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The Life of John Wilson
Chapter XI. Home by Cairo, Sinai, Jerusalem, Damascus, Constantinople, and Perth


1843.
HOME BY CAIRO, SINAI, JERUSALEM, DAMASCUS, CONSTANTINOPLE AND PESTH.

Reluctant Farewell to India for a time—Address from Non-Christian Students —Parsee and Abyssinian Youths, his Companions—Makulla and its Slave Atrocities—Aden and the Jews of Yemen—Cairo—Lepsius—Dr. Wilson’s Caravan of forty-seven Camels—Jebel Musa and the true Sinai—The first snow seen for fifteen years—The Petra Excavations and the Rock-cut Temples of India—Hebron and a Jewish Greeting—Damascus—The Samaritans and their Pentateuch—Jacob’s Well and Dr. A. Bonar’s Bible— Smyrna and Polycarp—Constantinople and St. Sophia—Guest of Sir Stratford Canning—Turks, Bulgariaus and Servians—A Police Welcome to Christendom—Pesth—Rabbi Duncan, Saphir and the Free Church Mission —Interpreting the Gypsies—Presburg and the Prince Palatine—Colonel Sykes—Edinburgh at last.

For fourteen years Dr. Wilson had been doing a work which, in its variety, permanence, and, above all, unselfish energy, had made him, while still under forty years of age, the most prominent public man in Western India. Governors, commanders-in-chief, and judges, had come and gone from Bombay. Governors-General and members of Council' had, one after the other, striven to leave their mark at Calcutta on the progress of the empire politically and territorially. The brief span of the five years’ term of office, however, allowed to all, then as still more perniciously now, broke the continuity of progress, and silently fostered that disbelief in the inevitable growth and stability of British rule, the outburst of which took civilisation by surprise in 1857. But Wilson, like Carey before him and Duff on the other side of India, had gone on steadily mapping out the decaying fields of anti-Christian and non-Christian error, and, in the exercise of a faith which was strong in proportion to his own labours, taking possession of them for his Master. Not with him, as with successive Viceroys, Presidents of the Board of Control, and occupants of the Directors’ chairs, did the pendulum swing from side to side, now violently and again at rest altogether. Coorg conquests, Afghan wars and Sindh robberies, might go on; the far-seeing philanthropy of a Bentinck might be neutralised by the stupid reaction of an Auckland, or imperilled by the meteor-like madness of an Ellenborough, till massacre, debt, and unrighteousness stained the annals of England as no event in her foreign history had done. But the missionary, master of the literature, the languages, the history, and therefore the heart, of the peoples of different faiths, and fired with a divine enthusiasm which no policy of man however exalted can give, had laid the foundations of the Church of Western India; had grappled with Brahmanism, Muhammadanism, and Parseeism on their chosen ground; had added to his own direct work in the Konkan, Poona, and Bombay, the Irish Mission in Goojarat and the beginnings of the Free Church Mission in Central India and Gondwana ; had prepared the means of evangelising the Jews and the Arabs, the Armenians and the Nestorians, the Abyssinians and the Negroes around the Arabian Sea; had^proved as salt to the English society of his own province, and had set in motion spiritual and social, forces which continue to work with increasing momentum. Can we wonder that, when the hour came to leave it all, though only for a time, there was more than the regret which every true worker for and lover of the people of India experiences, in spite of the attractions of home and the pains of exile 1 The conviction that he was only continuing his work on a wider area was required to second the commands of the physicians whose warnings had been long unheeded. There were showered on the departing philanthropist the farewells of loving and respectful admiration from public and private friends, in a land where the Anglo-Indian has more than caught the brotherhood-hospitality of the Oriental. Every community, not excepting individual Parsees, vied with the other in its demonstrations, while the Government of Sir George Arthur supplied letters to the authorities of the countries through which the traveller wished to pass. Among many others, Mr. Frere begged his distinguished uncle at Malta to show him all honour.

More highly even than the address of the Asiatic Society, did Dr. Wilson value that of the native and non-Christian students of the Institution which he had established in 1832 as an English school. They had again increased in number from 155 in 1841 to 203, of whom 98 were Hindoos, 8 Muhammadans, 28 Parsees, Israelites, and Jews, and 68 Christians, while 675 boys and 479 girls attended the vernacular schools.

