Patriarch was exceedingly surprised at this, as he had been led to understand that the families of American Congregationalists, [331/332] who are engaged in the good work of teaching the youth of the Chaldeans inhabiting the plains of Persian Kurdistan, belonged to the Church of England; and he had learnt that they had no Liturgy, no express form of prayer, and acknowledged no Apostolic succession.
We, however, informed the Patriarch that there were among us many zealous Christians who seemed to have read the Bible, rather to invent new doctrines, and rebel against the Church, than to give them increase of wisdom and holiness, and have preferred following doctrines so invented, rather than that of the Bishops who are appointed to teach the nations, and with the whole body of whom the Lord has promised to be; that these persons have seceded from the Church of England, and have corrupted the doctrines of Christianity, but as we do not think these corruptions so bad as to destroy the Christian faith, we do not call them heresies.
During conversation, the priest who came with us from Amadiyeh presented to the Patriarch a brass crucifix, made at Rome. The Patriarch took it in his hand, and after looking at it a little while, he shook it before the priest's face, saying, 'The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men's hands; they have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not; they have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths. They that make them are like unto them, so is every one that trusteth in them.' He continued about a minute after this turning it over and over, looking at it, and repeating the words, 'Oh, unbelievers!--oh, blasphemers!' But the priest, who became much frightened when he saw the anger of the Patriarch, wished to make an apology, and said, 'Father, there is nothing in it; it is merely the representation of the Crucifixion of our Saviour.' The Patriarch answered, that 'Christ had suffered once, and had entered into glory; he will neither suffer nor die any more. Such things must be made by Jews, who delight in representing the sufferings of Jesus Christ, and not by Christians, who ought to rejoice, inasmuch as Christ for their sake suffered and died, and conquered death:' He then threw the cross away. We learned afterwards, that the priest had obtained this unfortunate present, which thus brought him into disgrace, from the Roman Catholic Bishop, Mar Yusuf, and he had accepted it, thinking it was very pretty, and that there was no harm in it. The circumstance, however, led the Patriarch, for a moment, to think that we were concerned in the matter, and that there was Roman Catholicism in the back ground; so Mr. Rassam was obliged to join in the rebuke, and had we known of it before, the whole affair would have been avoided.
 The Patriarch, during further conversation, remarked that we came to him as a Mission, but as we were not ourselves going to commence the work in opening schools, we should oblige him by writing to our Church, and requesting them to send a priest, who has the power to do so. 'I will then enter into correspondence with your Church; but it must be distinctly understood, that we do not embrace strange doctrines, as the other Chaldeans did.' He then inquired further into the mode of worship of the Church of England, her Bishops and Clergymen, churches, schools, &c.; and the answers given were evidently very pleasing to him. He said, 'We had heard about the English nation, but we were ignorant about their Church.' Some of the Clergy present then put some questions concerning the marriage of the priesthood. We told them, that if a priest's wife dies, there is no opposition made to his taking another. 'This,' they said, 'is exactly like us; yet we thought that we were the only Christians who allow their Clergy to marry again, after they lose their wives.'
They then again referred to the discipline of the Congregationalists; they said, 'We do not know what kind of Christians these English are; their whole Liturgy and Communion appears to consist in singing psalms; and they use no Ecclesiastical dress. This appears to us very curious, because, from most ancient times, discipline and Liturgies were adopted in all the Christian Churches; and there cannot exist a Church, strictly so speaking, that remains divested (naked) of all Ecclesiastical rites.'
Poor people! in their primitive simplicity and remote seclusion, how little do they know of the diversity which motives of conscience among some, but the love of novelty, the ambition of distinction, or the spirit of opposition to existing institutions among others, has produced in other parts of the world. Mr. Rassam informed them, that if one of these ministers joined the Church of England, he must be ordained, as the Church considered them as people who had no apostolic ordination. The Patriarch said, 'I have given to them permission to open schools, but the children must go to Church and learn our doctrine.'
Mr. Rassam asked the Patriarch about printing a copy of the New Testament, and whether there was any particular copy that he might wish. He said, 'There is one translation only, let that be printed correctly.' He expressed his gratitude at the proposal of the Society, and what he was pleased to call, 'these great undertakings.'"
(To be continued.)  MISSION TO KURDISTAN IN 1842.  [Continued from p. 333.]
THE Reports of Messrs. Ainsworth and Rassam gave great satisfaction to those who viewed with increasing interest the prospect of commencing a friendly intercourse with the Churches of the East. Visions of former days began to present themselves to the minds of the more enthusiastic, while even the less sanguine admitted that there was much in the aspect of a Nestorian Church, purified from its peculiar errors, and resuming its former projects of Missionary zeal, to awaken the energies [406/407] and arouse the sympathies of English Churchmen. Nor were these ideas merely the effect of primitive associations or the reveries of ecclesiastical romance. A few considerations will show that the infusion of renewed life and vigour into the Christians of Assyria and Kurdistan might tend ultimately to the most important practical results.
The vast regions of central Asia have been generally considered as almost inaccessible to the foot of the Anglican Missionary. To train up for this task, and to send forth a succession of labourers chosen from the natives of a northern climate, and encumbered with the habits of civilized life, would be an act of almost unnecessary rigour. A sudden transportation to the barren deserts of Tartary, or of Western China, might prove fatal to those who found themselves cast off suddenly from the food, customs and companionship of an English home. But the Nestorians, accustomed to the alternations of heat and cold, assimilated in every respect to the natives of central Asia, would require only a knowledge of the language to begin their Missionary operations. In early days, courageous and devoted men had, to use the words of Gibbon, "followed the footsteps of the roving Tartar, and carried their spiritual arms beyond the great wall of China." Marco Polo, and an earlier traveller, William de Rubriquis, had found Nestorian communities flourishing in the regions of the remote East, and enjoying the protection even of Tartar sovereigns. The hardy and enterprizing nature of the people has suffered little change since those days, and there seems no valid reason for supposing that what has been once effected may not be repeated again.
There remained only one valid objection to be overcome by those who were desirous of organizing a Mission to the Nestorian Christians, and as it has been often mooted, it seems advisable to consider it at once in a candid and unprejudiced spirit.
The American Presbyterian Missionaries had for some time maintained a Mission at Ooromiah, in Persia, for the benefit of the Nestorians, and it was thought by some utterly inadvisable to intrude upon ground already preoccupied. Yet the Americans had confined their efforts chiefly to establishing schools in the Persian dominions; they had not meddled with the mountaineers of the Tirgari, to any extent, and the Patriarch himself, in his conversation with Mr. Ainsworth, seemed to express no very cordial approval of their system. Moreover, the efforts of the Church of England seemed more likely to be directed primarily to the Chaldean Christians of the plains, who, it was understood, were much annoyed at the interference of the Pope in the election of a foreign Patriarch, that had been thrust upon them in defiance of their ancient Canons.
 That our readers may be the better enabled to understand the nature of this interference, it will be necessary to take a retrospective view of the Nestorian Church of the sixteenth century. The descendants of the Patriarchs of Ctesiphon were, at the commencement of this epoch, the spiritual chiefs of the Nestorian community. The Bishops of Mesopotamia and Persia, of China and India, received with respect the mandates of one supreme head. But during the same period in which dissension and division were operating in the bosom of the Western Church, the Nestorian community was suffering from a contest between two rivals, who each aspired to the lofty rank of Catholicos of the East. Simeon Barmama, a man of hasty and imperious temper, had succeeded in securing the support of the majority; while his competitor, Sulaka, who claimed to himself the merit of upholding the ancient customs and doctrines of Eastern Christianity, was doomed to experience disappointment and defeat.
Enraged at his overthrow, the latter hastened to Rome, and throwing himself at the feet of Julius.III. abjured the Nestorian heresy, and promised to recognise the authority of the Italian pontiff. The latter was too ready to avail himself of the opportunity of acquiring influence in the affairs of the East, to be very scrupulous respecting the means employed: and Sulaka left Rome with a large sum of money, and the title of Patriarch of the Chaldean Church. Thus two adverse parties prevailed among the Nestorians, the one adhering to Sulaka, while the other ranked itself on the side of Simeon Barmama. A third competitor for the honours of the Patriarchate appeared during the following century, and a short time afterwards, the Christians who used the Chaldean rites were ranged under the distinct standards of the Josephs of Amida, the Eliases of Mosul, and the Simeons of Julamerk.
Of these three jurisdictions, that of the patriarchs who had assumed the official name of Joseph comprised the northern parts of Mesopotamia; while Elias of Mosul governed the Christians of the towns occupying the ancient site of Nineveh, with those of Baghdad and southern Mesopotamia, leaving to Simeon of Gelu the spiritual supervision of the Chaldeans of Kurdistan and northern Persia.
All the three patriarchs seem at various times to have held some intercourse with the Roman pontiff, but the most obedient of his creatures were the Josephs of Amida, the modern Diarbekir. At the commencement of the present century, however, Elias of Mosul, with the greater part of the Chaldean Church, acknowledged the papal supremacy, and a small and daily diminishing remnant, inhabiting the Kurdish mountains [408/409] and the north of Persia, were the only remnant of the Nestorian name.
The means by which the dominion of the Popes was extended in these regions appear more politic than satisfactory to one who considers the true nature of genuine Missionary operations. From time to time several establishments of Italian monks were formed in the principal cities; and these ecclesiastics exercised a constant control over the actions of the different Patriarchs. They watched the movements of the native Clergy with a jealous eye, and were always ready to seize a favourable moment for introducing some dogma or rite peculiarly Roman. Old men of Mosul have often complained to the compiler of these papers, that the churches of their fathers had suffered considerable alterations during their own time. They had witnessed the introduction of images, pictures, and confessionals, in the space of forty years.
But the wariness and subtlety of the Italian Missionaries would have proved of little avail, if unaccompanied by the liberal donations which were transmitted from time to time to the Patriarch and his Bishops, from the Society of the Propaganda. The fear of losing these substantial marks of papal good-will reconciled the Chaldean ecclesiastics to much which they would otherwise have opposed most vigorously.
