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ILEASE I'S A GUIDE.
"PLEASE I'S A GUIDE."
BY CATHARINE ELLIS.
goes on till
LEASE I's a Guide. Such was the reply made by a child
of four years old, when asked, “Wby are you sitting here on the steps ?”
Once a week, about seventy blind men and women meet in a Mission-room in the South-west of London, and it is wonderful the distances they come, and how they get there.
Very young and tiny boys and girls are their guides, and bring them safely through many winding streets and roads. This wee guide was asked how she managed to get her father over the crossings. "Well, this is how I does ; I looks up in a bobby's face, and if he looks kind, I says, “ Please take father across ;' but if he looks cross, I I sees another bobby, and that's how I gets along." How true is the passage, “A little child shall lead them" (Isa. xi. 6), when we see such tiny guides bringing men and women totally blind to where they may hear of Jesus, and have a few kind words spoken to them.
They sing and pray, and after a little Bible reading, are taught to read and write, and before leaving have a cup of tea provided for them oy kind friends. Let us thank God daily for our sight, when so many are deprived of this blessing.
But let us turn and listen to a loving voice saying, at the opening of this New Year, “I am a Guide, will you let Me lead you through the untrodden future, for it may be looking dark to you? Listen to My words, “I will guide thee with Mine eye'” (Psa. xxxii. 8). “The meek will He guide in judgment” (Psa. xxv. 9). “He will be our guide even unto death” (Psa. xlviii. 14). Sball we not all say, “My Father, Thou art the guide of my youth "? (Jer. iii. 4). Then see the promise, “The Lord shall guide thee continually” (Isa. lviii. 11). This question in Isa. xlii. 19, “Who is blind, but my servant ?” will make us value verse 16. How we all trust to a guide! Let us trust to our Guide to take us the right way-it may not always be the shortest-the way we have never gone before, all unknown, for “He led them forth by the right way" (Psa. cvii. 7).
He knows that His blind ones often have crooked paths to walk in, and crooked things to meet with, and perhaps crooked people to do with, so He promises that He will make all come “straight.” Oh ! let our Guide do it for us all this year. He will provide shoes for the
CHRIST OR MAHOMET ?
rough places, and we may expect that such a Guide will make all our rough places His valleys, through which His love-blessings and guidings will flow and overflow during 1882.
.:: CHRIST OR MAHOMET? OR AHMED TEWFIK'S
BY E. H. I. AND E. M. G. M.
E are sure it will encourage all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ and are interested in what concerns His Kingdom, to hear of the triumphs of His grace in one heart, which has lately been brought is out of darkness into His marvellous light.”
The history of Ahmed Tewfik Effendi may already have been followed in the Times. He was an Ulema
a learned man who unites in his person the dignity of divine and lawyer") of high position, had been tutor to the Sultan's brother-in-law, and had lectured before the Sultan on the Koranthe Mahommedan Bible,—while his wife was a daughter of the most intiinate friend of the Sultan's mother.
But in order to follow up his history more closely we must go back in thought to the time when, after the Crimean War, the Sultan conceded the famous "Hatti-Hamayûn," which was an edict in which he granted amongst other reforms, a certain amount. of religious liberty. Then it was that the Church Missionary Society saw an opportunity for sending out missionaries, and the first to go were Dr. Pfander and Dr. Sigismund Koelle, Their work seemed at first to prosper, and several baptisms took place ; but suddenly the authorities, without any warning of hostility, attacked the premises of the various missionary societies, burned their books, and threw their converts into prison.
This for the time effectually put an end to open work; nevertheless those two missionaries were quietly but steadily working. Dr. Koelle employed much of his time in the translation of English religious works into Turkish. In this he engaged the assistance of Ahmed Tewfik Effendi. This young man was endued with great mental powers, had passed high examinations, and taken what would answer with us to the position of Senior Wrangler. While he was translating Dr. Koelle's religious works into Turkish, the truth began to dawn upon his soul. This was about eight years ago. Soon after this he became very seriously ill, and sent for
CHRIST OR MAHOMET ?
Dr. Koelle. On going into the room the almost dying man held out his arms to his friend saying: “Oh! you have come at last, my dear father in God. I am dying and wish to be baptised that I may die a Christian.” Dr. Koelle says, “I would not baptise him then, for I saw his wish was only to die a Christian, and his heart was yet unrenewed, I saw afterwards that my conduct was justified, for with returning health all Ahmed Tewfik's desires after Christianity seemed to fade away.” He greatly dreaded the persecutions which as a Christian he would have to suffer, and when he was searched in the street and arrested because forbidden books were found on him, he was still by profession a rigid Mahom. medan.
By one of their great ecclesiastical dignitaries, and by a council of Moollahs or priests, he was sentenced to death by crucifixion. He was saved from this by the urgent request of Sir Henry Layard, then British Minister at Constantinople, who pleaded for him with the Sultan. He was exiled to the Island of Chio, where he was imprisoned. Only two days before the awful earthquake took place which engulfed many of the inhabitants, he effected his escape from Chio and came to England, whither Dr. Koelle-afterwards to be the means, under God, of his conversion-had preceded him. Since his arrival in this country, more than a year ago, he went through great mental struggles, for although now convinced of the truth, and desirous of publicly confessing Christ, his heart still clung to his wife and children in Constantinople, for he knew that the day he embraced Christianity, his wife would, by Mahommedan laws, be released from the marriage tie, and his children be taken from him. Notwithstanding this, having counted the cost, he, by the grace of God, determined to confess Christ in baptism.