The first day of 1843 was Sunday, when Dr. Wilson concluded his ministrations “ by beseeching the little flock of converts from Hindooism, Zoroastrianism, and Muhammadanism, which had been gathered together through my own ministry and that of my fellow-labourers, to let their conversation be as it becometh the Gospel of Christ, that whether I might come and see them, or else be absent, I might hear of their affairs.” His own countrymen present he called on “to anticipate the glorious era of the moral renovation of India, when ‘ all the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord, and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before Him.’ ”Sunset of the next day saw him accompanied to the Palawa or Apollo pier, and on to the deck of the East India Company’s steamer ‘ Cleopatra,’ by a regretful crowd of Native and European friends, among them Professor Westergaard, who had been his guest for months. In the infancy of the Overland Eoute, before the Peninsular and Oriental Company had reduced the distance between Bombay and London to eighteen days, a monthly steamer was run to Aden and Suez by the Indian Navy. So late as 1854 the mail was only fortnightty, and the Bombay portion of it was even then carried by an East India Company’s steamer between Aden and Bombay. Among the natives who lingered last on the deck were two who had so far overcome Brahmanical and caste prejudice as to express a desire to travel with Dr. Wilson. These were Atmaram Pandurang, a Brahman gentleman who is still respected as the head of the Prarthna Samaj, corresponding to Baboo Keshub Chunder Sen’s Brahmo theists; and Gunput Lukshmun, of the Prabhoo or writer caste.

Dr. Wilson had prepared for and planned his expedition with a care which, in some degree, every traveller would do well to show. His object was to visit Egypt, Syria, especially the Holy Land and Eastern Europe, not merely for purposes of scholarly and biblical research, but to report to his Church on the condition of the Jews, the Samaritans, and the Eastern Christians. He had accumulated and mastered a library of all the early travellers in, and writers on, Syria, such as few public collections possessed at that time, and much of this he took with him. He had devoted himself anew to Arabic, and to familiarity with that he gave up all the leisure of the fortnight’s voyage to Suez. Not only by letters to the Political Residents and Consuls, but by despatching Mordecai, a Jew, a month or two before him, he found information awaiting him at Aden and at Cairo. The friend who was specially his companion in travel, the late John Smith, Esq., had also gone before him to recruit his strength by a voyage up the Nile, and to prepare at Cairo the expedition for the Desert and Syria. All that intelligence, foresight, and learning could do, aided by 'willing friends, was done to perfect the success of the expedition. The Church of Scotland, through both the Foreign and Jewish Committees, intended it to complete the inquiry carried out a few years before by Drs. Keith and Black, Mr. M£Cheyne, and Dr. Andrew Bonar.

Dr. Wilson was accompanied, first of all, by Dhunjeebhoy Nourojee, whose affection and fidelity he had tested in more than one of his Indian tours. It was desirable that the first Parsee convert to Christianity should complete at college in Scotland those eight years’ studies for the office of preacher which the Scottish Churches wisely demand, that their ministers may have a theological as well as literary education, and which he had been pursuing in Bombay. Dr. Wilson also contemplated the publication of a translation into Goojaratee of his Par si Pieligion, and he proposed that Dhunjeebhoy should write that on the lithographic stones in Edinburgh. Next came the two Abyssinian students, Gabru and Maricha, who had sat at his table for nearly five years, and were now returning to their native land to introduce into it the blessings of a pure Christianity and political wisdom. They parted from their spiritual father at Aden, who prayed <£ that to their benighted countrymen they might be the instruments of great spiritual good, even as Frumentius and HMesius, the tender Tyrian youths through whom the Gospel was first introduced into their native land.” We shall see how effectually, but differently from Dr. Wilson’s expectations, the prayer was answered. Finally, the Government Surveyor, Colonel Dickinson, had recommended as draftsman a Mr. O’Brien, who did his part of the mission well.

