IX Pernambuco POWER OF SOCIAL INFLUENCEDUTCH AND PORTUGUESE PARAHYBA CEARA READING UNDER DIFFICULTIES.
AUGUST 29, 1889, I embarked on Her British Majesty's Royal Mail steamer, "Atrato" for Pernambuco, to begin a journey through the northern provinces and up the Amazon River. Our run from Rio to Bahia, a distance of thirty-five miles was made in exactly forty-eight hours, and was said to be the first run made in that time.
We next anchored at the port of Maceió, a city of about 30,000 inhabitants. It is well laid out, lighted with electricity, has street cars, and is connected by a railroad with the interior and the city of Pernambuco.
Several years previous to my first arrival there the place had been visited by the colporteurs; and such was the interest awakened by the reading of their Bibles that the Presbyterian missionaries from Pernambuco were induced to establish regular work in the city, placing a native preacher in charge. One of my first efforts to carry forward the work was to send a colporteur from Sergipe, who made a journey across the province to Pernambuco by one route and returned by another. The work has gone steadily forward, and has spread throughout the entire state. These visits of the colporteurs have been seconded by the missionaries and their helpers, and more recently the Baptists have established a mission station there, and are meeting with good success.
The distance by sea from Bahia to Maceió is 270 miles, and from Maceió to Pernambuco 120 miles. We anchored off this latter port on the morning of September 3rd, and waited for day. Our steamer was of too deep draft to enter the harbour and as the sea was very rough, disembarking was dangerous and expensive. An Italian trader, engaged exclusively in the exportation of goat skins, and I were the only passengers to be landed. A row boat with half a dozen oarsmen came near and we climbed down the side of the ship by a rope ladder, dropping in as the boat swept by on the crest of a passing wave. This process had to be repeated several times in order to secure the two passengers and the baggage. Then came the row of two miles over the waves until we swept through the passage in the coral reef and were soon in calm water in the harbour.
The real name of the city of Pernambuco is Recife (reef), taken from a most remarkable coral reef that extends for many miles along that part of the coast at a short distance from the shore. In front of the city this reef is about thirty feet wide, flat on the top, and its perpendicular sides present very much the appearance of an artificial wall. The entrance to the port is through a break in the reef, but a sandbar makes it impossible for any but light craft vessels to cross except at high tide. The city itself is built on two long, narrow peninsulas, formed by two small rivers and the ocean, and connected by iron and stone bridges. In the oldest part of the town the streets are narrow and crooked, but on the other and larger peninsula the blocks of houses are larger, the streets wider, there are tram cars and good stores. It is not as picturesque as Bahia or Rio de Janeiro, has a more modern air than either, but looks also more cleanly and prosperous.
The most easterly city on the Brazilian coast, and located at a convenient distance between northern and southern ports, Pernambuco has a commerce of very considerable importance and is the great sugar export market of Brazil.
With a population of about 190,000, the city offers a promising field for colportage; but to find the man with the peculiar gifts necessary has been a matter of much concern for more than ten years. At different times men have done good work, and a considerable portion of the inhabitants have had an opportunity of purchasing the Word of God. Some thousands of copies have been sold, and the reading of many of them has been blessed to the enlightenment and salvation of a number of souls. One of the most successful attempts was made in 1900, by Mr. F. C. Glass and Mr. G. F. Shiflersmith, who were sent up from Rio for a few months. A native Christian, Sr. Manoel C. Alves, was engaged and trained by them for the work; he still continues in that field. One of the three sold in fifty-five days 740 copies of the Scriptures, another in thirty-two days 504 copies, and the third in twenty-five days 401 copies; the general average for each being about fifteen copies per day. It is noticeable that the native colporteur has not done as well since the two foreigners removed to another field. One of the men wrote me shortly after their arrival in the city: "So far we have sold 100 Bibles, 125 Testaments, and about 160 Gospels, in about nine days. I suppose that seventy per cent of all the Bibles and Testaments were sold after first encountering a blank refusal to purchase. It takes more angling, so to speak, to land a Bible than the cutest trout will need. Otherwise we have not yet met with more opposition than we have been accustomed to in the south."
