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worshipping images and relics. On this ground, I brought a charge of idolatry.
P. G. “No, it is not idolatry. We pray to the Virgin only to intercede for us. We do not adore her, we only venerate her. When we have processions in her honor, we never kneel. But we have in Malta a relic of the very cross, on which our Saviour died; and when that is carried out, we all kneel in honor of our Lord.
F. “An angel from heaven would not allow John to worship him. Peter himself would not allow Cornelius to kneel and worship him. The Bible no where gives permission to pray to any being but God. Yet you pray to others, and you not only ask the Virgin to pray for you, but you ask her to keep you, to deliver you from danger, to direct you, and bless you. As to images, you know that the Bible forbids them in the most positive terms.
P. G. “What you say is incontestable. But asking the intercession of the saints can do no harm. It is all done in the name of Christ, and for his honor, and it is more humble to go to others, than to the Supreme Advocate.
F. "It is always most humble in us to do what God commands; and nothing honors Christ, except what he has required. A great error in your Church is this;—instead of trusting in the blood of Christ alone for the expiation of sin and eternal life, you trust in your acts of mortification and penance, your masses and ceremonies; and instead of depending on Christ as your only intercessor, you resort to others, and add continually to what the Scriptures have said.
P. G. “The Church does no harm in adding to the original sense of Scripture, provided the additions increase the sense, and tend to do good.
F. “We are but poor judges of what is useful on these points, and shall be wise to abide by what God has taught us.
«After much further conversation in which I endeavored to explain, as well as I could, the nature of true repentance and real religion, he left me with a profusion of compliments, saying, "We differ very little, only in some points of discipline.""
This kind of discussion was resumed at subsequent periods, and conducted in an animated and interesting manner; but instead of inserting it entire we must, for want of room, refer the reader to the Missionary Herald, vol. xix. p. 174. The communication thus concludes.
“We preach four times a week in English. Our chapel, which accommodates one hundred persons, is filled twice on the Sabbath. On Wednesday evening we preach also in the chapel, and on Thursday evening in a room on the other side of the water, near the dock yard. Our preaching is generally extemporaneous. This is the kind of preaching, to which our hearers have been most accustomed, and which they prefer.
“Our congregations on the Sabbath are of quite a mixed kind; some persons distinguished for learning, talents and accomplishments, and some of the most illiterate; Churchmen, Presbyterians, Independents, Baptists, and Methodists. Nothing gratifies the serious part of our congregation so much as when we preach on the glory and grace of Christ; I mean, in a practical and experimental way. We have several times had at our meeting two young midshipmen, from an English man-of-war, who have become serious in the course of the past year.
“The Malta Bible Society have lately received letters from Mr. Barker, the Bible Society's agent at Aleppo, giving information, that he received, some time since, about 1,000 Arabic Psalters and New Testaments, printed by the British and Foreign Bible Society after the edition of the Propaganda at Rome, and that he sold the whole within three days! The reason why these were sold so much
more rapidly than copies, which the Society had formerly sent into Syria, is, that this translation has the sanction of the Church of Rome. The former copies were of a different translation.
"I have received a letter from Mr. Jacob Van Lennep, in which he informs me, that a meeting of the subscribers to the Bible Society [at Smyrna,] had been held, and a committee appointed, and expresses his satisfaction that the Society is likely to come into operation. I have also received a letter from Mr. Consul Wherry, in which he informs me, that he had written to the Levant Company in England, stating the service which I had performed in the chapel, while the chaplaincy was vacant; that the Company had, in consequence, directed him to remunerate me for my services, at the same rate as their proper chaplains; and that he had accordingly assembled the chiefs of the Factory at Smyrna, when it was unanimously resolved to place at my disposal four months pay, amounting to eighty pounds sterling; for which amount he authorized me to draw on their Treasurer. It would be in vain for me to attempt to express the emotions, with which I read this letter. The merchants who compose the Factory in Smyrna, in their liberality fixed the time at four months, whereas I had preached only two months and a half. I have informed them of the error, and have drawn for fifty pounds, instead of eighty. For all the encouragements we meet with, let us praise the Lord; and when we are disappointcd, let us bow cheerfully to his holy will.
“Our minds have, for some days, been deeply interested about sending some Greek boys to be educated at the Cornwall School. The first, to whom we turned our attention, was Photius Kavasales, an orphan. His uncle, who has the care of bim, offered to commit him to our charge, and Capt. Dewing very generously offered to take him to America free of expense.
“While making the necessary arrangements for Photius, another applied to have us send his nephew. We consented to do so, but he very soon changed his mind. It was not long, however, before the Greek priest called on us, in his full ecclesiastical dress, bringing with him a son whom he wished to send. He made some inquiries about the school, and then about our religion. I told him the boys would be instructed much in the Scriptures, and that on the Sabbath we have preaching on the doctrines and duties of Scripture. I stated also some of the principal doctrines which are generally believed in America. He was much pleased to learn, that we do not believe in purgatory, which, he says, is an invention of the Catholics. He finally concluded to send his son, and offered to pay his passage.
"Both the boys speak Maltese, and read and speak Greek and Italian. It is very desirable that pains be taken that they may not forget the two last. As we send them away, our hearts are agitated with hopes, and fears, and anxieties. We commend them to the divine mercy, and to the benevolence and prayers of our Christian friends. We trust all will be done for them that is necessary, and we hope many supplications will be presented to the throne of grace on their behalf.”
Besides the two Greek youth mentioned above, a number of others were afterwards sent to this country through the agency of Mr. Fisk and his missionary brethren, who are now receiving a classical education. They give evidence of possessing. intellectual powers of superior order. Some of them have, in the judgment of charity, passed from death unto life, and they adorn the Christian profession. One has died, not without leaving some cheering evidence that he died in faith. The others are looking with intense solicitude to their own classic land, indulging the hope that they may one day return, to help kindle up the dying spark of Grecian
genius. Some of them are looking to a still higher object, and hope to become fellow-laborers with the missionaries of the cross in the work of reviving the pure religion of the Gospel in that country of ancient renown, which, to the Christian as well as the scholar, is full of interest.
Mr. Fisk, in a subsequent communication speaks of the employment of the printing press, sent from this country by benevolent individuals, to aid the objects of the Palestine Mission, as promising most desirable and powerful results.
“We have printed four different Tracts in Italian, viz. “The Sabbath,' 'Dr. Payson's Address to Mariners,' 'Prayers for the seven days of the week,' and Dr. Green's Questions and Counsel.' Our printer knew nothing of Greek. I taught him the alphabet, and have spent much of my time, for more than a month past, in the printing room, distributing and examining the types, and assisting to commence printing in Greek. We have just struck off the first sheet of The Dairyman's Daughter, which Mr. Parsons and myself translated, while at Scio. I think the printing will go on tolerably well; but there will be continual difficulties, bindrances, and perplexities, until we have a missionary printer, an able, faithful, pious man. We have taken a Greek boy on trial, to learn the art. He is from Scio; and when the Island was attacked by the Turks, he escaped in a boat, with his mother and brothers, and arrived at Ipsera, whence he came to Malta. His father was at Constantinople, and was one of those who were put to death by the Turks, when the Sciotes revolted.”
He adds an interesting notice of a season of Christian communion and fellowship, which he enjoyed just before leaving the Island.
“As there are in the congregation to which we preach, a number of professors of religion, who appear to be truly pious, we thought it proper for