As the ‘Cleopatra’ skirted the southern coast of Arabia, Makulla came in sight, recalling the horrors of the slave trade, of which it continued to be an infamous emporium till 1873. There Captain Haines had seen seven hundred Nubian girls at a time, subjected in its slave-market to the disgusting inspection of the Mussulman sensualist, to be smuggled into the native states of Kathiawar. Off Makulla it was that, a few years before, two boats, laden chiefly with negro children shipped from Zanzibar, had been seized by the Indian Navy, and the freed youths were distributed among the Christian Missions of Western India. At Aden, first of our conquests in the reign of the young Queen Victoria, Captain Haines, the first Governor, became Dr. Wilson’s host, and aided him in his census and study of the Jewish community. Of 19,938 inhabitants of that extinct volcano, in 1843 there were 590 Jews, 480 Jewesses, and 857 Europeans, the last chiefly the troops of the garrison. The geological structure of the vast cinder which was once forced up through the limestone, so interested Dr. Wilson that, as he collected specimens of zeolite, chalcedonies, obsidian and vesicular lava, the simple Somalees who crowded round him declared he must be searching for gold or hid treasure by magical arts. His scientific conclusions were confirmed by Dr. Buist, who had not long before begun his bright literary career in India, and whom Dr. Wilson described at that time as “one of the most accomplished mineralogists and geologists in the East.” At Aden the president of the Asiatic Society discussed with Captain Haines those Himyaritic inscriptions which had begun to attract the attention of the learned. To complete his study of the Jews, whose settlement in Yemen had taken place long before the Christian era, Dr. Wilson was anxious that the steamer should stop at Jeddah on its way up the Red Sea that he might attempt to reach Mecca. He had been encouraged to believe that he might report on the capital of Islam in safety, by Lieutenant Christopher, I. N., who had been assured by its governor that a European traveller quietly proceeding from the coast would find no obstacle. At Suez the governor showed a keen interest in our disasters in Afghanistan, in conversation with Dr. Wilson, who also was surprised when addressed in excellent English by an Arab, one of the young Fellaheen who had been sent by Muhammad Ali to Glasgow for education, and had been there baptized.

At Cairo, after the old and not unpleasant passage of the desert in vans, Dr. Wilson found the first and greatest of the present dynasty of Egyptian rulers building his mosque and palace on the platform of the citadel which overlooks the Nile valley and the pyramids. He formed a hopeful idea of the tolerant but firm rule of the quondam tobacco-seller of Roumelia, whom—perhaps in an evil hour —we prevented from remaining master of all Syria and Arabia. The Jews, the Copts, the mission of good Mr. Lieder, the mosques, the tombs, and the pyramids, absorbed Dr. Wilson’s attention for days. He found himself already known to the small band of Egyptologists, with some of whom he had corresponded. He was unanimously elected an Honorary Member of the Egyptian Society. M. Linant de Bellefonds, in officially communicating the fact, begged him “ to accept this title as the best tribute of respect which the Society can offer to one so eminently distinguished as yourself in Oriental researches.” Dr. Wilson especially enjoyed learned intercourse with the great scholar Lepsius, the head of the commission sent by the King of Prussia to report on the antiquities of Egypt. M. Linant, who had accompanied M. L6on de Laborde to Petra, gave him much information for his journey to the same place. With Lepsius he explored the pyramids and the half-disentombed sphinx. “When we were there the body of a child was exhumed. The coffin had upon it the cartouche of ‘Psammatik’ or Psammitichus. I carried part of its contents with me to Cairo, and afterwards to England, without attributing any great importance to the possession.” He made considerable purchases of the most important Arabic, Persian, and Turkish works, published by Muhammad Ali’s press, including the three folios of the Kamils or Ocean, the famous Dictionary translated into Turkish; of the Persian Burhdn-i-Kcitia in Turkish he had the beautiful edition lithographed at Bombay. His account of the publications and of the educational system of Egypt at that time is most favourable to Muhammad Ali. The latter may be contrasted with that since developed by Mr. Rogers, formerly H.M. Consul at Cairo. That he might have free intercourse with the native inhabitants of Cairo, Dr. Wilson lodged with one Hassan Effendi, teacher of geology in the Bulak Polytechnic School, who had become a Christian when in England, and had married an English wife. Cairo is now as much a French as it is an Oriental city, but the record of Dr. Wilson’s experience correctly describes the impressions which the capital of Muhammad Ali used to leave on the Anglo-Indian visitor.

