The Preaching Tours and Missionary Labours of George Muller - LightNovelOnl.com
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Jerusalem, when compared with European cities, is now only a small town (round which the traveller may walk in less than 50 minutes) containing a population of about 28,000, which includes the Jews, of whom there are 8,000. These Israelites are generally very poor, and settle in Jerusalem, because money is frequently sent there from Europe by wealthier Jews for the relief of their poorer brethren in Palestine; but at the present time, there is no indication whatever of any gathering of Jews on an extensive scale from other countries to their own land. The missionaries who labour amongst them, meet with comparatively little encouragement in their work, for the number of true converts from Judaism to Christianity is _extremely_ small, a fact mentioned, not as a discouragement for service, but to stir up Christians to prayer. Since our return from Palestine, however, these brethren have (it appears) been more successful in their labours, and have had great cause for thankfulness.
On the afternoon of Dec. 3rd, we joined a party of English friends, and rode on donkeys to Bethany, a mile and a half distant, the English clergyman kindly acting as our guide. On our way we crossed the Brook Kidron, saw the Garden of Gethsemane, now enclosed by a wall; and visited the cave, hewn out of a rock, where it is supposed Lazarus was buried. An old ruined house, said to have been the dwelling place of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, was also pointed out. From the summit of the Mount of Olives the view embraced a portion of the Dead Sea, 25 miles distant, the plain of Jordan, the well-watered plain which Lot chose for himself, the Mountains of Moab in the distance, the neighbourhood of the Cave of Adullam, and a small part of the river Jordan which flows into the Dead Sea. The weather was magnificent; after sunset the whole scene was lighted up by the full moon which shone brilliantly, and coming down the Mount of Olives, we had the finest view of Jerusalem, that is to be obtained from any point. The Garden of Gethsemane, containing eight very old olive trees (considered by some, from their ancient characteristics, to be coeval with the period of our Lord's history on earth) we passed both on our way to and from the Mount.
On the morning of Dec. 9th, we rode on donkeys to Bethlehem, six miles from Jerusalem; and, after lunching in a cloister of the Latin Convent, visited a church erected on the spot, where (according to tradition) the manger stood, in which after His birth our Lord was laid. During our stay at Jerusalem, we had opportunities also of visiting the various places of interest for which the city is celebrated. The Via Dolorosa, the Mosque of Omar, (built on the site formerly occupied by Solomon's Temple,) the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (erected, according to tradition, on the spot where our Lord was crucified), Absalom's Pillar, the Pool of Bethesda, the site of Herod's palace, the ruins of the Castle to which Paul was taken, and the Pool of Siloam, were all visited in turn. One of the most memorable places in the city is--"The Wailing Place of the Jews"--where, every Friday afternoon, shortly before sunset, they assemble to bewail the calamities that have befallen their land and city. On Dec. 2nd we saw about 200 Israelites gathered close to some immense old stones--the remains of the Temple it is supposed--which (after praying and bowing repeatedly) with tears in their eyes, they kissed.
About one third of the present small population of Jerusalem (28,000) consists of Mussulmans; the rest are Jews, Christians of the Greek, Armenian, and Roman Catholic Churches, and a very few Protestants. There are 25 Convents, 10 Monasteries, and three large Synagogues within its walls. The Jaffa Gate, situated near the Citadel or Tower of David, is one of the principal entrances to the city, and the southern portion of the town (between the ancient Temple and part of Mount Zion) is the quarter occupied by the Jews.
In the streets of Jerusalem, day after day, we saw numbers of men, women, and children standing about half-naked, or clothed in miserable rags; and strangers cannot walk a short distance even, without being besieged for alms by the beggars that abound, not a few of whom are lepers. They hold up their disfigured hands and arms, and, pointing to their dreadful sores, follow visitors persistently, entreating them, in piteous, lamentable tones of voice, to have compassion on, and help them.
Whilst at Jerusalem, from the windows of our room, we saw many funeral processions pass, when the remains of the deceased were borne along, either in open coffins, or in coffins with glass covers to them; and on Dec. 23rd, the funeral of a child, belonging to the Greek Church, took place outside the city walls, whose body, was lowered into the grave _without_ a coffin.
