III Along the Railroad IN THE PROVINCES OF RIO DE JANEIRO AND MINAS GERAESJUIZ DE FORAOURO PRETO.
TURNING now to the great interior it is my purpose to take the reader with the faithful Colporteurs over a number of the long, and at times, perilous, journeys that we have made by sea and land to accomplish the mission of the American Bible Society to the inhabitants that dwell beneath the Southern Cross.
The reader should bear in mind that the sequence of journeys is geographical rather than chronological, and in beginning the account of each journey, it will be well to consult the map.
My first journey through the Provinces of Rio de Janeiro and Minas Geraes as agent of the American Bible Society was begun on November 24th, 1887. The Central Railroad, known also as the line of Dom Pedro II., commenced in 1856, the first section being opened to traffic in 1857, starts from the city of Rio de Janeiro and extends first across a low and somewhat marshy land for about forty miles to the foot of the Serra do Mar. Along the way one gets a fair view of a Brazilian forest of small trees and undergrowth, matted together with parasites, forming almost a compact mass of green, in which may be seen many orchids of various kinds. The next section, reaching up through the Serra do Mar over into the valley of the Parahyba river, a distance of some twenty-five miles, is in many respects one of remarkable interest. Its construction is a notable feat of American engineering skill and perseverance, with its steep grades, sharp curves and numerous tunnels, cut mostly through solid rock and varying in length from three hundred to seven thousand three hundred feet. Mountains, hills and valleys, flowing streams and dashing cataracts, wild forests and coffee plantations, mingle in a panorama of indescribable interest and beauty, through which the American "horse," as the great Baldwin locomotives constructed especially for this difficult and steep grade, were first called, goes snorting along, carrying the passengers at the rate of about fifteen miles an hour. In a distance of twenty-one miles there is a rise of about 1,335 feet, while from the summit to the city of Barra do Pirahy on the banks of the Parahyba river, a distance of more than ten miles, there is a fall of 210 feet. This city is a centre of railroad traffic, lines branching off to the city of São Paulo, a distance of 298 miles from Rio de Janeiro, to the city of Entre Rios, at the mouth of the Parahybuna river, about fifty-five miles distant, and thence about forty miles to Porto Novo da Cunha, where it connects with the Leopoldina Railway, while another branch follows the Parahybuna river through the interior of the State of Minas Geraes.
Here I met one of our colporteurs who had been spending some days in canvassing the town and vicinity, and was convinced that this might prove to be an important point for offering the Scriptures to the thousands of persons coming from and returning to the great interior. The passenger trains going each way usually stop at this point twenty minutes for meals and to change engines, thus giving a colporteur time to offer the Scriptures to all who may be on board. At certain seasons of the year when the passenger traffic is always large we have had a colporteur devote almost all his time to offering the Scriptures to passengers at this point, and hundreds of copies have been purchased by persons scattered for many miles through the interior of the country.
We have found by experience that the offering of the Scriptures in the railroad trains is an important feature of the colportage work, and sometimes the colporteur has made good sales by boarding a passing train from our station to another and then returning by the next train in the opposite direction.
On the journey from Barra do Pirahy to Entre Rios, we sold a few copies of the Word to fellow-passengers, and had some interesting conversations on the subject of religion.
At the town of Entre Rios, while our train was being divided into two sections for the two different branches, standing on the platform, I sold fourteen copies of the Scriptures and had an interesting conversation of a few minutes with a young man who lived some miles in the country. He urged me to visit him and to preach the Gospel in his community, assuring me that I would find there a warm welcome.
