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

336                  JOURNEYS IN KURDISTAN      LETTER xxxi

raise the teaching and tone of their own schools in the
city, with one of which I was very greatly pleased. The
creation of churches, strict in their discipline, and pro-
testing against the mass of superstitions which smother
all spiritual life in the National Armenian Church, is un-
doubtedly having a very salutary effect far beyond the
limited membership, and is tending to force reform upon
an ancient church which contains within herself the
elements of resurrection. Great honour is due to Dr.
Eeynolds for the way in which, almost single-handed, he
has kept the valuable work of this Mission going for
years, and now that colleagues have arrived a consider-
able development may be hoped for.

I have confessed already to a prejudice against the
Armenians, but it is not possible to deny that they are
the most capable, energetic, enterprising, and pushing race
in Western Asia, physically superior, and intellectually
acute, and above all they are a race which can be raised
in all respects to our own level, neither religion, colour,
customs, nor inferiority in intellect or force constituting
any barrier between us. Their shrewdness and aptitude
for business are remarkable, and whatever exists of com-
mercial enterprise in Eastern Asia Minor is almost alto-
gether in their hands. They have singular elasticity, as
their survival as a church and nation shows, and I cannot
but think it likely that they may have some share in
determining the course of events in the East, both
politically and religiously. As Orientals they understand
Oriental character and modes of thought as we never can,
and if a new Pentecostal afflatus were to fall upon the edu-
cated and intelligent young men who are being^ trained in
the colleges which the American churches have scattered
liberally through Asia Minor, the effect upon Turkey
would be marvellous. I think most decidedly that
reform in Turkey must come through Christianity, and