As there are no carriage roads in Palestine, with the exception of the one from Jaffa to Jerusalem; being unwilling to undertake long journeys of many miles on horseback, in order to visit the numerous places of interest usually resorted to by strangers, we did not travel any further into the interior of the country; but, after remaining at Jerusalem for nine weeks and two days, on Feb. 1st, 1882, returned to Jaffa. There, heavy gales of wind, and violent storms of rain, which lasted several days, detained us until Feb. 8th; the weather became also unusually cold, and as there were neither stoves nor fireplaces in the rooms of our hotel--because fires are seldom wanted in Palestine, we suffered greatly from the wintry climate.
During this our second visit to Jaffa, Mr. Muller again held meetings for the Germans; and on Wednesday, Feb. 8th, the violence of the gales having to some extent abated, we embarked for Haipha (or Kaifa) on the coast of Palestine, about 70 miles north of Jaffa. Our passage, however, in a small boat, to the Austrian steamship "Flora" (lying at a considerable distance from the shore) during weather still tempestuous, was most trying and even dangerous; for, after riding over heavy breakers, and getting clear of the rocks, our boat was tossed about upon the waves for nearly half an hour; and, after at last we reached the ship, a favourable opportunity of getting a footing on board (to be seized just at the right moment as the boat was lifted upwards by the waves) had to be closely watched for, when one after the other, at the risk of our _lives_, we had _to spring_ on to the steep ladder staircase, that led up towards the deck. At 2 o'clock the vessel sailed, and on the evening of that day, at half-past 9, we arrived off Haipha, where, in consequence of the roughness of the sea, and our distance from the shore, it became a question whether we should disembark _at all_; but after considering the matter, and praying over it, we resolved to brave the disagreeables and land. Some time elapsed before the boat, which had been sent ashore with passengers, returned; but soon after midnight we stepped into it, and, with less discomfort than had been experienced at Jaffa, were rowed safely to the beach. There, some German brethren were waiting our arrival with an open waggon, in which, during torrents of rain, we were conveyed to the Hotel du Mont Carmel, a mile and a half distant, where we arrived soon after one o'clock.
The little town of Haipha is beautifully situated, on the sea shore, close to the foot of Mount Carmel. During the twelve days of our visit there, Mr. Muller preached 14 times amongst the large colony of Germans, settled at this place, and here the Lord was pleased to grant a particular blessing upon his labours; for his ministry was the means of bringing about a complete revival amongst the people, who had previously been in a very dead state, spiritually. On Feb. 13th, accompanied by some German brethren, we rode on donkeys up Mount Carmel, and when near its summit, alighted at a Monastery, where the monks entertained us with cups of black coffee without milk, and glasses of mulberry wine, flavoured with lemon juice. They afterwards showed us into a Church containing (according to tradition) the cave in which Elijah dwelt, and finally led the way to a lighthouse standing on a rock, that we might see, from this elevated point, the magnificent prospect which extended far and wide. It embraced Mount Tabor in the extreme distance, Brook Kishon, the Valley of the Sea of Tiberias, the Bay and town of Haipha, with the houses of the German colony, the town of Acre the other side of the Bay, the plain of Esdraelon, and the vast expanse of the Mediterranean, stretching away as far as the eye could reach, which looked as unruffled as a sea of glass, and offered a striking contrast to the troubled waves at Jaffa. Being favoured with bright sunshine, and a beautifully clear atmosphere, the whole scene was viewed under particularly favourable circumstances. The place where Elijah slew the false prophets of Baal, and by prayer brought down fire from heaven to consume his sacrifice upon the altar, is situated near Haipha; and after the drought of three years and six months, during which there had been neither rain nor dew--it was upon Mount Carmel he prayed, that Jehovah would again send rain upon the earth.
