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REV. DR. THOMSON,*
Author of “ The Land and the Book."
lovers of the Bible, and with which his name will always be identified.
His father, Rev. John Thomson, and also his mother, were of Scotch-Irish descent, and removed to Ohio from Kentucky when Cincinnati was only a fort.
Dr. Thomson married Miss Eliza Nelson Hanna, of New York, before his departure for Syria. Mrs. Thomson died in 1834. He subsequently married the widow of a former English Consul in Syria, who also died a few years before Dr. Thomson finally left Syria. The circumstances of the death of his first wife were tragical. It happened that soon after his arrival in Beyrout he went in 1834 to Jerusalem. It was at the time of the disturbances incident to a rebellion against the iron rule of Mohammed Ali. Dr. Thomson had occasion to leave Jerusalem for a short journey. During his ab
sence he was arrested and imREV. W. M. THOMSON, D.D.
prisoned by Ibraham Pasha, who could not be made to understand
the function of a missionary, but The Rev. Wm. M. Thomson, D.D., took him for a spy. While Dr. Thomson whose death occurred last year at Denver, was thusdetained, Ibraham Pasha marched Colorado, in the eighty-ninth year of his upon Jerusalem, and, taking advantage age, was born at Springdale, Ohio, De- of an earthquake, assaulted the city and cember 31st, 1806. He entered Prince- captured it. Mrs. Thomson, with her ton Theological Seminary in 1829, but left infant in her arms (now the well-known in 1831 before graduation, and went to Dr. William H. Thomson, of New York), Syria as a missionary of the American took refuge in a vault. A falling stone Board in 1832, arriving at Beyrout Feb- nearly crushed the babe. Mrs. Thomson ruary 24th, 1833. He was actively con- soon after became delirious and was found nected with mission work in Syria for a in this state by Dr. Thomson on his period of forty-three years until 1876, return to Jerusalem. She died while when he left Syria, and after a sojourn in still delirious and was buried at Jerusalem. Scotland returned to the United States. Dr. Thomson returned to Beyrout, Until 1870 he was connected with the where he resided during most of his misAmerican Board. Since that date Dr. sionary life in Syria. He participated in Thomson's official connection has been many stirring scenes during the civil wars with the Presbyterian Board of Foreign of 1841, 1845 and 1860. In the war of Missions, until his final retirement in 1845, through his personal influence and 1876. Since his return he published in courage, the village of Abeib, filled with 1880-86 the enlarged edition of “The refugees, was saved from a massacre. Dr. Land and the Book," a work which has Thomson was himself shot at while carrybeen of great value and service to all ing a flag of truce. In the disturbances
* The portrait which accompanies this article is from Harper's Weekly, by courtesy of Mr. Sandham, Editor of The Faithful Witness.
of 1860 he co-operated with Lord Dufferin, representing the Allied Powers, in adjusting the difficulties of that delicate situation. He acted as Chairman of the Relief Committee, organized to meet the emergency. He was a tower of strength to the mission amidst the many difficulties and perils of the early heroic period of missionary effort in Syria. He was a man of large and statesmanlike views, calm judgment, undaunted courage, great practical wisdom, and an efficient organizer. He held a position of commanding influence among natives of all classes. One of the leading peculiarities of his missionary life was his kindly spirit towards the natives, and his success in adapting himself to the life of the country, and in winning the affection and confidence of the people. Syria is a field in which pioneer work has always been attended with peculiar difficulties. Dr. Thomson has at different times opened and established stations at new points with remarkable success.
In his private life he was a man of genial and lovely qualities. His missionary aims were large and comprehensive, his devotion to duty untiring, and his religious views were characterized by strength of conviction, liberality, and the best of common sense. years he preached continuously at Beyrout both in Arabic and English. He took a prominent part in organizing the great educational work of Syria, as represented chiefly at the present time by the
Syrian Protestant College, and the fine institutions for the education of girls.
He is known, however, in this country, and even throughout the world, as an author rather than a missionary. It was stated before the Commission of the British Parliament on international copy. right that the circulation of “The Land and the Book” in Great Britain had been larger than any other American publication, “Uncle Tom's Cabin" alone excepted. It is characterized by a peculiar charm of style, and a freshness and vividness which gives it special value as a commentary upon the Scriptures. The reader feels as if he were coming into living contact with the scenes and inci. dents of the Bible, presented with a fidelity and insight which were realistic. His later edition of the book was written with care, in the light of modern discoveries. Dr. Thomson was also a contributor to many periodicals in the same line of vivid and luminous illustraticn of the Bible.
Such a life has been of inestimable value not only to missions, but to the cause of popular biblical instruction. It is a worthy example of the varied and unique service often rendered by missionaries, the true significance and power of which are not always recognized. Dr. Thomson suffered from a paralytic trouble during the latter years of his life, but his mental condition was natural and clear. The end came suddenly and he passed peacefully and tranquilly away. - The Faithful Witness.
