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debted for a number of rare specimens of minerals, and other natural curiosities from Syria and Egypt.
TO REV. PROFESSOR HALL, MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE,
“Beyroot, May 11, 1824. "Your truly acceptable letter I have delayed answering till now, in order to send with my answer another box of minerals. It contains a great variety of specimens from different parts of Egypt and Syria; and among others, samples of the red granite and marble of Egypt, of the temples at Thebes and Dendera, of the tombs of the kings at Thebes, of the temple at Balbec, a piece of a mummy box, and of the linen used in wrapping a mummy, a scarabæus, fruit of the doum-tree, samples of the wood and fruit of the cedars of Lebanon, and of the sulphureous stones from the mountains near the Dead Sea.
“I had heard very often, that on one of the summits of Mount Carmel there were very curious petrifactions of fruit. The Arabs said there were watermelons, and many sorts of smaller fruit so perfect, that at first sight you would take them for actual fruit. In my late journey from Jerusalem to this place, I determined to investigate this matter, and with two Arabs, who knew, or at least pretended to know, where the watermelons were to be found, I ascended the mountain. We found no watermelons; but we found in the mountain, which is formed of calcareous stone, some very curious formations, of which you will find samples in the box.
"I am not surprised, that the ignorant Arabs should have mistaken them for petrified fruits.--. Among these numerous samples I hope you will find a number, which you will examine with interest."
TO REV. D. H. OF W.
Beyroot, May 22, 1824. “Your kind letter gave me much pleasure. You are happy, and God blesses you and yours. I rejoice and give thanks on your account, and pray, that you may see still richer displays of divine grace in the conversion of your people. Never forget, I beseech you, that every individual among them, who is not renewed by the Holy Spirit must perish forever under the wrath of God. A due sense of this will help you to study, converse, preach, and live, as if your great concern were to save souls. If every man is bound to give all diligence to make his own calling and election sure, how zealous and indefatigable ought the minister to be, who has many souls committed to his care! And when we think of the eternal consequences of our faithfulness, or negligence, how awful does the subject appear! How much ought we to pray for wisdom, skill, faithfulness, and holiness, that we may be able to execute the great work assigned, us, so as to glorify God, and save men.
“I am now passing a few days, more happily than you can well imagine, in the cheering society of my brethren and sisters here. Mr. King and myself arrived here worn down by study, journies, and sick
We are now enjoying a little rest, and comforting ourselves with cheerful conversation. We often talk of far distant friends, and among them you are not forgotten. We have set apart to-day for fasting and prayer, in relation to our mission. In the forenoon we met, and enjoyed a season of social worship. The topics proposed for conversation and prayer, were these;
“1. A blessing on the labors we have already performed;—the Bibles and Tracts we have distributed; the sermons we have preached; and the discussions we have had with different people.
562. A blessing on us who are now engaged in the Palestine mission; that we may be preserved in life and health, and be made more humble, holy, faithful, wise, and in every respect better fitted for our work.
“3. The increase of our number by additions from America of other brethren and sisters, who shall be well qualified to take part in this ministry.
64. The effusion of the Holy Spirit and the conversion of souls, in connexion with our labors.
“Each brother before prayer made observations upon his branch of the subject. We are about meeting again to pray for our relatives, and for the seminaries, churches, and societies of America. I think days of private and of social fasting are very useful. An individual by himself, a family as such, a small circle of friends, or a single church, may with great advantage observe days occasionally for self-abasement and humiliation before God; and if they set about it with a true heart, I am sure, God will bless them. I enjoyed very many precious days of this kind with our lamented brother Parsons. On those occasions we sometimes seemed to get quite away from the world. Those were happy days, which I shall never forget.”
This chapter will be concluded with a letter to one of his brothers, dated Beyroot, June 20, 1824.
“Since the attack of fever which I had last winter at Jerusalem; I find my health and strength are not so firm, as I enjoyed a few years ago. I am not sick; can sleep as quietly, and take my meals with as good a relish as I ever did; and I can study, though not so intently as once. But I cannot walk, or make any bodily exertion, without much fatigue. In a word, I feel the effects of the journies and labors of the last four years, and of so many changes of climate, habits, and circumstances. I think it my duty to take all the care I can of
my health; and I have consequently spent the last six weeks
here in the society of my missionary brethren and sisters. This has been a very quiet and agreeable season to me. I am now about going to Der el Kamer on Mount Lebanon, and thence probably to Damascus. But I do not intend to proceed in my journies or studies farther or faster than my health and strength will allow. Pray for me that I may have grace to devote all the strength, which God gives me, to his service;—that my life, so long as it is spared, may be his; and that, when called to die, I may be found ready. I have a consoling hope, that my peace is made with God, and am not usually distressed with serious doubts on the subject. But I want more love to Christ, and a more lively faith. Often I discover new corruptions in my heart, and see more and more need of sanctifying grace. How difficult it is to avoid sins, which have become habitual, or to begin the performance of duties, which we have habitually neglected. I beseech you, live near to Christ.
Pray much. Do all you can to win your neighbors to Christ."
JOURNEY TO THE PRINCIPAL CITIES IN THE NORTH
OF SYRIA, RESIDENCE AT JAFFA AND JERUSALEM, AND FINAL RETURN TO BEYROOT.
The compiler in preparing this chapter has to depend on the information communicated by Mr. King, who was with Mr. F. during most of this time. Mr. F. forwarded his journal for this period, but unfortunately it miscarried; or it has fallen perhaps into the hands of Greek pirates.
On the 22d of June 1824, he joined Mr. King at Der el Kamer, and on the 24th set out with him for Damascus in company with Mr. Cook.* Their way
*A Missionary from the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society, England.
was over Mount Lebanon, from the summit of which the descent was steep, leading to the beautiful plain of Cælo-Syria. After eight or nine hours ride, they reached the foot of the mountain, and in another hour they came to a khan, where they concluded to spend the night. The khan was so infested with vermin, that they resorted to a booth, made of green bushes, fitted up on the banks of the river Lietani, in which they spread their couches; and called for supper.
On the 25th they resumed their journey, and passing over Anti-Libanus, and through some small villages, arrived at Deemas, after a journey of nearly nine hours and a half. Here they found lodgings in the house of a Mussulman, and were furnished with leban and milk, and bread baked, with the dung of sheep and goats. See Ezekiel iv. 15.
The next morning between two and three o'clock they left Deemas, and in about four hours came in sight of the great city, DAMASCUS, which with the surrounding country, was enveloped with a thin haze or smoke, exhibiting the appearance of the country around the Dead Sea They soon reached the large plain in which the city is situated, and advanced towards the gate, through gardens of chesnut, olive, and fig-trees, apricots and vines.
On reaching the gate they all dismounted, except Mr. K. who was soon ordered by an armed Turk to do the same, as no Christian is allowed to ride within the city. It was with some difficulty that lodgings were found, as letters had been received by the highest ecclesiastical authorities, ordering them not to admit to their convents any of those men who distributed Bibles. They left their baggage in the street, and after walking about the city two hours and a half, a miserable room infested with vermin, was obtained, in which they might remain over the Sabbath. On the same day towards evening a num- , ber of priests called on them, one of whom a Ma