Before our departure from Haipha, we intended to visit Nazareth; but as there was no carriage road even _tolerably_ good, and as riding on horseback for nearly 40 miles would have been objectionable, serious difficulties were in the way. We desired to engage a Russian waggon, and did our utmost to obtain one, but the Brook Kishon (through which our route lay) being swollen from the recent heavy rains, and as the adjacent country was partially under water, its owner refused to let us have it, because the journey was impracticable. Though Haipha possessed attractions of its own, there were discomforts also connected with our visit; for the hotel accommodation was inferior and uncomfortable. Our apartment for instance had a rough, dusty, uneven stone floor, without any carpet; and even in cold, rainy weather, as it possessed neither fireplace nor stove, no fire could be had. The room too, from being scantily furnished, was comfortless in appearance; and though the sleeping accommodation was clean it was hard and uninviting. The meals, however, were good, and for wholesome, nourishing food we felt most thankful; but let no one visit small towns or villages in the Holy Land, and expect to find that they contain European comforts. The English clergyman at Nazareth (who had resided there for a considerable time) informed us, that throughout the winter he had one constant series of "domestic miseries" to contend with. Through the flat roof of his house, the rain leaked in, fuel was scarce and expensive, provisions were dear and not easily obtained, meat was tough and of inferior quality, and often little besides goats' flesh could be procured. He remarked also that visitors to the Holy Land, who frequent the best hotels at Jaffa and Jerusalem, and carry their comforts about with them, can form no conception of the real poverty of the country, and of the degraded condition of the _native_ population, as seen in the little towns and villages of the interior. As far as the hotels at Haipha, however, are concerned, they must be superior to the inn accommodation in some parts of _Asia Minor_, which, according to the guide books, is "_execrable_."
On the afternoon of Feb. 20th we left Haipha, in an open waggon; and, after alighting on the sea shore, were carried on the shoulders of Arabs across some shallow water to a boat, which conveyed us to a large Austrian steamer bound for Beyrout, Syria. At half-past 8 p.m. the vessel sailed; at 7 o'clock the next morning we reached our destination (where a most unpleasant rough landing in a small boat awaited us), and were afterwards conducted by a guide to the Hotel de l'Orient, at a short distance only from the landing place.
There we remained twenty-one days, and besides preaching many times at the Anglo-American Mission Church, and at the Church of the Deaconesses'
Institution, Beyrout, both in English and in German, Mr. Muller addressed the students of the Syrian College with Arabic interpretation, spoke to the Theological students for an hour, conducted a service for the Moslem girls at Miss Taylor's school, and held three meetings for Christian workers, in German. At the residence of Mr. Mott (a mansion on the hill) he held a large drawing-room meeting also, which was attended by a number of the principal residents and visitors of Beyrout, including His Excellency Rustem Pasha, Governor-General of the Lebanon, Pasha Rickards, Mrs. Eldridge, wife of the British Consul-General, the English clergyman and his wife, the Presbyterian minister, some visitors from the hotels, and many other persons.
The climate of Beyrout is delightful. Whilst there, we walked through the beautiful gardens which belong to the Pasha, and took a long drive on the Damascus road, to the foot of the mountains of Lebanon, the tops of which were covered with snow. A visit to Damascus, which we had in contemplation, was abandoned, because it would have been necessary to rise at 3 o'clock, in order to travel by an early diligence. The journey of 70 miles too over a very rough road would have been very fatiguing; and having before us the prospect of much more travelling both by land and water, we decided upon giving up this excursion. Three days before we left Beyrout an exceedingly heavy sea rolled in for many hours upon the shore, making it impossible to undertake a passage from the land to a steamer in a small boat; it seemed probable therefore that our departure might be delayed; but as the wind gradually abated, on March 14th, we sailed for Smyrna, in Asia Minor, by the Austrian steamship "Jupiter."
On the following morning, between 6 and 7 o'clock, we anchored off Cyprus, in the Levant, which, after Sicily and Sardinia, is the largest and most important island in the Mediterranean; and from our cabin window had an excellent view of it. Larnaca, its chief port, is built on flat ground close to the sea; but high mountains rise behind the town, and a long range of hilly country extends for miles beyond it. Cyprus (of which Nicosia is the capital and seat of Government) is 120 miles in length and about 50 broad.