From Cairo Dr. Wilson’s expedition made its final start on the 7th of February 1843. Consisting of nine persons besides servants, and forty-seven camels, it formed an imposing caravan. Dr. Wilson himself was unanimously installed as quartermaster-general and interpreter, after the Indian fashion—that is, he settled arbitrarily all questions connected with the route and the times of marching and halting. The whole had been arranged and provisioned by the Bombay merchant prince, Mr. J. Smith, who, having been already two months on the Nile, relieved his companions of all care on this head. Throughout he was paymaster-general, charged to keep a faithful account of the expenses due by each. The Rev. H. Sherlock, and Messrs. Allan and Parke, from England, were their companions through the whole of the desert journey. Mr. O’Brien the artist, Dhunjeebhoy, Mordecai the Jew, and his little son Abraham, completed the party. Abdool Futteh, known in Arabia as the “man of the convent,” from his frequent visits to the abodes of the monks, and valued by Colonel Howard Yyse, was Dr. Wilson’s servant. Mr. J. Smith engaged Waters, an educated African who had come from Bombay. The others secured the services of two assistants, one of whom was Ibraheem, once employed by Dr. Robinson in his Biblical Researches, and again by the Scottish Mission.

For the first stage, by the Derb El-Basatin and the “valley of the wanderings” to Sinai, the party had engaged, as its guide and protector, Mateir, sheikh of the same Aleikat branch of the Tawarah Arabs who had helped Niebuhr in his explorations in stony Arabia. Guided by local traditions Dr. Wilson sought to trace the route of the Israelites from the Nile to the

Gulf of Suez, by a track which he believed to harmonise more easily with the narrative of the Exodus than that followed by other travellers. The inscriptions in the Wadi Mukatteb, or valley of the writings, had for him a peculiar interest. He examined the exhausted Pharaonic mines to the northward, and visited Wadi Feiran, “the most beautiful valley in the wilderness, in which the Christianity of the Arabian desert long found a refuge.” A careful study of the whole Jebel Musa range led him to hold by the traditional peak as the very “heaven” from which God “talked” with men, in opposition to that of Sufsafah, which Dr. Robinson, and the Ordnance Survey recently, consider to have been the spot where the Lord descended in fire and proclaimed the Law. To a careful examination of both Musa and Sufsafah Mr. J. Smith specially devoted himself. From the top of Musa he ran down to the chapel of Elijah in twelve minutes, and in three-quarters of an hour scrambled up to the top of Sufsafah, climbing the pinnacle on all fours in a serpentine line. He and the Musa party could distinctly hear the call of one another, being at a distance of not more than one geographical mile. The top of Musa was found covered in some places with snow, which Dr. Wilson had not seen since he left the Lammermoors fifteen years before, and the Parsee Dhunjeebhoy beheld and tasted for the first time.

From this point the party crossed the Tih range into the desert, along the course of Jabal Ajmeh to the Ghadir al Guf. Three of the party went on to Hebron, while Dr. Wilson and Mr. J. Smith made a new arrangement with the Badaween to march to Petra. Having managed, without opposition, to ascend Mount Hor and examine the tomb of Aaron, they “descended into the fearful chasm of Petra by moonlight, and we there found our humble tents and servants ready for our reception.” After a quotation from The Lands of the Bible, contrasting the rock-cut temples of India with the excavations of Petra, we must send our readers to that elaborate book— in the preparation of which Dr. Wilson spent all his home leisure up to May 1847, when it was published in Edinburgh in two volumes—and turn to his letters to India for a summary of the rest of the tour. That work, dedicated to Dr. Chalmers who showed a keen interest in its preparation, has still a special value in the literature of travel in Bible lands for four reasons : It records the impressions of a learned and observant traveller who approached Syria from the East with a knowledge of many Oriental languages and peoples. It describes several places not previously visited by Europeans. It devotes careful attention to all tribes of Jewish descent or faith, from the Beni-Israel of Bombay and the White and Black Jews of Southern India, to Yemen, Cairo, and Syria. And the work is, to this day, a high authority on many points relating to the Eastern Christian Churches and communities, and should be studied in the light of the great Turkish collapse and Russian extension. Dr. Wilson had undertaken the duty of meeting two Presbyterian missionaries to the Jews, Mr. now Dr. Graham, and Mr. Allan; and it will be seen that with them he fixed on Damascus as the centre of their labours.