From this place also hundreds of copies of the Scriptures have been distributed during these fourteen years. The surrounding coffee districts, the macadamized stage road from Petropolis to Juiz de Fora, the bifurcation of the railroad into two valleys, all combine to indicate the importance of this town. In former times the stage ride over this macadamized road referred to was one of the finest and most interesting in Brazil. With the building of the railroad, this has largely fallen into disuse and decay, and the old stage coaches are being thrown aside and going to decay in the tropical sun and rains. They however did good service carrying the colporteur and his Bibles, and enabling him to place copies of the word of life in the hands of many. The ride of about fifty miles up the valley of the Parahybuna river from Entre Rios, 860 feet above the bed of the sea, to the city of Juiz de Fora, about 2,200 feet above the sea, is one of much interest. The hills covered with coffee trees and forests, valleys of cultivated fields and pasture lands, the old farm houses and slave quarters, the huge grey and brown rocks jutting out here and there and rising sometimes to four or five hundred feet above the road, the waters of the Parahybuna rushing along and now and then leaping and dashing over precipices and through great gorges, all combine to divert and greatly interest the passenger as the train bears him winding around sharp curves and up steep grades through tunnels on to an elevated plateau.
At Juiz de Fora, 170 miles from Rio de Janeiro, we stopped for a few days' work and to replenish our supply of books, and found that the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, (preceded, however by the colporteur of the Bible Society) had begun work.
This growing city has been one of the most important centres of our fourteen years' work, and has considerable commercial importance. The surrounding hilly country forms one of the rich and extensive coffee producing districts of Brazil, and is very favourable to the growth of corn, beans, and other products, as well as to cattle and stock raising, and there are several important manufacturing enterprises located in it. The population at present numbers about 15,000 souls. American enterprise, taking advantage of the power that for centuries has been going to waste in the cascades of the Parahybuna river a few miles distant, has recently put in an electric power plant, and the well furnished stores, neat and comfortable private and public buildings, electric lights, water supply, drainage, street-cars, shops, factories, etc., make it stand in striking contrast with the description given by Capt. Richard F. Burton so recently as 1867: "Juiz de Fora is a single dusty or muddy street, or rather road, across which palms are planted in pairs. The dwellings are low and poor, mostly door and window, as the phrase is." In this development much is due to the influence and efforts of a Brazilian "of rare enterprise, pluck, perseverance and determined will;" and also to that of the German Colony located there by the União e Industria Company in the year 1860; the number of colonists was 1,318.
Our colporteurs have from time to time extended the work along the railroads in three directions and have traversed the whole country round about, going on foot and on mule-back from this centre. During my first visit to the town, I secured from among the Protestant believers a man who did several years of valuable colportage work, travelling for thousands of miles with his pack-mules through the interior; and the Methodist Church located here has furnished two other colporteurs who have given a number of years to the work; and others also who have worked for less time. Many boxes of the Sacred Scriptures have been unloaded from the trains at this place and the books scattered for miles in every direction. The Methodist missionaries following in the tracks of the colporteurs, have gathered up the fruits in a large measure, and there is now in this section of the State a large and most prosperous Presiding Elder's District, composed of seven pastoral charges with a church membership of nearly 1,000. The colporteurs would go out in all directions, sowing the seed, talking with the people and reading to them the Words of Life, then return to tell the preachers of the marvellous interest awakened and of the desire upon the part of many to know more of the Way of Life; and the missionaries at this station bear me witness that their work has developed and is still extending along the lines opened up by these pioneers of the Bible Society. Experience has demonstrated the wisdom of beginning such work in the important centres of commerce and education and extending outward to the limits of civilization. And, while marvellous results have been seen in the small towns, villages and country settlements, there has been a corresponding development in the city of Juiz de Fora.
In no part of the country have there been more rapid developments from the labours of Gospel workers than through this section of the State of Minas Geraes; and it should be recorded for the encouragement of all persons who have contributed to the cause of the American Bible Society that the colporteurs have been the pioneers and the constant companions of the preachers in the extension and development of this work, and have laid the foundation for the educational work of Granberry College and other institutions.