After remaining stationary for some hours, in the afternoon our voyage was continued, and on Thursday, March 16th, we sailed between the islands of the Archipelago, where, as the currents are swift and powerful, the sea became extremely rough; but towards evening the vessel got into smoother water, and at 10 o'clock we arrived off Rhodes, an island visited by the Apostle Paul, when returning from his third missionary journey.
At the expiration of a few hours, our voyage was resumed, and the next evening we touched at Chios, an island which in 1881 was fearfully devastated by earthquakes. There we remained four hours, and then went on to Smyrna, where on Saturday, March 18th, we arrived at 5 a.m.
Here Mr. Muller found work immediately, and, during our stay, preached on the Lord's days twice, and every afternoon or evening in the week, but generally with interpretation into Armenian, Turkish, or modern Greek; and once, when addressing a congregation of Spanish Jews, with translation into Spanish. On the morning of Sunday, April 2nd, he preached to an Armenian congregation with Turkish interpretation, and in the afternoon at the Scotch Church, in English. These services were held at different places, including the Hall of the Smyrna Sailors' Rest, the Dutch Chapel, the Deaconesses' Institution, the Presbyterian Church, and the Armenian School Room.
On Tuesday, April 4th, we rose early; at 8 o'clock started by rail for Ayasaloup (a little village 48 miles from Smyrna, close to the ruins of Ephesus), and on our arrival at half past 10, took a guide to the Mosque and to the Temple of Diana, which are the principal ruins in that particular locality. The Mosque bears traces of having been a large, magnificent building, and contains granite columns from the Temple of Diana. It is now in a dilapidated state; but the view from it (which consists of extensive mountain ranges, and a long, wide, vast plain, extending far away for many miles, until lost sight of, in the distant sea) is grand and striking. At no great distance from the Mosque, in a very large hollow, sinking a little below the general level of the ground, are the ruins of the Temple of Diana; but the devastation there is so complete, that no trace whatever (as to form or outline) exists of the celebrated building which once occupied this site. One stone can scarcely be found upon another, and all that is left of this famous Temple are quantities of stones, either lying in heaps, or scattered about in the greatest confusion, and giving not the slightest idea of what the edifice must have been which stood there many centuries ago.
Ephesus (and the whole neighbourhood for miles around) abounds with ruins of Theatres, Temples, Aqueducts, Towers, Tombs, Mosques, etc.
There is a building to be seen also, called "Paul's prison," now in a ruinous condition; and a variety of ancient architectural curiosities, of a remarkable character, invite the inspection of travellers. The _solitude_ and _silence_ of the entire locality, however, are mournful and depressing; these numerous relics of departed magnificence, all crumbling away to dust, fill the mind with feelings of solemnity; and the whole scene affords a striking illustration of the vain, unsatisfying character of all that this poor world calls great and glorious. Happy are they, and they _only_, who, through faith in Christ, have _God Himself_ for their present and eternal portion! In the afternoon we returned to Smyrna, and on the following day, at 3 p.m., Mr. Muller preached a farewell sermon at the Hall of the "Sailors'
Rest," where a large number of persons assembled to hear him.
The next day (Thursday, April 6th), in the evening, we left Smyrna by steamer, reached the entrance of the Dardanelles the following afternoon, crossed the Sea of Marmora during the night, and at a quarter past 5 a.m. on Saturday, April 8th, reached Constantinople, where, at 6 o'clock, we disembarked, and, accompanied by a guide, walked up a high, steep hill, to the Hotel d'Angleterre, at Pera.
On the morning of Sunday, April 9th, Mr. Muller preached in German at the Chapel of the Scotch Jewish Mission, and in the afternoon in English, at the Presbyterian Church. On the 11th he spoke in English at the Bible House, and the following evening preached again at the Chapel of the Scotch Jewish Mission. On the 13th he addressed an Armenian congregation, at the Bible House in English, with Turkish interpretation, when about 450 persons were present.
