Some of the severest persecutions the saints have ever endured in Pernambuco broke upon this new congregation in the Ilheitas district. The houses of the believers were broken into and everything destroyed, some of the buildings were burned. The believers asked for police protection, but the police sent to protect them being under the domination of the priest, who was the political boss of that district, persecuted the believers even more than their neighbors had done. They drove the believers about, beating them with their swords, forcing them to drink whisky and in many ingenious ways heaped indignities upon them. After the success of the great persecution in Bom Jardim, of which we will speak later, the priest organized a large force of men to destroy everything belonging to the Protestants in the Ilheitas district and to drive them away. They burned all of the church furniture, as well as the household furniture belonging to Hermenigildo, who was forced to flee for his life. They cut the cord to the hammock in which was lying his young baby. The fall broke the neck of the child. The mother was driven unclothed between two lines of soldiers and severely beaten. The other believers were so harrassed that most of them were compelled to leave the neighborhood. Hermenigildo stayed away five months, when a change in police chiefs in Pernambuco made it possible for him to return. The church was reorganized the following year. A new building was constructed on Hermenigildo's farm and today, with a membership of 103, it is in a most prosperous condition.

In the little city of Nazareth the fury of persecution has been felt. Not a great while after the church had been organized by Dr. Entzminger the farmers in the community and the priest combined to drive the Protestants out of town. Dr. Entzminger heard of their purpose and went up to Nazareth, accompanied by a number of soldiers whom the Government had put at his disposal. A great throng was collected at the station to do violence to the missionary on his arrival, but when they saw the soldiers they took to their heels, and many came that night to the service to show that they were not in the mob. A year or two later another mob broke into the church, poured oil over the furniture and burned practically everything. The police saved the building. Once after this, when Missionary Ginsburg was to hold an open-air meeting in this same town, a soldier was hired to take his life. The officers of the law left town in order that the deed might be done without hindrance. The soldier drank whisky in order to brace himself for the deed, and fortunately imbibed too much and became so intoxicated that he fell asleep. When he awoke the meeting had been held and he had missed his chance. These facts were confessed by the soldier to Dr. Entzminger after the soldier had been converted a year later.

At the railway station at Nazareth we met Primo da Fonseca, who had, for the sake of the gospel, lost all in a great persecution at Bom Jardim, which is not a great distance from Nazareth. He was a reader of evangelical literature and preached the gospel all over that country, though he had not been baptized. A native missionary went into that region, began preaching and soon afterward gathered a congregation and organized a church in Fonseca's home. The political boss of the community planned with the Catholics to take 800 men into Bom Jardim on the night of April 15th, 1900, for the purpose of killing all the Protestants who were in prayer at Fonseca's house. The mob divided into two parties. One party was to approach the house from the front and the other from the opposite side. A gun was to be fired as a signal for the attack. The first party approached the house, which was near the theater. Now in the theater at that time was gathered a great throng of people. When the news came to them of the approach of the mob the women thought it was a part of the band of bandits led by Antonio Silvino, who is perhaps the most famous outlaw of Brazil. All were greatly frightened. The Mayor went out to see if he could not do something to persuade the mob to leave the town. After some parleying they said that inasmuch as the Mayor asks, we will turn back. Someone at that time fired a shot and shouted, "Viva Santa Anna" in honor of the patron saint of that city. This signal brought up the supporting party at once, who mistook their comrades for the believers and fired into them. In the melee twenty people were killed and about fifty wounded. All night they were carrying the dead away to burial in order that they might cover up the deed as far as possible. The Municipal Judge made out a case that the Protestants had fired on the Catholics. He pronounced nineteen as being implicated. Several escaped, six were finally brought to trial. Dr. Entzminger in Pernambuco sent lawyers and gave such assistance as he could. After about two years, Missionary Ginsburg having come also to help in the meantime, the men on trial were set free. Fonseca lost all he had in this law suit, he being one of those arrested. He was in jail four months. He has been deserted by his family. When the disturbance occurred he was Marshal of his town. Today he lives in Nazareth, poor, deserted, faithful. But what cares he for this suffering, poverty and desertion as he contemplates the fact that he has set a torch of eternal light in his community. The church which he finally established will bear faithful witness in spite of hardships long after all persecution has ceased, and he, himself, has gone home to God.

It was our good fortune to visit the little town of Cabo (which means Cape), two hours' ride from Pernambuco, where we have a small church, organized about two years ago. We were entertained in the home of a mechanic who superintends the bridge construction along the railroad which passes through the town. He takes his Bible with him when he goes to work, and wherever he is he preaches the gospel. He told us of two station agents along the line who had recently accepted Christ through his personal efforts.