Yet the measures of the innovators were upon the whole carried on with a cautious prudence which disarmed suspicion. The old Chaldean language was still employed in celebrating the same liturgies and rites which had obtained before the days of Sulaka, though perhaps here and there an observant eye might detect the insertion of a few lines designed to favour the teaching of Rome. Yet these small and trifling alterations, which might almost have passed unnoticed even in a service conducted in the common vernacular tongue, were hardly regarded in a bulky volume, the contents of which were partially obscured by the use of a language no longer spoken. The written Chaldean had for centuries been superseded by a jargon termed Fellahi, which is spoken in most of the villages near Mosul, and which differs from the literal in idiom and phraseology, as much as the modern Romaic does from the language of Thucydides and Xenophon. Many of the present Chaldeans do not even understand this patois, but use commonly the vernacular Arabic, which is the principal medium of communication in the south of Asiatic Turkey.
Had the innovations of the papal emissaries been confined exclusively to the ritual and liturgies, their efforts might have either escaped unnoticed, or have excited at the most the displeasure and discontent of a few. But emboldened by success, [409/410] they proceeded to measures which were too open and palpable to escape notice, and too novel and peculiarly Latin to meet the approval of those who gloried in the appellation of the Eastern Church. Waxen images and tawdry pictures, conveyed with much art and secrecy into their sacred edifices, excited alternately the ridicule and indignation of the idol-hating Chaldeans. When a few children at Mosul stole into a church, carried off a waxen doll intended to represent some favourite saint, and paraded their newly-acquired treasure through the streets, as those of the like age at home would do a favourite toy, those were not wanting who exclaimed against the absurdity of offering adoration to such ill-conceived resemblances, and the impiety and danger of infringing the second commandment. When the Latins offered the Chaldeans a dispensation from observing the Lent fast, they were met by the indignant remark, that the Pope had no authority to change or alter the laws of Christ and of the primitive Church. But the irritation created by the introduction of usages at once novel and objectionable might have subsided in a little time, if the Latins had not proceeded to an act which wounded at once the national feelings of the mass of the Chaldeans, and the family pride of some of the most influential and powerful persons among them. From very early times the patriarchal dignity had descended from uncle to nephew, in an unbroken succession, and this single vestige of hereditary priesthood was preserved by the Chaldeans with great jealousy and care. The first Roman missionaries perceived that any attempt to alter the existing practice would be followed by results unfavourable to their influence. The patriarchal family were the heads of the Chaldean community, and they derived the consideration which they enjoyed, solely from their connexion with the patriarch. If deprived of the privilege of giving a spiritual chief to their nation, they were sensible that their rank must be given up, and their superiority annihilated. The political and ecclesiastical power which they had in some measure shared with each successive patriarch, would be transferred to the hands of strangers and foreigners; and the chosen representative of the Chaldean aristocracy must yield his station and his rights to the nominee of a distant pontiff, to one who might be totally unconnected with the Chaldean nation, even by the ties of birth.
But it soon became evident that the great power and influence possessed by the patriarchal family would prove a great obstacle to the designs of Rome. If any of these spiritual chiefs chose to resist the mandates of the pope, it was easy for him to rally round his standard a host of influential supporters, aided by whom, he might treat all threats of deposition or excommunication with [410/411] contempt. But were the patriarchate in the hands of one who was nominated by Rome, and bound by no family ties to those whom he governed, the chances of opposition or rebellion would be much diminished. The unpopularity of the intruder would matter little, as it could only tend to impress more forcibly on his mind the fact, that his present position could only be maintained by cultivating the good-will and approval of the Roman pontiff.
Impelled by these considerations, the heads of the Propaganda determined to strike a direct blow at the liberties of the Chaldean Church. The last Mar Elias' death was followed by the election of a Persian bishop named Mar Nicholas, who was utterly unknown to the Christians of Mosul, and whose only claim to the patriarchate seemed to be, his having received his education at Rome. The patriarchal family were indignant beyond measure; and, had the nephew of the deceased shown the ability and courage requisite in such a crisis, he might have been the means of restoring the independence of the Chaldean Church. But by timidity and vacillation, he disgusted and alienated his warmest supporters, and was obliged at last to yield a hollow and unwilling compliance to the papal measures.
An extract from a letter dated September, 1841, addressed by the Rev. H. Southgate to the Secretary of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, will show the actual state of affairs at Mosul, during that period.
"In the course of my travels I visited Mossoul, and spent ten days with the Consul, Mr. Rassam. My business was among the Syrians, but I gained from him and others considerable information respecting the Chaldeans, and had some intercourse with them directly. I found those of Mossoul in a very interesting state, divided into three parties, which may be classed as thorough papists, moderate papists, and anti-papists. The first go all lengths in their subjection to the Pope; the second acknowledge his supremacy, but oppose the superstitions which it has been the policy of home to introduce into the Chaldean Church; the third have set their faces against him, and desire the deliverance of their Church from his control. Some of those, however, most devoted to the papal interests, lament the interruption of the regular succession to the Patriarchate, which in former times descended from uncle to nephew, (the patriarchs themselves not being allowed to marry,) but on the decease of the last patriarch was conferred, by a legate from Rome, on a stranger, a Chaldean of Persia, educated at Rome. The regular successor resides at Al-Kosh, nine hours from the city, and persists in claiming the patriarchal seat. He sent two messengers to Mossoul during my visit, for the purpose of proposing a union with the English Church. Others are looking to the same expedient. Their desire is that the rightful successor should enter upon the patriarchal office, at the head of those who favour his claim, or desire the rescue of the Church from the yoke of Rome; [411/412] that the independence of the Church should be declared, and, if possible, protection obtained from England. The last object secured, there can be no doubt of the success of all the rest. If the Chaldeans, under the true patriarch, (that is, all who do not profess allegiance to the Pope, which is, I believe, the distinction made in England as to those which shall receive protection from your government,)--if these, I say, could appeal in need to British aid, as the papal party look to France, there can be no reasonable doubt of the speedy and entire restoration of the Church. English influence is predominant in those regions; the sway of the Pope has been a hard one; national feeling would be strongly enlisted in favour of their own Patriarch and their own ancient Church; the old Chaldean cause would be the popular cause; and the old Church standards, the venerable Liturgy, to which they are strongly attached, and which for this very reason has suffered no essential change, would utter a voice of irresistible power. The action necessary on the part of the British government is simple and easy. It is only to give authority to the Consul at Mosoul to aid and protect the original Chaldeans. Mr. Rassam alone could accomplish everything that would be asked of British aid. At present, however, his hands are tied. He cannot act without authority. There is one other thing necessary, but not from Government. The English Church should have a part in the work. There ought to be one or two English Clergymen on the ground to regulate the movement, to act as advisers to the Patriarch and Consul, to prevent excesses, and, in fine, to guide, as they would undoubtedly be called to do, the whole enterprise. Men they should be of fearless spirit, of thorough Catholic principle, of conciliating temper, and of great practical wisdom. Would that you, or some sister Society, could send such men to the field! The moment is a critical one, the need is imperative."
Thus it seemed in the highest degree probable, that even putting the Nestorians entirely out of the question, the labours of an English Clergyman might be most efficaciously directed towards restoring the independence of the ancient and venerable Chaldean Church. The members of the latter had peculiar claims on our sympathies. They had renounced the heresy of Nestorius, and had recognised the authority of the Council of Ephesus. Like our own Church at the period of the Reformation, they were struggling to emancipate themselves from the uncanonical usurpations of the Roman pontiff. Their wish was not to surrender any portion of the Catholic faith, which they had thankfully received and were ready zealously to maintain, but they repudiated the foreign jurisdiction which was unkindly and unjustly thrust upon them.
It was therefore deemed advisable that an English Clergyman, accompanied by a lay associate, should be despatched to Mosul to inquire into the present state of the Oriental Christians resident in those parts, to gain every possible information [412/413] respecting their tenets, ecclesiastical literature, and spiritual wants, and to discover how far the Church of England might aid and co-operate with them in the work of reformation and revival. The person chosen for this important and arduous charge was the Rev. G. P. Badger, who had been educated at Malta, and had already spent several years in Syria, where he acquired a knowledge, almost vernacular, of the Arabic language. The compiler of these papers was selected to accompany him, and the following instructions were drawn up for their guidance:--
"Mr. Badger will proceed to his destination as soon as convenient, travelling by way of Constantinople and Trebizond; and if practicable, he will pay a visit to Jerusalem, in order to put himself in communication with the Bishop of the United Church of England and Ireland in that city, under whose jurisdiction he will be placed.
"The following are the points to which Mr. Badger will direct his attention:--
"1. To testify to the Bishop and Clergy of those countries the good-will of our Church towards them, and the desire which is felt in England to see their Churches restored to a flourishing condition as branches of the True Vine; taking care to explain to them the doctrine and discipline of the Church of England, and to assure them that she claims no jurisdiction or authority over them or over any of the Churches of the East.
"2. To render such assistance to the Patriarch, Bishops, and Clergy, as he may be able to give in the work of Christian Education, and to take such steps as they may approve for the establishment of Schools and for the instruction of the people generally.
"3. To make inquiries as to their wants in regard to the Holy Scriptures, and to distribute copies of the Bible and of the Arabic Version of the English Liturgy wheresoever they may be useful.
"4. To procure ancient MSS. of the Holy Scriptures and of the Chaldean Liturgies and Rituals; and to ascertain what alterations have been made in their Rituals in modern times, and by what authority, and how far these alterations have been approved by the Native Clergy and people.
"5. To collect such Arabic MSS. and printed copies of the Holy Scriptures, and of Ancient Liturgies, as maybe serviceable in the New Translations of the Bible and of the Liturgy which are being prepared by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.
"6. To make particular inquiries into the state and condition of the Churches in Chaldea and Kurdistan with respect to [413/414] Doctrine and Discipline, and to the numbers of their Clergy and people.
"7. To make communications upon all these subjects to the Bishop of the United Church of England and Ireland in Jerusalem, and also to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, and to the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge."
________________  MISSION TO KURDISTAN IN 1842.  [Continued from vol. iii. p. 414.]
ON Mr. Badger's arrival at Mosul, he transmitted the following Journal to England, containing an account of his journey from Constantinople to the modern Nineveh:--
"On Sept. 30th, 1842, at one P. M., we embarked on board the Austrian steamer Prince Metternich, for Samsoon, accompanied by the Rev. H. Southgate, delegate from the American Episcopal Church, who has shown us every attention during our residence in Constantinople. To him I feel indebted for much valuable information concerning our route, which he has collected in two journies into Mesopotamia; and also for several hints about the Christians in those parts, which proved useful to us on our way; and since our arrival in Mosul Mr. S. has devoted much of his time in collecting information on the religious state of the Syrians, and I have lately heard from him, with much pleasure, that two other presbyters will soon be sent out by the American Church to labour exclusively for the improvement of this people. We took leave of our kind friend at Therapia, on the Bosphorus, and shortly after found ourselves on the troubled waters of the Euxine.