“As efforts of architectural skill the excavations of Petra undoubtedly excel those of the Hindoos, which they also exceed in point of general extent, if we except the wonderful works at Verula or Elora. In individual magnitude they fall short of many of the cave temples, collegiate halls, and monastic cells of the farther East. Their interest, too, is wholly exterior; while that of those of India, with the exception of the great Brahmanical temple of Kailas, and the porticoes of the Buddhist Vihars of Sashti and Karli, is principally in the multitudinous decorations and fixtures, and gigantic mythological figures of the interior. The sculptures and excavations of Petra have been principally made by individuals, in their private capacity, for private purposes, and the comparatively limited amount of workmanship about them has permitted this to be the case; while most of those of India, intended for public purposes, and requiring an enormous expenditure of labour and wealth, have mostly been begun and finished by sovereign princes and religions communities. At Petra we have principally the beauty of art applied often legitimately to subdue the terrors of nature in perhaps the most singular locality on the face of the globe, and the cunning of life stamping its own similitude on the mouth of the grave, to conceal its loathsomeness ; but in India we have debasing superstition enshrining itself in gloom, and darkness, and mystery, in order to overawe its votaries, and to secure their reverence and prostration. The moralist, on looking into the empty vaults and tombs of Idumea, and seeing that the very names of ‘ the kings and counsellors of the earth which constructed these desolate places for themselves ’ are forgotten, exclaims, ‘ They are destroyed from morning to evening; they perish for ever without any regarding it. Doth not their excellency in them go away? they die even without wisdom.’ In entering into the dreary and decaying temples and shrines of India, he thinks of that day when ‘ a man shall cast his idols of silver and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats ; to go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the Lord and for the glory of His majesty, when He ariseth to shake terribly the earth.’ ”

“Beyrut, 30th June.—The Lord has greatly prospered me both in my researches and labours in the Holy Land and Syria. I have an outline of our movements preparing for the youth of our Institution. We have fixed on

Damascus as the headquarters of the Presbyterian mission. It is within the bounds of the Holy Land as drawn by Ezekiel and Zechariah. It has a Jewish population of 5000 souls, many of whom gave us a most cordial welcome. Other places are either already occupied by missionaries or are unsuitable as stations. The Jewish ladies at Damascus say that our ladies must be ‘their sisters.’ My Oriental dress is that of a Badawee Shaikh, but I seldom wear it. The word England is the grand passport both in the wilderness and in the city. Through its might, or rather through the gracious protection of the Lord of hosts, Mr. Graham and I passed about three weeks ago through an encampment of the Badaween, extending over a space of 30,000 camels, after the Turkish authorities at the Jisr Banat Yakab had declared that we should be certainly robbed or destroyed. The appearance of these Badaween, within a day’s march of Damascus, has greatly frightened the Pasha there. They are from the great Bariah. They brought vividly to our mind the promise, ‘The multitude of camels shall cover thee,’ etc. You may tell---that — is quite full of the project of having a mission established among them and the other Ishmaelitish tribes.

“I have been very busy since our return from Ccele Syria in putting my notes into order. I have gone over all my Arabic collections with a learned man here. I have interesting material for a large volume. The Armenians everywhere are in a most hopeful state. I have been greatly delighted with what I have seen of them.”

“Beyrut, May 4.—At the commencement of last month I forwarded to you a few lines from Jerusalem. I omitted to mention in them that, with my fellow-traveller Mr. Smith, I had made a short excursion from the Holy City to Jericho, the Jordan, and the Dead Sea. It afforded us much personal gratification, as well as an opportunity of comparing the present appearance of these and other interesting localities with the sacred narrative, and of making such observations connected with the geography and geology of the country as will enable us, when they are compared with our notes on the Wadi Arabia to the south of the Dead Sea, to hazard an opinion respecting different theories which have been advanced upon the destination of the Jordan previous to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Since leaving Jerusalem we have more than completed the inland tour of the Holy Land. Every step of our progress has been attended with the most solemn and hallowed associations, and almost inexpressible interest.