Religious and Missionary Intelligence.
BY THE REV. E. BARRASS, D.D.
WESLEYAN METHODIST. In Calcutta, India, there is the largest increase in membership ever known.
The net connexional increase is : full members, 4,253 ; junior members, 2,196 ; candidates for the ministry, 126. The increase in the New Zealand Conference amounts to 7,380.
The Methodist May meetings were all of more than ordinary interest. The Rev. John Watson, better known as “Ian Maclaren,” preached one of the missionary sermons.
An increase of income of more than $12,500 for the Children's Home is reported. Archdeacon Farrar, with his usual fraternal spirit, gave the use of his church for a special service on behalf of this noble institution.
The ordinary income is $17,970 more than last year, but it is still $8,250 below the expenditure, although there had been retrenchments which exceeded $10,000. The debt of the Society is $152,390. Some forty English and 112 Eurasian women are employed by the Woman's auxiliary.
There are two Swedish Conferences in the United States and forty thousand church members. There are sixteen Swedish churches in Chicago.
Bishop Thoburn says the largest number of high-caste converts are recorded in those districts where there are the largest number of low-caste converts.
The Bareilly Theological Seminary (India) has sent out 235 regular graduates of a three years' course, and a grand total of 505 who have been trained there.
A presiding elder writes from Colorado : “I have travelled by cars, stages and bicycles since June, 1894, 9,826 miles. That is an average of about 550 miles a week.”
The Woman's Foreign Missionary Society has thirteen hospitals and dispensaries, and ministers to about fifty thousand women through its medical missionaries.
Drew Theological Seminary library contains over five thousand volumes relating to Methodism, also three thousand pamphlets and many unpublished manuscripts. The entire library contains 31,770 volumes.
METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH.
METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH.
The Methodist Review(quarterly), under the editorship of the Rev. Dr. Tigert, registered an increase of 1,200 subscribers since September.
The Foreign Missionary Society at the close of the year reported a deficit of $386,336.
In Washington, D.C., Methodism leads in the number of churches, there being twenty-six.
The Ohio Wesleyan University has in preparation for work, or in the work, seventy missionaries.
The First Church, Chicago, has paid for church extension in that city, in twenty-nine years, $502,800.
One in seven of all the Japanese on the Pacific coast are members or probationers of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
The Eprorth Herald has a circulation of eighty-five thousand copies, the profits of which for the past year amount to $6,000.
METHODIST New CONNEXION. Several circuit meetings in aid of the Centenary Fund have been held, at which large sums have been subscribed.
PRIMITIVE METHODIST. The South Australian Conference has voted emphatically in favour of Methodist union on the basis agreed to by the Wesleyan and other Churches in the colony.
The venerable Thomas Bateman, a mendous responsibility rests upon those member of the Deed Poll, is ninety-five who possess the means to replenish the years of age, and often preaches on treasury whereby the young brethren special occasions. He was a close friend could be sent forth to reap a grand harof the founders of the Connexion, and vest for Christ. for many years was a leading debater in
The Deaconess Association of Toronto the Conference. The present writer heard
Conference him preach fifty-four years ago.
was at first regarded by many as unnecessary, but these preju
dices have been greatly weakened, if they BIBLE CHRISTIAN.
are not wholly extinct. During the past
year the services of the ladies have been Evangelistic services have been very
in great requisition. Their visits to the successful in Exeter district. In some abodes of the sick and dying have been instances as many as fifty persons pro- greatly appreciated. fessed conversion.
The sorrow of thousands was turned
into joy when news reached the Mission THE METHODIST CHURCH.
Rooms that the missionary vessel Glad The New York Adrocate declares that
Tidings, which had been so long missing, Dr. Dewart composed the best short poem
was not lost, but had become disabled elicited by the death of Tennyson.
and therefore detained, while on her
voyage to Victoria, British Columbia. Mr. H. A. Massey has given $1,000 to All on board, including nine missionaries, the Methodist Hospital, Brooklyn. He
had reached their destination in safety. also endowed a bed by a gift of $5,000. The Missionary Executive have had At the Coqualeetza Institute, Chilli
considerable anxiety respecting the miswhack, there are now eighty-two children.
sion in Japan, which has occasioned a One of the boys wants to be a missionary.
great amount of correspondence with the
inissionaries. Rev. F. A. Cassidy who The Michael Fawcett prize on Meth- has done good service in that field, odist hyinnology was won by Mr. H. B.
thought that he had been injured by the Christie, a student from Guelph Confer- course adopted, but the Executive assures ence.
him that no injury has been inflicted
upon him ; his character and ministerial The baccalaureate sermon by Chan- status are blameless. An answer has cellor Burwash, at the convocation exer- been sent to the communication from the cises of Victoria University, was one of missionaries who had intended to resign, his best efforts.