Later the other wrote: "So far we have met more ridicule than real opposition, though many seem ready to insinuate that we are liars and deceivers, to be avoided and shunned. It is very difficult to persuade a man to reason fairly and justly, but they seem to base all their arguments on the superstitious fables and slanders and malicious misrepresentations of the priests. They even deny the New Testament of their own Church, approved by the Pope, insisting that the New Testament is a book of the new sect, as they call the Protestants here." These men did systematic work, canvassing from house to house, and their reports show that one man in one day sold fifty-seven copies, another fifty-six, another thirty-four and so on. The success of the two men from Rio was due in a measure to the fact that they were foreigners. Our native colporteurs are usually men of limited abilities, and apt to be easily overcome, discouraged, and driven away in the face of a little scorn, opposition, and indifference from the people. Another fact also that militates greatly against the native colporteur and his work is the contempt in which converts from Romanism are held by the masses generally. Many think it is all right for the foreigner, who was born and brought up in the Protestant faith to follow that way and even engage in the active work of propagating his religion. But for a native Brazilian, who was brought up a Roman Catholic to apostatize and become a Protestant is intolerable; such are held in great disdain, and by some are considered unworthy of respect. It is difficult for the foreigner to realize fully the position in which the native convert is placed when he abandons the religion of his country and of his ancestors. Rome's assumption of the claim to be the only true Church with an infallible head, a regular and uninterrupted transmission of ministerial authority through bishops and priests, and an elaborate form of ceremonial worship, has through centuries maintained a firm hold upon the minds of the masses. Many religious rites and ceremonies have become social customs, inseparable from the real social life of the people. For one to abandon these is in a great measure to ostracize himself from his people. The reader must bear in mind that we are not discussing the principle of the employment of native workers, but simply stating some facts. We believe that Apostolic precedent and the tendency in modern missions are decidedly in favour of recruiting workers in the countries to be evangelized; and both the missionary and the Church at home must learn to have patience with them and to sympathize with the many difficulties that confront these men of God.
A few years ago a native colporteur, who was on his way to the State of Parahyba attempted during the voyage to do some Gospel work among the crew and second class passengers; but some of the officers and others on the vessel, who looked upon him as a despised apostate, bribed men to give a false testimony against him, causing his arrest and imprisonment on the ship's arrival at Pernambuco. A telegram was sent to the chief of police in Rio de Janeiro, inquiring if the man was in the employ of such an institution as the American Bible Society. I gave full information as to the Society and its work, and also concerning the colporteur, upon the receipt of which an order was issued for his release. But before this was accomplished the vessel had sailed for other ports while the colporteur was left behind, losing his passage.
The city of Pernambuco, notwithstanding the efficient work done by the two men above referred to, is, like all the cities of Brazil, waiting for a systematic and thorough canvass by efficient colporteurs.
Another and in some respects more difficult problem to be solved was that of reaching the nearly 1,000,000 of inhabitants scattered through the entire province. The territory to be traversed is in width from north to south about 125 miles and in length from east to west about 635 miles. A number of towns and settlements along the seacoast and the larger rivers may be reached by boats. Railroad enterprise has in recent years had some development, and there are now about 450 miles of road in operation, extending from the city by three main lines in different directions. The longest of these lines is not more than 165 miles, which is only about one-fourth of the entire length of the state. From these statements it will be readily seen that the colporteur in order to reach a very large section of the State with his books must resort to the indispensable pack-mule, and, as the custom in that section is, go himself on foot.
Efforts to distribute the Scriptures and to preach the Gospel have revealed the fact that the people through the great interior of this state are among the most fanatical and violent in their opposition to the truth to be found anywhere in Brazil. History records that the Dutch were very cruel in their treatment of the Roman Catholic priests during the invasion; those residing in the conquered provinces were required to take the oath of fidelity, and those entering without a safe conduct were to be imprisoned. Finally the members of every monastic order were commanded to quit the Dutch possessions within a month, and repair to an island from whence they would be conveyed across the ocean.
When the Portuguese regained possession of that section, the Roman Catholics and their religious orders at once entered anew upon their work; they most naturally remembered with much hatred the cruelty of the Dutch, and took occasion to instill into the minds of their converts and followers a spirit of revenge towards the adherents of the Reformed religion. Nearly 250 years have passed since these sad scenes were enacted, but I think there can be no doubt that the Protestant efforts to circulate the Scriptures and to preach the Gospel in that region to-day encounter the consequences of a mistaken religious zeal, which in the one instance was characterized by cruelty, and in the other by vengeance.
The colporteurs have pushed the circulation of the Scriptures up and down the coast, along the railroads, and in many directions through the rural and remote districts. The missionaries cooperating with them and following up the interest awakened by the reading of the Word have preached in a number of places and have permanently established work in several towns and villages. These efforts have been carried on amid much opposition and at times violent persecution.
