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(Photo, Lafayette 







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Theology Library 















A Famous Tour 
“His own City”. 




CoMEDY OF THE Custom-HousE . 

A Frery FuRNACE 











- 116 


XIII. Szcurinc A FiIRMAN 
XV. THE First Baptism 


I. THe Jewish DREAM 
III. Licuts anp SHADOWS 
VII. ScHoot DiFFIcuLTiges 
VIII. “Deap Trrep” 



II. Tue Jewish Dawn 
V. A Narrow Escare 

VII. ‘‘Gop’s Reserves” 

Resa ce ethane oe cee epee aed Ee 













Dr. TORRANCE. : ‘ : . Lrontispiece 


First House. : : 

Tue Famous MepicinaL BaTHS AND THE TOMB 
BEYOND : ‘ - ; . 2 

Somer PATIENTS OF THE Earty Days . 


A Bepouin TENT. : : ; 



é vii 













Tue Mission HosPirAL AND HousES FROM THE LAKE. 


SISTER FrigpA, Miss VARTAN, Isaac, Miss Faris, 




Tue STAFF OF THE HOsPITAL, 1923 : : : 









THE career of the first Christian physician to heal 
and teach on the shores of the Lake of Galilee, 
in the scenes most closely associated with the 
ministry of Jesus, cannot fail to possess some 
points of interest. Like all missionary memoirs 
it is a story of heroic struggle and perseverance, but, 
unlike others, it possesses little glamour of visible 
achievement. Now, as of old, it would seem, 
Jesus is not without honour save in the district in 
which He lived and founded the Christian faith. 
The Sea of Galilee Mission was established thirty- 
nine years ago, and the intervening period has been 
filled in with medical, educational, and evangelistic 
service of the most strenuous kind: the results 
may, therefore, appear meagre after so great an 
expenditure of effort, but the real significance of 
the situation will be learnt from the narrative. 
In addition to throwing light on the peculiarly 
difficult nature of missionary work amongst Jews 
and Moslems, it traces the development of the 
events which have led up to the present political 
position in Palestine. 


““ Come ye after Me.” 
“* And His fame went throughout all Syria : and they brought 
unto Him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and 
torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those 

which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy ; and He healed 


“* Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: 
nevertheless, at Thy word——”’ 


““ To what purpose is this waste?” ... 
“ Why trouble ye? She hath wrought a good work upon Me.” 


“* Well done, good and faithful servant.” 



THIS story of yesterday and to-day in Palestine 
has its real beginning in the early part of the nine- 
teenth century, when a noble pity for the Jewish 
race moved a number of earnest men and women 
in Scotland to do what little they could to amelio- 
rate its condition. One of the chief of these was 
Mr. Robert Wodrow, a Glasgow merchant, great- 
grandson of the historian of the Scottish Church. 
One devout lady, Mrs. Smith of Dunesk, a daughter 
of Henry Erskine and sister of the Earl of Buchan, 
was so influenced that she went to Dr. Moody 
Stuart, of the Church of Scotland, and placed 
£100 in his hands. 

‘Put that into the bank for the mission for 
the conversion of the Jews,”’ she said. 

** But, madam,” he replied, ‘‘ there is no such 
mission; nor has the subject ever been mooted 
in the General Assembly.” 

“Then let it remain in the bank until the 
Church takes the matter up.” 

When the Doctor handed the money to the 
banker the latter said : 

‘© do not receive money for an object which 
has no present or prospective existence.’ 



After talking it over he finally remarked : 

“Very well; we never refuse money, and I 
will accept it on deposit.” 

Shortly afterwards, in 1838, the Church of 
Scotland considered the matter, and in the belief 
that all social and political good would come to 
the Jews if they accepted Christ, its scheme of help 
assumed the form of working for their conversion. 
A ‘‘ Committee for the Conversion of the Jews” 
was instituted, charged at first with the simple duty 
of collecting information and expending any con- 
tributions that might be sent in. 

Various motives, no doubt, influenced those 
who took an active part in the movement. Then, 
as now, a certain number of curious minds were 
attracted by fanciful theories associated with the 
promises and prophecies of Scripture and the 
destiny of Israel; there were many who believed 
that it was a primary duty of the Church to bring 
the scattered “‘ people of God ” to Christ ; others 
again were animated simply by a humanitarian 
impulse ; while not a few were convinced that if 
the Jews were converted to Christianity and rightly 
situated in the world, they would, by the force of 
their special genius, constitute a tremendous power 
for righteousness and progress. 

At the best, however, the work of the Com- 
mittee appealed only to a limited circle. The 
majority of persons had no love for the Jew, and 
any appeal on his behalf left them cold: where 
it was not received with indifference it evoked 
derision. Even among prominent members of 
the Church the Committee was looked upon as a 


body of cranks, and tolerated with a kind of amused 
contempt. “‘ He has a strange notion,” one said 
of Dr. Keith ; “ he believes in the conversion of the 

In the eyes of average Church members the Jew 
was a Caricature of a man, a shambling, dirty 
creature, unsocial, a seller of old clothes, a money- 
lender, a fanatic, and at the back of their mind was 
a feeling that he deserved his fate. Had not his 
race crucified Christ, and was it not suffering just 
retribution for its iniquity, as its own law declared 
that evil-doers inevitably do, from generation to 
generation? ‘They knew nothing of its modern 
history, that great and terrible romance, perhaps the 
most terrible of all time, which is not yet finished, 
or of the conditions that had forced it to become 
what it was; they did not realize the fact that it 
was the bitter persecution and repression to which 
it had been subjected that had kept it in social 
and religious isolation, and had given it the char- 
acter which they condemned. For what is called 
the Jewish problem has been created by Christians ; 
it is the result of their maltreatment of the race 
for centuries. 

Amongst those more than ordinarily interested 
in the subject was the Rev. Robert Murray 
M‘Cheyne of St. Peter’s, Dundee, whose name and 
influence still linger like a fragrance in the quieter 
byways of Scotland. His health had given way 
under the intensity of his ministry, and he was 
advised to go abroad. He was recruiting in Edin- 
burgh, the source of anxiety to his friends, when one 
day Dr. Robert Candlish met Dr. Moody Stuart 


in the street and said, ‘‘ Don’t you think we might 
send M‘Cheyne to Palestine? He could inquire 
into the Jewish situation and its possibilities.” 
Dr. Stuart cordially assented, and M‘Cheyne was 
asked if he would go. “ Palestine—the Holy 
Land ! ”’—he had never dreamed that so romantic 
a privilege would come within his reach. He 
agreed with joy. The idea developed and ulti- 
mately A Mission of Inquiry to Palestine and 
Eastern Europe was arranged, the delegates con- 
sisting of M‘Cheyne, his great friend, the Rev. 
Andrew A. Bonar, and two experienced Church- 
men, Dr. Keith, minister of St. Cyrus—in place 
of Mr. Wodrow, whose health forbade him accepting 
the task—and Professor Black of Aberdeen. ‘The 
party set out on their travels in April 1839. 

To the Christian world then, Palestine was 
practically an unknown land. Part of the Ottoman 
Empire, it had for three centuries been misruled 
by the Turks until it had become the mere skeleton 
of a country. ‘The sole purpose of the administra- 
tion was to exact the utmost possible taxation out 
of the unhappy population, who had no inducement 
to exert themselves and no interest in developing 
and conserving the resources of the land. All its 
old prosperity had vanished. It had been peeled 
of most of its soil, and was largely a waste of 
stones; here and there was an oasis of fertility, 
but there was no general vital growth; upon its 
bare surface the hot sunshine beat without relief ; 
and from end to end there lay upon it an absolute 
quiet like the rigid calm of death. 

- The dominant party in the country were, 


naturally, the Turkish officials, whose only duty was 
to collect the Government imposts and transmit 
them to Constantinople. They were compara- 
tively few in number, and were in the position of 
caretakers rather than of permanent occupants: 
they sat lightly to the land and were regarded as 
foreign tax-gatherers and oppressors whose tenure 
might cease at any time. It was a common saying 
amongst them that they had to earn three fortunes 
while in office: one to pay for their position, one 
to pacify their superiors when accused of mal- 
administration, and one to purchase a new post. 
They earned these fortunes by means of “ bakh- 
shish,” a recognized system of commission or fees 
in the business life of the East. 

The bulk of the population called themselves 
Arabs because they spoke Arabic, but the name 
was misleading. Although the Arab conquest of 
the land brought a new religion, it did not to any 
extent change the type and character of the inhabi- 
tants; in the main they continued descendants of 
the Israelitish occupants formed by the union of 
Hebrews and Canaanites. From time to time, 
however, other elements came in and modified the 
general strain; and one could still find, in fair 
faces, pink cheeks, and blue eyes, traces of the 

Whether Moslems or Christians, they could be 
divided broadly into two great classes: within the 
walled towns lived the effendiyeh, or landowners, and 
the business and professional men, more or less 
educated and prosperous; and in the unwalled 
villages of rude mud houses the settled peasantry 


or fellahin, who, while industrious and frugal, 
were superstitious to the last degree. Outside the © 
pale of town and village existence roamed the 
nomadic bedouin, of pure Arab origin, with their 
flocks and herds, wanderers amongst the silent 
plains and desert wastes, grossly ignorant according 
to European standards, yet possessing native 
nobility of character and a virile intellect. 

The number of Jews was small—not more than 
twelve thousand at the outside—and they were 
confined to the large centres, the holy cities of 
Jerusalem, Hebron, Tiberias, and Safed. All had 
emigrated back from Europe ana Northern Africa, 
for Palestine had never ceased to be of intense 
interest to the race. It was their spirtual father- 
land ; their hearts turned to it with an overmaster- 
ing longing, such a longing as that expressed by a 
twelfth-century Rabbi for Jerusalem : 

“Oh, city of the world : thou fair one in holy magnificence, 
In the far Western regions I am longing, yearning after thee ; 
Oh for an eagle’s wings, then would I fly to thee 
And not rest till I had moistened thy dust with my tears!” 

Many Jews in all parts of the world faced the 
long and perilous journey in order to visit one or 
other of the famous tombs or to die on the sacred 
soil. Throughout Jewry it was a dream that the 
land would yet be restored to them. How that 
would come about they could not conceive, but 
they hoped that somehow or other in God’s provi- 
dence the way would open up for them to go back 
and possess it. 

Difficult to reach, it was more difficult to travel 


in: outside the towns and the villages only a 
_ nominal authority was exercised, and lawlessness 
went unchecked. Kinglake’s Héthen gives a picture 
of the uncertainties and the discomforts attending 
a tour init. No minister of the Church of Scotland 
had previously paid it a visit, so that the journey 
of the four deputies was considered a notable 

While making their way up from Egypt through 
the desert, Dr. Black had a fall from his camel 
which affected his health, and when Jerusalem 
was reached, he and Dr. Keith, exhausted by the 
toil and the heat, decided to leave the further 
exploration of the country to the younger men, and 
to return home by easy stages across the Continent. 
At Budapest, Hungary, both fell ill, and Dr. Keith 
was so far gone that bearers were in attendance 
at the hotel to carry out his body. He was cared 
for by Maria Dorothea, wife of the Archduke 
Joseph, uncle of the Emperor of Austria and Pala- 
tine of Hungary ; she was a princess of the house 
of Wiirtemberg and a Protestant, and during the 
Doctor’s convalescence she interested him in the 
spiritual condition of her adopted land, and pro- 
mised her protection to any mission that might be 

Meantime Bonar and M‘Cheyne carried on 
their tour; they visited Safed and Tiberias, and 
on their return published a Narrative of their 
wanderings. Glowing with light and colour, vivid 
in descriptive detail, and relating every scene and 
incident to Biblical story, it created profound 
interest not only in Scotland but far beyond its 


borders ; it made Palestine, what it had never been, 
a real region to Christian people, and it set in 
motion forces that are unspent at this day. 

Missionaries already in the country had dilated 
warningly on the strong opposition being encoun- 
tered, but both travellers were enthusiastic as to 
the possibilities of carrying on a mission. In their 
opinion no other section of Jewry presented so 
promising a field. It was the heart of the Jewish 
world ; in some mysterious way every event that 
occurred was quickly known in other countries ; 
as M‘Cheyne wrote to a friend, ‘“‘ One stroke here 
will be worth twenty in another land.” Of all the 
districts they had seen, they were most drawn to 
Galilee. It was the one which Christ loved and 
frequented : it was the chief scene of His ministry, 
and the cradle of the Christian religion. And of 
all spots in Galilee, Safed, far up on the cool 
heights and overlooking the Lake, seemed to be the 
most favourable centre for beginning operations ; 
_ it was, indeed, the best situation in Palestine. 
Tiberias, the only town on the hot Lake shore, 
might, they thought, be made a winter station. 

In the Church of Scotland the effect of the report 
was immediate: it was resolved to make work 
amongst the Jews thenceforward one of the great 
missionary schemes of the Church. By a strange 
twist in events, however, it was not Palestine that 
secured the first station but Hungary. ‘ That 
fall in the desert,” said Mr. Bonar, “‘ opened to us 
the gates of Budapest.” The conversations of Dr. 
Black with the Archduchess led to the dispatch of a 
missionary there, and the interest which the work 


aroused pushed Palestine into the background. 
One of the early workers at Budapest was the 
famous “‘ Rabbi” Duncan, and amongst the first 
converts were the equally well-known Adolph 
Saphir and Dr. Alfred Edersheim, author of that 
notable work The Life and Times of Fesus the Messiah. 

At the Disruption of the Church of Scotland in 
1843 the Jewish missionaries joined the new body, 
the Church of Scotland Free, and the work abroad 
went on without interruption. New spheres were 
opened in various parts of Europe, and Budapest 
developed and became an important centre and 
one of the greatest Jewish mission fields in the 
world. Palestine was forgotten save by a few, one 
of whom was Mrs. Smith of Dunesk, who left £500 
for the mission in the sure belief that it would yet 
be established. Other organizations entered Galilee. 
The London Society for promoting Christianity 
amongst the Jews—commonly known as the London 
Jews Society, and more recently as the Church 
Missions to Jews—opened a station at Safed and 
held it, with varying fortune, until 1852, when the 
difficulty of carrying on the work in the face of the 
fanaticism of the Jews caused it to be abandoned. 
Nazareth, a town which, like Bethlehem, contained 
no Jews, was occupied for general evangelistic 
purposes by the Church Missionary Society ; by 
the Edinburgh Medical Mission Society—a world- 
famous association providing students with training 
and experience for the mission field—which estab- 
lished a medical mission ; and, lastly, by an English 
orphanage for girls (handed over later to the Church 
Missionary Society) ; all in addition to the operations 


of the Eastern Churches, which, here as elsewhere, 
were buying up land and erecting buildings on 
sites supposed to be connected with New Testa- 
ment incidents. 

But the region immediately encircling the Lake 
of Galilee remained outside the sphere of Pro- 
testant influence. No society had been tempted 
by the historical associations to begin evangelistic 
work there ; nor had any Christian physician sought 
to follow in the footsteps of Jesus on the shores of 
the Lake ; from the standpoint of medical service 
the district was still virgin ground. It was waiting 
for the pioneer who would have the faith and courage 
to break through its isolation and conquer the 
formidable obstacles which the situation presented. 

And he, meanwhile, in a country far distant, was 
being fashioned and trained for the task. 


NATURE does at times seem to aim consciously at 
the production of men and women who are to fulfil 
particular tasks in the world. In the ancestry of 
David Watt Torrance can be noted the com- 
mingling of qualities which, centring in him, fitted 
him specially for the work he was to undertake. 
Of his immediate forbears, the Rev. Robert 
Torrance, his paternal grandfather, was the first 
minister of the Associate, or Auld Licht, congrega- 


tion in Airdrie, Lanark, and a scholar noted for his 
classical attainments, who brought to the manse, 
as his wife, the robust daughter of a farmer. His 
mother’s father was David Watt, an Edinburgh 
engraver, and a friend of Sir Walter Scott ; one of 
her brothers was a well-known member of some of the 
Standing Committees of the Free Church. His own 
father, ‘Thomas Torrance, was a surgeon, and an 
elder, and his mother possessed musical and artistic 
ability. ‘The Church, Medicine, and Art thus con- 
tributed to the influences which moulded his early 
thought and character, and helped to determine his 
career, whilst the wholesome country blood in his 
veins imparted to him that hardy strength which 
enabled him to endure what a less virile frame 
would never have stood. 

The Rev. Robert Torrance was something of a 
character, if he can be judged from the numerous 
anecdotes related of him. A strict Sabbatarian, 
he would lecture his congregation in forcible and 
homely style on the sin of breaking the Fourth 
Commandment, and was especially hard on his 
juvenile hearers who indulged in the heinous 
practice of bird-nesting on Sunday. Once when 
praying for more favourable weather for the crops 
he said, “ For Thou, O Lord, knowest that the 
corn on Shotts Hill is as green as leek tails.” His 
wife is still remembered as “‘ a saintly woman.” 

His son, Thomas Torrance, was born at Airdrie 
in 1809, and studied medicine at the Universities of 
St. Andrews and Glasgow. After graduating he 
set up in practice in Graham Street in his native 
town, and there David Watt Torrance was born on 


6th November 1862, one of the youngest of a large 

Airdrie is on the direct road between Glasgow 
and Edinburgh, and in the old coaching days the 
coaches passed along Graham Street, which is part 
of the highway, and stopped at the Royal Hotel, 
near the surgery. The inhabitants always con- 
sidered that had the river Clyde passed through 
the burgh, the town would have been the site of the 
second city of the Empire instead of Glasgow. 
Originally a centre of hand-loom weaving, it rose 
to prosperity on the discovery of coal and black- 
band ironstone, but in David’s childhood days 
mining had greatly diminished in importance, and 
other industries were taking its place, though coal 
pits continued to be worked in the vicinity. ‘There 
is still much unworked coal beneath the town, a fact 
demonstrated during the miners’ strike some years 
ago, when householders had merely to go into 
their back gardens and dig down a few feet to obtain 
all the supplies they required. 

Dr. Torrance was a skilful surgeon and oculist, 
and his kind and sympathetic manner made him 
popular both among his townsmen and the colliers 
in the neighbourhood. He entered largely into 
the public life of the town, was a Justice of the 
Peace, and for a time Town Councillor and Burgh 
Treasurer, and became an enthusiastic Freemason. 
A series of lectures on health which he organized 
gave rise to the Mechanics’ Institute, of which he 
was the first President. In 1859 he joined the Rifle 
Volunteers, and was later made Assistant Surgeon 
to the battalion. He was an elder in Broomknoll 


Church, of which his father had been minister, 
but Mrs. Torrance went to the Free West Church, 
and the children accompanied her there. Holding 
numerous professional offices the Doctor was one 
of the busiest of men and could not spare time to 
attend to the indoor training of the children, but 
he encouraged and guided their recreation, teach- 
ing them to fly kites, play cricket and football, 
and ride; and later supplied them with gymnasium 
equipment. One of David’s earliest recollections 
was of being placed on his father’s pony. From the 
first he was a lover of the open, and of all outdoor 

It was the mother who moulded the spiritual 
nature of the children. Intelligent, kind, and 
gracious, she created an atmosphere in which they 
grew up good without being conscious of the 
process. Discipline was enforced, and unquestion- 
ing obedience was exacted; they were trained 
indeed in Spartan fashion; but behind the order 
and restraint were the love and service of a mother. 
Her teaching did not vary from the standard of the 
time. David was nourished on traditional lines, 
and being of an impressionable nature was often 
affected by the childish visions he had of sin and 
judgment and hell. One night, when he was little 
more than three years old, he awoke in terror out 
of a dream, leapt from his bed, and rushed to his 
mother, crying, ‘‘ Mother, mother! The last day 
is coming, and I am a bad boy!” 

Some scenes in his early days he has never 
forgotten. One was of the Sunday evening gather- 
ings by the fire—the father, tired but interested, in 


the arm-chair at one side ; on the other the mother, 
bent over a book, the children lying anywhere and 
anyhow on the rug and floor, listening to the sym- 
pathetic voice that had the power to make them 
laugh or cry. Always when she ceased there was 
a chorus of ‘“‘ More! more!” and for hours the 
reading would go on, the children wandering in 
fancy through enchanted regions or obtaining 
fascinating visions of men and nature beyond their 
doors. Many books of travel, adventure, bio- 
graphy, and history were gone through in the 
course of the years: a favourite volume was Dr. 
Livingstone’s Travels, which has thrilled so many 
hearts and influenced so many lives. David’s 
eager spirit was often on fire with tales of heroism 
and devotion; and he would seize a book, steal 
into the quiet of the study, and putting his feet up 
and the volume on his knee, would read and read, 
and dream long dreams. 

The love of medicine was in the boy’s blood, 
and there was never any doubt as to his career. 
As a child he delighted to rise early in order to 
light his father’s fire, and do little tasks for him. 
He carried court plaster in his pocket, and if any 
accident occurred he was usually first on the spot. 
One Sunday, word came to the surgery that some 
excursionists had been precipitated over a bridge 
two miles out, and that a number had been injured 
and two horses killed. David was due at the Sun- 
day school, but he started out instantly for the 
scene, and knowing all the short cuts across the 
fields, was there before his father, who was aston- 
ished to find him assisting the victims. On 


another occasion, when a railway collision occurred, 
he was in the thick of the confusion helping the 
doctors. They all knew him as ‘“ Torrance’s 
boy,” and would pick him up on their way to a case. 
It was a bitter grief to him that when he was down 
with measles, Mr. Jackson, the minister of the Free 
West Church, died suddenly in the pulpit, and he 
was not there to see! Ere he reached his teens he 
was assisting his father in the dispensary, and was 
present at post-mortem examinations. With the 
daring of youth, he sometimes thought the work 
of the doctors was clumsily done. He was, how- 
ever, somewhat humiliated once when a play was 
being given in connection with the school. His 
part was that of a doctor. When he was examining 
the pulse of the patient he lifted the wrong hand, 
whereupon the visiting teacher of elocution, Mr. 
Moffat (father of the well-known dramatist), ex- 
claimed, ‘“‘ Dear me, boy; you will never be a 

One of his grand-uncles, Robert Watt, who lived 
in Airdrie, took a great interest in Sunday schools, 
and established a ragged school class in the town. 
Through his influence David became what he 
called a ‘‘ Sunday-school boy,” going to the ragged- 
school class in the morning and the ordinary 
class in the Free West Church in the afternoon, and 
never finding attendance tiresome. According to 
his own testimony, however, the Sunday school 
exercised little effect on his life. He absorbed a 
certain amount of information, but his spiritual 
nature was untouched. At both schools, the 
Shorter Catechism was given a supreme place, but 


to David its teaching was incomprehensible: its 
sole interest to him lay in its stately language, which 
sounded in his ears like the roll of organ music. 
To this day he thinks it a mistake to give young 
minds their first knowledge of spiritual truths in a 
medium so strange and unintelligible. It was his 
mother who continued to stimulate his higher 
nature and show him by example and precept the 
beauty of holiness. “‘ She it was,” he always said, 
‘who made me a Christian; she influenced me 
far more than anyone I ever knew.” 

He also owed much to his minister, the Rev. J. 
A. George, M.A., the successor to the Mr. Jackson 
who died suddenly in the pulpit. When the inci- 
dent occurred Mr. George was acting as Chaplain to 
the Forces at Gibraltar, and in his leisure time smug- 
gling Bibles into Spain. One day, sitting on a rock, 
he took out a newspaper in which he saw a notice 
of the death. He breathed a prayer for the con- 
gregation so suddenly bereaved. Shortly afterwards 
he was called to the charge. Torrance always 
regarded him as his “ spiritual father.’’ His teach- 
ing was complementary to that given in the home ; 
it was simple, loving, human, and in the sunshine 
of it the lad’s heart expanded more than it 
would have done under a system of forced in- 
struction. Mr. George recalls how his bright 
eager face and curly head always attracted him 
in the classes, and how when he asked a question 
it was invariably David who was ready first with 
the answer. | 

At the Academy, where he obtained all his 
schooling, he was not a specially studious boy, but 


being quick and intelligent he never experienced 
any difficulty with his lessons; they were learnt 
almost at a glance, and then off he would go to the 
large playing field in front of the School or to choir 
practice—for he inherited the musical ability of his 
mother—or to his bench of tools. That the in- 
struction given was thorough, was demonstrated 
by the fact that his comrades, like himself, passed 
on to honourable careers. 


WHEN David was sixteen years of age his father 
died, and as the older sons were already at work 
in Glasgow, Mrs. Torrance removed there in the 
belief that she would be better able to carry on the 
home and continue the education of the other 
children. Young as he was, David sat at once for 
the preliminary examination in Medicine, and, 
passing in all the subjects, began his studies at the 
University. He was determined not to be a burden 
on his mother, and while attending the classes, 
he tutored other students in Arts and accepted a 
position in the Public Dispensary. Unluckily the 
hour for starting work there synchronized with the 

1 Amongst his surviving companions are W. Malcolm, M.B.E., 
Director of Education for the County of Lanark ; ex-Provost J. Knox; 
Hon. Sheriff-Substitute of Lanarkshire ; ex-Provost J. Orr; and Rev. 
David Frew, D.D., Urr, 



time when a University class finished, but sitting 
near the door of the classroom he flew out the 
moment the lecture terminated and raced along to 
the Dispensary. 

He toiled hard, and at times the struggle was 
severe, but he had other interests which relieved 
the strain and kept his mind fresh; he played 
football, worked with his hands, and attended the 
Church and University choirs. Looking back in 
after-life to this period, he mourned the oppor- 
tunities he had lost of acquiring a more general 
knowledge of literature. He was too young then, 
however, to be aware of its value as an element in 
his intellectual equipment. Later, when his mind 
broadened, and he began to hunger for wider 
culture, the pressure of his daily activities prevented 
him gratifying his longing as fully as he wished to do. 

He was fortunate again in his minister, the ~ 
Rev. J. M. Sloan of Anderston Free Church, who 
had the gift of attracting young men and an in- 
tuitive insight into their character and needs. 
The elders were also a fine body and interested in 
the young people of the congregation. So excellent 
always were the debates at the Literary Society that 
Torrance preferred to attend them rather than the 
meetings of the Dialectic Society at the University. 

His spiritual nature continued to develop 
normally in this congenial atmosphere until a talk 
with a fellow-student brought him up against the 
problem of conversion. For the first time he 
realized that there was a technical method of salva- 
tion, and he thought it his duty to go through the 
process. In the gladness of the experience he 


went about telling every one that he was con- 
verted —every one except his mother. Several 
lapses from the perfection of conduct he had been 
promised brought unhappiness, and he gradually 
returned to his ordinary attitude of mind. No 
mechanical change of life was necessary in his case ; 
he had been born into the life of the spirit through 
his mother’s love and piety, and the course of his 
aspiration and action had been, from the beginning, 
definitely in the right direction. His mother was 
still his guiding star, drawing him upward towards 
the highest and best. When he joined the Church, 
she sat beside him at his first Communion and cried 
softly in her joy. He became a teacher in the 
Sunday school, took part in the various activities 
of the congregation, and exercised an inspiring 
influence on the young people. Forty years after, 
there came to him, with a contribution for his work, 
a letter from the superintendent of a Sunday school 
in Glasgow, which gives a glimpse of these days : 

“Do you remember boys who, in your student days, lived 
at West Garden Street, Glasgow, whom you patiently used to 
help with their lessons—boys who often tried your patience 
sorely? Do you remember these young rascals coaxing you 
out to teach them how to ride a high bicycle, and how one of 
them fell off on his head? Do you remember taking us out 
to your house and showing us, among other things, a skull, and 
going with us a botanical expedition to Possil Marsh? Little 
did you think how, in spite of fun and frolic, these boys were 
being influenced by you for life. Both my brother and I are 
in the King’s service trying to do our bit for Him.” 

Towards the close of his student days, Mr. Sloan 
met him one day in the hall of the church and said : 


“Davie, have you ever thought of being a 
medical missionary ? ”’ 

The lad looked inquiringly at him for a moment. 
“Yes,” he replied. “I have thought of that 
amongst other things.”’ 

“‘ Then I gather you are not sure?” 

‘Yes. I want to use my life to the best purpose, 
but I don’t know yet what I am best fitted for.” 

Mr. Sloan considered. 

“ Well,” he said, “‘ come home with me and 
have a talk.” 

They discussed the matter at length. 

‘** What I don’t want to do,” remarked Torrance, 
“* is to put medicine on the level of a money-making 
business—to use it merely as the means of piling 
up wealth. I don’t want to make the earning of 
money my principal aim. What I have in my 
mind is some salaried appointment where I could 
do good without the thought of money influencing 
me. I would be willing to do anything and go 
anywhere if I were only sure it were the right 
thing for me.” 

Mr. Sloan then came to the point. ‘ The 
Jewish Mission Committee of the Free Church 
are looking out for a Medical Missionary for their 
station at Constantinople — would you not go 
through to Edinburgh and see the Secretary ? ” 

Torrance had no more knowledge of the Jews 
than the average member of the community, and 
was not specially interested in them. In his mind 
they merely formed part of the general missionary 
problem. The claims of the ordinary heathen 
world appealed to him more strongly, but he was 


willing to consider any branch of the work, and 
ready to obey the Divine call when it should come 
tohim. He decided to go to Edinburgh. 

The position, he found, involved the running 
of a dispensary, and in his state of mind then, the 
idea of selling medicines was repugnant to him. 
“TI am afraid the thing will not suit me,” he said. 

The Secretary, who had looked him up and 
down, replied, “ No, I quite agree; you are far 
too young.” 

Torrance was conscious enough of his youthful 
appearance. He was but twenty when, in 1883, 
after being amongst the first in all the classes, he 
passed his final examination. As he could not 
graduate until he was twenty-one, he filled in the 
interval as assistant to a Glasgow doctor. That he 
might look older and graver, he bought a silk hat 
and a surtout coat, but despite these dignified 
habiliments his patients thought him ridiculously 

After graduating, he applied for the position 
of a ship’s surgeon, and joined the Bolivia of the 
Anchor Line. On the passage down the Clyde, a 
violent shock nearly threw him out of his berth: 
the steamer had run on some obstruction, and, 
severely holed, was beginning to sink. The pas- 
sengers were taken off, and Torrance was trans- 
ferred to the Anchoria, in which he made the voyage 
to New York. In the midst of sight-seeing there, 
he received a letter from Dr. J. Hood Wilson, 
vice-convener of the Jewish Mission Committee, 
who had just returned from a visit to Palestine, 
and was keen for mission work being begun in 


Galilee. He had heard of Torrance as a promising 
student who might decide for medical service abroad. 
“Do not,” he wrote, “ be lured by the attractive 
openings for America ; come and see the Committee 
before you make any plans for the future.” 

On landing in Scotland, Torrance found that 
the talk in the Church was all of the Jews. ‘There 
had been a recrudescence of violent persecution 
in Russia, accompanied by atrocities and massacres 
which had sent a thrill of horror through Western 
communities. Refugees flying from the scene were 
being assisted by their wealthy co-religionists, and 
many were settling in other lands. A large number 
were flocking to Safed, in Palestine, and the time 
seemed opportune for starting a medical mission 
there. With this in mind, several of the leading 
members of the Jewish Mission Committee of the 
Free Church asked Torrance to meet them. After 
explaining the situation, they asked him : 

‘ Are you prepared to go out there and under- 
take the work ?”’ 

‘“‘ T cannot answer on the spur of the moment,” 
he replied. “I have never heard of Safed and 
know nothing about it. I will need to hunt up 
some information and think over the matter. 
Besides, I have had no breathing-time yet, and I feel 
my professional ignorance. I don’t know enough. 
I want Infirmary experience, and I want also to go 
to Vienna.” 

Aware of his brilliant attainments and his skill, 
already demonstrated, as a surgeon, his interro- 
gators liked his modesty and respected his desire 
to perfect his medical education. In view of the 


information which they had just received, that the 
Church Missions to Jews intended to reoccupy 
Safed, they thought it would be expedient first to 
make a survey of the field, and if Torrance were 
sent out for the purpose he would gain a practical 
knowledge of the conditions and might be attracted 
by the opportunities presented. 

“Will you go out to Galilee as our deputy 
and study the matter on the spot ?”’ they inquired. 

He could not conceal his astonishment—they 
were asking a youth who was entirely without 
experience to investigate a difficult situation and 
decide a Church question of vital importance. 

*“*'That,”’ he replied quietly, “is not possible. 
It would not do for me to go alone.” 

** Would you go along with Mr. Sloan ?” 

‘“* No—it would not be fair: he would influence 
me: his mind would dominate mine. How could 
I go against his opinion ? ” 

“‘ Wells of Pollokshields,”’ some one suggested ; 
“‘ would he do?” 

Dr. Wells was a seasoned traveller and one whose 
judgment could be relied on. 

“ Certainly,” replied Torrance. 

The name of Dr. Laidlaw, Superintendent of 
the Glasgow Medical Mission, and a_ trained 
medical missionary, was added ; and as there was 
no time to lose if the travelling season in Palestine 
were to be utilized, all arrangements were made 
by telegraph, and on 25th February 1884, a few 
days after the meeting, the party set out. Dr. 
Torrance’s kit consisted simply of a knapsack and a 


Galilee. He had heard of Torrance as a promising 
student who might decide for medical service abroad. 
“Do not,” he wrote, ‘‘ be lured by the attractive 
openings for America ; come and see the Committee 
before you make any plans for the future.” 

On landing in Scotland, Torrance found that 
the talk in the Church was all of the Jews. There 
had been a recrudescence of violent persecution 
in Russia, accompanied by atrocities and massacres 
which had sent a thrill of horror through Western 
communities. Refugees flying from the scene were 
being assisted by their wealthy co-religionists, and 
many were settling in other lands. A large number 
were flocking to Safed, in Palestine, and the time 
seemed opportune for starting a medical mission 
there. With this in mind, several of the leading 
members of the Jewish Mission Committee of the 
Free Church asked Torrance to meet them. After 
explaining the situation, they asked him : 

‘Are you prepared to go out there and under- 
take the work ?” 

““T cannot answer on the spur of the moment,” 
he replied. “I have never heard of Safed and 
know nothing about it. I will need to hunt up 
some information and think over the matter. 
Besides, I have had no breathing-time yet, and I feel 
my professional ignorance. I don’t know enough. 
I want Infirmary experience, and I want also to go 
to Vienna.” 

Aware of his brilliant attainments and his skill, 
already demonstrated, as a surgeon, his interro- 
gators liked his modesty and respected his desire 
to perfect his medical education. In view of the 


information which they had just received, that the 
Church Missions to Jews intended to reoccupy 
Safed, they thought it would be expedient first to 
make a survey of the field, and if Torrance were 
sent out for the purpose he would gain a practical 
knowledge of the conditions and might be attracted 
by the opportunities presented. 

“Will you go out to Galilee as our deputy 
and study the matter on the spot ?” they inquired. 

He could not conceal his astonishment—they 
were asking a youth who was entirely without 
experience to investigate a difficult situation and 
decide a Church question of vital importance. 

“That,” he replied quietly, “is not possible. 
It would not do for me to go alone.” 

‘“* Would you go along with Mr. Sloan? ”’ 

“* No—it would not be fair: he would influence 
me: his mind would dominate mine. How could 
I go against his opinion ? ” 

“ Wells of Pollokshields,’’ some one suggested ; 
‘“‘ would he do?” 

Dr. Wells was a seasoned traveller and one whose 
judgment could be relied on. 

“ Certainly,”’ replied Torrance. 

The name of Dr. Laidlaw, Superintendent of 
the Glasgow Medical Mission, and a_ trained 
medical missionary, was added ; and as there was 
no time to lose if the travelling season in Palestine 
were to be utilized, all arrangements were made 
by telegraph, and on 25th February 1884, a few 
days after the meeting, the party set out. Dr. 
Torrance’s kit consisted simply of a knapsack and a 



load. ‘‘ We cannot allow that,” said Dr. Laidlaw, 
whose sympathies were aroused on behalf of the 
animal. ‘‘ My dear sir,” replied the hotel-keeper, 
‘“‘ you go on, and before you are away an hour you 
will see the man on the top of the donkey as well ! ” 
Which proved to be the case. 

They discovered that walking over the rough 
backbone of Judea was more strenuous work than 
they had imagined. There was no shade, the fierce 
sun beat mercilessly down, the reflection from the 
white track was blinding. When the mist came 
down early in the evening they were glad to rest 
for the night at the Christian village of Ramallah. 
With less enthusiasm they set out next morning, 
traversing a land teeming with historical associations 
—it was as if they were walking through the Bible 
—but, footsore and weary, and consumed with 
thirst, their one idea as they trudged along was to 
see the end of their journey. Even Jacob’s Well 
and Joseph’s Tomb at the foot of Mount Gerizim 
and Mount Ebal failed to interest them, for there 
between the two hills lay Nablous (Shechem) and 
a lodging for the night. Stumbling in the dark 
through narrow and filthy thoroughfares they 
found the house of the Church Missionary Society’s 
agent, and knocked him up. He was suspicious 
and wary, and had to be assured of their goodwill 
and identity before he would open the door. 

All three next morning rebelled against con- 
tinuing the journey on foot, but as no horses could 
be procured they had to be content with donkeys. 
Before the day was over they came to the con- 
clusion that donkey-riding was no improvement on 


walking. They arrived at Jenin dead beat. The 
only accommodation was a native hut, the door of 
which, being without a lock, they barricaded with 
their baggage. But their real enemies were within 
in the shape of hordes of insects. A sleepless night 
was well on its way when a noise outside attracted 
their attention. If it signified robbers they had 
nothing but umbrellas with which to defend them- 
selves. Peremptory knocking and a demand for 
admittance roused their wrath. ‘‘ Who are you?” 
they cried. “‘'The police; we want to see your 
passports.” “‘ What they really want,” remarked 
an experienced member of the party, “is bakh- 
shish,” which turned out to be correct. 7 

They were early astir, and, after crossing the 
wide plain of Esdraelon, they climbed the stony 
track which led to Nazareth. As they came to the 
Virgin’s Well, situated on the highway leading 
through the town, a boy cantered up to them. 
*“ Are you Dr. Wells ? ” he asked, looking from one 
to the other. ‘“‘ We are,” was the prompt and 
hopeful reply. “ Dr. Vartan expects you up at 
his house.” Dr. Vartan had been the agent of the 
Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society since 1866. 
“‘ Where is it?’ they inquired. The boy pointed 
up to the high ridge to a house which overlooked 
the town as a pulpit overlooks a congregation. 
When they reached it they found their troubles at 
an end. 

Dr. Vartan was by birth an Armenian though 
a naturalized British subject, and had married a 
cousin of Dr. Stewart of Lovedale, the daughter 
of a Perthshire minister. ‘‘ Their home,”’ it is said, 


“< was one of the most beautiful any man is privileged 
to enter. The traditional hospitality of the Scottish 
Highlands blended with that of the ancient Orient. 
It was natural for younger missionaries in the country 
to turn thither in weariness and sickness, and many 
there are who can never forget the gracious and 
kindly care so richly lavished upon them.” In 
this atmosphere of comfort and peace the travellers 
rested for several days. Dr. Vartan would not 
hear of the tour being continued under the old 
conditions. He organized a caravan and com- 
missariat, and when they left on horseback he and a 
colporteur accompanied them. 

They visited the coast, inspected Haifa and Acre, 
and turned inland over a little-frequented road to 
Safed. One evening they arrived at a little old- 
world village, where they found a number of peasant 
Jews who could scarcely be distinguished from the 
ordinary fellahin. They were received by the 
sheikh, who provided them with accommodation. 

It was soon noised abroad that “ English 
doctors ”’ had arrived, and, towards sunset, came the 
sick and suffering, the halt and blind, the deaf and 
dumb—an eager crowd hastening along the streets 
and over the flat roofs, and filling the little apart- 
ment and the precincts of the building. The 
doctors first cleared the room, allowing only the 
Jewish rabbi and two Greek priests to remain, and 
then attended to the patients. ‘“ It was like the 
story of Christ,” said Dr. Torrance. “ We could 
not put our hands on them as He did, but we did 
what we could.” ‘To him the scene was an extra- 
ordinary demonstration of the need for medical 


missions. “If this is a sample of what prevails, 
there must be a tremendous mass of sickness and 
suffering in the land.” It was the first incident 
that had touched his professional sympathy, and it 
_ made a profound impression on his imagination 

Five hours’ rough climbing brought them to 
Safed. The streets were indescribably filthy ; they 
waded through a slough of muck right up to the 
doors of the British and French Consuls, who were 
Jews. When they expressed their feelings on the 
subject to the Turkish Governor of the town, he 
replied, “What can be done with people who 
carry home fish and flesh in their pockets or in their 
hats upon their heads!” The travellers were 
sickened at what they saw in the Jewish hospital, 
which was full of old, ragged exiles from many 
countries who had come there to die, and they 
turned from it in disgust. 

Next day they rode down a precipitous stone 
gully to a colony at the base, established by Jewish 
refugees from Rumania, and then through tracts 
of wild flowers and grass growing as high as the 
horses’ heads, to the ruins of Chorazin, hidden 
amongst rank vegetation, and on to Capernaum on 
the lakeside, a mass of sculptured masonry lying 
amidst a tangled confusion of thistles, nettles, and 
wild mustard. In all the wide landscape they saw 
only a number of black tents, some boys herding 
goats, and a few tattooed bedouin women. No road 
indicated the way along the shore, but they picked 
out a track to the reputed site of Bethsaida, where 
they found a few families and an old boat, and 
proceeded through weeds and thorny bush across 


the plain of Gennesaret. While the weather was 
perfect and the Lake a vision of beauty, the silence 
was oppressive ; not a sound broke the brooding 
stillness. In the shadow of the cliffs as the hills 
advanced again to the shore, they came to the 
modern Magdala, a wretched settlement of mud 
huts ; and a few miles farther south they entered 

This town, second only to Jerusalem in the 
estimation of the Jews, proved to be hot, insanitary, 
and overcrowded. ‘‘ The filth,’ said Dr. Torrance, 
“could scarcely be described.” Hurried visits 
were paid to the various points of interest in the 
vicinity, including the medicinal hot-spring baths 
and the region on the east side of the Lake. Every- 
where patients came crowding to them. In 
Tiberias, Torrance estimated that there was more 
work than ten doctors could get through; it was 
the neediest spot he had seen. ‘“‘ If,” he said, “‘ one 
wishes to alleviate misery and sow happiness in the 
world, this is the place for him.”’ ‘The rabbis said 
they would be glad to have a hakim, or doctor, the 
nearest whom they could call being Dr. Vartan, 
at Nazareth, fifteen miles away in the hills. 

Riding back under more comfortable conditions 
to Jerusalem, the party had a consultation with the 
English missionaries there. The staff of the Church 
Missions to Jews did not favour a second mission 
in Safed. Nor would they recommend Tiberias ; 
no missionary, they declared, would be able to 
exist long in such a tropical furnace. The deputa- 
tion was invited to visit Hebron, which, it was 
suggested, might prove a suitable and convenient 


sphere for a Scottish Mission; and accordingly 
they travelled to the town. In the Jewish inn 
in which they put up, one room and one bed were 
allotted to the three. The bed fell to Torrance, 
who spent the night in purgatorial unrest. But 
the others were no better off. Dr. Laidlaw rose 
from his mat, placed two chairs together, and 
lay on these for the remainder of the night. 

After visiting Bethlehem, Bethany, the Dead 
Sea, and Jericho, the party returned to Jaffa, and 
here Dr. Torrance parted company from the 
others and proceeded home by Alexandria and 

At Paris he found a letter offering him the 
position of House Surgeon in Glasgow Infirmary, 
one of the prizes of the profession, and wrote 
accepting it. He entered on his duties immediately 
on reaching Scotland. 

The brief reports of the deputies, supplemented 
by their speeches in the General Assembly of 1884— 
Dr. Torrance must have been one of the youngest 
speakers who had ever faced that body—showed 
that Palestine had become even a more promising 
field than it was in 1839. They estimated the Jewish 
population to be now not less than forty thousand, 
and it was steadily increasing. ‘There was no doubt 
that it was the beginning of a movement which 
would result in the recolonization of the land. 
Agricultural settlements were being established, 
and a new group of liberal Jews had appeared, 
whose aim was to introduce modern education and 
throw off the irritating trammels of ralbbinism. 
“ This is the body,” said Dr. Laidlaw with prophetic 


insight, “ which will evolve the dominant Jew of 
the future.” Such a movement would probably 
lead to rationalism, but an inquiring, enlightened 
rationalism was, he believed, more hopeful than a 
death-like adherence to tradition, and it would give 
the Christian faith an opportunity it had not 
hitherto possessed. 

Jerusalem was ruled out—“ probably no other 
city of the same size,” they stated, “ is so abun- 
dantly provided with orphanages, hospitals, free 
medical dispensaries, and all sorts of charities.” 
So also was Hebron, not only because of its con- 
tiguity to Jerusalem, to which it was a natural 
appendage, but because’ the number of Jews in 
it was comparatively small, the majority of the 
population being Moslems. Safed was a favourable 
though difficult field, but it had been reoccupied 
by the Church Missions to Jews. On the whole, 
Tiberias presented the best possibilities. ‘‘ We 
were informed,” they said, “that a missionary 
would probably be better received by the Jews 
there than by others in Palestine.” Unfortunately 
the heat of summer in the town was so exhausting 
that for three or four months in every year European 
missionaries would require to live in the hills. 
Their work also would be found exacting; there 
was probably no harder service for Christian 
activity to undertake, and the Church would have 
to guard against expecting immediate results. 

The Church quietly and confidently accepted 
the call to the work, and on the Jewish night of 
the General Assembly, the “‘ Sea of Galilee Medical 
Mission” was inaugurated. | 

Ey Vaters of 

J D ak, A psig 
Pave of Owes 










147 HOUSE 








The Committee, however, had not yet secured 
their missionary. They had been pressing Torrance 
to accept the appointment, and he had been reading 
up the subject of missions to the Jews and studying 
the general Jewish situation. But he was still 
undecided, and was undergoing an experience which 
comes to most men in their lives. He was endur- 
ing his temptation in the wilderness. There was 
strong family opposition to the Palestine plan, 
which meant burying himself in obscurity, and he 
was urged to employ his exceptional ability in a 
sphere where it would be recognized and adequately 
rewarded. His own inclination was to do this; 
he was conscious of lacking professional knowledge 
and experience ; he desired to study in the medical 
schools of the Continent; he had the natural 
ambition to make the utmost of whatever gifts 
he possessed, and he felt within him the power to 
achieve success and fame. So, from the high 
mountain of his imagination he saw the Kingdom 
that might be his and the glory of it. 

On the other hand, he had seen Palestine ; 
and, worn-out and burnt-up land though it was, it 
possessed in its very loneliness and desolation a 
quality of beauty and a fascination which drew him 
like a spell. Greater than the appeal of the 
country, however, was that of its people with 
their untended ills and hopeless suffering. He 
felt that the poorer and more degraded they were, 
the greater was their need of healing and love. 
He thought, too, of the honour of being the 
first Christian physician to walk in the footsteps 
of Jesus round the Galilean Lake, and of the 



possibility of building the first Christian hospital 
on its shore. 

The matter was not long in doubt: he sur- 
rendered to the higher service, and signified his 
choice. He was appointed to Tiberias in June 
1884, and, completing his term at the Infirmary, 
he sailed on 2nd December from Liverpool. 


His journey on this occasion was not without 
adventure. After studying Jewish and Moslem 
missions in Egypt—a field in which he became 
deeply interested—he took steamer to Haifa. At 
Jaffa he went ashore to view the town. As the 
boatman was rowing him back he was surprised to 
see the vessel moving out to sea. No attention 
was paid to his signals, and he returned to the 
jetty with nothing but a waterproof in his possession. 
Sending a telegram to the Vice-Consul at Haifa to 
have his luggage brought on shore there, he went 
to the hotel in the German colony and arranged 
for a horse to be ready for him at three o’clock next 
morning. His anxiety made his slumber light, and 
when the hour passed and no call came, he rose and 
sought out the muleteer who was to accompany 
him. “I want something to eat,” he said. The 
man knew but little English, and the Doctor had 
by signs to indicate his need. ‘‘ All sleeping,” was 


the response. ‘“‘ Bread, then: bring me bread,” the 
Doctor demanded, and the man went off to forage. 
He returned with two small cakes. The Doctor 
looked at them with disgust. ‘‘ Bring mea dozen,” 
he said. 

The journey to Haifa usually took two days, 
but the Doctor was determined to be there that 
night. A tedious and fatiguing ride along a broken 
track and sandy plains and through malarious 
swamps brought them to Czsarea, the once mag- 
nificent seaport, now a wretched settlement of 
refugee aliens. Farther on they reached a river 
inlet which was too deep to ford. A search along 
the banks revealed a fisherman, who guided them 
across at a part where the water came up to the 
chin of the little muleteer. Late at night they 
arrived at Haifa, half-dead from weariness, hunger, 
and thirst. Riding straight to the residence of the 
Vice-Consul the Doctor knocked loudly and long, 
but the household was asleep and there was no 
response. When he returned in the morning it 
was to find that the telegram he had dispatched 
had never arrived. His baggage had gone on 
farther up the coast with the steamer. Being in 
no mood to remain in Haifa, he secured a carriage 
and proceeded across the plains and over the hills 
to Nazareth, where, destitute though he was, he 
received a warm welcome from Dr. and Mrs. 
Vartan. Until his boxes arrived some weeks later 
they provided for all his needs. 

Discussing the situation with his hosts he came 
to the conclusion that it would be impracticable 
to begin work at Tiberias before he had acquired 


some knowledge of Arabic, the language of the 
country ; it was therefore decided that he should 
meantime remain at Nazareth as Dr. Vartan’s 
assistant. It was not easy to procure a teacher ; 
education was not common in those days; and 
the only man available was a Bible-reader who had 
never been at school, was ignorant of grammar, 
and could not even speak correctly. With him 
the Doctor began regular lessons. 

The six months he spent in Nazareth was a 
period of apprenticeship without which he could 
never have achieved the success he did. He was 
associated with one who knew the country and the 
people intimately, and was proficient in many 
branches of his profession. ‘To a newcomer 
ignorant of the East and its subtleties the experi- 
enced guidance and counsel of such a man as Dr. 
Vartan was priceless. To watch his methods and 
note his faith and courage and perseverance was an 
education and an inspiration. Torrance was pro- 
foundly impressed with the manner in which he 
fought the authorities and overcame his difficulties. 
For he had more than the ordinary share of trouble. 
Although a naturalized British subject, he came 
under the Turkish law, which deals with men 
according to their nationality. Property had also 
to be held in the name of an individual and not of 
an organization, for no combination was allowed, 
and he, and not the Edinburgh Medical Missionary 
Society, was responsible for the mission premises. 
The Turks were opposing his work, and _ their 
hostility had culminated in their taking over the 
house and ground at an absurdly low valuation. 


Dr. Torrance admired his forbearance and patience, 
and sought to interest the Committee in Scotland 
in his case. 

