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Having followed this lamented Missionary through his short, but eminently useful life, we leave him in his “narrow house” at the foot of Lebanon. Though we cannot but mingle our tears with those which the Arab and Greek shed at his grave, we mourn not as those who have no hope. But while we deplore the loss of one who stood at the head of the mission to the Holy Land, we rejoice that he lived to accomplish so much. If "that life is long which answers life's great end,” his was not indeed short. He lived to see, what from the beginning of his work was with him a very great object, a printing press established, and in successful operation in the Mediterranean. After many discouragements, and disappointments, and labors, he succeeded in giving the hopeful appearance of permanency to the mission in Syria, and saw it assuming increasing importance, and exerting an influence that promised much to the cause of Christ in that country. He had extended his researches, not only over the country where the Apocalyptic churches were planted, and in the renowned land of the Pharaohs, which to the people of God was once “the house of bondage;" but through the greater part of Syria. He had with indefatigable labor surveyed these interesting fields statistically and morally, and left to the mission the valuable results of his observation and inquiry.
As he travelled from city to city, he distributed the Holy Scriptures and Tracts very extensively, and in personal interviews had commended the pure doctrines of the Gospel to the attention and the conscience of Greeks, Jews, and Mussulmans. Over a wide field the seed had been faithfully scattered by his hand, some of which has taken root, and already shoots up the promising blade. They who shall follow him, will be able to report some of the happy effects of his labors. Mr. King, who travelled over that part of Asia Minor which Mr. Fisk
and his fellow-laborer explored, found that their visit was remembered, and spoken of with much satisfaction. Speaking of Thyatira he says; “A Greek in this place, in mentioning the visit of Messrs. Fisk and Parsons, informed us, that some of the Tracts, which they had distributed, had been lent from one to another, till they had been read by nearly two hundred persons!"-By faith he commenced an assault upon isspiritual wickedness in high places,” and brought the weapons of a holy warfare to bear directly against the enemy in his strongest citadel; and he felt an unshaken confidence that, though he might perish in the battle, the victory was sure.
We have seen him, "by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,” going forth, not like Peter the Hermit, to pour a bannered host over the plains of Judea, for the purpose of recovering the Holy Sepulchre from Ottoman profanation, but for the purpose of “planting the standard of the cross where the cross itself once stood, where the fountain of pardon to a guilty world was opened by the soldier's
and from whence salvation shall issue forth again to Israel and Judah.” Having thus commenced the work, and from the hill of Zion sounded in the ear of the church the trumpet note of preparation for coming up "arm and soul” to the glorious enterprise, he retired amidst the storm which his own efforts had excited, that he might rest for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast." -But God had done with his instrumentality here, and gave him to "rest from his labors,” and “enter into peace.”
In respect to his character, it would be superfluous to add much after what has been already related. His "own works shall praise him in the gates;"and we would avoid the imputation of an effort to canonize him as a saint. That he ad defects of character is not denied, for "to err is human.” That
he was, however, "a bright and shining light,” will be confessed—a man “in whom there was an excellent spirit”—and whose meat and drink it was to be about his Father's business. If he did not exhibit the power and splendor of pre-eminent talents, and the fascinating refinements of elegant literature, he evinced what is of more importance, the quenchless ardor of Christian zeal, regulated by a sound mind, and a facility for making readily such acquisitions, as his work demanded. Says the Rev. Lewis Way, who became acquainted with him at Antoura; "I found in him a man of a truly catholic and Christian spirit. His simple piety, solid sense, amiable temper, and strong constitution, had eminently predisposed him for his calling; and the experience he obtained by travelling amply qualified him to be the guide and director of others, who may follow him in this most interesting and arduous mission." His piety, "unlike a summer's brook," was, as the stream issuing from the perennial fountain, permanent and uniform, being sustained by constant supplies from “the wells of salvation.".
In his character there was a combination of qualities which, under the direction of enlightened and active piety, must render a person eminently useful. Decision, perseverance, intrepidity, judgment, modesty, patience, and benevolence, are traits which have been developed in the preceding pages-traits which were harmoniously combined in him, forming a well-proportioned, and truly consistent character. As was said of Henry Martyn, “the symmetry of his stature in Christ was as surprising as its height."
No person perhaps was more delighted with the study of the sacred Scriptures, and few possessed a more extensive or correct knowledge of them. He loved to dwell “fast by the oracle of God,” that the word of Christ might dwell in him richly. An unction from the Holy One gave an effect to his ministrations, which failed not to produce the impression
that he was honest and in earnest—that he both believed and felt the truths of the Gospel, in preaching which it was his constant aim to scommend himself to every man's conscience in the sight of God.”
It will be sufficient to add, that Mr. Fisk was the established Christian, whose uniform care was, to "exercise himself unto godliness.” Truly may it be said of him, that "he walked with God," and made it his object to be “always abounding in the work of the Lord.” No one could be with him long without perceiving, that "he had been with Jesus, and that his conversation was in heaven. Though at times he was depressed with doubts, arising from deep discoveries of his own sinful heart, he in general lived in the enjoyment of religion,
“In regions mild of calm and serene air,
Which men call earth." Such was the man, who at the age of thirty-three years was dismissed from the labors and trials of his stewardship. It is not the first time that the church has been called to weep over the early death of her most promising, and devoted sons. Brainerd, Martyn, Mills, Parsons, Hall, and others of kindred spirit, have been arrested in the noon-tide of life, while successfully employed in the service of their Lord, and removed to the employments and rewards of the heavenly Jerusalem. These mysterious and afflicting providences address a solemn admonition to every missionary, to every minister, to every follower of Jesus Christ;Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.” “Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord, when he cometh, shall find so doing."