By Michael Marten
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Extra info for Attempting to Bring the Gospel Home: Scottish Missions to Palestine, 1839-1917 (International Library of Colonial History)
He had helped Egypt with taxation and arms acquirement. The Druze, who were subject to conscription, resented Bashir II’s role in relation to the Egyptians, even though he had persuaded the Egyptians to halve their initial request for conscripts. Difficulties increased when Bashir II (albeit reluctantly) agreed to disarm the Druze altogether because they (and the remainder of the population of Lebanon) had supposedly resisted conscription. Renewed conscription orders were issued, but a major insurrection arose against this in 1838: Bashir II’s son and 4,000 Christians helped the Damascene governor and Ibrahim Pasha crush the rebels.
Although converts had been few, there were other successes Nicolayson drew their attention to: he claimed the distinction between true and false Christianity had been clearly drawn,33 the study of the Old Testament had become obligatory34 and the ‘word of God has become more and more the only ground of controversy. 36 From the Scots’ questioning, it became clear that the main method employed by Nicolayson lay in personal contact, the selling of Hebrew Bibles (he claims to have sold 5,000), and the gift of New Testaments to those he felt he could trust with it.
E. Maronites and Catholics. Britain, Austria and Prussia followed the French lead, ‘protecting’ particular population groupings – of particular note here is that the British ‘protected’ Jews. As the Ottoman Empire appeared increasingly frail to the western powers, there was a keen sense of a need to maintain existing positions of strength in the region (‘the Eastern Question’139 ). With the western interest in the eastern Mediterranean increasing in the 19th century, in part due to easier travel to the region, the western powers opened consulates in Palestine to safeguard their interests and ‘protect’ ‘their’ populations: the British in 1838, the French, Prussians and Sardinians in 1843, the Americans the following year, and the Austrians (replacing the Sardinians) in 1849, with Russia being represented by an agent connected to their Beirut-based Consul General (opened in 1839).
Attempting to Bring the Gospel Home: Scottish Missions to Palestine, 1839-1917 (International Library of Colonial History) by Michael Marten