Nazareth, where Jesus spent the greater part of 
His life, contained much to interest the Doctor. The 
town itself was unclean, the streets were narrow and 
crooked, those leading up the hillsides being merely 
deep watercourses, but from the ridges that circled 
it about, wonderful views could be obtained of far- 
stretching country rich in Biblical associations. 
Always the eye would be caught by some out- 
standing feature: now the snow cap of Mount 
Hermon, now the dome of Mount Tabor, now the 
green plain of Esdraelon, now the white houses of 
Safed, now the gleam of silver sea. The people 
were not without attractive qualities: many were 
handsome, the women especially so, and the boys 
and girls, with their clear brown skin and bright 
eyes and frank smile, won their way easily to the 
Doctor’s heart. 

Owing to the number of missionary agencies in 
Nazareth a small European circle existed init. The 
representative of the Church Missionary Society, 
the Rev. James Huber, had already spent twenty- 
five years in the town and built up a prosperous 
Church. One of his daughters was a bright and 
attractive girl named Lydia. Born in the country, 
acquainted with the language, and accustomed to the 
modes of thought and habits of the people, she took 
a warm and practical interest in the mission work. 
With her Dr. Torrance inevitably came much in 
contact, and the result was a foregone conclusion ; in 
due time the friendship culminated in their betrothal. 


The Doctor desired to increase his knowledge 
of the country before settling down, and the oppor- 
tunity to do so came in an unexpected way. The 
Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society had also a 
mission at Damascus in charge of Dr. Mackinnon, 
a missionary of exceptional force of character and 
ability. One day he turned up at Nazareth, and 
he and Dr. Torrance proving to be kindred 
spirits, became very close friends. It was arranged 
that when he returned to Damascus Torrance should 
accompany him. They set off on horseback, with 
pack-animals carrying their beds and pots and pans. 
On the way they endeavoured to climb Mount 
Hermon. For hours they tramped amongst the 
snowfields, a white desolation save for the presence 
of an occasional bear or fox. Night overtook them. 
On returning they were unable to find their horses, 
and had to look for them with lighted matches. 
When they reached the village at the foot of the 
mountain they learnt that a search-party had been 
sent out after them. 

Next night they reached the mansion of a 
Druze sheikh of princely rank. He was delighted 
to see them, and entertained them with the hospi- 
tality for which the race is noted, fussing over them 
and regaling them with all manner of food. Two 
doctors in the house—he could not let the oppor- 
tunity pass. Both he and his wife ate recklessly, 
and in the middle of the night the doctors were 
roused from their sleep to find two porianns urgently 
requiring their attention ! 

Further going was slow on account both of the 
rocky and precipitous character of the bridle-path 


and the need for exercising vigilance against robber 
bands who infested the district, but progress 
was easier when they reached the middle plain of 
Syria, where the grass was as soft as velvet, and the 
path stretched onwards like a white ribbon. An 
Arab khan afforded them shelter for the night, but 
not rest, for the filth was too malodorous, and the 
insects too numerous for comfort. Damascus, 
the eternal city of the plains, with its kaleidoscopic 
life, its beauty of surroundings, and its vigorous 
missions, fascinated Torrance, and he was loth to 
leave it. Along with Mackinnon he travelled 
across the Lebanon range to Beyrout, and after 
studying the activities of the great American College 
there, he returned alone to Nazareth. 

The tour had been a valuable experience from 
the linguistic point of view. Syria is a polyglot 
region, and as he had Latin as a basis, and knew 
French and German, he could have managed very 
well, but his aim was to acquire a colloquial 
familiarity with Arabic, and he forced himself to 
speak it on every possible occasion, so that he 
considerably extended his acquaintance with the 

The friendship thus begun with Dr. Mackinnon 
continued to be one of the joys of his life, and it 
influenced him in minor ways. Up to this time 
he had never smoked, but noting how Mackinnon 
was welcomed everywhere because he belonged 
to the fellowship of smokers, he took to the habit 
and became as much addicted to it as his friend. 

Anxious now to make a beginning in Tiberias, 
he paid a visit to the town with Dr. Vartan to 


prospect for quarters. The public health was 
exceedingly bad, but as he tramped through the 
overcrowded and insanitary slums his wonder 
was that life was maintained at all. Nothing 
was said about settling in the town, but some 
rumour of his intention had evidently reached 
the ears of the influential men, for they came and 
begged him earnestly to remain. It was, however, 
the misery of the poor that drew out his com- 
passion and made him long to be at work. 

There was some difficulty in securing the 
tenancy of a house, and it was only through Dr. 
Vartan’s influence and wise and patient handling 
of the authorities that the matter was settled. 
Towards the end of 1885 he was installed and left 
to his own devices. For the first time he was in 
immediate contact with the people to whom he 
had been sent as a missionary. 


THE scene of his life service was a town which was 
notable on account of both its situation and its 
romantic history. Tiberias lies in the deepest 
natural trench on the earth’s surface. As the 
Jordan flows down this trench from the base of 
Mount Hermon, it enters and fills a hollow in the 
Galilee region; this is the Lake of Galilee, the 
surface of which is 680 feet below the level of 


the Mediterranean. It is of small dimensions, only 
13 miles long and about 7 miles at its greatest 
width, and in spring, when the hillsides around 
are green, resembles a quiet Scottish loch. But 
the climate is more than tropical in its character, 
the temperature often rising in summer to 110° Fahr. 
and even 117° in the shade. Yet looking up from 
the lakeside one can sometimes see snow falling 
on the Safed hills, and for a large part of the year 
can gaze upon it as it lies thick upon the slopes of 

Tiberias, on the edge of the western shore, is 
now the only town on the Lake. It dates from 
at least the early years of the Christian era; it 
was either founded or rebuilt by Herod Antipas, 
ruler of Galilee, who called it after the Emperor 
in whose favour he basked. He probably chose 
the site on account of a basaltic crag which pro- 
jected from the hillside behind, and formed an 
ideal situation for a fort to command it. While 
clearing the ground for the foundations, a burial- 
place was disturbed, a circumstance which in the 
eyes of the Jews rendered it unclean, and prevented 
the orthodox from living in it. The first citizens 
therefore were largely foreigners. On the black 
rock dominating it, Herod built his castle and 

The town was completed and occupied previous 
to Jesus beginning His ministry. Because there is 
no mention of it in the New Testament in connection 
with Him, it is commonly believed that He never 
entered it, though one cannot be certain of this. 
After the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, 


a singular reversal of Jewish opinion occurred in 
regard to it. From being despised by the proud 
exponents of the law, it developed into their 
favourite resort. In it were established the San- 
hedrin and a great University, and it became the 
religious centre of the race. Here the laws and 
traditions were collected and codified as the Mishna ; 
here also the Jerusalem Talmud was completed. 
In the reign of Constantine the first Christian 
Church was erected in it; in the seventh century 
it was taken by the Arabs, was for a time restored 
to Christendom by the Crusaders, who built the 
castle which still stands, in ruins, and in the twelfth 
century was repossessed by the Arabs. When the 
Turks conquered the land in the sixteenth century 
it ceased to be a resort of the Jews, but was classed 
as holy and placed on the level of Jerusalem, 
Hebron, and Safed. 

Later, the city, or the part of it that was left, 
was gradually reoccupied by the Jews, most of 
them old men from Northern Africa and Europe 
who came to die in it in the belief that if buried 
there they would have the honour of greeting 
the Messiah when He appeared. According to the 
accepted tradition He would rise from the Lake, 
land at Tiberias, and establish His throne at Safed, 
which explained the saying that while it was good 
to die in Safed it was better to be buried at Tiberias. 
The famed sulphurous baths also drew many Jews 
to the spot, while the graves of the renowned rabbis 
became places of annual pilgrimage. 

The modern town was a huddle of buildings 
jammed close against the Lake, the line of houses 


there dipping directly into the water ; on the land- 
ward side it was enclosed by a wall except where 
the latter had been shattered by an earthquake in 
1837. The streets were merely narrow lanes, 
roughly cobbled with basalt blocks, down the 
centre of which ran a depression for rain and 
sewage, and so irregular in plan and broken up by 
narrower passages and alleys that they were as 
labyrinthine as a rabbit warren. In the main 
thoroughfares the buildings were two or three 
storeys high, and along the basement were situated 
the shops, little box-like compartments raised about 
a foot from the ground and open in front. 

Through these crooked avenues surged the 
tide of Tiberias life. Here could be seen the 
Turkish official, the rich effendi, the merchant, 
the religious devotee, the muleteer, the washer- 
woman; pallid men in long silk gowns and fur 
caps, or quaintly cut coats and wideawake hats, 
with lovelocks hanging down their cheeks ; tall, 
muscular men with dark flushed skin in black cloaks 
of goats’ hair and white cotton skirts drawn together 
by a leathern girdle which supported a knife and 
pistol, head-dress of yellow cloth that flowed down 
their back and shoulders and was kept on by a 
rope of twisted camel’s hair, and on their feet 
sandals of various shapes; men wearing what 
looked like elaborate gaudily-coloured dressing- 
gowns ; mén with sleeveless waistcoat and zouave 
jacket and loose pantaloons gathered in at the 
ankles ; men in white tunics and full sack coat, on 
their head a turban or red cloth fez or tarbush 
with black silk tassel, and on their feet red leather 


shoes ; men in military dress ; men in smart modern 
suits, and men in tatters: women, too, in long 
robes of dark blue cotton; others in a blue tunic 
with wide sleeves and girdle of red cloth and red 
head-dress, with a row of coins across the brow ; 
women in black flowing veils; women unveiled, 
their faces and hands tattooed in blue ; women with 
dark eyes darkened more deeply by antimony ; 
women with complexions startlingly pale, women 
wrapped in the most beautiful fabrics and accom- 
panied by attendants, and women in a single rag 
—all jostling one another, talking, gesticulating, 
bargaining, or moving in dignified silence. 

It was a life exposed and public. Here was a 
man being shaved in a corner of the street ; here 
was a shoemaker busily at work with half a dozen 
swarthy men watching him; next him was a 
tinsmith with his own circle; a little crowd 
listened to a seller of cloth as he ripped off samples 
and cajoled a simple-minded peasant ; here was a 
café open to the street where men sat and smoked 
long Oriental pipes; here was a butcher cutting 
out sinews from the meat brought to him by 
customers ; here was a shopman asleep on his mat 
with his stock of oranges and potatoes about him ; 
here was another writing a letter in Arabic for a 
desert Arab who stood, with his camel, beside him. 

It was a picturesque scene, but these people 
did not know they looked picturesque: they knew 
only that they were struggling and suffering and 
sorrowing like the rest of humanity. Beneath the 
brightness and quaintness of the costumes, and 
behind the chaffering of the market-place, there 


existed the sordidness, the care, the anxiety common 
to all the sons and daughters of the world. An 
old Jew with sad eyes passed along, passed a number 
of men playing cards outside a shop, passed a girl 
in deep black crouching in a corner sobbing, passed 
children romping and shouting—it was the same 
human nature that could be found everywhere ; 
only here, perhaps, it was on a more primitive level. 
It was life lived in squalor, dirt, ignorance ; and 
touched occasionally with a brutality that was not 
far from savagery. 

Yet a life not without the hunger for higher 
things and a homage to what was holy. For there, 
hidden in obscure quarters, were the synagogues ; 
and there, less modestly situated, was the native 
Christian Church; and there, central in the 
town, was the Moslem mosque with its white 
dome gleaming high above the houses, and its tall 
minaret from which came floating down to the people 
the wailing cry of the muezzin : 

Allahu akbar (repeated thrice), ashadu an la ilaha illa-llah, 
ashadu an Mohammada rasil-ulléh (repeated twice), hayya ‘ala- 
ssaléh (repeated twice). 

“« Allah is great: I bear witness that there is no deity but 
Allah, I bear witness that Mohammad is the apostle of Allah : 
hasten to prayer.” 


Wuat the exact population of Tiberias was no one 
knew, but the Jews estimated the number of their 
race at about 3500, while the Moslems claimed 


1500, and the Christians a few hundred. Between 
five and six thousand persons were penned into a 
space hardly capable of holding half that number. 

The Jews were divided into two well-defined 
parties, the Sephardim and the Ashkenazim, who 
might be regarded as the liberal and conservative 
elements in the body. The Sephardim were of the 
stock of Western Jews, or those who came origin- 
ally from Spain and Northern Africa, and who, 
having been in contact with fairly free and un- 
restrained conditions, were active and _ tolerant. 
The Ashkenazim hailed from the congested 
districts of Eastern Europe : 

** They lived in narrow lanes and streets obscure, 
Ghetto and Judenstrasse, in mirk and mire, 
Taught in the school of patience to endure 
The life of anguish and the death of fire. 
Anathema! Maranatha! was the cry 
That rang from town to town, from street to street; 
At every gate the cursed Mordecai 
Was mocked and jeered and spurned by Christian feet.” 

They possessed the ghetto mind—narrow, 
ignorant, bigoted — and the sickly and cowed 
appearance developed by the crushing slum 
conditions to which they had been subjected. 
Christians they hated with a bitter hatred as their 
oppressors who had made their life a misery. 
They could not look with favour on a religion 
presented to them by a sect whose hands were red 
with the blood of their people. 

These Jews were regarded as, in a sense, dele- 
gates or representatives of the race throughout the 
world. They were “holy men,” faithful to the 


ideals and traditions of the faith, who had come 
to study the law and pray and carry out in their 
fullness the rules and regulations which it was 
difficult and often impossible to observe in alien 
communities, and then to die and be buried in the 
soil of the sacred land. They were doing what 
every true Jew would have liked to do, but which 
was impracticable for the vast majority to do, 
except vicariously by supporting those who did. 
This was necessary, for Palestine was economically 
so backward that it was impossible for all the Jews 
to earn a living. The bulk of them were abjectly 
poor. Some engaged in shoemaking, carpentry, 
and trading ; one or two were muleteers, and the 
remainder depended entirely on the sympathy and 
charity of their co-religionists elsewhere. The 
latter entertained the idea that God would be 
propitiated by the piety of their fellows in the Holy 
Land,and willingly contributed to their maintenance. 
Throughout Jewry a well-organized scheme of 
collecting money for them was in operation ; practi- 
cally every Jew had a box in his house with “ Great 
Alms for Palestine” written on it. Associations 
existed in most Jewish centres for receiving and 
remitting the funds, and sometimes a town contri- 
buted solely for its own people who had emigrated. 
When the money arrived in Palestine it came into 
the hands of the rabbis, by whom it was “ divided 
out ” monthly to the people ; hence it was called 
the “khalukah.” At this period the total sum 
received amounted to about {£50,000 annually, 
but it served only to supply the crusts of life to the 



The rabbis naturally exercised great power over 
those who received the dole, as they could always 
use it as a lever or weapon in the exercise of dis- 
cipline. The result of the system, however, was 
to pauperize the people, for they had no inducement 
to work when they were able to eke out an existence 
on charity. Labour, indeed, came to be looked upon 
as undignified and even degrading—a view which 
the rabbis did nothing to remove, since the praying 
Jew was an amenable Jew. The Jew who followed 
his native genius, engaged in commerce, and made 
a success of it, was independent of the khalukah, 
and less hampered by fear of rabbinical censure 
in all his religious relations. 

The Doctor realized that this parasitical system 
would prove the most difficult obstacle in his path. 
How could a Jew change over to Christianity so 
long as he was subject to such bondage? If he 
made a public profession and was excommunicated 
and shut out of the distribution of alms, as he would 
undoubtedly be, how would he be able to support 
himself ? He would either have to be dependent 
on the Mission or emigrate to countries where he 
could earn his livelihood. The conditions did not 
augur well for the success of the evangelistic work 
if that success were to be measured by the number 
of open conversions. 

At first sight the Jews did not impress the Doctor 
as a lovable people; they seemed effeminate, 
neurotic, and slovenly in appearance and _ habit; 
but he made large allowances for men who had been 
so long tortured by civilization, and were so greatly 
isolated from all healthy and progressive influences 

HIs First Houser 






and decided to be patient and to study them care- 
fully before coming to a judgment on their char- 
acter and their attitude to Christianity. He dis- 
covered that they were friendly to the British, and 
even looked to them as the Power that would some 
day be the means of restoring Israel to its ancient 
home. Some regarded it as significant that Cyprus 
had recently come into possession of the British, 
for from the heights of that island could be seen the 
Syrian hills. Britain was the first Christian nation 
to overlook the country. 

These Tiberias Jews were typical of the race 
in general throughout Palestine, but there was 
another class entering the country which was 
destined to have a remarkable influence on its 
fortunes. It is curious how the brutal actions of 
humanity often lead to unexpected results for good. 
The Jew-baiting, the mob-violence and outrages, 
the bloodshed and the destruction of property in 
Russia which caused, from time to time, the flight 
of the Jewish victims, resulted in a number of them 
seeking refuge in Palestine. It was not from a 
religious motive that they came, but in order to 
earn a livelihood. Here and there they formed 
little agricultural colonies, helped in many cases 
by wealthy members of the race, principally by 
Baron Edmond de Rothschild, and cultivated 
oranges, the vine, olives, and other products. 
Several were established in Galilee. The condi- 
tions were, however, against them; the settlers 
were mostly from towns, and knew little of agri- 
culture ; they had difficulty in adjusting themselves 
to so strange an environment, and the Turks were 



rapacious. They continued to require financial 
support and were therefore in much the same 
position as the recipients of the khalukah. For 
their benefit an experimental school was started 
at Jaffa by the Alliance Israélite Universelle, an 
organization established in Paris in 1860 with the 
object of safeguarding Jewish interests and of 
promoting secular education in countries where 
Jews congregated. Poor as they were, these settle- 
ments were little oases of civilization in surroundings 
that were barbarous and barren. 

The Moslem population of Tiberias was more 
approachable than the Jews, but formed the least 
educated and least intelligent part of the community. 
They were courteous and hospitable, especially 
the effendis, or more wealthy members, but they 
were invincibly self-sufficient in matters of religion. 
Of the various types, however, the Doctor was 
least impressed with the native Christians, though 
they possessed some education and occupied all 
the positions in the telegraph and postal depart- 
ments. These belonged to the Greek Church— 
** Orthodox Greeks ’’—and to the Roman Catholic, 
or “‘ Latin ’”’ Church, to which were affiliated various 
Oriental Churches such as the Greek Catholic, the 
Syrian Catholic, and the Armenian Catholic Church. 
As a whole these Christian Churches were corrupt 
and superstitious. The priests were often illiterate 
and degraded ; their chief duty was not the care 
or cure of souls, but the management of the 
hospices, shrines, and other buildings associated 
with their religion, and attendance at the endless 
formal ceremonies and processions carried on in 


a spirit of coarse materialism. Both Jews and 
Moslems regarded Christianity, as they knew it, 
as infinitely inferior to their own faith: it seemed 
to them little better than heathenism. 

Several languages and many dialects were 
spoken in the town. Turkish was the tongue of 
the official class ; Arabic was in general use, and 
the only one understood by the majority of the 
native-bred ; the Jews employed Yiddish, based 
on Low German, with a sprinkling of Hebrew, 
Polish, and Spanish words. 

Outwardly amicable and orderly, the various 
elements in the community were in reality separated 
in their social relations by unbridgeable gulfs. 
Says Dr. Alexander Paterson : 

“It was this age-long incompatibility, this irreconcilable 
enmity, that was more potent for evil than any other single factor, 
and harder to be dealt with than any other obstacle to mission 
work. ‘The Moslem and Christian hated the Jew for denying 
and slaying the Messiah, the Christ. The Moslem and Jew 
hated the Christian for worshipping three gods. The Jew and 
the Christian hated the Moslem for his arrogance and fanaticism 
and oppression, from which they never felt safe. Of course, 
they commonly existed in an armed truce ; life otherwise were 
impossible. But an anniversary or an indiscreet word, an un- 
equal deal in business, or a false report, and their passions were 
in full cry, too often the cry for blood. Here is a household 
tale. A Moslem and Christian and Jew agreed to offer each a 
petition to heaven. The Moslem, ‘ May as many Christians 
perish as sacrifices are slaughtered at Mecca at the pilgrimage ! ’ 
The Christian, ‘ May as many Moslems perish as Easter eggs 
are consumed at Jerusalem!’ The Jew, ‘O Lord, answer 
their petitions !’ ” 

It was an extraordinarily difficult situation 
which Dr. Torrance was facing—a much more 


complex and unhopeful one than he had imagined. 
He had not come to a comparatively simple people 
like the Africans, whose only faith was animism, 
but to races who already possessed highly developed 
systems of religious thought. He had come “ to 
the Jew first,” and it was the Jew who had risen 
nearest to God and had given the world Christianity. 
The Moslem, for his part, considered that Moham- 
medanism was superior both to Judaism and to 
Christianity. The Doctor’s task, therefore, was 
not to provide lamps where none existed or even 
to exchange new lamps for old, but to create the 
conviction that the old were incomplete and to 
show how they could be perfected. As Professor 
Delitzsch said: “‘ The object of the Free Church 
Mission is to present a correct conception of 
Christianity, the Christianity of Christ of the New 
Testament, and to enable those who listen to judge 
and decide for themselves.” 

Reason, Service, Love, these three were the 
talismans which the Doctor called to his aid—but 
the greatest of these was Love. 



THE house which the Doctor had rented belonged 
to one of the rabbis. It was situated in the heart 
of the town, off a narrow lane, the buildings on each 
side of which were so tall that the passage had the 
character of a tunnel. Entrance was through a 
large archway into a courtyard from which a flight 
of steps led to the leewan, or veranda, and consult- 
ing-room ; another stair led to the living-rooms 
in the upper part. ‘The whole building was of the 
gimcrack order and shabby in the extreme. One 
side was tumbling down, and had been patched 
with scraps of tin and wood. The windows were 
unshuttered, and the sun beat in and made the rooms 
as fiery as a furnace. When rain fell the roof 
leaked, the atmosphere became steamy and damp, 
and mould gathered on the Doctor’s clothes and 
other belongings. 

But he was young, life was an adventure, and 
the difficulties of his position added zest to his day. 
He ignored the discomforts and became absorbed 
in his work. As yet he was without medicines ; 

the stock he had ordered was detained at 


Trieste, but he discovered some old drugs in the 
town and he bought some Epsom salts and castor 
oil, and he had his pocket case of instruments. The 
best instrument he possessed, however, was his 
own hand: what has been described as the ideal 
surgeon’s hand, “strong, supple, smooth, with 
sensitive finger-tips.”” His touch seemed to have 
power and healing. The wonder of it passed from 
mouth to mouth, and patients began to pour into 
the courtyard. It made no difference to him what 
creed they professed ; he was a missionary to the 
Jews, but he could not say to a Christian, “‘ I cannot 
see you,’ or to a Moslem, “‘ You are not a Jew.” 
Christianity was a world-religion, and made no 
account of race or sect, so in the spirit of Paul he 
was a Jew to the Jews, an Arab to the Arabs, 
all things to all men, that he might save some. 
Every one who came was tended with the same 
care and kindness. Although a man of mystery 
to them, they instinctively knew that he was one to 
trust, and his whimsical eyes and gentle humour 
put them at their ease. 

There was more than the touch of the physician 
in his ministrations. He read and spoke of One 
who was the healer of souls, and many, listening 
to his broken Arabic, seemed to obtain a glimpse 
of something beautiful and appealing. Others, 
orthodox Jews, were startled, and put their fingers 
into their ears that they might not hear what he 
said. Their talk of the matter reached the rabbis. 
They, too, were startled. Then the hakim was also 
a Christian missionary! The satisfaction with 
which they regarded his presence turned sour: 


suspicion and resentment took the place of their 
former cordiality, they wanted no proselytizer in 
their midst to steal the people from the faith, and 
orders were issued that he should be boycotted 
and driven from the town. In a Jewish paper 
published in Jerusalem a notice was inserted asking 
a physician of their own race to settle in Tiberias. 
The number of Jewish patients fell off. 

But it was hard for the sick and their friends to 
watch Moslems and Christians pass into the court- 
yard and know that healing was within reach, and 
yet be debarred from taking advantage of it. One 
of the special traits of the Jews is their love for their 
children, and rather than see the little ones suffer, 
many a mother dared the wrath of the rabbis. 
Again and again the door of the waiting-room 
was burst open and a distracted woman rushed in, 
crying: “ Doctor, my child! my child!” The 
Doctor could never resist such an appeal, and letting 
other matters stand, he would accompany the 
parent to her home and attend to the patient. 
This happened so often that it became difficult for 
him to meet all the calls, but by and by there was 
no need, for it broke the boycott. 

Then the terrors of ecclesiastical law were 
evoked against the delinquents ; solemn khérems, 
literally ‘‘ bans,’ were pronounced in connection 
with the dispensary, and for a time these dread 
anathemas did their work. But love again con- 
quered fear, and first children, and then adults, 
crept along the dark alleys to consult the doctor. 
The hearts of women grew soft towards him, 
because of his tenderness and skill ; they gathered 


about him with their little ones as the women of old 
gathered about Jesus, and began to speak of him 
among themselves as “ Our David.” One day 
when out riding, his horse slipped, and he was 
thrown into a large cavity ; a number of Jewesses 
who witnessed the accident rushed to his assistance, 
exhibited the utmost concern, and treated him in 
the kindest way. It was a trifling incident, but it 
indicated the place he was taking in their regard. 

The watchful rabbis then unsheathed their 
most potent weapon. From all who disobeyed, 
the khalukah was withheld. The grim alternative 
was starvation, and this was worse than sickness. 
Again the dispensary was deserted by the Jews. 
With unfailing patience and good humour the Doctor 
met the situation; he had the more time to visit 
people in their homes and become acquainted with 
their family life and the conditions in which they 

The majority of families lived in one-roomed 
houses, many in cellars underground, the furni- 
ture consisting of a few mats, some divans round 
the walls, cooking utensils, and a charcoal stove. 
During the day the bedding was piled up in a 
recess ; at night it was spread on the floor, and the 
family retired without undressing. The conditions, 
in short, were no better than those in an African 
hut ; in some respects they were worse. Ventila- 
tion was unknown, and the atmosphere was heavy 
with noisome odours of which the occupants 
appeared to be unconscious. ‘The Doctor found 
Jews lying calmly in their beds with their Talmud 
beside them, and repeating their prayers, while 


at every breath they were inhaling poison. Possibly 
they had been so long habituated to such condi- 
tions that they were immune. Superstition partly 
accounted for their closing up every chink; they 
believed that evil spirits would obtain access to the 
room if the windows were left open. 

The morning diet consisted chiefly of bread and 
olives ; in the evening all endeavoured to have a 
cooked meal, if possible, and olive oil, or a species 
of boiled butter, was used in preparing it. The 
Doctor’s first impression was that many of the 
people were underfed, and the cases that came to 
him bore this out. 

Malarial fevers and dysentery were, he found, 
the commonest ailments; of infectious diseases 
there were, so far, no trace. ‘‘ It will be a sad day,” 
he wrote, with unconscious foreboding, “ when 
any of them make their appearance.” Although 
the birth-rate appeared to be high, the mortality 
amongst children was very great. Women suffered 
greatly, and he longed for a maternity hospital. 
One of the things that roused his professional wrath 
was the crowding of neighbours into the birth- 
room to watch how the foreign doctor worked. 
He would send for a bucket of water and throw the 
contents over them, or literally whip them out of 
the room. 

“Tt is difficult to imagine a more insanitary 
town,” he wrote. There was no system of sewage ; 
the cesspools attached to the houses were seldom 
or never cleaned out, and a sickening odour choked 
one at every turn. No wells or cisterns existed ; 
they were not required, for the Lake was fresh, and 


as it lapped one side of the town, every housewife 
was able to draw what she needed from the beach 
at the foot of one or other of the streets that ran 
down to its edge. Here were ash-heaps and dung- 
hills, here the drainage of the town found an outlet, 
and here men and boys bathed all day long, so that 
close inshore the water was impure and unfit for 
drinking. The Doctor himself used a small filter 
which he had brought with him, but as a rule he 
refrained from taking any liquid except tea and 
coffee. It was not always easy for him to do so, 
and invariably after drinking of polluted supplies 
he suffered. 

He was better able to control his food. Most 
of this at first he obtained from home, as he was 
unable to procure anything better than boiled rice, 
eggs, leban or sour milk, fish from the Lake, and 
unpalatable bread. But he had noticed that the 
Vartans did not despise native food, — which, 
however, they had properly cooked,—and believing 
that it would be an advantage to be able to live on 
local diet, especially on tours, he gradually worked 
up a knowledge of the common products, and 
became accustomed to eating them. The Spartan 
fashion in which he had been brought up made 
this a matter of no difficulty ; wherever he accepted 
hospitality, he took what was given him, and, no 
matter how much he disliked it, he made no sign of 

No missionary lived more simply ; he had only 
the bare necessaries of life about him, and _his 
clothing was severely workmanlike. He did his 
own washing and much of his own cleaning, and 


felt happier than if it had been left to an inefficient 
servant. ‘‘ After all,” he said, ‘‘ I am out to work, 
and do the best I can in every way.” 

As the winter season advanced, the condition 
of the house became deplorable. The soaked 
mortar fell out and the roof let in the rain so badly 
that he was obliged to fasten up a sheet to keep 
himself dry. He complained to the landlord, who 
had contracted to maintain the premises in repair, 
but the rabbi declined to do anything. Perhaps 
he was affected by a curious report that had become 
current ; a white dove had been seen sitting on the 
roof of the building, and this was declared to be the 
spirit of his father come back to mourn over the 
letting of the house to a deceiver of the people. In 
any case, it was clear that he desired to get quit of 
his bargain and his tenant. The Doctor was all 
the more resolute to hold on. It was now that his 
manual work in the old days proved useful; he 
took off his coat and executed the repairs himself, 
making a better job of the matter than the half- 
trained local tradesman would have done. 


OpposITION of a different character came from the 
Turkish officials. Chiefly Moslems, they sub- 
sisted largely on bakhshish. They never obtained 
sufficient salary to live upon, and they charged 


“fees? to all who required their services. In 
their own view the system was perfectly proper ; 
in Western eyes it was pure blackmail. Where 
foreigners were concerned it probably was. They 
were regarded as legitimate prey to be fleeced, and 
all officials were adepts in the art of raising ob- 
stacles in order to be bribed to remove them. 
Courteous and tolerant whenever there was any 
prospect of financial advantage to themselves, they 
became instantly hostile if their right to bakhshish 
was challenged. The Doctor was well aware of 
the hold the practice had upon the community, but 
determined to fight it and resist all attempts to 
intimidate and harass him. 

He thought he might smooth his way by culti- 
vating relations with the Governor, and made a 
formal call. He was received with every mark of 
goodwill, and the visit was returned. On this 
occasion the Governor brought the conversation 
round to tape-worms, of all subjects in the world, 
and soon the two were discussing the life-history 
of these intestinal parasites. To the Doctor’s 
exposition of their habits the Governor listened 
with deep attention, and thanked him warmly for 
the information. The Doctor, wishing to express 
his indebtedness for the visit, said, with hand on 
heart, “ Ana mejniin kethir,” which may be rendered, 
“ T’m a great fool,” instead of “ Ana memniin kethir,” 
“I’m greatly obliged’?! The Governor bowed 
gravely, but the dragoman turned away to hide a 

Inquiries then began to be made into the 
character of the Doctor’s work. The question was 


raised whether he had the right to practise in 
Turkish territory since he was not in possession 
of a Turkish diploma, and there being no offering 
of bakhshish, he was refused the usual immunity 
from Customs duties on medical stores. It was 
over this matter that the first trial of strength 
occurred. When the bulk of his boxes arrived, he 
went down to Haifa to take them out of the Custom- 
House, a place of evil notoriety, in the unsavoury 
atmosphere of which nerves were often unstrung 
and health lost. Lacking a firman, or permit from 
the Sultan, he was received as an individual without 
standing. The old Turk in charge, who stood with 
a number of Arab underlings about him, assumed 
a strictly official manner. 

“* Yes, your boxes are here,” he admitted, “‘ but 
they must be examined.” 

** Oh, but I have invoices for everything,” said 
the Doctor. 

*‘ Invoices! God destroy your house! Don’t 
you know that invoices can be cooked? Every box 
must be opened.” 

** When will you begin ? ” asked the Doctor. 

** Come to-morrow morning.” 

Next day the Doctor put in an appearance. 

“‘T am ready to attend the examination of my 
boxes,” he intimated. 

The Turk looked up leisurely. ‘‘ Ah, yes. 
But we must have a doctor to look at the drugs.” 

“* Well, get one.” 

“ Unfortunately the Government doctor is not 
in town ; he is on duty in the country.” 

“* When will he be here?” 


“To-morrow, no doubt; call to-morrow 

The next day he asked, “ Well, is the doctor 

“No; he is not back yet.” 

*“* What is to be done ? ” 

“* Call to-morrow morning.” 

“‘ Look here,” said the Doctor impatiently, “ I 
have left my work in Tiberias and come to procure 
my medicines and am willing to pay the duty. I 
am staying at an hotel, spending money ; and lives 
may be lost through your delay. I shall have a 
counter-claim against you for damages.” 

The Turk regarded him compassionately. 

“ Call to-morrow morning,” he replied. 

The Doctor called. 

““Have you got your man!” he inquired, not 
very hopefully now. 

“No; but there is a little Jewish watchmaker 
who was once in a chemist’s shop—he may do.” 

“Then get hold of him.” 

By and by the Jew arrived and the work began. 
They came upon some bottles of coloured liquids. 

““Ah! What are these ? ” the Turk demanded. 

“I suppose,” said the Doctor wearily, “ they 
are what they are labelled.” 

The Turk seized one of the bottles. “ It looks 
like brandy,” he remarked, and, extracting the cork, 
smelt the contents. The Jew meantime had been 
deciphering the labels and, recognizing some of 
the names, pronounced them to be drugs. 

A large bottle was uncovered, and the Doctor’s 
eyes twinkled. 


*€ What is this ? ” 

“Open it and see—is it not your business to 
find out ?” 

The Jew started back as if he had received a 
shock. It was a bottle of ammonia. 

They came to a barrel of Epsom salts which 
puzzled them for a time. Was it an explosive? 
Some charcoal fire was sent for to test whether it 
was saltpetre. Then an iron rod was obtained 
and poked into the stuff to discover whether it 
hid cartridges. 

This was followed by the examination of a 
package containing insect powder. They took it 
to be mustard, and one tasted it and quickly spat 
it out. “ That’s not mustard at any rate,” he 

And so the comedy went on for three days, and 
the Doctor, resigned at last to the process, sat and 
played a tin whistle which had come along with 
some miscellaneous goods. The assistants grew 
so tired of the business and so hopeless of bakhshish 
that when they reached the cases of surgical 
instruments they valued them at random and 
finished their task. 

The Doctor handed over the amount of the 
duty, and asked for a receipt. 

“* Call to-morrow.” 

At the ominous words his heart sank. Was he 
beginning the play all over again ? 

“T must have a receipt and I won’t give bakh- 
shish,”’ he said obstinately. 

“ Call to-morrow.” 

Next day he obtained a carriage, picked up Mrs, 


Vartan, who had been in town, and called at the 

‘“* My receipt ?” he asked. 

** Call to-morrow.” 

“ But I am on my way back; my carriage is 
waiting. It won’t take you two minutes to give 
me my discharge.” 

They were placid and immovable, and in an angry 
mood he returned to the carriage and poured out 
his feelings to Mrs. Vartan. 

‘““My dear fellow,”’ she said, amused at his 
wrath, “go back and give them their bakhshish 
and have done with it. These fellows don’t get 
their salaries—you will be really paying them for 
their work.” 

He took her advice and handed the officials £5. 
They were all smiles and courtesy, and in a few 
minutes he had his receipt. 

* Now,” he said grimly, “I want to talk to 
you. You are the most incompetent set of men I 
have ever seen. Your valuation of my goods is 
all wrong; here are my invoices which you would 
not look at. You will see that you have charged 
fifty per cent. less than the amount you should 
have done. Now are you not fools ? ” 

They beamed upon him. “Go in peace,” 
they said, “and next time send both the invoices 
and the bakhshish.”’ 

Possessing now an adequate supply of medicines, 
he opened a dispensary, and in a short time the 
courtyard was again filled with patients, five-sixths 
of whom were Jews of many nationalities, and one- 
sixth Moslems and nominal Christians. Even 


with the help of a native assistant he was unable 
to attend to all. He began to undertake serious 
operations, and was impressed with the oppor- 
tunities that crowded upon him ; the whole field of 
surgery was open for the exercise of his skill. With 
the success that attended his cases, the people grew 
increasingly confident of his powers, and he, himself, 
felt a joy and exhilaration in the work. “I am 
thankful,” he wrote, ‘‘ that the Committee chose me 
to labour in ‘Tiberias. I am full of hope about 
the future... . The charm of the work is that 
the old, old story is mew to the hearer.” 

The occasional travellers who appeared at 
Tiberias at this time were greatly struck by his 
earnestness and devotion. “‘He seems to be 
thoroughly happy in his work,” wrote one. “TI 
cannot help admiring his courage and hopefulness 
in spite of the difficulties with which he has to 
contend.” Long afterwards, looking back, he him- 
self declared, “‘ Those early days stand out as among 
the happiest in my life.” 


Tue Doctor, however, was human, and the depress- 

ing conditions in which he worked, combined with 

the loneliness of his position, sometimes affected his 

spirits. Whenever he could steal away he took 

his New Testament, Geikie’s Life of Christ and 


Baedeker’s Palestine, and climbed the hillsides 
overlooking the town and the Lake; and there in 
solitude he studied the scenes associated with the 
ministry of the Physician in whose footsteps he was 
treading, and obtained the spiritual reinforcement 
which sent him back strengthened for his task. 

It was early spring, when the country was 
arrayed in all its glory. Save for some dark out- 
crops of rock here and there, the land was covered 
with a veil of green. It was not the vivid green of 
grass, for there is no short sweet grass in Palestine, 
except in gardens, but the duller green of weeds 
that grew tall and rank. On the plains and hill- 
sides splashes of yellow, scarlet, and white indicated 
where the flowers grew in mass—the “ lilies of the 
field,” as beautiful now as they appeared to Jesus. 
No living thing moved in the wide landscape save 
where, far up among the heights, a flock of black 
goats sought pasture ; no sound broke the hush upon 
the land save the faint call of the goat-herd. It 
was the passionless tranquillity, the stillness, that 
again impressed the Doctor. And the Lake was as 
quiet as the land which circled it and was reflected 
in its calm green waters. One small sailing-boat, 
gliding with almost imperceptible motion close in- 
shore, merely accentuated the loneliness of its 
appearance. In the face of that solemn silence, the 
wonderful pageant of the past seemed like a fantasy 
of imagination; to recall the events of it was 
like recalling the dim scenes in a half-forgotten 
dream. Few countries that are barren and desolate 
possess a history, but this one had been for centuries 
throbbing with intense life, and had witnessed 


marvellous occurrences that had again and again 
changed the course of human destiny. And in the 
words of a French writer, ““ Upon that rocky Syrian 
soil blossomed the lily of the valley whose fragrance 
after nineteen centuries still perfumes the world.” 

It took an effort to picture water and land as they 
were when Jesus looked upon them—the hillsides 
covered with woods and groves of fruit trees, and 
the plains with crops and gardens ; the shore lined 
almost continuously with populous towns, the Lake 
alive with fleets of sails. Josephus gives a glowing 
account of the beauty and productiveness of the 
region; and no incident could better depict the 
activity on the Lake than that singular stratagem 
by which, not long after Jesus was crucified, the 
Jewish warrior himself recaptured the rebel city of 
Tiberias. Josephus was at Tarichez, a centre of 
industry at the south end of the Lake : 

“In the first place he ordered the gates of Tarichez to be 
shut that nobody might go out and inform those of Tiberias ; 
he then got together all the ships that were upon the Lake, 
which were found to be two hundred and thirty, and in each 
of them he put no more than four mariners. So he sailed to 
Tiberias with haste, and kept at such a distance from the city 
that it was not easy for the people to see the vessels, and ordered 
that the empty vessels should float up and down there, while 
himself, who had only seven of his guards with him and these 
unarmed also, went so near as to be seen; but when his ad- 
versaries saw him from the walls they were so astonished that 
they supposed all the ships were full of armed men, and threw 
down their arms, and by signals of intercession they besought 
him to spare the city. . . . He took all their senate, consisting of 
six hundred persons and about two hundred of the populace, 
and carried them away to Tarichee. . . . And thus he recovered 
Tiberias again with empty ships and seven of his guard.” 


And now it was forsaken, forlorn, devitalized, 
the mere ghost of a land. 

Almost the entire Lake was visible from the 
Doctor’s point of view. Immediately below was a 
narrow plain. On the left, the ground rose gently 
and widely in a kind of valley until it hid the north- 
east corner; up this ascent the track to Nazareth 
deviously wandered. Midway on. the shore line 
was a dark half-circle close against the water— 
the town of Tiberias, flat and featureless save for 
the dome and minaret of the Mosque, the broken 
battlements of Tancred’s castle, and a palm or two. 
It seemed but a speck in the wide wall-less spaces 
of waste land that lay outside it. ‘To the south was 
some irregular ground with granite columns lying 
prone or projecting from the earth, indicating the 
site of the old capital at the base of the bluff 
on which stood the castle and palace of Herod 
Antipas. There it was, some think, that the 
daughter of Herodias danced and demanded the 
head of John the Baptist. It is still known as Qasr 
bint el-Melek—‘ Palace of the king’s daughter.” 

Beyond, on the foreshore, white roofs 
indicated the medicinal baths where the little 
rivulets of hot water gushed from the earth and 
ran down into the Lake as they had done through 
all the changes of the ages ; beside them the tomb 
of Rabbi Meyer, the celebrated Talmudist, the 
scene of a yearly pilgrimage; and then desolate 
slopes to the foot of the Lake. Fretting the shore- 
line there appeared the mud houses of a little 
Moslem village called Samakh. High above, on 
the south-east horizon of hills, he could see the 


ruins of Gadara where Greek civilization held 
sway ; and, coming north, the ruins of Gamala on 
a ridge in the middle of a gorge up which ran a 
track to Damascus. Almost directly opposite, a 
brown scar indicated the scene where Jesus cured 
the two demoniacs and the swine ran down “ the 
steep place’ into the Lake. On the ragged profile 
of the sky-line groves of olives marked Aphek, 
where the children of Israel, in number like “‘ two 
little flocks of kids,’’ defeated the Syrians who 
* filled the country.” 

Beyond that high horizon he saw in imagination 
the spacious tableland of the Hauran, the rolling 
wheat and barley fields with the rude peasant 
villages, the waste wild tracts inhabited by the 
wandering bedouin with their camels, sheep, and 
goats, the mountains, one of the seats of the singular 
Druze race; and beyond these, and stretching 
away into the illimitable spaces of the East, the 
mysterious desert out of which had come that 
strange militant religion that had threatened to 
conquer the world and was still as aggressive, as 
menacing, as implacable as ever. In all that vast 
region there was scarcely an agency of the Christian 
faith. The vision might well have daunted the 
most confident and courageous of missionary 
pioneers. But, “ If God wills,” said the Doctor to 
himself, “‘ I will be over there yet.” 

To the north-east a cut in the hills denoted the 
Jordan valley, and spanning it, and rising slightly 
above it, shone the snowclad dome of Mount 
Hermon. It was so distant that it did not dominate 
the landscape, and would hardly have been dis- 


tinguishable from the general contour had it not 
been for its dazzling cap which perpetually caught 
and drew the eye. Below it, and above the Lake, 
was Chorazin, with Capernaum and Bethsaida 
on the shore at the foot of undulating slopes, which 
on the west rose gradually into the lofty Safed 
heights. Safed itself was visible as a gleam of 
white, a city set on a hill, which was never hidden 
save by passing cloud-drifts. More westward 
still were the great masses of Upper Galilee cul- 
minating in the Jebel. Jermak peak, the highest 
mountain in Palestine this side of the Jordan. 

Immediately on his left, but invisible on account 
of the rising ground, lay the once marvellously fertile 
plain of Gennesaret, now a melancholy weed- 
waste, and Magdala, a wretched bunch of mud 
hovels lining the beach. And behind him, over 
the top of the hill, lay the spot where the last of the 
Christian crusaders met Saladin and his Moslem 
regiments, and, encompassed by fire and smoke 
and heat, suffered a defeat which decided the 
fate of the country for centuries. 

It was at these times of quiet study and medita- 
tion in places apart that the Doctor felt to the full 
the wonder of his experience. He was living where 
Jesus had lived and founded the religion that 
had revolutionized the world—was following His 
example,—if ever so far behind,—was in contact 
with the same human nature that He had appealed 
to, was witnessing the scenes that had illustrated 
His teaching, and meeting exactly the same diffi- 
culties and discouragements that had shadowed His 
career. And he felt thrilled at the honour that had 


fallen to him. The life and the work and the 
sutroundings might become familiar and even 
commonplace, but there could never come a time 
when he would not regard it as a privilege to walk 
in the very footsteps of His Saviour and, like Him, 
“go about doing good.” 


THE spring passed, the colour on the hills faded, 
every trace of vegetation vanished, and the land 
became seared and bare, as bare as the streets of a 
city. The air grew sultry and oppressive, then 
scorching like the breath of an oven; for months 
the shade temperature was over 100° Fahr., and it 
often went up as high as 110° and even, occasionally, 
higher. During the day it was not possible to 
walk much about in the sun, and the pulse of life 
beat languidly. At night the atmosphere remained 
hot and stifling, and the Doctor tossed about in 
a vain endeavour to sleep, and at last took up his 
bed and laid it on the housetop. The conditions 
reminded him of the Turkish baths in Glasgow, 
and he was inclined to believe his servant, who 
declared that the water “boiled beautifully ” 
because it required so little fire! Then the sirocco 
blew from the desert like the blast from a blazing 
furnace and shrivelled what vitality was left. He 
went on as best he could attending the sick and plying 




the surgeon’s knife, but he realized that, however 
healthy and agreeable the climate was in winter and 
spring, it was clearly unsafe for Europeans to remain 
in the town during the three or four hottest months. 
i Although had been told of the enervating 
climate, he had not paid much attention to the 
matter. Like most readers of the New ‘Testament, 
he had little idea of the physical character of the 
home country of Jesus. ‘“‘ Strange,’’ he said once, 
“that no mention is made in the Gospels of the ~ 
great heat in which Christ carried on His work.” 
Now the knowledge came to him with the shock 
of an unpleasant surprise. / He was one of the type 
of active men who are never happy except when 
busily at work, and an interregnum of three idle 
months was what he had not contemplated. Already 
he was planning to fill these up with other work. 

He was also sketching out the mission of the 
future. A medical missionary was merely a fore- 
runner, opening up the way for the evangelist and 
the teacher; and he therefore pointed out that, 
in addition to himself, a clerical colleague, a native 
evangelist, and an educational staff were needed, 
and also a Bible depot or a literature-distributing 
agency. Without these the station would not be 
properly equipped. Education, he saw, was 
urgently necessary in order to improve the low 
moral tone of the town. Few of the inhabitants 
were literate, and of the women not one knew the 
alphabet: the latter had no ambition except to 
secure enough to eat and to become brides. Only 
the Greek Catholic Church had a school, and that 
a poor apology for one, there being but ten boy 


scholars; the Jews and Moslems had none. 
Nothing whatever was done for the welfare of the 
girls of any class; they had no occupation, and 
refused domestic work. It was a community which 
did not even drift, it lay stagnant, like a pool in the 
remote backwater of some great stream, without 
purpose, without progress. Mentally its people 
were asleep; they were content if only they 
managed to meet from day to day the elementary 
needs of the body. 

There was no lack of support in Scotland for 
the Doctor’s proposals. The interest in the 
Mission was widespread, for it had a touch of 
romance that appealed to the Christian imagina- 
tion, and many minds were thinking of the young 
“man of Galilee’”’ who was struggling with the 
exceptional difficulties of the field. ‘To his delight 
his own sister offered to come out as a voluntary 
worker among the girls. The Glasgow Ladies’ 
Jewish Association, a society with a long and 
honourable record, decided to take up this special 
service, and so began an active connection with 
Galilee which continues to this day and has been 
an element of incalculable value in the work of 
the Mission. It appointed as its first agent, Miss 
Fenton, a trained missionary teacher with experi- 
ence in Turkey. At the same time the Jewish 
Mission Committee sought for a young ordained 
man to share the burden of the work. With such 
developments in prospect the Doctor determined 
to shift to a better house, and secured one on a 
lease for five years, with an arrangement that 
enabled him to build additional rooms. 


As the season advanced he suffered from the 
heat : dysentery and fever seized him, and he had 
finally to take to his bed, where he lay for a time 
delirious. A visitor passing up to Nazareth in- 
formed Dr. Vartan, who rode down to his assistance. 
There was only a bridle-path between the two 
towns, and Dr. Vartan could do nothing but place 
him on his horse in front of himself and hold him 
there all the way to Nazareth. The journey was 
by night, and proved an experience which neither 
of the men would have cared to repeat. So ill was 
the Doctor that a report of his death—hopefully 
anticipated by some of the Jews who opposed him 
—was spread about, but under Mrs. Vartan’s 
motherly care he was nursed back to health. 

On his recovery he went on to Damascus to 
relieve Dr. Mackinnon, while the latter was in 
Scotland, and spent two months at the summer 
station of Bludan, where he studied Arabic with the 
village schoolmaster, and treated over a thousand 
medical cases. In September he returned by 
Beyrout and Jaffa, where he met his sister and Miss 
Fenton and convoyed them to Nazareth. Leaving 
the latter there, he proceeded in October with his 
sister to Tiberias. The warmth of his reception 
from the common people surprised him. He saw 
smiling faces and uplifted hats on every hand, and 
the children ran after him and kissed his hand. 

With Miss Torrance in charge of the domestic 
sphere, life ran more smoothly, and his strength 
was doubled, though the house accommodation 
left much to be desired. As the new upper rooms 
were not ready he slept in the basement, an old 


structure with rotten floors, the haunt of rats, 
snakes, scorpions, centipedes, and other creatures. 
“I am sure,” he would say to his sister, “‘ that 
there are a million bugs in that room.” All his 
scraping and probing and disinfecting failed to dis- 
lodge the pests. When he had contrived to secure 
tolerable conditions there would be an invasion of 
fleas or flies, for both of which Tiberias was 
notorious, for surrounded as the building was by 
native houses it was not possible to create a clean 
oasis in the desert of filth. 