From Juiz de Fora the Central Railroad extends along a valley for a distance of about thirty-five miles across the plateau which gradually rises until it reaches the station of Mantiqueira about 2,810 feet above the level of the sea at the base of the Serra de Mantiqueira. It is quite noticeable that coffee planting in this region is much less extensive than it is farther down on the plateau, and almost disappears as we go up the Serra. This is due to the colder temperature and the frosts. In the region round about Mantiqueira and the next railroad station above the pasture lands are magnificent, and cattle raising is quite an industry. Since the railroad has reached this section, milk and butter are being shipped daily in increasing quantities to Rio de Janeiro, a distance of more than 200 miles. The very large increase in the consumption of milk and the national or homemade butter has been very noticeable during the last ten years, especially in the city of Rio de Janeiro.
The ascent of the Serra from Mantiqueira to Barbacena, a distance of about twenty-five miles, and a rise in altitude of about 775 feet, winds around the hillsides furnishing constantly changing views of most magnificent scenery; this rise of 775 feet being made almost entirely in a distance of about ten miles. On our first journey over this section we sold a number of copies of the Scriptures to fellow passengers and to persons at the different stations; some of the copies sold were taken long distances to homes far away among the hills and mountains. Many looked on and seemed to think our efforts to get men to buy Bibles a very strange proceeding. One very old man living a long distance from the railroad bought a copy to take home with him, saying that he could not read much but his children could. We were much impressed with his seeming sincerity of heart and desire to know the truth of God. The priests were active among the passengers trying to induce them not to buy our Bibles, telling them that they were false and dangerous books. At another time while passing over this same section of the road in company with a colporteur, an evangelist and two missionaries, we had a most interesting and somewhat novel experience. We began talking with the passengers and offering them the Scriptures, and were awakening considerable interest throughout the train, when a priest was suddenly aroused, went to the conductor of the train and made complaint that we were annoying the passengers; several of the more devout followers of his way joined with him in the complaint. It was far from our purpose to create any disturbance among our fellow passengers, and as we could only carry on such work on the train by permission, we had to comply with the conductor's orders and cease our selling; fortunately we had supplied nearly all who desired to buy before he interfered. I have several times been thus forbidden to sell books on the train, but in almost every case have found that some priest or religious fanatic had brought pressure to bear upon the conductor to stop me.
At this time we had a conversation with a very devout fellow passenger who was on a pilgrimage of more than 100 miles to fulfill a promise of some ten years standing to the famous image of Nosso Senhor de Congonhas. He told me this story: his little three-year-old boy had on one occasion thrust his hand into a kettle of boiling syrup and was so badly burned that they thought the little fellow would die from the effects. The father prayed to this image, of which he had a consecrated picture in his house, and made a vow that if he would cure the child, he would go on a pilgrimage to his temple and burn the child's weight in wax candles before the altar. He was a poor tiller of the soil with a large family, and said to me that he had been working hard for ten years and saving up a little money each year until he at last had enough to buy the large box of candles, pay the priest for blessing them, and pay his own and the boy's expenses of the trip. He showed me the boy's hand which was so deformed that he had never been able to make use of it. I thought if a great miracle-working image couldn't do a better job of healing than that it would be just as well to let nature have her course. The man's fidelity in paying his vow was certainly worthy of commendation. I thought if he could but be brought to the knowledge of the Truth in Christ, what a noble Christian he might become; so I sought to point him to the great miracle-working, healing, loving Jesus. He bought a New Testament and promised me that on his return to his home, he would read and study it. When the gleaners in the mission field reach the community in which he lives, doubtless there will be some good news to report, for the soil seemed ready for the seed.
Just before we reached the station of Sitio, from which starts the Western Minas Railroad, we sold a Bible to a man who lived several miles beyond the terminus of that line. A few years later, while spending a night at the town of Lafayette further along the Central Railroad, I met the same man who had become a devout believer from the reading of that Bible. He was greatly rejoiced to know that the missionaries of the Southern Presbyterian Board were beginning permanent work in that section. They now have a prosperous school and church work in the town of Lavras, and from this centre the work is extending in all directions through the country. A mission station has been opened also at the famous old town of São João del Rei, and the influence of the work is being felt throughout that section. This has been long considered one of the most fanatical and difficult places in Brazil for doing evangelistic work. The colporteurs and workers have had some lively encounters with the priests, and have made narrow escapes from the hands of enraged fanatics. But darkness and superstition are giving way with the entrance of light and truth. On one occasion one of our colporteurs argued with a priest for about two hours in the presence of a large number of men; and it has been said that the truth of Scripture set forth by the colporteur before so many attentive listeners did a great deal to awaken interest and start investigation.