Oct. 2d, at six A. M., we reached Sinope, a small seaport town in Ancient Paphlagonia, where we remained but half an hour to disembark a few Turkish passengers. At one P. M. we cast anchor in the roadstead of Samsoon, and immediately went on shore. Notwithstanding that this is a place of growing importance, such is the neglect of the Ottoman Government, that it cannot boast of a quay or pier, and persons are disembarked there on the shoulders of men, who wade up to their middle in water to come at the boats. The remains of an old pier are visible on the beach, but, like most other things in this country, that which begins to decay is left to perish; nor does anything but stern necessity drive the government to attempt any restoration. We were welcomed on landing by our Vice-consul, Mr. Stevens, to whom I had brought a letter from the ambassador. In a short time he had a Turkish house cleared out for our reception (a miserable habitation indeed, but one of the best which the town afforded), where we took up our lodgings for the night. In the meanwhile the Tatar made every arrangement, by hiring mules for the baggage, and horses for our party, taking in provisions, &c., that we might start on the morrow without any delay. I had been advised by persons who had travelled over our intended route, by no means to go unaccompanied by a Tatar; and now at the beginning, as throughout the whole [12/13] of the journey, we found the services of old Kusker Oghlu almost indispensable. After the bargain had been once struck with him for our travelling expenses, it was his business to attend to the wants of the party without any further trouble on our part; and had he been a little more conscientious in discharging his engagement, we should have been spared some few inconveniences, and extra expenses, which his duplicity and avarice imposed upon us. But my own experience in Oriental travelling prevented any disappointment on this score, and I did not expect to accomplish this journey without very many inconveniences. Yet, after all, we had much cause to be thankful for the important services which our Tatar rendered us; without his assistance we should have frequently been obliged to remain without a lodging, more frequently without food, and still oftener should we have been imposed upon without any possibility of redress. His official or semi-official character generally secured respect to our party throughout the journey, and added weight to the imperial firman which I had obtained before leaving Constantinople.
The population of Samsoon amounts to about 350 houses, or 1,750 souls, all Mohammedans. A crime committed by a member of the Greek Church some years ago, was considered a sufficient reason for the enactment of a law, which prevents any Christian from taking up his residence in the town. There is, however, a large village of 200 houses of the Greek communion, on the hills, about three hours from Samsoon; this village is reckoned within the diocese of the Bishop of Trebizond. The poor town of Samsoon, a seaport of ancient Pontes, is situated at the foot of a range of high hills, which line the shores of the Euxine from east to west, as far as the eye can reach. The hills are covered with a rank vegetation of shrubs and trees, and abound in fruit. The decay of so much vegetable matter renders Samsoon an unhealthy residence in Autumn.
Oct. 3d.--After a hearty breakfast at the hospitable board of the Consul, we set off from Samsoon at a quarter past ten, A.M., our road lying over a hilly country well clothed with trees, particularly the stunted oak and several species of the acacia. In two and a half hours we left our baggage, turned out of the caravan road, and soon came to a refreshing spring of water. On leaving this resting place, we entered a wood, through which we rode for three hours, when a heavy shower coming on, obliged us to seek for shelter in a small Mussulman village of twenty huts, called Cagal Kioi, some distance from the main road. Here our accommodations were of the worst description, a sorry commencement for those of our party who had been unaccustomed to Eastern travelling. The Khan of the village [13/14] being full, and, moreover, open in every direction to the gathering storm, we were obliged one and all to take up our lodging in a hovel measuring about eleven feet by twelve; the floor of it was covered with piles of a small species of apple, which grows wild in the woods around. This fruit is gathered by the poor villagers, and sent in large quantities to Constantinople, and there used for culinary purposes. Besides the apples, a number of rustic implements, and huthold furniture of the most primitive description, were left to encumber the rooms of the poor tenants who had been dislodged to make way for our reception. Uncomfortable as we were under such circumstances, we found ourselves still more so during the night, from the annoyance of the almost innumerable fleas, which did not suffer one of our party to get any sleep until the morning dawn announced that the time was come to prepare for departure.
Oct. 4th.--Left Cagal Kioi at seven A.M. in a slight shower, of rain, and in two hours and a half reached Cavak, where we changed horses at the Menzil Khaneh or post-house. Our journey hitherto lay through the continuation of the forest which we entered yesterday. The road was romantic in the extreme, but very uneven and rugged, and rendered worse by
the rain which had fallen during the night, and which descended upon us all the way to Cavak. This village contains between thirty and forty mud and log huts, with a small mosque; the inhabitants are all Moslem.
At half-past ten we pursued our journey for some distance over a plain tolerably cultivated, and afterwards entered again a hilly district less abundantly covered with wood than that we had passed yesterday.
At half-past three P. M. we reached the small town of Ladik, romantically situated at the foot of a range of high hills, well covered with wood, which appeared to run S. E. and N.W. Here we were quartered in the house of an Armenian, where our entertainment was far better than yesterday. There are fifteen Armenian families in this place, who have a church and a priest. The Mohammedan population is calculated at 2,000 souls. Ladik contains two large and well-built mosques, about twenty smaller ones, and a convent or two of Dervishes. The minarets of the mosques, at a distance, reminded us of the spires of some village churches in our native land. Would that they were Christian temples! I observed that most of the Moslem here wore the green turban, a sign of their relationship to the family of the false prophet; and their being a privileged race accounts, I imagine, for the tolerable degree of comfort which reigned throughout the place. The houses here are better built, and the streets more cleanly and regular than those of any [14/15] village or town we passed on our journey. This evening being the commencement of Ramadan, we were disturbed nearly the whole of the night by the howling and whirling of a set of Dervishes who were performing their evolutions in a large mosque close by our lodgings.
Oct. 5th.--Left Ladik at seven A. M. For three hours our road lay over the hills, where we met with two foot-guards placed there for the protection of travellers. Whether true or false, they endeavoured to persuade us that banditti had been seen that very morning lurking in the wood, which made it requisite that they should accompany us beyond the hills. Until one P. M., when we entered the fertile valley of Amasia, our route lay over an interesting tract of country with an extensive wild of sand on our right. Hitherto we had seen but one village since leaving Ladik, situated about two miles out of the road, in the direction of the sands. On entering the valley of Amasia, we crossed the smaller branch of the Kizzil Semak, which joins the main stream sixty miles further east. The valley is well cultivated, abounding in mulberry and other fruit trees, especially the apple, which is reckoned superior to any in Asia Minor. We journeyed as it were by a continued garden, well watered by artificial streams, until we came in sight of the town, situated for the most part on the eastern bank of the river, with high hills on either side, through which flowed the same branch of the ancient Iris which we had forded three hours before. The bed of the river near the town averages sixty yards in breadth, and is crossed by three tolerable bridges, two of wood, and one of stone; the latter built entirely from the remains of the ancient Amasia, of which many inconsiderable relics may still be seen scattered about the streets, but none worthy of particular notice. The barren mountains on the other side of the river rise to the height of 300 feet, and form a rampart round the whole extent of the town, which is of an oblong form, the houses for the most part reaching to the water's edge. On a projecting part of the mountain are the ruins of an extensive castle, some say of Greek, others of Genoese origin; from which at sunset, we heard the sound of fife and drum announcing to the few soldiers garrisoned in a small barrack, partly of modern structure, that the hour of feasting after fasting had arrived. The sides of the mountain, which rises almost perpendicularly from the river's bank, contain many sepulchral grots of difficult access, which now serve the purpose of sheepcotes. A person who had resided some time at Amasia informed me that there were several Greek inscriptions over the entrance of the grots, a circumstance which determines their origin almost to a certainty.
 Amasia is within the Pashalic of Siras, and may be reckoned one of the best towns in this district. It is governed by a Mutsellim or governor appointed by the Pasha of Siras, which office is at present filled by one of his sons. There are here two large and well built mosques, besides many smaller ones, the bulk of the population being Moslem. The Armenians at Amasia number 500 families, with three churches, under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Tocat. The person who fills that See at present is a deposed patriarch. There are but fifteen Greek families in the town, (not of the Greek nation, but members of the Holy Eastern Church, in which sense I use the term throughout my narrative,) with a church and priest, but I understood there were three villages in the vicinity inhabited exclusively by them. They are reckoned within the diocese of the Bishop of Sinope.
The Mutsellim appointed our quarters in a house annexed to one of the Armenian churches, where we were very comfortably lodged for the night. In one of the lower rooms was a school where upwards of sixty lads were assembled. On the master's table I observed a number of books and pamphlets in Armenian and Armeno-Turkish, from the press of the American Independent Missionaries at Smyrna. Among them were copies of the New Testament, portions of the Holy Scripture, bound up separately, besides a number of religious tracts. On inquiry, I found that three boxes of these books had lately been sent by one of the Missionaries at Constantinople to Mons. Krug, a Swiss mercantile agent, and the only European in Amasia, who, it appears, had undertaken the task of distributing them. I asked the master whether the books had been received with the sanction of their Bishop, or if the Bishop knew that they were used in the school. He answered both queries in the negative, and stated that they had only lately arrived. The master's idea was, as it was also the idea of two or three Armenian priests who called upon me, that the books contained the teaching of the English Church; and it was some time before I could make them understand, that although the English and Americans used one language, not only were the nations distinct, but that those who had sent the books to be distributed among them were schismatics from the English Church. I felt here, again, as I had often felt before, how little our Holy Church is known in these parts, and was grieved to think, that whilst the Independent dissenters, perhaps unconscious of the fact themselves, are giving the Christians of the East the idea that they are members of our Communion, and thereby spreading abroad for us the savour of no good name among the Churches, we, ourselves, are doing so little to undeceive them, or to make ourselves known as a branch of that one Catholic and Apostolic Church, [16/17] which all orthodox Christians believe as a necessary article of their creed.