The party of three, to whose work in the city of Pernambuco, reference has been made, following instructions, made a journey into the northern part of the State; one of them wrote the following interesting account of their visit to two important towns: "On Monday we left early taking a big box of books and our helper, Manoel Alves, to try two of the largest and most fanatical towns in the interior of the State.
"We reached Timbauba at midday, and by two o'clock had obtained permission of the prefect and started work: we met no open opposition, but it was hard ground. We had a number of lively and interesting conversations in some of the principal stores, sometimes with quite an audience, and every time we came off more than conquerors. We left there Wednesday noon, having sold 170 books, seventy-three of which were Bibles and Testaments. We also left quite a number of persons convinced of the truth of the Word.
"Wednesday night we reached Limoeira, another good-sized town, said to be more fanatical than the other. Next morning we started selling without a license, as we could not see the authorities until nine o'clock. We had scarcely begun when an official met us with a warning not to sell until we obtained a license. So we stopped and Brother Glass went to see the authorities. They conferred with each other and put every thing they could in his way, but he would not be put off. Just then in came the official in a rage, saying that there were a whole lot of those fellows, and that they had already sold a number of books and they ought to be fined for it. The delegado took the list of articles, and after looking it over said that books were not included, so they could do nothing at all but let us go on selling.
"We put Sr. Manoel right into the principal part of the street, partly to see how he would 'stand fire,' as we were sure the opposition would be greatest there; this was his first real testing, and he stood it like true steel. Almost at once a crowd gathered, yelling and insulting him. They pinned cotton to his coat tails, told him that I had already been taken to prison, and insulted him in ways quite unmentionable, but he actually laughed them right out of their own game. He went up to one old man, who was standing in front of his store hissing and yelling, and said, 'Well this is a fine spectacle; an old, gray-bearded man like you out here in the street yelling like a schoolboy.' The old fellow turned and slunk away inside.
"The mob evidently concluded that it was not worth while to follow a man who laughed at their insults, and let him go. Within a stone's throw of the place he sold three Testaments in one shop, and a little farther on a Bible, besides giving a good testimony of the truth of the books he had. All during the day he showed splendid courage and had splendid success.
"A few minutes later the same mob met me a little farther down the street and repeated the same thing. I was in a large store, and closing my bag of books I put it on top of a box behind me and turned and faced them. I just simply looked at them, praying inwardly to the Lord, and every time I caught the eye of one of them he turned away like a whipped dog. But the worst of them, a fellow who was leading a goat by a string tried several times to reanimate the crowd, but every time he failed. I never felt the power of the Lord so sensibly with me before.
"The crowd had gathered into groups of five or six about the store, and then the Lord opened my mouth, enabling me to talk very straight and plainly to them. I told them that I did not care for their insults, but I did pity their dense ignorance. I told them that if they had ever read these books that I was offering, or if they knew anything about them, they would never think of doing such things as they were doing. I challenged them to go and bring the priests' Bible to compare with mine, but no one cared to do so. After a good talk about the Word and the reason of this propaganda, during which several of them were visibly impressed, I left them, and there was no more demonstration at all.
"We sold twenty-three Bibles and Testaments and a goodly number of Gospels and would have sold more, but a number of people who really wanted the Bible were afraid to buy it because of the rabble. A few months ago a young man who had accepted the Gospel there had his room broken into by a mob and all his books and clothing destroyed. But the truth of God is at work, and we believe will triumph there as in so many other places."
One of our colporteurs went more recently to visit a town in the interior of the State and was offering his books to quite a number of persons who had gathered around him in the street. One of the number took two of the Bibles in his hand and the colporteur, supposing that he was going to examine them, went on talking to the others. Soon the man stepped up and handed him the two Bibles torn all to pieces, and said that he had been to the priest of the town to know if they were true and good books. The priest after looking at them for a little while told him that they were bad books, and that every one of them ought to be treated as he was treating those two, as he continued tearing them to pieces. He sent the man back with them to the colporteur. Another priest, who is a representative from that district in the State Legislature, was present at the time and gave his sanction to the performance and to the advice to have the colporteur murdered. The priest told the man that the colporteur ought to be killed, and that it would not be a crime to put him to death. The crowd around was aroused, became excited, and it was with great difficulty that the colporteur escaped from the place alive.