“At Nablus or Shechem, we took up our abode with the remnant of the Samaritans, which is now reduced to one hundred and fifty souls ; and we received from them much useful information respecting their belief and religious rites and ceremonies. The old priest showed us not only the ancient manuscripts of the Pentateuch, which he is accustomed to exhibit to travellers, but that which is reckoned to be of the highest antiquity, and which he declared had only once been previously unfolded before the eyes of the Goim. His eldest son walked with us to the summit of Mount Gerizim, and pointed out to us all its loca sancta agreeably to the traditions of his sect. An assembly of all the male adults and of most of the youth convened to meet us. We examined them respecting the views entertained of the Messiah. It was urged by them that the Shiloh of Genesis xlix. 10, was Solomon, to whom all nations either yielded obedience or reverence, and after whose reign the sceptre immediately departed from Judah ; and that it is of Joseph that there is to spring the Messiah, ‘the shepherd, the stone of Israel.’ The son of the priest was much more candid than the father in admitting the force of objections to their method of interpreting the books of Moses; and I am far mistaken if he is not convinced that his people are involved in gross error.

As the Samaritans have preserved the ancient Hebrew character, and have never used the Masoretic points, I was particularly anxious to learn from them their method of reading Hebrew, which, as far as I am aware, has never been inquired into in modern times; and I carefully noted the peculiarities of their pronunciation, which does not essentially differ from that of the Hebrew Chair of the University of Edinburgh. They are preparing a letter to the Beni-Israel of Bombay, respecting whom they were most minute in their inquiries ; and one of themselves has most strenuously urged me to take him to England, along with his copy of the Pentateuch. I doubt whether he will be permitted to leave his native place. He is an individual of great enterprise; and, attached to a rope and with a candle in his hand, he descended, under our direction and with our assistance, into Jacob’s Well, and recovered from it all that remains of Mr. Bonar’s Bible which was dropped into it nearly four years ago. We had a fire kindled in the well, the particular examination of which was the object of our visit to it, and we had it thus lighted throughout. It is exactly seventy-five feet deep, and about three yards in diameter. It is cut out of the solid rock, and has marks about it of the highest antiquity. I have no doubt that it is the well of which the Patriarch drank, and his children, and his cattle; and at which our Lord held his remarkable interview with the woman of Samaria.”

Dr. Wilson paid two visits to Jerusalem, of sixteen days together. Here, as wherever he went, his letters to the British Consuls from the Governor of Bombay opened to him every circle. With Mr. Finn, then our Consul at Jerusalem, he began an intercourse which was long fruitful in good to the Jews of the Holy Land. He was made an honorary member of the Jerusalem Literary Society on its institution a few years after. Very close and beneficial to both was his intimacy with the American missionaries, who have done and are doing so noble a work all over the Turkish dominion. On the 30th June he and Dhunjeebhoy left Beyrut for Constantinople by Smyrna, where, in quarantine, he preached of the church and of Poly carp, and beguiled the week in studying modern Greek. During a fortnight’s residence at Constantinople he continued his researches regarding the Eastern Christians, and the Jewish community among whom Mr. Schwartz was the Free Church missionary. To its first fruits, two converts from Judaism, he “simply administered the ordinance of baptism, and pronounced the benediction through the medium of Hebrew.” On a visit to St. Sophia he was allowed to walk through the mosque with his boots on and without a covering, though challenged by one of the Moolahs, four words in Persian—“but they are clean ”—sufficing to stop opposition. In truth he was under the auspices of the British embassy, being for a time the guest of Sir Stratford Canning at Buyukdereh. Among the foreign diplomatists, he wrote, even at that time, the now venerable Lord Stratford de Bedcliffe “was allowed to he the foremost for ability, influence, and philanthropy. His attaches, among whom was a young nobleman, the name of whose house, that of Napier, is indissolubly associated with the science and literature of Scotland, commanded much respect.” There Dr. Wilson received letters from Professor Westergaard, detailing his visit to the Gabars of Persia, the tombs of Darius and Xerxes, and other antiquities. At Buyukdereh he joined the Austrian steamer for Varna and Constandjeh, whence, in transit-vans to Czernavoda for the river steamer, the course lay up the Danube to Pesth in those pre-railway days. At Rustchuk “ we observed horses drawing carts, a sight to Dhunjeebhoy entirely novel, and which I myself had last seen at the Cape of Good Hope fifteen years ago.” Turks and Bulgarians alike repelled the observer by their ignorance and filth ; Servia was pronounced “the smallest State of Turkey in Europe, but the most advanced in enlightenment and civilisation.”

