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to Mussulmans?' We replied, 'It is not our wish to do any thing in secret, nor to distribute books in this country, which we are not willing that you should all read; nor do we consider it unlawful for Mussulmans to read Christian books. If Mussulmans wish to read our books, and learn what we believe, we are always ready to give them an opportunity.' He said that was all very well, begged us not to be offended, told us he had no knowledge of the affair when we were arrested, but the whole was done by the judge; and added, "You will lodge here with my nephew to-night, and to-morrow return to your rooms.' His nephew, Hosein Beg, conducted us to his room, insisted on my taking his own seat in the corner of the sofa, which is the place of honor, ordered sherbet, pipes, coffee, and a supper, and said as many as twenty or thirty times, 'Excuse us.' •Be not offended with us.'
“After supper we entered into a free conversation about the Arabic language, and then about the Bible, and the Koran, and Christ, and Mahommed. I was struck with the remark, as coming from him at that time and place, "This house is the place where our Lord Jesus was condemned.' It was even so, and we had the unmerited honor of being arraigned for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus, in the palace of the governor, which now occupies the ground where the palace of Pilate stood. I said to myself, “It is enough for the disciple that he be as his Master, and the servant as his Lord. If our Redeemer was condemned to death for our sakes, it is but a small matter that we should suffer a short confinement for his name's sake. Knowing, as we did, the character of the men in whose hands we were, it was impossible that the mind should not be busy, during the afternoon and evening, in thinking what might be the result of all this. We knew that Greeks, priests as well as others, and Jews, some of whom were Europeans, and had passports and
firmans; had been put in prison and in chains, on the most frivolous pretences, until they paid large sums of money to their oppressors. It was at least possible that we might receive the same treatment, and have the same demands made upon us. knew that Turks are accustomed to inflict corporeal punishment, in order to extort money, or some confession which they wish to obtain; and the question naturally occurred, 'Are we ready to glorify our Lord by bodily suffering? What effect the certainty of suffering would have had on our minds I cannot say; but the probability of it did not greatly agitate us. What we most seriously feared, was, that we should be either ordered to leave Jerusalem, or prohibited from distributing the Holy Scriptures. The events of the evening had a little brightened our prospects, though we felt by no means certain, that what had been promised us would be fulfilled. We however commended ourselves and our cause to the divine protection, and slept quietly,
“We had reason to expect, from what had been said to us in the evening, that we should be allowed to return to our rooms in the morning without further delay; but the forenoon passed away without permission to go. We read 2 Cor. vi, 1-10,to each other with much interest, and endeavored in patience to possess our souls. Some hints had been given to Joseph the preceding evening, that a present from us would not come amiss; but we took no notice of those hints. Moosa Beg and Hosein Beg now told Joseph, that, as we were Englishmen, the governor could not take money from us, but that a present of some valuable article would be expected from us for the governor, and a small sum of money, say twenty dollars, for themselves. Instead of giving an answer to this, we told Joseph to ask whether we could distribute the Scriptures as formerly. The answer was, 'Certainly;--nobody can say a word on the subject after what has happened.' They added that,
as to the twenty dollars for themselves, it was not necessary, but any small sum, whatever we pleased to give. We next sent to know, what proclamation the crier had made in the streets and at the convents concerning our books. The answer was, that he had merely prohibited Mussulmans from receiving them, but had said nothing about Christians. We doubted the truth of this at the time, and learned afterwards that it was totally false. The proclamation was, that whoever had received books from the English must deliver them up to the judge; and that nobody could hereafter receive any from them, on penalty of imprisonment; and that these were books which might not be read, either in the mosque, or in the synagogue, or the church, or any where else. After a little further delay we were conducted to our rooms. Mr. Bird's room and mine were given up to us. The Bible Society's room they had not discovered the day before. They now examined this, and sealed it up; and said that this, and Mr. King's room, in which they found me the day before, was to remain for the
After waiting a while to receive some present, but finding they were not to receive any thing, they went away in very ill humor. They probably thought it hard that they must insult us, search our rooms, trunks and secretaries, seal up and open, once and again, all our doors, conduct us to the judge and the governor, and keep us twenty-four hours in custody, and not be paid for all this trouble. It is probably the first time that they have done all this for nothing, for the poor Greeks and Jews always have to pay dearly for being insulted and abused."
After mentioning a number of instances of sympathy from individuals at Jerusalem, who professed to be their friends, and to rejoice greatly in view of their deliverance from Turkish authority, Mr. Fisk adds the following remarks.
“This affair gave us new information about Turks,
Turkish government, and Turkish justice. I trust too that it gave us new proofs of our attachment to Christ and his cause, and of our willingness to leave ourselves, and our plans, and all that concerns us, in his hands. We feel that we deserve and need disappointments and trials, and hope to profit by them. All that we have as yet suffered, however, is nothing compared with what the first Christians suffered, nor indeed is it any thing compared with what the Christian and Jewish subjects of the sultan daily suffer at the hands of their tyrants.
“Immediately after our release, we wrote letters giving an account of what had happened, to Mr. King, and to Mr. Damiani, English consul at Joppa, and to Mr. Abbott the consul at Beyroot. The following Monday, Mr. Joseph Damiani, the consul's son, arrived with a letter from his father to the
governor. Tuesday morning we went in company with Mr. D. to the Governor. He read the consul's letter, and some other papers which Mr. D. presented, and then beginning to exculpate himself, said it was wholly an affair of the judge, and undertaken without his knowledge. The judge sent to him to put us in prison and in chains, but when he read our firman, he said that could not be done.
“As to the books, he said there was nothing in the way of the distribution of Christian books among Christians. Accompanied by one of his men, we went next to the judge. He read the papers, which Mr. D. presented, containing orders from the sultan, and from different pashas as to the manner in which travellers are to be treated. He made some professions of regard for the English, but talked rather morosely about the books, and took up a copy of Genesis and read, The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters,' and threw the book on the floor, saying, "That is infidelity.” He said that infidels, meaning Christians and Jews, might buy and sell their infidel books as they liked, only Mus
sulmans must not purchase, nor receive them, 'because these books contain something which would make Mussulmans mad, if they should read it.'
“Mean time Joseph went with the governor's man who attended us, to find the papers that were taken from my secretary: When they returned with the papers, Joseph told us, that the governor, on hearing that the judge denied having given orders to imprison us, fell into a great rage, and talked most outrageously against the judge before all his attendants. To two men, who had no concern in our arrest, but had obtained and brought to us our papers and books, and opened our rooms, we gave a dollar. Numbers applied for presents, on our release, but we thought it proper, and felt it our duty, to send them all away empty. Soon after our rooms were unsealed, a man from the judge called, and said he was sent both by the judge and the governor to present their compliments to us and say, that if any
of their soldiers or officers should demand money from us, we were to pay nothing, but give immediate information to one of them.'
“On Wednesday Joseph went out again with Scriptures for sale, and in the course of four days we sold about tyu hundred copies. It would not be easy to describe the emotions that swelled our breasts, on seeing such a readiness to purchase the word of God, after what had happened. We thanked God and took courage.
“It soon appeared, that both the judge and the governor feared for the consequences of what they had done to us. The governor told Joseph privately, that he had written to the pasha of Damascus, laying all the blame on the judge; and the judge, on the other hand, sent a man to tell us, that he had written to the pasha of Acre to secure his influence against the governor. What a picture does this give of Turkish government! "March 2. A soldier from the governor called