The next day he spoke to the children of an Orphan Institution, connected with the Scotch Mission, and on the 15th held a meeting for two hours at the Deaconesses' German Hospital, intended especially for Christian Workers. On Sunday (April 16th) we went to Bebek (a beautiful village on the Bosphorus, five miles distant) where my husband preached morning and afternoon in English, at the American Presbyterian Church; and the following morning at Haskiog, near Constantinople, addressed the children belonging to the school of the London Jewish Missionary Society, the orphans of a small Institution, and the children of the Presbyterian Jewish Missionary Society. The young people in these three schools (about 700 altogether) were Jews. On April 18th he spoke in French, German, and English, to three different departments of Jewish Schools, belonging to the Scotch Jewish Mission; and on the 19th preached in German at the Chapel of this Mission, to an assembly consisting principally of Jews, from Lamentations iii. 22-26. On the 20th he had a congregation of 500 Armenians, whom he addressed with Turkish interpretation, and this service was his last at Constantinople.
During our stay of twelve days (including a few meetings which have not been specified) he spoke eighteen times altogether.
Whilst at Constantinople, we saw the exterior of a few of the principal public buildings in the city, and from the Mosque of San Sophia, which stands upon high ground, overlooking the Bosphorus, had a distant view of the Barracks at Scutari, where Florence Nightingale and her helpers so nobly attended the sick, wounded, and dying soldiers, who fought during the Crimean war. An ancient Egyptian Obelisk from Cairo, about 3,000 years old, covered with hieroglyphics, was also pointed out. The Bazaars of Constantinople, consisting of lofty stone cloisters or arcades, lighted from the top by domes, are extensive, numerous, and very oriental in appearance. Each trade has its particular quarter, and the various dealers have small shops with rooms behind them for their wares, which are often of a costly and valuable description.
On the afternoon of April 14th, a religious service of the dancing Dervishes was held at one of their Convents, within a few minutes walk of our hotel. There were 18 performers altogether, who wore brown mantles, and high, round caps made of felt. At a particular signal, they all fell flat upon their faces; but afterwards rose, and walked a few times round the room, with folded arms, bowing and turning slowly many times. Their mantles were then suddenly cast off, when they appeared in long, full, bell-shaped petticoats and jackets, and, after stretching out their arms to the utmost, began gravely and deliberately to dance and revolve (that is, to spin round and round like a top) for about fifteen or twenty minutes, as rapidly as possible. The sight was instructive, inasmuch as it gave rise to a feeling of the deepest gratitude to God that the wild, religious delusions of these poor Dancing Dervishes were not ours. "Who maketh _thee_ to differ from another, and what hast _thou_ that thou didst not receive," should ever be the language of our hearts. The howling Dervishes we did not see, but heard that they carry on their religious performances at Scutari.
On April 18th we took a drive to "Sweet Waters"; on the 19th went by steamer up the Bosphorus, to the entrance of the Black Sea, 20 miles from Constantinople; and on the 20th visited the great Turkish Cemetery, and the English Military Burying Ground at Scutari, in Asia Minor. The former is an enormous grave yard, where many hundreds of thousands of corpses lie interred. It contains numbers of cypress trees, under which are the graves of the departed Mussulmans, marked by innumerable high, narrow tombstones, standing upright, and huddled so closely and indiscriminately together, that they formed a perfect labyrinth. Most of the graves had each two upright stones, partially painted over with bright colours--blue, green, red, or yellow, and bore Turkish epitaphs in characters of gold inscribed upon them. On the top of many of these tombstones, a carved Turkish fez cap and tassel also stood out in bold relief. The Cemetery was not enclosed, and the vast number of graves it contained, presented such a wretched, confused, disorderly appearance, that no Christian passer-by would ever wish his last earthly resting-place to be in a Mahometan Cemetery, amongst Mussulmans!