Many more incidents of opposition and violence to the propagation of the Gospel in that State might be recorded, but these may suffice to give the reader some idea of what the labourers and the converts have to suffer for their Master's sake. It is gratifying, however, to record that the efforts thus far put forth have been fruitful of good results. Many have been converted to Christ and His love through the reading of the Word, and the missionaries and native workers have already gathered quite a number of interesting groups of believers in the city and throughout the neighbouring country. The great interior of the State, stretching back into the fertile valley of the San Francisco river, inhabited largely by a fanatical and ignorant people, absolutely under the control of a correspondingly fanatical and ignorant priesthood, remains yet to be canvassed by the colporteurs and visited by the ministers of the Gospel. It will require much faith, zeal, and courage to do the work, and the workers will doubtless have to endure much opposition and persecution to evangelize these thousands.
At the time of my first visit to the city of Pernambuco I sent two colporteurs and an assistant to make the journey on horseback across the country to the city of Parahyba, the capital of the State of Parahyba, while I went in company with the Presbyterian missionaries and two native students for the ministry by train northward to Timbauba, a distance of about seventy miles, then by horseback twenty-five miles to Pilar. Returning we reached the village of Timbauba at one P. M., and after securing something to eat, I visited during the remaining hours of the day about fifty houses or rather huts. The ignorance and poverty prevailing were appalling. I succeeded in selling eight copies of the Scriptures, and talked with a few who showed some real interest to know the truth.
At the time of my visit a severe drought, such as is of frequent occurrence in that section, was prevailing throughout the State, and poverty and suffering abounded on every hand. Many refugees from the interior were gathered about the streets, and all who could obtain passage on the steamers were leaving for other parts along the coast. The conditions were then most unfavourable for selling the Scriptures, but we were able to give a few copies to the poor. The two colporteurs who had been five days on the journey from Pernambuco reported that they had not sold a single copy, and a trip into the country round about Parahyba met with little success. I spent a few days in the city attending the Presbytery, at which there were present three missionaries, four native preachers and a few elders. I have never known personally a body of Christian workers labouring amid greater difficulties; but they gave evidence of heroic faith and zeal, and their reports showed that divine blessings were resting upon their efforts. In the midst of this poverty and wretchedness great sums of money were being extorted from the poor people by various devices, for the erection of a great church.
During the last ten years at different times our colporteurs have gone to offer the Word of God to the 600,000 souls composing the population of this State. They have laboured under great difficulties and encountered much opposition and at times violent persecution. One of them a few years ago was seized, beaten, and driven out of several interior towns, and at one time narrowly escaped death at the hands of enraged fanatics. At another place a priest seized a Bible from his hands and tore it to pieces in the presence of many witnesses; this was license for them to fall upon the poor fellow, and he fared badly for awhile at their hands. Finally he appealed to the Vice-Governor of the State, from whom, because of his intimate relation with the priest, he received no sympathy and little protection. A few of the Bibles scattered from time to time throughout the State have been read. The Presbyterian workers with heroic devotion and untiring zeal have followed up the work, and their efforts have been greatly blessed of God, and in addition to the church in this city with 100 members, the work has been organized in other places and there are regular services at more than ten points throughout the State. The pioneer work was done in a large measure by the colporteurs and their Bibles as all the workers delight to testify.
From that point I sent one of the colporteurs through the country on horse-back, crossing the States of Pernambuco, and Alagoas, to his home in the State of Sergipe. He reported better success on the return trip than he had met with in coming over. In company with a second colporteur I embarked on a small coasting vessel for the north, and after a stormy night we entered the port of Natal in the province of Rio Grande do Norte early in the morning. This city is located on a river about two miles from the seacoast. The entrance is through a narrow and dangerous passage in the coral reef, which extends from Pernambuco to Ceara. Shortly after our arrival we had a season of prayer together, and then went to visit the city authorities for the purpose of obtaining permission to circulate our books. They were kind and interposed no objections. In a few hours I sold ten copies and the colporteur eleven. The people seemed more favourably disposed toward the Gospel than we had found them in the neighbouring province and we met with very little opposition while we remained there. I obtained the use of the theatre and on a Sunday afternoon preached to a large and attentive audience. One young girl heard the preaching, was deeply impressed, began to search after the truth, and is now a teacher in one of the mission schools in Rio de Janeiro, and an active worker in the church.
The colporteurs have visited this city of about 12,000 inhabitants and extended the work through the State. To record incidents of their experiences would be to repeat in a large measure what has been said of the work in Pernambuco and Parahyba.
