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incline gradually on all sides, till they come nearly to a point at the top. Each layer of stone in this way makes a step, so that we are able to ascend without much difficulty. What an amazing monument of the skill, and of the folly of man! It has been standing at least 3000 or 4000 years, and seems likely to stand as long as the world shall last."
TO REV. DANIEL TEMPLE, MALTA.
"'Cairo, March 10, 1822. “Dear Brother,—This morning I had the unspeakable satisfaction of learning by a letter from Dr. Naudi, that you have arrived at Malta. I seize the first opportunity to bid you welcome;--yes, you are most cordially welcome to the fatiguing labors, the perilous enterprizes, the heart-rending anxieties, the mortifying disappointments, and the elevated hopes, unfailing consolations and animating successes, of missionaries.
“You come expecting to see, or at least to hear from our dear brother Parsons. Alas! you will neither see him, nor hear from him, till you finish your work, and go to meet him in the immediate presence of his Lord. It is one month to-day since
closed his eyes, after his immortal spirit had fled. I wept at his tomb, and returned with a heavy heart to my work. I am almost ready to murmur; but I hope I do not. O that I may find it good to be afflicted. You will see, I suppose, my letters to our mutual friends Dr. Naudi and Mr. Wilson, I need not therefore repeat what is in them.
“You cannot tell how much I am rejoiced, that you are come to help me. I am strongly inclined to turn my course and meet you at Malta. I suppose you will remain, at least for the summer, at Malta. Do all the good you can, and learn languages as fast as you can. Let me say one word
in respect to learning languages. When you begin a language, let the first object be to know the
grammar thoroughly, and to commit very many words and short phrases to memory; then commit important texts of Scripture, translate some of your sermons, and prepare some prayers in the language. Probably you will undertake Italian first. Perhaps that, on the whole, is most necessary, though at Smyrna you will have more immediate occasion for French. Do not attempt too many things at once, as I have done.
“I have to-day endeavored to give thanks for your safe arrival, and have thought what blessings you need, and prayed that they may be granted you. My own experience has taught me, that the things you most need are wisdom, perseverance, and the spirit of devotion. I am comforted in the assurance that you will often pray
I hope it will be so ordered that we shall meet before long; though I have been lately taught by an affecting lesson, not to anticipate too fondly meeting with my friends on earth. O, may we all be prepared to meet at last in heaven."
RESIDENCE AND LABORS IN MALTA IN CONNEXION
WITH MR. TEMPLE.
The reasons, which induced Mr. Fisk to relinquish his contemplated journey to Judea on hearing of Mr. Temple's arrival at Malta, were the approach of the warm season, which was unfavorable for trav-' elling; the strong probability that but very few pilgrims would venture to visit Jerusalem, owing to the convulsed state of political affairs in the Turkish empire; and a desire to confer with his missionary friends on that Island respecting future proceedings.
The letter, which contains these reasons, was dated Malta, April 18, 1822, and addressed to the corresponding Secretary of the Board of Missions. The following is the conclusion:
"I wish you to understand distinctly, that I have deferred my journey to Jerusalem awhile, not because there were any insurmountable obstacles in the way, nor because my views or feelings have changed at all in respect to the field;—but simply because I thought some important objects might be accomplished by coming to Malta, there being no special reason for going immediately to Syria. I feel more confident, that I shall be established finally at Jerusalem, than when I left America. I have no wish to leave the work for any other on earth, nor to change the field of my labors. But I will not deny that, after the journeys and voyages, the studies and anxieties, the scenes of massacre and plague, the various disappointments, of the last two years, and the seclusion from Christian society, especially after the death of my fellow-laborer, I did feel the need of being for a short time quietly with a few Christian friends, where I might collect my scattered thoughts, review the way in which the Lord has led me, and, as I hope, be prepared to engage in my work with renovated vigor of body and of mind,
"Yours &c. PLINY FISK."
“Malta, in quarantine, April 21, Sabbath. After being for a month past in company the whole time without even a single hour for retirement, I enjoy to-day the privilege of being alone. I have had time to look at my heart and life. What weakness, what unfaithfulness! I wish to be holy, to be faithful, to be wholly devoted to God. But alas, I shall not attain to this, while I walk in the flesh. There is, however, a country where sin can never enter, which I hope finally to inhabit forever."
An extract from a letter, which, about this time, he wrote to Rev. Dr. W. of Andover, shows the deep interest he still felt in the welfare of the Theological Institution in that place.
“The prosperity of the Seminary gives me great joy. The scenes, through which I have passed since leaving it, have frequently presented to my mind the theological and ecclesiastical establishments of the Catholic and the Oriental churches. This has often led me to think of Andover and its future destinies with the deepest interest. Men corrupt, pervert and abuse every thing entrusted to their care, except just so far as the grace of God pervents it. I hope the Institution in all its movements, will ever be like the house of Christ, made up of his disciples; and that all, who belong to it, will act according to his Gospel. If Andover with all its wealth, numbers, and learning, may always exhibit the simplicity of the Moravians, its enemies will be confounded, while its friends will rejoice and glorify God. While Mr. Parsons lived, we used to set apart a season once a week, at least, to pray for that beloved Seminary.”
LETTER TO MISS M. D. B. OF W.
“ Malta, April 20, 1822. “Your letter shows, that your heart is where it should be, and that you derive happiness from a source which can never fail; but which will forever continue to yield purer and higher enjoyments. I doubt not that you have some precious seasons of communion with Christian friends, and some still more precious seasons of intercourse with Heaven. How sublime and holy the joy that thrills through the soul, when we have a near view of Christ, of his amazing love and infinite glory! This the world do not understand. I have scarcely met a person since
I left America, to whom all this has not seemed weakness, or enthusiasm. But no; it is reality. I I trust you find it so daily. Let it be our constant prayer, that we may know more of this; it is our life. Without communion with Christ we languish and die. O let us keep near to him.
“We must struggle with sin, with temptation, and with the world, all the way to the end of our pilgrimage. This is the way in which all, who have preceded us, have attained to glory. The struggle may sometimes be severe, but the triumph will be glorious. I find it trying to be associated so exclusively with men of the world; and not only with men who are destitute of vital religion, but who have no adequate idea of what it is, or of what it requires of its professors. But I know Christ can keep me, if I trust in him; and I am sure, you and many others of my friends will pray, that I may be enabled so to do."
The letters which immediately follow, addressed to Rev. Dr. Woods, Andover, contain some important practical inquiries respecting the duty of an American missionary in Turkey. They also furnish an additional illustration of the trait of character noticed in Chapter iii. p. 40.
“Malta, April, 1822. "Rev. and Dear Sir,
Situated as I am, it is often a trying question, how to distinguish between prudence and timidity. I have read Daniel iii, and vi. Acts vii, 51, 52. I have also considered with some care the gradual and gentle methods by which our Saviour made known his Gospel, and corrected the erroneous opinions of his disciples. Still when it becomes a practical question, I often find it difficult to decide, how far fidelity to my Saviour requires boldness and unyielding perseverance; and how far it requires quiet and patient waiting, till "he who now letteth,