After leaving this burial ground, we passed the Barracks (used as an English Hospital during the Crimean war, the scene of Miss Nightingale's memorable labours), and then reached a spot from which there was a fine view of the Sea of Marmora, Prince's Islands, and Stamboul (as the ancient part of Constantinople is called), the Golden Horn, the town of Chalcedon, etc. A short drive further brought us to the British Military Cemetery--a beautiful enclosure, planted with trees and shrubs--which was laid out with grass nicely mown, and neat gravel walks. A few flowers also were in bloom, and the whole was kept in perfect order, either by a gardener, or the lodge-keeper at the entrance. Part of the ground sloped gradually towards the Sea of Marmora, the sun shone brightly upon the Cemetery, and the whole enclosure looked so peaceful, quiet, and even _hallowed_, compared with the Turkish burial-ground we had just quitted, that the superiority of Christianity to Mahometanism was vividly conspicuous. This Cemetery contains the graves of 8,000 of the British officers, soldiers, and sailors, who died of wounds received in the Crimean war; and the bodies of British residents in Constantinople may likewise (by permission) be interred therein. Upon the first monument that attracted our attention was the following touching epitaph:--"In memory of Julian Henry Layard, Lieut. 37th N.
Hampshire Regiment, assistant military attache to the British Embassy at Constantinople, who died of typhoid fever while on duty with the Turkish forces under Suleiman Pasha in the Shipka Pass. Born 15th May, 1850, died Sept. 24th, 1877. This monument has been erected by his parents Col. Frederick and Ida Layard, in testimony of their undying loss.
Pitifully behold the sorrows of our hearts, oh! Lord." Further on was a large, handsome, white marble monument, a column between 20 and 30 feet high, which had angels carved upon it, with folded arms, drooping wings, and down-cast countenances; and on one of its four sides was the following inscription:--"A la memoire des officiers, des soldats, et des marins de l'armee Anglaise, et de la flotte, morts pour la patrie, dans la guerre de la Russie en 1854, 1855, et 1856. Ce monument a ete eleve par la reine Victoria et son peuple, en 1857." After leaving the Cemetery, we took a drive through Scutari before returning to the Hotel d'Angleterre. Constantinople, including Stamboul and the suburbs of Galata, Pera, Tophana, and Scutari, contains a population of upwards of a million.
On April 21st, at 5 p.m., we left for Athens in the "Minerva"; arrived at the Piraeus, Greece, at 6 a.m. on the 23rd, after a favourable voyage, and proceeded immediately by rail to Athens, which is only seven miles distant. There, on the evening of that day, Mr. Muller preached at the Chapel of the American Congregational Mission, in English, from Phil.
iv. 6, 7, with translation into modern Greek. On the 26th he spoke at the house of an American Baptist minister, with translation also into Greek, and on the following evening, at 8 o'clock, preached at the American Presbyterian Mission Chapel, from Romans viii. 28, when Dr.
Kalopothakos translated for him. On the 28th he addressed 257 Greek boys at "The Ragged School," in the presence of their teachers and a number of gentlemen interested in the Institution; and, after having spoken to the boys, particularly impressed upon these gentlemen (privately) the importance of introducing religious instruction into the school. On the morning of the 29th, at one of the prisons in Athens, he addressed 275 male prisoners, for half an hour, who were all assembled in a yard, and went afterwards to a second gaol, where he preached the gospel to 155 other prisoners. These men, who were very quiet and attentive, listened with much interest to the instruction given. On Sunday the 30th Mr.
Muller preached at the American Presbyterian Mission Chapel in the morning; and in the evening, at the same place, addressed the largest congregation that had ever assembled in the Chapel during the ten years it had been open. On May 1st he spoke there again, and on the 2nd addressed the 700 children belonging to Mrs. Hill's School, in German; upon this occasion (as at all other times) with translation into Greek.
Whilst at Athens we visited the Areopagus, or Mars Hill;--stood on the spot where Paul preached, explored the Acropolis, and saw the ruins of many idol temples, celebrated ancient buildings, etc., some of which are said to be nearly 4,000 years old. We ascended Mount Lycabettus also, and admired the beautiful view obtained from it of Athens and the neighbourhood. During the whole of our visit, Dr. Kalapothakos and Mr.
Sakkalarios (two missionary brethren) were most kind and attentive to us.