The Presbyterians following up the interest awakened by the reading of the Bible have established a very prosperous mission in the city, and are extending the work to other parts. The Bible and evangelistic work seem to have made a deep impression upon the people generally. I was recently making a voyage with an ex-Governor of the State, who is now a prominent Senator in the Federal Government. Having learned that I was travelling in the interest of the circulation of the Sacred Scriptures, he of his own accord sought an interview with me, and took occasion to assure me that he had been reading the Bible for some time, that he did not hesitate to declare publicly that he was no longer a Roman Catholic. I found him to be in the position of many in Brazil; they are reading the Bible, have discovered that the Roman Church, which they have been taught to regard as a great mystery and as possessing all truth, is not what it claims to be. But it is so interwoven into the social and political life and customs of the country that they find it most difficult to break away entirely from all its practices. Then too the Protestant movement is so small and so despised by the masses of the people that men of position and political ambitions are often unwilling to sacrifice their interests for the time being and subject themselves to that social ostracism which they must suffer in order to take a positive and public stand on the side of the evangelical cause. The circulation and reading of the Bible is producing all over the country a marvellous change in the intellectual attitude of thousands towards the Roman Catholic Church and the real truth of Christianity. What is greatly needed is a deeper work of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of men that they may be truly converted and regenerated.
A few years ago a young man, Sr. Antonio Marques, went from this province to Pernambuco where he became interested in the Gospel, was converted, came to Rio, into the office of the Bible Society, and asked me to direct him to some place where he could get employment. I was impressed with his spirit and sent him at once into the streets to sell Bibles: shortly thereafter he made the long journey with me which is recorded in chapter four. On this journey he gave most decided evidence of having a call to the ministry. I interested friends in him: he studied for awhile in the Granbery College at Juiz de Fora, and afterwards went to London for a time. He is now a successful minister of the Gospel.
After finishing our work in and about Natal we rowed out in a small boat through the narrow passage in the coral reef to take shipping in a large vessel that stood in the open sea. The sea was very rough and it was with great difficulty that we succeeded in getting on board. We very soon began a canvass of the ship's passengers and crew, and sold several copies of the Scriptures. Among the passengers was a Christian gentleman, Mr. Crenshaw, a flour merchant from Richmond, Virginia, who showed much interest in our Bible work. Before we parted he gave me a contribution with which to make a gratuitous distribution of Scriptures to persons who might be too poor to buy. The distribution requested was made, and the fruits of the reading have been gathered in several instances of persons in the States of Ceara, Piauhy, and Maranhao who have come to the light and united with the Presbyterian churches through that section.
The next State visited on the coast was Ceara. Forteleza, the capital, a progressive city of about 40,000 inhabitants, is located on a slightly elevated plain which is reached by a gradual ascent from the ocean's edge. For several years the Rev. D. L. Wardlaw, a Presbyterian missionary, had a small book store on a much frequented street, in the city, and our Bibles were all the time prominently kept on sale. In this way many copies of the Word have gone into the hands of the people, and the Bible has been well advertised and the workers have been diligent in following up the work of the colporteurs as far as they have been able. Many interesting incidents of the work here might be related, but I must tell the reader of a blind man, who heard the Gospel and was converted. He would then go out every day with a New Testament and sit or stand on the street corners with it open in his hand, passing his finger over the page as if reading. This would attract the attention of persons passing by, and when they stopped to inquire what he was doing, he would say, just see what a beautiful passage from God's Word. In this way he interested many in the Gospel, directing them to the store where they might buy Bibles, or to the church where they might hear the preaching of the truth.
On the voyage from Forteleza to Maranhão, my next port of disembarking, one of our fellow passengers was a Roman Catholic priest, who had been for several years a missionary among the Indians in the southern interior of Brazil and was then on his way to the Amazon valley to take up mission work. As we went about the ship offering the Scriptures to the passengers and the crew, he discovered the nature of our mission and began at once to oppose it in strongest terms. Some were influenced by him not to buy, while his opposition, I think, inspired others with a desire to know what there was in this book to so enrage the priest against us. At the dinner table his language became very offensive and his conduct disgusting, until the captain, who sat at the head of the table, reproved him, and finally told him that if he did not cease using offensive and insulting language he would be prohibited from coming to the table with the other passengers. My heart was so deeply moved for this poor deceived man, that I sought him out alone on deck that night and tried by the help of the Holy Spirit to show him the way of salvation. He finally became serious, and when we parted late at night for sleep he asked me to let him keep my New Testament until morning. The next morning when I went up on deck the first sight to greet my eyes was the priest reading the Testament. He confessed that he had never read the Sacred Scriptures in Portuguese, and that he had never before seen or heard of the translation that I had. He became so deeply interested that I gave him a Bible. In a few hours thereafter I left the ship, but had occasion to return on board before she left the port, and there sat the priest absorbed in his Bible. A passenger told me that he had been reading for several hours. It is rarely the case that we can induce a priest to examine or read the Scriptures.