In the evening I had a visit from Mons. Krug, who came accompanied by Yacoob Nooh Agloo, a young papal Armenian, and the son of a rich Bagdad merchant, who is residing here for the purpose of trade. I received much courtesy and kindness from both these gentlemen, which was the more to be appreciated, being offered to a perfect stranger. Our conversation soon turned on Church matters, in which both appeared a little interested. The young Armenian I found to be prepossessed against the English Church, because, as he said, they denied the efficacy of the sacraments; had no Bishops, and, consequently, no holy orders; paid no reverence to saints, despised pictures, and even the emblem of the cross; had no festivals, nor feasts; and several other doctrines and customs he enumerated, as being held or denied by our Church, which no more applied than it did to his own communion. But I perceived, at once, that he was unwittingly confounding us with the dissenters, some of whose books, printed in Smyrna, he had read, and that he had no idea of any other English Church than that which he had himself described. Fortunately, he understood modern Greek tolerably well, and taking out the only copy of our Common Prayer Book in that language I had brought with me from Constantinople--one of the last editions printed by the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge--I succeeded, in some measure, in persuading him of the existence of a Church in England, with doctrines, discipline, and rites different from those he had attributed to us. The young man was very intelligent, and it pleased me to witness his joy as he read several passages, which I pointed out to him from the Liturgy. Fortunately, Mons. Krug was not a bigoted Lutheran, and appeared surprised, as well as interested, while we discussed these matters connected with the Church. Such was the anxiety of the young Armenian to have possession of the Greek copy of our Prayer Book, that I presented it, to him, although it was the only one I had. How glad I should have been on this occasion, to have had a few copies of our Prayer Book in Armenian! With God's blessing, they might have been distributed here to the advantage of the Church and the confusion of her adversaries.
This interview lasted until nearly midnight; but our kind visitors did not suffer us to depart on the morrow without sending us a token of their remembrance in a present of excellent apples, and several loaves of Frank bread--the latter, quite a luxury to a traveller in these parts. In the course of our conversation they informed me, that an American Independent [17/18] Missionary and his wife had passed through Amasia three days before our arrival, on their way to Mosul. I had heard of this gentleman's arrival at Constantinople, and understood that he was going out to reinforce their Mission among the Nestorians - in Kurdistan. The principal product of Amasia is silk, of which 600 bales are annually exported beyond the sea.
Oct. 6th--Left Amasia at seven A.M. and continued our journey for two hours at some distance from the river, through a cultivated valley well grown over with fruit-trees, especially the mulberry. At about one hour's ride from the town, at some distance to the right, our attention was directed by one of the muleteers to a small ruined building, beneath which he said was a spring of limpid water, believed by the Greeks to have burst forth miraculously when the corpse of St. John Chrysostom was placed upon the spot as it was being borne in triumph to Constantinople from Comana Pontica, the place of the saint's exile and death. After leaving the valley, our route took a more easterly direction, and lay principally over uncultivated plains, bounded by low hills, sometimes barren, and sometimes scantily covered with furze.
At one P. M. we put up at the Mohammedan village of Ina Bazaar (Needle Bazaar), containing about thirty mud huts and a small mosque. We saw but two villages on our journey today, both several miles distant from the road. At Ina Bazaar we were lodged in the travellers' "konagh", which the kahya, or head of the principal villages, is obliged to provide for the accommodation of persons travelling on government business, or furnished with a firman from the sultan. In this instance the konagh consisted of a small open room of three walls and a roof, and another of still smaller dimensions, which we shared with our horses and mules.
Oct. 7th.--Left Ina Bazaar at a quarter past six A. M., and travelled through an uncultivated district, over a tolerably level road between two hills partially covered with wood. In three hours we reached a durbend, or guard-house, where we rested until our baggage came up. These durbends are stationed by the pashas of the different provinces, in such parts of the road as are considered unsafe. The number of men posted in each averages from six to ten, according to the danger feared from an irruption of the Curds, or other banditti infesting the district. The durbends are in general but very indifferent hovels, built for the most part of logs of wood cut from the neighbouring hills. The guards are irregular soldiers, of whom every provincial pasha keeps a large number at his command; they receive arms and clothing from the Government, but very little pay; for the latter they depend chiefly on the presents which [18/19] they exact from private caravans and travellers who may require their services, and very frequently when they do not. Their business is to keep the road as free as may be from marauders, and to escort persons or caravans on service for the Government.
Half an hour after leaving the durbend, our road lay for some time along the bed of the Gooroo Soo, a tributary of the Iris, now dry, but in spring a stream thirty yards wide, and from four to five feet deep. At half-past ten we came to a branch of the Iris known anciently as the Scytax, which runs through the plain in which the large village of Turchal is situated. Turchal contains upwards of 500 families, almost all Moslems, with two mud mosques and a bath. The river flows two miles in front of the village, but a small rivulet runs near by, which serves to irrigate the fields in the interior by means of wheels similar to those I saw on the Iris at Amasia, and turned by the stream itself. Behind the village is a ruined castle on a hill, apparently of modern date, though it is not improbable that the foundation is ancient, as Turchal seems to occupy the site of the ancient Sebastopolis.
Oct. 8th.--Left Turchal at half-past three A.m., and travelled with our baggage, so that we did not enter Tocat, the ancient Berioz, until a quarter past one P. M. The road lay for the most part over an extensive plain, or valley land, between two ranges of hills. Those to the right were high, and tolerably clothed with wood; those to the left barren, and only cultivated near the base, and at long intervals, where an occasional village, or cluster of huts, was seen surrounded by a little verdure. At some miles to the right flowed the river, near which more villages were visible, and the soil appeared in a better state of cultivation; on the direct road, we did not pass a solitary dwelling. Three miles before entering Tocat, the pleasant fruit-gardens begin, for which this town is so much celebrated. The town itself occupies two narrow valleys, the greater number of houses being crowded together into an angular form on the sides of three hills, which almost encircle them, and bound the vallies in three opposite directions. The hills to the north and south are rather barren; on the brow of the latter is a ruined castle, commanding the city beneath and a vast extent of country round. The mount on the south-east is well cultivated to the summit. The town is well supplied with water from the river (the same branch of the Kizzil Irmak which flows by Amasia), and fruit grows abundantly in the vineyards and gardens which fill up the environs. The grapes and pears of Tocat are considered superior to any in this part of the country; but, on account of some adverse property supposed to exist in the atmosphere, the [19/20] inhabitants are obliged to send their grapes to Siras to be made into wine, as that manufactured in the vicinity of the town is of an inferior quality.
The principal trade of Tocat is in copper utensils, which are manufactured out of the metal brought from Arghana Maaden, in the Taurus, and from hence exported to every part of the empire. I met here an Austrian engineer, who was engaged in putting up a machine for purifying the copper brought from the mines, to be worked by the river. The only Frank at Tocat, besides the engineer, was another young Austrian, an agent of a very extensive company established in that country for the trade in leeches. I was surprised to learn from him that this company had many agents employed in Macedonia, as well as in this country, for the same purpose. He informed me that the natives of Tocat caught them by entering into the pools and streams in the vicinity, having their legs covered with felt stockings, to which the leeches adhere, and are thus easily secured."
______________  MISSION TO KURDISTAN IN 1842.  [Continued from p. 20.]
TOCAT is governed by a Muhassel or collector, appointed by the Pasha of Siras. Mohammed Aga, the present Muhassel, ordered us lodgings at the residence of the papal Armenian Bishop, who was then absent on a visit to Siras. Two priests, who had been educated at the Papal Armenian convent in Mount Lebanon, and afterwards sent to the Propaganda at Rome, bade us welcome to the house, and during our stay showed us much kindness. Connected with the episcopal residence is a neat church, sufficiently large to contain 600 people, built within the last few years, partly by subscriptions raised in this country, but chiefly by contributions made in France and Rome. The firman for building this church was obtained from the late Sultan, and three other new Papal churches (Syrian, Armenian, and Chaldean) are in course of being built at Bagdad with the same Imperial sanction. This is a contravention of an old Mohammedan law, which prohibits the erection of any new Christian temples, and only allows the repair of such as existed at the time of the Moslem conquest.
The chief part of the population of Tocat is Moslem; the Papal Armenians number 150 families; the Armenians amount to 2,000 families, with seven churches and two monasteries in the vicinity. The Greeks are estimated at 1,000 souls, with one church and three priests, under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of New Cæsarea.
Oct. 9th.--To-day, being Sunday, we went in the afternoon to the Greek church, which was opened for us by one of three men who occupy an adjoining house. Having brought our Prayer Books and Bibles with us, we read together the Evening Service for the 20th Sunday after Trinity, there being but a few persons with us, who had followed us into the church out of curiosity. No sooner did the clerk perceive we were performing our devotions, than he brought two lighted candles and placed them on the large candlesticks before the __________ [89/90] _________. After our service was ended, we walked to the outskirts of the town, and engaged the services of an Armenian priest to show us the grave of Henry Martyn. Singularly, we alighted on the individual who had performed over his remains the rites of Christian burial; he conducted us to the large Armenian Cemetery, where he pointed out the small marble slab which covers the resting-place of the devoted priest and missionary. I recalled to mind on the spot, the self-devotion and piety of the deceased, and also his zeal in defending our holy religion against the infidels; and I offered up a secret prayer, that I might have grace given me to follow in his steps, even as he followed CHRIST. On leaving the spot, I put into the hands of the priest a small present for his trouble, whereupon he took off his turban, and standing at the head of the grave, offered up a prayer, apparently with much devotion, for the rest of the soul departed; that he might with patience and resignation await the consummation of his bliss, with all the faithful departed, at the final day of just retribution.
