A few days before we left the island, I.L. took us to visit the Jewish Rabbi, who, though full of argument, appears extremely dark and bewildered, dwelling on mysterious words whose interpretation is confined to the rabbinical office. He said they looked for a temporal king, who should give a temporal kingdom to Israel. It was a truly painful visit, and we left him with the desire that he might be instructed even out of his own law, which, if properly understood, would prove as a schoolmaster to bring him to Christ.
After spending about five weeks at Corfu on this second visit, they again crossed the Adriatic to Ancona.
THE THIRD CONTINENTAL JOURNEY.
PART III.—THE RETURN FROM GREECE.
Of the numerous letters which John and Martha Yeardley received from England during this long journey, very few have been preserved. We shall extract short passages from two which came to their hands not long before they left the Islands. The first is from John Rowntree, and is dated the 13th of the First Month, 1834.
On my own account, and on behalf of the Friends of our Monthly Meeting, I feel grateful for the information respecting your proceedings. There is some difficulty in satisfying the eager anxiety of my friends to know all that is to be known about your engagements, and I may truly say that the kind interest which you feel about us is reciprocal. Often do I picture you to myself, laboring in your Master’s cause, receiving as fellow-partakers of the same grace all whose hearts have been touched with a sense of his love, who are hoping to experience salvation through Him alone.
Our reading meetings are pretty well attended this winter. We have been reading James Backhouse’s journal: he was still engaged, when he sent the last account of his proceedings, in Van Diemen’s Land. Like you, he and his companion rejoice at meeting with those to whom, although not exactly agreeing with us in some respects, they can give the right hand of fellowship as laborers under the same Master. Like you, too, they devote considerable attention to the improvement of schools, and the improvement of the temporal condition of the poorer classes among whom they labor.
In a letter from William Allen, written the 31st of the Third Month, occur the following words of encouragement:—
I have heard, through letters to your relations and others, that you have been much discouraged at not finding a more ready entrance for your gospel message; but really, considering the darkness; the sensuality, and the superstition of the people in those parts, we must not calculate upon much in the beginning. If here and there one or two are awakened and enlightened, they may be like seed sown, and in the Divine Hand become instruments for the gathering of others.