“14th August 1843.—At noon we were as far as Cladova, "where the Danube makes its exit from the Carpathian mountains, through the passage which it has cut for itself by the might of its waters, as the great drain of central Europe. Here we landed, and walked along the right bank of the river, while the steamer was being dragged up the rapids by oxen. "We had a delightful romp of it along the mountainous pass ; and I had the satisfaction of pointing out to my Parsee friend from the far East the different bushes and trees of the European jungle clothing the precipitous bank—the hazel, the brier, the willow, and the beech, all of which was entirely new to him, and of directing his attention to the remains of the great road constructed of old by the Romans, and which formed one of their grandest and most useful works. We crossed over to Orsova, after a three hours’ walk, and we were welcomed to Christendom, after having passed through the empire of Muhammadanism from the straits of Bab el-Mandeb to the rapids of the Iron Bar, by being put into durance vile, under the farcical name of sanatory guardianship. Our restraint lasted, however, only for a few hours; and it soon became evident that it was intended more for political than medical objects. When the examination of our passports showed that I was no fugitive Italian outlaw but a person recognised as a sober subject by a respectable Government, and that Dhunjeebhoy was not the pioneer of some horde of barbarians from the plains of central Asia, seeking fresh and green pasturage for their flocks and herds in the parching months of summer ; and when our deposition had been taken as to the contents of our boxes, and all our books, with the exception of a Bible, a Medical Dictionary, and a volume of German Dialogues—which last work we had much need of studying—had, as was thought, been put by seal and signet alike beyond our use and that of the public, till their inspection by the censor at Vienna, eager to peruse a chapter or two of Rabbi Saadi Gaon’s dim manuscript of the Pentateuch, or to peep into the secrets of a Samaritan marriage covenant, and above all to have the satisfaction of repeating, in the original

Zand, a Parsee Nirang for the expulsion of the devil Nesosh from a putrid corpse, we were set at liberty. On this occasion Dhunjeebhoy was, as a matter of course, raised to the rank of an Indian prince, and I degraded to that of his dragoman or valet, by the intelligent and observant police.”

“Pesth, Sabbath, 20th August—We were conducted by a young friend, on the look-out for us, to the house of the Rev. Dr. John Duncan, now Professor of Oriental Languages in the New College of Edinburgh, and his associates Messrs. Smith and Wingate, in which we got a most cordial and affectionate welcome. We stayed with our friends till the end of the month, enjoying most delightful fellowship, and witnessing the result of their endeavours to bring the lost sheep of the house of Israel to the fold of the Good Shepherd. We fouud with them, what we so much wished to see in the different regions through which we had passed in the East, a living Christianity shedding its light and love around it, to the enlightenment and quickening, by the blessing of the Holy Spirit, of the souls both of Jews and Gentiles. Our Scottish friends had been there resident only for a few years, and they had been instrumental in the instruction and conversion of upwards of a score of individuals belonging to the Jewish community, including Mr. Saphir, a person of excellent education and extensive influence, and all the members of his family, male and female, old and young. All this had occurred without the usual appliances and machinery of modern missions, in connection with the school, the press, and the pulpit, to which the circumstances of the country did not permit a resort, and simply by earnest conference, conversation, and occasional addresses and devotional exercises, animated by sincere piety, illustrated by distinguished biblical learning, and impressed by a holy walk and conversation. As the missionaries had not, and sought not, any personal standing in the country, the converts had been received into the communion of the Reformed Church of Hungary, the creed of which, as embodied in the Helvetic Confession, is quite accordant with that of the Protestant Churches of Britain, and especially of those of the north of the island, approved by the Presbyterian missionaries themselves, already the agents of the Free Church of Scotland.