Oct. 10th.--Left Tocat at eight A.M., accompanied by two guards, sent with us by the Governor, and travelled over a mountainous and wild district, until we reached a Derbend, called Kura Beli, the Wolf's Back. It snowed much all the morning, and our journeying was rendered more difficult, because we had taken the summer in preference to the winter-road--the former being the shorter of the two. The country around, towards noon, looked grand in the extreme; the high mountains, the trees, and the ground beneath us were covered with snow, and the occasional glimpses through a dark and lowering cloud made the face of nature sparkle with ten thousand lustres, and afforded us a temporary relief from the inclemency of the storm. We reached the Derbend, situated in a wild mountain-pass, at one o'clock, and alighted to await our baggage, which had taken a different road. Here we received a hearty welcome from the guard, who soon added fuel to the large fire which was burning at one end of the room, and busied themselves in drying our cloaks, which were thoroughly wet. Our Tartar having brought a leg of mutton from Tocat, slung at his saddle, one of the guards converted the ramrod of his musket into a spit, and soon prepared us an excellent luncheon of cubb, with leben, or sour milk, which they had salted and preserved in a bladder. I was much struck with the cheerfulness of the men; possessing so few of the comforts of life, and obliged to do hard service, they appeared contented and happy. The Derbend, where they spent the time of their freedom from duty, was built of logs of wood, placed horizontally one above the other, and plastered with mud to fill up the crevices. Two [90/91] rough diwans formed of unhewn stones, made even with earth, and covered with fragments of old carpeting, a few cooking utensils and bed-quilts, formed the furniture of these rough and weather-beaten soldiers. The room itself was very small, and yet six guards, two large Curdish dogs, and a Curdish sheep, deemed to find a comfortable shelter under its roof. The walls were hung round with muskets, pistols, and other warlike implements. The whole was rustic in the extreme; and in our reflections on the novel scene before us, we forgot the toil and fatigue of our morning journey.
At one P.M., we left the Derbend, and in one hour's ride we came to a spot where a whole family was murdered by the Curds a few years ago, on their way from Bagdad. Several small gravestones mark the spot where they were buried. The country now became level, and showed signs of a better cultivation than we had yet seen; this is the work of the Curds, who inhabit the district around during three parts of the year, but the season being now so far advanced, they had all left to seek for warmer winter quarters. A few piles of stones seen here and there over the plain, served to point out the rustic graves of this wild and wandering people. Two hours before reaching Ghirkhan, we came in sight of the lofty Yuldáz Dagh, or Mountain of the Stars, rising like an immense pyramid from the plain. The heavy clouds, which were being fast drifted by the wind, occasionally hid its snowy summit from our view, while ever and anon the sun shone from the blue expanse above, and lighted up into glory the mighty pillar which seemed to support, the heavens. The Yuldáz Dagh is within a few miles of Ghirkhan, a Mohammedan village of 100 houses, which we .reached at five P.M., nine hours since leaving Tocat.
Oct. 11th.--Left Ghirkhan, at half-past six, A.M. Our road to-day lay for the most part over high table-land; sometimes well cultivated, and at other times quite barren. We suffered much from the cold, notwithstanding every effort to keep ourselves warm. Two hours from Ghirkhan is a Derbend of six guards, very similar to that I described yesterday. Here we waited half-an-hour for the baggage-mules, and then proceeded on our journey. A small stream ran close by the road-side, into which, about one hour from the Derbend, flowed a copious spring, consisting of three volumes of water; one, upwards of six inches in diameter. The spring is situated close to the bank of the stream, and literally gushes out of the soil. We noticed a village or two in the mountains at some distance, but not one in the direct road. Before reaching Siras is an extensive table-land, about twenty miles by twelve, bounded on the S. and S.W. by the horizon, and on the N. and N.E. by a low range of hills. [91/92] Siras, the ancient Sebaste, and one of the principal towns of Cappadocia, is situated in an extensive and well cultivated plain, which we reached by a gradual descent after leaving the table-land. The entry to the town was dirty in the extreme, arising from the narrowness of the streets, and the numerous streams, which ran in every direction about the environs. A good wall surrounded the town, but is at present in a very bad condition, and like the town itself, (the residence of a provincial Pasha,) for the most part in ruins. The Tartar having presented our firman to his Excellency, lodgings were allotted to us in the house of a respectable Armenian merchant, residing in the suburbs, and six mounted guards were commanded to escort us as far as Delikli Tash on the morrow, and a written order given that an equal number, or more, if necessary, should be supplied thence, as the state of the roads might require. This night we had a comfortable lodging and a hearty supper, by which we were quite recruited for the next day's journey.
The Papal Armenians in Siras are but few in number, and hold their religious services in a private house. The Armenians are reckoned at 1,050 families, with three churches (one in course of being built), and a bishop. The Greeks do not exceed twenty families; they also have one church and a priest.
Siras is famous for its excellent honey; the chief article of export trade is wool, which is here manufactured into hose, gloves, &c. and sent into every part of the empire.
Oct. 12th.--Left Siras at eight A.M. and after traversing the plain for an hour, we came to a broad stream of the Kizzil Irmak, now almost dry, over which is a bridge of eighteen arches. Soon after, we began the ascent of the lofty hills which bound the extremity of the plain, and our road lay again over high table-land, similar to that we had crossed yesterday. The soil was rich, but there scarcely appeared any traces of cultivation in the whole day's journey. Two hours and a half from Siras is a post in the mountains, consisting of two narrow pathways, separated by a mass of rock called in Turkish Teifté Kardash, "The Two Brothers," from a tradition that two brothers, the one resident at Bagdad and the other at Constantinople, crossed here without meeting, while each was journeying on a visit to the other. From the pass we descended into a narrow valley, bounded at the southern extremity by a long chain of mountains covered with snow, running due north and south. In this valley is a salt spring, which was not worked when we passed, the winter season having set in. The water is drawn up from a deep well, and then poured out into pans, and the salt procured by evaporation. After ascending the mountains in our front, the road continued over table-land with the lofty Tajar Dagh [92/93] (Merchant's Mountain) now covered with snow, on our left. In five hours and a half from Siras we reached the village Ulash, situated near a marsh. The population of this village consists of sixty Armenian families, who cultivate the land in the immediate vicinity; they also possess flocks from which they partly supply the market of Siras with cheese and butter. The Kahya informed us that the American Missionary, whom I mentioned as having passed through Amasia some days before us, had also preceded us here, and distributed a number of tracts among the villagers. Ulash does not differ from the generality of Mohammedan villages; the houses or huts are as dirty and comfortless, and the people appeared equally miserable. There is a church here and a priest.
Oct. 13th.--Left Ulash at six A.M., our road lying through a valley well watered by streams, yet scarcely showing any signs of cultivation. At ten we reached Delikli Tash (The Perforated Rock), where we changed horses and guards at the post-house. This village contains forty Moslem families, and is situated on the brow of a high bill. It takes its name from two perforations, resembling doorways, made on the two sides of an angular projection, and extending a few feet in the live rock. It is believed by the credulous villagers that no persons who have committed any great crimes can pass through one entrance and out of the other, and that if one desire to obtain a good wife, he has but to perform this feat to realize his wish.
At eleven A.M. We left Deliki Tash, and travelled over a wild and barren country until three P.M., when we reached Kaugal, a village containing twenty Armenian and twenty Mussulman families. The Armenians have lately built a small church, and invited a priest to reside among them; they are not reckoned within the diocese of the Bishop of Siras, but are under the direct jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinople. Within four hours from Kaugal is a large Armenian monastery.
The huts of this and several other villages which we passed beyond it are dug partly underground, and built up for the other part with low walls of mud bricks; they were, consequently, so low that we could with difficulty discern a single dwelling when close upon the village. We observed here that the people used hay instead of straw for their cattle, and a large stack was piled on almost every terrace. This was the first time we saw hay used on our journey. At Kaugal we were again quartered in a room with our horses and mules, which very frequently in these parts share the best accommodations with their masters. The poor Christians complained most of oppression and the numerous exactions of an infidel government.
Oct. 14th.--Left Kaugal at six A. M. and reached Alajakhan [93/94] at noon by a circuitous road, which the guards advised us to take, as being more secure than the direct one. Towards the end of our day's journey, the country was level, but wild and desert; we passed only one small village, a few miles out of our road, before we came Alajakhan, as miserable a place as any we had yet passed. The greater part of the huts are surrounded by a high stone enclosure, once the wall of a strong fortress, but now in a very dilapidated condition; moreover, the people looked miserable in the extreme, and I here observed that they were obliged to burn cow-dung for fuel, on account of the great scarcity of wood in the country around. A few Armenians resided here a short time ago, but they have since left it entirely to the Mohammedans, who number about forty families. Alajakhan is a post village, and the boundary of the pashalic of Siras.
Oct. 15th.--Set off at six A.M. and reached Hassan Teelebi with the mules at one P. M. The district between these two villages is cultivated chiefly by Turcomans, who pitch their tents behind the hills, and at some distance from the road, in order to avoid the impositions to which they would otherwise be subjected from government officers and soldiers passing through their encampments. On approaching Hassan Teelebi we ascended the hills, and passed over a well cultivated village, which winded with a winding stream until we reached a narrow glen in which the village is situated. The habitations here are similar to those of Kaugal, dug almost their whole depth in the ground, with low mud walls and floors, and two or three narrow apertures on one side and a square opening in the roof for the admission of daylight. The only dwelling worthy the name of a house was that inhabited by the aga, or governor of the place. I observed here that most of the females were busily engaged in spinning wool with a distaff; this they afterwards dye and manufacture into hose, which they send to the villages around as an article of barter. Money is very scarce in the villages, and barter is the chief medium of trade among the villagers; it is only from the towns that they receive payments in specie for the produce of their labour, and this serves them wherewith to pay the exactions of the government.
The inhabitants of Hassan Teelebi are followers of Hussein Ali, reproachfully called Kuzzal-bash (or Red-heads) by the Turks, and such of the Moslem as consider their own creed more orthodox. They do not observe the feast of Ramadan. There is but one Christian in the village, an Armenian, who supports himself by his craft as a tailor.
Oct. 16th.-Left Hassan Teelebi at six A. M. and continued our journey for the most part at a short distance from a narrow [94/95] stream which ran through a valley formed by two ranges of low hills covered with underwood and well stocked with game. The stream is an affluent of the Euphrates, and flows into a principal branch of that river near Malatiah. At ten A.M. We reached Hekim Khan, having travelled but four miles to-day, as it was Sunday. The houses here are somewhat inferior to those of Hassan Teelebi, and stand higher above ground, but still a stranger might traverse a good space, and scarcely be aware that he was walking amongst numerous dwelling-places of men and cattle. The inhabitants are Moslem and Christians; the latter occupy the lower part of the town, the former the upper, which for the most part is enclosed within a wall similar to that at Alajaghan. The Christian quarter, which three years ago was tenanted by forty Armenian families, we found nearly deserted; not more than twelve families remain, and some of these we found preparing to leave for some other place where they might live more free from oppression. The owner of the room where we lodged (a very tolerable one for a Turkish village) was absent in search of a mule or two to transport his little movable property. In the course of the day we saw most of the poor Christians, who regarded us with hopeful interest; they spoke of the insult and oppression which they endured from their infidel masters and neighbours, chiefly on account of their faith, and begged us, if we could, to do something to relieve them. They told us of their church, which had been plundered and desecrated again and again by these ruthless tyrants, until they feared to assemble there regularly to offer up their prayers and praises to God in company. Towards evening we requested to see their little sanctuary; it was just such a temple as we may imagine the early Christians to have worshipped in, when our holy religion was regarded as a crime by their heathen rulers.