As he had now the aid of a young native man 
as dispenser and a Scripture reader, the work went 
on with vigour. By the end of the year 1886 as 
many as 647 patients had been attended to, 539 of 
whom were Jews—many of these being seen in their 
homes. The Baths, which he frequently visited, 
undoubtedly assisted to spread his fame, as they 
had spread the fame of Jesus. Large numbers of 
Jews flocked to them from Jerusalem, Hebron, 
Jaffa, and Safed, and from abroad, and remained 
for weeks, not only undergoing the water cure but 
also praying in the synagogue in the hope of re- 
ceiving help from the spirit of Rabbi Meyer. Many 
of the patients receiving no benefit from the Baths 
stole into the Doctor’s consulting-room, and fur- 
nished him with abundance of material for the 
study of human nature. One was a Russian Jew 
called Moses, as odd a character as any described 
by Zangwill. His ailment was an enlarged liver 
which was something of a medical curiosity, and 
he had been successively in most of the principal 
hospitals of Europe. As a result he had a knowledge 


of many languages; English he spoke fairly well. 
Knowing the virtue of the Baths he had come, as a 
sort of last resort, to try their efficacy, and hearing 
of the foreign hakim and his magical skill he 
decided to consult him. So impressed was he by 
the personality of the Doctor that he begged to be 
taken on as a servant. The Doctor agreed, and 
treated him medically so well that his health greatly 
improved. His gratitude was unbounded, and few 
more faithful attendants ever served a master. 
Having seen so much of hospital life he was 
familiar with the routine of a Doctor’s work and 
proved of the utmost assistance. He acted as 
doorkeeper and guarded the Doctor from inter- 
ruption and intrusion. When friends of patients 
flew to the house by day or night they were met by 
Moses, who ascertained the exact nature of the case, 
and if necessary escorted the Doctor through the 
filthy streets to the spot, and dealt with the crowds 
in the sick-room. 

He was as tender-hearted a man as one could 
find. In his leisure time he haunted the byways 
of the town, hunting up all who were ill, whether 
Jew or Moslem, and reported them to the Doctor. 
As a perquisite he was given the odds and ends of 
the house food that were only fit to be thrown away— 
crusts of bread, market parings, used tea-leaves, 
and so on, and these he carefully kept and conveyed 
to poverty-stricken homes in the town. Even 
animals and birds had a place in his heart, and all 
the cats and dogs knew him and came to him as to 
a friend. He had compassion even on the creatures 
that tormented the missionary. When the heat 


was, as he put it, “ boilin’,”’ he said, “‘ The fleas, pore 
tings, dies!” His goodness was not on the sur- 
face, for there was no artificiality in his nature ; it 
was the expression of his simple and sincere spirit, 
and had its root in love of God and of man. 

He was absolutely devoted to the Doctor. On 
one occasion when the latter was ill he sat beside 
him day and night, watchful, ready, unwearied. 
To obtain cooler air the Doctor lay on the broad 
window-sill, and during the sleepless hours he would 
engage Moses in talk and study the curious aspects 
of Jewish mentality that opened up before him. 
Moses had a remarkable knowledge of the Bible 
and had an unshakable faith in the unalterable 
character of the law, but he could not distinguish 
between what was law and what was merely tradi- 
tion. One of the comforts of his religious life was 
the making of vows; it was an anodyne which seemed 
to soothe him, and he would frequently resort to the 
synagogue at the Baths to restore his soul with prayer 
and the sacrifices of a humble and contrite heart. 

When he left, after twelve years of incomparable 
service, the Doctor missed him more than he cared 

to acknowledge. 


IN strong contrast to the torrid heat of the summer 
the weather became very cold, the temperature 
falling on occasion as low as 43° and producing a 


crop of new ailments such as chills and bronchitis. 
If the streets were sewers in summer they were 
quagmires during the winter rains, and the Doctor 
found it extremely difficult to move about. “ In 
some places,” he wrote, “I would need a horse 
to drag me through the accumulation of mud and 

When Miss Fenton arrived with a native assist- 
ant whom she had secured, a beginning was made 
with educational work among girls. The rabbis, 
however, were opposed to any developments beyond 
medical work, and when the school was opened 
with a large attendance of Jewish girls, the fight 
with official Judaism began. Khérems were sent 
down from Jerusalem banning those who counten- 
anced the institution, and all the Jewesses vanished, 
leaving only a few Moslems and Christians. Miss 
Fenton was not dismayed, it was no new experi- 
ence to her ; but the Doctor felt keenly the averted 
looks and distant demeanour of the townspeople 
who had hitherto been so friendly. 

This incident proved the wisdom of the mis- 
' sionary statesmen of the Church in pioneering the 
campaign in Galilee with a medical mission ; it was 
the one Christian agency which the ignorance and 
fanaticism of the East would tolerate, and it opened 
doors which would otherwise have remained closed, 
and modified or eliminated opposition that seemed 
at first implacable. One striking illustration of 
this occurred in these days. A rabbi whose 
hostility to the mission was peculiarly virulent had 
a daughter-in-law suffering from a deranged mind. 
She was taken to the Synagogue of Rabbi Meyer 


at the Baths and kept within the iron railing of the 
tomb in the hope that the good spirit of the old 
miracle worker might drive out the demon. No 
improvement being effected, the husband became 
impatient and sought the advice of Dr. Torrance, 
whose rational treatment soon restored her to her 
right mind. The result was not lost on the rabbi, 
and when he fell ill with an inflamed throat he 
coveted the Doctor’s skill but was too proud to send 
for him. One morning, when he was almost 
suffocating, the son, the husband of the woman 
who had been cured, rushed frantically to the 
mission house and dragged the Doctor to the 
patient. Immediate relief was given and a complete 
cure followed. The rabbi was won; no man 
could have been more grateful, and he never after- 
wards opposed the Mission. 

But it was the fundamental purpose of the 
Doctor to commend Christ, and he felt that despite 
the pressing claims of the dispensary and the calls 
of the sick in the town he must make a beginning 
of some sort with the evangelistic work. 

He found that the Jews had no idea of sin \! 

in the Christian sense and therefore felt no need 
for redemption. Their religion was based on the 
original Divine law as defined and codified through- 
out the centuries by the rabbis : it consisted of the 
strict observance of a multitude of rules bearing 
on every aspect of their lives. A knowledge of 
these could not be obtained without prolonged 
study, and many spent their days and nights in 
endeavouring to master and obey them, but, 
ordinarily, they relied on the rabbis to keep them 


right. They found a sense of satisfaction in thus 
patiently and loyally bearing the burden of these 
minute regulations, and no doubt it reacted on 
their worship, but it did not bring them into a 
personal relation with God. ‘To them sin meant 
the breaking of any of the rules laid upon them, and 
their punishment was not so much alienation from 
God as alienation from their fellows and the syna- 
gogue with all its associations and social implica- 
tions. It was the same external religion which 
Jesus encountered and combated, but intensified a 
hundredfold by centuries of rabbinical development 
and custom. 

The Doctor’s aim was to convince them that 
sin was a reality, that disease was, in a sense, a proof 
of it, and that there was mercy and healing with 
God, and so gradually to lead up to the purpose 
and power of the Saviour of humanity. For them 
specially, therefore, he began a service in Arabic 
every Wednesday and Sunday evening in his house. 
But not a single Jew put in an appearance ; only a 
few Greek Christians attended, and he foresaw 
the stern and difficult task which an ordained 
missionary would face when he arrived. Open 
evangelism, the frontal attack, seemed in the mean- 
time to be a forlorn hope. He fell back on what 
always tells with every race, the daily example of a 
life lived in the spirit of Jesus, and the quiet, kind 
word spoken to individuals. 

Literature he found a promising agent. The 
leaflet or booklet reached mind and heart when 
other means failed. A Jew who would not listen 
to teaching or preaching, or did so only under 


protest, would carry away, hidden beneath his cloak, 
a tract or New Testament, and read it in secret, for 
possession of Christian books was a crime punish- 
able with the severest penalties. Young and old 
were accessible in this way. One aged rabbi whom 
the Doctor visited asked for a New Testament, 
read it carefully, and died with it beneath his head. 
It was reported amongst his neighbours that he 
had been a secret Christian disciple ; they buried 
his body, but burned the book that had led him 
astray. The ordinary magic-lantern was also a 
useful instrument in the Doctor’s hands. When 
he stretched the sheet on the wall of the house, 
the news spread like wild-fire, and in a trice 
people were pouring into the court and scram- 
bling over walls and roofs to secure the best 

But increasingly he realized the need for a 
colleague to grapple with the evangelistic work ; 
it was not possible for him, with his hands more 
than full, to attend to it properly. In response 
to a strong appeal which the Jewish Mission 
Committee issued, one of the ablest of the 
students in the Free Church College of Glasgow 
offered himself. When the Doctor heard the 
name, Ewing, he recalled it as that of a young 
man whom he had met and had pleasant recollec- 
tions of, and was delighted with the intelligence. 
He recommended that he be sent for preparatory 
training to the Institutium Judaicum at Leipzig, 
conducted by Dr. Delitzsch, and the suggestion 
was carried out. 

At Breslau, Mr. Ewing came across a Jew named 



Solomon Goldenberg, who had become a Christian 
and had just been baptized. He was pronounced 
‘ far gone in consumption,” with only a short time 
to live if he remained in Germany. Mr. Ewing - 
thought he would suit the Galilee climate and the 
Tiberias work, and urged him to offer his services 
to the Mission. Taking the advice literally, he 
scraped together sufficient money and started off 
for Palestine, where one night he appeared at the 
Doctor’s house. Although not well educated, he 
possessed an intimate knowledge of Jewish life 
and literature, and seemed of a modest and kindly 
nature, and the Doctor provided him with board 
and a small salary. 

As the first Jew in Tiberias professing Chris- 
tianity, his advent created an intense sensation and 
commotion. But for the protection afforded by the 
Doctor it would have gone hard with him; as it 
was, whenever he appeared in the streets, the 
fanatical Jews denounced him and drew up the 
skirts of their robes and stood aside as he passed. 
They called him “an apostate who had been 
bought,” for they could not bring themselves to 
believe that he was sincere. The rabbis forbade 
anyone to speak to him ; he was denied admission 
to Jewish houses, and he walked, like a leper, alone 
and shunned. 

He fell back on assisting the Doctor at the dis- 
pensary, and little by little his Christ-like character 
won respect and wore down hostility ; then not a 
few were eager to meet him and discuss his position 
in the hope that he might be induced to return to 
the religion of his fathers. 



For the hot months of 1887 the Doctor went to 
Safed. Although not mentioned in the Bible, 
and therefore not so familiar to the Christian mind 
attracted only by Biblical names, this town was in 
many ways as interesting as any in Syria. It was 
the largest in Galilee, and contained a population 
of twenty-five thousand, of whom from twelve 
to fifteen thousand were Jews, eight thousand 
Moslems, and the remainder Christians. The 
three quarters were ranged like a collar on the 
slopes and eminences round a central hill which 
was crowned with the white limestone ruins of a 
Crusaders’ castle. 

Safed became a Jewish city later than Tiberias. 
When the Jews were expelled from Spain, many 
secured a refuge in Salonica, but finding them- 
selves too confined, they dispatched agents to 
Palestine to spy out a possible place of settlement. 
Safed was fixed upon, and thither emigrated a 
company of educated and well-to-do members of 
the race. The community became noted for 
learning and piety, and the town was for nearly 
two centuries the literary centre of Jewry where 
the sacred literature was printed. 

Some of the most famous men in Hebrew story 
were buried in its vicinity—Hillel, “the teacher 
of Jesus,” his rival Shammai, Joseph Karo, and 
Simeon ben Yochai. To the grave of the last 


at Meiron came, every year, Jews from all quarters 
of the globe, and weird scenes were enacted. A 
great bonfire was prepared, silks, rags, and jewels 
were thrown upon it, and the whole was drenched 
with oil. The privilege of lighting the fire was 
sold to the highest bidder. Intoxicating drink was 
to be had for the asking, and under its influence the 
crowd engaged in dancing and shrieking. When 
the fire blazed up, boys, young men, and grey- 
beards, all gesticulated and whooped like savages. 
The revelry was kept up all night. 

In later years the population of the town was 
augmented by Ashkenazim refugees from Rumania 
and Russia, who were wholly supported by the 
khalukah. Rigidly orthodox, they employed their 
time in praying, reading, and meditating on the law, 
and their seclusion from the main lines of traffic 
and travel only served to ossify their habits. It 
was of them that Laurence Oliphant wrote: ‘‘ They 
are a set of useless bigots who combine super- 
stitious observance with immoral practice. They 
are bitterly hostile to schools, and agree with those 
western Jews who consider that any scheme for 
developing the material resources of Palestine 
by means of Jewish industry is fantastic and 
visionary.” Racial and religious fanaticism was 
exceedingly strong in the town, and the quarrels 
between the various communities often ended in 
bloodshed. When Lord (then Lieutenant) 
Kitchener was engaged on the survey of Galilee, 
he was attacked by the Moslems, and several of 
his party were severely wounded. 

The only house which the Doctor was able to 


hire was in the Moslem quarter. His object had 
been to study and rest, but, moved by the amount of 
suffering about him, he found himself entering 
instead on hard, earnest work for which fortunately 
he obtained the strength. Sending for his dis- 
pensary attendant and his Scripture reader, he 
began regular dispensary work, and attended all 
who came, irrespective of religion. Moslems were 
naturally in the majority, and he was amazed at 
the opportunities afforded of reaching them ; they 
even admitted him to their harems to attend sick 
wives, and nothing impressed him so much with the 
value of medical missionary work as this fact. He 
found them rude, ignorant, and _ superstitious, 
and absolutely untouched by Christianity. The 
Jews also freely came to him, laying aside their 
suspicion and dislike, and learnt that the religion of 
Christ was the essence of kindness and love. During 
his stay, he treated 423 Moslems, 124 Jews, 71 
Christians, and 3 Druzes, and there was not one 
who went away without some higher thought in 
his mind or word of comfort in his heart. 

This experience suggested that summer quarters 
might be established at Safed. No other locality 
would suit so well as a health resort for the Tiberias 
workers. The town was the only place on the 
hills where houses could be obtained ; it was about 
4000 feet above the Lake, and the climate was 
pure and bracing, and it could be reached within 
five hours by riding. The track, it was true, was 
merely a faint trail over the roughest of rocky 
surfaces, but when once its intricacies were mastered, 
it was fairly negotiable, so that frequent visits 


could be paid to Tiberias. The Doctor was also 
convinced that the needs of the town could not be 
left unmet. Such spiritual destitution and bodily 
suffering could not be allowed to exist in the vicinity 
of the Mission without some effort being made to 
relieve them. There was no fear of encroaching 
on the sphere of the Church Missions to Jews, the 
aim of which was to minister only to the Jewish 
section of the population. The Free Church 
Medical Mission was wider in its scope: it recog- 
nized no line of demarcation between religions, 
and treated Jews and Gentiles alike, so long as the 
love and saving power of Christ was taught. Even 
amongst the Jews there was work sufficient for 
more than one mission. 


A PROMISING start was made in Tiberias at the 
beginning of the winter 1887-88. When the school 
was opened over fifty girls put in an appearance, 
and, being in love with their teacher and their 
lessons, maintained a perfect attendance. Occa- 
sionally Miss Fenton would have an uninvited 
audience of women from the town and villages, . 
curious to see what was going on. It was 
admitted that the girls were improving both 
in their character and their demeanour ; they 
could even, it was said, be distinguished in the 


streets by their bright looks and smart and tidy 

The dispensary was now regularly open on 
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to all comers, 
and on the alternate days only for special cases. 
The Doctor was profoundly sorry for the women, 
who suffered so much, and until his idea of a 
special department for their treatment could be 
realized, he began a clinic for them on Thursdays 
which was largely attended, Jewesses being in the 

The question of charging fees had been occupy- 
ing his mind. His impression of the community 
was. that of a pack of wolves ready to prey on any 
charitable institution established in their midst, 
and he wished from the first to make it a principle 
of the Mission not to pauperize the people but to 
train them in the grace of independence and self- 
respect. This would also prevent the enemies of 
the Mission accusing him of enticing away the 
adherents of other faiths by giving free treat- 
ment. Dr. Vartan was at one with him in his 
determination, and he therefore began to charge a 
penny or twopence for medicines and a larger 
amount when he was called out to any who were 
too proud to visit the dispensary in person. ‘Though 
there were many remonstrances the scheme worked 
well and justified his belief in their capacity to 

: a iteats after sunrise patients would begin to 
appear, often fighting to obtain early admittance, 
and by nine o’clock the leewan—which had been 
turned into a waiting-room—was crowded as well 


as the courtyard outside and all other available 
space. To all a numbered paper was given, on 
which was written their name and age, space being 
left for the prescription and notes of the case. 
This, which they retained, served as a ticket of 
admission so long as it was kept clean. 

When the Doctor came on the scene he read 
a few verses from the Bible and gave a short address. 
This was the feature of attendance which all classes 
found most unpalatable. But the Doctor made it 
known that it was an essential part of his work 
and that all who objected to it could stay away. 
‘“‘ I am not going to bribe you with free treatment,” 
he said, “‘ and I must hold the little service, as my 
religion tells me to do, and you can come or not as 
you like. I am not sailing under any false colours.” 
They liked his straightforward candour, and the 
majority soon became accustomed to the process 
of running the gauntlet, while the others who still 
objected called him in to their homes. 

In some ways it was a difficult service. The 
Doctor spoke simply and clearly, often pausing 
to ask if they understood, and his illustrations 
were always taken from the everyday scenes with 
which they were familiar. But he had the con- 
sciousness that he was working against time. Here 
were from forty to a hundred restless patients, many 
of them suffering, and their minds occupied with 
their bodily condition ; some believed he was talk- 
ing blasphemy, others could not understand what 
he was saying. He would often be interrupted : 
“Oh, Doctor, don’t be long,” a woman would cry 
out ; or “ Oh, Doctor, when will you be done? I 


have an awful pain inside!” Occasionally a tall 
Arab from the desert spaces would rise and stretch 
himself, wrap his loose cloak about him, and stroll 
outside and, after a mouthful or two of fresh air, 
stroll leisurely in again. All were obviously re- 
lieved when he finished. Yet he was there to teach 
the good news from God, and no better opportunity 
was to his hand. ‘That the service was not unprofit- 
able he often learnt in the town, where his addresses 
created interest and were discussed in workshop 
and market. He found also that the Jews who 
passed through the waiting-room became less 
prejudiced and were readier than their fellows to 
enter into religious conversation. 

When the service concluded a bell rang, and the 
patients passed into the consulting-room in the 
order of their numbers, and thence into a passage, 
where they received their medicine from the native 
dispenser, and made their exit through a separate 
door. Meanwhile Goldenberg was looking after 
the Bible depot and reading-room, off the leewan, 
talking to the Polish Jews who did not understand 
Arabic, and distributing literature. His task was 
often a thankless one; some scoffed and cursed 
him, some listened in stony indifference, others 
went out to avoid him. 

The majority of patients suffered from medical 
ailments, but there was a large number of minor 
operations, and not a few surgical cases had to be 
performed under the disadvantage of inadequate 
accommodation and equipment. Very common 
were wounds and broken bones—the result of high- 
way robbery and assault in the neighbourhood, 


which sometimes proved fatal. Remarkable cures 
were effected which made the Doctor thankfully 
exclaim, “‘ God answers prayer.” There was, for 
instance, a case of a young boy, the grandson of an 
Arab chief, who, after a severe operation, recovered 
in two days. Such was a miracle in the eyes of 
the people and, being noised abroad, increased the 
stream of patients. He began to be accounted a 
magician, and he mingled trembling with his 
gratitude, for let a few deaths occur and his re- 
putation would be gone ; he would be hounded out 
of the town, and all prospect of mission work would 
be at an end. But no fatalities occurred, and his 
position was strengthened week by week. 

Calls came frequently from the villages and 
bedouin encampments, and to these he trudged on 
foot, toiling over the hot, trackless land, unconscious 
of hardship, anxious only to deepen the hold of the 
Mission on the people. Occasionally the summons 
was from a greater distance. One of the earliest 
was from an upland village on the opposite side of 
the Lake. A woman who had benefited by treat- 
ment at Tiberias had a relapse and was unable to 
travel. Dressed in Arab costume, which he fre- 
quently assumed in order to attract less attention, 
the Doctor rode to the lower Jordan, forded it, and 
ascended the hills to the little Moslem settlement 
of mud houses, where he arrived at sunset. After 
examining the patient and partaking of the family 
supper of a mess of pottage, he squatted with the 
men and women round the wood fire, as much of 
an Arab in appearance as themselves, and talked 
to them of the Good Physician who used to walk 


about the shores of the Lake below. They knew 
nothing of Him and were greatly interested. 

When, exhausted and wearied, he begged to be 
allowed to retire, they spread a mattress, pillow, 
and quilt beside the fire. He endeavoured to sleep, 
but what with the smoke, the fleas, the snoring of 
the men, and the smell of the sheep in the room, he 
found it impossible. 

After midnight some women who were sitting 
with the patient, thinking the Doctor slumbered, 
began to talk about him in low tones. “ Did you 
hear how he spoke to you?” the patient said. “ ‘That 
is how he speaks to the people in Tiberias—he 
speaks to the women as if they were men. Down 
there they don’t regard it as wrong to do such and 
such things.” Having visited the Girls’ School she 
had learned some of the “strange words” they 
taught there. She “ knew them,” she said, “ off by 
heart.”” ‘‘ What are they? ” the watchers asked. 
“‘ God have mercy on me a sinner, ”’ she answered. 
They groped after the meaning of the phrase, and 
the patient showed that she had some dim idea of 
its significance. Tears came into the Doctor’s 
eyes as he lay and listened. 


THE need for hospital accommodation was daily 
becoming more urgent. ‘There were cases which 


the Doctor could not treat in the consulting-room, 
and operations which would have required his 
continued supervision. One day Moses appeared 
with a story that an old Moslem lay dying beside 
the Mosque. The Doctor went with him down a 
narrow lane, the middle of which was an open 
sewer, and entered a rude hut. The man lay on 
the damp ground on a rotten mat, at his head was 
a broken water-jar; his sores were black with 
flies, and he was moaning and calling for water. 
Friendless and hopelessly ill he had been left 
to die in the very shadow of the Mosque where 
men worshipped Allah the All-Merciful. Every- 
thing that was possible was done by the Christian 
physician to ease his sufferings, which were, how- 
ever, soon over. 

Shortly afterwards a black Moslem slave 
crawled into the dispensary and was treated for a 
disease brought on by exposure and destitution. 
He returned on several occasions and was then 
missed. The Doctor found him in the Mosque 
unable to move, and starving. As he was homeless, 
the Doctor, recalling the fate of the other Moslem, 
had him conveyed to the house, where a bed was 
made up in the depot room, Miss Torrance and 
Miss Fenton nursing him by turns. A simple 
operation relieved him, but he was too weak to 
rally. He listened intently to the story of Jesus 
told him in all tenderness and simplicity, and ere 
he died at midnight, he was repeating the words, 
“The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all 
sin,” as if striving to fathom the comfort in their 
meaning. He was the first in-patient of the Mission. 


Another case was that of an old blind Jewess 
upon whom the Doctor performed an operation 
for cataract in her home. He took every pre- 
caution to ensure that the room should be kept clean 
and sweet, but one day he found that the husband 
had shut the door and windows and had been 
cooking food on the fire; the place was full of 
smoke, and the woman’s eyes were ruined. The 
next case of the kind he treated in his own house 
with complete success. 

But he came to the conclusion that the sooner 
hospital accommodation was secured, the better it 
would be for the patients and his own reputation. 
More satisfactory arrangements were also necessary 
for housing the staff, and there grew up in his mind 
a scheme for a complete suite of buildings com- 
mensurate with the importance which, he was con- 
vinced, the work was going to assume. The real 
difficulty was to secure a site in the congested 
town. He looked longingly at the great vacant 
tracts outside. No one was allowed to build 
there ; but in any case, in the lawless condition of 
the country, it would not be wise to be isolated. 
Of necessity the Mission premises must be within 
the walls. 

Only one spot seemed suitable for the purpose. 
On the north side of the town the ground rose, and 
where it adjoined the boundary and immediately 
below the ruined pile of the Crusaders’ castle, 
there was some waste land with a couple of ruined 
rooms and a single olive tree. Although a fine site, 
and commanding a view of the Lake, no one would 
live on it, probably because of its rocky character 


and its contiguity to the open country. It belonged 
to the mufti, who was the local religious head of 
the Moslems and their official representative in all 
relations with the Government, a well-educated 
man of charming manners. The Doctor had 
coveted this piece of ground from the time of his 
arrival, but he was careful to avoid mentioning 
the fact, especially to the mufti, who often visited 
him, for to have done so would have been to lose it. 
His patience was rewarded. One day the mufti 
began to talk of the land, and offered to sell it to the 

“ Come and have a look at it,” he said. 

The Doctor, seemingly indifferent, accompanied 
him to the spot. 

‘* What is your price?” he asked. 

“* Seventy-five napoleons.” 

‘“* What about that piece down where the palms 
are?”’ indicating another plot on the edge of the 

** T will sell that too for another seventy-five.” 

** Ah, well, I'll think about it,” said the Doctor, 
repressing his eagerness. He allowed two or three 
days to pass. Although he had no authority from 
the Jewish Mission Committee to purchase, the 
matter was too important to admit of delay, and 
feeling sure that his action would be endorsed, he 
went to the mufti and agreed to take both, half the 
amount to be paid down, and the other half within 
a month, on the understanding that the official 
registration, giving validity to the Moslem deed, 
would be to hand by that time. The Registration 
Officer stated that the matter would have to be 


referred to higher departments at Acre. This 
was done, but no answer came. ‘The Doctor knew 
that bakhshish was expected, but he had set his 
face against the practice, and resolved to stand firm. 
The month passed ; he paid the money and took 
possession, the mufti honourably fulfilling his part 
of the contract. Then the Doctor received an 
anonymous letter which said that if he would come 
with {50 to the registration office he would receive 
his title. ‘This was evidently written by an under- 
ling with the connivance of his superior officer, 
both of whom would share the amount. 

The Doctor’s Scottish blood was roused. He 
travelled to Beyrout, the seat of the wilayet 
under which Tiberias was administered, saw the 
Vice-Consul, and obtained an introduction to the 
Wali or chief government official, and to him 
told his story. The Wali shrugged his shoulders, 
no doubt asking himself why this troublesome 
hakim could not conform to the custom of the 

*“* Well,”’ he said aloud, ‘‘ I will have to obtain 
authority from Constantinople. I will send a 

The Doctor knew what kind of reply would be 
sent. There would be two: an open one, reading, 
** You must not trouble the British ” ; and a private 
one, saying, ‘‘ Skin the wretched British.” ‘Time 
passed. He made repeated inquiries, but was 
always informed that no answer had arrived ; and 
at last he said : 

“Look here! I know your system, and I am 
quite willing to be reasonable and recompense 


obligements, but this is blackmail, and I won’t 
stand it.”’ 

‘“‘ Go home, and [ll send another telegram and 
let you know,” was the reply. 

He returned to Tiberias uneasy as to the out- 
come. But Providence came to his aid. The 
Governor of the town became sick, called in the 
Doctor, and was carefully tended and restored to 
health. In his gratitude he listened sympathetic- 
ally to the representations of one or two of the 
Doctor’s native friends, and the title was secured 
without the payment of a single piastre. 

The Doctor had, however, to sign a declaration 
that no hospital, school, or church would be erected 
on the ground without express permission from the 
Sublime Porte. Further, when receiving local 
permission to build two dwelling-houses, he had 
to sign an undertaking that they would not be 
converted into any of these institutions without 
sanction from Constantinople. 


THE patients who came from the vast uplands of 
trans-Jordania, drawn by tales of the foreign 
wonder-worker, awakened in the Doctor a desire 
to see that region for himself. One day three 
dromedaries appeared outside the house, and three 



YS] Suu9ao ul Uaye} yoysdevus v sem SIy, 

MG SVIYAEIL Ivolday y 


Arabs entered. They were a father, who was 
blind, and his two sons. The case was hope- 

““ But I am not a specialist in eyes,” the Doctor 
said, as he gave them coffee, ‘‘ and as you have 
come so far, you should go to the British Ophthal- 
mic Hospital in Jerusalem.” 

“God forbid!” they replied. ‘ We know you, 
and we do not know the doctor in Jerusalem. If 
you say nothing can be done, then nothing can be 
done. Farewell.” 

*““ Peace go with you,” said the Doctor. And 
mounting their dromedaries they rode away. 

Many of these Ishmaelite patients, on leaving, 
begged him to come and see them in their homes, 
and he would jocularly remark that as there was 
no law where they dwelt, his life would not be 
safe. ‘* By the beard of Mohammed,” they swore, 
“not a hair of your head will be injured; you 
will be received and honoured as a distinguished 

The idea fell in with his inclination, but what 
hindered him at first was the necessity of keeping 
closely to his daily routine. When he responded 
to a call from a far-off village it meant that he was 
attending to one patient and disappointing a score 
or more of others at the consulting-rooms ; and he 
was jealous of the good name of the Mission. He 
felt like a mother who was nursing a child that could 
not be left; and as there was no one to take his 
place, he stuck to his post. 

But in the spring at the time of Passover,fwhen 
the Jews forsook the consulting-rooms in the 



fear that leaven might be amongst the medicines, 
he took his tent and a mule loaded with medical 
paraphernalia and set out for some spot on the 
Lake or hills where Arabs were numerous. A 
favourite spot was the plain on which, it was said, 
the five thousand were fed. Another was the 
mouth of the Jordan, where the water flowed 
into the Lake between level tracts of weed and 
black sand. 

Notable occasions were those when he vaccinated 
the people. Small-pox was always raging in one 
region or other, and the people were apt to become 
panic-stricken when it broke out in their vicinity. 
They knew of inoculation and practised it, but the 
Doctor introduced the vaccine method. At first 
they were suspicious and hung back, and the 
difficulty was to secure a patient, but after one had 
received the treatment, his task was to prevent 
them mobbing him in their eagerness to undergo 
it. He never came across a conscientious ob- 
jector ; if he had chosen to become a wandering 
vaccinator he would have had a free pass through 
the length and breadth of Arabia and a living to 

It was when the heat rendered work impossible 
and the town activities closed down, that he took 
his tent and medical equipment and went farther 
afield into the wilderness east of the Jordan. On the 
way he would spend a night at Gadara(Um Keis), 
1300 feet above sea-level, pitching his tent be- 
side the old Greco-Roman theatre and temples. 
Many of the people lived in the underground rock- 
cut tombs, and even slept in the sarcophagi. Then 


he would make his way slowly to other villages and 
encampments, keeping always on the outskirts, 
away from the filth and smells. Many of the dis- 
tricts were populous, and at one place he saw as 
many as 20,000 camels. In nearly every village 
he found a Jew from Tiberias, in a little shop, 
or peddling, exposed to great hardships, and running 
the risk of assault and robbery, the local Moslem 
Governors being both bigoted and unscrupulous. 
At a few of the nearer centres, Christian communities 
of the Greek Orthodox Church existed, but of an 
extremely debased type. 

Gradually he reached the outskirts of civiliza- 
tion and passed into the desert region. His fame 
had preceded him, and he was invariably welcomed 
and hospitably entertained. ‘‘ Don’t shackle your 
horses,”’ said one sheikh! to him; “let them go 
and eat what they like, and if they are lost we will 
give you better ones.” Camels would be sent 
to shift his tents and baggage to a stage farther 
on, and when he arrived he would find a feast 
ready and a crowd of patients awaiting him. He 
never charged these children of the desert for 
advice, but made them pay a nominal sum for the 
medicines, and if they were too poor to afford 
that, they brought eggs or chickens, butter or | 
honey, sometimes a goat or lamb, and often barley 
for his horses. In this way he made tolerably 
sure that they would use the medicines, while he 
earned their respect as a professional man ; other- 

1 Sheikh is, like rabbi, a term of honour. Among the wandering 
Arabs the headman is so called ; so is the head of a village or a party. 
It literally means ‘‘ old man.” 


wise they might have considered him wealthy, and 
a proper subject for spoliation. ‘The medicines 
he gave, whenever possible, in the form of pills or 
tabloids, as spoons and cups varied so much in size 
that no definite dose could be prescribed. 

He endeavoured to impart some rudimentary 
notion of hygiene and sanitary science, and as 
many were naturally intelligent, he found no 
difficulty in impressing them with the practical 
value of his teaching. One scorching day he sought 
shelter in the guest-room of a sheikh, who offered 
him coffee and water. The former he accepted, 
but he politely declined the latter on the ground that 
he only drank spring water. ‘‘ Oh,” said the sheikh, 
“heavenly water is better than earthly water.” 
The Doctor discovered that the heavenly water 
had percolated through dunghills into a rock-cut 
cistern, and, while cool, was not colourless. ‘‘ No 
wonder,” he told the sheikh, “that diarrhea, 
dysentery, and fever are endemic in your village. 
Bring your chief men.” They gathered in the 
guest-room, and the Doctor delivered a homely 
health lecture on the thesis that cleanliness was 
next to godliness, and gave them directions how’ 
to carry out the principle in regard to potable 
water. The Moslem religion has a good deal to 
do with eating and drinking, and they took the 
preaching to heart, as a subsequent visit to the 
village proved. From this elementary platform 
the Doctor proceeded to higher issues, and spoke of 
clean language, clean thinking, clean living, and 
clean souls. 

Ere he was awake in the mornings his tent would 


be surrounded by a picturesque crowd impatient 
to see and consult the hakim. He would come out 
and gaze at the throng and realize the hopelessness 
of giving detailed attention to every individual, and 
as many suffered from the same ailments, he sorted 
them out into classes and dealt with them whole- 
sale. Everything was done in the public eye. As 
he treated one man, half a dozen suffering from the 
same complaint would hang on his words and follow 
his demonstration, and, beyond these, hundreds of 
others were intently watching and listening. By 
patiently explaining the causes and history of the 
diseases, he found that the patients took a more 
intelligent view of their condition, and were readier 
to follow his directions. 

Surgery appealed more to them than medicine ; 
it was something they saw and understood ; and it 
was the Doctor’s remarkable skill in operations 
which gained him a reputation that extended far 
into Arabia. Cases of a minor nature came in 
almost hourly; those of a serious character he 
would only deal with, if acute; others, that could 
wait, he sent to Tiberias. Occasionally he would 
use chloroform, to which they submitted without 
demur—Arabs as a rule abstain from all forms of 
alcohol—and the wonder of it never palled upon the 
onlookers. They would not, however, submit to 
amputation. “If a Moslem loses a limb,” the 
Doctor was told, “‘ he expects to be without it in 
the world to come.” 

He was as interested in their own medical 
methods as they were in his. Here are some of the 

curious facts he gathered : 


They attribute disease to God, to devils, to the evil eye ; 
and as cures they pray, and wear hejabs (extracts from the 
Koran and devices written by some dervish and kept in a 
leathern pouch attached by a string to the neck or hair of head 
or to the wrist). Wandering doctors or holy men attempt to 
drive out the evil spirits and cure diseases by incantations, 
poundings (massage !), writing and tattooing on the body, as 
well as by various decoctions and plasters. Beads, bones, 
shells (for dropsy), alum and other salt crystals, the paws of a 
hyena and other animals, antique coins, etc., are worn as charms, 
and a good price is often paid for them. Special diets are often 
ordered ; for example, bread without salt and raisins for forty 
days. ‘The actual cautery, by red-hot iron or smouldering rag, 
is the most popular remedy, being applied over the seat of pain 
in nearly every part of the body but chiefly over joints. The 
humoral theory of rheumatism, sciatica, etc., is carried out by 
the application of a pea over the cauterized point to keep the 
wound open and promote a flow of the evil humour for days, 
months, or even years. Setons, issues, acupuncture, counter- 
irritants, scarifying, venesection, and many of the methods of 
Avicenna were carried out by the Arabs. Special men are 
known as bone-setters. ‘They make a special starch bandage 
with flour paste and white of egg spread on calico. They use 
reeds as splints, but seldom or never fix the approximate joints, 
or bandage the distal end of a limb, and by tightening the limb 
too much frequently produce gangrene. Compound fractures 
are usually fatal. Bleeding from wounds is stopped by the 
tourniquet, actual cautery, the application of coffee, ashes, red 
earth, etc., under a bandage. Wounds I have seen dressed with 
leaves, rags, skins ; and as application to gun-shot wounds I 
have seen both tar and treacle used. 

Always when opportunity occurred he gave 
simple, natural talks on religion and the claims of 
Jesus of Nazareth, and they listened with attention. 
One night during a great drought he spoke in 
prayer, of the anxiety of the people, and asked God 
to send rain and relieve their distress. A listener 


was so impressed that next day he brought one of 
the sheikhs and a large number of his followers to 
hear the petition and join in it. 

The magic lantern was a source of unbounded 
delight. One evening the women crowded in such 
numbers on the roof of a man’s house that the 
timbers began to give way. As they were deaf to 
the owner’s demands to descend, he pulled down 
the lantern sheet and carried it off. Another spot 
was found, and the exhibition proceeded undis- 

In his travels he came across a sheikh who had 
once been carried to the dispensary with a diseased 
leg ; hopeless of recovering the use of it, he was 
amazed to find himself, later, walking back to his 
desert home. It was little wonder that he welcomed 
the Doctor with a grateful heart. 

“His leg continues well, and from the moment we arrived 
at his village until we left it he kept near us. He was anxious 
to serve us in every way possible. He brought us barley, a 
sheep, hens, eggs, and bread for food, and helped us as we 
attended to the sick. He had supper with us the evening we 
arrived, and, as usual, we had reading and prayer in Arabic 
afterwards. The chief men of the village calling en masse upon 
us just as we had finished, he told them what we had been 
doing, and begged me to tell them what I had been reading. 
I spent about two hours as I sat at the tent-door addressing a 
company inside and outside my tent. They had questions to 
ask, not in opposition, but simply for further explanation. 
Each morning and evening Hamad joined us in our reading, 
and on Sunday he was a long time with us. He already knew 
the Gospels fairly well, so we began the Acts together. He 
stopped his harvest-men from working the Sunday we were 
there. I avoided passing any remarks on Mohammed or the 
Koran, but I could see there was a struggle going on in his 


mind, and he once said to me, ‘ Mohammed was a prophet, but 
he was not like Christ.’ ” 

This sheikh invited the Doctor to exhibit the 
magic lantern in the mosque, but he prudently 
declined the offer, for such an act might have been 
deeply resented and destroyed his influence. He 
held the meeting instead in the guest-house. On 
this occasion the pictures illustrated scenes in the 
life of Joseph. At the end the sheikh declared that 
several of the incidents had been missed out. This 
was true, and the Doctor found that he had been 
reading the Bible which had been given him in 
Tiberias. “‘ Then,” said the Doctor, “ you tell 
the people the whole story,” and to his surprise 
was informed that he had been reading from the 
Book to crowds of astonished hearers. “‘ A man 
like that,’ remarked the Doctor, “is not far from 
the Kingdom, but, humanly speaking, it would be 
impossible for him to profess Christianity and live 
in the land. He would get, unawares, a cup of 
coffee with a little arsenic in it, and die what would 
be called a ‘ natural ’ death.” 

When the long day’s work was over the Doctor 
would sit in the cool of the brilliant nights and talk 
with his bedouin visitors—men who dressed and 
lived and toiled as in the days of Abraham—and 
see deep into their hearts. He found, what did not 
surprise him, that below the veneer of race and 
religion and ignorance and fanaticism, the en- 
crustation of ages of isolation, their real nature 
was little different from that of other peoples more 
advanced in the scale of civilization. 



Mr. EWING, who was accompanied by his wife, 
arrived in 1888. In all mission fields it is the 
appearance and conduct of a missionary which 
excite interest rather than what he says, and the 
newcomer was scrutinized with keen interest. 
The impression he made was that of a big man in 
every way ; he was tall and muscular in body, and 
robust in mind and spirit—a type which the towns- 
people respected and the roving bedouin loved. 
He won all by the buoyancy of his nature, his 
quick sympathy, and his patience and reasonable- 
ness. ‘Thoroughly evangelical he was anxious to be 
at work, and began at once with an interpreter, but 
it was not surprising that he felt, as he said, like “a 
muzzled lion.’”’ ‘There was something, however, 
in his trained and cultured voice, ringing through 
the still air, which of itself arrested attention and 
drew listeners from the courts and roofs around. 
A special aptitude for Arabic soon carried him over 
the initial difficulty of the language. 

He was much impressed by the hold which Dr. 
Torrance had gained on the people. “ Whatever 
they may think of the motives of those who sent 
him here,” he wrote, ‘‘ the Doctor himself is cer- 
tainly one of the most popular men in the town. 
There is no mistake about his intentions, for he 
makes no secret of his real purpose, but he is so 
obviously their friend, and so straightforward in 


his work, that the most suspicious are led to trust 

As the Doctor had anticipated, the new direct 
attack on the religious convictions of the people 
aroused bitter opposition. Jews and Catholics 
were at one in resenting the development, and 
khérems were thundered from both the synagogue 
and the church. Time after time the preacher at 
his meetings was faced by rows of empty benches. 
He was not discouraged ; hostility was better than 
indifference, and there were minor indications that 
the work was telling. One Sunday when the priest 
in the Greek church had pronounced the solemn 
words, ‘‘ Let the curse of God rest on all who 
attend Mr. Ewing’s meetings ! ” a boy shouted from 
the door, ‘‘ Cursed be every one who does not 
attend Mr. Ewing’s meetings!” It was the fact 
that the congregation was more amused than 
terrified that made the incident significant. With 
the Christians, indeed, the fear of censure never 
lasted long. 

Even the Jews took risks. They would come 
and stand outside and listen, so that when charged 
with disloyalty they could swear in true legalistic 
fashion that they were not at the meeting. But on 
the whole the rabbinical power was too strong to 
be antagonized, and now and again a case would 
occur which showed what would happen if one 
went too far. An orphan boy, attracted by the 
sweetness of the new teaching, talked secretly 
with Goldenberg, who passed him on to Mr. 
Ewing. The fact becoming known, his relatives 
secured him, punished him severely, and left 


him bound hand and foot for some days, with 
but the barest allowance of food, and then sent 
him to Jerusalem to be beyond the reach of the 
missionary’s influence. 

The girls’ school promised so well that a build- 
ing was hired in the Jewish quarter to accommodate 
it, Miss Fenton’s quarters being an old synagogue. 
Like the evangelistic meetings, however, it came 
under the ban of the Greek authorities. “It is 
better,” the priest said, ‘“‘ that the girls should grow 
up ignorant and bad than that they should come 
under the influence of the Protestant women.” 
All the Greek girls vanished from the school, but 
in this case the authorities had to reckon with 
the mothers ; these had been so pleased with the 
change in the character and development of their 
daughters that they protested in a body and the 
prohibition was withdrawn. ‘The Jewish girls were 
more of an uncertain quantity: loving the school 
and the Bible lesson and hymn-singing, they learnt 
more than their parents desired, and now one and 
now another would be absent for a time, or be taken 
away permanently. The Moslem pupils were the 
most regular in attendance, although new officials 
with a zeal for the faith would often create diffi- 
culties. On one occasion a rival school was 
attempted, but the girls came to Miss Fenton and 
said, “‘ We learn nothing at our school, and we are 
far behind the Mission girls.” One who persisted 
in attending the Mission school was severely 

As there were usually over sixty scholars in the 
schoolroom the scene was a lively one, but those 



who witnessed the cheerful, well-ordered activity 
and recalled the wild and untrained condition of 
the girls a few years previously declared that Miss 
Fenton had achieved a miracle. 

It was not surprising that the more doughetul 
townspeople wished a similar school for boys. 
This was a more difficult problem. Little store 
was set on girls by any of the religious com- 
munities, but boys were a different proposition. 
Amongst the Jews it was the boys on whom de- 
volved the sacred duty of handing down the beliefs 
of their fathers, and they were jealously guarded 
against all heretical influences. Mr. Ewing felt 
that everything depended on the wideness of the 
curriculum and the quality and thoroughness of 
the teaching; the education would have to be 
made so good that the people would simply be 
forced to take advantage of it. If Hebrew were 
included as a subject the Jews would be specially 

The feeling grew; several small boys were 
actually sent to Miss Fenton in anticipation of a 
school being opened ; and then a deputation from 
the Christian population asked the missionaries 
formally to establish one. ‘They guaranteed an 
attendance of twenty-one boys, and agreed to 
submit to any conditions that might be imposed. 
Mr. Ewing plainly indicated that if the school were 
opened he would be bound to teach religious 
truth as he knew it. The deputation shrugged its 
shoulders. ‘‘ For ourselves,”’ was the reply, “‘ we 
are satisfied with our religion, but the boys will be 
free to judge for themselves.” ‘‘ What does the 


priest think of it?” he asked, turning to that 
dignitary. The priest’s reply was unexpected. 
“They may become angels if they like ! ” he said. 

Simultaneously in Scotland an assistant-school- 
master, Mr. W. M. Christie, offered himself for 
the work. He hada natural aptitude for languages, 
and already knew Hebrew well, and the Committee 
appointed him to organize and conduct the educa- 
tional side of the Mission. Like Mr. Ewing, he 
was sent to Leipzig for a special course of instruc- 
tion, and, along with Mrs. Christie, travelled out 
by Syria, where he remained for a time to study 
Arabic. On entering the country he had the 
customary annoyance at the Customs House. 
When a hymn-book was found in his baggage it 
was challenged because it contained ‘‘ Hold the 
Fort.” ‘‘ We Turks,” he was told, ‘‘ do not allow 
people to hold forts in this country.” 

The missionaries had now to consider a further 
problem. Ifthe scholars were influenced to become 
Christians, what of their re:ation to their fellows ? 
The path from Judaism to Christianity was as 
difficult as that traversed by the hero of the 
Pilgrim’s Progress. It would not be possible for a 
convert to exist as a unit in the Jewish community ; 
even if his life were not endangered he would be 
excommunicated and ostracized, and would be 
unable to earn a livelihood. Salvation meant 
starvation. The remedy was to start industrial 
and agricultural departments in which the boys 
could be taught and trained to be economically in- 
dependent. There were great possibilities in the 
country. To the north of the town was the rich 


plain of Gennesaret waiting to be cultivated, while 
the Lake teemed with fish which energy might make 
the basis of a profitable trade. 

It happened that one of the visitors to Galilee 
at this time was John Stephen, well known in 
shipping circles, whose practical mind was im- 
pressed with the advantage which the fishing 
scheme would be to the Mission. He agreed at 
his own expense to place a fishing-boat, with the 
necessary gear, on the Lake. Everything in such 
a country naturally depended on the freedom of 
action secured from a Government which was 
inimical to any progress that did not put money 
into its own purse. For some years a modest 
living was earned by the men employed. Other 
fishermen, however, resented what they thought 
unfair competition and made matters difficult. 
Government exactions were heavy. Perhaps more 
skilful hands would have commanded greater 
results. As it was, the earnings were absorbed 
by wages and repairs, and with the wearing out of 
the craft and tackle the enterprise came to an end. 

Another gift to the mission was made through 
the efforts of Mr. J. R. Miller, a member of the 
Jewish Mission Committee, a sailing-boat, called 
the Clyde, being subscribed for by the yachtsmen 
of the Clyde, while a punt named the Kelvin was 
added by a number of ladies in Glasgow and the 
west. ‘The transport of both from Haifa to Tiberias 
on two waggons, each drawn by four horses, 
caused much excitement, the people turning out 
all along the route to inspect and discuss them. 
They became the talk of Tiberias because of their 


fine lines and finish, and there were crowds down 
to watch them being launched. It was November, 
and heavy rains were falling, but in a fair interval 
the Doctor and Mr. Ewing rowed the Kelvin out, 
the little craft cutting the water in a way which 
excited the admiration of the spectators. The 
trial trip of the Clyde—flying a blue flag, worked 
by Mrs. Vartan—took place later, when the Doctor 
received a call from the Baths. A number of 
townspeople, including the Governor’s daughters, 
accompanied him, and all were delighted with the 
swift passage. 

The Clyde became known as the Doctor’s 
vessel, and there was no more welcome sight to the 
people along the shores of the Lake. ‘The scenes 
reminded him of those connected with the ministry 
of Jesus. One day he sailed her to Magdala, and 
after addressing those who gathered round he 
attended to their ailments. Down the hillside 
came a donkey bearing an old blind man suffering 
from senile cataract. He was led to the Doctor 
through the crowd of spectators, who laughed at 
the idea of a cure being effected. After some 
temporary treatment the Doctor asked him to come 
to the dispensary at Tiberias, which he did. So 
successful was the operation that the patient found 
his own way back to his astonished friends. ‘‘ What 
did he do to you?” they asked eagerly in the manner 
of the men of old. ‘‘ How opened he your eyes ? ” 
And after the same manner he replied, ‘‘ One thing 
only I know, that whereas I was blind now I 
see... . If this man were not of God he could 
do nothing.” 



Tue Lake was usually a scene of tranquil beauty, 
but occasionally, as in Christ’s day, a sudden and 
severe storm would break upon it ; the waves would 
dash against the shore-wall and come swirling 
over into the garden, the high wind would uproot 
the trees and damage the roofs, the soaking rain 
would create havoc among the town houses, scores 
of which would collapse, the inmates seeking shelter 
in the mosque and synagogue and in the Mission 
premises. Both the Clyde and Kelvin were 
anchored off the sea-wall, and were reached by 
swimming, and occasionally during one of these 
gales they would break adrift. Early one morning 
the Doctor was roused from sleep with the tidings 
that the Kelvin was away from her moorings and 
was being dashed against the wall. A strong and 
skilful swimmer, he plunged into the water and 
with great difficulty secured the little craft. 

Shortly afterwards he and Mr. Ewing had an 
exciting adventure, which the latter thus vividly 
describes : 

“The storm had raged all night with increasing strength. 
Torrential rain, gathered in roaring cataracts, rushed down the 
mountain-slopes, ploughing up the roads and gouging out great 
trenches in the softer soil. Our earthen roofs were severely 
tried, and not all stood the test. The plash of muddy water 
from the ceiling of your bedroom is a comfortless thing. The 
dawn brought temporary cessation of rain ; the mountains east 
and west of the sea appeared to support a canopy of threatening 
cloud, blown about by the wind; while far and wide the crested 
billows rolled, driven eastward by the fury of the tempest. 

2] 9} OF punors ysty oyi uo o1e SSuIpying uoissly ou], 






With the first light of dawn came a panting messenger from the 
shore with tidings that our small boat, the Kelvin, had broken 
from her moorings and disappeared. After serious consulta- 
tion, Torrance and I resolved to set out in the Clyde, which, fast 
held by her anchor, still proudly breasted the waves, in search 
of the missing craft. The doctor made his way through the 
troubled waters and brought her to shore. 