On Wednesday, May 3rd, we rose at 4, went by rail to the Piraeus, and there embarked for Kalamaki, on the Isthmus of Corinth, 40 miles distant. At 11 o'clock we reached our destination, crossed the Isthmus in a carriage (a drive of seven miles) and at Corinth, the other side of it, went on board a Greek steamer, bound for Brindisi in the south of Italy. At half past 1 we sailed from Corinth, and after touching at Corfu on the evening of the 4th, on May 5th, at noon, landed at Brindisi. From this town, via Foggia and Caserta, we went on direct to Rome, arrived in that city on the 8th of May, and remained there until the 18th.
During this our third visit to Rome, Mr. Muller held twelve meetings, when he preached occasionally in English without translation, but generally with interpretation into Italian. On May 12th we attended one of Mrs. Wall's interesting meetings for Italian beggars (held once a week), when Mr. Muller addressed them with translation by Mr. Wall. On May 18th we visited Tivoli, 18 miles from Rome, and on the 19th went on to Florence (our third visit to that city), where my dear husband had five precious, happy meetings. There, it was our intention to have remained longer, but finding it would be desirable that we should return to England a little earlier than usual, on May 25th we left Florence for Turin, arrived at Paris on the 27th, continued our journey to Dover on the 29th, and arrived at Bristol on the afternoon of Tuesday, May 30th, at half-past two.
EUROPEAN: INCLUDING VISITS TO GERMANY, AUSTRIA, HUNGARY, BOHEMIA, RUSSIA, AND RUSSIAN POLAND.
_From August 8th, 1882, to June 1st, 1883._
Before our departure from England to begin another Continental tour; on August 8th, 1882, we went to Weymouth, where Mr. Muller preached four times. On the 14th we left for Dover, crossed over by steamer to Calais the next morning, and taking the train for Brussels which was waiting, reached that city in the afternoon at 5 o'clock. On the 17th we proceeded to Dusseldorf, where my husband held eight German meetings, and on the 26th left for Neukirchen, a village about two miles from Mors. There, on Sunday the 27th, he preached in the morning at the parish Church, and in the afternoon attended a meeting (held at a large Hall, in connection with the dedication of the Mission House), at which he was the chief speaker. His address occupied from 4 till 5 o'clock, but the whole meeting, which was crowded to overflowing, lasted for four hours. Early the following morning he conducted family worship in the large dining-room of Pastor Doll's parsonage; where, besides its inmates, a congregation from the village had assembled. At 10 o'clock we left for Homberg in a carriage, crossed the Rhine by ferry steamer, and went on by rail to Mulheim an der Ruhr, at which place, on the evening of that day, he addressed a large audience of 1,600 persons at the Vereins Haus. On August 29th, a religious festival was held at this Vereins Haus, when the building was crowded in every part of it; and at half-past 2, Mr. Muller addressed a multitude, numbering from 1,600 to 1,800. In the evening at half past 8, he spoke at the Vereins Haus for the third time, and again addressed (if possible) a more crowded audience than had assembled there in the afternoon.
On August 30th, early in the morning, we started for Cologne; proceeded thence by rail to Bonn, and embarking on board a steamer for Coblentz, went up the Rhine. After a pleasant voyage, surrounded by beautiful scenery, at half past 5 we passed the Fortress of Ehrenbreitstein, and in a few minutes reached our destination. At Coblentz we remained two nights; on the morning of Sept. 1st continued our voyage up the Rhine, and soon after 5 o'clock landed at Biberich, near Mayence, from which place an open carriage conveyed us to Wiesbaden, five miles distant.
There Mr. Muller held eight German meetings, including six at the Vereins Haus, an address at the Paulinen Institute of German Deaconesses, and a service on Sunday morning, Sept. 10th, at the principal German Protestant Church at Wiesbaden, a large building like a Cathedral, where he preached at half past nine.
Wiesbaden is a beautiful spot, abounding in parks, avenues of trees, fountains, flower gardens, etc., and is much resorted to by visitors. It contains 30 different kinds of hot mineral springs, which supply 850 varieties of baths.