Maranhão, or São Luis was the next point after Ceara at which we stopped for work. About half of the capital cities in Brazil are most commonly called by the name of the State, though their legal names are different. For instance, one seldom hears the name city of Sao Salvador, but it is always Bahia: scarcely any one speaks of Recife, but always Pernambuco. São Luis is thus the capital of the State of Maranhão. Founded about 1612 by a Frenchman who named it in honour of Luis XIII., it was formally called the "Athens of Brazil," and notwithstanding the signs of decay and lack of modern enterprise, has still an air of refinement and culture.
In all our plans and work for colportage in this State and the neighbouring State of Piauhy, we were greatly aided by Dr. G. W. Butler, the Presbyterian missionary stationed at this point. In no section of the country has our Bible work for the last twelve years been more strongly supported and helped forward by the missionaries than in these two States: indeed much of the time it has been almost if not entirely under their supervision, and they and their helpers have taken an active part in circulating the Word. From the city of São Luis the Bibles have gone out in every direction through the country and along the rivers and the sea coast.
The following incident well illustrates the difficulties under which persons in this country sometimes read the Bible, and the power it has over their lives. A short time before I started on this journey to the north a young man in Rio de Janeiro, who was at one time my Portuguese teacher, was dying of consumption. I visited him several times during his illness, and he gave very satisfactory evidence of being at peace with Jesus. He had told me that his mother lived in Maranhão, and that she was a Christian, that she had read the Bible and had taught it to him at times, and now in his last hours he was appropriating to his own comfort and eternal peace what he had learned from his mother. A day or two after I arrived in the city the mother, Dona Balbina Duarte, called on me to learn something more of her son's last illness and death. She was in great distress of mind, having had no definite information about his death, and not knowing that he had departed trusting in Christ. She was much comforted in the messages I gave her: and when I referred to his faith in the truths of the Bible, which he had learned from her several years before, she wept for joy. She then told me that she had bought a Bible from one of our colporteurs, and as soon as her husband knew that she had it he forbade her to read it. She became so much interested that she would hide it away while he was about the house, and then when he was out she would read it. He learned from the servants and the children that she was reading the book, and several times treated her very roughly and beat her for disobeying his prohibition. She then conceived the idea of reading it at night while all were asleep. To do this she would hide her Bible, a box of matches, and a candle cut into small pieces under her pillow. After all the household was soundly asleep she would light one of the bits of candle and hold it closely down by her side that the light might not shine across her body and disturb her sleeping husband, and thus she would seek out of God's Book his messages for her soul. If her husband seemed to stir out of his slumber or move she would quickly blow out the candle and lie perfectly quiet as if soundly asleep. She told me that she had thus spent many a night. Now she rejoiced, not only that she had found Jesus precious in her own soul's salvation, but moreover that she had been able to teach her eldest son sufficient of the truth to lead him to Christ. She sorrowed that he was dead, but praised God for the testimony of his faith in Christ as a personal Saviour. There are many throughout this land of the Southern Cross who are under similar circumstances searching after the knowledge of God, and who are endeavouring to communicate the new-found truth to others about them. Other children of this godly woman have grown into beautiful Christian characters, and are bringing up their families in the knowledge and fear of God.
From the city of Therezina in Piauhy the supplies of Scriptures, that I sent forward during my stay in Maranhão and afterwards, have been scattered through the city and the country round about. Shortly after the colporteur's arrival in that city he reported to me that there was great poverty in that section in consequence of the drought that had extended through from Ceara. In view of Mr. Crenshaw's contribution, to which reference was made above, I wrote authorizing him to make a free distribution of Scriptures according to his own judgment to some of those too poor to buy, who might be able to read. He went on a journey up the river, where many of the sufferers had gathered along its banks to sustain life by means of the little water that remained. A few years later a missionary was exploring that interior country and discovered that one of those Bibles had gone a distance of about 120 miles further inland: the man who carried it with him had read it, and through its teaching he had found Christ as his Saviour. He had also been instrumental in teaching a number of others the way of salvation, and they were begging for some one to come and teach them the way of God more perfectly. The liberality of one man in making the contribution abounded unto the salvation of many.