and hopes are now entertained that The degree of D. D. was conferred upon
harmony will be restored, and the work Rev. H. J. Pope, ex-president of the
will again be prosperous. Wesleyan Conference ; Rers. Prof. Wal
The Book-Room at Toronto has done lace, John Potts, and Osborne R. Lambly. a large volume of business during the
past year, notwithstanding the general The Rev. A. C. Crews has been appoint- depression which is felt ererywhere. ed Sunday-school and Epworth League There was a large increase in the number Secretary. He is eminently fitted for the of subscribers to the Guardian, but as position-one of unique influence, not the price had been reduced to one dollar surpassed in power for good by that of the income was below last year. The any officer of the Church.
other publications more than held their The Wesleyan Theological College at
own, so that a grant of $7,500 was made Montreal has had a successful year.
to the Superannuated Ministers' Fund,
The Endowment Fund has reached $70,000.
a larger amount than was ever given in The annual sermon was preached by Rev.
any previous year. A. Sutherland, D.D., and
A very appropriate resolution was long to be remembered." The following adopted acknowledging the services of received the degree of D.D., Rev. I.
Dr. Dewart as Editor for twenty-six years. Tovell, Hamilton; J. Scott, M. A., Berlin.
All the members of the Book Committee
expressed their hope that the Doctor The missionary spirit is evidently alive would enjoy himself in his visit to the among the students at our colleges. More Methodist Conferences of the Old World. than sixty hold themselves in readiness He will be followed by the earnest to engage in mission work. What a tre- prayers and best wishes of thousands.
forty-five thousand Chrietian books, or tracts, or portions of the Scriptures, were likewise given to a still larger number of literary candidates, and most of them were accepted.
ITEMS. Sixty-five Protestant missionary societies are at work in India. There are 560,000 native Protestants-an increase of 150,000 in a decade.
During the late Japan-Chinese war, the Bible Society has distributed, through its agency in Japan, thirty thousand copies of the Gospels among Japanese soldiers and sailors.
The converts in the Samoan islands have given as much as $9,000 in one year to the work of missions. The Fijian Christians contributed $5,000 a year to the same cause, and the Church in the Friendly Islands numbers 30,000 and gives $15,000 a year.
Dr. A. T. Pierson says : “In 1866, when I was first in Europe, I could not carry a copy of the Bible inside the walls of Rome. Last year (1893) there were twenty-nine Protestant chapels in the city of Rome and preaching openly carried on in them with impunity.”
In Japan there 226 male and 210 unmarried female missionaries (including wives), a total of 625 ; there are 134 stations, 750 out-stations, 364 organized churches, 3,422 adults baptized in 1894, total adult membership 39, 240: theological students 353; native ministers 258; contributions of native Christians (1894) about $35,000.
The revered authoress, “ A. L. 0. E.," who went to India as a missionary and died in December 1893, was buried at her own request without a coffin. The funeral of the Rev. F. Sandford, of the Delhi Mission, cost only about five shillings, and so in many places missionaries are striving to dispossess the minds of converts of the notion that a Christian's funeral ought to cost a quarter's income, which it often has done.
At the great examination held at Wuchang last year twelve thousand literary candidates competed. The Central China Religious Tract Society gave a package of books and tracts to each candidate before he left the examination hall. Only a few refused them. At Nanking no less than
Rev. W. Hall, M. A., of Montreal Conference, finished his earthly course early in May, under very painful circumstances. For several years he was afflicted with intense mental depression. During one of those seasons he committed the fatal deed which cast a gloom not only over his own family, but over thousands by whom he was beloved as a singularly saintly man. Few men displayed more of the spirit of meekness. He was a most perfect Christian gentleman. Never robust physically, he occasionally travelled abroad for the benefit of his health. For the last eight years he resided in his native city, first as a pastor and then as principal of the French Institute.
The Rev. James C. Slater was a superannuated minister and a member of Toronto Conference.
He closed his eyes in death May 15, 1895. For forty-nine years his name occupied a place on the ministerial roll, though for the last thirteen years he had been a cripple from inflammatory rheumatism. Occasionally he was wheeled into Sherbourne Street church in an invalid's chair, when he always greatly enjoyed the services. Mr. Slater was a minister in the third generation, his father and grandfather both having served the Church in the same capacity. He had the advantage of being a pupil at Kingswood School, England. We next find him an apprentice to the firm of Samuel Budgett, “the Successful Merchant." His early training made him an expert in financial matters. His affliction was endured with great patience and resignation. Those who visited him felt assured that he was ripening for heaven. The writer of these lines was a neighbour of Mr. Slater's for two years, and delights to record his tribute of praise to the memory of his sainted friend.
I am waiting for the coming of the bridegroom in the air,
For the glad home coming draweth nigh.
For the glad home coming draweth nigh.