On Sept. 11th, we left Wiesbaden for Mannheim, where my husband preached four times; and on the 16th started for Heidelberg, at which place, on Sunday, Sept. 17th, he preached at the Evangelical Capelle both morning and afternoon. During our stay at Heidelberg, he held four other meetings at the same place of worship, and on the 22nd we went to Munich, in Bavaria, 210 miles from Heidelberg, a very popish place, where, though _some_ openings for service presented themselves, none were of a very extensive character. On Sunday, the 24th, in a Hall, at 3 p.m., Mr. Muller addressed a company of about 200, including children, teachers, and young persons, and at 5.15 the same afternoon gave an address to a congregation of 200, at the Hall of "The Herberge zur Heimath." On the 27th and 28th he spoke again at this Hall; preached at the Evangelische Hauptkirche on the 29th, and on Sunday afternoon, Oct.
1st, held another meeting at the same church at 3 o'clock. At half past 5, he preached at the Deaconesses' Institution also, which was his last service at Munich.
On Oct. 2nd we left for Vienna (272 miles from Munich) where he held a number of meetings and we remained 18 days. He preached repeatedly at Mr. Millard's Hall, at the German Reformed Church, at the Presbyterian Church (in English), at the German Methodist Church, and gave an address also to colporteurs and to other Christian workers. As Vienna is full of popery, service for the Lord there is connected with many difficulties.
One regulation (by order of the Government) is, that three days' notice must be given to the police before extra religious meetings can be held; but the work of God is carried on, and prospers to some extent, though, on account of the little religious liberty that exists it is often greatly hindered.
Several years ago, the spread of the gospel in Austria was resolutely opposed by the Government; for the agent of the British and Foreign Bible Society, after being turned out of Vienna with all his Bibles, was conducted by a military escort to the frontier, and told that he must leave the country. Though it is not as difficult to hold Protestant services in Austria now, as was formerly the case, scarcely any real religious liberty is to be found in that land. The Presbyterian minister at Vienna said, that, during his comparatively short residence in this city, he had been obliged to appear seven times before the magistrates, to give an account of the services at his church, and to answer questions put to him.
Vienna is a large splendid city on the Danube; it contains upwards of one million one hundred thousand inhabitants, and is considered one of the finest capitals of Europe.
On Oct. 20th, we left and went to Pesth (called also Buda-Pesth) the capital of Hungary, 172 miles from Vienna, where, on Sunday the 22nd, Mr. Muller preached at the German Reformed Church in the morning, and at the Baptist Chapel in the evening. During our stay he held seven other meetings also, including a service in English at the Presbyterian Church, a meeting for Christian workers at the School House of the Jewish Mission, and an address to 50 patients at the Hospital of the Kaiserwerth Deaconesses, when from 30 to 40 gentlemen and ladies were likewise present. At some of these services, there were many Catholics amongst the hearers.
On Monday, Oct. 30th, early in the morning, we started for Brunn, Moravia, 229 miles from Pesth (on our way to Prague), but remained there two nights only, and on the 31st, walked up to the Spielberg (an ancient fortress at Brunn, upwards of 1000 years old, situated on the top of a hill, nearly 900 feet high,) intending only to look at the view obtained from that elevation; but having (very courteously) been invited by the Commander of the garrison to enter the Citadel, we mounted the ramparts, from which the prospect was extensive. Amongst other places, Austerlitz, 14 miles distant, could be seen, where, on Dec. 2nd, 1805, Napoleon Buonaparte (whose head quarters were at Brunn) gained a victory over the Russians and the Austrians. Our guides (an officer and a soldier) afterwards conducted us down several flights of steps into the dungeons of the Spielberg, and, with a lighted torch, led the way through those infamous abodes of the cruelty of years gone by. Here, Baron Trenck, General Mack, and Silvio Pellico were imprisoned long ago; the dreadful tortures, formerly inflicted upon robbers, murderers, and political offenders, as well as upon Protestants (there is reason to believe), were minutely described to us; and the horrible scenes, which then took place in these places of confinement, were specially detailed.