“Then our difficulties began. To manage the boat in such 
a sea a third hand was absolutely necessary. One fisherman 
after another, tempted by the assurance of generous pay, agreed 
to venture ; but after a glimpse of the sea from the shore, with 
one consent they turned sadly, but resolutely, away. To go 
out in such weather, they declared, was to court maut fi’lbahr, 
‘death in the sea.’ We determined to go ourselves. At the 
last moment one, Mukhayil by name, not bolder than the rest, 
but more devoted to us, stepped forward. Convinced though 
he was that the enterprise meant almost certain disaster, he 
could not let us face the peril alone. The doctor and he rowed, 
I grasped the tiller, and the brave little vessel shot out from the 
shore. A lugubrious crowd had gathered meantime, and many 
lamentable voices, drifting down the wind, brought us the 
comforting assurance that we should never return alive. The 
company soon climbed the roofs whence their eyes strained 
seaward, wistfully wondering if they should witness our 

“The storm blew from the west, so the waters close to the 
shore were troubled chiefly by the refluent surge. Toiling 
outward, we passed beyond the shelter of the mountains and 
encountered the full fury of the blast upon the open sea. Oars 
were shipped, the mast was stepped, and despite the entreaties 
of our Arab friend the big lug-sail was hoisted. ‘The canvas 
filled, bellied out, and strained upon the mast. Instantly the 
little craft leapt forward over the billows. To the eyes on 
shore she seemed literally to fly. 

“* As we neared the middle of the Lake the hurricane grew in 
violence. It is safe to say that never before or since has a like 
speed been made by a sailing-boat on the Sea of Galilee. 
Mukhayil crouched, a woebegone figure, between the thwarts. 
The doctor held the sail-rope with a loop round the belaying- 
pin. Even thus the pressure of the sail threatened to wrench it 



from his hands ; so he fixed it with a knot. The perils of our 
position were now plain enough. The Clyde had been designed 
by skilful craftsmen who, however, were ignorant of the con- 
ditions prevailing on our little sea. She was too round of 
bottom, and, with the spread of canvas she carried, liable to 
capsize in a squall. Our ballast was water in barrels fitted for 
the purpose. As long as the wind remained steadily behind us, 
however tempestuous, we might hope to weather the gale. 
But any sudden veering might precipitate our doom. Some- 
thing like this happened. 

** We were about the middle of the sea. The storm was at 
its height. In a moment the wind dropped ; the sail flapped 
loosely, and we lay tossing on the boiling waters. A furious 
squall from the east burst upon us. It swung the sail round. 
Torrance just eluded a blow from the bottom spar as it flashed 
to port, the end of it grazing my left eyebrow. The knot held 
the rope fast, and the boat heeled over. Ina twinkling the water 
was rushing in over the gunwale, and a moment or two would 
have sufficed to swamp us. The grey bundle between the 
thwarts suddenly sprang to life and loosened the cord at the foot 
of the mast. The boom slid down. The sail collapsed. The 
boat at once righted herself and we began to breathe again. It 
was with a thrill of horror that the incident was seen by the 
gazers from the roofs. 

“Torrance and I grasped the oars and tried to keep the boat 
in front of the wind, which had now resumed its original 
direction, hoping that it would drive us towards the eastern 
shore. Progress, however, was alike slow and painful. We 
decided to hoist the sail once more. Mukhayil fell on his knees 
and implored us to desist. But what were we to do? If the 
wind held there was greater danger of upsetting without the 
sail than with it; and anyway death from exposure would be 
worse than death by drowning. So up went the sail, and in an 
incredibly short time we found ourselves approaching the steeps 
to the north of Gamala. The waves were breaking wildly on the 
shore. We might not go too close. No sign of the missing 
Kelvin could we descry. We lowered the sail, shipped the mast, 
and threw out the anchor. It was a sandy bottom ; the anchor 
dragged. We tried to guide the boat so as to run her, bow on, 
upon a stretch of sand. But we had not reckoned on the force 


of the waves. They swung her round into a trough, then, lift- 
ing her bodily, hurled her out on the sandbank, where she 
landed, mouth downward, with the three of us, by some 
miracle, safe alongside. 

“They were three anxious men who consulted there as to the 
next move. Mukhayil’s suggestion that we should walk home 
round the shore seemed to us a counsel of despair. It might 
possibly be safe; it would certainly be humiliating. Finally 
we put our strength to it, set the boat upon her keel, and in the 
teeth of the breakers ran her again into the sea. We were our- 
selves up to the armpits before we thought it safe to scramble on 
board. By Herculean efforts with the oars we got her out a little 
way from the shore and some distance southward, where we 
found bottom on which the anchor held. But swinging at 
anchor in such a storm has few attractions, especially when the 
miseries of mal de mer are added. Up came the anchor, and at 
the first stroke of the oars sickness disappeared. 

** We found the Kelvin to the south of Gamala, stranded on a 
bit of sandy beach hardly longer than herself, with reaches of 
jagged rock and stones on either hand, backed by thorns and 
oleander bushes, On any other spot in the neighbourhood 
she would have been broken to matchwood. She had suffered 
considerable damage as it was, but seemed quite worth salving. 
' After strenuous work, with the stout oars of the Clyde for levers, 
we got her once more afloat. Now arose a serious problem. 
Could we hope to tow this water-logged craft against the wind 
across a seven-mile breadth of stormy sea? Our experience 
thus far had been too much for Mukhayil, who could give little 
further help. It did not look promising ; but we could see 
nothing else to do. Torrance and I settled down to the oars 
and just doggedly pulled away. The wind compelled us to 
make a detour to the south-west, greatly lengthening our 
journey. We were still far from land when night dropped her 
sable curtain over the storm-tossed waters, leaving us only the 
scarcely visible outline of a mountain top against the sky by 
which to steer our course. 

“ The reappearance of our sail after apparent disaster brought 
no great comfort to the watchers in Tiberias. We quickly 
passed beyond their sight in the dimness of the storm, and they 
had little doubt that we would perish amid the uproar of waters 


on the eastern coast. Many remained on the outlook ; but as 
the hurricane lasted all day and no trace of us had been seen 
when darkness fell, their worst fears seemed to be confirmed. 
A tin of petroleum was taken to a lofty roof and set on fire. A 
bright flame shot far up, splitting the black canopy of night. 
It was a forlorn hope; but if by some strange chance we still 
survived it might help to guide us home. 

“* By this time we were making better progress in the com- 
parative shelter of the western hills, and were not so very far 
away. We could see distinctly the black figures of our friends 
silhouetted against the glare as they moved between us and the 
flame. Torrance bent his finger, placed it in his mouth, and gave 
vent to a wild whistle which was well known as the Doctor’s call. 
It pierced the clamour of the tempest and fell on their ears 
with startling effect—-almost like a voice from the dead. A 
great shout reached us across ‘the intervening gloom; and a 
welcome of unrestrained enthusiasm greeted us as we stepped 
ashore at the old city wall. Weary beyond utterance were our 
bodies, but a sense of triumph in having achieved our object 
sustained our spirits. For although the little Kelvin never 
quite recovered from the results of her great dash for freedom, 
she long continued to serve as a useful auxiliary to her big sister, 
the Clyde. 

“I am afraid that the experienced fishermen of Tiberias— 
certainly Mukhayil—thought our enterprise more reckless than 
brave. Looking back after an interval of thirty years I am half 
inclined to agree with them !” 



WHEN, in 1889, the Doctor’s furlough was due, 
five years after he had entered on his task, the way 
became clear for his going home by the advent of a 
Syrian who was able to take his place. 


Dr. Selim Daoud was the son of a well-to-do 
merchant in Damascus who, proud of his boy’s 
intelligence, sent him to school and college at 
Beyrout, where he proved one of the cleverest 
of students. After graduating in medicine he pro- 
ceeded to Edinburgh for post-graduate work. It 
was a harsh change from the sunny climate of 
Syria, and he rebelled at the dull skies. His land- 
lady, with characteristic Scottish carefulness, was 
continually pulling down the blind in his room, 
and he was as constantly pulling it up. ‘‘ But you 
will spoil my carpet,” she protested. ‘‘ My dear 
woman,” he replied, “‘ this is my sun from’ Damascus 
and I want to see him! If your carpet gets spoiled 
I will give you a new one.” He came under the 
influence of a young man, a member of the 
Y.M.C.A., and was converted and joined the 
communion of the Free Church. 

On returning to Damascus he was associated 
for a time with Dr. Mackinnon, and he then agreed 
to act as locum-tenens for Dr. Torrance. The latter 
found him to be a Christian of an exceedingly fine 
type: gentle and bright and high souled, a musician, 
yet devoted to science, one of the most promising 
natives on the Syrian horizon. His character and 
knowledge of the language and people made him an 
ideal substitute for the Doctor, who left for home 
with an easy mind. In March, accompanied by a 
cavalcade from the town, he and Miss ‘Torrance— 
returning after her term of voluntary service— 
rode up the winding path through a veil of rain, 
and on the summit were sped on their way with the 
stately salutations of the East. 


The Doctor was in time for the General 
Assembly. It was the Jubilee year of the Jewish 
Mission, and to signalize the occasion a special 
fund was inaugurated, for the purpose, amongst 
others, of securing the necessary buildings at 
Tiberias. Dr. Andrew Bonar, the sole survivor of 
the famous Mission of Inquiry in 1839, was present 
on the Jewish night, and it was a coincidence 
that Dr. Torrance should be there to tell how that 
dream which he and M‘Cheyne had dreamt half 
a century before had materialized on the shores 
of the Lake of Galilee. When he had last ad- 
dressed the Assembly, he said, there had not been a 
single worker in the field ; now there were ten, and 
the future was full of hope. A prediction he uttered 
almost startled his audience. “I make bold to 
say that Tiberias will some day become one of the 
most valuable and most important winter resorts 
in the world ”—an allusion to the medical value 
and commercial possibilities of the hot springs. 
He had always a greater idea of the capabilities of 
Palestine than most people. ‘‘ The Jordan valley,” 
he would say, “ will yet be a gold mine; the Dead 
Sea will be a live sea by and by.” But it was not 
on these grounds that he appealed for new mission 
buildings ; he dwelt on the suffering of the people 
and on the need for healthy homes for the mis- 
sionaries. “We are living in native houses; our 
devoted lady teacher has been seriously ill owing to 
the insanitary state of the dwelling.” 

The Committee had plans and estimates pre- 
pared, and word was sent out to Mr. Ewing to 
begin the houses for the missionaries and teacher 


and the dispensary. It was the first outcome of the 
Jubilee Fund. 

The Doctor’s satisfaction was marred by cabled 
news that Dr. Selim Daoud had been drowned in 
the Lake. He and Mr. Ewing had gone down from 
Safed to Tiberias on a visit. The night was hot, 
and before turning in Dr. Selim, who was an 
expert swimmer, went out in a small boat to bathe. 
He was seized with cramp and sank. When the 
man in charge of the boat reached the spot he could 
not be seen. All that night and next day and the 
following night search was made for the body, 
which was eventually found close to the wall of the 
town. Seldom had Tiberias seen such a funeral. 
The Governor, the officials, and the Jewish, 
Moslem, and Christian populations, followed the 
coffin as, preceded by soldiers, it was taken to 
the cemetery. When Mr. Ewing paid the 
searchers, Mukhayil, who had worked harder than 
any, said, ““ No, no, I cannot take any money. 
Dr. Selim was my brother,” and turned away 
in tears. 

The vacant position was filled by Dr. Khalil 
Sa‘adi, also a graduate of Beyrout College, who was 
ibn Arab, of Arabian blood, which was a recom- 
mendation to the people, and he made a good 
beginning. “But,” wrote Mr. Ewing, “ Dr. 
Torrance’s face will be a welcome sight to many 
in Tiberias.” In the circumstances the Committee 
thought it would be well for Torrance to curtail 
his furlough, and arranged that he should spend the 
following summer in Scotland. ‘The Doctor cheer- 
fully agreed, and after being ordained an elder he 


left in October, and within a few weeks was again 
in the midst of his duties. 

The medical work of the winter was exception- 
ally heavy, though chiefly confined to the people 
of the town on account of severe weather and 
interrupted communications. As many as a hun- 
dred patients per day, chiefly Jews, passed through 
his hands, but he was never able to treat all who 
came. When the strain lessened he took advantage 
of the presence of an assistant to make an extended 
tour of the villages beyond the Jordan, where he 
found the customary smiling welcome. The 
weather proved cold and ‘damp, and dengue was 
raging, and when he returned he suffered repeatedly 
from the fever. A visit to Gaza, on the desert 
highway to Egypt, where Mr. Huber was now 
stationed, restored his strength. 

The house of the clerical missionary, a massive 
stone structure, spacious and cool, with windows 
fitted with wire gauze as a protection against mos- 
quitoes, being finished, was occupied by Mr. Ewing, 
who declared enthusiastically that the situation 
was unequalled in Palestine—as, for beauty and 
interest, it undoubtedly was. The roof commanded 
almost a complete sweep of the whole Lake and 
surrounding district ; every spot that the eye rested 
upon .was associated with some imperishable 
memory, and below was the flat-roofed town which 
now seemed a place apart. As the finest building 
on the lakeside, the house was long an object of 
attraction to the inhabitants ; many of the rabbis 
paid it a visit, and it was eyed with a curious and re- 
spectful interest by the men and women of the desert. 


Evangelistic work went on as usual; a Sunday 
school was started and flourished ; and the Scripture 
readers found readier entrance into the homes of 
the people, where they came across many instances 
of the inadequacy of the Jewish legalistic faith to 
sustain the sick and the dying. 

One aged Jew said to Goldenberg, ‘“‘ My dear 
friend, I must journey hence.” 

“Whither ? ”’ said Goldenberg. 

“Thither, where all men must go.” 

“You fear the journey ? ” 

*“ Assuredly, since I know not if I have sufficient 
for the costs of such a journey.” 

““ Have you not kept the law, since you are thus 
afraid ?”’ 

“* Certainly I have kept the laws, but who knows 
if I have rightly fulfilled them all ?”’ 

The educational side of the work gave the 
greatest encouragement. Miss Fenton’s girls’ school 
was the most popular institution in the town. 
When a pupils’ exhibition was held, and the parents 
heard their daughters recite and sing, they declared 
they were “too clever.” ‘‘We must put blue 
beads on them,” they added, “ to charm away the 
evil eye.” Pointing to the rows of alert, clean, and 
tidy girls, Miss Fenton said to a visitor, “‘ These 
a short time ago were unwashed, unkempt, ragged 
children playing about the streets.” 

The Doctor himself took every occasion to 
pay informal visits to the people. There was 
nothing that he more enjoyed. Moses, who knew 
every passage and house in the town, was his guide, 
and led him to many a curious experience. The 


people were always cordial in their welcome, but 
regarded him as a doctor, and immediately brought 
some bodily ailment to his notice. ‘‘ No, no,” he 
would say, ‘“‘ I am not a hakim just now. I am just 
a man like yourself. Let us talk.” Then with a 
reference to the Talmud on the table he would work 
the conversation round to religious topics, and a 
discussion would follow. ‘To verify a statement 
his Hebrew Bible would come out, and he would 
ask them to turn to the 53rd chapter of Isaiah or the 
31st chapter of Jeremiah. Sometimes he got them 
to read the story of the Passion Week, which would 
amaze them greatly, since they had never heard of 
that dark tragedy in the history of their race. 
Earnest, simple-minded people he found many to 
be, and he learnt to put himself in their place and 
consider what he would have been if he had occupied 
their position and possessed only the religious 
knowledge which their leaders allowed them to 

Moses would finish up with a visit to the syna- 
gogue, which was a kind of common home or club, 
the daily resort of the pious, the library in which 
they read the sacred books, the school of the rabbis, 
and often the shelter of the sick who were friendless. 
Not infrequently he would be called to see a patient 

Safed was not forgotten. The Doctor and Mr. 
Ewing had many discussions on the subject of open- 
ing a station there, and finally the latter drew up 
a scheme on which they had agreed, and this ob- 
taining the sanction of the Committee, work was 
begun on an organized basis. The outlook seemed 


peculiarly hopeless. Opposition to Christianity 
was exceedingly violent at this time owing to the 
inflow of Russian refugees, whose stories of suffering 
and misery, endured at the hands of the Christians, 
roused the strong resentment of their compatriots. 
_ Nevertheless the missionaries went forward in faith. 
Property was bought along a level plot which had 
once formed the moat of the Crusaders’ castle, and 
here were established the mission house and dis- 
pensary. Miss Fenton, whose health had been 
affected by the insanitary conditions in Tiberias, 
made Safed her headquarters for a time, and laid 
the foundations of a girls’ school which promised, 
if unmolested, to be one of the most influential 
agencies at work in Galilee. To this institution 
came, as head teacher, Amina Faris, a native of the 
Lebanon, who had been educated in a German 
school at Beyrout, and could talk German well. 
Crowds of eager scholars flocked to the school, 
attracted mainly by the prospect of learning English. 

When Mr. Christie arrived to take charge of the 
educational and evangelistic work, he opened a boys’ 
school and a night school, and added French and 
Turkish to attract the Moslems. Such activities 
alarmed the Jews, as an article in a local newspaper 
showed : 

“Our young men are gathered together, to the number 
of tens, to the mission house, to learn English. Behold, we see 
that the days are coming when a new generation shall arise, 
when the sons and daughters of our town shall be in the hands 
of the Mission. From her cup shall our descendants drink, of 
her bread they shall eat, and with her clothing shall they cover 

themselves, and on her law shall they meditate. Now judge 
ye of our humiliation, of our shame and our disgrace. And ye 


shepherds of our flock, set your hearts to these words. Assemble 
yourselves together, take counsel not with khérems and curses, 
but with a real means of repairing this evil. Ask the Baron 
(Rothschild) that he shall make his boys’ school into an in- 
dustrial school. Strengthen yourselves to ask him, seek it of 
him while yet there is time. Do not allow men of good char- 
acter to apply to you the words of our great prophet— Woe to 
the sheep of Israel ! the sheep you pasture not, the sheep which 
has gone astray you have not turned back, the lost ones you 
have not sought ; they are scattered without a shepherd, and 
they are become food to every beast of the field.’ ” 

Recovering from its first surprise at these 
developments, official Safed shook off its sloth and 
started a campaign which turned out to be the 
fiercest which the missionaries had yet encountered. 
All the ultra-conservative elements in Safed, 
Jewish, Moslem, and Christian, rose in their 
strength and, aided and abetted by the Govern- 
ment, smote the work with all the weapons at their 
disposal. The parents were threatened with the 
terrors of spiritual retribution, and the children 
with physical punishment, the khalukah doles were 
withheld, nuns went from house to house dissemina- 
ting false reports about the Mission—telling the 
sick, for instance, that their illness was due to the 
girls and boys being under the influence of Pro- 
testants ; permission was given to the ill-disposed 
to throw stones at the schoolhouses and the 
teachers—“ the personal insolence the teacher of 
the girls’ school has had to endure,” wrote Mr. 
Christie, “ baffles description.” For a time the 
schools were practically deserted, and the Hebrew 
journals of the country contained glowing accounts 
of the success of the campaign. But the longing 


for knowledge is not so easily stifled, and gradually, 
as the storm subsided, the pupils ventured back. 
Many of the girls reached their school before 
dawn and remained until after sunset, when they 
could slip unobserved away. 


*“I WONDER,” wrote the Doctor, ‘‘ what medical 
men at home would think if they knew that we 
excise the elbow of a man and treat the case as an 
outdoor patient? ‘This, of course, is the result of 
absolute necessity.”’ Serious operative cases were 
coming to the dispensary in increasing numbers, 
and he began to allow patients to lie on the floor 
of the waiting-room in order to have them under 
constant supervision. 

One day a pale and emaciated Moslem woman 
with a diseased bone in her leg was carried in from 
a distant village. So offensive was the odour from 
the wound—it had been cauterized with red-hot 
irons, and was gangrenous—that the other patients 
protested, and put her out of the waiting-room. 
The Doctor entertained very little hope of her 
recovery, but promised to see her every day and 
do what he could if she managed to secure a room 
in the town. She sought in vain; no one would 
receive her on account of the smell from the wound, 
and she was supposed to be dying. Even the 


khans and stables would give her no shelter. 
Carried on the back of her mother she returned 
exhausted to the dispensary, and begged to be 
allowed to lie under the archway and die in peace. 
This was too much for the Doctor. A word to 
Moses, who was standing by, all sympathy, sent 
him off to the chief rabbi, who was then a patient, 
and he returned with the tidings that a little room 
and kitchen of his own could be rented for the 
purpose. Here an operation was performed, the 
diseased bone was removed, grafts of skin were 
placed over the wound, and the woman returned 
to her home singing the praises of the wonderful 
doctor who had brought, her back to life. Her 
husband received her as one from the dead. 

The room in which she had lain was about 
16 feet square, and the Doctor divided it into three 
compartments, and began his hospital—a Jewish 
woman, who spoke Arabic and the Yiddish jargon, 
acting as nurse, cook, and cleaner. As many as 
eight patients would occupy it at a time, Jew, 
Moslem, and Christian all associating together 
and forgetting for the nonce their differences of 
thought and custom. They brought their own 
belongings, and, when cured, took up their beds and 

In that little native house miracles of healing 
were effected. Three of the first patients were 
blind and they left with their sight restored. One 
of them, a bedouin from the East, kissed the hand 
of the Doctor and said he would carry a white 
flag through the country, and tell every one what 
God had done for him at Tiberias. The incident 


was so common that the Doctor forgot it, but not 
long afterwards came a lamb from the desert as a 
gift from the man who had been blind and could 
now see. Another patient was a lame boy who 
came on crutches and was made to walk. 

This embryo hospital the Doctor supported 
entirely out of the fees paid by the patients and by 
contributions from friends, but it was obvious that 
it was only a makeshift and would not long meet 
the needs of the situation. The country was 
beginning to shake off its age-long stupor. Jews 
were buying land and establishing colonies. An 
hotel had been opened in Tiberias, and visitors 
were passing through in greater numbers ; the site 
of Capernaum had been bought by the Franciscans, 
and Bethsaida by a German Roman Catholic 
society ; railways were being constructed, and one 
was projected from the coast to the Lake. 

Conscious of this stirring of the dry bones, the 
Doctor was impatient to possess a large and_ well- 
equipped hospital to meet the requirements that 
would arise. He realized the difficulties in the 
way. At this time the Turkish authorities were 
making one of their spasmodic efforts to restrain 
the activities of the missionaries, and were putting 
into operation the law which required that a firman 
should be obtained from the Sublime Porte at 
Constantinople before school or church or hospital 
could be erected. An order was issued that all 
schools except those carried on under the authority 
of a firman were to be closed, but through the 
action of the British Embassy this was suspended 
for the time being. 


It was not an opportune moment for obtaining 
concessions, but the Doctor was never afraid of 
obstacles. He went to the Governor of the town 
and asked his advice as to how he should proceed 
in the matter. ‘Too timorous to move himself, that 
official urged the Doctor to negotiate directly with 
Constantinople. ‘“ Which means,” remarked the 
Doctor whimsically, ‘‘ that I have to beard the lion 
in his den. Well, I will do it.” 

He took the postponed half of his furlough 
that summer (1890), was married in June, in Anders- 
ton Free Church, Glasgow, to Miss Huber, and 
returned by Constantinople. The head of the - 
Free Church Jewish Mission there was Dr. Han- 
nington, a man of high character who was on the 
best of terms with the British and Turkish officials. 
One of the chief men in the Embassy was Mr.— 
afterwards Sir—Adam S. J. Block, who had formerly 
been vice-consul at Beyrout, and, through him, 
the Doctor obtained the promise of an introduction 
to Sir William White, the Ambassador. “ First,” 
said Mr. Block, “ write out your application say- 
ing you have got the land, have been working so 
long, are going to erect a perfectly equipped 
hospital, and so on.” ‘This the Doctor did, being 
careful to state that the hospital would not be 
erected near a Moslem mosque or graves, and would 
not overlook any spot frequented by Moslem 
women, and making the application, according 
to Turkish law, on behalf of ‘“ Mr. Chairman 
of the Jewish Mission of the Free Church of 

When he called again Mr. Block said, “‘ Now 


we'll send up your card and your introduction and 
see what happens.” 

The Ambassador at once sent for the Doctor. 

** Get him interested,” said Mr. Block. ‘‘ Tell 
him all about the Jews and Palestine and every- 
thing. He can do much if you get him on the right 

“Well, sir,” was the Ambassador’s greeting. 
_“ What is it? What do you want?” 

The Doctor made the utmost of his opportunity, 
and succeeded in arousing his attention and interest. 
He was dismissed at last with “ All right! Send 

up Block.” 
When Mr. Block returned it was with a gratified 
smile. “‘ You seem to have managed it; come 

back to-morrow.” 

The words had a painfully familiar sound to 
the Doctor, but he reflected that he was dealing 
with British officials who kept their word. On 
the morrow he was told that everything was satis- 
factory, and there was nothing for him to do but to 
get home. 

After obtaining the Turkish diploma of Doctor 
of Medicine, and visiting Vienna and the mission 
station at Budapest, he reached Tiberias, half hoping 
to find the firman awaiting him, but nothing had 
been heard of it. Knowing how matters go to 
sleep in Turkey if vigorous action is not main- 
tained, he wrote once a week to Dr. Hannington 
urging him to keep at the Embassy. By and by 
the local Governor—another new man, who was a 
patient, and friendly with the Doctor—intimated 
that the application had come through for com- 



ment and he would see that a favourable reply was 
sent. Several influential natives also made re- 
presentations in his favour to Constantinople, but 
the weeks passed, and he was sometimes in despair. 

The delay was, in reality, ministering to the 
best interests of the Mission. As planned, the 
hospital was to be erected on the ground which 
the Doctor had first acquired ; the site was the 
best possible then, but a large sum had to be ear- 
marked for raising the foundation to the level of 
the roadway. There was another piece adjoining 
the clerical missionary’s house on which the 
Doctor had long cast a longing eye; it was lower 
and would provide an ideal situation for the 
hospital, while the cost would be less as the founda- 
tion surface was of rock, and a quarry could be 
opened within the area purchased. But there was 
no hope of securing it as it was public ground and 
used by travellers as a camping-place. 

Amongst the visitors to Tiberias was a Turkish 
military official, the agent for the Sultan’s private 
property in the district. He came to the Mission, 
was agreeably surprised to see the new dwelling- 
house, so spacious and clean and cool. ‘‘ I should 
like to build one like that,” he said, “‘ and live in 
Tiberias. I shall buy this place next to yours.” 
He had but to mention his wish for the authorities 
to hasten to gratify it; the ground was transferred 
to him for a nominal sum and with the best title- 
deeds. Becoming a patient of the Doctor, he grew 
friendly to the Mission. For some obscure reason, 
however, he relinquished the idea of living in the 
town, and offered the ground to the Doctor for 


one hundred Turkish pounds. It seemed a miracle ! 
The Doctor was not in possession of so much 
money, and had to hunt round to collect the amount, 
and the title-deeds were actually handed to him 
before the sum was paid over. This was in 1891, 
and he lost no time in communicating the fact to 
the Committee. The plans for the hospital— 
which were drawn up by Mr. Campbell Douglas 
of Glasgow as a gift to the Mission—were altered, 
and the necessary changes were effected in the 
application for the firman. 

At last came a welcome note from the town 
officials that the firman had arrived ; with all due 
reverence—for the Sultan’s signature is sacred in 
the eyes of his subjects—they passed over the 
document, and the Doctor was justifiably proud 
that it had not cost him a piastre in bakhshish. 
In virtue of its possession he was able to import 
goods for the hospital work free of duty. 


So far the resistance to the activities of the Mission 
had been mainly passive with an occasional out- 
burst from the official and more orthodox sections 
of the various communities. The missionaries 
hardly dared to think what would happen when one 
of the numerous inquirers made open profession of 
conversion to Christianity. On the whole, neither 


Jews nor Moslems cared much what views their 
young people held so long as they kept within the 
pale of their own faiths. But it was certain that 
when they evinced an inclination towards the 
religion of the Christians the forces of persecution 
would be unleashed. Already reports were coming 
in of secret floggings and stonings, and by and by 
incidents occurred which were ominous of what was 
in store for converts. 

In the Safed day school the Moslem boys 
proved quick and apt pupils. One, the only son 
of poor parents, a half-starved lad of sixteen, was 
particularly good at his lessons and was a diligent 
student of the Bible. ‘The Moslem officials, hearing 
of this, took him forcibly from the school and im- 
prisoned his father. The boy, with a courage beyond 
his years, refused to be intimidated, and returned to 
the school. On Sunday he openly carried his 
Bible and hymn-book to the Sunday school, and 
in the sacred month of Ramadan he refused to 

Action against the school was taken by the 
officials, who objected even to the teaching of 
geography because the text-books made out that 
the entire world did not belong to the Sultan. They 
raised a false charge against the native teacher 
who was giving excellent service to the Mission. 
Two Moslems bore evidence against him, and in a 
country where a Moslem word is accepted in pre- 
ference to that of ten Christians the charge was 
sustained, and he was imprisoned and the school 
closed. A little bakhshish would have settled the 
matter, but the demands of the officials were sternly 


resisted, and it was only through Consular inter- 
vention that his release was ultimately effected. 

In the evening school, Mr. Christie taught young 
men languages, comparative religion, and other 
subjects. As he was exceptionally well fitted for 
the task of reaching the minds and hearts of the 
pupils, the classes were popular. One young Jew, 
a clever lad and a good Hebrew scholar, was so 
convinced of the claims of Jesus as the Messiah 
that he openly admitted his faith in Christianity. 
Immediately the Jewish community was in full 
cry after him. They suppressed his voice, but did 
not shake his conviction. The commotion was so 
serious that Mr. Christie and Mr. Ewing arranged 
to send him out of the country, and gave him a 
letter to Dr. Torrance, who was then at Nazareth. 
The Doctor managed to get him to Jaffa, where, 
however, he was arrested on a charge of theft. He 
was taken back to Safed and imprisoned. When 
released he succeeded in making his way to America. 

These were but preliminary skirmishes: the 
next case was of a more serious character. The 
scene was Tiberias. (One of the young men who 
frequented Mr. Ewing’s house on the Jewish 
Sabbath was Ephraim, the head teacher in a 
rabbinical school.) He was foremost in the con- 
troversial discussions which took place, was ex- 
ceedingly bitter in spirit, and was regarded as the 
champion of the orthodox in their opposition to 
the Christian faith. Now and again his wife and 
children came under the healing ministry of Dr. 
Torrance, and when he himself fell ill he was 
treated with the kindness and care which took no 



cognizance of religious views. Being of a thoughtful 
and inquiring nature he sought to probe the motive 
underlying so selfless a service, and he and the 
Doctor had many talks. He began to read the 
New Testament in Hebrew, and was profoundly 
moved by the personality and teaching of the 
Man of Galilee. The, Reber passed him on to 
Mr. Ewing. all ei 

The latter tells ae one evening at sunset 

re Ephraimywalked into his ‘study and, taking off his 
~~ tarbush, or fez, an act of unusual courtesy, said, 
.t.*I am minded to be a Christian.”) With deep 

feeling he described the struggle that had been 
going on within him; between a growing con- 
viction of the incomplete nature of Judaism and a 
realization of the truth of Christianity ; between a 
longing to surrender himself to Christ and his 
loyalty to the ancient faith of his race. Tenderly 
and wisely Mr. Ewing dealt with him, and it was 
arranged that he should undergo a course of 

peeen at a quiet hour of the evening. 

» Fhe regular visits,'to the missionary’s study 
ies suspicion, ae a watch was set on his 
movements. He was about to come to the deciding 
point when he was charged by the rabbis with 
apostasy. Not denying his purpose, he was sus- 
pended from his position as schoolmaster and 
subjected to a pitiless storm of persecution. His~ 
resolution- remained-unshaken.-- Then. his wife and 
children . pled--with him, and outwardly he took 
his place again among his people, but in his heart 
he never changed. When the Jewish feasts were 
due he started off for Nazareth, but the rabbis, 


and companions. 


shrewdly suspecting that it was a plan to avoid 
taking part in the ceremonies, raised a- hostile 
crowd, which followed him and forced him to 
return to the town. | 

© Then he disappéared from the knowledge of 

the missionaries. Afterwards it became known 
that a false accusation of theft had been brought 
against him, and that he had been confined in a 
filthy cell and suffered unspeakable degradation. 
His resolution and his spirit remaining unbroken, 
he was flogged and starved, a punishment which 
injured his health for life. / Still-he-was /true to 
his’ convictions. ma ed as a traitor and 
repudiated by his wife and family, he was secretly 
removed from the town to a Jewish colony at the 
Waters of Merom (Lake Huleh), and his name 
was blotted out of the remembrance of his| friends 
“Many months later,” writes Mr. Ewing, “ one 
of the missionaries riding in the Upper Jordan 
valley saw a forlorn figure bending to his task in 
the field, under a hot sun, and was surprised on 
nearer approach to find it none other than Ephraim. 
He was greatly changed. The hardships he had 
endured had left their marks upon his frame, and 
the lines had deepened on his weather-beaten 
features ; but there was a light of eager welcome 
in his eyes. In answer to questions he told briefly 
of his experiences. But these things had not 
moved him. Nething-daunted,-he-held-on-his way. 
Return to Tiberias was then impossible. For self- 
support he willingly endured the weariness of un- 
wonted toil in the service of the stranger, until 


it should please God to make his duty plain. » He 
stood among the furrows waving a genial fare- 
well to his departing friend; then, heartened by 
the interview, he bent afresh to his labour.” 

Not long afterwards Ephraim turned up at 
Nazareth, the light of a great purpose in his eyes, 
and was there baptized by the missionaries. A new 
peace and dignity of soul came to him. Finding 
his way to Jerusalem, he accepted and carried on 
humble but useful work in connection with a 
Bible Depot, and there he lived his days, standing 
every test and enduring with steadfast courage the 
trials and difficulties of his lot. . 

It was the first real shock of the opposing 
forces. Christianity, seemingly so slight and in- 
tangible a power, had won against the organized 
might of Judaism. 

The suffering had not all been on the side of the 
convert. ‘‘ Get thee out of thy country and from 
thy kindred and from thy father’s house”? was a 
terrible sentence, but it was also hard for the mis- 
sionaries to witness the severing of the strong and 
tender ties of family affection. Yet they could 
not but do what they did. They were obeying 
the command of Christ, and they remembered that 
He had said, “‘ Think not that I have come to send 
peace on earth. I have come not to send peace 
but a sword: for I have come to set a man at 
variance against his father and the daughter against 
her mother and the daughter-in-law against her 
mother-in-law, and a man’s foes shall be they of his 
own household.” ‘They were witnessing His teach- 
ing working out amidst the harsh realities of life. 


it was the case of Ephraim that induced Dr. 
Torrance to bring the matter of an industrial 
institution formally before the Jewish Mission 
Committee. He pointed out that a Jew became an 
outcast the moment he moved towards Christianity. 
Were the missionaries to be responsible for turn- 
ing home-loving, affectionate men into “‘ wandering 
Jews ”’ when there was a means by which they could 
be retained in the district to be a witness and a 
strength to the Christian faith? In an institution 
they would be taught to earn their bread and be 
independent of the rabbis and the khalukah. 

The Committee sympathized with the pro- 
posal, but the general feeling was that an enterprise 
of the kind could not rightly be a charge on their 
funds. ‘The decision was a disappointment to 
the Doctor and the staff, for they knew of several 
intelligent Jews who were ready to make open 
profession but were deterred by fear of the boycott 
to which they would be subjected and the im- 
possibility of making good their economic position 
without some outside help. 


Tue first deaths on a pioneer mission station have 
a peculiar touch of pathos ; they hallow the ground 
and, to use the old Scottish word, they thirl the 
missionaries and the Church to the enterprise. 
Twin sons were born to Dr. Torrance; one. died 


after nine months and was laid in a corner of the 
garden next the Lake, and the second a month 
later. The infant daughter of Mr. Ewing also 
passed away, and was followed by a daughter of the 
native schoolmaster. The shadow fell more deeply 
still when Mrs. Ewing succumbed. A child of Mr. 
Christie then died in Safed, and as the Mission 
possessed no land there, and not even so much 
could be obtained as to bury the little body, it was 
conveyed to Tiberias and laid beside the others on 
the lakeside. 

While the Doctor was mourning his loss a 
notable company of visitors gathered at the station, 
one of the number being the Rev. Dr. Wells, his 
former travelling companion, now Convener of the 
Jewish Mission Committee. A communion service 
was held, eight ministers—five of the Free Church, 
two Episcopalians, and one United Presbyterian— 
taking part. Of the twenty-seven communicants, 
seven were Palestinians—three men and four 
women. At the evening Arabic service six of the 
ministers spoke, through an interpreter, to the little 
congregation. Deputations of the chief men of 
the town, magistrates, rabbis, and priests, came to 
express their thanks to the Church in Scotland for 
sending out Dr. Torrance and Mr. Ewing, and to 
point out that the Doctor was doing the work of 
two men. The visitors, however, saw this for 
themselves. After travelling in trans-Jordania 
with Mr. Ewing, Dr. Wells returned to the town to 
find three patients who had come from one of the 
villages they had visited—a distance of 50 miles— 
for treatment. 


Mr. Ewing retired from the field in 1893 and 
was missed by all classes, and not least by Dr. 

Another distinguished student of Glasgow 
College, the Rev. John Soutar, M.A., offered to 
take his place, and was appointed. As eager to 
begin as Mr. Ewing, he also used an interpreter, 
but found it a sorry business; it was a “‘ caged 
eagle’ that he felt like. Having heard so much 
of the unwillingness of the Jews to listen to 
Christian teaching, he was surprised to find those 
at Tiberias ready not only to hear him but to 
argue points of mutual interest. 

In the midst of these changes the Doctor went 
on with his work. As many as a hundred patients 
per day continued to visit the dispensary. It was 
a strain on his patience and strength, and he had 
to struggle against the temptation to be satisfied 
with superficial diagnoses and wholesale treatment. 
The picture of him toiling in his primitive hospital 
touched sympathetic hearts in Scotland, and dona- 
tions came out which enabled him to take a further 
step ; he hired an old hotel in the town, and fitted 
it up with wards for men and women, and an 
operating room, and here he housed the more 
urgent surgical cases. The rooms were fairly 
serviceable so long as the sun shone, but during the 
rains each became a shower bath, and it was im- 
possible to keep the patients dry. Many a long 

1He was not lost to the cause, for after settling in Scotland he 
devoted his time to the Jewish work of the Church, was Convener of 
the Jewish Mission Committee for a term, manifested his scholarship in 

a number of important works, and was honoured with the degree of 
D.D. from Glasgow University. 


and anxious hour he passed in these cramped 
wards, performing delicate operations, watching 
critical cases, and exercising the most vigilant care 
in order to ensure success. It was remarkable 
that with so large a number of operations he had 
never any mishap. 

Towards the end of 1893 he was glad to welcome 
Dr. George Wilson, a nephew of the Rev. Dr. 
Wilson of the Barclay Church, Edinburgh, who had 
volunteered to help him for a year on the same 
salary as a native assistant. For a time, until Dr. 
Wilson took charge of Safed, the position was easier. 

Educational work generally was entering on a 
new phase. Stimulated mainly by the example of 
the Mission, Jews and Moslems started institutions 
of their own, and compelled their children to attend 
them, with the result that the number of Mission 
pupils sensibly decreased. ‘The Catholics began to 
give grants of money to the parents and clothing to 
the scholars. Teachers in the Mission schools 
never knew what to expect. Often not a single 
pupil would turn up. Then one by one the boys 
and girls would trickle back, and parents, realizing 
the superior character of the Mission teaching and 
training, would endeavour to excuse or hide their 
truancy from the ecclesiastical authorities. 

The physical environment of Safed seemed 
more favourable to intellectual development than 
that of Tiberias. In its spring-like climate the 
mind was more alert and energetic, and the young 
people, both Moslems and Jews, were brighter 
and more intelligent than those in the tropical 
valley of the Jordan, although the isolation of the 


town told heavily against enlightenment. Among 
the adult population a certain number were always 
on the side of tolerance and progress. Many of the 
Jews chafed against rabbinical rule, and at this time 
were leading an informal movement for a less rigid 
religious and social code. 

It was Mr. Christie’s fortune to take advantage 
of this spirit and to be the inspirer of the young men 
who came to his evening class. He continued to 
lead many to the verge of belief, though the majority 
drew back “for fear of the Jews.’ One of the 
number was James Cohen. He was born in 1873 
in Russia, where his early years were darkened by 
persecution and suffering. At the age of eleven he 
was sent to a rabbinical school, and, two years later, 
emigrated with his father to Safed, where he con- 
tinued his studies until 1890, when he entered Baron 
Rothschild’s school and acquired a knowledge of 
French. Then he was selected to work as an appren- 
tice gardener in a Rothschild colony, at the Waters 
of Merom. While there he paid occasional visits 
to Safed, attended the evening classes, and came 
under the influence of Mr. Christie and Mr. Soutar, 
who presented him with a copy of the New Testa- 
ment in Hebrew. He read it through, and was 
angry with himself for having done so, as it unsettled 
his belief, hitherto unshaken, in the traditional 
law. In order to be able to refute its teaching he 
studied it again thoroughly, but the result was still 
more disastrous to his own faith. He became con- 
vinced of the truth, believed in Christ, and accepted 
Him whom he had previously despised and hated. 

The change which the event made in his char- 


acter and life was so marked that suspicion was 
aroused ; he was interrogated by the rabbis, and his 
replies were so compromising that he was dismissed 
from his post. Some time afterwards he sought an 
interview with Mr. Soutar, and after a long talk, 
which lasted late into the night, he confessed his con- 
version and asked for baptism. ‘The missionaries, 
always reluctant to grant this without prolonged 
probation, kept him for nearly a year under instruc- 
tion and thoroughly tested his sincerity. On New 
Year’s Day 1895 he made an earnest appeal to be 
received, and on 1oth February was baptized by 
Mr. Soutar at Tiberias. 

The event caused a profound impression in 
Jewry. “In the bygone week,” said a local 
Hebrew newspaper, “there apostatized a young 
man from among the sons of our city, and there 
is no one that inquireth or seeketh after him.” 
Secretly many of his companions admired his act 
of courage and sacrifice, and would have liked to 
have followed his example, but flinched from the 
ordeal of forsaking friends and running the gauntlet 
of persecution. 

Cohen suffered much at the hands of the Jews. 
After being given temporary employment by the 
Mission, he was sent to Aleppo, and on his return 
in 1896 took charge of the Bible Depét and acted 
as colporteur, and, in addition to his Hebrew, 
Yiddish, and French, acquired a more fluent 
use of English and Arabic. He was one of the 
finest types of Hebrew-Christians, a man of pure 
and simple character and childlike faith, unselfish, 
good-tempered, and courageous. Neither aggressive 


nor argumentative, though as clever as any rabbi, 
he attracted people by his gentle persuasiveness. 
Prayer and love were the two forces of his life. 
Money had no attraction for him ; he had wealthy 
connections, but he never rose above the most 
modest style of living. In time he won the respect 
of every class of the community, and became a 
great spiritual power in the district. 

As a result of this conversion, the question of the 
economic support of those who threw in their lot 
with the Christians was again discussed. Every 
missionary urged the establishment of an industrial 
colony. “If we cannot give a Jew work,” wrote 
Mr. Soutar, ‘‘ in asking him to become a Christian 
we are asking him to starve.” “It is not an easy 
problem,” the Doctor said. ‘‘ We want to keep the 
converts in the Mission district in order that their 
lives may influence others, but we do not want 
to make paupers of them.” Mr. Christie pointed 
out that some of his young men had been dismissed 
from their employment for attending his night 
school. Many had gone elsewhere to obtain work, 
but others remained and visited him in his house 
as often as they dared. This secret procedure, 
however, he felt was bad for themselves and for 
the Mission; it involved the practice of deceit 
and hypocrisy, and he did not think it right for 
their connection with the Mission to be brought 
about in this way. 

The Jewish Mission Committee were all sym- 
pathy, and fully realized the difficulties of the 
situation, but the conviction still prevailed that it 
did not come within the province of the Church to 


adventure on such a business development, and 
it was suggested that a company of laymen might 
take the matter up. 



It was a happy day for the Doctor when he saw 
the hospital, which was to embody the spirit of the 
Great Healer of humanity, complete and ready for 
occupation. About the same time his own house, 
as large, commodious, and airy as the clerical 
missionary’s, was also finished. Both develop- 
ments marked a notable advance in the history of 
the station. At last the missionaries were ade- 
quately housed in hygienic surroundings, and at 
last the medical work would be carried on with 
something like comfort alike to doctor and patients. 

The three massive structures formed the finest 
and most prominent objects round the Lake shore. 
They stood almost in line at a slight elevation ; 
the first and lowest, next the town, was the hospital ; 
that in the centre was the Doctor’s house; and the 
third, close to the boundary wall, was the manse 
of the clerical missionary. All were of stone, had 
flat roofs, front verandas and balconies, and 
marble floors, and gave the impression of great 
strength combined with airy spaciousness. The 
ground sloped down to the shore-wall, but un- 
fortunately the road leading out of the town cut 


the lower part in two, requiring the construction 
of two walls and two gates. 

The Doctor’s ideal was sixty beds, but practical 
considerations reduced the number to twenty-four 
and six cots, and it was a testimony to the interest 
felt in the Mission in Scotland that nearly all these 
found supporters at a cost of {20 per bed and 
£10 per cot per annum. 

A few desperate cases were taken in some weeks 
before the building was finished, but the formal 
opening took place on 1st January 1894. It was 
a red-letter day in the history of Tiberias. The 
Doctor invited the officials and principal men of 
the town to the function, which, he diplomatically 
intimated, was held “‘ under the shadow of His 
Majesty the Sultan.” 

Into the upper balcony, which was decorated 
with olive and orange branches and Turkish flags, 
came the Governor, a dark-bearded man dressed 
in sombre black and red fez; the kadi, or judge, in 
a long sable robe and white turban ; the mufti, or 
religious head of the Moslems, also in white turban ; 
the Greek Catholic priest in black with high, round 
headpiece; patriarchal-looking Jews with flowing 
grizzly beards and side locks; and other guests 
in variegated costumes. They sat facing a con- 
spicuous object on the wall, which looked like a 
framed picture—it was the firman with the royal 
signature and seal. 

A hymn was sung in Arabic, and then Dr. 
Torrance, speaking with his usual pointedness, 
said : 

“‘ Christ enjoined upon His followers to go into 



all the world and heal the sick and preach His 
gospel. We, as His followers, and in obedience 
to His command, have erected this hospital. I am 
sure you will all agree with me when I say there is 
but one God. If, therefore, there is but one God, 
we ought all to be one people. The best way to be 
one people is to love each other and help one an- 
other. When can we do this better than in times 
of sickness? Those who are sick will find here 
love and sympathy and help irrespective of race or 
creed. Mr. Soutar will voice our thankfulness to 
God for this institution, and although you will not 
understand his words you will know what are the 
feelings he is expressing.” 

The Governor, who ‘seemed to enjoy his part, 
was presented with a silver key, and, walking to 
the door of the men’s ward, he unlocked and threw 
it open with a flourish. Mrs. Torrance opened the 
women’s ward. The audience rose, the Turks 
bowed their heads and raised their hands, and 
the mufti repeated the official prayer for the 

Next came ornate speeches from the chief men, 
who praised the Scottish Committee and Dr. 
Torrance for their goodness in erecting so splendid 
a hospital for the healing of the people. 

Tea, coffee, and cake were handed round and 
friendly conversations engaged in. Then an in- 
spection of the wards was made. 

There was not one who left without express- 
ing to the Doctor his gratitude and goodwill. No 
purely religious function could have drawn them 
thus together ; only the ministry of healing accom- 


plished the miracle, providing another illustration 
of the value of a medical mission. 

All the beds were occupied from the beginning ; 
during the first few months 61 patients were 
admitted, 35 being Jews, 13 Moslems, and 13 
Christians. The earliest case treated proved of 
some interest. When the patient, a Greek 
Christian named Yakoob, arrived he stated that 
he came from a little village between Safed and 
Nazareth. Instantly the Doctor recalled that about 
a year previously, while Mr. and Mrs. Christie 
were travelling over the lonely paths in that region, 
they were attacked and robbed by the villagers. 
Because of this the Doctor took extra care of the 
patient, who was suffering from an ulcerous leg, 
and was in a state of extreme emaciation. A 
younger brother who accompanied him was also 
half starved, undergrown, and weak, and developed 
pneumonia. Both recovered and grew strong and 
vigorous. The men from the village who came to 
visit them were amazed at the transformation, and 
assured the Doctor and his fellow-missionaries 
that they need never again fear to travel over their 

In the internal organization of the hospital the 
Doctor had to employ people differing in race and 
creed. A separate kitchen and cook were pro- 
vided for the Jews, and another cook and kitchen 
for the Moslems and Christians. His man-of-all- 
work was a Jew; the day nurse was a Christian, an 
orphan girl who knew Arabic and German ; the 

night nurse was a Jewess. 
The employment of women as nurses was a 


revolutionary step in Tiberias, and the experiment 
was considered doubtful by the townspeople. But 
the Doctor secured an experienced matron from 
Jerusalem in the person of Miss Agnes Donaldson, 
who knew Arabic and had both skill and tact. 
Some unpleasantness occurred, but her good- 
humour and firmness gradually won favour for the 
new régime. Occasionally an ignorant man would 
ask her pointedly why she was not married ; was it 
because no one would have her ? 

One day a patient who had been blinded by a 
blow poured forth a torrent of foul language, and 
Miss Donaldson complained to the Doctor, who wish- 
ing to set an example to the whole ward declared 
that he would not have such speech in the hospital, 
and all who were guilty of it must leave. The blind 
man was astonished; he was utterly unconscious 
of transgressing. “I drank in that with my 
mother’s milk,” he said. “ Then,” grimly replied 
the Doctor, “ you will go and drink something 
else,” and he dismissed him from the hospital. 
The incident caused some stir, but it effected a 
salutary change, and a fortnight later the delinquent 
returned penitent, paid a fine, and begged to be 
taken in again. “If,” he said, “I say anything 
disrespectful to the nurses I give you leave to 
cut out my tongue!” ‘“‘ Very well,” the Doctor 
answered, ‘‘I agree.” No patient after that kept a 
more careful guard over his speech, and he also 
became the vigilant censor of the others. The 
nurses received blessings, and the curses were 
reserved for womenfolk at home. 

It was not to be expected that the Jews with all 


their friendliness would quietly acquiesce in the 
progress of the Mission. Pamphlets describing the 
hospital were circulated over Europe, and appeals 
were made for funds to erect a rival institution. 
From time to time Dr. Torrance found Jewish 
doctors practising in the town; to him it was a 
matter for rejoicing ; he cultivated the friendship 
of those who came, and never hesitated to call 
them into consultation. As a rule they were 
open-minded and well-meaning, and he had long 
discussions with them on religious matters. He 
invariably discovered that any undercurrent of 
bitterness in their nature was due to the treatment 
which their race was receiving at the hands of the 
continental “‘ Christians,’’ but he seldom failed to 
make them realize and admit the wide differences 
that existed between the various types of organized 
Christianity. ‘They never remained long in the 
town, and it was significant that the number of 
Jewish patients at the hospital never lessened 
because of their presence. 

The hospital was barely in working order when 
Mrs. Torrance died in giving birth to a daughter. 
It was a severe loss both to the Doctor and the 
Mission, for she was comrade as well as wife, 
shared in all his work, and was a favourite in the 
wards. The Doctor was left with a young son, 
Herbert, and this infant girl, Lydia; and as he 
had passed through much private sorrow he was 
given a furlough home, Dr. Wilson taking his place 
in the hospital. 

