Schneider, Benjamin, Dd
Schneider, Benjamin, D.D.
a missionary of the American Board of the Congregational Church, was born in New Hanover, Pa., Jan. 18, 1807. He joined the Church in Norristown in 1826, and soon after entered Hamilton College, in N.Y. Having remained awhile here, he went to Amherst, where he graduated in 1830. From Amherst he went directly to Andover, and entered the seminary, where the question of becoming a foreign missionary soon took possession of his mind. In June, 1832, he says, "Blessed be God for the prospect I have of consecrating myself to the good work of missions." With this thought uppermost, he pursued his studies. After graduating in 1833, he was married to Miss Abbott. He was ordained in 1833, and Dec. 12 of the same year he sailed from Boston for Smyrna. From 1834 to 1849 he was stationed at Broosa, the ancient capital of the Turkish empire, about ninety miles south of Constantinople. Though a region rich and grand in natural scenery, it was hard to cultivate. The principle of toleration had not been established in the empire, and the missionary was subjected to endless annoyances and persecutions. His chief labors were with the Greek population, and they were far less susceptible to Gospel influences than the Armenian. In 1849 he was called to take up his abode at Aintab, where he had labored for a time previously, and where a wonderful work had begun among the Armenians. Here Dr. Schneider labored until 1868, a period of nineteen years, and his labors were crowned with abundant success. He instructed the candidates for the ministry, and many of the native preachers in Central Turkey received their theological training at his hands. Though he had many things to occupy his attention in laying the foundations, his chief delight was in telling the simple story of the cross to the listening multitudes. Gentle and winning in his manners as he was scholarly, he attracted thousands by his fluency and fervor. Dr. Schauffler, another veteran missionary, in speaking of him, said, "Always when I can, I go to hear Dr. Schneider." The pulpit was his throne, the place of his power. In 1868 it was thought advisable that he should return to Broosa and resume his labors there; and a few years later he seemed to be pointed out by Providence, on account of his scholarly attainments and fitness, as the person to be put in charge of the theological seminary at Marsovan. While laboring here, such was his incessant toil that his health gave way. He was a man of eminent gifts and qualifications, an exact scholar, especially as a linguist. He mastered with ease all the foreign tongues he was called to use, and spoke with remarkable ease and fluency. His whole heart was in his work, because he loved it. Thus he lived and died. "His record is in heaven, and his testimony on high." He died in Boston Sept. 14, 1877. (W.P.S.)