Returning to the line of the Central Railroad the town of Barbacena, 230 miles from Rio de Janeiro, located on an elevation of about 3,600 feet above the sea furnishes an excellent illustration of the observation of Burton that "in Brazil, cities founded by ecclesiastics occupy the best situations, hills and rises, commanding fine views: the laity preferred bottom lands, near gold and water." The extensive views are enchanting as one looks from the heights down over hills and valleys in the distance; and the pure, cool atmosphere is most exhilarating. We are not surprised that this place has become a great resort for convalescents and invalids, and a centre of boarding schools. Humboldt said that taking Barbacena as a centre and radiating for a hundred miles in every direction there was to be found the most salubrious and most perfect climate in the world. We have sold here a number of Bibles at different times and the Methodists are carrying forward regular work. Not long since at the request of the missionary in charge I sent to the jailer at this place a box of Scriptures, most of which were distributed among the prisoners and soldiers, several of whom have been converted.
From Barbacena we pursued our way to Miguel Burnier from which point a branch line was under construction to Ouro Preto, the Capital of the State of Minas. Adventurers and speculators were already following up this new enterprise, and as we entered the hotel that stood near the station we were at once asked what was our business. The surprised and perplexed expression on the faces of the curious crowd surrounding us when we told them that we were distributing the Word of God was most marked. They seemed never to have heard of such business as that, and as they learned more of the nature of our mission they expressed much doubt as to the wisdom of undertaking such work in that section. During the evening and early the next morning we sold several copies of the Scriptures. A number of persons would not buy because they thought the reading of our books would be contrary to the religion of a famous image whose temple is located at the town of Congonhas, about ten or twelve miles from Miguel Burnier, and which has a wonderful influence over the masses of the people. In the early history of Brazil the ecclesiastics found no better way to build a town than by setting up a Growing Stone, a Healing Cross or a Miracle-Working Image. These images are often called "Apparecido" or "Apparecida," from their "appearing" in some cave, or wild forest, stream, or on the seacoast. It is supposed that "The Lord of Matosinhos" appeared near this place of small shrubs, from which event the brotherhood of Bom Jesus of Matosinhos had its origin. The main temple or church, the seven chapels, oratorios, wooden figures seated around a table representing the Last Supper, the image of Judas and the great knife with which the pilgrims give him a dig as they pass by, the Agony in the Garden, the rough wayside cross of hardwood bearing a rude figure, dedicated to Our Lord of Matosinhos with an inscription showing that it began to work miracles about the year 1700; the gigantic figures of the Prophets, the carved work in wood and stone, the paintings of various kinds, the instruments of the Passion, the miracle-room with the large number of wax figures and hundreds of memorial tablets, representing the miracles performed by the image; the side chapels of St. Francis de Assisi, St. Francisco de Paula and others, the two pulpits, the two boxes and two open confessionals, the representation of the Trinity and the Burial of Christ, the altar tomb, covered with a board, which when removed shows a full-sized effigy of Our Lord of Matosinhos, with angels kneeling around and praying, which is the grand object of the pilgrimage and where the pilgrims prostrate themselves and kiss the hand of the image with great devotion; on another side the cradle of Bethlehem, above the fine silver chandeliers :these are some of the many curious things, in crude shape representing a strange mixture of truth and falsehood. The surprising fact is that not only the poor and ignorant but many of the more enlightened and wealthy Brazilians still make pilgrimages, perform vows, devote offerings and render worship to this image. It would be difficult perhaps to say just what proportion of the pilgrims are really devout and sincere in their performances, and how many go simply for a frolic and pleasure. There can be no doubt that with many in Brazil, these things have long since become largely a social custom, and this class of persons enter into the ceremonies with little or no religious sentiment, but there are many others who are devout and sincere in their faith and performances.