While in Scotland in 1895 he did his utmost 
to increase the interest in the Mission, and brought 


prominently before the Church the need for en- 
larging its scope. Ina letter in the Monthly Record 
he described the situation, pointing out, as 
M‘Cheyne and Bonar in their day had done, that 
Palestine was the heart of Israel, and the most 
important centre in the world for intensive mission 
work among the Jews. His chief object, however, 
was to plead for an industrial institution as auxiliary 
to the evangelistic side. Always practical, he 
suggested that one or two Christian craftsmen, 
cabinetmakers, tinsmiths, mother-of-pearl engravers, 
leather-makers, or furriers, might go to Galilee and 
ply their trade, employing as apprentices or work- 
men inquirers and converts who were being boy- 
cotted, as a German joiner, unconnected with any 
mission, had already done in Safed. He also 
brought out the exceptional suitability of Safed 
for mission work. It should, he said, be made the 
chief educational centre for boys and girls, and there 
should be established in it a boarding-school and 
orphanage. ‘‘ Safed is our educational battle- 
field. It is the healthiest Jewish centre in Galilee. 
We could never think of erecting an orphanage 
in Tiberias which would have to be vacated for 
three months or more in the summer.” 

These matters he also emphasized in the General 
Assembly of 1895. “‘'The speech of the Jewish 
evening,’ says the chronicler of the proceedings, 
“was Dr. Torrance’s. He had a tale to tell, and 
told it with a liveliness and graphic power which 
made the great audience hang from first to last 
upon his lips.” 

Recognizing the strategic value of Safed, the 


Jewish Mission Committee, maintaining its re- 
putation for enterprise, decided to make the town 
the centre of the educational operations of the 
Mission ; more buildings and lots of land were 
acquired, and the work was organized on larger 
lines. At the same time the Church Missions to 
Jews strengthened its hold of the district by the 
erection of a first-class hospital. Needless to say, 
the staffs of the two Missions worked cordially 
hand in hand in their common service. 

At this point Miss Fenton resigned; and then 
Mr. Christie left to take up an appointment at 
Aleppo in connection with the Presbyterian Church 
of England, but one well qualified took his place 
in the person of the Rev. (afterwards Dr.) J. E. H. 
Thomson, B.D. Both he and his wife, who under- 
took the charge of the Girls’ School, were honorary 
workers. As they were members of the United 
Presbyterian Church, and Mr. Soutar’s salary was 
paid by that body, there was here, as in other fields, 
a fine manifestation of that brotherly spirit which 
was soon to find its culmination in the union of the 
two Churches. 

While Dr. Torrance was in Scotland the Com- 
mittee proposed that, in order to increase his use- 
fulness on the field, he should be ordained as a 
missionary. It was not the first time that the 
matter had been mooted, but he had always con- 
sidered that, although the crowning joy of his work 
was to teach the Gospel, the needs of the Mission 
demanded not one missionary with a double quali- 
fication, but two with separate qualifications. On 
this occasion he expressed the same opinion ; he 


felt that his gift was that of a medical missionary 
pure and simple, and that the great medical needs 
of the people justified him in this attitude. In his 
humility, also, he thought himself unworthy of the 
honour. But he finally agreed on the understanding 
that he should continue to work as hitherto, and 
that he should only be called upon to exercise the 
special functions of a minister in cases of emergency. 
He was ordained by the Presbytery of Glasgow 
and left Scotland again in October 1895. 

For some months the hospital had been closed 
on account of the illness of Dr. Wilson, and on 
reaching Tiberias he learnt how it was appreciated. 
There was a clamant demand for beds, and, during 
the following two months, eighty-one cases were 
admitted, thirty-nine of which involved operations 
requiring the administration of chloroform. ‘The 
hospital could not hold all the patients, and a number 
were housed in odd rooms, such as the carpenter’s 
shop and the store. But whenever a need appeared 
it was not long in being met. A lady in Scotland 
gifted a sum of money for a shelter; and later a. 
commodious building with an archway was built 
as an entrance to the hospital grounds, and here 
overflow patients and their friends found 

The grounds were beginning to look clothed. 
Both of the plots formed by the intersection of the 
road had been terraced and converted into gardens, 
and lemon, orange, apple, eucalyptus, and other 
trees had been added to the palms already there. 
The greenery and rock crevices were a haunt of 
snakes. ‘The Doctor calculated that there were five 


venomous and twenty-seven non-venomous kinds 
in the country, one, a venomous nocturnal species, 
being large enough to swallow a hare. Those in the 
gardens developed the habit of climbing the trees 
in search of nests, and were often shot by the staff. 
The Doctor had frequent encounters with the 
creatures, for they came into the house during 
the night. His plan was to remain perfectly still, 
and they usually made off without molesting him. 
It must have taken some nerve to keep quiet when, 
as happened on one occasion, he awoke to see a 
snake 6 feet above him in the timbers ; yet he not 
only did so, but went off to sleep again with the 
snake still there. 

In 1895 Miss Eleanor A. Durie, a daughter of 
Mr. Thomas Durie of Port Said, and born in Java, 
was appointed by the Jewish Mission Committee 
head nurse of the hospital. She proved so attrac- 
tive as well as so capable, that in August of the 
following year the Doctor carried her off to Beyrout, 
where they were married, and the home that had 
been so desolate was once more presided over by a 
loving and sympathetic nature. 

Wuite the hospital presented to the Doctor an 

inexhaustible field for professional study, it also 
provided him with exceptional opportunities for 


studying the human soul as it was fashioned by the 
moulds of Judaism, Islam, and Eastern Christianity. 
It was a spiritual clinic where he came in contact 
with many strange types of thought and belief. 

In the course of the years, thousands of Jews 

passed through the wards, and all came under his 

quiet and keen observation, until in time there was 
nothing that he did not know about their inner life. 
They were religionists without religion; moralists 
without spiritual sensibility. What Paul wrote of 
them was still true: they had a zeal of God, but 
not according to knowledge. Ignorant of God’s 
righteousness, they established their own righteous- 
ness, unaware that Christ was the end of the law. 
In practice their faith was legalized formalism, 
traditionalism, ceremonialism, which, in the course 
of centuries, had hardened and encased them to 
such an extent that their souls seemed to be lost 
in impenetrable rock. ‘Though many were intel- 
lectual and clever, no members of the race could 
have been more bigoted; it was, indeed, their 
bigotry that had drawn them to the shores of the 
sacred sea, and naturally the children born and 
brought up in so isolated an environment continued 
in the thoughts and ways of their fathers. Humanly 
speaking, it appeared as if it were impossible to 
reach and influence them. 

Their reading was confined exclusively to the 
Talmud ; it was their chief ambition to know it 
intimately and to act on it as interpreted by the 
rabbis, whom they regarded as endowed with super- 
human wisdom. They would rather follow the 
directions of some learned commentator than consult 


the Old Testament and form their own judgment 
on the facts. They were, in short, mental parasites 
as dependent on others for their spiritual nourish- 
ment as they were for their food. Their worship 
was a matter of form ; they confessed as much to the 
Doctor ; and this explained the strange irreverence 
they exhibited in their religious services. 

It was curious that they should be so ignorant 
of the historic basis of their religion, and should 
have left the scientific study of the Old Testament 
to Christian investigators and become so com- 
pletely obsessed by a vast flood of secondary 
literature amongst which they groped pathetically 
for spiritual satisfaction. But if their knowledge 
of the Old Testament was meagre, their ignorance 
of any other religion save their own was colossal, 

and the Doctor realized the truth of the statement | 

that multitudes of Jews knew as little of Christ as 
the savage tribes of Central Africa. Many ad- 
mitted that they were unaware what Christianity 
was, and what relation it had to their own hoped-for 
Messiah. ‘“‘ How did it arise?’ they would ask. 
“‘ What has been its history up to the present ? ” 
““ Have any Jews accepted it yet?” When en- 
lightened on these points they would inquire why 
the law of Moses was not being obeyed, and why the 
customs observed in the past had been abandoned ? 
They were puzzled by the death of Christ. “ If,” 
they said, ‘‘ Jesus was the true Messiah, why did 
God allow Him to be killed ? ” 

No Jew was hopeless, and fanaticism the Doctor 
did not mind, for that, if transmuted by Chris- 
tianity, would make devoted disciples of Christ, but 


he found the old patients extraordinarily difficult: 
They suffered from a kind of mental paralysis, 
a fossilized lethargy, which it seemed well-nigh 

impossible to galvanize into active interest. When 

discussing religious subjects with him, they would 
proceed slowly until they faced some difficulty, 
and then they would shrug their shoulders and re- 
main as passive as statues. ‘They believed because 
they believed ; the law was final and unalterable ; 
and no argument would move them. Yet that they 
carried away some new thoughts was clear from 
the fact that in shop and market they would repeat 
and discuss what they had heard. 

’ Occasionally one more intelligent than the others 
would quicken the Doctor’s attention. To speak 
to him, to watch the words sinking into his mind, 
to see the light dawning on his face as if a curtain 
had been drawn back, was ample reward for all his 
patience. There was a lithographer who printed 
Gospel texts for the walls, and on leaving, said, “‘ I 

would like to be a Christian, but it would mean that _ 

I would lose my living and my wife and children.” 


Another, who arrived with a well-thumbed Tora 

with Hebrew and Chaldaic in parallel columns, ac- 
cepted a copy of the New Testament, laid the Torah 
aside, and began to read the Gospel story. Often at 
nights, when he could not sleep, he would be found 
poring over the pages, and once the nurse on duty 
heard him reading aloud to the Jewish patients 
beside him. She stopped and listened, and heard 
the words, ‘‘ And thou shalt call His name Jesus, 
for He shall save His people from their sins.” 
One old Jew found the truth, rejoiced in it openly 


because he would never again live amongst his 
fellows, and died with the words of the 23rd Psalm 
on his lips. 

The Moslem patients naturally did not re- 
present the highest type of Mohammedan thought ; 
they were as fanatical as the Jews, but the majority 
were more ignorant of the world, and, as a result 
of the conditions of their lives, even more bound 
to their religion. To them God, or Allah, while 
more real than He was to the Jews, was a Being 
infinitely removed from their, practical life, and 
their relation to Him was divorced from the practice 
of morality as the Christian knew it. The people 
would say that their religion was, like their clothes, 
loose and easy, as compared with the religion of the 
Christians, which, like their clothes, was tight and 
uncomfortable. Their law tolerated infidels who 
did not trespass on the sacred essentials of their 
faith, but visited with death any who ran counter 
to these. ‘They had the same lack of a sense of 
sin as the Jews and the same reliance on formal 
prayer. Many looked upon the theology of Chris- 
tianity as silly and even blasphemous, and they 
could not understand the missionaries and their 
selfless lives or the relation between their practical 
goodness and the religious ideas that seemed to 
inspire them. They readily attended the services 
and listened courteously to what was said, but it 
was not easy to guess what was going on behind 
their dark gleaming eyes. 

The bedouin often manifested interest in the 
strange new thoughts that came to them with a 
sweetness like the scent of a green oasis in the 


desert ; but if they exhibited undue attraction for 
the Christian faith, they incurred the suspicion of 
their co-religionists, and conversion meant death. 
They must have been influenced by what they 
heard in the hospital, but if so they kept it to them- 
selves. The Doctor had a great liking for these 
stalwart nomads of the desert. “‘ They are men 
who are men,” he said. ‘‘ Like our Scottish 
borderers, a fighting race.” 

As a rule the native Christian patients were 
poor in character and many were as superstitious 
as the fellahin. This, perhaps, was not surprising, 
for many of their priests were little better than 
themselves. One patient, a Greek priest from Cana, 
was utterly illiterate and extremely coarse in 
thought and language. His wife, a quiet, attractive 
woman, who stood patiently by his side, was cursed 
day and night, the invective extending even to her 
grandfather and most distant relations. Yet he 
was regarded and reverenced as a holy man. It 
was difficult to influence these Christians, who. 
were so Satisfied with their own type of religion 
that they wanted nothing better. 

The Doctor was interested in watching the 
change effected on the patients by a stay in the 
free atmosphere of the hospital. Gradually the 
aloofness wore off, creeds were pushed into the 
background, and the simple human man appeared 
in all his attractiveness. Jews and Moslems and 
Christians fraternized on a level of common toler- 
ance. As the Doctor went his rounds he would 
smile to see a Greek Christian and a Moslem from 
trans-Jordania emptying their food into one dish 


on a chair beside their beds and eating out of it like 

With the men patients, even with the most 
insularly bigoted, it was always possible for him to 
get into touch at some point; they would listen 
and ask questions and discuss even while they dis- 
approved ; but when he went into the women’s 
ward he felt as if he were facing the dark and 
fathomless night. They were not only conser- 
vative, ignorant, and superstitious, but incurious, a 
fact due to their position in the system of life. The 
womenkind both of the Jews and Moslems had no 
concern with religion—it was not their province ; 
but while Jewesses occupied a proper place in the 
family and were kindly treated, the Moslem women 
were regarded as inferior creatures, and were down- 
trodden, spiritless, and resigned to their lot. 
** Yes,’ said the Doctor, ‘‘ the women are the most 
difficult to catch, but when caught and they are told 
the Gospel message simply and clearly, it appeals 
to them in all its beauty and truth.” They re- 
sponded also more quickly than the men to the love 
and sympathy which pervaded all the service of 
the hospital. Here is one story told by the Doctor 
at this time which is typical of many others : 

“In the hinterland of Morocco, amid the desert, there is an 
oasis called Tafilet, where a colony of the scattered race of Jews 
is to be found. There, fifty-six years ago, Johara, daughter of 
David, a Jewess, at present lying in the ‘ Sympathy bed ’ in the 
hospital, was born. At the age of ten she was married ; and 
she lived amongst the vicissitudes of that wild and backward 
land a fairly happy life. Though they may have almost no 
education, the Jews have always their feasts and fasts recalling 
to them their fatherland, which inspires in the heart of many a 


Jew the desire to return thither. In Tiberias there are 300 Jews 
from that out-of-the-way district of 'Tafilet. 

“ Johara, with her husband, his brother, and others, started 
for Palestine six years ago. A twelve days’ journey took them 
to Tangier. There they embarked on a ship for Alexandria. 
At Alexandria Johara’s husband died, but she continued the 
journey with the party. While disembarking at Haifa roadstead 
in stormy weather, the row-boat bringing them to shore was 
capsized ; the passengers were thrown into the water, all their 
belongings lost, and several of them were drowned. Johara and 
her brother-in-law were amongst the number saved. 

“Eventually they reached Tiberias, penniless and in rags. 
Here, being childless and a widow, she demanded her right to 
become her brother-in-law’s wife; but he refused, and she 
publicly took off his shoe and spat and beat him in the face. 
The poor woman had then to try and earn her own living, none 
wishing to marry such a woman. She hired a little cellar at 
one shilling per month from a Jewess, who only a short time 
ago left the ‘Skelmorlie’ bed after a successful operation. 
Johara bought white wool, washed, cleaned, carded, and spun 
it, and then sold it to the rabbis for the manufacture of ‘ fringes ’ 
for the Jewish talliths. By this means she made about two 
shillings per week, and managed to keep body and soul together, 
but it was a poor body that clung to the spirit. She came with 
fever and debility several times to our out-patient department 
before we took her into the hospital. There we discovered she 
was suffering from tubercular disease of the abdomen. An 
exploratory operation was performed, when the condition was 
found to be hopeless. 

“Poor Johara! We were very sorry for her, with no friends, 
and no one caring for her, for her brother-in-law died in the 
hospital a year ago. So we have determined to keep her as a 
permanent patient till her end. Wonderful, however, to relate, 
her pain has gone, and she is so happy and contented and grateful 
that one is almost tempted to think that she is improving. She 
told me her story as I sat by her bedside to-night. The dull, 
hopeless expression she wore when she came in a month ago was 
all gone, and she smiled and almost laughed when I said I would 
bring her her implements and get her to spin me some wool 
when she got a little stronger.” 


‘This photograph shows the clear, strong light characteristic of Palestine 


A photograph taken by Dr. Herbert Torrance: exposure 1 hour 20 minutes 



The accumulated result of the Doctor’s experi- 
ence was to confirm his impression that it was 
essential to lift the Jewish and Moslem minds out 
of the stupor of their environment and to train 
them to think for themselves. This, he was satisfied, 
was one of the functions being performed by the 
hospital. It brought the patients into contact 
with higher conceptions of the religious life as no 
other agency could have done. [It stirred their 
interest, gave them a wider vision that made them 
realize the forces at work in other lands and among | 
other races, supplied them with an historic sense. 
In many insensible ways it prepared their minds 
for utilizing the Christian school; it was the 
forerunner and handmaid also of the Christian 




WuiLe the Mission was taking definite and per- 
manent shape and becoming more and more a 
powerful centre of Christian influence, events were 
occurring in Palestine which were profoundly 
affecting the prospects of all missionary work. 
The Jewish reoccupation of the land was enter- 
ing on a new phase and one more worthy of the 
practical genius of the race. 

The khalukah system had made the country 
a Jewish poorhouse. So long as the charitable 
doles lasted there was no probability of the re- 
cipients taking a share in its economic development 
and becoming self-supporting. Baron Rothschild’s 
scheme of colonies had been no improvement on 
the system but only another form of it. So much 
money was poured into the hands of the colonists 
that they were able to employ Arabs to perform the 
necessary work, while they themselves remained 
in idleness. Without the backing of the personal 
application and labour which were essential to 
success, the undertakings proved unremunerative 
and were only maintained by the financial contri- 



butions from abroad. The whole khalukah system 
was debasing ; it has since been described by the 
Jews themselves as having been a negative and 
destructive factor in their connection with 

The emancipation of the people from their 
bonds was undoubtedly due, in the first instance, to 
the work of the missionary agencies. ‘To counter- 
balance their activities the Alliance Israélite 
Universelle extended its educational work in 
Palestine, opening schools for boys and girls 
wherever the Jews congregated in any numbers. 
The element of charity, however, continued to 
operate, as the children were induced to attend by 
the provision of free dinners and supplies of clothes 
several times a year. Not that the British mission 
schools were innocent of such gifts. Clothing, for 
instance, was sent out from England and Scotland, 
and judiciously distributed, while meals were also 
occasionally provided ; but these were not used as 
bribes to draw pupils. More reliance was placed 
on the character and efficiency of the teaching, and 
it was this which continued to make the schools 
popular long after the Alliance Israélite institutions 
began. There was no doubt in the minds of the 
missionaries, however, that the latter would 
eventually rival, if not excel, them in educational 
equipment and staffing. 

No plan existed then in the mind of the Alliance 
to relate this cultural effort to any scheme having 
for its aim the national occupation of Palestine ; 
it was purely an internal racial movement carried on 
as part of its philanthropic work throughout the 


world. The colonies remained scattered and 
isolated with comparatively little interconnection, 
and there seemed no prospect of any widespread 
settlement and economic development. But the 
general Jewish situation was rapidly changing. 
The influences which had been making for disinte- 
gration and assimilation were stayed. The con- 
gestion and social conditions in the ghettos of 
Eastern Europe were so frightful, the political 
pressure so unbearable, that it became clear to 
leaders of the race that some relief would have to 
be found in emigration on a large scale. The 
Dreyfus case did what persecution always achieved— 
it drew the Jews together, revived their solidarity, 
and set them dreaming of a national home. There 
was a remarkable development of the national 
historic consciousness which found an embodiment 
in the magnetic personality of Dr. ‘Theodor 
Herzl, who came forward with a definite scheme 
for the establishment of a Jewish State. ‘Though 
there was nothing new in the idea, his little book 
created an immense sensation throughout Jewry. 
Many influential Jews opposed the project, but Herzl 
persevered and prevailed, and at the first Zionist 
Congress, at Basle, in 1897, it was decided, amidst 
scenes of great enthusiasm, to work for the creation 
of a publicly recognized, legally secured home in 
Palestine. The movement was not essentially 
religious in character—it was more of a racial and 
social uprising; but out of it developed political 

Calm reflection brought out wide differences 
of opinion on the subject. Some Jews advocated 


an autonomous State, others only a cultural centre. 
One party was keen for the home being in Palestine, 
another objected to this plan because the land would 
not support a nation, and it would be difficult, if 
not impossible, to secure it. Others proposed 
richer regions, and as not a few governments sym- 
pathized with their aspirations, offers of tracts of 
territory in Uganda, Mexico, South America, the 
Congo, and Australia were made to them. Some 
of these were, after investigation, declined, others 
were accepted ; but experimental settlements ended 
in failure. 

Meanwhile in Palestine itself the Jews were 
quietly making progress. ‘The keen business sense 
of the race came into operation. In 1899 the 
Jewish Colonization Association took over the 
management of the colonies and changed the whole 
system. Instead of the colonists living a parasitic 
life on Rothschild benefactions they were now 
assisted to become self-supporting. ‘The land was 
divided among them, each obtained a certain num- 
ber of acres for building and cultivation, and was 
provided with a loan which had to be repaid in a 
given time. ‘To every colony was allotted a school 
and a pharmacy. ‘The conditions of tenure obliged 
the settlers to work hard. They were not now 
princes but peasants, no longer the “ Baron’s 
children,”’ but independent toilers who had to earn 
their livelihood by the sweat of their brow. They 
began to import modern implements from Canada, 
Britain, and Germany—in one of the colonies on 
the shore of the Lake of Galilee could be found more 
than, one reaper and binder of the latest pattern. 


The land responded to their efforts and became 
more productive. 

Agents of the Association went over the country, 
noting with scientific eye the possibilities of the 
soil, and bought up tracts that seemed suitable 
for their purpose. New colonies were established, 
and young men, many fresh from Europe, were 
placed in them. Nearly every one married. The 
settlements became centres of wholesome, vigorous 
life in which racial exclusiveness and religious in- 
tolerance were much less marked than in the towns. 
At the same time the Alliance was training boys and 
girls in technical schools and model farms, pre- 
paratory to settling them on the land. 

The attitude of the Turks, the masters of the 
land, to these developments was one of alternate 
indifference and active opposition. They banned 
the sale of property to Jews; but property never- 
theless was sold. ‘The entrance of a Jew into 
the country was prohibited ; but individuals would 
manage to land and lose themselves in the slums 
of the holy cities or pose as old residenters. The 
police were always on the outlook for these new- 
comers who were a gold mine to them. If they 
paid bakhshish all was well; if not, they were 
threatened with deportation. Generally, so long 
as the settled communities exercised the grace of 
humility, and were meek and inoffensive, they were 
let alone. 

Dr. Torrance had a shrewd idea as to whither 
all this was tending. He wrote: ‘‘ We do not think 
it likely that a Jewish kingdom will be established, 
but if present restrictions on the entrance of Jews 


and the purchase of land were removed, it would 
soon in larger measure be owned and occupied by 
this ancient race, who would not consider it a dis- 
grace but an honour to till the land of their fathers. 
That this may occur is not at all unlikely, and thus 
Palestine may be looked upon strategically as an 
important field for mission work, far beyond what 
might be considered were the present Jewish popula- 
tion alone taken into account.” 


THE work of the Mission went quietly on. “‘ There 
is so much sickness, pain, sin, and misery around,” 
wrote the Doctor, ‘‘ that one is constantly planning 
and thinking of what more can be done for their 
alleviation.”” As much was due to bad housing 
and sanitary conditions, he repeatedly urged the 
Government to provide a pure water-supply and 
some sort of sewage system; but, apart from the 
fact that there was no money for public purposes, 
the officials were blind to the necessity for such 
measures. In the Mission compound a force-pump 
had been installed to drive the water from the 
Lake up to the cisterns of the various buildings. 
A mule was the motive-power employed for many 
years, but was eventually replaced by a motor- 
engine. The Doctor often declared that the mule 
had been the best missionary in Palestine. 


There was never any rest for the Doctor. How 
he contrived to accomplish all he did, even with 
native assistance, was a mystery. ‘“‘ He is shame- 
fully overworked” a visitor wrote at this time. 
In 1900 the number of in-patients was 296— 
115 Jews, 130 Moslems, and 51 Christians; in 
the dispensary the total number of attendances for 
consultations and dressings was 15,334; 10,460 
prescriptions were dispensed; and about 1000 
visits were paid to patients in their homes. The 
fees amounted to {111, a large sum considering 
the extent to which the principle of bakhshish 
ruled the mind of the natives and the fact that the 
Jewish doctors gave free treatment. 

Many of the results achieved were marvellous. 
The Doctor himself attributed them to the better 
accommodation and equipment and the efficiency 
of the nursing, but much was due to his own skill 
and care. When critical cases were in the wards _ 
he would not take time for meals. He could not © 
rest at night or go to sleep, but would rise and visit 
the hospital to reassure himself about the con- 
dition of the patients. It was, at any rate, to him 
that the patients attributed their recovery. They 
would kiss his hand when he entered the wards ; 
women would even kneel and kiss his feet, and in 
the street little children would run after him to 
express their gratitude in the same graceful way. 
Old patients would send him sheep, goats, oil, 
raisins, butter, and other gifts. 

His fame continued to extend. A fourth of 
the patients were strangers, chiefly Arabs from the 
great stretches of Arabia to the east and south; 


they came on camels, horses, donkeys, and even 
on the backs of friends. Many brought their tents 
and belongings and camped outside the hospital. 
One bedouin, with swarthy complexion, piercing 
dark eyes, and coil of black hair, named Derwish, 
the son of a sheikh, had suffered much at the hands 
of native practitioners, and was operated on. As 
he lay very ill the father and brothers appeared, 
great stalwart fellows, in picturesque dress, and 
armed with swords and pistols. When the father 
saw the care and solicitude bestowed on his son he 
stepped forward and said to the Doctor, “ This 
shows love and fear of God.” Asking them to be 
seated beside the cot the Doctor spoke to them 
simply and clearly of Christ’s love for man, and 
every now and then they nodded in approval. They 
presented him with some gold, and invited him to 
visit them and bring his friends. ‘“‘ Even if a 
hundred came you shall be welcome.” ‘“ Praise 
be to God and to you who have cured me,” was the 
patient’s farewell words as he left for his desert 

People would travel for three or four days merely 
to see the Doctor for five minutes; and what 
showed the confidence felt in his powers was the 
increasing number of patients sent by other doctors 
from beyond the Jordan, from the Jewish colonies, 
and from towns in distant parts of Palestine and 
beyond. The Tiberias hospital was now as re- 
nowned as the Tiberias baths. 

“There is, of course,” wrote Mr. Soutar, “a 
certain attraction in Tiberias. Dr. Torrance is 
known far and wide as a very skilful hakim, and is 


celebrated as such in a very wide district. For 
instance, recently there came an Arab from Central 
Arabia, over thirty days’ journey. Somehow or 
other, in that far country, he had heard of Dr. 
Torrance. On another occasion, a member of a 
bedouin tribe arrived from the back of the desert, 
and a very curious specimen he was. He had 
never seen a house with a stair, and his admiration 
when he saw our hospital was unbounded. All he 
could say was ‘ Mashallah!’ (It is God’s will). 
For a long time he could not be persuaded to go 
upstairs, but ultimately they got him to attempt it 
on his hands and feet.”’ 

The Doctor was asked to do the most extra- 
ordinary operations. One fellah suffering from 
dyspepsia begged him to cut out his stomach and 
clean it. Their faith in him was_ boundless. 
Fathers would bring their sons and daughters and 
leave them saying, “‘ They are in your hands—do 
with them what you will.” They had confidence 
in his slightest word. Cases of insanity were 
considered to be due to demoniacal possession, and 
the friends of a patient would go away rejoicing 
when told by the Doctor that he was not afflicted 
with a devil. 

Camp work was carried on whenever other 
duties permitted. Of one of his short excursions 
to the bedouin on the farther lakeside he wrote : 
‘1 saw from fifty to sixty patients each day, and 
performed several minor operations. I had oppor- 
tunities to address these poor people several times 
daily, and told them as much as I could of the life 
and spirit of our Lord. I was never in the slightest 


danger, and was all along treated as a friend and with 
honour. How I wish we could establish branches 
in all the villages and encampments round the 

On one occasion on a desert journey he found 
war going on between two tribes. When it became 
known that ‘“‘ Trance ”’ was in the vicinity hostilities 
ceased, and members of both parties visited his tent 
for treatment and medicine. Side by side they sat, 
also, and listened to the gospel of peace. Of a 
more distant tour he gives this glimpse: 

‘* At El Husn I spent several days camping on the threshing- 
floor. My tent was surrounded with patients so that I had to 
request the use of a large room, which was readily granted by a 
Moslem, an old patient. There I sat for five or six hours at a 
stretch attending to patients and addressing audiences of fifty or 
sixty. I was invited to meals at all the principal houses. I 
was afraid if I visited Irbid, the seat of Government, that the 
Governor might send me back bag and baggage to Tiberias, 
missionaries—and all Europeans—being forbidden in this 
region, so I sent the camp on before me, and meanwhile with 
medicine in saddle-bags visited the Moslem village of Eidun. 
Here the Sheikh entertained me at lunch and kept me busy 
attending the sick. Then he sent a horseman with me to 
Irbid. At Irbid I was pleasantly surprised to find that my 
tents had been pitched on the castle hill adjoining the Govern- 
ment offices, and that chairs had been brought from there for my 
use. Amongst the patients were the children of the Governor. 

“At Tell esh-Shehab I was entertained as guest by the 
renowned family of Hasheesh, the most wealthy, bigoted, and 
influential people in the Jolan district. When riding to the 
place I got entangled in a ravine, and might have met with a 
nasty accident had not a horseman noticed my mistake and 
galloped to the other side of the ravine and directed me how to 
cross. This turned out to be Derwish, my old patient, the 
Sheikh’s eldest son. I found him and his father as grateful 
as ever. For three days I had clinics with Gospel addresses, and 


left with an invitation to come again next year. I believe I am 
the first Christian who has preached the Gospel in this fanatical 
stronghold of Mohammedanism. 

““T visited the Jewish colonies of Sahem el-Jolan, finding 
there less than a score of Jews, as the Government strenuously 
opposes the settlement of Jews or Europeans east of the Jordan. 
I was entertained by the Administrator, who thought I was 
travelling for pleasure; but I explained the medical missionary 
aspect of my work, and so was able to introduce the subject of 
the Gospel of Christ.” 

The Doctor, it will be seen, never forgot that 
his principal aim was to win men and women to 
Christ. He would sail under no false colours, and 
was fearless in carrying out his commission. Most 
of the sheikhs he visited knew well what his purpose 
was, but were disarmed by his brotherly qualities 
as well as by his skill. They would endeavour, 
however, to avoid the ordeal of visiting the Mission 
hospital, and beg to be healed at once in their camps 
and villages. One old sheikh complained that he 
had some chest trouble, and wished the Doctor 
to cure him then and there. 

“TI cannot do anything now,” the Doctor said ; 
“but if you come to the dispensary at Tiberias I 
will gladly do what I can for you.” 

The Arab insisted on immediate treatment. 

‘“‘ Suppose now,” replied the Doctor, “ that I 
was riding along your pasture grounds and a shoe 
came off my horse’s foot, and you were not far off 
with your cattle, and I rode up to you and asked 
you to put on the shoe, you would be willing to help 
me. But if I asked you to do it at once you would 
say, would you not, ‘I have neither hammer nor 
nails here, but come along with me to my tent and 


I will do it for you?’ Iwould never insist on your 
doing it on the spot, would I ? ” 

¢é N On... : 

“ Well, you come to my dispensary at Tiberias.” 

“* And will you cure me if I do?” 

*“ Yes, if God wills.” 

The Arab bowed low at the sacred name and 
said he would come, knowing full well that if he 
went, he would have to hear about the foreign 
religion, and, who knows, might be disturbed in 

The hospital was still the chief evangelizing 
agency. Daily prayers were held by the nurses; 
the evangelist and Biblewoman moved about and 
read to the patients or spoke to them in a simple 
way; on Sunday mornings there was an Arabic 
service, conducted, as a rule, by the clerical mis- 
sionary, for all the patients able to attend: they 
were taken or carried to the out-patients’ hall, 
where they rested on rugs and pillows—and in the 
afternoon the Doctor held a service in the hospital. 
Every morning, after the workers had prayers 
together, a short service was held in the waiting- 
hall of the dispensary. This the Doctor conducted 
on Mondays, using the address he had given the 
previous day in the wards, and on other days it 
was taken by his colleague or the evangelist. The 
latter afterwards spoke and read with those who 
were waiting their turn. 

No compulsion whatever was exercised to 
ensure attendance or attention at the services ; 
they were part of the routine of a Christian in- 
stitution. Both in- and out-patients were free to 


do as they chose. In the hospital all could perform 
their devotions in their own way; the Moslem 
could read his Koran and the Jew his prayer-book. 
But as a rule only the most fanatical absented them- 
selves from the ward meetings, the others wel- 
coming the little break and fresh interest in their 
lives. It was a curious assemblage, and the be- 
haviour was not what a home preacher would have 
desired. There were often audible criticisms of 
what was said ; sometimes an irritable Jew would 
make a disparaging remark when the name of 
Jesus was mentioned, or the comment would be 
by way of commendation. 

The Doctor entertained no illusions about the 
value of formal addresses; he believed more in 
quiet personal dealing. Often at night, even when 
worn out and wearied, he would go over to the 
hospital and move around and engage in talk with 
the patients. He knew that if he went in an official 
way it would be difficult to pierce their armour, 
but going as a simple human being like one of 
themselves he found them disarmed and approach- 
able and as responsive as he could wish. “ Well,” 
he would say to one after joking with him, ‘“‘ what 
was the Biblewoman saying to you to-day?” 
There would be no reply, and an appeal would be 
made to the occupants of the other beds. Some 
one would be sure to remember, and a discussion 
would ensue. In this way he sought to deepen 
the transitory impression made, and few left the 
hospital without a more or less permanent picture 

of Christ and Christianity. 
Yet the visible lack of result was often very 


depressing, and it needed the eternal spirit of hope 
within him to lighten his way along what seemed 
an endlessly barren track. 


WHILE the prejudice against the missionaries them- 
selves was sensibly lessening, the opposition to 
Christian schools and services continued to grow 
and receive practical expression. What the Doctor 
had anticipated was realized. An Alliance School 
for boys was established in Tiberias, and the greater 
number of Jewish pupils were swept into its class- 
rooms. Moslems and Catholics were also more 
vigilant, and more drastic in their treatment of those 
whc disobeyed orders. Attendances depended on 
incidental factors beyond the control of the teachers. 
If an anti-Christian mood seized the community 
the benches reflected its intensity. If some high 
Moslem dignitary visited the Baths he would hear 
of the educational effort of the Christians and ban 
it. If a Government or ecclesiastical official fell 
ill and was successfully treated by the Doctor 
the opposition waned, so that sometimes the 
teachers were tempted to pray that certain men 
might have severe indigestion or break their legs. 
Indeed, if it had not been for the presence of the 
hospital and the influence of the Doctor it would 
have. gone hard with the educational work. 



The waves dashing over the Mission wall into the garden 


gent cenit 


Although the difficulties were heartbreaking 
the schools were kept up to the highest pitch of 
efficiency, and many parents, recognizing their 
superior influence, persisted in taking advantage 
of them. A few of the boys passed on for higher 
education to Sidon, and their careers there were 
the best testimony to the excellence of the train- 
ing they had received. Some of these pupils were 
Christian in everything but name. One or two, 
indeed, were baptized after leaving Tiberias. The 
case of a Moslem lad was typical. Had he declared 
himself a Christian in Tiberias he would have been 
quickly put out of the way; the ceremony was 
delayed until he was out of Palestine, and then he 
was sent to Egypt. Such cases were, naturally, 
not mentioned in the official reports sent to 

The evening classes were well attended by 
Jewish, Moslem, and Christian lads. One winter 
a Hebrew school was attempted for the sake of 
the Jewish boys who required to know the language 
and read the Torah before a certain age. Mr. 
Soutar could have had an attendance of fifty, but 
fearing to excite the opposition of the rabbis he 
restricted the number to twenty. The class was 
held in the hospital. One night two learned Jews 
stalked in and eyed the gathering, and next day a 
khérem was out. The students sent word that 
they would be unable to come to the hospital again, 
but if the class were held in the school they would 
attend. ‘lhis was arranged. Then the teacher, 
a young Jewish rabbi who had attended the even- 
ing classes, was summoned before the Beth-din or 



House of Judgment, and threatened with the loss 
of his khalukah if he persisted in his course. A 
man of independent character, he refused to be 
intimidated, and lost his dole. Not a few of the 
people, and even some of the rabbis, regarded this 
official action as harsh, and uncalled-for in the 

The Girls’ School had developed into one of the 
largest and most successful in the country. Early 
marriages continually drained it of the elder girls, 
but there was compensation for this in the appear- 
ance of daughters of the earlier pupils, who were 
eager for their children to obtain the same advan- 
tages which they had enjoyed. These newcomers, 
so bright and trustful, offered a strong contrast to 
others who were strangers to the school. Some of 
the latter had been taught in their homes to fear 
the name of Jesus, and when they came to utter 
it in their classes they turned pale and trembled. 

Many of the scholars were secret disciples. 
One, a sweet and refined girl of gentle and modest 
manners, had been taught by her parents to be an 
expert dancer. Whenever they had guests her 
father ordered her to appear and entertain them. 
She disliked the performances, and often fled and 
hid with her teachers in order to escape the evil 
surroundings of her home. Another confessed to 
her mother that she was a Christian, and was re- 
moved and severely punished. 

Similar cases occurred from time to time, and an 
agitation arose in favour of the establishment of an 
Alliance School for Girls. The movement was 
successful, and when the School was opened all but 


three of the eighty little Jewesses vanished from 
the Mission institution, the character of which was 
completely altered. ‘The native mistress was heart- 
broken and could scarcely speak for tears. But 
new and better premises were secured, and the 
curriculum was revised and improved, and once 
more parents were found who valued the education 
and influence of the school, and risked much to have 
their daughters taught in it. 

The evangelistic work was carried on with a 
faith and resolution which nothing could daunt. 
“* Well,” said an American visitor, “and how 
many conversions have you per week, per month, 
per year? And would you mind showing me the 
latest figures?’ For such an attitude the Doctor 
had only scorn. ‘‘ Many conversions—of a kind— 
could be got for £5 a head,” he said, “ but it is a 
thing to be thankful for that missionaries do not 
countenance such a policy. Conversions may be 
few, but the best results are not those that can be 
put down in statistics.” 

One of the best adjuncts of the work was the 
Bible Depot, which had the largest sale of Bibles 
and Christian literature in the country outside of 
Jerusalem. One-third of the total issue was in 
Hebrew, the remainder in English, French, German, 
Arabic, Greek (modern), Russian, Judeo-German, 
and Judeo-Polish. The Russian portions were dis- 
posed of amongst the Russian pilgrims who visited 
Tiberias each spring. Mr. Cohen, the col- 
porteur, was now acting as evangelist in the place 
of Mr. Goldenberg, who had followed Mr. Christie 
to Aleppo, and was at the same time, through the 


kindness of two Edinburgh ladies, attending the 
American Theological Seminary in the Lebanon, 
where he proved a diligent and able student. The 
old feeling against him had largely disappeared, 
for, with all their bigotry, the Jews respect character 
and courage ; and he was the only Jew within the 
experience of the missionaries who got on equally 
well with all classes in the community. Even his 
father, formerly so bitter, had softened towards 
him. He was a patient in Safed hospital, and 
perhaps this was a way of showing his gratitude for 
all Dr. Wilson’s care and attention. 

The same lights and shadows passed over the 
work at Safed. At one time Dr. Wilson had the 
unpleasant experience of being mobbed by Jews of 
the baser sort, reprimanded by the Moslem officials, 
and cursed by the Christians, but there was also 
much to encourage him. Of his consultations, 
which reached 1400 per annum, 1000 were Jewish. 
His medical skill smoothed the situation for Mr. 
Thomson, whose linguistic knowledge and rab- 
binical lore won him a high position in the eyes 
of the Jews. But the difficulties were immense. 
The Girls’ School, under Mrs. Thomson’s charge, 
was banned by Moslems and Jews alike. An order 
that no Moslem girl should attend was rigorously 
enforced for a time, a soldier standing at the door 
and taking down the names of those who put in an 
appearance. The Jewish girls were watched and 
intercepted ; some arrived at the school two hours 
ahead of the time; others dodged the sentinels, 
and slipped unobserved into the playground. 
Parents were fined and imprisoned. Even the 


baker was afraid to deliver the daily bread. One 
girl was bastinadoed but, with unshaken courage, 
returned to school next day. Nothing could break 
their spirits. The majority were poor and 
wretchedly clad, yet on the cold winter mornings 
they would brave the rain and the snow and arrive 
in their thin dresses soaked to the skin, and had 
to be dried one by one at the fire. It was Safed 
missionaries especially who were grateful for the 
clothing sent out year by year by the ladies in 
Scotland ; it enabled them to keep the children 
warm, and it saved many a young life. 

The evening school experienced the same 
adventurous fortune. Guards prowled round the 
building and sought to prevent the lads from 
entering, but they managed to attend. Dis- 
appointment was expressed in Scotland when it 
was stated in the annual report that twenty-nine 
out of the sixty-six students had left Safed, but 
this was in reality a tribute to the influence of the 
school. It indicated that these young men had been 
so affected by the teaching they had received that 
they had determined to leave the cramped sur- 
roundings where they were prisoners of tradition 
and ate the bread of idleness and go out into the 
wider world and live a life of religious freedom. 
Many emigrated to America, others made 
their way to the ‘Transvaal; one went to 
London, where he was baptized ; another found a 
situation in Edinburgh, and sent out part of his 
first wages as a contribution towards the evan- 
gelist’s salary. If they had remained they would 
have been in the same predicament as Paul at 


Damascus ; like him, though in a less dramatic 
way, they chose to escape from the machinations 
of the rabbis. 

With all this resistance to the work it was 
curious how friendly the personal relations of the 
officials and the missionaries were. The latter 
were invited to all functions given by the Governor. 
At one dinner there were present several Moslems, 
a Greek Christian, an American, a Protestant 
Syrian, two Greek Church Syrians, two Roman 
Catholics, a Christian Jew, a Rationalist Jew, an 
English Episcopalian, and a Scots Presbyterian. 

After several years’ service Dr. and Mrs. 'Thom- 
son retired, for health reasons, and Miss Elizabeth 
Jones of Glasgow was appointed to succeed Mrs. 
Thomson as honorary superintendent of the Girls’ 
School. Adding a bright and loving disposition 
to her intellectual qualities, she made an ideal 
mother-mistress for the girls, and the school con- 
tinued to progress. It was at this time that the 
various local Ladies’ Societies in Scotland, which 
helped the Jewish Mission work of the Church by 
providing the teaching staff in the Girls’ Schools, 
were amalgamated as the Women’s Jewish Mis- 
sionary Association. The ladies of this Com- 
mittee were as heroic a band as the workers in the 
field ; they were constantly facing, in Palestine 
and elsewhere, what were dark, difficult, and 
discouraging situations, but they held hopefully 
on, resolute and resourceful, and thankful for the 
slightest indications of increasing interest and 

‘On his next furlough Dr. Torrance proceeded 


to New York as the representative of the Sea of 
Galilee Mission at the International Missionary 
Conference, where, announcing himself as the first 
medical missionary on the shores of the Sea of 
Galilee, he said, with justifiable pride, “‘ I have the 
honour of having a model missionary hospital, and I 
also have the honour to labour for a Committee who 
have never refused one request I have made.” He 
spoke again at the General Assembly, “ giving his 
audience,”’ says the report of the proceedings, “‘ a 
graphic description of the work of the Mission, 
to which they listened with rapt attention. It is 
impossible to give the reader any impression of the 
freshness and vivacity with which he presented the 
story.” He also dwelt with great frankness on the 
disappointments connected with the work, and 
concluded with an emphatic corroboration of what 
a previous speaker had said as to the need of some 
kind of industrial institution for those who were kept 
back from the Christian faith through fear of for- 
feiting their means of subsistence. 

The representations on the latter point at last 
bore fruit. An inquiry was set on foot by the 
Jewish Mission Committee, who ascertained the 
views of eight different Churches and Societies 
working amongst Jews. ‘The opinion was practi- 
cally unanimous in favour of such work, and it was 
significant that those who had already experienced 
its value were strongest in their commendation. 
A few replies were qualified, but this was because 
in the localities in which the missionaries were 
stationed, such as Budapest, London, and Liver- 
pool, no necessity existed for assisting converts ; 


they had not, as a rule, to face economic persecu- 
tion, and could in any case find ways of earning a 
livelihood. 'The Committee, therefore, felt justified 
in considering the proposal as desirable and 
practicable, and the General Assembly gave them 
authority to proceed. 

Simultaneously with the Union of the Free 
Church with the United Presbyterian Church in 
1900, an important development took place in the 
Palestinian field. In Hebron, a city holy alike to 
Jews and Moslems, where Abraham and Sarah, 
Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Leah are said to lie 
buried beneath the Moslem mosque which covers 
the cave of Machpelah, ‘the Mildmay Mission 
had been carrying on work among both peoples, 
their agent being Dr. Paterson, who had previously 
been stationed at Aden, Southern Arabia, a mission 
of the Free Church. He was a man singularly 
gifted, had great force of character and an intimate 
knowledge of Arabic, and had become a powerful 
influence over a wide region. Mr. John Martineau, a 
member of the Church of England, was so interested 
in the work he was doing, that he offered him 
£5300 for the erection of a hospital and its equip- 
ment. The Mildmay Mission did not see its way 
to accept the increased responsibility, and Dr. 
Paterson proposed that the United Free Church 
should take over the whole work. To this the donor 
agreed, and the offer was accepted by the Church. 
The arrangement added a picturesque but extremely 
difficult sphere to the stations of the Jewish Mission 
Committee. It was too far south to be related 
in any way to the Galilee Mission, but Dr. Torrance 


frequently visited it and exchanged notes with 
Dr. Paterson, for whose great qualities he had the 
most unqualified admiration. 


** AMONG both the Jews and Moslems,” wrote Mr. 
Soutar in the early part of 1902, “there is unusual 
unrest as if some convulsion or other event were 
expected. ‘the American missionaries expect an 
outbreak of Moslem fanaticism against the Chris- 
tians. That this will come sooner or later I believe, 
but I am not prepared to say that it is at hand. 
Whatever happens may God enable us to do or to 
suffer His will.” 

This was a curious premonition, for not many 
months later, Tiberias experienced a convulsion 
the effects of which were as terrible as those of the 
great earthquake in 1837. 

Cholera was endemic over a wide area of the 
East, its existence being due to the insanitary state 
of the houses and villages, and to the pilgrimages 
to Mecca, which carried the disease germs far and 
wide. After lurking for some years in Asia Minor, 
Damascus and the Hauran were affected, but the 
authorities in Palestine imposed a military quaran- 
tine of so strict a character that the country was 
saved from infection. This was all that was con- 
sidered necessary; it was never realized that the 


most effective precaution was to keep the domestic 
conditions clean and sweet. 

The fear of a visitation hung over the Doctor 
like a perpetual menace; he was for ever at the 
officials warning them of the possibility, and urging 
them to take up the matter of public hygiene. 
They shrugged their shoulders. “It is in God’s 
hands,” they said. 

The disease invaded Palestine from Egypt. 
It appeared at Gaza in September, but the authori- 
ties refused to acknowledge its existence, called it 
by other names, and allowed people to die at 
the rate of thirty per day. Some Arabs of the 
district proceeding to Lydd to work at the olive 
harvest carried the germs with them. When cases 
occurred there, the inhabitants hid the fact, and it 
raged unchecked. Hebron became affected and 
then Jaffa. 

Dr. Torrance was anxious and impatient to be 
doing something, but the local officials continued 
apathetic. From the roof of his house he looked 
down on the town, a veritable ghetto, and thought 
of what would happen if the worst came. 

The worst did come suddenly and violently. 
On 24th October he was called out to a case, and 
diagnosed cholera. He notified the Government, 
and a guard was stationed round the house. It was 
too late. Other cases occurred, and panic seized 
the people. The Government went to pieces. 
Its only resource was the soldiery, and these were 
placed outside the walls to act as a cordon. In 
their wild excitement the people endeavoured to 
break through, and were driven back and bottled 


up. They began to die like flies at the blast of 
winter. Strong men and women succumbed in a 
few hours. The bodies lay in the houses until 
the neighbours were compelled by the stench to 
remove them. For a time they were thrown out- 
side the walls and left unburied. 

The Doctor stopped the clinic and closed the 
hospital, retaining, however, the patients already 
there, and devoted himself day and night to the 
work of relief. His figure, dressed in white overall, 
was seen everywhere; he visited the stricken, 
succoured the destitute, advised the officials on 
the measures to be taken. Mr. Soutar was at Safed, 
and feeling it to be his duty to be with his colleague, 
he came down with his family. The Doctor, fear- 
ing trouble with the cordon at Magdala, went out 
there to meet him. When Mr. Soutar approached, 
the soldiers raised their rifles and threatened to 
shoot if he came nearer. ‘ If you do,” ominously 
remarked the Doctor, lifting his own gun, “I also 
will shoot.” It took some time to convince them 
that their real duty was to prevent affected people 
from leaving instead of keeping an unaffected 
individual from entering. 

Mr. Soutar found that the Doctor was working 
at high pressure. “It would be difficult,” he 
wrote, ‘‘ to praise his work too highly. If only he 
were backed up by the Government, there would 
be hope of checking the disease.” 

But the Government ‘was hopeless. ‘To disin- 
fect the town it procured a single gallon of crude 
carbolic! Telling the Governor that the Lake 
water was the greatest source of infection, the 


Doctor appealed to him to place a guard along the 
beach. The guard was set, but in a few hours 
had disappeared. Finding a gun, the Doctor took 
possession of it and carried it off. On another 
occasion he discovered the soldiers allowing women 
to draw water, because the latter had given them 
bakhshish in the shape of cigarettes. Again he 
noticed some figures at a distance surreptitiously 
taking water, and told a guard to fire his gun to 
warn them. Some time afterwards a formal com- 
munication came from the military headquarters 
at Acre, inquiring if he had ordered the soldier 
to fire. His reply was, ‘“‘ Certainly. What was the 
gun for?” | 

At last he selected a part of the shore where the 
water was clear and unpolluted. “ Let this be the 
spot,” he said, ‘where the people draw their 
supplies, and let it be strictly guarded.” A guard 
was requisitioned and given injunctions to prevent 
the water being contaminated. Shortly afterwards 
the Doctor went to the place and found no guard. 
At that moment a woman arrived with a jar on her 
shoulder to draw water. Under her arm she carried 
the clothes of a man who had just died of cholera 
which she was going to wash at the same spot. 
The Doctor was so vexed that he marched her off 
to the Governor and related the circumstance and 
showed him the clothes. There was no prison for 
women, and, five minutes afterwards, she was set 
free without even a word of reprimand. 