(To be continued.)
 MISSION TO KURDISTAN IN 1842  [Continued from p. 95.]
THE interior differed little from one of the ordinary mud rooms I have described. There being no aperture in the roof or walls to admit the light, we took tapers in our hands, and entered first into a low and narrow portico, which led to another still smaller entrance, through which we were almost obliged to crawl. The interior measured about eighteen feet square and seven high, and the roof was supported by four upright beams of fir, reddened and polished with age; a few boards put up at one end, somewhat in the form of a cupboard, with a door, made the enclosure for the wooden altar, on which stood a painting of [166/167] the Holy Virgin and Child, very tolerably executed. On either side of the altar were two other paintings, one of a bishop, the other of a martyr, apparently by the same hand. Near by were two trunks, in which lay the shattered remains of the church books, and a small box which once served to contain the contributions of the congregation. The roof was black with smoke, as these poor people have been obliged for many ages to worship God in secret, or without the light of day, and consequently have been under the necessity of using candles or the blaze of a fire during the time of divine service. Everything left in the church had been destroyed, and the little church itself looked as if it had been deserted for ages. There is one priest in the village who still remains faithful to his post, and continues to instruct his little flock from house to house. I was agreeably surprised to find that almost all the Christians, parents and children, were able to read: they begged me to give them books in Armenian, a desire which I regret I could not gratify, having none to bestow. They informed me that the day before an English balios, or consul, had passed through the village, and had distributed tracts among them. On inquiry I found that the American missionary was the person they alluded to.
The priest called, and offered to sell me a few old Roman coins in silver, which had been found in the vicinity of the village. He wept as he parted with his little treasure, upon the sale of which he had evidently depended in order to realize a little money. Poor man! he is obliged to work as a common labourer in the fields, to help to maintain himself. He informed me that the Armenians here were under the jurisdiction of their Bishop at Cæsarea, who has a chorepiscopus at Malatiyah. Provisions are very cheap and good in this village; an oke (equal to 31bs.) of bread is sold for 1 1/4d., and an equal quantity of excellent mutton for 4d. Honey of an exquisite flavour abounds in the vicinity.
Oct. 17th.--Left Hekim Khan at 4 A.M. and travelled for two hours over a rough country, covered with dwarf oak, during which we passed the dangerous ascent called the "Camel's Back," a narrow hill dividing two deep valleys, and very much sloped on both sides. Soon after, we came to an extensive level known as the Sultawun Yaylèsi (or Sultan's Pasture), where Murad encamped with his army on his way to besiege Bagdad. We now descended into a narrow valley, through which the Yaylèsi Tchai runs, and near which it takes its rise. Following the course of this stream for upwards of an hour, we came to a good bridge, lately constructed for the passage of caravans and travellers, which before had frequently to wait for a week together, until the stream, swollen by the rains and [167/168] melting snows, had sufficiently decreased to be fordable without danger. An hour beyond, we crossed the Sookootti Tchai; and, at the distance of 4 1/4 hours from Hekim Khan, we passed the small Mussulman village of Mullah Ibrahim Ogloo, three miles to the right of our road. The country as we approached Mullah Ibrahim Ogloo, became barren again. Near this village is a small castle, once the residence of an Aga, or Mutsellim. On observing that the whole was in ruins, I inquired of our Mohammedan Sooroojee (the postilion who comes in charge of the post horses) the cause of its abandonment; he answered emphatically, "Oppression." After descending into the valley through which the Mamman Tchai runs, we commenced crossing over an undulating plain, well cultivated. To the left of the road, on the banks of the stream, is the small village of Kurnuk. To our right, bounded by a range of high mountains, was an extensive plain of hills, somewhat resembling a sea covered with mighty waves. At 3 P.M. we reached Tahir Kioi, a village containing forty families of the followers of Hassein Ali.
Oct. 18th.--Left Tahir Kioi at 6 A.M. and reached Kabban Maaden at 2, the mules not until 5 P.M. The country between was undulating, and occasionally well cultivated. We saw but a few villages at some distance from the road; and in the course of the day crossed the Eleghi Soo and the Saookli Soo, both tributaries of the Euphrates. As we approached the town, the region around was romantic and grand in the extreme; the high and barren hills of twenty different shades were heaped together, as if at the time of their formation an attempt had been made to compress them into the smallest space possible; nor could we conceive, until we abruptly came in sight of its waters, how the Euphrates found its way through the pent-up mass of hills. The river, where we crossed it in a boat in company with our horses, was now about one hundred yards wide. Of these boats there are but two on the ferry, made very much in the form of an immense slipper, with all open stern and flat bottom, for the better accommodation of quadrupeds of all descriptions, which walk into them as orderly as possible, to take their passage across the water.
The town of Kabban Maaden appears to be in a more flourishing state than any other we had yet passed. The Christians here did not complain of oppression, a singular exception without a parallel in our journey. There are in the town, besides Moslem, two hundred Greek families, with two churches and a monastery in the vicinity; it is also the seat of a Greek Bishop. The Armenians number four hundred families; they also have two churches, and are reckoned under the jurisdiction of the Bishop at Sivas.
 Oct. 19th.--Early this morning we went to see the smelting of the ore dug out of the mines. There were two furnaces employed, one worked by Greeks, the other by Germans and Hungarians, which together produce daily 30 lbs. of mixed metal, silver and lead; of this the Greeks produce 10 lbs. the Franks 20 lbs. The precious metal is separated from the lead at a different furnace, worked exclusively by the natives, and only at night. The whole business is superintended by a European overseer.
Left Kabban Maaden at 9 A.M. and for three hours we journeyed through a deep gorge, over an extremely rough and dangerous road, which sometimes lay at the bottom of the gorge, at other times wound along the rugged sides of the mountains. We met no village in our direct route until we reached Arpaoot, six hours from Kabban Maaden, situated in an extensive and well-cultivated plain, abounding in vineyards. Having suffered much from the heat during the day, we wished to have remained here for the night, especially as it was a Christian village, inhabited entirely by Armenians; but we found a troop of Albanians had been quartered there for fifteen days, and these mercenaries were still eating up the scanty provisions of the poor people like a swarm of locusts. We pursued our journey for an hour longer, when we reached the wretched village of Petté, consisting of eight miserable dwellings, inhabited by Moslem, who were not induced to give us a shelter for the night without much ado. Not one of the half-ruined huts was fit for any human creature to lodge in; so we spread out our carpet on a terrace under a temporary covering, and there spent the night.
Oct. 20th.--Left Petté at 6 A.M. and before 9 reached Mezraa, where we were obliged to stop and change horses. On our way we passed the large village of Kulaughi, near which is a monastery, both belonging to the Armenians. The plain in which Mezraa is situated reminded me very much of some parts of our native land; but how different is the condition, thought I, of the villagers who tenant those little dwellings, from which the curling smoke is ascending towards an azure sky, and whose labour it is that renders the scene around us so beautiful, to that of my countrymen in a similar situation of life! The heart sickens at the contrast, which only those can fully know who have witnessed the misery and oppression of almost all classes, but especially of the Christians, under the infidel and tyrannical government of the Turks.
The pashas of Kharpoot usually reside at Mezraa. The town is about three miles distant, and distinctly seen from the village. Kharpoot is the seat of a Syrian (Jacobite) Bishop, who has five hundred families within his diocese, which joins that of Urfa, the [169/170] ancient Edessa. Many of the villages to the south-east are inhabited partly by Jacobites and partly by Moslem.
While we rested at the Menzil Khaneh, or post-house, an opportunity was afforded us of witnessing the entrance of a new pasha into Mezraa. The number of officials of all ranks from the town and villages around, Curdish Sheikhs, Mutsellims, Kahyas, and others, in their gaudy and best apparel, met together on this occasion to greet the new comer, made the scene both novel and attractive. A troop of Albanians and a company of regular soldiers were drawn up in a line to salute his Excellency as he passed, while two brass cannons were continually being discharged in honour of the event. But amidst all this pageantry and apparent rejoicing, how much distress had this new appointment already occasioned, and how much reason had the people to regret the arrival of another master! At whatever town or village a pasha and his suite (in this instance consisting of three hundred mounted followers) put up for a longer or a shorter time on their journey, the poor inhabitants are obliged to supply all their wants, at the peril of the bastinado or something worse, other payment being out of the question with those inland tyrants. This is the third appointment to this pashalic during the current year; and as every new governor having most likely obtained his office by a large bribe, seeks to make good his money with interest during his uncertain continuance in office, well knowing that the exhibition of a larger bribe will, in all probability, procure his deposition, it invariably happens that the poor subjects are ground to the dust by the new exactions of every new master who is sent to rule over them. They may talk of the Hatti Shereef in London or Paris, and extol the toleration and justice which it promises to all classes of subjects in the Sultan's dominions, but I doubt whether it is better than a dead letter, except under the immediate observation of high European authority; in the interior, at least, it is as though it were not.
Left Mezraa at 10 1/2 A.M.; and after we had crossed several hills and well-cultivated valleys, and passed through three or four villages, we reached Mollah Kioi, a small Mohammedan town, at 2 P.M., when, after much difficulty, we obtained a small lobby to lodge in for the night, as every house was occupied by Albanian troopers. The town contains, besides Moslem, sixteen Armenian families.