Shortly after our arrival at the station of Miguel Burnier, I obtained permission from the proprietor of the little hotel to preach at night in the dining room. Much curiosity was expressed by a number of hearers that crowded into the little room and stood around the low windows and outside the door, but they listened with much attention. It was with great difficulty that I conducted service in the Portuguese language, and I was not a little confused by one man who spoke out in a very loud voice and disputed the statement when I referred to Christ's having been tempted by the devil. This was the first time so far as we could learn that any Protestant had ever attempted to preach in the place.
The next morning the colporteur and I obtained permission to travel on the construction train, and we started over the mountains to make our way to Ouro Preto, thirty miles distant. The train took us twenty-four miles and we had to make the remainder of the distance on foot, through mud and rain carrying on our backs our baggage, with our Bibles and Testaments. The books, being of considerable size, were about as much as two men could carry under the circumstances over such a road and we were forced to call a boy to our assistance. We managed to keep the books dry for the most part, but reached the hotel in the city of Ouro Preto muddy, wet, and tired, a sight to behold. We were not surprised that our appearance attracted much attention as we walked through the streets to find a hotel. The ride over the mountains on the flat car furnished a good opportunity for appreciating the magnificent views to be seen in almost every direction. From the heights over which we passed, the valleys below, the extensive plains, hills and distant mountain ranges, with the clouds hanging like lace curtains from the windows of heaven and touching their summits, combined in scenes too vast and grand for painter's brush or poet's pen; they must be seen in their reality to be fully appreciated. The only inconvenience we suffered on the occasion was from the jolting of the rough car over the newly constructed road as we sat on coils of lead piping instead of cushioned seats and fought the sparks and cinders that showered upon us from our puffing engine. Umbrellas were of advantage only for a while until they were so badly burned as to no longer protect us from the falling coals; it seemed for a time to be literally raining fire. As the road descends amongst the hills of Ouro Preto the great rocks jutting out and dipping in all directions give signs of tremendous volcanic action. We reached the city late in the afternoon, and with great difficulty found lodging in a small hotel, as the town was crowded in honour of two important events: the freeing of about 200 slaves with some Emancipation Fund that had been raised throughout the Province; the jubilee of a Catholic priest of the city.
We remained in the city for two days talking with the people on the streets, in the shops and stores, and in a short time sold the fifty-two Bibles and Testaments which we had been able to carry on our backs from the end of the railroad.
A few days after we left I had a letter from a man, who become much interested in the Gospel, informing me that the priests had instigated the city authorities to arrest and imprison us for selling false and dangerous books; the officer duly authorized to make the arrest arrived at the hotel about an hour after our departure. So far as we could learn this was the first attempt made in the city to circulate among the people the written Word of God. A few of the copies sold were to men who lived at long distances, in the country and who had come in to attend the festivities. I was much interested in one very old man who stood at the door and listened attentively to what I was saying to a number who were gathered around me in a little store; he said if he could read he would certainly buy one of the books. I asked him if he had a family and if any of them could read. He replied that some of his children could read, and so at this suggestion he bought a Bible; a few hours later I saw him leaving the town with his Bible under his arm, seemingly in haste to get home where he could hear more of its wonderful and new truths. The scene in that humble country home among the distant hills that night when for the first time the members of that household were reading and hearing the wonderful words of life, must have been one which angels would delight to witness. One of the New Testaments was sold to a carpenter who had a small shop in a dirty little street at one side of the town. The book was laid away, I believe in a tool box, and soon became covered with dust and trash. Later, when things were being overhauled about the place, this book was discovered and was about to be thrown away as a useless thing, when a young man, who had been working in the shop for some months, asked that it be given to him. He began reading it diligently, was converted, called of God to the ministry, and is now an active and efficient preacher of the Gospel. If no other results had come of the efforts of that occasion, the conversion of this young cabinet workman was worth far more than all it cost in money, time labour and discomfort to reach the city and dispose of the copies of the Scriptures which we had been able to carry on our backs through the mud and rain. Since this beginning of Gospel work, the city of Ouro Preto has been the scene of considerable activity in preaching and scattering the truth; a number of people have been led to Christ and the influence of the work has extended in all the region round about. As the city was until recently the capital of the State of Minas Geraes, it had more or less importance as a centre for evangelistic and Bible work. Since the railroad reached this point, we have shipped considerable quantities of Scriptures there to be picked up by the pack mules and carried sometimes several hundred miles through the interior.
