Gobat, Samuel, Dd

Gobat, Samuel, D.D.

missionary bishop of Jerusalem, was born January 26, 1799, at Cremine, a village near Munster, in the canton of Berne. In 1821 he entered the missionary seminary at Basle, and in 1824 went. to Paris for the purpose of continuing his Oriental studies, particularly Arabic, under the celebrated Sylvester de Sacy. In 1825 he entered into the service of the Church Missionary Society at London, and in the year following embarked upon his mission to Abyssinia. But owing to the unsettled state of that country, he could not begin operations until 1830, and left in 1832. He returned in 1834, but sickness prevented his working, and so, in September, 1836, he returned to Europe. From 1839 to 1842 he was at Malta, assiduously engaged in revising the Arabic Bible, and other learned labors. In 1842 he went to Basle, afterwards to Berne, and returned again in 1845 to Malta, to inaugurate and take charge of the Malta Protestant College. Soon after he had opened the college, Mr. Gobat received an intimation that the king of Prussia had expressed an anxious desire to nominate him to the Anglican episcopate in Jerusalem. He was much surprised at the intelligence, but felt bound in conscience not to refusethe call, without violating his principles of being "obedient to the Lord in all things." "Wherefore," were his words, "I felt persuaded that the call was from God; and herein I ground my hope, that God will bless me, and make me a blessing." On Sunday, July 5, 1846, Mr. Gobat was consecrated at Lambeth as bishop of the United Church of England and Ireland in Jerusalem. His work in the Holy City, during the thirty-three years which he spent there, was very successful and vigorous. His annual letters from the Holy City were always looked for with interest, and read with the deepest attention. In the last letter, published in 1877, he stated that there. were thirty-three Protestant schools in Judea, Samaria, Galilee, and beyond Jordan, containing between 1200 and 1500 children of both sexes. He died at Jerusalem, May 5, 1879. He wrote A Journey of Three Years in Abyssinia (Lond. 1847). See Lichtenberger, Encyclop. des Sciences Religieuses, s.v.; S. Gobat, his Life and Work, by the earl of Shaftesbury (Lond. 1884). (B.P.)

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