Oct. 21st.--Left Mollah Kioi at 4 A.M., and after reaching the extremity of the plain, we began the ascent of the rugged and almost perpendicular mountains which rise beyond it. We crossed the summit, and came in sight of the Gioljik Lake, just as the sun was rising from behind the dark and towering [170/171] outposts of the Taurus, shedding a grandeur over the mountain scene which no language can adequately describe. The lake is hemmed in by gigantic rocks, and presents the appearance of a huge basin. After crossing its northern extremity, we entered the Ante-Taurus, and having forded the Tigris almost at its source, we rested awhile at a Khan before we began the most fatiguing part of our journey which lay before us. On leaving the khan, we began the ascent of the Taurus, winding our way for the most part over the sloping sides of the mountain, in continual danger of being precipitated off the narrow pathway, and plunged some hundred feet into the deep gorges below. The road at present averages a yard in width, having been lately improved by Hafiz Pasha, before whose time it was hardly safe for a foot passenger, although the principal caravan route from the interior to the metropolis. The mountains here, and for many miles around, are almost barren, having been stripped of their wood to supply fuel for the mines at Arghana Maaden. Yet the scenery is still grand, and even beautiful; and the intelligent traveller can scarcely help feeling, while he passes over these rugged and lofty heights, how magnificent a creature man is, and how great must be that God who created and formed such gigantic masses of earth, moulded them at his pleasure, and fixed them immovable without any other power than his own. After reaching the summit of the Taurus, we commenced the difficult descent to Arghana Maaden, a small town situated on the two sides of a deep gorge, and so shut in by the hills as scarcely to be visible before the traveller appears to be close upon it. The road, however, winds very much; and we were all thoroughly tired before we found ourselves lodged in the house of one of the principal Christian inhabitants, where the bey had appointed our quarters. Most of the people here are connected in some way with the copper mines, which are let out by the Government to forty native merchants, who are supplied with fuel for the work, and receive ten-twelfths of a penny for every pound of metal which they prepare for refining. (I have before mentioned that the metal is taken to Toca to undergo this process.) There being scarcely any wood left in the vicinity, the poor Curds are obliged to bring it from a distance of seven or eight days for a mere trifle. Nine furnaces are kept continually at work, which produce in twenty-four hours from 2,800 to 3,000 lbs. of alloyed metal. Grapes abound in the town, from which excellent wine is made; the vineyards grow almost wild in the mountains.
The Mohammedan population of Arghana Maaden amounts to one hundred and fifty families, with a mosque; the Greeks number two hundred houses, one church, four priests, and a [171/172] school, in which ancient Greek is taught; they are under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Kabban Maaden. The Armenians amount to one hundred and ninety families, who have also one church, and are reckoned a part of the diocese of the Bishop of Arabkir.
Oct. 22d.--Left Arghana Maaden at 6 A.M., and after descending the Taurus, which occupied us three hours, we reached Arghana. The road, until we approached within two miles of the town, was less precipitous than that we traversed yesterday. Five miles distant from the mines we crossed a second and larger stream of the Tigris over a good bridge. Arghana is situated partly on the summit and partly on the side of a precipitous hill, over which the ascent is extremely rugged and difficult. A Mohammedan informed me, with apparent disrelish, that there were two Christians to one Mussulman inhabiting the town. On inquiry, I learned that the Armenians amounted to four hundred families, with two churches and a large monastery; the latter is perched on the pinnacle of a high rock at a little distance from the town, and commands an extensive view of the wide plain which stretches for many miles towards the south. There are no Greeks resident here. The Armenians, like those of Arghana Maaden, are under the spiritual jurisdiction of the Bishop of Arabkir.
The bey of the mines had sent a cawass, or orderly, with us as far as Arghana, whence we were supplied with two of the most miserable-looking fellows as guards it is possible to conceive. One was armed with a rusty sword, girt round his waist with a camel's-hair rope; the other carried an old musket over his shoulder, without any ammunition. This was the escort which was ordered to conduct us safely as far as the Curdish encampment of Begtash Aga, half way to Diarbekir. The poor creatures were almost naked, and kept pace with our horses for nearly six hours. They had evidently been picked up in the streets of the town, and forced into our service.
Our road from Arghana lay over an extensive plain, covered with long grass parched up by the sun, but scarcely presenting on its whole surface any signs of cultivation. It was literally a desert; and the monotony of the level country over which we travelled was only relieved by the line of the Karajah Dugh, which rose to a considerable height to the south of our route. At 4 P.M. we reached the Curdish encampment, and were kindly received by the Aga, who ordered one division of his large marquee to be cleared out for our reception. The encampment consisted of about thirty tents, scattered round that of the chief; and when we arrived, all the inmates seemed busied in preparing their evening repast, little thinking that [172/173] they were to share it with rather unwelcome visitors, as we had scarcely seated ourselves when Osman Pasha arrived, accompanied by thirty horsemen, on their way from Bagdad to greet the new Pasha of Kharpoot. These gentry made themselves at home without any ceremony, and soon procured forage for their horses and food to satisfy their own hunger, either by fair means or by foul, from the unresisting Curds. Osman Pasha was accommodated with the division of the Aga's tent next to ours, and every attention was lavished upon him, the Aga himself condescending to act as his servant. On hearing that some English gentlemen were in the tent, he sent and requested me to dine with him. It being Ramadân, he was particular not to break his fast by tasting food before the legal hour; and in order to do this, he kept his eyes intently fixed on his watch until the hand traversed the appointed minute. He then ate in good earnest; and after meals, the time of prayer having arrived, waiving all ceremony, he begged me to amuse myself while he performed his devotions. A lesson this, I thought to myself, worthy of being remembered by all Christians.
The Curds at the encampment of Bektash Aga belong to a branch of the large Omanayân tribe, well known in these parts.
(To be continued.)
[Transcriber's note: at this point the series begins to repeat itself but with a slightly different text.]  MISSION TO KURDISTAN IN 1842.  [Continued from p. 173.]
THE exterior differed little from one of the ordinary mud rooms I have described. There being no aperture in the roof or walls to admit the light, we took tapers in our hands, and entered first into a low and narrow portico, which led to another still smaller entrance, through which we were obliged almost to crawl. The interior measured about eighteen feet square, and seven feet high: and the roof was supported by four upright beams of fir, reddened and polished with age. A few boards put up at one end, somewhat in the form of a cupboard with a door, made the enclosure for the wooden altar, on which stood a painting of the Holy Virgin and Child, very tolerably executed. On either side of the altar were two other paintings, one of a bishop, the other of a martyr, apparently by the same [290/291] hand. Near by were two trunks, in which lay the shattered remains of the Church books, and a small box which once served to contain the contributions of the congregation. The roof was black with smoke--as these poor people have been obliged for many ages to worship God in secret, or without the light of day, and, consequently, have been under the necessity of using candles, or the blaze of a fire, during the time of Divine service. Everything left in the church had been destroyed, and the little church itself looked as if it had been deserted for ages. There is one priest in the village, who still remains faithful to his post, and continues to instruct his little flock from house to house. I was agreeably surprised to find that almost all the Christian parents and children seem able to read; they begged me to give them books in Armenian, a desire I regret I could not gratify, having none to bestow. They informed us that the day before an English Balios, or consul, had passed through the village, and had distributed tracts among them. On inquiry, I found that the American Missionary was the person they alluded to.
The priest called and offered to sell me a few old Roman coins in silver, which had been found in the vicinity of the village. He wept as he parted with his little treasure, upon the sale of which he had evidently depended in order to realize a little money. Poor man, he is obliged to work as a common labourer in the fields to help to maintain himself. He informed me that the Armenians here were under the jurisdiction of their Bishop at Cæsarea, who has a Chorepiscopos at Malatiya. Provisions are very cheap and good at this village; an oke (equal to three pounds) of bread, is sold for five farthings, and an equal quantity of excellent mutton for fourpence. Honey of an exquisite flavour abounds in the vicinity.
Oct. 17.--Left Hekim Khan at 4 A.M. and travelled for two hours over a rough country covered with dwarf oak, during which time we passed the dangerous ascent called the "Camel's Back," a narrow hill dividing two deep valleys, and very much sloped on both sides. Soon after we came to an extensive level, known as the Sultanun Yaylisi, or, Sultan's Pasture Land, where Murad encamped with his army on his way to besiege Bagdad. We now descended into a narrow valley through which the Yaylisi Tchai runs, and near which it takes its rise. Following the course of this stream for upwards of an hour, we came to a good bridge lately constructed for the passage of caravans and travellers, which before had frequently to wait for a week together until the stream, swollen by the rains and melting snow, had sufficiently decreased to be fordable without danger. An hour beyond, we crossed the [291/292] Sookootli Tchai, and at the distance of four hours and a half from Hekim Khan, the small Mussulman village of Mullah Ibraheem Oglou, three miles to the right of our road.
The country, as we approached Mullah Yoosoof Oglou, became barren again. Near this village is a small castle, once the residence of an Aga, or Mutsellim. On observing that the whole was in ruins, I inquired of our Mohammedan Sooroojee  [The postilion who comes in charge of the post-horses.] the cause of its abandonment. He answered emphatically, "Oppression." After descending into the valley through which the Mamman Tchai runs, we commenced crossing over an undulating plain, well cultivated. To the left of the road on the banks of the stream is the small village of Kurnuk; to our right, bounded by a range of high mountains, was an extensive plain of hills, somewhat resembling a sea covered with mighty waves. At 8 P.M. we reached Tahir Kioi, a village containing forty families of the followers of Hussein Ali.
Oct. 18.--Left Tahir Kioi at 6 AM. and reached Kabban Maaden at 2, the mules not arriving until 6 p.m.; the country between was undulating and occasionally well cultivated. We saw but a few villages at some distance from the road, and, in the course of the day, crossed the Eleghi Soo, and the Savokli Soo, both tributaries of the Euphrates. As we approached the town, the region around was romantic and grand in the extreme; the high and barren hills, of twenty different shades, were heaped together, as if at the time of their formation an attempt had been made to compress them into the smallest space possible; nor could we conceive, until we abruptly came in sight of its waters, how the Euphrates found its way through the pent-up mass of hills. The river, where we crossed it in a boat, in company with our horses, was now about a hundred yards wide. Of these boats, there are but two on the ferry, made very much in the form of an immense slipper, with an open stern and flat bottom for the better accommodation of quadrupeds of all descriptions, which walk into them as orderly as possible, and take their passage across the water.
The town of Kabban Maaden appears to be in a more flourishing state than any other we had yet passed: the Christians here did not complain of oppression--a singular exception, without a parallel in our journey. There are in the town, besides Moslem, 200 Greek families, with two churches and a monastery in the vicinity; it is also the seat of a Greek Bishop. The Armenians number 400 families, they also have two churches, and are reckoned under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Sivas.