With such minds it was impossible to deal. 
Along with Mr. Soutar the Doctor organized a 
public distribution of boiled water. Two large 


boilers in which tea was made for Russian pilgrims 
were secured and erected in front of the hospitals, 
and here the poor of the town obtained free supplies. 
Yet so ignorant and fatalistic were some of the 
Moslems that they continued to drink the foul 
water and to die. By and by the available fuel 
ran out. The Governor telegraphed to head- 
quarters at Acre, and the Doctor to various consuls 
for more, but none arrived, and after the olive trees 
on the Mission grounds had been cut down and 
used, the provision of pure water ceased. A 
supply of medicines for the hospital was held up 
at the coast, and the only reply the Doctor received 
to his representations was that “‘ the duties of a 
consul-general were not those of a forwarding 
agent.” It was not until the epidemic was over 
that they appeared. 

On the Doctor’s advice the cordon was extended, 
and the people allowed to camp on the fields and 
hillsides where there were springs. Only a few 
cases of cholera occurred there, but a virulent form 
of malaria prevailed. 

In the second week a German from Haifa, who 
had been the contractor for the hospital, was taken 
ill. The Doctor fought for his life, but he died 
twenty-four hours after he was attacked. That 
day Mrs. Torrance wrote to Miss Vartan at 
Nazareth : ‘‘ We are well and are leaving ourselves 
in God’s hands.” Finishing the note, she went to 
the roof of the house and watched for her husband’s 
return from the funeral of the German. He saw 
her standing there silhouetted against the sunset 
light. She came to meet him. “ David,” she 


said quietly, ‘I think I must have got it.” He 
took her in his arms and carried her up to her 
room. A new nurse, Miss Johnstone, had managed 
to enter the town before the cordon was estab- 
lished, and the Doctor and she nursed the 
patient. Nothing that skill and thought and 
tenderness could do was left undone, but after 
a day’s suffering she died, and was laid to rest 
at sunset in the little corner cemetery. She was 
the only victim in the Mission compound, and the 
only one throughout the epidemic who was buried 
in a coffin. 

How she had been infected was a mystery. 
Brave and busy she had’ been, cheering and en- 
couraging and advising every one about her. She 
had attended to the disinfection of the Doctor’s 
clothes, and was scrupulously. careful to carry out 
the precautions he enjoined. His own view was 
that the infection was due to the thoughtlessness of 
the servants. One of the men had left to nurse 
his wife, who had taken the disease, and, coming 
back to the house for food, another servant supplied 
him with rice in a pot which he carried away, and 
later returned. On hearing of this, Mrs. Torrance 
took the pot and scoured it thoroughly with her own 
hands, and in the process had apparently been 

To the Doctor, who had already known so much 
sorrow, the blow was a severe one, but he bore it 
with fortitude for the sake of the keen eyes that 
were watching him. There had been a pitiful 
revelation of weakness and cowardice amongst the 
populace, especially amongst the Moslems, for many 


of the Jews exhibited a noble devotion and courage, 
and he felt that Christianity was on its trial. ‘‘ The 
whole community, Jews, Moslems, and Christians,” 
wrote Mr. Soutar, “‘ confess that there must be 
something worth having in a religion which enables 
one to bear so manfully and cheerfully so heavy a 

Tiberias remained completely isolated, the only 
means of communication allowed with the out- 
side world being the telegraphic message, and even 
that was a tedious process. Governors of other 
towns refused to have dealings with the town in 
any way whatever. No provisions entered, and 
food began to be at famine prices. It was abso- 
lutely necessary for the missionaries to obtain 
supplies, and letters were written to the friends at 
Nazareth, given into a trusty hand, and smuggled 
through the cordon at night. They were left 
secretly and silently on the outskirts of Nazareth, 
the messenger slipping back again without coming 
into contact with anyone. In this way the situa- 
tion was made known and help secured. The 
Vartans also made arrangements to pitch quar- 
antine tents on the hills in case Mrs. Soutar and 
her five children were sent out of the doomed 

The people began to starve, and an appeal for 
assistance was telegraphed to Scotland; it was 
promptly responded to, and the money which was 
cabled back did much to relieve the hunger and 
distress for the destitute widows and orphans. 

The epidemic ceased as suddenly and mysteri- 
ously as it had come. In the course of a month the 


town had literally been decimated, 600 out of the 
6000 inhabitants having died, while 1400 succumbed 
in the district around. There was scarcely a 
family which had not lost one or more members of 
its circle. A few of the infected escaped to Safed, 
but the disease did not spread in that lofty town. 
It travelled into Northern Syria, attacked Damascus 
and Aleppo, and swept off a large proportion of 
the populations. 

“During these trying weeks,” wrote Mr. 
Soutar, “the Doctor and his native assistant 
showed untiring devotion and rendered magnificent 
service. . . . It is not Torrance’s way to speak or 
write about his work. _It was done as a matter 
of course, quietly, effectively, without self-glorifica- 
tion. One feels angry sometimes as one reads of 
highly coloured reports of the work done in other 
places, knowing that not a tenth part of what is 
done in Tiberias is ever actually represented to the 
Church.” Mr. Soutar himself was the right hand 
of the Doctor throughout and a tower of strength 
and comfort. The morale of the rest of the staff 
was perfect ; they went about their duties with a 
quiet, cool courage, “ which has left,’’ wrote the 
Doctor, “a lasting impression on the minds and 
hearts of the people.” 

Even the Mission children rose to the occasion. 
While the town was in a frenzy of excitement and 
fear the little ones played quietly in the garden 
facing the Lake, not unconscious of the grim 
tragedy going on so near, but trusting in the love 
and care encompassing their lives. 



AFTER the strain of this experience the Doctor 
went on furlough, and returned with a brilliant 
young graduate of Edinburgh University, Dr. 
Ernest Muir, who had volunteered to help him 
for at least a year. Ere the year was up he was 
invalided home, and the Doctor fell back on a 
native assistant.} 

Another disappointment was the retiral of Dr. 
Wilson from Safed after a devoted service of twelve 
years. But a blow which staggered the Doctor 
was the death of Mr. Soutar in December 1905. 
He had been a beloved colleague upon whose 
quiet courage, calm strength, sane judgment, and 
chivalrous heart he had continually leaned. By 
his writings Mr. Soutar had made the various 
aspects of the Mission well known to the Church 
in Scotland, and his loss was a serious set-back. 
His successor was the Rev. Thomas Steele, M.A., 
B.D., another distinguished student of Glasgow 
College. On being appointed, a well-known 
minister of the Church said to him, “So you are 
going out to that vile spot Tiberias. Why, it is no 
fit place for any man to live.” “ It was rather hard 
on me,” remarked Mr. Steele, “ seeing I was taking 
out a young wife. But Dr. Torrance has been 

1 Dr. Muir entered the Foreign Mission service of the Church and 
a reputation in India for his investigations into the causation 
and treatment of leprosy. 



there for twenty-five years, and he and others are 
labouring to make the place less vile. Why should 
not I do the same?” When he arrived at Tiberias 
in 1907 with Dr. Torrance, who had been again on 
furlough, he wrote: “‘ What impressed me most 
of all was the eagerness of the people to see Dr. 
Torrance back. I have since learned of his extra- 
ordinary reputation. A Jew said to me, ‘ All 
Tiberias is glad now that the Doctor is here.’ ” 

A year later Mr. Steele was invalided home. 
Then followed an interregnum of some years 
during which Dr. Torrance bore the whole admini- 
strative burden of the Mission on his shoulders. 
He prayed for a clerical colleague—not necessarily a 
clever preacher, but a man full of Christian love 
and faith and sanctified common sense who would 
take a special interest in the schools. 

He was not, however, without competent sub- 
ordinate help. ‘‘ It would be difficult,” he wrote, 
“to find a more capable, whole-hearted, or happier 
staff.” Amongst them also, unfortunately, there 
was a lack of continuity. Miss Johnston, the experi- 
enced matron, retired after seven years’ service, 
and was succeeded by Miss Major, a fully qualified 
nurse from a Liverpool Infirmary, who was the 
personification of energy, capability, and good 
sense. Miss Jones, the honorary superintendent 
of the Girls’ School, Safed, had now the assistance 
of Miss Gwladys Jones, and both, entering heart 
and soul into the work, made the school renowned 
throughout Palestine. The headmistress of the 
Girls’ School at ‘Tiberias was Miss Marie Bleiker, a 
sister of Nurse Frieda of the hospital. 


Frieda Bleiker was a Swiss girl. She had acted 
for a time as assistant housekeeper, and after pro- 
bation as a nurse had gone to Germany for more 
complete training. On her return she was placed 
in charge of the out-patient department. Quiet, 
unobtrusive, efficient, and thorough, she won the 
confidence of the Doctor to such an extent 
that he had no hesitation in leaving her in full 
control. He was never tired of praising her 
ability. ‘“ She is doing splendid work,” he wrote. 
“* She has won the confidence and affection of the 
patients, young and old, whose wounds and sores 
and eyes she dresses and attends to skilfully and 
carefully ; to her the little children with eye 
troubles come most willingly of their own accord and 
frequently endure painful treatment most bravely 
and uncomplainingly. She knows all the languages, 
and is very tactful in commending the Saviour 
to these people. She attends and dresses patients 
in their own homes. She is a fine, steady, 
methodical worker, ready for all emergencies in 
any department, and is indeed our ‘right hand 

The native probationers, who varied in number 
from four to six, formed a band of most useful 
workers. They came from various parts of Syria 
and Armenia, and had the clear olive skin, the re- 
fined gentle appearance, and the intelligent ex- 
pression which characterize the girls of these 
regions. All were keen in their work and con- 
scientious in discharging their duties. On com- 
pleting their training they had no difficulty in 
securing responsible and remunerative employ- 


ment elsewhere, their residence in Tiberias Hospital 
being sufficient guarantee of their worth. 

James Cohen, still the only fruit of the Mission 
publicly acknowledged, had grown from strength 
to strength, and become indispensable to the 
Doctor. In addition to his general work as evan- 
gelist he taught the evening classes and conducted 
the Arabic service. He had also continued in 
charge of the Bible Depot, where he spent several 
hours each day, and acted as colporteur, visiting 
the Jewish colonies, and the camps of Russian 
pilgrims who annually invaded Galilee. This 
work continued to be one of the most important 
activities of the Mission. In 1906 Cohen esti- 
mated that he had sold or given away about five 
thousand copies of the Scriptures in twelve different . 
languages during the eleven years of his connection 
with the book-room. | His experience proved that 
there was nothing like the Bible for opening the 
minds of men and women to the truth. In his 
eyes it wrought wonders, softening the hearts of 
the hardest Jews, and changing their views regard- 
ing religion. “ What is that key hanging round 
your neck ? ”’ he asked lightly of a young Jew. “I 
suppose it is the key of your treasury?”’ ‘ Yes,” 
was the reply; “‘ it is the key of the box in which 
I keep the New Testament you gave me.” / The 
National Bible Society of Scotland, which per- 
forms an incomparable service for Christ through- 
out the world, helped to support the colportage 
work, and thus had a direct share in the 

There are personalities who exercise influence ; 


there are others whose influence is not exercised, 
and yet is all-pervading. There is the rushing 
wind and there is the quiet sunlight. The work of 
Amina Faris was of the latter sort. After teaching 
in Safed for six years her health had failed and she 
was taken by Mrs. Thomson to Scotland, where 
she was ill for nearly a year. On returning she 
lived in Nazareth, but Dr. Torrance, believing 
that Tiberias would suit her better, brought her to 
the hospital, where she began to attend in the 
waiting-hall and visit the patients, her knowledge 
of the various dialects standing her in good stead. 
She also sewed for the hospital and made dresses 
for the nurses, and gradually became a general help 
to both patients and staff. Without fuss or force, 
with nothing but her gentle charm, her goodness, 
and her clear sensible mind, she was the friend and 
counsellor and helper of all. The eyes of the 
patients brightened as they saw her approach ; her 
modesty and humility disarmed the fiercest heart ; 
none took offence at her loving efforts to bring 
them into the kingdom of peace. She was, what her 
name signified, “ a faithful knight.”’ 

If Sister Frieda was the Doctor’s right hand, 
Isaac was his shadow—“ faithful Isaac Rosen- 
blum, who buys the provisions, acts as male nurse, 
steward, dispensary attendant, and general help.” 
Isaac was a Jew. He was born in Russia, was 
never at school, and left the country with his 
parents when thirteen years old. Many a country 
he saw and many a vicissitude he suffered in Africa, 
Egypt, and Abyssinia ere he reached Tiberias with 
his father, a poor and broken man. The latter was 


attracted, like many another wanderer, to the 
Doctor, and died in hospital. On one occasion 
when the khalukah doles dwindled to vanishing 
point many of the young Jews were forced to work, 
and Isaac begged the Doctor to engage him. He 
was taken on, and from performing menial tasks, 
such as scouring floors, he worked his way up into 
being the Doctor’s capable attendant. Offered 
large wages by an institution in Jerusalem, he went 
there for a time, but returned saying, “ Please take 
me back ; you can give me what you like, but I will 
not stay with these God-forsaken people.” No 
task came amiss to him; he would work from dawn 
to midnight ; he was always ready at the Doctor’s 
call. A short, sturdy man with a fine strong face, 
grave and purposeful in expression, and wearing a 
beard, he might easily have been taken for a Scot. 
As a Jew he was a link between the Doctor and his 
co-religionists in the town, and was invaluable in a 
hundred different ways. 

Another indispensable factotum was Moham- 
mad, a Moslem, who looked after the grounds, the 
water-engine, and all the outdoor work. 

The Mission station with its imposing buildings, 
its trim gardens, its appearance of dignity and 
refinement, and the busy well-ordered life going on 
within and about formed a scene which visitors, 
emerging from the desolation and dirt of the land, 
saw with frank delight and even wonder, and filled 
them with admiration for the man who had brought 
it into being. The Rev. Dr. Kelman tells some- 

thing of the deep impression that was made upon 


“Dr. Torrance has lived and wrought amid conditions 
such as no man who had not seen can possibly imagine. Among 
these conditions, where it seems absolutely impossible to have 
any success, he has fought his fight. He has won his fight, 
and to-day it is due to him, and others like him, that the name 
of Christ is becoming an imperial power throughout the East. 

“Those who know Dr. Torrance will appreciate the situa- 
tion when they imagine him, of all men, set down in the midst 
of all this natural and human unhealthiness. The embodiment 
of keen, brisk, healthy humanity, his very presence brings a 
blessing with it. We sailed with him to the north end of the 
Lake, saw his wonderful power with the natives, as he joked with 
the Mohammedan boatmen, and kept them in good humour. 
We felt his power even more strongly as he moved about the 
wards of his hospital, followed by the eyes of forty patients, to 
every one of whom he evidently stood for hope and healing. 
That week he had performed some thirty chloroform operations, 
and had attended two or three hundred outdoor patients. The 
sheikh of Nain was there, to be operated on next day, and a 
poor beggar girl, who had been burnt almost to death and was 
now recovering. Most of the patients gathered for morning 
worship in the largest ward, and there, in reverent silence, grey- 
bearded Jews, stalwart Moslems, Arabs from the East, little 
curly-haired children from the city, listened to the great story 
of the love of God and the healing grace of Jesus Christ. 

“There is no part of a scene like this which impresses one 
more than its gracious help for women. In every part of the 
land their hard lot moves one’s pity. In the fields, women toil 
all day in the burning sun. By the wells they gather, erect and 
stately of carriage ; in every village they sit in the foul streets, 
engaged in the filthiest of labour. Here, in the hospital, they 
are women again. Simple and merry, grateful for all kindness, 
and quick of eye and hand, they will return to their hard life 
with at least the memory of something better. The pictures 
on the walls, the clean and sweet rooms, the spotless linen, the 
kindly touches, the good fellowship of friends—all these have 
spoken to their hearts, and the message will not be forgotten. 

“‘ We camped one evening outside the walls of an Arab city. 
Next morning we mounted, and rode into the ‘ city’ in search 
of Greek and Roman inscriptions. A crowd followed us, 


expostulating and protesting that there were none to be found 
there. Certainly none were found, and we had almost given 
up hope of finding any, when the name of ‘ Hakim Torrance’ 
suddenly changed suspicion to a royal welcome. Within a few 
minutes we found ourselves the guests of the great man of the 
city, who set us on carpets round his hearth in the public hall 
of audience, and served us with coffee and fair words. Finally 
he led us out and in among the houses of his people, showing 
us all the inscribed stones of the city, and begging us to remain 
with him as his guests.” 

And in his book, The Holy Land, which gives 
so vivid a picture of the country, he shows how 
profoundly he was moved by the sight of the 
Mission stations. “ They are spots of brightness 
in a very grey landscape; the only thing that 
turns pity into hope in Palestine is the Mission 
work that is being done there. No one can see 
that work without being filled with an altogether 
new enthusiasm for missions. Across the sea one 
believes in them as a part of Christian duty and 
custom. On the spot one thanks God for them 
as almost unearthly revelations of sweetness and 
cleanness, abundance, power to bless, and Christian 
love in a loveless land. . . . It is in this field that 
one can look with confidence for the resurrection 
of Syria.” 


IN 1905 the silence of the Lake of Galilee was 
broken by the whistle of a locomotive. The 


Turkish Government Railway from Haifa to 
Damascus touched the foot of the Lake, where a 
station was established at the Moslem mud village 
of Samakh. A small steamer built at Constanti- 
nople, manned by a captain, two engineers, and six 
sailors, and capable of carrying from thirty to 
forty passengers, was placed on the Lake—the first 
that had ever ploughed its waters—and ran between 
the station and Tiberias, which was thus brought 
into intimate connection with the coast and trans- 
Jordan regions tapped by the main line to Medina. 
The pulse of life began to beat more quickly in the 
district ; visitors to the hot baths increased in 
numbers; and there was a notable expansion of 
Jewish activity. The Colonization Association 
continued to buy up the good land in the neigh- 
bourhood of Tiberias and establish colonies, and 
roads began to be constructed by the colonists to 
facilitate their operations. 

A rough census of the town at this time showed 
that there were 5700 Jews, 2000 Moslems, of 
whom 300 were strangers and visitors, and 300 
Christians—a total population of 8000, which was a 
much higher figure than the Doctor had imagined. 

At the same time there was an outward move- 
ment. Greater contact with the world roused the 
young men of the town and villages from their 
contented stupor; they grew restless and dis- 
satisfied with the narrowness of their environment, 
and became ambitious to get on and make money. 
Large numbers emigrated to the British Colonies 
and America. As some acquaintance with English 
was essential for life abroad, the evening classes 


of the Mission, now conducted by Mr. Cohen, were 
extremely popular. It was an opportunity for the 
evangelist, of which he made the most, and none 
of his pupils left the town without some knowledge 
of the supreme secret of true success and happiness. 
The Jewish colonists naturally sought to discourage 
their young men from leaving the country, and with 
this object only Hebrew was taught at their schools. 

The Doctor could not regard the developments 
going on without wishing that his old dream might 
be realized—that industrial and agricultural work 
might be attached to the Mission. For a time it 
seemed as if the thing would come about. In 
Scotland, a Scottish Mission Industries Co. Ltd. 
had been formed inside the Church to carry on 
industrial concerns in India as auxiliary to the 
ordinary mission work, and it was hoped that its 
activities would extend to other fields. When the 
Jewish Mission Committee used its influence with 
the Company on behalf of Galilee, it was indicated 
that what was wanted was some definite scheme 
which might be considered and taken up if 

The Doctor had many native friends who were 
warm supporters of the Mission. Through some 
of these he heard of a tempting proposition. A 
large tract of land, about 2 square miles in area, 
the south-western half of the plain of Gennesaret 
along the Lake shore, was available if he cared to 
secure it to help on his work ; it might, they thought, 
be profitably developed, and not only help to run 
the hospital, but eventually pay all its expenses. 
This was an important consideration, for prices 


had gone up of recent years, in some cases three 
hundred per cent. It was offered to him for 

A splendid vision came to the Doctor. He 
knew what the Church Missions to Jews had accom- 
plished in connection with their magnificent mission 
in Jerusalem ; how hundreds of Jewish inquirers 
and converts had learned trades in their House of 
Industry, and been able to earn an honourable 
livelihood as printers, bookbinders, carpenters, 
carvers, and olive-woodwork craftsmen, and how 
the women were not forgotten; he also knew 
what had been done at Sidon, and he was aware of 
the great industrial institutions of his own Church 
at Lovedale and Livingstonia; and he saw no 
reason why an enterprise on the same scale should 
not be established on the shores of the Galilean 
Lake and meet with a like success, and thus demon- 
strate to the Jews that Christianity was not a mere 
matter of form, but a practical power in everyday 

He wrote at once to Dr. Ewing, and the matter 
was taken up by the Scottish Mission Industries 
Co., which formed an associated company to acquire 
and develop the land. It was proposed to begin 
with ordinary crops, wheat, barley, lentils, and 
maize, and with vegetables such as_ potatoes, 
melons, cucumbers, and tomatoes, and by degrees 
to establish vineries and orchards of orange, lemon, 
citron, apricot, mulberry, and date-palm trees, and 
to introduce fishing and silkworm industries. No 
difficulty was found in obtaining sufficient sub- 


The Doctor was anxious to secure the property 
at once, for it was being sought after by the Fran- 
ciscans, who were offering a larger price. A certain 
limit of time was given him, and if he had been a 
free agent he would have made the purchase on 
his own behalf; but he was obliged to wait on the 
business being put through in Scotland. The 
Church crisis was then occupying the attention 
of those interested in the project; they were 
uncertain as to the demands that might be made 
upon them in that connection, and they hesitated 
to commit themselves. When at last word came 
that the purchase money had been sent to a law 
agent at Beyrout, who would pay it over on the titles 
being found valid, the time limit had expired and 
the territory had passed into the hands of the 
Roman Catholics. They sold it later to the Jews 
for three times the amount, and it is now the 
scene of a flourishing colony, and one of the most 
valuable sections of land in Galilee. 

The Doctor’s disappointment was very great, 
and he had little heart for a time to pursue the 
matter; but he never ceased to point out the 
importance of industrial and agricultural work as a 
factor in the conversion of the people. 

The interest occasioned by the various develop- 
ments in the public life of the country was small 
compared with the excitement created in 1908 by 
the revolution in Constantinople and the pro- 
clamation of a reformed constitution for the Otto- 
man Empire, carrying with it political equality 
irrespective of race or creed. ‘“ There is to be 
freedom of speech, freedom of the press, religious 


freedom,” wrote Dr. Torrance. “‘ The very thought 
of such things a year ago seemed impossible. It is 
a modern miracle, the work of God.” 

The young Turk party owed far more to the 
work of the missionaries in the Empire than they 
realized. It was the influence of the mission 
stations, and the Christian colleges and schools, that 
had raised the general level of intelligence and 
taught the community to appreciate not only the 
material benefits of civilization, but also the moral 
and spiritual qualities associated with it. Since 
the Jews believed that the new conditions would 
bring nearer the time when the country would 
be freely opened up to them, they, too, were in- 
debted to the leavening of thought that had made 
the change possible. 

The population of Tiberias went wild with 
delight. In the public squares the Doctor saw 
Jews dancing with Moslems and Christians. Were 
they not now all equal and brothers? and could 
they not do what they liked in social and religious 
life ? As the Doctor looked on he wondered if the 
ideals of the young Turks would be realized in 
practice. The changes opened up many possi- 
bilities for missionary work. But he had mis- 
givings, and the result justified his fears. There 
was no moral or spiritual backbone in the move- 
ment, which occasioned great social unrest and un- 
settlement of thought. A notable lessening of 
religious custom was observed ; intemperance in- 
creased amongst the Moslems, licence and lawless- 
ness became common, and robbery and murder 
were frequent in the country districts. Never 


before had the Doctor to deal with so many stabbing 
and gun and revolver shot cases. The universal 
conscription law, also, was unpopular, and many 
Jews and Christians emigrated to escape enlist- 

But it takes many dynamic changes to alter the 
fundamental attitude of the East, and the people 
gradually fell back into their normal condition, to 
be agitated later by an attempt on the part of 
the Government to impose taxation and disarma- 
ment. Civil war raged for a time in the Hauran ; 
the railway track was torn up, officials killed, and 
stations looted. During the process of disarming 
the people it. was noticed that a heavy mortality 
took place ; the funerals indeed became so numerous 
that the authorities grew suspicious and examined 
a coffin. It contained modern rifles ! 

When the turn of Tiberias came, five hundred 
soldiers isolated the town, and the inhabitants 
trembled, but they obediently brought out their 
arms and piled them high in the public squares. 
Never was seen such a collection of ancient weapons. 
All passed off quietly, and the military departed— 
then the people at their leisure unearthed the 
Mausers and Martinis which they had hidden 
under the ground. It was not surprising that 
gunshot wounds continued to be treated at the 

On one occasion the Doctor encountered an 
excise officer who interrogated him and endeavoured 
to seize his gun. The Doctor resisted. ‘ You 
know me,” he said ; ‘‘ come to the hospital. I am 
not a shepherd.” As a rule he was not molested 


on his journeys, though accidents sometimes 

happened. Once, returning from Nazareth with . 

Mohammad, he rode up to a party of horsemen who 

were on their way back from the coast with the pro-. 

ceeds of some money transaction. Evidently be- 

lieving they were being attacked, one raised his | 

gun and was about to shoot the Doctor when | 
Mohammad threw up his arms and shouted, “‘ We | 
are friends ; don’t fire!”’ The others also shouted, | 

and the man wavered and lowered his weapon. | 

When he recognized the Doctor he was more | 

afraid than before, and abjectly sorry. The Doctor’s 
courage was well known. Once he was asked by 
Arabs, by whom he was “ held up,” “‘ Why are you 
not frightened?” ‘“‘ Because,” he said, “I am 
going to doa good deed.” “ Ah, that is true; if you 
had been going to steal you would have fled.” 

Having, as they thought, made the country 
safe, the Government allowed buildings to be 
erected outside the towns—a reform of first-class 
importance. ‘Tiberias began to break its bonds and 
to expand. One of the first plots of land bought 
was a piece to the north of the Mission Hospital, 
on higher ground, on which Sisters of the Roman 
Communion erected a large boarding and day 
school and an orphanage, and staffed the institu- 
tion with European ladies. These Sisters were 
occasional patients of the Doctor, and were friendly 
with him and the nurses. ‘‘ Scotland must be a 
land of saints,’ one gratefully observed—an em- 
barrassing reputation, since the Scots felt they 
had to live up to it. 

wax. ¢ 
Nip tLe 



THE Mission ceased to be an isolated centre of 
beneficent influence in the town; other agencies, 
stimulated by its example, came into the field. 
Two Jewish physicians were in practice, and a third 
was employed in the colonies. Though officially 
opposed to the Doctor, they were personally his 
friends and sought him in consultation, and referred 
patients to the hospital for operations. He wel- 
comed their help as he did that of every one on the 
side of what was right and progressive, and only 
wished that the Moslems and Christians had also 
competent doctors of their own. 

No rival development, unfortunately, seemed 
able to ease his work. ‘Two thousand patients per 
month flocked to the Mission—more than he could 
attend or see—and the numbers went on increasing 
instead of diminishing. From the far deserts they 
came, as stories of his skill passed from tribe to 
tribe. To many in these distant regions his per- 
sonality had become invested with mysterious 
qualities, and they thought of him with awe. One 
day some Arabs brought a patient. When the 
Doctor was examining him, one turned to Sister 
Frieda and said eagerly, ‘‘ We want to see ‘ Trance.’ ”’ 
She replied, “This is Dr. Torrance.” They 
looked startled and gazed at him in wonder. 

““ How do you know ‘ Trance’? ” she asked 


“We hear of him everywhere in the desert 
that there is no one like him. We are glad we 
have seen him.” 

A woman arrived from the extreme north. 
““ But why didn’t you go to Safed?” she was 
asked. ‘‘ I don’t know the doctor there, but Dr. 
Torrance we all know.” 

The Doctor did not disdain to use whatever 
means came to his hand to increase his influence. 
A visitor tells of an Arab who had come for a 
serious operation, and was in rather a despondent 
frame of mind. The Doctor started a gramophone, 
which had been a gift from Scotland, and when 
the patient heard the music his spirits rose. ‘‘ He 
got up and began to dance and caper—a wild- 
looking creature in his nightgown—and the prospect 
of a successful operation was multiplied tenfold.” 

One feature of the work was a tribute to his wise 
and patient handling of the people. The majority 
were extremely poor, the Jews being constantly 
on the verge of starvation; it was indeed often 
necessary to supply them with food and money. 
Yet he had trained all so well to be willing to help 
themselves that the annual income of the Mission 
from fees now amounted to over £300. “It is 
almost incredible,” he said, “‘ that such a sum should 
be raised in Tiberias.” ‘The fees were now a 
necessary charge, since it was only fair to the other 
medical practitioners in the town that they should 
not be handicapped by an institution providing 
entirely free treatment. 

It was notable that the patients who gave him | 
the most trouble were not the poor but the wealthy. — 



From a village came a woman with her boy, who 
was operated on. She was destitute, but from her 
head-dress she took out a coin worth a sixpence 
and placed it in the hospital box. From the same 
village came a sheikh. “ Well,” said the Doctor, 
‘“‘ what are you able to pay?”’ “ Oh, the same as 
other people—a sixpence!” “‘ That,” replied the 
Doctor smiling, ‘‘is surely too much for you to 
pay; you had better go to the native surgeon; he 
will operate for less.” The sheikh caught the 
sarcasm and said truculently, ‘I thought the 
work here was the work of God.” ‘ Quite so, 
and what are you going to put into His box?” 
JT have no money.” “ Well, I cannot operate 
until you bring a proper fee.” By a subterfuge 
the man managed to enter the hospital, and was 
being put under chloroform when it was discovered 
that he had paid nothing. The Doctor was ruthless ; 
he ordered him out, and only operated on him 
when he produced the fee he was quite capable 
of giving. 

On another occasion an Arab brought a woman 
who, he said, had been picked up by him on the 
road. “Is she your wife?” the Doctor asked 
pointedly. He denied it emphatically, but the 
suspicion remained. 'The woman seemed too 
frightened to open her lips, and the Doctor went out 
and made inquiries and discovered that she was 
indeed one of his wives. Returning, he said the 
treatment would take some time, and he would 
have to pay so much. ‘“‘ What is she to me?” 
the man cried, and began to curse. The Doctor 
procured a short whip, laid it across his back, 


opened the door, and ejected him. Some time after- 
wards he was visiting patients in a village and felt 
something like a dog at his heels. Turning, he 
saw the man he had chastened endeavouring 
to kiss his feet. ‘I thought,” he said humbly, 
““it was a poor hospital. Will you take her in?” 
“Yes,” the Doctor responded; ‘‘ but you won’t 
get her out again until the fee is paid!” Which 
it was. 

“The centre of the Mission at present,” he 
wrote at this time, “is the hospital and its dispensary, 
not the schools or churches, but to be efficient as a 
Christianizing agency the medical workers should 
not be overwhelmed with their work as they now 
are. ‘The calls are more than we can undertake ; 
most of the patients hear the gospel message; 
doctors and nurses do what they can, but we feel 
the lack of non-medical, sympathetic, and tactful 
workers to speak to individuals or groups while 
they are being treated. We are all burdened with 
the strain of the feeling of disappointment that so 
much is left undone.” 

He felt also that the Church public at home 
were expecting larger results and were unaware 
of the difficulties that had to be overcome. But 
Dr. Hastings, who was then the wise and large- 
hearted convener, made the position clear. ‘“‘ The 
work we are doing,” he said, “is essentially pre- 
paratory work. It needs patience ; and if we are 
not prepared to exercise patience the sooner we 
retire from it the better. It is part of the burden 
laid on our missionaries that they are called to sow 
rather than to reap. They have to learn to labour 


and to wait, and they require all the Beer that 
we can give them.” 

It was the educational work that was chiefly 
affected by the new conditions. The Alliance 
Israélite schools were developing with remarkable 
rapidity. In Tiberias they had now an average 
attendance of 500 pupils as compared with 130 in 
both the Mission schools. French was the 
language used, with Hebrew and Arabic as special 
subjects. Nothing was left undone to attract the chil- 
dren. The buildings were well equipped ; the staff 
was highly trained, there were free dinners, books, 
boots, and clothing, and in some cases a gratuity 
was actually given. The Mission schools could 
not compete with this lavish scale of expenditure, 
though during severe winters, when prices were 
high and food scarce, the pupils were still provided 
with dinner. As the spirit of independence was 
conspicuous by its absence in Tiberias, no hurt was 
done either to parents or pupils by this occasional 
act of grace. 

It was not only the Jews that the Mission was 
provoking to enterprise. Both the Moslems and 
Christians were doing their best to organize and 
run schools of their own, though not always with 
success. On one occasion a Catholic Bishop who 
visited the town reprimanded parents for sending 
their children to the Protestant School. ‘“ We 
have chosen the school where they are taught best,”’ 
they said. “ Nonsense ; your judgment is mis- 
taken,” he replied. ‘‘ We can prove that it is not,’ 
they asserted confidently. A number of boys from 
the respective schools were obtained and submitted 


by the Bishop to a searching examination. To his 
discomfiture the Mission-taught lads came off with 
flying colours and the Catholic pupils were covered 
with shame. 

The children in the Jewish schools belonged 
to the less fanatical Sephardim section of the 
community. The Ashkenazim, considering that 
the influence of the teaching tended to under- 
mine the orthodox faith—with which belief Dr. 
Torrance agreed—declined to patronize them. The 
education given was thoroughly good, but it was 
secular ; it enlightened and broadened the minds 
of the pupils, but it was loosening the bonds 
of the Talmud and substituting materialism for 
theism. Schools to suit their own purpose were, 
therefore, started by the Ashkenazim, with Hebrew 
as the sole language, but they were somewhat 
primitive and nourished the exclusive and narrow 
spirit of the race. 

In addition to the disadvantages under which 
the Mission schools had to labour they struggled 
against a disability not experienced by their rivals. 
Each of the latter appealed to a different class of 
pupil and could, therefore, concentrate and 
specialize on subjects. In the Mission schools 
were boys and girls of all creeds, and each creed had 
to be catered for in some separate way. Religious 
fasts and feasts were also perpetually occurring, 
and, as they came at different times in the different 
bodies, it was impossible to secure either regular 
or simultaneous attendance. ‘This was so great an 
evil in Safed that Dr. Torrance, impressed with the 
difficulty, proposed to have schools for the Jews 


alone which would be in line with the policy of the 
Church, though they could not neglect the Moslems 
and Christians, unless they asked some society 
which worked amongst these to come in and take 
up the work. 

Another problem forcing itself on the notice 
of the missionaries was the difficulty of making a 
permanent impression on the boys and girls so long 
as they went back to their squalid environment, 
where the good effected in the school was often un- 
done by the evil influences surrounding them. To 
the Doctor’s mind the only way of securing the 
children for life was to start boarding-schools and 
orphanages to which day-schools might be attached. 
Miss Jones was experimenting in this direction 
with a number of tiny children. 

Despite all the drawbacks, the Mission schools 
with their broad curriculum and high moral tone 
held their own. In Safed they were now alone 
in the field, as in view of the erection of a large 
hospital and dispensary by the Church Missions 
to Jews the medical side of the work had been 
abandoned. The boys’ school was under Mas‘id 
Qorban, a capable native educationist, who also 
carried on the Bible Depét and the Sunday services. 
The girls’ school was by general consent, official 
and unofficial, one of the best in Palestine. Never- 
theless, the satisfaction of the teachers was always 
mixed with anxiety, for the slightest untoward 
incident would create a scare and empty the benches. 
“They are very uncertain treasures,” said Miss 
Jones of the scholars. On one occasion the Jews 
gave out that their sacred books foretold an earth- 


quake, and straightway the Jewish population and 
many of the Moslems and Christians left their 
houses carrying their beds, kettles, and pots, and 
camped in the open.. At night the rumble of 
thunder was heard, and a learned rabbi declared 
that the earthquake was in the heavens! The 
alarm lasted about a week, and then the school 
resumed its normal activity. 

The usual interruptions and disturbances over 
the religious difficulty continued to recur. These 
often puzzled the children. ‘‘ Why do our parents 
object to us reading the New Testament?” they 
would ask. One little Jewess remarked to Miss 
Gwladys Jones, “ Why am I not allowed to sing 
at home? My mother says I am not to love 
Jesus. I am only to love God.” The situation 
was simpler for the Moslem girls, for they were 
not taught anything at all in their homes. 

These dark-eyed girls of Galilee were very 
affectionate and winning, and possessed marvellous 
memories, but their thinking faculty had never 
been trained, and it was difficult to get them to 
grasp the meaning of what they learned. Miss 
Gwladys Jones often recalled the advice she had 
received on taking up the work: ‘‘ Go on sowing, 
have patience, much patience, and do not expect 
to see fruit.” It was true that there was no result 
in the shape of Christian discipleship, but many 
of the girls were Christian in all but name, while 
they were developing those qualities which make for 
capable and attractive womanhood. 



‘“‘ Tue work is very hard, and so is the field, and 
one is apt to become engrossed in the dry detail 
of our daily duties, but we keep pegging away.” 

So the Doctor summed up what was his yearly 
task. He was never satisfied with what he had 
achieved ; he was always planning some develop- 
ment of the work ; buying plots of ground to safe- 
guard the amenity of the hospital, erecting new 
structures such as isolation rooms, wash-houses, 
and tanks, or improving the grounds. Now and 
again an epidemic would interrupt the regular 
work, as when small-pox occurred and carried off 
three hundred victims, or when dengue fever swept 
through the town, and laid low every member of 
the Mission staff. ‘The hospital was always full to 
overflowing, and crowds of eager out-patients filled 
the dispensary hall. They were seen only on 
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, until 1 p.m. ; 
minor operations and visits to patients in their 
homes occupied the afternoons ; the alternate days 
were devoted to hospital cases and operations. 
The Doctor’s old cry of inability to cope with the 
tide of human ills was repeated again and again, 
and he would add, “* Oh, for power to take advantage 
of such opportunities!’ Once in an address to 
outgoing missionaries he had said: “ Beware of 
taking too many patients. I have seen medical 
missionaries not having time to tell the patients 

“ DEAD TIRED ” 217 

to sit down and take off their coats. How can 
anyone, if he is taking more cases than he can 
attend to, do good work? If the work is worth 
doing, it is worth doing well. No quack work in 
medical work.” But when faced with the tragedy 
of suffering in the mass, when crowds of men and 
women appealed to him for relief, what course 
could he adopt? He had either to steel his heart 
and turn away, or do what he could, however 
superficially, to ease their pain. He was too sym- 
pathetic to take the sterner course. 

In January 1908 he was married to Miss E. W. 
Curtiss, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Curtiss of 
Hartford, Connecticut, and a sister of a well- 
known American writer. It was a happy union, and 
it made the tea-table corner of the veranda more 
attractive than ever to the American tourists who 
passed through in increasing numbers every spring. 

Later in the year, while performing an operation 
on a poor woman, he pricked a finger of his left 
hand; during the night he was awakened by a 
severe pain, and rose and went to the hospital, dis- 
infected the puncture, and incised it. Next day 
he went on with his work, but during an operation 
had to leave ina fainting condition. Dr. Scrimgeour 
(who was assisting Dr. Vartan at Nazareth, and 
succeeded him when he died in December) was 
brought down, and placed him under chloroform, 
and made more incisions. The Doctor had no 
recollection of what occurred after that, until, a 
week later, he found himself in bed helplessly 
weak. A fortnight among the pine-woods of 
Mount Carmel brought him back to strength. 


The continuous strain began to tell even on his 
wonderful vitality ; what had to be done was now 
utterly beyond his power to do. All the staff were 
working at high pressure. Even the presence of 
another European medical man would not, he saw, 
appreciably relieve the situation. He came to the 
conclusion that the only solution would be to stem 
the flow of trans-Jordanian patients by estab- 
lishing a well-equipped medical mission in the 
Hauran or Druze Mountains, or both, and most 
earnestly he recommended the plan to the Jewish 
Mission Committee, though with a doubt as to their 
financial ability to undertake it. The doubt was 
justified. Jewish mission work was not so popular 
in the Church as it had been, and it took every 
particle of energy and generalship on the part of the 
officials to raise the funds for the ordinary services. 
They looked at both sides of every shilling sub- 
scribed until they felt like skinflints. 

In 1909 the Doctor broke down, but the summer 
vacation and the rest in the hills again restored him. 
What did him more good than the change was the 
arrival of the Rev. S. H. Semple, B.A. of Dublin 
and B.D of London, as clerical colleague. Mr. 
Semple had taken his theological course at New 
College, Edinburgh, and had been in charge of the 
Colonial Church at Lahore, India. To scholarly 
attainments and a deep interest in Semitic studies 
he added a love and knowledge of science and a 
leaning towards educational work, and was there- 
fore eminently qualified for the task before him. 

So reinforced the Doctor faced the future 
with unabated enthusiasm. “ It is a great privilege 

“DEAD TIRED ” 219 

to have charge of such a work,” he wrote, “‘ and to 
have such noble help from every assistant and 
worker.” All the visitors at this time spoke in 
praise of the hospital. The Governor of Acre 
came and “ rendered thanks to its founders in the 
name of humanity ”’ on behalf of the natives ; and 
the Kaim-makém or Governor of Tiberias wrote: 
“I offer my thanks to the clever Dr. Torrance 
and to the clever English nation for their good 

He was much cheered also by the kindness 
shown him on completing his twenty-fifth year in 
Tiberias. The event was celebrated by a com- 
munion service, and, on the following day, by a 
public reception, which was attended by over a 
hundred Jews, Moslems, and Christians. Mr. 
Semple presided, and addresses and speeches were 
given by representatives of every section of the 
community. First came an address from the 
Doctor’s Jewish friends, which is given entire as 
a specimen of Oriental phraseology : 

“In honour of the respected, distinguished, and illustrious 
physician whose name is known by praise, Dr. David Watt 
Torrance. May his name be for ever ! 

‘“‘ What an honoured day! the day on which we are privi- 
leged to bring to light our thoughts, to uncover the hidden 
things of our hearts, which we have long desired to utter before 
thee ; the feelings of our heart that are full of gratitude and 
blessings for the fitting return of thy distinguished deeds in the 
science of medicine: that thou dost cure without price the 
poor of our city at thy splendid hospital, to which all that enter 
are cured, and leave, by God’s help, healthy and sound, happy 
and rejoicing, and full of satisfaction, pleasure, and goodwill, 
respect and lasting esteem! Yes, now is the fitting time to 


speak; the jubilee! the day when there are completed twenty- 
five years of thy labour in our city, Tiberias. 

“ With the full desire of our souls we come with uplifted 
hands to present to thee, honourable, esteemed, and excellent 
Sir, a tribute of our thanks and blessings and praise; as is 
fitting and due to thy labour, we would honour thy favour and 

‘* Blessed art thou, illustrious physician, because thou hast 
acquired for thyself a good name to honour and to glory, in all 
the holy cities in general, and in our city in particular ; in a high 
way. We desire that thou continue at thy great work; with 
width of understanding and thy might of genius in the science 
of medicine. And may He that dwelleth in the heavens give 
thee strength and power for long days and years! As a mark 
of gratitude and thankfulness we present our poor offering, 
hoping it will be acceptable to thee.” 

The gift was a silver cup with a Hebrew in- 
scription. Then the Greek Catholic priest, on 
behalf of the native Christian community, gave a 
fervent address and presented a silver plate. “We 
lift up our heads in supplication,” he said, “‘ that 
you may be kept a fruitful sower of benevolence 
and well-doing and a refuge to afflicted humanity.” 

Next came the head priest of the Greek Ortho- 
dox Church, who presented a picture frame and 
another address. A spokesman from the Ash- 
kenazim Jews, and one from the Sephardim Jews, 
voiced the sentiments of their co-religionists. 
The Moslem representatives then stepped forward, 
and said in Arabic: 

““O honourable, venerable, respected, able, erudite ! 

“ The buttresses of a nation are upheld by one of its citizens, 
who raised it to the highest pinnacle of glory, just as another 
would hurl it down to the lowest depth. Any people who do 
not recognize the worth of its men nor reward the merit of 

“DEAD TIRED ” 221 

their deeds is despicable indeed, unworthy of mention or 

“You, sir, have spent a quarter of a century amongst us, 
during which time you have done the Turkish nation a remark- 
able service worthy of thanks ; always disregarding difficulties 
and inconveniences, and curing thousands of the people. What 
language shall we use to praise your merciful and famous deeds ? 
for praise to you is indeed of little avail, We are assembled 
here, people of divers creeds and sects, to confess, with one 
consent, your goodness, and to take part in celebrating your 
jubilee. You have spent twenty-five years serving our country 
with inestimable services which must be recorded with the ink 
of praise and gratitude. You have spent this period treating 
the sick, supporting the poor, lightening the woes of the 
afflicted, and comforting the broken-hearted. It is of such as 
you that Job has said, ‘ You are eyes to the blind, feet to the 
lame, and father to the orphans!’ Who, describing your 
deeds, does not halt, stammer, and tremble ? 

“‘ Should I cease to recount your good deeds, then would the 
stones of the hospital proclaim them, which (the hospital) is the 
chief witness to what I have said. Therefore I abridge my 
address, avowing my shortcoming, and ask God to grant you 
return of this day that you may still serve this land.” 

A member of the Young Turks Society pro- 
ceeded to deliver a glowing speech in French, 
and a pastor of the German Catholic Mission 
at et-Tabigha added his eulogies. 

Mr. Cohen made the presentation of the gifts 
from the staff, Miss Major handing them over, 
while Mr. Semple read an illuminated address from 
the Committee in Scotland, which was also trans- 
lated into Arabic. 

Overwhelmed by so much kind and generous 
appreciation of his services, the Doctor could only 
make a brief reply. He spoke of his early days in 
the town and the years that had passed since then, 


and recalled those who had helped him, the de- 
votion of one, the friendship of another, the counsel 
and encouragement of many belonging to other 
faiths, the sympathy and liberal help of Christian 
men and women in Scotland. But it was God 
who had led him in a wonderful way and given him 
the strength to overcome all the difficulties and 
trials, and to Him must be all the praise, and to 
Him they must look to crown the years with His 

Mrs. Torrance became unwell, an infant son 
died, and the Doctor himself was again on the point 
of breaking down, and was at last compelled to 
apply for earlier furlough. “‘ Sister Frieda,” he 
wrote, “will, single-handed, manage to attend 
to the nursing during my absence, with the assist- 
ance of the native nurses.’’ Well aware of the 
pressure at which he was living, the Jewish Mission 
Committee were anxious to secure him relief, and 
finally arranged that Dr. David Yellowlees should 
take his place for a year. 

At the same time, in 1911, two deputies were 
sent out to report on the stations, one being Dr. 
Ewing, then the Convener of the Committee, and 
the other the Rev. S. Matheson, M.A., a prom- 
inent member. It was the first time that official 
representatives of the Committee had visited the 
Mission, and Dr. Torrance, welcoming this interest 
and sympathy in the work and workers, met them 
eagerly with plans for extension and development. 
The hospital was now too small for ordinary 
requirements ; better ventilation was essential— 
during the summer the temperature had risen to 

“DEAD TIRED ” 223 

118° F. in the shade; during the winter it fell to 
33° F. He was keen to realize his dream of a 
maternity department, and to establish a ward for 
sick tourists, and he urged the need for a modern 
system of drainage, and for electric lighting and 
other improvements. 

The deputies were greatly impressed by the 
phenomenal success of the medical work and its 
evangelistic value, but they were distressed by 
the condition of the other aspects of the Mission. 
Both evangelistic and educational sides had been 
seriously understaffed ; they had, in fact, been liter- 
ally starved, and they would have to be greatly 
developed and placed on a footing of equality with 
the medical work. In their opinion the only hope 
of missionary success lay in providing a thoroughly 
up-to-date school education. Nothing but sheer 
ignorance lay at the bottom of the opposition, 
prejudice, and hatred of the people; and mental 
enlightenment would have to be considered as 
important an evangelistic agency as healing. They 
were confirmed in their view by the example of the 
Safed Girls’ School, which was properly graded 
from the kindergarten department upwards, and 
was attracting pupils from all classes ; it had then 
110 scholars, 66 being Moslem, 24 Jewesses, and 
20 Christians, and all credit was given to the 
teachers for its success. But the general con- 
clusion of the deputies was that in view of the 
increased and increasing efficiency of rival institu- 
tions the Mission schools would either have to 
be given up or reorganized on a more modern 
basis. The imitators had reached and outstripped 


their models, and the models would have to set a 
new standard. 

All this the Doctor had been pressing on the 
Committee, and it was satisfactory to have the 
situation realized and strongly presented to the 
Church in Scotland. In a more hopeful spirit, 
but, as he said, ‘‘ dead tired,” he left on furlough. 
No sooner, however, was he home than he began 
itinerating and addressing meetings in the interests 
of the Mission. At the General Assembly, when 
Dr. Wells was Moderator, he gave one of the 
racy speeches which always fascinated his 
audiences. He told how, since he had first ad- 
dressed the Assembly, a quarter of a million people 
had visited the out-patient department in Tiberias, 
and that since the hospital had been opened, about 
5000 had been treated and had the Gospel preached 
to them. He intimated that he had quite a long 
list of “ wants,” at which there was laughter. 
‘““ Qh,” he said, “‘ I have no fear of getting them ! 
But I do wish that in connection with the ex- 
tension scheme I could have a maternity hospital. 
I have seen such misery and distress that it has been 
laid on my heart to plead for it at this time.”? The 
result was a cheque for £1000 from an appreciative 
listener towards a maternity department. 

After visiting New England, the home of Mrs. 
Torrance, he returned to Tiberias in 1912, and 
threw himself with renewed zest into the work. 
Late in the year an outbreak of cholera occurred, 
the conditions being reminiscent of the horrors of 
1902. Having been carefully studying the subject, 
he was able to save many lives by new methods of 


a1dougd SAVY] AHL 

“DEAD TIRED ” 225 

treatment. The authorities also were more 
amenable to reason and willing to follow his direc- 
tions. At his request they sent round a bellman to 
reassure the people and tell them to eat only food 
that had been boiled or roasted, and water that had 
gone “through the fire.” ‘They obeyed like children, 
and only a hundred of those who were attacked 
succumbed, and they belonged to the poorest class, 
who were badly nourished. ‘To arrest the disease 
amongst that class, and also to relieve the distress, 
a soup kitchen was established and kept going all 
winter. Of all the recipients the native Christians 
were the most ungrateful ; too proud to come to 
the hospital themselves, they would actually send 
messages asking the missionaries to deliver the food 
at their houses. 

This visitation was but an incident in a life of 
incessant toil. The difficulty in the medical de- 
partment was to restrict the number of patients. 
For the nine months of 1912 there were 385 in- 
patients and 12,956 attendances in the out-patient 
department, where the Doctor performed 184 
operations unaided except with the help of the 
nurses. High fees for attendance and medicine 
had no effect; in one week in 1913 the receipts 
from this source were over £40, while the income 
for the year amounted to £650, the largest, so far, 
in the history of the Mission. 