“From several of the inhabitants of Pesth we received much kindness during our short residence there. Tasner Antal, the secretary and friend of the eminently patriotic and liberal nobleman the Count Szechenyi, gave us much of his time, and effectively aided us in all the inquiries in which we sought to engage. He is a gentleman of high literary attainments; and some of the institutions of the place have originated in his public spirit. We were much interested in a meeting of the Hungarian National Literary Society— which has a considerable body of active members—to which he introduced us. The language of the Gypsies—some of whom, attending the fair at Pesth, he had previously brought to us for examination to Dr. Duncan’s—was on that occasion one of the subjects of our conversation. It was known to all present that that language is of Indiau origin ; but direct testimony on the subject was received with much interest. The governor of Transylvania, who was in the chair, invited us to visit him, that we might see some of these wanderers in his province, but our time did not permit us to accept his invitation. Reference was made to the death in the East of their distinguished member, Korose Csoma Sandor, who had there wandered far and wide in the fruitless search for the parent stock of the Magyars, and traces of their language ; to his unrivalled acquisitions connected with the literature and religion of the Buddhists ; to his Tibetan grammar and dictionary ; and to the kindness which he had experienced from the Asiatic Society and the Government in India. Mr. Kiss, one of the members resident at Buda, a day or two after the meeting, exhibited to us his collection of ancient coins and medals, which is rich in the Asiatic department.

“More than one gracious invitation reached us from the palace at Buda, the residence of distinguished goodness as well as greatness. On one occasion, Dhunjeebhoy and I appeared there, by particular request, in our oriental costume, to the great amusement of the young princes and princesses. We bade adieu to Pesth on the 31st of August. Next morning we arrived at Presburg, where the Diet of Hungary was holding its sessions. In the evening we were presented to his Imperial Highness the Archduke Joseph, the Prince Palatine of Hungary. He conversed with us in Latin, the language which he was accustomed to use while presiding over the Diet, and put many questions to us respecting India and the Holy Land, and other countries of the East, with which, it was evident, he had a very extensive and accurate acquaintance, as far as both their sacred and profane history and geography are concerned. He expressed the warm interest which he felt in the progress which Christianity is making in different regions of the earth, and congratulated Dhunjeebhoy on his embracement of the truth. He also spoke in high terms of our friends at Pesth, and of what he had heard of their prudent procedure. He entrusted me with a message to their constituents in Scotland. We formed a high opinion of his intellectual powers and moral feeling, of which his countenance and demeanour, as well as language, were the expression.

“Our onward journey to Britain included in Germany, Vienna, Linz, Ischl, Salzburg, Munich, Augsburg, Stuttgardt, and Carlsruhe. When we got upon the Rhine we were almost at home among the number of countrymen whom we met on board the steamer. Among these was a distinguished officer of the Bombay Presidency, who has reflected the highest honour upon it by his literary and scientific efforts and antiquarian research, and by his wise and liberal counsels in the governing body of India—Colonel Sykes. We stopped with him and his family a night at Mayence, to talk over matters connected with the distant East. From Mayence we went to England by Cologne and Antwerp. We arrived in London on the 23d of September, and in the capital! of Scotland on the 4th of November, in my case after an absence of fifteen years from my native land, and a journey of nine months from my adopted home in India. You can imagine the emotions which I experienced, when, after the perils and vicissitudes of a long residence and labour in foreign climes, and a pilgrimage through many lands, both holy and unholy, I found my journeyings for a season brought to a close at the home of Christian affection and love. Only the language of inspiration, as in the hundred and seventh Psalm, can form their expression.”

“Any news about the Church of Scotland1?” had been his first question to the boatmen who rowed him ashore at Dover. “They’re all out, Sir,” was the reply, which Dr. Wilson often afterwards quoted, adding, “My mind was made up. I would have gone out although I had had only half-a-dozen associates.”


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