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Across Coveted Lands by Arnold Henry Savage Landor

On his arrival in Isfahan he found

From October, 1889, to December, 1891, a Christianised Jew of Teheran, named Mirza Korollah, worked in Isfahan as the representative of the Society for promoting Christianity among the Jews. A Bible depot was opened, and a school started at the request of the Jews themselves. In December, 1891, however, Mirza Korollah was banished from the city, and the work was again interrupted.

In 1897, Mr. Garland volunteered to undertake the work in Persia, and his offer was gladly accepted. On his arrival in Isfahan he found, he told me, a prosperous boys' school, that had been re-opened in 1894 by a native Jewish Christian, who rejoiced in the name of Joseph Hakim, and who carried on the educational work under the supervision of members of the Church Missionary Society resident in Julfa. It was deemed advisable to commence a night-school, as many of the boys were unable to attend day classes. The scheme answered very well, and has been steadily continued.

As many as 200 boys attended the school daily in February, 1898, a fact that shows the success of the new enterprise from the very beginning.

At the invitation of a number of Jewesses, Miss Stuart, the Bishop of Waiapu's daughter, kindly consented to go over twice a week to the Jewish quarter to instruct them in the Holy Scriptures. This led to the commencement of a girls' school with twelve pupils, at a time of great turmoil and anxiety.

However, the experiment had the happiest results.

It was not, nevertheless, till 1899 that Mr. Garland was able to take up his abode in the Jewish quarter. He met with no opposition whatever from Mahommedans or Jews. The usual Sunday service, attended by converts and inquirers, and a Saturday afternoon class were commenced in 1899, and have uninterruptedly continued to the present time.

To me, personally, the most important part of the Mission, and one to which more time is devoted than to praying, was the excellent carpentry class for boys, begun in 1900, and the carpet-weaving apparatus set up on the premises for the girls. The former has been a great success, even financially, and is paying its way. The latter, although financially not yet a success, is of great value in teaching the girls how to weave. Necessarily, so many hands have to be employed in the manufacture of a large carpet, and the time spent in the manufacture is so long, that it is hardly possible to expect financial prosperity from mere beginners; but the class teaches the girls a way to earn money for themselves in future years.

Both trades were selected by Mr. Garland, particularly because they were the most suitable in a country where Jews are excluded from the more honest and manly trades, and Jewesses often grow up to be more of a hindrance than a help to their husbands. Worse still is the case of Jews who become Christians; they have the greatest difficulty in earning their living at all.

These industrial occupations are a great practical help to the studies of the pupils, who are taught, besides their own language, Persian and Hebrew, and, if they wish, English, geography, etc.

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