It was a striking proof of the value placed on 
the Doctor’s work, not only by the people but 
by his professional brethren, for they continued 
to send him all their serious cases. 




Tue chief theme of interest during these years was 
the remarkable advance being made by the Jews 
in trade and commerce along the coast and through- 
out the interior. ‘‘ In spite of difficulties which, 
however, are diminishing,’ wrote Dr. Torrance, 
‘ they are increasing in numbers ; they are obtain- 
ing possession of more and more land; they are 
most eager for education; they are foremost in 
modern methods of agriculture and general culture, 
and it seems as if ere long the strongest power in 
Palestine will be Jewish again. Moslems and 
Christians are emigrating from Palestine, while 
Jews are emigrating into it.’”’ Every shop and house 
in Tiberias that was for sale passed into their 
hands, as well as much of the land in the vicinity. 
With the utmost energy they were erecting 
hospitals and adding to their schools and developing 
their efficiency. Hebrew was taught as a principal 
subject and a living tongue—the language, in 
accordance with the Zionist programme, being 
now in everyday use. ‘The completeness and 
thoroughness of the education given, combined 
with the claims of racial loyalty and solidarity, 
swept practically every Jewish child into the schools. 
In Tiberias there was still a remnant who attended 
the various small Talmudic schools, but even in 
this conservative backwater the spirit of change 
manifested itself, and all were combined into one 


strong Talmud Torah institution in opposition to 
those established by the Alliance. 

The example of the Jews continued to react 
on the other sections of the population. Hitherto 
indifferent to the position of women, the Moham- 
medans were beginning to realize the importance 
of the mother’s influence on the character of the 
race, and were opening schools for girls, and in the 
absence of trained teachers were actually appointing 
those educated in the Mission schools. In Safed 
the Mission school was too strong to attack or be 
affected by threats and curses, but a Moslem school 
was started in opposition. It was significant that 
of Arabic Bibles and portions of Scripture disposed 
of in Tiberias in 1910, no fewer than eighty per 
cent. were sold to the Moslems. 

The Jewish Mission Committee, as well as the 
missionaries on the spot, were now alive to the 
situation and knew how to meet it, but they were 
hampered by lack of funds. Less interest continued 
to be taken throughout the Church in the work, 
and the annual income was still falling. This was 
inexplicable in face of what was being done in 
Budapest, Constantinople, and Palestine. ‘The in- 
difference was possibly due to lack of knowledge ; 
the great bulk of the members knew nothing of the 
gallant fight going on in these centres, or of the 
fascination and possibilities of the service. But 
the Committee did their best with the means at 
their disposal. 

Miss Major left the hospital to marry Mr. 
Semple. She had done good work. One of her 
self-imposed duties in the evenings for several 


years had been to instruct the Syrian nurses in their 
profession, and as a result the first certificates of 
efficiency given by the hospital had been presented 
to three of the probationers. These girls were 
now leaving the hospital and taking up positions 
on an equality with British trained nurses. Mrs. 
Semple continued her interest in the women and 
girls. One of the drawbacks of the work was the 
fact that when patients or pupils returned to their 
homes, they had no occupation to relieve the 
monotony of their lives or to enable them to earn 
a position of independence. Some did lace-work, 
and, by toiling from morning till night, were able 
to earn on an average about 5s. per week. Mrs. 
Semple held a class weekly, at which she taught 
them the finer and more profitable class of work, 
and endeavoured to bring some brightness and 
sweetness into their lives. This was a service for 
which the women were grateful, and its success 
indicated its possibilities as an agency of the 

To fill the vacant post, the Committee secured 
Miss Reid, who had been an honorary nurse at 
Hebron ; it was not long before her fine character 
exercised a marked influence on both the patients 
and the staff. Like others, she felt attracted by 
the picturesque oddity of the people : 

“They are accustomed to wear charms of different kinds to 
keep off the ‘ evil eye.’ One woman asked for a Christian charm, 
for which she was willing to pay 6s. 8d. Another asked me 
to beat her with the Bible to cure her! We had one Moslem 
man in the hospital for a long time, Job by name, who was 
strongly averse at first to hear about the Christian religion. 


Gradually, however, his attitude changed, and shortly before 
he died he asked to have something about Jesus read to him, 
and when the story of the Crucifixion was told him slowly and 
distinctly, he said softly, ‘ Yes, I have sinned, but He is merciful.’ 
More than one has told us afterwards that they prayed to 
Jesus before their operation and they believed that He did help 

Additional help came in the person of one in 
whom the Doctor had a special interest, Miss J. R. 
George, a daughter of the Rev. J. A. George, the 
minister to whom he had owed so much in his 
younger days. She had an aptitude for languages, 
and her Arabic instructor declared that she was 
the best pupil he had ever taught. 

And then came to the Girls’ School at Tiberias, 
Miss A. G. Irvine, L.L.A., the first professionally 
qualified European headmistress. Capable and 
courageous, and possessing initiative and organizing 
ability, she began to revolutionize the conditions, 
and the Doctor, watching, rejoiced and knew that 
all was well. She began with a roll attendance of 
one hundred and seventeen pupils, but there was not 
a single Jewess among them. She found all ex- 
tremely bright and attractive, without the shy and 
self-conscious manners of Scottish schoolgirls. 
But their absolute indifference to punctuality or 
regularity of attendance tried her sorely, while she 
was often taken aback by the interruptions that 
occurred. A woman would come and take away 
her daughter to carry the bread to the public oven ; 
another would send for her girl to come and nurse 
her father while she went shopping; another 
would hastily bring a screaming infant to be com- 


forted by his sister; a father would appear with 
new shoes and take out his two children to the door- 
step to fit these on. 

Meanwhile Mr. Semple was quietly reorganiz- 
ing the Boys’ School. Happily he conceived the 
idea of introducing courses in elementary science, 
which proved so attractive that he secured a supply 
of scientific apparatus and chemicals and illustrated 
his teaching with experiments, in which the boys 
took part. It was the first time that such a line of 
instruction had been given in a Palestine school, 
and it turned the thoughts of the pupils towards 
new directions of service in the future. These 
changes so strengthened the educational side of the 
work that the schools flourished in spite of the 
formidable opposition, and proved that, provided the 
standard of efficiency were maintained, they could 
hold their own and continue to act as Christian 

The purely evangelistic aspect of the Mission 
was as ever the most baffling problem. ‘‘ The soil,”’ 

wrote the Doctor, “is hard and stony and thorny, 
almost beyond imagination. We have to overcome 
the legal and ceremonial mind of the Jews, the 
proud satisfaction of the Moslem, and the sickening 
superstition of the Oriental Christian, and an 
absence of a sense of sin on the part of all.” 

Miss Faris, the Biblewoman, often came across 
illustrations of these traits. Once, for instance, 
she asked a bedouin woman : 

“Are you a sinner ?”—“‘ No,” indignantly, 
““T am not a sinner.” 

“Do you tell lies ? ”—‘* Sometimes.” 


“Do you curse ?”»—‘‘ Yes, many times.” 

“ Swear ? ”’—“ Very often.” 

** Steal ? ”—‘* Well, sometimes—olives.”’ 

“‘ Hate ? quarrel ? ’—‘‘ Oh yes, very often.” 

** Well, all that is sin.””—‘* That is sin ? ” 

“Yes ; now are you not a sinner ? ”’—‘‘ God 
knows ! ” 

Another patient thought that prayer was in- 
efficacious unless Miss Faris knelt beside her bed ; 
one was satisfied if a Bible was put under her pillow. 
In a dim sort of way the women believed in God 
and prayer and fasting, but had no clear under- 
standing of anything. ‘‘ And the girls?”’ Miss 
Faris was once asked. ‘‘ Ah!” and she sighed ; 
“ the girls are as ignorant as animals.” 

So far outward results had been negligible, but 
none could tell how the leaven was working under 
the surface. The nurses often saw momentary 
glimpses of mind and heart working towards the 
light. Miss Faris knew that the Gospel story 
appealed to the women, knew also that not a few 
came to trust in Jesus. They would not openly 
say so unless they were dying. One who suffered 
much with infinite patience only revealed her 
secret as she was passing away. 

‘“* Amongst our hospital services and addresses,” 
wrote Mr. Semple, ‘that which affords most 
interest and is to all seeming most effective, is the 
Ward Service (on the Sunday afternoon in par- 
ticular) which the Doctor himself conducts. The 
patients, one and all, place their complete confidence 
in his medical skill ; and when he turns for a while 
from the care of their bodies to speak to them 


concerning themselves, he can have no more 
interested audience. Frequently in an under- 
tone, frequently outspoken, we hear a running 
commentary kept up as the speaker leads the 
thought onward and upward to Christ, then there 
is a sudden silence indicative of dissent or unwilling 
assent to what is urged ; now and then a muttered 
‘true’ is heard from some tired sufferer. There- 
fore we trust and pray.” 

It was felt more than ever that the absence of 
village evangelism was a serious defect in the work. 
Patients from the hospital and pupils from the 
schools returned to their homes in the town and 
villages, where the influence gained over them was 
lost. They required to be followed up and rein- 
forced in their impulse to lead a new life, but there 
was none save Cohen suited for the work, and he 
was busy with other duties. After seven years’ 
patient service, he was ordained in 1912 as Qasiés or 
pastor, and as a mark of the Committee’s apprecia- 
tion, he was invited to spend a furlough in Scotland. 
This gratified a long-cherished desire, and he felt 
greatly honoured when he was asked to address 
the General Assembly. He did so in English— 
the English, he intimated, that he had learned at the 
Mission class in Safed. He, too, made an appeal 
for a House of Industry where the inquirers might 
find employment. 

On returning, his position in the eyes of the 
town people was much improved, and he had un- 
rivalled opportunities of meeting and talking to the 
Jews both in the waiting-room and by the wayside. 
One day he encountered an Ashkenazi member of the 


race in the market, who stopped him. “ I am just 
returning from the rabbi,” he said. ‘“ And what 
business had you with him?” asked Cohen. “A 
diet problem,” replied the man, and described it. 
““Now how would you have solved that?” 
“Trepha” (unlawful or forbidden), Cohen 
promptly replied, giving him the reason and the 
reference to the code of laws. The Jew looked at 
him admiringly. “ That is exactly how the rabbi 
solved it. What a pity you are not a rabbi!” 
‘Don’t trouble with such trifles,” was the reply ; 
“seek the truth in Jesus; He explains and fulfils 
the law.” Not long afterwards the Jew appeared, 
and bought the New Testament. 

Another day he heard one Jew say to another, 
“The problem is solved ; the food may be eaten.” 
He asked what had gone wrong, and was told that a 
woman had cooked in a pot set apart for milk-food 
some soup made with meat. The pot was placed 
beside two others containing respectively meat and 
potatoes, and all three pots had been stirred with 
one spoon. Had the three dinners been made unfit 
to be eaten? Appeal on this solemn question had 
to be made to the rabbi, who, ascertaining that five 
days had elapsed since the first pot had been used 
for cooking milk-food, decreed that, according to 
the law, the food might be eaten, and the offend- 
ing first pot must be broken. “ Was he right?” 
added the Jew, with a desire to test Mr. Cohen’s 
knowledge. ‘‘ The rabbi’s decision was correct 
according to the code on the subject in question,” 
was the reply, “but the rabbi ought to have 
something better to tell the people, something 


more satisfying to the reason, more nourishing to 
your souls.”’ 

What Cohen liked most was his Bible class of 
young Jews at night; he felt that there he was 
handing on the good he had himself received twenty 
years before at Safed. What the extent of his 
influence was, no one could estimate. His pupils 
were scattered throughout the world; they were 
in England, America, Australia, and South Africa, 
and the impulse that had sent them abroad and 
shaped their lives was derived largely from the 
Galilee Mission. 

The Jewish colonies had much to do with 
quickening the life of the country. In strong 
contrast to the bloodless town Jews, the settlers 
were manly, self-reliant, and enterprising. They 
were industrious tillers of the soil, cultivating wheat, 
cotton, and other products, constructing roads, 
building bridges, and generally creating civilized 
conditions in the districts which they occupied. 
They had come to Palestine, not so much from 
religious motives as for political and economic 
reasons, and brought with them that breath of 
scepticism which had never yet chilled the orthodox 
atmosphere of the Holy Cities. All were more or 
less tinged with the spirit of rationalism, and many 
had apparently lost faith in the law and tradition. 
But they had a keen appreciation of education, 
and there was a school in every colony. The 
moral tone in the settlements also was high ; they 
were the only places in Palestine where there was no 
crime ; for over thirty years not a single case had 
been reported from them. 


The patients who came to Tiberias hospital 
were always ready to discuss matters of religious 
belief, and they told the Doctor that he and the 
other missionaries would be welcomed in their 
midst. This opened up a new field, and regular 
visitation of the colonies became a feature of the 
work. With all their openness of mind, however, 
the settlers were loyal to the thought and customs of 
their race, and it was difficult to make an impression 
upon them. At the Waters of Merom, Cohen, as 
an old worker, was always an object of much in- 
terest. Strenuous efforts were made to induce 
him to recant, but he was too firmly rooted in the 
truth to be affected by either blandishment or 

The teachers in their schools were well-educated 
and thoroughly trained, and had a wide knowledge 
of affairs. “‘ Why don’t you set your own house 
in order?” they would say to the missionaries. 
‘“‘ Have we ever persecuted your faith?” One, 
a Russian lady, exclaimed, “ Evangelists are you? 
Well, why not evangelize the Christians ? ”’ 

** But, madam,” was the mild reply, “ all good 
Christians condemn religious persecution and in- 

It was the common indictment, and the sting 
of the words lay in their truth. The sum of 
Cohen’s experience was expressed in one sentence : 
“The Jews interpret Christ and Christianity not 
in the light of the New Testament, but as they see 
it practised in the lives of Christians.” As Dr. 
Alfred Edersheim, the Budapest convert, also said, 
‘© That which I hated was not Christianity. What 


I hated—what most Jews have learned to hate— 
was the unjust treatment, the insult, the oppression 
which the Christian meted out to the Jew.” 

The year 1914 found the Doctor still without 
an assistant; no qualified man could be found 
either in Syria or Scotland. He was in indifferent 
health, and was wrestling alone with a paralysing 
amount of medical work, attending to endless 
practical details, planning extensions and installing 
the new sanitation, electric lighting, and other 
features which had been approved of by the Com- 
mittee. One could not but be impressed with the 
difficulty of the situation as well as the resolution 
and courage with which it was met. “I have 
never read braver documents than these,” said Dr. 
(now Professor) A. B. Macaulay in the General 
Assembly, alluding to the reports from the field at 
this time. 

The strain of the ordinary work was accentuated 
by the demands of a daily stream of tourists, who 
not only often required professional assistance but 
accommodation as well, since ‘‘ there was no room 
for them in the inn.” It was not that the Doctor 
was not glad to meet them, but being usually with- 
out an assistant it was difficult to combine social 
duties with his medical and administrative work. 
The time set apart for visitors was the tea-hour, 
when they would gather on the veranda and enjoy 
a talk with the Doctor and admire the beautiful 
view of the Lake and Mount Hermon. Many a 
distinguished personage had sat there during the 
long years. Princes who were now on thrones, 
Dukes and Earls, Ambassadors, financiers, million- 


aires, authors, politicians, men and women of every 
class and type, had listened to the Doctor’s ex- 
position of the features of the landscape, for few 
had a more intimate knowledge of their sacred 
associations. Many he accompanied to the various 
scenes of interest, and to have him was to possess a 
passport to the favour and hospitality of the people. 
Some of his visitors gave donations to the work ; 
others, like Miss Helen Gould, endowed beds in 
the hospital; the majority passed on, leaving no 
practical expression of interest, but carrying with 
them, as did all, a profound admiration for the 
beneficent service being done, and for those who 
were doing it. \ “ Not easy work is done there,” 
wrote Professor ‘Dalman. ‘‘ Romantic ideas about 
service in the Holy Land soon fade under the 
burning sun of a shadowless country. Only whole- 
hearted faith enables men to work with fevered 
veins and aching head.” | 

This year amongst the visitors were Lord and 
Lady Bryce and Mr. Morgenthau, the American 
Ambassador to Turkey, who was a Jew. During 
their stay a party of American students passed 
through and proceeded to walk to Mount Tabor. 
One was shot at and wounded by bedouin shepherds, 
who had demanded bakhshish. While some went 
forward to secure help, two returned to Tiberias, 
leaving the wounded man with a companion. Dr. 
Torrance informed the Governor, and as he himself 
was busy with the clinic, Mr. Semple set out with a 
donkey and stretcher. The Doctor followed later. 
Next day they came upon the two men, amongst 
a waste of rocks and thistles, struggling towards 


Tiberias. With them was a bedouin woman who 
had practically saved the wounded man’s life by 
attending to him during the night and bringing 
him food and milk. The Governor seized her, 
forced her arms behind her back and twisted them 
until she screamed with pain, his object being to 
extract a confession from her regarding the assail- 
ants. She insisted that she knew nothing of the 
shooting and had come by accident upon the men. 
When the hospital was reached the Doctor ex- 
tracted the bullet, and the patient made a good 
recovery. The fact that the American Ambassador 
was in the town spurred the police to action, and they 
rounded up all the bedouin in the countryside, and 
put as many into prison as the building could hold. 

Lord Bryce showed his usual alert inquiring 
mind, and questioned the Doctor closely regarding 
the country and its problems. They had a long 
discussion on missions, in which Mr. Morgenthau 
took part. The Doctor was struck by the latter’s 
broad and sympathetic outlook. After they had 
talked for a time on the various faiths, the Am- 
bassador remarked, ‘“ We all want to get to the 
same goal. It is just like going up Mount Tabor. 
We want to get to the top. You are going up one 
side ; we are going up the other. As long as we 
maintain our ambition, and as long as our eyes are 
directed to the summit, we shall all meet there in 
time.” Both Lord Bryce and Mr. Morgenthau 
paid a high tribute to the value of the work which 
the Doctor was doing, and the latter thanked him 
specially for the aid he was rendering his co- 


“Riding up the steep hills which mount west- 
ward from the Sea of Galilee,” writes Dr. Bliss in 
The Development of Palestine Exploration, ‘1 met, 
one morning in spring, a poor Arab walking beside 
a donkey which carried his sick wife. He called me 
to stop; he seized my bridle: ‘ Did I know of one 
who healed at Tiberias? Was he wise? Was he 
kind? Would he cure the woman?’ As I rode 
on towards Nazareth, having reassured the man, I 
fell to thinking that just such a scene might have 
been enacted on that very road in the days of Him 
in Whose name the missionary doctor at Tiberias 
ministers to the suffering to-day. Far down every 
road leading to the Sea of Galilee there flocked men 
and women bearing the sick, half in doubt, half in 
hope that One Who healed, Whom they knew only 
by hearing, might be gracious to them also.” 

In May the Doctor wrote: “‘ The work is now 
quite beyond me,” and when the hospital was 
closed for the hot months he was “ dead beat.” 
But the affairs of the Mission and of Palestine and 
of the whole world were soon to be thrown into 
the great melting-pot of the war, and the Doctor’s 
troubles, like the troubles of every one, were to be 
engulfed in the seething cauldron, and for a time 

c ee 
«high ob 

ft . ‘ 
. he 
‘ a i 2 
a5 % 





Mount Hermon, snow-capped, lies in the 

distance, but is too far away to be visible 
in the photograph 



THE constitutional régime in the Ottoman Empire 
had brought no improvement in the public con- 
dition of the country. The war, first with Italy 
and then with the Balkan States, ending in humilia- 
tion, had impoverished the people, and Palestine 
was not the least wretched and discontented of the 
provinces. Business was stagnant, the price of 
food and labour high, and so unpopular were the 
military service regulations that the best youth of 
the country were stealing away overseas to escape 
being drafted into the army. The flame of 
fanaticism flared up here and there, and rumour 
was rife of possible risings ageinst foreigners and 
especially the Christians. 

While Turkey was being defeated in the field 
she was playing a dubious game in international 
politics. Britain and Germany were courting her 
favour at Constantinople, and as success swayed 
now to one side, now to the other, those living 
in the country could observe visible evidence of the 
process. In Palestine it became clear finally that 

Germany had out-manceuvred Britain. German 
16 ; 


engineers began to overrun the land. German 
officers took charge of the army and introduced 
European methods of training. Dr. Torrance met 
all manner of Germans in Tiberias, and there was 
no mistaking their attitude. It was that of men in 
possession. It became well known that prepara- 
tions had been made for possible emergencies. ‘To 
every town and village had come secret orders 
which were to be made public only when notifica- 
tion was sent from headquarters, to the effect that 
every man between twenty-four and forty, able 
to bear arms, was immediately to present himself 
at the nearest military depdét with ten days’ pro- 

When Germany began hostilities martial law 
was. proclaimed throughout Palestine, and the 
forces were mobilized. Three of the hospital 
staff at ‘Tiberias, the dispenser, Mohammad, and the 
porter, were swept off. Weeping and wailing were 
heard on every side. The banks closed and no 
money was available. As the Doctor had just paid 
in his quarterly remittance he was left without 
funds ; but friendly Jews lent him money, and pro- 
vided fodder for his horse. Word came from the 
coast that the steamship service was disorganized, 
and the cost of imported goods became prohibitive. 
From the cheers that greeted the news of the 
German victories it was not difficult to know 
which side the populace favoured. Still the Doctor 
was hopeful that Turkey would not be involved in 
the conflict. 

On 7th August the closing exhibition of the 
Girls’ School at Safed was being held, and the 


company were enjoying the hospitality of Miss 
Jones in the garden, when Dr. Torrance was handed 
a telegram from the Consul-General, intimating 
that a state of war had existed between Britain and 
Germany since the 4th. ‘‘ We were overawed by 
the news,” he wrote. Mobilization went on. 
Thousands of men were kept hanging about the 
depéts waiting enrolment, their food became ex- 
hausted, and there were no fresh supplies. Horses, 
mules, provisions, clothes began to be ruthlessly 
commandeered from every town and village. Work 
stopped, distress prevailed, hunger and starvation 
ravaged Tiberias. After taking stock the Doctor 
calculated that he would be able to hold on for at 
leasta month. He was alone, Mr. Semple and Miss 
Irvine being on furlough, and his family at Safed 
with Miss Jones and Miss Gwladys Jones. Miss 
George and Sister Frieda were at Bludan, near 
Damascus, where the former had been studying 
the language, but they were now hastening back to 

On 28th August Dr. Anderson of the Church 
Missions to Jews received orders from London 
to return immediately, and left. On 7th Sep- 
tember a special messenger reached Dr. Torrance, 
with a strong recommendation from the Consul- 
General to follow his example. Although he had 
kept the Committee in Scotland in touch with what 
was happening, no reply came to his cables, and 
gathering together his party—Mrs. Torrance, three 
children and nurse, Miss Jones, Miss Gwladys 
Jones, and Miss George—he made preparations 
for leaving. This was not easy, for the townspeople 


had learned to lean on his sympathy and judgment, 
and they gave him no peace, coming to him by day 
and night for advice and assistance on all sorts of 
matters. But he fixed up the necessary salaries, 
arranged for a supply of provisions until November, 
gave directions for the reopening of the schools 
whatever happened, appointed Sister Frieda to 
carry on the medical work as far as possible, and 
gave her the keys of the buildings. Being a Swiss 
subject she would be exempt from molestation in 
the event of Turkey taking part in the struggle, 
and she had an aunt, a German lady, Mrs. Mueller, 
in Nazareth, with whom she could, if need be, find 

But so sure was the Doctor that Turkey would 
find it to her advantage to side with the Allies, and 
that he would shortly be back, that he packed only a 
handbag, and left all his belongings—his clothes, his 
manuscripts, the valuable articles he had collected 
during his stay in the country, including a cabinet 
of rare coins, and gold and silver objects. 

The party travelled lightly, and after consider- 
able trouble and anxiety succeeded in reaching 
Haifa, Port Said, and England. 

With his insatiable appetite for work the Doctor 
at once took a position in Glasgow Western 
Infirmary ; but when Turkey cast in her lot with 
Germany and Austria he applied to the Scottish 
Command for a commission in the R.A.M.C. He 
was above military age and there was delay. Grow- 
ing impatient he went direct to the War Office 
in London and offered his services. The officials 
were delighted to see him, and within a few days 


he was directed to proceed to Scottish Head- 
quarters, where he received a commission as 
Lieutenant, and became Resident Officer in 
command of Oakbank War Hospital, containing 
250 beds. The work was as exacting as that in 
Tiberias, and, to him, very sad. Fortunately he 
was near the little home which had been established 
in Glasgow. These, however, were sombre years 
for every one, and do not bear recalling. One 
bright incident was the graduation, in 1916, as 
M.B., Ch.B., of his son Herbert, a distinguished 
student, who also received a commission in the 

The Doctor’s thoughts dwelt unceasingly upon 
Tiberias. What was happening there? From 
time to time scraps of intelligence filtered through. 
After being left alone, Sister Frieda carried on the 
out-patient department, attending to as many as 
120 cases a day, performing minor operations, 
and in the afternoon visiting midwifery patients 
in the town. The authorities seized the school- 
house and turned it into a Moslem school. 
Then the military appeared at the hospital and, in 
spite of her protests, relieved her of the keys and 
took possession. ‘They forbade her even to go to 
her own quarters or remove a single article, and 
turned her out as she was. The hotel in the town 
was run by Germans, Mr. and Mrs. Grossman, 
who had the kindest of hearts, and were friends 
of the Mission and helpful neighbours of the Doctor 
and the staff. To them she went, and they pro- 
vided her with a room and made her comfortable. 

Undismayed by her experience she opened a 


clinic in the rear of the Bible Depot, to which 
patients flocked to the number of 250 a day. She 
made many attempts to obtain her belongings from 
the hospital, but was unsuccessful until she lodged a 
complaint with the Commander at Nazareth, when 
she was allowed to take away only what she could 
claim as her own. Her little store of money 
running done, she was penniless. “I don’t know,” 
she said afterwards, ‘‘ what would have become 
of me if it had not been for the Grossmans, who 
helped me in all my difficulties. The distress in 
the town was very great ; it was a mystery how the 
poor got their daily bread, and I could do so little 
to relieve them.’ Locusts had ravaged the country, 
and there were no vegetables or fruit coming into 
the market. 

In July 1915 she went to Nazareth, where she 
lived with her aunt. Mrs. Mueller’s name will long 
be honoured by Galilee missionaries. She had 
considerable influence, and being a woman of 
spirit and courage she fought many a battle on 
behalf of British interests. 

Dr. Scrimgeour, who had taken his family to 
Egypt, found it impossible to return, and his two 
nurses, who had courageously resolved to remain, 
were commandeered by the Turks to attend to 
their sick and wounded. They were befriended 
by Mrs. Mueller and Sister Frieda. Both were 
earnest and devoted missionaries : one, Miss Croft, 
died before the end of the war ; and the other, Miss 
Johncock, in 1920. Sister Frieda also worked in the 
Turkish hospitals ; they were full, and the condi- 
tions were deplorable. As she was unable to live 


on her pay of 16s. per month, she asked that she 
might be transferred to the Turkish-German base 
of operations against Egypt, and was sent to Beer- 
sheba; thence she was commandeered for tent 
work at el-Arish, a little mud-town amongst the 
sands on the desert track. It was within the fighting 
zone ; there was constant shell-fire, bombing by 
aeroplanes, and rattle of machine guns, and, in 
addition to these nerve-racking factors, she was the 
object of suspicion and dislike to German nurses 
who, knowing she had been in a Scottish hospital, 
regarded her as a spy. “It does not matter to me 
whom I nurse,” she protested to the German officers 
when she was turned away from the British patients. 
They agreed with her, and treated her with all 
courtesy. Conditions grew worse ; both food and 
water were scarce and bad, and she was attacked 
by typhus. Medical supplies were scanty—most 
of them had been looted by the Turks from mission 
hospitals, including that at Tiberias, and sent down 
in bulk, with the result that army doctors received 
boxes of microscopes and gynecological instru- 
ments for the care of the wounded soldiers! She 
struggled heroically on, but her nervous system 
broke down under the terrible strain and hardship, 
and she was sent back to Nazareth, and then to 
Damascus and finally to Germany, where she re- 
mained a year before proceeding to Switzerland. 

A more tragic fate befell Mr. Cohen. He was 
called to the army, but, as a pastor, gained exemption, 
and continued to carry on the evangelistic work of 
the Mission. Services were held in his house, and 
here he dispensed the communion to “two or 


three’ gathered in the name of Christ. The 
Jewish Mission Committee took infinite trouble to 
send him remittances, but he often found it difficult 
to make ends meet, and he began to engage in 
passport photography, which helped him a little. 
It proved, however, a fatal step. On some accusa- 
tion in connection with a passport he was arrested, 
imprisoned, and tortured, being beaten on the face 
and on the soles of his feet until he became un- 
conscious, but was finally acquitted of the charge. 
An innocent remark which he let fall later aroused 
fresh suspicion, and he was again arrested on a 
charge of espionage, imprisoned, sent to Nazareth 
for punishment, and then banished to Damascus. 
It says much for the kindness and loyalty of the 
Jews that they helped him in his extremity along 
with their co-religionists. He was last seen by a 
Scottish officer in Asia Minor tramping with other 
prisoners to Constantinople. Attacked by typhus, 
he died in a military hospital in Constantinople. It 
was a melancholy ending to a life of high courage 
and noble service. 

Mohammad, who joined the army, proved physic- 
ally unfit, and was sent to work on the roads beyond 
the Jordan. The doctors in the Mission buildings 
—for after being a Turkish Serai, or Government 
office, for a time, they were turned into war 
hospitals—learning that he knew how to run the 
motor-engine, sent for him. “ If you cannot get 
away, desert,” was the laconic message he received. 
He was able to return, and proved the most useful 
servant about the place. 

Isaac suffered privations like others of his race. 


During a typhus epidemic, the Turks waged war 
on the flowing locks of the Jews, and Isaac’s neatly 
trimmed beard was cut off—an indignity which he 
greatly resented. 



TuE brilliant advance of the British troops from 
Egypt into Palestine formed one of the most 
dramatic developments of the war. It coincided 
with an announcement which was, to the Jews, 
wonderful and even startling in its solemn possi- 
bilities. ‘Their age-long dream, that had seemed 
so hopeless of realization, appeared to be on the 
point of accomplishment. For some time it had 
been known to a few that the British Government 
was ready to take advantage of the turn of events 
in favour of the race, and on 2nd November 1917, 
Lord Balfour, on its behalf, addressed the follow- 
ing communication to Lord Rothschild : 

“‘ His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establish- 
ment in Palestine of a National Home for the Jewish people, 
and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement 
of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be 
done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of 
existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and 
politicai status enjoyed by the Jews in any other country.” 

When, in the following month, Jerusalem was 
captured and General Allenby entered the Holy 


City on foot, the Jews knew that the miracle had 
happened at last. Not the least gratifying feature 
of the campaign to them was the fact that Jewish 
battalions had taken part in the liberation of the 
land. It was notable, indeed, that men of various 
races and creeds—Britons (including Australians 
and New Zealanders), Indians, Arabs, Armenians, 
West Indian negroes, and Algerians formed that 
victorious army. 

In the stress of exalted emotion occasioned by 
these events and the reaction after centuries of 
crushing misery, the Jews read larger meanings 
into the Declaration than it contained, and said and 
wrote many things which cool reflection showed 
to have been unwise. ‘They mistook equal rights 
for sovereign privileges. They saw themselves 
in possession of Palestine, organizing a Jewish 
State and establishing their old customs and culture, 
forgetting for the moment that there was a very 
large population of natives, both Moslem and 
Christian, to be taken into account. ‘This, it was 
true, was not the attitude of all Jews in Western 
lands. A considerable number there still viewed 
with distaste the creation of a separate Jewish nation- 
ality, believing that Judaism was merely a system of 
thought and did not necessitate segregation and 
isolation from the communities of the world. 
Nevertheless they, too, were grateful to the British 
Government for its generous action, for it had 
brought to an end the feeling that they were a 
homeless race; it had given them a charter of 
renationalization ; it had provided them with an 
opportunity, if they cared to accept it, of building 


up in their ancient land a racial centre of social 
and spiritual activity. 

No section of the Christian community rejoiced 
more at the Declaration than the societies and 
missionaries working amongst the Jews, but they 
made sure that in the new dispensation all faiths 
would have equal rights and the fullest freedom, 
and that the missionary enterprise would have the 
same opportunity as it had hitherto enjoyed. 

The Jewish Mission Committee of the United 
Free Church learnt first through the Foreign Office 
of the state of the Mission property in Galilee. 
All the buildings in Tiberias were in fair repair, 
but had been stripped bare. The Turks had looted 
all the medical stores and instruments, the hospital 
beds, the school equipment, and most of the furniture 
in the two dwelling-houses, along with every article 
of interest and value which the Doctor had col- 
lected during his sojourn in the land, and all his 
manuscripts and books. In Safed a road had 
been driven through the Mission, the houses had 
been despoiled, Mr. Semple’s valuable library 
of books had been scattered and used for waste- 
paper and cigarettes, and all the furniture and 
clothing of the ladies had disappeared. 

The social conditions of the country were found 
to be appalling. There had been a reign of terror. | 
Thousands of Jews of British, French, and Russian 
nationality had been expelled, and their property 
confiscated ; those who remained had been sub- 
jected to cruel persecution. Life came to a stand- 
still; the fields were untilled ; the colonies were 
ravaged; the woodlands were cut down. Large 


numbers of people were starving; parents sold 
their children in the streets for a shilling or two ; 
drought, visitations of locusts, epidemics of typhus 
and cholera added to the horror of the situation. 

The British brought with them, like the Romans 
of old, order and law and a sense of the practical. 
At once the Military Administration entered on the 
gigantic task of resuscitating the country. It was 
literally a process of restoring the dead to life. 
The filthy cities were cleaned up and sanitary 
measures adopted ; a water-supply was provided ; 
broad, well-metalled roads began to intersect the 
land; cultivators were granted loans; commerce 
revived. In meeting the needs of the most 
necessitous the officials relied on the assistance 
of philanthropic agencies, and in this work the 
United Free Church took a large share. 

The Rev. J. Macdonald Webster of Budapest 
was in Scotland at the time. Widely known as 
“Webster of Budapest,” he was a missionary of 
exceptional ability with a profound knowledge of 
Eastern Europe and the Jewish problem, and an 
organizing faculty which carried to success what- 
ever scheme he undertook. The fact that it was 
the Jews who were chiefly suffering in Palestine 
and in Europe suggested to him the idea of raising 
a fund for the double purpose of relieving the 
distress and of establishing the Mission work, and 
re-equipping the buildings after the war. Much 
sympathy was being expressed for the Jews, and the 
Jewish Mission Committee welcomed the proposal, 
and appointed Mr. Webster organizing secretary. 
The result was a special War Fund—the only 


Church fund for Jewish relief—which in the end 
reached the remarkable total of £25,600. 

Agents were dispatched to the various centres 
where the refugees had concentrated, first to 
Russia and Poland and later to Egypt and 
Palestine. These included several of the Jewish 
workers—Mr. Christie, Miss Gwladys Jones, Miss 
Irvine, and Miss Reid, who, undeterred by the 
dangers, administered relief to the stricken people. 
The assistance rendered and the kindness shown 
made a deep impression on the minds of the Jews. 

When Dr. Milne Rae resigned the secretaryship 
of the Jewish Committee, which he had guided 
with much tact for many years, it was natural that 
Mr. Macdonald Webster should be appointed his 
successor. His advent marked the beginning of an 
era of energetic development and progress in the 


Dr. TorraNce—who now held the rank of Captain 
—had been fretting in Glasgow and grudging 
every hour that he was not in Galilee. He felt 
the damp winter cold keenly, and as soon as he was 
demobilized in the spring of 1919 he hastened out 
alone. Reaching Tiberias he stepped into the 
town in the darkness, secured a room in the hotel, 
and went out and prowled around to discover how 


matters stood. His own house was occupied by 
the Military Governor, the minister’s house was 
used as a post office, the school buildings were the 
Moslem Law Courts, and the hospital was in the 
hands of the American Zionist Medical Unit. He 
called on the Governor, and told him who he was, 
and said characteristically that he was coming to 
claim his property next day in order to start medical 
work again at once. But the British Army is a 
ponderous and slow-moving machine, and the 
Doctor was forced to begin elsewhere. He had 
the Moslems cleared out of the schoolhouse, 
secured a few chairs and a table, and opened an out- 
patient department. His name possessed all its 
old magic, and the people flocked about him, de- 
lighted to have their “‘ King,” as they called him, 
once more in their midst. None were more 
pleased than his Jewish friends. ‘“ Saint David 
is here!” was the slogan-cry that rang through 
the Jewish quarter of the town and the colonies in 
the vicinity. They noticed a difference in him, and 
some did not know him “ until he smiled.” But 
he soon picked up ; the work renewed his vitality, 
and that restless energy which characterized him 
before the war returned along with the determina- 
tion to restore the broken fortunes of the Mission. 

By and by, through persevering effort, he 
managed to secure entry into the top story of his 
old house, and, backed by the Committee in Scot- 
land, continued the process of pressure, but it 
was not until October that he was once more 
master of all the Mission buildings. He 
endeavoured to recover some of his scattered 


belongings which he knew were in the town, but 
was not very successful. Once he was shown a 
photograph of a group in which one of the figures 
was wearing a suit of his best clothes ; it touched 
his sense of humour, and he was philosopher enough 
to make the best of the situation. The task of 
rebuilding the shattered fabric of the Mission was 
not an easy one, but gradually the staff was re- 
constituted, though not all the former members 
came back. Mr. Semple returned from his 
chaplaincy in the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, 
Sister Frieda came from Switzerland, Amina Faris, 
Isaac, and Mohammad took up their old duties. 
All had been shaken by their experiences, but were 
not less eager and devoted than formerly. 

Several new appointments were made, one of 
which, that of Miss Vartan as Matron, pleased the 
Doctor exceedingly. She was the daughter of his 
old friend, Dr. Vartan, and proved as wise and as 
capable as her father. Arabic she spoke as fluently 
as English. 

Then Dr. Mary M‘Neill, who had been serving 
in the Scottish Women’s hospital in Belgrade, came 
to assist him temporarily. When in Egypt on her 
way out she was told by Cairo practitioners that 
the Doctor was “the most beloved man in 
Palestine.” ‘‘ You are very fortunate to be going 
to Tiberias,” said experienced fellow-travellers on 
the journey to Galilee, and when she came to the 
hospital by the Lake, “‘ the most touchingly alluring 
sheet of water in the world,”’ she realized the truth 
of the remarks. 

‘“‘ Various scenes recur to me,” she writes, “‘ as I look back 


on these busy months. I see the Doctor in his consulting- 
room. A Jewish lady has come from Jerusalem expressly to 
have his opinion on her case; a Christian priest has brought a 
company of sick villagers from the Hauran. ‘Tall and handsome 
bedouin in picturesque garb arrive from the ‘ regions beyond the 
Jordan,’ and when he has spoken to them, they prostrate them- 
selves on the ground and kiss his feet, and then, clasping their 
hands and lifting their eyes, they say a prayer of thanksgiving 

for him. 
“T recall a Sunday morning when a little Christian com- 

munity has gathered in the hospital waiting-room. And in 
the communion service carried out according to the simple rites 
of the Scots Kirk participate two grateful patients, a priest of 
the Greek Orthodox Church, and his deacon. In the afternoon 
a service is held in the wards. Miss Vartan plays the har- 
monium and leads the singing. The patients listen as the 
Doctor speaks quietly and simply to them. Little children, 
Moslem, Jewish, and Christian, cluster on the floor near him. 
They have learnt the Lord’s Prayer and they repeat it together, 
* Our Father which art in heaven.’ 

““ T see him the friend and adviser of all sorts and conditions 
of men whom he has won by his skill and broad-minded 
and large-hearted charity—the gentle Franciscan brother at 
Capernaum, the poor Sisters in the adjacent convent, the Jewish 
rabbis in the town, the fanatical Moslems in the desert. He is 
the friend of all, and as a linguist can make himself understood 
by all. I have heard him talk in turn Arabic, Yiddish, French, 
and Italian to his patients. 

“I see him acting as host to a number of young officers of 
an Indian regiment quartered near Tiberias. He has great 
social gifts, is very fond of music, can tune the piano, and sings 
well. These musical evenings relieved many a dull hour for 
these lonely officers.” 

He was so familiar and popular a figure in the 
country that in travelling with him one had to make 
up one’s mind for endless stoppages and delays. 
Everywhere Jews, Moslems, and Christians would 
hail him or make themselves known in some way. 


A walk in Jerusalem with him was a series of en- 
counters and talks. He was a privileged visitor at 
all the holy places, because there was sure to be some 
one there who had been a patient. One day, as he 
entered the Mosque of Omar, an attendant became 
obsequious. He had been in the hospital, and so 
great was his faith in the Doctor’s powers that he 
dragged forward his little boy and asked him to 
cure him. “ How can I,” said the Doctor, “‘ unless 
I make a proper diagnosis? Can you, without 
eyes, shoot a bird?” ‘“ But God has given me 
the thought that you can cure him.” “ And,” 
the Doctor countered, ‘“‘ God has given me the 
thought that you should consult Dr. ——.” At 
Jacob’s Well he was welcomed by a priest, a 
stranger to him. ‘‘ Ah, Doctor,” the latter cried, 
“if it hadn’t been for you I would have died!” 
Long years before he also had been in the hospital. 
Such incidents by the wayside were always 
happening. Even in Egypt he was recognized 
and gratefully thanked by patients who had gone 
to him from that country. 

Dr. Mary M‘Neill left, and the Doctor was again 
without a colleague. But his son, Dr. Herbert, 
now also M.D., could not think of him continuing 
to toil alone after a lifetime of service, and relin- 
quishing, as his father himself had done, the sure 
prospect of a successful career at home, he went out 
to act as assistant in the hospital. His advent 
was not only a source of pride and pleasure to his 
father, but an event of importance to the people of 
Galilee. Would he possess the skill and other 
qualities of the Doctor? ‘They observed him 



closely, more closely than he knew, and were not 
long in reaching a conclusion. He had indeed the 
same alert mind, the same quick sympathy that was 
almost tender in its quality, and the same light 
yet firm touch which conveyed to the patients a 
sense of healing. ‘Those who formerly would have 
no one but “ Trance” and turned away if he 
were not available, began to give themselves into 
the hands of Dr. Herbert, though they made no 
secret of their preference for his father. 

Children especially loved the slim young doctor 
with the kind, smiling eyes and the hands ever 
ready for theirs to slip into; they seemed to know 
instinctively that he suffered with their suffering, 
and was doing his utmost to make them well. He 
would fight for them where even his father had 
pronounced a verdict of death. One day he brought 
over to the Doctor at the house a boy from Nazareth. 
Dr. Torrance ran his fingers over the swollen face 
and neck. “ Hopeless!” he said. ‘“ He will die.” 
Dr. Herbert lingered restlessly, suggesting this and 
that, but his experienced father shook his head. 
“He will die within a month,” he said. Dr. 
Herbert acquiesced sadly, and with a face that 
one did not like to see, took the boy by the 
hand and led him away. It was this intense 
human sympathy, combined with a gentle humour, 
that captured the popular heart. 

What impressed the young doctor was the 
immense field that lay before a surgeon in Palestine. 
He saw cases in the first few months which, though 
they were not peculiar to the country, he had never 
witnessed before, and, in addition, he dealt with 


some that he would not have come across in practice 
elsewhere. His father told him that he had treated 
surgical cases of a very rare type, such as probably 
would not occur more than once or twice in a run 
of ten thousand patients. 

Another qualified nurse from Scotland, Miss 
Hazel Ferguson, daughter of a Formosan mis- 
sionary, joined the staff, and by her cheerful and 
helpful nature added to the brightness of the in- 
stitution, though she found that it was not 
easy always to be at one’s best amidst such heat 
and with such a rush of work. ‘ Last Tuesday,” 
she wrote on one occasion, “the Doctor started at 
7.30 a.m., so I was in before him—about 7.10. He 
did seven operations, finishing at 12.30 pm. We 
were all quite limp and damp. That evening at 
9 p.m., when I was on duty (as all the nurses were 
having their lecture from Dr. Herbert), I noticed 
the theatre thermometerfregistered§84° Fahr.”’ 



By the Treaty of Versailles, Britain was constituted 
the Mandatory Power over Palestine west of the 
Jordan. The military régime gave place to a civil 
administration in July 1920, and Sir Herbert 
Samuel, a Jew in whose wisdom, judgment, and 
impartiality all classes had the utmost confidence, 
was appointed High Commissioner and Com- 


mander-in-Chief, and began a task which was 
unparalleled in the history of the Empire. The 
foundations of the new civilization had been laid, 
but he had to build up a social and economic life out 
of the most unpromising material ; he had to keep 
the peace between the fanatical adherents of three 
great religions ; and he had to conduct the public 
work of the country in three different languages, 
for Arabic, Hebrew, and English were now officially 
recognized. He could not have achieved much 
without the aid of the Jews who were coming into 
the country. In six months as many as ten thousand 
arrived, and the numbers were increasing every 
week. Palestine was beginning to throb with life 
and activity in a way it had not known for centuries. 
The old inhabitants were not a little dazed by what 
was going on. 

A large number of the immigrants were well-to- 
do mechanics, merchants, and manufacturers who 
settled in the towns and went to work in the most 
thorough and scientific manner, erected shops, 
silicate brick factories, flour mills, cement factories, 
oil factories, and other businesses, which gave 
employment to thousands. Others started as 
watchmakers, carpenters, and weavers. Many 
found work in the colonies, or settlements, as they 
were now called. ‘These agricultural centres were 
increasing in number and were developing mixed 
farming, market gardening, fruit-growing, and 
afforestation, and experimenting with breeds of 
cattle, poultry farming, tobacco planting, and the 
culture of silkworms. It was calculated that 
already upwards of four million pounds had been 


poured into the country by Jewish public bodies 
apart from the money spent by private enterprise. 
But the majority of the immigrants were a 
mixed class of young Jews and Jewesses, including 
University graduates and other well-educated 
persons, who came mainly from Eastern Europe ; 
they were known as the halutzim, or “ pioneers,” 
and their object was to prepare the foundations of 
the future national home. Although the country 
was under-populated—the British estimate was 
700,000, which was less than the province of Galilee 
had contained in the time of Christ—it could not, 
in its existing economic condition, absorb so large 
a number; and unused as they were to manual 
labour, they were put into camps and set to work 
on the construction of roads, buildings, bridges, 
telephone and telegraph services, and the sites for 
new towns—for it was found impossible to make 
anything of the old from a public health point of 
view, and already the new Jerusalem and the new 
Tiberias had been planned and begun, the latter 
being laid out about a mile higher up the slope 
than the Mission hospital, and overlooking the 
Lake of Galilee. 
_ Sturdy in physique, self-reliant and buoyant, 
these pioneers toiled at their tasks without a murmur, 
and looked, despite their rough and dusty garments, 
the picture of wholesome and vigorous youth. 
Critics called them bolshevists, and they were re- 
garded with disfavour by the older Jewish residents. 
Dr. Torrance laughed at the charge. ‘ What is 
bolshevism ?” he said. ‘It is the negation of 
constituted law and order. But these Jews, how- 


ever revolutionary their ideas are in regard to 
orthodox Judaism, are loyal to their race, and their 
aim is national reconstruction and not the abolition 
of orderly society. They are going in largely 
for co-operation in industry, and that is not bol- 
shevism. ‘The Arabs do not, as a rule, combine, 
and they have not the same constructive sense as 
the Jews.” Revelling in their freedom, full of 
idealism, enthusiastic in outlook, confident, ener- 
getic, and resolute, these young men and women 
formed an absolutely new class in the history of 
modern Jewry. ‘The missionaries saw in them the 
nucleus of the future commonwealth of Jews. 

This outburst of foreign activity would prob- 
ably not have been resented by the native Arab 
population had it not been accompanied at the 
first by the declarations of the extreme Zionists, 
who wished to ride roughshod over the old-estab- 
lished conditions and create a Jewish State at 
once and by sheer force. The irritation -and 
alarm caused by this attitude produced an agita- 
tion that culminated in riot and bloodshed. Sir 
Herbert Samuel took occasion to point out that 
the only Zionism which was practicable was that 
which safeguarded and promoted the well-being 
of the Arab population. The degree to which 
Jewish national aspirations could be _ fulfilled 
was conditioned by the rights of the existing 
inhabitants. He did not, however, conceal the 
determination of the British Government to satisfy 
the hopes of the Jews for a home which would 
possess all the national characteristics for which 
the Zionists longed. 


As a first step towards self-government an 
Advisory Council was constituted of the unofficial 
members, of which four were Moslems, three 
Christians, and three Jews. It was a small be- 
ginning, but the Administration regarded it, rightly, 
as the germ of momentous developments. ‘ We 
have in Palestine,” said Sir Wyndham Deedes, 
C.M.G., D.S.O., the Civil Secretary, “the three 
great world religions — Christianity, Moham- 
medanism, and Judaism. If we can manage to get 
these three religions to live together we shall have 
taken the biggest step in the world towards a 
world peace. Our hope is that Palestine may 
become, in the course of time, a torch to lighten 
the rest of the world.” 

The Arab mind was in no wise reassured. 
Under the Turkish régime there had been no 
public opinion in Palestine ; few of the people read 
newspapers, and the pressure of organized thought 
was an unknown force. But with freedom the 
community seemed to awaken out of sleep; every 
one was reading and expressing his views; the 
Arabs, like other races, had become conscious of 
their national existence and rights. They found 
that they had a constitutional method of dealing 
with the situation, and a committee was formed 
to represent their case. Perhaps it was the voice 
of a small section of the population, the effendi 
class, but they had the backing of a considerable 
proportion of the ordinary inhabitants. 

They brought to the notice of the British Gov- 
ernment and people their claim that their position 
and interests had been overlooked. ‘The country, 


they maintained, belonged to the indigenous 
population, four-fifths of whom were Moslems 
and 77,000 Christians ; the Jews had no claim to 
it save an antiquarian and sentimental one. They 
had no doubt whatever that the Zionists aimed 
ultimately at securing political control, and that 
in spite of all safeguards they would contrive to 
do so. To the contention that only the Jews, with 
their idealism, energy, science, and wealth, would 
be able to rehabilitate the country and make it 
prosperous, they answered that the Arabs had never 
had a fair chance, and that under the new con- 
ditions they would have the opportunity of success- 
fully developing its economic resources. 

