Page images

our own gratification. When duty calls, we must obey.

“16. The Rev. Mr. Bellamy arrived as chaplain to the English factory.

Sabbath, 17. Mr. Bellamy read prayers, and I then preached, from 2 Cor. v, 10. This probably closes my public labors with this congregation.”


Smyrna, Nov. 22, 1820.-I know better now than ever before how to prize the society of Christians. I know too, I trust, better than ever, that a person may be happy without their society. Yes, there is something in the religion of Christ which raises the soul superior to all created sources of enjoyment, and brings it into such a state of union with God, as leaves it independent of all other beings. Have you experienced this? Do you know how the heart rests in God, and is filled with peace? To be diligently employed in his service; to have the consciousness, that with all our imperfections, it is our sincere aim to please him; to possess a confirmed hope through the blood of Christ, that after a few days we shall be entirely conformed to him, and completely happy with him; to have the heart filled with his love, and the mind stayed on him;--this is heaven begun on earth. The attainment of this felicity is indeed difficult, but I trust not impossible. Without this, whether surrounded, as you are, by tender and faithful friends, or doomed, as I am, to wander among the brutal and savage of our race, we are 'poor, and wretched, and miserable.' Let us pray often and earnestly that the light of the divine countenance inay be our daily comfort.

"You will perhaps expect me to say something about this country. A country with which so many interesting associations are connected, you will


suppose, cannot fail to furnish a great variety of intelligence, and important incidents. It is indeed interesting to pass the places, where the Greeks and Persians fought, where Homer wrote, and especially where Apostles preached, and martyrs died. But the savageness and ignorance which now prevail, render it extremely difficult to obtain correct intelligence, or true explanations respecting the things

If you wish for a concise description of the state of this country, natural, political, literary, and religious, read Genesis i, 2, the first part of the verse. No description could be more apposite.

"When you have read, pray, that the latter part of the verse may soon be as applicable, as the first part is now. If God say,—Let there be light,there will be light."

we see.


Smyrna, Nov. 26, 1820.--This evening I have read your last letter to brother Parsons, and your last to me.

I do most sincerely thank you for this letter. Many of your interrogations come home to the conscience, and make me feel ashamed of myself, and excite desires and resolutions to pray more, and strive more earnestly after spirituality. Till I received your letter, I had cherished some hope, that we might be neighbors. But providence calls you the other way. The will of the Lord be done. Go, beloved brother, and the Lord be with you, as he was with Moses. Probably at this time you are a beggar” in Georgia or Carolina. I wish I could get a letter into your hands without delay. But as this will not probably reach you, till your southern tour is completed, I need say nothing about

your course. I bless God, however, that you are going thither, and hope you will preach with as much zeal, and as much effect, as ever Peter the hermit did. My

earnest prayers accompany you; for I know the temptations and trials, which you will have to encounter.

“I wish I could see you long enough, at least, to talk a little about our spiritual state. But oh, I could tell you but a sad story concerning myself. I have some precious seasons; but am generally too far from


Saviour. I want more communion with him. If you are going to the heathen, learn first to live by communion with the Redeemer. Go to the Fountain for your happiness, and do not depend upon the streams. May the blessed Jesus take you into a peculiar and holy nearness to himself, and enable you to feast daily on his love."


Smyrna, Dec. 18, 1820. "Woe is me, that I sojourn in Mesech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar.' O my brother, it is dreadful to be shut out from the divine favor. I know that God is ready to grant the light of his countenance to all his faithful servants; and I trust that I sometimes enjoy it. I find indeed some moments of precious comfort. But they are short; and I generally live at a miserable rate. I hope it is not so with you. I hope you go to your closet, and find the Redeemer there. I hope your soul is sometimes greatly enlarged with a spirit of intercession for others. When it is so, I know you do not forget us, and the mission in which we are engaged. I think there must be a great deal of earnest prayer for this country, before missions will be attended with general success.

There are difficulties in the way, toward the removal of which, we can at present do little or nothing but pray. When God exerts his power, the strong man will be disarmed.

“I love to be a missionary-love to labor in this country. Still I am seldom able to exercise that

faith which is necessary, so that I can look over the mountains, and through the clouds, which surround us. I am often full of fear and trembling. I anticipate but little good to be accomplished at present. Perhaps it may be seen at some distant day, that these feeble and imperfect beginnings were important parts of that general system of means, by which the world is to be converted. This hope sometimes comforts and animates me.

“A large proportion of the prayers offered in this country by nominal Christians, are offered to angels, saints, and to the virgin Mary. We had a long discussion with one of the Greek bishops on this subject. When we said Christ was the only Mediator; he replied, that Christ was Mediator when on earth, that he is not Mediator now, but Judge. For this reason,' he says, 'we pray to angels and saints, and especially to the Mother of God, as our Mediator.' Is this idolatry, or is it not? They say to us; “You ask saints on earth to pray for you: why not then ask saints in heaven to pray for you? When you write again, tell me what you think of this."


During a number of days from the last date Mr. Fisk was much employed in visiting schools, in which he distributed Tracts. He speaks of the schools as being deficient in respect to suitable books and discipline. The scholars are represented as being anxious to receive Tracts. To prevent confusion, “I go to them,” he says, “or call them to me, one by one, and ascertain whether they can read. If they can, I give them Tracts, accompanied with brief religious instructions and exhortations."

Dec. 31, 1820. This year is now closing. I commenced it at Malta in company with my dear brother. Every year of my life has furnished occasion for humility and thanksgiving; but this

has been in some respects a peculiar one. The Lord has

been better to me than my fears. Let me trust in him for the future, and never be afraid.

"Jan. 1, 1821. A day of mirth and dancing with Franks. But it has been pleasing to reflect, that, in different parts of the world, there are many who prefer uniting in the concert of prayer, to all the vain delights of mirth.

"22. Mr. Cohen, the Jew mentioned in our Journal, May 3, 1820, came to visit me.

In the course of conversation, he said the Jews here never kindle a fire on the Sabbath, but often employ Turks or Christians to do it for them. I inquired what they believe respecting a future state. He says they believe, that all atheists and idolaters will be damned forever; but all, who believe in one God, will be finally saved; though, if they live in any known sin, they must suffer in hell until they have expiated it. He says Jews hold to 613 commandments, besides the decalogue, and if they obey all these, they will be rewarded in proportion; whereas Christians, who hold to only ten commandments, even if they keep those ten, will have a proportionably small reward.

“After reading some time in the Hebrew Bible, and conversing about different places, I offered him a Hebrew Testament which he very gladly accepted. I told him he must read it, and pray that God would show him what was right, and dispose him to embrace it. He said he would do so. He has engaged to call occasionally and read Hebrew with me. This is the first opportunity I have had of giving a Hebrew Testament to a Jew. The occasion-calls for thanksgiving and earnest prayer.

“24. Yesterday afternoon I went to Sedicui, in company with Mr. Thompson, a young gentleman who lives with Mr. Van Lennep. This village is a little W. of S. from Smyrna, at the distance of six or eight miles. It is the seat of an aga, but the man, who has held that office the past year, is now gone

« PreviousContinue »