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Full text of "Journeys In Persia And Kurdistan ( Vol.Ii)."

226                      JOURNEYS IN PERSIA                     NOTES

mountains, and the mere mention of his name is a pass-
port to the good-will of their fierce inhabitants.

The work of the mission is not confined to the city of
Urmi. Among the villages of the plain there are eighty-
four schools, taught chiefly in Syriac, seven of which are
for girls only. The mission ladies itinerate largely, and
are warmly welcomed by Moslem as well as Christian
women, and evQn by those families of Kurds who, since
their defeat in 1881, have settled down to peaceful
pursuits, some of them even becoming Christians.

In fifty years the American missionaries have gained
a very considerable and wide-spread influence, not only
by labours which are recognised as disinterested, but by
the purity and righteousness of their lives; and the
increased friendliness and accessibility of the Moslems of
Urmi give hope that the purer teachings of Christianity
and the example of the life of our Lord are regarded by
them with less of hostility or indifference than formerly.

The history of the mission is best given in the words
of Dr. Shedd, one of its oldest members.1

1 In twenty-eight years after its establishment a conference of bishops,
presbyters, and deacons, all of whom had received ordination in the Old
Church, with preachers, elders, and missionaries, met and deliberated.
1' This conference adopted its own confession, form of government, and
discipline—at first very simple. Some things were taken from the canons
and rituals of the Old Church, others from the usages of Protest-
ant Churches. The traditions of the Old Church were respected to some
extent; for example, no influence has induced the native brethren to re-
mit the diaconate to a mere service in temporalities. The deacons are a
preaching order."

Of the subsequent history of this church the same authority writes as
follows :—

" The missionaries in 1835 were welcomed by the ecclesiastics and
people, and for many years an honest effort was made to reform the old
body " (the Syrian Church) " without destroying its organisation. This
effort failed, and a new church was gradually formed for the following
reasons—

"(1) Persecution. The patriarch did all in his power to destroy the
Evangelical work. He threatened, beat, and imprisoned the teachers and