This solemn event took place in St. Paul's Church, Onslowsquare, London, on Friday, November 4th, in the presence of no less than one thousand persons ! Many members of the Church Missionary Society Committee, and other societies, joined in the deeply interesting service. After prayer, Dr. Koelle gave a short sketch of the history of Ahmed Tewfik. He then joined the Rev. H. W. Webb-Peploe at the font, where stood already the young convert and his three witnesses-Sir William Muir (one of the greatest living authorities on Mahommedanism, and in deep sympathy with all missionary effort) Archdeacon Philpot, and Mrs. Webb-Peploe.
The service was conducted partly in English and partly in Turkish. Having distinctly responded to the questions put to him in his own language, Ahmed Tewfik removed his turban from his head in order to receive the sign of the cross. To many present
CHRIST OR MAHOMET?
this act had no signification, but there were some to whom that moment was one of intense solemnity, for they knew that by that one act he practically lost his rank, his title, his wealth, and his position; that he was separated from his wife and children, and that now it would be death for him to return to his native land. He was then baptised by the name of John, and thus publicly renounced Mahommedanism “for the faith of Christ crucified." After this was sung that beautiful hymn commencing “In token that thou shalt not fear Christ crucified to own.” Many felt how specially applicable were these words in the case of John Tewfik:
"In token that thou shalt not flinch
Christ's quarrel to maintain,
And sit thee down on high." The service was concluded in English, when the Rev. H. W. Webb-Peploe asked the earnest prayers of all Christians that their new brother might be kept "steadfast unto the end." After silent prayer, the blessing was pronounced.
If any be disposed to doubt the reality of faith in Christ we would ask them to consider what it was which could cause one so deeply versed in the religion of Mahomet to renounce that faith and everything which this world could give for the Lord Jesus Christ, and to choose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.
To our brother and sisters in Christ we would say,-- should not this encourage us to greater faith in the power of Christ, to sustain us amid our lesser persecutions; and does it not devolve upon us to make good to our new brother, as far as lies in our power, all that he has so voluntarily given up in this world for Christ ? thus fulfilling our Master's promise to his servants. (Luke xviii. 29, 30.)
John Tewfik is seeking to support himself by employment. Until he gains this he is in great need, and any contributions towards his support will be gratefully received by Miss Inge, Thorpe, Tamworth, Staffordshire.
Let us unite in earnest prayer that John Tewfik "may please Him who hath called him to be a soldier;" and that being found faithful unto death, he may hereafter receive a crown of life from the hands of his Master.
DIVERSITIES OF GIFTS.
DIVERSITIES OF GIFTS.
BY THE REV. JAMES NEIL.
Author of “ Palestine Re-peopled” and “ Palestine Explored.”
amid the snows of the bitter north. The lofty palm
is the evergreen of the land of the sun. Its woody stem, equally firm and pliant, unencumbered by a single branch, rises like a tall slender mast, and it is thus enabled to bear the whirlwinds peculiar to this region. At its summit it spreads out its rich crown of leaves, summer and winter. These form a huge and graceful parasol, by which, not only its own fruit, but also the growth of the ground below, is shaded from the fierce rays of the cloudless sun. The grand sombre fir tree, on the other hand, which lives in the north amid the ice and snow, branches close to the ground, and, roof-like, drops its boughs at their extremities, exposing its fruit above to every glimpse of the sun, and from its form allowing the ponderous snow, which would otherwise crush it, to glide down off the smooth polished leaves. One has well said, “If the palm were a pyramid like the pine, it would fall before the first storm of the tropics; if the pine were tall and shaped like a broad parasol, the snow and ice of the north would break it by their heavy weight." Yet both the burning tropics and the arctic zone have their evergreens. · At the south it is the towering palm that protects with its gigantic leaves all that lives against the fierce heat, and lets the ground be covered with green creepers and countless ferns, to keep it fresh and cool. At the nortu iu is the dark pine whose lofty, dense pyramids and ample branches, covered with ghastly moss protect in a like manner the ground beneath, so that the reindeer and man may find there abundance of soft dry leaves, and thick layers of downy mosses.
Behold in this illustration how Almighty God makes use of very different agents to carry out the self same work, namely, that of extending the protecting shelter of Divine redeeming love to a lost world. It may be seen from the very first, how He sends forth simple fishermen, just as they have risen up and left their humble employ; and now, on the same errand, He commissions Saul, the learned and trained Rabbi; Matthew, the despised tax-gatherer; and Luke, “the beloved physician;" all have their place in the same work. Bunyan, the rude and illiterate tinker, and Lady Jane Grey, the refined and cultured lady, were equally
* Taken, with the picture, from “Rays from the Realms of Nature." Published by Cassell, Petter and Galpin. By permission of the author.