The mining interests, from which the Province, Minas Geraes (General Mines) takes its name, gave rise to the founding of the city of Ouro Preto (Black Gold). Its location among the hills is one of singular interest, a number of peaks towering above the place, the highest being nearly 5,900 feet above the level of the sea, or about 2,500 feet above the city. "Now it has the sun of Italy, then the fogs of England." The roughly paved streets ascending and descending the hills are narrow, crooked and irregular; carts and carriages are of little or no use, the freight being carried largely on packmules. I saw these little animals winding up and down the streets, some loaded with great building timbers twelve or fifteen feet long, others with stones, lime, etc.; water was delivered from two barrels which balanced each other on the pack-saddle. A little mule came up in front of our hotel with two flour barrels swung across his back; a small door or window had been cut in the end of each barrel from which a boy supplied us with bread. Since the completion of the railroad to this point, enterprise has changed and improved some of the streets and now carts are more used.
It was in this city in the year 1788 that a plot, led by Joaquim José da Silva Xavier, a dentist, was formed for establishing a Republic in the Province of Minas and surrounding captaincies. The spirit of liberty and independence so prominent at that time in the United States and France was wafted to this provincial capital amongst the hills of the interior of Brazil, a young Brazilian who met Jefferson in France being one of the principal channels of communication. The leaders of this patriotic movement numbered twenty-five or thirty, and there were no less than a thousand suspected as being in sympathy with the conspiracy. One of the conspirators, who owed the Treasury a considerable sum, revealed to the Governor the plan in hope of obtaining a remission of his debt with a pension and decorations. Public indignation afterwards drove him to the Amazon valley where he was left to starve. These leaders were captured and sentenced, some to be hanged, decapitated and quartered, with exposure of heads; others to be hanged on a gallows taller than usual; their property was confiscated and their children and grandchildren declared infamous; others were exiled for life, a few were temporarily banished and two were flogged. The Province of Minas may well be proud of this popular movement as there can be no doubt that it led finally to the Independence of Brazil on the 7th of September, 1822, and found its fullest realization in the establishment of the Republic for the whole of Brazil on the 15th of November, 1889, just a century from its beginning. The Government has decreed the 21st of April a public holiday in honour of "Tiradentes," the leader in that first movement for liberty and independence in Brazil.
In April, 1891, two missionaries from Juiz de Fora station and an evangelist accompanied me on a trip to this quaint old historic city among the hills for the purpose of making the first attempt to publicly preach the Gospel there. The mayor being a liberal-minded man and desirous that the Republic, not yet two years old, should make a good impression, readily granted us the use of the town hall. The evangelist, an Englishman, eloquent in the use of the Portuguese language, was greeted on two successive occasions by large audiences of men filling to overflowing the town hall. On the first occasion there was some disturbance outside led by two priests; on the second occasion a priest in the audience arose and contested some of the preacher's statements. The preacher replied, proving his point with Scripture, and was sustained by a majority of the auditors.