Oct. 19.--Early this morning we went to see the smelting of [292/293] the ore dug out of the mines; there were two furnaces employed, one worked by Greeks, the other by Germans and Hungarians, which together produce daily 30 lbs, of mixed metal, silver and lead; of this the Greeks produce 10, the Franks 20 lbs. The precious metal is separated from the lead, at a different furnace, worked exclusively by the natives and only at night. The whole business is superintended by an European overseer.
Left Kabban Maaden at 9 A.M., and for three hours we journeyed through a deep gorge, over an extremely rough and dangerous road, which sometimes lay at the bottom of the gorge, at other times over the declivous sides of the mountains. We met no village in our direct route until we reached Arpaoot, six hours from Kabban Maaden, situated in an extensive and well-cultivated plain, abounding in vineyards. Having suffered much from the heat during the day, we wished to have remained here for the night, especially as it was a Christian village inhabited entirely by Armenians; but we found that a troop of Albanians had been quartered there for fifteen days, who were still eating up the scanty provisions of the poor people like a swarm of locusts. We pursued our journey for an hour longer, when we reached the wretched village of Pelté, consisting of eight miserable dwellings, inhabited by Moslem, who were not induced to give us a shelter for the night without much ado. Not one of the half ruined huts was fit for any human creature to lodge in, so we spread out our carpets on a terrace under a temporary covering, and there spent the night.
(To be continued.)  MISSION TO KURDISTAN IN 1842.  [Continued from p. 293.]
Oct. 20th.--Left Pelté at six A.M., and before nine reached Mezraa, where we were obliged to stop to change horses. On our way we passed the large village of Kulanghi, near which is a monastery, both belonging to the Armenians. The plain in which Mezraa is situated reminded me very much of some parts of our native land; but how different is the condition, thought I, of the villagers who tenant those little dwellings from which the curling smoke is ascending towards an azure sky, and whose labour it is that renders the scene around so beautiful, from that of my countrymen in a similar situation of life! The heart sickens at the contrast, which only those can fully know who have witnessed the misery and oppression of almost all classes, but especially of the Christians, under their infidel and tyrannical government.
The pashas of Kharpoot usually reside at Mezraa; the town is about three miles distant, and distinctly seen from the village. Kharpoot is the seat of a Syrian (Jacobite) Bishop, who has 500 families within his diocese, which joins that of Urfa, the ancient Edessa. Many of the villages to the [329/330] south-east are inhabited partly by the Jacobites, and partly by Moslem.
While we rested at the Mennzil-Khaneh, or post-house, an opportunity was afforded us of witnessing the entry of a new pasha into Mezraa. The number of officials of all ranks from the town and villages around, Curdish Scheikhs, Mutsellims, Kahyas, and others, all in their gaudy and best apparel, met together on this occasion to greet the new comer, made the scene both novel and attractive. A troop of Albanians and a company of regular soldiers were drawn up in a line to salute his excellency as he passed, while two brass carronades were continually being discharged in honour of the event. But amidst all this pageantry and apparent rejoicing, how much distress had this new appointment already occasioned, and how much reason had the people to regret the arrival of another master! At whatever town or village a pasha and his suite (in this instance consisting of 300 mounted followers) put up, for a longer or a shorter time, on their journey, the poor inhabitants are obliged to supply all their wants, at the peril of the bastinado, or something worse; other payment being out of the question with these inland tyrants.
This is the third appointment to this pashalic during the current year; and as every new governor, having most likely obtained his office by a large bribe, seeks to make good his money with interest during his uncertain continuance in office, (well knowing that the exhibition of a larger bribe will, in all probability, procure his deposition,) so the poor subjects are ground to the dust by the new exactions of every fresh master sent to rule over them. They may talk of the Hatti Shereef, in London or Paris, and extol the toleration and justice which it promises to all classes of subjects in the Sultan's dominions, but I doubt whether it is better than a dead letter, except under the immediate observation of high European authority in the interior, at least, it is as though it were not.
Left Mezraa at half-past ten A.M., and after we had crossed several hills and well-cultivated valleys, and passed through three or four villages, we reached Molla Kioi, a small Mohammedan town, at two P.M., where, after much difficulty, we obtained a small lobby to lodge in for the night, as every house was occupied by Albanian troopers. The town contains, besides Moslem, sixteen Armenian families.
Oct. 21st.-Left Molla Kioi at four A.M., and after reaching the extremity of the plain, we began the ascent of the rugged and almost perpendicular mountains which rise beyond it. We crossed the summit, and came in sight of the Geolgik Lake just as the sun was rising from behind the dark and [330/331] towering outposts of the Taurus, shedding a grandeur over the mountain scene no language can adequately describe. The lake is hemmed in by gigantic rocks, and presents the appearance of a huge basin. After crossing its northern extremity, we entered the Anti-Taurus; and, having forded the Tigris almost at its source, we rested awhile at a khan before we began the most fatiguing part of our journey, which still lay before us. On leaving the khan, we began the ascent of the Taurus, winding our way, for the most part, over the sloping sides of the mountains, in continual danger of being precipitated off the narrow pathway, and plunged some hundred feet into the deep gorges below. The road at present averages a yard in width, having been lately improved by Hafir Pasha, before whose time it was hardly safe for a foot-traveller, although the principal caravan route from the interior to the metropolis. The mountains here, and for many miles around, are almost barren, having been stripped of their wood to supply fuel for the mines at Arghana Maaden; but the scenery is still grand and even beautiful, and the intelligent traveller can scarcely help feeling, while he passes over their rugged and lofty heights, how insignificant a creature man is, and how great must be that God who created and formed such gigantic masses of earth, moulded them at His pleasure, and fixed them immovable without any other power than His own. After reaching the summit of the Taurus, we commenced the difficult descent to Arghana Maaden, a small town situated on the two sides of a deep gorge, and so shut in by the hills, as scarcely to be visible before the traveller appears to be close upon it. The road, however, winds very much, and we were all thoroughly tired before we found ourselves lodged in the house of one of the principal Christian inhabitants, where the Bey had appointed our quarters. Most of the people here are connected in some way with the copper-mines, which are let out by the Government to forty native merchants, who are supplied with fuel for the work, and receive ten-twelfths of a penny for every pound of metal which they prepare for refining. (I have before mentioned that the metal is taken to Tokat to undergo this process.) There being scarcely any wood left in the vicinity, the poor Kurds are obliged to bring it from a distance of seven or eight days, for a mere trifle. Nine furnaces are kept continually at work, which produce in 24 hours from 2,800 to 3,000 lbs. of alloyed metal. Grapes abound in the town, from which excellent wine in mode; the vineyards grow almost wild in the mountains.
The Mohammedan population of Arghana Maaden amounts to 150 families, with a mosque; the Greeks number 200 houses, [331/332] one church, four priests, and a school, in which ancient Greek is taught; they are under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Kabban Maaden. The Armenians amount to 190 families, who have also one church, and are reckoned part of the diocese of the Bishop of Arabkir.
Oct. 22d.--Left Arghana Maaden at six A.M., and after descending the Taurus, which occupied us three hours, we reached Arghana; the road, until we approached within two miles of the town, was less precipitous than that we traversed yesterday. Five miles distant from the mines, we crossed a second and larger stream of the Tigris over a good bridge. Arghana is situated partly on the summit, and partly on the side of a precipitous hill over which the ascent is extremely rugged and difficult. A Mohammedan informed me, with apparent disrelish, that there were two Christians to one Mussulman inhabiting the town. On inquiry, I found that the Armenians amounted to 400 families, with two churches, and a large monastery; the latter is perched on the pinnacle of a high rock, at a little distance from the town, and commands an extensive view of the wide plain which stretches for many miles towards the south. There are no Greeks resident here. The Armenians, like those of Arghana Maaden, are under the spiritual jurisdiction of the Bishop of Arabkir.
The Bey of the mines had sent a cavass or orderly with us as far as Arghana, from whence we were supplied with two of the most miserable-looking fellows as guards it is possible to conceive. One was armed with a rusty sword, girt round his waist with a camel's-hair rope; the other carried an old musket over his shoulder, without any ammunition. This was the escort which was ordered to conduct us safely as far as the Kurdish encampment of Bektash Aga, half-way to Diarbekir. The poor creatures were almost naked, and kept pace with our horses for nearly six hours. They had evidently been picked up in the streets of thee town, and forced into our service.
Our road from Arghana lay over an extensive plain covered with long grass parched up by the sun, but scarcely presenting, on its whole surface, any signs of cultivation. It was literally a desert, and the monotony of the level country over which we travelled was only relieved by the line of the Karajah Dagh, which rose to a considerable height to the south of our route.
At four P.M. we reached the Kurdish encampment, and were kindly received by the Aga, who ordered one division of his large marquee to be cleared out for our reception. The encampment consisted of about thirty tents scattered round that of the chief; and when we arrived, all the inmates seemed busied in preparing their evening repast, little thinking that they were to [332/333] share it with rather unwelcome visitors, as we had scarcely seated ourselves, when Osman Pasha arrived, accompanied by thirty horsemen, on their way from Bagdad to greet the new Pasha of Kharpoot. These gentry made themselves at home without any ceremony, and soon procured forage for their horses, and food to satisfy their own hunger, either by fair means or by foul, from the unresisting Kurds. Osman Pasha was accommodated with the division of the Aga's tent next to ours, and every attention was lavished upon him, the Aga himself condescending to act as his servant. On hearing that some English gentlemen were in the tent, he sent and requested me to dine with him. It being Ramadan, he was punctilious not to break the fast by tasting food before the legal hour, and in order to do this, kept his eyes intently fixed on his watch, until the hand traversed the appointed limit. He then ate in good earnest, and after meals, the time of prayer having arrived, waiving all ceremony, he begged me to amuse myself, while he performed his devotions. A lesson this, thought I to myself, worthy the reflection of all Christians.
The Kurds at the encampment of Bektash Aga belong to a branch of the large Omanyâa tribe, well known in these parts.
Oct. 23.--Left Bektash Aga at five A.M., and continued our journey across the desert country. In three hours we forded the Devé Geteedi (camels cross-over), so named, because in winter it is only fordable by these animals. This stream takes its rise in the Karajah Dagh, and falls into the Tigris not far from Diarbekir.
[Transcriber's note: no further articles are printed in later issues of The Colonial Church Chronicle and Missionary Journal.]