A period of sharp controversy followed, during 
which feeling in Palestine continued to run high. 
The British Government had again to make the 
situation clear. It declared that the Jewish people 
were in Palestine as of right, and not on sufferance, 
and that they had been given the opportunity of 
reconstituting their national home there, but 
that there was no intention to make the country 
completely Jewish or to eliminate the Arab popula- 
tion and culture. No class of citizens would have 
an exceptional position, all would enjoy the full 
status of Palestinians—the generic name now being 
used to describe Arab and Jew alike. As soon 
as possible complete self-government would be 
introduced, and meanwhile a Legislative Council 
would be created, with a majority of elected 
members. Immigration would be _ restricted 
according to the capacity of the country to absorb 
the incomers—a provision which naturally affected 


Jews only, since the country had no attraction for 
any other type of capitalist or worker. 

The British Government, in short, held that the 
interests of the Arabs and the Jews were not an- 
tagonistic but complementary, and that for both a 
new era of prosperity and progress was beginning. 

This was the position now being held by 
responsible Jews. The confusion resulting from 
the different views held by various sections of the 
race was clearing away. Many felt, with the 
Christians, that an exclusive Jewish nation based 
on rabbinical requirements would be an ana- 
chronism in these days of enlightenment, and would 
run counter to the evolutionary movement of 
humanity. They believed that there was room 
for both Jews and Gentiles, and that with goodwill 
and common sense both could live side by side, and 
by their co-operation contribute to the more rapid 
advancement of the country. The same attitude 
was adopted by the Zionist Congress, which pled 
for the dissipation of misunderstandings between 
the two Semitic peoples and the development of 
unity and mutual respect. And, later, in a mani- 
festo to the Arabs the Jewish National Council of 
Palestine, in moving language, repudiated any in- 
tention of encroaching on the sacred rights of a 
people who were their own kindred, and asked them 
to regard the Jew as “‘ a brother faithful in thought 
and deed, a staunch and unswerving ally, and a 
loyal and willing comrade ” in the stupendous task 
of developing what was to both “ the dear and holy 
motherland of Palestine.” 

Meanwhile the Administration was accomplish- 


ing wonders in the way of reorganizing the civil 
life of the country. The cost was kept within 
the amount of the local revenues, yet oppressive 
taxes were withdrawn, the tobacco monopoly was 
abolished, a disciplined gendarmerie—largely com- 
posed of Jews—was organized—the public offices 
were overhauled, and bribery and bakhshish gave 
place to honest and efficient administration ; _rail- 
way, postal, and telephone facilities were developed ; 
Moslem, Jewish, and Christian Courts were estab- 
lished ; and public health, agricultural and education 
departments were all at work creating new con- 
ditions. If the process had been instantaneous 
it would have been called a miracle, but it was not 
less a miracle because it took years instead of 
moments. And it took years simply because the 
British followed their traditional line of policy and 
had scrupulous regard for local susceptibilities 
and customs. 

After the ratification of the Mandate in 1922 an 
Order in Council guaranteed complete freedom of 
conscience and worship and absolute racial equality. 
The official Census, taken for electoral purposes, 
showed a population of 755,858 Moslems, 83,794 
Jews, and 73,026 Christians. 


ONE of the results of the new régime was to make 
Palestine apparently shrink in size. The old slow 


method of travel always seemed to exaggerate 
its length and breadth, but with the construction 
of good roads and the introduction of motor-cars, 
and the linking up of the country by railway with 
Egypt, journeys that formerly took two or three days 
were now accomplished in a few hours. 

The Doctor was one of those who, when the 
army of occupation was reduced, was able to buy 
a small car which, for the short time he had it, 
he found useful for his work. Its career ended in 
disaster. He was driving near Haifa with his wife, 
and came to a level crossing on the railway line. 
The car passed over the first rail, but stalled on 
the second. At the same moment, round a curve 
two hundred yards away, appeared what seemed, 
to their eyes, an enormous engine, with the driver 
on the outside attending to some of its parts. 
Quick as thought both the Doctor and Mrs. 
Torrance jumped out, and the Doctor began 
desperately to drag the car off the rails. His im- 
pression was that the train was a passenger one, and 
that if he did not clear the line many lives would 
be lost, and just as he threw himself at the task of 
saving life in the hospital, so he threw himself at 
this critical situation, regardless of self. ‘The train 
was in reality a heavy ballast one, and as it was 
running on the down-grade, a collision was in- 
evitable unless he succeeded in his frantic efforts. 
As the engine bore down upon him, Mrs. Torrance 
screamed to him to desist, but he held grimly on, 
and was caught in the impact, lifted into the air, 
and pitched many yards away into the sand. The 
car was carried two hundred yards down the line. 


When Mrs. Torrance reached the Doctor he 
was bleeding and unconscious, and his clothes were 
‘torn and covered with dust. A Jew, who was 
driving along in a carriage and knew them, came to 
their assistance. When the Doctor recovered con- 
sciousness, a car was procured from Haifa, and he 
was conveyed to the town, where it was found that 
he had sustained no serious injury. 

He returned to Tiberias in the course of a few 
days, but there was no doubt that the shock affected 
his constitution. Some months afterwards, in 1921, 
he rode up to Safed, taking seven and a half hours 
to the journey, and, on arriving, collapsed as he got 
off his horse. It was heart weakness, and for two 
months he was unable to leave the house. After- 
wards he was obliged to take his work more easily, 
and to rely to a greater extent on his son, though his 
spirit and resolution remained unbroken. It was 
a great joy to him to receive news of his daughter 
Marjory’s graduation in medicine. Lydia was 
already a graduate, so that with four doctors in 
the family it was sometimes uncertain which was 
being referred to. 

It was obvious that the public developments 
would react on mission work in the country and that 
the various agencies would have to revise their 
policies and adapt them to the changing conditions. 
Medical service had been essential at the beginning ; 
no other type of work could have blazed a path in so 
ignorant and fanatical a field; but with a modern 
Government taking charge of the country, and the 
ample provision of medical facilities by the Jewish 
associations, the Mission hospital and dispensary 


were no longer so needful, though in Dr. Torrance’s 
opinion they would still for long serve a useful 
function not only by assisting the conservation of 
public health, but in setting forth the practical side 
of Christian love and truth. ‘ Mission hospitals 
will always be popular,” he says, ‘‘ because of the 
Christian nursing the patients receive. Somehow 
other institutions fail in this respect. There is 
something in the kindly Christian touch, the 
gracious Christian treatment of those who are 
suffering that is not got elsewhere.” So he went 
on with the plans of the Committee. He was now 
living in the clerical house, and his old home being 
vacant, it was converted into a Women’s and 
Children’s Hospital, which was the realization of his 
old desire. So confident had he been that the 
scheme would materialize, that during his furloughs 
he had followed up special studies on the eye and 
other subjects by attending courses on women’s 
diseases and maternity work. The hospital, which 
was the first of its kind in Palestine, was quickly 
occupied with patients, and although the labour 
entailed by day and night was very great, the staff 
had the satisfaction of saving many a life. A motor 
ambulance, which the Doctor asked for, was gifted 
by a lady in Scotland, and was the means of 
easing the suffering of patients conveyed from a 
distance. The fees received in 1922 amounted to 
the remarkable sum of £1700. 

Nevertheless, he was conscious that more 
emphasis had now to be laid on education. Know- 
ledge, the trained mind, the broader outlook, would 
do much to emancipate the Jews from their thraldom 


to legal formalism, and the Moslems from their 
ignorant and fanatical self-sufficiency, and give 
Christianity its opportunity. 

An incident which occurred at this time illus- 
trated the need for enlightenment. ‘The Doctor 
was aroused one night to go over and attend one 
of the little daughters of Mohammad who had been 
bitten by a snake while sleeping out of doors— 
there had been four deaths from snake-bites during 
the previous few months. She was treated success- 
fully, but next day when Sister Frieda went down 
to Mohammad’s house in the lower garden to see her, 
she found the place crowded with Moslem sheikhs 
who were giving the patient their sputum and other 
decoctions to swallow. The Doctor smiled grimly 
when he heard of it. Here was a servant of the 
hospital for over twenty-five years throwing over- 
board, without a moment’s hesitation, all the medical 
and Christian training he had received in the 
Mission and becoming as barbarous as any of his 
Moslem friends. 

Elementary education was now passing into the 
hands of the Government, who were establishing 
primary schools in every village; but as it had no 
funds for secondary institutions, it asked the con- 
tinued assistance of the voluntary agencies in supply- 
ing the higher training, and the missions realized that 
they would have to adjust themselves to the situation. 

And, finally, the Doctor felt more than ever the 
need for ordinary evangelism which, on account of 
the incessant demands for medical aid, he had 
never been able to develop. “It is not only in- 
stitutions we need,” he said, “ but men at leisure 


and able to be fishers of men.” He believed that 
Hebrew and Arab Christians were the best suited 
for this work, Scottish missionaries requiring so 
much preliminary training in languages and in 
the complex questions affecting Jews and Moslems. 
Moreover, he maintained that the day for attacking 
in mass had not yet come; it was the individual 
touch that was needed ; and to make that effectual, 
there would have to be provided an opportunity for 
inquirers to become independent of their religious 
and social environment. 

The Jewish Mission Committee of the Church 
faced the new situation with high courage. Its Con- 
vener at this period fortunately was the Rev. John 
Hall, one of the most experienced leaders in the 
Church, a man of insight, patience, resolution, and 
judgment, who had made a special study of the 
Jewish question and was, besides, personally 
acquainted with the conditions in the various fields. 
He proceeded again to Palestine, with Mr. Mac- 
donald Webster, the Secretary, Professor W. M. 
Macgregor, D.D., Sir John Cowan, and Miss Brown 
Douglas, members of the Committee. It was a 
new Commission of Inquiry, which reminded the 
Church of the original in 1839. ‘They came to the 
conclusion that the isolated station of Hebron, which 
absorbed a large share of the funds and was practi- 
cally a mission to the Moslems, should be given up 
and the work in Palestine concentrated in Galilee, 
that the educational side of the Mission should 
be developed under Mr. Semple’s charge by the 
establishment of first-class schools or colleges for 
boys and girls at Safed, and that in addition to 


this institutional work, more attention should be 
given to widespread town and village evangelism. 
These recommendations were approved and given 
effect to. For the task of co-ordinating and develop- 
ing the evangelistic side of the work, the choice 
fell on Mr. (now Doctor) Christie, who, since his 
return from Palestine, had been working as the 
Committee’s agent amongst the Jewish population 
of Glasgow, and he returned rejoicing to the scene 
of his earlier service. 

Simultaneously, in the mysterious develop- 
ment of events, the Church Missions to Jews, which 
had done so fine a work in Safed, resolved to 
evacuate the town in order to strengthen their 
stations in other fields. The series of buildings 
which they had _ erected—hospital, dispensary, 
dwelling-houses, and church—were among the 
finest in Palestine. They were built of white lime- 
stone on the hillside overlooking a wide valley 
to the north, and could easily be adapted to the 
various purposes of a large collegiate institution. 
They were offered to the Jewish Mission Com- 
mittee for £20,000. It seemed a big venture, but 
the Committee had courage and faith, and after 
an independent valuation of the property had been 
made, they took the property over for £15,000. 

At last, therefore, the dream of Bonar and 
M‘Cheyne to make Safed a centre of Christian 
enlightenment for Northern Palestine was beginning 
to be realized. 

THE STAFF OF THE HospIraL, 1923 
Dr. D. W. Torrance Dr. H. Torrance 


A snapshot by the Author 





ONE final picture. It is of a Sunday in 1922. In 
the cool of the early morning Dr. Herbert has taken 
horse for Safed, where he has a patient, and ere 
the family has gathered for prayers is already cross- 
ing the plain of Gennesaret. 

The children seek their places, the youngest, a 
boy, curling himself up against his father on the 
couch, the girls clustering round the gentle mother. 
A hymn, “‘ Jesus, holy, undefiled,” is sung, and the 
Doctor reads a Galilee incident, retelling the story 
simply and asking questions. “‘ Where did this 
happen?” “ Right here,” promptly responds the 
little one at his side. Happy children growing 
up in the scenes hallowed by their Saviour! A 
prayer—is it a prayer or just a slow, intimate talk 
with God ?—and afterwards all join in the Lord’s 

Then the family troop into the little breakfast- 
room, where the windows are closely wired to 
bar out the flies. Grace is chanted by all, some 
curious native foods are partaken, and the children 
scramble out into the compound to attend to their 

C£S.0n io» 
. The Arabic service is held in the waiting-hall 
of the hospital with its blue roof, grey walls, and 
red-tiled floor, and its deep windows which frame 
a charming vignette—a palm tree silhouetted against 
the shining water of the Lake and the green hills 


on the opposite shore. A corner is screened off by 
canvas as a “ dressings” room, and in front of this 
is a small table on which stand vases of blue daisies, 
white marguerites, and violets. Beside it is a 
harmonium, at which Miss Vartan sits. Forms 
ranged across the hall are occupied by patients in 
blue dressing-gowns; the nurses, refined and 
attractive, in grey-blue dress and white aprons 
and caps; and a few visitors, including a Jewish 

Presently the evangelist, a patient himself, 
enters and takes his place at the table—an elderly 
man, gentle and reverent, like some Scottish country 
minister, and with the sweetness on his face that 
comes from patient suffering. ‘The 23rd Psalm 
is sung; it is the keynote also of the address, 
which is on the Good Shepherd. Sister Frieda 
sitting at the door, hearing a stir outside, goes out ; 
it is the arrival of a “‘ case,’ and a nurse is summoned 
and leaves. The service goes on. One of the 
audience in peasant head-dress prays, and the 
Doctor pronounces the benediction. The feeling 
imparted by the scene is one of sadness; the 
hymns are sung sadly, the expressions on the dark 
faces are sad; it all seems in harmony with the 
sadness of the country. 

The English service is Bald immediately after- 
wards in the little dining-hall in the Matron’s 
quarters, an arched room looking out on the Lake. 
The sides and corners are filled in with broken 
columns, capitals, and carvings of old Galilee, half- 
hidden by maidenhair ferns, poppies, daisies, 
begonias, nasturtiums, and mimosa, and in the 


mass of greenery stands a globe filled with goldfish. 
The audience on this occasion comprises the nurses, 
servants, and children, and two or three residents 
of the town—about twenty in all. The Doctor 
sits at the table throughout, and in a short address 
speaks on the foolish virgins whose lights went out, 
not through any deliberation but as the result of 
careless negligence passing into drowsiness, torpor, 
sleep. He shows his usual skill in selecting common 
illustrations : ‘‘ If the water in your yard is never 
stirred, the green scum gathers on the top and it 
smells—so it is with the Christian life.” 

No touch of wind comes through the open 
doors and windows to cool the room; outside the 
sunshine blazes on land and water; through the 
hot stillness comes the soft wash of the waves on the 
beach, the distant hammering of a tinsmith in the 
town, the chirping of the sparrows on the house- 
top. The conditions breed languor, drowsiness, 
slumber; one realizes how in such a country 
Christians must make special efforts to keep their 
lights burning... . 

In the afternoon comes the ward service in 
Arabic, conducted by the Doctor, the patients 
around him, some squatting on the spotless marble 
floor, others on forms and chairs or sitting up in 
their cots, men and women and children of many 
types—bedouin, fellahin, Jews and Jewesses—all 
quiet and patient, with eyes that never leave the 
Doctor’s face. Now and again, in answer to a 
question, comes a general sigh or sign of acqui- 
escence or a more emphatic response from some 
strong-minded individual. But what they are 


thinking how they are being influenced—who can 
tell ? 

In the deeper hush of the night, when the moon- 
light lies upon the Lake, a nurse bends over an old 
Jew whose hours are run. The lights are low in 
the ward and all the patients are asleep, but with an 
effort he turns and glances furtively towards the 
other beds, and then looks up with a smile into the 
compassionate face of the girl. She knows and 
whispers the one word “ Jesus.” He nods, his 
lips move. “ Yes, I am a Christian at heart, and 
I am trusting in Jesus.” Even as he speaks his 
breath fails and his spirit passes. . . . 

Now as of old Jesus walks in Galilee, moving 
the hearts of the people and drawing them to Him 
and to peace of mind and body and to eternal rest. 


So the Galilee Doctor is left, after his thirty-nine 
years of toil, in happier times, amidst better condi- 
tions, and with most of his dreams for the work 
come true; respected by every class and creed, 
the value of his work officially recognized, and 
the honour of O.B.E. conferred upon him by His 
Majesty’s Government in recognition of his great 
public services to the people of Palestine. 

* An expression used by Mr. Edward, Scotland’s first ordained Jewish 

missionary, to signify that Christian Jews are to be the evangelizers of 
the nations. 


While he looked forward hopefully to the future, 
he did not lose sight of the fact that there were still 
uncertain elements in the situation. There was 
the possibility of political disturbance, since in 
the event of the Jewish power developing it was not 
likely that the Arabs would allow themselves to fall 
into a state of dependence ; there was the greater 
danger of a Pan-Islamic revival which would involve 
Palestine ; official Judaism might also begin the 
intensive cultivation of its faith, which would harden 
many against Christianity. But, on the whole, 
he believed that things generally would be more 
favourable for mission service and propaganda. 

It was naturally the position and aims of the Jews 
which concerned him most. Those of the new type 
were placing nationalism before religion, and were 
more concerned with the present and the future 
than with the past ; but the mass still clung to their 
old ideals and customs and to the khalukah. The 
Doctor’s view, however, was that with the spread of 
education legal religion would cease to satisfy them, 
and become, as it was to others, a subject merely 
of archzological interest. Already they were be- 
ginning to be conscious of the unreality of it, and 
were groping after a truer and more liberal inter- 
pretation of spiritual verities. ‘They seemed more 
disposed to study the New Testament, and he 
believed that with honest study of the claims of 
Christ, they would find in Him not, indeed, the 
political Messiah that had proved so hopeless an 
expectation throughout their history, but a spiritual 
Saviour who would satisfy their deepest needs. 

Several factors, moreover, continued to sustain 


their hereditary hostility to Christianity. The 
religion of the Christians as they had seen it 
and experienced it throughout the centuries was 
not a lovely or lovable thing ; to them it was the 
embodiment of passion, force, and oppression ; 
all the bitter suffering which they had endured as 
a race they attributed to its followers. And they 
still knew only of its low ideals and superstitious 
practices as exhibited in the communities of 
Palestine. These they regarded with a shudder, 
for although themselves ignorant and bigoted, they 
yet strove, according to their lights, for righteous- 
ness. On this point the Doctor could give his 
testimony. “I speak for Tiberias,” he says, ‘‘ and 
up to the outbreak of war. You could not find 
purer homes than those of the Jews. I know of 
no rivals to them except Christian homes—really 
Christian homes.” 

Again, the Jews, like the Moslems, could not 
understand the superiority of Christianity. In 
the matter of unity it seemed no better than their 
own or Islam, for it was also torn into opposing 
sects; and if, in their heart-hunger for a living 
person and a personal deliverer, they turned to 
it, they were presented with a metaphysical plan 
of salvation and theological theories which were 
as forbidding as the Talmudic law. Why should 
they relinquish their own faith, which for three 
thousand years had been the guiding light of their 
race, for one that could not control the lives and 
actions of its disciples ? 

There was, further, the undeniable fact that the 
Jew was still, in the eyes of Christians, an unpopular 


figure, disliked for his national and personal char- 
acteristics, shunned in social life, and the subject 
of sneer and contemptuous reference in speech and 
books. “Strange,” says Dr. Torrance. ‘‘ We take 
our sacred books from the Jews, we worship accord- 
ing to their system, we get our Saviour from them, 
our theology is largely based on the works of a Jew, 
yet Christendom turns on them, imprisons them in 
ghettos, and then condemns them for being what 
they are!” ‘‘ But the Jews killed Christ,” is the 
thought of many. It was official Judaism that sent 
Him to His death, and even so, He forgave all who 
were implicated; but His followers, trampling on 
His spirit, have never forgiven the race, and in 
despising and rejecting it are, in folly and sin, on a 
level with the ecclesiastical leaders of old. Is it 
any wonder that the task of bringing the Jews to 
Christ in such a country as Palestine is a difficult 
one? So long as this prejudice continues, how can 
they be expected to love and reverence Jesus of 
Nazareth? Do Christians as a rule fall on the 
necks of those whom they regard as their enemies ? 

It was a source of the greatest gratification to Dr. 
Torrance that he was the agent of a Church which, 
despite the lukewarmness of many of its members, 
neither ignored the Jew in its vision of Christ’s work 
nor neglected him in its range of practical service. 
Like other Christian bodies it was often blamed 
for worldly self-interest ; here, at least, was a fact 
which proved that it was governed by something 
higher than a feeling for popularity. 

But the prejudice is passing. A nobler ethical 
spirit is beginning to rule the thoughts of men, 


there is a wider recognition of the Divine significance 
and value of every human soul, and a growing sense 
of world brotherhood. This larger and finer view 
is embracing the Jews in its range; after all, they 
are not animists or idolaters or atheists, but one of 
the most advanced and competent of peoples, with 
a genius for religion. The process, no doubt, will 
be hastened by the establishment of a national 
centre in Palestine. Scattered throughout the 
world and lost in every variety of community, with 
no land, as Byron put it, but the grave, they have 
had no united voice in the world’s councils; but 
once concentrated as a compact racial body, a 
central power in the world’s great highway, they 
may become, as the Greeks were of old, a national 
and intellectual force to be taken into account, and 
will exact and receive the consideration and respect 
to which their position will entitle them. 

But the supreme lesson of Dr. Torrance’s long 
experience is that love alone will bring them to 
Christ. He began with that conviction and he is 
ending with it. The Jew is intensely human; he 
is affectionate, with the home sense strongly 
developed, a man of concord and peace, and he 
responds readily to sympathy and_ kindness. 
Through love he can best be drawn to respond 
to the appeal of Christ. The work amongst Jews 
calls, of course, for the highest mental gifts. Their 
type of mind must be appreciated, and_ their 
language must be mastered. No one also can 
understand Judaism as it has been historically 
developed without a thorough knowledge of that 
vast religious literature which is its most precious 


possession. ‘To know the Jew one must know the 
Talmud as well as he knows the New Testament. 
But without love all one’s learning and service 
will profit nothing. Christians must present 
Christianity as Christ would present it. Then: 

“The fullness of the Gentiles come to light, 
The elder brother Jew will straight come in 
And mourn for that he had no sooner sight.” 

Some of the opposition to Christian missions is 
probably due to the fear that the race will lose 
its identity if it relinquishes the characteristics of its 
faith ; and this may be one of the reasons why a 
national home is welcomed; it is to be built to 
block out the vision of the Cross. Hence the need 
for a clear declaration of policy as to the aim of 
Christian effort. Christianity does not wish to 
take anything essential from the character of the 
Jewish faith, but to add to it, to complete it, to 
supply the keystone to what is unfinished. True 
Judaism and true Christianity are in reality not two 
faiths but one. A Jew who becomes a convert to 
Christianity does not cease to be a Jew, but glories 
in being a Christian Jew, loyal to all that is best 
in his race. Although many Christians do not 
like the idea of a Hebrew-Christian Church in 
Christian countries, such an institution would seem 
to be necessary in the special circumstances of 
Palestine, not only on account of the language but 
in order that the nationality of the members may 
be retained. 

There is a danger that official Judaism may 
seek to draw some distinction -between nation- 


ality and religion, but if any new State that 
may be established is to be religiously isolated and 
self-contained, and the Christian Jew is to be 
excluded from its privileges, it will doom itself 
to decay and extinction. History shows that no 
nation can keep abreast of the world and the 
development of science and art by shutting itself 
up into a self-righteous and intolerant one-roomed 
state of mind. There is no reason why a Jewish 
Christian should not be a member of a Jewish 
State ; he need be no more of a political danger 
than an orthodox Jew is in England or America. 
What other countries offer, the Jews cannot refuse. 
But all will be well if the modern spirit, which is 
making for tolerance and enlightenment, continues 
to prevail. 

If, in the end, the Jews should become a 
Christian nation, a grander prospect would be 
opened up for them than if they were to circum- 
scribe their influence by continuing a purely 
Judaic community. Such a consummation might 
be the beginning of a new era for humanity. Jews 
can best win Jews, and Jewry is so closely linked up, 
the strands of interest and loyalty are so interwoven, 
that a Christian Palestine—a Palestine with a soul— 
would ultimately affect every other country. They 
are also an Eastern race with a psychology fitting 
them to appeal to Eastern peoples ; they are, there- 
fore, the most suitable instrument to carry the Gospel 
to Moslems. Individuals have frequently shown 
what they can accomplish as Christian missionaries, 
and if they should become converted in the mass, 
Christendom may see a fresh and powerful influence 


coming into operation in the interests of Christ and 
His Kingdom. Out of the Holy Land may issue 
again the idealism, enthusiasm, and strength which 
will revive and renew a world that has grown some- 
what weary with its problems, with strivings that 
have proved futile, and with progress that has been 
unaccompanied by peace. 



Dr. TORRANCE continued to be busy with the full 
round of operative work, assisted by his son 
Herbert, upon whom he was more and more 
depending, and whose companionship was a great 
joy tohim. His health was poor, but it was difficult 
to obtain rest, for his heart was in his work, and it 
was he whom the people wished to see and consult. 
He was the “ Big Doctor,” the one they had known 
so long and in whom they placed implicit faith. 
They were gradually transferring some of their 
trust to the young doctor, but they felt more 
confidence and contentment when they knew that 
his father was in the mission compound. “ Every- 
thing goes well when he is at hand,” they said. 
Visitors also were not satisfied unless they saw him. 
The Chief Rabbi and the Mufti would have none 
but their old friend, and would go away if he were 
not accessible. 

With diminishing strength, but with untiring 
energy, he toiled on through the hot and cool 
seasons. Even in summer he would often start 
the day with a six o’clock clinic. The native 
assistants who were with him from time to time— 
some of whom are now Medical Officers of Health 



—stated that they had never seen any one work so 
hard. He tired them all out. ‘I would gladly 
have stopped for lunch many a day,” said one, “‘ but 
how could I when Dr. Torrance was missing his 
and going on without a break until three and five in 
the afternoon ?”’ He fought his increasing weak- 
ness with indomitable courage. During operations 
he would be compelled to sit down in order to 
recover strength: sometimes he would be so 
exhausted that Herbert would take them off his 
hand. Yet next morning he would begin again as 
keen and as enthusiastic as ever. To Herbert he 
was a marvel. ) 

The latter, who studied him with a watchful 
eye, knew generally of the numerous cholera, 
enteric, and small-pox epidemics through which 
he had passed, but he learnt now that he had suffered 
from cholera and enteric, several severe attacks of 
dysentery, and innumerable attacks of malaria. He 
discovered also that the rheumatism in his shoulder 
had been the result of a dislocation which he had 
had to set himself. One of the stories people told 
Herbert was that once when his father had severe 
toothache he took a forceps and pulled out the 
offending tooth. Gradually there came to the son 
a knowledge of the hardships and sufferings which 
the Doctor had endured, and of his unfailing grit 
and courage. ‘“* You have had a hard life, Doctor,” 
he heard a visitor say to him sympathetically one 
day. ‘‘ Yes,” was the reply, ‘it has been hard : I 
have had trials; but,” he added with warmth, 
“looking back on my life I don’t regret for one 
moment that I became a missionary.” 


Ominous incidents occurred which caused the 
family anxiety. One day the Doctor rode alone 
up to Safed. On the journey he was seized, in 
one of the deep gorges, with a fainting attack. He 
managed to get off his horse and tie it to a bush, and 
then he sank to the ground. There he lay until 
some wandering Arabs found him. They carried 
him to their goat’s-hair tent, where he rested until 
the cool of the evening, when he continued his 
journey to Safed. 

Thereafter Dr. Herbert shadowed him in all 
his rides and visits to sick people. He was not 
perturbed, but went about more intent on his 
work than on his own condition, and although 
the fainting attacks continued never refused to 
answer a call. One call usually meant strenuous 
work, for people soon knew that he was in the 
neighbourhood and they waylaid him at every turn, 
sure of his ready sympathy and help. 

His attitude was based on a calm and assured 
faith in the overruling hand of God. Whatever 
happened he was confident that God was looking 
after him, and would make all things come right in 
the end. This trust was shown in the way he 
prayed. Nothing was too big or too little to 
bring before God, and he always spoke to Him 
simply and naturally, as a child speaks to his father. 
He was a living example of his own favourite 
text: ‘‘ Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, 
continuing instant in prayer.” 

He became very anemic, but held on through 
the fierce heat of 1923 until the end of June, when 
the Hospital was closed as usual for the hotter 


months, and he went up to Safed. He continued 
to fight his weakness and resolutely declined to go 
to bed. Though he never gave any indication that 
he knew how precarious his hold was upon life, his 
friends were aware that he was quite prepared and 
ready when the call should come. Had he the 
comforting intuition that the work he loved would 
be permanently carried on by Dr. Herbert, and that 
his daughter, Dr. Lydia, would also come to have 
her share in it ? 

Absolute exhaustion at last compelled him to lie 
down. There was no specific disease: he was 
simply completely worn, out and literally too tired 
to live. He read his Bible, and listened to the 
music which the family, by removing the piano close 
to his room, were able to provide him. Everything 
that love and devotion could devise was done. 
One night he had a grave fainting attack. After it 
was over he quietly requested that all the children 
should come to him. He asked them to sing their 
hymns, and they did so. He spoke to the younger 
ones about the music of heaven and the songs the 
angels sang. They were too little to comprehend 
the deeper meaning underlying his words, and 
chatted to him gaily. Then they climbed upon 
the bed and gave him their good-night kiss. 

The heart failed. Before losing consciousness 
he uttered the Benediction. At 1.30 a.m. on 
Sunday, 26th August 1923, he passed away. It 
was rest at last for him who had never known what 
rest was. 

All that day the people of Safed streamed to 
the house entreating to see him. They passed in, 


rich and poor, and tenderly kissed his hands, those 
wonderful hands which had so often healed their 
pain. In the afternoon the coffin, covered with the 
Union Jack, flowers and wreaths, left by motor-car 
for Tiberias, where Mr. Semple had made the 
funeral arrangements. A service was held in the 
Hospital, and then the coffin, carried and escorted 
by Palestine gendarmerie, was taken to the little 
cemetery in the lower garden by the Lake. The 
attendance of the public was very large, and, what 
was remarkable in an Eastern gathering, they were 
exceedingly quiet and orderly. ‘The Governor of 
Galilee and his staff, and numerous judges, Army 
officers and Government officials, as well as repre- 
sentatives of the various religious bodies, were 
present. The heads of the Moslem and Jewish 
communities paid tributes to his memory, whilst 
Mr. Semple’s assistant, Elias Haddad, spoke on 
behalf of the Christians. Ere the proceedings were 
over the moonlight was gleaming upon the Lake. 

The grave is marked by a granite lona cross 
from Scotland on a pedestal of the black basalt of 
Tiberias : upon it are shells from the various spots 
on the Lake shore which Jesus haunted and where 
His missionary servant had loved to wander. 

The news that “‘ Torrance of Tiberias ”’ was 
dead went round the world, and brought to the 
family a large number of tributes of admiration and 
affection. They came from members of almost 
every communion, for the Doctor was catholic in 
spirit and was at home in every form of worship, 
None were so sincere as those which were paid by 
the Jews of Tiberias. ‘They recalled how he liked 



their rites and customs and always attended, with 
his family, the first (Seder) night of Passover at the 
house of the Chief Rabbi, fulfilling each function 
of the feast. ‘“‘ Not for naught,” said the Palestine 
Weekly, “is he counted by the majority of the Jews 
as a Hassid, or saintly one.”” When he first appeared 
in their midst they in their bitterness spat on the 
ground at the mention of the word Christian. But 
he loved them then and to the end, and love 


Acre, 28, 95, 188, 189, 219. 

Agriculture, 31, 49, 109, 166, 167, 
203, 204, 226, 234, 251, 

Airdrie, 11, 12, 15. 

Aleppo, 142, 151, 179, 192. 

Allenby, General, 249, 250. 

Alliance Israélite, 164-167, 227. 
See Schools. 

America, 21, 22, 133, 181, 182, 
ZOU 207 224, 254: 

American College, 30, 119, 180. 

Americans, 135, 179, 237. 

Anderson, Dr., 243. 
Arabs, 5, 42, 89-91, 96-104, 119, 
163, 169-175, 207, 210, 

239, 262-266, 278. 
Ashkenazim, 46, 84, 213, 220, 232, 


Assembly, General, 1, 31, 32, 118, 
150, 183, 184, 224, 232, 

Bakhshish, 5, 27, 59, 61, 64, 95, 
TS1,.192y, 167,160,188, 
237, 266. 

Balfour Declaration, 249-251. 

Baptisms, 82, 136, 142, 177, 181. 

Bedouins, 96-102, 104, 126, 157, 
171, 237, 238, 250. 

Bethsaida, 29, 70, 127. 

Beyrout, 39, 74, 95, 119, 152, 204. 

Bible, 77, 88, 103, 104, 122, 132, 
196, 227, 231. 

New Testament, 65, 72, 134, 
I41, 156, 215, 277, 281. 
Oid Testament, 155. 

Bible ae 89, 136, 142, 179, 
196, 21 

Bible- Beatie ae 75,055 Lala 

Biblewoman, 174, 175. 

Black, Prof., 4,7, 8 

Bleiker, Marie, 194. 

Bliss, Dr., 239. 

Block, Sir A., 128, 129. 

Bonar, Rev. Dr. A., 4-7, 8, 118, 

AE 8 
Britain, 49, 95, 241, 243, 249, 252, 
Bryce, Lord, 237, 238. 

Candlish, Rev. Dr., 3, 4. 

Capernaum, 29, 70, 127, 256. 

Census, 201, 266. See also, 6, 31, 
45, 46, 264. 

Cholera, 185-192, 224, 225, 252. 

Christie, Rev. Dr., 109, 123, 124, 
133, 138, 151, 179, 253, 

Christie, Mrs., 109. 
Christie, child, 138. 

Armenian, 50. 

Auld Licht, ro. 

Church of Scotland, 1-3, 8, 
9, 12. See Free Church. 

Eastern, 10, 45, 50, 154, 182. 

Episcopalian, 138, 182, 184. 
See below, Church Mission 
and Missionary. 

Free, 9, 11, 13, 15, 18, 81, 
i177, 139, 164, 203. See 
United Free. 

Greek, 29, 50, 99, 106, 145, 
158, 182, 220, 256: 

Greek Catholic, 50, 72, 220. 

Hebrew Christian, 142, 281. 

Latin. See Roman Catholics. 

Presbyterian Church of 
England, 151. 

Syrian, 50, 182. 

United Free, 184, 279. 

United Presbyterian, 138, 151, 

Church Mission to the Jews, 9, 23, 
30, 32, 86, 151, 203, 214, 

243, 272. ; 
Church Missionary Society, 9, 26, 

Church union, 184, 204. 



Climate, 4, 7, 30, 32, 35, 41, 71, 
72,77, 85, 140, 222, 223. 

“* Clyde,”’ 110-116. 

Cohen, James, 141-143, 179, 180, 
196, 202, 221, 232-234, 247, 

Colonies, Jewish, 29, 31, 49, 127, 
135, 141-163, 165-167, 170, 
196, 204, 208, 234, 251, 260. 

Colportage, 142, 179, 196. 

Committee, Jewish, 2, 20, 31, 33, 
73, 81, 93, 110, 118, 119, 
128) .131;) 137-130; 143; 
149, I51, 183, 184, 202, 
221," 222, 224,227, 245; 
248, 251, 254, 269, 271, 272. 

Constantinople, 20, 95, 96, 127- 
131, 204, 227, 248. 

Consuls, 29,34,35,95,128,189, 243. 

Cowan, Sir John, 271. 

Crusaders, 5, 42, 70, 93, 123. 

Damascus, 38, 39, 69, 74, 117, 
185, 192, 247, 248. 

Daoud, Dr. Selim, 117, 119. 

Dead Sea, 31, 118. 

Deedes, Sir W., 263. 

Delitzsch, Prof., 52, 81. 

Dirt, 3, 29, 30, 37, 40, 57, 75, 995 
185, 186. 

Dispensaries, 17, 18, 64, 75, 79, 
87, 93, 103, IIT, 126, 139, 
169, 173, 174, 211, 372. 

Donaldson, Miss A., 148. 

Douglas, Miss Brown, 271. 

Douglas, Mr. C., 131. 

Dress, 21, 24, 43, 44, 58, 90, 134, 
146, 150, 164, 181, 197, 
255, 274. 

Dreyfus, 165. 

Druses, 38, 69, 85. 

Edersheim, Rev. Dr., 9, 235, 236. 

Edinburgh Medical Mission, 9, 
27,36, 38. 

Education, 31, 42, 73, 78, 161, 
176, 201, 202, 212, 222, 226, 
234, 269, 270, 271, 277. 
See Schools. 

Egypt, 24, 177, 247, 255. 

Ephraim, 133-137. 

Esdraelon, 27, 37. 

Evangelistic work, 54, 72, 79-82, 
8, 89, 102, 105, 106, 121— 
123, 1615" 171-176, ~ 170, 
223, 230-235, 270-272, 


Ewing, Rev. Dr., 81, 82, 88, 89, 
102, 105, 106, II9g, 120, 
133-136, 138, 139, 203, 222. 

Ewing, Mrs., 105, 138. 

Ewing, child, 138. 

Faris, Amina, 123, 197, 230, 231, 

Fees, 87, 99, 209-211, 225, 269. 
Fenton, Miss, 73, 78, 86, 92, 107, 
T2395 235 5% 
Ferguson, Nurse, 259. 
Firmans, 61, 125-131, 162. 
Food, 35, 38, 57, 99, 100, 103, 
164, 188-191, 209, 225, 233, 

Dag kee 

Frieda Bleiker, ‘‘ Sister,” 194, 
195, 208, 209, 222, 224, 

Gadara, 69, 98. 
Galilee, 8, 9, 23, 32, 184, 251, 271, 
Lake of, ix, 10, 30, 32, 40, 42, 
58, 66-68, 91, 110, 112-116, 
I1Q, 120, 201, 273, passim. 
Mission, 32, 182, 184, 271, 

Gamala, 69, 98, 114. 
George, Rev. J. A., 16, 229. 
George, Miss, 229, 243. 
Germans, 34, 189. 
Germany, 165, 195, 241-244. 
Ghettos, 46, 165, 279. 
Glasgow, 11, 12, 17-21, 110, 139, 
152, 244, 253, 272. 
Infirmary, 31, 34, 244. 
Ladies’ Association, 73. 
Goldenberg, S., 81, 89, 106, 121, 

Gould, Miss H., 237. 
Grossmans, 245, 246. 

Haifa, 28, 34, 61, 110, 189, 244, 

Hall, Rev. J., 271. 
Halutzim, 261. 
Hamad, 103, 104. 
Hannington, Dr., 128, 129. 
Hasheesh, 172. 
Hastings, Rev. Dr., 211. 
Hauran, as! 69, 185, 206, 218, 

Hebrew Christians, 81, 82, 142, 
276-283. See Churches. 

Hebron, 6, 30, 32, 75, 184, 186, 
228, 271. 



peta Nouns, 37, 40, 41, 60, ) Languages, 109, 117, 142, 212, 


Herod, 41, 68. 

Herzl, Dr., 165. 

Hillel, 83. 

Hospitals, 29, 31, 34, 57, 126, 139, 
151, 194, 226, 246, 247, 
255,272. See Tiberias. 

Huber, Rev. J., 37, 120. 

Hymns, 107, 109, 132, 145, 273, 

Industrial work, 109, 137, 143, 
150, 183, 184, 202, 203, 

228, 232, 260, 261. 
Irvine, Miss A., 229, 243, 253. 
Isaac Rosenblum, 197, 224, 248, 
249, 255- 

Jackson, Rev. Mr., 15, 16. 
Jacob’s Well, 26, 257. 
Jaffa, 253 31; 34, 5°, 74, 75, 133, 

Jericho, 31. 

Jerusalem, 6, 7, 25, 30, 32, 41, 75, 
97, 136, 249, 250, 256, 261. 

Jews, 1-3, 6, 20, 31, 33, 42, 46-50, 
54, 55, 56, 85, 89, 93, 99, 
133, 140, 154-157, 159, 
163-168, 180, 226-236, 
249-253, 260-266, 276- 
283, passim. 

Jewish nationality, 6, 49, 165, 167, 
249, 261-266, 277. 

Johara, 159, 160. 

Johncock, Nurse, 190, 194. 

Jones, Miss E., 182, 214, 243. 

Jones, ore G., 194, 215, 243, 253; 

Jordan, 40, 98, 118, 135, 140. 
Jubilee of Jewish Mission, 118, 


Judaism, 109, 121, 279, 281, 282. 

See Jewish Nationalism 

and Zionism. 

Keith, Rev. Dr., 3, 4, 7. 

Kelman, Rev. J., 198-200. 

“* Kelvin,” 110, 112-116. 

Khalfl Sa‘adi, Dr., 119. 

Khalukah, 47, 48, 50, 56, 124, 163, 
164, 178, 198, 277. 

Khérems, 55, 78, 106, 177. 

Kitchener, Lord, 84. 

Koran, 103, 175. 

Laidlaw, Dr., 23-32. 

229, 243, 256, 260. 

Arabic, 5, 36, 44, 51, 54, 60, 
74, 80, 105, 126, 142, 147, 
148, 179, 184, 212, 213, 
226, 260, 280. 

Chaldaic, 156. 

English, 76, 123, 142, 179, 
201, 232, 260, 275. 

French, 39, 123, 141,142,179, 
210, 221, 256. 

German, 39, 123, 147, 179, 

Greek, 147, 179. 

Hebrew, 51, 108, 109, 133, 
134, I4I, 142, 156, 177, 
179, 202, 212, 213, 226, 
260, 280. 

Italian, 256. 

Latin, 39. 

Polish, 51, 179. 

Russian, 179. 

Semitic languages, 218. 

Spanish, 51. 

Turkish, 51, 123. 

Yiddish, 51, 126, 142, 179, 


Literature, 18, 80, 81, 82, 83, 122, 
149, 154, 155, 179, 280, 

London Jews Society. See Church 
Mission to Jews. 

Macaulay, Prof., 236. 

M‘Cheyne, Rev. R. M., 3, 4, 7, 8, 
TiS; 272) 

Macgregor, Prof., 271. 

Machpelah, 184. 

Mackinnon, Dr., 38, 39, 74, 

M‘Neill, Dr. M., 255-257. 

Magdala, 30, 70, 111, 187. 

Major, Miss, 194, 221, 227. See 


Malaria, 57, 189. 

Mandate, British, 259, 266. 

Maria Dorothea,Archduchess, 7, 8. 

Matheson, Rev. W. S., 222. 

Medicine, 11, 14, 18, 129, 144, 
161, 169, 171, 180, 208, 
214, 222, 225, 236, 245, 
246, 268, 273. 

Medicines, 53, 54, 61-64, 99, 117, 
169, 172, 189, 221, 247. 

Merom, Waters of, 141, 235. 

Mexico, 166. 

Meyer, Rabbi, 68, 75, 78. 


Migration, 6, 22, 29, 49, 165, 167, 
168, 181, 226, 251, 260, 
261, 264. 

Miller, Mr. J. R., 110. 

Missions, ix, 8, 9, 30, 34, 37, 39, 
164, 185. 

Mohammad, 198, 207, 242, 248, 
255, 270. 

Morgenthau, Mr., 237, 238. 

Moses, 75-77, 92, 121, 122, 126. 

Moslems, 5, 32, 45, 50-52, 54, 59, 
4, 85, 92, 94, 107, 123, 
126, 132, 140, 145, 157, 
159, 176, 177, I91, 205, 
220, 254, 263, 270 

Mosques, 45, 68, 69, 157. 

Mueller, Mrs., 244, 246. 

Mufti, 94, 145, 146, 285. 

Mukhayil, 113-115, 119. 

Music, 16, 209, 256. 

Nablous, 26. 

a Narrative of Mission of ia. 
uiry,” 7,8 

Nazareth, 9, 27, 35, 133, 134, 147, 
I9I, 197, 207, 244, 246, 
248, 258. 

Nurses, 126, 147, 156, 174, 189, 
190, 194, 197, 211, 222, 
225, 228, 246, 247, 259, 


Oakbank War Hospital, 245. 
Orphanges, 9, 32, 150, 207, 214. 
Orr, Provost, 17, note. 

Palestine, 1, 4-7, 22, 23, 25, 33, 
34, 47, 66-72, 163-168, 227, 
249, 252, 259-266, 283, 

Paterson, Dr., 51, 184, 185. 

Probationers, 195, 244. 

Rabbis, 29, 47, 48, 53-56, 78, 79, 
81, 120, 126, 134, 135, 138, 
154, 177, 182, 233, 285. 

Rae, ae ee Secretary, 20, 21, 

Reid, roan 228, 253. 

Roman Catholics, 50, 106, 124, 
127, 170, 282,204, 207, 
212, 213,228) 

Rothschild, Baron E., 49, 141, 

Rothschild, Lord, 249. 

Russia, 22, 49, 75, 84, 123, 179, 
196, 197, 235, 251, 253+ 


Safed, 6-8, 22, 28, 29, 32, 42, 70, 
83-86, 122-125, 150, 192, 

251 Bye Tas 
Boys’ school, 123, 124, 
150, 180, 213, 254, 

27 ee 
Girls’ school, 123-125, 150, 
on 213, 254, 222, 242=— 


Gueael. ‘Sit Herbert, 259, 262. 
Sanitation, 56, 100, 168, 186, 187, 
222, 236. 
Saphir, Adolf, Q. 
Schools, 123. See below and 
Safed and Tiberias. 
pera 50, 164, 176, 178, 

Frisell 40, “233, 240, 
166, 213, 226, 234. 
Moslem, 140, 227, 245. 
Sunday, 15, 19, 121, 132. 
Scrimgeour, Dr., 217, 246. 
Selim Daoud, 117, 246. 
Semple, Rev. S. H., 218, 219, 
221, \227p 230, 234,297, 
243, 251, 255, 271, 289. 
Semple, Mrs., 227, 228. 
Sephardim, 46, 213, 220. 
Sheikhs, 28, 38, 99, 100, 103, 104, 
170, 172, 173, 209. 
Sin, 79, 80, 91, 157, 230, 231. 
Sloan, Rev. J., 18, 20, 23. 
Small-pox, 98, 216. 


mith, Mrs., 1, 9. 

Soutar, Rev. J., 139, 141-143, 
ISL; 270, E72, ° P77; 485, 

Soutar, Mrs., rg1. 

Steele, Rev. T., 193, 194. 

Steele, Mrs., 193. 

Stephen, Mr. J., 110. 

Stewart, Rev. J., 27. 

Stuart, Rev. Dr. Moody, 1, 3, 4. 

Sublime Porte, 96, 127. 

Sultan, 130, 131, 132, 145, 146. 

Superstition, 6, 57, 59, 79, 84, 85, 
102, 159, 228, 270, 278. 

Surgery, 21, 12,14, 21; 22,-31,-71, 
725. 10%,:1k2,120. 120162. 
160, 169, 171, 199, 209, 
210, 214, 217, 225, 258, 

Synagogues, 45, 78, 122, 142. 

Tabor, 37, 56, 238. 
Talmud, 42, 122, 154, 213, 226, 
227, 281. 


Thomson, Rev. Dr., 151, 182. 
Thomson, Mrs., Ist, 180, 182, 

Tiberias’ 6-8, 30, 32, 34, 36, 41- 
45, 67, 68, 86, 118, 127, 
185, passim. 
hers A275. 98, 111, 170, 


Boys’ school, 108, 118, 181, 
212, 2135-230); 254, 251. 

Girls’ school, 72, 73, 86, 91, 
107, 121i, £73, 180, 212; 
213, 229, 251. 

Hospital, 91, 93, 126, 131, 
139, 144-149, 152,170,174, 
$S3, 1202, 211, 214, 222, 
oe 247, 251, 261, 268, 

Torah, fee: 1775.227- 
Torrance, Dr. D. W.— 
Ancestors, 10, II. 
Birth, 11, 12. 
Education, 16-22. 
First Communion, 19. 
Visits Palestine, 23-31. 
Glasgow Infirmary, 31-34. 
Goes to Palestine, 34. 
Ordained an elder, 119. 
Ordained a minister, 151, 152. 
Turkish diploma, 129. 
Homes in Palestine, 40, 52, 
59, 73, 84. 
Illnesses, 74, 77, 120, 217, 
218, 268. 
Furloughs, 116-120, 128, 149, 
182, 183, 222. 
Marriages, 128, 153, 217. 
Children, 137, 149, 192, 222, 
273. See below: Herbert, 
Lydia, and Marjory. 
Semi-Jubilee, 219-222. 
War work, 244-253. 
Captain, oo 
Illness leg death, 285~290. 
Torrance, Mrs., first, 37, 128, 146, 

149. See Huber. 
Torrance, Mrs., second, 153, 189, 


Torrance, Mrs., third, 217, 222, 
224, 243, 267, 268, 276-283. 

Torrance, Herbert, 149, 245, 257— 
259, 273, 2 286-288 

Torrance, Lydia, 149, 268, 288. 

Torrance, Marjory, 2 

Torrance, Miss, 73, 74, 92, 117. 

Torrance, Mr. R. SALON TI. 

Torrance, Dr. 'F.., 11-14, UG lc 

Torrance, Mrs. T., 11-14, 17, 19. 

Trans-Jordania, 96, 120, 138, 158, 
159, 201, 218. 

Travel, 24, 31, 34, 96-105, 171- 
173, 199, 200, 206, 207, 
267, 268. 

Turks, 4, 36, 67, 205, 221, 241, 

249, 251. 
Turkish officials, 4, 5, 29, 

94-96, 124, 127-132, 145, 
146, 167, 176, 186-189, 

206, 219, 225, 237, 238, 
245-249, 253, 254. 

Vartan, Dr., 27, 30, 35, 39, 40, 58, 
74, 87, 191, 217. 
Vartan, Mrs., 27, 35, 64, 74, III. 
Vartan, Miss, 189, 224, 255, 256, 
: 274. 
Vienna, 22, 129. 

War, 206, 241-253. 

Watt, Mr. D., 11. 

Watt, Mr. R., 15. 

Webster, Rev. Dr., 252, 253, 271. 
Wells, Rev. Dr., 23-31, 138, 224. 
White, Sir W., 128, 129. 

Wilson, Dr. G., 140, 149, 152, 180, 


Wilson, Rev. Dr., 21, 22. 

Wodrow, Mr.R.,1,4. 

Women’s Jewish Association, 73, 

Yakoob, 147. 
Yellowlees, Dr., 222. 
Yiddish. See Languages. 

Zionism, 165, 226, 248, 254, 262, 
264, 265, 277, 280. 



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$a- Bai ee 


BV Livingstone, William Pringle 

3202 A Galilee doctor : being a sketch of the 
T6 career of Dr. D.W. Torrance of Tiberias / by 
L5 W.P. Livingstone. -- London : Hodder and Stough- 

1925 fon, 1925. 
wiih, <eop. 2 42k. 3 23cm. 

Includes index. 

1. Torrance, David Watt, 1862-1922. 2. Mis- 
sions, Medical--Palestine. I. Title. 

: ine CCSC/mmb 
4 2SL90