We had a delightful service that night in the church, a great throng of people being present, six of whom made public profession of their faith in Jesus. After we had returned from the church we sat in the little dining room in the rear part of this man's house until a late hour. Some of those who had suffered for the cause of the gospel came in to see us, and as we sat there in the dim light of the flickering candle, they told us of some of their sufferings for the gospel's sake. The scene reminded me of what must have taken place often in many a dark room in the early centuries when the Christians gathered together for the sake of comforting each other in their trials.

Amongst those who were present in this little room was brother Honofre, through whose efforts the church at Cabo had been founded. Several years ago he began to read a Bible which had been presented to him by a man who was not interested in it. He became converted along with his household. There was a Catholic family living opposite to him which he determined to reach with the gospel. After awhile this family accepted Christ and the two families began to hold worship in their homes. Soon they rented a hall, with the aid of a few others, and sent to Pernambuco for a missionary to come and organize them into a church. This man has endured cruel hardships. He had to abandon his business as a street merchant because the people boycotted him. He rented a house, built an oven and began to bake bread. Not long after that he was put out of this house. Again and yet again he had the same experience until recently he has rented a house from the same man who provided for our church building. He can now make a living.

The church has had experience similar to that of its founder. It was put out of three rented buildings at the instance of the Vicar, who either forced the owners to eject or he, himself, bought the property. Finally a man who is not a believer, but whose mother is, bought the present building and sold it to me church. He is permitting the church to pay for the building in installments of small sums. At last the church has a place upon which it can rest the sole of its feet and in two years has grown from ten to fifty members. On the occasion of our visit six more made public confession of Christ before a large audience and were received for baptism.

Out on the cape is a fine lighthouse which we had admired as we came up the coast on the ship. May it be a symbol of the lighthouse which this church may become to the storm tossed in that section of Brazil.

Of course, persecution is a painful thing for those who are called upon to endure it, but wherever I found those who had passed through afflictions they counted it all joy to suffer for the cause of Christ, and whenever I attempted to comfort them because of their hardships, I came away more comforted than they, for the reason that their joyous willingness to suffer for His sake strengthened my own faith and assured me of the ultimate triumph of the gospel through the labors of such heroic people. Persecution, while it may temporarily suspend work in a certain place, always defeats its own purpose, and instead of preventing the spread of the gospel, is one of the most helpful agencies in the growth of the truth.

A most encouraging illustration of this fact occurred in Pernambuco in 1904. There had been a bitter persecution at Cortez, a village not far from Pernambuco. The chief instigator of the trouble was the parish priest. The believers were driven out of the town and their lives threatened. The missionary went and was also driven out, but returned under the protection of some soldiers and conducted gospel services through a whole week in order to give courage to the believers and to demonstrate that the Protestants could not be driven out. A news account of this persecution was published in a daily paper in Pernambuco. A boy cut this article out and gave it to his teacher, a priest in the Silesian College. The teacher read the article and wrote a letter to Missionary Cannada and asked him to come to the college at midnight to explain the gospel. Two letters were passed before the missionary finally went at midnight to hold a conference. The priest came out and discussed the gospel with the missionary and then returned to the college, taking with him a copy of the New Testament. After a month the missionary went again at midnight to the college and the priest came away with him once for all. The priest went to the home of the missionary and for two months studied the Bible, after which time he was converted. He at once began to preach the gospel to his friends as he would meet them on the streets. He also made a public declaration of his conversion in print. The President of the college from which he had gone obtained an interview with him and offered him every inducement to return. His parents disinherited him and many other trials came to him, but through all, he stood firm. He has just graduated from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, taking the Th. D. degree and has been appointed to teach in the Baptist College and Theological Seminary in Rio. His name is Piani. About a year after Piani's conversion he induced another priest to leave the same college. This man spent a month in the missionary's house studying the Bible, but was enticed back by the priests and hurried away to New York in order that he might escape the influence of Piani. Three months after reaching New York he was converted and joined the Fifth Avenue Baptist Church and is today a pastor of a Baptist church in Massachusetts.

In no place where our people have endured persecution, even though it may have been severe enough to cost the lives of some, has the work been abandoned, but in every place the weak, struggling congregation which faced obliteration at the fury of its enemy, has in the end increased, and today enjoys the blessing of growth in numbers and in the sympathy of the people. Persecution is a good agency in the spread of the gospel.