In the latter part of the year 1892, we made an effort for the second time to extend our Bible work along the railroad from Miguel Burnier and throughout the upper valley of the Rio das Velhas (River of the Old Women). A local tradition says the river took its name from three old Indian squaws found squatting upon its banks by the first explorer through that region, who struck the stream in 1701 at what is flow the town of Sabará. My wife accompanied me on this trip, and at Barbacena we met a colporteur whom I had sent to visit several Italian colonies in that section. We had good sales of the Scriptures in the city and I preached once to a large audience of attentive hearers. We had with us a small organ, made especially for such evangelistic work, which my wife played and the music attracted many who remained to hear the word. At the little hotel one morning she was playing hymns, and all the people about the hotel and some from the streets came in to hear. I took occasion now and then to read a passage from the Scriptures and talk to them. One gentleman, who had come a long distance to visit his son who was in school, said he had desired for some time to hear the Gospel. He brought his son and four others from the school to hear something of the Word. He gave his son a Testament and told the others to buy. Those boys returned to the school carrying two Bibles and a Testament.
From Barbacena we went to Sabará, where we made good sales of Scriptures and from which we went out to visit several neighbouring towns, villages and settlements. One trip which was especially interesting was to Santa Luzia, a town about sixteen miles away. The journey had to be made on mule-back. Early one morning the native preacher, our colporteur, wife and I, all well mounted on our little mules, and with the little organ, books, etc., on the pack-mules, started on the trip. The road was very rough, and lay through a very hilly, mountainous region. We first ascended a very steep, rocky hill; from the heights we had charming views of the winding valleys, dotted now and then with distant villages. We soon descended to climb another rugged hill, and so on for the entire distance. About midway we stopped beside a clear stream to eat our lunch and rest our animals. When we reached the town we found very poor accommodations at the little hotel, but the proprietor was very attentive and kind. Much excitement was awakened by our coming. Many seemed really afraid of us, and would close their doors and windows as we passed along the streets. We secured the use of a small room at the hotel for services. The music and singing attracted quite a crowd, and gave me an opportunity of preaching to them Jesus. We called at the stores and shops and sold a number of copies of the Scriptures. We had opportunity of visiting only two or three families. Some received us kindly, and showed much interest in learning the truth. The priest was much opposed to us. We saw torn up in the streets a Gospel and a New Testament the result of his opposition. He told the people our books were false and full of lies. Some threw stones, and cried: "Away with these Protestants." We left with them words of instruction such as we were able to give, our prayers, the memory of the music; and, best of all, many copies of the Holy Scriptures.
Another trip was to Bello Horizonte, a small town of a few hundred inhabitants. We rode up to the only establishment in the way of a hotel there was in the small town. Very soon we were informed that we could not be admitted, as we were Protestants. No kind of persuasion could change the verdict, so we were left without shelter or a place to get a dinner. The native preacher knew the son of an Englishman who had a small store in the town. Though a Romanist he showed himself friendly, invited us to rest in his house, and at the proper hour had for us a good dinner. Much excitement was awakened throughout the town by our presence. The priest had told them that we must not be allowed to stop in the place. After a prayer to God to open the way for success, to give his Word entrance, we started through the streets with our hands full of books. Very soon we found some who were inclined to buy; we went on from house to house, talking and offering the Scriptures. Much to our surprise, in a few hours our supply was nearly exhausted. When we returned to the house of our host several gentlemen came to talk with us. We talked with them for quite awhile and sung a hymn or two. Music never fails to please the Brazilian ear. Just a little before sunset we mounted our mules to return to Sabará. Our friend offered to do his best to lodge us for the night, but we saw he could not care for us without great discomfort to his family, and as we could not secure a place for preaching, and needed a fresh supply of books, we decided to return.
Since our first visit to this fanatical little village, it has, by order of the Government been chosen as the site of the new Capital of the State. Skillful engineers and workmen in a very short time have converted it into a well laid out city of wide streets and broad avenues, with a beautiful park adorned with a lake filled from a fountain whose clear waters shoot up about twenty feet. Besides stores, shops, hotels, residences and many other new and modern buildings, a magnificent palace for the Governor of the State and commodious buildings for the different State Departments have been erected, and a very extensive Legislative Department building is now in course of construction. The city is brilliantly illuminated with electricity, and has railroad connection with the central line. The present population is estimated to be about 14,000. The location is well chosen and the climate most excellent for the development of a healthy and prosperous city.